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If you think this is about YOU, maybe you should go reconcile with your parent and work to get back your kids instead of continuing to be a jerk. If you think I am you, or similar to you, welcome! :-)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Blast from the Past- Can you help this mom and her kids?

Hi there! It's been quite awhile since I shuttered the doors on the blog. I really have nothing new to tell you. I'm here for an important reason. But first, grab a cup of tea and catch up.

Belle and Baby are growing into fine human beings. As their chauffer to college classes, because alas they are too young to drive, I have to say they blend right in with the young coeds. The Mister still works. I can feel autumn coming on in a big way this year. We've made new friends, done some new things, lived through a very calm summer, for us; for some extended family, not calm at all, nor pleasant. But we are fine. My weight is down, as is my blood pressure. 

I really have no significant information with which to supply you. There have been no sudden streams of info from DC or state capitals for grandparents and other caring individuals who are raising grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, siblings. I'm not entirely unhappy with that.  The less interference from the Government, the happier I am.

I guess there are some things happening in my Lulubelle's life at this point, but I prefer not to go into those things or their sources. Junior had another child, and from a distance, it looks quite healthy, and is definitely Junior's child.  

The number of incidents of attempted identity theft and bill collectors seeking information has cut down considerably. I don't understand how our address is being reported at a friend's former business in a northwestern state. It could be Sonny. It could be Junior. But, the alarm sounds whenever somebody attempts to play with one of our credit reports. It has been quiet for a few months.

ANYWHO, while I was out reading blogs, which is as close as I come to blogs these days, I came across Simcha Fisher's blog, which led me to Mark Shea's blog, which led me to http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nursing-school--6.
It appears Mark and Simcha asked for some assistance for a mother of 11 kiddos, who wants to go to nursing school so she can support them. Their father refuses to pay child support, and the courts are making no great hurry to force him to do so. 

So, this father apparently let loose on Mark's blog in the comment box, in several online personas. Apparently not only does this man want to deprive his children of his support, but he wants to deprive them of everybody else's support. In the Juniors and Lulubelles of the the universe, he certainly is up there in top twenty-five, in my opinion. If he were my son, he would sssssssssssooooo be out of the will at this point!

This mom is not out there begging for money. She offers some really good perks, better than any PBS tote bag. More importantly, I am sure God will smile down upon you helping her out, whatever denomination or not you claim. And of course, you are going to help her support her kids! Won't that be cool? You grandparents who know what it's like will be helping with something with which we've struggled a time or two. She is trying to do the old up-by-the-bootstraps thing!

Enforced, governmental charity only goes so far. If the government took over the desert, to paraphrase, in five years there would be a sand shortage. Instead, let the kindness come from your own heart.

Here is her blog, if you are interested.  

In the interim, have a great autumn, a fantastic Christmas, and a jolly new year.

Monday, February 11, 2013


While I address this to grandparents, the advice would still hold true for aunts, uncles and cousins of adult children who have abandoned or abused nieces, nephews and cousins. 

If you are a grandparent who is considering acquiring custody/ guardianship of or adopting your grandchildren:

If you are a grandparent who isn't sure but has suspicions that your grandchildren might be in need of assistance because your adult child is either abusing or neglecting them:

If you are a grandparent whose adult child disappeared, leaving you with the kids:

If you are a grandparent who is being bullied by an adult child, including using the grandchildren as pawns to get you to cooperate with the demands of the adult child in question:

If you are a grandparent who is unsure how to hire an attorney:

If you are a grandparent who wants to acquire custody/ guardianship, or wants to adopt your grandchildren, but you aren't sure how you can afford it:

If you have been threatened with "Indian court" in relationship to your continued guardianship or your adoption of your grandchildren:

If you are a grandparent who has to deal with visitation of the children by your adult child:

Bon Voyage

I've been writing this blog for five years now. There isn't a whole lot a person can say about the subject at this point.

Either you support grandparents adopting their grandchildren when they can't be brought up by their parents, or you do not. Either you support giving grandparents who honestly have examined themselves and found out they can't raise their grandchildren, and respect that, or you do not. I'm certainly not going to waste my time trying to convince child welfare workers they don't understand, nor am I going to waste another moment on the Lulubelles and Juniors of this world, who think they are entitled to the lives of their children simply because they gave birth to them.

I remember a year and a half ago, I mentioned in an entry that several friends were leaving homeschooling in favor of back-and-mortar school. Toward that end, it appears we will most likely be joining the throng.

There are new opportunities every day for academically gifted kids, beyond what the regular public school offers. The Mister and I are planning on moving again, to a place where those possibilities can be obtained. I will be driving a lot and working part time to make those possibilities happen. 

I might pop in once or twice, should something happen in the news that deals with the circumstances of grandparents raising grandkids. And I'll leave up a set of links to help grandparents new to the idea of taking over where their adult children have tragically left off.

