Oct 28, 2011

Crazy Busy Week

Beauty and The Beast

Four or five new referrals at work in a week. I lost count. Three month evaluations. Re-evaluations. Reams of paper work in a job i was told only had two forms to fill out.

And I believed that!

All day training today learning to administer and score the Battelle Developmental Inventory 2nd Edition (BDI-2). Did I sign up for this?

The Boy's school dance tonight. Spent a fortune at the Army/Navy Store on The Boy.

I love the smell of napalm in the morning

but lucked out with The Baby's thrift store cheerleader outfit. Yes, she kept the wig on all night. The girl loves all things hair, nails and clothing.

The Baby gets "tp'd" by Thomas's classmates

Unable to find The Teenagers angel costume for the dance but she didn't seem to mind tonight. Being allowed to "tp" friends and family members AND dance made it all worth while. Not to mention the pounds of candy she thought I didn't see her ingest.

The Teenager in her tied dye shirt tp-ing a friend.

I'm looking forward to a rainy weekend and a rest!

Oct 22, 2011

If We Could Just Put Mona In a 57' Chevy....

This week was the first time in 11 1/2 years that The Boy was able to complete his Pamidronate infusion in two days and not three days. I know that may not seem like a milestone to you but to me it is heaven on earth.

After infusion we had a few minutes before The Baby got off of the school bus so we zipped in to a couple of antique stores because I've come up with another
lamebrain creative idea I wanted to pursue. The Boy mostly drove me insane zipping ahead of me brushing precariously close to breakables.

"Are there toys here?" One of his favorite questions.

At one point he disappeared into an adjoining room and I heard him exclaim:

"Her again! I see that women everywhere I go!"

I was a little surprised when I saw the painting that he could not remember who Mona Lisa was as he has the most magnificent art teacher in the history of art teachers and has had more than one encounter with Mona. I took it upon my self to do a spontaneous exhortation regarding Mona and her smile and Leonardo's absolute genius.

To The Boy, who is an auditory learner, my speech sounded exactly like this:

blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

On the way home as we're driving down the interstate he lets out a huge, happy yelp.

"Look on your right! On your right! On your right!"

"I mean your left! Your left! Your left!"

Wasn't Leonardo dyslexic as well?

I mustered as much enthusiasm as I could and commented positively on the vintage car he was so thrilled with on the left right left. I wondered out loud what it was?

"That's a 1957 Chevy Bel Air."


"How do you know that?" I inquired.

"I know my cars, " he replied.

Move over Mona.

Oct 17, 2011

Two Hurdles Down

Today at 3:30pm the man arrived from the wheel chair company and installed The Baby's one-armed drive. It normally takes him 45 minutes but he had a "few problems" so he was with us for 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Now there's a surprise!

Also today I received two letters from Social Security. They both said exactly the same thing because from the moment I filled out "the application which wasn't an application" on line they have been sending me duplicate mailings of everything.

The letters, however were both addressed to The Teenagers adoptive name.

What a pip!

More hurdles? Bring them on.

Onward and over! Here I go!

Oct 16, 2011

What A Difference A Decade Makes

It occurs to me yesterday as I spent 5 hours cleaning the foulness out of the inside of my mini van just how much my life has changed since adoption. Prior to 2000 I used to own the above sporty, red car. Oh, how I loved and pampered that baby! The auto detailer came to my office every other month to tweak it's perfection.

I will admit I got a few speeding tickets motoring in this baby.

Only because it was red.

Now I own this:

I had to trade in my red baby for more cargo space. I needed room for 1 to 3 car seats, a couple of wheel chairs and a few strollers at one time. I had to order one with a bench seat in the middle to accommodate The Boy when he looked like this:

Which was every six months or so although I admit that even when he was able to bend at the waste I could barely squeeze him into the red car.

As I cleaned the purple crayons out of the sliding door tracks, the Pediasure off of the ceiling liner and scraped the melted gummy bears out of the seat belt buckles with a bread knife I couldn't help but ponder how my life has changed in a decade.

