Birthday Surprises of Every Kind

I wasn’t planning on writing today but decided it would be better to go in later and work later because of the high potential of black ice. So I’m taking time to blog to kill some time.

Birthday Girl

Of course we got the snow for my birthday, ha! Roads were mainly fine. Mom and I had plans to go to lunch and so she called to say Happy Birthday and find out what time we were going. I had already told her we could also go look for her curtains after we ate at Red Lobster. I had told her Friday when I set our plans that I would be there after I got my nails done.

She was worried that we wouldn’t have time to get curtains and get them hung today (yesterday). I guess she was wanting George to go with us and then him be there to hang them when we got home. The sun puts a glare on the TV and she can’t see it unless she sits in a different part of the room but her favorite chair won’t work there in any different spot in the room. But George was not going with us, nor would he be hanging curtains this weekend, nor the next (in Texas), nor the weekend after that (family coming in town). He had his day planned yesterday (b/c I had made plans thinking he was working and he wasn’t). I felt bad when I realized he was off b/c normally he and I go on special excursions for our birthdays – fun days doing things we each want to do for our birthday all day. When I thought he was working, I booked a day with Mom to go do stuff MOM wanted to do, knowing we’d be gone to Texas and also have a full weekend planned the weekend after, to try and keep her satisfied.

When I told Mom about having company on the 15th, she told me it was a mistake to have moved up here because she can’t set anything up herself (which I took it to mean mean we are moving too slow for her contentment and timeline.) I knew this would be a problem as she likes to have things right now and not having to wait. This is sad for me to watch the struggle and to be part of it, or I guess in her mind, the cause of it. She says she doesn’t blame us but blames herself. However, it’s our timeline that is making the difference so I can’t help but feel defeated and insufficient for her needs.

We got off the phone and I cried. Big loud sobs as I laid my head down to my desk. George came in and patted me on the head and back and had to talk me through. I. Just. Can’t. Anymore. I am not efficient enough to care for my Mother in her terms. I’m not convinced anyone is. She realizes she can’t do things to suit herself and none of the rest of us can either. Am I supposed to just be there 24/7? Handy people on a given whim? NO. Quit my job? Hell no.

I agree though that she made a bad decision now. She is not as healthy as I thought. She really needed to have chosen assisted living. For her. For all of us. But she was too independent, strong willed, and refused to even think of it but if she were at her other home she would have even less help as we would not be nearby and it would be a round trip of 3 hours just to get there. Still she told me she wished she had stayed there.

I asked her yesterday what she had expected? Did she think we’d be there every day or every day we had off? I reminded her of how far we had come in a short period of time. She says she is “simply existing”. I’m not sure what she wants it to be. “Living Lavishly?” I’m sorry we can’t get there fast enough. But I know she wants all of it done like yesterday. We can’t give up our lives completely for another 1/2 year to be there every weekend like we were last year. I told her we gave her 2/3 of our year last year of our free time. I think she wants it all. But that is not going to happen. And I think she thought we’d be over there all the time.

So my day started off horribly and was not the pleasant day I would have preferred. I have a few expectations of my own!!!!! George let me open my gifts to cheer me. Clinique perfume and a Clinique facial system. How nice. He knows I love it but I chosen to not spend our money and go for less expensive cosmetics.

Then I got my nails done. However they were really busy and very slow. When it was time for me to go get mom for lunch I was still in the chair and they had my hands. My phone was blowing up with birthday messages which is a good thing, but I’m sure everyone at the shop was like WTH, lol, and then I got Mom’s call which sounds like the Queen has arrived in ring tone. I asked to be excused so I could tell her I was running late and apologized.

We went to Red Lobster and had lunch. I wasn’t sure what to say after our morning conversation. I was very upset. And even very angry, if I will admit. But not a word was said about the conversation from either of us. And we went to find her curtains. We got them but she said “but that doesn’t help my TV situation as I still don’t have the curtains for the sliding door. So we ordered those on Amazon. They didn’t have the right size. George brought her car over and told her he thought he could hang curtains on the 21st.

