Monday, March 7, 2011
The house smells of lacquer thinner. Think nail polish times A HUNDRED. I finished stripping the bathroom cabinets today. Upon advice from a friend, I took lacquer thinner to the cabinets with a really fine steel wool to help draw out the last of the varnish. I sent Ali and momma out for the day so they wouldn't have to deal with the fumes, but oh, man, the thinner odor remains! Icccch. Oh, and it's now raining, so I can't open up all the windows and doors. Good times.
The most fun of the day was the chemical burns from the varnish remover. It soaked through my sleeve at one point, got inside my glove at another, and got on my let leg twice. Oh and my chin. You can't see it, but you sure can feel it! Out of nowhere, this sudden burning begins, and you know you gotta get some water to it right away! Good times. As you can tell, I am not in the running for the world's handiest guy. I have always maintained that I am as handy as I need to be, but that's it. It's all good; I listened to two books on tape between yesterday and today. That's good for my brain at least.
I had on one of those great industrial strength gas masks for most of the day, and at one point, as I was walking downstairs, I could smell this wonderful, sweet bbq chicken smell, which was weird since I was the only one home. I looked and saw the patio door was open, so I figured my neighbor Nick must have been BBQ'in' up something good. Except, next time I came down, and the door was closed, I smelled it again. Mind you, this was a pleasant departure from the chemicals I huffed all day, with or without a mask. Then, it hit me. The crock pot was out on the counter. Was it quietly cooking away the whole time? Sure enough, one of Ang's yummy chicken, black bean and salsa concoctions was simmering away. Mmmm... hearty dinner after a hearty day!
Tomorrow, I work at a group home for abused teens doing music therapy with them, and it will be our third out of 6 weeks together. I'll tell you, spending the afternoon and evening there the past two Mondays has reminded me of one thing; I was blessed as a child and a teen to have a loving family that never beat or abused me. I am grateful for the time I get to spend with them, but it is such a drop in the bucket. I am reminded how special the activities were for Ali at the Ronald McDonald House, even when they were just one day a week. The fact was that even though the volunteers were only there for one day a week, different volunteers came every day, and that was so gratefully received. Thinking of it that way, it's better that these kids get some fun and release through the power of group music making than none at all. I hope they look forward to it. Every little bit helps, right?
MARCH 7, 2001: WHOOPS!
Well, I wrote the above last night, then tried to load a video using blogger's video plugin instead of a picture, but lo and behold, it not only didn't work, but the post didn't post! I logged on tonight and saw Saturday night's post and was baffled! Oh well. Sorry about that! Last night was to be the last nightly post before moving to this twice a week format and you got jipped! I am hoping I can get the blogger plugin to work as I have a BUNCH of cute little short videos that I'd rather just post here than on youtube of Bella. Man, I miss that little fire cracker!
Today was l-o-n-g. In the office before 7 am, and still in the office at 10:45pm. Had one lousy session, one okay session, and one GREAT session at the group home today. That last session just makes me want to come back for more. Teens I work with in behavioral hospitals and group homes are funny; they can be so great, and such a nightmare... and they can flip on a dime from one to the other. They are so volatile. I think that is the best word to describe them. Sometimes I really lose my focus or cool inside and I have to SNAP right back to present, grounded, and connected, otherwise the group just falls apart. It certainly takes a lot of mental energy to generate the group for 60 minutes with 6-12 teens!
Ali and Angelique baked a pumpkin pie yesterday, and today, they baked a ceramic mini tea set Ali painted from Cost Plus World Market. What a fun store! Ali was so proud to show me what she had painted today. I just love when she shows off her art. She is sooooooo passionate about art! It is just a delight to watch. My sister Tracy was an Art History major, and an artist who used to really do some really cool watercolors. My dad seemed to have a knack for pencil sketching, like a comic strip style... and I loved drawing with pencil. I never really dug color; I LOVED pencil. Well, it's in our blood because Ali LOVES to paint or draw. Back in her early years as an artist, when asked how daycare was that day, Ali would only answer in terms of whether they painted that day or not....
"Not paint" were the first and only two words she would utter about the day from her back seat throne.
Well, that wasn't the case today. Today, she painted. And the beam she glowed was all the indication I needed. Oh yeah, the tea set is cute, too.... see above.
Remind me to tell you about the AMAZING conversation I had with my mom today about prayer... for Thursday! :) I need sleep!