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Monday, December 29, 2008


A dear friend of mine affectionately refers to all the changes we have been making as "Domestication"
What a sweet heart

I am happy the 3rd day on the job I doubled the sales from the day before!
Better yet, I doubled my tips :)

Now day 10
I was offered the Managers job a few days before Christmas, but I would have to go full time.
yeah, day 5 I was offered a manager position.
Makes me feel flattered and worried if what I do is so amazing and incredible and such
what the heck is everyone else doing?
Hit as to why the world is in bad shape... maybe.

So we spent alot of time holding hands and talking about how we could work it, if we should, what were the benefits and what were the sacrifices...
It was a difficult decision to make.
One of the things that is VERY important to us is being home when the kids get there.
My Love will soon be starting his after school program, so I will need to be there on the days he works late.
WE talked about the Master Garden's Course that starts next month and how that could work in. It is something I really want to do...

So basically we have talked alot...

WE talked about what would we do in the summer when all the kids are home and we both work?
Eldest very much likes the idea that she may have the job of baby sitter. WE talked about paying her. She was thrilled by that. Especially after she realized my store sells music...

so we talked...

Friday, December 12, 2008


New hair color

New niece

New Job


same old chaos...

is this what is referred to as turning over a new leaf?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Angels we have heard on high...

In our quest to help Eldest live well with her bipolar we have been doing several things. One of the things I began doing was forcing Eldest to accompany her crazy old mom to choir. I remember it was a great idea at the time... now I can't recall why LOL!

After her choir concert I asked at church when the choir met and was told "We don't have a choir." I was shocked! Is that even possible? I was disappointed.
A few weeks ago they announced that there would be a choir practice that afternoon.... they didn't say anything else was like, "Well, if you are in the choir you already know this so I'm just reminding you, geeeze." I decide we would go.

In a book I read the main character mentions how far you can get (where you may not exactly have permission to be) with a hat, a box, and a confidant stride. He's right. We walked up to the house the choir was meeting in and walked in. I took off my coat and hat and set them all aside, making it obvious we were here and part of them. Not overbearing, just confidant. No one thought anything about it and welcomed us in. They were thrilled to have more voices, the choir is really small, about 10 people after we joined.

I found out my dyslexia runs in all parts of my functioning.

See, I love music, really do! I want to learn to play many instruments and sing all kinds of styles... but music is like a foreign language to me, and as anyone who remembers my foray into learning french knows, I have no gift with foreign languages; French, Latin, or Music. I was singing with people who had voice training and collage courses in music, actual credentials of professional work! I had sung in the elementary school choir, that was the extent of my resume. On top of that when I had the tumor it changed my voice, at least I still had it. So I had yet to relearn how to sing after that silly lump of blood vessels and stuff was removed and no longer pressing on my vocal cords.

So there we were surrounded by music connoisseur and we were discussing the arrangement for the song we would sing. Eldest was being very quiet and was hiding in her hoodie. I listened as one lady, who has the kind of presence that says, "I know what I am talking about, and I'm right." and watching her kinda bully the others into how she wanted the arrangement done... "Well, IF you listen to the words you will see the part should be quiet and thoughtful. The first 2 should be louder."

I disagreed. I swear I was not trying to start a fight and I don't think she had triggered my defiance thing... but I spoke up ...."Really?" I asked loudly so she couldn't ignore me like she had 2 other ladies, "My dyslexia must be affecting the way I hear the music then. I hear the words of the first two verses as thoughtful and the last as boisterous and joyful! Exulting! We should really belt it out." She just blink, oh my gosh another persons impute and it wasn't the same as hers? The ladies she had ignored smiled and so did a few others and Eldest. Her's was the only suport that matters really.

We worked on the arrangement some more. Guess how we are singing the last verse?
Yup. Boisterous! and acapella. I think she was giving me a musical cut down when she said, looking right at me, "You can really tell if you haven't stayed on key if the piano comes in after an acapella number." But lucky me I have very little music knowledge so it went right over my head.

This last practice we were a little late. Eldest had gone to her friends after church and was trying to talk me into letting her just skip it. To tell the truth I almost gave in. I was in real pain, the idea of curling up in bed was very very appealing, but you know me... stubborn (your fault dad :P). I told her to be ready I would be picking her up in 15 mins and I wanted her ready to walk out the door when I pulled up. I took an alieve and headed out.

