Friday, September 23, 2016

the best laid plans of Mice and woman

    In planning and preparing for a vacation, it is a good idea to prepare to roll with the unexpected.  Things do not always go as planned.
    As the time approached for my youngest to return from his LDS mission to South Korea, I began dreaming of going to Disneyland with my singles - the new RM Benjamin, Joseph, Andrew, and Miriam.  I tried scheduling several times but something was always wrong - like Soarin and Splash Mountain both scheduled to be closed!  Soon Benjamin was married and went to Disneyland with his bride!  Joseph, a true homebody, just didn't want to go.  He hates packing and being in the car for hours.
     Finally, Miriam, Andrew and I were set to go for a vacation the likes of which we have never had before.   The plan - drive Monday (with possibly a stop at Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park on the way).  Visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter on Tuesday, then go to Disneyland Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and drive home Saturday.
       Andrew arranged with his professors to be out of school this week.  EXCEPT a you cannot miss it 23% of your grade exam that started at 3pm (or was it 3:30?)  Anyway, instead of leaving Monday morning, we now had to leave around 5:30pm or so.  That eliminated the state park stop and would get us to the hotel around midnight. 
       Sunday afternoon the day before departure, we were rear-ended and Gracie, my Honda CR-V, was no longer able to make the drive.  Fortunately we have AAA.  Gracie went to the shop and I got a rental Monday.  Good thing we had already altered our plans to leave late in the day!  Besides, Miriam and I had not finished packing.
        Andrew feels his exam went well.  So did our drive down.  Andrew had to take over for me the last few hours, but he was fine with that and at that time of night the famous LA traffic had gone to bed.
         We stayed at the Hilton Universal which was very nice. A little more than I am at home with  but with fewer amenities that we want and had later at the Best Western.  We booked for 3 people but they gave us things in 2s until we asked- like bottled water and keys. No breakfast included. The wifi was free for 3 devices only - while we each had a phone and a computer.  But we were only there for the night, so it didn't matter much.  I think only Andrew and I actually used our computers.   And, nicely,  the parking we paid for lasted until 6pm Tuesday, so we could leave the car there and take the shuttle to Universal Studios.  Everyone was polite and pleasant, but not really friendly.
           For those who have trouble walking, it was a very long walk from shuttle drop off through City Walk through security and the park entrance to the wheelchair and scooter rental.  Miriam rented a regular wheelchair while I chose to limp along.   We enjoyed the Wizarding World of Harry Potter very much.  We delighted in a delicious breakfast in The Three Broomsticks (awesome place), visited most of the shops in Hogsmeade (resisting many expensive temptations), walked through the castle - very cool, but a bit too dark- and declined the ride which we heard made even the non-queasy prone sick, and rode the Hippogriff rollercoast.  Fun! and as our cars pulled in, for some reason the helpers asked "Do you want to ride again?!"  I thought they meant to come back again, but no, they sent us around for a second time.  This was Andrew's first roller coaster.  It was fun the first time, but both of us enjoyed it more the second time around.
           The Universal Studios Tour was fun and exciting.  From there Andrew and Miriam barely made it to the Special Effects Show.  I was too slow but I didn't care as much either.  I relaxed and did some people watching by a cooling station.  Lots of matching-shirted groups led by a guide carrying a small flag and taking selfies.   One group of red-shirted Things.  Dad of Things, Uncle of Things, Things of various numbers.   It seems that Asians of all ages and young women of all colors are most comfortable being  photographed and taking selfies.
            We admired wands of the well-known witches and wizards.  With some slight difficulty resisted purchasing one.  Cost was a factor and my favorite wands are from Griffindor while I am Hufflepuff.  Besides, what would I really do with it?
         I wanted to have the Great Feast for dinner at The Three Broomsticks, but the Feast is a platterful of food enough for 4 very hungry people – some people say it will feed 5 or 6 – roast chicken, spareribs, roast potatoes, corn on the cob, salad and veggies (maybe more?) and there were only 3 of us.  Miriam had roast chicken, Andrew had a chicken salad, I had the spare rib platter which had much of the Feast foods, but not chicken, salad, or seasonal vegetables.  Delicious!  I particularly liked the spare ribs and corn on the cob.
          We all agreed it was a great place to visit, but except for The Three Broomsticks and maybe the Universal Tour, we don't feel a big need to return soon or often.  But very glad we went.
        Best Western provides free wifi without restrictions and a very good buffet breakfast at Captain Kidd's restaurant.  It also has an in-room microwave (which Hilton did not) as well as a small fridge (which Hilton did).  Although the room was slightly smaller, it was clean and quite comfortable.  Overall, I personally prefer Best Western.  I think the busy, slightly harried staff was friendlier.
          We had booked scooters to be delivered at 8 in the morning and picked up Saturday at noon.  Before our trip, the driver texted me to say he started work at 9 and the delivery would be some time thereafter.  I told him the Park opened at 10, we wanted to be there by then, and to text me when he was on the way or when he arrived.  He agreed.   I went to the lobby at nine and waited, not entirely patiently.  At 9:30 I texted that I was getting anxious.  He responded “It's there”  “It's” is not a good word in this case.   There is an in house scooter rental with a different company, so I had ignored the scooters next to it. Oh, ONE of them had my name (misspelled) on it. The hotel called the company and we waited for the scooter.  I must say the driver was not very interested in showing us how they worked.  But at last! We were going to Disneyland!! Well, California Adventure, actually.  We enjoyed exploring Grizzly Peak Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.  Loved it.
