Sunday, December 26, 2010

christmas 2010

i hadn't been over to visit nana much beings i had cooties & figured a nursing home was the last place i should go. when i made it over there she was sad & not feeling well. i explained to her why i wasn't visiting but that we would pick her up on christmas day. at first she said ok, but then she said she didn't know if she would feel well enough.

we got up & got the turkey in the oven [yeah, we repeated thanksgiving dinner, i have yet to decide if that means were boring or gluttons]. Z opened his stocking stuffers while we were in the kitchen, little science kit things that he really liked [an electromagnetic something [i's smart! wires & magnets, whatever & the other one was a little crystal growing kit]. once we could all sit in the living room he tore into everything else.

Z got a few new games for the wii, some rockets, a mandatory flashlight & an erector set but the first thing he wanted to play with were those 2 little science kits. so he & i put those together while B put his new grill together. it was a pretty cute moment in time, all of us on the floor in our pj's assembling.

then we went to see nana, she was up & dressed thankfully. i brought her a purple orchid & a picture frame with our christmas card in it beings we weren't sure if she was going to come over or not. she seemed in much better spirits & was happy to come over for another visit. she tore into that turkey leg like it was nobody's business too!

my mom also came over & we all enjoyed the day together. once we ate it was wii time; donkey kong has really changed over the years compared to the old atari 2600 version....Z & I have a good time playing together, although it's torture for B to watch [bc we're so bad].

nana stayed longer this time, it was nice for her to just blend into the dynamic. she did ask "don't you play some music?" though. i know this is completely different environment for her, she used to sitting in the backyard with rancharitas blaring & a cold beer in her hand.

so mom left & we took nana back to her facility, then it was over to the neighbor's for dinner, which was a joke bc we were all still stuffed from lunch & dessert, we tried though!

Friday, December 24, 2010

the play

i forgot to write about this, so i'm just gonna write something quick....
i decided bc we're in the city, where there's culture & that although we're broke, we should go see the nutcracker. for once we actually left the house not late.

only bc the tickets were left on the dining room table.

which of course, wasn't discovered until we were there, parked & walking to the entrance.

thankfully, we were close to home, so it was worth our while to get the tickets & go back, but were still about 1/2 late or so.

Z didn't like it, he wanted to play with my phone & said he'd rather stay home & watch cartoons (FanBoy & ChumChum to be exact). i thought at the very least he would like the music, they had a full orchestra but he wasn't impressed. although later, when he'd hear the music on tv he would tell me the play stole the commercial's music...

B & I enjoyed ourselves, it was a good change of pace & nice way to get in the christmas mood.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

sick too

i wasn't surprised about the cub scout/walk/run headache, but the week-long off on was tiresome. once it went away a cough replaced it & since then [weeks later] it still lingers.

Z has also had a cough, but thankfully hasn't gotten sick. at school they had another singing presentation, he sang jingle bell rock & the 12 days of christmas...well, kinda, he's not much of a singer. last year i remember one of the songs was feliz navidad & i heard him saying it the other day but he actually said "novigog". his last day of class was party day, i went in to help with crafts. i helped make a paper mouse with a candy cane tail.

B surprisingly made it through the semester without catching it either, a few days later he did though. he did absolutely fabulous in his classes, i have to say i'm quite impressed with his grades, but he knows going into a nursing program he has to. one night we went to his O.Chem teacher's art studio for a little end of the semester celebration.

Z's craft day & B's party day were the same day, next morning i woke up with cold #2.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

more ghetto house chaos

we had already been going back & forth about fridge #2; they said it was leaking, internally, not water but a fluid, but then it stopped, that it was going into a drip pan in the freezer & it was probably 'normal'. we told them to disconnect the water line but never got a response & from 200 miles away we decided to just let it be.

a few days after thanksgiving we get another call from the tenant - yah, this is great! this call was to let us know the water line to one of the toilets was leaking, so we told them to turn it on only when needed & friend R would go over & take a look at it. before R even made it over to check out the line they called again bc there was no electricity in the living room.


so then there are a few million phone calls between B, R, the tenants, me & the electrical/plumbing service company bc I scheduled service but then the guys decide to look at it first & i just want everything fixed & i was stuck in the middle of it.

R was able to fix the toilet that night - YAHHHHH!!!!

the electrical stuff was afu'd & R waved the white flag suggesting we contact the service company. i was completely thrilled one problem was solved, the only thing was when i called the service company back & left a message no one returned my call. then i called the tenant & he wouldn't call me back either, so then of course i fly off into left field worried that maybe the house burnt down in an electrical fire.

hey.....i wonder what the insurance payout would have been on that?

turns out the tenant went out of town for a long weekend & late monday afternoon i got a call from the service place it was all fixed up & the bill was less than $100 - SWEET! i was worried the whole house was going to have to be re-wired or some other craziness. of course i didn't get the electrician's breakdown so i wrote down whatever the heck he said, repeated it to B, who tried to explain it to me but whatev's, it works, it's up to code, we are done!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

oh christmas tree

on fri we picked up Z from school & headed over to get our christmas tree. the plan was to get the tree, decorate it & take pics so we could get a card out you know, before christmas.

there's always the plan & the reality....& they tend to be really different around here....

after the cub scout ride/walk/run thing that headache didn't go away. ok, it kinda did, but then it came back, then away, then back & away for like a week, it was good times! after that i had a cough that wouldn't go away, so i was kinda tired & a little out of it & instead of decorating the tree i decided i needed cookies, chocolate chip ones of course. [you know if anyone else needed those cookies i would have told them to bake them themselves right? but yeah, i needed them]

so decorating happened on saturday. we actually have too many ornaments now & the tree is looking a bit full. we've continued, although we have yet to do it this year, the tradition of buying an ornament every year; it's a lot of fun to see our choices over the years. Z always picks out something really crazy, loud &/or colorful; his ornaments stick out in a crowd.

um, pics didn't happen sat...or sun & then finally i don't know what day it was, but i got my *ss in gear & fixed my hair & face & was all done up ready for picture taking & guess what? we couldn't find the bleeping tripod....& we have 2. we realized we hadn't seen them since the move, so there was no telling where they could be. we looked everywhere we could think of & came up empty handed. we figured the only place they could be was up above the garage, so pics were postponed again.

the next day B looked, but no dice so we tore the house apart again. i finally find one of them & we DID get our pic taken - YAH! we even got the card ordered that night! yeah, so what if it was already mid-dec....

oh & in case you're wondering, no, Z didn't cry for this one.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

yeah, i know....

but really, not much has been going on....
i mean other than the usual, it's december, so there's that chaos. we got the tree on friday, yah, got it in the house sat & decorated on sun, talk about pacing ourselves...yes, we did. pics planned for tomorrow night, guess i should start looking at card samples to have a few options ahead of time.

um, Z, well, yeah, the past 2 weeks he's gotten in a lil trouble at school. not much, 2 orange cards previous week, 2 orange & a red last week. actually it was a double red, bc he's good like that. nothing big though, just his usual not listening, not following directions, on his own programs, talking instead of working. so yah, it's not like he's bitten anyone lately....the teacher's agreed he's improved, he's approached normal inappropriate behavior so there's still lots of room for improvement.

we've had troubles here at home with the not listening as well, so with a heavy heart we decided he just was not ready to attend the cub scout whittling project day. B & I spent quite a bit of time picking out the knife, making sure it locked open & had a short blade, but in the end we figured if he couldn't listen to his teacher in class, can you imagine how hard it would be for him to focus with a knife in his hand? with a bunch of other little boys with knives in their hands?

more than likely nothing would happen, but it was a good opportunity to drive home consequences to not listening or paying attention or Z's favorite, when someone says stop it equates to "hurry up & do it NOW"....

i cut back my visits to nana this past week as the week long on/off headache turned into a cough which then turned into a cold, it was fun.

oh & then there's the house, yes, the f-ing house, stuff going on there that keeps me from here. i think it's good now though. i HOPE!

Monday, December 6, 2010

ciabatta this

the other day at the library i found a book "kneadlessly simple", seriously, i had no idea there was such a thing! this is totally what i need! bread sans kneading bc, well, i'm a little over the top, so light kneading does not happen over here, it's all EXTREME KNEADING, which you know, does not make good bread.

so anyways, i didn't want just plain ole bread, i mean, why start simple? that's just not me...
i decided to start with ciabatta, but then it went into a description about how the bread was supposed to be shaped like a slipper or something & i was lost....

so, yeah, i googled "ciabatta bread shaping" or something along those lines & found a video that lined it all out. yes, i did watch it probably 10 times thoughout the bread making process, but hey, guess what?

i made bread!
& it wasn't tuff as nails!
it was edible even!

although i didn't like that it came out kinda flat, but hey, for me & bread, it was good!

i made another loaf a few days later, i added fresh rosemary & a little olive oil & planned to not stretch it out as much the 2nd time around. it didn't work out that way though, i didn't do the saran wrap trick & made a mess, i was happy to not have dough all over the kitchen by the time i was done.

i haven't made anymore bread since then, but i will soon, probably a baguette & when i'm up for it sourdough, my favorite.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

new year's resolution starting in december

because i'm a lil late like that....

i'm gonna be a better blogger.

dec 1 i wrote 5 posts for november.
i have 5 more drafts started, i hope to complete within a day or 2.

