Archives for the month of: November, 2014

 

There never seem to be enough foster home places for the children who need them. We have been a foster family since the late 1960’s and the situation has gotten worse.  Hardly a weekend goes by that I don’t get a call or an email asking if we can take a child, or pick from a list.  Typically they are teenagers waiting to get into drug treatment or kids who can’t get along at home.  My heart goes out to each and every one, but we simply cannot take them all.

About a month ago we got a call late on a Friday afternoon from another county (they seem to find our number) asking if we could take an angry three year old. No problem, I thought, but we were headed to our place in Ocean Shores.  I was told they could work with that, they would take him to us at Ocean Shores.  He arrived about nine at night, exhausted but still capable of a good scream before settling into bed.  He had been through a traumatic experience and was either very frightened or very angry.  Next morning he shrieked and screamed, kicked and hit.  We gave him his space and encouraged him to join our activities.  He was resistive of every change, just telling him it was time to eat would cause shrieks of “I don’t want to!” at full volume. He was angry all right, but gradually things calmed down.  We had committed to taking him for only the weekend but by Sunday night we began to think we might provide a temporary home for him until he and his sisters and brothers could be returned home.

I was starting my last weeks of employment by the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, however, and I knew if he could not be in day care it wasn’t going to work. The first day in day care he scratched one child and bit another, but the day care folks were willing to work with him!!   Things continued to improve at home when his social worker told us about his 12 year old brother.  She thought it would be good for the boys to be together.  The brother  had none of the angry behaviors and we agreed to give it a try.  He is a calm and cheerful boy, but his arrival upset the little guy who was now crying whenever he had to be away from his brother.

A week later, Friday, we got a call asking us to take a 17 year old girl with her 8 month old baby. Again, we committed just for the weekend.  She is a good mom and very attentive to the baby. And Seneca thinks that the little bald baby is wonderful, and he has a terrific giggle.

So suddenly we are a family of six kids. With foster children we never know from day to day how long  they will need a place.  This year we have cared for a total of 24 children. One of the things that keeps us going is seeing the changes that usually do occur in kids as they live in a more stable environment.

We took four, but I had to say “no” to about 10 children during the past month.

Yes, there is a need for foster families, for kids of all ages. Please help us spread the word!

 

 

 

a bin

A bin of scraps

a basket

A basket of scraps

I am a scrap collector. I have several bins like this one, full of sewing scraps.   And I love to go through them and pull out the scraps to sew together to create a new quilt.  One of the simplest ways to do this is to sew the scraps into “strings.”

a dryer

Dryer sheets

A long

A long strip

I start by collecting strips from the bins, and cutting strips from small pieces if necessary. These strips are sewn onto dryer sheets to hold them firmly together. They seem to go together in what order I place them and I love the effect when I  stand back view them as a whole.  I have a way to go to finish up this project.  It is a very satisfying process to be able to create something from scraps.

a part of string

Strips going together

a more strings

Up close

a string

A finished quilt

bank

Old bank

“Tuesday is bank day” read the small poster that hung in the front of our classroom from the time I was in the first grade. And every Tuesday we brought our nickels and dimes in envelopes and they were sent off to a bank.  We kept a record in a small book and once all of the pages in the book were full it was sent off for a new book that showed our current  balance, PLUS interest, a wonderful concept!

I was a faithful saver and late in 4th grade my balance reached $100. I was just finishing 6th grade when I spent almost the whole amount, $120.

My grandparents were driving to New York.   I flew there and met them and I rode back to Seattle with them.  It was $120 for a one way ticket and I flew in an old propeller plane, changing planes once in Minneapolis.  All by myself.  It was a thrill.  In New York we visited the Empire State Building, Coney Island, and  also saw the Liberty Bell.  It was the adventure that  began my love of travel.

I continued to deposit my nickels and dimes into the account and when Ted and I got married I had a nice nest egg.

I have maintained that saving account all these years, about 65 I believe. Recently the bank was bought out by another bank and the name changed, somehow it wasn’t quite the same.  Ted has our money in a different bank and so I moved my account to Ted’s bank for convenience but I continue to deposit odd and ends into it and this week I plan to buy a sewing machine with money from that account.

A lifelong habit of saving? It worked for me.