Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Penalties and Politics

This week is nearly over and I'm so glad. It had just been horrible. I'm exhausted. I don't even know what day it is! Someone leaving the office said, "Have a nice holiday weekend!"

I looked at them like they were crazy and said, "What holiday?" Then was so relived when someone said Labor Day. Three day weekend!

I have about four or five hearings tomorrow afternoon. I hate this part of the job. I've had to drop people from the program because reporting violations that resulted in over payments. Understand I have no problem with the person has deliberately committed fraud, like the woman who made $700 a week and we paid all her rent for months because she didn't report her income. She owes the government $3700. I hope she gets fired. Someone else needed that help.

However, there are some folks who just make a mistake and forget. We can tell the difference. And we usually work with them. Not this time. You see, our moronic leaders have graciously sent money to Egypt and Syria and Palestine while cutting the budgets of every American housing program in the country. Meaning Americans are going to be homeless in favor of terrorist controlled countries.

The end result of all that is that we are terminating as many from the housing program as we can in as short a time as possible. I sent out 15 withdrawal letters telling those people I was taking away their assistance as of 08/31. Sunday for you voters. Three of those people have small children and I knew they simply forgot. They made a mistake, their first one. One of them is severely ADD and can't even fill out her paperwork without help. She sobbed and begged to be allowed to remain on the program. We are in a short fall (NO MONEY). There is no grace period. Nothing that will allow me to put her on probation and set up repayment arrangements. Her debt? $92. I asked twice if I could make an exception in a couple of cases. The answer was no. If we paid too much rent, they had to go.

We are sending billions to a bunch of people who will cut off our heads.

I am so happy to say I did not vote for that bunch of Washington clowns. And the idiocy of a voting populace who can't recognize what is happening is just beyond my tolerance. Do not even go there with me. I'm not interested in your justification of the raping of this country. I can only pray that the coming election will fix something. I believe it is too late. We've sold our souls ad I won't be surprised if in less than three years this country will be under a socialist or communist rule with most of our rights suspended. Come back and tell me I'm wrong in 2016. I'll print a retraction. I doubt you'll be able to because government attempts to control the press and internet is already underway. Just watch the biased and repressive media reports. Socialist takeovers always begin with limiting press and suppression of diverse political discourse.

Study the Nazi take over of Germany, beginning with Hitler's bid for election. Learn from it. Get acquainted with it. You'll know it when you see it... unless you're stupid.

On top of that, I can't walk for a few days. My shins are not good, nor are my feet.

My RA Doctor wants me to take Metheltrixate on top of the Plaquanil! She took xrays of my hands and I have erosions in my the joints of my hands. Still, no. The side effects of these medicines are already causing hearing loss, potentially can blind me, and reduced my immune system so I get sick more often. I have mouth sores from lowered immunity and have to use salt water to rinse my mouth twice a day to keep them in check. Metheltrixate causes hair loss and I don't even know what else. I don't suppose joint deformity is any worse than all these combined. If I can keep the pain in check I'll deal with it.

And that is what the week has done to my attitude and mood. I'm headed for bed before I say something I'm regret tomorrow.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Long Week, Short Weekend

My goodness it has been a while, a whole week, in fact. Work has been a beast and all I've done is come home, walk and sit and watch British mysteries. I've was simply brain dead by the time I got home each night. I crocheted a lot.

On Tuesday, some intellectually challenged soul decided to mail letters to 1600 participants to tell them if we found them not reporting income we would be dropping them and if they had any unreported income they should come in and submit the attached withdrawal form. Imagine a program with elderly, handicapped, and intellectually stunted people as well as those who have a reasonable intelligence. What do you think happened? Back to back calls for two day and God knows what Monday will bring. It was horrendous.

I have been walking roughly a mile and a half now, if you've been watching on my Facebook and G+ pages. This morning it took me 45 minutes. I dawdled a bit. I've shot several videos about my walks. Really walking in an old cemetery is awesome. I've learned a lot of things about cemeteries, tombstones, symbols of death, and social status. It just has continued to surprise and entertain me.

Today was my local writer's group meeting. We had a really good time I think. We had a writing exercise that worked out quite well. I brought three old photos that I found online and we had to choose one to write about. I chose two of them, which was cheating a bit. Everyone did very well with their story and hearing the different perspectives was really interesting. Everyone saw something different.

Here's the photo I choose:

Here's the story that came with it.

Harry and Maude

Harry smiled across the table at Maude as she told him about her shopping trip the day before. He hated shopping but Maude loved it and he loved hearing her talk, about anything, the price of eggs, the spoiled milk in the baby's bottle, the weather.

“I tell you, Maude, you should not go into that market alone. I don't trust those men with the funny hats. They're bound to be up to no good.” Winnie moved a glass and brushed crumbs off the table. “Harry, you should go with her.”

