Chewing the Cud

So, I’ve been selling houses for a few months and have set up a blog just for that here:  http://barbaraworks4u.blogspot.com/.  I find it extremely cathartic to write about my experiences, thereby sharing knowledge with the world, in general.  In the case of this blog, it’s more personal and a place to throw thoughts, ideas and other things that cause that dreaded stuff we all hate: insomnia. For me, blogging is similar to the purging that you can get when you have a sit-down over an awesome cup of coffee with a good friend and get all off it your chest!  So, dear friend, if you continue reading, you have my gratitude.  If you respond to my blogging, even more so.

Several items on my plate are driving me a little crazy lately and keeping me up at night, unless I take some melatonin, of course.  I don’t know about you, but that stuff just knocks me OUT!

Sleeping polar bear

in any case…

I want to preface this by saying that growing up, I was “Daddy’s Girl” and knew all my life that I was not the favored daughter in my mother’s eyes.  I’m empathic.  If you are, too, you understand.  I also want to note that my sister knew for many years that it was going to be her obligation to care for our mother in her old age because she and our mother have always been close.  Although I am working on my feelings in this matter, I continue to resent the fact that she moved eight hours away and left our failing mother here in my care.  I feel that my sister took advantage of my inherent kindness and did what she thought she had to do to get me and our mother talking again just so that she would not have to feel guilty leaving our mother alone.  I feel hurt and used, but, as I said, I’m working on it. My mother and I clash…always have, probably always will.  It is VERY stressful for both of us.  So, you are welcome to take my point of view with a grain of salt.  As a matter of course, I recommend it, but this is my forum, so I’m going to spew.  I very much appreciate your indulgence.

At the end of this year, my mother is not going to renew my property management contract with her.  I find this sad and frustrating because I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my mother is becoming more incompetent every day.  It’s not that I haven’t done a good job and fixed the OH-MY-GOD WHAT A HUGE mess she handed me when I took over (again) this year. It’s ALL about money for her, always has been.  The problem is that she stubbornly refuses to accept the fact that, as my sister said, “she has no business running a business”. She is of the WWII generation, and if you have dealt with many of them at any time, you will understand.  Because they were poor in their youth and subjected to the war, even if they are rolling in cash, they NEVER have enough money. They are very avaricious and look to money to make them feel secure. It’s a life-long habit, and as frustrating as it may be for me, there is no changing it for her.  Many of them have a hard time being grateful for anything in their lives except for cash.  So, there is an expectation that I should work for free for the possibility that at some point I might inherit something after she dies and no longer is grasping at every dime.  Yeah, right. I’m not holding my breath, folks!  And by the way, she thinks I’m lying when I tell her I don’t give a damn about her money.  It’s sad, from my prospective, to be so misunderstood by my own mother.

For me, even though my mother expresses resentment for having to pay me and then turns around and denies it, it’s not just about money, but I can’t afford to work for free, either.   My mother is suffering from a wide range of physical and mental deterioration because she is almost seventy-nine years old and has a bad heart.  Just because she has not been officially diagnosed (nor will she be if she has anything to say about it) it does not mean that the disease does not exist.  It’s in her genes.  Her own mother didn’t know any of us for several years at the end of her life.  Also, having cared for my in-laws for 15 years, I can see the same signs of confusion, memory loss, painful headaches and so forth in my mother that my mother-in-law showed.  My mother-in-law was diagnosed with a mix of Alzheimer’s and dementia.  Almost every day these days, my mother is, as she says “sick”.  She has a very hard time communicating,  remembering what she said or did not say and blames everyone else for not understanding what she wants, even when no one knows what she wants.  She also loses important things like tenant files and rent checks.  She is afraid of things (like lawsuits) that happen to her because she can’t remember what she did.  Half of what she “remembers” is something she made up or maybe dreamt about.  And, still, she cannot acknowledge that anything untoward is happening to her mind.  We know this all comes from her heart because that much has been diagnosed.   And of course, we all know that blood flow has a direct effect on brain function. The problem is that she sees absolutely nothing wrong with the way she thinks or functions while the rest of the world just looks at her then tells me they are glad that I am managing her property.

So there you have it.  I am dealing with the same problems that many in my generation are currently dealing with in failing and frustrated parents and a lack of support.  I wish it were not so, because I have been dealing with failing parents for a very long time.  I am angry, frustrated, and feel plagued by matters that are beyond me to handle at this point.  So, I’m blogging and trying to find the strength to deal with things.

Namaste

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Moving on down the road

passage of time

It’s now been over a year.  It seems that the longer the time between writing sessions is, the more hesitation there is to write at all. Curious.  I actually thought that not writing would make me anxious to write, but no, my lazy human nature won that battle.