Monday, November 29, 2010

cub scouts update

we barely made it up the hill in time, then we slowed down [just a little] to pick up Z at grammie's house & pick up some fast food, then know to get a bike. we told him to run in the house, pee & get his helmet, then we were out the door again. i ate my hamburger in 2 minutes while Z ran around.

i had been worried from the point we were told a bike ride was scheduled; Z hadn't really ridden his new bike much so no training wheels was still a bit scary. for practice i took him over a few blocks to a dead end street so he could ride in a quiet area, he practiced in the street & on the sidewalk. when he got his courage up we came over to our street, much busier & with a small incline. he kinda got the idea about keeping his eyes & ears alert for vehicles, but still had a long way to go.

then one day heading down the hill he lost control fell over the bike & landed his cheekbone hitting the end of the handlebars. it was just a bruise, but he wouldn't ride down the hill anymore. so practice was only riding up the hill, then he walked the bike down the hill, fun!

the day of the ride, we were the last ones to show up at the meet up point but we made it. B & Z had bikes & helmets & i walked the route, partially bc i wasn't sure how Z was going to do & if he [or someone else] lagged behind i would be there.

we'd been going on hikes around the local hills, but i was not up for this one. i didn't realize it was 2 1/2 miles, not mention i was a little hungover, dehydrated & short on sleep. i walked & ran, then walked & ran some more until we got to where i could see the park, then i was done. i walked & FB from that point.

Z did fabulous on the ride, had a really good time & didn't have any major problems. his pedal even came off at one point & he was able to catch himself before falling out of control. at the park they did cones & a few other exercises & all the boys had a great time.

i however didn't fair as well....i had lost my voice the night before & it didn't last long during the run walk ride whatever. i also got a headache somewhere along the way. thankfully i was able to hitch a ride back with one of the other parents, so i was warm & didn't have to run or walk, which was great bc i was done.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

hs get together

once we figured out B's school schedule would allow him to come with the next thing was Z. my mom actually had the weekend off so she could [& offered even!] to watch him, but we know his allergies go crazy there & he already had a cough. we considered for a few to bring him with & ask cousin C to watch him, but he wanted to stay with Grammie, so that's where he went.

we headed down to the valley late saturday, it's kinda nice to not be in a rush for the trip. when we got into town we picked up some food & headed over to C's lil apt. it's a really cute 2bed apt, just perfect for her & not-so-baby C. considering it's her first place & she's only been there a couple of months, she's got it pretty together too.

we headed over to the party about 8ish; it was surprisingly warm for dec in the desert, windy though. it was great to see the gang, we hung out the backyard, old school style. we are getting old though, after a couple of hours it was time to eat & about an hour after that it was time to go in & sit, we can't drink or stand they way we used to!

i think we left about 2:30, cousin C went out too, so i had her house key. i texted her & let her know we were in, so she could call me when she got home. i know i woke up at least once, worried that she'd called & i didn't hear it & she was sleeping outside her own apt! yeah, we would so not be invited over again! hahaha! about an hour later she did call, i remember my voice was gone & i could hardly speak, i don't even know what i said or if she even heard me, but i got the door open to let her in.

the wind was crazy bad & woke me up throughout the night i mean morning. sun Z had a cub scout bike ride so we had to leave early to get there on time. my voice hardly came back, but i surprisingly felt alright considering the alcohol & lack of sleep, at least for the drive.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

wow, i'm getting good at this, a few years ago i listed our "standard" menu & that makes things so much easier! i decided to not make any cookies this year so i could focus on pie crust.

i actually made the crust about 6 weeks before bc i was dying for some pumpkin pie. then i realized i didn't have any evaporated milk, so it stayed in the freezer. when i got the milk, B told me he really, really, really was going to try to watch his weight, so the in the freezer it stayed.

that is until i couldn't take it anymore & i didn't care about the man watching his weight, i would eat the whole pie myself if i had to.....
so i made the practice pumpkin pie, it came out pretty good. i took some to nana & she said it was too sweet. i didn't put as much pumpkin spice it, oh well, now i know better! next time around i'm tempted at putting some cream cheese in there.

bc nana was coming over we knew we had to get things going early in the morning & have more of a lunch instead of our regular 4 or 5 dinner. so the day before thanksgiving i made the real pumpkin pie, a chocolate pudding pie with homemade graham cracker crust, the spinach dip (bc it's always better the 2nd day), cooked the acorn squash & prepared the cranberry sauce. then in the middle of the night B woke me up with "did we get a pan for the turkey?"

ugh, no we had not. i had asked him about getting a disposable one while at the store & we did decided to look for a real pan & uh, forgot about it i guess.

so we got up early, actually B did, i was dragging *ss....
he started prepping things, like life-giving coffee so i could get out of bed & when i finally did, he was already dressed & headed out to buy the pan. i started chopping stuffing ingredients [& FB-ing (shhh)], but we still ended up about an hour or so behind schedule.

about noon we went & got nana, she was ready to go. we were starving & dug into some appetizers, but nana didn't want to ruin her appetite, even though i told her it would be a couple of hours before it would be ready & her normal lunch time is 12:30, she would not eat a bite of anything. my mom showed up shortly thereafter, she wanted to make sure she got a lesson in from nana on gravy making.

only nana said she didn't remember how she made it. i make the world's worst gravy, so that meant my mom had to & as soon as she started, nana told her she was doing it wrong.
oh, sorry mom!

dinner, er lunch, whatever, the thanksgiving meal, was ready about 2:30 & by then nana was starving. she only got a little mashed potatoes & henry VIII style, had the turkey leg, seriously. & she put a hurt on it too. the rest of us had full plates & enjoyed our thankgiving very much.

shortly after the meal my cousin ME showed up with her teenage daughter, it was nice to have more family over. i don't even remember what we talked about anymore. we did dessert next. i don't know how many times nana asked about the pumpkin pie (my mom brought cherry & coconut cream, so i guess beings nana didn't see the pumpkin, she didn't believe we had one even though we told her repeatedly).

nana didn't have any dessert though, she was stuffed with turkey. about 4:30ish she was ready for her nap, so it was time to take her back & that seemed to be the cue for everyone to head out.

my mom skipped out too & didn't take any leftovers & honestly, there was a part of me that wondered if something was up. we talked a day or 2 later & she told me she left here to go to a friend's, so that was good.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

the trial run

so the deal with changing nana's facility was 2 part, one that i can go see her more often but also so we could bring her to our house for outings. cousin ME took nana to her house once from the other facility & she warned me it was a lot of work for just a couple hours & it wasn't easy getting nana in & out of the car. so i knew i needed B to help me & his school schedule has been crazy, not to mention all the ghetto house fun.

as the month dwindled down & we got the renters situated, we planned on bringing nana over on saturday. unfortunately when we went to pick her up around noon she was still in her gown bc she'd had a rough night. she was having problems swallowing & chewing & when she woke in the morning her right side & the bed was wet either from vomit or drool bc she couldn't swallow. we stayed & visited with her for a bit & told her we'd be back the next day to try it again.

we showed up about noon again & this time she was dressed & in her wheelchair waiting with bells on; it was cute. it was kinda cold & rainy out, but she didn't mind. B & I got her in the house & then we had lunch. i had prepared abondigas the day before & homemade tortillas, the first thing nana said was "they aren't round". hahah, i had to tell her it's a lot harder than she thinks it is to make them round, she did say they tasted good though.

it was amazing how many things she remembered about the house although it's been about 9 years since she'd been here last. she remembered the fish tank & how we planned on putting a patio cover on in back. we attempted to go sit in the backyard but even though the rain had stopped some time ago it was too cold.

we ended up in the living room watching an old marilyn monroe movie. once it was over nana realized it was starting to get dark so she was ready to go back. it was a nice visit & a good trial run for thanksgiving.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Z & school stuffs

i'm convinced Z's teacher does not like me one bit, but i'm not going to get into that.

i just realized i didn't write about the peepee story, oops...
one morning Z tells me he feels weak & dizzy & it hurt when he peed. i kept him home to see how he did & it didn't get better, so i took him to the dr. they took a sample & said he had blood in his urine, probably from an injury. when asked the only thing he could remember was a classmate had kneed [is that right? i keep thinking dough not knee when i see that] him in the groin in the bathroom.

i asked him about it, should i tell the principal? [i mean he gets in so much trouble, maybe he's not always the instigator.] he said yes, although he wouldn't tell me the whole story, so i asked her to talk with him. she found out he & another kid were horsing around & that was pretty much it. i felt like a fool for making a deal about it.


i've told Z's teacher several times i'm open to helping out & she finally accepted my offer. on the 17th Z's class had a field trip to a state park & she put me in charge of 10 kids [cue panic attack] now i knew why she accepted my offer, she needed the help.

first they had a little talk about the native american indians that lived in the area long ago. then we had a park docent show us around, we were on the move constantly. she lead us around, i corralled kids, told them to be quiet, listen & catch up during the walk. even so we had to run back to the bus & we were the last group. one more reason for Z's teacher to not like me, oh well.....


