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Diverging Pathways

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Before I get to explaining the title of this blog, I thought I'd share the whole ace wrap and stupid wrist thing really quick (my status on Wednesday or whatever day that was). I've always had bad wrists, but 99% of the time, it's righty that gives me all the grief, probably because I'm right dominant. So, I have a wrist splint for when I get a flare up of pain. Tuesday night it was ol' lefty exercising it's 1% turn at being a jerk. Honestly, I can't remember doing anything to it. I didn't lift anything heavy, twist it funky, or apply any sort of pressure to it that I'm aware of. It was like, at the end of the day after I got home and was relaxing, it just decided to start hurting. I searched my house looking for an ace bandage, since my splint only fits my right hand, and couldn't find one. LAME! Either way, lefty hurt for a few days, is still a little sore now, but I don't even have it wrapped since it's so insignificant. Thanks for the concern everyone. :-)

Anyway, I've had a jumble of thoughts whirring through my head for the past week or two (longer if you *really* wanna get technical) and I'm not much of a journal person anymore, so I thought I'd blog here and see if I can sort them out and get some clarity. At the very least it'll feel more organized having them written down, even if they're still in a jumble when I'm done typing.

I believe I mentioned sometime in June or July having some minor-ish grievances with one of my roommates here. Well, I'm sad to report I/we never got around to dealing with that situation and it's only sort of accumulated more things to be irritated by. I don't want to say it elevated or exploded because it really hasn't... things have just been scooped on top of the already existing problem(s). Well, the past month has been rather stressful with the one roommate I do get along with all the time as she was coming up on being done with school, but got sick, and therefore didn't start looking for a job. No job equals no money equals no way to pay rent. So, she left it to the last possible minute to decide what to do. She's still here and ready to pay rent for October, so at least that's been resolved for the time being. Things could always change. Regardless of what happens with that, though, is the fact that neither one of us wants to live with the third roommate any longer than we have to. He finishes school in December, and presumably my other roommate will be able to afford being here for at least that long, so it's been decided that come the beginning of the new year, we'll be all going our separate ways.

Many things over the past 9 months have led to this decision. I was hashing out some of this with my mom when I visited her last on her birthday, and she helped me see a few things. For starters, He-'mate, She-'mate, and myself all seem to be headed along different paths. He-'mate is headed down a path that I could never see myself going down. His goal in life is to be filthy stinking rich. Material possessions are highly important to him. He's always got these money making scheme-like plans he's talking about: buying up a bunch of cheap houses in another state and renting them out- that's the latest scheme. She-'mate and I are not like that at all. I don't want to be rich. If I happen to be one day, fine. But, my goal is to be comfortable. I've grown up and am still living hand-to-mouth. I just want to make enough money to be comfortable, have a little bit of savings for an emergency cushion, and that's it. I don't want to worry about where my next meal is going to come from or if I'll have enough money for the bus or anything like that. That's my life's financial goal. Material possessions don't matter to me. I can't take 'em with me when I die, so who cares? I just want to be surrounded by my family and friends. People I love are more important to me. She-'mate thinks the same way I do.

He-'mate comes from a different background. He claims his parents aren't rich (but the rest of his family totally is). They may not be rich, but they are upper middle class for sure. He's never wanted for anything. His cultural background is different as well. He's from a culture that values their sons and he's the oldest at that. My guess is he's had most things in his life done for him. I'm sure he'd deny it. She-'mate and I think that has something to do with the way he treats us and behaves here. He doesn't ever take the initiative to just do something that needs to be done around the house. We have to ask him. If it's been a while since he's taken out the trash, done the dishes, vacuumed the living room, etc, we have to ask him to do it. He won't just see that it needs to be done and just do it. Whereas, She-'mate and I do that stuff ALL THE TIME without being asked because we know it just needs to be done.

My mom shares a slightly different perspective. She agrees with us to some degree, but she thinks he does a lot of it on purpose. She thinks he's ready to be done with us just as much as we're ready to be done with him. That could be true. She thinks he also has a bit of a superiority thing when it comes to She-'mate and I. Despite evidence to the contrary, he says he's always broke, but is always spending his money on lots of things (he's taken two trips by plane this year and just bought himself a brand-new MacBook Pro). She-'mate and I have stopped eating out and going out to do fun things. And we're still struggling to stay afloat. That's superiority #1.

The superiority #2 is the fact that he's able to find work because of the field he is in, which is computer programming. Yes, he probably will have no problem finding work and being filthy stinking rich in that field of work. I don't have the brain for that type of stuff. If I did, I wouldn't have studied theatre or be studying nutrition (which is hard enough for me, word!). So, work isn't coming to me as easily. The same story goes with She-'mate. So, because his work is so demanding, he's rarely home... so he says. We have a hard time believing that. We think he stays away on purpose so he can use the excuse of not being home so he shouldn't have to do anything around the house. Because the other two of us are home more often, the responsibilities of the house should fall mainly on us. In other words, and he's implied it before, his time is more valuable than ours and therefore we should be the ones doing all the work. No. No sir. You live here and pay rent, it's your choice to be here or not, but it's NOT your choice whether or not you help out around here! It isn't fair for the two us to be the caretakers for an entire house when he does contribute to some of the issues that need maintaining, ya know?

