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Rated: 13+ · Book · Mystery · #1222498
A place for random thoughts, ideas, and fun!
What really goes on in Amy's brain? I'll use this space to share more about myself and my interests, journal some of the more exciting goings-on in my life, and work through some of the writing ideas and dilemmas I'm wrestling with. Enjoy!

Movie Review Mondays . . . if you watch a film after reading a review, please come back and let me know what you thought! *Smile*

My new siggy - thank you Seisa!
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September 30, 2014 at 10:57pm
September 30, 2014 at 10:57pm
Went about as well as expected. There were sniffles and not a whole lot of words after we told Dr B what the situation is. They sounded perky when we called, too. I started crying when we hung up. I just don't know how to make this right. It shouldn't be all our burden, but at the same time we want to do the best for our kids.

I'm a bit of a mess right now. *Cry*
September 17, 2014 at 6:02pm
September 17, 2014 at 6:02pm
I realized that I have this resource at my disposal, and I don't use it as II could. Sometimes I just need to vent out into the world, to get the stuff out of my brain and body that is causing me distress.

I'm feeling a lot of anxiety today. The last weeks of Dr B's summer quarter were really stressful all around. Dr B is not liking the program, not feeling successful, deciding that computer game design is NOT in their future. Also struggling to finish the work due at the end of the quarter . . . and THEN . . . DURING finals week, their laptop hard drive died. Died. For the second time in less than a year. The machine is 2 years old. Dead. Something like 3 incompletes because they were unable to access the work they'd begun, or complete the final projects. So the hard drive was replaced speedy quick, but the computer place at Drexel said the data was not retrievable. I told Dr B to bring it with them when they came to visit. So as soon as they arrived, I found a computer guy to try and help us access the data. He came to the house, quickly determined what the problem was, and offered the solution. A board needed to be replaced, so he found one to order. Unfortunately, it was not quite the right type, and so he's had to hunt for another, or work out another solution to the problem of the burned out board. Needless to say, Dr B has not been able to complete those assignments while visiting.

And related to that . . . Dr B also struggles with health issues. We've been trying for 2+ years to get a fibromyalgia diagnosis, or if that's not the actual issue, to figure out what is causing the pain, fatigue, stomach issues, anxiety, etc. So I said we would look at their fall quarter schedule while they're visiting, and make some calls to try and find a Dr near Drexel. FINALLY got around to doing that today . . . around the time when I thought we were going to leave for lunch, but I had to wake Dr B up at 11:30 to try and get anything accomplished today. Anyway, they went on their computer to look at their class and work schedule, and FREAKED OUT because there was an email and one of their professors who had said they would give Dr B more time to complete the final project had given an F. "See, this is why I don't check email." Well . . . maybe if you had checked email on a daily basis, you would have seen that sooner, and been able to contact someone sooner about rectifying the mistake. So, freak out #1. Plus, the work schedule is nutty, so that was causing stress. And between school and work, they couldn't find ANY time for an appointment. Heeeey, kiddo . . . how about ALL of those mornings when you don't have anything until 11? So I called 1 Dr who had been recommended as a fibro expert . . . aaaaand apparently U Penn does NOT do fibromyalgia. Okaaay then. So we did some more research and I found another Dr. Appointment in NOVEMBER. *Facepalm* And of course they forgot to ask which office the appointment was in (1 in the city, 1 outside of the city) but at least my dad and stepmom are available to give them a ride if they need one. So they were freaking out about the grade, and it was now nearly 1 PM. I had hoped to be ON THE WAY BACK from lunch by that time, since Monkey gets out at 1:30 on Wednesdays, and Goldilocks . . . well Goldilocks is done early, since she doesn't have a 5th period class, but most days she stays to do homework at the library until school gets out.

Right . . . so I text Goldilocks to let her know she has to walk home. Thankfully (errrr . . . really, Amy?) . . . my hubby is home sick today, so it was not a problem for me to be out when Monkey got out of school. Never hear back from Goldilocks. Did she get my message? Will she walk? I call . . . no answer. Lunch was meh. I ordered a salad because everything else was CRAZY with the amount of fat and calories. Then I ordered a banana oatmeal muffin that looked decent. The salad was fine. The muffin had walnuts in it. *Frown* Into the trash with my dessert.

