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|Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016|
|Another Rockin' Full Moon, Along with a Cool but Very Hot Summer Solstice
I am always thankful to make it across the country alive and healthy. I am beginning to be thankful to arrive at the latter two adjectives, at the end of each day's journey. Life can be dangerous and sometimes it is quite stressful to navigate this journey so that the day ends with being alive and healthy. Then again, I'd prefer some stress every day to not being able to continue the journey in this physical body. It is so wonderful to be alive, each day. When we do big or little things and survive, such as driving across the country or perhaps driving across town, and we arrive alive, we should be grateful. Things
, as a much better poet than I once wrote, could have been otherwise
We saw the full moon, had some interesting encounters with people as we drove on I-40, and all survived each other. We learned some stuff, talked about some stuff, and listened to lots of really cool radio along the way. It is hot in Southern California, but not as hot as it was right before we got here. Still, the pool water is warm, according to Thirteen, who, along with Eleven, jumped right in the pool this morning. Fifteen walked to Target, all by himself, while I called Support Dad and told him that I'd sent our firstborn to Target sans a cell phone. Being that this is less than a third mile journey that Fifteen has made since he was in a stroller, Support Dad assured me that this would be okay. He was right. It is so hard to watch my babies growing up sometimes. But I am so thankful to be doing it. That is a conflict of feelings that I never felt before I had children.
We also saw the fires as we came in on the 210, close to Duarte. There was a lot of smoke in the air. I was driving, but the boys got a good view of it.
It took 71 hours or so to get here.
Here we are, with everyone at the Gingerbread House healthy and alive, even after, true to Support Dad's words, Fifteen returned home just fine. All by himself.
Reading now: "Prairie School" and "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh"
Getting ready to eat: Puffed Pancake using country eggs
Earlier this morning, I fixed: Jalepeno Cheddar bread that I brought from an Amish store not far from Pueblo, in North Carolina, overpriced W. Foods roast beast, and relatively moderately priced (but not as cheap as Trader Joe's) shredded W. Foods cheese--all melted on the pizza stone in the GH oven
|Monday, May 23rd, 2016|
|What A Full Moon
Indeed, it has been a full moon fever weekend, fortunately, minus the fever. The full moon was actually on Saturday, but what I've been meaning to write about and haven't was actually Mother's Day, which was a couple of weeks ago.
You can't just say, "I'm not drinking alcohol anymore" and then go and do everything else exactly the same. When you quit something, you've often got to go ahead and start something else. Preferably, of course, you'll start something that's good for you. I've been doing a lot of yoga/meditation/mindfulness stuff lately. I should be thin and perfect by now, but I'm certainly not. In fact, I'm finding that food is an area in which I have lied to myself for so long, I can hardly tell when I'm hungry or full. I'm actually having to work on this. And it ain't easy.
But back to Mother's Day, which is really what I want to talk about right now. I want to tell you about this really cool experience in letting go and letting God, as the cliche goes. It got to the point where we were going to have to be driving across the country on Mother's Day. I wasn't happy about it, but with this North Carolina school-esque thing going this year, you can be sure that we have some changes going on. I am discovering the autistic trait in myself--heretofore covered with alcohol--of not liking changes. I love being in Los Angeles in the spring. I can handle the fall in N.C. and part of the summer and winter, but the spring has been my L.A. bitch for a while now. Until this year. This crazy school thing, laced with trips to our Gingerbread House home, has actually worked this year. I may be soon headed for some kind of nervous breakdown soon, but everyone else is fine. And maybe, just maybe, I am, too.
The podcast has been awesome in that I can do it when I am in North Carolina, although not in studio. And so I am thankful for that.
And for Mikey McKernan, who is very gracious to give me some good times on gigs at UBG.
Back to Mother's Day: I had given up the idea rather early on that week that I would try to make it to church on Sunday morning. I love Mother's Day crafts and the last time I was in N.C. for Mother's Day may well have been when I was pregnant with Fifteen. And so, I wanted to go to Inn of the Seventh Ray. We did end up going to the Van Nuys Airport restaurant, the 94th Squadron place and my kids and I, along with their daddy, got to watch planes land and take off at the airport. I totally love that place. This was on Tuesday evening and I knew that if I didn't have an L.A. meal for Mother's Day, I'd feel cheated. I am slowly, very very slowly, learning to love myself and part of that self-love includes allowing myself to celebrate me from time to time, especially on Mother's Day.
We left Friday night/Saturday morning at midnight and by Sunday morning, we were in Oklahoma. Everybody was hungry and I came so very close to just stopping in Little Rock that evening. Our favorite David's Burgers was closed, as always on Sunday, and as I got a little bit east of Little Rock, I saw a sign for Nick's Seafood and Barbeque. There's more detail with this, but right now, I'm just going to say that we stopped there and I immediately saw it and remembered we'd been there before. Fifteen said, "I remember you were mad about us not being hungry." One of the things about living with an alcoholic mother has got to be that all of your memories include the word "mad" as the chief emotion. Nonetheless, I was in a rare deal this Mother's Day where I was actually trusting God , letting Him handle it when I started to get mad because I was driving across the country with my children instead of being at the beach and going to the Stinking Rose or some such place and having a proper L.A. Mother's Day (insert whining here).
Here I was in Arkansas, on a Sunday night. Our waitress, S., was immediately friendly, but that side of Arkansas is so very close to Tennessee and North Carolina that I sure wasn't surprised that she was great. She told my boys that they need to be nice to their mama and then, she told me about going to see her own mama that morning and that she'd painted her fingernails at a nursing home.
Well, those of you who know a little backstory about me know that my adoptive mother had Alzheimer's and was in a nursing home for a number of years. I ended up crying and hugging our waitress S. before she even took our food order. What a lovely dinner it was, with my sons. S. ended up taking a Mother's Day picture of the four of us and I went back to the HO thinking of how lucky I am, to be driving across the country with my healthy boys. Wow--what a Mother's Day indeed.
I told them the story, after we left the restaurant that night, of how my daddy and I had gone to Shatley Springs on Mother's Day in 1996 and how that was where we got Shatley the Cat. I told them about how we took her to the nursing home that day and Shatley the Kitten played on the fire escape. And as I was leaving that restaurant, I said something I don't think I have ever said: "I knew God had something special planned for today; I just didn't know what it was."
The next day we got to N.C. just in time for Eleven to have his art class. I'm so very thankful that God was with us in everything, right down to the waitress. I couldn't have heard a better Mother's Day sermon than the one she, a mother herself of a 13- and an 11-year-old, gave us.
|Sunday, May 1st, 2016|
|The Prom, Already?!?
When I went to change my profile pic for this blog a few minutes ago, I saw a pic of my now 15-year-old, holding one of the first teeth that he lost. Tonight, I drove him home from the L.A. Homeschool Prom and couldn't believe how tall he is, towering over me these days. When did this happen?!?
I think that a part of me, my Asperger's--alcoholic--delusional brain, thought that any pain I might feel from watching my children grow up would be completely negated by the fact that I was actually watching them grow up
. Unlike my own natural mother, who didn't know where I was at 15. When I think about trying to establish a relationship with her and why that failed so humongously, I can't help but think that part of the failure was due to the fact that we were not together for those events, Although I did not see this before my kids started growing up so darn quickly, I can easily see now that the whole thing about watching a child do things as he or she grows up is an important part of bonding. With adoption, this connection is severed and it's hard to have a good and healthy parent/child relationship when you have spent so much time apart, especially when you've spent a huge majority of time growing up away from each other. In that way, adoption is truly a recipe for disaster.
So, when I went to my first prom, at 15, I think, it was nothing like tonight's shindig. Probably because it was a homeschooling thing, the dance was one of those kind of events that allowed free expression in dress. Thus, not every guy was dressed in a tuxedo, as was the case at any prom I attended. Tonight's dress included lots of different things. There was a tux or two, but most of the guys were in suits. There were lots of cool color combos and I must admit that Fifteen wore a shirt and tie, with his suspenders, that showed his personality. Oh, and he wore his daddy's dress jacket, which he assured me, after we got back to the GH, needed to be dry cleaned. He had danced and sweated so much, he told me. I sure was jealous of that dance workout.
Everybody seemed to be quite tastefully dressed; within good taste limits, there were many different styles. It was fun to see my son at the prom, dancing to the last song, as I took a peak inside the room when I went to pick him up. He looked so handsome and so very adult and I didn't really know how to handle this crazy thing about seeing my little boy almost all grown up. I can't believe how much he's grown, and what a fine young gentleman he is growing into (despite his mother's best efforts to drive him, his brothers, and their daddy completely crazy). Nobody tells you about how hard it is to watch a child grow up, but it can be extremely difficult at times. Just seeing how much they change can and how quickly this happens can drive you to tears sometimes. How do people handle this kind of thing?!?
And so, I was in the kitchen tonight, thinking about how silly it was that I ever thought that these kinds of moments, the crying times of being a mom, would be somehow negated by the mere fact that I am able to watch him grow up. Well, that was a delusion indeed. Sure, I am thankful beyond belief that I am able to watch my children grow up and see all these important events. But what my natural mother and father missed out on were these very times, the important events, the times that you cry because you're so happy and proud and sad, all at the same time. Feeling these emotions and seeing your child grow up is a normal thing, but it is not always easy. However, when we sever that bond, as happens in adoption, it is impossible to go back and relive those events, it is impossible for the natural parents to feel those normal, if paradoxical, feelings. As thankful as I am to watch my son and to feel those feelings, the feelings themselves can be somewhat sucky.
And so, I am very thankful that I have a high chance of being close to my son, in a healthy mother/son relationship, merely because I am there, experiencing the situation and the feelings. That said, I don't see how parents do this letting go thing. I am thankful that I saw N. there tonight. She is a homeschooling mom who grew up in Indiana and her two sons were at the prom. I'm thinking she might have been feeling those how-in-the-world-do-we-handle-it-when-ou
r-children-grow-up feelings because we both seemed quite fascinated at how quickly this whole growing up process accelerates. And yet, how very fortunate we are to be able to feel those feelings. We are very fortunate indeed.
|Tuesday, April 5th, 2016|
|When Did Time Begin to Fly?!?
I remember when it did not, but that was before, way way before I had my first baby and now, as we travel across the country, I still am in awe at how quickly time has flown since his birth. Wow.
We made it west and are now back at the Gingerbread House. I love my Gingerbread House, but I love even more, much more more, these gorgeous, mischievious boys that I have given birth to. We spent 65 1/2 hours together in the HO and we have all not killed each other. Could there be bigger miracles?!? Why yes, there are, in fact. To make it across this wonderfully beautiful country of ours is a miracle. That we are all healthy and safe is one of the biggest miracles indeed.
It was great to see my acupuncturist within a couple of hours of arriving in L.A. Saturday morning, going 80 mph with traffic on the 210 as we rolled toward the GH. Then, we saw our homeschool therapist and on Sunday afternoon, I was able to make it through a Nancy ballet class in Studio City. I went to the Tribal Sunday night and did a Goodnight Universe podcast tonight. Wow, I do love being back in L.A., though there are lots of people and things I miss in good old Pueblo, North Carolina.
|Thursday, February 4th, 2016|
|A Drunkard's Poems, A Cousin's Death, and My Son's Birthday
So, I've been reading a lot of Charles Bukowski, lots and lots of his crazy honest poems. I even read "Big Max," a poem about a bully, to the boys. I'm not much to cry at funerals, especially when I don't actually go to the funeral, but my cousin (in adoptionland) P. died yesterday. Today is the day that Twelve turns to Thirteen. I didn't particularly want to hear last night, after prayer meeting, that P. had died yesterday morning, on the last day Twelve would be Twelve. I especially didn't want to hear from his mother last Saturday night, telling me that P. was in the hospital, that it didn't look good. It took me two days to call back. P., I have realized, is probably the only person, besides a boyfriend/husband, that I've sat with at my grandma's dinner table and partied with too. We used to go to lots of gay bars. To paraphrase poet Langston Hughes, We jazzed June
. Did we ever. I knew that he never really stopped the level of partying that we used to do. The last time I talked with him, a few months ago, he was telling me that the doctor had told him he needed to stop drinking and smoking, that his heart needed a strong immune system. He told me this while drinking alcohol, btw. He stopped drinking for a while, but then started again. And continued. He lived a wild life. I remember hearing about him and his sister T. the whole time I was growing up, but except for a family reunion in Virginia, I'd never seen either Maryland-born child. When I was 15 or so, that changed and he and T. spent a few days down here, in the South, in North Carolina. I'd never met someone who'd stolen a car from his neighbor and gone joy riding. I felt so country cousin when I heard all the seemingly cool stuff that those Yankee suburban-raised cousins had. I was jealous as hell.
When someone so young dies, it's hard to be jealous. I hate that his mother, who brought him into this world, had to watch him go out of it. That is something that a mother should never have to do, no matter the age. On the other hand, it's not as though we didn't all know this was coming. Still, I am sad that I'll never talk to him again, sad that his mother must go through burying him. Please pray for this family as they learn to live without P. I guess I'm handling things by reading lots of Charles Bukowski. I'm pretty sure that the movie "Barfly" was based on his life. I take a lot of hope from his poems, seeing how lonely his characters are, lonely and drunk and horny in so many poems.
It is so very sad that P. has died, but the best way to honor him and his life--which may also be honored by a small group of mourners, but I will not be there--is to stay sober on this day, the day of the birth of my son, and to celebrate his life and thank God that he, his brothers, his daddy, and I, are healthy and alive.
|Monday, December 14th, 2015|
A lot of stuff happened yesterday and this morning, I'm procrastinating doing yoga, partially because I am feeling so much right now. "Those are awfully big feelings," said our Miracle Homeschool Therapist to my kids as they sat in her Sunland Home Office a little over two weeks ago. She wasn't talking to me, but I am noticing some big feelings myself. In myself. Gosh, it's hard to deal with big feelings. It's as if I've gone through life numbing myself so much that I have done some very big stupid things without feeling anything bad about it.
The alcohol has been stopped a little over 18 months now and it is fascinating to me how little things have changed and yet, how much they've changed. Actually, it's not the things per se
that have changed, but it's my view of them mostly, and my reactions to them.
That said, Eleven caught me crying pretty much uncontrollably (crying is uncontrollable to me) at the end of a free showing of "It's a Wonderful Life" last Friday afternoon. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the whole being thankful thing. I don't think I've ever seen that movie in its entirety ever before. Actually, I let the kids off and went to run a property-tax-paying errand on another street in North Pueblo, but I came in within the first half hour. It is a long movie, btw; we got out after 6:15 p.m. and were late for a homeschooling Christmas party.
So, there's been a lot of socializing, which is often a source of stress and feelings for me.
And then yesterday, we went to another church, one we've attended sporadically, and during preaching, the preacher didn't even read scripture--not that scripture hadn't been read earlier, in Sunday School; it had been. But preaching consisted of good old-fashioned testifying. I won't go into detail right here, but that service seemed to change me in a positive way, making me thankful that my children are alive and healthy, helping me to really feel that, and to treasure the time that I have with them.
I was so very careful to get to the Pueblo Christmas parade by 3 p.m. We were a little bit late for what I had understood to be a 2:30 p.m. meeting time, but we were there. There was no particular order to the parade and we passed a couple of other Packs on the way to where a parade participant had told us our Pack was. But we were not. Eleven so wanted to be in the parade, and/or so did I. I couldn't reach Support Dad. Finally, I got the number of the Pack leader and asked her about where she was in the parade and she told me that they'd decided not to be in the parade. I had no idea. The last I'd heard, at the meeting on Tuesday night, we were meeting at 2:30 p.m. I'm feeling the pain of that whole experience as I type.
Had I not had that wonderful church experience earlier, or something similar, I might have blown up. Maybe not, but I've been in similar situations before and been "that bitch" probably to a whole lot of people. Yesterday, however, I tried to act with a bit of kindness and compassion toward myself, and toward others, and things ended up okay. Fortunately, my kids had a Christmas play last night to be in and we went off to that. I was pretty well spent by the end of the evening, but did manage to read Acts 3 (part of which was read yesterday in my Sunday School class) and part of the abacus book to everyone before bed. And most importantly, knowing that tomorrow or even today, everything could change, I looked in those beds with those healthy children lying in them and I was thankful. Very very thankful.
I often try to avoid disappointments for my kids, which is probably one reason that I traipse across the country trying to do anything and everything adventurous, but I am learning that no matter how much we try to avoid it, disappointments will come. Misunderstandings will happen. Things will blatently jump out to scare us sometimes, or at least seem to. Yesterday, something occurred that caused disappointment, at least to me. I couldn't help things and I did the best I could as they occurred. I did not jump and throw a hissy fit or yell or take things out on other people, including and especially my kids. For this also, and all these very uncomfortable feelings I am feeling, I am very thankful also. Very thankful indeed.
|Saturday, December 12th, 2015|
|So Much is Happening, So Little is Being Written
Why is this? I am having a great time and a great life and I am telling myself that I will write about it but then I don't?!?
Since I wrote, we have driven east to North Carolina, which is where we now are. Fifteen has re-enrolled in school after a month or so in Movie Street Academy at the Gingerbread House. I miss the GH. I love the GH. In many ways, it is my home. However, I did grow up here, in Pueblo, and I want my boys to experience a lot of what I did. Tonight, for instance, we went to a church Christmas party and they had so much fun. We played Dirty Santa (which is fun and adult, but not dirty in a porn kinda way) and I laughed a lot. Meanwhile, the boys were outside with the other kids, playing football and other games. Everybody was having fun and I got to eat some really good barbecue. Now, what else is there to life than a night like tonight?!? Truly, that kind of experience could not at all be had in SoCal, not in the same way. It feels good, I must admit, to be here, where no one asks me about my "accent" because it is obviously from here. In many ways, when we were in L.A. for long stretches, without a visit here to Pueblo, it's easy to see how I felt lonely.
There's probably more to write here, but for now, I need to head toward bed. I will say that Support Dad and I are getting along better these days, and communicating much better. I am thankful for that.
|Wednesday, November 18th, 2015|
|Happy Birthday to Eleven!
We are here at Legoland, specifically, at the Legoland Resort, where we are spending two nights in honor of our two birthday boys, Eleven and Fifteen. Today is Eleven's birthday and he has not only ended up at Legoland, but also started out playing putt-putt golf with his daddy, per his request. I really wanted them both to spend their birthday with their daddy and I'm glad that we are in Los Angeles now so that we could do it. In many ways, Los Angeles is a lonely place, filled with lonely people in cars. The almost-fight that Support Dad and I had on the way down to Carlsbad earlier this evening was due to traffic, stupid bad old L.A. traffic. I was livid that we spent an hour going due East on the 105 instead of going all the way on the 405 South. S.D. was sure that the 405 South was going to be crowded because he had looked it up on sigalert.com. A "Sig Alert" btw is a really bad traffic situation in SoCal, and yes, there is a web site devoted to such things. I finally swallowed my pride, something I found it much more difficult to do when I was drinking alcohol, and bit my tongue and let things go. No, we did not get here in time for tonight's Lego building contest, but we can enter it tomorrow and Friday nights. I hate to miss out on things. And yes, I seriously thought about how much wine I would drink when we were crawling along the 105, and when we got on the 605, when we finally got to it, a sign said we were in Norwalk. I almost screamed. We had gone over an hour and not headed south one iota. only east.
Such are Los Angeles' highways, however, and my guess is that many people have gotten divorced over a few heavily-trafficked trips such as the one we took today. L.A. is a very lonely place, filled with angry, lonely, crazy people with big dreams and egos. That traffic moves at all in this city is a real miracle. That we actually arrived alive after all this crazy traffic is a miracle.
Last time we were here, last May, Twelve met and befriended a really cool little guy from New Zealand. We have kept in touch with his parents and skyped with them not too long ago. Legoland has always been a magical place for us and I am very thankful that Twelve found us all such cool people to hang out with.
Birthdays are triggering for me and I want them to be perfect, whether they are mine or one of my kid's. Eleven has been such a joy to have in my life, as is Fifteen. I don't think I've said that in either birthday entry, but it is important to note. My boys are growing up and it is heartbreaking and beautiful to see this very event before my eyes. I am very much aware of how fast this is happening and I am thankful that we get to be here, in a wonderful place to celebrate a birthday. I am thankful that I'm learning to keep my mouth shut and avoid fighting sometimes. I am thankful that by the time I got to Legoland I did not need that glass of wine. I am thankful for Eleven and Fifteen, and for Twelve, even though his birthday isn't until February. How very fortunate that I am to be a mom of these lovely guys, how very fortunate indeed.
|Saturday, November 14th, 2015|
|Happy Birthday to Me!
So, usually I lie and say that I am writing this entry on my birthday, but I really write it a few days later and change the date so that it looks as though I write it on my birthday. I'm that much about making things appear right. Sometimes. In other areas, money, for instance, I really don't pay attention to appearances until I have lied to myself about how much money I have in my checking account that I bounce a check or two. Fortunately, that has not happened this month, or the month before, but there are other bills that I'm rebelling against in my mind. I need to pay some bills.
But I did have a birthday. And tomorrow, or rather more honestly, today
, is the last day he will be 14. After 6:25 p.m., he will be FIFTEEN. Now that's hard to believe. It gets to me. Were I drinking these days, I'm sure I'd be drinking a lot more. So, I'm glad I'm not drinking for now.
I was doing something, running kids hither and to, or whatever that saying is, at 5:22 p.m. on November 3rd, my actual birth time. I can't think of a better way to spend my birthday than being with my babies. Even though they are not so much babies anymore.
Soon-to-be Fifteen drives me crazy with his teenager self sometimes. I used to have such pompous ideas about childraising when I was breastfeeding his infant self. Oh, but now that he can talk back, oh, I am so eating every self-righteous word I spoke.
I love that guy so much, even though we often butt heads because our brains are almost exactly alike. I learn a lot from him, though; he is like a successful me. Well, he is successful in areas I failed at, like high school. He seems really to like it, which I am thankful for, but he also seems to plow through the problems, dealing with them and moving on. At least, that's the way it seems. Regardless, I am proud of him, and thankful, oh so very thankful that he is alive and healthy and looking forward to being Fifteen.
|Tuesday, November 10th, 2015|
|Back at the GH
We left N.C. Friday and got here in L.A. today. We had a successful trip, meaning that we all arrived safely and happily, despite the fact that we were all pretty tired and cranky (okay, maybe I was the tired, cranky one, but I think I had some company). I did Goodnight Universe tonight, which is different without Producer Guy. Tomorrow night, I'm planning to do some Turbo Tuesday comedy at Universal Bar and Grill in North Hollywood.
My sons are sleeping quietly, as is Support Dad, and I need to go to jury duty tomorrow. I need to get to some sleep. Fortunately, I took a nap before going to the G.U. Studio tonight. I set Emmett (one of our two Lego alarm clocks), but asked Support Dad to wake me if I wasn't awake by 9:30 p.m. Glad he did just that--the clock was still on East Coast time. But I have unpacked a lot and am thankful that we are all safe, and under one shingled roof.
|Sunday, October 11th, 2015|
|Ah, We Made It!
There is always stress when you leave turning in Lego designs for the NC State Fair until the last day. So we did that, of course, because I am a stress addict. We got to Raleigh--I'm writing this at Cup-A-Joe's on Hillsoborough Street--between 4:30 and 5 p.m. and all entries had to be there by 5 p.m. today. There were lots of things that went right for this whole thing to go down. My friend Angie's daughter had a spaghetti dinner fundraiser after church and we went to that and left around 2 p.m. Whew. So glad we made it.
We are, by the way, splitting our church time between two churches these days. Today, we went to the church I grew up in, partly because of Angie's daughter's dinner and partly because the boys have been asked to be ushers for October. I really enjoy each church, btw, but for slightly different reasons. So, I kinda miss the new church today, but it is always nice to be in the church where I grew up and where Support Dad and I got married, oh these 18 years ago today. Yes, today. Eighteen years ago today, we got married during NCSU's fall break. Eighteen years. That used to seem like such a long time, but it has passed in a flash. I am so thankful for the beautiful (imho) boys that have been a product of this marriage and I am thankful that we are still married, although we are sometimes 2400 or so miles apart. Maybe this bicoastal thing won't work in the future, but it works okay right now. And that is fine with me.
Just today, someone with kids about the same ages as ours told me that she and her husband are separated. This makes the third North Carolina separation that I've heard about since July. One couple has five children and has been married 20 years, another couple looked like the essence of happiness only a couple of years ago, and this one today, well, it has me flummoxed as well. Or, as I told Support Dad, from now on, I'm going to be surprised if people tell me that they are still married. I'll be shocked, in fact.
