Thursday, September 28, 2006

Oireachtas Planning

The 2006 Southern Region Oireachtas

The big competition is coming up.  In yesterday's class, one girl practiced her solo dances.   Most of M's class is NOT in the Oireachtas.   M is for figures only, not solo.   She is supposed to get her cape altered some and I don't know who to ask about that; her sleeves on her school dress are too short, too, but no request to get that altered.  I'm glad the overall length still works:)   M grew 5 inches last year, or perhaps even more, so her dress must have been too long, technically speaking, previously.  It just has to fit until early December:)  Well, longer because of performances, so at least March, but still.   Fitting "perfectly" through thie Oireachtas.

They got a workout earlier this week, too.   They practice weekly, and it's getting more serious now.   M will be in a 4-hand, and an 8-hand ceili dance.   A few of these dancers are also performing solo.   A couple of M's friends from last year's performing group will be competing as solo dancers, including V!, plus at least one other dancer we know from other schools (whom M has danced with tho he's leagues above her level, qualifying for worlds a few times).   M's dance school will have a good representation there, solo dancers and a few figures teams, too.

All of the figures teams were to sign up for a local feis in November, for "practice"  and experience.   Heck, they're looking pretty good, so maybe it'll be fun for them there,  and maybe they'll do well there, too!   (If it stops being fun, it's not worth it, albeit M committed to this so she'd have to follow through, we just wouldn't do another after, but gosh, she's loving it.)  (Actually, M's half-sister, Si, might sign up for that local feis.)   I've also signed M up, per her interest and the timing of weekends, etc., in another not completely local feis that's not too far away -- not as big of one so M has a nicer chance of doing well, plus her interest in competing has risen a lot.

The "O" is local this year, i.e., northern Virginia.   A lot of talk of getting hotel rooms, and I'm going, huh?   Why, not for me, we're 40-45 minutes away, I have a dog to walk, it takes us longer to drive to class than to northern Virginia.   M wants to stay over, her friends are, she could feel better about having a place for her things, and etc.   This morning, walking Daisy for a nice long (for a morning) walk, I realized that it'd be best for my mother and stepfather if we had a room.   He especially will wish to see M, but just cannot stand (or sit) for those lengths of time required for a feis, never mind a full Oireachtas, I'm sure.   My mom seemed rather excited about it, didn't try to tell me it'd cost too much, offered to stay over night with M if that'd work best, with my stepfather and I both staying in our separate homes to care for the crits.   Ma has an extra room or two she's reserved, dancer's rate, at one of the hotels, so I think I'll tell her tonight that we will take it after all.

The excitement is building up:)

Part of me will be real glad to get that night of the week back -- it's a trek out there to the studio and back, and that's okay for 3 months to add this night to the week, being M's chosen sport and everything else, but it is a commitment.   Then again, as I told another dance parent with two talented daughters, "Hey, maybe they'll qualify for National's!"   "Oh, I hadn't thought of that!"   I guess we'll find out.  

If they feel good about how they did, and enjoyed the overall experience, they have beeing working hard for a goal, then I'll happy. 

Sudafed-ed Up

Actually, I'm not FED-up; I mean I got my Sudafed "fix" so to speak.   My head is much happier now, no longer trying to explode on me, got us to bed at a decently early hour, too.   It was much easier to purchase Sudafed at the better grocery store.  

I really preferred to MAKE cranberry sauce for M's wigwam party today, so enroute home from p/up M from her dance classmates home (really nice people), we stopped into a branch of my preferred grocery store chain.   No walls keeping people either trapped or separated from other areas.   I went readily from produce to, well, anywhere, while M searched through the Halloween area for props for her intended costume.   No fresh cranberries, but what the heck, I'll try this pharmacy.

As soon as I walked up to the pharmacy, a woman was there to help me.   She discussed with me the different brands and generic brands, quantity, and even offered that Sudafed has reconfigured one version with a new ingredient to replace the one used by meth makers, but that it's not as effective nor for as long......   I did have to purchase it THERE, but she said if I'd been at the register, or at customer service, someone would have brought the product to me, still with the controls.   She'd had "Sudafed-Training."  LOL, but, I can see why.  These are regulations that all need to be on board for.

I didn't have to show id.  I did have to sign my name and address, but it wasn't verified.   Only as I paid with my debit/credit card, did she have to check that the name on that card matched the name I'd written down.   She didn't need to check if I'd paid cash.   Heck, I bought the smallest quantity available for sale, anyway.  

The woman kept apologizing at the inconvenience this is causing customers, with real disappointment, and explained that, "Unfortunately, not all of our customers are, um, not all of them are trustworthy."   Such a different experience, and yet this grocery store is essentially in the same overall neighborhood as the one I visited earlier in the day.

Leaving the pharmacy to meet up with M and see what she discovered, I almost ran into a huge display of, yep, Q-tips.  LOL.   The same package I'd bought earlier was 20 cents more here, approximately a 10% markup.   Customer service comes with a price; this is a "high-low" store, and the other doesn't typically have sales but has "overall lower prices."   Time or money, shopping costs one way or the other.

Oh, and disposable cameras had a full, open end of the aisle display available, also.   I didn't check contraceptives, but IIRC, they typically have contraceptives and pregnancy tests, et al, out in an open along-an aisle display.   I didn't check baby formula, either.   I find it amazing that some states keep baby formula behind counters.   I wonder why that is!   Heck, I'm trying to remember 100% what "meth"'s long name is even.  


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

No Little Red Pill; Behind the Counter

Latest rules on OTC meds means that, starting Saturday, anything with a particular form of decongestant in it, is even more regulated, with a photo id required and I forget what else.   Already, these medicines are behind the counter, already there are limits to the quantity which can be sold per person per day.   Perhaps now they'll actually track it per person per day, via the id's, but I don't know that.   It hadn't really bothered me, because we hadn't run out yet.   Tis the season, still or again depending on how one looks at that, the time before the first frost which blessedly kills pollens, saving our heads from aching and noses from sneezing.  

I have a photo id, two, actually, but I am still not fond of this new regulation, even if I have zero intent (or knowledge) of turning Sudafed and Claritin-D into meth or having a meth lab.   My father doesn't even have a current photo id (I did find his expired passport, yeah).   What about those afraid of being tracked, not for illegal-drug purposes, but, oh I don't know, any other purpose?   I suppose the meth trade must be too strong, or maybe previous to an election, it looks better to impose stricter reguations.  Not clear.   I don't like that illegal drug dealers, or drug users, are affecting my life even in this manner.

Still, making the grocery list for a second time, as the first post-it must have stayed at home, I made the mental note to purchase more allergy / sinus meds today, before Saturday comes about.

Swung by M's school to drop off her dance shoes for tonight and a snack and "danceable" clothing, "Grandma's picking you up today."  "I KNOW," said with emphasis but with a big smile.   They'd just finished their community lunch of whatever they'd planned for today, cleaning up to start their afternoons lessons.   Grandma, my mother, knows to bring a water bottle because my remembering in the a.m. meant I ended up drinking what I'd brought for M and her dance class, lol, mistaking it for a drink for me.  Ah, well:)   Gorgeous day again, twas a quick stop on a beautiful day to see my beautiful girl, and head for the cheaper grocery store.

Hmmm, okay, what's out in the aisles, what is put away...... oh, Claritin Reditabs are NOT put away "behind the counter."   Nor is some of the newly reformated Sudafed, but from the Health Section in this week's The Washington Post, the new stuff is older stuff that's not as effective and doesn't last as long.  Or something like that.   If I'm going to do this, I want the good stuff; I've relied upon Sudafed and it's generic version, likely the meth-ingredient oy vey, since college when my diving instructor said it helps clear your head but won't have you fall asleep underwater.   Various forms of Claritin-D and a Miconex?? or Mucosnex?? and Sudafed, with the gasp, offending ingredient, have little signs hanging instead of the products themselves.   We're supposed to take the sign and then present it, to purchase the said item.  Okay, fine, a system is in place.   I grab the Claritin-reditabs (withOUT the decongestant / offending ingredient) M so prefers, and they work better for her than Zyrtec, too, and the tag/sign for the Sudafed, the "real" Sudafed, that I figure I should go ahead and get.

Still couldn't find Q-tips, or, as I blanked and described them some month ago, "ear sticks."   Up and down the aisles in the "pharmacy" sections.   Then got some pet food and people food and cranberry sauce as I nixed the walled-off produce area for searching for actual cranberries, and relooked for Q-tips.   I did find a little mini-weekend sampler packet that I figured would have to do, there with the travel portions of mouthwash and other toiletries.

I put the little Sudafed tag sign thingy in front of my order as I place the other items on the belt, thinking it'd hold everyong up less if she could see it and call someone to bring it early in ringing me up.   The cashier overlooked it for a bit.   I ask someone else I see if she could tell me where I'd find Q-tips.   Baby aisle?   I had to laugh, baby aisle??? doesn't everyone use them and not just for cleaning babies?, okay, quick run to and from 3 aisles away, I have some for M.    I'm near the cashier now, "You have to get this (the Sudafed) from the pharmacy..... (did she also say customer service?)."   Oh, I hadn't actually read the thing.   Typically one brings a tag of that sort to the cashier when being rung up, and the cashier calls the person from that department to bring the item over.   Okay, to the pharmacy or to customer service it says.   I asked her if she could just call for them to bring it over.  She was being nice the entire time, and yet had to tell me that, no, she couldn't do that.   I was shocked.   Obviously I'm not at (insert other store name here).   Sigh.   So I go and stand at the pharmacy for a bit, but the sole pharmacist I see is on the telephone (business purposes).   Someone else gets in line behind my main grocery line, so I go back there.  