18th was P/T conference day, academically he's catching up, i mean, he's still behind the class but his teacher said she never would have guessed he started last year not being able to read & that explained the problems he continues to have with comprehension, sentence structure, etc.

he's doing well in math although he got a U bc he refuses to show his work. a lot of what they're doing is stuff from last year so he doesn't get why he's doing it again, he already knows it. on the math placement test he got 100%, so he does know it, they know he knows it, he's just got to put forth the effort on regular day to day work.

his behavior, um, yeah....we all know that's a big fat U, but she did say he's been better lately, no oranges or reds & that we're aware of, he has stopped flipping his card to better instead of worse.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

ghetto house update

oh, yeah, i see i didn't write a thing about ghetto house in was SO much fun i did my best to block it all out.

holy crap i hate being a landlord! oh my you have no idea how many phone calls i had to go through with people & yah, i'm not good with the phone, even with people i like a whole lot, even love, i'm just weird & awkward like that. it's not you, it's me, really.

we finally got someone to fill out the rental app somewhat complete, but then i couldn't verify any of his info; lived with inlaws & wife had no recent work history & i wasn't able to get through to his employer, so no dice.

then a gazillion more phone calls. yeah!

one more rental app came in, complete. all looked good, we did a credit check & although it took a few weeks to check all their stuff out we signed them up.

when i sent them the lease i wrote again to verify they knew the house did not include fridge [remember the story that didn't happen? ah, still makes me laugh & gag all at the same time...], but if they needed one we could talk about it. the discussion happened 2 days before move in & it went like this "you'll have a refrigerator for us right?".

dang, thanks for all that notice, it's not like we're right there or have a spare one sitting around. [ok, we actually do have a fridge in the garage, it's our old, old one, before the dead one. the non-freezer part freezes everything so it only holds drinks, so it's not like someone could use it for food.] so i spent a day going all over town looking for a decent fridge that wasn't too expensive.

i found one, B delivered & got a signed lease & i think a week later we got a call that it had some sort of alarm that went off. they could turn it off, but it would go off again. damn! so i went back to the place where i got the fridge & we got another one & a week later we swapped out fridges. fun huh?

we finally got to met the husband & wife, so that was good. they're from LA, but he's working on base now & they have a brand new baby, so she's going to be a stay at home mom. she doesn't seem to pleased with town, not that i can blame her, but i told her i was actually envious of her chance to stay home with her newborn.

a few days later we get a phone call that fridge #2 was leaking internally & they weren't sure if it's water or where it's going, so we told them to keep an eye on it & turn off the water line.

Friday, November 12, 2010

color me this

now that nana is so close to me, i try to go see her about every other day or so. i take food or snacks in for her so she has something different to eat. sometimes i bring in nail polish & do her nails for her & sometimes we just sit there & don't talk much, but i know just being there is a change of pace for her.

i bring Z with me probably about once a week, but we don't stay too long. it's a toss up, she likes seeing him, a lot of the other residents light up when they see a kid, but also he's just a ball of energy. we usually try to go out to the garden so he can run around, then some of the residents yell at him for chasing the cats. goodness people, he's a kid & a little run is not hurting those cats, but i guess that's what [some] old people do.

the other day i decided [& more importantly figured out how] to go in & color nana's hair. she's always been concerned about her hair greying [yes, even at 90 greys are not acceptable], but i'd been putting off paying the facility salon bc it's $40 plus tip, which is rather pricey when you consider a box of color is about $10.

i discovered the trick is to let the staff know the day prior to shower day that i'm going to do the color, so they schedule her shower for later & they rinse out the color. so i scheduled it, got the box of color & went in & did it. i hadn't ever colored someone else's hair before & nana had a good 6 months of growth, so although she's 90 & her hair is thin in some spots i used the entire bottle.

i did my best, but after the shower i brushed her hair out & found 2 little spots in the back near the scalp that i missed. oops! oh well, you really have to search to find them. nana said she's gotten lots of compliments on her hair, so i guess no one has seen the spots!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

not really working

in an attempt to get back into the work routine & soliciting myself to a few friends, i got a response. [i'm still not sure if i really wanted one, but whatev's....] i figured if nothing else, i could get used to doing something along the lines of my normal work instead of yard work, cooking & sewing [i got a few lessons for martha stewart these days].

so i'm helping an old friend from the dirt company. the co. shut it's doors about a year ago or so, everyone scattered & many made their own joint ventures trying to survive it all. this friend asked me to help him with reports & basically getting his office organized.

funny thing is he was one of the main reasons i stayed [& later left] that job. he was a good friend, but in the end i felt like he was taking advantage of me, his demands were more than i could handle at the time. i had wanted to leave that job so many times in the past but either he, or later it was B, would talk me out of it. in their defense i liked the work, the pay was good & i had flexible hours so i could go to school.

however i always remember from my interview day the vieja said "we're like a family here" which was true, it was extremely dysfunctional & everyone was ok with that.

when i finally did leave B was in Japan [& we didn't know when he was coming home], Z was 9 months old [i'd been a single parent for 8 months], i was exhausted from a hellacious commute [an hour+ each way, with a baby who tended to puke a lot] & i had been at a job for over 10 years which i'd hated for um, probably the entire time.

i didn't expect all that to unfold, but there it is...

so i've got more on my plate, but i'm not working, not really anyways. all the red tape & circumstances make it so it's best i don't get paid for my efforts. sigh....

Monday, November 1, 2010

the microwave story...

[the really sad thing about this story is that i have to go over to fb to figure out what really happened in the month of november bc it's all a blur to me]


so yeah, Z's been on lockdown for awhile [remember?]. his first taste of freedom was when M & S came to town; we went to a craft fair then met up with an old hs buddy for talk & dinner. it didn't go well. wait, no, i take that back, it went well, Z however did not. spankings were had in the restaurant's bathroom, he laughed, we went outside & talked & i think we spanked out there some more for good measure, then he still was a little shit. see fun!

at home one day i noticed the [new, about a year old] microwave door seemed a lil loose. i know Z is just able to reach it, so i told him he needed to be really careful with the door & it would be best for him to climb up on the counter when he was opening the door so he could pull it out straight & not down.

2 days later, if i'm not mistaken, in the morning he cries out from the kitchen while i'm getting dressed. i run out & find the door completely unhinged, off, not even hanging by a thread, it is it's own entity now. Z said "it fell" - yeah right! the bottom metal hinge was completely bent, he yanked it down, apparently pretty hard.

geez, does this child not realize i have a list of needs wants like new flooring for the bathrooms? & the kitchen? how about a stove where all 4 burners work? or new kitchen countertops & cabinets [that i've wanted since before we went to the desert]?

so he wrecked a new micro & don't get me started on how much i hate living without one!
ugh, i had to re-heat my coffee on the stove top, all camper/cowboy style, i'm sure i was growling in doing so. then later that night i wanted a cup of tea, so i had to heat the water the same way. outrageous i tell you!

B's the man though, he done fixed it; the door is back on & Z's not allowed to touch it....probably until he's like 30.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

everyday is Halloween

[this post is only like 2.78 weeks late, sorry, i have no excuse other than i'm a much better blogger when i'm getting paid to sit at a computer, when i'm at home i have too many distractions & i hardly get a chance to sit.]

while we started all the halloween plans early, it still snuck up on me...completely. initially Z wanted to be Dumbledore & that scared me, it's a whole lot of pretty & like skilled sewing, i'm all about messed up off kilter frankenstein, but if something is supposed to match up or meet, um, there's probably gonna be issues.

so i caved & showed the boy an ad from a costume store, he wanted a black robe & either scary mask from star wars or the scream mask. [hell to the no on the scream mask, the nightmares i would have from that, from the mask being in my house, no way jose!] i figured i would make the robe, but it was only $15 & i figured the material & time it would take to sew, it was a deal. i later found some blue material to drape around the front of the robe & a big medallion thing [& bc we're super classy, we hung it from some copper speaker wire].

on friday we went to the school carnival; it was even lamer [is that a word? seems weird] than last year's. the school has gotten even more strict about sweets & candy, so they didn't have classroom trick-or-treating. they had someone selling some food, a few other vendors & the haunted house. it was $3 & we let Z go by himself, he didn't even want to go a 2nd time, then he went to the playground.

he met up with his friend out there who asked if Z could stay the night but we had plans [not to mention the fact that a parent wasn't in sight]. the kid asked if Z could stay next weekend then & went on to tell me that they wanted to go to vegas...for a week.[!]

on sunday, halloween day, i was still fixing, hemming, hanging the blue material. we didn't even carve pumpkins this year, i didn't even think about them until halloween DAY.