I realized we'd be back tto town in time to drive past Goldilocks' school about 5 - 10 minutes later than normal. Fine, we'll cruise by and see if she's still waiting. Of course, coming from where I was, I approached the school from the opposite side of the street. There sits Goldilocks in the grass across the street, headphones in, oblivious to the fact that I'm standing there, waving and calling to her. A car next to her honked the horn to get her attention. *Rolleyes* She'd forgotten her phone. Good thing I got back into town quickly, huh?

So we get home, and checked in with Monkey, who was working on homework in his room. Good Monkey. I got a call I'd been waiting for, to schedule an MRI for him to see if we can figure out what's causing the recent increase in headaches he's been getting. TOMORROW! They have an appointment for tomorrow at 4. So I take it, get the address and information, learn what we can expect. Uh oh . . . an injection with a contrast dye? Right, so I tell Monkey, and he FREAKS out! "You told me there wouldn't be any more needles!" *Facepalm* Dude, I can't promise you'll never have another needle again. *Rolleyes* Did I know they would have to give you an injection before the MRI? Have I ever had an MRI? He stomps out of the room and bangs into his bedroom, refusing to talk to me.

I just feel like I have the stress and burden of making everyone's everything okay.

Goldilocks is in PT for an ankle sprain reinjury. The purple is fading super fast from Dr B's hair so I had to call them and see if they could squeak them back in this week before they leave again on Sunday. Tomorrow we were going to go into Berkeley, but need to make it a quicky trip, because kids. And we made tentative plans for some friends to come over for dinner, but I have not heard back from her. But now I have to take Monkey to this MRI, too.

Did I mention that Bob's been home sick and sleeping for 2 days?

But I'll end on a positive note . . . the new med I've been taking for anxiety/depression seems to be helping. I can't imagine how I'd been feeling right now without it. *Pthb* Oh! That reminds me . . . I need to take dose #2.
August 8, 2014 at 1:49pm
August 8, 2014 at 1:49pm
What do you do when you’re feeling like crap, and every attempt you make to fix the issue just makes it worse?

For most of the week I’ve been dealing with hyper-sensitivity on several levels. All the little hairs on my skin have been flailing around in the air, making me itchy. Two different fans that I’ve attempted to use at night while sleeping have made warbling noises, making sleep without pharmaceutical intervention next to impossible. Which stresses me out because I’m afraid the more I use them the more likely they are to stop working.

My children apparently need engraved invitations to clean up any messes they have made.

My attempt at whimsy on Facebook yesterday blew up in my face.

I was feeling SO anxious after picking Monkey up from school yesterday, when the FB nightmare occurred, Goldilocks and her brat of a friend were pissing me off (including residual piss-offedness from the previous evening), Monkey was clamoring to use my phone (he plays on Bob’s phone all the time, but he knows better than to ask me . . . if I had any say in the matter he wouldn’t be playing on Bob’s, either). So I took half a happy pill, and ended up falling asleep for over an hour. Which, of course, meant I could not sleep last night without further pharmaceutical intervention.

This morning I woke up to find the giant air mattress, half deflated, flopped in the middle of the family room, and the sheets, blanket, and pillow in a wadded up ball on the laundry room floor. Monkey hadn’t brought his lunchbox and water bottle into the kitchen as I had asked yesterday, so I was stuck waiting for that before I could make his lunch.

I asked Goldilocks to take the pillow out of the pillowcase, fold and put away the comforter, and put the sheets in the laundry basket. I found the folded up comforter and sheets stuffed in a clean laundry basket, and the pillow sitting on top of another pile of crap she has yet to remove from the laundry room.

*deep breath*

I’m not having an easy time being cheerful this morning.
July 28, 2014 at 4:33pm
July 28, 2014 at 4:33pm
I spent this past weekend at the Gender Spectrum conference. It was an incredible experience, during which I had the opportunity to interact with and learn from families, advocates, and professionals from around the country on the topic of gender and gender expansiveness. I met parents, grandparents, children, foster parents, mentors, and educators, and I met people spanning the gender spectrum . . . all there to teach, learn, support, and be supported.

During the course of the weekend, I experienced a truly welcoming space, where transgender and gender expansive youth and adults could completely release any fears surrounding discovery, discrimination, or violence.

There were parents going through every stage of the process with their children. Some, slightly shell-shocked, had learned this new information about their child’s identity only a week or so prior to the conference. Some were veterans, with children who transitioned a decade or more ago. A few were trying out their child’s new name/pronouns for the first time that weekend. For some, the process was going smoothly. For others, major complications stood in the way of their child being able to transition. But for every one of us, there was community.

