Friday, May 31, 2013


I just watched The Life of Pi. What a beautiful movie.

For everyone that has seen it, I have a question. In the end, when Pi says, "So you have heard both stories. In both of them, I lose my family, and the ship sinks. So which story do you prefer?"

The writer says, "The one with the animals."

And Pi says, "...and so it is with God."

What does that mean? Maybe it will come to me after I get some sleep, but right now, I don't get it.

Winds and the cat

It's been a busy week, full of wonderful moments, but exasperatingly short on time. I got everything done that needed doing.

The stormy night did spawn tornadoes, one of which cut a four mile long swath 3 mile from the house. We were certainly lucky that most of that swath was trees instead of people.

 The world was making sounds that day that I have not heard for a very long time. It is frightening. I made a space for myself in the basement, just in case, and at one point, we were being directed to go there.  I stood on the back porch watching the pink lightning while talking to Tim and looking for my cat. The thunder grumbled on and on without ceasing high above me. It sounded so far away, yet directly over my head, and the noise really gave me the creeps.

In the end, the sirens stopped, and the sky settled down too. A new tornado warning was posted within minutes, but the sounds outside were not the same, and so I was comfortable going to bed and letting the world take care of itself, and so it did.

Nash the cat comes for dinner, and he enjoys being petted and held. He will have to be neutered before he comes in.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sirens going off all over. "Probable tornadic activity". Headed our way. First warning expires 9:15. Ack. I've got the washer and dryer pushed apart, and I'll hide there if necessary.

Late edit: the first line of storms weakened before they got to my little town, but it was pretty scary. I don't like pink lightning. There were no tornadoes from that line of storms. We lost power, power's back. There are reports of tornado touchdowns in the county, although I have not heard of any specific areas or damage.

A second storm front is moving through, and we have tornado warnings again. It seems pretty mild. I'm going to bed.

Night all.

Late, late edit: That was quite a night. I spent a lot of it on the back porch watching the sky to the west where the storm was coming in. The sky was grumbly, with the strangest thunder I ever heard. It just did not sounded like a growl. It is now morning, and cloudy, but quiet.

Second helping of humble pie...

So I'm rushing around trying to get stuff done. I get home from work, eat supper and show the apartment (why do people make appointments, beg for a chance to look at the apartment and then not show?!! but I digress.)

Nash is back, and he's living on the second story balcony for right now, with his own little stairs to go down and up. I've got him a nice warm nest set up in a cat carrier. We'll get him prospotted and neutered and he'll be ready to come inside.

I finally found out which flavor catfood he likes - Flaked Tuna - so after the apartment showings (and the no shows), I ran into the grocery to pick up 5 cans and two bottles of diet pepsi that I use to bribe clients to work hard. (It's amazing what you can accomplish with soda pop.) Anyway, I went to the register and the cashier said, "Do you have your savings card?" And I said, proudly, "This time, I do!" (because I almost never do) and I handed it to her. She laughed. I went to swipe my debit card, and had some difficulties. I said, "I remembered the card, but I don't have my glasses."

To which the young whippersnapper said, "They're on your head."

After that humiliation, I was walking out of the store, when I saw a friend. I said, "Well, I've managed to mortify myself in the Bilo." She came very close to ROPL (rolling on the pavement laughing). 

There is that old saying: "I'm not laughing AT you, I'm laughing WITH you." Your very best friends are the ones who laugh AT you, but love you anyway.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Humble Pie.

I am not the most technical person in the world. In the state. In the county. In this house.

I was having difficult w/ our keyboard. I replaced the batteries. It still did not work. The batteries were from a package of cheapies, so my next question became: "Is this a problem with the keyboard, or with the cheap batteries?" Which lead me to get my next bright idea, which was to grab the batteries from our remote (which did work) and put them into the keyboard.

The keyboard STILL did not work. Moreover, now the remote didn't either, even after the batteries were replaced.

I finally got the keyboard to work, but the remote did not.

We get tons of advertising from the company, so I grabbed the latest and found the customer service number. I placed a call to Dish.

They couldn't find me in the system. I explained that we were 'bundled'. I gave our name, our address, both cell phone numbers.

He was getting frustrated. So was I. He kept telling me to look for a trap door on the front of the receiver. There was no trap door on the front of the receiver.

