The Latest from Lola's Diner

Friday, January 19, 2018

Frame of Mind

January 1st was Day 1 of the 2018 edition of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaaPlease join us this month on our writing journey. Today's prompt is Frame if Mind.

I will wholeheartedly agree that I have to be in a certain frame of mind to blog. I just recently began blogging again after a several years long hiatus. 
The reason for the hiatus was twofold. One-my Ex got wind of my blog and caused me major grief because I wrote details about the kids and I used some derogatory word in reference to his wife. (The word, by the way, was entirely accurate.) I have always used pseudonyms on my blog, unless I’m referring to a celebrity, or someone who blogs using their own name.   Because of this hissy fit, I had to scrub my blog posts of all detailed references to my children’s mental illness and anything about his wife. I still have them, they just aren’t set to “public”. I continue to be very angry that I had to do this, as I feel that what I wrote was an inside glimpse of what it’s like to live with mental illness in the family. The ups, the mostly downs, and most importantly, finding the humor so you don’t lose it yourself. At the time I had a lot of stress and just didn’t want to go through all of his nonsense. I also felt my hands were tied...I couldn’t think of any topic that I felt comfortable writing about if he were reading it.

The second reason I stopped blogging was because I started a job after being off on leave for almost 4 years. The job, as it turned out, was was the other employees who made it a living hell. I have this theory, well 2 theories. 1-If something doesn’t feel right in the interview, or the first few, get the heck out. 2-If in the interview or the first few days they say something and keep repeating it...DON’T BELIEVE THEM! I was told over and over how the company is ‘like a family’, everyone has worked there a long time. Turns out that I was the black sheep of the family and they treated me horribly trying to get me to quit. In this case black sheep=lesbian. I was repeatedly screamed at, wrongfully accused of things and called “disgusting”. I couldn’t blog during that period because I felt I had nothing light, or upbeat to say. 

There is too much great blog fodder out there right now not to blog, so I will blog as the mood strikes me. I LOVE writing prompts.
Lola's Diner ©2008-2018

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Your furry bestie...when it’s time...

I should start out by saying I have had 3 pets cross the rainbow bridge. My dog, Maxwell, my black cat Hannah, and my gray cat Sophie. I am no stranger to grieving for a pet, and I’m certainly sympathetic when someone I know experiences the loss of a pet.

A lot of the kids I grew up with in my neighborhood bought their parents homes. I am Facebook friends with nearly all of them. So for weeks now my childhood neighbor from across the street had been posting about how her pet was 17 years old, trouble walking, blind, pale gums, lost weight and was not eating. She refused to accept that her furry pal was dying. She kept asking for advice on how to get the pet to eat. After every comment she lamented how she didn’t want her furry pal to die. This went on for weeks, did I mention that? To me she was being tremendously selfish, thinking only of herself. That poor animal suffered needlessly. That’s my opinion anyway. I have had my dog and 1 cat put down. It was by no means an easy decision in either case. (The other cat ran away, due to her age at the time I’m certain she has passed.) Facebook wasn’t around back then, but I can’t imagine writing posts like she did. In fact, I don’t really think I talked to anyone outside my family, and even then I kept the details sparse. 

Unfortunately her pet passed over the holiday. She has gone on and on with numerous posts per day saying how heartbroken she is and basically seeking out sympathy. I’m sorry, but it just rubs me the wrong way. This woman is not alone, she is married, has children and grandchildren. Were she alone perhaps I would feel differently, but she is not alone. I feel like someone who is carrying on like this should seek therapy. I know if I have to keep seeing it on Facebook I’m going to need to seek therapy.