I wouldn’t say that I learned anything completely new or earth-shattering at the conference. Rather, I had the opportunity to think about concepts of gender in new ways, and think about ways in which I, personally, can be an ally and advocate not only for my own gender expansive family member, but for the larger community.

The term itself – gender expansive – is a new one to me. I love what it embraces – everyone. As an umbrella term, it seeks to be completely inclusive. One of the sessions - which I did not attend but was able to obtain handout materials from - discussed the ways in which gender expansive youth self-identify. This is such an important concept - that limiting the terms with which we identify others still attempts to put everyone in boxes that can be understood, and will always leave out someone.

Another way to look at the idea of gender expansiveness was described in one of the sessions. Gender is not black and white, not 2 boxes that every person can fit into. Gender is not even a line, across which every individual can place themselves. Gender is, instead, a web. Like a fingerprint, no two webs are the same. Unlike a fingerprint, gender webs are not immutable. They can and do change over time. There are three main threads to an individual’s gender web – nature, nurture, and culture. These three are woven together differently for each person. This was not a completely unfamiliar concept to me, but I had not considered it within the oeuvre of gender. It is a concept that is well understood from a psychological viewpoint – that each individual’s character and personality is unique and formed by all of the experiences they have, as well as their nature (biology). So it is a very small step to recognize that gender is one piece of an individual’s character.

It’s important to stop and recognize the difference between sex and gender. As simply put as possible, your biological sex is the sex you were assigned at birth (which is a very passive description, so let’s make it further passive by adding . . . assigned at birth by the doctor who made a decision after looking between your legs). Gender identity is how you feel inside. Gender expression is the way in which you present your gender to the world. An excellent visual representation of that can be found here: http://dnwssx4l7gl7s.cloudfront.net/trevor/default/page/-/files/resources/coming...

I listened to teens talk about their experiences coming out, and fielding questions from a HUGE audience with poise and confidence. I listened to a pair of 9 year old twins discuss, with just as much poise and confidence, what it was like to be the sibling of a trans kid, and what it was like to be a trans kid with a twin sibling. A HUGE take home from these sessions (not even remotely surprisingly) is that we need to listen to our kids. If we can listen without any agenda other than understanding, our children will tell us so much about what they need and who they are. This is true for gender as well as every other aspect of our children’s lives.

I probably have so very much more than to say on the topic, and to share about the conference, but at the moment none of those lovely concepts and ideas are coming into my stubborn brain. Perhaps more later.

July 18, 2014 at 5:34pm
July 18, 2014 at 5:34pm
I hardly know where to begin. Life has been a rollercoaster for the past few months, and I’m not sure when I boarded this particular ride.

A few months ago, Goldilocks approached us about the possibility of hosting a foreign exchange student over the summer. We discussed it, asked friends about their experiences, and decided to give it a try. We were matched with a girl from France. A few weeks before her arrival, the organizer of the program asked if anyone would be able to host a student from Spain for 1 week, prior to the arrival of the students in the program we were hosting for. We said yes. Fernando arrived on a Sunday, his luggage still somewhere across the ocean. It took 5 days for it to arrive. In the meantime, we called Air France, we took him shopping for clothes to tide him over, we ran around and did different activities with him . . . it was a great but exhausting week. He and Monkey had a blast together, despite the age difference (10 versus 16). The day that Fernando left to spend the rest of his visit in CA with a different family (we had been filling in because that family already had a vacation planned for the first week of his visit), Orane arrived from France. She was much quieter than Fernando, but very sweet. It was pretty clear from the beginning that her language skills were not nearly as proficient as Fernando’s, either. But we got by with some humor and confusion in the first few days. But she and Goldilocks did not seem to be connecting. She seemed on a very different level, maturity-wise, than Goldilocks. A Parisian almost-17-year-old, versus my emotionally immature and innocent 15 year old. But we were making it work. Goldilocks didn’t seem to be interacting with anyone in the group, though, when she joined them for activities. So the organizer and I chatted to see if we could figure out what was going on.

