Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

“Up and at em’! It’s finally Friday! This is Erika Gonzalez with We Are Austin Morning’s FACEBOOK TOPIC OF THE DAY: A Houston couple has had their kids taken away from them because for the last 3 years, the family has been living in a storage unit. The 12-feet-wide and 25-foot-long structure comes equipped with beds, a refrigerator and even a computer. The couple says they fell on hard times and are doing the best they can. Should the state give the children back to their parents?”

via KEYETV’s Photos – Wall Photos.

My response on this was:

Homelessness among families is a huge issue throughout the communities and not well spoken about in the media. Talk to ARCH to get some figures on homeless families even just in the Austin area. These children had a shelter over their head, at least. Many are living out of cars. The economy’s ups and downs certainly isn’t conducive to people’s survival in making ends meet. When one is paying $500-800 average apartment rental (more for that many children), it is easy to see why they choose to cut down that expense, when they can’t possibly squeeze any more out of the other areas of their budget. Too, homeless shelters are at their capacities. Provide some solutions so that folks don’t have to be forced into homelessness situations. 🙂

Agree or disagree???

Read Full Post »

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network provides a great fact sheet resource to Domestic Violence  and Children:  Questions and Answers for Domestic Violence Project Advocates, answering such questions as:

How do children react to domestic violence?

What are some typical short-term responses?

What about children’s responses in the long term?

What are the factors that help children recover?

What should parents tell their children about domestic violence?

How much information is enough but not too much?

What should a parent tell a child about the parent who was abusive?

How can advocates protect children from adult information?

How should parents respond to and cope with their children’s feelings about them?

What are some strategies for managing children’s behaviors that may occur in families with domestic violence?

How can advocates determine when a child needs more help?

and,

What is secondary trauma and how does it affect me?

 

 

Click on the link below to learn more:

http://www.nctsnet.org/sites/default/files/assets/pdfs/DomViolenceFactSheet_final.pdf

 

 

Read Full Post »

Domestic violence cases seem to prevail in spite of all the efforts of the advocates across the United States and throughout the world; however, that doesn’t stop the advocates from continuing to try.  One focus has turned its head towards the affects upon childhood trauma.  One such foundation taking this focus in their hands is the Makers of Memories with its public policy initiative:

The Makers of Memories Public Policy Initiative, launched earlier this month in Washington DC, has already begun to develop momentum towards our two key objectives of:

1) raising awareness about the problem of childhood exposure to domestic violence; and

2) developing a set of solutions to address this problem.

Participants from a wide range of national nonprofit organizations have agreed to collaborate on the educational content and distribution of our documentary film project, 43 Million Secrets, and have contacted us to explore ways that we can work together to motivate leaders and policy makers to take action to provide support and assistance to children who experience domestic violence. We also are exploring programmatic initiatives with these organizations. Some of the individuals and organizations we have engaged to collaborate on our work are featured below in the images from our meeting in Washington DC on June 14.

via Makers of Memories.

Read Full Post »

Recently attended a child custody inservice presented by Barry Goldstein and Dr. Mo Hanna (who, incidently co-authored the book called Domestic Violence Abuse and Child Custody).  Dr. Hanna also speaks to childhood trauma in her part of the presentation.  The statistics presented in this video by Makers of Memories foundation are, indeed pretty staggering and worth taking note.  In a quest to end domestic violence, we must take a look from all perspectives to really figure out a solution to end it forever.

Please reveiw and let me know what you think.


YouTube – 10 Shocking domestic violence statistics for 2011.

See also for more information:

http://domesticviolenceabuseandchildcustody.com

http://blog.makersofmemories.org/

Read Full Post »

 

 

 

Being a lymphedema patient myself, and having a wonderfully doting and caring boyfriend who acts as my daily caregiver, I can appreciate reading this lymphedema patient’s daughter’s point of view as a caretaker.

I love the title of the blog as well — DREAM FOR A CURE… 🙂  This is definitely a common theme among all lymphedema patients and caregivers because this lymphedema condition isn’t necessarily a temporary condition but one that is a lifetime commitment to keep it from becoming a dangerous and lethal situation if left untended.

Be sure to take a glimpse at this blog and learn more about this condition that so desperately needs a cure. 🙂

Dream For A Cure….

 

Read Full Post »

Just something inspirational to share with you today:

“I Wish You Enough

Recently, I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together at a regional airport. They had announced her departure and standing near the security gate, they hugged and he said, “I love you. I wish you enough.” She in turn said, “Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy.” They kissed and she left. He walked over toward the window where I was seated. Standing there, I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking,”Did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever?”

“Yes, I have,” I replied. Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to tell him face to face how much he meant to me. So I knew what this man was experiencing.

“Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever goodbye?” I asked.

“I am old and she lives much too far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is, the next trip back will be for my funeral,” he said.

“When you were saying goodbye I heard you say, “I wish you enough.”May I ask what that means?”

He began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.”

He paused for a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more.

“When we said ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting theother person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them,” he continued. Then, turning toward me, he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish enough hellos to get you through the final goodbye.”

He then began to sob and walked away.

My friend, I wish you enough!

You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to give enough to those you love. ”

~ Unknown author

Read Full Post »

OMG….

just perusing Slate.com and came across a “recycled article” that is republished to make it a new article on Monday, December 17th called, “How to be a shopping-mall Santa”, which is indeed a very thorough article about Shopping Mall Santas.

