To All Student Loan Debtors In America

There needs to be a consensus that these loans will no longer dominate every college educated young person in America. Enough is enough. Either the lawmakers can bail them out like they do the banks, OR the students in outrageous debt need to flee the country with their degrees and knowledge and go make another country great again. I’m sick of this modern indentured servitude of today’s best and brightest young Americans. If Trump wants to make america great again, he needs to focus on helping out the young people who struggle under enough debt to buy a house that they incurred just for trying to better themselves. What country would welcome educated professionals? The cost of these loans double while graduates struggle to pay them off in a country whose older generation refuses to retire so there’s jobs for the young, newly educated INDEBTED graduates. Get your passports and GO. You are obviously not appreciated in America.

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Raised Plant Bed

For years I have asked my sons to help me design and build a raised plant bed. They have said it was an interesting project and they’d be glad to help me. I still don’t have a raised plant bed.

During the last few months, I’ve sorted through the contents of three under the bed containers that my sons left in the carport when I moved in. My house is full of their things, that they have chosen to store here. I have no living room to speak of – it has boxes of their things in it.

So one day I decided to go through those under the bed containers that had been left under the carport so long. Most of what was in them were Christmas decorations. There were some old papers and other junk of mine that I either put up, or threw away. Eventually I got all three containers emptied.

I asked one of my sons, who was here a couple weeks ago, if he’d help me build a frame for those containers `because it had dawned on me that I could use those for my raised plant bed containers. He said sure . . . he did say he thought they were his . . . ????? . . . and I told him, no, they had my things  in them when I unpacked them. They were mine. He repeated that he thought he’d left them here, but I could use them for my raised plant beds. Yes, that annoyed me, but I choose my battles, and that wasn’t one I chose.

This morning I read several online articles about raised plant beds. It seems that plastic containers are ok to use. The beds should be 6 inch deep minimum and these are 7 inches deep. I knew I’d need some holes drilled in them for drainage. I didn’t  know that putting screen mesh over the holes would prevent soil depletion, as soil tends to also drop out of the holes. . .

I ordered a hand held drill. I’d emailed my sons and asked if any of them owned a drill and if they would help me drill holes in the containers? I got no reply. So I bought one of my own. I wonder which son will appear and say that’s HIS drill? I’ll keep the receipt.

As far as a frame goes . . . I realize I will either have to build one or buy one. I noticed I have a bed frame/rails in my third bedroom. It’s leaning up against the wall. I had several bed rails. When my oldest moved out, he said he didn’t want any of my “used” bed rails. He was back a week later saying he had “priced” bed rails, and yes, he did want one of mine.

I don’t see why I can’t use the bedrails to hold my plant containers. I just have to get someone to help me set up the bedrails outside. I hope they’re twin rails. Twin rails are 39 inches wide; the plastic containers are 39 inches long.

I also reread about the kind of pests Marigolds repel. I want to take some of my skinny planters and plant Marigolds in them and put them between the containers. I probably need a scarecrow as I feed birds and there are birds that live around my house.

My grandmother had a garden, and there is nothing like fresh vegetables right out of your garden in the summer!

This spring/summer, I’m going to have my raised plant beds. I expect ridicule and criticism, but it’s what I’ve come up with and I think it’ll work. If anyone wanted it to look more elegant, they should have helped me one of the serveral years in the past that I asked for help.

One day, when my sons are older and think back on my life, they’ll realize I am a great problem solver.

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Happy Birthday

Today is my oldest child’s birthday. Adult child. I have three adult children now and they all grew up too fast.

This one has had an interesting year. He came out as a transgender during the summer- at least with me. Some others may have already known.

We went out to dinner tonight and had a lovely time.

I probably should begin with the morning, but I’ve done too much today (enjoyed doing it all!) and am thinking backwards.

She showed up when she got off work. She works nights right now. I fixed us breakfast and then she went in one of my spare bedrooms to sleep.

We had planned to go see a movie, but she was so tired . . . it wasn’t my kind of movie anyway, so I was fine missing it. I do hope she goes to see it before it leaves the theater.

My mind is a grasshopper tonight . . . I intended to go from breakfast to what I did after breakfast. I took her car to be inspected. I know from working myself that little chores like that eat up a big part of your day when you have to do it. Everything on the car passed inspection, and it didn’t take too long. Besides, I needed to go out and get some birthday candles anyway. I’d gotten the cake mix a couple days ago.

