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Posted on: May 19, 2011

When my daughter began reading my blog, was she happy about the nice blogs I had written about her and her daughters? NO!

She was wild about the nasty things (yes, they WERE nasty) about her and her husband that I wrote almost a year ago about the now infamous dog-bite incident and the horrible Christmas when she never even called me. Did I say some not-so-nice things? Yes. Are they few and far between? Yes. But they will be the subject of our therapy session in 10 days. She has printed out the ones that were the worst and will show them to the therapist. What he’s supposed to do? Scold me?

Because of these blogs she has written me off, as it were. I was supposed to have two medical procedures done this week, One was absolutely necessary, one elective. She is my ride home after these procedures because they involve anesthesia. She was now refused to pick me up from the second procedure so I have to somehow make other arrangements. The doctor was in shock about it. After the first procedure this week, she had a hissy fit because the procedure took longer than normal and she had to get me medicine and something to eat. She is afraid of losing her job because she takes too mush time off (she went on vacation 2 weeks ago and is taking her daughters to the dentist and orthodontist, even though I have offered to to that for her). If she were so afraid to take time off, she would let me help her. “No,” she says.”You;ll hold it over my head.” I may have mentioned it in my blog but I never say, “Look how much I do for you.”

It’s the same thing with repaying a substantial loan I made to her and her husband. They are far behind repaying the loan and they are crying about hard times and they will get a second mortgage if they have to so I won’t hold it over their heads. They go out to eat, go on vacations, have Spurs season tickets, bought an iPad, but can’t pay me because it’s hard. I’ve offered to extend the loan for a year if they will make regular payments and pay a tiny interest on the extra year. Clint, her husband, is in charge of this, I guess, but she doesn’t want to sign anything until a year from now, 15 months after the loan is due. I tried to explain to her that is she doesn’t sign an extension, the loan is due-NOW. She watches enough judge shows to know this. She also doesn’t want to pay interest, which was not what she said when she asked for the loan through her tears. I think 2% interest for 15 months is very reasonable. It’s the principle (no pun intended) of the thing.

She’s also mad because I used her car “too long” when my car was in the shop after a hit-and-run accident. We didn’t realize it would take that long. I could have rented a car through the insurance. But she didn’t tell me she was upset. Instead, she told everyone that she had to take the car from me “by force.” Her husband gave me a ride to the shop. I could have taken a cab. It was sort of funny.

So because of the blog, I have no help with hospitals and no Mother’s Day celebration (Clint was sick) and no help with anything. I don’t feel I should have to capitulate to her whims when I need to write and get my thoughts out of my head so I won’t blow up. Luckily, I see the therapist before we go together so maybe I can tell him it may get volatile (again). This hospital thing is the first thing I’ve asked her to do in a year. I went on vacation and parked my card at the airport, boarded my dog, did my own thing. She was mad about that,too, because I visited her former second step-mother who left her father after he nearly broke her jaw. She’s now married and happy but Sabrina holds grudges for a long time. She’s like her father and my mother, the worst of each. She can be sweet but more often she is self-centered and bitchy. Like she is now.

So there is my second surprise shock–find your own way to deal with the hospital. I, on the other hand, will help her if she asks me, because that’s who I am. She’s my only child. Why shouldn’t I help her? I just care about her too much.


Surprised probably isn’t the best word for what happened. Shocked would be more like it.

I had been house-sitting and pet-sitting for my daughter and her family for 8 days while they were on a cruise to Jamaica. I brought my small dog and would go back every day to check on my elderly cat. At the time they had two small dogs, one a Schipperke named Nyx who was the sweetest dog (she has since died), and Pako, or as I called him Pacito Malo (bad dog), a chihuahua with an attitude.

I went over on Saturday afternoon to stay with the dogs (and two outdoors cats and two fish) and things were going well. Then came Sunday. When Pako is in the house, he wears a leash because it supposedly makes him better behaved (lies). On Sunday afternoon, after I let the dogs in from the back year, Pako got by my without my getting his leash on him, which he doesn’t like anyway. He went between a chair and the sofa and I went to put the leash on him and he bit me. Twice. Hard. Hard enough to draw blood through 4 deep puncture wounds. I think he may have felt cornered, but the damage was done. Of course my daughter had no antiseptic cream so I washed the wounds as best I could and found some bandages to use. I was quite shaken and should have gone to the pharmacy to get hydrogen peroxide and antibiotic cream, but, as I said I was shaken and it hurt like hell.

