A Stolen Moment To Be Me Ho Ho Ho Oh No!

It’s not even Halloween and I’m trying to tighten up my Christmas arrangement of I’ll Be Home For Christmas. I posted two different sounding versions to my SoundCloud Channel. Here is the first that I posted. This version s very scaled back. Just a grand piano voice and my vocals. ..

The 2nd version I used a piano with strings voice. I love my MOX VIII! Yamaha makes great keyboard. If I had one complaint is that it isn’t as responsive as I wish it could be. The attack isn’t there in certain phrasing? Anyway, I have had a great morning recording for fun to my SoundCloud Channel. A great deal of enjoyment comes from this. 

Back to cleaning and getting ready for afternoon visitor/ Fingerprinting and Court advocates. Today is the last day of school for a week and a few days. Fall Break all next week and Monday the following week off due to the Columbus Day observance. 

I’m glad I stole a few minutes ok maybe an hour or two, for myself!

Hope you like them. If you have an opinion as to which of these versions is better, I’d love to hear from you about it!

Thanks for taking the time to listen!


A G.A.L After My Own Heart

Help on my Homefront. Alissa’s attorney came to visit us yesterday. She has been instrumental in helping us along in this journey for nearly two years now. She has been my go to person since the beginning phase of this process. When we first met, she was a new G.A.L, attorney for children in the DCS system. Andrea Hartman has a very kind heart for children. She plays at length with Alissa when she comes out to visit. A court hearing coming up on Monday necessitated her visit to us. The court is holding a follow up hearing regarding the progress of the case. I gave this attorney an ear full about the way in which DCS has been conducting their portion of this case. I am angry and sorely dissatisfied with delays and the lack of attention we have received from the dept. Not to mention the things that weren’t done that should have been causing delays with our final hearing date! The blatant disregard for my time and disparaging remarks aimed at questioning my integrity … This department has made adopting my Granddaughter so very difficult and so not fun! Andrea, bless her heart, listened and offered to help expedite this process. She says she will talk to the judge for us and see if the judge can move things along. Andrea seems to agree that we should be able to wrap this all up quickly now. The dept. is sending a caseworker out to fingerprint us today. Also, the court appointed advocate is coming out today to spend some time with Alissa and gather information for her report to the court. I also really like Kathy, our court advocate! Between these two ladies, the judge will no doubt get a clear picture.

 I am attending the hearing on Monday as well. I made refreshments for our meeting yesterday. Andrea has been there and done her best to protect Alissa. She has walked me through this process in ensuring that Alissa’s case didn’t fall through the cracks. I have had to be proactive in places that I didn’t know I could go… Painful and most difficult places regarding my own daughter. Andrea, has been there for me as I have had to take charge and step in. I thought this was just precious yesterday. Andrea and Alissa read a library book together. At the end of the story was a song. Andrea played the song on my old as me piano, and they sang together!

Andrea Hartman renews my faith in humankind. She is truly one of the greats in Maricopa County serving children who really need a voice and protection from life’s harsh realities. 

Love this G.A.L!

Small Pleasures Giving You All Of Me

Fall treasures and small pleasures. I love this lovely stoneware! Temp-tations is my guilty pleasure these days. I enjoy collecting the seasonal pieces. I have a whole Temp-tations wish list on QVC. The colors, patterns and the quality have sold me. Nice heavy stoneware in really pretty designs. I’m a sucker for all of the fall patterns. Pretty much anything fall of the Temp-tations line, I would love to own. 

A better look at my newest Temp-tations.  Oh how I love seasonal pieces!

I love this  Temp-tations, Pumpkin Patch pattern. A perfect bowl in which to display a variety of apples…

It’s that time of year here in Phoenix, at least the mornings are cool. It is possible to power walk without the fear of heat exhaustion lol. Actually, (not kidding). Yard work is doable in the morning hours!

