Thursday, January 29, 2015

Not Enabling

Scotty's been invited to do the WIA Program that was very beneficial to Martin and Allen, as they needed tutoring and job help.  I protested, "But Scotty's real smart, he doesn't need the tutoring," not wanting to not be honest.

"We've changed the program to trying to help more people who will obviously succeed," she informed me.

"Yeah, I know," I grumbled, "Y'all wouldn't help my kid who needed it the most."

"How is JoJo?" she asked me.  Dang, how'd she know I was talking about him?  This is her first year doing this project.

I'm glad to report that JoJo's doing super fine, I'm very proud of him.  I know it's been tough without his family surrounding him, but he has persevered.

I'm meeting with the WIA people today regarding Scotty.  This'll give him a summer job.

So this is helping in a true way.  Giving a job, requiring work to be done.  This isn't a handout.  Scotty will do great, as did Allen and Martin.

If you are an enabler to someone, it is likely because you see them as a victim. But guess what? Enabling IS a type of victimization.

When people aren’t challenged to do as much as they possibly can to help themselves, they learn to constantly look for answers, remedies, solutions and fixes outside of themselves. They begin to feel powerless, useless, incapable, needy. Sadly, the more they feel that way, the more they attract circumstances that prove them right. The more they attract those negative circumstances, the worse they feel. The worse they feel, the worse it gets. This cycle is a vicious one.

As I look back, I wish I'd have helped less with some of my grown kids.  Seriously.  My helping, in some cases, prevented them from learning that they could succeed on their own.  If I rush in to prevent an issue, then how will they learn from overcoming the challenge?

Right now CW is working three third shifts a week, from 10:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., often later into the morning.  He comes home and sleeps, then he has to study and go to class.  I admire this.  I don't feel sorry for him having to carry that load.  I worked through college in a variety of jobs, and as I look over my grown kids, I find that the ones who worked so hard all the way through college are now very successful.

I also have some grown kids who simply won't work, they keep quitting jobs, moving out without paying rent, crapping up their credit, and they just don't care.  I have to force myself also to emotionally withdraw, not even give my opinion, nor any advice.  They wouldn't wanna do what I would advise, as it would mean self-sacrifice, taking the high road, doing that which is difficult.  They'd rather rip people off, and I'm embarrassed about it.

I raised them better'n that, but they rejected so much of my advice as old school.

I can't fix it for them.  And even if I could, I shouldn't, because they'd never learn.  I don't know if they'll ever learn anyway.

I have to not dwell on it, it's oppressive to me, it's depressing and discouraging, and I have too much to do with kids who do heed my advice, I need to continue encouraging those who are hard working and pushing forward.

And it's not about my old school value system, it's in regard to laws, or contracts, promises, and not taking from others.

I'll end with this from The Change Blog:  If you really want to help someone, envision them in a more favorable light than they can see. See them at their best, even if they can’t show it to you. Help them to access their own strength, to reach their full potential. Challenge them to own up to who they really are—to feel the joy of personal empowerment and self-confidence. In everything you do for another, do it with this vision of them firmly planted in your mind’s eye.

As you continue reaching out to help others, I hope you’ll keep in mind the difference between helping and enabling. Always remember to look at your intentions, your motives, your actions and your outcomes. If you find that you need to make some changes, let your hope and faith, not your guilt and fears, guide the way.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Gardening? I Get It

My adoption blog has become very much less so, as I try and recover from hazardous parenting, having survived the violence and the rages, the destruction, the acting out, and the fall out from it all.  It was nobody's fault.  I parented angry kids and this I understand.  I'd be angry too if I'd undergone their trials and tribulations.  On no planet could it called called a fair start to life.

I still see it crippling some of my grown kids, I still see some running from the pain, or self-medicating, not dealing with it at all.

That thought illustrates another reason why I myself fought any sort of medication for me, an antidepressant or anti anxiety pills, as tempting as it'd seem to wrap myself in a cloud, I strongly felt, for me and for me alone, that I needed to feel, to be aware, and to work through it all.

A good call?  Yes, I think so.  For me, at least.

