Friday, December 24, 2010
Let's see. At my sister's ex's house, there is his current wife (#3). I think the police haven't been called to their house yet this year for domestic problems. ,their two very spoiled children, and I think they may bundle up to visit his mom (the mother of NINE kids!), or his dad (who lives half time in London....divorced because he just didn't want to be a father any longer, and now has two more kids with his newer, younger wife). Noteably, the son who is up from UCSB is choosing to stay with his brother (newly engaged) rather than at his dad's house, because he gets to babysit the two brats.
My older sister's middle child will be home for Christmas. We are hoping this will be the first of many. After the holidays he finishes up training (he is a Ranger) at Ft Knox and then heads out to Afghanistan. I know it will be a very emotional holiday for his family. Thankfully, he just returned from visiting his girlfriend in Kenya, where she is serving in the Peace Corps (her blog: http://jennynakata.blogspot.com/). The youngest of my older sister's 3 kids will be coming down with his oldest brother, with whom he is staying, to hang a day or two with the SoCal gang.
Bottom line: my family is my family. We all love each other, although some are easier to love than others. We, for the most part, keep good relationships with our ex's, and continue to enjoy the relationships in crazy, extended family.
Oh, I forgot, my Dad's girlfriend is feeling well enough after her surgery on her left hand (she fell, broke the wrist and now has nerve problems) and her illness that she will travel to visit with HER mother, who is 103 years old, and her two siblings, who refuse to be in the room at the same time. *sigh* What is with these people? You suck it up because you are FAMILY, and you need to get along in some semblance of normality. Now Dad's girlfriend still keeps in touch with her ex.. I think that is a good thing.
My last ex, he's not bothered to respond to the last few messages left for him. No comment. He's deleted from my contact list. I don't need someone who won't treat me like family, including its feuds and bad table manners.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Two things on my mind lately and neither are Earth shattering. The first is the work ornament exchange I am hosting this week. It's a fun party and one I don't spend too much time worrying about. It's a pot-luck, so no major cooking for me and all I have to do is have a clean (enough) house and toilet paper in the bathroom. The lights are up, the tree is up, and there will be a bit of furniture rearranging to make things work. The thing I am trying not to worry about is that (apparently) people at work have been worried that hosting this party is too much for me. Yes, I recently finished school, and yes, mom takes some time with her health, and yes, my son was recently hospitalized, but everything is pretty settled now and the party isn't that big a deal. At first I was bothered that I had gotten a phone call from someone asking if I was still up to hosting and that she would host if I needed her too. The call bothered me overnight, but then I realized that making those types of phone calls are hard, and it really is just a show of concern and compassion. I guess I should be thrilled that I have co-workers who feel that concern for me, but it still somehow felt like a vote of no-confidence.
The second thing that is on my mind is Scott. He's a homeless man who is trying to get off the streets. I met with him at my front door last month and we talked for a bit. He and some of his homeless buddies are trying to raise funds to have a permanent address. They believe it will take $5,000 to be able to do that, and have raised and saved over $3,000 towards their goal. He asked if I could help out, and would even accept change from a change bowl I had laying about. I collected my change and some bills from my wallet and sent him on his way, after also giving him some juice to drink.
This morning Scott was at my door when I returned from dropping off one son at school. He was happy that he found a job, but needed help for transportation until he got his first paycheck. He promises to pay me back the $25 he's asking for. I didn't have cash at home, so I drove him to my bank and got him some cash, then drove him to the BART station. Maybe I am a fool for giving him cash. My gut, though, tells me he is speaking from the heart. I do not want to be the heartless person who has no compassion for someone in need, but I also don't want to be the chump who gets taken advantage of. This time I gave Scott a few grapefruits, which he says he loves. I guess part of me is reflecting on my friend, TD, who is homeless in Salt Lake City. I'd like to think that someone is giving him a break now and again.
Happy Holidays, whichever holiday you celebrate.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Despite this aggressive treatment, the infection continues to grow. It is irregularly shaped, but wraps his thigh about 3/4 ths around. It extended 22cm wide by 32 cm long in the ER. I'd say it has grown 2 cm higher and 5 cm farther down below his knee. I think, I hope, the advance is slowing.
Of course, I know the worst. People die from this infection. People lose limbs. People need surgery. That would be Jons next step, surgery to properly clean and drain the infection. I am not sure when that is needed, tho.
I can admit I can scared. I feel helpless. My son doesn't feel I'll and yet he is confined to a small hospital room with me. I wouldn't be anywhere else.
