Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mr. Farty and Helena Writes

I've added a couple of new hilarious blogs to the blogroll, go check 'em out :)

Mr. Farty

Helena Writes

Update on Gustave

**update 6 pm Sunday night**

Here's the latest from the National Weather Service Click windspeed on the chart then the right arrow at the bottom of the chart to see it's projected landfall. Looks exactly like the path of Katrina...maybe slightly further west...

Dang, it's only Saturday night and he's already at category four...projected to be a five.

I've posted all the latest updates I can find for tonight...for further up to date information go to the MEMA (Mississippi Emergency Management)site.

Check here for hotel type accommodations that are still available and where.

Contraflow will begin at 4am Sunday Morning with all lanes of I55 and I59 being directed to exclusively flow north.

Here is a list of open shelters

The Coliseum could open on Sunday.

FEMA is projecting a category five. Dr Jeff Masters Wunder Blog has some pretty cool pictures and informative maps :) Our Coliseum has already blocked off half the parking lot providing space for RV's and trailers and I suspect before it is all over there will be FEMA trailers there also. At 8 this morning the traffic on 55 South coming north was already as busy as rush hour. I would hate to go out there now to look. The hotel where my son works is right across the street from the Coliseum and already had a parking lot filled with U-hauls and the like. It looks like you might have to go past Memphis to find a hotel room if you've waited until now to leave. It really does my heart proud to see people getting prepared in this way. My guess is that there won't be any "Hurricane Parties" in the Big Easy with this one.

Here's a link for a live traffic feed of 55 South right by my house, coming up from New Orleans. Here's a live traffic feed for 49 South coming in from our coast. Here's a live traffic feed of US 49 at Middle Street which I believe is right between Gulfport and Biloxi, I could be wrong, it's been awhile since I lived down there.

Sarah Palin????

Here's an email I received from today with all you ever wanted to know about Sarah Palin and probably more...

Dear MoveOn member,

Today is John McCain's 72nd birthday. If elected, he'd be the oldest president ever inaugurated. And after months of slamming Barack Obama for "inexperience," here's who John McCain has chosen to be one heartbeat away from the presidency: a right-wing religious conservative with no foreign policy experience, who until recently was mayor of a town of 9,000 people.


Who is Sarah Palin? Here's some basic background:

* She was elected Alaska's governor a little over a year and a half ago. Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage.1
* Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.2
* She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000. 3
* Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.4
* She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.5
* She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species—she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.6

This is information the American people need to see. Please take a moment to forward this email to your friends and family.

We also asked Alaska MoveOn members what the rest of us should know about their governor. The response was striking. Here's a sample:

She is really just a mayor from a small town outside Anchorage who has been a governor for only 1.5 years, and has ZERO national and international experience. I shudder to think that she could be the person taking that 3AM call on the White House hotline, and the one who could potentially be charged with leading the US in the volatile international scene that exists today. —Rose M., Fairbanks, AK

She is VERY, VERY conservative, and far from perfect. She's a hunter and fisherwoman, but votes against the environment again and again. She ran on ethics reform, but is currently under investigation for several charges involving hiring and firing of state officials. She has NO experience beyond Alaska. —Christine B., Denali Park, AK

As an Alaskan and a feminist, I am beyond words at this announcement. Palin is not a feminist, and she is not the reformer she claims to be. —Karen L., Anchorage, AK

Alaskans, collectively, are just as stunned as the rest of the nation. She is doing well running our State, but is totally inexperienced on the national level, and very much unequipped to run the nation, if it came to that. She is as far right as one can get, which has already been communicated on the news. In our office of thirty employees (dems, republicans, and nonpartisans), not one person feels she is ready for the V.P. position.—Sherry C., Anchorage, AK

She's vehemently anti-choice and doesn't care about protecting our natural resources, even though she has worked as a fisherman. McCain chose her to pick up the Hillary voters, but Palin is no Hillary. —Marina L., Juneau, AK

I think she's far too inexperienced to be in this position. I'm all for a woman in the White House, but not one who hasn't done anything to deserve it. There are far many other women who have worked their way up and have much more experience that would have been better choices. This is a patronizing decision on John McCain's part- and insulting to females everywhere that he would assume he'll get our vote by putting "A Woman" in that position.—Jennifer M., Anchorage, AK

So Governor Palin is a staunch anti-choice religious conservative. She's a global warming denier who shares John McCain's commitment to Big Oil. And she's dramatically inexperienced.

In picking Sarah Palin, John McCain has made the religious right very happy. And he's made a very dangerous decision for our country.

In the next few days, many Americans will be wondering what McCain's vice-presidential choice means. Please pass this information along to your friends and family.

Thanks for all you do.

–Ilyse, Noah, Justin, Karin and the rest of the team


1. "Sarah Palin," Wikipedia, Accessed August 29, 2008

2. "McCain Selects Anti-Choice Sarah Palin as Running Mate," NARAL Pro-Choice America, August 29, 2008

3. "Sarah Palin, Buchananite," The Nation, August 29, 2008

4. "'Creation science' enters the race," Anchorage Daily News, October 27, 2006

5. "Palin buys climate denial PR spin—ignores science," Huffington Post, August 29, 2008

6. "McCain VP Pick Completes Shift to Bush Energy Policy," Sierra Club, August 29, 2008

"Choice of Palin Promises Failed Energy Policies of the Past," League of Conservation Voters, August 29, 2008

"Protecting polar bears gets in way of drilling for oil, says governor," The Times of London, May 23, 2008

and if that's not enough for you then Brilliant at Breakfast is not happy either and links you to yet another article from Jazz Shaw of The Moderate Voice

Whew! :)

Friday, August 29, 2008


I've added links for negotiation skills for social workers on the child welfare page. I figured this is where we need it the most :) Also found a great site that lists all the theories on one page or grouped by type and added it on the theories page.

It's happening again...

It's happening again...people are searching for social work links, finding my blog and immediately clicking off because all they see is the first post and don't know to follow the sidebar down to see what is offered. Men with Pens said what I had up there telling new searchers where to go and what all was included in this blog was crap. It really gets on my nerves when a totally new person, say from a social work program at a university, really needing what I have on here, just thinks it is a regular blog with everyday posts on it. I can't deal with it right now as I'm being evicted with no notice, in the middle of an impending hurricane, so I'm up for suggestions. Hell I'm just at a actual words would be nice...I'll credit you for your creation :) Just someone please tell me what to put up there to make people find what they need on this blog...

In the meantime I'm reposting part of my very first post that states what I wanted for this blog in the beginning...

In doing my coursework I have managed to save nearly every link I searched for, dug through 15 pages of search engine crap for and just plain stumbled on. My hope is to save social work students from having to go through that very same time-consuming agony. The plan in saving all these links was to share it with student colleagues at my own university. Then I changed computers and operating systems so now the floppy that was formatted for word doesn't work on the new computer. This blog is a better way to go. The links will be here permanently and they can be shared with everyone! Yea!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Preparations for a Hurricane...Here We Go Again...sigh...

**update* if you click the "home" link at the bottom of this post it will take you to all the recent updates I have and also live traffic feeds of highways 55 South and 49 South near Jackson and on the coast.**

I said I wasn't even going to watch the news until Sunday because I heard Gustave would not make up his mind until about then but people are already freaking out and getting ready and it's all over the news so I've prepared a hurricane package for you, just in case you need it.