He said, "Do you see something that says System Info?"

I said, "No. It just says Direct TV..."

He said, 'hold up, hold up...'

I said, "What is this company?"

Neither one of us blurted what we were thinking and with that, I became one of those stupid people that customer service representatives will talk about forever.

Cat Tale

We leave the blubbering mess that was the last post to report good news. Sort of. William had just gone home and I walked down front of my house and saw Nash walking with a woman and a little boy on their way to the laundromat.

"Is that your cat?" I asked, and she answered "No...he just sort of started following us..." She also said she thought he belonged to people in the next block.

I snatched him up, telling him how worried I'd been about him. I gave him a celebratory dinner. I felt bad that I couldn't keep him, but I was glad to see that he was okay.

Later that evening, a neighbor guy showed up. He's seen me hunting that cat, and wanted to report that he'd found it at his house under his porch. I said, "Well, he belongs somewhere over on the next block, I heard..."

He pondered this.

He said, "If that cat comes out, and lets me catch him, I'm bringing it in."

And off he went.

That never occurred to me: that I could just bring him in, even if he belonged to someone else. He'd be safer inside, to be sure. I'm not going to say that my neighbor is doing a wrong thing.

I just wish that I had thought of it first.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Perfect Day

It's been a busy weekend. William helped me work in the garden. We planted the rest of my seeds: watermelon, summer squash, zucchini, cantelope. I took shovels of compost and made hills to plant the seeds, and we worked together, planting them. I began shoveling more compost, looked over, and there was William talking a blue streak to himself, wielding my hoe, and uncovering the seeds we had just planted. Made me laugh.

When he got tired of planting, he ran, and called back over his shoulder, "I running, Memaw!" He kicked his soccer ball, and called back, "I kick da ball, Memaw!" When he grows up, he's surely going to be a twitter fanatic.

We went into the house and had lunch, just the two of us. Grandpa had some family obligations, and for the first time, William took his leaving quite hard. He cried, and he said, "Grandpa, I love you!" as Tim carried things to the car. Grandpa might be a strong, silent type, but I noticed that before he left, he knelt down and gave William a kiss and a hug, and told him that he loved him too.

We settled down in the living room with our lunch, and I plugged in Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit and Friends, a BBC children's show, and the familiar gentle story of Peter Rabbit filled the room.

It was the same story that my mother read to me as a child, in my little bedroom with the white bed with the red animal silhouettes marching across the footboard, long before the days of video. In turn, I read the stories to my own children as they grew, and we watched the series on PBS.  Now I was watching the same stories come to life with my own grandson

I was folding laundry and William watched Peter. He knows what a garden is and that Mr. McGregor was working with a hoe. When he began to chase Peter, William cried, "Oh no!" and he came to me and sat in my lap, where he remained, leaned against me. I breathed in the sweet smell of a little boy's hair, savored the weight of him cuddled to me. He called out, "Run!" and "The bunny is stuck," with wide eyes.

 The sweetness of the theme song seemed to underscore the sweetness of that moment, and I sat quietly with the tears rolling. I am a sap, a sook, of the worst caliber. I have him one day a week, and in that 24 hours, I try to fill it with all the sweetness that I can, with Peter Rabbit and Winnie the Pooh, with bathtime and bubbles, and balls, and running, and wooden fire trucks and jumping on the bed, with songs about five little monkeys swinging in trees.There are wagon rides and working in the garden. There is cuddling and the 'I love you's' flow fast and furious.

I have learned from experience that these years will go by all too quickly.

Before I know it, it will be William's turn, and he will be the one reading Peter Rabbit to his children. Or watching on whatever they will watch things on in the future. Who knows? But I can only hope that his own eyes will grow distant and remembering when he hears the theme song, and I hope that he will remember the grandma who tried her best to give him perfect days.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The boy knows how to work it...

William has a new habit that he's never had before. He is putting things in his mouth. Anything that will fit. I have to watch him closely.

Today I turned to him (we were in the same room, for heaven's sake!) and saw right away that he had something in his mouth, and found him sucking vigorously on a glass bead, another one in his hand. Horrified, I did a finger sweep, removed the item, and gave him a lecture. "No William, that does NOT go in your mouth. Only food goes in your mouth."

He listened and then he cocked his head to the side. With a endearing little smile, he said, "I love you, Memaw."

