Sunday, August 02, 2015

Removed From The Fray

Rising early, driving 270 miles to an historic  Cathedral in Charleston, SC, Tabby and I attended the wedding of one of Daniel's longtime friends, Mitchell, whose father was also the last principal I'd worked for before retiring.  A very beautiful wedding, but the reception wouldn't be held until that night, so Tabby and I rushed off to the nearest beach for a 4 mile walk.

Wouldn't you know it, as we changed out of our dress up clothes, it rained.  Not in Georgia where my gardens are desperate, but right smack there on Folly Beach.  We walked anyway, the second half of our walk was dry.  Returning to my truck, we drove until after ten last night, getting home, knowing we've a very busy week ahead.

Tabby and I certainly needed that time together, she's starting 7th grade now, growing up quickly.

I'd received word from an irate parent that one of my mean and lazy grown kids had ripped off their kid by not paying their share of the rent, by borrowing money, and by partying and trashing the place. They felt very emotionally violated and physically threatened.

I couldn't launch a defense of my kid, as that's how I'd been treated by them as well over the years.  Nothing's gonna change, folks will continue to buy into their manipulations, and this is just the way it'll always be, if that's pessimistic on my part, it's also been my sad experience.  I wish they'd learn some life lessons, but fundamental neurological impairments prevent that from happening.  It's just sad.

Contrasted, of course, nicely by those grown kids of mine who do pay their bills, obey laws, prosper and move forward in a positive manner.  I gravitate to those grown kids, while also setting up boundaries against those who are so impossible.  I will not let them make me feel bad about myself, nor drive up my blood pressure, nor stress me out by the sad knowledge of law breaking antics.  I don't wanna be cray cray my own self by participating in any way in any drama, I crave peace, simplicity, serenity, silence, solitude, and sensibility.

I'm praying for folks, I just have to emotionally withdraw from the fray, or I'm just not gonna last.

Alex's baby, Jayden is already a month old, we're fixing to help her get moved next week.
Daniel and Megan's baby, Ansley, is over a week old also.  Am I blessed, or what?

School starts this week, this is a tax-free shopping weekend, therefore I cannot evade shoe shopping for the four kids still in high school and middle school.

I'd rather be picking produce and putting it up for the winter, but there's a real need for decent shoes here.  My figs are finally in, I'm gonna completely pig out.  All I've done this week is pick, shell and freeze several varieties of  Southern peas.

I'm also shutting down the pool, soccer starts tomorrow, our power bill was $700, our cell phone bill is astronomical, and homeowner's insurance is due.  I can't afford another minute of running the pool, but that's OK as we're all gonna be super busy anyway.

Jesse and Lena kept Nando for me yesterday, Grandma had Jack, and Lily's birth father again kept her as I traipsed off to South Carolina, all back roads, as interstates bore the pea turkey out of me.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Animal Ag

I'd just taken Scotty off of the traveling team due to shoulder problems, he'd agreed as well, wanting to be ready to play for the school this fall, and dang if Nando's knee didn't go out again.  We'd regularly gone to a sports rehab clinic and what they did for him lasted a year, now we need to restart the process.

And goodness gracious, Medicaid requires a referral from the primary physician in order to see the orthopedic doctor to get permission to go to Sports Rehab.  Seriously?  One phone call should've done it, but I'm grateful that he has Medicaid.

Tabby fell hard off of her horse, wearing a riding helmet, but landing on her shoulder.  I'd already made her an appointment with the pediatrician since that scoliosis test indicated a needed double check by a physician, so I'll get her totally checked out.  And drag Nando with me to get the dad gum referral.

Scotty got a job at a sign shop with a wonderful man from our church, the husband of a longtime friend, the father of Tabby and Ray's friends. This'll be an after school blessing, as Scotty is diligently saving up for a car.

I'm chomping at the bit to get back to Kennesaw to visit with Daniel's sweet baby, but I'm gonna wait a week or so, get the kids back in school next week and settled down.  Again - I only have four school age children living here and the 7 over 18 year olds who've not moved out.

We need rain, it rains all around us, but rarely here.  I'm getting tons of peas, peppers and tomatoes though.  I burn more calories planting, weeding, mulching, picking, shelling and putting up the peas than they give me.  imagine my horror when JoJo dropped a frozen bag of 'em, scattering across the floor, this after all my hours of work.

