Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Morning

Tim and I attend different churches nowadays. I wish that I could sit beside my husband in the pew, but I can't. My thinking doesn't fit his church, and he has never been able to stay awake through a sermon in my church, something that we discovered years ago when trying to decide on which church to attend.

My church begins earlier, and is just a few blocks away, so I'm out the door before he is, and because we linger in the mornings, I tend to cut it very close, timewise, because the church is so very close, distancewise.

Today, I was quite sorry about that because as I rushed to the Easter service, I saw a man, carefully raking a town park.

I've seen him before, and he is always alone. He is always carrying garden tools. His head is always down, as if he is carefully picking his path through our world. I've watched him for years, actually, and he has always been alone, although I did discover that he is an artist. I watched him nursing his hot coffee in a coffee house, drawing a picture. I wanted to talk to him then, but I did not want to intrude on his solitude.

When I saw him today, he was working carefully, sweeping, raking. I was in a rush to get into the church, and so I said a quick prayer as I rushed up the stairs to church, "Please God, let him be here when church is over."

Much to my delight, he was still there, sitting on a bench smoking a cigar, surveying the world through satisfied eyes. He studied me warily as I swept across the park straight for him.

I said, "I prayed that you'd still be here," and he responded comfortably, "Well, your prayers have been answered."

So we talked for 20 minutes, like old friends. He does what he does for the peace that he finds in doing it, he tells me. He tells me his views on God, and I am a bit surprised to find that our views are remarkably similar. He does not go to church, he says, because he finds that the people there judge him, and he believes that people should spend more time judging themselves. I was left without words there, because this is at the heart of my own belief system.

He does not want to be written about in the paper, because he likes his solitude. He is uncomfortable with recognition. He is a happy man, he tells me, most of the time, although when he spends too much time with people, he finds himself questioning himself.

As I listened to him talk, I said, "Gees. You remind me of John the Baptist. You are so full of Godly wisdom, but you walk a lonely path." He smiled. He reads the Bible every day, and he told me a story from the Bible, about Jesus being judged by the Sanhedrin. They asked Him if he was ordained by God, or by man. He responded, asking them whether they thought John the Baptist was ordained by God, or by man. They responded saying they did not know. Jesus did not answer their question.

I said, "Well, I'd guess the only reason they were asking him is because they wanted to judge his answer," to which my friend responded, "You are correct." We talked about leaps of faith, about saying, "Okay, God, I am trusting you," and then wandering off the beaten path.

Both of us have done that in a way. In a way, this man and I are kindred spirits. We sat in a park amidst the neat piles of debris he'd carefully swept into piles, and we talked about God.

I hated to go, but I gave him a hug, and I said, "I'll be looking for you. If you don't mind, I'd like to visit with you again.

He smiled gently, and he said, "I'd like that."

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Tim takes advantage

Tim and I get along pretty well, but we do not see eye to eye on everything. He's been eyeballing a house. I voted no. This house is next to a stream. It is also a pretty nice house with 'good bones'. It is not old like the others. It is a pretty new house with some interesting upgrades. When you look at the whole foreclosure thing, the first question you ponder is why exactly was this house allowed to go back to the bank? This is a house that probably would have sold, in my opinion. Instead, it sat empty for a couple years and went back to the bank.

Makes you wonder why, like I said.
What you do not see about this place is that a picturesque little stream runs right next to it. I told Tim, "I believe that there is a septic problem, and that replacing it became an issue because of that stream. I'll bet there are restrictions that will make replacing it very expensive, and this is why the place was allowed to be taken back by the bank.

So Tim thought this over, decided I was right, and decided not to buy. Except that his mind kept coming back to this house. He decided to bid lower than the bank wanted, citing our concerns. I was not happy about this. I was unhappy, because I thought we'd settled this already.
We debated the situation, again. 
I suggested looking for another place we both agreed on. He decided I was right.
For another couple weeks.
Then he began thinking on it again.
We argued again.
Long story short, I said, "Okay. Whenever you feel so strongly on something that you just can't let it go, it turns out to be the right thing. I'm going to trust that you have prayed hard on this."
He said he had.
I told him to do what he was going to do.
He did.
This is the latest house.
Tim is very excited.
I am not so excited, but acknowledge that I gave in, so I have no one to blame but myself.

