Thursday, September 24, 2015

Jail Life

I suspect that most of my readers have never been in jail.
Am I right?
As I mentioned in a recent post, 
I am now working as a clinician in our maximum security county jail.
It's awesome.
My job that is....not being in jail.
I only work on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
And NO "on call" in this job....yea.
This is the jail where I work, with the Sheriff's office on the first level.

You may be wondering what a clinician in a jail does....
and if you're not, I'm going to tell you anyway.

My primary function is to complete psychosocial assessments
of newly incarcerated inmates
who have a history of mental health issues,
and those who are currently having new issues.
After I assess, I either diagnose and refer to our Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
(who happens to be a darling preppy-Lilly-loving cute blonde)
to be evaluated for medication management,
or I send them on their merry way back to their cells.
(we get a very large number of "fakers"...the clinical term would be "malingering")

I also handle crises....which there are a lot of.
Jail can be a little stressful for some people, 
and many people become suicidal or are at risk of harming themselves or harming others.
I conduct risk assessments to determine if someone needs to be put on a watch,
and what level of watch they will be on.
I also determine when someone is ready to come off of a watch.

And finally, I facilitate three support groups.
They are all focused on coping skills and recovery from addiction.

My office is a cell.
Not kidding.
I work on what's called the SHU (pronounced the "shoe')
which stands for Special Housing Unit.
The SHU houses the day room for the inmates with serious mental illness,
who must be monitored regularly for their own safety and the safety of others.
I am talking about the schizophrenic and psychotic inmates.

The SHU also has the "hole" where you go if you are either VERY naughty,
or if you are very actively suicidal.
We also have the camera cells on the SHU,
for those who need supervision, but not constant one on one supervision.
And the clinicians' offices are on the SHU in what used to be cells.
Fortunately they took the toilets and beds out of them.
Thank God.
So I am locked in my office.
I can get out, but no one can get in except my supervisor
and all of our awesome Deputies
who have a master key.
I have a master key.
I can get anywhere I want in the jail.
There are some places that I do not want to go though...yikes.
This is actually inside the jail I work in.
My office/cell is on this floor.
Found this picture on the internet, and not sure how it got there since there are 
NO photographs allowed.

I will probably do several posts throughout the year on jail life...
here are a few things I have learned about myself while working in the jail.

First, I miss windows.
I didn't even think about this aspect of working at the jail,
but the only windows in the jail are on the second floor outside of the units/pods
and face inside the courtyard where the inmates have recreation.
They are seriously about a foot wide by two feet long...
so it's hard to even see the sky when you look out...
you really only see the other side of the brick jail.
I have come to work on a sunny day and left work in a thunderstorm.
Talk about taking something simple for granted...
I miss seeing the sky during the day.
I love sunshine and I also love rain....and just watching the way the sunlight changes during the day.
My husband reminded me that he would not see the sky for days, or even months at a time
when he was on his submarine.
I would not like that at all.
So I am grateful on the days I don't work, for whatever weather is currently happening,
and that I can see the sunshine.

Second, I am not judgmental.
Or at least as judgmental as I thought I was going to be.
Actually, I would never consider myself a judgmental person,
however I was not sure how I would react working with
murderers and child molesters, rapists, and other violent felons.
I surprised myself.
Of course I don't condone in any way the actions of the inmates.
But I am able to view each inmate that I see as a human being,
and I can feel empathy or sorrow for these individuals
and think about who they are in their soul.

Lastly, I am shocked by the amount of drug addiction.
I went into this job knowing I would see a lot of addiction and substance abuse.
No idea it was as wide spread as it is.
And it's NOT just the "sketchy" people who are the addicts.
They are housewives who are addicted to Percoset,
and switched to heroin when the prescriptions ran out.
They are successful businessmen who drink excessively
and then drive and kill someone on the way home from a golf outing.
Addiction knows no social class and it does not discriminate.
I pray for these inmates to find peace in their hearts,
and for them to be released from the emotional pain
that is most often fueling their addictions.
This photo is inside our jail and shows the only windows in the jail.
This picture is from a FASCINATING article that was written about addiction.
Please visit here to view the article and read about seven women in my jail,
and their addiction to heroin.

There you have it.....a few things you may not have known about jail life.
If you have any questions, I am happy to answer them in my next "jail life" post.
I was very curious to know what it's "really" like.
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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What's For Dinner?

I am always looking for new crock pot recipes.
In the Fall, I make two to three crock pot dinners a week due to the boys' sports schedules.
We normally sit down together for dinner as a family every night, but in the fall that's difficult.
Teddy's football games are Wednesday nights,
and Jack's volleyball matches are Tuesday and Thursday nights.
Add in Laura's ballet on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights
 and it's almost impossible to sit down to dinner together on those evenings.
With my crock pot dinners,
the kids are able to eat dinner at whatever time suits their schedule.