He quickly tried to sweep it up and put it all back in the bag, hoping I wouldn't notice.  Thank goodness I'd heard the crash.  Jeepers, son.

And finally, as always when I hear from y'all I'm often shocked, which is weird considering our family.  Yes, I'm a reflection of what y'all are living as well, but some kids adopted lately have some super amped up challenges, leaving me very stunned.

Today's good news, which has nothing to do with adoption, came in this article that we are eating 400 million less animals since 2007.  Official USDA figures show that from 2007 to 2014 there was a decline of 400 million animals being killed for meat in the U.S., which amounts to nearly a 5 percent reduction of the 9.5 billion animals killed annually in the animal agriculture industry.

So much mainstream media, calling it a plant-based diet since vegan dredges up images of old hippies or something, but the overall consensus is the healthiness of upping one's plant intake, especially in losing weight or reducing cholesterol or other health issues improving.  I kinda like it.  Vegan seems too extreme for folks but plant-based is more palatable.  Suits me.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Miss Ansley Grace Arrived

"I'm not gonna lie," Tabby confided, "I had tears in my eyes too with Ansley."

Birthday week is never easy, except I can usually expect all heck to break loose, no matter how silent I remain on the subject of me aging.  Abandonment issues flow and the acting out is amped up, some of it just coincidental as they were gonna do what they were gonna do anyway.

I'd stayed off Facebook for two weeks, just needing some social isolation, not immediately learning of the death of one of the nicest men in this county, breaks my heart.

I'd texted Pat H that I didn't even deserve to be her friend, me once again the beneficiary of her thoughtfulness and generosity.  I'm the opposite.  I'm a social klutz, thoughtless and self-absorbed too much of the time, or my head is so full of the nonstop  malarky that I face so often.

One son got a felony burglary charge for stealing candy.  Yes, candy.  And he had the money to buy candy, that's not the issue.  Clearly zero impulse control is what we should be fretting.  Calling me on my birthday from the jail, not knowing it was my birthday since I keep it quiet, as if I'd bail him out.  He sat there for several days until a brother bailed him out.

I went to my garden shed and cried my eyeballs out, dumb place to go, as that's the first place anyone looks for me.

My last year's high school grad success story is rapidly swirling down the toilet as he's crapped up some choices this summer, not to be confused with the candy thief - who has never ever stolen anything from any of us before, making this felony charge all the more unpalatable.

It's self-sabotage for the grad who is doing his dead on best to piss everyone off, he's earned a traffic citation and a traffic ticket, plus he's already doing community service for another issue.  He backed in to Jesse's truck, he was shockingly rude to Yolie,  and he's doing his best to fail before his college classes can even begin.  However he did just get a new job.

"Y'all just need to LISTEN to Mom," a level headed one reminded folks yesterday.  "She's not going to lead anyone astray."

I heard our garage door bang open, then shut, and a pounding on the upstairs hallway door where my five grown sons stay, then another pounding on Chuy's door at 6 a.m. the other morning.  My dogs were growling with the hair on their necks standing up, and I bolted upstairs to find what was going on, after first checking for CW's car lest I need a back-up if this was a home invasion or something.  Like what're they gonna demand?   Our recycling?

A bloody white boy stood there in our hall.  What the heck?  Chuy'd just been awakened by all of this, the white boy bellowing and me shouting.  The rest of the story was rather bizarre, but he's not one of my kids.  Not my circus, not my monkey. "Take pictures of his injuries and the damage to his car," I barked at Chuy, "Then notify his parents.  This isn't our call."

"He's over 18," Chuy began, already knowing my response.

I don't care.  You bring drama to my house and think I'm not gonna tell the parents?

I was hyped up anyway, just having been notified that after a brief one hour labor, my daughter-in-law, Megan, had literally torpedoed out the baby.  One hour.  First kid.  "The nurses called her a rock star!" Daniel crowed.  Well, yeah.

Ray and Hazel had spent the night, I'd promised them yard sales, picking up Mae, CJ and Yolie, knowing Daniel and Megan needed time to bond first with their new child, Miss Ansley Grace.

Then we drove the 75 miles to the hospital where I busted into tears upon meeting this little charmer. We have old pictures of a 10 year old Daniel holding my now 19 year old CW as an infant, CW holding Daniel's newborn yesterday, silently demonstrating that 19 years FLIES by.

On the way out of the hospital CW brought me to tears again, "I guess Ansley'll be holding my baby after I get married and have kids."  Oh my goodness, it'll be here so fast.