                                               Lola's Diner ©2008-2018

Monday, December 11, 2017

When the safety of loved ones isn’t taken seriously

My daughter lives by n a group home. There is one client who does not belong on thr 2nd floor, the independent floor. Quite frankly I think she belongs in a different environment. This client has been transferred from ALL of the group homes in the area, my daughter’s house is the last one. The client is rumored to have been transferred from house to house because of her behavior.
What behavior you may ask? Screaming at other clients, throwing things at other clients, and now, yesterday screaming at the other members of my family and slamming a door at my wife while her hand was still on the doorknob when she was between the door and the screen door. My wife lost her balance momentarily, but could have been knocked to the ground. She also could have broken her wrist. 
The incident was immediately reported to staff on sight and my daughter was allowed to sleep on the sofa on the first floor for safety reasons.
Today we got a call back from a staff supervisor, 3 hours later than promised. Bottom line? What they promise to do will likely not happen AND is not going to be effective. They say through that client’s counselor and my daughter seeing her counselor they are going to work on mutual respect. (My daughter did nothing wrong, nor did my son, nor did my wife) They say they are going to work with the offending client to stop taking rules to the extreme, stop disrespecting other clients, and learn how to fly to the moon without a spaceship. That 3rd one I made up because it’s just as likely to happen as the other 2.
My daughter is tired of being terrorized by this client. She barely slept last night even though she slept on the 1st floor, had staff with her and the staff person locked AND chained the door.
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, my daughter ruminates on things, sometimes to the point of triggering a psychotic episode and requiring hospitalization.  After my daughter returns to her house after work I’m going to have to make reassurances that even I don’t believe in. I am also going to make a safety plan for her to refer to when the next incident happens. Because both my wife and I know this is not going to stop until that client is removed from the group home. 
I know life isn’t fair, I say it to my kids all the time about little frustrations, but this isn’t fair. My daughter is being made to feel as though this is her fault. My daughter stays away from this client, avoids her, and if the client speaks to her, my daughter responds to her just as she does anyone else, respectfully and politely. 
Everything ran so smoothly at her house before this client was transferred to my daughter’s house. I am so tired of all this.

Lola's Diner ©2008-2017

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Anniversary of a death

My parents passed away when I was in my twenties. Mom in 1984, Dad in 1990. Now I know their dates of death, but every year the anniversary of their deaths goes one of 3 ways.
     1.) On the day of their death I remember. That day unfolds in my mind from beginning to end. I recall the the smallest detail, then I begin to recall the immediate aftermath...the notification of family and friends, funeral parlor arrangements, the day of the funeral. It’s been a long 34 years since my Mom passed away. A lot has happened, marriages, births, a divorce, mental health issues, and medical issues. I’m embarrassed to say very few of the anniversary’s I recall on the actual anniversary date. 
     2.) A few days before the anniversary date I am in a profound...funk. I’m very depressed. I definitely feel a change in “the force”. Before long I remember and go through the entire process, just as in #1.
     3.) A few days after the anniversary date I will have the same telltale feelings. Just as with #2, I then remember and go through the entire process, just as in #1.
Today was #3 for the anniversary date of my Dad’s death. The anniversary is St Nicholas Day, December 6th. I have always celebrated St Nicholas Day with my children, hanging their stockings the night of the 5th before they go to bed. They are young adults now, but we still celebrate it as one of our holiday traditions. This year we postponed until tonight. They hung their stockings before going to bed Saturday night. It’s not the first time. The funk started the end of November, the realization hit me today. As soon as it came to me I said it out loud. My wife was a bit shocked and asked why I didn’t say anything sooner. It was because I had just realized it. I could feel the...weirdness in the air, but she didn’t say anything. She didn’t have to. She was surprised, shocked even, that I hadn’t recalled it the day of. My Dad passed away 28 years ago. Between both my parents that’s a lot of anniversarys. Her Mom passed, four or five years ago and she is still grieving like it was yesterday. (Oh, don’t open up that can of worms Lola, everyone grieves differently.)
My point is, don’t judge me because I don’t always remember the anniversary of their deaths on THE day. It’s been a lot of years and I’ve had a lot of life happen in between. Most would be surprised at all I have gone through, but that’s besides the point. Those anniversarys...I do not celebrate...I grieve them. Why else would I be so depressed and out of sorts approaching or after the dates? 
I’ve come to realize that #2 and #3 are my coping mechanisms, my process of grieving. It isn’t as if I am oblivious to the dates, I’ve NEVER not remembered.
If anyone out in the interwebs is reading, if you wouldn’t mind, explain how you handle/process the anniversary of a death.

Lola's Diner ©2008-2017

Friday, December 8, 2017

What the fork happened to Muk Luks?

