Monday, December 24, 2007

Reply from Mom, Plus Other Stuff....

Okay, first of all, Mom wants me to tone down the whining from my last post. I have to agree with her, so I will.

Second, I need to whine about how the flu took over my house for Christmas. Mom was throwing up, so was Dad, and now so is The Wife. I haven't yet, and I hope I don't because I don't have any sick days left and it would really suck to have to cause a problem at work this close to the end of the year.

Ok. That's out of the way then.

Tonight, "Celeste" opened up to me in a way that she never has yet. She had not yet bought her dad a Christmas present, and I was the nearest male who might know anything about ice fishing. Her dad loves ice fishing. all went well until we got home again. Then she tried EVERY SINGLE TRICK IN THE BOOK to try to get me to feel sorry for her. No dice...well, not really NO dice. I know how she feels. But I made her understand that I know what she was trying to do to me and that it wouldn't work. Oops. Now she hates me.

Well, not exactly HATES...but those of you who are foster parents, or even just parents, know what I'm talking about now. She hates that I'm on to her, and that I love her.

Hooh, boy, does she hate that I LOVE her. I've decided that I'm going to tell her again and again and again until she stops being uncomfortable with it. Because it's TRUE. I love this girl, and The Wife does too, and there's nothing she can do to change that. Maybe that's what she needs.

Anyway, hope you all had a Merry Christmas. We didn't, really...but then again we did. I had my Mom & Dad with me, and Dad got to play in our basement, and he helped get our brakes fixed. And I got to do some ice fishing. So by any practical measure, I guess we didn't do too bad.

Please wish The Wife a speedy recovery, as she seems to be the last one to shake the vomit-bug.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Captain of My Own Ship?

Sadly, no.

I want to adopt. I've waited for this privilege for over a year, and it seems no closer.

I wanted to foster kids (probably teens). I'm now fostering one mom and her kid plus one teen, with one mom with her whole entirely different kid waiting in the wings. Actually, not really waiting in the wings so much as already moved in and waiting for the paperwork to go through or for us to kick her out. Yes, it looks like we may very well be fostering "Melanie" and her child.

I was in charge of a project at work, but now it looks like I'm taking over another guy's project so he can focus on yet another project.

I want to have a relaxing Christmas. Mom and Dad are coming, however, so I'll probably be working on the basement.

I want to go ice fishing. I have no ice fishing house.

I want to go snowmobiling. I have no snowmobile.

Sigh. Guess I'm just along for the ride. Luckily, it's a pretty entertaining ride. Yes, I still love my life. I just wish it would let me live it a little more sometimes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Stuff With "Celeste"

Well, stuff has been happening. "Celeste" is our current project, and what a project she is.

The timeline on Sunday, as best I can remember:

up until around 8:00: Spent time with Mom & Dad. Finished the downstairs bedroom with's really cool.

around 8: The Wife let "Celeste" go for a walk. She claimed she wanted to go to a place she knew that she could "think". Yes, I know, that should have been our first clue...but she promised she'd be back by 9.

9:15: Call the cops. We'd had enough. Enough of her jerking us around, enough of being the stupid ones. The Wife is majorly sick. I go in to sign the papers to designate "Celeste" as an official runaway.

9:30: Talk to the actual cop on the case. A nice guy...not sure if he's the one in our church, but we'll find out. He promised to find her.

10:00: I'm in the cop shop signing papers I've filled out. I GUESS she's 5'4...what do I know? She's my girl. I don't care beyond that and the fact that I miss her already.

11:00 They found her. As it turns out, she had been at a friend's house, and left when the heat came one (promptly, thanks to us). The K-9 unit found her freezing to death in a slough near her friends' house.

12:00 The Girl agrees to my terms. She comes home with me and goes directly to bed. Do not pass Go, do not collect so much as a dime. She's off the internet permanently. We love her, but will not stand by while she destroys herself. SHE AGREES. She still has some love for herself, apparently. We, perhaps stupidly, agree.

As it has come out over the last couple of days, she and The Wife have been subpoenaed to appear in court over the statutory rape case that I believe I have described before. "Celeste" is absolutely PETRIFIED to testify. And that is why she has caused the problems recently (including self-piercing her lip, thenkyewveddymuch). At least we know why all this is happening. We've been ready to cut bait until we found out what's really been driving her behavior.

So. I love this girl. So does The Wife. And yet, we have mutually decided that we can't live with her if her recent behavior is going to be the norm. Yet, we further learn that she has pretty decent reason to act out. So do we forgive and forget? Or do we kick her out on general principles?

