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Wilton, Maine

I moved here 4 1/2 years ago with high hopes for a new life. This has not happened. There are a number of reasons for this, and I do have to take responsibility for my own failures here, as well...

The people here do not think the way that I do, nor do they behave in a manner that I am familiar with. I simply cannot understand their reasoning on many levels, and have not found a single person in 4 1/2 years that I could call a "friend". If I were more outgoing, I might have found some friends by now, but as it stands the only people that I have contact with are people that are angry and wish to vent their anger on me.

I have had 2 parents call the police on the girl for "rude" or inappropriate behavior on the internet. I have had complaints from the school that many parents call them to complain about the girl's behavior. Since I switched schools for the girl last year, I have had 2 sets of school officials trying to convince me that the girl has some serious mental illness because she cannot stop being "rude" to people. When I examine the "complaints" issued against the girl for her behavior, I (most times) cannot understand why her behavior was taken so seriously, nor can I understand, at times, what the exact nature of the problem is. Most of the time, it is a simple matter that she is 11, and doesn't know any better.

Almost every professional that I have any dealings with, whether they are doctors, plumbers, real estate agents, or social workers, seem to have extreme difficulty doing their jobs. They make huge errors that I have had to pay for.

* a therapist whose therapy technique was telling me "you're getting worse" or "You are going to end up in the hospital" and shushed me during my last session so that she could continue venting about her driveway.
* a doctor who misdiagnosed a case of poison ivy as a "rare infection which would feed down my optic nerve into my brain", sending me to the hospital overnight
* a principal who suspended the girl because of a conversation in the girls room with her best friend in which she said that she did not want to invite 2 children she doesn't get along with to her birthday party.
* a child counselor who tried to blackmail me to get the girl enrolled in an invasive, in-home therapy program which would put her people in my house for 25 hours per week

There are also some laws that the legislature has passed which seem to me to be petty and geared towards making the poor or afflicted suffer more. Most recently, they passed a rule that people on Mainecare, which are the poorest people in the state, who receive therapy can only receive 18 sessions per year, which works out to about once every three weeks.

As many of those who are on Mainecare and receive therapy are poor people who have a mental illness, this seems to me to be a very dangerous policy to promote - the people that need the therapy the most are those who are denied it.

And then there are the neighbors:

* One neighbor parked his oil leaking truck on my front lawn all winter, as well as a large pile of trash and a utility trailer
* One neighbor who came across the road to scream in my face for 1/2 hour because my mulch became airborne and landed in his yard. (honestly, using cardboard as mulch seemed like a good idea at the time!) - the same neighbor drives his snowmobile across my property without so much as asking if it was alright as if he has every right to do so
* One neighbor who pumped the water out of his basement into my driveway
* One neighbor who constructed a fence on my property
* One neighbor who contracted with me to plow my driveway and charged me 3 times the rate he had stated.

Basically, I do not understand the social rules up here. These people have a completely different definition of "rude", and when they perceive "rudeness", they get extremely intense and judgmental about it.

She is SOOOOO grounded

It's been a busy week. I got a call from the Farmington Police regarding some things the girl has been up to on the internet. I had to take her down to the police station and get a lecture from a police officer.

Apparently, she and an online friend decided that they were going to create fake Facebook accounts, and used names from people that the girl knew at school. When her friend, who normally calls this house 15 to 20 times a day, got mad at her, she told all the people that she became connected to that my girl was doing all this fake account creating, and one of the parents of a kid at school whose first name she used called the police to get the page taken down before her little boy could be assalted by a sexual preditor on the internet.

Well, the rumors spread not only to the school that she is attending but to the school she attended last year from which I removed her. Every one is in an uproar, because the rumor is that my girl created accounts for all of the kids she knew. Well, that's not the case, but you know how rumors are!

Well, she's grounded since last Friday from internet use.

I have a new computer - given to me by my generous future son in law - and I've been putting off hooking it up because it has a different operating system that I don't know. I've been using the laptop, which is nearly kaput, until last night. I allowed her to use the new computer, thinking she wouldn't be able to connect with the internet on it, and she disabled my laptop - breaking the usb do-hinky which connected it to the internet, in an attempt to connect the new computer and sneak onto the internet. When I got up this morning, it was quite a scuffle trying to find out what happened.