After being run up, I park my cart and head to customer service for another small line.   When it's my turn, even though the Sudafed tag SAYS to customer service or to the pharmacy, the woman there says, no, she cannot help me, and she basically refused to.  I HAVE to go to the pharmacy, that the items are there, and that the pharmacist is there now.   No, she has rows of cancer sticks there, and disposable cameras which somehow have too high a theft rate, but no medicines.  I can understand that product placement, but then don't have the tags say to see customer service desk, or have the customer service desk employee call for them or retrieve them from the pharmacy.

I go back to the pharmacy, hopeful that the pharmacist IS available again, not helping wipe out deadly infections or other higher-level medical work.   There are two women there now, but in back, working.   They don't see me.   I check my watch, wait.   I recheck my watch -- I wish to get back to work on time.   I see all the Trojans and other contraceptives behind the counter there, and I remember an article I read once, that some people find it too embarrassing to wait in line to obtain them (albeit, I would if I had to, sure beats getting an STD or unwanted pregnancy, tho I might not have waited today at that store.)   I sigh, place the Sudafed tag on the pharmacy counter, and walk away, to my cart.   I just do not have that kind of time today.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Gorgeous Day:)

It's just beautiful outside.   Even the townhome that used to say "Gorgeous Inside" sports a new sign, "Rent Me," as if recognizing that it's georgeous OUTSIDE on a day like today.   In the 70's? (Fahrenheit), blue skies with some white puffy clouds, all that jazz, some autumnal leaves.   Chilly enough for a sweater in the a.m. and nights, and for putting on enclosed heels for work today.  

I swing by my mailbox after dropping things off at M's school (fundraiser was due, and the socks from her dad's weren't fully dry this a.m., so she asked me to bring them by, dry, instead).   I smile -- a white cat is partially sprawled out on my windowsill in the afternoon sun, and I feel warm and cozy just to see her.   I don't interrupt them, will see Daisy soon enough.   We were coordinated this morning, Daisy even got a second walk in which she so likes to have, and M out of her shower 1/2 hour before we had to leave.   Other than all the laundry not being fully dry and wanting to get a copy of the fundraising order list, hey, we've gotten used to this schedule stuff now:)   It was a good start to the day, allergy pills and all, we're feeling good.   M invited me in to the classroom where she was trying to get a laptop to load a slave trade site for research.   "My shirt's torn."   Hmmmm.   The torn strip is in her hair like a ribbon, and it actually still looks fine just as if trimmed in back now.   I'm still not happy about it, but, I'll wait to hear the story:)   M gives me a hug after a friend types in the forgotten password to the site.   I drive away smiling that she's in this class now, looking so grown up as are her friends, i.e., her classmates.    She told me yesterday she'll need cranberry sauce for Thursday -- lunch in the wigwam!   I thanked her for the advance notice, but didn't find any cranberries in the store last night.   I'll check more.  I wish to make the sauce myself instead of having it canned.   It sounds rather fun.

No child support from C yet.   Ads and catalogues in the mailbox which I scan for pumpkin costume ideas, but no child support this entire month.   I find it all a bit amazing, really, even when he's been upset and sent it late on purpose, to risk it coming THIS late isn't like him -- due the 1st but not counted as late until 30 days past due.   Then again, it's hurt my finances already, and I'm okay for the time being with a payday in there, etc., so it almost may as well be another 5+ days late, if it's going to screw me up anyway, then be late enough I can count it as late.   But, I don't get it.   It hurts the kids -- it's for THEIR support.  

But, today?  I won't let it bother me, nope:)   Too pretty outside.

Dido comes on with that heartaching song, Nothing Compares 2 U.   I think of, no, I won't think of him, either (of the ) him(s).   Ha, sometimes I swear I feel as if I'm Meredith (Grey's Anatomy).   Sunday, M had her old book of Wizard of Oz in the truck with us enroute to and from my mother's, singing "If I Only Had a Brain."  That's more light-hearted.   (Last night, we sang Natasha over and over again.......)

I'd love a nap, but, I also love fall:)

Monday, September 25, 2006

and the 2006 winners are.............

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that M's poetry submission last school year was selected from a nationwide children's poetry search to be published in a 2006 edition:)   (They only chose the ones they wish to publish, not all get published.)   

When I was in 6th grade, I had to make my own book, cover, binding, AND write the story.   I wonder where that is........   I'd been inspired by the Misty of Chincoteague story, knowing nothing about Chincoteague or horses at the time, lol.

But, my child is going to be published now:)   I'm happy for her!

(Okay, I have to mail in a permission slip for this, and YES, right where I put it, safely:)   M wanted to show it off to my mother/stepfather when we spent the day there yesterday, which, btw, was fine.)

Pine Tree Poetry

BTW, M submitted this herself.   What I found interesting is that she chose how her last name would be.  M has a double last name.   By common practice, and later even used in court documents, it's been hyphenated.   I always sign her up for things with the last name as the double-hyphenated last name.  Heck, I was even thanked publically for assisting with an event as Ms. (C's last name), rofl, and I've never taken his last name.   But, M submitted this, by her own choosing, with just my last name as her complete last name.   On the congratulations notice and permission slip, there is an area to correct anything they have incorrect.   She asked me if she wanted me to have her just fill out everything on it, make any corrections, everything except for my signature.  She was very excited she'd "won" this:)   I told her, sure.   I noticed later, she didn't change her last name to include his along with mine, her full actual last name.   She chose, and continues to chose, that her published last name be just the portion of her last name she shares with me.   Her choice!    Heck, she is eager for me to mail it in TODAY, too, not even wanting to take it to show her dad whom she sees this week.

I'm just pleased that someone else noticed the cleverness in M's writing.   She started four short stories this summer, three which I know about, and likely none will she finish.   But, she did complete this poem, insightfully noticing some of the ironies of life.   M has always had a gift for language(s).  

Last night, she was tired and fussed that she only got the math answers correct because I showed her how to do them.   But, does she understand what I showed her?   I try not to get frustrated, because I know she can do this, how is she not seeing this sometimes when I know she knows something, she gets this mental block and we both agree that she gets a mental block.   And sometimes I have to pause and remember that she is still new to some of these concepts, even if they come readily to me.   I KNOW she has a good mind for math, it's been proven, also, I KNOW that, even if I also know her well enough to believe she'll grasp more in-depth geometry the easiest, and not so much this algebra.   I sure hope she gets over this belief that she's not good at math, however, because she actually is, and I do not wish this to hold her back anywhere she wishes to go.

M just happens to excel more with her writing and language abilities:)   Maybe, maybe somewhere within that world, or as an enhancement to it, will be where she soars and makes her path.   Time will tell.

Pets of the Month!

Alright -- got a call on Friday, yikes, caller id had it look as if the local police had called me.  That's never been good -- means my father wandered about albeit he hasn't moved out of the house solo in a long time, and I even spent my lunchtime with him on Friday, mere hours before this call.

Nah, photos we had done late summer were winners -- we won pets of the month for a 2007 calendar!   :)   I'm so proud:)  I don't even think it's thee best of shots.   (And they were never even mailed to us, ugh, I need to find time to get to that studio again and pick them up, during the week, as if I don't have enough to do at lunchtimes as it is, and it'd likely take most of the hour.) 

Hey, you perverts -- I mean two of our 4-legged pets, sheesz.   Even if we thought Daisy was a shoe-in, having been adopted from that particular Humane Society.

I looked at Billy this a.m. as he came to cuddle in the morning -- hey, pet of the month:)   He and our very own Tink are the winners.

As this link may not continue to show the 12 winning photos for the months in 2006, I include a photo fo Daisy (beagle) and Tinkerbell (white cat) above.   I don't have one of Billy handy. 

Montgomery County Humane Society - Calendar of Events


Saturday, September 23, 2006

Letting it go?

If I write it down, if I take a hold of my thoughts, move them through and out my fingers, type on the keyboard, send them off into virtual cyberspace, do they leave me?
Do they stop?
Do I stop feeling?
Sometimes, I hope so.
"Some dance to remember; some dance to forget." I think I do a bit of both.

and that is all for now, believe it or not:)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Meds and such

Just a quick note -- someone reminded me, that with medicine, I may be more effective in taking care of myself. Quite true, really.

Ah, yes, quite true indeed. That's really the only reason I'd do it. Otherwise, I'm okay with myself:) Dealing with the rest of the world is the issue, lol.

