Friday, September 7, 2018

One Day at a Time

I was going to write this post on my actual Writing By Gloria website but after reviewing said website, I made the decision to cancel the entire thing and build a new one somewhere other than Weebly.
I would like to say I will make this short and sweet but that isn't possible so if you aren't able to read to the end, please don't even may not make sense if you stop in the middle.
There are several elementary facts you should know before I get started:
I love Kalisha with every fiber of my being. We have been nearly inseparable for 34+ years.
Many people have told me, "Oh I know just what you're experiencing. I was sad when my kids moved out, too. That's empty nest syndrome."
To which I want to respond...Bullshit!! This is not the same thing. I have 4 other adult children. They all moved out for one reason or another; one to get married, one to go to college, one to start an apprenticeship and one just because she was tired of living at home. I am not insinuating I am the ONLY parent who has ever felt this way but it isn't quite the same as an adult child simply needing to move on with their life. This is concern, fear, apprehension, sadness, worry, loneliness and the realization that no matter how much I believed I prepared her for almost all life-skill circumstances...I did not!
Kalisha was scheduled to move into a large house with 4 apartments...3 of which would be for 3 young women (friends of hers) and 1 for the Steward or On-Site Adult. This is CASS housing and I am not going to explain any further. If you want to know more about this innovative living concept, please visit their website: The target date for the first house to be completed was Dec. 2018, approximately. Kalisha had originally thought she would be moved into it in June of 2018. THAT DATE WAS STUCK IN HER HEAD. When some unfortunate and unforeseen delays occurred, she still wanted to move by June, 2018. She researched apartments she could afford, Dwight and I took her to look at them and she chose one about 6 miles from downtown Ft. Wayne.
We discussed the pros and cons about a million times. Finally, it was decided to allow her to move into the 1-bedroom apartment. It was near a bus line and would give her the experience of living on her own before she finally would be able to move into the CASS house and it was one she could afford...barely.
In retrospect, it probably was not the wisest decision. We still believed she would only be there 6-7 months and it would all be "swell." The reality is the first CASS home was being built for 3 young men and the next house built would be the large apartment house. (I would insert a string of swear words here but this is a website that might kick me off, so I will just say, I was devastated.) I spent several weeks being more angry and depressed than I could even imagine. However, with the help of Dwight and many prayers, I gained a bit of equilibrium again.
That is the background leading up to Kalisha's move. It was totally her idea...Dwight and I did not kick her out, we did not want her to move so we could move to Florida, we did not ask her to leave. These are all ideas I have been asked about but none of them are true. Kalisha could live with us until we die but therein lies the problem. We ARE going to die and most likely, before she does. Then what??? Wouldn't it be better for her to be able to function on her own rather than be hit by a double dying AND now living alone? She does have good social skills for which I am grateful. Society isn't very forgiving of bad social behaviors.
I realize this has been rather negative so far but there have been humorous times and fun times and many, many learning times.
As I said earlier, I thought I did a fairly good job of teaching life skills, and I did, up to a point but there are many things it never occurred to me to teach her. Setting a thermostat...she called one morning and said, "I got cold during the night so I turned my AC up to 95." Yikes!
Turning the AC up that much won't hurt a just won't run, but if she had turned her heat up that high, her electric bill might have been astronomical. I never, ever thought about showing her how to set a thermostat. (Unless your child is in a new luxury apt, they will undoubtedly have manually set thermostats)
She never had to look at expiration dates on food or even consider if something was spoiled. I always did that. I helped her put groceries away and while adding something to her refrigerator, I came across several 'unidentifiable' items. Some were identifiable but still rotten...a slimy bag of lettuce, moldy strawberries, blueberries dried up to hard BBs, and some leftovers that went in the trash, container and all.
Although she knew how to do her laundry, this was a new experience. She had to add money on to a card which was then used in the machines. Much easier than messing with coins. But...the washer instructions said only 1/8 cup of pods. That isn't much and Kalisha has some trouble pouring anyway, especially out of a large jug of detergent. I found a solution and it has worked well.
She can vacuum but has difficulty winding the cord up when she's finished. (Not really a big deal, just something else I didn't teach her)
Scrubbing a toilet is kind of a half-a__ ed endeavor (pardon the pun) but it is getting better.
We did work on changing bed sheets but she still struggles with this task and would rather just skip it but knows she can't.
Plucking eyebrows, trimming toenails and fingernails is not something she can physically do and never will be able to do. My original thought was to have her brows waxed and nails done once a month but her budget is so tight that she can't afford that. We're still working on a solution. (When I'm here, I do it for her but remember...we're acting like I'm not here because some day, I won't be.)
