... so don't forget to dig out your library card, pull out the white pages phone book that's replacing the bookcase caster, haul out the microfiche reader, restart delivery of newspapers... *sigh* Oh, and landlines, answering machines, beepers, VHS/VCRS, Moviefone, blind dates, Thomas Guide maps... holy shit, eye contact! And, mother of pearl! Students, you are screwed.
For starters, I shall have to grade my NaBloPoMo blogging for the month of March 2014 with a solid D. I made an effort, but follow-through, well, fell through. I don't know how people do it. People with actual jobs and families to tend to on a daily basis. How. Do. You. Do. It?
I guess creativity has a lot to do with it. Regretfully, my range in that area is extremely limited. I can come in in a pinch and produce an quasi-impressive effort, but everything has to be just right... you know, the stars must align. I can't see straight.
I've not posted anything in a while. I guess I've been busy... doing nothing! Okay, I do do stuff - doo doo... ha ha! Because, yeah, I'm a 14 year-old boy. - Anyway, there's not been anything prompting me to write, or more like, want to write.
Yep. That sums things up.
UPDATE: I quit carpooling nieces & nephew a few weeks back; had to be done.
Okay, I'll be sixty years old in ten years... six zero! What. And, if I consider how long I've been writing up until now, yeah, I do believe I will be still be writing in 10 years. Not necessarily blogging though. I surely was not blogging 10 years ago; not even 5 years ago.. at least I don't think so.
I like blogging; the idea that somewhere on the planet, someone has taken a few minutes to read - sometimes, translate - stuff that came out from my thoughts. That's cool, right? It is rare that I get a comment. I might have a couple of followers.
I started writing to share my family's ordeal during life-changing challenges resulting from long-term job loss and trauma of having to neglect much needed health management for my chronic illnesses. I was distressed; life was in turmoil. I felt some needed to hear my perspective as an American forced to abandon the idea of that "dream" we all aspire to achieve.
At the moment I'm hoping to eventually go further into telling of my family's experience during our time in A Home Not Our Own. I don't know if there is any interest here, but appreciate, nonetheless, any visits and, maybe, a comment or two every once in a while
Yeah, I'll probably be blogging, or doing equivalent, in the years ahead.
I headed over to BlogHer tonight in search of a hint or prompt of what to write about tonight, and in keeping with this month's theme:"So what is the NaBloPoMo theme of the month? SELF" Who are you? No, really, we want to know. That's why we read your blog. Isn't that a little crazy? That there are people out there who are fascinated with... YOU....Does blogging bring out your best or worst self?"
Hmmm... best or worst self. Well, if one considers that all I can do is be honest and try my best to make my thoughts understood; I happily welcome visitors to my post and hope they read each one through. It is in that respect that I'd say blogging brings out the best in me.
The times when, if I'm to be completely honest, I feel like the worst of me is present is when I think I have to defend myself. I blog for me. I blog with the idea that perhaps, even a single sentence may be of help to someone. But, there have been a couple of instances when I've been attacked due to who knows what. I'm not responsible for a readers feelings, mood, or disposition when they choose to read my blog. And, while I do appreciate honest dialogue, I prefer not to be told what to write... you know, all that lollipops, rainbows and puppies type stuff. I'm writing about real life; my life, and I'm not going to stop.
So, I hope readers will appreciate my efforts, and find it in themselves to offer honest and constructive comments without seeming hurtful. I in return will always do my best to be genuine and my writing purposeful.
What brings out the best; worst in you when you blog?
There would be a proper March 2014 NaBloPoMo blog post here, but the dog ate my lunch? No, but my dog did get into some rubbish while I stepped away for a few minutes - everybody pees - and I just spent too long cleaning up after our naughty beagle, which then propelled me to bag up some recyclables, and now I'm tired... plain and simple.
Today I served as advocate for my 86 year old mother.
If you knew me now, you'd have a hard time finding said advocate. But, she's here, deep within - experienced, vocal, determined, steadfast, stern, accomplished, All within me. I, myself, am often surprised by this.
