Friday, May 28, 2010

On a late night ramble with my dog….a Friday 55!!

Ranjit’s house, brightly lit, with Indian music spilling out the open doors.

Partiers in exquisite traditional outfits dance on the lawn.

He sees me wave as I pass by, comes over and laughingly takes my hand. Briefly, we dance, him graceful, me awkward, as his wife pats my dog and claps her hands with delight.

I've been checking blogs and commenting, praying a lot, but not posting anything here.... I've not had anything much to say. We're all doing fairly well here, and I finally got a letter from my daughter that stated our mail is now getting through to her. She got a pile all at once and it made her cry. I communicated with the prison medical department regarding her disposable contacts she is keeping in her eyes 24/7, and they have officially sent me instructions for getting Rx glasses to her. I am very grateful for that. I want her to be able to see when she is crossing the yard from the mail area to her cell; it's easy to get jumped for what you might be carrying and vision is important. (Plus she did irreparable damage to her eyes during one of the more recent incarcerations by keeping the same pair of disposable contacts in for four months. This is one of those times when I know I'm doing something for her that is really for me. I would hate to think she went blind just because I was worried about my boundaries, and in one eye, she is now nearly legally blind.)

I took a walk last night with our pit bull. She is getting older and is content to amble and very people-friendly. I could hear Ranjit's party up the hill, and I love to hear the music and see the beautiful party dresses.... So I took a moonlight stroll with our old dog, and the aboved described moment was the result. Ranjit is a really sweet man and his wife is even sweeter. They're always talking to us when we pass by on a walk, always asking after our girls, patting our dogs, etc. They were celebrating their beautiful daughter’s academic achievement. I was happy to share in their joy. In fact, I still feel like dancing!

I'm busily clearing my desk for a rare light work weekend. My doctors seem to have taken off early for Memorial Day. Very few are dictating, and if I stay focused, I just might have several hours each day to spend in my happy place (my sewing room!) Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

How I explain that missing family member....

Madyson007 posted about the difficulties we all encounter when we have to go to some sort of family or work "event" and we get asked how our addict is....

Family members might or might not know about the addiction (depending on just how close they are to you), and may or may not be privy to all the gory details. Work picnics/awards events might include folks who've been used to seeing your family include one more person in past years....

For instances like these, where I'm not THAT close to the person asking the question, I've gotten better at choking out "oh, she's FINE!! just BUSY!! (give a big grin) You know how hard it is to get everyone's work schedules coordinated.... You must be so proud of (insert celebrated family member's name)... Didn't he/she look GREAT up there taking that diploma/award/etc????"

Within one paragraph, I endeavor to turn the attention back to the other person. Because sometimes, I just don't want to go into details, or run the risk of ruining my mascara.

It gets easier to pull off, with time, I promise! I've even told a couple of busybodies at church that I don't get along with "oh she's fine! She's living and working out of the area right now! How is your (insert another successful family member's name here) doing? How are your roses? Have you planted your vegetables yet?" WHATEVER.

(and yes, she is working at the prison in Chowchilla to reduce her time - not a complete lie! No lightning will strike!)

Just turn the tables and questions back to them. Most people are so glad that you are interested in THEM that they don't realize you may have skillfully deflected the conversation away from a sore point.

I go to any event now, even a quilting bee, prepared to be on stage. Paste on a smile. ACT AS IF!! Pretty soon, I am having the fun time I wanted to have!!

My quilting group is actually a "safe place" for me, as my dear friends know my situation and I know about a lot of their dirty laundry too.... but, sometimes there are a few guests, so I always ACT AS IF. If it's "just us chickens", I can be a little more forthcoming and share my heart's concerns or pain which is helpful to my soul, but if not, I still have a GRAND TIME!

Hope this helps! Seriously, try rehearsing before you go...stand in front of the mirror and casually toss off the question and come up with a question for the other person to answer and PRACTICE until it feels more natural!

(it's okay, I know I'm weird, but this is what gets me through situations where I just don't want to give out a lot of details or talk about yet another relapse, so if it's helpful - cool..... Take what you like and leave the rest!) Have a great day everyone!

Friday, May 14, 2010

I got an award! :)

I’ve been visiting blogs but not posting on my own…. I’ve had nothing earth-shattering to say… :)

My daughter did surface at Chowchilla and got a letter out. That made me smile. She has apparently hooked up with the other O.C. girls there and is making the best of her situation. They’re sharing shampoo and stuff until she gets access to the money she had put on her books in jail which should follow her up…. At that point she can shop commissary and pay her friends back or barter with other things, etc.