Who remembers Muk Luks? Ok, who of my Wisconsin peeps remember them?  Doreen claims she never heard of them.  The photo below is the closest approximation I can find that looks like the ones I used to get as a kid at Christmas.  Now if you Google “Muk Luk” hundreds of weird abominations appear from slippers and boots that in no way resemble the knit sock sewn to what used to be real leather/suede soles, or rubber soles. Now they even have Muk Luk SANDALS!  What the fork?

Lola's Diner ©2008-2017

Thursday, December 7, 2017

It’s the most depressing time of the year...

I just can’t get in the holiday spirit.  As Christmas and finances go, this year is the worst.  I’ve purchased about 3 gifts. I have some gifts I planned to make (I already have the supplies) this year for my daughter’s housemates, but I’m continually drowning in paperwork, so I’m making no progress.

I discussed with my daughter my annual gift to her house.  I usually purchase close to $100 in baking supplies.  I’m not doing it this year.  She knows my reasons. It’s two-fold.  
     1.)  I don’t have the funds this year.
     2.)  I’m tired of the shenanigans that have happened in previous years.  I purchase enough supplies so the ladies can make Christmas cookies multiple times from Thanksgiving to Christmas AND to bake bread, cinnamon rolls, pizza crust in the months following the holidays.  The first year I also purchased 2 Air-bake Cookie Sheets (the largest size).  Over a year ago someone gave 1 of them to a housemate who was moving into an apartment. They were purchased for the ladies IN THE HOUSE.  Someone is now staking claim to the other one.  Every year in January a staff member removes all the baking supplies saying they don’t keep long.  Not true, Google any baking item, the shelf life is a year or more.  Some are good indefinitely.

Do I believe the staff had put the baking supplies I purchased in the trash?  I believe they take them home. It’s so wrong and I refuse to contribute to the staff’s personal home pantry.  Yes, the staff are poorly paid, but I think it’s unconscionable that staff are basically stealing from the ladies who live in the house.  To me, that is the lowest of the low.

As an alternative, my daughter, son and I will be baking Christmas cookies to share with some of the housemates.  (I think my wife is working.).  Not all you ask?  No, not when several are...well let’s just say, not behaving appropriately and not treating other housemates well.  I’m not rewarding bad behavior. 

So yes, the most depressing time of the year.  I got hurt at PT, so I am home until things improve enough to tolerate returning.  Why do physical therapists always push to hard?  This sux donkey!  

I’ve been watching the Christmas movies since Thanksgiving.  I’ve been watching them daily.  I thought that would get me in the mood, but it’s not.  I don’t know what the kid’s expectations are, I keep trying to prepare them.  My son wants a PS4 and my daughter wants a tablet (WITH WIFI).  I keep telling my son he has enough game systems and it’s not going to happen, but I know he’s not getting it.  With his illness he just doesn’t understand.  He hasn’t progressed as far as my daughter, but then her illness began over 10 years ago.  She understands.  Since she is working she, on her own, offered to buy gifts for us all.  She really is a sweetheart.  

No Christmas tree or decorations up yet.  I’m off that committee due to my back.  I’m thinking my son will step up Sunday and get started.

If you find my holiday spirit please forward directions as soon as possible.

Lola's Diner ©2008-2017

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


On  Friday on The View a Producer gave Joy Behar “breaking news”  ABC News’ Bryan Ross is reporting Michael Flynn promised full cooperation to the Mueller team and is prepared to testify that as a candidate Donald Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians!  You would have thought Joy Behar and the other co-hosts had won the lottery.  I don’t recall there ever being a more joyous celebration on that show. (Not really a fan, but not much to watch in the morning.)

It’s been how many days and what has happened?  Dem. Rep Al Green introduced Articles of Impeachment and forces a vote.  364 votes to table it, 58 voting to move ahead.  Not surprised. This is the second failed attempt to start the impeachment process.  It seems like no one wants to do anything, considering the upcoming elections. Don’t rock the boat, don’t let anyone know that you may want to move ahead.  At least not until the elections are over.

While I agree that there are things going on in the White House that need to be properly addressed, I don’t think anyone is a hurry to right the ship. 

Lola's Diner ©2008-2017
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