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MoonMab's Journal
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Rain, rain, go away already! 05-21-2011 - 12:18 AM
Ugh, I am so sick and tired of rain! It's been insane here! And Oklahoma is like two states. The western half has barely gotten enough moisture to house a guppy, and the rest of us are about to drown.

We had a horrible storm here last week. I had to go to Wal-Mart after work that day. Just as I was driving into the parking lot, the rain started coming really hard and really, really fast from the rain. You know how the water hits your windshield in a carwash? That's how the visibility was. I had to sit inside my car for several minutes while I waited for the rain to abate enough to safely leave my car. I ran into the storm with the rain still falling somewhat hard. Just about every other customer who had already checked out was standing inside the entrance watching the rain fall.

I was hosting a retirement party for our WIC nutritionist last Thursday so there were a few things I had to get last minute or else I wouldn't have bothered going.

As I left the store, the rain seemed to slow down, but about 5 minutes after I left the store, the rain came down in buckets, the wind blew with terrible force--it was like a mini-hurricane. There was so much water on the road in one place that at first, I thought our river must have suddenly swelled it's banks and flooded the road. There must have been at least 4 to six inches of standing water on the street.

And the visibility was horrible! It was a scary drive home. And I wasn't in a safe enough location on the road to be able to pull over and wait.

Once I got home, I changed into dryer clothing and did not go out again that evening.
Speaking of the party, I got a lot of compliments on it! As you all must know by now, I love flamingos. They are kind of my personal cancer survivor symbol. The WIC nutritionist and I both share a love for them so I got all sorts of fun flamingo-themed things for her party.

We have a Dollar Tree store here in town and every spring, they have tons of flamingo party items. I bought plates, cups, silly knickknacks, an inflatable flamingo, etc. And then everyone brought food and I brought a bundt cake of course.

We had a nice time at the party. Despite the fact that the WN could sometimes just be an old cow about the job, as a Person, I like her.

Unfortunately, her leaving is causing a temporary (hopefully only temporary) problem. WIC requires nutrition education and in Oklahoma, we hire nutritionists. We also have to have a nutritionist approve any formula request that is not with our contracted formula. For formula requests, we will now have to contact our nutritionists in the central office. They are not always as understanding and don't council with the clients, so too often, they might say no to a request even when the client might have a legitimate reason to need it. (Usually, these are specialty formulas for fragile babies and children.)

Plus, with her being gone, we will now have to have our WIC clinicians take over the classes.

MY solution had been to have them all one day a month, but spend the entire day holding classes--not certifying anyone, just doing classes.

Well, my clinician, who has taken off every other week it seems lately, has claimed that she thinks it's just terrible that we won't be able to see our clients for certs because of classes. (Yeah right.)

Her solution is to have 2 classes a month, and put all the clients that are due that month into the two classes. So, instead of two classes a week (one for babies, one for children), all the clients will be crammed into one 1 1/2 hour time slot.

This coming Monday, I have 90 people scheduled! We rarely have more than 50 scheduled.

I usually expect about a quarter of my class to actually show, but if we have a quarter of our scheduled clients show up on Monday....oh dear, oh dear, oh dear....not only will there not be enough space in the classroom, but I am going to be struggling to get all their vouchers printed and their next appointments made.

One good thing has occurred though, WIC now had classes on-line for the majority of our clients. There are a few exceptions to who can take them on-line, but a majority of them qualify. I've been sending out letters--lots and lots of letters--telling our clients about the on-line classes. So far though, only about 50 people have taken it--and not all of them were scheduled for the class on Monday....
Speaking of the office, did I mention that PB up and quit all of a sudden a few weeks ago? Lot of emotional, etc., issues there...I hated to see her leave though....I won't go into her personal stuff, but I wish her well and hope she'll be alright.
We had already hired a new clerk to take NG's place when she transfers to a different county. Lots of drama in her life as well--divorce, moving to another county, etc....again, I won't drag all that here....suffice it to say, we are losing here and have hired a new person.

She seems professional, and competent--and is one of my WIC clinician's friends. I can't tell yet if she has been told negative things about me by her, but I overheard NG telling her something today (NG has a hearing loss, and doesn't realize how loud she can be.) I decided not to say anything... I'll just stay at my desk and do my job.

I am going to have to make sure though, that this new, new clerk will have to take messages for me on Monday....
Financial dilemma....

My car needs new tires....it will be close to $400 to replace them.

I have a huge tree limb edging over my roof. It needs to come down...that will most likely be about a $300 or $400 job right there considering the size of the limb and how high up in the tree is the branch it comes off of.

And then I remembered that last year, my property taxes went up 20% with no warning (some stupid law in Oklahoma where property owners CAN be taxed without representation!) and I ended up coughing up an extra $300 or more to keep my monthly house/insurance/tax payments down.

I am hoping the taxes don't soar that high again this year, but considering how cash strapped everything is, it wouldn't surprise me one bit.

So, now, I'm not sure what to do....
Interesting...my dad is hiring me to mow his lawn for the summer. I'll earn about $40 or so a month. Not a lot of money in the end, so I'm not sure what I'll put it towards. I need to put it in some special savings account I guess.
Weight Watchers....Mom has requested the 3 of us do WW for awhile. In early June, we're going to another niece's graduation in Dallas and Mom wants to be trimmer than she is, and has asked dad and I to participate as well....

I miss ice cream! (but I've lost a few pounds so far....)
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So much stress, so little time... 04-29-2011 - 11:15 PM
That's the caption on my favorite coffee cup at work. It has this little orange kitty on it with wild hair that sticks up all around it's head. Looks kinda like me!

So, I'm in that 'crazy mode' again.

First, my lawnmower is broken again. And I mean really, truly messed up. Last year, I hit the sewer cap in my back yard. (sigh.) The light was a little too blinding, my safety goggles were causing some blind spots, I was needing dinner and...well...anyway....

So, Scarlett Rose is back at Sears getting surgery....

Anyway, in the meantime, my backyard--the part NOT killed by "Round Up" looks like a jungle.

Sunday before last, I weed-wacked the entire front yard, then planted my calla lilly bulbs.

Then, I went out of town Monday for a WIC conference in Norman OK (where OU is.)

My friend R and I left town at 06:00 a.m (horrors!) to meet up with another co-worker who lives in another town so we could all ride together.

We were in Norman overnight then came home Tuesday getting home about 06:00 in the evening.

Wed I was so tired, I hardly new up from down. I went to church long enough for a Relay for Life meeting and then turned around and came home where I played on the computer. I MEANT to rest, but have I mentioned I have this...er....addiction to yet ANOTHER computer game? It's called Howrse...and it involves virtual horses...

Anyway....Well, we don't get overtime at work, but we do get comp time. As we had to travel to and from our conference on our own time, we got comp time for that (I have some issues with that which I don't mention to my co-workers as they would think me a goody two shoes. But the way I see it, we were not ordered to attend the conference, and we had a good time, etc.) So, both NG and WIC clinician suddenly decided they had to take that following Friday off. But they don't decide this until the week before the conference.

And we had people scheduled that day already.

So, I reschedule my clients for the following Monday. Well, the Thursday after the conference, NG finds out that her cousin's grand dad had died, and some one else she new had died and both funerals would be on the following Monday, so I had to reschedule all those people AGAIN!

Mondays are tricky anyway as we try to reserve them for our newborns and newly pregnant moms. Well, now we didn't have that second Monday open. The other WIC clinician has been working one week in our county, and one week in another county. Long story about all that...

Anyway, so I tried to put our clients in this coming Monday. And guess what...This time, NG is being sent to clerk in a different county for their Family Planning clinic. That county lost both clerks about the same time. However, instead of having the county where my other WIC clinician is working cancel THEIR clinics for a change, they just told me to cancel our clients AGAIN!

I am really getting P.O.ed! But of course, my supervisor is hand in glove with the Admin Assistant, etc., so I basically have no voice.

And yesterday, there was this HUGE bioterroism response drill throughout the state, so we had to cancel that clinic then too.

I ended up with no role to play, nor did my WIC clinician. Well, my supervisor mentioned like Monday or Tuesday we might as well hold clinic.

Way to wait until the last minute! What she doesn't get is that its not up to me to decide if we hold a clinic. She should have mentioned it to the Clinician. Monday, that Clinician was in another county. Plus, our NEWEST clerk--Pam--just suddenly up and quit last week meaning Cinderella and I had lots of extra stuff to do between us. Despite the fact we had no clinic, I was really, really busy with walk ins.

Tuesday was worse as that was the day our Nutritionist was there and we had her WIC classes to deal with. And its not unusual for people to walk in while I'm already dealing with several clients already and expect to be waited on.

So, again, I didn't give Thursday a second thought.

Anyway, today, one of those clients we had to reschedule called. She already has major mental health issues, so although she was justified in being upset that she couldn't get vouchers until her daughter was seen, she started ragging on MEand NG about not getting seen. I wish they would figure out to call the main office, but I am not going to turn around and stab anyone in the back...but I wouldn't be upset if our clients DID make those calls...complain to the right people, and maybe our Office Heads would be forced to train some of our nurses to do WIC like the ones we used to have could do. Now they mainly sit around waiting for people to walk in to be seen. We have 3 full-time nurses and 1 full-time WIC clinician.

Oh, and did I mention that sometime soon, NG will be transferring completely to another county? She and her husband are splitting up, she moved out of the house, and she has moved back to her old home town so she needs a job closer to home.


Last Friday, I just took the day off as well. I had no clinicians, and I was really stressed out by all the canceling of clients I had to do.

So, Dad and I hung out together. Mom had some friends over for a birthday lunch. Dad and I took Scarlet Rose to Sears and then went and got hot dogs. Then we went to a plant nursery where I found the cutest watering can. It's shaped like a flamingo!

It's really meant for kids, but who cares!

Anyway...I got busy planting some tomatoes, a rose bush and some other stuff I bought. I then went to water my calla bulbs and discovered....a squirrel had eaten them!

I despise squirrels.

I ended up buying some more bulbs--3 calla and 2 day lilly. I have them replanted and this time I have covered them with chicken wire.

I also bought two full grown Calla plants as well. I just hope this wind doesn't tear them up.

OK, I'm skipping Easter, etc. It was boring around here, so nothing to write about anyway.

So, on the painting front....I am still working on some pieces that I hope I can sell for Relay for Life. I'm working on a 3rd Survivor Cafe piece. I hope it will turn out as well as the other two. I have a problem with perspective--somehow, all my human figures end up with their limbs too short or their hands and feet too little....

Speaking of Relay...another dear friend just found out she has cancer. She was rushed to the ER about 2 weeks with a terrible head ache. To make a long story short, she has a glioblastoma which is the same type of brain cancer that Ted Kennedy had.

I am just in shock....

So, one of the figures in my newest painting is a brain cancer survivor.

OK, something fun now:

A few weeks ago, my Aunt S asked Mom to ask me to do a painting for her that she will pay me for. She wanted a beach scene of some kind with a few specific elements in it.

I had the best time designing and painting the piece. I have these two lounge chairs seen from the back. There is a lady in each one. They are both wearing huge sun hats. All you can really see are arms and legs. One lady is reading a book and the other one is holding up a tall slender glass full of a red mystery drink.

There are some sail boats and an island in the distance with a hacienda type house and a light house on it. And back on the near beach, the ladies are sitting beneath a beach umbrella.

I decided that the two women are my Aunt and Mom.

Mom went on and on about how much she liked my Aunt's painting, so I made one for her.

In hers, they are sitting in mauve chairs shaped like oyster shells. Again, all you see are the backs of legs, and one arm each. This time, the ladies are each flying a kite. (When they were in South Padre, they just happened to be their for a huge kite festival.)

Between the two chairs is a picnic basket with crusty bread and olives (my mom loves those foods). plus, there is a carafe and each lady has a tall, slender glass full of the red mystery drink.

Instead of an umbrella, I put in a palm tree.

No, neither painting will ever make it into the Chicago Museum of art, but they are fun paintings. Anyway, I am giving it to Mom for Mother's Day. We took it to Hobby Lobby last week and had it matted and framed. It's at my house right now.

I can't tell you how thrilling it is to see one of my own works framed! We haven't told Dad yet--Mom wants him to be surprised as well.

I can't wait to see it hanging on their wall!

Anyway, that's all I have for now...oh, I've got more, but I'm tired.

And I hear my new painting calling my name....
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And the wind blows 04-09-2011 - 08:47 PM
Well, welcome to an Oklahoma Spring where the winds blow non-stop from March to May. At least that's how it seems.

last few weeks have seen many more ups and downs. I swear I must be sitting on a giant teeter-totter!

We had to have an audit a few weeks ago. I hate those things! And apparently, we can do everything perfectly right all the time, but if we happen to mess up the day of the audit, we still get it counted against us.

And as usual, my books didn't balance. By "books" I mean that the number of cans of formula in our cabinet did not match the number of cans I'd counted in my book. Anytime client doesn't like the formula their baby is on, they can bring it back and we issue a new voucher (provided they are switching to our contracted brand). So this means, we have a closet full of formula that we can then hand out to new clients before their babies are on WIC but waiting for an appointment. Sometimes, things get going "hot" and I might get in a bag of formula and just not have time to process it until days later. Or, some of the cans look alike and I might miscount that way, and well, there are so many reasons....and I have an issue with numbers anyway...sometimes I count backwards....yes, I will add a number when I am supposed to subtract. And if I am trying to do an inventory and clients come in, it throws me off because I'm expected to drop everything to attend to them. OK when they have an appointment, but when they don't, it's a pain.


So, my Nutritionist was also audited on her stuff, and she jumped me again for making a progress note that to her was inappropriate--basically, something I was again told to suggest to a mom. Oh no, I should not have told the mom whatever it was I'd written down because NOW our nutritionist tells them differently.

OK, so now I'm feeling like an idiot for taking detailed notes. I'd always been taught to do so in order to cover my rear, but now I'm hearing the opposite. So just as I'm thinking "THAT IS IT! I AM NO LONGER EVER, EVER, EVER GOING TO MAKE A DETAILED NOTE AND THEY CAN ALL GO TO THUNDER!" Just as I've decided it's time to just be mediocre, of all people, the woman doing the audit PRAISED me for making detailed notes!

good to have my ego stroked for a change!

All in all, the week before last was very weary-ing.

And I can't decide what to do about Sign Language class. I admit I spend a little too much time on the computer at home, but I'm also trying to do several paintings I can (hopefully) sell to raise money for Relay-For-Life. So when I'm not playing, I'm painting or doing housework.

Last weekend was another one of those mixed emotional weekends too.

Friday, I got to go see our high school steel drum band perform. There was a HUGE percussion workshop for high school bands at our high school. A gentleman who is apparently well-known in the steel drum world came to work with them and had many wonderful things to say about them, so that made me feel really good for our kids--and the playing was amazing! I played clarinet in band at a time when we were seen as geeks, and not worth the spit that ran through our instruments, so to see all the accolades our kids and the school bands get now just thrills me.

Then Saturday, our church congregation had a Praise and Harmony workshop with a man called Keith Lancaster who used to sing with a very popular acapella group called "Acapella." Our denomination has been well know for that type of singing and 4-part harmony ever since it was founded over a century ago, so to have an old fashioned workshop, but to learn brand new songs of praise, was another high for me.

So, Sunday morning, during worship, Keith led our singing. I've always felt very close to God when I sing to Him, but last week...it was....phenomenal...

Anyway, I felt even more uplifted after worship than usual. So, Sunday, I worked on a painting (just finished a series of four water colors of birds that depict the 4 seasons). And then went to church as usual. Sundays, the congregation divides up into groups--some in homes, ours at the building--and we have more of a devotional than anything.

I wont' go into detail on the discussion that night, but suffice it to say, that the gentleman leading the discussion is VERY black and white on some of the things he believes and interprets. There was a family present who had a family member who had some serious issues. Most people don't view those issues as unforgivable anymore. I didn't know about the family present, but I have a passion about the issue in question, so I spoke up. My mother started to get embarrassed by me and looked at me and started mouthing "Drop it! Stop!" and she was giving me those looks that said plainly "You're just a stupid kid who is being defiant and has no idea what you are saying."

I looked at her and hissed "I am a christian and an adult!" I mean, for crying out loud, I AM almost 45!

Anyway, I admit that I have never felt like the person anyone could respect--I was held back in kindergarten, and was often told that I acted immature, or too weird, or whatever, and as a result, I've always had difficulty finding people who I felt accepted and respected my thoughts on anything.

So, imagine my surprise when 1) The family present that night thanked me for my words.

2) My DAD told me he respected me for speaking out!

3) ANOTHER gentleman from church, in that same age group, also complimented me on speaking up!

I really don't want anyone else to say anything, because the man who led the discussion last week, really is a good man, and was raised totally differently than the rest of us--he's probably never had to deal with that issue, or if he did lose a loved one at some point, was probably so devastated he couldn't see that person's pain.

Anyway, it's nice for a change to have people close to me tell me "good job!" I've been needing to hear that for a very long time.

Well, it's been yard work time again. I looked out my French doors a few weeks ago and realized my back yard had turned into a sea of weeds! So, I bought a trusty can of poison and went after them. I tried to be very careful around my other plants, but alas, some apparently got on my peach tree seedlings and they have now passed.

So, then I bought Round Up for the front yard. I noticed it kills weeds a lot faster. What I didn't pay attention to was the inside warning where--unlike the Spectracide that does NOT kill grass--Round Up does.

Which I didn't discover until I'd poisoned my grass in the front yard...so now, once I finally get to mow, my front yard will look like a leper...and I still didn't get all the weeds.

But in the meantime, I've bought 6 calla lilly, a strawberry plant, a lavender, some basil, some tomatoes, and a new rosemary. As soon as the frost concerns are gone, and the wind dies down (whoops, better not wait for that one!) I can plant again!

OH, and my red bud tree now has a red bud on it!
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Stomped on and ground into the dirt 03-16-2011 - 10:17 PM
That's been my week. Monday, we were down a clerk and the whole world it seems came walking in through our door. It was especially rough during the lunch hour when half of us were at lunch at a time.

So then, WIC Clinician (WC) needed to take off on Friday, and so did NG. They had me call everyone on the schedule and have them come in on the 21st. We were going to double up between the two clinicians--I'd be seeing someone every 15 minutes. So, we'd made all the calls, and then found out that WC couldn't be in our office on Monday after all. Her time is being split between two counties right now until we have funding to hire a WC for another county, so Monday, because of a scheduling issue in the other county, WC will be there.

So, that meant calling some people, moving people...and on top of that, a different WIC clinic had to contact us about 3 times as several of my families decided to transfer their WIC there. All this happened at about the same time.

Then, Tuesday, our WIC nutritionist calls in sick. This means she can't come to do her classes, but I still have to see all her clients. My job was to give them handouts, and mark them as having attended. Doesn't sound too bad, but when N is in our office, she takes the class to a separate room and they can remain occupied while I run out their vouchers, schedule their next appointments, and also check in WC's clients, answer the phones, etc. And yes, even when I have a classroom of people to take care of, I'm still expected to take my WIC calls, even if all I can tell them is "I have to call you back."

In the meantime, my throat kept hurting--allergies. My gut was acting up--too much fiber, or coffee, or who knows...but I actually had to stop right in the middle of printing vouchers for one of my clients to run to the bathroom. Sometimes when I get like that, I can actually feel my face heat up as if I have fever.

And to top it off, I discovered that my bra was too tight, so my breathing was not as comfortable either.

And then, just as I was leaving for lunch, a client called. She got miffed when I told her I had to leave. She uses this complaint that I hear so many clients try to use to manipulate my time "I've been trying to get hold of you all week." Uh, it's only Tuesday, and no, you did NOT try and get hold of me on Monday, or even the week before.

Anyway, I promised I'd call her back the minute I got back from lunch.

I really needed to get away so I could go pick up my new glasses. They are cute, they have a faux animal print look. Not quite leopard, but a sense of it. But their color tends to disappear into my own skin and hair. Still, they're cute and different.

Anyway, I did try and call the client back, but of course, she did not answer HER phone right away. As it turned out, she was just replying to my phone call about moving her appointment from the 18th to the 21st.

I got together with my folks after work, and then we went to dinner. I thought we were having Sign Language class last night, so we hurried a little through supper, then I had to run home, change clothes and use the bathroom again. And after all that, I found out there was no class last night. I don't know if I just missed the teacher telling us that, or if it was a last minute decision and he just forgot to call me...it has happened before. There are only a handful in his class, so it wouldn't be impossible to call everyone. On the other hand, I have a life-time problem of zoning out--sometimes my mind wants to fly elsewhere when people are talking. I'm a better visual and tactile learner than an audio learner.

Well, I went back home, and at least got some work done on my next painting. I'm still drawing it in. It's got a lot of figures in movement, so it's taking me awhile to figure out depth, etc.

OK, so today, I get up, and I have just poured the last dregs of some dry cereal into my bowl. I was trying to catch the weather on T.V. I decided to flatten out the cereal box while I watched the T.V. I figured it would be easier to fit the empty box into the trash while it was flat. (sigh). It had some cereal in it. And it went all over the floor. Of the living room.

So, get out the vacuum cleaner....

Now at work. I've just hustled to fax some ERF (exception request forms) to our nutritionist who is back in the office. She's in a different county on Wednesdays. When she called, I thought it had to do with the ERFS. (We give them to WIC clients who's babies or children might either need a specialty formula that our contract with GoodStart does not cover, or maybe needs formula beyond a year due to some serious medical issue.) Usually, if she calls me about an ERF I have faxed to her, it might be to tell me that the doctor didn't fill out the form properly, or she might call to have me tell the parents some specific instruction, or to make sure I schedule the child for a one on one appointment with the nutritionist.

No, that's not why she called me.

A few weeks ago, we saw a client--a child just over a year. He is still physically way behind due to being a premie. Because of this, he still cannot eat solid food. Our nutritionist did try and work with the mom, but all she could really do in the end was just assign a special formula. She could do nothing--or would not try and do anything special (sometimes special food packages can be programmed by the state for one specific client) that would allow the client to continue to get baby food. And according to our SoonerStart (physical therapists) this child can't even eat food that has been processed in a blender.

The mom told the nutritionist that she can't afford to buy both the baby food and the regular food for herself. I can't remember if the mom had no food stamps or if they weren't due to download to her card for several days. Whatever the case, she was in a bind.

So, the nutritionist called me--at one point to bawl me out because I mentioned to mom that sometimes the state could make the special package. I know, I know, stupid of me...but mom was in my face, whining, crying, boohooing...and not getting it that I can't do more than give her the vouchers. And I also know that sometimes this current nutritionist doesn't really go that extra mile as much as nutritionists in the past have done. Anyway, I didn't expect the client to call her directly but she did. The nutritionist had given the mom her cell phone number at some point or mom got it off her caller ID. I myself would NEVER call a client with my private phone just for that reason.

Anyway, the nutritionist then suggested that I call the mom and suggest that she "eat the food herself and buy the baby food." OK, I was rather shocked that she suggested this. It has always been told to WIC clerks, clinicians, etc., that only the client, who's name is on the vouchers, is supposed to have that food. We are NEVER to suggest that other family members share it.

Before I called mom back, I had already called SoonerStart to see if they had any suggestions as to where mom might get baby food--if there were any pantries, etc., who could help. So, I never did call mom back. However, I had made a note to myself to suggest what Nutritionist had suggested to me.

Whenever a clinician gives me a suggestion, or an order, I make a note in our WIC screen called the "comments screen." Those notes can be noted as read, or erased, etc. They appear on the voucher printing screen and the vouchers can even be locked until the note is marked "read" if the message is of some urgency.

Well, I never did suggest to mom that she eat the child's food (not the baby food we couldn't get for her, but the food that all one-year-old's get.) But I forgot about the comment.

So, today, the nutritionist calls me to tell me that some big wig in the Main WIC office had seen that note (not sure why she was looking at it. I think the nutritionist had to call her and get some kind of permission to give the child the special formula.) Anyway, she freaks I guess and calls our WIC consultant--who our nutritionist and WIC clinician have to answer to directly--who then calls our Nutritionist and tells her that My comment was basically fraud and that N had to call and talk to me about it.

N never did remember that she had suggested that I tell the mom to eat the food herself. I was shocked, and of course, when I am shocked or upset, I am not as able to access information as quickly as I need. So I could not get the darn computer to pull up the child's name. I really thought I must have done something even stupider--like put it into the progress note screen which cannot be taken out.

And then, to add insult to injury, N told me "this is not like blogging where you can write about your emotions."

What the H--L?!!!!! To even suggest, that after 14 years of working with this program, I wouldn't know the difference between a private blog and a work related notation in the computer?

As I was trying to bring up the client's name, all I could remember was that there was a lot of emotion going on, so my emotions got blamed for the comment. SHEESE! The minute I finally got the client's info to come up, I went in and deleted the comment. No, I will not keep it up for "evidence". If it anyone dares to say anything about it, I will tell them who exactly told me to tell the mom to eat the food AND tell them I never suggested it after all.

So, to top up that conversation, we are having a WIC audit the week after next. For any thing we don't do perfectly, we get a "finding". Our WIC consultant is picky beyond necessity. WC and I really think she sees rules where there are only suggestions. One of those is to stick a form in the face of anyone I see asking them if they want to register to vote. It does not mean they HAVE to register, it only asks them if they want to.

I get quite a bit of negative feedback about it from clients. The clients in my county are also pretty bad to come in late, no paperwork, chasing their kids, etc. So by the time they finally fill out the 2 page worksheet on their child's or selves eating habits, we usually end up running late enough that every minute does start to count. As a result, I don't make a habit of shoving the form in their faces, but i do have them sitting out on my desk.

In the other county that everyone else works at, there is a WIC clerk I'll call V. I really liker her. She's sweet, nice, etc. But sadly, I get compared to her all the time. So, I mentioned to N that most likely, I would end up getting a finding over those forms. What does she say "V always does it this way...." at that point, I just about lost it.

OK, that was morning.

My parents have this bad habit of not telling me when someone we care about has died. I usually find out about it when I am there at lunch and Dad is saying the prayer and he asks for special comfort for the family of the deceased.

That's how I found out today that one of my dad's cousins--one our family was still very close too---had passed away. So we are making a flying 12 hour round trip to Texas on Sunday. And I can't take Monday off to relax because there will be no one to cover for me. So, Sad Sunday, and exhausting day the next day.

So I'm still feeling upset about the morning when I get back from lunch. Then, our 12:30 client starts asking about a breast pump. There are specific rules about how we can hand them out. I am not authorized nor do I know the rules. I told the client she would have to ask WC.

She and her baby had an hour appointment. Hour and a half later, our next client showed up. I got her checked in, called WC and told her the next client was there. She proceeds to chew me up because the client asked about the breast pump! It takes extra time to issue one. Honestly, there really is no good time to do one...if she got all the time she says she wants, that means to see both the mom and the breast fed infant would take an hour 1/2. Well, like NG said, WC did not HAVE to give the client a breast pump at that time.

I really think it would have just taken one more spark, and I would have challenged a throw down with any clinician who challenged me today. Not the way I like to feel, but I think I could take them.

I love taking care of my clients, but I get really sick and tired of being treated like a pile of rotten manure. It's not right.

It's just not right.

I'm taking Friday off. But I'm having company.

Saturday, I'm holing up and doing nothing but drawing.....

Oh, and tomorrow...I have to go see the onc/gyn. Wish me luck...it's been a bad week.
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So much drama, so little time.... 03-12-2011 - 06:47 PM
Wow, has it really been over a month since I was last on? WHEW!

I am going to try and keep this entry short...too much stuff otherwise.

OK, about a week after that last huge snowfall, the temps got up to 75 degrees and everything melted. It was amazing! I left for work and I still had traces of snow all over my lawn. I came home, and it was as if the snow had never been.

In the meantime, I got a small ice jam along a corner where my porch meets the roof line so snow leaked through my gutters (for some reason, there was not a downspout where one was needed) and it caused water to leak through and basically took the paint off my porch.

So, now that I have my refund, I am going to hire someone to fix the gutters and replace a shingle that has come off.

I have finally lost my faith with the medical community. I won't go into detail, but it took the K-Mart pharmacy 4 days to get one prescription filled for my hormones. By the time I got them, I had been several days without. Good thing the 'script wasn't for psychotropic drugs!
In the meantime, we are all stressing out at work because in July, we are going to be switched from a once a month pay period to a bi-weekly pay period. This means that our our total salary is now being divided up between 26 weeks, so basically, we are all losing an average of $170 a month...never mind we will get it back eventually. When you need it now, you need it now.

And my mortgage company doesn't have the means of letting me split my mortgage up into two monthly payments.
I'm starting to try my hand at doing paintings that hopefully will sell. I'm done one, and am going to start working on another--probably draw it in tonight. My hope is to use my paintings to raise money for Relay for Life. My first painting depicts 3 cancer survivors in a cafe. The color of their clothing corresponds with the color of the ribbons that represent the types of cancer each woman had.

Last week, we went to Edmond, OK to see my two nieces at the college there perform in a production called "Spring Sing". One was one of the hosts. The show is put on by the 'social service clubs" that OC has instead of sororities or fraternities. The older niece performed in the show.

Also while we were down there, I played about 3 hours or more on the computer with my littlest nephew. Turns out he'd been grounded from all his electronic entertainment and was using me to help him play his favorite on-line game. Little Rascal!

We also celebrated my dad's 80'th birthday while we were there.

I'm sorry to say I find myself spending too much time on the FaceBook game Kingdoms of Camelot, but anymore, I just go there to enjoy the chat of the other players in my "alliance".

I've also discovered a game called "Howrse" that is a "sim" game where you can buy, raise, breed, sell horses and even open your own equestrian center. So far, I have 5 appaloosa. I was trying to go for primarily white ones, but MoonDancer keeps throwing mainly brown-coated offspring. I bought a leopard tan-spotted filly the other day, but I have yet to see what she will produce.

And it's one of those games you have to go to every day to earn virtual money to care for your horses.....anyway, I am really finally getting tired of it, although the pictures of all my horses are very pretty.

So, that's my life in a nutshell. Sure, there's more. But it would take more than an hour to type, and my buzzer for my beans just went off.

Catch ya on FB!
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Snow Slammed 02-09-2011 - 09:24 PM
OK, first, I'll add this last bit about that PA from last week. No, she did not tell me that Cediphen can cause diarrhea. I had to find out on-line that if one is allergic to Penicillin, one should NEVER take Cediphen. And there are anti-biotics I can take that DON'T give me diarrhea. I've been told from another friend that the PA's at this urgent care are very bad to get mad if they make a mistake and get called on it.

Interestingly, Friday evening, Physician's Immediate Care (the Urgent Care Place) called to do a follow-up survey on my experience when I was seen there, so I told them what happened with the PA. The woman I spoke to was very embarrassed that the PA had acted as she had and told me she'd make note of it.

I wish I'd tried to see my allergist, but allergies are so bad here, and as I'd had no fever, and had no real signs of infection until late Friday, I figured their current allergy patients would be seen first. (I don't go in to see him as often as I did when I was taking shots.)

Anyway, I am about sick and tired of snow.

Our WIC conference wasn't canceled last week despite the fact that Norman (where the conference was being held) had about 12 inches of snow as well and I-44 was basically closed as a result of the snow.

Wisely enough, however, my co-workers and I decided not to go. I mostly hung out on the couch all week, except when I was playing Kingdoms of Camelot. I just didn't feel like doing much--I'd read a bit, watched a lot of Animal Planet and Disney Channel...

I tried to shovel my driveway on Wednesday, but it was so cold, I lasted maybe 10 minutes. I'd whined on FaceBook about needing yogurt and late Wednesday evening, my doorbell rang, and there were my next door neighbors' daughters with yogurt, and the husband came over and shoveled off my front porch (I couldn't even open my front door) and most of my driveway.

In the meantime, a neighbor across the street has a little riding snow blower and he ran it up and down the street and into the non-shoveled driveways and cleared them off for us!

Friday, I finally ventured out and went to a local Homeland to get some groceries plus got a new book to read.

Then Saturday, I ventured across town to check on my parent's house to make sure all was ok at their house. I promptly got Scabby (my Cavalier) stuck in their driveway because the drifts were so deep. Finally, a guy came over and helped me dig him out and I got him settled about a foot away from the sidewalk.

Sunday, I went back over after church and shoveled about 1/2 of the driveway off for me to get my car in and out.

I stayed home Sunday evening--the residential street around our building was still pretty bad during the daylight.

So, Monday and Tuesday, I just got really tired at work. Monday, I had a woman go off on me because the hours for WIC just don't work for her...

Tuesday, we had to have nutrition ed classes, which means extra clients to take care of. And everyone waited until the worst possible times to come in and want special things done for them--food package changes primarily. Then our last one for the morning came in late--0nly by 10 minutes, but she was a new client--we were seeing her child--which means a lot more extra things needing to be done. Plus, our last class of the morning--I don't get people some times...half the class came up to me before class, and let me know they were here, gave me their id folders so I could run out vouchers, etc. The other half--5 people, just came in and sat, and did so after class, and couldn't understand why I hadn't called them up...hello?

They need to let me know they're here to begin with! You would thing it would be common sense. I can't imagine going into my doctor's offices and just sitting around assuming they would know who I was and that I had an appointment.

Anyway, by the time I got their vouchers out to them, and our last certification was taken care of, I was 20 minutes late getting to late. Basically I had time to run to my parent's house (they're out of town, so I want to make sure it looks like there is someone home), bolted down a sand which, did some housework, and ran back to work.

I was exhausted the rest of the day, and began to realize that my right side was starting to hurt.

I got to leave about 20 minutes early, and came home and just lay on the couch for about 2 hours before I could get up and eat anything. It was so cold out by the time I left work, and I felt so bad, that I didn't even have the energy to run by the store first.

I am wishing I had some orange juice.

Anyway, our 4 to 8 inches of snow they said we'd have in our town turned into 15.

I went to bed early for me last night, so missed on FB that we were closed today. I got up about 06:10 and looked outside. And just then, my super called to tell me we were closed again today.

I went back to bed.

In some ways, I've had more energy today than I have in awhile. I got outside by going through my garage and cleared paths around my both my front and back doors, and then my next door neighbor came over again and helped me clear my driveway. Plus, the neighbor with the snow blower finished it off for me.

But most of the day, I've had that pain...it might be a brush with diverticulitis which my mom tends to suffer from every now and then.

So I didn't eat much today, but everything I did eat was mainly carbs for some reason. I finally had some raw spinach this evening.

Anyway, it's supposed to get down to -7 tonight, so I've got my heat up even higher, and I've got my water dripping again.

I've found out that work is closed again tomorrow. I hope those clients don't try to get out and come in.

And it just occurred to me that my bills are going to be late--the post man can't can through to my house, and I can't get through to the post office!
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Phase II of being sick 02-01-2011 - 01:20 PM
OK, for those who wondered why I vacuumed when I was stopped up: I found the cats sleeping on my bed right beside my pillow. As a safety precaution, I thought it would be a sound idea to vacuum all their hair off the bed before I tried to go to sleep that night....sigh....what sleep....

Anyway....so, I took my prescription that the PA at Physicians Immediate Care gave me.

I took my first dose Saturday, my second dose Sunday and started the steroids.

I woke up early Monday morning, and needed to go to the bathroom as always first thing, but lingered in bed a moment. So, I was shocked to discover when I finally went that I'd started to have...er...um...let's just say the meds are hard on my gut.

I wasn't sure what to do as i was still having some obvious signs of sinus infection, so I took one more does of the antibiotic. But of course, I was in the bathroom rather often all morning. So I looked up cediphren (sp?) on-line and discovered that if you are allergic to penicillin, you should NEVER take this drug. I wish now I had used the word "allergy" to the PA. I don't exactly have an allergic reaction to penicillin, but it gives me diarrhea when I take it. There are meds I can take, but I don't remember the names of them.

However, when I told them at PIC that I had problems with Penicillin and tetracycline, they should have prescribed something else. And if this Cedipheren is all they could give me, they should have warned me of the side effects at that time and suggested some things I could try to lessen the effects or treat them.

So, I called the clinic and asked if I could get something else prescribed, or could they give me some suggestions on how to treat symptoms at least (with the snow coming in, I didn't want to be running all over town to get a new script--my pharmacy is out of my way to go home.)

At lunch, I ate white rice which helped a little bit, but of course did not cure it.

So, the PA called me back when I was at lunch, so I had to call back once I got back in. Then, after being on hold forever, she was not at all patient or kind. I had mentioned to the receptionist that I'd told them I couldn't take penicillin and wondered if there was anything else I could take. OK, I am used to our clients sometimes telling us "Hey, my baby can only take soy, but you gave us cow-milk formula." Mistakes happen. I wasn't rude or anything about it, but I bet the PA decided to take it personally.

She didn't even offer to call in a different prescription, she told me to use Immodium (which is NOT working by the way) and then told me that this drug she gave me can give me some kind of illness (I forget the name) and added: "If you have that, you will have to get a doctor and get tested for it."

This entire time she's speaking to me, her tone is very snotty. I could tell that it made her mad that I don't have a doctor. You'd be surprised at how many people judge you when you don't have a primary doctor.

The long of it is is that when I first started with the state, we had (and still have) to take the insurance they offer. Well, at that time, there were no local doctors taking that insurance. The only other thing I could have done would have been to drive 60 miles into Tulsa to go to see a doctor. I mean, when one is really sick, who wants to drive for an hour to wait in a waiting room for another hour or two, then get meds, have to get to a pharmacy...well...you see what I mean...

I did get hooked up with a doctor to get my hernia diagnosis so I could get a referral to a surgeon, but she again, was one of these harsh people--no patience....came in, looked, ordered me to get a lot of lab stuff done which had nothing to do with the hernia. Didn't tell me WHY she wanted lab stuff done, but that meant going to the hospital lab at 07:30 a.m. the next morning, and it so happened that we had a mandatory bio terrorism drill we were participating in the very next morning at the local fairgrounds. Unless she could have given me a good reason why I needed lab work, I was going to chose work over lab.

Anyway, once the surgery was done, and we discovered I might have cancer and would need to consult with a cancer doctor, any other kind of medicine, etc., became of little importance to me.

Usually, if I get a sinus anything, I go to see my allergist. I guess I could have marked him as my primary doctor, but....

Anyway, recently, I did call a few places that now take our insurance only to be told they have no more room for new patience. And of course, people are saying that due to the new Health care laws, doctors will no longer be taking new patients on. I don't know if that is true, but of course, that makes me all the more hesitant to find a doctor. And up until now, I haven't really needed one.

But I could tell that B--- at Physicians had the "you are lazy and cheap" attitude--I've seen that same attitude towards many of our clients...i know it well. (no, not my attitude, but I hear it often.)

So, I did buy some imodium, but it is not working. And here I am, home, trapped by the storm, now wishing I'd thought to get yogurt as well when I bought the immodium. I have not taken any more meds today, yet I'm still having problems.

I am not happy....no...Not happy at all.....
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Being sick is expensive. 01-29-2011 - 05:17 PM
Ugh, I'm tired of this sick stuff. Last Sunday, I thought I felt a little breathless right before evening church, but then it hit me that right after Dad had helped me put up the Christmas tree, I'd not only vacuumed the hallway where it had lain, I'd then taken the vacuum filters outside and beat them clean in the cold wind. OK, not my smartest move.

Well, Monday, I felt a little...not great...but still not horrid. Tuesday, by the end of the day, I just wanted to go home and crawl in bed. Every now and then, I had one of those deep in-the-throat coughs but would produce nothing that required medical attention...but my nose was stuffed up, I was sneezing, I couldn't breath deeply, my voice was scratchy....etc.

After I got home, I soaked in the tub, and then after supper, lay on the couch with Mabb. So, suddenly, I feel something on my arm, inside my pajama sleeve. I found this little black thing...

Yes, I am still finding fleas on Mabb. (sigh) So I sprayed this flea killer on the living room furniture and we left the area.

Then, I went to bed and tried to sleep, but it was like I was revved. I'd taken a decongestant, but it's not one of those day-time formulas. In fact, I was wide awake right before the alarm went off at 06:00. I went ahead and got up to call my boss and let her know I wouldn't be in. She has to drive in from Kansas and it takes about 30 minutes for her to get to the office so I felt she had to be up by 06:00. When I couldn't reach her though, i finally tracked down my WIC back-up---she was already on the road.

So, I tried to lay back down, and slept for about 45 minutes, and then the WIC clinician called because I'd also called her phone.

Then I called my parents so they'd know I wouldn't show up for lunch.

But after that, I couldn't sleep, couldn't relax. I decided to soak in the tub, which meant having to heat the bathroom first, so while I was letting the bathroom heater do it's thing, I wondered around the house---restless, straightening things....dropped a pile of books on the joint where my toe meets my foot....ouch!...put away some clothes....

Anyway, I soaked for about an hour, then tried to sleep on the couch. I never really felt tired though....I think it was this weather system moving in...And just as I would drift off, Mabb would suddenly pounce on top of me, stand for a second, and jump back off.

Then my parents called to tell me they were bringing lunch.

Mom had made home-made soup--I have lost the word for the type of pasta but its that pasta that's stuffed with cheese...anyway, there were tomatoes and spinach and chicken broth...yummm.

I tried resting, reading...got bored...I tried working on another painting, but it was badly rendered to begin with....cleaned cat boxes, dishes...

Then, I went into my room and discovered that when I got up Wed morning, I'd neglected to pull my blankets up over my pillow and the cats were sleeping on the place I sleep.

Have i mentioned that I am somewhat allergic to cat hair?

So, nothing would do that I had to change the sheets and vacuum. I had a card table set out in the middle of my family/living room because I'd been trying to work a puzzle I got for Christmas. Well, not only was I tired of trying to mess with it, but I wanted to do a good vacuuming. I figured the more cat hair, mold, etc I could get up, the better off I'd be....

Oh, foolish, foolish words...

I found the floor of the laundry closet where I store the table was nasty so of course I had to drag everything out and vacuum that floor. Then I vacuumed all the carpet. Then I vacuumed off the mattress because when I pulled the sheets off the bed, the cats decided to lay on the mattress.

In the meantime, I am puzzling as to why the cats won't come in the living room with me....and suddenly, it hit me that they could still smell the flea spray and it was irritating to them so they were hanging out in Mom's room. (sigh).

So, the cats had to be banned from my room. Anyway, after I vacuumed the mattress, I put the clean sheets on the bed...but I also decided to wash my pillows and make sure there was no lurking mold, dander, etc.

As that was going on, I made up the bed, and vacuumed the bedspread/quilt....

Anyway, as I was about to finish my vacuuming, I suddenly realized that where before, I was actually feeling a bit better, suddenly, the inside of my nose had swollen shut.


Anyway, by the time I was ready to go to bed, I could no longer breath through my nose. My nasal decongestant was no longer working nor was my anti-histamine I'd taken or my Advil sinus.

And my pillows were still damp and had to be put through the dryer. So, I couldn't sleep with the cats, my only pillow was the one I'd made a few weeks ago, and my feet were cold--I wont' even go into why I didn't get up to put on socks.

And as my nose was stuffed up, I had to breath through my mouth which meant drool which meant I kept waking up to swallow and keep the drool off my new pillow.

So, another night of no sleep.

So again, I got up at 6 and made my calls. I had my pillows go through the dryer again. Finally I fell asleep sometime after 07:00 and got about 3 hours descent sleep. I did take my nasal decongestant again right before I went back to bed, and it did help some.

So Thursday, my throat didn't hurt, I didn't feel the urge for chicken soup or tea, but I was blowing my nose, yet my nose was still swollen high up inside.

Then my parents brought hamburgers and french fries over. At that point, I began to realize I couldn't really taste anything... drat.

This time, I slogged rather than jogged through my day. I started a drawing for a new painting, but although it's a series of the same sea shell over and over, I just didn't feel up to the challenge of drawing it.