Keep good thoughts. We will get through this.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I get a note back telling me I won't be paid because she couldn't open my attachments. My god, they were just .jpg files! I referred to my sent mail folder and verified. Yep, they are there, easy to read and everything. No problem. I suggested this worker call the help desk to help her open files that she doesn't know how to open. Her response to me is that it was my responsibility to get the documentation to her in a legible format. I say I did. She says I should have faxed it to her. How? I do not own a fax machine. I mean, we are in 2010 and fax machines are so rarely used. I feel almost as if I were asked to use a rotary dial phone! I need to find out if there is an app that will convert .jpg files to .pdf files on my phone.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Other news is also very exciting. My son, who is just starting his junior year in high school, just got his very first recruitment letter from an university. It happened to be Washington University in St. Louis and it remarked on his remarkable academic achievements. I sure hope he gets a selection of colleges from which to choose. I would love for him to find a college that really suits him and isn't chosen as it's the only place that his family can afford. I am so very proud of him!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Been on jury duty for a murder trial since mid-July. I must say, it is interesting, but very slow. We have 4 counts to decide upon and we have been successful with 3 of them. This last one is hanging us up. We let the judge know of our difficulties and she is working on getting us more information, either from the law or from additional witnesses. I am glad for that.
As far as TD goes, I am extremely frustrated. He's gotten into a shelter and he has therapy and medications. The ONLY shelter that was available to him is a Christian one, and I mentioned to him that he may have to just jump through the hoops that have been presented to him for a while, in order to survive. I got an "I CAN'T DO IT" message back, about how he wanted to gouge out his eyes when he was in the midst of a religious service, even though we had talked about strategies to get through those times, by considering them as meditation times. He then had the cajones to call me a hypocrite. Does he want to sever all ties with me, cause that is one thing I cannot stand; to try to help someone and then get slapped for it. Today we IM'd for a short while and he apologized, but got off a comment how its not fair to him that I want to take things day by day and that I cannot commit to being there for him.
On the other hand, I have glo, the youngin' I have known for almost 10 years now. His unfortunate trait is that he, too, drinks too much. His drinking, though, is different. He has never once been rude to me, he has been respectful of me and polite, and he is smart, although a tad naive at times. He also has a very literal and romantic streak in him. The differences between these two people are night and day, and yet they both have similar issues. They both have families with mental illness in them, but one family is extremely dysfunctional and the other family appears to function quite well, in their modest way.
I wish the jury choices were as clear to me as friendship choices have been for me lately. Some things are far too difficult and others are far too easy.
Friday, August 27, 2010
He is back from the latest brink of death, and not drinking at this time. I am glad he has gotten into the system to get him meds and therapy and detox. I am very glad. I also feel like shit. I spoke with him for over an hour via google chat and was unable to respond to his "I love you" at the end of the conversation.
[following text deleted, as it is not relevant]
Monday, August 16, 2010
The paella takes a dozen cloves of garlic, diced up and added to a splash of oil in a large, heavy skillet or paella pan. To this cook about a pound of raw shrimp. Its nice if you can get shrimp with the shells on, but deveined, as the shells add a wonderful flavor, but this time I could only find raw, shelled (with tails on) shrimp. When the shrimp turn color, remove them from the pan. Add diced onion to the pan to soften and turn translucent. Add the rice and cook until the rice also turns translucent. I used a combination of arborio and brown basmati rice this time. Add white wine and stock (or better than bouillon made up into a broth, I used half lobster flavor and half chicken flavor) to the rice for cooking. I used 2 cups rice (1 cup of each) and 2 cups wine, 4 cups broth). Also add seasoning:1/4 tsp saffron, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes,1/2 marjoram, 1 tsp paprika, and salt / pepper to taste. THIS TOOK FOREVER TO COOK! When the rice is almost cooked, add your veggies. This time was red bell pepper and broccoli from my sister's garden. Peas or sugar peas are also good, as are artichoke hearts, green pepper, asparagus, or any favored vegetable. Live a little and experiment! Replace the shrimp on top of the rice, too, as well as whatever seafood you prefer. I added King crab legs which I had chopped to about 3 inch sections then used kitchen shears to cut the shell along its length to make them easy to eat. Just before service juice a lemon or two over the dish. Parsley may also be added, but I didn't as I hate parsley. cooked the dish covered for the first part of the rice cooking and uncovered for the last 15 min or so, Covering again at the last minute to ensure the shell fish was warmed thoroughly.
Friday, August 6, 2010
I was finally done with my Master's degree in April, so I schedule a vacation. What happens? Mom schedules her surgery. At least I get to help her around the house, but it's no vacation.
I schedule off time in July and in August. August is ruined first, as my sister needs to travel out of town and *someone* needs to stay nearby to check in on mom. I am someone. July gets ruined as I get a jury duty summons. Actually I had gotten it for January, but I post-poned it 6 months until I was done with school. July comes and it's not just one day. I'm selected for a trial that is expected to continue until Labor Day. Not only does that mess up July's vacation, but also the second week I had scheduled for August. I have a week scheduled for September, so I hope I can enjoy that time, at least!