      But while there, not more than an hour into our park experience, I noticed that my power indicator showed 1 red and 3,no 2, no 3, no 2 yellow lights instead of a lovely spectrum of 1 red, 3 yellow, and a whole bunch of greens.  We called the scooter company who told us to stay in the park and do what we were doing and a new one would be brought to us.  Of course, that didn't happen.  The driver started calling us, telling us that of course he could not enter the ticketed area and asking us where to meet him.  How would we know? It was our first time here. We worked our way out to the big plaza between security and park entrances. And waited and waited.  He could not find us based on what we described near by. Andrew figured out where he was and went to get him.  The scooter guy put new batteries in my scooter.  It showed full power and we were off again.  Not an hour later, I was out of power.  I called again and they agreed to bring me another scooter.  This time I really ran out of power and Andrew pushed the scooter from the far end of Cars Land to outside the entrance. Now it was after noon and we have lost half of an expensive day in Disneyland.  A bit disappointing, but this time the scooter lasted the rest of the day although I was a bit nervous about it and it did run down faster than Miriam's scooter (because she weighs less?).  Having scooters made a huge difference for our gimpy bodies!  The rest of the day was great! until the end.
      After all the upset over the scooters (I spent some time crying in the Happiest Place on Earth), we knew it was time for our first Mickey Bars.  Delicious and refreshing!  After hearng me talk about them since Sariah took me to Disney World three years ago, I was afraid that Andrew and Miriam would be less than impressed, but they agreed that they are very, very good ice cream bars.  We looked forward to more later.
      We had fun in both parks. Although at first we thought it might be kid stuff, Luigi's Rockin Roadsters was great fun. I would gladly ride again!  Can't miss the classic Small World, Soaring Over the World was awesomely great (but I still miss Soaring over California which I had enjoyed at DW with Sariah). 
        Dinner at Goofy's Kitchen was delicious, plentiful and great fun!  Pluto, Minnie, Chip, and Dale all visited our table and interacted several times.   At a table near us, a couple separated their 50th anniversary.  We asked Minnie how long she and Mickey have been together.  She said 87 years.  Then pointed to her ring-less left hand and looked sad. She is a very patient mouse. (Mickey-and-Minnie-Mouse-facts-that-will-make-you-believe-in-love-forever)
        Finally it was time to use our Fast Pass for Radiator Springs Racers – which we had picked up very early in the afternoon.  Great ride! We loved it. No wonder it is so popular.  However when Miriam went to get up out of the car, something snapped in her leg and she could not raise herself.  With some effort, Andrew and the ride worker helped her out and into a wheelchair which Andrew pushed back to our scooters.  The World of Color had started by the time we got there.  Andrew could see part of it, but Miriam and I could only listen to the music and see the tops of the water fountains.  But there's still two more days.
      Back at the hotel, we realized that Miriam was going to have trouble without aids.  We were able to upgrade to a handicap accessible room so she could use the bathroom on her own.  She needs help (or handicap bars) getting up, then she can stand and walk a little (per normal for her). 
      I don't know what we thought.  I thought maybe after resting the night, she would be better.  I think she knew otherwise, but one can always hope.  Thursday morning instead of enjoying early park admission, we faced the big decision.  Lots of tears on my part and the other two were sad, too, but we knew that plans with Miram's body are always subject to change. We pretty much felt that Miriam should be checked sooner rather than later.  She doesn't think this is one, but some things get seriously worse if not seen too immediately. We have had incidents that could have killed her and leg problems that could have resulted in permanent loss of use if we hadn't gone in right away.  Even if not, Miriam was not going to be able to go on rides or feel comfortable and happy sitting on a scooter waiting for us to ride all day. And we would not have fully enjoyed them either.  We realized our time was up. Miriam contacted various medical and Medi-Cal people.  Medi-Cal will not cover her seeing a doctor outside of her county unless it is life threatening.  She got an appointment for today (Friday) and we cancelled our room, our scooters, our Saturday morning Character Breakfast.   I will get partial refunds and what is not refunded will be partially covered by my credit card travel insurance. 
      I read on-line that one can get Mickey Bars at Downtown Disney (after Security but before ticketed entrances).  So we went.  But I was wrong.  We could not find Mickey Bars.  Miriam decided to buy us Haagan Dazs, but Andrew got his card out faster.  I appreciated their treating us/me.  Chocolate ice cream with dark chocolate coating.  Very Good.  Not a Mickey Bar, but very good.  And then we headed home.
      I emailed my boss.  Thursday and today are now family sick leave not vacation. But I am being slow and lazy today so far.  I should make good use of this time before time to go to Miriam's appointment – she will definitely need help getting out of the car.  Maybe in.
      I had fantasized about driving Route 66 for my 66th birthday next year.  But that would take weeks and be somewhat costly.  Maybe I will go back and visit Route 66 in Cars Land instead – as well as the rest California Adventure and Disneyland. 
      We didn't do Space Mountain or Splash Mountain or the Matterhorn or lots of other things we were looking forward to.  Maybe next year. It should be partially covered by the refunds.
Universal Studios and Disneyland vacation

