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Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy Pioneer Day Utah!

Every 24th of July, fireworks explode into the sky, separate from the national day of celebration that lights up the sky everywhere.

Pioneer Day, or the 24th of July as most people refer to it…or as it was known very early on as the: Day of Deliverance…marks the day that The Mormon Pioneers Came into Utah, specifically the Salt Lake Valley, as “this is the place”. The place that they wanted to settle after their long journey from Nauvoo, Illinois.

All week has been full of activities celebrating this holiday, with parades, rodeos and other festivities, culminating in the Day’s of ‘47 parade.

I know that my family has very rich ties to the original pioneers that came to Utah. One of my grandfathers…many times great, was one of Joseph Smith’s personal bodyguards (and oh do we have stories that would turn heads hehe)…and one of my several time great grandpa first settled Saint George and established the first church there. (which also has many stories that would turn many more heads) Also one of my many time great uncles carved the original Utah Beehive and the Eagle for “Eagle Gate” among other creations for the state.

I may not be Mormon anymore. For my own reasons. But I do have a rich history in the state as well as the church.

So, thanks to all of the pioneers of progress that occurred back then, and that are still occurring every day.

the joy. oh the joy

I thought that would sound funnier than “The horror, oh the horror.” After all, it has been done to death ;)

My sister…who is not actually related to me, but goes beyond blood…had her niece born a few days ago. Her brother is now the proud papa of a baby girl…which, makes her my niece by-proxy ;). She is a beautiful little thing. verrrrrrrry long. LOL. Adelfi thinks her niece will be able to pick her up when she is five. We needn’t say that Adelfi is shooooort **ducks**

So, why would I make a joke about horror and joy when talking of a baby?

Very easy. If Adelfi and I get our hands on her….mwaaahaaahaaaa. We have very twisted and unique ideas between the two of us, and put an easily influenced child at our hands….It is bad enough who her father and grandfather are. hehe.

Instead of putting the newborn baby girl in a pink cap, her dad put her in a blue one. He is already planning on taking her hunting as soon as possible. Which, to him, is hunting in the bayou. He is in the military, while training, was their top sniper. need I say any more? LOL

She is adorable though. But, I do have to say, the look on her face is my sister through and through. The look shows two things 1) get that camera out of my face before I break it over your head and laugh while I am doing it. and 2) oh gods! is this what the world is like? let me back in! let me back in! I wanna go home!

On the writing front, I am going pretty well on Mu, and will be ready to upload it in a week’s time…**knock on wood** that is, of course, barring anything unforeseen.

That is my motto….”barring anything unforeseen.” Insert whatever needs doing before that.

We are getting the layout done for my new bedroom. We were going to build the new room for grandma…but where it is going to be, we wouldn’t be able to monitor that she doesn’t go wandering very easily. So, I get the new room, and she gets my old room.

My new room is going to be humongous. about double the size of my old room. LOL Dad says that I need a bigger room. Now how sweet is that? We are also going to build mom her own office. That way she can also do crafts in there, and I will be able to write when I need/want without kicking her out of the office. I have never been able to write where others can watch me. It is a very private thing for me. Not the work itself, but the process, because I open myself so much when writing. I am very sensitive to energies around me and as such I keep myself well shielded psychically. When I write, I have to lower my shields quite a bit to get every emotion activated…otherwise I keep myself too tightly shielded…sometimes so tightly that I have a hard time feeling even my own emotions, let alone anyone else's. That is the only way I can function some days though.

So, for my new room, we are debating if I get a walk-in closet or not, and precisely which end of the room is going to have the door. One end, I get the walk-in closet and we build a hallway for entering the house. The other end, The door comes out into the area that would be the walk-in closet and I will have a little entryway into my bedroom. It depends on which way we think will be more economical. I will be drafting up several versions of the bedroom with slight alterations to each plan so we can see what will make the best layout.