If you think you will get a hotel room in Jackson, Mississippi think again, you will have to go further north than 150 miles for a hotel room. We are planning on opening the Coliseum which can house 1000 people, maybe more, and the good thing about the Coliseum is that it's on the fairgrounds and can also house animals in the equine center. Here is a list of what all we could house. Oh, and if I already know you through this blog I could possibly put around 4 people up. We have two hotel sofa sleeper mattresses that you could sleep on. It won't be luxury but would be a roof over your head. Oh, and I cannot guarantee power here and you would have to bring your own blankets and pillows and preferably no animals although I could probably be persuaded :)

There is a hurricane toolkit in the sidebar but that is mostly for after the hurricane. Most of you that live in hurricane areas already know what to do but just in case you don't:

Family Disaster Plan
Supply Kit
Have a Place to Go
Secure Your Home
Have a Plan for Your Pet

and just in case you are thinking about riding it out, here's a reminder of what you might have to deal with...

This one breaks my heart...not that it all didn't break my heart but Waveland was such a beautiful, architecturally maintained sleepy small southern town and it was just pretty much wiped off the map...

Almost three years to the day is not a very long time to rebuild from devastation...let's all start praying now and maybe he'll fade away and slide off into the Yucatan...not to wish it on them, but I'm just sayin...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Update: IVAW

"A Letter to Barack Obama

August 25, 2008
Senator Barack Obama
C/O Democratic National Convention Committee
1560 Broadway
Denver, CO 80202

Senator Obama,

In your campaign for the Presidency of the United States of America, you have clearly presented yourself as the anti-war candidate, dedicated to change in trying times. Senator Obama, millions of Americans are looking to you to restore our country’s good name and reputation around the world, beginning with righting the wrongs of the war-driven Bush administration.

Iraq Veterans Against the War is the only organization consisting of active duty service members and veterans of the Global War On Terror committed to ending the occupation of Iraq. We believe that a responsible withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq should include:

1. The immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces from Iraq.
2. Full and adequate health care and benefits to all returning service members and veterans.
3. Reparations made to the Iraqi people for the destruction caused by the U.S. war and occupation.

Senator Obama, we realize that a man in your position has a very tedious schedule during the Democratic National Convention. However, we feel that a Presidential candidate dedicated to an anti-war platform should have no objections to the goals of our organization. Indeed, Senator Obama, in these ominous times, you symbolize the hope for a better America.

Therefore, we request at this time that you endorse the three tenets of Iraq Veterans Against the War if you so wish to represent the anti-war constituency of our country.

Further, in the spirit of grassroots democracy that you praise as the means of change in American society, we will be marching non-violently on Wednesday, August 27. Our march will hold accountable the Democratic Party for their initial and continued support for the illegal occupation of Iraq. We urge you to demonstrate your commitment to change by working with veterans and service members dedicated to ending the occupation of Iraq.

We will await your response to our proposal until 3:00 PM Wednesday, August 27.

Mobilized for Peace,
Iraq Veterans Against the War"

Go here if you want to watch all the Winter Soldier videos on YouTube.

Update: Granny Peace Brigade

from JOAN WILE -- ANTI-WAR GRANNY by Joan Wile
by Joan Wile, Author,
"Grandmothers Against the War: Getting Off Our Fannies and Standing Up for Peace"
(Citadel Press, May, 2008)

"All the perfumes in Arabia will not sweeten this little hand," spoke Lady Macbeth after manipulating her husband into murdering Duncan.

We can alter these immortal words to characterize General Electric's copping today, Aug. 26, of the Granny Peace Brigade's historic turf, the Times Square recruiting center, for its promotion of washing machines. We might say that "All the washing machines of GE cannot whitewash this corporate takeover of the grannies' protest site," dating back to October 17, 2005, when we were arrested and sent to jail following our attempt to enlist in the military.

We planned a demonstration there today to let the Democratic convention know that we want them to toughen up their platform concerning the war in Iraq and other peace issues. We made six-foot long faux knotty wood planks (made of foam mattresses cut in half) inscribed with our peace demands, which we carried from the recruiting center island to the NYS Democratic Party offices nearly a mile through midtown Manhattan. But, first, as is our custom, we held a press conference on "our" site. We were shocked to find a huge washing machine contraption occupying almost the entire concrete island, with lots of young Madison Avenue types hovering about. The head honcho pleaded with us not to hold our demonstration, but we remained firm. At one point, a couple of these promotion preppies nastily asked us how we could dare interfere with commerce. We asked them how they could dare interfere with our serious business of trying to save America's grandchildren's lives in Iraq.

So, there we were, legendary anti-war grannies standing next to one of America's biggest multinational giants, we trying to sell ending the occupation of Iraq NOW and they trying to sell yet another household appliance, undoubtedly to finance an infinite number of war machines and contracts.

Why did they choose this spot? We suspect it's because we, the grannies, made it so famous beginning when our arrest became a world-wide story overnight. We've held a number of colorful and unique demonstrations there since -- the March 2007 "Endless War Memorial," for instance, when for six days over 400 people, including a number of celebrities, read non-stop from dawn to nightfall the names of Iraqi and coalition dead in Iraq since the inception of our attack in 2003.

Another event outside the recruiting station was held on March 19, 2008, the date of the beginning of the 6th year of our occupation, when we held a Knit-In and knit stump socks there for amputee veterans. We are so well associated with the Times Square site that the American Friends Service Committee recently added it as the 15th in its Places of Conscience map, beginning in 1637. They explain in the map that they chose the island because of the grannies' act of nonviolent civil disobedience in 2007.

Today, our press conference featured famed civil liberties attorney, Norman Siegel, who successfully defended us at our six-day trial in Criminal Court; NYC Councilwoman Rosie Mendez's representative, Susan Kingsland; Vietnam vet member of Veterans for Peace, Chaplain Hugh Bruce; legendary actress-playwright, great-grandmother and one of the Times Square arrestees, Vinie Burrows; and songs performed by the Raging Grannies. We then marched on the "sidewalks of New York" to our destination on Park Ave. and 31st Street, where we held another demonstration with songs and speeches and laid our planks into an arrangement that did, indeed, resemble a platform.

We grannies have been trying to end this terrible occupation of Iraq for almost five years. We hope that today's action was our last in that regard, but we fear that it is not. Even if the Democrats get in, it is questionable if they have the courage and principles to do what we believe so strongly is the only right thing to do -- bring the troops home with no further delay and stay out of Iran. It is with great concern that we view the diminution of concern about our continued presence in Iraq by United States citizens. We, too, share an urgency about our failing economy, but we cannot, we will not, forget that our girls and boys in Iraq are still dying, at least 3 a week, and that untold numbers of Iraqis are, also. It still remains our highest priority."

Monday, August 25, 2008

HR 6307 and S 3038

Just a reminder to use the widget in the sidebar to contact your representatives to voice your support of these two bills. Here's an email I received about it this morning from The Children's Monitor Online.

"Why Congress May Be Close to the Most Significant Child Welfare Bill in a Decade

While most of the nation and the media's attention toward Congress has been focused on partisan debates and what some refer to as gridlock, Congress broke for its August recess very close to moving a child welfare bill that would be the most significant in at least a decade.

On June 24, the House of Representatives, by a voice vote, passed the Fostering Connections to Success Act (H.R. 6307). Representatives Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Jerry Weller (R-IL), respectively the Chair and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Income Support and Family Security, had introduced the bipartisan bill just days before. The legislation drew from an earlier bill McDermott had introduced (Invest in KIDS Act, H.R. 5466), with that bill serving as the basis for bipartisan discussions.

Shortly before Congress left for the August recess, the Senate Finance Committee released the Chairman's mark or substitute bill, a bipartisan agreement between Finance Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-IA). The Chairman's mark evolved from bipartisan discussions on a bill introduced last May by Grassley, S. 3038.