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Saturday was a little rocky

David and Teresa began their Saturday by helping clean the church building. Then they joined Andrew, Joseph, and I rock hunting. We went to SGL Materials and hand picked about 50 rocks to decorate and “hide” for Sacramento Rocks. We chatted a bit about rocks for my yard and I ordered some to be delivered this coming Saturday. Just for fun, I took them across the road to see the wall and paver rocks there. My interest is wall for raised garden beds.  In the bargain center we found a pallet of some free standing wall rock that we all like. (project clean up) Discussion began. John named his price and I agreed. Cash only. And they charge too much to deliver. So we went home to fetch trailer and cash. Teresa stayed at the house to fix lunch while the guys and I made 3 trips to get our stone. We didn't think our trailer could carry more weight safely. David, Andrew and Joseph were amazing stone movers! Teresa is an amazing lunch organizer!

So now I have about 90 Highland stone stacked along the driveway. We will use them to make raised garden boxes – size, shape, and exact site to be determined. They won't be enough, however. I want the walls to be 3 stone high. (sitting height) But we can start. I seem unable to draw my plan out, so I may just drag stones around and then draw what I end up with so we can move the stones back out and prepare the base.  I think I will try checking back with the stone yard for more project clean up Highland Stone.

Saturday we get 5 yards of rock dumped on the driveway (I hope we can still get in and out of the house) – cobble to outline and gravel for the base of the main walkway. We plan to make the walkway from pallet wood, gravel, and cobble. I have a source for pallet wood, unfortunately only available when I am at work. Some kinks to be worked out yet. But we can dig out the pathway, line it with landscape fabric, and lay down some gravel. Hopefully before the rains (hopefully) come. 

