Sunday, March 2, 2014

How To?

So... I like the therapist I picked last year. A lot, actually. I look forward to my appointments with her.

But...

I'm not sure I'm getting what I need out of this relationship. Last year I started therapy because I was unfocused, sad, and felt utterly lost in my own life. And I was back on anti-depressants and didn't want to be.

I went in to see Doc and would ramble and occasionally get advice on things. Mostly I just talked. To someone who didn't know me, didn't know the rest of my family and friends, who had to focus on me. And it felt great to feel like I was ~heard~ by someone who wouldn't say, "Yes, Dear." or want something from me in return (copay notwithstanding).

In early September I hurt myself doing something stupid*. It sucked, because I had a level III sprain in my ankle on the same side where I've been fighting piriformis syndrome for the last 4 years or so. My therapy appointments increased since I had the head doc once a week and the physio 2-3x each week.
 *Number 10, the Tarzan swing, was the one that ended the race early for me.

In December I lost it. The weather forced my physio to cancel one week and the feeling of NOT being obligated to be somewhere all the time (and having to work extra hours to make up the time I was out of the office) was so nice I cancelled the rest of the month. Then I bailed on the head doc, too, just for the novelty of not having to leave the house. This was a less than sound decision.


I have an appointment with Doc tomorrow, my first since before Thanksgiving. I don't want to ramble anymore. I have things I want to work on: my inability to stop procrastinating, my lack of motivation in general, my screwed up relationship with food. Concrete things I want to get help to change about myself. And I don't know how to talk to Doc about shifting our focus from my abstract vocal vomit to something more goal-oriented.

So... Anyone know of a good source for, "How to Be a Better Therapy Patient," they can point me toward? Dummies version preferred.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Lies


You know how they (well, TheBloggess and her fans) say, "Depression Lies." Other things lie, too. A couple of months ago I fell asleep thinking about KittyGirl and Little Unknown, the baby we lost through miscarriage when Jay was 14 months old. And I woke up the next morning depressed as hell and thinking, "Maybe the Universe thinks I am such a crappy parent that I'm just not allowed to have more than one kid at a time."

If you're new, KG died thirteen years ago, five days after the blood test at the doctor's office confirmed that Jay was on the way

Do I really think this?

I want to say no, but the truth is, yea, sometimes I do.

You know why? Because, just like depression, GRIEF LIES.



Do I really think I'm a bad mom? Generally speaking, no. I have a smart, beautiful twelve year old daughter who is compassionate, talented, and the light of my life. When I look at her I am thrilled to realize that I contributed to making her the good person I believe her to be.

Could I be a better mom? *snort* What mom ever thought she couldn't?

Are there concrete things I can do to work toward that goal? Yes, and by finally acknowledging I can't do it all alone and finding a good therapist I AM working on it.

Do I still wonder if the Universe thinks I'm a crappy mom? Yes. Do I think I don't deserve to be happy after losing the first & 3rd precious gifts the universe gave me? Sometimes.


But I know it's a lie, too. Way down deep, and with the help of reading a lot of the Bloggess' posts about depression and the lies our brains tell us, I've learned that the things I think aren't always true.

Sometimes, when the downs are way down and I hate myself for still being here, for not being a better mom, for losing my children, for trying to find some happiness when most of my babies are dead, that knowledge is the only thing that keeps me going. Yes, I feel like hell and am not worthy, but if I can just keep going, keep breathing, I know eventually I will feel better, because these are the lies my grief tells me.

*******************************

I started this post a few months ago, and decided it was time to finish. KittyGirl's 17th birthday is this week. It's hard, it sucks. How do you imagine what kind of almost-adult a four year old would be now? I can't, so I honor her the only way I know how, by talking about her and, sometimes, about how losing her has changed me.

KittyGirl - 4 months before we lost her.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tuesday Tirade: Do Your Duty!

Civic Duty

It's an orphaned ideal in our cynical and paranoid nation.

I'm pretty sure my fondness for the concept stems from some combination of being an LA Law fan back in the day plus reading too many legal thrillers in my twenties with an added dash of the last remnants of my freshman (HS) ambition to be a lawyer.

