Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Early Morning Phone Calls

Is dealing with insurance companies a pain for everyone, or have I been cursed?  I was on the phone yesterday with my new dental insurance for a solid hour--luckily the problem was resolved to my favor at the end...BUT it was for something that shouldn't have been an issue in the first place!  Grrr...

I just got a follow up call from "Kyle" (at 8:04 am-gee thanks) who informed me that m  six month waiting period was "waived".  Thank you, Kyle, but that six month waiting period should have never been there in the first place!  I had dental insurance before-I've had it for years!  Thankfully I still had Rich's email with all the information from the previous policy..otherwise I'd be tearing up drawers and cabinets.  I just can't believe how unknowledgeable these customer service agents really are.

Why am I writing this in a blog?

Well I could easily just write this in a post on FB but I don't think anyone particularly wants to hear about my insurance struggles.  I seriously doubt anyone is going to read this post either, (most of my followers are not on Blogger anymore, at least I don' think so anyway.  Please leave a comment if you happen to be.

I should be writing free style at least 20 minutes a day just to get me back in the writing mindset, and I really do miss writing daily on a blog.  Which brings me to another subject--my writing class!  It resumes this Thursday at 9 am, and I have a publishing class right after.  I was reminded by this morning, at 8:02 am by my teacher with a quick call this morning.  Gee, that was nice of her to call to remind me.  I'm sure she called to remind everyone, I hope.  The majority of the class or retired senior citizens, perhaps that's why she called, and not because I missed a class, and then there was a "break" last week for President's Day.

So...that's two phone calls, and it's not even 8:30 am yet.  I'm predicting that another call will be coming in shortly--probably from mother.  I sure hope her cough medicine is ready for pick up.  Because I would really hate to call the Safeway pharmacy again, and her doctor nurses.  I called them twice yesterday for this codeine syrup that is supposedly "addictive".  Why on Earth would a doctor prescribe this medicine if it was so highly addictive in the first place is beyond me, but why it's such a problem is another.  My mother hasn't asked for a refill in over 2 years-doesn't sound like she has a problem with it, does it?

If it's not the cough medicine, my mother may be calling about the new oven she wants to buy at Sears.  Sale ends today.  She had 28 days in February, but today would be the day she would want to buy an oven.  If I do have to drive down to Santa Cruz I'll make sure to leave off a plate of malasadas for her, although I don't think it's the best thing for an 80 something woman who has diabetes should consume.  May be I'll only bring a few--no need to give the ants around her house another excuse for a visit.

Right now I'll just relax at my computer until the next phone call erupts.  I'm perfectly content sitting hear with my little dog on my lap.

Well, I think I'll return and work on my novel now.  Yes, my novel.  I'm finally getting serious with my writing.  It was a nice visit back to Blogger-and I will be back.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Linda Vista Moved To Private

I  have  FINALLY  moved the rough draft writings of Linda Vista to a private blog!   Changing it to private is something I've been wanting to do for quite some time, but of course, I had put it off for weeks; seriously, months.

The thought of having it out in public, NAKED has started to bother me for a number of reasons, and by scanning over just some of the entries (I have about 21 so far) I have noticed already that there is A LOT of things that need to be edited and changed.  It's NOT READY to be shown to the world just yet--even if the audience is pretty nonexistent at this point.

So...if you are looking for more adventures of Linda...you shall have to wait.  Julie needs to get her act together in the time being and really commit herself to this writing project.  Things have to get serious on her part.  Don't worry--Linda Vista is STILL in the works...

Game on!!


Friday, October 24, 2014

A Visit From A British Soldier; Vila Nova, Terceira

This entry is dedicated to my aunt, Aida Adelaide, my mother's sister who happens to celebrate a birthday this month.  This evening at dinner, my mother told me the following story about when the British military was stationed on the island.  The story was brought on about the real butter I had on the table, and the invention of margarine of all things.  The history of margarine, sparked a memory in my mother, and although I've heard the story may be once or twice before, tonight I listened a little more carefully.  It is a touching story, I hope you enjoy it.  Happy Birthday Tia Aidinha!!

