Monday, October 17, 2016

A conundrum of the relationship kind

I thought I'd drop by here as I haven't done it for a while. And look! It tells me a friend has updated her blog 5 months ago. Wow. She hasn't written for ages. And so many entries. But when I look Blogger is playing tricks on me and she's not updated since 2013. How so very odd.

Things are still ongoing here. Niece is still choosing inappropriate relationships. Lately though she has begun to flatly deny there is anything wrong with her choice and any remonstrance to the contrary brings on tantrums. The other problem associated with this is the effect it is having on everything else she does. She is just not functioning normally any more.

Not only is she becoming quite rude if you take her to task, she can no longer do her chores properly. I am now having to check her constantly. She drops cutlery on the floor and once she would have taken it straight to the sink and washed it. Now she picks it up and puts it with the clean stuff. The other day she picked a dirty fork from the sink and took it straight to table. Someone noticed and made her wash it. So she puts it in her hand with the clean ones and rinses it under cold water. No soap.

Twice now, I've caught her wearing her underwear inside out.

Just stupid small things like that which she wouldn't have done before.

The man in question goes to the same program she attends on Monday and Friday. He is 55 years old. Niece is 19. She simply cannot understand why EVERYONE thinks this is not a good idea. The only person who thinks this is a good relationship is another girl who goes to the same program who is also being monitored closely for forming an inappropriate relationship with another older married client.

And yet, I don't want to drop her completely out of this group considering all the trouble we went to to get her placements when she didn't receive any post school funding for proper lifestyle programs. She has gone too far for me to throw up my hands and say whatever. This, I feel, would be rewarding bad behaviour. Even threats of possible suspension haven't deterred the two of them. Yes, he reciprocates.

She constantly tells me that she knows she needs to break up with him but the actions never follow the words. I won't talk to her about it anymore for this exact reason.

I have heard of girls on the spectrum inappropriately obsessing with boys, using stalking behaviours etc, but I've not heard of one who constantly must choose older males she cannot have. I admit I haven't really researched deeply. The general consensus seems to be that one needs to teach the boundaries of appropriate behaviour regarding social and relationship interactions. How do you do this when the person concerned does not want to know? I am certainly not the only one who is trying to provide guidelines. The only time I have taken her to a psychologist I was told they couldn't help because she didn't recognise that she had a problem. I'm somewhat at a loss...

Monday, August 01, 2016

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

May! I can't believe the previous post was May. It's now August. Weird hey, for someone who blogged every week at minimum.

Things with Niece are pretty much still the same. She's still obsessing over boys and getting herself into trouble because of it. She has been warned on more than one occasion that her constant talking about Jackson is not appropriate, even by the group leaders at her day program. Still she persists. Then she stresses about getting into trouble and the situation just gets worse. She has been told that come December when the course ends and he is no longer taboo, she can ask him to the movies.

And then it turns out that he isn't even in her program but is participating in other programs that share communal areas. She says she's never even spoken to him, but considering he's reported her for inappropriate touching I'm pretty certain that this is a stretch of her imagination. Now we are trying to encourage her to speak to him, practice her communication as she would in her day program. We shall see how that goes. I've told her that unless she does this, there isn't much of a chance that he will want to go to the movies with her.

I just wish they'd either boot her out, or he changes the days he attends. That would solve that problem. Till the next boy.

Teen is still here. I will miss her when she moves out. I think... She's saving some money so she can afford a bond before she begins looking seriously. I am not sure I will miss the cat.

Oh, yes. The rehoming. After panic stations when RSPCA proved to be less than helpful, she managed to locate a pet store that did adoptions. Sheldon went to the pet store and was adopted in a couple of days. Teen has taken on Penny. Her partner was also interested in getting a cat, but of course, he's just moved house and he couldn't have her there. So guess where she is. Yep, sucker for punishment I am.

I think Jerome will miss her though. He's found a playmate, finally. They get on pretty well. Most of the time.

Elder has moved out and left the house to the Housemate from Hell. She broke lease she says. As long as the pratt leaves her alone. She relocated so we live in the same city. I see her frequently, but it does feel a little weird that she didn't move in. Mind, I simply don't have the room. But I like that I get to see her.

Her dumb dog, Fred, still likes to lick cane toads. For a border collie he isn't learning quickly.