Finally, I dragged myself into the kitchen to wash my dishes just as the office called to see if I was coming in on Friday. They basically demanded I NOT come in just sure I was going to get them all sick and "suggested" I go to a Physicians' Immediate Care...I don't know...something about their attitude burned me up.

I know when I'm sick enough to go to the doctor. At that point, I was NOT sick enough to know whether or not I needed to stay in. Their attitude was not at all sympathetic so much as arrogant. So I told them I'd be fine by tomorrow and would be in.

Oh...pride, pride, pride....

My nose drained and drained all night and again, I cuddled up with a kleenex box all through the night....

Couldn't sleep.....

So Friday, I figure I'll be ok and went to work. I think, had I managed to sleep Thursday, i really would have been fine. But somewhere along the day, I began to realize that I was having some color to my drainage....not good.

Still I had no fever, no body aches, and not the really hard drainage I've had in the past when I used to have chronic infections.

Well, after work, I had plans to get together with my parents as they are going out of town for over two weeks. I ran to the grocery store and spent over $25 on Puffs tissues, orange juice, menthol to soothe my nose and a box of ice-cream...which I can't taste so I haven't opened yet.

And then today, after I got up, I had to fill up my car, then went to Wal-Mart to get a trac phone...I don't have a cell and don't want the expense of one, but as my parents are traveling over the next two weeks and I'm supposed to be going out of town myself on Wed, I decided to invest in a trac.

So i got a few more items and then finally decided to go ahead and go to physician's after all.

I had the co-pay of course, then got the script for some antibiotics. My pharmacy is at our local K-mart so I bought some Puffs for my car, and then a different kind of decongestant (used both the minute i got back into my car).

Anyway....another $50 there. Anyway, I think within the last two days alone, I've now spent over $200. maybe more.

It's just shocking....

I had started Friday with a little extra left over at the end of the month...well....not anymore....

So the PA gave me two different kinds of anti-biotics. One I take two pills once a day. The other I take 6 a day, then 5, etc.

However, the directions show me starting them before breakfast, so I think I'll start those ones tomorrow....I just hope this stuff really is bacterial and not viral....

Everyone, stay well!
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And so on.... 01-20-2011 - 08:41 PM
Boy, I can't believe how distracted I keep letting myself get by Facebook these days...(shaking head to self).

So, yeah..Christmas was good. My parents and I spent Thursday evening with my brother and his family--my SIL had to have her wisdom teeth out Monday so she wasn't too perky. I played with my 9-year-old nephew all evening...which trust me, is a challenge...I have no idea how to play hand-held video games...or bionicles, or any of that boy stuff.....but he is a dear.

Then Friday, we took off for Dallas. We ended up in this horrible rain storm most of the way there. It kind of brought back memories of Christmas Eve '09 when we had that huge blizzard.

But the rain was also a blessing...I just wish we hadn't been blessed so much while driving! LOL!

Anyway...my oldest niece had just had nasal/sinus surgery--
part to fix a broken nose/deviated septum and part to make her nose look "prettier". Poor kid, thought she'd have surgery and be bouncing around in a day or two...

Anyway, we had a great time in Dallas as well. It seems all we did was eat, eat, eat and watch T.V. I read my new book about Homer the blind kitten most of the time.

I got a bundt cake pan from Sister #2 and have already used it twice now.

Well, Monday, I had planned to take off and relax at home before heading back to the office, but when Dad heard I had taken Monday off, he decided we should use that for a day of travel....(sigh).

Happily though, Tuesday was not quite as bad as I feared it might be, considering that's the day our nutritionist comes in for all the classes...

Anyway, once we were home, I got the idea to make a photo book of my parent's anniversary party for them. I am now addicted to Shutterfly.

It literally took me days to download all the pictures, and arrange them in a way that really helped tell the story. But my parents love their book and have taken it everywhere to show their friends.

So...Ah yes....my dentist....I am so disappointed in him! When I first got my job, we were only offered one dental insurance. I found a good dentist however who took it. He ended up filling about 4 cavities, He used this clear-looking filler and I just don't remember it costing much.

Well, he sold his practice to my current dentist. About 2 years ago, my dentist decided to drop the insurance I had and started accepting a different kind. It so happened that the State started to provide that same one as a second choice for the employees so I switched. I figure it would be easier to do that then find another dentist in my area.

So, after putting it off for several months what with everything going on, I finally scheduled to have one of my fillings re-done. Twice, I asked the cost of the filling. Twice I was told it would be $80.

So, I get the bill and it's $130! WHAT!!!!!

So, of course I call the dentist's office. I am told that apparently, my current insurance doesn't cover the clear-type of filling put into my mouth, and "I am the one who was penalized." Ya think?

And to really make me mad, apparently, this same company decided in 2011 to start covering that type filling--but not year when my filling was done....

You can't tell me that for 2 years, my dentist didn't know that DD insurance wouldn't cover that type of insurance.

I went ahead and paid a little bit on my bill today, but I guess I need to call them again and voice my displeasure. However, I am basically stuck for the year if I want to change insurance or dentists....

Anyway, on to Gertrude--that's my sewing machine....my parents kept hounding me to make something. However, I was busy working on the photo book and putting up Christmas stuff (took me over 2 weeks and my tree and other stuff is still laying in my hallway). But at last, I found the time to try out Gertrude.

She actually comes with a DVD so you can learn how to thread her, run a bobbin, and change the feet thingies....

Our local Wally-World sells squares of fabric that when unfolded turn into nice size pieces of material. I practiced sewing them together....OK, one side is light turquoise with black cats and white cats--cartoon style.

The other side is leopard print.

I know I must have some sort of lexia...I would put the material together, sure I had the back sides pinned, ready to flip them inside out when it was time to stuff the pillow.

Twice....TWICE...I would get 3/4 of the way around and discover that either I had pinned the material with the front side of one facing the back side of the other, or pinned with the two backsides already facing each other.

I decided not to rip it out after the second flub...oh well, now my odd little pillow has a ruffle.

Anyway, after that, I started another Shutter Fly project. I have now made 2 calendars out of the photos I put on-line of my paintings. I'm giving one to my parents and keeping the other.

Plus, our nutritionist is retiring this year. My watercolor of all the flamingos was inspired by a photo her husband took on a trip. She gave me a copy of the photo, so I have ordered a 14 by 20 inch copy of a photo of my painting to give to her for her retirement.

It's been terribly cold here... We had a dusting of snow last week, and after that, the cold got down into the single digits.

Monday was a holiday. I had thought I might hang out with my folks, but mom wasn't feeling good. Soon, I found myself back on Face Book playing kingdoms of Camelot again....I got to participate in my first, actual, war....and suddenly, I realized I'd been on-line for 5 hours, off and on throughout the day....there was a lot of fun chat so I didn't notice the time slipping away...

I think I'm allergic to snow. Tuesday, I had one of those creeping sinus/neck headaches that became so fierce that I had to go home 30 minutes early. I took tons of meds after I got home. Yet, there was a mild twinge throughout yesterday morning.

Then last night, we got 4 inches of snow. It mostly melted, but tonight, it's supposed to get to 8 degrees. BRRRR

So, nothing much else...miss everyone...
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Now where was I.... 01-09-2011 - 06:40 PM
Oh yes...So, Tuesday before Christmas, instead of wrapping gifts, I found myself making cookies. But first, I had to make a Wally-World run to get the ingredients. I really wasn't sure what kind to make.

Sister #1 gave me a "Simple recipes" book for my birthday and I thought it might be fun to try something from that--especially when I found two recipes that did not call for eggs and therefore, I wouldn't have to worry about contamination...

Marta, Marta, Marta--I often tell myself--when will you learn that NOTHING is every that easy....

So, first recipe calls for 1 c sugar, 1 stick butter, 1 or 2 tsps lemon juice and 2 cups flour. You are supposed to cream the sugar and butter together, add the juice and then add the flour...

So, I mixed and I mixed and I mixed and I mixed and I mixed and on and on and on....and the mixture would not solidify into dough. I tried to call Mom for suggestions, but it turns out she and Dad were out. So, I called Big Sister #1.

She looked up "lemon cookies" on the internet for me (I have dial-up and can't talk on phone and use computer at same time.)

Turns out there are more than one way to make lemon cookies. I tried the first suggestion--adding more butter.

Nope, nada.

So, much to my sorrow, I had to add an egg. ICK. I hate handling raw meat, eggs....etc...bleah.

Let me add, I decided to go with lime instead of lemon juice, and then I added green food coloring. So, the cookies looked a bit....odd....but they actually had a refreshing taste.....

So, then I tried the "cheesecake" cookies. I added a block of cream cheese. I didn't have to call anyone about the recipe, but they didn't taste at all like cheese cake to me. I found it odd, BTW, that neither recipe called for salt.

So, I barely had enough time to wrap the gifts I got for my parents, and then had to load them in the car.

After work, I ran to my parent's house as we were having our own little celebration in town. I got a ton of kitchen "tools" and a bunch of LED flashlights. I've been having the best time with those flashlights! And they're handy to have if I have to run out to my shed after dark.

Anyway...as those of you on FB know, I got a sewing machine!

I have got to tell you Ladies this funny thing though. A few times in the past, I've mentioned casually that I kind of wished I had one--mostly for making crafts, stitching up seams, making pillows, etc. I have also been thinking it might be fun to learn more quilting (I learned to make a runner several years ago). But, it wasn't like I whined around about having one. Since I'm not a serious seamstress, I felt that it would just be a waste of money, space (to store one) and besides, I have other things i need to be putting my cash towards--new carpet without dead squirrel stains on it for instance...maybe a new roof someday...

Well, when I saw the box beneath the tree, my first 2 thoughts were either, 1) A sewing machine or 2) a Wii.

Well, I knew my parents wouldn't even consider a Wii. They really aren't into all those modern entertainment gadgets that use video games of any sort. So I KNEW it had to be the sewing machine.

Sure enough, I was right!

Well a few days later, while at my Brother's house for a quick Christmas stop with he and his family, I told him about the Sewing Machine (her name is Gertrude BTW). He got a kick out of it when I told him how i guessed what she was. My parents were aghast. They swear they never heard me ask for one! LOL!

Anyway, for the time being, I left Gertie at their house so I wouldn't have to worry about trying to get the box, etc into my house as i have to maneuver up a set of steps to get into the house.

Once i was home, I spent the rest of the evening wrapping gifts and packing for the trip. About 11:00 p.m., still not feeling satisfied about my cookies, I dipped an entire package of mint oreos into white almond bark.

OK, I'm leaving off here for now. I'm getting hungry.....
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Merry Christmas/Happy New Year--the work ain't over... 01-06-2011 - 10:29 PM
Sorry I haven't been here for quite awhile. Life has just been it's usual crazy adventure...but I swear it's been even CRAZIER lately.

(BTW, I did every other nail in either red or green.)

So, Monday before Christmas, T and her DH M and I made plans for them to come over for a small pre-Christmas get together. He's trying to get his and his ex's house ready to sell, so they were in town anyway.

So, Monday afternoon, at lunch, my mom tells me that since my Sis #2 is hosting us for Christmas in Dallas, and her oldest daughter is about to have sinus surgery and a little plastic surgery on her nose, Sis #2 is going to be really busy and wanted me to make cookies.

Seriously? Like...when? I didn't even have anything but some flour, sugar, and a few eggs around....OK...no time to shop Monday...guests. I was planning on wrapping all the gifts Tuesday. I hate wrapping and so I always put it off for as long as possible.

So I knew what my NEW plans would be for Tuesday...

Anyway, T and M came and we exchanged gifts. They kind of re-hooked up over a zombie movie marathon, and I happened to find a rendition of the "Night Before Christmas" called the "Zombie Night Before Christmas" so that is what I gave them. They got a real kick out of it.

They gave me a really pretty tea cup with it's own lid--it's pink and purple paisley and tall and thin-ish and has it's own lid. Plus, they found some tea called "scripture" tea--each bag has an encouraging scripture on it.

We're all book worms so after we ate supper, we went to Waldon's Bookstore. I had this weird thing happen. OK, let me describe my outfit--I was wearing a teal colored shirt, greyish pants, and a "circle scarf". It's tan and has black zebra stripes on it. Well, this guy--quite a bit older than me stops me and starts telling me how much he likes my outfit, and just makes a fit over my glasses (brown and turquoise). So, I'm thinkin' probably gay and harmles...then he asks me my name, where I work and if I'm married...

OK...what? I was already starting to feel...uneasy...and then he asked that last question...I told him I was married--married to God.

Don't ask me why I said that last bit...I'm not even Catholic...

So the guy laughed when I told him I wasn't a nun and I darted around the corner and spent the rest of the time in the store standing very close to T and M. Later, I wished I had been one of those smart-alecky people who had thought to say that I was married to M and T was my sister-wife...

Anyway, turns out that someone else in the store had had a problem with him as well. I don't know why I didn't say anything to the clerk at the time...but sometimes, the person is harmless, but a little slow....

Anyway....I bought two books--"Dracula the Undead" written by Bram Stoker's great-great nephew. He lives here in the states.

And "Homer's Odyssey" about a totally blind cat. It's an amazing story and I highly recommend it to everyone here.

OK, got to stop for now...here it is 10:30 at night and I'm working on making white chicken chili for tomorrow...more on that later...

If I ever have time...(sigh)...
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Just when I thought...and BRENDA! Where are you! 12-19-2010 - 10:42 PM
So, the other day, I was thinking I had my Christmas bought and then BOOM! It hit me that I'd bought nothing for the other women at work.

So, Thursday I'm at my parents, and Dad and I head to the store so he can do a little shopping. So, I get something for the other clerks except for R because I'm planning on getting her something special as she's my closest friend at work.

And then Saturday, I realize I forgot to get something for the woman who translates for us. So...Saturday, back to the same store--Big Lots--to get her the same thing I got the other clerks.

Then Mom tells me "You'd better be good to your Dad because he got you a really great present."

Gee, no pressure. Well, Dad and I had looked over some of those outdoor Christmas decorations that look like they're made of wire and are covered with lights and I ended up buying him one of a deer pulling a sleigh. He likes that kind of thing.

Then, on to Hastings to get my mom another stocking stuffer.

Then onto K-Mart. Got something for R, something for S (WIC clinician--I almost forgot her) and then something for a couple of family friends. Yeah, I had planned to just kick back today and mom tells me "We are going to get together with S Sunday afternoon to exchange gifts. So that meant having to find something for her. She's one of those people who shops all the time, and has rather elegant yet girly tastes so it can be a bit difficult shopping for her.

Anyway, I got she and R some fluffy lounge pants--Joe Boxer--on sale at K-Mart and S was thrilled with hers.

Then I had to buy candy to fill up the cute Christmas-tree-shaped jars I bought the other women.

Spur of the moment, S asked me to her Christmas tea she holds every year. I was already dressed to go out shopping with mom, so didn't have time to change, so I had to wear my dirty sneakers, but oh well, it was fun!

Anyway, got home that night prepared to wrap. I had also bought bags, boxes and tissue at Big Lots. At home, already had the paper, the ribbon and the bows....

But was out of tape....(sigh)

SO, after church today, went and bought tape and some red nail polish and some other stuff.

I now have 6 red fingernails and 4 green ones.

Merry Christmas!

We did our gift exchange, (she loved her plush pants! YES!)

Then, after church, I was busy cooking and wrapping and it hit me--I had gotten NOTHING for the nutritionist. Well, T and her new husband are coming tomorrow evening and I wouldn't have time to shop, but I had this little piece of wood I've been dying to paint something on, so I painted a Santa Flamingo on it.

If anyone has looked at my FaceBook profile and checked out my album called "Mermaid" they will notice it's full of paintings I've done. My best one--Flamingo Ilse--was inspired by a photo she gave me. The photo was taken by her husband when the two of them were on a vacation one year.

So I thought it would be fun to give her a flamingo painting.

I've taken a picture of the little painting I did and it is my current FaceBook profile.

Anyway...I wonder who I've missed.....
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Cake Balls anyone? 12-09-2010 - 09:19 PM
Wow! I can't believe it's been more than 2 weeks since I was last journaling! It seems like I've veered between being REALLY REALLY busy and not busy at all.

My parent's 50th anniversary party was MARVELOUS!!!! Sister #2 doesn't "work"--except for being a homemaker, chauffeur, party planner, school auction organizer...well...you get the picture....

Anyway, she did most of the planning and her youngest daughter, J, helped. J is almost 17 and the sweetest kid I have ever met. She helped her mom with all the tiny details. If you want to see pictures from the party, just check out my FaceBook profile and look at my album. I think I called it 50th Celebration Bash or something....anyway, there are maybe 100 pics on it.

The whole week leading up to that Saturday, I had the worst sinus stuff going on. I won't say I was sick, because when I used a decongestant, I felt almost alright. but friday, I opted not to use it for fear I might end up overdoing it by then and then have the reverse effects so Friday, as we were setting up, I was miserable.

Anyway, Saturday was fantastic, except with all the medicine I'd been taking, my feet were swollen so my new shoes about killed me.

And my youngest nephew, Z was just a doll. He helped me work the punch bowl. He kept all the punch cups filled.

My second oldest niece is minoring in music at school (started off as a music major but switched) so her mom--Sis #2, had her do a couple of solos for my parents and then she and my mom sang "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man" from "Show Boat".

Then all the kids sang "Amazing Grace" for Dad. That's his favorite song.

My parents had an almost exact replica of their wedding cake. I don't know what flavor they had 50 years ago, but this time, the bottom layer was strawberry, the middle layer was Italian cream, and the top layer was just white. But they still have their cake topper so they had that put on top.

Then, they had a groom's cake. My dad loves and collects John Deere Tractor memorabilia and collectibles, so they had a brown cake with a picture of a John Deere tractor placed in the middle of the cake.

My sister #1 put together a slide show of my parents throughout their lives ending with grandkids. This was set up to run and loop continuously. It was interesting to watch, but there were a few pics of me I would have just as gladly burned.

Then after all the guests left, we had pizza at the church building (we had the anniversary at the church building). I wanted to go back to my parent's house with the family after wards as my uncle and his wife, and another dear couple our family have always been friends with were flying home to Texas early Sunday. Plus, Sisster #1 and her family had to leave before church as well, but I really wasn't feeling too chipper so I just went on home.

Anyway, my sister #1's dog stayed in my yard at night. We fixed my shed up for her. It's nice and large, so I arranged all my big lawn tools around the sides of the shed so they would have lots of room for Misty and her bedding and food, water and food bowls, and a heater. Then I hung an old vinyl tablecloth over the opening to keep out the cold air.

Misty was really comfortable and despite being blind, she got around pretty well. Sister and BIL would arrive at my house about 06:00 a.m. and give Misty her insulin shot then leave. I never woke up. Then they would come back later and get her and take her to my parent's house so they could keep an eye on her. She did very well there. My brother's beagle also got to come. I would have been happy to have both dogs in my yard, but my brother really wanted his dog to be able to have a place to go inside at night and my garage is not big enough to accommodate both my car and a dog crate. And I hate to sound selfish, but what with me on the verge of being sick, I didn't want to have to walk outside to my car every day when I had a nice warm garage.

Well, right after Thanksgiving, my parents both came down with the Crud. We don't know if it's a cold or what. They went to one of those non-emergency care places and each got a Z-Pack, but they are still having a problem just shaking it off. Mom is the worst, but she's just not as strong as my dad. I have to admit, I worry about her when she gets like that.

Anyway, I took them out to supper tonight. Mom had gone to Ladies' Bible class today and they had a luncheon and Mom brought a dessert and it just about did her in.

Now, the Cake Ball story. Both my sisters made this dessert we call "Cake Balls" for the party. At one point, my Sister #1indicated that Sister #2 had only made about 40. We were expecting this HUGE crowd, so I begin to think maybe I should help make a batch as well. Then I found out sister #1 was also making a batch. So, good, the more the merrier.

You make a cake.

Then once it's cool, you break it up into teensy, tinsy crumbs.

Then you take your frosting and stir it into the crumbs. It's easiest if you can melt the frosting a little bit first.

Then, you roll out balls of cake and frosting and put them on either wax or parchment paper and freeze them until they are nice and hard.

Then you get some almond bark--chocolate or white--melt it, and dip the balls in it.

And Voila'! Cake Balls!

Well, I had never made them before, so I would plunk mine into a bowl of melted bark (melted in the microwave), roll them around with a wood spoon, then drop them onto the parchment paper again.

The end result was that I had one end flat, and the other end bumpy and kind of glacial looking.

(I made carrot cake with cream cheese frosting rolled in white almond bark).

So I was so proud to contribute something other than ice hearts (which is all I had been designated to do): until I saw my sisters' cake balls.

I mean, talk about works of art! They looked exactly like truffles!

My sisters would delicately lift their cake balls out of the melted bark, suspending them on 2 forks and let the bark drip off. Somehow, they managed to make their cake balls nice and smooth--I think they double dipped them.

Then sis #2 and J would add sprinkles, etc to theirs. A few were even dipped half in white and half in chocolate...

So, needless to say, my cake balls did NOT make it out of the church kitchen.

Oh well.....I have re-frozen them and I'm going to take them to the Christmas party at work.

So, my newest ailment...now I have a toe that keeps getting this sensation that I've stepped on a nail. I don't know if my foot is suddenly rebelling against heels, or closed toe shoes or what, but I can be doing fine, then turn my foot a certain way, and BAM! Instant, burning pain.

It's really starting to annoy me.

Well, right now, my big project is trying to get my house ready for Christmas. What with the final effects from not feeling well ebbing away, and my weird foot thing, I have been making slow progress. It took about an hour to get my fall stuff into the attic Sunday, and get the tree and what little Christmas stuff I keep in the attic down into the hallway. That was enough that day.

Monday, I ate with my parents and then came home and assembled the tree. Then Wed, we had a party at church. I came home and put on a few ornaments.

Tonight, I took my parents to dinner, then came home and worked about 2 hours, then decided to knock off for awhile. And now I have a feeling I won't be getting back to work this evening.

And I just realized that Friday I have a high school band concert to go to--my Friend M from work has a daughter in the high school band, and as a former band member myself, I like to support her. Anyway, that will most likely cut into more time.

And SAturday, I promised to go to my folk's house and help them get their tree and Christmas decor out of their attic.

I don't know why, but I just don't have the enthusiasm this year. I think it's because we are going out of town for Christmas this year.

And of course, as always at this time, we start hearing scary stories about our state's budget--and now it looks to be even worse this next fiscal year.

Plus, without warning, 11 staffers up at the state house were fired. They could have been encouraged to take this really great severance package earlier in the year, but were told it wasn't necessary as they had a good surplus to carry them through for now. Well, someone figured wrong or something, and suddenly those folks were without jobs come Nov 30.

I have to admit, it really shook me up--I mean, how do I know this wouldn't happen to us?

Those folks won't even have their insurance benefits! I am just really disgusted, but also scared for me.
So last week, I went to Wally-World, land of the cheap, right? Not anymore.

I didn't buy meat. I didn't buy bread, but I bought 2 boxes of cereal.

I didn't buy milk but I did buy about 4 yogurts, and some cream cheese.

I didn't buy much in the way of fruit and vegetables.

And I bought about 5 cans of soup and some chicken broth.

I did buy some hair stuff, and some stuff for the cats and some vitamins and sinus stuff.

oh, and a box of Oreos and a candy bar.

And somehow, those groceries came to almost $100.

I about died. I had about 10 sacks, but not every sack was full.

Luckily, I already had canned green beans and some frozen veggies on hand, and I've got a lot---I mean ALOT of frozen sausage patties.

but I can't figure out how the money disappeared so fast except that I did hear that the price of wheat and meat both went up $15. But still, I am still trying to figure it out. I don't think I bought more than I might usually at the start of the month...My bill has never been that high before without some big "splurge" purchase.

I am hoping this is only a one time phenomenon--since I don't buy vitamins that often for instance....

But if this is the start of the new prices we can expect...Lord Help us!

(Incidentally, I learned that by this spring, soy and corn will also go up about 30%. Something HAS to be done!)
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Upside down and inside out... 11-22-2010 - 11:16 PM
Hey Noni, I am working on Side Jobs. Really love his work!

Oh yeah, my usual crazy life.

Got my dishes! I love them. When I ordered though, I didn't notice at first that they were coming FedEx meaning I had to be at home when they came. They arrived last Wed night. I happened to be home because we were having a pouring rain, wind, and it was plenty too dark to be able to see the streets safely enough to drive (at least for me anyway.)

So the poor FedEx guy brought them to my house in that bad, cold weather!

But they are adorable!

I've been shopping for Christmas, shopping for me for the big anniversary party---

Did I mention Mom and Dad celebrate their 50th this coming Saturday?

In the meantime, Sis #1 wants to bring her severely ill dog down--the dog has diabetes which was not caught until after she went blind. They've had a lot of trouble controling her blood sugar and they are not even really sure if she'll survive the trip. But my sis's youngest daughter was very close to the dog, so it is incomprehensible for my sister to even think of having her dog put to sleep.

Anyway, I offered to let Misty stay at my house which means cleaning out the shed of the lawn mower, and chemicals, and removing anything from the yard she might run into.

So the mower will go into my garage and my car will go out--meaning that instead of getting to get into my car inside a nice warmish garage on Thanksgiving day, I will have to go out into the fiendish cold. Drat.

In the meantime, my brother asked if he could bring his dog and let her stay at my house as well...

And then the drama ensued...Big sis all in a snit thinking brother is being selfish, her dog is dog aggressive, etc.

Actually brother's dog is older than Misty--who is 8. And Sadie is not very healthy looking either.

Hey, I don't mind if all three of my sib's dogs stay at my place. Just clean up the poop when you're done but don't fight about it!

I've bought a new dress, new shoes, and hose for the party and have been learning how to make ice hearts out of grape juice to put into the punch for the party.

Tomorrow, I will be making "cake balls".

In the meantime...last weekend, a very heavy candle fell on my head.

Then I opened my attic door--the kind in the ceiling--to put up some things, and decided to bend down to pick up a dead bug off the floor and rammed my shoulder into the door.

Then tonight, my toilet broke. I can flush it, but it won't stop pouring water into the tank. So I am having to keep the water turned off unless I need to flush it....tomorrow, my dad is going to look at it and see what needs to be done...

Longer story there of course, but I wont' go into it at this moment.

Work is crazy...and I've now had three charts mysteriously disappear.

I've done this job since '96 and have NEVER had charts just vanish. Usually, in the past, I would find them in the room of a clinician for a different clinic. Now WIC is the only kid friendly clinic that uses a chart. I have no idea what has become of these charts, but I feel very confident it's not because of something I did. I am very careful with my charts.

I am worrying that either there is some hanky-panky going on, and perhaps someone is trying to make me look bad--after all, I am supposedly the last person to have handled them--once the clinician sees them, they give the charts back to me (supposed to anyway)

Or during some recent audits, I can also see the auditor having the charts pulled and then somehow not getting them back to be filed.

Whatever it is, I know most likely I will be blamed since that is how they like to do things anymore--and no one ever listens to the clerks.

But it's very frustrating and upsetting.

Well, that's about it for now. I'll catch up with the rest of everyone later...it's just late right now and Oonagh is crying.
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Open season on small children 11-15-2010 - 10:08 PM
Seriously, I am almost ashamed to be from Oklahoma these days. There have been several just horrific cases come out of my home state lately--all three regarding small children.

A few weeks ago, a woman was arrested for making meth inside her house. Her set of toddler twins were sleeping on a mattress just feet away from the room where she was making her garbage! And when she was arrested, one of the babies was sucking on a battery!

And get this, the mom's friend who was in that same house and could have done something was not arrested for child neglect simply because the kids aren't hers! Hello....?

And I'm sure all of you must have heard about that horrible case where the other mother, also high on meth, somehow managed to put her 10 day old baby into the washing machine....

No, I wont' say anymore on it....

And then, just last week, this....monster....broke into the house of a single mom and brutally killed her 4-year-old and tried to stab the mother who is pregnant--and no one knows why. (And again, I will spare any details on this one.)

Then another monster--this one a woman---while working in a day care--seriously injured a 19 month old toddler while changing her diaper.

I don't know what is going on, or why. Why such small tender, helpless ones...why?
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And for my current episode.... 11-14-2010 - 10:31 PM
First things first....PATTY, WHERE ARE YOU!!!!!!!!!

This past week had its ups and downs.

So...last Sunday, I decided it was time to winterize the mower--this entails getting all the gasoline out of the tank and then charging her battery for 48 hours.

Well, the best way to drain the gas is to just burn it off mowing the lawn.

What with church, then lunch, then weekly trip to Wal-Mart first, it was somewhere after 2 before I got to the mowing. There is something about the way the sunlight bounces through tree leaves that can be somewhat disorienting to me. And of course, with the new time change, I was starting my lawn at a later time than I might have before, so the shadow/light patterns were very strong--not to mention, I had on safety goggles.

These two things coupled together, along with having stuffy ears meant only one thing--another "Only Marta...." disaster.

You know those little sewer pipes often found in people's yards? Not the city one, but the small one that have the little screw on lids....

Well....mower 1--sewer lid--0.

So, not having ever had anything like this happen before, I didn't know if I needed to call plumber, city, or could just buy a replacement cap at Lowe's.

So I make the mistake of calling my parents. Are they at all concerned that a piece of flying plastic could have hit me and injured me?

Nooooo all they cared about was whether or not I hurt the blade.

OK, I am not going to make light of the fact that I hit the tree stump and broke the blade this past summer. Same story, second verse--blinded by light and shadows.

But come on--really? I mean, it's not like I was trying to do it on purpose!

So...no, the blade was fine....but soon after, the belt that operates the drive seems to have broken or come loose....

Am I telling my dad? Nope. Next season, I might enlist his aid, or maybe not.

But don't treat me like a naughty, careless child. (who has now been forced to lie to her parents--ok, no justification in lying, but still....)

So...on with the tale....

So, Thursday, Mom and I took advantage of the Veteran's Day holiday and went shopping for an outfit of some kind for me to wear to the 50th anniversary. We had planned to go to a few different stores at the mall, but ended up going to Dillard's first. We checked the sales dresses first but my shape, and the shapes of the dresses left on the rack did not quite coordinate....

We had a lot of fun, but I finally settled on this really pretty black dress that hugs my curves, comes down to just below my knee and looks like it's made of ruffles of lace. Have you seen those shirts that have strips of the same material cut out and sewn across the front of the shirt?

That kind of describes my dress. Strip of satiny black material then strip of black lace...

I am still in shock that I paid as much as I did for it...

Now I need shoes....

So anyway, before we went to the clothing area, we passed through the housewares area. This table was being set up and on the table were these darling plates--square shaped with seashells on them. They were being sold for $3 apiece--buy 3, get one free! And whatever was not sold, would be thrown away.

But did I buy any that day....noooooo. Mom suggested I wait and see if I could store them, etc.

I decided to go home, see where I could put them, etc.

So Friday, right after work, I hurried back to Dillard's, eager to buy a set. I only wanted 4 dinner plates, four salad plates, and four bowls.

Imagine my shock when I arrived and every single piece was gone! I mean that table was empty!

Turns out, some lady who is opening a restaurant some where came in 2 hours before I got off work and bought the entire table!

I'm sorry, but in my heart, I am calling her bad names and denouncing her for being greedy. I wanted a few pieces--she took everything. We already had a family here in town try and open a sea food place and it flopped. So either she is just in love with her own cooking, or she is taking my dishes some where else. And most likely, if her restaurant does flop, she'll most likely just throw the dishes out or something...

Well, I did find the dishes on-line--for $4 to $5 dollars apiece and not all the patterns were left. (Conch shell, sand dollar, star fish and then one of those curled shells).

At that point, I decided--nah, too expensive.

So Mom and Dad came over Saturday and Dad put my new sewer cap on for me. Incidentally, you can buy them from Lowe's.

I was lucky that I had a little bit of the knob still left on the cap for Dad to attach his monkey wrench too. I had actually managed to grasp the inside corner of the cap with my pliers, and throwing my entire body into it, I could turn the cap an ince or so--one day at a time.

So, Dad fixed the cap for me.

Then he looked my grill over. My reflector plate has corroded and needs to be replaced.

Well, turns out, my grill was not locally bought. So, I went online to the company to order a new plate.

Reflector plate---$12.

Shipping and handling---$15.

Hmmm.......haven't ordered it yet.....

So....then, I decided to hang this little picture I bought from a dear friend and local artist. Usually I get Dad to help me drill the holes, but they had left, and then I found picture hangers. So, I decide to just bang the nail into the wall....

Plaster does NOT liked to be banged....Next purchase will involve plaster of Paris...

So, my mom decides to mention something about how would I be able to put someone up at my place during Thanksgiving if necessary since that's the weekend of the big Anniversary party.

I am not the neatest housekeeper, but compare to hoarders...

However, my mom never misses an opportunity to point out some place or corner of a room where I might have a small pile of accumulated things--never mind I don't have storage room like in my old place.

However, I thought I might do a little work in my office/library. So I decided to stack some books on top of my filing cabinet. I have two small ones stacked on top of each other. I've kept this really beautiful cat candle along with some other pretties on top of it since I moved in.

So, I stood the books on end, then placed the cat candle at the end of the row. Then I began to file some bills away, and when I opened the lowest drawer of the bottom cabinet, and bent over, it jostled the books which fell forward which pushed the VERY HEAVY cat candle forward and---


Right on top of my head, along with some other items that fell as well!

Well, between that, and messing up the plaster (which my parents don't know about), and the disappointment with the grill, it was all just too much.

My head hurt on and off the rest of the evening.

So, I lay on the couch and finished reading my Uncle's second book he has written.

Second book is called "French Letters: Engaged in War." It's even better written than the first. I am really excited about it, but so far, his sales haven't been that great so the company is threatening not to publish the 3rd.

I am just sad Uncle J couldn't have found a bigger publishing company to take on his books. This small company liked his books so much they actually created a kind of "off-shoot" company to publish his books under. It's called Vire Press, but sadly, it is not picked up by any of the big name book-store chains, although it can be purchased through Amazon.

So....I have now started a new Jim Butcher book.

Anyway...today I went to Dillard's website again to look at the seashell dishes....

They should be arriving in a few days....
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Why? 11-05-2010 - 11:15 PM
Why does it seem that it's always me doing something to mess things up?

Wed I went to the store after work to buy a few things. I needed milk, toilet cleaner, and more frozen vegetables. I had promised my parents I would also take them out to supper so I just hauled my groceries to their house as my office and Homeland are just a few minutes drive within each other. So, the wind was horrible here Wed. I got out of the car and the wind was so fierce it kept whipping my wrap around my head to the point I couldn't see. I needed to store my perishable items in their fridge until dinner and church were over so I just grabbed both bags and hurried into the house with the idea of sorting everything out in a wind-less area.

So, after I put my milk and frozen stuff into the freezer, I went back into the family room with the other sack that had the toilet cleaner in it.

My mom was at her exersize class so Dad and I waited for her to get home. In the meantime, I set my sack on the floor on their new carpet. I didn't know that the toilet cleaner had started to leak. Somehow, the lid was either loose, not secured well, or had no seal around it. While in the car, it had leaned over, but not fallen down flat or anything, but somehow, it managed to leak.

I didn't know it had done so until after I got home. After supper, we hung around my parent's house until church, then after church, came back to their house for another hour. I got home sometime after 09:00.

I had put some construction paper in that same sack to take home and prepare for my Sunday School lesson. Well, I pulled the paper out of the sack and noticed that the paper had a mystery blemish on it that looked like something had burned it. And as I took more things out of the sack, I discovered that my boxes were soaking wet. I pulled the toilet cleaner out of the bag and it was soaking wet and my hand started to sting. That's when I realized the cleanser had leaked.

I hurriedly rinsed my had before I could get a bad burn, then checked my car and found a puddle of fluid on the seat. I had this horrible sinking feeling, called my parents, had them check their carpet...

The fluid had already leaked through the bag before I left their house and damaged their new carpet.

I cannot even begin to tell everyone how sick I felt.

All I could think of was: first the tree...now this....

Anyway, I called Homeland and sent an e-mail to the producers of the toilet cleaner.

So, the next day, I put the cleaner back in my car to take to Homeland. I got to work and it had tipped over at about 45 degree angle to land against the brake hump between the front seats. Again, their was fluid everywhere when I sat it back up and I had to rush inside and wash my hands. Had I thought there might have been a manager in the store before 07:00 a.m., I would have gone ahead and taken it back then.

Instead, I had to wait. I went on to my parent's house at lunch so I could see the damage for myself. The toilet cleaner had literally melted the carpet in two spots!

Back in my car, I discovered that again,the cleaner had melted through the plastic bag and there was a large puddle running along the mat on the passenger side. So I got that cleaned up and triple-bagged the cleaner. But as my dad and I were putting the cleaner into the other two bags, I saw that it appeared as if the cap were partly screwed off.

One of my co-workers told me that sometimes, teens go down the aisle in stores, loosening caps on shampoo, etc. I don't really know if that was the case here, or if the cap just wasn't made right since the product was very cheap.

I took it back to Homeland after work and explained what happened. They gave me my money back, but they didn't offer to help cover any repair costs or anything.

Anyway, the makers of the toilet cleaner finally sent me an e-mail asking me to call their complaint line. Personally, I felt that it would have been better for my parents to call since it is their carpet and they know better how to say things.

But, they had me call. So, I was doing ok, the guy was telling me he'd file the claim or something, and I mentioned they needed to have their lids checked out. And then it hit me that they might try and claim no responsibility if they think they can prove that the leak was caused by someone loosening the cap.

Then the guy asked me if I had the bottle still. He said it would have helped if I had kept it. (sigh) It didn't even occur to me to do so. It's not as if I could have safely handled it anyway.

So, my parents were able to get their carpet repaired. The company sent some guys to cut a small piece out of the part that was put down in a closet. They hadn't had any remnants left so they had to send a small replacement piece. mom says that piece doesn't match the carpet, but in the closet, it's ok.

They don't know how much the over all cost for the repair will cost.

And of course, they are ticked at me for saying anything about the lid.

I don't know when to shut up. My Christian upbringing always fires up though, and I am always afraid of not being honest and offending God.

Sometimes, I don't know when it's honest, and when it's just being stupid.

Man, I hope I never have to defend myself in court....

I've offered to help pay the repair bill, but mom tells me to hush.

But I can't help it, I just feel horrible, and stupid.

Why do I think other people wouldn't have these things happen to them...would somehow be wiser about things....
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What a week! 11-01-2010 - 08:27 PM
I was so glad to see last week end. I got to take Friday afternoon off and I spent it sleeping on the couch and catching up on a really good library book.

Last Tuesday we had another flu clinic. We rescheduled our Tuesday WIC clients and doubled up on Thurs so our WIC clinicians could help with the flu clinic. However, I still had the Nutritionist and her classes so I didn't help with the clinic.

Phone rang off the wall all week (and still is) from people who couldn't make the walk-in client. Our immunization appointments are nearly all filled up.

Sometime Tuesday, we were told that these surveys we'd been asking our clients to fill out had to be put into the computer THAT DAY! We are part of a pilot program in our county, and the surveys ask people what types of needs they perceive our county as needing. So, I took home nearly 60 survey's Tuesday and spent about 4 hours entering them into my computer. Strictly voluntary.

Well, Wed, I came to work feeling really proud of myself, and Wed I spent a good deal of time entering more surveys. Feeling pretty good until I came back from lunch.

Apparently, one of our clients called about noon to ask what time her kids' appointments were. I've been in that office close to 14 years and I have NEVER been there during the noon hour except for the rarest of occasions. Even the front of their WIC folders makes this clear. Well, our poor newest clerk answered that phone call. She's never had one second of training on WIC and was hesitant to look up the appointments in case she told the mom the wrong thing.

The woman went absolutely ballistic! She chewed PB out up, down and inside out. She kept going how she couldn't call because she was at work--as if everyone was too blame and we should have known this. So, finally PB decided to go ahead and see if she could figure out how to look them up. The mom only gave her the name of one child and unfortunately, it was the child with the second appointment slot. Mom was due in with both kids at 3, but not realizing there were 2, and not thinking to look them up (PB only works with family planning--sometimes shots--so they rarely deal with more than one client at a family at a time) told the mom the 03:30 time only.

She told me how the mom had yelled at her over the phone and my first thought was "Oh boy..."

So, 03:00 comes...no client. In the meantime, since my WIC clinician had worked overtime on Tuesday, she decided that if the mom didn't show up by 03:30, she was going to go ahead and leave for the day.

Well, not only did the client not show until after 03:00, she didn't show up until 03:40! My clinician even called up front at 03:30 to see if the mom had shown up.

So, the client walks in, no paperwork either (which without paperwork would have really been too late regardless anyway.) When I explained that our clinician had already left for the day, the client went ballistic again!

No slow build up just total explosion. And even worse, our clerical supervisor had already left for the day and we had not one supervisor available. The mom threw this horrible fit, wanted to not only blame PB for the mistake, didn't CARE that it was a mistake and even wanted her written up! On top of that, she kept yelling"


All I could offer was to reschedule her, which she kept acting like I was a total moron. Well, duh, of COURSE she will have to take off work again! She should never have missed her previous appointment to begin with!

So, mom is standing here over me, yelling and her poor little kids are just terrified. Finally, I had to stand up and get eye to eye and say:

"And WHAT part of I CANNOT certify them do YOU not understand!" I had to firmly explain that I cannot do the clinician's job, that I do not even have the proper training and that we would have no choice but to reschedule her for a different day.

I offered to let her call me at 07:30 in the morning and see if the clinician would let us work her in the next afternoon. But of course, this would not work for her.

Finally, I offered her an appointment for this morning at 08:00 a.m. She'd already complained that she'd have to take her child out of HeadStart early again. But mom herself told me that she had today off. And she was the one who agreed to the 08:00 a.m. appointment. We wrote it in her folder.

(This entire time, she was being really horrible to PB and getting in her face.)

So, after I got her calmed down, she left, but there were other clients in the building and someone said something about the mom being rude. I didn't hear her, but apparently she made some comment about how she was going to be rude when she came in today--plus she made some comment about PB using the "B" word as she went out the door--PB never once acted ugly.

Anyway, I got PB settled down, wrote a progress note, we told the supervisor about the incident on Thursday morning.

So, all weekend, from time to time, I thought about how I might handle things when she came in today---especially if she started in on PB. PB was having the same thoughts.

All of us--me, PB, and NG (who was clinician today) were waiting for her....

And she never showed.....

Not even a phone call first thing. And as she works in the mall, and as the mall doesn't open until 10:00, she can't tell me that she was at work all day on Monday.....


OK. So, Friday, like I said, I had this really nice, relaxing evening. I got onto Kingdoms of Camelot for "just a minute" to play. Ended up having a really interesting conversation through chat with a another player who is studying Christian missions with the idea of becoming a missionary some day. In the meantime, as I was playing, I learned a new skill--which I have heard that if you learn something new every day, it helps keep Alzheimer's away.

So, I was pretty proud of my accomplishment.

And then late Saturday, I got on KofC again and found this really hateful, crazy message--no wait, THREE--hateful messages from the 3 top members of our "alliance" basically bawling everyone out for not "clearing" our reports (whenever you do something like attack another city, or the barbarians, or some such thing, or buy resources from the market, the game generates a report.) We were also bawled out for not sending our extra resources to some storage city. (Part of the game consists of building up little farms, mines, etc. Once they are built, they continue to "produce" on their own. The players can "build" storage facilities up to a point, but at some level, you can't move any higher and any extra resource beyond your storage facilities capacity could get attacked and "farmed" by a hostile alliance member)

I could not believe just how over the top the messages were. I won't go into them. They were just too ridiculous. One thing I am beginning to suspect, however, is that the guy who started up this alliance might have some kind of mental issue--maybe bi-polar or something. One evening, we were chatting on-line, and he mentioned that he stays up all night and plays that game constantly. So, he is either OCD or has some other issue.

