Thursday, March 31, 2005

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

I put my notice in at work to tell them that I am moving. They said that they were sad for themselves, but happy for me. I am not enjoying the task of having to tell all my clients that I will only be around for another week. I feel like I am having to break up with them. I am breaking their hearts.

One of the ladies I took swing dancing called up her daughter, in tears after I left. She didn't want to cry in front of me, but she was terribly disapointed. They went through four other cargivers before they found me. She said they will never find anyone as nice as me. They wanted to offer me a live-in position. I'm not sure how I feel about that specifically because I have Guy. It's the only way I would be able to arange to stay in California, but that would defeat the purpose.

When I tell them that I am moving to Utah, they all ask me if I am Mormon. "Yes, I am," I pronounce. They usually mention a friend that they knew who was Mormon. This morning when the man I was working with asked me if I am Mormon and I told him, yes. I asked him if he has known anyone who is Mormon. Surprisingly, he said, "No, I don't think so, but if you are an example, they must be pretty nice people."

That made me feel good. A couple of times when I looked at him, I thought he might cry. He told me that he will miss me. He and his wife took a trip back to Florida a few weeks ago and he was telling me that he wished that he could take me with him to help him while he is there.

It was so much easier for me to say that I was going to up and move last summer when I was working for eRepublic. I was ready to quit my job there anyway. Now that I have a job that brings me some satisfaction, it is much harder to leave. I feel the same way my mother does about the idea of leaving her job that she loves.

I am trying to look towards the future.

My room is Finally Complete!!!!

What a relief. I got everything done, except making a frame for my oil painting. I bought the matrials for it, I just haven't tackled it yet. The rest is all in place. As you can see from the photos, Guy was messing up right behind me.

My parents spotted the headboard at a garage sale across the street. The toy box comes from India, I think. I got it at Cost Plus anyway, along with several other items of decor, like the alphabet poster, the monkey on the shelf, the yellow dice on my dressor and the frame for my larger print. Small picture frames, courtesty of The Dollar Tree. Ok, they didn't donate them, but they only charged me $1 for them.

I love how my tropical plant arrangement from WalMart looks on my shelf. It's just what I wanted there.

Coincidently, all of the paintings and prints have a woman in a green dress in the center. Man, I'm good.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Imported Toy Box and Alphabet Poster Posted by Hello

My bed and print Posted by Hello

Da Bed Pillows Posted by Hello

Right Corner Posted by Hello

Window Curtains Posted by Hello

Left Corner Posted by Hello

Left Wall Posted by Hello

'The' Radio Posted by Hello

Print above my closet Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter Bummy

I made my fourth attempt to make Hot Cross Buns for Easter the way I remember having them in Canada on my mission. Our Land-Lord/downstairs neighbors/Ward Members invited us for Easter Breakfast at their house. Their tradition was to have Hot Cross buns; toasted with butter and maple syrup, with boiled eggs and fruit.

I asked her for the recepie for the Hot Cross Buns, but it has never turned out right. I learned that it is impossible to get a package of "mixed", candied fruit at any other time of year except the few month prior to Christmas. I say "mixed" because I discovered that it is mostly candied and dyed orange rinds with a few whole cherries tossed in.

I thought ahead this last Winter season and bought a package of the fruit I would need at Easter time. The trouble I had this morning is that I tried to use old Yeast. I figured if I just put a little more in that it would do the trick. I guess it's not like old baking soda. That dough didn't even pretend to rise. They turned out to be cold, un-crossed doughey-bunny cookie pucks. After a few trial runs I was able to improve the dough and get about a dozen edible buns.

I wanted to take some to the family party at my uncle's house tonight. Guy and I Went, but my parents were home blow-tortching the kitchen floor! Seriously, we have what's called Kyote Tile in the Kitchen. The Varnish became whitish in some areas quite recently. Through much research, they discovered that Vinigar can have that affect on the finish and the solution is to heat the varnish, which causes it re-adhear to the tile. What fun!

At the party, we had an indoor easter egg hunt, dinner, a bubble blowing bananza, then desert (a bunny cake, that my cousin made following a Martha Stewart recepie.)

