Wednesday, June 29, 2011
How strep is going around here in June when it's routinely in the 90s, I just don't know. I was positive Tabby had pink eye so she went with Sarah to the Pediatrician's office as Hazel's throat was sore. After barfing while waiting, both Hazel and Tabby tested positive for strep and the nurse practitioner thoughtfully checked Sarah as well. Yep, three confirmed cases.
Tabby feels totally fine and was irked I'd didn't let her swim yesterday. She hadn't even complained of a sore throat. How I manage to elude these illnesses I just don't know, but poison ivy felled me instead. Well I'm not knocked out by it, just highly annoyed and itching in two areas on one arm. Like a kid, I also have chigger bites on my legs.
Jack, rigidly encased in a hard plastic neck brace, turns 11 today, CJ will be 6 tomorrow and it was gonna be kind of a joint birthday party at Pump-It, but Jack can barely sit and walk, he's sure not gonna be cavorting wildly on inflatables.
"Let's go to Play-N-Trade," he beseeched me, wanting to spend his birthday money on games that'll occupy him while he heals. He's also well aware that if he gets used games, he'll get a lot more bang for his buck. He does listen to me.
A law-challenged son just asked me for a ride to another town, several counties away from here, for his Probation Officer meeting, but I just can't help him today. I'm all booked up. I've already driven Martin and Chuy, have to pick them both up at separate locations, take Sabrina and Jonathan to two different places, plus take Jack out for his birthday shopping expedition, no way could I add a trip towards Atlanta on my calendar today. I also need to swing by Daniel's old place for his yard stuff that I can toss in my truck.
It pays to get on my schedule way in advance boys.
Breaking the laws of our land will result in enormous consequences with fines, rules, and probation visits. I think he's fortunate to have gotten probation, having violated the conditions of it so often. He's also served quite a bit of jail time. When he was a teenager here, violent and aggressive, he was in several programs, one in which I particularly liked, OTP, giving him the life skills I hoped he'd learn, as he'd so rebelled against me trying to teach them to him.
Apparently it wasn't just me who annoyed him, several law enforcement agencies have seemed equally as aggravating to him over the years. Dude, just behave is what I wanna holler. It's easy to be good.
This is where I remain stumped. It's so much easier to work a job and pay one's bills than to juggle court dates, lock-ups and conditions of probation.
This LZ Granderson had yet another good editorial about wanting his son to be a nerd. Nerds rule. Hollywood is trying to convince our susceptible youngsters that there's glamour in being a thug, that being square invites ridicule and knowing smirks, sending stupid messages to vulnerable teenagers who have little parental guidance.
Read it y'all, and tell me that's not what you want for your kids?
My own children think I'm hopelessly square, unhip and uncool for not allowing R rated movies here, not even on TV. "But Mom, they cleaned it up for TV," my kids'll wail.
"I don't care, no R rated shows," I'll demand. It's my house, I pay the cable bill, we'll do as I say, or I'll cut cable off. I have plenty else to do, wouldn't necessarily miss it as much as they would.
I took Martin with his first paycheck to Verizon since he claimed he was dying for an Iphone. Trouble is I already have five lines on my Friends and Family account. Verizon actively practices discrimination against large families. What do other Mexicans do about this?
I had to add a line to Yolie's account. I'll just give her the cash each month to carry our weight.
Dr. Mandy's scrambling to make time to update Jonathan's psychological evaluation, fitting us in here and there, and with all the kids home for the summer, Sarah, Yolie and Grandma have been indispensable babysitters.
Chuy and CW worked on limbing up trees out back that had begun to shade The Big Back Garden, while I watered tomatoes and weeded constantly, swatting away mosquitoes that usually don't bother a tough old bird like me. My favorite paramedic told me he'd already picked some 200 pounds of tomatoes, he's so far ahead of me. Man, was I impressed, but he too is seeing signs of blight again. My cucumbers are gorgeous and prolific, we all just slice 'em up and eat 'em by the ton.
I munched on blueberries and blackberries, standing there watching the sun set past the pine trees, glad for the slightly cooler air, mid 80s at dark o'clock, my four o'clocks furling open their late afternoon fragrant and colorful blossoms, adding another layer of both beauty and scent over my gardens,.
Daniel's coming over to finish his big move to Atlanta this morning and my schedule today is absolutely nutso. This might be our busiest summer ever, but overall it's been an easier summer than normal in terms of outbursts, rages and nut-ups.
Like Granderson here, I wanna raise nerds too.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
I totally agree with Paula's post as I too continue setting boundaries that will keep my family safe and keep me from losing my own mind in bitterness and defeat.
Those that have been maliciously hateful toward me, those that have viciously lied about me, well they have my blessings to move on with their lives and to be set free from me.
It's terribly sad, but humans can only take so much Hell from others.
I'll continue enjoying those family members that have been positive and loving in their interactions with me, as fortunately, those are the majority.
I'm fairly sure I've never sat through any episodes of a Jerry Springer Show, but I must've seen excerpts along the way because I know I can easily visualize the guests jumping up, screaming and pummeling each other until the bouncers pulled them apart. Who on earth would go on TV only to fight?
See, that's the mentality I also encounter as in who fights? Who does this?
I can't even begin to count the number of fights I've witnessed here and had to try and pull the combatants apart.
At the high school in which I worked for 13 years, I sometimes felt as if we had a fight a day there. It'd be us teachers trying to break it up, to avoid getting hit and tossed aside. It's nearly an automatic reaction to jump in and attempt to quell a disturbance and I just don't like it. It got so bad that we ended up having a school resource officer alongside of us each day, as the city police couldn't always get there in time...just like it is here at my house.
Grandma sat here this morning, as I drove Martin to work, and I've often wondered what she'd do should an altercation break out? I can only hope someone'd run and get my oldest sons to help, or call 911, but hey, I had the strongest one out with me, leaving only CW and Chuy, unless Allen and JoJo could, or would, be helpfully utilized if it were Jonathan attacking someone.
I just don't like drama, don't like adrenaline coursing through me, I deeply desire peace and quiet with every fiber of my being.
That traumatized children want to recreate the chaos in which they're comfortable just stuns me. Why, y'all, why?
I have pediatric written orders for an xray today of Scotty's thumb, this jumping through hoops in order to get medical bills paid, like I can't look at it and determine it needs to be xrayed? Hello? I may be medically challenged, but I do have functioning eyeballs.
Sabrina's knee is bothering her and needs to be checked, cheerleading is every bit as rough and tumble as is football.
Dr. Mandy's hurrying to get Jonathan's psych eval updated, yet it's a cumbersome process. She's trying to fit us in as often as is possible. Last night he threatened to slug Scotty over nothing, and refused to go to bed at bedtime, glowering over me, trying to intimidate me, but I didn't back down, held my ground and glared back, knowing Allen was right there behind me. Yeah, that one, the one who'd recently slung me. Both he and JoJo have been very apologetic, the it won't happen again mentality that abusers use. I ain't buying it.
Chuy'd be a better bet to back me up, as he's Jonathan's birth brother, Jonathan would usually respond to Chuy faster and better, but recently he'd kicked Chuy's already football-injured knee, making Chuy rather wary of this lunging mad man.
Elizabeth had taken this photo at VBS, Yolie'd bragged on Chuy, that he'd been smiling all week, super helpful for Miss Lisa and supervising all the games and sports like the coach I hope he grows up to be, even though he's bucked coaches and has much to learn. He's very intelligent and I have high hopes for him.
Oh my goodness Jonathan, you have no clue as to how difficult your life will be if you don't learn to listen to authority. Any hopes I may harbor as to his future success are slipping away, lemme tell you. Jonathan's issues run so deep. He's not just angry, like Allen, he's deeply and severely emotionally disturbed.
When I'd gone in to make sure Martin was out of bed at six this morning, I surprisingly heard their room radio tuned to my old lady station. Funny how much peace it does provide, the nearly somnolent piano accompaniment. They were snoring like old men.
We'd finished last night off quietly, we were skyping Vanessa for an hour and watching her beautiful baby cooing. She's planning on a trip here soon.
I can barely look at my Google calendar without cringing, so packed with gotta get it all done demands. Jack came upstairs very early this morning, again crying about his neck. I gave him his medicines and reminded him this was going to be a long slow healing process. He's had such a tough year. My heart breaks for him, this'd surely be a time he'd be hanging out with his buddy, Grandpa, the two of them eating ice cream and laughing about stupid silly stuff. I hate it that Jack's BFF is gone.