I've finally finished my diploma. I haven't officially graduated yet. And I've no idea what to do with it. Jobs are scarce, and I don't have the contacts to set up my own business. I guess I need to consider how desperately I want to go back to work. Either that, or I seriously need to find a niche business so I can work for myself. Yes, that's what I need to do....

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

I sooo can't believe you just said that....

I seem to have let this slide, haven't I. There's been heaps happening. Then again, there hasn't. It's a crazy, mixed up world.

Teen still resides here. She tells me I cramp her style *not in so many words but living with a parent is difficult* but she more cramps mine *not in so many words but living with a child is difficult*. Ha! But there's never really a dull moment. We either get along like a house on fire or the temper flares. And my fuse is oh so short these days. Getting old I guess.

Elder is here for a couple of weeks in an attempt to rehome Sheldon and Penny, her cats. The Housemate from Hell has dictated that she do so. He no sooner moved in than he's at her to get rid of them. So, knowing that it is probably in her/their best interest to do so, she caved. Rehoming is a big deal and she's not doing it to please Housemate. So for two weeks she has been here, trying to organise with the RSPCA their surrender. Two to three weeks they say. Animal Welfare League say at least three weeks. The day before she's due to go home, RSPCA still haven't given any indication if they will even take them let alone anything else. I call them and tell them it's crisis point. No, wait is six to eight weeks. My only choice I say is to slip his collar and set him free. Her response? "I understand and if that's what you have to do, that's what you have to do". Thank you for nothing.

And for the whole two weeks she's been here Housemate has been calling, texting, messaging, pestering her friends trying to locate her to complain about the dogs and back rent he says she owes the real estate agent. I counted at least 12 missed calls from Private Number yesterday alone. This cretin also tries to recruit me to his cause to get her to contact him. And on every occasion, he opens with an insult. Okay, I'm her mother. I know she can be a little childish, and that at least her room will be a pigsty. And then he wonders why I bite back and tell him to stop effing stalking her. Then asks if I'm effing serious, he insists he's not stalking and then threatens to hand her dogs over to the pound. And to top it off he's busy telling me she only feeds her dogs once a week. The dude is a complete tosser.

Things with Niece are still the same. When I think we're getting somewhere she does something stupid. Or stupidly frustrating. This time, she broke one of the rules at her Wednesday gig and has been advised that if she does it again, she will be asked to leave the program. It has to do with a boy. Of course. She rubbed his shoulder *inappropriate touching in a strictly friend/workmate environment* and either they were spotted or he told one of the leaders that he didn't like it. It took her two weeks but she finally owned up. Only after I cornered her though. She'd been showing all the signs that something was weighing on her mind - clutching hands together and pressing them into her face, not concentrating on her tasks, quiet and sullen among other things. Even to the point of hanging around after her Thursday night outing while her support worker and I were talking. She never does that and it was unusual enough for R to notice and comment. But all in all, yeah, all the same.

Teen has been coaching me in the delights of RuPaul's Drag Race. I hate to admit it, but I'm really enjoying it. Sad, hey. But it's fun, and fun bitchy, and so totally non-reality TV related. I enjoy the episodes I watch but won't be at a loss if I don't follow up with another season.

Study still goes on. About four assessments left to go. Can't wait till I'm finished but then again, I'm certainly not in a rush to finish those four. The next and last unit is doing a presentation. *shudders*

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Yes! Finally some common sense!

Anyone who knows me knows how much I complain about the content of news these days. And how most journalists seem to be a dumb as the people they report on. But last night two *YES, TWO* of the people interviewed agreed with my opinions. *unusual i know!* The bulletin complained that most accidents are caused by young people *odd, since last year they were bleating that it was people over 70 who caused them* and there was no incentives for them to keep a clean driving record. Maybe a discount on the cost of a driver's license? Yes! One of my pet peeves *and i have a few* is that it's been many years since I've had a speeding ticket or any kind of infringement. Where's my reward for keeping it that way??

In another bulletin *i was only partly listening* someone mentioned that schools don't teach life skills. And a big YES! from me. From the view of having worked in a Government department if you can do all the advanced algebra, calculus, chemistry, and other nonsense you want but you can't balance your own budget, reconcile your credit card, fill out a form, or check your meter box when the lights go out you're kind of behind the eight ball. We definitely need to spend more time teaching kids these basic skills. Though I confess that I don't know how to do the last one...

