Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Movement and Machinations

Mom was transferred to the rehab place today, although I haven't spoken to her since she got there.

Dad's supposed to be put on an ambulance at noon tomorrow to head back home, but there's quite a bit of snow forecast for the mountains tomorrow, so we'll see if he makes it. Whenever he travels, he'll be brought back to the Reno VA, where I'm expected to pick him up and bring him home. Home healthcare and oxygen are being lined up from Palo Alto.

I told Dad that we'd probably bring Christmas dinner to the apartment, since we don't have a wheelchair ramp in our garage yet. He said he wants to come to our house, and he thinks he can handle the two steps up from the garage, but since that's where he fell last time, I'm alarmed. So tomorrow I have to see if we can get a wheelchair ramp installed pronto.

Meanwhile, I'm fussing about preparations. Gary loathes almost everything involving the holidays, so the last time we did anything approaching decoration was when my mother was here for Christmas a number of years ago. We still have lights for our front window somewhere. I want to see if Netflix has a DVD of the Yule log burning, with Christmas carols in the background; I thought it would be fun to put that on our flatscreen, pretend it's a fireplace, and put stockings for Dad and Fran in front. (I love Christmas stockings -- they were my favorite part of the holiday when I was a kid -- and it will be great to do some for other people.) And I want to try to do something festive with the table, although I entirely lack the Martha Stewart gene.

It would be great to have some other people over, but since all of this is happening at the last minute, that's not likely. To reduce stress on Gary, I've told him not to fix anything fancy, especially since Dad eats like the proverbial bird these days. Dad's gift to us is a smoked turkey breast and smoked salmon, which should have arrived by then, so we'll set up a buffet with cold meats and cheeses and a shrimp ring and, uh, maybe some mashed potatoes with gravy, which Dad adores, and I may try to buy some premade stuffing since he loves that too, and cookies for dessert. And salad, I guess. We need some veggies in there, right?

Don't ask me how I'm going to keep the cats away from smoked meats and shrimp ring. Oh, dear.

Can you tell I totally suck at entertaining? Like I said, Martha Stewart R Not Us. Help!


  1. A six by three piece of 1 inch plywood would probably make a pretty good ramp.

    Good luck!

  2. Hmmm...cats around smoked turkey and salmon. Would over feeding them so they had no interest in more food work?

    My dad and Gary seem to share the Christmas loathing. Don't know why. My memories of Christmas have always been nice, sounds like yours are too. Hope you get all of that done in time for your Dad's arrival.

    Happy Holidays, Susan!

  3. Anonymous6:17 AM

    Dear Susan,

    The holidays can be so hectic, can't they? But I hope yours will be happier knowing that both your parents are safe in their respective spots. I'm sure your dinner will be delicious with or without the added presence of the inquisitive cats, the stuffed Christmas stockings, the fabulous virtual fireplace, or the wonderful wheelchair ramp (and I hope you will forgive this sudden foray into alliteration - I think I must be getting a little giddy as the semester winds down!).

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and those you love,


  4. Give the kitties a little plate of goodies and shut then in a room upstairs and turn up the music/fire on the flatscreen. Think of it as the kiddie table. And Stovetop Turkey stuffing is surprisingly good. I know that would just about kill Gary, cooking from a box, but there it is.
    Merry Christmas!

  5. I am praying for a safe return to Reno for your Dad. Sorry the holidays are so stressful inherently for Gary. Stuffing from Stove Top or Pepperidge Farm can be really yummy indeed especially if made from pre-packaged broth instead of water, and Real Butter. You can get, dare I say it, a portable dog ramp from PetsMart or Petco--it may not be wide enough for a wheelchair it may be easier than stairs. I hope you can keep all stress to a minimum and know that if all you have is the turkey and salmon and each other you need do nothing else, just love each other and take photos. I hope you're getting some good swims in and prayers are continuing from here!

  6. First...Merry Christmas!

    I hope that you have a relaxing and rewarding holiday.

    The stockings were always my favorite decoration at Christmas time. Okay, second favorite, but who can resist a Captain Kirk ornament?

    My mom made me a wonderful felt stocking featuring a Santa/Frosty scene. Amazingly enough, when Jody and I celebrated our first Christmas together I discovered that her mom had made her one as well. Judi, that's Jody's mom, made me one after Jody and I got married. So I have two awesome stockings to Jody's one. If there were any justice in the world, Jody would have two as well. But if I were to make her one, given my crafts skills, that wouldn't improve the justness of the world. One from each mom would have been wonderful, though as you know impossible.

    Our twin daughters will be 9 months old on Christmas Eve! They won't have stockings 'til next year, but we got these holiday dresses that look to rival the pumpkin costumes Jody made for the girls for Halloween.

    If you haven't seen those...I'll have to email pictures of them them to you post haste.


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