On the way out to the car, I had my arms loaded up with cake carriers and bags of candy and bubbles. Guy was walking ahead of me and he started up running. I was glad that he was moving quickly because it was raining harder by then. When he reached the car, I asked him to stop to wait for me. Instead he started running even faster down the sidewalk. I asked him to stop and continued to call after him as I was running with my arms full and in my skirt and heals to try to catch him. I dropped my load when I reached the car and continued running after him. When I caught up to him I grabbed his jacket, but my legs were still going, so rather than stop and fall on top of him, I snatched him up by his coat for a few more steps until I finally fell backwards onto my bum into the street. He landed softly on top of my legs.

You can bet he got a couple of butt pats for that one and a serious, but loving lecture when we got in the car. Before we reached home, Guy spoke up from the back seat, "Sorry, Mommy!"

I told him thank you and I love you and again he said to me, "Sorry, Mom!"

Thank you, Baby. I just love you and care about you.

Curly Whirly

Yep, I did it! I went and got my hair permed. I must say, it was just the change I needed. I am quite pleased with it, even if it was done with rollers and not tongue depressors.

I did it on Thursday, just in time for me to show it off on Friday night swing dancing. I got several compliments on it... Always makes a girl feel good.

Burp even asked me to dance. I was sitting down and I told him I promised someone else this dance. He told me I was lying, which I clearly was. He also invited me to his friends house party where his band would be playing tonight. I was curious, but did I go?.... N O. Hmph!

Last night I brought a couple of the ladies I worked for with me. They are both 80 years old widdows. One met her husband at some fancy smancy dance hall in Hollywood and the other's husband was a World famous Square Dance Caller. I think/hope they had a good time. They said that they did, in spite of their disappointment in the venue and how the dancing and the men have changed since their time.

They are both in a similar situation. Both of them were waited on, hand and foot by their husbands. They took care of everything for them, so that now they don't know how to do simple things for themselves like; order their favorite dish at a restaurant, take care of the finances, and a number of other chores. They have also both had a stroke in recent years, so that has an affect on how compitent they are now, too.

I would like to think that there are some Gentlemen left in the World. There certainly is a need for them.

This one goes out to all the Gentlmen still standing!

My New Do Posted by Hello

Saturday, March 26, 2005

"Who's My Daddy?"

Yesterday, Guy found a small note that was rolled up inside a little box. To him it looked like a treasure map. He got excited and called out, "Treasure!" He held on to it for a while and he picked it up again today.

I just now read the note again. It says:


Thank you for being a Wonderful, Loving, Caring, Joyful, Passionate, Spiritual, Truthful, Accountable, Worthy, Giving, Compassionate, BEAUTIFUL, Mother and Understanding, Friend.

Love, (Stanley) XOXO"

What might be surprising is that it came from a small package that my ex-husband sent to us over a year ago. We were already separated for about a year. The box also included a couple of pocket charms. For me, he choose the Earth Goddess. The card that came with it read, "The Earth Goddess is the Mother who nurtures our soul, giving us strength to reach our goals.

The one for Guy was a Wolf- "Wolves of the forest run free, full of spirit and energy. Let them inspire you and me with courage to be all we can be."

I am just grateful that I don't have a hateful relationship with Guy's father. We aren't buddy buddy, but we get along fine.

I know he is going to want to have visits with Guy once we move back to Utah. He hasn't paid a dime of child support. I know he doesn't make much money. Some people feel that a father doesn't deserve to see his child/children unless he is paying child support. I understand the principle of it, but I try not to get caught up over the money aspect of it. If I thought my child was being abused or neglected in his care, then I feel like that would be a good reason to forbid him to see my son, but otherwise I don't see any harm.

I am concerned about when he gets older, what kind of an influence he might have on him. His father doesn't go to church or live by the standards anymore. I expect this will be something I will have to face and prepare him/myself for eventually. In the mean time, I think it will be good for Guy to get some one-on-one time with another male adult.

Car Trouble AGAIN!

My car has been in and out of the shop in the last few weeks and it still has work that needs to be done. I broke down on the freeway on my way to work on Thursday. the belt in the engine started to strip. It was hitting the hood of the car, which was the sound that alarmed me and caused me to pull over. It had to be towed, of course.