Z had spent the night at grammie's so i figured after i picked him up, we'd go pick up a couple, but that was the day my mom psychoanalyzed Z, so pumpkins were out. [no, i'm not going further into that one]

at dark thirty we went over to one of the neighbors, another singleton, & asked if he wanted to go trick-or-treating with Z. it worked out, they were both star wars characters to boot. we just went up & down the block below us & our's. then i realized a few people saying "wow you have a lot of candy" sounding like "you're being really greedy" so i told the boys it was time to stop.

they both had quite a bit of candy, but it's more about going all around, who cares if your bag is full!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


yeah, this is backdated, i, um lost, like almost a month....don't know exactly how that happened...

nana's appt went well - Dr F said her cancer is progressing slowly; the big swollen belly isn't fluid retention, it's good living; couldn't ask for anything more.

the only bad part was my uncle's persistence regarding a timeline, like he had money riding on it. he had to, HAD to know, how long does she have left. he didn't even have the decency to wait for her to be out of the room or even question the doctor in a low voice.

nana's doing fine, so chemo isn't an option at this time & that's a good thing. however, the timeline for no chemo was 6 months, 3 of which have past

& nana heard that.

to add insult to injury my uncle has to state "so she'll make it through the holidays, then about jan/feb or so"


Monday, October 25, 2010

how's your nana?

mine is well, well, i mean, you know, for having stage 4 cancer....she's great actually!
she still has no clue, other than occasional indigestion that she's sick. her belly has gotten bigger, swollen some, other than that all good.

we went to a dr appt 2 weeks ago with the cancer peoples [moore's cancer center], they're so nice. my uncle (B) went this time, which is good bc apparently he didn't believe a dang thing his daughter & i told him about the last meeting, so this meeting was basically a repeat of the last one. yah for wasting people's time who are trying to cure cancer patients!

Dr. F kinda said everything he said last time, then decided beings 2+ months passed to check where nana was at in the evolution of things. they sent her over to the lab for blood samples & scheduled her for an abdominal x-ray.

i planned, no really i did, plan on going with her to the x-ray downtown. i made sure i had gas, i set the alarm, had snacks & waters in a bag, all kinds of togetherness happening over here people!
except i set the alarm an HOUR late....
& it didn't click, at all, not in getting ready, not when i pulled out of the driveway, or on the freeway, or walking into the building, but when i walked down the hall
i think i screwed up...

yep, i did.
i went & asked the nurse's station & yeah, i was an hour late. i considered driving down there, but knew bc of the time & the light rain it would probably take 2 hours. i didn't even know exactly where to go so it would take some time to find her & even if i did by then it would be time to turn around & drive home.
gah, so i failed nana. i felt really bad about it, i know going out scares her & she doesn't understand 1/2 the shit people tell her [hearing not language issue].
but i did go see her later that day when she was back & she was fine. i think it may have even boosted her confidence a bit that she did do it all by herself.

ok, so back to ugly reality....
thursday is results day & i don't wanna go. i know enough about her timeline as far as i'm concerned, i don't need or want anymore details, my uncle wants to know though.
i will go to be there for her...
& to not afford my uncle the opportunity to misunderstand, misinterpret or down right lie about what the doc says.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

popcorn sales

Z's still doing the cub scout thing, we missed one meeting, bc of the restriction & all around being a little shit while on restriction....

i didn't even blog about his 1st popcorn sale; it was kinda a big deal bc not only was it his 1st & only time doing anything like that, but he was alone. i know, wth people? he got a 15 minute primer by the previous shift [3 boys] then was left to his own devices. he did well though, brought in over $200.

this weekend was round 2 of sales. he had help, which was actually more of a pain in the a** [well for me at least] than i expected it to be. the "help" was 9 almost 10 & thought he was so grown up & such a cub scout star & was a complete little s*** when his dad walked off. together the boys brought in about $200 again.

Z was hilarious though, his confidence went through the roof & as each person walked out of the store he would swing out his arm, full reach display with a bag of popcorn in hand & say:

"would you like some.........unbelievably tasty popcorn?"

seriously, he totally made that up the sales pitch all by himself.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


what the heck? how did that happen? where did the time go?

let's start off with Z of course....
well, that was the 1st week of trouble [fyi, that's alluding to a 2nd week of it bc one isn't fun enough!] i don't remember what the first tad of trouble was the following week, but the 2nd one was a dandy. hit bit a girl!!!!

8 YEARS old & still biting
& it was his friend...
but he said it wasn't a big deal bc he didn't do it hard.
[lucky her huh?]

so the story goes they were doing math with the rubber blocks [remember that he colored previously?] yeah, those blocks & one fell & both kids grabbed for it & she got it first, so he bit her leg. it's not like he had any other options or anything....

so beatings were had & restriction was on for 2 weeks & it was a grand ole time over here in these parts.

we had signed Z up for guitar lessons, but after all that we unsigned him. surprisingly they [the guitar teacher people] were supportive; we told Z he would only go if he continued his good behavior. the day i turned in payment for the guitar class was the day principal called. the class will be offered again in a few months, hopefully the boy can get back on tract.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Z antics - 5 weeks

(aka call your bookie)

yeah, i know, we were all waiting, counting the days, the weeks, oh a month - woohoo!

then, yah....


a call from the principal
[doesn't this woman have anything better to do than call me?]

so during emergency preparedness practice stuff Z was disruptive [hello, 8 yo boy], but like a lot i guess & you know 3rd graders are practically adults there, so he's supposed to be responsible for his own actions & set a good example for the young ones.

that's not Z's m.o. people...

not only was he being disruptive & it took her many attempts to get his attn, make him behave, yadayada, while all the kids had their heads down on the tables to calm down he [along with others] took the opportunity to throw lunch foods around the room.

that was thursday's call, but then i got another one on friday about shit he pulled earlier in the week which he chose not to tell me about so the first i hear of it is from her....

on tuesday he defaced school property [colored & poked holes in some rubber blocks], then when he was supposed to turn his color card [to reflect his bad behavior] he flipped it the wrong way [ie better instead of worse] on purpose, then, THEN he was supposed to go to the "bad kid" room during lunch & HE TOTALLY BLEW IT OFF


Monday, October 4, 2010

sold the car

remember the note? so i took the car in to a shop to get it checked out & they quoted $700+ of work to get it to pass smog, but they were also interested in buying the car. i almost sold it to them but decided to call around & get a few more quotes & sure enough, they totally inflated the estimate to get the car for less.

so i called the guy back from the note & after a few days, we worked it out. on sunday he came by & i gave him the car. B thinks we could have gotten more for it, but i didn't want to deal with it anymore.

on one hand it was hard to let it go [& i had a few emotional breakdowns in the process of it] but on the other it was also a constant reminder & something else i needed to deal with.

he wasn't able to take the car that day, although i was hoping he could; then on tuesday late morning i noticed it was gone & it made me sad. what was once normal was now a void.

Monday, September 27, 2010

people are stupid

so i've spent the past few weeks figuring out how to be an active landlord now that ghetto house is about to be vacant. did you know there's all kinds of tenant protective laws but there isn't shit for the landlord...what can i ask, what can't i ask, can i get a credit report, how do we transfer information beings we're 200 miles away?

we didn't do anything with the moving out tenant, he'd been our neighbor for a year & we knew he was a bank manager, so we handed him the keys, signed a 2 year lease & hoped for the best. all but that 2 year thing worked out, which is funny as he actually wanted a 3 year lease.

i listed the house in the local freebie sheet & we got quite a few phone calls, some good some please lose my number. one woman sounded really promising, her & her teenage son moved to town bc of his special education needs while the husband lived wherever to run their own business. i sent the rental application to them & in response received "will provide confidential information at the appropriate time" & an application that was pretty much useless.

um, i don't get it, the point of an application is the applicant provides information, the originator verifies the information, seems simple right? so i sent them an email back & said i couldn't begin the verification process bc hello there's nothing to verify dumbass!!! they needed to complete the application. i also asked for husband's pay stubs/a w-2/accountant/bookkeeper/tax preparer's number/something/anything to verify their only source of income. i told them they didn't need to supply bank account/credit card/loan numbers, just names, balances & monthly payment & if all went well, after verifying a credit report we would need their DL & SS #s, this is all normal stuff.

i didn't hear back from them. i got a headache from this. what do people expect, i'm handing over keys to a house that we completely renovated!

the only other person that's shown quite an interest in the house is section 8 with 5 kids & a big f-ing dog. she's my stalker. i should have stopped her when i got the first call & she asked if the house was section 8, but i was so surprised & wasn't sure about legalities of it i didn't want to just say "no i don't want you & your 5 screaming kids & your big ole dog in my little, clean house!" so when she gave me the number to call & get info on section 8, i did just that.

i left a vm, they didn't call back. section 8 stalker did though. so i called section 8 again & talked with someone. i had to listen to a 15 min spiel about the glories of providing low-income housing options. yeah, that's not what i'm here for, i'm here to get someone else to pay my mortgage on a house i can't afford to sell, call me selfish if it makes you feel better....

i did find out the house has to go through a somewhat lengthy inspection process - SCORE! (to make sure you're not a slumlord, all about protecting the tenant i tell you!), but she also told me we don't have to rent to anyone we don't want to; that ultimately we decide who lives in our house (cue angels singing!). she also told me if you have a section 8 tenant & they can fall off the program yet still be on your lease - wtf? can you imagine the battle getting those people out of your house?

section 8 stalker of course called again & argued with me about the process; no, first we sign a lease THEN you have the house inspected. she also asked me about the credit report, why do i need one bc she doesn't have any evictions or anything like that. so i explained i needed to see payment history etc. & that's when she asks me if payday loan places count as credit history....honey, you & i ain't signing no lease for nuffin!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

before the fun part

prior to visiting the girls i had business to take care of...

i stopped by my dad's bank, i was told the branch mgr was out for lunch & the person whom i normally work with was heading out for lunch. i thought for sure that meant i would be waiting for about an hour, but was pleasantly surprised when it was only about 10 minutes.

i had to explain the entire situation to the new person & she was surprisingly compassionate [i was expecting bitchy but i guess that complaint to the BBB helped. unfortunately it's not open for the public to read, but one of those on there, yeah that's me!]

she explained to me while the fraud case was investigated a 3rd party was in charge, hence the refunds not deposited in the account. she called them, confirmed they were investigating all the withdrawals, not just the large ones & that the refunds from Dell & Net10 had been received. she then asked them to contact her as soon as they had any new information & told me she would call me hopefully later in the day.

