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  2. I'm so sorry that you had this experience. I don't think any friendships of mine would survive if given the silent treatment either. It's such a manipulative way of dealing with another person. It's lording a position of unequal power struggle where you cut yourself off from the other person in all ways and is selfish. My Dad does this to my mom for weeks on end because of small infractions. I can't tell you how much it infuriates me. Having different FOO that dealt with things differently must have been very hard. I'm so glad you and your DH figured out how to address your problems!
  3. This is a short TedX by Christopher Willard on Kindness from an atheist perspective. I think he practices somewhere in your part of Massachusetts, with an emphasis on healing the brain via meditation, and some experience with kids if I understand correctly.
  4. You can make a gravy of sorts. Melt 1/4 c butter in sauté pan. Add 1/4 c flour, stirrring constantly. Cook for 1 min. Add 2 c. of your beef stock, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook until thickened. You could add your chopped mushrooms at this point., or just throw them into the crockpot along with the gravy
  5. I live in Fairfax County, VA, which is definitely becoming more liberal. I’m a conservative but respect others point of view. I’m finding that respect only seems to go one way though🙁I’ve been called vile names because of my views on the 1st and 2nd amendment. If the topic of religion comes up, that can go south quickly too. My DH is a retired chaplain/pastor of a confessional church body. Unless I’m with friends, I never discuss politics or religion.😔
  6. I think the difference is communication. Even a short "I need some time to process this" is indicative of withdrawing and not giving someone the silent treatment. I'm not a verbal processor and tend to take a long time to think things through. I think as long as you communicate that then taking some time away to think is normal.
  7. I have a dentist appointment this evening, at 5, should take about an hour. Which means dinner tonight is a crockpot meal. I am using a version of this recipe for Meatball Stew, plus making some bread in the bread machine to go with it. I actually already have the meatballs all made and they are sitting in the freezer. Since I am using baby carrots, all I need to really do is chop up the potatoes and dump everything in the crockpot, then just turn it on low. The problem is............I totally forgot to put the golden mushroom soup on my grocery list! ACK! I have homemade beef stock that I am using in place of the canned beef broth. Is there anything that I can use to sub for the golden mushroom soup? I have sliced fresh mushrooms, I still have beef soup bones and probably anything else I would need, but I don't know where to begin to make this sort of substitute. Anyone have any ideas?
  8. Good to hear from you! Big hugs! Congratulations on the baby! 🙂
  9. Ok, good, I am glad I didn't upset you. I can totally understand how just cause you speak the same language, that doesn't mean all the nuances are totally clear. I have felt that way just travelling in the deep south. I suspect that actually living there would probably have a very similar effect.
  10. That seems kinda crazy to me. I can't imagine having to pay a permit fee to remove a tree--live or dead--on ones own property. Just for comparison, last year we paid $2200 for tree work. That was for a large Bradford pear, a large maple and a black gum that the tree guy said was one of the tallest he'd ever seen. It also included grinding the stumps of the pear and the maple. The work was done by a reputable company, not some fly-by-night yahoo with a chainsaw. (ETA: They did give us a small break on pricing--I think it was a couple of hundred dollars--because our neighbor wanted the chips to use for mulch, and my brother wanted a lot of the gum tree for firewood. So they didn't have to haul all of it away.)
  11. Not the OP, but in my experience no one cares as long as you're serving them a cup of tea. People are much too polite to say anything if it's awful. LOL!
  12. I'm glad you got your PG Tips! We can get ours from World Market or Publix and I just pay the prices for them because we have to have it. 😂 My Dad, a Yorshireman, has a definitive way of wanting his tea made if not in a pot: hot water poured over the tea bag and steeped for 4 minutes then discard the bag and add only a splash of milk. He used to have it poured over the tea bag and then dunked 20 times then taken out but apparently he saw a documentary about the best way to make a cup of tea and now wants it done the previous way. LOL! I just finished visiting my parents and I thought "I" drank a lot of tea. I couldn't keep up. I like mine light and sweet though!
