Friday, February 22, 2013

coffee or tea?

everyone has their own kind of world. Madonna, the pop star, is and always has been a material girl living in a material world. i can identify with that. a lot of the time. i seem to be a binary girl though.
it all comes down to the randomness and statistical evaluation of twos.

   recently, i allowed the household stores to winnow down to nearly nothing of greedily consumed favorite choices. in other words, we had run out of the good stuff. the essentials like corn chips, cookies, celery, non-wrinkled carrots, and olive oil were gone. it is my opinion, the most awful thing to run out of around here is coffee fixings. that happened too.
   i seem to have a denial based system that is self adjusting. if i run out of my own preferred coffee, i am off to the store lickety-split. if my husband runs out of his, i am fine with his inconvenience. that is until it impinges upon my own well-being.
   as no good deed can lie unpunished, i offered him some of my own starbucks brand coffee. i began to feel badly that i was allowing him nurture his lazy and passive aggressive side.  his solution to not having the coffee he liked in house for personal brewing, was to purchase a cup at dunkin donuts each morning. now it seems like this might be a little of a splurge for him, however he receives countless gift cards from generous parents in his hockey world as thank yous for teaching their young'uns how to skate and play hockey. so he never spends a dime to snag his coffee in this manner. unless you consider his driving to a DD for his morning cuppa. then you need not worry again on that account, since he is using my car and therefore gas he also has not purchased. (note, this is the gashole experience... ranted at another time surely?). basically, he is only out for the time used in procuring a cup.
   so i offered him my grounds, which he greedily accepted. not one time in the several days that he was footloose and running around town, did it seem a good idea to stop in at the grocery store. i really think it was not on his mental to-do list. in the best of times,  he is a mixed skill grocery shopper.
   his dad used to drag him and his brothers through PXs wherever they were stationed. they were an air force family with 6 kids and plentiful needs to fulfill.  his dad would make all three of his sons trail him every saturday with 3 shopping carriages filling them as they rolled. one might think one of the daughters would occasionally take this trip with their dad or that the boys might have a baseball practice to go to...but alas no. i think that this has put a crimp in my hubby's ability to shop well for useful products in all aspects of his life, except for those from a hardware store or lumber mill.
digression now complete, my hubby was waiting for some coffee brewing convenience to come his way without making it happen himself. i can get over this.  i am directed frequently by my own culinary and convenience drives. it is not unreasonable to consider that i would be off to the market soon and would bring home the goods.
   what brings me to this silliness is that i was looking in my own passive way for my hubby to say," wow, that was some delicious coffee! i will not be drinking that dishwater that i now realize has been my mainstay for one more day! and thank you so very much for educating my palate as to what civil tasting coffee might be.".
yup, my fantasy.
what really happened when i asked...(since i have to ask), is that he said my coffee tasted moldy to him.

what ?????
 are you crazy????? 
are you kidding????

two days later after i pulled myself off of the ceiling, i went to the grocery store and purchased his can of store brand coffee grounds. they cost $3.49. i would be less than likely to even augment soil around  my plants roots with their spent crushed hulls.
i asked him if i got the right kind of coffee and how was his morning cup that first day. he said it was great and he enjoyed it.

i nearly fell down to the floor, as if i had been gut punched. good thing, i am really used to this sort of shit.
MOLDY???? really??? 

i am off to have my own cup of nicely brewed breakfast blend and some pre-warmed milk with raw sugar. it is going to set my day apart... as it tries to do each day. inevitably, my own world is fine, but the dramatic festival that is my life WITH my kids and hubby and dog, well that is not my fault. i need this indulgence. it makes most everything work a lot better. the responsibility of this little day-centering ritual is my own piece of nirvana.

i am only able to deal with this quirky element knowing he has a bad sense of smell and therefore taste.
there. poof. rationalized. until the next time i am affronted by this anasmia influenced event.

