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Friday, November 15, 2019

High school senior tag

Think about your SENIOR year in High School. If you can remember that long ago. The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be! I always love seeing others answers and learning about people I didn’t know when I was younger, how they were when they were younger! It doesn’t take 5 minutes, let’s have some fun!! 😊

Class of: 1996

1. Did you marry your high school sweetheart? I didn’t start dating until after I graduated.

2. Type of car? 1989 Ford Tiempo

3. What kind of job? Daycare

5. Were you popular? No

6. Were you in choir/band: no

7. Ever get suspended? No.  I got Saturday detention, which I actually liked.

8. If you could would you go back?   Yes.  I’d drop out and homeschool and get a diploma or GED two years early.

9. Still talk to the person that you went to prom with? I didn’t go.
10. Did you skip school? Yes

11. Go to all the football games?  I only went to a few.  I remember standing behind a fence and watching a cheerleader sob while cheering and laughing at her.

12. Favorite Subject?   Creative Writing

13. Do you still have your yearbook? Yes

14. Did you follow the "original" career path?  I don’t even remember what it was, so no

15. Do you still have your senior ring?   Didn’t get one

16. Favorite teacher(s)?   None

17. What was your style?   Semi-goth

18. Favorite shoes?  Lace up boots

19. Favorite thing to eat for lunch? Taco Bell
20. Favorite band? I don’t remember clearly, probably evanescence
21. High school hair? Just past shoulders, occasionally cherry red or witchy black
22.How old when you graduated? 17 years, 10 months
23. Who do you think will play along and fill out? Whom ever wants to!

(Copy & paste to your status, change the answers, post!)

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Another ancestry DNA update 🧬

If you have ever done a DNA test with ancestry, you might want to log in.  They’ve “fine tuned their science” now.  When I first did this test, I came out Greek, Middle eastern, Hispanic and Jewish, even though I was raised as 100% Greek.  Then they fine tuned it, and the Hispanic and Jewish went away.  I then became more Middle Eastern and 33% Italian.  This update is more consistent with what I originally believed myself to be.  I must say, it was cool to be all those other cultures while it lasted.  I then had my daughter tested.  She had pretty much exactly half of my stuff, plus British, Irish, and Scandinavian from her dad.  It also confirmed with 100% accuracy that (Maury voice) *I am the mother*.  I knew that they could tell that with DNA, but it was cool to open up her familial matches and find myself as the first listing.  Needless to say, this feature has opened up cans of worms for many people—- including me.  
I discovered two first cousins that were placed for adoption at birth in 1957 and 1961.  Being in contact with them has caused some people in my family to be upset with me and stop talking to me.  Those losses still sting, but I was super grateful to get to know them.  

Present for me

I had a counseling appointment today and spent an hour before it at half price books.  They were selling these kits that included a figure to look at while sketching and a book on sketching a person in different poses.  On my sidebar of this blog, where I have My YouTube University, I linked to a video of Nick Verreos teaching how to draw the fashion figure.  The instructions he gives, though, are for a strait figure who is not posing.  One of my main reasons why I never made my own designs was because I thought I couldn’t sketch.  I think an important part of being a self-teacher is believing that you can do something that you want to do.  In my opinion, it’s the opinion of the school system that one is incapable of doing something they feel drawn to do.  In Nick’s video, he shows a wide, clear ruler.  I have one of those rulers.  As soon as I find it, I’m going to start practicing this.  

My YouTube University

My YouTube University has been amended again.  I added Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and a handful of videos from the channel “Fashion School with Nick Verreos.”  Nick is so fabulous.  I took some sewing classes when I was in my late teens, and wow.  All of the things I had trouble with, he teaches so well.  I added his videos on how to draw a fashion figure (croquis), how to pin drape, and how to draft a pattern from that drape.
I may also add some videos from the channel “For Your CNA”, which is about getting ready for the skills portion of the CNA exam.  I watched it a lot when I took my CNA class in 2015.  It helped much more than the class.
I had some trouble yesterday that no skills training could have prepared me for.  I needed to change the woman I was caring for, but no matter how gentle I was, she screamed in pain and quickly told me to stop.  Now this woman is in her final days. I’m definitely going to stop if she tells me to.  Her power of attorney friend has stated that she gets no pain medication, which is extremely suspect to me.  I shouldn’t wonder if she wants to take it, but I do.  The last time I had a situation like this was with the previous owner of my cat Chu, whom I adopted after her death.  Her children wanted her to give her a dose of morphine before being turned.  That worked.  This woman has morphine, but her POA says no morphine.  I smell BS.