It brought a smile to my face and a rush of memories as I had worked for one of the organizer companies of these Shopping Mall Santas one year.  It was a great time of coordinating with the malls all the Santas we needed to fill for their Santa photo opps within each of the malls.  Not only were we coordinating schedules for those Santas in Austin, but we were also involved in coordinating schedules for those Santas in many of the other malls in Houston, San Antonio and other metropolitan cities throughout Texas.

What an interesting year that was to be a behind the scenes coordinating elf to make sure that all the malls were fully staffed with the Santas – especially, when receiving the compliments from all the long time veteran Santas that were putting smiles on childrens faces.  After all, besides being the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas is also about bringing a special joy and memories to all the children.

I am looking forward to going to the mall this year when I do get a chance — not really to do Christmas shopping as I have completed my Christmas shopping for this year — but to observe from a vantage point all the children’s faces light up when they see Santa Claus at the shopping mall to hear what they want for Christmas, as well as to get their photos taken with Santa.  My daughter is too old now to have her photo taken with Santa; however, I am hoping to get a picture of my 5 mo old granddaughter with Santa Claus.  I can’t wait!!

Hoping that visions of Santas in Shopping Malls may also bring rushes of fond memories of your childhood, or as a parent of young children this year!

Read Full Post »

chickenstory.jpg

Read Full Post »

those at the Justice for Children program. 

“It is the position of Justice for Children that PAS is junk science.

“P.A.S. per se (not “parents lying about abuse allegations”) is not a syndrome.   People lie on the witness stand every day but that does not make it a syndrome.   Various credible studies have documented that the incidence of false allegations of abuse in custody proceedings make up significantly less than 5% of all abuse allegations  in custody proceedings.  When mental health experts or attorneys claim that P.A.S. is a “syndrome”  — knowing full well that it lacks scientific validity, is the concoction of a disgraced psychologist, and has been soundly rejected by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges — that is disingenuous at best and unethical at worst.  Moreover, when it is used as a vehicle to keep children in the custody of men who abuse them, it is also immoral. ” – Randy Burton, Founder, Chairman and President – Justice for Children

PAS is touted to be an accepted psychological “syndrome” when, in fact, it has no scientific foundation and has been routinely rejected by courts and mental health professionals as admissible in the courtroom.  Nonetheless, PAS is still being used by unscrupulous attorneys and hired gun “experts” to attack the credibility of, parents, usually mothers, and undermine the testimony of little children who have accused their fathers of unspeakable acts of abuse. “

For more information see their posting on Justice for Children

Read Full Post »

1.  I am alive and survived the 5th year after the death of my late husband!

2.  I have a beautiful daughter who has a loving hubby who both have a beautiful daughter (my first Granddaughter) born this year!

3.  I have parents who will share a 50th Wedding Anniversary this year!

4.  I have two adoring cats — Gibson and Moobaby!

5.  I have a loving family, although I do wish I could see them more often!

6.  I have caring friends who aren’t all into football!

7.  I love my advocacy work that I do, although (of course) I would wish that it would pay better!

8.  I am grateful that I don’t have significant health problems that would impair my dexterity or sight or hearing abilities.

9.  I am grateful that when I walk into a dining room, I am not feeling that I am walking to a whole new world!

10.  I am grateful that when I look into the mirror, I am not seeing anyone other than myself!

What are you thankful for today????

Being Grateful for the Gift of Today

“When you learn how to remain grateful every day you are developing a habit of happiness in your life. There is no such thing as an ordinary day. Every one of your days is a gift from God that is unique and irreplaceable. When you train your mind to see the good and discipline yourself to focus on the positive you’ll be happier, rise higher, and live the life of victory that God has in store for you.”

~Joel Olsteen

Read Full Post »

it is oftentimes that the social service industry is often at its busiest of times.

Pet sitters are needed for the pets while folks go on trips to visit relatives during the holidays.

Babysitters are needed so that the adults can go to their fabulously rocking, cheery holiday celebrations or just for some hassle free shopping.

Granny sitters are needed for the grandparents who aren’t able to get to see their families because their families can’t find it possible to have them travel with them to visit the families (especially, if there are health and health aid concerns), or if the places that they are staying at are understaffed.

It is often a thankless job, but someone comes to the aid for others to have the much needed enjoyment.   Just don’t forget to hug those workers as you see them today and throughout the holidays.  Their sacrifice often means that you are able to enjoy the holidays to the fullest.

Read Full Post »

No, I know.  Jolly Green Giant and Sprout are generally the animated characters associated with the line of vegetables that you see in your grocers’ aisles for many, many years and years throughout the past decades upon decades.

Today, though, while driving from home to a meeting this afternoon, I heard that they are advocating for a PBS station to be 24 hrs with all the fine programming  of Barney, La Madeline, and many others.  If you are 18 and above and without kids around you, you might be saying ughhhh… not more of that; however, if you have children, you are probably jumping with glee.  Although there are special programming for children that are 24 hrs, there are none strictly for the school age child. 

Of course, they are not probably up 24 hrs a day; however, consider the child late up at night with fevers, sickness, or night terrors.  This might be nice to have. 