& she did. she called me a few hours later that everything had been resolved, the account was fully refunded & i could go close it out. i was there in 10 minutes. although it was a different branch so i had to tell my story all over again, but i got it & Sun Community I'm so done with you!

in the middle of all that i also stopped by nana's house. this time i called my uncle 1st, so you know, i didn't have another police escort. he met me there, opened up & proceeded to tell me he thinks the house is haunted. i don't think so, maybe it's his guilty conscience, but i didn't say anything, just looked around for nana's pj's that she requested only to discover girlfriend doesn't have i picked out some winter clothes for her & got out before any boogie man or alarm gotta me.

Friday, September 24, 2010

old roomies

this is the year of 39 for us, seems weird to be that age. i don't feel that old, but it's hard to think of yourself as all that young when people your age have multiple grandkids.

i headed down to the valley to meet the girls, my sisters, well at least 2 of them, the 3rd is far away. i took care of some things [which i'll discuss here] then went over to visit M & baby. it was already about 1pm so they were resting from the morning festivities that i had missed. M & I had quite a bit of catching up to do, i haven't been able to email much & the blog doesn't get updated as much as it should & even when it is, it's not what it used to be....i never promised this place to be all fun, but i tried to keep it light until things got too heavy to bare.

baby is in my favorite stage, running around babbling & into everything, she wasn't even cranky when she was tired. we talked & she adventured, before we knew it she past out in bed for her nap. then the birthday girl (S) showed up as i was heading out to run an errand. when i returned baby was waking up & birthday girl was primping & blowing up balloons.

we headed over to S's grandma's house where her family was all waiting for her. even though it's her grandma's house, it's funny how they all have that feel of comfort & warmth. we hung out in the backyard & listened to music, that's valley style. we told stories & we laughed, no tequila shots & no dancing on speakers...maybe at our next get together?

you know you're good friends when the time span from your last talk/email/whatever doesn't matter, you start talking like you're in the middle of conversation bc that's what it is, it started sometime ago & simply continues.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

don't call it a comeback

[that's LL Cool J if you didn't get it]

so we all remember Z's history of school troubles right? first grade was full of them, first the punch, then more punching, the suspension, hitting a girl, do i need to go on bc i'm getting tired & we haven't even started on 2nd grade....

haha, i just spent the last hour searching & apparently last year i was in denial, er um, blog denial at least bc i didn't post anything about Z's shit, i mean antics. so yeah, early on in the year there was a suspension for hitting, then there was the time where a girl in line defended someone else so Z spat in her face, then there was the time Z chased his girlfriend who has extreme shellfish allergies with dirty shrimp hands [what school serves shrimp poppers i ask? really, they were asking for it!].

all in all i think there was only 1 suspension last year though, so an improvement [i know really searching for silver linings, live my life though ok!].

anyways moving on to 3rd grade...he's been telling me lately about kids calling him names & such. i've told him the best thing to do is tell an adult or walk away. we've had the conversation a few times & every single time i tell him how proud i am of him for not responding in a way that gets him in trouble.

B & I talked about it the other night, my initial response was to tell them "to f-off" but that doesn't work so well on the playground. B's option was tell them "that's not what your momma said" which 3rd graders wouldn't understand - i hope!

today though i'd had it, maybe bc i'm not feeling well, but i just feel so bad for the kid. today i told him when someone calls you a name tell them "so, you're ugly".

you should have seen that smile!

i told him never start it, only reply & walk away immediately.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


today would have been my dad's 64th birthday....that's not very old.
it's weird to think that he's gone, he was always there. ok, not THERE, but you know, somewhere...just not here & i didn't know where that there was....

out of the blue someone left a note on our door a few days ago that they were interested in buying my dad's car. that made me realize it's out there & i really do need to do something about it, preferably sooner rather than later.

i drove his car for the first time today. B had to jump it as the battery was dead, but it drove just fine. Z said he liked the way it smelled [you can smell cologne from outside the vehicle even with all the doors closed & windows up].

in between the nana drama, i've made some progress over the past few months with my dad's things though:
- the bank no longer returns my phone calls. a few days ago i submitted a complaint to the BBB, it was approved & sent to the bank for response.

- finally i was able to get in contact with a sheriff who was willing to take a report on the theft. i've probably spoken to 10 different people throughout the county before getting this one; although he did warn me the report could get nixed by higher ups, i have a case # & THAT is something.

- 2 of the vendors tell me they've refunded some or all of the charges [although the bank is not crediting the account->part of the BBB complaint], while the 3rd vendor won't do anything without the police report.

the past few months my dad has been a bigger part of my life than he'd ever been before.

Friday, September 17, 2010

moved nana

yesterday we moved nana to a facility closer to my mom & i. the previous place did pretty much all they could to keep her, from saying the fax wouldn't go through to telling us we were liable for the transfer. so glad to be done with that place!

it was mexican independence day though; the old place said they were going to have live music, although nana never saw it so it didn't happen or she missed it & at the new place, their festivities were had earlier in the day, so she missed that too. she did have a burrito, beans & red rice for dinner & she was quite pleased to finally have some mexican food.

the rooms aren't all that great, but a little more cheery than the dark rooms at the other place. this room she has a view of the garden & her roomie doesn't mind her looking out the window. the furniture is kinda ugly but we're welcome to bring in stuff to home to make it more individualized. the garden isn't as nice but it's a lot bigger & they have cats [although nana doesn't like them, she does like to watch them.]

bottom line, they're all about the same or just not good, it's more about the people. the employees here seem a bit happier, the other residents are friendly & helpful. the facility's schedule offers more activities besides "the 4 o'clock news" on tv.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

house for rent

holy crap, B got a message the other day from our TWOyearsignedleasebutonly14monthshavepassed tenant that he wanted to talk & that the house was fine.

B called him & yeah, he's being transferred & has to break the lease....awesome. he said he wasn't sure when or where he was going, but may need to be out in 3 weeks.

then a few days later we received the rent check with a note [he never, ever writes anything] stating "per our previous conversation the house will be cleaned & vacated by 10/1"....more awesomeness.

so now, bc you know, life doesn't seem to have enough moving parts, we need to get him out & get someone else in.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

we are cub scouts

i guess only Z is really. you remember him right? yah, i know, it's been awhile, poor kid has been totally ignored by this blog. but that's ok, i'd rather lack blog fodder than have a tantrum of the day entry...

so the kiddo is finally at grade level, actually a little above in math, so we can have a distraction or 2. the past couple of years Z's been interested in that whole boy scout thing, but i can't even imagine what school nights would have been like trying to fit meetings, readings & other badge related work in there some how!

last week we went to our first cub/pack/den/whatever meeting; it was complete chaos. Z & I sat at the table with the eldest boys (um, 5th graders i think) & holy crow i had no idea boys could chitchat so much, it was insane. surprisingly i made it through without yelling or shushing anyone, then i got to met the head dude for Z's group. he seems like a pretty nice guy & he made sure i knew that's not how things normally go, this was just bc it was the whole group & 1st of the year yada yada.

this week B was able to go with us & the meeting was at head dude's house. the boys have a good time together & i think this will be really good for Z. he's learning the salute is not hitler like [needed some work at the first meeting]. he's still not really good friends with anyone at school, so i hope this will help him figure that out & possibly this will give B & Z something to do together....although i may be tagging along sometimes too.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

nana's 90

i started this before but it froze up, then i forgot about it & here i am days later a lil lost....

tues was nana's 90th birthday. crazy huh? i can only hope to live, be as functional & coherent at that age. i won't even talk about the memory as at times i think her's is better than mine!

anyways, mom & i got there about 12:30 & both uncles were already there along with my aunt out in the garden. it was a warm afternoon but there wasn't enough space for all of us in nana's room now that she has a roommie. we spent a surprising nice afternoon all together; it was reminiscent of being in nana's backyard. well, you know, without blaring mexican music, tons of beer & food burning on the grill....& nobody was yelling at each other or maybe not.

we had cake & wished nana a happy birthday but she forgot to blow out the candles, so i had to help her out, it was pretty funny....i wonder if my aunt got the pic with the flames being blown off to the left?

now that everyone had a chance to see the room, everyone agreed it was not a good fit for nana. we already know wherever she goes she will have to share a room, but this wasn't good for her. her new spot was quite different from the rehab hall, not only the room, but she said the staff/care she received was inferior. oh & her biggest deal was the bathroom, not only did she have to share with roomie, but it's a jack-n-jill bathroom, so shared by 4 PEOPLE! yeah, not good for someone who's lived alone for 40+years ok!

