A Window….Part 6

As life does, it’s rolling along. Things between my adult kids simmered down. Conversations were had and no relationships were damaged. On July 15, we will have lived 2 years in Portland, Oregon and it’s really had me reflecting. I’ve had waves of homesickness that have been hard to swallow. I’ve woken up in tears because I dreamed about my old house. I’ve been missing my friends a great deal. I still don’t feel totally settled here. I don’t know if it’s because we don’t own our own house yet and probably won’t for several more years….or maybe it’s because all the relationships I’ve been making are with people who live 35 minutes away from me and it’s hard to connect when we aren’t working together. But I’m working on that. I’m making the effort to drive over and spend time with my lovely new friends. I’m communicating with them outside of work, keeping up with what’s going on away from the cafe. It’s hard, but worth it.

What I’m Watching:

I just finished all 12 current seasons of The Real Housewives of Orange County. (pause) I know. Reality t.v. We’ve discussed this before. It’s my guilty pleasure. I’m looking forward to season 13 in 4 days. I know. I’m also watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. (pause) I know. Don’t roll your eyes. Everyone has a guilty pleasure…mine is rich bitches with 1st world problems and too much time on their hands. 😉

My husband and I are one episode away from finishing Lost in Space.

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Wow, this show gives me an enormous amount of anxiety, but wow, is it good. I never watched the original series growing up, but this one is worth a watch. Nothing like strong, intelligent women scientists kicking butt and taking names. Good female roll models. Lots of adventure and a super cool alien robot.

What I’m Reading:

I just started a new book series that could prove to be full of fantasy adventure, as well as a nice light read. It’s called The Invisible Library and it’s by Genevieve Cogman.

Cover image for The Invisible Library

There are 4 books in this series (so far?). I’ve only just started it, but it feels like a cross between Harry Potter and Doctor Who. Basically, the lead character, Irene, is a librarian spy for a secret organization and it’s her job to collect rare books from lots of different realms. There are supernatural creatures and the action hits the minute you start reading. I’m enjoying it so far.

What I’m Eating:

Well, the auto immune disease has reared it’s ugly head and with it, it brought another food intolerance. This one smack during work yesterday. It had me bent over, crying, and digging through my purse for my narcotic pain reliever. So now the food intolerance list has grown to add almonds. Which is so fucking annoying because I eat almonds a lot. A LOT. I drink almond milk and eat almond butter. I’ve been ignoring the twinges of small stomach upset, but the full blown attack slapped me upside the face and I’m struggling to come to terms with it. My list seems to continue to grow and is currently: Dairy, wheat, eggs, pecans, walnuts, peanuts, bananas, jicama, MSG, and now almonds. I am very nervous that one day the list will include all nuts. I am frustrated because I feel like many of the easy go-to proteins are becoming untouchable for me. Seeds are still ok. Soy seems to be fine. But I worry over time I will be limited to only animal sources and I am NOT ok with that. I guess one day at at time. In the meantime, I am trying to adjust to this new food allergy and I am struggling.

What I am making:

We have been working on making our back patio area an oasis of fun and relaxation.

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We bought a lovely awning that has both shade and insect blocking abilities. We have a beautiful pergola where our hammock sits under. Our fire pit has been the focus of many family evenings. My husband got a new BBQ grill for father’s day (up on the deck). It’s truly a wonderful place to be in the evenings.

Hope you enjoyed a small window into my world!

 

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Cohabitating with adult kids

Two weeks have come and gone since I last posted. I’ve been very busy with work and life. I’ve had to fill in for coworkers here and there. I’ve spent days doing nothing much at all. People tire me. I’m an introvert and have been using my days off to recover from being around other humans.

I’ve been having a rough time lately being the mother of two adult kids who live at home still. I’m not getting a whole lot of respect lately and it hurts my feelings. I see other people I know with adult kids and they seem to have such nice relationships with each other. I’m not sure why mine seem to find it amusing to be snarky to me and treat me like I’m a pest.

I’ve talked about this at work with my boss and another worker with adult kids and they think it’s a generational thing. “Kids these days” have no respect for their elders. But haven’t people been saying that about every single younger generation for years? I know my adult kids want to live their own lives and be independent. Unfortunately, this economy, and the fact that we live in Portland where housing is atrocious, kids are having a hard time doing just that. It’s so expensive. But how does that translate into treating me like I’m a stupid idiot?

My adult kids currently live with us rent free. This is part of an agreement we made with them which is coming to an end. Right now, I don’t feel like this incredible gift is appreciated. The reality is, when you live with other people, there is a modicum of consideration and respect expected in order for cohabitation to run smoothly. Apparently, I’m not allowed to expect this. And because of this bullshit behavior, things come to a head now and again. This is where we are, at present. And I hate it.