This makes break down #2 on the freeway with that car. Luckily I haven't had Guy with me either time, nor was I very far from home. My mom is always coming to the rescue with letting me borrow the car or giving me a ride. Thank you, Mom!

My parents have decided to sell the car before I move to Utah. This will make car #8 that I have driven. If I don't wreck them, they manage to find a reason to get to the shop on their own. With all the trouble I have with cars, I may as well be driving a classic.

One day, Nomad, you will be mine!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Put my Tender Heart in a Blender

I bought some new music from my music club a couple weeks ago. One of them was Nora Jones, Feels Like Home. It moves me. I am finally at the point where I can listen to a love song and just appreciate the message without feeling sorry for myself because I don't have a lover. I don't even fill in the blank with a crush. I suppose it's an indication that I have confidence in myself and I am comfortable with where my life is for the time being.

I'm sure it won't last long. Any time in my life when I have become comfortable or confident in anything, it get's whipped up so that I don't even recognize it.

Am I Convincing Anyone?

I am so happy to be through with that treturous schedule I was working. This will be a much lighter week and I should be able to do some work towards getting ready to sell the house and move. I found out today that I don't even get paid for the overtime that I worked. Something to do with the hours being counted separately for each client or some BS.

I took some time to take care of some bills after work today and left Guy at daycare. I even paid off the PayPal balance from when I was scammed out of nearly $2,000. I was close to tears as I was writing the check. Heaven knows I could use the money and that dirty, rotten, cheating bastard stole it from me! OK, ok, I'm ok. Everything's going to be ok.

My brother called last night. He and his wife are having to look for a new apartment immediatly because there is some problem with the water pipes in their place and they have to shut off the water right away or there is a chance that their water pipes could burst. I suggested they just look for a house to rent and we could all move in there together until Dad finds a job and Mom moves out with us. The plan was for my dad, Guy and I to move out there early May and get an apartment while my mom stayed behind in an apartment of her own and continued to work here until my dad finds a job in UT, then she would move over into whatever house they find with us.

My brother and his wife are trying to work on their studies in order to enter the nursing program in the midst of having to move now, and work full time. I feel for them. I wish I could fly out there now and help them.

It looks like they have found a condo that will work for us all. It has five bedrooms, but only two bathrooms. They are going to look at one or two more houses tomorrow, possibly with more bathrooms. It will be quite a houseful. I hope they will be able to find a quiet place where Guy won't disturb them. I know Guy will want to be around his aunt and uncle all the time.

I hope I can find some good employment and not fall for another one of their multitude of scemes. I think I have learned to recognize the signs by now, but they are always coming up with new ways and new language to trick you into sitting through some 3 hour lecture on how you can be making six figures if you will just fork over $7,000 before you leave, or practice selling this $3,000 product to all of your friends and family before you realize that we only pay comission, not $17 an hour like our ad said. Ah, the the Utah complexities. Perhaps if I had a real career I would not run into so many of these lousy scams. They just seem to be so prevalent in Utah. I don't understand it. I'm sure that's not the only thing that I am going to find that I don't understand about Utah.

I expect there will also be things about me that Utahn's won't understand either. For example; why I don't have long blonde hair, wear a size 4 and shop at the Gap. It's ok, I can do this. I have done it before and I can do it again.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Let's Convert

I told one of my clients, (a woman who grew up in Hollywood and is now a widdow) that I go swing dancing. She told her daughter's and one of them brought it up to me that she is interesting in going. I invited the two of them to go out with me last night. They were happy to. They are both beginners, but they do well. They got asked to dance quite a few times. I was glad that everyone was so friendly.

I felt like "Hello Dolly" when I came in. My secret, closet-kisser of a bar tender was there, eager to greet me with an embrase. All my old friends were giving me warm welcomes. They must have been glad to see me bringing in some new people.

After seeing me dance a few times, my friends told me that I look just like their mother, when I dance. The way I move my shoulders and hold my hand, etc. Crazyness... Now they want to invite her out too. Sure, why not?

