Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Roll of the dice.

"Mom," my son said and then paused.

I could hear his breathing....my heart raced...was he hurt? in an accident?

"They fired me."

My turn to pause.

My son, my son with special needs, lost something so important.  His job, his slim paycheck, his ability to feel useful and wanted and in a way...normal.

He had mentioned a few problems....a supervisor who was rough with him....who stopped talking to him because he didn't like that he was slower and not as agile as the rest of the workers.....a client complained in the assisted-living facility that a table wasn't clean...crumbs were left behind.

 I don't doubt it.....sometimes he just doesn't "see" what he's really doing....sometimes he thinks he did fine when in reality....the job could have done better.  It's how it is.....he is a young adult now....and the deficits are obvious and set.  Not that he can't improve....but it's almost like having a ladder 4 feet tall when normal ladders are 5 feet tall.....at some point you realize you just can't stretch it that extra foot and you have to accept it or work around it.

I didn't get mad or upset....I asked what happened...but his speech grew fast and hard to decipher and I thought I would let him talk for a minute and then just saod...."come home...we can talk about it."

He came home and was so full of grief and shame and unhappiness....all I could think to do is get him moving and doing something.  

"You best get car washed since your home early.....all that pollen ...need to detrash your car."

So he took a rag....some car soap....a trash bag and went to work.  

Sometimes when you're hurting movement helps.....inactivity makes the heart throb.

I called my hub....we didn't say much.  

This is the second job he has lost.  Our hope....that after vo tech school he might find a stable long-term position....has been getting chopped up.  Jobs are not like pillars...there are more like kites....hard to nail down....moving erratically at times....and not created equal.

There's supervisors to contend with.... few benefits in his line of work....so you're making minimum wage....maybe a nickel above that....and jobs offer no or very limited health insurance.  

So how do you get your teeth cleaned and a cavity filled....where do you get 500.00 to do that?  You're working full time...you even work overtime....but it's such a significant part of your income you have to choose between rent, gas or health.  Luckily Pete lives with us....but I often wonder how his fellow co-workers made it....and what choice they have to make.

A friend of mine....who has a thick Spanish accent..... (when I told her what happened) simply said..."so there is a reason for this....something else ....something....will come for the better."  

 I don't know if I believe her but I her quick optimism was soothing.....like salve on my wound.....even if it's totally unrealistic.  

It took months and months for Easter Seals to place him in this job...and now we have to petition to re-open his files...do this// do that...wait wait wait....and then roll the dice again.

That's what it feels like....like rolling the dice....will he find another job? will the supervisor be supportive?  can we apply for this or that ...which might help him get extra job coaching or support?

Roll of the dice.....another roll of the dice.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

We're Foster Parents!

Looking like 5 mini-Cornish hens.....the bluejay babies hatched today.

The nest is still precariously attached to the top of a ladder under our deck.

I've placed a large plastic lid from a storage box on the deck above the nest to help protect it from the rain and storms we've had lately.  Not that they need my help...but why not?

It's chilly today....hope these guys get their feathers soon.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Everyone has an Opinion!

Last night I picked up some carpet samples for our new area rug.

Fancypants carefully watched me place them on the new floor.

She sniffed each sample then stretched out on the espresso wool carpet.

Opinion stated.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Email Guilt Trip

Some emails should carry warnings...a notice before you scroll down into the text body...or a cutesy attachment like this postcard from Zazzle...which warns the reader you're about to embark on a guilt trip.

Yesterday, I sifted through a weekend worth of email and there it was.....the email guilt trip.

It was a cute email from a female friend....cute pics....funny text....about girlfriends and friendship in general.....


there it was....at the very end.....the very last sentence which popped my good vibe like a pin meeting a balloon....

"Send this to all your good friends,
even me, if I am one of them."


It's a first class guilt trip.....first of all....I don't like being forced to forward emails.....sometimes, if you're playing a game or there's something cute or clever....it's fun to forward them to your friends.... to people that match the game or humor or political slant....I am totally open to sentences which say....hey if you like this ...pass it on!

But when they say "send" and then ask you to forward it back to them to show them you like them....or feel the same way about them....then I feel coerced.

Actually I cringe....and I especially dislike the "even me....if I am one of the people you love, think about, are friends with etc etc"....because it sounds like the person is insecure ....or maybe a bit whiny?

Why would someone send you a friendship email/note and then ask you send it back to make sure you say it back to them...it's almost like the person doesn't trust you or your feelings towards her....like there's got to be payback for the nice thing your friend said to you.

Sometimes it's really nice to enjoy a good sentiment ....hold it....and not feel forced to respond.

Maybe I'm being insensitive or just plain wrong on the subject....but I don't want emails to make me feel guilty....or obligated....if I want to respond...then let me respond....don't say send it back to me so I know that you think the same way.

And maybe this is where guilt enters the equation because I don't respond in nanoseconds to my email....

Sometimes I read my email on the road or on my phone or before a long meeting....and I do forget to get back to the person.....immediately....and these emails are like ticking bombs....the longer you wait to respond the the more awkward it gets.

Telling someone you think they are swell 5 days after she tells you you're swell.....sounds a bit insincere.

