Bloggling Twenty-Three, MIA Version

I have been MIA, for this I am sorry.  I don’t know that I have any really good reason for being missing, but I just haven’t come here.  Or to any of your blogs either, which I am even more sorry.

It started out simply enough, in that I was trying to make sure to spend time off of my phone and my computer when I was home with my husband and Mea.  I did a great job of staying off my computer, I had to dust it off, and update a million things before I could even sign on to start this post, I still feel like I am on my phone too much, but it is a work in process.

I really discovered that the majority of my  blogging time was done when I was at work.  Whether it was reading blogs, or writing my blog posts, I did much of it while I was at work.  Which does not really make for a very productive employee.  Regardless, I do miss this place, I do miss your places, and I miss my friends in my computer.

So I am going to try to find a happy balance between everything so that I can get caught up, and still stay in touch with all of you.

 

On to the bloggling…

  • We drove to Ohio to visit Mack and her boyfriend.  It was a great visit, and could have only been made better, if I could have spent a few more days with them.  It was one hell of a car ride, thirteen hours in the car is too much to do in one day.
  • My Mom is doing very well.  Her doctors are very impressed with her health, and she continues to amaze everyone.  Last round of labs, and CT scan came back great, and the tumor on her chest wall may actually be getting smaller.  Her hip is healed, she is off the walker, and only uses a cane when she remembers to use it.
  • Mea has been doing great in school with one exception.  She has a new friend that is causing some issues in the class room.  I had already had some concerns, as we have had a few phone problems, where this girl has called our house well after Mea has gone to bed, or even once at 11:50 at night on the weekend.
  • On more than a few of these phone call interactions I have had with this girl, I have told her not to call our house after 7:30, and I tell her that she needs to get her homework done and get to bed on time too.
  • I have also heard from Mea that she has been absent from school because her parents didn’t want to get up, or they overslept, or the parents didn’t feel good.
  • After much discussion, my husband and I decided to switch her to the school that is our actual school for our neighborhood.
  • There are a couple of reasons, first the school she is attending is considered an “at-risk” school.  Which means that the school has not done well in standardized testing, and the students are not learning at the same rate as the other schools.  I have not been concerned with Mea’s education.  We work with he at home, she likes to learn, and has been at the top of her class for both reading and math.
  • She was only going to this school because it was the only school that our old sitter could take/pick up from, so now that she is no longer watching Mea, it seems stupid to have her go to this school that I really don’t like anyway.
  • She will be attending a grade school where all of the kids in the school will end up in the same middle school.  I worried with her going to the old school that she would have fewer friends going into middle school, and although I know she can make friends, it is easier if you know more people when you get there.
  • Does make me wonder if she will do even better in a new learning environment.
  • We were lucky enough to find a new daycare provider, and we are all extremely excited about it.  Mea is going to go to daycare with her baby nephew, at her sister’s best friend’s house.  She is my youngest stepdaughter’s best friend, and she is wonderful.  Mea can’t wait.  Quite frankly, neither can I.
  • I really don’t like my job.  I am over-qualified for it, my manager is a bit of a spoiled brat, and can’t manage her way out of anything.  I have been able to get her to set me up with some job shadows so I can have an idea as to where I want to transfer to when my year with them is up.  July 8, cannot come soon enough.

I think that is it for now, I am going to really try to get back here.  I have missed it, and I have missed all of you.


The Bag Lady

I first noticed her a little over ten years ago.  She would come into my office, dragging two large heavy plastic reusable grocery bags, from a discount grocery store.  They were packed to the limit. 

Where I worked, it was common for us to serve clients who were quite well off, and also serve clients who could barely rub two nickels together.  I could never quite figure out The Bag Lady’s circumstances.  She looked clean, she looked kept, but she had those bags, and seemingly, nowhere to go.

I saw her everywhere.

On every single side of town. 

She rode the bus, so I did see her frequently while I was at work.  At least several times per week.

Always with those two stuffed bags.

She was older, definitely should have been retired.  Frail enough that watching her carry those bags always concerned me, they looked so heavy.

I often wondered what she had in there.  I would find myself thinking about it at odd times.  If she were homeless, she might have all of her earthly possessions in those bags.  What if someone stole them from her?  What if she lost one?  What if one of them ripped and she started losing things?