My earliest recollection of possessing this quality was about age four; I was in headstart, a preschool program for low-income children... it was in it's infancy. By that time, I could read. I found myself at odds with the fact that because of my age, I could not advance to kindergarten in traditional elementary school. Although, I was still not able to convey my opinion to those in charge of my early education, I recall being disappointed by their decision... extremely disappointed.
Another time, at age five, I found myself disagreeing with family doctor about his reluctance to request specialist to remove a large birthmark on my right leg. This birthmark was a crippling presence all my life. I'm still insecure and embarrassed by it.
So, since those early days I've learned to speak up for myself regardless of the outcome... I've always felt that I should at least be heard when my best interest was at stake.
Fast forward to today. Mom needed me to advocate on her behalf. I found discrepancies in course of treatment for her chronic illnesses. Just last week, my sister and I received information which indicated that Mom now only had to take a few meds out of the 10 or so she had previously been prescribed. My questions was why. She has Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, thyroid deficiencies, anxiety and a few other things that must be managed with medication. I thought it odd that none of those discontinued were tapered off, nor was there an explanation as to why they had been discontinued..
Mom recently was issued new caregiver. It was this caregiver who took her to her last doctor follow-up visit. It was this caregiver who provided incomplete copies of Mom's doctor's notes. I needed answers.
So, I called her doctor's office this morning, and understood that I was not authorized to communicate with them about my mother's care without her consent. I immediately called mom, asked her to get ready - this 86 year old was dressed to the nines when I picked her up; I was in a t-shirt, yoga pants and sneakers - I'd be picking her up to go take care of business at hand.
Regretfully, office staff... or, more accurately, front desk receptionist, did not seem the least bit interested in even acknowledging me when I approached the counter. I did notice she presented a much more pleasant demeanor toward a toddler roaming the waiting room. I had notified by phone that I'd be right over with my mom to sign authorization. I mentioned that I had several questions regarding her treatment. Over the phone, it seemed that they were more that willing to accommodate us with everything we needed.
Sensing her unmerited disdain for me, I asked if there was anyone else to assist me. She replied yes, but didn't feel the need to ask anyone else in the front office, when in fact the assistant who I would eventually speak with was sitting right beside her. I sat to wait, but became inpatient when I took note that she seemed to dismiss me. I got up to stand at the counter, all the while waiting for eye contact or an acknowledgement from her. Keep in mind, the office did not seem one bit busy; there was only the woman with the small child, who seemed to be waiting for someone.
I was eventually passed on to Mom's doctor's assistant and was relived that she was professional - but, nonetheless put off by my questions. I was bothered by their lack of concern with regard to Mom's med management. Her doctor actually appeared from exam rooms, but did not make a single inquiry as to what was being addressed.
I was tired, I was unprepared, I was frustrated... I focused, I gathered all the information I felt would help me tackle the next phase to take care of the matter of correcting error made by caregiver. Satisfied, my Mom, son, and I left with doctor's medication list, and current pharmacy history. At Mom's apartment, my son and I spent about two hours sorting meds, verifying dosages and how administered. Did I mentioned I was tired? At this point I was hungry and distressed. I needed to leave Mom's to do school pick-up carpool.
Tonight, I requested assistance from my sister and her daughters, my nieces. We all agreed on times to call Mom to remind her to take her meds at times indicated on physician's script. I'm optimistic that we can manage Mom's care as a team, in her best interest.
Where've you been, and what took you so long to arrive? Please, be gentle.
February. wow! Did you have to be so stressful and obnoxious? Let me start with the weather:
Ninety degree temps... NO, just no. My skin is already crying out from distress because of the intense sun and heat.
Inefficient so called "public social services." How do you even exist? Clearly there is no oversight, and I can only wonder just how many, and at what levels, are turning a blind eye to this entire system. I still don't have a doctor here.
My nearly-paid-off vehicle... why? I've put so much care into you. Okay, sorry about interior messes. Let me spell it out for you... K-I-D-S & D-O-G-S. Okay, okay... the whole fam damily is to blame for that. Sorry. Anyway, we could handle replacing the headlight bulb, but did you have to go all whole hog and kill us with cost of brakes and oil system repairs. Not to mention, there's still the airbag warning and master cylinder work that needs to be done. We don't have that kind of money to throw around. Hello, ramen noodles.