Curious? I'm talking about that dread bit paper (no, not a speeding ticket; I've gotten much better at not getting caught) -- the jury summons.

Jury Duty by Krin

Jury duty is a PITA.
  • It's time consuming. I've been called three times since I was 18. The very first time I was called I served on the jury --  Lawyers: beware 18yo jurors fresh from the AP English ritual that is Henry Fonda in 12 Angry Men! The trial was supposed to run 3 days from the first day. It ran 3 1/2 and my boss at the time actually called the courtroom looking for me midday on the 4th day. He didn't believe I was really doing my jury duty! The second and third times I was called  I did not serve on a jury. BUT, I was downtown at the courthouse the day of my summons for over 12 hours the first time due to lengthy voir dire, and almost 12 hours the second time because of... Well, I can't remember the reason now; I just remember making a lot of panicked calls to the person watching my 7yo daughter and a lot of apologizing for not picking up my kid already.
  • It's expensive. Gas for the drive into town. Parking fees for a garage or meter. Potential additional childcare expenses. Oh, and that pesky matter of losing your real paycheck and subbing it with $7/day juror fees. That's less than the hourly minimum wage. Take my 12 hour day as an example. Instead of the $11/hour I was making at the time, I made $0.58/hour. If you add in gas, parking, and a meal in the courthouse cafeteria because nothing else was in walking distance, I probably spent $25 that day. PLUS my lost pay. Ouch!
  • It's a logistical nightmare. I live and work in the suburbs, and, if I'm honest, Austin is still small town enough that driving down to the courthouse isn't near the logistical nightmare it was when I lived in Katy and had to drive into downtown Houston for jury duty--and of course that was the one where I was on the jury. Still, for most people trekking down to the courthouse is a pain. Finding parking is a nightmare, and constantly having to beg a guard to let you run out and feed your meter? ZOMG. And that assumes you don't have kids. Most single parents are recused in order to care for their children, but two parent households often have complex schedules due to extracurricular activities. Take one car & driver off the schedule and chaos ensues.
  • It's boring. This is speaking as someone who has been called three times, went all three times, and endured three voir dires. The majority of stuff people go to court for is paint-peelingly dull. And that's the actual trial. The lead up is even worse with a ton of hurry-up-and-wait.
And those are just the things off the top of my head.

So What?!

Yes, it's a pain.

It's also an honor and a duty. 

My father has told me more than once over the years that if he ever found himself in a situation where a jury might be needed he would wave the right to a jury in exchange for summary judgment. Why?
 "Because it will not be a jury of my peers. It will be a jury of people too stupid to get out of jury duty and those are damned sure not the people I want passing judgment on me!"
In a way he's right. For example, since single parents are often recused, how often does a single parent on trial, whose motives for their actions may be tied strongly to the realities of single parenthood, actually get a jury of their peers? I'm betting not often.

I think I am the only person I know who never tries to get out of jury duty. I think it's too important to blow off. The right to a trial by jury is a right we take for granted in this country that a large portion of the global population does not enjoy. As such, I feel it is my job, as a responsible citizen of the country I am glad to live in (crazy conservatives and all), to be a part of the process.

How about you? If you think jury duty is a waste of time, at least entertain me by telling me what excuse(s) you've used to get out of jury duty.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Putting It Into Words

I've been ruminating lately -- dangerous, I know -- on what I want to be when I grow up.

I am not enjoying freelance life anymore. 

Especially not when added to parenting a 6th grader (OMG how did this happen? I swear kindergarten was just a couple of weeks ago...), working a full-time job--a pretty mindless and unsatisfying one, but one that chains me to someone else's schedule nonetheless-- and trying to be a good other half to my husband, who took the plunge into management this year (aka the next step in the we-don't-want-to-have-to-work-til-we-drop-dead plan) and is finding it more stressful than we anticipated it would be.

I don't like enjoy copywriting anymore. I'm not sure I ever did, but now I know that I don't. I still like the finished product, and am proud of what I've done over the last almost 8 years; even if it's not as much as it could have been.

I set out to be a writer almost 8 years ago. I succeeded, in my own small way; mostly ghostwriting, so the only one who knows I made it at all is me, but that's okay.