The yard project is less organized, a little more involved, and not as far along at the end of summer as I had hoped, but it is progressing. 

Little did David and Teresa or Joseph and Andrew suspect when they agreed to go rock hunting with me that they would spend most of the day shifting rock.  

My kids rock!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Jesus, Savor, Walk With Me

As I heard the song, "Jesus, Savior, Walk with Me", I thought, "That's wrong. Jesus isn't supposed to walk with us, we are supposed to walk with Him." 

Then I realized where I was wrong. 

Jesus has already walked the path and gained eternal salvation and happiness.  We are somewhere far away struggling, perhaps heading in the wrong direction.  Wherever we are, no matter how far, if we will call, Jesus will come.  Away from His place of rest and comfort into the wilderness and storms.  When He reaches us, He will hold out His hand in invitation.  He will not grab us and pull us, He will give us His hand to take.  When we are holding His hand, He will hold on tightly enough to help us when we stumble, but gently and loosely enough that if we pull away, we are free to go. If we do take our hand from His,  He will invite.  He will look at us with love and sorrow.  He will speak, often so softly we have to really want to hear. But He will not restrain us. If we decide the path He is leading on is too hard and turn to follow another, He will not follow.  He will call.  He will wait. But He will not walk with us down the wrong path. When we realize our foolishness and yearn to be with Him again, we may try to retrace our steps but find the way too hard.  What looked like a gentle easy path becomes difficult and impassable on the way back.  If we will call Him, He will come. Again. And again.  Every time.  Somehow with Him, we can climb back up.  Slowly, painfully.  He will coach, He will guide, He will give us a boost, but He will not transport us.  We must make each step.  We must want to make it.  We must trust His love, wisdom and guidance.  And He will walk with us.  He will help carry our burden.  He will put His arms around us. He whisper words of encouragement. And with His help we will climb the highest mountains and gain the grandest views.  Jesus, Savior, Walk With Me!

I have to go to work Monday

As we were out running errands, my phone rang. Andrew took the call. A man announced he was from Publishers Clearing House and we had won a prize. There was some difficulty understanding each other, but eventually we ascertained that he wanted us to meet him at Walmart. I said , "No, thank you" He mumbled something that sounded slightly rude and the call (from Jamaica, btw) was ended. Sigh. Threw away our big chance at financial independence.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Dog Years

A number of sources say that Labrador Retrievers live about 10-12 years. I adopted Anna on my birthday in 2004 when she was 8 months old. You do the math. No wonder she is starting to have trouble! If I remember right, Tuesday night our vet said 13-16 years which is a bit better. Either way, time is getting short.

Anna has been having trouble with her back legs. She is a lot slower than she used to be. Sometimes, but not often, she falls. She has had times when she could not get up for several minutes. Where she used to love riding in the car, now she just looks at it and then sadly goes back to the house because she cannot climb in. (Andrew gave her a boost Tuesday to go to the vet and back). We started her on pain pills. I deceive myself or she was moving more easily and comfortably next morning.  The old girl may have a few more good years.

As a friend said, their short lives is one of the hardest things about having pets.  Although I must say, that I think the predicament of parrots is sadder.  Parrot people tend to want to get a young one but they cannot usually afford a parrot until they themselves are middle aged or older.  Parrots live 50 years or more, some even 100.  And they bond to their people.   Then they are orphaned while they still have half their lives ahead of them and no one wants them because parrot people want young parrots.  We inherited a friend’s mother’s parrot once.  He was never happy with us. Turns out I am not a particularly good parrot parent.    He didn’t like me at all.  He liked my sons somewhat.  Because of our other pets and because he was not responsive to me, he had to stay in his cage most of the time.  A dull existence for an intelligent creature.  We were fortunate to find an educational sanctuary with large cages and other parrots with whom he made friends.  School children loved to visit him and he would regale them with imitation car alarms.  But a few years later, the facility closed for lack of funding.  I don’t know what became of him or the others.  If people truly love parrots, they would adopt these older orphans and not get young ones.  But I digress.