The one who is giving me a ton of trouble due to mental health issues broke down my office door and stole some prescription meds, later lying and denying, alienating the rest of the family daily.

So typical though, knowing I was having a great time with Daniel, thinking it was necessary to make sure I paid for it in some way or another.  I've been to this rodeo before about a thousand times.

One of my cousins came and spent the day with us this week, driving down from Greensboro, so stinking great to be with him, so much so I'm wanting to join him, and his brothers, plus my brothers at the beach next year.

This time a year ago Kevin and I were with Jesse up in Cooperstown for the Baseball Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, now Jesse and family live down here, they're up at the pool right now while I finish this up.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sub Thresholds?

The study found that children with a diagnosable disorder were six times more likely to experience at least one of what researchers described as adverse outcomes in adulthood, such as addictions, incarceration, teenage pregnancy and high-school dropouts. They were also nine times more likely to experience two or more of these outcomes.

These outcomes, covering health, legal, financial and social domains, are indicators of impeded functioning over a long period of time, researchers said.

Nothing like leading off with a downer.  But all of us are raising traumatized children with grief and loss issues, if nothing else.  No wonder they flounder.

A great article sent to me by Dr. McCreight who ought to know, having parented similar children.  Read it y'all, it even talks about the sub-threshold cases - it's our kids.

The study also looked at children who experienced psychiatric symptoms but didn't meet the criteria for a full psychiatric disorder. These "sub-threshold cases" were three times more likely to experience adverse outcomes compared with those who have no symptoms during childhood, and five times more likely to experience two or more outcomes.

Brenda sent me this article several days ago and I've been chewing on it.

The results were independent of adult psychiatric problems, the study found. They also persisted after researchers accounted for psychosocial factors during childhood, such as sex, race, low socioeconomic status, family dysfunction, family instability and maltreatment.

Kids nowadays, urban kids, poor kids, kids who've never known their fathers, even kids from combative divorce situations or other parental losses - life is hard enough as it is.  I'm gonna go out on my usual limb, or more so into my faith which feeds me, which heals my own emotions, and which always strengthens me.  Seriously y'all, you know this raising of my family hasn't been easy.

So is it a stretch to be fretting over my grandchildren who aren't being raised in church when I truly believe we need the church, or God, or faith to face each day.  It's not like they have emotionally strong, undamaged parents who can teach them all that.  It's a hard world out there folks.

My kids lately have been obsessed with Settler of Catan, thanks to my brother Gary who bought them their own game to have down here in Georgia.  Tabby, Nando and Scotty are the most involved in it, thus the picture above.

Saturday found me on the side of the road bleating into my cell phone on one son's behalf to get a tow truck while it was nearly 100 degrees in the shade, we were, of course, on hot asphalt.  His social anxieties preclude this ability, he didn't even have his insurance card with him that I've long lectured needs to be glued to one's butt basically.

CW rode with me on the off chance he could repair the car, reminding me that we had free towing.  Oh, thank God, I'd literally forgotten.

JoJo handed me a wad of cash to take to his bank.  "Why can't you take it?" coming from me would be a stupid question.  The amazing aspect is that he didn't spend it before coming home.  Martin and I used his cash to get his Jeep a battery, and CW's paying down on his new (2004) car.  Fabian, also flush with his paycheck, has fatherly bills to pay.

Again, I'm super grateful to our family friend, Michael, for hiring all of them, he's known them a long time and is very aware of their histories, but still gave them this chance.

Fabian's girlfriend's daughter, 3 year old Aliya came running into my house jumping into my arms, always glad to see me, and when people ask me how many grandchild do I have, may I include her?  She's certainly more attached than some, is it fair to not count her just because Fabian and Sandra aren't married?  Aliya calls me, "Bita," because that's basically my name for this next generation, she knows it's short for Abuelita which means Grandma, and I'm her two sister's grandma, so why not her as well?

I worked outside all this sweltering morning, drenched to the bone in sweat, picking peas, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, weeding as always, and listening to Dave Ramsey's podcasts which I find infinitely fascinating.

Sarah and I shell the peas while the kids swim each afternoon, I pigged out on a massive plate of peas loaded with tomatoes and jalapeƱos, it was scrumptious.

I've stayed off social media lately, stayed off the computer a good bit, not wanting even read the news, it's been to anxiety spiking for me, I can't explain, even Facebook has been stressful so I haven't gotten on it, but like my blogging, I've had little to say.

