Saturday, September 22, 2018

Abraham Lincoln Movie Night

My husband didn’t have to pay per view this beautiful documentary- it’s posted in its entirety on YouTube

I never in a million years thought the life of Abraham Lincoln would be portrayed so wonderfully. It focuses on his mental health a lot- it’s loosely based on the book Lincoln’s Melancholy. I read it for a college class. Since then, I have been diagnosed with vicarious trauma, and I realize now that Lincoln must have suffered from it 100 fold.

In some scenes, I sobbed. I put my head in my husband’s lap to sob- it’s best that way, because he instinctively strokes my hair. I could relate so well, but at the same time couldn’t imagine the intensity or the magnitude of the vicarious trauma Abraham Lincoln suffered.

I’m originally from Chicago, and Chicagoans view the rest of Illinois as somewhat of a different planet. We don’t think about it much. People from Chicago tend to believe that Illinois might as well just be Chicago.

About 3 weeks before I turned 10 years old, we drove to southern Illinois for the wedding of my cousin Patty. Patty still lives in southern Illinois with her husband to this day. On the way to her wedding in 1988, we visited the Lincoln Memorial in Springfield l. I remember it being so boring for me and just wanting to get out of there. I was giving my parents the familiar, “Can we leave yet, when are we going to leave, are we going?” I stopped when I saw my dad staring at a statue of Lincoln with tears in his eyes. He gave a very quick salute, and we left. I sort of felt guilty after that.

Regarding our movie nights, we need to find something that we feel KJ can handle. She is very sensitive to violence. Luckily, she is early to rise (very) and early to bed, so we have movie nights after she falls asleep. I was thinking of Little Women with Winona Ryder. I don’t think there’s much in that movie that would trigger her.

HP Lovecraft

Olympian gods! how can I let ye go,
 And pin my faith to this new Christian creed?
Can I resign the deities I know,
 for him who on a cross for man did bleed?

How in my weakness can my hopes depend
 On one lone god, tho' mighty be his power?
Why can Jove's host no more assistance lend,
 To Soothe my pain, and cheer my troubled hour?

Are there no dryads on these wooded mounts
 Over which I oft in desolation roam?
Are there no naiads in these crystal founts
 Or nereids upon the ocean foam?

Fast spreads the new; the older faith declines;
 The name of Christ resounds upon the air;
But my wrack'd soul in solitude repines
 And gives the gods their last-received prayer.

“To the old Pagan Gods” by HP Lovecraft. 
I love this. It captures the torn inner torment of an Ancient Greek person who converted to Christianity to save his or her life. 

Friday, September 21, 2018

Gardening win!!!!

A neighbor  rang my bell yesterday. She had a plastic bag with three plastic food storage containers. She told me, “I. Have these three extra plastic containers.  Can you use them?”
I was surprised. I said, “Oh sure. Thank you!” I thought she was giving them to me. She started down my porch steps, then turned around and said, “I want them back filled with yummy items from that luscious garden of yours!”

Wow!  That was actually way more of an honor than receiving a gift of three plastic containers. Someone thought that highly of my garden!

The kids and I went out back and saw we had a lot of cherry tomatoes. So we filled one of the containers up with them. Permaculture design is a little tricky, because you never know what you’re going to get. (Forrest Gunp voice).

I filled another with mixed greens from the mixed greens area (all edible). I have yet to fill the third. I gave her the two and said in a few days, I’d see if I had another good potato and sweet potato yield. “Oh, that would be wonderful!”  She exclaimed.

Hooray for me and my family.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

2019 goals

I found out from an online friend about a nationwide home hospice care agency that offers a lot of great classes. I have a CNA license (certified nurse’s aide) and have worked with many patients on end of life care. One of the classes this company offers is interfaith chaplaincy for end of life care, and once you are finished, you are actually a certified interfaith lay chaplain. The cost is $600 if you do not work for this company. It’s only $100 if you work for them at least part time. My husband said to just pay the $600 and take the class. I said, why don’t I apply to work for them? Then I’d get more experience and only have to pay $100. He said, because he feels I need computer classes as well. He said that as soon as he and I got engaged, I seemed to loose a lot of computer knowledge and that he felt like I was subconsciously depending on him for the computer knowledge. I said, well as soon as we got back together (before we were engaged), he took over cooking. He’s a chemist by trade, and any and all of my pride in cooking from scratch was corrected by him and all his chemistry ratio knowledge. I was reduced to doing the dishes. So we have to compromise somehow. We were both on our own, self sufficient single parents for a good number of years before we got married. Compromise with a husband is new to me- with my first husband, I gave him 110% of what he wanted and took -10% of what I wanted. My husband insists that our marriage won’t be like this. I have as much of a voice as he does, he insists. We don’t know what we will compromise on, but I do know that if I do take his advice and enroll in computer classes, then I get to do some cooking too. My grandmother taught me a lot, ok!!! He kissed me by surprise and said ok. Combining lives can be complicated.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Movie Night- Juno

I watched the independent movie “Juno” a long, long time ago. At that time, I thought it had such a beautiful ending. It did. But now that I’m watching it with more life experience, I know that the ending would never happen in real life.
Juno is a pregnant teenager who plans to have a 30-something married couple adopt her baby. Towards the end of the movie, she is about 8 months along, and the potential adoptive father tells his wife that he doesn’t want to be a father. He only went along with her on the adoption quest, because he didn’t think anything would come of it. He wants to be some kind of rock star. His wife tells him she’ll never be a mother if she has to wait for him to be that. They have this fight right in front of Juno. They agree to end their marriage. Juno runs out the door and slams it behind her. She drives away crying and eventually pulls over to sob.

