Friday, December 24, 2010

It was only a matter of time

Daddy didn't pay his child support this month.
It was only a matter of time. Bugs received three payments. Now she will contact DFCS in January and drag him into court again. This time to make him renounce his parenthood.

Or whatever you call that.

She's fed up. He owes her over $11,000.00!!!

Of course we have no idea what's happening with him. Bugs told him that she would honor his request for contact, but that she wanted to talk with him first before he was to see Boo.
She has not heard from him since she wrote him. I told her it would only be a matter of time before he would lapse and get into drugs again. Wouldn't surprise me if that was the case.

In the meantime, Boo is getting very fond of Phillip, she is comfortable calling him Daddy. No one told her to call him that, she just started it automatically.
He does what Daddies do. He gets up with her at night when she has a bad dream, he takes her to baseball games, he plays with her, he put together the bike she's getting for Christmas.
I like the way he interacts with her. She listens to him. He is clearly an important person in her life.

So this morning, I could not get the computer to start up. After the initial temper tantrum, I decided to just get a new one. What the hell! This machine was 8 years old. A Dinosaur.

Despite the busy day at Best Buys, I got excellent service from a young man. Someone who took his time, answered my questions, didn't seem to think I was a complete computer moron.
When he suggested this particular machine I asked him: would you buy this one for your mom? He said: Yes!

The Geek Squad was amazing. They prepared my computer for normal use, they took my fried old hard drive and managed to save all my pictures, as well as both of our bookmarks/favorites. (Wheely likes to use Explorer, I like to use Firefox)

Installing the thing was not hard either. And soon we were back on track.

Sigh of relief.

A busy day, driving back and forth between Cartersville and Acworth. Bugs, Boo and I went to get some last minute stuff at Super Target. Boo was in super form today, making people laugh.
She ordered hot chocolate with chips at Starbucks, like a pro.

At home I still had the mountain of gifts to wrap. We only bought stuff for the smallest ones in the family.
I can't wait to watch her open her presents tomorrow, it is really the first year that she is fully aware of what Christmas means.

They are forecasting snow for tomorrow. First rain, then flurries, then perhaps a few inches of the real stuff.

Oh joy!

Bugs and Phillip will cook our dinner tomorrow. Standing rib roast with homemade smashed potatoes and asparagus.

I am looking forward to it.

Merry Christmas y'all!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Noordeinde, Den Haag

The weather in Europe is frightful. It has been snowing off and on for over a week now, sometimes 3-4 feet. They're not used to it.
I haven't seen this much snow since when I was very very young.

Mom is getting more annoyed every day. She is supposed to spend Christmas with my brother and his family up north. My sister and her beau are supposed to drive her, and the plan is for her to stay until Sunday, when my brother will drive her home again.
This is a 3 hour drive. Nothing for us here in the USA, but in a small country like Holland it might as well be at the other side of the world.

I have the feeling that Mom is silently hoping she won't have to go. She rather wallow and be sad in her apartment.
So we all hope and pray that the snow will be manageable on Friday. My sister is hell bent on taking her. :>)

I found this picture online. It's a street in Den Haag, the neighborhood my father grew up in. The Queen's Palace is on this street. There used to be lots of cool shops on this street, antique stores, a violin maker, bunch of great bakeries, an Indonesian "stuff" store, a carpet store with real Persian carpets. Jewelers, and a stationery store that's still there. The owner's mother lived above the store. The wall of her apartment backed up to the wall of my grandfather's house. They have both been gone now for ages, but when they were still alive she would listen to my grandfather coughing in the morning. If she didn't hear him she would go and check on him.

At this particular time of year, the loss of my father is affecting my family greatly. The first Christmas without him. After so many years of memorable Christmases. We all seem to be dealing with it in our own way.
My sister not wanting to celebrate much and is happy to just hole up in her apartment.
Me searching for old pictures online, dreaming of years gone by.
Mom, feeling hopelessly sad.
My brothers most likely feeling the same emptiness.

Here at home we're dealing with stubborn colds/sinus infections. Bugs has been sent home two nights in a row. She has been so sick. First a virus in her chest, then a sinus infection that doesn't seem to budge. She is in a vicious circle. If she doesn't work she doesn't get paid. If she doesn't have money she can't go to the doctor. So she keeps staying sick. Keeps trying to go to work.

Only in America can you for for a boss who doesn't pay you a salary, where you make your money from tips alone. Only in America do they have the nerve to demand a note from the doctor if you want to stay home sick. A note from the doctor means a visit, and $60.

The cold has been hovering in my own head as well. Dry cough, sneezing, but not stuffed up.
It's been a month now. I need everyone to be healthy again. This is ridiculous.
Thank God Wheelie hasn't caught it yet.

Boo is finally perking up a bit. Right now she is loudly singing: Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer!!!!!!!!!!! She has been sick for about a month as well. But at least she kicked the virus (B flu) and hasn't had a fever for the past week. Still pale, but she seems to be on the path of recovery.

She has been happily rearranging my Christmas decorations. The stuffed reindeer have seen all the corners of the house, and are currently lined up on the couch.

Boo is managing to learn a few Christmas songs, of which she only knows a few lines, and repeats them ad nauseum. Rudolph, Jingle Bells, and Oh Christmas tree are part of her repertoire. Sometimes it feels like her needle is stuck, but nevertheless it's a grand sound to have a little one singing around the house.

I just tucked her in bed, she's staying over, so Mom can sleep in tomorrow.

