Thursday, September 30, 2010


Social Security’s Automated Telephone system: “To proceed in English, press One”

Me: “Bleeeeeeeeeep”

Social Security’s Automated Telephone system: “If you are calling for general social security information, please say general. If you are calling for more specific information, please say personal.”

Me: “Personal”.

Social Security’s Automated Telephone system: “Okay. If you are calling for yourself, please say or key in your social security number. If you are calling about someone else, please key in or say their social security number…”

Me: “Bleep-bloop-bleepety-bleep, bloop, bloop, bleepety bloop. ::sigh::”

Social Security’s Automated Telephone system: “Please say your birth date.”

Me: ::wondering:: My birthday or my brother’s birthday? I’ll go with brother’s… “October (day), nineteen-seventy-three.”

Social Security’s Automated Telephone system: “Okay. Please say the state in which you were born.”

Me: ::thinking:: Well, since we started with John… “Massachusetts.”

Social Security’s Automated Telephone system: “I’m sorry, I didn’t get that. Please say the state in which you were born.”


Social Security’s Automated Telephone system: “Okay. You said Massachusetts. Is this correct?”

Me. “Yes.”

Social Security’s Automated Telephone system: “[long diatribe about how they’re going to glean six pieces of information from me that are allowable through this or that govt. regulation, blah-de-frickin’blah] Okay, please spell your first name.”

Me. “J…. O…. H…. N….”

Social Security’s Automated Telephone system: “John. You spelled “J… O… H… N… is this correct.

Me: “Yes…”

Social Security’s Automated Telephone system: “Please spell your last name.”

Me. “P… E… T… E… R… A… N… E… C… Z…”

Social Security’s Automated Telephone system: “Tetronz. You spelled “T.. E.. T…E… R… A… N… E… T… Z… is this correct?”

Me: “No.”

Social Security’s Automated Telephone system: “I’m sorry about that. Please spell your last name.”

Me. “P…… E…… T…… E…… R…… A…… N…… E…… C…… Z……”

Social Security’s Automated Telephone system: “Petronz. You spelled “T.. E.. T…E… R… A… N… E… T… Z… is this correct?”

Me. “…….No.”

Social Security’s Automated Telephone system: “I’m sorry about that. Please spell your last name.”

Me. “Pee… Eeeeee… Teeeee… Eeeee… AaarrrrR… Aaaaaaay… Ennnnnn… Eeeeeee… Seeeeeeeee… Zzzeeeeee…”

Social Security’s Automated Telephone system: “Petronz. You spelled “P.. E.. T…E… R… A… N… E… T… Z… is this correct?”

Me: “NO!”

Social Security’s Automated Telephone system: “Okay. Sorry about that. We’ll skip that…. Now, please spell your mother’s maiden name…”


Friday, September 24, 2010

Vendredi... YAY! And Boo.

Yay, it’s Friday! Woohoo!

Miss Aquila was created while I was on the phone yesterday... she was coloured during lunch... badly and hastily.
She is supposed to be a Golden Eagle. :::wince:::
 I spent last night sewing. I’m too ill to go to the Faux Fox Hunt (BOO!!!!!). I have been sick and going to work despite, and I feel completely drained and burnt-out. The pain of the sore throat has been remediated, but I still have ear and balance issues and my energy levels are tapped out. I need to take the weekend to recuperate. However, I spent last night sewing someone a simple bib-front muslin day gown (as I always do) so *they* could attend the Fox Hunt. How unfair is that? Hopefully my germs won’t spread on the gown and make everyone sick. That would be bad. Very, very bad.

I suppose it’s good I'm not going anyway, because I never got ‘round to making my riding habit. I’ve been too sick and grumpy to sew anything of substance. I did make a new set of transitional stays for myself, but I’m not done binding the tabs on the bottom (OMG, what grueling work!) and I just haven’t been feeling up to much of anything lately. :::blurgh::: However much I wanted to crawl into bed and sleep yesterday when I got home, obligation is a strict task-master, and so I was up until just after midnight on my four-hour project. Yes, I sewed the entire gown AFTER taking Satan to the dentist again. I got home at eight and she has another appointment in three weeks… will I ever be done driving Miss Crazy around all the time? I think not. I’m stuck with it… unless I install an ejector passenger seat…. :::pauses to visualize this with a whimsical smile on her face::: Ejector seat. What a concept. She got all pissy at me last night because I wouldn’t stop to take her shopping for clothes at a local Ross store. No consideration for my time, or my not feeling well, instead she kept doing the guilt thing: “Well, I’m not trying to inconveeeenience you… I didn’t think it was tooooooo much to ask….” No way. I’m not her freakin’ chauffer… Three hours in her company at the dentist is where I draw the line, I’m not going to follow her around a retail store while she picks through clothes. Screw that. Especially when I had a gown to sew when I get home. I'd have been up until one or two AM had I acquiesced

