:: indentured daughter ::

the things I do for my family...

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

back to best buy i go!

i took the tv antenna back to best buy yesterday. it was super easy though. turns out the folks at best buy dont just not care about whether you buy anything there or not (because that would mean they'd actually have to do something) but they also dont care if you return their crap either. i was expecting to have to make up some whole excuse but in fact i wasnt even asked for my photo id or credit card. the whole exchange took about a minute. sweet!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

curtain rod

Livia wanted a new curtain rod for nonna's old bedroom in her house. she asked me if i'd go buy her a nice one, not the regular white metal crappy ones, but a nice rod type one.

i grabbed dad and we went down to linens n' things and picked this one out. It's pretty without being too gaudy, I think. She likes it, so I don't have to return it unless there is a problem installing it.

nonna immediately started bitching about it, calling livia out for spending money on something. geesh, god forbid.

TV antenna

My dad scored a free 27 inch tv from my job, and is in search of a way to get reception without signing up for basic cable. he has this weird electronic antenna that one of his old tenants left behind, and it helps a little. if he hooks it up to the tv, he can get channels 4, 5, and 7, but not super clearly. the main problem is that he needs to get channel 68, so that my grandmother (nonna) can watch mass everyday. oh such a good catholic. on monday we went to best buy and picked him up a different kind of antenae, like rabbit ears on steroids. no dice, the reception was worse with that than the one he already have. So I have it all packed back up and will be bringing it back to best buy within 30 days. are we seeing a pattern here, people?

Friday, July 30, 2004

update on purchases

i just wanted to write with an update on my last two purchases for the fam, the commode and the flip flops. you may as well know right now, before you decide to continue reading my blog in the future, that there has been virtually no purchase for my family that has gone smoothly. for example - the time i bought shoes for them with an outline of their feet on a piece of paper? those shoes all had to go back to the store. not one of them fit - surprising, i know. anyways,

so let us start with the commode. you'll remember i already had one issue come up with it - the bucket didnt come with a handle, so i had to go back and get a new one. well here's the new part. my father had asked me to check if medicare would cover part of its cost. i asked the pharmacist when i was there the first time buying it, and he said that she would need a prescription first and then some medicare forms needed to be filled out. so i informed my father, who then tells my aunt, who decides to call my grandmother's doctor and get a prescription for the thing, AFTER i've already bought it. she asks me to go back to the store with the receipt and the prescription to see if she can't get some money back. i show up at the pharmacy, and of course they recognize me by now. i explain the situation to the girl behind the counter and ask her if there is a way to post date the receipt in order to get the return. she says to me, "you mean commit insurance fraud?" well campers, i knew right there and then this wasnt going to end in my favor. i end up having to talk to the manager, who tells me he has some sort of wiz kid who does his billing, and if i can get all my grandmothers insurance info he'll see what they can do. i have to use their phone to call my aunt, not once, but twice, because she gives me the wrong info. in the meantime i still havent heard back from them about it. i am debating whether its worth following up on or not...

the other story is on the flipflops...my dad doesn't like them. i dont know if my aunt likes hers or not, she didnt mention them. but apparently the little nodes which are supposed to massage your feet arent as comfortable as the ones Speedo used to have on their shoes a few years back. apparently all that new fangled massage technology they came up with doesn't beat a hard little nub. i'm not sending them back, and he satisfied enough with them for now. he's just crestfallen that his feet are not jellin' like a felon...

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

flipping and flopping

My dad has an obsession with those types of flip flops that have little rubber massage nubs on them, and so is my aunt. They've been wearing the same sets for about three years now, and there is considerable nub-loss at this point. So I have been in search of new ones for about a month or so. For some reason, they will ONLY accept Speedo brand flip flops. I finally gave up and bought some online from SpeedoUSA.com. With only 6 bucks for shipping, its not a bad deal.

The light blue is for Livia, the "Sapphire" is for Dad. Unfortunately they dont come in half sizes (just my luck) so I am anticipating a long-term, return-exchange scenario. It goes something like this: we send them back, get new sizes, discover they don't fit, send them back, finally give up on the whole thing and go back to wearing the broken nubbed flops.

I'll let you know what happens, in 4-8 business days.

port-a-pottie, grannie style

Well here's another purchase I am incredibly proud of. How many of you can say that you've purchased a commode?

My grandmother (Nonna) is almost 94 years old. She doesn't move around much anymore, just to the bedroom and livingroom and kitchen. She has a hard time hearing, doesn't speak any English, and gets the spins when she walks. She has to go to the bathroom alot, which can be quite the ordeal if walking isn't high on your list of things to do. About a year or two ago, my dad got her two commodes: one for her dining room (close to the tv where she sits all day and watches soap operas) and one in her bedroom (she gets up like 5 times a night). However in the past six months she's needed alot more help at night, so my dad moved in with her to help (which means my uncle has been kicked out of his room and is sleeping in the basement, but that's another whole story). But her room is small and there's not much room for two people to manuver in around a commode, and whenever she asks him a question like what time it is, they end up waking the whole house up because she's really deaf and my dad has to answer really loud.