Well, actually, sometimes this all gets frustrating, and it takes up more of my time, but those are only issues in relation to dealing with "the world," and the side effects are bad enough from all I've read and heard, and self-medicated with caffeine and benadryl, etc., so yeah. I like some interaction with "the world," but if I HAVE to in other ways, and, um, yeah I suppose I do, gosh, to fit in. I don't like that, but yeah, those are the only real reasons why. I'm okay with myself, otherwise, it's fitting into social and cultural expectations, which become self-expectations sometimes.  I sometimes prefer coping mechanisms (over medicines). :)
Ah, heck, there could be a drug out there that helps w/out the harms. There could be. I still need to re-schedule M's orthodontist appointment, though, never mind finding time for an appointment for ME.  I'm great at calendar stuff, believe it or not, for work.

I have pondered just what perception people get of me from this journal, where I vent out, don't edit, and highlight my frustrations and negative things, lol. I'm really not an utter basketcase:)

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A Rose by Any Other Name (The Bird Left Behind)

Brian calls me by my middle name. He almost always has, and I love that he still did. It's always been my favorite name, and he knows that.

BJ sometimes calls me by my first name and middle name, or more so, my "pen" name, the first name I gave myself / would have given myself. Or, I'll sign things to him with that name.

I have accepted the name Robin, but I've never really liked it. Oh, I've heard all the jokes. I like saying happy spring. But. I've heard all the come-on lines, and they aren't so original or great, guys, really. There were five girls named Robin in my PE class once. Rockin Robin is at least a fun song at times, but, it never felt like me. I wanted more, different.
Even on gift shop items with photos or images of birds, they're cardinals, or chickadees, both of which I love, admittedly, or hummingbirds. If they're songbirds, they often don't include robins. M has a book of 20 birds in her room -- it doesn't even include a robin.   It's almost as if Robins are too common. I like the herons, the Great Blue Herons.
If M had been a boy, her (his) middle name would have been Heron, well, probably, if not, C after her (his) father. So impressive standing in the blackwaters of Maryland, regal. Regal and elegant.
I chose to keep and raise my child -- my greatest joy and privilege. I am content with most of my lifes choices. And, yet. I do have dreams, thoughts. Who can ever be as fast as the peregrine, few if any. Or soar as high as the eagles that eat the foxes the Chumash once knew.
Brian's voice has mellowed, like a California wine. I know that's his home now, so why was he here, with the bird left behind?
Let's play Picasso, and paint the sky purple, with seagulls and pelicans, a January moon. The sandpipers will chase the waves at our feet, and there will be no floods, no riptides to swallow our children.
Which really needs a lot of work, but these thoughts keep swirling around in my head. orange socks and red ribbons.
I am happy, raising my fledgling, helping her learn what path she shall soar, finding her own Picasso. Like Johnathan Livingston Seagull. The book that Aunt Beth and her husband gave my father decades ago, that I chose from his walls of books, when he and my mother divorced. Not as if I couldn't chose any book now, also, but right then, it seemed more final, more significant. The book I chose for SO one year when he'd lost his job, and was joining us in Chincoteague for a weekend where we were spending a week with friends. He and I are fine, we're friends. But I think of the analogy, a bird wishing to find his self actualization, his ultimate purpose, even as a seagull.
I suppose it's really two main thoughts here I need to separate, the "greater" bird than a robin bird bit, and the whole Brian bit. But, hey, it's my entry, my mixed thoughts:)

We'll play like Picasso and paint the sky purple, with seagulls and pelicans, a January moon. The sandpipers will chase the waves at our feet, no riptides to steal them away. Your voice has mellowed like a California wine. I know that's your home now, I know it, I know it, so why are you here with the bird left behind?

Sweet bits of Life

sweet bits of life
M lingers, but ends up getting to bed, and falls to sleep before I can come tuck her in. Daisy is next to her. I give M a big kiss on her forehead, brushing her hair with my hand.
There really is no place I'd rather be than with her, guiding her, laughing with her, or stressing over homework even.  Well, less so that part, but it is still a part of her growing up.  Laughing with her, she is wearing her Elmo socks, "Are these Tickle Me's?" and I tickle her feet, which she pretends are talking. She was excited I'd bought the game of Clue, which we'll play tomorrow, whatever else tomorrow brings.

Some Relief

Yesterday, an officemate asked me if I was still caring for my father, and some details about it.   She's finally been able to get her mother moved into an assisted-living home, and has a general Power of Attorney but dealing with headaches of real estate people and attorneys not wanting THAT one, they want a specific one and the mom in person and yadda yadda, five doctors and my coworkers sister has not been helping.   Etc.   It's good to reads others journals, but to share IRL is good, too.   She sometimes has to pretend she's her mother when talking with people and companies, but I can't impersonate my father as readily as I'm a woman, not a man.   And then she remembered I was also caring, as a single parent, for my daughter, too.  "How do you do it?"   "I don't."  Which surprised her, so I tried to clarify, because I have finally admitted that I am not doing a great job at all of this.  "Not like I should be, but I try, and I'm doing what I can."   Relief would be good.   All these details that are not easy to finagle.  But, I'm working on it:)  I've got more contacts to try.  

A friend asks me if I'm going to get meds for me.   Well, yes, I do intend to, have a name of someone, but fitting ME in when I have M and my father, and not much spare money, I mean to but it hasn't happened yet.   Relief in time.

I was a bit surprised Dad didn't call me a few times this morning to see just what time I was coming by.   Ends up, he'd thrown his cell phone into his bedroom, and the way it bounced, he thought it went under the bed.   For some reason which I did NOT ask for clarification on, he'd had his cell phone in with him in the shower.   I did go by, turned off the shower ALL the way, replaced linens and towels with clean ones, and finally found his phone, near the bedroom door.   It still works; he called me later.

And other things, going over bills, and a short fuss as he'd left spoiling strawberries on his wooden table I'd spent a long time cleaning and getting back to decent condition.   A touch base during the week visit, which I think I have to stay doing routinely.   Less to do this weekend.

But, thee best news, he doesn't owe any property taxes.   Last years, and this years which isn't even due until next Friday and then next installment in December, are PAID!   I was worried as the last notice I'd seen, from April, said 2005's taxes hadn't been paid, and they could put a tax lien on the house and even sell the home.   I didn't really want to take Dad to the bank today for a certified check for his property taxes; it's a hassle on him and extra time from work for me.  I'd seen a notice on the latest bill for this years taxes about paying online.  Heck, that'd work well.   He has a credit of $16.58.   I read it a couple times.   I called to verify, as the "due 9/30" amount was still listed along with the credit.   Nope, he has that credit for 2006.   She then was patient and checked on 2005 for me, somehow not caring that I was not my father -- told me the date those had been paid, also.   We're talking a large hunk of money, he does NOT owe, it's not an issue, and we'd almost just gone and re-paid (at least this years first installment), also leaving him with some squeeze room for this coming month.

So, this is our bit of relief for the week:)   Oh, and that bill I didn't think he had money for, ha, it wasn't a bill or payment, just regular mail.

It's in the 70's, M was to go to a farm this afternoon with her class, for community service (Flat Stanley in her backpack).   I picked up the board game of Clue, being M's not as interested in the local high school football games anymore, unless they are specific ones.  Hmmm, wonder if the one near us has a home game tonight?  I think they do not, however.   Maybe hang new blinds this weekend, maybe take Flat Stanley on a walk in the park, and show him the wigwam M's class is making.   I look forward to spending time with her:)   I imagine it's a good barn afternoon today, too, allergies but, otherwise, good.

Last night was grief counseling time for M's dance troupe and other dance students who wished to join, and I'm SO glad I took her.   She obviously needed it, found a way to get it out some.   V was there, too:)   Real excited to see V stuck with this dance school, and we'll still see her regularly -- M just hugged and hugged V, crying about all of her grief about Amy, I suppose, and thankful to see her friend again as well.   I have found community within this dance school -- not just at this new to us studio, but overall, the other studio, and this one.   I just prefer the weddings (M has performed at), over the funerals, of course.    I do prefer the focus on enjoying dance, and caring about each other, over a strong emphasis on competing and who is dancing at what level that some schools have.

(Next week -- call Dad's mortgage company.   His payments are at an astronomical rate right now, up another $200. or so from previous to the foreclosure problems, and even the rate before that was quite high IMHO.  But, that'll be next week's "dad" problem, and that leak.)

One day, one week at a time.   Life is precious.

LOL, so is having my cell phone -- the cleaning woman at my office turned in my cell phone I'd left in the bathroom, not that I knew it was missing.   I am thankful:)  These things need cords or something ! ;)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Happy Autumn:)

I love fall, I love autumn, the smells, the crisp air, the colors, the "new" clothes for change of season, the harvested foods............

