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Monday, July 31, 2017

Watch A Great Short Film And Vote For Some Awesome Kids On The Spectrum!

A friend was kind enough to pass along this article from the Hills Shire Times about a wonderful group of kids at the Woodbury Autism Education and Research school. They're hoping to win a $10,000 sports package for the school by entering a short film contest sponsored by Focus On Ability.

“The Magic Cupboard" is modern fairy tale where three boys on the autism spectrum find a magical portal to lands where their challenges become strengths. Speaking as a woman who wrote a book about portals to other realities (a book that features a prominent character on the spectrum), this movie has win written all over it!

Watch the movie, then vote here. Voting ends August 7th, so do it today and let's get those kids the sports equipment they need!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Sign Me Up For Fun On A Friday!

The heat wave finally broke here with a vengeance (and several metric buttloads of rain), but we're going to have a fun Friday anyway. Here's the latest collection of signage for your viewing pleasure:

Speaking of heat . . .

Thursday, July 27, 2017

I Miss Dancing In The Rain

It's a gloomy, dreary, soon-to-be rainy day here in Pennsylvania, and I'm not terribly happy about that. I got comped a free night at a hotel near work for attending an event, and today was the big day. This place has the most amazing outdoor pool. We've been looking forward to it all week.

I've also been watching the weather all week and it was supposed to be overcast today, but not rain until tomorrow. One look at the sky and a follow up with the updated forecast shows thunderstorms off and on all day. There goes our pool time. The kids aren't going to be happy, and I'm definitely not happy.

So I was looking out the window, staring woefully at the gray sky, and suddenly a thread of a song ran through my head, and I'm singing,

"Now overcast days never turned me on . . . but something 'bout the clouds and her mixed . . ."

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: I Look Over

I look over and there they are
Both of them asleep beside me
Made their way into my bed
One late at night
The other in the wee hours
They're teenagers now
So it doesn't happen often
We don't fit so good anymore
On a queen sized bed
But it's all good
Three little birds
Not worrying about a thing
'Cause everything's gonna be all right

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

5 Things I Still Have In Common With My Childhood Self

 Reddit recently had a thread posing the question, "What do you still have in common with your 10 year-old self?" I think that's a great topic, so here's my list:

1. I love to write.

Except for the times when I hate to write because I am sure that I'm so bad at it.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Free Webinar On Safety Skills For Children With Autism

I just want to give a shout out to the folks at Spark For Autism - This Thursday from 12- 1 pm EDT, they'll be hosting a free webinar discussing safety skills for children on the spectrum, featuring Bridget Taylor, Psy.D, cofounder and executive director of Alpine Learning Group, a school for students with autism.

Find out more info and sign up for the webinar here.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Happy Friday! Time To Play "What Did I Just Watch!"

Oh, the strange and wonderful things you find on the internet. I've got stuff in my archive that'll keep you up at night and traumatize your children. Stuff that makes you wonder what people were thinking - or smoking. Here's a tame collection of some of my favorite oddities.

We'll start with this ad:

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Small Town Teens, Abstinence And Birth Control - It's Not As Easy As You Think

I was mostly raised in a small town, out in the middle of bible belt, and spent my teen years in a high school where I knew everybody, and their family knew my family, and our families went to the same or rival Southern Baptist Churches - most of us, anyway.

I wasn't sexually active in high school at all - I lost my virginity five weeks into my freshman year of college, but that's not because I lost Jesus or turned my back on Christianity or decided to experiment now that I was away from my parent's protective watch.

The truth is, I had never planned to keep my virginity until marriage, even though I was a very devout christian girl. I went to church 5-6 times a week, sang in the choir, and was a teacher's aide during Vacation Bible School. I knew that God told us to wait until we were married.

But I also knew that people in the bible married in their pre-teens to early teens. And to someone chosen by their father. Or to the man who raped them, to save her family's honor. No one back then was allowed to feel passion, to learn their bodies or anyone else's before they were cemented in for life. No one was free to discover what they liked before they were told to submit to someone else's more important desires.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

My 10 Favorite TV Couples - Who Are Yours?

I don't get to watch as much TV as I used to because . . .kids, but I have caught some here and there across the years and I've developed a good list of favorite couples along the way. Some of my omissions may surprise you. No Ross and Rachel? Nope. She's too high maintenance and wishy-washy and he has no spine. They were just as bad for each other as they were good. No Carrie and Mr. Big, either. He cheated on his wife. She enabled. Not a good basis for a lasting relationship, as far as I'm concerned.