Finally, body. Really? I know, age 50... things start to happen. Granted, things have been happening for the past 25 or so years. But, 2014, things are going down hill fast. Starting to wonder how much longer I'll be able to stand or walk.
Wait... one more thing. If things weren't crummy enough, my dear, old much beloved Blackberry ticker (battery) took it's last tick.
So, let me repeat... Hello, March! Welcome, welcome, welcome. You've already been good to me... here on your first day, even! You're nice. Let's see what's in store for us:
First, the weather. Gorgeous... my favorite. Cool, breezy, cloudy, drizzly. Perfection.
Relief. Relieved that The Hub's finally received much needed dental care and is looking forward to being free of extreme pain as root canal treatment proceeds. Grateful for my old friend, and former boss... a dentist; thankful he accepted our cash payment plan request.
Yay, car-y! You are nearly all paid off... thanks for "being there" for me all these years. I knew when I found a photo of you and set it as my computer desktop that you'd be mine; just a few months later you were in my garage. March is gonna be a busy one, with zero work/kid carpool days off, so stay strong for me.
Body, you be strong for me too. I somehow managed to get mom's T2 diabetes under control, now it's time to turn focus back on me & the family under this roof by doing all I can to prepare nutritious meals... except today. Oh, and maybe tomorrow. Yeah, let's start that on Monday, when I'll finally have sufficient grocery money available for a week's meal plan.
Oh, boy, try to guess how happy I am that replacement battery for my Blackberry arrived today... go on, try. I'm super happy!
I have enjoyed my new hobby... vlogging. Having a lot of fun recording and editing videos to post on my new YouTube channel. Take a look...
All in all, not a bad one. No earthquakes... wait... day isn't over yet. Eek! Fingers crossed no earthquakes. Yes, that's more accurate. And, while fingers are crossed, hoping they'll do double duty for The Hubs job search to end soon. It's already too darn hot here, and it's only February! Come on, perfect, right job, in perfect, right location, with perfect, right weather temperature ranges, as well as, perfect, right opportunities for our family to continue on this path to full restoration.
So, what else? Hmmm... Oh, it's always a good day when you have no idea going in, what's dinner, and it turns out to be one of the most delicious meals you've ever cooked. Yeah, that's pretty great.
Yes, it was a pretty good day, tried to be of purpose, and helpful toward others. Laughed a lot. Now, getting ready for bed.
It's been a good day.*
*Oh, my god! Except for the tremendous pain in my legs and feet. Must start looking for a doctor tomorrow... STAT!
Yes, almost positive it's Thursday. And, it's was a super busy one. I got up, made sandwiches for school lunch, then drove to pick up nieces and nephew for drop offs at high school and middle school. When that was done, I drove husband to work, then dropped off my littlest passenger at the elementary school. I love doing this; later it was school dismissal pick up time, then off to pick up my husband from work. Tomorrow morning, little and I will make a special run to Starbucks for a kids' size and temp hot chocolate for my niece and a non-fat chai latte for me.
Another reason I'm so exhausted today is due to spending time with my sister. She wanted me to choose an outfit as a birthday gift. We browsed Costco and Sam's club for the few large items she hopes to buy for her new appartment... futon, desk, chairs, bar stools, a grill, cookware, etc. I'm excited for her moving into a new place...a much larger place. Had more fun after school pick ups, browsing a large furniture store in our area. My sister even convinced me to go into Walmart with her. Yeah... I left there in a grumpy mood. I try my best to stay away from that place. When done with that, it was time to pick up the husband, hurried home to start dinner, realized I had hardly eaten all day due to broken molar, so I inhaled pesto pasta and linguine with clam sauce. It was so good. I also continued my birthday celebration when I found a serving size red velvet cake that had been missing from yesterday's special dinner. It was delicious and worth the wait.
Presently, I am consumed by the need to sleep and will be heading off to bed as soon as I'm done with this blog post. Time to log off from here. Hope you all have a great Friday and weekend.
Sorry, but not gonna happen... not this week. This week the goal is to somehow manage to stretch every single dollar in my wallet. The good thing is that the pantry and fridge are still nicely stocked, so not a problem. Let's just call this week bean burrito-, salad-, and pasta week.