Trying to keep her out of trouble is a full time job.

House of Belistiwa

I have an ebay store and we just reached "Top-Rated Seller" Status. We reached "Power Seller" status earlier in the year, and I am just proud as punch about it!

I have my brother to thank, in part, because since I turned over my password to him and let him list some items (he has over 3,000 items listed) we have the volumn of sales that qualify us. Also, our excellent customer service has led us to be highly rated.

I checked the other day, and we have sold in excess of 1,000 items in the last 12 months, which is incredible. And alot of what we have sold was found at yard sales and thrift shops. However, I've even sold some things that were left behind in the barn when we moved in!

One man's junk is another man's treasure...

It is the 4th of July...

And it is still raining. We've had a month of rain. Lots, and lots of rain. My last entry, 11 weeks ago, was entitled "water, water everywhere", and it is still!

Lots has happened. The biggest thing is that I have managed to successfully get P moved into another school, after 6 months of trying to do something about the problem, and thanks to a little push by my Namista, they actually listened to me. She told them that we've been trying to work with the woman to resolve the issue for 2 1/2 years and needed to know what we would need to tell our lawyer.

Oddly enough, after mentioning the "L" word to them, they agreed to meet with me and the resulting meeting effected the transfer of the girl from the prison system into another elementary school. Her new school, in Farmington, does not have isolation booths and seems to address behavioral problems a little differently.

I got the girl a mulligan!

Let's hope that this, and the entire summer filled with behavioral adjustment techniques, will be enough to ensure a smooth transition from the misery at Wilton to a pleasant learning environment in Farmington.

Lack of focus...

I had to meet with a social worker yesterday, regarding my plans for employment/education for the future, and I so confused her that she is going to give me some time to straighten out a few "issues" before putting pressure on me to succeed at anything. My quest for reasonable employment is not succeeding, and the DOllar Tree job is just getting in the way of the self employment success, therefore I have come to a decision:

I'm giving notice at the Dollar Tree. I ran the figures, and I made more from my online sales for the last three months than I have working there, anyway, and they keep scheduling me for evenings. As I have no reliable child care (reliable being the operative word), this is slightly more than inconvenient, and I have little hope of getting this job to be the daytime job that I was hoping for in the first place.

They had a meeting at the store a few weeks ago, where the district manager came in and talked to us about direct deposit or debit cards rather than paychecks. The district manager implied that the debit card would probably be better for us, as we were only earning enough for MacDonalds, anyway, and that is when I started reconsidering my continued employment there, to begin with.

Add to that being scheduled last week for Sunday, when I told them when I was hired that I cannot work on Sundays, and being scheduled for only Thursday two weeks in a row then suddenly being scheduled for Friday, as well, on the one week when I have nobody to sit with the girl for the evening as my brother is going on a road trip, leaving Friday morning. When I asked them to switch it, I was informed that I was going to have to "forfeit" the shift, leaving me with yet another week with only 4 hours total.

I ran the figures this morning, and made more from online sales for the last three months than I have working there, and that without much in the way of effort. If I devoted my efforts to increasing the online business, as well as getting things organized for the next phase of the total business (namely, getting the store in order to apply for the "Ebay Trading Assistant" status), I have a much greater chance of success becoming independent of this "social worker" business and becoming self sufficient.

It's all about focus. The social worker was right: I'm all over the place here. I need to focus on the goal and stop wasting time and energy with this job, which hasn't really paid off very well to begin with. There is a niche right here for the trading assistant, and a good number of people that will be more than anxious to get some money for their stuff, because we've had quite a number of major layoffs up here, as there have been all over the place, and those people will need to raise money somehow.

So, today, after my doctor's appointment, I'll be going to the Dollar Tree to give notice.

Polish Sweet Bread

1 1/2 cup sugar
5 cups milk
8 eggs
10+ cups flour
1/2 cup melted butter, warm but not hot
1 pinch nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tps orange extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 grated orange rind
1 cup yellow raisins

heat milk until lukewarm - mix 3/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup sugar, and yeast. Leave warm and let rise

beat eggs and 1 1/4 cups sugar.

sift together flour, nutmeg, and salt. Make a well in the mixture and pour in the yeast mixture. stir, and add the butter and milk, extracts and rind. add more flour until thick enough to knead. knead 14-20 min, until rubbery and add raisins (knead them in)

let rise in a large, warm bowl coated with butter (or cooking spray), covered with a towel - leavfe 3 hours in a warm place (like the oven).

