At least that’s something

This has been a tumultuous week for me – on so many levels.

So to start out – we were notified a few days ago that we’re getting our first foster dog. His name is Melvin, he’s not neutered, he has a broken tooth that has to be removed, and he spent all seven of his years in a heated garage before being surrendered to a shelter in North Dakota.  I bet he’s sweet – most animals are – in truth, it’s those of the human race that are not so sweet.

I did not get the payroll upgrade I was petitioning for at work. Aside from the money involved, it bothers me to no end that the work I do is not recognized like it should be. I’m still trying to get over that.

I am going to be a grandma again. That’s my good news of the week. Jeren and Lauren are expecting and due sometime in September. I can’t wait to see what we get this time. It’ll be pretty hard to beat my beautiful Brooklynn Marie!

That’s enough for now. I need to play with Chanel and try to prepare her for our soon to arrive guest. At least that’s something I have control over.

He was a good boy and we loved him.

Our home is so quiet these days. The number of residents are shrinking with every passing year. First it was Ira. He is gone from Sunday evening until Friday evening and of course Amelia goes away with him back to Rochester. For the past two years it’s just been Anabelle, Mister Snickers, Mr. B. Jun, Coco Chanel and myself.  Eighteen months ago Anabelle crossed the Rainbow Bridge, and just a week ago Mister Snickers followed. Putting him to sleep was so hard. For us our losses are as deep as the loss of a human and only a true pet lover would understand that. You’d think it would get easier, but it never does. He was a good boy and we loved him.

We decided to try fostering and are hoping this will satisfy our need for companionship without the sadness of having to say goodbye to an ailing pet. The first group we applied to was English Springer Spaniel Rescue Assoc. (ESRA). We had our home visit yesterday and between that and our application, we passed their process and are ready to start taking fosters for them. It’s sad, yet calming because it solidifies our losses, but gives us hope for the future. I’m hoping we don’t join the list of “foster failures,” meaning those who take on a foster, but cannot give him or her up, so they end up adopting it. In the meantime, we’re just waiting to see who we get.

Not in my corner

Img_1087-blogIra’s been driving over the road for nearly a year now. He loves it, but it means I’m home alone with Mister B. Jun, Mister Snickers and Coco Chanel five days out of the week. It gets lonely because none of them can actually *talk* to me or share their opinions about things I want to talk about. Then again, maybe that’s a good thing.

All day long I was thinking that tomorrow is Yasmina’s birthday – 35. I remember how pretty and perfect she was the first time I saw her – I thought my heart would burst with all the love it contained. But who would have ever guessed she would grow to hate me so fiercely! And the things she blames me for – this monster she has created in her mind – hell – I would hate me if the things she accuses me of were true!

I was reading this court report tonight and I was stunned to learn that Yas was stopped and fined in 2010 for having Scarlett in a car with no seat belt and no car seat in sight – I couldn’t help but think how ironic it is that she doesn’t trust her daughter to be safe in my care!

I have no idea how things got to this point, but one thing I am SO clear about is that Cookie would have put an end to it all, so long ago. Even my mother would have had to answer to her.

I’m not sure if I’m handling this all right, but even as I say that I have to remind myself that the ball has never been in my corner.

“You can die never being able to understand some one or some thing. Or you can put it in a box, seal it with a kiss and accept that some things were never meant to be.”
~ 2015, Shirliana Varod Gili Glassberg

I made a friend!

Me and my boyI found another reason to love the Internet. I mean, obviously I better love it since it entails about 80 percent of my job, but it’s importance in my life just doubled! I made a new friend and it looks like he’s a keeper.  Lets hope my quirkiness doesn’t dissuade him from making me his friend and being a keeper too.

I saw Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 last night. After such a long wait, I was dissapointed somewhat. I think I’m going to re-read the books and make the charactors come to life for me again – it was such a great series – and the movie wasn’t bad, but for me, it felt like  it lacked substance.

