I am interrupting my 30 Days of Truth to share this with you. Its been banging about in my head for a few days and I decided to let it out.
I follow lots of bloggers and I think of each and every one of you as friends. I follow writers such as Brian from Waystationone – who is an AWESOME writer. Give him a topic and ask for poetry or story and he will give it to you, sometimes in 55 words or less. There is Marv at the Old Silly Free Spirit Blog, another awesome writer. You should stop over and see him and his blog hopping book tour. Fabulousness!
I follow mommy bloggers such as Blogging Mama who writes about raising kids and baseball from the mid-west. There is Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry – One Sock at a Time; she puts the funniest spins on daily living with two kids, one who is Aspergers with a touch of ADHD – AND her husband is stationed in Korea for a year.
I read some humor bloggers such as Barefoot Foodie who is planning to say I (Still) Do in December and invited all her followers to follow her to Vegas! In my list of must reads is Sincerely Jenni. She writes about her life as a mom and all that encompasses. She is the blogger who turned my onto the 30 Days of Truth.
Another category of blogs that I follow are ones about experiences with raising kids on the Autism spectrum. With Jakes being on the spectrum, I need all the help I can get with raising him. I have followed Teen Autism for a while now. Tonya has lots of good links and info for raising our AS kids.
I have been in this war for about 5 years now. Plenty of time to have dealt with the grief process and accept the diagnosis. And long enough to have battle fatigue. With all the problems and stress I have been under with Jakes behaviors of late, I have been extremely tired and patience-less in dealing with most everything in my life.
Lynn’s post reminded me that this war is not about ME. Its about getting the best of whatever our kids need to function in this world. My Thought for the Day email reminded me also.
“Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way. – Satchel Paige”
Children make us aware of how tired they are by sitting down and crying. As adults we don’t have that luxury. We have to be grow-ups, responsible. Instead of sitting down and crying about it, we need to find another way. We need to learn how to ask for help. Help with the problem or with daily chores if necessary. We just have to ask.
I have been doing a lot of sitting down and crying like a child. I have a child who needs ME to be responsible, to fight for HIM, to ensure he has everything he needs to function in the world.
While I have been crying like a child, I HAVE been asking for help. We have been seeing a therapist, who has not been helping enough. Unfortunately, instead of recognizing this, I sat and cried when I should have been asking for help. Actually, maybe I was asking for help of the therapist and she wasn’t listening. It doesn’t matter. After our world crashed, I asked for help from others. People who have helped in the past. People who I have high hopes to help us again.
In the future, I will try to recognize when I need to ask for help, even if I have to change who I am asking. But I will never give up and cry. I will hold my head up high and dig deep for the strength to fight for what Jakes needs.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
I don’t think there is anyone in my life that I need to let go right now. I am pretty good at distancing myself from toxic people. I have to protect myself and my son from these people and I am not afraid to do it.
Some of these topics are easy and don't require a lot of thought or elaboration. The past few days have been fairly easy and short. In looking ahead a couple of days, they are going to get harder to answer and long to read. But it will always be the truth.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
There were several people who were friends of my moms before she passed that I tried to stay in contact with but we have just drifted apart. I have to assume that if we were meant to be in each others lives, we would be.
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.
I have made my life worth living. I brought myself back from (my version) hell to a good life. I hope I can continue to enjoy how I am living my life. I worked hard to get here and I will continue to enjoy it.
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do..
There are so many things that I dread having to do but there are some that are feared more than others.
No parent wants to have to bury their own child. This is something that scares the crap outta me! Even if I am 80, I don’t want to have to stand at my son’s graveside. Its not the natural order of things, at least not in my book.
I hope to build my own home away from my parents. Right now, I rent a 2 bedroom apartment on the river under my parents. I LOVE my apartment and everything about it. Its exactly what I need at this point in my life. Easy maintenance, heat and babysitters included.
Someday though, I want my own home with lost of land on the water somewhere. I am slowly working toward that dream but for now it’s a dream. We all need dreams to reach for, right?
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.
I know I seem to have a common theme in these 30 days of truth, mainly about my divorce but that was a HUGE change in my life. It’s like I was born again through it. And maybe I was.
