Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A New Chapter

My books are going to hate me.  See after running out of space for all of them, I have decided that I should get a Barnes & Noble Nook Color.  Yeah, that's right.  I'm giving in.  Selling out.  Cheating on my paper and ink friends.  I wasn't sure at first and am still not 100% sure (but I rarely am about anything).  Anyway, I looked around my bedroom the other day and thought "Wow, I'd have a lot more space if it weren't for all these books."  Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE my books.  Perhaps a little too much.  See once I read a book, I have immense trouble letting it go.  Could be my OCD, I don't know.  I feel a bond with the people and the places and the story.  I hate giving them up.  In the past I have forced myself to part with books I didn't really enjoy and was ok with that.  But there are also books I really did enjoy that once sold to Half-price Books or donated to a charity, I wish I had kept.  I wanted them back.  But in order to reclaim my living space, I had to give them up.  With the Nook Color, I can have 8,000 books in my library and still have space on my shelves.  I will also have mobile internet access in hot spots, tons of apps and even the ability to view pictures and videos.  Its almost like a smaller, much cheaper IPad.  I can get e-books from the library and even share my books with others who have a Nook.  My books are even backed up on the Barnes & Noble server so if something happens to my Nook, I just get a new one and poof! access to all of my old books is like magic.  And no breaking my purse or juggling my belongings trying to lug around a thick hardcover copy of the latest novel.  I'm really having trouble seeing the downside of this choice.  In my quest to decide which e-reader to get, I asked friends and family and was met with a resounding - just use good old-fashioned books.  They have not seem my bedroom.  I understand their fondness for the tactile words but sometimes things change and you've just got to roll with it.  My love of books, bookstores, libraries, bookmarks and anything and everything to do with books is unfailing, but I feel the need to take this huge technological step.  Goodbye my dear tangible literary companions.  Hello night-reader-easy-on-the-eyes-setting while reading in bed without having to struggle holding a book open and rolling from side to side to see the proper page.    Happy Birthday/Mother's Day to me!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Would You Like Fries With That?

It is Good Friday and I am starving.  Why am I fasting if I consider myself agnostic?  Because some bad habits are hard to break.  There is still that little tiny bit of catholic fear in me that makes me fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.  I also give up something for lent and don't eat meat on Fridays in lent as well.  I have no idea why the catholic church has such a stranglehold on me.  I guess years of guilt and fear can have that kind of effect on a person.  I really need to do some research on these religious traditions and find out why we do these crazy things.  Why is there no meat eating on Fridays in lent but seafood can be indulged in in mass quantities?  I can go out and have lobster but a burger is off limits.  I don't remember any burning bush recommending that one.  I understand the sacrifice of giving something up for lent.  That's why I do it.  However, I don't think Jesus is going to unfriend me if I dare to have the forbidden candy, gum, chocolate or whatever weakness you are supposed to be standing firmly against.  It was the church that made up these rules.  I'm sure they had their reasons, but are their reasons really relevant?  If anything, their reasons are to get butts in pews and dollars in the collection plate.  I've said it before and I'll say it again.  Religion as an institution is a man-driven force.  While my faith in God is unwavering, my faith in a mortal to be responsible for directing my soul to heaven is.  Ok.  I just saw on the news that there is a church offering drive-thru communion for Easter.  That's right people.  Punch your time card so you can get into heaven.  Smile big as you drive away knowing that the wafer in your mouth is your ticket to paradise.  Who cares if you live your life your way the other six days of the week?  You got your communion and you didn't even have to leave the car.  Instead of sitting in a man-made building with man-made decorations on Easter morning, we go out into God's creation, nature, and watch the sunrise, another one of God's creations.  There is just something about what we do that makes me feel closer to God than any sermon ever will.  I put in my face time with God, not the other parishoners.  Look out hell.  Here I come.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Ok peeps!  I am finally back.  After our visit from Frontrunner was set for this week and then cancelled Monday of last week, she actually came Thursday of last week with less than 48 hours notice.  What a roller coaster!  Things went well during her stay and tears were shed when she left yesterday.  It looks like this may really work out.  Provided there are no surprises, she should be coming to live with us at the end of June.  Her visit here allowed us to be more at ease and thus more ourselves which helped contribute to everyone being more comfortable.  She and our daughter got along well.  Our daughter said to me at one point "Mom if there's something she does that I don't like or agree with, I just think of you and Uncle Crazy (my brother).  You two don't like all the same things and don't always get along but that's what having a subling is about."  Quite insightful for being raised an only child.  Frontrunner has decided to change her name - first, last and middle.  New name, new start.  She will be taking our last name - something that makes us very happy.  There will be much teaching and guiding and modeling to be done but she was showing signs of accepting a positive influence.  It will be a change.  There is no denying that.  But the change is one I think we as a family can handle.  We as a family meaning all FOUR of us.  Here I go again, jumping in the deep end but at least this time I got to dip my toes in the water first.  Now I feel like its me jumping and not being pushed in.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I'm Not Maid for Cleaning