However, he and other top alliance members have already alienated one group of players with heavy-handed, dictatorial demands and attitudes. No one has come right out and said it, but I feel pretty sure that's why his last alliance failed and we had to rejoin the first one he made.

I might go back from time to time simply to build up my cities, but I'm not doing anything that could generate a report--i.e, no more attacking barbarians, getting anything from the market etc.

I may chat with some of the people I met there--or maybe not...
Oh, and there is more to my Saturday. Mom and I ran to the library and the Hobby/ home decor store. I have found these cute knobs for my kitchen cabinets. They're really meant for a bedroom--they're white, round, and have light blue polka dots on them. I had wanted silver knobs, but never found anything I liked that I could afford.

Anyway, I'm waiting for more of the knobs to come in--I have a rain check and can't wait!

So, I left about 02:00 and came home and did lots of little tidying. My mom was helping with Trunk or Treat at church so I fixed supper for Dad. He came about 04:30 so he could help me block up the crawl spaces underneath the house for the winter.

I had just stared cooking supper when my friend K of Kansas called. She'd come down to visit her folks and had hoped to stay with me but what with teaching Sunday school and having my guest room full of Christmas/birthday gifts, I had to turn her down.

So, she called on Saturday just in despair because her parent's house has become so horrible! Growing up, the house was becoming really bad. Her dad is really her adopted dad. He didn't come into the picture until she was about nine and not understanding what a normal family means, or what is expected of kids (his own parents threw him away) he made K do any housework that was going to get done and his wife didn't do anything.

K told me that right now, they have stuff just piled everywhere--as in they cannot sleep in the same bed because of the amount of stuff piled on one half of the bed. They cannot eat at their dining room table. They can't open the pantry door. The bathroom is so nasty that K was afraid to use the toilet. She told me that every 2 feet is a pile of books.

I remember that it was bad when we were kids, but it's gotten worse. There is so much dust in the house that her mom has asthma. Her mom used to grow all the houseplants that she never attended to. They'd wither and decay but she wouldn't clear out the dead leaves. It was gross then.

I can't imagine what it must be like now.

K has tried to talk to her parents about the problem, but they wont' listen to her. And she has no siblings to back her up. She is just in despair. She is afraid to take any legal action or call in mental health officials because she feels pretty sure that either of those would end her relationship with her parents for good. And knowing them, I know she's right.

So...anyway, my dad and I had a good time. We watched part of the Rangers baseball game and then after he went home, I worked on my lesson plan and then went online where I saw that tacky message

Sunday, I was concerned about the possibility of running over a child in the dark--our streets in my area can be very dark and they are narrow. Parents lose all common sense on Halloween and park on the "no parking at any time" side of the street during Halloween. A few years ago, I came close to hitting a few cars while trying to wend my way through the streets and not hit the black shadows flitting across the road in front of me. Nope, none of them were wearing reflective tape on their costumes either.

So with that in mind, I elected to skip church last night. I had 7 kids show up in all. 2 came by on Saturday because no one really knew which day to Trick-or-Treat since our city council wouldn't make a decision on it.

But I had fun watching this old black and white version of House on Haunted Hill.

Anyway, that was my week....now to get ready for Thanksgiving, my parent's 50th anniversary, family birthdays, Christmas, and oh, yes, lest I forget--to vote tomorrow....
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Brief "HI" 10-31-2010 - 11:26 PM
I can't believe another week has passed. I've actually had stuff to journal about, but I've let myself get swept up in that one FaceBook game "Kingdom of Camelot" not to mention a HUGE pile of library books. I keep making the mistake of stopping by KofC first and then end up chatting for quite some time with some of the ladies there, and suddenly, it's very late.

Anyway, after this evening, I've decided that you guys are my first, dearest friends on the internet and I'll come here first. We have all developed a lasting friendship that has seen us all through tough times, and I don't want to ruin that by neglecting my friendships here. I think about all of you all the time, I just haven't been the best to come lately.

And boy, do I have stories from last week! But, it's now 11:25 p.m. so I will try and keep them for tomorrow and just get online earlier than I did tonight.

Patty, if you get on-line tomorrow, I am thinking about you and praying for you!
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The insanity that is me... 10-23-2010 - 11:30 PM
So I never claimed to be normal. Define normal....

Anyone remember that song from the '80's "I wear my sunglasses at night"?

OK, so these days, it's even harder for me to get up because its so dark in the mornings. Even by the time I leave at 07:10 or so, it's still blasted dark.

Tuesday this past week was no better and so I just kind of stumbled around the house. Right before I left I realized I needed a tissue and decided to get one out of my purse. Then I walked into my garage and opened the door. I had forgotten to turn on the outside lights the night before and was shocked at how really dark my garage was.

Well, it had rained some, and was still cloudy, but the streets all the way into work just seemed excessively dark--darker than I can ever remember. The street lights didn't seem bright enough, and I kept fiddling with my headlights trying to see if they were working.

Then, I got to work, walked into the building, turned on teh lights and was shocked to realize even our front office was dark.

I don't know what made me reach up to my face---but I discovered that when I had gotten into my purse to get my tissue, I had automatically pulled out my sunglasses case and had been wearing my sunglasses....

Yeah....I thought the same thing....

So, then that same evening, I was online kind of late playing K of C when I heard this pop and rattle from the other side of the house. I was just SURE that Oonagh had done something naughty since that tends to be her trademark.

So, I started searching to see what she might have knocked down. I walked into the kitchen, and there on my counter was a little round lid---the kind you find on one of those cardboard biscuit containers....

Uh oh....

I had bought a container at the grocery store a few weeks before, and for some reason, I forgot those have to be refrigerated... I decided, at 11:00 p.m. on a work night, to go ahead and make them...

But then the next day, My mom suggested I better just throw them out so I did.

Every night, I end up staying up too late, on the computer visiting all my various sites, games, etc.

I don't have a painting project right now. I just got tired of the mess and I burned myself out trying to make the perfect sailboat painting.

Anyway, my back is starting to feel a little better. My housework has been really bad lately. Well, today, I hung out with my mom most of the day, and came home around 05:00 ish expecting to jump right into my lesson plan.

Instead, I did some fall decorating on my porch railings then cleaned the cat boxes and dabbed more paint on the hood of my car where the paint has peeled off. And then got on-line for "a minute." Suddenly, it was about 08:30 and I was starving!

We'd had a really late lunch so I wasn't hungry for awhile. I decided I had to eat before I could work on my lesson, but suddenly, I had this really strong desire for spaghetti and meat sauce. It's my favorite meal. I'd been wanting to make it all month and invite my parents and our friend S over to eat, but what with my back, I just hadn't been up to it. But tonight, I just HAD to make it.

And with fresh herbs.

So by the time I was finished, I'd made a huge mess of the kitchen, it was now after 09:00 and I STILL hadn't started my lesson plan.

Plus, my carpet had gotten really bad and needed to be vacuumed.

So I now had the energy I hadn't had in weeks and I ran around vacuuming, washing dishes, folding laundry and FINALLY working on my lesson plan.

And that has only taken me 3 minutes. It helps if you've taught the exact same lesson for the past 10 years--not to mention having your materials already on hand.

And now it is 11:30 p.m. and I am still up....
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How long can mums sit in their pots without being planted? 10-17-2010 - 04:14 PM
So, don't asked me what possessed me. I guess I just love flowers and gardening. I had to go to Wal-Mart after church for cat food, and there were these masses of mums--only $2.99 per plant. So naturally, I had to go and buy 3.

My back is a little better today. I meant to do both the ice/heat routine, but I couldn't find the ice-pack bottle at Wal-Mart and went to Wal-Greens. I picked up this box with an ice-pack and the price on the shelf read $3.33.

I couldn't of course bend now enough to verify the price so I get up to the counter only to be told the price was $15! And then with tax--$17!

I was a bit outraged but did not take it out on the clerk. However, as the other product--the ice-pack bottle thingy-was still $10 I just said no thanks to either one.

I've decided that I'll put ice in a resealable plastic baggy and try that first. Although, right now I am really enjoying the heat.

As for the mums for now, they may have to wait until tomorrow. And I'll most likely try and sit on the ground and just use my trowel to dig--this is one of those times when I wish I had some kind of dog--preferably a terrier mix!

The weather is beautiful today. I'm looking out my bedroom window and I can see my hot pink Knockout rose along with my golden-yellow Costas. And then if I lean forward a little bit, I can see a mound of mature, magenta mums situated between the two.

Hmmm...Mound of Mature, Magenta Mums.....

My twisted willow still has green leaves on it, and its waving gently at the wind as it hovers over my stone bench. To my left and about 4 yards from the bench are my two butterfly bushes, flanking my plastic birdbath. They both still have purple flowers on them, and a few butterflies flapping about.

My lilac bush stands to the west of the willow and my other flowering bush stands to the east of it (I forget the name of the flower right now). Both are still green of leaf and pretty, despite the current lack of flowers.

And of course, the lawn is still green.

Very, very, green....

And then parked in front, as if to give contrast to all the colors is my neighbor's white pick-up truck.

This has been about the nicest autumn I can remember in a very long time.
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And now I've been demoted... 10-16-2010 - 08:42 PM
OK, the world of on-line gaming can be...well...weird....OK, so the guy who first started the "Alliance" I was just in was getting seriously bent out of shape because no one was ever in "Chat" and didn't respond to messages, etc. So, we have this "training exercise" on Wed. It's hard enough for me to do anything on Weds because of work, supper, church, and then my parents usually come over after church. But, I went ahead and got on and was really involved in the chat that evening and sending out troops to "attack" a "hostile" alliance etc. But this guy was just getting more and more discouraged.

So, about an hour ago, I just got on. Not only has he decided to move everyone to a slightly different alliance within that first alliance, but I have now been "demoted". It's kind of weird, because at first I wanted to quit, and then I started to sort of enjoy it, and now, it's like I'm starting all over.

The interesting thing is that just now, there were several people in chat. All of us save one were women.

It's interesting how people perceive the game. This other person and the last alliance see it as a game about warfare and attack. This new alliance sees it as a game about building cities and defense. And they are not so heavy handed as the last group.

I think I will like this new group better. A couple of the players are young women, so I know I won't have to worry about a bloodthirsty attitude either. (Unless they are like...into Vampires or something...)


Took Oonagh to get her shot, then had to mow the front lawn (which I did VERY sloooooowly) and then worked on my painting some....oh yes, and replanted my hydrangea....and I've sat with a heating pad on my back off and on this evening.

I've had some people suggest yoga, but the few moves I finally tried just hurt. I suspect my problem may be worse than a strained muscle, so I am afraid to try anymore.

I am trying to decide what to do about a doctor as our co-pay is $50. It wouldn't take long to run out of grocery money....


Interesting news. T and her new BF/Fiance have decided to move the wedding up.

WAY up.

Like to next month.

They've only been dating about a month.

What has happened is that his hours at work have been drastically cut. He is now thinking of moving to Norman to apply for some more schooling at OU. I can't remember what he wants to study now. Currently, he is in social work working with developmentally/mentally ill clients.

Anyway, he will need to sell his house, and it will be too expensive to live in Norman with no job, paying for somewhere else to live, etc. So T and he decided to move up the wedding date from July.

And here is another issue. In Oklahoma, if you are remarrying after a divorce--which M is--you have to wait at least 6 months.

So they are going to Arkansas to get married. They are planning on Nov. 2.

I just hope they don't end up regretting rushing into this. I think they'll make good marriage partners, but the ink on his divorce papers are barely dry, and there is always some grieving to do, and well....

Everyone, please pray for them. Even my mom likes M and she met him for about 30 minutes today. I want this to work out for both of them.
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Well, just wrap me in wool cotton.... 10-14-2010 - 09:35 PM
Ugh, I think I am becoming a menace to myself! Remember when I made my back so sore a few weeks ago working in my yard? Well, I didn't take the utmost care of it of course. I forget that I'm no longer 20. So, the last few days, I've played on line and didn't use the best posture and here the pain is back. And in all honesty, I think I've messed up a disc or something. Plus, on a TIM note--I think the fact that I'm having trouble finding the right balance of fiber is causing some internal pressure as well. So, this morning, I woke up with my back hurting worse than ever and it finally worked down to my right leg today.

I've tried Ibuprofin, I've tried soaking in a hot bath, but nothing works. And right now, sitting here with a pillow against my back is actually not comfortable as it feels like the pillow is pushing against something. I am hoping the problem resolves itself soon. Let's just say, that my insurance isn't the best. I think it's only recently that doctors in this area are becoming network providers. Up until my surgery, I'd never had a general doctor. I only used her long enough to get a surgeon referral and as she had the bedside manner of Mr. Hyde, I dropped her. So...if this doesn't resolve soon....

And then, my poor earlobe!

I have this nickle allergy so for years, hardly wore earrings. But with my surgery, I was afraid of becoming less feminine, so really started wearing them a lot. I don't know what happened or how, but suddenly, every dangle earring I wore started to make my ear bleed. It's been six years since I started to wear earrings every day, so I don't know why this started to happen so much now.

Anyway, yesterday, I kept feeling some weird hard thing on my earlobe after I took off my earring. I thought it might be dried blood, but no, when I looked in the mirror, to my horror, I discovered a small piece of skin was all that was keeping the two edges of my left earlobe together! For some reason, my earrings suddenly began to cut THROUGH my earlobe! I just thought it was my usual allergy and had come to ignore it for the sake of "beauty".

And last night, my earlobe was no longer bleeding.

So, this morning, I was putting peroxide on the earlobe---and the completely split apart. GULP. I have been sick about it. And the fact that it still has not bled since scares me because I can't help wonder if this means the lobe had self healed already along the torn edges.

I showed it to a nurse at work, and she assures me it will still heal up but I wont' be able to wear earrings for a long time.

Kind of makes me sad because I have a LOT of cute earrings and several cute holiday ones. But...can't be helped. I mean, it literally CANNOT be helped.

I had to go buy Neosporin, and I'll be keeping both it and the right ear lobe covered for as long as I need....
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It's just a GAME people! 10-09-2010 - 10:17 PM
What is it with people and games these days? A few months ago, I got hooked on another FaceBook game called "Kingdoms of Camelot." I thought it would be fun--you make your little city, you "build" farms, houses, mines, etc. You also have an army, etc. I thought it was going to be a role playing game but quickly found that most people who play it play it very seriously with the idea of "attacking" other players and basically "stealing" all the virtual food and resources they've built up, stealing the virtual "gold" they've built up (when you build houses, you get "people" who are then "taxed".

So, I had barely started playing, and this one player get attacking me, killing my army and stealing my gold. After that, I found out that the best protection is to be in an "alliance."

Me, ever the shy person growing up, thought it might be a neat way to make friends, sort of like here. However, I have found that the people in charge of our "alliance" take the game way too seriously.

A few weeks ago, the head person basically ordered us to not chat in the global setting but only in the "alliance" setting.


And then there was a bawling out and threats to dump those who did not seem to be for the alliance but only for themselves simply because several players never show up in "chat". Of course, when you have people living actual lives, and taking care of actual homes, etc and living in different time zones, then we aren't going to be on at the same time.

I often find my best time is about 9 or 10 at night.

A few days ago, one of the upper rank women asked all of us to meet about 09:00 a.m. this morning in Alliance chat as that was a good time when those across the globe should also be awake.

I really had good intentions to do so. However, I've been under the weather all week with sinus stuff, and haven't been getting to bed very early, and what with work, not feeling good, and then my back issues, and some mild digestive issues....

On top of that, last night, I was just 'revved up. I don't know how else to describe it. I started off the evening feeling crummy but took my parents out to eat. However, I left their house early, came home, put on my pajamas and lay on the couch for a couple of hours. And then suddenly, it was like a switch had gone on in my brain and I was really, really awake.

I don't know if it was my circadian rhythm kicking into overdrive or what. I was all over the internet last night it seems. I visited Kingdoms of Camelot several times, My Zoo several times, PopTropica several times, and a few other sites I'm involved with. I kept trying to rework that one sail on my sail boat painting, (no, couldn't get it right) , trimmed my hair a little bit more, and suddenly, it was 02:00 a.m. I made one more visit to the bathroom and then it was more like 02:20 a.m. before I went to bed.

I got up briefly around 9 I admit to feed the cats, but I was so sleepy and drowsy that I had to climb back into bed. I really did think about trying to log onto Kingdoms again, but I turn my computer off and switch of the power at the wall every night to save electricity. Plus, I have dial-up, so by the time I turn on the computer, then get FireFox to dial up, then log into the game--probably a good 10 minutes or more have passed. And I just could not get myself alert. In fact, after I went back to bed, I slept until after 11.

So, feeling a little guilty, I brought up the game tonight and there was the top female player basically bawling all of us out for not being there (I guess only 3 people showed up.) I think the top guys have some big strategy they want us all involved in.

Chat is hard enough with one person, but if a whole bunch of us showed up, it would be really difficult to figure out who was saying what to whom.

I hate to be a quitter, but I am really beginning to wonder if I want to stick with this game. And another thing that is starting to bother me--in order to build more than one city, a player has to invite more friends to play--like other FaceBook games. Well, one of our strategies has been to add other FaceBook "friends" with these other players in our alliance. I getting more and more nervous about doing this. I really have no way of verifying if the people I make "friends" are good people or someone really wanting to steal identities or do other nefarious things.

Is it all worth it for a game--especially when I haven't really made any new real friends? I am wondering...

Logged on to Kingdoms today....

I've been made an officer....
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Lelslie has passed on 10-07-2010 - 09:39 PM
To all who offered prayers on behalf of the woman I mentioned in my last entry: She passed away this morning at 08:15.

Last night at church we were told that her brain just was not recovering. My parents are thinking maybe the family went ahead and took her off life support.

Please continue to pray for the family's healing though.

Well, last night, I got a little "wild" and right before midnight, just as I was thinking I needed to go ahead and hop in the shower and then get to bed, I looked at my hair in the middle and decided it was time for another hair cut.


Right then.

I've been wanting to do a kind of layered shaggy thing lately but had trouble finding a good picture that showed me what I had in mind. I had actually thought about having a real, actual, beauty operator (is that what we call them these days?) cut it this time, but I couldn't stand it anymore!

So, I tell myself last night: "Think I'll just see what it means when this magazine says "Rough cut." I'll just try it right now, and then tomorrow, I'll work on it."

So, about 15 minutes later, and 3 inch piles of hair, I had "tried" the cut all over my hair!

Then I went and got my vacuum cleaner--incidentally, hair does NOT vacuum out of a bra.

So, then I vacuumed. And then decided to cut more hair.

Then had to vacuum again.

And THEN I had to trim some more. And had to vacuum again! This time, I left the vacuum cleaner out.

So finally, I got my shower and got to bed about 12:45.

So, this afternoon after work, I look at myself in the mirror...

Trimmed some more. And was glad to have the vacuum cleaner handy.

I don't know what is wrong with me these days, but I cannot get into the whole autumn thing. Usually, long before now, I've had my house decorated for fall and am eagerly anticipating decorating for Halloween.

Tonight, I finally got up into the attic and got out my fall stuff.

Of course, I HAVE had my dining room table covered with my painting supplies including table easel so that may be part of my problem, but still.....

Oh, and speaking of painting....I need to hire someone to tell me when I need to STOP working on a painting. Last night, I post a pic of my newest painting on FaceBook. It's a sail boat.

Interestingly, on the computer, it looks perfect, but the real product had some flaws in the execution of the smaller sail. So today, I've worked and worked and worked on it. And now it looks worse.

Last night, I showed the painting to my parents who loved it, but could I accept that? Noooooo. No, I just HAD to add a little more dark paint here, a little more there until WHOOPS!

Now add some white ACRYLIC paint to that sail to hide the darker paint and...NOPE bad idea there too....And on it went....

Anyway...I am really thinking about trying that same design again. I just hope I can make the sky and sea as nice as I did in this one.....
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And another week has passed 10-05-2010 - 09:21 PM
I can't believe it's been an entire week since last I posted. So much has happened.

The weird thing is...I feel like a fish in a tank. I mean like, all these things are going on, and I just sit here and let it drift around me. Didn't really happen to me, but I just kind of observed it.

Church last wed, we had a special prayer session--suddenly, a lot of people are just hurting, or very sick, or have lost someone. On of our church family members is possibly facing the tragic loss of a daughter in law. Last week, she gave premature birth to twins. In the process, she had a massive heart attack (not expected) and the twins died. She's been in a coma since.

He had already lost his first wife to breast cancer a little over 2 years ago, and he has little kids from that first marriage.

Prayers are appreciated.

Then another good friend from church had a massive stroke about 2 months ago. He was doing ok at first, but went downhill and we got word this past Sunday that he had passed away.

Last week, we were given details on how to charge for the flu shots this year. This is the first time we've had to charge, and we all just hate it. I guess the State can no longer get the shots at cost, or something like that. Apparently, Oklahoma is the last state for the health departments to charge.

And it won't be easy to do this as some people will be charged, some won't. There are all kinds of different criteria--depends on ones insurance, if they have, not have, etc.

So, this past Saturday was the "Red River Rivalry." That's what everyone calls the BIG game between OU and Texas University. My parents both grew up in Texas but were moved here to OK by my dad's job. There are several Texas transplants here for the same reason. One of mom's dearest friends is a transplant and grew to love football through her late husband's influence.

OK, so when ever the RRR is played, you'd think it was the entire STATE of Oklahoma and the entire STATE of Texas playing! I mean, people can get so stupid and mean. I might make jokes about the school and it's mascot, but not about people from Texas.

However, my mom's friend got a little tacky. She came over for lunch and to watch the game--actually, she brought the lunch. I hadn't planned to go, but my mom--who actually hates football, invited me so she wouldn't be bored. So, we were talking, and I don't remember exactly what I said, but she tells me to "Shut up" which to me, is just like slapping someone in the face. The only time I would use that phrase is if someone were being really hateful or if we were in a big fight.

And then I joked about my outfit--I didn't go to OU, and don't have OU clothing so I wore a blue sweatshirt. I called it "OKlahoma flag blue." Well, something was then said about using a blue dish to put a side dish in instead of a red dish. As most of you might do, I absolutely love the color blue, and without thinking said something like "But that's a good color!" and again, the friend told me "No one wants to hear what color you like!"

I guess I'm really too thin skinned because it hurt my feelings. I didn't say much to anyone after that. I think she and my mom realized something was wrong, as they both got a little nicer. But I just hate that game--there is just too much importance put on to it.

Finally, when I realized we weren't going to get to see the OU band march at halftime I was so bored that my mom told me it wouldn't hurt her feelings if I went ahead and left.

I had planned all week to put some more rocks down in front of my shed and had just bought some at Lowe's that morning. Plus, Lowe's had hydrangea on sale for only $3.25! Needless to say, I was eager to get my plant in the ground.

I finished the stone, then chose a spot for the plant. Of course, there WOULD be a huge tree root lurking beneath the spot I chose!

I probably spent about 2 hours outside just working stone, and digging the hole for the plant. I actually dug up the earth around part of the root and managed to saw through part of the root before it got too dark for me to see.

By the time I went inside, I'd used a spade, a hand trowel, and a bow-saw. I was covered with dirt and still needed to make supper and work on my lesson plan for Sunday.

So, Sunday after church, I was a bit sore from Saturday, and my allergies made me feel a bit yucky, but I had to go to Wal-Mart before I went home.

Patty, remember your story about J and her hormone issues? I think the clerk who checked me out had some major ones going on. Had I not been feeling bad, I think I would have called the manager.

While standing in line, I was talking to the couple ahead of me as I know them from church. They had also bought a paper and I noticed the girl ran around her counter, around the other side of the cart, and toss it in. I thought it strange, but didn't really pay it much mind.

So, I get up there, she scans my stuff, I go to run my card in the card reader, and then for security I proceeded to put it back in my wallet before I clicked on the "cancel" for credit etc button.

Well, suddenly she tells me "I need to see your card". Her tone was not overly friendly and I couldn't imagine what she needed it for. However, last year, I had made a very expensive purchase beyond what I normally spend and she had had to look at my ID at that time.

This time, I thought maybe it had something to do with the fact I'd just been in there. But then it occurred to me that she didn't ask to see my ID, just my card.

Well, me, miss compliant-not-wanting-anyone-to-think-I'd-done-anything-wrong didn't say a word as the clerk spun the card reader around and re-ran my card!

I don't know what she was doing--if I just wasn't fast enough to suit her or what. But it was embarrassing and really made me mad. I did stand there for a second and scanned my ticket to make sure I wasn't double charged on anything.

I planned to call wal-mart once I got home, but I had so much to do, I simply forgot.

Anyway, I worked like a dog that afternoon, digging the hole around the root larger until I could finally get the saw into the hole with enough room to finish cutting through the root. And then, after all that, realized my hydrangea would have too much sun in the afternoon!


So, I moved it across the yard to a less sunny location and can only hope it will get some sun in the morning. Right now, it doesn't get any by the time I leave for work, so I won't really know until I can stay home next Saturday.

Anyway, I went on to church, my back hurting. I had rested some on the couch before church, but I felt that if I were going to act so foolishly and keep on cutting up the root, even as I was starting to hurt, I didn't need to punish God by not showing up to church.

Oooh, yesterday, I didn't feel so great and ended up leaving work early.

I feel like an old person...

No, today, I feel a lot better.

Work has been crazy though. For weeks, we've just had no one trying to get on WIC it seems, so I filled up all these spots that I would normally try and reserve for our "Priority" clients ie, new infants and pregnant women. Well, now that I have them filled with non-priority people, we are suddenly getting a huge flock of Priorities calling for appointments.

I just can't win....
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Kind of weird weekend too. 09-26-2010 - 10:48 PM
Well, I guess if it's not my normal routine, then it's weird.

First, News, I hope you're feeling better!

OK, so Friday, I had to run a few errands before I could go home. I had to get some cash as I usually only use my debit card and I had to run by the library to drop off the book (and check out the next one by the same British author.)

I spent about two hours mowing both the front and back yards and FINALLY got around to working on my 3rd rose bed. I dug and pulled and pulled and dug up tons of grass but am still no wear near finished. And in the meantime, accidentally destroyed the roots of one of my flowering plants I planted over the summer.

I figured I could finish the job on Saturday, not to mention running to Wal-Mart to buy cat food, etc.

Saturday, I had made plans to go with my co-worker, R, out-of-town to watch a High School Marching Band competition.

I was in high school band myself way back in the day and things have changed A LOT since I was in band. There is more respect for band by the public than there used to be--contests are a much bigger deal, shows are much more dramatic, etc than they used to be. And instead of both "Flag Girls" and "Pom Pon" Girls, bands now have "color guards". When I was in band, EVERYONE had to be able to play an instrument and be in both marching and symphonic band. I don't think that is the case now. Plus, high school bands now have both a "drum line" and a "pit" for the rest of percussion. Now when they do the half-time shows, they drag along their tympani, their chimes, etc instead of using instruments designed specifically for marching.

So, I was excited to go. And since R invited me, she drove. So, the town we were going to was about a 30 minute drive away but no big deal. Our high school's band was scheduled to take the field at 02:45 and I figured once they were done, we'd leave. That's how it used to be. You marched. You left. Later, your band director found out how su----ey you did and you got yelled at and then you worked harder and improved.

Oh, how wrong I was! On the way there, I mentioned something about time. That's when R thought to tell me that this competition would NOT end until about 10:00 p.m.! And she wanted to see the whole thing!

And to make it worse, not knowing that we would be gone all day, I had not worked on my lesson plan for my Sunday School class. I figured I'd work on it, plus finish my flower bed, once I got home on Saturday.

Well, I figured that if the awards were given at 10:00, we might still get home early enough for me to work on my lesson. WRONG!

There were about 18 bands that competed. After 07:00 p.m. the ones that made the finals would return to march again. And our band made the finals. And there are 12 that compete in the finals. 12. Yeah. But to make it even more stressful, two of the bands tied in the first go-round so there were actually 13 bands that had to re-compete.

And some of those bands had props that they had to lug on and off the field which meant longer waits.

So after all the bands competed, I was in high hopes that even though it was still 10:15, we might soon be leaving. Well, no.

Apparently, we had to watch one MORE show. For some reason, the local high school did not compete--not for lack of talent however. They have been selected to march in the Rose Bowl parade. But we had to watch THEIR show first.

And let me add this, I don't understand these shows the directors design these days. Now, all the shows have a "theme". But I could only "get" the theme for about 2 of the shows. For the most part, the color guard would wear really odd, outfits and the music never matched the theme--at least not that I could understand. And the dancing tended to be odd.

I won't even think about taking the time here to describe some of the weird things we saw.

Anyway, by the time all was said and done, it was actually 10:30 by time that band was done. And at this point, I was no longer enjoying the show as I was getting more and more blue about not being able to work on my class. All I could do was sit there and think of some alternative things we could do. But one of the things we all do--an art project--I would not have time to work on.

Well, after all the shows, then ALL 13 band drum lines marched out together and played a cadence together. I could have enjoyed it more if I hadn't been upset and was really needing to go to the bathroom. But at that point, I didn't want to get in anyone's way and distract them trying to get out (we were sitting in bleachers).

so then, ALL 13 bands had to come to the field. THEN, right THEN the bands were awarded trophies. We were # 13 and there were not enough trophies. I even wondered why they bothered letting a tie stand since we were 13th. I don't think the band was too thrilled in the end.

Anyway, by the time we left the parking lot, it was about 11:00 p.m. and I was in no way going to stop at some gas station that late to run to the bathroom.

I think we got back to town about 11:40ish and I had the worst trouble getting my front door open of course. Let's just say, I had to change undies after all that. So, then I saw that my mom had left numerous phone calls for me.

I don't own a cell primarily because of cost, but also because I really, really hate to talk on the phone and I don't always want to be reached anywhere and everywhere. So I hadn't been able to let my parents know what had happened on the time. My parents had been out of town as well, but had tried to call and invite me out to eat when they got back, so of course, mom was getting kind of scared.

Anyway, it was almost midnight before we talked and it was well after by the time we hung up. Then I had to shower. After all that, I had no time to work on my lesson plan and gather up my 10 plagues.

To top it off, R and I had eaten a very heavy lunch, but had not felt like eating dinner. So, we'd each only had a couple of glasses of tea and a cookie. I had about 3 bites of tuna once I got home, but that was it. So in the end, I could not sleep all night.

I had also taken one of those "no drowsy" antihistamines yesterday because I was having a lot of trouble.

About all I had time to do was borrow a story book and make photo copies of a picture of frogs bouncing all over this street for my lesson. That is nowhere NEAR my usual standards.

I guess I should be happy that I only had one child show, and he showed too late for me to have to even think about doing my entire class. But for me it's the principal of the situation.

Here is what has finally occurred to me as well:

That most people don't understand what it means to teach a Sunday School class. I think most people see it as nothing more than baby sitting. That was certainly the impression R gave me because she never did apologize and she didn't think to warn me how late we would go. Everyone at work knows I teach Sunday School in the fall.

I'm not going to yell at her or anything, but if she asks me again to go to another competition, I may say no unless I really feel like I can get my lesson prepared on Friday night.

Anyway, I guess next week, 10 plagues will be settling on the hapless Egyptians.
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Weird week 09-23-2010 - 10:51 PM
I don't know what it is--why some weeks are just so busy I want to pull my hair out, and others are just so slow that...I still want to pull my hair out This has been the second kind!

Suddenly, we have not been getting near the requests for WIC appointments like we have in the last several months. Suddenly, I have like a million openings next Monday and I had a couple today.

I guess, considering how we've had to reschedule all these clients lately, that's been a good thing in the end. Still....

So, this entire week, I've had like crazy allergies. I can never decide if I should or should not take an antihistamine. It seems like at work, I about drown even though I drink lots of water.

At home, the problem doesn't seem quite so bad, but then I sneeze more and my eyes are itchy. Yet, I seem to have the same problems on an antihistamine just slightly less....

No wonder I never bother with going to the doctor....

Today, I was nearly late for work--something I just don't do. And then I froze this morning in the office so power walked on my break to both warm up and get some exercise. Plus, I kept having drainage and kept drinking lots of water.

At lunch, I worked on keeping my portions down, but we had leftovers and two contained some form of cabbage--col slaw and sauerkraut. Well...that was not my wisest combination to eat in one meal...

Let's just say that suddenly close to the end of the work day, I started having some mild abdominal pain....

So, I had planned to come home and mow the lawn and finish my mulching, etc. Well, I changed my mind on that one as I was feeling more and more horrid (can you tell I've been reading an English author of late?) by the time I got home.

I planned to lie down for a bit before eating supper, and hoped I would feel well enough later to mow. So, I happened to glance into the back yard when I got home and saw that somehow, my gazing ball I bought last spring had mysteriously toppled over.

It's been through wind storms, rain storms and maybe small hail storms without a scratch and without being moved but suddenly, it was on its side and the heavy iron stand was rolled over as well. We've had some wind this evening, but in all honesty, I suspect the neighbor's cat might be involved.

Anyway, I decided to go ahead and move it into the shed now that fall has arrived (sigh). And wouldn't you know, as I was doing that, I got "snogged" (yes, English author!) by two very hungry mosquitoes! One on each elbow!

I still have some anti-itch ointment, but it took forever to work!

Anyway, I finally took a nap and feel somewhat better, but I of course didn't get back outside.

And then I had another "Marta" incident. I decided to heat up some chili and mixed veggies in the microwave. Well, I was in too big of a hurry and instead of bothering with getting a hot pad, I figured my napkin would suffice to fend off the heat until I could get the bowl to my t.v. tray.

Oh, wrong, so very, very wrong...

You know, Corning ware bowls just don't break when they land on a wood floor....but chili can sure fly everywhere!

At least I had some more left.....


Well, I have drawn out my next picture to be painted--a sea gull. It will certainly be a challenge as they are mostly white, and I love to use as many colors in my paintings as usual. So, I am going to see how many different colors I can put into the wood slats of the pier and how many in the sky and the sea.

I just hope it comes out ok.

TTFN! (Yes, English author!)
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i need 3 day weekends every week! 09-19-2010 - 04:34 PM
No Diverchick, no alphabet after my name. Basically, if we're lucky, we MIGHT get a certificate that proves we took the course.

And News, there are no extra computers available. Plus, we'd have to cancel WIC for me to be able to watch the videos un-bothered. I wish we'd been told the Emergency Management meetings were mandatory to begin with instead of suddenly springing that on us a year later ("Oh, BTW, you still need to take NIMS-700 and ICS-100).

The crazy thing is that no matter what would happen, I would STILL be doing just what I am already doing--clerical work. I do not have the talent for coordinating, organizing, etc.


So, Friday night, I barely got home, changed clothes, and had to rush back to the church building to catch a ride to this year's Ladies Retreat. It's a 30 minute drive out to the local Girl Scout campground (which they rent out). I'd worked in my yard the day before cutting up a small sapling and had then taken one of those 24 hour antihistamines. On top of that, work was extra busy for some reason. I think I had a client demand my attention about ever 5 minutes. I finally had to to a "break" and take charts into the kitchen just so I could have a quiet moment to finish them. I hate to leave work for the next day, but by the end of the day, I still had Friday's charts out and Monday's not yet pulled. I think I was starting to tense up as a result because I was starting to feel achy by the time I left work.

And then, we had to bring our own sack supper with us Friday in order to defray the cost of the retreat. Some of the women ordered nice sandwiches from this local pastry/sandwich shop. Mom ordered one for each of us but didn't tell me until Friday that she was not treating me. She ordered without checking with me first. I might have liked to have gotten something else to bring for that matter, or at least been warned ahead of time that we'd need to pay back the woman she placed the order with. I don't carry cash as a habit--usually just my debit card. So I didn't have time to go get cash. And then mom didn't have cash or check either so I had to cover the cost with a check--reminds me, I need to get money from Mom...

Anyway, the bread ended up being dry and the filling--chicken salad--was non too plentiful. Well, the sandwiches only cost $4 each--but they were just halves.

So, I have to admit I was secretly irritated.

So....the speaker was really good. She spoke a lot from personal experience. Our theme was "Our Identity in Christ." I wasn't sure what to expect. Basically, her point was that we are each given certain types of gifts that we can use for God--and they do NOT have to be confined to that time period when the congregation meets to worship.

I was really tired from the day and we didn't even leave until 9 p.m. Then once I got home, I had to clean two cat boxes and brush two cats and then I did a Google search for sea gulls as I am planning on using them for my next subject.

I have to admit now, that I was not overly eager to go back on Saturday, but I'd promised to read a scripture chosen for me to read by our Coordinator. I was still tired, and now it might have been a mild case of not having enough fiber--yeah, I won't say much more---but it can really rob me of enough breath sometimes.

Anyway, I had practiced my verse all week (Incidentally, Mabb thinks her name is "God". I practiced reading aloud all week, and every time I'd start, Mabb would jump up on the bed with me and get right in my face.)

So, I waited and waited for it to be my turn. I was nervous, but thought I could do it. I was on the schedule which our coordinator herself gave to me. So, it comes time for me to read, I'm waiting to be called up just like she did everyone else--and she skipped me! Not only that, but the Speaker had that same exact verse at the start of her 3rd talk! It was so bizarre. I kid you not, things happen like that all the time to me!

Oh, and here's a kicker: When I was a kid, my parents and this Jack--s of a Child Development "specialist" decided I was immature and I had to repeat kindergarten. In my opinion, I was just a quiet, over-sensitive kid. The only thing that changed for me was that now I was ahead of the other kids only because I could read. I was no more social, didn't improve my math, my low self-esteem--no wait, that last one? Caused by being held back!

And then I finally found a friend who liked me for me. And we liked fantasy play--knights and ladies, sci-fi, and pretend a lot at an age when most kids didn't still pretend. (We were both wanting to be writers one day.) So, our parents didn't understand us and declared us to be causing each other to be immature and did EVERYTHING they could to break up our friendship.

So, I have a kind of weird sense of humor. I tend to quickly make notice relationships in my mind and sometimes jokingly make comments, etc. You've probably noticed some of the things I've said here before. I'm also socially awkward still.

Anyway, as a result, my Mom still has this thing about me doing "silly things." So, here I am, worrying about having to speak in front of a group of women when I am somewhat shy, worrying about being tongue-tied--you know, the normal stuff. And what does she say?

"Just don't say anything Silly."

OK...way to support me mom!

So, advice to moms out there---LET IT GO! Whatever they were as kids--LET IT GO!

I am so used to her saying stuff like that over the years to me that it wasn't until much later that I should have pointed out how much it hurts and denigrates me whenever she brings that up.

She likes to say being held back was "good" for me and "helped" me a lot. If she really felt that way, then she'd keep her mouth shut.

Anyway....So....I found out my Gifts are teaching (well duh) and "Mercy" which means I am really honed into other people's emotions. No surprise there either. I tend to be a little too sensitive--not immature--but highly sensitive. In fact, that was one of the reasons I didn't want to go back.

Our speaker has had some really sad things in her life--child of divorce in a day and age when it was not accepted at all--being told her gifts could not be used in the church of that day as they didn't fit the misconceived view of a 'woman's role"--and then having two children with autism--and then losing the job she needed to pay for her older child's treatment. Insurance will NOT cover autism therapy.

So, her emotions would get so intense, she would be practically crying. Plus, she is very passionate about getting the Gospel out to all.

Well, her emotions were so intense, I was actually feeling nervous and drained and really needed to leave. However, I was committed and my car was 30 minutes away.

Ladies, I don't think I can do this again!

Well, after the retreat was over, I had some work to do on my flower beds and spent several hours weeding and putting down mulch. I found out then I should have bought double the bags of mulch I did. Plus, I am needing to replant a few bushes but once again, it's too hot. I am still needing to weed-eat as well and do some watering.

But, I also needed to fix supper and work on my Sunday school lesson.

I finally fell into bed exhausted about 11:30 (OK, I spent a little time on Face Book chatting on Kingdoms of Camelot).

Then this morning had to get up early and get ready to get to church early to get my props into the building. A burning bush can really be an awkward thing to carry!

After that, had to run by Wal-Mart, return some pants that didn't fit and buy a few groceries.

I took a very brief nap on the couch--only 30 minutes. I tried to read more NIMS but just cannot get into it. I have to take this stupid test next and then get proof I took the test. You know what really stinks is I think I DID do one of those on-line a few years ago. It was one of those really icey days when we had to cancel most of our clients and the clerks went on-line and did the training. I tried to find my certificate which i KNOW I printed out, but I can't find it.

I can't decide if i want to weed-eat tonight or tomorrow...I have church at 06:00--I guess tonight I might just water, take out the trash, fix supper......

I need a 3 day weekend!
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And guess what we're having on Oct 1... 09-17-2010 - 05:04 PM
At work....

Yet another meeting...

To tell us the specifics on how to charge for the flu shot this year...

Can't they just send around a memo?

Oh, right, they did that already.....
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Too many meetings, not enough time for clients! 09-16-2010 - 10:55 PM
Oh yes! We have so many meetings for basically stupid reasons that we are not getting the time to serve our clients. Ever since 9/11, Health Departments have been added to the Emergency Management roster. So, for the past 6 years, we've had to be involved in all sorts of trainings, etc. So, here I am a clerk, who will not be responsible for patient care, nor transport, nor ordering of nor tracking of supplies. I will not be in search and rescue or anything of that nature. If there ever were an emergency that called upon my skills--clerical--I would do just what I am doing now--clerical work. So, a few trainings at different levels were added over the past few years. I didn't sign up for them because I and my boss, etc assumed it was not necessary. Then Monday, I got an e-mail from someone in central office telling me I HAD to have those credentials after all!

The trainings are 3 hours apiece, but hey (note sarcasm) I can do them on my computer at work! Yeah....I had the choice of either trying to watch a video that would run for 3 hours, or print out the transcript and read it. Well, there is no way I can wait on clients and watch a video, and of course, our only computers are located on our desks. Not to mention, as the only WIC clerk, it's not like I have the luxury of hidy-holing myself for 3 hours to watch a video. So, I printed off 75 pages of transcript to read as I can. I have brought it home with me, (forgot tonight though) and tried to plow through it.

I have to admit...it sounds and IS incredibly boring. What I could say in a few sentences: People need to be licensed and credentialed. Leaders need to be in charge over managers and know what's going on. Resources need to be kept in stock or available in an emergency. There should be protocols, deployment, preparedness, and cooperation between states, etc.--it takes the author of the transcript 75 pages to say...sigh...

You know how it is when you read something, realize you haven't understood or absorbed one thing, and have to go over it again? That's this reading.

And there is another one yet to be done. And then a test....


This weekend, I am going on a Ladies church retreat so I won't be able to read then ever. Plus, when I get home Saturday, I've got to work in my rose beds and work on my Sunday School lesson. (I've had three bags of mulch and one of garden soil sitting on my front lawn for 5 days now--and what with a wacky weekend schedule, rain, and church Wed night I haven't had time to distribute anything)

Plus, we now have to have 3 hours of Cultural competency every year and 3 of ethics.

So, today, clinic was canceled yet again so we could to this satellite "training" on Cultural Competency. I wasn't sure what the subject would be, but I thought at least I would learn something.

Well, the speaker was boring as all get out, and all he did was ask stuff like: Why do we need cultural competency. There were several different counties singed in, and we could talk to him but hardly anyone would answer. Anyone who dared answer anything was then forced to elaborate. We never did learn anything.

At one point, he asked us to write down our perception of different groups--women, men, teens, rich, poor, Californians, and Southerners.


So, here were mine: Women--have estrogen (for the most part anyway)

Men:--have testosterone.

Teens: Have too much of both and don't know how to handle it.

Rich:--have money.

Poor:--don't have money.

Californians--are from the West Coast.

Southerners--are from the South.