It sure doesn't feel much like Christmas, but we're trying.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Looking for Tarzan

That's Grandma with Wheelie, Lucille, and Johnny

Lately, Wheelie feels the need to have long conversations with me when we go to bed at night. During the day he doesn't want to "bother" me.
His voice is affected by his Ataxia, and speaking is hard for him, especially when I am flitting around the house, outside his or my earshot.

So at night in bed I am the captive audience, so to speak.
Usually it ticks me off, as the conversations are usually about the movies he has seen that day, about the actors etc. Sometimes he seems to be thinking out loud trying to remember names or places. It ticks me off because I am either reading, or watching a particular TV program. Plus it's hard to understand him.

I know, sounds selfish, but bear with me.

Last night he started talking about the time he was little.
It was June 1946. He was 9 years old. While his grandmother was taking a nap, he and his little sister Lucille put on their bathing suits and started walking. Barefoot. They lived in Oakland, CA. They walked for hours, all the way to Alameda, then back along the Skyline. They were both sunburned, blisters on their feet. A lady stopped her car and asked them if they were lost. Wheelie said: "I'm not, be SHE is," pointing at his sister. :>)
The lady drove them home, where a very worried grandmother had already called Mom at work. Mom was a riveter at the Docks. A real Rosie the Riveter! (It was war time)

When I asked him why they did that, he said: "we were looking for Tarzan."

I so clearly saw in my mind's eye, the two of them in their swim suits, walking along those long streets, up and down the hill.

The point of my story is this: We get so frustrated with the loved ones we care for, we sometimes forget that once they were adorable little children, their entire lives ahead of them, full of dreams, high hopes, ignorant to the dangers, loved and worried about by their parents and others in their orbit.

It made me feel rather ashamed to realize how miffed I get sometimes when he wants to "talk" before his sleep meds kick in.

Just glad he is still with me, that I am able to take care of him.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bat girl

We had Boo overnight again. She woke up around 3 coughing. At 5 I'd had enough and so had she. She refused to take medicine, so I got up with her and watched Dumbo. As soon as she was upright the cough was gone. Post nasal drip I guess.

Poor Wheelie couldn't get back to sleep either so he got up and had his shower at 6.
In the meantime Boo was roaring and ready to start the day, running around with her bat hat on eating BUGS, because that's what bats DO, while the both of us kind of sat around bleary eyed and yawning.

She then proceeded to sit at her little table, invited Wheelie to sit by her and started "reading" him a big pile of books. It was now 7 am (yes, that is Matt Lauer on the TV and yes, it was still kinda dark outside.)

We had our breakfast, got her to brush her teeth, took my own shower, and then got her dressed in her new outfit. It is picture day at school. Her first! So she had to look nice. Well, she did.

As soon as I got back home I jumped back in bed and managed to sleep for a few more hours. Wheelie took a nap at the dining room table. He simply refuses to go back to bed for a nap.

So life has been going well. No large upsets. Weather still just amazing. Mom doing pretty good.

Bugs received her first child support check the other day. Crap! She was SO hoping he wouldn't so she could take him back to court again in November and get his sorry butt back incarcerated.
Unfortunately she only gets half of what she is supposed to, probably a condition of the Fathers Work plan. The State takes it out of his paycheck, and since he is working in a Salon as a receptionist and hair sweeper, he can't be making much.

She claims she doesn't want the money. What a dunce! We suggested she start a savings account for Boo with it. After all it IS for HER. So now we are waiting for him to contact Bugs in regard to visitation of some sort. She is petrified. But since he hasn't made any effort in that direction she has some breathing room. Of course the time will come when she will have to face the music and make some arrangements with him. I can tell the whole issue still overwhelms her.

My mother has been trying to get me to go OUT and DO things (she should talk, hehe)
So when one of my neighbors invited me to join her at the knitting club at St. Francis, I went.
What can I say. Bunch of old ladies knitting and crocheting and yapping. Not my cuppa tea, but what the heck. I'll honor my neighbor's invitation and go a few times.

Since the weather has been so cool in the morning I've also started to do a little walking again. My hips are simply rusted. It's downright disgusting how I've let myself go the past year.
I can't go very far, but try to go a little further every time.

It's a start, isn't it?


Sunday, October 10, 2010


Another Sunday.
After our "live" alarm clock got us up at 7:30, we got a phone call from the fraud department of one of our major credit card companies.
Someone in Florida was getting gas and groceries in Homestead and charging it to my account.
I wonder how in the world they got a hold of it, since I never physically use that card, and only use it for Amazon and ordering flowers for Mom online.
It amazed me that they had all the information at their fingertips, and told me exactly where the card was used and when. Thank God no one tried to buy a flat screen TV or some other large item.
It was caught in time. The account is now closed, the cards cut up, and the issue investigated.

I took Boo-boo home at ten (Bugs was still asleep, I later found out she didn't get out of work until 4:30am, this girl needs a different job)
While driving I dropped something and muttered: Oma is such a dummmy... Comes the voice from the backseat: nah, Oma is friggin'....
Huh? *lol*
After I dropped her off I went to the store for the paper, and the rest of the day I spent fast asleep in bed. Dead to the world, strange dreams, driving the car with my eyes glued shut etc...

The temps are warm again, very strange for October, 90 degrees!

I guess the last few days have been nice and quiet.
One of my neighbors knocked on my door the other day. She heard from my neighbor across the street that I needed to get out and DO something.
Well, on Thursday I will join her and her other cronies for the Knitting Group at St. Francis Catholic Church.
I sold all my leftover yarn and knitting needles during my garage sale. Actually I sold some and GAVE most of it to yet another neighbor, who, as it turns out, goes to the same "club"

Not an unfamiliar activity for me. Both my aunts back in California did a lot of knitting and crocheting for "the Sisters" in their parish. Many of my afghans went there as well.