The day WAS going well.   Indie gave a good try this a.m., longer than he's gone in a while before heading in.   Chilly day, but that's okay, it's fall now:)   M looks at me, "You're wearing that?"  "Um, yeah, it's also a skirt."  She's used to seeing me wear my kilt only if it's a Celtic or Scottish festival, lol.   I did wear it to my goddaughters baptism, also, but M wasn't even around then.   Hey, it was there in the clean clothing, with a matching shirt and sweater nearby, and of course I knew where my navy hose was now, so what the heck.   Besides, it's warmer and will pass as respectable office attire, and I like it.   (Gosh, do I look like a frump today?  I hope not, sort of.  lol)
I found the check from Beth:)  YEAH!  I'm REALLY really happy.   It was still in the envelope, and with other mail I had at home, the "current" stack.   What a relief -- and here I am wanting to buy, well, some groceries and other things, without putting it on a credit card, and my paycheck doesn't come until Monday-ish.  I've spent a good 2 weeks looking for this, afraid I'd have to tell her it really is lost.
We got out the door okay, even if not all of M's homework was done.   Hate having her use an excuse, but it IS legitimate that the entire viewing, long mass, and reception took several hours longer than anticipated, all an hour away.   (Admittedly, we also stopped enroute home.)   M tried real hard, and we worked on it together.   Tuesday evenings homework time for Wednesday was partially not needed -- 4 hours that night and yet a large chunk she found out Wednesday isn't due now until Monday.  Ugh.   But, she arrived when her best friend did this a.m., the teachers know she had this funeral, it's her first time not having 100% complete.   She wants to do this work, she did work on it last night, too, but just didn't have time.   Which is something neither of us are happy about; we both prefer she just have it done, she even likes the topics I think, Jamestown has been easy and interesting for her, and she did do more this a.m., too.  Sigh!
Found out that something bounced yesterday.  I'm ticked now.   I'm still waiting on the child support check, due the 1st but not counted as late until 30 days and he apparently has some grudge he's holding or something cuz he has the money, and I didn't have enough of my own to cover her tuition fee, which was paid (automatically yesterday), but that bounced something else I'll have to track down now.   I hadn't had the bank mail out checks since I think previous to last week, so I think it's her dance tuition, that I sure wish had been cashed previously.   UGH.   Two charges now, too, one for paying an overdraft (the tuition), and another for returning something unidentified.  I worried briefly again while walking Daisy this morning about C ending up having a heart attack sometime, is he really that full of negative thoughts about me?  Maybe not, but it does seem often enough, and for small or non-existent reasons, that it'd be healthier to just let it go already.  
And, someone at work was seemingly upset with me because I hadn't tracked her down for a meeting she had with my boss -- but -- we worked it out:)  
We're waiting for Flat Stanley to arrive!   Real excited -- I've heard he's traveling this week to see M and I!   We talked about it last night -- okay, so we stopped enroute home after getting a bit turned around on very windy small "mountain" roads trying to find the cemetery -- looked at some costumes and ornaments and jewelry, and got pumpkin chai tea and an italian soda at a great "coffee" shop in historic Ellicott City.   (I did remind M later that we wouldn't have spent time if I'd realized the amount of homework she had, so this is a work in progress for both of us -- we are NOT used to her having any homework except an occasional project!)   But, we did have fun:)   Would Flat Stanley have liked one of the pirate costumes?   M thinks she wants herself to be a pumpkin, trying on an acorn-looking hat and an orange skirt ($42!! so nope even if I had money), and I put a quarter into the player piano which played us a ragtime tune, M dancing a bit.  My father's piano, to be mine some year, is a converted player piano.  He used to play Scott Joplin on it occasionally.  
We think Flat Stanley would like to sit on one of the horses that M works with.  If he'd arrived last night, he could go with the kiddie pony rides this afternoon, I think they're today.   Maybe we'll have to host him for a full week, so he can go next Thursday, or maybe he'll feel more comfortable and ride an actual horse.   M thinks that Flat Stanley can help feed an apple or treat to a horse, too.   He probably wouldn't be as happy mucking out the stalls, and being our guest, we won't make him.   I'm thinking he'll need a place to sleep.   He's likely comfortable in his envelope, which will make him easy for traveling around with M.   I still think maybe the American Girl Bitty Baby basket would make for a cozy bed, along with one of the cats to keep him warm.  
Bright, sunny, beautiful day.   Enjoy, all!   Grabbing a bit to eat in the remainder of my lunchtime!

Questioning God, part 2

I've been thinking more about this questioning God bit.   I do think it's okay, and healthy, to question God's intent and purpose and for clarification, maybe even on other things, isn't that part of a good relationship?   I do think that it's NOT really okay to question His ultimate authority.   I also know that God knows best, and that He won't always answer us when we want it, and ha, He may have a sense of humour and great love for us, but that doesn't mean He has to go allowing us the answers we want, or the loopholes that we desire.   No, like children, sometimes, we do NOT know everything, and we do NOT know best, even about and for ourselves.   Hard lesson to learn sometimes.
Amy, the dancer who was buried along with her father yesterday, was the second oldest of six girls.  Her older sister, Emily, had gone for about 3 1/2 weeks to a boarding school to learn about joining the convent / if she was called for that.   Apparently, she kept getting told to go home -- not to not join the convent, but right now in her life, she is to go home.  I think this was about a week before she and Amy and their other sister, Mary, were playing in the ocean with their father last Thursday.   Emily was hearing from God.  God knew.   And, Emily and the family all feel better that Emily is there, helping her mother, etc.   She didn't know why God was calling for her to go home, just that He was.  
A few years back, SO and I broke up.   I was truly at a loss as to WHY.   I finally just had to accept that it was.  I always like to know why, for a breakup, for an illness, for anything -- I want the reasons, the purpose, the inner workings.   I like to know and to understand.   I wasn't getting an answer (and even he couldn't quite define to me the why).   I now know why, and it really does not have to do with me, and not fully about "us" even, but then, unless SO was capable of acknowledging the why to himself AND telling me, I wasn't going to know. 
Heck, even the concept that there had to be a child's funeral yesterday, how horrible.  One girl two pews ahead of me just cried and cried.   And, why?   Amy's mother has great faith, but even a person withgreat faith must at least wonder somewhat why her child, and her husband (albeit he died trying to save their child), had perished, gone on to Heaven, why did God take them now?
Sometimes, we just have to trust God, that He (or She) does know best, loves us, cares about us, and we sometimes just have to accept.   Even if we don't like it.  

This isn't funny anymore.

Thoughts from yesterday.  
I'd left work early, heading to the bank to deposit what I could, hopeful child support would be waiting in the mail at home IT WAS NOT!!!! ugh, my father calling to confirm me taking him to the bank on Friday, and what he owes for property taxes, etc.   I told him I'd be turning the phone off, that M and I were attending a funeral and I was on my way there.
I had saved Aunt Beth's $100. check for when I picked up M's eyeglasses.   I had paid all but $100. for them, but couldn't locate Beth's check then so paid it with other funds.   But, by now, I really need that money, and I've spent almost 2 weeks searching for it.   I try one last time, going through my current bag, Dad's folder of things, my paperwork things, it's NOT there.  But, guess what is -- two stamped envelopes from my father paying two of his bills.   Oy.   Now I remember more clearly -- the electric bill had one of those pre-addressed envelopes, so that was mailed, but these two were somewhat illegible.   I mailed the one, concerned there was enough money in there for the other along w/ his property taxes.
I had my black snood (snode?) (hairpiece) just that morning, dropping it twice while getting into the truck, having kept it carefully since my performance on Sunday.   Naturally, going back home to no child support but an eager dog and happy cats, I couldn't find the snood.   I couldn't find the black sweater top that goes with the black skirt that fits I bought this Spring for performances as my others don't fit any more.   I had that sweater top last weekend, and saw it Sunday.  I found both black sweater-sweaters I wanted, one for M, black hose for M (that ended up being navy, so glad I chose natural hose and not the navy to wear!).   I couldn't find Megan's black dress from her performance dance group, that she wore to the other funeral service recently.   (Hmmm, two funerals this fall -- this isn't funny ever.)   I checked her dance bags to no avail.  
She told me later that it was in her closet.   Duh.  I'd gotten a dress bag for her costumes last Spring, so it's hanging in her closet now, not in her dance bags where we'd kept them for years, which I'd have known/ remembered if we'd have put back her school dress into her closet, but I knew she'd need that school dress for the viewing as all the girls were to wear theirs, so not to forget M's, which I almost did even with a reminder note, I kept that dress out near the front door.
The cats had knocked/pulled down three curtains, when the condo people are looking at those sorts of things for everyone right now, so I rehung two of them, and then actually nailed two (including one that hadn't fallen but is the one that usually will).    The blow dryer decides to not work, after wetting and gelling my bangs, so I do these other things will walking around with a brush stuck in my bangs,
Okay, that is a bit funny.  But the rest isn't.  I want my mind to work well at least some of the time!
My dad calls me 3 more times yesterday, not understanding why he can't get through, thinking it's his phone.   I tried him today, but no answer.   I know he just didn't remember, and he'd left himself a note to call me, so he did, but still had that note to call me so he will again and again until he marks it off his list and remembers that he called me, not remembering I'd told him I wouldn't not be reachable the rest of the day.
I need help.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

ADHD Awareness Day!

Didn't really anticipate becoming a conduit for PSA's, but hey -- how can I overlook this one!  Maybe jump around back and forth, but hey.

I did try the chat line -- first time, 8 minutes before I'd be connected.   Um, let me switch SN's.   This time, 6 minutes.  I could wait, keep it on in the background, but, me, have that patience?   I have other things I"m finishing up. :)   Besides, I'd rather hoped for the option of just chatting with others who have this, not nesc. that I have questions. 