Last year's wedding anniversary brought me a $400ish speeding ticket. So far, nothing that dramatic has happened this year. We made it to the fairgrounds and we're planning to go back to Villa Pueblo this evening. Happy Anniversary to a very patient and caring husband and father. We not only made it to the fairgrounds, but we made it being married for 18 years. Marriages seem to be dropping like flies around us. So, congratulations to us!
|Sunday, September 6th, 2015|
|Here It Is, September
Lots of things are happening. We are in North Carolina right now. In fact, our oldest is now officially attending a public high school. Oy Vey! Okay, so I'm not really a Jew, but that's the only thing I can think of right now that fully expresses my feelings. And maybe not all of my feelings. We are doing this as an experiment. We've talked about it with our homeschooling therapist. Things are fine and we're still technically doing the private school thing in California. So, I guess this is more of a kind of student exchange program.
Support Dad is being, well, Support Dad. In a lot of ways, I have not been nice to him, but he could have reacted by doing some really awful things, but he has not. I would say, as would our homeschooling therapist, that we have certainly been getting along better, even when we're together on the same coast. I think we've been working together better. I think I used him to blame for a lot of troubles in my life. Having said that, there is little doubt that S.D.'s brother and father have used me to focus their anger and resentment regarding S.D.'s mom's death. If that were not the case, S.D.'s father would have listened to my apology last Mother's Day instead of dissing me and seeming to get angry with me
, when I was just trying to apologize.
With that last sentence, I should probably add that neither I nor S.D. know what exactly I did to wrong S.D.'s mother, in the eyes of his brother and father.
So, I'm left with the fact that I've been in denial about my victimhood for a while. And why am I so comfortable with being a victim anyway?
I realize now that I only have control over me, not over S.D., not over his family. I did the right thing. I apologized. I can sleep at night. That's all I can do. I can also refuse to be around anyone who wishes to paint me as a victim. But of course, I have to recognize this.
When I was drinking alcohol, I lived in a delusional world, set up by me to protect myself. The problem is that I could not simultaneously protect myself and allow myself to be a victim. Part of why I allowed myself to be a victim in the first place is certainly because it felt comfortable. Since I was taken from my natural mother when I was a few weeks old, and perhaps before that time, I have felt helpless. Even though I have no conscious memory of that event, my world was rocked the day the social wrecker did that deed. Even the best of adoptive parents could not make up for the loss that occurred that day, which is probably why I recently heard a psychiatrist type say that "adoptees are overrepresented" in addiction. We sure are.
It would be great to think that I could just get over it, be happy with who I am, and get on with life. I thought I had simply gotten over it a long time ago. I didn't quite link the drinking to my thinking, to the trauma that occurred when I was just a baby. Or rather, I linked it intellectually but not in my heart. Thus, despite copious amounts of words to my children about my adoption, my separation from my natural family, et al., I had not healed in my heart from this event, on which all subsequent events in my life were based. That separation, and its ensuing stuff, was controlling my life.
I am trying to heal now because if I don't, I will pass along all my misplaced anger, my victimhood, my fears, onto those lovely not-nearly-as-little-as-they-used-to-be guys that I am so thankful to God are healthy and alive. I don't want to do that. So, I'm doing some work. It's emotional and today, I just sat for 30 minutes or so in a place where I felt comfortable and I cried. Fortunately, I was with people who love and support me and I knew that I could just cry. As my adoptive father used to say: "Crying relieves a lot of stress."
After the crying, we went to one of my favorite places to eat and Ten, while chewing his sub sandwich, had a tooth come out. He has let me know that T. Fairy used to leave some pretty cool painted paper and the last T.Fairy letter he received, which was only a couple of weeks ago, was too short and on paper that was too plain. So, there is a piece of painted paper beside this laptop that T. Fairy worked on earlier this evening and left right here on the dining room table at Villa Villekula. It's still drying, but it should soon be available for her to place near his sweet sleeping head.
Earlier this summer, he lost a tooth at Sunday School.
My babies are surely growing up and that's difficult and wonderful to see. I have not set the greatest example for them, but maybe, just maybe, I can do better today.
|Wednesday, July 1st, 2015|
Hath hell frozen over?!? Perhaps. I have gotten an iPhone and so, it may well be that there are icicles down there. Thank you to the generous Chris Ramirez, who gave me his old iPhone when he bought a new one. Speaking of Ramirez, I have been co-hosting Goodnight Universe like a mofo, to use the vernacular. So, please, please, please take a look at the videos with me in them. You can listen in bits and pieces--some of this stuff is funny, some is informative, and some, well, they don't call it Goodnight Universe because it keeps you awake.Comic Mom on Goodnight Universe
--it'll put you to sleep!
|Thursday, April 30th, 2015|
I'm guessing that this song is talking about "the 101," as they call it in SoCal. Whatever the case, we drive that thing every Thursday and Friday, going to two history classes on Thursday and one physics class on Friday. Today, we'll probably hit the farmer's market up here as well, and a homeschool park day.
It is quite a drive, but it is beautiful, especially going down into the valley before you get into Camarillo. Getting there on time is a challenge for me. So, today, we were ten minutes late. Last week, we were on time. I kinda sorta knew we'd be late when I left the GH, but one had forgotten homework and nobody wanted to get off their tablet and brush their teeth and mama had taken on a document to edit, despite having told S.F. that I was going to start taking Thursdays off. So, despite our late start, mostly due to me, when you get down to it, we got here only ten minutes late. It may have been the first time that I've driven up here without hitting traffic. That and a Steve Miller Band triple play from the Sound, 100.3 FM, got me from the GH 'hood to Lynn Drive in Newbury Park in 30 minutes. I got to our destination, off Telegraph Road in Ventura, in 53 minutes. Fortunately, everybody else was going 20 miles over the speed limit as well. Perhaps they set the speed limit 20 miles or so under what they think people will do.
I was rockin' the HO, singing Steve Miller Band and safely transporting the three amigos to their class. I'm so very thankful that we got here, alive and well, with no speeding ticket. I did slow down quite a bit, but stayed with traffic, when I saw a highway patrol S.U.V. parked on the side of the road. He stayed put, which was exactly what I wanted.
I'm working on my document and writing this in McDonald's on Telegraph Road in Ventura. Whew!
|Monday, April 13th, 2015|
|Aspies: The Perfect Victim
What probably hurts right now is that everyone is leaving me and it's not as though I can just drink this thing away. Well, I can actually drink it away. But I don't want to handle things that way and with God's help, I won't. At least for today.
