Life With A Side Of Autism

LIFE WITH A SIDE OF AUTISM

Friday, March 31, 2017

Signs Point To Fun On A Friday!


It's Friday and a big weekend for me. First of all, I'll be signing copies of my YA Fantasty novel, TRAVELER at the Barnes & Noble in Plymouth Meeting, PA on Saturday at 1pm. If you're in the Philly burbs and want an autographed copy, stop by!

So that's Saturday, and then on Sunday, Anna is turning sixteen! I can hardly believe it. And don't forget, Sunday is also World Autism Awareness Day! Lots of activities going on all over the country - take part if you can!

So that's my rocking weekend - and to ease us all into the weekend groove, here's a collection of signage to point the way.

Do they have to spell it out for you?


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Retirement Is Just Not In The Cards For A Lot Of Us

As I've gotten older, more and more of my high school and college friends are posting about being that much closer to retirement. Some of them have planned well and are even close enough to have a countdown clock going.

Me?

Well, I've had to make peace with the fact that I am most likely never going to be able to retire.

I mean, never. Never ever.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: The Belle Of The Ball





His first birthday party invitation since the 4th grade
A real party, with a DJ and everything
He was so excited
And I was so grateful
When he arrived they shouted his name
All these friends of his
And the last I saw of him
He was enveloped in a hugging bunch of girls
Waving over his shoulder to me as they left
Not even bothering to look back
I thanked the girl and her parents
For remembering my son
And eyes were wet and hugs were tight
Because they have a son like mine
And they know, oh they know
Just how much that invitation meant
To all of us

 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

And Now For The Big Announcement: We're Going To London!



Back in December, something wonderful happened, but I had to wait until spring to tell you what it was. Now I can officially spill the beans. 

I won the big raffle prize at the office Christmas party: a $1000 gift certificate to our travel agent. So with that in hand and a generous tax return, I decided to give my daughter a 16th birthday to remember.

Dudes. We're going to London! In 15 days!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Special Needs Parenting Is A Life Changing Thing




I want to give a big shoutout to The Mighty, for putting together this outstanding video featuring snippets of wisdom from real, live special needs parents. All of this is just spot-on. Give it a watch.




Tonight we begin with a flashback to the Enchanted Forest, where the Evil Queen is searching unsuccessfully for Snow White. Daddy Henry warns her once again that revenge on Snow isn't getting her any points with the villagers, and in strolls Tinkerbell.

It's great to see her, even though I have no idea how the hell that fits in continuity-wise since she's supposed to be in Neverland, but whatever. Tink reminds Regina she threw her chance at love away and then begs her to go find the guy with the Lion tattoo and take a chance on love. The Queen is hacked off, but she spares Tink's life so we can meet her later in Neverland, I guess.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Happy Fun Friday! It's Time For "What Did I Just Watch?"


Sorry for dropping off the face of the earth the last couple of days, but I was fighting a bug that left me feeling wrung out and pathetic. I'm only slightly less pathetic today, but that's enough to be able to share this list of horrors and funky stuff to ease you into your weekend. So welcome to another edition of "What the hell did I just watch?"

This is eyelid weightlifting. Yes, you read that right.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Today Is National Single Parent Day! Show Some Love!



Today is National Single Parent Day, and while that's a lovely commemoration, I highly doubt I'll be marching in a parade, or find a restaurant that offers a single parent special on the menu.

You may think there's not much to celebrate about being a single parent, and while it's not ideal (and not what I'd planned, certainly), it's not all bad.

It's been seven years since my ex walked out the door. We've found our own groove, my kids and me. It's been seven years of weekend sleepovers in the living room, campouts in the back yard, movie nights and popcorn catching contests, new traditions and spontaneous hikes and picnics - mainly because that's just about all the social activity I can afford most days.

It's been a lot of good memories, but yeah, it's not always easy.

Monday, March 20, 2017

It's The First Day Of Spring (I Think . . .)


That, my friends, is one of the many daffodils planted around the office complex where I work. The poor things never stood a chance against a foot of snow, and freezing temperatures that are just now seeing it start to melt.

This has officially been the weirdest winter I have ever experienced. It's been freakishly warm and our only real "snow event" hit us a good month after most of the snow is usually over around here. It is decidedly unsettling.

I've also noticed a serious increase in the amount of wind in the last year. I've always lived in a somewhat breezy area, but this year? Nuts! Wind nearly every day and frequently gale-force stuff. 

It all makes me wonder what kind of summer we're in for. Yeeesh.

Well anyway, Happy First Day of Spring, which is coincidentally International Happiness Day (and the birthday of Mr. Rogers)! Here, have some bunnies!



Once Upon A Time – Season 6, Episode 13 Recap: Potions, Proposals, & A Whole Lot Of The F Word



We begin our tale this evening smack in the middle of the first Ogres war, where a nervous young soldier is bolstered by the one and only Beowulf, who possesses the magical sword Hrunting, which is infused with light magic. He leads the attack with sword held high, and the poor nervous soldier gets squished between an ogres toes.

Beowulf takes on the most badass ogre of them all and nearly loses the sword when Rumplestiltskin suddenly appears, killing all the ogres at once with the power of the dagger of The Dark One, thereby ending the war.
613J


Friday, March 17, 2017

Top O' The Mornin'! And A Happy St. Paddy's Day Friday!