Try to ignore the buttons pinned to the bib.  That's how they all get their gowns,
so they can add them on after they've fitted to insure they're placed right.

Aaaanyway, I digress… This bib-front was a very simple project as I tend to make all my ‘for others’ gowns. I won’t vouch for the quality of the sewing; it was done hastily, so some seams are wonky. I’m sure a few wearings, washings and pressings will make everything fall in place, and all those stray threads I forgot to trim… woopsie! I do love that back though. Always do… but I do notice that around 11:20, I was getting tired, and I was doing the knife-pleating; one side is much more fastidious and neat than the other… the pleats are a smidgen wider on the other side. Oops. Lucky it didn’t require any trim, because it would probably just be lopped on with hot-glue at that point. LOL. I’m worried about it, honestly. Its wearer is a teeny thing (she lost 150lbs in 7 months, and looks faboo) but she’s got some healthy assets in the boob department, and now that I look at that scrunchy, flimsy little bib, I’m worried about it being able to contain her girls decently enough as to not cause some inadvertent spillage. Cross your fingers (although I'm sure the boys wouldn't mind so much) ... ::sigh:: We shall see… She's coming by this afternoon for a fitting.  Oh, and I took one of my old Dressage toppers which had gotten some paint on it by accident, and refitted it so she'd have *something* riding habitty to wear to the hunt.  See below.

An old dressage topper gets a bit of a makeover.
Anyway, Happy Friday for what it’s worth peeps. ::hugs:: to you guys who are here all the time… and just to say thanks for the support and comments, I do appreciate them very much. /THC

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's all in the family...

What’s been going on… Hmm… Aside from being stricken with a hideous case of strep throat, what also appears to be some sort of ear issue (dizzy and bumping into things) and a very painful sinus, things are as they usually are; thick with family drama.

I am finally officially my brother’s legal guardian. I got the appointment papers last week. I also became the payee of his Social Security benefits. My mother did not do the required reporting as his payee, and his benefits were withheld for a year, and so he got a huge check this week of his year’s worth of withheld money that I have to spend down pretty quickly. Giving part of it to his residence for room & board will only take a small chunk of it; and he doesn’t drive, doesn’t need furniture… so I am now undertaking the most macabre task of arranging a funeral package for him so his needs are covered when the time comes. I may also buy him a Wii… you’re allowed to get them things like that … so I thought some new clothes, some school supplies for his new day program and some little chatchkes for his personal space—maybe some bed-linens and towels and stuff too. I’ll figure it out. It’s funny how surprisingly hard it can be to spend money when you are focusing only on needs and not wants.

It’s amazing how a little care can change things. He looks *so* good. His hair is cut and neat, he is shaved, clothed in clean garments, he is fed well, and he is making eye contact again… occasionally engaging himself in what’s going on around him; he hasn’t done that in forever. My mom has ingratiated herself to the caretakers, and they adore her. It’s hard to sit there and listen to her say things like: “Oh, I haven’t had a full night’s sleep for 37 years! Since John was born!”… I wanted to retort: “What are you talking about? John was in an intern school from when he was really little until he was seventeen… you hardly saw him at all… I won’t mention what you did when he was home the occasional weekend…” But I did not. I just bit my tongue, as I do very often when Mom is doing her Mom thing. I wish I could see her through her own eyes sometimes… I’m sure the image would be something like this:

St. Mama bears her cross as her ungrateful scourge-daughters pelt her with stones.