“Nonsense, sweetheart. Maude can charm the birds from the trees. She's perfectly fine on her own. Besides, I had to take that paperwork down to the Judge. He's been out of town for weeks.”

Maude sat silent, smiling at Harry. Beneath e the table she stretched and rubbed his leg with her foot. He blushed and moved his leg. “I think I wouldn't have got much shopping done if Harry had been along, Mother. He's far too much of a distraction for me.”

“Hush child.” Harry chuckled and winked at her.

Winnie got up and began to clear the table. “Well, I'm still not convinced a fellow who wears a turban and long skirts is to be trusted. They have most unpleasant faces and I'm sure they're just waiting to drag decent women into an alley.”

“Mama, do be quiet.” Maude leaned forward and glared. “The servants will hear you.”

“Don't care if they do.” She picked up her tray and started for the kitchen. “Uncivilized heathens, gadding about in the streets. Makes me terribly uncomfortable.”

She left them and silence lay thick at the mist that had rolled in from the mountains. The sun slanted across the balcony, casting harsh shadows. Branches from a nearby tree shaded Harry's face and he frowned. “It can be dangerous, Maude. You should take someone out with you. I didn't know you intended to go on your own.”

Her laughter dance out onto the air and his heart seemed to speed up. “Darling, I am perfectly fine. No one is going to hurt me.”

“That woman three weeks ago...”

“Was in a terrible part of town, Harry. She should have known better than to go there. I'm sure she must have gotten lost.”

“It was bad, Maude. I spoke with the constable.”

She rose and moved around the table, leaned down to kiss his cheek. “I'm not going walking in the back alleys of the bazaar, Harry. I promise. Beside, who'd bother the wife of the ambassador's son?”

He watched her go into the house and then turned to stare out at the forest a dozen feet away. He didn't want to answer that.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Weary Walk

I've done so many videos and gotten out of sequence posting them. Thank goodness Blogger allows me to say when a post is date.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Saturday Surprises

Amazing Saturday. I got up at 8:30 to very minimal pain. Yay! I walked over a mile at the cemetery around 10 a.m. in just over half an hour.

Afterward, I went to Sonic and got onion rings and a drink, picked up Sarah and brought her to her dad and then went shopping and bought... yarn. Got something I want to make. I'm still working on Sarah's sweater. I went to Bath and Bodyworks. They had a buy 3, get 3 free. If you've ever been there, you know that's a bargain. Smells like heaven, too. And so will I tonight.

After all that, I came home. Dave, Sarah and I went to supper at Captain D's and had fish. Sarah loves fish. She now likes clams, too, so I had to share them with her. I don't mind. I'm so happy she likes fish I'd give her my whole plate if she asked. It is the one food I can be sure she'll eat and eat enough to insure she's full. I suppose I should start making it a lot more. Wouldn't hurt us either. Sometimes she'll eat tuna fish salad but not often.

I'm so thankful for a really good day! I was walking this morning and about halfway through my walk I just felt so blessed to have that moment of peace and virtually no pain. I almost had to stop in the middle of that cemetery and praise God for it. I didn't stop but I did do some praising as I walked. I did not look to see if any dead rose but as good as I felt in that moment, it wouldn't have surprised me. The effect that walking there has on me is a bit confusing to me. I do not understand why I enjoy walking.

This is a rather long video and very shaky in places. But I had a really good time doing it, as you will probably be able to tell.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Expect the Unexpected... Especially Here

It started as a lovely Sunday morning. We went to church this morning. Sarah went with us. During her Sunday school class, she stepped on the hem of her sundress and ripped the shoulder straps right out of her dress! They duct taped her until class was over. We made a pit stop after church to Walgreen's and got safety pins. Anyone notice that the modern safety pin is basically junk? Really. Those things won't hold anything for long. I can remember real ones that a magnet would pick up and if you ever crushed the little head... that thing was never coming undone. The ones I used today were not as strong as paperclips. How does that happen? I mean, is it more important to hold that stack of paper together than it is to hold up a dress? Oh... sorry... in the current fashionless society, probably so.

I was going to church but about the time I told Sarah to get ready she got sick and vomited up her lunch. She was complaining of a headache and her stomach hurting but I didn't really connect it. Becca says she has acid reflux. She sent some medicine and I've given that to her.She's dying to eat now. She didn't really eat much lunch so it probably is a good thing.

I'm disappointed that we didn't go to church. Dave could go but he doesn't. I've given up on a lot of things. I have no cure for blindness. No it wasn't because Sarah is sick. He wasn't going anyway.

I have a pot roast in the kitchen and I'm going to have roast beef sandwich for supper. I prepared it for lunch but we went out instead as Sarah was with us. She doesn't like roast beef. As it turned out that whole idea was a wash. We'd have saved money just coming home.