I know that I have to forgive my ex for all the hurt he caused me at the end of the marriage and through the divorce. There are days that I actually think I have. Then something comes up that triggers the old hurt and anger. Thankfully, it doesn’t take as long to get over it as it used to. I think the biggest step I have taken in forgiving him is when I unblocked him on FaceBook. I haven’t tried to “friend” him but since we have mutual friends and if either of us posts to that friend, we would be able to see what was posted. I know I am not ready to “friend” him. Not by a long shot.
I am proud of how far I have come in my attitude toward him. I can refer to him by his name and not necessarily my “pet” name for him. Neicy actually remembers who I am talking about when I use his name.
It’s been 4 years for me to get this far so I think in another 5-6 I will be able to say that I completely forgive him. Unless he starts acting like an asshole again.
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Because I am good at beating myself up, I have a lot to forgive myself for. I think the biggest thing I have to forgive myself for is the failure of my marriage. Its been 4 years since the split and my life has never been better. But I still feel like I failed.
I put up with his girlfriends (three that I know about), his mental abuse (mooing like a cow when I walked by, 8 months pregnant) and his lies at the end (he said if I went into counseling and changed he might decide to stay but he never had that intention). I put up with being the breadwinner, the full time mom, housekeeper, cook and handyman.
Why would I want to stay in this marriage you ask? Because he had made me think that I NEEDED him to be able to live a good life, that without him I would fail. I also felt that my mom would have been disappointed if I failed at my marriage.
I busted my butt in therapy to change for him. Because he said if I could make him happy, he might stay. I learned three things in therapy, one being how to recognize irrational and rational behaviors (mainly in myself), that major life decisions have to be made out of love for the people it will affect, and that I can only be responsible for MY happiness. There was no way I would be able to make him happy when HE didn't even know how to make himself happy. I am betting he still doesn't but he's no longer my problem.
I have forgiven myself for the failure of my marriage (most days) because I have a wonderful life that I have created since the divorce. Because of the divorce and all the trauma associated with it, I am a strong and competent woman. I am a woman who knows she can make it on her own, doesn't NEED a man to make her happy. But if I could find someone to share life with, I'm ready. You hear that Universe? I'M REAADDDDYYYYY!!!
I don't usually post twice in a day but I am SO excited that I need to share this with EVERYONE! I LOVE my therapist. Not Jacob's therapist but mine.
You HAVE TO, MUST cannot go on without reading this story. GO now! I'll wait. When you get back I will tell you why I LOVE my therapist.
Ok. You're back, GREAT! So you have the back story on my therapist and why I loved her before. In my last post about our therapy I kinda glossed over the horrible session we had with Vickie. Jakes and I both left in tears and Vickie still didn't realize that her intervention didn't work and even made things worse. To hear our trusted therapist tell me that I should send my son away broke my heart and my trust in her.
At my first appointment with Kate, we briefly discussed the session, not that I remembered much other than her telling me to send my son away. I vented to Kate about my feelings in how that session was handled, as well as some other things Vickie did that bugged me. She wanted to talk with Vickie about it as well so I signed a release and left. We had a session scheduled with Vickie that night so Kate was going to try and catch up with her before then.
I have since found out that Vickie did talk with Kate, WHILE Jakes was in session. She sent Jakes to play in the playroom while she sat in her office on the phone. Nice, huh?
Anyway, that's over for now. Kate and I talked today about different options for us getting therapy without Vickie. There are several options to explore but the one that I like the best is me and Jakes seeing Val. They can bill us under MY insurance while Kate sees me individually until she is convinced that I really am ok. Which I am.
I am waiting for Val to check her schedule to see when she can fit us in and I am hoping that it will be any night of the week other than Tuesdays. If we don't have therapy on Tuesdays, then I can sing EVERY WEEK! Woot!
There are 2 drawbacks to this plan. One is that I have a co-pay for my insurance. Its pretty high but I don't care. This is Val and I know that Jakes will do well with her. Two, their office is about 15 minutes further than our current one and we already travel about 40 minutes. Again, I don't care. Its Val and Kate. I trust them with my life. They saved us once before and they are only better therapists now.
For now, things are on hold until Val works her magic on her schedule and Jakes has his evaluation with the psychiatrist on November 10th. I am hoping to get ADHD meds for him. I am hoping that will be our miracle. Or maybe our miracle is Val and Kate together again.
I don't care. Either Miracle Works for Me. I have hope again. I know I can make this work with Jakes.