She went missing for a while.  I didn’t see her.  This was over winter, so then I really began wondering if she was one of the homeless as so many of them head south for winter.

Then when the weather started warming up I began to see her again. 

Back with her bags.

Only this time they had multiplied. 

The first time I saw her she had four bags.

Then at least six.

Then she was walking around with at least ten or more of these bags filled to the brim, so heavy she could barely carry them herself.  She would walk two to four bags about twenty feet or so, then go back and get more bags, over and over and over again.

I couldn’t imagine how long it was taking her to get to wherever it was that she needed to be while carrying all of those bags.

Then one day, I realized she was gone.  I hadn’t seen her for months. More than a few seasons had passed.

She was gone.

So were her bags.

 

I am still here.  I will be back in this place.  I have been dragging around a bunch of baggage.  My brain has been so heavy it’s been hard to put all of my stuff away, and walk away without any of my bags, but please know this…..

I miss you.  I miss this space and the cheap therapy it gives me.  I miss making people laugh,  I miss reading your stories.   

I don’t know what happened to the bag lady.  I hope that some family member intervened and either got her some mental help that she may have needed, or helped her into an assisted living facility of some sort who could also help her. 

 


Bloggling Nineteen

In no particular order…

  • I am totally catching on at the new job.
  • Mea has asked me every single day since I started if I have done “real” work or not.
  • Today, I could say that I did.
  • I go to official training next week.
  • I am the only person scheduled for three weeks of training.
  • There will be no sitting in the back of the class.
  • I will be forced to participate.
  • I should be done before three weeks since it is just me.
  • That moment when you realize the person you have been referring to as “the older lady” (only to my family, thank goodness) is only three years your senior is a total “Oh shit” moment.
  • I pray that I do not look that old.
  • It dawned on me this morning that it is entirely possible that someone somewhere  may have referred to me as the “older lady.”
  • For the record, 39 is not old.
  • Unless you look old, then it is.
  • Praying I don’t look that old.
  • I said that already.
  • I figured out today that I can bring my netbook to work with me, and blog at the Panera during my lunch.
  • WiFi is a bloggers friend.
  • I need to tell you all the penny story.
  • I have been flooded with memories of my working downtown days and the stupid shit that happened down there.
  • As you know, I am a genius and ever so graceful.
  • I am sure you can imagine where the majority of these stories could be going.
  • Mea lost another tooth today.
  • I have so many thoughts about Trayvon Martin, but cannot pull them into anything coherent just yet.
  • I tried my hardest to avoid most social media in the last few days, because I couldn’t stand the ignorance.
  • Pretty sure that I chanted several times on Sunday, “I will not be drawn into an argument with so and so…”

I think that is all for tonight friends.  I will try my Panera idea tomorrow, and tell you all about pennies.


Three Days In

I am three days into the new job.

So far, I think it is going to be okay.  I am liking the people on the team, and not only have been learning new things about the job that I am going to be doing, once I am actually trained to do it, but I have actually been able to share some of my own knowledge with other members on our team.

There are a few things that are going to take a little getting used to.

The weirds…

I have never worked in an actual “office” type setting before.  I have always worked in some sort of retail establishment.  Bricks and mortar is what we always said.  For the last ten years I have had an office with a door.  I now have a cubical.  I have an ID card that I have to scan to get in everywhere I have to go.

I have one key to my desk vs. having a janitor’s ring with keys to all the things on it.

Waiting for elevators is weird.  Elevator etiquette is strange.

The hours of 9 to 6 might kill me.  I wake up at five every single day.  I have for years.  My internal clock just says it’s time to be up.

Six doesn’t seem late, but it is.  We haven’t had dinner before seven once this week.  I am going to have to bust out the crock-pot, especially once school starts.

The last six years, I have had my own bathroom.  Women’s restrooms are gross even in an office type setting.  Flush the GD toilet, at least make sure that the toilet did actually flush.  Throw your used paper towels in the trash can.  If you miss, pick up after yourself.

It’s weird not being the boss.

It’s weird being new.

I have forgotten that I can be a major introvert when I don’t know what I am doing, or when I am around new people.

I hate not knowing ALL. THE. THINGS.  (It will come, I know.  I am just not overly patient.)

My ass hurts from sitting all day.

My chair sucks.  (I will say something about this eventually, because I think it will break my back. And butt.)