Lately, my sisters and I have been clashing. I have been building up a backlog of annoyance with them. One sister can’t stand to be in my mother’s company for more than an hour; and she must always be so with another one of us in tow… if she had to be alone with my mother, she wouldn’t. However, she’s been liberal with her advice about how to deal with my mother, despite that her involvement in the family pretty much non-existent since she was old enough to bolt. I’ve been stressing out about the mom situation, and my brother’s situation and my job, my husband’s 27% cut in pay and subsequent financial problems, and my complete lack of free time or escape, and I have been criticized for my… yes… my negativity. My response is, hey, you with the permanent pass from these things… STFU. My response, which was in my usual style, honest and forthright and yes, abrasive and blunt, has naturally upset her. She is on facebook as we speak typing passive-aggressive status updates and comments like no tomorrow. Ugh. Whatever. My other sister gets dragged in a lot, and the two elder gals are closer, so they tend to gang up on me. Recently, I confided in the second sister, saying something fairly harsh about the first sister, and the second shared that with the first, thus escalating things unnecessarily. First sister is lucky I don’t tell second sister the stuff *she* said about second sister’s relationship issues; that would be very cruel and damaging. But damn, she is pushing me. It’s sort of irritating when you can’t say stuff in confidence when they can do it constantly to me. Damned women!

I am perplexed by the whole concept of family, honestly. I know all these people who long to spend time with their family, who love to be in large groups of them… the idea of holidays fills them with glee. In my mind, they are crazy! Me? I don’t like having family most of the time. Because mostly, my family doesn’t treat each other like family. They give their friends and acquaintances more weight and importance in their life than their own blood; they say acid, rotten things while smiling at you serenely, and create all hell of crap behind your back whenever they have a chance. For instance, back in March of last year… when things were going awry in my marriage, I phoned my eldest sister weeping… I was devastated, and I needed someone to lean on pretty badly. My eldest sister answered the phone, I told her what was going on, and I started yammering through my tears. She interrupted me, and said: “Hey, Feffy, can we talk about this later? I have friends from BAS (High School) here, and we’re just leaving for the beach…” I stopped mid-sob and balked. Seriously? Did she just blow me off for a beach trip with old High School friends? Yep. She surely did! You can have no idea how much that hurt. It still cuts deep to this day. It made me feel so very unimportant to her.

My family has been a source of constant and great disappointment to me from early childhood; a fountain cascade of broken promises, being patronized, and being invisible. I’d stumble over myself to do stuff for them, but when I need some emotional support, they turn away. But occasionally, when we sisters get together (never just the sake of spending time together; we always together to fulfill some other stressful obligation that eventually leads us to stress out and bicker…), we have moments of incredible fun. I mean super, incredible, hilarious fun. It’s the sort of thing I think other people long for when they think ‘family’…. For us, that fun, that sense of connection, it’s so sporadic and rare… but there are these brief moments of bliss that give me a taste of what it *should* be… and it makes me sad that it hardly ever is--all because we are all so broken by our upbringing.

With all the turmoil these past two years, with Daddy fading and getting sick and being neglected by my mother, eventually dying… dealing with the aftermath of the move, trying to figure out how to keep my mother’s health at some level where I’m not forced to deal with more crises because of her ineptitude, and figuring out a future for my little brother, who’s always been just a fixture in all of these things… it’s been a freakin’ nightmare. I have dropped almost all interests… stopped sewing, stopped doing anything social, just existed in this really super-exhausted fugue, instead of finding support in my sisters, I’ve found the opposite. One sister wants to wash her hands completely of any responsibility and doesn’t want to even hear about it… the other, well, the other tries to fix things by going about it the wrong way… and playing games with the both of us. All this passive-aggression and bitchiness takes its toll. I wish we could just be sisters, and that they were there for me as I have been for them when they phone me in crisis. Like my husband with TSD, I have this hope they’ll figure it out and we’ll be real sisters to each other… not just someone who meets you for obligatory things.

Anyway… I’m done fighting with them for now. It’s sort of pointless… but sometimes I think they really need to hear it; whether or not anything I say sticks or if either of them really cares what I think. As long as I do my job, keep Mom-related-drama out of their hair, that she doesn’t spend too much of Daddy’s nest-egg, and make sure the brother they have doesn’t require anything from them, they’re happy. It’s good to know I’m good for something.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mondays really do bite the big one.

