Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankful for the buffer zone!

Yesterday I spent a lovely Thanksgiving with my Brother and my Sister in law's family...SANE people.  It was nice.  And I got to thinking that when you grow up in a situation you don't really realize how messed up things are until you're able to experience what normal really is.

I mean I always felt resentment as a teenager when my mom had to work on Thanksgiving and she would have me prepare the Thanksgiving dinner, she would come home and make the gravy and then take credit for making the entire meal when our other relatives came over.  Yes, I'm sure they all knew that my mom couldn't have possibly really have made the meal since they knew she was at work...It just really irked me that I did all the work and here she was taking the credit for it.

So when I went to Florida to visit mom, I went in knowing that she wanted to have a big dinner...and I knew that she can't really do all the heavy work anymore because of her COPD.  So really I would make the dinner, and I knew that she would try to take all the credit for the meal.  What I didn't know going in was that 1) mom doesn't have a dishwasher in this house (doesn't matter much as she would NEVER use it if she had uses too much water that she can't afford to pay for!) 
2)my step-dad does most of the dishes because my mom can't, he hates using the most of the dishes that we needed for the meal needed to be washed BEFORE I could cook anything with them. :p
3)mom wanted to use her good china for the meal!  To that I put my foot down.  Here it was bad enough that I was having to wash all the cooking dishes, there was NO WAY I was washing all the china.  In fact I managed to have dinner on Christmas print foam plates. :D  Not the greatest, but I didn't have to wash them.  Honestly I think my sister in law was relieved because other than her boys trying to poke holes in their plates, she didn't have to worry about them ruining the dishes.

I do have to say that Mom did try to make as much of the dinner as she could.  She made the beans almost entirely by herself, I just cut the onion and bacon.  She bought a pre-cooked ham that I just had to lift into the pan and make the glaze for it.  And she helped put the onions (that I chopped), flour, cheese and seasonings into the Mac & Cheese while I did the stirring.

However, she got after me for turning the heat up on the cheese sauce (to get it done faster) because it might lump up.  I shot back at her that I've been making this very cheese sauce for 20 some odd years and I have NEVER had it turn out lumpy! 

She also got after me for rinsing off the dishes before I washed them, because I was wasting water.  At that I almost went into my purse and tossed money at her.

She made snide remarks at me for taking a few minutes to check my email and see how my family was doing.

She made comments about weight frequently (note the menu above!)  She said my dog was overweight, she said her dog was overweight, she implied that my sister in law was overweight (she totally isn't and looks great!)

Yesterday after dinner I chatted with my sister in law about it...her mother also mentioned a few things too.  Yes we know that my mom has a very low self image and her comments are her way of making herself feel better by putting everyone else down.  I just wish that she could find a way to do it that wasn't so hurtful.

I've always felt that her separation from her mother and sister were the best thing for her in that she didn't have to subject herself to their continued bashing of her.  However, now I wonder if perhaps her living in her self pity over the situation is just making things worse.  She doesn't seem to have ever gotten over things.  She won't let it go.

Before I went on this trip, I had considered trying to fly mom out here for Christmas.  But after spending just over one day with her, I don't want her here.  I can't be around her, she just brings me down.

Funny, while I was there she asked me to get her something for Christmas...a rather expensive knick-knack.  I think she feels that if I were to get this for her, it wouldn't be such a burden because when she dies I would get the present back...however, I don't want this knick knack.  And I had already planned to get her something she needs for Christmas instead.

I think I'm going to stick with my original plan and not worry that she's disappointed.

And I'm going to thank God for our rather large buffer zone! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

My "vacation"

6:30 AM
wake up – shower, make coffee, check email, wake child
8:00 AM
leave for airport
9:00 AM
arrive at airport – head straight for security.  Small delay due to concealed creamer.
9:20 AM
arrive at gate – check with gate agent about moving seats.  She didn't think she could, but turns out she was able to do it just fine.
10:00 AM
board plane
10:30 AM
plane leaves for Florida – bought lunch on the plane for the first time…so not worth $9!
3:45 PM
arrive in Florida – Brother meets us at the gate.  SIL goes shopping with other SIL, we get car.
4:15 PM
leave airport – head to Brother’s hotel.  I watch nephews while Brother does some work.
6:15 PM
go to restaurant
7:30 PM
Grandma arrives – she was totally surprised to see us all there.  Mission accomplished!
10:30 PM
leave restaurant – I’m not really sure what time it was when we left, we were outside chatting.
arrive at Mom's – had to drive SIL & nephews to hotel room first and Mom’s about an hour away.
1:30 AM
go to bed – Mom had to catch up!

