Friday, April 25, 2008

Gratitude and Attitude and the Rest of the Story

First thing this morning I'd like to say thank you to everyone who takes time out of their busy day to visit here. I mean that sincerely because our lives are so busy we must make choices as to how we spent spend our limited time.

I'm not sure what it is you find when you come here but I do know what your visit means to me. You see, I live 9 miles from anything, it's a choice we've made and it's a wonderful place to be. But there is a cost.

Living in a rural community means you're isolated from other people and although things like this make it more bearable,

Photobucket's still difficult at times.

Let's just say it's a very small pond and sometimes you long for the exciting stuff that's happening in the big pond. That's the grass-is-always-greener syndrome. The internet is the biggest pond of all.....the world is available to you. But of course too many choices can make us very unhappy.

The people I've met here "At Home" have enriched my life in ways that were surprising to me. I never expected such an open climate of sharing. I was raised in a time when resources and talents were kept "close to the vest". I've watched the roles of women change dramatically and I'm simply in awe of today's younger women. I'll talk more about that another day. I could write a book on the subject.

Lately my mind has been working on a Mission Statement because it's important to define what you're trying to accomplish in your writings, who you'd like to be conversing with and most important, what you have of value that you can share with others.

After a mini-rant the other day and my story about our own encounter with the Department of Children & Family Services I realized I hadn't gotten back to you with the rest of the story. And yes, you need to know the rest of the story.

No, we were never able to find out who reported us. I realize the necessity for anonymity in these situations but believe me when you're an innocent party on the other end of an accusation such as this it's frustrating and hurtful.

The Farmer and I spent lots of time on the phone with the agency and finally realized it was fruitless. We spent many an hour thinking about this. We were well thought of in the neighborhood, at least that's what we believed. There were no disagreements with the neighbors, so we ruled out a vengeance motive. That left us to examine what was happening in our house, or what our children might have said that could have been misconstrued.

There was only one thing we could think of that was a possible explanation. The Other Mother was not living with us at the time, but occasionally she would spend a weekend to help me clean (she's a whiz at that) or to babysit so the Farmer and I could go on a date. The kids would need to finish up watching TV early because at 7:00 p.m. her "shows" would start. Now, if you know anything about older people you'd know that they are loyal to their TV shows.

We think the problem arose from the fact that The Other Mother was a fan of a stupid dating game show called St^ds. Fill in the blanks or click on this link for an overview (don't worry - G rated). My kids would probably have been in the room and can imagine the result of a child saying to a neighbor, "We watched St-ds the other night".

Ooooops, they might have forgotten to mention that they were watching it with their grandmother!!!!

And that my friends, is how you find a social worker standing on your doorstep.

Pictured above is an Olde English Southdown Babydoll Sheep. Click on the link and be prepared to have your heart melted. I took the photo at Garfield Farm's Rare Breed show that takes place every May. I'm hoping they'll be there again this year. We don't have livestock, but I'm wanting one of these sheep!!


Paula Bauer said...

Suzanne, your candor and your skill at turning a phrase (much appreciated by a word lover) is an enjoyable read while I sip my morning coffee (okay, some mornings I actually gulp it!) before the kids are up. And I love to come back and read other's comments seem to connect with many people besides me.

oh...I WANT that lamb! Adorable! We love to visit the UI sheep farm and help feed the bummer lambs (orphaned). The manager is a friend and he often tries to send us home with 'bummer' to care for until they are stronger and can be turned out with the flock. I am sooo tempted and my kids would think it a fun time. But hubby, who grew up on a dairy farm in your stompin' grounds and knows the ceaseless demands of livestock firsthand, is adamantly opposed to the idea! Still, when you look at those adorable, frisky little lambs, you forget yourself! I'm meeeellllltiiiiing.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Interesting "rest of the story" and weird how things might get construed.

The lamb is precious...sheep not so much.

Your discussion about the gadget yesterday has me wanting one to use in this capacity: license plate 123-XYZ.

BittersweetPunkin said...

Ok..I had to go and read the first I understand the second part. I have never even heard of that show that you linked to....where have I been? I guess thats a good thing though right?

Hubby and I use parental blocks on our tv's.....there is so much GARBAGE out there....
I hope you have a great weekend!

PamKittyMorning said...

That's a crazy story. I remember when I brushed my daughters hair and she'd yell "stop hurting me on purpose" and I always thought the neighbors would sic child protective services on us, but they had a daughter with long hair too, so they knew what was up.

Love the little lamb. How sweet is that face?

I'm a crappy commentor but I do read your posts on bloglines.

C.C. said...

The lamb is just too cute for any words that I could ever come up with. This blogging thing is a strange mix of feeling connected and disconnected all at once, isn't it? Surrounded by virtual friends while sitting alone at the computer...strange, indeed. I'm still thinking about your social services must have frustrated you and the Farmer no end to not know who made that call. I hope you have a lovely weekend, Suzanne!

Jerusalem said...

What an adorable lamb, so precious. I am so glad to have met you and to get to read your blog - hopefully one of these days we'll meet up! I cannot believe that story about the Social Worker. You poor gal! My kids say things all the time that I just cringe and hope that everyone who hears it speaks "kid" and takes it with a grain of salt. Things can change on a dime out of no where...

Suzanne said...

Paula, I had a wonderfully funny high school English teacher who used to tell us, "You need to keep turning the phrase until it cries uncle!"

The lamb is a cutie pie but like your husband said, keeping livestock is an incredible investment of time and energy. I can't imagine why anyone decides to be a dairy farmer, that's the worst, ask your husband!

Vee - I have actually written down license numbers and called the police. One incident involved and obviously very elderly woman who attempted to pass a school bus that was stopped with all the lights flashing. A man sitting in a truck just behind her actually got out and starting chasing her car. He almost caught her too!

Punkin - Good for you! They didn't have such things when my kids were little. As a matter of fact I would have blocked GRANDMA'S viewing. Ha.

Pam Kitty - My daughter screamed when I tried to brush her hair. I gave up and cut it all off into a cute little pixie hairdo. She's never forgiven me. WOW was she mad. I said, hey you won't let me brush it, that's what happens. And you are officially dubbed my "Crapper Commenter". HA HA. You are so funny.

C.C. - It is strange that we are involved in a singular activity that connects us with many. Strange. I hope you have a great weekend also.

Jerusalem - I'm really looking forward to checking out your shop when I'm in Arkansas. August for sure if not sooner. We're going to be meeting with the architect. Yes, I try to keep "kidspeak" in mind when I overhear conversations. Kids say the darndest things.

Rue said...

I would've seen God too! That is truly frightening. It's too bad you can't find out who it was. Shame on them!

That lamb is too cute! Do you think the HOA will let me have one here in the burbs?? ;)


Paula Bauer said...

Rue, go for just have to sell them on your new "environmentally responsible" lawn mower. Think green!