Most pets live much shorter lives than humans do.  Sad, but I think it serves good purpose.  We learn to love and to deal with grief.  It can help us when we have to deal with human loss.  Loss of loved ones whether human, furred, feathered, finned, or scaled can help us realize the importance of relationships.  Cherish them and treat them with love while you have them.  Don’t put off the good times too much, because the time will run out sooner than you realize.  Most of all, missing loved ones can help us think about how important it is to live so that we don’t have to miss them always but can be re-united and be with loved ones forever.  God has promised that families can be together forever (and I believe also friends of all types).  But there are conditions that must be met.  If we do not live righteously and with love, if we do not accept Christ and sacred ordinances, we have no promise.   I love my family dearly.  I want to be family forever.   The Lord has told me how I can.  Losing loved ones in this life reminds me how important it is.

In the meantime I still have my dog.  And my children and my grandchildren.  And some pretty nice friends.  I need to learn to cherish and enjoy them more.  And to live so that when I am gone, they will miss me at least a little and want to meet again.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Donate a Day’s Wages to Charity Day

First, the wave of guilt.  Then the realization.  

(This is not to brag, but to remind myself and others like me that we ARE giving to charity.  We just do it so naturally and as part of our normal routine that we almost forget.  (I know, I have heard it said that if you do not feel it, increase it.  Something to think about, but not today’s topic.) We give quietly without  drives, pledges, fanfare, or in the public sector where our co-workers or others see.  (Goodness, now I do it on-line so I don’t even hand an envelope over and get a handshake.)
Sometimes we fail to give ourselves credit. 

Almost all my charitable contributions -  all my regular, routine contributions, are through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. How glad I am to have a trusted agency that will multiply my small donation, not just through the donations of others’ money, but through the donation of all the time freely give to distribute the money and to provide service.  When I receive income, I immediately pay tithing, 10% gross.  That is more like 2 days wages from my paycheck, plus any other income I might receive.  So I can rest easy about that Donate a Day’s Wages thing.  But that’s not all. Every month, I pay Fast Offering, even though I cannot fully fast for health reasons.  Gladly I contribute to feed the hungry or maybe help pay someone’s electric bill, or whatever the need.  I also make a small contribution each month to one of a few charitable causes like Perpetual Education and Humanitarian Services.  

On rare occasion, I will donate to an animal cause (I am a little sad that church contributions deal only/mainly with Heavenly Father’s children and not His creatures, but I am free to give, so why fuss) And Friends of Scouting get me every year.  And I like to carry small sack lunches in my car to give to a hungry person. 

 I am not a totally selfish person because I do not go for the Big Day of Giving or the Donate a Day’s Wages.  Those are more to help people who do not give as a regular part of daily life.  Good for them, but I don't need to join them unless I want to.

Giving blesses my life all year long.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Plumb Exciting

I have from time to time had drainage problems.  A plumber acquaintance told me that my pipes are improperly supported, bowing, and  collecting sludge which caused the  back-ups and worsened the bows.  He suggested that he fix it independently for $3000.  I thought that was high especially since those pipes were put in new only 10 years ago (just before the divorce) and supposedly had a lifetime guarantee.  Well, the guarantee is meaningless, just an unsigned, undated bit of advertising really.  I called the contractor who said they would come out for $125 and look it over.  I must say I was not delighted with their attitude, but I don't think they cared for my call, either as I was pushing the idea of a guarantee.  But they also called the guy who worked on it at the time with a company since defunct.  Dave the plumber has moved to the Bay Area and said he had no legal obligation, but felt a personal pride of work and moral obligation.  He came out yesterday.  Right off I gave him (unbidden) $50 for gas. Which he appreciated.   Anyway, he went under, took pictures, and did a little bit of banging.  He said my pipes are properly supported by straps at every floor joist. (I think it was joist).  There is slight, but normal bowing between straps.  There was one pipe from tub to the out drain (or whatever) that lacked a strap, but he strapped it (hence the banging). He said part of the problem is we have only a slight fall from kitchen to drain.  Also, we have been trying to conserve water, so we have not been flushing our pipes.  The water goes down and we are foolishly happy, but the water outruns anything it is carrying and then it builds up.  The solution?  Once a week or more, put a little cleaner - Dawn dish soap, bleach, vinegar, whatever - in the drain, fill the sink, and flush out the pipes, maybe running the water another minute or so after the sink empties.  No need to replace pipes.  It sounds right to me.  When he finished and went to leave, I paid him (again unbidden) $100.  He was very happy.  So was I.  He sounded and felt honest and he saved me potential thousands.  Yes, it cost me a little more than the other company for a look-see, but I trust him more.

