Wednesday, November 30, 2016

happenings

Saw a lot of postings today about damage from tornadoes in AL. I've heard my Dad's voice on the phone, but he didn't have time to talk. I assume all is okay in Walker County.

Had the opportunity to meet with three former co-workers today for lunch. It was neat to catch up and hear all the things (some good, some bad) in their lives. So much has changed since the days we were all working at the same place. While it's neat that life moves on, sometimes I still miss it.

I might have help coming tomorrow night to help with the entertainment center. If not, I might get a little desperate and just start making phone calls. Jobs that require help always make me feel isolated and alone.

Roadwork will likely be moving in front of our house either Friday or the first of next week. A part of me greatly dreads it; a part of me is ready to have it over with. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the possibilities of what our yard is going to look like when it's all finished.

Judges ruled late yesterday that even though the Justice Dept approved our state's voting maps (as required by the Voting Rights Act) before they were enacted, they are racist and can't be used. So now new maps must be drawn and approved AGAIN, and a new primary and general election must be held yesterday. Can't imagine those races will have big turn-outs or they'll use trainers and workers as much for this small of an election. I am now, more than ever, of the opinion that judges and legislatures who make rules concerning elections should have to work as a poll worker or board election official for four consecutive elections, including local elections, before they are allowed to make any decisions about the process.

1.5 weeks before my family comes, and this is house is SO not ready!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

slipping

Today has been one of those days when the gratitude attitude has been constantly slipping out of my grasp. With the weather front moving through (thankful for the few tiny raindrops we've had), I've had a bad headache. Not a full fledge migraine, but one of those I've taken meds 4x today and then loaded on caffeine before it finally went to sleep. (And yes, I tried resting before I tried caffeine, but when the house is shaking with the blasting and road work going on outside, that doesn't exactly work.)

We've also been waffling all year on whether or not to get a new tv. The one we have in our living room is the one my parents bought when I was in middle school. And it still works. But it's to the point I'm having a difficult time finding cords to replace for the DVD player (that actually attaches to our television). The sound was a little crazy on it for about a month. The day I decided it was okay to replace it...the problem corrected itself. No joke. And it would be nice to have a really clear screen. But then my inner child whispers "But this one still works." Why would we replace a tv that works?
But last night, we did. We went to look at the televisions still being offered at Black Friday prices, found one that was at a discount because someone had returned it, and got an entertainment stand for it to sit on. And today I was going to get everything out and ready. Except by the time I got home from a dr's appt and errands, I spent AN HOUR unpacking the pieces for the entertainment center. I should have known when I saw the letter P that I was not going to be able to do this one by myself. But silly my persisted. We took a supper break after hour 2. At nearing hour 3, the piece I had been exasperating myself with screwing in to another part fell off. As in, 3/4 of the screws I had in place simply pulled out. I cried. And I'm hoping Bobby's nephew will be able to come tomorrow night and help me put it together so we can reclaim the construction zone that is now our living room. I'll even miss church to do it if it means I can have my house back.

And the Christmas reading my Mom wanted to be mailed out today? I'm still not finished with it. I'm not even sure she knows what she wants.

So life is good, my health is good, we're adjusting hubby's meds again, I'm already behind on my cleaning/decorating schedule (my family comes for another wedding in 2 weeks), and I should be the most grateful person on earth. Except that I'm a sometimes grateful person with a good bit of grumpiness thrown in. Not exactly the gratitude attitude I think God wants, but that's where I am today.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

half day

Bobby has a cousin who is a little person. He got engaged the same fall we did, and they also got married in 1999, a few weeks after us. They live near us, though like with most of the family who lives in this area, contact is sporadic. About 6 years ago Paul had a stroke. He was the primary driver for the family, and since he was the taller of the two, he did most of the grocery shopping (she's too short to reach inside a buggy) and the laundry (she also can't reach down into the washing machine). So their life was radically upended. Since then Jill has learned to drive again, though she greatly struggles with it. I've watched her drive, and it makes me nervous to no end. So when she asks me to drive her somewhere that requires being on the interstate or somewhere she's never been, it's hard for me to say no. It's truly safer for everyone if someone else takes them.

Today was one of the appointments in Chapel Hill. It wasn't too early of a morning, and while traffic was bad, it was nothing out of the ordinary for I40 morning traffic. And yet, I was exhausted. I actually read a little while they were with the doctor, but after two short chapters my eyes were watering and I was starting to nod off. While I was home by 1:30pm, I still felt as if I had been gone all day. The crazy thing is that I was mentally prepared to be gone all day. Many times when appointments are at the hospital, it is truly an all day event, even if the appointment is in the morning. Hospital dr visits are so unpredictable that way. I was more than a little relieved to discover on the way that it was an actually dr's office and not part of the hospital wing we were heading towards.

There's so much I take for granted. Sometimes I get very frustrated that people don't understand what our life is really like with Bobby's disability, and yet, there's so much about Paul & Jill's life that I don't fully grasp. The few times I've driven them to the dr and helped out with things have given me some very eye-opening glimpses into how routine things for me are monstrous challenges for them. I take so much for granted.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

when progress isn't all that progressive

With all the media hype surrounding the campaigns before the election, there were many fears that the elections themselves would be a little more hostile than normal. Thankfully, that turned out not to be the case.

One thing I've learned over the last twelve years is that there are two elections where people when turn out en mass to vote. One is always the presidential election. The other is an election where there is a controversial election. So everyone was fully expecting extreme chaos.

We did have long lines. The first few days of early voting I was able to work in Garner. We had lines when we opened, and those lines never ended. We "closed" the lines with a line. (When closing time arrives, a worker stands at the end of the line with a sign. Everyone in front of the worker is allowed to vote, which means closing time and finishing time are always two different things.) After seven days in my hometown, I moved to my assigned workplace in a rural town that's a 40 minute drive away. While we had a steady stream of voters, the lines were nothing compared to what other sites were seeing. It wasn't until the last three days of early voting that we experienced lines with wait times of 30 minutes or more.

Our number one issue, besides fatigue (17 days of 8am-8pm work is crazy) was voters enraged over the state's ID requirement for voting being struck down by the courts. I don't mind people complaining or running their mouths. What I do mind is the belligerent voters who demand workers look at their ID, some going so far as to shove it within 1" of your nose. What does that serve? So you want people to break the law. When the courts tell you NOT to do something and you force someone to disobey, that's exactly what you're seeking. In your self-righteous anger you demean and insult people who volunteer to make almost minimum wage for insane hours at a time just so you can exercise your democratic right to vote. And for what purpose? Because you are angry someone disagrees with you? To add even more irony to the situation, most poll workers actually liked the ID law. It often made finding people in the system much easier.

Thankfully, we didn't have more than 2 of those a day, but encounters of the kind leave you on edge, with your blood boiling more than a little, and a growing dislike for the general public. It also makes me ponder how it is that we can process 925 kind and reasonable voters, yet when our day is done, our mind lingers on number 926 who was a jerk. Why does my mind reflect on the minuscule minority with no manners?

Despite all the talk from people about how far our society has advanced and how much better we are than our ancestors, when I read memoirs and excerpts from the past, I realize we've not really progressed. Oh sure, there are certain evils and vanities that society is no longer "trapped" by, but in mindsets and attitudes and behavior towards one another, nothing has really changed. I have liberal friends who are just as mean-spirited and hateful as some of my conservative friends. The only thing different about them is the side of the fence they throw their rocks from.