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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
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    3127 days ago
    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
    3139 days ago
    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.
    3140 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6307291
    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!
    3140 days ago
  • ABB698
    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!!
    3140 days ago
    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.


    3140 days ago
    glad you visited your mom
    3140 days ago
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