Why is it when you have nothing that HAS to be done, you are bored and can't think of anything to do but when you have something that you NEED to do, you can think of a million distractions you would rather be doing?  Right now, I have approximately 24 hours to start and complete my taxes, clean my entire house, and finish my Easter shopping.  This is just not gonna happen.  The shopping I could do.  Shopping is never a problem.  Its the taxes and the cleaning that are going to be the problem.  Actually, I could probably pull off the shopping and the taxes, but not the cleaning.  Its really a lost cause.  I start off by making a list of what all needs cleaned.  Then I feel overwhelmed and like I wanna nap.  If I start cleaning someplace, one of two things happens, either I get distracted by someplace else and move to there before I am finished or it ends up looking worse than it did at first.  Its hopeless.  I'm a lost cause.  Frontrunner is coming to visit tomorrow and her worker is coming to "see our house".  So we're not talking about a little gathering in the living room where I can happily shove everything into our bedroom.  No.  We're talking on the same level as home study.  Peeking in all rooms and closets.  Looking with an evaluating eye at all of our mess.  I've already told Frontrunner that we live messy and she's cool with that.  I just don't want her worker to bring her here to Suburbia take one look at our mess and cart her back to Faraway.  That would suck.  So, I have to try.   I have to at least make the effort.  Right after I finish blogging . . . and call Hubby . . . and finish my ice coffee . . . and . . . I need a maid.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Poet in Me

                                           To Get Something You've Never Had,
                                  You Have To Do Something You've Never Done
                                                                  by me

Feeling helpless, without a clue.
Not knowing what I should say or do.
Not knowing my place or where I fit in.
How can you know when I can't begin
to feel how strongly a mother should feel?
An official paper - does that make it real?
I'm damned if I do, I'm damned if I don't
I'm damned if I'll sit while you tell me she won't.
But that's just the start, just the tip of it all.
Why take a step when you feel like you'll fall?
Should I push?  Should I wait? Should I venture a word?
I would but I fear that my voice won't be heard.
To know what is truth and to know what are lies
someone take the blindfold off my eyes.
I don't know how long till these feelings are through.
It may be a while before I can trust you.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Lights Out!