She was ready and she had her friend with her. Her friend had gotten excited when she heard Eldest was going to sing so she wanted to join too! That made me kinda happy, Eldest was the youngest one in the choir so I think it will be good for her if she has someone her age to sing with.
When we got there we found the choir had grown. Several more women had joined. We really need more men, I wonder what the chances are that I can get My Love to come sing? Probably about the same as getting me to pet a camel spider.

There were a few younger girls, low 20's late teens there was one who was a trained soprano. Sorry, but wow! No wonder no one joins! It is intimidating to be surrounded by trained singers when all you want to do is 'just sing for the joy of it'.

There were some really good things that happened self esteem wise for Eldest though. She was put in the sopranos and seat next to the trained soprano. Our choir leader is very wise. You see when an untrained voice sings in a choir they will match the nearest strongest voice of their level. The choir director complimented the girls on how well they hit the notes. Though Eldest couldn't go as high as the other girl she really added to that section.

She was glowing after the practice! Her friend will perform with us also.

I found out that I am a strong Alto. I had a really difficult time following the notes, but as I was sitting next to the loudest voice in the choir I was okay :) She was really happy when I got comfortable enough with reading the notes (well actually just looking at them, have no idea what they meant) that I started projecting. She said it really filled out the altos, and she didn't feel so conspicuous anymore.

I made the suggestion that we not disband after the holiday performance but keep going and start work on the Easter performance in January. Everyone like this idea. Seems there is no official choir director, we aren't an official choir either, just a bunch of music lovers who randomly appeared and sing together. But we all agreed that if we want people to sing louder in church we needed to bring the music to them.

I kinda want to let everyone know that you don't have to know what you are doing to sing for joy, just add your voice! Like I told when we first talked about her love of singing,


Sunday, December 7, 2008

grinding gears

Edit: Another one I didn't schedule correctly. From Nov. 22.

Today (Thursday) once again the school called My Love at work with an incident with Thunderous One. My Love was saying he would really love a break...what is this break you speak of? Never had one... His words were "I don't like this changing gears all the time!"
I began to laugh, soon we both were. Thunderous and My Love both have OCD and are 'rigid'. I laughed at his words because it is exactly what is causing the problems with Thunderous in class.
He really can't change rapidly, no matter how simple the change is. I suggested to My Love that they have a 'daily production meeting' with him to go over what his day will look like, but the school isn't going to, they don't have the staff and time. I started to get frustrated, the lack of staff and support is what lead to the nightmare action that had me homeschooling him for 3 years.
My Love took notes on our observations...things like when stressed he is more rigid he needs unwavering routines (wait is that My Love or Thunderous I'm speaking about?), So he could share it with the Principal when he called back. We listed the stresses we know about: lost of friend at school (we don't know what happened), ripping pants and being humiliated on recess, his best friend going to a new home, us throwing his coat in the wash so he would be forced to wear something else (My Loves idea....don't ask) and the fact that it's the holiday season, he hates the holidays.
It's not that he hates Thanksgiving or Christmas specifically, it's just at this time of year places (school, homes, store) look different then they do the rest of the year, there is more activity, assemblies, parties and other disruptions to the routine. Things that others find fun he finds stressful.
I believe My Love and Thunderous both can relate to Einstein's wearing of the same outfit everyday. No need to dress up or down, worry or wonder, just wear the samething every day... Didn't Steven Austin do that too?

Getting those two to deviate from their set pattern is like grinding gears when you shift; noise, painful sounding, and damaging... and yes sometimes it sounds worst then it is. Like this phone call today,they insisted that My Love come to the school, he insisted he needed to know why first...turns out he wasn't needed, they thought that the situation was escalating, it wasn't.
What happened is ...well, you ever have a situation that everything you say comes out wrong and just makes it worst? The poor teacher was having one of those days, and unfortunately that caused a conflict. It was quickly fixed though with the right things being said. They will work on that.
For example telling some one, " I think you need a time out." sends a very different message and gets a very different responds then when you say," I think you need a break." One is a punishment and one is recognising you have worked hard and need to stop.
I feel sorry for the teacher today. Mr. T is having 'one of those days' and Thunderous One's support teacher is out sick. I was going to offer to loan him my copy of "Addressing the Challenging Behavior of Children with High Functioning Autism/ Asperger Syndrome in the classroom" but I think the timing is a bit off...