now, back to the question that is binary influence. i think of it as PLINKO. the game of chance from THE PRICE IS RIGHT. the tv show. Plinko is a game that is constructed so a contestant drops a disk into an slot opening at the top of a board. at the bottom of the same board, are a grouping of spots with prizes noted. i love this game, cause it takes a while for the disk to drop all the way to the prize. most folks will drop their disks hoping to get a car out of 3 parts of the disk landings or a buttload of money.
either would be a great prize.
   my life is plinko based. i start every day with a set series of tasks. if i had my druthers, i would accomplish every little thing i may have considered to be on the day's list. NEVER happens.
the vagaries of my weird sleeping, the dog needing to go outside, the drama of one of the kids, the aforementioned coffee crisis or any other weird thing always surfaces.
the option to drop that disk and have it travel in a straight line from top to bottom of the playing field has about a zero to negative googleplex chance of happening.

i try to make the best choice i can (pretty much like everyone else in the world). for the most part, things work out ok. still, there are very few days when everything goes well. you know the joy and amazement that would rule your emotions if you hit every traffic light on green for a long strip of travel? i am looking for that. instead i am plinko-ing along.

last night i said i was having a pretty good day and my husband told me that 'the boy' had called from college to say he was written up at school, for cutting his roommate's hair in the mens bathroom.
and now back to worrying about him. we figure that he will eventually get kicked out of school there. all experiences with him are leading up to this inevitability. for some reason, his brain is made of swiss cheese and it is not accepting info about organic chem at all easily.

plinko. binary life. one choice and then another. never truly a myriad of great choices... just selecting out the worst of many evils until only two remain. then the plinko-ness of it all settles in.

i can only take so much of this crap. it bodes poorly for a woman with moldy coffee and a need for a good vacation.

here is what has been working pretty well. 

wedding necklace

bracelet for a friend
it just needs a bird on it.

earrings galore
just need their wires

mixed bracelets

time to get up and make a trip to the post office, have lunch with some jewelry friends and stop morphing into the green chair in the living room. 

xxoo. w.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

waiting for the other shoe to drop.

for once, i really have nothing to report on in my life.
the past couple of weeks have been reeeeediculous. the widget had midterms, so the household crap piled higher than usual... recyclables, calls to the vice principal, doctor appointment making, bad teacher commentary, dishes, dog hair, etcetera.

of course i know when someone asks, what have you been up to? the answer is generally, i am just waiting for a shoe to drop. one always does. i can't really fathom why, but my life is seriously ridiculous. there is no reason for it. i just can't seem to ever make plans. really, what is the point? something always creeps into my reality to mess with any sense of harmony.

for example, our local gas company is owned by some british conglomerate. they run it by some absolutely irrational set of rules. a few months ago, our service was shut-off. we could not enjoy hot food or hot showers. it was during the deeply disturbing period where we were trying to figure out why our 15 year old daughter was throwing up every day(since august '12). that is a lot of discomfort to experience on top of the inexplicable crapfest that is high school. they shut our service off because we owed them $241and change. now in my mind, that is again just so silly, i have no response to it.
so my husband chose to deal with his life by his now annual trip to the woods to go camping. his dream is to sit around a campfire to read and commune with nature. he has been reading "the last of the mohicans" for about 8 years now. not what i would say, a good reader. he is tenacious perhaps, but not progressive. so i said, GO! you are bugging the bejeebers out of me. just deal with the gas company before you go.
so he paid the bill, scheduled his jaunt to the outer wilds of western Massachusetts and left me to stay home one morning to meet the gas rep who would hook the furnace back up and the water heater and the stove and the oven and the clothes dryer.


well they called me to say, that they would be at my house to reinstate service in about half an hour. nothing. more nothing and finally at 5 pm, i called to find out where they had been all day. i truly was angry about the irresponsibility of this. turns out that they had been calling my husband's phone in the woods, where there was no reception. i didn't understand why, because i had gotten the original call to make sure i would be home to let the workman in.
so while i was hoping a yeti would visit my husband in the woods, make his life a little more inconvenient, and validate my frustration with him playing chicken with our bills... nothing happened.

through another series of phone calls, i was able to determine that we were not considered a high priority of anyone at the gas company. the long story bores the snot out of me... the short version is that it took 3 more appointments with them to ascertain that they still were using the wrong phone number and were for magical reasons, constantly canceling our rehook-up of service. the child underwent an upper and lower GI series to determine that she was well enough. this took place during "Super-Storm Sandy". the gnarly hurricane with a cape. our daughter is healthy with no apparent issues, she is just stressed out beyond reason. seriously, who wouldn't be?