We had a "house meeting" not too long ago to get some of this out in the open. It was very surface, though. We ended up having to schedule chores for everyone to do. I feel like a child with a chore chart and I get a gold star when I complete a task. Seriously. But, it was the solution we thought would be easiest and most effective for all parties. We didn't discuss the underlying issues at all. And now I just have to tell myself to deal with it for the next 3 months because after that, we're all going our separate ways. She-'mate is moving back home. He-'mate talked about moving out of the city or into the downtown area, depending on where work takes him.

As for me, I have no plan. And I only have 3 months to figure one out. I hope once my DSS certification is done that I can find a job. I still have some schooling to do before entering a Master's Program, so I need to do that, too. Ideally, I'd like to have a job and find a little granny flat or studio house behind someone else's house to rent by myself. I don't ever want to live in another apartment, yuck! Plus, I need to be able to garden. It's a major stress reliever for me. However, there's a possibility that I may need to move back home, too. Which would be weird because I consider San Diego my home now. At least I wouldn't have rent to pay and I'd still be able to go back to school. I doubt I'd find a job since it ranks the highest for unemployment in the state of California. I don't know. The most I can do for the time being is pray. Then, I'll talk to my granny and my mom and see what they have to say about the whole situation.

In the meantime, I'm still very much enjoying practicum. I hate waking up at 5am and traveling 2 hours to get to La Mesa, but I gotta do what I gotta do. At least I'm learning a lot. Hopefully it'll be worthwhile and pay off in the end. That's pretty much all I have going on in my life at the mo'. My nutrition is improved, but not the greatest. At least it's home cooked meals that are relatively healthy instead of fast food and restaurant eating all the time. Now, I eat at home/homecooking 6-7 days a week. Feels better physically, too. I'm glad I am. I would like to get into an exercise regimen, but I'm not pushing myself too hard. the days surrounding my practicum are exhausting enough for me, so I have a hard time motivating myself. I'm just so tired from Tues-Fri. I keep hoping to get used to it so that I can add to it, but who knows. I might have to suck it up and just be exhausted a lot of the time.

So, here are a few pics to end on a fun note.

Silly MeowMeow

Had an assignment for another class to go to an ethnic market. Found a fun Mexican market back home, with pig's feet, beef tongue, tripe, hand-made-ish fresh tortillas, and a wall of pan dulce.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 10/2/2012 4:56PM

    I love reading your updates! :) Sounds like it is definitely time to part ways with the He-mate. I hope that you're able to figure out a way to stay in San Diego!

I'm very happy to hear your mom is doing so well.

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ABB698 10/2/2012 12:50AM

    So sounds like Murphy's Law is definitely applying to you by having to think of so many major life decisions at once! I will pray for your guidance as well. I cannot imagine having to go back to El Centro after living here, but God's plan will take you where you need to be. The market looks cool, and who wouldn't love a wall of pan dulce! Hang in there!!!
How is your Mom doing?

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SMILINGTREE 10/1/2012 11:26AM

    So you will be looking at moving and finding a job all at once? I can see why you needed to organize your thoughts a little! Is there any chance you could get a job where you are doing your practicum? Or somewhere similar? I think I'd focus on the job first and, depending on how that went, start searching for an appropriate place to stay.

Moving home might present more difficulties than it solves - it seems like family-things have been pretty rough for you lately too.

Whatever happens, remember to take care of yourself - not just fitness and nutrition-wise, but also emotionally and spiritually. Let me know if you need some help whacking your resume into shape - I hate writing them, but I'm pretty good at it ;)

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ARCHIMEDESII 9/30/2012 6:23AM

    It's tough to have roommates who don't share the same values as you do. Because of the economy and the need to make ends meet, you do what you have to do in the short term. keeping in mind, it is short term.

As for the he'mate, don't assume being in the computer field will get him a lot of money. It depends on what SKILLS he has. the right skills could net him a good pay check. However, if he doesn't have the right skills to match the good paying jobs, he won't make a lot of money. It's like being a lawyer. there is an assumption that if you get a law degree, you'll make a lot of money. not always true. there are plenty of lawyers out there who are scrapping by just like the rest of us.

Also, the computer industry is notorious for mass lay offs. Don't I know that. So, even IF the he'mate got a good paying job, it might only last a year or two before he was out of work and looking for the next. So, don't let anything he says about making money upset you. He's got grand ideas that in this economy probably won't amount to anything.

YOU have the right degree. Why ? The baby boomers are aging and becoming more aware of their health. As a result, we've seen a growth in the fitness and nutrition industries. Many people are going to be looking for a good dietitian and cook. So, even though jobs may be a bit scare right now, you ARE in the right field when things start changing.

Oh and I LOVE going to ethnic markets ! I popped into a local Indian market I'd never tried wondering what kind of spices they had. It was great !!

Anyway... it's only three more months and things will start changing for the better !!


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JSALERNO 9/30/2012 6:13AM

    emoticon LOVE KITTY THOUGH

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 9/30/2012 3:53AM


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WOLFKITTY 9/29/2012 11:58PM

Where are you from? ARe you going away for ever and ever?! and ever?!

I can't even type anymore I'm so sad at the prospect (however distant or unlikely) that you're going away. emoticon Mooboohoo.


