Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bothering all the restaurant workers in the family

Today we drove up to have a late lunch at the catfish restaurant where Boy Wonder is now working. It's brand new and just opened officially yesterday. He said they were busy all opening day.

Alli, Elvis, and I were joined by another friend, her husband, and son. The lunch was good. The place was nice. All the employees were really sweet. And BW got a break just before we finished eating so he joined us for a bit, too. Since we are now out of restaurants that employ family members, I guess we'll be eating at home the rest of the weekend.

My nephew is spending the night tonight. He's 8 and has very unusual verbal skills to go along with a really creative imagination. He's entertained me all evening. I let him stay up until he absolutely melted down from exhaustion. I'm hoping he'll sleep in a little in the morning.

In an attempt to better track my money, I've kept track of every penny I've spent in the month of January. I hope so spend some time tomorrow afternoon, weeding through all of that and see what I spent money on and look for ways to spend less. I have to admit it's a rather daunting pile of papers but I do think it's worth the effort. However, I'm also dreading seeing how much I spent in certain categories (fast food, for example).

Friday, January 30, 2009

She's ready to face the world

Beth's been working for a month today. It was time to see her in action. Alli, Elvis, and I joined a friend and some of her kids for a dinner out tonight at Beth's restaurant. The place was hopping and we didn't see her much. She sat us (with a server who was rather a dim bulb) and the next time we saw her, she was seating one of her teachers - LOL! Other than one other random sighting, she may as well not have been there. But I knew she was there. All grown up and employed. I went with her to open her bank account last week. Her PIN for her debit card came in the mail Tuesday. The actual debit card arrived today. She was so excited as she put it in her wallet. To her, that means she's grown. (OK, so it also reinforces it to me, too.)

She's got less than a semester of high school left. She's got a job, a boyfriend, and a debit card. What else does she need? In her mind, nothing. I have to admit that after watching her flounder through life acting as if she didn't have 2 functioning brain cells, she's suddenly making much better choices. She's thinking things through. She's listening and processing what she hears. She's a lot less impulsive. So, she may not really be ready to face the world but she's definitely moving in the right direction. Way to go, Beth!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Granny's funeral

I had to wait and get Blair's anniversary over before I could recap the funeral of the girls' bio grandmother. It was definitely one of the more unusual funerals I've ever attended but I'm sooo glad I went.

This set of grandparents (the parents of Alli and Beth's bio father) are members of a church with very different practices than those I've grown up with in a Southern Baptist church. This funeral was quite unlike any I've ever attended. The minister, the husband of one of my girls' bio aunts, let us know from the very beginning that this wasn't going to be a regular funeral. He said we were there to "have church," just like Granny would have wanted. And have church we did! There was a mini-choir, a few hymns, a sermon, and even...what's the word I'm looking alter call or an invitation at the end. While some of the practices were not what I was used to (speaking in tongues, etc.), the whole service was a tribute to Granny who became a Christian as an young adult and did her best to make the world a better place.

The funeral was a little reminder to me to not be so judgemental. Years of fostering has conditioned me to believe the worst of bio families. I know all about the girls' bio father and one of his brothers. Both are interesting characters - generally much more interested in what they can get from people instead of how they can help others. Between those two brothers, they have six children. I've been directly involved in meeting some basic needs of five of those six children.

Three of them have been placed with me in foster care. (I've adopted two of those.) Cousin It (daughter of the girls' uncle) stayed with us for 2 months because her father went out of town for some kind of job and left her home alone at age 16 in a dangerous neighborhood. Cousin It's sister gave birth unexpectedly last fall and I bought her a car seat and a few other necessities. That leaves only one child of the six that I haven't been involved in caring for in some way. (And he was already placed in a kinship foster home when I got Alli. He's been around our house to swim a few times and we catch up when we run into each other in public. I haven't seen him in a few months but he went out of his way to catch my eye at the funeral home and wave to me.)

Because those are the two siblings I have frequent, sustained contact with, it's all too easy for me to base my thoughts on the whole family on just what I see from them. However, I forget that there are 4 other siblings. The others seem to be just regular, middle of the road folks. They are productive adults, have raised their kids well, and do the right thing.

The grandparents certainly didn't raise these two sons to break the law and treat their families the way they did. They were undoubtedly just as appalled as I am when I hear about some of the things these two sons choose to get into. Not only appalled but ashamed and embarrassed, too. Bless their hearts, I'm sure they did their best.

And, how dare I base my opinions on the whole family based on my observations of the two black sheep of the group! Again, I'm so glad I went to this funeral. I needed the wake up call it provided. It was one of those, "There, but for the grace of God, go I," moments. Raising these girls has been hard! I seem to rarely agree with many of the choices they make. However, the choices they make and the consequences they live with from those choices is not an indicator of my success or failure as a parent. Just like the preacher at the funeral said that Granny's heart was broken many times by the actions of some of her children and grandchildren. All parents can do is their best. Then, it becomes the child's responsibility to deal with the consequences of their own actions.

Before I was called about the initial foster placement of the 3 different siblings (Alli, then over a year later, Beth, followed by Little Brother more than another year later), DCS called these grandparents and asked if they would be willing to take them in. They, obviously, said no. At that time, I wondered how in the world grandparents could refuse to take their own grandchildren in.

It didn't take me long after watching the bio father in action, to realize that the grandparents made the absolutely best decision for all involved. They loved these kids enough to do what was best for them and get them away from the negative influences of their bio father. And I'm so thankful they did because if they hadn't made that difficult decision, I would never have met any of them.

So, rest in peace, Granny. Please forgive me for any preconceived notions I might have had about you. Not that you ever needed my approval, but I think you were a wonderful grandmother to my girls!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby Blair

We are fast approaching what I guess can only be described as Blair's first birthday...which is also the first anniversary of her death. Emotions are running high around here. We are each handling the event in our own way.

In honor of the one-year anniversary of the birth and death of our baby, you are getting a present. Well, not actually a present but definitely a first for my blog. For a very limited time, the montage of all things related to Blair will be at the end of this post. You'll see pictures of most of the characters from my blog. There they are in all their glory - Alli, Beth, Boy Wonder, and, of course, Elvis. Luckily for you, I am not in the montage. (I took most of the pictures.) So, if you happen to be reading and the video is still below, feel free to watch and meet the crew. I don't plan to leave it up for much more than 24 hours, so be quick.
I took the video down but added this picture. It's one of my favorites from our one day with Blair.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sleep? What's that?

I'm exhausted. Elvis has been sick again. His nose is really, really stuffy. I took a half day off on Friday to take him to see his Dr. Girlfriend. (His doctor's diagnosis? "Yep, you're snotty." Thanks, Dr. Girlfriend.) She did go ahead and give him an antibiotic because it was Friday and she knows his history with illnesses. Elvis can't sleep when his nose is stuffy. He just can't do it. I think he doesn't have that reflex or instinct or whatever it is that lets you easily switch to breathing through your mouth when your nose is stopped up. He really struggles with it. Anyway, he's miserable because he can't breathe and so am I. I never get to sleep straight through the night but I usually get a lot more sleep than I have the last several nights.

Elvis woke up a little before 4:00 this morning. He had a dirty diaper so we had to get up and deal with that...with the 1.5 wipes left in the box., but that's a different story. I got him changed and gave him a Pediasure. He wanted to go lie on Aunt Beth's bed and watch a favorite DVD. I got him settled there and dozed for about 30 minutes before he was screaming again. I put him back in my bed and he continued to fuss. I fed him his breakfast and gave him his meds. He finally went back to sleep about 7:00. And then had a seizure at 7:10. It's going to be a looooong day.

Visitation for the girls' grandmother is from 11:00 until 8:00 today. I plan to make a quick appearance with Elvis and then hit the road. We'll go back tomorrow for the funeral. Beth is working the lunch shift today and then I'm taking her to buy something to wear to the funeral, as we realized yesterday she doesn't really have anything appropriate. Somewhere in all the running, I need to go to school and get lesson materials ready for tomorrow. (I'm working in the morning but not teaching. I'm giving the district-mandated tests to some of the first graders. Then, I'm leaving at the half-day mark to get ready for the 2:00 funeral.) I have emergency lesson plans done (only because the principal made us all do them) but I hate to use them tomorrow. I'd rather save them for those days I wake up sick or with a sick Elvis and don't want to go in and write plans in my pajamas at 6:30 in the morning. I also need to make a grocery run, as we are out of things for me to make my lunch with. Won't this be a fun day on a couple hours sleep??

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Another first in my life as an adoptive parent

The girls grandmother died early this morning. Alli had told me she was sick last night and wanted to borrow my van to go see her at the hospital. I asked her if she was supposed to be up and around so soon after her surgery. She said probably not. I told her to text Beth (who was at work) and see if she wanted to go when she got off. Alli could go with me to pick up Beth and I could take them to the hospital and drop them at the door so Alli wouldn't have to park in the outer lot and walk all that way. She left to text Beth and I didn't hear anything else for a while. Then, for some reason, I felt like I should go ahead and take Alli now. I put my socks and shoes on and texted Alli to see if she still wanted to go. She said that she was in a lot of pain now and she'd just wait and go today. Beth got home from work and I asked if she wanted to go see her and she said she'd wait until today, too.

Beth texted me at 7:30 this morning. Beth is never up at 7:30 on a non-school day so I knew something was wrong. Her cousin had just texted her to tell her their grandmother had died early this morning. So, neither of my girls got to see her. I'm sure there will be some regret from both of them. That's just how life goes sometimes.

I haven't heard the service details yet, but I do plan to go. I can't miss school on Monday or Tuesday morning (district-mandated testing and I give part of the test to the first graders) but if the service is at any other time, I will be there. This grandmother wasn't always nice to my girls (she called one of them - Alli, I think - the devil and actually meant it). However we also know now she was struggling with Alzheimer's and was probably doing the best she could. She's still an important part of their childhoods and their history and they will want to honor that. I get along well with this part of their family and enjoy seeing them. I just wish it was under better circumstances.

Friday, January 23, 2009

6 years ago today/1 year ago today

Today is now one of those days that is a good anniversary and a bad anniversary all rolled into one. First the good:

Six years ago today, Alli arrived on my doorstep. She had nothing but the clothes on her back and a critically-ill 2 month old preemie son in NICU an hour away. Her "ten-day" stay in my home has now been over 2,000 days (but who's counting?). And, yes, there's been a lot crap along our journey but I'm still glad she came and I'm glad she's mine.

Now the bad:

One year ago today is the day that we found out Baby Blair was trying to sneak out early. Alli had gone back to work for the first time in months. I picked her up from work with a vanilla milkshake to celebrate the day. Before she even finished the shake, we were headed to the hospital. While today is not, thankfully, the anniversary of Blair's death, we all remember it as the day the trouble started.

I wasn't sure how to or even if I should acknowledge the day. In the end, I felt it should be low key, at best. The first year is usually the hardest. However, I came home from school today to find a lovely gift on my bed. Alli had gotten me a sweet card and added a sweet message of her own. She'd also gotten me a beautiful pair of earrings.

So, our bittersweet day has a little more sweet than bitter. Let's hope that trend continues!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

$85 worth of freedom

I didn't mean to go so long without posting. The 4-day weekend was great but it made it hard to get back in school mode. Tuesday was a little wild at school. I wanted my class to see the inauguration but it was right at our lunch time. I ended up taking them to get their lunches a few minutes early and I took them back to my room so we could watch the event. No matter what side you were on in the election, history was made Tuesday and I felt like my class should see it. They were actually excited to see it all...except for one student who kept saying, " 'arack Obama is going to get shot today." For a while I couldn't decide if her family just thought it could happen or if, perhaps, they were planning something - LOL! I could not get her to stop saying it. Thankfully, he's alive and well.

Alli and Boy Wonder have news. Alli had her cerclage today and all appears to be well. She's to stay off her feet for a few days but no one expects any complications. And....Boy Wonder has a job! He starts training next week. He'll be cooking at a new catfish restaurant. And, for the curious, no - he doesn't know how to cook catfish. That's why he's training next week.

Beth is still doing well. She's gotten the hang of her job. Sadly for her, this means it's time for the family to go eat there and see her in action. If any of the local readers are interested, let's plan a night at the steakhouse in the next week or so! She's also settling into her classes at school - the last set of new classes of her high school career...I hope. Just kidding. I really expect her to graduate.

In "me" news, I have $85 to spend at Target. I have $25 from a car seat I ordered last fall but they weren't able to fill the order. Target sent me a gift card to ease the pain. I got a $40 gift card from the grateful mom of a particularly difficult student for Christmas. Trust me - I earned that one! And, a wonderful, grown child of mine (who doesn't get mentioned here often but who I love dearly) sent me a $20 Target card for my birthday. So, when you add them all together, I have $85 just for me. I can't decide what to buy. I'm tempted to wander the aisles and see what strikes me. I never spend money frivolously on myself. I think in this instance, I WILL! If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave me a comment.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

And the heat wave continues...

I don't know that it ever got above freezing yesterday. The highest I saw was 32 degrees with a windchill still in the mid-20s. However today, it was 40 degrees at 10:00 AM! I'm almost sweating - NOT!

I'm still doing nothing on my break. I went through the McDonald's drive-thru for breakfast yesterday. I'd woken up with a horrible headache and thought something with caffeine might help. (We have nothing with caffeine in the house, except Beth's coffee, and I'm not a coffee person.) It helped so I must have been having withdrawals.

Alli wanted me to watch a movie so I did. She didn't watch it with me but ran in and out to see parts of it with me. Whatever. It was Step Brothers. She's a big Will Ferrell fan and I could see why she liked it. It was funny in parts....and really filthy in other parts. It was kind of like Bad Santa. Do I really want to admit that I watched it? And, do I really want to admit it was funny?

My mom offered to come stay at my house with Elvis for a couple of hours yesterday to let me get out and do something but I didn't have anything I wanted to do - LOL! It was nice of her to offer. She took my van to Walmart Monday, thinking I needed new tires and she was going to do that for my birthday and Christmas present. However, the guy thought if he rotated my tires (moving the back ones to the front) I could get another 10,000 miles with my current tires. Sounded good to me. They did the rotation and changed my oil while she was there. Her time was a wonderful gift! I budget for those expenses but often lack the block of time to get them done.

She also took Elvis to the dentist Monday. It was his 6-month check-up and Alli had planned to take him. However, my school had several teachers out Monday for various reasons and subs were in short supply. If either Alli or I had taken him, they would have needed a sub they didn't have. So my mom did the driving and we recruited a homeschooling friend's 15 year old son (who loves Elvis and who Elvis loves) to do the lifting and carrying. From what I've heard, that worked out fine. Elvis was very excited to have his MiMother and his friend with him at the same time.

I've got to get out of the house today. We are deficient in groceries. I'm leaving Elvis here and going alone. I either have to go to 2 stores (if I am willing to fight Walmart) or 3 stores (none of which are Walmart) to get what we need. I do the bulk of my shopping at Aldi. Their prices have gone up just like everyone else but they are still the cheapest around. After that, I need to either go to Walmart and get everything Aldi didn't have or I need to go to Dollar General for the other household stuff and Food Lion for the other grocery stuff. Traveling by myself, this isn't a problem. Trying to haul Elvis and his wheelchair (plus purchases) in and out at 3 different stores by myself is a huge problem.

One more day off. I love long weekends. They are even better when the weather makes them extra long!

Friday, January 16, 2009

We're having a heat wave!

I just checked and we are up to 21 degrees. At 2:00 PM. Of course, the windchill is still 17 degrees but, compared to last night and this morning, we're pretty toasty.

And what have I done on my bonus day off? Not. One. Thing. Well, I have taken care of Elvis, as his mother hasn't come near him today. About 5 minutes ago, she came out, looked at him, and went back to her part of the house. I'm tired of fighting it. They don't do what he needs anyway. I'm better off just taking care of him myself. It will make me less angry. Maybe. I just keep thinking how in the world can/will they take care of a newborn if they don't take care of Elvis?

In other (less bitchy) news, I'm still basking in the glow from seeing Twilight again last night. I'm going to start reading the first book again later today. Obsessed, you say? Is that a bad thing? I think not. I also have some Netflix movies to watch: Swing Vote, Into the Wild, and The Business of Being Born. I chose Swing Vote because sometimes I like Kevin Costner movies (like this and this and this and this). Of course, sometimes I really, really hate them ( like this and this). So, I may or may not like Swing Vote. I got Into the Wild because the actress who played Bella in Twilight is in it. Good reason to choose a movie, huh? And, I don't remember why I chose The Business of Being Born. I saw part of it on TV in some news-type show and thought I'd like to see the whole thing. We'll see.

I'd planned to have a good lunch today. I was trying to decide between take-out Chinese and McNuggets. (Quite the discriminating palate there, huh?) In the end, I decided it was just too cold to bother with either one. I ended up with leftover ham and party potatoes. Elvis loves ham these days so he was quite happy.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Guess what movie I saw tonight!

Baby, it's COLD outside!

It's before 6:00 in the morning and I just checked the weather. It's 17 degrees out with a windchill of 4 degrees. And I left my coat at school yesterday. And I have early morning bus duty today. Aren't you jealous??

And the worst part of all this? This time tomorrow morning, the forecast says it's going to be ZERO degrees. We don't have weather like this often. It hasn't been this cold for six years. The highs today and tomorrow will be in the mid-twenties. I can't imagine sending my kid to the bus stop with a windchill of -10 degrees. Especially when it's likely the bus will be later than usual because it wouldn't start in the cold.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wow, what a week!

As last I posted, my aunt died unexpectedly Tuesday morning. She had multiple health issues but no one had any warning that she was near death. Her husband was having chest pains Monday night and, after a trip to the ER, ended up spending the night in the hospital for further testing. My aunt had felt a little sick that day and stayed home. (Another aunt came to stay with her.) Oddly, my aunt and uncle would have been married for 40 years in April and this was the FIRST night they'd ever spent apart. No one knew it at the time it would be my aunt's last night ever.

All I can think is how sad this is. She leaves behind a son and daughter, both adults and on their own, and two beautiful granddaughters. She was such a part of all their lives. I'm sure they'll be lost without her. Hug your friends and families and tell them (don't just assume they know) how much they mean to you. You never know when (if) you'll get the chance again.

I spent the rest of the week teaching during the day and staying at the funeral home for visitation at night. Beth came to the funeral home on Thursday night. Alli couldn't be bothered, I guess. I was off Friday for the funeral. I called the court clerk about the subpoena. She said I needed to talk to someone at DCS. What fun! I called DCS and ended up with the supervisor who doesn't really care for me. I explained my problem and she said she'd talk to the lawyer and have someone get back with me. I never heard anything back so I just didn't go to court Friday. We'll see if I end up in jail over this.

We had a couple other deaths in our extended family this week. My sister-in-law's co-worker lost her husband and my mom's aunt died, too. They say these things come in threes so I'm hoping that's my "three." I guess we'll see as this week progresses.

In Alli pregnancy news, she is having a cerclage done January 22. She will have to stay home a week after that but if all goes well, her doctor says she can go back to subbing after that.

Beth started her last (we hope) semester of high school last week. So far, she seems to like her classes. She's still new at her job, too, but things are going well there, too.

And me? I'm just hoping to stay afloat. I'm working on getting my house in order and keeping up with things at school. Let's hope I make it!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

RIP (again), Auntie Jo

My mom called me last night and told me she was going to the hospital this morning - not for her but for my uncle (her ex-brother-in-law, if you want to be totally accurate). He was having some kind of test done and they needed a family member there during the test. I asked where his wife (my aunt) and Mom said she didn't know the details but that Auntie Jo was sick and my other aunt was staying with her while my mom took care of hospital duty with my uncle.

Sometime during the morning, I glanced at my cell phone and noticed the message light was blinking. I checked and saw I had a voicemail from my mom but didn't check it. I don't use the phone while my students are in the room. When they went to art class an hour later, I checked the message. Mom just basically said that my aunt was dead. No details - just the fact that she'd died. I still don't have the details. And, I guess the details don't really matter.

This is the first time I've had an aunt die. No uncles have died. It feels odd. I didn't see her often in my adult life, but have great memories of her from childhood. I don't remember her not being in the family. She married my uncle before I turned 2 so, in my memory, she was just always there. Now she's not. I just saw her at Christmas. I'm having trouble accepting that she won't be there next year. Wow, what a day!

To further complicate matters, her funeral is Friday...the day I was subpoenaed to court for the TPR hearing of a former foster daughter. I don't know what to do about that. I guess I'll call the court clerk and ask her. Surely this can't be the first time this has happened.

Monday, January 5, 2009

RIP Jett

I've watched the news unfold since John Travolta's son's death was reported. I remember when the child was born because he has such an unusual name (at the time, anyway. Who knew then that Jett would seem normal compared to Apple or Moxie Crimefighter or Pilot Inspektor?). 16 years have passed and the name Jett Travolta was not really on my radar screen. And then, he died. And all weekend, I knew the autopsy was today. So, without really thinking about it, I avoided the news all day. I guess because I was afraid the cause of death would all boil down to one word: SEIZURE. And it did. And this terrifies me. If it can happen to Jett Travolta, it can happen to Elvis. I'd hoped and hoped that we would find out that he hit his head as he fell. And I can explain that away because Elvis will never walk, so then he can't die like Jett did. But that was not to be. With that one word, my heart sank.

We do all we can to keep Elvis from having seizures. He sees his neurologist regularly. He gets all his seizures meds according to a strict schedule. We keep his daily schedule as predictable as we can. We do everything the doctors ask of us and yet, he still has seizures. They are considered "controlled" by the medication. He averages less than one a month and the neurologist is happy about that. Me? I'd be much happier with zero per month/year/decade. If I've learned nothing else from Jett, I've learned that "just one seizure" is one seizure too many. Not that I didn't know that before but it's been burned into my brain now.

So, rest in peace, Jett. I realize to most of the world your parents are a little odd, or could at least could be considered odd because of their non-traditional religious views. I'm sorry they felt the need to hide/disguise the true nature of your disability. However that is their choice and, since we live in America, that was fully within their rights. Despite all that, according to most reports, they were good parents. And they loved you and did what you needed. And they are hurting tonight because they have lost you. And that makes me really, really sad...and really, really scared that I could be in their shoes one day.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


My last day of winter break was a rousing success! There was a small hitch when Elvis woke up at 6:00 this morning. I had not planned on that. However, I gave him a quick breakfast and a Pediasure (chocolate, his favorite) and then we had a little snuggle time while watching his shows on Disney Channel. He was looking a little tired so we took a morning nap from 9:00 until 11:30. It felt good. I just hope I can sleep tonight.

I spent the day doing exactly what I wanted. I'd been craving McDonald's chicken nuggets so I had some. I came home and watched my marathon of Secret Life. While watching, I cleaned out the drawers in my dresser and organized some of the assorted crap that seems to live in my bedroom. When Elvis was in my part of the house and got fussy, I had Alli come get him. Today was all about least as far was I was concerned.

Beth came home from work and, after hearing about my McNuggets earlier, craved some of her own. I offered to ride along if she wanted to drive. (She'd lost her driving permit back in June - physically lost it, not had it revoked or anything.) He behavior was so erratic at the time, I didn't do anything about getting it replaced. Of course, she needed ID for work so she just got it replaced and updated Friday. This was her first time driving since June. I can't believe I let her drive in the rainy weather after dark but I did. She only scared me a couple of times. Her driving was fine, I'm just nervous when she drives. Anyway, we're home and she has her chicken nuggets. She's on the phone with Spider-Pig and I'm half watching the marathon, which is still on, and half thinking about what I need to have ready to make my morning easier. The first morning back is always a little rushed and chaotic.

Oh, and my other big new, the Chargers beat the Colts in overtime Saturday. The Colts are done for the season while "my" Titans are in the playoffs. All is right in my world...Take that, Boy Wonder!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My break is almost over

School starts back Monday. I have no complaints. We had a good, long break. I haven't worked since December 19. I realize that not everyone gets that much time off for the holidays and I do appreciate that I do have it. I was just thinking that I'm not even sure I can name all my students right now. That means it was a true break. I'm kind of excited to see them. Kindergarten kids grow up a lot over the holidays. They'll come back excited to see everyone and pick up where we left off.

I also realized today that I've barely been out of my house for over a week now. I went to the movies a week ago Friday afternoon. I went to Walmart late Tuesday night. I ran a few other "drive-thru" errands but that's it. I haven't been in public since a middle of the night Walmart trip Tuesday. Again, I'm not complaining. I just don't usually stay home this long. I haven't been bored. Today I've watched two of my favorite movies of all time - Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail. Can you tell I like the pairing of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks? How odd that they were both on TV today on different channels. I was startled to realize how old they are. You've Got Mail was all about the internet when it was new. They had dial-up AOL, for goodness sakes! And in Sleepless in Seattle, Meg Ryan's character uses a type writer. YIKES!

Being as tomorrow is the last day of my vacation, I have big plans. The ABC Family Channel is showing a marathon of The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Beth and I watched these episodes back in the early fall when they were new. The new season starts Monday night and I've planned to devote my last day off to catching up on what happened last season. And I'm looking forward to one last day of not doing anything I don't want to do. I think I'm in good shape for school to start back. We've got food in the house for dinner and school lunches. There is nothing I have to do tomorrow. That feels good right now. Because there will be a LOT of things I have to do starting Monday.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Cop at the door

I was the only one up this morning. I've been enjoying a little peace and quiet but heard Elvis beginning to stir so I was gathering up his breakfast when the doorbell rang. Considering how I looked at the moment and the fact that no one who knows me would ring my doorbell at that time of the morning, I thought about ignoring it. Then they knocked...loudly. So, fashion plate that I was (my pajamas consisted of a lime green t-shirt and grey shorts that I haven't worn in public for 5+ years), I went to the door, figuring if they dared to knock that early, they deserved what they got.

And there stood a deputy sheriff. And he asked for me. I don't know why this scared me, as I'm almost obsessive about following rules and laws, but it did freak me out a little. I was made even more nervous when I realized that I was holding the door just barely cracked open and he might be thinking I was hiding something. (I was just being careful not to open the door very wide because we still have the visiting greyhound and you have to be really careful about them taking off when the door opens. They've been trained since puppy hood that you run as fast as you can when the door drops. We'd never catch her if she got away.)

Anyway, all he needed was to subpoena me into court. What fun! I read it quickly and had the real name of Deb (a long ago foster daughter, see info here and here and here) on it, followed by the letters TPR. (In the world of foster care, that means termination of parental rights.) So, I relaxed a little. Of all my 30+ foster kids, if one ever needed to have parental rights severed, it's her. The hearing is next week. I'll have to miss a day of school. I'm good with that. What worries me is having to spend the day (yes, the whole day) at the court house in the company of the same DCS workers who closed my foster home. Sound like fun?? Not to me, either.

However, I'll do it (as if I had a choice because I think the word "jail" was mentioned if I failed to show up) because it's what is best for Deb. I just hope I can remember the answers to the questions they'll ask me. She left my home over a year ago and a lot has happened since then. If they go asking me questions regarding the specifics of phone calls and visits, it's quite possible I may not remember.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


After a year of breaking every tradition I've ever had with the kids, I shouldn't be surprised that 2009 started off the same way. Our New Year's Eve tradition of board games, sparkling grape juice, and experimental fondue was gone with the wind.

Beth was out with Spider-Pig. Alli and Boy Wonder were in their part of the house. I sent Elvis with them. I rang in the new year sitting on my bed watching a marathon of Dog, The Bounty Hunter. Don't feel sorry for me, though. I LOVE that show! I don't know why. I certainly can't explain it. It's not a fact that most people who know me well would even expect. I will usually stop channel surfing and watch it whenever I find it on. They are rough and tough, and have unquestionably bad taste in clothing and hairstyles, but they are a great family. I guess that's what draws me to them. Very few of them are actually related through blood or marriage but, they love each other and support each other, and all of them know that. If you haven't watched it, give it a shot. Not just one episode, though, because you'll never be able to "get it" that quickly.