She has been told she may be able to finish her basic two-year college degree there, since she only lacks 6 credits. She’s trying to get more information about that. I REALLY hope that happens. She has difficulty with math and that is one of the subjects remaining – so maybe she can tackle that and get it out of the way!

DH has softened a bit. He went out and took the list the prison provided of allowable stuff, and bought her two pads of lined paper, some plain white envelopes, simple plain greeting cards/white envelopes, and 40 stamps… He even found one of those “can’t be torn” envelopes and it’s all ready to go (padded envelopes are off limits.) We’re not sending much else.

We’re debating the glasses situation. She is currently wearing disposable contacts (not legal there) and not taking them out. BAD. She’s done damage to her vision in the past by doing that. She’s close to legally blind in one eye anyway, and very, very near-sighted.

California in its wisdom insists that she have an examination there, and then we have to put money on books for her to pay for glasses to be shipped in, or perhaps she can ship their prescription out to us and we can have glasses sent in. The fact that she has a legal prescription right now, in my house, is irrelevant to them. I don’t understand that, especially since some people I know wore their wire-rims in, and others have had family mail in a pair. Consistently inconsistent, just because they can! That seems to be the motto of the prison. I will tackle that issue next week, by calling the prison myself to get a straight story.

One high note: Her letter stated she is required to see Mental Health. AND, continuing to see mental health will be a condition of her parole. So for at least a year after she gets out – she has to accept and cooperate with medication/mental health treatment. Or she is violated. Yay! This was rumored before she went up, but she said in her letter that for sure, this is fact.

It has taken innumerable incarcerations and one prison stay to get my state to recognize that she can’t be trusted to make good choices regarding her mental health care. FINALLY. I can’t tell you how happy that made me. It gives her a fighting chance for at least a year after release. Release date is still up in the air, but she should be given an official date soon.

In the meantime, I’m continuing to TAKE CARE OF ME. I have made myself face the fact that wallowing in depression and eating inappropriately are no longer an option (that’s what I do after detaching…. I let go, let God, and head to the pantry!).

My life is whizzing by, and obviously, all our days are numbered. I had better get myself in shape and treasure my health, by taking care of myself, or I’ll have even fewer days! Plus, as my transcription business is continuing to slow down, I am looking forward to getting additional part time work, next year, outside the house at night or on weekends! I need to be able to look competent and fit, next to those spring chickens I’ll be competing with!

So, I’m trying to stay on my eating plan and I’m plodding around the reservoir, sometimes twice daily.


Sometimes not at all. But the goal is once and hopefully twice daily! My efforts are paying off, as my blood sugar is normalizing and my scales have begun moving in the right direction! Actually, the left direction…. But you get my drift!

Progress, not perfection!

Sherry from Awakening through Love
( gave me an award!

And here are my answers:

1. What would your perfect day consist of?

Good coffee, a walk on the beach, lunch with my daughters, an afternoon quilting with my friends, a dinner with the whole family, and either games around the kitchen table, or talking with everyone on the back patio by candlelight.

2. How would you describe yourself if you were an item of clothing?

A favorite teeshirt, somewhat worn around the edges, but comfortable!

3. What hobbies are you currently working on?

Quilting (always!), sewing for the house (valances, small appliance covers, dog beds, etc), and after I got to the cash register and found out the Mother’s Day card I had thought was so cute and simple cost a whopping $5.99, I have begun making my greeting cards again with my scrap-booking supplies.

4. Walking in the woods in wellies or bare foot on the beach?

Barefoot on the beach, just inside the edge of the water!

5. Have you ever hugged or sung to a tree?

I have hugged and kissed a tree! It had gotten too big, was tearing up our sidewalk, had completely killed the lawn with roots running along the surface, and the only way to fix the situation and have a bit of grass was to remove it…. Since it shaded my living room, I was rather fond of it, even if it was the gangliest, ugliest tree around…. I have a picture of me kissing it right before they started whacking it down. Cos I’m weird!! :)

6. Growing your own veggies or nipping to the supermarket?

Growing my own!!

7. Have you found anyone exciting in your family tree?

Cyrus McCormick! Come on, now, you remember your U.S. History don’t you? Here’s a link to Great-great-great-great-etc-etc-granddaddy Cyrus…
He invented the mechanical reaper which allowed farmers to at least double the amount of crops they could handle…. I know, too cool! (yes, I’m kidding!)