Something has got to give. And right now, one adult kid has got some giving to do, rather than taking. This conversation will not go well because this child has zero ability to see that they are wrong in any regard. This child fights dirty. This child has little empathy and seems to not be able to validate anyone’s feelings other than their own. This child has been the #1 reason I’ve been in tears lately. This child has just been mean.

And apparently, I’m not allowed to have these feels of hurt. When did it become the thing for parents to take nasty treatment and not be allowed to express hurt? Here we are back at the beginning of this blog post. According to my husband, I should have a thicker skin. I should let things roll off my back. But here’s the thing….if they were living with a partner/spouse or a friend, this kind of shit would not fly. The other person would most certainly have something to say about it. This would be a big issue. But as a mother, I’m not supposed to? I’m just supposed to get a thick skin, let it wash over me, swallow the disrespect and hurtful words, all for the sake of not telling this child what they don’t want to hear? My husband thinks it’s parenting and we have to stop. So my question is, if your adult child is cohabitating with you still, do you not have the right to expect the same considerations a regular, non-family, roommate would? Do you not have the right to say, “I don’t appreciate this, this, and this”? Do you not have the right to say, you will not speak to me this way or treat me this way in front of your friends?

Can I get a “WOOOHOOO”?

So……drum roll……..I booked my flight to Mexico!

I’M GOING TO MEXICO!

A few things:

Why is it some people cannot be happy for others when they get to do something amazing? I am always so happy for people when they get to do something fun. A friend comes up to me and tells me she’s going to Mexico, I will hug her and tell her how excited I am for her and what fun she will have. I tell my co-worker, “I’m going to Mexico!” she says, “Why?” Um, why not? I said, “Because I can?” She shrugs and returns to her job. Ooooooookay. I post it on Facebook and my mom says, “What’s the occasion?” Not, “How exciting!” Not, “That’s fabulous! Who are you going with?” No. She says, “What’s the occasion?” and then warns me to be careful in case I get detained. :/ Is it totally impossible for some people just to show excitement instead of being a total dick? Whatever. I’m excited. My kids are excited for me. It’s gonna be a blast.

Also, upon putting it on the calendar at work – because I will miss 3 days – my boss freaks on me and basically told me I’m supposed to ask her permission before I take a WHOLE WEEK OFF. Um…back up. WHOLE week? I work 3 days. And no, I don’t need her permission. I’m not indentured. I remind her she’s supposed to be hiring someone to fill in for these types of things. She got pissy and said I’m putting her in a bind. 4 months from now? I’m putting her in a bind 4 months from now? Especially when she’s supposed to be hiring someone else? I think not. Also, how many days off have I taken in 1 year? ZERO. How many days have I worked for my co-workers on a moment’s notice? MANY. Even dropped everything at 8am to work for someone who had an emergency with her child. How many times have I filled in and not had it reciprocated? MANY. How many times have I come to work sick? LOTS. So step off. You can survive 3 days without me in October.

Plus, I don’t think I should have to justify to my boss my time off.

None of this has dampened my excitement, however. I’m already getting myself ready for the trip. I’m meeting with a trainer at the gym to get my body a bit more “beach ready”. I’ve been shopping some resort wear catalogs. I am EXCITED! I need to get a passport. I need to find a time to meet some of my co-worker’s (the one who invited me) friends so I at least know who I’m traveling with.

I’M GOING TO MEXICO!!!! WOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!

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(Yes, I’m channeling Vicki from OC Housewives.)

Surprised by Friendship

Yesterday my husband and I went to the graduation from college party of my boss’ daughter. It was very sweet to be invited and I loved working, from time to time, with her. She’s getting ready to move away with her (now) fiance (he proposed last night). So we headed over to the party with a dandy IKEA gift card, looking forward to a fun evening with people I work with and most likely some cafe regulars. I wasn’t disappointed.

As I stood there talking to one of our waitresses (a woman my age who I adore), she started telling me about her upcoming trip to Mexico. Intrigued, I asked her if she was going with her husband or with friends. “Friends!” she said with excitement, “Wanna come??” This invitation caught me off guard, but HELL YES!

I’ve never been invited to a girl’s trip before. Never. Not once. I know women who take these trips from time to time, but never been extended an invitation. These friends of hers are part of her boot camp fitness group. All women around our age. I got really excited about it and told her maybe I need to join boot camp and get to know everyone!

In all my adult life, I have never been invited by people to do these kinds of things. I don’t know why. I don’t feel sorry for myself. Most of my adult life I haven’t had the money to do anything like this. But slowly, as we reach the 2 year mark of living here, I’m making friends. And now, one of these friends wants me to come to Mexico with her!

The Battle of the Knives

As I am nearing the 1 year mark at my current job, I’ve been having some tensions in the workplace. I work in a small cafe. I am second line cook….one of 2. I work 3 days a week and my counter-part does the other 3 days. There is a head cook too. He runs the grill. Technically, his job title is kitchen manager….but he’s an infant. He does not manage anyone. Everyone manages him.