Italian Beef Sandwiches are a current favorite...
This recipe is so easy it's almost like not cooking.
3 pound chuck roase
1 package of Zesty Italian Salad Dressing mix
1 14.5 ounce can of beef broth
Provolone Cheese Slices
6 Hoagie Rolls

Place roast in crock pot and sprinkle salad dressing mix on top.
Add beef broth and cook on low for nine hours.
Remove roast and shred with a fork, reserving liquid in a separate bowl.
Place beef back in crock pot and add about 1/2 cup of reserved liquid and cook 30 minutes on low.
Place beef on open face hoagie rolls and place cheese on top.
Broil in oven for five minutes, or until the cheese is melted on the top.
The kids love these, and I rarely have leftovers.

I had to borrow this picture from Pintrest...
I was working late the night I made this and when I got home, the the crock pot was empty.....
 I was planning on taking a picture of a sandwich!
This is generally what they look like whey they are done under the broiler.

Do you have any crock pot favorites?

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Fall Football

I'll admit that generally I am not a huge sports fan.
Unless I have a personal connection to a team, I really don't follow sports.
I do happen to have a connection to Navy football.
We have USNA season football tickets and we have a tailgate spot on Admiral's Row.
Here's a peek at what our football weekends look like....
Just in case we can't remember where our spot is....
Caroline with her pre-game cocktail...
We had two extra tickets and took Jack's RVC travel volleyball coach and one of his teammates.
 Mother-daughter time...
The dudes...
 One of the BEST parts of attending a USNA football game is the march on....
I've probably seen it 100 times now, but I love it every time I see it!
 The Mids...
 Can't have a football game without the goats...

 Our seats are on the "away side"....there is a method to our madness...
we are on the "sunny" side of the stadium, which is where you want to be for the COLD games.
After the midshipmen are all on the field, 
they turn to greet the "away" fans.
And they tip their that part!
 LOVE the bagpipes....must be my Scottish heritage.

 They play the song "Danger Zone" from the movie Top Gun as the players run on to the field.
 Lots of energy in the stadium and lots of pride.....
 Love our seats.....great view.
And it was a win against ECU 45-21!
Great game with the family!!!!

Speaking of football....I have to brag just a little.
Teddy is on the Deep Run Junior Varsity football team
and he is the starting Junior Varsity quarterback (as a freshman) for the Wildcats!
Proud mama!
That would be Teddy with the ball...
 Number seven.....
Could not be more proud of him!
He started football in 7th grade and warmed the bench for the season....
He played in 8th grade and was a defensive end and the punter.
He wanted to be a QB, and worked his tail off all winter, spring, and summer, 
and it paid off....big time.

So those are my football teams.....Go Navy.....Go Wildcats!
I will include Virginia Tech since Katherine is Go Hokies!

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Steals and Deals at Neiman Marcus

I've been a fan of bamboo flatware for quite some time.
I think it's classy and makes a casual table more festive!
I follow Miss Andrea Lee's darling blog,
Tickled Pink
and happened upon this post which shows a gorgeous table setting
using her bamboo flatware.
and this one
Table setting envy....
I clicked on the link she posted for the flatware just to see...and sha-bam!
On sale for $35.00
I ordered two sets.
I love Neiman Marcus.
And soon my table settings will be looking as fabulous as Miss Andrea Lee's!
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Friday, September 18, 2015

Five on Friday...

Linking up today with A. Liz Adventures
to share five things on my mind this week....

Back to school.
Jack, Laura, and Teddy...
not pictured are Caroline, Kimo, Katherine, Grace, and Collin who are all away at school.
As much as I LOVE summer and love having the kids home, 
I get NOTHING done around the house.
Laundry and grocery shopping...that's about it.
So I have a "project list" that is a mile long,
and I'm excited to get started.
Some things are small "clean out the linen closet" projects,
and some are big "convert my husband's home office into Caroline's bedroom" projects.
Excited to get started!

Traditionally my summer wardrobe has always been my favorite.
After a few shopping sprees at Talbot's, J Crew, Lilly Pulitzer, and Nordstrom's last winter,
I am actually excited to turn my closet over to my fall wardrobe.
I have a collection of short sleeve fall dresses to tide me over on these 80 degree fall days in Virginia
until I can pull out my puffer vests and jeans!

If you don't count the two and a half days my husband was in New Hampshire
taking Grace to boarding school,
my husband was home with me for nine days!!!
As most of you know, he works in Washington DC during the week,
and I normally see him only on the weekends.
I love having him home!
NAVY football!
On our way to Annapolis...
We have season tickets and went to our first game!
It was HOT but FUN.
We tailgate and take the kids with us.
Heading back to Annapolis tomorrow.....Go Navy!