On a slightly related note, a lot of people claim of the unemployed that "you have plenty of money for your cigarettes and alcohol but you can't blah blah blah" in the media, the social ones particularly. But as a parent and from behind the counter of a Government department I can say that it's because they know how to pool their resources. Okay, some of them beg. But most of them have a lot of friends in the same boat so whoever is flush that day/week will buy the cigarettes and the booze and they share it around. I've noticed though that the same doesn't always go for food unless it's the odd takeaway meal for a friend.

Teen received some devastating news yesterday and it looks like the planned temporary stay will be extended. She was really excited and only had two weeks left of her planned stay before he came to get her and help her move back to live with him and his housemates. He opted out. Poor lass, and there's nothing I can do except annoy the hell out of her till we can't stand each other anymore. As a parent does. It's our job. Apparently I'm good at it.

Elder is keeping very mum lately about herself and her life. Which twigs the "mother" radar that there's something she doesn't want to tell me. Imagine. Fully grown adult who should have her life together too scared to tell mum something because she knows I will disapprove. Kids are odd little creatures. Yes, Elder, if you are reading this I probably know already and you're right, I don't approve. *insert evil grin here*

So to distract ourselves we go house hunting on the interwebs. Houses within your price range, and houses not. It's a lot of fun to look at the ones not in our price range. And I tell you, some of them you wonder what on earth it is you'd be paying rent for. More than $500 a week for a basic three bedroom. I'm glad of where we are at present. The accommodations are cramped but the locale is nice and MOTH has friends here. The neighbours are good too. I came home yesterday and my front yard has been mown. Which, normally, would be fantastic. But I've got the yard man coming this Saturday and since the agreed price is $60 I doubt he will make it any cheaper just because the front only requires an edging now.

All is relatively quiet on the Western Front so to speak. Another glowing report from R when they came home last Thursday. Movies are scheduled this Thursday with a proposed outing to see Goosebumps. Hopefully Niece will enjoy that. She really wants to see Star Wars but that one isn't screening during her hours. Then she chose Zoolander 2 but she hasn't seen the first one and I don't know if she'll get much enjoyment out of it. She'd miss all the satire and silly pop culture references so she might find it boring. I don't think she could say that about Goosebumps. Moose has seen it and recommended it.

So I had my birthday cruise all planned but the Fates intervened as usual. A flat tyre. Apparently I ran over a HUGE cable or conduit clamp. It drove a nail right into the tyre. Teen and I could hear a flub flub flub noise and we were nearly home. On one of the side/rural streets. She leaned out the window to see if she could see the tyre but no. Got into the garage and had a look. Yep. Big thing in the tyre and very audible hissing. *though MOTH insisted that it wasn't hissing as he couldn't hear it* And flat the next day. MOTH spent ages swapping out the flat and rotating tyres so he could take it down to get it repaired. So there went my cruise money. I'll have to sort out funds from another source if I want to go. I still need to get myself together and claim my free muffin and ice cream scoop. Problem with that is the ice cream scoop will have to come from a store several suburbs in the opposite direction to the source of the muffin. Sigh. There is a store in the same suburb but it's not redeemable there. And there's even a store in my local shopping centre but it's not reedeemable there either. That one wasn't opened when I joined up. Bugger... Luckily, I'm not walking it!

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Salted caramel. Who even thought of that?

So much for behaving myself. Shopping today and the supermarket was stocking Cadbury salted caramel again. I couldn't help myself. Three blocks, into the trolley.

Did the shopping on my own today. Well, Niece helped as such. She drove the trolley and that was okay. MOTH was joined us when we were finished. As he said, his timing was impeccable. Ready to head for the checkout, I checked my wallet. Oh! There's more money here in my wallet than I should have. I asked MOTH if I had given him the right money for the rent. He didn't know. And of course this time he did not get a receipt. So off he went to check what had been deposited while I unloaded and paid for the groceries. Aaaaand look at that. All the checkouts seem to be closed. Two of them were staffed by three people but each one had a sign on the end saying they were closed.

So one of the ladies asked if I was paying cash or card. Cash I said so she instructed one of the others to take me through. I put the trolley part way down the checkout *instead of the end* and started to unload. Next thing I know, some little old broad is busy unpacking her stuff directly behind mine. The conveyer is going and I'm left with about one foot of space to unpack my things. I'm trying to push some of hers back so I can unload mine, the checkout girl notices and turns the belt off, and the old lady notices and starts unloading my trolley and telling me to move it down. Dim old broad.