Tony gave me these pictures of him and Mayra the other day, the last photo of him driving up our driveway and finding this busybody dog, Junebug, up at the mailbox where she doesn't belong.

Tony's 19 and Mayra's now 21, not bullying him here.  They've had some epic disagreements over the years, as have all of my kids with each other.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Sweet Summer Days

This is my life now.  Sweet grandchildren at the pool, lately it's been Ray, Hazel, Tabby, Nando, CJ, Isaiah, and Mae making up games and whiling away hot summer afternoons.

I'm changing up a lot; a lot of stuff, attitudes and activities.

I'd like to publicly thank Sarah and Yolie for standing by me all these years, through some very difficult times, both of them expressing to me separately that they feel that they, and their families, are all the better for it.

Well yeah, they've been quite The Givers.  They've given their time, their love, and their support to some difficult people, and nowadays we're all beginning to see the fruits of our labors.

Givers are beautiful people, and the world, Karma, or whatever you believe in, generally supports this idea.

Jesse and Lena, living back in Georgia now, are also here quite often.  Lena reminding me of the time Nando had cried when Jesse said, "Good-bye" to him years ago, and headed back up north.  Now Jesse's coming to Nando's games, up at the pool with him, and sharing his son, Isaiah, with him.  A lot of cousins, a lot of fun.  A lot of loving, supportive aunts and uncles - an overused term but life is good like this.  I'm basking in it.

I'd gone again to see Alex, Polo and baby Jayden, now a whopping ten pounds.  They live in a part of metro Atlanta that's just under an hour away, I'd had to tend to another son 30 minutes south of there the same evening.  "It's grown kids stuff," I'd explained to Tabby, who stayed the evening at Yolie's house.

Today Ray, Tabby and Nando are on a river tubing trip in the North Georgia mountains with the church youth group.  Yolie joined me at Yard Sales, both of us spending very little, not finding what we needed.

I did find this CD for 25 cents so I'm happy as a pig in a puddle.  I'll download it to my phone and belt out all the songs, scaring away the wildlife with my complete inability to carry a tune.

I remain obsessed with trying to be as frugal as is possible, not in a martyr way, but because I both need to be, and, more importantly, wanna be.  Here's a link to 9 New Simple Living Blogs that I've been plowing through.  I just love to read the stories of others, their hints, tricks and techniques.

Vanessa's daughter, Evelyn, starts Pre-K this year, I'd gone to see Sabrina's new place, taking her a dresser, Miriam's son is in Florida with his dad for a few weeks, Mayra called but didn't come by yet, Fabian, Allen, JoJo, Martin and CW are getting a lot of hours at work - which is great - just some brief updates of the week.

I've spent every morning until noon working outside, shelling peas up at the pool, freezing quarts of them, eating a ton of fresh vegetables, weeding, fighting poison ivy, hauling wood chips, and am reveling at the amount of time I now have to get things done versus years past.

Ms. Carr brought by a ton of Legos, and Tabby and Nando have been completely enthralled for hours each day.  Who knew?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Busier Than Ever Pool Season

What's cuter than two grown sons sitting in the Baby End of the pool talking and laughing while their own children play?  Fabian, 23, and Jesse, 33, just enjoyed the cooling off aspect of it all - Lord Have Mercy - our air simmers, even at night there's little cooling off.

Yolie brought her kids, Sandra brought her sister, Lari, and Fabian waited patiently for his former Spanish teacher to return up to the pool area, finally asking what was taking her so long.

"She was just dropping Tabby off," I explained, our family long subscribing to the more people in the pool, the more fun it's gonna be, but read back in my blog to Fabian's violent teenage years, I never dreamed he'd be one of my favorite pool buddies someday.

Allen and CW keep bringing friends up there too, and tomorrow Lena's brother from Indiana will be here with his wife and three kids.

Yolie remarked yesterday that there's been four generations of Bodies enjoying the pool over the last 15 years.
"Mom, the police wanna talk to me, "Scotty had texted me the other day, causing an immediate mini-stroke and heart palpitations within me, knowing he'd been driving the van to work that day.

"Call me now!"  I texted back anxiously, although that's way too mild of a term. Panic is better.

Turns out he'd witnessed a hit and run in a parking lot.  Seriously?  You couldn't have led off with that sentence?

