Sunday, September 24, 2017

Golden Anniversary

Today, my parents celebrate 50 years of marriage.  Yes, they waited 11 years to have me.  I don't know why.  My mother often talks about an old woman who asked her why she didn't have children yet.  The old woman asked her if she "has a problem".  My mother responded, "My problem is nosy old women like you."  If anyone told my mother something like that today in reference to being old, she'd have a cow.

They got married on Sunday, September 24th, 1967 at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox church in Chicago.  The church still exists, but the building that my parents were married in was eventually sold to the nation of Islam to be turned into a mosque.  So many from the church were so riled up.  It was actually kind of funny to me.  Guys- that's what happens when you stop going to church because it has become a "bad neighborhood".

My mom and dad don't know how to live with each other, and they don't know how to live without each other.  They made several plans and canceled all of them out of indecision.  All we're doing now is just going to church.  I asked snarkily, "Do you want to renew your vows?"  My mom said, "NO!"  Then after a few minutes, she said in the Orthodox wedding, you don't take vows.  The vows are assumed when you get engaged.  You are just "told" to honor and obey and given "the sacrament of marriage" as if it was communion or some kind of last rights.  I said, oh.  Well then, I wouldn't know that, since I didn't get married in the church.  My ex husband was raised in a Christian denomination (Pentecostal) that's on the shit list of Christian denominations you aren't allowed to marry.

I'm starting to wonder how mad they'll be if I stay home, or at least ask to be dropped off at the beach.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Loosing a friend to MLM

This isn't the first time this has happened. But it's the first time it's happened with a female friend that I felt very close to  

She and I met through an online class and chat all the time about everything. She's about a year and a week younger than me. She's really been a godsend. 

However, recently she bought into a multi level marketing, or pyramid scheme. Seems like now, it's just about trying to get me to join and not anything else. 

We used to talk all the time, and now that's all she can talk about. It feels like a loss to me. I hope that's normal. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Book scrapbook



If I sound disjointed in this video, it's because I was trying to talk and read/skim at the same time.



Another new baby



No secret that I have an extremely large family, most of which are very fertile lately.  But, we just learned of this peanut's coming arrival in March.  This baby ^ marks a milestone for us- it means that both of my parents are officially the last of all of their siblings to become great-grandparents.  My mom is by far the youngest of 9, and my dad is the middle child.  This peanut will be my dad's younger brother's first great grandchild.  I made a huge deal about announcing Melissa's pregnancy to my father.  I think for a minute he thought I was going to tell him I was pregnant (It's a miracle!).  But I went through the whole family tree, and yeah- all of my parents' siblings are officially great-grandparents now.  I'd say that's a good Golden Anniversary treat, to know you are the last on both sides.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Human



I love this song and the video.  It's the perfect song for the Sandwich Generation.  I'm not lying.



Saturday, September 16, 2017

Viola Goals



Annalise wants to be this good at the viola.  For now, it's just screech, screech, but I believe in my daughter.





Thursday, September 14, 2017

Meeting cousins for the first time

My cousin Ray, who lives in New Port Richie, Florida, came here several weeks ago to help people file claims.  He arrived before we knew Irma would hit Florida, and when it became obvious that Irma would hit Florida, he flew his wife of 4 years and his grandchildren from his first marriage here to be with him.  Chase is 11 (14 months older than Annalise) and Mackenzie is 13.  Their mother had to stay in Florida, because she is a nurse and probable working around the clock.  I have kept in touch with their mom through social media through the years.  She's only a few days short of 1 year older than me and just turned 40.  We grew up together.
Mackenzie looks like her clone.  She also has that teenager "eye rolling" problem.  I just hope my child doesn't get that.  My mother kept calling her by her mother's name, and every time she did, major eye roll.  I kind of laughed.  It's not my mom's fault, she's old and Mackenzie looks just like her mother!

The good news is that Chase and Annalise were really hitting it off socializing. They play some of the same games and added each other on the games.  I checked Anna's phone this morning, and found Chase's profile.  One of the waitresses apparently had her own child with her at the restaurant and she sat with Anna and Chase, talking and laughing.  Me and my cousin and his wife and my mom looked up and Ray said, "Did we gain another kid?" Lol.