I looked up the locations of the 5 places listed in CA with the highest unemployment rate, and they are ALL FAR AwAY!!!!! emoticon

I don't even care if this looks like a tantrum, I'm posting it anyway!

(omg your kitty is cute!)

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SLIMMERJESSE 9/29/2012 11:44PM

    Here's my two cents. I actively research relocation to different cities on a regular basis.
CA is a tough scene these days, and if your
mom and granny offer a safe haven, you
may want to live there for awhile to give
yourself some stress relief. You've had a
bumpy year with not feeling well and taking
bus all over town. You can always come
back, once you save a bit and get some rest.

I have a very long list of varied skills and experience, and still have a very hard time with
the job scene here. And as a solo earner, I find that the worry is constantly in the back of
my mind, if not the forefront. So, a lower cost of living would be wonderful.

The roommate sitch is only for another 3 months, so not worth stressing over. He is who he is, for whatever reasons, and won't change for you or anyone else. Selfish people rarely do.
Take a deep breath and take out a sheet of paper. Divide it in half and list all the positives about staying in SD, and all the negatives. Then do the same for moving back home. I'll bet it'll help you when you see it all spelled out on paper.

Big hug.

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NEWSGIRL2177 9/29/2012 10:24PM

    Roommate situations are almost always tough. You're certainly doing your part, and it's a shame that one person is making it difficult for the rest of you. I hope you can find a situation that works for YOU in the next 3 months. Chalk the rest up to a learning experience. Hang in there!

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Clever Title About Things Being Better

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Yeah, insert it there. I thought about "light at the end of the tunnel", "beacon of hope", or even "for the better". I didn't think any of them were really fitting, though.

I meant to write this update several days ago, but as always, I was busy. I've had truckloads of homework to catch up on. Hell, I'm not actually done catching up, but I have the rest of today to finish it... since my cooking class has been "rescheduled" (more on that later).

On Sunday the 9th, I was able to go visit my mom for the first time since she entered detox. I'm the only person in my family that was able to come (although my aunt and grandma had made a fun trip to SD the day before... odd) and it was a pretty short window of visit (only 2.5 hours). Sadly, that meant I had to miss the ice skating Spark Rally that was planned for that day. I've never been ice skating and I was sorta the one pushing for it, so it really was a bummer that I couldn't make it after all. But, family is important and visiting my mom was very important. No one should have to be alone on visiting day. So, I packed up a healthy picnic and we ate on the grass within viewing distance of the facility. My mom requested some healthy food, which I would have done anyway, and I happily got some yummies together. We had chicken cobb/chef salad stuffed pitas. Whole wheat pita pockets, romaine and spinach mix, grape tomatoes, hardboiled eggs, black olives, cheddar cheese, cucumber, beets, and of course, chicken. I made homemade blue cheese salad dressing with peppers from my garden and olive oil mayo. It was so delicious! We stuffed our pitas so thick with veggies, we could barely eat them! I also made a coleslaw with vinegar-based dressing (no mayo!) and took some Panera lobster bisque. WARNING: the soup is ah-mazing! Highly addictive if I may say so. Very indulgent and probably terrible for you, but worth it for the decadence as a splurge. I also packed some fresh strawberries, crudite, and a Costco blueberry muffin. I brewed some iced tea for my mom and I packed a flavored mineral water for myself. It was a nice visit.

It looked like this, only in pita and picnic form

My mom already seemed in better spirits. She knew then that the possibility of her going to a residential treatment program was nil, so she came up with an "alternate" plan. In our hometown through the county is a substance abuse treatment program that's out-patient. So, she said she'd do that. And, of course, start attending AA meetings. She decided to see an additional counselor that she's seen before and really liked (her current shrink/s are idiots, but she says she's still okay seeing them as long as she sees this other person, too). Unfortch, we're from a small town, so the selection for medical stuff is pretty limited. But, I was proud and delighted to hear she has a plan.

The rest of my week went okay. Practicum was notable on Tuesday because I finally had my preceptor there! WOO! Felt like we were finally able to get down to BIDNISS! I really like her. She doesn't hold anything back. If something sucks about her job, she'll tell us. If something is awesome about her job, she'll tell us that, too. Its nice to not have any sugar coating. I don't like surprises, so if I went into this similar job and discovered something totally blew, I don't wanna be like "I didn't know I'd hate this." I just wanna know what I'm in for as much as possible. Wednesday, I went through the 5 hour process of being a new donor for blood plasma. Good thing I took homework with me. But, the process of donating from here on out should be less than 2 hours (it takes about an hour for me to donate my full bottle of plasma). Thursday's practicum was notable in that the kitchen crew yelled at my fellow student and I, which was really uncalled for. I'll explain...