I have two large Revereware pots that I generally use for cooking rice or whatever.  Finally, after all these years and all these meals, a ragged crack sprang up around the line from the metal and the copper bottom, and then springing a leak.  I thought these were indestructible?

But hey, our hall tiles have broken under our feet, pool tiles have been knocked off the sides, doors knocked off of hinges, toilets rendered unfixable, my former kitchen sink itself had a big gaping hole in it from big heavy pots, the wear and tear on a non-commercial kitchen and house by this many people has taken a massive toll.

My annual property insurance bill is due, which always sends me over the edge as there's so little of value in this house, if a tornado blew it away, I wouldn't replace it, I'd drag in a doublewide or two until folks moved out, and I'd be happy enough in a one room cabin.  Heck, put a cot in the garden shed for me and just lemme be.

Only our underwear and some shoes were bought brand new, nearly everything else basically bought used, or given to us in bags of stuff folks didn't want anymore.  What's there to bother insuring?

I got Jack a beautiful NorthFace book bag for next school year for a couple of bucks, and me a new church blouse for one dollar yesterday at a yard sale.  Sarah deemed my shirt, "Too busy," where I'd been betting she'd act like I blinded her with the bright color.  Dang, she's unpredictable.  She accused me of overspending on it.  You decide, Tony took a picture of it below.

Cutest baby ever here yesterday, Lena's nephew along with another nephew, niece, brother and sister-in-law, another fun afternoon of swimming.

The day before with Miriam and Sabrina here, I'd had to point out that my Miriam is in her mid-20s now, while she'd tried to remain younger, it doesn't work that way.  This I know.

We had a Nando and a Nandi swimming here, Nandi all the way from Indiana to Podunk, Georgia.

Like I've said before, it's so sweet here lately, more grandchildren than children in the pool, here in my 11th summer of blogging.

I'm struggling with my gardens, some areas producing beautifully, some places like the tomato beds barely spurting out a couple of maters a day.  I do not have an explanation.  I've been working my butt off each morning out there, we don't swim until after lunch.

I've been clearing out overgrown areas that spring back to life immediately due to our near tropical weather, but I am making progress after years of having to stay inside to maintain law and order.

God has had me to extend some olive branches, as I've mentioned before.  All I can say is that I'm doing what I'm supposed to do.  Many of y'all have written to me about thorny relationships or estrangements from your grown children.  Honey, I understand.  We've done what we can, now we're done.  Let God handle it.  "Thy will be done," is something I promise you I repeat to myself some hundred or so times each day.  Talk about some inner peace that just can't be bought...

We recreated one of my favorite photos ever.  Yolie and Jack in 2000 and in 2015.  Jack, now 15, has worked long and hard on our pool, plus mowing this summer, he now has a Learner's Permit and will be starting tenth grade next month.  He's so precious.

 I have been trying to publish this post for some three days now.  I keep adding to it, walking away, getting interrupted or being forgetful.

Just took Tabby and Nando to help out with a Children's Church outing to the movies, Hazel is with them acting like she's a grownup helper too.  Then my two have Intensive this afternoon while I get another kid to a DBT group session, plus individual counseling.  No swimming for me today.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Pool Time Fun Now With Fabian

They're just bigger and older now, but no less Bubbas when they come up to my pool, wrestling, games, competitions, and hanging out.  I allowed Allen to have a pool party, he'd bought the food, used a friend's grill, and invited his former rec soccer team, a nice group of guys and girls.

Earlier Yolie, Lena, Sarah and their respective kids spent the afternoon up there with Elizabeth and her kids plus me, but I didn't get into the pool until four hours of shelling fresh peas left me with two quarts to put in the freezer.

When Fabian arrived with Sandra, Melie and Aliya, I stayed there in the baby end with the girls so Fabian could revert back to being a Bubba with all the boys.  Melie talked my ear off, as cute as key lime pie, but she 's still 2 and initially wouldn't let Aliya in her picture, so I had to snap them separately.  Sweet Aliya sharing everything, in spite of a persnickety two year old's demands.

It's so hot here even Junebug laid down in the pool on the first step into the baby end, nearly covering her entire body.

I'd spent almost five hours working outside in the morning, never ever beginning to catch up in spite of tons of wood chips for mulch and my constant activity.  Oh well.  It's fun and therapeutic.

My posts are so drama free, a rendition of a quiet life that I so crave nowadays.