We stopped in to a store to get some dishsoap and some eggs to fill for an Easter egg hunt tomorrow. Coming out of the store, I had a sudden urge for some wine, so I stopped in at the liquor store and grabbed a bottle.
Tim doesn't drink, so he was making faces. I said, "Oh, hush. Women who have been drinking are easier to take advantage of," and cocked my eyebrow at him in a suggestive way.

He laughed hard at that.

Then the schmuck said, "Start drinking because there's a house I want to talk to you about."

And then he laughed and laughed and laughed.

Friday, March 29, 2013

William visits.

I first saw them being used with developmentally disabled adults, and they love these things.
I couldn't wait to try them out with William. I spent about $5 for this batch. They say that these will last up to four years.

He adored them. We just put a couple old shower curtains on the floor and went to it.
That's mildew.
(That's why we don't use those old shower curtains anymore.)
Ree's not the only one who keeps things real.
He played for a good long time and then began to get a little fretful.
I thought he was going to take a nap.
Silly me.
This is the card board tube that our new livingroom rug came wrapped around.
(If you look carefully, you'll get glimpses of that rug.)
 You put a ball or a small car in one end of that tube,
and it rolls out the other end
and shoots across the livingroom and into the library.
This is hysterically funny stuff when you are two.
...and requires a small boy to jump off the couch,
run across the livingroom and into the library,
greeting the buffalo and the deer every single time.
Bob's fairly easy to get along with.
He's heard, "Hi buff-lo!" a couple dozen times.
He just patiently responds with "Hi, William."
Buck's not so patient. You can see he's getting annoyed.
"Cripes. Is that little critter ever going to run out of steam?"
William's off the couch and on the move once more.
He's got taxidermy to greet and toys to collect.
He starts winding down. We read a story.
The idea of a monster in the bathtub doesn't interest him,
but William falls asleep anyway.

Thursday, March 28, 2013



I came home from work, with a bag full of Easter items for William. I dropped the bag on the table, did a few things. Changed clothes. Came out and checked the computer. Got the teensiest bit enmeshed in thread on facebook. My newspaper fired a woman for 'liking' something on facebook.

I talked to Tim on the phone, got the news that he bought another house, and then got ready for a nap. I'm going to church at 2 and staying until 4. We do a vigil, to commemorate Jesus' night in Gethsemane. The church will have people staying awake through the night. It's a good time to sit and think quietly, to pray, to be grateful, etc.

I have a lot to be grateful for. It wasn't me at work. I was NOT unprofessional, or untrainable, or stupid, or any of that. It sounds stupid, but upon the discovery, I ducked into a bathroom and almost cried from relief. I cannot even tell you how much better I feel.

So, like I said, I just kind of putzed around the house.

Anyhow, deep in thought about my remarkable day, I shlep back out to the kitchen to put something in the sink and discover that there is a brand new laundry basket sitting on my kitchen floor by the door. It was not there when I came home. Someone opened the door, set the basket on the floor, and left. While I was here. And I didn't notice.

I don't even need a laundry basket.


I tried to catch some fog. I mist.

When chemists die, they barium.

Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.

A soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

I know a guy who's addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop any time.

How does Moses make tea? Hebrews it.

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.

The girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I never met herbivore.

I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I can't put it down.

I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.

They told me I had type A blood, but it was a Type O.

A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

Why were the Indians here first? They had reservations.

Class trip to the Coca-Cola factory. I hope there's no pop quiz.

Energizer Bunny arrested: Charged with battery.

I didn't like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.

What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.

When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.

What does a clock do when it's hungry? It goes back four seconds.

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me!

Broken pencils are pointless.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Perfect Day

It was a great day today. I was working with a non-verbal client. Suddenly, I heard her eye controlled dynavox speak.

Her first words to me?

If you can believe it, it was "I love stories."

I looked into her brown eyes, and continued working as I related the story of William who went to church last Sunday with Grandma and discovered a foil wrapped bunny in his activity bag.