A big thing is loneliness. She has her cat, Tabby, but it broke my heart when she said, "I don't like to eat by myself, Mom." When she moves into the CASS house, I don't believe she will be lonely because even though she will be in her own apartment, she can walk across the hall and visit a friend.
She occasionally gets tears in her eyes when we're on the phone and says, "I miss you so much, Mom. You're my best friend and I love you." Then I want to cry and say, "Just come back home, Kalisha. It will be all right."
But I know I can't, for you see, it would be moving backward, not forward.
She 'face times' me every morning at 9 and every evening at 9. We don't chat long but she can see me and we tell each other good night and I love you.
Transportation is always a problem. The busses don't run on Sundays and stop at 5:30 on Saturdays. Getting to and from church when we aren't here is an ongoing problem.
For a short time, her neighbor lady was being very mean..verbally and all I could think was, 'Here we go again.' But the situation seems to have resolved itself (God was working it out) and they are friends again.
She loves FaceBook and uses it daily. Occasionally, she posts her feelings about missing me. I ask her to delete those posts. Having everyone commiserate with her is not solving the problem and actually exacerbates it.
She has some friends who will send her a note or card once in a while. Usually her mailbox is empty. I know most people's mailbox is empty but it makes her loneliness seem worse. I worry she will pitch important mail with the ads she gets.  She is an ardent recycler like she was taught. Every time I see her, she has a bag of recycling for me. (The apt. complex doesn't provide recycling bins)
Some  more positives: she has no problem calling the office if something isn't working properly. They are prompt in fixing things.
She cleans the litter box every night before she goes to bed which is a good thing.
She fixes her own meals and washes her dishes. The microwave is her best friend.
Her bills have all been put on auto-pay so she can't forget to pay them.
Her few medications are sent in the mail in individual packets for AM and PM.
She is learning new things every day and has conquered many obstacles.
Some facts: Kalisha does have a waiver which means she gets so many hours of service each month. Her provider is Bethesda Communities and I love them. She also has a BC (Behavior Consultant) who should have angel wings...truthfully. She has been with Kalisha for 8 years and is a good friend. She can persuade her to do or not do something when I have exhausted all my efforts.
She has a very limited amount of hours for her staff to help her with things. She would get more when I turn 80, die or go to prison. Orange is not my favorite color and I have no say in the date of my demise and it's quite a few years before I'm eighty is what it is.
She volunteers on Tuesdays at a preschool and meets with a group of friends on Fridays. Instead of her needing me to take her somewhere or do something for her every day, we have set ONE day a week for the two of us to spend together. The entire day. We go places or stay home. We usually go to McDs for lunch...her favorite place and run errands, shop for groceries, or just talk.
She is part of a Small Group from church which meets once a month.
As you can see, she doesn't just set at home and pine away. Dwight and I take her with us many times. I'm sure she is better off than many individuals but she is still missing me and vice versa.
Truthfully, this experience has affected me mentally, emotionally and physically. I've been alternately depressed, whiny or just fine. I've gained 10 pounds, I've stopped going some places I enjoyed. If it wasn't for the support of Dwight, I might be a basket case. This has been the hardest thing I have ever done, including getting a divorce after 38 years of marriage.
The ultimate test is coming soon. Dwight and I are going to FL for Oct, Nov and Dec. Kalisha is flying down to be with us for the month of Dec and Christmas. We will still FaceTime twice a day but we won't physically be together for 2 months.
I'm sure you are asking about her siblings and her father. None of her siblings live close except one (she does take Kalisha out to eat sometimes but she's still working every day and has a family too.) Kalisha is not her responsibility and her father has some health problems and is rarely available for her.
You may also ask why we don't help with her finances. What would that teach her? Nothing. She has a problem with spending money she doesn't have sometimes so paying things for her doesn't help in the long run. (Yes of course, we take her out to eat but sometimes she must pay for her own meal.)
All in all, it has been a positive experience for all of us. It is getting better each day. Do I still get upset with her and yell sometimes? Of course I do. We are both pretty obstinate and bull-headed. Those traits are good especially now, but we definitely butt heads many times.
I hope this has not been a 'downer' for you to read. I promised truthfulness and I gave it to you. I believe with all my heart that she is growing in many areas and God is walking beside us every step of the way.
I have a favor to ask: please don't feel sorry for either one of us and please don't tell me what a wonderful mother I am because I assure you, there are times I am not. Just keep us in your prayers. We are continuing to put one foot in front of the other every day.
Thanks for reading this long epistle. You are great!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Getting It Right...Occasionally: The Snow Globe Saga