I DID recall last night that I was waiting for school schedules to start up, and then get M evaluated for ADHD.   Oops.   (I do have the papers from her pediatrician still, yes!)  Oy vey the homework.......   we're trying out different methods with M, and the one did not work (she says that having the television on helps her, if in the background, but that particular show did NOT -- later she had on Dancing with the Stars, really focusing on her work, then, also a different subject (Spanish), but I still had her turn it off).   I am thinking that different types of shows make the difference, that dancing and music isn't nearly the same as a sitcom for attention grabbing / background.   It's not that this work is too hard for her, she just had a horrible time focusing on it -- even me with patience and understanding about that, I'd keep reminding her, keep asking her, okay, so the 9 becomes what?, this next problem, how do you think you would solve that one?   I gave her a break, too, I know those are needed.   She even started the work Monday night, and wants to do it, worked on it in the car again Tuesday even if it was just a short trip.   The struggle......... just to get through.  Yet, the ideas and concepts, not so stuck with just one or two ways to view things, but can flip around to other ones more readily, at least, it seems.

Notable celebrities with ADHD -- No surprise that Ty Pennington, from Extreme Home Makeovers, who is sponsoring this group and is holding a noon-1pm (Eastern???) live webcast thing today (see the link), has ADHD.   Robin Williams is another famous person with ADHD, whom I find to be a comic genius, and yes, high energy flipping all about.  The founder of Kinko's has this, too, and IIRC, dyslexia.

Seems the key for some successful people with ADD / ADHD is to find a way to put their great, "out of the box" ideas, into something that works, sell them to others, and, ideally, have someone else there to assist with the grunt work / paperwork / boring detail crap, and they come up with the great idea detail stuff:)  Or, at least, I'd like someone to help me and let me simply create and do.

So, for today, enjoy the beauty in the chaos of a mind all over the place, and for some, a body that wishes to stay in movement, too.   It's a struggle, but, there is beauty in it, too.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Drinking Juice and Alzheimer's


Well, pretty cool information -- those who drink fruit and vegetable juices regularly (over a 10-year period of study) had a 76% reduction in incidences of Alzheimer's!   I am fairly positive that my father's dementia is "vascular dementia" or the other term referring to dementia attributed to having had several mini-strokes (not that his heavy drinking hasn't also contributed to killing off of brain cells).  

Still, I do not wish to have Alzheimer's myself:)   I like drinking juices.   Besides, had an article recently about how citrus fruits and juices actually aid in breathing, not just the vitamin C, either, but something specific to citrus fruits.  Has to help asthmatics, then, right?! :)

In terms of fruit and vegetable juices aiding against incidences of Alzheimer's:   "It's not the general kind of antioxidants in fruit juices that produce the benefit, said Dr. Qi Dai, assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and lead author of the report. Rather, he attributed the effect to polyphenols, a particularly strong antioxidant.

"That is why we chose to look at fruit and vegetable juice," Dai said. "They [polyphenols] are found in the outer sections of fruits and vegetables, only in the peel or skin. When you process the whole fruit, they go into the juice."

But the article didn't otherwise indicate that the juices had to be whole-fruit juices.   It also didn't say whether or not consuming these fruits in non-juiced form (such as simply peeling an orange and eating it), would have the same benefit, or more or less.  

I'll still let my aunt know, though.   My uncle (by marriage) was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  He seemed fine enough to me this summer, forgot a couple things that actually are worrisome, but basically very healthy.  

ah, never mind........

Laughing at myself -- I checked my accounts online, and then my father's account.   Wait, what check is that which cleared, for $411.?   Viewed it, yep, his electric payment.   Not super legible, but that is it, cleared, paid.   Oh, wait, double-checked the folder I have for his stuff.   I DID mail it, didn't I.  

Still not caught up on my sleep, but I'm okay.   Living on sweet tea and iced green tea which I've discovered is GOOD.   I'm happy M is "home." :)   Dropped off the polos yesterday, timing it for around when she'd be getting to the barn.   We were both real happy that her main teacher is back! from having had a baby, looked at the photos, M especially!  

Rather peaceful driving her home from dance class, the 2-lane roads, listening to Howie Day while she decided to rest.   I think of BJ, and Brian, and BJ not really mixing them up in my mind, just, well.  M and I had talked a lot, well, I mostly listened, to Jamestown and her making me guess which horse she rode, and her reading her homework.

Sure hope that child support check is there when I get home tonight.......

My boss just got a call that I'm not sure is a good thing.

But at least I HAD mailed my dad's bills after all! and didn't go mailing it twice.   I imagine it's hard to determine in some cases when it's dementia and when it's ADHD.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Office Fish

I have to admit that I'm a bit surprised, but happily surprised.   Yet again, someone who works on the second floor of our building, came out of the conference room this morning, and asked me what happened to the fish.   (Carree 2 had died within a few days of Bucky 2, both buried under the hedge at home, along with Carree 1 and Bucky 1.)   That having the fish is peaceful.   That she'd pitch in for a new aquarium, and to let her know what type of fish and she'd help with purchasing them.

Last week, employees from the third floor had come out of the conference room, asking for the return of live fish, offering help with setting up the new aquarium that the manager on my floor offered to donate.

My boss okayed and liked the idea from the getgo, and is happy to have it happen.   The other managers seem to either like it, or, one seems neutral but I think would prefer it if it's kept up decently.   It is technically my bosses personal conference room, right across from my desk, with a window to the outside world.

M always thought I should have an aquarium set up here:)   I guess she was right......   I will maintain her right to chose some of the fish, however.   And, yes, I volunteered to clean / maintain the tank.   I have moments of downtime here that I don't find at home, for a tank there, nor the fisherkitties.   It won't be a tropical tank, however.   Those are trickier and it's been a few years for me with a "real" tank.   And, um, I think I'll enjoy it, too:)   Hmmm, maybe I/we can have actual neons, too, and not just as catfood. 

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Questioning God

Saturday morning quiet time reflections, my mind wandered from the printed questions. This made sense. We had an hour. I had other things to talk with God about. I'd had time to think, driving to the retreat and other downtime. Now, it was to be prayer time, not talking w/ myself now, but in theory, with God.
Lord, is this why you say not to do this, because of the pain? Or, is it because of the economies in place at the time the Bible was being written?
I dismantle it, examining each component. Which specific piece is thee piece that matters? Which ones are the loopholes, the "rationalizations?"

I could see the stars pretty clearly last night, through the clearing in the trees, us down below around the campfire.   "Just keep my feet warm and I'll be happy."  LOL
This morning at quiet time, I didn't wish to re-look at the questions handed out last night during "topic" time. I was past them now. I had "happy happy fun bag" notes to write, affirmations to the others there (primarily, the youth). I was feeling inspired for them, this morning:) I'm glad. I was up until 5 a.m. with the graduating seniors yawn, napping yesterday afternoon. It was good, very good. They're all really cool and good kids, too, and I don't even limit that comment to the seniors.  (They're SUCH good kids -- this was their "big bad night" out by hanging at the campfire until then, thinking they were being derelicts by putting microwave popcorn on the campfire, and passing around a bottle of rootbeer.  LOL, albeit, after discussing many things, including high school senior pranks, they end up taking the left shoes from most of the boys and hanging them in a close-by pit.   I'd have nixed anything harmful or out of line, but, hey, let them have their moments.)
But, we did question our speakers quite a bit last night, too, lol.  They are also trying to reach out for their dreams and futures, while still aiming to please their parents, mostly their moms.  They all plan to go to college, different paths.   I ask, "Do any of you pray about these choices, your questions, your path?"   The one intending to be a military officer, freaking out his mother whom I grew up with, tells me that he has felt his path very clearly, God's will for him, and explains why.

Different from my questioning God about my sin, however. I do know that.

one two three four Abbey road sgt. pepper longely hearts club band....
penny lane...... we're all living in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, come together right now, over me. Imagine all the people living life in peace, you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. Someday you may join us, and the world will live as one.....

Peace, all. Question, sure, heck, in some of those notes I wrote to some of the youth TO question (respectfully), that it is how we all grow. I meant it, too:) It helps their faith become their own as well. At least two were appreciative that I'd been patient and just listened to them vent. I don't even know if they knew I agreed with them, at least not at the time. I'd have listened, respectfully, anyway.

zzzzzzzzz bedtime now, oh, softener first. I am out of it.

