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Last week, I was supposed to go for a nice calm, fabulous breakfast with some other moms of teenagers.  Instead, we get canceled, which turns out to be a good thing, because Shelby's case worker wants to come by for a surprise home visit.  Blessedly, she's five minutes late, because the cat just barfed in the living room, and I'm out of paper towels.


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My boys are both Bouncing for Autism this month.

It's a joint fund-raising venture between the Autism Society of America, and the franchise chain, Pump It Up. 

The kids get pledges, and get to bounce to earn them.  Half of the money goes to the National ASA, and half stays right here locally.  It's a shameless fundraiser, but if you're curious, it's also a chance to check out two big pieces of my life, pictures included.  And if you choose to sponsor one or the other of them, that's sublime.


The boys' pages:

www.autism-society.org/goto/Thomas

www.autism-society.org/goto/Shelby


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Saturday was a lovely, long day, which included both the Walk for Autism, and the Moon Buggy Races at the Space & Rocket center. 

This was the first walk I've been to, and I was very impressed with the number of people and vendors there.  For the price of registration, you could get hamburgers or hotdogs from O' Charley's, and a bag of chip or two from another sponsor, and popcorn, and pizza, and smoothies.  And every body got a t-shirt, of course.  We didn't walk, I was just there to drop off some flyers and meet some people.  The boys seemed to enjoy the food.  Then we were there at the end so we helped with break down and clean up.  Lift those sodas, move those tables, wait! don't take the tent down until everything's out from under it!

The moonbuggy race was interesting, in a trainwreck sort of way.  The 'buggy' is actually something on 4 bicycle tires, with two riders, and the race is an obstacle course they go on one at a time.  Over fake craters, rilles, moondust (sand), and other uneven gound both uphill and down.  We saw three teams and not one of them made it to the finish without one of the drivers having to get out and push.  One team we didn't see race was wearing t-shirts that read, "honk if you see parts falling off."  Everyone was in high spirits.  There were teams from as far away as India and Germany, and as close as right here in town.  More info at< http://moonbuggy.msfc.nasa.gov/index.html> Pictures from last year's race are at<http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/9-12/features/mb-index.html>

Shelby was more awed by the missles and rockets and the space shuttle model.  They'd added a lot more since the last time I'd been there.  Since the course was all through the outdoor exhibits, we got to see all of that part of the Space & Rocket Center.  And since tickets run $30 each, that was quite a bonus.


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Wasted half of my day today with DHR, again.

We were supposed to have in ISP (Individual Service Plan) meeting and I was supposed to be given more information (DHR's general policy is to treat me like a mushroom –—keep me in the dark, feed me shit), and I thought we would actually get the ball going on us becoming Shelby's permanent guardians, and getting DHR out of our lives. So I don't have to ask permission of the court every time I take Shelby out of state, or vaccinate cats that had never been vaccinated before, because they never leave the house, etc. But no, more talk talk talk, and we have to go before a judge (something they told me last week we'd avoid by going guardianship instead of custody), and this and that.

Makes me want to strangle people. Except that the actual people we talk to are nice, well-intentioned people (or at least are good enough at faking it that you can't actually call them on stuff). It's the system. They're in the dark often too (or do a very good job of pretending that anyway).

Anyway, again, to all of you good people who want the government to tax me so that they can take care of those in need, I dare you to just spend the afternoon in a DHR (or CFS, or whatever your area calls the food stamp/take your children away agency) and take a look at how well our government is doing that, and ask yourself, are these really the people we want to trust our most vulnerable citizens to?
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Yesterday was just great!


I was dreading ti in a way, because I just really needed a day off, where I didn't have to drive anyone anywhere, etc.

But we had a social trip to the Birmingham Art Museum planned with the AYANA group, and Mat was going to meet us there, and Rhiannon was going to catch a ride back home with us.

We all met in a parking lot to arrange vehicles, and Shelby wanted to ride in a van with a couple of the other young people who'll talk cartoons and sing with him.  In fact, if there's any other option, Shelby wants to ride with anybody else but me.  Different's always better, as far as company (audience) goes, Shelby's world.

That meant that Rhiannon and I got to talk and catch up while Thomas worked on Physics homework for the 90 minute drive.  That was nice.

Everyone met up at a B'ham Shoney's (all you can eat breakfast buffet until 2pm on the weekends!) and eating and more talking ensued.  It was really good to get to talk to the other moms, especially since our monthly meeting was one of the things I missed last Thursday.