If you have questions, or concerns, send a comment or email to the addy attached to this blog. Have a wonderful life, and enjoy those grandkids!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

...A Pause in Action...

I would never have stumbled across it if it had not been for the family cat and a certain social media. The cat likes my circa 2008 refurbished laptop. She likes it because it heats up rather quickly. If I don't remember to put the screen down, Kitty will lie across the keyboard, kneading her paws. This causes keys to activate. Sometimes she turns on iTunes. Sometimes she turns on the DVD player. The key pattern she kneaded on Sunday locked me out of that particular social media for 24 hours. 

I have trouble with those little soft keys on Android phones. I miss and hit other keys, either on the left or right of the intended letter. So, while I could still access my account, I had to use that dinky keyboard to input. And no, I don't have a keyboard attachment for an Android phone. I have yet to figure out why I could access my account via the Android but not social media. It was never fully explained.

However, I do have access to that social media through another account. I seldom, if ever use it, because that social media is particularly good about keeping its server farm in high gear. But once, about three years ago, I was in a group that the social media was going to upgrade, so they shut off my regular account for three days. It seemed like a good time to use the alternate account again.

I wish I hadn't. I found a diatribe by my Lulubelle. It was about me. It was old, but that didn't make it hurt less. It was in response to that whole incident with my sending my son, Junior, a birthday gift, and he, forgetting that he lied to me on more than one fact in his life, got angry because I suggested he take out a nice girl with the restaurant gift cards I enclosed, in addition to a scrapbook of family photos from his past and some events on which he missed out. It seems his girlfriend- he calls her his fiancee, but their daughter is four now- it seems that she and he live together. The girlfriend didn't take off on him before the baby was born, as he told me the Christmas before last, when he popped out of the woodwork, trying to get his birth certificate. It does make me wonder which name he is using at present. He signed the return receipt on the gift with his middle name and a Hispanic surname. His birth certificate is the name he was given at adoption. On social media, he uses his birth name.

But this is more about Lulubelle and her social media tirade.

In her diatribe, she accused me of diagnosing that she, Lulubelle, was bipolar. Of course, that's a lie. If I diagnosed it, wouldn't I be the one who wrote the prescriptions for all her medication that she didn't take? As it happens, the doctor in 2003 or 2004 wasn't the first to diagnose her. She was diagnosed back in 1991. I'm not a doctor, and I don't play one on TV, as we all know from prior blog entries.

Lulubelle also referenced things I said in a letter to my son (nice of him to share). What I told my son is the truth, and I can back up what I said with evidence. It's what I didn't say that my daughter claims I said that hurts and infuriates me. These weren't mere lies. They were out-and-out fantasies of a sick mind. I allegedly harassed her sister-in-law (if sending gifts or letters to one's daughter in care of somebody is harassment) and harassed her friends (ditto), as well as an entire online fan club (how do you do that). I allegedly kept her from her "real" father (the fact that we didn't know where he was from 1983 to 1988 had nothing to do with it- and then I had to keep tracking him down). I allegedly want to be a member of Mensa but can't be. Allegedly, the Mister and the children who live here are smart, but I am not. I allegedly mercilessly picked on my ex-son-in-law, and didn't deliver on photos promised to him and his mother (yeah right, considering the court ruled nobody has to give them photos). I allegedly accused Lulubelle and her ex-husband of a kidnapping plot. Yada, yada, yada. I have proof on the vast majority of this to refute it, and what I don't have I can easily obtain.

In any event, Lulubelle claimed as soon as she had the money, she was going to "reverse" (her words) the adoption. Which adoption, the Mister's adoption of her, or our adoption of the children who live here? Got me. Lulubelle wasn't coherent, to say the least. 

If she means rescind or vacate (the correct terms) the adoption of the children here, I don't think so. The court went through special pains to ensure that she and her ex-husband understood what they were doing when they signed away their rights in front of a judge. Lulubelle contacted our attorney via a letter, asking for a court date to terminate her rights, before we even had a chance to sit down with him and make a plan. 

It's been eight years since we received custody, and five years since the adoption, in a state that seals adoptions upon completion. There would have to be proof that Lulubelle and/ or her ex-husband didn't know what they were doing, or that the adoption was somehow fraudulent. There would also have to be proof that it is in the best interest of the children to rescind or vacate it. 

Such an action would cost attorney's fees up-front, as Lulubelle's former attorney has let it be known in certain circles Lulubelle doesn't pay her debts as promised. There would also be the matter of child support arrears. Neither of Lulubelle nor Sonnyboy paid support for the children during the time we were the children's guardians. There is also some money Lulubelle signed in a promissory note, the damages on her rented abode, which we paid to the management group. 

