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Saturday, April 4, 2020

Sunday Stealing: Gratitude

Hi! Your host Bev Sykes of the blog "Funny the World". . Welcomes you to Sunday Stealing. This feature originated and published on WTIT: The Blog. Here we will steal all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent questions. Cheers to all of us thieves!

Stolen from Gratitude Journal on Pinterest

1. Name a highlight of your day. Seeing my daughter’s face light up when we pulled into the driveway of her group home on her birthday Saturday. She was waiting on the porch. When we parked she went back in the house so we could drop off her birthday gift and care package on her porch. No visitors allowed, but we can porch drop packages.

2. What made you smile today? Seeing my daughter’s face when she opened her birthday gift. We had to stay on the driveway and watch at a distance. Her gift was a Nikki Cross t-shirt (WWE Wrestling). [This thought just came to me. In a couple years when I look at any post from Coronavirus time U.S., will it seem odd to basically be on quarantine this time of the year? Or will it be the new normal? I’m praying it will seem odd.]

3. What made you laugh today? Probably something to do with dropping off my daughter’s care package.

4. Recall a time when you needed encouragement. I’m sure there were times, I can’t think of them now.

5. What is a luxury you are thankful for? Television and streaming services.

6. Favorite childhood memory?  So many. If I had to pick, it would be sitting on the couch with my Mom, her teaching me embroidery and talking. And talking. I miss that the most, talking to my Mom. My Mom passed away 36 years ago this June.

7. Favorite song–and why? I can’t think of one now.

8. Where is your favorite place?  Why? I have 2. Key West, the drive from Orlando to Key West. The beautiful scenery. Camping with my wife in Galena. It was only 1 night and it started out rushing to put up the tent in a torrential rain storm. In the morning we woke up to a beautiful rainbow and hot air balloons over the lake.

9. What is your favorite scent? Lilacs. My Mom had Lilac bushes in the backyard. I have them surrounding my front porch and I can’t wait for them to bloom.

10. What is your favorite topic to talk about? I enjoy talking about just about anything. I don’t get the opportunity to talk much to anyone outside my immediate family. Not just now because of the Coronavirus. For years I’ve had no friends. I don’t even chat with any social media friends. I sort of have friends now. My wife and I are couple friends with an older couple. We had been meeting them for coffee once or twice a month. Outside of coffee we don’t really hear from each other. We usually end up talking solely to the person in front of us. The husband is usually in front of me and I’m afraid the last time we met for coffee I wayyy over monopolized the conversation. I really hate that I do that. 

11. What do you like doing so much that you lose track of time? Hmm? 

12. If you had 5 minutes and the whole world was forced to listen, what would you say? The Emperor Has No Clothes. That is all.

13. Whose life do you envy the most, and why? I don’t really envy a particular person’s life. Like I don’t envy Oprah Winfrey (do I really need to include “Winfrey”? How many Oprah’s do we know?) I don’t envy Ellen. I would say what I envy is more wealth and lifestyle. Not incredible wealth, just enough to live comfortably (not excessive or enough to buy designer everything), in a nice home with extra bedrooms and space for a rec room, a She Shed. Able to handle unexpected expenses without panic and juggling. And have a nice vacation twice a year. (A lot of years to make up for.) Enough to have a camper. (Like tour buses, but not that large, what are those called?) Enough to be able to manage my family’s medical expenses and my pet’s veterinary expenses. Enough money put away for retirement. Enough to not have to pinch every penny and calculate the price per ounce on every grocery item.

14. What would you different with your education if you got a chance to start over? This is obvious. I would have completed my Bachelor’s Degree at De Paul, or just gone to UWM after high school and get it then. My entire working life I struggled because while I had the experience, I did not have a Bachelor’s Degree.

15. What would you do with your life if you had no fear? I can’t even imagine a life with no fear. I have terrible anxiety. About my health, my kids, my wife, my finances, my home. This has gone on for so long I don’t know how to answer this question.

