Thursday, June 15, 2017

3400 miles...14 Days

 
 
 
 
 

I know our trip has been over for a week or two but I still want to tell you about it and to let you know that Kalisha is a perfect road trip traveler. I was going to add "Only one...'I have to Pee'" into the title, but thought better of it.
The entire 14 days was an extraordinary experience. Our first HOTEL was the home of Dwight's brother, Keith and sister-in-law, Micki,  in NC. They had rooms all ready for us. They even rearranged rooms and put a Q sized bed in the room for Dwight and I. We used their home as our 'base' while visiting others in the area.
Micki is an outstanding cook and the breakfasts she prepared for us every day were scrumptious...think waffles, eggs and bacon, and all the other good things you can imagine. Thank you, keith, for having coffee made every morning, too.
She even prepared dessert and coffee one evening and invited some of her friends over because they read the Magnolia books and wanted to meet me. Talk about feeling like a celebrity...I was humbled by the experience.
We attended Dwight's great-niece's wedding and reception. It was outdoors and about 100 degrees but a beautiful ceremony. They did some things I had not seen before, but I recommend if you're planning a wedding. One of those was this: instead of having a 'reception line where you shake hands with people you've never seen before, the bride and groom greeted their guests at the end of the food line. It was perfect. There was time to say a few words but no hand-shaking was needed (your hands were full of food, anyway) and it moved quickly. Perfect.
We spent the next day with Dwight's son, Mike, and his wife, Deb. Their son was visiting for the weekend so we got to enjoy Nick's company also. Deb is another amazing cook.Wow. I think I gained 10 pounds because of these two women.
One more day before we left and it was spent with Dwight's sister, Ruth and her husband, Wayne, at their beautiful home.
I want to add this...all of these good people embraced Kalisha as one of their own. They made everything comfortable for her and accepted her on every level. Deb and Nick even played UNO with her. (She won the most games...HA)

Then we left for Houston, TX. When we arrived at HOTEL SHOCKLEY, it was perfect also. Emily, age 9, had a drawer for Kalisha's clothes and had made room in her closet for hanging things. She had a welcome note on Dwight's and my bed and even had chocolates placed on our pillows and on Kalisha's pillow.
The week went by way too quickly. The 'girls' had a manicure and pedicure

The only casualty was one of Dwight's sandals. The 2 pups that are awaiting adoption decided it was a chew toy. Kari warned us about letting anything lay where they could reach it.
 
Emily had a tea party for me,
we attended church, we went to a swim meet to watch both kids swim. Grandson Joseph  will be in the Olympics one day, I guarantee it.
We went to the Spring Concert of the choir and dance ministry that Emily is part of. It is comprised of homeschool children...probably about 100 of them of varying ages. From very young to graduating seniors. The numbers she was in were, of course, the best :).One was formal wear, one was a sailor number
and another was a cowgirl outfit.
It was truly an enjoyable evening. The last song was "God Bless America" followed by "God Bless Texas." Kalisha knows that song very well and I almost had to tie her in her seat to keep her from singing, clapping and stomping with the group.
 
 Kari is an excellent cook also, and Joseph gets a blue ribbon for grilling.
So...as you can see by the pictures, which are not necessarily in order, it was a lovely trip and over way too soon.

Monday, March 6, 2017

How is Kalisha Dealing With Your Marriage?

I decided to blog about this because I have been asked the question many, many times. Some people are genuinely concerned about Kalisha's reactions, some are interested in case they ever face the same situation and some are just nosy. It really doesn't bother me at all but I thought I could reach more individuals and not have to repeat myself so many times.

