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Rated: 13+ · Book · Personal · #1921220
My thoughts released; a mind set free
These pages contain my thoughts, from meandering ideas and persuasions to deep cerebrations and serious mentations.

Why, for what purpose? To release my mind and set creativity free. Somewhere inside the constraints of my mind dwells a writer, a poet, an artist who paints with words. In here I release those constraints and set the artist free.

Perhaps, lost somewhere in the depths of thought, is a story or a poem, waiting to be written.

I'm docked at Talent Pond's Blog Harbor, a safe port for bloggers to connect.
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November 14, 2020 at 1:46am
November 14, 2020 at 1:46am
It's been 6 months since I wrote in here, way too long.

My last entry was under quarantine and just at the tail end of all hell breaking loose, or so we thought. As it turned out, even as one crisis calmed, another flared. With our credit in shambles, we found hours cut do to the pandemic and a big reduction in income. Civil unrest was growing around us, and our problem child was still creating a lot of headaches and problems for us, even though she was temporarily placed outside the home.

With our income lower, we couldn't maintain our lease for long, so it was time to find a new place to live. We had been wanting to relocate a bit further out of the city, but with the stay at home orders, it wasn't looking like things were going to work out. That and we were very short on funds and still locked into a lease until July. However, shortly after my last post, we found a nice little place out in the country, but much further than we had planned on moving.

We talked to the owners, they wanted us to come look at the place and meet us. It was about a three hour drive, but a nice day when we met them and looked the place over. Being down to one daughter still in the home, a two bedroom duplex was fine. It meant downsizing a lot, but the location was good. Our daughter fell in love with the place at first site, and within a few days we had a one year lease. It meant going a bit further in debt to make the new payment while finishing the old lease, but it gave us time to move, clean the apartment, and get organized a bit. Well, that was the plan.

Two weeks after we closed the lease deal, we had enough stuff moved to stay here between trips to move more, but kept enough at the old place to stay overnight there, as well, since it was almost three hours each way. About halfway through our carefully planned and organized move, some rioting broke out too close to our old apartment, right across the road from the complex. We decided it was time to get the hell out of Dodge once and for all.

Three days straight we spent running back and forth to haul items and clean. We had to rent another storage unit here to pack stuff into until we could sort it. Again, even more financial set back, but we talked to the credit union and explained the situation. Even with our dropped credit score, they approved us a personal line of credit and upped our credit card limit. Of course, this helped but at the same time, made things more difficult. But, with careful budgeting and planning, we managed to utilize the credit without letting it bleed us dry. Of course, it took time to find work in the new area to get some income flowing back in, but work was found and now things are holding pretty good.

Of course, skimping and holding off on so many things over the summer kind of hit us this fall, new tires for the pickup and the car was quite an expense. The plan was to get the truck tires first, they were the worst, but the car decided it wasn't going to go any more without new tires and left us stranded on the side of the road with two blown front tires. They still had a bit of tread, but the belts had let loose and we lost one tire, put on the spare, then lost the other about fifty miles from home; towing charges are crazy!

Anyway, both daughters are home and it's been quite a stressful reunion with the younger daughter, but so far things are going pretty good. We are cramped on room, and since the second daughter returned we had to split our big bedroom into two smaller rooms to accommodate her, but it's working. Crowded as it gets at times, we all love the area we live in; it's a rural area, but close enough to town for all our needs. In fact, even being crowded like we are, we are all wanting to renew the lease next spring.

That's enough catching up for now, I need to refrain from writing too much or I won't have anything to write about after the next six months passes!
May 5, 2020 at 5:24am
May 5, 2020 at 5:24am
We have a good start into May and things are beginning to look a little better for us. We are extended under the stay at home orders, which I don't agree with, I think enforced social distancing would be enough, I'll even wear a mask out in public, but having to stay inside only creates stress and more problems on top of everything else. I'm not going to voice any opinions or thoughts on the pandemic except to say, I hope I never see another virus outbreak during an election year.

We have had our own disaster during these difficult times and it's been hard on everyone. In 2017 we literally ended our lives and started over again so we could foster our three grand children who had lived in abuse and then into the foster system for years. because the abuse was family, it was complicated, but the children were worth everything we had to do and everything we had to give up.

Three children, three grandchildren to be specific, the oldest, we'll call her Ann, the middle boy, John, and the youngest, Cathy. We had to take Cathy in right away because of some problems she had and no place to go. We were still learning about all of the fostering stuff and all of her problems; it was tough sometimes, but she stole my heart right off. Then the oldest girl started visiting on weekends and holidays, but it took months to get her placed in our care. At the time, we were foster parents, but our hearts were set to adopt and be a real family. The middle child had many issues, and after a heart breaking realization, we had to accept that we did not have what he needed and it would not work for him and his sisters to live under the same roof.

We had one of the girls already living with us, the next was slated to move in after the new year, 2018, and he was a threat to their well being and safety. We had to do what was best for everyone and admit we could not reach him, and he was not good for his sisters.

He went back into the system, although we continued to have contact with him and prayed for him to get a family that was right for him. Meanwhile, the youngest was about to be adopted, but her sister wasn't sure yet and old enough to have to decide for herself. It was a tough couple of months for both the girls, who were now both living with us full time. They had been in the system for years by this time and had been in homes together and individually, all saying they would adopt and all giving up on them at the last minute.

We had a huge explosion shortly before the finalization for Cathy. But, it changed nothing and last fall she officially became our daughter. It took a few days to sink in, but she finally realized she had a real family again. In fact, we were out camping and my wife and Ann were out in front on a trail we were hiking, Cathy was about ten feet behind them taking in the beauty around us, and I was about five feet behind her with our family dog. Cathy was looking at wild flowers as she walked, the suddenly started to skip and exclaimed, "I have a family! A real family"

With the youngest girl adopted, the oldest, Ann, realized this wasn't a repeat of the many foster homes she had been in and wanted to get adopted to. We filed and soon had a date set for just after the new year started. Both girls got very excited as the day came closer, and we thought some of the problems with Cathy were a result of this, but come to find out, more was going on than we knew.

Ann was adopted at the end of January, and things kind of went to hell after that with Cathy. A new girl had move into the area and was in her class, and trouble soon started at school. Even as we tried to get this under control, we started to have Cathy withdraw from us at home. Ann was indifferent and was struggling with the adoption, so we had our hands full. Both girls thought that since they were now adopted, they could run free and we had nothing but trouble. Most of the time they worked in shifts, one being good while the other went into trouble. We worked with therapists and did our best to get things back under control.

By February, Ann was starting to adjust to all the new ideas of family and had really settled in, but still did not feel comfortable with a family setting. We were working with a family therapist every other week, but soon realized that Cathy was being more withdrawn and pulling away from family, even as her sister Ann was joining in.'

Through the school, we knew that Cathy and her new friend were nothing but trouble, and we did our best to keep them apart as did the school. But they managed to keep in contact and things got worse. Then Corvid-19 hit and so did the crap right into the fan. Cathy was very social and started blaming me for not being able to go to school, to her friends, etc. A pandemic was new to her and she could not understand.

Both sisters had friends in the same complex we live in and would have time to visit back and forth. We were all good with it until Cathy went off the deep end. She wasn't supervised as much as we were lead to believe at her friends and had used this other friend as a means of getting in contact with the bad friend from school. they soon devised a plan. Cathy came home from her friends, but that night, she ran.