I have a little project that I'm working on and will hopefully be able to share it with family and friends soon. So I'm excited about that. Another fun thing is that my birthday is this week and I'm hoping I can at least pick up some sushi for lunch on Wednesday, and maybe have red velvet cake for dessert that night. We'll just have to see. I'm just glad everyone in the house is feeling loads better; flu bug that hit a couple of weeks ago seems to finally have left the building... thank goodness. It was brutal.
And, speaking of building, I've re-dubbed The Place. I shall now refer to it as The Patchy Place. That's the only true way to describe it, because it seems to have been designed without much planning or care for detail. When we try to imagine what thoughts went behind this choice or that we all are stumped. It's not our place and we could just leave it at that, but I do wish it were a bit more accommodating. So much so that for my birthday I've asked my husband to call the homeowner to ask if we could clear out a few more of her kitchen cabinets - the ones still stocked with food stuff she seems to have abandoned here. Weird.
Anyway, I'm just glad this place provides shelter, air conditioning, and enough space to keep the few belongings we've acquired since leaving Colorado almost one year ago, like the Christmas tree with all the new handcrafted ornaments that we made still up in the living room. Ho, Ho, Ho
That's right, 2014, week three meal planning and grocery shopping for this family is complete... DONE! Now, let's just hope recovery from last week's horribleness keeps going strong. I had moments today, while out running errands, when I thought maybe I should have stayed in bed. I had three coughing fits that wore me out, and my respiratory system still seems compromised, but I have things to do, places to go, and little stinkers to drive to and from school starting again tomorrow. I also have a healthy supply of green tea, wildflower honey, Ricola lemon mint lozenges, baby formula Vicks, Kleenex boxes, and Purell.
So, aside from some small discomfort, I was productive today and am happy to proclaim "Momma is back in the business of feeding her brood." And, I managed to keep grocery costs under budget, too. I even picked up all of mom's groceries (again, under budget), and plan on preparing some of her favorite healthy sauces, snacks, teas, and desserts tomorrow.
Biggest bonus today: waking up to clean kitchen counters, clean clothes, cleaned house... thank you family.
What's dinner this week, you ask?
Monday: Build your own burritos ~ flour tortillas, pinto beans, bacon, avocado, jack cheese, green chile salsa.
Tuesday: Pasta with tomato basil sauce, Italian sausage, caesar salad, and garlic bread.
Wednesday: Build your own tostada ~ crisp corn tortilla, refried beans, seasoned ground beef, shredded lettuce, diced tomato, avocado, black olives, shredded jack and cheddar cheese.
Thursday: Meatball, marinara, and provolone cheese sandwiches.
He ran through the kitchen sliding glass door screen of mom's studio apartment that I had just opened, as I turned my attention to Mom to say hello. He was whimpering excitedly, tail wagging... a burst of energy. He was clearly in unknown territory, and now he was in my mom's apartment; at my mom's feet. Mom is terrified of dogs, and this little guy ran directly toward her. She tried her best not to lose it. A bit excited now herself, mom welcomed this little bundle of energy. The sweet little dog had a white heart-shaped spot between his ears; she saw this as an encouraging sign... the dog was a bundle of love.
Now, to troubleshoot the situation. I checked for tags... none. I tried to calm him with food and water.. not having it. I took him outside in hopes that he belonged to a neighboring apartment tenant; maybe he escaped an open door... nope. Eventually, I walked the entire complex asking the few people I ran across if the little guy looked familiar. No one had a clue. But on my second round, joy. From the street, I heard excited screams, followed by, "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!." The woman who had been pet sitting Cookie, shouted, "There he is!" Cookie? Anyway, Cookie was from out of town and dashed out the woman's car door at some point; she had been driving around frantically looking for him. She was in tears. Both were overjoyed to be reunited. Now on his leash, still happy as can be, Cookie jumped right into the car, and away they went into the cool desert night.
Really, WebMD? I think you know whether or not I've logged my food and fitness plan for today... or yesterday... or day after that... and so on. It's been weeks, no, more like months since I've logged any meal plans or fitness goals to the website. This week here, it's been a brutal one. No real meals to speak of until tonight... Chinese - and, man I hope that wasn't a mistake. Looking good so far.