I mean, come on, those are such broad subjects--I don't know anything about Californians--you've got people from Hollywood, people from Los Angelas, people from San Francisco--not to mention all the other places. I don't think there could be one way to define All those folks.

Southerners? Which part of the South?

It was weird.

I hope he doesn't teach Ethics.

Too bad they won't let my work as a Sunday School teacher count!
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Another bad anniversary nearly over 09-11-2010 - 12:36 AM
Today, six years ago, an older cousin--my mom's 1st cousin--was killed by his own son. Every year, I relive the moment we found out. None of the family knew until the next afternoon. It's so ironic to realize that we learned about his murder on 09/11. Both were horrific acts done by angry people--one fueled by drugs, the other by intense mania.

I'll never forget how pretty the day was--we'd been to Dallas to visit my sisters and their families and had just left my oldest niece's soccer game. We women were running around, just shopping and hanging out and were about to go into this deli for lunch when my sister's cell phone rang. It was a friend of my cousin's family calling with the news.

We were stunned, horrified...grief stricken....

Somehow, sister #2's youngest daughter hadn't quite picked up on what had happened until after we got back to the house. I'll never forget how her wail echoed through their house. And I wanted to find my cousin's son and just squeeze the life out of him....

And then later that night, finally seeing the news report on T.V., and the seeing the stretcher being wheeled out of the house with the body bag in it.

My cousin sang in the Dallas Symphony choir, and he was a hospital chaplain. He'd served in the army as a chaplain and was a prostate cancer survivor. He never met a stranger, and once he met you, he knew you for life. He had his own family news letter. He was a good, kind, man, who happened to have a poor relationship with his son. He was in his late 70's when he died.

No one should have to die like he died and especially a senior citizen who didn't have the strength of the man high on drugs at the time.

Even to this day, I still can't believe it happened to him, and I still don't understand why....
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Very quiet weekend. well, sort of. 09-08-2010 - 09:33 PM
Saturday, I woke up to the sounds of buzz saws. The TREE was finally cut down next door. I had to mow my lawn, so I started working on that while occasionally stopping to watch the guys work.

There was sure a lot of tree to be removed! It almost looked as if the entire roof was just smothered in branches.

One of the guys gave me his card, and I asked him about cutting down the half over my house--or at least the branches. He seemed thrilled, quoted me a decent price, but said it would have to be between Sunday and Monday.

I didn't do much the rest of Saturday--I did some work on my Sunday school lesson and straightened up my materials in preparation for this new year. But mostly, I admit I did play online video games alot.

Sunday, I taught my first class of the season--pre-k. It's a fun age.

Well, between the fact that I have a very small class this year--only 5 students--and the fact it was labor day weekend, I ended up with just 1 child showing up. I've learned from the past to do a kind of "introductory lesson" that first time and save my real prep work for the next week--although I did work on an attendance board.

My parents and I always go to lunch together after church, but I rushed home after we ate to see if the tree guy had called--no such luck. So I spent the rest of Sunday with my parents.

Mom is like a HUGE Zorro fan and I had bought her "The Mask of Zorro" for her birthday on DVD so we spent Sunday watching that then going to the grocery store. We ran my groceries home so I could check my answering machine, but still nothing from the tree guy.

Anyway, after church that evening, I didn't do much, so indulged myself again on video games.

Monday, the tree guy called about 08:30 to tell me he could be there between 03:00 and 06:00.

T was in town for the 25th high school reunion that I had elected to skip--which T informed me was a disappointment after all that.

T and I got together for lunch, and then she asked if her new BF could come by. I had no objections--especially as I felt it important I check him out--someone had to stand in for her family after all! (And kids don't count).

He's a nice guy and I like the fact that he respects T's issues that he has where most guys would take advantage of them.

The only thing that worries me is that he literally just signed divorce papers last week, and he and T have already started saying "I love you" to each other. They only started getting together the first week in August.

And not only did BF just come out of a very bad marriage, but he and T are already planning on getting married in July of next year! YIPES!

And then he confessed that he is now feeling guilty--I don't know if he means about some specific issue, or just everything in general. We both rushed to reassure him that his feelings are normal. But I wish they'd slow things down before they even begin to think marriage.

At least I believe they'll be wise enough to get some pre-marital counseling. They are both in that first blush of a new relationship and I think their hormones and loneliness are talking louder than their brains. I like BF and would hate to see him hurt any more than T if things didn't work out.

So, they left about 04:30, and I hung around, waiting to hear from the tree guy. The minutes ticked by, I finished a book, relaxed...05:30 comes, goes....I call my oldest niece for her birthday...getting closer and closer to 06:00...no tree guys.

Finally, a few minutes after 06:00, he called to tell me he couldn't find the guy he works with, so he would come on Tuesday.

I finished my evening hanging out at my parents' house and then playing more on-line games. (Think I might be a tad addicted...?)

So, I was hoping to write her yesterday that the tree guys had finally shown up to take care of the tree, but no such luck. The guy I spoke with still couldn't get together with his partner yesterday, and now we are having all that rain from the hurricane.

I am seriously thinking of finding a termite nest and planting it beneath the tree......
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Dashing in for a moment 09-02-2010 - 07:42 PM
Been one of those "huh?" weeks. Weird all week. No full moon, but several storms, so maybe that's had some people weird.

Monday, I dealt with at least 3 clients who were or seemed to be, trying to cheat the system. One was a girl who needed a TB test for work. Years ago, we lost our funding to give them to anyone but nursing students, first responders, people exposed (of course!), people going to jail, and those with specific medical concerns.

But we can no longer do them just for general employment. So, I referred this person to a nearby low-cost medical facility. They have to charge $20 for a TB test (I've since found out the serum that is used is costly). About a minute later, she called back asking when WE do OUR tests. I knew it was her as we have caller ID at work and I recognized the name on the ID.

Well, I told her we could only do the test if she'd been exposed. So, immediately, she tells me she'd been exposed! So, I gave her call to our TB nurse. I thought the girl would come clean with our nurse, but nooooo, our nurse informed us that a client was coming in who'd been exposed etc.

An exposure takes more than a test. We also have to do a medical workup, find out who else they've been exposed to, and maybe even a chest X-Ray (but only if there is a positive on the test.)

I told the nurse I'd just spoken to the young woman and what had transpired. Oooh, she was layin' for her!

Well, as it turned it, once the girl got in with the nurse, she 'fessed up so the nurse was polite to her and just told her we couldn't see her.

I won't go into the other two situations. They were WIC, but it would take too long to go through those situations.

Then Tuesday, I don't know what it was, but I was in a fog all day. NG (sometimes WIC clerk, sometimes WIC clinician) was not in the office. I knew she was going on a vacation soon, but I couldn't remember exactly when. It wasn't until the end of the day that I remembered that now on Tuesdays, she works in a different county.

Tuesday night, we had a big storm blow through here as well.

Oh, and Monday, I went over to my parent's house for supper and found out that a lovely lady that had only been in our church congregation for a few years had passed away unexpectedly on Sunday. I had asked her to a tea party last year, and she forgot to come. I'd planned to have another one sometime, and mentioned it to her. She was so excited, and then....And the funeral was today, but I couldn't go.

So, the impending storm kept me from the grocery store, so yesterday, right after work, I stopped in at Wally-World on my way home. I did a power shop--and then stood in line for 20 minutes.

I was wiped out by the time I got home, and was having allergies on top of that, so just decided to stay home. But, instead of resting as I'd planned, I ended up washing all the dishes and dirty spoons in my sink (so I could eat breakfast this morning) finishing a load of laundry, cleaning the cat boxes....(sigh)

And then I sat in front of the computer for a few more hours.

And today, i don't know what it was--it was like all those mistakes I made several months ago decided to show up today. OK, actually, I only made one the other day--I miss pelt a client's name, but neither of us caught it until after the forms for the chart were all printed off and signed off on. So, parts of her chart will have the wrong spelling.

Then I messed up an appointment time for one of my Spanish speaking clients. We have to write their appointments in a book as well as putting them on the computer. This way, our interpreter can be reserved for the time (the computer appointment is for the clinician, the book is for the interpreter.) Somehow, back in May, I forgot to reserve his time down in the interpreter book, so our interpreter was busy with another client at that same time.

And then, I was waiting and waiting for WIC clinician to let me know I could print vouchers for a client. In the meantime, the next person had arrived, and I was getting nervous because the appointment was getting later and later. Finally, I called WIC Clinician to see if she was ready for me to print. She told me she'd already given me the chart back.

Not only had she returned the finished chart to me, I'd already signed off on my part and put all the papers together! Talk about feeling like I'm going senile....

I can't think when she gave me the chart. I think I must have looked at it and thought it was a new chart of a different client and didn't pay attention to the name of the client, but still...

Luckily, the next client could be eased into the 10 o'clock time slot, but still....

Anyway, I got home, my head full of ick from sinus drainage. I saw I had a phone call that needed to be returned, but the person who left the message didn't answer when I called. So, I was laying on the couch when the phone rang. It was another woman from church.

She hemmed and hawed for a minute before getting to the point. Her mother in law is wanting her to play matchmaker for her brother in law and asked her to ask me if i would check him out on FaceBook and see if there is any interest.

OK....no...only I didn't tell her no. Actually, from her description of him, I don't think I'd be too interested. She told me he is EXTREMELY conservative to the point it broke up his last relationship. Yeah, I'm conservative, but more moderate. And he doesn't even live in Oklahoma.

So, I checked out his FB page, and looked at his picture. I thought, well, if he's at least cute....

OK, remember that horrible movie, "Deliverance" about those hikers that get lost in the woods and they get attacked by this insane family of mountain men? (It's the one with the Dueling Banjos song in it).

That's what this guy looks like--and I don't mean the lost hiker either.

Let's just say, when I looked at his picture, I could hear the strumming of a banjo in my brain.

Yeah ladies, there is a reason he is still single...
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Hanging out inside/makes me wanna hurl 08-29-2010 - 03:39 PM
Two separate entries...I promise!

Yesterday, I forgot that the movie tryouts for extras actually started around 10:00 so things had cooled off by the time I walked over to the high-school. That is, the traffic had cooled off, but not the heat! I got so hot and sweaty! I also walked long enough to get in a good 30 minute walk and made a cool photo of a dragonfly I found on a little tree outside the school.

Then I returned home and drank some "Gatorade". After that, I decided it was too hot to venture back out side--yes, ME--too hot! I did a few very minor chores, but that was it.
2nd entry.

So, I saw on FaceBook last night that one of our church members had gone and stood in the line for tryouts and was encouraging everyone else to do the same.

I happened to mention that I'm not photogenic but also encouraged those who might be interested to give it a try, etc.,

Well, there is this guy who used to go to our church...I know I am going to sound...maybe tacky...I don't know...let's just say...he's a woman wanter--but very obnoxious...maybe an edge creepy....he just basically makes me and the other single women (and marrieds too) a bit uneasy.

Well, he'd moved away for some reason (I think he'd moved to claim some property or something after a relative had died) and he got on Face Book. I have to admit, that I kept him low on my radar and didn't give him enough attention so that after he left, I forgot about him. In fact, last year, when he asked me to be a friend on Face Book, although his name rang a bell deep inside, I didn't immediately make the connection.

Well, he popped on a few times while I was on and we would chat...but then it got to be that I could hardly get on without him popping in to chat. The last straw came when I was on late one evening, wanting some quiet time, and here he was popping on to chat--I mean, it was VERY late. And you know those guys that will say anything to make you like them, no matter what...Like, say you got turned into a giant, revolting, slimy slug. He'd tell you how beautiful you were--but somehow, you knew it was insincere because he was very desperate for female company. He wouldn't say "I'm so sorry this has happened. I know it's really upsetting for you, and if there is anything I can do to help...." No, it would be..."Well, you are the most beautiful slug in the world" type of thing and ignore your pain.

OK, that type.

So, after talking to our good friend A that we go to church with, she mentioned that I might un-friend him. She is not easy around him either.

So, I went home and did just that.

Well, hadn't given him much thought until today. Despite the fact that I un-friend ed him. He actually sent me a PM telling me how "photogenic" I am.

Uh, no Dude, I'm not. Believe me. I'm not.

Anyway, when I saw that he'd still been able to contact me, I kind of wanted to throw up.

Really, I'm not trying to be mean. I've had to deal with a lot of his type before though so I know where he's really coming from. ERG.
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Out with the old... 08-25-2010 - 10:05 PM
It seems that these last six years have been about transition for me in some ways--and even more so since I moved four years ago.

Before my surgery, life went along at a nice, mellow pace--like a lazy river in summer--never hurrying, following the same bed--just calm, relaxed.

But it seems that my life became more of a swiftly moving rapids since the beginning of 2006--actually, to be more accurate--since the end of 2006 when I had to put my cat Moonlight to sleep--he was 14 and may have had---cancer. Yeah, I can't seem to get away from it. It seems everyone I know anymore has been affected by it....

Anyway, cancer isn't the focus here. It's just weird...I mean, about a month after the surgery, my car battery died...then my microwave....and then....more family losses....

I thought about the things I brought with me when I moved into this house. Within a few months, I had replaced the couch and chairs that I loved with new furniture. I still have a couple of the original things I moved with, but the furniture was a big one--those are the pieces my friends and family as well as me will sit or lay upon--they have the most value.

Then summer of 2008, my old, reliable lawnmower broke and had to be replaced.

This spring, I had to replace my T.V. that I'd had for 13 years. Then this summer alone, I've had to replace my weed trimmer, then my faucet, all my pots and pans (which were starting to rust where the non-stick surface had been scratched, etc), and now my rug. I had this brightly colored rug that I brought from my apartment. It was printed to resemble a series of Hawaiian style printed stripes in various colors. I really like that rug, but bit by bit, the edges became chewed up from battles with the vacuum cleaner (something else I had to replace since I've moved).

That rug really reflected my personality, and I hated to see it go, but it had gotten to the point where it was just in danger of unraveling more and more, and had become somewhat of an embarrassment.

So, today at Wal-Mart, I found a nice new rug that I'd been admiring for some time. It's an olive green with darker green fronds on it. I got it on a good sale. It's bigger than the old rug and does reflect the style of the room (tropical-Caribbean). It seems to be a more quality product than the old one.

I am pleased with it, but in a weird way, kind of sad about the other one as it feels like bit by bit, I am losing the good memories of a quieter life.

So far, have heard nothing back on the tree either from my insurance company or the other property owners'. Still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

OK, anyone want to try out for a movie this weekend? Yeah, there is a guy from our town who has been trying to break in big in the movie industry. He's made several indi films, and now he wants to film one here. And get this, in this small Oklahoma city (not Tulsa or Oklahoma City) there have been sightings of Ben Aflick and Jennifer Gardner everywhere! No, I've not seen either one. Everyone at work kept hoping one of them would need a tetanus shot for some reason and come in...like yeah, they could afford to go to a doctor....

So, last week, there was an open casting call in Tulsa which I didn't go to as I had to work, but THIS Saturday and Sunday, there is going to be one at the High School--and guess who lives just a few blocks away!

Actually, no, I don't plan on trying for anything. I look horrible in print and get too nervous and self-conscious, however, it might be fun to walk down to the high school and watch the proceedings.

Believe me, I don't even plan to try and get out (except for Church Sunday if the traffic doesn't get too crazy before 01:00 p.m. when the casting call starts up again.)

I'd better make sure my camera's batteries are charged up...
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A Tree falls in Oklahoma 08-23-2010 - 06:59 PM
Well, if your tree falls on your neighbor's house, does it make a sound? Depends on who hears it and what the court rulings are....

Actually, my stomach is in knots. The owner of the house next door finally found the tree and called me this afternoon while I was outside weed-eating. He of course first thing tried to throw the ball in my court. And I, not expecting him to call me directly, and being hot, sweaty, dehydrated, and fighting with the weed eater, wasn't as savvy as I wish I could have been. I did the thing I hated and tried to be evasive and make it sound like I'd only just noticed the tree, but of course, when I told him I already knew I wasn't considered liable (which really, I think is bizarre) he got suspicious. I didn't want to do anything to think I was trying to lie, or cheat or...well...be a bad neighbor and my first thought is always what does God think of my thoughts, etc.

So, I was honest with him and told him I'd noticed the tree last week and would have called him had I known how to get in touch. But in the meantime, I'd done research and found out that this is not my responsibility as long as the fallen tree was healthy. So, I did the good Christian thing and gave him my insurance company (I know he still didn't believe me) and told him who to contact. We talked about the tree and I told him how originally I had been told it wasn't my tree, etc.

So, after we hung up, I called my parents. Well, they both basically chewed me out for being too honest etc. (I had mentioned that at one time, I'd wanted to cut the tree down, but had been told it wasn't mine, etc) I wasn't even thinking--Cut down because it's a hazard but cut down because it's cutting more light--well of course, I was then chewed out by my parents that 1) I told too much about my finances and 2) It sounded like I was admitting that I knew I should have taken care of a problem or whatever and it could be used against me.

Even though it seems as if the house owner and I ended on a good note, I am now feeling sick to my stomach and can only hope that God is merciful and doesn't let this fall on me in the realm of lawsuits etc as I know my insurance company has basically already said--in a roundabout way--that they will not be the ones to take care of it.

At this point, I really wish I could just leave everything behind and move to parts unknown and just be. Even my job has been stressful--had a really---well---let's see---kind of a creepy family in today. They got kicked out of the local shelter for attacking someone (although they must have been let back in at some point) and every story the father tells me is bizarre. Basically, nothing is ever his fault, etc. And he flat lied to me about the reason he was kicked out of the shelter. I didn't even ask where he lived. He just started telling me he'd gotten kicked out for getting a job, and then later, one of my co-workers told me what really happened.

So, they are supposed to be bringing me some verification that we need to continue services for one of their children, but they flat out won't comply, and then get mad at me. So yeah, not the best of days....

And I just discovered that the water in the front yard had been running since 07:30 last night...

Please pray for me.
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Mom's Birthday 08-22-2010 - 10:12 PM
Yesterday was my mom's birthday. I hung around with my parents and made the whole day about her. In fact, I had such a nice time I'm thinking about taking off on both their birthdays from now on just to make the day about them.

I got up kind of late, so hurried over as soon as I was dressed. Mom and I did a little shopping, and then went to the library. My mom is such a wild thing sometimes! She doesn't like to ride in my car, so we end up riding in her's with her driving. Well, there was a mosquito in the car, and instead of just calmly pulling over and opening the door or window to shoo it out...yeah, I'm surprised we drove straight. I just had these images going through my mind of us getting killed on her birthday. Stupid mosquito.

We ate a quick snack back at their house and then went to Owasso where they have several fabulous shopping centers plus an Olive Garden. We decided to have lunch around 4 or so.

I have to admit that for the first time, I was not that impressed with an Italian dish. It was braised rib with tortellini and mushroom. I am not a big fan of cheese-stuffed tortellini, but I thought the pasta was stuffed with mushroom. Plus I didn't care for the sauce with the pasta. However, the waiter loves it, so it was just me. It did have fresh basil--which I love!

Then we drifted through Pier 1 and I bought a few more gifts for other friends who'd already had their birthdays this month.

After that, we went back to their house and Mom opened her presents. I tell you, I have the most generous cats.

They call my parents "Kitty Nana" and "Kitty Papa". I am not making this up. Mabb started it. I am serious. I just have this connection....

Anyway, Oonagh got Mom a black umbrella with red polka-dots, Mabb got her some hand soap and anti-bacterial goo from Bath & Body, and I got her the DVD of "Mask of Zorro". We haven't had the chance to watch the DVD yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

Then Dad got her lots of clothes and a book.

So now she's got lots to read!

Then about 08:00, we went to McDonald's and got her a Mocha Frapachino. That was her choice instead of a cake. This way there wasn't lots of cake left over to be eaten.

All in all, a really nice, calm, day.
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And yet more drama today... 08-19-2010 - 10:18 PM
I am the world's WORST second guesser, but I always do that to myself...

I had to attend this mandatory "nurse vs....Oops! I mean nurse/clerk meeting today." It ran for about 30 minutes and naturally, I had a stack of phone messages waiting for me when I got out. It really s---ks being basically the only WIC clerk in the office.

I actually left the meeting at 10:30 to check in a client, and then after that, started calling people back. We had a new client do in at 11. Well, by 11, she had not shown up and I got involved with a somewhat tricky situation. It was one of those where a potential client was actually given the wrong clinic to contact, but because she was WIC, I decided to go the extra mile for her and contact the proper WIC clinic on her behalf. In the end, it took about 4 different phone calls to get the situation sorted out. I knew I might have been able to wait on some of it, but had I done that, some information she really needed would have been overlooked by me.

Anyway, at some point, while I was trying to help the other woman out, a young woman sat at my desk. She didn't have a folder or the WIC forms we try to give them ahead of time, so it did not register right away that she was my 11:00 client--now late.

She asked for the forms while I was talking to the other clinic, so it didn't register right away that she was late. Then I noticed the clock said 11:11. Here is the problem: If they come in past 10 minutes after the hour, without their paperwork, it does not give the WIC clinician time to really do what they need to do by the time the client finishes the paperwork and we get them back there. And as we go to lunch at 11:30, this makes for a very ticklish situation.

I cannot say for sure what time the client arrived. I don't know if it was actually just 5 minutes after, or 7, or even 10. However, by the time her paperwork was done, it was 20 minutes after the hour.

As it turned out, our WIC clinician had no choice but to leave at her usual lunch time as she herself had a child scheduled for a physical during her lunch hour. This meant that NG was covering for her and she too can be pretty hard line about our clients being late--especially cutting into our lunch. I felt I was a little responsible for the client being late and would have stayed until she was certified, but I didn't have a clinician.

The client was of course upset. She lives in town, and works, but somehow, has no car, and her mother has to come from another town to take her to work, her appointments, etc. I'm not sure how she maintains a job under those conditions, or why she doesn't just try and find work in her mother's town where there IS a WIC office, but I didn't go there.

And then she had to use the phrase "I thought you were supposed to help people!"

GRRRRR! I think I lost a little sympathy for her at that point.

I managed to arrange with them to bring her child back next Tuesday (we had no openings on Friday and her mom works on Mondays). But at no time, would they see that I was doing my best. I mentioned that we only have one clinician (basically--at a time) and only one WIC clerk. I don't think they got it.

I've been kind of ill about it the whole day. And the mom asked for our fax number. I guess she's planning on making some kind of complaint. I went ahead and told the supervisor what had happened, and WIC clinician backed me up. She too had been out in the lobby a little after 11 and had not seen the client either. So, hopefully, even if they throw a fit, nothing will come of it.

Here's what I keep trying to tell myself:

1) Knowing she had to fill out a two-sided form, she should have arrived BEFORE her appointment time.

2) She should NEVER have missed her last appointment.

3) Her accusation is not only unfair but absurd. Not only was I helping another client on the phone when they sat at my desk, but between 07:30 and 8 a.m. this morning, I had helped out 7--yes, count 'em--7 people!

Two were walk-ins waiting for me when I opened the door. The next was a father with 3 little boys. He was 5 minutes late but he had his paperwork and we already had charts for the boys which cuts down on the paperwork. Plus, we usually allow for 30 minutes for each client, but when we have a multiple group like that, if there are no problems, our clinicians can sometimes get them done with time to spare. And then, drama-mama from the night before walked in to get vouchers. At least she was settled down and reasonable. Now, here is a woman who works nights, has to drive from out of town to attend these appointments. She's a single mom, and I think she might have a slight neurological impairment. Plus she obviously not very educated. Yet, she managed to make it into the office yesterday not only on time, but early, and with all her paperwork filled out for her little one. There were some issues, but at least her concerns were reasonable and valid.

And then on top of her, I had another guy walk in looking for some paperwork that had been left for his boss. He gave me his name instead of his bosses, so we had to wait for the health inspector to arrive so I could ask him where the papers were.

So, 7 clients, first thing in the morning! And I was running a little late myself, so I had to hustle. Yet, it did not keep me from having the doors open on time and be ready to go.

Anyway, I just hate situations like that. I keep thinking--was she here by 5 after? Should I have dropped the phone call to wait on her? And I admit that I forgot to watch the clock because I was so involved with the other situation. Not emergency, no, but involved a foster child, and they are our most vulnerable clients.

Anyway, I've felt really just distressed all day....
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Stop the Drama already! 08-18-2010 - 09:35 PM
Between my clients and my clinicians, I am just so ready for a road trip to Panama! (Yes, I need a loooooooooong trip!) I can't even blame it on the full moon because it's no where near the time for that. I think it's too many new people in the office who don't have a clue how things used to work before they showed up, and of course, with our clients, there is always going to be some drama.

Last year, we lost both nurses--the drama queen nurse left out of hurt feelings--right before we started H1N1 flu clinics. Our head nurse retired at the end of October. (Her husband had been ill for the last couple of years and she needed to be able to stay at home with him. Since she retired, he's much better.)

And then of course we got a new supervisor before those two retired. And we also got NG and PB in the last few years. PB is really nice. She lost her husband quite suddenly before we hired her back in July full time, so if anyone should be allowed to have drama, it is her. She might be a tad bit sensitive, but considering what she's had to deal with--not to mention, not being able to afford even a nice apartment to live in, well....

However, our new Head Nurse---Bark! Bark! Bark! If you get my drift. I am so glad I don't work with the nurses. She has gotten into the faces of some of the other clerks about stupid stuff. When it would have been so much easier to say--'Hey, I don't know how you guys did it before. I would like to try it this way now...."

Her mom died a few months ago, and she lost a brother a few years ago, but she uses that as an excuse to be hateful. However, she was being a snit BEFORE she lost her mom. I have to admit, I haven't seen it, but I've had several of the other clerks tell me about it.

Oh, and let's not forget the WIC Nutritionist. Now THERE is a piece of work! (sorry, big vent here). She never wanted to do WIC. She only wanted the state position for the benefits. Her true love is diabetes education. Although her main focus should be seeing WIC clients, she has something worked out where she can see non-WIC clients as well. Her main job is Nutrition Classes and seeing individual clients. When she was hired, the first thing she did was have all the time slots in her schedule changed from 30 minutes to 45, which meant having to cut out some appointment slots for specific needs--like anemia education, low or excessive weight gain, etc.

However, if she is seeing a diabetic, she insists that we give her an entire hour to them--although her salary is paid through WIC!

For most of her schedule, she will have her Individual slots interspersed with her group classes. So to find two empty time slots back to back is rare. She also travels between several counties, so I primarily have her once a week and about 2 Thursdays a month.

So, yesterday, she is in the office, and I say "Hi!" Big grin on my face. The first thing out of her mouth is "Please DON'T give me anymore clients at 12:15 and 02:30! I can't get anything done!"

OK, the one time she has a back to back individual slots is on Tuesday with 12:15 and 01:00. Tuesday is the best time for this as we don't always have her on Thursdays. I try to explain this to her, but of course, she treats me like the stupid clerk. Never mind the fact that I no longer have the power to put appointments in or take them out of the schedule. A few months ago, she told me (just as rudely) to no longer give her a client at 09:30 on Thursdays (same story, second verse). And then, she's the one her turned around a few months ago and had me put someone in that time slot!

But when I've asked her if we need to take those time slots out, she refuses to have it done (I have a feeling her supervisors would be ticked if she did.)

And then, yesterday, her supervisor was in our clinic to see how NG was doing with all her new WIC clinician stuff. She spent quite a lot of time with the Nutritionist. So, she already had a 02:30 scheduled (as yesterday was the first time I remember her saying anything) and at the close of the day, she chewed me out again, and told me she couldn't get anything done, and no phone calls returned etc! HELLO! was she not with our WIC consultant all day?

Not to mention, she takes of numerous times to go to the doctor (plastic surgery stuff) and takes off for vacation time quite often. And for that matter, I wont' even know until we are upon a new month whether or not she has decided to change her schedule. She is supposed to give it to us 3 months in advance, but she ALWAYS changes something at the last minutes. Yeah, that's really fun when she has 30 or 40 people scheduled for a class.

I won't even go into the client drama today. This journal entry is long enough for anyone reading it to plow through.
Speaking of drama...well, so far, my neighbor still has not seemed to notice the tree. I am thinking I might go over and take pictures while it is still green, in case it is dead by the time they notice it. This way, I can prove it was a healthy tree when it fell.
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Moral Dilemma 08-15-2010 - 10:53 PM
Thanks Annette, for your words of advice. My mom says not to say anything until someone approaches me about the tree.

I spent some time this afternoon trying to find what laws I can regarding trees vs. neighbors. I couldn't find anything specific to Oklahoma--I know they must be there, but the one website that might have any information doesn't want to give it away for free--but what I found so far indicates that unless the owner of the tree knew the tree was a danger--ie., the tree was dead or the neighbor previously approached the owner and expressed some concern--the owner of the tree is not liable for the tree or any damage it might have caused to the neighbor's property.

My moral dilemma is whether or not I should alert the neighbor and his caretaker(?) to the tree problem. My mom says keep mum, but we might have storms come through here--in fact we had a small storm come through earlier today.

I just don't know if the renter would even notice the tree. The owners of the house live in Houston. They use a rent company to rent out the house, but I don't know who it is.

I want to do what is right, but I don't want to do anything stupid that could cause me to have to pay for something I was innocent of.

Here's another kicker: My neighbor on the other side came over to see if I needed my lawn mowed, not being aware that the mower was fixed. I showed him the tree. The fallen tree by first appearance seemed to be half of a tree with a split trunk but on closer inspection, it looked more like two trees. However, very low down, stuck into the side of the fallen tree we found a piece of metal sticking out of it, and a piece of thick string. The piece of metal reminds me of a hook of some kind which makes me wonder if years ago, the tree was starting to fall and a previous owner, instead of taking it down, tried to "repair" the tree by somehow hooking it to the standing tree.

Apparently, as long as the owner of the tree was trying to fix a possible problem, they can also not be held liable.

I am praying about the situation of course, but it's driving me somewhat mad...I just want to hide inside my house and hope the renter and his aides find the tree---soon...

Oh yes, and no matter what, I assume that at some point I will HAVE to be involved as there will most likely need to be an arborist (?) on my property to cut down the tree.
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Roller Coaster week 08-14-2010 - 11:32 PM
Well, the weekend with T last week was good. We didn't end up talking about her spiritual crisis....she was in too good of a mood for that (primarily, she was coming into town to hang out with an old semi-boyfriend from High School...kind of a long story). We went to the mall and I used a Bath & Body works coupon, and we took advantage of one of their weekly sales--me to stock up for Christmas gifts, T to stock up for fun.

I made my spaghetti and meatball soup and she really liked it.

T arrived Friday evening. We don't get overtime at work, but we get "comp" time. Since I worked over time Tuesday, I took an hour and half off Friday. I had thought it might be nice to go home and rest, but I ended up having to have the cable guy out to fix an issue with some of my channels. So, while he did that, I changed the sheets on both beds and then the minute he finished, I changed clothes and started to work on the soup. Of course, I got behind as I immediately burned the garlic and had to throw it out. In the end, T showed up as I was cooking, but that was ok.

We ended up staying up really late. And then I stayed up even later doing the dishes.

I got up earlier than she did so I could make sure there was breakfast stuff out for her. Then we hung around and talked until it was time for her to go meet her guy. After that, I hurried to my parents' house to bring in their mail (they were out of town), check on their pool, water anything needing water and dead-head their basil. I think I ended up spending an hour in that heat all told. And to top it off, it was about 02:00 by the time I finished and I'd had nothing to eat since 09:30 a.m. or so.

Then I had to run to the local farm store for this really great cat litter they carry (YES, I LOVE our farm store! I think John Deer runs in my veins...) and then went to Hobby Lobby to buy white tube paint for my water colors and something to hold my paintings in.

Anyway, by the time I got home, I was melting. I tried to rest on the couch for awhile, until my mom called and woke me up, then I ate supper and I think I did do a little watering.

T got in around 11 and we talked for awhile. Her guy she met up with was at the tail end of a divorce (it went through on Wed) so they didn't do anything that could cause an issue, but apparently, the soon-to-be ex-wife arrived home while T was still there. AWKWARD!!!! Apparently, Ex did know about T but still....

Sunday, I had to get up earlier than usual for church--we have members who volunteer to stand at the doors and welcome everyone as they arrive. My parents have signed up for this month, but as they were out of town, I was asked to take over their spot, so I had to be at the building 20 minutes earlier. I have to admit, I was jealous that T slept in later! She was going to church with her guy friend, and they don't even start services until 11:00 or so.

After church, I went to eat lunch with some church friends who asked me on the spur of the moment, so I went, figuring that T and M would eat lunch together--which they did, along with the almost Ex. Yeah....well....

Anyway, being tired, I had just dozed off on the couch when T got in so I had to get up and unlock the storm door for her. (I often leave my front door open with the storm door locked so the cats can look out at the world).

After she packed up and left, I just played on the computer until it was time to leave again. I had not gone over to my parent's house yet to water etc., so decided to leave 45 minutes earlier than normal to have time to go over to their house.

Then after church, I did a little more watering, playing on the computer, and setting up to start my current water-color.

Monday, after work, ran to the folks house to water, etc. By the time I got home, it was so hot, I had to lay on my living room floor for awhile. When i first got home though, I spent a few moments deadheading my basil, so that when I lay down, my hands still had basil sap on them. The next thing I knew, Mabb and Oonagh got busy licking my fingers! LOL! Never knew they liked basil so much!

So, again, I was having a nice doze and my mom called and woke me up...

After that, I ended up doing a little work on my garden, watering etc. I started working on the painting, but I started it all wrong.
Tuesday, my parents got home and we went out to eat and then I hung around with them for awhile before I went back home.
_______________________________________________Wed, after church, I watered my little gardens in the front and back yards. in the front flowerbed, I've been trying to use my back-and-forth sprinkler, but it's been having issues. It no longer wants to go back and forth, but just stays forth. I didn't realize this until after I'd watered one half of the garden for 30 minutes...
_______________________________________________Thursday again, exhausting day--I started the day off with an ocular migraine. It's rare that I end up with a headache, but I did end up with a small one and carried it with me throughout the day.

My sis#2 and her family came into town Thur evening. I went over to my folks' house right after work, but no one was there, so I just went home and tried to doze off on the couch and...you guessed it...the phone rang!

My sis and family had arrived about 03:00 so they ran to Hobby Lobby to do some stuff towards my parents big anniversary party. They got home about 30 minutes after I left, so I hauled myself over there again.

Ug, we'd had grilled burgers for lunch, and huge bowls of ice cream because one of my mom's best friends had just had a birthday and mom and dad were fixing a special lunch for her. But guess what we then had for supper!

Bleah, I felt bloated.

Anyway, I left a little early, but instead of resting, I ended up doing dishes, restarting my painting (the first attempt was a bust). I stayed up late searching for more photos of octopi on the internet until I found one that worked in terms of showing the muscle structure I was looking for.

Friday, after work, I spent the entire evening at the folks house hanging out. We had pizza and popcorn and watched "Casa Blanca". I brought my newest Celtic Woman CD over for the nieces to listen too--especially my niece that has the incredible voice.

By the time I left, it was close to 11:00 p.m. and I was really tired, but of course, I stayed up later, painting, playing on the computer, etc.

So, my dad, BIL and I planned for the men to come to my house by 10:00 to help me figure out what to do about my mower. I meant to get up at 09:00, and when I woke up and saw it was actually 09:15, I jumped out of bed and tore around, feeding cats, feeding me, jumping in the shower, getting dressed etc. Then I hauled Scarlet Rose out of the shed to take her around front. As I was wheeling her across the back yard, my blade scraped against a rock I lay as part of a little path. It suddenly occurred to me that this was the second time it hit that rock--the first being the evening it hit the tree stump.

Suddenly a light bulb went off. I got my mower's instruction book and checked out the part about lowering and raising the blades and realized that instead of raising them, I had actually lowered them! All I can say is that on my last mower, the adjustment was in the opposite direction...

Anyway, I fiddled with the blade some more--turning it both clockwise and counter-clockwise. The heat was awful and I was starting to feel kind of ill. And in the meantime, it was now past 10:00 a.m.--no dad or BIL.

I decided to call them and found out that they were only just then having breakfast! I was irked, needless to say, but I just worked on my painting and tried to cool off. Well, right before 11:00, they arrived. The first thing they did was start to fiddle with the key and pull string as I had been trying to do and....suddenly, Scarlet Rose roared to life!

I don't know what happened, but she was working again! my BIL thinks something might have gotten hung up, and when I fiddled with the blades, it got loose. Now the weird thing is that I had done just the same thing the night it hit the stump--turning the blades--and still nothing.

But this time....Anyway, Dad checked out the blade, and he determined it was bent, so off we went to the...FARM STORE!!! to get a replacement. So instead of paying $100, I only had to pay about $10 for the repair! (although my BIL did notice that the frame has a little damage as well, but for now....)

Anyway, it turns out my sis et al were planning to return home this evening, so I didn't try and mow right away. Instead, I changed clothes and went to my folks' house. Then I did a little shopping with my mom and sister. So, jump forward to supper...

We'd cooked some broccoli in the microwave, but when we sat down to eat, my mom discovered that it was still cold. So, I--who am barefoot--try to jump up to take it back to the kitchen. Well, there was a bridge chair to my left and right, and as I was turning in my chair, the two middle toes on my left foot caught against the leg of the bridge chair and now I have this limp....(not broken, no, but bruised)

yes, that will just make it SO much fun to mow!

And the insulting part was that everyone was pretty much oblivious to my pain. HUMP!

OK, jump forward again....

So, just as I think things are finally going to work out what with the mower being ok after all and such...I got home and discovered that we'd forgotten to put Scarlet Rose back in the shed, and we'd left the gate open as well. So, as I was hurrying around back to put her away, I glanced towards the fence on the south side of the yard. There is a tree who's roots stick out beneath the fence and cause the boards there to buckle. Something looked really odd...I realized that instead of just the one board, 2 boards were being bent back into the yard. And I realized I could see through the fence, and that something looked weird about the tree....

So, I hurry back inside to put away my purse, go around the front of the house and discover that what I thought was one tree with a double trunk is actually 2 trees that have been growing side by side. The dirt is so dry right now that the southern tree--which must not have a very deep root system--has toppled over--right onto the roof of the house next door! YIKES!!!

So now, I am in a quandary. I am not really sure if it's MY tree as it is on the edge of the fence (not to mention the daughter of the woman from whom I bought my house told me it is not my tree) or if it's the neighbor's tree. If it's MY tree, I need to get it taken care of pronto before it does anymore damage to the neighbor's roof. So far, it has bent the guttering and curled up a few of the shingles.

I think I can have it fixed without having to call the insurance company--I don't want my rates to go up for something I never dreamed would happen.

On the other hand, if it belongs to the neighbor, then I don't want it ruining my fence any longer. Either way, I have a feeling I'm going to be the one who ends up having to deal with it. The next door neighbor is renting, and he has mild retardation so I don't know if he is even capable of contacting whoever he needs to contact and telling the owner the proper information. I have never met the owner of the place and don't even know if he lives in town, so even if it could be his tree, I don't know if I could prove it.

I really think it might really be mine as it is actually right smack dab in front of my fence--it's like...three boards in from the edge.

My mom wants us not to worry about it and assume it's the neighbor's tree. I don't want to get slapped with a lawsuit or have any unpleasantness in the neighborhood.

I tried to call a guy from church who does tree work, but actually, I don't know if he still does that as he's in his 07's now....

Anyway, it's awful and I don't know what to do....
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Week from almost H---. 08-05-2010 - 08:28 PM
So, as if it wasn't bad enough having my mower break again, Monday morning, we got to work and found out that our computers were down. Usually, IT--which is located in OK City can see the problem remotely, and within a relatively short period of time, they have them back up. Well, not this time. This time, the computers went down and STAYED down. I usually pull my charts the night before, and print off my schedule the night before.

We don't keep our shot records in a hard file, so they need to be printed up every time the clients come in--I don't know why it is so hard for that part of staff to do it ahead of time. We used to do it, but when our last Supervisor left, that idea went with her.

So, we could not print vouchers, we could not give shots, we could not make appointments...basically, we just twiddled our thumbs all day.

And the same for Tuesday! The computers finally came up about 2:30 or 03:00 on Tuesday. This let me do the data entry I needed to do on the previous days clients. In the meantime, I had about 20 people to call back. Well, I chose to work on getting the clients that had come in finished up so we could give them vouchers.

We have these sets of forms we can fill out on the clients, and then when the computers are working, we copy that info into the computers, so I had to go back over Monday's work.

However, Wednesday, we were Dead in the Water again...however, it did not last more than a few hours. But in the meantime, we had WIC classes going on. What with rescheduling etc., and weeks not have the nutritionist here, our classes have swelled to twice their normal size. I can usually expect about 10 families to show up for the infant class, but yesterday, it was more like 20. And I am used to having them all in the conference room listening to the class while I print vouchers. Well, the Nutritionist did not want to have to deal with that large crowd either, so she sent half of them back out to the lobby. She teaches the same lesson for 6 months and our clients have to come in every 3 months. Those that had already heard the lecture got to leave.

BUT, this put the stress on me to work even faster to get all of them out. Plus it got everything out of order. I try to have the vouchers printed while the clients are in class, and I try to keep them in order as they checked in, but now, all the folders were out of order, and people kept ringing calls to me, and walk ins kept demanding vouchers NOW etc. And in the middle of all that, I started having this terrible pain...like I really REALLY needed to visit the ladies room. But no, I had to wait.

With 5 minutes to spare before I had to leave for lunch, I made it to the ladies room. Turned out not to be much after all that.

So, I get back from lunch only to find out that I'd accidentally given one woman's vouchers to another. I had no idea to whom I'd given them, so I had to take more time calling people until I tracked them down. That woman was very kind--in fact, both recognized how insane things were and were both very forgiving.

And the phone messages kept building up, as did the charts....

Now, on top of all this, there has been a client that gave us a special formula form requesting a non-contract formula. She was approved, but for some reason, can't figure out which formula it is in the store. So, the doctor writes out another special formula request form--for the exact same formula. The nutritionist tried to call her last week and talk to her about it, but couldn't get hold of her. And then she had vacation time planned for the following week so was not able to get in touch with her.

Well, that mom called a few times while N was gone and even after N was back, she is sometimes in other counties as she covers more than ours. So, that woman called while N was in a different county and when I tried to have her call that other county, she was not happy.

So, yesterday, a mom called for N about her baby's formula. As that is the only one I know about, I naturally assumed it was her and told her to call back at 02:30. The woman didn't call back again today.

I have been working my tail off all day calling back the 30 or so clients that called, handling a transfer from another state (they are almost as complicated as a recertification but I have to locate the last place they were seen, get the needed details of their certifcations etc.) working on the charts that have now accumulated from the last 3 days, dealing with calls today, more walk-ins etc. when the mom called me again. This time, I got her to call N in the other county.

Well, what everyone says about assuming is correct. I made the mistake of assuming that this was the same mom as before but turns out it wasn't. N called me and chewed me out for not checking on it myself etc when her vouchers had been approved etc and N herself had clients EVERY 30 MINUTES, etc.

30 minutes? She gets them a whole 30 minutes apart? I wish I could have said "Sweetheart, I've been getting them every 5 minutes! And if you'd let me know way back in July that THIS baby's formula had been approved, we wouldn't even be having this problem now!"

But of course, I couldn't....

And my evenings have been just as insane.

Monday was the night of the mowing disaster--but first I'd run to the store for gator aid and M&M's before going home.

Tuesday night, I went to my parent's house so we could go out to eat and try the new Avacado burger at Chilies. (Not bad, but not enough seasoning). I was actually not feeling too great--allergies, gut, etc. And then after that, I had to go to K-mart to pick up a scrip. Then back home, I worked on downloading my current painting to my computer and storing it digitally on a CD.

