Sunday, November 24, 2013

Poem: Not Me…

Not Me…

I lower my lashes to keep you from seeing my tears… the pain… Confusion rushes through me, why am I this way? Why am I so different? Why do I view life so differently? Well, I will let you know why… if you continue to read this…

  Close your eyes and try to imagine, sitting alone in the dark… so cold… so hungry… so afraid… Your skin is so cold; there are no goose bumps on your skin. Your breath comes shallow and you try to warm your cold hands.  Ignoring the ticklish feeling of lice in your hair, on your face, on your eyebrows…

Your stomach is numb with hunger, you long for food. Anything… just one morsel… one crumb. You began to salivate as you imagine the taste… the texture… the warmth of one piece of cereal.  Your body burns from the lashes of the belt your mother beat you with. You eyes burn with unshed tears, and your grit your teeth to keep them from coming. You begin to think about your hatred… the anger towards the whole world. You ask yourself, “Why me? What did I do for mom and dad to hate me?” You shiver silently, begging your eyes to not let the tears go… because if you did… Mother would mock you… hitting you again and again…

Imagine the absolute terror of your father’s footsteps… as he comes into your room. He begins to hurt you… again and again.  You bite back your screams… you blink away your tears… your eyes roll back as pain fills your body… the ache… the numbness that soon claims you. A whirling darkness… so safe… so calming… you begin to relax… there is no pain now, only a dull ache inside. This… is your hiding place…

You come to your senses… and father has collapsed on top of you… you wiggle away, careful to not stir him… then you crawl to the darkest corner. Your stare at father’s still form on the floor… a finger twitches… then another. Your legs are covered in blood, your body aches horribly and your stomach churns. Flinching, you get to your feet… stumbling… tiptoeing… you ease to the closet… Where there is darkness… there is a hiding place…

You begin to forget about being hungry… you no longer fantasize about a morsel, but instead of the next breath… You count your breaths… knowing it could be your last… You remember the dimness of your sister’s eyes as she laid there dying… The dullness of you baby sitter’s bright blue eyes as her head was discarded from her lifeless body… You remember that she died… because she said she loved you… and she gave you a hug… you can still remember the smell of her perfume… clinging to her… not wanting to ever let go… but you did… and now… she is gone… gone…      

A overwhelming anger fills you… you begin to lash out… hating others because they weren’t there… they didn’t save you… and they should have… You are tired all the time… your body aches… and your heart is past hurting… you feel no pain… you are numb… you are me…

You move away… from one place to another, nothing really changes. You understand now that there is no such thing as love… what is love? Where is love? You push away from others… hurting them, trying to make them understand that you had hurt so badly once in your life… Oh, how desperately do you want them to see that you were in pain! However, you can’t bring yourself to admit… that you were in pain… You must stay strong… You must show them that you cannot be hurt anymore… You must fight back before they even began to fight…

Well, here you are… in the arms of some dumb lady… she holds you and rocks you… telling you how she loves you… you stare at the ceiling fan… “No one can love me, you dumb lady… I am worthless… Ask my mom… my dad… I am not good! I am ruined… I am a failure… It is my fault everything happened… If only I had not done…” you think to yourself… you try to show dumb lady how you hate her and everyone else… You don’t want her to love you because it is impossible… No one can love you…

No one…

The stupid woman continues to hold you… after years… the wall in your heart begins to slip… The terror! No, your only thing to keep from hurting is leaving… You try hard to get it back… for a while. Then you realize that it is safe here… maybe… just maybe…

Your tears! Your first tears are rolling down your cheeks… pain… you have finally opened up to feel… to explore your emotions. Your throat burns from holding them in for so long… this is a new feeling… The feeling of security… maybe this dumb lady isn’t so dumb… maybe…

You start to feel, and even open yourself wider to explore this feeling… to live… this is to live… Your anger starts to leave… and you hold on to it for just a little longer… after all, it was your friend for so many years… Anger kept you alive…

You let go of so many negative emotions… now… you must fight each and every day to keep them away… It is hard… so very hard… but you grit your teeth and try to keep the anger from hurting… you realize that others don’t seem to understand… your pain…it makes you angry… they try to do mean things…because they don’t get it…because they are not you… and You…