We found her by the next morning, at her friends home but she refuse to come home. Police were called in, but she still refused to come home. With the pandemic, things soon became all messed up and soon she was in the psych ward. There, she decided to claim abuse in the home, wanting to be brought back to the friends home. When that didn't work, she admitted she had made it all up to be with her friend.

She was back home in a week, and everything seemed to be getting back to a normal. Even Ann changed and seemed to finally understand that she had a forever family that loved her and she didn't have to worry about losing them. Her younger sister, however, soon discovered she could stay in contact with her bad friend through the distance learning.

Shortly after she found this out, we also found out through the school. things were changed and they could not message back an forth and again, she was mad and blamed me for not letting her have her friend. A couple weeks ago she ran again. This time she was working with her friend and had taken my billfold when she left.

The best we know, they were going to meet up, but needed to get certain things before hand, including cell phones. We soon had a runaway, as well as stolen debit and credit cards. But, as the charges came in, we could track her and soon she was in custody of the police. Her last text before she was "busted" was to her friend, but accidentally went to her sister. It read, "The po-po found me and I'm busted, don't let them get you."

she had been found behind a store burning receipts and packaging so nothing could get returned. The police took her down for some questioning and then were going to bring her home. She didn't want to come home and refused to cooperate. Then she claimed she was raped by me, numerous times. Social services had to be called in and everything went straight to hell for our family. Even though the replay on her phone, from her friend was instructing her to cry rape, it had to be investigated.

I agree, anytime a child says she has been sexually abused, it needs to be investigated. I knew I was innocent, but it was going to take time to prove it. Meanwhile, she was place outside the home, just what she wanted. The county also was going to take her sister out of the home until it went through court. Che came forward and told the investigators that if she was removed she would run away to come back home to us.

The next thing was I needed to leave the home then so she was safe. She insisted on coming with me. It took a few days but eventually the county let me stay home based on what the investigation was showing and what the older sister was stating as it being a safe and loving home.

We complied with everything the investigators wanted and since we had been informed by the adoption agency that it's smart to put in security cameras except in the girls rooms and bathrooms just in case something like this came up, and had listened, we soon had more than enough evidence to get everything dropped. That was last week.

But, now Cathy knows she has to face up to her lies and all the damage she caused by taking my billfold and spending money with e debit and credit cards, she is refusing to return home. Because of her age, she is just under the states accountably age, we are just out the money and wit the false accusations, she is feeling guilty and knows there are going to be consequences. She tried to play the social worker, but got caught contacting the friend who was also busted in this run-a-way scheme, so she really got herself jammed up.

Now, today, we signed some forms to have her evaluated by a new psych hospital. She is being transferred to a home for troubled girls and will soon be working with psychiatrists. Not what she wanted, but what she needed. As for us? We are still recovering from the damage she caused. We are out a lot of money and cannot return the items because they were opened and we have Covid-19.

We also have legal fees and other damages due to all of this. Ann finally broke down and cried over her sister not being her with us and her almost losing her new home because of everything. We are trying to get used to not having Cathy here with us, and undoing as much of the damage she did as we can. We don't even want to live here anymore because of everything that has taken place.

Today, finally, things are beginning to straighten out. It cost us a lot in money and we dropped a lot in our credit score as a result, but we have everything balance. Hopefully, in a few moths, we can begin to recover, although our credit score, from reporting stolen credit and debit cards, as well as the overdrafts and fees we are finally getting removed, will be barely into the fair area for a few years.

Who would have thought this is what the new year was bringing!
April 23, 2020 at 12:21am
April 23, 2020 at 12:21am
It's been over a month and so much has happened. We still have Covid-19 messing up our spring, of course, and are now going on six weeks of staying at home. I can't say it seems to be helping, our states numbers have been in triple digits for a week now, but there's no way to know what it would be without staying home. I tend to think it would be the same. Of course, that's with social distancing everyplace and everyone cooperating with maintaining distance, restricting travel, and revamping every business to provide the means to social distance. I'm sure it would work just as good, but how to impliment it is the big question and I have no better answers than anyone else. I guess it's take a number and wait in the car and wait till your number is anounced over a speaker, the radio, or perhaps displayed at various places in the parking lot.

Anyway, we have plenty of people trying to figure this out and my family is having enough trouble just getting through this period of history. It's been terrible for us without anyone getting sick, that we know of. We did all have a turn at some kind of stomach virus but we do not have any idea what it was. I'm kind of hoping the test to see who's been sick and who hasn't becomes available soon. But even if the pandemic ended in a week, I'm afraid the devestation within my family would not recover. It may get better, it may not, but after all that's happened in the last six weeks, I know things will never be the same for us again.

Right now, there is still too much happening with everything, emotions are almost out of control at times, and there is no clear vision of how it will all turn out, so I don't want to go into details. Besides, I'm having great difficulty with my anxiety and am so filled with sorrow that I doubt I could go into any detail without having to stop. I tried to write a bit yesterday, and couldn't; today I have this much...

I guess that means that we are moving forword a little.
March 18, 2020 at 11:36am
March 18, 2020 at 11:36am
I know, it's officially named Covid-19 but that's so labratorish (my term) and boring! Besides, what about West Nile Virus, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), German Measles, and Legionnaire’s Disease, just to name a few? I say, to hell with politically correct, and back to the basics of freedom of speech!

But, that's not how things work in this point in history, is it? I mean, look at the panic we are seeing over this pandemic, which statistically is very close to the annual influenza season and it's not like our nation has never seen a pandemic before. In 1916, over 7,000 deaths occurred and 27,363 cases were reported of polio (infantile paralysis) in America's worst polio epidemic. Again in 1949, 2,720 deaths occurred from polio from 42,173 reported cases. Finally in 1952 polio killed 3,300 out of 57,628 cases reported.

1918, nationwide, Spanish Flu killed over 500,000 in the worst U.S epidemic; in 1957 an Asian Flu outbreak killed 70,000. Between 1981 and 2005 the CDC estimated U.S. Aids cases over 988,300 with a total fatality of just over 550,000. More recently, in 2009, H1N1, or the Swine Flu quickly spread to more than 70 countries and between April and October, 22,000,000 (yes million) Americans had contacted the virus. 98,000 required hospitalization and about 4,000 Americans died as a result of H1N1.

As you can see, we have weathered similar storms in our past, some not to far back. So what's changed? Why is there so much panic this time? I suspect that we are seeing more panic as a result of being better connected in this day and age. Sad, our technology and ability to communicate information quicker should help reduce panic, not increase it. But, then look at how the masses react to information; When Trump won the election our nation almost shut down simply because Hilary lost!

Face it, we can't speak our minds without hurting someones feelings, we can't openly practice our religious beliefs without hurting someones feelings. I would like to add here that the first thing that comes to mind is "Merry Christmas" but just this past summer someone let a dog into a local mosque because they felt threatened. So, lets be clear, it applies to everyone! Just this past summer, while taking my family out to a Bonanza Steak House, I heard a person comment as they passed our table, "Look at those savages eating meat! It should be outlawed."

Not an exact quote, but close enough. I wanted to reply, "I'm sorry eating steak at a steakhouse offends you. I would prefer to eat totally vegetarian, but the law forbids cannibalism. Besides, I'm on a low fat diet and you, my dear, do not even qualify t be rated 75% lean!" But I held my tongue and said nothing, although I did wonder why she would en enter a steakhouse.

