Saturday, February 7, 2015

Foster Care in Texas

Ok, I have a few things I need to get off my chest.  I have been working in foster care for the last year and a half and there are a few things all current and prospective foster parents need to know that your CPA (child placing agency) isn't going to say to your face.  But seriously- you need to know these things.

1. If you are adoption motivated and you want a baby, foster care is not for you.
I mean yes it does happen, but chances are that it won't.  Just save all your pennies and get a baby from a straight adoption agency.  Foster care isn't the place to build your perfect little dream family. The kids we get have been seriously abused and neglected and they come with a healthy set of issues, even if they are straight out of the womb. And news flash:  If you do get a baby placed with you, don't count on getting to adopt it- reunification is always CPS' number one goal.

2. If you have specific preferences about how your child should look, foster care is not for you.
Let me repeat myself:  Foster care isn't the place to build your perfect little dream family. If you want a child with brown hair and blue eyes, dimples, and a button nose, then what you NEED is a reality check. While we're at it-you don't get to say "no" to having a black child placed with you. That makes you racist, and we don't want to work with racists.  I don't care if your family is racist but you aren't. You are a fucking adult. Stop hiding behind your mommy as an excuse. You're a racist asshole, and maybe you shouldn't be raising children to begin with.

3. If you recieve a placement and you don't think its a good fit, that's totally fine. Foster care probably isn't for you.
I know what you're thinking- But maybe it just isn't a good fit?  Maybe the child placed with us breaks things and hurts the other children in my home?  Maybe the child is into everything and he flooded the bathroom by running the tub?  Maybe the child acts out sexually and it makes me uncomfotable!  You know what?  I can see why you'd have an issue with all of the above; but all of the above are going to happen. Let me repeat myself:  Foster care isn't the place to build your perfect little dream family.

4. Foster care is for you if-
-You are willing to provide a stable, nuturing, caring environment for any child who needs one, regardless of the child's age, race, or gender.
-You are willing to work with the child through the issues that they are going to have, and will be bringing with them into your home.
-You are doing this for them and not you.

Monday, August 12, 2013


Ok, here's reason 5,004,502,942 why being tall sucks.

People always assume I know what's going on, or that I have some kind of mythical sense of what to do next. 

"Jessie, what is this £50 extra we have to pay?"  I don't know. I got the exact same info you did about it, at the exact same time.  There was no additional info in my email, I'm not particularly financially minded, so I can't really even understand the email any way.  Why you think getting me to explain this unexpected charge will be helpful for anyone is beyond me.  Just- call the fucking company. seriously.

"Excuse me Miss, how far is it to the next petrol station?"  Um, if I had a car/was familiar with this part of town I MIGHT be able to help you. I don't have a car though, so my knowledge of petrol stations is limited to those that happen to be on my bus route. I'm also not familiar with any part of town that you might think I should know about. I still manage to get lost in the town I grew up in, so you can be well sure that I have no clue where I am at any given point in time.

"Where are we supposed to go to check our luggage?"  I have no idea. Maybe instead of asking a total stranger who is obviously a fellow traveler, you could find someone who works at the airport and is actually able to be of some assistance. Also, take me with you, because I too need to check my bag and as I said before, I have no idea how.

I suppose height is equated with intelligence or leadership, or maybe us tall-ies are just the first people to draw the eye. Either way, PEOPLE OF EARTH- HEAR ME! I am totally clueless about most things, most of the time. So please stop asking me for help, because I'll ruin us both. Now please help me figure out where to go, because I'm lost too.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

British TV shows Americans should watch

In no particular order...

1. Peep show
2. Extras
3. Miranda
4. Fresh Meat
5. Father Ted (ok this one's Irish)
6. Mrs. Browns boys (ok, this one's Irish too)
7. That Mitchell and Webb look
8. Fawlty Towers
9. Red Dwarf
10. Doctor Who

Sunday, April 21, 2013

First Dates

So for all the single ladies out there... Here are some weird first date moves that have actually worked for me.  Not that I'm happily coupled up or anything, but i did land a second date.