What I see this as being, perhaps, providing a pre-school age channel that doesn’t jump from the pre-school shows to the elementary and/or junior high-school scheduling.  That pre-school child wouldn’t be limited to a certain timeframe during the mornng or afternoon to accomodate the scheduling of the other age groups on the PBS network.

I, who watched my siblings grow up with Sesame Street and the like, think it is a terrific idea.  What about you?

If you are in favor for your area’s cable stations to include this 24hr PBS channel in their offering of the network systems, you can call 1-866-9-SPROUT and follow the phone sequence to show your interest.   I understand that, too, you can go onto the super highway network under the URL of http://www.sproutonline.com/sprout/home/jump.aspx to demonstrate your interest as well.

While some might view this as a means of some people to placate and/or substitute their children’s daily activities with the PBS Sprout Program, I do see it as a means to enable our pre-school children to jumpstart into their learning since so much more is demanded from their learning than they had before (ie some aspects of Algebra is taught in Elementary School whereas, back in my day at least, it wasn’t a subject matter until the 9th grade at the very least.

Check it out — let folks know what you think!!  It may well be the new Jolly Green Giant leap for the PBS network system!! 🙂

1-866-9-SPROUT

http://www.sproutonline.com/sprout/home/jump.aspx

Read Full Post »

So frustrating is the fear of the unknown.   I remember when I was mentoring a after school program in an Community Program in a poorer segment of Austin (not East Austin) and a young boy had drawn a much worse picture than this child who had been suspended.  While I was alarmed that a boy could have drawn such a picture, I was told that these children were allowed to have their creative expressions.

Somehow, the balance between creative expressions and the psychological aspects of whatever hidden meanings behind artwork done by our children must be met.  Without the creative expression, one might not be able to understand what is going on in the minds of our children.  I believe that children’s creative expression should not be suppressed or meant to be punished; after all, how are we going to be understand what is going on in the children’s minds if they feel threatened for punishment if they express themselves.

I am not saying that children’s expressions that seem to have hidden messages of psychological problems should necessarily be promoted and offered on a public display; however, admonishing them because they have expressed themselves through drawing (which may be a mode that that they are more comfortable with than writing or talking) seems wrong.

Perhaps, a better approach would be to have the parents and teachers more attuned with the meanings and offer the child guidance when the child “speaks out” through his artwork.  Of course, caution should also be had to make sure that, also, too much is read into things as well.  🙂

What say you???

Boy suspended for stick-figure drawing – Education – MSNBC.com

Read Full Post »

3618804012.jpg

Read Full Post »

dscn2745-patio-chair-thru-screen.jpg

Summer has been eventful for me…..

1. Biotechnology Program — I attended ACC’s fasttrack program this summer. A very intense program whereby we had 5-1/2 weeks of classes for 3 full days each week, then later had 5-1/2 weeks of nearly 40 hrs/wk internship at many Biotech type locations. Mine was held at the Texas Department of Health. It was an invaluable learning experience and I would love to consider it for a career option; however, the market for Biotech personnel, on the whole in this area, require a degree in Science already. My degree is in Criminal Justice, but they would prefer a degree with more of a forensic approach to it, if in Criminal Justice. Therefore, I am looking to attend in the Spring, perhaps, if I get a Scholarship to do so.

2. Granddaughter — This summer my granddaughter was born. She is absolutely beautiful and growing slowly but surely. Well, that isn’t exactly true as she is outside of the growth percentile range, but weight/height proportional. They are thinking that she may end up being very tall.

3. Still working in the crisis field. I am enjoying it and may continue to make it my career option — if only the money was better!

4. Took a bit of time this summer for a short retreat to reflect upon the summer events and assess where I should be moving forward in my life. Still not sure about the whereto, but really enjoyed the retreat time to enjoy some much needed R&R. (The picture above is one of many pictures I took during my retreat.)

Other than that, not much else happening. Still involved in my Red Hat Society group and planning activities to keep myself active — Church, bowling, reading books, blogging, etc. Would love to hear from you all to see what you have been doing this summer, as what your current aspirations might be. 🙂

Read Full Post »

Well my daughter had her baby yesterday, but the day before they had the baby, they had text message calling me “Mema”. Looks like I am going to be called “Mema” when the granddaughter is old enough to say anything…. 😀

K

Read Full Post »

but, to just accept the why nots and proceed forward. 🙂

As much as we prepare for everything, we often find ourselves never truly prepared.

Take for example, today…

1. I decide to make it a day for my daughter by taking her to breakfast.

2. Then I gave her a choice of what to do next. She chose to go for a pedicure. The one she wanted to go to wasn’t open, so we randomly go to another nail salon. Miraculous there was a woman that had worked in OB/GYN who happened to settle some of my daughter’s qualms about having her baby.

3. Afterwards, I went to work and she went off to meet up with her Dad who had just returned from Iraq for a spell.

4. After he left, her water breaks and she races to the hospital where she meets up with her boyfriend and myself.

Long story short….a beautiful life arrives today instead for waiting until the due date. In the midst of things, a bag they had prepared to bring to the hospital is left at home. I didn’t have time to do all the things that I had hoped I would be able to do.

However, all the preparations in the world would have never prepared us truly for the amazing life being brought into this world today. You just accept it, love the new life, and move forward with a commitment towards making this world as safe as possible for that new life.