  13. Hi Yael, Thank you for checking in. I know you have a lot of difficulty in your life right now. I’m very glad your husband is on his way home. I wonder if your parents though dealing with cancer might be well enough to help with some of your younger children while you’re coping with your eldest. As to your son who is the teen in this thread: I think an MRI to rule out organic brain issues at least to extent scan can do that is really important and I feel relieved long distance that he’ll be getting one. And the general medical check up. Excellent! And I think contacting people about possible internet addiction and your other therapists sounds like good progress! I have a limited amount of experience with rebellious teens. Particularly with regard to very rebellious teens it is in in context of having been a foster parent: More with regard to other families teen foster kids through the foster community. To a milder degree two boys in my own family, and two other boys in close known circumstances. I’ve also had some quite rough patches with my 17yo son, though not as bad as you have described with yours. In situations of an emergency level of addiction or mental illness where action needs to be taken on the youth’s behalf because the youth is a danger to self and or others and or the youth is incapable of participation about decisions in his her own life, then clearly parents need to do whatever they can to get the child into inpatient treatment or removed from the addictive substance etc. I initially thought that was the case for your son—but as I progressed in thinking about it and from your recent post, I am no longer so certain. If he isn’t really a violence danger to self or others, my sense of what needs to happen is different than if he is. my observation is that a crash into extreme problems like suicide or violence can be stopped by outside control or addictions can be initially dealt with by removing the person from access to the addictive substance. However, I have only seen meaningful long term change when the person doing the changing has a personal part in decision making about him or herself. And when change has an internal motivation. That said, the forced placements I’ve been most familiar with have generally been after legal system got involved in foster context. Not wilderness, outward bound or similar type experiences. I think a wilderness experience or going to Japan might serve to remove your son from drugs, perhaps from internet and electronics, and certainly from his current group of peers—but I don’t know that it would lead to meaningful change. It might have the opposite effect due to taking away autonomy and control. And due to further delaying his ability to move into adulthood it may be the opposite of what he needs. I strongly urge you to contact the center in your area, I think it was called Think-kids, that @BeachGal linked somewhere above. I’d never heard of that center. However, if it’s based on Collaborative Problem Solving, I’ve certainly heard of that, and I think that’s the basic means by which you are likely to move with your son toward health and healing. It’s certainly basically the approach needed when dealing with foster youth. Having a center based on Ross Greene work that’s right there local to you sounds to me like a Godsend. If you’ve not read Ross Greene books, I highly recommend them, but I think you need top notch in person outside help, not just some books. Along with the physical medical exam and MRI, If this were my family in difficulty, I would be making an appointment ASAP with that CPS based place. I believe that science shows that meditation type practices can help to heal brains (change functioning and structure for the better) and can provide some of the benefits (such as relief from feelings of anxiety which sounds like it would be significant for your son) that people sometimes gravitate into addictions to self medicate and relieve — but meditation would be much more healthy way than pot or other addictions. Therefore, personally, if this were my 17yo son, but I was in your area, would be contacting Dr. Willard. Being an atheist, a Republican, and so on, seem like valid choices to me, and personally I wouldn’t get bent out of shape about that were it my son. Though if I substitute something like devil worship and kkk membership I’m sure I’d feel some distress! I might try for meaningful discussion rather than hateful slogans, and to seek to understand his POV rather than to convince him of mine. I’d also look at what I might myself be modeling. You probably aren’t aware of it, but the way your description of him deciding he’s a Republican came through to me, as I read your words, it sounds disrespectful. Not so applicable in your case, but in mine I have a few options in mind for if... various scenarios (and this thread has provided some more) such as, if my son drops out of school then _____. For us, One is a short term military school option (Oregon Youth Challenge Program—and another area option— don’t know if New England has similar things). One is job Corp— but we are in a different geographical area and presumably different economic circumstances would make something like job corps possible. Unfortunately life tends to throw numerous problems at us all at once. It is hard. I hope you can find some sort of support and perhaps helpful therapy for yourself at this difficult time, as well as for your son . Hugs and prayers, Pen
  14. Your posts about girls in BSA prompted me to research whether we have any girl troops nearby. We have one about 4 miles away. So I asked them to send me info. I do still want my girls to continue in AHG, but I don't think it has comparable clout on a resume, to be honest. In fact, the way things are going nowadays, I wonder if it might even be a turn-off for some. I don't think we can do both, but I thought I should at least look at it and see if I should discuss it with my girls. If the requirements are things they would hate doing anyway, or couldn't really squeeze in, then at least I would know not to think about it any more.