I’ll get to that in a minute.

When I first started working there, I was so excited. Working as a cook was a dream of mine from the time I was 19 years old. It never got realized until now. So when I got this job, I was so eager to prove myself, I was willing to do whatever it took. It’s a really hard job. SO.MANY.DETAILS. It took me a long time to get the menu memorized and muscle memory locked in. About January, my schedule changed. My counterpart started doing head cook position on Mondays and we were able to work together. I discovered that the main head cook had been taking advantage of me. He was having me do, not only my job, but half of his too. All he had to do was stand in the grill area while I fetched and prepped, and cleaned up all his stuff. I was INCENSED. Livid. How dare he take advantage of me and my desire to do my best! How dare he train me to be his errand girl!!

So I decided to just simply stop. I stopped doing his job. And this created a domino effect in our kitchen. He started getting reprimanded for things not being done. I let it happen. None of it was my job, so why shouldn’t he get scolded for not doing HIS JOB? When my boss came to me to discuss this, I told her exactly what I was doing and why. She agreed with me….he should be doing his job, not me. He’s lazy and took advantage of me. Every week it was something he was getting scolded for. He started getting grumpier and grumpier.

Then came the Battle of the Knives.

I have tendonitis in my elbow that developed several months ago. I discovered it was due to the knives in the kitchen being so dull. I was having to exert more energy and pressure to cut vegetables than was necessary and it was causing injury. I began to ask him to sharpen the knives. He had done it several times since I began working there, so I assumed it was his job. He kept putting it off. Giving me sass. So I began asking every single week. He would never get to it. I started getting really pissed. My arm HURTS. I’ve had to stop and ice my arm at work. Wear a supportive brace. Still, he would not take the time to sharpen the knives. I decided to be a squeaky wheel. I began to ask him to sharpen the knives every day. I asked my counterpart to ask him to sharpen the knives on the days I don’t work. Finally, I went to my boss. I was so sick and tired of the sass I was getting from this little toad and I was tired of my arm hurting. She said she would talk to him.

Still, the knives were not being sharpened.

Upon being asked last weekend, he told my counterpart, “If she wants the knives sharpened so much, she can get the damn book out and learn to do it herself.” Um, excuse me kitchen “manager”? It’s YOUR FUCKING JOB. Not mine. Wednesday, it all came to a head. He still had NOT sharpened the knives and I was done. I texted my counterpart and told her I would not come to work on Monday if the knives were not sharpened. I asked him again and he said, “Get the damn book out and do it yourself.” I was SO angry, I almost walked off the job. I went to the bathroom for a time out. I was shaking and willing myself to stay calm and professional.

I wasn’t calm. Nor professional.

I didn’t speak to The Little Toad for 4 hours. Finally, before he went out for his lunch break, and while my boss was still there, I confronted him. It got ugly. My boss kept trying to maintain the peace. He basically told me it’s not his job, it’s a service he provides my boss. And he’s been “too busy”. Whatever, Toad. You’re an ass. Your title is Kitchen Manager. You should be in charge of making sure all kitchen equipment is in proper working order, including knives. Chefs have their own knives and keep them in tip top shape, I don’t know why he can’t find time, once a month or week, to give the knives a proper tending. He stands around on his cell phone. He high-tails it after work leaving stuff undone. He takes numerous, long smoking breaks. HE HAS TIME.

I told him I didn’t think I should have to seek medical attention for an injury at work that could be remedied by proper working equipment. I was tired of being ignored and disrespected. I left work so angry, I began discussing my options with my husband. This Battle of the Knives was really a breaking point for me concerning my working relationship with The Little Toad. I am sick and tired of being taken advantage of. I am tired of his disrespect and immature behavior. I am tired of my needs, as an employee, not being met. I kinda wish I was part of a union at this point.

I decided to take the weekend to decide if I’m going to stay at my job or not. I figured I would ask my counterpart, end of day Saturday, if the knives were sharpened, and then go from there. I contemplated not coming in on Monday if they weren’t. I contemplated buying my own knives, keeping them to myself, like a chef. I am utterly sick and tired of my boss coddling this man. He’s not a good cook. He’s a mess. He’s inappropriate. He’s disrespectful. He takes advantage of me. He isn’t a manager.

Then, I get a message from my counterpart this morning. 🙂 She sent me a sneaky picture of The Little Toad sharpening knives. 🙂 My boss had had it. She told him to go sharpen knives and my counterpart would work the grill for him. 🙂 I suspect my boss was told I threatened not to come in on Monday. Or maybe she was sick of using dull knives too.

Whatever it was, I won the Battle of the Knives.