So we'll see what this is all about.

Mom spent last weekend at my brothers'. She said she had a good time (mind you, weekend meaning: picking her up late on Friday and bringing her back early Sunday, baby steps, I guess)
But getting out of her house seems to have perked her up a little. My sister and her man should be back from Spain by now, but I haven't heard from her yet.
I get the feeling everyone needs their space at the moment. I certainly can identify with that.
I wish I could just go and disappear for a while by myself.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What is wrong with my head?

I've made a real mess of my checking account. Just have no idea how I could screw it up so bad. I do my banking online. I guess sometimes when I pay the bills I fill out the info, like the amount and date, but I forget to CLICK the submit button on the bottom.

Really stupid stuff. It's frustrating.

My head hurts. Feels like it's stuffed with cotton. Sometimes I say the weirdest thing without realizing it. Like I was telling Bugs last night about Boo: "Her little motor mouth never STARTED"...(instead of STOPPED)
Then my husband mentions I was whistling "that" Sousa march (Stars and Stripes) last night...He mentioned it two minutes after I apparently did. I had no idea I did...

My short term memory is pretty bad as well. I'll get up to do something or get something and the minute my butt leaves the chair I will have forgotten what it was.
And no, it's NOT something we ALL do sometimes. It is getting worse. It's embarrassing. I can't remember people's names, Folks I know. I forget my phone number, complete blank the other day.
I still cry at the drop of a hat. Don't need much to get very emotional. Thank God I keep it down to while I am in the car driving.
Yeah, I know...dangerous...Sometimes I literally have to pull over...

Today is my day off. Had to go to the bank, did some browsing at Target and Kohls, but I got so dizzy in the stores, I had to leave.

Boo was funny last night. She is very good at entertaining herself these days. Sits and
reads books to her invisible friends, runs around the house flying her fairies around. Gets everything out of my jewelry cabinet. Holding up a solid jade bangle: Look Oma, a tiny hoola hoop!

Wheely seems to be getting more withdrawn, fragile. He scares me when he dozes off. Or when he's asleep in bed. He can look so old, so pale, so dead.
I found a bunch of his old coworkers on Facebook. Some of them emailed him, and he wrote them back. But I don't see much joy or surprise in him. Maybe he just doesn't want to be bothered.

It has gotten cold at night. I love this weather, nice and cool and sunny, crisp. Time for the down comforters and the flannel sheets.

I've got $267 left in the bank until the 27th. Should be interesting. At least all the bills except the Cable is paid for the month.
Lots of soup for dinner I guess....

'Daddy' managed to send Philip a message in Facebook. He says he wants to do the right thing.
etc. So...where is he? Why isn't he calling Bugs instead? He seems to be circling around, trying to find a way in. He probably wouldn't dare email me, he's probably scared pissless of me and my big mouth. :>)

One of Ph.'s dogs had to be put down. He bit Ph's little brother (AGAIN) The kid's father, who had him for the weekend found out and called the cops. The dog was gone and dead before Ph. was even told. I can't blame the guy though. Both dogs have bitten the children. You simply cannot mix two small hyper kids and three big dogs in one small house. It doesn't matter what kind of dogs they are. (This, unfortunately, was a pit-mix) Even our dachsie was known to nip a few people in her time.
I feel bad for Ph. But I would have done the same thing. So the other dogs are now on notice. The bluetick hound who bit Boo a few months ago is a sweet dog, but if the kids get to wild with her and corner her, she will try and defend herself. Ph and I got into a very emotional word exchange about that. (that's putting it nicely)

Sweet dog or not, children en other humans come first in my opinion.

And so it goes.....


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Flowers from Mom

Got this big surprise yesterday. My Mom sent me flowers...."just because"....
Such a sweet surprise.
Of course Boo-boo had to pose with them, putting on her ham face.

It has been a nice quiet Saturday. Went grocery shopping this morning. Started out at the big Target, was disappointed with their prices, so I shopped at Super Wallymart instead.

It's tough when you only have about $400 to spend on food until next payday (October 27) after all the bills are paid. When the money wasn't so tight I would be shopping for little things for Boo, like clothes and shoes and little treats. No more. Bugs will now be the sole clothes / shoes buyer from now on.

The weather to great. Didn't walk this morning (not going to overdo it I suppose, hehe)
And right now Boo is sprawled out on my bed watching Pocahantas, for the 300th time.
I wouldn't be surprised if she nodded off. Not good, because she is spending the night and I am hoping to get her in bed at 8:30 (Oma's time) news is good news.

I tried to film Boo and myself singing a song last night, but it didn't turn out so hot. Will have to try another time.

Wishing you all a great weekend.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

We're walking again

This morning was so nice and cool, I decided to go for a walk. I desperately need it!!
It was raining a little, but that didn't stop me from enjoying my little stroll.
Just 15 minutes, a loop around the neighborhood and a short ways up the road a piece.

Just really love this cool weather.

Boo-boo is being an angel today. She is behaving and very sweet, low maintenance. Whew.
I think she just inherited her Opa's and Mom's feisty nature. She ate all her dinner, didn't want/need a bath, brushed her teeth with her new toothpaste and toothbrush.


When I wrote Daddy's father I also copied his mom. Well, mom came at me from a different angle. :>)
She thought my email was GREAT and she made Daddy read it, And she thinks he changed his behavior immediately!!! Like I am going to believe THAT!
Than she started her usual spiel about how much Boo-boo loves them and wants them and misses them. Boo-boo wouldn't know them from Adam.
She wants us all to be a big happy family. Blah blah blah...Not in this lifetime, lady!

