Friday, February 26, 2010

Grown In My Heart: Adoption Carnival VI

Adoption Carnival VI: the Racism Rainbow

This weeks adoption carnival is on the subject of racism and how it has affected our lives or how we will handle it when the time comes.

There have been several sad post recently on adopted children and their run-ins with racism. When I read these post I get physically sick. I really feel like I am going to vomit. It upsets me that much.

We have had little incidents that don't require much more than a listening ear, an acknowledgment of hurt and an assurance of the wrong-doing. So far no really big incidents where I felt or my daughter felt it needed to be kicked-up a notch and handled with adult intervention. Most of the time empowering the child has worked.

Racism is here.

It is ugly.

It's not going anywhere.

But you know what? I've found there is an even BIGGER problem than the racism.

Gasp! How could I say that???

Well, I've tried my best to better educate myself on racism. It's a hard, hard road. I've battled white guilt that was crippling. I've stuck my head in the sand when it got too tough. But I keep plugging away and watching for the little things in life that are not right and do my best to identify and work on the problems I see -- within myself and others.

And I've run into more brick walls than I can even begin to tell you about.

Racism is bad.

DENIAL of racism is much worse.

I've run into so many denials of racism. People that REFUSE to look at it objectively or even hear it....because they don't live it. And if they don't live it, it must not exist.

And part of that is the people that will try to point out that many people have been made fun of. Maybe its too many freckles, crooked teeth or some other difference that gets them made fun of.

Like that is racism.

No folks...that is not racism. That is being made fun of. It is being singled out. It is not racism or anywhere near on the same level. But then, since they've never lived on wrong side of the color line....they don't get that.

And how do you educate those that REFUSE to see?

I don't know.

I try and its like beating my head against a brick wall. All I get is bloody.

But I keep trying.

And part of that is because of my own son.

The one raised in diverse areas (military) and with a Chinese sister.

The one that made a not nice remark when a car pulled up beside us with the booming music.

When I pointed out that he just made a racist remark....well, he unloaded on me.

About how racism is a lie. How him and his friends had never seen this racism "they" tried to claim. How it is nothing more than reverse-racism on "their" part. Blah, blah, blah.

My son.

That I raised.

In diverse areas. Raised by parents that are not racist.

But see - he was still raised in a middle class bubble. What we believe and talked about was not enough. He had never been treated or treated someone as "racist" so its all a lie.

And I really don't know what to do to change things.

It wasn't too difficult with my son....but impossible with the adults I've run into with the same attitude. Educated, reasonable people. Except on this subject.

And I admit it. I have no idea how to change things.

And without that type of can't go away.

So, I continue with damage control at home, to the best of my ability.

And I know racism is here to stay. Because those that could help make a difference and step up to help fight this. They don't even see it.

How sad it that?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Love A Good Book

Too funny! I loved this book!

Which is a good thing because I thought The Blithedale Romance was going to be the end for me.

Now, to figure out what is next.

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Fae

A Fairy Blessed Me

Today a Fairy blessed me and danced upon these walls
Left a scent of roses as she beckoned to my calls
Gave me comfort, and wiped my tears
blessed my mind of all those fears
Touched my eyes so I could see
Whispered softly, "Blessed Be"

(no website, written by Katie G. 1-28-05)
copyright© 2005 Katie G

It's all about the Fairy's at my house right now.

Songbird is in the high school play next month. Practices for high school kids are insane. Did you know that? I didn't as I was about as dramatic as a stick of wood growing up.

Most schools are seeing so many budget cuts, that the arts take a big the money can be funneled into sports. Sad but true. This can make outfitting a play interesting.

Songbird got a part as a vine fairy in the play. They are doing Midsummer Nights Dream with a western flair (!?). She asked for a small part...which was kind of weird after her Aladdin performance. Anyway, she needed a costume. So, since the sewing machine is being used quite regular lately, I figured I'd do my part of supporting the play by offering to make her costume. Songbird found a pattern she liked and took it in for approval.

Approved. And a request sent home to make one of the other fairies costume as well with the same pattern.


(Deer in the headlights look.)

So I sent word back that I am no seamstress. I can follow a pattern but really making it fit is not my thing. I can't alter or whatever. (See, I don't even know the language!)

And word was returned that the seamstress can do any altering....material is on the way.


