Plot Synopsis (for newer readers): My 83-year old mother has been living with my niece, DQ, and her husband, BJ, and their spawn (17-year-old DQ, Jr. and 4-year-old DQ, III) and feral animals, for three years. The plan was to renovate Mom’s old house – building on an addition for her – in six months. Mom would finance the renovations. BJ would do most of the work. In return, Mom ‘paid’ BJ in advance, with 17 acres of wooded land that allows him to kill deer and turkeys to his little redneck heart’s content.
There was a bit of “requirements creep” along the way. Not just a small apartment for Mom, but also a substantial Master Suite for DQ and BJ. On top of the existing 3-bedroom house. Since Mom set it up so that the deed to the wooded acreage transfers to my niece when she dies? There is little incentive for BJ to finish the renovation. Also very little incentive for my niece and her husband to keep Mom alive – other than the stream of funding they suck out of her to pay their bills and provide a continual infusion of fast food into the household…
Update: Slow progress on renovations (three years so far), despite the fact that BJ has been laid off, collecting unemployment compensation, with plenty of free time to renovate. In theory. Since the last update, heating and air conditioning has been installed. Siding is up. No estimated “move in” date, however, as no one down there seems to understand the concept of a ‘deadline’. Mom hasn’t told them that they don’t get the house if she dies before it’s done – she left that for me to handle after she’s gone.
Although i’ve managed to dissociate myself with much of the horse shit in the familial trailer park, i still call Mom every Sunday night around 10pm. The call last Sunday was particularly frustrating…
daisyfae: Hey, Momma-chick, it’s daisyfae! How’s it going?
Mom: STOP THAT! [sounds of snuffling, growling]
daisyfae: What’s going on?
Mom: GET BACK FROM THERE! That’s not yours! [more snuffling]
daisyfae: What the hell is going on, Mom?
Mom: Oh, that nasty dog is trying to bite me… Hey! STOP THAT!
daisyfae: Hit it with your cane! Jesus, Mom! Do you want me to call you back so you can beat it?
Mom: No. QUIT IT!
Things settled down. She pushed the dog back with the cane, and then hollered for the 17-year-old, DQ, Jr. to come and take care of her dog.
daisyfae: Wait – DQ and BJ left you there to take care of the animals while they went off on another riding* trip? But DQ, Jr. is there on her lazy ass while you take care of her fucking dog?
Mom: I swear, this is the nastiest** dog…
daisyfae: Has there been ANY progress on the house?
Mom: Oh, I guess. Things might actually be worse when we move in there. Right now? They’ll take me with them when they go to the store***… After we move? They’ll probably just leave me in the back room by myself.
daisyfae: Right. You like it this way…
Mom: Who knows what’s… [WAILING in the background] DQ, III? What happened?
DQ, III: MY FINGER’S BLOODY! WAAAAAAAAH!
Mom: Come here – let me look… Oh, that’s not too bad. Go get DQ, Jr. and have her wash it and put a bandaid on it…
DQ, III: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! It’s blood. IT’S BLOOD!
Mom [yelling down hallway]: DQ, Jr? Come here and take care of DQ, III’s cut.
daisyfae: Seriously. i can call back later…
Mom: No, it’s ok. It’s not a bad cut… [to DQ, Jr.] Did you put Bactine on it first?
daisyfae: So let me get this straight – they left on vacation for the weekend, left the 17-year-old there with you, but you’re taking care of the 4-year-old AND the smelly dogs? Mom? This ain’t right… And why the hell is the kid still up at 10:30pm? She’s FOUR?
Mom: It’s fine…
DQ, III: Granny, is my Mommy coming home?
Mom: Yes, she’s on her way home.
DQ, III: Is it because I got a boo-boo?
Mom: No, they were headed home already.
DQ, III: Did you call her? Is she coming home because I’m hurt?