It’s times like this that I really really miss not having been able to complete my training as a CADD artist. I had so much fun with it. I was going for the mechanical sides of drafting, but I also had a blast with the architectural sides. LOL. I remember we had to design a house and I had this huge monstrosity designed. Complete with a theater with its own snack bar, marble floors throughout, like twenty rooms in total (give or take) including having an observatory with a retractable roof for my stargazing. Talk about delusions of grandeur. Of course, the walls were almost nothing but windows…that was when my skin and eyes could tolerate that much natural light…

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Elderly Abuse…or Abuse of the Legal System?

I have permission to talk about this now. maybe it will help others, or make them feel less alone about this.

Now, as you may recall my grandfather finally passed away the day after Easter after being ill for so long. During that illness there were several scares that he was dying, but he always seemed to recover, though he would be less when he would recover. What I mean by less, is his health would be more deteriorated, he would have less vigor and he would have less will. Though that will refused to fully leave until the very end. One thing he did have, was full cognition. His memory never did fail him…even when he was nothing but skin and bones and so weak he could not even talk, he still knew exactly what he was doing and what everyone else was doing…even to the point of being a bit…manipulative about things, for instance in doing everything he could to keep my dad by his side, even when dad had work to do, or even sleep. LOL.

But before he did pass, he signed over his truck to my dad for everything he has done for him. (I mention this in precursor for a little bit further in this blog)

My father has 4 siblings. 2 sisters and 2 brothers. One sister (Debbie Gilbert) (I am fully stating her, and the brother as well, name; well aware of what I am going to say. If they want to take issue with me, not dad, not grandma, not mom…me, then I will fully deal with them.) and One brother (Terry Dumas, and his wife, Signe) lives just a matter of 2 hours from us. The youngest sister lives approximately 6 hours from us, and is in poor health. The oldest brother lives in Oregon. Dad is the 2nd oldest.

In the entire time that grandpa was ill, the oldest could not come. He could not afford it, and he worked two jobs just trying to keep his head above water. We understood. So did grandpa. The youngest also could not come. Her health had her right down in bed, her daughter was pregnant with a high-risk pregnancy, and her husband was commuting between Utah and Arizona for work. The brother that lives in Salt Lake came up very occasionally and did very little to help, but I will give him credit, what little he did do helped. The sister in Salt Lake…well, she and her husband and occasionally sons, would come up. but not to help. They came up to stay at their cabin, which is just across the street from grandpa’s and right next door to us, to fish. or hunt. I believe in the entire time grandpa was ill, they washed walls and vacuumed to help grandma out, twice. I do not recall hearing from either dad or grandma that they did anything else. The last few times they have come up, they haven’t even bothered to stop in to check on grandma, let alone see if she needed anything or even to just visit.

It has been just over 3 months since grandpa has been gone. As much as I loved and adored grandpa, he did not make things easy for after his death. The only thing that helped that he did do, was he already had his burial lots paid for. After he died, with the help from Soffe-Jenkins Mortuary (I hope that is correct, I can never remember which name went first LOL), most everything was done for us…the notification of social security, the closing of bank accounts, the transfers of things into grandma’s name, etc. There was very little of the after-death details to take care of. But grandma also paid for a trust to be set up under her name. With the death of grandpa, we found out that wills are not valid in Utah. Sure, you can have one, but it is guaranteed that it will go into probate. The only way to guarantee that the chances of the estate going into probate being slim to none is to have a trust. So, grandma paid for a trust to be created. In the trust is how she wants the estate divided, among other things. She placed my father as the main executor of the trust, and his oldest brother in Washington as the secondary. As per grandpa’s wishes.

Here comes the truck…the brother and sister in Salt Lake keep insisting that grandpa gave them the truck, or that dad should put the truck back into the estate under the trust. Problem with that. Grandpa signed it over to dad, full and well aware of his actions, and gave the truck over weeks before he died. There was no trust in place at the time, and it was pre-death. The truck should be non-issue. well, nobody accounted for vulture-like behavior…though knowing this family, we should have. Hell, we can’t even get together for a family reunion without verbal, and sometimes physical, fights occurring.