I KNOW better than to leave myself open like that!!!!!! I straight-forward NO is my specialty!

So I ended up making 2 costumes.

I did mention that I'm not real talented on the sewing machine right? I mean, I'm having a ball with the quilts....but people don't WEAR them!!!! In a play. With other people watching. (And the meany in me doesn't mind if MY daughter looks dorky....but I don't want to do that to someone else's daughter!!)

I finally finished the costumes last night. The costume parade is Saturday so I need to get the other costume to the seamstress for some finishing touches. (And I stayed up until 1 last night to get it done so Songbird could take it in today...and she forgot it. Brat.)

Songbird picked a deep forest green as she is the vine fairy. The overdress is a cool shimmery green with all these little goldish/rainbow color dots.....looks like dew. The bodice is lined with leaves. (Ok! I admit it!! I can't handle that much chest showing on my baby so I added a little more coverage with the leaves. Guilty.) The costume is actually 2 parts. There is the overdress of a see-thru material and a slip dress underneath.
Sonbird decided not to cut the slip in fringe also. She also left the sleeves uncut. Looks cute on her.
Sorry about the lousy pictures. I took them on my phone and the light wasn't good.

She has some awesome wings we ordered also. And she would have had some great boot moccasins if they had been shipped when I ordered them on the 10th. not order from Platinum Costumes online. They have been "processing" the order since the 10th and I even sent instructions on when I needed them by. So now I've canceled that order and will have to scramble around time for a sub.

The other costume is only mostly done. I will leave the cutting design for the fringe up to the owner. Also I left the length a little long so she could decide how short or long. The original pattern had the skirt WAY short. I made Songbirds a little longer than called for.

The other costume is in this yummy coppery shimmery material that was not fun to sew...but looks so pretty. She has a good eye. The slip is a faux crushed velvet. She also gave me some Native American looking ribbon to line the bodice. Nice.

Uncut slip dress and sleeves.
Uncut overdress.
Hopefully it will need minimal adjustments. Songbirds was rather too large so I had to beef up the elastic to fix it.

Whew. So glad that project is done. I won't be volunteering again! LOL!

And speaking of fairies or fae....

I love the Karen Marie Moning Fever series books. If you like fantasy books with fae and druids, etc. you might want to check out her books. The Fever series currently has 4 books out with the final due out this winter. I LOVE them. I've had to shake my fist at my sister-in-law for turning me on to them as I HATE to have to wait on a series to finish. I want to discover the books after they are all written so I can read them back to back, right away. I had to wait on number 4 and now the final, number five.

If you are interested her site is:

She even has some chapters available for you to check out.

And now to conquer the mending pile.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day....and Happy Chinese New Year!

We aren't big celebrators of Valentines Day really, so you won't find a sugar sweet sentiment here about it. Hope you spend at least part of the day with or communicating with someone you love. Personally, the best part of Valentines Day for me is the fact that it is my sisters birthday. is also the start of Chinese New Year this year! This is the year of the Tiger.

And we finally got hooked up with our local FCC and attended their celebration last week.

In China, it is the time of year everyone travels back to their family and celebrates big time. The country pretty much shuts down for 2 weeks while everyone celebrates. The Chinese know how to celebrate!

And our CNY celebration was complete with out-of-town guests! Yes, we had our own little family celebration with a family that has become part of our own.
Hubs surrounds by the smell of teen spirit.
Butterfly gives chop sticks a try. She did real good too. We started eating the goldfish out of the red take-out boxes. Yum!
1....2....3... Mighty Mouse tries lo mien with chopsticks. This was pretty funny! She wrapped the noodles around the chopsticks and went from there. Creative to be sure.

My girls...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Food Class Friday

It's a shame I missed last Friday as today's meal would have been perfect for the Superbowl! I mean really, lots of guys and lots steak! Perfect combo!

Yes friends, today's recipe is Frankfurters with Sauerkraut.
And since you stick those toothpicks in the ends its easy for your guests to reach on in there and grab their meat...but you might want a spoon for that kraut.

Now, our recipe shows those toothpicks colored green by food coloring...but you could get creative and color your toothpicks to match your favorite teams jersey! Now how's that for team spirit????