So, I volunteered at some libraries and interviewed hither, dither and yon, all to no avail.  I finally gave up on the idea and feel that perhaps the Master’s degree was a waste of time, and money?  But no, I still love the library and quite likely will continue to be a fan until I am no longer even a thought in anyone’s mind.  However, it seems that working in a library, at least for me, is not meant to be.  I will have to use the knowledge I gained in another manner and find another way to pay for the student loans with which I am now encumbered.

So, how can I find a profitable new career that will allow me to now pay off all these student loans and still manage to eat?  What else but real estate?  I passed the nerve-racking exam and have positioned myself as an Income Property Acquisition Specialist.  I am focused on helping people develop a passive retirement-worthy income through the purchase and managment of income property.  At this point, I have my first listing, a number of customers who are looking for the right piece of income property and will be developing a series of informative presentations for local people to give them the tools they need to be financially comfortable when they can no longer work.

There is a plan, and I am very grateful to be on this path on this day.

Namaste

 

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Now what?

Obviously, it’s been a while since I have taken the time to write.  My head is so full of what I want to say that it’s hard to sort it all out.

So here goes…graduation day came and went.  Then, it took 10 weeks for the university to get my diploma to me.  Way too long, as far as I am concerned, but here it is:

DSC_0795

Now, the real work begins.

With the full support of my dear husband, I resigned from the Gulfport Public Library on March 1st.  My internal ethics required me to give at least two weeks notice, even thought the job was only part-time and had no benefits.  I still felt the need to do the right thing and give at least 14 days notice. I have no regrets that I did the right thing.

You may wonder why, after just having graduated and gotten that MIS, I should risk leaving my job, before I have another, especially in this horrific economy.  The truth is that I had to quit my little part-time job at the library because I didn’t make enough to pay my student loans and could not get a deferment if I was working.  I did ask for a raise after graduation but received another very lame excuse why I would get no raise in response.  So many promises broken on this path.  Once again, the universe gave me another “get it in writing” lesson.  Se la vie.

So, I need to find a full-time job that is personally satisfying and pays enough to make working worthwhile.  I want responsibility and authority at a job that challenges and supports me, both financially and with my desire for continuing education.  In the meantime, I have my deferment and think positively that the right job will arrive, when the time is right, if I persist and have faith.  Wish me luck or say a little prayer for me!

Namaste…

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Ruminations

So here am I just a couple of weeks out from receiving the big diploma, and I find that I have turned into an education snob. I can’t honestly say that I’m sorry about it either.

In this country, we are given, yes, GIVEN 12 years of education.  It is expected, in these twelve years of gratis education, that we should learn to read, write and do some basic math – you know, add, subtract, multiply and divide?  We get some extras on top of all that including the chance to play some games, cut up some frogs or other poor animals, make some friends and so forth.  After all this time and money invested, those that have paid the bill expect that people who have spent time in our schools can speak as if they have more than the average couple of hundred word vocabulary of a Senegal parrot, perhaps even be able speak for a minute or two without profanity, be able to tell time on an analog clock, and be able to make change when the electricity goes out at their McDonald’s job.  But can they?

These initial twelve years are paid for by taxpayers – not the government as so many of the aforementioned uneducated seem to think.  Guess what folks, the government is not a producer of anything, except for a lot of aggravation, so it does not have any money that it does not take from the governed and redistribute as it sees fit.  The PEOPLE that pay for your education cover costs such as teacher’s, administrative and support person’s salaries (does anyone think that the janitor works for free?). There are also costs for buildings and the associated costs such as maintenance of the building and grounds, and supplies like computers, paper, etc.  All this is paid for by taxpayers – people that we know, who live all around us, but are not recognized for paying for this great opportunity for us.  As a taxpayer, myself, I wonder what I am getting for my money.

Not only do many of us not appreciate the free education we are given, we are downright foolish not to take advantage of it!  Some of us spend 12 years (less if we drop out) trying to avoid learning anything at all.  After spending all this time doing the “avoid learning” dance, we end up knowing absolutely nothing.  It is abundantly clear that we have made ourselves into ignorant fools the moment we open our mouths and subject our listeners to some drivel that is not even understandable.  Then, to add insult to injury, we have the unmitigated gall to complain about the fact that we have no opportunities.  Can anyone explain the rationale behind this stupidity?

So, here is the bottom line for me:  I have no tolerance for those people who purposefully wasted the opportunity of a free education.  If you have not taken advantage of the opportunity that I paid for, then don’t come crying to me.  I gave you years of opportunity to learn and grow.  If you can’t even speak like you have a brain and not a glob of oatmeal between your ears, TOUGH.  Figure it out yourself, because I’m done carrying you.

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The EXAM

I finished it. I thought I would be done tomorrow, but I just puked it all out, and there it lies, on my desk, all pretty and pinned together with a nice

.     One Comprehensive Exam – made to order.