Indeed Grandma's canceled her Bridge Club, rushed to the hospital to be with Jack, later filling his prescriptions so I could get him home quickly.
I got a whiff of a menthol smell at the hospital, immediately reminding me of something Grandpa used to use. Tears sprang to my own eyes, but I fought them off while thinking about my children and how many such triggers they must have within each of them.
I remember one time when Gina heard one of my brothers pop open a single can of beer at the beach house that he'd bought for the evening. He likely drank about one every month or so, no big deal at all for any well adjusted adult. Yet Gina freaked. Jumping sky-high blurting, "Mom, I smell beer," as an unpleasant memory from her past was immediately flooding her mind.
Another reason I don't drink, knowing about my children's scary memories of folks who over drank and acted out drunkenly.
I've tried to give them pleasant memories instead, the sight of a yucca bloom or a gardenia reminding them it was time to head out for a beach trip, the scent of a hyacinth reminding them it was Springtime, the smell of freshly pulled garlic to bring up our family suppertime memories, indeed Yolie still craves her comfort foods here during times of stress. Where's the FHPS? It works for me too.
And Oh My Goodness, may I use an exclamation mark? Tabby just got up with what looks to be Pink Eye. Back to the Pediatrician we go.
Monday, June 27, 2011
"Mom, Jack needs you," Nando called me from the room they share.
I bounded in there only to find Jack lying flat on his back on his bed, eyes wide open, spilling tears, "I stretched and I heard and felt a pop. I can't move my neck."
I ascertained that he could move everything else, but he was in a huge amount of pain, so I sat with him for about 20 minutes, figuring he'd be fine soon, but his tears increased instead.
I called the pediatrician's office who advised me to call 911. I called Grandma to come over and she took one look at him and told me to call 911.
Honestly we hesitate, not wanting to be a bother to others, even when Preston nearly died and we had no idea he was septic, and throughout Grandpa's Pulmonary Fibrosis, if it's possible for us to drive someone to the hospital, then that's what we'll do, apologetically feeling as if we're wasting the time of professionals.
I don't know why we feel that way, but we do.
I called Yolie and Sarah and 911.
My favorite paramedic on earth came first, another one followed, and then an ambulance. They all felt that with Motrin, ice packs and heat that he'd feel better, there did not appear to be any spinal involvement.
They left and we set about doing what they told us to do, but an hour later Jack felt no better, he was worse, crying hard, literally screaming with pain. We couldn't lift him to get his 100 pounds into the van without me fearing I was breaking him so I timidly and apologetically called 911 again, "It's not exactly an emergency, but we do need transport."
Same cast cand crew returned. Yolie overheard the ambulance driver asking Jack if he'd been hit. Glad I didn't hear him ask that. Jack was outraged at such a wild accusation and screamed, No!" several times. Oh my goodness, I've had Jack since the day he was born, he qualifies as spoiled by too much love and attention, he's super bonded, very attached, kind and loving, but I suppose I understand their need to be on top of things. I felt insulted though.
More than three hours in the ER, they tried two different neck brace collars, tears pouring out of his eyes in pulsating pain, the CT Scan indicated best possible scenario, likely a torn muscle, not an abnormality or something hinky with his bones. It finally took a liquid Lortab elixir to get on top of his pain, turning him into a loopy nutbird talking about liking purple cheeses and who put tire tracks on the ceiling?
The ER doctor telling me he could be in some degree of pain for a month or so, Motrin should cover it, he can take off the neck brace to shower.
He's not a drama queen, if he tells me it hurts, I believe him.
Yolie and Sarah scurried around being me, babysitting, taking Jonathan to his psych eval, picking up Chuy, Martin and Sabrina from various obligations. I had a 4 pm at the pediatrician because Scotty been injured playing football at Forward, his thumb swole up like a tire, plus I was concerned about a festering insect bite on Nando which turned out not to be a problem, but doggone if he didn't have swimmers ear and hadn't complained.
Daniel brought another load of his stuff and then Ray tested positive for strep.
Wowza, what a day. My gardens are neglected, my nursing skills being taxed and the dishes need doing, the laundry's screaming at me and tomorrow is a repeat of today with a full-on schedule
But Honey, I'll take too much to do any day of the week over violence and mayhem.
JoJo stubbornly maintains that he taught Allen a lesson by participating in a fistfight. Allen's convinced he won. I cannot get them to understand that one doesn't fight in the real world.
Daniel's almost 26. He's never been in a fight. My brothers have never fought with people, never used their fists to settle a disagreement.
I feel as if I am absolutely unable to get this one point across to this one particular sibling group. Maybe they don't learn a concept unless violence is involved? I'm stymied.
Totally uneventful day yesterday. Daniel took Chuy and CW with him to continue properly dismantling his Athens housing situation, taking only the necessities to Atlanta, storing stuff here, moving into being a man with precision and grace, his inner strength matched only by his impressive intelligence.
We'd had a man going out into the missions field speak at church yesterday. He'd graduated from high school here with Sarah and he was absolutely hilarious. The praise and worship songs included Where He Sends Me I Will Go, and I could only mouth off to myself, and in Sarah's ear, "Yeah, well not back to Texas," as I'd never returned from such a trip without another passel of children. Children I'd carefully chosen after much research and prayer. No one forced me into this, if anything, I spent years convincing caseworkers I was more than capable.
Now I'm tired, exhausted by crap, I have just enough energy to finish raising my darling children, but clearly, I'm done with this further continuing this aspect of my life. I've shut my own door on any more children, revamped my own plans of doing this forever, as I'd once thought I'd do, before I encountered so much craziness, dangerously severe emotional issues, and shocking violence.
I'd rather go back to work, earn a passel of money, invest it carefully, and send the proceedings to an orphanage somewhere. This 24-7 for 25 years has taken a toll.
I've even wondered if single moms should adopt boys, knowing they wouldn't then have a father figure. However, in every case here within my family, there were no two parent families submitting home studies, not any other single parents for that matter. It was just me, therefore they'd at least benefit from a maternal figure. I just now struggle emotionally with the amount of violence I've witnessed and endured. I'm too old to have violence introduced into my pacifist lifestyle.
Yet my first four sons, Sergi, Jesse, Big Joe and Daniel would've never thought to threaten me. Never. It's not even so much now that I'm threatened, I'm collateral damage.
I'm returning to my horticultural fascinations. I wanna travel on garden tours like a proper old lady, want to explore that which I do not know about plants, to see the gardens of others, to learn and continue farming here happily. As I read this American Terroir: Savoring the Flavors of Our Woods, Waters and Fields, I realize how little I know about maple sugaring or coffee growing, avocados or coco plants. I'd love to tour these farms.
I took the above picture at Edisto Beach last month.
I'm also reading a book I can totally relate to even if it's set in the Vashon Island of the Pacific Northwest. Growing A Farmer: How I learned To Live Off The Land is yet another story of a self-taught human who craves a connection with the food one eats. This is my absolute favorite genre. Everyone's story is so common, yet so different.
We've had several thunderstorms, more noise than rain, but I'm happy for any water that falls. We've picked our first tomato and I'm so not happy, as there's either blossom rot or the beginnings of early blight which'll truly make me burst into tears if so.
I'm finally finished digging in an area of volunteer potato plants, if one doesn't get every single tiny potato clinging to the main root system then within the next year, it'll sprout again, producing more. Not a problem technically as I'm always hungry for more. And yes, commercial potatoes also come from the earth, but it is a stripped out, depleted dirt, it's been over-farmed and only chemically nourished, which is about equal to the effect that meth has on a human...unsustainable.
Contrast that with hyper-fertile, sweet smelling earth loaded with humus, earthworm castings, gently rotting wood chips and leaves, plus compost and manure. All this transforms Georgia red clay into delicious brown crumbly earth. The plants can't help themselves, they have to be lush in such a nurturing environment. You know, kinda like that which I've also provided for my children who can't help themselves but to rebel against it.
Seriously I'd written this post at 6 a.m., driven Martin to work and Chuy to Football Conditioning and then had to call 911 twice. Now there's a story fixing to be blogged in a minute or so.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
"You freaking hit mom!" Allen raged at the one he'd just been fighting with, finally subdued, but just barely, by Martin, Chuy and Dubs.
I'd wanted to blog about the earthy taste of freshly dug taters, not about fistfights.
I was equally as angry, "You slung me down," I yelled.
"Go to Yolie's right now," I ordered JoJo, the one who'd punched me, who was now shaking with fury.