Is it just me, or am I expecting too much from Daddy? Shouldn't he have contacted Bugs by now, even just tried? Has he shown any interest in his little girl? Nah....

If I were released from jail early, and I was missing my little child so much and wanted to do good for her, I wouldn't waste a second, I would make sure it was known that I was THERE, trying to be a good person, contributing to her welfare, trying to make up for lost time, and APOLOGIZE to everyone who has been touched by his bad behavior.

I guess this is all supposed to happen through osmosis...

Perhaps I should just shut up about this issue, but dammit, I AM affected, my family is affected.
And I am angry about it.


Overseas, Mom is going to spend the weekend with my brother's family. I hope the change of pace will do her good. My sister and her man are driving down to Spain to spend a week in the sun in Barcelona with her son. Good for them!

I am trying to get Boo-boo to sing a song with me and film it.

She's not in the mood tonight. Oh well!

Tomorrow perhaps!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Damn hand

A few weeks ago I had this amazing dream. Mind you, most of my dreams are amazing, always extremely entertaining. This one though was a bit like a syfy movie. I was hanging onto a ledge on a tall building, during some sort of space war. All the cats turned feral, and one of them, a big calico cat, was chomping on my right hand, hanging on for dear life, me hanging on the ledge with the other.
It hurt like hell. It woke me up. My hand still hurt after I woke up!!
And it still does today.
It's not like the arthritic pain I have been having in my fingers. No, this feels more like how they describe carpal tunnel syndrome. The whole hand is sore from the inside out.

It might be from using the mouse....who knows.

My sister had just had surgery for that on both hands. She was out of commission for 4-6 weeks for each hand. I can't imagine me being out of commission...Brrrr....

The weather has made a huge turn for the better. Last night I even had to pull the quilt over myself. It's almost flannel sheet time again!!!! Now I have to try and remember where I stored our down comforter. Can't find it anywhere, and this is not a large house. Gotta be in the attic.

Boo-boo is in bed. Hopefully she'll get to sleep fast (HA!) Last night she, Philip and Bugs and another couple with a small boy went to the Braves game in Atlanta.
We were having huge storms come through so the game was delayed for an hour and a half. They stayed through the 7th inning (game went into 11 innings). The kids LOVED it!!!

I can't wait to take her to see the Nutcracker, and some of the Ice shows. She is getting to that age where she can enjoy the shows.

Bugs and Philip went to see Alice in Chains tonight, so Boo is sleeping over.
I was hoping she would still be pooped from last night, but she is having serious conversations with her dollies about behaving and listening!!!! Oh Lord.

I already read her her books, sang her three songs (my limit) and she's had her drink of chocolate milk. So she should be 'good to go'

She is completely ignoring Wheelie tonight. Wonder what that's all about.

Well, it's time to get the whip out, get that puppy back in bed :>)


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Atumn at last

What does depression look like?
Anyone know?

I decided to stop cold turkey with my antidepressants about three weeks ago. I just really hated the way they made me feel. Always just coasting on an even keel. No high or low emotions, no laughing out loud or screaming of frustration.

The withdrawal symptoms were mild. Headaches, dizziness, blurred vision. But that all went away eventually.

The old me is back. But in a way I've learned to curb my impulses...well...for the most part....
So the meds did have some benefit I guess.

It's still a chore to babysit my little Boo-boo. Mentally and physically. It's not that I don't love her or want her to be here, my body is just protesting. I try not to be so damn selfish about it. It's part of life. The duty of family when you need to pitch in.
Yeah, try telling me THAT at 9 in the evening when she is still going full tilt. :>)
She is a fun loving little kid. She LOVES going to "school" She has friends, is excited to go there, and also excited when I pick her up. We play hide and seek in the house, play with the many puzzles we have, She is an amazing story teller, goes into these fabulous fantasy playtimes with her dollies and her little animals. She is an absolute angel when she is asleep :>)

We all miss our father. Mom is much affected. Misses him, feels bad, is losing weight, can't eat, feels so damn lonely, her heart problems seemingly getting worse. The doctors assure her it's
"just" the stress. Yes, she does have heart failure, high blood pressure, but her grieving is making her sick. Telling her it's just the stress isn't helping.

She has no clue about finances. Is at a loss every time she receives a bill for something. I explained to her today that these bills will keep coming in for a while. Things are just catching up, being straightened out. Leave it to my brother or my sister to take care of. She cannot be expected to take care of the financial crap at this point in her life.
She needs rest, needs a soft place to fall.

As much as my sister helps her and is there at her beck and call, I feel an overwhelming guilt for not being there. So the phone calls will just have to take care of that.

Not sure if it helps her much. Not being so happy myself. Life is not very exciting at the moment. Everything seems to be coasting along.

We finally had some relief from the heat though. 80-some days with temps over 90 was enough to drive you nuts. Last night the thunderstorms and the rain made me snuggle under my blanket and smile, and say: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Wheelie and I have our little bedtime talk before his meds kick in. Last night I tried to explain how blogs work; how Facebook works. He doesn't understand how I manage to find all these folks from our past.
Which goes to show you how bored I am all day when Boo isn't here. I surf the net!

Daddy is out of jail. Philip found him on Facebook the other day. He must have been let go in the first week of August. Needless to say I had to check it out. Wish I hadn't. He is still the juvenile moron. Is proud to have kicked all his drugs, has been clean for 15 months. Well, no duh!!! He was in jail!

What really pissed me off to no end was that at one point he posted some rather vile garbage while using Boo-boo's picture as his profile picture. No one that I could see ever called him on that. His parents were pretty much enabling him to spout whatever he thought was funny.

