Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Make- Over

I had been thinking about it for a while... 

Wally and I really went through a tough time in January and personal hygiene is a big problem when you are permanently mobile. It did not take long for us to deteriorate... skin, hair, feet... oh pretty much everything. 

Things started going better and we got a place to hang out hats, but it still seemed as if it took a while for the grubbiness to wash off... 

I needed a make-over...

As I looked over at my man and his fuzzy hair and stringy mustache, I figured he needed one too... 

"I need to color my hair and give it a cut," I told him, "and you need a cut too... and actually...." I was thinking coloring his hair and mustache might be a pick-me-up for him too... 

We headed out to the drugstore where we found haircolor for 2.50 a box and I picked out darker colors, ones that were more suited to Wally. We looked at the Grecian formula for beards and mustaches... 15 bucks? I don't think so... but geez... it sure would be nice...

Now you have to understand that when Wally and I are together we're like a couple of little kids...

We don't really have any clothes we can afford to ruin with hair dye so we opted to do this make-over au natural, which made us giggle to start with! 

So, he did my hair as we laughed the whole time and I did his (with the same bottle of color) as we laughed even more and then he came up with the idea of using an old toothbrush to apply it to his mustache. Ummm... My first thought was that he'd end up poisoned and it probably wouldn't work anyway. Before I knew it he'd already applied it! Okayyyyyyy.... so we wait... 

Getting rinsed was easy here as our sink has a sprayer. Oh yes... two kids can have fun with a sprayer! Ha! 

I was amazed to see that the color actually took on Wally's mustache. It worked! It also tamed his hair so it was much easier to trim. I did my bangs and then we stood back to look at our transformations.....

Yeah... Our two dollar and fifty cent make-over worked out pretty well!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

No Fear

I'm in kind of an odd state of mind I suppose... I think I'm confused...  maybe... or perhaps this is what clarity is like.

I spent last night in a fevered state of pain with my wrist... oh just everything hurting... pain means you're alive... sweating... I had no fear. I knew it would pass. It would end as all things do. I could kind of hear myself moan... then I dozed again... sleep means no more pain... 

The sun came up... but it's cold enough to snow in mid April.... hmmm... 

One thing that's happened to me after going through our mobile life in January is... how can I put it?... Fear has diminished in my life.. diminished?...isn't the right word... it has been extinguished. 

Life has been going on. Wally and I have been happy together. Work has been steady.

Then I found out that the plant is shuttering for a week during Easter and all that hoppy stuff. No work for a week... man I'm gonna be scrambling for eggs... I can't go for a week without work.  

Life's been pretty weird for me to adjust to as my daughter has made her break from me. 

I haven't known what to think... then I heard from her. She sent me a friend request on Facebook and then after a few days I got her email. It wasn't a good one. 

Ruh Roh Elroy... here comes the brutal truth... from a mother that  is now hardened and has no fear. 

*Sigh*  There are some days I wish I'd never even bothered... I wish I'd never bothered to go get her from Florida and put myself through the panic of leaving Tony here on his own and put Wally through the trip there with me and then back here to make sure Tony was okay... not to mention I made sure I put her father through absolute hell through the whole thing. I wish I'd never bothered to work two and three jobs to pay for sports physicals, uniforms and violin rentals that were not  appreciated then and not remembered today.  Yeah I guess I can just wish in one hand and P**P in the other, I know which one will fill up first.

In the end it all means nothing to her and nothing to me.... anymore... time for me to forget it.   

Well, it's all just too bad as she's placed several conditions on us having a relationship. I must stop drinking. (will my drug test results from work do? I am tested quite frequently) She could ask Tony. Heck I work 12 hour shifts... (Why does she think I'm just like Kay? I am NOTHING like Kay.) Yeah, okay. She wants me to go to AA with her and Kay. And Kay must be a part of my life. "It just has to be a three way communication"... she says. 

Uh huh... Well? You know what? 

There are no conditions placed upon love. None... well except when it comes to me being loved.. obviously. This is nothing new for me really, I'm thinking of Jake... I'd love you if... you did this... you did that.... oh... if you were someone else.... haha!!! 

I'm fine with going to AA with Dani. But not WITH Kay. I don't ever want to see Kay again. I'm also really NOT FINE with Dani insisting that Kay and I communicate as a condition of us continuing a relationship. 

I tried before. Kay treated me like I'm a doormat. I'm done. 

I don't want anything to do with Kay.

I'm not happy with my daughter thinking that it's okay to place restrictions upon my access of her attention. 