Now the only thing I get stopped for in my white mini van is expired auto tags because I'm too busy to remember my own birthday.

I used to look like this:

Me and my buddy, Tim. RIP sweet friend.

Now I look like this:

Wendell Berry said, " The past is our definition. We may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better to it."

Somewhere between mourning the loss of my red car and burrowing through the petrified forest of dead nuggets and french fries two things occurred to me.

First thing being that I've added something much better to my life during the past decade.

Second thing being that I'm going to offer my neighbor across the street twenty bucks to finish the outside of the mini van.

Oct 14, 2011

"Kick Em' In The Junk Bonds " 30 AD Style

The story of the money changers being driven out of the temple occurs in all four of the gospels of the New Testament. It is the only accounting of Jesus ever using any type of physical force in the entire Gospels combined. John seems to allude to the fact that he whipped their greedy butts more than once since scholars believe John mentioned more than one Passover in his documentation.

In doing so Jesus publicly challenged the authorities of thieving and taking advantage of the poor. The authorities in 30 AD who were no different than the international bankers of 2011. The authorities who set up shop with the blessing of the political leaders of their time. The authorities who forced exchange rates that only benefited the wealthy. The authorities who exploited the poor.

Sound Familiar?

Google Images

People even The Lamb of God knew enough about the destructive consequences of usury to stage a public protest.

Just my opinion.

Oct 13, 2011

Social Security Disability. Yes. Again.

It occurs to me as I travel home from the fax machine at Office Depot that I only share the tip of the family iceberg with my blog friends and followers.

Yes. The tip.

Many of you may find that hard to believe since our experiences are often so bizarre and overwhelmingly complicated that you could not imagine any more excitement being packed into our daily lives.

I don't have the mental or physical energy to blog about what's under the tip of the iceberg but when it comes to The Teenagers Adventures in Social Security Land I think every detail SHOULD be documented don't you?

When I arrived home today from the grocery store I had a voice mail message.

The message was addressed to the mother of (insert The Teenagers birth name) informing me that The Teenager needed an IQ and Achievement test which they would pay for but they needed to make sure that I would be bringing her for the testing. Never once did she state who "they" were or leave her actual name on the message.

And yes, just to be absolutely fair I just went in and re-listened to the message and no she never mentioned her name or the name of the agency she represented. She did miraculously leave a phone number which I suppose I should be thankful for.

I phoned the 1-800 number reaching a very pleasant lady who turned out to be from the Florida Disability Determination Office. That's three people I've dealt with who can't remember the correct name of the client they are working with but are as sweet as canned pineapple in heavy syrup. I'm beginning to suspect Prozac in the water cooler.

I asked why she was referring to The Teenager using her birth name which has not been her legal name since 1996.

"Oh, you will have to take that up with the Social Security office and have them change it."

Wrong answer.

I informed her I had taken it up with the Social Security office in 1996 and was in possession of a social security card and birth certificate with the correct name on it.

"Oh. It doesn't matter as long as I have the correct address."

"No, it does matter. It matters to me. It matters because The Teenager was adopted in 1996 and legally you should have no knowledge of her birth name as it does not exist. What you are doing is not legal. In other words you are telling me it would be ok for me to apply for SSI for my daughter under the name Elvis Presley even though that is not her legal name just as long as I used this address? Perhaps Elvis Presley is not a good example since he's dead and all. Let's say I apply for Social Security using the name Barack Husain Obama? It's ok just as long as I use this address even though that is not her legal name?"

"I'm changing it in the computer now!" she trills. "The reason I'm calling is that we need an IQ test on the Teenager and we will, of course pay for it!"

"She had one in July of 2011."


"Yes, I brought the copy in to the Social Security Office."

"I don't have that..."

"Really? Why I'm totally shocked," I gasped.

I wanted to tell her that I forked $320.00 out of pocket for the IQ test because I think any psychologist who contracts with the agency for disability determinations is a nit wit who probably couldn't even get a job in a Filipino call center let alone a job as a real psychologist.

