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.