Are not me…


~Marie J.~

Monday, November 11, 2013

Cheesy Sweet Potato Chili

Cheesy Sweet Potato “Skillet Chili” with Lean Ground Beef, Red Bell Peppers, Tomatoes and Red Beans, with Sharp Cheddar and Green Onions
(Serves about 4)
• Olive oil
1 pound lean ground beef
• Salt
• Black pepper
1 teaspoon dry oregano
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon paprika
1 red onion, diced
2 small red bell peppers, cored, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
1tablespoon tomato paste
1 extra-large sweet potato (or 2 small), peeled and diced into medium-small cubes
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained of juice
1 cup beef (or chicken) stock, warm
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
4 green onions, chopped, divided use
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided use
• Sour cream, as optional garnish

-Place a large, non-stick heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 1 tablespoon of the oil; once hot, crumble in the ground beef, breaking it up slightly with a spoon, and brown it for about 2-3 minutes; next, add in a couple of pinches of salt and black pepper, the oregano, cumin, chili powder and paprika, and stir to combine.
-Next, add in the diced onion and red bell peppers, and saute those together with the ground beef for about 3-4 minutes; add in the garlic and stir to incorporate, and once that becomes aromatic, add in the tomato paste and stir, and cook the mixture for a minute or two.
-Next, add in the diced sweet potato and the diced tomatoes, plus the chicken stock, and stir to combine; then, add in the kidney beans and gently fold those in; cover the pan and gently simmer the chili on low for about 20-22 minutes, or until the sweet potato cubes are tender, stirring occasionally; turn off the heat.
-To finish the chili, fold in the chopped cilantro, about half of the chopped green onions, and about half of the cheddar cheese; serve the chili in bowls topped with a sprinkle of the remaining cheddar cheese, and sour cream, if desired.
(This is delicious with a side of cornbread or corn chips, as well.)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Kids and growth

I decided to copy two of my fb post here and add two more post above them.  That way I have them where I can find them down the road if I want/need to be reminded of progress.  
Today, (Sunday) 17 yo had been assigned church food.  I use for my chore chart.  It helps mom not be the bad guy.  She decided to do the chili she made earlier in the week.  It was really good.   Last night when we got home from grandson's bithday party she sit about getting stuff done ahead of time for cooking today.  This is WITHOUT being told!!!  She even enlisted the help of bugboy.   He helped her peel sweet potatoes and chop them up.  They put a pot of beans on to cook in the crock pot over night.  She ask questions along, but for the most part she was very much in charge of what she was doing. 
Her plan was to get up at 5 and finish.  Her alarm didn't go off, she miss set it or something, not sure.  She got up about 6:30.  No biggy, I knew she had time.  She set right to work getting everything cooked and added.  Again she ask a few questions but very few and they were good questions.   I helped her out on adding a bit more water to it but that was the extent of what I did.  She also got potatoes on to boil to make mash potatoes to go with it.  This is all without mom saying anything.   So now at 9AM she has a huge pot of chili cooked, and just needs to mash potatoes to be done with church food.   Chili smells awesome!!!
I have been working to create in kids especially new ones a spirit of thanksgiving not I deserve.   It seems foster kids don't know how to say thank you for any nice thing done to them or for them.   Since Bugboy has to have store bought milk I buy it for him every week.  Never a, "Thanks mom!" but just the give me attitude.  One week we didn't go by WM and I didn't get on Thur. he was really not happy. I bought on Sat. but again no thank you.  So I said, in his hearing it might be a while before I bought any more because he couldn't say thank you when I made a special effort for him.   It was interesting to watch the wheels turning in his head.  I did skip buying the next Thur.  I bought on Sat. and amazingly he remembered to say Thank You. 
It is something that we all have to work on I know.  It is just even more evident in these two.  I know we had the same thing with the others.  It is a process, but if you don't start it then it doesn't come into completion.   Much the same way 17 yo came to realize that saying thank you or noticing when someone does something nice for you makes people more willing to do for you and help you.  I see a lot of growth in this area with her.  She has now started noticing and thanking people when they help her or do nice for her.   After the milk incident Bugboy has not missed a chance to thank me for his milk.  :)   I see him following others thank you with his own either about supper or a treat. 
Here are my earlier face book post:
Growth! Tuesday I gave my 17 yo a recipe to make for supper and told her to double it. This would have been inpossible 6 months ago. While she wasn't able to add the fractions and reduce she could add them and did know that 3/3 was 1 whole. She also was able to figure out what a sweet potato was and get them peeled and chopped up. Beans are cooking. She is adding water along as needed. Mea...t is browning, onion chopped and added along with green chilies. While at 17 these may seem simple to many, she had never even used a stove until a year ago. She came with a late 2nd or maybe early 3rd grade reading ability and math wasn't even that high. So for her to add the fractions, and read the recipe with very little help is HUGE!!!!