And coming off this strange planet in which I've resided for going onto 30 years, I find the world to be a bit too odd for me.  I don't feel as if I fit in, but I think that sense of alienation might be common overall to most folks, thus the alarming statistics regarding how many adults are on psychotropic medications.

I deal with it by hauling wood chips.  It works for me.

There's little out in the world that interests me except for the beach.  Yes, I do love the beach.

I cleaned the house from top to bottom yesterday, hauling off a truckload of crap - does it multiply?  The broken pieces exponentially outnumbering us all?  The more I declutter, the more it fights back, wanting to maintain its place in my house?  Nah, I don't think so.  I dream about living here all alone someday amongst, I dunno, nothing.

Except jars and jars of preserved foods from my gardens.  "Your tomato sauce is so freaking simple, but so dang good," CW crowed, eating a huge plate of leftovers.

All I do is run the freshly-picked tomatoes through the food processor, barely even cored, adding oregano and basil from my gardens.  When reconstituted later in the winter, the amazing summer aromas of tomatoes burst out, making me long for July.  Commercial sauces de-seed, and there's my issue.

I've mentioned this many, many times, my seed theory.  If one tiny tomato seed can grow up into a six-to-eight foot tall plant with countless pounds of tomatoes - what a powerhouse this one tiny seed must be?  Why eliminate it?  I love the texture of seeds in my food anyway.  One tomato has a ton of seeds, my sauces are loaded with seeds.

The leftover spaghetti is twice as good, the whole wheat pasta soaking up the fresh tomato juices until we take it out to cook again, the pasta twice as juicy.  I'd also frozen colorful bell peppers from my garden that I chop and sauté to throw into the spaghetti.

My mouth is watering as I type here at 10:30 in the morning, I wonder if there's any left in the fridge?

My gardening gives me an awesome sense of purpose in a confounding world.

The older I get, the less I comprehend.  But gardening?  I get it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

That Dog BITES

I'm neither hip nor happening.  I'll never ask, "Are you down with that?'  It'd sound comical coming from my mouth.

I'm thrilled that Dave Ramsey's podcasts are now extending for three hours each day - almost commercial free.  Listening yesterday, as I did my chores, he spoke of the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation from his Southern Bible-based frame of mind.

"We gotta forgive, we all know that.  But that dog bites.  I'm gonna avoid a dog who's gonna bite me. Reconciliation is not always possible for just that reason."

That is true.

It bothers me that I might not always be in good graces with all of my grown children, all of the time.  Some of them bite.  They're gonna hurt me in some way or another.  They're gonna bite, they've been biting all of their lives in the form of lashing out.  Eventually I learn to run the other way.  If I stand there and take it, I'm teaching them to continue that behavior.

So by avoiding them, are they magically improved?  Having learned their lesson?

No, not really.  But I'm no longer devastated daily.

I've given them all that I have, all that I'm humanly capable of giving.  For some of them, it's not enough.  Neither was all the counseling, therapy and psychiatric resources.  It just is what it is, it's always gonna be this way apparently.  Or maybe in another decade, after more maturity sets in?  Maybe there'll be improvement?  I just don't know, but I'm removing myself from harm's way.

There are still so many others that need me to be emotionally whole and accessible, not beat down, discouraged and recovering from rabid dog bites.

I got all of that from a personal finance moderator?  Yeah.  He's often stated that money management is all about behavior.  He's very discerning, knowledgeable and hilarious.  Even though I'd already learned so much about money management before I'd ever even heard of him, it's been fun to listen along and continue learning.

I also listen to Dr. Joy Browne.  Human behavior is fascinating to me.  Because I'm so often drowning in near craziness, what with righteously angry kids, many unfairly saddled with hellacious diagnoses, I need a voice of reason to calm the waters.  Thus I'm happy to participate in the many therapies I've found for my children, or to keep reading, listening and learning.  I need the knowledge.

I'll never know enough, it's just not possible, but I gotta say, I do enjoy the learning aspect of life.