In My Life

In my life..... (title to use)
Listening to: Beatles A to Z; mood reflective albeit that's not a blasted OPTION
I was happy to discover the oldies station playing a weekends worth of Beatles. I enjoy them, think if days and nights with my late cousin, Dougie, every beat and nuance of some of those songs. I try to guess the next one to come up in their alphabetized songlist, hopeful to hear "my" Beatles song, "In my life, I'll love you more."
Great retreat, xyz. Fast forward from Friday night, to Sunday, midday driving home. More Beatles A to Z making me smile, this time I start hearing them in the A's and eventually into the C's. I wished to stop by the church, see the youth off the bus, say goodbyes, and gush to their parents just what wonderfully fine young men and women they have:)
We left later than planned, fine because the worship and morning needed to be what it was, but, later. I play options in my mind, nope, better go directly to the festival. I guessed correctly -- I hadn't wished to shift to my other life quite yet -- but the traffic around the festival was too heavy. Bright, sunny day, and people pouring in. I was the official female substitute for the day, for the coordinators knew of my conflict. I was in 3-4 dances, anyway, relieving others of too much overheating/dancing in too many.
It was fun, laughter, and seeing this hometown festival, full of such diversity. I'm happy to celebrate the different cultures there, strongly hispanic right there, many others, too. A bit of wandering, and then we chose a local spot for lunch. My bit of me time in the day, in the week, really, some adult "me" time, to be more specific. Just a sip of two different local brews. I like the one, Centennial. Perhaps another day when I got more than 2 hours sleep, (from the youth retreat), and am not in risk of dehydration.   The woman next to me is brought her food after mine, and sweet potato fries fell off.  "My plate is spilling over."   I smile, and gesture wide with my arms, "Yes, we are blessed, aren't we?  Look at all the food we have here to eat."   Never mind I borrowed $10. from a girlfriend of mine:) I can pay her back.

I leave instead of lingering with the core group, heading on to my father's. More Beatles!, great, oh and in the "I's" it seems...... maybe, "my" song? Only one song they have played is new to me. I like it, too. Another I thought was, but I recalled it later -- amusing one.
Dad remembered I would be later. He'd called me on Friday. Good. Asked me again why, not upset, just curious, and I also told him that M is away w/ her dad this weekend. He asks me these questions again later, "Where is M, so what did you do today?"

Dad has a stack of papers he's been holding in his hand. I'm glad I didn't come after the time I'd estimated. He doesn't get all anxious like his mother used to, but he does at least wait expectantly. There's a new grocery list he's written out. I'd almost memorized every smudge in the other one, every squiggle I had deciphered. This new one is neater, and I still add a few things, such as iced tea and diet coke with lime. He likes the regular coke, but I'm not so sure it's good on his teeth, with or without lime. My mother likes citrus, but my father LOVES fruits. I'm sure he's who M and I get it from, mostly.

He asks me about a property tax notice from April, "Did we take care of this?" (Actually a bit more complicated than that.) "We" weren't taking care of his things in April. I have no idea on this one.  A different part of this is that I'm to photocopy something and mail it back to him. He has the papers organized around his couch, the envelope waiting. Yet, I get his mail for him, lol, so guess I'll try to drop this photocopy and original back off. I'd brought in his mail, less the junk I took directly to the recycling, and the electric bill. It's in one of those "please pay soon or we may disconnect you" envelopes. I make a mental note to just write the check for that myself. On his list, after we talk about some other items, dad mentions the bills he's paid this month, including the electric for $411. He knows he paid this. I'm thinking I'll check.
He's started gathering some of the trash, but it's a bit sloppy and I fuss at first, but not for long. I'm too tired and whatever. I told him I hadn't been home since Friday and will have to recheck on those papers of his I have.  I have no idea on those, either, at the moment, my mind a blank.   I take out the old newspapers and iced tea bottles, with the new list. Getting into my truck, I'm starting to feel overwhelmed, remembering that my father HAD written out the electric check, and lawncare check, just that they'd gotten wet in his mailbox, and when I looked at looked at them after drying them out, I realized his handwriting was way too illegible for any automated post office machine to read. I had both in my file folder I keep of his current stuff, with intentions of making new envelopes and putting on new stamps.    Just, I'd forgotten.  I check the new electric bill -- yes -- overdue by $411, ugh.  How the heck can I do all of this for him, when I can't keep up with it straight. One Beatles song that's played is "I'm a loser." I know I'm not a loser, but some of the lyrics sing true.

Such high from the retreat, and the comaraderie with my dance group friends, now that feeling of ack, I failed again, I didn't remember, I didn't mail, I didn't..... keep up somehow.

"My" song comes on. Dougie wrote this one to me. "In My Life, I Love you More (or I'll love you more)." I haven't heard it since his memorial service, I don't believe. Memories, places, some changed, some the same, some dead. I just cry.
I'm okay in the store, back with a purpose, back on a routine. The list needs new deciphering, but it's clearer.  They've moved one item and I'm not sure I got the right one. I know this store very well, what aisle is where. There is comfort in that, I find. Beef stew is fresh on Sundays, and he has that listed. At least he writes all the fruit first, mostly, as that's the first area. Not vegetables, just fruit and a lot of it, always. How did I miss cantaloupe?
I had to take a quick break, and then coming from the other side of the store confuses me. I'm way too tired. I try to figure out what he means by candy: almonds and spearmint leaves, and where they'd be. They are out of spearmint leaves candies, but I get him gumdrops which I know he also likes. I found almonds in the baking section..... I call him. I know he's on the couch, I saw his phone by him. He doesn't answer and can't figure out how to get messages, besides, it now asks for a password which either no one has, or my absent brother has. Jordan almonds I guess, but can't find in the Halloween candy aisle, either. So many new decisions, I try to get the items on sale, I try to get things that'll work best for him. Somehow I'm a space cadet today with it, but get it done. I go back to the produce aisles, thinking what M and I will like, and try to find the cantaloupe I finally figure out they are completely out of today.  

Dad's waiting there for me, on the couch, pen in hand, the check for me made out all but the cost.  When I put the cart back, I thought of my father, how I'd get upset because he wouldn't return them. I realize now, he was holding on to the cart for balancing. His big outing, to return the cart meant walking to the car without support, or with his broom handle (ack) as his walking stick's too short. I'd return the carts for him, but I understand more now.
He no longer goes, too. So, he has this routine, waiting for me with the television off. I've explained checkcards to him many times. He knows I have one for his account, but then he no longer quite understands that, even if he knows I"m on his account. The concept of VISA-checkcards / debit cards is apparently too tricky. The first time, he kept saying, "So, I don't owe you anything?" "No, dad. It came right out of your account." And I'd reexplain it. Three times ago, it just didn't work.  Dad needed his routine. He needed to feel he's paying for his things that I pick up for him. He couldn't get past the idea that he didn't have to write me out a check, reimbursing me. So I let him, but I tore it up later. Last week and today, same thing. I'd bought him his groceries and such, with the checkcard I have for HIS account, his things are paid for, but he felt he must write me out the check, so fine. It's less stressful and it helps him keep track. 

I make a point to socialize some, too. I tossed out items in his refrigerator. I'd bought more juice, it was on the list ALWAYS, but I know by now to check there first and I had not today. Juice = good, milk = bad. He has new of both, so new juice = in the freezer:)  He asked me two or three times for the Ritz crackers.   I told him he'd put pumpernikel bread down, not crackers, so that's what I'd gotten.  He alters what he likes with his slicable cheese.   I tell Dad about the real nice, new cashier, who was surprised to find holes in the swiss cheese, which amuses him.   He used to know every worker at that store, asks sometimes if I know that Betty has retired.   He still has a book for Jim, who must have switched days, but I've known him from there over 15 years I'm sure, good man, he's given me his # in case my father needs something sometime.

I ask Dad about getting a plumber in; I'm thinking maybe someone from my church.
I don't like the leak. I note mentally that I'd be happy to accept help for it from anyone of any ethnic background -- ironically b/c of our retreat topic but that's another entry. I miss his housecleaner, who was so good to him and socialized with him, also. He'd tell me for months, "Robin, she's going to cut my hair."  But, she has a new #, and we've lost it. Maria has children, but my father mixes up the ages and genders, so I am unable to keep it straight myself. I made sure he had a Christmas gift for her, etc..
Anyway, Da
d says he's going to call Sears about the leak. I'm thinking, and how will he pay for this? but not worried right then, maybe his old Sears card is still able to be reactivated. I know I"m tired -- it's not until I'm driving home that I realize that he INTENDS to call Sears, but he never will. He doesn't have the #, and he won't remember to call.

Dad scratches his leg, and I ask him if he can wash up in the sink ever, when a shower is too much.  He says he's going to take a shower. He's coherent; I think he will, yes, really. I'll have to check, though, I suppose.   I get him to change his shirt before I leave. It's less stressful for him to do that then, and not when he's anxiously awaiting me there at my first arrival. "Long sleeve or short, Dad?" "Short, I think." The pile of clean clothes is still on the one chair, but that's okay.  There's a Beatles shirt:) I'd forgotten. From a summer clearance sale at Target. He always liked them, too. Abbey Road on a black background. I tell him I've been in a Beatles mood, and he talks about the Beatles record collection he used to have and gave to me.
Home. I wanted to be asleep around 7pm!, but, instead, that's when I get home, somewhat. Daisy and home:) Wendy was a dear and watched Daisy again, just 1 1/2 days so that's good.  Yesterdays newspaper IS inside, and I root quickly -- I'd heard that Amy had an article in there on her, and I find it, the photo of her and her dad who'd tried to rescue her.  I'd called M earlier, enroute to the festival, on her cell and at C's home. Still no response tonight. I'd just like to chat with her, is that so bad? UGH. No child support yet, either.
Control, control. I am not going to get it get to me, though. I put the (horse) polos in the wash earlier, and need to add softener, need to unpack (albeit that'll wait). M asked me Friday if I'd please wash the polos for Monday, if I had time, PULLEEZE. Light blue, naturally they get dirty when it's been rainy out. I was dropping her off to school, reminding her they might have been washed already if she'd have brought them INSIDE from the truck:)
I'm not sad or upset, just reflective now. I'm fine. I do love The Beatles, though:) I'm glad they were on this weekend. YAWN I should sleep soon zzzzzzzzzzzz
In my life, I'll love you more............

Friday, September 15, 2006

in memory of Amy

We all missed you in rehearsal last night.   It was raining part of yesterday -- maybe it was sunny and warm down at the ocean.    May you have had a wonderful day, at least died happy.   I'm not clear, perhaps your dad was out there with you, or perhaps he saw you get caught by the riptide and tried to save you.   M says that she cannot imagine being your mother on the shore, watching you go under.....  not that we know that your mother was right there or where there.

M didn't get to spend much time with you until dance camp this summer, and at the Open House and such, even if she also knew you from previous performances when all the studios would get their troupes together.   Yeah, Ma filled your spot last night for the drummin' piece  -- she knows you're always there so wasn't upset that you didn't show like she can get with others, not having heard the news yet.

Yes, may you stay dancing, may your life have been a good one, just a mere 15 years.  Life can be so short sometimes.   May none of us take our moments for granted.

I told M that I sure pray that she's safe, too, but I do wish her to enjoy life, so I let her ride horses, and try things.   She reminded me that cross country riding is the second most dangerous sport...... yeah, gee, thanks.  

Maybe the water was still warm enough yesterday for you, maybe it was fun and giggles there for a while, not too crowded.   I hope so:)  

Huge condolences for your mother, and your sisters.  I cannot even fathom what your mother is going through right now.   I'm so sorry, Amy.   Riptides can be deadly things.   I really, really wish it wasn't so.

Columbia man, daughter drown in Ocean City - (article below; tried to copy the Washington Post article on this, but it's not working at the moment.

Columbia man, daughter drown in Ocean City

Metro Digest
September 15, 2006

A Columbia man and his 15-year-old daughterdrowned in rough water off the 78th Street beach yesterday evening, according to Ocean City police.

D, 46, and his three teenage daughters were swimming about 6 p.m. A witness told of the group being drawn quickly into deeper water, said Pfc. Barry Neeb, a police spokesman.

His 17-year-old daughter was able to swim to shore, while another girl, 13, floated on her back and was rescued by an off-duty beach patrol officer, said Neeb, who did not have the names of the two girls.

The father was on his way back to shore when he realized his 15-year-old, Amy, was still out there and turned around, Neeb said. A U.S. Coast Guard vessel pulled them from the water after both lost consciousness, he said.

They were taken to a Coast Guard station and paramedics took them to Atlantic General Hospital, where D was pronounced dead on arrival and Amy, died an hour later, Neeb said.

(Updated to remove some identifying items.)

Oops of the day...

Alright, anyone out there who actually reads my journal, who has not checked out "Just Mary," has to read her entry for today -- she wins this week's Ben and Jerry's prize:)   Not that I know just how to deliver it to her, but I won't do it via cell phone, lol.  

Just Mary

BJ, cute Irish guy, never exchange your cell phone for the day w/ any of your 4 kids, kay?!  Please? 

(I suppose M fixing my father's cell phone by turning it ON, she can win for last week!  And, yes, she can chose Sponge Bob Square Pants ice cream if she prefers and I'll try not to eat as much of it this time.)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

so, how is school going?

I keep getting asked, so how is school going for M so far?
This is what I wrote my aunt Beth earlier yesterday:
I think it's going well!   Just her second week, and yet, last week, first day was more an orientation and prep for camping, choose lockers, team-building game day.   Second through fourth days were camping:)   I left early to pick her up.   "Mom, I'm wet!"  Then her friend joined in, 80 degree sunny weather.   "We had to tow our canoes [with our gear on them] up the Potomac River."   I was thinking, wow, what a blast.   Wait, they're complaining?   I smiled, "It still beats a day in the office."   It was an awesome trip for them, overall.  Rock climbing, tent camping, s'mores the second night, canoeing in "rapids," primitive "toilets" and just basic bond with each other and with the earth type of thing.  
But homework seemingly every night, and that we are NOT used to.   Not huge assignments, and I think it's not busy work.   I detest busywork homework.   She's going over planners and beginning lessons on organizational skills today.   I'm real glad:)   M is trying very hard to stay on top of things and be organized, coming up with ideas herself as well as what I suggest, but having the teacher show her and work with her is best.   Even if she still has left something somewhere every day so far, oy!    M and I went over her schedule on Monday, plus did her math homework in the car to and from dance.   I'm glad I can comprehend these concepts fairly readily in my head so far.  
Monday went well -- M is quite happy -- this 3? week session, she has fabric arts with the wonderful art teacher:)   Plus doing well with beginning Algebra, and PE, and humanities (revolutionary times or colonial, or both).  They start the day with a group / class session, they want crab for their weekly community lunch (crab?), "Yeah, we may skip it [community lunch] for a few weeks to save money enough for crab."   Um, okay.   There is a bit of a schedule this year, too.   She had done up a list of 30 memories to potentially chose from to write a short memoir on, due today (Wednesday).   I found it interesting just which memories she chose!   I guess she was thinking of what would make a good story, over what is most meaningful for her.  
Tuesday, she went w/ her dad so I haven't heard word yet.
So, 2nd week but only one SCHOOL day I've heard word on.  
But, she was happy to go that second SCHOOL day, wanted to be there early, in part to read her humanities homework as she had left it there, walked in with a guy friend, who has been a best guy buddy since 1st grade (just friends), tired, but happy.
So, I'd say, so far, so good:)"
I picked her up early Wednesday, also.   Had to get those "anteojos."   She was excited to tell her Spanish teacher that she was leaving early yesterday as she'll have "anteojos" now.   She LOVES those eyeglasses, so that's good.   I remember when I had my first pair, and I'd look at the world around me and think, wow, this is like television or photographs, not how it looks to me, such clarity.   M's eyes are not nearly as bad, yet she's happily discovering how things really look again.  :)
I'd e-mailed both teachers (I think I'll call KL and Mo, in part b/c the girls all call the young woman teacher Mo), yet Humanities section had gone off........ to?   Mo and her group was returning from the adjacent parkland.   M took me back into the class"room," showed me where her locker is and planning guides, I reminded her to check her "in-box" (where she'd left her homework the other night oops).  I could hear the others in her group talking, "Who has a chainsaw?"  "I think we do at home."  "Yeah, but can you bring that to school?"   ROFL.  Can you imagine?   Well, perhaps this school, with teacher / parent confirmation.   M waved and called out her goodbyes, and then to me, "We're going to build a wigwam!!"
They DID have community lunch, too, salad with various green salad options, including chicken, and homemade cookies.   I guess the concept of community lunch is too important, and the idea of crab would still have to be something saved up for, budgeted in.  
Last night, I had her take a break and take her shower because we hit a road block on her math homework (naturally, her nice calculator was in her locker), tried more ideas for solving that one problem, and turned to the flip side.   Word problem involving quarts and pints, like anyone uses those units of measurement outside of math, and in some cookbooks for large groups of people I suppose.    Earlier, we'd chatted about the composting skit she has "due" tomorrow -- her group of three will talk to the primaries (pre-K through K) about the composting the older students will coordinate for the rest of the school.  
We're on a better morning schedule, too.   She makes good use of her clear dry-erase board on the front door, and I add things occasionally, too.    Nothing forgotten today:)    I even have tonight's stuff ready, and she made her own lunch today.   I still supervise them -- they're not quite how I'd do them, but, how else will she learn?   She's capable, and I need the a.m. time now.   Oh, C had her late to school yesterday, but it was bad traffic.   It was a dense rain today off and on.   I just look at my little chart and the time, and know what she's doing.   She had a literature circle today.   So organized of a day, helps them transition to high school and "periods" I suppose, while still allowing a lot of freedom within that.  
I read portions of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" this a.m., my insomnia continues so what the heck, started on I think chapter 19? and read a few, then backtracked a few, lol.   Helped calm me, really.   Had me thinking, too.   These youth in M's class are priveleged, really, not nesc. monetarily (some really ARE quite priveleged monetarily but certainly and by NO means all), but in general.   These 22-23 youth, with such enriching opportunities, not squeezed into these huge middle schools, no worries of such things as oral sex on the school bus (which was reported a few times on those going to where M would have attended), no lackadaisal teachers.    Yet, they are taught good things -- about themselves, yes, but also about how to treat the people and the world around them.   Even their upcoming immigration unit will, in part, subtly then teach about diversity and prejudice.   Of course, compared with most of the world, just having a television and daily newspaper, chance at riding lessons even tho my mother pays for them and M works for them, food for all meals and snacks, clothing, is very priveleged indeed.   :)
Okay, I meandered again, lol!   Tired.   I'm glad the Betty Smith who wrote the semi-autobiographical "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" did persevere, and stayed writing.   She is a good writer.   I wouldn't be surprised to find my daughter writing as a part of her profession as well, really, someday, in time.   If she stays getting proper creative outlets AND real criticism as appropriate.   Not until one of my senior classes in high school did I feel I received true critical help in bettering my own written voice.   Seems Ms. Smith was given a C because she wrote of truths of her life in poverty, instead of light and fancy things, tried that and felt it was as if canned words, a bit like canned beans.   Not exactly the same thing.  
(BTW, I don't edit my work here, obviously.   I just type what comes out of my head.)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Get Out the Vote / Tis the Day

The primary election is today.   I took an earlier lunch because of a BIG meeting (yeah, my bosses boss, VERY professional, doesn't wear hose so hey!), and man was it packed outside at lunchtime.   Have to admit, Panera was VERY organized, and nice, and had it all correct, just the whole town was packed.  I'll have to go vote TONIGHT!  (Then rehearsal.   BJ's in "town" but way busy until too late, so I won't see him tonight.)
Maybe my cell phone calls will cease now.   The former owner of my cell phone # is getting a TON of calls.   I know her name, that she's a hispanic/latina woman who lives/lived in PG County.   When it's a live person calling on a political note, I let him or her know, and they're nice and say they'll take my name off.  Now I'm more informed, and know which candidates are not even in my district, such as the Albert Wynn and Donna Edwards race.   I get about 4-5 calls a DAY on my cell phone from politicians and their supporters, but that race wins hands down.   His and his friends all have that really southern-sounding Maryland accent, too, lol, I couldn't even tell he was inviting me to a crab fest a couple months ago.   Her mother called me with a recording today, but I called back that #, I prefer it when a # shows up, and let the place know via pressing in my #.   Hmmm, I think I have before, too.   For some reason, political calls are exempt from the no-call lists.   I don't see why.   They are not truly public service announcements, not IMHO.  And I even care about politics, some.  I don't get as many at home, perhaps because I have an unlisted #, but usually I get NO political calls.
M asks me about candidates.  "Mom, are you voting for him?"  "Huh?  Fenty?  He's running for mayor of D.C. honey, no, I can't vote for or against him."  "Oh, Mom, there's an ad on -- do you like him / her???   Is he also running for mayor of D.C., too?"  "I don't know, honey.  Oh, that's Somebody Orange, yeah, I read about a bus driver who supported him."  lol
We talk about factors influencing voters, too.   I finally saw a sign for Donna Edwards, and M and I had seen a very nice woman handing out Edwards flyers previously, so we talked about how it was rather cool that race cannot be an issue in their race, as both she and Albert Wynn are black.
We talk about how 84-year old Donald Schaeffer speaks of his opponent (calling her Mother Hubbard and getting fat).   He's good -- and been around for decades -- he's gotten my vote in the past, admittedly, but gosh, stop the googling and putdowns of women and deal with the issue, or retire, eh?   How Steve Silverman's ad caught my eye -- it talked about his opponent, Isiah "Ike" Leggett, and how Leggett's ideas are bad ones, mentioning what Leggett stands for.  Hmmm, take out the negative spin, are these bad things?  And yet, no mention of what Silverman stands for, not in that ad.
No worries about who will win the Democratic primary for Governor, now.   Doug Duncan dropped out a while back, so it's Martin O'Malley, to face "Bobby" blech Erlich in November.  So many of the races will be determined TODAY, as Maryland is mostly a democratic state (and with the D.C. primary), but, not the Governor's race.
Senator Sarbanes is retiring, Milulski is NOT! yeah, Chris Van Hollen is good to go still, County Executive, Attorney General, a lot of big races.   I like a Saqid Ali from all I can tell, but I don't remember what he's running for, lol.   Seems decent, is the only one I saw who even mentioned environmental issues (even if I don't know that I prefer his intended incentive for increased recycling), promotes harmony and diversity, and some other things.   I suspect School Board is a lot of it:)   My aunt Beth and I wrote back and forth today, she's my dad's sister who I'm close with.   Beth noted that Montgomery County has the politicians in for the longest-times of the entire nation.   Hmmm.  I knew MD might, but my county?  I'm not truly surprised, but still.
I know enough to vote for many positions.   When I don't know, I won't just pick randomly.
M hoped to come with me today.  "What time are we voting, Mom?"  She is at her dads tonight, though, his g/f's birthday even, and M did not wish to get up too early this a.m., and not enough time for her lunchtime really combined with when I had to be back.   She's w/ him for the general election this year, too, but maybe that day, we can squeeze in a lunchtime voting:)
(M also looked through b-day cards for Sh, but ended up not picking out one for me to buy.  M's choice.)
So, why'd I get two phone calls today, on my cell?  UGH.   Oh, and one from my father.   M fixed his phone last weekend, nicely before we went by there:)  Yep.   She turned it on.   ROFL.   Ya'd think it wouldn't be so complicated.  Maybe it's a good thing voting screens aren't TOO electronic, not until this youngest of generations grows up!

Friday, September 8, 2006

More on My Father

Mood?  Tired, overwhelmed, tired........   did I mention tired?! lol   Brian talked of a woman from his reunion, who he believes must compartmentalize in order to deal with some of the things she's dealt with in life (such as being IN the Pentagon when it was hit on 9/11/2001).   Maybe sometimes I do some of that, too, compartmentalizing.   I don't know how else to really deal with running two households.   I can't, actually.   I'm not doing a good job of it.   I'm urged to get a Power of Attorney.  Yeah, that, too, I need to learn about them, all of that.  

Oy.   My father needs so much help.   I'm realizing he qualifies for utliity aid, too, and he'll need it cuz our bills here are going up 35%, but it's such a maze of qualifications and forms, and of course, they want you to visit in person yeah right, NOT.  As if I'm even a paperwork person to begin with, any paperwork overwhelms me.   I can't even get the forms
from online it seems.   I found his expired passport, but all of his other id's are lost.
His upstairs bathroom is leaking through into the kitchen.  
And no wonder there's sometimes trash in the living room -- he keeps a couple frozen dinners in there by him, to "defrost."   He felt a bit defensive.   He says the oven isn't working.   I point out to him, gently, that they are able to be put in the microwave.   I show him on the box how there are instructions on all the meals I get for him, for microwave use.   I'd cleanedhis new one out a while back; it should be fine to use.    I'll have to check to see if he starts using it or not.  He DID okay me contacting Meals on Wheels.   I'd forgotten to.   But, yeah, another place I SHOULD contact.   Maybe after the plumbing is fixed, so I don't risk having a stranger come in and say, yikes, this isn't safe housing!   It IS safe and fine, actually, and all the trash is picked up and gone, and I keep his kitchen clean now, other than that leak but there's a pot there we both dump out, but still.
And his phone, the new cell phone, isn't working again and yet I'm to take care of that.  I'm not a male so I can't impersonate my father while in the cell phone store, and my brother can't be bothered, heck, he won't even give me the code which he uses to authorize payments.   Not like I'm going to take over payments, or mess w/ my brothers phone, just trying to help my father.   I'm thinking we'll ship it back, that may work, or, I should say, that I'll ship it back.   The keys were always too little for him to press just one of at a time, anyway.   
We went over the lastest on some bills, I typed up a letter for him to send to a company.   He'd mailed me a request to find the name and # of his attorney.  Yeah, like I remember.  Maybe so, maybe in my notes at work.  He didn't ask me it when I visited; he'd forgotten I was coming by.   I had told him I would to verify with him the amount of his last payment to his gas bill, and to let him know that I had deposited a check for him.  He asked me about those, but not about the attorney.   I wonder why he's wanting that; I think he just needs some clarification about his homeowners insurance as it relates to his mortgage, but I should find out I suppose.
Last Sunday, I got to spend 4 hours with him.   That was good:)   Clipped his nails, per his request, so yeah, had him help me with the trash, various cleaning, got groceries which takes a while because I'm really careful about it, and sharing two rolls of photos with him.   I think he enjoyed the socializing part best.   Some were photos from Maine, some from M's July birthday party, and one from her dancing at the feis w/ her cousins (via her dad) visiting.    He hadn't seen what my mother, his former wife, looks like lately, nor her sisters.    He used to get along well with the one, fine w/ them all, but real well with the one.    Enjoyed seeing M, too.   My dad used to love photography.  
I had a lot of cleaning up that visit as I hadn't been there in 2 weeks, but, it could have been worse.   He asked me where I'd been, that I hadn't been there the past 2 weeks, but I HAD been there the week before last; I only missed one Sunday.   Maybe it felt like longer because I'd been coming over more often when M was away during the summer.
In a nutshell, that's how he is.
I need to get him back for a haircut, too, I think.   That's a chore.   And the dentist, yikes, his teeth are not looking good.
I really like that he doesn't have much access to alcohol any more.  He is more consistently aware.  Oh, the dementia's still there, but still.   He was doing well last Sunday.   The to-do list, and got him to change his shirt at least, "It's okay, Robin, I'm just at home; no one sees me."   But I'm doing [his] laundry, anyway.  "Oh, okay, then."  Boy do his clothes stink sometimes.  I use Borax in almost all of our laundry now, and I wash his clothes separately, just in case.  
The visit yesterday, well, he was mentally "alright," but overall, it has me worrying more.