I miss my random computer time, blogging, and my friends who live in my phone.

I do miss my Mea Mea something terrible, she has been horribly sad and clingy before and after work.  She cried yesterday when I took her to daycare.

The positives…

I missed working downtown.

I missed the many block walk to and from the parking lot.  You can get yourself focused for the day, and prepared for the days events.  It’s also a good time to clear your head after a long day.  (I did remind myself this morning about how I need to watch my step, and that walking can be hazardous to my own health.  The last time that I worked downtown, I fell at least four times, just walking to and from the parking lot.  Grace, thy name is Kelly.)

It’s kind of nice to not be the boss.

I am seeing people I know, at the new job and from my old job.  I am talking to grown-ups.  This is nice.

I am missing the people watching that comes from being where the people are.

I think this job will challenge me for a while, and give me many opportunities once I get to the point where I may need a change of pace.  It is fast paced, and seems like there is always something to do.

 

I think this is about it for now.  I am happy to be working, but I miss all of my friends who live in my computer.

 


A Stick of Butter

Over the last week or so, I have had many thoughts swirling around in my head around this Paula Deen business, race, bigotry and how it affects raising my beautiful brown daughter.

In all honesty, last week, my husband and I kind of both brushed off the whole Paula Deen thing.  She is a sixty-six year old woman from the South.  Neither of us were all together too surprised that she had used “The N Word.”  If she had said in her deposition that she had never used it, everyone would have called her a liar, and they would have been correct in that assessment.  In some ways, I think we were both relieved that she actually told the truth.

We are aware of racism and bigotry around us.  It happens.  It shouldn’t, but it does still occur.  There are times when we are stared at.  There have been times when we have had less than stellar service at various establishments.  However, for the most part our lives are just normal.

Then there are reminders that are shoved into your face that make you realize just how far from normal things really are, they may not be glaring reminders like the n word being yelled at you, but they are reminders all the same.

Mea and I were shopping at a local mall for a birthday gift for my niece, while in a store, an older sales lady came up to Mea, grabbed both of her poofs in her hands.  Now, she may not be racist, but I don’t believe that she would have done this to my daughter if I were black woman, or if Mea were white and had straight hair in ponytails.  I asked her to take her hands off of my daughter’s hair, and then took my business elsewhere.

Mack has been working in a call center.  They do customer service for many national magazines.  She received a call a few weeks ago from a woman complaining about receiving Ebony magazine.  When Mack asked her something about the subscription the woman said, “I am a white soccer mom in the suburbs, I would never sign up for this magazine.”  Mack told me that she wondered if someone may have signed her up for being such an idiot.

I told Mack that I thought that if this woman had known that Mack had a black father and sisters, the comment would have likely been followed by, “I’m not a racist but,…..”

Last week, my husband was helping an irate customer in his store.  When things didn’t go the way the man wanted, he lashed out and called my husband The N Word, then stormed out and left the store.

I can’t say that I would have just let it roll off of me the way he did.  He says that after fifty-four years, he’s used to the ignorance.

I think it’s sad.

Yesterday, I watched a documentary called “Dark Girls.”  I would encourage all of my Momma friends of brown daughters to watch this film if they have the opportunity.  For that matter, anyone who cares should watch it.

Listening to these beautiful women discussing how hard it was to be dark, how they were treated differently even by people within their own communities of black people, hurts my heart.

There is a young brown girl who is asked to pick who is the prettiest, the smartest and so on, from a line up of cartoon pictures depicting the same girl in various shades from white, tan, brown to black.  She picks the white child as the prettiest, smartest, and so on.  She says she doesn’t like to be called black.  I cried.

It makes me hope that I am doing right by Mea, and raising her to be a strong, independent, beautiful brown woman who I hope she will someday become.

I know that there is discrimination within the black community when it comes to color.  My own husband was subjected to this for much of his life.  His mother was dark.  The man who he thought was his father was also dark.  Almost all members of his immediate family were also all dark-skinned.  His light skin, big curls, and freckles set him apart from the rest of the family from the time that he was a baby.  He felt that he didn’t fit in.  When he found out that his biological father was white, it made sense, but at the same time made him lose part of his identity as a black man.  It sent him reeling for a while.  Also affected the big girls, who went from thinking they were half black to being a quarter black.