Yesterday, as I drove away from the grocery store, I saw an African-American woman in a stalled minivan on the highway.  Four white, bearded hipster guys all jumped out of a vehicle and pushed her van uphill, around a turn and off the highway in very windy, cold weather.  Restores my faith in humanity, because sometimes I'm nearly unable to keep my head above raging waters.

I've been bitten too often.  Why don't I see it coming?

When you've dedicated decades to tending to children 24-7 at an enormous personal, financial and emotional cost?  Only to have some of those same kids continue lashing out, even passively aggressively?  Nah, I can't play y'all.  That dog bites.

I'm leaning more into self-preservation.  It takes the form, for me, of reclusiveness and social isolation, but I'm good with that as it literally feeds me, both my body and my soul.

Tony, now 19, pointed out I've not been using pictures lately.  "Why?" he'd asked me, as if I'd let him down.

I dunno.  No reason, it hasn't even occurred to me.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Slimy Reading

So glad I'm not one of the 50 million people facing a blizzard today.  I just couldn't take it.  I've already planned my day, as it is, into a day of cleaning inside the house, unable to face the fact that it won't even hit 50 degrees today and there's a wind advisory.  No, thank you.

Nine more heavy loads of wood chips onto the blackberry patch yesterday afternoon where it did reach 60 degrees, still likely needs another 20 loads.  Did I underestimate what needed to be done, or what?

Eating my oats this morning, along with hemp seeds, flax seed meal, chia seeds, wheat bran and cranberries, a very large bowl, but it'll hold me all morning, I nearly gagged reading about bacterial slime, but Dr. Mercola's daily emails have taught me so much.

One reason I've not been on Facebook is that I'll be eating lunch, scrolling down, and dad gum if someone didn't post a picture of their stitches, wound, or injuries.  I'm medically challenged, but my gag reflux is finely tuned.

So cold in January, reading so many free ebooks, resting my aching back on a heating pad (that I recently read does no good at all, but, hey, it feels good), likely watching too much TV each evening, but clearly I'm not above it at all.

Both Grandma and I feel guilty when we don't bust our butts continually, as if we don't deserve a break?  Oh, c'mon girls, put your feet up.  But when we, or I, do so, all the undone chores run through my mind, even though getting them all done would be a physical impossibility as the work never ever ends.  Conversely, the fear of impending boredom is not one I've experienced in my life.

Another blog post with nothing to say, what a blessing.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Yesterday pulling the mail out of the box, this from JoJo, addressed simply to Mommy.  Homesick much, son?  As always, it took a half a dozen of us some 30 minutes to decipher his handwriting.  He's two months shy of hitting age 18, still calling me Mommy.  I miss him sooooooo much.

Tabby'd noticed my oldest daffodils already budding, giving me hope that winter will soon disappear. Too slowly for me, but it'll finally leave.

I'm thinking what I really like about e-books is the amount of light available via the screen and the fact that I can even read from my phone when stuck waiting somewhere.

Peter Pan got a job finally and he's been good about getting himself up and out the door without any effort on my part, making me proud, hoping and praying his anxieties will not get in his way again.

I got to go to Sunday School this morning, great subject matter at hand, wonderful group of women, I know I've missed this time too much.

A line my teacher stated, "Where we don't trust the root of sin."

Chewing on it, putting it in the notes of my phone to ponder later as I haul wood chips, it's very true for me, and it only has to do regarding one's heart, again this is for me - no judgement y'all - and my sometimes black heart, when I'm fed up, peeved, agitated, angry, or fill in the blank with a negative emotion.  Then I in turn have a bad attitude, why can't I just trust God to handle it for me?  Let loose of control, and just trust.

Hard for me to do, so much is left upon me, so many demands, which is true of all moms, but seriously, I need to back off in some situations.  I'm so often so afraid though that they'll fall or fail.

And then sometimes I back off too far maybe, unable to deal with the issues in some grown kids, protecting myself from constant and unrelenting heartbreak.  I don't wanna know, leave me alone, since it appears no rational thought is involved in their actions.

Folks gotta find their own way.  I've taught, parented, supported, and tried for whatever part of their childhood(s) I was privileged enough to be a part of, never long enough, and they arrived with so much emotional baggage...