Hubby spent his weekend at his grandmother’s house, helping the vultures pick through the carrion of her possessions while she wandered the corridors of the assisted living facility unawares. They are claiming their rightful ‘inheritance’ and happily leaving the scraps and flotsam for hubby to deal with I’m sure—that has always been the pattern. Hubby’s biological father (I call him The Sperm Donor (TSD)) only ever really interacts with hubby when he needs something. My calling him and his spouse out on that (among other travesties) ended my relationship with them. They no longer speak to me. No big loss there, since I see first-hand, the hurt and the disappointment my husband has had to live with and still lives with; being treated like a peripheral family member and human fork-lift.

Hubby was the first-born.  TSD produced more children out of another marriage who got a lot more of his time and attention.  Hubby told me a story once of his being in his father's shop, and a good friend of TSD walked in, and asked who he was.  "I'm [TSD]'s son..." hubby replied.  The man replied: "Huh, I didn't know he had another son..."

Since childhood, he has been shoved onto the sideline; enjoying only few and spare moments where he felt like a true son to his father. Otherwise, TSD has pretty much lived to please himself and has no sense of anyone’s needs but his own. He does have a powerful defensive net set up however—which implies he knows he was a terrible father to hubby, but he doesn’t do anything to correct it. Hubby, I think hopes TSD will come to an epiphany one day. He keeps trying to forge a relationship his father is unwilling to share. It’s very sad. TSD just continues ignoring him on the most part, or sending him emails crying about the life his questionable choices created, and hinting at needing trees cleared, roofs fixed, etc. It makes me ill. The real irony of this is that early on, when hubby and I first met, he introduced me to his father. I distinctly remember TSD complaining that *his* Old Man did nothing for him as a father except expect him to toil and labour for him. Funny how the mirror has gotten so grimy he can’t see the reflection there. Hubby still insists on doing stuff for TSD, because it’s his father and he can't help loving him, but he is always hurt and harassed by it afterwards because it's not the relationship he wants to have with him... "Hey, I'm coming to town son... bring your Carharts."  It makes me feel terrible for him and makes me want to slap some sense into TSD, but I suspect even a 2x4 across the noggin wouldn’t do the trick.  It is both sad and poignant a lesson, I guess... because it illustrates how important fathers are to sons; and how crucial it is for them to have some sort of relationship with them.  I suspect my hubby will always hope for that relationship, no matter how many times it's proven that TSD isn't capable of it.

Hubby has an ex-step father (a real father in every aspect)… a really amazing person, who calls him weekly rain or shine, and talks to him. He divorced hubby’s mother years ago, but he never let his connection to hubby fade. He goes to lunch and dinner with him; remembers his birthday, he spends quality time with him, and pretty much never asks for hubby to help him on projects. In essence, when he looks at hubby, he doesn’t see 'your Personal Hyster' written on his forehead. Hubby gladly will volunteer to assist when things come up, but there’s nothing to begrudge there when this person is a credit to his life as opposed to just a financial, temporal and emotional drain as TSD pretty much always ends up being.

So I saw very little of hubby this weekend. He got home late on Saturday but came home earlier on Sunday to enjoy a Lasagna and a couple of hours of time at home with the wife and pooches. I chilled both days. Seriously chilled. I’d had a somewhat hectic (understatement) week at work, and come Friday, I was burnt out in every possible way. Each day on my own at home, I brewed up a pot of tea, and Sunday, I put on All Classical and read an entire book from cover to cover (The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy) and I must say, I give this book five out of five stars. It is a wonderful way to re-enter the world of Pride and Prejudice, but looking in through the male perspective. It is gritty and bawdy at times; because that is the world of the Regency man—and the writer intimated that Mr. Darcy and Lord Byron (yes, THE Lord Byron) were friends. It’s a romance from a man’s view, and I picked it up at 9 AM, and six hours later I closed it and put it down. I haven’t had a page-turner like that in forever. It was kind of heavenly.

On the horse front, poor Tag! I’ve been not-so-chatty about my equine friend, but lots has been going on… since his gross cold, I’ve only been able to ride him a few times this summer. After his cold, the mud was dried up enough that he could be released in the daytime with the other horses; but since Tag is such a marshmallow, he is the lowest horse on the totem pole, and his been getting the bejeezus beaten out of him by smaller horses with Napoleon complexes or something. He got a really nasty cut right on his hip bone a while back, which scabbed over after we treated it as best we could. But apparently, under that scab, stuff was happening, because one day the scab came off and he had a crater the size of the palm of my hand on his hip, and it was half-an-inch deep. Seriously, I nearly passed out when I saw it. Covering it and treating it has been a challenge and he had to take antibiotics, and there was swelling and all sorts of nastiness…

Augh. I miss riding my horse, but just moving at any rate would crack it open again. Boo! No more group releases for my little hooven-milquetoast. ::sigh::

Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve posted, I know, but as I said before.. HECTIC.

