Kiss5Tigers

The 5 Tigers represent the big things in life. This blog is about facing them.


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More Work

I am doing my best at work but I feel my shortcomings very sharply.

I tried to fill candy today, and was told to just run the register. Then I was waiting for a customer and I was told the coke refrigerator needed to be filled. Well I’ve never done that, I don’t even know where we keep the extra cokes. Of course then a customer appeared, so it was a moot point.

I just found out today that I’m supposed to be checking my hours online somewhere. First I heard of it. I have to find out more.

Also, I am not used to standing for so long. I didn’t notice my feet hurting because we are so busy, but my back sure gets sore.

Still, I am out there trying. I managed to pick up the phone a few times today so that was good.

I am trying to crochet some slippers. I did fingerless gloves that don’t exactly match, so I expect the slippers won’t exactly match either. I’m using long color change yarn so they won’t even be the same colors! But my feet are cold so I am giving it a shot. After the slippers, I’m back to hats. I ordered some yarn that should be here in a couple of days. I’m also going to work on a present for L. I can’t afford Christmas this year but I can probably make something. F won’t mind too much as long as I do something for L.

I might turn on the space heater in my room tonight. It’s that cold. I’m also thinking of acquiring an electric blanket, but with Charli peeing on my stuff, I’m not sure that’s wise.

I’m thinking of going to bed in a few minutes to see if I can get up early and do some art in the morning. My roommates keep the living room pretty dark — in fact, F would make it darker if L would let him — so I prefer to make art in the mornings when the light comes in the windows. It’s brighter then. I can see the colors clearly. Dim light gives everything a yellow-ish cast and I can think things blend that don’t actually match.

Looks like my daughter might be joining us for Turkey Day. National Gluttony Day, I guess it is. I enjoy getting together with family, but considering the history, I’m not sure how I feel about Thanksgiving as a holiday. Like Columbus Day. Some things are just gonna fall by the wayside.

I want some desert. I really want the coconut custard and sweet rice from Thai Thai. Or maybe some tiramisu. Or hot pecan pie with vanilla ice cream, talk about a sugar overload! Pecan pie is just about my favorite and I used to get it only at the holidays. Now my cousin’s kid has a tree nut allergy so we can’t have pecan pie. I guess it’s pretty serious, because frankly he’s old enough to simply not eat the pie, but some people can’t be around it at all.

Time for chocolate, then to bed.


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Paying For What You Already Own

For the last, oh, 4 days, I have been texting my daughter with no response.

A day or two with no answer, well that could be bad timing. It happens. It’s unusual because you can text back at any time, but whatever.

This was 4 days, and I could see she’d been on Facebook, so I decided to call.

I’m glad I did.

A man answered the phone. We had a hard time connecting, it was as if he couldn’t hear me at first. I thought it was one of my daughter’s friends being funny, so I said, “This is Elcie’s mom. Is she with you?”

“I found this phone in Deep Ellum,” the man said. “I’ve had it for a couple days. This is the first time anybody called.”

That’s probably true. Most people text these days and my daughter lives with her friends so she they don’t need to call.

We made arrangements to meet at the 7-11 to do the phone swap. I figured I’d buy him some cigarettes or a 6-pack as a thank you.

I got to the 7-11 and there was no place to park. In fact, the store was closed down completely for remodeling. Good thing I had a little cash to give the guy.

I thanked the man for being honest. He said his mother raised him that way. I told him his mother did a good job, and he blushed. I think the compliment meant more to him than the money, though no doubt the money was welcome.

In the meantime, Elcie and her friend C also called the phone and got the guy. He said he was on his way to meet someone, and they assumed it was another friend. After I got the phone and left, they met him but of course I already had the phone.

As I was waiting outside her apartment, the phone rang. It was a Houston number but I answered anyway. Turned out to be C. They headed over to the apartment.

The price of getting the phone was only $35. I just resent paying for something we already own. I don’t begrudge the man his reward though. I guess that makes me ambivalent.

For my daughter, the price of the phone was spending an afternoon with mom. She made out pretty good though. We went to Aldi‘s and ordered curry from Thai Thai. We also watched a so-bad-it’s-funny movie called Kung Fu Hustle on Netflix.

So it cost me a few dollars, but I got to spend some time with my daughter. And that’s always good. I wish it was under better circumstances. I think I’m gonna Gorilla Glue that phone to her body.


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Mothers Day

Mothers Day was yesterday.

Is it Mothers Day, as in the day we celebrate mothers, or Mother’s Day, as in the day we celebrate Mom? I don’t know. I don’t suppose it matters.

This is a holiday that I am truly ambivalent about.

