Dec 012017


It wasn’t on Thanksgiving, but we did get our Chinese food. ūüôā I thought my¬†fortune cookie paper was ALL wrong, though. “The greatest effort is not concerned with results.”

I wonder what Michelangelo would have thought of that while he worked on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? Or to make it a little more personal, what about the person who is busting their butt to try to get into shape? Not concerned with results?? Or training for a race?¬†Trying for an¬†essay award? To simply cook a nice meal for the family? Who doesn’t care that their laundry results are good? We all like clean clothes.

I know when I worked with Lilly (and still work with her), that I work with the hope of results -maybe small ones, but I cannot stop hoping and expecting.

And then there are the parents of severely handicapped kids, who put out day-after-day, week-after-week, year-after-year. What if there never will be any results? What if that child is basically a vegetable, and there never will be any change? Maybe that’s what this fortune is talking about, because¬†LOVE¬†is the only thing that can¬†be at the center¬†of the greatest effort not concerned with results.

Put that in your fortune cookie,


Oct 052017

Bruce¬†wore tiger-striped reading glasses today. Some I picked up from the dollar store. He has no fashion sense and doesn’t care, so it’s amusing when he is accidentally in style.

He needed a bandage because he just had something on his face¬†treated by the dermatologist. So I heard him yell, “Don’t tell me this is all we have for bandaids?”

I responded, “What? You don’t like bright purple ones? Lime green? How about the ones with hearts? Oh, and we have¬†some with Minions on them!”

Tiger stripes framed¬†the resignation in his eyes. He must have sensed what was not fashionable right then. Imagine that. ūüôā

Bruce has always had my back. I wouldn’t have been able to do what I did with Lilly without him. Working with a traumatized child is an uphill climb, and you have to have some help along the way. Maybe the “Bruce” in your life is a close friend, a brother, or a group of parents supporting each other. Don’t try to go for any length of time by yourself.

Where can you find some support? Try your local foster agency, either county or private. They will know about support groups. Ask around if you belong to a church. Here are organizations that are helpful:

BEYOND Trauma and Attachment (BETA)  A Facebook open support group . They offer humor, information, and retreats.

Attachment & Trauma Network (ATN)   Great international resource with a crisis hotline: 888-656-9806.

The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children is on Face Book. TLC 

Institute for Attachment and Child Development IACD

See my RESOURCE tab on the home page for more help. <3 Nealie

*(Minions is a trademark of Universal City Studios LLC)


Lesson from the Spider

 Chasing Lilly, Foster children, Fostering, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Lesson from the Spider
Sep 212017

I went to the sink and was surprised to see that a spider had¬†crafted a web over part of the sink bowl, like it now belonged to HIM. I don’t know how he pulled that off.

When you make up your mind to love and stick with a traumatized child,¬†behaviors they throw at you are like that spider’s web. The child¬†may surprise and shock you with their sheer craftiness and obstinacy. Beware, though, of becoming entangled in¬†the web of their antics¬†. That happens so easily when our emotions and tempers explode. I know! Remember when my halo¬† cracked?

Another word to whoever will listen. My love may not demonstrate like your love, or the love that is politcally correct. Take care of yourself . . .and never stop loving.


Aug 312017

summer pictureI have to tell you about one of the funniest things I’ve seen recently.

Bruce and I got a trampoline for the yard, and it has an enclosure around the sides. There is a zipper to open the side to let kids in, and then it has to be zipped back up to keep kids from falling off the trampoline.

Ari, my book illustrator and granddaughter, got up on the trampoline and climbed inside the opening. She zipped it up quickly¬†and said, “I’m glad there’s a zipper. That bee won’t get in now!”

I cracked up laughing, “Ari, don’t you think it could still get in? Look, the whole top is open!”

She was embarrassed¬†and smiled when she realized she hadn’t seen the big picture.

But, I have to say that when you are taking a direct hit from something, you block where necessary, and¬†given that,¬†Ari wasn’t so silly.

I remember many stop-gap measures we took trying to parent Lilly. And some seemed ridiculous, like balancing a spool of thread on her doorknob to keep her inside her room at night. If the spool dropped and hit the metal cookie sheet on the floor, we’d know she was out… You may wonder, what about a motion¬†alarm? Lilly learned to dismantle or get past those many times, and the alarms would go off because we or a cat went by, and that alarm noise is unbearable. So, a spool of thread carefully balanced on a doorknob worked for a while. Then Lilly figured a way past that. It gets complicated! ūüôā

My point is this:¬† Do what you can, and never quit trying! Some measures work for a day. Some work for an hour. Some may work for a long time, but you have to block problems as they come. Do not give up. Don’t kick yourself for not always seeing the pig picture. At least you are doing something positive.

And, by the way, that bee gave up and¬†went away. It wasn’t able to figure out that the top was open. At least not that time. Just like Lilly, LOL!