6:23 AM
wake up – I was surprised as Mom warned me that her dog might wake me at 4am.  Thanks for letting me sleep in Casey!  Mom had me set up her Christmas Village (btw: I hate Christmas Villages!), pack vacuum cleaner for me to take back with me, and help cook dinner. 
5:00 PM
call from SIL that they are an hour away.  Okay because we didn’t really expect them at 5.
6:20 PM
Brother & Family arrive, right when we expected them.
9:30 PM
or so, Brother & Family head to Cousin's glad that I didn’t go with them.
10:30 PM
head to bed to try to make up some sleep.
1:00 AM
wake up…so much for making up sleep!
3:00 AM
wake up… REALLY???
4:20 AM
wake up… OYE!  Prepare for Zombie day!
5:15 AM
should have left for airport…Mom not ready yet
5:20 AM
actually left for airport…sigh!
6:25 AM
arrive at airport… This trip should not have taken this long, but Mom was driving slow to save gas.
7:00 AM
arrive at gate… luckily check in and security went very fast.  I don’t know how I zipped through check in so fast…lady let me cut in line!
7:15 AM
board plane – in Economy Plus for this trip… nice! 
7:45 AM
plane leaves for Colorado - But they didn’t have the breakfast menu and were low on snacks too!  I just had coffee.
9:30 AM
arrive in Colorado – 20 minutes early!  SIL’s dad is there to pick her up, I had to get the vacuum cleaner and lug it to passenger pick-up
10:00 AM
arrive at passenger pick-up … note husband & daughter are about ½ way through Church service…so I read.
11:30 AM
Husband & daughter arrive to pick me up – we head to “lunch” at Mimi’s CafĂ©.  YUM!

Friday, November 18, 2011


So we're finally to the week that I'll travel to Florida for my Grandmother's birthday celebration.  so much to do, so much to do!!!

I am doing laundry today so that I can plan out my trip wardrobe and see what bag I need to pack for my trip.  I'm pretty sure at this point that I won't be needing to use any of our rolling carry on bags...I won't have that much stuff to take.  Hopefully my mother doesn't plan for me to take a bunch of stuff home with me like she did for my last trip.  Oye!

I went grocery shopping yesterday to buy food for DH & Darly to eat while I'm gone.  That was kinda weird as the one night Darly has rehearsal so she'll be eating dinner there and DH will have to fend for himself for dinner.  I didn't buy him anything special, but there will be his choice of left-overs, 2 frozen meals, 1 pantry meal or just going out for dinner.  I'm betting he has toast with peanut butter and honey on it instead.  @@

I'll be staying at my Mom's house.  But we get there pretty late in the evening which means no time to shop for my morning coffee.  So I've bought some powdered creamer to pack and take with me because my mom thinks my use of creamer is wrong.  sigh!  I hope the TSA doesn't give me a hard time about taking it with me.  Perhaps taking liquid creamer would have been easier if I just packed it with my shampoo?  We'll see.  Worst case I have to toss it, but I hope they let me mail it back home instead if I can't take it with me.

Mom is planning a big family dinner for the full day that I'll be there.  She wants to serve all the family favorites.  She can't cook the family favorites anymore so guess who gets to do that?  Oh well, I guess it is a small price to pay for free room and board, eh?  I'm just hoping that there will be vegetables.

I advised DH of Darly's schedule for while I'm gone... they're not coming with me by the way because Darly had rehearsals for her show.  Then I find out today that one of the days the location has changed.  Luckily DH has been to both locations plenty of times.  I'll advise him of it again, it is written down on the calendar and Darly knows where the rehearsals are.  I HOPE that they get it right when I'm not here.  I've also wrote down the start times with a 15 min buffer window as DH doesn't share my sense of timeliness and prefers to plan to be there with just enough time to be 5 min late.  It has taken me years to get over this and as I have he seems to have let up on this and lean more toward being on time.

There won't be internet service at my Mom's house.  So I'll only have Mobil Web on my phone.  Luckily that gets me email and Facebook, but it means I won't be able to do any work. :(  Luckily again the weekends are pretty easy going and I have my co-workers to help me out too...I will probably come home with nothing much to do.  Hummm I should find out about getting my other counters to help with the computer bookkeeping at Church too.  ???  It couldn't hurt to ask.

Weather is going to be interesting for this trip.  When I leave it will be nice here and I won't need a coat.  When I get there it looks to be HOT!  I could pack and wear shorts, but I won't subject the poor citizens of FL to that much whiteness.  And then when I return it is supposed to be downright COLD out.  So I've asked Darly to make sure that my coat is in the car when they pick me up.  I plan to leave it in the car before I go, but knowing DH he'll put it away for me.  nice guy!

When I return I have the joys of getting ready for Thanksgiving and Jury Duty.  I won't find out until the day before if I actually have to report...and I won't find out until I report how long the trial is supposed to be.  I would HOPE that we don't have to sit over Thanksgiving for this...but who knows.  I also hope that if I'm chosen for the jury that the trial is interesting.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Ode of Funky Teenager!

Scrooge is now over and we need to clean the costumes.  Dry Cleaning on some of the items would seem like the logical choice, but we don't have the budget for that.  So I've tried other ways to get rid of the smell...

My first attempt was to spray the pits of the stronger smelling items with Frebreeze and then hang them outside in the sun.  That worked well for about 75% of what I had...however, some of these items really STINK!

So next I tried tossing them in the dryer with that Dryelle stuff.  Didn't phase it.  perhaps I put too many items in the bag at a time?  I don't know. 

Looking on line I've found some more first turning the garments inside out and then hitting them harder with the Frebreeze than I did the first time.
Another idea was to try rubbing alcohol or vinegar.
and another idea is to try the Dryelle again but only one garment at a time.

oh and I'll try washing some of the items with water anyway, because they don't seem as if they're as delicate as some of the other moms first thought.

Wish me luck.

oh and Darly & I are seriously considering handing out trial sized sticks of deodorant for the next show.  I wonder if some of the kids don't bother...and should!