At the meal times, it is someone's job to check to ensure that the meal tray for each resident has *exactly* what it says on the meal ticket. I'm not sure if its the company's policy or if that's legally what they are required to do. Either way, the rule is unbreakable. So, we were assigned to the lunchtime "tray check". We checked each tray to ensure that the dietary needs were reflected in the entree (texture modified vs. regular), no listed allergens were present, foods were fortified if needed, and that each element on the tray was there (desserts, nutritional drinks, entree, side, veggie, etc). Basically what it boils down to is, if the guys working the tray line did their job correctly in the first place, there wouldn't be the need for tray check. So, we were finding all sorts of mistakes- this was missing, this was incorrect, this was supposed to be this flavor. Its not our job to go retrieve these items ourselves- we'd just get in the way of the line and cause a huge traffic jam. And then the person loading the trays into the tray carts loaded them backward, so we had to turn all the trays around so we could read the ticket. In short, all this took time, and for 99 trays, it took A LOT of extra time. We didn't realize *we* were slowing down the line to the point where there were trays lined up to be carted, but couldn't be until we finished checking the cart we were working on. So, a few of the guys were yelling at us rather rudely about holding them up. By a happy coincidence, it was time for us to go on lunch break anyway, so we just walked out. And of course told our preceptor about the behavior. She was pretty pissed. Bottom line: it wasn't our fault. If they hadn't made so many mistakes... well, you know. I wasn't hurt, I was pissed. So, we'll see how Tuesday goes. Gotta make sure to not mouth off back at them, which is my usual behavior.

Some random Meow Meow. I'm really just adding pictures to break up the monotony of the text. Ha!

Anywho, that same day my mom was released from detox. No one from my family could come pick her up, so she stayed with me. It was a nice little weekend for the two of us. I took her to Mission Bay to beat the heat and she loved just soaking in the water. We watched people walking their dogs (always a favorite pastime of mine!) and then went to dinner. My aunt came and picked her up yesterday. She was very happy to see my mom looking so good and in such better spirits. I was pretty happy, too. Unfortunately, that's partly why I'm so behind on homework! Yikes!

Chillin' at the bay

I'm still stressing about money, but who isn't these days? Donating plasma is helping with a little dab every week. My cooking class has been canceled three weekends in a row, which as you can imagine, is making my money situation pretty dire for now. I hope next weekend comes to fruition. I could really use the money, and for me teaching the class is a huge stress release. It's so fun and relaxing. I really need it. I wish I had time for a little part-time job, but I just got an email from the practicum program coordinator with a bunch of attachments- assignments, projects, etc, and I can see why they suggest you don't work and do this internship at the same time. It is very work intensive. Only 12 hours a week at the facility, but easily that amount or more doing assignments and readings and projects and whatever else each week. Plus, I'm taking two more classes on top of that. Plasma and my little cooking class are all I can fit in to my schedule, sadly. Also, some notary work and some seamstress work, but those come along so rarely for me. I am not good at marketing- at all- so I don't know how to advertise or sell my services. I don't have much money to do either, so word of mouth is all I can do at this point. I'll have to think on that one. Any suggestions ya'll have would be great. Several folks have mentioned teaching community adult cooking classes, and I think I'd love to do that... I just don't know where to look to do that to get started. If that made any sense!

Well, all in all, I'd say things are going lots better for me. They aren't perfect by any means, but I'll take it! Once things have sort of leveled out, I want to start back into a workout routine (I'm at my halfway point and maintaining, when I should be continuing in a downward fashion) and back into nutritious delicious foods. Work in progress, but definitely forward progress already.

Meow Meow does not like the backlog of homework

Laughing and smiling again- fun with a Hulk beanie

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOLFKITTY 9/30/2012 12:06AM


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MEWHENRYSMAMA 9/17/2012 9:18PM

    So glad to hear you are doing better...which doesn't mean stress free or laid back or problem free...but better! I can totally relate! Sounds like you are dealing well with it all! Glad your Mom is on the mend and has a plan! And your menu for the picnic...yum! Just awesome!
Regarding earning money! Try the classic hand made computer flyer with tear offs at the bottom with key word and your number! Make separate ones for sewing and notary. Put in grocery, health food store, anywhere that has a bulletin board. Ask how often they clean it off. Also, I agree with Craig's List and the local ads in little newspaper. Regarding the adult Ed classes...Call any area schools and talk to adult Ed and ask what you do to teach/offer a cooking class! So many people want to learn to cook healthy dishes!
Good Luck, my friend! You are in my thoughts and prayers!
P.S. Love Meow Meow and your hulk hat pics! emoticon

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SMILINGTREE 9/16/2012 7:17PM

    Craigslist can be a good way to advertise your notary and seamstress services,and you might check to see if there are any free classifieds in your local newspaper. Ours lets you run a small ad for free on Wednesdays.

It is such a relief to read that you are doing better! The fact that you are maintaining at the half way point is great - it means you will know what to do when you reach your goal. Also, it's really easy to let stress be a reason to go the wrong direction - that has happened to me more than once.

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LODESTONE 9/16/2012 6:39PM

    Glad your mom did her time and you were able to spend some with her. Don't let anyone heap blame on you for their mistakes! Hang in there, Jill, you are doing a great job with what you've been dealt!

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ABB698 9/16/2012 5:55PM

    MIssed you at the Spark Rally, but glad you got to be there for your mom. Hope she continues with her programs and continues feeling better! Glad things are little by little getting better, at least moving in the right direction! Hang in there!!

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ARCHIMEDESII 9/16/2012 4:14PM

    Hey ! I'm glad that things are improving for your mom. I know you're still under a lot of stress, but it seems some of that stressed has eased up a bit. Hopefully you'll get your cooking class won't be canceled again.

Here's another possibility for making some quick money. Find out if there are any focus groups in San Diego. I occasionally see ads in craigslist looking for people who will participate in a focus group about a particular product. All you do is sample the product and give your opinion.

here's a site that tells you where you can find paying focus groups. can't hurt to look.