During WW II, in 1943 the Royal Air Force was stationed on the island of Terceira, Azores.

My mother who was a child back then, still remembers their presence on the island.  She remembers that although it was a scary time, the British military brought a positive presence, and she felt safe knowing that some of them were stationed in her village.  She had heard stories of Hitler and the war, the rationing, and the military war planes noisily flying overhead her island.  Her father had even instructed her and her sister where to hide if Hitler and the Germans were to come to the island.  It was a scary and uncertain time, but every now and then, there would be a British solider who would walk down the street, or drive by in a military vehicle.  The vehicle would stop and  soldiers come out and would often say hello to the children.  They would greet my mother and her friends with lollipops and candy bars.  Their little faces had no doubt reminded them of possibly their own children, or younger brothers and sisters who were waiting for their return back home.  

On one occasion, as my mother made her way to her uncle's home, a large military vehicle carrying a cannon came driving towards her.  My mother remembers being so frightened she stopped frozen on the street in fear.  The driver must have noticed her reaction.  The vehicle stopped, and out of the vehicle stood a tall young man, with light blue eyes and a broad smile on his face.  He  presented my mother with the biggest chocolate bar out of his front pocket.  It was the biggest candy bar she had ever seen in her life!  She joyfully took the candy bar, and ran home to show her parents.  Unfortunately to her dismay, she had to share it with her younger sister.

There were a number of soldiers that were stationed up the street from her uncle's home in Vila Nova, Terceira, and they would often come down the street in the early evenings to socialize at a small cafe/cantina near her uncle's home.   They would gather there to drink and to play cards and converse among themselves, and try to communicate with the other men from the village.  As the evenings progressed, their voices and  laughter would progress to get louder, and sometimes, on occasion, a few proved to drink a little too much.  At those times, the soldiers' laughter would soon turn into tears as their conversations turned to their loved ones waiting in England, fellow soldiers, and the stories and struggles of the war.  Although most of the people who lived in the village did not understand their words, their emotions and expressions of sorrow and "saudade"needed no translation.

On one particular day, my grandfather was out and about carrying my aunt in his arms.  My grandfather noticed a soldier stopping on the street to admire the little toddler.  She may have been only 3 or 4 years old at the time.  My aunt had light hair, with blue eyes and the vision of her apparently touched him deeply.  My grandfather felt a little weary with his stares, but after a short time the soldier came up to him, with tears in his eyes, explaining to my grandfather how much his daughter reminded him of his own.  A few days later, the soldier came up to my grandfather, and asked if there was any possibly way he could see my aunt one night as she lay sleeping.

My grandfather was so touched by the soldier's sincere words, he felt he had an obligation as a father to  help.  That evening he came  home and told my grandmother what had happened.  Although my grandmother was hesitant about it, she soon found herself  touched by the story of the soldier and she readily agreed to help.  The next evening, my grandmother purposely put the best crocheted linens on the bed, and dressed her youngest daughter in her best night gown.  My aunt Aida had no idea what was going on, and quickly fell asleep.  While she lay there sleeping, my grandmother carefully combed her light hair to the side, and pinned a pretty pink ribbon.

My mother remembers this day like it was yesterday, and recalled how confused she felt.  She did not understand why a British soldier was coming by to see her sister.  Would he bring her more chocolate?  Did he want to steal her baby sister away?  Nervously she waited until the soldier finally arrived at the door.  My grandfather opened the door, and quietly led him into the house, to where my mom and her mother stood,  near the bed where my aunt lay peacefully sleeping.  He carried no chocolates in his pockets, but the expression on his face, brought tears to my grandmother's eyes.

