Showing posts with label FTD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FTD. Show all posts

Sunday, November 18, 2012

More November Nuttiness

It's the most wonderful time of the year!  Our November is as busy as predicted--but knowing that it will be like this makes it tolerable.  We've had a couple of monkey wrenches thrown our way, too, what a surprise.
Wrench #1 is that in order for the boys to get jobs thru VBR, we have to contract with yet another company who are the actual providers of humans who help out.  So last Tuesday, we "had" to attend an "open house" to meet with these providers.  The "counselor" from VBR said we "had to choose a provider before leaving."  Well, I don't think so, sister.  We did, but only because I'm too damn tired to fight the system any more.  And the system is screwed up, trust me.  So now that we've done all this crap with VBR, we do it all over again with "Capabilities."  My final criteria for picking a company?  They were the closest.  I don't know why VBR actually believed we could make informed decisions standing around in a HS gym after 1 minute discussions, but there it is.  Crap.  I don't know when "Cap" will call, but it will be yet another pain.

But here's my real concern.  FTD is content to stay at home, in his room with his computer and video games.  He doesn't want lots of stuff.  In fact, he really doesn't want anything or want for anything.  So why oh why are we forcing him to get a crappy job he doesn't want to earn money he doesn't need or want? A job where he will likely be treated like the Village Idiot at that?  Why do we go thru the hoops and hassles?  The job he's going to get will suck up a job that someone else might actually want and/or need.  Why spend the extra tax dollars so he can go be miserable? So why do I bang my head in the wall to force him to work?  Why am I trying to force my Protestant work ethic down his throat, only to have him barf it back up?  He's content here.  He's found his bliss.  How many of the rest of us can say that?  Maybe he'll outgrow this phase and develop some wants. He'll never be able to support himself, and again, I thank you all for paying your taxes to help him out, so why are we doing this now?
Monkey Wrench #2.  Then let's throw this into the family mix.

BIL and 4/5s of his offspring.

My Sis's hubby is very, very ill.  Not terminally, but this isn't something from which he'll recover, but he will hopefully be able to manage.  His kids are worried about both him and my Sis, but they don't know what to do or even to say.  There's no book of instructions that comes with your parents.  We've been thru this with our own parents, so fortunately we sorta have a handle on it.  My sis and bro and I certainly had no 'expereince' when our folks passed.  I hope we can help the kids get thru this, and hope we have a longer rather than a shorter time.  I do know that we got thru it with the excellent help of Hospice of NW Ohio.  To this day, I still can say that Hospice saved my Mother's life.  True dat.

Well, how's that for downers?

Now for some uppers.
First, DD's train club exhibit at the Toledo Zoo is up and running.  I'll do a whole post on that later.

Next, BadAmy participated in Toledo's {first} Indie-Mart yesterday.  (It's a craft show, but for the hipsters in town.)  She sold a lotta yarn, but not all of it, so start checking her Etsy shop for updates.  Our little Village of Whitehouse also had an Artist's Show and Sale yesterday.  Two of my favorite potters-who-are-not-my-daughter were there, along with several other "traditional" artists. And a certain young man put in his annual appearance as Santa.  It was a wonderfully warm, Indian summer day, so very few people were up for Santa, cute as he may be.
Santa lost 40 pounds since last Christmas!  Good for him!
And for one more upper, today is my birthday.  I finally convinced my DH that I really and truly don't like surprises.  I only buy stuff I really, really like.  Since we don't have kids who will want this stuff when I kick the bucket, I'm trying not to accumulate stuff I don't love/actually need.  Well, okay, I've got way too many Christmas decorations... but I like to play with my toys.  (And everyone knows fabric doesn't count. I also have a rag quilt done for a Christmas present, just need to start snipping the hems. More on that later.)  But anywho, we got a new faucet for the kitchen sink. After 18 years here in the 'new' house, stuff is starting to break. And tomorrow the tile guy will be here to start working on the tub surround for the whirlpool tub.  That small, little bathroom will end up being the most expensive place in the house.  And I usually don't let anyone in there. (BadAmy and I refer to it as the Girls' Bathroom, aka, the not skanky-used-by-boys one.)  Okay, this hasn't been my best move, but I'm going with the 'resale value' thing, not the 'greedy, materialistic, I coulda spent my money better' thing.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Not quite this one, but close. And soooooo close to finally being done.  After 18 years, we'll finally be able to use the whirlpool tub!

