Saturday, November 5, 2011

November 5 ~ This happened on this day last year...

Is this why it hasn't snowed yet... because Sombra is coming to town?

Yes.  It's the first week of November, and for the first time since moving to these parts, there has not been an ounce of snowfall.  Past years there's been at least one good snowstorm by Halloween.  This year, nothing.  I've even turned on the a/c  the past couple of days - and it's supposed to be in the 70's the next few days!  Honestly, I am anxiously awaiting a good hearty snow; the first snowfall of the season is magical to me... It's one of my favorite things ever.  But now I'm relieved temps haven't dropped yet because... Sombra will be spared that freezing shock to the system as he's being taken off the airplane, or when he's being let out to "take care of business" in our backyard.  (I'm shivering just thinking about it.)  So, the longer it takes before this season's first snowfall, the better, because in about 48 hours from now, Rick and Sombra will be arriving at DIA.

It's going to be great and it truly feels like the holidays have arrived at the Colorado Carilo home.  We get to finally meet our new puppy, Sombra, and we couldn't be more excited - it's going to be like Christmas morning.  Rick was here a couple of weeks ago, so his welcome might be more like, "Back so soon?"  Ha ha.  Of course we'll be happy to see Rick... he'll be home for good AND joining him, is the little doggy he adopted from a shelter in the town where he worked.  Now, I hear, that that part of the world can only be described as an arid desert-like climate by the sea.  (I'm pretty sure the only other "weather" that occurs is hurricane season.)  I don't think Rick ever even mentioned being cold in all the time he lived there; spring, summer, fall or winter!

Upon arrival in the U.S., Sombra, will be experiencing his first Rocky Mountain high... in mid-Fall.  Hopefully, our new little doggy's American welcome will be warm and that he immediately senses how much we love him already.  As for little, Mister King of the World, Shadow dog... We shall see.  We'll make it work.  If anything gives me comfort, it's knowing that Shadow is fully aware how much we all love him, and we sure do get tons of puppy love from him.

Sombra, meet Shadow... brotherly love & peace... I hope.


Sombra's backstory:  Sombra, as many dogs in the town Rick lived in, was abandoned at the local college - in a planter - most likely only days old. La Paz, MX has an extremely high abandoned dog population. Sad, right? Baja Dogs helped rescue Rick from loneliness when he was introduced to Sombra dog.  Resident's thought it was wonderful that Rick brought him home with him.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November 3 ~ Nothing like waking up feeling like a useless piece of crap... again

Man, I hate waking up and, first thing, immediately falling straight into “I am such a crap mother!” mode.  Worse, I wasn’t even fully awake.  I sleep downstairs in room which by design opens up to the kitchen, so every morning I hear the rustling of my youngest daughter preparing her school lunch.  I let her do her thing, but sometimes will call out “Good morning, love” and she’ll say it back.  Today, I wasn’t fully awake until both girls were on their way out.  My oldest girl remembered to come to the back of the house to say bye, but Emily, didn’t.... that should have been a clue.  Moments earlier, knowing we probably didn’t have fixings for lunch, I shouted out to her asking if she needed any money for lunch (Still have a few dollars cash reserve from Summer yard sales that we never used toward H & R Block tax preparation.).  I heard her say "Something, something, pretzels."  Was she only taking pretzels?  Might explain, why she didn’t come back to give me a kiss goodbye.

That all happened around 7:30, 7:45.  Rick gave them a ride to school because it was super cold and the streets still pretty slushy.  I had fallen back into a dead sleep and didn’t wake up until I heard the front doorbell ring.  It was Sarah.  She was home for her combined open class hour and lunch break.  (Me in a panic – “Oh God, is there any food for her!”  I wasn’t thinking straight, I guess, when I had the guys go out to buy rations to get us through snowstorm the other night.  We knew we wouldn’t need much, but like I said... I wasn’t thinking.

So Sarah is home to study and finds some instant oatmeal to snack on, but in preparing it in microwave, there was a problem: it overflowed out of the small bowl she put it in... See, crap mom: I don’t even have proper dishes available for instant oatmeal to be cooked.  Wanting to clean up after herself, she asked if there were any paper towels to wipe up the spill.  “Dang it!” I thought.  I told her I’d take care of the spill, not to worry about it and told her to just use a dish cloth to wipe off her bowl.

This is around 9:30 and I’m just awake, realizing, “Nuts!  I have to go to the market.”  I don’t want to go to the market.  I was hoping there would be absolutely no reason for me to go for the next couple of months.  I was going to do everything possible to avoid stepping into any kind of retail establishment.  I can’t cope with seasonal crap all over the place, TV commercials are bad enough.  This week I had snow on my side.  Rick rather I not drive in icy condition, so he’s more inclined to drive to the store for stuff we need.  Thank God for snow; November 1st, perfect timing Jack Frost.

