Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Still Kickin'

I realize that I have neglected my little corner of the intertubes for much longer than I would like. I would like to plead something winning the lottery or traveling to Mars.

Yeah. No such luck there.

Equal parts too busy, too tired and too couldn't get my give a care jump started with a flux capacitor attached to a lightning rod.

Sorry about that. We all go honey badger on the world every once in a while.

It's not like you've missed out on anything important.

In no particular order, here is the quick and dirty rundown on life since last we spoke.

I've made it through the first three months of the new job. It seems like it has been much longer than that. By all accounts, they like me and think I know what I am doing. That's positive since the CEO just hired a new executive for the claims operations which has everyone on pins and needles waiting for the ax(es) to fall. I am reasonable sure that my position is safe, and the general consensus among those up the food chain is that most everyone director level and below will not be directly affected. The AVP and VP level, however, is enjoying a wonderful case of heart burn right now.

My bet is that our current VP has about 3 to 6 months left with the company. There are a few others who will experience the job description discussion from "Office Space", and I foresee at least one "Don't you understand? I'm a people person." meltdown.

Whatever. As long as the paycheck clears and the fertilizer to work ratio stays reasonably bearable, I'm good for now.

No news on M&M's sister. Last we heard, it was the same song, third verse. Knowing and loathing the system as we do, we're doing our best to tune out the anxiety and live life instead of waiting by the phone for a call that may never come.

M&M continues to grow like a weed. She turns four very soon, and she is above average in height and development. She speaks clearer with a greater vocabulary than several kids months older than her that we know. The Queen has been teaching her the ABCs, writing, etc. She's even starting to read a little bit. She's super strong and healthy. She had her first round of swimming lessons over the summer and took to it like a duck. We also enrolled her in gymnastics (or "gymnasties" as she calls it) which she REALLY enjoys. She loves horses and gets her first riding lesson on Friday.

So, basically, she's growing up, and The Queen and I are both proud and sad at the same time.

Now that things have calmed down somewhat on the job and home fronts, I'm trying to noodle up a side gig to earn a little extra money. I'd love to make custom knives or guns, but those take money, equipment and skills that I lack at the moment. Custom leather work or wood working may be an option. The Queen wants me to start a small business risk management consulting firm of some sort. I think there is an opportunity there, but it doesn't speak to me the way the other ideas do.

The 2016 presidential race is shaking out about like I expected. Hillary, despite everyone admitting that she violated Federal law which should land her in jail, looks to be teflon coated and the only game in town for the Democrats. The Republicans are doing their best to run a campaign based on "The Biggest Loser". Rick Perry dropped out early which, frankly, doesn't come as a surprise. He was a decent governor. Not great, but not dismal either. Scott Walker dropped out too which disappoints me a little. I get the Trump thing, but I really hope he decides he has better things to do and throws his support behind a more "legitimate" candidate. Ben Carson is polling well right now, but I'm not sure if he has the backing to be there at the end. I'd really like to see Ted Cruz doing better in the polls, but don't count him out yet.

Then there's Jeb. The media seems to have already decided he's "the guy". He's the safe candidate for the Republican establishment which means he's too moderate for my tastes. Putting him up against Hillary is going to see the Repub's chances of winning the election go down faster than torpedoes at Pearl Harbor.

Needless to say, my outlook for the future is not rosy right now.

So, in order to leave you on a positive note, here are some recent pictures of the Cutest Little Girl in the World.

This is the wallpaper on my office computer desk top right now. I had been waiting a long time to get a photo like this one, and it finally happened a few months ago.

She's so cute when she is being a "proper lady".

A few M&M and Daddy Hawk pics. I love my time with her.

Did I mention she LOVES horses. This horse's name is "Death Wish" (no, really, but he also goes by Killer). She sat up on him and rode him bareback like a boss (with Killer's owner and trainer close by).

I think the respective looks says it all. The kitten wants down NOW, and M&M is giving me the innocent "can I keep him" look.

That's all for now. I've got work to do.

Monday, August 10, 2015

500 Posts

I wish I had something profound to share for this, my 500TH, post, but I am flat, dead broke in the content department at this moment. I would love to share something insightful about the GOP debates...didn't watch...haven't had time to read about it. I would love to share an update on the baby nothing new to share. Aliens landing in the front yard...not this week.

So, in lieu of real content, I feel compelled to share humorous (to me) photos and memes that I have been using for a little levity in the office. Enjoy

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Dream a Big Dream

Mommy and daddy dreamed a big dream;
It grew in their hearts with a sparkle and gleam.
A little child to have and squeeze; 
nothing more would so greatly please.
God saw their dream like fire on the open sea;
He heard them cry out in prayer with an earnest plea.

And so God made you for us.

He made you sweet and gentle and kind;
He made strong in body and mind.
He watched and protected as you grew in the womb,
Until time came for you in birth to bloom.
Early you came into the world full of light;
For mommy and daddy, the timing couldn't have been more right.

And so God brought you to us.

So tiny and frail to us you came,
and our love for you burst out like a roaring flame.
You grew and you thrived
as we stuggled and we strived.
We pleaded and we prayed
and our love for you never strayed.

And so God made us family.

Together forever we are with each other,
With hugs and kisses we hold tight and smother.
God blessed us all far beyond measure,
Nothing of gold or silver more would we treasure.
Except maybe a little baby sister or brother,
A special little someone in need of a father and mother.

And so Mommy and Daddy dreamed a big dream....

