Monday, October 29, 2007


You ever feel like everyone in the entire world knows the answers and you are the one clueless odd man out? I'm having a G.W. kind of day.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Life update

Cameron update: Cameron is starting to feel better. His fever is under control and he is awake more now. His cough is still terrible but probably will be until he coughs up all that infection. I am so glad he seems to be through the worst of it. He has made it very clear he does not want to go back to the hospital.

Work update: I finally had my meeting on Friday, 9 days later than it was supposed to happen. It was fairly uneventful. We got the paperwork filled out and she apologised for it taking so long. She said to let her know if she could help me with anything else. I resisted the urge to say the obvious that it would really have been helpful for them to not fire Jeff. Or at the very least tell us what he did that was so horrible. We still have no idea. Jeff has been going over it all in his mind and can't think of anything.

It's all rather frustrating but generally we have found that when things like this happen we end up being better off. It's not like it was the greatest job ever. He just took it because of the insurance benefits. He did like the kids though. So maybe he can find something else more like that.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Cameron thinks the bathroom is haunted and other fun Halloween stories

Since we moved into the new house the main bathroom has been making weird noises. It seems to come from the pipes. It sounds like someone banging on the pipes with a wrench. We joke that it is moaning mertle.

Cameron hasn't been bothered until the last few weeks. He told me he was going to use the bathroom. He always goes in the main bathroom or yellow bathroom as he calls it because it is yellow (his favorite color) and it has the cool stained glass window he likes. He came running back a moment later terrified and crying. I couldn't understand what he was saying. I finally got him to calm down some and he said he couldn't go to the bathroom and something about the mirrors. So I walk him back to the bathroom and he wouldn't set foot in there. He wouldn't go back in there for at least a week and then only if I went in with him. He will not look at the mirror. He has been using the other bathroom where the mirror is too high for him to see into. He can't tell me what scared him so much. He just says he doesn't want to go in there and he doesn't like the mirror. Weird. So maybe the bathroom is haunted after all.

Here is another weird story. One night years ago we were sleeping and I was having a dream that I was at a baseball game. I looked up and the ball was coming right for me. I tried to get out of the way but couldn't. It was going to hit me right in the face. I closed my eyes and waited for the impact.... Jeff was sleeping next to me and he was dreaming that he was at a baseball game and saw a ball going right for me. He ran over and just as it was about to hit me in the face he caught it and protected me. We both woke up at the same instant and in real life I had my hands up to cover my face and Jeff had his hand in front of my face where he had just caught the non existent ball.

Here is a Halloween clip:

Another adventure at the ER

Just got back from another late night visit to the ER. Cameron has pneumonia in his left lung and his fever spiked to 103. They gave him two shots of a strong antibiotic mixed with lidocane and said we can take him home. We have to watch him carefully and have him checked by his pediatrician to make sure it doesn't get worse or spread to his right lung. His is the 12th case at his school. 3 kids are still in the hospital and one had to have surgery. I will probably be up most of the night watching him. I get too nervous to sleep much when he is so sick. It just breaks my heart to see him so miserable. At the hospital he kept crying and saying "help me, I'm dying, you have to fix me".

He still wants to go to school in the morning. I don't think so. He is really sad about it though.

I will update more later. I want to get back to him now.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

We had a nice family evening not thinking about work

We turned on the heater and tried the fireplace for the first time last night. The house is nice and toasty warm. So I decided I better get busy on Halloweeny stuff. I worked on Cameron's yellow submarine costume. He is very excited.

We carved Pumpkins, 3 in fact. One for each child. They had fun and the Jack-o-Lanterns are now sitting on the front porch. I had a minor pumpkin related injury. I was trying to get one of the pumpkins out of the giant box at the store when it shifted and the stem cut my arm. It was kinda funny and it reminded me of another odd pumpkin related injury I had several years ago. I was carving a pumpkin to look like Charlie Brown when one of the little bits O pumpkin I was trying to pop out became air born and smacked me in the eye. You can get hurt in some pretty funny ways.