1. Proposing.  I once told a guy I needed to get married in order to get a visa to stay in the country, and I'd be very much obliged if he'd consider the idea. I'd be happy to pay his electric bill.  He was both intrigued and nervous. He didn't marry me, but he did text me the next day. Win.

2. Showing him the 500 photos I have of my cat on my phone.  Probably not a good idea if your date hates cats. Mine happened to like them, as well as birds of prey. Luckily I had a few photos of owls on there too.  I realised mid-way through the cat slide show that this was probably weird and a turn off, but he assured me it wasn't, and my quirks were actually working for him.  Yesssssss.

3. Asking him point blank if he likes me.  I had no idea where I stood with this guy.  He seemed happy enough to sit and chat, but I wasn't sure if he wanted to bother seeing me again. So I asked, and he answered.  Luckily his answer was, "yes, do you like me?" and we made plans to go out again then there. Boom.

4.Wearing bobby pins on my bra beneath my top so the ends make it look like I'm nipping. hard.  Ok, this is not one of my prouder techniques, because it has everything to do with nipples and nothing to do with anything else; but we all remember the SATC episode where the fake nipples draw lots of attention, and I found myself a cheaper, easier to disguise version.  Long bobby pins.  I caught several pairs of eyes, not just my dates, not very subtly eyeing my goodies all night. It's amazing what drawing attention to your breasts can do- and may I add, the hard nip is a far more subtle way to go than throwing loads of cleavage in the guys (or girls) face. He may not have known what my face looks like, or even remembered my hair color, but he remembered my number and dialed it within the week.  done and dusted.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cause and Effect

In the wake of the shooting in the kindergarten in Connecticut there is widespread speculation about what could have be done to prevent it-and what we can do now to avoid these things in the future.  Its no secret that America loves guns.  As a born and raised Texan who has been to the shooting range a fair few times, I'm hesitant myself to say we should take the same anti-gun stance that so many other countries have adopted; but its just logical; if there aren't any guns, there aren't any shootings.  That said, I don't think our right to bear arms should be taken away.  I think there should be restrictions (age, mental health, gun safety tests), but I think that the majority of gun owners in the US are responsible and don't own guns with the intention to cause harm. The only reason that I bring this up, is because I think that the United States government* is shifting the focus from gun control to mental health issues.  Articles like this one: http://gawker.com/5968818/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother     are manipulating the American people to shift the blame from lack of gun control to poor resources for the mentally ill. Don't get me wrong, I agree wholeheartedly that healthcare and support for the mentally ill and their families are desperately needed; but this is something that will take years to solve. Even if a solution is found, and support services are increased,  there's still no guarantee that it will prevent a tragedy like this. If everyone has easy access to purchasing firearms, then there is still a much greater likelihood that history will continue to repeat itself.  Restricted access to who is able to buy these weapons is the only way to prevent this.  The simple truth is, people are complicated and unpredictable and even with support and treatment, the worst can still happen.  Guns are another story. Restricted access quickly and effectively ends the issue.

*  Why would they shift the focus?  I don't know, why do they do anything? Money and power most likely. I realize that its a bit of a conspiracy theory but the way i see it, there is nothing to be gained from allowing this to continue. How many more shootings need to occur before the government steps in and does something?

Friday, December 14, 2012


Its true-fiancial aid should be given to those who are already fortunate, and those who have had disadvantage, or come from single parent families, and have known struggle should just keep on struggling. I mean-they're at least used to it, so why help now?  They had enough pluck to get accepted to a University, they'll get through it if they skip a few meals to pay the bills; besides, I bet a lot of single moms have thousands of dollars stored away that they're just going to blow on shoes and handbags any way.  The only flaw in this is that the author used "your" once when he/she should have used "you're."  So I guess we know the reason why they didn't qualify for a scholarship...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ongoing Education

I have lived with a whole lot of people in my lifetime.  I've probably had around 200 roommates if you count nights spent in hostel dorms, which I do, because that was my life for three years.  I've learned a lot from these people. In the last year I have lived with two British women, one Indian woman, and one Italian woman, and here are the lessons they have taught me...