============

I dislike my job, but I adore my steady paycheck (something that I never saw as a freelancer).

The lack of PTO is a bitch. Nothing like adding a full week's salary to the cost of any vacation I want to take since it will be an unpaid week off :(

The rest: the mindless tedium of repetitive tasks no one else wants to do, the childish behavior of people old enough to know better, the whining about expenses from people who make in a day what I make in a month; I can live with this stuff because I get to work 8 feet from my bedroom most of the time.

When I first started working from home I thought it would be a boon to my freelancing, giving me more time to work on my own projects so I could eventually go back to working for myself full time. And, some days, it is.

But mostly it's just tiring. My freelance business was just getting its feet on solid ground when corporate RIFs sent me back to working for someone else. I shut down almost completely for a year or more, then slowly started adding a project here and there--some of which have meant sleepless nights and way too much coffee. I'm getting too old for that to feel worth it anymore.

Right now I just want to do what they pay me to do, then shut my computer down and walk away in the evening. Read a book, crochet, make jewelry, spend time with husband and my daughter (seriously, how the hell is she in 6th grade already?!).

I don't want to make dinner, kiss the family, then go back to my desk and work more.

So... outside of a few small client items, the above is pretty much what I've done for the last month. And (as long as I ignore the guilt over not doing more) it's been ~glorious~.

My house is cleaner than it has been in ages and I enjoy spending time here. I've been cooking and we haven't had to call for pizza because I screwed something up even once. I'm blogging (right here, right now) again and ruminating over some long abandoned and dusty fiction ideas.

Turns out, right now at least, I'm actually kinda happy working for the man.

I feel like this is a failure on my part. Aren't we all supposed to want to be successful, independent women taking over the world? Part of me wants that, but part of me also says, "You only have a few more years til she leaves home -- take over the world when the nest is empty..."

I don't feel like I'm giving up on a dream. I'm not the person I was eight years ago when I started down this path. I feel like both the dream and I have changed.

I do kinda feel like this makes me a slacker. Just working, coming home, and doing things that make me and my family happy -- makes me selfish and lazy, right?

Why do I feel like this? What's wrong with wanting to be a good wife, a good mom, and someone who gets the job done but doesn't want or need to take over the world?

I feel stuck. I don't want to just toss my business out the window. I've put a lot of myself into it over the years. Nor do I want to continue down its current path -- even if the doors stay open, I want to stop doing the copywriting altogether and focus on editing.

In other words, I dunno what the hell to do.

=======================

Wait, yes I do.

I'm gonna call my mom and talk to her about it all. Moms are awesome.

(Here's hoping Jay says the same in 20+ years!)


Friday, April 1, 2011

Better Customer Service

The Invisible Husband had to go to the post office today to pick up an Express Mail package. He had to go himself because he lost the little package retrieval slip the mail carrier left on the doorstep (but that's another story) and he couldn't send me instead.

He told me that the man at the counter was really, really unpleasant. Told him they wouldn't be able to locate the package without a receipt, that he needed to get out of the way so other customers could get to the service window, etc. IH lost his temper and asked for a supervisor who found his package in less time than it took the first guy to argue with him about how impossible it would be to find it. Yay, happy ending.

This is the post office branch where the POB I maintain for freelancing is located, so I'm there a lot. I asked IH to describe the counterman, since I know most of them. He did and I told him I was surprised, since I always got great care from this particular federal employee. Then the light dawned.

I said something to explain the difference in customer service and the below image (but much better illustrated, like a Far Side cartoon) popped into my head and I just had to put pencil to paper.


The man of the house is our resident artist and the GirlChild is his able apprentice, but they had a dungeon to run (WoW) so mama had to do for herself...



My wife says she gets better service when she puts a big pair of hooters on the counter...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Book Nerds List

(aka more shameless pulling of memes from friends' FB pages because I refuse to ADD any information to what FB already knows about me. But I'll put it here, lol...)

==================================
Book Nerds List:

Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.


Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES blog post. Bold those books you've read in their entirety. Italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read only an excerpt.


