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Monday, December 11, 2017

When the safety of loved ones isn’t taken seriously

My daughter lives in a group home. There is one client who does not belong on the 2nd floor, the independent floor. Quite frankly I think she belongs in a different environment. This client has been transferred from ALL of the group homes in the area, my daughter’s house is the last one. The client is rumored to have been transferred from house to house because of her behavior.
What behavior you may ask? Screaming at other clients, throwing things at other clients, and now, yesterday screaming at the other members of my family and slamming a door at my wife while her hand was still on the doorknob when she was between the door and the screen door. My wife lost her balance momentarily, but could have been knocked to the ground. She also could have broken her wrist. 
The incident was immediately reported to staff on sight and my daughter was allowed to sleep on the sofa on the first floor for safety reasons.
Today we got a call back from a staff supervisor, 3 hours later than promised. Bottom line? What they promise to do will likely not happen AND is not going to be effective. They say through that client’s counselor and my daughter seeing her counselor they are going to work on mutual respect. (My daughter did nothing wrong, nor did my son, nor did my wife.) They say they are going to work with the offending client to stop taking rules to the extreme, stop disrespecting other clients, and learn how to fly to the moon without a spaceship. That 3rd one I made up because it’s just as likely to happen as the other 2.
My daughter is tired of being terrorized by this client. She barely slept last night even though she slept on the 1st floor, had staff with her and the staff person locked AND chained the door.
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, my daughter ruminates on things, sometimes to the point of triggering a psychotic episode and requiring hospitalization.  After my daughter returns to her house after work I’m going to have to make reassurances that even I don’t believe in. I am also going to make a safety plan for her to refer to when the next incident happens. Because both my wife and I know this is not going to stop until that client is removed from the group home. 
I know life isn’t fair, I say it to my kids all the time about little frustrations, but this isn’t fair. My daughter is being made to feel as though this is her fault. My daughter stays away from this client, avoids her, and if the client speaks to her, my daughter responds to her just as she does anyone else, respectfully and politely. 
Everything ran so smoothly at her house before this client was transferred to my daughter’s house. I am so tired of all this.

Lola's Diner ©2008-2017

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Anniversary of a death

My parents passed away when I was in my twenties. Mom in 1984, Dad in 1990. Now I know their dates of death, but every year the anniversary of their deaths goes one of 3 ways.
     1.) On the day of their death I remember. That day unfolds in my mind from beginning to end. I recall the the smallest detail, then I begin to recall the immediate aftermath...the notification of family and friends, funeral parlor arrangements, the day of the funeral. It’s been a long 34 years since my Mom passed away. A lot has happened, marriages, births, a divorce, mental health issues, and medical issues. I’m embarrassed to say very few of the anniversary’s I recall on the actual anniversary date. 
     2.) A few days before the anniversary date I am in a profound...funk. I’m very depressed. I definitely feel a change in “the force”. Before long I remember and go through the entire process, just as in #1.
     3.) A few days after the anniversary date I will have the same telltale feelings. Just as with #2, I then remember and go through the entire process, just as in #1.
Today was #3 for the anniversary date of my Dad’s death. The anniversary is St Nicholas Day, December 6th. I have always celebrated St Nicholas Day with my children, hanging their stockings the night of the 5th before they go to bed. They are young adults now, but we still celebrate it as one of our holiday traditions. This year we postponed until tonight. They hung their stockings before going to bed Saturday night. It’s not the first time. The funk started the end of November, the realization hit me today. As soon as it came to me I said it out loud. My wife was a bit shocked and asked why I didn’t say anything sooner. It was because I had just realized it. I could feel the...weirdness in the air, but she didn’t say anything. She didn’t have to. She was surprised, shocked even, that I hadn’t recalled it the day of. My Dad passed away 28 years ago. Between both my parents that’s a lot of anniversarys. Her Mom passed, four or five years ago and she is still grieving like it was yesterday. (Oh, don’t open up that can of worms Lola, everyone grieves differently.)
My point is, don’t judge me because I don’t always remember the anniversary of their deaths on THE day. It’s been a lot of years and I’ve had a lot of life happen in between. Most would be surprised at all I have gone through, but that’s besides the point. Those anniversarys...I do not celebrate...I grieve them. Why else would I be so depressed and out of sorts approaching or after the dates? 
I’ve come to realize that #2 and #3 are my coping mechanisms, my process of grieving. It isn’t as if I am oblivious to the dates, I’ve NEVER not remembered.
If anyone out in the interwebs is reading, if you wouldn’t mind, explain how you handle/process the anniversary of a death.

Lola's Diner ©2008-2017

Friday, December 8, 2017

What the fork happened to Muk Luks?