Did you happen to catch yesterday's blog post? Menu Managed!?! More like Menu Mangled! Yeah, go on... link over to it now. There's a pretty sweet selection of foods with which I would be preparing this week's meals - mostly dinners. Well, not so fast. In fact, whoa Nelly, let's rein things in, we've a very ill wage-earner fighting a mighty cold and cough for the last few days. And, you know what that means when there are no sick-pay benefits from his receptionist position... two days lost income. What else does that mean? Must make choices: Gas, doctor visit, medications OR food. *sigh*
So here's this week's grocery list re-do:
Ramen noodle soup
Tylenol (assorted varieties)
Ugh.... It's Monday. Do I have to get up? And, what about this "Menu Managed #2" madness. Which menu? I see no menu. Week's Groceries... nope, nada. If the object of the game is to be in no way ready to take on the week, then I am a winner... Achievement Unlocked, baby! As I mentioned on Twitter last week, this is the "Year of the Slacker," right? Nailing it.
Nearly a year in "The Place" now, we have managed to make it "homey." It was especially nice while College Girl was here for a month. She's back at school on the opposite end of the country, and we're all here, trying to regain normalcy that includes, jobs, school, carpooling. Oh, and cuteness - that's Shadow- and Sombra-dogs' department. So, only glitch in the works is that everyone is home sick today.
Since I'm a bit behind, please, allow me here, to create this weeks grocery lists. Going to start with mom's because, well, that's of utmost importance. Mom is unable to do grocery shopping for herself, and if she could, she'd be buying herself loads of unauthorized foods. Who's the "authority" in this instance? My sister and I. So... mom's list.
*Grandma Carmy's List 1% milk low sodium V8 diet cranberry pomegranate juice Perrier non-fat plain yogurt 100 calorie walnut & almond snack packs low-fat mozzarella cheese sticks raisin bran cereal dried apricots frozen fruit (cherries, blueberries, mango) Dreamfield spaghetti canola oil ground turkey beef medallions Eggbeaters whites hummus *All set with fish & veggies for the week. Carilo Grocery List: 2% Milk. Evolve protein drink boxes (latte, chocolate) cranberry juice apple juice orange juice Perrier Better Oats raw oatmeal w/ flax almonds Fage non-fat yogurt honey cold-pressed olive oil wild rice whole wheat bread bagels hoagie rolls frozen fruit (mango, blueberries, cherries) dried apricots bananas honeycrisp apples grapes avocado spinach cherry tomatoes green onion habanero monterey jack cheese provolone cheese muenster cheese mozz-balls Italian sausage - hot rotisserie chicken meatballs ribs rack
Yes, that'll do. Now, if I can only make it to the grocery store tomorrow morning... and everybody in the house regains their appetite. Otherwise, it's water, crackers, applesauce & Diet Coke city.
Not really. Here it is first Monday of the new year and not a thought in my head what's dinner beyond tomorrow night's Fish & Chips, Onion Rings, and coleslaw dinner. Suggestion from the house occupants have been made, but before College Girl leaves, I'd like to fix meals by which to make her feel homesick while she's away. Sounds a bit underhanded, yes, but I'm going to miss her very much. She's the easy spirit among her tightly wound older brother and distant teenage sister. I do love them equally, but it's much easier for my middle child and myself to fall into fits of laughter the moment we set out on errands. Same with she and her sister. I also relish in overhearing she and her brother having calm conversation about similar interest. I could not adore my children more.
Now, back to this week's menu. I also should have worked on mom's meal plan over the weekend. Diabetes takes such work to manage, especially for my elderly mom, who has been caught more than once bring unacceptable foods into her house after she's returned from errands with her aide. I'll have to stop by her apartment tomorrow to check her refrigerator and pantry. Hope a gentle scolding will not be necessary on this visit. Following simple instructions which serve to keep her in top health seems to be a challenge for mom. Old habits. I think I've done reasonably well in my efforts these last six months to prevent any further emergency hospital visits. And I'm happy I can help, especially since it had been years since I had last seen her; before her diabetes diagnosis.
