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Archive for the ‘Humor in Life’ Category

We found our house on the internet.  I fell in love with the picture of this  bungalo on a large pond, with woods all around.  What we found was that bugs come in the house, from those woods, when it starts getting cold. The second storey was built over the walk-out basement without removing the existing roof.  Hence, our floor creeks like it has ghosts and has a ridge in the kitchen floor.

I really like this house from the outside, and we still love our 3.7 acres, but inside is a different matter and being on a fixed income it is inevitable that everything is breaking down over time.  The latest is the circuit to the air-conditioner, but before that, it was the washer and dryer.

Since my mother lived with us for several years before moving to her own apartment, we have found ourselves with duplicate appliances. It is nice to have a spare occasionally, but mom’s washer/dryer were a stacking set and these things are notorious for problems. It was worked on numerous times the first year or two of its life then it settled into random problems. First, anything but a full load of water would overflow.  So, if you had a half load to wash, you had to set it on full and waste that water. Then, the dryer started squeaking and you could not dry clothes after anyone went to bed because it would wake them up with it’s Chinese water torture squeak.

It was no surprise when the dryer went completely.  My dryer was brought in from my studio and set beside the stacking set. So, now you wash in the stacking set and dry in the single dryer. That is, unless you are half asleep.

Gaffer got home late one night from work, and being a fry cook, had really greasy white shirts to wash, put them in the dryer and pushed the on button, walked away without realizing the dryer was not running.

Next morning, he stumbles into the laundry room and realizes his shirts were not dry.

I think he needs to get more sleep.

“Darn” (sure, that’s what he said.)  Blinking dryer. I’m going to have to wear a wet shirt. I have one clean shirt and it’s heavyweight and it’s over 100 here in Indiana. “Darn, Darn,Darn.”

He put on the last shirt, started the dryer again and left for work.

He did not check the dryer when he worked a long shift and came home late. Morning came and the dryer still did not dry his shirts.

It was with good humor, that he told me that evening, that he realized, for two days he had been trying to dry his shirts in the stacking unit, which was broken.

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It is 2am and I am going to post this without corrections.  YES, I DO go back through and make corrections, believe it or not.  Which, even I have trouble believing sometimes when I re-read what I have written.

We’ve been at the hospital since Monday, or Tuesday, or last November (it seems) and, when I got home tonight I crashed; slept more soundly than I have in days and now I am up, but the brain may not be up to correcting things much.

The brain is such a marvelous, misunderstood, know-nothing-about organ. My neurologist says they know the least about the brain out of the whole body.  I have had diagnoseees/diagnosis/plural/whatever that have said, that I have either left-temporal lobe epilepsy, or familial hemiplegic migraines (which mysteriously, I do not have a single symptom of, or just those curvy brainwaves.

It has often been said, about my mother and by my mother, that no one will ever know if she gets dementia because it is her normal state.  They were wrong.  BIG TIME!

Mom is 90, so a few months ago, when she started getting  significantly more spacy than normal, it was no surprise.  Last week, she descended quickly. We thought she was having mini strokes. She has been diagnosed with partial seizures. She stares into space, mouth open and then comes back to us, she also mentions she has a headache, starts talking gibberish and then says, “I can’t even understand myself.”

Unfortunately, she also has Alzheimer’s. I imagine that she would also like me to mention that it is highly unfair to expect her to remember what year it is as she has always been bad with numbers.  That’s what she told us when she failed her fourth Alzheimer’s quiz.   Oh, and there are also only two numbers in the year because the first two numbers don’t count, so saying the year is 27, is correct, even though there is no 7 involved in saying 2012.

Poor gal, also has to have surgery, but that’s in a couple of weeks.

Tomorrow, the doctor and husband and I take mom across the ER parking lot to the rehab/nursing center. She wants to go home and keeps forgetting she is going there, even though she said it is fine to go there. She wants her computer, even though she cannot remember how to turn it on and her crocheting even though she has not crocheted in years. And, I will bring her travel Scrabble, and we will play it together.

I might actually have a chance to win now.

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Conversation with mother (age 89) yesterday, after she had a heart attack in the morning and fell in the evening and was doped up on painkillers.

Setting: Her apartment.  I’m trying to get her tucked into bed.

MOM: You need to move that fan.

ME:  You want it closer?

MOM:  and close that window.

ME: You love the evening breeze on you.  It’s not going to rain so why not just enjoy the open window?

MOM: Because you are going to yell at me about the stuff.

ME:  “What stuff?”

MOM:  You know, the wet stuff.

ME: (pause)  Not really sure I know what wet stuff you are talking about; let alone when have I yelled at you.

MOM:  It gets damp and you yell at me because I’m not turning on the air-conditioner.

ME:  OHHHH!  When it is 98 degrees out, at 2pm, and really humid and you are sitting in your apartment panting, and having trouble breathing, because of your COPD, yes, I want you to close the window and turn on the air-conditioning.  But, it’s night out now and dry and there’s this nice cool breeze.  So, why not enjoy it?  You love sleeping with the windows open.

MOM:  Okay!

By this time, she is almost in bed.

Two seconds later, as she has all of her medicines and her cold water to drink.

MOM:   You need to move that fan.

ME: (foolishly thinking this issue was settled)   Why do you want the fan moved.

MOM: Because you are going to yell at me about the water.