I am counting this as being completed as such. Wouldn’t you???

Read Full Post »

 

I wanted to change the world.

But I have found that

the only thing one can be sure of changing

is oneself.

 

– Aldous Huxley

Read Full Post »

“Wisdom consists not so much in knowing what to do in the ultimate as knowing what to do next.”

– Herbert Hoover

Read Full Post »

I certainly hope so.  Texas has been aggressive against sites, such as MySpace.com, to provide them with the Sex Offenders on their sites, especially after having to sue them for their accountability after some children were attacked by sexual predators when they went to meet them in person.  I am sure that will only make the sex offenders try to be a little more clever in hiding their identities, but at least there will be some cooperation from MySpace to hand over the names and identities used on the sites so that the authorities can crack down on these offenders who are not allowed to be on the computer sites as part of their agreements to be living among society.

Will this completely protect our children on such sites from all sexual predators? Not likely from all as some have merely not been caught — yet.  However, any steps moving in aggressive measures  is certainly a pro-active measure indeed and holds those sites accountable!

Reported:

MyFoxAustin, MySpace to Share Sex Offender Data

Read Full Post »

See the Austin American Statesman’s article, “Emilio’s short life likely to be long remembered: Terminally ill child’s case could influence laws and debate on end-of-life care”. I couldn’t have put it to words better myself.

I certainly do hope some laws do get to change. The thing is, it wasn’t just about spending more money to keep Emilio alive despite the odds, it was the principle of the matter as well.

I hope we do see an EMILIO EDICT added to the legislation that better defines what to do for terminally ill patients that seemingly have very little, if any, chance to survive in this world. Wouldn’t it have been better to put him in a hospice situation long time ago, rather than expend the hospital resources? Where are people to draw the line? And, does the government really have a right to tell us where to draw that line with our loved ones?? Hopefully, something can be done…

only time will tell!

See also — my posting:

“Baby Emilio Gonzales — Futile Care Bill”

Read Full Post »

 In following up on my Bits and Pieces posting, I had mentioned that Baby Emilio Gonzales’ Mother was fighting hard to keep Baby Emilio, at 17mos old, sustained on resuscitation equipment for just a little bit longer. On April 17th, the Court heard the matter and extended the hearing awaiting on other findings. On May 8th, the Guardian ad Litem for Baby Emilio agreed with the doctors that the baby should no longer remain on resuscitation equipment and filed a legal brief so stating the decision. While the legal brief had been filed in agreement with the doctors, it is unclear to the reported articles on MyFoxAustin whether or not the baby, at the time being 18mos, was actually taken off the resuscitation equipment or Baby Emilio Gonzales has actually died yesterday on his own as a direct result of the Leigh’s Disease, a disease that attacks the central nervous system, last night, May 19, 2007.

In an Austin American-Statesman blurb, “Emilio Gonzales loses battle with illness”, it is stated simply, “Mother who fought to continue son’s treatment cradles 19-month-old at end.”

In accordance with the Austin American-Statesman article, “Baby on life support dies of natural causes: Mother who fought to continue son’s treatment cradles 19-month-old at end”, serves to confirm that, in the end, Baby Emilio dies of natural causes and, as his attorney (JerriLynn Ward) puts it when interviewed, “God chose to take Emilio at this time”.

It is disheartening to every Mom when their own child dies, much more so when your only child (and possibly your only child ever), Emilio Gonzales, dies in his Mom, Catarina Gonzales’, own arms. Much heartfelt sympathy will certainly be felt by the Lockhart community she and the baby are from, the Austin community where she and the baby stayed for the majority of his life, and communities around the world who have heard of the plight and fight for sustaining his life in the hospital.

As per the Austin American-Stateman’s article, it goes on to say:

“According to Texas law, once doctors give notice that they want to stop treating a patient against the family’s wishes, they can start a process in which the family has 10 days to transfer the loved one to another facility.

 

The hospital and the court had given Gonzales and her supporters more time to find another facility, but months of searching had failed.

 

In recent weeks, a court-appointed guardian for Emilio had filed legal briefs backing the doctors’ and hospital’s intentions to stop treatment. The next court hearing had been scheduled for May 30.

 

[JerriLynn] Ward [Baby Emilio’s attorney] said that Emilio’s mother’s fight was against the law permitting doctors to decide when to end treatment and that she didn’t know if Catarina Gonzales would press the fight.”

Whether or not Catarina Gonzales has the strength now to fight the fight to change the law should be a moot point, the legislation in the Texas’ chambers should be continued to be fought for some degree of change because it is likely right around the corner there is another mother having to make that frightening decision of whether or not to continue resuscitation of her own child. The laws need to be made clearer.

In the meantime, whether or not you agree with Catarina Gonzales’, the mother of Emilio Gonzales, decision, she should be put down in history as one of the strongest mothers in the world to have to fight for the right to her son’s life in spite of the dismal prognosis of the son’s fight with the illness of Leigh’s Disease. Hopefully, her fight will not be a futile one and laws can be changed to be clearer, as well as giving the loved ones more of a chance and voice to make such grueling decisions, as well as more of an awareness of the disease and more research can be given to a possible cure for this gripping and fatal disease in the future.