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

Day 15 of Sheltering In

So today was my daughter’s birthday. Around 1pm we drove over to her group home to drop off on the porch  a care package of treats, craft supplies and 1 of her gifts. (The other is still in route.) We watched her open it from the driveway.

That’s a Nikki Cross T-shirt. (WWE Wrestler.) I think she maybe liked it. Lol! It cheered her up. 

After we got home we watched a movie on Netflix, Molly Bloom, and several shows about bands on Tubi. Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, and we started to watch Rush. Now I’m letting my son watch a Star Wars movie. The Empire Strikes Back. I only know because I just asked. Not a fan of Star Wars. Never got into any of the movies. So I’m taking one for the team...again! This is the 2nd Star Wars movie I’ve had to watch in a week. I’d get him back by making him watch Golden Girls or Designing Women, but I don’t care for those either. Lol!

Apparently my sister went back to work at her 2nd job at a major grocery store. She works the service desk or they have her cashier when they don’t have enough cashiers. Still coughing. I’ve said it many times, and I’m saying it again, I cannot believe she is my biological sister and I cannot believe we were raised by the same parents.

My wife has the same problem. Her youngest sister decided she was dropping off their dad’s handicap placard in my mailbox. Multiple issues with that. 
1. You can’t put items that aren’t mail in a mailbox.
2. I was never asked if this was ok.
3. Why isn’t she dropping it off to her dad at his house? It’s HIS, not mine, or my wife’s. We have nothing to do with any of this.
4. Besides the fact that she is not welcome here to bring the placard, why must it be Sunday? She borrowed his truck several years ago and has had it, and the placard the entire time.
5. Her sister works at a gas station, takes no precautions against the Coronavirus, and would likely wear the same work clothes she wore to work today (not laundered) when she came here tomorrow.
6. Her younger sister told my wife that she needed to disinfect it for their dad to pick it up. Wtfork? See, she won’t even disinfect it and wants my wife to disinfect it. Hell to the no! 
7. I am high risk. If that thing comes on MY property their dad is going to have to order a replacement cuz imma have a bonfire wherever it lands. I told my wife this already.

Anyone reading this can call me whatever they want, say I am being ridiculous. Is it? I don’t care! She is not putting me or my family at risk. Also, their dad is high risk so why is she doing this now? 

Why am I freaking out over this? Because a coworker of my brother in law, who had at least one of the same risk factors I have, got infected with the Coronavirus and died this past week. For the past 3 days, every time I hear about a Coronavirus death in our county, the person was my age or younger and had at least 1 of the risk factors I have.

All this boils down to is that this matter has nothing to do with my family and I was never asked if my property could be used as a drop off and pick up point.

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

Happy 27th Birthday to my daughter

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

Day 13 & 14 of Sheltering In

Day 13 & 14 cuz in lockdown (sheltering in, whateves) all the days start running together. Not necessarily in a good way.

Thursday I spent 4.5 hours on hold with a government agency. Yes, 4.5 hours. Then I find out if I would have clicked a button, instead of first logging in (made sense to me)I could have skipped the phone call entirely. Now I have to scan every conceivable identification, documents you could think of and upload them. Driver’s license or State ID, voter registration card, for everyone with you. Then government insurance card, letter, marriage certificate to prove relationship, then birth certificate to prove relationship for children. Then a ton of other documents. I gathered quite a bit after I went online to fill out the form.

Thursday we sang Happy Early Birthday and for our encore Babs version of “Ave Maria” (just because my daughter mentioned it) which did not go particularly well since it was our first time singing it together. 

Friday we sang Happy Early Birthday and for our encore a song from Westside Story, same thing. 

Friday on the phone with my daughter was hard. She kept saying she wanted us to come to her party at her group home. 😢

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Day 12 Of Sheltering In 👍

Finally heard from my sister just before 3pm via messenger. She has a cough and has a prescription from her doctor for it. Can’t get much info out of her, but she must be pretty sick because she hasn’t yelled at me for contacting her 2nd job. They probably called her because I heard from her shortly after I talked to them. It was either call her 2nd job or call the Police for a Wellness Check. And I’m close to 100% certain they wouldn’t answer the door, so the Fire Dept would have showed up to break in. Glad I heard from her and didn’t have to go that route.