I saw an old flame from post-mission days. We made out one night in his car after ditching the dance and going to dinner. He wrote me off rather quickly after that. He said he just didn't have time for a relationship, but I suspect it had more to do with the fact that I am an active member and he hadn't been since he was 16. He started dating this other tall blonde and I moved to Utah. I came back engaged and he and his fiance were expecting.

I guess that set-up didn't work out either, because he was there alone. I asked him to dance, not knowing it was him, for sure. He was surprised to see me. He said, "I guess we could share some stories."

We made a couple of jokes about how we came back to the drawing board. It was only his second time out since his break-up. When the song was over I told him would could talk later. I saw him leave a few minutes later.

My bar-tender friend needs a name. I name him Fabio. Hehe. I don't know what to do about him. He corners me at every opportunity. Not litterally, but he is really on to me. He asked if I could go out with him the next night. I told him this week is not good, because I am working evenings and I had to sneak out to come dancing tonight.

What am I going to do about him? I love the attention, but I have already explained to him how it must be, including how I didn't think it would be a good idea for us to go out. I must have lead him on. Maybe he would join the church for me and then I would be exhalted for his conversion. (Please note that I am joking!)

What's sad is that one of the daughters that came out with me that night was sharing with me on the way there, her conversion story, which went very much like that. She said that she was about 20 and she was dating this kid who was a member. He dated her long enough to bring her into the church and then went on to the next girl. His explaination for his behavior was that his goal was to bring people to the gospel in order to increase his own glory. What a messed-up, backwards way of thinking! She stopped going to church after about six months, of course. What an imbesile!

A Bitter Sweet Day

I went to work this morning as usual, for the first client I started working for after returning to this job. The husband has cancer. When I first starting helping them, he was going through chemotherapy and he was on the road to recovery. That was in November. They stopped doing the chemotherapy about a month ago, because it was no longer having any affect on the cancer. They tried once more with a different type of Chemo, last week. He has been extremely tired and in a lot of pain since. They saw the Dr. Today and realized that he will not be recovering. The Dr. told them that his body is failing fast.

The wife gave me the news this morning. The words, "He is failing." kept ringing in my ears. I couldn't remain my usually calm, cool and collected self while I was there. Tears welled up in my eyes a couple of times. I made an Ensure shake with ice-cream for him, which he has been practically living on for the last few months. When I brought it in to him, he had been attempting to write a note to his wife. He asked me to help him with it because he was not able to steady his hands to write it. He locked his eyes on mine and said, "This is a very serious note. You know that I am dying...." I told him, that yes I had heard the very sad news. He explained to me that he had the desire to be buried next to his parents, but that is not possible for some reason. He told me that as an alternative, he would like to have his ashes sent to the same cemetery where his parents were buried.

I assured him that I would let his wife know. I told him again that I am so sorry for what is happening. I could feel the tears forming in my eyes. His remedy was that we do the best with what we are dealt. I told him I'm sure he did it well. I had to stop in the bathroom to dry my eyes after I left his room.

I wanted to leave early. I found myself feeling uncomfortable around him. His wife told me how she was glad to have someone (me) there to keep her company. I felt badly for wanting to go and I really didn't have any reason to. I guess I wasn't prepared for what was happening. In the past, I have come on the scene once it is already known and the family has had time to come to terms with the situation. This was so fresh, it was hard to take.

From there, I was expected to be "bubbly", and funny for a brand new client I had not even met before. Her daughter described the perfect caregiver for her as one who would be "bubbly", and for some reason they thought of me. Personally, I would not describe my personality as bubbly. I think of bubbly as an annoying, air head that calls everything cute and talks like a valley girl. I would say that I am warm and friendly and occasionally witty.

The daughter's impression of me when we met was that I am somewhat quiet. I certainly am not loud and obnoxious and it's true, I can be reserved. All this pressure to be bubbly made me nervous to meet with her. Besides the fact that they are keeping a secret from her the fact that I am being paid to be her friend and take her shopping. People see through my lies.

I was even contemplating not taking her on as a client because I would be moving in a few weeks. I still haven't told my employer yet. I decided I would go through with it. If nothing else, I could warm her up to the idea of having a companion. I guess she has been pretty resistant to the idea.
I went and everything went AOK. She is a sweetie, and she was totally cool about having me there and driving her around to run errands. I managed to hide my sadness and even had a few laughs with her.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

What a Work Week...

