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Friday, April 29, 2016

Signs Point To Friday - Let's Have A Laugh!

Just in case Grandpa isn't smelling too fresh...

It's Friday!! Yeah, baby!

I am SO ready for this work week to come to a close. And then I get to chill at home cleaning house, doing laundry, mowing, weeding and then writing until I drop! Yay! Soooo relaxing!!


Anyway, it's Friday, and for that I'm grateful. So let's usher the weekend in with a hearty guffaw and a collection of signage that's sure to catch your eye.

Let's start with this one, outside a local bar:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

What's Your Bizarro Moment?

Once, a few years back, my kids and I were coming home from an outing. As we exited the highway, we came down the exit ramp and at the stoplight ahead of us was an old AMC Gremlin - avocado green, with an enormous guy sporting a ponytail behind the wheel. He had these little prism things hanging from his rearview mirror, and they gleamed in the sun, blinding the crap out of me.

I told my daughter this was a classic car (all while madly adjusting my visor to block the eye-raping prism backlash), and when the light turned red, he went right and we went left.

We continued without incident to the next light, two blocks down, and pulled up right behind an avocado green AMC gremlin, complete with chubby ponytail guy and glittering prisms hanging from the rearview mirror.

How, I do not know.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Making His Own Avengers

What's going on here? I ask
Why is Flynn Rider giving the Green Lantern a piggyback ride?
He got bitten by a goblin, he replies 
And Mike Wazowski is being the lookout
To make sure the goblins don't come back
Flynn is a good friend and he's helping
And Green Lantern will give them all a ride in his car
Once they cross into Mordor
He plans their whole journey
Across the dinner table
Down the chair
Around the cat's water dish
Then up to the windowsill
Meanwhile, his sister is watching the Kardashians
And all I can think is
Well, at least one of them is using their beautiful mind right now

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sorry I Fell Off The Map...I've Had A Crazy Week

In five years of blogging, I've never missed this many days in a row. It's been a crazy few days. The car bit the dust in the middle of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and $everal hundred dollar$ later it's fixed. I spent six hours in the E.R. with a sick girl and a bored boy, and I've had some major writing deadlines I'm working against. Quite frankly, I'm just overwhelmed. I mean, sitting on the edge of the bed at night wishing I had more hours in the day exhausted beyond belief overwhelmed.

But in the midst of all of that, came the good stuff.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Once Upon A Time - Season 5, Episode 19 Recap: Brothers And Sisters And Mothers And Daughters

Tonight, we're cruising with Hades in the car from Christine to the strains of "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" (nice touch!). Hades takes Zelena to a bonfire picnic complete with wine on the side of the road overlooking Underbrooke. He gives her a view of the town and tells her she deserves "The real thing". He wants to take her back to Storybrooke once his heart is beating again, and give her everything Regina once had.

Hades is also pretty hacked that Snow got away, so now he's put everyone's name on a tombstone to keep them there forever, so they can never be a threat to Zelena's happiness again. He seals the deal by getting down on one knee and asking: "Will you make chaos with me?"

Call him "Mr. Romance"

Traveling With An Autistic Child? Check Out These 15 Airports That Offer "Rehearsal" Programs

The first time I flew with David after he was old enough to walk (and the airport now had full body scanners), I was more than a little nervous. 

I prepped him as much as possible, but as we approached the line and the machinery hummed, he started getting agitated. I got more concerned because you just never know what's going to come out of David's mouth - especially when he's under stress - but before he could slide into a meltdown, an agent pulled us aside and walked us through a separate gate, used a hand wand on both of us and told us to have a nice day.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Confessions Of An Obsessive Box Hoarder

I don't know when it began.

Maybe it's because I live far from my family. Any birthday presents or Christmas presents had to be mailed, you see. So....boxes. I needed to make sure I had boxes when the time came.

I was always on the lookout for a good box. 

Look at this one, honey! Sturdy! And just the right size!

Before I knew it, we had a sun porch full of boxes. He made me throw them all out once and I felt like I'd been forced to give up my children.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Once Upon A Time - Season 5, Episode 18 Recap: True Love In Ten Minutes

We start this episode with everyone gathered around an unconscious Red, and Ginny Goodwin's pregnancy is glaringly obvious. Somebody should have handed her a pillow to cuddle or something.


And from there, we flash back to Oz with a delightfully generic "some time ago." Ruby and Mulan are searching for Ruby's pack when they happen upon Toto, who Red somehow seems to be besties with because she knows him instantly. Right behind Toto is a very grumpy Dorothy, and let me pause a moment to say: Holy God do I love Red's hair.


Resource Monday: Check out this great backpack for kids on the #Autism spectrum!

A friend was kind enough to send me a link to this article on Upworthy, about the Nesel Pack,a backpack uniquely designed to benefit kids who have autism.

Many children on the spectrum have sensory issues, and weighted vests are commonly used in autism therapy to provide comfort and counteract the stimulation overload. The Nesel Pack has a vest design with more coverage on the front, and pockets that parents can put weights in. It's really a genius design! Check out the video:

Thursday, April 14, 2016

To Dad, On His Eightieth Birthday

When I was two,  my mother snapped a picture of me in a frilly nightgown, white-blonde hair curling at the ends from my bath, and I'm kissing a picture of a man in a uniform.

My Daddy.

He was in Viet Nam at the time, and I was lucky enough to have him come home a year later. I've had him ever since.

Eighty years of a life well-lived. He came from a poor Arkansas family, joined the military in his teens, became a purple heart veteran, made a career out of jet-engine repair, raised a family and watched us all go on to have lives of our own.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Are You Going To Sleep All Day, Or What?