I felt emotionally vulnerable to this person, I won't say who it was, but I did a thing that I have learned Aspies tend to do. I fell into a deep abysmal relationship with somebody who is unavailable. There was a deep friendship and this person was someone I shared a lot with and I was always being accused of lying, when I had not lied. I am not saying here that I have not lied or do not lie, just that the things this person accused me of just weren't happening in the same way that the person accused me of. This person was lying about me. I know where I spend the night, for instance, but this person would swear that I was out all night partying. So, why was this? Because this person was lying and is projecting the lying onto me? Because I get up in the middle of the night and do things that I don't remember? That last question has not occurred, to my knowledge, since I have stopped drinking. Why do I allow someone into my life who does not trust me enough to believe I was where I said I was?!?
It would be good to explain here that I read a statistic last night, undocumented, so I am not at all sure that it's true, that said 98% of all undiagnosed Aspies divorce. So, if this statistic is correct, and I have no idea whether it is, then the chances of an undiagnosed Aspie surviving a marriage is slim. I think that's true, though. My first marriage was a disaster and part of it may have been the stress that I felt from trying to be like a normal non-Aspie person. All of this, also, was below the surface. I had no idea that I was such a rude and inconsiderate person and, in fact, had thought that I was a somewhat empathetic and caring person, semi-aspiring once to be a therapist. Oh, what a therapist I would have been.
I am way too addicted to taking online tests, but this morning, before the kids woke up, I took a test for my Empathy Quotient (EQ) test. The highest score is 80. Anything 30 or below correlates well with someone who has Asperger's syndrome. My score was 15. I don't know how biased I am myself, being that I am way too familiar with all this Asperger's mess and I am becoming way too familiar with autism stuff. I don't want to use all this stuff to make some kind of excuse for myself. I don't want to lie to myself, but sometimes I do. A lot of what I read about Asperger's, however, sure does seem to explain a lot of my behavior, a lot of my social weirdness, a lot of my failed relationships. So far, only a few people are hanging in there. I thought one was a few days ago, but I have learned that this person is abandoning me. I draw abandonment to me like a huge magnet. S.F. is hanging in there, and maybe sometimes the boys. And J., who has been a big help to me. Actually, I have probably been very awful to J. at times and she has shown me nothing but love in return. For that, I am thankful. Let's hope that relationship lasts a while, but I am expecting nothing from anyone beyond today. Or rather, that's what I'm trying to do.
I have been fairly awful person, all the time thinking that everyone else was the problem. I am sorry about this, although looking back, I don't know how I could have done things differently, being that I was so ignorant about so many things in my life, and especially ignorant regarding how my brain works.
So, it's pretty typical of Aspies to be bullied. I guess it's no surprise, or should not be, that I would place myself in a relationship with a person who bullies me, who has no trust in me, who condemns everything that I do. Perhaps I should not be writing about all this, but I need to share all this with someone. I don't see my therapist until Wednesday. This is fast and easy and I don't have to look anyone in the eye. So, I do share all this stuff in the hope of good for everyone. But knowing me, I've probably messed that up, too.
|Thursday, April 9th, 2015|
|SB277--Taking Away Parents' Rights in California
It's not as if North Carolina, and some other states, aren't doing the same thing. Fortunately, a bill such as this one recently was killed in North Carolina, but if you're familiar with the pharmaceutical industry, and I am, you know that this pharmaceutical wet dream bill will be back anywhere it was defeated. It will soon be very difficult for anyone to make their own health care decisions. For now, however, California is trying to take away the rights of parents to make any decisions--ANY--regarding vaccines. SB277, which passed the health committee yesterday (ah, the irony of pretending that this bill is healthy for anyone).
Y'all know that I have tried to tone down my writing. My disastrous delving into political-esque writing a few years ago cost me many relationships and potential relationships. Lots of people think I'm crazy. And yes, sometimes my emotions got carried away and here I was being so judgemental and critical of others. I am very sorry about that. I am trying to be more careful.
Still, the stuff I got so mad about, when I was breastfeeding the boys and reading a bunch of Internet articles, has come home to roost. We are losing freedoms more quickly than even I imagined. Most people are lulled into the false sense of we are okay
, the government is protecting us
, and my personal favorite: We live in a free country
The kind of stuff in my previous paragraph is not looked upon in the same way as it was a few years ago. Some people are weaning themselves off the soma and waking up. Soma was a drug in Brave New World
that most people took. It lulled everyone into a false sense of security. Well . . . . does that book, written in the first half of the 20th century, seem prophetic? Now that it's hard to find a house that doesn't have some pharmaceutical bottles in it these days. Everybody is sick. Everybody needs medication.
That is exactly the thing that the pharmaceutical companies seem to be shooting for. I'll shut up now and let someone talk from one of the many FB groups fighting this bill. Alana, thank you so much for writing this:Sb227 is not about vaccines. It's about who has ownership of your medical decisions. If some politician can mandate one kind of treatment, why not another? My body, my right. Sb227 is a nightmare waiting to happen.Every parent wants their child to be protected from any kind of sickness, and would do everything to ensure children's safety (his/her and others too). Unfortunately our preventative medicine is not the exact science; it is "observe, learn and apply" science. You can't argue that there is not a single human being that "re-constructed" another human being, therefore there is no human being that knows "exactly" how our bodies work. Twenty years ago, when my son was a baby, they used to give four vaccines in one shot, but from that technique many babies had died (it is a well documented fact), so after a few years the practice changed to give each vaccine in its own shot - that's why today our babies are getting poked 3-4 times per visit - in different limbs. If it was exact science, this "snafu" wouldn't have happened, right?
