Things you never expect to hear....

I could fall over from shock atm:

Something amazing happened.
Something really amazing.
Not good amazing either.

In this land of plenty, where there are so many wealthy folk, there are also those in need. More and more needy arrive as summer beckons. The temperate climate ensures it. So the rich and privileged deign to donate items to the local charities that benefit the poor and needy. And what do they donate?

The items that get donated are predominantly squarely in the *stuff* category.
Things that adorn abodes. Needless things. Electronic things. Porcelain and copper and brass things. Non-essentials.

This is not to say that food items are not. Just not in such bounty.

If you do not have a roof over your head you probably do not care what colour your sheets are.

@---- + ---- @ ---- + ---- @ ---- + ---- @ ---- + ----@ ---- + ----@

A small private School comprised of, perhaps, 40 families.
An affluent community with many many retirees of wealth and stature.
A booming economy and rapid growth. Unsustainable, but still....

The School runs at a loss. That is not intentional, it is just the way of things. Tuition is moderate, 200 -400 per month with assistance available to those who require it. Many require it.

"For the love of your child."
That is the motto of the School.
There are a few fundraisers every year that make up an essential part of the operating budget. One such fundraiser has as a component, a garage sale. Typically the items donated for this event are better tha what you see in many stores. Alot of people in the community who do not necessarily have children in the school support it by donating items. The sale is volunteer staffed and ran and many hours go into the setup sale and takedown.

At the end of the day, there is always so much left over that it takes up a 40 foot wall of the gymnasium, even stacked in neatly packed boxes. What to do? One would think the local Thrift stores would want it. After all, if it was left on their doorstop in the night they would take it. They generally come and take it.

This year for some unfathomable reason, the driver sent explained patiently to the poor staff member who opened the gym to him, that they were inundated with "this sort of stuff" and could not possibly take it away. Here we are one week later with a gym full of boxes.

Many of the families that go to this school also go to the Church that supports this Thrift shop to the tune of 12% of their budget through an annual event. Not one dime of the event is kept by the church and THOUSANDS of volunteer hours of time go into it. The monies collected at this event help staff a store, run a crisis line, operate a haven for battered women, etc etc.

And they cherry-picked us. Little school, bullied by a Goliath who is kept and fed by the hands that support it.

We really live in a sick society when the advise is: "Take that stuff to the dump."

My heart breaks for these sorts of things.



Amazingly what alot of rest and a full night's sleep can do.
Today was no problem at all.
The best part was in the morning when my irregular person lost their keys and was useless for the better part of 90 minutes. Somehow that seemed to settle them down.

Of course, it could be me.
Is it me?
Well, not today anyway.
I was fine lovely great wonderful!

More and more I see there are two of me.
The happy well-rested me, and the cranky irritated me.
Coincedentally, the not-as-nice me seems to exclusively be around in the late afternoons and evenings.
Go figure.

And work was well done.


- - - - - - - - - - - -


*HIGHLY* Irregular People

Oh in my face today was my least favourite person to work with.
I was in a technically superior position for the work at hand, but as this person holds a position on a certain Board of Directors, they were not about to relinquist control. OF ANYTHING.

Now I am a good person and a patient person but never let it be thought I can easily overlook rudeness. It is a constant struggle for me not to react to what I perceive as rudeness. Today was a whopper.

As if being challenged on my personal ethics was not enough, the very air itself was against me. The room we were in held a collection of dolls. These dolls were mildewed and dirty. I went outside to take some fresh air. Wouldn't you know it? Someone was cutting the lawn on a ride-on lawnmower. Next door to the facility, a pile of rubbish was being burned. PLASTIC rubbish. That is illegal but by the time the conservation officer would show up the fire would be out. I could not breathe inside or outside without assistance. I used my emergency puffer 5 times this afternoon and even now I am depleted of energy.

I work tomorrow with my irregular person for 7 hours.
God give me strength not to react.


--------- * -----------------


Wanting what you have

Isn't it interesting that people who SHOULD know you well, turn out to know nothing about you at all.

The Spanish Inquisition masquerading as a family member interrogated me today over the choice I have to make. Although my job is perfect and I love it, I do not love driving with the price of gas on the rise. On the other hand, environment is everything to me and I do not know if I could cope with people all around me 6 to 8 hours a day. It has been years since I had to put up with noise like that.

"So, what is holding you back?"

I mentioned I was not certain I wanted to give up my seniority and my lifestyle.

"But you would have a much better job!"

I asked what was better about it.

"You would make more money."

Can you believe it?
What a thing to say to me.
The last motivator on the list. Sure I have to consider money, but above all I consider my health, my wellness, and my ability to do a great job under the circumstances given.

I would never bargain those things away for mere money.

The day I do is the day I am no longer me.