Because the Finance Committee ran out of time before it could act on the bill, the hearing or mark-up was rescheduled for September 10. CWLA has endorsed both bills, although differences exist. Negotiations in the coming weeks will hopefully resolve those differences into one bill. Both bills are significant for at least three reasons: They contain significant child welfare policy reforms, they are bipartisan, and they are paid for by offsets or savings in other areas of the government.

Although Congress has reauthorized other child welfare programs in the past decade such as the Child Abuse Prevention Treatment Act, the Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) program, and the Adoption Incentives program, sometimes with improvements, nothing has passed that would be as significant as this potential bill. The last major piece of legislation Congress adopted in this nature was the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) in 1997. That act, which created time frames to move children out of foster care, created the Adoption Incentives program and increased funding to PSSF, was significant, but it included little in the way of additional funds.

The House and Senate bills have several things in common that would make significant strides in the nation's child welfare system, although short of the comprehensive reform CWLA continues to promote.

Both bills reauthorize the Adoption Incentives program, with increased incentives for the adoption of special-needs children and children 9 and older. Both of these populations are disproportionately represented the more than 124,000 children waiting to be adopted. In fact, the reauthorization of this incentive program, due to expire this fiscal year, is the impetus for this overall package. Both bills take some slightly different approaches, with the Senate bill including a limited incentive fund for kinship placements, moving the program closer to a permanency incentive program.

Both bills would also extend support for kinship care by allowing states the option of using Title IV-E funds for relative kinship placements. Relatives can do this now, and be subsidized by federal Title IV-E funds, but only if they are considered foster parents. ASFA recognized kinship placements as one of three permanency options (along with adoptions and reunification), but never provided access to Title IV-E foster care funds, except for a few cases where states received temporary waivers.

The extension of funding to kinship care has been a long-time priority for CWLA. Working with other organizations, including Generation United, the Children's Defense Fund, and the Center on Law and Social Policy, legislation was developed and introduced by Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), S 661. In fact, Clinton announced the bill at a 2004 CWLA National Conference. That bill was later introduced in the House by Representatives Danny Davis (D-IL) and Tim Johnson (R-IL), HR 2188.

Although the Senate and House child welfare bills do not include everything in the Clinton and Davis bills, they do include an extension of funding, a requirement to notify relatives when a child enters the child welfare system, and a limited amount of money for kinship navigator programs.

The Senate and House child welfare bills also include changes that would allow tribal governments and consortia to apply directly for Title IV-E foster care and adoption assistance funding. Tribal communities can access these funds currently only as part of the state system or through and agreement with states. All too often, children on reservations go without the support of federal dollars for foster care or adoption assistance, creating an example of limited federal funds to tribal populations.

Direct access to funding would not be unusual, since tribes today have the ability to draw their own TANF (welfare) funds. Direct access to funding was also on CWLA's agenda, and bills have been introduced in this and previous congresses by members of both parties. The legislation has been a big priority for the Nation Indian Child Welfare Association.

The House and Senate legislation also would allow states the option to extend federal foster care funding to youth up to age 21. Under both bills, states would have an option to decide what age to go up to and would also define child-caring institutions for youth 18 or older to include independent-living settings.

CWLA endorsed legislation to extend care to age 21 (S. 1512), introduced early last year by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). Extending care to 21 has been a big priority for advocates in California, in particular the John Burton Foundation. Over the past two years, the PEW Charitable Trusts' Kids Are Waiting campaign has brought dozens of young people to Washington, DC, to talk about their experiences in foster care.More than 24,000 young people leave foster care each year due to becoming too old. The testimony of so many young people has had an impact on members of Congress in both parties.

Another important provision in the Senate and House bills would require states to keep children who enter foster care in their same schools if it is in the child's best interest. If it is not in the foster child's best interest, the case plan must have an arrangement for immediate enrollment into the new school district. Under both bills, the state must also offer an assurance that all foster children who are covered by mandatory school attendance laws are in fact enrolled and attending schools. The bills also allow states to include in the foster care maintenance payments the cost of transportation.

These education provisions also have broad bipartisan support. For the last three years, Casey Family Programs has been working with a coalition of child welfare groups, including CWLA, to address the education challenges for children in care. Much of the focus has been on ways to strengthen provisions in the McKinney-Vento Act, which covers homeless children and their access to schools. This law must be reauthorized along with the reauthorization of the federal elementary and secondary education act.

Despite the common provisions in the Senate and House bills, negotiations will be required over differences in language and some differences in approaches. For example, although the same requirements for licensing apply to foster and kin families, the Senate bill would also allow a 10- state demonstration to allow some greater flexibility in kinship licensing as it applies to square footage, bathroom space, and rooms. Differences also exist in the tribal provisions.

In addition to these generally common areas, three significant differences exist between the House and Senate bills. The Senate bill would delink adoption assistance payments from the non existent AFDC eligibility program. This eligibility requirement means states have to look back to their AFDC eligibility requirements as they existed on July 16, 1996. The eligibility applies to both adoption assistance and foster care. The Senate bill would phase out this eligibility link and eventually cover all special-needs adoption payments by FY 2013. The House bill does not include this provision. CWLA has sought an elimination of the link to AFDC. This provision would be a major step toward overall reform.

The House bill has two important provisions not found in the Senate version. It would allow Title IV-E training funds to be used for private agencies. Private agencies are a critical provider of child welfare services. Some states rely heavily on these agencies, and expanding these training funds are a critical part of a comprehensive child welfare workforce strategy. CWLA has long supported such an expansion of private agency training. The House provision was also in a bill sponsored by Representative Jerry Weller (R-IL).

A second feature in the House bill is new requirements around health care planning and care for foster children. The House bill requires coordination between the child welfare department and Medicaid and other key state health care partners. The planning would have to include screening of children in care, tracking their records, and providing medication. The provisions are strongly supported by Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA) and have been prompted by the American Academy of Pediatrics. CWLA has also endorsed these provisions.

In the end, the strongest bill would include all of the House and Senate provisions. That, however, may require finding enough offsets to cover additional costs. If Congress can do it, however, the expansion of federal support for adoptive families, kinship families, tribal populations, youth leaving foster care, stronger training for the workforce, and better health and education services for children in care would mark a major advancement for child welfare and would serve as perhaps one of the greatest accomplishments of the 110th Congress and for bipartisanship in Washington, DC, in 2008."

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Admittedly, I was procrastinating on the cleaning of my house after four days of ignoring it. Amazing just how bad it can get in a mere four days when only two people and two cats live here.
My Alternet daily alert came in the email box and had an article on what Bush plans to do in the next five months. I haven't been riled in awhile so I go read it. It was just more of the same on how we are going to get royally screwed before he goes out so...sigh...what else is new?
So I go to clicking links. It tells me if I want to keep tabs on the man then I should go to the Federal Register. This is where he is supposed to publish what he is doing. I think, cool, this should be easy and cool, right? Oh, no, there is a .gov attached to it. Unless you are up for some really hard digging and some really, really dry reading, then just ignore the Federal Register site completely. It's complicated to say the least. Anytime a site gives you two pages of directions on how to go about getting a subscription delivered to you email box, you know you're in trouble. Needless to say I won't be getting anything delivered to the email box on a regular basis :)
I did however, find some interesting pages while I was there. The Constitution of the United States--Main Page is pretty cool. You can find "Analysis and Interpretation of the Constitution and Annotations of Cases Decided by the Supreme Court of the United States and Supplements to the 2002 Edition". You can find all 27 amendments and various annotations broken down for you by section, legislative, judicial, executive, states relations, prior debts, acts of congress held unconstitutional by the supreme court, state constitutional and statutory provisions and municipal ordinances held to be unconstitutional and supreme court decisions overruled by subsequent decision all broken down into separate pdf files here For a full listing of all the databases you can find at the government printing office (GPO) go have a look here, I dare you :)

I'm not sure but I think my nerd score just went way up this morning. I actually found this fascinating :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Now It's Back to Business

Got this from NARAL Pro-Choice America. The title like will take you to the NARAL site guide.

