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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Adventures In Autism Texting

David has become a textaholic.

I'm thrilled, don't get me wrong. He's using his fine motor skills every time he types and he's crazy about typing out long blocks of song lyrics.

Sometimes, it's for apologizing for something he did a week ago but still isn't over yet: 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Always Remember Those Who Gave Their All

"The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example."

  ~Benjamin Disraeli

Friday, May 27, 2016

Signs Point To Friday! Let's Have Some Fun!

It's Friday, and I'm ready to laugh my way into weekend. Join me, won't you? 

These guys have a simple plea:

Are you kidding me???


Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Husband Learns That Poop Is Inevitable When Parenting

He was incredibly proud of the fact that poop had never touched his hands.

While other people bragged about their new baby's cuteness, or intelligence, or the fact that they clearly inherited both from only one side of the family, my husband chose to brag about the fact that he'd been changing diapers off and on (mostly off) for fourteen months and had not ever, not once gotten any feces on his hands. He was fiercely proud of it, too. As if he had some poo-repelling gene or some Daddy superpower that other men would surely trade a part of their souls to have.

He should have known better than to mock the excrement gods.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: He Wants To Write His Own Story

Mom, are you still going to write a book?
Yes, David, I write books. I'm working on a new one.
Is it about me?
No. But I've already written a book about you, remember?
Was I a hero? Or a villain?
A hero. Definitely a hero.
Was I super? 
Like, did you have super powers?
Sort of. You're just really good at being you.
I think I want to be invisible.
So I could fart more.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

It Takes All Kinds Of People To Make History - And We Need To Know Them All

I've always been fascinated by history. I've said more than once that if I weren't a writer, or an actress, I would have loved to have been a cultural anthropologist. Those three things are related, as far as I'm concerned. Think of all the stories that anthropologists and archaeologist unearth! And they get to tell them, reimagine them, disseminate them. It's just fascinating.

Of course, much of that comes from the written word, wherever it has survived. The only problem with that is that history is often recorded by the winners. It's susceptible to the same journalistic slants and prejudices we have today, but back then, there was no internet around to substantiate or refute anyone's words.

And being a man's world up until the most recent of times, much of that surviving history was written by men, and about only men. History only recorded the women if the men hated them severely (like Cleopatra or Boudica) or loved them passionately enough to erect a monument or write a sonnet about them.

I got to thinking about this when I read the story of Lhakpa Sherpa, the most successful female Everest climber of all time (with an astounding six ascents) who is now living as a housekeeper in Hartford, Connecticut. Nobody outside of a tight-knit group of Everest climbers knows her name.

I don't know if history will remember her or me in a thousand years. Maybe that's why we as women work so hard to create the best lives for our children. They are the messages we send forward. They carry us with them, for good or for ill, and pass down the lessons learned from us and in spite of us.

A world full of people, and a history full of their stories. I just wish we knew them all.

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Different Kind Of Special Forces: Meet The Soldiers Of Ro'im Rachok

In Israel, military service in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) is compulsory after graduation - unless you are barred by disability. Autism falls under the disability category, and for many young adults on the spectrum, their inability to serve hinders them in many ways.

Service in the IDF is a rite of passage, a way to bond with your peers, learn valuable skills, and a bridge into a future career once service is completed. All of this was out of reach until recently, when a special unit was formed.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Happy Friday - Time To Get Your Laugh On!

Hallelujah! Friday!! And it finally stopped raining (at least until tomorrow, when it's supposed to come back. What the hell, Pennsylvania??) so I'm in a good mood. Good moods can be contagious, and so can laughter - so I'm going to share some things that made me happy or got me to laugh. 

We'll start with this one: Dad asks his baby daughter "Who's your favorite?":

Prepare yourself for the epic cute of "Meatball on the carousel"

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Farewell To The Friend I Never Got To Meet

I never got to meet her.
We had known each other for years.
I know those two sentences seem at odds, but in this time of technology and internet, it's not hard to have friends you've never had the privilege to meet.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: At The Hub Of Things

Why would you want a picture under this? she asked, rolling her eyes. We're in a museum. You can find a better place.

It's fitting, I tell her. And they finally strike a pose.

I have no idea what you mean, she says with a shrug.

No, you don't, my girl. Not till you have one of your own.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Searching Stock Photos Leads To Cold, Sobering Reality

I use stock photos on nearly all of my blogs, and as such, I have subscriptions with a few different places to provide them.

Over the weekend, I was searching for a picture associated with the word "pinch" - I wanted to do a blog on my author site about an exciting thing that happened and I was going to title it: Somebody Pinch Me So I Know I Didn't Dream This." That title bit the dust when I discovered that finding a picture of someone pinching themselves leads to only three options. Anywhere.