But, it starts there. With the truck. Now grandma has Alzheimer’s and is hard of hearing. She is still pretty competent. she has her issues, but for this point of time, she is fairly competent.

Now, Gayle (the youngest that lives about 6 hours away), has been able to come up and help. her health is still just as bad, but her daughter successfully gave birth. She has been coming up to help clean and get things straightened up. This in between having to go to California to help settle her brother-in-law’s estate…and now also her father-in-laws estate. (They died within a month of each other, give or take). But she still is finding time to come up to help as much as she can. Of course, the eldest, Brent, cannot come down. It was hard enough financially and time-wise to come down for the funeral. We understand. We will be taking grandma up there soon to visit him.

Debbie and Terry? well, Debbie hasn’t come up since before grandpa died. Terry has, but only to try to take grandma…hmmm which to tell first?

Debbie. The weekend that grandpa died, we knew it was finally time. Dad let Debbie know, but Debbie responded that she and her husband were going to Wendover. They had tickets, rooms, and it was their anniversary. And they did. They chose to go to Wendover to gamble and watch shows instead of coming to tell her father goodbye for the last time. Just hours before he died, Grandpa asked where Debbie was, and dad had to tell him that she chose to go play than to come say goodbye to him. He died knowing where her priorities lay.

At the funeral, Signe stood and told all of the attendants that she told her husband, Terry, that if he ever got as grouchy as my grandpa did, she will leave him. She also stated that she married the best Dumas. Mind you, this was at the funeral, standing by grandpa’s body.

Now, dad did everything for the funeral…all of the arrangements and decisions, with the help of me and mom. grandma was too devastated to follow what was happening. He tried to get Debbie and Terry to help since they live so close…they refused to. When it came to choosing his casket, we went with the simplest wood one…because, grandpa was a very simple man, very down to earth. It happened to be the cheapest. Debbie threw a fit because it still cost too much money. One of my cousins died a while back after being mentally and physically incapacitated following a car accident in his youth…a accident my own brother would have been involved in as well if he hadn’t decided not to go to the concert at the last minute. Cody was only 16 when the accident happened. We put in the obituary that grandpa was preceded in death by a grandson, who was taken too soon in life. Again, Debbie complained that we put that line in, because it cost too much money, even though Grandma paid for everything…not Debbie, not my dad, not anyone but grandma. When the time for the funeral came, Terry said that he wanted to do such-and-such parts…but the day of, he said he might as well do every part with how many dad had listed down for him and that he wasn’t going to do them. so minutes before the funeral, things were frantically rearranged. And when we got the recording of the funeral, we gave him one and Signe said…in front of grandma, “now you can show your congregation how you had to bail your brother out at the funeral.” He is LDS, but not a bishop…

Okay, so we come forward 3 months. A man shows up on our doorstep. He talks with us for a few, saying he is checking to see how grandma is doing after all of the changes. Then, close to the end of his visit, he tells dad that he is an investigator for the Department of Human Services and that they had had a report of elderly abuse from us to grandma. Of course, he found not a single shred of evidence. He told dad that if all elderly were taken care of as well as grandma is cared for, then all elderly would live happily. Then Terry and Signe come up a week later and take grandma…initially without any of her medications, and without telling us until they were several miles away. We were pissed. They came back to get what grandma needed, but took her to Salt Lake. They did not care that she had two doctor appointments that week. They were going to keep her the whole week. When dad told them she had an appointment with the IRS, and might possibly be fined many thousands of dollars, he told dad that he would bring her back the next day. Which they did. They, well Signe and a companion, did. That evening, she got dizzy and fell. hard. At this time, she still lived across the street by herself.

It was two days later that she remembered that Signe had taken her to a bank and had grandma sign for debit cards…one for Signe, one for Debbie (though Debbie claims no knowledge of this) and had stated that she, Signe, would get debit cards for her children as well. But at that time, just her and Debbie. There is quite a chunk of change in that account. But because grandma had remembered, mom was able to get on the phone and with the local branch of that bank, get things canceled and fixed.