And now a jump in subject. On Wednesday, I was delighted and surprised to receive a package in the mail from Shanachie ready for Prep ! Home baked brownies, for my birthday! *Delight* I had been out for breakfast and a walk with a friend, and they were waiting when I arrived home. I shared one with both Goldilocks and my friend, and put them aside. Later, I ran an errand or two, picked up Monkey from camp, etc. I got a call from the program organizer letting me know that Orane and her friend from home (France) had apparently made plans (without consulting any adults) to have a sleepover at our house, THAT NIGHT. I said no, that would not work. Not on a night when everyone needs to get up and out the door early the following morning. And certainly not without advance notice.

After dinner I went to open the container of brownies, to share some more brownies with the family, and I discovered that more than half were gone. Goldilocks had been the only one home. Monkey would not eat something that he was not 100% certain was safe for him. Goldilocks had complained of a stomachache during dinner. She’s done this before. The only evidence missing were crumbs on her mouth. We had a confrontation, during which she vehemently denied eating them. I was hurt and angry. I was planning on sharing . . . but they had been a gift, and she ate HALF the container in one afternoon. I’m sure it was uncomfortable for Orane to witness. I was too upset to even stay in the public area of the house. I’d also had a sinus headache most of the day, so I went to bed early.

The next day (Thursday – yesterday) was my birthday. I woke up to a decent morning. Hit some unexpected traffic driving Monkey and Orane to their activities, but managed to get them both where they needed to be. I spent the morning talking on the phone, and responding to many wonderful online birthday messages. I met a friend for lunch, and as I was heading back to my car, I discovered a new place on the main street of our town. Having decided a few weeks earlier that I wanted to have my eyebrows shaped, I went in . . . it was a place that uses thread to shape your eyebrows. It felt weird, but it was $10 and done in 10 minutes! I got home with 5 minutes to spare before I needed to leave to pick up Monkey. There was a package waiting from Brandiwyn🎶 ! *Delight* I opened it up . . . it was a Ziploc bag, tied with a pretty pink ribbon and decorated with a cinnamon stick, filled with pink goo. *Shock* *Confused* I texted Storm to see if she knew what it was, and whether it was something I was supposed to eat. *Laugh* I spent the drive to and from Monkey’s camp trying not to giggle about the bag of goo. When I got home, I popped online. I took a photo of the goo bag, and texted it to Brandiwyn🎶 with a “thank you . . . I think this may have shifted a bit during shipping. What is it supposed to be?” And then we LAAAAAUGHED!!!! Turns out she had made me homemade cinnamints, which melted together in transit. So it looked like a nicely decorated baggie of ABC gum! *Laugh*!!!! It made my day . . . it really did!

I got some books and an Aqua Notes set (woohooo!) from my family. Then hubby and I went out to our favorite local place, for team trivia night! HUGE piece of yummy chocolate banana bread pudding, made especially at my request, and lit with a trick candle while everyone in the place sang! We were 5 points ahead going into the final round . . . when my phone rang.

It was Sheila, the organizer of the exchange program. Because Goldilocks and Orane had not connected, and because the purpose of the program was for the students to interact and practice their English and that did not seem to be happening, she decided to move Orane to another family for the last week of the program. Twice during the call, my friend ran outside to find me and ask the answer to one of the trivia questions. By the time I went back inside, I was near tears. I knew Goldilocks would be devastated, I was feeling somewhat of a failure, and I was just really upset. We won the game, which was exciting, but my mood had been dragged down.

Orane had actually spent Thursday night at the house of her friend (instead of her friend being with us Wednesday night) so she was not there when we got home. So we had to sit down and tell Goldilocks. Understandably and expectedly, she was devastated, sobbing. It took me forever to settle down to sleep. *Frown*

This morning I got Monkey off to camp, and then came home to try and catch up. A few hours later, ANOTHER package arrived for me! *Delight* This one was homemade bread from Storm ! Apparently they had cooked up this scheme after I commented LAST YEAR that I didn’t get a homemade birthday treat unless I made it myself. *Heart*

And then . . . I attempted to get Goldilocks to finish the chore I’d asked her to do the previous night. I thought it might be nice, it being my birthday and all, if SOMEONE ELSE DID THE DISHES FOR A CHANGE. She’d put a few things in the dishwasher, and left the rest sitting. I asked her to finish the job, and she told me the dishwasher was full. Yeah, the TOP was. Not the bottom. And there were a bunch of things that needed to be hand washed. She stomped over, threw a few more things in, and stomped away. I looked . . . all the stuff was still in the sink, including her dishes from last night. “They’re gross!” she complained. Yeah . . . yes, they ARE. Which is why I ask you to RINSE YOUR DISHES every day!!! And because they’re gross, I’m the ONLY ONE WHO SHOULD HAVE TO WASH THEM!?!? She halfheartedly and angrily got them in the dishwasher . . . leaving the hand wash stuff still needing to be done. I told her to get OFF of her Kindle. Just so AGGRAVATED!!!