This morning, I went back to thinking about Paula Deen.  I read an article on the New York Times that struck a chord with me.  I watched the video.  I obviously hadn’t looked too far past the end of my nose when first forming the opinion.  I am interested in what my husband may have to say about it now as well.  The thing is I don’t know how much I buy her apologies now.  (Um, hello?  You had to make three videos?)

I think that she is, quite simply, trying to cover her ass and empire.

Adding a stick of butter isn’t going to cover it this time.

 


Way to go Cheerios

There has been some controversy over Cheerios new commercial, depicting a trans-racial family.

I personally feel that it is completely full of awesome.  When R and I first saw it, we both stopped what we were doing (usually ignoring commercials) and watched.  In fact, we rewound it on our DVR so that we could watch it again.

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As a inter-racial couple for the last thirteen years, we have had our share of moments.  Usually, ignored, but moments just the same.  Honestly, for a long time, I was kind of oblivious to it.  Then one night, not long after we were married, the two of us were at Wal-Mart shopping for one of the girl’s birthdays, and had a couple follow us around the store just staring at us.

Honestly, at first I thought it was just a coincidence that they were shopping in the same areas of the store that we were.  Naivety thy name is Kelly.  I don’t recall what happened, but at one point my husband said something and they stopped.

I have had customers over the years say things about people of various races in my office while I was waiting on them.  It always amazed me, as I had photos of all my children, husband and grandchildren all over my office.  We are a family of many different hues, a rainbow of skin colors.  I would typically stop the conversation, tell them that I didn’t appreciate their view-point on whatever it was they were saying, and ask if we could actually get to the subject at hand.

I have had people tell me that they are surprised that I am married to a black man, that I am not “typical.”  Which in and of itself is ridiculous.  I speak and dress the way I was raised.  So does my husband, for that matter.

When Mack was small, and she would be out with R, they would also run into issues.  Black man, white, blue-eyed girl, people would sometimes question what they were doing together.  When Mack would introduce her friends to her Dad, they were almost always confused.  The funny thing is, in bi-racial children you never know what you are going to get.  Our youngest grandson is a great example.  His mom is a 1/4 black.  His dad is 3/4 black.  The baby has strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes, is fairly light-skinned, other than that, he looks just like my husband.

A week ago, I went up to Mea’s school for lunch.  Although, they are just kids being kids, so many of the kids asked me if I was Mea’s Mom.  To several of them, I just answered, “Yes.”  To some I answered “Yes, families come in all different colors.”  The funny thing is that Mea’s school is very racially diverse.  It is one of the reasons that we were happy for her to be open-enrolled there.  Many trans-racial kids, many kids of every different hue.

Cheerios was forced to disable comments on the YouTube video of the commercial, because people were leaving horrible racist comments.  It is so sad that there are so many close-minded people in this world.  It amazes me how ignorant people can still be.

I am proud of Cheerios for doing this commercial.  It is awesome for kids to see TV, commercials, movies and books that depict what their families actually look like.

Good job, Cheerios.  This is a step in the right direction.


A New Favorite…Joseph Nogucci

Several weeks ago, I stumbled upon a Living Social deal to Joseph Nogucci.  It was for a leather, hand-woven wrap bracelet.  I knew that Mack had been coveting several on Etsy, and decided that it would be a good fun gift to surprise her with.

Leather Wrap for my Mack

Leather Wrap for my Mack

She loves it.  So pretty.

Then I was hooked.  They have awesome deals, often offer giveaways on Facebook, and Instagram just for following them.  I have cashed in on two of the free offers, and bought a bracelet for myself while I was at it too.

After following them on Instagram, I found out that they would allow bloggers and Instagrammers to host giveaways if you did a review for them!  All in!

In the mail on Sunday, I received three new bracelets for review.  They are awesome.  I wore some in a stack yesterday, and wore one with my sterling bangle that I never take off to a job interview today.  So versatile, and can be dressed up or down.

Dharma/Kikiballa stack...

Dharma/Kikiballa stack…

The bracelet on the left is the one that I purchased.  Three to the right are the samples.  One lucky reader can win one of the three to the right!  All you have to do is follow Joseph Nogucci on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.  Leave me a message that you did so, with your Instagram or Twitter handle.

Free stuff!

And GO!

Winner will be drawn at random next Monday, May 27, 2013.  Comment to win!