Meet again at the almost completely empty museum and tour around for hours and hours.  There was something going on at the colosseum and it was the first beautiful day we've had in forever, so there were only a hand full of people there besides us.  That was great in that we got to see wat we wanted when we wanted, no one in front of us, etc.  It was bad in that the museum guards had nothing to do but follow us around and remind us that even just pointing at something in a picture was forbidden, if our finger got to within 12 inches, and since they were so present, that meant about 2 feet, and I just kept getting warnings.  Mind you I never actually got within 12 inches, let alone actually touched anything!  But it was fun and enlightening anyway.  i love to go to museums with Rhiannon, because she's very knowledgeable about art and history, and religion, and she doesn't mind answering questions, and doesn't treat you like an idiot when she answers them.  Also, she and I like to really study the stuff, not just trot through a room glancing at the shiny stuff.  Most of our group left about 3:30, after some group photos, but our family of five closed the place down at 5pm.

Over to Mat & Rhi's for Physics homework! Thomas's teacher uses an online system, which makes it possible to give weird deadlines like 11pm Saturday.  Thomas was having trouble with one, and needed Mat's help anyway, so they got that one almost done when the rest of us mutinied and insisted on food.

Since I was paying, we went to an amazing Chinese restaurant.  Not buffet.  We got way too much food, so lunch today will also be fabulous.  And we had live music!  A young lady playing something stringed, that was as long as a piano (and lay out on a table in front of her), strummed like a harp, had maybe 8 strings?  And makes traditional sounding Chinese music.  Gu Qin? Very nice.

Eventually we all waddled back to the kids', where Thomas finished up the Physics, and Mat begged for someone to play games until Shelby agreed to play chess.  Even with Mat helping Shelby, that was over in five moves.  Then Parcheesi, which took longer, but still Mat won.  By that time Thomas was through, so they all three played some card game called munchkins, which is all new, and apparently aimed satirically at both Magic and D&D.  It was hysterical just to listen to. And of course, even though Thomas gave him a good run for his money, Mat won.  Then they played three rounds of some smash brothers video game, and the big news was that Thomas won a round.  Of course, Mat won the other two.  Now you can guess why Mat has to beg people to play games with him.  He wins.  Irritatingly consistently.  No matter what the game, and often even if you've been playing for years and this is his second game!  But since the games were raucous and fast moving, and Shelby's a good sport, and Thomas knows he's just playing Mat to see how long he can hold out, everyone had a good time.

Of course, by the time I got some coffee in me and called a halt to the games it was nearly 1am, which meant I wasn't in bed until almost 3am.  But I got 6 hours of that really good kind of sleep that you get when you're really tired from an excellent and happy day.  So I got up at a decent hour and feel just fine.  The teenagers, of course, both slept until noon and are dragging around here like bears disturbed from hibernation.  wimps.

My bud, T

Feb. 5th, 2009 10:06 pm
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Today I got to spend time with Thomas. 

After we met Bethany at the mall and gave her Shelby to take out to the horse barn, we went to Lowe's to look for a Kerosene heater for Mat and Rhiannon  No luck, but we spent two hours there anyway, touching the marble and tile and granite and looking at carpet possibilities. 

It was just fun to spend some TsO & SO time, with no one else breathing down our necks.  I don't have to keep explaining Thomas's sarcastic remarks to Shelby, and I don't have to feel guilty talking at my and Thomas's natural comprehension level.  It was a nice little interlude.  Shelby's adorable, but so are toddlers, and you don't want them around all the time either.

Bureaucracy

Feb. 3rd, 2009 10:37 am
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Oh yes, absolutely.  The way to let a foster parent know that her child has been taken off medicaid is to wait until said child needs meds, and leave the telling to Walgreen's.  And then have to scramble around to come up with some alternative besides making the foster parent pay the $600 and wait the usual 3 months for reimbursement.

One more example of how well our government handles all those tax dollars we're donating to take care of the less fortunate

I am glad to give to the organizations who do it right,  Who run their organizations efficiently, who really do care about their clients, who are actually there, 24/7.  Who are made up of real people willing (and who have the authority) to take responsibility and make decisions, on the spot if necessary.

The Catholic Church and Catholic Charities

Other local churches with food pantries, thrift stores that also give clothing to those in need, and tutoring ministries.

