Tuesday, January 30, 2007


...I am so full of anger and frustration, I want to feel as though this ring on my finger is burning, and I try to imagine that feeling so I can yank it off.
But it never does burn, it just sits there comfortably.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Is That The Garbage Man?

There was a man digging through the dumpster outside of my apartment this morning. He arrived in a car that was obviously sick, as you could hear it coming minutes before it arrived. I watched with interest through the bedroom window to see what he would dig out.

When he left his haul included:

a stuffed bear with the tag still intact
a stuffed turtle (which was so cute from a distance)
numerous plastic bottles and cans (when he pulled out the half-full Gatorade I said, "Oh please please don't drink that." He didn't, he dumped it.)
a bag of something edible (not sure what it was)

Good to see the garbage is going to someone who needs it. I mean, really, it takes nerve to dumpster-dive. Nerve and need.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Is There Anthrax On Me?

Alright, so today was pretty funny. And sad. I can't help it, it was more humorous than sad. My client this morning was bipolar schizophrenic. He saw and spoke to people that I couldn't see or hear. All of his mail is being sent to him with anthrax on it. A Native American woman is following him from Gresham to here and she won't give him his money, because she is involved with the terrorists and George Bush. He was a nice guy, and it pained me to see him so not...okay, I guess is the word. I was able to elicit more information from him than the last worker had, and he was sweet enough to ask me, "Are you sure you didn't get any anthrax on you?" after I handed him his papers back. He told me that everything was okay as long as I wasn't wearing a wire. (I told him "Not today.")
I couldn't get much helpful information from him, but it was obvious he needed medication. So I granted him MediCal and got him a Homeless Bag (contains blanket and pillow, etc.) and sent him on his way. I couldn't give him food stamps, as he was getting food stamps in three other states.
It annoys me that in order to grant someone else MediCal, someone who is "okay", we require so much information; if we don't get it, too bad so sad, no MediCal.
On the other hand, I kinda wish I could just hang out with him for awhile. I'd like to hear more about the things he sees and hears. Seems like it would be very intriguing.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

My Authority

A few days ago while picking up the J's from school, I noticed that Big J sure did look rosy-cheeked and doe-eyed. In fact...on closer inspection, I deduced that she was wearing make-up! Mascara, eyeshadow, and blush. I didn't say anything. I gave her a weird look, but kept my mouth shut. I could tell that she had gone to some effort to wipe it off. The only make-up I really let her wear is lip gloss. Go lip gloss crazy, whatever.
The next day? Yesterday. Again, when picking them up I noticed she was wearing make-up! It didn't look bad or overdone, and someone who didn't give birth to her wouldn't notice, I'll bet. I couldn't help myself, so I asked "Uh, are you wearing makeup? You're not allowed to wear makeup to school."
She replied, "I didn't wear it to school. I put in on during afterschool care. And some of it's mine and some is Courtney's. By the way, I wore some yesterday that I did put on in the morning and you didn't notice."
Crap. She had me there, if only on a technicality. I had a talk with her on the way to the truck about how makeup doesn't make her "more pretty" and how "less is more" and how one can "catch diseases from sharing eye-makeup". She nodded her head and looked interested.
"So can I buy my own mascara so I don't have to use Courtney's?" she asked.
I still don't understand how it happened...but somehow, she got me to agree that she could wear brown mascara and light eyeshadow. I put my foot down on the blush, telling her that in this cold weather her cheeks are naturally rosy and anything more would be an overkill. I'll think of something else before Spring arrives.
When I think about the conversation in my head, I do a "Whatwhatwhat?! Your daughter is ten! What are you thinking?!"
And I can't answer myself. I don't know how it happened! She's growing up and it's hurting. She doesn't look ten, when my friends meet her they wonder how on earth I have a twelve year old. That's no excuse though, now is it?
So I told her this morning (when she came out wearing tasteful brown eyeshadow and asking to use my mascara) that as long as she promised me she wouldn't look like a "hoochie-whore", I was okay with it.
But I'm SO not. But only on the inside. Because I know to nag would spark a rebellion, and she's way too young for that.
I 'm pretty sure.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

My Ninth Christmas

When I was nine years old, I wanted a kitten more than anything. I would pray every night for Santa or God or Whoever to bring me a kitten. I remember really wanting an orange kitty, but my parents remember it as a gray kitten.

Christmas morning, I awoke to the sounds of meowing coming from the living room. Meowing? Nah, couldn't be...could it? I thought my dad might have been teasing me. I crept out to the living room, and under the tree was a big white box with a red bow. The box had holes punched in the lid.

I can see it in my mind like it was yesterday,that is, if yesterday was 18 years ago. Inside that big white box was the cutest, sweetest, most adorable little gray kitten I had ever seen, and I fell in love instantly. After picking up that kitty and letting him scoot around the house, I decided he did exactly that. So I named him Scooter.

Scooter slept in my bed with me, under the covers, down by my feet. He would chew on my toes very gently, and I loved it. My parents knew not to sit on the lower half of my bed lest they sit on Scooter.