Well, It got rather bad the other day, and my impulsive side came out and I wrote to his father.
Not calling anyone names, kept it real short, and to the point. Told him how disgusted I was about his behavior online, and that I was keeping hard copies of everything that was over the top.

Seems that Daddy's Dad didn't like my attitude. As always, they drew their wagons around their precious son. Accusing ME of being the bad guy.

Well, after that, Daddy did take off the latest rants on his page. He also finally discovered how to set his privacy settings. *lol*
So, not being able to read his crap anymore anyway I blocked him, his parents and his siblings. If only to stop myself from peeking once in a while. It's just way too upsetting.

But it sure felt good to poke the fire a little.

Of course Bugs hasn't seen a penny of child support. She went straight to DFCS to make sure they had her new address, just in case. Daddy had already been there. In my opinion probably a condition of his release/parole, he signed up for some father work program.

Right now he is working in a "salon" sweeping up hair and answering the phones. I'd rather see him working for the DOT, on the roads, filling potholes, directing traffic, soaking up asfalt, you know, dirty hard MAN work.

Bugs is waiting for the end of November. At which time if she still hasn't received any child support, she can start the whole business all over again, and have him thrown in jail again.

She was told that she will most likely never see any of the outstanding money he owes her (two+ years worth) unless he wins the lottery. She was frustrated to hear that of course.

So we wait again...she might alltogether just petition the court to have him denounce his parental rights. Screw the money.

And so it goes. Bitch bitch bitch bitch....................:>)

I am being told to find some friends, start a hobby. Hmmm...I am 63, been there done that.
I want to be retired, travel, go to the opera, the symphony, the museum.
Don't want to go alone. Wheelie is becoming less and less moveable. Has a rough time getting in and out of the car. Just doesn't want to bother anymore.

Could be worse, I know....:>)


Friday, July 30, 2010

Calgon...take me awayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

I am having secret thoughts about sneaking away by myself. Somewhere at the beach, or at a nice spa with a large pool, where I can get a nice massage every day, go for long leisurely swims, sit in the sun, or in the shade.
Have someone feed me scrumptious meals.
Read a few good books.
Do a gigantic complicated jigsaw puzzle.

Just all by myself.
So I won't have to talk, listen, get up every two minutes to DO something, cook dinners and lunches, clean bathrooms, and do laundry.

Bring a small stereo and a box with my favorite CDs.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Life marches on........

It has been two months since my father died.
We all seem to be coming to grips with it now, slowly. I won't speak for my brothers, as I haven't spoken with either one of them since, but my Mom, sister and I are doing fine.
The phone calls are getting more spread out during the week. Mom is getting into her new routine. As the last little items from the funeral are being settled and she is now preparing to finalize ordering the little stone and picking the place at the cemetery. She wants it to be next to a little pond, because Papa loved fishing. :>)

I can only imagine the new world that is opening up for her now. She has never in her entire life been on her own. So unlike my sister and me.

So life is settling down. Here at home things are going well.
Boo started a new daycare past Monday and LOVES it. She smiles going in and smiles coming out.
She really needs this, making little friends, learning stuff, playing, not being around two old people who huff and puff after noon.
She grows before your very eyes. Tall and skinny, like her Momma.

Bugs is looking good. She likes her job, even though the hours have been a bit off lately, but she loves the bar tending. Makes decent money. She has gained some weight, has no longer any kidney problems.

And now she will have some time for herself while Boo is at school. Something she needs. Time to get to the bottom of her house situation. The house still doesn't seem in foreclosure. The loan now carried by B of A. This after countless phone calls and stonewalling from the lenders. I have no earthly clue about any of this, but one thing is certain. She needs the get this monkey off her back.

A few months before Christmas I allowed Nana and grandpa to visit with Boo. As you might remember, I did that without anyone knowing. Things got out of hand. Nana became pretty pushy, wanting more visits and more interaction than I was able to provide. When they came to our house at Christmas, I told them that I was no longer going to be able to let them visit Boo without her mother's permission. Needless to say it upset them, and I felt bad.

On the other hand, I didn't need the stress over this issue. It's not my problem. It's not their problem. It's an issue that needs to be resolved by Daddy and Bugs. And since Daddy still has about 14 months left on his jail sentence, and since he doesn't seem to have any interest in his daughter (He COULD send her a card fro her birthday or for Christmas etc) I have a feeling that Bugs won't let them see her any time soon.

Nana emails me sometimes, sad, desperate emails. I don't write back. I told her I wasn't going to.
Nana is a bit over the top. Perhaps that sounds harsh, but believe me. She is.

The last email was written all in caps. They went to see a lawyer (something they threatened ME with a few months ago). I don't know why they bothered. According to the law here in GA. the (unmarried) father and his family have no rights. Bugs is the only one who can and will determine what will happen in regard of her daughter.
Considering the destructive path he decided for himself, no judge in this state will allow him custody, or unsupervised visitation.
In her letter she wrote that they talked with a lawyer, who advised them to "work it out amongst yourselves", and that they would not like any decision they would get from a judge. Not at this point.

It has been a relief not to have to deal with this problem. I am so grateful Bugs has a stable life now, with a decent guy, both working hard, saving their money. But most of all, she seems happy.



Monday, July 5, 2010

Time is just going too fast.............

It has been over a month since we said goodbye to our father.
My sister sailed to England with her friend for a much needed vacation.
My brother stayed with Mom for another few weeks and also went back home eventually.
It has been such a strange month. It feels like I've been in a long dream.