I wasn’t thinking straight when I asked if someone could run into the store to pick up this, that, and the other to get us through the next couple of days – because I forgot about the toilet paper and paper towels! Whenever there’s bad weather in forecast, always pick up toilet paper, paper towels and, oh yeah, a box of feminine protection products!  So, at 9:45 this morning I’m out in freezing temps, driving on slushy roads, crusty eye goo not fully wiped from my eyes.  Got to the store, navigated my steps through icy parking lot, prayed I not fall (my ankle still isn’t fully healed from last month's fall), bought the stuff, back to car, and home to turn on computer, sit here and share my November 3, 2011, “I’m a bitter, angry, horrible mom” rant.

Doesn't end there.  Now I feel extra bummed, because as I walk in the house, aware that it's trash day,  I'm asking everyone to empty rubbish bins.  I set down the market bag and start shoving stuff off the counter into the overflowing kitchen can, only to see an empty jar of peanut butter teetering at the very top.  Someone had not thought someone else might need to use the tiny bit left in it for sandwich for school lunch the next day, like the kid who has rationed it all week because we don't have lunch meats this week.

*Dear Midnight Snacker.  Grow up.  Think before you eat.  Or, sleep through that late-night hunger.  I saw you eat dinner.  There was more than enough.  Next time, eat some goddamn instant oatmeal... BUT DON'T MAKE A MESS, I only clean up after people who work their asses off and/or have tons of studying.  Sincerly, Crap Wife.

Good morning and you are welcome.




Please tell me it will not get any worse

Problem: My husband's termination/release process from job out of the country seems to be taking a bit of time; meetings have been postponed for the third time since Monday. Regretfully, I feel that his employer - and please excuse my language - is trying to screw him over using delays, manipulation and intimidation. Apparently, leaving the company must be overseen by labor board because as far as company owner is concerned, they and Rick have "mutually agreed" to part ways. LIES. He is being coerced into taking whatever "serverance" they have offered and hit the road. Without legal representation to accompany him to labor board meeting and speak - the country's language - on his behalf, my husband is totally screwed.

Back here in the U.S, I can't help but be extremely concerned about my husband's well being, as he is all alone out there; all I can do is remind him that the kids and I just want him to be back home safe and sound. However, since immediate return is not feasible, I continue to worry about him because he is being treated so unfairly, he's alone with no one to turn to there, and he has done nothing wrong. His return home on Sunday - regardless of labor board meeting outcome - will be a huge relief for all of us.

Requesting you keep my family in your loving thoughts and prayers... we need all the help we can get.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November 2nd ~ One year ago today I posted this...


Elections. Smelections!



I know. I know. So sorry to disappoint. But, that was this morning. What I actually did do today was just as important. I helped make travel arrangements for Rick and his - our - dog to finally fly home... for good! My butt hurt, my ears overheated, I got a sore throat, and my head hurt (my cell phone battery charge even died!), but it wasn't as big a headache that it could have been - I'm talking airlines here, right?  All to get a grown man and his adopted rescue Mexi-mutt back where they rightfully belong... HOME.

So, Alaska Airlines Representative was a dear; Frontier Airlines Representative, Rene... not so much. She had me on hold so long I thought that maybe she had gone to lunch and left me hanging there.  I'm an idiot. (I'm pretty sure that I hate Beethoven after that too.) Really, I shouldn't complain, they were doing their job; and I remained cool, calm and collected. (Wait, what?)


It's nice breathing easy at the moment... or does that just mean this new asthma inhaler is still working. Hmmm.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ah, Sweet November...

It's going to be a good day.  The weather is perfect this morning... gray skies, temps dropping, snow in the forecast... I love November.


I woke up with a twitchy face yesterday and today.  Sorta freaked out about that.  Mostly it's the left side of my nose, but I think it's starting to balance out.  Hope it's nothing.  If somebody in the house notices, they'll say something... I think.  What might have caused this is that I slept facing the window the other night and my face froze.  (Can that happen with a few inches in between?  Yikes!)

Last night ended on an up note and it carried over to this morning.  Also proved it doesn't take a lot to make me happy.  But, actually, what happened was a big deal.  They say good things come in threes.  My three good things were great in my opinion.  First of all, I got a Twitter follower who in my book is a pretty big deal; a writer for some of my favorite comedies - stuff I used to watch and silently fall over laughing, because I was usually watching at some ungodly hours of the night... Following me?  And we had a bit of back and forth via the Twitter.  Cool, right?  Next thing was, Halloween was saved by R.J. buying a couple of bags of candy after work to hand out to kids who came by trick-or-treating.  But the best thing was getting in touch with an old friend who I haven't seen in years; a former neighbor who I met during those happier times, in Texas.  That made my day.