This one is easy for me. I love that I am able to have the life that I have. I have a great apartment, a car, a great paying job and I can afford to live as I want to live. I love that I can provide this kind of life for me and Son. I am very proud of this fact.
While married, there was 2 incomes and we spent to the max. Once divorced, I worked HARD to reduce my debt, get my credit back and get my budget under control. I now have a great home for me and Son, a new car, and I have a little savings account. I also was able to take us to Disney last year. I remember standing At Cinderella’s Castle the first day, crying because we were THERE and everything was paid for and I did it all on my own.
I decided long ago that I would not live the way I did when married. I would always have a savings account and I would have “play” in my budget to be able to go out to dinner or be able to do something fun with Jakes and not have to worry about where the money would come from.
For the next 30 days, I am going to write the complete and utter truth about myself. Here is day 1
Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.
There are lots of things that I dislike about myself such as my weight, my couch potato practices but all these things are things I can change if I really wanted to. I am working on these things, I am on a diet (and HUNGRY!) and I have been going out more when Son is at his fathers.
What I really hate about myself is that I beat myself up for things, big and small. My marriage failed, I beat myself up. Even though I KNOW that I did everything I possibly could to make it work, I still beat myself up over being a failure.
Jakes and I are having problems, I beat myself up for not being able to be a perfect parent and handle this.
I write what I consider an AWESOME grant and we don’t get the money, I beat myself up, wondering what else I could have done better.
When a friend offers a fun time, I do the “safe” thing instead of the fun thing, I beat myself up.
I have MANY examples of beating myself up but I think you get the point. I have been this way all my adult life. In a way its good because I strive to be the best I can be so I don’t have to kick myself up later. I worked hard to make my marriage work, I am in therapy times 3 with Jakes to try and make that work, and I write some MEAN grants and organize them to the best of my ability.
Lately I have been doing a lot of talking with people about my troubles with Jakes. I have vented here, several times. I have engaged a therapist just for me to help with the decision I feel I am facing. I have chatted informally with the psychologist on staff at my agency, I shared some reports with him and he has met Jakes on a couple of occasions. I have an appointment for an evaluation of Jakes on November 10th by a psychiatrist. These are wonderful, helpful people with a vast knowledge of family therapy and dynamics that I have engaged to steer me in the right direction. Needless to say, that's a lot of talking about Jakes.
In my email this week I received a reminder that I need to listen as well. One of the secrets for finding answers to any emotional problem is to talk with friends that we can confide in fully. Such friends are perfect listeners because they have suffered and survived the same types of problems. They are compassionate and sympathetic. They listen to us patiently while we completely describe our emotions. Only then do they share details about how they survived.
They can't solve my problems but they can show me the tools that are available to work through the same kinds of problems. I just have to be ready to listen when I am done talking.
Since I have gone to great lengths to engage these wonderful people, I will take the time to listen to the wisdom they have to depart to me. Fate seems to have her way of reminding me. If I didn't know better, I would think Mom was looking out for me. Anything is possible!
I live in a tight knit farming community. My county is #2 in the state for the highest acreage of preserved farmland. Lots of the farms are generations old, original to the settlement of the county hundreds of years ago.
The farmers are hurrying to get their crops in, the combines are filling the fields and the farm hands are harvesting the crops that can't go through the combines. Its actually an amazing sight to see 3 or 4 combines working in the same field, dancing around each other as they complete their lines.
This week, there was a tradgey involving two of the oldest farming families. As they were manuvering the arm of the combine to empty it into a truck, the arm hit a high tension power line and the combine caught fire. The operator of the combine jumped down to try and fight the fire, was electrocuted and died in the field. Another farmer who was working in the same field ran over to help, he was electrocuted and died on the way to the hospital. There was four men total in that field, the third man was electrocuted and suffered burns but is alive. The fourth man was injured by the fire and smoke but didn't need to go to the hospital. He was very lucky. All of these men were related.
The men who died are among a long line of farmers in the county. The vegetables they were harvesting were destined for Campbell's Soup Company. This accident happened last Friday.
Yesterday, the neighboring farmers rallied their equipment and their time to help get the rest of the field harvested. That's the kind of wonderful comminuty we live in. One that reaches out a helping hand when you need it most.
I am going to honor the farmers who died and their families as well as the farmers who gave of themselves to help these families with a moment of silence. They certainly deserve it and much more.