Anyway, We talked and decided it's getting too stressful, they need some help. So this weekend, hopefully, we will go pick up an herbal supplement we have used with him in the past and give that to him for the holiday season. It is called Super Calm and he has always done well with it. You take a certain dosage based on weight, for 6 weeks then one week off. If we can start it this week end it will get him all the way to past Christmas and the last week of Christmas break will be the week off.
We think we will use it on Eldest as well. I will look a bit more into it for her though, I don't want to give her something that will send her into a manic state. I found out what we are experiencing right now may be called hypomanic. It's the state before manic. But antidepressants cause a manic state so they need mood stabilizers not depressants or stimulants. So finding a supplement for her will take some more research. It took us time to find what herbs did best for Thunderous I would expect the same amount of investigation before I find what works for Eldest. I'll need to pick up a light bulb as well. The light bulb in the night light burned out, causing a mild panic attack. If 7 watts is all it takes for her to sleep better, I'm getting it!

I worry about what Monster will do though, poor thing is so average! No therapies, no medications... it must be hard for her.

Oh and by the way, I rarely ever ground the gears when I drove the stick. But when My Love drove... well that is a different story ;)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Family Theme Songs

Note: still learning to use the blog. This was scheduled to post on Nov. 21. Let's see if I can get it right now *sigh*

These have been our family's theme songs for quite sometime.
we like to play them when we are cleaning or working together :) One of them I sang as their lullaby.

Rather feel like these need to be blared right now. Do you have Family songs?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Mountain Lion? Mountain Lion!

We have another Mountain Lion sighting. Above is the link to the article in our paper.

Some may recall last year I found really big paw prints that I tried to tell myself were the bear...when I knew it wasn't.

Well, just the day before yesterday the kids found the carcass of a fawn on the mesa. They have taken to rolling down the mesa where the fire has burned all the grass away, while out there doing that the other evening they found the deer. They came and told me about it and how it's stomach had been eaten.

Whistler has been spending the nights on the back porch...even when we take care to shut her into the side yard, somehow she is on the back porch before we go to bed. That last few nights she has been knocking insistently on the door till we go to bed. One morning I found her under the house. At the time I was only wondering the HOW not the WHY...yes, we all know I can be very slow. With out Brutus here to tell us, we have no real evidence that the mountain lion is in the back yard, but the circumstantial evidence is mounting.

I told the kids about it so they make sure to come back to the house before it is 'hunting time'. They came in one night telling me they have heard something in the bushes. I think it was a much smaller mountain lion named Cat that time. :)

I keep trying to get to it, but hings are just mounting up around here, so i haven't had the chance to walk the property and see what I can see. One reason I haven't done it yet is I don't want to be alone, LOL! So I'm waiting for back up, my back up may have to be the kids but either way I will have back up when I go.

The other day as I was on the phone with my sister I saw something out my window on the mesa... It seemed to be a very feline shaped bush. I couldn't really tell, and someone had 'borrowed' my binoculars (pretending they are Wall-E) so I never got a closer look. Oh and she gently suggested I didn't really want to go out and see what it was while we were talking, so I just kept looking at it through the window.

Maybe I can go look for prints tonight. I think the Lion has moved on as he didn't seem to stay last year, but I may still find something cool!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The House Fairy Has to work at Wal Mart

Have you every met the House Fairy?

She is great!
You can met her HERE

She helps kids learn how to clean their rooms and then rewards them when they do. I like that they never know what day she will come! But one day they will come home and the House Fairy will have left them a small gift and fairy dust! Or nothing but dust. She even leaves notes so they will know what she was rewarding them for or what was missed so next time they have a goal.

We have had a hard time keeping the kids rooms livable. So I had the House Fairy come! Monster is the best at working for the House Fairy, and Eldest announce she knows all the fairies there are and had NEVER heard of HER before, therefore she was a parent thing...made up to make you do something parents want you too that have no baring on real life.

Until one day....

I had been at Wal-Mart and saw this Lady at the check out, she was a clerk. She had crazy beautiful white hair piled on her head, glasses, and purple rubber gloves on. "Why does she look so familiar?" I wondered. It bothered me all the way home.

Suddenly I realized who she was!

That night when the kids got home from school I told them what I had seen. "It's so sad!" I exclaimed in sadness and shock.
"What?" they asked very concerned.
"I was at Wal-Mart today... You will never believe who I saw working there." still so sad, shaking my head, making eye contact.
"Who!?" They had to know! Who could be working that was such a sad thing to see?
"The House Fairy."
On Eldest's face Concern was immediately replaced by Annoyance. Thunderous One was still a little concerned, but Monster was beside herself...torn between concern and excitement. This was like finding out that Tony Hawk was moving in next door!