May peace be with Emilio Gonzales as he no longer suffers now.

May peace be with Catarina Gonzales and the families of them as they properly grieve their child missing from their arms. May Catarina Gonzales, also, find peace and strength in the future, no matter which path she chooses (continuing to fight the legislation battles, making an awareness known more about the Leigh’s Disease and a movement for a cure, or any other number of proactive measures in the memory of her son).

Additional Information about Leigh’s Disease:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders

Madison’s Foundation – Moms & Dads in Search of Needed Support

Wikipedia: Leigh’s Disease

Addtional Information about Futile Care Legislation:

Futile Care Debate: Prolonging Life or Suffering? (May 6, 2007)

Highlights from Texas Legislature (May 14, 2007)

Also posted in:

“Inquiring Minds” — my Statesman.com Reader Blog

“Inquiring Minds” — my MyFoxAustin.com Watcher Blog

Read Full Post »

The Social Security Administration has published their top 10 list (one for males and one for females) just in time for Mother’s Day:

MALES:  Jacob, Michael, Joshua, Ethan, Matthew, Daniel, Christopher, Andrew, Anthony and, finally, William!

FEMALES:  Emily, Emma, Madison, Isabella, Ava, Abigal, Olivia, Hannah, Sophia, and, finally, Samantha.  

12-8-2004-3-022-baby-girl-392×408.jpg

I am not often interested in looking at theses lists other than in pure fun; however, since my daughter and her significant love are having their first baby (and, my first Grandbaby girl) in early July, it brings an added interest this year.  The name they have picked out already for their baby girl isn’t on any of those lists (at least, so far).

You can go to the site and check your own birth year as well.  It can be pretty interesting to see if your own name even made the top 20 back then!! lol….

Read Full Post »

I can understand that there is a reason to be quiet about notification rather than send the residents into a panic; but, geez this apartment complex needs to exercise some sense. They are talking about an alleged sexual assault (just because it is alleged doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen; just means that the crime suspect is innocent until proven guilty).

Is the apartment complex going to sit there until all the facts are in? Perhaps, at least, a confirmation that a report has been made (either to their office or to the police authorities).

Are they going to wait for trial before they announce that the sexual assault predator was on their property? Now, that would indeed seem preposterous as everyone knows that the trials can take for-ever to come around and the suspect may or may not be actually found guilty from a matter of 6 months to a year, perhaps more — all depending on the caseload upon the Courts already — although everyone is entitled to a “speedy trial”.

What about the children of the residents who tend to play outside (sometimes even unintended)? Wouldn’t it make sense that the parents be notified so that they can keep an extra close eye on their children outdoors. After all, how can the apartment complex make the decision that just because the alleged MO might have been an adult to adult situation; how could they determine that the predator was someone who prefer children but merely found an opportunity of an adult?

What about those who tend to come in after sunset? Don’t they deserve to know that, while they probably do exercise caution and basic awareness of their surroundings, they might want to exercise an extra set of caution and awareness? How can the apartment complex (even if it is based on the Austin Police Department’s Detective recommendations) assure that the predator won’t continue to prey? Are they really willing to make that risk?

How would their ownership insurance of the property feel about the increased risk caused by the lack of response and concern to the safety of their residents? I think that they would be extremely alarmed by the slow reaction time of the management.

In Fox’s article, Neighbors Upset with Police for Not Being Told About Sex Assault, they mentioned:

Neighbors are angry and frightened after they say Austin Police left then in the dark about a sex crime in their own backyard. Residents at the Jefferson at Canyon Creek Apartments in Northwest Austin say they learned about the sex assault from the local news one month after the crime occurred. As FOX 7’s Foti Kallergis reports, the sexual assault suspect is still on the run.”

In Fox’s subsequent follow up article (appearing on the site on the same day), Sex Assault Suspect Still on Run, stated:

“One month after a man sexually assaults a woman in Northwest Austin, police have released a sketch of the suspect.

Investigators say last month, a woman was walking her dog near the Jefferson at Canyon Creek Apartments in the 11000 block of Four Points Drive shortly after 1:00 a.m. Police say just as she was opening her door to get into her apartment, a man came behind her, forced his way in, and sexually assaulted her.

 

For the last month, the victim has been working with A.P.D. to help identify the man.

 

He is described as:

 

White male
21 to 22-years-old
6′ to 6’2”
Muscular build, clean cut
Last seen wearing a baseball cap and long sleeve shirt..

 

Police describe him as a preppy fraternity boy meets construction worker. The victim was also able to describe a class ring attached to a chain and a thick belt buckle. You can see the police sketches of the suspect and his belongings in the photos associated with this story.

 

At this time detectives believe it was an isolated incident and even say the suspect may be living at the apartment complex.

 

“[The suspect] said he was very intoxicated, so he could have been someone who was coming home from drinking or something. It was more of a crime of opportunity than someone who was hiding out,” says Det. Scott Stanfield with the Austin Police Dept.

 

If you recognize the person in the sketch, you are asked to call the A.P.D. sex crimes tip line number at (512) 974-5095.”

A few things bother me, besides the story and story’s follow up have been posted on the same day, that (1) the incident occurred several months ago, (2) lack of response of the apartment management to notify the residents about the incident having occurred on the property a month ago when it occurred, (3) lack of duty of care from the management to make the residents safe, (4) them presuming that it might just be an isolated incident, and the possibility that the alleged perpetrator may live on the property.