If it's done by Thanksgiving, maybe I'll let the family take whirlpools. . . but only if they agree to use the same water!!!  Ha!  Toss in a little chlorine and it's like the hot tub at the motel. . . . .

I hope Thanksgiving Day finds you with loved ones, in a warm and cozy place, with wonderful food and fellowship.  We'll be eating at 5, and I'll set a place for you.  Peace and blessings to you and yours!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Who is Ranger Anna?

Okay, I'll play.

I've been reading a couple-a blogs where the blogger lets the bloggees know a little bit more about herself.  And since I've got no original or even vaguely interesting thoughts or projects right now, here goes.

Sitting on a dock in the bay..... okay, it was really a boat in a fjord.  I have a ski-slope for a chin.  

1. I'm a mid-western girl thru and thru. Actually, I'm really a Great Lakes girl.  I totally wrap myself in the sturdy mid-western values (think Prairie Home Companion here), and I need my Big Water Fix on a regular basis.  If you haven't stood on the shores of a Great Lake, you haven't been in touch with the 75 percent of you that is water.

Did you know that the Mighty Maumee River is the largest watershed of any of the Great Lakes?  Now ya do.

I'm Heinz 57 American.   My Dad was born and raised in Toledo, and his Mom was from West-by-God.  His Dad's roots remain a mystery, despite my Sis and BIL working their fingers to the bone trying to find something about the guy. Zip. Zilch. Nada.  And since he worked for the B&O Railroad, there should be records, but there ain't.  Hmmmmm...... WITSEC?

My Mom was born and raised on an island in the Tampa Bay.  Did you hear my use my Florida accent when I said that?  She was a very head-strong and determined young lady, which explains a lot about me.  Did I ever write about my 'rents WWII work?  Remind me to do that next week, if I didn't already write about it.  Anywho, I spent my first and only vacations as kid on the beach at Indian Rocks, Fla.  So I have a hefty amount of salt-water in my veins, too.  Oh, wait a minute..... Well, you get my drift.

Terra Ciea use-ta be a real island.  Not no more.

2.  I'm a mom.  Dang that's hard work.  I have the world's greatest step-daughter.  A mere technicality in my opinion, since she lived with her Dad and then her Dad and me for the majority of her growing up years.  I think of her as my daughter. We had rocky times (due to the insanity of her birth mother), but now we be bffs.  Yea.  See side bar for cutest pic evah of her and my darling SIL.

I have two sons.  Both adopted.  Both have autism.  I write about them a lot.  Things are very, very rocky with one of them right now, which has me plunged back into that perpetual state of grief where parents of kids with special needs always live.  I've said before that it never goes away, cuz it don't. See sidebar for pics of Thing One and Thing Two.

3.  I'm a wife.  Hardest job ever.  Sharing your life with someone opens you up for all sorts of stuff--the good, the bad, and the ugly.  My DH is 14 years older than me.  I fell in love with the big jerk before I figured this out, and by then it was too late.   But who can resist a guy in uniform?  It was dang near love at first phone call.  See side bar for DH doing his thang.  He's silly.  A 72 year old fart, masquerading as a 12 year old.  Oh, and he's lost 40 lbs since that pic was taken.  I'm so proud of him!  Sadly, I found most of that poundage.  Damn this middle-aged business!!

3.  I have two useless Master's Degrees.  I earned them in 2 years.  Yep, over-achiever all the way.  See note about my Mom.  I went to a small, Presbyterian liberal arts college called Alma College.  I may be unemployed, but I can take on any topic at a cocktail party.  I loved Alma.  Still do.  If anything horrid were to happen to my DH, I'd move back to AC in a heart beat.

My B.A. is Environmental Education~~Majors in Nat. Sci (a group major so I had to take 2 more classes than a plain 'ol major) and El. Ed, and minors in Sociology and 2ndary Ed..  See note about my Mom.