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Yesterday, I worked. And then I went to a training. And then I worked at another job until 9. I stopped on the way home to pick up new catfood for this cat.

Only, he wasn't waiting for me when I got home.

I went looking for him last night, but he was not there. I went looking for him this morning before work. I could not find him. Tonight, I've gone around the neighborhood looking. I have not found him.

It sounds stupid, because this was a fairly new acquaintance, but I feel terrible about this. It appears that my little friend has chosen.

Naturally, he chose to depart after I finally decided on his name. He was Nash.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Morning has broken

The little cat was stretched out on my side porch, comfortably surveying his world. I believe the choosing cat has made his choice.

When I went out to greet him, he got up to come into the house, as if he belonged there, but before this can happen, he's got to be de-flea'd. I felt terrible to tell him no. I gave him his 9-Lives. He sniffed at it, and looked at me in a disappointed way, but seemed to decide that he could tolerate such a mean food and began to eat. I will try a different brand next time.

I have not decided on his name yet.

I had a very nice birthday yesterday, and today is our 15th anniversary. It is raining outside, and my vegetables needed a good soaking rain, so I am grateful for that. Still, the sound of the rain hitting the roof of my little office is a little seems to be counteracting my caffeine.

I. Must. Move.

Monday, May 20, 2013

That cat.

The cat chose to come back tonight.

 I was ready. I bought him some catfood. He took one sniff at it and chose not to eat, doubtless disdainful: "Yesterday it was a can of tuna for lunch and a fair amount of ham for supper. What is this 9 Lives garbage, lady?"

After choosing not to eat,  he chose to wander off to deliver a screaming butt kicking to a neighbor cat who had strolled over with the intent of being the butt kicker, not the butt kickee.

I don't think he is a bad cat. I think he had an unfortunate kittenhood. I find myself a bit worried. Tim has no patience for cheerful, good natured cats. He'll have even less patience for a juvenile delinquent cat with gourmet tastebuds and maladaptive behaviors.

I've been digging lilac suckers and setting them out front near the sidewalk. A woman asked me how much I wanted for them. "Pllt," I said, "you don't charge for what God's giving you free." She was happy and took two peonies too.

 It tickled me to watch a man carefully carry off a small basket of lily of the valley and pachysandra. He carefully returned the little empty basket.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Choosing Cat

Today, there was a knock on my door and the little fellow from down the street came to help me assemble and set out 42 solar lights. I had an extra box, so we sneaked down the street to his house, meaning to set them around his mother's garden for a surprise.

A cat darted across the street meowing non-stop. He followed us and directed us as we set those lights.

When we headed back home, he followed us still, looking carefully both ways before crossing the street, being a wise cat.

Beck was quite worried about this cat, and whether he had a home, and did I suppose that he might be hungry, major questions like that.

I certainly thought that it was only polite to offer him a meal. He sat patiently as we opened a can of tuna fish and put it in a dish. He licked his little smackers appreciatively when we set the bowl down in front of him and began to eat. My little friend thought that perhaps Catfish would be a good name for him. "Perhaps," I said.

 Beck thought that I should immediately bring him into the house and keep him forever. I explained to him that cats were funny people, and that sometimes they needed to decide where they belong. "Besides," I said, "wouldn't you feel terrible if you had a cat that went outside and never came back because a neighbor took him in her house and wouldn't let him out?"

Beck thought about this carefully, and thought I might be right.

We all went to a birthday party this afternoon, and on the ride back to the house, the big question was whether or not the cat would still be there.

Tim dropped us off, and went off to do some errands, not really giving a rat's butt whether Catfish was there or not. We set Beck's backpack and his bucket of party favors on the porch and took a quick look around the yard, but the cat was not there.

Beck was disappointed as we gathered up his stuff to walk the next block over to his house. He is not allowed to have a cat, his mother being very allergic, and he had been quite thrilled at the idea of co-owning a cat at my house.

I explained to him once again about cats, and that the cats who belonged to no one were always choosy about who they would let themselves belong to. As we came to the end of the driveway and turned left, towards his house, there was a meow.

"Did you hear that?" I whispered, and he whispered excitedly back, "Yes!"

And there was Catfish, coming out from under a shrub, glad to see us. He walked us back to Beck's house, once again looking carefully before he crossed the street.