Instead, I told her I'd be happy to fax her the report I already turned in to J-O-H-N-N-Y in September.

"That would be wonderful," she tra la la'd

I think I could hear the bubbling of the water cooler in the background.

So I fax'd the $320.00 four page report stating The Teenager's IQ is 46. It cost me $6.00 and gas to Office Depot which ticked me off more than anything. After all, I am on a very strict budget and I wish these people would stop wiping their rear ends with my daughters medical records.

"It's ok to use my name! Just be sure to use the following address...Social Security Disability for everyone!"

Perhaps Obama should use my address in his next campaign and offer free SSI for anyone residing with me. He could modify his last campaign slogan just a tad.

It's about time!
It's about change!
Bogus name?
OK with Husain!

It would certainly do wonders for his popularity.

Oct 12, 2011

It's Official. The World Has Gone Completely Mad.

Amish Arrested!

Seriously? The Amish attacking other Amish with scissors and battery powered hair clippers? Didn't their mothers ever teach them not to run with break and enter with scissors?

And assault with a battery powered hair clipper? Assault aside, are the Amish even allowed to use batteries? Just asking.

Is it me or do the above perps really look Amish to you?

Allegedly, one has had a previous brush with law enforcement for sexual contact with a minor. Care to guess which one by looking at their mug shots? I find it difficult to decide since they all look like Charles Manson wannabe's. And don't let that bowl cut on the right fool you. He's probably snortin' crushed Vicodin behind the haystack before he sets it on fire morphing old MacDonald has a farm into the MacDonald Triad.

I don't mean to be critical but while we're on the subject nothing says kissin cousins like the photos above either. The fact that 17 out of the 18 involved hair trimming, beard snatching families are "related" comes as no surprise when you look at those mug shots. Can first cousins marry in Ohio? How about siblings?

"Rachel called, Josiah. She told us to bolt the barn door and charge up the taser. We need to throw down them gangbanger foo's before they clip us tonight."

And what about these eight arrested in Kentucky for failure to affix those bright orange triangles to the back of their horse drawn buggy's because they violate their modesty codes. I know. I agree. Orange is for inmates and hookers...

but guys! What about those hairdos? Are perky flips modest? Really?

You want to talk perky flip? Look at me in 8th grade.

I don't know why this whole Amish thing has done me in today. Maybe it's because I'm always threatening to run away and become Amish. Maybe it's because I think they have the most wonderful, healthy life styles.

Maybe it's because if you can't trust the Amish not to scalp you who can you trust?

Oct 9, 2011

Next Mother Earth Project?

While The Artist was here last week for Creative Clay's 5th annual Folk Fest she spent a good deal of time brushing Vanna White. The above pile of fur was one of about 7 or 8 piles over a two day period.

You can actually knit with Pyr fur. Every year at the Pyr club they auction off mittens and scarves.

My next project?

I'll pass.

The Boy and I are busy this morning making worm homes for our kitchen scraps.

And FYI...when you go to the Creative Clay link...Yes...that is The Boy.

I think the only thing he painted was his hands.

Oct 8, 2011

Kollassal Kraut Kuote

"Good job, mom! Keep punching it!"
The Teenager

I have to admit that there is something therapeutic about punching the stuffing out of a head of cabbage.

Trying out my new Pickl-It paraphernalia. Drove to Gulfport to a small produce stand that sells organic and locally grown produce to pick up the cabbage and makings for salsa.

Life is good.

We Did It!

Last night Curly T and I got together at around 8:00 pm to try our hand at home canning. We had already poured through the Ball Jar Complete Book Of Home Preserving last week and finally decided on a recipe we both thought sounded good.

Strawberry Margarita Preserves.page 65.

The entire idea, of course, in beginning our adventure so late was that my kids would be in bed fast asleep. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Both The Boy and The Baby chose last evening to nut-up big time.

Curly T had a headache so bad she thought she was having a stroke. I was so irritated with my family I thought I was having a stroke. Finally, having had enough of the whining I decided on some adult therapeutic intervention.