I hope, and pray this will soon be under control, that the general public will get tired of the restrictions, the empty shelves, and the B-S. But, it is an election year so who knows? I wonder, could that be why things are as they are? Would our politicians use something like this to try and win votes? I think we are on to something here....

March 7, 2020 at 12:40pm
March 7, 2020 at 12:40pm
I received a postcard a couple days back from WdC! I've received quite a few things from them over the years and I find it very hart warming. I don't know of any other sites that actually send a member things for birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries. It's one of may things I love about the site.

This time it's a simple reminder to log in everyday, something I really need to do. But, to actually send me something to remind me seems so wonderful; it cost money for postcards and it cost money for postage. I have a purchased membership, so there are no adds paying them for me to be here, just what I spend to maintain my membership, which is months away yet. No, it's not about money, it's about caring and that's wonderful.

So, why don't I log in more often? I mean, I love it here when I can interact with others, write, read, review, and interact in onsite activities. Well, normally I love all these things, but lately it's gotten to be frustrating. Not the site, or anything to do with the site; no, this is my life that has gotten complicated and frustrating, and it seems all but out of my control.

If I can log in and relax, engage, and enjoy, I would be here as much as possible. But, with interruptions, and all the hassles that seem to keep interfering with my life, it's difficult to try and set a time up when I can log in. The more I try to overcome these, the more they seem to increase and disrupt, until I've finally reached a place where I just try and avoid them. That means I avoid doing the things I love because it has become too difficult for me to engage in them.

Even today, I suffer again at the same problems. I need to do some shopping, but I don't have control over the finances, my wife does. She knew I needed to shop for some items and even added her input into the list of things I need to get, but she did not give me a dollar amount I can safely spend without risking spending too much. Why? She didn't get around to figuring up the checkbook yet.

So, now I'm sitting here, frustrated and kind of stuck. Both girls are at friends for part of the day, so it's a great time for me to get out and get away from things for awhile. It's a good time for me to get away from the stress and frustrations of being stuck in the apartment but I don't know how much, if any, money is available. I also do not know when the girls are going to be coming home and again, do not have any way of finding out. They have my wife's phone number and will not answer if I call, even though I have been trying to get my number added. Like the check book, it gets pushed back and I sit and wait.

Once the girls are home, it get's stressful. They have been adopted out of the foster care system and both have issues. They cannot be left unattended, and I never know when one, the other, or both will get triggered and problems arise. I can take them with, but it prevents me from being able to relax and more often than not, gets stressful and difficult shopping with them.

I feel like I'm going this alone, trying to keep everything working correctly and smoothly, but instead of getting the resources and support, I get nothing but more stress and pushed off until later; a later that never comes.

I try! I talk and point out things, I am willing to jump in whenever needed, and I work with everyone involved, but I don't get any cooperation back. I hear the same response over and over, I have to (fill in the blank) ____________ right now and don't have time. So, I sit and wait, and wait, and wait. Then, when I get tired of waiting an decide it's time to do something for me, to get out of the home, to get de-stressed, and take some time for myself, I have to put my plans on hold because now I have to do what I had to put off days back.

I feel trapped! Trapped by the person who I used to turn to for support and who used to work by my side.
February 25, 2020 at 3:03pm
February 25, 2020 at 3:03pm
Another month gone and still not much for activity here, or anyplace in WdC for that matter.

Winter blues may be a part of it, but it's also so much going on. Even as I think I have one thing taken care of, something else comes up. A lot of it has to do with the two girls we fostered and adopted.

Leading up to the adoption was pretty hectic, and I really thought after would settle right down. Boy was I wrong! First of all, both girls started getting worked up more and more as the day approached. I antisipated the older girl winding up, since she was the one getting adopted; her younger sister was adopted a few months back and had settled in pretty well. This was why I thought the older girl would do the same, get wound up and need lots of attention until after the court date, then settle in like her sister had done.

But, both girls wound up, more and more as it got closer. Finally the big day was here and we headed to court. We were set to be there at 9:30 and would have this all done by 10:00. But, we got pushed back until almost noon. More anxiety and then finally, in a few minutes, everything was over. They were both still wound pretty high, but seemed to have a handle on it.

We went out to eat to celebrate, then headed to some relatives to complete he day. After visiting, we took off for home kind and arrived kind of late. We had stopped for dinner on the way, and both girls had fallen asleep on the drive home after. Once home we got them inside, ready for bed and shortly after they were sound asleep.

But, they didn't sleep well, both having bad dreams during the night. The following day they were both distant, but got off to school alright. We had therapy set up for both of them, thinking it would help settle them and get things back to normal. But, neither of them was ready when we stopped to pick them up from school. It was three weeks before we could get them to back to therapy!

They both also started having other problems. The oldest was demanding all my time, the younger getting into trouble at school and just pulling away from us at home. As soon as I managed any improvements with the younger, the older would get into trouble, and so it would go, back and forth. The oldest also got sick and missed a week of school, so no breaks there.

It's gone like that for the last five weeks, and still going. My wife and I managed to get our younger girl to open up a bit and now she is clinging tight. She had a lot of issues when she moved in and soon attached to me as her life-line, so I'm used to her being clingy, but she is clinging even more now that her sister is also trying to monopolize all my time and attention.

My wife works, so she is not here with them as much, but she does a lot to help out. Since they had problems with women, especially any with authority, it only made sense that she would work and I would stay home with them until such a time as they are able to be home unsupervised. I just needed to add that, so anyone reading this wouldn't think my wife is not supportive or helpful.

Anyway, I thought over the weekend things had begun to settle down a bit, but yesterday we left the older sister with relatives for a couple hours while we attended the younger girls school conferences. By the time we returned, the older sister had managed to get herself into trouble again. It's how it is right now and I don't know how to overcome this, except for time. No matter who gets the attention, the other will get into trouble to take it away; I do my best to spend equal time and attention with them both, separate and together, but right now, that's not good enough for them.

I'm getting tired and it's taking all of my attention and wits to deal with them, so not much time for anything else. Hopefully it all starts to work itself out.
January 27, 2020 at 3:52pm
January 27, 2020 at 3:52pm
Someone left the door open and all my pet peeves got out; I say, "Who, who... who let the peeves out!"

Yes pet peeve; we all have some. One of mine is getting interrupted when I'm reading or writing. Interruptions when I'm concentrating are bad enough, but when it's reading or writing, it's even worse. I like it quiet when I read, so I can focus on the story. The same is true for writing, I loke it quiet so I can focus on the story. In both cases, the story is being played out within my mind, and outside interruptions force me to pause and then try and find the spot I was at. Perhaps you can relate.

Currently, we live in an apartment in a fair size city. We moved from a big house in a small town, I'm talking an old farm style house in a community of less than 1000 people. It was quite a change, but we adjusted quickly. We like it here, having just about everything within an hour's drive or less, plenty of choices and a very comfortable apartment. Yes, we lost out on space, but we got use to it. Our heats and garbage is included, which is a big plus, maintenance is quick and efficient, and all the other utilities are reasonable. We rented a garage right off the building we live in and can park inside out of the weather. We rented a second garage for storage, and the two cost about the same as a local storage site. We've been here for over a year and it's become our home and we like it.