I haven't been around here much lately. Life has just slammed me and when I do have a few minutes, I just vegge. I do miss you guys though. I want to get back around to see what you've been up to. There have been times when I tried to come and see you, I would even stop over and read your post but just couldn't think of anything nice and pithy to leave.
Today I have an appointment with my old therapist at her new facility. I can't WAIT! In a way I have missed my sessions with her but was also glad that I didn't need her. I tracked her down through facebook. Gotta love facebook! :)
Jakes has been ok this weekend. There were still arguments between us and times when he would question my authority. I just walked away. I don't have the energy to deal with him anymore. But this is why I am going to MY therapist.
This past weekend we went to the local fair grounds to see the October Fetch. Everything was centered around dogs and you could bring your dog. I didn't cause I was afraid of Jaxon puking in the car and of his behavior with all the other dogs. I just didn't want to deal with him. It was a great day and once we were there, I regretted not bringing him. There were so many things he could have done! They had Dock Diving, racing, Frisbee catch and an obstacle course. He would have ROCKED at the racing cause he is SO fast! And I totally think he would have jumped off the dock! Next year, I am taking him!
We could use some good thoughts and prayer sent out into the universe for my dad. Yes, again. That man loves good thoughts! I told him he doesn't have to do anything to get them, just ask. But he insists on needing them. :) Anyway, he has a lump in his boobie that the Dr thinks has been caused by one of the meds. Fortunately, its a med that can be easily changed. But the Dr is sending him to get his boobie smoooshed (HA!) to be sure that's what's happening. I told him "October is boobie month, Daddy!" He's liking my boobie sense of humor. :)
Jaxon started Doggie School last night. It was pretty good. He listened very well and seemed to pick up what was put down. Because of the rules, I am working with Jaxon in the class but Jakes is sitting there watching and learning. When we get home, he will get to work with Jaxon and hopefully gain some respect for Jaxon.
Today is going to be a CRAZY one for me. I have to go to my office to finish writing a grant that is due TODAY in Trenton. I also have to stop at Headquarters for a signature before I head up the road to Trenton. From Trenton, I am stopping at my therapists office. Then I get to come home, grab Jakes and head to his therapists office. Sounds like fun, huh? Anyone wanna keep me company?
EWE! Saylors just puked and Jaxon cleaned it up for me. Grosss!
Ok. That's enough randomness from me and I have a carpet to clean up! If you want more, head over to Keely's and check it out over there!
I hate to make decisions and I have one to make that is over the top. See, I have to decide if sending my son to live with his father would be a good thing or not. Son and I have been in therapy to try and make life better for each of us but it doesn’t seem to be helping.
We are back to fighting over EVERYTHING. I instruct him to do something, like homework and he refuses to do it. Then when I punish him, he gets upset that he is punished but doesn’t change his behaviors. So I yell, which he doesn’t like anymore than I like to yell. He is very oppositional with me; he thinks he is equal to me or even above me in the hierarchy in the household.
At the last therapy session I told her that I was done with him. I cannot be this person; I don’t want to be this person. I am stressed and angry all the time when I am home with him. Everything involving him is annoying to me. I cannot stand my child. What mother doesn’t love her child unconditionally? Ok. I love him, I just don’t want to be around him.
I am tired of everything being difficult with him. I want to want to be with him and do fun things. That can’t be done when he is grounded or when I can’t stand to be with him because of the power struggles.
Tonight in session, when we were arguing over our perceptions of how things went this week, I said again that I don’t want to do this and can arrange for him to live with his father, that I am ready to file the papers with the courts to transfer him to his fathers care. Vickie said that it might be time for me to do that. With the way things are in the home it cannot be a healthy place for either of us.
She tried to reassure me that there is no shame in sending him to live with his father; lots of single moms are doing it nowadays. She said there are even custody arrangements where each parent had the child for a year. Of course, they live in the same school district and since we don’t even live in the same state that probably wouldn’t work for our situation.
What I am going to have to learn to deal with is feeling like a failure as a mom. But is it really failure when I have done EVERYTHING I possibly can to make this work?
Son says he doesn’t want our life to be like this and he doesn’t want a mean mom. This is what he is calling me. I am a mean mom when he doesn’t do what he is told to do, like get ready for school or homework. But he also doesn’t put the work into changing his behaviors; he doesn’t take responsibility for his part in this family. He wants to play a different part in this family than is acceptable.
