Thursday, December 01, 2011

It Is Real

A facility not far from the facility I currently work at suffered a tragic loss yesterday. Apparently one patient murdered another patient. My question is "where was staff"? Where I work or as I say spend most of my waking hours has staff that monitors the patient 24/7. It is imperative to do so in a place where 9 out of 10 patients are co-occurring. We have a locked psych unit, but when a patient is stabilized they can cross over to us in CD which is an unlocked facility. As a matter of fact, one of my duties is to interview potential CD patients who want to transfer to our unit to make sure they are appropriate. Appropriate can be a very general term.

Upon hearing the news that occurred at Belmont, I got chills up and down my spine, because it was only a few days ago I had a patient turn a meltdown into violence. I almost got it with a jug of water used for the water coolers. All I can say is "Thank the Lord, I had just finished the Handle with care class" which teaches us how to defend ourselves without the person getting hurt. By the time we got the patient secluded in one area we had no choice but to subdue the patient because the patient began to throw chairs and tables. The anger was directed at our psychiatrist but also at me since I am her counselor.

Needless to say, she is in a locked unit to be stabilized. It took about eleven  males to get her transferred to the other building. By 9am, I was ready to go home. Of course, I ended up working nine more hours. We are helpers. We have a challenging job that saves lives, so when I read about something so tragic as Belmont, it makes me stop and pause that that could be any of us. I pray for Belmont tonight and all those impacted by this horror.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Woodlands Inn and Resort

One of the reasons we like to come to the Woodlands is because they have the biggest Hot Tub, we have ever seen. It has fountains and is the size of a regular indoor pool. True to form, we left the house packed with everything except swim suits. You would think it would be the first thing packed with all the talking we did about the Hot Tub. Nooooooo. We forgot them. Try buying one in the North section of the country in Winter. Boots. Yes. Swim suits. No. Not happening. However, I managed to pick up a pair of biker shorts and a workout shirt. Perfect. Bill found some sort of Penn State shorts. We were good to go now.

The Hot Tub at this place is well worth a trip in itself. A huge warm bath tub with water flowing over the fountains into the pool. Relaxation. Peace. I almost fell asleep in the tub. The last time we were here we stayed in the tower. This trip we got a room with a balcony overlooking the babbling flowing stream. The sound alone can sooth any insomniac into a deep sleep.

The best part is I get points for free nights anywhere in the country just for staying here. Last year's points got us a night in Lancaster to visit Dutch Wonderland's Christmas Land with the grandkids. I believe the points I received will probably go towards a room in St. Augustine Florida or New Orleans next summer.

Anywho, (my own word)

This year we had a fantastic anniversary. We ate Thanksgiving at a Japanese Restaurant and had Hibachi Turkey. We discovered hidden lakes and dams and took in the beauty of our surroundings. It felt as though I feel in love with my husband all over again. We had champagne and music. We talked and cuddled and for the first time in a very long time, I felt happy. Happy. What a word! Happy with one person, my husband. A thoughtful giving man who is not afraid to show emotion, but strength at the same time. Someone who will be there for me (and I can be difficult) and a love I can always count on. After five years, he has my entire heart. What took me so long?

As far as the Woodlands, it has two on site resturants and a lounge. The resort has an indoor and outdoor pool along with its huge Hot Tub. It is located along a babbling brook and has transportion to a local casino if you are interested in gambling. The front desk service was great and because our second night happened to be the room next to a couple who were obvious very drunk and fought from 4am until 9am, we received that night free of charge. I was grateful and it proved to me they are serious about pleasing the customer. This was our second trip here and it will not be our last. The beds were comfortable with down comforters and pillows and products were all from the spa. Highly recommend a visit here.

Friday, November 25, 2011

What a Perfect Anniversary Present

Bill bought me this charm bracelet to wear in remembrance of my granddaughter. I hope that one day I can pass it on to her, but for now she will remain a part of me even if it is her name dangling from my wrist.