After Mom’s things were ordered she had some things she wanted to find, but we couldn’t find them (blankets) in a bag. She wasn’t able to describe what they looked like and George found some but she said those weren’t the ones. I don’t think we have any thing like that left in the basement. George looked in her garage, but there is so much stuff. So it is likely in the garage amongst things that are packed. He told her we could try to pull more things out on the 21st and do a work day there then. She wanted the U Haul blankets hauled off or she was going to sell them, so we took them back home to give to the person that gave them to us to use.

Then he and I went to a coffee shop. The coffee I ordered was very weak and tasted like warm water. It wasn’t even hot. So that was a disappointment. I just wanted to transition over coffee and into our birthday evening but I guess that is why no one else was there huh? OH well. I’m surprised they are still in business. Their food is good I guess. I won’t give their name though.

Then we went to an Asian restaurant. I had wanted the kind they cook at your table, but it was still hibachi and we got the hibachi for two.

It was a lot of food! I took almost the entire plate home, because he had ordered sushi and egg rolls and it was way too much.

So it ended up being a good birthday, even after feeling like an insufficient daughter. I feel like Mom should have had a different, more talented, more of a daughter that would be able to dote to her more and be able to serve her more at her beck and call. I just fail at being able to make or keep her satisfied. I hate it for her. I really do. But I realize I will never be what she thinks she needs. Never. Not now. Not ever. I won’t be able to give up my life completely to see to her every need. Not sure what to do. It’s just the way it is. I am not sufficient for what she wants. All I can do is keep trying and give it to God, b/c this mess is bigger than I am.

Lord help us, I thought about me waiting 16 years to get rid of my blue linoleum. lol Anyway, sometimes we just have to try to see good in all things, embrace what we have and forge forward, and tried to be content in our every situation. It may not meet our vision, but it is what it is. I get it. I like for things to go my way and for my visions to be met to. Trust me, my visions have completely been thrown in the trash many times over. It’s been a difficult year. We agreed to do it. We did it. It’s almost there. But dammit the curtains aren’t hung yet!!!!!!!

Now off to work later than expected but the sun is coming up and that is safer. So I may work later but that is what it is also, b/c I needed to leave when I could see the road! Ok off to get about half my week done in one day. lol. I laugh saying it. It’s so absurd. But here we go.

A Much Needed Day Off and Asheville NC’s Shopping and Restaurants

Asheville, NC

Oh ya’ll! We are all packed up in our offices at work. Everyone furiously packing around 2 yesterday to finish off the remaining desk and work items for the move. All in boxes and labeled with our Level and Office number. Since it’s difficult to do most of my stuff at home – no printing capabilities – and no office set up – it’s just really hard for me to work at home. I did not have a planned day and wouldn’t have taken today if our offices were not closed. So I’m kinda forced to take a day off. I am not sure I have the extra PTO and may get phone calls anyway. I’ll probably be expected to take it as PTO and that is fine if they want me to do that. I just think the Lord Himself planned the timing because I REALLY needed this day.

Last night we took Mom out to eat at Gondola House in Lebanon, TN and it was really good. It’s a family like atmosphere. We only had to wait about 5 minutes even though it was mostly full. The food and service was good and George and I ate off the salad bar which was fantastic. They made you sanitize your hands before using the utensils and the glass seemed to come further down around the salad bar, fresh ingredients (I always took food from the furtherest section away from the glass (lol).

Mom seemed to be in a pretty good mood. She said she got a lot done and the place did look a lot more put together and things off the counter. She wanted to put the dry ingredients up from the grocery trip. And said she could do that tomorrow so we honored that. She also wanted to put the sheets on the bed in the guest room so I left those for her.

We took her to Aldi to get her spiral ham for her to fix when Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken get there. And we took her to Kroger and she uses the buggy as a walker. I told her people were going to think we were rude “making” her use the cart buggy instead of us taking it. She said “well if they are my age they will understand”. It especially looked weird when she pushed the cart out piled full and George and I walked hands free but she wanted to use it for balance.