He thinks that he should be in charge. He thinks I should be punished for things as well. He thinks he is in charge in the house. How did I let that happen? And how can I get the power back? How can I get back into the alpha spot?
I don’t want to loose my son but I fear that if I don’t send him away, I will.
I emailed his father with a brief explanation of our situation, telling him that I was just seeing what options are available to me and asked if him taking Son was an option. He said yes. I think I fell out of my chair when I read his response. The best part of the email was that he didn’t gloat and didn’t disparage my parenting skills. He said he would let me have as much visitation as I wanted, that he would make arrangements to change Son’s Medicaid benefits to MD. I was shocked!
The biggest problem I have with sending Son to live with his father is that he doesn’t believe in the Aspergers Diagnosis. When Son is there, he doesn’t use the interventions that we do here at home. He doesn’t have the patience with Son that is necessary. I don’t see him working with the school as closely as I do. I also am afraid that the school he will be in won’t give him the individualized attention that he gets here. And that son’s academic performance will suffer do to his father’s lackadaisical attitude.
So, decision time. Does he stay or does he go? This is not a decision that I am going to make quickly and I hope I don’t make it just because I am angry with Son. This decision has to be made as being the best for Son. It has to be made because I love him and want the best for him. My hatred of his behaviors can’t be a factor in my decision. My ability to deal with his behaviors is definitely a factor. This decision has to be made logically and without feeling. This is a decision that I will be making with as much help as I can get.
I have made an appointment with my old therapist to talk about this. I am hoping that she might have some other ideas for handling things. Or if she doesn’t have any suggestions, I hope that she can direct me to make the best decision.
My agency also has a licensed psychologist on staff and I talked with him about the situation. He has met Son on a couple of occasions. He also doesn’t feel that Son is Aspergers. But he also admits that it maybe hard to diagnose in the brief meetings he had with Son. I told Dr. Bruce about the CHOP report and he offered to read through it and see if he can make a suggestion.
He told me a story about his son growing up, with a lot of the same behaviors as I described of Son. He said they made the decision to put his son on medication for ADHD. He described the wonderful changes in his son and their home life. Based on what I told him, he said he would recommend medication for Son. He said the medications they have available now are fairly safe and can be taken only on school days without any major side effects.
At this point, I am considering consulting with the Dr that diagnosed Son with Aspergers to see what he might recommend due to the change in our situation since our last visit with him. I would provide the AS Dr with the CHOP report, a report from our current therapist and also with information about what’s been going on in the home. Worst case scenario would be that the Dr prescribes medication for Son, I pay the co-pays for the visit and Rx and it doesn’t help. Best case, it works and our home life becomes bearable again.
So I have a plan of action that I just need to put into action.
I had to make a tough decision today. No, No, No! Not THAT decision! I am avoiding THAT decision.
Every year a group of friends and I get together for the first weekend in December to go to Ocean City, Maryland. We spend the weekend without kids, significant others and responsibilities. I have been doing this for 18 years and some of the others for longer.
This year we started the planning late, usually we have our rooms booked by April. A couple of weeks ago, we started rounding everyone up to make sure we are still on. We did end up changing weekends, we were going to go the second weekend in December.
Last weekend I spent time researching hotels because where we usually stay was booked. Something to be said for booking earlier and for your regular weekend! We finally got booked at another hotel and were excited to get there.
Today, I had a Light Bulb Moment. You know, those moments when you realize something SO obvious that you feel stupid for not realizing it before now. Lots of 4 letter words, mental kicking in the pants later, and I called Judy to let her know that my Christmas Concerts for the choir I joined are being held the same weekend she just booked us for. CRAP.
There are 3 ladies who live in Maryland, then Renie, Kathy and I head down from here. So Judy called her ladies and I touched base with Renie and Kathy. Judy's friends didn't want to change the date and Renie and Kathy are not going if I don't go.
I had a brief moment where I considered canceling on the choir but I am LOVING every moment I am there and wish I could get more time with them. This is something I am doing for myself. Something different from my normal routine. Something I love to do. I love all the women I go there with and I only get to see Bonnie and Sherry once a year but I WANT to be in the concert.
So my decision is made. I am going to sing. And miss my friends while I am doing it. Waaaaaaah!