In 1984, my mother died of cancer. Part of the issue was that she wouldn’t go to the doctor so the disease was pretty advanced by the time anyone picked up on it. Part of the problem was, well, it was 35 years ago, cancer treatment just wasn’t as advanced as it is today. She was given the option of treatment that would extend life but make her sick, or no treatment with a life expectancy of about 8 months. She chose to forego medical treatment.

Now let’s be clear. She turned down radiation and chemo. She said, “If medical science is done with me, then I am done with them.” But she did pursue holistic alternatives. Only, again, it was 1984. No internet. No community of people to help with advice. And “holistic” was a concept without a name.

I remember her insisting on organic produce, and soaking it in the sink to remove toxins. One time, after she had moved back to my grandparents’ house, she accused of us trying to poison her by not soaking the vegetables. They came from Grandpa’s garden, which was de facto organic because that was the way he learned to farm when he was a kid.

So I am without a mother, and by this age, I am without grandmothers. Nobody for me to spoil on this day. For many years, Mothers Day was simply a reminder of what I don’t have. I chose to ignore the holiday.

Only, I am a mother myself.

I have been terrible with holidays because I missed my family of origin, but that means my daughter has never really experienced a good holiday. I was perhaps too caught in my own grief and did not provide the right environment for her in terms of celebrating special days.

This year, I spent most of Mothers Day afternoon with my daughter. I went to her place. We drank rumchata (horchata with rum in it) and made art. I made an abstract of her friend, she tried out a texture technique that she didn’t like and painted over. Several of her friends visited. I laughed, and said it’s because I’m the cool mom, but really I know it’s because my kid is cool. People want to be around her.

So I am learning to make days special in non-traditional ways. What’s important is to spend time together, not to go to brunch or get flowers. I feel good about making art with a friend, and my daughter is becoming a friend. I miss my mom, but I will see her again soon enough. And I want her to see how far I’ve come, when we finally get to catch up.


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Trying Things

Trying bulletproof coffee for the first time. I like my coffee black so this is without sweetener. Mostly tastes greasy. I might prefer regular coffee. But I am trying to be low carb at least, trying for keto at home but it’s hard. I can think of all kinds of things to eat, but they involve crackers, so . . .

Yesterday I had my first poke bowl at a place called Below 40. It had salmon and crab and was so good. I was full most of the day. I was of course hungry again by 6 but that’s pretty normal. Going to try another one of their signature bowls next time. My friend K who I went with had a custom bowl made. Hers had greens instead of rice. I might try that the next time.

Slept on K’s new sofa this weekend. So comfy. What a process it was getting that sofa! First problem was getting the old sofa out. We got it to the truck no problem. Getting it into the truck was a different story. While we were trying to wrangle the thing over the tailgate, a fire truck pulled up to check a nearby hydrant. The firemen came over and put the sofa in the truck for us! Very helpful. Unloading it was pretty straightforward. The staff at the store loaded the new one for us and we got it off the truck just fine. Then came getting it through the door.

We turned it one way, didn’t fit. Turned it the other way, didn’t fit. The feet were in the way, the curve of the back was in the way, the whole thing didn’t fit by only an inch or two. A neighbor named Gary came by. He helped us turn the thing a few different ways but his girlfriend showed up and they had to get to a concert. Then Alan and Ty, some neighbors from upstairs showed up. Alan actually took the sliding glass doors off the tracks to get the sofa in. It took him over an hour, things were so stuck by paint and dirt. Who knew the track to a sliding door could get so dirty? Who even thinks of cleaning such a thing? Then the guys lifted the sofa over the porch railing and into the living room, and they put the doors back. Ty said he’d take a bottle of Crown for his efforts, but Alan doesn’t drink so K will get some money for him.

We went to an estate sale yesterday afternoon. I bought a copy of a book called “The Birds’ Xmas Carol” by Kate Douglas Wiggin. I bought it for nostalgia reasons, but it’s got an inscription dated 1913. The copyright says 1886 but I think that’s just the copyright date, not the publication date of this issue. I mentioned it to K, and a man near us kept going on about how much the book was probably worth. I don’t care about the value. It reminds me of my grandmother.

I also saw a pretty pink glass rabbit dish that reminded me of her. It made me think of the chicken bowl she had that always had hard candy in it. It was a milky blue color. The bottom was a wicker basket and the lid was a nesting chicken. You lifted the chicken off to get to the treats. Speaking of candy, I remember her buying ribbon candy at Christmas and Peeps and Easter. Grandma would eat a whole Peep, just popping the whole thing in her mouth. I never liked them myself, not a fan of marshmallow.