Grieving is such a strange thing. We all grieve so differently.
Mom keeps herself busy. Trying to stay "strong." Not really wanting to get too emotional.
I have talked with her almost every day. She has been cleaning closets, putting papa's stuff away, getting rid of his leftover meds, his clothes. I am so glad/privileged she told me that she has been crying, that she still goes back and forth from the kitchen to the living room wanting to tell him something.
She feels she is running into him all the time.
She cries when she tells me: we sure had a good life, didn't we? Always had fun....
She misses him. I knew they loved each other. But not until I saw her interaction with my father during the viewing did I get a real sense of how much they were one.

If she would have had the chance she would have crawled into that coffin with him. Watching her talk to him, kiss him, stroke his face, told him how cold he felt...where are you....say something....
That was the essence of love. My sister, brother and I looked at each other and we all knew it.

He looked so peaceful, freshly shaven, hair brushed, nice suit on, a tie...his kind face so still.

Before he was taken to the crematorium, we all closed the coffin together. Such a defining absolute moment. He was really gone.

The service was very sweet. Surrounded by beautiful flower arrangements. We didn't plan it, but everyone ordered white flowers.
Ruud had enlarged the last picture ever taken of my father, taken on my mother's birthday, April 13. His face showing the essence of the man. The humor in his eyes.

The music we picked out was perfect, our little speeches went off without a hitch. While our guests walked by him and left the room, we all cried. We went and formed a circle around him and said one more goodbye. The priest pulled a big white rose from Mom's arrangement, dipped it in Holy Water and blessed the coffin. We all got soaking wet. Something my father would have loved.

It was nice to see many of the cousins again. All grown up, overweight, gray hair, we laughed at that, had a good time. I just wish I could have stayed a few more days, would have loved to talk with everyone again.

When we left the building afterward, I automatically turned around and asked: where's papa?
No one thought it was strange, it was such an automatic thing to say...

And here we are, an entire month later. I could blame it on my summer cold, and my lingering sinusitis, or my meds, but I've been existing in a daze.
Not really feeling awful and sad, but just melancholic, a bit empty. Just awed at human life. How someone you've known and loved so much all your life is just....gone...........



Monday, June 7, 2010


Good afternoon
I am Meta
I am the oldest

Today we say goodbye to the sweetest father in the world.
A calm, friendly, patient man.
A man who did everything right in his life.
He fell in love with a sweet woman, romanced her for six years, married her, raised four children.
He loved his family like crazy, adored my mother.
You could tell in everything he did.

My parents were a team.
Their love and humor was the glue that kept our family together.
Ours was a home full of laughter and nuttyness, much of it around the dinner table at night.
We were not rich by any means, but as children we never wanted for anything.
When we showed interest in a new hobby, or wanted to join a new sports club, those ideas were enthusiastically supported.
They shielded us from the ugly things around us and the world. We had a carefree, wonderful youth.
When we all finally flew the coop, and some of us moved to far away lands, that love and support followed us wherever we went.
The team was always ready to help us, the distances were never a hinder.

Papa was my hero.
I had a crush on him as far back as I can remember.
He could do anything, fixed everything.
His motto was: If I can't do it, it can't be done!
He once made this gorgeous doll house for me. I must have been 6 or 7 years old. It had everything. Real lights, a door bell that worked, and a little fireplace. He made the furniture, Mom made the little rugs and the curtains.
I destroyed that beautiful toy in no time.
Years later, when I had my own little boy who broke every toy he ever received, I really understood the love and patience with which my parents made that old doll house.
That understanding and appreciation stayed with me all my life.

Being the oldest I got to take swim lessons at my Father's swim team on Wednesday evenings.
I felt so important sitting behind his back on the big motor bike, my little legs tucked in the huge leather bags.
I was so proud of my Dad who was a swim instructor for the team. An athletic figure, that gorgeous black wavy hair, those hip little swim trunks.

On Sundays he would take me to watch him play soccer. He was a goalie. Much more important than the other players on the field. I loved watching him keep the balls out of the net.
With his dark outfit, those gloves, that black hair all messed up.
My Daddy was hot!

He taught me to play the guitar, how to sing. And he gave me the gift of appreciating music other than the Top Hits of the day.
But the most important thing I learned from him was to have patience. To have respect and be kind to others.

Papa was a man of a generation that is disappearing.
So it is with a sad but very thankful and loving heart that I tell him goodbye.
Thanks Papa!

Good Job! (two thumbs up)
I love you
And I will miss you

Friday, May 28, 2010

My sweet Papa has gone to heaven

Got word this morning that my father was taken to the hospital after falling at home trying to go to the bathroom. A few hours later he was gone. His candle was slowly going out lately, and this morning he developed pneumonia/bronchitis, ran a high fever, was delirious.

After a few hours at the hospital Mom and my sister went downstairs for a little break, while the staff could clean him up and change him and move him to a private room. A nurse came to get them, and by the time they reached his room he was gone.

We all expected my father to leave this earth for the past few months now as he kept becoming quieter, lost interest in things. It always comes as a surprise, you're just not prepared for it.
I had not seen him in two years, be we spoke on the phone every week. The last time being Sunday. I never knew how big of an effort it was for him to psyche himself up to come to the phone and try to sound like his old jolly self. Mom told me he would be exhausted afterward.

We are so grateful he did not suffer, or linger with tubes and needles and whatnot.

What a way to go, and what a life.

I am glad I spoke with him past Sunday.

Good night papa.

Here is a piece I initially wrote a few years ago, and then repeated it again last year.