Because I do live in Austin, I heard Channel 42’s News mention the name of the apartment complex of Tintara at Canyon Creek in their news broadcast tonight and on the video, while the stories written mention Jefferson at Canyon Creek. They are really two separate properties although they have access between the two properties since they are owned by the same owner, which is really a moot point. There are neighboring apartment complexes, residential neighborhoods, and businesses that deserved the right to know as well. As soon as they had the composite sketch, they should have posted it at the mailboxes of all the communities and windows of all the businesses. The chances that they would have the perpetrator by now would have dramatically increased by the prompt action.

Of course, the news broadcast mentions that the victim had just come along to the police station to provide a sketch description of the perpetrator this week; however, the sketch should have been released immediately.

UPDATE: Tintara Management respond as per Channel 42’s News, but blames the security officer for just notifying them of the incident. Somehow, I don’t think that the residents are going to be comforted any by that response read on the station.

UPDATE:  More information and details about the sexual assault crime from Austin Police Department.

Read Full Post »

better than Dr. Maya Angelou herself???  See the below YouTube where CBS interviews Dr. Maya Angelou on the subject of the power of words soon after the Imus blunder.  Perhaps, others should watch this as well to learn a little bit more about the Power of their Words and take their actions to heart to improve their lashing of words.

 [YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n9Pq1LNLwM]

Read Full Post »

Found this article on him and thought I would share it with you all, although, I am sure, that he would prefer all this media exposure to just go away and quiet down. The author certainly does make a good point in the end.

Published on April 29, 2007 by Ezine @rticles

Alex Baldwin Doesn’t Get It
by Douglas Bower



Alex Baldwin’s tirade against his minor child needs to be seen for what it is—child abuse. Not only is it child abuse but is also so typical of the mindset and the philosophy that Americans so easily resort to when it comes to taking responsibility for their actions. “It’s not my fault.”

Here is what Baldwin said after calling his little girl a “thoughtless little pig” and threatening to come from New York to Los Angeles to “straighten her out”—a threat to the kid’s safety if ever there was one.

“Although I have been told by numerous people not to worry too much, as all parents lose their patience with their kids, I am most saddened that this was released to the media because of what it does to a child,” he wrote. “I’m sorry, as everyone who knows me is aware, for losing my temper with my child. I have been driven to the edge by parental alienation for many years now. You have to go through this to understand. (Although I hope you never do.) I am sorry for what happened. But I am equally sorry that a court order was violated, which had deliberately been put under seal in this case.”

1. “Although I have been told by numerous people not to worry too much, as all parents lose their patience with their kids, I am most saddened that this was released to the media because of what it does to a child.” – The man is not worried that what he said to his daughter would affect her adversely, only that what he said to her was released to the media. He is not concerned about how his abusiveness might affect the girl but how the release of the recording might affect her. Is this man in his right mind or is this indicative of just how much his character is flawed?

2. “I’m sorry, as everyone who knows me is aware, for losing my temper with my child. I have been driven to the edge by parental alienation for many years now. ”— The man is shifting blame and not taking personal responsibility for his words or actions. He is sorry for losing his temper but blames “parental alienation” as that which drove him to lose his temper. No, Mr. Baldwin, “parental alienation” is your perception of a stimulus provided to you through the circumstances in which you’ve found yourself. Parental alienation, whatever that is supposed to mean, is not some animated, sentient entity capable of doing anything. It hasn’t arms nor legs, a brain to think with, or anything else that would enable “it” to “drive” you to do anything. Your loss of temper is a behavior you chose to deal with a situation. (Since he is referring to someone committing the sin of “parental alienation,” he must certainly be blaming the child as the alienator—it’s the child’s fault for alienating him—“parental alienation” made him do it.)

3. “You have to go through this to understand.”— If ever there was an indication of the lack of critical thinking skills in the minds of Americans, this is it. This is something to which many resort in trying to justify their irrational and ill-chosen behaviors. Think a moment to what this man is actually saying: If you went through what I’ve been going through, then you would not condemn me. And, if you’ve never walked in my shoes, then you do not have the right to criticize me for calling my daughter a little pig.” This man is claiming that the only way we could “understand” why he did what he did is if we had undergone this spookily-termed, “parental alienation.” This man is not apologizing but trying to justify his bad behavior. And, he claims, you would understand why he abused his child if you had undergone his trials and tribulations. I don’t have to have murdered someone to understand why someone resorted to bad behavior by killing his neighbor. I don’t have to have sexually abused a child to know that it is ill-chosen behavior. I don’t have to have stolen something that didn’t belong to me to understand that stealing is wrong. How, I would love to ask Mr. Baldwin, would our understanding help us to “get it?” How would our undergoing “parental alienation” help us to understand that what Mr. Baldwin did to his daughter is somehow justified? After all, Mr. Baldwin seems to be saying if we had ever undergone “parental alienation,” we would understand—cut him some slack.

4. “I am sorry for what happened. But I am equally sorry that a court order was violated…”— See how the man is trying to shift blame? What the man is sorry for, I cannot fathom, but I most certainly see that he is blaming the one who violated a court order. Baldwin cannot, at least as yet, just say that no matter what the circumstances were, no matter what the situation dealt, no matter what information he was provided to which he had to respond, that he was wrong—period—for lashing out at that child.