I heard some potentially good news from my daughter. I say potentially because it is dependent on follow through by the group home. She had a meeting with the team lead, the nutjob and her other housemate on her floor. The nutjob was told if she falls or walks off she will be sent back to the nursing home she was at for her broken leg and will not be allowed to return to the group home my daughter lives in. If she continues to bully my daughter or any housemate she will be removed and sent to a different group home and will not be allowed to return to the group home my daughter lives in. This is one of those I need to see it before I believe it. My daughter doesn’t believe it either. How long do I give it before she starts bullying? I give it 24 hours. And I’m being generous.

Being stuck in the house is getting to people. My son is constantly asking when we are going to the grocery store. There is 1 prescription to be picked up, so when we do go out we will pick up everything that is ready. I am thinking Friday because we are out of fish, unless you count canned tuna or salmon, which my spouse won’t eat. The gift I ordered from Kohl’s 2 nights ago is supposedly being delivered today. I’m hoping for any day before Saturday. I’m going to put together a box to drop on her porch on her birthday Saturday. I will of course call after I put it on the porch and wait in my car until she comes out to get it (making sure no one else grabs it.) And we will give big birthday waves and be real obnoxious and sing happy birthday from the car. Cuz we are obnoxious like that. And because my daughter believes in celebrating for a week, tonight I’m going to start singing happy birthday with my son on our nightly call. 

Stay safe!

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Day 11 of Sheltering In...FREAKING OUT

I can’t reach my sister. My daughter exchanged a very short text with her today. She’s home sick. She NEVER EVER stays home sick. I mean NEVER EVER EVER EVER stays home sick.

Background...My sister and her husband flew to Florida for vacation 03/17/20. They returned 03/21/20. She can’t return to her regular job for 2 weeks because she flew and left the state. After the 2 weeks she’s supposed to call HR for further instructions. (Because I’m sure they need to figure out how to handle it.) She works at a major grocery chain and had been pulling day shifts to make up for the time she’s not getting paid at her regular job. I’m sure the grocery has no clue she had a little vacation in Florida. MAJORLY irresponsible. But, that’s my sister.

So to outline all the unusual things:
1. My sister called off work sick.
2. My sister has not shipped my daughter’s birthday gift, which is very unusual. She always ships gifts weeks in advance. I really enjoy having to hide them and remember where I put them.
3. I messengered my sister Sunday to let her know my daughter had been in isolation since Friday morning. My sister normally would have freaked out and called me as soon as she could asking for all the details. ALL the times my daughter was hospitalized she would call me all the time for updates. It was obnoxious. I had to have Anastasia or now my wife call her an tell her to stop it.  It’s past 10pm on Tuesday and I have not heard from her at all.
4. I messengered my sister as soon as it got to me that my sister called in sick at her 2nd job. No reply.
5. I texted my sister about 1/2 hour later. No reply.
6. I called her cell phone. It’s turned off.
7. I looked up her landline and called that. The phone is off the hook.
8. I called her cell phone and left a message asking her to call, text, or messenger me.
9. She doesn’t have any friends outside of either job, so no one I could call.
10. I can only remember 1 name, it...Nick, but she told me he doesn’t work there any more since over a year ago.
11. I can’t call either job, because if she does have the Coronavirus she’ll lose at least 1 of those jobs, especially the 2nd job because she failed to tell them she flew to Florida and if she caught the Coronavirus from that trip, she did not isolate 2 weeks, so she potentially could have infected a lot of people.
12. I’m wracking my brain about what to do if I don’t hear from her. My sister is 56, but she’s definitely got the mindset of the Me Me Me generation. It’s all about her and what she wants, and she has no consideration for others. I talked to her several times to try to convince her not to go on the trip.