4.  I love to organize stuff.  Big events.  The bigger the better.  Just do what I tell you to do, and it will work out fine is my organizing philosophy.  Committees usually suck (which is blasphemous for a Presbyterian to say, we invented the evil things.  Sort of a self-abuse thing we do),  so I try to avoid them at all costs.  By the by, my next really Big Event is Whitehouse Winterfest in Feb.. Oh, yeah, you'll be hearing a lot about that.

5.  Crap.  Can't think of anything else.  Oh, yeah, there is that ranger business, but I'm not s'posed to write about that.  Hells bells.

I'm so freakin' iconographic.

Well, there you have it.  And last but not least, I'm the World's Laziest Birder.

You're it.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

March Madness, Our Way

This has been the weirdest March weather evah.  We're used to up and down, back and forth, never knowing what the next hour will bring weather in March.  But for the past week, it's been June here. I know we'll pay for this, but the payback sure won't be too bad.  The extra upshot for me is that this is the weather I don't get usually, because I leave Ohio before it's usually this warm, and it almost never gets this warm at Madison Junction.  Win-win for me.  I know it's just a teaser and tomorrow is forecast to be only in the 60s.... only in the 60s says she like that's crummy.  "Only the 60s" is still 15 to 20 degrees above normal!!  The only thing that could make this better is if the Whiporwills come back sooner and if the fireflies come out.  That's pretty much the only two things I miss from NW Ohio summers.

This year, I'll also be missing FTD.  It's official, he's staying home this summer. We still don't have a roommate, but if all else fails, I'll impinge upon the goodness and kindness of my nephew Rydie to stay here.  We have AC, his house doesn't.  Pretty easy sell.  And my niece, Sally Seam Rip-Her and her  son, Lil Ripper, have volunteered to come over whenever Rydie or roommate can't stay.  There will also be a trained provider from Lucas DD here, so he'll be fine.  But the best news is that FTD will be working 15 hours per week here in Oak Openings!!  One of the rangers, who was his adviser for his Eagle project, has been working with kids with disabilities from his HS for a couple of years.  She and one of the teachers there set up a summer job program with some grant money.  It almost didn't happen because getting most kids to Oak Opening is tough.  All FTD will have to do is to hop on his bike and ride the mile over to the shop.  Or maybe someone can pick him up, but we'll worry about that later. He doesn't really like being outside that much any more, but for pay he'll learn to be happy.  Awesome.
FTD and Ranger J on "his" boardwalk.

So now there will be three things I will really miss..... and he's number one.

Other news, he's started PT to try to get his posture straightened up... he's getting slouchier and slouchier, and there's no medical reason for it.  Sheesh.  And I'm in PT for my Achilles tendon, which I managed to bugger up last summer. Actually, the working hypothesis is that over the many years, I've had micro-tears in it, and it finally gave up the ghost last summer.  The PTs are really working it over, trying to get me back in shape before May.  Youch.
The arrows in this pic show all the places that hurt on my heel. Well, not all the places.......

The other news is that after 7.5 years, I finally managed to finish my Badlands Quilt!!!!  This is a big deal for me, since it's the first quilt I've ever designed and stuff.  I've done lots of others before I really had any clue at all what I was doing, so this is my first "real" quilt.  Only two or three of the corners actually match up, there's a chunk of one block missing, so I sorta glued some fabric in there, and after I got it all together, I realized that some of the pieces don't really belong where they ended up. Who cares? I took it over to my LAQ last week, and put the binding on all by my little ol' self yesterday.  Ta-daaaa!!!!!
My North Dakota Badlands Quilt!  Finally!!

For those of you from Nort Dakoota, you'll be saying to yourself, "Is that supposed to be the Little Missouri River?  Why is it blue, instead of brown?"  Artistic license, of course. And see the green along the edges of the river?  Pretty artsy-fartsy, eh?

Snazzy new quilt rack in the newly painted bright yellow dining room!
And you'll also be saying to yourself, where did she get that cool quilt rack?  DH and his bro did the oak, and he and I put the curtain rod on it.  Easy peasy, and super quick to change quilts. It does hang out farther from the wall than I had hoped, but it also gives a nice dimensional look to it.  Happy dance.