I worked 51 hours this week. That's less than I was originally scheduled to work. In addition to being called in to take the night shift twice, I am doing a split shift 7am-9am and 5pm-7pm while these people are out of town for a week and a half. She asked me to stop in during lunch time if I am able, too. I have had to keep an air tight schedule. Some days I saw four clients. Plus try to fit in time to pick up and drop off Guy or my Mom because my car was in the shop for most of the week.

After all that getting up early and running around, I was even too tired to go dancing on Friday night. As much as I could have used the release, I was just useless. What I am really wanting is someone to give me some special attention. Where is my caregiver?

I can usually count on Guy for some hugs and kisses, but I only see him when he is either already too tired and cranky or just waking up and cranky. Not to mention the potty struggle I am having with him. Just last week, I declared Potty War with him. I don't understand why he resists it so much. I am having to crack down on him. I don't like myself when I have to be so stern with him. I should have never stopped having him go on the potty when he was 9 months old. I guess I got tired of cleaning up the puddle on the floor because they still haven't figured out how to make baby potties anatomically correct for little boys. I went through four different potties. Now he uses his Dora seat on the big toilet.

My point is, I have been crazy stressed. I still wonder how I kept from spontaniously combusting. Oh, plus my mom has been putting the pressure on for me to help get the house ready to sell, so any spare minute at home is expected to be spent towards that. She is stressing because it may take longer for it to get ready. What's the hurry? We have waited 6 months already, what's another week?

OH, I did get a $50 bonus from my boss in the mail on Friday. The scheduler was pushing for me to get a raise, but I know I am already making max allowable pay. The letter from my boss encouraged me to get my nursing degree. I am thinking that I must need a degree to be able to make more money at this job. Which would mean that I would be sent to more hospice and dirty work jobs, rather than the cushy Driving Miss Daisy type jobs. The letter also incuded a copy of the letter than Sandy's husband sent to my boss that mentions how much they appreciated my help. I asked my mom to read it to me while I was driving and she got choked up. I really do love my job. I wish I could make more money at it without having to work around the clock, like this week.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Trixie, The Solemn Reeper

I honestly don't mind caring for or being there and watching these people die so much. I don't get depressed or emotional about it. What I do find strange is the circomstances in which I end up being the one on duty when it actually happens. I had to be called in at the last minute in both cases. Especially the very unfortunate mishap with the poor girl I was filling in for this last time just weirds me out a bit.


It's Monday evening and guess where I am. I was called into work again this evening for the same lady that I stayed up with last night. I really don't understand how this woman is still alive. She has not had any nutrition going on four days and she only gets a total of maybe one cup of water per day. They took her off of the Oxygen today because they felt that it was sustaining her life, which they have no desire to do.

I got off this morning and had to rush off to another appointment. I nursed an anti-stress (because my body was still buzzing) smoothie on the way home. Guy was happy to see me, as I was to see him. He ran and got a picture he had drawn from the study to show me. I think he was trying to tell me that it was of me. We took a nap together for a few hours.

Then I got a call from my work asking me if I can fill in again tonight because the girl who normally works that shift was raped the night before. Had she been working the first night they had me fill in for her it would not have happened. I guess she was on a date, but she also said that there was a group of boys that were involved. I don't know anything other than that, except that she mentioned that she is Mormon. I don't know the girl, but I met her mother this morning because she came to take my place as I was leaving. I can't believe that her mother stayed to work all day knowing that her daughter was in the hospital because she had been raped the night before.

I feel useless, wasted, trashed, you get the picture. What I really want to do is just crash....SLEEP.

I was starting to doze, then at 12:30 am the woman that I am watching coughed, then opened and closed her mouth. (Normally her mouth is hanging open.) Her breathing paused. I called for her family and they came a minute later. She passed away within 10 minutes.

Immediately after she passed, the room was filled with the Spirit. I felt as though I was in the Temple. Her family was whispering ever so softly. I felt like I should be able to look around the room and see her and her loved ones from the other side standing around. I think the room was packed. I'm sure there were a lot of people here to greet her. They told me that she was a Minister for many years. I'm sure she did a lot of good for a lot of people. God bless her.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Night Watch

I have been planning to attend other Young Adult Wards in the area. I decided to start with the one where I know some people. It is a college ward and they age group was said to have been older. I guess I spontaneously decided to go today. I figured there would be someone there I knew, so I went alone.