ME:  If you are talking about the humidity, I only worry about it when you are having trouble breathing during the day.  But, it’s a nice cool night and you like the window open.

Mom is now tucked in and as I am turning out the lights, I hear,

MOM:  You need to move that fan.

ME:  Good night, mom.  Sweet dreams.

About about fans and windows, I’m sure.

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Husband has a faulty electrical energy field.  Watches break within minutes of him wearing  them, answering machines stop working, clocks run backward.  There is no end to the mayhem that is my husband.

Once, he went to pick up a brand new refrigerator and by the time he got it home, the only side that was not scratched, dented   or banged was the BACK!  THE BACK!  For crying out loud, couldn’t he have let me have one side???

So, when he was finally given a cell phone (he was the last  to receive one in the family and we were all in trepidation over the gravity of giving him a cell phone), we all held our breath to see what would happen.

It didn’t take long for the phone to fight back.  It repeatedly talks to him when he pulls it out of his pocket to see what time it is.   (Since he cannot wear a watch.)

PHONE:   “Do a command.”

Husband fumbles with buttons.

PHONE:  “DO A COMMAND!”

Husband opens and closes lid.

PHONE:  “LIKE, Call home!”

Okay, his phone is obviously “like, a valley girl.”

Husband begins pushing buttons.

PHONE:  “Calling Home.”

Me:  “Hi.  Whatcha’ want?”

Husband:  “I wanted to know what time it was.”

Me: Pause.  “Ah, if you open the lid of your phone you will see what time it is.”

Husband:  “That’s what you think!”

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I love to find bloggers who can make me laugh and I think I have discovered one of the best.  http://thebloggess.com/2011/06/and-thats-why-you-should-learn-to-pick-your-battles/   The Bloggess is hysterical.  I forwarded it to Facebook and got a comment right away from someone who tried it and loved it.  My daughter then wrote me and said that she was laughing so hard she was crying and her husband was looking at her like she was nuts.

When I find a blog like this, my main thing is to read as many old entries as I can.  That is the only thing about The Bloggess, it’s really hard to find/read her past entries.

But, they are all priceless hysterical gems.

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I would love to have natural humor in my writing.

My humor is of the more dry kind.  Someone is having a conversation and I pop in with a blatently obvious observation that no one else will dare to say.

Okay, example:  I graduated from the School of the (Museum) of the Art Institute of Chicago.  You study all forms of art, 2-D, 3-D, 4-D, etc.  We had attended a show of some performance art, where a young man is naked in a cage and trying to pleasure himself.  (It is the Art Institute); lots of naked, lots of angst.  The class was discussing the ‘purpose’ of the performance and what we learned from it.  I, one of the older students, opens my mouth and out pops, “That it’s harder to come in public than you think.”

To me, it was just one of those rules of nature that everyone should know, but the class spent the next five minutes ROFLOL.  (See, I’m not as old as you think.)

Often, when I say these things, I don’t even realize it’s going to be funny.  This makes it hard for me to write humor.  I’ve had a lot of ‘things’ going on in the last year; ill health of family members, ill health of pets, the financial situation, idiots, etc.  Not a lot seems funny to me and I have made a point of going back through my book and MAKING some funny.

I used to read my daughter’s blog, BRAINDEBRIS  at http://braindebris.wordpress.com/, for lessons in funny.  AND, AND, that girl has started blogging again.  That girl is funny in her sleep and it is just all so natural.  I also have a niece who has you in stitches all the time.  I have just discovered, from one of my other favorite blogs, EpBOT at http://www.epbot.com/, to the Bloggess’ blog:  http://thebloggess.com/2011/06/and-thats-why-you-should-learn-to-pick-your-battles/  This one goes to the top of my list, right alongside http://www.crazyauntpurl.com/  BECAUSE, everyone should have a 5 foot tall metal chicken.

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I am a big proponent of going green.  We have looked at things that could save energy for years.  We would love to be off the grid, but it all costs money folks, and some of it big money.

My dad’s family were thought to be Dutch German.  My nephew has found out they are Norwegian, but I am thinking that folks might have thought they were Dutch because of the popular belief that the Dutch were a frugal lot.  My dad’s family was definitely a frugal lot.

VanVleck family 1940s

My dad's family in the 40s

This was the usual group who we would visit with, twice a month when we drove to Kankakee, Illinois to visit my sister.  That is Granddad and Grandma to the left, then Uncle Clifford holding Richard and next to him Aunt Lucille with David Merle VanVleck in front of her.  Aunt Laura and her husband were behind and then, at the right side is my mother, Phyllis DeWitt and my dad (in uniform) Harold VanVleck.  In front of mom is my sister, Evelyn, and next to her is my brother David Merle VanVleck  (1942-1990).   I was not on the scene yet.

Yes, you read that right; cousins each named David Merle VanVleck.  It was not as common a name as John Doe.  One lived in Indiana and one in Illinois so no one thought there was a problem with it.  However,  when my brother got out of the Air Force, he ended up living in Kankakee, Illinois and boy did the problems arise then.    If you are going to be frugal with a name, and use it twice in a family, make sure that one of them isn’t a rather shady character.  My brother had to repeatedly prove that he did not owe the money or had not done the deed.

Anyway, I realized just how frugal my family was when I walked in Grandma’s kitchen, after one family gathering, and saw paper plates hanging on a clothesline drying.

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