Then we got new neighbors upstairs who have young children. The people who moved out also had young children, and one was mentally handicapped and got a bit loud at times, but it wasn't a problem at all. The new people, however, do not restrain the children at all and are always stomping around above us. We addressed them and let them know it was creating a lot of noise for us, but they didn't care and it got worse and worse. We eventually went to the landlord with the problem and they also tried to address the people, but it didn't do any good; they just don't care how much noise we have to deal with, and it goes well into the early morning hours. If that isn't enough, the children also love to throw things off the balcony, especially if we are sitting outside. We also addressed this problem wit the parents, but they just replied, "They are children and don't know any better."

It's gotten so bad that the police have been called in, but the people above us tell them we are racist and just picking them out because they are immigrants. The police also have informed us there is little they can actually do, to talk to the apartment management because it's a breach of the lease agreement. But, again, racist is hurled back at us, and the managers cannot do much until winter ends because there are young children. They did offer us the chance to move into a top floor apartment and would not charge for the transition over. Even so, we like it on the ground floor, we passed up second and third floor living for this apartment. It's handy for the dog, the kids, and for hauling in items from the car. To move would be us being punished because they cannot comply.

As you can see, it's a big peeve and it's really messing things up. I cannot read or write at home because of the noise. Moving is our only option, so to put the peeve back into the barn and keep people from petting it, we are planning on moving when our lease runs out. It's not fair it's not right, but it's the only option that we can see that will be a solution. I mean, even if we had the people upstairs evicted, would we get better people, the same, or possibly worse people above us.

We are looking at areas outside the city, maybe an hour or two. We are looking at houses, I don't want another apartment. Finally, there needs to be work available near by, I'm not going to spend half the time I work driving back and forth. I did that once, it was enough. I figure as long as they let the peeve out, it may as well provide us with something better.
January 24, 2020 at 3:01pm
January 24, 2020 at 3:01pm
It's been a few days and I feel great! Why? It's kind of a long story, about a months worth, but don't worry, we can condense this stuff down further than Campbell's soup.

I was doing what I had come to think of as average for myself a month ago. I have gained some weight from ending my smoking period, and on top of the excess I already have, was getting way too heavy. Also, my back was hurting, a lot. It's an old injury but as winter arrived it grew worse than ever before. Also, I was tired and feeling run down, kind of in a fog, and just filled with the Blah. Winter blues I thought, and I was doing alright at holding my own against them.

Then I stumbled across some information about something called Leaky Gut Syndrome, and it seemed like what I was suffering from. But, the medication was herbal, not much for support form other research, and I was leery, especially at the cost of the herbal medication. Even so, I thought, if it works it will be worth it. I spent a week doing further research on the product, the condition, and the list of ingredients in the medication. I decided to try it, and ordered one months worth for a trial run.

A week later and I find out it's going to be a while to fill the order! By this time, I should have had the stuff, and now I find out it hasn't even shipped yet. I was very upset and figured I had fallen for a scam. I wrote a not so nice letter, expecting it to not even be delivered, but it did go through. I do have to say at this point, I did not ever get an actual replay to the letter I wrote, but shortly after I was notified that my order had shipped. a few days ago I received an apology letter and a coupon for 50% off my next order, no limits. I also received my product, last Wednesday.

Eager to try it, I started right away on Wednesday and also, on Thursday, decided to make a batch of homemade, from scratch, vegetable beef soup. It was difficult to do much of this kind of thing for me, due to my back hurting so much, but I set myself up with a stool in the kitchen and took frequent breaks as I washed and prepared the vegetables. I had not eaten lunch, so snacking was my plan, since I had lots of yummy vegetables at hand.

It all went well, except as I was cleaning, and snacking on some broccoli, I discovered a bit of dark coloring within the plant stem and into the florets. Barely noticeable, but it was there, so I discarded it, but not before I had snacked on some of it. I didn't think much about it, since it taste fine and it wasn't really anything except discolored. In fact, I almost used it in the soup, but decided at the last minute not to.

The soup was terrific, the whole family enjoyed it, an everyone did fine, but me. By the time dinner was over, I was in extreme stomach pain! I took Pepto-Bismo to help with the pain, as well as Tylenol, and it helped, but not much. By 8:00 pm, I was becoming feverish and I retired to bed. I did not get over the fevers and pain, which by later that night had extended to full body pain in all my joints, my entire abdomen, and an extreme headache until Tuesday morning, when I woke finally feeling better.

Better, but so week I could not even open a bottle of Pepsi, or walk across the apartment without having to stop and rest. The fever had finally stopped, the aches and pain had all diminished, but there were flare ups and like I said, a lot of weakness. It took another two days to regain my strength and fully recover. I would have to say I had some kind of food poisoning, and I'm just thankful that I didn't end up in the hospital.

Tuesday, feeling better, I returned to my bottle of herbal medication, thinking that it may also help with the recovery and healing, since it was for stomach/digestive issues. Wednesday I continued with no real changes except for being a bit stronger and more rested. Thursday I was no longer ill and that's when I noticed I had not only regained my strength, but I had more energy than I've had in a long time. Also, my back seemed to be less sore. This morning, and through the morning, I have been feeling better than I have for years! My back pain is all but gone, I have a lot more energy, my thinking/concentration is clear, and even my mood is better.

Many of my symptoms, including the increased back pain were stated in the advertisement as possible side effects of Leaky Gut Syndrome. I have also had problems with elevated white blood cells with no reason, immune problems, and stomach and digestive issues for about seven years now. I have seen doctors over the years and never found any cause, just treatments for the symptoms I was suffering. Recently, I was told that I may have West Nile Virus, since I was bitten years back by a deer tick and the condition was verified at the time. I had also gotten shots and antibiotics, but I was told they do not always stop the infection.

But now, I'm a believer that it was all side-effects of the stomach/digestive issues I've been plagued with over the last seven years; I also believe that Leaky Gut Syndrome was the culprit. I'm excited, yet still giving myself time to see if this continues or if it's short lived; I am hopeful, however, that it will not only continue, but even increase as I continue to take the supplements over the next month.

If your interested in knowing more about Leaky Gut Syndrome or the medication I found to treat it, please write and I'll share the information I found. I'm also thinking about switching to a different supplement after this is done and see if the lower cost one does as well. If it does, great, but if it doesn't I'll be switching back to the current one. It's a bit expensive, but if it works and I can feel this good all the time, it's a small price to pay.
January 21, 2020 at 2:00pm
January 21, 2020 at 2:00pm
Do you know how difficult it can be to write in a blog everyday? Currently I only write when the notion hits, but in the past I've attempted to write in here daily. I've also had other blogs over the years, with the same results; I can't even make tow months of writing daily, and more often, it's not even a full month.

The bottom line is, daily blogging is hard to do. First of all, you need something to blog about. That means a person needs a lot happening in there life to put into print. For example, I could relate this to some of the summers we've had filled with camping trips, road trips, kayaking, fishing, swimming and of course, work experiences and things going on in the home, like adding a patio or enjoying a summer night fire on the patio. With so many things going on, it would have been easy to pick out something to write about each and every day. In fact, I could have written multiple entries most days. But, there just wasn't any time to write, I was too busy doing.