1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis

34 Emma -Jane Austen

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52 Dune - Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses - James Joyce

76 The Inferno - Dante

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession - AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl


100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

==============

Hmmm.... I guess I'm just weird. I've read 32 of these. And, shameful admission, of the ones I have not read, most are books I don't plan to read.

Te be fair, I read (for the first time) The Time Traveler's Wife for a book club (and loved it!) . Rebecca (meh) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night (blech!), too.

Oh, and I counted audio, too. Cuz if I'd read a paper copy of that Albom crap, The Five People You Meet in Heaven I'd have tossed it about 5 pages in, but it made okay background noise for my morning commute. Ditto Moby Dick, which was not awful, but all that (grossly inaccurate) whale talk in written form would've driven me mad...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Music Mania

I avoid facebook as much as I can, but, sometimes, late at night, when no one is tweeting and it's not my turn in Words with Friends and I've already played the daily Qrank quiz... Well, then I'll load up ye olde FB app on my phone and see what people had to say...

Last week my friend Lisa had a meme that looked like fun, so here goes:

Expose your terrible musical taste!

by Lisa on Thursday, 11 November 2010 at 08:25

I'm playing along with the latest meme... here are the rules:

  • Turn on your MP3 player or music player on your computer.

  • Go to SHUFFLE songs mode.

  • Write down the first 15 songs that come up--song title and artist--NO editing/cheating, please. Just because you might skip the song when it comes up or be embarrassed for people to know you have it in your collection, you still have to list it.

  • Choose a lot of people to be tagged. It is generally considered to be in good taste to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I'm betting that your musical selection is entertaining, or at least amusing. ( I don't tag people on memes any more)
Without further ado...

  1. "Little Girls" - Oingo Boingo -- This song was a lot better when I was teenager wanting to date guys in their 20s. As the mom of a little girl now, well, I still like the song, but find the lyrics a bit perturbing...

  2. "Love You Out Loud" - Meat Loaf -- one of my faves!

  3. "Another One Bites the Dust" - Queen

  4. "Copywrite (Do It All Damn Night)" - Strata G -- Everyone panned this goofy ad-rap album written by a copywriter, but the lyrics make me laugh.

  5. "But It's Better If You Do" - Panic at the Disco

  6. "These Boots Are Made for Walkin' " - Nancy Sinatra

  7. "Found Out About You" - Gin Blossoms

  8. "Lucky Ball and Chain" - They Might be Giants

  9. "Welcome to the Jungle" - Guns 'N Roses

  10. "Walk Like an Egyptian" - The Bangles

  11. "Only the Young" - Journey

  12. "Why Isn't That Enough" - Meat Loaf

  13. "Love is Not Real / Next Time You Stab Me in the Back" - Meat Loaf

  14. "Don't Stop Believing" - Journey

  15. "I Got You" - Train
In my defense, my phone was still loaded with my pre-Meat Loaf concert selections when I did this last week...

And I <3 Meat Loaf.

The Journey? Well, I love Journey, too, even if it does make me old.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday Tirade: Walk much?

*sigh*

I live in Central Texas. Where the climate is, though it pains me to admit it since I really hate the heat, pretty easy to live with year-round.

Don't get me wrong. I hate the heat and, if I'm honest, after living here for the last 27 years I get a bit uncomfortable when things drop below 50, too. But it's all livable.

I don't live somewhere with torrential rains, ice storms (except for the occasional freak one), heavy (or even any) snowfall. Nor do I live somewhere so arid and hot (have you ever been to Death Valley, California? I have. It's pretty much hell on Earth. Literally.) that breathing the air hurts.

So, I ask you: WHY in the hell do perfectly healthy people have someone drop them off at the door to a store?

They are not aged, infirm, or toting a small child--the only three reasons I can think of for this sort of incredibly indolent behavior, given our climate.

So far as I can tell they are just bone lazy. And inconsiderate. The drivers invariably stop in the center of the driving lane, thereby blocking progress through the lot for those of us who know how our legs work. I am *ahem* significantly overweight and my fat butt can walk through the parking to and from my car.