And here's one of the things I really like about our house.  The shadows.  We get all sorts of interesting things going on, like this one:

Beware the Buzzards of March!
Which comes about from this:  Buzzy the Buzzard.  He's a treasure we picked up at the Dog Bark Park in Cottonwood Idaho, in July 2000, on our Grand Adventure.  And that's General Anthony Wayne standing next to him.  They guard the house pretty well.

Did I ever tell you that we named our house Buzzard Crest?  Not to be confused with Falcon Crest, mind you.

And one last goodie:

This was DH's Father's Day gift last year.  He drove one of the yellow busses in YNP in 1964.  Have I ever written about that?  I'll figure it out eventually.  I'm also hoping to have someone make a similar window of Old Faithful.  Next year, maybe, when I have money again!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

End of an Era

I wrote a while ago about coming of age issues with my kids.  We 'celebrate' the milestones differently.  And you'd think after 21 years, we'd be used to having the rug pulled out from under us.

It's happened again, and we didn't see it coming.  We never do.

FTD is at the Vocational HS.  He put in 4 years at the academic HS,  and as well as grades K-12, he attended the pre-kindergarten and 2 years of special needs pre-school.  In the state of Ohio, a child can stay in public school until the day before his/her 22nd birthday.  We've taken the position that it's a safe environment and they might actually learn something.  Children with special needs are usually pushed out of the system asap by staff and administrators, because of the cost of educating and transporting these children.  We pushed to keep them in public school, despite of all the heartaches that sending them to school creates. We fought battles at every, and I do mean every, step.  We thought our plan would be to let FTD stay one more semester at the Voc HS.  His birthday is early February, so he could get one more complete semester in.

Not gunna happen.  I should have figured something was up, when 2 people I didn't know showed up at FTD's IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) meeting.  Shoulda known. You'd think I'd have learned this by now... after attending more than 20 of these meetings for FTD and 20 for DD.  But no.  I ended up being blindsided yet again.

One of the newbies at this meeting was apparently assigned the role of "You be the one to tell her."  Tell her that they don't actually have a place for him next year.  Nothing to teach him.  Nothing for him to do, except babysit him.  Her words.  I've often said that school has often been nothing more than glorified babysitting but to hear it from the other side of the table was pretty sad.  She couched her info, under the guise of things like, 'You know he's way older than the other students," and "He's not really interested in his classes" and other junk.  Duh.  He was at the meeting and he clearly, and with out hesitation said, "Well, if it was something I liked it would be interesting."  Sadly, they had no program for something he likes.  They wouldn't let him in the Transition-to-Work program because he'd only be here for a semester and that wouldn't work.  Wha??? The why weren't they doing that for him this semester?  Because last year when he was in the supposed Jobs Training Program the only thing he learned is that they don't like his hair or beard.  Jeezus-f-ing-.....  Seriously?  That's the only thing you could see in my son?  Really????  They didn't look very hard. And apparently they decided not to look this year.

I don't feel we've wasted the last two years, but we surely didn't get anything but a safe place to exist.

I don't want a life of mere existence for my children.  I want them to live.

Now what?

Our caseworker from the county board of developmental disabilities was there with us.  He and our other caseworkers have sort of hinted around that they didn't think much of public education for children with special needs.  They hear the griping all day long from parents.  But I'm an educator.  I wasn't ready to give up.  I am now.  And good riddance.

Without our permission, the newbie at the meeting contacted the Ohio Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (talk about a crappy name) to get FTD enrolled in that program.  We met with a caseworker there when he turned 18, and it was pretty dismal.  The person we met did nothing to make us feel like we were making a good choice or that this would be a good thing.  So I'm treading pretty lightly now.  Donn assures us that things will go better this time.  Lord I hope so.

So the upshot is that on May 17, my older son will be done~~forever~~with public education.  The end of a very long and very trying era.

From day one at school, we've held fast to the same goals for him.
1.  To be polite.
2.  To have friends.
3.  To be treated with dignity.

Have we met these goals? He is polite. Very polite.