"Yesterday, the Bush administration took the first step in pushing through its new anti-choice regulation.

Here's the deal—the regulation left out the most egregious anti-birth control provision that was present in the first version.

Thanks to opposition expressed by nearly 30,000 NARAL Pro-Choice America activists, more than 120 House members and 28 senators (pro-choice and pro-life alike), governors, state attorneys general, state legislators, members of the choice community, medical and public-health organizations, and the faith community, it is clear that the Bush administration is running scared.

Now the bad news—we're not out of the woods yet. This new version fails to give assurances that current laws about abortion will not be stretched to cover birth control, too.

We have 30 days to tell Bush's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to include explicit language in the regulation to ensure that birth control is not at risk. Please send a message to HHS right now.

We must show Bush that the vast majority of Americans oppose harmful and politically-driven attacks on reproductive freedom.

Thank you for everything you do.

My best,

Nancy Keenan
President, NARAL Pro-Choice America"


I want to take the time to thank everyone that prayed and sent good karma my way, I'm absolutely sure that it helped keep me calm and positive. I don't think I have ever been as calm as I was this morning :) Thanks again! I'm going to take a nap now...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Elder Wisdom Circle

The Elder Wisdom Circle is a weekly column I subscribe to. I never had grandparents. My maternal grandfather died the year I was born, maternal grandmother died when I was seven, but I never knew her. My parents were divorced so I never knew my paternal grandparents. I get my grandparent advice from the Elder Wisdom Circle and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I read their advice. I thought I would share one today that about sums it all up :)

Words of Wisdom
Q. I have always wanted to sit my Grandpa down and glean every ounce of advice he deemed important for me to know. Unfortunately, he passed away 3 days ago. I was hoping someone would share their words of wisdom on life.

A. I am so sorry for your loss. First of all think about the things you admired about him the most; his integrity, honesty, caring, sharing and loving. Emulate those things. I would like to share just a few words of wisdom: 1) Pick your friends and associates carefully. 2) Ensure your moral foundation is strong and don't give up your deep rooted values. 3) Don't give up, and write your goals down. 4) Never stop learning. 5) Don't be afraid to be alone and be your own best friend. 6) Seek truth in all situations and be honest with others and yourself. 7) Remember at all times that you are special, rare and original - there is no one on this earth that is like you. 8) Life is a journey - a lifetime of ups and downs, good and bad, success and failure. 9) Laugh, smile and be cheerful. 10) Develop faith. 11) Share your gifts with others. 12) Dream…
Best Regards,

Elder Wisdom Circle is a nationwide network of seniors aged 60-105 offering their experience and advice to anyone with a question. Visit to seek advice. Look for their new book The Elder Wisdom Circle guide for a Meaningful Life.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Postcards from Amerah...

I met this most awesome woman when I went back to school. We could see the "survivor" in each other's eyes and just hit it off. We've been friends ever since the first day. As time wore on though our friendship deepened as friendships will. She has since married and moved to Memphis. We did get to spend time with her on our "Trail of the Hellhound"(look on the blues page) weekend when we followed the blues trail from Vicksburg all the way up to Beale Street. Anyway from time to time she sends me emails that are hilarious and I've decided I would like to share them with you. Sometimes they crack me up, sometimes they make me cry but they are always beautiful to me because my friend remembered me enough to add a little sunshine to my day. I hope my sharing adds some to yours...

A Man and His Wife

A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each
Other the silent treatment. Suddenly, the man realized that the next day,
He would need his wife to wake him at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight.
Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper,
'Please wake me at 5:00 AM ' He left it where he knew she would find it.
The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AM
And he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and
See why his wife hadn't wakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper by
The bed. The paper said, 'It is 5:00 AM. Wake up.'
Men are not equipped for these kinds of contests.


A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word.
An earlier discussion had led to an argument and
Neither of them wanted to concede their position.
As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs,
The husband asked sarcastically, 'Relatives of yours?'
'Yep,' the wife replied , 'in-laws

'Cash, check or charge?' I asked, after folding items the woman wished to purchase.
As she fumbled for her wallet I noticed a re mote control for a television set in her purse.
'So, do you always carry your TV remote?' I asked.
'No,' she replied, ' but my husband refused to come shopping with me,
And I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally.'

I know I'm not going to understand women.
I'll never understand how you can take boiling hot wax,
Pour it onto your upper thigh, rip the hair out by the root,
And still be afraid of a spider.


A husband read an article to his wife about how many words women use a day...
30,000 to a man's 15,000.
The wife replied, 'The reason has to be because we have to repeat everything to men...
The husband then turned to his wife and asked, 'What?'

A man said t o his wife one day, 'I don't know how you can be
So stupid and so beautiful all at the same time.
' The wife responded, 'Allow me to explain.
God made me beautiful so you would be attracted to me;
God made me stupid so I would be attracted to you!

A man and his wife were having an argument about who
Should brew the coffee each morning.
The wife said, 'You should do it, because you get up first,
And then we don't have to wait as long to get our coffee.'
The husband said, ' You are in charge of cooking around here and
You should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for my coffee.'
Wife replies, 'No, you should do it, and besides, it is in the Bible
That the man should do the coffee.'
Husband replies, 'I can't believe that, show me.'
So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New Testament
And showed him at the top of several pages, that it indeed says..........'HEBREWS'

God may have created man before woman,
But there is always a rough draft before the masterpiece.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Fried Cornbread :)

I'll let y'all in on a little secret...usually when I post about food it's because I have just pigged out on something wonderful, the guilt sets in, so I write about it to alleviate some of the guilt :) For almost a year now, we have been living on friggin' hamburger helper or the generic version thereof. Three-cheese pasta is the one the boy likes the best. I can not begin to explain how I feel when I look down at my plate and there it is, yet again... I've started just putting a single spoonful on my plate and gagging it down. Anyway this week I decided we needed some greens. Cabbage is our favorite (doesn't require as much prep work as other greens), stir-fried with salt and pepper in about a teaspoon of margarine. We like it just plain steamed too, but tonight it was with a teaspoon of margarine. K, that's where the semi-healthy meal ended....

I remember years ago when I was about 12 or so my mother was reading in the Betty Crocker cookbook or some such yankee publication that a one inch square piece of cornbread had 200 calories! She was quite shocked and had a grand old time calling all her cronies telling them about it. I'm quite sure Betty Crocker was talking about just plain cornbread and not the Martha White (I bow to the god Martha White every time I get praise for my cornbread) self-rising buttermilk cornbread. It is the closest mix there is to real grist mill-down-home southern cornbread...just ask any good southern cook :) Normally I follow the recipe on the back and then add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of sugar...I know my ancestors are rolling around in their graves when I write those words, because all my life I heard "only Yankees put sugar in their cornbread" Blasphemy, I know...and I blame our favorite little old greek grandmother landlord we had in Atlanta for it. She was all about "lotsa, lotsa, eggs, lotsa, lotsa, butter, lotsa, lotsa, cream and sugar" It seems she didn't think very much of my cooking :) She did teach me how to make a mean spanakopita though. K, back to the cornbread...