Sabrina tried pushing him out the door, he balked, and Allen was breaking free, only to be re-tackled, landing against my 8 foot tall shelves of plants, all of whom must've possessed an extraordinary sense of gravity, not a one toppled to the ground, unlike me.
I grabbed my truck keys and bum rushed JoJo out the door, yanking and pushing him, speeding off, jumping out at Yolie's house, barefoot, out of breath and fighting tears. I got JoJo in there next to Chuck and raced back up my dirt driveway to tend to the aftermath, afraid of what Allen might be doing.
Somehow Lily'd gotten Tabby, Jack, and Nando over to Grandma's side of the house, locking that dividing door behind them. Yes we have Safe Plans.
Allen locked himself in his room, banging around, slinging furniture, and I grieved for the new hardwood floors I'd put in there last winter. I went around to the porch, looking in the window he'd broken out, "Dude, you're not mad at me, talk to me," but he wouldn't do so. He fell face forward on his bed, ignoring my entreaties.
They'd been getting ready for me to drive them to the church for Forward, when Allen and JoJo, who are normally crazy about each other plus a million percent emotionally dependent upon each other, my Emotional Twins, but who can fight like two raging demon possessed maniacs at the drop of a hat, got into it with each other.
I'm a little sore this morning, but heckfire I'm 57 in less than a month, I'm not built for this mayhem, and I'm frustrated about it. Honestly, I don't feel it'd even be proper to call 911 and wait for the deputies to get there, they could hurt each other too badly in the meantime, neither of them would back down, this I know, their later remorse at having hurt each other, and me, is surprisingly high, yet they can't put two and two together and stop this angry behavior.
The rest of the kids were angry at them. "Let it go," I later advised. "I'm OK."
I'd been in the living room, ten feet from their bedroom when the ruckus started, they spilt out into and through the walk-through laundry room, landing in the back end of the kitchen with me holding on for dear might, trying to break 'em up.
I can NOT allow any fight to progress. They would fight until one of them was seriously injured. I'm mandated to concentrate on family safety, but I gotta tell you I'm seriously concerned about my skeletal frailness in comparsion to them. I'm outweighed, they're taller, they don't have inner brakes, they're very violent, and they're muscular.
Jonathan tried to help me stop them and was quickly, easily flung aside, all 160 pounds of him. JoJo rared back to punch Allen but clocked me in the front part of my shoulder, right before Allen slung me across the floor.
Sabrina's very strong too, but terribly outweighed and over-matched. FINALLY someone had run down the hall and gotten the three older boys who didn't hear the commotion over two fans going in their room, plus they were horsing around happily like boys are supposed to be doing.
Martin came barrelling through the laundry room and grabbed Allen, I don't even remember the rest, it all happened so fast and was so frightening and violent. A few minutes later we were all still breathing heavily. I do know that it took all three older boys to get Allen restrained and calmed down.
JoJo was crying on Chuck's sofa, eventually falling asleep in a slump.
They both refused to go to Forward, something they spiritually needed desperately. I needed 'em to go, there was now no one left with me to break up another fight. But they'd gotten it out of their system, they do this about every six months and maybe I ought to just be thankful that they don't attack others, but save it for each other?
I however have had a busted lip and plenty of bruises. That ain't right at all. Their other two older brothers, Fabian and Edgar, did the same, once taking about ten of us to break the two of them up when they were in a violent fight.
Fabian was just arrested for fighting. Anyone else here remember the number of times their birth sister, Vanessa, was suspended from high school for fighting?
I can NOT get it through their heads that fighting doesn't solve anything ever for any reason.
They think I'm the idiot.
JoJo later fretting over me, "Are you OK?" his eyes filling with tears.
I don't even know how to answer such ignorance.
No, I am NOT OK.
This is not how normal human beings live.
Allen refused church today.
OK, that means it'll yet be another month until I'm willing to drive him to get a learner's permit. He's virtually unable though to connect this immediate consequence with his actions, no matter how reasonably I try and explain all of this to him. He thinks I'm just mean, or arbitrary.
In the midst of all this, or technically much later when the dust had settled, I kept Ray and Hazel so Sarah and Preston could go to AthFest where they ran into Gina and took twin sister pictures. Twins? Sarah's so much taller than Gina.
Miss Lisa just zipped into our house after church, bringing the leftover pudding from Children's Church and cutting me a huge chunk of cake that she was taking over to her sister Susan's birthday party. "Oh no!" Don't cut it from her cake," I'd lamely protested, practically drooling. I'm thinking Susan won't begrudge me a piece, right?
Dadgum it was good, incredibly delicious. Sure did take the sting out of yesterday.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Yolie was telling Deysi, Sarah and I about an article regarding approval junkies. Everyone likes a little approval every now and then, criticism still stings me, especially the amount of unwarranted crap from clueless people. But overall I believe that validation of oneself comes from within oneself. That said, I'd be particularly stung by the lack of it from important folks in my life.
I've not figured out any 12 keys to happiness, maybe the good enough for me mentality is simply that...good enough for me. To have a few spare minutes in which to work on coaxing food out of the ground, a pile of enticing books I'd come across so cheaply, hanging with my entertaining dogs, time with interesting grown kids of mine and their children, it's just not that hard to be happy.
Being a producer rather than a consumer feeds my soul, as does not being a sheep, blindly herded along by trends, fashions, or even ridiculous expectations. If I wanna wear pjs all the time and drag carrots out of the ground for supper, then by golly that's what I'm gonna do. It makes me happy, I'm not out to make converts.
I've clearly been unhappy at times, dealing with the crazy with a capital K, or bureaucracy, or other frustrating events.
Last night as thunder rumbled menacingly again, I dug potatoes, volunteer plants at that, I've not even begun digging in the major beds, I cut more Swiss Chard, gathered blueberries, blackberries, carrots and cucumbers, and stared at all the beds that desperately need weeding, plus my almost totally diminished wood chip pile already used up - three dump truck loads gone.
My hens were hollering for fresh water and garden scraps. I obliged and bent down to tend to the silly things clucking at me.
I'd farted around too long at the pool, enjoying all those darling grandchildren having fun, when I might should've been working, but, hey, I gotta stop and smell the banana shrubs sometimes, don't I?
During their break from Forward '11, my ding-a-ling kids must've went nuts at a mall, spending the money I'd given them for food on stuff they didn't need at all. I was shocked and appalled. CW, of course, brought back 60% unspent, as he's so grounded and sensible, but the rest of them blew it all. I was irked, it's the end of the month and I'm scavenging to get through it. They so know better than to have done that.
Stupid stuff. Jonathan bought a tshirt - we have hundreds of tshirts. Money just burns a hole in his pocket.
Michael again brought 'em all home for me which was, and is, a huge blessing, and fortunately I did get my van home, repaired for a shockingly little amount of dollars.
For 50 cents I found a 9 CD set of Jack Welch reading his unabridged bestseller Winning, downloading it to my phone to listen to later as I weed or do some mindless chore. I love stuff like this, deeply need encouragement, but never could've come up with the list price.
$5 each bought two bicycles for Tabby and Jack, another $5 for a nearly unused sewing machine for Sarah. For most of the yards sales we went to today we came away empty handed, just 'cause it's a good deal, doesn't mean we need it.
Daniel's moving to Atlanta, working at Dobbins Air Force Base, has already found an apartment in Vinings. He has a ton of his UGA friends there, it's just weird to me not having him 10 minutes away. The last 20 years of being his very blessed mother flew by with breathtaking speed. 71.2 miles away, prompting a twitch in my heart.
I've already thought about this, by the time he buys a house there my other kids'll be grown. "Just throw me a sofa in your basement so I can sleep there after Braves games," I'd asked him.
"I'll make you a mother man cave," he laughed.
Sounds good to me.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Tony's been taking the photos lately, setting up his own Instagram account. I'm wanting to get Elizabeth's photo of Chuy on the water slide, tried unsuccessfully swiping it off Facebook, but now need to wait until she's back from Forward '11. Hint Hint.
Our weekly county newspaper offers up an interesting crime report and narrative, this week it featured Fabian and Big Joe, another version of last week's altercation, both charged with disorderly conduct. Such a small county, yet another embarrassment for me, oddly enough counteracted by a photo on the front page of sweet Martin and his supervisor repairing a roof that had been damaged by a recent storm.
Thank you, Martin, for a positive spin on our family. I truly am proud of him, uncomplainingly getting up at 6 each morning, working outside in the blazing sun.
And to my 19 year old and the 28 year old...seriously guys? Come on. One's texting me, the other one, old enough to be embarrassed by his recent actions, is avoiding me.