You gettin' up?
There's light in the room
And not to be pushy
But the cat food dish is empty
I know you were up late
Listening to me fight with the other cat (who is entirely superfluous and unwelcome here) 
And hearing as we sing the song of our people at 3am
But it's morning now
And we have priorities here
But nevermind me....
I'll just sit here on your chest

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Autism Don't Need No Stinkin' Badges

"So they told me they're sure, after all that testing. He's autistic. He's pretty high-functioning, they think, but he's autistic."

"Oh my God," she said, horror filling her face. "Oh, honey. How awful for you. You must be so disappointed!"

She didn't know how she sounded. My neighbor meant well. What she probably meant to say was "Oh, if only you could have had an easier diagnosis - something you can clearly understand and work with that would eventually all go away and soon."

Autism doesn't work that way.

In fact, just when you think you're beginning to understand how autism works, it surprises you. And most importantly, just when you think your autistic child can't possibly do whatever it is that autism will keep him from doing, he finds a way.

And he does it.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Resource Monday: Ever Wonder What It's Like To Have Autism? Check Out This Video!

The National Autistic Society in the U.K. has put together this marvelous video that gives a good illustration of what it's like to experience autism - the sensory overload, the bombardment of hyper-focus, the coping's fascinating.

So take a peek into the mind of someone who lives this every minute of every day:

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Once Upon A Time - Season 5, Episode 17: Monsters In Disguise


This evening we begin back in the Enchanted Forest with Belle and Daddy, who is determined to fix his daughter up with Gaston. Apparently Gaston has been promoted to Prince, and Daddy feels that an alliance with his kingdom could strengthen their northern border against the ogres.

Gaston does his best to convince Belle that he’s nothing like his hyped image (which was bad PR on the part of his buddy, LeFou), and he seems to be a genuine, charming guy. I'm starting to swoon.

Look there he goes! Isn't he dreamy?

Forward now to the Underworld, and Belle shows up at Gold’s shop. She wants Rumple to fight to save their baby and she wants him to do it without dark magic. She reminds him the Merlin once said there'd be someone strong enough to use light magic to yield the power of the dagger, and Rumple replies that dark and light depend on what you want to do. Belle issues an ultimatum: "You want a future with me? You have to do this my way."

Friday, April 8, 2016

All Signs Point To Fun On A Friday!

It's Friday and I want to be on a beach somewhere. I'd be willing to ride a tricycle while towing a cart of maniacal clowns in order to get there, if necessary. But since that's not likely, I guess I'm stuck here in town. I probably would have gotten lost anyway, since I always seem to read the wrong signs...

Like this one, for example. I mean, who knew!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday To Me!

A year ago, I spent my birthday depressed, crying off and on, and too broke to even take my kids to McDonald's for dinner. There was no cake, and that made my kids sad, which made me even sadder.

This year, I'm another year older, the bills are paid, I'm soon to be a published YA novelist, I'm writing like a fiend, I'm busier than a one-armed paper hanger, and tonight, I'm eating entirely too much Italian food.

Life is good, my friends.

So, if you'll excuse me, I'm taking the day off from blogging (sorta) and just enjoying my life.

You do the same.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

I Hereby Give Myself Permission To Have A Crappy Day

My house is a mess.

I didn't write as much as I wanted to this weekend. 

I didn't get to the yardwork, either.

I have four loads of laundry still sitting in baskets and they didn't get put away.

The truth is, Saturday was my daughter's birthday, and it was her Dad's weekend. I was just plain sad. My divorce made my life better in a lot of ways, but this wasn't one of them. I hate not being with my kid on her birthday. So I sat around and watched Netflix and wrote a little and hated what I wrote and tried to keep my mind off everything - unsuccessfully.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Once Upon A Time - Season 5, Episode 16 Recap: If He Only Had A Heart

We begin "many years ago" (which keeps from confusing the viewers with a timeline) in the merry old land of Oz.

Zelena in a great callback to the pilot episode, is seen about to blow out a lonely green birthday cupcake with a green candle. She interrupts this to deal with the scarecrow, who is honestly a terrific bit of CGI.

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 9.14.07 PM

Zelena wants his brain for her yet-to-be-enacted time travel spell, but in strides a now grown up Dorothy like a total badass to save her friend. Of course, she carries her dog into battle (hey, who doesn't, right?) and Toto pulls a powerful magical curtain down on Zelena. It must be because it completely incapacitates her and rips all her powers away long enough for them to run off without her even trying to stop them. Okey dokey.

Resource Monday: A Fascinating Article On How Cultural Differences Can Affect An Autism Diagnosis

Scientific American has published a really fascinating article titled "How Cultural Differences Affect Autism Diagnoses.

I've actually encountered this myself a few times - I had a woman reach out to me on my blog a few years back because her son was showing some red flags. She'd done some research and really felt he should be evaluated, but her husband was from a culture (I won't say which) where disability of any kind is simply not discussed if it can be helped. She felt so powerless, and my heart went out to her. I still wonder if she ever got her son the evaluation and support he needed.

Friday, April 1, 2016

#AprilFools- Check Out Some Of My Favorite Pranks!

Oh, I love a good April Fool's Day prank!  The internet is great for recording these things (much to our chagrin). But their embarrassment is our gain. Prepare to enjoy someone else's folly as I share some of my favorite prank videos!

I love how the old guy just doesn't get rattled:

Please tell me that's a clean port-a-potty: