Samuel Jerome and Richnightder

Samuel Jerome and Richnightder
Our boys in Haiti

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Two years ago today

Two years ago today, our youngest two boys came home to us forever from Haiti.  Madison and Thomas went with us on our pick up trip.  It is incredibly hard to believe that Richnigthder and Jerome have been with us so long.  In a lot of ways, it feels like they have always been with us, and in other ways, I still judge time as before they were home, and after they were home. 

They have grown unbelievably in every aspect of life.  They are wonderful, delightful boys and we are enormously grateful that we get to be their parents.  Two years ago today, I was bursting with joy and anticipation of knowing that when I left Haiti, I was taking them with me...forever.  Throughout the 27 month long adoption journey, there were many days I doubted that the journey would ever end.  I worried endlessly that they would be stuck in Haiti and never, ever come home.  I cried buckets and made Marc's life a living nightmare.  He always assured me that the day would come when they would be sitting on the plane in a seat next to us and we would cry happy tears.  He was right.

                                            Meeting the boys for the first time: Dec. 2007

                                            Our pick up trip: April 29th, 2009
                                             4 of the kids are mine, and Wilkenson was a creche buddy
On April 30th, 2009 we cleared Immigration at Miami International Airport and saw their Haitian passports stamped with the entry date and notation of entering on an IR-3 Visa.  That was the official end of the journey for us.  Their feet were on U.S. soil and they were officially United States citizens.  They were home forever!

Friday, April 29, 2011

I'm going to knit a noose

A large percentage of my Orlando sisters knit for cathartic reasons.  I do not possess those talents, but in light of our weekend weather forecast, I now see the necessity of learning such a skill.  We are now in a BLIZZARD WARNING....YES, you read that right!  On April 30th and May 1st we are due for a winter storm.  THIS IS WRONG and I'm not going to take it anymore.  If I knew how to knit, I'd stitch together a lovely noose and wrap it around my neck. 

Does anyone have the number to Mother Nature?  I'd like to give her a piece of my mind.  I don't have a lot of brain matter to spare (after my drunken, sorority college days) but in this case, I'm willing to risk it!

The past two days have been wonderful.  70 lovely degrees, light breezes and sun!  Madison bathed her Arab, Lucki, and gave Ka Ching a scrubbing too.  In light of the impending storm and Sunday's saddle fit session at our training barn, we had to haul Ka Ching over there today in order to ensure that the horse is there for the fitting regardless of the el crappo weather.  At least I know I'll be able to get there in the Denali and this way I won't have to worry about driving on the muddy/snowy roads.  How sad to still have to worry about snow and blizzards the last day of April. 

Somebody tell Old Man Winter to take a hike and leave North Dakota alone.  Looking at this with a glass-half-full perspective, I suppose we have it better than the deep south with all those deadly tornadoes.  Sadly I know in just a matter of weeks, we'll have gone from snow to tornadoes and have that to worry about.

So where do I go to learn how to knit?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Another damn funeral

Last November, I was asked if I would join our funeral committee at church.  Pastor Paul assured me that it involved one or two funerals a year in which I would have to bring some type of dessert and help prepare the meal, serve and clean up.  No biggie I thought, I could easily handle that.  I should have known that nothing in my life ever, EVER goes as planned.

Starting in December, our church, our itty-bitty, little tiny Lutheran church has had 12 funerals as of today.  My ass is whipped.  The kids have served and partaken of so many funerals now that they think of them as some odd social gathering.  Another home schooling mom is the head of the funeral committee and we refer to ourselves as the "Thursday afternoon social club."  Sick, I know!  A funeral or two ago as the family of the dearly departed was gathering downstairs near the kitchen before the funeral, Jerome very loudly announced that "There sure are a lot of customer's here today."  See, we've all been desensitized to death. 

Death,'s no biggie any more to the kids.  They know that they get the pick of the desserts before the 'customers' get to and when their chores there are done, they get to play with all the new kids that have shown up for the big soiree. 

It's weird though that having the only 4 black kids for miles around, people I've never met or heard of seem to know us.  Case in point today.  I was standing with Richnigthder in the kitchen when a woman I've never seen before asked me if he (Richnightder) was one of the Laurie kids?  I told her this was one of my sons and she looked surprised.  Whatever.  I just think its weird that some old broad knew my kids, their last name and had no idea who in the hell I was. 

I suppose I shouldn't be so damn bitter about having to serve my church community again...on a rare, beautifully sunny and warm day.....but for Christ's sake, people need to stop dying because it's putting a serious crimp in my plans.  It's not like I don't give or do for my church.  Hell, I do A LOT for our church.  I was elected to church council and part of those duties require me to serve the Blood of Christ and count the haul...I mean the council rep to the educational committee, a small group leader for 2nd year confirmation, reader, greeter, altar guild and other assorted odd jobs that no one else seems to want!  All of this from a girl raised as a cradle Catholic now turned happy Lutheran.

Does anyone else who knows me find it belly-laughing funny that I get to do Eucharistic duties?  Whenever I hold those chalices with the wine and grape juice, I'm afraid it's going to sizzle and God's voice will come down from the sky and tell everyone to "Move to the other line.  The line without the foul-mouthed, formerly slutty Catholic girl holding the Blood of Christ."  All I know is that the Lutheran's either have really low standards or since everybodies dying, my qualifying skills were the ability to stand erect and fog up a mirror.  We all have talents.  Mine must be providing comic relief for God on Sunday mornings.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

To haul or not to haul

While some people have jobs that require them to make urgent, life or death decisions, I, as a home educating mother to 4 must make the burdensome decision as to whether or not to haul Madison's dressage horse to her lesson today or let her use the instructors?  Oh, why do I have to be in such a position that decides my daughter's future happiness?  insert sarcasm here.......

The gravel roads are mucky here and while we drive on paved roads most of the way, approximately 5 miles are red mud that sucks the tires in and throws you around like you are driving on....oh, let's say...a huge puddle of egg whites.  Madison's future moods depend on whether or not I haul her horse, Ka Ching to the lesson today.  God only knows I don't want my sweetie pie (cough) of a 14 year old daughter to be stomping her feet and screaming because I am ruining her life by not taking her horse and making her use one of the instructors horses.  I delight in watching her ride and want to haul her humongous horse, but don't feel like putting the truck, trailer, horse and us in the ditch.

Sunday and Monday Madison will be part of a saddle fit session at our trainer's barn.  Schleese Dressage Saddles will be at Karla's and Madison and ka Ching will have an appointment to be properly sized and fitted for a new dressage saddle.  It's really a neat thing to watch the horse be measured with tools that gauge where a saddle should sit on the horses back and shoulders to allow for unrestricted movement.  Of course this cost a pretty penny, but the saddles are exquisitively made and the smell of the leather alone is enough to get me to open up my checkbook.

Then later in May she has a riding clinic to attend offered by Anne Cizaldo.  She is super excited about this.  Not excited enough to curb her delightful teenager attitude, but some sassiness I'll take since she still is more interested in this than dating!!  As long as my kid is riding a horse and throwing her passion into that, I know she's at a barn with lots of other ladies and when not there, here at our place riding.  I relish that at 14 I still know where she is and what she's doing.  I don't want her to grow up sometimes, but oh what I wouldn't do to have her lose her voice for a week!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Eloquence with words to share the potential heartache of adoption

I never intend to hurt anyone with reality checks.  Heck, I need them too and they often come from my kids.  However, the reality is, that adoption is often over-run with emotions.  They run the gamut from manic highs to depressing lows and everything in between.

When a new potential adoptive parent shares the news that they are planning on growing their family thru adoption, they are naturally wrapped up in the natural thoughts of a loving, gorgeous child who is full of loving hugs and gratitude for their new family.  Sadly, that is just a dream.  Reality is that an older child, one who is walking and talking, has experienced loss, trauma and neglect in some form.  No child added to a family should be added with the belief from the adoptive parents that the child will be grateful or appreciative.  Adoption should always be motivated by selfish thoughts of the part of the parents:  We want another child to love......regardless of whether or not the child reciprocates love.

When our little boys came home from Haiti, we very clearly told them that we loved them, but we did not expect them to love us.  What we did expect was respect and kindness.  We are lucky.  Our little boys are firmly attached and love us.  I attribute part of that success to the fact that Richnigthder's birth mom and dad told him at our goodbye meeting in Haiti, "It's ok to go with them and love them."  That was a humongously crucial piece that allowed Richnightder to close one door and walk thru the next one.  It also helped him not feel a sense of betrayal by loving us AND his birth parents.

In an idealistic world I would love to share my thoughts on adoption and not have people get defensive nor think I am over reacting and being a total butt head and raining on their parade.  Remember, we've marched in that parade and heard the words that burst our bubbles and still marched on.  For us, we escaped the dreaded life-altering effects of Rad-a-lad-a-ding-dong behavior (thanks Corey) but we had the unexpected realization that one of our kids suffered some pretty profound prenatal exposures.  We deal with it, but there are days when his issues envelop the entire family and it becomes 'his' show. 

I'm not nearly as articulate as my friends are:  Friends who I have met in the trenches of parenting children not born of our bodies.  One's whom we love but that present challenges relating to their previous lives.  My intent remains to not hurt anyone's feelings or deter them from their desires, but to share and educate real life experiences that cannot be learned from any book. 

Adopting any child involves loss and heartache.  We know Madison's birthmom suffered tremendous heartache knowing that her angel would ride home from the hospital with us and she would leave without her.  How odd for our newborn daughter to be placed in my arms at the moment of birth and be carried by me....which to her was a completely  new voice.  Did Madison suffer trauma?  No, not really.  We are blessed to have an open adoption with Angela where from the first days of life, Angela would come to our house and have a cup of coffee with me while I tried to keep my eyes open from lack of sleep.  For both of them, the transition was a little easier due to openness.  But our adoption story with Angela and Madison is not typical.  We...our entire family benefits from having Angela in it.  I only wish I could offer Thomas the same beautiful birth story that Angela and Madison share. For so many kids, trauma begins to happen well before their first breath out of the womb.

I'm linking to an Orlando Soul Sister's blog.  Her words regarding adoption are eloquent and written with truth, emotion and gut-check moments.  Here's the link...enjoy....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Up and at 'em at 4AM

Today began at 4AM when Madison was the first to hit the ground running.  She got up to bake the 2 dozen cinnamon rolls we had to bring to the church breakfast, took her dog, Carlos out to go potty, and then went to the barn to feed the horses.  Yep, that's my girl!!

By 6:15 we had all piled into the car to head to church.  It started at 7AM but we had to get there a few minutes early to take the cinnamon rolls to the kitchen and then stake out a good seat.  The kids grabbed a handful of candy for the drive to church and the fights began.  Just the usual fights of he's breathing too loudly, she's singing like a dying cow, that's my headphones, give 'em  know, the standard complaints.  Half way thru church Madison realized the price tag was still on her new shirt and I had to dig around the inside of the back of her shirt to yank it off.  Jerome kept loudly announcing that he smelled something yucky, which was actually the Easter breakfast cooking downstairs and Thomas noticed a very attractive girl with a far too low cut blouse on and said, "Dad, look at her!"

By 8:45 we were home and settling into chores.  I've got to get going soon on getting our Easter dinner in the oven, but had to shared that if I died today, I could go to Heaven with a smile on my face and in my heart.  Marc and I and all the kids headed out to fix some horse fencing and it just happened that Richnigthder and I ended up at one fence post together, by ourselves, waiting for Marc to come back with a part.  We sat there in the middle of the field, just the two of us and laid back on the still brown grass and watched the clouds go by.  We laughed about what each of us thought the clouds looked like and for those few minutes, my life was utterly perfect.  I was there alone with my son on a gorgeously sunny day and the only sounds to be heard were the Sandhill cranes and our laughter.  Call it an Easter blessing, but I knew for sure in my heart, I was in the right place doing what I was supposed to do with my life.  I felt completely, utterly happy and content.

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  How did I end up with these amazing kids?  2 of my kids came from far, far away and I know it took God and an angel or two to put us together.  So on this Easter, I hope you are able to find a small moment in time that reminds you of the glory this world has.  If I live to be 110 years old, I know I'll remember those few quiet moments spent with Richnightder under a sunny sky, on an Easter afternoon.

Friday, April 22, 2011

adoption realism vs. happy fantasy

I've been really, really lucky in our adoptions.  Our kids are attached, happy and discrimating in their affections.  We didn't 'hole up' when the boys came home from Haiti,, but instead tossed them into the reality of our life.  Of course we modified life a bit and Marc took 6 weeks off to stay at home while we smooshed together our new life of 4 kids and 2 parents.  Each of our adoptions, just like our kids have been vastly different, yet each with their own challenges and joys. 

What's bugging me today is that once again I have read a post on a forum I belong to, where the gal is tickled about the adoption they're beginning, but one in which she openly states that her husband has "allowed" her to proceed with the paperwork etc, even though he is still not 100% sold on the idea.  WHAT????  She further stated that they have prayed and fasted and feel their needs are covered by prayer.  Whatever!

Being the shy person I am, I took the chance to share some of my experience in the adoption realm and tried to educate her that it's not a great idea to proceed blithely along with the assumption that dear 'ol hubby will share her passion and fall in love with said new child.  To further complicate matters, they are working with their states DHS.  OMG, scary!!  The kids under DHS care are going to need some serious therapeutic parenting; one where both parents are on board. 

Once again I find myself treading that fine line between scaring the hell out of prospective parents with potential REALITIES and not bustin' their bubble of joy.  I remember with our last adoption, I hated hearing about all the problems that we could face.  But the difference is I had educated myself, prepared and gleaned every shred of knowledge I could from those who had gone before me and didn't merely rely on prayer/fasting.  Don't get me wrong.  I prayed my butt off, but God also gave me a brain that told me to prepare for any eventuality.  I also knew I might have a kid with attachment trauma, but that I would NOT be a mom who could not attach. 

How do I impress upon people who are still in the dreamy-eyed state that not everyone is cut out for adoption?  I know the forum post I replied to pissed off the prospective mom, but it scares the hell out of me for the potential new family member, that the dad is just going along with it.  I failed in this situation to impress the necessity of two parents being gung-ho about it and being so thrilled and happy that no obstacle could over whelm them. 

I have been really, really fortunate to have 4 attached, average kids.  Do I give God some of the credit, of course I do.  I also credit really, really great adoption social workers/advocates who shared the reality that 'could be'.  Life aint always a bowl of cherries.  Sometimes life is like it was here the other day......full of dog poop, stir-crazy kids and assinine comments from freaks in the store that make us roll our eyes at their stupidity.  Somebody help me get thru to this gal how important it is to be in-it-together with her husband.  I'm failing to educate and it's killing me!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Let's face it, today was a poopy day

The title of this blog post in no way reflects upon the actions of my children!  Instead, the day was chaotic because of my 4 furry kids, the dogs.  At some point during the far...all of the dogs have pooped and peed in the house.  Add to that aromatic bouquet, one dog barfing in two separate locations and you have a snap shot of my day.

My dogs are housebroken.  Of course they do have an occasional accident, but if that happens it's usually by the door, which tells me they tried to get my attention and I ignored them.  Today was off-the-chart, horrible.  At one point I was vacuuming up the dog hair and stepped back into a pile of still warm dog barf.  I put the vacuum away and pulled out the steam cleaner only to discover that Bunny had peed in her crate and in front of it....on the carpet of course!

I have cleaned, scrubbed, vacuumed, steam cleaned, and swiffered my way thru the day. I am D.O.N.E.  The way I look today, I should be the poster child for distraught, frazzled, crazy homeschooling mom's of America.  Golly, I'm a sight that even I don't want to see in the mirror.  What a shame that blogs don't have scratch and sniff abilities.  My house reflects the odiferous array of barf, poop and pee with a backer of linen fresh Lysol, Dow foaming bubbles, Clorox wipes and Bissel pet stain remover.  So who wants to come right on over and have some fresh from the oven brownies?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Reflections from the chronically confused

I'm hoping today's post makes some sense, or at the very least more than the last post.  I know some things for certain.  I know eventually the 4 kids I currently have will grow up, go to college and eventually leave home!  Hurray!  I know I love my husband and kids more than all the stars in the sky or grains of sand on the beach!  I also know I want another child!

I have faith that if it's God's will, it will happen.

I also realize that the addition of another child could possibly bring some major issues into our house that we haven't had to deal with before.  This scares me into a fetal, thumb-sucking position.  This is where I begin to lose my faith.I believe God does have a master plan and if it happens, it is what it is and you deal with it.

In searching for signs, I've gotten a couple that I think lead me to think a 5th child is God's plan.  The most recent sign was an email from Vivian (adoption social worker extrodinaire and friend) that said we would be able to work directly with her and Chances for Children and not have to choose a coordinating adoption agency.  This saves some serious pocket change!

The most significant sign is one I still can not divulge to the other two people that read this blog.  It has to deal with dear friends possibly taking on a huge and wonderful, life-changing responsibility that very well could benefit us in this 5th child endeavor.  I know it sounds confusing, but trust me.  This is a wonderful thing for all of us involved!!

The road before me is still a little twisty and turny, but I might be seeing the individual bricks on the road a little more clearly. 

Faith is in my heart and head.  Now to make that ultimate leap of faith.

To leap and follow your heart when your head is telling you be logical.

In matters of love, is logic ever relevant?


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

decisions, decisions

In 2007 our decision to adopt the boys from Haiti was a no brainer.  We just knew we would follow our hearts to pursue adoption.  This time however, I am having a hard time following my faith-filled heart.  This time I know what lies ahead for us; the L.O.N.G, endless wait, the political upheavals, the horrific cost, the emotional weight gain for me, etc.  I am also worried about just how many times we can adopt, and continue to avoid kids with dramatic emotional issues related to loss, grief, anger, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc!

I'll be the first to acknowledge that one of our kids has some struggles due to some prenatal exposures, but those challenges, both for him and us, remain manageable.  He works his hinney off to conform to social norms and to please.  'Normal' families might think he'd be a handful, but for us, adapting to his needs is just second nature.  But the huge, cloudy thought bubble hanging over my head remains and it keeps shouting, "What if next time, you have a kid that throws our newly established sense of normalcy into the toilet, day after day, after day?  Trust me, I now know approximately 70 women who deal with this shinola everyday and what they deal with scares the paint off my toenails.

A little knowledge is scary and I know just how lucky our two little boys were to have been cared for in a creche that did very well by them.  Their physical, emotional, and educational needs were met.  Of course no creche can replace a forever family, but in terms of orphanages, our was good.  Very good!  But I've also seen and heard the real life horror stories of kids from orphanages that carry home to their forever families, their fears, struggles and anger about their lives that they have not had any control over.  All of that crappola eventually comes out and the forever family ends up being the toilet into which these kids spew their crap.  Of course the kids are not to blame.  They are the innocent ones, but getting thru to them that you will love them forever and always, protect them and comfort them is an endlessly up hill battle. 

We've been very, very lucky and blessed in our 4 adoptions.  I believe in every fiber of my body that each of my children have been destined to be mine from God since the creation of our earth.  I know these are my gift's from God and are only with me for the blink of an eye before they grow up and leave home.  I am ashamed to be struggling with my faith right now:  To be questioning the nudges I feel God is giving me.  I wonder if my desire for another child is a selfish wish on my part solely or am I merely following the pull in my illogical heart.  God has never given me a "Burning Bush" sign to definitevly tell me what to do.  I've looked for the billboard signs that say, "God wants you to do this."  I suppose I need to keep looking deeper in my heart which is highly illogical and yet has not led me astray.

My heart has never been logical.  I have always led with my heart.  So far my heart has not let me down.  Why then do I question the addition of another child?  I don't know?  When I see my thoughts in print I feel stupid that I have even written them.  I know there is another child out there for us, but feel very selfish in wanting that.  All these crazy thoughts of course after talking to Vivian, our adoption social worker who presented me with a couple different options in Haiti.  So many kids remain in orphanages that I feel guilty for contemplating only adopting one.  We've been blessed in so many aspects in life, that both Marc and I feel that it's wrong to not share it, and do what we can to leave the world in a better state than when we entered it.  However, none of that is to say we are adopting again because we feel some mis-guided need to 'rescue' an orphan.  Our desire in adopting again is purely selfish.

We want another child.

We have the ability to do so.

What I don't have right now is T.H.E. sign from God that that is his path for us.


I have it.

So if I have faith, why am I waiting for that 'burning bush' sign?

Friday, April 8, 2011

The gods must be crazy

I can't explain it.  I really can't.  Everything seems to be going alright in our life right now.  Madison is growing up and maturing.  Her riding is taking off as is the price tag to keep her in dressage/jumper riding!  Thomas is doing nicely in school and makes me smile when I see him help other's out without prompting.  Of course his generosity is usually extended to those that do not reside with us, but nonetheless, his kind heart is lovely.  Richnigthder is so smart, so capable and so athletic and sooooo stubborn.  Jerome is, well, Jerome.  Just a happy little guy who jumps for joy when I tell him we're having chicken and rice for dinner.

So what in the hell is making me feel like adding another child to our family?  Why in the hell am I contemplating this when everything seems to be fine?  I don't know if I can articulate it other than to say I feel there is space in my heart for another addition.  Space for a young girl to round out our family.  Perhaps I am crazy, or perhaps I like tempting fate.  I don't know for sure, but it is something seriously in my heart and head right now.

Next Tuesday Vivian, our remarkable adoption social-worker and dear friend will give me a jingle to discuss some ideas she has for our family.  Hmmmm, I wonder what in the hell that means?  All I can tell you is that something is nagging my heart and telling me I have too much to share to keep it just to myself.  Besides, Madison thinks it would be nice to have a little sister to boss around and 'make' her clean her pigsty of a bedroom.  Maybe I haven't done such a great job afterall!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Driver's Ed and other horrifying thoughts

Madison will turn 14 in a matter of days and while I revel in watching my beautiful, intelligent daughter grow up, it also carries with it a boat load of chest-clutching fear for her dear 'ol parents.  I keep saying it out loud; a learner's permit?  How could this child possibly be old enough to get her driver's permit?

Today we picked up the driver's ed manual and it ceased to be just another paperback book.  What I held in my hands was the realization that my baby girl is reaching the age in life when she will venture out on her own and not always have her mom and dad around to protect her.  Letting go is scary.  Scary for me that is.  For Madison, it is a right-of-passage that has her thrilled, tickled, excited and giggly.

I don't want to let go.  I am afraid of letting her out into the big scary world on her a moving vehicle...where she could get hurt.  I remember crying one day to my mom about what a difficult day it had been with Madison and Thomas.  Madi was a mere 15 months old when Thomas came home and she seemed so 'big' then.  My mom in all of her sage wisdom told me that as hard as the baby years are, they are the easy days of child-rearing and the problems get bigger as the kids do.  OMG, she really was the smartest woman alive.  Oh how I miss her wisdom.  Why didn't I pay attention and soak up every tidbit she uttered when she was alive?

Are there days when I wish the Schwan's man would take all 4 of my cranky kids???  Oh hell yeah!  But then I come back to reality and remember he brings the goodies, and it's against Schwan's policy to take people's children.  Damn it.  Reality really does suck sometimes.

How in the hell can my first born be old enough to drive a car?  How is it possible that I'm old enough to have a kid that old?  It seems like yesterday I stood in the hospital holding Madison as she took her first breaths of air in this world.  Time marches on for damn sure and the next phase of life that commences in a few short days has the distinct ability to take days/months/years off my life.  Telomeres and cortisol are killing me right now (Love ya Angie)!

 As we head into Spring, I anticipate a teenaged daughter chomping on the bit to get behind the wheel and drive with Marc or me in the co-pilot seat.  Only one thing makes me laugh as I think of this thought and that is Madison's desire to drive with her birthmom, Angela when we are in Seattle in June!  Oh, how I hope Angela can bear the fear of sitting in the seat-'o-death while her genetic legacy takes the wheel on a very crowded I-5.  At least learning to drive in North Dakota is not as fear/cortisol inducing as driving on roads crammed with pissed off, hostile, bird flipping BMW drivers.  Here all we worry about is passing a combine on a narrow two-laned road or merging onto an empty interstate.  Ah yes, Seattle driving should be fun.  Thank God Angela is, as her name indicates, and angel and I know she and Madi will have gobs of fun on the Seattle roads.  WAhahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Budget, shmudget

Once upon a time, a young married couple lived a pleasant little life.  They had a cute little house, 3 dogs and no kidlets yet.  In 1995 the federal government shut down for a period of time and because Marc is deemed 'Necessary' he got the privilege of working without a paycheck for that period of time.  Eventually, he received his back pay, but as the government is prone to, it took a LONG time.  So this happy young couple planned ahead and stocked the pantry and the freezer.  They had money in savings and it was no biggie at all.

Fast forward to 2011.  The couple is no longer young (so-to-speak), has 4 dogs, 10 horses, 5 cats, 2 rabbits, and 1 guinea pig.  The house is much larger with a matching large mortgage payment, and a drained savings account because of the kidlets and animals.  Life is wayyyyyy more complicated than it was 16 years ago.  Marc was told this week that if the government doesn't come to another budgetary continuing resolution, then once again, he will get the privilege of working while others are furloughed.  While he will get paid eventually, it will be some time down the road after the government resumes regular operations.  The middle-aged couple is in no way prepared for an extended period of having the sole bread winner work without pay.  We have a mortgage, car payment, 4 hungry kids to feeds,  hungry animals, a dwindling meat supply in the freezer, and the savings account is getting into scary, shallow levels. 

We haven't been complete morons in the financial area, but our money is tied up in a Thrift Savings Plan, of which we could borrow from....if there were employees there to process the paperwork.  And while I know Marc is one of the lucky ones and will get paid, some of the people that work in his office are deemed 'non-essential' and they will get furloughed without ever getting paid for that unexpected time off.

Everyone knows I am a liberal democrat with decidely left leanings, but for heaven's sake, those children that are pouting and foot-stomping in Congress need to un-cross their angry arms, turns their frown's upside down and get the hell to work on solving this countries issues.  I really think that if we turned over this problem to a class of Kindergarten students, they would have better coping/sharing/compromising skills than those buttheads elected to lead. 

You think it will fly if I call my mortgage company and explain to them that my mortgage may be late because the federal government can't get their heads out of their butts and figure this crap out?  Nah, me either.  But how come they can be late on a payment and not sweat it?  

I'm fighting my stress induced coping skills which drive me to shop right now.  I suppose I should head to Sam's Club and do a little stocking up.  I don't know if there are enough Ding Dong's or Ho Ho's  to get me thru this stress.  Uffda, dis here problem is fer da birds!  Is that North Dakotan enough?