the end result was that we got our service returned to us. the cause of the mishap was not that our bill was  overdue, in fact someone from the gas company had read our meter wrong. they reported to the company that we owed $4000 which represented a two year period of non-payment.
my not having had service, a hot shower or a non- microwaved meal for a month made me more taciturn than i want to be. i was able to catch them in this stupendous failure to serve us legally and rightfully. not that anyone or any commission could advocate for us, but we were allowed a credit on our bill of $25.oo. that is not a big gift, especially for nearly a month of significant inconvenience.
 i think i did groan and grumble rather loudly. 

meanwhile my husband was visited in his woodsy camping trip by a black bear. in my mind, it served him right. he always likes to leave this shit to me. this is only because i am the reasonable one. if adequately provoked, i can ask enough questions to make a case for nearly every event. information to me, is ammunition. in my mind, everyone thinks i am a bitch and he is a swell guy oppressed beyond function. it is not the case and they do not live in our shoes. i do the weird and heavy lifting. he  often gets credit for more than is his share. i become more grey haired daily. which is ok in the long run, because i want to tint my hair pink. i think helen mirren channeled my dream recently.

so why is this being reported? well after my daughter had her midterms and a series of totally unreasonable things happen to her in school, at least one of which was illegal... the gas company came to visit us again. it is kind of like a bad fairy or the wicked witch of the west rolling in with her flying monkeys just  to torture us.
they were here to shut-off our service all over again.


only rarely, but more frequently do the weather forecasters get the weather systems right. they reported that we would be having a severe storm last week. it was blizzard grade. NO-one disputed the authenticity of these reports. YET the gas company was going around the neighborhood telling at least half of us, that our service would be turned off.
shockingly, THE BLIZZARD HIT. 
it was perfectly on time and as intense as it was reported that it would be. 
naturally, the power went out. this act of nature intervening with regular domestic services caused our heat to go with it. the furnace is somehow electrically driven. i got a tutorial on this, but it was so Rube Goldbergian, that i glazed over during a portion of the lecture naturally, i will need to ask for another explanation of this.

so no heat, no electricity, no light, no patience, and gratefully, no daughter. in a move that was sensible against all odds, she chose to wait out the storm with her best friend and her family. none of this shit ever happens to them. there is NEVER any service interruption or inconvenience in their cute little world. also they are very mellow people. so the entire blizzard was kind of a kick for them. they ate well, sledded, played in the snow, drank hot chocolate, at spaghetti and meatballs, ordered take-out pizza... like any other weekend in winter.
i cooked by flashlight after 4 pm and daylight before that.  working hours were short due to lighting issues. we were fine, the ole yeti repeller hubby and me. it was kind of beautiful and serenely quiet. i enjoyed it mostly. i dug out the car and the front walk too.   the dog couldn't find a spot to pee or poop for days, unless i walked him for that purpose.  eventually his neurotic spirit  was overwhelmed by his biology. it was kind of relaxing since i had no ability to make things go the way i wanted them to. so i fantasized that i was on a frontier and could deal with things. i had to go with the flow.
fantasizing this way was the operating sensibility that got me through it all.

so after not needing to go to the emergency room, nor deal with a teacher-related issue, nor console the girl over the unexpected, inconclusive break-up with the first boyfriend,  i returned home after picking the child up from school. i thought i could have a cup of tea and work. nope. only days after the blizzard, the gas company was waiting at my door to shut our service off AGAIN. they are relentless and driven by irrational behavior. they do not serve their customers well, nor do they treat their employees nicely.
i am perplexed by their way of doing business. the fact that they have no competition to force better service is a loss to our community.

i chose to delve back into my fantasy world; the one that is all clean and puffy and white.  i wrote a check to keep my gas service intact, just a litttle longer. i was told that things would be fine, at least until they sent out another agent to shut us off in a couple of days, as the computer would instruct them to do.

this reality shows the load of snow on my street, bridging my fantasy with the crazy reality that continues to insert itself. the skies were so very soft, romantic, pretty and cotton candy colored. it was a much nicer version than the one i was to experience only a couple of days later. it bridged the crap-fest that is the gas company visits with a little bit of natural beauty.