I have made cakes from “scratch”, but I doubt I ever will again. Last year I was too sick to bake a cake. She showed up with one she had baked, and I was so glad! Birthday cakes matter to me.

But this year after getting the car inspected, and stopping for the candles, I came home and baked a cake. I was so grateful to be well enough to do that.

She got up mid afternoon and we dressed up a little and went out to dinner. It was fun. The music was lovely; the waitress attentive. The food was good.

We came home for dessert and cut the cake. She opened her presents and card and was happy with what she got.

I bought her a mixer and gave her a girly card.

I talked with one of her friends yesterday and found out not all parents are supportive when their children “come out”. Why not? That is still your child. I will support my children until my last breath.

So it was a great day, if eventually tiring.

It had gotten dark by the time we left the restaurant. I tried to help drive . . . but I can’t see well at night and really don’t drive at night. I was reminded that she can see well and was doing fine.

Indeed she was. I thank God for another year with her.

She’s gone out with friends now, but I doubt they have as much fun as we did, ha, ha.

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Technology . . . Ask Me Why

I think one of the problems the younger generation and the older generation has when it comes to Technology is lack of understanding and lack of communication.

I am older now. I need reminders where I maybe didn’t need them before. I use some visual cues as a “to do list” or reminders.

Last night I asked my oldest adult child to help me figure out how to pay my car taxes online before the end of the month, which was my deadline. Otherwise, I’d just drive to the DMV and do it in person.

When we got to my computer, the first words out of her mouth were “Why do you have millions of windows open?”

To start with, it wasn’t a million. It was probably eleven, which is what I have open right now.

Instead of answering that question, I asked if she was going to help me or not?

So set the tone of our technology interaction.

She hovered over my shoulder monitoring what I was trying to do. This kind of behavior makes me extremely nervous. Either sit down and wait for a question, or sit in the computer chair and do it for me. Don’t HOVER!

So I got to the site and was told by my hovering figure that I knew what to do next. How does a young person know what I know how to do? That bit of irritation distracted me and as I did each step, I’d ask her for confirmation that it was right and ask should I press “Continue”.

For that I got a frustrated “YES”. I also was told I knew what to do next, why did I keep asking?

Well . . . if I knew for sure how to navigate this strange website that involves me sending hundreds of dollars through it, I wouldn’t have asked for help. Believe me, I wouldn’t!

So eventually I got to the screen where I am to type in my information. I needed a title number and the plate number. I must have typed it in wrong the first time, because it said “error” in bright red letters. So my adult child told me to try it again. I’d probably typed in the wrong numbers!

So I saw a different set of numbers on the notice and typed them in. “Error” again lit up the screen.

In frustration, my adult child took my car keys to go out to my car to get the registration card to double check the number.

I retyped the first set of numbers while she was gone and got in.

When she came back in with the card, I announced that I’d gotten to the spot where you pay, but couldn’t find the place to enter the information from my check. The form said I could pay online using a check.

Here came the eye rolling and the lecture on how much more secure a debit card is than giving out your account number over the internet.

I still wanted to pay by check, but got out my debit card and entered the information.

It was accepted and a confirmation screen came up.

Here was the part I’d really needed help with. She had told me to take a “screen shot” when I got it paid and print that out for my records. She said “screen shot” was a key on my keyboard.

I sat looking for that key and finally had to say, “I don’t see a key with ‘screen shot’ on it. I don’t think my keyboard has one.”

Oh, here came the flapping of arms and the look of frustration! “It won’t say “Screen shot”, it says “Print Screen”.

Well, where is that key?

Do you want me to DO IT FOR YOU???

I looked at the frustrated instructor and looked at the keyboard and the screen and said, “yes”.

So I got up and she sat down and told me you go to paint while she went to paint (like I know where paint is) and then you do this and then that and  . . . “what is wrong with your printer?”

My printer is old, like me. Sometimes it gets confused and doesn’t print but instead blinks three yellow lights. If you push the button beside the three blinking lights, it will print. So I did that.

The page printed out and she grabbed it and took it and the registration card back out to the car.

THAT is why older people have trouble using technology. No one ever explains things exactly right. No one ever talks us through how to do things and then waits patiently while we try. They do it themselves and then wonder why we don’t remember how to do it.