When it has risen 2ce it's original size, knead 10-15 minutes more, then seprate into 5 loaf pans. Let it rise, covered for 1 more hour then bake 45 minutes at 350, 15 minutes at 300.

Makes 5 loaves.
1 lb of meat with bones
10 med potatoes - mashed w/salt, pepper, milk, and butter
6 - 10 fresh beets
2 tbls of vinegar
12 oz sour cream (or plain yogurt)
crisp, crumbled bacon (optional)

You'll need a pound of meat with bones - lamb or pork is best. Brown it in large sauce pan, then add water to cover. You want all the meat to fall off the bones.

Take about 10 medium potatoes, and boil them in a really big pan - then mash them. Add salt, pepper, a little milk and butter.

Take 6 to 10 medium beets, wash them, then boil them until tender - Pour the water, which will turn red, over the meat, then when they are cooled off, peel them and grate them iinto the pan with the meat, then add about 2 tbls of vinegar (recommend balsamic) to the broth.

In a bowl, put a 12 oz container of sour cream (or plain yogurt), then slowly add some of the broth, stirring so as to not curdle the mixture. Once you've added about half the broth to this, pour the rest back into the pan with the meat and beets.

Then pour the whole thing over the mashed potatoes, top with crumbled bacon, and serve.

Been Busy

I have been so busy - the work at the Dollar Tree has increased - more people quit, leaving more open shifts for me to fill, and I've been dealing with some outragous behavior from the girl, and trying to start the spring cleaning.

My entire kitchen needs to be redone. I'm starting on the plans for renovations/redecorating, but I have to wait a little longer until the snow all melts, because I have to fix the roof before beginning interior work. It's ok, because that gives me more planning time.

The girl has her first basketball game tonight, and is oh so sure that her team is going to lose, but I'm looking forward to it anyway. I picked her up at practice one day last week, and saw her take an almost perfect free-throw shot. She needs to work on control, naturally, but she is somewhat natural at this activity.

Hopefully, I can get her into girl scout camp this year. I think that a week in the company would be good for her. Otherwise, I'm going to try to get her into some other camp, because I don't want her getting to bored all summer.

Things seem to be going well.

Winter Fun Day

yesterday, we took P to a cabin at the top of a mountain up near Sugerloaf so that she could sled down it. She had a great time, and I got to see a magnificiant, 3 story log cabin, built in the 70's by a former hippie.

Only a former hippie could have built such a cabin. It was built with hand-hewn logs found on the property when the only way to get there was a narrow jeep trail. It is huge, with tons of rooms, decks all around on each level, and everywhere a fantastic view.

I was a great admirer of the hippie movement, but too young to participate. Think how different my life might have been if I had been just a little older then? Some of my DIY policies in life stem from the same principles.

I resist conventions, preferring to do things myself, and would have loved to be part of a community that did something like build an extremely large log cabin on a remote mountain in northern Maine.

Of course, DIY only goes so far if you don't know what you are doing! I never would have attempted to change my plumbing, for instance, becaus, while it was a huge mess before, if you do it wrong you can do alot of damage. Done correctly, however, it can cost you a fraction of what you pay a "professional", and sometimes the so-called professional doesn't know what they are doing, either.

Water, Water, Everywhere!

I finally, finally, finally have my water back! You have no idea! I have not had running water since the 18th of January! No more hauling buckets! No more pouring water over my head with a sauce pan to shower - and the shower now works properly!

And while digging around in my yard, they have unearthed some lovely rocks! In the spring, when it all thaws, I can use those rocks for the parimeter foudation on the barn!

The new well is right outside in my front yard, about 20 feet from the house, and I'm going to use the lawn-art logs from the ash tree (for those of you that don't know, ash doesn't like to split for firewood) as seats around the well and put a table over it, like a little picnic area.

I'm actually so excited that I can't stand it - the first thing that I did was laundry. Then I did dishes. Next, I'm taking a shower. Yippee! Running water!




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July 2010