Then, there were other periods of time when work filled just about everything, and there wasn't time to spend doing much else. Again, I could write about the heavy burden that kind of work has on a person, but there wasn't time. In between these periods, more normal times of having more time and less to do. Now there's time to write, but what about? There's not much more boring than to read about someone who doesn't have anything to write about. Not to mention, what to write if there's nothing to write about? It reminds me of Cheech and Chong's old stand-up comedy routine of the kid who had to write a paper on his summer vacation. It went something like this:

The first day of my summer vacation I got up and went uptown to hangout, then I went home. The second day of my summer vacation, I went uptown and I hung out, then I went home. The third day of my.... Well, I think you get the point, it's like trying to carry on a conversation with Dave, but Dave's not home!

Yep, daily blogging is tough. But, at the same time, it's possible, many people have proven that. I have done a couple of months straight, maybe more. That was at a site called 750 Words. It was quite simple, you open the account and go in and write. The site gives credit for each day, but there's a catch, you have to write - you guessed it - 750 words. The idea is simple, it would be easy to just go in and type some gibberish to make the daily count, but to get to 750 words, you have to put some thought into it, even if it's free-writing.

I think the site is still around and maybe I'll check into it one of these days. It would be easy enough to write my daily 750 words and then copy and paste it here. But first, I need to take care of a few other things that I should maybe blog about tomorrow, or maybe the next day. We'll see how it goes...
January 12, 2020 at 5:43pm
January 12, 2020 at 5:43pm
Now that we are a couple weeks into the new year, I do have some observations and thoughts. Not that these are strictly a result of the new year, it's just because I'm writing these now.

For instance, I've gained weight. Some may have arrived this year, but I have been watching what I eat more, so it's likely not much. Most of what I have recently put on for weight is from last year, starting the end of October. Again, that was the start to the increase, and I'm sure Thanksgiving and Christmas added to the gain. However, most of it's a result of not smoking.

I ended my smoking streak in October, after a few years or was it longer, of smoking again. Yes, I quit many years ago and then started up, like a damn fool, because of work related stress. I re-quit towards the end of October, and I did try and eat better and I did try to refrain from gaining weight. I knew I would gain some, but I didn't want to gain a huge amount.

Of course, Thanksgiving and Christmas are feast and goody times, so I tend to gain some over the holidays as well. Again, I was a bit cautious so I wouldn't put on a ton, and I did manage things pretty well. But, with quitting smoking over the holidays, I ended up with an extra twenty five pounds. What did I get for Christmas? Fat, I got fat!

I have a picture of a fat cat with this written across it for my motivation to reduce my weight.

Also, over the holidays and with the new year, I have high blood pressure. Not bad, but it's holding steady in stage 1 hypertension. Two strikes already for the new year, not a good start. But, again, it's not just something that came with the start of the new year, but a result of the added weight and some ongoing stress, added to some unhealthy eating habits like too much sodium.

I'm sure not sleeping, something else that has started recently, isn't helping either. I know some of it's a result of the noise from the apartment above us, both the not sleeping all night and the stress. We've been dealing with this since last summer, and still have not gotten lasting results.

So, now that I have them listed, I find I'm at a big three for bad or negatives for the new year. Since these things tend to happen in threes, or so they tell me, I guess I have mine out of the way and can anticipate a very good year.

My anticipations are, reduce my weight as well as getting in better shape, lower my blood pressure naturally without needing to be on medications, and move out of the apartment and into a house.

This will give us more room and comfort, provide us with more freedom in our living choices, such as fish tanks and small animals for the girls. No noisy, inconsiderate people above us, so less stress and better sleeping.
January 2, 2020 at 3:50pm
January 2, 2020 at 3:50pm
A new year is upon us. Why so many expect the new year to bring change is beyond me, but it's a nice thought.

Sure, a new year brings new possibilities, but so does a new month, week, or even day, I say day; I like that one best simply because it matches with the Bible. We are given each day and told to live for that day, not in the past, not in the future, but with the day the Lord gave us.

Don't get me wrong, I have no problems wit anyone doing new year resolutions or planning on making positive changes with the start of the new year. Not at all, I'm just saying we don't have to wait a whole damn year to make needed changes. Also, I feel, or maybe I should say think, new year resolutions tend to put too much pressure on a person if they fall short. With days, we mess up one day but can start afresh the next, but with a year...

For example, I could have made a new year resolution to lose weight; I know I need to drop off quite a few pounds. But, my wife cooked a very nice dinner to bring in the new year complete with a batch of her scrumpdilyicious sugar cookies and I, being in a festive mood, engaged in feasting and enjoying. It didn't bother me, even though I know I'm going to be working at losing a lot of weight this year. It was one day to enjoy the great foods and then right back at it today. In the past, however, I would have made my resolution and bypassed much of the yummy foods and sweets, only to feel deprived and eventually fail. Failing the diet is bad enough, but I would also look at the failed resolution and get a double whammy.

One day at a time, that's the key to succeeding at many things in life. Don't look back at past failures; hopefully you already learned from them. Don't look forward to some future day, there's no way of knowing what will be happening then, or if that day will even come. No, we have today to work with and if we make it, great; it's always easier to hold to change for just one day. But, if we don't, it's only a day set-back, so don't fret; when you wake up, you get another day.
December 5, 2019 at 2:14pm
December 5, 2019 at 2:14pm
This entry is written for, 48-HOUR CHALLENGE: Media Prompt on December 05, 2020

I listened to the video Happy, by Pharrell William and found the music very uplifting and enjoyable, in fact, the entire video is great.

I also put some thought into the message and found it very fitting, especially for this time of year. Sure, we all have our reasons to be happy and we all have reasons to be unhappy. For some, it goes much beyond choice, but for the rest of us, it's a decision to be happy or sad. This song is about picking happy.

I've seen a lot of items starting loss and hardships for the reasons for not enjoying the Christmas season. My wife and I both have a lot of reasons to be blue and sad over the holidays, if we wanted, but like the song, we choose to be happy. It's not just the holidays, however, it's every month, every week, every day, do you want to be sad and miserable or do you want to be happy?

Yes, I know from my years of living, there are more than enough reasons to give in and be miserable and depressed. Sometimes, it's difficult to find a reason to be happy at all. There are times when I give in to the misery, pain, and injustice around me, things happen and there goes my happiness right out the window. But all I have to do is take a break and look at the reality around me, there are just as many, no, there are more reasons to stop and be happy.

An example? Sure, why not. Yesterday was a very trying day, busy, heavy traffic, and to top it off, some obnoxious and rude people. I'm currently suffering from some back pain. I injured it years ago, and from time to time it decides to give me some trouble. Sometimes, like now, it's enough to make me not want to even move. But, that's not always an option, like yesterday.

After I finally got home, the girls decided to make things more difficult and dished up a big portion of teenage attitude. I began that all to easy trip down the rabbit hole of anger and resentment, but I stopped from going that direction. Instead I did my best to set all the misery and discomfort, as well as my personal feelings towards this unwanted attitude, aside. Soon, dinner was ready and I started setting the table. They soon joined in and by the time the food was dished, we were all having a nice dinner.

After dinner, my wife began setting up the Christmas tree, our old one was getting pretty bald so we purchased a new one two days ago to surprise the girls. The youngest one was right there to help set it up and soon it was time to put on the decorations. The older girl had tried to hold the bad attitude but soon was also involved in decorating and singing along with Alexa's pick of Christmas songs. Once done, the tree was plugged in and the lights began to dance.

