Y’all I know that I was supposed to come back with all of my Mardi Gras stuff, but life got in the way of my blogging plans…which leads me to this post.
Lately, I have been feeling the squeeze of being a part of the sandwich generation and the grip is getting tighter and tighter. If I had to relay it in NOLA terminology I’d say that…I feel like an overstuffed po-boy from We Never Close…
and that’s one stuffed azz po’boy!
BTW,We Never Close is closed. I miss those sandwiches.
Lately, my father has been very ill (I almost lost him in January) and my son has been ill as well. Taking care of them and working full-time(taking care of other people) has been grueling! And I don’t think it would be as grueling if I were not a nurse. I think it’s the constantly being “on” is what’s getting to me. If I were an accountant and counted beans for a living and then went home to take care of the family, I don’t think it would be stressing me out as thin as I am now. I’m probably gonna need a mental health break soon…blogging about it is great therapy too though 🙂
In my line of work I hear a lot of people being very judgmental towards those who put their parents in extended care facilities. Let me be the one to tell ya, taking care of elderly parents is HARD WORK..and I do this for a living! Can you imagine not having any experience in the field and trying to take care of your mom or dad at home?
And a lot of it is mental…try taking the car keys from your elderly parents. Think they’re gonna just give up their independence all willy-nilly? NOT!
Stop judging people who put their parents in nursing homes. Most have families of their own and have siblings who bail out and they are trying to make sure their mom and dad will be taken care of. It’s hard being a part of the sandwich generation…they are doing the best that they can and sometimes best is putting your parents in a facility.
If you know someone who is taking care of his/her parent (especially if it’s someone you are close to), a few respite hours is probably what they need most. Offer to keep an eye on their parents for an hour or two so they can get away and maybe see a movie.
I’ll probably take an extended weekend and just lock myself up in a hotel room for a few days.
Yesterday, I watched a documentary on PBS called Soul Food Junkies. In a nutshell it’s a documentary regarding the food that African-Americans eat (soul food) and how unhealthy it is. Most of the things in the documentary I already knew. Being in the nursing profession, I’ve seen the ramifications of a diet high in saturated fats and low in fiber all too often.
I never was a person to consume pig feet, chitterlings,pig lips or turkey necks like so many of my friends. I’m also not that big on what’s considered Soul Food. I can take or leave fried chicken, black-eyed peas,mac and cheese, and the like.
Still, I’m not the healthiest eater.
I have a terrible sweet tooth and I really need to eat more fruits and veggies.
I’ve been trying to correct that but, it’s a really slow process.
And while I’m not big on soul food, after watching the documentary I realized that,I do have an addiction to Creole Cuisine.
I didn’t realize how bad the addiction was until I had to shop for an evening gown for the Nyx Ball. When I began looking for dresses to try on, I figured I wasn’t in my usual size 3-4 anymore. I’ve been having fibroid tumors for a while and my abdomen area isn’t as flat as it used to be. I picked up a few dresses in 5/6 and a few in 7/8 just to be on the safe side. I was totally floored when the size 7/8 dresses didn’t fit. I reluctantly picked up a 9/10 and tried it on.
It was a perfect fit.
Still, it couldn’t be me. Even though the scale said that I had gained weight,I attributed it to the fibroids. There was no way I was actually in a size 9/10 dress.
I drove home screaming about, how horrible it was that companies today are deliberately making dresses smaller, to make it appear that women are larger than what they actually are.
“I don’t gain weight so, I know it’s those frigging companies! Where is my tape measure?!”
I took the tape measure and measured my waist.
“Well, I expect my WAIST to be larger, I have fibroids!”
Then, I took the tape measure and measured my hips,
what happened to my 34″ hips?
How da hell I have 39 1/2 ” hips!?!
Still, that CAN’T be a size 10!
*goes to a computer and pull up women’s clothing chart*
Well, of course the charts are gonna say that!
I know what! I have a pair of shorts in the closet that I could never wear because they were too big!
*goes to the closet,pulls out shorts and put them on*
I’m still coming to grips with the fact that, I’m in a size 10.
I was in total denial because I did not “feel” any larger.
I was still wearing the same clothes because most of my pants are baggy.
Nothing felt tight on me except shirts…but that’s because I have fibroids (I blamed fibroids for everything.)
I know I have some work ahead of me.
I have to get these extra pounds off of me and get my love for creole cuisine under control.
I always thought that I’d love it when my kids were grown. I come from a fairly large family and there was always a bunch of kids hanging around. My parents raised 7 of us in this house and then when we began to have kids, my nephews and nieces were always here…mostly the boys. And they were pretty rambunctious so yeah, it was always pretty loud in this house. My kids and their first cousins were always getting into something around here.