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JSALERNO 9/16/2012 3:51PM

    glad you visited your mom

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Trying to Keep My Head Above Water

Saturday, September 01, 2012

... So far I'm doing okay with that. I'm still praying for things to get better. They certainly haven't gotten much worse, which I guess is acceptable.

My dad called me today to let me know he took my mom to the ER. She had been experiencing some pretty bad physical symptoms over the last few days, most likely from her liver being to taxed by the constant intake of alcohol. I haven't spoken to anyone "in the know" like a doctor, so that's really only speculation on my part. I can't imagine what else it would be, though. I suppose a trip to the ER is a step in the right direction, though. My dad has been constantly fighting with the insurance company and has figured at this point he isn't going to win this one. We (me, my dad, and my aunt) all feel pretty helpless at this point. It's a sad state of affairs when an insurance company made up of money-grubbing asshats, NOT doctors or mental health professionals, decides what's best for you. People say universal healthcare is socialist and would never work here... I know many an ex-pat Canadian and UK citizen that would beg to differ. They hate our healthcare system. If my mom were in one of those other countries, we wouldn't have to worry about $14,000-$17,000 out of pocket (who the HELL has that kind of money anyway?!?!) to get her the help she desperately needs. I'm off my soapbox now.We'll see what happens in the next few days/weeks. Hopefully some sort of favorable solution or outcome presents itself.

I technically started my practicum last week, although, sadly, I have nothing good to report on it. Wednesday was the first day. I was scheduled for 6 hours. I stayed 1 1/2. That same day, the head cook had to leave for a family emergency, which meant my preceptor had to take over kitchen duties. Therefore, no time to "train" my partner and I. We had decided if we didn't hear from our preceptor that we would show up for the next day (in case she was able to get someone to cover the head cook's position). Well, I didn't hear from her, so I got up at 5:15am, got on a bus at 6:10am, got on a trolley at 6:30ish, and was just about to board my last bus at 7am for the final 20 minute journey when I got a missed call saying I didn't need to come in because my preceptor was going to have to be in the kitchen again. My guess is she called when I didn't get reception- possibly in a tunnel or something- so, I couldn't get off the trolley and head back. So, I took the hour long journey back home. Seriously disappointed. Doubly so because I had a written assignment that involved interviewing my preceptor and turning it in. Not gonna happen now. Not off to a very good start! I go back on Tuesday at 8am. We'll see if this week fares better.

My grandmother is coming back from her 6 week vacation tonight. Unfortunately, she didn't leave me a check or anything for my rent, so it'll be late. Luckily, I spoke to my landlord-y person and she won't charge us the late fee for turning it in a day late. I hope. Unless I misunderstood, which has happened before with other things. Its stressing me out 'cuz not only do I not have rent money, I don't have bill money, bus fare, or money for a textbook for my class, or money for a set of scrubs so I can show up at practicum properly dressed! Hopefully starting the 6th of Sept. I can donate plasma. At least I'll have a tiny extra dab of money from that. Also, my cooking classes, which may not be weekly, but a few times a month, so I'll have a tiny dab of money from that, too. I wish money wasn't so necessary, ya know? It sucks to have to be so dependent on it for survival.

Well, I guess that's the long and short of things going on in my life.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMMERJESSE 9/10/2012 4:57PM

    Seems like life comes in tidal waves. Hope you have a support system of friends and other family members.

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OLIVIANIGHT 9/10/2012 11:02AM

    You get paid for giving blood?? That would certainly up the donation rate.
I'm sorry you're having a rough time emoticon I wish I could help.

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KRAWRS 9/9/2012 11:12AM

    I remember when my best friend donated plasma, as often as they would let her, because money was just that tight. At least you know you're helping someone as well as getting that moolah to help you get by. Kind of a double bonus.

I've been there, that stressed about money, really recently! So I can definitely relate. Just keep swimming (Dora, I think, from Finding Nemo?)!!! Keep that head above water! There is always a light at the end of the tunnel... sometimes it just takes awhile to reach it.

As for your mom, I'm out of the loop... but I hope the E.R. was able to help alleviate some of her physical symptoms and she's feeling a little better for now. And I agree... I don't get why everyone rants about a socialist healthcare system. The few "bad" things I've ever heard from friends who use it (mostly Canadaian), have far, far been outweighed by the good I've heard. *sigh*

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ARCHIMEDESII 9/2/2012 3:06PM


You've certainly had a rough few weeks. Hopefully your mom will get the help she needs in spite of the insurance company.

Will they let you reschedule your practicum ? It doesn't seem fair that you and your partner should have to suffer because the head cook had a family emergency. it strikes me you both should get more time to prepare with your mentor.

As far as the rent, I'm sure your land lord will be reasonable and let you pay without charging you a late fee. If you do get the late fee, then your land lord is just as money grubbing as the insurance company.

Sending a Spark fairy to make your week a little brighter !


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SMILINGTREE 9/2/2012 2:38PM

    Thinking of you, and hoping things get better soon. I feel sure they will.