😉

A Window….Part 5

As you can tell by previous posts, my life has been up and down lately. Things seem to be leveling off, for now. Work has been trying and then I had to make a trip back home for my nephew’s graduation. Yesterday, I worked for a co-worker who had a medical emergency with her child. Today is my first day off in 2 weeks. I am greatly looking forward to it! Bring on the weekend!!

What I’m Watching:

Well, I’ve been catching up on some shows I stopped watching when we got rid of cable t.v. about 5 years ago. We got Hulu, as I’ve mentioned before. Years ago, I used to watch The Real Housewives of Orange County.

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Ok, so I’m sure your opinion of me just lowered a bit. It’s ok. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine. Mainly because my life contains considerably less drama than these women’s lives and it’s entertaining to see them be so dysfunctional. Horrible, maybe. I used to watch this show with a friend of mine who committed suicide almost 3 years ago. I miss her and re-watching the old episodes we used to watch is bittersweet.

My daughter and I are also indulging in Supernatural Season 13 on Netflix.

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She and I are huge fans of the show and are so excited that season 13 is out! Binge weekend anyone?? 😀

What I’m Eating:

We joined a gym this month and I am really enjoying it. We go almost 5 days a week. I have decided to remove starches like pasta, bread, and rice from my diet and I’ve seen a nice, steady weight loss. Adding in exercise has really boosted the results. My stomach is getting flatter and I have more energy. It feels great.

What I’m Reading:

I just finished a book that was both parts heartbreaking and disappointing. It’s called Little Bee by Chris Cleave.

This book is about a Nigerian refugee who emigrates to Great Britain illegally to find the couple she met on a beach in Nigeria the day her sister was murdered. I was broken-hearted by her story in this book and really needed there to be a happy ending for Little Bee. This book does not have a happy ending, nor does it resolve. I think it highlights the struggle of people fleeing violent countries for safety and how they don’t always get the happy ending they deserve in life. It made me think. It made me cry. I desperately wanted the ending to be happy. I didn’t get my happy ending.

I also started reading 1984 by George Orwell. I remember reading excerpts from this book in junior high, and so decided to give the book another go. The copy I have was purchased for my kids for homeschool. The type is really close together and my brain is struggling to keep focus. I need another copy. I downloaded the audio book on my phone to take on my trip, but the English voice actor nearly put me to sleep, so I turned it off. I’m gonna see if my library has a copy and soon, will keep reading. It’s an intriguing read about a dystopian future.

 

Hope you enjoyed a little window into my world! 😀

My husband. <3

Time has come and gone again and still haven’t visited the blog here much at all. I, frankly, haven’t had the time to sit and do much of anything at all online. Work has been demanding and my personal life took another big blow with a major health scare with my husband.

There are moments in life where time literally slows way down. I’ve had several of these moments in my lifetime. You get some news concerning the health of a loved one and in that moment, that brief moment in time, the clocks slow way down. The sky dims and the air seems to leave the room. You’re not sure your autonomic functions of your body are working anymore because your heart seems to stop and your breathing fails. I spent the past 8 days in limbo, holding my breath and trying very hard not to think the worst.

But your mind goes there. It really does.

What will I do without him?

Where will I go?

How could I go on?

I simply cannot envision a future without him in it.

He can’t have anything wrong. He’s Superman. He’s my life. He’s my heart. He’s my molecules.

Suddenly, all his annoying quirks aren’t annoying anymore. The petty arguments of recent months seem so stupid. I got clingy. Weepy. I wanted to physically touch him at all times. I didn’t want him out of my sight. I wanted to absorb every atom of this person I share my life with. I dared the universe to take him from me without a fight. I literally could not even imagine not hearing him snore through the night, even though I always wish he would stop.

And then, when we got the news it wasn’t bad. It was so very, very minor. We exhaled. Time resumed it’s normal flow. Birds began to chirp again. My heart began to beat. I felt like the future belonged to us again. Superman was going to be ok.

I spent many hours thinking about our 25 years together. Lots of good and wonderful. Lots of sad and horrible. Lots of life. 3 children. Memories. Dreams. Fights. Tears. So much laughter. So much good. So much to be proud of. The recent years we’ve had marital troubles that have shaken the foundations a bit. I’ve contemplated divorce a number of times. But when there was the threat that something was really wrong with him, it laser focused how much I deeply, deeply love this person. We both can be so bull headed and strong willed. He likes to say that two firstborns probably shouldn’t have married. Haha. Maybe he’s right.

But what I do know is that my life changed immeasurably the day I met him. I cannot imagine anyone on this planet willing to love me to the degree he does. He’s been the most faithful husband and tremendously reliable best friend. Imagining a life without this incredible person leaves my heart surrounded by ice.

For now, I don’t have to imagine life without him. I am thankful. I am grateful.

My song for him.