Her address wasn’t in my phone. I was thinking I would have to find a greeting card envelope with it on there. Then I remembered my friend Google. You’d be surprised what you can find out with the proper Google search. I found it. I remembered part of the street name, so when it came up I knew it was correct. (I bet you’re asking yourself, ‘that’s odd, why does Lola not have her only sister’s home address?’ The answer is that my family and I are not welcome there. I have never been inside her current house and was only in her previous house once for a bbq. Her husband can’t stand that I stood up to him. Long Story.)

My wife suggested I drive up there. Not a chance. I can’t remember where my aluminum baseball bat is. (Part of the long story above.) It’s just not a good idea with all my health issues. Even if he didn’t make contact taking a swing at me, I could lose my balance and get hurt.

Best alternative? Police Department Wellness Check. If no one answers the door and they see one of their cars in front, or sees them in the garage, they will call the Fire Department who will break in. This is the choice of last resort. If no one in my house hears from her or sees any online activity by Thursday, then a wellness check is the plan.

Why did I research her address, and how a wellness check is conducted? Because it calmed me down and kept me from thinking about the pandemic.

In birthday news...I looked into Zoom, it appears it is not free. I am still looking into playing a game together on the Internet. The game sounds more fun, which we’ll need if her team lead screws up and doesn’t get the party meal and cake. (It’s happened to her and her housemates a number of times.) I looked into having a cake delivered, but $45 + tax, too much for me. I’ll porch drop a store bought cake if the team lead screws it up. 

I really feel for my daughter. She can’t leave the group home to work at her job. She was put on isolation wrongly. The entire time she was on isolation her nutjob housemate terrorized her, pounding on her bedroom door and screaming at her. My daughter hasn’t been on a home visit since March 6th. She’s never gone that long without a home visit. I think it’s the nutjob’s antics that have her upset. She’s always been able to come on a home visit to get away from that. Tonight she asked if Wednesday or Thursday I could make a special meal, the 3 of us enjoy it at home, then the next day I porch drop her portion of the meal. Aww. 😢

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

Monday, March 30, 2020

Day 10 of Sheltering In

My daughter has been taken off of isolation (that she never should have been put on, having not met the criteria.)

I just got an email from the Asst Director that says even though she didn’t meet the criteria of 101°, the Medical Director made the decision. Whatever! That still doesn’t make it right that nutjob was continually screaming at my daughter through her closed bedroom door and continually pounding on the bedroom door. My daughter was basically terrorized the entire time she was on isolation. He did concede that clients should know their temperature when it’s taken by staff. And also that they need to do better in terms of the nutjob. Of course he didn’t say nutjob.

My daughter is over the moon happy about being released from prison. Everyone is being repeatedly educated on social distancing. I told her to think of it as the length of your brother lying on the floor plus 2”. She said “Moooooohhhhhmmmmm”. What? Your brother is 5’10”. Add two inches and Bob’s your uncle.

So now that she’s sprung I can focus more on what to do about her birthday on Saturday. She called the Asst Director (she’s not shy, she calls them more than I know about, she pretty much thinks the Director is her pal, she was pals with the previous Director).  Asked him if for her birthday on Saturday could I come over with a cake and we’d sit at the 10 ft patio table outside and social distance...6 ft. He said no. I haven’t told my wife cuz she would have a cow, ‘she can’t be calling them’, I try to discourage it, but in the end, she’s probably made great connections and an extra “in” when the new apartments are ready. 

I already told her we will be celebrating after the lockdown and shelter in place are lifted. She wasn’t really liking that. She’s all about having a week long celebration. With the group home lockdown extended to April 30th, her celebration will be postponed until at least May, or longer. I could bring her home for 2 weeks, but it would be a major hassle to get her allowed back at the group home before the order is removed. 

I’m thinking that with the way people are blatantly disregarding social distancing and continuing to gather in groups of more than 10, we are all screwed. This will go on til at least July. (Wait! My birthday is in July, it can go past that! J/K. I don’t mind what day we celebrate? Lol!) I read somewhere that our peak of infection in our state is estimated to be August. Can you imagine if we have to shelter in until August or later? Imagine what it would be like for people with mental illnesses.