Last night I decided we needed something to go with the cabbage and everyone knows that the perfect compliment to greens is cornbread. The last time I made cornbread in my iron skillet I didn't get it hot enough before pouring the batter in and it stuck to the bottom. I haven't gotten around to re-seasoning it yet so you see I had to fry the cornbread...I just had to :) I know I could have made cornbread muffins in the muffin pan but they wouldn't have come out with a crust and you just can't eat cornbread if it doesn't have crust so I had to fry it. So since I'm all about not wasting anything anymore, I put the remaining batter from last night in the fridge. Last night we had plain burgers w/worchestishire sauce (yum) because I didn't have to think about lunch the next day, but tonight it was HH, greens and fried cornbread again. You see we had to have it two nights in a row because I wasn't sure how long the batter would last. Well, tonight it was so much better than last night! I don't know why it was, but the buttermilk flavor was much more pronounced tonight. For someone who would never drink buttermilk in a glass, I truly adore the flavor of it in cornbread, cakes and such.

So I do feel somewhat righteous tonight...Last night I ate it grease and all. Believe me, it doesn't matter how much oil you put in the skillet to fry it, it will soak it all up during the frying process. Tonight, I decided to blot it as well as I could on a paper towel...see...righteous :) So I think I'll go roll my big ole pig belly into the bedroom and watch some tv. Can't be expending any of those calories now can we? :)


It seems that out of my 400 posts, this one is my best...or at least the most clicked on. It has occurred to me that even though it has survived in it's own glory I have not included a recipe for "fried cornbread" in the post. Chalk it up to a "senior moment" or a "brain fart" or whatever... Here is the recipe taken straight from the back of Martha White's Self-Rising Buttermilk Corn Meal Mix. The only thing I do different is add sugar.

"Southern Country Cornbread"

1 egg, beaten (I use a medium egg, a large seems to make it dry)
1 1/3 cups milk
1/4 cup oil or melted shortening (I have used real butter but that's just way to decadent)Mostly I use vegetable oil in the batter because it makes it lighter and use bacon fat to grease the skillet because it adds flavor and makes a better crust.
2 cups Martha White Self-rising Buttermilk Corn Meal Mix

Pre-heat oven to 450. Grease 8 or 9 inch oven proof skillet (that's funny isn't it? for the yankees, I suppose) or square pan*, place in oven. Bake at 450 for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 6 to 8 servings
*Recipe will make 12 muffins or 16 cornsticks. Preheat muffin cups or cornstick pans in oven. Fill cups 2/3 full. Bake at 450 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

If you are going to fry it, start with about a quarter to a half inch of vegetable oil in the skillet and get it *frying hot* I'm not sure just how hot that is. On my stove it's just a fraction hotter than "medium-high" :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Dream Part II

Well, I'm doing my morning stuff, searching for things to share with you and lo and behold SAMHSA has provided me a complete blueprint for how to go about realizing my dream. Never mind that my brain might explode trying to do it, it is there for me to try to implement. I guess now, I will find out just how good my networking skills are because I will need brains far more educated than mine to carry it out...but I already knew that :) I have provided the link for Sustaining Grassroots Community-Based Programs: A Toolkit for Community and Faith-Based Service Providers here, with the title of this post and in the sidebar. I must warn you though, it is 156 pages and does take a few minutes to completely download.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Woman being beaten by police in Shreveport

This is wrong on oh-so-many-levels but here's a thought...when arrested for DUI, hit and run, reckless driving and in police custody, ask nicely for your phone call and then sit down, shut the f*** up and understand that you really lost all your rights when you decided to get behind the wheel of a*tfaced...

Maybe it was growing up in Mississippi in the 60's, being white and having black friends but I was taught proper ettiquette for dealing with police at a very early age. It did provide an excellent time for a lesson to the kid on what to do in such situations....

Michael!: Must Read :)

Mostly I stay away from Michael Moore. I would like to say this is because he is way too far to the left for me. The truth is, he makes me uncomfortable in my own skin. Whenever I force myself to read his writings or see his movies, I am forced to re-evaluate everything and re-adjust my value system and yes, I am forced to think. I may not always agree with what he says and I may think that sometimes he is just waaay-out-there, the fact is, I am proud of the fact he is out there doing what he does, slapping us in the face and saying...think about it! Today on his website there is a piece on "Six Ways the Democrats Can Lose the Election."

You might have noticed I have been off the political bandwagon for some time now. There were several reasons for my doing this. It wasn't that I no longer believed Obama was the right man for the job. It was simply Obama's cavings on several important issues that led to my partial disillusion. Mr. Moore's article covers them quite nicely. I truly hope these can be rectified before the election because I am truly afraid of what will happen to those of us who are not wealthy in this country, given four more years of republican control.

The Twin Cities Radical Social Work Group

This was taken from their homepage:

"We are a group of social workers in the Twin Cities who met monthly to study and discuss Radical Social Work. Although we are not currently meeting, our e-mail list is still active.

We believe that as social workers we have a responsibility to work towards social structural change to resolve the fundamental issues our clients face, not simply resolving individual crises as they arise.

Our Mission Statement:

The Radical Social Work Study Group exists both to radicalize the profession from within, and to develop alliances with those who may not identify with the profession of social work at all. We aim to:

1. Read and study, to promote an "informed radicalism"
2. Discuss current events, solidifying viewpoints and building awareness of social issues
3. Support the personal struggles of members to maintain a radical perspective in everyday life
4. Make public statements of the group's position on local issues of concern
5. Become a resource for social work education"

They have 52 suggestions for simple radical actions one can take:

52 Simple Radical actions:

1. Carve out a few hours in your work schedule every week to be radical. Justify it to your supervisor. Encourage the people you supervise to do the same.
2. Find out who your local and national government representatives are, and write their addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers, and e-mail addresses in your Rolodex.
3. Model taking good care of yourself.
4. Find ways to ally yourself with (instead of only advocating for) your client.
5. Include clients in organizational decision-making.
6. Research your own effectiveness as a practitioner, and share the results with your colleagues.
7. Read at least one relevant journal article per month.
8. Go to a block club meeting in the neighborhood where you work or live, and encourage your clients to do the same.
9. Always speak respectfully of clients. Don't give in to "client-bashing."
10. Participate in Social Work Day at the Capitol.
11. Keep clients informed of pending legislation that affects the services that they receive. Provide phone numbers of their legislators and encourage them to call and share their experiences.
12. Inform clients about what avenues they can take if they are dissatisfied or especially pleased with your work.
13. Don't ever apologize for being "just" a social worker.
14. Evaluate your agency's intake forms and brochures to make sure they are friendly to diverse populations (i.e. appropriate demographic questions, non-parental caregivers, gay and lesbian families) and that they are easily understood. Do you really need all the information you ask for?
15. Sign up for the SWAA and RSWSG e-mail listservs (see resource list).
16. Be visible and vocal in your support for others who are trying to practice radical social work.
17. Ask your clients for feedback on your job performance.
18. Write a letter to your congressperson about a social justice issue that affects your clients.
19. Meet with your congressperson to tell them about the type of work you do and the issues facing your clients.
20. Pick up voter registration cards and put them in your agency’s lobby with a sign encouraging your clients to register.
21. Ask your clients and co-workers if they’re registered to vote.
22. Talk to your clients about political candidates and issues that could effect them in upcoming elections.
23. Volunteer for a political campaign.
24. Join the Radical Social Work Study Group, or start your own study group.
25. Read David Gil’s Confronting Injustice and Oppression (1998, New York: Columbia University Press) and discuss it with someone (see resource list).
26. Reject political neutrality and let other people know how you think.
27. Start a self-help group for clients.
28. Ally yourself with a service consumer organization such as the Alliance for the Mentally Ill or the Welfare Rights Committee.
29. Subscribe to Session Weekly and Briefly, the publications of the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate, to keep updated on what bills the legislature is considering. They’re free!
30. Learn the rules so you can break them properly.
31. Have a presentation and discussion about Radical social work at your staff meeting.
32. Read Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky (see resource list).
33. The next time a co-worker requests advice on how to address a client’s issue, recommend one thing they can do on the macro level to attempt to impact the social cause, i.e., call their legislator and ask what is being done about the housing crisis.
34. Vote.
35. Encourage others to vote.
36. Keep informed about issues being decided in the legislature by signing up for an Action Alert list through organizations like Affirmative Options, The Children’s Defense Fund, Family and Children’s Services etc.
37. Increase your own critical consciousness by serving meals at a soup kitchen on your lunch hour once a month.
38. Talk politics in the lunchroom.
39. Read one article in a journal or newspaper that relates to Radical social work and share your thoughts with a co-worker or family member.
40. Read an article about cross-cultural practice and integrate a technique or tool into your everyday practice.
41. Study global affairs and think about interdependence of all people in the world.
42. Go to city hall or county offices and gather demographic information. Find out the economic level of the population in the area you serve and how many people live in poverty.
43. Contact your local housing authority and find out what housing is available for the disadvantaged in your community.
44. Join a local zoning and planning commission to make your voice heard about housing for the disadvantaged.
45. Attend a county board meeting.
46. Attend a city council meeting.
47. Attend a meeting of your neighborhood organization.
48. Form a Social Justice group in your church, synagogue or mosque.
49. Meditate once a week on peace.
50. Visit your children's schools and look at curriculum materials for social justice content.
51. Find out what social action groups are operating in your work or home communities.
52. Find an opportunity to collaborate with someone in your professional or home communities on social justice concerns.