So I did some research and here are the facts:
Did you know every year about 5,800 are seen in the ER for pumpkin carving related injuries.
(Actually this is not true but it sounds good. I couldn't find pumpkin stats. It just said a lot of people are treated each October. This is actually the number of people hurt in Christmas tree decorating accidents. I figured Turkey carving, pumpkin carving and tree trimming would probably have similar stats.) So please be careful out there this Halloween and try not to set yourself on fire, or put an eye out, or cut something off that you might prefer to keep.

While I was looking for funny ways people hurt themselves I found this too. Each year there are more than 40,000 toilet related injuries. Wow, you can get hurt doing anything.

Have a fun and safe Halloween!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Just announced May 16-18 2008 next Utah reunion. I am excited and hope I get to go this year.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I saw this quote on one of my online communities. It pretty much sums up my feelings for the day (and my feelings about nameless administrators.)

Some people are Slinkys -- basically useless but fun to push down the stairs.

I have not had my meeting. I have been trying all day. I started calling and leaving voice mail at 8:00AM. No answer no return call no meeting. I have no idea what is up. I am scheduled to work tomorrow at 2:45. We'll see.

Here is something fun:

Update 10-18-07
I edited my post a bit to make it clearer. Everyone who read it so far thought I was internalizing the part of the slinky. I am not a slinky, nor is Jeff. We didn't do anything wrong. I was making a joke at the expense of some of the people at work who are pretty useless and who I wouldn't mind seeing take a tumble. Not necessarily down the stairs. I am not really a violent person. It was a joke. I am using humor to keep from going crazy and really pushing someone down the stairs.

Still no meeting or return call. I think I have been officially blown off. I plan to report to work as scheduled and see what happens. I don't really have any other options at this point. I was advised by some people who also work there to "screw them and not show up." Well, that might be fun but I need a job and insurance and a paycheck. I have looked into some other employment options as a back up. If they do fire me I can collect unemployment until a new job starts. If I quit I got bupkis.

Furthermore, my not showing up would not hurt admin a bit. They are so far removed from the real work of that place they probably wouldn't even figure it out until sometime Friday and that's only if they didn't all leave early for the weekend. My not showing up would hurt the important people, the non-slinkys, the kids and the other direct care workers. I like them so I don't want anything to be more difficult for them. You see I really am a nice person who tries to do the right thing even when the wrong thing might be a lot more fun.

Wow a lot of @!#$%&* can happen in a day

My last post was only about 15 hours ago. A lot of stuff has happened since then. Actually I guess I should more accurately say a lot has changed since then because really only one thing happened. Jeff got fired. I guess we won't have to figure out child care issues now.

He went in this morning and everyone was happy to have him back. He worked half the day then administration called him into the office and told him they were letting him go. His very normal response was "WHY?" they said they didn't feel they needed a reason because he is still considered a probationary employee as he hasn't worked there a year yet.

How sad is that? Not even the decency to give him a reason. Well, it is because they don't have a legal reason. They can't technically fire him for getting hurt on the job doing some dumb ass task that they ordered him to do. Something I am pretty sure was not part of his job description. Not that I can verify that because they never gave him a copy of his job description even though they are required to.

I am very angry about this and if you know me you know it takes a lot to make me angry. I was working under the misguided assumption that they would act in a fair and professional way and I was very sadly mistaken. I keep going forth into the world with blind hope that people aren't really so bad. They want to do what's right and just and every thing's fine and rainbows and butterflies and such. Then I get smacked in the head with reality. A lot of people just suck. A lot of situations are not fair. Usually you can't do squat to change things.

You would think I would learn but I am one of those perpetually positive and hopeful people who keeps thinking a few bad apples won't spoil the whole world. I keep picking myself back up and trying again to find a happy place. Wow, what a sap I am.

I am very sad and worried because we can't live on my income alone. We have no savings and we are behind on everything because I have been out of work for 3 months with my broken arm. I just started back a week ago. I work at the same facility. I am concerned that they will fire me as well. It seems to be a disturbing trend. If you get hurt or find out you are pregnant during your first year they fire you rather than pay for benefits for someone who will be out on leave. I am not sure how they are getting away with it. I am not sure how to stop them.