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JSALERNO 9/2/2012 5:08AM


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    I so hear you and understand! I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers,my friend! I hope your Mom can get the help she needs and it is one worry off your list! I so agree with health care as well! This is just wrong! On the school issue it seems wrong they do not have a plan for you to handle this situation! So sorry about that big trip in, only to have to turn around and go back...I could feel the weariness!! I hope these things can resolve themselves.
Yeah. Money, health care, school, family issues...I understand and you have a number of them! I so wish I could help you! Hugs to you and take care of yourself! This too will pass...I too, am counting on that!
emoticon emoticon

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LODESTONE 9/1/2012 5:29PM

    Jill, are you in culinary school? doesn't seem fair for you to fall behind because your preceptor has been called to other duties... Hope all the rent and money issues work out without stressing you into an overload. emoticon

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The Vacation That Was Anything But...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A little more than a week ago (maybe two weeks ago?) I had a status update that was rather cryptic and down. I still feel very sad and upset. I thought a lot about whether I wanted to blog about it, how much I wanted to reveal, or if I would just talk to a few close Sparks about it that always offer their ear/shoulder to lean on. Because I couldn't decide, I let it go for a while. But, I need to get it out. So, here it goes...

As I'm sure is the case with many, many people, I come from a family with a pretty colorful background. In my case, I am the child of an alcohol/drug addict. When I was in the 8th grade (back in 1997 or 1998) my mom admitted herself to a rehab center and residential program for alcohol abuse and prescription pill abuse. I didn't quite understand what was going on with her, but I did know I had taken on the role of "mother" for a while at that point... making sure my brother's were fed and clothed and off to school in the mornings. Sometimes I'd forge my mom's signature on their, and my own, report cards or permission slips, etc. They started coming to me with their needs. I guess that's why as adults we're all still very close to each other. Anyway, my mom completed a week long detox, a 28 day residential program, and spent another week or two at a "halfway" or transitional type house.

In the period of time since, she's had a few relapses, but had the tools to "bounce back" so to speak and get back on track with her sobriety. She doesn't and hasn't abused any prescription medications. Her relapses were all alcohol related. Well, about a year ago she started drinking again. She has bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder. The medications her moron shrinks give her don't help. She says she tells them that, but they don't seem to listen. Finally, her anxiety level got to the point where she couldn't "deal" anymore, so my idiot father- who has never really seemed to understand alcoholism- told her to have a glass of wine to calm herself down. He said he'd "monitor" her to make sure she didn't overdo it. Less than a month later, he had moved in with my grandma to care for her full-time as she approaches very slowly the end of her life.

Mom got back into the habit of drinking regularly, now unmonitored (like that would have helped anyway) and has since just continued to get worse and worse. I don't live there and only see my family a few times out of the year. Back in February I had a suspicion she was drinking, but never saw any evidence to prove it. When she was here while I recovered from surgery I didn't notice anything either. She said she wasn't very bad when she was here, but that when she got back home she just spiraled downward... with a rapidness. One of my brothers knew, the other one was highly suspicious. Neither knew what to do about it.

Well, this last visit home there would have been no hiding it, so mom came out and told me the day before I was to leave. She then asked me for help in getting sober again. Now, how I've managed to become the one that she so much depends on, I'll never know. So, I called her insurance and I called a local rehab facility (the one she went to last time) to get the ball rolling. That's where things get muddled and f***tastic.

On Friday when I spoke to the insurance company, I was told it would be covered, not to worry about copays or anything, we didn't need a referral from her shrinks or primary physician. I was like, super! The rehab facility didn't have any beds yet, so the following Monday I was to call back and see what we could do. I gave them mom's insurance info so they could get started on all that, too.

I get called on Monday by the rehab and lo and behold... everything I was told Friday was NOT true. Her insurance only covers detox. We need a referral from the primary physician. There is still no copay at least... whoopdeedoo. At that point, I had no idea what to do. I called my dad and he started trying to deal with the insurance company. I called my aunt. I spend the majority of my vacation trying to find a solution. Sure, mom can detox, but without a 28 day residential program to reinforce sober habits and teach her to apply these principles to her life, it won't do any good. What kind of lame a$$ insurance company only covers detox?! Luckily for that week my mom had a doctor's appt already lined up and I was able to discuss this with him. He agreed she needed to go, so he began to get the referral process going.

This situation still hasn't come to any sort of conclusion. I called my mom's doc today and they're waiting to hear back from the facility. My dad is super angry at the insurance company and is still looking for some solution. The residential program is $14,000 out of pocket. Not what I'd call affordable. Meanwhile, my mom can't go cold turkey otherwise she risks seizures or heart attack if she quits. She's unable to taper off.

My problem with all this is that I feel like a cold-hearted b*tch about it. I have no sympathy, no empathy, no emotions at all about it (other than stress and a little bit of fear that she's drinking herself to death). When she would talk to me and cry about how she was feeling and how she wanted help, I was stone-cold. Hell, I think it's safe to say part of my is angry. At her for letting herself do this again, for putting my brother's through this situation, at my dad for encouraging it like a dumba$$, at the insurance company for being stupid enough to only cover detox, at the rehab facility for being so outrageously expensive! And I'm tired of it. I want it to be resolved. I want my mom to go to detox at the very least and be done with that part. I'm all business about it. I have my own problems to deal with at the moment, but she's so crippled by her disorders and the alcohol, she has to have someone holding her hand through it all. I guess I'm the only one she trusts for that.

