Monday, August 30, 2010

a rant at dss

so i got this email from our caseworker today:

"I need you to sign this confidentiality form. I will fax it to you and you may fax it back to me on tomorrow. I just received your home study on today. I will be sent off on this week to state office. I will also be mailing sled forms for your back up providers and the form for them to go and get fingerprinted also and a confidentiality form for them to fill. These are forms that need to be completed by them. I will not whole up anything. I am putting them in the mail today.

If you have any questions please feel to contact me.

Thank you,


do i need to even comment on the grammatical errors in this? or how difficult it is to understand what the hell she's talking about? and the email was written in light baby blue lettering (which is a pet peeve of mine on professional emails).

you may remember that we had our home assessment a month and one day ago today. we were told at that time that we were almost finished with this process and we would receive our certificate in about a month. so now the month is up and sure enough, the paperwork hasn't even been sent to the state office! WTF!!!??

and to add to all that, there are more forms to fill out? and forms to be filled out by our friends? couldn't we have done all of this concurrently with all the other forms we were waiting on?

so now we're going on month 9 of what should be (by law!) a 120 day process. it's just so typical it makes me sick!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

who dat!

i'm really excited to be in new orleans this weekend, which happens to be the 5th anniversary of hurricane katrina. i came down here for a conference this week and am taking advantage of the conference hotel rate which is extended a few days after the completion of the conference.

the feeling of vibrancy and pride toward this city has been so palpable since i've been here. it's just such a great place. and i'm really pleased to be able to celebrate the resiliency of the community on this anniversary as they have festivals and different events around town.

as two side notes:

the hubby and i got engaged in new orleans. that was my first and, until this week, only trip here. i really wish that he could've been with me for this trip because it reminds me so much of him and his family.

and, the packers* are staying in my hotel. they're some really big guys.

*UPDATE: i was wrong; it's not the packers staying in our hotel. it's the chargers. goes to show what i know (which is nothing about football, obviously).

Saturday, August 21, 2010

movie night!

love it! so far we've eaten dinner on the sofa and watched 28 days later, which the hubby insisted he thought i would hate. i did not. and neither did he.

not sure what's next. maybe ice cream and the science of sleep. or ice cream and evil dead ii. or maybe ice cream and both. definitely ice cream though.

whoot whoot! movie night!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

absence makes the heart grow fonder

the hubby and i checked one of our beehives today for the first time since we extracted the honey over a month ago. by the month of june we were getting really tired of this hobby because we felt like we always had bee-related duties hanging over our heads. but since we've not seen them in a while, it really was good to open it up and say hello. we had to cut the inspection short, though, because it started to lightening and get overcast.

we did, however, learn one thing from the hive today. the bees do not like to be sung to. the hubby was singing a little song to them and they immediately got all feisty (when they had previously been calm) and stung both him and me*. maybe he came across a little taunting, but i thought it was sweet. he just said that was one of many in a long list of rejections from women.

*and, if you were wondering, i think "they" are totally right about the fact that if you get stung enough your bee allergy decreases. i used to swell up pretty bad when i got stung and the last 2 times i have barely swollen at all. it still is sore and hot, but nowhere near as bad as it used to be. pretty cool.

Monday, August 16, 2010

i love good food

OMG, i think i just had *the best* meal ever. homemade tortellini soup with white beans, spinach and lots of garlic and rosemary (recipe courtesy of my mom) with locally made bread and freshly made salad with purple cherokee grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil and garlic. mmmmmhh, summer food makes me happy!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

new orleans trip suggestions

in a few weeks i'm going to be taking a trip to new orleans for a work conference. i'm fortunate in that my sister is going to join me later in the week and we're going to take an extended weekend to kick around, relax, and just visit this cool city. i've only been to n.o. once. actually, that's where the hubby and i got engaged.