This doesn't mean we shouldn't experiment, as it is our only tool to learn, but at least allow me to do my own research and agree or disagree to those experiments on a case-by-case basis.If you want to home school in CA you have to register as private school, and they are not exempt. Also, if you think that you doctor can give your child a medical exemption, if, G-d forbid there is a reaction to vaccine, you are mistaken. There are clear guidelines that pretty much minimize medical exemption to the individuals that have neurological damage after seizure (do we really need to wait till severe damage happens) that is proven beyond reasonable doubt that it cause by vaccine and short delay may be given to preemies and immune-compromised individuals. It pretty much takes doctors judgement out of the healthcare, makes vaccine makers immune to responsibility, and makes politicians dictating medical procedures. We all know that vaccines are not 100% safe and we all sign informed consent before the doctor administers every vaccine. With new law, informed consent is useless: if you don't want to vaccinate or want to delay vaccines for some reason ( even medical advice that doesn't fit into ridiculous parameters) your child can't go to school, if he doesn't you are a subject to CA truancy law, child is taken away from you by CPS, forcefully vaccinated without parental consent and then put into the school system. I know that completely ignoring vaccinations is ridiculous, but taking parental right and just giving it to government is ridiculous too. There is also a clause that vaccines will be added to mandated schedule government feels necessary (without further discussion). There are 200-300 new vaccines in the pipeline, can we give up our right to choose for the future too? Please read the law, which also takes away the need for a doctor to even discuss the vaccines with you, because discussion is pointless. I am very pro science, there are many new genetic tests that can predict future reactions to medications, vaccines included, but they are not accounted for exemptions. It is very-very scary law to me as a professional and as a mom. Even Doctors themselves can opt-out of the vaccine if they feel like it it the right thing to do, and many use that right, but somehow our kids and , soon enough adults, are going to be treated like dogs, and the one's who have reactions will become just statistical numbers. Please take a moment to carefully read the language of SB277 and you'll see for yourself.
Vaccination is not going to change with this bill, vaccines will still be available for us to protect our kids. In the media, it is portrayed as a war between pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine camps, but it is not that. The "war" is fabricated, we are all parents and all want the absolute best for our kids. What is on the line here is the ability of parents and doctors make informed decisions for our and our kids health. Also it gives absolute green light to manufacture the cheapest vaccines possible without any liability to the patients and add any vaccine deemed to the schedule in the future without any public discussion. For example, new controversial HPV vaccine just had the amount of aluminum adjuvant DOUBLED, and since this vaccine was already approved- it did not need further scrutiny. As patients, we really don't know what goes on behind the scenes in those labs, but companies have no incentive to make better and safer product if they get guaranteed consumer and are completely immune from liability. People, who have proven vaccine damage get paid by the fund supported by taxpayers, and not a penny comes from vaccine manufacturer or medical provider. This bill will guarantee the constant consumer to Pharma, no matter what type of toxic ingredients they'll put in the vaccine to reformulate for a cheaper version. Also, they can increase the cost as they want, since demand is guaranteed too. At this point they at least do some safety testing to convince the inquisitive public that their product is safe; they'll have no incentive to do that in the future. Plus, the senator that introduced the bill Senator Pan has his pockets full with contributions from big pharma companies and it is public info, just search for it. I see this bill as a business venture to insure "herd" consumption( or injection) of potential unsafe medicine without any liability, at the same time insuring more support to advance one's political agenda and satisfy the need for power and control over patients.
Please be praying about this bill. It is taking away parental rights and rights that we should have as Americans. Please pray for true freedom and not the fear-based tyrannical society that mainsteam media and the pharmaceutical companies seem to be leading us toward.
|Saturday, April 4th, 2015|
|Total Lunar Eclipse
Ten and I actually went outside to view the total lunar eclipse. As I write this, a few minutes before 6 a.m. in Los Angeles, I can still see the beautiful moon, partially covered by a shadow. The Griffith Observatory also has a link
that we have been watching. In fact, Twelve didn't want to get out of bed and only watched it on the Internet and outside his window. Now the moon has set too much to see it outside his window, but for a while, during the time that the moon's eclipse was in totality, we could see it outside the window. It is the shortest totality for an eclipse for this century, according to the folks who are emceeing the event at the Griffith Observatory. I am very thankful that I am here, right now, viewing this gorgeous moon. I am thankful that my boys are with me. So very thankful for that.
I think people in ancient times viewed eclipses some kind of ominous sign or something. I'm guessing that the eclipse definitely changes the energy on earth, probably. It's been an interesting week here at the Gingerbread House anyway, maybe due to the eclipse. A friend named Jan, who was friends with my cousin Jan, posted a picture of my cousin with her friend Jan's brother. Jan, my cousin, went to the prom with him one year. I had never seen that picture. She'd told me she had it a while ago and I asked her to see it this week. I am fascinated with how many emotions seeing that picture has brought up for me. Then, some of my cousin's friends were posting things about her on FB and it just made me realize how much I still miss Jan, even after all these years. She would have been 55 on April 1st.
Another friend, whose daddy I worked with at Channel 22 in Raleigh, posted a story about a woman in Raleigh, Laura Smith, who is in jail for the wreck that she had in October. In that wreck, she killed her only son, who was the same age as my Twelve. Laura has a Ph.D. and left her job as a scientist when she had her son. She remembers taking her son to school that day in October, then coming home and taking a nap. She doesn't remember the wreck, which occurred after she picked him up from school and was taking him to a doctor's appointment. She was going 74 mph in a 45 mph zone on Creedmoor Road. She was driving erratically and ended up hitting a tree, hurting herself and killing her son instantly. Her blood alcohol content was four times the legal limit in N.C. She remembers nothing about that afternoon. I have been thinking about her, about the son's dad, about the whole family, knowing that could have easily been me, thinking about how closely I came to a similar fate a year ago in January. I am so very thankful that I am with my children this very night, that I am not in jail, that no one was hurt in that accident of mine, that I did not get a DUI. Laura and I seem to have in common that we are both high-functioning alcoholics. We are successful, with degrees, we are not homeless or gutter drunks. However, the consequences can be the same as if we were. I am so very thankful that I have so far listened to God's very compassionate way of telling me that I need to stop drinking alcohol. A few short years ago, in my denial, I would have thought I had nothing in common with Laura; I would have judged her to make myself feel better, and to continue my denial. But now, I just ask you to pray for her, and for her son's family, as I continue to do. I didn't used to believe this, but I now know that alcoholism is a disease. It kills. I am very, very thankful to be alive, considering all the times before I had kids that I drove drunk and did very stupid things. I am very thankful the my children are with me in this house right now, that they are alive. We could all die tomorrow, of course, without any alcohol involved. So, it is always a blessing to be alive, but especially so when you have come so very close to having it be otherwise.
|Monday, March 16th, 2015|
|It's not so much that I've been lazy . . .
or maybe I have been. Either way, I don't feel that lazy. The boys spent all last weekend at a chess tournament in Valencia. As chess tournaments go, spending a weekend in Valencia is not a bad deal. At all. We were right beside a golf course. Ten and Twelve went swimming for 3.5 hours, some of that after dark. I felt like we were in Florida. And by golly, we were for the last chess tournament, back in December. Valencia is a lot like Florida, though, and I'm guessing that some people at the hotel where we stayed looked upon their weekend in Valencia as going to a resort. It was certainly expensive enough. Fortunately, S.F. had gotten his yearly bonus that Friday, March 6. We were hoping for enough $$$$ to catch us up on the mortgage and home equity line of credit and fortunately, we got it.