sunset over the post-blizzard treated street

i baked scones in preparation 
for  the snowfall, iciness of the power lines and wild 60 mile an hour winds. 
these are just basic currant with vanilla ... so good i may have eaten most of them myself. 
messing with my blood sugar levels unpleasingly.
i have  too little personal control when it comes to any buttery treat. 

and i made a stab at a graphic that i photoshopped text onto to become my valentine's day card. 
i believe it is possible that my epitaph shall include a record of my implosion 
due to photoshop illiteracy.

and a bunch of nice earrings were constructed finally from my painted flowers. 
these were accomplished in small spurts during and after the storm. 

this palette reminded me of my daughter's christmas cactus 
and the color of its blossoms.

the contradiction of the blues and oranges, 
reminded me of hot and cold water running into a bathtub. 
opposites, but so great blended together. 

and finally, for this rant about nothing..
the happy snow loving dog. 
the one who still can't quite get the hang of running in the ice crusted snow 
without sinking and getting stuck or slipping. 

just for reference, this was last summer
and this was last week.

yup, i got nothing to say. 
and i am waiting for the other shoe to drop. 


Wednesday, February 6, 2013


i am sure i should not say anything. so often i feel this way. it is hard to not start to twitch though.
the past two decades, i have spent my time as a stay at home mother and earned some money to help my family with groceries and occasional niceties. it is a career path in my mind that is flawed. having done absolutely everything within my power to raise my brood, i am at best proud... and at worst, frustrated.

my daughter has had a few events over the past couple of weeks that were untenably frustrating as a side-liner. i have to let her try to run her own life. at least as well as she can. luckily, my now 21 year old daughter is able to offer some realistic and responsible input as i mull my options over. if you are one of my blog readers, i apologize profusely at this point. i feel as if i need to continue to vent.

my most recent rant on the state of teachers at her high school ought to be over. i would be remiss not to add another story to the mix... just to keep the context of what a high school student might be contending with.
there are several stories that still rankle... however the one i would love to report on now has both my husband, my 21 yr. old daughter and myself just angry. purely and simply angry.
the girl took a high school mid-term exam recently. as she recounts, she noticed at 3 minutes before the end of the exam, she did not have an entire exam to complete. how would she have known? it was quiet in the room for the test takers. she was missing an essay and graph. when she reported this to her chem teacher, it was disregarded. i called the school to speak to an administrator. eventually, the teacher told her that she had failed the mid-term, based on her performance... but in light of missing a part of her exam, he would give her a "C" for her grade. considering she studied what she could and had a much higher grade in this class going into the exam, i felt that this was unfair and inequitable.

she was bereft about this turn of grading events. she really wants to go to college to play sports. ice hockey is her choice. she has already been playing for 8 years and it is in her blood.

what sets my teeth on edge is that this chem teacher not only told her he was giving her a grade that was based on an incomplete exam, but "HAYZEUS" had spoken to him the night before about this grade he was to give her.
he is a latin man and apparently teaches a lot of the class in spanish. as my daughter is not spanish in any way, nor does she speak spanish(in spite of 3 years of classes through middle school), she ought to be taught in the language of her country. i am digressing again.
what got my attention after being told she was awarded her grade after a call from Jesus, was that this man asked her what religion she was. then pursued that to ask if she was Catholic or Jewish. then asked what religion her parents were. then pursuant to that line, asked if she went to church or to synagogue. then followed that with whether she believes in God or not. and it digressed from there. he turned to another student near my daughter and spoke in a derogatory manner about her in spanish to the other student. one does not need to understand the spanish to comprehend the body english involved.
this school does little to make me happy these days.

now she also got her grade from her calligraphy teacher. she created (in her mind) an elegant calligraphed menu for a project. the teacher had been absent more than 50% of the classes and when she did show up to teach, wore a sports jersey and puffy bear claw slippers. this grade was also disagreeably received. seriously, how can a no-show of a teacher be considered as having any sense of elegance if she is teaching in slippers with claws on them?

i begin to think that i ought to be in the school every day. culling information from the ongoing antics of  this professional crew for a sitcom. i am also pissed off, since the principal told me the last time we spoke, that i was unprofessional in my need to speak with him without an appointment. i am sorry, i had NO FUCKING idea that i needed to be professional as a mother with an issue. this man is as big a beanhead as any of the people in this school.
it is beginning to make the teachers on the tv show "GLEE" look hugely NORMAL.

