Monday, March 21, 2016

dossiers and horse manure

In the last week, we have renewed the tabs on our little, red truck. We have taken out a small loan to pay our bill with the IRS. I have opened a new account at my bank so I can replace my Google Wallet card with a debit card. I bet we have shown picture IDs ten times, signed document after document saying that the number we wrote down is truly our SS number, produced proof of insurance for almost everything but the dog, and carried home a ream of paper's worth of copies. I had to go to the court house three times before I had the right paper.

I am going to start carrying a dossier, if a dossier is a thing you can carry.

I did a google search for images of dossier and couldn't find anything but this. Maybe a dossier is a metaphorical file and not something one carries.

At the bank, Tim told us about his trip to New Orleans and how odiferous Canal Street was. Regis put into google the question, "Why does New Orleans stink?" and got this as an answer.

This town smells, depending on where you are (or “where y’at,” rather) and what time of year it is, New Orleans might smell like horse manure, cigarettes, urine, dead fish, marijuana, vomit, diesel fumes, fried chicken, Confederate jasmine, old wood, coffee, Angel’s Trumpet flowers, mown grass, mossy trees, and sweet olive.

 That Google can be something.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

peaceful morning

Elliot is off to school, Regis is sleeping, and I am drinking coffee and watching the grackles, juvenile delinquents of the bird world, marauding through my bird feeders,

Elliot read books at the table while he ate breakfast. He had a bagel with cream cheese and our cat is currently obsessed with dairy products. In order to keep Woodrow away from Elliot's bagel, I treated him to a tiny dish of milk on his cat tree. Apparently it was too much for his tender tummy because he drank it all, then turned and projectile vomited all over the floor. He just missed a basket full of my shoes, a fact for which I am grateful.

Can you see Gus's nose peeking out from under Elliot's arm? Not sure if he wants to hear about manners at school or if he's looking for a handout.

It's St. Patrick's Day and we aren't celebrating with a big party as we have from time to time. We are planning to go to the parade, have corned beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread, and dress in green. It is going to be chilly which means I can break out the red wig and big green hat.

Sunday, March 13, 2016


My sweet seven year old grandson, Elliot, who has been living with us since January 1st, has been asking a lot of questions lately about family relationships. Who is my (Estle) dad? Is he still alive? Who is my dad's (Eric's) dad? How do I know that? Then he asks about his mom. And his mom's mom. I have to tell him we don't know. I have to tell him about the pain of adoption and loss of family and how we all love each other anyway. He cries and I cry. His sweet face worrying over these relationships is heartbreaking. I wish I had an easy answer. I wish it didn't involve human heartache and sadness and a lifetime of loss and anguish. I wish I had a better answer.

My friend, Joanne, wrote this comment. It's easy, in the night when I am tired and the gray-faced men march around the bed to feel sad and overwhelmed. This is a good reminder.
Along with those stories are the tales of great joy, love, acceptance, and triumph over hardship. Altogether, all of these stories make up your family quilt, and the good far outweighs the bad. Elliot is surrounded by love. He will come through this, and so will you.
Elliot's questions and emotions have brought some good conversations with his mom about the importance of family, no matter how you come into one.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Google Wallet: My review

Regis and I both have Google Wallet cards and have recommended it to friends and even people who see us use it in stores. You can easily transfer money from a bank account to your Google Wallet card and it becomes a debit card. Money has always transferred almost instantly. Until now. Last Tuesday, Regis put $700 on my card. I tried to use it several times over the next few days only to have it declined. We have been on the phone with customer service. I was told I would have the money by Friday at 2. Nope. We have been given several reasons for this...most of them blaming someone else. This afternoon, I still do not have that money. Back in the 80s, it only took three days for a paper check to clear. This is ridiculous. Oh, the solution is to draw the funds from my bank's debit card, earning Google 3% which on $700 is $21. We do this every month so that's $252 dollars a year. Not going to do that, Google.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

two months into this

It's March 1st and Regis and I are two months into caring for our grandson, Elliot full-time. Somehow, we are making it work even though we always said we couldn't do it. I have all kinds of inspirational messages tacked onto the refrigerator and other vertical surfaces. Reminders to be calm and things will work out for the best. I love this one.

As you can imagine, in the beginning, there was some stress. This was a good reminder. We weren't used to cooking three meals a day, getting a little kid off to school, remembering to do homework, and making sure he had clean clothes in the morning. Every week, we get better at this.

These are some of my favorite pictures from the last few months. You can see it has not all been stress and chaos...there have been some very sweet moments.

Alex turned 7 on the 19th of February and Elliot on the 27th. We celebrated at our house and it was an adventure. This happened on Friday afternoon.

I was leaving Family Fresh when this balloon came off my cart and flew across the parking lot. A nice, young employee ran to grab it. He gave it back to me and I thanked him. I turned around and my cart full of buns, birthday cupcakes, and my purse was rolling rapidly toward 169. It could have been a disaster but he ran and caught that, too!

These two entries were on my Facebook memories today. Good to remember as we woke up to three inches of new snow!


Met Bob Bergstrom at Triple E's Cafe in Arlington for dinner. Quite a hoot of a place. An aproned and baseball capped cook came out of the kitchen with his guitar and sang happy birthday to a little dude who was celebrating with cupcakes and his shrieking baby sister. Good stories and laughs with an old friend. A good way to celebrate the first of March.

Garrison Keillor said that God made March so people who don't drink know what a hang-over feels like. Does that mean we think it's spring but it isn't and we're tortured with more snow and cold? I want to be more optimistic than that. Spring is coming! Happy March!

That is all for today, my friends. Make it a good month!