I'm making my head hurt with all this, I absorbed a lot at church this morning.  I don't participate in the discussions at all, I just wanna sit and listen.

Tabby stayed after church to help with the Children's Church Movie and Pizza Party today in which 4-5 of her nieces and nephews will be there, Tabby loves being the Big Kid after being the youngest of 39 in her family.

Yesterday she, Nando and I slipped off for the afternoon to watch Isiah's Basketball and then to hang with Jesse and Lena in their new place for the cold afternoon, soccer will soon kick in, and I'll be spending every minute on those fields.

But today, just for this afternoon, the temperatures will flirt with 60, maybe I'll finally finish the blackberries.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Doing Something Is Better'N Doing Nothing

Who didn't read A Walk Across America in 1979?  Who hasn't read book after book about the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Coast Trail - our modern day adventure stories maybe somewhat akin to pirate tales?  I even remember reading one many years ago about a woman walking across Australia.

I stumbled via my BookBub free e-book onto Nate Damm's story, which led me to Planetwalker which is even more fascinating.  An African American man, born in Philadelphia and profoundly influenced by the 1960s, I couldn't put it down, and it led me to the Peace Pilgrim, an even older book about a woman born in 1908, who in 1953 set out walking everywhere, alone and penniless on purpose.
From 1953 to 1981 a silver haired woman calling herself only "Peace Pilgrim" walked more than 25,000 miles on a personal pilgrimage for peace. She vowed to "remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace, walking until given shelter and fasting until given food." In the course of her 28 year pilgrimage she touched the hearts, minds, and lives of thousands of individuals all across North America. Her message was both simple and profound. It continues to inspire people all over the world.

Oh my.  I ordered a paperback version of her book el cheapo on the Internet.

I'm always enthralled with stories of people who are at one with nature.  Always.

It's cold here, dreary January with highs all week in the upper 40s or low 50s.  I'm sick of greys and browns.  I wanna swelter somewhere.  Weirdly, I also love to read tales of those who survive in the cold as well.  They're the ones that I think must be nuts.

I'm sitting my lazy butt on the sofa reading of others who braved everything.  An armchair traveler who's stuffing herself with popcorn in a warmish house, in pjs, dreaming and yearning, while tied down to so many responsibilities, envying carefree lives of adventure.

My engine is racing, my tires are flat.

Scotty, my 10th grader, is on the JV team for high school soccer.  Tabby's competing in a geography bee, nerd alert, that I truly admire, Nando's middle school soccer team tryouts are next week, he's been at conditioning practices for two weeks, and his travel team starts back up in early February.

This year I've put off sowing my seeds indoors until February 1st, planning ahead for a time in my life where my Januaries will be spent in Florida.

My moods suck in January.  I feel lethargic and burdened by the weight of the world. Everything feels pointless.  All my efforts?  And for what?  Why didn't I just be a lady who lunches and gets her nails done?  Laughable, even at the thought.

I ain't a lady.  I'm a mud puppy.  My nails can't be done.

I'm reminded by Planetwalker that doing something is better than doing nothing.  He was told constantly by everyone that he couldn't change the world, which he couldn't.  But he could do something.

I feel like I can't even change, or barely even influence, some of my kids.  But I did make a major impression on some of them.  On most of them, I'd wager.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Yesterday's Post Published Today

Sarah'd texted me, "Easy to tell when the weather is great, you don't blog."

True the weather was great and I knew it wouldn't last, my two day job estimate for my Navajo blackberry patch is reaching into its fourth day of weeding, pruning and mulching, and I'm still not done.  I transplanted several plants and extended the already large bed to accommodate the suckers that'd sprouted up outside the boundaries.

I keep telling myself every years not to make the gardens bigger, I can't keep up as it is, but I also can't turn my back on the free plants that sprout or propagate themselves.

A big honking wet load of wood chips in the wheelbarrow is heavy as crap. Plus I'm pushing it up a slight incline maybe 300 yards away, huffing and puffing like any other 60 year old pooter, but feeling very accomplished at the end of the day.

