Tuesday, November 27, 2012

After Thanksgiving already!

It's hard to believe this month has passed so quickly. For the most part things are still fairly status quo from my post earlier in the month, except that it has gotten colder, Eric is just about done with his final term, has rotated back on to overnights, and had his last vacation of 2012 this past week. Skye has a nasty bug again and is coughing, hacking, and congested like nobody's business. Poor baby is miserable! And I am plugging away at my project list and starting to figure out Christmas gift stuff.

I finished the quilt top of my Baltimore album quilt, started back in 1993. I had some issues with the borders, but found the original left over fabric from the background and decided to just piece in a square rather than go with my original concept of having mite red borders. It looks good, and I will use that space to do some fancy hand quilting. After the new year I will get the batt and backing fabric for it so it and be quilted (by me, by hand),hopefully finishing it in 2013, making it a 20 year project.

Liisa sent me her 32g Zune to replace my 8g one as it was having issues. It is amazing how much space I now have on it, and I don't know that I will ever fully fill it. I don't like that it's heavier and larger than my old, slim one (about the size if my cell phone) because I am forever knocking it off my sewing table and disconnecting the headphones (my old one would just dangle until I could grab it), but it works beautifully, is less touchy to being bumped, and I can put more books and music on it so the risks of boredom are small. There will always be something fun I can listen to!

Zack found a new job, working at a Mexican restaurant (sorta like a chipotle) and we are thankful. Liisa has been put up for a "Diamond Award" by her hotel and she is very excited about this honor. she will be interviewed by members of the Bloomington city council, along with all the other nominees, and the winner will be announced at a gala in February. She is also a strong candidate for associate of the year, which will be determined sometime in the next couple of months. She is not only realizing again how much she loves the hotel industry; she also recognizes the skills, talents, and knowledge she brings to her job and is again ready to be in a management position where she can implement these things. My hope is her bosses see this too and help her to move up the ranks.

Dan too now has a job, part time, at a local convenience store. He's only worked a couple of shifts, but it is a job. Patrick is still looking for something, and we are really encouraging him to consider school for spring semester. Aurora continues to be busy with school and bowling. In some regards I envy her traveling with the team and going places.it's such a wonderful experience. Brie is in the process of figuring out her final semester as well (she will have her AA degree) and where she will go from there. Some of my future plans remain dependent on what she needs help and support with, so it will be good when things are figured out.

Reimond continues to plug away with his senior year. We are all focused on seeing him graduate, but there continue to be trials that need to be dealt with related to his various struggles. We are working together with the school to be sure he has what he needs for support, but it's a frustrating process at times. Tony too is dealing with some frustration related to his knee and his surgery. The government hasn't paid for some of his bills and he can't get the physical therapy he needs until that happens. Bureaucracy is a wonder thing... He is working because he has to--bills need paying and family needs supporting, but he continues to be in pain and have range of motion issues. Andrea and the kids are good, and the kids really like school, although Justin was sent to the principal's office a couple of weeks ago for "drawing a butt" (he drew a stick figure with two round butt cheeks). He was told that was not appropriate subject matter for drawing at school, and was shaken up by the incident, but as Andrea said, how can you discipline a child sincerely when you can't stop giggling over the issue? He didn't mean anything bad by it, and I laughed too as she told me about it.

My mom is doing well, although she is grieving over the passing of her dear friend Helen, who died last week at the age of 99, just a few months shy of her 100th birthday. Mom is taking it in stride and says the sadness is for herself, and not Helen. For 18 years my mom visited her at least once and usually twice a week (on Saturdays to play bingo, and on Sundays after church--she drove Helen to church until she was too frail to attend any more) so now mom is wondering what she will do instead. I'm sure she'll find something as she cannot just sit. Hard to believe she is going to be 75 in December. And if dad were still here he'd be 83! I wonder sometimes what he'd have been like as an old man. He sure would be proud of the family and all the kids!

Anyhow, that is the news from around here. My coffee cup is empty and I need to get going on some more projects.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thoughts on this first week of November

Aurora's birthday was yesterday: her last one as a teenager.  We went out to Olive Garden for dinner last night as a family and it was one of the nicest family dinners we have had in a long while: no drama, no strife, no tension; just laughter, enjoyment of being together, and a really nice meal.  It was wonderful!