Meanwhile, my life has to move forward. The victory of being reassigned to a facility closer to home was short lived. About a week after I was reassigned, I got an email saying the facility is backing out of the program this semester. They have a brand-new dietitian and some remodeling going on... so, it would have been too overwhelming to have an intern there. So, unfortunately, I've been reassigned to a facility that will take me a bit more than an hour to get to. It'll take 2 buses and the trolley to get there. In reality, it isn't as bad as it sounds, since the trolley is pretty quick at least. It was the closest facility that they could get me in to at the last minute. Once again, not having a car is really getting old.

And today I tried to crash a basic chemistry class. I was technically on the waitlist- #7 for the lecture portion and #4 for the lab portion. I would have had a guaranteed spot in the lecture as long as I was able to get into the lab. Unfortunately that didn't happen. I wasn't able to get into the lab. So, no chem for me. Sadly, this is the last class I need to complete my AS in Nutrition. I should be more sad about it than I am. I feel like I maybe dodged a bullet. The practicum I'll be doing is supposed to be as much work as a full time job (11 hours each week at the facility and TRUCKLOADS of homework assignments and paperwork outside the facility). Its recommended that you don't take other classes or work while completing your practicum because it's so time consuming. I was and still am going to ignore that advice and take classes, too. BUT, chem was going to be massive amounts of work, too! 3 hour lab weekly, 3 hours lecture weekly, and ridiculous amounts of homework! Whole chapters to read each week and anywhere from 10-40 homework questions each week. 4 tests, 4 pretests, 1 cumulative final. The instructor is old... way old... so he speaks fairly softly and the classroom is right next to construction (new building going up) so I had the hardest time hearing him. I couldn't deal with that for an entire semester. To me it sounds like way more work than I could handle. Either practicum or chemistry would have suffered. Not cool. I am taking an online class, Cultural Foods, as part of the nutrition department. It's just for "funsies". Luckily it's online, so it's basically up to my schedule. I'm considering taking an algebra refresher course online, too. It'll only be 5 weeks later in the semester, but in order for me to do chem in the future, I do need to do some algebra. And for me, it's been quite a while since I've taken that.

I'm not entirely happy with how things are going in my life. I'm so stressed out. I am dealing as best I can, but man... something's got to give. I'm not sleeping and when I am, I'm back on that dumb cycle of vivid dreams, so I wake up feeling just as tired as ever. I'm eating okay. I'm too broke to eat out all the time, so I'm cooking a lot at home. I made a German potato salad and it was pretty good. Never done that before. I still have my cooking classes... hopefully I'll get some other people interested to come learn. The gals are still wanting to learn and pay me for it, so I'll do it as long as I can. I'm also going to look into donating plasma. Since I won't have time for an actual job (not that I can find one anyway), but I still got bills to pay, I'm going to try for that. At this point, any little bit would help. I could get up to $55 a week in plasma donations, so I'll try to work it around my practicum schedule. At least I could do homework while they drain me.

That's my life in a nutshell. *raspberry noise*

Oh... here's a picture of my brother's kitty. He still loves me and never leaves my side when I visit.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOLFKITTY 9/30/2012 12:11AM


It's not much, but it is all I have.

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 8/25/2012 12:49AM

    Oh Jilly, my friend, i was wondering what was going on! I am sorry you are going through this, and as I, too, am dealing with some bad situations right now, i sure can empathize! I do not find you a stone cold bitch! It makes sense you would feel like this after all you have been through. Rather i admire your not turning your back but taking it matter of factly and assisting your Mom with help! Your frustrations with your Dad, insurance, etc is also very understandable, and i get it! It is not you...it is crazy! And with all this you have school, no car, etc. Whew!
Sending my thoughts and prayers, hugs and Love! I am here if you need to vent!
Mary emoticon

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JULIEN* 8/23/2012 12:00AM

    Ugg. Sucks. My alcoholic mom and (sometimes) idiot dad do extremely stupid stuff too. Or, at least they used to. They've split up now which helps a lot.

Just hang in there! This will all pass. : )

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ABB698 8/22/2012 11:02PM

    Sorry you are going through so much Jilly! Sending you hugs and prayers all around! emoticon

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ARCHIMEDESII 8/22/2012 5:29PM

    I'm sorry to hear about the situation with your mom. You're not an unfeeling person. These kinds of situations would leave anyone at their wits end. It's never an easy thing to be a caregiver for an alcoholic parent. A person almost has to dull their feelings to be able to cope. You're doing the best you can, despite the best efforts of the insurance companies. They are the worst. they're only interested in their bottom lines, not the health or well being of their clients. They've all been cutting services. it totally stinks. I hope your mom gets the care she needs.

Does your school have a work study program ? Could you pick up a part time job there while you study ? That would be a little something towards the bills. I think you should consider teaching a cooking class through your local adult education program. You're a good teacher and there are tons of people who want to learn how to cook. even if you taught a class once a week, that would be an easy way for you to make a little extra money while you go to school.

Of course, I hope you get the care you need too !!!


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LUCYLU22 8/22/2012 4:49PM

    {{HUGS}} Oh my dear, I will be thinking about you during such a stressful, crazy time in your life, and I will definitely keep both you and your mom in my prayers.