This is an errand day for me. I have a lot of little things to get done today. I’m going to pick up a router from Best Buy and see if my replacement glasses (the ones that were stolen) are ready to be picked up at Sears. I need to shop for a pair of shoes, buy some camis from the mall, and get some groceries.

It looks to be an okay day, depsite the grey and overcast day I’m seeing through the curtains. I am resolved not to let it affect me! After all, I made a new friend, and you can never have too many of those.




Saturday sentiments

Saturdays come and go so quickly around here. It is the one full day we have with Amelia and I wouldn’t trade a single one for anything in the world because it’s time – and of course time – one of the few things money can’t buy.

Our plans today include bringing a disc to Mellie Mae so she can make birthday invites for one of her boys. We also need to give Sofi a good washing and sort through the leftover garage sale items – which to give to Goodwill and which to bring to work for anyone who wants. I want to take Amelia to look at the IPad Mini to see if she’d prefer that to the IPad I was going to buy her.

I was invited to a birthday party for a former co-worker. I wanted to go so bad. I wanted to dress up in something fancy and be with my friends and most of all… to dance. Oh how I miss those kinds of things I used to do. I remember one night when me and my friends were out and I was in the middle of the dance floor just taking it all in – it was right before I moved and I knew it would be a long time before I saw a dance floor again. How could I go out and leave the boys at home alone? And who would I go out with in the first place because I wouldn’t know anyone anyway. I got asked to dance so much that night that I was so tired even before the night was over. And there I stood in the middle of the dance floor, with my eyes closed and taking in every single thing about that moment. Little did I know I’d be closing my eyes a lot in the years to come – and every time I’d re-live that moment, I’d always sigh to myself knowing I’d probably never have it again.

But OMG – what is up with that – I sound like a boring, complaining girl who doesn’t know how to make things happen!  Okay so I don’t, but I don’t have to sound like one!


One can always hope

Susan and Dan left for Palm Springs this afternoon. I’m glad they’re going to be living in warmer temps, but I’m definitely going to miss them  a lot. I know with phone and e-mail they’re really not that far away – but there is nothing like those hello and goodbye hugs I get when I go to visit them.

We just got through a really busy time at work . The Professional Conference is behind us, but there never is much quiet time that follows an event we finish – in this case – the election is just around the corner, followed by the Representative Convention, which is followed by Teacher of the Year. It really never ends, but that’s fine – I’d be out of a job if there was nothing to do, right?

About the election. I can’t believe there’s a chance we’ll actually elect another Republican president – especially this one. How could he be anymore out of touch with what people like us need? Us, being non-millionaires – regular people who work 8-hour days and have to watch every penny they spend.

I keep remembering 2000 and how we were steam-rolled by certain Republicans into the placement of a president who spent the next eight years putting us more into debt and into a war that we had no reason to be. Now those same Republicans blame our current president for the mess that he inherited from Bush – the baboon with the inflated ego who they put into office. Sorry. I’m still not over it.

With a birthday recently behind me, I’ve done some thinking about the past few years. – What a time of changes. I’ve lost several friends – well people I thought were friends, and I’ve gained a few as well. I’ve lost two moms, but got one back – thank God. I’ve listened to things I shouldn’t and I haven’t listened to things I should. I’ve made mistakes and it’s a miracle I’ve recovered from them. But I wonder how many miracles one does get. How many mistakes can a person make, and is anyone actually counting them and keeping track? Can you run out of them?

Sometimes I wish I could escape who I am and go into the world and do all the things I want to do, say the things I want to say and be the kind of person I know I can be. Instead I am trapped where I am, being who I am and never quite being satisfied that I’ve been as good as I can be, as smart as I can be and as giving as I need to be. Sometimes I think I’m just to tired to think.

On a completely other note, Tim Couture died last week. I remember him so well even though it had been so long since we actually saw each other, even talked. But I still remember the short time we shared together and I remember that he told me he’d always love me. I remember I told him that I’d always love him too. We were just kids, but I was broken-hearted when I heard the news.