It took a long while to get through the store as she cannot walk far without being winded so she walks slow. We came home and unloaded groceries. Fancy had been so upset at her being gone at night that she pooped in all the carpeted rooms. Yes – every one of them. I guess she was marking her territory to protect herself. Mom had forgotten to close the doors because she had been so good always to use the paper.

Even though it was almost 10:00 p.m. at that point I tried to hang her shower curtain rod. I’m just as invalid as Mom when it comes to doing things though – my shoulder and arm does not cooperate. Already sore from having to move and tape boxes I had took it to its limit this week (couldn’t sleep night before last for the pain). So when I tried to put the rod up my arm just went limp and filled with pain. George watched me and ended up having to put it up.

I took River’s package home to be wrapped. I tried to carry it along with a roll of Christmas paper. Holding a box and a big roll of Christmas paper is not something a body was meant to do at the same time. I failed at being able to carry it and it fell and then I “gently” pushed it out the door with my foot but George thought I was trying to kick it. All the while he stood there watching me struggle while empty handed. I was tired so I kept my mouth shut. Finally he did the right thing and came to rescue again.

(No one needs to be around me at 10 p.m. at night. I turn into a pumpkin (jack-o-lantern) at 9 p.m. Knowing that about myself, I tried to clamp my mouth shut, aside from defending myself. Anyway we were out way past my bedtime.

Sleep was divine. And I sit here this morning relieved as I type this to have a much needed and very rare day all to myself. I’ve not had that since mid summer once when I went shopping by myself. I don’t think. I can do what I want pretty much. I can blog til my heart is content. I can upload and schedule the next video. I can see what all Christmas we have bought and update my list and do some wrapping and maybe even some last minute shopping. I can leisurely shower and eat lunch. I can watch a show. I am going to pick what we are having for dinner and fix that. I’ll clean up a bit. I’m sooooo excited to have this unplanned day to try and glue my life back together. I will also be planning the list of where we will shop after we go to a reception tomorrow. We will try to knock out the rest of the shopping.

God has blessed us this week in many ways and we are grateful. I wore my Grateful shirt yesterday. I was truly Grateful to have this day. It’s saving me. Well, God is saving me in more ways than one. He gets the glory.

Sunny Point Cafe, Asheville, NC

This is a popular spot in Asheville. Also Biscuit Head as been mentioned so next time we will try it. This place is over the top for breakfast dishes. Beautifully and enormously presented, and breakfast drinks such as Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s with bacon also available. Parking can be challenging, usually a line. Best advice is “go early”. While we were there, a privately owned company came on site and tried to sell us hats that had stuffed animals sewed onto the top for a project to help women in Afghanistan. A good cause. Asheville is also an artsy town. I was little uncomfortable with the direct contact of the sales folks coming directly up to you to do their sales pitch that lingered a bit. I guess I just wasn’t expecting it. Had it been something we could use, I might have bought one but I guess I’m not particularly wanting to be hit up for money while in line to eat. The cause was fine and the operation they were doing. It just didn’t seem to be the right place and time for it. So that I didn’t like so much, but the food was good. Also very limited seating and mostly outside on patio with plastic all about as winter is setting in, but it was warm enough with heaters etc. At least in our section which was partially indoors. I did not see where reservations could be made.

So all that to sum up and say – it’s worth going but….parking, seating, and sales pitches may have to be endured as part of your experience.

Random Asheville Pics

I did throw some money to this guy playing in the streets. He was playing some pleasant songs. And seemed pretty talented. While George went to the Moogseum (Moog Museum, a synthesizer museum), I went shopping around the Grove Arcade which had lots of shops and restaurants. It seemed like I had an “afternoon in Paris” with the restaurants flowing out into the street sidewalks with table and chairs and beautiful boutiques all around. George was within walking distance and we caught up around the old Woolworth’s which housed local art work for sale. And also some artsy vendors were set up on the street here.

There was a chocolate shop there. I wasn’t sure about the chocolate pasta, lol. I didn’t buy any. It might have been good. I wonder. I just can’t bring myself to even think of it. But, we do put cocoa powder in our chili.