I am going on record saying: Friday the 13th is a date that inspires wariness... but honestly, the idea of MONDAY the 13th... that's just HORRIBLE! A double-whammy of evil!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Happy Friday Plus.

"Hush, I think she's sleeping." ~ Another hastily scribbled Office Special for this Friday
Wow it’s a double plus day. It’s Friday, and it’s a Friday before a three-day-weekend. The only thing better than that would be independent wealth and all the free time in the world to putz around and do the things you want; that would rule. We can dream right? Maybe one of my less-than-stellar books will suddenly start selling off the shelf, and be discovered by a movie producer, and be made into a crappy pulp-fantasy movie with really bad SyFy channel-quality CGI like Eragon. Maybe. Hey, if Stephanie Meyer can sell her tripe by the millions, even my pulp could… who knows. Then I can start laying out all the dreams I have floating about in my head; the ones that keep my mind occupied on my long and often boring drive to and from work.

On a day like today, I think about those things. I think about owning a riding stable of my own like we did when I was a newb in this world. I think about having a studio big enough to host workshops for costuming, and having the time and freedom to pursue all the things I like to do without being stressed out by squeezing them into the few free hours I really have. Most of my free hours these days are spent recuperating from a stressful week… I want to hide from the world come Friday, and not do anything, rather than get out and do stuff.

A while ago, hubby and I were out and about running errands and we stopped by the feed store to get some necessities for Herr Horse, and I was browsing the corkboard for interesting things. There, on that board was a horse property for ~ $500,000. The description was really alluring, so for no better reason than to be a dork, I tore off a contact number strip from the page, and we got into the car, and stopped somewhere for lunch, and I started talking about it hubby. He was like: “Let’s check it out…” So we did. We called the owners, and as soon as we were done eating, we hopped in the car and drove out there. 20 acres, fully fenced, trout pond, tree nursery, riding arena, seven stalls, room for ten more, a decent house (manufactured home with a lower level room the size of the whole house’s footprint that just screamed studio at me) with three bedrooms… beautifully cared for, two separate pastures… a hen house (squee! I want layers again and ducks and annoyingly loud peacocks and turkeys!) and it was in the perfect location, with perfect tree coverage, perfect everything. Sure the house was more modern and had less character than I would like, but given everything else the property offered… I could deal with a cookie-cutter home if I could look out my kitchen window and see Tag in a wide, grassy pasture instead of getting mud-stores standing in a bog. He would be happily grazing, while boarders come and go. I thought about the lessons I could give, the other ways I could use this property… maybe start a ponyclub again... and frankly, this visit, which occurred, oh, back in early April or March, has not left my mind.

It was like life was intentionally kicking me in the head. It was saying: “Here’s exactly what you want, look at it, love it, dream about it – There’s no way on earth you could afford it! AHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Now keep trudging on your damned hamster wheel while I laugh heartily at you!”

::::sigh:::: Instead, I have to be happy with the little things like three-day-weekends. Don’t get me wrong, I value my Yaaaay Friday.

Anyway... Also in the news... my long-lost cousin has finally had some activity on his FB account, and he proceeded to accept the small slough of Peteranecz-friend-requests that awaited him these months. Once he contacted me on FB, I notified all of the Peteranecz family, and they pretty much all friended him.  But he did not log back on for a while, and just when I was thinking he never would again, boom, here he is.  I posted pictures of his father and his grandfather, much to his pleasure, and then he posted some pictures of himself.  He's so young! A puppy! Probaly about 14, it looks like.  I hope he wasn't overwhelmed by the cascade of greetings from the sparse family he has over here in the US.  I'd very much like to give the kiddo a hug and show him that just because he lost his daddy doesn't mean he doesn't have connections.  Isn't he cute? ::beam::

Adorable.  Looks like he's out fishing.


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