And feeling really . . . REALLY frustrated that I’m feeling angry and frustrated, after so much effort was made to help me feel wonderful and special.

And there we are. Now I need to go pick up Monkey from camp. *sigh* And an hour and a half later, I have to pick up Orane . . . she’ll be here for an hour to pack up her stuff, and then she’s leaving. I have a feeling it will be awkward.
June 26, 2014 at 1:38pm
June 26, 2014 at 1:38pm
Yesterday was a day full of such conflicting emotions and desires that I spent most of the day and half the night worrying over what I should do, and mentally composing a blog post.

Two notes – First, I am writing this for myself. Because I need to get it out, because I need to work it through in my brain, and because I’m hoping it will help me gain some clarity on how to proceed. Second, I am changing the rating of my blog as a result of this post, because I know that there will be language and other things that warrant a higher rating than where my blog currently stands.

Fairly early in the day yesterday, as I was perusing Facebook, I came upon a post that caught my attention. Posts written by my cousin’s husband usually do . . . and particularly ones that involve acts of malice perpetuated by my cousin’s ex. Yesterday’s posts, however, struck me quite differently.

I will begin by saying that my cousin’s ex has been horrible to her, both during their marriage, as well as while they were divorcing and after, when fighting custody issues over their son, A. My first such memory involves a very pregnant cousin, sobbing in the row in front of me, at her grandmother’s funeral. Her future ex was not with her that day, because he “didn’t do funerals.” Just a small slice of the image of who this person is capable of being. There were many, many others over the years.

Flash forward to yesterday. Ostensibly, the post was about how the Clown (the watered down version of their nickname for her ex) was having a hissy fit because they bought my cousin’s son a flip phone to have with him during his summer stay with the Clown. Because apparently the phone was not authorized the Clown, and the Clown wanted to get him an iPhone, pay for it, be in charge of it, etc. Many control issues. Tip of the iceberg.

But that was just where the post began. It quickly devolved, as my cousin’s husband referred to cousin’s ex as he/she/it, and made a veiled comment that gave a hint as to his meaning. Not knowing the situation, and upset by the he/she/it comment, I sent my cousin a private message asking for explanation. The reply was that sent stated that J (male) was now C (female) and that where it any other person, “it” would be referred to as she . . . but being who “it” was, that THING was “it.”

I was devastated. Being a fierce ally of the transgender community, as the parent of a transgender kid, how could I possibly stand by and allow such a thing to occur? And among people I absolutely adore. But I didn’t have the right words. I was too angry and upset. So I stewed.

My first and biggest concern was that if Dr B saw these comments, they would be very hurt and upset. They have been very close to my cousin and her husband, and have had a very special relationship with them. I KNOW that this has nothing whatsoever to do with how they feel about Dr B . . . but how could they NOT take it personally? This was confirmed for me this morning, when I received a FB message from Dr B. We chatted a bit, and I shared some of the thoughts that had been plaguing me, and that I had intended to write, in this blog post.

I cannot dismiss all of the horrible things that A’s other parent has done over the years - both when they were still married, and during and after the divorce. But at the same time, the idea that transgender issues are being thrown around as another way to dehumanize strikes me at my very core. And then again . . . being transgender is not a Get Out of Assholery Free card. They have every right to be angry for all the bulls*** that has been perpetuated, and I understand that they have no respect at this point for reasons completely unrelated, but this to me seemed to glom onto something so vital to C's humanhood, and shred it to pieces. And while I believe most of their friends are likely quite liberal and accepting, anything that perpetuates hatred of transgender individuals in a general sense is not acceptable. In the wider world there's still very much the sense, I think, that ALL the problems a transgender person has are because *gasp* they're *shudders* transgender.