He also told me about an incident regarding his niece who is also my second cousin.  Her name is Elyse.  She apparently had a job training Dolphins for the Navy (I don't know what dolphins do for the navy, but my dad told me later that they send them out with bombs to bomb other ships.)   Elyse had been this dolphin's trainer since he was a baby, so he trusts her.  Then one day, dolphin jabs Elyse so hard in the side that she broke a few ribs.  Everyone was baffled as to why he'd do that.  Then they saw that there was a giant alligator in the water.  The dolphin was trying to save Elyse by pushing her out of the way of the alligator.

Poor thing.  He saved her life, and now he's about to go be bombed to death.  There is light and dark in the world, no matter how you spin it.

Meeting the kids for the first time was awesome.  This is why I want a road trip so badly, just to drive everywhere and see everyone.

My mother was very close with Ray's first wife, the kids' grandmother.  When we were saying our goodbyes, my mom hugged Ray's new wife and told her, "If he's not good to you, I'll cut his balls off".  That's just how my mom is, being from inner city Chicago.  She doesn't exactly have "nice girl" traits.  And you can't teach an old dog.

Ray's wife responded, "You have nothing to worry about."  My mom told me later that Ray has definitely changed for the better and his new wife probably had a lot to do with that.  She's a sweet lady.

I really want a huge road trip.  

Monday, September 11, 2017

Second first day of school

Annalise went back to school today after the schools being closed for hurricane Harvey. The school basically has to start completely over. I don't know what they'll do with the holidays, but I doubt it'll be good.

Now, we deal with hurricane Irma. I say "we, because I have an aunt and uncle and 10 cousins in Florida. I also have an aunt and 6 cousins and a childhood bff with 8 children of her own in Georgia.  I've heard from all of them, and they're all safe.

I paypaled some of them has money to get out. My advice would not be to donate to the Red Cross, but to find a direct source to help out. The Red Cross is receiving a ton of monetary donations, but we just heard today that the mayor proposed a property tax hike to pay for storm damage. The Red Cross needs to make their financials available to the public right now.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Complete and Utter Disappointment

I gave the biological mother of my child advocate kids the benefit of the doubt the entire time I have been working with her children. I believed with my whole heart that she had been clean for 3 years. But, she was drug tested in July at the court hearing. Her urine sample and hair follicle showed more than enough levels of meth to show that she's been using both short term and long term, including within 3 days of the court hearing. She let me down, and she let her children down. I should have believed my mother when she said drug addicts always lie. Her oldest son will have to be removed from her care again, and I know this kid well enough to know he'll run away when that happens. I'm thankful, however, that her younger child is in a good foster home that wants him long term. I visited them both immediately after the storm, as soon as the roads were clear. This is because some lobbyists for children in Austin were pressuring CPS in Houston to check on all kids under their watch to "make sure" there was no damage. What?  The storm affected everyone in Houston. It's not fair to disrupt any family or foster family for being victims of a hurricane. CPS would not word it that way, though. They'd word it "safety hazard" or "neglect".

Being on meth, though, is a different story.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Well this is ironic

Someone posted this on Facebook.  I had to think for a minute.  Actually, the job I had at age 21 really was 21 babies.  It was the child abuse shelter in Arizona.  So I couldn't really answer. Of course, I got to go home at the end of the day, but 8 hours seemed like 24.  Having kids is a blessing, but anyone with 21 of them has got to have a lot of problems.  So, I'd say the job, but only if I could know then what I know now.

DACA- My uncle would have been a dreamer

My grandparents' first child was 1 year old when they brought him here to the USA from Greece.  Three years later, he died from an unknown cause.  He would have been about 19 or 20 when my mother was born, which would make him in his 90's now.  He would have been a dreamer, and I reminded my mom of that.  If my grandfather saw this country now, he'd roll in his grave.  He thought it was the best country in the world.
My mom used to be one to say, "This is America, speak English" until it became news that people speaking Greek in public and were harassed and told the same thing.  My mother speaks Greek in public all the time.  She has not made such a comment since.  We are all from somewhere else, unless you spit in that ancestry DNA tube and it comes back 100% Native American.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Annalise's newest favorite song

Do your kids ever play the same song over and over again until it gets old?  In fact, do you ever do that?  I think we all do.