Dedicated to my wonderful wife, The Queen, who dared to dream a beautiful dream and had the faith to see it come to life, and to our big dream made real, M&M.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Welcome New Follower

I'm finally getting around to writing a proper welcome for follower #74: Ariel from the blog Ricky el Vikingo (Ricky the Viking according to Google Translate...go figure). I have no idea what Ariel's blog is about as the blog is in Spanish and I'm not. I can tell you that you don't have to scroll down too far before getting to an ad (or post...I couldn't tell) for hot erotic massage music. That is where I stopped my reading and exited stage right.

So, Ariel, welcome. Feel free to say "hi" once in a while.

Monday, August 3, 2015

New Baby Bleg Update

I thought I would take a moment to update everyone on the results of your efforts in response to my last post. I just got a call from The Queen advising me that Cousin L texted The Queen to let us know that the bio donors will NOT be allowed to take baby sister home after all. 

Apparently, female donor's psych meds are such that she is not fit to supervise herself much less an infant alone during the day. Male donor is allegedly only available to supervise during the evening. There are no other family members in the area, and the female bio's mom wouldn't qualify even if she came down from the northwest due to HER health issues. 

But wait...there's more. 

The Queen just called again. Cousin L (at our suggestion) called the CPS caseworker that handled M&M's case. Case worker reached out to the investigator and confirmed that Baby Sister WILL definitely be placed with Big Sister M&M IF she is taken from the bios by CPS.

And before I could even hit publish, I get a text from The Queen that baby is going to a member of the church the bios attend. Grrrrrr!!!!!

Stay tuned. Things are changing by the minute. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bleg: New Baby Edition

I know I have been remiss in updating the blog here lately. I have even acquired a new follower (the first in quite a while) who I need to properly welcome. The new job has kept me very busy as has getting settled into a new home. The last remaining bits of free time have been taken up with getting all the paperwork and assorted other tasks taken care of to get the Castle's Foster Parent License renewed.

Why would we even consider renewing our foster care license you might be asking? Didn't we forswear any further involvement in the foster care process after M&M's adoption? Why, yes. Yes, we did pinky promise and forswear any desire to involve ourselves further in the emotional self flagellation that is the foster to adopt process.

With one, small caveat.

Remember how I said we would consider getting involved if any only if it were for a full blood sibling to M&M?

Yeah...weeelllll....she was born today.

Alright, alright. I can hear the record scratching sound, see the puzzled looks and feel the mental equivalent of a "Whatchu talkin' 'bout, Willis?". Allow me to back up a moment.

Sometime in December, The Queen gets a text from male bio donor's cousin asking how we would feel about a sibling for M&M. The Queen answered that we thought it would be great if M&M had a sibling but weren't going to get involved in the foster process again unless it was a special situation. It was then that Cousin L (L is a good initial, sits in the middle of the alphabet, good solid base, stands on its own, no connection to cousin's first or last name) dropped the other shoe that female bio was pregnant again and L wanted us to be adopt if the opportunity arose. Due date was estimated in August.

I've kept it under my hat with the exception of immediate family and a couple of close friends. Mainly because there was no guarantee that the call would ever come. Female bio donor, as you may recall, has a history of miscarriages among her many other issues. There was also no guarantee that they would remain in the state (they came back to Texas late last year for reasons unknown).

Female bio's drug use was a concern. Early reports are that she stayed clean during this pregnancy which is a small blessing. We hear baby girl was born healthy despite being a few weeks early, and she apparently looks like M&M did when she was born. We have been told that CPS is aware of the birth and will be allowing the bios to take baby sister "home" under close monitoring. I say "home" because the bios are apparently homeless and living out of a cheap motel.

Given the bios colorful history, I suspect it will not be long before CPS decides this was a collosal mistake and removes baby girl from whatever disaster the bios decide to call shelter for the night.

And herein lies the bleg: I simply request prayers and good vibes for whatever is best for baby girl. I simply want her to have the protection and safety she needs to grow up happy and healthy. Obviously, I am biased about where and with whom that should take place. But, this isn't about me (or the bios for that matter). So, I request that you leave me, The Queen and the bios out of whatever prayers or good thoughts you choose to offer up. I would be content with a simple "God/Allah/Buddha/Mother Nature/By Grapthar's Hammer, not my will but thy will be done."

Thanks, and I will try to provide updates as I have information to share.

Friday, July 10, 2015

More Advise For M&M

1) Drink the good stuff....and learn to savor it.

I remember when I was in college my buddies would all chip in and buy a case or two of the cheapest rat urine beer they could find for a weekend of drinking. Keystone Light was their usual poison of choice as I recall. I was the oddball who brought a six pack of real beer (I was known to bring anything from Miller Genuine Draft to for real from Germany Oktoberfest beer) and still managed to go home with at least two bottles for later consumption.

2) [or corollary to 1) above] Whiskey should be old enough to drive....or at least old enough to reach the pedals.

Anything younger than 12 years should really come with a chaperon in the form of a mixer of some flavor. 12 to 15 years old can be allowed some latitude but should generally require a curfew that ends at the same time happy hour does. Anything older than 15 should be savored without anymore distraction than maybe a large ice cube.

3) Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty.

Hard work never hurt noboby, and you wash.

4) "You are not what you think you are. What you think, you are."

I heard this in a sermon recently, and it's true.

5) Make plans to do stuff. It's important to have things to look forward to.

It doesn't have to be elaborate. It doesn't have to be expensive. It can be anything as long as it is something.

6) Every safety rule is written in blood.

Corollary - Behind every warning label is an idiot with a lawsuit.

Go read the Darwin Awards if you need proof.