The soldier stood there above the bed for a little while.  He smiled at the little girl, as he mumbled a few words in English to himself.  He knelt down, and stroked her check carefully with his finger, and then arose from the bed, smiled again, and mumbled a few words in English once more, wiping a tear off of his own cheek.  The soldier then quietly left the house in silence and a few muffled words, perhaps trying to communicate to my grandparents his thank you.  My grandparents followed him out the door, and watched him make his way on the road, sympathetically.  The soldier then turned around to them,  and waved a goodbye to my mother at the window.

My mother wondered if the British soldier would ever return to visit them again, but he never did.  Years later another soldier would come, during another war, and from a different country.  That American soldier would later be my father.

Below you can see a movie on You Tube from 1943, when England set military base in Terceira.  The video does not say which island they were occupied on--just "The Azores".

Friday, October 10, 2014

I Don't Miss It

It's been about 3 months since I resigned from working at my former place of employment, and I must say, I'm finally adjusting to it.  Frankly, I can't believe it's been already over 3 months!  It seems like a month at  most!  I've been keeping myself so busy, and time is just flying by.

The first month out of work was strange.  I felt like I was just taking a long vacation from the office.  I was still getting questions from work via email.  I still had email access to my former employment.  People were actually requesting me to run CII reports, or change cases, and I would respond telling them I no longer worked there.  Yes, I didn't work there anymore!  Why are you asking me this?  Because of this, it all seemed unreal to me.  I still felt "connected" to the office in a weird, ghostly way.  Of course I had mixed feelings about it.  I wanted to be there for the person I had trained before I left, but at the same time, I felt angry.  I felt like I was still being taken advantage of by my employer, and I wasn't being paid for my time regardless.

When the second month came around, I asked to be taken off the email, and I requested not to be contacted again.  I felt a little badly for the new person, but the cord had to be broken.  This was all too ridiculous.  At this point this had to end!  I confess that I missed checking the email.  The connection I had to a place I had invested over 26+ years of employment was now gone.  It was bittersweet, but, it was finally over.

By the end of the 2nd month, I finally met up with a friend from work.  I've worked with this particular friend since she first starting working for the county, about 24 years.  She is one of the very few friends from work that has not yet retired since I started working there.  Naturally, I do miss not seeing her every day at work.  We would share our frustrations of the work place during the week, while walking around the office by the river.  I missed our walks and friendship.  We decided to meet up for another walk.

I purposefully suggested that we have a walk near the ocean.  It was a beautiful September day, and it was a perfect excuse not to walk around the river, near the office.  I have no desire to "bump" into any supervisor or any member of management on a walk.  I guess I'm still angry, and I believe I do have a reason for feeling that way.  I was not in the mood for nice, fake small talk to anyone of those idiots.  She luckily agreed to a walk near the ocean, which I was very grateful, especially when I drove into the office parking lot I felt a knot in my stomach.  Ugg.  I was very grateful that she was already waiting outside.

We had a nice, informative walk.  The sky was beautiful, and the surfers were out in the ocean, and people were walking their dogs and enjoying the day.  My friend told me of all the happenings and going ons around the office since I had made my "surprise" departure.  Apparently, the office hasn't fallen apart yet since, but they are weeks and weeks behind in work.  The girl I had trained my position was moved to a different office and doing other work.  She in turn trained a new person, whom apparently was a transfer from another department, who was taking a lot of vacation time off, so the work was even more behind, and she really didn't know what the hell she was doing, but she was slowly accomplishing it.  Other parts of "my former job duties" had been reimbursed to aids, and other people who were none to happy.  My former supervisor asked my friend, to ask me if I was willing to come in a few days to "catch up".  I laughed.  I guess my former supervisor was too embarrassed to call me personally.  I hope she doesn't call.  I relayed to my friend to tell her I thought that was very funny.

We walked back to my car, and I dropped off my friend at the parking lot at my former work place.  I cannot tell you how happy I felt to actually drive out of there one more time.  I probably will go back again because of my friend, but the thought of walking inside that building makes my stomach ache.  I like my "new work place" a lot better.  It's home.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Just putting it out there...