The election is over and now it's time to sift through the results, determine what needs to be done, and buckle down.  Needless to say our household wasn't happy with the result, and I feel strongly a number of things need to be changed in how we do our democratic system (I think we need to return to the popular vote and get rid of the electoral process; it's outmoded and outdated); I also believe we need to get rid of "projected results" and reporting on winners of states based on small percentages of returns as polls close.  I would like to see a moratorium on results until after all the polls have closed in all states, and the majority of votes have been counted before winners/losers and results are broadcast because it is so frustrating to watch political dissections taking place before all votes have been counted, and this focus on "key states" makes it feel like who cares what the "other voters think"--if you carry states x, y, and z, then you can't lose!  Perhaps the winner should be determined by how many states he or she carries (again, popular vote in each state) versus "electoral votes".  I am so frustrated with our current system, and have been for years!  (My blog, my opinion, take it or leave it, but let's not fight).  Aurora, Rei, Dan, and Patrick all voted in their first presidential election this year and I am proud of them for contributing to the process, flawed as it is.

We have had a nasty flu bug floating around our house this past month or better.  Brie came down with it first, then a week later Skye had it; I came down with it as she was mending, followed by Dan (who probably came down with it shortly after me), then Eric, about 7 days after me.  Seems like there is a long incubation period before symptoms manifest, but as Eric starts to feel better no one else seems to be getting sick (thank God!).  It starts as a lingering, annoying sore throat, moves into a cough and chest congestion/headache, followed by head congestion, and can include lower intestinal issues/stomach cramps as well, along with chills, body aches, and a general sense of having been hit by a truck.  I still have lingering cough/sinus symptoms that won't go away but otherwise I am feeling better, and Eric ended up taking Sunday off sick after plugging through working Thursday thru Saturday (he had 3 overtime shifts in that two week period!) 

The teen population continues life status quo: school, and/or job hunting.  It's getting a bit frustrating that the boys haven't found jobs, especially with the holiday/seasonal employment season heating up, and at least Dan and Patrick having no restrictions on availability (Aurora and Rei have school and other commitments to work around). Brie is planning out her last semester at SWIC for her AA degree, and her schedule will somewhat dictate what my availabilities are (based on Skye). We (and they) are settling into a routine of sorts that fluctuates from week to week, sometimes day to day.  It's working though.

Prayers are needed for Liisa and Zack, especially heading into the holiday season.  Zack was fired for being late to work yesterday because he was voting.  He had asked his boss if he could go to vote after the noon rush was done (was scheduled open to close) and was told the polls open at 7 and to go before work, so he did, but had to wait in line for his turn, thus making him late for work.  An hour after he got there he was told he was fired.  They are now back-pedaling on the reason for the termination (because it is illegal to fire someone for voting), but the crux of the matter is that there have been no complaints of unsatisfactory job performance, no warnings, write-ups of other complaints, and (at least at the wedding, which his company catered) it seemed he was doing amazing there and they loved him!  Regardless, bills need to be paid, children need to be supported, and they need two jobs.

Prayers are also needed for a dear friend of mine who continues to face an uncertain future due to unemployment, the lack of a safe residence come the end of the month, and health issues.  Life has been extremely hard for her these last 4 years, and for whatever their reasons are, her family appears to have abandoned her to the whims of fate rather than standing with her in her time of need.  I don't understand it, because it isn't how I was raised, but my heart hurts for her and I pray things turn around for her.

Today is another of those grey, gloomy days that make me want to turn on lots of lights, burn a candle or two, and make things feel bright and homey inside.  We gave in and turned on the heat (to 68 degrees) because with so many of us being sick the house was taking on a decided chill when things dropped to the upper 30's outside.  I think I am gonna stay away from the television or radio today and just listen to my audiobooks and music on my Zune, and maybe look at the election results/numbers online later on.  I think I just need a day of prayerful reflection, of counting my blessings, and focusing on the things I can take care of for today.