I have a meeting with the HR director in the morning because I asked about getting the money owed me from disability insurance. Perhaps they plan to cut me loose as well. I didn't get hurt on the job so I haven't really cost them much so far. I haven't gotten a pay check in 3 months. Now that I am pursuing disability payments and they may have to pay me something I would not be surprised if they fire me too.

I am tired. We thought we were finally back on track but the rug has been pulled out from under us again. That always seems to happen. We are constantly saying when this happens we will be able to get caught up but then something else comes up to derail us. It just makes me very tired.

I am sick of being a disappointment. I try so hard to be a good person and do nice things. I try to do good in the world by volunteering and working hard and raising my kids to be good people. I always try to help others who may be in need and I don't ask for anything in return. I just want to make enough money to feed the kids and pay the basic bills. No cable TV or internet provider payments here.

I do not desire material things. I have gone without many times. I have found creative ways to overcome not having a working phone or gas to heat water. I can make do but I need something to work with. I do not ever want to be a disappointment to my family and I feel I have been lately. I hate that we have to ask for help because we need to pay the water and electric bill. These are really the only necessities because I need them both to cook and give baths. I hate that my kids feel the anxiety that I try to hide.

We have a serious case of Charlie Brown syndrome that has been going on for years. Jeff is a good man who tries hard to do what's best and take care of his family but it ultimately results in failure through no fault of his own. He tried really hard to be perfect at this job because he needed it so badly and because I work there and he didn't want to cause any pressure for me or my sister who also works there. Everyone he worked with loved him. He loved working around the kids and didn't even complain about never getting lunch breaks. He came home exhausted every day because they kept adding tasks for him to do with no additional time to get them done. When he got hurt he only filled out an incident report because it is the rule. He did not plan to pursue it. He came into work the next day even though he was hurt. They made him leave work and see the doctor. They forced him to take sick leave then they fired him for it.

It's 6:30 am here now. I was only able to sleep for 3 1/2 hours. Now it's time to get the kids off to school and see about that meeting with HR. I will post an update later. Maybe things will start to look up but I am in a very Eeyore mood so I doubt it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It's Tuesday today

That means I didn't have to go in on my on call day! I get 2 days off this week. That is really good because Jeff went back to work today. The doctor cleared him to return yesterday afternoon so he got all of his paperwork taken care of and went back this morning. We went in yesterday and got our flu shots. The baby enjoyed watching us get shots instead of her for a change. Jeff tried to get his schedule changed while we were there but they said no. So we are trying to figure out what to do about childcare.

Kay went in yesterday to try to do her hearing test again. They did not use the scary anamatronics this time but she remembered them from before and still got scared. They are going to have to do a different type of test so they will discuss it and let us know what they decide later this week. She is too smart and doesn't forget anything.

Jeff had a garage sale this past weekend. After the cost of the permit we made about 4 bucks. It rained and we were competing with football and there were other unfortunate events. I may just haul it all off to goodwill.

Cameron saw this commercial and thought it was funny.
He has been imitating it by getting inside his tunnel and sneaking up on people and yelling Boo! I'm an annoying clog. He is a funny kid. Here is a picture.

I got copies of the infamous pie pictures from Taylor's summer camp adventure.
He volunteered to be the target of the pie throwing booth at a camp for kids with disabilities. I didn't think we would ever get the smell of sour whipped cream out of his hair. What a great kid he is.

Look out pie to the face! He is even smiling. Wow that's going above and beyond.

I volunteered for this?! What did I get myself into?

What a mess but still smiling.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It's Wednesday Today

Wednesday is my only night off. I have returned to work as of Monday 10-9-07 and will be going in on all my on call days, well, probably forever. Still can't figure out why we can't get some new people hired. People are sick more often because they are exhausted. Also some people quit because they get tired of never being able to get a day off. So it looks like Wednesday will be my blogging day when I have time to do it.