Later on, she leaves a handwritten note on the couple’s front door, rings the bell, and drives away. You don’t see what the note says until the end of the movie. It’s a note to the adoptive mother from Juno saying, “If you’re still in, then I’m still in.”  The adoptive mother has the note in a fancy frame in the baby’s nursery.

She gives birth to a baby boy, and the woman adopts the baby by herself without her husband. Juno and the baby’s father end up together.

Knowing what I know now about the system, a woman whose husband just left her a month ago would not be allowed to adopt. Separation and divorce are considered “major life changes” in the courts, and she would have had to wait two years after the divorce was final to try again to adopt. In real life, Juno’s baby would have ended up in foster care.

I’ve looked into adoption, aside from adopting my stepchildren. Stepparent adoption is the easiest to do, but all other types require you to be married 2 years. That is fine. 2020, here we come, right? But there also has to be no “major life changes”. Those are things you cannot predict. My husband and I each still have both of our parents still living. Neither of us has lost a parent yet. We thought back to when we were in high school- we had a classmate named Amanda who lost one grandparent in each year of high school. 4 years of high school, 4 grandparents, and that’s just how it happened for her family.

I told my husband, what if, hypothetically, just before our 2 year anniversary, my dad drops dead? And then like 22 months after that, your dad drops dead? Less than two years later, one of our moms, etc?  We’d be chasing an impossible dream, kind of like if I was waiting for my ex husband to become a rock star. My husband lost it laughing at the thought of my ex as a rock star. We also live on the gulf coast- a hurricane can happen any summer. ANYTHING can happen.

It’s really a daunting thought; But we decided that when fall of 2020 comes around, we will take the plunge if we still feel as strongly as we do now about wanting more kids. My husband told me that if another disruption happens the way my car accident disrupted my stepparent adoption, then maybe that’s a sign that I’m called to be an advocate for children again and to raise awareness about how hard it is. A lot of adoption avenues here also claim you can’t have any more than x amount of children already in the home, and with us already having 3, even that is pushing it. But I don’t understand, because on the internet, I read stories of people who have adopted very large families. My husband said, “Well you know what Abraham Lincoln said about believing the internet.”


Friday, September 14, 2018

Ancestry DNA is so important

Ever since meeting my lovely 61 year old biracial cousin Alice in upstate New York (haven’t actually met, just nice long emails), I have become a huge proponent of the ancestry DNA test. Alice’s existence was this hushed rumor that was in my family my whole life. Even my cousin who is Alice’s half-sister approached my mom on a couple of occasions and asked if her mom really did have a baby before marriage. She knew in her gut based on not only our family rumors, but comments from her mother.
The importance of this test never became so obvious until Alice showed up. What if she had been my sister? I’m an only child, so that would have been huge.

There have been a lot of videos pop up in my YouTube suggestions about ancestry DNA.
First, watch this one.

She was the youngest of 5 children and is about 60 now. Her parents have passed away. Because of ancestry DNA, she learned that the man who raised her is not her biological father, and that her 4 older siblings are full siblings to each other and half siblings to her. Another woman came up as her half sister, obviously from whomever her biological dad was. They contacted each other, and they discovered that her mother worked for the man who was her biological father. They’ll never know if they really had an affair, or if this was a severe case of workplace sexual harassment. With four young children, she probably really needed the job. Or, they could have been cheating, who knows?  Both are possibilities. But she did find two more half-sisters and wow! They look like triplets!

Then, there’s this one.

He was born 1986 and found as a newborn in a box by the Salvation Army. His parents didn’t tell him he was adopted until he was 11 (not recommended). He found his birth father through ancestry DNA, but his birth mother wanted nothing to do with him. His birth father never knew about him, but welcomed him as his son, into his family with open arms. Lesson: Don’t get drunk in bars and have sex with people you don’t know.
Our parents and grandparents weren’t perfect, that’s for sure.

I strongly recommend getting this test done. Strongly.
It will give you your ethnicity percentages and people you are related to who also had the test done. I bought my ex-sister in law one for her birthday, because she placed a baby for adoption when she was a teenager. He is 13 now, but she wants to be out there for when he comes of age and might want to find her. Since she is my daughter’s father’s half-sister, I wonder how she’ll match with my daughter.

Warning: you very well might expose family secrets and make some people angry! I still recommend this. All truths come out in the end.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Im not in the clear

I don’t know why. I had X-rays yesterday, and no more fractures showed up. However, the doctor says “there still may be some very slight fractures that aren’t showing up” and to see him in 3 months. Even though when he asked me to rate my pain from 1-10, I said 0.
Friday I get to see the shrink again. I hate recovery.

Abraham Lincoln Movie Night

My husband didn’t have to pay per view this beautiful documentary- it’s  posted in its entirety on YouTube I never in a million years thou...