"Why is the House Fairy working there?" Thunderous asked confused.
I sighed and looked as sad as I could, "Because not enough kids are cleaning their rooms." I sadly shook my head and began to walk away.
Eldest grumbled, "Yeah right." and went to lay on her bed and goof off.
Monster and Thunderous rushed off to clean their rooms.

My Love had to separate the girls later as Monster tried to bully her sister into cleaning up the room!

Every time anyone went to the store for the next few weeks Monster would met them at the door and inquire if they had seen her , if the house Fairy was still working there. Eldest would scoff.

Then it happened.

We were at the bank inside Wal-Mart with all the kids. Suddenly Thunderous spotted her! It was chaos! I'm sure the poor woman was very confused by the children yelling, "I love you House Fairy!"
"I'll clean My room so you don't have to work here, I swear!" and other things of the sort.
I had to grab Monster before she dashed off to hug her. I hissed that she was at work and we didn't want to get her in trouble!
Eldest was in shock, "You weren't lying." She kept saying over and over.

Finally, she pulled her siblings together and had a rapid discussion with them. Obviously, they concluded, She had to disguise herself while at work and they couldn't blow her cover by shouting out her name. In fact we couldn't even use her line, who knows what would happen then (I personally imagine a very confused woman trying to comfort 3 sobbing children who keep apologizing for making her work at Wal-Mart)! They made a deal with each other to go home and work on their rooms. It was just WRONG that a magical creature was doomed to work in Wal-Mart!

Their goal: Get the House Fairy Back to her REAL job!

I'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Forgotten Turkey moments

I was having a difficult day so I never got to share one thing I wanted to.

Travel back with me, if you will, to Thanksgiving day and Eldest and Monster working on the turkey...

After Eldest was done gleefully massaging the butter herb mix under the skin and into the meat of the bird and Monster had finally decided she had had enough of this soo wrong sensation so the beautiful bird was put in the oven.

I directed Eldest that it was time to make the soup for the cats from the 'turkey guts'. So she got a sauce pan out and put the turkey neck in to it. She was really excited to open the 'guts' package. When we used to raise our food the kids helped us each time we butchered. In fact it was Eldest's job to inspect the 'guts' to be sure the animal was healthy so we could eat it. That will probably explain why she isn't grosses out at all about the 'dead bird' that we had just put in the oven.

She opened the package and Monster crowded in at her elbow trying to see the cool things too!
She pulled out each piece and showed it to Monster. "These are the lungs." She explained showing her the red piece in her hands. It had two lobes attached together at the top.
Wide eyed Monster watched.

She pulled out the next piece of floppy flesh. "This is the liver."
Monster got a bit green. "Who's eating this?" she asked me in a whisper.

Next piece, "this is the grizard."
"WHAT is that for?"

Monster thought it was the strangest thing. Eldest showed her the ridges on the organ and how it would work. "Wanna feel it? It's rubbery."
She politely declined, by running out of the room exclaiming her sister was crazy.

As she put it in the pot she picked up the neck, "Hey mom look! The esophagus!" She then pulled off a rubbery part of the turkey neck... okay that was a bit much for me. YUCK!
"Look," waving it in my face,"it's like a straw! Do you think he breathed out of it or it went to his stomach?" I kept trying to discreetly dodge the organ as she made sure I got a good look.
"Just put it in the pot Eldest!" She was still playing with it, yucky! "Anything else left?" Distraction is a great weapon.

"Oh!" The esophagus was tossed back in the pot as she spied that yes something was indeed left in the packet.
"The heart!" Eldest held it up, Monster had returned, who can resist the lure of a turkey esophagus? "Look Mom, I can make it beat!" Yes, yes she could make it beat.
Monster was very impressed, she grabbed the heart and ran to share the experience with her brother.
I didn't follow, only listened, but I did have to yell at one point, "Stop tormenting your brother with body parts!"
Poor my Love, he had no idea what they were doing, he was trying to sort out the confusion and my comment caused him to freeze and just stand there with a very confessed look on his face.