When I got to the recounting of how "CHOKLACK!" reverberated throughout the church and that his delight would not be silenced, her eyes grew wide with delight and her mouth burst open, and she laughed and laughed and laughed.

The moment was so perfectly beautiful that for a time, I was the one who could not speak.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


My junkmail runneth over. I get tons of stuff through yahoo. Women who call me 'bunny' and claim to be horny and want to chat with me right away. Same letter sent by scores of women with exotic sounding names.

There's another that came to me today entitled 'Hallo lad, how are you bearing up?'

There's the daily barrage of 'how to add inches PERMANENTLY', and 'how to make women want you'. Don't forget the viagra offers that come in 10 or so a day.

Sweet gosh all Friday! My name is Debby. Does that not mean ANYTHING????!!!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Little People

Today, working with a client, I heard staff talking about a man who was outside in the smoker's area. I could see him from the window. He had just been standing there for quite some time. Someone said that he was homeless, and that he has a place to sleep at night but during the day he had to leave.

Although the calendar tells us that it is spring, we'd gotten about six inches of very wet snow. I looked at this man, thin, with a white beard. Not doing anything, just standing there. I tried to imagine what it was like to be turned out into the elements every single day. We've really had quite a bit of snow in the last month. It cannot be pleasant outside in the cold and the wet, with no place to go.

When a couple smokers went out, he looked straight ahead, not making eye contact. When they went in, I saw him picking up their butts, and carefully putting them in his pocket. It made me feel a little sick to watch him.

I sometimes forget that there are small people in this world who struggle in ways that I cannot imagine.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Memories to keep

It's been a couple weeks since we've seen William. He seems to grown up suddenly. He went to church with me, and was really quite good. They have a nursery, but since it was a new place to him (and because I see him rarely) I just couldn't bring myself to take him there. I did not want him to be afraid.

I packed him an activity bag, with stickers, and paper, and crayons, a shape puzzle, and a few little snacks. He entertained himself quite nicely, and when he got tired, he climbed up on my lap. A couple times he spoke in his normal voice and I whispered back that this was 'a whispering time' which seemed to fascinate him. He whispered against my neck. It was all good, until he was looking through his little activity bag and found a tiny bunny wrapped in tin foil. He held it aloft and bellowed "Choclack!" I tried to shush him, but he was pretty excited and hollered it once or twice more just to be sure that I knew he'd found 'choclack'.

He is, after all, his granny's child, I guess.

We had a day of adventures, a big red bouncing ball, a hair cut, 'hotgogs' for lunch. We were walking up the middle of the mall, and he was holding my hand. We stopped to admire an Easter display, and I wondered aloud where grandpa had gotten off to. He squinched up his little face and said, in a very definate voice, "Gompa in car." It made me smile, that we were carrying on an actual conversation.

"No, I don't think so," I said, and we walked to the middle of the mall to stare down the concourse. "There he is!" I said, and William looked and, sure enough, there he was. He took off running to him. He got there and leaned against his leg as Tim reached down to ruffle his hair. Then William turned towards me and came running back, a smile as big as his face, his arms thrown wide and his head back.

Out of nowhere it came, hitting me hard. It will not be like this forever. Everything changes. And I dropped to my knees and threw my own arms wide and he ran into them giggling wildly. I wanted to save the moment forever.

I'm glad I know how to write.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Restore our funding!

The agency I work for is set to lose millions of dollars in state support due to budget cuts.

It's a hard thing. I see plenty of good that comes from my job, but because I am a practical and thrifty person, I see lots of ways that we could do it better, and cheaper. Because I am a taxpayer, I believe we have a responsibility to be wise with our spending.

The governor of New York has suggested that we cut some of our administrative costs. I think this is a valid point.

All employees have been urged to write a letter to their representative or the governor, to make their feelings known.

At one of the facilities I work at, a letter was created and taken to all the rooms and the employees were told to sign it. Everyone did, except for one woman. In listening to her defense, it sounds like we share similar views. If I had been cornered, I probably would have said the same thing she did, which amounted to "Hey, wait a minute. I don't sign anything I haven't read."