The past decades, if not a century, of psychoanalytical psychobabble has taught Americans that they are victims. If they act out with bad behavior, it couldn’t possibly be the fault of the one who chose the bad behavior. It was “the circumstance’s fault.” If they get caught in some behavioral sin, then it wasn’t their fault but the fault of someone or something that provided them with something to which they had to respond and did so badly.

Every circumstance, situation, problem, child acting out, a spouse acting out, a boss firing you, is just information provided to you. You get to choose how you are going to react to what is before you. All we ever do is behave. From the time we are born to the time we die, all we do is choose behaviors in response to a stimulus. What marks us as mature, sane, and rational is how we’ve learned to think critically through a bad hand dealt us and choosing the correct, socially appropriate and morally correct behavior.

Was one of Alex Baldwin’s choices when his daughter didn’t pick up the phone when he called to lash out in an abusive tirade at her? Yes.

However, thinking, and I mean using critical thinking skills, is what would have directed him to consider better alternatives. He could have ranted at the girl or he could have made a better choice. A little bit of maturity would have gone a long way in preventing his childish behavior.

Oh, Mr. Baldwin, we understand perfectly and are wondering,

“Just who is the child here?”

Read Full Post »

Seems like a lot of folks are blundering fools these days.  Donald Trump and his spats with Rosie O’Donnell, Imus with his unwarranted remarks about a women’s basketball team, and now Alec Baldwin’s comments about his daughter!

We often speak frankly to our children and tell them what everyone else may walk on eggshells to tell our children.  Even if it were true, sometimes we should use a little more tact.  I’m not sure how what he said to his daughter got blasted everywhere, but everyone has their own opinion about how to resolve the PR issue stemming from his blunderous remark.

This cartoon is no different that was found on Texas Insider:


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Who do you blame when your child pulls pranks and verges on the criminalistic side? Some will be quick to blame parents for allowing their children to listen to rap music, for instance. While some rap music can be alright, it is certainly not the norm of the rap culture who glorifies violence, drugs, rape, etc. I know. I was a parent of a teen going through the rap phase. I think sometimes they are so enthralled by the beat of the song and truly aren’t listening to the song they are singing. What parent isn’t a bit guilty of doing that themselves?

After all, I do remember my Mother taking me and my friends to school for an after school activity of some sort, probably practices for pep squad or drill team. As we were driving down the Dreamland Drive hill and crossing the railroad tracks, I remember we were turning up the music on the radio and singing to the tune of Elton John’s “Bitch is Back” at the top of our lungs, especially when it comes done to the words:

“I’m a bitch, I’m a bitch
Oh the bitch is back
Stone cold sober as a matter of fact
I can bitch, I can bitch
`Cause I’m better than you
It’s the way that I move
The things that I do”

My Mother would just look at us like we were crazy, but I am sure that we probably did offend her in some way who enjoyed such songs as Roger’s Miller’s version of Counting Flowers on the Wall or King of the Road and other artists’ songs, such as, Mr. Sandman, Alley Oop, and so many others that we later had placed into our jukebox that we had in our den. Come to think of it, perhaps, that was her way to try to influence us in a good way. I don’t think that she counted on us enjoying to sing and dance to those songs too when my friends would come over to visit, practice routines, or spend the night. (For those who aren’t familiar with the “Bitch is Back” tune, see the below YouTube video.)

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5D1KOUjzf0]

When That 70’s Show comes on the television, I am reminded each time of this event as we see the introduction lead in for the show while folks are all singing away in the car. Although we shocked our parents at times, none of us became social deviants. Strange how some things we do/see today triggers memories from our pasts.

At any rate…

I was watching The Family Guy on tv Sunday night vying some time before I actually needed to go into work. Parts of it seemed in good humor excepting parts where Meg was praised for her road rage antics and Stewie and Brian at the end were performing a carjacking to get back home. If The Family Guy is not a show intended for 18 and below audiences, then why are they airing it on Sundays at a time when children are still up and not required to have their bedtimes just yet? Why air shows the seem to encourage violent behaviors before 8pm?

It seems that they wouldn’t air shows that were aimed at adult audiences until after 8pm; and, yet, that policy seems to be thrown out the window these days.

I know that we can’t protect our kids from absolutely everything; in fact, being exposed to some of it may be okay in healthy small doses as the child can tolerate in order for them to not go hog-wild when they are finally exposed to the adult audiences world. However, the children these days are seeming to get it from all directions these days.

I certainly don’t believe a single song, game, movie, television show, etc. is going to adversely affect our children, but certainly the culmination of all the medias converging on ideas of violence, criminalistic behaviors, etc, can’t help to influence them in a positive direction. I couldn’t prevent my daughter from buying rap music and other music that contained derogatory lyrics when she had money of her own since I certainly couldn’t walk behind her 24hrs/day; however, I refused to spend my money on the music that I didn’t feel was in good tastes. As a coworker had mentioned that they were, for example, a family that didn’t believe in a lot of television watching, their children still managed to watch the television when they visited their friends’ homes.