Hubby posed the question of how we might rank acceptable terms of derision in such situations. For example, were C short - as in Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 3, Scene 2:
Oh, when she’s angry, she is keen and shrewd!
She was a vixen when she went to school.
And though she be but little, she is fierce.
“Little” again? Nothing but “low” and “little”!—
Why will you suffer her to flout me thus?
Let me come to her.
(to HERMIA) Get you gone, you dwarf,
You minimus of hindering knotgrass made,
You bead, you acorn!

would it then be more acceptable? Yeah . . . I had to throw in a little Shakespeare there, because as soon as hubby mentioned short, that scene came to mind.

Anyway! Back to the point. Being short myself, I would not necessarily be offended by such a slight. Well, maybe. It does not attack my humanhood. It does not perpetuate deep-seated prejudices and play into the fear of difference that so many people still carry with them. As I’m fighting for equality and acceptance among the transgender community, I read this and almost literally see a small step of pavement the transgender community has traversed forward in their efforts for recognition crumble in front of me.

Then, too . . . I had no idea that this was something that was happening in A's life. A connection that, whether he struggled to accept it or not, I could have provided a support for him during a time of transition in his life.

So I’m still struggling. Still torn. Still uncertain as to how to move forward. I cannot stand idly by like a coward because I do not want to cause offense to those who have already been given quite a bit of offense from another quarter. I do not want to alienate people whom I love dearly. But at the same time, I do not want to feel alienated from them by virtue of my inability to speak my mind when the going gets tough. I do not want to feel hurt by their callous words, and I absolutely do not want Dr B to be hurt. The fierce Mama Bear in me will now allow it.
May 16, 2014 at 11:37am
May 16, 2014 at 11:37am
When I first discovered that Goldilocks’ iPod had gone through the wash, I wanted to run away. Seriously. I knew there would be dramatics on a par with the loss of a life. Okay, the first night, she stayed cool. Let’s try immersing it in a bowl of rice to draw any moisture out. We’ll do that.

Last night . . . the you-know-what hit the fan when she decided to see if it was working. Temper tantrum. Screaming and stomping and door slamming. “SOMEONE owes me $200! I will GET that $200 and I don’t care how I have to do it!” *Rolleyes*

Eventually I went into her room to have a chat. It was after 9 PM. Monkey was in bed, across the hallway.

I calmly explained to her that no one owes her anything. Who did she think would give her money to replace what she had spent on the iPod? Then I told her about the time when I was a freshman in high school, and had brought my purse to school, with $80 in my wallet. My wallet was stolen IN CLASS. It was found in a trash can a short while later, the money missing. Yes, I was upset. No, I did not expect that anyone was going to give me $80 to replace what had been stolen. It was a lesson learned. Do not bring wads of cash to school. If I happen to have wads of cash, which I rarely do, do not keep it all in my wallet. This is also something that I’ve been trying to tell Goldilocks for several years. Put your money in a safe place. If you go out, bring a little bit with you. The purse has gone missing a few times, full of cash. Thankfully, it has been found safe, each time. The iPod was not so lucky, hiding as it was in the pocket of her pants.

She finally got the message. I wasn’t BLAMING her for anything. I was telling her she needed to learn from the lesson, mourn the loss, and move on. That’s when she started sobbing like her heart was breaking.

What happened next, I never would have imagined.

I heard Monkey slip out of his room and head into the entryway. “Whatcha doing, bud?” He was supposed to be in bed.

A minute later I see him walking down the wall toward us . . . carrying the $50 bill that he had gotten for Passover. He gave it to her. She protested (not too strongly) and then they started crying and hugging one another. It was the sweetest thing I have ever seen.

I think she felt guilty about taking his money, and I suggested that she slip it back under his door after he went to bed. I don’t think she did. *sigh*
April 25, 2014 at 12:37pm
April 25, 2014 at 12:37pm
I’m still not certain whether the actions I took last night were passive-aggressive or appropriate, but I’d reached the point where I knew something had to be done.

For months, our next door neighbors have talked about moving. For months, their son would ask my kids if we wanted to take their (outdoor) cat when they moved. I repeatedly told them no. It’s not going to happen. If I wanted the responsibility of pet ownership at this time, I would make that decision. Every time they ask me about a pet the answer is the same. Don’t get me wrong . . . I LOVE animals, which is why I felt so strongly that something had to be done, here. It’s just that I know pet ownership is not the right choice for us at this time, for many reasons. This is an independent, outdoor cat. Nonetheless, he needs food, and medical care, and someone to love him.