If you have more suggestions for actions that you or others might take to be a little more radical, e-mail them to me and I'll add them to the list. My e-mail address is:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

National District Attorney's Association Update

The title link will take you to an eight page pdf file titled "Practitioner's Guide to the Adam Walsh Act"

From the SMART Office:

"Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehension, Registration and Tracking (SMART) Office
“Sex Offender Registry Laws: From Jacob Wetterling to Adam Walsh”
By Laura L. Rogers, Director of SMART Office
As Director of the new Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) Office within the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, one of my responsibilities is to educate law enforcement officers and other criminal justice professionals on recent statutory changes relating to registration of sex offenders. This article outlines various changes instituted by the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (AWA), which President Bush signed into law last year.
National standards for the registration of sex offenders were previously set by the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act. Under Wetterling, the national standards for registration of sex offenders applied to states, the District of Columbia, and principal territories. Wetterling required residency registration and encouraged registration of employment and school information. AWA adds includes Indian tribal jurisdictions and requires registration by sex offenders where they reside, are employed and attend school. AWA increases the federal failure to register penalty and allows for state sex offenders to be prosecuted federally for failure to register pursuant to inter-jurisdiction or foreign travel.
The AWA broadens the range of offenses against adults to cover crimes that involve sexual contact, while Wetterling was limited to assaults involving sexual acts, such as rape. AWA includes crimes of child pornography and conspiracy and extends registration beyond adults to include certain juveniles convicted only of the most serious sex offenses.
AWA establishes three tiers of registration requirements, based on offense severity. Tier I offenders must register for 15 years and complete annual in-person showups; tier II offenders must register for 25 years and complete semiannual showups; tier III offenders register for lifetime and complete quarterly showups. As under Wetterling, recidivism pushes offenders into higher tiers. AWA provides for tier I and juveniles offenders to be relieved of their registration requirement after maintaining a clean record for 10 and 25 years, respectively.
Wetterling required sex offenders to submit their names and residential addresses, with relatively limited requirements concerning other information. The AWA strengthens reporting requirements by mandating sex offenders submit information including SSN, employer and school information, fingerprints, physical description, photograph and a DNA sample.
A key element of the AWA is that it establishes standards to promote greater uniformity across public sex offender Web sites. Wetterling required the establishment of state sex offender Web sites, but left discretion to states about which registrants and what information would be posted. AWA establishes minimum requirements regarding which sex offenders and what information must be made available to the public through state and the National Sex Offender Public Website, and it sets forth specifications about required search capabilities. Information that is statutorily exempted from public dissemination will be included on law enforcements National Sex Offender Registry.
Another responsibility of the SMART Office is to provide jurisdictions with guidance regarding implementation of the AWA. The SMART Office is working on implementation guidelines. After the ongoing internal review process at the Department of Justice is completed, the guidelines will be made available for public comment. The dissemination of the guidelines is a top priority for the SMART Office.
Interim rules regarding the retroactivity of AWA were published in the Federal Registry on February 28, 2007. Public comment is available until April 30, 2007. Sex offenders convicted of an AWA registration offense, who have completed their registration requirements, must register if they come back into the judicial system by receiving a conviction for another crime, regardless of whether the offense is a sex offense.
All jurisdictions are required to implement the minimum standards included in Title 1 of the AWA by July 27, 2009. Jurisdictions should consider AWA minimum requirements as a floor, not a ceiling. Jurisdictions are free to implement regulations that are stricter than what AWA requires."

For a complete view of The National Guidelines for Sex Offender Registration and Notification go here

National Quality Measures Clearinghouse

The National Quality Measures Clearinghouse has a new site. Healthcare Innovations Exchange
Here are just a few interesting programs I found through the site: Adapting Your Practice: General Recommendations for the Care of Homeless Patients and Caring for Diverse Populations with Dementia "The Diversity Resources were developed to include a variety of resources for people with dementia, their families and caregivers and health and social service professionals."

These two sites are great resources and I recommend them highly.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

VINELink ver 2.0

"VINELink is the online version of VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday), the National Victim Notification Network. This service allows crime victims to obtain timely and reliable information about criminal cases and the custody status of offenders 24 hours a day. Victims and other concerned citizens can also register to be notified by phone, email or TTY device when an offender's custody status changes. Users can also register through their participating state or county toll-free number."

The Blues Page

I've been neglecting the blues page this month, so I felt like Stevie Ray this Sunday morning. Go have a listen... :)

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Today, I will try to do my best with my writing, but first I want to tell you why I can not write like I should be able to, given my background.

I've told you all before about how my son's father was an abusive alcoholic. What I didn't tell you was for nearly three years I was afraid to go to sleep and didn't. It was inconceivable to my thinking a human being could go without sleep for more than a couple of days and when I first started doing it, it was a sort of contest with myself to see if I could.

In the beginning my not sleeping was borne out of gut-wrenching fear. Fear that he would come home in one of his rages and I would not be aware enough to protect us. This fear as the most real fear I have ever felt, if not the most rational. The longer I went without sleep the easier it became to stay awake and eventually I couldn't sleep.

Now this is a testament to my strength. It was nearly two years before I started having flashes of hallucinations. Nothing full blown I could describe, just thinking someone was there and turning to see just a flash. These flashes happened every third month, then every month, then every week, then a couple of times a week until and I think I've told this before, I was looking out my child's window one brilliant day filled with sunshine, birds chirping and with the smell of fresh spring grass being mowed, I saw the lucky charms elf guy laid-back on a tree limb, smoking a huge pipe, with his legs crossed, kicking his foot, laughing and waving at me. He was gone as quickly as he had appeared. I was horrified.

Even in my psychotic state I knew what that was. I knew that while I had done a great many drugs in my youth, for the most part they were depressants, to help me escape the reality of my childhood sexual abuse. I had only hallucinated one time after being tricked into drinking mushroom kool-aid. I grew up in the 60's but never ever wanted to hallucinate. Never tried or even entertained the idea of trying hallucinogens. Nope, that was never going to be me. Yet, here I was full blown sober for years, hallucinating.