No, we didn't drink the Tequila called for in the recipe. We ordered pizza. Pizza with gross things like mushrooms and onions and olives. Adult pizza. R-rated pizza that no child should or would consume.

It felt gooooood. Decadent almost.

The Teenager, who is almost always
a delight, joined us.

Knowing absolutely nothing about canning, we began with the basics.

No. I'm not exaggerating. Do you know how daunting the process is when you factor in exploding Ball jars, elevation gauges and botulism?

We watched a few You Tube videos on preparing the jars deciding that there are some seriously sick folk on You Tube making canning videos. We poured over the Ball Jar book again and again. We pondered the altitude gauge for way too long. We Googled when we had to. The three of us took turns stirring.
We jumped up and down at the sound of the pop-pop-popping of the jars sealing after we took them out of the water bath.

Yes, like 3 big dorks.

But the end result...

was oh so beautiful.

Curly T surprised me with an early/late birthday/Christmas present. Having suffered through my festering kraut escapade, but agreeing that the festering kraut was quite yummy, Curly T got on the internet and found a more efficient, sanitary way of making kraut.
A 3 liter pickle system from Pickl-It. The most fabulous pickling system around.

Today we are off to the market to buy cabbage because o
ne can never have enough kraut festering in the kitchen.

Next up: Pineapple Jam.

State Fair here we come.

Oct 7, 2011

Still Swimming Upstream

All week I've been playing phone tag with a nice sounding lady named Dee (not really but her name does begin with a 'D") from the local Social Security Office. When we eventually hooked up the conversation went something like this...

Dee: The Teenager has been approved for presumptive social security disability.
Me: What is presumptive Social Security disability?
Dee: She will receive SSI checks for 6 months until the medical committee decides to approve her or deny her.
Me: It takes 6 months to do that?
Dee: No. It never takes that long to decide.
Me: Huh?
Dee: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Me: I can't imagine her not qualifying with an IQ of 46, epilepsy, glaucoma and cerebral palsy...
Dee: Which is why she is gong to receive presumptive social security disability for 6 months. I need to review the information with you now and make sure nothing has changed since September.

What the heck? Did I accidentally write "nomad" instead of whitey under the race space?

(nomad (nō`măd'), one of a group of people without fixed habitation, especially pastoralists.

What could have changed in a few weeks? Obviously we have a very boring stable lifestyle.

When I recently attended the Sparc2011 conference the guardian advocacy lady and I really hit it off and spent a great deal of time after her lecture swapping war stories. Our conversation eventually veered towards the social security fiasco parents encounter when applying for their special needs 18 year olds. I told her briefly about my encounter with Johnny.

"I have 6 different friends who have recently applied for SSI for their disabled child and all 6 have different, horrifying stories. If you didn't know better you would think all 6 were applying at 6 different, unrelated agencies." she stated.

True dat.

Dee: When The teenager turns 18...
Me: She is already 18. I have clearly indicated this on the original application that was not an application and when I was face to face with J-O-H-N-N-Y. She is already 18.
Dee: She is! Why she was 18 when you were in the office in September!
Me: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Dee: So this has nothing to do with your income then.
Me: Exactly, which is what I tried to explain to J-O-H-N-N-Y in September.

Johnny who asked me if I had a savings account and how much was in it and if i had a safe at home and how much was in it and did i have money stored in non-traditional places like under my mattress?

The Sparc2011 lady totally flipped out at this question. "Do not answer that! He has no legal right to ask you this!" Boy was she mad.

But too late at that point. Already answered.

Like I would actually put paper money under a mattresses with the dog who loves to pee on furniture? And converting to coin would seem like way too much trouble. I think if I had any money I would just use a bank...