Do you ever feel like you are completely in the dark?  That's how I feel right now.  Like I am completely in the dark.  We got back from Faraway last Sunday and haven't heard a peep from anyone involved with this adoption process.  No "How was the trip?".  Nothing.  I thought for sure that our worker would be all over it when we got back but nada.  I thought for sure her worker would follow up with us on how things went but nope.  We've had plenty of friends and family ask us all about it.  But nobody who should care, whose job it is to care, seems to at all.  Another proof that the system is indeed broken.  Our Frontrunner is supposed to be coming here to Suburbia in about a week to visit us on our turf.  We have no idea of any details of that trip.  Frontrunner herself is grounded so there's no texting or messaging coming from her direction.  And from what I understand, kids today have no idea that phones can be used for talking into.  Its almost as though we never went at all.  So, today I started on yet another mission - encourage communication and prove to myself that yes, indeed, we did go to Faraway and it wasn't just a figment of my imagination.  I was kind of hoping Hubby would pick up the ball on this one but then again I forgot - I'm insane.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome.  So technically Hubby does drive me to insanity.  So does the child welfare system in the US.  Although I am understanding it more and more.  Not really the people but some of the rules.  Like the one that says an adoption can't be finalized until the child has lived with you for at least six months.  Once upon a time, I thought that was cruel and unusual punishment.  Now I completely understand it.  There is no way from meeting someone once or twice that you can tell if you will be compatible to live together forever.  That would be like getting married on your second date.  The odds of divorce would be pretty high in that case and as I see it, the odds of failure would be far greater if you finalize when a child first moves in with you.  Its a six month trial period for everyone involved.  Everyone.  And I have the feeling it will be the toughest six months of my life.  What have I gotten myself into?  I want to hit that switch and spread some light on the whole subject.  I'm just afraid my bulb is about to burn out.

Monday, April 4, 2011

My Family Went on Vacation and All I Got Was This Lousy Blog

I've decided to sum up our recent trip to Faraway with a helpful Top Ten Traveling Tips
10.  A foot of snow can stop a 7 day a week Chinese buffet from opening, but it won't stop Chinese delivery.
9.  When in doubt, bribe your child with the promise of a trip to Canada.
8.  Child services agencies in the US are even more screwed up than I thought they were.
7.  It is not possible to have everyone be comfortable in a rental car.
6.  Indian reservations look just like everywhere else, except for the giant fiberglass 50 foot tall Native American statues
5.  Connecticut = $$$Cha-Ching$$$
4.  It is impossible to have a nice, calm, relaxing meal at a Denny's.
3.  Forget about deer.  Try not hitting a moose.
2.  Just because its called the China Dine-ah doesn't mean it has Chinese food.
1.  The magnet is right.  What happens in Maine stays in Maine but really nothing ever happens in Maine.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Snow, Swimming & Broken Hearts

April Fool's Day and I just got back from sitting in a hot tub watching the blustery snow fall outside.  Nice April Fool's Day joke mother nature.  Real funny.  We were supposed to be leaving Faraway today but thanks to about a foot of snow that continues to fall, we get to spend an extra day (in the pool once again) with our Frontrunner - who I might add is our only candidate.  At this point after driving for three days, meeting her and spending constant time with her for the past 48 hours and the next 24 as well, if this does not go through and actually happen, I don't know if I could start the process again.  We are hooked.  She has melted our hearts and we wish we could take her home with us tomorrow.  We checked and, well, we can't.  This will be the hardest part.  Leaving her here.  We have to wait about three weeks till it is her turn to visit us in Suburbia.  Then we have to wait a good two months for her to be able to move down to live with us.  We think that it would be better for her to move down sooner.  She could finish out the year in the Suburbia Middle School and make some new friends before she gets lost in the shuffle of the monster beast that is Surburbia High.  We thought it might be easier than her waiting until her school lets out at the end of June, but her worker says the dreaded red tape can't happen any faster.  Frankly, I think it is mean to say "Here is your new family for three days.  Now say goodbye to them.  Its ok.  You'll see them again in a few months."  But that's how the child welfare system works in this country.  Fractured and broken.  There will be tears tomorrow.  I am sure of it.  She has already asked us to take her home with us when we go.  At the mention of our leaving, she gets quiet and withdrawn and depressed.  I know the people on her team are professionals who are supposed to have her best interest at heart.  I just hope someone listens to what she actually wants.  I hope her voice gets heard above all of the political din.