My first day back was good. I had a lot of new kids to learn about so that will take some time. While I was gone we got almost all new patients. My arm was popping a lot while trying to move heavy patients but it didn't hurt.

My sister's wedding is all finished and it went well. We had fun but pictures were difficult. I have a few good ones but none of us all together.

My Father in Law is out of intensive care and has been moved to a long term care facility. He is doing better, so for now we are just waiting to see what happens next.

Kay had her hearing test but she is terrified of animatronics. They test little ones by playing a sound or voice into a speaker on the right or left of the head. When the baby looks towards the sound a animatronic toy lights up and plays music while it dances. She totally freaked and started screaming and shaking. She wanted out of that booth and didn't want anything to do with anyone there. It didn't help that she had just split her lip on the table in the waiting room. So we had to leave without finishing the test. I guess we won't be taking her to Chuck E Cheeses anytime soon.

We have to schedule another appointment to try again. I have been flaking on appointments since I went back to work. I keep forgetting about things until several hours after I was supposed to be there.

I guess things are pretty much back to normal around here. Hectic and a bit crazy and disorganized. I will try to write more fun stuff soon. Here are some wedding pictures.
The entire wedding party
The kids: Cameron, Maddison, Kaylynne
Father and Mother of the bride, Maddison, Sarah, and her girlfriend Courtney, and baby Kaylynne
Daddy and his beautiful girl

Cameron enjoying a dum dum pop
Kay final fitting for her dress
Cam trying on the Tux
The groom's cake I made
In our concert tees: The Ramones, The Doors, The Beatles and The? Green Day

Grandma Vickie pins on the flower for Taylor

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

It has been a sad happy busy day

I know my title doesn't make much sense but I will try to explain.

My baby sister Danielle is back in town for her wedding on the 7th. It is so fun having her here and getting to talk. The wedding is going to be wonderful. We have lots of family coming in and a big rehearsal dinner planned at our house. I am making the grooms cake and Mom has been sewing like a mad woman for weeks. She has made Dan's wedding dress and 4 bridesmaids dresses and 2 little girl dresses.

Dan is so gorgeous and happy and we are all so happy for her. I am very proud of her because, well for lots of reasons, she is starting a new job she loves. She is marring the man she loves and she is becoming a mommy. Her Husband-to-be has a two year old little girl from a former relationship and Dan is being a great mommy to her. She just jumped right in and accepted her new daughter into the family without hesitation. We all just love her; she is a really sweet little girl.

Kay tried on her dress today and she looks like a little princess. We have checked off a lot on the to do list but there is still tons ahead in the next few days. So this next week will be busy and lots of fun. That's the happy, busy part.

I am usually a really happy person. Even when things are tough I try to keep my spirits up. Today was a little hard and I am stressing. The 2 little ones have runny noses. Gross can't keep them clean runny noses. I am hoping they will clear up before the wedding.

I have a never ending to do list that I can't seem to make any progress on. If I do manage to cross something off it is replaced with 3 other items.

I have to return to work in 6 days and I didn't accomplish all that I wanted to while I was gone. How will I ever get things done when I am working again? It is sad that when you have time off to do work around the house you can't afford to do the work. When you go back to work you have the money but no time.

I am frustrated with the amount of time waisted with doctor appointments and insurance companies and waiting on hold to talk with both. It makes me crazy when they say they will call you back and don't or say they will do something for you and don't. Like I have time to play these games.

With all this you may be wondering how I have time to post. I should just get off the computer and get stuff done. Well, I do most of my posting at night while everyone else is sleeping. I just skip some sleep. Writing keeps me sane, helps me remember the good parts of the day or past and allows me some form of creativity. It's cheeper than psychotherapy.

The thing I am most sad about, and probably why all the other little things are getting to me, is that my Father-in-Law is still in the hospital. It is really not looking good. They don't think he will make it much longer and he seems to have given up. He is in pain, they had to intubate him and it really messed up his lungs. It hurts him to breath and he is struggling just to get a little bit of oxygen. He is tired. He called in lawyers today to come to the hospital and get his affairs in order. I think he just wants to be done and not hurting/struggling anymore. He is talking about who he wants to leave his belongings to. I hate the whole process. I don't like to think about who gets what but I know it has to be dealt with.