So the checkout girl finishes my stuff, rings through my change, and starts immediately on the old broad's order. And I'm left trying to load all my stuff into the trolley while the checkout girl is ringing through the next order. Shoot. And part of my order is still unbagged on the register near the scales. I grab that with one hand because I haven't even had time to put my change into my wallet. And I hope I have everything when I leave the area.

And I've just gone to make a cup of coffee and realise that the three litre bottle of milk didn't make it home with me. I don't know what else got left behind.

The weather has been stinking and I've been waaaay too hot and sweaty to concentrate on my assignments. My tutor sent a text today to find out how I'm going and now wants a draft early next week. Looks like I'm going to have to try to get some done. Great. Maybe I'll have to get the laptop to the shops or something again so I can work. It's way too hot at home with the humidity and lack of air conditioning.

R has brought Niece back home again after tonight's outing with a glowing report. That's three weeks in a row and I'm hoping it continues. She seems to like this one. I'm beginning to think the problem with the previous one was a lack of flexibility and she treated Niece the same way she treated her other clients who may require a more rigid framework. Who knows. But again, it's early days and I'm just hoping it continues. R did tell me though that last week, the chatter about boys was more general and included more talk about the girls and other activities. So, fingers crossed.

The programme Niece attends on Wednesdays sends through an email each week that details what they have covered. And when I go pick her up, I get a glowing report there too that tells me that she's participating well. They are currently looking at personal rights and scenarios and building their own guidelines. I am hoping it works. Apparently one of the other participants touched her on the back and she didn't like it. Good, say I, hopefully she will now get a clue about inappropriate touching.

She is "immunised" so to speak with an implant. Like everything else this is not 100% absolute protection but I'm hoping it's enough. If possible, I could see if I could coax her to take a more permanent solution however even if she did, the doctors would likely only offer to minimal. And then we would have to deal with the usual cycle. Which we don't have to deal with using the implant. Ma would prefer a total solution but I've mentioned that I think the only option they would give would be the minimum.

The dog and the cat thing is annoying the hell out of me the last couple of days. The dog has taken to barking loudly and often each time she sees the cat. If she just shut up it wouldn't be such an annoyance. I'm waiting for the cat to develop diarrhoea from stress. They went through a spell where they would just look at each other but yeah, the last couple of days, it's all bark. Getting just a little p'd off with it.

Birthday month! Bring it I say! Well, I'm feeling my age right about now. So tired and worn out. But. Roll on the freebies. The biggest problem is that even though they're free, I can't afford them. Makes sense, doesn't it. But I get a free small scoop from Baskin & Robbins. A free muffin from Muffin Break. And a free river cruise with Kookaburra Queen river cruises. I really want all three but the last is expensive for three of us even though my ticket is complementary. I'm really going to have to work on that one....

Monday, January 25, 2016

I could be doing something better...

It suddenly occurs to me that I haven't really updated my readers for a while. Some considerable time, in fact. Well, beyond whining about the humidity. Which, by the way, is still happening.

The three weeks that Niece has been away went quickly. Not as quickly as I thought it would but quickly enough. Almost every day felt like a date night.

There's been plenty of hype about the latest Star Wars movie. We managed to get to the cinema to see it. I found it repeated the story lines of previous movies. But I still loved it. I've been on that crazy ride since the beginning in 1977 so yeah, I'm still along. I no longer own the VHS movies. I had the gold boxed set of the three remastered originals. I got rid of them when I moved house. I thought afterward I should have kept them but there is no storage here and they were just lounging around in a box with a heap of others. I don't have a VHS machine to play them on. Ah well. Hopefully someone else gets to enjoy them.

I'm finally nearly finished the portfolio of evidence for my event. I've apparently only got a small one at 47 pages. Some of the ones others were submitting were as long as 80 or 90. Just as long as I pass anyway. Since this assessment is a multiple unit one, that should help knock my remaining assignments down a bit. I'm hoping so anyway.