 I recently married a man I have known for 35 years but we just reconnected last summer. IF you aren't aware of the facts surrounding this event, I will list them:
*Dwight High and his wife and the Doty family both raised goats and showed them at many shows during the summers. Dwight was in charge of the Open Show at the Van Wert Co. Fair in Ohio. At that time, 1983, exhibitors were required to stay with the livestock for the entire week of the fair. Needless to say, all the exhibitors became friends during that week. This was repeated each summer. After many of us no longer showed, we all lost track of each other.
*A few years ago, I saw a comment from Dwight on some post on Facebook. I sent him a message and asked if he was the Dwight High I remembered from Ohio, because now his profile stated he lived in Florida.
It was him and we chatted a bit. His wife had died, he was retired (from the OH State Police) and now lived in FL. I was divorced, had sold the farm and lived in Ft. Wayne, IN.
*Every 6 months or so, we exchanged a few words on Facebook.
*May, 2016, I saw a picture of him in someone's barn. I was fairly sure it wasn't in FL. I messaged him and asked if he was in OH. He said yes he was there for a graduation and asked if I wanted to meet for dinner before he went back home. We did have dinner and the rest is history.
*Kalisha remembered him from the goat shows, so she felt that she 'knew' him and he knew her since before she was born. She immediately liked him.
*The 2 weeks before Christmas, she and I flew to FL to visit Dwight at his house. I felt she needed to see him in his house and environment so she would have a mental picture of where he lived and shopped and ate, etc.
*Dwight put up a Christmas tree for us, he indulged her love of Olaf and bought tickets for a one-day visit to Disney World so she could meet Olaf.
(Dwight was climbing higher on her 'favorite person list' every day.) They frosted Christmas cookies together and discussed many subjects. It was good for both of them, because then he could see a little bit of how she operates also.
*When he asked me to marry him, it was with the understanding that I wasn't moving anywhere until Kalisha was fully settled in her apartment (That move had been in the works long before Dwight entered the picture) and for months after: until I was comfortable with her being comfortable.
*Kalisha and I have been a 'team' for over 30 years and that was all taken into consideration. Dwight truly does love her and tries his best to understand some of her behaviors. He read the book about her: Not Different Enough and that helped, but of course, he still occasionally tries to reason with (sometimes) an unreasonable person.
*Kalisha really wanted to be at our wedding but accepted the fact that none of our children were going to be there and she couldn't be either. It took place in a cabin, on a mountain, in TN and there was only the minister, photographer, 2 friends from TN as our witnesses and Dwight and me.
*It has been a very good mixing of personalities. They have a lot in common...going out to eat being their favorite activity.
Has it been an adjustment for all of us? Of course, but I believe it has been a very smooth one. Kalisha is adult enough to understand married people need some time alone and some privacy (some of her comments could be another blog post but it won't be LOL). In fact, she seems to totally enjoy our being together. I think she is in love with our being in love.
*There have been a few signs of worry that she is going to lose me permanently. If I go upstairs for any length of time, she goes up also; to her room, but still, upstairs. When I come back down, she comes back to the living room. Her BC says that is quite normal and it will lessen with time.
*So...the answers to WHEN or IF we are moving to Florida are not answerable at this point in time. Everything hinges on when the house where her apartment will be located, is purchased or built or remodeled. Until then, Dwight is stuck in the IN weather instead of his 80+ Florida weather.
*I hope this clears up some of the confusion concerning our plans. If YOU get them figured out, please let us know.

*For more information on CASS housing, visit the website, www.CASShousing.org


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Would You Like to Come For Dinner?

It seems I have several posts that need the title, 'Really, Kalisha??' She continues to amaze me, amuse me and almost always entertains me.
As I have written in the past, Kalisha is part of a new (new to IN) housing solution for high-functioning individuals. We know she will be living in her own apartment in the not-so-distant future.
To that end, her Behavioral Consultant and I and Kalisha have been working diligently on her living independently skills. Some times in the past, we have worked on them but then I drop the ball and we go back to NOT working on them.
However, there is a greater urgency now, so she has a chore chart. She is in charge of which chore she does on which day. The little magnet notes are movable, so she can change days if she chooses.

She has been doing an excellent job with no urging from me and no reminding. She just does it. YAY...progress.
Last week, she walked into the living room and announced, "The dishes are all washed, dried and put away, except for the glass pie pan. I didn't know where that went."
"Wonderful, Kalisha. I am so proud of you. That pie pan had stuff really stuck on it."
"Yeah, it was hard to get off, but I used the green and yellow scratcher."

My eyes blinked a little before I said, "The one from the bathroom?"
"Yes. It worked great. I think the red one by the kitchen sink is worn out."
"Kalisha, you do know that green one is to scrub the tub, right?"
"I wasn't sure what it was for, but it looked new so I used it."

I was nearly rolling on the floor. Truthfully, it was new and I had just placed it on the ledge in the shower, but Kalisha didn't know that. You are probably asking if I 're-washed' the dishes from that night. Not a chance. We do not own a dishwasher and I had no desire to wash them a second time. She got them clean...what more can I ask for? LOL
I'm sure you will all be thrilled to accept an invitation to eat at our house in the near future, won't you?

Thursday, October 6, 2016

More Is Not Always better

In the last two weeks, Kalisha has done some crazy things in her shopping adventures. It seems she makes great progress, has all her ducks in a row and then shazamm...things are back at square one.

She recently attended the DeKalb County Fair with her boyfriend and each of their staff people. When she came home, I asked if she had a good time. She said they did and they had a good lunch while there.
"So what do you have in the paper bag," I asked.
"Oh, just some doughnuts for us to share."
"Good. I'm hungry for something sweet. May I have one?"
"Sure," she replied.
I opened the bag and was rather amazed at the amount of doughnuts inside.
"Kalisha, how many doughnuts did you buy?"
"Just a dozen. They looked really good and I thought we could all share."
Right...a dozen doughnuts in a house that tries not to eat many sweets.