I don't like to think about dying. He isn't really very old yet. He should be around so much longer. It makes me mad. It is just like my Grandpa. He was only 62 when he died but he smoked most of his life. I wish there were no more cigarettes in the world. Don't we have enough people dying without introducing more disease into the population. It is just frustrating.

I need to go get some cleaning done so I will quit ranting about the evils of the cigarette companies for now.

I will try to leave on a happy note though. I saw a humming bird in our back yard today. It was really cool. Now I want to get a feeder and see if he will come back.

Here is a little something from each of the kids:

Taylor taught me a new word. Fapping-spending a lot of time on the computer posting, blogging, and chatting. He says it is the sound the keyboard makes when you get to typing really fast in a very computer nerdy way. He informed me I am a big computer nerd and fap a lot. I choose to take that as a compliment.

Cam looked at me today and asked in all seriousness "Can I put my brain back in my head?" My reply was "By all means please do. I like your brain inside your head."

Kay was walking around eating a waffle and went into the bathroom and set it down on top of the toilet seat. This prompted me to say another one of those comments you never imagine you will need to utter until you have kids, "No eating toilet waffles!!"

I have to draw the line somewhere and eating off of the toilet is the spot. Eating off the floor-not desirable but OK. Eating off the toilet-not acceptable and I don't care if it has just been cleaned.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Grandpa, Disney World, The Superdome and The Statue of Liberty

On Friday October 1, 1971 - after seven years of planning - about 10,000 visitors converged near Orlando, Florida, to witness the grand opening of Walt Disney World.

My Mom, her parents, and 2 brothers were among the first to see the theme park.

I guess technically I was there too because Mom was pregnant with me at the time.

My Grandpa actually helped build the facility. He also worked on the, now infamous, Superdome, as well as the Statue of Liberty for the 1986 renovation.

He was a very interesting fellow. I got to thinking about him today when I saw the news story about Disney World opening. I thought I would write down a few stories about him before they are lost forever (some probably should be Ha Ha).

Hopefully I am remembering these correctly but if I miss a few details witnesses please feel free to speak up.

Off the top of my head I can think of the following topics and I will add more details later: Afternoon bar trips to the fox's den lounge with grandpa, Running to the store for grandpa AKA Gin and a carton of Benson and Hedges, driving like a maniac to the hospital for my birth, The infamous Halloween party of 71 (well maybe we won't go there), Pink Panther, Weird Al's predecessor, making kites, landscaping, Little Dick in the store room, beach house fashions and beer can hats.

Grandpa's favorite bar to hang out at was the Fox's Den Lounge. It was kinda like Cheers-he knew everyone and everyone knew him. Except they said Dick! instead of Norm!

I went to the bar with him a few times when I was a kid. It was New Orleans in the 70's, kids could go into bars and strip clubs and no one much cared. They also weren't too concerned about drunk driving back then. I am not saying it's good I am just saying that's the way it was.

So we would spend the afternoon in the bar while my Mom was at work. Everyone was really nice. The floor behind the bar was wooden slats over linoleum so when drinks spilled you could still walk without slipping. Whenever things would get dropped down between the slats the adults couldn't reach them because their fingers were too big. I was the official retriever. My tiny little kid fingers could grab stuff from between the slats and I got to keep whatever change I found. They had a slot machine in the back so I could play the slots with some of the money. I don't remember ever winning though.

One time a police officer came in to have a drink. He didn't say anything about me being in there but he didn't want me to sit right at the bar. Grandpa told him I wasn't doing anything wrong so just leave us alone. The officer protested one time. He said "I'm serious Dick she can't sit at the bar." Then he decided it wasn't worth the trouble and he relocated to a table in the corner and left us alone.

Things were really different in the 70's.

We lived right across from a little grocery store that sold liquor and cigarettes too. Grandpa would run out of Gin, or 7-up, or cigarettes or all 3 and send one of the grand kids over to the store to do some shopping for him.