I'm just sayin'....  I won't play this game.

At this point I clearly know how important I am to my daughter. She has made that quite clear. 

I don't do drama.

My tears don't fall fast. 

It's all okay. She wants to see me for her birthday? Pluuuuuullleeeeeeeze....Wtf! She sure as heck didn't want to see me before! Why Now?  She's suddenly decided that she loves me and misses me? I don't buy that.  Uncle already. Enough.
This is crap.

I'm taking another path.  

I believe in love and I have NO fear.... 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Facing Reality

Letting go of my daughter has been a process.... It's been miserable as I've had to face the truth... Truth that others see but I just have not been able to get a glimmer of as I'm blinded by love.

I actually opened up and spoke with a young woman at work about what's going on.

This woman is like half my age, married but has no kids. She's very unusual and I like her a lot... maybe that's why I just started blabbering about Dani. I told her that my youngest and last child had moved out and that I was very upset about it.

"Are you kidding me? You should be rejoicing!" she told me.

A blank stare came from me. I didn't get it.

"Yeah, I guess," I said, "But she's only 17, she's not ready yet!" (I explained that she's 16 and she'll be 17 in 2 weeks so, crap, she's going to be 17)

She looked at me like my head just fell off. "Kim, she's 17. She's grown... really...where were you when you were 17?" she asked.

When I was 17?  I had graduated high school and had made arrangements for some college. I moved out... from Lakeland Florida to Houston Texas, I got a job. I returned to Florida for school, but as I was going to school and working there I found that couldn't swing my tuition to continue so I returned to Texas where I could easily work for good wages again and that's when I began being a baker and a cake decorator.

The days are much different now... for me and my daughter.

I watched when everything went down with Jake. I honestly felt bad for the man at times. If he sent her a note  she'd cry. If he called, she'd cry. If he sent a card and didn't enclose a note she'd cry. If he did enclose a note she'd cry. I did not matter. The man could do nothing right. She asked me to ask him to stop contacting her, and I did...

Now I am speared on the end of that stick.

I must expect the same for me... but I'm going to refuse to play this game.

Right as my life was falling apart and I lost my home I found myself being attacked concerning medical care of my daughter. Now that I'm calm I see how ridiculous it was. She had physicals to participate in sports, she had vaccines, she had to in order to attend school. She's had eyeglasses and contact lens.

Still, the accusations made me freak out.

I've been down a long hard road with Dani and quite frankly at this point I'm ready to take another path.

She's been very good at getting what she wants and I'm sure she'll be fine...

As she thinks I have failed her and put her through a year of hell... Well, she doesn't want to know how I see it. For me it wasn't just a year or two.

I asked very little of her compared to most kids... very, very little compared to what was expected of me when I was her age.

She failed me too.

I went through many years of hell with her, while she flat out lied to my face. She started stealing years ago, starting with a scooter, then a bike, and I ate up her excuses and got her out of trouble. The stealing did not stop... and I turned a blind eye because she was my baby girl and I was busy pretending that I had this great life that I didn't really have... It was all okay. She couldn't really be stealing. Not MY kid. I didn't raise her that way.

I don't know where this came from. I thought I taught my kids that it's wrong to take anything that does not belong to you. But Dani just never seemed to understand. She doesn't seem to feel bad for taking things... but she does feel bad for getting caught. I'm really not so sure that her arrest for shoplifting will stop her from stealing again in the future.

I have spent most of my life making excuses and sugar-coating everything.  As that was my habit for many years, it has also taken many years to tear those fake defenses apart and be real.

I went through a lot to go get her from Florida and bring her back here to live with us. I had to deal with doctors and lawyers and everyone involved had to make a sacrifice for her. Don't get me wrong here, I was glad to have her. It was what I wanted. But I went through hell and so did everyone else involved... and it wasn't so peachy keen after that with her. She scared us a lot, with "cutting" and with an imaginary boyfriend online, and never enjoying anything with us.

We did trips to Seattle and she wouldn't go with us. We had birthday plans for her and she didn't show up. We had holiday dinners and she didn't come home.

So here we go... then I can't find work, have no money, cannot do a damn holiday and I'M a butthead.

It has been a one way street with my daughter and I. As I have wanted nothing more than her being with me, she has rejected me consistently. I was so glad that Wally could be an in-between for us. What she had to say to me she could relay through Wally.

Well, isn't that just all warm and fuzzy?