As for today... I blame four power outages  for making it a not-completely-great day.  I had been hoping to be quite a bit more productive... do a good deed or two... have a nice tea... watch a favorite movie!  Did none of these things.  My A.M goal was to do four loads of laundry, but I had to go out a few times and by noon I had only done two loads; also, two outages - one long, one short - put a wrench in that plan.  My P.M. plan was to shower, go to grocery store, and take some coats and jackets to the homeless vets drop off site, then stop by Salvation Army with a few bags of clothes that didn't sell at our Summer yard sales.  Had to put plans off until another day this week; after tonight's snow storm clears up.  At least I did eventually do those four loads of laundry by the end of the day despite there having been a couple more power outages.  Hope we are done with those for now.  It's late and I don't really feel like tea right now, however I would love a nice hot shower.  Don't want to disturb the household though.

I do love November, to me it has a romantic feel.  I'm going to honor that and try to watch favorite movies with romance themes.  I had planned on first movie to be Little Manhattan, but outages didn't allow time for that, so hopefully tomorrow.

November also reminds me of the importance of gratitude.  So, today, I am grateful for new acquaintances and old friends; Quick and easy and cheap meals that turn out delicious; Electricity and good t.v. shows and news reporting; My family; and a quiet, snowy sleep time.

One more good thing about today:  I actually shared a dream; thought I felt a twinge of hope.

Welcome, November.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

October 30th ~ October, huh?

Something, something, something....

Hmmm, what was I going to write about?  Oh, yeah.  October.  I'm not quite sure how I feel about the month of October.  I have several friends and family members who were born in October, which alone should qualify it as a pretty great month - I really like those October birthday people, like my wonderful friend Clarissa, my cousin Roman and his cousin, Stevi, also my other cousin Ibel, and loads others.  As a kid I remember often being ill in October.  Looking back I'm convinced I suffered from seasonal allergies, which were probably ineffectively treated therefore usually developed into severe respiratory infections... so I was often sick the entire month and well into November.  When I was around nine, both my sister and I were super sick and mom had to go out, leaving us alone.  I started gagging on phlegm, then throwing up.  I was having trouble breathing out of my mouth, and of course my nose was stuffed too.  I chucked out a massive ball of guck.  My sister was terrified.  That was the first time ever, maybe the only time, I've ever heard her tell me "I love you." (That's how scared she was I might die in her care.)  It was nice that she would comfort me as it was rare that our paths crossed. (We lived in a four room house!  You heard right... f-o-u-r  r-o-o-m-s.  Quatro.  4 )

Like I said, I haven't made up my mind about whether to like or dislike October.  Some would say, "How about Halloween, isn't that enough reason to love it?"  Sure, there's a reason:  Free candy, who wouldn't love that?  But to be honest, as a little kid  I hated Halloween.  Being of Mexican heritage, with all their friggin' Dia de los Muertos folklore and crap, scared the bejeezus outta me.  My vivid imagination didn't help either.  Leaving all those stupid stories behind as I grew up, my attitude totally changed when I finally  had kids.  Halloween would now be fun.  Actually, we moved into this house on October 31st.  Vampire Emily was in third grade, Cheerleader Sarah was in sixth, and Monkey face-masked R.J. was in the seventh grade. *insert pics of kids from that day*

One reason I might not like October is because of how many times we've moved during this month in the twenty years Rick and I've been married.  Wow!  I may have started living with him by the end of October... of the same month we met!  So, if I have this right, I have moved four times in the month of October in the last 21 years.  That's a lot! Not so fun fact:  In my lifetime, I've moved about 26 times.

Let's look back shall we.

First move was gradual to say the least; I didn't keep journals back in the day, but I'm pretty sure Rick and I were cohabitating by Halloween 1990.  That's move number one - from Grandma Carmy's apartment to Rick's place.

October 1996 I was "out to here" with baby #3.  Rick was working a lot because the company had just downsized to skeleton crew and Rick's pay had been cut by half, so he was doing side work to bring in extra money.  We had sold the mobile home he had refurbished, and we were going to start renting his brother's house in a nearby town.  So because Rick was working day and night, my pregnant self and two toddlers boxed and packed as much as we could to move to our new big house - not too big a deal, we didn't have that much to pack.  It was time to go.

Rick's brother's father-in-law had bought his daughter and him a nice just built, fully furnished home, leaving their house for us to occupy now that we needed a bigger place for all our kids.  I was still reeling from having lost Sylvia at the hands of a brutal murderer, so I needed a distraction.  That was also around the time when diagnoses for this, that and the other were being thrown around health-wise for me. I remember that was also around the time when I had casually asked Rick where he saw himself (us) in five years.  I remember liking his answer.  Still working for Sunrise, achieving recognition for his hard work, moving up in the company, enjoying raising his family - That was good, right?  So, October '96 was our first move as a family, my second since 1990.