1) A woman pinching her own waistline. Usually a very fit woman, so she's only pinching skin over tight muscle.

2) People pinching their nose as if experiencing something foul.

3) The occasional picture of someone cooking.

Unfortunately, the predominant one of those three is the first one. Hundred and hundreds of women pinching their "flab." Or imagined "flab."

Monday, May 16, 2016

Once Upon A Time Season 5 Finale Recap: When She's Good She's Very Good Indeed, But When She's Bad...She's Better

We begin tonight with Robin's wake, held at Granny's (of course) and Regina is in a fog of grief. Zelena is doing her best to comfort her sister as Henry looks on. He's interrupted by Violet, who lets him know she's thrilled to have him back.

Just outside, Emma confesses to Killian that she's concerned Robin's death will push Regina over the edge and back to her old ways. She insists on going inside first to break the news.

Just as Emma tries to approach Regina to tell her of Killian's return, the ground rumbles and Hook rushes in, ruining the big surprise and obviously upsetting Regina.


Regina recognizes the rumble as being Rumple's rumble. He's attached a tethering spell to the rock candy of Olympian death crystal in order to harness all the magic in Storybrooke.

Emma suggests that Regina sit this one out and Regina gets pissed that Emma isn't trusting her. Henry tries to intercede and Emma tells him to mind his own kid business, right before she literally calls him "kid" and sends him back to her house to wait while the grown ups figure everything out. That went over just about as well as it would with any teenager, let alone a quasi-omnipotent magical one.

Resource Monday: An Exciting New App In Development That Brings Stories To Life!

Yesterday, a friend pointed me to a piece of technology that's being developed as an app to encourage children to read. I was completely wowed by this! My son loves a good story, but hates to read. He sees a wall of text, and his mind just erects a wall and it all looks like a giant jumble to him.

Campfire, the app in development, will take certain elements of the story and create an atmosphere with light and sound via your phone or tablet that matches what is being read in the story. If the story says "Boom" there will be a boom. If the story says it's raining, you'll hear rain and ambient light will make the room look overcast. How cool is that?

Friday, May 13, 2016

It's Friday The 13th! Let's Counter-Act It With A Big Dose Of Luck!

It's Friday the 13th, and before you start dodging black cats or avoiding strange men in hockey masks, you might want to watch a few of these videos and so the luck rubs off.

We'll start with these lucky pedestrians:

And how about this lucky spectator?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

But...But...I'm The COOL Mom! I Am!

I always knew that someday, I'd be the cool mom.

You know the type. The type that shares clothes with her teen daughter not just because they fit but because she's hip and trendy and fits right in. The type that knows every song on the radio and can rattle of a Nicki Minaj rap right in time with her kid. I was going to be the mom that all my kids' friends adored. Yeah, baby.

Well, two out of three ain't bad.

My daughter's friends love me. And I love them right back. But I doubt any of them would be caught dead in my favorite jeans or be able to keep up with me when I'm singing along with the Spin Doctors at the top of my lungs. 

My daughter has always been indulgent of my overly geekish ways and love of "old" music (Cyndi Lauper will never be old. Never.) but lately she's been letting me know, more and more, that I'm just not as cool as I wish I was.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Always In The Periphery

She took a very telling selfie
And there he is, as he always is
In the periphery
Everything she does, or says, or is
Touched by him in some way
She's kinder, more mature, more protective
Than a lot of her peers
But she's also had to sacrifice a lot more
She loves him to the moon and back
But there's no denying that sometimes
She'd like to stay on the moon for awhile
If only to have a place to call her own

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I Went Viral And Wow, Has This Been An Experience

When I wrote my post about Target last week, I remember thinking, "I'm gonna have some yahoo comment that this is all made up. Or that I'm a biased liberal hack." 

I know the story sounds bizarre. It was. A thoroughly bizarre event. And BlogHer decided to feature it, which led to a good amount of fan mail and supportive comments, and a few yahoos who called BS or called me names. Whatever.

Then SheKnows decided to feature it (SheKnows owns BlogHer) on their network, which was picked up (ironically) by Yahoo and ran on their mainpage.

That's when the fun really began!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Once Upon A Time - Season 5, Episode 21 Recap: Love And Loss And All That Lies Between

We begin tonight above ground in Storybrooke, and Hades is still doing that mouth-hanging-open thing. Zelena is feeling uneasy about Regina still not showing up and Hades gives her some BS about everybody hanging back because they still don't trust him. Zelena insists on interceding on his behalf, so she hands over baby sweetpea to Hades for safekeeping before she heads out.