Who remembers Muk Luks? Ok, who of my Wisconsin peeps remember them?  Doreen claims she never heard of them.  The photo below is the closest approximation I can find that looks like the ones I used to get as a kid at Christmas.  Now if you Google “Muk Luk” hundreds of weird abominations appear from slippers and boots that in no way resemble the knit sock sewn to what used to be real leather/suede soles, or rubber soles. Now they even have Muk Luk SANDALS!  What the fork?

Lola's Diner ©2008-2017

Thursday, December 7, 2017

It’s the most depressing time of the year...

I just can’t get in the holiday spirit.  As Christmas and finances go, this year is the worst.  I’ve purchased about 3 gifts. I have some gifts I planned to make (I already have the supplies) this year for my daughter’s housemates, but I’m continually drowning in paperwork, so I’m making no progress.

I discussed with my daughter my annual gift to her house.  I usually purchase close to $100 in baking supplies.  I’m not doing it this year.  She knows my reasons. It’s two-fold.  
     1.)  I don’t have the funds this year.
     2.)  I’m tired of the shenanigans that have happened in previous years.  I purchase enough supplies so the ladies can make Christmas cookies multiple times from Thanksgiving to Christmas AND to bake bread, cinnamon rolls, pizza crust in the months following the holidays.  The first year I also purchased 2 Air-bake Cookie Sheets (the largest size).  Over a year ago someone gave 1 of them to a housemate who was moving into an apartment. They were purchased for the ladies IN THE HOUSE.  Someone is now staking claim to the other one.  Every year in January a staff member removes all the baking supplies saying they don’t keep long.  Not true, Google any baking item, the shelf life is a year or more.  Some are good indefinitely.

Do I believe the staff had put the baking supplies I purchased in the trash?  I believe they take them home. It’s so wrong and I refuse to contribute to the staff’s personal home pantry.  Yes, the staff are poorly paid, but I think it’s unconscionable that staff are basically stealing from the ladies who live in the house.  To me, that is the lowest of the low.

As an alternative, my daughter, son and I will be baking Christmas cookies to share with some of the housemates.  (I think my wife is working.).  Not all you ask?  No, not when several are...well let’s just say, not behaving appropriately and not treating other housemates well.  I’m not rewarding bad behavior. 

So yes, the most depressing time of the year.  I got hurt at PT, so I am home until things improve enough to tolerate returning.  Why do physical therapists always push to hard?  This sux donkey!  

I’ve been watching the Christmas movies since Thanksgiving.  I’ve been watching them daily.  I thought that would get me in the mood, but it’s not.  I don’t know what the kid’s expectations are, I keep trying to prepare them.  My son wants a PS4 and my daughter wants a tablet (WITH WIFI).  I keep telling my son he has enough game systems and it’s not going to happen, but I know he’s not getting it.  With his illness he just doesn’t understand.  He hasn’t progressed as far as my daughter, but then her illness began over 10 years ago.  She understands.  Since she is working she, on her own, offered to buy gifts for us all.  She really is a sweetheart.  

No Christmas tree or decorations up yet.  I’m off that committee due to my back.  I’m thinking my son will step up Sunday and get started.

If you find my holiday spirit please forward directions as soon as possible.

Lola's Diner ©2008-2017

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Mrs. Kravitz, and now Mr. Kravitz

Mrs. Kravitz. If you are of a certain age, or a fan of old television shows you know the name as the nosey, busybody neighbor on “Bewitched “.  I have used that name in past blog posts to refer to the neighbor across the street to my childhood home. Anything there was to know about anyone on the block, she knew it.  If a kid did something wrong, she told the kid’s mother. 

When I was a kid she busted my friend and I for getting up at the crack of dawn, sneaking out of our houses to play ‘tennis’ over my friend’s driveway gate.  We both just got new rackets and she was leaving on vacation in a couple of hours and we just HAD to play.

Fast forward to this year. My sister heard that Mrs. Kravitz was the victim of a gift card scam.  Some con man called saying her nephew was in jail, etc, etc.  She lost $400,000.  Probably her life savings. She was on the local news.  Really made me think, is she still “with it” enough to live alone?  Her husband was in an Alzheimer’s Care nursing home.  A month or so later he was on an Honor Flight, honoring him for his military service. He passed away about a month later. 

I was reading FB today, daughter of the neighbor next to Mrs. Kravitz.  She bought her parents home, as did a lot of the kids from my neighborhood.  She said she was on MR. KRAVITZ’s radar and wasn’t happy.  Being confused, I messaged her for clarification.  She has now nicknamed my old next door neighbor Mr. Kravitz because he called the Health Department on her for some nonsense violation.  I mentioned how when I was a kid, every now and then Mr. Kravitz would be drunk and threaten my Dad.  Fisticuffs would ensue, my Mom would call the police, the fight would be broken up.  Unbeknownst to me, her father also had run-ins with Mr. Kravitz where he called her father to come out into the street and fight like a man.  (Ah, the good ol’ days when you had a beef with someone and you settled it with your fists, instead of guns.)