So the solution has been to move Nonna over to my dad's house to sleep. He's set up two beds in his dining room, a bedside table, and a giant clock (she can't see that great either - dad used to tell her what time it was by poking her so he didnt have to yell - 3 a.m. was three pokes). So he needed a commode. Luckily there is a pharmacy down the street from me that carries those kinds of things. I picked one up on the way home last night. They cost a fortune! The total came to 135 dollars. I threw it in the back of my car, brought it to work with me, and then brought it to dad's tonight. He was pretty psyched. I helped him adjust the height of it, which means I had to sit on the commode to figure it out. Kinda like a foreshadowing of my future! And wouldn't you know it, there was a part missing - the handle to the bucket part. Which means I had to go back to the pharmacy on my way home tonight and see if I could get a one. Luckily enough the guys were nice enough to give me a whole new bucket, this time with the handle and all.

Dad tells me Nonna is really impressed with her new digs. She's got the bay windows to look out into the garden and yard every night. And they can yell as loud as they want because there's no one to wake up but the cat. And the cat is pretty psyched to have someone new to sleep with. So everybody is happy all around.

But I can't help but realize, at some point in my life, I'm going to inherit three slightly used commodes. I'm a lucky lady.

Friday, July 09, 2004

a hat for livia....

I forgot that while i was on vacation i visited my aunt and she asked me to buy her a hat from the coolibar catalogue. What is Coolibar you ask? Why only the finest in sun protective clothing - safety first ladies and gents!

Here's the hat she wanted. The best news is that it was one size fits all, no tracing of the head to assure accurate sizing (my dad once gave me a traced outline of my grandmother's foot to go buy her some slippers. Imagine how much fun that was). So apparently I was in some kind of coffee induced hysteria because not only did I buy one for her but I got one for myself too! And then because she needed it right away paid for the express shipping. So they arrived a few days later, and she loves her hat. Not that the hat isnt dorky enough, but get this, it comes with this little two sided roach clippy thing. You attach one side to your hat and the other to your shirt collar, so you don't lose your hat in high winds....

Monday, May 31, 2004

Done and done...

Consider the goat project complete. We picked it up on Saturday morning from "Live Poultry Fresh Killed." The total cost for the 15lbs was $100. And yes, for those of you waiting with baited breath, the head and feet were still on. The butcher brought it out from the back by its hind feet, partially encased in a transparent garbage bag. I was all dressed up fancy for Polly Mac's baby shower, so I think he was a little confused to see that it was for me. He said, "So hold old is the person you are buying it for?" To which I replied "He will be 74 tomorrow." The butcher smiled and said, "Its always the old timers that want it whole. So they can cut it up themselves."
We trucked the carcass over to dad's in the back of the CRV and it stank like the smell of dead poultry in the store. Ben assured me that the smell was temporary. Dad was waiting out in the parking lot when we arrived, and the first thing he says is "Where's my baby goat?!?" He was smiling pretty damn hard. Ben and Dad strung it up on the clothes line in the yard and began cutting it up, the first to go was the head. I won't go into the details here, but Ben and I captured most of the experience on camera and have put together a wonderful slide show. Let me know if you want to see it.

We went back yesterday to see how the cooking went. Dad had prepared the two hind quarters for our lunch, along with a nice lima bean salad and sauteed entrails with rosemary and thyme. The entrails entailed the kidneys, heart, liver, and TONGUE...when cooked they look pretty much like liver. Ben was brave enough to try the tongue, but Livia called him a scardey cat for not trying the rest. I pretended like I had already eaten my share. But the rest of the goat was wonderfully tasty - dad roasted it with a cup of water and just a few sprigs of rosemary. The outside had a lovely crispy crust and the inside was moist and delicious. I highly rate the experience overall. This was one of the more tasks my dad has asked me to do.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

The baby goat's last night on earth...

As many of you know, my dad has asked me to purchase a baby goat for the family - not to keep as a pet, but to eat. So I sadly report that tonight, somewhere out in western massachusettes, there is a baby goat spending its last night on earth.....tomorrow morning it gets slaughtered, drained, and delivered to my local butcher. It will be only a few weeks old, and weight about 15lbs. I pick it up on Saturday morning. I've been instructed to tell the butcher that dad wants every single piece of the goat, minus the skin presumably. To put it in dad's words, "I paid for 15 pounds, I better get all 15 pounds! The head, the feet, the butt, everything!" In an act of defiance, I've neglected to call the butcher and instruct him to do so. I feel guilty enough picturing the butcher holding the carcass up for my inspection, and then bringing up the rear in my brain is the image of walking out of the store with a giant butchers paper package thrown over my shoulder.

My dad comes from a small village on the coast of what is now Croatia. He grew up in a very old world way - simple living, hard work, lots of the Lord. The one thing that hasn't changed about my dad is his love of food, and a dish that he has not had in many many years is baby goat. He says they used to kill and eat them the same day, by sauteing it in a pan. This week's assignment has been to find him a recipe for how to cook the goat. Turns out there aren't a whole lot of recipes out there for baby goat. Surprise suprise...so if anyone has one please email it to me...i'm going to be in enough trouble showing up without the baby's head....