Thursday, April 30, 2009


There’s a lot going on right now. Precious Youngest graduates from high school soon. Precious Oldest is coming up on finals in mid-May and then she’s leaving for Europe with a friend for a month. My parents are in final negotiations to buy a house a ¼ mile from me.

But I’m really thinking about Nana these days.

These are pictures from last Thanksgiving just days before she turned ninety three.

Here she is surrounded by most of her great-grand children.

I love this picture – note her eating cheese and crackers AND drinking a nice glass of red wine.

The last few years her eyesight has not been great and her hearing was very poor but her mind was sharp as ever. You did NOT want to take that woman on in Rummikube; she’d kick your ass.

On April 2nd my mother and I went to see the apartment where we planned to move Nana. We mentally arranged her furniture. We admired the view of the garden from the window. We put down a deposit. Her assisted living facility was going to be less than ten minutes away from our homes.

I know this timing is probably for the best. Less stress for all involved. I believe in the end she let go, she was ready to leave. But I have to tell you, it’s a little sad nonetheless.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How many times can you say “I love you”?

My grandmother passed away a week ago. She was ninety three and had lived a good, long life. I gathered with my parents, husband, aunt and uncle, siblings, daughters and nieces and nephews to say good-bye.

There was more laughter than tears. There were so few regrets, so many memories. As we left to go back to our everyday lives there were fierce hugs; “I love you” fell more freely from our lips. Gertrude would have been pleased.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Kittens and Such

Parents still moving
Dog still deaf
Children still planning to abandon me

Another favorite from Precious Oldest.

We share a weird sense of humor!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Terrorist

On Tuesday the Saint took Fiona to the vet for her annual exam and vaccinations. He said she was acting odd on the ride home, but she ate her dinner that night. She didn't want to go out at bedtime which we thought strange, but it wasn't worrisome.

When I went out to the kitchen Wednesday morning I honestly thought she was gone. She was still in her bed and didn't move when I came into the room. I called to her softly a few times and got no response. I took a deep breath and touched her - she was warm and breathing. I went back to the bedroom and woke the Saint to tell him I thought something was very wrong.

We went back to the kitchen and after some petting and coaxing she opened her eyes, but made no move to get out of bed. I finally picked her up, carried her outside and put her down. After a bit she did her thing and came back in on her own. But something was off, you know?

I called the vet when I got to the office and told them what was going on. They said she may have had a reaction to the vaccinations and could be running a fever. They said if she didn't seem better later in the day we would bring her back in.

The Saint went home in the afternoon and once again he had a hard time waking her so he took her back to the vet. They examined her and couldn't find anything. No fever, her ears and chest were clear, they concluded due to her age she may just be lethargic after the goings on Tuesday.

When we were eating dinner that night and the Saint said he thought he knew what might be wrong. He thought Fiona couldn't HEAR. Precious Youngest jumped up to ring the doorbell. NOTHING. So there was much clapping loudly, calling her name, dropping things on the floor, etc. and NOTHING.

Now we started to realize the reason she's not waking up is because she doesn't hear us coming! There are no audible cues that we're coming into a room. She's not hearing the coffee start to brew and me going out for the newspaper to wake her in the morning. She doesn't hear the garage door going up indicating that someone is home from school/work. She's all jumpy because we're basically sneaking up from behind and yelling "Boo" ALL THE FREAKING TIME!

I'm thinking GOOD GOD how does a dog just "go deaf"? How weird is that? She was FINE. I had to put her in the yard last Saturday before Prom because every time someone rang the door bell she went nuts. But it appeared poor Fiona couldn't hear.

I put in another call to the vet's office Thursday. When I finally spoke to someone that afternoon they told us to bring her back Friday. Which we did. And the vet confirmed that yes, in fact, Fiona can't hear. It appears she is deaf. With no rational explanation. That the vaccines wouldn't have caused this.

So WTF people? Have any of you had an experience like this? Have you any advice to dispense? Please?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

You're never too old

Twenty years old and home from college.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I love you mom

Something sent by Precious Oldest to brighten my day. I hope it brightens yours.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I Remember

I remember how hard babies are: colicky, demanding, fussy, refuse to let you sleep babies.

I remember how hard toddlers are: tantrum throwing, stubborn, willful, refuse to be potty trained toddlers.

I remember how hard elementary schoolers are: drive them endlessly, absentminded, tattletale, know it all, “Hey mom, my science fair project is due tomorrow” elementary schoolers.

I remember how hard teenagers are: eye rolling, back talking, door slamming, "I want it now" teenagers.

But my God people, they grow up so damn fast. And if you’re lucky, if you did everything in your power to help them, teach them, ground them and set them free? You will remember them being this.damn.happy.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Dear Coach Izzo

Please feel free to kick the ever lovin' shit out of North Carolina.

Best, Fannie

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Where to begin.....

This past week has lasted about a month. Part of me wants to weep with exhaustion and the other part is so hopped up on adrenaline I may never be able to sleep.

I'd planned for a few weeks to take Thursday and Friday off to catch up, relax and do a few "pampery" kinds of things. I did manage some shopping, a manicure and going to lunch with a friend. It was the extraneous stuff that threw me for a loop.

  • My parents came in for three days. They flew in Thursday afternoon. I went with my mother to look at the assisted living facility where, she's fairly sure, we will move my Nana. They spent Friday with their realtor touring THIRTEEN houses. I met up with them and Sib#2 late Friday night to review the pros and cons of each. I'll try to go look at their top two this week.

  • Friday afternoon I drove to the airport to pick up a former co-worker of the Saint's. Frank flew in from New Jersey for a funeral and stayed with us as well. The funeral was for a man the Saint has worked with for over twenty years. He was fifty six years old. It was sudden and we are all still in shock.

  • The visitation and funeral were Saturday. The service was lovely but very sad. I think it will be a long while before the idea of John being gone really sinks in.

  • We went to a small lunch following the funeral and then Saint dropped me off to have my hair done for the fancy schmancy affair we were attending Saturday evening. Then he went off to organize the soda, water and pizza delivery for the post-prom party. Oh, because Precious Youngest's Prom was also last evening.

  • When I got home from the salon yesterday afternoon there were six girls in my house getting their hair done for the dance. And a mother of one of the girls doing a few last minute alterations to her daughter's dress. In Precious Youngest's room. Mortified is an understatement.

  • The boys started arriving about six o'clock to pick up the girls and we did all the usual pictures. The kids left for the dinner and dance and the Saint and I headed off to our fancy schmancy affair.

  • We enjoyed the cocktail hour, caught up with a few people and had a decent dinner. After the entrĂ©e, and unfortunately for the Saint before the dessert, we hopped in a cab and sped to the hotel where the Prom was being held. Because Precious Youngest was up for Prom Queen and we didn't want to miss it. We tried to be inconspicuous but as the Saint was in a tux and I was in a ball gown we were not entirely successful.

  • The five couples in the "Court" looked lovely. We've know most of them for many years and it was wonderful to see them so happy. Precious Youngest was not in fact crowned Queen, but she said it was an honor just to be nominated. (I think she learned that line from the Academy Awards.)

  • We then hopped in another cab and sped back to the first event and danced until the orchestra called it a night.

Up, down, side to side. I'm going to bed EARLY tonight.