All one can do, as a parent, is to try to lead by example and hope that the morals and positive influences that they do instill upon the children are absorbed and practiced by the children when they are tempted by other bad choices and influences from others. Insofar as folks trying to set blame to being influenced by a song or some other form of media for their actions, I don’t believe it 100%; after all, each of us have brains in order to make right and wrong choices. The choices that we make are those which influence our lives, although without the adverse forms of medias being in existence may have an influence in a more positive environment, it is the fact that these do exist, at times, which gives cause for the exercise of our brains in making decisions between right and wrong, don’t you think???

Read Full Post »

I have received in the mail today at home an invitation to attend a MH event with former Washington Post reporter, Pete Earley, speaking on CRAZY:  A FATHER’S SEARCH THROUGH AMERICA’S MENTAL HEALTH MADNESS, presented by NAMI Austin, in cooperation with The University of Texas School of Social Work.

This former Washington Post reporter, Pete Earley, had written extensively about the criminal justice system.  But it was only when his own son – in the throws of a manic episode – broke into a neighbor’s house and took a bath in her tub that he learned the truth about what is happening to mentally ill people who have the misfortune to break the law.

“I had no idea what it was like to be on the inside looking out…until my son, Mike, was declared mentally ill” said Earley.


Through his research Earley found that 300,000 persons with severe mental disorders are currently being held in jails and prisons, another 500,000 are on probation, and 700,000 go through the court system each year.



Sunday May 6, 2007, at 3pm Thompson
Conference
Center
Auditorium
The
University of Texas at Austin
SW Corner of Dean Keeton &
Red River
(free parking in Lot 40)

To reserve a seat, please call the NAMI office at 512-420-9810.

The announcement card mentions to go to www.namiaustin.org for additional information; however, their link wasn’t working tonight. 

Immediately following from 5:30-7p, there will be a wine & cheese reception with Pete Earley at Follett’s Intellectual Property on the NW Corner of 24th and Guadalupe Street.  A 20% discount will be given on the purchase of the book during this book signing event.

Read Full Post »

“When I was pregnant,

so many people warned me:

‘Your life is going to change!’

It sounded ominous.

Of course, having a baby

is a big change, but it’s

positive.  And I’m still me.”

~ Jennifer Garner

Read Full Post »

As I am thumbing through and reading one of the last few articles in the May 2007 issue of Redbook, “the 5 hardest things about being a mom”, I am thinking to myself, “They have managed to narrow it down to just 5???  How can that be???” 🙂

First sentence reads, “Motherhood is a major learning curve.”  My, my, my.  That certainly is a major understatement.  “One minute you’re pregnant and the next you’re a feeding, swaddling, diapering, soothing machine, an instant expert in basic invant first aid and the art of latching a five-point harness.  At the same time, you’re a way out of your depth, struggling to navigate a stormy sea of new emotions that are unique to moms — from exhilerating pride to nail-biting frustration. … That said, there’s no one right way to cope with any of the five emotionally charged mom obstacles outlined here.  You’ll still break down in tears from time to time (we guarantee it) … “

Mom Challenge #1 — When you don’t like your kid…(this generally occurs in their teen years when they don’t want to be seen with you)

Mom Challenge #2 — Letting Dad parent, too (it does take the Mom and Dad working together to best parent the child)

Mom Challenge #3 — Separation anxiety (yours!) (oh, don’t you know it — when they go to school for the first time, when the slowly spend more time away from home and more time with their friends, etc.)

Mom Challenge #4 — Accepting your child’s failures (I never saw my daughter as having any failures.  She has had made choices that I haven’t agreed with and she has learned from those choices to make better choices along the way.  To me, she is still moving forward with her life and has yet to achieve all her dreams; yet, I know that she will!)

Mom Challenge #5 — Learning to let go (This has to be the hardest to do as they begin to have lives of their own.  You hope and pray that they don’t forget about you as they continue on their journeys.)

“You can’t raise your child in a bubble, but you can make sure she’s in responsible hands.  Once you’ve done all you can to protect her, it’s easier to let go.” (So true, so true.  My daughter has found someone that they share incredible dynamics together, which has made it easier for me to distance myself and be okay-er about the idea of being an “empty nester” than I was initially.   This is an interesting adjustment because my life has been so centered around her for her first twenty years.)

As I have been through the gambit, especially as a single parent for the majority of my daughter’s life,  I have seen the whole spectrum and am presently at the stage of letting go a bit more as she is beginning to start her own family with her significant love. 

I have been through the storms and the joys throughout the years and a cherish them all as they are my memories for a lifetime and she isn’t underfoot any more.

This year is going to be different though.  I am not only her mother, but she will be giving birth to a new bundle of joy in July.  Although the child won’t be born yet on this Mother’s Day,  I feel that it is only right that I surprise her a little this Mother’s Day with a gift of some sort.   Some may not feel that it is appropriate to do so until the child is born such that we can all can see; however, I feel that is a mere technicality and we shall see her soon enough.

They, too, will be able to have the opportunity to experience the gambit of parenthood whether or not they feel that they are ready.  My daughter’s hormones are getting ancy as the birth day arrives for my granddaughter; I can’t be more excited!  I do know that they will make terriffic parents.

This Mother’s Day will be unique indeed and I am so excited in anticipation of this wonderful new tradition that we can carry throughout the raising of their child.

Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

Read Full Post »