And like my old printer, I sometimes get confused and forgetful. THAT’S WHY I keep all those windows opened at the bottom of my screen. It reminds me of what I want to finish before I go to bed. And it is places I’m not sure I can find my way back to, if I close that window. I do a lot of research online. Some places take you various other places before you find that nugget you’re seeking. I have no intention of hunting for it again.

Leave my windows open! I’ve had “help” at work who actually closed my windows without asking, and it greatly hampers my efficiency.

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Help! Help! Police?

I’ve had great respect for the police in the past. However, several events have made me rethink why I unconditionally respect the police? I expect it had to do with my grandfather being the Constable of our small town and me being sent to the police station to get him to come home when my grandmother wanted him. Insdie the police station, the officers seemed so competent. They were my grandfather’s friends. They were ok.

Even when my grandfather died, the police played a part in his funeral. He had a police escort to the cemetery and I remember the blue lights flashing and thinking how happy my grandfather would be, if he could see them.

In years gone by, I’ve had some good encounters with policemen and some not so good. Lately the not so good have out-weighed the good.

On March 6 of this year, my little dog and I were attacked by a neighbor’s pitbull. The police finally came – when I didn’t need them any more – and they took a police report. They asked if I wanted to be transported to the ER by EMS and when I said yes, they called. The police had been called by my across the street neighbor, who saw the dog when it began the attack. By the time the police showed up, the attack was over and I was on the phone callnig 911. I was told someone else had already called it in and they were on the way. How comforting.

During the investigation. it turned out that the owners of the pitbull (and the pitbull had not been vacinated for rabies and bit my son) and was quarantined, but the owners were known “pill heads”, as the policeman stated.. When I called the place quarantining the dog, I was told the owners could get the dog back in ten days. How comforting.

Then the police raided the pitbull’s owner’s house and found it to be a drug manufacturing establishment and no one could go back to that house. That helped.

I was outside early Saturday morning – just yesterday morning – with my little dog again. It was around 4:30 am and my dog insisted she had to “go”. So there we were in my yard when two large dogs ran across my neighbor’s (on the other side, not the drug house) driveway and across my yard. I quickly got my dog inside. I was shaking all over. One of those two dogs – at least one – was a pitbull. It took me awhile to calm down.

Then I debated calling 911. What good would it do? Always before when I call 911 about animals, they tell me to call animal control. So I looked that number up online. They were only available from 8 to 5. I noticed an email and I sent the animal control officer an email. My neighbor, on the other side, has someone who visits and has three large dogs. They are never on lease. One ran at me and my little dog when I was out walking her one day. The person who comes to visit and brings them (so I never know if they’re there or not) relys on his voice commands to control them. He called that one back and it continued to run at me and my dog. I was screaming, he was calling, and the dog would come towards me, hesitate, and then continue towards me, all the while ignoring the commands from its owner. Finally the owner started towards the dog and the dog turned around and went back to him. This is how that man handles his dogs in a leash law (but who really cares?) town.

So I thought those two dogs belonged to my other side neighbor. I thought about going over and telling him his dogs were loose, but then thought no, if they were loose, but still close, they might attack me for going into their territory.

So I finally sat down and called 911. For once the 911 operator was reasonable and didn’t play 20 questions asking the same bunch of questions 3 times like the one I got before did. She took the information. I told her I didn’t need to speak to the officer, but the dogs came from the house next door. I gave her that house number. By then it was 5:30 am.

I saw the police car drive up. I waited. It appeared the policeman shined his light on my house, so I went out. I was met with disparagement, and condescension. Why? I was asked, Why? didn’t I call 911 when it first happened? Did I thnk of that, he asked? He told me my neighbor was mad at being woke up. He told me there were no dogs at my neighbor’s house. He told me there were no dogs period.

I know I’m older now. I also know what I saw. I also know I will never call 911 again. If my neighbor’s visitors non-dogs get in my yard or near me and my dog, I will defend us myself.

The police suspect everyone of lying. They listen to the person with the most money. They have pre-conceived ideas when they approach you. Don’t believe otherwise. That’s how they are.

Absence Makes the Heart Hurt

My youngest son flew home in August, 2015 to stay with me awhile. At that time, my health was in bad shape, and I think everyone expected me to die.

