Little House Update

First, a Nick update…

Yesterday afternoon, Nicholas was assaulted at his facility. One patient restrained his arms while the other patient kicked and punched him. This is the second such assault on Nicholas perpetrated by the same two patients. Nicholas was moved to another room, and the two patients temporarily restricted to their ‘wings’. Nicholas elected to press charges this time. He was pulled into a meeting with his treatment team this morning where, according to him, they acknowledged that the incident was scary and that they would ‘continue to support him’. Which means nothing more than that they will pat him on the shoulder and say “there, there” WHEN this happens again.

He rightly fears reprisal from these two men once their temporary restrictions are lifted and they are free again to move freely about the unit.

There is no discharge in sight as of today. There is no safe place for him to be. I beg you to help me raise awareness to the dangers to patients (and staff) at state psychiatric facilities. I beg you to help me reach as many people as possible.

For every ONE new clinician coming into the mental health field, FIVE are leaving. It’s obvious what this means. Facilities are chronically understaffed. They are relying on temps who are not facility specific trained, who do not know the patients – this is especially true at the weekends. This kind of understaffing compromises patient and staff safety.

And please, if you are able to ask those in your network to contribute to Nick’s campaign, in any amount, I’d be so grateful. It is critically important that I get this little house done and with as much outside help as possible. I can’t afford – even fully funded – to hire a contractor to come help with this. I would still need local volunteers to come in small groups and assist with demolition and rebuilding.

Please, if you are local to us (central Massachusetts) consider organizing a group of folks to come and help. You can contact me privately through GFM.

PLEASE. I need to be able to get him out of there before he’s beaten by these two again. The next time, they’ll not hesitate to send him to the ER.


Now for the Little House, or as we’re calling it, Малката Къща…

The kids and I went down after lunch with the intention of pulling out a ceiling panel to see what the construction looked like. Since we don’t know what we’re working with, we have to be careful working on demolition so that we don’t risk major injury, and to conserve as much of the building material as possible for other projects.

After removing ceiling panels that were a sheet of cereal box cardboard glued to about 1/2″ of stryofoam, there was a layer of white plastic, followed by 3″ of insulation, another layer of plastic and a half hearted addition of another 3″ of insulation and then aluminum sheet, which is the roofing material. The roof joists (or what is supposed to serve for such a thing) are 1×2″ strips held into shape with scraps of 1/4″ paneling. No I am not kidding.

How on earth this thing survived the snowloads of New England winters is beyond my ken. Tomorrow morning, we’ll see what fasteners were used and take off the ones holding the end panel and see if we can remove the whole thing intact. Then, the rest will be removed methodically from the inside of the house and saved for rodent proofing the underside of the new floor joists.

Bit by bit, we’ll get this thing safely demolished. Then the fun starts – hopefully before the snow flies. But we’ve had 12″ of snow on Hallowe’en before, so… who knows?

If you’d like to come with a small group and lend a hand, please send me an email. If you can contribute any amount to Nick’s campaign, I’d be so grateful.

With love,


Little House Update


Just a woman trying to leave this place better than she found it. Farmer. Teacher. Creator. Cook.

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