Tag Archive: family

Rest in Peace, Bub

Those of you who’ve followed this blog for years might remember the whole elder abuse saga with my mother-in-law Bub and her granddaughter Katie (Rich’s niece) from posts here, here, and here. After it finally became clear to granddaughter that no more money was forthcoming, we never heard from her again. It’s been three years with nary a call, letter, or visit. Every single time Rich would visit his mom, she’d ask if we’d heard from Katie. It was clear she was hanging on to life in the hope that Katie would call someday. Absolutely heartbreaking.

Bub was just six weeks away from running completely out of the money that was keeping her in her own apartment at assisted living. We dreaded the thought of moving her to some awful nursing home. Rich had been applying for MediCal, but that was looking grim. No facilities take it, and she probably wouldn’t have qualified anyway; she makes too much money (about $1500/month from SSI and VA). They will literally put people out on the sidewalk and/or tell the family to deal with taking them in, and whether they are able to is none of their concern. It should be a crime against humanity the way our society treats the elderly.

Thankfully, Bub passed away peacefully early yesterday morning with Rich by her side. A true Irishwoman, it was fitting for her to go on St. Patrick’s Day. She was 92 years old. She will be sorely missed.

Rest in Peace, Lucille Kathryn Robson.


So, the other day I was doing a Google Image search for vintage Banana Republic images for a recent post about vintage Banana Republic stuff. A picture of me in the Banana Republic wool cape came up that had been part of a blog post I did about some old pictures I’d digitized. Included in the same post was an old photo of my mom, and because Google thought it might be related to Banana Republic somehow, it came up in the image search:

mom-sofia loren

None of that is very surprising. Here’s the really cool part: in the bottom right corner of the window are seven other “related” images. We’ve all seen them. Just do any Google image search and then click on any image. But all of these “visually similar” images that Google thinks look like my mom are of FREAKIN’ SOPHIA LOREN!!! Hot damn, she is gonna SO pleased as punch when she sees this screen shot I grabbed:

mom-sofia loren2



Well, it’s been two weeks today since we got my MIL out of that horrible nursing home and back at Grossmont Gardens. She’s actually been slowing improving. They have gotten her to get out of bed and into a wheelchair every day. They are giving her some physical therapy. She claims she could get around if she really had to, but just doesn’t care to. She thinks she’ll be going back to her old room any time now. We keep trying to tell her she has to be ambulatory before that can happen. But her spirits are good, she seems chipper and happy. It makes my day when I can make her laugh.

Meanwhile, we have to keep paying the rent on her old room, just in case. Rich will be prying some real answers out of the doctor next week, come hell or high water.

Highly Unusual

Two weeks ago, we got a call from the assisted living place MIL lives in, Grossmont Gardens. She (likely) had the flu, and as a result, couldn’t get out of bed, and soiled her bed. She’s also not bathing or setting out clothes to be washed. Rich agreed to upgrade her service to include adult diapers and (sort of enforced) laundry.

Then Thursday last week, she landed in the hospital again. This has happened twice before. She’d stay for two or three days and go back home. Mostly dehydration and joint pain.

This time, however, it was a week. Then she couldn’t go straight home; she had to be “evaluated” first. The hospital wanted her out, NOW!!! So she went to a “rehabilitation center,” which is a nursing home. It was HORRIBLE, just like all nursing homes. The first morning, they tried to get her out of bed. It took two nurses to just lift her into a sitting position on the side of her bed. She was screaming and crying. They rated her pain as an 8 on a scale of 10. She kept saying she just wanted to go back home. It breaks my heart.

It was clear to everyone, including her doctor, that she is not going to be running on a treadmill. She’ll probably never walk again.

She has congestive heart failure, her kidneys are failing, and so are her lungs. The arthritis in her knees is getting unbearable, and it’s spreading to her other joints. She’s not eating anymore. Could barely force down four tiny bits of pudding, maybe a teaspoon in all. She is still drinking, though.

Towards the end of the first day, Rich busted her out of there.

Since Grossmont Gardens has rehab in their own facility, we’re not sure why she had to go to the nursing home in the first place. It’s so damn confusing. No one will give you a straight answer about anything. No one is in charge; no one is responsible or accountable. Confusion and apathy reign as you get sucked into the system.

Anyway, the lady he spoke to was quite indignant. “We have PROTOCOLS, you know.”

Rich: “Well, I’m telling you what her protocol is going to be. I’m withdrawing my consent for her to be there.”

Lady: “This is HIGHLY unusual.”

Rich: “And that affects me how?”

Lady: “Do you know what TIME it is?”

It was 4:30 on a Friday afternoon. She probably had a local bar in her immediate future. I sure would have if I worked in that shithole.

Long story short, we got her out of the nursing home and back home to GG, but in their Health Care Center, which is skilled nursing for the bad cases. Still, it’s a night-and-day difference.

The nursing home is dingy, dark, and noisy, there’s constant TV noise blasting from your neighbor, who’s only 3 feet away behind a curtain. No window. Roommates die every other day. The P.A. system blasts scratchy orders all the time: “Nurse. To. Room. Three. One. Eight.” Comatose-looking people parked in wheelchairs in the hallways. No one speaks decent English. The food is nauseating.

In contrast, GG’s Health Care Center is quiet, spacious, airy, peaceful. Her room is huge. There are TV’s, but little personal-sized ones that swing over to the bed on an arm. She has her own room and a window. The staff there already knows and loves her. We are SO relieved.