The holidays are  just around the corner. I start planning early so that I can find deals on the things I want to purchase. My daughter Britt is the Queen of shopping finds. She can really sniff out the deals! Because I have so many G-Kids to shop for, I start early. I haven’t yet run across anything that I can build upon yet. I am in the pondering stage.

I get a kick out of the quick little cooking videos that go around on Facebook. I decided to try a easy quick treat that  Ree Drummond  posted. Not pretty really but oh so delicious! My teenager loved them so much she thinks we should make these to give to our neighbors for Christmas! I tend to agree! Yum!

Quick S’Mores made with  Graham Crackers,Marshmallow Cream and Candi-Quick! So easy… Thanks Ree, these are yummy!

I made these for Zoe’s Sleepover last weekend. They were enjoyed by all.

Falling Through The Cracks Of The Fatally Flawed DCS System

This week has been a lot about frustration. My patience has been tried to a breaking point. I’m so fed up with having to deal with DCS I could scream. I’m in the process of trying to adopt my Granddaughter. I’m met with every kind of frustration and obstacle at every encounter I have with this agency. They schedule appointments they don’t keep, canceling at the very last minute. Showing absolutely no regard/respect, for my time.

I have had this agency in my life for nearly two years now. I can’t count the number of caseworkers we have had. They don’t do the things they say they will. Example, this child still has no counselor. They haven’t started counseling services yet! Another example, they were supposed to do a Home Study when she first arrived to us. A Home Study evaluates the safety and suitability of the home for Foster Care placement. Now, we are almost finished and have a court date to finalize the adoption, and they are scrambling to cover their asses. We just did the Home Study on Thursday after having this child for almost two years! They don’t communicate and tell you what you need to do until they have to. Then, you are expected to drop everything to accommodate their objectives and requirements.

For the past six months I have asked the workers what we need to do to get things moving along. They never tell you much of anything until it’s a panic situation for them to cover their butt!  I long ago finished the adoption paperwork they requested from me. Three months ago to be exact. I had a conversation about expediting the stipend paperwork so that we can have some financial relief as we have never had any! The worker told me she would submit the stipend packet A.S.A.P. Yesterday, she told me she has not yet gotten around to it!  Three months has gone by but she can’t be bothered to try to help us get some financial relief that we are entitled to have.

We found out from the agency that  came out to do our Home Study it should have been done when Alissa first came to us. It is ridiculous to do it two years later! We didn’t understand what it was for even. We thought it was part of the adoption process and we were annoyed about having to do it. My adoption attorney was stumped as to why we had to do it for the adoption and he questioned the reasoning and need for it in an email to the DCS dept.

The department responded to his email by questioning our integrity by implying that we had something to hide. This made me furious!  Have you seen my home? Do you know how many people from the dept have been in and out of my home? What is their to hide? I do the best that I can to maintain and make nice, our modest little home!

Alissa’s Room

Maybe it’s not a lavish home but it is comfortable, clean and certainly kid friendly! Trust me, I work hard here as I have taken this on as my full time job! I have been totally affronted by the comments and demeanor of this dept. They really have taken any joy out of the process of trying to step up and take this on. Why they have to make it so hard for Kinship FosterCare and Adoption, I have no clue. I’m wanting to be done with living in constant scrutiny at the mercy of this dept!