Mom [sighs]: Yes… she’s coming home because you got a boo-boo.
image found here
* They have no discretionary income. They just bought another 4-wheeler. Mud-hoppin’ dune buggy thing. They drive 400 miles to go play around in the muck for a weekend. Because they need a vacation. Life is so stressful when you don’t money or jobs…
** Another great idea when you have no job and no money? Spend $500 to purchase a dog. Shar Pei. The kinds that are prone to skin disorders and allergies. You know. The stuff that leads to ridiculous veterinarian bills?
*** Because they can just throw a few things in her cart to get her to pay for them… Or maybe stop for food at McD’s on the way back. Or make a quick stop for gas…
And there are people who’ll swear that elderly parents should ALWAYS live with family, because care homes are so impersonal…
Have another belt, Daisyfae!
This is Mom’s choice. Whenever she has complained, i have offered alternatives. She feels that an assisted living apartment means she is not loved, and she’d rather live like this…
goddamn girl – she should be at the Gimcrack. We spoil our patients here. Guess what was on the lunch menu today – Chicken Wellington! They had a High Tea last week that would cost $40.00 a head at the Hilton. We’ve got wii games and dvd nights, hand massages and bus trips, happy hour and wine and cheese nights, computer classes and music therapy. come on down….
hell with Mom, i’m packin’ my bags! this sounds like a good place to be — and never mind the most helpful, and gorgeous, staff!
Ay, yi yi! Sympathies, my dear. (And I thought the ER was bad…)
You know this particular joy. And you are on the front lines. i just phone it in these days…
I think your mother is hoping they don’t finish the house, then you get to deal with them.
And god help them then!
For the past few weeks, she’s been making noises that she’s really worried about what is going to happen when she moves into the new place. As though she’s more comfortable with the known mess than an unknown. But at the same time, says they’ll get the wooded property, and my niece will get 1/5 share of the estate, including the house, if she dies before moving in… i really hope she’s moved in first. i don’t wanna do that. but i will follow her direction… grrr…
Here, have a swig from my flask. For medicinal purposes.
Why i think i shall! Nice that you’ve switched away from that ol’ rot gut. The single malt scotch is a fine touch…
You shamed me into switching to the good stuff.
Oooh… my Native American name can now be “Drunk with Power”….
That’s a good one. It’s better than the one I have, “She Who Washes Her Tissues.”
washing them is better than beating the snot outta them…
Ya know? This kinda stuff really pisses me off. Just saying….
Feel bad for your mom.
Mom has been presented with the option of moving into an assisted living apartment – on multiple occasions. There is no one else in the family in a position to take care of her. She would rather live like this than live on her own. i can’t fix this – it’s her choice. But it’s a pretty rotten way to live out your final years…
Of course they had to buy an expensive, purebred dog. It’s not like you can get one for free at your local shelter. Oh, wait.
They have two shar peis. One sweet and incredibly smelly due to the skin problems. One nasty and incredibly smelly due to the skin problems. They were thinking of putting down the sweet dog, at 3 years old, because of her allergies. After spending hundreds on vet bills, and buying special foods and shampoos, they decided to keep her. i want to scream.
they have a mostly feral cat, too. but it’s a sweet cat, and the cat has attached to Mom. sleeps with her. since it gets to go outside, and doesn’t really have any protection from fleas? yep. it’s getting to be flea season again…
I fucking hate these stories about your mom. They irritate the hell out of me and I’m not even involved! I can only imagine what it’s like for you. God. It’s 7:15 a.m. and I’m all worked up. It usually takes a little longer.