as my mom said "she may have not had the cleanest toilet on the block, but it was her's".

my hesitation was with nana though, i'd spoken to her previously about moving & she said she liked it there. she'd even told cousin ME that i was trying to move her from there, like it was a secret plan or something! i was having dreams that nana was telling me to leave her alone, so even as the family was telling me to look, i felt i was taking away nana's last bit of control.

so when we left, we asked ME to speak with nana & really get a feel for the situation, move or no move. ME said move & she would take the heat.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

singer's in the house

the singer is out of the garage, it's now a part of our normal living/dining room furniture. i have some of nana's things sitting on top of it; a bag of clothing, a blanket from her house, things of that nature. sometimes when i walk by it, i can smell her scent bc of the clothing & for now, that gives me some sort of comfort.

when we came back from LA, i visited nana (on the 23rd), she was doing crazy good. she was very happy, very talkative & all around in a good mood. it was good to see her in such high spirits & so healthy.

i spent the week looking for a new place for her, short term care will end soon. i'm learning things like medicare A & B, hospice & medi-cal - things i'd rather not know about, things i was happier not knowing about.

i finally found a place that would take her [nobody wants people that can't private pay or females bc they live too long, ugly but true] & on friday B, cousin ME & I checked it out. it was disappointing, a true nursing home where people go to die. 3 beds to a room, next they'll have them bunk-bedded. what's even worse is ME said this place was much nicer than the previous one she checked out!

i visited nana again on 8/30, she's still doing very well. she did ask if she was going home though, so i had to explain it all over to her again. she wasn't as upset & she admitted that she didn't know why she thought they would tell her she could go home, but she did. i also explained to her that she was probably going to have to go to a different facility & that she probably wouldn't have a private room again.

she told me she noticed her pansa [stomach] was getting big again & i told her that was good. i reminded her of how much better she was doing, that she wasn't in the hospital getting poked over & over again. she also told me the other day she rang for assistance but when they didn't come right away she took herself to the bathroom. although i know that's very dangerous for her, she did it & it proves her strength is improving too.

i've been making tortillas again & i know she can't tell me her recipe [i don't think i've ever seen the woman measure anything] but i asked her about the dough, if she let it set?
she told me "if you're in a hurry you cook them, if you have time, then let it set" [spoken like a true mom]
then she added "just make sure you use a lot of lard so they taste good".

Monday, August 30, 2010

1st day of 3rd grade & other stuff i missed

where did the summer go people?
well, even with visiting hospitals all over the countryside & a little jaunt to hollywood to balance things out, it's over. i had so many other things that i wanted to write about, enjoyable moments were fleeting & i didn't even write about Z's final report card or his test results bc well, shit just got in the way....

STAR student report, i'm not sure why it's all in caps, but ok...for english/language arts Z ranked just above proficient!!! thank you, thank you, yes, we are very proud! after a hellish 1st grade with bull*hit teachers & school programs, 2nd grade helped tremendously! i think we would have been satisfied with basic (330-349) but he got 353 & yes, those couple of points were a bonus.

& you know although 1st grade teachers lied & said he wasn't good in math either, Z scored 415. fyi, that's advanced as in higher than proficient! talk about vindicated!! i really, really, really wanted to send a copy of this to the old school [along with a note that said "bit*hes"!]

ok, onward to 1st day of 3rd grade now that we've talked about that...

Z didn't even fret, not one bit. [again i wonder if we're related bc i had a dream the previous week about going to class & not doing my homework & i'm the only person in the house that isn't going to school!!!] we'd been doing the countdown for sometime & B starting school the week before kinda prepped us too, so Z was just like whatever crazy ocd mom!.

the morning of he got up, got ready, had breakfast - all no big deal. we started walking to school when i realized OMG we hadn't taken the front door official first day of school pic!!! so we had to go back & do that, then we had to run to school.

we knew Z's teacher's name, but not the room #, so we had to go to the front of the school to look that up. as we searched to find the classroom [which was harder than it sounds bc i didn't realize but the map we looked at was posted upside down] we heard these weird sounds but ignored them only to discover that was the new bell system & Z was late for line-up. yah, way to start the new year!

the teacher caught us though, asked if we were looking for her so Z joined in line with the rest of the kids. as each kid walked into class she said good morning & welcomed them, then they started their day. even though we weren't allowed in the class, this teacher seems much friendlier than last year's.

Friday, August 20, 2010

walking in LA - day 3 & 4

on thurs we got up & finally caught that bus down to santa monica pier. we didn't expect it, but they dropped us off right at the mall...

we were there for the pier though, but then we saw cafe crepe. i've never had crepes before but B has & said they're yummy. they have both sweet & savory types, we ordered a salami panini & a spinach/feta crepe - WOW, good stuff!

the pier was even more of a tourist trap than we expected. i know our entire trip was based on that, but this was uber. Z had a good time on the rides though, it was very carnival like & tons of school camp kids. yes, of course Z found a girlfriend, that's what the boy does, a little girl in a skirt with boots [hussy!].

we headed back to the mall to find something for dinner. we stopped at a japanese place & had some hors d'oeuvres [yeah, i totally had to look that up!], then we walked around some more checking out all our options. we finally decided on thai, then after a relaxing meal we bused it back to the hotel.

on fri am, our last day there, Z asks me where's the soap to wash his hands...really? we've been ALL over LA & hollywood, been on various buses & now he decides to wash his hands?

we considered heading over to china town, but then decided we were tired, achy & blistered from all the walking & will save that for another trip.

the trip wasn't what either of us would really would like to have done, but considering the circumstances it worked. i think it's rather funny that although i'm borned & raised CA girl, all our site seeing was completely new for me too.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

walking in LA - day 1 & 2

by the time all the planning, organizing, packing, etc was done we were wiped & definitely needed a break. we actually got out of the house before noon [yah for us!] & arrived at the natural history museum just in time for a late lunch.

i had shown Z websites of our planned schedule before we went to make sure it was something he wanted to do & this was at the top of his list. unfortunately [for Z, but excellent for me] the spider pavilion was closed. that was ok, bc we saw enough bugs & other creepy crawly things in my opinion. Z really liked the diorama halls & the bird exhibits too, he wasn't as impressed with the gem displays though. i remember going to gem shows when i was a kid & loving it [add that to the list of nerdness].

then right about 5pm we headed over to the hotel bc why not experience LA traffic? it really wasn't THAT bad though. there was a mall right next to our hotel so after checking in, we went over there to check it out. as expected it was snobville, so we didn't stay long & decided to take the bus over to santa monica pier for the evening.

that sounds like a good plan, right? we thought so except the bus doesn't go that way after 8pm so i guess it was good that we didn't go down there & get stuck... so we ended up eating dinner at the mall's food court.

the next day we did catch the bus, downtown to the farmer's market & we walked over to the la brea tar pits. oh but first we interrupted some filming [dang tourists!] was hot so we didn't even look at the outside exhibit. i had read somewhere online to not bother with the museum, but we enjoyed it. [maybe bc we got in free with our military discount or maybe bc it was hot outside...]

Z being an 8yo boy listened to the guide more than i expected him to & when he wasn't he managed to not destroy anything or disturb anyone so that's a win in my book. the outside display wasn't as stinky as i had expected it to be or maybe i had just grown accustom to the smell.

right next door to the tar pits is the LA Cty Museum of Art which i really would have liked to have gone to, but i knew Z wouldn't be able to handle it, so we'll have to save that for another trip. instead we ran to the bus & headed back to the farmer's market for lunch. we didn't even go inside, we had lunch at du-par's well, Z had breakfast...

then we jumped back on the bus & headed up to hollywood blvd. it was weird & crazy, with tons of people & i think i don't ever want to go there at night, especially not alone. we walked around a bit, then went to madame tussauds. Z wasn't very impressed with anyone other than iron man & wolverine [i was impressed with wolverine too] & yes, of course i got a pic with r.pattinson but they should have had him as edward. B had a few inappropriate moments as any marine should with a few female stars & in case you were wondering, we pretty sure the wax figures have nips.

just as we were about to enter Ripley's some guy off the street asked Z if he wanted some cocaine. i'm not joking, the guy was though & Z's pretty sheltered so he asked "what's blocaine?". I told him the guy was crazy & reminded him not to talk to strangers.

this was probably Z's favorite spot on the blvd; it was full of weirdness. after this we bused it back over to the farmer's market & looked for a place to have dinner. we didn't walk around it before, so one would think a farmer's market would you know, have lots of fresh fruits, vegetables & such for sale, but this was more of a food court.

we tried the cajun place & got some alligator; it wasn't bad, a lot like chicken with a cornmeal breading. we were still hungry so then we tried this other place, the was some sort of flatbread/dough thing with hamburger like meat & stuff on it, really good. i'm gonna have to look that pedeh thing up!

finally we headed back to our not so glamorous although one would expect it hotel for a night's rest.