Over the next few days, it was obvious the bites were infected. I had a doctor’s appointment on Thursday so thought I would wait until then to go to see her and get them treated. Did I mention that this was Ramadan and so I was fasting during the daylight hours, which probably didn’t help. I had to take my dog to the vet on Wednesday and when my vet saw the bites, she said, “get to the doctor! Those are infected!” and then proceded to tell me that the doctor would have to report the bite and the dog would have to be quarantined.

Sure enough, on Thurday the doctor had to report the bite and said to expect a visit from Animal Care Services. She gave me antibiotics that were hell on my empty stomach (it’s Ramadan, remember?). I felt awful, had a fever, and a very infected hand.

On Friday, Animal Care Services showed up and told me the dog had to be quarantined for 5 days (10 days since the bite) and I could either bring him to their facility or his vet. I chose his vet so he could get his shots and nothing bad would happen to him. I took him to the vet and had to pay up front for his boarding, shots, exams, etc. I felt awful leaving him there since he had been sweet after the bite incident.

On Sunday, my daughter and her family came home and immediately noticed that Pako was not there. I explained the situation to them and all hell broke loose. The granddaughters were crying, my son-in-law was angry because “the house was trashed” (there was dog hair on the floor and a couple of Pako’s puddles I had missed). Did I mention that we were all confined to the living room and kitchen, that I slept on the couch, and brought my own food? My daughter was hysterical; Pako is like her baby. No one asked how I was doing (not well, thanks, the doctor had to change my antibiotics so I wouldn’t be so sick); no one said thank you for leaving your home and caring for ours. No one said, thank you for taking care of the vet bill.

I went upstairs to comfort the granddaughters and while I was up there, I could here a lot of yelling downstairs between my daughter and her husband. When I came down, my daughter said, “You have to leave NOW!” Her husband had told her to throw me out of the house. I was in shock. Luckily I was packed and granddaughter #2 helped me carry things to the car. I got thrown out of my daughter’s house for getting bitten by her dog!

I was accused of provoking the dog to bit me, trashing the house, costing them extra money (no, I paid the vet). I was persona non grata in that house.

Up until then, my daughter had refused to let me wear my hijab (headscarf) when I was with her or the girls. She was upset that I had converted to Islam even though they are not religious. I remember going home in a daze and going to say my evening prayers. I could hardly get them out, but afterwards, I just remember saying, “Allah, I choose you.” I decided that my therapist and my daughter were not going to dictate to me what to wear or believe, since he had told me to not wear my hijab around them and maybe that would be better.

So that was my big surprise, or shock, as it were: getting thrown out of my daughter’s house. And my son-in-law wonders why I’m not fond of him, since he told her to make me leave. That was last August and things have never been the same. I’m not invited to their home. I can go to pick up the girls for the movies or whatever, but I’m not really welcome in their home.

In fact, I’m writing this on this blog because she reads my other blog and I can’t write what I want or she gets wild. Somehow my private blog from another site got linked into the blog and it had some nasty thoughts in there. The blog is on Facebook and I can’t get it off, so she reads everything I write on that blog. So if you go to that blog,

I don’t know what to write about: my summer job interview when I was in college, my first job out of college, or my “real” job. Perhaps I’ll describe them all.

After my first year of college, I needed a job and not cleaning houses which was what I did when I was in high school. I needed I real job. My mother’s friend’s brother was the human resources (personnel they called it then) director at the Utica Mutual Insurance Company. They hired a few college students to work each year in their mail center. My mother made arrangements for me to get an interview with this gentleman in the hopes that I could work there. They paid minimum wage but that was more than I made cleaning houses.

I dressed in my best outfit and wen for the interview. There was no test or anything; it was just a pleasant talk with the head of personnel about why I wanted to work their and could I actually talk and act normally. I must have done well, because even though the gentleman said that they only took on a few “girls,” I got the job. The job was incredibly boring but I met nice girls my age and some I even knew from school. We received mail from agents and clients and then wrote out cards to have those files pulled and given to the main agents. Some of the files were not in the file center so that meant we had to search the entire office (it was huge) for the file which had to be on someone’s desk. So when the cards came back without a file, we then set out to locate the file. we had to go to every desk to find the file and then attack the mail with a paper ribbon to let the agent know there was new mail. We had a typed list of the files we we looking for and there was usually a prize for the worker who found the most files. There were about 15 of us “girls” who looked for the files after we had spent the morning writing out the file requests. One girl sat with the mail and we went from section to section looking for the files. It was incredibly boring but it paid relatively well. I kept this same job from my freshman year in university through my junior year. Then I graduated and got married.

