Saturday, July 25, 2009

what can you say?

My second adopted daughter has been struggling for sometime now. Her involvement with significant drugs has led to an addictive lifestyle which has led to her being estranged from us, refusing all treatment and becoming homeless. She had been drifting about the city, keeping a little contact with us (mostly to ask for money or new clothes) we were never sure where she was but she seemed to be capable of making "friends" who let her crash with them for a little bit.
We had done everything we could, pulled every string we could, called in every favor created over twenty years to try to get her a placement that would work for her, but she wasn't interested in changing her life. We were still trying to assist her in accessing SSI and mental health services, both systems difficult to navigate if you really need them.
Anyway we got a phone call on Wednesday from pre-trial services asking if we would be willing to post a $20,000 bond for her. (the answer was , of course "NO!") After some checking we discovered that she was in jail facing serious charges. When my DH went to the arraignment he found a compassionate judge who is ordering a competency hearing. As much as a lot of our friends seem to think this is a horrible thing, we are sort of saying "at least we know where she is, she is relatively safe and they may even be able to get her back on her meds." I am hoping that the competency hearing gets her out of jail and into a lock-down psychiatric facility. At least there would be some hope for her.
So that's what we have been dealing with. It's always another surprise around here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

DBG and the harvest

Well here is DBG with the harvest she helped me to gather. I have a nice garden this year and we have had plenty of rain. DBG is still coming by about twice a month for weekend visits. She is also going to dance class (driven by me) once a week and her little group will dance at the State Fair at the end of August. Much excitement about the dance class, as we had scheduling problems during the school year and she didn't get to dance then. DBG is pretty busy learning to read and write. We are the proud recipients of lots of cards on which she has written important messages about how much she loves us. She will be going to pre-kindergarten in the Fall, her birthday is well beyond the cut-off but I am sure she is well beyond the pre-kindergarten curriculum. What are you going to do?

KD is teaching dance class this Summer, her first solo teaching assignment. She has her permit but not her license. Still the search for the vehicle is on (she will be buying her own), she wants to get an old, old pickup truck and by old we are talking early to mid 1950s. We will see how realistic that is.

DJ had an opportunity earlier this summer to work on an island off the coast of Maine! And now he is working maintenance for the Children's Home that I work for. It seems to be a good fit. I am trying to either get him back in school to finish or work harder at preparing for the GED. He is not terribly motivated.

Son JM graduated from University of California Santa Cruz this June and has a retail job while he is considering his next move. He is very happy and settled out in Cali, I don't think we will see him home except for short visits from now on. :-(

So there's a little update on the kids.
I am working full time and more. DHubby's business is consulting for Foundations, and he hasn't had much work as all the Foundations portfolios suffered a 30% loss or so and their income was similarly effected. As you can imagine no one is beating down the doors to get help with technology upgrades right this minute. So the financial struggle continues for the family.

Monday, July 20, 2009

it's been awhile

It's been awhile. Life got complicated and busy, mostly I wanted to run from seriousness and responsibility. But hopefully things are on a more even keel now and we can move forward.
I am working full time now at the children's home, doing foster care recruitment and general PR work. Still training new foster and adoptive parents. At home I am gardening to can and freeze, baking sourdough bread and attmepting to live very frugally.
I will update further when I can access my home computer.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

An answer

I have finally figured out why I have not posted in so long, I hate my computer and its keyboard. Now this may sound like a hokey explanation to you, but it is actually the truth. My new computing situation is awkward and uncomfortable and it gives me a backache. It is one thing to pop in and check Faceb**k for a minute, it is another to sit for a while and try to type anything lengthy.
Ever since my old computer crashed I have not enjoyed using my loaner replacement computer so I have not found the time to blog. There is nothing I can do about the computer, replacing it is so far down our list of things to spend money on. I should simply be grateful that I still have something akin to a computer and Internet access.
So hopefully I will be back soon. Being stubborn, once I figured out what was impeding me I have resolved to overcome it. I will make the computer work for me. Speaking of work I had better get back to it, having snuck a quick break.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ice Storm aftermath

It's a beautiful day today, they say it might hit 61*.  We are still digging out from the ice storm, there are still folks without electricity more than 10 days after the storm hit.  We lost power twice for a day or so but were some of the lucky ones.  We have chain saw massacred the fallen limbs and made big piles of such for the city to pick up.  We still have 2-3 inches of hard, slippery ice to navigate anywhere you want to walk.  The roads are clear but the sidewalks, parking lots, driveways, etc all have very treacherous spots.

My office was closed for almost a full work week, although I went in several days to kind of be around if needed and make some calls canceling trainings, groups, etc.  The schools were closed for a week and went back with some schools still operating on generators.  These kids have so many snow/disaster days to make up that they will be in school until mid June!

We had Dancing Baby Girl and Imiki for a weekend as Lani and Pawpaw lost power in their trailer and they had to evacuate to a friend's house.  They  had no power either but had a fireplace, but the situation made Imiki ill with asthma and bronchitis so we took the two kids.  Lani and Pawpaw spent that weekend thawing pipes and cleaning up after one pipe rupture.  Still everyone fared pretty well.

I know some of you northern folks might scoff at how we can't even handle a little snow and ice, but let me tell you when the ice is thick enough and heavy enough to crumple the tall steel transformer towers that carry the trunk lines, that is a problem.  It wasn't just random branches falling on lines, it was entire transformer towers crumpling right over and taking the lines with them.  There are still over 100,000 customers in the more rural areas that do not have power more than 10 days after the storm.  

Since this is the second power disaster in less than 5 months for our area (the first was the windstorms with Hurricane Ike) many folks are questioning why the power lines are not underground or otherwise better protected.  I have joined a Facebook group called "bury the damn power lines already" that is engaged in an awesome civic discussion of the pros and cons of such a venture.  Good grassroots debate.

Although I am a winter person I will be glad to see the last of the ice.  Snow is good, I like to sled, cross country ski, make snowfolk and snow angels, but this ice is nasty.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Beautiful but costly

We have been having a winter storm, (I guess most of the mid-west and now the east coast as well) and besides about 9 inches of snow we got several layers of ice.  The last application covered the trees and power lines with about an inch of ice.  So down came the tree limbs, sometimes whole trees and out went the power for many.  The temperature is dropping again and over 100,000 homes are without electricity, not to mention some of the hospitals, fire houses, police stations and the usual Red Cross Shelter.  

We have been very lucky, although a number of trees shed limbs our power has remained on.  We had a few flickers very early this AM but since then we have had heat and light.  We had to move the cars from beneath a menacing tree and our backyard is littered with branches which crashed down.  First there is a slight grinding noise, then an audible pop and then watch out as the limb rockets to earth shedding daggers of ice as it goes.  It hits with a crunch as it punches through the layers of ice and snow and finally shatters and scatters across the icy yard.

So we have been having snow days for two days now and the school system is closed until further notice since 54 of the schools do not have power and the electric company is saying it may be 7-10 days until power is restored.  We have been playing board games, a little Wii and facebooking (flair can eat up a lot of time).  I am trying to get started on a fabric project but may just have to finish some other stalled ones as I do not have a crucial piece of what I need and given we are in a state of emergency and no one is allowed to be on the roads I can't go shopping at the fabric store. 

I went to work yesterday, the only one in my whole department but I got a ton done.  No driving today, snow was fine, 3 inches of glaze ice is quite another matter.  I am hoping we can get out tomorrow.  I have terrible cabin fever, I need to go talk to other people and work on other projects.

Aside from my whining we are really doing great, we have enough staples and even milk, we just refilled meds on Monday and as I said we have power and water.  More snow tonight and through tomorrow but only in slight snow showers.  

I am having trouble remembering to be truly thankful.  Wish I had a book.

Dear Annie

dear Annie,
I wish you could understand how much we love you and worry about you.  Are you warm?  Are you safe?  

I know you think you don't have many choices so you run to what looks like freedom.  But if you have nothing, not even hope, you are not really free.  We want to see you gain the skills to be able to take care of yourself, you are not going to learn job skills and financial management and good mental health out on the street.  

You are so much danger, without your meds you will have seizures and no one will take you for medical care.  Without your meds you will begin to experience increasing periods of psychosis and your tentative grip on reality will become even more stretched.  The folks around you will not have the patience, expertise, or even empathy to help you.  Also, the choices of mixing drugs and alcohol with your medical issues is so scary.

I wish you would let us help you.  Since you won't, know that I am praying for you and think of you often.  You can always come back.

With so much love, Mom