I felt badly for her. People were mad. "You don't even care enough to save our jobs?" Stuff like that. She tried to explain. She gave a very intelligent defense, talking about medicare cuts in other states, and the ramifications of those, but no one was listening, and as people stormed around her doing their jobs, she looked awkward and uncomfortable. I made an extra effort to be kind. My own experiences have taught me how important a kind word is. (And, although I have not written about them, people have been so very kind to me...I am loved)

It's an uncertain time for the agency and it will be interesting to see how it pans out. Someone put together a video which was delivered to the Governor's office in Albany. A number of clients were recorded, each of them saying, "Restore our funding!" It was fun to see the faces of people that I work with and that I care about deeply. My favorite was an enthusiastic woman who speaks very loudly. She looked at the camera and bellowed "Restore our bunny!"

Thursday, March 21, 2013

There's no business like snow business...

Today is the second day of spring, and I just looked out the window. It is snowing so hard that it looks like a thick fog.

I looked at the weather forcast, and they're calling for snow straight through March 26th.

I'm not whining.

That's why this will be a short post.

Because I'm not whining, not right this minute, but I feel a mighty big whine coming on.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Private party

My cold is on the down hill, but I am still sick. Now, Tim is sick as well, poor guy. Since he was sick, we got to spend a quiet and relaxing weekend, together. Every dark cloud has a silver lining.

Coming home from work yesterday, I saw a man holding a sign for $10.99 hair cuts at a new shop. It was raining and I'm sure that it wasn't comfortable. I felt kind of bad for him.

Until I saw his face.

He had a broad smile on his face and he waved his sign at people and he waved his hand enthusiastically. He looked like he was having his own private party on the street corner.

I found myself watching him in a wondering sort of a way. It was if he had some secret knowledge of something that I had no clue of.

I was shocked to discover that I was a little envious.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

I am a drug abuser.

Well, it's snowing here.


My cold returned in full force.


I took myself to the doctor's office, and I've got to say, the physician's assistant there is a piece of work. She is rude and short and sharp. She told me pointedly, "You're not getting an antibiotic."

Since I hadn't asked for one, she took me by surprise. I said, "Why not?"

She explained to me that most of this sort of thing was viral, and that antibiotics were for bacterial infections. She told me that viral illnesses clear up on their own.

I pointed out that after 22 days of this (thank goodness for blogs, I had looked it up), I thought that it had been given every chance to go away on its own, and had not done so. I also explained that I worked with a medically fragile population, and that my coughing was horrifying co-workers who were beginning to treat me as if I were irresponsible to come to work while sick.

She suggested that I try some of the many over the counter drugs available.


I'd been doing that right along. It hadn't worked. The cold was getting worse. The gagging cough had started to cause nausea. I could not lay down at night for the choking. My back still ached from the violence of the previous night's coughing. My voice was hoarse. My ears were clogged. My throat was sore. My old standby, the neti pot, was not working. The cold medication was not working. So I'd made a doctor's appointment.

I said, "You know, I understand the reasoning behind cutting back on antibiotic use, and I have no quarrel with it, but I'm sick, and I've been sick forever, and I am not getting better, I'm getting worse. You can see by my records that I'm not a person who runs to the doctor for every little sniffle."

She grabbed my records in an impatient way and says, "You were here last May. And you got antibiotics."

I looked at her.

She looked back at me accusingly. "Would that be correct?"

Me: "Well, I'm assuming so, if that's what the records say."

She looked at me triumphantly, as if she'd proven a valuable point. I was obviously an abuser of antibiotics. "Viral infections can go on for a while. I think that you are getting reinfected by the virus."

I looked at her in astonishment.

Here's a piece of trivia for you. Every time that someone gets a viral infection, they become immune to that infection. What that means is that each time you catch a cold, it's a slightly different cold. Viruses mutate and change, but this does not happen over night. Her point wasn't even valid.

In the end, she ungraciously told me that she was giving me a prescription for antibiotic and a cough syrup with codeine. I was a little surprised by that. Codeine is quite a powerful narcotic, and it just seems ironic to me that she'll argue to the death about an antibiotic, yet codeine is prescribed without second thought.