All that was left was the tree topper, the one part I do every year. In pain and with some difficulty, I climbed up on the stool and tried to slip the 17 year old glass ornament over the top of the tree, but it didn't fit! We put a different topper on, but I could see the disappointed look, so I put aside my discomfort and got out some tools. With a bit of snipping and clipping, I was soon able to slide the topper down and stood beside the rest of the family and looked at the tree.

There was no longer any attitude, just two girls looking with that magical look at a Christmas tree, smiles on their faces, and the lights reflecting in their eyes. Life is full of these precious times and we can focus on them or we can focus on the pain, the suffering, the misery and the loss in life. You make your choice, but for me, I'll remember these special times and pick to be happy.
November 28, 2019 at 12:25am
November 28, 2019 at 12:25am
For quite some time, we've spent most holidays at home, just my wife and the dogs and me. Of course, it wasn't always by choice, but because everyone wants the holidays off. There have been a few in the recent past that we had a chance to travel, but it was still rushed and uncertain if I would need to head home and work or actually get the time off.

In fact, it was just a few years back that almost happened. It was the first time in many years that we managed to set up time off for Christmas and travel to spend the holiday with family. Only a few days, with a lot of driving to see everyone, but we had planned it out and were looking forward when I got a call of someone sick and it was looking like a day and half into our "vacation" I would have to head for home and get to work as soon as possible.

But, we got a surprise when we found another person who would pick up the shifts and make it possible for us to finish out time off and see everyone, as planned.

This year, it's not as difficult. I work from home so I'm flexible. My wife, however, needs to go by her work schedule, but if she's scheduled off she doesn't have to pick up if someone calls in. It's nice to know we can take off and go see family for holidays and not have to cut the visit short. Of course, she had to work tonight, so no traveling until tomorrow, but we don't have too far to go.

I wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving...
November 20, 2019 at 3:28pm
November 20, 2019 at 3:28pm
Jumpin June-bugs, fifteen days already?

I'd like to say it's because there hasn't been anything going on, but in truth, it's just the opposite, so much happening and very little time. What's the last fifteen days looked like? We attended The Circus of the Heart at the Minnesota Zoo. It was a good time, but kind of a long drive and by the time we returned, the pickup was running terrible. It started missing and back firing when we got home. I'm thinking it's a bad plug, but it also needs tires, exhaust work, and possibly the brakes.

We have needed a second vehicle, so we set about talking to the credit union and looking at used vehicles. We purchased a good deal and are happy with our new car. We still have the truck and I'm hoping to get a chance o see what's wrong and what it will take to fix it; we are hoping to repair and keep it, but who knows until I find the time to check it over.

We had another court hearing a few weeks back, just the same old stuff, but we are getting closer to the adoption date. Of course, the court hearings create enough problems since they are quite a distance away and one needs arrangements made for school and stuff. Then, after court, we stopped and ate. The food was good, the place was clean, but I ended up sick by the following day.

I had to see the dentist to get a filling repaired and was feeling fine when we left. The girls had therapy so we dropped them off, then me to my appointment. About half way through the filing I started to feel horrible. By the time I was done, the rest of the family was there to pick me up. We took the girls to school and headed home. I spent the next few days pretty much in bed or on the couch feeling like the end had come Just when I was about to give in and go see a doctor, I started feeling better.

Of course, just as I started to feel better we had a situation come up with our oldest that took a few days to work out; well at least the worst of it, I'm sure there will be more in the days to come. I also started getting sick again and spent another day back in bed, but it passed quickly and by the following day I was feeling better.

Then, just when it seemed like things would settle down, Mom got sick and we found out she had a heart attack. A few days in the hospital for her and she will be back home soon. There was some blockage, but they got things fixed. We will all be off to see her soon.

Also, things planned for the middle of next week got changed to the beginning of the week, so we need to get things ready this weekend.

As it sits right now, today was spent getting caught up a bit in here and with some much needed sleep. Tomorrow, so far, sounds pretty quiet and then Friday starts the next round of running.
November 5, 2019 at 6:49pm
November 5, 2019 at 6:49pm
It's that time of the year again, the time when we turn the clocks back and end daylight saving time. I never understood the logic behind this, although in times past, before electricity, it at least made a bit of a difference. However, it may also be why Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked the lantern over.

The best logic I've seen behind the idea of setting the clocks an hour early is the one that states, “Only a white man would believe you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.” -Unknown

It's just as silly as the name, Daylight Saving Time, like we actually are dumb enough to believe we are saving an hour somehow? I think not, or at least, I hope not. I've also read where this helps to conserve energy, but I don't see how, there's still only a set number of daylight hours, and no matter where you set the clock, when it's dark, you need light. In fact, I remember when I had to be to work by 7:00 am, and as it got later in the year, it was getting lighter until we set the clocks ahead so we had to get up an hour earlier when it was still dark.

I also don't like the jet-lag that it creates. I'm sure it's not as bad for everyone, but for some of us, our body clocks are finely honed and changing the time we go to bed and get up just doesn't work. Our body clocks do not accept Daylight Savings Time. It's the same for animals, too. I worked a few years at a dairy plant and we got a lot of milk in every morning. The time change in the spring was terrible for everyone involved in the milking process, since it is unproductive to change the time you milk the cows. Again, it really doesn't accomplish Jack.

On the flip side, however, I enjoy when we get to set the clocks back to real time instead of Pretend You Get An Hour Time. It's my body clock again, still out of whack with the time change, but now, it slips right back into the groove when the clocks get set back. This is because my body hasn't adapted to the change, but it's been forced to work with it, resulting in things being just a little bit off for the summer months.

This year was the best example of this being off. I knew about the time change date and had even mentioned it to my daughters, asking them to help me remember to set the clocks back before going to bed. They forgot to remind me and I forgot to remember... or something like that. Either way, we did not reset the clocks. Since we had Sunday plans, we had to be up by five-thirty to get ready.

I did remember to set the alarm, got up at five-thirty with my wife, had a cup of coffee to wake up, then as we started in our second cup we started getting ready, then woke our daughters and, after they were both up and dressed, remembered I had forgotten to change the clocks. We had gotten up an hour earlier than we needed, without even feeling like we got ripped off the hour.

Why? Because it was normal to be ripped off the hour. We had been ripped off that hour in the spring when we set our clocks ahead. Losing that hour was just the norm of what Daylight Savings Time feels like to me each and every day. I got back into my groove Sunday night/Monday morning instead. We changed the clocks before we left, so we were back on real time but the full groove didn't register until I got up with the girls for school on Monday.

Anyway, I don't see anything even remotely looking like they will scrap this silly notion of screwing with the clocks, so I'll enjoy the real time as long as I can an then in the spring I'll suffer through the pain of cutting that foot off the top, sewing it to the bottom, and then wondering why we have to do this again as I cover up and my feet are still sticking out.
October 31, 2019 at 8:40pm
October 31, 2019 at 8:40pm
Yes, it's All Hallows' Eve and this is the second year we celebrated at our current location. Being in an apartment building, we don't get much for trick or treaters, in fact, last year we even put a sign out to let people know we were handing out candy and still did not get anyone. This year it's looking the same.