Wednesday  bug boy started a letter to his case worker. I borrowed it and copied it before he got up this morning to share. It touched my heart. To really understand why it touched me you have to know it has been a rough week. His world has gotten very small. He lost playing outside without big kids to watch him. He lost playing in the school room. He basicly is where mom is. Yesterday he even lost most of his toys that he had been playing with in here for being to rough. He had been coloring but when I went to print him another coloring page he wasn't happy with the choices so I suggested he draw his own. He was mad over that. Then decided to write his cw. I copied this just like he wrote it.

"to the lovely miss Ronda: hey miss Ronda I want you to come sometime. how are you doing and how are your dogs. and I miss you and I have a surprise for you when you come. and I Love this house thank you for putting me here."

Not being in control makes them feel safe, even as they chalange you for that control over and over and over and over and............... If you had ask me if he liked it here most of the time I would say no because he is in trouble, his world gets smaller and smaller. I try hard to be fair with him, at the same time everything is a chalange and test. It is a tough season for both of us as he learns I really do follow through EVERY time and I do mean what I say and will back it up. Yes, I go to bed early and exhausted most nights.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Daughters Poem~Powerful!

Get Over It
I sit beneath the shade....
Listening to a woman share her fears.
"Nobody cares... Life isn't worth living, nothing is fair!"
I feel my compassion begin to fade.
Anger begins to take it's place...
I look away, so I can hide the pain on my face.
She continues, "You'd never understand...
I am the only one who hurts this way.
Your life is simple, you never had to fight to live on more day."
I turn to her...
"Ma'am, I am just gonna say,
You are right, I never had to fight for one more day.
No, for me it was life or death...
I only had to fight for just one more breath.
You are right, I'd never understand your pain...
I choose to deal with it, so it wouldn't drive me insane.
I refuse to live on the fairs,
You must learn to see that it is only part of Satan's snare.
This is life...
You must learn to get along... or learn to live in strife.
The only way I can help is to let you know...
You need to learn the simple way to handle your terrible life...
Get over it, Cause if you don't then you will contiue your fit.
While you sit and cry...
The world will continue to go.
People will live, others will die.
If God wanted life easy and pain free...
The His only son wouldn't have died for you and me.
It was hard, why, wouldn't you cry...
if your son had to die?
God didn't say that life wasn't fair...
He didn't tell the worl that He didn't care.
His Son didn't throw a fit, but instead made a choice.
This was a choice, in which, He had to bring to life
Instead of just using His voice.
People living today, are so vulnerable and weak...
They sit and moan, having no idea how powerful the words they speak.
In order to receive fame...
It is taught that one must learn to blame.
They say, "Carry your hate! Let us think of his/her fate!"
Your heart can be deadly...
What you decide to dwell upon, will determine the life your lead.
Should the ground hate the sun... for it didn't shine?
Shall I hate you for taking time that was mine?
If not, then why do you hate?
Why try to be God and determine someone else's fate?
I don't mean to say that the fate is death...
No, you just want them to fight for one more breath.
You are the kind that drag others down
You just want the whole world to moan and frown.
I hope this poem steps on your toes...
I haven't said anything you didn't need to know.
I pray that this touches your heart,
and that you'll ponder this for a while...
-Marie J.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Randomness and keeping 14 yo boys busy...

This morning it was cool here with a nice north wind.  I discovered my peafowl taking up the barn gates.  Soaking up the sun out of the wind.  I knew there was a reason I liked those silly birds!  After my own heart!
Yesterday I was headed into the school room and quickly stopped to snap this picture.  Be sure and look at the mismatched boots.  One belongs to her sister.   She was after a book.   As you can see mean Granola keeps all the kid books on high shelves!  

I have a 14 yo that seems to stay in need of something to do.  I suggested he go get a load of wood the other day.  I didn't get a picture before he unloaded the trailer that he was towing behind the ranger.

This morning I ask him to do me a favor.  I wanted to put my button quail in this big cage, but I don't trust that they couldn't squeeze through.  So I ask him to cover it with some plastic netting we have stored away from I don't even remember what.   It's hard to see the net, which shows just what an awesome job he did on it! 

Yesterday he came in and announced that he had put the extra lights that dad had bought for the ranger on.   They are not where I would have put them, but they are attached, cords ran and switch installed!  They even work! 
I have suggested to dad that he give him a list and have him do things for him.  Today he did have a list, but mom's list trumps dads or big brother's!  Dad ask him to roll up some old fence, while big brother ask for a load of fire wood.    I think he is off doing one or the other now.  Not sure, maybe both!