but i've not spent a lot of time there and want do some "neat stuff." i'm just not sure what that neat stuff will be yet. so if anyone has any suggestions on must-dos, leave a comment.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

dss update-august

a few people have been asking and it's been a while since i posted an update on our progress for dss foster care certification. we essentially did the last thing we needed to do about 1 1/2 weeks ago (on july 29). we had to have a "home assessment" which was different than all the other home meetings, inspections, etc etc that we have had thus far. dss contracts with an outside organization to come into our home and meet with us for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. the woman who conducted our assessment was very nice. she asked a ton of questions about our upbringings, our policy on disciplining children, our families, and so forth and so on. she also took a quick glance at the baby's room to make sure that everything was in place. that all went pretty well.

during that meeting we asked the woman how long we were from the end of this seemingly never-ending process. she said that she had to type up the report and give it to her supervisor. her supervisor would approve it (or not) and then send it to our dss caseworker. the caseworker would approve it (or not) and send it to the state office for foster care licensing. they would approve it (or not) and then send it back to the dss caseworker. then the caseworker would issue us our certification. that, apparently takes about a month. hrumph.

i coincidentally ran into the supervisor of the woman who conducted our home assessment at a social work function this past friday. i introduced myself and she told me that the home assessment woman spoke very highly of us. that was nice. but the supervisor said that she had not yet received the written report of the assessment. i asked the supervisor if, in her opinion, this part of the process would take 1 month and she said yes, at the very least. she went on to say that the state office has lost a lot of employees to cutbacks so they're processing paperwork very slow these days. surprise surprise.

so, the long-and-the-short of it is that we've completed everything we can (or at least i assume we have. we keep getting calls and emails from our caseworker asking us to sign some new form or another.) and we're just waiting to get our certification. at that point we will be "open for business!"

Friday, August 06, 2010

dust bunny

boy, i think i need to sweep the floor more often! check out this dust bunny in the corner:
dust bunny

august garden

our garden is still going pretty well, despite the hot dry weather mixed with occasionally violent and sporadic rainstorms. i spent a good amount of time last weekend weeding and tying up the tomatoes and eggplant, which were falling all over the place.

the tomatoes have reached over 6 or 7 feet high and i've had to cut them a few times. yet they still keep growing. we've got 3 different varieties of tomatoes growing and only 2 of the varieties were producing any fruit. that is, up until last weekend. i noticed the second row of tomatoes had a few little green babies growing on it. and tonight when i went out there i realized that there are a good bit of tomatoes growing really high up there on them. so that's great news! we'll have tomatoes for a long time if they keep producing. and the ones that have ripened (and have not been eaten by bugs) are so delicious!

the eggplant is also going gangbusters. we've had so much eggplant this year, i've had to be very creative. baked eggplant, fried eggplant, eggplant parmesan, etc etc. the hubby's not a big fan of eggplant in general, but i think i've found ways to cook it that appeals to him.

the okra is so tall it's rivaling the tomatoes! whenever i grew okra in the past i would just get one or 2 a week. now we're getting several a day, which is cool because that's enough to make some good meals with. i made stewed okra and tomatoes last weekend and it was amazing.

and speaking of amazing, we picked the potatoes last weekend. that's my first try with growing them and MAN! i'll tell you what! fresh potatoes are the. best. thing. in. the. world. i'm serious. compare a freshly picked potato to a store-bought one and you'll see they're totally in different categories. i made a torte with potatoes, yellow squash and herbs last weekend and it was fabulous. last night i tossed boiled potatoes with butter and chives from the garden and i didn't know what to do with myself, they were so yummy. seriously folks, who knew how good these little guys could be?
who knew how good these guys would be

here's the hubby showing off the newly picked spuds.
freshly picked tomatoes and the hubby

Sunday, August 01, 2010

weekend recap

last weekend we were out of town at my family reunion in pennsylvania. click here to see the pictures from the weekend.

for now, a quick recap on this weekend. this was a busy but great weekend. worked all day saturday on the garden and yard. it looks beautiful now, though i have not pictures to show for it. last night was a baseball game with folks from my work plus the somali children. it got rained out after 3 uneventful innings. today i jarred salsa and made blackberry jam. i also made homemade bread and a fantastic dinner of local butter beans, home-grown fried eggplant, stewed okra and tomatoes (both homegrown), and cornbread. and tonight we skyped our first session with chris's sister. it was just like visiting in person! good times.