He has two friends and feels that's plenty.

I don't know if he's been treated with dignity or not at school.  I know his fourth grade teacher did.  His pre-school teacher did.  His HS Science and Ind. Tech teachers did.  His grade school music teacher did.  Beyond that, I have doubts. 

I won't be here for his last day of school.  I could pull him now, and spend many more precious minutes with him before I go.  He still wants to stay here this summer, and we're now working furiously to find a room mate for him, in addition to his caregiver from the Board of DD.  The newbie woman asked at the meeting if he wanted to 'bother' to attend the Senior recognition day.  To bother to attend?  Jeezus, lady....  She'll think of some kind of 'certificate' they can give him.  Crap, lady he earned~~earned!!~~ a high school diploma!!! I'm so tempted to just say his last day will be May 4th, then DD and I can leave on Monday for Yellowstone, and get set up well before I have to report for duty.  And he can start the next chapter of his life, too.

Have I ever mentioned that having children with special needs means we're in a permanent state of grief? There are moments of joy, like watching DD at his party this weekend. But those moments are few and far between.  I hear parents with typically developing kids who worry about drugs, alcohol, and sex.  That would truly suck, too.  Maybe being a parent is mostly about worrying.  Oughta be a better system.....  maybe when I'm Queen of the World, I'll figure it out.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Birdies, Quilts, and a Couple of Parties

A new birdie season has begun here in the Midwest.  I don't think we'll have many more Snowy Owl reports from here (I missed them all, drat), but the spring migration has begun.  The Woodcocks are back putting on their awesome Sky Dance. Buzzards are all over again, though sadly the roost just up the road from us is no longer used as it once was.  For a good many years, we would have upwards of 300 Buzzies roosting for several days.  Somewhere I have my 35mm prints of them sitting all over the neighbor's house, holding their wings out to dry off, before continuing north.  Awesome sight.

The 75 or so Pine Siskins that ate us out of house and feeder this winter are gone, so our resident Chickadees, Nuthatches, and Downies have the run of the feeders now.  But for excitement, Mr. and Mrs. Cooper are back. DH spotted the Missus carrying new sticks in her beak, while the Mister sat and preened.  Yesterday, the Mister was back, just hanging around waiting for who-knows-what.  Oddly, the little birds didn't seem to mind his presence.  Usually, when the hawks are around, the woods go still and silent.  Not so yesterday.

Mr. Cooper, greatly cropped.
The fun part about seeing Mr. Coop yesterday was that FTD spotted him first. Last week, DD saw the Pileated and went berserk.  He could not believe how big it was!  We might make a birder out of him yet.

Party Stuff
Speaking of DD, we had his party on Sunday.  The weather was phenomenal~~70 degrees, sunny, and no wind.  Holy cow, we could get used to that! ('Course last night we were hammered with fierce thunderstorms... a small home nearby was hit by lightening and burned the whole roof off.)  Today is fabulous again!

I cannot begin to fathom the generosity of our friends and family.  They showered DD with gift cards and cash, and several really thoughtful, just-for-him gifts.  Before the party, he kept telling us that he was going to sit in the basement and watch the race.  We said fine. (Also meant we got soooo much work done down there.)  We went with an open house idea, so every time someone new arrived or someone left, he was right there. He isn't often speechless these days, but every time he opened a card or gift, he was just.... speechless.  By the time it dawned on him to start adding up the numbers, he was completely bowled over. And so are we.  We told him he can't spend any of it, until the thank you notes are out, and we need for him to settle down before blowing it all.  He has so much that he wants... When we had FTD's Eagle Scout party, he had a tough time trying to figure what to do with his take.  Not so DD.  Any who, the party was grand and fun and I'm sure glad we did it for him.  Later on, in another post, I'll run down how last week's IEP meetings at FTD's school have left us laying on the floor, once again, as the rug has been pulled out from under our feet.

Quilty Stuff
Next up, I did get some sewing done last week, but haven't had a minute to post, so here 'tis!