Most of my nieces and nephews are grown now and beginning to have families of their own. They aren’t around as much and the family is beginning to splinter off. I was sort of prepared for that part though. At least there’s Facebook because, we talk often using that site.
What is throwing me for a loop is my own Empty Nest Syndrome. My kids are grown and the house is so quiet. YellowJacket has been staying by her dad’s house (she’s driving now and her dad has put wheels under her so she’s nesting there) and PurpleKnight is rarely home between working and going to school. In the fall, he’s going away to college and won’t be here at all.
The house is so still.
The stillness of this house is hitting me like a ton of bricks.
I can only imagine how hard it was for my mom. It must have been hell for her. My mom had kids around her from 1951 until three months before she died in 2002. A lot of times, I think that’s what killed her spirit to live….this big, quiet ass house.
It’s obvious that I’m entering another phase of my life.
My third transition.
I have to let it sink in that it’s truly my time now and revamp. It’s gonna take some effort, much more than I thought.
He moved so slowwwwww, it seemed like it took him forever to pass.
The storm began Tuesday night around 6ish and the wind was furious!
Issac was the first hurricane that I stayed in the house for since Katrina (we evacuated for Gustav) so, I had no idea how our rebuild would handle the storm with us in it.
As the heavy feeder bands came in, my lights began to flicker and then…
I lost power in half of the house.
We had no idea what was going on. NS checked the breakers and they were fine so we were prepared to ride out the storm with half of the house up and running. Dish network surprisingly did not cut off. We were thankful for that.
Around 9 p.m. the wind really started going crazy and that’s when we lost all power. All of my neighbors still had power though so we knew that whatever it was, it was affecting only our house. We turned the radio to WWL AM 870 and hit hurricane mode.
Around 4 a.m. Wednesday morning we began getting the worst of it. My family was knocked the hell out.
The worrywart in me got up to see how much water the street had.
But the wind was blowing stuff everywhere….knocking down trees and stuff.
My neighbors lost power around 6 a.m. I spent the rest of Wednesday listening to the radio and letting the storm pass. This was thee slowest category 1 hurricane ever! It passed through at a whopping 6 miles per hour…dumping rain and heavy winds. We took a beating from him.
Thursday morning everyone was on a hunt for ice. I woke the kids up early so they could come with us…just in case we were only allowed 1 or 2 bags per person. I knew Rouses would open so we headed to there to begin our fight for ice. We were among the first to arrive and the guard told me that they were only letting a few people at a time in. I told NS to let us out because I saw some folks walking towards the door. We beat them in and headed for the ice. There wasn’t any limit so I grabbed 8 bags and then headed down the aisles for other necessities.
THANK YOU ROUSES!
Rouses was the first store to open after Katrina and they were the first to open up after Issac. I will always be a loyal customer to them for that.
Driving around the city was a bit tricky because a lot of trees and electrical poles were down. They also had water in some parts of the city.
After we managed to get a few things we needed, we headed back home and tried to find the coolest part of the house. The wind was still going pretty good and while Issac was pretty much finished with us, we were thankful for the wind. We opened windows and doors so the breeze could flow through.
YellowJacket’s dad called around 2 p.m. to tell us he had power. I packed her up and brought her over there. The rest of us would have to tough it out.
My dogs were panting like crazy. We kept feeding them ice chips and putting ice in their bowls to melt so they could have cold water to drink but, they were catching hell just like we were.
Later that night we all took a cool shower and prepared for what would be our third night without power. Except NS, naturally he had to take a HOT shower!
Early Friday morning, I heard on the radio that water,ice and MRE’s would be handed out at various locations beginning at 6 a.m. I woke up NS and we headed to the Read Blvd and Lake Forest Blvd. location. We arrived at 5:50 a.m. and were the 8th car in line. By the time 6 a.m. hit ,the line was through the parking lot and down Lake Forest Blvd.
While driving around the city, NS and I noticed camps of bucket trucks everywhere! There were about 30 trucks located at Lowes on Read Blvd. and entire camp located at Bundy Road and I-10 Service Road at the old Walmart/Sam’s location.
You would think that these trucks would all be on the road giving folks power but, the parking lot was wall-to-wall trucks. People across the greater New Orleans area are also noticing the same thing and began to call the radio station to complain. Their complaints were valid because there’s no reason to have an entire camps of bucket trucks sitting in New Orleans East, St. Bernard Parish and Jefferson Parish.
By Friday, they should have been on the streets.
Later that afternoon my dad got a phone call from my cousin and he tells my dad “congratulations! You have power!” My dad tells him that we are still without power. My cousin states that he’s staring at Entergy’s map and they have us green on the map for power. My dad gives the phone to me so I can talk to my cousin and find out exactly what’s happening.