No Sun and Jin? Nope, they decided to die together and leave their kid without parents. Selfish idiots. No Homer and Marge? I love that they love each other no matter what, but Marge is a serious doormat in that relationship, always cleaning up after this self-centered buffoon that I can't find that healthy. Quirky is good. Destructive or one-sided . . . not so much.

So here's my list of my favorite TV couples, beginning with:

10. Meredith and Derek, Grey's Anatomy

Let's not mention how it all ends, shall we?

9. April and Andy, Parks and Recreation

C'mon - they were going to name their kid Burt Snakehole Ludgate Karate Dracula Macklin Demon Jack o' Lantern - or 'Jack' for short.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Experience Life Through Carly's Eyes At Carly's Cafe

I've blogged about Carly Fleischmann before, and I find her to be a thoughtful, strong, often hilarious and wonderful young woman who also happens to have autism. Though mostly non-verbal, Carly has found her own unique voice and shares her thoughts and insights about being a person on the spectrum in the hopes of spreading understanding and aiding in accommodation.

Today, I'd like to share this brief glimpse into Carly's world.

Friday, July 14, 2017

It's Friday - Time For Some Funny News!

It's a dreary, rainy Friday, but it's Friday all the same. We're going to do news today, since I got some really good news yesterday and I feel like celebrating. Let's see what fun we can have with the local news, shall we?

Ah, small town news.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Dear Daughter: You're Going To Be A Terrible Mother Someday

My darling daughter:

You told me yesterday, without the slightest hesitation, that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you will be an awesome mother someday.

You know this, because unlike me, you will be very well-versed on current popular music and have an Instagram following that numbers in the hundreds of thousands.

Or whatever replaces Instagram. I'm sure by the time you're grown and have children of your own, there will have been numerous social media giants taking over, rising and falling into oblivion. By then, Apple will have invented Wi-Fi shoelaces and iBras, but there will still be no real cure for cellulite.

I'm not sure that's progress, but I digress. Back to the topic of your someday motherhood. When you told me you'd be a great mother, I gave you an indulgent smile and a nod, and I went back to making dinner, but as I stood there stirring spaghetti, I realized the undeniable truth.

You are going to be a terrible mother.
I speak from experience.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

10 Things I Love About The Great British Baking Show

Everybody meet my newest Netflix obsession: The Great British Baking Show (or The Great British Bake Off, if you're in the UK). I was hooked from the first episode and have now binge-watched my way through everything Netflix has to offer. Oh, do I love this show! The food! The personalities! Here are just a few of the things that got me mad for this bit of delicious gentility:

1. The winner gets not one penny in cash. Seriously. No cash prize. Just a simple trophy shaped like a cake plate, and the personal satisfaction of being Britain's best baker. And they're all fine with that.

2. All of the twelve bakers are normal people with regular jobs. No chefs. No owners of cupcake trucks or bakeries, no restaurant workers. In fact, the shows are filmed on weekends so that they can all work their regular jobs during the week. They've had students and architects, bankers and grandmothers, all sorts of ordinary folk.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Fathers Of Children With Autism: Do You Love Them Enough To Spit?

Today I'd like to give a big shoutout to Spark for Autism, also known as the Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge. Their mission is to speed up research and advance our understanding of autism to help improve lives.

One of the key research projects they're working on is a genetic study of the fathers of children on the spectrum, and if you're the father of a child with autism, they can use your help - and your spit. Watch this video for info:

Friday, July 7, 2017

Signs Point To Fun On A Friday!

It's been a short week for me, work-wise (although, with a massively bruised elbow, hairline fracture of the wrist, sprained shoulder and poison ivy, it feels a lot longer). Friday is suddenly upon us and it's time to check out some hilarious signage.

They mean it.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Music Really Is The Universal Language

We were camping last week at a really nice camping resort that's become a yearly tradition for us. On Thursday, the kids were in the pool, I was lounging in a wicker chair (with my laptop, of course) and music was being piped over the PA system - most of it bubblegum pop stuff.

All of a sudden, I heard the strains of one of my favorite songs - "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers, and I started singing along in a quiet voice. Or so I thought.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Ow

That's an elbow.
And falling off a bike is very different now than it was when I was six, apparently.

Monday, July 3, 2017

"Mom! I'm Bored!" 5 Ways To Help Your Kids Beat The Summer "Blahs"

Summer is here and that means longer days, lots of sunshine, pools and beaches and barbeques and vacations. Unfortunately, if you're a parent, it can also mean the occasional (which can feel like frequent) whine of a bored kid.

If your kids are in need of an interesting diversion, you might want to give these a try: