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Got to work this morning only to find that the main system is experiencing “technical difficulties” LOL, so I can’t do any of my work that needs to be done. What better time to update than that, right?

I have something really awesome to share with you guys. I got to go to Trace’s horse therapy session Tuesday night (usually I don’t because I don’t get off work in time) and I actually SAW him RIDING A HORSE. OMG y’all…..I couldn’t be more proud, more excited! And Trace was excited about me being there and did a “trick” for me on the back of Big Red- he rotated in a complete circle on Red’s back by lifting his legs up and over and turning! *And* he accomplished it in 5 seconds….*5* seconds!!! He started his session by brushing the dirt from Red’s coat so he could put his riding blanket etc on him, after he finished that, he walked down to the barn (they were in the outside arena this time) and got the saddle blanket and padding, the stable halter and lead rope, his helmet and the girth strap and with help from the assistant in training, carried it all back to the outside arena. That, in and of itself, has the power to amaze me- getting everything in one trip (all the assistant did was help carry-he got everything picked out) was…well, let’s just say that taking his dirty laundry downstairs normally takes 2-3 trips-not because he has so much but because he only takes 3-4 items at a time, lol.

Anyhow, the title said pictures, so pictures it is!!!




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Bubby brought home a bunch of papers from school the other week and among them was a letter that he had written to Santa Claus back in December…. Keep in mind that he has Aspergers and Aspies tend to tell you exactly what they think/what’s on their minds…..no social niceties here!

Dear Santa Claus:

I don’t want anymore wars or crime sprees. Wars take people away. Crime steals, kills and multiplys (sic) each year. So, please stop wars! Stop crime!

It’s for the army! It’s for mugged people! Its for kids! It’s for killed people! It’s for missing/killed kids!

So, stop wars and crimes! Help the army! Help everyone! Help us kids and that’s the reason.

Sincerely,

(Bubby’s real name)

_________________________________________________________________

Kind of threw me for a loop when I read it the first time. I mean, we all know these things are going on…..but do we really know what our kids do/don’t know about it all? I admit it….I didn’t know he was *that* aware of what’s going on in the world….it was Christmas time, I would have expected to hear about Pokemon and Transformers and the Warrior Clan books…..

I know that I’m going to be paying attention even more now…. With all the little things that Bubby stresses over, he doesn’t need to take on the weight of the world right now too. Don’t get me wrong….I’m proud of him that he wants these things to end (so do I and almost everyone else in the world) and that he thought of them over his favorite games/toys/books etc. But if these things are weighing on his mind, it’s no wonder that the “little” things stress him out enough for him to pull out his eyelashes/eyebrows/hair. He’s moved on to his hair now….has a little bald spot going right on the crown of his head. We took him in for a haircut over the weekend, so now that it’s shorter the spot isn’t as noticeable. He has fidgets to play with…..to keep his hands busy….even got him a new one this past weekend with the hope that it will help keep his fingers out of his hair/off his face….

Oh!!! Some good news where Lil Man is concerned! A while back I blogged about how Lil Man wasn’t being cooperative at bathtime ……and about a week and a half ago, he did a complete turn around. TOTAL turnaround. You couldn’t have shocked me more if you’d used a cattle prod….well, maybe….but you get what I mean right? When we got home from the sitters, I gave him a forewarning…. “Lil Man, we’re going to take a bath tonight ok?” and he said “Ho-tay” …I didn’t take any notice of that…it hadn’t meant “ok” regarding bath time in months, I didn’t expect that it had changed. But….we’d been inside all of 5 minutes, I sat down to go thru the mail etc and all the sudden Lil Man slaps my knee and yelled “Mama! BAFF! NOW!” I about fell off my chair. Seriously. I looked at him and said “You *want* to take a bath?? Right now???” And he squealed “Yayyyyyy!!!!” I hopped to it let me tell ya…..if he wasn’t pulling my leg, I was taking advantage of it! And, glory be! He wasn’t pulling my leg! He joined me in the bathroom (instead of me having to chase his hiney down), started stripping off clothes, squealing and laughing the whole time. He got in the tub and started taking the washcloth, dunking it in the water and putting it on his head…..something that when I’d done it just a day or two before, he’s screamed bloody murder over! I called the sitter and demanded…. “Who is this child??? And what have you done with my Lil Man???” They couldn’t believe it either…..neither could daddy, who came into to investigate all the squeals and laughter. It’s a dang miracle but, after almost a year of red-faced, scream-til-you-almost-puke, tantrums…..Lil Man is back to liking to be clean!!

Sweet!!!!

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Holy cow!! I got a comment!! :::woot::: LOL…… Busy doesn’t hardly cover Deb, seriously….. Ok….so, the rest of the story….

In the midst of my searching….I had a job change. Now Jackie couldn’t contact me if she tried. I didn’t give up though….I kept bugging the people at the # she’d given me….kept searching the streets of downtown KC. Finally, *finally*, I got hold of someone at that # who told me he not only knew who Jackie was but *where* she was! Gah….I was soooo excited….I gave him my #’s to give to her and totally expected to hear from her in the next day or so. Didn’t happen. For several weeks I called the # and got hold of the same guy….he kept telling me he hadn’t been “over her way” yet but he was going “tomorrow” yada yada. Then, during one of the calls, he mentioned that Jackie’s “landlord” was about to kick her to the curb because she wasn’t paying any rent, she was like 6 months behind. Now, a couple of things that I’d found out while working with the homeless (and in particular about this “landlord”) is, if they think they have something you want, they will milk you for money the best way they know how. This “landlord” is basically a “slumlord” …..the # I was calling was one of his houses and he basically letting several people live there at the same time, collecting $$ from all of them. Real winner he is, for sure. Another thing I learned was specifically about Jackie……she’s got pride. In all the time I’d known her, she’d NEVER ever asked for *anything*, much less money (exception being when she asked us to take her to drug rehab). She would actually get upset if we spent money on anything for her….very proud she was. So, I knew this guy was yanking my chain, so to speak. Jackie would never ask for money, or even hint that she needed it. I’d had enough, I called the Missing Persons unit of the KCPD to see what, if anything, I could do about filing a report on Jackie seeing as how I’m not family/relative. The detective I spoke with, God bless him, not only was able to tell me (in not so many words) about the “slumlord” associated with the #/house I was calling, he was able to confirm that, at least as of Feb of ’07, Jackie was alive. He checked with the morgue and didn’t find anything there either. He advised me to push a little harder on the person at the #/house and if I didn’t get anywhere, call him back. So, I pushed….I was plenty pissed off so there wasn’t alot of incentive needed. I called the #, got hold of the guy who immediately said to me “I’m so glad you called…I lost your #’s, really I did, and I’m going over there today” yada yada. I said that was fine, gave him the #’s again and then told him that I’d better hear from Jackie in the next 24 hours or I’d be filing a Missing Persons report, that I’d already spoken to a detective…that I was very concerned because I *knew* that if Jackie had my information and could call me, she would….that’s how tight our bond was. She wouldn’t let anyone, or anything, stop her from contacting me…short of being dead. Imagine my surprise when he said that the “landlord” was standing right there and wanted to talk to me. I immediately said that if he was going to ask me for money, he was barking up the wrong tree because 1) I didn’t have any extra to give and 2) Jackie wouldn’t ask for it. The guy told me no, it wasn’t anything like that. So, I talked to the slumlord….and within 2 minutes had Jackie’s cell #. Gah….I actually had her #……I tried to remind myself not to get my hopes up, that this could all be a trick or a lie…..something. He kept me on the damn phone for a good 15 minutes, all I wanted to do was hang up and dial that # he’d given me, but I tried to be nice and polite. Finally, he was done and I took a deep breath and dialed.

In less than 2 rings I heard a deep Southern, gritty Cajun voice say … “Baby girl?!?! That you?!?!” I’m a baby….I started crying. After searching for as long as I had, to finally hear her voice and *know* that she was alive and (at least sounding) well….it overwhelmed me. She laughed and told me to stop crying, that she was ok, just fine….”fat ‘n sassy”……in short order? She was….Jackie. Just Jackie. And I couldn’t have been happier about it. LOL. This all happened on a Friday, a couple of weeks before Christmas…ok, if you insist….it was December 12th, approximately 3pm….wha?? You didn’t think I’d remember something this important?? LOL. After talking for about 20 minutes, we made plans for me to come visit her the next day where she’s living.

We spent about 2 hours the next day, catching up, laughing, crying…..the whole nine yards. I wish I could say that things are wonderful and perfect, but, this is real life….you take what you get, right? She’s living in a basement, and I use that term very loosely, that I wouldn’t want my worst enemy’s dog to live in. She keeps it clean, cleanliness isn’t the issue….it’s the condition of the said “house”, her asshole neighbors upstairs and the slumlord. She has a roomie, a buddy of hers named Mike (it’s a brother/sister situation, no worries on that), he works thru temps services etc……she’s got bad knees and can’t work a lot but plans on working the sports arena when baseball season starts up again. Between the two of them, and the church up the street, they (barely) keep their heads above water. The jerks upstairs…..lordy but what a mess they are. White trash, alcoholic, meth-smoking punk ass jerks. And that’s just the “mom”. And I use *that* terms very very lightly. There’s mom (in her 50’s), 2 daughters (late teens and early 20’s) and an asshole son (late teens) …..and 1 granddaughter (a baby, belongs to the early 20’s daughter) and 1 grandson (4 yr old, part-time) that belongs to an older son who *doesn’t* live with them. Seriously…they are one hot mess. They don’t like Jackie and Mike living downstairs, stomp on the floors at all hours, the baby cries, the toddler throws tantrums, they (the “grown ups”, including the teens) yell and scream and curse at the kids……they play thumping, punk-ass music from morning til late late night…..”mom” spends her disability checks on alchol and drugs, the older daughter gets food stamps and WIC, the late teen daughter supposedly goes to school and the boy? He’s just a lazy ass jerk who thinks he’s all bad and intimidating. Ha. There’s a story about him that I’ll have to share on another day……it’s a hoot. I’ll give you a hint…..for some unknown reason the slumlord believes that I work for Social Services….I don’t, but he thinks I do….and he told the family that. Boy, are they on their best behavior when I come around…. LMAO……

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Bad blog owner! Bad!

Sheesh….so, yeah, it’s been a while hasn’t it? Well, I don’t think I’m going to apologize….I mean, it happens to all of us..it’s called life, yes? And, I’m thinking that with one reader….Hey Deb!! I’m betting you never noticed I was gone, did ya?? LOL….. We need to talk girl!

Anyhow, work has been super crazy – tons of new stuff to be entered in the computer…..and a good friend of mine that I worked with, found a new job. I still have friends here, but I sure miss talking to her LOL.

What else? Hmmm….oh, I am now taking Atenolol in addition to my Zoloft and Xanax but gee, I just wasn’t taking enough drugs *rolls eyes* The Atenolol is supposed to help with the general anxiety symptoms I’ve been having…..heart palpitations, hand tremors, tightness in my chest…. We’ll see, it’s only been 3 days so far.

The holidays were good, the boys got spoiled rotten….got to see my brother who flew in from L.A. Spent time with Randy’s family……

And something really incredible happened for me right before the holidays. About 6-7 yrs ago, I started a homeless ministry at the church we were attending. During that time, I met many homeless people…mostly men, but a few women. One of the women, Jackie, became very dear to my heart……she was a tiny, feisty, prideful Cajun from Louisiana…..she was about my mom’s age and treated me just like a daughter….she called me “Baby girl” . For about 2-3 yrs, Randy and I ministered to her, helped when we could (or when she would let us, lol) , then one day she called me out of the blue. “Baby girl, I need you to come get me….I cain’t do this no more, I need help” “Help” being drug rehab…..Jackie was so tiny because she basically lived on crack cocaine and alcohol. But, we were ecstatic that she wanted to get off the drugs, off the streets….and that she’d chosen us to help her. And we did…but she did all the work….drug withdrawals, rehab….the whole nine yards. After she’d completed the program, they helped her get an apartment in a “no-drug” building and a FT job. She worked her butt off……and not being on the drugs, she put on some much needed weight. She no longer looked like she’d blow away in the wind. She held her own for about a year or so when new management came into her job. She lost her job. In short order, she lost her job, her apartment…..and sold all her possessions (including the A/C unit) to buy crack. She was back on the streets….for about a month, I didn’t hear from her, couldn’t find her….I was really concerned. I’d found out about the job loss etc….and pretty much guessed the rest of it. She finally called me at work…..she was living with “some people” in a “house somewhere in the city” …..she was very out of it. The next time, she gave me a phone # to reach her, and that’s how we stayed in contact. Until the fall of 2005. I found out I was preggers with Lil Man and wasn’t having an easy time of it, and we found out that Papa Lou’s leukemia had come out of remission…..and, after another round with chemo and radiation, there was nothing else the dr’s could do. So, Feb of ’06 I lost my father-in-law, and in March had Lil Man. Talk about the bitterness of sweet times. With everything going on, it wasn’t until the summer of ’06 that I realized I hadn’t heard from Jackie in a long LONG time. I felt awful….I knew she’d understand, but I still felt awful. I dug out the # she’d given me ….and got told “bitch don’t live here no more” and hung up on. Since that time, I’ve been searching and searching for her…..spending time downtown looking for her, online looking for clues…..called that # time and again, basically being told the same thing over and over….I broke down and called her family in Louisiana….there’s “history” there and they hadn’t seen/heard from her in longer than I had and it could stay that way “thankyouverymuch”. What.ever. Assholes. So I kept searching…..and searching……

I’ll finish this up tomorrow….hate to leave you hanging Deb, but work calls!!!

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Thought about telling you all about our weekend but, I don’t have pictures ready yet….so, instead you get a me-me that I read over here and decided, shoot….if she can meme herself, so can I. Besides, I’m feelin’ kind of lazy this morning. Pics tomorrow…promise!

1. Five names you go by
a) Grace b) Gracie c) Shawne d) Mom e) honey
2. Three things you are wearing right now:
a) dark grey docker type pants b) make up c) grey patterned top
3. Two things you want very badly at the moment:
a) a NAP b) for my stupid panic attacks to take a frickin’ hike already
4. Three people whom I would like to see fill this out:
Anyone who reads this! Just take the meme and run with it.
5. Two things you did last night:
a) Watched 88 Minutes w/ hubby b) Laid in bed with Lil Man and watched cartoons til we fell asleep
6. Two things you ate today:
a) Yogurt b) a Pepsi? Srsly, I haven’t had any other food….it’s only 9am!
7. Two people you last talked to on the phone:
a) My doctor’s office b) My husband
8. Two things you are going to do tomorrow:
a) Work b) Get Bubby’s meds refilled
9. Two longest car rides (I’m interpreting this as road trips and I can’t remember road trips from childhood):
a) From KC to TN on our honeymoon b) KC to Branson
10. Two of your favorite beverages:
a) Pepsi b) Peach flavored tea

AND ANOTHER:
Pick a color for the things that you have done. Mine are in bold letters.I have…
1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped (and I never will)
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightning at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill-but Lil Man was sick, does that count?
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Skied a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (OK, so it was in a game with small children)
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (documentary)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving (and I never will)
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book (I’ve been published IN a book…does that count?)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Ridden an elephant

Good Lord but I’m a boring and deprived person LOL…….. I can’t believe how many of those things I haven’t done!!! Granted, some I wouldn’t *want* to do, ie….rock climbing, bungee jumping etc……but some of the others, I’d love to do—go to Paris, see the Alamo, visit the White House, go to Disneyland……

So…..what about you??

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4th Grade Expectations

So….at the beginning of the school year, the 4th grade students had to write a short essay on “4th Grade Expectations”. I want to share Bubby’s with you:

“I have a hard time paying attention for reading. I will try harder to stop reading too much here and more at home. I will try to have self-control by not getting mad. I will particpate in Math. I will respect others the way I want to be treated. I will follow directions so that I won’t be in trouble. I’ll take responsibility to be good. I’ll enjoy each other to make friends.”

I love this. For so many reasons, but I just absolutely love this and the fact that Bubby came up with it on his own. Some of them make sense (reading too much at school ….he races thru his assignments so that he can read) …. “I will follow directions so that I won’t be in trouble” -this is a big thing for him as it really stresses him if rules are broken so he tries really hard to follow directions/rules. But some of them have me absolutely scratching my head and sayin’ ….”Wha????” “I will try to have self-control by not getting mad” …..outside of getting mad at me or his dad for discipline (ie, grounding from the PS2 etc) I have never seen this child get “mad” ….or anything even closely resembling “mad”. And even his “mad” at being grounded or whatever has never gone beyond a slammed bedroom door. “I will particpate in Math.” -I’m not sure what to make of this one. He’s stated that Math is his least favorite subject….yet, it’s his highest grade, A-. And I love “I’ll take responsibility to be good” – this is something for him…a big something. We’ve been working really hard for…well, for forever… on getting him to take responsibility for his actions etc. His favorite “excuse” is “maybe my medicine isn’t working.” or “But I didn’t take my pill today” (he’s on Concerta for his ADHD) …..and we always respond that he has to be responsible for his actions, not his pill…all the pill does is help him concentrate/focus more but that ultimately, he’s responsible for his behavior. The last expectation that he lists just breaks my heart…..even with a word or two left out. “I’ll enjoy each other to make friends” it’s just so damn hard for him to make friends….. but you know what? The ones he does make, he keeps and they’re really good friends.

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