We just want to move on and get through this nightmare process! We are now being told that our Oct.24  final hearing date will have to be bumped back because they haven’t fingerprinted us yet. They say it takes 6-8 weeks to get back and enter the findings to the court. Shouldn’t they have done this long ago? Why did they wait??? I have been asking and asking what is left to be done on the case!  I’m Furious! Then, the matter of the appeal process is holding things up. My daughter tried to appeal the  paternal severance. She quickly realized it would do no good to fight the decision. She told her attorney to drop the appeal. Her attorney called my adoption attorney to explain that they had dropped the appeal and we could proceed with the adoption. My daughters court appointed attorney never filed a formal dismissal with the court! So as far as the court is concerned, the appeal is still proceeding! I am being told that once the court receives the filing for dismissal, the 30 day waiting period for appeal begins again! My daughter has yet another 30 days in which to appeal. I’m over this… I’m exhausted with the process, the scrutiny, the attitude of the dept.constant appointments from paper pushers that don’t do anything! I told my adoption attorney that I’m so fed up with the dept that I want to get our local ABC 15 News affiliate involved. Could they make this any harder? I am simply trying to step up and take care of my Granddaughter who desperately needs and deserves a better life than what she had been given!  Making her legally a part of our family and the closure that will bring on a life fraught with abuse and neglect! Along with all the legal and departmental and procedural issues, I have the daily care and attention to render that this sweet girl needs. Our own 14 year old must be feeling put upon and put out with all of the time, energy and frustration this puts on our family. Enough!!! Get it together people and let us be done with this adoption process!

A constant barrage of  intake workers, attorneys and now a court advocate are in my home pushing paper. Documenting that they have been out to see us but not much else gets done! Not even desperately needed counseling services for this child have been started.

Last night the newly appointed court advocate came. She is a new volunteer and had not been briefed on the case at all.  The Foster Care Review Board  put this advocate on the case after the last review a few weeks ago. I guess it became clear that DCS is dropping the ball with gaps in services and no case plan was submitted to the board as was required. I had a long talk with the advocate about the failings and frustrations we are having with this case. She eagerly took notes and told us that she would comprise a letter to the judge expressing our frustrations  with the dept. I have hope that she can and will be our voice at the next hearing on the case which is scheduled for Oct. 3rd.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to just get through all of this day by day, each encounter. Still trying my damndest to rise above and do my best with everything I am handed. I am however, so angry and thoroughly exausted. Calgon, take me away…

Or how about this, my favorite Escape – Who Controls The Stars…

This however, speaks volumes. Alissa with her cousin, (my Granddaughter Kadee). I love this pic! I’m trying to give this child the best I have within my ability. I haven’t got the time and patience for this bureaucratic crap! Get it together people and let’s be done! I want to be DONE!


After All We’re Only Ordinary Men (And Women)

Us & Them is written by Pink Floyd!

I posted this to my channel earlier this week but somehow it was deleted. I have reposted this to my channel.

I’m no David Gilmour but I sure have a great admiration for this song! What an amazing song in music history. Complex and haunting melody…

Mundane Monday

Homemade Pumpkin Pie. It is a favorite around here. I made this yesterday because it felt like a nice Fall thing to do. I was with domestic chores all day. Cleaning and yard work.

Trimming our trees is a never ending saga! We have a lot of mesquite trees and they grow like crazy! I am forever on my step ladder timing what I can reach. I raked a fair amount of leaves and put them in the can for today’s trash pick-up.

My mop dog, Coco Rose kept me company while I did these chores. 

I was thrilled that my tickets to see Roger came in the mail!

Now to get my hand on a couple of Meet & Greet passes… I will be so sad if I don’t find a way to meet this man. So close but yet so far! 

I posted my Pink Floyd, Us And Them (Cover) video on my Facebook page.


Us & Them Cover

On Sunday, my oldest and youngest daughters and I crafted. Granddaughter Elizabeth is having a tea party birthday party this upcoming weekend . We made pretty paper lanterns and tissue paper pom poms for this party. I’m sure it will come together nicely!

Happy Tuesday to you! 

The Harvest Moon And Some Tunes

  1. The harvest moon was just beautiful. It was a beautiful big orange sphere. So pretty I had to stop and take pics…

Yesterday I did take a few hours to post to my YouTube Channel. Here are my latest uploads. I had a terrific few relaxing hours to myself. Sometimes it is nice to loose yourself in something and just let time tick on. It doesn’t matter how bad or good you are at what you are doing, just take a time out  to attempt creativity. It feels good to nurture the creative side of you. I’m never sorry that I took the time. Stolen moments maybe but worth the energy expended to me.