My days are not my own right now, too much going on in this little house! Here’s what’s happening:

The boys got their GEDs! YAY! In the accompanying cover letter, Governor Beshear writes, “It takes a great deal of study and preparation, as well as persistence, to reach this goal.” Really? The boys have not been engaged in formal study for three years. They needed no review or study to pass. Not to take anything away from them: they are clearly above average and are among the nicest, funniest, kindest teens you would ever hope to meet in your lifetime. Really.

But if the goal is a diploma so you can get hired or seek higher education, I’m wondering why anyone would spend 12 years in jail school to get one. Why not take the pre-tests, see what you have to learn, learn it, then take the GED? Badda bing.

The only thing that required persistence was dealing with the many bureaucratic hoops between them and the test.

The boys got jobs. YAY! They are working at a local restaurant. Ryan is washing dishes and Mo is the fry cook. Dishwashing is the only job available to Ryan until he is 18 (in two months) at which time he will move to the line (cooking). Good, because the dishwasher is the last person to leave the restaurant at 2am and taxi service is currently provided by the ‘rents.

Restaurant work is hard. After the first couple of days, Mo said, “I hope we last the week.” Ha ha. I told them that, from now on, if they are jobless, no internet. Don’t quit one job without having another.

We’ve talked a lot about the job thing: yeah, it’s hard. Some harder than others. There are responsibilities and people you like and dislike. The goal is to have a satisfying job. Right now, it’s all about the money for them. It’s fun (fun? what am I, a masochist?) watching the layers of that onion peel away! The first layer should be loosening up sometime after the first paycheck, after they see how much Uncle Sam steals from a dishwasher.

The only job dispensation is school: work fits around class. Can we think of anything to get them more interested in higher education than working in a restaurant kitchen? Would do it for me.

Speaking of which, I’m pretty sure I’m accepted into acupuncture school. YAY! And on the Fed’s dime. Yeah, I’m libertarian and deplore the stimulus, etc. But why should the banksters get it all in bonus packages? I’m dipping in as long as it’s available. Hoping it doesn’t run out before I graduate.

Mo got his driver’s permit. YAY! And was required to register for the Selective Service — The Draft — as a condition of that permission. BOO! He’s a good driver. He’d make a shitty soldier. I can’t imagine him pulling the trigger on another person, much less one who was only a threat because Mo was trespassing on that person’s land looking to inflict harm. There are a lot of high school edjikadud people who think this is just dandy.

Not that there will ever be a draft. The Military Industrial Complex knows it would bring an end to the wars: mothers and potential soldiers won’t stand for it. The MIC can’t risk that. Talk about something being all about the money. The whole thing is so transparently corrupt, I can’t believe anyone still believes bombing peasants in petroleum-rich third world countries has anything at all to do with national security. Hey, there’s a sucker born every minute. I used to be one.

Right after he registered, the army sent Mo a Welcome To The Fold letter extolling the virtues and benefits of being all you can be, along with some really swell brochures. I’m going to burn it all in effigy attached to a group shot of Obama, Bush and Cheney laughing in front of Goldman Sachs.

Mom is living here. With us. For now. Which exclamatory remark to use is still under review. She has too much hip pain at night to sleep without painkillers, which make her unsteady when she first wakes up. It sucks for her and she just can’t live alone right now. I’m thrilled to get the chance to feed her good, healthy food!

How’s it going? So far, so good. We are both on our best behavior. I’m hoping I grow into a mature, emotionally healthy adult really, really soon. Like right now would be good.

And the milestone we thought would be a long way in the future…

Two days ago, Hal’s sister Bridgid died. She was 56, a year older than me, with a husband and two young teens. We are all in shock, can hardly believe it. She found out she had stage 4 lung cancer last summer. She had surgery and was doing great, at home, feeling good. About a month ago, she called to say things weren’t so great after all, but she was optimistic. Two weeks later, she was in hospice care. Wednesday, the day before she died, she spoke to Peg about having Thanksgiving together.

We’re pretty sure Bridgid knew the end was nearer than she let on, but you’d never have known it talking to her (like you would’ve known it talking to me were I in those shoes. OMG, can you hear it?) She was cheerful and looking forward, like always. A hugely sad loss in our family.

When you get old like us Hal, family and friends you love die. It’s one of those horrible certainties. One of those things you just can’t do anything about except accept it. I hate that. I wish I could sign a petition stopping that insanity. Why did Bridgid die and not Dick Cheney? Seriously, I wonder that. There is little understanding or comfort to be had at this moment. Except in relishing completely the family and friends we have right now. With that in mind, I’m going to go fix Mom something to eat, then hang out with her while she eats it.

Then again, my cooking is really not something to look forward to. Maybe I’ll take her to the mall instead.

Have a great weekend, everybody. Eat well. Love the ones you’re with.

17 comments to Milestones

  • Ginnee

    So sorry for your loss…too young to go home.

    I thought Mom was in a place she liked, did I miss something?

    Congrats to the boys, their jobs are a good experience for them. An awakening, stimulating…I hate washing dishes.

    Missing you guys…Hugs…

  • She is in a place she likes, but it is an independent living facility meaning they don’t do ANY check ups. You have to come to meals (or be able to sign out occasionally) or you can’t stay. She isn’t reliably able to function alone right now because of the drugs. She has a test in a couple of weeks, then they will take steps to alleviate the pain. Just have to pinpoint what is causing it (they think bursitis) and rule out anything more serious.