Dee: So....she's already 18. Then this will be simple.
Me: uh-oh.
Dee: Does The Teenager own her own home?
Me: No.
Dee: Does she have a car, if so what is the value? Does she have any stocks, bonds, savings worth over $2,000?
Me: No.
Dee: Ok. So let's talk about the amount she will be receiving. She will be receiving $400 a month.
Me: Ok.
Dee: She is receiving $400.00 because she lives with you and you are supplying her needs so we deduct food and shelter from the amount she would normally get.
: Huh? So if she had her own apartment she would receive almost $700.00?
Dee: Yes.
Me: But since she is not able to be employed and I am supporting her that doesn't make sense.
Dee: When you start receiving her checks you can go to the Social Security office and bring proof of mortgage, food expenses, etc and they will consider giving her the full amount. But you have to have already begun receiving the presumptive disability checks to apply for her full amount. Your presumptive disability check should arrive in 5 days. If she is approved in 6 months by the medical committee then you will receive an additional check for the month of September but only if she is approved.
Thank you for clarifying that.

Ever feel like you're sinking because the life boat has a big hole in it?

Oct 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Genius!

The Genius and The Artist in Los Angeles
Nabisco's, "Celebrating 100 Extraordinary Women" contest winners

Hard to believe my "baby" is 41 this week. Seriously? The 7 lb 9 oz catalyst that changed the course of my life for the better forever.

Happy Birthday!

Yer Mama is proud of you!

Oct 1, 2011

Romans 8:28

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. "

I woke up Thursday morning and checked my e-mail as always before rounding up the troupes for school and getting myself to work. There was a an e-mail from a mom of one of The Boys classmates that caught my immediate attention.

Christine's therapy bike had been stolen in the night. Please pray!

For those of you who have been following this blog for some time you may remember Christine from the Halloween dance. She was the first girl that The Boy ever asked to dance.

People THAT kind of milestone in a boy's life is never forgotten by a mom. Especially when they choose so wisely!


Although I have to say he nearly frightened me to death as his dancing is much like his life. Wild and reckless. I told him to be careful with Christine but she was laughing so hard as they whirled around the dance floor...

Christine's mom and I spoke briefly as we were dropping the kids off at school on Thursday morning. I told her that I would bring a scholarship application from an organization that would replace the therapy bike later that afternoon.

When I picked the boy up at 2:30 pm a Bay News 9 van was at the school. The St. Petersburg Times had already interviewed the family at the school.

The mother of another student had alerted them all.

Yesterday at the school's bowling field trip Channel 10 news was at the alley. Go here to see the video.

At the bowling alley Christine's mom was filling me in on the community outpouring of concern and generosity.
An outpouring of love.

Someone had given the police a $1,000.00 reward for the return of the bike. Countless citizens and organizations have offered to replace the $2,200 bike.

Why even the wheel chair company called and offered to buy Christine a new bike!

Mrs. M, Christine's mom and I were whooping with laughter about that offer in view of The Baby's one-armed drive fiasco. Christine's mom informed me that it had also taken well over a year to get Christine's wheel chair from them as well!

For some outpouring of love = good publicity.

For the majority of well wishers the outpouring of love is straight from their hearts.

Christine's mom also told me at the bowling alley that it dawned on her in a big way that the bike theft was not about Christine but about Christine and The Boy's school. She elaborated by stating how God works all things together for good. You see, no one is a better representative of the school our children attend than Christine's mother. Tirelessly raising funds and spreading the word. At the auction last year she sold 75 tickets to the fundraiser.

I couldn't even sell one.

Fundraisers are a big part of keeping the school going. Attendance is way down and parents and professionals are constantly trying to raise funds and spread awareness regarding this wonderful school.

Yesterday at the bowling alley I noticed that instead of filming and leaving as the news usually does, the reporter stayed the entire 2 hours. Her eyes continuously filling with tears as she watched the special students bowl.

She remarked to Christine's mom that she never knew a school like ours existed.

Christine's' mom, in true Christine's mom fashion, has engaged every reporter, camera man/woman and news anchor to spread the word and take part in the upcoming auction. Her exemplary attitude regarding the situation has been a testament to viewers, readers and reporters everywhere. And because of her our school shines.

Talk about your free publicity.

Roman's 8:28 in action. Story at 11.