Let's talk randomness. Keely over at the Un Mom hosts Random Thought Tuesday. Each one is more random than the one before it!
I'm posting early cause I will be on the road on Tuesday. ugh. Work has a project that requires me to visit each of the seven sites that we have. I should only be at each site for an hour TOPS. But the sites are spread from Atlantic City all the way up to Mt. Holly and then back down along the Delaware River again. I am planning to do this over 2 days, going north first, then I will head East on Thursday. I hope the weather is good then so I can have my lunch on the board walk!
The YMCA here is offering doggie school! That's been one of the things the therapist suggested I do to help Jakes get along with Jaxon. Tonight's class was without the doggie. Real school starts next week. Homework included!
Son and I have been struggling again/still. As soon as school got back in, we started butting heads more. Two therapy sessions in a row, I went in stating I can't do this anymore. This last time when I said that Vickie agreed that it might be time to switch custody. I want to cry just typing this. I need to get my thoughts organized before I go see my own therapist next week. I tracked down Kate who I saw before/during and after my divorce. I loved her!
So, since I need to figure out some options, I asked Son's father if he would consider taking him full time. He shocked me by agreeing AND not asking a lot of questions or trying to blame me for things. At least not yet.
I have NOT made a decision. Well, maybe I have. I don't think Son should be allowed to misbehave an basically get a reward for that behavior. But I am at a loss as to how to make things work. For now, things are status quo. And not fun in my house!
I think I am getting a cold. I can't decide if its a cold or allergies. But since my eyes are not itching and my lips are chapped, I am going with a cold. Just in time for me to visit all the staff members and share my germs! lol
Dad's Birthday Party was a success! We had a great dinner of pizza and great company. My Brother and Step sister both had to work overtime so it was just us. Perfect! All of us got together to rent a helicopter for Dad. He LOVED it! Now he just has to find the time to use it! I will post pictures when we get them!
I need to add water to the fish tank! I am sitting beside it and its tinkling water is having a detrimental affect on my bladder! Gotta run! YOU: run over and see Keely and the Randomness over there!
I written stuff about my Mom on here and my other blog before. This one will be about how I can still make my Mom proud! Feel free to follow the link but its a long, sad post!
My Mom was a stay at home mom and did EVERYTHING. We had homemade family dinners every night, she kept the house, sat on us kids for our homework, chores and kept us in line. My Mom loved to keep busy. I don't remember her sitting around just watching TV, she would be doing something. She cross-stitched while watching TV, she had a whole room dedicated to a sewing room, she gardened and she kept the pool when it was in season.
Here's Mom. Gorgeous, isn't she?
I'm told I look like her! YAY!
Out of all the things she did, sewing was her passion. She would spend hours in the sewing room, with sewing buddies and checking out the latest sewing machines. Every couple of years, she would upgrade to a new one with more features.
Mom was an excellent sewer and tried to interest me in it as well. I learned the basics from her but I was too interested in hanging out with my friends and all that teenage stuff. Recently, I was looking through old pictures and I couldn't find a single one where I was wearing something BOUGHT. Everything was lovingly made by my mom. Here are some examples of her handiwork:
This is the family. We are ALL wearing stuff that she made. She didn't make my brothers sweater but everything else you see was made by her. My Dad LOVED the way she made his suits.
She made the drapes and then the lamp to match. And the clock off to the left was cross stitched by her and hangs in my kitchen today!
This is Mom under her Prize Winning Quilt. She and I would spend evenings under the quilt tying each and every corner. I still have this quilt stashed away. I had been using it but it started showing wear and tear so I am saving it.
This is a blouse she made for me and I love it. I wish I still ft into it. Someday!
Then to keep up with the Cabbage Patch Fad, she started making Patch Babies. We had lots of Patch Family members hanging around the house. Mom would make themed clothes for them and give them to people.
I still have Lauren and Joey (the 2 in front). The one in the middle of the back row is a premie.
When she knew she was dying and that I was pregnant, she started on baby clothes, baby quilts and a christening dress. This is Jakes baby quilt. I wrapped him up in it in the hospital. Each square is a machined stitched character. On the bottom corner is a butterfly, which represents Mom.