I passed my own van on a back road yesterday, perched on a flatbed tow truck, in a huge frog strangling downpour, that ceased before it hit my gardens. Driving back from Dr. Mandy's office where Jonathan was surprisingly talkative, actively participating in his psych eval update. I thought back over the years, I don't believe any child has ever refused her, nor has ever disrespected her, unlike several other therapists who've also been here in our home. We've had to add them due to Medicaid restrictions, my kids generally then act out, resenting not having her anymore. Abandonment issues bubbling up for the millionith time.
I cannot access residential treatment through a private provider like Dr. Mandy, but only through a very cumbersome paperwork process via Pathways or Advantage. PRTF nightmares begin. Yes, as a matter of fact, I do wish I were talking about Power Rangers Time Force (TV show). I clearly need a life.
I've only needed residential for a tiny fraction of my 39 children, but when we've needed it, we've sure needed it.
Pathways, however, has been right good to us, their staff turnover has been much less so lately, maybe due to folks hanging on to their jobs in this economic downturn? At any rate, I've been very happy with Pathways. Advantage too has been very helpful.
I'd stopped by the library, picking up yet another food chef memoir Sarah'd put on reserve, I found me a book American Terroir: Savoring the Flavors of Our Woods, Waters and Fields by Rowan Jacobson. Leaving Eustace Conway's magical story life behind, hating to end the book, wish the author'd do an update, I need to have something equally as interesting ahead of me.
Kirkus - after all these years, I'm still madly in love with you as a resource. You can take the girl out of the library, but not the librarian out of this girl. I've been loving their reviews since 1977.
I'd not had to ask, anyone knows my supreme reluctance in asking for help, generally refusing many offers, as I simply don't wanna be beholden to folks, but Pastor Chris and Michael had arranged for the church van to pick up my teenagers yesterday afternoon for Forward '11. I'd planned on Grandma and I stuffing 'em all in her car and my truck, maybe making two trips, always thinking I best hold off on asking for help, who knows when I'll need it even more at a future date?
Quietness descended immediately as Michael backed out of the driveway with my robust, rambunctious teenagers. Jack's 11th birthday is coming up on us, so Sarah and I decided to take the remaining kids to the Dollar Theater, that now is $1.99, to see the movie Rio. I laughed my clumsy butt silly. A wonderful movie, well done and just flat out good. Really good.
My aforementioned awkward self had somehow slammed a window on my finger, the pain initially blinding me, nothing broken I hope, those little Disney birds spinning and chirping around my head, my immediate thought was gratitude that this was my left hand, not my main gardening hand.
For someone so constantly attempting to be more mindful in all endeavors, maybe moving slower might help?
Careening through life has resulting in so many scrapes, bumps, bruises and bang-ups. I've broken fingers and toes, I've had scrapped knees like a five year old, and, like a cartoon character I've bumped my own head comically too often. Reason #2,859 not to ever wear high heels, nor to ever imbibe alcohol. If I'm this dangerous when sober and in flip flops, imagine being so otherwise impaired. No, thank you.
Come on girl, grow up and slow down.
A ginormous feast yesterday of Swiss Chard for lunch, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and FHPS, grated pepper jack cheese and sea salt. Blueberries and blackberries for dessert. Honey, this is living. My hens are shooting our eggs faster 'n we can gather 'em all up. Time to make me some zucchini bread. This year I tried Cocozelle and am happy with it.
Lord Have Mercy, I love summer with all my sweaty heart.
The dadgum theater must've been 30 degrees, Nando stretching his tshirt around his bunched up knees, trying to get warm. I cannot imagine what their power bill must be each month.
I saw Mike on my caller ID. He's a magician, had my van running already at a very minimal expense. Now I need to arrange a ride way out there where he lives, gotta get myself on Grandma's busy schedule, hoping she can fit me in, drive me down there this morning. I aim to keep this 2004 van running for the next five years until I no longer need a van as the kids'll mainly be grown by then.
I once encouraged my grown children to continue using my home address as their permanent address, simply to keep some stability in their lives, to have important papers sent here for safekeeping, yet what I've found is too many bill collectors calling my unlisted phone number, even calling Grandma's unlisted line, dunning bills arriving here routinely, even the IRS sending nasty notices. The most crappy aspect is law offices soliciting business, criminal defense attorneys getting my address from recent arrest reports.
Nope, not anymore. I told the kids to stop using my address, I mark 'moved, no forwarding address' on letters and send them back. An exception includes my military sons Sergio, Jesse and Daniel. This should be where the military can reach them, or me, if necessary. Kids in college may still use this address. Get the picture Kodak?
I do not allow anyone to live here with a criminal record, I sure don't want them publicizing my address so negatively. Sadly, there are several grown kids who can never step foot on my property due to dangerous, larcenous or predatory behaviors, even one who's routinely made false allegations about anyone and everyone that've been forensically investigated over the years. No, No, No, time for me to put an end to all that crap.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Ray watching snakes intently, how 'bout this one in my dang pool fence the other afternoon?
Ridiculously so, I could barely watch some show called Jail with my police buff son, Jack, now feeling a dreaded sense of my own PTSD. A lady was screaming and carrying on, raging, spitting and flailing her arms and legs at the FIVE deputies who were trying to restrain her. Shades of my recent ordeals with children who rage against all authority, logic and decency. Until you've experienced this shocking turn of events, it's difficult to grasp that folks do act like that. My weirded out heart pounded at the mere memory of it all.
Literally I could see one of my daughters behaving exactly like that, indeed I've already seen it, in her early teens I'd have to sit down to properly count up the number of police interventions so far. I can not begin to imagine how, as an adult, without other adults trying to manage her psychotic behaviors, what on earth will happen to her.
"Honey, I just can't watch this," I told Jack, walking away to water plants. It felt like a stab in my heart so often have I been an unwilling participant in similar events, yet I didn't have police backup, tasers, handcuffs or that restraining chair, plus I had to worry about the safety of everyone else.
Is it any wonder that I've begged the judge to help me find placements for her? She has no business living within a family structure when all she wants to do is to injure someone.
How many wounds should we as a family have to suffer from these particular siblings who are dangerously violent?
Speaking of which, we did have one decent day yesterday with Jonathan who participated properly with Miss Charli in his therapy session. Please forgive me my massive doubts at the moment, but believing that there'll be a turnaround based on talking about his severe issues...well I'm just not that encouraged.
I am brightened by my ownself, waking up before five this morning, immediately thinking about my friend, Becky A, who pointed out that my past six months of sluggish morning behavior pointed to a layer of depression that I'd not recognized, yet I do agree with her assessment. Why'd it then take me hours to post? Driving Martin and doing chores sucked my time away.
I'd had several offers of rides and van help yesterday, thank you Travis. Michael brought the church van out here to get my teenagers to youth group and back, today about 8 of them leave for the night and all day tomorrow. VBS ended with a slippery water slide event between the storms last night.
Chuck and Yolie'd had to take Tony and Chuy with them to ease my lack of a van situation, standing in my driveway last night, listening to Yolie tell me she'd been blessed with Miss Lisa's made from scratch cupcakes. Oh my goodness, y'all know I'd knock down my own Mama for just one of those delectable treats.
I'd dragged some very heavy houseplants out on the deck, for once not jinxing my rain chances, wanting them to experience the lushness of a nitrogen fix from the rain showers, to clean their leaves nicely, and to freely blow in the breeze because I know it stimulates root growth, which is also why I never stake new trees. Imitating nature, duh, do you think God stakes 'em for us when we're not looking?
Daniel had some excellent news, not just moving up from a second lieutenant to a first, but a job offer I'll talk about later. He's been in his rented house near campus for five years, now needing to head off to Atlanta. I'm so dang proud of this man.
I'd watched a youtube video of Eustace Conway patiently explain to a reporter that he could afford to buy his land because he'd lived in a tepee for close to 20 years. Yeah boy, that'll do it. The Last American Man is fascinating. He's also, shall we say, difficult and eccentric, clinging to his convictions, impatient with others who move so slow. Honey, I get it. I totally understand.
"I'm not normal," he'd told a new apprentice, warning him that his life totally and completely revolves around work, but to Conway it's not work, it's a life. Just as with my gardens, it's a joy, a way of life, something one wakes up to looking forward to the joys, trials and tribulations of producing food.
His apprentices have a 90% dropout rate, that may seem like an unusually high turnover or attrition rate, but using the Navy SEALS as an example, less than 10% can cut the mustard, right? Conway chose a hardscrabble life, it's not for everyone, yet he finds it fulfilling, as do I.