So yesterday, I met two friends for lunch. Kalisha wanted me to drop her off at the mall while I visited. When I picked her up, several hours later, she said she ate at Chick-Fil-A. She had a chicken sandwich and fries AND their nuggets.
"Why did you get a sandwich and the nuggets?"
"I don't know. I guess I was hungry."

Later, we went grocery shopping. Grocery shopping with Kalisha is always an adventure. We have been working on her spending and selection skills for-evah...or so it seems to me and probably to her, too.
We each had a cart; I had a large one and she had a small one. She met me and had only 3 boxes of cereal and some grapes in her cart.
"Should I get some of that yogurt that is on sale?" she asked.
"Sure," I told her as she headed to the dairy case.
She came back and her cart was filled with Yoplait yogurt containers.

"How many did you get?" I asked.
"Six of every flavor."
I was doing some fast calculating in my head and even at .39 each, that was going to be a staggering sum because there must be 15 flavors.
"You can't get that many," I told her. "Where are we going to put them all?"
"I don't know but I'll put them back, Mom."

Off she went to put them back. Wouldn't you like to be the one working in the dairy department and having to put them all back in the correct flavor spaces??? It's called job security.

So I expect her to return with maybe 12 or so. No. She only has 4.
"Kalisha, you can get more than 4."
"No, it's okay. I'll get some more another day."

Some day, we are going to conquer the spending "thing."

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Cookies? What Cookies?

Apple I-phone 6s Plus

As you probably all know, Kalisha is a phone junkie. She loves her phones and in case you think she doesn't make good use of her phone...think again.
She rarely uses her laptop; all things are done on her phone. It is her constant companion. She can find anything, watch movies and TV programs on it. She buys and sells things on e-bay on it and she uses social media, especially FaceBook.
Her list of 'apps' is impressive and she has about a million pictures stored.
Now, while that is all good, the bad part is she always wants the latest and greatest new one. They are quite expensive so she has been to the Verizon store to inquire about trading her present phone in and how much they would give her for it. She is quite a 'haggler' or as I suspect, she just talks them to death and they give her what she wants so she will go home. LOL
This time, she has stipulations before she can buy a new phone. Her Behavior Consultant and I (and Kalisha) made an agreement as to when she can have a new one. First, her present one has to be paid for. She pays a certain amount each month toward the balance through Verizon. Her present balance is $249.14.
Sooo, she has to accumulate that much money before she can finance the one she wants: the Apple I-phone 6s Plus.
If you see her, don't waste your breath trying to talk her out of it. She will not be deterred. Several people have told her they like their Samsung phones (what she currently has) better that Apple (which she had before the Samsung). Are you following along here???? It doesn't matter to her what they like; she wants this one and she is going to raise that money if it kills her (and me, possibly)
She has set the middle of August as her deadline because I am going to be gone for a week and she wants her phone before I leave.
So far, she has sold all of her Hello Kitty stuff which netted her around $35.00. She is going to add her paychecks from Parkview Field to the jar. She needs more. So today, she put 2 pair of shoes (really cute and barely worn) on e-bay. Then she put her bicycle helmet on e-bay. She no longer has a bike so why keep a helmet? I was good with all of this as long as she didn't start selling the cats and dog.
HOWEVER, yesterday she comes to me with a list. "I have 8 people already who want to buy a dozen cookies."
Me: "Cookies? Who is selling cookies?"
K: "I am. I'm charging $5 a dozen."
Me: "Really? There are people who want to buy your cookies for $5 a dozen?"
K: "Yes. And I will have more money for my phone."
Me: "Uhhh, how are you going to get the cookies to them?"
K: "I don't know. I haven't figured that out yet."
Me: "Are they all the same kind?"
K: "No. They want all different kinds."
Me: "You realize you will have to buy the ingredients to make them and that comes out of your $5, right?"
K: "Well, I guess so. Or I could use your flour and stuff."
Me: "No. That won't work. Also, where exactly did you advertise these cookies?"
K: " I posted it on FB. I said I was selling cookies for $5 a dozen and I have 8 customers already."
Me: "Do you know the board of health is going to hunt you down. You cannot sell food from an unapproved kitchen."
K: "Well, I just thought I would start my own business and make some money."

You know, some days this 'special needs' girl is just too smart for her own good.
*Never fear, she will have that $249.14 by the end of August, come hell or high water. Determination is her middle name. Of course, there might not be any furniture left in our house....

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