I’m ending this post by telling you about something really, really special and cool that happened last week. Jeren came to visit and he brought his Lauren.

Lauren is the girlfriend he’s been talking about for the last several months – she’s beautiful – inside and out. My son has this uncanny ability to find wonderful, special women and Lauren is no exception. I knew I’d love her the first moment I saw her and of course I did.

She’s cute and she’s smart, but most importantly – she is really good to Jeren. She’s soft-hearted, and for as pretty as she is, she’s surprisingly very humble and sweet-natured. Amelia loved her right away too.

They only spent one night in St. Paul, but I made the most of every single moment of it. We went out to eat and we shopped, and we laughed and had so much fun. I can’t remember the last time I saw Jeren so happy, or felt that happy myself.

Amelia, like me, was beside herself – what could be better than Jeren? Why Jeren with a girlfriend, that’s what! And Jeren with a girlfriend who she thinks is so cool is the frosting on the cake! It was so cool to see them all connecting so wonderfully.

We had lunch at Jeren’s favorite lunch place – Chipolte – and then we said goodbye. I can’t wait till they come back again – little by little some parts of my life are coming back to me. I hope with everything I have to hope, that one day I will have them all.

Until next time, I remain… faithfully yours.

Birthday – I had one!

Shirliana's birthday pictureWhat a birthday. My friends at work were so wonderful to me. Normally I don’t like being in the center of attention and I don’t know how to respond when people give me gifts – honestly – I’d rather do the giving. But my friends at work didn’t make me feel weird – I have some really great ones and it’s without a doubt one of the best things about my job.

I remember when I left Global Volunteers that I wondered how I would ever go on and I was so sure I’d never find the family that I had at the job I had been at for nearly nine years. Well I did, and lucky me. Lucky, lucky me. Best of all – I didn’t trade one family for another – I just added to the one I already had.

And of course, Susan and Dan were so generous, giving me a gift card that I could spend anywhere – and I did! It was so fun and provided Amelia and I more than one shopping spree!

But birthdays aren’t about getting presents and being put in the limelight. I’m grateful that I am alive and seemingly doing well and I’m looking forward to what the next year will bring.

Morning musings

The heat is sweltering, but I don’t mind. Later today Amelia and I are supposed to go berry picking – my little girl has her heart set on it and mine isn’t able to break hers. It’s quiet in the house, with everyone sleeping and I’m preparing to do research – where will we go, what time should we go and how will we fit it in with a trip to the gym,  lunch with Grandma Susan and dinner with Papa John. I think I can manage it all.

I took a break to read the news and saw that Spain’s annual “Running of the Bulls,” started this week. What a gruesome and morbid tradition that is, and I wondered how it is allowed to continue at a time when ever-watchful PETA protesters work tirelessly around the clock to spread their message and prevent animal cruelity.

For eight days this deadly celebration begins early in the morning with the frightened bulls charging down the streets amid crowds of people taunting and luring them. They will run from the corrals to the bullring, where the they will later face certain death against matadors who’ve trained specifically for this horrific spectator sport. Gawd-awful, isn’t it?

I’m reminded of a conversation I had yesterday with Amelia. Our little girl is heavily involved in the sport of horseback riding and when I picked her up from school yesterday she was talking about the nicking of one of the horses tails to prepare it for an upcoming horse show. I was appalled at her words – while I didn’t have a clue what tail nicking was, I was sure it involved pain and told he so. “The horse doesn’t feel any pain,” she said, to which I replied, “Did the horse tell you that, or are you repeating what you’ve heard from someone else?”