In any event, the petition would have to be heard in the state where the adoption occurred, and neither we nor Lulubelle nor Sonny live there. For us, we would expect our lawyer to ask the court to make Lulubelle and Sonny give us gas money and expenses. Both Lulubelle and Sonny would have to fly to the destination in question, several times. If Lulubelle could magically get this kind of money together, as she works in retail last I heard, it would take years for the petition to reach a conclusion in an order. By that time, the children would have lived with us for at least ten years. Belle would be at least sixteen.

If she wishes to rescind or vacate her adoption by the Mister, fine by the Mister at this point. He hopes Ex adopts both Lulubelle and Junior back. Legally, Lulubelle is an adult. It would be cheaper for her to simply change her name legally. She can also go to court where she and her biological father reside, and he can legally adopt her. Our consent isn't needed at this point. I doubt seriously Ex would bother, because that would mean money not spent on him and his motorcycle. I am sure if Lulubelle pays the freight he will happily go along with it, though. 

Know what? I'm OK with it, too. She was my baby once. I carried her inside me. I raised her to be bright, to be independent, to be gracious and generous, to be intelligent. She might be bipolar, but she is also hurtful, unkind, obnoxious, and shallow. She doesn't remember why I did some of the things I did, some pretty large sacrifices I made, doesn't care to remember, and I can't refresh her memory at this point. In any event, she not only doesn't remember, she's gone into a world that doesn't exist. Ex and his wife have been together awhile, as well. Maybe Ex's wife would like to adopt a not-quite 35 year old bouncing baby girl, as well as a 33 year old bouncing baby boy. I wish them all well. It's hard enough to raise children under eighteen years of age. Bringing a 33 and 35 year old to some kind of maturity will be even harder.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Winter Potpourri I: Changing How You Think About TV

Roku is by far one of the best investments we ever made! If you like TV, but don't like fooling around with the HMDI cable between your laptop or tablet and the TV for family viewing, get a Roku box. The fanciest model costs about $100. You will need one for each TV in the house. Get a Netflix and HuluPlus subscription. Netflix is $8 a month or so and HuluPlus is $9. Get really fancy and get an Amazon Prime membership for $79 a year, and you also get the opportunity to see even more stuff with your free shipping on Amazon-delivered goods. Amazon also has some of the better shows on sale for $1.99 an episode, more for HD (we have a "Justified Season 4" season pass- no kids allowed). Then make a trip to PlayOn and PlayLater, where you can get about 40 of the top cable networks. It's a $59.99 one-time fee for both of them, and that takes care of the DVR if yours comes from your cable company.That should give you better opportunities than most cable companies offer- and they won't yank the Hallmark Channel in favor of (ugh) the Barbie Channel.

Part of the problem is the outmoded way of thinking of TV. Everybody over 45 remembers a time when you HAD to watch the show at that very moment, or you wouldn't see that particular episode until rerun season. Now, with DVR, DVD and related software, watching a TV show comes at your time, your pace. If you work and TV is a topic of conversation, you will find a lot of people don't watch shows at the time they first run. 

There is also the brave new world of Internet TV. Not only is TV available through the Internet and TCP/IP protocols, daring actors, directors and producers are making their own TV, and it's pretty good. I am personally a big fan of Chow.com, and the Supertaster (and his cat).

The average cable bill cost about $80 a month, and that includes U-Verse, Comcast, DirectTV and Time Warner (although I wish I could get Time Warner- great company). That's $960 a year!!! That doesn't include premium channels or OnDemand. You pay for all the channels in a package, whether you like them or not. And you better be on your game when it comes to locking the kids out of certain channels!

We were averaging $1584 on the one-eyed monster and the cable boxes. By using Roku, the HMDI cable, various individual subscriptions and networks that give away their programs, we are now paying about $310 a year. We spent an initial investment of $320 on equipment, including the HMDI cable, a PC-2-TV converter for our older TV, an indoor antenna to pick up local signals (used), 2 Roku boxes, the PlayOn/PlayLater deal, and a Pico (also used) for projection from the tablet to the wall. So, this year, we will save about $954, and subsequent years we'll save $1274.

If you have an Xbox 360, a Wii, a BluRay DVD or a Smart TV, then you probably won't need the adaptive tools. You will need subscriptions for some of the Internet offerings. If you don't like Roku, take a look at Slingbox, Boxee, Simple TV. Also keep an ear and eye out for cable companies to start offering only the channels you want, based on a per-channel fee.

Cable and similar products are so 20th century, and for grandfamilies, SO expensive! I highly recommend these alternatives over traditional cable offerings. Besides, who doesn't want to be 21st century?

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Quiet Christmas

It was a very quiet Christmas here and in our home. Apparently, the majority of the Juniors and Lulubelles behaved sufficiently that there was no need for me to send emergency emails.GOOD!