Thankfully, this weekend is now history! Not that there was anything really obnoxious that happened to me between Friday and this point in time, but it was not the calm, cool and collected two days I was really hoping for!
First off, today - or rather yesterday since it is now Monday as I write this -was my younger daughter's 31st birthday. In so many ways, she resembles her father A LOT so it is probably quite miraculous that she survived this many years as she has an attitude at times that is just LIKE her Dad's! But that has good things too in that although she may blow up quickly, really snap at people, once it is out, it is pretty much over and done with and life goes back to normal as if nothing ever happened. (Very different from her older sister who will carry - no actually nurse - big time - a grudge of YEARS!)
Well, I got Mandy two books -about two weeks ago - for her birthday gift -two by the author Jodi Picoult, who happens to be a favorite author for both my daughter and for me! So if anyone reading this wants a bold-faced suggestion of what to give me - or Mandy -We already have six of her books around here someplace but there are I think somewhere between 6-10 others we don't have. Just ask me if I've read a specific title of hers and I'll be happy to let you know if it's one we are missing!
Now, my older daughter decided that for her little sister's big birthday she would come up here Saturday and pick up the younger one's two little children and cart them off to spend Saturday afternoon and night and most of Sunday with her and her fiance. A nice gesture indeed since both Mandy and I would benefit from a much needed break from a 3-year-old and 10-month old - especially nice in the form of a good solid night's sleep!
However, you know that old saying -"The best laid plans of mice and men" - and with the older daughter, her best laid plans normally go awry with the timing aspect. And, true to form, that's what happened Saturday.
Initially, she was to work a couple hours in the morning for one or two clients she takes care of and be finished in time to be up here to pick up Maya and Kurtis between 11:30 and noonish. Now, since those times were "her estimations" I figured I'd be lucky if she got here by 1 p.m.
She called me about 12:30 saying she had a load of clothes in the washer and a load in the dryer and as soon as the one in the dryer finished up and the one in the washer was ready to be plunked into the dryer, she would be leaving to come get the kids. (It's at least a 45 minute drive from her place to ours too I must add here and that has to be configured into our time estimations although I don't think she ever uses that theory in her eta's.)
The time passed by and around 4 p.m., she phoned, spoke to my son-in-law and told him she was going to be leaving her place "shortly" and would be right up! After he hung up the phone, he made a prediction that she probably wouldn't arrive till at least 6 p.m. and it's a good thing I didn't bet any money there as he would have won! She got here about 6:15. I almost bit a hole through my tongue as it was really tempting to ask her if she had to wring out the clothes in the washer by hand and blow dry them as well as the other load she had in the dryer using her hair dryer! But, I was nice -quiet, ticked off but nice. And, since I had supper almost ready when she arrived, I told her to just sit down and have a bite to eat too because the granddaughter hadn't yet had supper and was hungry and she did that.
Now, the younger daughter had written a list of things the older daughter needed to know about the two kids -how much the baby generally ate, doseages of the cold meds to give both kids, a few other pointers, you know. And about a half hour after the elder left, she phoned us asking how to fix the formula for the baby as she had gone off and forgotten her little sister's list of instructions. Son-in-law told her the proportions of water to formula.
Roughly a half -hour after that call, she was on the horn again. This time, she was asking about what time did we usually start trying to get these two hooligans to go to bed. Now at that question, I just started to giggle. She informed me she was serious and wanted to know when to try and get them ready for bed and since I started laughing harder then, and she kept asking me that over and over, the more she asked, the harder I laughed! These two kids have NO SET BEDTIME! It is whenever you think, judging by their actions, that you can manage to get them to go to sleep!
After I quite laughing quite so hard, the elder one then asked about the formula -what brand did her sister buy for the baby because she apparently had neglected to pack any in his bag so the elder was going to have to go purchase some formula for him.
I told her just to get the generic brand as the younger says it all has to meet minimum nutritional standards so there really is no big difference but with the elder, things almost always have to be purchased according to "Brand names!" Why would anyone want to possibly save a bit of money by purchasing generic when you can get ripped off by getting a brand name of this, that or another thing! An argument then ensued between her and I over the name of the formula she should purchase and ended with her putting her fiance on the phone. And, to him, I virtually shouted that this was not blankety-blank rocket science here - just buy the blankety-blank generic formula and just get a can of the already mixed stuff too that way, she could get a container with enough to take him through one day (all he would need) as opposed to buying a 2 week supply of the powdered stuff!
So that was that issue -resolved in my mind at any rate.
Now, after a fairly decent night's sleep, I got up Sunday morning, found a cup of fresh hot coffee and settled in to do more work in downloading some software to my new computer. No big deal, but just a bit time consuming. I figured though I could get that done by 1 p.m. and then, get ready to run to Walmart and get a big grocery order as well as stopping by the nursing home near there where my almost 90-year-old aunt and her daughter are now patients.