Niece began her program with one of the local agencies. Did I mention somewhere previously that she's enrolled one day a week? This one is for about 42 weeks and is block funded. That means she doesn't have to pay for the privilege to attend. She seemed to enjoy it. I hope so, as I fear that the spectre of boys has raised it's head again. She met him once and focussed on a lad named Thomas. He likes me and I like him. I had to pull her up very fast to tell her that no, this program is not a boyfriend shop. SHE IS THERE TO LEARN LIFE SKILLS. Siiiigh.

She also has a new support worker as her previous one has been reassigned while Niece was away up north. I did not find this out until a few days before their regular scheduled Thursday outing. This agency certainly leaves a bit to be desired as far as communication and organisation goes. I can change apparently but that would require research and shopping around. I can also look after the funding myself but I am not sure that I am willing to spend the time record keeping for accountability to the Government as far as spending the funds goes.

The new worker - R - took Niece out last Thursday and they seem to be getting along but as she and I both agree, it's early days. Apparently Niece has a bit of a reputation. Which does not surprise me in the least. After dropping Niece back R asked if I would walk her to her vehicle. At which time she told me about Niece chattering on about boys at the program. *aaaaarrrrrrghhhhhhhhh!!!!!* A different one this time. She did talk about girls too, but R's "mother" instinct decided that this chatter didn't quite ring right. Enough that she felt she should mention it to me. So, there you go. And at least I know. R thought it was good to know the background and she is happy to add comments along the lines of "good to have friends" and generally discourage the boyfriend angle.

I think I'm happy for the support with this one. I think she's the first one since Tee who has actually given me feedback about her behaviour during the outing instead of either nothing, or a general 'she had a good time'. R thinks Niece's life skills are good and was happy to tell me that the skills she has been taught have been carried over - thinking about what she can buy, money, ordering, buying, etc. Which is very good to know.

Teen moved in. She tells me it's a short term thing and the only reason she came was because I was desperate to have her here and I would cry if she didn't come. Well, actually, I said "as a last resort" if she couldn't find anything. It seems she had but had already committed to coming here. So she's here on an extended holiday. Which suits me fine.

She brought Fennekin with her. A messy little yappy white dog. Okay, not so much with the yappy. And she's happy to be by herself during the day. And so far, she hasn't dug holes or tried to escape. Actually, I think she's okay for a dog. Jerome isn't so sure...

MOTH and I finally gave up on the BMW. I had the garage give me a quote on repairs to bring it back up to speed. A grand total of >$5000. After lots of consideration I applied for a draw down on my superannuation and explained that I needed a replacement vehicle. They gave it to me. And for the same price, I have purchased a used vehicle that I hope will be easier and less expensive to repair when the time comes. The BMW needed a lot of work and we decided to sell it to the wreckers instead of trying for a private sale. After a quick browse of the web, a quick look at a dealer yard on the weekend, and approaching one of the private sales on the web I took a test drive. And I bought it. Ooops.

So I thought I had a hernia developing. Particularly after mowing the lawn for MOTH just prior to Christmas. That night, burn burn burn. All of the hurts. However, nothing much has changed so the doctor is inclined to think that perhaps it was a strain of some sort. Most of the pain has died off at present, so I'm hoping things have settled. All my other test results have come back okay. Even my iron levels are good and I can decrease the amount of supplement I take. Which my wallet will be happy about. Vitamin D could do with some work *and if i say i need vitamin D the kids giggle* I am overweight though and need to think about doing something about that.

MOTH is now on a health plan to deal with his weight. Under his doctor's supervision he receives up to 5 free appointments with a dietitian. Since I am not on a health plan, I don't get this service so I will be riding along on his coat tails. My biggest problem is, I think, a lack of exercise. Even my chocolate intake has reduced over the last few years with very little difference. These days I take only 1 or 2 sugars in the occasional cup of coffee. I probably also need to kick up my food intake. I tend to graze when bored or only eat when I'm hungry, but I think need to graze on fruit and low fat yoghurt perhaps instead of chocolate squares. I eat enough by way of veges as I nearly always get 5 serves a day. I don't have any problem with that part. By the time I serve potato, peas, pumpkin, carrot, and one other like broccoli or cauliflower or zucchini, I've reached that 'magic' number. I don't eat them with butter and dinner is served on a bread and butter plate.

Yep, just need to get myself together to *ugh* leave the house and walk. Siiiighhhh....

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Summer. I hate you so much right now.

It's too hot and humid to be alive. I just want to fire bomb everyone and everything. Where is the nearest shuttle to Hoth??