Arthur shows up (having escaped from jail) and he and Hades are instant bros - right up until he mentions that he wants to rule and Hades offs him. Well, that's one way to end a plot arc.

You Don't Want To Miss "Speechless" With Carly Fleischmann!

Carly Fleischmann is a non-verbal adult living with autism and the powerhouse force behind a terrific blog, Carly's Voice. Carly uses a computer and an iPad to communicate and has been a great advocate for those who aren't often heard at all - non-verbal autistics.

She's appeared on television shows like The Ellen Degeneres Show, and even written a book! And now Carly can add a new feather to her cap: she's a talk show host! In this first episode of "Speechless," Carly welcomes A-lister, Channing Tatum. Check it out!

Friday, May 6, 2016

It's Friday! Help Yourself To A Big Serving Of NOPE

As someone who is ridiculously afraid of heights, that picture amde me weak at the knees and had me hyperventilating. Who needs a man when a carefully chosen picture or video can get you in the same condition? Right? Right?

Yeah, that's a NOPE.

Anway, here's some fun from the high-flying world of NOPE:

Thursday, May 5, 2016

5 Movies That Were Not What I Thought They'd Be

I love the movies. I have a DVD and Blu-Ray collection that is embarrassing in it's volume, and I try to get out to the movies at least a couple of times a month. You'll frequently see me watching a great movie more than once in the theater, as well.

When I'm picking out flicks (either on the big screen or DVD), I go off of trailers, recommendations, and my own gut instinct. There have been a few times where I picked a movie that ended up being nothing like I thought it would be - but in a good way! Here are my top five picks for unexpected movies!

1. Edge of Tomorrow - I went to the movies that weekend because I'd earned a free ticket through reward points. There was absolutely nothing out that I wanted to see, but I was bored out of my mind. I chose this movie because it looked kind of science-fictiony and I liked Oblivion with Tom Cruise so I figured this couldn't be too bad. WOW, was this movie nothing like the trailer painted it. To watch Tom Cruise's character evolve through the Groundhog Day circumstances of repeating a war every single day - it was really, really well done and so much more than it's painted to be.

2. Click - I'm not a big Adam Sandler fan. I hated The Waterboy and Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison. My kids liked Bedtime Stories but I thought it was a snoozer. Friends kept recommending Click and I finally gave it a watch. I was really not prepared to get kicked in the feels by this one, and Sandler did a damn good job of it, too. It's not your usual Adam Sandler kind of movie. Sure, there's plenty of funny, but the final scenes will have you sobbing.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Don't Mind Me...

Don't mind me
I'm just staring wide-eyed at a fixed point of nothingness
I've been in this position for nearly ten minutes now
Looking like I'm ready to pounce
On whatever ghost or invisible alien
Is standing in the corner there
But don't let that distract you
As you try to type without looking over your shoulder
Good luck with that

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

I Went To Target And Someone Made Me Feel Uncomfortable In The Restroom

I went to Target with my daughter last week, and since it was right after dinner and I'd had three iced-teas with my mexican food, I made a pit stop in the restroom first thing while she went on ahead to check out the swimsuits.

I was alone in the restroom. There were two large handicap-access stalls complete with baby changing tables, and two regular stalls. I headed all the way down to the furthest single stall, up against the wall, and I sat down to take care of business.

That's when stuff got weird.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Once Upon A Time – Season 5, Episode 20 Recap: O Captain! My Captain!

The episode opens with Regina letting the others know she trusts Zelena where Hades is concerned. This goes over just about as well as you think it would. She snarks at Killian, he snarks back and Emma intervenes to remind them they're all in this together. Into this kerfuffle (oooh I love that word) strolls Hades to ask them for help. Rumple and Pan left him a ransom note offering Zelena in return for Hades tearing up his contract with Rumple.

Hades offers Emma a deal: he'll remove all the names from the headstones if she'll help him. Emma agrees, of course, and Hades stares at her intensely with his mouth hanging open. Why does Hades always have his mouth hanging open? Is it an allergy thing? Dramatic effect? It's getting on my nerves.

"I want more than a future in a regional center making refrigerator magnets"

This week I wanted to share an article from The Washington Post entitled, "Want To Know What It's Really Like To Have A Child With Autism?" Author Katherine Osnos Sanford puts it all out there in a frank and poignant way, painting a picture of what really keeps us up at night.

Katherine's daughter, Mae is mostly non-verbal and autistic. Like all children on the spectrum, she struggles with sensory issues and can't always process the world around her in a calm manner. My David is fairly verbal and has adapted well to his sensory issues, but he still has them, and they still overwhelm him at times. I may not have all of the struggles that Katherine has, but I relate oh-so-much to so many points in this article.