Monday, August 16, 2010

taking procrastination to new levels

we knew B was only going to have 1 week between summer school & fall & we kinda sorta tried to plan something, but it didn't happen. the most probable vacation would have been back to chicagoland to visit B's mom & fam, but tickets were pricey. we even looked in to last minute deals, bc that's totally our thing - non-planners extraordinaire!

beings that wasn't going to work, we looked for fishing spots for the boys. B didn't want anything too close or too common & under the time constraints wasn't really able to find anything that fit the bill. then we looked into going to northern CA, beautiful, cooler weather, but um, long drive & we didn't have a full week, more like 5 days. next we looked into something more along going to LA for a couple of days & catalina island for a couple of days.

i had been wanting to take Z to some of the museums & la brea tar pits for years, so that worked, but then whoa, catalina not for the unemployed. nor is it family friendly. virtually impossible to find a place with more than 1 bed, they suggest you rent another king size room at $200+ a night [sure!] or the flip side is a space/cabin with beds everywhere [ie living room] at $150+ a night.

so by sun we had a plan of LA/Hollywood/Santa Monica; only we didn't have a hotel. looking on our own wasn't working so B tried priceline & although i really dislike mr shatner, it worked we got a room at the hyatt for ~$130 a night.

then we found out parking was $24 a day
& when we got there we found out internet was $4 an HOUR

Friday, August 13, 2010

another valley trip, the eventful one

Z stayed with my mom, B & I headed down to the valley. we didn't rush to beat the heat, mid-july there's no beating it...we were on the freeway by 10:30 & my mom gave me grief about being so late & here i thought we were doing well.
honestly she doesn't understand what it takes to get this family out the door before noon.

we hit town & went directly to nana's house. we went in & my first stop was to gather the albums we'd left behind but someone had been through them; they were no longer all in the same place & some pics were missing. i decided to take every photo & album i saw. i wasn't taking them for myself, only taking them so they wouldn't be lost. i'm going to scan them & email out to everyone, later i'll worry about what to do with originals.

i went through nana's kitchen items, her mocahete was gone but i found her old tortilla roller. it has a chunk missing out of it now, like someone hit it against something. i gathered more clothes for nana also, items that i'd seen her wearing lately, hopefully they will make her more comfortable.

it was really hot [duh!] & we hadn't eaten anything so B & I decided to go have lunch which was a good idea bc i'm even more emotional when i'm hungry & that was definitely an emotional situation. it was a bad idea bc when we returned i noticed the front screen door was locked although i knew i hadn't locked it when we left. seconds after we entered the house the alarm went off.


i went to the neighbor's house, but they didn't answer.
i called nana's caregiver & she said she didn't know how to disarm it & for me to call my uncle [a$$hole one].


i call & luckily his wife answers [probably bc he's on the other phone with the alarm company]. so i tell her i'm at the house getting the pics & clothes for nana although i was there just a little bit earlier when i returned from having lunch someone came & set the alarm. she laughs & says "oh it's you!"

yeah, me [& the popo is on the way]

then she says "well we had to set the alarm bc someone broke in & stole a bed out of the front room. & they told us there was a truck out in front of the house."

yeah, the bed belongs to cousin C she probably came for it, it's her bed & the truck is B's truck. [yes, the popo totally showed up, it was so NOT awesome]

so we had to show the officer our id's then he wanted to come inside to check out the house & dang if B hadn't already started dis-assembling the f-ing alarm so it was all hanging down with wires everywhere & a chair under it! but we got away with it, i mean they let us go & didn't cart our a$$es off to jail...that would have been funny, i mean sucked, well both really.

once he left & all was settled with my aunt B & I decided we were done with this crap & we needed to leave. that is until we looked at the alarm & noticed it still said it was armed - F. so i had to call my aunt back & tell her we needed 2 things: 1)how to set the alarm when we left, but more importantly, 2)how could we get out of the house?

oh & in between those phone calls i found out someone said nana was being released from the facility & coming home. so then i had to call my uncle B somewhere in the middle of the alarm & popo & aunt/uncle conversations to find out wtf was going on bc really i didn't want to take things if she's coming home & i thought we all agreed it was safest for her to not????

my uncle B tells me a relative stopped to visit nana at the center but she wasn't there, how that turned into nana coming home i don't know, but it was his daughter [ME] that had taken nana to her house for a couple of hours.

does my family need to work on their communication issues or what?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


first we went to visit cousin C & baby C at children's hospital. baby C had gone longer than ever before since his last check up & he did well on this one too! there was a little bit of growth but not much & they don't have to come back for a few months again - YAH!

then we went to visit nana. i knew my uncle (a$$hole one) was supposed to visit today, but the way the day went we were headed that way about 3:30ish. that gave them plenty of time to get up here, visit & get out.

i brought nana some things so the boys went in first while i checked everything in. when i got to the room i realized there were too many voices & my assumption was wrong, they were still there.

they talked with B, asked about school & such while i spoke with nana. my aunt talked with me some & i showed nana the clothing & stuff i brought her. about 1/2 hour later or so they left. my aunt walked past me, but my uncle actually stopped & shook my hand, then he gave me a hug.

i was shocked.

my aunt came back & hugged me as well, then she asked me what my child's name was.

Monday, August 9, 2010

the flying tick story

at nana's house we also checked on her dog. although she had recently been dipped we could tell she had a couple of large ticks on her.

if you've never lived in the desert, um ticks are not normal there, they are texas size. it's quite disgusting.

so, yup, the doggy had a couple of fat ticks on her that you could see her black hair wasn't laying properly bc something was in there. i pulled off a couple of the them, but she didn't like that so she walked away from me.

i left her alone & just talked to her from a distance & slowly she returned & i decided it was best just to pet her. so i'm talking to her & stroking her with my hands on either side of her until i notice stuff flying in the air.

at first i thought it was just clumps of hair, maybe even skin, but then i notice little brown ticks moving to the edge of her fur.


the flying things were ticks!!!!!!!!!!!!!


i was petting her & giving them wings to fly!

needless to say i made some awful screaming noise & totally scared ME & she was all "what?what?what?" & i had to tell her i was being attacked by flying ticks, to which she had the gall to laugh at me!

so a bit later we were walking around the backyard & i kept on stepping on little sticks & things that would kick back up & touch the back of my leg & force me to scream again...

holy crap what a day

Sunday, August 8, 2010

the empty house

on sat cousin ME & i went to nana's house to pick up a few things for her. the lady at the cancer place told me we should go get nana's favorite items from home, bring what we could to make her comfortable in her new surroundings.

it was kind of weird, ME & i have only recently reacquainted, prior to this we've hardly seen each other in 20 years, but we picked up like nothing. it was nice, like old best friends, we caught up on so much personal & family stuff.

when we got to nana's we walked the backyard, so many memories back there: all the parties over so many years, the lemon tree my uncle ralph planted a few years ago before he died, the fig tree that i [tried to] cut steps in so my dog Bobo could climb the tree with me, the pomegranate bushes & the chinchi bugs making noise, the sheds with who knows what in them.

i took pictures of everything. we walked through the bathroom finding items from our childhood still in there. in nana's bedroom we gathered a few items to take with us. in the kitchen we opened the cabinetry & drawers, i took a picture of nana's silverware. in the living room we gathered a few other decor items & found some old albums. ones i had never seen before, very old, all the kids are children & even pics of my grandpa. i found out he was in the military, he went to okinawa. there was even a pic of him & on the side it said "kadena air station" - i've been there!

we picked out clothes for nana, a couple pairs of slippers, her pillow, an afghan my mom made for her, a plastic flower arrangement she likes. things to hopefully make her happy, or something in the arena of happy i guess would be a better choice of words.

it was weird to be in that house & know nana wasn't coming back, heartbreaking actually.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


on fri when my mom & i went to visit nana she was sad, she even started to cry. she told us my uncle was going to rent her house out, that she wasn't going home.

it was so sad.

we couldn't really say anything as we didn't know what his plan was, we could only tell her she couldn't go back home bc it just wasn't safe for her anymore.

what i hadn't mentioned in my email to uncle B was that Dr F was appalled nana hadn't previously seen an oncologist, he said it was a standard follow up when a tumor was located. then when i spoke with the lady at the cancer place, she had the same reaction. she asked who was nana's dr at the hospital back in oct, she wanted somebody's head. she said nana had been failed, someone somewhere along the line dropped the ball & sealed nana's fate.

there's a part of me that thinks my uncles knew this.
that they may have chosen it.
to be free of the burden.

when we left nana she was worried she was going to moved & lost. i can't imagine what she's going through.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

the smile

hold on to this moment for future reference:

yesterday morning i left the house early to be with Nana at her appt. i got up & dressed & left before the boys got up. i said bye to B then went over & kissed Z on the cheek. although he was sleeping, in response to the kiss his little cheek puffed up as he smiled.

i'm going to hold on to that & remember it the next time he brings home a behavior note!

Monday, August 2, 2010

the diagnosis

what i wrote to Uncle B after Nana's appt:

Nana has Stage IV pancreatic cancer. Dr F suggested chemo, a light dose that wouldn't kill the cancer but it would slow it's progress. The light dose shouldn't cause hair loss & the nausea/vomiting should be much less than regular chemo. Without the chemo the anticipated timeline would be 3 to 6 months, with the chemo treatment it could be from 6 months to a year. He also said she could stop the chemo at anytime if she decided it was too hard. We asked Nana & she said she would like to go through with the therapy. I'm sorry but I forgot to ask how many treatments he suggested.