Work = visible results - one reason gardeners seem so happy, a reason I've been frustrated about for decades here, as I so often see no results at home after backbreaking work.

But I had so much stuff on my mind that had nothing to do with adoption, or maybe everything.

Sarah'd read another article linking glyphosate - the main ingredient in Round Up- to a host of negative issues, including brain misfiring.  She didn't feel there was enough good science illustrated in the article, but the link was thought provoking.  I walked off to work, up in the Upper Gardens to think about it all.

Inner city neighborhoods, crime ridden and drug infested, also are food deserts.  There's no well-lit, beautifully maintained Yuppie looking Kroger Marketplace with lovely produce and aisles of organically grown food.  There are only take out restaurants and convenience stores with snack foods, and clerks behind reinforced Plexiglas so as not to be robbed and shot.

Let's look deeper - there's the thug mentality, conscience-less take what you want attitudes, including brutality and retaliation.  Let's look at farm kids who eat from the fields, sitting at a dinner table with their families.  Is this such a stretch? Am I again too simplistic?

It's certainly not fair, these disparities, but I think they need to be observed.  There is a great deal of research linking these pesticides, herbicides and chemicals in our food to cancer.

Are my thoughts inflammatory, ridiculous or completely off base?  I dunno.

I feel very dismayed that folks overall don't see the food as fuel, or food as medicine connection to a healthy body and life.

My generation was the first to serve convenience foods.  I didn't grow up eating anything that wasn't cooked at home, yet as my peer group grew into adults, many succumbed to the lure of not cooking.  Sarah pointed out that the emergence of farm subsidies contributed to it overall.  Yep, that's not a coincidence.

Just as advertisers wrongly lure us into terrible eating habits, these farm subsidies sent us down a crooked path to nowhere.

1/3 to 1/2 adults are nowadays obese.  As I grew up, there might've been one or two people anywhere around me who were overweight, and certainly not to the extent that folks are in today's world.  I know it's not just the food, there are a host of other emotional issues.  I get it, especially as a much older woman, many of us have turned to food for comfort, since the world itself has seemingly let so many of us down.

But if we'd have soothed ourselves with fruits and veggies versus cakes and chips?  The obesity wouldn't be so prevalent.  So my peers turn to diets that only work in the short term when complete lifestyle changes must be made.  Period.  There's no other way.  We can't have our cake and eat it too.

I didn't blog all of this yesterday, because my gut told me folks won't change.  Not gonna happen.  Just as we're finding that cigarette smoking can easily cost a million or so during a lifetime, shouldn't that make people quit?  They won't though.  I feel very discouraged overall.

Many of you though have written to me, saying you are examining your diet, or your outlook towards it, or that you've started going to church, or began gardening, fostering, adopting, or managing your money in ways that've helped you which makes me feel a tiny influential.

Am I insufferably arrogant?  Think I'm always right?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  All y'all know I'm working on my own issues like inconsistent exercising, which I know is necessary, but I make all sorts of excuses to myself, amongst other things.  I'm merely sharing that which I've learned and this is journaling, if nothing else.  My readership levels might go up or down, I no longer know because I don't check.

I've worked a lot of stuff out in my head over the years here, no longer caring if I ever write a book about adoption, I don't think I wanna revisit anything, plus it'd take too much gardening time to get it done. And then to get it promoted?  Nah, too much effort.  And for what end?  My own ego?

I'm just not up to it, just not interested anymore.  I'd rather be living life instead of typing for months on end for an end I'm not particularly interested in the subject matter anyway anymore.

I'm still very much interested in, no I'm fascinated by, food and all of its accompanying issues.  It's so complex both physically and emotionally.  It nourishes us and it can put us in an early grave.

Food as fuel for our marvelous bodies, and food as medicine to eliminate the need for medicine, right?

Why did I never need an antidepressant after years and years here of trauma, fear, violence and destruction?  This article indicates that my diet might have played a huge role in me surviving that which might have led to a significant depth of depression.

Yep, I buy it, this is my world view.