Later I Googled the process of “nicking” a horse’s tail. The process involves cutting the tail muscle and ligaments and inserting a “tail set,” then forcing it to heal in an abnormal fashion, causing the tail to arch – an abnormalty that is considered fashionable in the ring.  The tail set causes muscles and ligaments heal in a way they are longer than they were initially.  According to Wikipedia, “It is a harness-like device with straps that loop from the chest of the horse to the back of the tail to support a spoon crupper that actually holds the tail itself. A tail set holds the tail up and stretches the muscles and ligaments of the tail, preventing it from gradually sinking down. Once healed, the tail will still retain most of its movement and function, such as swatting flies, but can no longer be clamped down hard against the buttocks. In the show ring, the tailsetting harness is removed, but the tail is often tied or put into a tail brace to hold it in place.”

When Amelia woke up, I told her about what I had learned. I added that she might have to decide whether she wants this done to her horse one day and no longer can she think that it’s a painless procedure. I didn’t tell he this, but I hope she has the courage and conscience to make the most humane decision.

I am back to my research of berries and picking places and managing the events of our day. It will be nice to see Susan again, although I’m not sure what she’s going to say about my pink hair – she hasn’t seen it yet. Here’s hoping for a relaxing and productive day. But honestly I have to wonder – is there such a thing?

Fourteen times

To who ever took the headrest out of my convertible,

It was parked outside the veterinarian’s office because I was picking up my aging and precious Saint Bernard from her appointment. She is nearing the life expectancy of a Saint and to my heartbreak, is starting to show it. My top was down because that is the only way she can fit in my Volkswagen Beetle. The cost of my doctor visit was nearly $400, which I didn’t readily have – but somehow always manage to find a way to come  up with it. Anything to help her live a comfortable life and as healthy one as possible.

Cost to replace my headrest that you stole is another $400. I hope you took it because you needed it – not in jest or some immature act of child’s play. I hope it sits in the back of another Beetle convertible, not tossed carelessly on the side of the road or in deep grass somewhere, where it does nobody any good. I hope you needed it.

Twelve years ago I moved to the Twin Cities. At the time I thought this was where I was meant to be – the people, the action, the opportunities – now I’m not so sure. And while I still believe I didn’t have a choice in the move – I admit it came with great costs. What I left behind – and again, I stress, I truly didn’t believe I had a choice, can never be re-gotten or replaced.

Today I was reflecting that this remarkable place that instantly captured my imagination and gave me such promise, has been riddled with pain, heartbreak and even crime. And while it did bring me some measure of happiness and satisfaction, it marks the fourteenth time I have been either robbed, attacked or accosted in some way.

And yet here I still am. Rooted to the place I call home and without the most vital components that truly make it one.

Eddie – rest in peace

It has been a busy and sad week and I dread knowing what disaster Friday might bring about.

On Sunday I went to a spa with my friend Eshaka and was burned when the sauna-type machine jammed and over-heated. What was supposed to be a relaxing 15 minutes in a hot sauna pod, turned out to be a 15 minutes of pure burning hell in a pod with a temperature that wouldn’t be lowered. It was horrible and I still have the small blisters to remember it.

Then on Tuesday, Mister Snickers ripped off one of his toenails and I had to bring him to the doctor. Ouch! Not only for him, but for me too when the vet tech showed me the estimate of services! Thankfully Papa John helped me out and paid for the whole bill. Two thoughts: 1) It would have wiped out my checking account and 2) I’m totally in the wrong profession! Thank goodness his foot is healing, but he’s having a hard time with the cone he has to wear for the next week or so.

But the saddest of all happenings, came about today. I learned through another friend, that my dear friend Deb just lost one of her two sons. His funeral was yesterday and he was only 28. I am so dearly sad for her and her husband – how do you deal with something like that?

I can’t help but think back in time to when we are first given our tiny, precious bundles – a unique combination of ourself and the person we once gave of ourself. We gaze lovingly upon those innocent little bundles, never knowing what tragedies or good fortunes will befall them. It seems like it is a cruel joke if history is already pre-written and there we stand – oblivious, and more importantly, helpless to prevent the harms that could possibly befall our sweet babies.

I remember him – and I cry inside and out for my dear friend. I hope I am never tested in the way that she has been, because I don’t know that I could ever recover.

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