The chapel seemed too large for the few people that were there today. I would guess there might have been 30 people there, and that's being generous. Of course I didn't recognize a soul in there. It was Fast Sunday today, so I got to hear the testimonies of some of the members in the ward. The testimonies were humble and sincere. After scanning the room, I can't say I found anyone that peaked my interest enough to keep me coming, namely a tall, dark and handsome spiritual giant.

I decided to leave after Sacrament, partly because I was concerned about my car. I just had it in the serviced station on Saturday and they changed the oil. When I got out of my car after parking in the church parking lot, I noticed a puddle of brownish water flowing from under my car. At first glance, it looked a little greenish like coolant, but it was closer to brown and I thought it to be oil. I attempted to read the oil gage about 5 times and it gave me a different result each time I pulled it out, but it appeared to me as though it was about half way full. (The dip stick is twisted at the end and it goes down a curved shaft so the stick traps oil on the way up causing the holes to fill randomly for example 1,2 and 4, but not three. It's crazy like that.)

I went ahead and decided to catch the first hour of my own ward before I had to meet with a woman for an orientation before she leaves her father at home to go on a vacation. I checked the oil again before I left the church. It seemed lower than it was when I checked it last.

I pulled in a gas station to get some oil and I purchased some gas since I was there. When I took off the oil lid, I managed to drop it down under the engine compartment. The engine was still hot, of course and could not be reached from the top without touching the engine. I asked the clerk that advised me about the blue motor oil for lawnmowers and snowmobiles that is supposedly also good for cars, to assist me in getting the oil cap out from under the engine. He was crawling under the car and burning himself on the engine, while I pored two quarts of oil into the engine because it still looked low after the first quart. (I gave the poor kid a ten-dollar bill for his trouble. His finder was bleeding from the burn.)
Amid all the commotion, I forgot to pump the gas that I paid for. I realized what I had done while waiting at the light. I turned around and pulled back into the gas station. There was someone at the pump already. He was standing near his car. I pulled up next to him and briefly explained what I had done. He said that it wasn't accepting his card and I said it's probably because I already put money on it inside. He was kind enough to move for me, but I think he was a bit disturbed already with his frustration about his card.

After the orientation I made an appearance at my uncle's house for dinner to celebrate all the March birthdays in the family. I told my dad about the trouble with the car. He went out to look at the oil level with me and determined that it was actually above the fill line and what I had lost was coolant, (since when is coolant brown and oil blue?). In which case I would need to drain some oil to keep from ruining the engine. I had to swap cars with my mom so I could drive home and pack while my cousins drained some oil. My mom informed me that it started overheating on the way home so now she will have to stay home tomorrow and take it into the shop.

It is approaching midnight now. I am working with for another hospice situation. I am expected to stay awake through the night with her and watch for signs that she might pass away. They told me that she has already displayed several of these clues within the last week. If I notice any of the given signs such as; irregular breathing, a gurgling or rattling in her throat, or extremely low pulse, I am to wake her daughter and her daughter's husband because they want to be with her during her last moments.

She has not had any solids and very little liquid in the last few days. They have her on oxygen. She requires liquid morphine drops every hour. I set a timer to make sure I remember at the right time. I'm glad to have it too, in case I should fall asleep. I came prepared though, with blue Glacier Freeze Gatorade, a small tray of brownies, one pint of dark chocolate Gotiva ice cream, this handy new laptop computer I am using and a few other projects to keep me busy.

I started at 9PM and I will get off at 9AM. Then I have to rush off to another client for a few hours. Thankfully, the client I normally have after that canceled already. I would have been a zombie by then, not that I won't already be one.

I am sensing that they are going to be sending me to more of these hospice jobs. I hope I can cope.

Oh, boy. My blood sugar is soaring now. I feel like I did the time that I stopped to get some Jolt on the way home from San Francisco. It kept me awake and shaking for another three hours after we got home at 3AM.