So there is something you need to know about Asheville. There are nice sections and then there are some not so nice sections, as with any town. But I did see a lot of graffiti in this “artsy” community. I took a pic of this street while driving through as an example. I also saw some homeless in tents in a variety of areas that reminded me of Portland, Oregon. Portland’s homeless area seemed a little more aggressive with tent camps even along the interstate. It was more subdued in Asheville but definitely present. You can see the graffiti on the third building down from the right in the medium blue looking building. However, there were lots of painted scenes on buildings just like the building on the right. Just periodic places you pass that have grifitti and run down, but there might be a nice place next door. Kinda weird. But that is the vibe. I have no idea about the crime in the area. We did some walking about at night but stayed in areas that were crowded with others.

French Restaurant Experience at Bouchon’s in Asheville

Ok I’m going to end the blog here today. I have Little Bit in the house with me and he’s unsettled so I need to probably go let him out or see what he needs. So you guys have a great day. I will try and get this video uploaded for either tomorrow or Sunday. I will pop back in and let you know. I’m going to try and glue myself and our lives together and get Christmas under control and my own house in some sort of control. Yeeeee Ha! And rain and storms are supposed to come today and maybe tomorrow. I pray it’s not while we are out tomorrow as we have a lot to do. But I guess if we see a tornado we’ll just take cover the best we can wherever we are. The weather is often nasty severe with storms here in Dec and Jan as the cold weather fights it out with the warm for the drastic changeovers. Only a day or two here and there but it’s like spring at times since the weather extremes fight it out in the atmosphere.

Over and Out!

Christmas Shopping and Eating: Sushi, Cajun, and Donuts in Mount Juliet

George and I ran errands Friday and basically got to enjoy a nice PTO day. We picked up the police report for my identity theft (finally) since we were off during the police headquarter business hours. And we headed over and bought my iPhone 13 Pro Max (ordered it) for part of my Christmas. We went to Belk and I bought 5 pair of pants (much needed for winter) and a Christmas gift there. We also went into the book store, Books a Million, in Mount Juliet and had a fun time looking through all the various books and toys for Little Roo. We laughed at a few things we saw. I mean Betty White in a children’s book made us cackle. And of course there is the Big Foot Research Kit that everyone must have.

There is the Do Not Disturb sign, “Probably” Working from Home which I happened to notice was sitting on top of an Inflatable Gumby.

And how about these Virtual Meeting Props? Can you imagine the laughter and sidekick humor in your “favorite” virtual meeting?

I personally like the Dammit Doll and might need to keep a set of those – one for work and one around the house. Why do I have a desire to put push pins in it (?) – is that a voo doo kinda of thang? lol!

I also wondered if I would like this author. Have any of you read hers? She has a best selling Novel “Nightingale” that is to become a motion picture. So I’m thinking it might try an audio book.

Most people have seen these. I know people that have this in their bathroom and it’s good smelling stuff. I would love to have some for our bathroom. If I get any for Christmas I won’t be offended. lol I told George to put some in my stocking. Not sure if he will remember. ha.

After our fun we went to eat sushi and a side trip to Tuesday Morning. George was thrilled to go to Mori Mori in Mount Juliet and we ordered a wonderful lunch of sushi and talked about the food and realigned and caught up on where we each were toward “Christmas Shopping” and updated my list book. I have a little spiral notebook Christmas shopping book going.

So….when we do sushi, I don’t eat the raw fish like George does. His plate was the first plate. I believe mine was a California roll. I also had a Ginger Salad and ate 1.5 spring rolls dipped in the sweet sauce (oh my gosh, so good). The Shrimp Tempura – also an “oh my gosh” experience over the shredded carrots there. It was quite yummy and also came with a sweet brown sauce. I enjoyed a Black Abbey Rose along with lunch – because I could and we were on vacation. 😉

So Tuesday Morning shop has a wonderful selection of modern rugs and the prices are not too bad. I mainly took this pic for Mom as with her new and shiny wood flooring she is considering a rug but we just have to be careful as not to get something she can trip on. Her furniture is likely to scratch it all to pieces. We have bought felt and felt pads to glue onto the braces. It seems everything has been so complicated with this move. The bed sizes and mattress issues come to mind, the not having to scratch the wood flooring (makes me grateful for my luxury vinyl flooring and the ease of care, or lack of care, I should say, in our busy world). I bought a few gift items and also some Christmas napkins from here.

