Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dear Mr. President....

To see a letter sent yesterday to the POTUS requesting financial aid for Haiti, click here. I am proud to report that this was a bipartisan effort, with 3 democrat, and 2 republican senators spearheading this request.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I Decided To Adopt Again

It's OK, you can call me crazy. You would not be the first! The great thing about this adoption was the paperwork was completed in less than an hour and cost about $100.00

Scroll down, please!

This is Sydney. 18 months old, 22 lbs, a Heinz 57 mix, and a really sweetie!

Here is the story. When my sister was visiting last month, she and I went to the pet store to get some training treats for Tyler the Corgi. (If you are interested in dogs, you might want to know that Tyler has responded well to "clicker" training) The best pet store in town is located next to the fabric store, the one I'm not supposed to go to on Saturdays because of my over-affection for dogs.

Anyway, on that day, we saw Sydney there with a bunch of other "rescue" dogs. There were some mighty fine dogs there that day, but we both agreed that little Sydney, even as a mixed breed, was the best dog ---we left Sydney there, somewhat reluctantly.

Yesterday I went to the fabric store, and there was little Sydney, still. I could not believe after a month she was still available. I tried to get her attention but she was sad and distracted. I left and drove all the way home (20 minutes) with that dog on my mind. After about an hour I drove back to town to the pet store. The lady running the adoption asked me if I wanted to take her out of her pen and play with her. The first thing little Sydney did was give me a big sloppy kiss. The lady told me she had been rescued from the pound a few months ago and then I recalled seeing her on that website and thinking how cute she was. She is also sweet beyond belief. So, she came home with me.

The doggie adoption lady told me if it didn't work out with my other dogs, I could bring her back. So far, it's gone pretty well and it's been about 24 hours. She is spayed, up to date on shots, and potty-trained, Whoo Hoo!

Here is the Doggie breakdown at our house;

Dina: Golden Retriever, 11 years old, has cancer, arthritis, and sometimes incontinence. Has mostly good days, despite all this. Alpha female. Considered my older son's dog. Of course my son now lives in San Francisco and the dog still lives with me.

Molly: Golden-Chow mix. Best watch dog ever. Considered my younger son's dog. Course, he will be in college in 3 and 1/2 years. The dog is only 3 years old, and I'm sure will still be living with me.

Tyler: Welsh Pembroke Corgi, 2 years old, alpha dog of the pack. Wide open, all the time. Considered my dog. Only dog not "fixed" as I have planned on studding him out. He thinks the new dog is OK cause she is submissive and close to his size. I think his real motivation is he wants to *hump* her......

Sydney: Perhaps a boxer-jack russell mix??? Nobody knows. She has the boxer face, complete with the underbite. 18 months old. A real sweetie. Fitting in well. I know how to justify this...she can be my little girls' dog!!!!

I have been unsure if I did the right thing, as this adds to the load. But I feel in my heart that I did.

My fantasy is to sit all of them on the front stoop for a group shot!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Story Of A Camera

A month ago, JB and her husband traveled to Haiti for a visit to the O. JB took the Easter gifts for my girls. JB was awesome and got pictures of them with their gifts, as well as many other fantastic photos of other children and some of their outings in Haiti. On the way to the airport, upon departure, JB's camera fell out of her pocket and landed in the drivers truck. The driver discovered this long after JB and her hub unit had departed the country, so he entrusted it to another American couple that had also arrived to visit their child at the O. After an extended Haitian visit, the second couple returned to their home in San Diego. She sent the camera to JB in Wisconsin. JB's computer lacked the capacity to download all those jpegs, so she took it too her friend SC who lives near-by. SC is also adopting from the same orphanage, and had downloaded massive amounts of jpegs for JB on her previous trip. However, SC's PC was in the shop for repairs at this time, for what seemed like an extended period of time! The photos were finially downloaded, and so here are some photos of the girls that you have not seen yet. Unless you are JB, the Haitian driver, the California couple, or SC!

"Headbands For Haiti"

(click here)

What really amazes me about this last photo is W. still has her necklace that I brought her at Christmas. In the rough, tumble, communal environs of the orphanage, this is nothing short of a miracle!

Monday, April 21, 2008

My MeMe Version

OK, I have been I guess I better get to it!

i am: way too independent for my own good.

i think: that despite all the crazy things we do to ourselves, each other and the planet, humanity will continue to survive for a very long time.

i know: that I am completely burnt out on my job.

i want: to do something different and still have my salary, benefits and great hours.

i have: way too many clothes, shoes and purses.

i wish: my girls were home from Haiti

i hate: my house when it's messy and unorganized.

i miss: my sisters. They live too far away. My dad.

i fear: the crawlspace under my house. I hire men to go under there

i feel : a little depressed about my job.

i hear: the toilet making a strange sound

i smell: Peking Chow Mien (what I had for dinner)

i crave: A really good book, and some really good male companionship. Not at the same time.

i search: for meaning, continually.

i wonder: when my girls will be home

i regret: a few things. Before 40, I would have said "no regrets", after 40 if you say that, you haven't lived or you are telling a fib.

i love: my kids, my family

i ache: for a lost love--- :-)

i care: too much! I care about people.

i always: take about 45 minutes to wake up in the morning. Mandatory coffee.

i am not: happy with my weight.

i believe: in God, the Holy Trinity

i dance: every chance I get

i sing: always. It sounds bad when I have my MP-3 player on with the headphones.

i cry: at the "save the children" infomercials

i don’t always: clean up around here like I should

i fight: instinctively---I think it's the Aries in me---but I have learned to tame myself

i write: all the time

i win: whenever possible

i lose: badly (although I will never show it, it's an internal thing)

i never: want to become bitter

i confuse: my head and my heart

i listen: usually to my head, not always good

i can usually be found: On the computer, in the garden, with my nose in a book.

i am scared: that I will never accomplish all the things in my life that I want to

i need: creative outlets

i am happy about: my friends and family, my life, all my adventures and opportunities

I TAG----Courtney, Kathy, and Heidi

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Leavin' On A Jet Plane

I knew the day was coming when I would post this. My eldest is flying the coop. For real. He is moving to San Francisco. Let's see, that is approximately 2500 miles from here. He is leaving Saturday.

I have mixed feelings about this. I am sad that he will be so far away, but we have family and friends in the Bay Area, so he will have contacts there. His friends have moved out ahead of him, so he already has room-mates, (he'll need them...cost of housing is, shall we say, HIGH) although he does not yet have a job lined up. It is so hard to let go! But I was an independent free spirit (probably still am!) back in the day. I lived in the Bay Area for 10 years, the last 10 years I lived in my native state of California. I lived in San Francisco for one of those years. He's even moving to the Mission District, which is where I lived! So what can I say? It's just that I will miss him, and worry about him. But I am proud of him for doing something different and a little daring.

I'll be booking my flight for a visit in August!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Reasons My Heart Is In Haiti

Here are the most recent photos, taken over the week-end!

"The loot" is inside the shoe boxes. The girls love this attention. They generally will not seek out visitors, which is why unless someone who goes there knows me or them, I don't always get photos. They will hang out on the outskirts, or hide. I remember this from my very first visit to the ''O" last summer. J and I were there together, talking with the director. Of course, most of the kids were swarming us. About 5 or 10 minutes later, I saw my future daughter W. out of the corner of my eye, hanging on the edge of the crowd. Checking us out, but not aggressive enough to come forward. I recognized her from her referral photo. At the same time, J said, "there is W." I remember saying "she is so much more beautiful than the pictures!". J looked at me sort of funny. "They ALL are!" and I had to agree!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Do You Know This Man?

Do you know this man? I don't know him, but I know who he is. He is Renee Preval, the President of Haiti. And I heard today that I got the presidential signiature on my file! Mrs A. from Illinois decided to travel over the past week-end after all, and here is what she said in her email to me this morning after she returned yesterday:
"M---- told me you just got the president exemption signature, so you should be out of IEBSR soon."
I heard from someone else today that there are over 300 files waiting for this signature. The word we got was that all people with bio-kids are going to have to have this signature to get thru the process. I know there has been alot of mixed messages on this subject.
Obviously the riots last week ground all government duties to a halt, but there is activity this week , and maybe, just maybe, we will see some file movement!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Cost of Food

The package I sent yesterday will make it to Illinois, but the trip to Haiti has been postponed. The message we got from our orphanage director today is that the kids are OK, and unaware of the turmoil.

The problems of hunger and poverty in Haiti are well documented. What has pushed the people over the edge this time is and money have always been difficult to come by there for the majority. Now food is becoming nearly impossible for the masses to obtain because the prices have risen nearly 50% since last summer. This outbreak of protests seems sudden, but the problem has been simmering for months.

I fear there are no easy answers. The price of food has gone up world wide. Even if I had not read this in the paper, or experienced it at the grocery, I could tell you it's true, because my profession involves food. For a year my staff and I have struggled with keeping our food costs in line. We have come up with 30 ways to try, but I will tell you the most effective way is to raise prices. Because prices have been raised on us. The cost of doing business has become much higher. And this is what is happening, on a far more tragic scale, in Haiti.

Food riots grip Haiti

Food riots intensify in Haiti

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Loot

Another package going to Illinois, then on to Haiti today. I always seem to get a little carried away at this. It started with the water clogs. I saw some decorative kits at Michaels several months ago for these types of shoes for kids. I thought it was a super-cute idea, So once I started the clogs, I decided they needed a T-shirt to go with. I had not sent any pictures in awhile, and W. LOVES pictures, so I made 2 albums (decorated with leftover clog do-dads) and then went to Walgreens to pick up the photos. While there, had to look in the hair section, and broke down and bought the ballies. The little compacts were right there. I knew those girls would love that. Decided I may as well look in the toy section. Found the little doll-bubble blowing kits....see how this goes?

I used white glue to secure the decorations...I knew the adhesive would not hold up in humidity

I know that many of these items are shared with the masses in the creche, and ultimately destroyed, but I just want my girls to have the knowledge that someone is thinking of them.I hope they have at least a moment of that kind of happiness. I want them to enjoy the attention they receive when a visitor brings them a package. I want them to just have that moment in time.

Monday, April 7, 2008

49 Years

It's official. As of today, I have lived for 49 years on this planet. I don't know that I have anything profound to say about this. I know that 10 years ago I was freaking out about being 39, about turning 40, even though I had heard my mother and her friends repeat the old adage "life begins at 40" my whole life. I am happy to admit that this is something she was right about. After 40, I became much more comfortable in my own skin.
Some people were surprised when I chose to adopt my girls, who are beautiful, but older. Well, I am older! As we all know, older children become more difficult to place. However, for me, it was the perfect choice. I would have been 40 and 42 if I had birthed them. My younger son and my older daughter only have a 6.5 year age gap between them. It worked out perfectly for us.
The most fabulous birthday gift I could recieve would be to find out we are out of IBESR. Probably not going to happen on a Monday, but I will accept a belated!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Michael McDowell NASCAR Crash in Qualifying Texas

Here is my confession. I became a NASCAR fan about 6 years ago. I never thought it would happen! The Tomboy still lives in me. Right next to the Girly-Girl. I am one strange contridiction of a woman.

Rookie Michael McDowell's crash in Friday's qualifying at Texas.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

No April Fool

My absolute favorite photos taken from the latest group of parents that visited. Thanks everyone!

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