People sitting on their porch laughed to see that cat walking with us like a dog. "Is he yours?" someone asked. He had been meowing at their back door a few days back and they felt terrible for him.

Beck and I explained that we were not yet sure but we thought he might be choosing us, and we walked on, the choosing cat following along.

I visited with Beck's parents in the evening as we talked about parties and cats, and then I headed home.
And the choosing cat chose to join me.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Happy Ending

Maybe 10 years ago or so, I was working night shift at a customer service call center. It was not a fun job. I was tired all the time. Two of the supervisors were just plainly women who were mean to other women.

I had friends on night shift. One of the women was young, and I felt terrible for her. She had five children at home, young ones and she always just looked exhausted. We began to talk, and she began to confide. I was horrified to find out that her husband was a drug user. He was also abusing her.

I worried about her and her children terribly, and I tried to be encouraging, but she was defeated. She simply could not imagine what she would do without him. She couldn't handle the children alone. She had a list of reasons why she could not leave. I personally think that she was so exhausted, she couldn't see clearly.

I tried to use my own experience to tell her that things work out that she just needed to take that first step, that it was not good for the children to remain in such a bad situation. I offered to help, to babysit.  We spent many a night between phone calls talking and talking. Praying too.

Things began to get worse and worse for her, dangerous actually, and then suddenly, she was gone. It turned out that she had to go on a different shift to be home with her children at night. I heard she left her husband. Then I left the company to go chase mosquitoes, and I never saw her again.

Today at the gym I saw a girl with blonde hair, a dazzling smile, deeply tanned. She was wearing a black leotard and walked with confidence. I was hauling my middle aged sweaty self to retrieve my keys, and pass card, and suddenly I stopped.

"Hi!" I said. She looked so gorgeous close up that I couldn't be sure, but I said, 'Didn't you used to work at ...." and she said, "Yes." I said, "You know, I don't know if you remember me or not..." and she said, "Of course I do," and she smiled back at me.

We talked briefly. I told her how wonderful she looked and I was so glad to see it. She said, "I had one problem. I just had to get rid of it. When I did, it all worked out just fine."

I smiled. "I love a happy ending, and I am so glad that you got yours."

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Day

I was getting ready for bed Saturday night when I heard the unmistakable sound of the back door opening. I hissed to Tim, "Someone just walked in the house!" and Tim said, unperturbed, "Well, you'd better go check it out."

I knew then that he was in on it, and I went in to the kitchen to see Cara with a bouquet of flowers. "Surprise!" she said. "Happy Mother's Day!"

It was exciting. William was already here, sound asleep. He had a very busy day. That morning, he had cried like crazy when I vacuumed. I had been pondering the idea for a while, but I said, "William, we're going shopping." He looked very interested. I said, "We're going to get William a vacuum cleaner of his very own." And he got very still. He looked at me and said, in the most reasonable little voice, "Memaw. I don't like vacuum." Then he added helpfully, "Like truck."
We went to the store. We bought a very realistic vacuum. Well. Realistic except for the color. It even is battery operated and makes a humming noise. William was hugely excited about the box and held it tightly all through the store, talking non-stop. When we got it home and took it out of the box, well, he cried and scrambled for the couch. After he sat on my lap for awhile, he decided it was safe enough. He began to play with it. And then he said, "Memaw? This not your vacuum, (pointing to himself) this Willnan vacuum." And I said that it was. He stood there and he said, "Memaw?" And I said, "Yes, William?" and he said, "I LIKE this vacuum." He cracks me up.

William was here, asleep, and now Cara was home.

The next day after church, I made pepperoni rolls to celebrate. Buddy and Brianna came to join us. Mike stopped in after work. I got more flowers and cards than anyone had a right to.

At the end of the day, Cara was drinking coffee to wake up for her drive home. I was putting the kitchen back to rights. She said, "Sit down." I said, "Just a minute..." and she said, "I'm only here for a short time. Savor the moment."

She was right.

 I did.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mountaintop Week.

Life is a real mixed bag, isn't it?

I've had my struggles, and I've tried to be unflinching about them here. It's been a difficult spring, humiliating. Raised a lot of doubts, but this week has been one mountaintop experience after another. I see things. I notice.