* -------------------- ** ** -------------------- *

So: I am not the only closet Catholic in town.
I saw a few icons today. Beautiful gilt icons and plain wooden icons.

God bless us all, everyone.

* -------------------- ** ** -------------------- *

Shared Physiology

In honour of Queen Victoria's birthday, we all have an extra day off. Families get together for food fun and in the case of my family, good big jaws about our neuroses.

When you see common traits in families it is easy to think upbringing shapes personality. When you see common compulsions then you might change over to the biology of things. The conversation went something like this.

"I like to collect china. I mean I really like to. I like to rearrange my apartment around things. I like clothes and spending money. I just can't seem to change."

"Never mind about that too much", said I. "It is a cultural thing this spending. At least you know your weaknesses. I collect things too. And worse, I seem to really be compulsive about my collections. I collect shiny things. And have ridiculous amounts of jewellery. And boxes. I collect boxes. And silver. And books. And mexican pottery."

"And clocks" chimed in another sibling. "You and your clocks."

My sibling said: "But I really am compulsive about it."

We digressed onto how everyone in our family seems to have compulsive and obsessive traits including both parents. Then came the topic of sleep problems.

"I had the weirdest night. I could feel this entity at the foot of my bed. I could just sense it was evil. And my cat who was sound asleep suddenly had her hackles up and was growling at the exact area I could sense the thing. And then, worse, as I was falling off to sleep, I could feel my body and my spirit trying to separate. It was an effort of will to stop myself from leaving my body."

It wasn't me speaking either.

So, it's official. We are all nuts.

Peanuts, coconuts and fruit loops.
And double helixes.

---------------------- + + *


---ah--- MUCH better!

I have changed the name of this blog to reflect my growing penchant for navel gazing.

So far, nothing at all of interest has been found in my bellybutton but: ya never know!

Many people in helping professions have troubled backgrounds.
My compassion comes from being effectively raised by wolves.
Neglect, abuse and a head injury.

Yes, I am compassionate towards all but the mean-spirited.
Then I have pity.
It could so easily be me.

And sometimes, somewhen, somewhere it likely is.

--------------------- + @ * >


The Family Crossword

We generally tend to hoarde our crossword puzzles until thoroughally stumped when begrudgingly we ask for help; kinda sorta. My family are all gamers of some type or t'other so a fresh puzzle is like gold.

T'was the senior among us who needed help.
Sister 1 finished the puzzle and handed it back.
Senior member said:
"Ah so the four letter word for the clue "Run _ _ _ _" ... is 'amok'."

"THAT'S not even hard!" I said. "What did you put?"

"I had run agog. I got the a and the o right!"

"Run agog eh? Like to see you use THAT in regular conversations," I smirked.

Ah the pursuits of the highly amused.
I can't wait to try that expression out.
I would like to continue blogging but I must go now to run agog.

hee hee hee


Should've seen it coming....

For someone so schooled in the language of the dying I can be rather obtuse.

Three visits in a row my elderly client was fussing about her clothes.
"I have to get Sage to take me shopping. I need some new clothes."

Her clothes were beautiful and plentiful.
The closet was stuffed with them.

Next time she said:
"I need new clothes."

"What for?" I asked.

"For, you know.... I need some new things for where I am going."

"Where are you going?"

"Well... I, you know... the next place."

She was wait-listed for a new facility so I assumed she meant it as her new address.

The last visit she was fussing again about the clothes.
When I left I said cheerily:
"See you next week."
"Maybe," she answered.

Died peacefully in her living room a few days later.
I hope those heavenly clothes meet her needs.

----------------- !

All the Nice Ladies

Leaving the big complex where so many clients live I encountered the wonderful 96 yr old woman who used to be my neighbour. She is legally blind now and quite deaf, but she is as sharp as ever. She called over to me.

"Hey come here for a moment, I want to say hello."

We visited for 15 or 20 minutes and she was telling me over and over how happy she is with the wonderful ladies who come to help her. She told me that our Office doesn't have even one dud in the group and how thankful she is for such excellent service.

Now that was worth more than diamonds and rubies to me.




Someone I know turns 40 today!

Happy birthday to you!

--------- *

Out and about in the area listening to wonderful stories and realising that the day is near when our department is completely privitised. (hmm should that be a z?)

A wonderfully kind and sweet woman told me the best story today and I will tell you.

This lady is widowed not even a year and what a year!
She has had health issues that seem relatively benign but have come in clusters.
Right now she is feeling well but a tiny bit fearful.

The home is up on a bluff with a view that is truly gorgeous.
It is still a place where the average lot is 1/2 acre or larger.
I complimented her on fabulous taste for a retirement site.
I said: "You know, this place has such good energy. You can feel the harmony and happiness here."
(You really can!)