T is coming this weekend so WED I got home and 1) Gathered the trash, 2) Scooped the cats' boxes, 3) took all the trash out 4) did some watering 5) started laundry 6) folded some other laundry 7) made supper 8) went to church. After I got home, I 9)folded more laundry. 10) cleaned the tub and bathroom sink 11)finally relaxed for a bit 12) cut my hair again.

Oh, and in the middle of folding laundry, I called my cable company because one of my channels keeps going on the fritz.

They wanted to come and work on it today, but I couldn't leave work early. And of course, right now, it seems ok again.

Today after work I ran to Wal-Mart to get stuff for the spaghetti soup I'm making for Friday, then went back to Homeland to get the meat, then to my parent's house to take some groceries over there (I eat lunch at their house and check on things when they are gone--which they are this weekend.)

Then I came home, put away the groceries, made supper, and suddenly, I'm very, very tired.

And I still have tons more work to do....

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Lawnmower is broken again! 08-03-2010 - 09:56 PM
I cannot believe it! And I'm pretty sure it's the flywheel again. The whole thing is so bizarre! That stupid lawnmower is much too delicate!

I was mowing the front yard last evening. Close to the house is one old tree stump from a tree cut down by a previous owner. I try not to run over it, but about every time I mow, I do hit it at least once--this happened all the time with the old mower and I never had any problems.

Well, last evening, because it's so hot here (in the 100's for many days now) I decided to raise the blade so I wouldn't cut too much grass. OK, first, the grass catcher couldn't catch the grass as well when I did that.

And then, as I was mowing on the side of the house with the stump, I tried to move my mower to the narrow side of it (space between house and stump).

Well, the edge of the mower passed over the edge of the stump. The stump is only as high as the cut grass meaning it should NOT have been hit, but suddenly, I heard this THUNK! I don't know how it was possible for the blade to hit it when the blade was up higher, and when the stump was nearly flush with the ground. But there is a chunk missing out of the edge of the stump.

My mower then kept making this horrible sound. I tried to turn the engine over, but after many attempts, it finally just quit.

No matter what it hit though, the fly wheel should not have broken so easily. The mower was yanked to one side and it scares me to think that I could have even been hurt by a flying piece of wood.

My parents are about to go out of town, and as I have only a small car which won't accommodate my mower, I have to wait until they get back before we haul the mower back to Sears.

I am just sick. I don't really plan to tell them anything about hitting that stupid tree stump, but I'm afraid it will be obvious that something weird happened and I could be stuck with a big bill this time.

I just keep thinking that nothing would have broken on the old mower.

I did send Sears a terse note, telling them I was disappointed in the quality of the product. Although I recognize I might have been a bit more careful--as mentioned above, I don't feel I'm entirely responsible for any damage my lawnmower incurred.

But at this moment, I'm sorely tempted to look at Reel mowers again.

(My dad got it into his head that it will only cost $64 or so to repair the mower. HA! I think Sears quoted me the lowest cost at $150.)
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New pots and pans/disturbing post on FaceBook 07-31-2010 - 11:07 PM
Hooray! I finally got to use my new pots and pans! They arrived on Wed and they are beautiful. I haven't post pics on FaceBook just yet. Long story...later on that. Anyway, the pans are good quality (I got them on a great sale through JC Penny's) so I am planning on babying them. I don't want them to bump against each other and get scratched up (they have a porcelain finish and are a beautiful spattered blue). I finally decided that I also wanted to move my food from the bottom cabinet and put the pans and storage containers down below where there is more room. So, I took my earned comp time on Friday, and spent the afternoon cleaning out half of each bottom shelf, laying linoleum tile down in each, and then washing the pans to put them below, moving the food up and all in all, a satisfying experience. I still can't figure out a good way to put a permanent dishwasher in without ripping apart the entire kitchen (too expensive) but I did some very minor arranging, and I think I have found a way to at least add a pantry--some day.

I got to try out one new pan and one pot last night. They clean up beautifully. Don't ask me why, but I had to fry some onions and make macaroni and cheese, plus baked some hash browns in the oven. Here I'm wanting to eat healthy, but I ended up making unhealthy foods. Ah well...actually, what it means is it's time to go shopping for more healthy foods such as more veggies etc so I can use the rest of the mac and cheese as a main dish instead of a side dish (I also fried up some tilapia with the onions, but had to use very, very little olive oil). And I did re-heat some brussel sprouts in the microwave.

I can't wait for something else to cook!
Tonight, I found a disturbing comment on one of my friend T's posts on Face Book.

A little background. She has a friend that she met through her now ex-husband. When she first met him, he was a Christian. He was trying to either write a book, or do some kind of documentary on Christianity (I forget which now--been a long time.) Well, somehow, he managed to talk himself right out of being a believer and into being an atheist. And what's worse, from his comment on her post tonight, a very hostile atheist.

T, has been studying for the past year to get a master's in ministry. She has been trying to find a job as a hospice chaplain, but oddly, she does not have a really strong connection with her church family. For someone who has made her life about God and His Love, I have realized over the years that she is not close to anyone at church. Where I love my Church family as much as my physical family (even the ones that remind me of "Church Lady from that old SNL skit) I realize that T's really close relationships are with anyone and everyone outside of the church--even the ministers that spoke at her ordination are not really close to her whereas my preacher is a face book friend with me and many of the congregation.

So, to my surprise and sorry, T went made a comment that there are times she really wishes she could dismantle the church (I wont' get into preaching here about Christ's purpose of the church, and how it's weak mankind etc that messes His purpose up etc.) which I found disturbing for someone who wants to be part of the ministry. (Without meaning too, or maybe meaning too, she dissed my denomination in a backhand way. I am trying to decide if I need to talk about it when next she is in town. I may not believe exactly in the same way all other denominations believe, but I don't diss them and try not to judge them either.) Anyway, this guy J made this really disturbing, and I think kind of frightening comment that he'd really wouldn't mind if the christians were thrown to the lions again. It was not said tongue in cheek either. He went on to bash what he calls the "bible thumping, ignorant, non-believing in evolution, etc" etc people. I mean, his tone was terribly hostile.

And because of his comment about throwing christians to the lions, it made me wonder what would happen if I ever met him. Would he look at me and just decide that I deserve to die? I did post that I would rather die for my beliefs than face judgment knowing I'd denied my Lord and Christ.

If I ever come across as preachy, intolerant, whatever, let me know. I want to spread God's Love. If you want to know the way I worship, then come visit and go to church with me. But I will not force the way I believe or think on anyone here.

What does shock me is that T, who talks about acceptance, etc, cannot accept so many people who don't believe and interpret God's word in the same way she does. I am afraid that someday, we will cease to be friends because of this.
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Why do these messes with clients always happen at the end of they day! 07-29-2010 - 07:31 PM
Too bad we can't throttle a few clients--and a few doctors for that matter.

OK...so, we are trying to help the school age kids get ready for school by helping them get their school shots. We do shots all year round, but a lot of parents don't think about it until the new school year is upon us.

But every year, we try and hold special clinics that last later than our normal working hours to help those parents who work.

OK, yesterdays was supposed to run from 2 to 06:00 for walk-ins. Usually, my day ends at 04:30 and the rest of the staff at 05:00, but I decided to volunteer to help out. We maybe had only 17 people show up--that is, right until 5:57. Yeah, 5:57 two different families dragged themselves in. By that time, the other nurse had gone home because between 5 and 5:57, we had NO One come in.

Well, one of the families was made up of two adult brothers and the daughter of one of them--and the father spoke very little English, and his brother--who spoke English was non too bright. They gave us the child's shot record. Now, when we give shots, we enter them into the computer, and then all we have to do is give the parents, etc., a print out. However, some parents insist on holding onto cards with the shots listed on them and dated. So, Dad hands us this card full of shots, but there is only a first name and a Date of birth. We can access our clients that way, so I type in the name and DOB and yes, there is a kid in the system with that name, but the shots were never entered into the system.

PB is helping this family, so she asks several times, "Is this child's name....(let's say Lester). Well, both men say...yeah...

So, I start adding the shots into the computer for "Lester" while PB has the guys fill out paperwork on the child. And then, she discovers that the name they are writing on the paper is NOT Lester, but...let's call her Sally. The first name is Sally, and the second name is now something else!

Finally, we managed to squeeze out the correct information--but I had wasted 15 minutes putting the shots into our system. We don't get paid overtime, so we have to make special arrangements to take compensation time to make up that extra time, and although I'd manage to arrange my schedule to take off early this week--it was only for an extra hour and a half--not two hours (as clerks, we have to take our Comp time within the week it was incurred or we lose it.)

So NOW, for today's drama--involving a doctor--who is doing a poor job in my opinion.

So, I think I've explained before the process of getting non-contract formula for our clients. we have the "Exception Request Form" the doctor fills out and sends to us, we give it to our nutritionist or call the state, and the client needing the formula MUST already be on WIC.

So around 03:30, I find a fax in our machine from a doctor and it's an Exception Request Form for a specialty formula with extra calories. According to the form the baby in question is "Failure to Thrive".

AND the doctor or individual who sent it wrote on the form "Client needs emergency formula, she is on her way."

OK, first of all, we are NOT emergency services. We don't keep anything but contract formula on hand, and we never know how long it will take to have a formula approved for that matter. PLUS, it was already past 03:30, and our nutritionist had gone for the day.

Even if the mom had shown up in our clinic at that precise moment, by the time the paperwork had been done, WIC clinician had weighed the baby, measured it's length, documented everything, counseled the mother on the baby's nutrition and then contacted the state---well, it would have been too late in the day to get the formula request taken care of.

So, WIC clinician and I looked the baby up on the appointment screen and saw that it is due to actually be seen in a different county on Monday, and that it had an appointment two weeks before but had not shown up.

So, WIC clinician suggested I call the doctor's office and explain that we would not be able to take care of the baby that day and that we are not emergency services. She also had me tell the doctor that the mom might need to use her food stamps in the meantime or purchase the formula.

Well, the doctor wasn't happy with this. She couldn't understand our position--we're NOT a food bank but rather a nutrition education program. Not only that, but I suddenly discovered that at the top of the fax was printed the origins of that fax--it had come to us from another County Health Dept. They thought our Nutritionist was still in the office.

Well, the doctor didn't like what she was hearing from us, and decided to call the state (sigh). I don't know if she thought she could A) go over everyone's heads and get that formula without proper protocols, etc. or B) was going to try and get us in trouble for not giving out the "emergency" formula.

OK, here is my thinking--she tells me that this baby has lost 22 (?) oz from the time she was born (last month) until now. Now, if I were a doctor who was presented with an infant that had lost that much weight in that amount of time, I would do one, maybe two things:

1) I would hospitalize the infant to make sure there was not a serious underlying medical condition. A preemie is given high calorie formula to help it gain the weight it needs to grow--not because it is losing weight.

2). I might also look into contacting Child Protective Services if I thought anything suspicious was going on--maybe mom not responding to baby's food cries, etc.,

But I would NOT dump her on a government agency and demand that they take care of her needs without following proper medical protocol.

I am just hoping that WIC clinician and I don't have to end up defending ourselves to our administrator. These things have a way of getting back to her and then we have to explain how the system works, why we wouldn't have been able to do anything at that time, etc., etc.,

WIC clinician also pointed out something important: where was the emergency when she failed to make her first appointment 2 weeks ago?

Here's my other question: how fast did the doctor really think that baby would gain weight from the formula? Could it really gain weight so fast as to offset a weight loss? And again, shouldn't she have been trying to find out what was causing the loss to begin with? To me, a real emergency would have been if they'd had no food stamps, no money, and no formula--and then at least we had formula on hand in our clinic that we could have given to her.
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Had to make a tough call today/spending money--my new hobby. 07-24-2010 - 12:31 AM
News, I was thinking of you and Otto this morning. The last few days, there has been a stray dog running around in my neighborhood. I wasn't sure what to do about him at first. He's some kind of golden retriever or yellow lab mix--a type of dog around here that seems to be a dime a dozen. He's much too thin, had no collar. I finally saw him getting into a neighbor's trash this morning and I finally had to make the hard decision to call Animal control. Because there are so many dogs like him at the SPCA, I figure it will be a miracle if he gets adopted, but I hate the idea of him starving to death and having no shelter or water as our high heat index continues.

I just thought about Otto, and what you would want for Otto if you suddenly weren't around anymore and had no family or friends who could take him. I thought "What would Patty do? She wouldn't let the dog suffer or maybe get hit by a car."

I had to call from work, so I don't know if Animal control found him yet, but I hope he's somewhere safe and comfortable this evening.
Ah, more work drama:

Yesterday, we had a mandatory nurse/clerk meeting. It was really kind of awful. Our new head nurse doesn't know how to communicate with the clerks without getting in their faces. Of course, this is a major moral buster. So, we were asked to speak frankly at the meeting yesterday.

And of course, it ended with Nurses 3--clerks 0.

I have yet to have an actual run in with the nurses, so I couldn't really say anything. R has been out this week on vacation and NG (I have GOT to change her nickname here now!) doesn't work with the nurses either.

PB, our NEW new girl, doesn't feel she has enough power yet to say anything, so that just left Cinderella. And unfortunately, she didn't think to prepare anything ahead of time. What came out was that it sounded as if she was challenging the way the nurses do their jobs and the way we are expected to do ours. What she really meant to convey was that when the nurses think a clerk has messed up, they (well really, just the new Head Nurse) gets in their faces really bad. A few months ago, H.N lost her mother suddenly. And although she is entitled to still feel bad and sad about it, she uses it as an excuse now to act angry and be a jerk. In reality, she has been doing this long before she was hired.
Anyway, Cinderella became emotional, and nothing was really accomplished.

Noni, I did not hear anyone say that I'm ignorant and foolish, but I can tell by their attitudes--it's the way management has started treating all the clerks--no matter how much education we possess.

The clerical supervisor just happened to be in a different county yesterday going to training, but had she been there, I might have brought up the issues I have with her attitude towards us. In the past, our supervisors did act as an advocate for the clerks--I'm not saying they backed us when we didn't deserve it (and admittedly, our last supervisor took awhile before she figured out how to treat us right) but this new supervisor hears something ugly against any of us and immediately treats us like errant students and herself the principal of a school. She doesn't do anything to support us. She should have been in that meeting as support for us.

They asked us in the meeting that when we have a problem to discuss it with the individual, but we all know how well that works. Unless the other person is willing to listen and consider what we have to say, it can only end in tears. I for one, have learned over the past 14 years, that my WIC clinician is like Oklahoma weather--she can change from nice and sunny to tornado in a heartbeat. And even when she is sunny, she might actually be high heat index.

Oh yes, and she's never wrong. Never, never, never...

So, I know saying anything to her would be worthless, and I learned last year that my supervisor refuses to listen to me when I try to explain the clinician's attitude when she's tattled on me.

Anyway....maybe I should have kept the stray and started my own kennel......

So, I've decided that my hobby this year is spending money! LOL! Most of it has been for necessary items: Weed Eater, new faucet, birthday gifts....

But the other day, I went to Amazon.com to order a DVD for my mom for her birthday next month. She's a HUGE Zorro fan. Now, thanks to me, she has a nice little collection of Zorro movies, but the only one she doesn't have is the "Mask of Zorro". Well, I didn't want to pay shipping and handling for one DVD, and well...I've wanted "CATS" for a long time and can't find it in the stores, and I've wanted the CD of the original cast of "Phantom of the Opera" for a long time and when you spend $25 or more you can get free shipping and handling and well.......

AND, several months ago, I realized I need new pots and pans--I have Teflon, but the Teflon is getting scratched off, and some of the pans have these ridged bottoms inside that are hard to clean, so I was thinking of buying some more--and mom found turquoise Paula Dean pots and pans on sale in a Penny's magazine. And with their promotional code, I not only save $40, but I get free shipping and handling.

In case anyone is wondering, I am getting my yearly bonus at the end of next month, so I can use it for the pans.

Anyway, I am excited. I love to have packages come to my house!

Now, I need to start working on my next two paintings: I want to do a logger head sea turtle and an octopus. I need to find some good photos of each...so I might be paying yet ANOTHER visit to Amazon....

Someone hide my credit card!
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This week--ups and downs 07-21-2010 - 11:19 PM
Sunday, I woke up with my neck and head aching along with my shoulder, but just assumed it was from sleeping crooked. I didn't even try to take anything--thought I would just shake it off. I even went on to church and felt alright through class if a little achy, but halfway through church, the pain in my head got worse, I got nauseated and ended up having to go home instead of going to lunch with my parents and sister and nephew.

I just made it to the bathroom the minute I got home, and after that, went right to bed.

I hardly got to see my sister last week. She and my mom were scanning thousands of pictures for a slide show (OK, I forgot the current term) for my parent's anniversary party. They will be married 50 years come November. Then Mom and Sis #1 went to a wedding in Tulsa Saturday evening. I didn't know the couple and would have felt weird going. So, nephew and I hung out at my parent's house with Dad and nephew and I made lavender frozen yogurt.

Yes, you read it right, LAVENDER frozen yogurt. Sis#1 gave me a cookbook for my birthday for home made ice cream and frozen yogurt. It has all kinds of unusual recipes--lavender yogurt being one of them. And yes, it does taste rather...odd....

So, I finally realized I'd never received a confirmation e-mail from Sears for my new Weed Eater, and after having trouble with their website (and I wont' go into all that now) I sent them a rather terse e-mail. Finally Sunday, I found both the confirmation e-mail and the e-mail telling me I could pick it up at the store. For goodness sakes! And I wonder if I hadn't sent them the e-mails if I would have ever even had the e-mail telling me it had arrived.

Anyway, I rushed to Sears, then Wal-Mart, then home Monday and happily weed wacked the weeds. Talk about Weed Eating bliss! This one is much, much, MUCH better than my last one!

I've named him "Hector". Don't know why--that's just the name he chose.

I am not making this up.

OK, so now for Tuesday and work.

I don't know what has happened, but there has been a lot of drama among R, NG, Cinderella, and PB--our new, new clerk.

NG and our supervisor became chummy before PKP became our supervisor. And WIC clinician is friends with both of them now. AND our Supervisor doesn't get that she also needs to be an advocate for all the clerks and play fair with all of them.

Well, when we lost our guidance program at work, we replaced it with family planning (which had been taken care of by a different clinic). Well, despite the fact that we would no longer have Guidance, we got funding to hire PB to help with the Family Planning clinic. So far, we are not getting as many clients through that HD clinic as was previously thought, so NG decided that she is bored. Well, wouldn't you know, the solution to that is to send NG to work in Rogers County HD on Tuesdays--the very day when our Nutritionist is at OUR health department doing her classes. Yes, the very day I could use an extra hand, Supervisor is letting NG go to a different location.

Yesterday was just constant--clients at my desk, clients on the phone, clients trying to move their WIC from other states to ours or ours to other states...and everyone expecting me to do everything RIGHT NOW!

And nothing is being done to train any of the other clerks to help with WIC at all. Plus, our supervisor, who knows how to do WIC, refuses to help. The only time she will is if I have to be gone for something and I might have a specific client coming in. In fact, I had just stepped from my desk yesterday to file some papers from a transfer. I saw someone from the corner of my eye hovering nearby, but I didn't know what she was in the building for. So, here I am, like a few feet from my desk, around the corner at the file cabinet, and Supervisor tells me "Marta, you have someone at your desk."

Uh, excuse me, but can I not do other jobs I need to do? If I could clone myself, I would need at least 3 more Me's to handle all the work I had yesterday. In fact, I was unable to return phone calls and complete the charts for our new people until today--these were charts from Monday.

Then after all that, I went home last evening and mowed the back and front yards. I had not mowed my back yard since Scarlet Rose broke down.

Oh, and the heat was stifling. On the way home from work, I, yes I got so hot, I had to sit in my room for an hour just to cool off.

Finally, the temps outside had cooled just enough for me to do my mowing, but I actually got so hot the sweat literally ran off my face.


So today, NG was back and I was hoping she'd help a little bit but no. She started to help with one of the transfers--when she acts in the capacity of WIC clinician, she is allowed to program in the correct foods that our clients will receive. But this particular transfer had some complications, and suddenly it was like---she shut down. Nope, can't do it. Ask the other clinician...and I mean I felt like a fly that had suddenly been brushed aside.

I don't know if she is mad at me or if I am reading too much into her attitude, or if she has decided that since she can also act as a clinician that she has more importance that I do. On Monday's and Fridays now, she works as clinician here, while our regular one goes to Claremore because Claremore's WIC clinician is helping at yet another HD who lost their own clinician--and it doesn't look like they'll get a replacement anytime soon.

Well, if NG is now considered full time WIC clinician (when she's not clerking for one of the nursing clinics) I wish they'd tell me. Seriously, I am beginning to wonder if after 14 years, it's worth working at the HD anymore. I'm not talking about jumping up and just quitting, but I am thinking that if the economy ever rebounds, I might too.

I have worked in my current job for about 14 years and have hardly ever really had a good WIC clerical back-up. I thought NG was going to be one, but I don't know...suddenly, she just seems moody sometimes...

Oh we also have recently replaced our nurses with two new ones. One nurse took a different job last year and the Head Nurse retired. She was a great nurse, and had a lot of good country wisdom.

Our new head nurse and other nurse--well---they don't know how to treat staff. I've not had a run in with them yet, but the clerks who work with them all have. The big problem seems to be proper communication. Instead of asking everyone to do paperwork a specific way, or to check in clients a specific way or whatever, the new Head Nurse apparently just blows up...

So, tomorrow, there is a mandatory clerk/nurse meeting. But all of the clerks feel the same way--we might be asked to speak frankly, but no one feels that any of us would have the backup we need...

And I have already figured out that WIC clinician, NG, and PKP all believe me to be foolish and ignorant... And well, I wont' expound anymore.

I'm just really tired of all the bad attitudes at work....

Oh, here's one for you--OK, Cinderella--not the best worker, but she has stepped up some. She has a lot of medical problems--grossly obese, diabetes, has a stint in her heart, etc. Last week, the heat index was incredibly high and she got to work after lunch and realized she forgot her ID badge to unlock the door. Staff is not to park in front as that is just for clients. With her current health issues, it might not have been safe to walk around the building to the front door. I don't know why she didn't think to call on her cell phone--maybe it was in the office--but she decided to ring a doorbell we have near that door for our TB clients.

Well, this made everyone else but me and R mad. Instead of trying to be sympathetic to her plight, they all threw fits that she "made" them open the door instead of walking around. So what if she rang the doorbell! We would have had to open the door for her regardless!

I'd rather have her be annoying than dead of a heat stroke or heart attack.

Yeah...too many women working together. Maybe I just need to get a job working in a kennel--where all the animals are sterilized.
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Last week...WOW 07-18-2010 - 06:20 PM
OK, so last week, I hit the floor running and never stopped.

Last Sunday night, I was so excited because I ordered a new Weed Eater on line from Sears. I had it shipped to the store for site pick-up to save money. Well, my ink jet cartridge on the printer was out, and I need to print out the arrival announcement e-mail to take to Sears when it arrives, so Monday after work, I headed to Wal-Greens instead of Wal-mart for a change and while there, picked up a bottle of veggie juice. I had this hankering for spaghetti and meatball soup. So when I got home, I had to thaw out meat, then roll the meatballs, bake them, etc., while I cooked the onions, green bell pepper, and garlic in olive oil, etc..

Anyway, I made this HUGE pot of soup. It was really, really good, so I invited my parents over the next day to have some with me.

Tuesdays are the day when our Nutritionist is in our office to do her classes. What with the poor state of the economy, and having to constantly reschedule all the clients who never show up, our roster for two of the classes was at 44 people each, and one class was at 35! The base line we set was 12 for one class, 15 for the class for child nutrition, and 25 for the infant nutrition class.
Luckily, my clients don't all show up, but even so, I probably end up with a quarter of that many, and it still takes awhile to print vouchers, make new appointments for each attendee, and then have to field phone calls, deal with WIC clinicians clients (luckily, they didn't show on Tuesday) and walk-ins. And sadly, my walk ins who hate the classes don't realize that they are STILL being attended by other people and that I am STILL busy with them, and so that is the day they all want to come in asking for some special favor--different formula, change to not breastfeeding, etc. They always want something that takes more than a minute to handle. Usually, it means something the clinicians have to take care of, but the requests are dumped in my lap, and I then have to find the clinicians and if they aren't available, I have to contact someone in the Central WIC office in OKC....and well, it just gets insane.

So, Tuesday afternoon was jumping. And I realized that I was going to really have to scoot the minute work was over to run to the store again and get more hamburger and get some stuff to make salad and pesto. Plus, I needed to clear my dining room table of my art supplies. I leave at 04:30. and at 03:30, our last client showed up. Then at 03:45, our nurse tells us that WIC will be working in a woman she just gave a pregnancy test to. And she speaks no English--nor Spanish. She is Chinese. OK....yeah, she had an interpreter, but it does take awhile to translate the forms for someone else to understand. And in the meantime, I am frantically trying to figure out what type of Nutrition class to put this girl into as our WIC Coordinator (I forget her title, but she is above the clinician and nutritionist) has forbidden us to give an individual appointment to a client who's only issue is a sever language barrier--go figure.

And THEN, I'm told we are working in yet another woman! Luckily, she'd been there before, and understood the process and could fill out her eating habits sheet, but I was really getting nervous about getting out in time. And I felt guilty later because I realized that woman thought I was blaming her for all the delays. We could have easily made her an appointment to return. It was the decision of the clinician and family planning nurse that both those women were seen right then.

Anyway, I ended up not being able to get my charts ready for Wednesday as a result--which means I have to hustle when I arrive in the morning to be ready for my 07:30 am--and I am not a morning person.

Anyway, I ran to the store, ran home, started working on my raw meat went to wash my hands and.....my hot water spigot on my kitchen faucet broke! Yep, right off, never to be repaired. Well, C_ _ _!!!!! So, any hand washing had to be done in the bathroom sink.

Well, I had everything ready: pesto, more meatballs, and the soup simmering, the table cleared and set for supper when my parents arrived. Then I made the salad and we heated bread they brought in the oven.

During dinner, my dad mentioned that he would be putting new outdoor carpet on the deck he built up around the pool. He was going to start on it Tuesday, so they couldn't stay long. Did I heave a sigh of relief that my evening would come to an end sooner than I thought? nooo,. I volunteered like a crazy person to go help him!

In the meantime, I called my team that put in my tub and my railing and talked to them. They told me as soon as I buy a new faucet to call them. Then Mom wanted to talk to them about painting their family room before the new carpet was laid. So, after she got off the phone with them, she mentioned that they were going to come to their house on Thursday, so maybe they could put in my faucet at that time.

Well, here it was Tuesday, and sometime, between Tuesday and Thursday morning, i needed to find a new faucet!

We decided to shop Wed before church and after dinner. My dad and I just always think Lowe's because they always have so much.

Anyway, we went back to my folks' house after the food was put up. The heat was stifling! Stretching outdoor carpet over a wood deck is not an easy job. And my dad has a lot of medicine-related heat issues, so he had to stop at one point, and then we did some more. Finally, we stopped close to 9 and they brought me home.

Then I decided I needed to wash my dishes. I had to boil water in both a teakettle and in a pot to get enough hot water to wash the dishes.

I decided to relax and play on-line for a bit, and then looked at Lowe's website. I was really hoping to find something to match my last faucet. The handles were faux porcelain and looked old-fashioned. I swear, there must be 1,000 different faucet varieties or more!

Anyway, as usual, I got to bed really late.

I woke up, groaned out of bed and realized I felt...odd. I don't know how to describe--it was like I was weary. And my allergies were bothering me as per usual. On the way to work, I began to feel really thirsty...really, really thirsty. I was almost in a panic by the time I got there. I managed to get water and had a nice big drink, but somehow, it wasn't at all satisfying. In fact, most of the day, I felt that I just needed to lay my head down and sleep. And I kept getting these inside chills. And I kept having to run to the bathroom--it was like I was the opposite of a stomach bug--but not entirely...(trying not to be TOO graphic). I really wanted to go home, but growing up, it was drilled into us that if we were sick enough to stay home from school, church, etc., then we were too sick to do anything else and I REALLY wanted to get that faucet at the store! I didn't want to have to keep boiling water on the stove every time I needed to wash the dishes.

So, I went to my parents house and got dad and then he and I went and he helped me pick out a nice faucet. I saw an even prettier design than the one I ended up with, but the store was out, and I didn't want to have to wait for it to arrive and then have to wait for it to have to be installed, etc.

I had supper with my parents afterwards, but by the time I had finished dinner, I realized there was no way I could go to church. And worse, my Sister #1 and her son were coming Wednesday night but I didn't even feel good enough to see them!

Oh, and let me tell you about work! Right before 02:00, the nurse told me that there was yet ANOTHER woman going to be worked in for WIC. Now, I had a dilemma. I had a woman due in with her foster/grandchild in 5 minutes. She always has trouble getting a ride, and she has a lot of health problems. I was concerned that if I saw the walk-in first, then we might make the other woman late, and she could end up not being seen--especially if she herself were already running late to begin with. We only have so much time we can devote to each client, and I have actually had our scheduled clients end up being seen late because of a walk-in taking up my time.

So, I decided to wait a few minutes to give the scheduled client time to arrive. I explained this to the girl. Unfortunately, what with feeling so miserable, I was not at the top of my game, and I completely forgot to hand her the eating habits sheet--which can take a client quite a while to fill out sometimes.

Anyway, just as I thought the scheduled client wasn't going to make it again, here she came through the door. She is grossly obese, and as a result, has very obvious health issues. She can hardly walk and her breathing is very labored. I think it took her a good 3 or more minutes to get to my desk! Well, she brought the client and the clients 2 older sisters with her. They kept interrupting us as we were checking in the client, and HER paperwork wasn't done either. So, by the time she was done, it was now 20 min after the hour. I told her to have a seat and we would just have to see if we had time to see her. In the meantime, I took the Family Planning walk-in client and started checking her in, and I was all ready to give her chart to the WIC clinician, and that was when I realized I'd never given her the eating habits sheet to fill out.

So, I sat her back down in the lobby with pen and paper--and my next family showed up. This time, it was 2 kids being seen. I got them checked in, told the clinician they were here, sent the Foster mom back home (which she was very kind about--her other grand kids were driving her crazy! LOL!) and then got the paperwork back from the Walk-in. I put this in the basket and was thinking that we would finally get the Walk-In taken care of, when she told me that she had been in the HD for 3 hours at that time and had stuff she needed to do. Well, I knew she was going to come back on Monday to bring proof of income for the Family planning clinic, and so asked if she'd like to come back then? She agreed to that.

But my WIC clinician was not happy. When she called to tell me was finished with the next 2 clients, I told her about the walk-in and she said "Oh and we HAD to see her." I didn't really know what she meant. I just assumed she meant per arrangement between she and our Family Planning clinic --something they set up where the FPC would do the height and weight for the WIC clinician and save her a step.

Anyway, I mulled over whether or not I made the right decision in waiting to see our scheduled people first, etc. AND THEN my supervisor calls me into the office where I am told that the WIC clinician had complained because I had made the walk-in "wait for an hour" to be seen! So, I had to go through the whole story with the supervisor. And she agreed that our scheduled people do get priority. I guess our WIC clinicians beef had been that she was afraid this girl won't come back. Well, excuse me, but had someone mentioned that to ME to begin with....and I didn't even think to pint this out at the time. The supervisor pointed out that I could have had her fill out the paperwork when I was first told she was going to be seen. I told her that I just had not thought about it at the time. And then the supervisor told me she could tell I didn't feel well, so I think for once, she gave me an out.

But I still cannot believe that S did it again! Instead of talking to me, she went and tattled! When I first started working at the HD, over 14 years ago, she might have been snippy with me at first, but she NEVER did this kind of thing. The problem is, we now have a supervisor who won't set friendship aside when someone is making a ridiculous complaint. And she also doesn't know me from the beginning--doesn't see my work ethic, doesn't see that I am intelligent...in fact, between me and my co-workers, there is so much stupid sniping going on in that office, that I expect it to explode before too much longer.

So, after I got home Wednesday evening, I soaked in a HOT bath for nearly an hour. Yes, we've had a terrible heat index this past week, but I felt bad enough to soak for an hour. And then I had to clean off the area around my sink for the fix it guys before I could go to bed. I was actually in bed by 10:00 a.m.
I am going to stop here for now. My shoulder hurts, and I am tired. I was sickish again today. (sigh)
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Row, row, row your....car? 07-08-2010 - 09:45 PM
Actually, not MINE luckily, but for awhile on Tuesday, many streets here in town turned into raging rivers!

It started raining about 11:00 p.m. on Monday, and by 02:00 P.M. Tuesday, we'd had 5 inches of rain in town! My parents don't live anywhere NEAR a stream, but the water came down so fast, that even the drains they have in their back patio failed to drain the water away fast enough and water poured in through their back door--Mom said it looked like a bubbling fountain.

Their back door leads right into their family room, which is adjacent to their kitchen. And then you turn to your right in the kitchen, and there is the dining room. Water poured across the family room floor, into the kitchen where it traveled another 10 feet to the kitchen pantry. It also turned right and soaked the carpet in the dining room. Either that or it somehow leaked in beneath the outside wall--not really sure on that one.

Anyway, they have spent the last few days trying to dry out the carpet in the family and dining rooms. The carpet now smells in the family room and as it is about 15 years old or so, my parents have finally decided to just replace it.

I have heard stories from all over town about homes flooding that have never flooded before. What is so weird is that this time, the Caney river didn't rise out of it's banks like it did three years ago--that is the river that bisects our town. Then, we had another huge rainfall here in town, plus upriver from our town as well which caused the river to run over its banks and lots of homes flooded then.

This time, we didn't have that issue but homes NOT near creeks flooded.


I'm just glad my house has a deep crawl space--it sets up above the ground--plus there is a deck in back that is also right up off the ground and it has wood slats with spaces between them to allow water to flow through.

My deck is a mess though. There are broken twigs all over it that I need to sweep off, but last night was church night, so I didn't want to get sweaty, and this evening, I went out to eat and then to a jewelry party right after (no, I didn't buy anything! Trop chere!) And then it was raining when we left.

Maybe tomorrow--no plans--so if it doesn't rain, I should be ok....And I'm hoping to get to mow soon!

I can't believe this--I have just bought two new water hoses, and got a new traveling sprinkler for my birthday, and haven't been able to use any of them! Well, I guess I did use Ol' Roy once, but that's it so far....Oh well, at least I will be saving money on my water bill.
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July 7? Already? 07-07-2010 - 10:55 PM
WOW! Where did my weekend go?

I think I actually relaxed MORE in my 3 day Holiday weekend then I did on my 2 week vacation! HA!

Saturday, I just hung out with my parents all day. My mom and I went to a fresh produce stand before lunch and got some tomatoes, okra...

Then, I swam in their pool for about 30 minutes--not played, swam. I am starting to work to try and get back into shape. I want to do better next year at Relay. But I really need to work on my food consumption.

Then we had hot dogs for lunch and after wards, we watched "The Blindside". It is an incredible story. In some places, it was also downright funny and all three of us were laughing our heads off. (OK, Mom and I were laughing, Dad just smiled and kinda chuckled. He's not real loud.)

Then, I talked Dad into going to Wal-Mart with me to help me select some good garden hoses for my front yard. My old one had a major hole in it and although I tried to repair it, I finally had to give in the towel.

And since Saturday, it's rained every day....

In fact, it was raining while I swam, but it was a nice rain, and the air was warm enough. I had fun swimming in the rain!

Sunday, after church, we just hung out at my parent's house again. Mom and I did a little shopping. I'm trying to be careful this month with my dollars as I went overboard last month. Well, Mom had a coupon for the store we went to and she just decided to buy me this cute, long dress. Yes, long. That 70'ish style is coming back! The neckline was too low for me to feel truly modest so we put a little stitch in it. I have been waiting to wear it to work, but we've had too much rain, and it's been too cool (the dress is sleeveless and i have to wear a shrug with it.)

Then we made toffee so we could make "banana-toffee ice-cream" otherwise known as "banofee" ice-cream. If you've never had banofee pie, you are missing out!

We had to wait until Monday to eat it, but it was worth the wait!

We had a picnic at church to celebrate Independence day, but because of rain threats, we had to hold it indoors, which was fine. And then we had a devotional.

I ate supper with my parents and sometime after 09:00, went back home to avoid any possible fire-work traffic. In fact, as I approached downtown, I could see the city fireworks above the trees. It was really very cool!

Monday, I hung out with my folks again. Mom and I shopped for her some new clothes. I ended up buying a bracelet with butterflies and some cat socks.

The bracelet is Lucite. The butterflies are beautiful images on a band inside the bracelet. And the socks are trouser socks. The cats look like photos. I need some trousers now...

Dad and I lopped branches off their sycamore in the front yard as they were starting to hang too low and were causing some issues. Then we went into the back yard and worked on cleaning the pool filter. And guess who wore shorts and forgot her insect repellent....

Incidentally, chlorinated water feels NICE on mosquito bites....

So, I swam for another 30, and as I was getting out, Dad was getting in, so we tossed a huge ball around in the pool together. Finally, Mom decided to brave things and got in as well. She was afraid the water would be too cold for her as the air temps have been in the 80's, but actually, the water was quite pleasant.

We had our ice-cream at lunch, and it was good!

Later, we made a red/white/and blue cake from a boxed mix. We put it in her cake pan that happens to be shaped like a Christmas tree (Christmas in July!). The pan actually ended up being too small for all the batter so it took too long to cook, and then it collapsed in the middle, and THEN, after we turned the pan over and dumped it out, the cake fell into two pieces. Mom tried to hook it back together with tooth picks, but that didn't work too well.

By this time, it was getting onto 08:00 and I needed to get home and do bills, etc. So I left mom to finish the cake and all. We'd bought bright red frosting (not the best flavor) and sprinkles that looked like stars, etc all over it. It was really cute, but the flavor wasn't so great after all that.

Well....Late again...How on earth do I do that? I bet wrap this up and get on to bed....
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This and That... 07-01-2010 - 12:12 AM
I forgot to mention what with all my stuff about Relay, that I got a new hand railing put in on Friday. One of the two brothers that put in my tub last year put it up for me. My front porch has two sets of steps. One set has a railing, but it leads down into the yard and right onto the grass with no path or sidewalk to step on.

The other set of steps leads down onto the little sidewalk right against the front of my house, but there was no handrail. My mom has trouble with her knee, so it was kind of dangerous for her to come up that set of stairs with nothing to hold onto. But the other choice, when the weather was bad, was to have to slog through mud, wet grass, or snow, etc.

Anyway, I am really excited about my new railing and B made it match the other railing. He did a good job making it look like it had always been there. My parents will celebrate their 50th anniversary this year and that is part of my gift to them--the gift of safety.
Scarlet Rose is home! And I didn't have to pay for her repairs!

However, I got my yearly mortgage adjustment forms that my lender sends out every year. Something about the T & I was not predicted or adjusted properly last year so I will have to pay an extra $93 to cover it. Not pleased. This is added to the property taxes that went up this year making my monthly payments about $15 higher a month. In these tough times, I really hate to be saddled with even that much of an increase so I am going to see if they will let me just go ahead and pay off that $93 now. I wish I didn't stress about money but I think I am a little obsessive-compulsive and this is how mine manifests.
Today was our Guidance staffs' last day. I kept busy, and didn't give myself time to dwell on it, but it really makes me sad. I saw one of them at the fax machine and just didn't know what to say. I told her i want to be Face Book friends with her so we can keep up--and I want to use it as a chance to show off my paintings as I doubt I'll ever be good enough for a gallery. That gave her a quick laugh, but man, I wish I had something I could really do for her.

One thing that has really made me mad though is that when all these budgets etc were being fought for, the audiologists were not even considered! Apparently, there is no real head up in the Central office. They don't know fi either one of them will have a job tomorrow, and even if ours does, she most likely will NOT be in our town--AND she will have to start all over again--loss of current benefits, vacation, etc.

I mean, that really stinks! It would have been kinder if they could have made a firm decision weeks and weeks ago to at least give them time to look for jobs elsewhere.
Ugh, I have a new computer game addiction : "Kingdoms of Camelot" You actually have to be involved with other players. I didn't realize when I joined the game that the whole purpose is to attack other players. The best thing is to join an alliance.

Some jerk has already attacked me 3 times. I still don't have my defenses and enough knights, etc in place for defense, but every time he attacks, I lose money which means no knights, etc.

When I joined, I was thinking, Court, Merlin, etc. Not bloodshed and mayhem.

I don't even know HOW to attack other players, nor do I really want to. I just wanted to build a nice little artisan community....

Whoops, late again....I must still be on Relay for Life time! LOL
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Relay for Life/2010--update 06-27-2010 - 10:26 PM
Friday night, I attended Relay for Life as part of a team. It's the first time I was part of a team. Our church congregation had their first team this year. We can all see where we need to make some changes next year, but it was still a thrill to be there.

We were a bronze team--I don't remember now how much money that means we raised--it's the lowest end, but I still feel good about it. Our leader really didn't know about all this stuff either. I am thinking maybe I should figure out a way for us to start doing fundraisers even earlier than waiting until a month before the event.

Anyway....I stayed all night, and didn't get home until after 6:15 a.m. Saturday. I will write more here later as I suddenly see it is already 10:26 p.m. I've dragged around all day today but I see that I need to start thinking about getting to bed--and frankly, my brain is still kind of tired.

Noni--Relay for Life is an event put on by Cancer groups every year to raise money for cancer research, awareness of cancer issues, and to honor the survivors and the fallen of this disease. I've been attending as a Survivor for the past 5 years or so. I figure eventually, I'll have enough Survivor Tee shirts to make my own quilt. Lord willing!

The event goes all night--from dusk to dawn to symbolize the emotional journey of the patient who has just found out he or she has cancer--their fear, their exhaustion (team members stay up all night with at least one or more people on the track to symbolize this) and finally, as the dawn comes up, their hope in their survival as the last treatment is completed and they are (hopefully) declared if not cured, at least in remission. The event is always held at an athletic arena where there is a track to walk on. Usually here, different teams set up tents and sell things all night. We sold our stuff early--did a nachos concession (let me rephrase that : a crappy nachos concession)--but then we stayed all night just the same to show support for the cause.

Some teams actually shut down right after 09:00 or so. I don't know if no one was able to stay or what.

There was a DJ who played music, did a trivia game, tried to get people to dance etc in order to keep everyone's spirits and stamina up. There were also wacky team games--make a bride dress out of newspaper; Calender "girl" (put a guy in drag and have him try and get more money out of the crowd); a frozen t-shirt contest...

It was all a lot of fun and I was ready to go home when the sun came up!

The weather was great and the pregnant moon rode high above us, keeping pace with us on the track....

One of the ladies on our team has two teenage sons--tall thin creatures with the stamina of 20 people apiece. They and their friends stayed on the track all night as boys will do--just for the challenge of it. They figured out that by the time the closing ceremonies occurred, they'd done about 18 miles worth of walking!

Me, I ended up with a blister on one toe, and a long lasting leg cramp. But it was worth it!

One thing that really caught my attention were all the different smells:

We'd recently had a soaking rain, and in many places, the ground was very marshy. Thus, there was a marshy odor. Yet at another point along the track, I would notice a very strong perfumy odor--there was one group selling massages and spa items. The odor was from lavender. And yet, every now and then, I would detect a slight sewer smell.

And last of all was the smell of hot dogs that ARVEST bank was cooking and selling about 02:00 a.m. This was the most important as all I'd had for supper was our crappy nachos! By the time 02:00 a.m. came along, I was all done with exclusively supporting our team's money raising efforts. I was starved for protein!

Between walking, I would rest for a few moments, talk with other team members, read. At one point in the night, a guy with this new Hilton Hotel opening in town walked around giving out free goodies. He handed me a bag and inside was a stuffed buffalo wearing a T-shirt. He also gave me a "buy one get one meal free" coupon which I gave to my parents.