Well, here it is, one more time:

My very earliest memories of my father was when I was about 4 or 5. We were visiting old friends of mom and dad's, and their children (I vaguely remember there being two girls, older than myself) were playing some sort of new board game with my father. When he lost, I felt horrible for him. Not really embarrassed, but just felt he should have won from these girls. After all, my father was God in my eyes, he could do anything!

Most of my childhood's memories are to be found in the many photo albums I have laying around.And lately, I often I sit and visit these albums. I use a magnifying glass, as the old pictures are very tiny, and I've discovered that when you use a magnifying glass, you can see the facial expressions and other goodies otherwise not visible.I also found that if you concentrated on those pictures long enough your memories would come flooding back.True! Try it sometimes!We had a pretty extensive family. Both on my mother's side, and on my father's side. There were tons of cousins, aunts, uncles, no grandmas, but two grandpas. Many family visits, birthday celebrations, and yes, funerals, of course.My brothers, sister and I had a very happy and carefree childhood.

My parents were the perfect couple, devout Catholics, mom was the homemaker, papa was the breadwinner.Simple as that.And they adored each other, they still do.I can't speak for my siblings, but I never in my entire life saw or heard them fight, or squabble.They did not curse, they did not raise their voices.

Mom kept the house in spic-span shape, papa made sure things got fixed, and together they raised the four of us, seemingly effortless.The four of us were allowed to be children, we wore great clothes (for a great deal made by mom, she was a terrific seamstress), always looked clean and fresh (she used hair gel on the boys, which made them look a tad starched, but VERY tidy)She had her cleaning/housekeeping ritual, which in later years made me rebel and drive me insane! *S*

But I digress...In his younger days my father was a very handsome fellow. (He still is of course) He was strong, he was athletic, he was very good looking, had pitch black wavy hair, and he drove a huge motor bike for his job.He wore a funny looking hat/helmet and a long black leather coat and had huge leather mittens.He was a telephone repair person in the days when telephones were still a luxury, and not everyone had one.He was always involved in sports. Gave swimming lessons, coached and played soccer (he was a goalie), sailed, walked the "Vierdaagse" a few times.check it out if you're interested:

Besides his job, he was the quintessential "daddy knows best." He knew how to fix anything. His motto was: if I can't fix it, it can't be fixed." He built toys for us, sturdy ones, from solid wood, I mean, some of the trucks he made for the boys could do some damage IF you had been able to actually pick it up and throw it through the room!He was extremely artistic as well. Could draw a portrait with a pencil made to look like the actual photograph.

He was also very musical. He taught me how to play the guitar, and gave me the gift of love for classical music, albeit operetta and cowboy music, it was a start. He still hauls out his harmonica every chance he gets and serenades everyone who will stand still long enough.

He made us all bicycles from scratch, would go around on garbage day and haul parts home. He even detailed them with fine gold lines and whirly decorations. They always looked like they came from the regular bike factory. He found old broken clocks and made them new again, TV's, radios, you name it! (However, when he came home once with parts of a baby grand piano, mom drew the line *lol*)When I was 5 or so, he made me a beautiful doll house. It had an electric doorbell, a fireplace that lit up, Mom made little curtains, small rugs, they made furniture, it was a real gem.Unfortunately I was a rather destructive child and this pretty house was destroyed in a matter of days. The empty dollhouse sat on a basement shelf for years after that, they didn't have the heart to throw it away.I don't remember being punished for it, I probably was, but I just don't recall.Of course thinking back now, it brings tears to my eyes, and guilt...SOoooo much guilt!

We went on vacation pretty much every year. In Holland at that time every guild or group of workers would get the same two weeks vacation. All the construction workers went at the same time, etc etc.My parents would rent a bungalow somewhere inland. In the early years we would take a bus. The bus picked up families all over Den Haag and took us all to the location of the Bungalow Park.Our stuff would be transported by truck.

My mom had a wooden crate they used as a trunk. It would have our clothes, linens, food, games, books, and the box of snacks. It took her weeks to fill it up, everything clean and pressed, of course.The weeks out in the woods were always wonderful. Considering the whole country would fit inside the State of Georgia about 13 times, you can imagine we really didn't GO very far, but to us it was like going to the other side of the world.Driving on the freeway alone gave us the thrill of feeling we were going somewhere far far away.

When my dad got his drivers license, we would rent a car for our vacation. He always rented an Opel, four door sedan. Boy, did we feel rich! I was always so damn proud of my dad, he looked SO important (and hot!) driving that big car!!When I became a teenager (I was/am the oldest) my parents ran into some resistance from me.Being the oldest in a catholic household meant you had to "go through" everything first.

And being the rebel I was, it was tough going. I'm talking about non-catholic boyfriends; refusing to go to church, wanting a job instead of finishing high school, etc etc.My father though stayed his calm old self. I could always count on him for support. My mom would just simply freak out *S*

One of my fondest memories of my father was the time that I was going on my very first date.I made a date with a boy I worked with, and became my first really BIG love. We were to meet in Scheveningen, on the Boulevard, and go see the fireworks.I don't remember how I got there, probably took the tram.I walked along the Boulevard a few times, but no boyfriend...nowhere to be seen.Aw nuts!As I walked back and forth I felt someone watching me from the street above. I looked up and there was my father, on his motor bike. With a grin on his face. (He had these lopsided grins)Where are you supposed to meet? he asked...At the Shooting Gallery, I replied.....He laughed!!Well kiddo, you're on the wrong side!!!.......Geesh!I ran towards back to where the Shooting Gallery was and low and behold, there was my boyfriend, on his Puch motor bike. *S*As we walked back together, my dad was still there, grinning from ear to ear, shaking his head.I felt extremely grateful, and so safe. And so relieved.

