Tradie Brother turned 52 a week or so ago and a barbeque was held at his place on a freezing cold day, with showers and hail. As well as having a tenant in the self contained flat at the rear of his house where Ex Sis in Law's parents once lived, he now has a boarder, a local chap who has fallen on hard times and seems like a very nice guy. He pays $50 a week board for a bedroom and does cooking and house cleaning etc. What an odd arrangement but he did a terrific job last Sunday for all of us. It must have been quite intimidating for him to have this strange family descend.
I kept pressing Tradie Brother to light the outdoor gas heater, and eventually he did before we froze to the bone. Near the barbeque was a $2 coin stuck down on the paving. It has provided amusement over the years, as people covertly or overtly try to pick up the coin. Great Niece Little M spied it and tried to pick it up and of course she couldn't. But the two year old was determined and worked at it and succeeded. I guess adults don't try too hard once they realise it is stuck down.
The twin babies are doing well enough. One has a thyroid problem, identified by a heel prick test and will have to take a medication for life, but it is no big deal. Hippie Niece got half way to hospital to take one twin for a blood test and realised she had the wrong one.
Her partner's father was dying in New Zealand. They flew there for him to see his new grandchildren. (I wrote that so easily. Imagine flying with 6 week old twins and there were passports to get etc etc) They were supposed to be back in time for Tradie Brother's birthday but her partner's father, in a most inconsiderate manner, died, so they have stayed on for the funeral. I may be slightly exaggerating, but the father is propped up on the family couch to receive visitors to say goodbye to him. Apparently it is in their culture to keep him at home for a week and people come to pay their respects. He was some kind of pastor, Mormon perhaps.
Mother got in touch with her electrician while we away. Hold off on the house rewiring until my son and his partner return from overseas. She was up to something. Sure enough, can I come and and stay with you for two days while the electrical work is done? Mother's voluminous luggage was transferred from ABI Brother's car to ours at the barbeque, along with her walker and while we have had many house guests over the years we have lived here, none have been such a nightmare as Mother. Two days turned into three. She has been here from Sunday to Thursday. R has done the really hard yards with her. Day 1, as my shower is separate and not over the bath, so she used that one. A couple of bottles appeared on my vanity. Day 2, two handbags and a hand towel. Day 3, another larger bag. There is no room for me in my own bathroom. Somehow she manages to saturate my bath mat. I get home for lunch at about 11 and she is still getting ready, just having gotten out of the shower. What had she be doing all morning?
Mother was interviewed for a Federal care package, but she is not telling us that the first suggestion would have been that she goes into care accommodation.
The electrician did a fantastic job, so R reports. All light switches and power points have been replaced, and with double power points and they are very attractive. A smoke detector was wired into the mains and three exhaust fans replaced, all with very little mess.
Last night I had gone to bed, and in marches mother to get something from my bathroom. "Sorry, I didn't realise you were in bed". Ah, our place is not that big that I can disappear, and my bedroom door was closed.
I don't watch too much tv very closely but when I/we do, we mostly sit in silence and do not need to hear about bowel problems and shooting pains down the leg from the hip and incompetent doctors that cannot cure old age.
I kept a close eye on Mother as she left. I made sure none of our special ink pens went into her handbag. R stymied her from knocking off our plastic clothes hangers that she had clothing hanging on. She was all set to pack them into her suitcase. "Mother!", as she was leaving, "You've taken my cake of soap from my shower." "Sorry, I can't find it now. I will replace it."
Friends jokingly say to us, well you have spare room. Your mother could live with you. After four days of Mother, I would rather die.
Not all bad about family. Little Jo will stay tonight, Friday night. Sister has a funeral on Saturday and Bone Doctor is doing a two day kayaking course. They are staying in a hotel. Oh dear, have we made them feel as unwelcome to stay as they made us feel about staying at their place?