i am off to the school in a few minutes to pick up my daughter to go to the doctor's office. it is bound to be another posting topic, as it too is just fraught with unneeded crap. how is this continuously happening to the same girl? really, isn't high school enough of a problem that we all try to come out of as  close to unscathed as possible? this just seems like it is a joke right now.

so i have been making things that are a lot less or a lot more colorful and controlled. it is a teeter-totter in my mind. no balance from one side to the other per se, just a fulcrum of florals in the middle. i have gone from creamy bilaterally symmetrical off-white colors to the other side of things in a bright lemony yellow misto of textures, shadings and shapes.
the flowers are my balance. they are always there. mother nature is culpable. she follows her own rules and continues to make beauty where there is none. her anger is sheer wrath when let loose, but in this one nice way, it is simply a thing to make my heart sing. let's face it, i need some singing happening.

lemonade III bling added.

creamy demure mixed whites

wish me luck, i am off to take the girl from the portal to hell, aka high school to the other end of that portal, the pediatrician's office. 

i need a coffee, bad. 
with a shot and a beer. 
it is only 10:30 a.m.

later, lovelies. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

vicarious living

i am sure most folks lead a more exciting life than i do. i know this because i seem to be living my own vicariously. it is likely that this happens to loads of folks... they are just more sensible than to report on it.
this week has been a rough one, since my daughter has had the returns on her mid-term exams come in. of course that can go either way, well or crappy. in her case it did not go particularly well. she has some of the quirkiest teachers to ever cross the threshold in any academic institution. the result is that she has experienced the unfairness of laziness in academia.

for one teacher, his accusation just before the holidays, of plagiarism was the shot heard round the world.  a meeting with a vice principal, my husband, myself and the teacher who accused the child, along with our daughter yielded spectacular results. the first was that i got into trouble for trying to tell that teacher to simply "shut-up". this is not a pairing of words i ever let my kids use, so they all know that my blurting them out is a sign or extreme frustration. it was resolved that the girl did NOT PLAGIARIZE. the teacher offered to apologize to the class and set things right. her grade was respectfully returned to an "A" as it merited prior to the accusation. now several components of this experience have lingered. one was that another student did plagiarize on the same assignment and she got off easily. she was awarded a 45% on her paper. signifying a fail for the assignment. my kid was lumped in with her and it lingered along with her, since mr. doo-doo head NEVER apologized for his accusation nor did he reflect that my girl honestly earned a good grade.
not only has no apology been issued, but the entire school knew of this accusation of intellectual theft. at the time we all(except mr. dd head) knew that the stink of it would travel with the girl for quite a while.
not only has this experience been frustrating, but no-one on school staff has managed to check up on the outcome in the post-holiday/ mid-term time. surely, they see one another at school and can have a quick discussion in passing? what does happen in passing, is that the teacher has been overheard in the halls of the school not one time, but 4 separate times since, discussing my daughter's performance in this class and the grades she has earned. it has happened in the teacher's lounge also. i know this since a teacher reported it to me directly. so in normal places, this might be cause to fire such a bad instructor.
not in providence. which really sucks as far as i can tell.

as for mid-terms. the same poor girl took a chem test. she studied and studied hard for it. unluckily for her, she did not receive some portion of the exam that included a graph and an essay. so her exam was incomplete and she was failed in it. her grade coming into the exam was an "A". why would any teacher knowing their class at all... not question the failure of the student at such an exam, when up until that point, the work had been exemplary?
i think that when asked if she could take the parts of the test that were missing from the exam booklet, her teacher said no she couldn't, but he would give her a "C" for the exam.  again, injustice. at what point did taking exams, quizzes, doing homework and in class assignments become the entree to buying  a used car from a slimy salesman? the man would neither allow her to contact him over the long weekend by email or phone. so paranoid about her getting ahold of him. yet... today, after awarding her a B to shut her up, he inquired indelicately about her religious life. he did so, after he explained that his offer of a "B" was because he had talked with God the night before. not only did he ask if she was catholic or jewish, but how did she attend services and did she believe in God?
i am sorry, but the course was in chemistry. not philosophical or religious upbringing. this must be against some rule of the school?

