The newest Grandma update

Nursing homes. I can’t say I have anything good to say about any one that I’ve ever had the displeasure to need to visit. 

My mom’s frustration level with my grandma has been growing, daily, I think. I do not blame her one bit from the stories she tells. Last week at dinner as she was telling me the newest shenanigans I said “At least you still have you’re sister….I just have me.” My mom then said she felt sorry for me in that respect because at least when it gets to be too much and she needs to step away for a bit she can tag in her sister, and vise versa. It’s just me and someday I’m going to be the one trying to make my mom use a cell phone properly as she tells me it doesn’t work and keeps showing her a broken bridge. 

At the nursing home my mom was asking grandma how things were going. My grandma was giving her a story about how they don’t take care of her, nothing is taken care of, things are never cleaned up and so on. My mom states that she’s going to call the nurse in right then and there and get this taken care of. Then my grandma’s story completely changes and that wasn’t the case. So my mom ends up slightly yelling at grandma about are they or are they not taking care of her because if not mom is going to make things happen. This ended with my mom calling the nursing home and scheduling a meeting to discuss a number of things, like long term care and quality of care at the nursing home. When my grandma found this out she told my mom she needn’t come to the meeting (that my mom scheduled.) My mom thought it might be because she would be caught in her drama-ing shenanigans. 

The the meeting happens. In them meeting they start discussing longer term care. As it is with Grandma’s insurance she has 100 days to be magically rehabilitated or get kicked to the curb. Well, in the eyes of insurance anyway. In reality it means after 100 days she has to cover her own full cost of care. And that’s 100 days total, not 100 days from fall and another 100 days after the broken ankle. Her 100 days was starting to get close, the nursing home had been saying all along that her 100 days was up February 10th. There was no reason to start to fret but time to be a bit proactive. The nursing home person looks at their paper work and goes all non-chantly looks like the 100 days up January 25…and then moves on from the topic. My mom is all like wha..what…WHAT?. Nursing home lady come back with “oh is there a problem,” and according to my mom she looked at the lady and said “What is the date today?” Knowing my mom this was given with a consenting stare down look that says “You a fucking moronic imbecile.” See, the day of the meeting was the 20th, Grandma had to be out of the nursing home by the 25th. That’s not exactly a slew of time to get into an assisted care facility in less than 5 days, and day 1 was already shot. The nursing home lady actually said “is that a problem.”

No the nursing home would not kick Grandma out on the street. They would have just charged her $300 a day to stay there.

The nursing home people said they would call an assisted living center to get Grandma set up and would call my mom back when they found a place she could move to. My mom gave them the assisted living center that was the preferred place. The next day my mom calls the nursing home back after she gets out of work. The nursing home person, who was supposed to have all of this set up and call my mom the next day never called…or bothered to return her calls.

At which point my mom called the assisted living home. They nursing home never bothered call them or get anything set up. My mom set up her own meeting with the assisted living home. After that the assisted living home took over. They got everything set up with the nursing home for the move including scheduling ambulance services and the works. The assisted living center is loaning Grandma furniture, including table and chairs, and a few nightstands, (maybe a dresser). They called her doctor for a prescription for a hospital bed and corndinated the delivery. The only thing at this point that needs to be supplied are linens and clothing. The assisted living home is set up like super small one room apartments. The people that live there bring in all their own furniture and belongings. The only thing that makes it not like a regular apartment is the one room-ness and that the main doors are locked down.

it’s kind of like a dormitory in college….actually it’s a lot like a dormitory in college…only with old people…and some have dementia. On second thought, dementia can’t really be considered as an unlikeness to a college dormitory. It’s just dementia caused by inebriation as opposed to old age. There is no bar night, but there is bingo night(s).

Based on the nursing homes lack of timely information and acting so nonchalant about the need to move Grandma I seriously think they were trying to find a way to keep here there longer in an attempt to get the daily rate. I think it just sounds a wee bit shady to me.

The assisted living center was the same one Grandma stayed at previously for a short stint and where my dad’s mom lived for the last few years of her life until she was moved into an Alsihimers only facility. When my mom went to the meeting with the assisted living center my mom commented on the smell..or lack of smell. It always stunk like old people. You know the smell. It’s a mixture of unwashed people, a touch of pee, and over powering perfume (or Old Spice aftershave if it’s a grandpa). When Mom made the comment the new director said “That is an area we have been trying very diligently to over come.” 