Insert many heated verbal exchanges over phone and email throughout the following couple of weeks.

Then comes last Sunday. Grandma calls, crying forcefully. Terry and Signe are there and are yelling and screaming at her. Dad rushes over to find out what in the hell is going on. Terry screams at dad and dad says/yells things back. Terry comes out of the chair at dad in an aggressive manner, when dad said if he didn’t knock the shit off, he was going to drop him, and dad grabs him by the throat. The minute dad did, Terry is yelling for Signe to call the cops and yelling to dad “I got you now! I got you now!” Signe calls, and reports assault and elderly abuse. And of course, grandma is crying hysterically in the background. So the cops come up. but before they get here, dad and Terry talk. Their main problem…they believe dad is going to take grandma for everything she has. Dad is not the one that came and virtually cleaned his mother’s house of possessions. Dad is not the one that signed up for debit cards. (Which legally they couldn’t even do that, because dad has power of attorney over grandma and she cannot sign for things like that without him or Brent being present.). Dad is the one that found thousands of dollars throughout her house and deposited it into her account. The cop was about ready to throw both of them in jail and let the judge hash it out. Well,

Before this happened, after the first elderly abuse charge was filed, we were told that grandma had to come here and live before winter, and that we have to keep track of every dime that is spent. Fine. no problem. After the confrontation with Terry, we have grandma living here and the accounts sealed so that no one can get a hold of the money except the signers.

Come today. and this is the last straw. Debbie calls the police dispatch out here (there is no 911 here LOL) and gets very vocal and insistent that they come out to our house for a well-fare checkup, that there is elderly abuse going on. Which makes it three unfounded reports.

Our speculation of their goal they are trying to achieve here? to get dad arrested, knowing neither mom nor I can drive, nor can grandma. So he would be in jail, with no one up here able to do anything about it immediately, so that one of them can come take grandma away from us.

It is a mess. It really is. Dad is so stressed out from it that he is at high risk for a stress-induced heart attack from this all. **Sigh** I am just sick about everything. This is not how family is supposed to treat each other. this is not how it is supposed to be. Hell, grandma is still alive and they are trying to get all of her possessions and money…when she needs it to live…for food and care….**sigh**ghouls.

Language *and* Words That Bug Me – "Staycation"

I am going to start a series here on my blog about words (or phrases) that bug me personally. there are so many words that are overused or just idiotic in language. And it makes me grind my teeth whenever I hear them anymore.

Sure, there are clever words developed all the time…okay, maybe not all the time…but for every cute or clever words, there are dozens that are horrendous…*derisive laugh* and it is is usually the horrendous ones that are overused.

I do not know why some words are created to for something that is better covered by the former description. every generation has to leave their mark somehow…but as each generation creates new words or phrases, the beauty of language is getting lost…and this is from a woman/writer (me of course LOL) who believes that the human language is woefully inadequate…that there is no way to truly express the emotions or beauty in language. Think of this…we have gone from where language in of itself was poetic. that the phrasing of even the simplest of things would roll off the tongue. some called it superfluous, and since started to “simplify” language, yet the “simplification” of language has become very unromantic, brief, and in some cases, even ugly. I am not talking about specific dialects, but of language as a whole. in the simplification of language, we have lost the beauty that words themselves once had. We have taken something that once would have taken several beats to say, down to abbreviating it to letters.

For example; text talk. (which is another peeve I will discuss in a later blog). It works fine for messaging on the phone, and even in games…sometimes in online writing such as blogs or chat rooms…it becomes totally different when it is spoken in regular conversations.

And we wonder why languages are so hard to learn, especially English.

I tend to get stuck on phrases in my writing that I notice I use just a little too much…and I try to correct that when I catch it, and I am not the only author that does get stuck using the same word or descriptive phrase over and over again. I have read several series that are 6+ books (or more) in the series, and I can start seeing a trend from the author of the same word over and over again, both in the same book, and over the entire series. For instance, one series the author uses the word “tawny” to describe almost every male main character and sometimes even the female characters. and this series has around 20 books in it (give or take a few).