So we went back to Mom’s new villa and worked a bit and then headed home and went back out for The Lost Cajun.

I love their catfish and fried okra and got the potato salad which was quite a stingy release of it and it’s more like creamed potatoes with more mayo and pickles than potatoes but it was of course good. lol We did not need fried food but honestly this was the only thing I really care for there. I like Gumbo and Red Beans and Rice sometimes but wasn’t really in the mood for it. I think I’ve had both there and prefer the catfish. So I ate catfish. And of course it was good. One thing I do not love about the Lost Cajun is the inability to change your order. I wanted other sides besides fries but NO it all comes with the fries and you can ADD other items if you want. So they “gotcha” because you want the side you want. I’m not sure I saw baked potato or hush puppies on the list. It comes with toast. But hush puppies are better! Anyway it is what it is. And that is my honest review. But I will say they were very friendly!

We had to laugh at George’s parking. He always parks so far away from the curb. And I never noticed it until Mom began riding with us. She really needs to hold on to the car and allow the car to help her attempt to get up the curb but George parks so far back she has to switch to holding on to my arm. And that is fine only the car is more stable and not moving. Here in the pic below it is not as noticeable as other times. I called it “curbophobea” (fear of the curb) making Mom laugh.


We had to be at Mom’s Saturday morning early for the Lowe’s delivery of the fridge so we stopped at the donut shop and got kolaches, breakfast sandwiches, apple fritters, and donuts. And guess what! Lowe’s had all of her appliances (washer and dryer also). Not just the fridge. I had prayed for nice surprises and we had some. We had been scheduled for the 12/1 delivery of the washer and dryer (a pleasant surprise but a little oopsie on their part for not communicating this). So we were ecstatic that they all came. However, George and I had many things staged in the utility room for unboxing/moving in – so we had to scramble at the last minute to move all that. It would have been nice to know. And sadly the washer had a dent in it. It was on the side and hardly noticeable so that was good. I showed Mom and asked what she wanted to do but told her it was hardly noticeable and I asked the guy if we could get a discount. He said “sure”. So they took a picture and told their “boss” and Lowe’s called back and gave her a really good deal. She was happy with that. It was quite a chunk off. And they will return that on her card. Good deal.

When we left yesterday the fridge had still not made ice but we’ll see. She bought the same fridge we have and I think I remember ours taking a while to begin cycling through. But we’ll see when we go over again what it is doing.

We FOUND THE WHITE DISHES. George did. It was in a section of boxes we couldn’t get into. We never found the router. But AT&T came out yesterday at 3:30 to install her internet. They had to set up and install everything into the nice “box” into the utility room that GoodAll has just for this. So I mean they had to have the lines run and everything and had to drill and they drilled into the wall and it went into her pantry. It was only a small hole and we can fix it as it we were left the materials from the building of her house (paint and spackling, etc.)

I worked on getting Mom’s plasticware washed and with its mates and into the cabinetry. I got out her coffee pot and her air fryer. And we went through a lot of boxes from her guest bathroom and we have about 3 yard sales boxes already. We have much of her kitchen set up but we have to wash and put up her pots and pans still. The box was too heavy for me to move. George will bring it in for us.

I also, on the next workday, will work on boxing up the clothes she doesn’t want for a yard sale. She has quite the pile and we’ll get that into boxes and set up for the spring yard sale.

It didn’t seem like we got a lot done yesterday, but a lot was accomplished considering the delivery of appliances and the setting up of her internet. They didn’t need her router after all because they had their own – a different kind built into the system of what they were installing. So the missing router is now not an issue. I guess all in all we emptied about 6 or 8 boxes.

So where we are with the move now? The Next Steps...