Found out an interesting tidbit in my FB messaging with my childhood home had been sold again and a lesbian couple now own it.  I found this out by way of her telling me how Mr. Kravitz and his son got drunk one day.  They stood in their driveway yelling over to my childhood home “Dykes!” over and over.  Doesn’t surprise me.

Lola's Diner ©2008-2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


By now everyone on earth has heard about Harvey Weinstein. So many actresses have come forward in interviews and op-ed pieces in several publications.

I read on Red Head Ranting about the "#Me Too" Status Update. It was the first I have heard about it. It was also the first I have heard about women shutting down straight men and gay men who tried to tell their stories of rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse.  Some women said "It's not your time to speak." Or 'It's not about you, it's about women right now.' 

Anyone who chooses to speak to someone about their rape, sexual assault, or sexual abuse should be RESPECTED. This is not something easy to confide in to someone. To me, this attitude of 'it's not your time' and 'it's about women now' just divides us all even more. Haven't we had enough with all the other disrespect going on? How about some empathy, some compassion? It seems like whatever is going on in the media, whatever it is, it is there to cause derision, to separate us, to pit one group against another. 

Thankfully I, myself, am not a part of "#Me Too", however, my daughter is. It happened when she was 11. She brought it up this weekend. She's having flashbacks. 

Anyone reading this, your takeaway from this post should be, not only to respect another's decision to make such a personal disclosure, but also:  maintain appropriate supervision over your children at all times when they are in your care. This did not happen on my watch, but you knew that. It broke my heart when she first disclosed this in therapy. I was there with her through the entire police investigation. I waited for her on the long visits with  the Children's Advocacy Center. I am there for her now, I will always be there for both my children.

Anyone who reveals their story of rape, sexual assault, or sexual abuse should be treated with empathy and compassion, nothing less. This is something that anyone who experiences it, carries it with them their entire life. It shouldn't matter their gender or gender identity. It also shouldn't matter whether they are straight, LGBTQ, or are a man being raped, sexually assaulted, or sexually abused by a woman.

Anyone reading who has experienced this, I am so sorry this happened to you. If you need help dealing with it, see a counselor or therapist. Your insurance may cover it with a small co-pay. Some practices can bill on a sliding scale based on your income. In some instances your county health department may have counselors or therapists you can see at little or no cost to you, depending on your income. 

No one should suffer in silence and no one should be marginalized because their story is not of the heterosexual, man attacks woman variety.

Lola's Diner ©2008-2017

Nov 28, 2014 Was my last blog post-UPDATE

Needless to say, much has gone on since that Thanksgiving post. Let's update til today, one by one.

My partner and I got married 2 years ago this month. The ceremony was beautiful.  It was outdoors at a local Conservatory in front of the gazebo with lush fall colors in the background. We are both Irish, so I hired a bagpiper. They may be more Scottish, but we really loved it. It made the day more unique. When was the last time you saw a bagpiper at a wedding? We also had a wonderful vocalist who sang Sarah Bareilles' "I Chose You".  It was beautiful. We just celebrated our 2nd anniversary, cotton. I made this to commemorate the day:

My wife works part time as a hostess and banquet coordinator. She loves dealing with the public, but at times it can be aggravating. She is dragging her feet on double knee replacement surgery. (Been delaying it since she blew out both knees playing softball in high school.) I purchased a van for my wife. Dealer screwed us over and hid the fact that the transmission was bad, so it been sitting in the driveway for months, which kills me because I'm making payments on it.

My daughter moved into a group home and has been upgraded to the 2nd floor which means she is capable of more independence. She had a boyfriend for a little over a year (more on that to follow). She started a part-time job about a month ago, she's rockin' it and loves it. She is a bagger/greeter. Yesterday she broke up with her boyfriend and I couldn't be more proud. On her own she decided to talk to staff at her day program for advice and a heads-up for her counselor and his. When your boyfriend starts holding hands and kissing other young ladies in the group, it's definitely decision time. She came to the decision on her own, and only discussed it briefly on her short weekend visit. Oh, and I forgot to mention, not even 6 hours after she broke up with him her bff texts her saying she wants to date him! What happens to the sister/bro code? Aren't wou supposed to wait a month? Or at least 2 weeks. My daughter texted her back saying it was cool with her, but she doesn't want to hear any details. My thought is my daughter figures the faster he moved on, the better things will go. No wanting to get back to her or stalking her because he's already "involved".  I say you go girl! Way to figure out the silver lining!

My son graduated from his extended high school program which includes vocational/technical training. He misses it, but is doing well at home helping me, making meals and doing chores while I direct him. We will be placing him in a day program, but first we want to resolve some issues we have with her provider of services.

Kitty cats are doing well. Goofy as ever.

No photos of My wife's cat, that cat has attitude, getting a photo can take forever. Lol!

Lola's Diner ©2008-2017
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