One thing I was prepared for and looking forward to was getting back into the routine of driving my daughter and her cousins to and from school. It's been years since my vehicle required use of a booster seat; seeing it in the back seat make me instantly happy. I love that they all seemed okay with having to return to classes after two weeks off... I was never okay with that.
In other news, I was hoping to record a video comment to submit to a favorite You Tube channel. If I'm home early tomorrow I'll give it a go; it'll be a personal challenge, because I'm not a fan of myself recorded on video. Last time I was satisfied with a recording was on a VHS tape on my wedding day... 22 years ago.
In closing this post these questions: What challenges are you faced with with respect meal preparations for your own household and/or an elderly relative? I could use all the help I can get developing a system. Do you ever wonder how routine things in your life might negatively effect our planet?
No, I kid... just food. So, what was dinner tonight? We had roast beef sandwiches - Dietz & Watson thinly sliced London Broil, romaine lettuce, sliced tomato, and rings of red onion, with mayo and a few dashes of D&W hoagie dressing on delicious rolls from Costco bakery. I usually make French dip sandwiches, but this time only my son opted for that. Crispy, crunchy Lay's Kettle Cooked potato chips rounded out the meal. Did I mention it was delicious?
So far, 2014 has gotten off to a good start with regard to family dinners. We welcomed in the year with a lovely salmon, roasted garlic seasoned wild rice, tossed greens topped with my version of Hoppin' John salad. I fixed sandwiches for dinner last night too, but hot - meatball, marinara, and mozzarella cheese on french rolls... yum.
Everyone is looking forward to tomorrow's dinner of chicken enchilada casserole, pinto beans, and Mexican-style rice. I forgot what I had in mind for Sunday; might take things easy with a nice pasta dish.
Yes, 2014 has gotten of to a very nice start... a huge improvement over the last few, very lean years. For me there is no better feeling than knowing I can feed my family well rounded meals for dinner.
Breakfast and lunch are pretty much every man and child for themselves. The way I see it, if you're taller than me, you can get your own food.
What delicious foods have you enjoyed so far this year?
~ Products and establishments mentioned in this blog post are not paid endorsements... I just like them.
I look at myself in the mirror and it makes me happy that I don't look 50... I'm not; not until the end of the month. I look early 40's maybe, and that's good enough for me.
So, what's new here? Not much. This blog still is not about diet, exercise, self-improvement, spirituality, how-to (I tried that on another blog), crafts, home decor, babies, toddlers, etc.
This blog is definitely not about fashion, style, or hair and make-up.
And, I doubt greatly that this blog will ever be about finance or politics.
I guess this blog is just a catch-all. It's where I jot down thoughts, ideas, happenings and events... yeah, stuff like that.
Now, speaking of make-up, mirrors, and reflection... now that we've been in this rental for almost a year, I've become accustomed to seeing my face. Not that we didn't have mirrors or windows in our former home, it's just that I never made much use of them for any purpose. They were just there. This house may be tiny, but there are loads of walls and doors on which one can see their reflection. Now, when I catch a glimpse of the complete package, either here at home, or worse, while out and about, I'm not as happy with what I see. The face is fine... but the body! Needs work. Lots. I'm working on that starting with lunges... you can do them anywhere.
I mentioned above what this blog is not about, but that doesn't mean I'll avoid those topics entirely.
Today, I'm liking my complexion thanks to a Mary Kay gift set that my sister gave me. I love my Burt's Bees tinted lip balm, in raisin... been using it for years, I like my smile when I wear it. Sometimes, though, change is good. I recently switched the family's shower and shampoo products... loving Aveeno shampoo and leave-in conditioner; the dry shampoo leaves our hair very nice too. Nivea cleansers and lotions are leaving our skin clean and smooth, but mostly, smelling great... fresh. This makes me happy too.
So what are your plans for the start of 2014? I'll be searching for a place to get a decent haircut in my area, also hoping to get in to have an eye exam and new glasses in the near future. Here's to a new year. May it be filled with all things good, comforting, and satisfying. That's not asking for to much, is it?
What are you welcoming into your life in 2014?
~ Products mentioned in this blog post are not paid endorsements... I just like them.