To make a long story short, it scared me into finally seeking the help I needed. By the grace of God I was in Atlanta at the time with access to free mental health clinics and therapy and anti-depressants. I continued with this regimen on and off until I decided to go back to school years later. This was when I realized the full extent of what I had lost.

I don't know the exact point I lost my Phd level vocabulary but somewhere along the way it disappeared and no matter how hard I try I can't seem to get it back. When I was tested in the seventh grade my vocabulary was already beyond college level. Probably because I used books as an escape from my reality before I discovered drugs. In my 20's I could out-talk any intellectual, including college professors, I knew except my mother :) but that's another story for another day. These days, if I can figure out how to use "overarching" in a sentence, it is cause for great celebration and many self pats on the back :) I have managed to find a way to communicate with my middle school command of the english language but it will always be a bone of contention with me and well, just plain sad. So anyway that's the reason I don't write any more than I do and the reason why you will never see my name in a byline of some prestigious publication.

Now that I've gotten all that crap out of the way, on to the title of this post, dreams....

This morning I woke up at 2am. Why, you ask? Because NBC decided to make up for all the money they've lost with crappy programs and put an advertisement on every other minute of the opening ceremonies, so I fell asleep after the USA came out on the field. Yep, I missed the awesome lighting of the torch. Damn Commercials! So I get up at 2am and drink an entire 4 cup pot of coffee, which unlike most people, puts me right back to sleep. The dream was a typically fragmented dream representing stuff I had experienced through the day intermingled with the unconscious and the conscious dreams of what I really want which started me thinking about that dream I've had since childhood.

My first recollection of it was, I would grow up and have a husband that worshiped me and we would have a house full of children and I would lovingly prepare meals for them and teach them all that I knew, as would he, we would raise them up to be outstanding young adults together and then husband and I would send them out into the world to make their own way and we would rock in our rocking chairs on the front porch while our children periodically brought the grandchildren to visit and be spoiled.

So I've resigned myself to the fact that the husband part is probably never going to happen but does that mean I can't still have my dream? No, I think not. So the dream has been amended yet another time. Here is the amended version...

I want to be "house mother" in a home for abandoned, abused and neglected children 8 through 18. I want a great big old victorian mansion, pale yellow with white shutters and white trim with a wrap around porch and hardwood floors (probably laminate) everywhere except the kitchen and bathrooms. I want 10-20 acres of land to surround it with access to, at the very least, a "branch" (small, clear stream leading to a river) for swimming. I want to do for these kids what I never got to do for my own "large brood." Think, the old lady and the shoe and you should get a clear picture only I will know what to do. :) I want to be the one they trust, the one they come to in their time of need, the one that offers them a place to feel safe and be their teacher about life. I want to teach them how to cook grand meals, live by a budget and balance a checkbook. I want to give them the skills they will need to make their own way in life or help them find out how to acquire those skills I have no clue how to do. I will have to find someone successful in love and relationships to provide their classes on that subject. The only thing that I could tell them that I have learned is that it all boils down to respect...respect of self first, then respect for the significant other, then respect for the relationship. Being able to communicate and respectfully disagree are key components also. I've told the boy all his life that if anyone ever tells you that they don't deserve you then believe them and run as fast as you can in the other direction. I learned that the hard way. Finally, it did occur to me that they probably did know themselves better than I did and I should just take them at their word and not stupidly think I could change them and stay.

I believe I have the skills to do this. The one thing I never doubted about myself was that I am good at mothering and now I have access to expertise and programs I never had before. I need someone to teach me how to write a grant for this. I have searched through all the grants available and it looks like there may be some options but I have no clue where to begin with the writing and research. I have this great big ole' lofty dream and I'm stuck on the cliff, afraid to jump in. I guess, one day at a time....

Friday, August 8, 2008

Feministe--Is it worth the risk?

There is a great guest post up over at Feministe on fibromyalgia and living with disability. I would repost it here but it is very long and I want you to go check out other posts over there so as always click the title link to be taken there. Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

This Needs to be Federal Legislation

I know I said I was going to take a nap but then I ran across this...
The title link will take you to the latest story on Boni Frederick's killers.

"Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher signed into law a measure intended to boost safety for the state's social services workers.

Senate Bill 59 – known as the Boni Frederick Memorial Bill – was named in honor of Boni Frederick, a social services aide who was fatally beaten and stabbed while she was in the line of duty.

The bill will provide $3.5 million to fund security improvements at state child welfare offices. Another $2.5 million will be used to hire additional front-line staff.

The law calls for the implementation of several safety elements, including giving staff devices enabled with “panic buttons” and global positioning system capabilities. It also has an emergency clause, meaning it takes effect immediately.

“The new law is a good start for the changes we need to bolster the security of the child protection system,” Fletcher said. “The measures I signed into law today will protect both social services staff and the families – particularly the children – they serve.”

The original bill, which was backed by Fletcher's administration, had called for about $20 million during the next 16 months to add more than 300 social services staffers, including 225 social workers

Tighter Security, 24-Hour Access to Criminal Records

Kentucky lawmakers supported the new law.

“One of the best aspects of this law is that social services workers will see a difference almost immediately,” said Sen. Charlie Borders, R-Russell. “Their office security will be tightened, and with faster access to criminal records of families being served, they will know sooner when something is amiss.”

Under the new law, local offices of the Department of Community-Based Services will receive security enhancements such as buzzer-entry systems that restrict access to staff work areas from front lobbies. Staff also will have 24-hour access to criminal records.

“Passage of the Boni Bill is just the beginning of a safety net for our social workers and we plan to do more in the near future,” said Rep. Tom Burch, D-Louisville.

Mark Birdwhistell, secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services – where Frederick worked – said he and his staff welcome the long-sought legislation.

“From the tragedy of Ms. Frederick’s death has emerged much-needed support for improving the safety of our social services staff, as well as an awareness of the valuable work they perform each and every day,” Birdwhistell said."

New Page and Other Stuff's me...remember me? I have been all about business on and with this page for so long I know you have missed me :)

So, this is what I've been up to...

Created a new page this morning just for my university's school of social work. Men with Pens would be proud, I suspect. Except for the font...sorry, MWP I changed it on here 'cause you said it was hard to read and there is much stuff on here to read but I have to have it somewhere. I use Georgia normally by default. It is a silent tribute to my son who was born in Georgia and his love for the University of Georgia Bulldogs. I'm not going to do the rah-rah here because I need my sanity for a little while longer and there's plenty of time for that later. Luckily, Jackson State doesn't play them in football or we would have blood and guts all over this house during that game :).What was I talking about? oh, yeah, the new can see it here. Nothing fancy or all involved but(snerk)it does link to this page :)

Now on to the other stuff. This is not a pleasant topic for me and really hard to write about but I learned a long time ago to not hold stuff in to the point it festers and I explode. When I do, it is never pretty and I am always the one suffering the most from the consequences. So I have removed my sitemeter, my lover, my entertainment, my distraction from the real world. Why, you ask?

It was creeping me out when someone would come to my site in excess of 10 times a day and click my sitemeter tab. Not every time but most times. This became an obsession with me and I ended up with the hair on the back of my neck stiff from being at attention the entire day. Why would it creep me out? Because I don't understand why someone would want to know my stats that many times a day. I freely share them with my readers from time to time anyway. I realized the widget allowed anyone to not only go to my stats page but also allowed them to go to my details page. The details page tells me where you came from, where you live or where your browser lives, how many pages you visited and what you clicked on to leave. Someone else besides me being able to see all that personal information about my precious readers was just not acceptable to me. I can put my life out there but I don't have the right to put my readers lives out there for anyone to use as they see fit. I really thought it was a fluke and the person would tire of it and move on, but it continued and seemed to be a never-ending thing. It makes my skin crawl just thinking about it. *Edit* Now that I've had time to think about it I suppose I should thank my cyber-stalker for bringing it to my attention..........