So I would go across the street with a list and some cash and they would sell me Gin and a carton of Benson and Hedges cigarettes even though I was like 10. Like I said New Orleans in the 70's. When I would get back Grandpa would have me mix him a Gin and 7-up. He taught the 3 oldest grand kids how to mix drinks so we could be his bartenders. I believe the mix was 2 parts Gin to 4 parts 7-up.

When my Mom went into labor with me someone thought it was wise to let Grandpa drive. Well he liked to make an entrance and he had always wanted to use the "some one's in labor going to the hospital" excuse. So he drove like a maniac and sure enough got pulled over (not hard for him they probably recognised his car). He told the officer what was up and got his own personal escort to the hospital.

The infamous Halloween party of 71.... OK maybe I won't share that one here. Let's just say it ended with most of the people in attendance getting beat up and arrested and several NOPD members leaving the force.

Pink Panther was Grandpa's favorite cartoon. He loved to watch it on TV and he would just laugh and laugh. We joked that he was going through his second childhood (or maybe he never grew out of his first). For one of his birthdays we got him a stuffed Pink Panther. He loved that thing.

He liked to make people laugh. He was Weird Al's predecessor. He would make up new words to popular 70's songs on the radio while we were driving. I am trying to think of an example but it may have been too long.

He bought kite kits for the grand kids and planned to make one with each of us so we could fly them together on the levee. They were pretty elaborate and difficult to assemble. The kites ended up winning that battle. He bought us ready made kites to replace the kits. We had fun working together though.

He had grand plans for landscaping the backyard. He paid us grand kids 2 dollars for each bag of yard waist we cleaned up. Then he had a big load of sand delivered. I am not sure what he wanted to use it for. That's as far as the plan progressed but we had a blast playing in our huge sand yard under the magnolia tree.

One year for Christmas we were hunting for the perfect gift for Grandpa. We saw a store that had personalized bar glasses. We didn't think we would find any with his name on them but we went in anyway just to see.

His real name was Forest Wood (and yes, he lived on Live Oak Street and No, people didn't believe any of that was true). He went by Dick. Every body called him that. It would have been hard to find anything personalized with Forest. We figured it would be impossible to find anything personalized with Dick.

Here is proof: He really was Forest Wood of Live Oak Street.

The store employees loved that we asked though. They were having lots of fun with it. Dick, I don't know if we have any Dicks, Have you seen any Dicks? Maybe there are some Dicks in the storeroom. Hey run back to the store room and ask if there are any Dicks back there. Hey you got any Dicks hidden in the store room? It went on forever and everyone was cracking up. Then amazingly enough they found some Dicks in the store room. 4 gold rimmed glasses that said "Dick's Private Bar". It was one of the most perfect gifts of all time. He loved them and used them every day.

We spent a lot of time at the beach house along the Mississippi. Grandpa had lots of fun there. He always wore shorts, often pin stripped, and a button up shirt in a bright color. What made the outfit was his beer can hat and pull tab vest.

I tell all of these stories with a smile on my face and love in my heart. He was an unforgettable character and quite a bit devilish trouble maker. He loved his family fiercely and no one can say he regretted his escapades. He always lived life to the fullest and had a great time during his too short trip. I am sure he is up in heaven now taking care of my Grandma and making everyone laugh. If it really is heaven for him he will have a drink in one hand a cigarette in the other and be surrounded by friends.

I don't have a date for the picture. There are no names either so I don't know who the other couple is. I am guessing this is from the early 50's.

It's kinda hard to see in the small picture but I just noticed this today. I was looking at the hands because I saw that Grandma had hers on his arm. I thought that was sweet then I realized why. Grandpa is flipping off the camera man. Look at the fingers holding the drink. Grandma had her hand on his arm because she knew what he was about to do and was trying to stop him. That pretty much sums up their personalities.

I found this clip that shows Dean Martin flicking his cigarette ashes into George Gobel's drink on the Carson Show. This has always reminded me of my Grandpa. He has the same kind of sense of humor. I could see him doing just this same thing.