If they had a large load of groceries it would still be aggravating, but slightly understandable. I've had the husband pull up to the store a couple of times when the weather was really nasty and I had a lot of groceries to load in the car.

My issue is with the people who are dropped off at the entrance while the driver goes to hunt for a parking place. Is it really going to make that much of a difference in their day if they take another five minutes to get inside the store? Are they going to drop dead of exhaustion after the 200-foot walk?

WHAT is wrong with these people?!


Photo courtesy of stringberd via Flickr.com

Yes, I had to go shopping this weekend, grocery and other retail outlets and my path was blocked by people doing this every where I went. Literally. *grumble*

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday Tirade: A Shoe In...

~~~Justin: this is NOT for you. Seriously, I'm discussing lower limb issues, you don't want to read. If you decide to, well, I tried to warn you.~~~



Jay has lymphedema. She was born with it, which is known as Milroy's Disease for the curious or bored. I don't talk about it much because it just is what it is and I have a separate blog devoted to the topic at lymphbaby, that I update even less frequently than this one, but I'm peeved, so here goes.

WHY is it so hard to find ~anything~ in this country that is outside the accepted norm of sizes? A few statistics to help my case:

  • The incidence of lymphedema in the United States is estimated at 2.5 million, yet more than 100 million people are affected worldwide. (Source)
  • If you have developed lymphoedema, you are not alone; it is estimated that well over 100,000 men, women and children in the UK are living with the condition. (Source)
  • Geographically speaking, the US is 40 times the size of the UK. (Source)
  • The US has 25 times as many lymphedema sufferers as the UK (per data above).
Jay's LE (the accepted abbreviation for lymphedema, which you'll see a LOT because I get tired of typing the word and after 9 yrs blogger.com still tells me I'm spelling it wrong!) is in her feet and toes. To top it off the poor kid has ~my~ feet underneath it all (wide foot, short toes and tiny nails).

In her case the swelling on the top of her foot begins just at the base of her toes and goes to the front of her ankle as well as to the sides and, less severely, to the bottoms of her feet and toes.

I say this because while shopping for 2-3x wide shoes is hard enough in this country, wide is not her only issue. Until I started ordering from a site in the UK a couple of years ago she never owned a pair of properly fitting shoes. In order to get something that would cover the height of the top of her foot (the dorsum---I had to learn all this stuff so I can sound erudite when I explain it to each new specialist) we've had to buy shoes that were 1-2x wide and anywhere from 1/2 to 2 1/2 sizes too big/long so she wouldn't have to go barefoot, since, well, you can't go to school barefoot...

What about custom/prescription footwear?

I tried. When she was about 18 months old I asked her pediatrician (who is, btw, ~awesome~) if we could get a scrip for custom shoes, like they do for kids who need specialized orthopedic shoes. She was uncomfortable writing the Rx since it's a bit wide of her field and recommended we seek a pediatric orthopedist. So I did.

It's been 7+ years and I am STILL angry about that day. I found a specialist, I waited months to get her in, I paid the ridiculous specialist co-pay (2x the norm) and we saw the doctor. A doctor who couldn't seem to wrap his brain around the fact that I wanted a scrip for custom shoes. I needed the prescription because (a) I don't know who to call for custom shoes and (b) custom footwear is waaaay outside our budget.

He was fascinated by her feet. He'd never seen anything like it. We were there three hours and he brought every doctor in the practice, every nurse, and even a couple of pharma and orthopedic supplier reps who were making calls into the exam room to see her feet.

Then refused to write the scrip because, and this is a quote, "I don't see how I can help you. I'm an orthopedist."

============
Fast forward through 4-5 years of over-sized poor fitting shoes that were still a trial to find. Someone on one of the LE listservs I'm a member of sent me a godsend of a URL: www.cosyfeet.com. Go check it out. You can shop for shoes by size (UK shoe sizing being one of many thing on my long list of things I've had to learn since she was diagnosed at about 6 weeks old), by style, by medical condition you need to accommodate.

And I've bought at least one pair of shoes for her from them every year since then.