I don't know how my daughter discovered this song, but it's beautiful.  It jogs memories for me.  When I was in high school, we did Peter Pan in the theater department, and I played a lost boy.  (Girls were boys, too).  In fact, Peter Pan was played by a girl.  In live performances, he almost always is. I told Annalise all these stories, and she was quite intreagued.



The girl who played Peter Pan had very long blonde hair.  She brushed it into a pony tail to have the ponytail cut off on stage in front of the whole cast, who was sitting in the theater seats before she went to the salon to have it done "boy style".  When that ponytail came off, let me tell you almost every girl in there screamed.  When I told the story to my daughter, she shrieked too.  I guess to a young girl, it really is terrifying.  Annalise asked me since my role was of a "lost boy", did I have to cut my hair too?  I said, no, the lost boys who were played by girls just pinned it up into hats.  Lost boys were considered "extras", while Peter Pan is the main character, which is why Peter Pan had to actually cut hers.



We sang a song, too in our main scene.  It wasn't a sad one like this one, and although I remember some of the lyrics being sad, the song itself was upbeat and happy.



Another memory- the flying contraptions.  Peter Pan, Wendy, Michael, and John fly in the play.  At my high school, they were attached to these flying contraptions that they didn't even try to not make obvious.  During breaks during practice, other non-flying cast members took turns getting on them and doing weird maneuvers.  I never did that, though.  I was too scared!



Sunday, September 3, 2017

Houston smells like dirty mop water and other happenings

I've been able to get out yesterday morning and this morning to do Uber eats- only 5 deliveries each day.  There are still some high water spots where the bayous overflowed, but they are easily avoidable.  Uber Eats is busy, because people are still afraid to leave their homes.  The restaurants are open, but most are very slow.
Annalise was supposed to go back to school on Tuesday after Labor Day, but they postponed it until 9/11.  A lot of the schools were used as shelters, and are probable trashed.  Other schools had flood damage.  There go most of the holidays.

Annalise and I both have our days and nights mixed up.  I have been doing uber eats for only a couple hours in the mornings, then she and I will both fall asleep about noon, wake up at 8, and be up most of the night.  Something needs to be done about this before she goes back to school.  I have no idea what.

Some things in the news piqued my interest lately.  First of all, there was the police brutality against the head nurse of a burn unit in Salt Lake City.  Wow, that was insane!  Really, how hard would it have been to obtain a search and seizure warrant?  It was never hard for CPS workers, and cops have a lot more authority.  Was it because the patient was not the cause of the accident, but the victim?  The person who caused the crash died on impact.  He had been fleeing police and driving on the wrong side of the road.  Were the cops trying to get a blood sample from this unconscious man to see if he had illicit substances so they could charge him with the death?  I hope not, since the dead guy was on the wrong side of the road!  And of course, this time it had to be a white woman as the victim of police brutality so that people can make "tables turned" snarky comments.  Just in time for Pumpkin Spice Latte season.

Then there was Feminist Author Germaine Greer calling Princess Diana a profane name on the 20th anniversary of her death.  Does she have no shame?  I should have known better.  No second wave feminist does.  Then Germaine has the balls to say that Diana was not a good roll model for young girls because she had relationships with men.  That's why I believe my lifelong relationship shaming had much to do with feminism.  Excuse me Germaine, but when I was a child in the 80's, I saw Diana on TV doing so much humanitarian work.  She even visited orphanages and held babies who had AIDS.  Back then, that was unheard of.  No one touched babies and young children in orphanages with AIDS, not even their own caregivers.  Having worked with children half of my life, I believe I have stared the devil down more than once.  Buddhists call it "Inviting your own Mara in for tea".  Diana was a role model for me as a young girl, but in Germaine's eyes, I'm probably not a "real" woman anyway.  I knew even then that I would be called to do something of the sort, but didn't know really until I was about 19.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/finding-true-refuge/201508/inviting-mara-tea?amp

Friday, September 1, 2017

Who remembers?

When I was a teenager, I couldn't wait for this newer version of "A Little Princess" to come out, since I had loved the book as a child.  I also loved the older film versions of it.  I can remember "rewinding" (hahaha) this scene so many times.  Each time, I could very much feel myself receiving his blessing.