First, I participated in my first quilt swap.  It was called New Beginnings, and it was for mini-quilts.  I figured I might be able to do this.  My partner, Marsha, is from Mississippi and suffered through Katrina, so her quilt for me is called Three Waves, and it's a beauty!  It arrived yesterday, along with some swag, and I'm giddy! Check out Marsha's Blog, Anything with a Needle.

It was sunny and dry enough to hang it on the back deck for a picture!  And the cool part for me is that this is a pattern I decided I should try last week. I'm taking the free BoM Craftsy class and this month shows how to do this.  Win win for me!!!!!  Now I have a real one that I can look at, while trying to figure out how to do it!  Woot!

And since I'm running a little slow on sewing projects (like I still have one of Feb's BoM blocks to do, in addition to both of March's), I'll be mailing Marsha's quilt tomorrow morning.  So here 'tis:

It's a Thimbleberry pattern (for a bigger quilt) that I found at one of my LQSs, The Quilt Foundry in Maumee, Ohio.  I didn't care for the colors used in the pattern, so I really switched them up, much brighter.  And I can tell you now that I either need to spend hours and hours of quality time making triangles, or give up on them!  On the bottom row, below the bird house, they aren't too bad, the ones at the top really suck.  I also realized, after I got my beautiful quilt from Marsha that I didn't add a way to hang it.  I read just a last week about a way to put corner deals on a quilt, and presto!  Marsha did that for mine!  Now I know what that should look like. Next time, I'll do better, I promise.  Anywho, I'll get it in the mail tomorrow.  

Also last week before the party-cleaning-blitz, I finished the mini-quilts for the West Yellowstone Whack-a-doodles silent auction.  The W-a-D's are a Relay for Life team, and each of the gals is fun, so when you put them together, look out!  My special peep on the team, Miss Molly put out a note on FB that for $20 the W-a-Ds will put a purple toilet in your yard!  Or better yet, the yard of one of your friends. Why do you ask would you want a purple toilet in your front yard?  To show folks that you want to FLUSH cancer!  Both of my parents succumbed to different cancers, so I'm all for this.

Or you can bid on a purple quilted toilet!  I sized it to fit right over your current toidy, which I guessing isn't purple.  (If it is, I soooooo want to see pics of it!)

The applique stitching doesn't show up very well in this pic, but it's there, honest.
I mentioned in my title 'a couple of parties.' The other party will be this Friday, my place (or hopefully yours if you're not here in my local patch) and it's a Cocktail Party Girls' Night Out!  DH is in South Carolina this week, playing golf or something, the boys are in school, and the house is clean.  That can only mean one thing~~another party!!!!!!  With DH gone, and me hounding the boys, the house will stay clean.  Yesterday, I spent most of the day in my bedroom chair, enjoying the clean-ness, and today I'm in the family room, enjoying the clean-ness of it and the kitchen.  (Yes, the kitchen is clean... the boys and I will be eating out a lot this week, heh heh heh.)

So that's only a partial wrap up of the past couple of weeks.  The business with the boys is actually taking lots and lots of time.  More on that later. Thanks for stopping by and don't forget:

Friday, March 16, after work till whenever
Girls' Night Out Cocktails!!!!!
Be here!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Done! FTD's Log Cabin Quilt!

Check it off the WIP list!

The only thing left to do on FTD's log cabin quilt was the binding....  "just the binding."  How many quilters have these creatures sitting around because they "just need the binding."  Sheesh.

I asked my friend Lindy to come over and help feed the dang huge thing thru my machine.  DH has helped in the past, but he has all sorts of 'suggestions' on how I could do it better.   Since he retired 10 years ago, he's had all sorts of ideas on how I could do things better.  Pretty tired of it, I gotta admit.  Anywho, I asked Lindy if she had some free time and we had a wonderful afternoon catching up and sewing. And I totally missed that this was Friday Night Sew In day--we had an afternoon Sew In!

Did you know that having an extra set of hands makes mitering your corners easier?  And I got sooooo lucky when the binding fit perfectly at the end.  And it only took me one try to get it right!

So I sewed the binding to the front, pressed it flat and then also machine sewed it on the back.  There's no way you'll catch me hand sewing a binding.  Nope, not gunna happen.  (Ergo, I'll never be entering any quilts in contests....)