Today, I discovered, quite by accident, how to stimulate finger flexion/extension in a hand that has barely functioned. I watched in awe as her fingers opened and closed, opened and closed. That was quite a write up.

Today, I was asked my opinion on someone that is supposed to be sensory defensive, yet as I walked in, I saw that the very opposite was true. He is sensory seeking. I knew it. I saw it immediately. I pointed this out to the staff and demonstrated my theory. They watched, and they talked between themselves. They saw that I was right. It changes the entire treatment plan. That was another write up.

Today, I was scrambling to get all my data entered, because it was crazy busy. Crazy. I worked like a mad woman, and got it all done.

As I darted by a room, I heard an employee talking to another employee. "That is a really, REALLY smart girl! Wow!" With a shock, I realized that I was overhearing a conversation about myself.

I did a little stutter step, regained my composure, and continued down the hall.

I felt like I saw a me I never saw before.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


You know, having my hours cut at work was the most devastating thing. It was a confusing time. The events that played out were simple: I was not liked. Stupid things, really, that could have been sorted out, but the clinic is very clique-y. You either fit or you don't.

It's a terrible thing, to know that you don't fit, especially when you are trying so hard to fit because you love the job so very much.

It's an even worse thing at the end of it all, to have someone walk into your office and hand you a paper that says your hours have been cut. In disbelief, you look at it. You realize that at least one person in a position of power has lied about you, and you point that out. You tell her that the only written documentation that you've ever received is that you are doing an excellent job. Her response was to say that your work with the clients was "spot on". She sat quietly, looking at your shocked face, and then said, "Would you like me to close the door when I leave?" And she left.

It was a hard thing to decide what to do next. The humiliation of having your hours cut and to be 'in the sights' of the person running the show is a big deal. The other clinicians are perfunctory and short. They care about their jobs and do not want the person running the show to think they are 'on your side'.

I decided to stay, and to work my best and to see what happened next.

I have worked, and I have worked hard. I have learned that I am excellent with clients. I have learned that in my own heart. My opinion is not dependent on the opinion of anybody else. I am almost 56 years old. For 55 years, the opinions of others have mattered a great deal to me.

I have had moments so breathtakingly perfect that I cannot even tell you. Imagine having a violent non-verbal profoundly disabled person vocalize and scream and come at you. He is not a client. He is someone that I am sneaking time with, because I had a suspicion that I could help. He charged me, and I braced myself because he has attacked before. He stops, making his strange and agitated noises, and stares. I stared at him, trying to anticipate. When his face stilled, I knew. I reached my arms wide, and said, "Do you want a hug?" He came into my arms and leaned heavily against me, and we stood in the middle of the room and I rocked him back and forth gently, my hands running up and down his arms to provide proprioceptive input. The room staff, poised to intervene, stood by as I crooned to him and rocked him. He doesn't have words, but he came to me for comfort, and I was sharp enough, calm enough to recognize it.

I am good.

I am so good that while I work full time filling in for a co-worker on maternity leave, staff at the facilities that I service have begun to come to me for assistance. Yesterday, I stopped typing, and I went straightaway to a client who was having an aggressive episode. I sat at the table in an informal group session and talked and played with them. My focus was on one person, but he did not realize that. I am firm with him, and in the end, he says, "Thank you."

I am very good.

I have offers of hours to fill the hours that I have lost. I have offers that will, potentially, put me in the awkward position of perhaps having to choose where I will work. Will this pan out perfectly? I don't know, but I have a suspicion that it will. No matter what, it is a huge joy to discover that others see something in me that they covet for their own teams.

In the end, we will see. Other doors have opened up...the chance to work privately with a disabled child. The chance to counsel women making the transition from jail to the real world. The opportunity to work with an elderly gentleman. All these things will more than make up for what I have lost.

Know why? Because I am very, very good at what I do.

This week, I found myself speaking with a supervisor. Up to now, this has been difficult. I am always trying to be professional,  choking back unprofessional frustration. This time it is different. I said, "When am I to be cut back to part time?" She did not know. "How is this transition to be made? Does she come back one day and I am done? Is there a handing off period as there was when I took over?" She did not know.

We stood there, two professional women in my office. We discussed the patients that I am seeing informally. We discussed the importance of not turning our backs on them. We discussed the fact that people want me to work for them and they are pressing to know my availability.

