Saturday, June 20, 2009


So I visit my mom weekly. We hang out and do stuff. Basically...I try to do whatever I can around the house for her. Fix things...clean things...water things...dismantle the garage and put it back together again. Install things. Paint things. Dig up things. Plant things. Run mom all over town. Take her for her shots. Take her for her tests. take her for her therapies. Take her to the HABIT. She loves the HABIT. The library. VONS. BORDERS. VONS. The park. VONS.

I try to do the stuff around the house she used to have my dad do. Not all of it. My brother, Pete, does the real meaty, needs-a-man-for this-task kind of stuff. I try take her to the places around town she and dad would frequent. She never learned how to drive. Not a bad thing. My mom is a true creative. Very smart...but she thinks on an angle when others are following the rules. Know what I mean? I think it was Tibor that once said "if they give you lined paper...write the other way..."

I enjoy my mother. She is
truly a delightful character. She is so very full of life. But she is quirky. In a "MONK" kind-of-way. You know MONK...that character on TV that is, well, really smart but kind of quirky.

So she has her needs. Lets be real. She runs my ass off. I really mean that. She used to run dad's ass off too. And he LOVED it. In his last few months of life he would say over and over "God. I will miss that girl. God do I LOVE that girl".

Once in a while I will need to bring my work to her house "Mom...please. I have to get my work done...I cannot hang out with you unless you let me get some of my work done." "
OK Honey. I will leave you alone." (2 minutes go by) "Oh damn, Dina. I left my box of puffs upstairs and I REALLY need them right now..." "What about the puffs next to your chair?". "Well...those will be gone in 20 minutes." So I tell her that when the 'Puffs' are gone...I will run up the stairs and get her more. And I will only go up there ONCE. That's my way of saying "figure out whatever the hell else you need while I am up there."

She has a real bad habit of sending me up 4 consecutive times in a row.."uh-ohhhh. I forgot my potassium. I left my glasses on the end table. Where's my purse? Wanna watch an episode of MONK? it's up by the TV..." But, it is the PUFFS that she really wants. At all times.

You see, my mother is addicted to Puffs. Not the ordinary, dry, cheap, run-of-the-mill tissues, mind you. The 'Aloe-filled-with-extracts-of-herbs-and-infused-with-the-essence-of-
frankincense-and-myrrh kind of Puffs. As a matter of fact, she has a PUFFS collection. She gets very excited when they come out with new "Flavors". I guess "flavors" really is not the right word. What is the word for new "Smells"...lets just say new "Smellvers"...

She LOVES the PUFFS infused with "
Vapo-rub". And then there is the "Cucomber an Aloe". I actually think they have a line of "yummy" smelling tissues. Like coffee and coconut...some day we may actually find "roast mutton" as a choice. One never knows.

Anyway. She will use a spittle in, or wipe her nose. Wipe her fingertips while drinking tea. There could be a molecule of moisture on the corner of her mouth, and she grabs her box of PUFFS, which is always in arms reach and mops that molecule right up. It may take 4 or 5 sheets. Then she throws the puff on the floor. In an hour, there is a mountain of puffs. She goes through one or two boxes a day. She buys so many boxes of PUFFS she must be a shareholder by now. I wish they had a golden ticket in one. I just know she would win that special tour of the WONKA-PUFFS factory if they did.

Everytime we go to VON's she buys more PUFF's. "Mom. Lets find something like PUFFS that is cheaper. Looky here...KLEENEX is half the price. And they have smellvers too. This is a very expensive habit. It would cost you less if you were a smoker and a drinker..." She gets a look of horror on her face. "NO. I gotta have my PUFFS. I LOVE my Puffs.
Ohhhhh look. Essence of Avocado. I am so excited", and she grabs 2 of boxes off of the shelf at Von's. She loves Von's too. Sometimes we will go 3 times in a day.

So, there she sits in the very large, over-stuffed armchair as I sit on the leather couch while working on my laptop and at least 20 minutes goes by. I look up and see my mom peeking through a pile of PUFFS. I see her feet. I see her her hair. I see her right eye. I hear her muffled voice. PUFFS is very good insulation. "Beans...???" (
that's her nickname for me. I think it is because was really skinny when I was young. Now it should be 'potatoe').

"Beans...???". "Oh. Okay mom. Let me get the used PUFFS into a bag and donate it to a small third world country. Then I will go into 'the PUFFS vault' and get you another box. Or two. What '
Smellver' would you like?

"Oh...gee. I don't know
hun. Surprise me."


  1. Dina: I have been trying to send you an email, but it won't go through. I am so glad to hear from you, although I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I will keep trying to email, or I may just have to break out a stamp and communicate via snail mail. My love to you and Amy. Melodie

  2. hi melodie. My email is
    Dad spoke of you as I hung out with him and loved you very much! d