I may just need to wait until December. Yosemite should be rather nice that time of year. Here's hoping I can last that long.
On the subject of bad timing: a few weeks ago, maybe a few months ago, I slipped off a machine at the gym. It was a machine whereby one rests the elbows on a pad, steps on a "T" bar and lifts the legs into a standing sit up. My feet slipped off the "T" and I hit my tailbone on the bar. It hurt like a m-----f---r for a few minutes, but then I was okay and I finished my workout (without finishing up those stomach exercises). Since I mostly stand for my work, I didn't feel much pain but a general soreness in my pelvis. Now come jury duty and sitting in the viewer section of the court until the jury panel is selected. I was one of the last selected, so I got to sit on those horrible seats for 4 days! I am now aching horribly. I saw my chiropractor today who confirms a left deviation of my coccyx (aka tailbone). Advil just doesn't cut it if one has to sit. Thankfully the judge says I can stand any time!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Over the next few days, I pondered how I was going to teach my teenagers about money and budgets. It also helped that my bank was offering high school checking accounts for no fee, no minimum balance, with a bonus $50 if the account was used to make 5 monthly debit card uses or had automatic deposits. I'm part Scottish, so $50 is $50 and we went down to the bank to open both a checking account (which he funded) and a savings account (which I funded). He will get a text message if his balance drops below $50 and his savings will act as his overdraft protection. Once he gets his ATM card, I need to get him to make some purchases for me, which I will then reimburse him for.
Next we get to learn how to balance the account with the monthly statement. I want my sons to be ready when they live away from home. I also want them to be good mates without depending on their partners for basic life skills.
This started when Jon's XC coach commented that he can always tell when he is back in Berkeley due to all the Priusii here. I had never thought much of it, so I began counting.
While waiting for a traffic light one Thursday afternoon in front of the farmer's market in North Berkeley, I was passed by 17 Priusii. I made a trip to Oakland to pick up some medication and on the trip I counted 85 Prisii. It was only the next town over, not a day trip! On a drive to drop off kidlet #1 at the high school 2 miles away, the count was 25.
Yes, I guess Berkeley does have its share. How green is your community?
Oh, and Brenda, thanks for the sauce from the Back Door BBQ
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
I just finished talking to him on Skype. He makes me laugh. He's spoken English longer than I have, and yet he still is at loss for words. Daylight Savings Time is "summer time". A cellphone is a "handy". H1N1 flu is "pig flu". I can't remember all his little language flubs, but they are charming. I think he purposely uses some of them to get more help than most people do. "Hey dad!, count to 3", we would asks as kids. He'd count off, "one, two, shree" and his 4 kids would giggle away. He can't pronounce the "THR" sound and we never let him forget it.
Summer sausage, also known as Thuringer, gets pronounced Tour-ing-ga, the German pronunciation. When I order this at a deli counter, I get the strangest looks. Only recently did I learn that most people say "Thur-in-ger".
Ponder the pronounciation of Rosti (royshti) with geschnitzelisch kalbsfleich (my spelling may be off) or emmenceau du veau zurichcoise (same food, different language. If you can eat veal, it's delicous!) over the Rosti. My mouth is watering while I'm sure my dad is laughing at me and my American accent when I try to speak German. Not sure I could eat veal these days as I haven't eaten pork/beef for about 30 years, but I'll double up on the Rosti!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The recipe is simple:
1 part vodka
1 part cranberry juice
1/2 part triple sec
1/4 part lime juice
Mix. Shake with ice and pour. Best if poured over a lime section, squeezed.
To make in quantity, dump 4-1.75 liter bottles of Vodka in one of those 5 gallon gatorade coolers that high school sports teams use. Dump in 2-1.75 liter bottles of triple sec. Measure out 7 liters of cranberry juice. Dump that in. The cranberry juice didn't come in 1.75 liter containers, it came in imperial measurements, thus requiring measurements. Add 1.75 liters fresh lime juice. Thankfully Odwalla donated some real good lime juice!
To ensure mixing, siphon off some of the mixture into the largest container that is available, such as an empty cranberry juice container. When siphoning out the second bit, pour in the first container. Repeat several times, until the mixture looks well combined. Taste. Adjust as necessary.
Now add 2 of the 1.75 liter vodka bottles to another, smaller cooler with a spigot. Add 1 bottle of 1.75liter triple sec. Add 3.5 liter of cranberry. Add about 900 ml of lime. Mix as before. Taste. Adjust amounts to your liking.
Funny, each batch, although made to the same specs, tasted slightly different. To one we added about 500 ml more triple sec. To another a tad more lime. We kept mixing in smaller and smaller containers until there was no liquor of the critical type remaining. I believe we finished mixing 7 of those large bottles Vodka, and the ingredients to go with that.