Not until I had kids of my own did I understand the anxiety you go through as a parent of a teenager. The way they can just scare the daylights out of you, make you worry yourself into a tizzy, hurt you by their selfish and silly acts.I hope my father knows that he did a fabulous job raising us.Even in old age, he never forgets to send us a check around Christmas time (we jokingly call it our "zakgeld"; allowance.

He is still being Papa, he will always be the responsible and loving father.Ever since his health started declining about ten years ago, I've been thinking of what I would say at his funeral.I can never get past the first sentence:"Today we say goodbye to the sweetest man in the world....."I really hope we will have him around for a little while longer, especially now, when we all appreciate and love him so much more....It's really a shame that it sometimes takes a lifetime to understand what your parents meant to you, how well of a job they really did of raising you.Thanks mom and dad!I love you both, very much!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Long time no see

Wow, has it really been THAT long?

I haven't written since October, well, I have, but I deleted some posts.

So here we are, six months later.

I blame my lack of motivation to doing much of anything on my medication(s)
Ever since I started taking Paxil, it seemed that my urge to write, and do much of anything except what was necessary, just faded away.
With the Paxil, my anxieties, and much of my depression has faded as well. Ya gotta take the good with the bad I guess.
The Paxil has enabled me to cope so much better with life though, and it seems that everyone has benefited from it.

A few months ago my doctor put me on blood pressure meds. Beta blockers. It takes a while to get the dosage right, the first try was too high and made me dizzy all the time.
The lower dose did not really do much for me other than making me extremely tired all the time.
I also developed a huge craving of sugars, and for weeks I noshed mainly on caramels, rice crispy treats and ice cream, like being pregnant. I gained 5 pounds.

So the other day he switched me to Lisinopril. He also told me to start taking multi vitamins and vitamin D. Believe it or not, I can already feel the difference. Have more energy, my cravings for sweets way down.

Blood pressure is down, head clearer, way to go!

But enough about me.

Bugs and Boo moved into Philip's mother's house after her lease on the town house ended. They decided to do this mainly to save money. They are now paying Mom's mortgage (which is extremely low) and she pays the utilities. Mom and little brother (7 and not so little though) moved into Philips old room, Boo moved in brother's room and Philip and Bugs took Mom's 'master bedroom'

When they told me about their decision I had to try very hard not to burst out laughing.
I mean, moving into another woman's house? MY Bugs? HA!
But, thanks to the Paxil (I am sure) I was able to keep my trap shut and not say one word.
Something I have been getting very good at lately. Not interfering, no suggestions, just letting her do her thing.
So two months into this new situation and things seem to be working out. The only problem I see are the pets. Boo was bitten by the cat a few months ago. This time I did urge her to call the doctor, to make sure of what she needed to do. (The cat has recently disappeared, on down...)

Then a few weeks ago she was bitten (on the face, no punctures just scratches) by the Blue tick hound dog. Lucy is a very docile sweet dog, but apparently Boo kept bugging her and cornered her and the dog reacted. I was furious, and let both Bugs and Philip know I was.
I took pictures of Boo's face and let the adults know I would not tolerate a second incident.
The dogs are now outside (they say) There is also a pitt mix, and a black mutt.
If it had been the pitt (his name is Blue) I would have called the cops, as he has bitten brother once.
What really pissed me off to no end was the fact that Philip kept blaming Boo instead of the dog.
So I let them both know that I WOULD not tolerate a second incident, involving anyone in that family, especially the kids.

This was really the only time I came out of my Paxil stupor and got really really upset. It did take a few sedatives that day and the next to settle me down.

Bugs still works at the sport bar, mainly bar tending, mainly in the evening/nights. Which works out rather well for everyone. She is home with Boo most of the day, and Boo stays with us overnight when she has to 'close', which is usually 2 or 3 am.

Boo is growing like a bean stalk. Just turned three. Very tall, her hair getting long, her vocabulary amazing.
She hasn't had any colds or breathing problems throughout the winter. Which is a good thing, because when she gets it, we get it as well. Wheelie doesn't fare too well with colds these days.

She is finally potty trained. From one day to the other. Amazing. She now proudly wears her Princess big girl panties.

Wheelie is doing well. His prostate cancer seems to have either disappeared or slowed way down. He still gets his shot every six months.
He got a clean bill of health from his primary the other day. He has been "working out" with some light weight dumbbells and weights on his ankles, and sits outside for his daily dose of vitamin D and K on the patio or the front porch, depending on the wind situation.

My parents are going strong. Well, as strong as they can. I really wish I could go and see them.

My backyard looks like a wilderness. But I am just going to call it the natural look for now. My two rose bushes are blooming. The creeping Jenny once again refused to die throughout the cold winter, the hostas came back with a vengeance. The wild strawberries look kinda cute, and the violets in my big pots out front bloomed throughout the winter.

With my new found surge of energy I decided to organize a neighborhood garage sale. I sent everyone a note about my plan, sighed people up, (5 out of 50 wasn't bad) and made the signs, blew up balloons, placed the ad in the paper.
On Saturday April 17, we were all ready at 8, gorgeous day! The sale was a huge success, and a lot of fun. It got everyone out of their houses at least! At 11 most of us were sold out.We had a lot of stuff, baby stuff, kitchen stuff etc, and we did amazingly well.
Never did get rid of the darn crib though. Perhaps I should just take it apart en keep it.
My goal is to empty my storage unit, thus saving 50 bucks a month. It's almost empty. Just need to get rid of the old wheelchairs and my IMac computer.

So all in all we're doing well. Knock on wood.

More later