"Let me tell you the story of this place!"
I found it charming and I hope you do too.

The fellow who used to live in the house to the left here (an olde heritage home) loved to go out fishing. There was a tiny cottage at the seashore back then where this fellow used to come stay. They went fishing together. One day the resident fellow told him he enjoyed his company so much he wanted him to stay in a trailer on his property when he came. A few years of summer fishing later the man told him he enjoyed the fishing so much he wanted to make sure his friend never had to worry about coming over and sold him the lot where the trailer was for one dollar. It was a half acre piece.

The old fellow died not long after and the friend came over fishing for many more years. The seashore cabin saw other visitors and the friend made new fishing buddies. One day the friend, too died and to the surprise of the fishing buddy he left the 1/2 acre lot, now much more valuable, to the new fishing buddy, which of course was the client's husband.

They retired and built a beautiful home on the site which they never otherwise could have afforded.

Now, THAT is good energy!




Today catching myself wondering if other caregivers have epic fantasies and dreams,
they would admit it if they did? Likely not.

Last night I opened my eyes in the bed and saw this baby laying beside me.
The child was about 2 months old at most. I was shocked that I could have gone to sleep with the baby beside me at the edge of the bed. Horrified that I could forget such a thing, I checked the little child's condition and realised with a shock that I had to feed and clothe him/her.

Rather than waking up which is the normal when something really bizarre happens in my dreams, I went about changing this baby and then trying to nurse it.

The scene changed to someone telling me a social worker was coming to find out why I carried the child so inelegantly not supporting the head correctly. (I kid you not)
Naturally the dream me tore off a strip of the person saying: "HOW DARE they judge me! How dare they make assumptions about my parenting skills just because some nosey parker shoots off their stupid mouth."

yes yes, sleep talking and ranting awakened me.
But interestingly I woke up saying:
"Oh thank GOD it's not my baby after all!"



More Wildlife

The neighbour was trimming the hedge again today.
As I sit at my computer gazing outside I notice a huge animal walking the fence and for a moment I think *mutant rat* before my brain stops sending adrenil responses and I realise it is a raccoon.

Do raccoons eat rats?
O I kinda hope so.

I am such a city-chick.

When I first moved here I had a home that was huge and right by a wildlife sanctuary. One night my dog went insane barking and yelping. I looked outside the patio which was out to a long slow ravine ending in the wilds. There is a river there. I saw a pair of yellow eyes looking in. I looked spellbound thinking it was a very large cat, which indeed it was. Cougar.

Of course noone believed me and I thought perhaps I had mistakenly seen a huge domestic cat..... until my neighbour at the foot of the hill said to me:
"You know there was a cougar out here 4 nights ago. We haven't seen one for almost 15 years down here. They usually don't come down this far unless they are starving."

Raccoons are much more acceptable.
---------- +


rats! Big rats! With tails ^&%$%@#@!

Little Johnny had a joke about this.
Alas the humour escapes me as I gaze out my sliding door to see Mr. or Mrs. Rat, strolling casually across my patio. So very casually.


No wonder I have nightmares.

---------------------------- *

So I am watching this film based on the Ring myth...
"Dragon King" and yeah... it's just a big huge rat too.

The Nibelungs, the curse, the ring.
Tolkien did it better.

Oh my.

-------------------- *


Two Steps Back...

Blow me down matey but I heard a salty tale today!
Decades in this family and this is the first I have heard of this!

Sufficiently intrigued by another bout of sleep yelling, after blogging it, I remarked on it to my (remaining) family.

"You must take after your Grandmother," said the parental authority.

"Which one?" I asked.

"My Mother! She used to have a terrible time in the night. I don't know what it was; ask your Aunt she was the one who would console her without startling her."

I almost fell over.

"You are kidding. How long was this a problem?"

"Oh she always did that. Ask your Aunt. She would know about it."

Then I find out that sleepwalking was in the next generation as well.

Physically, I strongly resemble these people.
Obviously in more ways than I thought.

------------------ +


Room with a View

Another visit to a new-to-me client.
I pulled in to the spacious circular driveway and was very surprised at the size of the lot. It is a beautiful street; one of the streets that recently was embraced by the builders for those $600,000+ homes. I should have bought one. They are $800,000 now. I could have made a quick 200 grand.

But enough about that!
My client was sitting waiting and my visit coincided with a Census Taker *and* some out-of-town visitors who couldn't come at another time. A busy place.
I volunteered to go for a walk so the client could visit but I was told I could go "enjoy the view from the kitchen."

I had no idea. It was the best view I have seen in town. The gentleman told me they were first on the street so they had their chose of lot. And what a choice!
It truly was breath-taking.

We finally finished the visit and I said my goodbyes.

"I am off to enjoy some sunshine" I said.