Obviously the unexpected is the norm around here. Still roast beef sandwiches sound good. Then a hot shower and writing. I'm going to look for some good preaching online so I can at least get my soul fed.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Grave Contemplations

It is a warm cloudy day. I woke this morning around 8 a.m. and got up, ate breakfast, got Sarah up, fed her and we went for a walk in the cemetery. I'm getting to the point that I look forward to that walk and that's strange for me. I'm not a walker and never was but as I walked today, I realized I like walking there. It is a beautiful place with an atmosphere of peace.

O.k. call me strange. You have to be there I guess. It is so quiet, other than traffic on Hwy 41 that runs N to S of the cemetery but you forget the traffic and don't really hear it. Today there wasn't a soul around but me and Sarah.

And the dead people, as Sarah says. Probably more than a thousand of them lie there. I always tell her they won't bother us. I told her there are only boxes of bones now, that the dead people had gone back to God. It appears she is beginning to grasp that and acknowledged that they aren't really dead but she seems still think in terms that "the dead people are there." Must be a hard concept to grasp but with every walk she accompanies me on, I sense her adapting, little by little, to the idea that the graveyard is not a scary place and death is not a bad thing, only inevitable and that beyond it, there is more that is better. I think that for children, death seems to be an end and humans naturally fear being nonexistent. Yes, we do. Many adapt to the idea but as children, we're still in a natural state, uncorrupted by adult ideals. That concept of death is not natural to children.

 Today we talked about how lovely it would be to have a picnic under the trees. She said, "Under those spooky trees over there?" It was grove of closely spaced trees at the far side of our walk. I looked and it was dark under those trees. I could see how, at six, in a park of dead people, they would appear spooky. "That is just a grove of old trees and it is really pretty. We could picnic there but I'd rather have a picnic over near Pawpaw's grave."

"I bet he'd want a sandwich."

"I think he's probably having dinner with God but I think he'd like for us to have a picnic near him."

"He could spend time with us. But I bet he'd like a bite of that sandwich."

"I bet he'd just like to spend time with us. He loved being with you."

Eventually, she'll grasp it and when she meets death, in whatever form, maybe she will be better able to deal with it than I am. I never learned that and the reality of death was terrifying when it stepped into my bedroom on a dark winter night. It still is.

The walk was done and we left to get her mom and take her by the bank. In the process, Becca had locked herself out of her apartment. So we spent an hour trying to get that resolved. Eventually, I left her on the steps waiting for someone to come unlock her doors. We had a nice chat during that time. I still love my daughter-in-law, well, my ex-daughter-in-law. I hope, for her and for Sarah, she'll do well and find her purpose. It may not include my son, but maybe it never did. We all take wrong turns now and then but the real trick is finding a path that will help us become better at who we were meant to be. If it was a wrong turn, I'm so thankful for the petite, blond bombshell that exploded into my life. And I'm thankful for the woman who has become like my daughter.

Today, pain is relative to what I'm doing. I'm truly thankful for that. At the moment, it is minor aches and pains when I get up or down. I'm trying once again, to eat less of what ails me. Inflammatory foods that tend to be the things I love. For days now I've been focusing on fruits, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, apples and oranges. I need Bing Cherries but they are hard to come by here. Of course, the citrus is considered inflammatory but I don't eat much. My real weakness is orange juice, which I could drink gallons of if it liked me. I've stuck with one in the mornings before work several days this week.

I bought cereal and put the fruit in it. Cereal is another inflammatory food, as is bread, rice, pasta, and any sugar but again, a cup of cereal is probably not going to hurt me. Much. Oh, and onion rings.... I'm still having flings with them. I don't think the onions are an issue but the fact that they are fired probably is. I've managed to stop using artificial sweeteners in my coffee. I buy liquid creamer from Kroger. It has sugar but the amount I use is minimal and only once a day. I've not taken the Doxepin in over a week either. My sleep hasn't suffered... if I'd go to bed at a reasonable time! And I'm now walking more. So we will see how this all plays out over time. My knees and hips do not care for the walk at all but I push forward, focusing instead on the scenery around me.

I'm writing and because I'm not as foggy at the moment, I'm more consistent with the time I give it. Writing 30 days in a row sets up a habit and it is actually harder to stop than keep it up. Speaking of which, I have to go and write now. I've got a couple of people saying I have to finish the Camp story and I agree. I still have no title. Very annoying, that. I suppose it will come to me. If you haven't read it and want to, the link is above. Feel free to give your comments. I will only leave it open until I finish it. I should set a goal for that or for closing it. Maybe October 31st. NaNoWriMo starts November 1st.

On contemplation, this is the most positive post I've done in ages. It would be nice if they could all sound like this. Of course, the paths we walk can't always been smooth and straight. Sometimes they wend themselves through flower-filled meadows, sometimes through gravestone-filled cemeteries. I guess learning to see beauty in the gravestones is the challenge.