Lag time gives the impression you don't feel the emotion, sentiment or response the person has hoped for. Sometimes it is the truth....most times....the culprit is numerous emails meeting life and priorities.

I have a meeting, a doctor's appointment and a leak in my shower....I'm not getting back to you today not because I don't think you're my friend....but because I'm not answering any emails right now that aren't emergencies.

Maybe the trouble lies in the volume of emails that inundate me now.....before it was friends, business, and something cutesy like "the word of the day."

Now every single company I have purchased a product from....sends me daily updates....and sales notices even when I click on the button which says don't send me anything.

Sometimes when my alarm goes off in the morning....I gasp at the number of emails sent in the middle of the night by Pottery Barn, Barnes & Noble, King's Lane, Chico's etc etc.

ARGHHHHHHHH!.....I don't like facing 25 merchandise emails at 7am....I automatically delete most of them ...but occasionally I'm in a spot in my life where I do need something and have to give these sale emails a quick look.

I'm currently remodeling my bedroom...and yes I need one new lamp and a new lamp shade....so okay I should look at Kohl's, King's Lane, Number 1 Lighting Source email or scan them quickly...which is still annoying...even when it's necessary.

If I were to truly open and read all my morning emails it would be noon.

I'm even getting emails in Italian now since I booked a vacation flight from Italy to the US. The foreign airlines assume I'm Italian because it's a one way trip from Italy TO the US....consequently they send me fabulous deals in a language I can only partial decipher!

And I won't even talk about chain email that asks me to send an email out in the next 15 minutes to 5 friends or I won't have luck, love or money!

ARGHHHHHHHHHH........when does the timer start running?....when they arrive in my mail box? when I open them?

What if I'm reading this timed email at a stop light before getting on to the freeway....will I be cursed and lose an opportunity for fast cash because I can't get off the freeway and forward this email in the next hour to ten people?

What rules of fortunes are in place when you can now check your email while seated on the toilet? My smartphone won't tell me not too look at a timed emailed when I'm busy with ...uh my business.

So all I can say is.....send me your emails....send me your happy emails.....know that I love you....like you...and wish you the best....

......just don't ask me to prove it to you in the next hour.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Decorating is not for the impatient.

At 8am this morning, I sat down in a chair in my bedroom and wondered if it was too early to have a drink.

I am remodeling and redecorating our master bedroom.

About 30% of the bedroom is back in the bedroom....the rest of our furniture, art and knick knacks are scattered down the hall and in my daughter's bedroom.

The new hardwood floor looks beautiful. I almost clapped when the guys removed our old carpeting which has been around for three children and a couple cats and dogs.

The new bed frame is ...uhhh... surprising ....it's a gorgeous dark wood frame but the bed is higher than it was in the furniture store because of our cushy mattress and springs. Consequently, we must do a bedtime hop to get in it.

The bed is not quite high enough for a stool....but too high for two people who aren't very tall. Every night since it arrived....I make sure I center myself on the bed after I hop in.. ....tossing and turning looks dangerous....one vigorous flip and I could find myself sprawled on the floor with a broken something or other.

But potential bed injuries aren't the problem this morning....it's the bedroom walls that make me want to scream.

They've been painted....the right color....the right trim.

In fact, they looked so fresh and nice....I decided to buy new curtains.

So my son hauled a ladder in and unscrewed all the heavy hardware where my drapes used to be...leaving substantial holes.

No problem....I'm an expert on camouflage ...I fill...I sand....I spray texture....I repaint...and viola ...good as new.

But this last step ...the repaint is what tripped me up.

I carefully....so carefully repainted the new textured places.....doing such a job.... when I stood back I couldn't even see where the hardware holes had been.

But later that evening...something looked wrong....was the paint not drying? What's wrong with the wall?

Late...before I went to bed...I turned on the sole lamp left in our bedroom and saw the "wet" paint....I grabbed the stool and touched the wall....dry....What the %^&*

Then I stepped down and found the paint can. Satin....I had retouched the walls...not with the original flat paint....but with the same color satin paint....which means I now had shiny wet looking spots on my previously perfect walls.

I fell back onto the bed when the realization hit me....and almost slipped to the floor....since I forgot to "hop" backwards onto my high bed. I caught myself before falling on my ass.

Then I just sat there and cursed.

This morning....right after breakfast....when the morning light filtered in...I assessed what needed to be retouched.

OH....it wouldn't have been bad...if I had just painted over the areas where the holes were....but clever me saw this as a final opportunity to do a compulsive touch up....so there were about 50 shiny spots where I had touched up the wall by the trim....touched up a stray mark....evened out a line by the molding.

So I spent part of the morning flattening my face up against the wall...and looking for stray shiny marks which I quickly marked with some painters tape.

Truly I felt like having a stiff drink....I couldn't believe I'd have to spend part of the morning....redoing everything and hunting for every tiny spot I had touched up.

I set the alarm on my phone....and when the day light changes late this afternoon ...I'm gong to scan the walls one more time...then I'm going to get a big fricking hammer and pound the lid on that paint can and mark in big red letters....SATIN BATHROOM PAINT. IF YOU'RE NOT STANDING NEAR A TOILET--- DO NOT USE.

Decorating...so much....fun.