Although I publish most of what I write on here, there have been some recent entries that I have chosen not to share on social media, namely, Facebook.

I'm not sure of who actually subscribes to this blog, if any.  (I've noticed that most of the people that I have followed in the past, have not been submitting entries.  For some bloggers it has been literally years.)  So this may be seen by only a few or a dozen people.  It really doesn't matter.  Because of the sensitive and personal material, I'm not sharing publicly for a number of reasons, that I will not disclose, but at the same time, I'm not going to make any excuses for not expressing myself on my blog.

The last thing I want to do is humiliate or offend anyone.  I'm writing entries for myself; no one else.

Take it or leave it…

Flat Tire

On some days, I just feel flat.  I feel deflated, and light-headed.  It as if someone just let out all the air out of me, and I'm just beyond tired.  I've been feeling this way for the past few days, and I think my body is really just trying to fight off a cold.

I think my car is too.

There is nothing more aggravating than driving around town, doing errands when you see that signal on your dashboard telling you that you have a tire that is losing air pressure.  Lovely.  The first thing I immediately picture in my mind is being stuck on the side of the road, unable to go to all the places I need to be.  Luckily I made it home, and had enough air pressure to finish what I was doing and safely park my car in my garage.  I know how you feel, dear Bleu.  (Yes, I named my car Bleu, because it's the color blue.)

Poor Bleu has been working overtime.  Sure he isn't driving over Hwy 17 as much as he was now that I'm not working, but boy, he has been busy.  I've taken him to San Francisco, and a not very pleasant trip to Oakland quite recently.  I don't know my way around the city very well, and poor Bleu has been honked at a few times, and been scared trying to follow instructions around the scary streets of Oakland.  So, fortunately, Bleu lost tire pressure a mile from home, and not on Telegraph Hill Rd---for this I'm very grateful indeed.

I've only have had experienced that scenario once before, years and years ago, (knock on wood) with two young children in a car full of groceries, on the side of the road with a flat, with no cell phone.  A nice woman on the road stopped in front of me, on the side of  the highway, and let me use her phone.  I was so grateful, but embarrassed.  I tried to quietly explain to the husband (ex) at home my unfortunate dilemma.  He was none too happy he had to leave and come to my rescue.  He was having far too much fun in front of the computer screen, chatting with some woman on Portuguese Chat.

It was on that day, driving back home, I realized (again-I had been in denial for years) that I had a much bigger problem than just a flat tire.  Sure, the husband (ex) eventually showed up, changed the tire, and put on the spare, (cursing under his breath the whole entire time) but that was just a band aid to a much bigger problem.  After a tearful drive home, the groceries were put away.  The kids were fed, and I watched them hoping they would be too young to remember what a terrible afternoon it had been. I could overhear him laughing again in front of the computer screen.  Things were back to "normal".  Normally dysfunctional.

Sometimes the best way to take off a band aid is to do it quickly.  It is so much worse than pulling it off slowly.  It had to happen eventually.  I was losing air and I was suffocating.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Voices Unheard

one bruised arm
one black eye
one more walk into the door
broken dishes on the floor
i tried to hide
and i lied
but honey there isn't enough Cover Girl in the world
that can cover
this or shut the voices

another bruised arm
another black eye
another excuse
not to run
push it away that glass of red wine
cleaning off the stain
from my face
broken pieces strewn across
leave without a trace
hide the evidence

one loud shrill
one loud crash
one little girl holding a suitcase
i'm shouting down the hall
loading up the car
and my soul
with what is left
what was always there
left unkept and silent
far too many years

open up the box
open up the book
let the moths fly out
I lost the ring
I buried it
I burnt it
with the letters and denial
let the voices attest
My Lady you have heard me
how I prayed and cried
I tried until
the door finally swung open
and the lights inside
sang with loud voices
I could not deny