Rhonda took the girls out for the evenings tradition of collecting candy, they both really get into dressing up and going out. The older girl is getting a bit old for this ritual, but since she has missed out for so many years, we aren't going to say anything and let her enjoy this.

I had to get pictures, of course, of both of them in their costumes, we have a broken China Doll and a Vampire Cat. Both of them look real cute and did wonderful jobs with their costumes.

I do miss seeing all the children in costume for the night as well as handing out candy and to them. I also miss going out with the children and watching them enjoy going door to door, but I don't want to leave Hannah home alone and what if, by chance, someone does knock on the door?

Well, that's about it for tonight. Happy Halloween to all.
October 28, 2019 at 7:53pm
October 28, 2019 at 7:53pm
I see the Blogging Bliss Newsletter is out and here I am ten days without a post. Guess I better get writing before I read the Newsletter.

It's been an interesting month with a couple of very deep scares already. The first was my wife getting amnesia; technically Transient Global Amnesia. It hit while she was making us lunch and lasted most of the day. The deepest fear for me was not knowing what was wrong, how serious it was, and what else might be happening to her. But, after hours in the hospital and a gazillion tests, there was nothing wrong except for her loss of recent memories and her not being able to write new memories. By that night, she had regained most of her memory, was starting to write memories again, and just missing the events of that terrifying day. Even though it ended almost as quickly as it set in, it left her with a fear of everything vanishing for almost a week.

We barely had recoupled from this when my youngest daughter decided to see what was under a manhole lid. Her and a couple of friends managed to pry it up enough for her to get her fingers under it and lift it up. But, weighing as much as they do, it didn't go up and she got her fingers smashed under it. Again, it looked far worse than it was and she got by without any broken bones, just a lot of bruised and sore fingers.

Less than a week after this, I was supposed to pick her up after school for an appointment. Traffic was bad, I was already running late, and a train decided it was a good time to cross my path. I finally got to the school about twenty minutes behind schedule. I anticipated her being a bit upset with me being late, but I did not foresee her not being there.

When she did not come out within a few minutes, I went in and had her paged. She did not show. I waited for a bit, then drove around the school, thinkin perhaps she got sidetracked and found something to do while she waited. She wasn't anywhere to be found. I called home, now convinced she had forgotten and taken the bus home. By this time she would be inside, likely watching TV. She wasn't home, either. Her sister, who was home, ran to a few of her friends places to see if she had gotten of the bus and went to a friends.

She called me back, with another nope, she hadn't gone to any of her friends, either. By this time I'm fighting panic and all the bad thoughts that flash into a parents mind. Another call and I find out from one of her friends grandma that she had called over there, finally. She had gone home with a friend from school, called her other friend and gave her the phone number and an address.

I didn't know who the friend or her parents were but thought it must be close to home, so I drove home and tried to call the number, it went straight to voice-mail. I looked the address up on the computer but it did not exist. The grandmother had written it down wrong, but I had no way of knowing this. I grabbed a notebook and jotted down what she had on that morning as well as her age, height, and weight, and was just looking for a recent photo to have handy when I called the police to report her missing when my phone rang.

The phone number was her friends and they had turned it off so I couldn't call and make her come home right away. Of course this was because she new she was in trouble and didn't want to ruin her fun before it hit. I got the right address and had to drive back up by the school, her friend lives in walking distance, and pick her up.

Everything again turned out fine, but I've handled about as many scares as I can for one month.
October 19, 2019 at 12:07am
October 19, 2019 at 12:07am
It's Friday and the weekend is upon us. Fridays tend to be, for most people, a day they look forward to all week. For many, it's payday, and for many it's the end of the work week. I've been there for both counts and know the feeling. Even so, I've also had jobs that payed mid week and my last job made Saturday payday. Most of my jobs have provided me with weekends off, unless something out of the ordinary was going on, but my last job also had no weekends off, so I quite often had to work on weekends. Things like that can take the joy right out of Friday.

Now, I have no official job, and was recently informed by a county official that my official occupation is retired, even though I don't get any type of retirement compensation. It's a long story, but because of some special needs, I had to resign from my position and take on some at home duties full time. Anyway, it's again taken a lot of the joy out of Fridays, since on the weekend I am home with the children who tend to require most of my attention and time. Also, my wife usually has to work on the weekends, or at least part of the weekend.

What I'm saying is, Monday is a great day with the children back to school. However, my wife often gets her days off Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, with Monday and Friday being in there occasionally, but more often than off on the weekends. So, it kind of puts all the days even again, with the best days being the days we can spend together as a family enjoying ourselves.

During the week, I have time, if limited because of appointments and all that is going on, to relax a little, read and write a little, spend more time in Writing.Com, and reflect a little. A couple days a week, I have time to spend with my beloved, and on weekends I have time to spend with the children. Once in a while, since school has started, there are a couple days a week we all get to spend together as a family. I sometimes reflect on this, on how some days seem better than others, and ponder now, how much is just programmed into thinking like the majority.

Sure, for working people, weekends are great, but I remember many weekends getting so tiring trying to do so much, that Monday was kind of a reprieve from it all. Yet, back then, I disliked Mondays. I also look back at my days in the sawmills, hard work, tiring, and it definitely made a person happy to have the weekend off. Yet, Mondays tended to be the slowest and easiest days as everyone transitioned back to work from the weekend. Thursday and Friday on the other hand, was what we called, "Balls to the walls". It was all out as much done as possible, sometimes a bit beyond, to fill orders before the close of business on Friday.

It's interesting to look at it now and see, all the days have good things and not so good, sure they differ, but all have there high points and now I have to rate them all as equal, unless there is something specific that really sets the day apart. Looking back, I see the same thing, yet back then, I could not see this.

I wish I could have, I think it would have made me appreciate everyday like I do today.
October 14, 2019 at 1:24pm
October 14, 2019 at 1:24pm
Here it is Monday and finally a bit of time to spend on myself. The weekend was tiring and difficult with the girls home from school. That's one of the sides that comes with fostering children with behavior issues, and I must admit, all in all they have grown and are doing much better... most of the time. I have also learned and adapted to our new lifestyle since bringing first one and then the second child into our home. As a result, weekends are not usually so tiring and difficult.

This past one, however, was very challenging. For one thing, the week started out badly with me having to rush my wife to the emergency room. Everything turned out all right, but it was quite a scare and a very difficult couple of days for me as things slowly flowed back towards normal in our household. Even now, there are lingering side effects, but with each new day, things get closer to where they were. Even so, it was a tiring week.

The children also need to help keep my wife's stress levels down, but with their histories and behavior problems, it's difficult for them. That meant I had to be right there to jump in and keep things running as smoothly as possible, which also caused a lot of stress at times. Also, my wife would normally be there to share any burdens and assist in the days chores and activities. She also is there to provide me time to escape into WDC or my writing, which is a big part of how I refresh and recharge. This week, I had to jump in and do a lot more as well as set aside most of the time I would normally spend in here or writing, or doing other things to relax and unwind.

Then, the weekend came. I had anticipated more help around the house, since both children were home and could assist with some of the chores as well as provide me some time to just get lost in here, or in reading or writing. As I have learned with these children, never expect the expected. They were horrible all weekend and even this morning. Not horrible in a mischievous way or getting into trouble, no they just would not give me any breaks.