After all the heart and soul I put into this quilt, I'm very, very content now, knowing that it's on FTD's bed and will keep him snuggy warm for years to come.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Turning 21 and Other Life Passages

My baby, my special delivery,  turned 21 this week.  He ordered himself a video game.  He asked to go to Friendly's for supper.  He asked me to make him cake and get ice cream. 

That's all of his wants.  At least that's all that I can tell he has, or that he can verbalize.

The kids at school all told him happy birthday.  His FB friends and family wished him well. 

FTD sitting on the shore of Lake Eire, enjoying the solitude.
That's all he needs to be content. 

It seems too little somehow.  While I'm glad he didn't get tanked on his 21st, I'm saddened that he has no friends with whom he just hangs out.  He still has 2 good buddies from his academic high school, but they are both in, or trying to earn the money to be in, college.  They still come over and play Pokemon and Zelda and something else.  They still engage in "parallel play," like toddlers do.  I want so much more for him, yet if he's content, what should I be wanting for him?

We've also discussed the concept of leaving him here this summer (but haven't even made a peep about this to DD, who will blow a cork), instead of dragging him to which ever park I land in.  DH and I discussed the pros and cons, and simply put, there are many more pros to him staying here.  My nephew will live here again, and with a certified waiver option provider hanging with him a couple of days a week, he'll be fine.

But will I? 

All moms know that their kids are going to leave the nest some day.  Okay, we're leaving him in the nest while we boogey, but still.  He doesn't get home from school until 4:30 and by 2:30 or so, I'm really missing him. How will I manage for 4 months?

I will be coming home for my BFF's daughter's wedding in mid-July, so FTD and I will have at least a couple of days together.  And DH will likely stay until Memorial Day, since DD says he wants to hang around until the end of school this year, since it's his "Senior" year and last at the academic HS. He'll attend the vocational HS where FTD currently attends next year, as will FTD, who'll only be there for the first semester, as he will age out next February.  So if this plan goes, I'll be driving to my park, and living alone for nearly a month.  Good news, bad news that.

DH was making squawky noises about how since we leave all summer he doesn't get anything done around here.  Um, he doesn't get much done when we are here, so that's a moot point.  I also cannot imagine ever again spending a summer in the heat and humidity and mosquitoes and ticks of NW Ohio.  When I'm too old and decrepit to stand for the 8 hours my job requires, I'll come home and sit in the air conditioning and look out my windows, but until that day, I'm outta here in the summers.  Folks around here who have never been able to escape in the summers don't realize that there's nice weather to be had in other places. 

Speaking of which, one of the other parks at which I applied isn't hiring any new staff this year.  It's a perfect location for a summer gig (even tho they have black flies).  I'm going to screw up my courage and call the other park to see if I've got any chance up there, too.  The calls are hard to make because I don't want to appear to be pushy, but I really need to know sooner rather than later.  And of course, my back up position is Yellowstone.  How blessed am I that that is the case.

If we do in fact leave FTD here, it opens the potential for a move to Old Faithful, if if if the one and apparently only 2 bedroom apartment is available.  I haven't been in it, but I hear it's smaller than our Madison apartment.  But being at OF means DD can actually get a paying job.  And DH can volunteer pretty much when ever he feels like it. He's not so interested in committing to a schedule, and um, well this is embarrassing, but even tho it's a volunteer job, some volunteers get free or reduced housing out of the deal.  We did in North Dakota and it was fabulous!  He was the Campground Host, so we got to live in the little cabin in return for him working at least 32 hours a week, which was a breeze and he loved it. (We'd so do that again, if the cabin were available.) 

Boy Scout Troop from Toledo raising the Flag at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Medora, North Dakota.  Our camp tender's cabin.

Our YNP apartment on a beautiful May day.
The housing situation for volunteers in YNP has been interpreted differently, so it seems that his working wouldn't be compensated.  Yeah, we know it's volunteering but the fact that some volunteers 'get paid' and some don't is kinda tricky.