The Red Cross (which not only gets my money, but blood from everyone in the family too)

The Salvation Army (these folks are practically first responders in big disasters)

St. Jude's Hospital (check out< http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=LoveCuresCancer&view=videos> which has videos of a few young  celebrities, including our own lovely Kyle Schmid, speaking for fund raising for St. Jude)

Those are my biggies right now, and I give generously, as I urge each of you to do, to your abilities. 

But I resent every dollar I give to our fat, lazy, debt-ridden, corrupt, inefficient, rude and just plain stupid government 'programs'.



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Today I ate out twice!  Mother and Larry were on their way to Montgomery today, and called from I-65 as they passed into AL and invited me to meet them at the nearest interstate interchange and have lunch.  So I dashed over to Athens.  (20 mins, about the same distance as they were at that moment)  We met at Ruby's and had a pleasant lunch and conversation.  Then they headed on down the road.

I went with Thomas to his violin group.  Shelby couldn't go because when I got into the car I could smell him and indeed, he hadn't had a shower, and I wouldn 't let him go.  Personal hygiene is a struggle for Asperger's people, I'm not sure why, but it's fairly universal.  It took me forever to convince Thomas that boys just had to take a shower every day and it didn't matter how not dirty you thought you were, others would think differently.  He's really good now, mainly just because I wore him down.  Nobody's ever bothered to be insistent with Shelby, so now I'm in the wearing down process with him.

Then Beloved called just as we were in the parking lot starting to go home, to warn me that he wanted to go out to eat, just the two of us.  We met at the house so he could wash up and change, and went to . . . wait for it . . . Ruby's.  Not in Athens, here in Madison, but.  There's just not many non-fastfood places to eat that don't require driving into Huntsville.  Even then, the selection is not that exciting. But I was still full from lunch anyway, and just wanted a beer and to be away from the boys, having real adult conversation, with my beloved.  I'd have settled for Arby's if they sold alcohol.

Saturday

Feb. 1st, 2009 11:21 am
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Did I mention how nice Saturday was for most of the day?

I was supposed to take Shelby and Thomas out to the horse barn at 9am. Which I was looking forward to, mostly. We don't ride, we just volunteer helping with feeding and bringing in and out horses and grooming and occasionally mucking stalls. But it is fun to be around these great, calm, friendly animals and be outside and the people at the barn are wonderful too.

It started out as just an experience for Shelby, a step toward his goal to be a horse trainer when he grows up. And it's a good thing we started small like this, turns out that in real life he's afraid of horses! He thought they were all "cute" like cuddly little stuffed horses.  surprise.

Anyway, I found out that Mark didn't have to leave to go to his cave until noon.

So, since Thomas can drive, I told the two of them that they were going by themselves.  And they went, and they both had a blast.  Thomas wasn't really just dying to go, and really didn't want to go if I wasn't going.  But you know, I just told them to go. They went, and they loved it.  Thomas loved it and is willing to go back.

So Mark and I spent the morning doing nothing together.  It was great.  (we saved the adult stuff for later)

Shelby and I drove out to a friend's house, where they distribute the food bank stuff foster parents can get once a month.  It's a long drive, about an hour & a half, round trip.  Shelby talked the whole time, and I just kept smiling, and thinking about how when Thomas was little it was the very same.  In fact, if it's just Thomas and I he will still talk pretty continuously, but not quite.

Then my darling got home, later than he expected, and covered in dried mud which need to be washed off...

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Which is not to say I didn't wake up with one, for the 5th day in a row, but that the Maxalt and Excedrin and Oolong tea before I got out of bed (thanks to Shelby for making the perfect cup of tea) worked today for some reason. Maybe I was the doing them all before moving. Maybe it was the Oolong, that was different. Who knows. So I had a great day, today. I've had oodles more energy. You don''t realize how much energy you expend just trying to deal with pain.

Shelby had a guitar lesson, at the Fret Shop where Thomas takes violin, but with a guitar teacher. The teacher thinks Shelby is teachable, and Shelby had fun and liked the teacher and really wants to do it. So Bryan, the teacher, and I will have to talk money. At least, unlike violins and pianos, we have a guitar.

Still don't know about Kaiser. Never make decisions about animals when you have a headache. You think you're thinking clearly, but you're not. He still would be a great thing for Shelby, if Shelby can do this. But he's not well socialized to other dogs, and he was clearly "top dog" as Cesar says, over his previous human. He is extraordinarily rude, for a dog. He tries to get things off counters and tables, and plates you're carrying, he thinks he's going to lie on my furniture and jump up on my bed and sleep with me. I love dogs. I really love MY dogs. But I love them enough to remember they they are not humans. And he's decided that I'm the person in the family he's going to follow every where, and keep all the other dogs from approaching. And he's leery of Shelby, because he knows that Shelby is just a little afraid of him. And he thinks he can shit on the deck instead of going down to the yard. He may have to go back.