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BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 8/22/2012 4:11PM

    I'm very sorry about your mom and everything you are going through right now. When it rains, it pours. As you can tell from my recent posts, I've been obsessed with yoga lately. I really recommend it for relieving some of your stress. I always feel so good and light after. There's tons of videos you can find on youtube and this website:


See you on the ice in a couple weeks!

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ARUNNINGKAT 8/22/2012 3:08PM

    Sorry, girl! There is nothing more frustrating than a situation that seems like it will never end - especially when it comes to dealing with family. Hope a ray of sunshine breaks through for you!

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RAINYFRIDAY 8/22/2012 11:28AM

    (((great big hugs))) I wish there was something I could say or do to make this time easier for you! I'm sending out some potent "for the love of pete give this girl a break!" vibes. ;) Take care of you as best you can.

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JSALERNO 8/22/2012 6:13AM

    I'm sorry about your mom. My dad had gambling problems. He didn't stop until his cancer treaments started. Next semester you'll get that chemistry class and hopefully you'll have more time to concentrate on it. It's good you can make some money teaching your friends to cook. I will keep you in my thoughts as you struggle with this battle.

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Cooking School with Prof. Jillybean25!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

My roommate has a few friends that are, erm... "underskilled" in the kitchen. He told them I'm pretty handy with the cooking and skillz myself and set up a "class" so to speak.

The first thing they really wanted to learn was knife skills. So, I designed a beginners class for them. I went through the different types of knives, what each blade is designed to do, how to pick a knife for yourself, how to care for your knife, etc. Then, I had them practice what they learned by cutting up vegetables for a mirepoix to make chicken noodle soup from scratch.

The best part of all this: they are willing to pay me to teach them- kinda like a group private chef dealie. So, I charge them for my time and supplies, and they get to learn and I get to have fun teaching! I think it's another great way for me to practice my nutritionist stuff and cooking stuff until I get into a Master's program. And it gets me a little bit more income, which as ya'll pretty much know from my latest blogs, I desperately need.

So far it's every Sunday (except this coming one, as I'll be out of town) and I'm letting them choose the class subject (I don't want to teach them something they don't want to know). However, if you're in the San Diego area, are free from 6-8pm on Sundays, my "class" is open to you as well! The more the merrier. I'd love to have more people learn to cook healthy, easy meals. Just private message me for more details (what I charge, for example).

If you'd like to read more about the knife skills class, please visit my other blog at:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NYMERIAV 8/13/2012 8:17PM

    What a great, economical way to celebrate your skills!

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ABB698 8/10/2012 12:49AM

    That's so cool they want to learn, and even cooler they're willing to pay you! Double bonus! emoticon

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ARCHIMEDESII 8/9/2012 6:18PM

    What a great way to make a little extra money !!! You get paid for doing something you really enjoy. Let me know when you're having your baking class. That's where I need to brush up on my skills. I'm a great cook. I can make all sorts of stews, sauces, etc... however, I'm a lousy baker. You DO want to try my pasta sauce. you do NOT want to try my cookies. I screw up boxed mixes ! LOL !!!


PS - You know what you might consider doing ? I'm sure San Diego must have local adult education classes. Teach a cooking class. Cooking classes are extremely popular adult ed classes . I took a fantastic class on French cooking. The chef used stuff from Trader Joe's. It was fantastic.

Call your local adult education school. Ask them what you need to do to create a class. I'll bet you get a ton of people for a basics of cooking class. the instructors here can make decent money. worth investigating.

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KRAWRS 8/8/2012 10:16AM

    That's awesome! And a great way to get practice AND extra income! I'm glad your roommate came up with that idea. :p
Thanks for your response on my blog. That makes me feel a bit better... I remember most of my sparkfriends blog solely about their fitness journey, and that wore me out... cuz my life is so much more than what I ate today and how many minutes I exercised!
I'm glad to see you stuck it out here on SP. I think you were one of the ones who was considering going, way awhile back? I remember liking you, so I'm glad you're here for me to come back to. :p

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JSALERNO 8/8/2012 6:26AM


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BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 8/7/2012 11:22PM

    That's awesome!!

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BIGBROTHER323 8/7/2012 9:14PM

    Great idea! Where were you before I bought this last set of knives.....okay....what is your thought about this:

forever sharp....the one that advertises on tv by cutting a tomato then a can then a tomato.... be gentle....I just bought it....Walmart had a special....$44 for 3 of the double tip knives, 2 pairing knifes, 2 juicers, 4 steak knives... all usually for 139$....or 3 easy payments of .... LOL

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BLUEKITTYJAN 8/7/2012 9:06PM

    What a great way to make an extra income. My kids use to complain that they wanted to eat dinner at McDonald's like their friends. Their friends wanted to eat at my house because I cooked real food. So I taught them how to cook when they were teens. It was more rudimentary than how to use a knife. It was how to measure. Never thought of charging and I paid for the food too. emoticon

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LODESTONE 8/7/2012 9:00PM

    Sounds like fun! Although I'm fairly skilled in the kitchen, I think I would love to cook with friends. So happy you have found a way to turn a passion into a source of income. You go, girl! Made Chicken Divan for dinner. Very utensil intensive, but every mouthful was Sooooo worth it! Even DH ate broccoli, and he HATES it! So sad that you are clear across the country for me to have some fun!!!!!

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