  15. As for contractors ... I don't recall ever having someone not show up for a job, unless you count the wildlife lady (raccoons in our basement) who "usually" showed up but sometimes forgot .... But I agree, many of those jobs pay quite well. I do think that the well-paying ones have barriers to entry. Like if you know someone, you probably have a better chance. You can also probably get your training at a lower cost.
  16. They are good kids, and I have to remember that, thank you. They just have some disabilities that are hindering them right now. And he did check when things were due and he did turn it in, but what he didn't do was check his stuff to make sure that there wasn't a follow up like "I can't open the file you uploaded so please resend a different way!" And I just got off the phone with older son. He is depressed. I have called his school's counseling services and asked that they check in on him. I don't know what to do. I even offered to drive down and spend some time with him. Finals are next week. I asked if he thought he would get a B and he said, "that is the least of my concerns right now." Scares the you know what out of me when he talks like that.
  17. (((Junie))) Glad you got some relief! Bookie! Great to see you! Congratulations on the new little one. ❤️ So good to read your update. Whitehawk knows how to do Monday right - brownies in the oven!!
  18. Re lawyers, I agree it is somewhat of a racket, or at least it was when I was getting licensed. The year I took the bar exam in my state, only like half of the candidates passed. Besides that, the fancy lawyer jobs were pretty much reserved for the top 10 or 20% of law graduates. I was content working in industry (in-house lawyer), but it was very hard to pay off my large student loans, because law school tuition is the same whether you're at the top or bottom of your class. 😛 (It did teach me how to live frugally though.) So for a while I wondered if I should regret my education. But in the long run, it was a good investment, when coupled with business experience. Like anything else we do, success is mostly sticking it out through the tough times.
  19. Bookie! ❤️ This week and next should be easy around here. I think we'll even be able to do a field trip to an aquarium on the coast. I have brownies in the oven right now. [edpo] I finally found a biology text at the right level for next year; I'd bought Campbell's (used) to look at & love the way it uses evolution as a unifying thread, but it's too technical for DS right now. We'll use Holt's Modern Biology instead. [/edpo]
  20. As someone who grew up with a LOT of fighting and a husband who grew up with the silent treatment, we had a lot to overcome -- and he did use the silent treatment for many years until we both figured out how better to address our problems. I don't know how to describe the pain - and maybe those who started out with higher self-esteem wouldn't be affected the same way -- but it is an all-body, gut-wrenching painful experience. It is overwhelming and debilitating. One of my friendships ended because of this. She was unable to express what she was feeling and so retreated and didn't speak to me. It sent me into a complete panic and emotional spiral. Our friendship couldn't survive it.
  21. Back when my brother was married to a pretty dysfunctional person, we moved our vacation so we weren’t going the same place at the same time as they were. I love my brother but this was back when we could only afford one camping trip per year and I wasn’t going to deal with listening to his husband drink too much and treat everyone badly on our trip again. He would harass us about stupid shit he didn’t understand.
  22. Do you speak any Spanish? I like to start the elementary years with more of an immersion approach. Once a week we watch a Salsa episode from Georgia Public Broadcasting, one a week we read a board book from the library, one day we pore over a page from a picture dictionary, one day is a Spanish-language video, etc. We do this for a few years, gradually getting more grammar-based. By the time they start a curriculum it is "easy". Once I start a curriculum (and GSWS would be my recommendation for the first year), I want to keep moving forward with challenging curriculum of increasing difficulty. This can be tricky in foreign language study because there aren't many intermediate level programs for elementary students.
  23. No advice, just commiseration. That sounds very frustrating! I always think your boys sound like such good kids, I hope the class will work out for your older son, and your younger son will realize he needs to check in on his classes when grades are due.
  24. So, I was going back in my planner, and realized that....I miscounted. We don't have as much of school left as I thought! Yay! I think we are going to finish out the books we are in or get to a good stopping place and then just call it good. Besides, we aren't doing any moving this summer, there's no planned renovations on this house, and so far, most of our planned summer stuff is on the weekends so I can get some summer schooling in this summer. Which the kids won't like, but I will try to do more fun stuff. We have GOT to get some memorization in.
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