No. We can't kick her out. And yet, we can't just let the gross displays of disrespect go unnoticed. So...she will no longer have the luxury of the internet. She will no longer have the luxury of attending the church youth group, which we know she's been skipping anyway. She WILL have our attenion. She's a smart girl. I intend on teaching her chess...and she will play me, and hopefully learn how to beat me. She probably will, if she doesn't end up in a residential facility. Because she's a smart girl, because I love her, and because I've decided that Chess is her vehicle to sanity.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Lots More Stuff


1) We had the lady and her daughter stay for a couple of days this week as a trial run. She's fairly easy to have around, and her daughter is a doll. There are several things they didn't warn us about with this situation...what situation have they ever told us the complete truth about in advance...but we may be able to work with this one. If she decides to come back.

2) I lost one of my favorite uncles this week. I have tomorrow off to go to the cities for the funeral. I have a lot of memories of this man...he is my father's brother, and the two of them are probably the finest men I've ever known. Sadly, in recent years my uncle has been in decline, suffering from severe Alzheimer's disease. It's actually a mercy that it's over.

I do remember one time in particular, when he and my dad took me to a Twins game, when I was maybe 9 or 10. My uncle stuffed me full of junk food from the vendors. He had an extra ticket, and told me I could sell it if I could find a buyer. Tickets were $6 in those days. I actually found a guy to buy it for $5, which also went straight into my belly. I probably gained 5 pounds that day.

3) "Celeste" is due to get out of the tank tomorrow and come back home. We received another detention notice from school she hadn't warned us about from before she left, and also a court summons because she was caught with smokes in school. This girl needs to go to the day treatment school that "Josie" and "Tammy" went to. They would REALLY help whip her into shape. The two counselors from the day treatment school, The Wife, the PATH social worker, and everybody else seems to agree. However, the county worker who needs to sign off on the idea is nowhere to be found. Color me unsurprised.

4) "Zach" has become a permanent member of the household. He's a real sweetie...but needs to get rid of some puppy stuff. Like tearing apart the door to the basement, and jumping up into everybody's lap. Also he has kleenex issues. Like he wants to eat any he finds. Not good. But VERY good dog. He was badly abused as a puppy according to the Humane Society, but he has a really sweet disposition. He deserved a forever home, and now he's got one. God is good sometimes.

5) I'm tired, and I'm going to watch football now. Sorry for the lack of writing...but you get what you pay for.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Lots o' Stuff

The reason I haven't been writing isn't because of a lack of material, but because of a surplus. I can't do everything justice in the mood I'm in tonight, but in no particular order:

1) We had to put Chewy down. As I've mentioned before, he has always been in bad health since we got him, and it finally got to be too much for us to sit and watch. It was a choice between putting him down or spending God knows how many dollars to try to set it right with no idea if it would even do any good. We made a choice. Hope it was the right one.

2) I'm sitting here tonight getting to know a new dog, currently named Zach (not sure if we'll rename him or not yet). He's a smaller, drool-free variant (as per The Wife's wishes). He's a medium-sized black lab, very sweet temperament, he has one brown eye and one very light blue, and I've got him from the Humane Society for a weekend trial run. So far so good...with only one leg-lifting episode, my very sudden and loud response to which I think made its intended impression.

3) "Celeste" was on "home leave" last weekend. She took the liberty of bringing some kind of pills back with her. "Tammy" was set to stay Tuesday and Wednesday nights, and the two of them got together and decided it would be just peachy keen to down a bunch of pills each. "Celeste" didn't even know what the pills were. Sigh. Off to the hospital, where peeing in a cup became an issue for "Celeste". I had had enough. Let's just say I convinced her to pee in the damned cup so we could go home. Nobody harmed, but "Celeste" is now in psych eval in another city. The Wife made sure she understood that we wanted her back...but not until she had been evaluated. We THINK she may understand now that there's something wrong. Time will tell...but we are child-free for the moment. The Wife is also in the city where "Celeste" is in right now, and will not be back until tomorrow or the next day.

4) We have a new potential placement....but not the usual. This one is a 24-year-old mother and her baby. The Mom has a depressed IQ (she's slow), and it's potentially our job to evaluate her, help her learn how to be a mom, and generally just to try to make this little mini-family functional. Don't know anything about them except their names, their ages, and the fact that the mom insists on being able to smoke. We, of course, will allow no smoking in the house, but we're amenable to her smoking outside so long as she disposes of her butts appropriately. The Wife is scheduled to drive an ungodly number of miles next week arranging all this and seeing if it's even doable for us and them. More later on that.

5) Work sucks. Okay, not really, but this week sucked. It is SO nice to have this little break where I have the house and the animals to myself. Please excuse me while I go soak in some genuine puppy love.