And for the truly creative, instead of that super easy frankfurt sculpture in the middle...maybe you could actually make goal posts! Or maybe even your teams mascot! Now wouldn't that be a sight!

I do think it should be pointed out that green toothpicks and casserole dishes are NOT a good substitute for green veggies. This meal is rather too white. Instead of potatoes and bread sticks as a might want to try some more colorful veggies.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I planned on doing a nice picture post and Thankful Thursday on my visit by very special friends this last weekend. But then I started the day taking on the boogie man so I have a whole different TT to do instead.

Today, I am thankful for a bus driver that is observant and willing to pass on information regardless of all the drama and trouble she's had with our stop this year.

Our street is a dead-end. There is a cul-de-sac at the end where you can turn around. There is also a basketball hoop and picnic table. Now, its not truly a dead end street because there is a dirt road that goes back into the woods to a gated and chained area. This fenced off portion of the forest is actually an old garbage dump. It has been superfunded so it just looks like woods and great big rolling hills covered with grass. Behind that chained gate there is a small building. I thought it was an incinerator because I would see smoke when the cars/trucks were back there. I have since learned its actually a pressure valve to let off the gasses that build up underground due to all that garbage under there. (Stay with me - there is a point to this.) Workers don't come out every day - just a few times a week -- and they are not military. So, this means we do have trucks (its a little muddy for a car) with strangers come in and out of our street on a regular basis. This is also important in that at the entrance to our neighborhood, it is posted that only residents and their guests are permitted.

Back to the bus driver.

When the bus comes, she drives to the end of the street, turns around and then comes back down the street to collect the kids at the bus stop. Today, she actually pulled up to the bus stop. (Only a few of you understand what an amazing feat that it.) I knew something was up.

After the kids got settled she called the moms over and asked if we knew the car at the end of the street. None of us did. She then informed us that the man pulled his hat down over his face when she went back there to turn around.


So there are 3 of us. One is heading straight to work. The other goes inside to call the person who lives at the end of the street (and has a daycare) to ask if its one of her parents. And I? I go get the dog and head for the snow covered dirt road to take him for a walk. Right past said car.

Cause that's what the momma of girls does. I mean really. MM is only allowed to play in the back yard...but its not fenced yet and it would take half a second to snatch her up and disappear. And Songbird? She has to walk her dog several times a day. If that one loses any more weight she will blow over with the next big gust of wind. Not much of a challenge. Except for the evasive/defense stuff she has been taught. Hmmmm, might be time for a refresher now that I am thinking about it.

So, I stop and say hello to another neighbor while just checking out the vehicle and giving A a chance to call C. I fill her in and start back on my way. She is fearful for me...but I tell her not to worry I have my attack dog with me. Right. She offered me one of her dogs instead! LOL! I guess she's not impressed with the 6 pound rat! But now I have another set of eyes standing outside and paying attention.

So I reach the last house and C is standing in her doorway on the phone looking out the glass door. So I assume she is calling the SP's. She is obviously upset/concerned and this is not someone related to her daycare.

When I pass the car the guy doesn't look at me but he's really not acting suspicious or anything. So I decide to drag the rat down the snow track and come back. This is funny because he won't walk in the snow so I really am dragging him. Behind me. Like this is not SO obvious!!! LOL!

When I start heading back I can see the SP's coming up the road. Good old C! She's on it! And man weren't the SP's fast today? So he goes around the guy very slowly and creeps back down the street slowly.

I watch and wonder if he thinks I'm with the car and the guy is waiting on me. (Which is exactly what happened.)

So when the SP gets back to the entrance of the streets, the guy in the car pulls it up to the other side of the cul-de-sac where it can't be seen. I see a tap on the SP's brake lights but I'm not real sure if he was watching the car still. He drives off.

I look at the guy all the way going by him and he rolls his window back up but doesn't say anything.


Just not sure.

Does he work at building down there and just can't drive his little car back there? But then why would he pull out of sight?

So I stop at C - and she comes out all relieved that he is gone. Except I'm stopping to tell her he's not gone...just moved out of sight. I was afraid she would think he was gone so I stopped to let her know as its the side of her house he's hiding behind at this point. Creepy. She also tells me the car has been there all weekend...without the guy.

So I start back home....and T is still outside and freaked out because she saw that the car was gone and I never came back. LOL! (I reassured her that I might not be very tough..but I am incredibly loud when necessary.)