I'm way already taking care of TOOO many beings.

Kaiser

Jan. 28th, 2009 11:33 pm
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Well, somehow, I brought home a dog today.

A papered, two yr. old neutered male for free. There's some story about divorce and money, etc, but I don't understand why they aren't trying to sell him. I haven't found out what's wrong with him, except that he's a little aggressive with Katy and Rusty, but that's the whole male thing, and will probably sort itself out quickly.

It only took one hiss and three swaps with the claws so fast that Kaiser couldn't even blink for him to learn that he WILL be respectful to Norman. I just love that. Cats just don't take shit, and they don't care that you weigh 10 times what they do, because they know they are deadly.

But I don't know. I'm already having "buyer's remorse." I thought it would be a really good thing for Shelby to have 'his' dog to be responsible for, to learn to control, and train. All that self confidence stuff. Learning how to be firm but gentle, set distinct boundaries, be 'pack leader' etc. It worked with Thomas, when he was 12 and Katy was running all over him. He went through obedience classes with her and learned a lot about confidence, which carried over into his life. etc. But I don't know about Shelby. It may be too soon. But it's not something you can study the theory of and figure out, you can really only learn by doing. And I don't know what would be easier than a smart dog. And Kaiser is definitely smart. (Norman will attest to Kaiser being easily trained) He is terribly spoiled, and waits to see if you're serious about a command before he obeys, but he knows what he's supposed to be doing. You don't have to repeat a command. You just give him the leash correction and he does what you've asked. And then for the next several tries, he's perfect. Then he has to check and see if you reeaally meant it.

I don't know. I go up and down about Shelby's capabilities. And today, since I woke up with another migraine (three days in a row or those of you counting), and had to dose with lots and lots and lots of coffee, and the caffeine is starting to wear off, and I'm up past my usual bedtime. Mark's not back from his rope-climbing practice in B'ham.
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Thomas and Shelby and I went to the Franklin School Medieval Feast.  Four removes.  Enough food to kill a fellow, and delicious!  We all wore costumes.  Greens, veggies & fruit, two different kinds of bread with spreads, chicken in orange sauce, stewed apples, bowtie noodles, and the cake was shaped like a castle, with strawberries on top and snow (whipped cream) all around the bottom.

And of course, Thomas played medieval music on the violin.

After the feast, after I'd changed into more modern clothing, I went to our local Books a Million.  I needed to buy a book for Shelby for the upcoming lit group.  I was also going to buy Breaking Dawn, since Thomas wasn't along to herd me past the books. However they were sold out.  I really don't like going there.  It's sort of like going to a flea market as far as consistent stock is concerned.  But I stayed there an hour, not finding anything, and being amazed at the curious (lack of) filing system.

Then I hid out some more at Walgreen's, buying chocolate and picking up drugs. 

I would prefer to find a little solitude and quiet in my own house, but it seems just fairly impossible.

Horses!

Jan. 22nd, 2009 07:19 pm
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I got a volunteer/internship for Shelby out at a teaching stable. 

For Shelby. 

Really. 

But I am having a ton of fun.  I get to pet horses, and put halters on horses and lead them around, and groom them.

Here's Shelby and his favorite horse
:

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Christmas in two and a half weeks?  I am just not ready. I know everyone says that, but I don't —this is just NOT like me!  I am a serious Christmas planner.  I've always had to be.  My winter depression usually sets in just before thanksgiving, and anything not already done doesn't get done.  So I begin to buy stocking stuffers on Dec. 26 for the next year.  I order gifts ahead, I wrap and hide ahead.  The boys were always required to get their wish lists in before Mat's birthday (Oct. 22) so I could shop for all three things at the same time.  Especially Thomas, because he HATES surprises, and I needed time to get the EXACT right thing.  His lists often include the website and order #.  This year has been in such a disarray, what with Thomas's graduation and college application and FAFSA, being gone to TN most of the summer, and the Thomas totaling the car / buying two new cars thing, and the taking in a new son, and the associated classes, fingerprints, and paperwork (including a complete physical and TB test), and too many other things to even mention, I've just completely lost it. I got Shelby's list last week, and Thomas's yesterday, and Mat won't even give me one, because he wants the cash and some black socks!  And my beloved?  Wants two things.  A car charger for his cell phone, and a couple of good wooden spoons for the kitchenBoring!  How can I get motivated for that?
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So, did I mention 2 hours at DHR? 