Now it’s basically hospice time. She’ll be kept comfortable. Dementia is starting to set in. She asks everyone who comes in what time it is. When they answer, she says, “Oh my. I really should be getting up. I need to clean upstairs.” Rich says the last house they had with an upstairs was when he was a baby. Since she stopped eating, it probably won’t be more than a couple of weeks.

Saying goodbyes.

Elder Abuse Saga, Continued…

Those of you who follow this blog may remember hubby’s and my struggle early last year to get mom-in-law (Bub) into assisted living before evil niece and her boyfriend bled her of every last cent. Things have been going pretty smoothly since then, up until today.

Bub’s granddaughter Katie (hubby’s niece) is currently serving a six-month jail term for stolen credit cards in San Diego. She and her worthless boyfriend are serving their terms at the same time. She’s due out in August.

She calls and writes Bub occasionally, telling her all sorts of ridiculous lies about getting her GED and taking college-level courses. In jail. We hear she writes THE MOST brilliant, well-composed, intelligent, and lyrically beautiful letters ever written in HISTORY. It’s so sad. But mostly harmless.

Until recently. Bub asked Rich about giving Katie a small sum of money, and he sort of let it blow by. Later she asked about it again. Then she called me and asked me about it. Katie says she wants $5 (really?) for stamps, a couple of books, and a birthday present for her 4-year-old daughter. We got her a book of stamps recently; she’d only sent two letters to Bub, though. There are no books for sale in jail. And I suggested in might be nice if Katie made something for her daughter. These requests should really have been a warning sign.

Apparently, Katie and boyfriend has been calling Bub from jail, collect, EVERY DAY, begging her for money. Which Bub no longer has control over. Rich got the phone bill today and just about blew a gasket. Each call averages around $10. Rich tried calling Bub all day – no answer.

Bub is now hysterical with worry that Katie needs money, and how can she get it to her? Last week, Rich agreed to send her $20, cash, in a letter. Apparently it doesn’t work that way. One has to make a deposit to an inmate’s account.

Bub finally called this evening, literally breathless, she was so anxious to get some money to this parasite. Rich calmed her down, promised to figure out how to deposit money to Katie’s jail account. Called her back later to reassure her this was in the works. We’ll send $20 – that should buy her about ten cigarettes.

AT&T was nice enough to simply reject the third-party charges incurred. We explained that Bub has dementia, has no idea what she’s agreeing to, is being harassed from jail for money from the perpetrator of elder-abuse crimes against her, and that if we had to pay these charges we’d be forced to file YET ANOTHER elder-abuse charge against Katie, this time in La Mesa courts. (She’s got records in Riverside County and San Diego already.) They didn’t want any part of that.

There just seems to be no end to the evil that girl is capable of, even from inside jail.

*UPDATE* We’ve also gotten the number from jail blocked, and we’re not sending SQUAT.

Pics From Way-Back Land

Old photo of my maternal grandparents. Behind them is my mom on the left, and my uncle Ernie on the right. Mom would’ve been around 16 here.

My mom when she was around 19. Her father was scandalized by those spaghetti straps. This is, by far, my favorite photo of her. I always thought she looked a bit like Natalie Wood or Sophia Loren here.

Does anyone remember the original Banana Republic? Before they were bought by the GAP, they were all about sturdy, functional, and fashionable travel and safari clothing. The storefronts all had an old Jeep “crashed” halfway through the display window. Going through the store was like an Indiana Jones adventure. Before the change, I managed to get a black jersey travel dress with a shawl collar, side pockets, and side slits. Super comfortable for travel, and looks great with a belt or without. Still have it.

I also got a heavy brushed-wool cape. It’s 3/4-length, partially lined inside, and has slits on the sides for arms to come out or not. I STILL wear it. The cape is the absolute warmest thing on foggy, blustery days. You can wrap yourself up in the extra wool.

I would’ve been around 17 in the rest of these pics.

Me in Big Bear. Boyfriend and I went up to play in the snow, a treat for this Southern California born-and-raised girl.

Me at the South Coast Botanical Gardens. Taken by the same boyfriend. He was a pretty talented photographer.


Stuff and Things

This is a pocket-sized prayer book for men:

The inscription is to George Robson, Rich’s grandfather.


Stuff and Things

Gwen Dibble, Rich’s grandmother, holding Rich’s father as a baby.

Caption Contest

Okay, everyone, I want ideas!

Either tell me what you think of this group of interesting-looking people, or give me a good caption for the picture.

Found among Rich’s mom’s things. Taken in Lorain, Ohio, who knows when. Maybe the 30’s?


Rich was cleaning up the backyard patio of his mom’s house. There were several stacks of old bricks from Ohio that served as planter stands. Rich removed one of the planter pots, and guess what he found inside:

Scores of rotten, dessicated cigarette butts! Needless to say, Rich’s parents never smoked a day in their lives. But Katy sure does — she started when she was 12 years old! She and her worthless friends and various boyfriends/husbands apparently ticked one of the bricks aside a few centimeters, just enough to create an ashbin for themselves. Left quite a disgusting stain on the cement. Aren’t kids these days awesome? Our future leaders, folks…

Anyway, we got her settled in Grossmont Gardens yesterday, and she LOVES the place. So much nicer than she dared to hope. The dining room is like a fine restaurant, with a grand piano, crystal chandeliers and uniformed waitstaff. Her balcony overlooks a large, beautifully landscaped courtyard. And it’s so quiet and peaceful there, especially after all the noise and alarms at the nursing home. We’re SO pleased and relieved that she likes it there. It’s all the payoff I could possibly have wanted. She’s going to make so many friends — everybody there, staff and residents alike, are VERY open and friendly.

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