The assisted living center has also picked up a few new upgrades since other grandma lived there as well. They now have someone come in and take all the lab work needed from the patients once a week on scheduled day. No more trying to take Grandma out to the doctor’s or hospital for blood draws and what have you. They now have an on staff doctor or basic medical care. Grandma’s therapy will be done as “in home care” taking place in the assisted living home. 

I think at this point Grandma is feeling like she will never get home again. My mom told her that if she wants to get home she has to be able to get in and out of bed, get in and out of a chair and take herself to the bathroom, but until those things happen she can’t go home on her own. 

Another positive note on moving to the assisted living home it won’t be so weird trying to visit in her a room half the size of my dorm in college that is then split in half again with a curtain with another person living on the other side. Seriously you couldn’t even turn around in that room when Grandma was in bed. If she was out of bed in her wheel chair you had to visit with her by standing in the hallway. 

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Cut the Cable!

Yea, so it finally happened. We got rid of the cable TV. It’s been a full week and a half. I thought for sure there would be some minor withdrawals from the constant availability of TV. When we got rid of cable our DVR went with it, which I figured would be the bigger issue than actual TV. 

Here have been the downsides. I no longer have hours and hours and hours of recorded children’s programing. This isn’t an issue for me per say but one of the wee ones will ask for specific shows. Shows that we no longer have access too. They’ll actually just look at me and tell me to get the remote. They’re telling me to go to recorded content in their own special way. Then it turns into demands. The whole idea of “we don’t have that any more” is totally lost on them. The second downside is there is one, ONE show that husband watches and I happen to also watch the show. It is the only thing we do together and the only thing we actually set time aside to do together. That one show…not covered by either of the streaming outlets (Netflix/Hulu). The only place I could find it was off of iTunes for 3.99 an episode. I was seriously like WTF is this garbage? The station plays 90% of all their shows the next day from their own site accept for that one program. I thought that was a bit ridiculous. 

However here are some positives of no cable. I don’t use it as much of a crutch to entertain the kiddo. There were many days where I was just like “I can’t take you any more…here watch five hours of Dora.” PBS is non-stop kids programing from about 6 am – 2 pm, where it then switches over to some combination of a cooking show and then sewing show, and then it’s back to kids programing until the PBS News Hour at 7pm. Thankfully we get a few other PBS stations with the antenna and I’ll turn it to the other station and tell the kid that “PBS kids isn’t on any more” even though it totally is but the call letters all look the same. It avoids a screaming shit fit. 

The travel programs on PBS are low budget have piss poor sound and the talent looks like they would be at home in the early 90’s. However they are full of awesome travel tips, mostly abroad. I think this is my new favorite thing to watch. As an added bonus they seem to put my kid to sleep. Thus avoiding yet another screaming shit-fit when I try to make them take a nap. 

The HD air signal is way better quality than my cable ever was. I noticed that as soon as I got the channels up and running. Where as before with any program you’d have to be a minimum of 10 feet away form the TV for it to not look like a pixeled monstrosity. Now you could be an inch away and still get clear quality. Not that anyone would want to do that but hey, you could. It’s not as if the distance thing was an issue in the past because no one needs to be that close to a TV. It was just something I noticed when I would walk close to pick something up in front of the TV (which was almost always a child trying to watch it from 10 inches away). I thought we just had a shitty TV. 

We’ve also found that a few network TV shows are pretty good. Our TV viewing is still hit or miss and virtually nonexistent so nothing we’ll actually get into and watch. I was trying to watch Marvel’s Agent’s of Shield and Grimm, but the last time I had a chance to watch TV was Christmas Eve. I had one day a few weeks ago where both kids were sleeping. I thought “OH YES! I’m going to go catch up on the SHIELD Agents.” I was so excited. Sat down, found the listing on the DVR…and then found the DVR deleted all but the newest two and I knew I was four episodes behind. I think I actually blurted out to myself in my basement “Damn it, I don’t want to watch it on the computer.” So I’m now all episodes aside from the first three behind. Looks like it will be a summer rental. 

So that’s where the lack of cable stands. We have yet to get a Netflix or Hulu account. Eventually we will get one but we’re trying it out without. Since our TV viewing is so limited we both decided to wait until we actually want to watch something or feel the need to watch something…that may not come until both the kids are in college – LOL! 