I felt stupid and foolish and over reactive, but today, 4 days later, I'm finally getting over the cough (didn't even need to take use any cough syrup yesterday, including the night dose of codeine laced syrup). I still have the cold symptoms but they are easing.

What I know for a fact is that if I go back after the antibiotics, it will prove this stubborn woman's point: I did not need them. If the cold is gone, she will say that it would have gone away anyhow. If the cold is still present, she will say the antibiotics were ineffective, just as she knew they would be.

I went to the pharmacy and discovered that she had only wired one prescription to them, and I had to wait for them to call the doctor, get that mess sorted out and fill the second prescription.

I waited with my clogged head, and my horrible cough. The pharmacist heard the cough, and she gave me a cough drop and said sympathetically, "That sounds just awful."

I agreed with her.

When my prescription was filled, they called me to the window by name, ahead of the people waiting in line, so that I could take my obviously sick self home with my drugs. Seems ironic that I got more kindness from the pharmacist than the physician's assistant.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I've been holed up with a rotten, rotten cold that turned into a rotten, rotten sinus thing, which turned in to a rotten, rotten cough that caused my head to feel as if it would explode. Not a fun time.

Yesterday, I drove home from work, and I had to take off my coat. It was too warm. And when the big fat rain drops began to splatter on the car, I realized that spring had sprung. I turned into the driveway and saw patches of snowdrops raising their heads. I listened for a moment to the birds.

I came into the house and curled up on the sofa, feeling miserable. I shuffled off to become one with my neti pot several times over the course of the night, and then came back to the sofa. I finally simply gave up and took a prescription painkiller for my head and shuffled off to bed.

This morning, I woke up early, and I lay in the dark. I realized that my head didn't hurt. I lay there for 20 minutes and did not cough. Not once. I'm up early, and now I am listening to the rain. Spring is sprung! Today I think that I'll be able to appreciate it properly. It has been a long, long winter!

Monday, March 11, 2013

For Mikey

We're awfully sorry, but it will get better. I promise.

P.S. We're serious about flying you and Mercy east. Please consider it. If now is not the right time, come in the summer.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Hacked again...

I really believe that the maker of Mucinex DM should be given a Nobel prize. Really.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Catching you up...

Commenters are going to notice that I have enabled comment moderation. I had to. More and more spam is getting through, which was annoying, but the spam is increasingly obscene. I'd had enough. So, sorry, folks, but it's how it is.

I had William overnight, and we had fun. Today we took some big rubber bands I'd been saving from a long line of punching balloons. I tied them over a tin box, with varying degrees of tightness, and he strummed away, happily, making 'moosic'. We colored and did a puzzle, and practiced counting. We watched Winnie the Pooh.

I did a double cardio in addition to the weight training today. I feel worn and weary, but in a good way.

I'm applying for jobs, and surprisingly, am finding things, including one job that I am excited about. It would be a challenge, but in an arena where I have been very successful before.

I have made up my mind to apply at the local steel mill as well. I figure that if I'm not meant to be a COTA, I'll wind up at the steel mill. I'm a hard worker. I understand hard work. I'd also be working with primarily men, and the thing about men is that if you just work hard, you've got their respect. When you work with women, there's all this other stuff that, to be honest, I don't understand.

I will be working at my present job full time for 6 weeks filling in for a girl while she's on maternity leave. After that, I'll return to my 13 hours a week. I'm hopeful by then that I'll know what my next step will be. It makes me very sad, because I love my job very much. Get huge personal satisfaction from doing it. But, like I said, where I wind up is where I'm meant to be. That's how I am going to look at it.

We had an unexpected offer. One of our tenants wants to buy one of our houses. It has three apartments. He will live in one, his ex-mother in law in another, and his wife and child in another. The child will always be home, and there will always be someone to be with her. It's an unusual situation, but how lovely for the child. I'm sure that it is difficult for the parents, but they are united by their love for this child, and Tim and I are so touched by this that we have agreed to sell.

So that's it really.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Could it be....


There on the horizon...

*squint eyes*

See it? Could it be what I think it is? A glimmer of hope?