Then came my second job interview as a caseworker at the Albany County Department of Social Services. My moth-n-law was good friends with two women who were very influential at the agency and my mother-in-law told them I needed a job in my field (sociology) and not just a plain old caseworker job, but one in children and family services. It was a requirement that the caseworkers have a car so they could transport children and visit their clients (the children) in foster homes. I swore up and down that I had a car which really wasn’t true since my husband was not going to take the bus that went right by our house to go to teach at the high school. He told me I could use the car if I needed it, but the problem was that you never knew is you were going to need it. You might come in one day to find out that a foster family had tossed a child out and you had to move that child to another home that day. So I would have to take a bus to the high school and pick up the car and be back there to pick up my husband at the end of the school day. It was very stressful to never know if I was going to have to play the “get the car” game or not. But I stuck it out for 18 months until I got my “real” job.

I had taken a test when I was a senior in university for a position of Educational Testing Aide, an entry level state job. In New York State, the agency had to select one of the top three people on the list to hire. They reached my number (they were hiring very few workers even though I did well) and finally reached my number. I met the other requirements (I had education credits) and I was well-spoken and interested in the work, which was constructing State examinations for high school students called Regents exams. I did well in the math section of the test and in the history section, so I was interviewed for the position of aide in math and history tests. The great part about this job was that after 3 years as an aide, you received a huge promotion to assistant automatically. The only trouble with the job was that you had to travel almost every month to help give licensing examinations for another bureau. My husband was not thrilled with that but it was a great paying job (more than he made) and led to better things. So after a day long interview with all sorts of people including the bureau chief, supervisors, the other bureau chief (who was a real fruitcake), and co-workers, I got the job. I was there 2 1/2 years and then had my baby, my only child. When I came back from maternity leave, I was promoted to assistant.

I was making good money, but my husband never thought of my job as important. His job was always more important. Here’s an example. When my daughter was about 18 months old, she took my husband’s car keys (he left them on a table) and they disappeared. He couldn’t drive his car to school. So he pushed his car out of our driveway into the middle of the street and took the other car to school (I took the bus to work). He called me and told me to get home and find those keys and get that car out of the middle of the street. Of course, I found the keys (Sabrina had “used” them to start her doll carriage) and moved the car. But I had to take the bus back and forth from work and lose a half day of work. He thought because his father could take time off without any trouble so could I. It was good that I had this good job because when we divorced when Sabrina was 2 years old, I could support both of us.

So there are my stories of my job interviews and my various jobs. I hope you enjoyed them.

Yesterday was an historic day for the world. The reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, Elizabeth II, paid an official visit to the Republic of Ireland. I never thought I would see this day in my lifetime. There has been such animosity between these two countries for thousands of years that, as an Irish-American, I was truly amazed that this event occurred. And the Queen wore emerald green as well!

No English monarch has been on Irish soil in over 100 years, what with the revolution and “troubles.” But here was Queen Elizabeth at 85 years old visiting Ireland and laying a wreath at the monument to those who fought against the British early in the 20th century. It was a momentous event.

Perhaps most of us have finally reached the point that we can get along together, especially these two island nations that are so close to each other and whose histories are forever linked dur to the persecution and revolutions that have occurred. Enough time has past to heal old wounds.

I have to give much credit to Queen Elizabeth who went to Ireland despite the fact that her favorite cousin had been murdered by a bomb on his boat some years ago by rebels who cannot let go of their dream of a united Ireland. No one knows if this will ever happen, but a start at normal relations has begun.

Thank you, God, for this momentous day.

This post can also be found on my blog, My Life, Such As It Is.

1. What reveals more about a woman-her refrigerator or her purse?
For most women, probably their purse. However, since I live alone, my refrigerator tells a lot about me (that’s scary).

2. When was the last time you went to the zoo? Where? What’s your favourite zoo animal?
I think that Sea World sort of counts as a type of zoo, so we last went in March when I took the granddaughters when they had school vacation. One of the Sea Worlds is here in San Antonio. My favorite animals there are the penguins, next to the orca whales, of course. The penguins are so entertaining and it’s amazing how fast they can swim. When I watch the orcas, I feel so close to heaven. I think it’s on a “thin place.”