There is an oncologist in EC, that Nana could see for the chemo, or she can begin therapy with Dr. F.

Dr F said Nana will need to have 24 hour care. The past few weeks she's spent in the hospital her legs have weakened & she can barely stand much less walk. The social worker at Dr F's office is helping us with looking into options (home health, hospice or facility care) down in the valley, but we really need to talk with the entire family & decide what's best for Nana. If she goes home (the home health/hospice options) she can't be alone & she will require more than a regular caregiver as her health declines. We need to decide if it be better/safer for Nana to be in a facility & if she's going to stay in a facility would it be better for her to be in the valley or near the hospital for the treatments?

The good news is Dr F said over the next couple of weeks Nana's body will adjust to the stint. She should gain some weight, get stronger & hopefully go back to doing more things for herself at least for awhile.

that's it.
this is real.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

spider in my face

GAH how i wish i was joking....

i don't think i've talked about this before, but i'm pretty girlie when it comes to spiders, um, bugs, uh, creepy crawly type things...yeah ALL OF THEM!!! that's why i don't camp...

but growing up in a testosterone free house i didn't think much about killing a bug or spider, it's what you do. it wasn't until i was in my early 20s & i was visiting a friend in her new apt & there was a spider & she flung a magazine at it & i sat back & wondered what the heck she was thinking. i mean that's not how you go about killing something. she told me her dad always done the killing, so although she was a few years older than me she was helpless.

in our house, Z calls me when he finds a bug or spider. B will usually just leave it, he knows it drives me crazy. i don't mess around, a shoe or something hard, preferably not my hand, but sometimes i don't have time. [yeah i KNOW how disgusting that is & i totally remember being a kid & nana smushing roaches with her hand & wondering how in the world she could do that!!! but honestly time is of essence & you CAN wash your hand or would you prefer the bug to continue existing in your home?]

anyways, self proclaimed bug fanatic, the other day i woke up with a couple of bites on my legs. B thought I'd gotten bitten working in the yard, but i said no, i was pretty sure something got me in bed. so i washed the sheets & blanket, vaccuumed around & under the bed & even sprayed the room some.

that was a few days ago.

last night just after 2am i was dreaming i was in this large building searching throughout various hallways for some large charting analysis papers, large 2X3s like maps, by someone named Mitzsomethingjapanese & the files began under series 1100something [can someone please tell me WHY i can remember stupid details to dreams but reality is all soft & fuzzy?]



i felt something on my forehead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i reached up with my left hand, grabbed, smushed & threw all in one motion.

then i laid there for a few minutes trying to figure out if the shit crawling on my forehead was real or not.


i was pretty sure it was so i got up & turned on the bathroom light & looked around the floor. although it took a bit i found the dark spot in the carpet & grabbed a tissue & got it.

it's f-ing huge!


& it was on my face!

i sat there & stared at it while it moved about a bit, dying, as i'd ripped out 3 of it's legs. once i felt comfortable that it was dead enough i grabbed a small glass from the kitchen & put it over it & i stared at it for sometime. i couldn't stand it so then i went & looked it up, exactly what i needed, to look at spider pictures.

i think it's a grass spider which is harmless, but i prefer him dead.
than alive.
on my face.
in my bed.

B made fun of me bc i have him under glass but i told him the glass isn't for the spider, it's for me, for my own peace of mind. i slept with the light on last night & today i vacuumed again, but i found a web between the wall & mattress by my pillow that wasn't there a few days ago.

so my nightly routine will now include a mattress inspection with a chancla [that'd be flip flop to non-spanish speaking folk] in hand.

oh & needless to say i've been jumpy all day the middle of the day Z & i were in the backyard & something big came flying at me, i didn't even see it, i just heard it's engine & i totally screamed out! B asked if i was ok & i told him a helicopter bug was after me. then in the evening when Z & i went for a walk i heard something in the bushes & a bunny popped out. A BUNNY! & i screamed like it was a rabid animal coming to eat me!

time keeps on slipping

[that's actually from a REALLY old song i remember listening to as a kid, rest of the line goes "into the future" - duh, where else should time go?]

so this is a nana update:
the stint thing went well & the next day (7/20) they transferred nana to a rehab facility (not that kind of rehab). my mom went with me to see her before the transfer & it was really good that we were there with nana as she was big time scared. she was worried about who was going to take her, like the hospital was just going to throw her out to the curb...hello, your in LJ, they don't do that there....

i called my cousin ME & thankfully she went down to the new joint after work to check on nana. ME said nana was pretty out of it, but i'm sure it helped ease nana's worries to see a familiar face even if she thought it was a dream.

7/21 - i visited nana, the place seemed nice, a bigger single room than the hospital, nice furniture & a sliding glass door to a big garden.

7/24 - nana told the nurse (Genie) she didn't want the pill that gave her diarrhea bc she had it bad all night, that she had it since the night before & after the night nurse cleaned her all up, she told her not to call again. so nana spent the night covered in her own fecal matter.

Genie was appalled, said an investigation would happen & confirmed with the morning nurse (Vanessa) that nana was in rough shape in the morning (she had to dress nana in borrowed clothes). i met with the social worker (Doris) to fill out the regular paperwork stuff & the first nurse & she also spoke about nana's incident. i left there unhappy about what had happened, but hopeful that the situation was being handled.

7/26 - i went back & no one knew anything of the incident & there was no documentation what so ever. i spoke with a completely different set of people & this time watched as the social worker (Pat) documented it.

the entire incident had been swept under the rug & now days later, when they asked nana about it she couldn't remember, thought it was a dream, didn't want to get anyone in trouble.

but at least there's something in writing now.

7/28 - i met nana at the hospital for x-rays & drain removal, she said all was well at rehab. she was relieved i met her there & nervous again about what was going to happen, but really it was only like 1/2 hour for everything & before we knew it they were telling us to leave. nana wanted me to ride back to rehab with her in the ambulance!

oh, yeah, B called the head honcho of nana's facility & threatened all kinds of things, supposedly nana should be getting rock star treatment now.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

talking to walls

i think my child & my mother are having on contest on who can listen to me less...

i realize Z is a boy
& he's 8
most of all he's B's son.

here goes the mom rant:
i'm driving down the freeway to pick her up & suddenly the road turns into a parking lot. i'm near her exit, so i call her & let her know the roads bad so we'll need to get going right away when i get there.

her response - ok, i'm going to go walk the dogs now

??? - i'm literally 5 minutes away & now miffed

as i approach her place every person i see walking a dog is getting stared at until i realize it's not my mother; thankfully she's not still out dog walking. i park all half-hazzard in front of her house & go up to the door only to discover she doesn't have it open [screened] so she can at least hear the car or me approach. i ring the doorbell & she opens it & she's still brushing her teeth.

!!! - at this point mom is winning the race & i haven't even spent a minute with her.

i don't say anything bc i can't [which probably makes this all the more infuriating] & on the drive she tells me her dr's office called & she has an appt on monday. previously her friend T had been taking her to these appts, so i asked was that what was going to happen, or if she was going to drive [remember they gave her thumbs up the other day] or if she needed me to take her. T has to work so she can't take her, she's decided she'll drive herself.

me - ok, well have you driven around your area yet to see how it feels? how's your reaction time? are you in any pain?

mom - no, not yet

so she hasn't driven locally but she thinks she's going to be ok getting on 2 freeways, dealing with traffic & parking???????

mom - well, now that you mention the traffic is making me nervous & i'm not even driving.

i think i just blacked out bc i don't even remember the conversation beyond that point...probably took every ounce of self control to not explode & question wtf is she really thinking?

after her therapy & driving back home we resume the conversation bc she still on the whole "i'll drive myself" delusional trip. while i don't think it's impossible for her to do, i just think that shouldn't be her first time driving after 6 or 7 weeks on a new knee. so i'm trying to talk to her about going on a drive somewhere before monday to try it out.

she needed to pick up a prescription, so i suggested maybe we go to her house & she could drive from home to the pharmacy; 3 blocks, 2 lights, not a lot of driving, but something.

then she tells me:
"well the car hasn't been driven in so long, i don't know if it will start"

& she's going to wait for monday when she's going to a dr's appt to find out????

she doesn't make any f***ing sense at all...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

mom & Z updates

mom - 2 days after burying my dad, mom went in for her complete knee replacement surgery. i went to see her everyday in the hospital & cousin S came to take care of her for the 1st week home.

it's been a tough recovery for my mom, we're not good with that whole dependent thing, not to mention all the pain she's been in. she told me the drugs were good, although coming down wasn't...yeah, she totally went through withdrawals.

therapy has been tougher than she expected, but finally they told her she can drive, if she feels she's up to it. i told her to stay close to home, don't go out if it's busy & cover the brake with her left foot just in case her right one doesn't make it over in time.

all we need is her getting in a accident....


the boy - .....
do we have to go here?
he's trying to be good, but you know, that's like hard & stuff, it requires thinking ahead & self-control, stupid things like that...

he's going 2x/wk to a place to play with other kids & socialize, fun right? that's the objective, except for the past...i don't know 3 or 4 weeks he's brought home one note a week.

they're not nice notes.

one a week.

he goes 2x a week.

we're waiting for the shape up or ship out letter/talk...