We enjoyed Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and winter days and weather. It was wonderful having him here, and he seemed to enjoy being here. He was born late in life for me, and he’s always been entertaining and knows how to make me laugh.

Now he’s gone. He loves Asia and he’s gone back. He doesn’t know how long he’ll be there, but one time that he went, he was gone for two and a half years. I always assume the worse, and I guess he’ll be gone a long time again.

I told him I was still sick. He said I was much healthier than when he came home in August 2015.

I can understand why a twenty-something would not want to be trapped in a small town with a boring mother.

I was very grateful to have him here last March when I spent six days in the hospital. I have pets and he stayed here and took care of them. He came to see me a couple times. The first few days he was very worried, and I imagined him hiding under his bed in fear of what might happen to me. Finally the third or fourth day, he came in with his oldest brother. He brought me a singing flower. It played “You Are My Sunshine”. I loved it!

I wondered what might happen myself in that hospital, because a man, who resembled an undertaker, kept coming in wanting me to sign a Do Not Resusitate Order. I finally tore it up, and he didn’t come back. My oldest son came to see me every day. I told that undertaker looking guy that if they needed to know what to do, whether to resusitate or not, to ask my oldest son.

I asked my youngest and his oldest brother to bring me some underwear and nightgowns. Neither of them wanted to do that. Finally the youngest one showed up with a plastic bag full of clothes. He proudly announced that he had put a glove on his hand, closed his eyes and reached into my underwear drawer and taken out a handful and stuffed them in the bag. He did the same thing with my pajama/nightgown drawer. I ended up with pajama tops and bikini underwear . . . He said at least he tried! His brother wouldn’t even try! I asked the nurse couldn’t I please go home yet????

Less than a week after I got out of the hospital, a pitbull came into my yard and attacked me and my 15 year old dog. My youngest son finally realized I was screaming – he had on headphones and was on his computer- but my youngest dog hit the window that my son had up a little and she shoved it to the top as far as it would go. Then she tried to jump through the screen. My son closed the window and ran outside to help. In the process he got bitten by the pit bull and broke a bone in his foot.

We went to a library book sale shortly before he left. I had an old car that my middle son had lent me. We didn’t go far from home in it.

The same day my youngest son left, I bought a nice used car that I do plan to travel in. I wish he were still here.

I tried to talk to him a  couple hours ago. He said it was the middle of the night over there. Well, whose fault is that?

My youngest dog also was sad when he left. She’s perked up a lot in the last few days. I’m going to add the picture of how she looked the first 24 hours he was gone. I still feel the way she looks, but all I can do is write about him. I really, really miss him.

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Offspring

Children are delightful. They’re unpredictable at times and I have enjoyed spending time with them. My own children were my favorite. No surprise there. Nothing was too good for them, and I could not do enough.

Or maybe I could.

I went to one of my sons with this crisis I’m currently having. It is temporary, I hope. I asked him for his help. He said he could not realistically do that.

What?

I wish I’d thought of that phrase when I did everything I’ve done for him. He’s twenty-nine years old and recently moved out. He lived with me for a year and a half and I charged him absolutely nothing. I helped him find the job he was doing while he lived here. He managed to save up enough money to buy a used (very used) car.  He’d had the car less than a month when he came to me and announced he’d found a full-time job paying half of what the part-time job he had here paid. He was moving out in three days.

What?

Of course, he was moving into a room at a “friend’s” house and he could not take all his belongings. I am a storage building now, I guess.

During that year and a half while he lived here,  I paid for him to take a programming class, paid for the heat that kept him warm, paid for the air conditioning that kept him cool. I paid for the rent, the internet service. I paid, paid, paid and I worked every month he was here.

In early July I was told that I was being transferred and would get only four days pay in my July check. They also would be taking out monthly deductions (turned out to be $407 in deductions) and no, they could not wait and take them out in August when I got a full check. I’m not even sure it’s legal to take all the deductions for one month out of your check, if you only work four days that month. It certainly cuts a big hole into your paycheck.

So I emailed this son, who had lived with me rent free – he didn’t pay anything while he stayed here. I paid the dentist to fill a tooth he had a cavity in while he was living here. I’m sure I paid for more things than that.

But now that I’m having troubles this month and need help, he cannot realistically help me.

What?

Offspring. I see why some species eat theirs.