I love buffalo! I know I'm pretty silly, but I was more thrilled with the little stuffed animal than I was with the coupon (besides, the coupon is only good during the hours I work).

Anyway, once I did finally get home, I tried to soak in the tub, but was too exhausted. I finally went to bed about 07:30 a.m. and slept pretty much until 02:30 or 03:00 p.m. when Mabb woke me up.
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Sprinkler finally working 06-22-2010 - 10:44 PM
Dad came over this evening and fiddled around with the sprinkler for a few minutes. He moved the arms around and re-positioned them. After that, the wheels finally started to move!

Unfortunately, I don't really think I got him to understand what I was having to deal with last night. He kept saying "the wheels are moving, you just have to watch." What I kept trying to explain was that last night, I WAS watching, but the sprinkler flat out was NOT moving forward.

The interesting thing is that when we tried to reposition the arms back to where I had them last night, the "T" no longer spun around like it did last night.

Dad kept telling me how I needed to tighten the pieces that hold the arms in place. I kept trying to explain that I DID tighten them to the point where one of the holders actually screwed right off the T. Again, he didn't believe me--until it fell off in his hand. HA!

I looked at the instructions again, and at first, I thought I must have missed some obvious instruction, but the more I examined it, the more I could see that there was every indication that I did start out with the arms in the correct position to work.

Mom asked me if I was now embarrassed for sending that e-mail to the company yesterday, but I'm not. I still think there could be a potential problem--if nothing else, I still don't believe the instructions were really clear enough.

Anyway, I had Ol' Roy running around the backyard watering everything...wait, that doesn't sound nice....

I am again worn out what with work and too much worry over the dern yard stuff! Not to mention, we are under a sever heat index just in my little area of Oklahoma this week. It goes right through the middle of the state!

Relay for Life is supposed to be this weekend, but i have to admit that I am rather worried about it because of the excessive heat. If we do have it, I'm not sure what to wear as my shorts are all either too short, or stained, or...whattheheack, I'll wear 'em stained if I have to...

BTW, the Grill "told" me that his name is "Max". I am not making this up. I swear, the objects "tell" me their names! What can I say? I grew up watching "Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang", "Herbie the Love Bug", and "Star Wars." ALL the inanimate objects were named!
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Will not suffer fools gladly! 06-21-2010 - 10:15 PM
I am finally beginning to understand that expression! Oooh, yeah, I've had to put up with that a LOT lately--between my clients and my lawn equipment.

My parents gave me a beautiful cast iron, traveling lawn sprinkler for my birthday. Well, what with going out of town immediately the next day for the graduation, and then having all the rain, plus, doing some repair work on my fence, etc, today was the first day I got to try it out. And tried....and tried....yep. It doesn't work. Half the time, the arms came off. Plus, the part they attach too is made of poor quality plastic. AND the back wheels don't move. There are three settings--hi, low, and neutral. On high and low, the sprinkler should move forward, but it won't. Not only that, but the back wheels which should drive it along won't move at all--not even manually. I can move them on neutral, but the sprinkler is not designed to move forward on neutral and of course it didn't.

I wrote the company an e-mail, describing the problem, told them I am disappointed in the lack of good quality products by ANY company any more, and told them I'm taking the sprinkler back to the store tomorrow for a refund.

I've just had it!

OK, so today, me, and NG, and WIC clinician decided to double up on our clients so we could move some new babies up a week or so and keep within our required processing time frame. In this case, NG is acting as a second WIC Clinician meaning I worked like a dog--seeing people every 15 minutes. plus, I had people walking in for unscheduled voucher pick-ups, phone calls (we have another brand new person now....P...who hasn't figured out yet that I need her to take messages when I'm swamped.)

Well, we got to the last family of the day--a mom and infant. As I am getting ready to check her in, she mentions that the appointment is also for her OTHER baby. Yep, she had twins.

Originally, we were supposed to see all three on May 17, but she did not show up. I am not sure when she did call and reschedule but of course, she did not try and show up early, and she still had to do paperwork. As the babies are WIC priority, I told her we'd just do both the babies today and get her later.

In the meantime, she tells me this awful story about how she got laid off from her job the minute her boss found out "somehow" that she was pregnant with twins. And then a week later, her husband, who worked for the same company, also got fired. (Although they were both receiving unemployment). Anyway, it took her quite awhile to fill out the papers, and then she had to go get the twins out of the car (YES! It was HOT outside, but her husband, who is still out of work, was sitting inside the car feeding the babies. WHAT were they thinking! He could as easily have fed them inside the office).

So, we get to the end of the appointment--it is now 04:00 and I and WIC clinician get off at 04:30 because we go from 07:30 to 04:30. I've worked my tail off, seen 19 people for certifications alone, etc., and SUDDENLY the mom starts whining that we can't see HER right now as well! She did not want to come back. I can understand that it's a pain--especially as she lives in another town, but you know what, she ain't the first client to live outside of town with twins!

She then starts that accusing thing: "Well, it wasn't MY fault that both babies weren't scheduled."

Without thinking, I said (and believe me, my tone was very hurt) "It wasn't my fault that you didn't keep your appointment in May."

See, had she even called the day of her original appointment, I would have had it on my mind that it was three people we were seeing. But by the time she finally contacted us, it went out of my head that it was 2 babies plus a mom instead of the usual mom and 1 baby. This is actually a common mistake so it wasn't as if I was being neglectful, and I certainly didn't do it on purpose.

I felt bad at first about her predicament what with being laid off and all--but after the way she behaved at the end, I have to admit, I wondered if perhaps there was more to her being fired than her pregnancy.

The minute I was done, I went and told my supervisor what had just transpired in case the woman called to complain. I figure I'd cut her off at the pass--so to speak.

In the meantime, I am still feeling a little ick, and didn't have time to finish all my charts--not to mention some of the ones from last Friday. So what a way to end my day.

No, I don't suffer fools gladly.
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And now, I'm somewhat sickish 06-19-2010 - 10:34 PM
OK, who sent that virus through the computer? LOL. OK, I think I'm just having a sinus/allergy thing. Unfortunately, it had me awake at 04:00 a.m. coughing up ick. (don't worry, I wont' describe it.) Actually, I've been having this trouble since Tuesday. We had thee inches of rain here on Monday, and Tuesday, the sun came out. And about the time it did, I started to sneeze, cough, get congested, etc. That's how fast mold pops up. And then the wind was blowing on top of all that. The cottonwoods are in bloom and their white fluff was blowing everywhere. I'm pretty sure I'm allergic to the stuff.

Anyway, what with struggling to work on my lawn, and then the allergy thing, it's no wonder I've had a bad cough.

Oh, and another issue I forgot to mention: The State Health Dept has decided every year that we all must have 3 hours of mandatory ethical training a year. The problem is is that nothing was really said about it until April and they wanted it done before the start of the fiscal year. There was a training offered in Claremore a few weeks ago, but it happened to be while I was off on vacation.

We had a website that offers different on-line lessons, etc that you can choose from and read to make up for whatever training you might need. So, I tried to do the training at work, but for some reason, my computer wouldn't upgrade to the right Adobe acrobat or whatever it was needing--plus, it's just hard to do at work with clients coming in. So I actually did a couple of them at home.

One reading took me a good 2 hours or so. And I got no credit for it!

I received an e-mail on Tuesday from my administrator that said I only had 1 credit and we need to have 3. Now, I looked at my track record that our little website saves and it showed 2 had been done, but not 3. So I stayed up until 12:40 a.m. into Wednesday morning reading a different training. once you read them, you have to answer three questions. The first time I did that really long one, I realize now it did not ask me questions. But I did it again, and this time it asked me the questions. The other new one I did, for some reason, it is not showing up on my transcripts.

I have been a little distraught over all this. My supervisor has told me not to worry, but I can't help but me ticked--and I know that is one reason I haven't been well--not enough sleep and worry.

Anyway, we took Scarlet Rose to the Sears store to have her shipped off to Texas to be worked on. It might take until July 10 or longer to get her back! AND I had to pay a $30 DIAGNOSTIC fee just for them to look at her. And even though the warranty covers the engine for 2 years, if it should turn out to be a different issue, I could end up paying as much as $150 for them to fix her. And the guy in the service department told us that particular style of mower seems to have this problem. That says to me that there needs to be a recall and the consumer shouldn't have to pay for the repair. The lawnmower is a Craftsman. This used to be a good brand, but I am wondering if they have started to cut corners on their products just to make more money.

Well, I have again kept busy. Ran errands with my folks for awhile this afternoon, then came home and took a nap. But after that, I grilled fish again, then fertilized my roses, my tomatoes, watered my little Japanese maple, and bagged some more of that debris from all the work Dad and I did last week. And then I got to talking to my next door neighbor and he has offered to do my lawn for free!

He and his family are good neighbors. Last week, he was out of town, and I had actually planned on doing their lawn for THEM, and then Scarlet Rose broke down.

Anyway, I've decided against the Reel mower for now--unless it costs more than a reel mower to fix Scarlet Rose. In which case I'll just have her put down.
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And then I dropped the jelly... 06-17-2010 - 10:10 PM
Oh yeah, what a week! Let's see, my grill is having issues (Noni, there is a metal plate that hooks beneath the heating thingies underneath the grill. I think it's called a reflector pan. It's this pan that keeps falling off). Then Scarlett Rose took ill, then my weed whacker died on me. So my dad let me borrow his Weedeater, and it did about the same thing--I had done about 1/6th of my yard, and it decided it was too hot I guess and suddenly just stopped. After about 10 minutes, it started up again, but then quit.

But yesterday, in the meantime....

Lately, at church, no matter which congregation I have attended--here or Dallas--it seems someone has something to say about giving. (In fact one guy firmly stated that the Bible says to give 'till it ouches! Sorry, but I don't exactly interpret the Word that way.) However, I decided that maybe I haven't been as faithful about doing things for others as much as I should, and decided that despite my current concerns, I should at least buy food for the church pantry. So, yesterday, although I felt really horrible all day, I went to Wal-Mart right after work so I could buy the suggested items on the church list. I always try and get double items which means I bought not 1, but 2 jars of jelly. I even made sure I gave careful consideration to the flavor (should I assume kids might be getting the jar I bought, etc.) Anyway, I brought the stuff to church, but instead of setting all my bags down as I put everything in the pantry, I tried to shift the bags around in my hands.

And then...I dropped one....and heard breaking glass.

I feel so bad...I really wanted to do something nice, and beyond myself...and I ruined it.
Yeah, not a fun week.
I feel like I've been trying to run without enough fuel myself this week.
So, my next solution to my yard problems: I'm thinking of buying a cheep reel mower. No gas, no electricity. And cheaper in the long run than hiring someone else to mow for me.

Plus, I'd have it and could still take care of my lawn while waiting for Scarlett Rose to be repaired.

Dad has earned his Father's Day this year. That's for sure!
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Weather so far 06-14-2010 - 07:48 PM
Robin and Patty,

Thanks for your prayers! I live up close to the Kansas boarder, but we still have a river that runs through town and it separates the east and west sides. My parents and work are on the East and I live on the west. We've been under a flash flood warning today. The river runs up into Kansas and if they get enough flooding and should open their dam, it will flood our town.

We've had rain, rain, rain, rain, rain--for nearly 12 hours! The sound of thunder woke me up last night!

We haven't had a chance to work on Scarlet Rose today, but at lunch, my dad asked again about the sounds she made and he said those dreaded words "I hope she hasn't thrown a rod."

We no longer have a Sears Service dept here in town so it's not even a simple matter of taking her in. In a minute, I have to go see what her warranty is to see if she is still covered.

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Grill and the mower are rebelling! 06-13-2010 - 11:01 PM
Last night, I tried to grill, but the heating plate that hooks on to the heating element kept falling off. The first time was right after I put the fish on it. I had to let the entire thing cool down, reached beneath the heating element, and hooked the plate back on. The second time was right before I finished. At least the fish SEEMED done....

stupid grill.

So, I decided today that I had to mow. It's been way over a week now what with going out of town, working on the fence, etc. And now we are expecting storms tomorrow through Tuesday and possibly the rest of the week.

At first I was going to mow this afternoon after church, but I went outside and messed around trying to dig this old tree stump up, and in minutes, was steaming hot so I decided I'd try again this evening after evening church.

Well, our speaker ran over, so I was in a hurry to get home before it started to get dark. I changed clothes ASAP and got the mower out of the shed.

I turned over the engine and immediately, it sounded as if something was rattling around. When Dad serviced the mower earlier this spring, he didn't quite get the blade tight enough, so I turned Scarlet Rose over on her side to check the blade. It seemed pretty tight, but when I turned her back up, the engine wouldn't turn over. I held the key thinking the engine would soon catch, but suddenly, she just went silent! I can't even get the pull cord to pull, so something is really wrong.

I thought maybe I'd just flooded the engine, but after an hour, she is still as dead as a doornail. I am really upset to say the least. I read the manual but there was nothing to describe this situation. Dad is coming tomorrow to check it out. I am hoping something just came loose--like a spark plug wire or something--one of those things that I wouldn't easily recognize. I just hope I didn't burn something up....

No, I didn't smell anything, but I can't help but wonder if I broke something inside anyway....
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And Saturday... 06-12-2010 - 04:29 PM
Oooh, I threw the Papaya away this morning. I had someone on FaceBook tell me that the smell is normal. oh yeah, it was Mei! She told me she can't get past the smell either although they are good for constipation. Yep, think I'll pass!

Dad came over again this morning and we finished putting up the last 3 fence pickets. He figured out this time to brink a second drill and he made holes for the screws BEFORE we screwed them into the boards. Then I fertilized my roses.

I have one hybrid (other than the one from Jackson & Perkins) being especially naughty. It will only send up one stem at a time and it's always off the same branch. Plus, it has gained nothing in height this year. But the one rose it will produce is the most beautiful shade of orange. I planted it for Victoria who loved the color orange.

After such hard work the last several days, I decided I'd HAD it. After I put up my tools, I decided that is the LAST work I do today. There is a 50-year-anniversary at church going on today, but I couldn't even bring myself to dress up enough to go. My jeans are too tight right now and I didn't feel like putting on a dress. My shorts are too tight as well. And as I have to go back to work on Monday, I want just one day of doing nothing important. Sometime during the next week, I'll have a lot of yard debris and mowing to do, not to mention I still need to get my dad a Father's Day gift, so I want the rest of today to be for me just relaxing and kicking back. i might grill some fish later, but that will be it. I don't even think I will wash the dishes or clean the grill.

It hasn't been quite 2 days since the edge around my tub was re-caulked, but I couldn't stand it and went ahead and soaked in the tub this afternoon. Me, I HAD to clean!

Now I am going to head back to my couch and read.
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Last day of my vacation! WAH! 06-12-2010 - 12:22 AM
Oh yeah, seriously, this has not really felt like a vacation! I've still worked hard, run and run and run, and gotten very little rest. Even in Dallas, we were in the car most of the time--my sisters actually live in Garland, but they live about 20 minutes or so apart. So we spent one day with one sister and her family and the next with the other sister and her family and both days we would end up driving quite a bit--to church, or to go shopping, etc.

The drive to Dallas/Garland was insane! Oklahoma should have license plates that read "Home of Constant Road Work." I am not kidding. We drove through this little town called Atoka. It's one of those towns that is so small it should only take 10 minutes to get through. Well, highway 75 runs right down the center and last Friday EVERYONE must have decided on that same route--especially truckers. So, here we had a combination of 18 wheelers, 2 traffic lights, two lanes of traffic being squeezed to one and the 10 minute drive turned into a nightmarish 55 minute crawl!

And the worst part was that the road work itself was only about a block long if even that! And of course, when we came back through on Tuesday, there was no more road work!

We ran into the same situation off and on all the way into Garland. Even on the freeways of Dallas, there was construction--the northbound lane at one point (thank goodness we were southbound) had some kind of incident that had police and ambulance (although I never saw evidence of a wreck) that had the traffic backed up for miles. I really felt sorry for those folks because being on the freeway, they really didn't have too many places or choices to get off. My mom estimated that they would be waiting for an hour!

In all of Garland, there is only one Event Center where every high school was graduating. Graduations went on all weekend. We were actually just right across the street from the center, but of course, we ended up spending the day with my niece's family and extended families at her house instead.

My Sis #2 (her #2 daughter was the graduate) has the dearest in-laws. I think they are some of the dearest people. I have finally given up on trying to figure out how we can be legally related, so I've just coined the term "hugging in-laws". Sort of like kissing cousins, but with your sibling's in-laws.

Ah yes, it was a packed house!

There was only one minor black spot. During the graduation ceremony, the kids would walk across the stage, receive the cover that their diplomas go in, then walk behind a curtain to receive the actual diploma (and maybe a photo--not sure). So, Niece #2 goes behind the curtain only to be told that she could not get her diploma until she had paid some fine! WHAT!

She had no idea what they were talking about. Neither the school, nor the teacher involved had ever mentioned a thing about it until that very moment. She had to wait until MONDAY before she could resolve the issue--and even then, we really think an error was made, but the teachers had all gone home for the school year and no one would dream of disturbing them! But no, they can go off and cause an embarrassing situation for a student--not to mention one that could have marred what should be a wonderful event.

Supposedly, Niece #2 had been given a work book for world history or at the beginning of her senior year. Well, the school went and changed her schedule and Niece swears she never did receive the work book. In my thinking, 1) this should have been brought up WEEKS ago--or maybe even after her schedule got changed and 2) It's a flippin WORKBOOK meaning most likely it would have been written in, etc, if even used the next year!

So, here niece was supposed to start a job that same Monday, but what with that, and another event she had already scheduled, she had to put starting the job on hold until Tuesday. I think it might just be part time, but still...

Anyway, it's a good thing I'm not the mom, or else I think I'd have had some teacher by the throat....

Monday, we went to a "health" food store called Sprouts. OK, here's my question: If they sell chocolate covered nuts, honey comb, etc. can we technically call those foods "healthy"? I bought some cherry/pomegranate toaster pastries--turns out they are 200 calories a pastry!

But is it a HEALTHY 200 calories?

Then we hit World Market which is my favorite everything store. They sell jewelry, dining stuff, outdoor stuff, tea party stuff, etc., but everything has a kind of an exotic flare. I bought the cutest teapot. It's spout is in the shape of an elephant's trunk. I'll have to take a photo and put it on Facebook--mostly because my photos won't upload to hystersisters anymore.

Tuesday, we drove to Caddo Mills, Texas to visit my Dad's relatives. His parents are gone, and he never had siblings, but he's always remained close with some cousins of his.

I tell you, it is shocking how fast one can age when one doesn't take care of him/herself. My dad's cousin's grandson is only a few years older than me--maybe 48 or 49. He is completely gray-headed, and has a gray beard and has deep lines around his eyes. My parents told me he is on his third (?) wife. I would never have guessed that he was the cute slightly older, second cousin that my sisters used to hang out with anytime we visited his grandparents when we were growing up. I swear, I thought he was closer to 60 than 50 when we walked into the house!

If only I could have convinced him to at least shave off that beard!

So, Wed, I really, really wanted to stay home and vegetate. But, Wed we have classes at church, plus we had been told at our last Relay for Life meeting that if we wanted the names on the luminaries we sold to be displayed on a special screen during the ceremonies, we had to turn in our money that evening. So, I thought we were having a meeting and dragged myself to church an hour early--and couldn't find our team leader! And because I was there, and the class teacher saw me, I couldn't sneak out! Finally, I found a place to leave the money and Sent a Face book message to the team leader telling him where the money was. I hope he got it because it was $25!

Then, yesterday, my parents came over and Dad and I worked cutting branches down as best as we could from the huge elm in my backyard. We were trying to get what branches we could reach off the roof. And then we cleaned the gutters.

Then we went to lunch, and after we came home, I got out my electric trimmer and trimmed the boarders around my flower beds, etc.

I barely had time to shower before I had my tub/repair guy come. The grout around the edge of the tub had come out, and they guarantee their work for a year so he caulked it this time. And his son (who is working with him right now) is going to put up an extra hand rail on my front porch. It's the weirdest thing, but although there are two hand rails on the front of the porch that leads down into the grass, there are none on the side of the porch that opens up on to the little sidewalk right beside my house. I am wanting the extra rails for my mom--she just has a hard time climbing steps because of her knees. And I figure, in time, I will be in the same shape.

THEN, today, I had to run to the DMV to get my license renewed and then my parents and I went to Lowe's to get some fence pickets. Every now and then, I've had to replace boards that have rotted through. Have of our work ended up being cutting away a bunch of brush that is growing up between my wood fence, and my neighbor's chain link fence. There are so many weird little things I keep finding in my yards! I figure this brush, tree, whatever, started as a seed that landed between the two fences and just let go. So now it has pushed twigs through my boards and rubbed some holes. It was nice, once various boards were removed, to be able to just reach through and whack what branches I could with my loppers! I wish I had the money (and could hire some one) to take down the entire fence, dig up all the bushes, etc, maybe even put something down to prevent anything else from growing, and completely rebuild the fence and gates from scratch.

Ah, if wishes were horses, I'd own a stable!

It got so hot today. Dad and I would work, then rest, then work, then rest. Finally, we've had to leave the job unfinished and he's coming over in the morning. In the meantime, because my tub has been recently caulked, I can't take a shower!

After we worked, mom and I went to a $1 store and got a few things. I got my dad and I some faux Gatorade which we both badly needed. Then we dropped him at home, and went to Wal-Mart.

I bought a papaya. Does anyone know anything about them? I cut it open, but it stinks! It smells rancid--like spoiled dairy or fish. Is this normal? I didn't like the taste either. The blasted thing cost me $1.50. It seems a shame to waste it, but for goodness sakes!

Anyway, once back at home, I had to put all the tools away and then planted some flowers I bought at Lowe's.

I am in the midst of a Floral Emergency. I bought two roses from Jackson & Perkins this year and another one from Wal-Mart. Remember all that work i did to put in a new rose bed? Well, two of the roses are full of leaves, the third just looks----tired. After a whiz bang start, it just stopped growing, and some of it's leaves died. I tried fertilizer, mulch, etc.

Finally, this afternoon, I dug up around it's roots and have decided that the soil is very clay like--why only around that one rose, I have no idea. When I was digging up the bed, I didn't notice that the soil was any thicker than the middle or far end of the bed. But, I dug up the ground around it and replaced it with some top soil I bought at Wal-Mart. I am almost wondering if I shouldn't have made the hole even bigger around it, but I was running out of steam so to speak.

Suddenly, it was nearly 7 and I was filthy from head to foot. I still pretty much am! I am not sure what to do! I may have to go take a "spit" bath here in a minute.

Anyway, that's when I cut open the papaya. (ICK!) But have I sat idle? No...yeah, I've played some on Face Book tonight, but I've finished cleaning my grill, washed the dishes, folded some laundry....now I have to figure out how to clean me!
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Oh, right, vacation. I forgot.... 06-02-2010 - 11:17 PM
Hey Karolyn,

I thought either Lee or Krystal was a good choice. I really thought Crystal was going to win--again, the judges really seemed to push for her to win. I really liked the way they said goodbye to Simon as well--it almost felt like a big retirement party and not just a "sorry you won't be back ever" show.


Since I am going out of town Friday, and won't be home for about 5 or six days, it occurred to me that I better mow my backyard this morning. I don't want to have to do that on my birthday.

So, I mowed the lawn. Then, showered, then after lunch, I went to my parent's house for a few hours. Mom and I watched a lot of HG TV until I got sick of it. Since Mom takes a swim exercise class on Wed, I decided to go ahead and leave. I needed to go get some spray to treat the black spot on some of my roses--no thanks to all the rain we had last week.

I bought more mulch, the rose stuff, some OFF, and a birthday gift to my BIL #2 (we almost forgot that his birthday was back in April. It's his 2nd daughter that is graduating from high school this Saturday). At first, I was going to wait a little bit before I put the mulch down, but I couldn't stand the wait and dived in. Well, I don't know what the mulch was treated with, but when I first opened the bags (3) they smelled of vinegar--strongly of vinegar!

It took close to an hour to cover all three beds out front and I could stand to buy a few more bags yet, but I am going to try and wait until payday again.

I then scooped the cat boxes, and put the trash out by the curb.

Then, I ate a quick supper and took my 2nd shower of the day as the mulch got red dust and dye all over me--not to mention I smelt strongly of the vinegar odor.

OK, so I am finally sitting on the couch, reading, and decide that I don't want to wash dishes tomorrow, so I hopped up and washed them, finishing them and getting the kitchen floor swept minutes before I had to leave for Wednesday night church.

My parents come over after church and I offered them some sherbet. And it suddenly hit me that I will STILL have to do dishes tomorrow! Plus vacuum. I know it's silly, but my friend R and her daughter will be taking care of Mabb and Oonagh while I am gone, and I don't want them to see a dirty house. Which also means straightening up in my office...plus tomorrow I have to wrap the gifts we are taking to Dallas plus pack...

Well, I guess I'll be busy on my birthday after all...(sigh)
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Relax? Who. Me? 06-01-2010 - 10:32 PM
No, I have decided that I am really unable to relax (unless I start playing video games on the computer--which can really become more of an obsession).

So, Saturday before last, I got up and hit the yard by 9 in order to mow the grass, then trimmed the front yard, then treated the back for ticks, fleas, etc.

Then took a shower and got dressed up to go to a graduation party being held at our church building. I still hadn't bought a card yet, so I had to race across town to Wal-Greens as I decided to buy their $1 cards--I also needed a few get well cards, sympathy card, etc.

I had made plans to stop and fill my car up, but decided I didn't have time. Well, the gas was getting low, but I d aren't run the A/C for fear of running completely out of gas. So, needless to say, by the time i got to the church building, I was really hot and a little dehydrated. Turns out the party was a sit down meal. But still, I just did not get enough water.

Well, my parents had also been invited to the meal, so I decided to go to their house for a bit. I had planned to fill up my car at the station close to their house, but naturally, it was having a problem with its pumps--this happens frequently and we don't know if they happen to break down a lot or if they just run out of gas quickly. Well, I went on to their house. Mom decides she wants to watch a movie she got for Mother's Day. For some reason, she loves "A Summer Place." To me, it's depressing among other things, but I was a good sport and suffered through it...

After that, we all went back to my house. luckily I was able to make it to a station closer to home and finally filled up. But I get home (and here is where I flew off the handle) I found a note on my door that a Census taker had been there.

WHAT? Hey, I like, filled mine out the NEXT day after receiving it and mailed it in right away. I could not figure out why on earth they would need to contact me again. The thing that I resent is that they are basically given the power to intrude on your life--no matter what you are doing. I just thought---what if she had just shown up as I was finishing with the yard--hot, tired, sweaty, exhausted, etc. Yet, from what I was told from one of my clients who dealt with one recently, they can basically force their way into your home, and if you refuse to comply, they can threaten you.

So yeah, here I had done what I was supposed to, but they still sent someone over.

So, I call the woman, tell her I think it is ridiculous--her coming to my house when I had sent in my census already. Her reply is that "she had been out doing her job since 08:30 that morning". I had to bite my tongue NOT to say "Lady, I am at work every day by 7:30 a.m. And this morning, I mowed my grass, trimmed both front and back, treated the lawn for bugs...."

And you know why they came? To "clarify" a few questions. These were questions I had already answered like "How many people have lived in your house since April." Like, that would be 1.

What is your race? Yes, I answered that one.

Yes, I AM a single woman, living alone. no kids, no spouse, never had, never will etc.

I wanted to ask her "Seriously? Do you think I'm lying? Do you really think that I am the ONLY woman in the US who is not married, has no kids and DOES live alone?

The last time we did the census, this same thing happened to me. I filled out every question, but they still showed up unannounced. At the time, I had something in the oven and had to stop at one point, take out my pan, turn over the fries and continue my re-interview.

And people wonder why I flew off the handle. I just wonder how many other single women had to deal with that.

YES, it IS possible for a woman to live alone and tend to her own property without having to resort to help!

I am really, seriously thinking of writing to my congressman, legislatures, etc and telling them how upsetting this has been--as it has happened not once, but twice.

Who, bad temper, ME?

Well, Mabb is still limping, but now I think it might be her front foot...she is seeing the doctor tomorrow for her rabies shot, so I will mention it then. but we are not doing X-rays. She's not crying, she's still jumping up on things etc. She is being a little careful when she is getting off of things, but other than that, or when she walks across the room, she acts fine.

It seems that she and Oonagh were fighting with each other before I began to notice her limp, so I am wondering if she hurt it then...

This week and next, I am on vacation. Yesterday, T and the kids came into town--we had a nice time, but today really felt like the start of my vacation. I got up late, went over to the folks, we had a nice HEALTHY lunch, went to the library, and then went to see "Letters to Juliet". It is a really sweet film. I'm not such a big chick flick fan, but i did like that one.

Then I came home, fertilized the roses, fertilized the tomatoes, cleaned cat poop out of my yard, (grrrrrr) and watered some of my new grass.

In a minute, I think I might go read one of my library books.
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And now I can REALLY relax. 05-21-2010 - 10:41 PM
Finally, the state budget is complete. The State Dept of Health took the biggest cuts for our area (health and human services) but because of everything that had already been put in place, we were already prepared.

Although I'm relieved that furloughs are not in the near future, I'm still sad that we have had to give up our counseling services for children--and recently, even audiology was cut!

There might be a way to move it to another program, but that program is not in my county. .

I have really enjoyed working in the yard this week--I haven't had to rush back inside to change clothes in order to work on the shawl (and DRAT! I forgot to take a photo!) So that meant I could hurry and make supper right away, and then do what ever else I needed or wanted to.

Yesterday, I extended an existing fern bed (a former co-worker brought me several beautiful tall ferns to be planted in the yard.) Then I thinned out several vines that have been traveling up my big elm in the back yard.

So, last night, I decided to soak in the tub, and as I was starting to sit up, somehow, I noticed the underside of my thigh-I don't remember if it was itching or what--but felt this hard knot--that kind of moved around. I could see it and it was really dark. At first I thought "blood clot?" but tugging on it, it didn't just come off.

And then it hit me.


I gave it a good hard yank and got everything out. The tick hadn't been long, because it was still very small. I put it in a jar with alcohol. Then I treated my leg. I checked this morning, and no rash, bulls-eye etc.

Anyway, as I'd let Mabb and Oonagh roam around in the yard for about 5 minutes, I decided to check them for ticks as well.. So, up until yesterday, no fleas. Last night, Mabb had 2 on her head!

So I went and bought flea drops today. That stuff has gone up! Each vial cost $18! The vet tried to talk me into about 6 vials for $88, but I said not this time--not close enough to pay day yet. I have to admit, I'm still not over the budget jitters...

Speaking of cats, Mabb has started to limp, but for the life of me, I can't figure out what is wrong. I've felt along her back feet, her legs, etc. She doesn't cry out, and she is still jumping up onto things, so I don't know what is going on there. She's going for a vaccine in a week or so, so if she is still limping, I'll have the doctor check it out.

Tonight was graduation and my church congregation handed out bottled water to the people coming to watch. I love kids! We had these young kids at our gate, and they got so excited they'd just grab arm loads of bottles and fly out the gate to the end of the path and practically accost people just to offer them the free water! LOL!

Ah, I miss those days...(my knee is suddenly acting up so I've been doing my own limping these days.)

Well, tomorrow will be another one of those crazy days. I've got to gather up the vines I cut down, bag a bunch of lawn trash, weed eat, mow my back yard, put down flea/tick killer and sometime find either a card or a gift for a come and go grad party at the church building for one of the grads...

Sigh...No rest for the weary....
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I can finally get back to my life! 05-17-2010 - 10:56 PM
Hooray! I'm finally done with the shawl! I finished the basic project on Thursday, and then Friday i spent about 3 hours on the floor measuring, cutting, and attaching fringe. Although the shawl is white, I made the fringe in all the liturgical colors--this was the only way I could really convince myself I'd made a prayer shawl and not just a conventional shawl (I still can't figure out the difference.)


OK, remember my rose bed I worked so hard to put in? I am talking dig up dirt and grass, dump it into my wheelbarrow, and sweat and strain to take the wheelbarrow to the back yard, lay out the grass, return to front yard, repeat.

And then finally got the roses in.

So, last week, I bought some mulch to put down around the roses and fill the bed in as well--not just for aesthetics, but for moisture and weed control. And then I used small rock, broken cement chunks, etc to make a boarder. And I was really pleased with my work...

Friday, before I settle down to fringe, I look out my front door---and there is the neighbor's unsnorfleed male cut PEEING on the edge of my boarder! I was so mad!

This is one reason I don't let my cats roam.

So I stepped outside and told him sternly to stop and get away. The neighbor's son and some friends stared at me, like they didn't get why I was mad at the cat. So I tried to explain (I didn't want them to think I'm just mean to cats) and this girl looks at me, and just shrugs her shoulders. I don't know if she thought I was accusing her, or if she was saying she didn't care.

Anyway, after all my work, I wanted to slap that cat--and possibly the kid.

Anyway....so, Saturday, hit the ground running again. We have been having our pictures made for the church directory and I had to the torture chamber. But, before I got ready, I was cleaning my kitchen and my mom calls to ask me to bring my card table over to her house as they were having a party that night for our singles group and would need it. The table is in the back of my laundry closet--hidden behind a lot of really big things. So I had to haul a lot of stuff out, and lift the table up over the hoses and stuff on my washing machine. Then I had to drag the table down the garage steps and get it into the trunk of my car.

So, I do all that, then fix up for the picture, go to the church building, had my picture made (it stunk), then go to Wal-Mart to buy cat food. Then I get to my parent's house, drag the table inside---and they told me they didn't know if they WOULD actually need it....(sigh)

So I helped them do a few more little odds and ends. We watched the Preakness in between Mom's bough ts of "Let's do this now," and "Let's do that now"'s.

Finally, the guests started to arrive. I didn't get home until after 9 and then I had to wrap both the shawl and a birthday gift for T.

Sunday morning, got up early enough that once I was dressed for church, I still had time to run to Wal-Mart again for my Sunday paper, and then head back to church.

Church was just about over and I headed off to meet the people I rode to Norman, OK with for T's Ordination.

The weather was supposed to be bad all day, but expect for a couple of minutes of sprinkles, we had really good weather.

Anyway, the day was nice, and the ordination was interesting and T loved her shawl with the liturgical fringe--plus the birthday present--a black umbrella with yellow smiley faces all over it. Then we all went to supper together and finally left the restaurant around 7:00.

It's a 3 hour drive, so it was late by the time we got back to town. I was exhausted. I've just been dragging my tail all day today and finally had to take a nap when I got home from work. I just hope I can sleep tonight.
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Duck and Cover! 05-11-2010 - 06:13 PM
And I don't mean from the recent tornadoes!

No, it's work stuff.

I don't know Ladies, things are so scary right now....

I don't know what exactly is going on, but our Administrator was in today and she was on a tear.

Well, let me back up to last Friday. Without warning, she went into the office that R is now working in and reamed her and asked her crazy, threatening type stuff like "Do you want to keep your job?"

OK, background:

A few months ago, to cut budgets, etc., the Health Dept first offered to let some employees take early retirement. One of those was our clerk I call BBW here. She worked with our physical therapy clinic. That Admin Tech job is very detailed and involves a lot of billing to medicaid, a lot of sending things to doctors' offices on behalf of Sooner Start (the name of the clinic) clients etc. Because of the manner and detail involved, BBW was given her own office as she could not really answer phones, check in clients, etc., yet keep up with her duties--not without risking making mistakes. Plus, all the clinicians she worked with all have their own ideas on how they want their paperwork handled, etc.

So, BBB decides to retire, and R is offered to take over--at least until another clerk can be hired. However, R quickly found out that while BBW was training her, R needed to be with BBW in her office instead of up front in the front office. Well, our supervisor---what can I say...she doesn't really have a clue.

Any other supervisor in the past would help with the work load when we were down a clerk, but not P. I don't know where she is coming from, but not only does she not help, but she took over R's original job which involved making purchases for the office, taking purchase orders to the county court house, etc. But now she whines that she can't get anything done because she "is doing R's job." Hello? WHAT? WHOSE job?

So, anyway, R has continued to stay back in that office after BBW retired. Well, our Administrator, MB, apparently dropped in on her Friday and reamed her about staying back there.

OK....so....we have been allowed to open up a new clerical position, and we might even have someone in mind if she can pass all the tests, so it can't be a matter of being short-handed up front--unless P has been complaining to MB

And here's another thing: MB can lose her temper, but she rarely just goes up to someone like that and tears into them.

R has told me that she won't make it easy on them to fire her, but I think if something comes up with the court house or the county, she might just quit.

AND THEN....yesterday, NG came up to me and told me in confidence that an Admin Assistant position has come open up in another county with Emergency Management. That's the kind of work she loves, so she just decided to apply.

OK, here is the rub: The State has spent considerable time and energy the past year and a half training NG to be a back-up WIC clinician for our current WIC clinician. This is the only thing that has kept us from having a major scheduling problem (we have a limited number of days to get our client's scheduled. The way things are going right now in fact, I am way over on children because I am trying to make sure we get our newborns and pregnant moms in plus have openings for them in the future.)

Right now, our WIC clinician is being sent to a different county once a week to cover for another WIC clinician who in turn is being sent to a third county where they have no WIC clinician at all.

So, for NG to jump ship right now...well....

Anyway, she finally decided to tell MB today and well....MB turned around in her chair and wouldn't speak to NG after that. And honestly, I can't blame her on this point--not with all that we are dealing with.

So...later, I heard MB in P's office. P's office is right at the end of the clerical area. I was in the file room behind the clerk's area filing, and P's door was open. It sounded like MB was on the phone, and she was FURIOUS!!! I overheard her say "Bull---!" And I don't remember what else.

We've been having an audit lately which covers what property we have in our building (purchased by state vs. purchased by county). And then, we have been asked to mark on our T & E sheets (what we fill out every day to show what clinics we've worked with, how many hours, etc) the amount of time we've spent billing or looking up client's for medicaid. I have access to the state program that shows their medicaid numbers and if they are currently active. I am supposed to be able to use this to help my clients if they forget their proof of income (and now address).

I've been doing this ever since we were given access to that program, and apparently, the more time marked on our time sheets, the more money our clinic can get from medicaid. Well, we've all been asked to bump up how much time we are showing.

This makes me nervous--what with everything else going on, this makes me very nervous.

(And in order to be honest, I am now checking EVERY single client I check in--even if they do have proof of their income with them. But as I am also supposed to list what source of insurance they have, at least I'm not doing anything dishonest as some clients tell me they do have medicaid when in fact they don't.)

Anyway, NG then told us that MB, RW our Admin Assistant, and P were all really stressed out today.

I just wish I knew what EXACTLY is going on.....
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Sorry 05-03-2010 - 11:35 PM
Sorry about the last entry. I realize how whiny it is. Anyway, T came tonight--she's in town after getting her lab band adjusted (I really admire her dedication and courage to do that.) so I showed her my progress so far, and at least she seems pleased with it.

When it comes to creating, if I don't think I can do my best, then I get really stressed out, and I think my shoulder has gotten to the point where it hurts to do things that take a lot of movement, so I admit that I was really dreading making this shawl, just for that alone.

I don't know how it happened, but somehow, in ripping out the pattern, even though I tried to wrap the loosening yarn around my hand, it still has managed to tangle, so now it's crochet a few stitches, stop and untangle, crochet a few stitches, stop and untangle, etc.

And now that the yarn is on the floor in a huge pile (which I don't want to move for fear of causing more tangling) there might be a few black and black and red cat hairs in with the liturgical white...hmmm.

Anyway, this may be the LAST shawl I ever attempt! Or at least one that is such a rush job.

But at least my gardens are all planted! Now, if I could just find time this week to mow.....
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Proverbial "headless chicken" 05-02-2010 - 11:33 PM
Ah, that's how I feel these days. Today was the first day in several that I've really felt up to spending long enough time on the computer to blog--and of course, now it is past 11:00 p.m.

I've spent the last two weeks in the mud and dirt, digging out a spot for my new roses and herbs--I have now planted three variety of basil (one of which died because I failed to notice its stem was rotten when I bought it), a cat nip, a chocolate mint (yes, it does smell like chocolate!) and a new parsley (backyard herbs--less light)--and seeding my backyard.

The two bushes I ordered from Jackson & Perkins arrived Friday, so I went ahead and planted them Saturday morning.

I've about killed myself working towards getting my backyard ready to be seeded. I have fescu "clumps" in the backyard that were already there when I moved in, but it doesn't spread so I have a lot of bare earth. It took me about two days to clean out the debris--I had let the leaves from the three adult trees accumulate for the past three years as I had no grass. Wednesday, I put 4 bags of leaves and other lawn litter into my wheelbarrow and took them to the front of the house to dump into the trash bin. In all, I gave the trash men 6 bags of lawn litter--the most bags of anything I've ever given them.

And of course, the trash can AGAIN ended up on it's side in my yard, about a foot from my small, fragile, Japanese maple seedling....but i wont' go there again....

Thurs, I gathered a little more lawn litter, and started raking my yard--this time, to make furrows in the dirt--and then smoothed out the dirt again. Finally put down the fertilizer, and two bags of grass seeds, and then I turned my sprinkler on to water.

Before I started all that Thursday though, I found another "mystery" cement formation underneath the dirt in my front yard--actually I have now found two this year--one where I now have my new herb bed, and the one in front of the garage behind my new tomato plants (which are in the front yard this year because the light is better). I dug up the second cement thing, dragged it around to the side of the house, dug up some extra dirt from a small incline inside the fence on the opposite side of the yard, and wheeled it back to the new hole where the cement blob was.

Anyway, by the time I dug, raked, fertilized and seeded, I was exhausted and I hadn't even had supper yet. The whole time I was cooking, I was running back and forth outside to check on my sprinkler and adjust its location.

Thank goodness it rained on Friday!

In the meantime, we had ferocious wind come through and it knocked down just about every iris plant I had. I finally had some bloom this year that had not bloomed before, and after waiting two years for them to do so, I was really disappointed that the wind flattened them.


So, when I haven't been gardening, I've been trying to make this "prayer shawl" that T asked for. Because I have trouble conceptualizing things that are numbered oriented, when she told me it "only" needed to be 3 x 5, in my mind, I saw it as 5 feet across and 3 feet down. well, it was supposed to be the opposite. And then, somehow, it streatched to about 7 feet across. So, after almost two weeks of work, (and my shoulder gets really tired out now--I actually hurt it from too much crocheting) I have had to rip the entire thing out again and start over!

I have a pattern I got off line, but even it wasn't clear. If I had followed it to the strictest letter of its instructions, the shawl would have been little more than a neck tie.

However, the next time someone asks me to involve my life in a project like that without enough time to really work on it, I will have to say no.

I found out from the pattern, that a prayer shawl is really about the maker's prayer than the reciever's praying. T is not a crocheter and doesn't understand the time and commitement involved, nor does she understand the mechanical process involved. And she herself doesn't even really understand what a prayer shawl is all about.

I hope I'm not sounding snotty, but I believe that when someone makes something for someone, (as a gift) it should come from the heart, and be something offered, not asked or demanded of.

When T called me the week before last and asked me to make the shawl, I made it plain right then that I was uncertain about the project, and that's when she started doing the "it's only" thing. But, I didn't want to hurt her feelings, and, well, there are other issues regarding...different doctrinal beliefs....etc. You know, those awkward things that can break a friendship if one is not really careful.

Anyway, I had to rip out the whole thing today. I am just going to use the boring pattern I got off line, so I have regained 7 inches so far, but T happens to be coming tomorrow, so there goes time to work on it, Wed, church, Fri, I may be going to a play, Sat and Sun, company in town and Mother's day....and so on, and so forth.

Plus, I have yard work to do....watering, mowing....

And then there is the housework.....
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Not as disciplined as I meant to be 04-24-2010 - 05:16 PM
Noni, I wish I lived closer too! That would be so much fun!