Ok. Enough about Mom's projects. I paid enough attention to Mom's sewing lessons that I have a working knowledge of the craft. I inherited her sewing machine when she passed. Recently, I took it to be cleaned and tuned up. The guy at the sewing store remembered the machine and Mom. I was amazed! Its been 11 years since Mom passed and she had the machine for almost 2 years before that. Mom must have made an impression on him!
I had no clue what my first project was going to be. I would LOVE to make a quilt to replace the ones that are getting worn out. Mom's quilts were always SO warm. I was surfing the web looking for instructions for my quilt. I stumbled upon an organization called "Quilts for Kids". They make and donate quilts for kids in hospitals. You can make your own quilt with your own supplies or you can order one from them to sew together. That's what I did! Here is my quilt:
It was a perfect day for a party! The weather was great, the pool was clear and warm, the beer was on ice. It was going to be a great party. Jess and her new boyfriend, Kyle were planning to celebrate the 4th of July on July 5th with a bunch of their friends. Jess still lived at home but her parents were out of town. This added to the perfection of the day.
Jess and Kyle worked together to get the food going, people started arriving and the music was turned up loud. In the pool were chicken fights, splash fights and diving competitions. Kyle, who could not swim even got in the water for a bit.
Darkness started to fall and there was less swimming. Kyle's friends, Tristan, Mike and Bobby pulled out fireworks. Jess didn't want them to shoot them off, afraid that they would get in trouble. Kyle told her not to worry about it, they knew what they were doing. So Jess, went back to trying to enjoy the party.
Tristan shot one off that didn't go UP in the air like it was supposed to, instead it veered off over the neighbors fence and to the ground. It didn't explode like the firework was supposed to. Tristan and the others didn't think anything about it at the time.
A while later, they still had some fire crackers and noise makers when next door, flames suddenly shot up the side of the garage. The neighbor that lived there ran out of his house and screamed to call the fire department. Jess ran inside for the phone. While on the phone she stood watching the flames rise along the side of the building. She also knew she and everyone at the party were going to be in trouble.
The guys who were shooting the fireworks hid their supply and tried to pretend it didn't come from their yard. They did their best to cover up the smell of gun powder and tried to pick up the scraps of exploded ordiance.
Then the fire trucks came. There were 3 departments who responded to the scene. Of course, they would respond because the garage that was on fire was part of a junkyard and who knew what chemicals and other automotive byproducts were there to catch fire. It could blow at anytime!
Fortunately, the fire was quickly contained to a diesel fuel pump and the corner of the garage. No major damage and no explosions other than from the fireworks. And from the police officer who came to the party.
He walked up the driveway with an unexploded firework in his hand and demanded to see Jess's father. "I know Jim wouldn't allow this kind of thing to happen so you get him here, NOW."
Jess's father was a former police officer for the township and still kept in contact with the current police officers. Except this one didn't like her father. Jess went into the house to call her parents home from Virginia Beach, she even picked up the phone to dial. Then changed her mind. We are all adults, most over 21. Why can't we handle this with US and not involve my parents?
Jess went out to the Officer and respectfully made her case. "Officer, can you please just handle it without my parents. They are over 5 hours away so if you want to wait for them to get here, that fine. But we are all over the age of 18 and prepared to be adults about this."
While the officer wasn't happy about it, he also didn't want to wait around for 5 hours for her parents to get there. He proceeded to take everyone's information from their drivers licenses as well as what they knew about the fire. Most didn't know anything about it other than seeing flames and then watching the fire departments work. That was their story and they were sticking to it! The officer completed everything he needed to and the party broke up. Jess and Kyle cleaned up, then Jess took Kyle home.
The next morning started with a visit to the police station. Jess ratted out Mike and Bobby, which resulted in charges for them. Jess also talked with the owner of the junkyard and offered to make restitution for the damages.
Of course, Jess had to tell her parents what happened when they came home. Jess cleaned the house and the pool area, there was no evidence of a party from the weekend. When Jess told her parents, she made sure that her fahter was on the other side of the table from her and that she had a quick exit out the door. Turns out that exit was not necessary, he father laughed when she told the story. Her father had been a borderline juvenile deliquent in his youth so he was a little bit proud that his daughter was like him. Jess stood there with her chin on the floor in shock while he laughed.
Jess and the others made good on their promise of restitution, Mike paid his fines and the incident was put behind them. Until Tristan dug up pictures all these years later!
Some of the names have been changed to protect the not so innocents!