Bactine! Ohio! I’m homesick.
sorry to jack you up on a wednesday morning. it used to screw me into the ceiling for WEEKS when something like this would happen. this one? burned through it by the time i hit “publish” on this post. there is part of her that wants to be needed — and feeding smelly dogs, poking lazy teenagers, and putting bandaids on pre-juvenile delinquent 4-year-olds is being needed…
is Bactine an Ohio thing? i don’t know if you can even buy that shit any more… Mom used to treat all manner of injury with it when we were growing up. Stung like hell, is all i can remember…
This is pretty shitty ( i rhymed) but i think you may be on to something, maybe Mom in some warped way enjoys this fiasco, obviously it would be better for her somewhere else but you never know what makes one tick… but i’d still bludgeon that whole crew and bury them on that 17 acres and when the local authorities showed up i’d claim they went to Graceland or 4-wheelin’ in South Dakota and never came back.
she’s always loved the drama, and was never more ‘at peace’ than when there was a big damn family crisis in the works. rather than deal with possible solutions, Mom, my sister, S, and my niece, DQ, would sit around for hours at the dining room table, smoking cigarettes, drinking diet coke, and talking about what a mess they were in….
not going the ‘bludgeon’ route. but i can assure you that when mom dies? Judge Daisyfae, Chief Executor of Justice and Retribution, is going to rain fire from the legal heavens. It will be swift, furious, and comprehensive… to the point they ain’t gonna know what hit ’em.
Oh! Oh! Can I watch? And take notes?
DQ and BJ will be paid for all they’ve done to take care of Mom. it’s been rough – and something that none of the rest of us could or would take on. but the exploitation will end. mom’s made it pretty clear what she wants… and my brother and other sister are on the side of justice…. but i’m pretty sure i’m going to learn that Samuel L. Jackson monologue from “Pulp Fiction” just to kick up the dramatic effect…
I’m turning to drink … just sayin’ …. sheeeesh …. *hic* … thaaaaas betta … how the familly? … ooooo a flutterfly!!!!!
that was quick. you, sir, are a cheap date!
xoxoxxoxo sugar! families, right? *sigh*
gearing up to lead the extended family off for a family reunion weekend. not only is it going to cost me a fortune, but i’m liable to suffere irrepairable brain damage…
Families… yes – no comment
they bother me less and less these days… now that i’ve stopped giving any of them money…
Wait, the spawn of Daisyfae is in the burgh? You are wise to hide your children from me… i have much influence with the younger generation, like a wasted uncle full of useless knowledge and dangerous ideas.
he’s working 12 hour shifts… thought about making the connection for the two of you… but suspect he’s going to be a bit of a crab while there…
I do hope your Momma has a real Will and/or Trust document…and not just verbal instructions. Congrats on being able NOT to be pulled into the drama. You’ve achieved a certain Zen master level when you can say, “uh-huh, uh-huh,” and “bless your heart,” rather than trying to make suggestions and/or offer solutions. Well done, indeed!
Thanks, Nana. Yes, she has a Will. It’s all in writing, and despite attempts by DQ and BJ, she is not planning to change it… Once they move in? Mom is willing to deed it over to them upon death. I think that’s going to get her some nice arsenic casseroles, but no one down there listens to me…
So i nod my head and say “bless your heart” and “uh-huh, wow! that sucks!”….
Bless your heart. My, my!
I’d join you in the belt but I’m sort of on the wagon right now since I was drinking like a fish out in Connecticut. The night Debby died my brother and I polished off a fifth of Glenlivet. My husband reports that I was doing drunk dialing on the way to bed but I only vaguely remember this….
i’m stewing from the conversation this week… but that’ll be another post. mom even noted that last weeks call was a doozy! apparently there was a dead hamster involved, which is why the 17-year-old was sulking in her room while mom was taking care of the dogs and the 4-year-old. (sigh)
i believe cell phones should have breathalyzer attachments. must be sober to call or text between the hours of midnight and 0600…
Too funny! Mom sounds cool to me. Sometimes, we bargain with the devil.
she is often energized by the drama. and being needed. i need to remember that when i get all that plaster in my hair from hitting the ceiling…
This would infuriate the fuck out of me. You are a goddess.
not a goddess. not at all. just unable to reach through the phone and slap the shit out of people… that’s probably the best super power i could have….