Then the economy tanked. Last pair I ordered was in January of this year, when the pound was still pretty weak, too. It's not, now, and I discovered Sunday that while I can order her shoes, I'm going to have to budget for it a bit more since the dollar is weak to the pound just now.

Great. I couldn't justify spending 2+ weeks of daycare on a single pair of shoes without at least trying to find a resource in the U.S. Which pretty much ate the rest of my Sunday afternoon and early evening.

Here are some of the things I (fruitlessly) Googled:
  • lymphedema shoes U.S.
  • extra extra wide shoes
  • specialty shoes for medical conditions
  • lymphedema shoes
Found lots of sites. Lots of expensive shoes. And while they had wide sizes (less in anything remotely feminine vs. guy shoes and even less when you add an, "extra," or two in front of the word,"wide") none of them had anything addressing shoe height, hence the search for shoes for medical conditions.

Still nada, but ran into a few crappy shoe sites that didn't even let me search by size. What is the point of finding a perfect pair of shoes only to discover it is not made in the size I need---unlike clothing, one cannot diet to get a smaller shoe size (for the most part).

Okay, I will grant you that of the estimated 2.5 million LE sufferers in the US, over half of them are cancer patients, predominantly breast cancer survivors. Meaning their ARMS are affected, not their feet. But, even at 1/3 of 2.5 million that's still a captive audience of 833,333 people in desperate need of a product to fill their need. 8x the total number of people in the UK who have LE. And ~no one~ can step up.

I wish to heaven I had the skills to be a shoe designer. I'd make a fortune (and do it without charging one!).

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday Tirade: You Gave Her a WHAT?!

Parents (NOT grandparents, just 'rents!) you'll feel me.

Childless people, you NEED to pay attention.

Today we are discussing inappropriate gifts for children. Specifically LIVE gifts. Seriously folks, unless the little darlings' parent told you, "Go buy my kid a puppy/kitty/bunny/baby chick/pony," DO NOT DO IT.

Yes, pony. No finger pointing, but someone in our extended family wanted to buy J a horse. A HORSE. Horses are cheap. To buy. It's the care, feeding, and boarding that will convince you the horse has a better life than you do since his monthly roof rent is almost as much as yours. I pointed this out, kindly but vehemently, to the well-meaning relative and that was it.

I would love to be able to own a horse for my horse-crazy girl to enjoy, but it's just not in my budget. I'm struggling now to figure out how to pay for horse camp for the summer as it is...

Not all such bullets have been dodged, unfortunately.

One Easter weekend we went to visit my father and his wife. They were out at the barn where they kept their horses, sheep, and other random urban livestock--they live in Houston--and my dad was mowing the lot/pasture with a riding mower with the heavy duty pull behind mower attachment.

He mowed over a rabbit warren (thankfully BEFORE we got there!) With babies. Cute babies, babies old enough to eat real food. Only one survived the mower, though. TES (that would be The Evil Stepmother) rescued the baby bunny and took it in the barn.

We arrived, let the girlchild uno--this was in the late 90's--pet all the critters, have her pic taken with the horses, etc. I went out to talk to my dad. When I cam back to the barn my girl was proudly holding a cat carrier containing (guess!) and telling us all about her own personal Easter bunny.

She gave my kid a baby rabbit.

Ummm... No.

Guess who had to call the urban animal rescue when we got back to Austin to determine what to feed it, how to care for it, etc.? Yea, NOT the person who gave her the stupid (but yes, cute, fluffy, soft, and scared out of its little tiny mind) bunny that's for sure. Fortunately our bunny was determined to be old enough to be self-sufficient and we picked a favorite park where we like to play that had a lot of wooded trails and plenty of cover and set it free.

Buy me a margarita sometime and I'll tell you the story of how it "mysteriously" (quoting the 3yo here) got out of it's carrier on the way to the park...

My friend, Crystal recently became grandmother to a tarantula in a not dissimilar way, though I suspect her hubs may have colluded on that one since he had big nasty hairy spiders as a kid...

Do not, not, not, not, not give live gifts to other people's kids. Ever. PLEASE.

While I'm thinking about it, ask them before you give their 4yo daughter pink pleather hot pants and real, takes-acetone-to-remove-it-from-the-carpet, nail polish, too.