But anyway.  The woman is light enough to where I got away with changing her without turning her.  I was able to push the diaper and pad underneath her far enough so that I could get it from the other side and fasten.  They don’t teach you that in school. But she was comfortable.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019


I’m working this evening, and I have nothing to do while my client sleeps.  I thought I would get through the hour or so by blogging some tidbits.  Keeping this blog has been cathartic.
The other day, I was reminiscing to the artwork I had on display in my old apartment.  My favorite was in the bathroom.  It was “The Lady of Shallot” by John William Waterhouse.  I liked it because it matched so well with my hunter green shower curtain and bathroom rugs.  I had hunter green towels, too.

I was researching what plants fell into these categories so that I can prepare for gardening in the spring.  I do not feel like dealing with anymore trees, and I already have an olive tree, so I’m only going to make 5 or 6 layers.  6 layers if by the tree (the olive tree would be the sixth), and five layers if not near it.  

My 9 and a half year old stepdaughter was introducing her dad and I to another little girl and referred to us as her parents.  Her younger brother has asked to call me mom before, because he is too young to remember his biological mother.  She never has, though.  When my stepson asked this question, I told him the first thing that came out of my mouth- that it would probably make his biological mother sad.  Luckily, he forgot about it, and they both continued to call me by my first name without a second thought.  It’s hard for me to deal with these terms with them, because if my own daughter’s stepmother was being called “mom” or “my parents” when with my ex, I would be devastated.  I do know logically that the situations are completely different.  I can’t help thinking of their mom viewing me as evil as I view my own kids stepmother. 

I drove through downtown today, to find that the “Be Someone” overpass has been messed with again.  This overpass and it’s graffiti are quite the landmark here.  I appreciate the sentiment, but I believe everyone already “is someone”.  Back in the 90’s, “being someone” meant getting a college degree, as if not having one made you nobody.  That’s not true, IMO.  What does the phrase mean to everyone else? 

Lastly, it’s a selfie of me and my cat. 

Pre-work anxiety

I have a problem on days when I start work at later times of the day.  Yesterday I started at noon, and there were a few other times when I started at 2:00 pm.  On mornings that I have late start days, I get more and more anxiety as it gets closer to my start time.  I think I have a deep rooted fear of being late.  It’s easy to turn on Uber eats and do a few deliveries in the morning when I have several hours left until I start work, but if I only have 1-2 hours until I start, I’m usually afraid that “something will happen” that will cause me to be late. As a result, I often waste time, and a lot of times I waste gas, because I drive all around until it’s a reasonable time to start heading to a client home. Sometimes, chilling in the parked car in any random parking lot helps, but there are two instances when it’s not helpful:  when it’s unbearably hot outside and when I have to pee.  I’m afraid of showing up either a minute early or a minute late, even though this doesn’t matter.
Does anyone have good ideas to combat the anxiety that comes with having 1-2 hours left before I’m supposed to be at work?

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Hot Flashes During an Arctic Blast

If I could sum up today, the title of this post would do justice.  The good thing about hot flashes in weather like this is that all you have to do is open the window.  If no one else is around, there will be no one to tell you you’re crazy.  It also helps confirm that it’s really hot flashes for hormonal changes and not due to the heat outside.  It has been a hot summer this year, and if I ever did complain of flashes, I’d get told I was too young and it’s just due to the weather.  Thank goodness, today it’s not the weather.
We found out that Dad’s PCP has to order PT in order for him to go to the nursing home.  His PC will do it, though.  The place where he is going to has really bad online reviews, but my boss told me that he has never heard anything bad about it.
Speaking of the boss, he now wants me to start working daily with a woman who has been given no more than 30 days to live.  You may think that’s horrific, but I am looking forward to it.  The woman is at peace, so that’s good.  The only thing that bothers me is that she has no family.  She only wants us there so she doesn’t have to be alone. It makes me so glad that I am both a mother and a mother-figure to three great kids. They will still be with me when I’m old. Knock on wood.
I see this opportunity as a chance to be sort of a “midwife to the other side.”  I heard a hospice nurse call herself that once and liked it.  I was upset when some of my clients from last year passed away, but I think all in all, there is nothing to be afraid of in dying after you have had a long and full life.  Being with people as they’re dying gives you a peace about your own mortality.  My mom actually said, “What if she dies when you’re with her?”  I think the idea creeps her out.  I just said, I would have to call the hospice nurse, that’s all.