8. Slap up meal in a posh restaurant or fish 'n' chips from the wrapper?

Neither – I prefer making dinner at home with my extended family and keeping the ingredients simple, fresh and sending them all home with leftovers for the next day.

9. Which element do you most resonate with, Earth, Air, Fire or water?

I guess earth, since I like gardening.

10. Do you believe in fairies?

Fairies are becoming an interest of mine. My daughter always loved them, but what got me started was little Gnome doors. I was looking at some of those in a magazine and saw fairy houses. They are horribly expensive, so I plan to make my own, but I think it would be really cute to have little houses mixed in with the flowers in the borders, just for fairies…. I found some fairy doors too that I would love to put in interesting places and I’ve found solar things that light up little fairy statues….

Be warned! Stay away from Plow and Hearth’s web site, seriously! (

They are responsible for my new fairy interest and it’s dangerous!

Thanks Sherry!

I’m thinking by now that a lot of you have also been tagged with this award, so I will just put this up for grabs and say, please do this if you haven’t already, and post on your blog! I’d love to read your answers!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Crazy Days

Yesterday, I was loving my fuzzy socks and sweatpants… today, I’m thankful this is just a brief warm spell and my favorite SoCal weather (75 or less!) is coming back for a bit longer! I won't pack away the fuzzy socks just yet!

The above pix were found on the internet.... my state, She knows how to do The Pretty Springtime!

Yesterday, I was ignorantly thinking that my daughter was lingering nearby enjoying the hospitality of the Riverside county jail. You see, due to my old age, **cough**
advanced state of decomposition inability to correctly decipher the somewhat confusing web site for the jail, I misinterpreted “currently housed at” to mean just that…. It said she was at Riverside. Only right under that, it said “release date 04-27-10”. Which made no sense at all to me.

Until her property box was delivered by UPS. I opened it up and that was a mistake.

Immediately her scent drifted to me – the familiar mix of faint cigarette smoke and Sweet Pea by Bath and Body Works…. First I stuck my nose in it and breathed deep (and cried) and then I had to just duct tape it shut and put it in the garage. I’ll get it out when I’m feeling a tad stronger.

Anyway, once it dawned on me today, what had happened, I began trying to get an answer at the inmate locator line. What a joke. I have unlimited free long distance on our home line. (the free bit is a bit of a misnomer – we pay a small fee for that, but can talk til we’re blue in the face, nationwide, as a result). I put the phone on speaker each time it put me on hold, and waited for an HOUR each time I tried. I worked all day and never got through. I even took advantage of their handy-dandy fax inquiry line, and faxed a request for her info in, at about 10AM. My fax machine has been silent since then.

At this rate, she could be done (early December), bussed home and ringing my doorbell before I can get her CDC# and send her the first postcard.

I know, Ma, you’ve told me 4,592 times, “don’t exaggerate!”

What. Ever.

Executive decision: I’m going to spend less time trying to figure out what her life is like up there, too. Note to self: Stay off of Tales of no mail out for months at a time, 2 rolls of TP a week, minimal women’s sanitary supplies, and lockdowns as a result of 30 women fighting over a $3.00 bottle of lotion…. Shudder! All because I wanted to know if there was an economical way to get phone calls…. I found out about EVERYTHING except how to economically get phone calls from the two Chowchilla facilities.

I’m focused on getting the invoicing done for my biz – if the docs don’t pay me, I can’t go grocery shopping! And they won’t pay, unless I ask! Once I get that done, my reward is going upstairs and just patting the fabric that I will have time to play with tomorrow! Yay for a new project in the works!

And last but not least…..The mailman brought good news. I got the standard “Congrats – your boobies are fine” from the Imaging Center. After all the fuss, I will ask my doctor to fax me a copy of the transcribed report, to make absolutely sure a comparison to the 2007 films is actually mentioned. After all the hoops we jumped through to get the old images and deliver them ourselves, still, it would not surprise me if the final comparison was overlooked in the hurry of some tired, hungry, stressed-out radiology resident, reading films at 2 AM while gobbling down cold pizza…. I know this is how it goes, because I get the reports to transcribe from my own radiology clients and that’s when a heck of a lot of them are dictated! Yawn! Scary! (Yeah, they don’t sound so good dictated through mouthfuls of that pizza, either!)

Praying for all of us to have a restful evening and lighter hearts!