So, the word that I am about ready to kill over is the word: staycation. Everywhere I turn people, especially media, is using this word. I didn’t care for it when it first cropped up, and my hatred of it only increases whenever I hear it.

the official meaning of it from merriam-webster.com is:

Staycation (noun)
Etymology: blend of stay and vacation
"A vacation spent at home or nearby"
Staycationer

What happened to the good old-fashioned “day trip” or “sunday drive”? Why staycation? Even if you go elsewhere in your state for a few days, it is still a vacation, yet this word is used to describe virtually anything except a trip via plane and the such.I can understand a car trip across a state as a vacation as well…but it is still not a staycation.

Hellooooo. I would love to shout out to everyone who uses this word the eliminate it from their vocabulary. *nashes teeth* In my opinion, it is a word that neeeveeeerrrr should have been created.

I will scream and run from the room if I ever begin to read that word in a book LOL. (see, there is that danged text talk again.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

5 pages

finished five pages today…some on The Prank and some on Mu…I was going really good when I got disturbed and the concentration and words just shattered. I couldn’t even finish the sentence I was working on because it just all fragmented. been a while since I have been deep into the story that just a single question from someone can shatter the illusion I was building on page, in my mind and in my surroundings. It has been even longer since I was actually able to see what I was writing. I felt really close to breaking that wall that blocked my ability to '’see” the scenes instead of going about it with just my other senses. needless to say, the minute it shattered, I blew up. I was so pissed…beyond what the situation warranted. I need to go apologize to mom for letting loose on her. I literally slammed off my monitor, picked up my phones (will be glad when I don’t have to babysit 2 phones LOL), pushed my chair into my desk and stormed out of the room, literally growling. but, it also showed me that when I get ready to write anything, I need to put a sign on the door and lock myself in…or rather, lock others out. Gawds, but I have a headache now from the abrupt change from creativity to reality. usually doesn’t happen this bad, course, I didn’t sleep until 6 this morning and was back up at 10:30…way too little sleep LOL. maybe I can sneak back in later and work some more. my fingers are crossed ;-)

Monday, July 20, 2009

what to do next…

things are so exciting here **note the sarcasm** LOL. I have so many projects going that I don’t think I am making any real progress on any of them. I read one of my horoscopes yesterday that described it perfectly. Now, keep in mind that this is a sarcastic horoscope, and not a regular one…" “ready, set, go, go go! It’s not often you have days when you actually accomplish something.” Now if that doesn’t say it all. hehe. I am loving the sarcastic horoscopes. The day before yesterday was “You know deep down that nothing about your life will ever be as good as everyone else’s.” slam! LOL.

So, what have I “accomplished” today? hmm I did get a little bit of writing done…course, that was more during the middle of the night than it was during the day…I have been going through my computer and getting rid of the duplicate songs, making sure the names are correct, fixing the genres. I went over to the “guest house” with mom and we cleaned…cleaned big time. Grandma is moving in there tomorrow and so we have to get it so she can live in it…it was more of a flop house than a guest house for my brothers and sisters-in-law, so it was not too clean…from me moving out of it to go to Washington, then moving back into it, then moving back out of it to move back into the main house, then everybody using it as guest house…things were pretty chaotic.

Which brings us to tomorrow…more cleaning over there, moving grandma in, cleaning my bedroom from all of the stuff I brought over from the guest house…and working on my music more. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to start getting in there to start adjusting the music so that the songs don’t have such a range of ultra quiet to medium to VERY LOUD. I get tired of manually adjusting the volume LOL. then of course, I will work on writing. Might have to get up a little early to do it…naw. I will just do what I do now and do everything else in between the writing LOL.

For tonight…unless Galock starts bugging me with a specific scene to write (bossy muse at times, but love him), I am going to go try to get some of these muscles to stop spasming LOL.

good night all! (yes, I know that it is only 5 PM Mountain…but, my body says otherwise LOL)

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