Well, it's after 1 p.m.. Time to make those phone calls.....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Quilting in West Yell

Last summer, I asked my peep and colleague Dr. D if he knew if any of the ladies at his Church were quilters.  He's a member of the LDS Ward~~Morman Church to you eastern folks~~which is the biggest Church in West Yell.  Some other time I'll delve into the mysteries of Churches and the stories that go around about most of them, but for now it's quiltin' time.

So anywho, Dr. D called his lovely bride and she said Mrs. L is the go-to gal for the quilters.  And I gotta tell ya, I love Mrs. L..  She's been hand quilting for something like 60 of her 80+ years.  Never in a gazillion years would I have tagged her at over 72ish.  Seriously, what a sweetie!  When she and her hubby built their house, I think in the 60s, he told her that he'd be sure there was quilting space.  And there is.  The basement is finished so she can set up 2 king sized quilts down there. Her quilting frame is the darn simplest thing ever--soooo wish I had taken pictures, but I didn't want to invade her world.  She doesn't own a computer and doesn't want to, but her daughter does have an etsy shop called Sweaterheads--ya gotta check it out!

After I finally got around to making the calls she said she'd be more than happy to get some of the girls together and work on FTD's log cabin quilt. And did they ever.  DH and I went over and helped her put the quilt on the frame, since it involves shoving thumb tacks into pine boards, which is something my arthritic thumbs can't do.  Now mind you, I totally understand the hows and whys of quilting, but I've only just started machine quilting.  I've pieced a lot of tops, have tied-off comforters, and sent stuff to the long arm quilter, but real hand quilting is a whole new ballgame for me. 

The sheer simplicity of it is my favorite thing about it.  Mrs. L would just pick up 5 or 6 stitches and pull them through.  Since FTD's quilt is the log cabin quilt, Mrs. L said the best way to quilt it was to just stitch in the ditches. Said she, "It's quick and easy.  Anyone can do it."  Anyone but me.....

Corner details on FTD's Log Cabin Quilt.Yeah, I know you're sick of looking at these pictures.

Mrs. L suggested I start by quilting along an edge of the quilt.  I realize now that the stuff I did likely won't show after I bind it (or in my case, screw up the binding).  I watched and watched how Mrs. L picked up the stitches, itty bitty stitches I must say, and just keep right on going.  I tried it.  I gave up.  I could get maybe 2 stitches on the needle to her 5 or even 6.  I tried the up-with-one-hand, down-with the-other-hand system.  Also sucked at that.  But Mrs. L kept chuckling and saying over and over, "But remember, I've been doing this for a long time--you'll get it after you keep at it."  Such a beautiful optimist.  One of the reasons I'm crazy about her.

I managed to get over to her house a couple of times while she and the girls were working on it.  It's really nice when you work seasonally to get away from work.  Seasonal NPS work is very, very intense so any chance to get my head 'out' of the park was refreshing.  And being in a real home of a real person was super nice. Having friends in the community where you work who are not fellow employees gives the summer gig a more permanent feel somehow.  Hard to explain, too.

After maybe 10 days or so, Mrs. L called and said it was done. She had been worried that it would take a long time and that she'd have to mail it to me when they finished.  Holy cow!! Done!  Just like that!  It takes months to get something back from the LAQ and here she's done in just over a week!

I had discussed with Dr. D the fact that I was worried that she wouldn't take any money so we worked out a game plan.  But alas, there's already a plan in place for this group of quilters.  They keep track of the hours, then charge what amounts to about $3/hour and then say, "But that's so much.  So how about this much amount instead, if that's okay"~~which ends up being about $2/hour.  The money though goes to a charity, usually one of the Ward's interests.  I knew the BS Troop in town is chartered by the Ward, so I was going to suggest that they take a bunch of my money and give it to them.  But Mrs. L beat me to the punch, because a young man from the congregation had just been diagnosed with cancer and was beginning treatments, and would it be okay if they gave my money to that cause....?  Would it be okay?!?  Of course it's okay!!!!!  I also gave them what amounted to just under $4/hour, which is way cheaper than the LAQ.  I think they were also going to give a bit of it to the Troop.  Win win win, win win win.  In case you're wondering, they spent a total of 78 woman hours on it.

That's a lot of woman power.