For openers, when I logged into my e-mail this morning, the screen went black - which scared me - although it was only for a couple seconds - and then, when my e-mail account opened for me, the colors on my screen got kind of squirrely looking - squiggly and just strange. Got through checking out my new e-mails and then moved over to read the local Sunday paper online. There I came across an article about people up in Minnesota someplace making the old-fashioned Swedish Potato Sausage and since a cousin of mine, her husband and several friends of their through their church make tons of this type of sausage for a special church dinner every fall - an Octoberfest type thing -I wanted to send them the url for this article as I figured they would enjoy it. But, when I tried to paste the url into an outgoing e-mail, it crashed my e-mail - not once, but twice! So, I ended up just forwarding the article directly from the website and wrote a plain e-mail note to them then as well.
That done, I decided my first order of business in downloading stuff was to put the Office Professional Suite programs on this computer. Ok, it's the 2000 version but the computer guy had said it would work with Windows Xp and I'd have no problems putting it on here. Boy, was he wrong! Big time! On the very first CD it bombed on me at about 65 percent of it being downloaded giving me an error message that Error 1305 involving a filename with a "font" in there was the issue and I was to verify that said file actually exists. Well, it doesn't!
So, I went to another little bit of a "help" tool here - the "program compatibility" thing and tried running the Office stuff again using the compatibility software to get it to work and no dice! So, as of tonight, I still don't have Office Professional installed here! I do however now have "Printmaster" and some Calendar making program plus a big Clip-art program installed though!
Ok, so I screwed away a good bit of valuable time when I should have been at Walmart but finally got out of the house and on my way about 3:30. I decided I would go to the Nursing Home first, then to Walmart.
At the nursing home, although my aunt looked good and was happy to see me, it was alarming to me at how her mind is really getting very, very foggy now. She recognized me right away so I thought that was a good sign but as it turned out, it was very deceptive. She couldn't remember now how old she is - she'll be 90 in April - and at my last visit there just before Christmas, she was reminding my daughter and I the whole time that she will be 90 this spring. Then, she didn't remember that there had been 10 children in her family and that she was the youngest of the ten! THat really scared me as most times her memory of her siblings is very good with the exception that she hasn't been able to remember what year this or that one died much of the time. She also told me she was hoping she would be able to go back home - something that no way is that going to happen -but she realized now she couldn't do that. However, her reasons why she couldn't do that were not reality based. She said it would be too hard because she would have no money and wouldn't be able to get a job because she had been away from working for too long. The latter part there is true -she has been retired from teaching for about 28 years now, but she would have money as she has her retirement, social security from her husband, plus social security disability payments for her daughter who is severely mentally and physically challenged. But she apparently has forgotten about having that income.
For me to see her mental state has regressed this quickly in about 5-6 weeks time span is really frightening as well as extremely sad. It was hard enough to watch her struggling at home before things were forced on her to go into the nursing home last August but at least, the senility factors though present weren't quite as rampant as they appear to be now. There were a few other things we discussed while there in which I could see the senility popping up more too but I tried to make the best of it while there with her. At least today she wasn't angry about her circumstances and didn't have the mean look in her eyes that she had when Mandy and I were there before Christmas. Some little thing to be thankful for there you know.
Then, it was off to Walmart where I spent way too much time and maybe a bit more money that I had anticipated dropping there but hey, I found some good buys and figured it was best to take advantage of them now! I got myself a new pair of shoes -much needed casual slipon type - three nice thick bathtowels on sale for $3.50 each and you know, you can't beat a price that low! I also splurged on a new crockpot too - a 5 quart sized one -very pretty design on it too along with a smallish three-drawer plastic storage stand to help me clear out some of the rubble on this desk and get it somewhat organized. And - I also bought a corkboard type bulletin board which I plan to put up on the wall beside my computer so I can post notes to myself there about various traits, events, etc., pertaining to characters in the novel a small group of 6-8 other bloggers and myself are involved in writing online!
Oh yes, and I did buy groceries too!
Home - unloaded the van, put the groceries away, at a bite of supper that my son-in-law had been kind enough to cook and off to the computer to check e-mail, try to get some work done here and then, I ran into yet another computer problem!
I went to print out one particular e-mail for my daughter and stepgranddaughter which had the practice schedule for the next two weeks for the step-granddaughter to follow for the school play she is participating in and geez, don't ya just know when I hit the print button, I got a message that I had no printer!
Now, where the hell did that printer go anyway? It was there yesterday - working fine and dandy and I hadn't messed with the printer programs at all since Dave reinstalled the printer for me on Friday! So, I had to uninstall the printer - which is actually a printer/copier/scanner all in one - and reinstall it. And to do that, you have to completely disconnect the darned thing, partially install the software, then reconnect the unit to the computer and plug it in and then let the program finish installing it. Thankfully, it went smoothly because I really wasn't in the mood then to fight with the computer any more!
And now - it is roughly 2:30 in the morning and I still have not gotten around to doing the Sunday crossword puzzle -which, if I don't have the paper by 8 p.m. at the latest on Sunday and playing with the crossword puzzle, I tend to go into a withdrawal almost as severe as I would if I didn't have the computer to play with for a couple of hours!
So, that's the report on my lovely weekend and now, I'm heading to the dining room to dig out the crossword puzzle and see how much of it I can fill in today before I get totally stumped. I won't be bothering tonight though to dig out my two big fat crossword puzzle dictionaries and my thesarus either for that matter as I am just too darned tired tonight to go to that much trouble!