The gent shook my hand and said touchingly: "Thank you for bringing the sunshine inside."


------------------------------- *


The Jewellery Lady was a late add-on to my day.

I remembered her from last year or the one before when my arrival coincided with her picking over some rhinestones she was glueing and shining for a local second-hand store. She had about 300 pieces on some boards she was working on and polybags everywhere stuffed full of more.
She had an eyepiece in and a huge magnifying glass by her side.
She had to be 85, looking like a million dollars, dripping rhinestones herself, SHERMANS too.

A big lady, I was surprised when she told me she had lost 65 pounds since the last time I saw her.
She always looked hearty and healthy but plus sized. She said she had been a size 24 1/2 and now was a 16 petite. So much for all those who say it is impossible to lose weight after 50.

"Was it difficult to adhere to a diet?"

She shook her head adamantly.
"It was dead easy. All I did was cut out the biscuits and the sugars."

Speaking of biscuits: I think it is time for me to bake a scone and have it with creamcheese and raspberries.
mmm delicious.

I do not expect to lose even 6 pounds anytime soon.
I loves me food.

----------------------- *


I'm Flying!

ooooooo I bet my arms will be tired tomorrow.
Google earth is amazing.
I have spent a few hours flying.

What next?

A Feyday

Today I feel most fey: sitting here looking in on my Tolkienesque landscape whilst listening to the Cocteau Twins.

Sometimes I picture myself at 80 still listening to Joy Division and killing orcs.
Somehow I do not think so.
I had dreams about being dead in my 50s. I also had a psychic or 3 tell me the same. And there was that neurologist that said if my neck lasts after 55 it will be a miracle. Interesting that unprompted comments from every spectrum would be so similar. For now I have eternity in each moment and music once again.
-=-=-=- * cue dreamy music * -=-=-
It is marvellous to have music on my PC again and yet more wondrous to be doing many media things at once with a chat client running and a telnet client running and and and NO FREEZES nor screens of death.
God Bless my sweetheart new PC. Of course it has 5 times the memory of my older one and is 5 times as fast with 8+ times the storage space and all kinds of storage USB ports. My soul gripe is that the Microsoft Office program loaded on it has a 60 trial. I own two copies of Office around here somewhere. Office 97 and 2003.
Surely to goodness that is enough?

I started everything and I do mean everything I wish to do at once and then checked the CPU usage in task manager. haha. less than 8%

This computer is smarter than I am.
A little more refining and it will be bossing me around.
Hopefully it will have exceptional taste in music and share the sounds with me.
Do silicone based lifeforms have the capacity for empathy or pain?
Am I hurting it now?

One day I am sure we shall all find out.
One day soon.
--------------- *


Abject Chaos

Guess what?

My closet collapsed completely and totally.
This time I am fairly certain it is a forever thing.
The plastic rods are bent in the middle.

I am going to hire someone to fix it this time.
My love for beautiful things extends to my wardrobe.
Now on the floor.


----------------------- * - * -


Hum*Hum*hum hummingbirds!

Indoor diva that I am, my life is ordered around what is convenient for me.
I do not allow myself to feel sad over the differences between me and most unless it is a matter most close to the heart. I know what works for me. If I try to operate on the way of the world I do not last long before flaming out and crashing.

The natural outdoors, or my little piece of it is still too bright and hot for me.
A covered patio helps somewhat but mostly I am on the inside of the sliding door.
Last year I noticed that my retired neighbour, the same one I subjected to my sleep yelling, has beautified her tiny postage stamp yard into a perfectly groomed tiny bit of paradise complete with visting hummingbirds. I stood on my stool and gaped in awe.

Being neither able nor interested in devoting time to have the same degree of groomed beauty on my side, I settled for getting feeders. It was fun to cheat a little bit by hanging one from the large red Italian lamp my brother gifted me with. The lamp is very close to the sliding door. I turn my head a quarter turn and see this tiny wonder of nature drawing the sugar water up through it's long beak. The feeder farther away gets traffic too but it is alot more fun to watch the closer one.

A little nature up close revives the tired soul.
Perhaps I should put another feeder up.

--------- *

Happiness is ....

I am delighted to tell you my dear Blogspot space that I am the proud owner of a brand new HPa1324n.

God bless Staples and their loverly deals.

*kiss kiss Staples*


Years later, he told ya so

For years my friends thought I was a one-woman doomsday sayer.
I had graduated from books like "The Late Great Planet Earth" by Hal Lindsay to "The Enchanted Loom" by Robert Jastrow. Jastrow made more sense to me than Lindsay.

Not to mention he was correct.
What people smirked at in 1983 is reality in 2006.

One of my favourite quotes from Jastrow is:
'For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries. (Robert Jastrow)'

I know it is our doom but I just CAN'T unplug, Mr. Jastrow sir.