Her arrest in the park? Doing the wild thing in public, completely disgusted me. The thing that bothered me the most was that it was so casual. She will argue with me... oh he was a former boyfriend... uh huh... she had no serious feelings for that boy.... that was cold....  and it makes me feel sick.

I just don't understand it.

I'm not perfect by any means. I've been a Mom for 20 years with kids in my home and that has been my life. I've supported them, I've taught them, I've laughed with them and I've cried with them.Thick and thin, we went through it.. Feast and famine, we went through that too.

Wally opened the curtains this morning... There's just a beautiful view of the water. The gulls are calling and out fishing for clams. It's cold outside but I have to smile anyway.

Friday, April 1, 2011

All About Granola Bars

I miss my daughter. I love her. I wonder if I will ever see her smile again... I mean while she is looking at me. For now I have no contact. I know she is in pain, from her tonsils. I want to be there for her. I guess she does not want me there.

I had a long week of work. The 12 hour shifts can be killer. I fit in here I think. These are all hard working people like me. It is quite a mix of people.

I have actually worked out there off and on for about 3 years now but as a temp.

When I got the "scheduled temp" position it kind of changed my world there. Suddenly the faces that I knew well and had worked with over the years saw me too. Instead of walking through the hallway with everyone ignoring me, now they smile, wave, kid with me, and call me by name.

I am still... just ...a... temp.... but it is different now.

The company has hit a slump right now. They say it happens every year. Production pretty much stopped except for on the barline where I am. We make granola and rice bars.

They cancelled any other temps coming in and were just offering the hours to company workers and the scheduled temps. I was offered an extra day so I took it. I put my hand up first. I want to work. They gave it to me.

So I have worked... I had 12 hour shifts Monday thru Thursday. Wednesday I did come home for 5 hours because we were down... then I went back to complete the shift. Once we got up and running... we were running... and running hard.

I've gotten rather good at "throwing bars" .... there are two moving conveyor belts in front of you. The one closest to you has bars on it. (packaged granola or rice bars) The one furthest from you has boxed off areas that the bars are to go into. The bars must be standing on edge sideways to fit into the boxes correctly.

Your job batman, is to grab up 6 bars off of the conveyor and slap them on edge into the other conveyors slots correctly.

In the beginning it was really hard to do. The bars are coming at you 300 per minute, there are bars everywhere. It seems like so many and it runs super fast, so it can make you freak out. Sometimes they are really close together and hard to pick up. Sometimes they are oily from vegetable oil.

You know if you are in the front position you must pick up most of the bars. You must be accurate too, the bars must go on their edge, otherwise the carton machine will jam. If you aren't accurate you may as well not bother.

The person behind you picks up what you've missed and works in WIP (work-in-progress, it's just bars that have fallen off the belt at the end because they were not picked up or because a machine down the line was not working earlier so it's just bars that were run off the line and boxed... we work them back in)

So you must be fast and accurate... Did I say that before? It is stressed. I just dug in and said to myself, I can do this. I've always been good with my hands, I'm fast, I can do this. 

It is a matter of muscle memory for the most part. You do literally "throw" the bars. You pick up three in each hand, slap them together and "throw" them into the slot. That is the fastest way. I've found that using my thumbs helps them to remain straight.

Now I can pick up and throw 6 bars per second. (Yeah buddy that's fast) I just can't do it on a regular pace yet. After about two or three hours I get tired. I start to miss. Bars fly out or go in a crumpled mess.

Some of these other gals are much faster than I am. They have been doing it for years. But I was still rather put out when I took the second position, and this gal in the first position picked up and threw every single bar coming down the line. Wtf!

I had no WIP to work in and she was leaving  me no bars to pick up... A lot of her bars didn't go in right so I fixed them as they went by... Then I filled the boxes for the carton machine a couple of times and basically stood there being pissed off for a while.

There was absolutely no reason for her to go 120 thousand mile per hour when she had a second down there to pick up what she missed (me) .... but no... she picked up and threw every... single.. bar. Even though a lot of the throws were bad.

I guess she was trying to teach me something... Oh and I learned....

She did that for about a half hour and then walked off with no warning leaving the entire line to me, by myself, while I was on the end and needed to be at the front at that point...


It turned out okay because today I worked on her shift and got a chance to show her what I can do. She was working as an operator. I started throwing bars as fast as I could.... best I can do right now is pick up damn near everything, I miss some, one, three or six bars per throw,  but hardly any of my throws need to be fixed.

The carton operator also recognized me from working with me before and commented, "Wow! You're fast!'"

It made me feel a bit better. People must think well of you for you to stay here...