    Yes, far too young to go home. Thank you, Ginnee.

  • June Keith

    Sally: So sad about Hal’s sister! I hope to be as cheerful and positive until the day I die. “Cause what the hell, we all die. And from that picture I can see that she sure was pretty. Sorry your Mom is having pain trouble. Congrats to the boys!! I begged my mom to let me GED it but she wouldn’t and so I suffered the injustices of high school. Ugh! Restaurant work is sure to inspire higher education, for sure! Take care. Love you you and yours. JK

  • The boys are so happy! Getting all our milestones out of the way… once they can drive and have a little working under their belts, have an idea of what they might want to do: the world is their oyster. So fun, the parenting thing. Mostly, lol!

  • Yes, congrats to the boys!
    I hope they are able to get your mom figured out – my mom is on pain pills way way too often for her back. It’s hard and can be frustrating. I’ll be looking for foods for my mom that cause inflammatory reactions in her – but you prob already are on that for your mom. :) Made a huge difference in Brianna.
    Again, so sorry.
    Robin & Jer
    robin recently posted..Hats- Pods- &amp Photo Props!

  • Thanks, Robin. What anti-inflammatory (shall we say AI from now on? that’s too much to type!) things/foods are you doing? I haven’t looked into it that much — been so busy getting her settled. Turmeric is one. Tell me what you used with Brianna, please!

  • Well… Bri has some nerve damage in her legs & back from a motorcycle accident in 2006 I think it was. We knew part of her prob in 1 leg was inflammation {I} & adema {sp – fluid retention}. The thing is some foods may trigger {I} in some ppl but not in others. She was lactose intolerant as a toddler so when she recently went Vegan it was no shock to hear that her nerve pain, fl-retention & back spasms have very much been reduced. I know you are doing the WAP thing & this may fly in the face of that – but I’m guessing that Bri could do raw milk/butter & have the same AI effects if she was so inclined {as I think it has to do w/ the enzymes that aren’t present in dead milk; kefir has also been claimed to have AI properties & it does help the occasional flair-ups I have w/ {I} in my Achilles Tendon – I don’t do milk except kefir}.
    As it is the AI effects were just bonus; she’s Vegan b/c of her affection for critters. However conventional dairy has long been said to be {I} for most ppl. And you may already have your mom on raw milk products in which case… gluten/wheat is another {I} trigger for some ppl even w/o other gluten sensitivities displaying. You kinda have to remove things & ask the eye doc mantra: better? worse? the same? or go raw for a few wks at least & do the same with adding things back into the diet, being very watchful of adverse reactions to specific foods/groups. None of which is easy to say the least. :)
    But if they are going to dx bursitis – you’ll, of course, want to find the root cause of the {I} but for many ppl all over the web changing the diet has made something *itis that was once only managed by pain meds, manageable w/o them.
    Sorry for the lengthy post. You know how I get. :)
    robin recently posted..Hats- Pods- &amp Photo Props!

  • Not too long (I have to work so hard to keep my posts under 1000 words!) Great info, thanks. I had forgotten that about bread and I will research the other stuff. The pain meds are killer. She is not herself AND they don’t always work. Ugh.

  • Robert

    You must be busy. You’re not writing about TSA.

  • I am so busy I can’t even breathe hardly… after next week, it will get easier.

  • Patricia

    I’m so sorry to hear about your sister-in-law – my thoughts & prayers are with you.
    Have I understood correctly about the driving permit & registration for the selective draft? Does that mean that no US male can get a driving permit unless he has promised to make himself available for military purposes? If so, I’m shocked. I do hope I’ve understood this wrong!

  • You heard that right. It is a dismal reality. Actually, I’m not sure about girls but I would assume so because it’s not a draft (yet): it’s just “Selective Service” — it seems that would apply to girls but I don’t know.

  • Sally, I worked my way through college in the college kitchens, and also doing farm labor in the summers. Restaurant work, and especially dishwasing is tough! I can still remember all those 2AM or later work nights. It taught me a lot. (And yes, it’s crazy what the tax man takes, isn’t?) But, I can honestly say, working in commercial kitchen builds work ethic, strength, and character! (That, and you find that inner determination to never never never have to do that kind of work to live!)

    I also wanted to say that I’m sorry for your loss. I hope your family can find love, peace and comfort over this holiday season. I will be thinking of you.
    Sarah recently posted..A Thanksgiving Without Marshmallows

  • Hi Sarah, thank you. Actually, both boys got fired from their jobs four days after they got them. “We hired more experienced people,” was the reason. I think that manager needed hands to get the job done immediately and had no intention of keeping the boys. Made me mad but there’s the real life. They took the week off, kept counting their money (lol) from that one week of work… that was inspiring to them! Dreams of avarice. Back on the job hunt Monday!

  • ginnee

    Working in a restaurant really teaches you how hard of a job those folks have. It is good experience, a good lesson learned.

  • Keith

    Sending our best to you and Hal, so sorry to hear about his sister! I hear you about growing old…losing people, just lost my Grandfather but he out lasted most, made it too 99. My best friends wife just had a similar experience as Hals sister and passed two weeks ago.

    I haven’t checked in in a while, will have to catch up!

  • Thank you, Keith! Wow: 99. That’s a good long run. Hoping for that myself!

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