then of course, there was the math test. her calculator batteries died in the middle of the exam. she replaced them the next day with what she thought were fresh batteries. unfortunately, they were not. so the teacher refused to allow for her to take the missing part of her exam at all.
can i please get a break for this kid somewhere?

just when things settled down from yesterday, her boyfriend broke up with her. no reason in particular, but still he knew she was having an exceedingly bad week. i would say, he is hurting what is already pretty broken. so she has been in tears for days now. today's breakup was the icing on the pity party cake.
i asked my hubby to bring her a bunch of daffodils to cheer her up and he did ok on that. he also brought a lifetime supply of m&ms.
surprisingly, i am impressed on his sense of what to do. he has never been broken up with, so he has no idea how awful it feels.
how the hell is that possible?
well, it just is. 
the same girlfriend for 10 years, going nowhere fast.. and then me. 
poof. 38 years of dating and no one has ever broken up with him. 
i must tell you... he can be really irritating too. 

i digress...

anyways, i am miserable. i live through each one of these tear-filled experiences and hope for a kind, warm, even resolution. some type of human connectedness where no pain is involved. i am constantly reminded that life is just not fair. i am her portrait of dorian gray. i feel it all and am trying to advocate reasonably for her in her unfair experiences. the thing with the boyfriend is sort of not particularly fair, since she had NO idea it was coming. they are really great friends, but the boy is a senior and tomorrow he turns 18. it is a sneaky ass way to get out of any valentine's day hullaballoo too. poor daughter. she turns 16 in a few weeks herself. so i am a little broken hearted for her. 

what she shocked me with, after  several hours of crying, was that the break-up is imminent. not a real firm thing. he just wants to think about things for a little bit. as he ought to if he has doubts. she of course has a retaliatory plan to simply dump him. firm and unwaveringly for public record. 
so i credit her with a resilient plan of attack.
 personally, i would make him a cake for his birthday and talk through what he is feeling at sea about. of course, she is two years younger and is not experienced enough to do that. i am unwilling to coach her on these tactics, since this is the crap of life that one must endure and hopefully learn from. i am pretty willing to do one thing though. that is burn the grey sweat pants that she has lived in for months. there are 3 pairs of these narsty things. it hasn't yet been done, since in reality, they are my husband's pants. he would be upset to miss out on their coziness. still i truly despise sweatpants. i have never worn a pair and never owned a pair. it is a no-brainer for me. 

so i am on my 4th life as a 15 year old now. reincarnation does not only happen through death and resurrection. it seems to happen through proximity. and i may add, it is a bitch every damn time. 
i am not looking forward to grandchildren sharing this nonsense with me. hopefully they will see me as totally addled and out of touch. that is my plan. 

i just wish my girl felt a lot better. this is hard shit. 

on a sunnier note, i made a third incarnation of a beloved necklace. It is sunny and yellow. warm and mixed of brightness and sparkle. i can only hope it holds some magical power that will thrill someone as much as me. i am considering adding more silver and crystal necklace strands in its bounty to glimmer and glint with cheery, non-wintry light. also, it may wind up staying with me for a snick of time. i am pretty greedy ...
Lemonade III 

and for some limey goodness... on a citrus colored theme, 

granny apple green 
bubblemania necklace

other stuff is made in different levels of completion. this is good, since a lot of it has been repairs. 
repairs are just thankless time-using tasks. of course the owners of the pieces are happy that they got done, but they are pretty much complete re-do items. after 10 years of service shouldn't a piece of costume jewelry be freed up from service? or perhaps replaced? it would seem that would be an option. i guess i am happy that my people really like to wear their things into the ground.  that they seem to span over a long period of time, without disappearing from fashionability or personal style, well that is just so sweet. so on i go to fixing the last 2 pieces in the library of renovations. 

here is just one of them. i forgot to take pictures of the rest. they just needed to be returned to their homes asap. things get lost here often. i try to keep order, but i am in the midst of a lot of different stuff on every given day. i am thinking of a tagging system or a clapper to keep pieces located in my work areas. it may be helpful. 

cynthia's necklace. 

time to color up some fresh flowers. the temperature is dipping from the sultry 60's of earlier today. i missed my painting opportunity, but will still need to run in and out of the house to do what i can. i need some fresh blossoms baaad. 

so see you later alligators... time to get back to the paintbox.