She said, "You are right, I need to find this out."

She left my office. I stood there watching her go. There was no sting.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Future

Today, I saw a cool thing. I was at the gym, working away, when I noticed him, a boy in the farthest corner walking on a treadmill. He walked steadily, his head bouncing from one side to another as he stepped it out, never stopping.

He was 15 maybe. He was round, and he was short. Plain, with big glasses. He was the kind of kid that you know for a fact takes a lot of crap at school.

I plodded along behind him, off to the side, and I watched him.

He never faltered. He never looked up.  He never slowed down or missed a step. He kept his eyes on his screen, watching his numbers. Heart rate, distance, incline, speed, calories burned... And that boy walked on.

I wondered about his life, because I am a curious person ~ sounds much nicer than 'nosy' doesn't it? ~ how a boy with a difficult life summons up the wherewithall to march himself into a fitness center and work out. He was alone. There was no one there to encourage him. He plodded on steadily driven by his own will.

He had been hard at it when I walked in the door. The tips of his hair were already dripping sweat. He finished when I was well over 20 minutes into my own workout. He carefully and thoroughly disinfected his machine, and then he changed his shoes and walked out the door.

God bless his little cotton socks, as they say.

I watched him walk across the parking lot, his head down, his pace as steady as if he were still on that treadmill, and you know, suddenly I felt very hopeful about our future.

How William liked his New Bed

Karen asked how William liked his new bed.  Well, truth be told, it was an exciting day. He not only had a new bed, but he had some new puzzles. He was introduced to a jack-in-the-box. He had a new wooden firetruck with rubber wheels.

When he got to the house, he looked the situation over, popped his binky to one side of his mouth and said, "Firetruck." I handed it to him, and he took off to run it back and forth while making engine noises, and siren noises, and the like.

I popped the binky out of his mouth and got him to the table, but he raised cain about eating supper, because he did not want to stop playing with his truck.

In an attempt to stave off the 'binky demands', I took him outside (yep. With the firetruck...not letting go of that...) and asked him whether he wanted to ride in the wagon. Turns out he did. He and his firetruck.

We went out for a walk and met another little boy being pulled in a wagon just like William's, and that was a bit of excitement right there, Brody being older, and more aware. William eyed Brody's wheels and didn't have much to say about it, although Brody went on for some time, introducing himself and his aunt, and talking about wagons and such. William yelled, "Bye-bye," as we continued on our way.

We went to the store to get dish soap and scrubbies for a pot. William got lifted out of his wagon, but brought his firetruck along with. He talked a blue streak.

It cracks me up that he answers questions now. I saw a pair of Lightning McQueen shoes, and I said, "Do you like these William?" He looked and squinched up his face and made the noise he makes when he doesn't approve, sort of a cross between a gag and a fart. We did not get the shoes.

He did set up quite a petition when he saw a windchime with a moon. "Moon. Bells. Me. Mine. Bells. Moooooooon, memaw!" He got them because I'm a terrible and weak person.

We went out to the wagon with our purchases, and I got him settled (and his little firetruck too). We came home the long way, and we talked about bells and moons and firetrucks. We saw a cat who came right up to us to say hello.

By the time we got home, he was ready for supper.

There was playtime.

Then he came up and asked for Winnie the Pooh, our bedtime tradition. I plugged it in knowing he was winding down, and we had his bedtime snack. He began to request his binky. I said, firmly, "No. Binkies are for when you are ready to go to bed." He pondered this.

He said, "Binky."

I gave him his binky, and he went straightaway to his little bed. He pulled the blankets back, and climbed in. He pulled the blankets up over him and laid down, and that was that.

I gave him a few minutes and checked, and he was sound asleep.

We took the binky away, and he slept through the night.

He woke up the next morning and lay for a time in his little bed, smiling sleepily.

Yes, Karen. Pretty sure he likes his bed.

PS: he didn't have a bink for the rest of the morning.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

and then the miracle happened...

William was running after me down the hall. He loves to help, and I was going to do laundry. I'm not sure what the little snickerdoodle did, but there was a thunk and he was flat on his back looking up at me with a amazed look that swiftly turned to pure hysteria.

I picked up one screaming child in footy pajamas and looked for damage. Seeing none, I attempted to console him, but this was a major outrage, and required a protracted and dramatic bout of screaming. So I went from room to room with a boy screaming on one arm, grabbing laundry with the other.