Well, I've already blown my budget I was trying to do this month. I decided that since the thing hasn't gone through yet, and we don't even know what WILL happen, that I would go ahead and get "a few things" as in herbs, etc. So, I went and bought the cat litter (MUST have) and then ran to various nursery's with my folks buying things here and there. Finally, we ended back at our local farm store so my dad could buy some potting soil. He was having trouble finding it in the store--he was looking for the store's own brand which is cheaper. I ended up going in with him and saw this cool bucket on wheels that you use in the garden. My dad has a bad back--he even had surgery on it a few years ago, but the surgery didn't do squat except make him hurt more. So, even though I'd meant to wait until Father's day, I couldn't stand the thought of him hauling all his plants, potting soil, etc from the back to the front yard over and over, lifting and bending more than he needed etc.

So, I bought the bucket.

I am not patting myself on the back. See, I didn't even think about how much I was spending, and when I got home, I was shocked to see that I had spent over $100 on plants, grass seed etc! I use my debit/credit card. Usually, the amounts wait about a day of "pending" before they show the actual withdrawal from my account, but I guess because of the large amount showing, it went ahead and is showing what I can expect. However, ONE charge needs to be removed as I decided not to get one plant that would have been over $18. (Sorry, I hope I'm not making anyone uncomfortable with me talking about money like this.)

This is where I get into trouble--the term "Nickle and Dime to death" really does make sense. I didn't stop and think about how much I was actually spending as here it was "only" this amount and there only "this amount".

Anyway, I have a special account for the house, so I decided to cover some of the cost from that. However, I am still not going to do boarder for awhile until I do know what will be decided about our State Budget.

At least though, I have my herbs, and mom bought me a $1 tomato at her Garden Club plant sale (a Cherokee Purple).

Of course, again, I didn't think wisely about the grass seed when I bought it. It occurs to me that I will have to do a lot of watering until the seed is established which means making my water bill go up all the more.

Gardening is NOT a cheap hobby.
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Making preparations 04-23-2010 - 09:23 PM
First, thanks everyone for the kind thoughts regarding the Bombing anniversary. Shockingly, the Murrah Building bombing has not been taught in Oklahoma Schools! Governor Henry has signed into law that now this will be added in Oklahoma History School books. I was shocked to discover that some of the young people I know don't know about it.
Frightening when you remember the adage" Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it."


Noni, we don't know for sure yet what will happen with the budget and when--we may not learn anything for a few more weeks. I read an article in the paper and all the department heads were presenting worst case scenarios to the Legislatures. I am hoping that in the long run, they will look at what the Health Dept has already cut, and that will save us, but I learned today that all the early retirements they offered were not as many as they hoped, and not as many took the VOBOs as they'd hoped.

In the meantime, I am "practicing" a lower budget. I am trying to see how much money I have left in my checking account at the end of this month. I thought I might have a certain number, but had to go buy food, and I may end up having to buy gasoline this coming week, cat litter, etc.

However, I have also started getting my credit card paid off--I was just about there, but two charges were still in pending when I was paying off the bulk of it last night.

That will save me about $50 a month if I just don't use the card again unless it's an emergency.

One of the pending charges was for two roses I ordered from Jackson and Perkins before we learned of the new budget cuts. I am hoping the roses arrive soon, but when I contacted them this week about the delay, I was told that they have been preparing the roses for "processing and shipping". What are they doing, waiting for them to grow from seeds?

Anyway, I've worked Tues, Thurs, and Fri to dig out a new rose bed. If we don't end up being furloughed, then I will buy a faux stone boarder to edge it with--plus make a smaller bed beside that one for herbs.

If we DO get furloughed, I will skip the boarder this year and the herb garden.

I did buy one tomato plant though--it's called "Mr. Stripy" (that was the name of this variety) because it's yellow with orange stripes.

I would download some pictures, but my Kodak "Easy Share" software is no longer easy to download and share...

So now I have yet another project to work on. T called me Monday and asked me to make something special for her Ordination. She requested I make a "prayer" shawl for her.

Hmmm, prayer shawls are not exactly in my realm. I used to crochet all the time, but my shoulder started to get really sore, so I stopped. Now I am trying to figure out how to make this shawl--afghans I know, shawls I don't know.

It's kind of weird for me in another way. The "denomination" I worship with doesn't do symbolic things. I had only casually heard of prayer shawls here and there--but had never meant anyone who had ever made one. Apparently, the actual purpose of the shawl (according to Google) is for the maker to have a quiet time of reflection and prayer--soft music, candles, etc. Strange as it may sound, these elements are as foreign to me in a worshipful setting as it would be for me to attend a Jewish temple. I mean, T might as well have asked me to forge a menorah. So, I am having a new learning experience. But I'm skipping the candle--we know how easy I burn stuff!

Another new learning for me has been the concept of "liturgical" colors. Again, this is new waters for me. She suggested the shawl be in one of the specific liturgical colors--another trip to Google Land. I am choosing white--plus, from what she has told me, that seems to be the main scarf color that her own congregation prefers.

I am thinking it might look cool to add the other colors in the fringe though.

One thing I am concerned about is the yarn I chose. The hook is really, really large (I bought a size specified in the set of instructions I got off Google) so I bought a standard yarn used in afghans. But I am worried that maybe the shawl was supposed to be made in a much more "bulky" yarn. Those kind can be really expensive though, and as I am having to watch my budget, and as I have never worked much with the other kinds of yarns, I was not sure what to do. And the Confirmation is on May 15 which doesn't give me too much time to work on it.

In fact, I have already had to rip the whole thing out and restart it as the first chain ended up being too tight in some places and was making the piece curl around at one end.

Anyway....I would add more, but i'm really tired.
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April has been a hard month. 04-19-2010 - 10:29 PM
Today, 15 years ago, a man insane with twisted anger decided to blow up the Murrah building in Oklahoma city, taking the lives of 168 people--many of them children.

Although 15 years have passed, I still remember it as if it had just happened.

Timothy McVeigh. Terry Nichols. I still don't understand why they hated the people in Oklahoma so much. No matter who the target was, it was still people who he didn't know and had never done anything against him.

That was the first thing I saw when I turned on the news today to check the weather: Seeing the recording of the Murrah Building collapsing from the explosion....

Some chick decided to call before 8 this morning and ream me because we weren't making things "convenient" for her--long story I wont' get into, but it sure didn't help my work day get off to a good start.

Anyway, since I've been home this evening, I've mowed the lawns, cooked supper, talked to T who has requested a prayer shawl for her Ordination--I am going to have to find a pattern--and possibly a new shoulder--talked to K in Kansas who called to tell me her grandmother died today, washed the dishes (by hand, no dishwasher) and scooped the cat boxes.

And now, here I am. I waited to watch the news so I can see the weather tomorrow, and somehow, in bringing up my journal, missed the weather! (Typical).

I ordered a couple of rose bushes last week and hope they come tomorrow so I can plant them. But I have to dig up a who new rose bed first.

A single woman's work never ends....
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April 17 04-17-2010 - 11:09 AM
Actually, my Easter was good, it was just April 6 that sucked.


Iris are a mystery to me. I plant some in the fall, the next spring, they bloom. I plant others in the fall, and it takes more than a year, maybe two or three, for them to bloom. They continue to put out leaves, but no blooms.

Weather was nice and warm for a few days, so the iris all over have put out blooms--one has even opened up. My roses have blooms--one has opened--and my clematis have put out blooms as well. My peonies have also put on blooms. I just hope they will wait for a few weeks to pop open because it would be sad to go into May this year with no flowers.

Tuesday I planted a new clematis on the other side of my porch, planted some bluebonnet seeds and some bachelor button seeds.

In the backyard, I planted a couple of bleeding heart plants. According the package, they have "fern-like" leaves, so I planted them in the same flower bed as another fern.

I ordered two roses from Jackson and Perkins this year. I am planning on putting in another rose bed out front for them and one lavender rose I bought at Wal-Mart.

I am hoping to be able to buy some boarder stone this year, but again, our Dr. Cline, our new State Superintendent of Health, sent us an e-mail yesterday at work telling us that our wonderful State Legislature AGAIN wants to cut budgets. We have already had our Child Guidance clinic cut to the bone. What will it be next? Dr.Cline and other department heads have to come up with budgets for three different scenarios--a 10% cut, a 15% cut or a 20% cut.

I know that WIC won't be cut, and clerical staff won't be cut, but furloughs concern me. Even that could put a bite out of my paycheck. And our property taxes are going up this year because of some school bond. Not to mention, my homeowner's insurance has gone up twice in the last two years. And our electric bills are about to go up--I've heard that an average customer can expect to see an $18 increase in our bills. If anything happens, I will have to make some difficult budget decisions for me and the cats. Them leaving is not an option. But cable, heating and air-conditioning might have to go--oh and food. I may not be able to afford healthy foods anymore such as fresh fruits, veggies, etc.

(Yet, even with the improving state revenue now, our state still would rather cut the budget rather help put that new money back into our coffers. Jerks.)
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April 10 04-10-2010 - 06:35 PM
Easter meal was nice. My siblings don't usually come down for Easter. My folks invited me, the Albanian couple, another couple, our widower friend, and two other ladies from church. We have learned alot about Albanian history. Paul the apostle actually visited in that region during his travels. Yet I wonder how many people even know that Albania exists.

Tues, my niece would have been 9. And Wilma Mankiller, former chief of the Cherokee nation and an inspiration to many died of pancreatic cancer. All in all, the day sucked.

Suddenly, things are springing up through the earth with such vigor, that I can only wonder what that Day of First Creation was like. One moment, the earth is bare. The next, peach shoots are flying up out of the ground to greet the sun--same for the ferns, the peonies, the tulips.

My tree seedlings I planted 3 years ago are covered in leaves and my roses are budding out.

I can't wait for April 15 to pass as around here, that means that winter and frost dangers are finally really behind us around here. I have a rose and two bulbs waiting in the garage to be planted.

I've already had to spray my roses for aphids.

Come warmer days, come and stay!
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Nothing much 04-03-2010 - 10:28 PM
Nope, nothing much going on. Just don't usually feel too good these days between spring allergies and age-related colon issues.

Metamucil seems to finally be helping somewhat. I might be able to start doing some serious yard work. Tried to poison my weeds tues. Took an antihistamine before I went out. The stuff was so strong that even after three cups of coffee, I still slept very deeply all night.

Been helping at my parents' house today to get ready for an Easter dinner. Our congregation supports an Albanian minister in his work in Dures, and this man and his wife have come to the States for a visit and they are coming tomorrow for dinner.

Anyway, in between getting stuff ready, we watched Sherlock Holmes on DVD. Very good.
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More sad news 03-26-2010 - 06:17 PM
Well how much can I take? I found out at lunch today that my mom's cousin L.C., brother of RJ C, (the one killed by his son) passed away yesterday.

He had had throat cancer, but was at a point where he was told the tumor would no longer grow, he would be fine, etc. But yesterday he started to spit blood. He was taken to the hospital but he just died. That's how mom put it.

LC was the dearest man. He always called at Easter, Christmas, anniversaries, you name it. And he was sure to esquire after me when I had my cancer surgery. I had never really known him up until then.

Mom had just sent he and his sweet wife an Easter Card.

Now there is just one more loss of connection with that part of our family.

I just can't believe that like that, he is gone.

I keep imagining him in Heaven though, being greeted by his brother. What a happy reunion for them.
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I know I probably sound paranoid 03-25-2010 - 10:19 PM
Thanks for not coming out and saying "Gee, you sound awfully paranoid".

If it were just one or two times this had happened with the garbage men, I wouldn't even think anything about it. It just seems that the last several times, I've found my trash can thrown about and no one else's. My neighbor swears she's seen other cans down in the street, but I never have. Most likely, what she saw was the cans that have been hit by cars and knocked over.

I think it was the fact that I came home, and out of all the cans, mine was the only one laying down--and this is after I switched back to the HUGE can. I don't think I can impress upon everyone how heavy those things are. Most likely, my neighbor may not even know as I'm sure its her husband who drags her can to the street. They are very unwieldy, but bottom heavy--not something that a wind can casually knock over--not even with the high winds we had today. Had that been the case, more cans, if not all, would have been down. I mean, you have to make a huge effort to knock them over.

These also aren't the cans the guys have to pick up and dump. They were not made for that. They were made for a big, automated garbage truck to pick up and self dump. I've seen these same men have to reach over inside the cans and pull the trash out of them.

All the really yucky stuff was on top, and the big bags were on the bottom but still within easy reach of these guys who are all taller than me. That's why I feel that they most likely threw it over on purpose. I am probably the only one on the block who keeps her cats indoors, and scoops the boxes. I am wondering if they have a "delicate" flower on the team this time who gets grossed out by the bags of dirty cat litter and that prompts him to get ugly. For awhile, I was putting them all together in one bigger garbage bag, but lately, I haven't thought about doing that--I just figured as long as I was using my smaller can, it would be easy for them to lift the separate bags out.

I only begin to run into this problem AFTER I stopped using the big bags to hold all the small bags.

I am not exaggerating when I say that before the city had some of us use the huge trash cans, I rarely ever came home and found my cans thrown about. It's one thing to find your trash can laying down at the edge of your lawn, but when you find it in the middle of your lawn? That takes effort.

And, well, I've already described the dimensions of my can from the city--BTW, it has a lid that flops about in the wind. We've had those cans sitting out in horrible rain and wind storms, and I've not had one tip over before. Until now.
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About to hit the WarPath! 03-25-2010 - 05:24 PM
So, work today--the computers were STILL down until about 11:15, a chart has disappeared, and all these clients that did NOT have appointments or at least tried to come in yesterday kept piling on me all day today so that the people that DID have appointments never got called. I am going to start first thing in the morning, about 07:30, trying to call people.

But I hate days like this. I have a huge stack of charts from yesterday and today that still need to be put back together and filed, plus I have to go through them and figure out who we DID give vouchers to yesterday as apposed to those we couldn't (sigh).

WarPath...against our sanitation workers.

In the path, I've always felt sympathetic towards and appreciative of the guys who collected our trash. I mean, it's a pretty nasty job.

However, they have now pushed me too far in terms of rudeness.

About 2 years ago, our current mayor wanted to try a pilot program that would use a special truck that would pick up cans itself and dump them into it's own cubicle. In order to do this, special cans with a hinged lid had to be purchased and distributed throughout town. And, when the cans were put out, they had to be put into the street against the curb.

My neighborhood was in the pilot program. The idea ended up falling through--we probably couldn't afford the special trash truck, but in the meantime, we were left with these ENORMOUS trash cans--they are probably just at 5 ft tall or a little below. Plus, they are extremely heavy. We were all told that if we were given one of these cans, we could still use them or not.

Well, I like to keep my trash can out in my garage, so that I don't have to run outside every time I scoop the litter boxes, or have to throw away the kitchen trash, etc. Since the city trash can is only a little shorter than I am, but bigger around, its really hard to get it in and out of the garage. Plus, I have a very narrow, one car garage, so I have to make sure I have my car practically up against the opposite wall in order to keep from scraping it with the can. And another problem I was having is that it's really hard to move the can into the street, and move it up against the curb--the opening of the can has to be towards the street. Because it's so heavy, I have a hard time positioning it just right.

But, I can't just leave it there due to city ordinance, plus, it interferes with traffic flow, parking, etc.

I finally decided that it was silly to have it blocking the stairs into the house, me having to wrestle with it, etc., so I switched back to my smaller can.

Well, the sanitation workers take my nice, expensive, RubberMade garbage can and throw it around to the point that it now has a hole in it.

So, last night, I filled up the big can with all my trash. I had a couple of big bags filled with the house trash, plus several smaller bags of dirty cat litter. In the past, I tried to make a point of putting those bags into one big trash bag to help out the trash collectors, but last night, I didn't have the time to dig one out, and of course, I had to drag my smaller can out of the garage, and fill up the bigger can from that one.

So, I'm thinking that any issues with the collectors have been resolved. WRONG!

I got home and found my huge, heavy wind-resistant, animal resistant trash can laying on its side in the street. No one else s same cans were on their sides. Just mine.

I have left a message with our sanitation department, and told them what has been going on. I didn't say I figure it was because of the bags of dirty cat litter, but I did ask them to tell those guys that no matter what they find in my trash can, there is no reason to treat me that way as I have always appreciated the work the sanitation workers have done.

I am thinking I might give a follow-up call tomorrow when there might be a live person in the office and tell them all of this.
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Try this again 03-24-2010 - 11:08 PM
OK, I was about half-way done with an entry last night, and I thought I hit my "caps lock" button, but then something went haywire, and my entry was lost.

So, here I go again:

Monday, I invited my parents over for cake while we watched "Sherlock Holmes" on one of our PBS stations. They decided to bring burgers over, and as I had to run to Waly-World anyway, I picked up the Dr. Pepper and Coke.

I tried to be extra careful with the D.P. since it has this tendency to explode when it is opened. I tried real hard not to joggle it and keep it upright. But, my attempts were to no avail. I barely started to turn the lid and suddenly, brown lava was shooting all over the dining room, drowning the table cloth, table, floor, etc. So, Mom came to the rescue and helped me wipe stuff up, and we settled down to eat. So, I decide to put the lids back on the pop, and discover that the Dr. P lid is nowhere to be found. I searched the table, the chairs, the floor...Nada, nothing....

I had put my now Dr. Pepper covered tablecloth into the washing machine, and suddenly, it hit me...Let's just say I now have the cleanest Dr. Pepper lid in town!
My new Celtic Women CD and DVD came today! Wow, they are so amazing! I love their clear, sweet voices. It just amazes me how many different "tones" there can be for the human voice. My #2 niece is a soprano, but her voice is different--it's...richer...or something. I don't know how to describe it compared to the voices of Celtic Women. Anyway, their singing is breathtaking.

I'm glad I had something positive happen because work today was really...stressful and we got really bad news.

Our computers went down right at 08:00 or maybe a little bit after today. Then I found out that our Guidance staff--who do ADHD assessments, autism assessments, speech therapy, hearing, and that sort of thing were having an I-power meeting today to find out if they would still have jobs starting in July. Most of us found it to be very strange that suddenly, although our weather has not been unduly harsh today, we suddenly lost computers throughout the counties only--Central office, who will not be affected by layoffs, etc., were not affected at all.

Anyway, what they learned is that Guidance is being compressed into only about 16 sites for the entire state of Oklahoma. We will no longer have that clinic at our site. If non of our people get RIFFED or do the voluntary buy-out, then they would have to start working over in Rogers county. A few live in my town, and it is about an hour 1/2 drive over there. So, either they move, or they put up with the gas mileage. I don't know if they would be paid mileage either--not if their home base is switched to Rodgers county.

The clinician that has been so mean to NG was hoping to wait 2 more years for retirement. She's kind of in la-la land about all of this. She doesn't seem to realize that there is one more person with more seniority in our area, and that person is not planning on leaving if she doesn't have too. With us losing Guidance in our area, there will be no reason to have more than one counselor. She does have another job she can fall back on, but I think she was hoping to put away a bit more money before she planned to leave the current job.

One of our people is the last hired for her position, so she is pretty sure she will be out.

They have all been given only 7 days to make a decision. And the one who was hired last has come up with a good question. If she takes the VOB, she wonders if the state will consider that the same as quitting which would then prevent her from drawing unemployment.

Most of us found it very strange that the I-Power came up just in time for the meeting, and then our computers crashed again for the rest of the day. Some of us are wondering if this was done so that these folks wouldn't flood that central office with e-mails, etc. Not everyone has that number readily available.

Not only is it making us all ill that our friends might be losing their jobs, but so many of our clients do not have the luxury of a car, or being able to take off several hours each week to take their children to a counseling appointment over an hour's drive away.

And most of them come to us because they can't afford a private doctor--even with this new Health Care stuff, it may still be years before anything would be available.

It's been a really weird, sad day.
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Last few days. 03-21-2010 - 09:21 PM
Thursday, went to see my Gyn/Onc. I've been dreading it for the last few weeks, and was so in hopes they'd cancel again. You know, all that...stuff....he has to do. He had to do one of those oscopy thingies where they dig the cells out to make sure your healthy. I don't know, it just seemed to hurt a lot more than before.

BUT, good news! I won't have to go back for a year! Now I just need to remember to call their office in a year to schedule! I don't know if I was supposed to stop by the scheduling desk this time, but it seems his receptionist is never there when I do stop by, and then they just send me a card in the mail anyway asking me to call for an appointment....
Friday, our weather was fairly nice, although very windy. My Sis#2 and her family came down late Thurs evening to spend the end of Spring Break with the folks.

Both WIC clinicians were out--one on vacation, one helping with a Meningitis vaccine clinic (that's been a nightmare situation for one little school here lately--more later) and suddenly I realized I didn't even had anyone scheduled to pick up vouchers, so I got permission from my supervisor to take off Friday afternoon.

We didn't do much at mom and dad's house. Mostly Mom, Sis and I sat around and talked. Found out that Niece #2 has had her heart broken by a boy. One day, he's telling her he's in love with her, the next moment....fssst, he fizzles out. The kid wasn't really ready for anything too heavy, and the one date they went on, kissing the niece apparently freaked him out.

He kept her in suspense for the entire week while he "thought" about their relationship. Then, he decided he just wanted to be friends. Ah, the death knell of any and all relationships....
I didn't find out until Thursday afternoon, long after my sis and her husband had left Texas to come up, that my mom had purposefully not told them about the impending snow storm coming in Saturday. Sis and all were planning on leaving that day anyway, but still, the storm was going to cover most of their driving area. Mom and sis have kind of a weird relationship. Sis...I don't know...it's like, all that fighting stuff that happened between them when she was a teen, she hasn't quite gotten over. On the other hand, Mom gets irritated because sis is very controlling. She's basically anorexic but wont' admit to it, and has her daughters living by those same rules. AND when they come to visit, she tries to control the cooking and eating in my mom's house.

Mom is obese, has been since she a kid. No one but Mom can be Mom's food police. My sister doesn't get that. And only bringing up what she should and should not eat is very hurtful and insulting to her.

Anyway...sis and family left Saturday morning in 30 degree weather, blowing snow, and no winter coats. BRRR! And niece #2 was wearing shorts. Mom did try and talk them into borrowing some extra blankets, but they thought they'd be ok......
So, yeah, Saturday, very cold....And for some reason, my defroster in my car decided to act up. I turned it on, and my car made this horrible growling sound and shuddered. Finally, after I got back home (and it was a scary drive, believe me!) I turned the defroster on while in the garage--no scary noises, no shuddering. Yet, while I have frozen slush and blowing snow on my windshield....

I bought a silicone pan from Avon with the shapes of butterflies, ladybugs, and honey bees on it. I decided to test it and made up some little carrot cakes. It was messy and I ended up with a lot of leftover batter. I'm not sure, if I try it again, what to do with all the batter. I used it on a Christmas Tree pan I have, but I would really like to use all of it for the bugs. But I think I might have to completely wash and dry the pan between uses.
Woke up this A.M. with this horrible sinus headache. Couldn't get comfortable. Finally got up to feed cats, and had like two bites of cereal so I could take some Ibuprofin. Drainage made me nauseous. The church phone tree called to tell us classes were canceled due to the weather, but no the sermon, but I ended up going back to bed and missed that as well.

I've kind of dragged around the house today. Finally made some lunch around 2.

My calves have ached all day, and it has finally occurred to me that part of my problem is that I am dehydrated. I have one of those really tall water bottles that hold 8 cups worth of water. I drank half in one sitting, and the next half with supper and haven't even had the urge to run to the bathroom. I am wondering now if that is why I had such a bad headache this morning.

Usually, throughout the day, I keep the bottle close at hand and sip water all day, but on the weekends, since I am up moving around more, I forget to have the bottle close by.

Anyway, I am wondering if I will be able to sleep tonight now.

The Meningitis sit: The week before Spring Break, two children in the elementary school in the Oolagahh-Talala system died from Meningitis Septicemia. 4 other kids from that school and one from the high school had to be hospitalized. It's been a really scary and sad situation. No one knows where it originated from, and it is VERY rare for children below 11 to contact it. The only vaccine that I am aware of is only licensed for kids 11 on up. I am assuming that the vaccine clinic held Friday had to use that same vaccine for the elementary kids.

The Health Department decided to put their focus on prevention only, and not figure out why it happened. Personally, I'd like to know how the bacteria got into the school to begin with, if only to prevent it from happening again--either that, or urge the vaccine makers to come up with a vaccine for ALL ages, and then hope that the Oklahoma Health Care Authority ads the Meningitis vaccine to the list of required school vaccines.
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Wearin' of the Green, and a naughty cat! 03-17-2010 - 09:04 PM
Today I think is one of my favorite days. I can celebrate my Irish heritage, decorate, dress up cute, but don't have to do huge parties, deal with commercialism, etc.

I made a special trip to Wally-World last night to buy new green eye shadow and green nail polish. For those of you who are my Facebook Friends, I wore the "traditional" (does two years in a row constitute "traditional"?) green wig. Plus I have this cute shirt that promotes my city. The front says "Kiss me I'm Okie" (although try and kiss me and you might come away with a bloody lip. And the back says "We're kinda like the Ireland of the Midwest." Ah, this IS Green Country Oklahoma after all....

T and her son D were in town Monday and Tuesday. I love T, and we always have a good time, but she is not as time sensitive as me. That means that I rush home from work to call her and let her know that I am home so we can get together, and she'll tell me, "Well, D is in the hotel gym, he needs to shower, I need to shower..." etc. D is 16. It's not like he's an athlete or an exercise buff either. So by the time they finally come over, I'm starving (nearly 7:00.)

They left about 09:30 Monday evening, but not before T told me that after they ate supper on Tuesday, they'd come over again (not something we'd originally planned for.) Saturday night, she'd called and we'd talked for two hours while I was trying to do some housework, and by the time we got off the phone, my dishes were still unfinished. I can no longer hold my phone between ear and shoulder while trying to wash dishes--not if I don't want my phone to go for a swim.

Sunday, I had that stomach thingy.

Monday, I flew home and straightened up a lot of stuff before they came over, then took Oonagh outside to play, so by the time they left, I was too tired to do the dishes. So I figured I'd do them Tuesday. Plus, I was just wanting a chance to unwind.

So I told her we would have to watch "Lost" as there are only a few episodes left.

Anyway, after work, I had my flying trip to wal-mart. (Not only did I buy the green things, I also needed milk and wet wipes to take with me to my gyn appointment tomorrow as he never gives me everything to clean that yucky stuff off of me.)

So I get home after the store and wash the dishes, then eat supper. T and D don't arrive until after 07:00 and then she wants to know if I'd already eaten supper! Hello?

Turns out that a local restaraunt was doing a fund raiser last night for a young man who has an extremely rare cancer condition and as it turns out, the young man is the son of the guy T and D were having dinner with on Tuesday.

Going to the local restaurant was a noble idea and all, but T needed to 1) make specific plans to do it already and 2) call me long before 7:00. I wonder if she expected me to eat in front of she and D, or not eat supper at all???

Anyway, it was kind of weird. She wasn't too excited to have "Lost' on, although I did converse more with my company than watch T.V....But heck, after two days of work, rush home, work on housework, etc., and having unexpected company, I feel like i earned my downtime!
Well, Oonagh was in the dog house last night--figuratively speaking of course!
This morning about 02:00 a.m. I could hear her thumping and bumping around underneath my bed. I thought she had a toy that she was playing with. Sometimes at night she gets restless and tries her best to wake me up and engage me in play.

Finally, in extreme frustration, when I realized she wasn't going to quit anytime soon, I got down on my hands and knees and looked beneath the bed. "Poor" kitty. She'd gotten stuck on that sticky trap I'd put down months ago to catch spiders! I'd forgotten all about it!

I had to drag the little naughty out from underneath the bed and yank the trap off of her.

Then after she ran out of the room, I shut the door. Only to have Mabb whining at my door about 45 minutes later because SHE wanted to play!

So, another night with too little sleep.....

News: I am reading "Shutter Island." So far, it's really interesting!

I am also reading "Wizards First Rule". Two very different works--not only in genre, but in writing style.

Well, I am going to get off here, maybe play a little "Treasure Madness" and then take a shower and hit the bed.
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And again! 03-14-2010 - 06:19 PM
Yes! This morning, the "Evil-clock-from-hell" decided to reset itself again! I was up for about 15 minutes before I realized what time it actually "was". I tried going back to bed, but couldn't sleep. I wish that clock had come with instructions, but I don't think it did. It has a time zone setting on it, but the zones are in numbers--not words, so I don't know which time zone we are in--or if that is even the problem.

I did look at some other dual alarm clocks at Wally-world today, but neither of them were plug in--I don't want to have to keep up with 5 batteries--with my luck, the batteries would die on a weeknight.

Well, that whole mess last Monday seemed to throw my system off for the rest of the week. Monday, felt lousy, Tuesday, my allergies were kicking me, but I dare not take an antihistamine because mine last 24 hours and tend to make me too sleepy for church.

Wednesday, I actually felt better, so stayed up toooooo late so that Thursday, I felt lousy again. Friday was ok, but got overwhelmed at work with all the WIC clients, phone calls, etc.

Saturday, got up a little late, worked on my taxes--and about stressed myself out. At one point, I thought I owed $2000 :0 but it turned out I was going off my income and not my adjusted income. WHEW! Glad I caught that one!

But it left me so stressed I decided to wait until today to tackle my state income tax. Who knows, they might tax me more.

I got one of those "increases" in my economy stimulus thingies last year--the one where you get more in your paycheck every month ie, they just take out less taxes. As a result, I wont' get back as much this year. That's ok, but if I'd been thinking about it, I should have set more of that money aside to have for household projects.

But our state, being how it is, I won't be surprised if I don't get back anything at all as a result.

In fact, I am wondering if I won't have to pay them again this year. (That's why I stopped doing the "EZ tele-file" they don't tell you that if you have a certain income, the state might charge you for using that method. Once I started doing my own taxes, I get much more money back. Like...$360 back. Yeah.)

So, I ended up hanging out with the folks for a few hours, then headed home. Just as I was turning into the series of neighborhoods that takes me to my street, of all things, I ran into a marathon! Now who in their right mind not only conducts a marathon in a residential area, but does it in such a way that traffic coming from any direction is blocked. I have nothing against people being healthy, but for goodness sakes, I DO resent being blocked from going to my own house! We have several good main roads they could have run on just as safely without blocking traffic at all....

So, I got home and started rearranging some things, trying to make my kitchen more efficient. I am really wanting a dishwasher some day, but I also have other projects that need to be done...but in the meantime.

However, as usual, I was bopping around, not resting much. I had planned to really practice my signing after dinner, as I hadn't done much last week, and T called just to chat. Well, by the time we got off the phone, it was 10:00 in real time and 11:00 in DST! And then I was up late showering, etc.

So when my clock went off, I guess really, I'd only had about 5 or six hours of sleep...I'm not really sure!


So, I was going along fine this morning, and then got to class before 9:00 a.m. and suddenly, felt really tired. During church, not much better, and I got that gripping pain lower down---but, I was trapped between my mom and a friend, and we'd all sat down front where the signing is so I didn't want to try and escape to the Ladies room just yet, but once we started in on that closing song, I made a bee-line outta the auditorium!

Turned out to be a lot of noise and not much more. However, we go out to eat every Sunday, and right after lunch, another pain. This time, more than noise...

When I get really tired like I was this morning, it really seems to affect my whole body but especially my colon. Well, I needed to go get my newspaper and new rubber gloves, plus I wanted to look at alarm clocks so I headed straight to Wally-world. And again, just as I get there, another gripping pain. But their ladies room is filthy so I decided to try and hold it together so to speak and wait to get home.

So, I get the paper and the gloves and get in line...and then for some reason, the card reader thought my card had expired on my debit card. Uh, like not until November of this year!

So, we are having to wait...and wait....and wait...AND wait for a manager or whatever to come and unlock the machine. I made this funny angry growly noise deep in my throat (let's just say, I could give Otto lessons!) Strangely, that did seem to speed up the process....

Anyway, there was nothing wrong with my card or my account, just the reader being weird. I do blame DST. I think it messes up our machines as well.

Made it home, used the bathroom again, and then fell asleep on the couch more or less from about 01:30 to 04:00 or so.

now my sinus are acting up, as well as my gut, so I am staying in.

I can't figure out if my Benefiber is the culprit in some of this. I also started taking a supplement that supposedly rebuilds the cartilage between your joints. I was hoping it would help my knee (no ) But my bad shoulder does seem better, so who knows, there may be something to the claim yet....

Anyway, I am going to go soak in a hot bath here in a minute. I am hoping I'm not off so long this next week. I
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I can't believe it happened to me AGAIN!!!! 03-08-2010 - 06:31 AM
Some of you may notice that the time on my blog is 06:20 a.m. (or maybe different depending on your time zone--but it translates here to 06:20 a.m.) and you are probably wondering what on earth I am doing blogging on to Hystersisters this early instead of getting dressed for work. Well, the truth is I AM already up and ready for work. But more like "accidentally" than anything else.

Just like a year ago, my beside alarm clock decided on its own that today is Daylight Savings Time. Since we haven't even HAD DST yet, I forgot to watch out for anything weird my clock might decide to do on my own, so when it went off at 06:00 a.m., which was actually 05:00 a.m., I didn't notice.

The sad truth is, I have clocks all over my house, but I thought I had overslept after failing to hit the snooze button a second time, and was rushing around getting ready for work.

I was only looking at the minute hands on my clocks and not really paying attention to the hour hands (still too early for it to register). I have to admit, that although I have a digital clock in the family room, and was even in there watching the news and choking down breakfast (and exercising,) I never once looked at it.

I didn't catch on to the time until I was finished dressing and about to leave the bathroom.

And again, I'm sure someone is thinking, "Well, didn't you notice it was kind of dark....like...duh...." Actually, we are under a cloud cover--potential thunderstorms, etc., so I just thought it was the weather.

Stupid clock.

I read in the paper that other industrial countries are now recognizing DST. I never did check to see where my clock was made, but I am wondering if it was made in a foreign and just programmed to set itself. If that is so, Wal-Mart should be ashamed for putting this item into its inventory.

The other countries observe DST on a different day from us if I remember correctly.

My clock thinks its overseas.

So, now in a week, I get to set it back all over again. But in the meantime, I will be operating on just 5 hours of sleep. It's much too late to go back to bed right now as I would be groggy and I hate to drive that way.

I may be getting to bed extra early tonight....
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Sounds I never thought I'd hear again. 03-07-2010 - 05:01 PM
I know this sounds silly, but deep in my heart, I don't think I really ever expected Spring to ever come back. Yet, it is trying to make an early arrival here in Oklahoma. The weather has been in the 60's by afternoon. In fact, it's about 70 out today.

And I am hearing the sound of a basket ball being dribbled next door. Never thought I'd hear that sound again. And I'm hearing the voices of children calling to one another throughout the neighborhood. I haven't heard any bird songs yet, --aside from those who calling out earlier--not singing, but sounded more like an alarm.

But I've got tulips and jonquils/daffodils coming up in my front flower beds and throughout my yard! And today at Wal-Mart I bought seeds for Texas bluebonnet and Gentleman buttons. (both blue you know.) However, I have to wait until frost is no longer possible--like a month and 1/2 from now.

Mom is feeling better at last! Someone asked about talking to the doctor. We only have one pulmonologist in this entire town, and he thinks he is god. (I won't dignify him with an uppercase spelling.) Apparently, if you even question him, he basically has nothing more to do with you. I would really like for my mom to consider going to Tulsa instead. The spring before I had my surgery, she was in the hospital for diverticulitis surgery. She HAS to have her sleep apnea machine, but he just decided that she would be ok with out it and put her on oxygen only. Mom nearly slipped into a coma before my dad demanded that the nurses put it on her.

I still think we should have gone nose to nose with him then...

(Hear the growl starting in my chest? Grrrrrrrrrrrr. Otto could take lessons from me!)

Anyway, she is FINALLY getting better! I think the suggestion on the electrolytes might be dead-on as well. In fact, my SIL asked Mom if she is drinking enough water.


Now I am to the "Do-not-try-this-at-home" phase of my entry.

Angle cuts. Do NOT try an angle cut on your own unless you are either a

1) professional hair-dresser or

2) At least have access to a carpenter's triangle.

I won't tell you how I know this. But it can cause some funny things to happen with one's bangs. Not funny as in "ha-ha" to the person who cuts her own bangs but
funny as in ...'Oh....my.....What happened to your bangs...."


Um...I won't be updating my profile picture for awhile....
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WHAT Friday AGAIN???? 03-05-2010 - 10:42 PM
Wow! Really? Friday already? How! I mean, the last thing I remember, it was Saturday. Now here we are, a week later and into a new month.


Some of you were asking about my mom's breathing issues.

Basically, my mom has congestive heart failure, but over the years, she's kept it under control--exercise, sleep apnea machine, some medications, etc.

Well, last April, she really began to notice that she didn't seem to have the same energy that she'd had before. But, I don't know, like most of us, she had other things going on, and so it didn't really sink in that things weren't going so well until about the time I was staying with them while my new tub was being installed.

She went to her heart doctor whom she hadn't had to see in years, and he decided that she needed a pace-maker. The procedure was a bit traumatizing because they don't actually put the patient under. And then, she was told that she should be feeling better, with more energy, in three weeks.

Three weeks come and go, and still no improvement. It turns out that the pacemaker had a defective part. So, back into surgery.

Yet, despite that, she still didn't feel so well. So, this time, her pulmonologist had her do a sleep test. And again, for some reason, things didn't go perfectly with that one, so he ordered a second one--or something like that.

Basically, mom was still not doing well after her pacemaker had been put in (I think it was still right after the first one was installed) so the results were screwy, and mom just did not feel good.

Well, to make a long story short, mom needed to be on oxygen at night, but no one from the pulmonologist's office EVER told her. Instead, when the Sleep Apnea machine techs showed up at her house with a different type of machine than the one she had been using, and told her she needed oxygen, mom flipped. She can't stand having something blowing in her face. She tried to call her doctor and speak with him, but his nurse was snotty to her. Mom didn't have the energy to really fight back, but she refused to take the oxygen. NO one--not the doctor, not even his crappy nurse--told her how seriously she needed the oxygen.

So, mom has gone for months with basically the wrong type of machine. Plus, she was put back on lasix (sorry, I don't know the spelling) which is a very powerful diuretic. She'd been taken off of it years ago when she actually started to do better. But, when she was put back on it, she was also prescribed several other medications. Well, she soon discovered that every time she visited the ladies room, just to, er...flush fluids, she'd become incredibly dizzy. So basically, her life was becoming a living hell.

And then she got so breathless that she couldn't do much of anything. We haven't been able to go shopping together, or do much of any other activities lately.

Finally, about last week, she got a different sleep apnea machine. The techs had her put this thingy on her finger at night to chart her oxygen flow. It was her heart doctor who told her that her blood oxygen is low. Yeah, just found out a little over a week ago.

Anyway, she now has a different sleep apnea machine (again). But this one is much more comfortable, and it does have oxygen. But I think it has been adjusted somehow so that it is not blowing in her face all night.

She's also finally figured out the best time to take her meds so that she's not running constantly to the bathroom. (At first, she was having to go at least 6 times in an hour. No wonder she was dizzy!)

She has been suffering for so long though, I was honestly beginning to wonder if she might not be dying. I have been a little scared. She now has diabetes, but like most of us, is having trouble breaking the bad eating habits of a life time.

Anyway, I do think that now she is a little better. She went to ladies bible class Thursday morning, and after wards, went out to eat with the other women. And she is back in her swimming class--something else she'd had to drop.

It just really makes me mad that the doctors around here were too high and mighty to just sit down and discuss her issues with her, and help her really figure out what was going on.

I think my sister #2 and I were about to have a little discussion with the doctors ourselves......
Speaking of....

Sometimes, I wonder why some people have to be hit so hard and all at once.

One thing we have at work that allows us to have extra help is to use paid volunteers. (Now there's an oxymoron). Anyway, another company hires them out to us for a specific amount of time. We have a woman who started working at the HD right before all the H1N1 clinics started up.

She and her common law husband of 16 years had just moved to Oklahoma. When they moved here, they were having financial problems and thought they were going to move in with his mom. Well, the woman is a crazy b and was hateful to them. But, in the meantime, PA and her guy, R both got jobs with that company. So, things were looking up. Plus, PA was getting extra hours because of the H1N1 clinics.

And then, suddenly, their world fell completely apart. R lost his job. He was very, very sick with some kind of liver disease. I don't know if he had to quit his job, or if he got laid off, or what the scoop was. But about that time, our clinics ended, and PA was back to only 20 hours a week.

So, last week, R goes and sees his doctor. The doctor tells him he could have anywhere from 3 to 5 years left. Sounds pretty good--time to get things done.

And then, last Saturday, R took a sudden and horrific turn for the worst and ended up in the hospital with organ failure.

It turns out that the rest of his family is no kinder than his mother. They have been totally awful to P. R passed away yesterday. P has no savings, no resources of any kind. And they have been living in a hotel. In fact, Monday, while R is dying in the hospital, the landlord actually showed up to ask for the rent!

P and R did not even have money for a funeral, or even a memorial. With the help of Cinderella, (yes! she has been very kind and helpful to P), they found a funeral home that was willing to work something out with P. So, P had R's body sent there, and they'd actually already done a cremation, when suddenly, R's sister decides to speak up and tell them she will pay for a service but only if it is at a different funeral home. So now, P is embarrassed on top of being traumatized.

Then, they tell P that she is not welcome at the memorial service. It will be for "family" only. 17 years together don't count?

Then R's snotty daughter marches up to P while all this is going on and demands her father's guitar and some vest he used to own.

So, let's just kick some one while she's down. Sadly, Oklahoma did away with our common law marriage a few years ago. I don't know how Texas' works. Even so, I don't know if Oklahoma would recognize a common law from out of state.

We have all been so upset for P. We have taken up a collection, but we feel so helpless because we all want to do more for her. Our administrator is trying to get another clerical position as BBB is getting ready to retire at the end of April, but even if she's successful, we can't even post the job until after BBB leaves. And then, if anyone from another part of the state wants to move here, they would get first dibs. Plus, P would have to pass a clerical test of some type.

So, if you ladies would please keep her in your thoughts and prayers, I would appreciate it. I think Cinderella who, for some reason is struggling financially herself right now, even mused about offering to let P move in with her right now. They could split the rent, etc. But, Cinderella is not the neatest person in the world (OK, maybe Cinderella is not the most appropriate nickname...) so I don't know how that would work out. But I hope we can help P some how...
In the meantime, I am looking around my little house, marveling at how blessed I am. I just had my parents over for supper--2nd time this week and I am in awe at the amount of food that I will still have to feed myself a few days from now.

And I am starting to make plans for another tea party (or two) in April. I have the means (Lord willing, nothing will affect that) and I plan to share.

God bless you all, and may He continue to smile down upon you.
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Long week 02-27-2010 - 03:56 PM
I can't believe I haven't posted since last Saturday! Believe me when I say I've had something going on everyday this week.

Early, early Monday morning, "dear" little Oonagh got her revenge for the auto trip to the vets. She woke me at 02:00 a.m. howling her little furry heart out. I stumbled out of bed to check on her, and when I opened the door to the bedroom (which was already opened enough to allow the cats to come and go) there she was, sitting there, pretty as you please, looking around as if to say "Oh, hey, I'm just sitting here. What are YOU doing up?"

She ran off when I bent to pick her up.

Little snot.
Monday, after work, I went to my folk's house to celebrate Dad's 79th B'day. We went out to eat at a place called Garfield's. It's a chain restaurant. The food is really good usually, but Mom and I each ordered a pasta special which neither one of us was too impressed with. For $9.99, we got an appetizer, main dish, and desert. We both felt the quality of all three was lacking. But because we didn't want to linger too long (Mom's been having all kinds of breathing issues still) neither one of us thought about sending our plates back.