Dad is home

But he’s still not well.  He’s extremely incapacitated.  I think the shingles caused him to loose considerably more eye sight, and he’s extremely afraid to do anything. My mom is doing everything for him (yes this is what I do for a living, but my dad would never be ok with me giving him personal care.) And my mom, what an awesome CNA she would be.  Not!  She’s cursing him out, telling him to shut up and quit his bitching, etc.  we are now working on getting him approved for 20 days at a nursing facility.  He will be re-evaluated on day 21.  I think this is for the best.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Migraine Monday

Today I felt horrible.  I couldn’t shake this headache to save my life.  All the BC powder in the world couldn’t help me.  I stayed in my bed for the better part of the morning.  I contemplated the midlife crisis I had about five years ago.  Normally when you think of a midlife crisis you picture a man buying an expensive car and having an affair.  Women get them too, and I was surprised to get mine as early as 36 years old.
At that point in my life, I changed careers from working with children to working with the elderly.  At the time, I called it a “break”, but I honestly don’t think I’ll ever go back to working with children.  I don’t have the energy anymore.  I think I realized this over the weekend when my client was paid a visit by her 1 year old great grandson.  He totally lifted her spirits, but God I can’t imagine having to run after 10 of him.  His grandmother brought him into the room and asked him “Who’s that?”  The little boy got a
Huge smile and said, “Grandma Great!”  How adorable. I think back to when I was working at the children’s museum-  how on earth did I deal with hundreds of children’s at once for six years straight?  I have no idea.  When it was Chinese New Years, we had the dragon dancing in the main hallway. Almost all of the 100+ toddlers who watched it were screaming in fear.  It was quite a scene.  I’m not sure how many were crying out of genuine fear of the dragon, and how many were crying because everyone else was.  Mom snickered when she heard this story and said I also cried in fear of the dragon dance on Chinese New Years.  She said it like the horrific crying scene at the museum was my punishment.  Sorry Mom.
I did not buy a “Ferrari” when I had my midlife crisis, but I did buy a Chevy Malibu.  It is a much newer car than I’m used to driving.  I also seem to have changed my work ethic.  I do not put as much self worth into my performance on the job, because I know I can always do the gig economy to fall back on.  Not that it’s a reason to slack, it’s not, but there’s not as much fear like there used to be.
I think all in all, I would not want to go back to the person I was before my crisis. I like who it has made me become.

DIY Duct Tape Mannequin | Under $20 Dress Form!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

A fun Sunday

Today I cracked open my new Vogue sewing book from 1975.  It explained how to take detailed measurements, and my daughter allowed me to take and record all of them on her.  Then, I got an idea.  I have come across many many videos on how to make a custom dress form out of duct tape.  Just about every YouTube seamstress has one.  I asked Evita if she’d like one made specifically for her.  She jumped at the opportunity, even though it’s a pretty lengthy process.  We didn’t do it today.  We want to wait until we find a few rolls of funky colored duct tape.
We went for a walk, and I picked up the pace a bit in order to get some cardio.  Then I rolled my bad ankle.  It was terrible, and I limped home.  I took 600 mg of Advil and elevated it.  It feels a lot better now, and I can walk on it.  I wonder when it’s going to be completely healed.  Hopefully soon.

Nothing else happened today that’s really worth recording.  I struggled a lot with panic attacks again, but staying busy helped.  The walk also helped, until I reinjured my foot. I think that in spite of the panic attacks, my life is a lot better than it was just a couple years ago.  Finances and job situations are better, my daughter and I have a good relationship, and I do not have anhedonia like I did starting in 2014.  At first, I called this blog “my debt journey,” but I would rather from here on out call it just my journey.  The finances aren’t the bane of my existence.  They are the result of choices I’ve made both good and bad.

Queso in the Crock Pot

I accidentally called my orange, 1970’s-esque crock pot a “crack pot”.  All three of the kids burst out laughing at me.  I felt like saying, How do you kids know what a crack pot is enough to laugh at a slip up like that?  Oh well.
We decided to make queso in my new slow cooker.  Here’s how:
Take a block of velveta, (the off brand works fine, too), a can of tomatoes with cchili peppers,, and a can of chili.  Stick it all in the crock pot for two hours on high.  Mix every now and then.  I used to make this a lot when I was single the first time.  I haven’t had a slow cooker in forever!

Free Stuff

Yesterday, I worked with a woman who really just wanted to sleep all day.  Her kids were packing up her house to move her to assisted living.  I helped them wrap glassware in the kitchen and box it for goodwill.  During the process, her daughter randomly asked me if I wanted such and such thing.  I either said yes thanks or no thanks, I have one.  When I was admiring the woman’s library, her daughter also told me to pick out a book and take it.  I got the Vogue sewing book from 1975.