Well, I am off to my Artists Way group. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


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The Best Nurses Ever

I am sick as a dog.

I’ve had the flu shot so it’s not the flu but I haven’t had a cold like this in, well, probably decades.

Yesterday, all I did was sleep. I was sitting on the sofa and I just couldn’t keep my eyes open for more than an hour.

Of course that means now I am up at 4 am because I slept so much.

I felt so bad I went to the doctor. It’s not bacterial so there wasn’t really anything they could do for me. I am now taking 2000 units of vitamin C daily and living on over the counter cold meds.

Yesterday my throat was sore, my face hurt from my sinuses being all blocked up, and my eyes were just dripping. Today I am not in pain though I am blowing my nose every few minutes because things are moving. It’s good but a nuisance.

Throughout this all, I have had the best nurses. Both of my kitties have been affectionate and lovey. Charli especially has been all over me. Momo is more of an onlooker from a distance but he is next to me on the sofa right now and he slept on my feel earlier. Charli was in my lap, in my face, on my chest or stomach, on the back of the sofa behind me but leaning against me. Either she loves these rainy sick days or she was very worried about me.

By far the most touching thing was my roommate L. She made me tea and chicken broth. She let me pick the tv shows even though I slept through most of them. I haven’t had anyone take care of me when I was sick since before I got married. It was very kind of her.

I hate being sick, but I have a great family of choice.


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The Need to Connect

I love words.  Obviously I do, since I choose to blog.  I love that blogging allows me to explore an idea in more depth than, say, Facebook does.  Not that Facebook puts a limit on how long a post is, but the format doesn’t lend itself to ruminations of any kind.

Now I like Facebook.  It gives me almost instant access to people.  But lately I am missing the old BBS’s.  I miss the connection of paragraphs rather than sentences.  I miss feeling like I really knew people.  It’s the difference between chatting at a cocktail party and having a meal with someone.  Both are good, they’re just different.

I write letters to connect with people.  I do.  I write actual pen-to-paper snail mail letters.  I’d say, if you want one, contact me; but the internet will be around long after I am no longer blogging and I can just imagine some poor person trying to reach me and I’m not around.  I do have a mailing list and I do send out mail on a regular basis.  In fact, I’m planning to send some stuff out this week.

So what is it, this drive to connect with folks?  I don’t build community much in person.  No, I take that back, I am part of several communities.  I have a friend or two who I met just socially.  I have 2 different groups of work friends from different jobs.  I have more than one friend from support groups.  And of course I have roommates.  Oh, and my extended family (the nuclear family have all passed away, but the cousins remain).  So there are several communities of which I am a part.  I am more social than I give myself credit for being.

And yet I feel disconnected.  The only thing I know to do is reach out more.  Go back to The Cat Site and IUOMA and see what’s going on.  Plan lunches with the work ladies.  Call my family and see what’s up.  Write some letters.

Maybe, if you read this, you could leave me a comment so I know we touched each other’s lives for a moment.


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Sea Fever

Sea Fever

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
     So this was, at one point, my father’s favorite poem.  I wanted to memorize it to honor him (he passed in 1984) but I have only gotten as far as the first couplet.  There are two other poems which I might share later that I would also memorize for him.  This is odd to me because Dad was a scientist, you wouldn’t think of him reading poetry.  Mom was a librarian, you’d think of her being more involved in literature, but I don’t know of a poem that was meaningful to her.  Just two books:  the Bible and The Once and Future King by T.H. White.
     Anyway, what brings all this up, is that my cousin sent me a picture today of Dad and Nana (his mother) on the boat we had while I was young.  The name of the boat was Sea Fever, after the poem above.  We sailed out of Beverly Harbor, through a facility called the Jubilee Yacht Club.  Here’s their website, they still exist.
     Now don’t get the idea that I grew up all rich because we owned a boat.  We didn’t have color TV or wall to wall carpeting or a dishwasher or even wallpaper.  But Dad wanted to sail, which we did many weekends, so we had a boat.  She was a 32 foot sloop, which means she had one mast with a sail on both sides of it, and a jib out over the bow.  All my memories of time on that boat are very visceral.  I miss the ocean, living landlocked as I do now.
     So I’m going to add the picture, my Nana looking prim and a little uncomfortable, Dad relaxed with a can of Budweiser in one hand and the tiller in the other.  Funny the things that bring up memories.  I can almost feel the rocking of the ocean and hear the seagulls and the lines clanking against the mast. This is probably around 1974; I believe by 1976 Dad owned a share in a small plane.  Look at Dad being all casual in trousers and a button shirt.  Notice that nobody wore jeans in my family, while I practically live in jeans these days.  It was a different era.