The SP was coming back at this point. Kudos for being observant! So I stop him and tell him that the guy moved out of sight as soon as he got to the end of the street. So he said he'd go check him out. All this time I am assuming he has been called and knows what is going on.

As I'm about to go into my house the SP comes back and honks at me. Turns out the guy says he works down there and is waiting for someone with a truck to ride in with. I told him I wondered if that was it. I also let him know I wasn't the one that called him (in case he was supposed to reassure whoever called) at which point I find out it wasn't called in he was just doing his rounds. MORE kudos to the guy. And he did think the guy was waiting on me which is why he didn't stop and talk to him the first time. And at that point I filled him in on the bus driver and hiding his face...yada, yada.

So the SP will be back to insure our visitor is who he says he is - cause that's weird.

So anyways. All that writing to say nothing right?

But I am very thankful for our bus driver. And I called her boss and let her know. Which I am sure gave EVERYONE at the depot a heart attack since we are all seen as them crazy military wives from hell. LOL!

And now I'm going to research a self defense class in the area, cause Songbird and I need a refresher.

Stay safe friends!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Oh Snow!

I. Don't. Like. Snow.

I don't like cold.

Most of my growing up and early adult life consisted of living in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Florida.

Now that rocks.

But, just for laughs (I'm quite sure.) God likes to throw me into the snow. Maybe He is working on something in me... Who knows? The lesson, whatever it is, is obviously lost on me.

I still want my warm weather.

From Florida, we were sent to Iceland. We had to get an extension date because not a one of us owned a coat or gloves or hats or any weather appropriate clothing. That's a lot of money to spend right away. Luckily they did give us an extension date and we were able to buy what we needed before getting on the plane. But how sad was that????

Then we were sent to Nebraska. And even though we went through one storm like nothing I've ever seen in Iceland, overall Nebraska was far worse that Iceland. Plus we were there alot longer.

But by Nebraska Bones was 11+. Perfect snow shoveling age. Hah.

Now we are back in the north. And Bones is tucked away all safe and warm in Texas at college. I did text him and tell him my driveway and sidewalks need to be shoveled. He told me his car didn't like Texas cold so it surely wouldn't like Ohio cold. I told him that was no problem as we lived on the back side of the he could walk to class. And he told me that unless dad had changed the no piercings and tattoo rules, he was quite safe and not coming back home.


So, yesterday I put on my big girl panties, shoved the girls outside and we shoveled.

For two hours.

And did I mention I had been successful in never once having had to shovel until yesterday? But I just couldn't imagine Hubs coming home from a full days work and doing all of it...after having back surgery. There was just too much. Even if it filled up half again, it would still be easier.

The really nice thing is that Songbird was not only a huge help, she did so without the normal whining and crying that accompanies these types of chores. I'm thinking that folding on the cell phone and putting her on a plan is working WONDERS around this house. I should have figured this out MUCH sooner. Cause I'll be honest...the first thing I reach for in any given situation is that phone. And you would think I was KILLING her when I take it. She straightens up rather quickly. That SO rocks! LOL!

Anyways, we only had two shovels.

And this would be why Mighty Mouse is so much the mouse that roared. She doesn't let anything stand in her way. She might be rather a silent type...but she gets things done. So, when there was no other shovel to be had she was rather put out. She watched me grab the broom to clear off the van and decided she could work with something like that.

And she spent two hours mopping the driveway, sidewalk and even the street. (I'm thinking I'd better put "new mop head" on the grocery list.)

And I let her. Because she was so industrious and busy with it all that I wasn't going to stop her.

And just so my DC friends, who are rolling their eyes, know - I so get that my amount of snow is NOTHING compared to the nightmare that is your life right now. I feel for every one of you and would fix it if I could! Just know I'm sending lots of WARM thoughts full of sunshine your direction! I would so sit there and cry with you. Over a warm cup of tea.

Oh - and just to add insult to injury -- even though we actually have water (which is more than some people can say), we must boil everything as our water has been contaminated. And I know this is not that bad....but getting it through kids heads not to brush their teeth or whatever with anything other than boiled water is not an easy feat. Last thing we need is a gut bug!

Stay warm my friends!

Monday, February 1, 2010