Currently, my life is being made miserable by the Hood Canal Bridge.....or, rather, the absence of it. I'm not the only one, I know. We, out here on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State depend on that frickin' bridge to get us to civilization (aka Seattle). There's a lot of us who commute to areas that are on the other side of that bridge, and not having it there is a major major BITCH. See, it's like this:
The red line represents the route if I happened to own my own airplane and could fly to my destination. Unfortunately I don't have a plane. Well I used to have my own plane, but sold it after numerous employers would not submit to my demands for my own personal runway. See I told you there was no benefits in the culinary industry.
The purple line represents how far I have to drive around all that water to get to my destination. On a good day it's 4 1/2-5 hours with no traffic. But of course there's traffic, 'cause everybody else has to drive around too. Before the bridge work happened, the state and counties were pretty good about preparing for the 6 week closure by having transit operations work together, getting extra buses, scheduling them to meet up with one another, and implementing a water shuttle to take passengers across the Hood Canal. The water shuttle? Good idea!
The green line represents my twice weekly route. I park at a park and ride on one side, take a bus to the passenger ferry shuttle thingy, take a 10 minute ride across the canal, then take another bus to the other park and ride where I have my other car, then drive my car to the Edmonds/Kingston Ferry, wait for that, then there's a 20 minute ride, then drive my car off and proceed to drive 45 more minutes to my Mom's house. Sound like a bitch? It is. But it's the best route for me, and a lot of other people.
Now the water shuttle works fine as long as there's no stormy weather or wind to jeopardize its trips. But c'mon, this is Washington, where rain is the norm! The water shuttle gets canceled once the water starts to get a little choppy, because they are worried about docking and getting people on and off the boat. Today was one of those days....where the shuttle was canceled most of the afternoon. This screws up a lot of people, especially since they don't really have a backup plan when the shuttle can't run. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be worse, and I have to travel again. I don't want to go through what I went through last week, but I may have to. I can't cancel my trip 'cause Mom needs me and my brother is coming into town too, so I think another long trek is in the cards. This whole thing just sucks.
If it weren't for Mom I wouldn't really have to travel off the Peninsula at all during the bridge closure. I could stay up here in cozy little Port Townsend and not miss the tourists who aren't coming. But Mom comes first, so travel I must. They told me in elementary school by the time the Year 2000 came, we'd have flying cars. Where's my &*$%&#@!!! flying car!!!!!???
I know I haven't blogged in a while but there hasn't been much to report.....especially about pastry since I'm not currently working as a pastry chef. Caring for my mom has been my chief job, and it's exhausting in it's own brain torturing way.
I did take my Mom to see the tulips in the Skagit Valley and they were awe inspiring......
Can you believe I got these pics with my iPhone? It's not a bad little camera for being on a phone. It was a perfect warm spring day when we went.....we got lucky.
Other than that, it's just been traveling back and forth between Redmond and Port Townsend, which has been made more difficult by the closure of the Hood Canal Bridge. My normal 2 hour commute has turned into 4 hours (on a good day). Last Tuesday the wind was so bad, the water ferry that takes people across the Hood Canal was out of service because the water was so choppy that it could not dock. So I took a 3 hour bus ride all the way around to Port Gamble, got my car, drove to the Kingston Ferry, took that, then got off and drove to Mom's. Total travel time? 8 hours. Yep. I'll be so glad when the bridgework is done and that damn thing re-opens. This has been such a hassle. It's like living on an island out here in Port Townsend. Taking out the bridge is like severing an artery......a major life giving artery. We're hoping the tourist based businesses here in town can ride it out, because tourism, obviously, is down.
Enough whining. No wait, I have plenty more whining to do. It's my blog, I can cry if I want to.
There is one ray of hope actually. I'm finally losing some weight. 7.5 lbs so far. No miracle diet.....I'm just counting calories with the help of my iPhone......yep, there's an app for that. It's called, "Lose It" if anyone wants to know.....and it's freakin' free! I think being away from the bakery is helping too.....I'm not eating all those little trimmings and scraps that happen in the pastry kitchen, or any kitchen for that matter.
Ok, back to whining. My mom is doing fairly well physically, basically because I'm there to make sure she takes her medicine and eats and gets up and around occasionally. She fails to thrive on her own and will neglect herself to the point where she does get sick and ends up in the hospital. So really, at this point it is my job to babysit her, run errands, cook, take her out, refill her medicine boxes, etc. She takes so many meds it's almost rocket science to fill her boxes....there's no way she could do it herself. She no longer drives (good thing) and really has no interest in much of anything. She's unable to really carry on any kind of conversation so long periods of time go by where not much is said other than commenting on the weather. She sleeps a lot.
Her lack of cognition and short term memory loss can be frustrating. She asks me what day it is several times in the day, and it's not like it's even important......to her, every day is the same......why worry WHAT day it is? It's going to be the same boring routine day......after day......after day.......after day.........
This routine is rotting my brain. I need to bring some books along with me, since I know I'm not going to get stimulating conversation while I'm there. I've been watching too much TV......and almost getting addicted to the soaps. But not quite. I won't let myself watch enough of the episode to fully understand what's going on, so that keeps me at arm's length. "All My Children" keeps trying to pull me in though.......Susan Lucci doesn't freakin' age I swear!
There are some funny things that crack me up about soaps. I love how every "room" on every set is so lavishly decorated. No clutter.....as if the maid is there 24/7. Even if children are supposedly present in the household, there's no toys for the actors to trip over and the kids don't have much in the way of roles except to say, "Daddy, when is Mommy coming home?" And he'll say, "Soon, son,(even though I actually had her kidnapped) now go up to your room". No tantrums. The kid exits the set and is supposedly happily playing out of the parent's way so they can focus on their own stupid problems. And also, every room has a wet bar. As the actors are discussing their problems, there's always a decanter of hard liquor around. Never a bottle of Johnnie Walker.......it's always decanted. This, I'm sure is because the soap doesn't want to pay the product placement royalty.....or whatever you call it. I also love that they wake up in the morning as fresh as a daisy, or looking perfect after a rowdy nooner. I think I've been watching the soaps with my mom just to have a good laugh. They shouldn't even be called soap operas anymore. They don't advertise much soap.....mostly it's prescription drugs, like Singulair, Astepro, Vesicare, Caduet.......that, along with the prodigious drinking going on in the soaps themselves, they should be called "Drug and Alcohol" Operas..........
See I told you I've been watching too much TV. Another thing I've discovered is that Oprah is a hack and gives way too much air tiime to woo-woo ideas and woo-woo people. She is Queen Woo as far as I'm concerned. Oh, and I still suck at "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy". Actually those Jeopardy questions are hard......I feel like such a pea brain after that show.
Ok, enough TV.......but you know this blog reflects my life as it currently is. I wish I could share some exciting pastry stories or show some pics of cakes I've done.....but......alas.......the life of a caregiver isn't nearly exciting as life at the bakery. Jewlz keeps me apprised of what is going on at the bakery, and it's definitely a soap opera there; I love hearing "the latest", so I still feel semi involved. I stop by a lot. There will be a couple of cakes I have to do for a fundraiser on June 7th, so if they're picture-worthy, I'll post them.
What the hell? Any regular reader of this blog knows how much I respect and love Rachael Ray....ummmm...NOT. EVOO? I know that's her little "term" but now it's really on bottles of extra virgin olive oil. Just think how many bottles will sell because "EVOO" is on it. "Look honey! I've been trying to find EVOO for ages ever since I started watching Rachael Ray, and now the stores actually sell it! Wow, let's buy TWO!"