I had taken the entire day off on vacation since I had no idea how long the plumbing thing would take.  I started feeling unwell Monday, which got progressively worse.  By the time I got home, I just went home and let my guys take over. (Bless them)  I was fairly ill Tuesday, but rallied for the plumbing episode.  I could not present as a responsible homeowner unwashed and in PJs.  So I dressed and did light make-up and tried to be grown up.  As soon as he left, it was PJs again. I expected to be back to normal by evening, but missed the deadline.  Today I was better enough to come to work.  I knew I would fret about some things if I didn't.  Although some systems are a little touchy, I feel better in other ways for the day of resting. I think I will change my time-sheet to sick leave rather than vacation.

And happy day - Miriam drove herself to a doctor appointment and then picked up And,rew when he missed a transit connection.  It's great that she can do some things now.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Adam and Eve

     When teacher repeats a message, that usually indicates that it is important. Take note. It may be on a test. Or perhaps even necessary to master whatever discipline you are studying. (Do we remember that we are taking the class to learn something, possibly to progress towards a goal not just to pass a test and get a grade?) 

     We are all involved in the greatest school and test. The Teacher has given has texts to help us master the information and skills we need to graduate and progress towards our goal of becoming like Him. Much of the information in the texts is in the form of stories of the experiences of those who have gone before. Not many stories are told more than once. The story of Jesus Christ, the Savior is related several times because it is the most important information in the world (and beyond). There is only one other story that I can remember that is told more than once in the scriptures. The Creation and the fall of Adam and Eve. (ok, you can count that as multiple stories, I suppose, but you get my drift)

      Today I am teaching a Sunday School class about the Fall of Adam and Eve.
Why is it important that we learn about and understand the fall of Adam and Eve? What difference does it make in our lives? Well yes, it makes all the difference because as a result of the fall we have our mortal lives at all. But what difference does it make in our living them now?  

     Whenever I hear the story of Adam and Eve, I am yelling inside my head, “Wait! Don't do it! Ask Heavenly Father first!” I wonder why they didn't. Here's what I think. Adam and Eve were like innocent, little children. They were open, honest and without guile. No street smarts. They had not experienced lies and deceit. When Satan told them his half-truths and lies, they didn't have reason to disbelieve him. They accepted what he said at face value. 

     I think that while they were in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had not yet learned about prayer. Not really. God may have talked to them about it, but that's just it. In the Garden, I am pretty sure that they walked and talked with God. He visited them and I think He taught them things they would need to know when everything changed. Because they were accustomed to one on one conversation face to face, they had not yet learned the power of prayer and that it can provide instant access to the source of all knowledge. (Who usually directs you and helps you find and recognize answers, but sometimes flat out tells you right away) 

      I think Adam and Eve just didn't think 1) that what Satan said could be false because they knew no falsehood, and 2) they didn't think to pray.

      Adam and Eve were the first. They had no parents or examples to show them how things work. They were most pioneering of all pioneers. Their knowledge and memory of life before earth was veiled and they were on their own. Which is why I think they had the Garden of Eden interlude. God probably gave them some basic instructions about living in the real world. But they had not had the opportunity to practice and learn from experience. 

      We have parents, teachers, books, the experiences of others, the internet to learn from. We have the scriptures. And we have prayer. We need to use our resources better.

      Satan deceived Eve by telling her partial truths and stuffing them with lies. He made a logical and compelling argument for what he wanted her to do. 

     We are faced constantly with persuasive arguments and information. Facts and logic are presented powerfully. We would have to be stupid not to agree. Except. Often false information is wrapped up in partial truths. Often the logic, while convictive, is faulty. It is easy to think we are making an informed decision, when we are actually making a mis-informed decision. “Wait! Don't do it! Ask Heavenly Father first!” We must learn and remember to consult the font of all wisdom first. We must learn to feel and hear the promptings of the Spirit either confirming or warning against the arguments presented. 