So anyway, I removed it and went with Google analytics and believe me I won't be having any love affair with G-A. It reminds me of the chairman of the board type, round spectacles, corn cob up his a** know the type. It is very thorough though I have to admit. It doesn't really give me real time, where you came from, what you clicked on and where you went stats though. Maybe it just needs more time to do it's thing. Besides I always have MyBlogLog for that even if I do have to wait a day for it. Speaking of MBL. I have a contact request yesterday from someone that publishes...I quit counting at 57...different blogs! Boggles the brain :)

K, so that's it for today, I'm going to straighten up the kitchen my boy cleaned spotless for me yesterday (so I would cook chili!)then take a short nap and then hit the books again :) Have a great day!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Some Good News and Some Bad News

These two articles came from the Children's Monitor Online, a public policy update from the Child Welfare League of America. The good news:

"Higher Education Act Reauthorized with New Loan Forgiveness Included

Last week, Congress gave final approval to legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. The bill (S. 1642) is the first reauthorization of higher education since 1998; most significantly for child welfare, it includes a new program to allow loan forgiveness for social workers who work for public or private child welfare agencies.

The provision must be funded now, but its inclusion in the law is the first significant step in child welfare workforce development in many years. The provision actually addresses several areas of workforce need, including certain teaching specialties, Head Start and Child Care teachers, and social workers in child welfare. Once enacted, it would allow up to $2,000 in loan forgiveness for each year a social worker remains with an agency, to a maximum of five years and $10,000.

Several more steps are necessary before the program is in effect, including regulations and appropriating funds. CWLA will continue to monitor its development; look for additional information in coming weeks."

The bad news:

"Senate Finance Committee Postpones Adoption of Child Welfare Bill

The scheduled Senate Finance Committee action on a major child welfare financing bill was abruptly postponed August 1 when Senators agreed to wrap up their summer session Thursday night, July 31. Although they remained in formal session last Friday, there were no votes and few members around.

The Senate Finance Committee was set to adopt S. 3038, the Improved Adoption Incentives and Relative Guardianship Support Act of 2008, at the mark up session. The legislation, which represents the work of chief sponsors Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA), takes the original Grassley bill introduced last May and adds several provisions similar to the House companion bill, the Fostering Connections to Success Act (H.R. 6307) sponsored by Representatives Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Jerry Weller (R-IL).

Both bills include significant improvements in child welfare. They are crafted with bipartisan support and are both paid for. Each of the bills would reauthorize the adoption incentives program, provide for Title IV-E funding of kinship placements, and require states to have agreements in place that will allow foster children to remain in school or, if that is not possible, get immediate enrollment in a new school.

The Baucus-Grassley bill includes a phased-in delink for adoption assistance. By 2011, all special-needs adoptions would be eligible for federal support. Currently, eligibility is linked to the now defunct-AFDC cash assistance program--eligibility as it existed 12 years ago. The phase-in covers older children in special-needs adoption in the first years. The McDermott-Weller bill does not include an adoption delink. The Baucus-Grassley bill would allow states to extend foster care to age 21 at state option, but this provision would not take effect until fiscal year 2011 (October 1, 2010). The McDermott-Weller bill would allow states the option in the first year. The Baucus-Grassley bill would allow tribal governments to apply for direct access to federal foster care, adoption, and kinship funding, but the requirements are more stringent than the provisions in the McDermott-Weller bill.

The Baucus-Grassley bill includes a few other provisions not in the House bill, such as creation of a new resource center for tribes, some limited funding for state-tribal collaborations, a kinship incentive program, and a 10-state demonstration grant allowing states to suspend foster care licensing requirements in regard to bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage for kinship families. The demonstrations would last for three years, with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services required to report back within one year on the effect of state efforts. Two items not included in the Senate bill but in the McDermott-Weller bill are the expansion of Title IV-E training to private agencies, a CWLA legislative agenda item and an important workforce improvement strategy, and health planning requirements for children in care.

The Senate Finance Committee could take up the bill on September 10, when it returns for the fall session. Depending on the pace of Senate action, the goal would be to negotiate the differences in language and programs between the House and Senate versions and come up with a final bill that could pass through the politically charged atmosphere in September. If Congress can do it, this would be a significant accomplishment not just for Congress and CWLA members, but for thousands of children and families."

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Drive-by-Shooting Sunday: Prin's Links

I've been waiting about 6 weeks for this review of my site. While I know most of what they say is true and I know I asked for the abuse but...Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! So I will be taking their suggestions...most of them and making some changes to the site. Before I do I would like to know what my readers think. So if you would be so kind as to click the title link, read and let me know what you think should go, what should stay etc, etc. Thanks.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

"that" and bread

So, I have this rave bubbling inside of me today, plus the AADD is in overdrive. First I want to explain the title of this post by saying, I am no grammar/spelling/English language queen. There are words, however, in the English language given to driving me up the proverbial wall, "that" is one of them. Now here is where you should go click the title link to see for yourself the disgrace and know why I might want to go take a long soaking bubble bath to soothe my last nerve.

Normally, I read AlterNet every day. I subscribe to several of their feeds but today I am considering the cancellation of all my subscriptions, simply because of the writing in this article. The detested word is even in (assumption here) Alternet's editor's title description of the article! I just feel there is no sentence in the English language which would not be made better with the use of another word or by dropping the word completely from the sentence. I have other pet peeves but I'll leave those for another post.

Now on to the other rant. If you weren't living in the Gulf Coast region before Katrina then you won't get it. I am allergic to wheat so the only kind of bread I can eat is white bread. The cheaper it is and the more beaten to a pulp the wheat berry is in the making of such white bread the easier it is for me to tolerate, plus you can not make a tomato sandwich with any other kind of's just an abomination.

Before Katrina we had the most lovely white bread in the country. It was cheap and usually on sale for 79 cents a loaf. It was never more than a buck. It was so soft and airy you had to be really careful with it's packaging in the store and transportation home lest you get home with it so mushed it was totally inedible. It always had the front seat of the car even if there were other humans needing to get home. Before Katrina it was plentiful and my favorite was the Kroger brand "buttermilk" thin sandwich bread. In a pinch, I would usually go for Brookshires thin sandwich white bread.

After Katrina there was no bread of any kind for a month or so. When it did start trickling in, it was stale and has pretty much been stale ever since. Certainly not the quality we were used to. Now come on people, I understand that you might have had four weeks of bread backed up that you needed to unload on those of us desperate for bread, but three years?!?! On August 29th of this year it will have been three years since Katrina devastated us. Yesterday I went to the store to try to find a loaf of soft white can not imagine just how time-consuming this is. You used to be able to walk in and just feel a couple of loaves to find a suitable one, now you have to check out nearly every one and finally settle on the least offensive. All of this aggravation now costs me at least $1.29 a loaf and I have seen it close to $2! for a loaf of white bread...gimmee a break! If the crust on top is not hard then you have to be sure to check out the bottom because it might be. This phenomenon can only be caused by sitting in storage for way too long, which means we are still getting the backup supply. How about this...take a couple of months worth and give it to the zoo or somewhere to feed the birds or other critters. Then maybe we can have a decent tomato sandwich before summer is over. Besides I am getting a little sick of friggin' toast!