Sunday, November 30, 2014

On Friday morning I watched as a tiny backhoe dug trenches at a sensitive location. In the last trench a collared lizard appeared in the dirt and I caught it and carried it across the street to a safe location, away from the construction work.

Collared lizard.

Yesterday I took mother on the Modern Streetcar. We rode the entire route, getting off at 4th Avenue and 9th Street. I sent mother into a bookstore while I went up the street to the barber shop.


Then to the library and Safeway. For supper I made roasted Brussel Sprouts and heated up the last leftover Thanksgiving mashed parsnips and potatoes. Mother commented that the Brussel sprouts would be softer if they were microwaved. I reminded her that I do not have one of those microwave dohickeys.

I spent a lot of the time this weekend abstracting coroner's inquest cases. The last one I did was three men killed while cleaning out a cesspool, overcome by poisonous gases. What a horrible way to go.

I am trying to think of things to do with mother. She cannot walk very far. Stores are good, because she can push the cart around (helps with the walking). Have to get creative.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Catching up. My mother purchased this light-up Santa head to decorate my house. I need to figure out how to hang it up.


I'm feeling poor this year so I am making canned goods for holiday presents. The first thing I have made is apple-onion-fresh sage chutney. Tastes like Thanksgiving.

Mother did not like it.

I do not like the fact that I apparently have a dental caries on the labial side of my right 2nd maxillary molar. Last Sunday it hurt very bad. I have my regular appointment with the dentist next Monday. I have also been grinding my teeth due to stress. Sigh.

For Thanksgiving lunch I tried something new, a chocolate flourless torte. 

Looks pretty while I am mixing the egg yolk mixture into the chocolate and butter mixture.

Finished torte.

Buddy kept me company while I cooked.

My floor needs to be refinished badly.

Also made gluten free cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes and parsnips, and cranberry-pineapple-pecan sauce.

Gluten-free stuffing.

I pulled out the 1909 wedding china. I need to buy some wineglasses, I am down to three due to breakage.

Table setting.

Cooking for my mother is difficult. She has gotten so picky, I agonize over what to make her because she hates so many things. The other night I asked her is she liked supper and she said, "Well, it was filling." She has no filter and blurts out whatever she thinks. My feelings get hurt, a lot. It has made my life stressful.

So I was pleased she liked everything I cooked for Thanksgiving lunch. She even liked the leftovers. 

Tomorrow we are going to ride the streetcar. That will be an adventure.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The hospital bill from when I was born in 1963.

This involved a Caesarian operation, completed replacement of my blood (mother and father had A- and A+ blood, Rh factor), three day stay, and (unfortunately) circumcision ($3.50 to mutilate your kid's junk!).

In 2013 dollars, $353.30 comes out to about $2,653.47 (using an online historical currency converter). My parents had to pay $9. Seems rather ridiculous considering today this would be 30 or 40 thousand dollars minimum. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Every once in a while I have The Class Dream. I am in college and it is the end of the semester and I suddenly realize I forgot to drop a math class that I never went to. I will get an E and I won't be able to graduate. A terrible feeling of dread envelopes me.

And then I wake up and I cannot shake that feeling. Anxiousness, my heart pounding in my chest. I have to lie there and think, think, think. I have not been in school since I got my Master's Degree in 1992. Remember that, it was only a dream.

Just typing this makes me anxious.

My other recurring dream is the Hurry, Hurry! Dream in which I try to get people to leave a burning building. And of course people are dawdling, wondering whether they should get their cell phone or purse. Wondering why they should move faster out of the building. This dream became a regular nightmare after 9/11 when I read that so many people died because they were unable to process the fact that either the building they were in was burning up or that the building next to them was burning with people jumping out. I realize that under very unusual, stressful circumstances many people are unable to think rationally. My mother is a good example of that. She would never, ever dream of calling 9-1-1 because that is embarrassing or shameful. Luckily I seem to have a lot of common sense.

Anyways, so I wake up scared out of my mind and can't go back to sleep. And I've been having the two dreams a lot recently due to some stress I have been having in real life. What fun.

Monday, November 10, 2014

I created an altar for my the annual All Souls Procession cocktail party.

Ancestors, friends, family heirlooms, musical instruments.

A prominent place for dear Sam. I miss him.


Many of the photographs are unidentified people. I purchase many of the photos on Ebay from my hometown in Michigan. 

Mostly unknown.

Jesse and Craig came down and helped me decorate sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies.


Jesse and Craig did an excellent job decorating. They got to see me in a bad moment, brought on by stress.


I made a pound cake in my skull pan and decorated it like a sugar skull.


That night we went to see Interstellar. It was very long. We did not get back home until almost 2:00 AM. I haven't been up that late in a long time.

The next morning I made breakfast burritos from leftover Spanish Rice and scrambled eggs. Then Craig carefully chopped things to make salsa.


I attempted to do a nice make-up, but it was very sloppy.

People began to show up.

Catelyn and her friend.

Craig and Jesse.


Nicole and her husband.

Amy, Matt, Fabiola, and I.


At 6:00 we walked down the street. I handed out gladiolas to women along the way. One woman told me it was very sweet. We watched people go by in the Procession. I think Craig and Jesse were impressed.

Craig and Jesse.

And so another year has gone by. This year I lost a co-worker and the former boyfriend of one of my best friends. I guess as I get older death will happen more often and someday it will be my turn. I hope somebody walks in the procession in my memory.

Monday, November 03, 2014

The bush across the street is blooming and a bunch of butterflies were landing on it.

I'll have to ask Doug what kind they are.

Today at work I worked on a Powerpoint presentation that suddenly came up. I get asked to do talks all the time and I mostly say yes. It is good PR for the company and I am an excellent public speaker. Sometimes I wish I wasn't so good at it.

In the afternoon, Bobcat  strolled by the window. I tapped and she stopped to look at me. When she got bored she walked around to the back of the building and I went out to take some photos.

She is a pretty thing. I am glad she is having a good life and seems very healthy.

Tomorrow I get to find out whether I have to take cholesterol drugs. Sad face.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

I carved a pumpkin at the last moment and Doug and I handed out candy. I had about 25 kids come by this year.


Had a migraine last week, seven hours of skull-splitting pain. Very unpleasant and days later I can still feel it.

Today I went off to the office and finished the genealogy newsletter that I put together four times a year. Have been doing that since 1999- 15 years, 12 pages per issue.  

On the way back I stopped off at the Catholic Cemetery. Today is All Soul's Day and dozens of people were out visiting the graves of relatives and friends.

Emilia died in 1933.

The tombstone of Guadalupe and Victoria, a new one installed about 10 years ago, was almost completely buried so I went to my car and of course I couldn't find a trowel, so I found a tablespoon and a brush and uncovered the surface so people could see it.

Elisa died in 1911.

The metal vases on so many tombstones have been broken off- taken to scrap dealers and sold for money by drug addicts. Other stones are broken and the cemetery has no money to repair them.

Vicenta died in 1930.

A woman stopped me and pointed to an enormous mausoleum, which has a cross engraved into the concrete but no other markings. "They say she was a singer or a ballet dancer. She must have been very rich."

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