To my eternal shame and sadness, when my parents divorced I stopped seeing Scooter. I was 16 and into being a wild teenager. I lived with my dad and Scooter stayed with my mom. Sadly, one day my mother broke the news to me that she had had to put Scooter to sleep. I was seventeen and pregnant, and very emotional. Things with my mother were still pretty rocky, and to ask questions or show emotion near her was not something I was going to do. I didn't ask her to clarify, I just accepted it and cried in the privacy of my room. I still cry sometimes. I've got tears in my eyes while I'm writing this.

Every so often I dream about Scooter. The dreams are weird, strange. They always have something to do with Scooter bleeding from his behind or underneath. Although we're on good terms now, I don't have the nerve to ask my mother the reason why she had Scooter put to sleep, if in fact that is what happened. (When they had to get rid of my brother's dog-also due to the divorce-she told him that they had found the dog "a nice farm to live on". Years later she told me, "Don't tell your brother but the dog had to go to Haven Humane.") Somewhere inside I think I know that something bad happened to Scooter, and I don't know if I can take that pain of knowing he was hurt. And the thing that kills me? I never got to say goodbye. And if she really had him put to sleep because of an illness, and not an accident, then knowing that she didn't let me say goodbye would certainly have an effect on my feelings towards my mother.

The dreams though...they've gotta' stop. I need to be at peace with this somehow, and I'm not sure how to find that peace.

Monday, January 22, 2007

I've Stopped Asking

In my chosen career, I meet a lot of different types of people. Some of them are drug felons, some are homeless, some are parolees of some type or the other. Lots of people from all areas of life. During the interviewing process, I can pretty much ask the client whatever I want that concerns their life-situation.
Instead of asking, "Oh, you just got out of prison? What was your conviction?" I now just ask, "Are you a convicted drug felon?" (Drug felons cannot get food stamps. Sex offenders may.)
I got tired of finding out that my client is a sex offender. I have to be impartial in my job, and I cannot treat any client differently from any other. But when I find out that the person sitting across from me has been convicted of hurting someone, especially a child, I can't help it. Outward, my demeanor does not change. But on the inside? On the inside, I get so frustrated that I have to help someone who hurt a child. I'm a mother, I know the danger. I can go on the Megan's Law website and see my client's picture and what their offense was.
As a mother, I want to scream and say things like, No you can't have food stamps! Why in the fuck should you be helped after what you did?!"
But I can't. And I don't. So I've stopped asking, if just to save myself the thoughts that every mother thinks. "What if it were my child?"

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Please Step Away From The Kitchen

It has recently come to my attention that I am a deplorable cook. It's not that I thought I was a great cook, heck, even a good cook. It was when Little J wouldn't eat Ramen noodles because they tasted "like yucky pickles", that I started to wonder...
There was the infamous Pork Chops evening. It started out well, and smelled delicious, if not a little lime-y. When it came to actually eating it for dinner though...um, jeez, I don't even want to go here...it was gross. I put one bite in my mouth and promptly spit it out. I didn't even aim for the trash or a napkin, it needed to be out of my mouth right then. After spitting it out of his mouth, my fiance remarked on what a "strong citrus flavor" it had. My aversion to anything lime-flavored continues to this day. I smell limes and I gag on the inside. Okay, and sometimes on the outside.
Just last night was Mac and Cheese night! How can you screw up mac and cheese, you ask? It's very simple. Just make sure you let the noodles burn slightly in the pot before you drain them. That's it. I just gave up after that and called for pizza.
Big J has had to learn to make Ramen herself, out of necessity. Little J loves ramen noodles, which is fantastic, because they're like, what, ten cents a package? Apparently there's a certain way to make them that I haven't figured out. Boil water, check. Dump in noodles, check. Noodles get soft, add seasoning, yadda yadda. What the fuck is the problem?! Do I not boil correctly? It's freakin' Top Ramen for fucks sake! See, I get all agitated and start spewing curse words when faced with my inabilty to prepare noodles for a five-year-old!!
I can remember as a child "experimenting" in the kitchen. I would take a little of this and a little of that, and think I prepared something absolutely scrumptious. Who doesn't like beer muffins? Cookies made without flour? And my particular favorite...rock soup. The dog wouldn't eat it, any of it. He backed away, whining, from everything. Dumb dog!
Are there cooking classes for kitchen-challenged women? I should have known there was a problem when my Home-Ec teacher gently suggested woodshop...

Saturday, January 20, 2007

What's Sad...

...is when I can have a lengthy, in-depth, lively discussion with a bunch of eight and nine-year-olds about playing The Sims2. And we all learned something new.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Floating We Will Go

I bought a boat yesterday. Those of you who know me, I know what you're thinking. "A what? Does that say 'boat'? Why on earth did she buy a boat?"
I bought a 1973 Chris Craft boat that has a 350 Corvette engine in it. It goes fast.
I know, I know, I haven't answered the glaringly obvious question yet.
Last summer we went out on a nearby lake with said boat and had a great time. When the owner wanted to sell it, for a very affordable price, well...heck, why not? I mean, who doesn't want a boat?
Certainly not I. Me?
We can take the boat out this summer and find great camping spots, far away from the drunken fire-happy morons we seemed to find last summer. I can say things like, "Hey, we're going out on the boat this weekend, wanna' come?" Or, "Mr. SoandSo, would you like to go waterskiing next weekend?" Even better is "Girls, would you like to invite a friend to go boating?"
BrokeMom is a boat owner. Who'd a thunk it?