It's been snowing back in N.C.--not this week, of course, but lately. With our second-floor room with a balcony in Valencia last weekend, I sure wasn't missing any snow. But then again, I really missed it while it was coming down in N.C. And I think the boys missed it, too.
Btw, I used to work in Valencia, for 3D Systems, before they moved to South Carolina. Yes, South Carolina. There was a time, in fact, just a few years ago, when I was working up there, doing comedy at the Vu in Santa Clarita (just up the road from Valencia), and even getting my hair cut there. It was a super-duper wonderful experience to go to the Chinese restaurant last Saturday, the one beside my CA credit union, the one I used to go to when I worked at 3D Systems and would want to bring home something for dinner (I usually worked in the morning and came home around noon) instead of cooking when I got back to the Gingerbread House. Not only did the woman who owns the place remember us (sometimes, I would take the boys with me to Valencia), but she also commented on how much the boys had grown. They have grown. Tons. Fourteen has outgrown his growth chart and his brothers seem to be catching up quickly.
Fortunately, we are not sick much, but we have been this past week. I've got a headcold. Fourteen had a fever of 101 today, and earlier this week, Twelve was sure he had strep throat. Fortunately, he did not, but his throat sure did hurt.
I am still, at the moment, working for the Indians, although I have no idea how long that will last. I am thankful that each car payment since December has been paid for with money I earned editing for the Indians. Whew--that part sure is nice.
Roscoe has now been fixed. I thought it would calm him and cut down on his barking, peeing, and pooping all over the GH. Well, it hasn't been the miracle cure yet that I was hoping for. But it didn't hurt to get him fixed--that's for sure.
|Wednesday, February 4th, 2015|
|Happy Birthday, Twelve!
I am, of course, not writing this on the exact day of Twelve's birthday, but a few days later. Still, I want his birthdate to show up here. There is a lot going on right now, but I want to concentrate on the stuff we did to celebrate my now Twelve-Year-Old's birth. He was actually born on a Tuesday, as was his older brother, as was I. This year, however, his birthday came on a Wednesday. I had to get something at Target, which, now that we are back at the GH, is only a walk away. While there, I got Wits and Wagers for Twelve, who was still sleeping while I sneaked away for a few minutes. The game, even as unwrapped as it was when I gave it to him, was quite a successful way to start his first day as Twelve. The day before had been Tuesday, and he'd wanted to go to In N' Out Burger for his last full day as Eleven. We ended up doing this on his birthday and the one in Sherman Oaks was pretty full so we went to the In N'Out near Studio City, down on Ventura, close to the 101. It was filled, too, and probably with weirder people. There were a few people in there who'd taken the art of tattooing their body to a level I had not seen previously. I guess I'm not much for that kind of thing, but hey, at Sherman Oaks, there would have been more homeless people around, probably. And so, I had to look away at the tattoo people as I ate, probably the same way I would have looked away from the homeless people outside Sherman Oaks. Twelve said, when questioned by Ramirez on Goodnight Universe, later that night, that he would be okay with a girl who had "maybe one tattoo." I was, of course, afraid to ask at In N'Out what his tattoo limit was. Am I horrible to hope my kids never succumb to their first tattoo?!?
After In N'Out, we went to Burbank Central, where I had a document to work on. We were also due to be with the therapist at 6 p.m. that night, over in Sunland, about 20 minutes or so from Burbank. At almost 4 p.m., we heard an announcement that Box Trolls would be shown at 4 p.m. The almost Twelve and Ten and I went to the movie, with Fourteen seeing just how much computer time he could sneak in to play Minecraft. The librarian, who's known the boys for a while, was making announcements before the movie and Aspie Mom here piped up and said, "My son is turning twelve at 3:59 p.m. Can we sing him "Happy Birthday"? Of course, she did. And of course, Twelve was looking at me as if I had just asked him if he was wearing clean underwear. To me, there was a big difference between the two questions. To Twelve, not so much.
There was a cool balloon man at Chevy's when we went for Twelve's birthday dinner after the therapist. And Twelve got a nice birthday sundae.
Maybe he's forgotten about the singing, but probably not.
Aspie Mom meant well.
Happy Birthday to my almost teen!
|Sunday, February 1st, 2015|
|Missing North Carolina
When I wrote yesterday's blog entry, I did not say this, but one week before, we were finishing up basketball games and getting ready to leave North Carolina. We left around 2 a.m. on Sunday morning. Fourteen and I got here to the Gingerbread House around 2 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, around 5 p.m. on East Coast time. Ten and Eleven flew from Albuquerque on Monday night, getting to spend a night with just their daddy. The whole flight thing is a long story and I won't go into it right now, but everything worked out okay. I know this because we all arrived here in Los Angeles healthy and alive. When that happens, there is so much to be thankful for.
So, as I write this at the dining room table at the GH, I am thinking about the church service in North Carolina that we missed today. I am really missing a lot about North Carolina. There are good things about California. It is good, for instance, that the boys get to see and be with their daddy. So, that is good. But I miss the church service. Right before we left, we started going to a different church. The reason for this is that what I consider my church--the church where I grew up, where I got married (marriage #2), and where I feel most at home--has recently chosen a minister that is not my cup of tea. He reads more than he preaches. He seems like a very nice guy, but still, I don't feel filled with the Holy Spirit after his sermons. Neither do my children. And so, we decided to try a new-to-us church.
We miss it.
Last night, I found myself with two atheists on Goodnight Universe. I was co-hosting with Ramirez and Roger Rodd was calling in. I realized that I was in a tough situation. I've gotten myself in tough situations before, lots of them, but this time, I turned to God and prayed about what to do. Roger Rodd said, "How can someone so intelligent as you, Comic Mom, think that there is a God?" God gave me the answer, "How can someone as intelligent as you not
? I'm not expecting Roger to be saved anytime soon, but I will say that no one said a thing after I said that. Not a thing. I certainly cannot control other people, but I can stand up for what I believe. I've not been very good about doing that for most of my life, but things are changing. For that, I am very thankful.