I hauled it downstairs, still with screaming child.

Threw it in the washer, added the soap. All this normally fascinates William and he's helping to stuff the clothes in or to add the soap, talking a mile a minute, but he was pretty upset, so he just sat on the edge of the washer, as I did it all one handed, the other hand wrapped around his taut and outraged person. He calmed down enough to shut the lid for me.

We went upstairs.

After some cuddling on the couch, William did settle down. He helped me get the next load of laundry ready, but his parents came to take him home before the cycle ended.

When I heard the buzzer, I went downstairs, switched the loads out, noticing how much easier it is to do that when you have two hands. I started the dryer and turned to the washer. I immediately heard some very loud clunking. I simultaneously thought, "What the..." even as my mind screamed "OH NO!"

I had washed my cell phone. My cheap little Tracfone with 400 min. I stuck it in a bag of rice. Our stepson suggested putting it on the dash of a car. (Thanks Mike!) I did.

I cleaned an apartment today. I should have stayed home, because I missed the divine intervention. There were probably angels and everything. I opened the car door, grabbed the rice and cell phone from the dash. I popped the battery in, and...the cell phone works.


It's kind of like when the Red Sea parted. But different.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Happy stuff.

William sat still to hear his first story..."Cookie Monster and the Cookie Tree". I read the same book to his mother. I even remembered how to do the voices.

Unlike his aunty Cara, he does not seem to find Jack-in-the-boxes all that traumatic. Unless of course he can't get the butterfly pushed back inside. That makes him pretty mad.

Almost bedtime. We're watching Winnie the Pooh, and winding down.


One of us is.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

William's Place

 William comes and spends the night, sometimes. He is too big for his pack and play, and so we had to figure out what to do...we have bed rooms upstairs, but he is too little to be upstairs in a bed while we sleep downstairs. We want him sleeping on the same floor as us, but there is really no place for a bed. What to do?
 Then I saw a toddler bed.
This little sweet thing was small enough to fit in the corner of the office. Add a little table and chair set, and a book shelf full of his favoite toys...voila...William has his own little spot. I cannot wait for him to see it!

The Clown of God

At one of the sites I work at, there is a man who is jolly. Jolly is not a word you hear much these days, but it is the only word that truly fits him. He is a joker and his good nature delights the clients we serve. He makes people laugh. I watch him, and I like this about him very much.

At some point, he said something smart to me, and being me, I said something smart right back at him, which he wasn't expecting (he don't know me vewy well, do he?), but I could see that I had tickled him.

So the other day, I was wheeling one of my clients to the therapy room and blabbing a blue streak to him, because that is MY nature, and he stopped me. "We really haven't had a chance to meet," he said. "We've just exchanged buffoonery in the hall..." and I said, "Well, I happen to be a real fan of buffoons, so I'm pleased to meetcha!" and we laughed together in a comfortable way.

He began to explain his behavior, and I said, "Listen. You connect with people in a very real way. I love to watch you in action. You are not a buffoon. You are a clown of God."

His face grew very still and very suddenly, he was wiping tears from his face. He was crying. This time it was me who was caught unawares. I gaped a little, and said, "I did not mean this in any kind of a bad way," and at the same time he said, "No. It's not that. It just shocked me that somebody noticed. I'm really honored."

That is my gift. I'm starting to see it plainly. I notice things. I see the small details.

We spoke about a consumer, and I made my comments. My co-worker suddenly grabbed my badge. "I would have never expected THAT name," he said (not sure what he meant by that...), but off he went to talk with the manager. I was asked to attend a meeting to bring my perspective to the table. This was a little unexpected and I said, "Listen, I'm going to be perfectly honest here. I'm not sure how much weight my opinions would carry with clinicians. I'm not sure why, but I just don't mesh well with them. I try really hard because the job means an awful lot to me, but..."

And the clown of God stood before me with the strangest smile on his face.

I stopped talking, and he leaned forward as if to impart a great secret to me. "You connect with the patients just like I do. You don't fit with clinicians's are NOT a clinician." He reached forward to give me a hug. "...and that is what makes all the difference."

Could it really be that simple?

I stood there stupidly, and this time it was my eyes blinking rapidly.