Happy 5th Anniversary

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday, November 09, 2011


Never even heard the term until Steven Tyler sang that one song in regards to his daughter. I am feeling jaded. It sucks. Life goes on. I have decisions to make now that I have more information available to me.  What do I tell my granddaughter when she grows up and asks why I did not fight for her? Or. What do I tell my granddaughter when she grows up and she asks why I created pain for her mother? What do I tell her? I would love to see her. I do not believe that is the cards. It has been four months of silence. I wonder if a long distance relationship is possible where I talk with her on the phone and send cards and gifts at holidays and birthdays? I know things cannot continue like this. How do I let go? Should I let go? The fighter in me says, "Hell No". Then, there is that other part that does not want to create grief and pain.

I grew up with my paternal side of the family living blocks away, which included my great grandmother. I never knew them. It was not until I grew up and researched my family history that I discovered the Schroeders lived all around me. I asked one of my great aunt's who was still alive, why had the family not fought for me, visited me, included me in their lives? How could my grandmother Marie be one of sixteen children and not one of those children took an interest in me knowing my father was in the military and my paternal grandparents were dead? My great grandmother, Marie's mother, died in March of 1979. I was 19 years old and never knew her. That is sad. Really sad. As a child, it is the parents responsibility to include people in their lives, because children cannot make that decision. I knew my maternal side of the family. My grandmother was an only child who's own mother died when she was 3 yrs old. I knew my uncles and my aunt. They lived around us too. However, no one ever said a word about the others who were also so close. I am sure it had something to do with my father and mother divorcing and my father spending 27 years in the Navy. I will never really know the truth. But I can tell you from experience, I felt the loss.

It seems as though, history is about to repeat itself with my granddaughter. What am I to do? I am not her mother. I am not her father. I am her paternal grandmother who loves this child beyond words and I feel like no matter what, the choice is going to be wrong. I wish that some compromise could be made. However, I do not have that power. That power belongs to someone else.

Sunday, November 06, 2011


I have posted a few more diary excerpts but I warn anyone who is about to read them that the posts may create emotions one may not want to deal with. They were hard for me to post.

Today, Shaun, Trish and the boys are coming over for dinner so the rib roast with tiny potatoes and baby carrots is in the slow cooker. For dessert we have a chocolate creme bistro cake and of course there is ice cream. Thursday, I have a date with my younger son. I have to work next weekend so I am off on Thursday.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Chatty Patty

Who would have thought that I would be living in a highrise condo out of the city and shopping at Whole Foods? Yeah. I can't believe it myself. I still feel like I am on vacation. I mean I have someone running to open the door to the building everytime I come and go. That is the man's job. Open and close doors for residents. I am starting to add a few decorative accents throughout the place. I am packing away most of the family photos. I am just keeping a few out of my grandkids and kids. I have three containers of Christmas decorations stored away. I have no intention of decorating for any holiday this year. Shaun and Trish have taken over the annual family Christmas Eve Open House. I was glad to hand it over to them after 33 years of doing it. Thanksgiving I hope to be away somewhere.

Most of family is now aware of my health issues. No news yet. But surgery is in my future. I know I need to schedule it but have not. Pain grows worse but it does not stop me from doing anything. I work long hours. I shop. I clean. I drink my wine. The thing is I am not afraid. I have no fear at all. 2011 will go down as the worst year of my life. I have dealt with a lot of adversity throughout my life and have gone through some very rough times, but all of that is nothing compared to what I had to face this year. So many losses in such a short time. So much emotional pain that the physical pain means nothing. I don't know. I have always tried my best. Sometimes, one's best is not good enough. I can't think about that now. I will think about that tomorrow.

My Grandsons

Halloween 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Snowing in October. Snowing before Halloween. Priceless.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Therapy Developed by Dr. Aaron T. Beck, Cognitive Therapy (CT), or Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), is a form of psychotherapy in which the therapist and the client work together as a team to identify and solve problems. Therapists help clients to overcome their difficulties by changing their thinking, behavior, and emotional responses.

A System of Psychotherapy

Cognitive therapy is a comprehensive system of psychotherapy, and treatment is based on an elaborated and empirically supported theory of psychopathology and personality. It has been found to be effective in more than 400 outcome studies for a myriad of psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse, among others, and it is currently being tested for personality disorders. It has also been demonstrated to be effective as an adjunctive treatment to medication for serious mental disorders such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Cognitive therapy has been extended to and studied for adolescents and children, couples, and families. Its efficacy has also been established in the treatment of certain medical disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, hypertension, fibromyalgia, post-myocardial infarction depression, noncardiac chest pain, cancer, diabetes, migraine, and other chronic pain disorders. For more information about Beck and CBT click on

Dawn Arising Outside My Bedroom Window

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Mom with Her Great Granddaughter

This picture touches my heart. We were down the shore 2011.