It's time again for the wearing of the green and the usurping of another nationality all in the name of frivolity!

As someone with a good deal of Irish blood, and someone who has finally stood on the auld sod, I wish you the happiest of St. Patrick's Days. Let's have a laugh!


Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Few Suggestions For Responding To A D*ck Pic






That's right. Somebody sent me a d*ck pic today, via my Twitter messages. Friended me a while back but I don't know him or interact with him. Completely unsolicited. He thought I was "cute" and he hoped I enjoyed it. I did not, in particular.

Not that I didn't appreciate someone reaching out to me, but just not with that particular appendage. I prefer to meet those in person, and after a thorough vetting process that doesn't involve Russia or big money donors.

Anyway, here's a slew of random pictures and gifs that you can save and send to anyone who graces you with an unsolicited d*ck pic. Enjoy!

Middle school is over, fellas


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Just To Be Near You



I sit down with my laptop
And she sits down next to me
Curled up on the pillow
Wanting to be near
Just in case I need her
Or she needs an ear scratch
Mostly, though
She just wants just to be near
It gives me a warm sort of happy
Fuzzy feline love
Is good love

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hey! I Lived Through My Divorce!





I got a Facebook message a few days ago that absolutely made my day. A reader from my long-ago days as the Divorce Blogger for Woman's Day reached out to me to say she found my blog when she was going through her own divorce, and she thanked me for making her feel like she wasn't going through it alone.

I honestly felt like I'd been hugged by an old friend. So much of that time is honestly just a blur to me now. Everything was so focused on working, writing blogs (both of which made money that was desperately needed), paying bills and figuring out the new normal. I didn't have a lot of time for much else, and maybe that's a good thing. Losing the life you'd planned and the guy you'd always thought was your soulmate on the heels of your child's autism diagnosis is not something you skip right over on your way to happily ever after.

But here I am.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Special Books By Special Kids Is A Youtube Channel You Need To Watch



Today, I'd like to call your attention to a YouTube channel that deserves a lot of love. Special Books by Special Kids is the love child of teacher , who started the series as a way to show the world an insider glimpse of the daily lives of the children he teaches.

The program expanded when other special needs kids saw his videos and asked to be included in the series, branching it out to include children with rare diseases as well as disabilities.

Friday, March 10, 2017

It's Friday! Sign Me Up For FUN!





It's Friday, and after a week of wearing flip-flops and short-sleeved shirts, it's snowing here in PA. Nature is seriously unhinged this year. But I won't let that get me down - not when there's a world of silly signage to take my mind off the cold.

Like this one - how many people do you think have tried?



Thursday, March 9, 2017

Spring Cleaning Time Is Here - Can't I Just Sell The House?





Yes, it's that time of year again. A time when we pick up our caddy, add in our eco-friendly cleaning products, artfully drape our gloves over the side, stack up our sponges and say:

THE HELL WITH THIS.

Oh, wait, I mean, "LET'S GET TO WORK!"

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

It's International Woman's Day - Meet Ursula Franklin




Ursula Franklin was a Holocaust survivor who went on to become a renowned physicist and women’s advocate. Born in Germany in 1921 to a Jewish mother, Ursula Franklin was forced by the Nazis to discontinue her chemistry and physics studies at Berlin University during WWII. She was shipped off to a forced labor camp, while her parents were sent to concentration camps. Thankfully, all three survived and were reunited after the war, and Ursula was able to complete an experimental physics PhD program at the Technical University of Berlin. 

Ursula soon moved to Canada, where she became a professor at the University of Toronto and was first female professor to receive the school’s highest honor. She helped develop the field of archaeometry, in which materials science techniques are used to analyze archeological artifacts. She also used similar techniques to investigate levels of radioactivity in children’s teeth, leading to restrictions on nuclear weapons testing. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Dudes. This Author Stuff Is HARD.



So my book finally launched, and I'm in final edits for book 2 of that series. I'm getting good reviews, I'm getting good press, and life is clipping right along. 

But it's hard. I mean, it is seriously hard.

The problem seems to be that I need to be rich in order to write and be a writer the way I want to be. 

Don't get me wrong - I can write. I can write just about anywhere and under any circumstances (thank you, autism parenting for that skill) but you really do that better when you don't have a day job that suddenly kicked into high gear, and you don't have primary custody of your kids (never thought I'd be grateful for being divorced, but if the kids didn't go to their Dad's every other weekend, I'd get even less done) and you'd definitely do it better if you had a couple of people to handle your social media stuff.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Once Upon A Time – Season 6, Episode 11 Recap: A Swan By Any Other Name



Hallelujah, the hiatus ends at last! And with the fate of our dear series hanging in the balance, we take on this second half not knowing where the hell we're going, which is pretty much how this show has felt since about season three, so I'm game.

We begin this evening in Minneapolis where grade-school Emma is living under a bridge and burning pages from a book to stay warm. A mysterious boy-band wannabe begs her not to burn her book - especially the story about the Ugly Duckling. "The best fairytales are about transformation," he tells her. "The duck was always a swan, but didn't know it," Emma disagrees. He reminds her that the duckling had to believe strong enough in order to become a swan.

Later we see her turning herself in to the child welfare office that her new friend brought her to. Young Emma gives herself the new last name of Swan.

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