Eustace Conway is so dang cool, I've drug out reading the last chapter because I don't want this book to end.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
I haven't been rude, ugly or hateful to Charter, I've not cussed. I've clearly been perturbed, but carrying on with foul language wouldn't likely win me any friends, or even very much Customer Service. I'm irritated certainly, I pay $125 monthly, and never late, for Internet and expanded basic cable with channels up into the 200s, just so that I can watch Channel 181 which has all the true crime shows, the 20/20 and 48 Hours repeats that I so enjoy learning from, forensically speaking. I'm fascinated. Absolutely impressed with criminal justice, extreme investigations, and all manners of police work.
But in the meantime, I'm frustrated. To further send me over the edge, my van gave out at VBS last night, Chuck arriving within minutes to diagnose a master cylinder problem in my brakes. I called Grandma to come get me, it took Chuck's SUV and my truck to get the kids home later.
Fortunately I have an awesome shade tree mechanic, a friend of Chuck's plus I know this man's parents. Unfortunately it's a bear to get a 15 passenger van towed way out to his remote place. Just found out he's out of town too, well that sucks.
This much frustration can only be eased by gardening time. Late into the evening I picked some 30-40 cucumbers, taking 8 to Sarah's house, the kids and I eating the rest within an hour, sliced and with sea salt for me, but my children chop 'em up into lime juice and a Tabasco mixture, oohing and aahing with each bite. "This is how Mexicans enjoy it best," I'm told repeatedly.
One tiny cucumber seed produces a sturdy utilitarian vine that rambles some 6-10 feet, bearing tons of organic cucumbers that are not chemically sprayed, nor waxed for a fakey supermarket display. Imagine the energizing, nutritional benefits of these seeds coursing through one's body. We eat tons of seeds with each slice, chewing and digesting.
I stood outside like I enjoy doing each evening, stuffing myself with blueberries and blackberries, still warm and bursting with delicious juiciness from the day's solar heat, I pull carrots and don't even wash 'em. My soil is fertile and loamy, the carrots slide out clean and oh so sweet. This year's spectacular variety has been Kurota Chantenay - a keeper for sure, wish I'd planted a ton more.
If we're gonna put away up to 50 cucumbers a day in our stomachs, part of my beloved 100 foot diet, I should've tripled our planting so as to put up jars of pickles for the winter. As it is, I have a very long permaculture garden bed (125' X 5') stuffed to the brim simply with Sweet Marketmore and Mideast Prolific thriving cucumber plants.
Jonathan stalked around all day, threatening and muttering, "I'm not gonna meet with Pathways when they come here."
"You have to," I calmly responded. "It's court ordered."
"Like I care about the law?" he asked me reasonably. For him it is a reasonable question. He simply cannot comprehend why on earth anyone would kowtow to all these stupid laws of the land. "You can't make me," he dared, wanting to start a fight with me.
I walked off, he followed me, muttering darkly.
"You want anarchy?" I ask in surprise when the reality should've been, 'Lady, why on earth does this surprise you of all people?' Haven't you been to this rodeo before?' Like he knows anything about anarchy anyway? Where's Abbie Hoffman when you need him?
His sister called from her facility, wanting to brag about a fight she'd just been in, as if I'd be impressed? I don't think so. "But I didn't start it," she stressed, when I expressed my disappointment in her actions. She may not have started it, but I know she enjoyed the chance to be in a fight, particularly an altercation in which she technically was not charged as the instigator this time. But really? Anyone think she didn't have a hand in pissing someone off? BTDT.
Thank you, sweet Lord, for opening all the doors that are now keeping my younger children safe, Paloma's often targeted victims. Thank you DJJ for the huge role you've played in this, way beyond your call of duty.
If only Charter were as conscientious. Maybe Miss Kim and Mr. Tracy ought to go kick butt there at the cable company, I have no doubt they could run that company way more efficiently and correctly.
Sarah's besties, Beth and Jessie, brought their lovely children swimming yesterday, five more children here to Tabby's delight, plus Mae, CJ, Ray, Hazel, Ellie and Alexander. "There's SIX mothers up here," Tabby exclaimed, amazed at the unusual for us ratio. I'm more floored about having known Beth and Jessie and their husbands since they were children.
Tio JoJo is my grandson, Alexander's, favorite Bubba, as monkey boy JoJo's easily on the maturity level of any other happy five year old, cavorting in the pool for hours and hours. Mae's such a fearless daredevil yet deeply intelligent, confident and intuitive for a four year old. She was on CW's shoulders jumping off the diving board, straight down into nine feet of water, coming up laughing and happy, to the applause of all these mothers and their children.
I think a young child's ability to swim, to not be afraid of water, to have this ability to survive, ranks right up there alongside reading as a critical life skill. Literally it's an emotion building, ego booster.
Do the Charter employees not know how to either read or swim? Therefore that only leaves an inability to correctly hook up cable as a career?
Oops, now I am bordering on rude, snide and ill-tempered, ain't I?
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
"I couldn't answer Mom's phone call 'cause I was getting arrested," an outraged grown son told his birth sister.
I'd been trying to reach him since I knew another son was fixing to be arrested, good thing now that I hadn't been the one to call him first and subsequently send him straight into his own arrest situation that was soon to be caused by short fuses, inner anger, and street fighting. Dude, it's Father's Day, you have a child.
But back up first.
My long winding driveway leads up to the gate at the dirt road which then goes to the paved road within another half mile. A white truck was backing out of my driveway as I shot up the hill, trying to drive Sabrina to her volunteer position with kiddie camp at the high school for this week.
"Who the heck is that?" I wondered aloud, totally shocked then to see Prisoner Work Detail on the back of the truck, but the license plate was obscured by an attached something or other. That sure didn't sit right with me. There was no county decal on the passenger's side, they sped off too fast, turning right, not allowing me a view of the driver's side.
Really? What if one of my younger kids had bopped down there to get the mail? And run into prisoners? I felt my blood turn to ice in fear at the thought.
I called the Sheriff's Office, rather unhappy, wanting to report it, but uneasy as crap because I knew they wouldn't knowingly have sent a truck to even turn around on the property of someone with children. Who had authorized this potential nightmare?
They politely took my call, said they'd check it out, generally the county jail uses a van, not a pick-up truck, they seemed as mystified as I was, but truly, they had to have been thinking, "Seriously lady? With all the criminals YOU'VE adopted? You're scared of state prisoners?"
Unfailingly polite, they heard my concerns. At that point though, I didn't realize they'd just arrested and released two of my sons. I couldn't have felt more stupider later when I learned about it. Had I known that, I doubt I'd have had the cojones to call and whine about state prisoners.
Oh my goodness, will the humiliations never cease?
I still haven't learned if that was a state truck or an elaborate break-in ruse, who knows? Rob my house and get you a bunch of broke down junk. Tell me how that'll work out for you.
Today is our fifth day with no Internet.
I've raised Cain on the phone with Charter, and obviously I've not progressed anywhere. Five visits out here, seven trucks later, a dozen phone calls, and still no connection.
I tried cooling my jets last night at the ball field, watching an earlier church league softball game, watching our church win, only for them to lose in the next game, ending up Number Two for the season, not bad at all. Watching and cheering released my own inner stress.
But then Jonathan went into one of his crazy spells, refusing to take his medication, amping up his dark behaviors, threatening to run away, which I ignore, knowing if I don't feed into it, he's too lazy to get far at all, but threatening to kill someone does get my attention as their protection falls on me. Four times he verbalized the threat that I tried to quietly explain could get him locked up.
Shades of his sister, he only roared back, "I don't CARE!" His head spinning in preparation for the green vomit I felt sure he'd hurl next. Needless to say, Chuy and I spent the next couple of hours trying to placate him, to bring him back to our reality, which is the fairly normal one in which you don't verbalize wanting to kill someone.
I haven't even been able to take these blog posts over to either Sarah or Yolie's house and hit publish using their wireless connection because I've been busier than ever in my life with the massive demands upon my time this month. My calendar is outrageously full, but it's all for good things for the kids, positive activities and obligations. I can deal with this, but I really would like an hour of Internet a day at least.
Just one hour.
An email from a mother of teenagers, one of hers was arrested yesterday, I put this out there to y'all, knowing she'd asked for prayers, knowing y'all are such prayer warriors, and, sadly, so many of you have been in our shoes, the disappointed, embarrassed parents of a county inmate. It hurts us, the parents, apparently more than the kid. At least that's how I feel, knowing the kid is enjoying his new layer of 'street cred,' whatever the heck that is.
Yeah boy, put that on your nonexistent resume and then tell me you can't find a job. You really wanna yank my chain about that?
No, neither son called me to bail them out. If nothing else, they've learned I will not enable these behaviors.
How hard can it be to get TV and internet service here in the 21st century? It's been three days, three service visits, yet nothing has been resoloved. I'm barely able to maintain a courteous tone of voice when I call to express my displeasure at all the poopysauce attitude by alleged repairmen who can't adequately repair.
I still blog, 'cause it's what I do, it's the post publishing that's a problem.
Another problem would be Jonathan's murderous threats yesterday against Mr. P, who certainly can provoke one to feel homicidal, yet I actually somehow got through to Jonathan for a brief second until he calmed down enough to admit that wouldn't be a proper solution at all. He does state, "I'd rather kill him anyway," as if then living in a jail cell would be a perferable option. To him it might be better than having to always go to school, or listen to a dumb mom and her stupid rules.
A kinda low functioning teenager with mental health issues, right severe ones at that, doesn't bode well for his future.
So many kids gone last night either at VBS, or being a helper, that I was able to run to town and get 15 bags of salt for the pool, totally forgetting I needed two more sets of faucets for the plumber to install. His company uses sky-high Delta merchandise, he suggested I get my own to limit the expenses. Guess that means another trip this evening, but Martin, flush with his new first paycheck, wants me to help him get a cell phone of his own, so we can knock out two dumb errands at once.
Time in my gardens is scarce.
Most recent snake story? Up at the pool, literally twining itself through the chain link fence, a long black one slithered by, tongue flicking, a scarily beautiful sight that did make us a little uneasy about having our backs to the fence, but it isn't real bright to have our back to the pool while kids are swimming. This is not a venomous snake.
Short notice to me, the overworked Head of the Transportation Department, but Sabrina informed me last night that she'd volunteered for three days of helping with a Kiddie Camp up at her school, something I've encouraged her to do so that her college apps will be filled with volunteer experience, yet she'd snapped at me recently for 'forcing' her to do this.
Yeah, right, I looove all this driving around. "Don't do it then," I growled back. "It doesn't count if you feel forced to do so," which made her oppositionally inform me that she wanted to do all these things.
It's so not like her at all to be argumentative, she's usually a sunnily optimitstic 16 year old, which is strange enough in and of itself.
I'd gotten wind of a thugish kid of mine getting into a street fight right as it was happening, a play by play text, now the police were there, had him on the ground, maybe to get arrested.
The grown kid later texting me, "Who told you all that?"
Like I'd reveal a source?
I don't think so.
You can fart in your school cafeteria and I'll hear about it before the schoolbus drops you off in the afternoon. Again, y'all, this is a small county. A small county where everyone but us has cable TV and internet service.
Oh My goodness, the frustration mounts, it must be these little things that push me into emotional stress. Dealing with the big stuff has adrenaline flowing for its personal plus, whereas the little dumb things just add up to annoy me.
Long boring story with the Internet and cable TV, no sooner had I pitched such a fit that they'd sent a lineman out who fixed one thing, but drove off before restoring the Internet, here came another storm to immediately eradicate what he'd accomplished.
"You come here and babysit kids who can't play outside in the rain and now don't have TV or Internet. I'll come placate your angry customers," I suggested curtly to a man who didn't take the bait, sorely lacking in customer service skills, I nearly lost my Christian witness. I didn't scream what I was thinking, I said, "Well thank you," as unsarcastically as I could possible muster.
How is that even possible? Such wild storms, so little rainfall? I stood there munching on fresh picked blackberries and thinking I was glad I had a pile of books to read, too bad my children resist this hobby so vehemently.
"Reading puts me to sleep," one will complain while inexplicably fascinated with a cartoon that would make me totally somnolent within seconds if I sat there long enough.
Every case study I've ever read, anytime a caseworker went for their monthly visit, it was reported, "Children were in a room watching TV as I arrived," the automatic plug in drug that's available to everyone without a prescription.
To my children's credit however they will get huge soccer games underway in our meadow, they do jump on the trampoline, and swim a great deal when it's a pretty day. To me, TV might be something one resorts to after dark since one then obviously can't see very well outside.
Vacation Bible School begins tonight and goes nightly through Wednesday night. I only have my last two elementary school age children, Tabby and Nando, who will attend, but I believe a couple of my teenagers will be helping out. All of my teenagers will be gone from Thursday-Saturday for Forward '11, and then we'll be looking into July already.
Jonathan's been on such a downward spiral, the slide that's so unpleasant, making me recently ask Mikey, "He's been good for a long time, now terribly difficult for such a spell. Reckon the highs and lows, the cycling behaviors of his bipolar phases just last longer than usual?"
It's possible, and looking back, it does seem to be the case. I've been working on a timeline, documentation for a possible psychiatric stay for him, as I'm terribly afraid that his behaviors will result in a lockup, when, in reality, he desperately needs mental health help. However due to budget cuts, unless one is actively suicidal or homicidal, one gets turned down by Medicaid.
Yet it's my understanding that Medicaid will pay for some drunk's Viagra, thus potentially making sure we have another generation of FAE/FAS folks birthed automatically needing the services of Medicaid.
Sarah's gone with me to yard sales lately, well twice, hunting for Ray's homeschool curriculum materials, specific ones, she'd written them all down, done a nerdy flowchart that she'd penciled together first, and dadgum if we didn't run across several listed items for her yesterday, a couple more books I'm wanting to read, plus clothes and jewelery that Sabrina liked.
When Jack was in Virginia with Grandma, touring Ft. Monroe, the Yorktown battlefields, plus Jamestown and Williamsburg, he'd looked in the gift shops, appalled at age 10 at the prices, my outraged anti-shopping voice ringing in his ear memory, "Who pays these sky-high prices?"
He'd wanted a small cannon, but it was $17.00 Outrageous. Clipper ships were equally as pricey. He wouldn't have dreamed of asking either Grandma or I for such an exorbitant amount of money. His now departed best friend, Grandpa, would've been equally as dramatic, "Are you kidding me?" Grandpa would've shouted right there in the store, not caring who heard him rail against big bucks for cheap junk.
What're the chances then, 530 miles south of there, back home in our small county, that Jack'd find both at a yard sale yesterday? Getting both of them for a grand total of $1.50? How is that even remotely possible? I've gone to yard sales all my life and don't ever remember seeing clipper ships and cannons.
I'd really splurged on Nando, $20 at one pop, but he'd purchased a Game Boy Advance with a charger, a carrying case, plus a dozen games. "Honey, that's a super duper deal," I'd told my excited son, who wasn't initially certain I could lay out so much cash on one item...but I did. I'd do it just to watch him smile so happily.
He's a honey. Cute as a button, sweet and loving.
"I hear your voice in my head all the time," I've been told by a majority of my older children who I always wondered if they'd even been listening to many many lectures, pontifications and discussions. More than strongly opinionated, one might even suggest the word 'over bearing' at times, but I know exactly how I feel and don't mind sharing it.
Do I miss my dad more today on Father's Day? No, not really. I miss him every day, but I'm OK today about it, knowing Dad didn't really give a good cahoot about this day anyway. Dad didn't care much, if anything, about gifts, but he sure did like a good meal celebration.
Standing alone in the woods last night for just a few minutes, as I find such peace there, it was totally, eerily silent after the storm we’d just gone through. No bullfrogs, no bird calls, not even any rustling of leaves swaying in the still night, I thought to myself that this would be exactly my life in several more years.
Would I feel lonely?
It was enticing. It was calming.
The loudest clap of thunder I’ve ever heard in my life, was combined with lightening, scaring Lily and I senseless as we’d been standing there in the garage, it knocked out cable and Internet immediately and sent Amelia the terrier diving into a bathtub to cower behind a shower curtain. Rosie the cornerstone wetter mutt shivering in a corner between the wall and a cabinet, her shaking back towards us. Lizzie, at 80 heavy pounds, was trying to be a lap dog while Shatter barked uproariously and all the kids stared at me like I could fix the sky or something.
All that and very little rain.
Without TV or computers for the rest of the evening I began reading The Last American Man, a book that’s soon gonna be a top 20 of my all time favorites. I read late into the night enthralled at his abilities.
Picked Sarah up early this morning to join us at yard sales, she’s amazingly finding curriculum books for Ray’s homeschooling. For 25 cents I found Mark Farner’s Some Kind of Wonderful CD, former front man of Grand Funk railroad, one of my brother’s favorite bands ever, now a born again Christian, which my brother is not, but we still share CDs and books with each other.
I think he’ll love this one, after I download it first, maybe then Sarah and Preston before I send it to Gary, thus reducing its cost per person to 6.25 cents apiece, a bargain any way one looks at it.
Jimbo's’coming here soon, maybe I’ll hold it for him first, further driving down Bodie expenses.
Both of my brothers would also love this book.
I’d meant to blog about lagging behaviors after a long interesting discussion yesterday with Charli, but just discussing it with her exacerbated my own secondary stress traumas. I crave peace so deeply , wanting to move on emotionally that even the mere discussion of the book, The Explosive Child, made me break into a stinky fear sweat, inwardly relieving some very scary nights we’ve endured over the years.
I’d spoken with Paloma yesterday, the police had again been called to her facility due to her behaviors, and I stood there thanking God for the plain out relief I now feel at not having to drag all my other children through her astonishingly vicious rages.
The majority of my children now at home are well within the normally odd behaviors of older adopted children with the accompanying anger, emotional confusion, or grief issues. I can deal with those, it’s the crazy dangerous gotta-hurt-someone explosions that’ve caused us all so much upheaval for so many years.
Friday, June 17, 2011
Oh my goodness. Jack and Grandma finally come home today. They’ve been gone 15 long days as she took him on an adventure to DC to represent my late sister, alongside her William & Mary friends, at the Race for the Cure. They did DC in a big tourist way, staying with Kevin and Lauren, who’ll soon be down here for a visit, venturing south later to Virginia to stay with my brother and his family.
Jack’s heard me mention Nags Head all his life but by the time he’d been born, I had way too many children to continue that annual vacation, choosing a closer beach trip such as Pawley’s Island, Edisto or Tybee. He toured Nags Head, Bodie Island, Hatteras and Ocracoke this week with my mother.
Even his dog, Shatter, has been uncharacteristically blue, dragging around, uncertain, lonely and lost about where to sleep without Jack here as the faithful companion.
Some old lady was grumpily staring back at me in my bathroom mirror this morning, bleary-eyed and butt-dragging. She was still there later when I checked back. I told her she might need to at least run a brush through her hair if she wasn’t gonna be able to change clothes or add makeup today. Way to scare folks lady, La Llorona personified.
Our internet has been unavailable early every morning for weeks now, I blog in Word and add it later, usually by 8 or so it’s back on. I have no viable explanation, but cool beans, Word has a Blog Post option nowadays.
“Mom, did you really not notice your excess product placement yesterday?” Sarah asked me and I initially had no answer, totally forgetting I’d also advertised for Lowe’s with my canvas apron photo. How insidiously deviously had I been sucked in by Madison Avenue tactics? Wonder if I can find a blank canvas apron at a yard sale soon? I’m terribly obtuse at times, fortunately I have Sarah to point out the many foibles I’m blind to so often. No, I’m not being sarcastic, I’m grateful to her. And she still loves me in spite of it all. I’m blessed.
Sweet Carmen messaged me about a piano in Augusta about the same time that Mikey was explaining how an electronic keyboard might be exactly what Lily might prefer overall. He was here addressing Jonathan’s behaviors which have been quite negative for weeks now, nutting up at the pool yesterday afternoon just because I’d mentioned drying off might be a better idea than dripping all over my already ruined hardwood floor in the family room that are barely 11 years old. That finish should’ve endured a lifetime with a normal family.
Mikey’s amazing, I really like his insight and abilities. I pick the brains of as many professionals as is possible, today we have Charli from Pathways Counseling who I also like a great deal, her intensity makes me look like a slacker, that woman is passionately on fire about therapeutic interventions.
There are two others, a Miss Sarah and a Miss Julie, as Jonathan’s been instructed to address them, that I also adore for their emotional reasoning abilities and their resourceful capabilities in dealing with such a disturbed child. Mikey’s using the word, “staff” when detailing Jonathan’s potential needs, as one raggedy butt ole lady might not always be able to either endure, nor manage, these escalating explosions.
At his difficult moment yesterday, there was no one up at the pool who could’ve helped me if he’d attacked. I was quickly thinking about what to do, should I have 911 ready to press on my phone or should I send someone to the house to get Chuy? Fortunately the darkness in his eyes receded quickly and my fear evaporated.
I have 18 daughters, ages 8-37, and all of them are very beautiful females, this picture of Gina made me smile as usual. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Gina apply make-up. Why would she? Look at that lovely face of hers. She’s intelligent too which I feel is way more important than beauty. She’s a UGA grad, a restaurant inspector in a metro Atlanta county.
Alex, now 21, called yesterday seeking my approval, verbally expressing how she didn’t want to disappoint me, but needed reassurance about a decision of hers. I sided with her on this one, while ruminating on how far we’ve come in our relationship.
Years ago her behaviors made those of Jonathan seem mild. She’d spent years in residential psychiatric placements, she still struggles emotionally, but she also has learned how to reach out properly for help. Well, usually she does so.
Now that Vanessa’s a mother I hear from her almost daily, baby Evelyn is doing fine right now, she had a great pediatric visit yesterday.
Sergi’s now facing 30 and his phone calls have increased as well. Kids need time and space in which to establish who they are in life, I’ve often been very delighted to then eventually after many, many fitful starts and faltering, been able to reestablish some wonderful and proper relationships.
Texting is an emotionally non-threatening, for them, tether to me as well. It works. Lately I’ve been getting a bunch of ‘just checking in, love you,” texts that lift my spirits. That’s enough for me. No, wait, send me grandbaby pics y’all.
I’d gotten a positive comment over my Yorkie pictures. They truly are adorable dogs, meant for a big family like ours as there’s always someone wanting to hold and pet them. My two mixed-breed terriers, Shatter and Amelia, also make me smile. I’d tripped over one of them last night and then later fallen upstairs, who falls up?
Coordination is so elusive for me. But, hey, I’m not getting graded on it anyway.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Knowing that stress does so much damage to one’s adrenal system and one’s complete physical body, I’m doing my dangdest to rise above it all. I’m pompously listening to a classical piano concerto via earbuds, as I type right now, to drown out the Cartoon Network crescendo that irritates the snot out of me.
I’m not artistic at all, nor any kind of knowledgeable enough to even begin to appreciate the virtuoso talent I’m listening to, I simply just like it, it soothes my soul, which is rattled daily by the challenges of trying to raise a kid or so with diagnosed mental illnesses and conditions.
24-7, no break, no relief can wear on an ole bat like me with such pounding unrelenting stress and pressures.
I’d, of course, bought this piano CD for a buck at a yard sale and downloaded it to both mine and Lily’s digital storage units, she being able to play by ear, knowing she literally absorbs each note. I’d just also bought her some guitar solo CDs at the same low price.
She’s had piano lessons, but didn’t like its stifling regimentation that entire year, preferring to pick the musical notes out by herself. “Do you think we could find a piano at a yard sale?” she asked me dubiously, as it must be too much of a distance from her room to Grandma’s sun room where she plays?
I’ve walked away from such, even a free one once, but I reassured her we’d be on the prowl now for one to put in her room, knowing the Law of attraction will again be illustrated by our experiences. Cristy’d already bought her a guitar.
I do so want to encourage these musical and artistic interests.
I could check Craig’s List, but she and I felt it’d take the fun out of the hunt, too easy, let’s check yard sales first.
Trent Hamm had recently written of his distaste for product advertising, even mentioning my Iphone for example, as I’ve done once again now, is unnecessary.
Sarah and I’d discussed it ad nauseum poolside recently.
I don’t generally wear clothes with a logo other than Daniel’s Army tshirts he’s given us, or maybe a UGA one, but I get this point.
Big Joe, who turned 28 yesterday, couldn’t stand to hear me railing against those Tommy shirts he then so coveted as an insecure teenager. He couldn’t grasp the ever changing concept of fashion fads and trends, all he heard me screeching was, “Well your name ain’t Tommy, why do you wanna advertise for him? He gets the revenue you convince others to spend? How is that equitable?”
But all that to mention how much my Iphone has been so worth its initial expense. I so love it that I nearly excitedly ended this sentence with an exclamation mark. I’d even splurged on the 32 gb as Sarah’d advised me to do. I saw this morning that I have 337 CDs on it, with room to spare. This boggles my mind.
What genius came up with this concept and ability? I think I’m so smart yet I can barely run the embedded programs, what if this had been my assignment to create? I’d have failed miserably, would have gotten less than a zero on the project.