3. What social issue fires you up?
Abused and/or neglected children are a passion with me. I volunteer with CASA, which stand for Court-Appointed Special Advocates for children. We are advocates for abused and/or neglected children who are in the court system because their parents messed up royally. In fact I have to go next week to pick out my case with my supervisor. We advise the court of what is best for the child, and help the parents if we can to get their act together to get their children returned to them. They are given a year to pull themselves together in order to have the children returned home. These are not trivial cases. These are severe abuse and/or neglect cases. If they can’t manage to change their lives in a year, they can lose parental rights. But our main focus is the child and his/her best interest and reporting that to the court during the hearings throughout the year the child is in foster care or institutionalized.

4. Are you a coupon clipper? If so, are you extreme?
I never clip coupons. I am not that organized.

5. What is one of your favourite souvenirs brought back from your travels?
My favorite souvenir is a hand-blown wine goblet from Venice. It is blood red because it has gold in it and it truly the most beautiful object I own.It is decorated with flowers.

6. Lemon meringue or key lime?
Lemon meringue. I’m not big on limes.

7. What is the most beautiful word you know in any language?
I have to agree with Mushy Cloud on this one. “Amore” is the most beautiful word. It is so musical and gives the true meaning of love.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I was not surprised to hear about Arnold Schwatzenegger and his philandering. There have been rumors about him for years. What a terrible betrayal for his wife, Maria. And to keep it from her for so long looks like he was just using her to win election as governor. My cousin Kip had a good word to describe him: Sperminator.

This post can also be found on my blog My Life, Such As It Is.

I assume that people are sick of hearing about my colonoscopy that I had today. Well, it’s over–sort of. I’m still having symptoms though everything was fine. It’s irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and I have to eat a high fiber diet and exercise more. Swell. My exercise but to this point has been walking the dog who doesn’t like to be outdoors much. I live alone and cooking for one person is not easy. I’m not a real veggie person and having a salad or a bunch of veggies for dinner and lunch is not my idea of food. I know I eat too much fast food and sweets. So this is a big change for me. The doctor did give me meds to take but when I gave the prescription to my daughter to get at the pharmacy, I forgot to give her my prescription card and it cost a fortune. So tomorrow I have to go back and see if they can re-run it with my card. It’s worth a try.

My daughter did show up to pick me up but they were running behind and instead of her taking an hour from work, it turned into 2 1/2 hours. She was not thrilled. And told me so. Again. And again. And again. That’s why she refuses to pick me up from bunion surgery, which I’m putting off until I can figure out how to get someone to help me. My sister suggested the hospital social worker. Maybe I’ll try that in the Fall. I don’t want to be in a cast all summer.

She’s now wild because I moved my blog and she can’t read it on Facebook. So she thinks I am writing shit about her. Maybe I am. She didn’t care when I wrote good things about her. I can’t win.

Note to anyone having a colonoscopy. I have had 5 now and last night’s prep and this morning’s was by far the worst I have ever had. They try to keep making things better but it was horrible. I didn’t know how I was going to make the 30 minute ($40) cab ride to the Endoscopy Center. It’s even been bad since I’ve been home. I never want to have another in a REALLY long time. Good luck with yours if and when you have to have one. At least you’re asleep through the procedure.

I am of two minds about giving help to homeless people who are begging on the street. First of all, in our city we have a number of agencies that help the homeless and to which people who are homeless can go to obtain help. The Salvation Army, SAMM ministries, CAM ministries, and the new Haven for Hope shelter which can hold hundreds of people who are homeless, especially families. It is a large campus with playgrounds for the children and even a non-denominational chapel. Giving handouts to the homeless people who are begging at street corners only encourages some of the homeless to stay on the streets and use the money for alcohol and drugs. The point is that there are many places homeless people can go to obtain help if they want to abide by the rules of the agencies.

On the other hand, there will always be people who, for one reason or another, will not go to the shelters or agencies. Who is there to help them? Yes, they may use money for drugs or alcohol but they are also hungry and thirsty and cold in the winter. I have decided on my own way to help these homeless people. I prepare a snack packet of tuna and crackers that one can purchase in the supermarket, and juice boxes and individually wrapped cookies. I offer these to the homeless people at the street corners when I’m stopped in my car. These folks have always been thankful for the snack pack. In three years, I have only had one person turn down the snack pack. I don’t know why they don’t go to the shelters (probably because of regulations), but they deserve help, too.

That is how I have been able to deal with the issue of homeless people in my city.


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