Not an October move, but something great that happened in Fall of 2000.  By then, as he had hoped would happen "in five years," Rick had done well at his job and worked up to leadership positions.   What came as complete surprise was his brother being fired after he was discovered stealing from the company (and other wrongdoings)... and, that's right, Rick worked at the same company.  So what happens?  Rick was offered the department supervisor position that had opened up.  Yes, a promotion and a raise.  Nice going honey, you've worked hard... and don't steal, do drugs, bite the hand that feeds you...

So all this exciting stuff is happening in Fall of 2000, but the grand kicker is when Rick got offered another raise and promotion if he would be interested in relocating out of state and be director of new home warranty and customer service department.  He came home and asked me what I thought.  I said, "Let's go."  So away we were going.  I spent a good part of October packing up the house to move 1600+ miles away.  I remember having to brainstorm Halloween costumes for the kids that year.  We had the orange paint left over from a giant jack-o-lantern Rick had made previous year for the Montessori school party and cardboard boxes.  I constructed and painted two flower pot shapes for the girls and bought bunches of artificial flowers and leaves to put in headbands and attach to shirts.  They looked so cute.  For R.J., we took a heafty bag, stuffed it with balled up newspaper, taped "trash" on the outside... and voilĂ !  He went trick-or-treating as a sack of rubbish.  They all were so adorable, I wish I had photos.  So while not technically a move, by Halloween that house was just waiting for movers to come load it's contents into a container for delivery to new home in Texas.  Oh happy day.


Oops!  Sidetracked just a bit.  Next move was a minor move which followed a delightful inconvenience.  We had been spared by the goodness of God and all creation that year. Rick had been laid off from his job when the US home-building industry suffered a blow after 9/11.  November 2002 he was laid off work from the company he had worked for since 1985.  By summer of 2003 we had been surviving with help from interfaith community; my spirits lifted by our wonderful neighbors and friends in Texas.  We had just filed bankruptcy and were wondering aimlessly into God knows where, when finally in August a job came up for Rick... in Hawaii.  Again, I was left to pack up the house with the help of my little friends, my kids.  Moving container was loaded and shipped a couple of days before the kids and I would travel to join Dad.  Wonderful friends sheltered us for a few nights, neighbors fed us.  Two days before leaving Texas our vehicle was reclaimed as scheduled by loan holder and on our travel day, I gave our house keys to a friend who would be there when bank representative would arrive to "take possession" of what was once "the home of my dreams."

Now this doesn't count here, because it was mid August.  That Summer we arrived in Hawaii and found ourselves living in "rock star" accommodations at a top-rated golf resort & hotel destination until our household furnishings traveling half way across the United States, then half way across the Pacific Ocean arrived to the island and the cottage we eventually chose was ready for us to move in to.  The few USPS Priority Mail boxes (containing important documents and precious family items) that my friend Sarah and I had prepared at the house in Texas that Summer - which she sent out to me a few days later -  and five suitcases were all we actually had to move, but that move from The Lodge at Koele to the little house "up on the hill" counts as "month of October" move number 3.

This House

In Fall 2005, I didn't feel time was right for us to buy a house yet.  I wasn't "feeling it" here in this part of the country.  People were different here... not particularly friendly, often times downright unpleasant. (I still wonder why that is.  Maybe they don't like the cold and stay miserable about it year around.)  Rick thought otherwise.  He took a job in Denver that came with relocation and temporary corporate housing allowance for first six months.  We could have stayed in the apartment we were renting after the six months, but Rick decided to go ahead and find a house.  We knew we wanted to stay in the area - apparently, from my initial research, it was safe, had good schools, great nearby shopping... what more is there, right?  Having friends nearby and welcoming neighbors would have been great. (Maybe, that's a year-round, warm and sunny state phenomenon.)  Like I said, I wasn't into it.  Since we  were looking in the same neighborhood as the apartments were were renting we at least were familiar with the surroundings.  So, when I saw this house, just a few yards away from the high school the kids would eventually attend, and less than a quarter mile from the middle school R.J. was already going to, I pointed at it and said "Let's just get that house."  Done.  October 2005, move number 4.


November 2007, layoff number two.  November 2010, layoff number three.  This might suggest I hate November, but actually, regardless of  layoffs, November remains my favorite month - filled with birthdays of people I love dearest and Thanksgiving holiday memories I shall cherish forever.

I am pretty bummed that tonight wasn't spent filling our extra large yellow metal bowl and matching platters with stuffed packages of assorted candies to hand out to trick-or-treaters.  Not looking forward to turning everyone away tomorrow.

Oh well.

Happy Halloween