Finally a frustrated Eldest returned to the kitchen with the heart. "She made it beat to hard and tore it!" Eldest was indignant! Until she noticed that meant she could see inside, so she counted the chambers... "Monster! The turkey was disable like you! It only has three chambers!"
There was of course a scuffle as Monster wanted to see... and correct her sister, she had 4 chambers not 3! Finally the heart made it into the pot as well, more by accident then design.

The cats have no idea how much fun the kids had with their soup before it was served :)


Last night I went to our Water Users Association meeting. I guess it's kinda like a home owners association, but it's focus is the Water. Water is a very big deal here in the desert. Wars and Murders have taken place in our town through its history for water. Heck, our town was involved in a HUGE Revolutionary project called the Gunnison Tunnel just to get us water!

Well the Waters user association is basically made up of homeowners in this 'subdivision' to protect our water rights and use. We are not homeowners but I have been going to the meetings as an observer since we moved to this house about 5 or 6 years ago. I had missed that last users meeting and I'm glad I did. It had gotten heated and one of the council had resigned and now has her driveway barricaded and 'No Trespassing' signs up. Did I mention this town is heated about it's water rights?

I find the meetings very informative. I learn alot about what is going on in the neighborhood, like so and so broke her wrist 2 days ago and had to have surgery and a pin to fix it or so-and so is in Florida right now taking care of their mom. It's not gossip (no one mentioned the woman who's drive is barricaded) It's more like being a community,knowing what is going on with your neighbors.. the one with the broken wrist will have a few people bring by goodies and the one who is out of town will have an eye kept on the house.

Last night I learned a bit about water rights law as we discussed the approval of our district to get some of or water share from an alternate source. We also discussed some pipe that had been laid, we have been working for years to get all of the ditch system that can be in pipes and covered. We covered the battle with the new subdivision up ditch that had covered our ditch cutting off our water and how that was going.
We had a guy from the sewer company come by and he gave a presentation... seems they have to replace the ENTIRE subdivisions sewer system. I don't know why (that was covered in a meeting I missed), but it all has to be replaced and the home owners will have to pay some of it. Oh yeah, that explained why our rent had gone up. Seems that the sewer company is charging our land lord more then everyone else because he has this property zoned for a high density subdivision, so in anticipation of that impact they have to make adjustments to the sewer system. Nice to find out.
I guess I am always excited to learn new things and this is alot of new things! I also never knew that these where things that homeowners have to deal with.
WE also got to nominate committee members. I can't vote, make a motion or second... so I mostly sat quietly during the meeting. At one point the President mentioned I was being awful quiet. I was thinking about something but I didn't want to disrupt the meeting by bringing it up in the wrong time... they have old business, new business, future business... and as I can not vote, only comment, and it is a sensitive...very sensitive topic I waited.

Finally when the meeting was over and we all adjourned to the kitchen for doughnuts. I asked...

One of the old business topics that had been mentioned was how the Water Users Association is talking to a lawyer about liability insurance for the ditches. Specifically for the open ditches. This past year...Easter week in fact... a 2 year old drowned in the ditch. He was playing in his yard and somehow got in the ditch. It flows right by his family's house and they have no fence there.
So I asked...
In Texas there is a law in place if you have a pool about having a fence of a certain height. I wanted to know if the Water User Association had any rules or guidelines about having a fence in place. The open ditch also runs thru our property. We have always had to warn new move ins about the ditch and even run several kids out of the ditch. We put up a bit of a fence to keep the horse in,when he is feeling gracious. We go swimming in it in the summer, but no one can go alone and we stress to the kids the danger, not hard to do when your classmate has lost her little brother.

I had been thinking that perhaps having guide line set in place by the Water Users on having the ditch fenced somehow we could help limit the danger and liability. I guess you could say I got to see how politics actually works. Over doughnuts everyone who was left discussed that. Seems that's where all the real decisions are made.
Many liked the idea and most already had a fence erected. But someone told a story about a family in Ouray who had a fence and posted "beware of dog" signs around it. When a child trespassed and got bite the family was successfully sued because they knowingly had kept a vicious animal (see the Beware of Dog signs).
There was no decision made about that, I hadn't expected one. But the Lawyer will now be asked about that as they purse how the liability insurance will work. I know there is a conflict because they can not keep animals from reaching the water, by a law already in place... but that only affects where I live the rest of the ditch may not be affected... but now they are thinking.

As I walked out that night the President broke off a conversation and came over to tell me something, "I really hope you guys will buy something in this division! We want you around!"