These are some of my thoughts on Adam and Eve. I need to get ready to go now.

Monday, November 2, 2015


  I bicycle commute to work almost every day following basically the same route.  It balances safety, comfort, shade, prettiness, traffic, and distance.  It is a good route.  Every now and then, I get restless, bored, or curious and decide to vary my route. Inevitably I find that the variant is not as satisfactory as the way I usually go.

   Whether I take this street or that doesn't make much difference as long as they get me to work and home again.  Variety can be interesting.  Detours need not keep me from my goal.  But I was thinking that once we find the path to eternal life, even though it may be tedious, repetitious, and even difficult, it is vital that we stay on that path.  Detours can be dangerous and lead us off in the wrong direction. Hold to the rod.  Stay on the true path.  It is the only way to get where we want to go.

Where do I stand?

Complications  of diabetes has long while back cost my ex half a leg.  The stump continues to have sores and trouble healing, so the doctor ordered him to stay off of it.  For a time he was granted special accommodation to work from home.  Apparently, however, the time on that expired and was not renewed.  He still stayed home because he had to stay off his stump and could not use his prosthesis or drive.  (I do not know why he did not use a wheelchair and handicap transportation).  He burned through his vacation and sick leave by mid-October, so the 2nd half of the last month was unpaid leave.  It occurred to him that he might as well retire, because then he would get a pay check.  I do not know how quickly the wheels turn.  His paycheck for October will only be about half.  He will be paid retroactively if they set his retirement date back to when his leave expired.  But when will that money start to come?  I somewhat suspect that I will not get my support money this month.  At least not timely.  Also, I have not been able to learn what my share of his retirement will be, which will replace the support money he was paying.  I am a little anxious.  I have increased my responsibilities and my expenses.  I do not earn nearly enough to support my household without that support.  I can go a little bit  on my savings.  Hopefully, the new payment will kick in before things get dire.  And hopefully, it will not be less. 

In today’s world some think it is selfish of me to expect support.  We were married over 30 years with the marital agreement that he would support the family and I would be the homemaker and take care of the children.  I was not nearly as good a homemaker as I should have been, but I was as thrifty as I could be. And believe me, as a single head of house, I now better realize how valuable a homemaking partner can be!  I wish I had one!  The time, energy, and money such a partner saves the household!!  

 At the age when many people are retiring, when divorce was imminent I returned to work,  but my earning capacity is not what it might have been had I not been a full-time mother.  No regrets there.  His income really should be enough for both of us to live, modestly but not desperately.  I am sure it will all work out..  Eventually.  Pretty sure.  I hope and pray.


2015.11.02 1530  CalPERS tells me that it may be 60 days before they figure out what his retirement will be and what my share will be.  Which sounds like it may be 2 months (or so?) before either of us gets a check.  This may be a little unpleasant for me and difficult for him.  He had said he was going to check into getting his Foresters (401K?).  It isn't much, but could help tide him over.   CalPERS said one should start the paperwork 3 months before retiring.  oh.  I guess we find out "next year."

I should have updated. My savings were quite adequate to keep us going until my retirement share kicked in. My share is just a bit more than my support money was. I was able to repay my savings ( very necessary because my insurance and property taxes are not included in my mortgage. I have to save and 
pay semi-annually.) We are ok as long as I am careful. 

Theoretically I could earn more money if I took one more accounting class, passed a state test, and applied for a higher job. But I am too tired and stressed already. Plus, when I read the job descriptions for the advancement jobs, I just want to cry. I don't want the additional stress and more real accounting.. I like the job I have and I don't want those other jobs. So, here I stay. Enough to get along as long as I am careful. And, honesty, better off, much better off, than when I was married to a man with a fairly well-paying job. I don't know where the money went, but it didn't all make it to supporting the family.

I don't have retirement savings, so I am going to need to work a long time before my state retirement is nearly enough to live on ( with my retirement share from Glen).. May my health continue to be sufficient!  I have been blessed so far. 😉