The good, the bad and the cheap.

I hate spending money on food. In truth I just hate spending money. Well, no I don’t hate spending money, actually I love it, because I like to buy stuff, but alas I have debt. What I truly hate, being in debt. So, really I hate spending money on anything that is not a loan payment. We’re down to one loan (besides mortgage) but it’s a doozy of a payment each month, I’ve been sick of paying on it for the past three years, what is even more madding for me about this loan not only the size of it but the fact that by the time it’s gone we will have paid double the principle. All for a student loan, and this is why it is important to teach children about compounding interest and how it effects real life situations. 

In reality there is no way possible to knock out this loan in this or even next year but brining that payoff date closer is still a great goal to have even if it is still a few years out. So, then how am I going to wring water from a stone (so to speak), with beans and cutting cable! I was finally successful in getting Husband to cede to cutting our cable TV. I’ve been trying to ditch it for years. I don’t watch TV and the shows I do watch even with a DVR I still end up watching on the computer, for me personally I see very little value in cable TV. Husband on the other hand watches it. If he’s not actually watching it the TV it’s still on anyway (personally this drives me nuts but I have to have a fan on at just about any given time). 

We got a Wii U from Christmas from my mom, which is making cutting the cable possible because now we have a device that we can stream to easily. We had an Xbox but I’ve never been a fan of Xbox live, especially if the only thing I’m going to use it for is Netflex. As soon as my antenna gets delivered cable TV is getting the boot. We’ll still be keeping the internet, obviously, because I need that to work. 

Next is the beans…how can you save money with beans. Easy, they are cheep, filling and full of everything one needs to survive. I decreed that we were going to start eating more bean meals. This fulfills two goals, one spend less on food, two eat less meat. Yes, I decreed it. Sometimes with Husband I have given up asking for his input, if he doesn’t like the idea then it just it never happens, hence the decrees. I tried years ago to get us to eat more meatless meals, just one a week, he was not about it… like he NEEDED to have meat at every meal, amusing since he doesn’t really like meat to begin with. I made the decree at least one meatless meal a week. Now it’s just common place and he’ll asks for various meatless meals that don’t even fall in the category of our one meatless meal a week. 

Speaking of decreeing we had to have the house financial talk last night. In a fit of semi-frustration in discussing our yearly budget I said “I should just give you an allowance and that’s all you get,” He responds with “That would be easier, can we just do that,” and goes back to playing with the cat. I said no, I was not shouldering all the responsibility of the house budget even if he was the one that went to work. 

But back to beans…

I only have a few bean recipes that I like the go-to recipe has always been Falafel Pitas with Cucumber-Yogurt Dressing, but that and bean enchiladas can only go so far, off to the internets. Good ‘ol Pinterest helped me out with that. In the past week we have tried two new bean recipes one was a terrible disaster that ended with me dumping in large amounts of chicken bullion and cumin. It was a Cuban black bean and rice recipe. I like black beans, I like Cuban food and I like rice and beans should be a winner right! Wrong. Even when I was making it I was looking at the recipe and thinking this is missing a bunch of traditional spices for Cuban-esq food. It tasted like bean water. I started throwing in spices galore and chicken bullion. Eventually making it not so bad. Topped with avocado, cheese, tomato and cilantro it wasn’t bad. I will be looking for a better recipe. Really want I want is a rip off of Zatarain’s Black Beans and Rice that I can make in crock pot. 

However, the second recipe was a hit! Smooth Garbanzo Bean Soup, I doubled the recipe and used a touch of chicken bullion. I would have used vegetable bullion but my house is currently lacking in vegetable bullion. My immersion blender is an attachment to my hand mixer and it’s a sad excuse that it even dares call itself an immersion blender, I had to blend it up in the kids food puree system. My blender leaks so I won’t use it – why I haven’t thrown it out yet is beyond me. Margaritas, I guess. Image

My soup turned out much more orange than the photos of the original. I also let it cook too long before pureeing, so it was extra thick. 

The response to the soup was positive. Husband liked it, said it tasted yummy and was very filling, but a bit too thick. Baby ate a whole bowl and Little Miss played in it and ate the croutons I topped the soup with (typical). Eventually the soup bowl ended up upside down on top to the baby and whatever was left dripping down into their hair. Typical dinner at our house. 

This recipe will be on the short list for go-to bean meals in the future.