On Monday, the family moved. On Tuesday, Goldilocks told me she thought she saw Whiskey outside. I spent the night agonizing over it. Did they really leave their cat behind? Bob put out a dish of water for him, just in case. We have done this before, during the summer months. I saw him again yesterday, wandering through our backyard.

So I sent Whiskey’s owner the following message on Facebook:

“Hi Julie,
It looks like you've already moved - we didn't get to say goodbye. I wanted to let you know that I thought I saw Whiskey wandering around in our backyard yesterday. Not sure if you couldn't find him when you were leaving, but he's still around.


I know she saw the message . . . Facebook tells you when a message has been viewed. I’ve gotten no reply.

I am absolutely sick over this. I don’t know what to do. I am angry on so many levels. In addition to Whiskey, they had 3 dogs, and got a new puppy within the last 3 months. The dogs all left with them. The kind of person who would leave an animal behind when moving is disgusting to me. I cannot fathom it. And I am FURIOUS that I have been put in this position. They knew Whiskey came over to visit us. They had their son ask us more than once if we wanted the cat. They never spoke with us about it themselves. They just left him behind.

UPDATE Decided to post this as part of the blog entry, rather than leaving it in the comments where it might not be seen:

Wow - WHILE I was posting this, she replied!

Hi Amy, Thank you for your note. Yes! We've moved! Unbelievable. I just did the last load yesterday. Thanks for the Whiskey update. I HAVE BEEN HUNTING FOR HIM FOR DAYS. Last night after work I thought I might be able to nab him as he would often greet me at about 5:30, but no sign. I've been putting out catfood for him. Can I ask you a favor? If you see him while I am af work, can you call me? I have a carrier in the car reserved just for him! My work number is xxx-xxx-xxxxx. Thanks Amy. We're going to have a house warming party sometime in May probably and I'll send you a little note if you guys are free.

I'm so relieved!
April 23, 2014 at 3:36pm
April 23, 2014 at 3:36pm
In honor of The Bard's birthday, it's confession time. Bob & I finished watching the PBS series Shakespeare Uncovered last night. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/shakespeare-uncovered/

Those of you who know me well know that I do not watch tv - particularly anything episodic. I do it for my own mental health. I know how easy it would be for me to become addicted, so I don't. (Yes, I know I'm missing out on good stuff. I'm ok with that.) I also have a hard time with the sensory input, to the point where I'll have to leave the room if the tv has been on for a while.

That being said . . . I LOVED THIS SERIES!!! Bob suggested it, and out of my curiosity and interest in Shakespeare, I said yes. I was even the one to say "shall we watch an episode tonight?" Alas . . . they only did one season. I'm itching for more. I suspect that fact alone will have Bob sending a message to the producers, pleading for another season.

The series looks in depth at a handful of Shakespeare's plays, how they would have been perceived in his day, the historical facts and fictions behind them, and the deeply personal parts of his own life which were woven into the stories, among other things.
March 6, 2014 at 10:28pm
March 6, 2014 at 10:28pm
I posted the other day about my excessive and obsessive worrying, and how it was preventing me from functioning fully. I know my husband is worried about me; he told me the other day.

As I write this, I’m 30,000 feet (more or less) above the midwest, heading to Philadelphia. By myself. The days leading up to the trip were tough for me, as I attempted to prepare both myself and my family for my departure. Will the kids make it to school and back? Will they remember their lunches? Will they remember where they’re supposed to go and when? Will they WAKE UP for school on Friday morning? All things entirely outside of my control. Then there was my worry about the trip. Will I leave early enough for the airport? Will there be traffic? Will I get in an accident? Will I find a parking spot? Will I get through security in time?

Well . . . I made it. Zipped to the airport in a little over an hour, found a parking spot on the top level of the parking garage, made it in and through security, got myself some breakfast . . . and still had an hour and a half to wait! *whew*

I dealt with the obsessive worry as I was driving with a whole lot of self-talk. “You’re doing great! Look how far you’ve come and it’s only 7:15. Even when you hit the inevitable traffic, you have plenty of a time cushion. You’re doing a great job keeping yourself calm. See? You can do this! You can do this anytime.” And on and on . . . that’s not to say that there wasn’t some anxiety. I could tell because I had a song lyric running obsessively through my brain. But I dealt with it, I was successful, I made my flight, and all is well.

Now to remember the self-talk the next time I get anxious.

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