Heck, I watch my preschool grandchildren scroll through it better than I can do.
At any rate the piano music is successfully and beautifully drowning out that Spongebob creature who I truly detest listening to ever.
What I loved hearing last night was the pounding rain that fell, taking out a sweet gum tree from my meadow, kicking it over like it was bamboo. “I LOVE that tree,” Jojo bellowed in shock. “It’s a Bodie tree.”
This from the same guy who’d spent all afternoon answering his Emotional Twin Brother with, “Ma’am?” from across the pool, without a smidgen of irony. The ET never corrected him either.
Like two apes on crack they cavorted, their love and emotional intertwining really is remarkable and unusual, born out of their early childhood survival needs, their lack of parenting then, no nurturing except from each other. Now 14 and 15, they are no less attached.
They share a room and have argued all week long over Yolie’s sofa. She and Chuck had benefited from a new (used) one from a strange back story, bringing their former one here. JoJo wants it in the room, Allen doesn’t want to part with a wooden piece of something I’d once bought at a yard sale for another buck.
The sofa has sat in the family room awaiting their decision that will likely only be resolved via yet another physical tussle between the two of them, one eventually yelling, “Ha ha, I win you buttwipe idiot,” neither of them mad over the name calling either, nor listening to me correct their poor choice of words.
This morning, with Nando headed off to soccer game, Sabrina to cheer leading conditioning, Sarah, Yolie and I will shuffle the remaining children around, keeping supervision over everyone, while allowing different adults to meet other obligations with military precision timing, our summer schedules have been absolutely crushing.
My google calendar is blisteringly hot, blasting out beeping warnings and reminders…look I just did another product placement. I am so astounded at how much the Iphone and Google have improved the quality of my life, my abilities to manage time better, that I feel compelled to shout it out.
A reader wanted to see a picture me with my Lowe’s shop apron, oh Honey, with that, my bulky knee brace, black hair roots, and pillow creases etched on my face, I couldn’t look worse without much more effort. I’d lose readers for sure.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Lagniappe is French for something extra, it was a section of the Times-Picayune newspaper I’d once read during my very amusing year in New Orleans. (Sarah and Jimbo, this link mentions Tipitina's)
Having two Lagniappe moments yesterday almost balanced out my two Hellish experiences.
One event left me feeling simply too angry to blog about right now, afraid of letting my true feelings show, those feelings when my stark negativity outweighs any positive thoughts I could muster up for someone who has been so ugly to our family lately, me in particular, because Mom’s usually the target for this misdirected fury.
Amping it up by lying about me further spikes my blood pressure into the stratosphere, endangering what little chance of a non-adversarial relationship we might ever be able to salvage from these ruins of deception, ingratitude, and hatred.
Absolutely exhausted by 11 last night, two boys got into it, Mr P provoking the other past any chance of a cool-down. The racket was tremendous enough to prompt Chuy to stand by my side, his presence alone warding off any potential physical attack upon me. Flexing his muscles quietly as I tried to talk down the angry one.
This morning the angry one who has no mental illness at all, no ODD, just emotional immaturity and a great deal of overall anger, gave his apology after crying again for 30 minutes.
Crying is good. It trumps raging.
Nando’s Soccer Camp, all afternoon swim time, plus a nighttime soccer scrimmage flat out diminished his own capabilities to function. My kids all sleep behind locked doors, telling me good-night before going into their respective rooms with their chosen dogs as an added layer of security, so I didn’t notice until this morning when he arose and staggered out of his room that he’d fallen asleep with his cleats, shin guards, soccer socks, and jersey still on him.
He’s an amazing player.
After his scrimmage, I'd rewarded us all by staying for the church league softball game in which my teenage sons’ mentor, Michael, was outstandingly pitching a mercy rule win. A warm summer evening in which we could all sit, or stand, without being bathed in our own sweat, how nice for a June Georgia night.
I felt peaceful and relieved at the moment because I was blissfully unaware of what was fixing to explode all around me later. I thoroughly enjoyed that one hour, mostly spending it with Elizabeth.
My second good ‘something extra’ arrived unexpectedly. I noticed a brand new recycling container, not the dinky little curbside bin one usually sees, but a big ole honker, brand spanking new, sitting alongside our trash container down by the mailbox.
We generally have more than this amount to be recycled each week, even with everything flattened down, yet this will reduce my own time by at least half that’s designated for driving the rest of the recyclables to the county drop off.
I was utterly thrilled, getting out of my truck to admire it, to run my hand over its sleek surface, calculating in my mind @30 minutes a week X 52 weeks, I've now gained back the equivalent of a free 24 hour period to fill with another activity.
It does not take much to thrill me.
Which reminds me, recently a man had reached out to hug me, I stiffened, afraid I'd shatter into a thousand glass shards and cut him up, so brittle have I become. Dang, he smelled nice. "Lemme go," I protested, unable anymore to act right in public, squirming out of his embrace. I just don't need that right now. Hadn't seen him in years, don't need to at the moment, I have to deal with what's on my plate right now.
I did happily bear hug the umpire last night, we go back 30 years and I adore him. Not so the home plate ump - I totally disagreed with several of his calls. Michael had called later to wonder aloud if I was gonna pull a Bobby Cox stunt. Yeah, I might next week at your final game. I just hope I can get there.
Again this morning, I’ve gone out at 6:30 to get Martin to work, 7:30 for Chuy’s football conditioning, 8:30 for DJJ, 9:30 for soccer camp, plus a 10:30 here at home, gotta go pick everyone back up, church tonight, need groceries and two other errands, thus forcing my head to spin in time-induced frustrations.
I’d carved out an time slot yesterday afternoon to help one who’d spitefully and figuratively spit back in my face, a huge monetary loss that makes me physically sick to think about, money I could’ve used for many, many other more pressing matters for more deserving endeavors.
That I’ve, over the years, become a repeat victim of domestic violence also makes me wanna puke. I’m a strong woman who can take a lotta crap, but this is crossing the line, the emotional abuse alone would slay a donkey, the physical stress is pushing me over the edge, forcing me to practically eliminate some grown folks from my radar for personal safety reasons.
That others would be so negative, so detrimental to our family boggles my mind. It’s why we have a locked gate, why I’ve cut so many out of my will that won’t leave but $2 to each person anyway. That $2 seems to be more important to them than allowing me to live peacefully, or at all.
Am I just to strait-laced, too boringly middle class, too square for words? That some choose to be homeless, or chronically unemployed, still buffaloes me. That folks would steal from others constantly, or would burn bridges in such a final manner seems incomprehensible to me, yet I see it so often. I hear it in your emails and comments to me about your own similar families.
After all these years I remain staggered by what I’ve seen and endured.
It leaves me with very little hope for some.
Not having had time to either proofread nor publish, I tried my darnedest to get Jonathan out of bed for his DJJ appointment, doing my best to persuade him to not break the law, to not get sent out of here into a punitive environment based on his own actions.
Does. Not. Compute.
I called Miss Kim of DJJ, she's given him an extra 30 minutes to show up, she, too bending over backwards to help him help himself.
"I don't wanna go, I don't care if you send me away," she heard him say over speakerphone, this after he'd apologized to me about the fracas of last week, me telling him he also owed Miss Kim one too.
At times his flat affect indicates a complete apathetic response to consequences. It's scary, it's sad, sad, sad when one doesn't care about one's self.
This incident could revoke his probation, he's headed to a 7 day detention stay.
Our youth pastor was at the park last night also, we'd finally had a chance to talk, he's had experience with kids like mine, a lot of experience actually as he's close to 40, if not already there.
I'm now going on about four hours of sleep, stress hormones surging through my aging body, this doesn't feel great.
I simply do not understand why adults rob a bank, knowing that means jail time. Why would one do that? I just don't get it.
If this, then that...natural consequences. We can't defy the law of gravity nor the laws of our nation.
I can connect these elementary dots.
I suppose I need to be reading up more on criminal justice issues in order to increase my comprehension, I need more knowledge of social issues and mental health diagnoses.
I'm still trying to write and publish this post. Jonathan did make it to his DJJ appointment, 30 minutes late, he refused to apologize to Miss Kim, and I just didn't push the issue, knowing it'd wrongly give him an excuse to rage there. He wouldn't wear his seat belt all the way back home.
The Adoption Counselor, once again, has a superb blog post for us adoptive mothers about rage and the hormones involed. Y'all need to bop on over and read it for more understanding of what you and I deal with 24-7.