I’m thinking maybe do something online on Saturday. I have to look up the article, but there are several websites that you can basically virtually play games together. Like Crimes Against Humanity.

If you have ANY ideas how we can celebrate without being in the same place, please put your suggestions in the comments.
Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Day 9 of Sheltering In

The calls to the team lead regarding the nutjob housemate pounding on my daughter’s door and screaming at my daughter did no good. So I emailed the team lead and cc’d the Director and Asst Director on every email I sent Sunday. Staff refused to allow my daughter to see the thermometer multiple times since Thursday. Saturday night I told my daughter to take a photo of the thermometer after her temperature is taken. Then she can send it to me because she wants to share that medical information with her mother. As far as I’m concerned, no photo, then I don’t believe a freakin word that anyone tells me or my daughter. My daughter is being singled out, falsely isolated, and I want photographic proof, period. My daughter is supposed to be on a different floor from nutjob. Since they refused to take my daughter off isolation that means nutjob would have to go downstairs. This separate floors deal came directly from the Director a little over a week ago and it worked wonderfully until someone put my daughter falsely on isolation. When I told the team lead she needed to have staff tell nutjob to go downstairs she claimed she never heard of the separate floors deal and she said staff wouldn’t do that. I said ‘why not? It’s their job!” That all went in the emails, so the Director and Asst Director know how I was lied to.

At 4pm meds my daughter had to go downstairs. While there the ladies were saying they missed her and kept asking her to stay for dinner. Staff said yes, but it’s one of the staff that plays games, wouldn’t let her know her temperature, etc. I freaked! I told her she had to call the team lead to make sure it was ok. She called and was told it was ok, she could stay downstairs until medication time, but she needed to practice social distancing. I have no doubt those emails were read by either the Director or Asst Director. I probably said “falsely isolated” more than 6 times in those emails and I know that’s how my daughter got released from being falsely isolated. The team lead still claims she needs to get their nurse’s ok, but I’m pretty sure the Director will approve my daughter’s release from being falsely isolated first thing Monday. 

The change in my daughter’s voice and demeanor was dramatic. She gets to escape the nutjob’s knocking and screaming, she gets dinner made for her (she had to make all her meals since Thursday, usually there’s a schedule where cooking duties are shared), and she got to socialize with her friends.

I know Monday the emails will continue to fly and my phone will be ringing. I refuse to talk to the team lead. She is constantly lying to me, so she can protect herself and the staff that are her friends. I am extremely stressed, my anxiety is through the roof, and if I have to listen to one more of the team lead’s lies I am going to scream. Quite frankly, I do not want to talk to the Director or Assistant Director on the phone because even though my daughter had a bit of freedom on Sunday, I don’t think I can keep it together. I can’t even count how many times I have burst into tears this weekend. The other reason I can’t talk to them on the phone is because I can no longer keep my damn mouth shut. We are supposed to have a meeting about my daughter getting one of the new apartments being built 2 miles from my house. It will be after the lockdown is lifted. My “daughter’s Mom’s official nice voice” has left the building. I think left the country! Our friends, one a former, one a current employee of this place have told me to talk to an attorney and file complaints for HIPAA Law violations. 

I just want my daughter to get one of those new apartments and get moved in.

I don’t want to jeopardize that with my mouth. 

I’m tired of the drama rama this team lead causes, and I’m tired of her lying to me. I’m not addressing the lying with the Director and Asst Director. We just need to get the false isolation order lifted and get to moving into one of those new apartments. Then the nutjob will be living 2 cities away and we won’t have to deal with that lying team lead and staff. Staff will be at the apartment complex, but it will be different staff.

I have a migraine and I’m exhausted from all this stress. 🙏🏻 that my daughter is officially released from false isolation first thing Monday morning.

Lola’s Diner cc.  2008-2020
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