There's a link to a picture of the boat I bought...but rest assured, I got a better deal than $13,000. Good grief did I.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

_______teen and Pregnant

In my job as Welfare Worker, I get four new applications a day. This means four new families in crisis, and they all want something "Right Now". Some want food stamps, some healthcare, some want cash. Along with every person is a different situation, different lifestyle, and different "stuff". Now, I have to be impartial in this job. A big part of interviewing for the job was talking about how to deal with situations that I might not necessarily agree with.

Last week, I saw a 16 year old pregnant girl. She wanted Welfare Healthcare to go and get an abortion. When I see these young pregnant girls, I want to cry. First, I wonder why in the heck they weren't using birth control. Then the voice in my head says, "You got pregnant at seventeen. You weren't using birth control." When the girl tells me that she wants to terminate the pregnancy, on the inside I'm relieved. I think about what an array of choices they'll have available to them without children at such a young age. I offer the girls what resources are available to them (counseling and whatnot) and work my ass off to grant their case so they don't have to miss thier abortion appointment.

16 year old girl called me this morning and told me that she has decided to "keep it". Inevitably, the next question out of her mouth (out of all thier mouths) is "When can I apply for cash aid?"
Rather than terminate the pregnancy, graduate highschool and make something out of herself, she wants to have a baby at 16 and live on welfare.

That stupid voice! It says, "You decided to have a baby at 17. You were on welfare. And look at you now! You didn't let it hold you back forever, now did you?" The strange thing is, when I see a client who comes in to apply for Welfare Healthcare and knows immediately that she is going to continue with the pregnancy, I tell her this:
"Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it. It's hard, but you can. Know this."
It's just irritating when they wobble back and forth. But I don't say a word out loud. And you know what? Whatever her choice, when she's leaving, I tell her "Good luck." Because whatever the outcome, and whatever choice she makes, she's going to need it.

Monday, January 15, 2007


There was a lull in the bedroom. While shopping, a sexy black nighty caught my eye..."Ah-ha!" I thought, "This'll do the trick!"
It most certainly did do the trick.I let him fuck me in it four ways to Sunday...and then I realized that the actual wearing/sleeping in the nighty was not great. The straps itched!
No matter, I saved the tags. And I returned it. So if you are heading to Old Navy in my area, you might wanna' rethink that whole Black Nightgown Size L thing...

To The Ex-Wife

Dear Ex-Wife,

I spout off a bunch of crap about how I "can't judge you because I don't know you", and how I'm "sure that you had your reasons for doing what you did", but c'mon...we both know it's bullshit. I judge you. I think that you're a horrible person. Yes, I'm only hearing one side of the story, but that side is pretty incriminating!
You took the children "on vacation" and never came back. You then told the children that their father wanted nothing to do with them. Don't deny this, I've heard it straight from your son. Your ex-husband knows you lied, your son knows you lied, and your daughter will also know you lied. Oh hey, guess what? The courts are going to be involved soon, what are you going to do then?
The man I am engaged to used to be a very sad man. (This is the same man whose children you stole, in case you're wondering.) I consider myself to be a pretty crafty woman, and I took it upon myself to find two "missing" children. I never thought I'd say this, but thank goodness for MySpace! The Sad Man is now a Glad Man, and your lies have been uncovered.
On a personal note...how could you? How could you?! No matter the differences you and he had, what gives you the right to take them away? I've talked to your son, and he remembers what life was like with his father, he remembers the life-lessons that his father taught him. What did you think you were accomplishing by doing what you did? Did you think your children would thank you later? Did you think you wouldn't be found? Seriously, what in the fuck were you thinking?!


To The Denny's Waitress

Dear Underpaid Denny's Waitress,

Brunch was delicious, we enjoyed it very much. You were right on top of the sodas and napkins, and didn't blink an eye when we asked for yet more syrup and an extra plate.
Had I any cash in my wallet, I would have left you a little something near the ketchup bottle, however, I have neglected to go to the ATM lately. I meant to add on a tip to the bill when I paid with my debit card, but strangely enough, my debit card was sitting at home in my pants pocket. Flustered, I paid the bill with my MasterCard...without a tip.
Boy, were those pancakes delicious though!

BrokeMom and Family

Sunday, January 14, 2007

What's Write For Me

I miss the anonomous blogging. I miss writing for myself, without worrying if people who know me will be reading this.
I write to let the creative juices flow. I write to clarify situations to myself, for myself. I write to purge, to let it out before I overflow. I write for those who cannot, or will not. I write to be one voice out of millions...but it's my voice. I write to hear the voice.
I write to see, to hear, to touch what means the most to me.
I write because I can.