Getting It Right...Occasionally: The Snow Globe Saga: I promised I would try to entertain you with the tale of the 'Christmas in July' Snow Globe here you have it. On Jul...

The Snow Globe Saga

I promised I would try to entertain you with the tale of the 'Christmas in July' Snow Globe here you have it.
On July 21st, Parkview Field had a giveaway for the first 2000 people in the gates. Kalisha was scheduled to work that evening but called in to say she could not. She asked a friend who was going to attend the game to get a snow globe for her. She offered to trade a certain movie that she had (worth $20) for the globe.
 Everything was going well until the friend called to say she arrived late and there were no more snow globes. Oh my...Kalisha was now on a mission to find a globe. If you know Kalisha at all, you know it can be a daunting thing when she becomes obsessed about something.
She called everyone she knew who might possibly have attended that game...with no luck.
She sent texts, emails and Facebook messages, all to no avail. She could think of nothing else and therefore, neither could any of us who live with her think of anything else.
We attended a free concert at a local outdoor mall. She went to the restroom and ran into a woman she had not seen for several years. She asked the inevitable question: was she at the game a week ago? No, she wasn't but she knew a person who was in management at Parkview Field and she was willing to call her to see if there was a way for Kalisha to get one.
We also saw my cousin, his wife and their daughter and granddaughter. Kalisha lasered in on their bracelets that indicated they had been at Parkview Field. "Did you get snow globes?"
Them: "Yes, we did."
K: "Can I have one?"
Them: "No. but I work at Parkview Hospital and I will check to see if there is a way to get one for you."
K: "How soon will you do that?"
Them: "When I get back to work on Monday."
K: "You promise you'll call me on Monday and let me know?"
In the meantime, she has put a post on FB pleading with someone to let her buy the snow globe.
I told her to check e-bay. No luck. She called the VP of Operations at Parkview Field (he knows her and was kind but said they were all gone and were not for employees anyway.)
It is now 2 weeks later and she doesn't have the snow globe, despite posting every other day and asking every person she knows who attends games (she knows a LOT of people). The obsession is not waning but possibly intensifying because now it has become a Super-Obsession. HAVE TO HAVE IT
When she worked last evening, she asked some fans she knew as they came past her (she hands out programs) if they wanted to sell a snow globe.
While browsing through all the FB pictures of Tincaps' fans on the night of the giveaway, on the team's FB page, she ran across a picture of a woman with her globe on the table in front of her. Kalisha contacted her on FB and offered $20 for the globe. She met her this morning...
I realize I enable her and I really try to stop but after a while, it becomes a form of self-defense. I might even be known to pray about her finding one so I don't have to listen to the daily barrage of ideas about how to get one. She is tenacious...I'll give her that.
It is actually pretty cute but I guarantee it will remain in the box, on her shelf. The hunt is over...mission accomplished.

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. 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,

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?


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