Fall sports!
Jack is a volleyball player and Teddy is a football player,
and I love being a football mom and volleyball mom!
Going to their games and matches are highlights of my week!

Jack plays JV right side.
Teddy plays JV quarterback.
What's been on your mind this week?

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What to Wear?

This is the time of the year that I have the worst wardrobe trauma.
There are a few reasons...
First, it's hard to find fall clothes that are good for 80 degree weather.
Second, I gravitate towards bright colors and the fall palate is usually earth tones.
And finally, I LOVE my summer clothes and hate to hang them up for the season.

I was pleased with Lilly Pulitzer's first Fall line in the blue tones.
Still the bright and cheerful colors that I love, 
but a little bit more subdued with a hint of fall.
I bought the Lilly Pulitzer Layton Shift in the print "Blue Crush She Got Sole"
and this is similar to how I plan to style it for a cute September outfit.

Early Fall Lunch Date

What do you wear in the early fall when it's still too early for sweaters and turtlenecks?

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Shoe Review...The Tory Burch Travel Minnie

So y'all know I have a new job working at our county jail as a Clinician.
I'll post about that on another day.
Well.....I ran into a little bit of wardrobe trauma with my new job.
Shoe trauma to be exact.

In my last job, I could get away with wearing my Jack Rogers every day
with my summer wardrobe.
NO open toe shoes in the jail.
Actually, I would not WANT to wear open toe shoes in the jail.

I was on the hunt for a summery shoe to wear with all of my summer work clothes.
Enter the Tory Burch Minnie Travel Ballet Flat.

RUN, don't walk, to your Tory Burch store and BUY.
I read all of the consumer reviews about this shoe.
They were all great.
 I have been faithful to my Tory Burch Reva's for quite some time,
but I decided to give it a whirl and ordered this shoe in the gold.


Has anyone ever worn these Isotoner slippers before?
LOL These are my wedding shoes....
I'm not kidding....
these are the exact slippers I wore when I married D.
I was going for comfort.

Well the Tory Burch Minnie Travel Ballet Flat feels like you are wearing Isotoner slippers.

I drank the Kool Aid...
 and I'm planning to invest in the Tory Burch Travel Minnie in multiple colors.
I was worried about how the shoe would wear because the sole does not cover
the entire bottom of the shoe, but I've had no issues so far.
They come with a cute travel bag so you can fold them up and put the in your suitcase!

I'm giving the Tory Burch Travel Minnie Flat at two thumbs up...
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Friday, September 11, 2015

Remembering 9/11

I'm sure everyone can remember where they were and what they were doing
when they first heard about the 9/11 terrorist attack.

I was in my living room, folding laundry.
I had just returned home from getting the girls to school.
I had just put the boys down for their morning nap.
I was watching the Today show.
One plane had hit the first tower.
And I watched live the second one hit.
And I thought to myself...
"what is going on with air traffic control that they would send two planes into buildings?"
and then I thought...
"why would the pilot not SEE that they were being directed into a building and DIVERT?"

My naive mind could not even wrap my brain around the possibility 
that this was intentional.
But it soon became apparent that it was.

I was living in Philadelphia at the time,
and many families I knew were personally affected by this tragedy.

My husband had friends and colleagues that lost their lives that day at the Pentagon.
And the passengers of Unite flight 93 who gave their lives to save

Today we remember.
And pray for those who lost their lives,
and for their families and friends,
for those who survived but were left wounded emotionally and physically,
for the first responders and those who spent years working to clean up the sites,
 for the safety and well being of our nation,
and for all of those who make it their job to keep our nation safe on a daily basis.

I have always found this photograph to be inspirational.
God Bless.

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Sandal Scandal.....Continued

A long, long time ago I posted about the Stephen Bonanno sandal scandal.
Check here to see my post.
Here I am two years past my order date and STILL no sandals.

I was contacted by the Attorney General of Florida over a year ago
after I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
see here for the local news report

I filled out about ten pages of paperwork, including copies of my online order and receipts,
as well as copies of the thirty or so emails I had sent to their customer service,
and I waited.
And waited.
And waited some more.

Just when I thought all was lost, 
Lisa from Stephan Bonanno sandals called me!
This was in May.
Yes, the infamous "Lisa" who never returns phone calls or answers the emails.
See here for a post from"Lisa"

Lisa said that they were slowly working through the orders and that mine was the next to be fulfilled.
She was calling because their monogramming machine had broken,
and would I accept a Palm Beach style instead of the monogrammed sandal.
She told me that I would have my order by the end of the week.
I was cautiously optimistic.

Good thing I was cautious.
I am still waiting.
As of this post, I have not received any part of my order.

And this is not a good sign....
It appears Mr. Bonanno has been arrested. Again.
see here for post

see here for this post

So I am leaving messages for "Lisa" again in hopes of getting a straight story
but as of today,
this remains a sandal scandal.

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