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Archive for September, 2017

Public Speaking - Emergency Preparedness

September 30th, 2017 at 03:15 am

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to do a presentation on emergency preparedness. The event was last night. I normally would rather have a root canal than speak publicly, but this topic is one I am very passionate about. I was happy with the outcome, and hopefully there are at least a few people who will be better prepared because they attended.

During the presentation I asked the group who had a family plan in the event of an emergency. Less than 10% raised their hands. I get it. It takes time, it takes money, it takes motivation. All too often the trifecta comes too late.

I would think that Texas and Puerto Rico would be motivation for anyone watching.

So, I pointed folks to the multitude of references on- the county website, the state website,, pintrest, etc. Basically, just google family emergency plan, and there is a plethora of good information. What I like about our county plan is that they provide checklists and templates in their workbooks. Including a plan to build an emergency supply kit over the course of 12 months, breaking it down to a few items a month to make it more attainable for folks on a limited income.

A simple plan is better than no plan. And every little bit helps.

I was asked to put another presentation together, which made me think I must have done ok. Smile

So, do you have a family emergency plan? Can I provide anyone here with linked resources?

Lil Z is having a sleepover with me tonight. It is pretty routine that we spend Friday nights together, and honestly, there isnt a thing in the world I would rather be doing.

Have a great weekend!

Insurance comes through! And an update on Z and X

September 17th, 2017 at 06:17 pm

We have used our homeowners insurance very little during the 23 years that we've owned our home, so it is nice to see our insurance company coming through for us after all the damage from the storm last month. I wasnt sure how it would work, but an adjuster came out and took pictures and talked with the hub and then a couple of weeks later we received notice of payment.

They estimated either replacement costs (minus depreciation) or repair costs. The payment amount is very generous and we are pleased with it. They covered things that we didnt think they would, like a temporary lean-to the hub had put up or labor costs for tree removal, which the hub did himself. Now the repairs can begin. There will be ample left over for the fire pit that we want to build using the hole left by the fallen tree.

We still havent heard about the 5th wheel repairs. That is a separate claim under our automobile policy.
There was cosmetic damage that was done to a couple of the exterior slide out panels, as well as to the fan covers, spare tire cover and to the awning. It will be interesting to see how they estimate everything.

Update on boys:
Last week the court changed Z and X permanency plan to ADOPTION!! Its been a year and DHS and the kids attorney are very much in favor of moving ahead. BM missed the hearing. The next court date is after the first of the year and will be to terminate parental rights. BM can turn this around through rehab and counseling, but with baby 5 on the way, it is looking unlikely that she will...she was in rehab a few weeks ago for a few days, and then skipped out. In the meantime, Z and DD2 are going to get additional counseling for his PTSD. I am starting to get cautiously optimistic that the boys will be staying permanently!!

Smoke and more smoke

September 4th, 2017 at 05:10 pm

Southern Oregon, like most of the west, has been ablaze with forest fires for weeks. We are now so socked in with smoke from these fires that the air quality is fluctuating between very unhealthy and hazardous. For someone with asthma or other respiratory issues, this causes breathing issues especially with any time spent outside. We were going to go up to the lake yesterday, but there just is nothing around that is beyond the deteriorated air quality. So, plan B ended up staying home and indoors. My laundry is done, Ive read, cleaned, surfed the net, watched a movie...and am bored silly today. Of course, this shies in comparison to what others are facing with the fires or floods throughout the country...but it is still frustrating.

At least yesterday was a no spend day. There is that!

The hub decided to make the most out of the hole left by the large old oak tree that was blown over by the storm last month. The hole is just about the right size for an outdoor fire pit and in a good spot. We have been wanting to build one and voila! nature got us started! He spent some of the day yesterday researching how to build it and has a pretty good idea of what to do now. He also cut up the tree and so we have plenty of fire wood for the pit...enough for a few years as it was a huge tree.

Z update

Since Z came back to us a year ago, he has been diagnosed with PTSD and has been showing behaviors of reactive attachment disorder. My fear before he initially left us was that attachment disorder would become a factor, and now those fears are being realized. DD2 is going to see about additional counseling for both of them, but there are days she is struggling with parenting him. It breaks my heart and I am jumping in to help as much as she wants, but I worry what this means long term. Ugh. People should get to choose drugs or pregnancy and children, but not both. Knowing baby #5 is on the way exacerbates the frustration. And so it goes....