A perfect example of government bureaucracy and nice guys finish last . . . )


So anyway, I got a harsh reminder of what it's like being on the desperate end of the socio-economic end of the scale.  How it feels to have nobodies at a government agency trample on you just because they can.  To be told "No" and "wait over there" because that's all that government worker has the power to tell you, to sit in a very questionably clean lobby on wobbly plastic chairs, because you're obviously not important enough to even sweep for, much less use a clean mop for.  And what really scared me is that I fell right into my designated place.  The oppresive atmosphere just convinces you that there's no hope, that you truly are at least unimportant, if not downright sub-human.

And now I feel even more strongly that the government IS NOT NOT NOT who should be trusted to help the poor.  Everyone who wants the government to distribute their tax dollars to benefit the poor should be forced to sit for an afternoon in a waiting room at DHR, and see exactly how well the government does that. 

the rant on other despicable gov. agencies and on being forced to pay for them: )


Do people really want to help the less priveldged, or would they just rather not think about them and let Big Brother take their money and pretend to use it for good?

Sorry if you find this offensive, but only if you've been there.

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I managed the downtime. whew.

While I was in Decatur today, I got to fill up the Vue with gas for $1.85!   That's only twice what it should be!

And, after only a 2 hour wait at DHR, we got a clothing voucher for $150!  And when we got to the store they were having a major sale!  We managed to get him several good pieces of clothing.  Two pairs of pants, two nice shirts, 3 t-shirts, a fleecy jacket, and a suit coat.  It's Alabama, so a fleece jacket will get him through most of the winter.  Still I need to go get him a real coat, but not today.  Any, we managed to get all that with the voucher and $24 from me!  I was very impressed.


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No, not panicking here.  1 hour and 34 minutes. Then no live journal.  Reading like a crazy person.

Also, at 8am, it's still only 33°.  Gaack.   We were all still in denial about the impending cold, telling ourselves the 50's would last, but now it's time to dig out the jackets. 

Or in Shelby's case go buy the child one.  I can't believe DHR sent him here practically naked.  It's not as if they pulled him out of a meth house in the middle of the night, and couldn't take anything with them.  He's been in "care" (they call it) for 10 Years! I understand why this last foster home didn't buy anything, they only took him as an emergency and knew he wouldn't be there too long.  But before that he spent 2 years in a children's group home.  They didn't have time to buy him one shirt that actually fits?  And he's 19.5 years old.  He's been out of that teenage boy grow fast stage for at least 2 years, probably 3.  Grrr.

2 pairs of blue jeans
1  pair long pants with the button torn out,
2 shirts, neither of which really fit him, the buttons are straining and the sleeves aren't long enough for him to wear comfortably (so really no shirts)
2 T-shirts, one of which we bought for him on one of the weekend visits.
1 pair sports shorts, which he will never leave my house in, just gross
1 pair shoes, almost completely worn out. (I've already bought a good pair of athletic shoes, $130 - extra large, ya know)
3 pairs of sock, one of which actually fit him.
5 pairs of underwear, one of which he says is not his.

Oh, but all the kids at the group home got iPod shuffles for Christmas.
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Okay, this is just sinful.  There is no just no other word for it.  I went out tonight with all the kids to a Mexican Restaurant. Mat graced me with his presence for a while today.  It was wonderful.  We got all caught up.  Then he went over to get Rhiannon, and Thomas and Shelby and I met them at a local Mexican Restaurant.  It was much too tasty.  I believe that my stomach is actually distended.  Somewhere after the sopapilla, when I was trying to enjoy my second Dos Equis, I realized that I was full in a way I'd never been full in my life.   I just knew that if I tried to send one more sip down my throat, chaos and destruction would ensue.  I had to abandon 2/3rds of a beer just sitting on the table.  No one but Rhiannon was old enough to drink it in public, and she's just not the beer type. 

So now I'm sitting here, miserable, and almost asleep, because I stayed up until 3am last night reading Fledgling.  An interesting Vampire mythology so far.  I'm not sure if I loveit or not.  I've read about half the book.  It's written in a pretty simplistic, first person POV.  The narrator is supposed to be a 53 year old vampire "child" who's been severely injured and thus remembers nothing before waking up trying to heal.  Thus the simplistic style.  Like I say, interesting, but I'm not sure if it's one I'll keep.


