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Today in My History

2000: Making a Difference
2001: Taste of Yesteryear
2002:  Nobody Mentioned the Zebra
2003:  Flights of Fancy and Hyperbole
2004:  Forgive Us Our Debts
2005:  Do I Have This Right?

2006:  Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
2007: Passages 
2008:  Sunday In the Park with Brianna
2009:  Easters of Yore
2010:  Qi and Qat
2011:  Oh God
2012: O It Was Sad

Bitter Hack
: 4/10
"Billy Elliot"

Books Read in 2013
 Updated: 4/12
"Along The Way"

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Brianna's 5th Birthday
Lacie's Christening

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Airy Persiflage

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mail to Walt


13 April 2013

SHE FOUND THE PILLS!!!  They were in the refrigerator.  Sigh.  But at least she found them!

It was another long day and I am starting to feel like I'm living at Kaiser...and none of this is for me!  I told my mother that I would be picking her up and taking her back to the nurse to have her TB test read in the late afternoon, but I didn't tell her what I had planned earlier in the day.

In the early morning I drove in to Kaiser in San Rafael to her doctor's office, where I was droping off a form that she needed to sign.  They said that the doctor would call me when it was ready, but it was a very simple form that would take her 5 minutes or less to complete.  I told them I needed it today, but that I didn't want to put pressure on the doctor and was in no hurry, so I'd just wait until she had time to deal with it.  I settled in to read "Cannery Row." Ten minutes later, I had the form (I think the doctor thinks I'm a nut job, which is why she left all the contact with me to the receptionist!).

I checked everything before I left and there was one mistake.   The doctor had checked that my mother is unable to care for her own "cash resources" and I'm not quite sure where she got that idea, because nothing I told her should have given her that impression and my mother has taken care of all her own money for all of her life.  But I wasn't going to make an issue of it because it seems fairly innocuous.

When I left Kaiser, I drove the 30 miles to Petaluma, where Springfield is located.

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I halfway expected to see Scott, but they told me he was out to lunch.  I left the form, but explained to the woman at the front desk about the "cash resources" error.  She looked very worried and very dubious about taking the form, but said she would leave a note for Scott. 

Then I texted Scott and gave him the Readers Digest version.  He called back immediately, but I couldn't find my cell phone in my purse in time, so he left a message saying he wasn't actually at lunch, but was there and would go to the desk and get the form.  I went back in and met him.

We went to see the facility's General Manager, an affable fellow.   Scott tried to explain about the cash resources and the manager seemed dubious too.   I explained that of course she handles her own money; she's always handled her own money.  Nobody pays her bills for her but herself.  He told me that people sometimes give money to the staff and ask them to give Mom a certain amount each week, and how little actual cash she needed there.  I again told him that she handled her own money.  He said that the staff can't do that any more and that someone in the family would have to take care of her money.  I told him again that she handled her own money and he repeated what he had said before.  I swear, it was like having a conversation with my mother!  It was like he had a point to make and he was going to make it whether it applied or not and he heard nothing that I said.   But this did not seem to be any sort of impediment to her entering Springfield, so I let it go.

I took a picture of the apartments where she will be staying.

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Her unit would be on the ground floor around the end and I had mistakenly thought that her "patio" would be out to the garden area, but it appears it will be to the parking lot.  But she says that's OK...she can keep track of people's comings and goings that way (she's an inveterate snoop and knows everybody's business in her mobile home park, though she won't actually talk to anybody!), so I guess that will be OK.

Next I stopped in downtown Novato for lunch.  I chose this place.

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The place looked promising and the cook (whom I will call Pierre just because he looked like a Pierre), who was sitting at a table reading the paper, looked like he belonged in a French cafe, with his big belly, his moustach, his suspenders and his black beret.  I chose something called the Romo crepe (which came with the cheer "Go Niners!") because it had Swiss cheese and avocado, along with the chicken and tomatoes. 

It was a lovely looking crepe...

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...but it had no avocado and Cheddar instead of Swiss cheese.   When I pointed this out to the woman I assume was Mary, she asked if I would like a slice of Swiss cheese.  I declined.

I finished the crepe and, when presented with the bill, gave her my credit card.  It seemed to take an inordinate amount of time to get the charge slip to sign and I began to glance over at Mary and Pierre who were puzzling over the credit card machine.

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After about 10 minutes (I was the only person in the restaurant at this time), she came back with my card and said that their machine would not work and could I please pay in cash.  I told her I didn't have enough cash to pay the bill and offered to go to an ATM machine if there was one nearby, but she didn't like that idea so they went back to trying to figure out how to get their machine to work.   Finally they found a stack of the old carbon paper kinds of credit card forms, the ones you run through a machine to copy the card information on them.  Only they didn't have one of those machines and Pierre was trying to make an impression on the paper by rubbing a hard edge over my card, like you would make a headstone rubbing in a graveyard.

When Mary presented me with the bill, she had filled in the total amount and left nowhere for me to add a tip.  She disappeared into the kitchen and Pierre was back at the table reading his paper, so I just signed the thing, took my copy, and left, without leaving a tip because I didn't have change--and besides, they had given me the wrong ingredients in my crepe and kept me waiting 15 minutes for the bill.   Lord knows what is going to show up on my credit card bill for this restaurant!

The next trip to Kaiser to have the TB test read (she is TB-free) was uneventful and to thank me for all my driving today, my mother treated me to dinner at Applebees.  She says she has never had a bad meal there.  In truth, I haven ever had a good meal there, but we went anyway. We ordered from the 2-for-$20 menu and I had Cajun steak with shrimp.  The waitress asked how I wanted my steak nd I said medium rare.  If what I got was "medium rare" nobody better ever order "well done" in this place!  My meat was grey and firm without a hint of pink.  I actually didn't eat any of it, but brought it home to Walt, who did eat it and pronounced it tasty.  Tasty it was, medium rare it wasn't even close!

We also ordered a strawberry cheesecake slider (those little desserts in a large shot glass type glass that sell for cheap and just give you a little taste of something sweet after a meal) for the two of us to share.  I think the way they made this was to pour graham cracker crumbs into a glass, top with a couple of strawberries, some sweetened cream cheese and a mountain of fake whipped cream.  I'm pretty undiscerning when it comes to sweets, but even I thought it was not very good.

I was able to drive home in the daylight and did not suffer from "scary driving" syndrome tonight and I'm glad to be home.  I have to go back again next week for her "intake examination" at Springfield and possibly, if Ed gets home from his vacation, a "contract signing."  Before we commit her to any financial arrangement, I really want Ed to go over all of this and offer his opinion, since he helps her with her taxes so he has a better feel for her total worth than I do.  Whenever we talk money, my mother seems to be certain of her net worth, but I fear that she may think she has much more than she actually does, as each time the amount seems to escalate.  I want to be sure she can really afford this place for the next several years before we make any commitments (though there are no long term contracts with this place.  It's month by month.  But if we are going to make this huge move, I want to be sure she doesn't have to do it again for a long time!)


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I am so happy!  This is the first chance I've had,
since I started writing to Fred in 2009,
to see his whole family, especially his mother,
who used to write such wonderful letters to me regularly.

I'd love it if you'd leave a comment!

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