  • The truck for Nov 20th of the final big furniture (china cabinets and couches etc.) has been booked. He could not get one with a lift though. So he had to get a ramp.
  • We need to put felt tips on the bottoms of her recliner and sofa so it doesn’t scar the wood flooring
  • The mattress situation is a critical piece in which when resolved, she can go ahead and move in.
  • Security system can be scheduled
  • George can install her TV
  • George is working on getting the parts needed for installing a bar getting out of each shower and also a bar to hold onto going down her back stairs, and hanging things on the back porch (brick).
  • Mom and I can finish her pantry and wash her pots and pans and get those up and finish her clothes
  • She and I can work on setting up her bedroom dresser and drawers, we are lining with the paper that Lisa gave her (smells so good – like roses) and working on her bathroom area.
  • I think we can go ahead and pick out what she needs for bathrooms and shower stalls (bath mats, rugs, curtains, etc.)
  • It’s all coming together slowly.

More on the Mattress situation.

She will be calling mattress stores near by. I told her we could research that today and see if we can find a store to visit one night this week if they stay open past 6. She is wanting to talk with them first to see options for extending a reg bed into a queen size. *Note for those at work reading/snooping (lol) I know I could buy Mom’s mattresses cheaper from our company but it is not convenient to do so. 1) She has to try it out 2) The show room is in Antioch and we are not. 3) Even if I drover her down to Antioch I’d have to take off work to do so 4) Our company does not deliver so we would have to rent a truck (aaaaaagain) and take off work (aaaaaagain) to go down and pick it up. 5) If Momma is not happy – I will be the one having to deal with it. 6) There wouldn’t be a return unless there was a flaw of some sort.

I have been quizzed recently about this since I work for a mattress company and was told it was unfortunate (silly) not to get my discount and pay 50% more or whatever it was but —it was our business. Yes it is our business. And yes it is sad or silly (whatever term it was) to pay more but are ya gonna let me have the free time off, give Mom advice on the various kinds of mattresses and be her sales guy and answer her questions? Are you gonna pay George for his time off to drive the truck, pay for the truck, or move it for us, give your sweat equity and tears to set it up, and deal with Momma in the process? No I didn’t think so. So you see, ain’t no amount of money worth all that. So she will need to go somewhere close and be able to hear the sales pitches and ask her questions and try it and see and then have it delivered.

Note to self and everyone else: Once we get this move done on the 20th we are officially resigning from moving furniture at that point, lol. I think if we move ourselves we’ll have to have someone else handle it. So….

The Tribe Has Spoken.

So, at 7:00 last night, I’m asking myself, is it NOT bed time yet. I think this has been the hardest time change ever. A week in and I’m ready for sleep by 7! I know the stress of the move and all the excitement exacerbates the issue. But last night we had soup and I went to bed and Mom went to bed. I’m sure George enjoyed some quiet time to himself. I had enjoyed more of the “Polar Girl”, which I’ve endearingly named the girl that lives near the North Pole in Svalbard. Again for like the 3rd night in a row, I’ve watched about 3 YouTube shows while snuggled under a blanket. Watching the snow makes you really cold.

Our Next Plans Today and Forward

So it’s Saturday and I got up at 3:30 as I was awake of course from going to bed so early. Today’s plan is to get laundry done and critical things here at the house and ready for the work week. We may possibly head over with a load of stuff left over in our basement, more of her food, and so forth. And do a bit of work over there this afternoon. George wants to watch the ball game.

George and I are excited that things will be moving toward a new normal. We are looking forward to 1) Eating lamb 2) Watching Netflix shows while we eat dinner 3) I’m looking forward to getting my bedroom back, having room to move my fall clothes upstairs and do the switcheroo (it’s getting cold) 4) Me getting my office back as an office/Santa’s workshop. 5) Looking forward to having my shoe rack back. 6) Looking forward to having my bathroom space back. So as we move and set up we are also looking at the next “to do” list for the house.

Yes, a lot going on.

So IF YOU made it this far, you have to let me know. I really love hearing from you. I will likely not be back here until Wednesday. Tomorrow morning I’m working on the next video and then Tuesday is my early day but hopefully back on Wednesday for a midweek update post.