ETA:  I just realized that with tags like 'sin' and 'vampire' this entry should be a lot more exciting than it is!
sherron0: (magic shoes)
Well, it was exhausting!  We spent most of it in the car.  —The rental car.  Shelby was already here, there were transportation problems, so we brought him home with us last night.  So he was here for breakfast, which he thought I was going to cook for him (ha).  But he found food and ate.

We took Thomas to class, and then Shelby and I went to look at a 1980 Cutlass Supreme.  It was grand!  Back when cars were still cars.  You could have put 4 people in the back seat, and they wouldn't have had to touch each other.  Bench seats in the front, gears on the column, it was just fabulous.  Shelby really  really wants me to buy it, but I'm not sure.  It's cool, and I just want it to drive when I don't have any other car, but I remember how hard it was to park my 1975 Chevrolet Caprice Classic, (I had it in college, early 80's) and in those days parking spaces were bigger than now.   We stopped at a gas station to get Coke and Dr. Pepper, and Shelby got peanuts and put them in the coke bottle.  It was a flashback to my past.  My dad did that too.

We dashed home to pick up Thomas's best friend, Matt R.  He's bowled with us before, and everybody just loves him.  By then it was time to pick Thomas up and get over to the bowling alley.  Shelby just fit right in with Thomas's Asperger's group.  It was a big group this time.  12 of the young adults, and 5 of us parents.  Then Cheeburger, Cheeburger, for heartattack on a plate burgers.  Thomas got his food early, and he and I had to leave while everyone else was waiting for food.  Leaving Matt & Shelby with the group,  Back to the restaurant, to take Matt home in time.  Back to UAH to get Thomas.  Finally home for a rest.  Or not.  Shelby was still keyed up and talkative.  He's high energy, that kid.

Saturday we tried to catch our breath from Friday.  Then Shelby wanted to go out for chinese buffet food.  I agreed, because I can actually afford to feed two giant teenage boys there.  My vet was there, and he knew about Shelby and came over and introduced himself and shook hands with him and Thomas.

After lunch we went to the thrift store to drop things over and Shelby found an old reel to reel projector from the 60's - 70's.

We also went to the KIA dealer to check out this buy a minivan get a Rio free.  Well, the van is grossly overpriced, and the little car has no airconditioning and no radio!  I told the sales boy that I was sure it was illegal to sell a car in AL without air.  Besides that, the boys couldn't even get IN the back seat!  Thomas squeezed into the driver's seat, but his legs were crunched up to the steering wheel.  He has to have legroom.  He's so tall that when he crashed the Versa, the airbag didn't even touch him, he was so far back.

I fed them spagetti for supper, and met Shelby's emergency foster mom to give him back.

I NEEDED Sunday to recover.  This is one unbelieveably high energy kid!  Really sweet, and eager to please, but horribly immature, and not well educated.  I'll comment on him more later.

My darling was gone for all of this, he left Friday AM to go to North Carolina to hang off of a cliff.
sherron0: (SO)
A euphemism for home inspection.  But it went well.  She seemed favorably impressed with the facilities, the zoo, the boys, and the Keeper (me).

I've been cleaning, emptying that room where you put things that you don't know what to do with, so it can be Shelby's bedroom.  The most difficult has been the closet, which I'm not through with.  I have thrown out and or given away at least a room's worth of stuff.  Because some of the stuff (furniture) that moved out of there had to be put somewhere else, which meant we had to move something to make room,  and on and on.  Mark said he felt like we were in one of those tile-moving puzzles.

I finally got a "scrapbook" put together as a slide show and printed it out on card stock and bound it, for her to take to Shelby, so he will get a (falsely clean and organized) idea of us.  It turned out pretty well.  I may try to figure out how to add the slide show to the Ostrander website.

So our first in home visit with Shelby will be next Friday, Sept.26th.  We will meet at the bowling alley and bowl with the Asperger's Young adult social group.  Then Cheeburger, Cheeburger for food, then we take Thomas back to class for an hour, and I have no idea what Shelby and I will do, then home.  If he's still comfortable, he'll stay overnight.  I'm both excited and terrified.  Mark, of course, won't be here, because he'll be rappelling off some cliff in N.Carolina as a warm up for Bridge Day.

So now, after an exciting day [ TB test, taking Mark to work so I can have the car t get to the AS support Luncheon, then back to pick up Mark, to come home for the home visit] I've moved on to the wine and relax portion of the evening.  Whoo.

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