I served white wine, several different red wines, 4 different beers, sparkling water, and shaken cosmos all evening long. I got to take a gallon (I *think* it was a gallon; it was a cranberry juice sized container) of the cosmo mixture home at the end of the night, as it was left over. I know 7 cases of sparkling water were gone through, many bottles of wine, and beer were also consumed.
I'd say a good time was had by all, especially since the liquor was all open bar, since the cost was covered by the ticket sales. The tip jar apparently made enough to cover the costs of the liquor!
Anyone need 9 gallons of cosmos mixed up?
Monday, March 15, 2010
Tsigeyusv: : I received the box. Thank you.
The guy: It's there already? Impressive.
The guy: : I forgot to put yogurt tops in. Only a half dozen anyway, and I'm sure it's not a life-threatening mistake.
Tsigeyusv:: No, not life threatening, yet :) but they would be handy
Tsigeyusv:: unfortunately, the pins opened in transport and were attacking as I opened the box
The guy: noooo!
The guy: : OMG I never anticipated that. It did occur to me that I should have put the small things in a bag...after I sent it.
The guy: I don't do a lot of shipping.
Tsigeyusv: heh, so you've said. I'm glad to have gotten it... not getting it made me feel very trivial and unimportant
The guy:: I understand. Well, I mean I guess I really don't but intellectually I do. You know. :)
Tsigeyusv:: Well, think about it. A /good/ friend asks you for something. It doesn't happen. A request is made again and it doesn't happen. A third and 4th request are made... at which time the "friend" wonders if its worth asking about anyway. It's just stuff, but it was important to me
The guy: I did say that intellectually I do.
Tsigeyusv: but you really don't (also stated)
The guy: well, I suppose I did. I guess I should be more careful with verbs that have multiple meanings. :)
Whatever happened to, "I'm sorry it took so long" or "I didn't mean to trivialize you!" Whatever. Over the last 4 months I've learned that I need to be with a person who 1) respects me and 2) actually cares about me.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I also know that good people bring far more comfort to the world, my world, with much gratitude on my part. Some people are stunning with their grace, their tact, and their attitude.
I also know that I can highly recommend Pro Flowers(http://www.proflowers.com). I was sent a dozen roses recently (13 days ago). Roses aren't known for being long lasting, but these are still in their vase, looking quite good. The flowers were well packaged, with the stems soaked in saturated florist's foam. I just cut the stems down a bit, added flower food to the water in the enclosed vase, and arranged the flowers. You can see what they looked like after 10 days. I'm impressed by this company and the quality of their flowers.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
My divorce is now final. David is a good man, just not for me. I'm excited to get my life back, but also that I think this arrangement will work. He's looking for a woman to date, via Match.com. Good luck to him.
My oldest son is 16 today. He amazes me. He's caring, smart, attractive, and thoughtful. His dad didn't get him a birthday gift (that either of us knew about, at least), so I felt a bit sorry for him. Jon was okay, though. He said that his Christmas presents were expensive and I did get him some new shorts yesterday, so Jon's considering those as gifts, too. He got an electric razor from me. He also preferred a home-made cake to store bought. Triple lemon! It was good, too.
Life goes on. I'm not as pissed at other things, too. I know I'm very special and I bring much to the table. I can't make anyone appreciate me, but I do appreciate myself, very much. Thanks Elis for what you told me about how you saw a future partner. I needed to hear that it is a reasonable request for myself.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Do I ask again? Do I just replace the items? I guess I need to accept the fact that he's not the man I thought he was; one who took care of business and did things for his friends.
Update: I asked again, In a nice way. I thought of writing it off and replacing the items, but I knew that it would still bother me. I sort of feel like a mom needing to teach her child manners. Yes, it's easier for me to just replace my things, but then the point isn't made. You treat people with respect and you do what is required of you, even if it's a pain in the butt. Yes, it's harder for me to have to ask again, but it gets the "child" to learn how to treat people.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Sometimes we make choices by not choosing.
I've often wondered if I can break the habits learned over my lifetime. I was at dinner, talking about my Master's degree which is now just 2 courses away. My sister and dad were talking about the program and what it's like to take an online class. The next day we are eating out. The server isn't very good. She serves food, but there are no eating implements. We have to ask for water three times. Dad makes the comment that she must have been taking an online course, but didn't yet finish the program for waitressing. I sort of shake my head. Dad, I say, are you insulting my degree? You do realize that what you just said, implies that an online degree is worthless.
I notice, members of my family don't apologize readily. I've also noticed how little people actually listen to what others have to say. I've been trying to listen, and I think I've finally gotten a few messages loud and clear. I'm glad now of the things I have learned. Hind-site is indeed 20/20.