We Have Incredible Sunrises Here

View from my bedroom window this morning

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Spice and K2

‘Spice’ and ‘K2’: New drugs of abuse now on the market
October 2011, Vol 42, No. 9
Print version: page 23

Synthetic cannabinoids popularly marketed as "K2" and "Spice" are widely available at gas stations and convenience stores in many states, yet addictions researchers know almost nothing about the long-term consequences of using these drugs, according to Ryan Vandrey, PhD, a marijuana researcher at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The products are commonly marketed as incense and labeled "not for human consumption" on the packaging, but buyers smoke the products like marijuana, Vandrey said during a presentation at APA's 2011 Annual Convention. The drugs are made by spraying synthetic cannabinoids on ground-up plant material. Spice and K2 are the most popular brands, but dozens more are on the market, he said.

"These products are used as an alternative to smoking marijuana, especially among people subject to routine drug testing," Vandrey said.
In one clue to the substance's increasing prevalence, poison control centers reported 13 calls referencing the products in 2009. In the first seven months of this year, that number had already reached 3,787, he said.
"Is overdose more likely with these substances, or are they more dangerous than marijuana? We really don't know," he said.

The Drug Enforcement Administration listed five synthetic cannabinoid compounds commonly used in these drugs on the federal schedule of controlled dangerous substances in March, but manufacturers continue marketing the product using synthetic cannabinoid variations not yet scheduled by the DEA, he said.
In an online survey Vandrey conducted, published online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence in August, he found that 87 percent of 168 users reported they obtained the drug legally, through gas stations, head shops and convenience stores; just 2 percent said they got it illicitly by going to a drug dealer who sells other illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin. About 15 percent reported using the substance daily and 12 percent of respondents met the dependence criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), he said. Regular users reported an average of 67 uses in the past year, he said.

While some states have banned K2 and Spice, users can also order the products online. Some online suppliers will not ship the products to buyers in states that have banned the products, while others will, Vandrey said.


The kitchen has been set up and I added a few touches to the living area. Eventually, the mums I purchased will find a home out on the balcony. We purchased a new microwave, three lamps and one ceiling light fixture for the dining area to replace that god awful white ceiling fan. One lamp went on Bill's desk while the other two lamps went into the master bedroom. Oh and we actually went food shopping. Now that is a miracle! Now, I have something in the refrig besides butter, leftover take out chicken, wine, and milk.

Shaun, Trish and the boys will be stopping over tomorrow. At this location it is a direct route to our new home from where they live. I heard Jackie and Ava recently relocated also. I am really excited for them. I will not mention where they live as well as not mention where I live for the same reasons. We all need to be safe. Though, it would be impossible to come into my place without us being notified. I will be glad to have the children once again visit.

Speaking of which, we are planning a vacation next summer to see the Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. The place we picked out to stay is located directly on the Falls and has its own water park. The kids will love it. We are planning on flying to Toronto. Nikolas will need a passport. The rest of us already have our passports from previous vacations. I will add a few pictures of the work we have done so far on the condo though the pictures may not be so clear as they were shot with a phone. Nevertheless, here they are.

It is very relaxing to lay in bed and watch the clouds pass by. At night, you can see the lights down below. There is a total of seven rooms in our place which includes two bathrooms (full) and two bedrooms. We have two large walk-in closets in addition to a closet that houses the washer/dryer. We have a storage closet, a linen closet, a coat closet and two other large closets for clothes or whatever. I will no longer have to store winter or summer clothes since I now have room for all of them. I think I am going to really like it here. Our plan is to live here for the next nine years then make our final move to the west coast of Florida. As a final note to this post, Jackie, please search your heart and consider reuniting your daughter with me. I miss her so much, it feels physically painful. I love her so much and I feel as though a piece of me is missing. I have moved for her sake more than mine. I do not want to miss the years where she will grow and change. There is a sadness within my heart that I will never be able to fill.