Of course, it’s not really done because I have to put it down for at least one day then go over it with a fine tooth comb.  I actually prefer to do that at least twice, but I already went over most of it once.

Now that I am at the end, I find that I really do not care for the formality of academic writing.  Mind you, I don’t suck at it – I just don’t like it very much anymore.  My get-up-and-go got up and went – without me.  I’m cautious enough to put all the dots and spaces in the right places, but since I graduate in December, I’m finding it hard to care about it anymore.  And on that note another rather interesting thought came to me while I was working on my comps.  Do the professors realize that once we graduate we no longer have access to the library and all those obnoxious, over-blown articles that they make us read?  Just sayin’.

Looking at the light at the end of the tunnel!

Namaste…

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Yard Work…

I finally hired a guy to maintain the yard.  I’m so relieved, and I have no idea why I didn’t do it sooner.  I have worried and fretted over this yard – the bushes are out of control; the grass is turning into amber waves of grain.  The whole place just looks unkempt, like nobody gives a damn, and I’ve been waiting for the city to cite me!  UGH!

When Bill was here last week, he was going to mow and trim and clean it up – yet again.  It seems like every time he’s home, the yard needs an overhaul and it just no longer has any appeal for him, but the man knows his duty and does his best.  Luckily, it’s a pretty small yard, so it’s not normally a big job, unless it’s like its been, that is, not getting touched until it resembles Conrad’s Heart of Darkness!!!  In any case, the universe had other plans for Bill’s efforts to do any more yard work.  After struggling to get it started, the big, self driving mower was chugging along and had done about half of the yard when it just blew up – smoking and coughing and dying like the proverbial little engine that couldn’t anymore.  Which, apparently, it was.  Then, to add insult to injury, the spare lawnmower, that does not have self drive and must be pushed and sweated over would not even make an effort to turn over!  The poor man pulled and pulled and jiggled this and wiggled that and pulled and pulled and choked it and flooded it and pulled and pulled and got a great big NADA!  At that point, the equipment practically hurled itself out into the alley for trash and Bill was so pissed, he didn’t even want to look at the electric trimmer!  If you know my husband, you have the picture.  If you don’t, just imagine the Tasmanian Devil when Bugs Bunny gets a hold of him.  Yep, that’s it.

So now, we have a lawn service.  He comes and makes it pretty.  I no longer worry about it, and I write a check once a month.  Just another day in paradise!

A bientot!

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The day I first got lost in literature

Image

For me, it was Black Beauty.  That was the turning point.  I know I was very young because my mother seemed very tall to my child’s mind.  I remember she used to make me read to her.  I also remember how much I hated having to try to learn the meaning of words by sounding out those letters and trying to change the meaning of those pesky letters on a page to a picture in my mind.  It was a tedious process, but my mother was a demanding taskmaster.  More and more words slowly translated into pictures in my mind as my eyes saw them on the paper.  She MADE me read for a certain amount of time every day…one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.  Then to add injury to insult, I couldn’t even relax in the car as I was asked to read all the signs I saw for a while whenever we went anywhere until I hardly had to look at the signs to tell her what they said!  The woman was relentless, and I felt tortured – forever!  I hated that stupid Jack and Jill and that dumb hill and all the rest!  I was tired of her pushing and making me work so hard every day!  It was painful to my head, boring and an awful waste of playtime!

However, after a while, I found myself slowing becoming resigned to the constant struggle with this ridiculous need of my mother’s to push me every single day to read out loud.  I still hated it, but I stopped fighting her as much.  Truthfully, I started to recognize a bunch of the words and the task slowly becoming a little less painful.  I was even starting to be asked to read to myself, but I was still required to tell her what I had read.  So, I still didn’t like it much, and I was still having a hard time, especially with new words and the requirement of using that dictionary she taught me how to use, but I was hitting a level of acceptance with the seemingly unending task.

I still remember when she handed me THAT book – stupid yellow cover with just a black horse on it! I could only groan!  I had just finished something tedious, but I have no idea what it was.  In any case, my mother gave me her usual tolerant smile and just handed me the book.  I remember thinking how unfair to have to read another boring book, and this one was really FAT, too!  But, I knew the drill, so off I went.

I can’t explain to you how hard or how fast I fell, but you should understand that to me, it was pure magic.  The next thing I knew I was in the story and in love with this gorgeous black horse!  I remember my own sense of astonishment and awe.  I was in the story, and I no longer saw the words on the page, but watched the story with my mind.  I couldn’t put it down, and I read for hours and hours!  That day, and that book, made me a reader and set me on the path to lifetime learning.  By the time I entered school I was a great reader for my age, and it has been my primary hobby and favorite pastime since the day my mother made me read THAT book.

Namaste

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