Philosophies from the East (Or Lessons from an Indian):

1. Aura cleansing is important.  You might be looking particularly good one day and attract a lot of attention-a lot of positive, but probably some negative too (people sipping on hatorade, no doubt).  It's important to aura cleanse because you don't want to carry around all that energy other people have thrown at you. It's bad for your health.  The best ways to cleanse your aura are to burn sage (dried herbs are best, but if you can't get them, incense is a good alternative).  Waft the smoke up and down the front and back of the body, going all the way down the arms, under the feet, and over the head. Another way to aura cleanse is to take a handful of salt and do the same, touching the salt to the soles of your feet once done, then throw the now dirty salt into an intersection- preferably an intersection that has three or more roads meeting there.

2. The universe is listening.Whether or not you believe it is benevolent or mischievous, it is there, and it is just waiting to either bless you with something or teach you a lesson. In my experience, its pretty benevolent. I often find money in the street, but i think that always happens to me because I use it to buy lunch for the person I'm with, so the universe helps me out, cause it knows I'll be cool about it.  If you're a dick, you're probably the one who lost that money in the first place with the aid of the Universe- so hey, thanks for the cash.

3. Balance and order inevitable... but you make life a lot easier if you help it rather than hinder it. Don't let your clothes even dry inside out, much less fold them and put them away like that. If you lose your gloves, don't worry- remember lesson 2, and wait, you'll find a scarf or someone will move to a new town and ask you if you want their gloves. Just relax, do what needs doing, and if something goes wrong, just keep breathing until it goes right again.

4. Delicious curry can be simple. First, saute chopped onions and tomatoes until the onions are clear and the tomato is paste like, then add your spices. I like to use garam masala, paprika, chilli powder, turmeric (half as much turmeric as everything else though), salt, and cumin. Then toss your chicken into the pot. Chicken on the bone is best- let the chicken brown, then add garlic and ginger paste and mix. It'll look like brown sludge with chicken in it. Now you have two options, you can add water and let it simmer and thicken to the consistency you like, or you can add coconut milk for added flavor. Either way, make sure you cover the entire contents of the pot in liquid. If you don't have enough coconut milk, add water til its all covered and stir.  Make sure everything is well mixed, then reduce to simmer and wait. mmmmmmm.

Mamma Knows Best (or lessons from an Italian)

1. How to be a Domestic Goddess:  First, make sure everything is clean, all the time. It's not as hard it seems.  If something is dirty, clean it. It doesn't actually take that long or require that much mental or physical effort. Second, feed everyone, all the time; whether or not they are hungry, if you make pasta-they will eat. Finally, keep the kitchen organized, it makes your life easier.

2. Mamma and Grandma know best.  Follow the recipe, wash your sheets once a week, and keep your room clean.  Again,simple philosophies that have been handed down from generation to generation, that are pretty easy to grasp but for some reason we just can't do it.  Do it. You'll feel better.

3. The secret to being naturally beautiful.  Eat pasta (no more than 100 grams per serving), smother it in tomato sauce, and don't worry about it.  Don't wear a lot of makeup. Don't fight your hair's natural state of being.  Walk instead of taking the bus.

4.  Italian Pasta is all about the sauce.  Simple tomato sauce is delicious and easy.  Get canned tomato chunks and pour into a pot on medium heat, add a can of water and a healthy dose of olive oil. Simmer with a lid on the pan. Add a clove or two of garlic and blend well with a hand blender. Let it simmer with the lid off, and thicken.  Once its reached the desired consistency, add salt and pepper to taste, and put the lid back on. boil your pasta (fresh is best if you can get it). When its soft but still has some bite to it, take it out and mix it into the tomato sauce in a warmed sauced pan, then put on your plate and add another ladle full of sauce. Top with grated Parmesan.