Entergy did have us green on the map so, I walk down to my neighbor’s house to see if they have power because I already know, I have an issue with the power at my house.
My neighbors didn’t have it either. I explain what my cousin saw and my neighbors and I call Entergy for them to correct the map so, they wouldn’t think we’re good to go and we aren’t.
My neighbor’s son (who was the only other person back here with us right after Katrina) says, “Ali, I’m going in Katrina mode again.”
Right after Katrina, if we needed a street light fixed,debris moved,etc. we’d find someone already working in the area and get them to come over to our block to help us out.
Well, he went around the corner and there was a man in a bucket truck working on a line and another man in a service truck. He explained the situation to the two workers and the one in the service truck came over to give the street a look. He tells me that I need a bucket truck to get my feed connected but, he saw no reason the street couldn’t be on. He got on the walkie-talkie and in less than 5 minutes…THE ENTIRE STREET WAS LIT… EXCEPT FOR ME.
I WANTED TO CRY.
He told me that a bucket truck would there tonight or tomorrow morning.
We had to endure another night without power and for some reason, it felt even hotter….that’s because my entire neighborhood was up and running and I was still sweating it out!
I woke up at 3:00 Saturday morning and began to wonder how much a whole house generator would hit me for.
Next hurricane season, I plan to have one.
About 7:3o a.m. NS and I were heading out the door when we heard a truck coming down the block. We opened the door and saw an Entergy bucket truck heading our way. We asked the guy if he was coming for us and he said yes.
He got out of his truck and came over to talk to us. He told us that he was trying to get over here last night but, he had to bring the out-of -state workers back to the camp and they were slow so, he couldn’t make it back.
NS and I noticed a suburban truck with him and asked him who they were.
He told us they were security.
Yeah, he said it’s THAT bad. Folks are hot and miserable and are beginning to take it out on the workers.
Once he got in the bucket, it took him about 15 minutes and at exactly 8:19 a.m. Saturday morning…we returned to the grid.
We thanked him for his help and gave him bottles of water to make it through the day.
Those two electricians rock big time because we were NOT on their ticket but, they came over anyway.
I know the powers that be folks told us hot as hell folks not to bother the workers but, my neighbor and I have never played by those rules.
We’re the type of people who would rather beg for forgiveness than ask for permission.
Hurricane Issac through us all for a loop.
It’s been almost a week and a lot of people are still without power.
It’s more than just being “uncomfortable”…people are suffering in this heat.
In addition to that, some of our brothers and sisters in other parishes were flooded out and are suffering as well.
It’s time for Entergy to do their job and get everyone on the grid.
Because when you’re driving around hot and miserable and you stumble upon this,
it’s kinda hard to convince the public that there’s a reason for ALL these trucks to be sitting around at 11:00 a.m.
Every now and then I just have to get on this thing and clear out my head…this is one of those times. Yellow Jacket came to me yesterday and told me that, a young man who was staying by her dad’s home was arrested for child pornography. Long story short, her older brother returned to NOLA a few months ago and brought a friend(?) with him. I don’t know if the guy was coming to get a job or what but, he was staying at her dad’s house with her brother, her dad…and her.
A few days ago, undercover police went to the house with a “no-knock warrant” for him and her dad got a call from the cops telling him to leave his job and return home. He gets home and cops are swarming around the place, his son and the other guy are inside. The cops informed her dad that the guy was wanted for child pornography. Well, naturally the cops trashed searched the place looking for evidence and confiscated her dad’s computer.
Seems that, they had been tracking ole’ boi from Baton Rouge ( those IP addy’s aren’t secret y’all) and they caught up with him.
Now, y’all know her dad doesn’t want ME to know all of this right?
He doesn’t want me to go all psycho on him because he had a perv under the same roof as our daughter.
So he tells Yellow Jacket, “don’t tell ya momma.”
And the first thing she does is
calls me and says “ma, guess what?!!!”
LOL…that’s my girl.
I asked her if he ever tried anything funny with her to which she replied,
WHO? NOT ME!!
Man, my brother would ‘ve killed him.
I know a lot of people who say that, they’d be pissed but to be honest,
I’m not angry with her dad or her brother.
I’m not angry because truth be told,
you just don’t know what folks do when they aren’t around you.
I’m glad they caught him however, I still some funny kinda-way about it all.
What if he would have tried something?
What if my child would have been there when the cops showed up
and it went wrong?
Like the incident a few months ago,
where they shot and killed this unarmed young man during a weed raid.
Thank God, the cops did knock on the door even though they had a no knock warrant.
Maybe they’re finally learning something.
With NOPD…who knows.
I’m just glad that she wasn’t there when they showed up,