Still, we had a nice enough time. Then we went back to their house and Dad opened his gifts. I got Dad this awesome horse figurine. If any of you have heard of the "Trail of the Painted Pony" --a community art project of sorts used to raise money for various towns--you will know what I am speaking of. Hall-Mark stores and some others sell copies of the full-sized painted horses. I found one for Dad painted by a favorite artist of his and mom's. Amado Pena is a Southwest artist from New Mexico. The horse I got for Dad is blue and has a painting of three Navajo men wearing long-brimmed, tall-crowned hats. They are standing in a row and their brims connect the men to each other.

My dad was thrilled with his gift.

We have had a similar community project in town now but with life-size painted buffalo instead of horses. Tulsa has done the same but with penguins.

Tuesday, I was really tired. I figured it was because I stayed up rather late the night before waiting for an e-mail that uploaded to my computer after I got home. The e-mial was a series of three, large pictures of a little boy that some very close family friends of ours have just adopted from Korea. He is actually the new nephew of my #2 sister.

Anyway, I was tired all day, and my allergies were causing me some issues. I was having horrible drainage and so was drinking a lot of water to help thin things out.

On top of that, there was a "Ladies Dinner" for the women at church at 06:00 p.m. I rushed home, touched up my make-up and took an anti-histamine and a decongestant, and then flew back across town to pick up Mom. The church building is actually between us. Anyway, soon after we got there, I suddenly needed to go use the bathroom.

It was weird, because I wasn't nauseated. In fact, I was starving, but three times, I had this sudden urge to run to the bathroom. Yet it seemed to be a lot of noise, but very little else.

And then without warning, I got so tired, I just about couldn't stand it. I just assumed it was my anti-histamine finally kicking in. So after the dinner ended, I took mom home and then went home and hit the bathroom again. This time, it was more than noise.... I took a shower and went to bed--it wasn't even 10:00.
I slept harder and didn't wake until 06:00 a.m. when my alarm went off.

Again, all day Wednesday, although I wasn't having the issues I did the day before, I was just tired.

Well, my sunglasses had come in, and my new lenses, so I left about 30 minutes before lunch and ran to the eye doctor to pick them up. The sunglasses are great, but the lenses didn't fit my frames, so they had to be sent back. This time, I sent the frames back to be fitted, and then had to drive home to get my old frames that I haven't worn for about 2 years.

Anyway, by that evening, I was still tired. I kept thinking it was from that 24 hour allergy meds, and kept expecting it to wear off at any time. Well, by 6:00, it hadn't worn off, and I didn't have the energy to go to church. Instead, I soaked in the tub for an hour, then watched AI and checked e-mail. I had planned to blog here, but realized I was too tired to sit here for more than an hour typing.

I had barely gotten into bed when T called. Her son got his driver's license wed and T had let him drive himself to church. She was getting nervous and called me so I could hold her hand so to speak.

Then we talked about her meeting with the ordination committee coming up. She attends a different denomination than I do, so it was interesting hearing all the things she will have to do to become a minister.

Anyway, as we spoke, her son made it safely home.

I turned off my light and fell asleep.

Work was a little crazy. Our WIC consultant came. She oversees our Nutritionist and our WIC CPA. New Girl has been training to be a WIC backup, and has needed someone to sign off on her work when she sees a client. Well, when our current nutritionist was hired, she was not expected to have the knowledge of certification that most other WIC Nutritionists have had. This means that N.G. hasn't had anyone available to check her work. I went back to the room they were meeting in at one point to ask a question, and the next thing I knew, I was being asked questions on a procedure none of us had been following, etc.

I felt like I spent that entire day running charts hither and yon.

Thursday evening, I had Sign Language class. Mom called me at work to invite me to supper before class, so instead of going home first, I went to their house.

Class goes anywhere from 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Luckily, we got out at 09:00 but I was really ready to get home when i did. But instead of getting to relax, I jumped right into washing the dishes that i had planned to wash like...since Monday and hadn't had the time or energy to wash. I also cleaned the cat boxes.

Anyway, suddenly, it was late again.

I was feeling a little bit better finally. Well, my new lenses came in, so right after lunch, I ran to get them so I could start wearing my new glasses. I don't know if it was just the weather change (we've had rain this week but yesterday, the sun came back out.) but suddenly, I started to feel tired again. I could tell that my brain was having trouble adapting to my new lenses. I knew I've needed bi-focals at least since last summer. I could actually feel the lenses of my eyes adjusting anytime I turned my head, or went from looking at my computer, to looking at the forms I work with.

But now, my eyes are not having to do this, and my brain is not use to the speed at which my eyes are now being forced to adjust to once again. It was kind of weird--kind of dizzying.

Well, after work, I had to make a grocery trip to Wally-World. I got it into my head that i wanted a frozen pizza for supper. I bought raw veggies for a salad, but then decided I needed chips. I was thinking that last night was the Olympic closing ceremonies so I wanted to snack while i watched them. I found these weird, but strangely appealing Doritos called "All Nighter--Cheeseburger". You don't want to know what the ingredients are, but they really DO taste like a cheeseburger with pickles!

Well, while going back towards the front to pay, I spotted these new Cheerios--chocolate. My inner child and I had a brief argument as I had already bought the pizza, chips, and diet coke. The inner child won.

Anyway, I had planned to come home, give attention to my cats, etc. Right after I got home, I discovered that some of the bulbs I planted last fall are putting up shoots. So, while messing around in my flower bed for a moment, my allergies intensified. I had to take another anti-histamine.

So, here I was, already feeling tired, and now on more allergy meds again. I lay down on the couch to read and watch T.V. but about 09'ish or so, I fell asleep. Somewhere, about 12 or 1, I woke up. I can't remember what I must have been doing between the couch and my bedroom, but for some reason, I decided to play My Zoo for a minute.

Suddenly, it was 02:00 a.m. and I went to bed.

I didn't get up until almost noon. The cats woke me at 08:00 to feed them. AT&T woke me at 09 to offer me internet (which I told them I already had and hung up on them) and then I went back to sleep.

So, I dragged myself up, ate chocolate Cheerios. (Good!) and watched Animal Planet channel while working on my Sign Language book (I finally bought plastic sleeves to put over the instruction pages our teacher gave us.)

I've done a little laundry, cleaned up after Mabb (who is suddenly having hair-ball issues.) pulled more weeds in the yard, etc.

Oh, and an awful thing! I bought this beautiful glass bird bath last spring. I didn't realize how delicate the glass on it was and forgot and left it out during the blizzard. Well, a chunk of glass broke out of it to my sorrow. I put the bowl into a box and stuck it into a box in my shed until warmer weather when I planned to repair it with epoxy glue.

So, I brought it into the house a few hours ago, set the box down (which had been sitting up in the shed all this time with no problems) The box chose that moment to fall over and I heard the sound of breaking glass.

The birdbath is now in several pieces.

I am still planning to see if I can fix it with epoxy glue, but I am just ill about it. I bought it from a store that was going out of business, and they didn't have the original box or anything that would have told me how to care for it (the glass is very thick, and I thought it would be like other glass items that are meant to be left outside.) The darn thing was quite expensive, and when I bought it, Mom had planned to pay for half of it for my Valentine's gift. Well, she forgot and I didn't mention it again, but that left me with the entire cost.

Actually, I had planned to just buy a cement or metal birdbath, but this one is/was really pretty--bottle-green glass, fluted edges.

Anyway, I am really sick about it. I hope I can fix it.

Now I have on the weather channel and am listening to them talk about a tsunami that might be hitting Hilo Hawaii.

So, that's me caught up for now.

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Oonie's vet appointment. 02-21-2010 - 04:15 PM
I got a reminder card in the mail about the end of January for Oonagh's rabies shot. I set it aside and forgot about it until last week then saw it again and hastily made an appointment for her.

So, yesterday morning, instead of sleeping in as late as I like on a Saturday, I loaded Ms. "Whines-alot" into the car and we headed across town--me listening to Celtic Women on my CD player, Oonagh yowling all the way.

Luckily, our city is really small, so the car ride was only about 10 minutes, but with an unhappy cat, confined in a carrier, it seems so much longer!

Well, we get there, she's fussing because now she wants to get out and sniff around.

There was a pug in the waiting room who was non too impressed with Oonagh--or me for that matter--so the vet tech put us into one of the exam rooms.

Oonagh wanted to get out "soooo baaaaad, Mommie!" I had to chide her at one point for being noisy because I could hear the vet talking to another client and I didn't want her to disturb them.

Well, soon, the vet tech comes back, she gets to looking at Oonagh's chart, and she gets this funny look on her face.

"Oonagh just had her shot in October."

You know how you get that funny feeling, but you can't quite place it? I kept thinking to myself that I thought Oonagh always had her shot in September, but for the life of me, I had forgotten about it. But I was sure I had only just received the reminder card in the mail.

The vet tech thought maybe they had forgotten to record Oonagh's last visit.

So, just to make sure her visit was not for nothing, we did a weight check on "Ms. Whines-alot." Not too bad--12 1/2 lbs. I'd like to help her slim down a little, but I'm having trouble coming up with new things to stimulate her--she's still active, but our current home doesn't have the room, and set up to challenge her or Mabb physically like our two-story apartment did.

Anyway, I have to admit, I kind of found the whole thing to be funny. I mean, I just somehow KNEW we MUST have had that shot done already, but not even I thought to see if we had the receipt around with her last shot on it.

I guess if I had never messed up on a client's appointment before myself, I might have been ticked, but IDK, it just struck me as funny. Cosmic joke on me!

When I got home, I checked the card, and there WAS a January date on it.

Anyway, I told Oonagh to think of it as Mommy-Kitty-daughter bonding time. And at least she didn't get a shot. She was NOT amused.
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Eye doctor appointment 02-17-2010 - 08:48 PM
Interesting results at my eye doctor's appointment today. I found out that my astigmatism has lessened. Weird. I mean, now does that happen? I am of course, a little more farsighted, but at 43, that is to be expected.

There is the new test where you stare at this little tiny box inside this huge projector looking thing. This little blob floats around and as you see it, you click a button--but you can't turn your head or move your eyes around. This is so they can see if you have any blind spots.

Every time I do it, I have one point on my left eye where i can't see that darn square. But when the doctor does a more detailed exam of my eye, she can't find anything wrong.

My left eye is much weaker than my right eye. I was once told that my astigmatism--which is basically a kind of wrinkle across my lense--is different than the usual astigmatism in that mine goes off at an angle instead of up and down. I have a theory that that little wrinkle might actually be blocking my vision in that one quadrant.

Oh well, at least I don't have an actual blind spot. And I don't seem to have a problem with macular degeneration or glaucoma at this point (my parents each have one of those conditions.)

I do need a slight progression in my glasses (I think that's what the doctor called it--now I forget...) But again, at least I won't need bifocals.

I tell you ladies, I will HAVE to hide my credit card from myself and hire someone to monitor my bank account! I went and splurged on my glasses this time. I let myself have one "extra" that my insurance won't pay for--it's a new technique that will make my prescription that much more accurate.

But I still couldn't find frames that I like well enough to replace my current ones, so I am getting new prescription sun glasses. In the past, I've always just bought basic eye glass frames with my co-pay, but this year, I went ahead and am getting actual sunglasses frames.

They are really pretty--dark, dark blue (nothing lighter I'm sorry to say) with little metal flowers on the corners of the ear-pieces. And they are stylishly big.

OK, so now I have bought the new "larger-than-I-probably-really-need" T.V. and now my new very stylish sunglasses.

Hmmm, I will not be buying anything new for awhile...or buying food...or gasoline....

or paying for cable....

Who says I'm not trying to help out the economy!
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Opening ceremonies 02-16-2010 - 08:42 PM
Yeah, before the ceremonies Friday, for the Olympics, there was a terrible tragedy. A young man from Georgia (Russia) was practicing for the luge. He'd already practiced several times that day already, and no one really knows what happened, but somehow, he lost control of his sled and slammed into an unpadded post and was killed. The track is like the fastest in the whole world. I felt so sad for his fellow athletes from Georgia when they walked out during the opening ceremonies. The other athlete who was going to do the luge withdrew. And the parents of the athlete...ah...I can't imagine...

Anyway, I really liked what the Canadians did. Their ceremony was more...personal...down to earth...yet kind of ethereal at the same time. Unfortunately, they were no where near the techno-genius of the Chinese, and they were unfairly compared to that show.

I was kind of appalled to hear people OK--my brother and his family--complain that they 'don't want to learn about the different country's cultures, they just want to be entertained." Well, China was all about their history and culture. They just have a lot more of it.

Anyway, the Canadians started off with these tall, clear poles that had images of the totems on them, and they had representatives of the native groups come out first in their full dress. It was beautiful and it was cool to see the Inuit in something other than the "Eskimo Joe" outfits that we tend to imagine them in.

There is also another group that is seen as a separate culture that are made up of Native and European ancestors.

There was some cool clogging in ancient Scottish attire along with with Celtic fiddling. Anyway, I guess I am the only one in the US who can appreciate both cultures at the same time as my family has been told we have Cherokee, Scotch, and Irish backgrounds. (Not that we can prove the Cherokee as our ancestor didn't register for a Card.)

Another thing that fascinated me about the Native Peoples was that their outfits closely resembled the ceremonial outfits of Native American ceremonial outfits.

Ooh, I almost forgot my favorite part of the show: At one point, the floor of the arena was made to look like a huge ocean with Orca's swimming below it's surface, and they blew water from their air holes as they swam! It looked incredibly realistic.
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Back on-line! 02-15-2010 - 09:41 PM
Well, I did pretty good for awhile, but the lure of the games called my name....(sigh). Right now, I am just glutting myself with playing and playing and playing...I'm hoping I'll get really saturated with them and get bored...

Ah, I have discovered a new toy I would love to possess! The Wii! I believe one of you ladies already has it! I was out of town this past weekend with my folks visiting my brother and his family. He has a Wii along with Wii Plus. He let me try the bike riding....

OK, when I was a kid, I couldn't ride a bike to save my life! I could ride in the backyard as long as I could put my bike between two bricks to hold it up, but on the street? Forget it! So, my brother has me try the bike riding application...

Same story, second verse! I kid you not! I kept running the bike into the walls, into the ledge of the fountain--virtual people kept running from me....I finally ended up in the virtual river....

But I was laughing so hard by that time I didn't care!

I want a Wii! (But it might be quite some time before I can afford the Wii machine and the games!)

Sunday, we were at my brother's house. I decided to wear flats with my new pants I just bought instead of any of my boots because my pants turned out to be straight-legged and don't fit down over my boots. Well, I woke up Sunday morning to falling snow....


Anyway...my parents and I usually exchange Valentine Gifts. It seems like the tradition really started when I got ready to move out of their house into my first home. I don't remember what my mom gave me, but my dad gave me my first hammer...I still have that hammer and use it quite a lot.

This year, he gave both my mom and me watch/bracelets. The watches are set into cuff-bracelets and they have all sorts of fun faux-jewels around the watch face, and along the body of the watch. The jewels are multi-colored so I can wear it with about anything.

Did anyone catch the opening Olympic ceremonies? Please tell me that I am not the only one who enjoyed them! I really love anything having to do with native peoples--and I was intrigued to notice how closely the ceremonial outfits of Canada's Native peoples resemble many of the ceremonial outfits of US Native Peoples. I am wondering how closely the tribes were connected before European and British settlers came to this continent and turned divided it into two countries....

And how sad about that young man...we couldn't help but think about him during the games. My mom heard one theory that he might have passed out from the speed on his last run--why then and not before? But no matter, I really hope he did--I hate the thought that he saw his death coming at him....

I grieve for his parents and his friends....

Had the day off today for President's day. Mom and I each gave Dad a video for Valentine's Day, so I invited them to bring the movies over to my house today to watch them on my new T.V.

It was fun--we watched an episode of Sherlock Holmes made for T.V. back in the '70's and the latest Amelia Earhart movie.

Well, I might think about heading for the shower here shortly--or playing some more games...

Hope everyone is dug out now!
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Amazed! 02-10-2010 - 09:40 PM
I cannot believe how much snow so much of you ladies have been getting! R and Cinderella had the news pulled up on their computers at work reading all the news sites. One of our clinicians is up in Washington for some conference and we've been speculating all day whether or not she is snowbound in a hotel or not.

Imagine how different things are today, and yet, people are still having to prepare ahead of time in the same ways our great-grandparents might have--water stored up, manual can-openers, etc.

Yet, at the same time, people have cell phones they can use to text each other photos of the storm--so new technology, yet old methods.

*Shaking head in wonderment*.

So, it's day 3--or maybe just day 2 1/2--depending on how one looks at it--of making myself limit my on-line time. I figure checking the news at work, and my bank account are ok. I can't get into Social networking sites, or games at work.

But boy, do I want to pop into some of my games right now!

But, in a minute, I am going to force myself to turn off the computer. I should be concentrating more fully on my sign-language this evening, but I can't seem to make myself do it--I think because I practice it during work. Hmm, come to think of it, I'm not in the humor to do housework either....

Ooooh, I need to clean the cat box, but it's too cold to go into the garage!

Anyway, I guess I'll get off here for now and read a book, watch T.V... scoop the cat boxes...not....
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Going off-line for a week 02-08-2010 - 08:39 PM
Hey, I just wanted to check in real quick and make sure everyone is alright. I am going to try and go off-line basically for a week from yesterday. I'm afraid I've let the Facebook games take over my life lately. I've gotten to the point where My shoulder and neck are so sore I could hardly use them yesterday to do much. I might still go ahead and check in here--I feel like I've abandoned everyone here as well.

But if you don't hear from me for a few days, don't worry.

News, I hope all will go well with that "Stuper-Trooper."
Noni, I hope you will be feeling better very soon.
Diverchick--I have been praying about the basal cells the doctor found

Noni and Diver, I am hoping you are not in the path of that bad snow storm they keep predicting. I don't know if this helps, but ours fizzled out--lots of snow, but no sticking.

The temps are now going below freezing, and the roads are wet from the snow, so I am worried about ice on the roads here tomorrow. Other than that though, we ended up being ok here.

I know I won't be checking in tomorrow as i am going to dinner with my folks, but if I feel that I can safely avoid the temptation of heading to the games after I leave here, I might come here to say hi.

Wish me luck.
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Feb 3, 2010 02-03-2010 - 11:08 PM
Thanks for the well wishes on weather and work. I tried to keep my self busy last weekend. I don't know why--sometimes, it's like I have something to prove--like I'm not lazy--I spent Friday working around the house and Saturday, I scooped snow off my driveway and off my folk's driveway. Plus there were the usual dishes, finishing laundry, etc...I think because of the way the WIC clinician acts, she almost makes it sound as if I make mistakes on purpose.

OK, today, right after lunch, had one of those tricky ones. Man and woman living together. He has two children, they live with him. I thought the woman was their mom at first (after all, not every woman changes her last name), and then thought maybe step-mom. And then found out as I was having her sign their paperwork that she lives with them, but has no legal rights as far as WIC seeing them without Dad filling out proxy.

It used to be that we weren't quite so picky, but the rules seem to ebb, flow, and change. So, a few things happened at once: The woman got finished with the paperwork. there is no clear guidance in this area. The clients didn't have their paperwork done when they walked in, meaning that it took time away from the children's appointment while the woman filled out the paperwork. So, I felt the need to hurry them to see the WIC clinician as she can quite often get aggravated and even refuse to see them if she thinks they will run into another appointment. So now the pressure is on me. I need to give her the charts, I need to find out what she wants to do as far as seeing them BUT, I also need to staple a form into the front of each folder. And I have run out of staples. And sometimes, if she does not have the demographic sheets she gets p---y.

And it used to be, that she would practically throw a fit if I DID give the folders to her--all she would take is the "guts" of the chart. but now, suddenly, she wants the whole thing. So, here I am, suddenly with no staples in my staple, we are running behind, and I am now having to have the dad and GF fill out the Proxy form. AND in the meantime, another client walked-in and was hoping to be seen, so now I am feeling a little bit of pressure to take care of her needs as well.

Well, I think I have a little bit of dyslexia--not as bad as some, but it does run in the family, and it's not uncommon for me to see something in a twisted up way. I picked up both folders, opened both folders, saw the names in both folders, but somehow, they became mixed up in my mind and I stapled the wrong paper in each one--each demographic sheet has the name of the client on it.

And I then put the "guts" back in the wrong folders.

So, WIC clinician comes along. I guess she is rushing too, because she hardly had the clients back there more than a few minutes. But she comes out, I'm on the phone, she starts accusing ME of messing her up, claiming I caused HER to chart on the wrong child--even thought we put the client's names on the top of their chart's "guts". Yeah, she blamed ME even though she didn't pay closer attention.

I spoke to my supervisor. Wasted breath. No, she seems to think that the WIC clinician doesn't have to be responsible either.

I did let her know that I get tired of being the only one who seems to get in trouble for making mistakes, and I told her that I wasn't exactly messing around, and that if my attention wasn't perfect, it was because I was scurrying around trying to make the clinician happy. I also told the supervisor that until recently, she hadn't even WANTED the entire folder.

But, what I wish I had remembered is that when the clinician makes a mistake, that too gets dumped in my lap. If I don't catch when she doesn't sign off on her work or she forgets to hand the printouts that go in the chart and it doesn't get filed properly, gets who gets blamed....

I wish I had remembered that, because that just points out that I have to double check her stuff all the time, and she should be just as responsible.

It's not as if I make these mistakes all the time, and it WAS an accident.

I am so sick of the...

Anyway, I was at work long before anyone else this morning as it was. We had freezing fog this morning, and I was afraid to try and wait until my usual time to drive in--just in case it was slick. But no one really seems to appreciate it. I maybe had about 2 or 3 feet of visibility in front of my car, and no lights along one very long, very curvy embankment.

Sorry, I'm on a gripe fest tonight. So, while I'm at it...

What is it with some people thinking they have to one-up others all the time? I don't mean in riches and blessings either--I'm talking about, when I say I got up earlier than usual to make it into work on time on a bad weather day, New Girl--who lives in a small town about 20 minutes away, will have to point out how she does that every day. (I live across town from the office, yet co-workers who live only a couple of mintues away didn't make it in on time the other day. Plus, I live on that hill, where they don't. AND NG has access to a heavy vehicle--unlike my small car.)

One day, I mentioned something about the fact that I have been driving on the same tires since I bought the car in 2003. I mentioned how much they cost back then--I think it would have been close to $480 or so--that was in 2003. So, NG has to play the "my circumstances are so much harder than yours, but I still manage to survive" card and had to tell me how her van tires cost them over $600.

Hello? I priced my tires like 7 years ago or so. I doubt that that particular tire has actually decreased in price since then. I could be wrong, but with the rate of inflation, and now Cavaliers are not being made anymore, it could possibly make that tire even more expensive if they are a hard to come by size. As it turned out, Cavaliers need a specialty tire that you just can't go to Wal-mart and get a cheaper replacement.

Yeah...been a fun few days.......

BUT, I do have a new T.V. I found a pretty good deal on a 26" in fact. I have to be honest though, I am not all that excited about it. My old one had developed a major problem in the horizontal and finally, it was decided that the prudent thing would be to simply replace it.

I don't know why, but it's not been that big a deal watching it. I pretend to be excited for my parents who are far more excited than I am. But honestly, I am not getting the exact...amazing viewing experience I hoped for. It's a good T.V. Nice picture...it's just not so exciting as I had hoped...And I went from 20 inch to 26 inch.

Oh well...

Thanks for the vent...Now, I need to take my shower, hit the bed....
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More Snow! Oh and how! 01-29-2010 - 08:00 PM
It has been snowing like crazy since 10 or so this morning! WOW! There was a little snow last night, but ever since this morning, it has not stopped. Sometimes, it would slow down, only to grow really heavy.

Silly Oonagh, thought she wanted to go outside! HA! And then she'd stick her little pink nose outside and in seconds, would pull it back in.

Silly girl.

I put out a lot of Safflower seed for the cardinals and unknown black-and-white birds. I've had a lot of fun watching them eat. Unfortunately, I think they might be starting to get dependent on me feeding them. I'm trying to limit it only to days of ice and snow--but I'm getting close to emptying out a bag of seed already.

We didn't get the ice here like the rest of the state.

I got called by my Sup. about 06:30 this morning telling us the office was closed. I'm really glad. I've been thinking about what happened yesterday off and on, and just getting mad all over again. Part because of how the client was treated, part because they believed I'd made a poor judgment call.

And then I think about how, without meaning too, I basically broke client confidentiality in order to help the client. I hope that doesn't come back to haunt me. But if it does, I might just mention how quickly certain people in the office were too quick to want to get rid of a client.

Oh well, I've had a nice day--made a pot of bean soup--but too much soup, not enough bean! LOL!

I've been working on a new painting, but not too encouraged. I need a picture to work off of, but I don't have one available.

Well, it's cold here. Brrr.
I need to go put the food away now.
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I swear, I am gonna yank their ovaries out! 01-28-2010 - 10:17 PM
Yes, I am getting vicious! I am really getting sick of these co-workers of mine who are still getting PMS, are going into menopause, and are still being...well...you know. And they will sit around with pride telling everyone how they won't, no WON'T take an artificial hormone--as if doing so were a weakness.

Well, they'd better take SOMETHING because I am really getting tired of the c--p.

oooh, yeah...

OK, My WIC clinician, one of the early menopausal has been on the war path again--no war to go to, no path to walk on, but that doesn't stop HER! Oh no. She was in one of her moods earlier this week.

And then today, we had a family in with one of those...messy lives as i call them.

Background story. Young mom, dumps every baby she has on her mom to raise. Most recent baby was first on Indian Nation WIC, so when Grandmother got baby, she transferred his case to Oklahoma WIC. Mom never goes through official channels when she gives Grandmother custody--usually, she writes a note out, and grandmother just carries it around.

Well, this time, Grandmother made sure her daughter was made a Proxy on her baby's WIC case so that the daughter can occasionally take care of the WIC. There is an official form that has to be signed, and I remember both mom and grandmom signing the proxy form in front of me.

Also, usually, when someone transfers their WIC, I don't always have any official paperwork on the client as even the transfer information can be taken by phone, and as we have not done anything medical, I don't open a chart on the client until it's time for the re certification appointment. So, even when I saw the note from mom giving grandmother guardianship, I most likely forgot to make a copy of it. Sometimes, I will open a pseudo chart under such conditions, but as I deal with so many walkins--and most transfers just walk in--it's easy to forget small, unrequired details.

So, today, Grandmother came in with her granddaughter to have her re certified. While talking to the WIC clinician, she mentioned that the baby was in Kansas with his mom (the one that grandmom had guardianship of). Unfortunately, she also happened to mention that she really doesn't want the grandchild, as she is taking care of the two older siblings, etc.

Well, WIC clinician, who has this bad way of judging others, took it to mean that the baby lived with his mom in Kansas, and that grandmother was trying to pull something.

So, she had me tell grandmother that she couldn't pick up the vouchers for the baby as this was the case.

So, when I tell grandmother this, she gets this stunned look on her face. You know how people, when you catch them in a lie, get defensive? Well, she didn't do that. She started explaining to me that the baby was with mom for two weeks as mom was visiting there while recovering from a miscarriage. Grandmom told me that she herself just didn't have the time to care for her daughter as she already had 4 kids at home to take care of already. She needed her daughter to take care of the baby, daughter was staying with her father, but daughter was coming home today.

Then grandmother told me that she'd already spoken with her case worker (who works with medicaid and foodstamps) and that she said it was ok for grandmother to have the child, etc. Then she offered to go right out to the car and get the proof that the child was receiving these other types of assistance.

OK, the baby is now 9 months old, but until now, no one had signed him up for the medicaid. DHS (Dept of human services) requires proof that a client is living in Oklahoma just like we do in order to receive assistance.

So, I concluded that with these things, and grandmother's explanation, etc., that WIC clinician had not understood the full story. I do not believe it is my place to call a client a liar without proof. So, I gave her the vouchers.

Well, this afternoon, after lunch, WIC clinician and New Girl both went crazy over the fact that I had accepted the Grandmother's word at face value. Grandmother is a nervous person, so WIC clinician assumes she is using drugs. Plus, the grand child had some eye-brow raising injuries. THAT is where something should have been pursued--not the issue over the infant.

So, for an hour, they had me scrambling all over the place trying to prove one way or another that the infant was really living in OK. I basically had to bend our HIPPA and talk to the grandmom's caseworker. I asked how often an infant is verified as living in Oklahoma when on medicaid. And then she asked me grandmom's name. I told her the bare basics best as I could, and she verified that they had taken a copy of the same gaurdianship note. The caseworker faxed a copy of that too me.

In the meantime, New Girl called grandmom to insist she bring the vouchers back. I went into our proxy folder (we give them all in the same folder) to find the proxy form. So, NG tells me "That shows that MOM is proxy, not Grandmother" Meaning, to her, that grandmother does not have real gaurdianship.

Hello? By mom signing that form--and it is good for a year--that tells me that she herself agreed to mom taking over the baby.

So, at one point, I have another client come to my desk needing assistance, and while I am helping her, WIC clinician, NG, and my supervisor are suddenly hovering over me giving me orders about this situation. THAT I found as disturbing as everything else they were doing.

Well, our Administrative Assistant happened to call, and so I told her what was going on, and told her that I just didn't feel that it was my call to call this grandmother a liar. I told her everything grandmother told me, all that she was dealing with, etc. And I told her that I had the note from mom as well.

The AA has done WIC in the past, and she too knows that we need to be...delicate... when handling many of our clients. Messy lives, that's the only way to describe them. She didn't seem to agree with the others that I had done anything wrong on my end. There is a form that we need to utilize for just these situations, but everyone had work had forgotten about them and we had none on hand.

Well, baby, I made sure we do now!

Anyway, I just get tired of people acting in judgment, and getting so high and mighty--and I hate the fact that I don't feel like I can confront any of those other women. I think it would be the same as cutting my throat.

Ah, it is snowing out--or has been. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.
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On second thought 01-24-2010 - 12:54 PM
Well, I wore the same bra today--but feel fine. In retrospect, I forgot to take my vitamin yesterday--it has caffeine as well as some other supplement in it (the writing is too small, my eyes too far-sighted anymore. Oh bifocals! When can I get you this year!) that I can't read. It looks like "Guano" but somehow, I don't think THAT is what it is!
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Aha! Figured it out! 01-23-2010 - 10:59 PM
If anyone refers to my last entry, they will note that I was strangely sleepy all day Saturday. Well, when I went to take my shower this evening, I figured it out: My bra was too tight.

Yes, I am embarrassed to admit it. My figure might possibly have grown just a wee bit since I bought that bra. I don't wear it too often, and just threw it on this morning before I left to pick up my Angel Food order. I was still asleep, and didn't even pay attention when I put it on. (but at least I put one on!)

So, needless to say, I am feeling like a kind of idiot--and a sudden urge to join Weight Watchers...
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Sleepy Day 01-23-2010 - 08:41 PM
I have been so sleepy today! I can't seem to get motivated to do anything.

This morning, I left the house to pick up my "Angel Food" order. That turned out to be today's drama.

Cinderella and I both ended up ordering Angel Food this month. She and I were talking about it yesterday, and she said that SHE was told, while she was ordering, that this time, the place at the church where we drive around to pick up our orders would be different. You only have about 3 days to order, so at any of that time, I should have also been told that, but for some reason, the people taking the orders didn't say a word about it.

So, yesterday, on my way home, I saw the church's banner they put up to remind us to pick up the food and it said the pick-up times were "08:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m." Lately, the hours have been later--10:30 to 12:30. I figured the time change had to do with the other event going on at that church--maybe this way, they wouldn't have to change the pick-up location.

So, this morning, I woke up at 08:00, but decided to stay in bed until 08:30--which turned into 09:00 and suddenly it was 09:15 and I was flying about, trying to get a little cereal into me, get my clothes on, and get ready to go.

I get to the church building about 09:40 or so, and discover all these cars parked close to the other pick-up point, a big truck with people taking food out of it,--but no line. So, I walk into the building to ask where we are supposed to be. I am feeling really weird--I hate to intrude or be thought of as stupid--but I couldn't figure out what was going on. Well, sure enough, I pulled into the wrong parking part of the parking lot and had to go back out and pull around to the other entrance.

So, I do this, but as I am leaving the entrance, again I see the banner--and it has been changed to read "Pick up times 10:30 to 12:30!

Oooh yeah...I was PO! I am NOT a morning person, and the weather has been really yucky all day--grey, drizzly, cold...So, do I go home, or get in line? Well, there was only one other person in line, so I went ahead and got behind him, and soon, other cars started to show up. It made me wonder how many people had seen the other banner.

In fact, I had called Cinderella and told her about the 08:30 time change. So, of course, I was feeling bad about that, and I don't own a cell phone so I couldn't call her (not that I would have had her number with me anyway.) Turns out, the guy she spoke with made sure SHE knew the times were the 10:30 to 12:30 time.

Anyway, it was a long, tiring wait--the church didn't even start even one second before 10:30. In the meantime, they had two lines form, but for some reason, the order for the guy ahead of me got messed up, so our line had to wait longer than the other line to get our order.

I was trying really hard not to be angry--it is a good service they provide, and the people are volunteers--but it would have been nice if information had been better handled.

Anyway, I don't know why, but I've been really sleepy today. I laid down about 01:00, fell asleep for about 30 minutes, then fell back asleep until 03:30. I've been up since, but have never really felt energetic.

I don't know if it's because of the double clinics I've done for a couple of days in a row this past week--especially after coming off vacation--or if its the weather.

Anyway, I have already put my order to use. A frittata for lunch, and spaghetti with meat and marinara sauce for supper.
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Health Department "swimming pool", Elvis, and Hats 01-20-2010 - 08:25 PM
Seems like there was quite a bit of drama at work last week while I was gone. That Guidance clinician who was hounding NG tried to cause more trouble for her--she even went to our Administrator. Our supervisor had to tell her what was going on (the guidance counselor even claimed that everyone was picking on her! Plus, she "reported" NG's "behavior" to her own supervisor AND we think she might have even gone behind NG's back and told NG's MIL that NG was having some problems! Yeah, I kid you not. NG told us today that her MIL was contacted by someone at work who asked her if NG was having "problems". NG is really upset. No one else would ever even DREAM of doing something so unprofessional. If any of us were really having a serious emotional problem, it would be reported to our supervisors, etc. I wish NG's MIL would have told her who it was--I hate to say this, but at this point, I think whoever it was should be let go.

Anyway...OK, so, on top of all THAT, we had a flood--inside the building. We have a heat pump system in our new office. R and I have never felt that it kept us very warm, and last week, one of the water pipes burst--probably due to freezing and thawing. Nearly the entire building flooded! Except for my desk.

File cabinets had to be pulled from walls, some had to be moved into different rooms, the front area where the clerks sit had to be abandonded...The clerks had to check in clients back in the nursing area. And for some reason, no one could figure out how to plug in the WIC voucher printer in the same area where NG was covering for me, so she had to give the print command, leave the office, go into the lab, get the vouchers, go back to the client....and of course, on those days when our nutritionist holds classes, it was even crazier as she kept having to run back up front...

Plus, there were boxes and stuff stacked everywhere. I guess it was an obstacle course!

The sad thing, my cubicle remained untouched--if anyone had used their heads, NG could have just sat at my desk and left the printer there and checked everyone in without having to run around like a maniac.

Anyway, there have been guys all over the building now, taking photos, etc. The file cabinets are still not put back, but at least I did get to come back to a dry building. Good think I don't have to do all that running either--my bad knee has been the pits this week.

Diverchick, you asked about Dallas.

Two of my nieces were in a High School production of a failed Broadway musical called "All Shook Up." Basically, it was a knock off of "Bye-Bye Birdie."--but with all Elvis music. My second oldest Niece, CW had one of the lead parts. She didn't get the MOST main lead, but she got one with a true solo. She got tons of accolades. People were telling her how professional she sounded, and her solo brought tears to their eyes, etc.

The main character was modeled after Elvis. CW had a biggish part, and my Sis #1's daughter was in the chorus. What cracked me up was that the copyright guys showed up to make sure no one was filming or recording anything but at the same time, they basically stole the concept from "Bye-Bye Birdie."

Anyway...the kids did a fabulous job with the sets, the acting, etc.

THEN, we finally got to exchange presents with Sis #2's family. They are the ones who couldn't make it at Christmas because of the blizzard. Niece #1 is the niece that was in Vienna for a college Trimester. Her parents joined her for a week at Thanksgiving and while they were there, they bought everyone these cool Christmas presents.

Niece #1 bought me this beautiful chocolate brown scarf--the accessory type. And she bought my mom a felt hat--red. It looks like it's kind of made of these stacked circles--well, that's not a good way to describe it...but trust me, it's really cute.

And then her parents bought me a turquoise wool beret (and yes, I am wearing it right now! Plus I've worn it to work) and they bought my dad one of those hats that they show the men in the Alps wearing--the kind that comes to a kind of peak on the forehead...

We are all proud of our hats and wore them home on Monday.

So, back at work...yuck. We've had to overbook WIC because the clients had to be rescheduled from last week. I don't usually mind, but no one thought to warn me when I got back Tuesday...(sigh).

I feel like I've run and run and run since I got home. Tuesday after work, I had to drive over and pick up the rest of my HRT prescription (and that was another drama from LAST week). I had wanted to go grocery shopping after work, but because my pharmacy screwed up, didn't get on the ball about filling my script for my HRT last week, I had to pick up half of it yesterday. My pharmacy is no where near a grocery store or Wal-Mart, it takes a bit of driving and maneuvering through traffic to get there, and I was tired so I had to skip the store last night. Plus my knee was sore (did I mention that Sis #2, who I stayed with, has a 2 story house? And did I mention I'm no longer used to running up and down stairs all day? And did I mention I kept needing to get back into my suitcase several times a day?)

So after I got home from work, it was clean the cat box, cook supper, wash the dishes...

And today, I went to Wal-Mart, came home, made supper, gathered the trash, took the trash out...

Mom called and said she didn't feel good and wasn't going to church. I decided to be a heathen tonight and follow her example...(and it wasn't real worship anyway--just a film about science and nature.)
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New Boots are here! 01-12-2010 - 08:15 PM
My Land's End boots came today--just in time for the snow to melt. But that's ok, I tromped around in what is left, and they work! In fact, I still have them on because they are warm!

I was supposed to go see the gyn/onc today, but Friday, at the last minute, he had to cancel--some meeting today. What's really frustrating is that this is not the first time he's done this after I had it on my calender months in advance. The office told me they'd reschedule for this Friday, but I'll be out of state--goin' to Big D to visit family. As it turns out, the doctor's aunt passed away so he wouldn't be available anyway. That I can have sympathy and ditch my calender for. Ah well...as long as I can get my HRT bottle refilled. The earliest they could get me back in won't be until March.

So, here is where I am torn: On the one hand, if I felt I could afford another PET scan, he'd release me, but I'd most likely still need to find a new Gyn anyway in order to keep getting my HRT--something both he and I are a big believer in me having.

But on the other hand, because I did have the pre-cancer thing, I almost hate the idea of getting a "regular" Gyn. My parents really think I should stick with him regardless, but I don't know if he'd really want to stay on as my doctor if I did get the PET and it was clear. After all, he has really sick women that he needs to see--do I take up too much "space" on his schedule if I am still healthy?

I don't know what the best call is. Until all this pre-cancer stuff showed up, I didn't ever bother seeing a GYN simply because I don't have sex. I thought that's all GYNs were for anyway--pregnancy and STDs. OK, I never claimed I'm NOT naive....

Anyway, since I have been home all day, I worked on laundry, washing dishes and continuing to remove Christmas ornaments from the tree--this is a long process as I am trying this year to pack specific categories together i.e., Western/Southwestern together, cat together, angels together, etc.

But, I also decided to have the cable guy come out and try and figure out why the picture on one T.V. is bad on some of the channels. I figure "hey, it only seems to be the upper channels, it HAS to be the cable--right?"


My beloved, 14-year-old T.V. has developed a tick in it's horizontal. Now a new decision--fix the T.V. or replace? So far, a lot of votes for replace, but then I think about my credit card balance...and well...you know all those things that would have to be considered.

Right now, I am in my bedroom watching my little T.V. while I blog here.

I wonder, is it possible for me to take a week off and do nothing? Tomorrow, I promised to go help my parents put their own Christmas decorations in their attic. Plus, I have to drop off my prescription bottle, pick up a sweater from the cleaners, go to the grocery store, and then go to church tomorrow evening.

Thurs, I have to pick up the prescription bottle (which will have hopefully been approved--I was already a month past my 6 month check-up) and tomorrow night, back to sign language classes and packing for the trip.

And I still don't have all my Christmas stuff packed away.

Once I get back from Dallas, it's head right back to work...(ick).

And I wonder why I am feeling tired!
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Family History Part 2 01-11-2010 - 09:57 PM
I thought I'd go ahead and put down my belief on what I think REALLY happened to my Paternal Great Grandfather.

As I mentioned in my last journal, supposedly, my great Aunt Clara drove him to suicide. Well, after many years of believing this, other things made me change my mind.

OK, first of all, my Great Grandfather owned a mercantile shop. He was very successful. He'd lost his wife, (my Great Grandmother of course! ) to the so-called "Spanish Flu" of the 1920's. Great Grand dad was then left with 4 or 5 kids to raise alone after that. My Papa, the only boy, was about 8 years old at that time.

Well, 4 years later, the story goes, that Great Grandfather came home one day and announced that he was getting remarried.

Supposedly, my Great Aunt Clara went into a rage--no one knows why--and threatened to kill the fiancee, following my GGD out of the house, yelling at him.

Here's where things get bizarre. Supposedly, my GGD was such a wimp, that instead of putting a stop to GA's threats, he put a gun in his mouth instead and...well...suddenly, the kids were orphans.

THEN, his brother, who was the sheriff, swoops in and takes over the business and denied the kids their inheritance. At the same time, the kids were parceled out to other relatives like puppies, and they pretty much never saw each other again. My Papa ended up being sent to live with his cousins in Texas where he grew up and became a doctor and opened a practice with his cousin.

But no one EVER questioned their father's "suicide".

Here is why I am suspicious. Back in those days, a girl just did NOT speak to her father that way. Never. And no father would have let his daughter speak to him, let alone threaten the life of his fiancee. No man worth his salt in those days would have left his kids orphans. I think if he had wanted to abandon them, GGF would have killed himself long before then, or sent them to an orphan's home.

And then there is the matter of the brother Sheriff. I don't know if they did autopsies in those days, but all that brother had to do is say it was suicide and I doubt anyone would have doubted his story. And the fact that he came in and took his nieces and nephew's inheritance away really raises my antennae.

One thing I will never know is if any of the other kids saw Aunt Clara and their father's "altercation". For all we know, the entire story could have been fabricated. I really feel that my crazy GA and her uncle were in collaboration with one another. If she didn't kill her dad, then I bet he did. And who was there to examine the wound and decide if it was done by his own hand? Why, the SHERIFF of course!

For years, I was really afraid I might follow in my GGF's footsteps, since I tend to depression myself. And then it hit me that he might have been murdered. Actually, I find that to be of some comfort--it means that I am actually stronger than that. But this alone is one reason I wish we could expunge the record. He doesn't even had a grave stone. I guess to put one up would have made my great-great uncle look suspicious--after all, suicide was a shameful way to die.

I have spoken to my mom and aunt about this, and although they think we are on to something, no one is really interested in all these years in pursuing anything--and of course, none of the witnesses are with us anymore. My mom thought about writing a mystery story--a fictionalized account--about the event, but she found it to be hard. I have thought about trying to get a copy of my GGF's death certificate, but you have to give a valid reason for it--I don't know if "I think my GGF was murdered by his crazy daughter and brother" would fly... Anyway, I don't really want to let it drop either...
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