They started in some Friday after school, but I just related it to the weekend and them being excited and ready for a two day break from school. Saturday, however, I soon realized it was something else, and no matter how I tried to address it, I could not make any progress. My wife was able to return to work Saturday, so I was on my own with the children, who both were up way earlier than normal. I should add here that mornings are my quiet time while they are still asleep, a time to enjoy a cup of coffee, wake up, and prepare for the day. But, they were up as soon as I was, and as soon as they were up, it started.

My wife doesn't usually start work until 10:00 o'clock; the two children are usually not up before she leaves, or at most, one or the other may get up as she's leaving. Saturday they were up at 7:00 o'clock, when I got up. I could not carry a conversation with my wife for anything, I was doing well to finish a sentence before one or both interrupted. Again, I thought I understood. They had been concerned about her, but had not had a lot of time to spend with her because of school. So, they were just up early and eager to spend a bit of time with her, especially since she was now returning to work, and our life was getter closer to our normal routine.

But, even after she left, I could not do anything without one or both interrupting me. I even tried letting them have their tv time earlier than normal, knowing that when it comes to watching tv, they are all engrossed. Not true, even as they watched their shows, they would come over and interrupt what ever I was doing, or just start talking to me instead of listening to their shows. Even Saturday evening, after my wife was home and I had managed to cook dinner for us with many interruptions and distractions, things were far from normal. We watched a family movie, most of which I didn't get to listen to because one or both was talking to me and distracting me.

Sunday was the same, both of them up within minutes of me. My wife had to work again, but wanted to sleep in a bit. I devoted my time to the children and did my best to provide her a quiet atmosphere to sleep in. After she got up, got ready, and headed for work, I let one girl cook some pancakes, which she can do perfectly fine (except like most kids her age, clean the mess up after), But not the case this time, as I tried to read the newspaper online, she continually had questions about anything she could think of. The little bits and pieces of time she was occupied, her sister filled in with anything and everything that popped into her mind.

This continued through the day and al the way up to their bedtime. If I didn't do anything, they were fine, but as soon as my attention turned to anything, they needed it turned back to them. I tried a few times throughout the day to explain to them that I needed to have a bit of time for myself. They would apologize and find something t do and I would start something and there they were, working in shifts to make sure my attention was strictly prohibited from anything but them.

This morning, a school morning, I got up at 7:00 to enjoy a cup of coffee and a few minutes of quiet before waking children for school. But, as I exited the bedroom, I realized one was already up and waiting to pounce. Normally, she would sleep in, then when called, ask for a few more minutes and need to be called a second time. Her sister would b left to sleep until a quarter past, then called and with luck, get up the first time. both of them would hardly be seen until 7:30, then, ready for school, spend ten to fifteen minutes talking with us before going out to catch the bus. Today, however, one's up ten minutes before me, and the other before I could pour a cup of coffee. As like the weekend, they demanded my full attention up and until I dropped them off at school. (They both had therapy appointments this morning, so I took them and after, dropped them off school)

I'm happy that I managed through without getting overly worked up, but it was very stressful not being able to any break. Even with therapy and talking about everything, no one understood quite what was happening all weekend. Most was attributed to the change in our daily schedules and the stress that resulted from my wife going to the hospital on Monday, but that was it. I didn't even understand until I started writing about it. Then, as I let out the pressure from the weekend in type, an epiphany!

All week long, the children had to restrain from stressing out their foster mom. Meanwhile, I had to jump in and pick up most of the things she does while she recovered. Of course the girls missed her normal presence, which we all understood. But, what was missed was the fact that I was double busy myself and had far less time to spend with them, which they both understood, but by the weekend, their minds needed more attention and they could not refrain from getting it. Consciously, they knew I desired some time for myself and would try to provide it, but deep inside, in that part of the brain that their behavior issues stem from, they could not refrain from needing my full attention.

Knowing this doesn't make the weekend any less tiring and stressful, but I am thankful that I managed it coolly, with love, and with compassion when in truth I wanted to just scream out, "Can't you just leave me alone for a half an hour!"

Now, I get a bit of a respite from things, even though the calendar is a bit filled for the week. I will try my best to relax and get some me time in before Thursday. Yes, Thursday, wouldn't you know it, just when I could use a full, quiet, and relaxing week, the children get Thursday and Friday off...
October 13, 2019 at 2:02pm
October 13, 2019 at 2:02pm
As you may or may not know, I've had a few years of limited activity at WDC followed by about a year of no activity. Although I liked my job, it is nice to be done with the time it demanded, the uncertain scheduling, and not having any time to devote, with any certainty, here in WDC.

Now that I'm more active here again, I find I'm kind of like a new member to many of the changes around the site, while at the same time, I have my old favorites and knowledge of things around the site, some of which have remained and some of which have changed.

One of the changes is New Horizons Academy, which is now closed. I have, for years, desired to take some courses they offer, but back then, I could not make any commitments outside of work. Not knowing if I could provide the time needed, it was best to wait for a future day to enroll in the Academy. Now, however, I can allocate some time to WDC, my writing, and taking some classes.

Even though I had ben thinking about taking some classes through them, I had procrastinated it for too long and when I thought about it again, thought I had missed the enrollment window. Since I still have plenty of demands on my time, as well as some other engagements I need to complete, I had tucked the desire to enroll aside for this winter. Then, in a recent Newsfeed Activity, the question was asked, How can you edit for grammar errors if you don't know grammar?

I had posted an answer, but since the Academy and it's courses had been tucked off to the side, I didn't really focus on the ability to improve my grammar right here in WDC. Thankfully, another member did and contacted me about taking online classes, through New Horizons Academy.

It was then, while looking into this further, and with her information, that I read the history of the Academy and how it had ended up closed. Luckily, if enough of us desire to take a class, some of the teachers are willing to provide a class for us. Even so, I see the closing of New Horizons as a real loss to the members of WDC.

Think about it, grammar and punctuation are failing so much in our modern world; I recently received an email form one of my daughters teachers about updates to "vocab" and what was due this coming week. Yes, a vocabulary teacher that won't even right out the word vocabulary. The email was also full of antonyms/internet slang. My thoughts were, "How can you teach vocabulary if you can't even write properly and use proper vocabulary.

The same daughter also showed me a story she had written for another class. The story was good, but there was no capitalization, only periods to indicate the end of a sentence, even if it was an exclamation or question -- no other punctuation at all. No indents or line spacing between paragraphs, and nothing indication dialogue from the rest.

I'm no expert, but offered to help as much as I could. She replied, "That stuff doesn't matter, just the content of the story. Our teacher doesn't grade on anything our tablets doesn't auto-correct, like spelling." This is a writing class! How can you teach students to write if you don't count any of the rules of writing?

Anyway, I digress, but it shows how many young people just don't get the information needed to write. Here, at WDC, through reviewing, many of these talented people get poor reviews, because they just weren't taught the importance of grammar and punctuation. Of course there are other's of us who know the importance, but just never learned proper grammar and punctuation, or learned some but still struggle with it in our writing.

No matter what the reason, New Horizon's is a God-send to us here. Taking regular classes through a college is expensive and often difficult compared to having our own academy right here. I feel it's a real blessing that other members have created this for us and see it as a real shame and loss now that it's closed. I understand, after reading the history, and I know, and thank everyone involved for all the time and energy they have devoted.

Now, perhaps it's time for us to come forward and offer what ever help we can to the Academy that for so long has offered help to us.

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