Saturday, September 27, 2008


Just dropping a note to say that I’m taking a small hiatus from blogging. I know, it seems like I just got started blogging again!! But, my life seems to be in a blender on frappe. What is frappe anyway??

So, once I finish out my old job and start my new job, get my out-of-control son back under control, get my house and laundry back in some sort of order… you know, just generally get my $#!+ together again, I will blog more. Promise.

Until then, stay tuned.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wednesday Rewind (a day late): Game Shows


I apologize for sticking with the t.v. theme from last week. But I had a discussion with a friend of mine about game shows, and had a great trip down memory lane. No, we didn't talk about Deal or No Deal, or even Who Wants to be a Millionaire? No, today's game shows have nothing on the "classics". So many great shows. And these shows have given us a plethora (don't use that word everyday, now, do we?) of phrases to quote. Like the one above.

Let's take a walk down memory lane, shall we?

Jeopardy - It's been on for years. And how old is Alex Trebec anyway?? He never seems to age at all! But, honestly, it's a hoot to watch. It's always stuffy contestants in suits who know the most arcane things ever. I love trying to answer... or "come up with the question" I guess is a better phrase. But I love to see how many I can get right. Or, equally entertaining, I love watching a contestant answer incorrectly to a very easy question! Ha! We love laughing at the expense of others! The best entertainment of them all! Memorable Quote: "what is...?" or "who is...?"

The Match Game - holy smokes. This game show rocked. I really don't know where they found the contestants on this game show. It's like they purposely went out to find the stupidest schmucks they could. And since it was on in the '70s, it's a plethora of bad fashion examples, and even worse hairdo's. And the questions!! Ahhh... the questions. "Dumb Dora was so dumb...." and "John was popular with the girls because he had a big BLANK". (fill in the blank) I love the (blank). It's so... (blank). Memorable Quote: "How dumb was she?" (in response to the Dumb Dora line earlier).

The Price Is Right - the granddaddy of them ALL! The longest running game show ever.. right? I do miss Bob Barker, though. Drew Carey does ok.. but he's just not Bob. All hail Bob Barker. Anyway... I soooooooo want to play Plinko. And the game with the yodelling guy who climbs the mountain! (Wiki tells me it's called Cliff Hangers.) And I always wanted a big pair of dice to roll like they had on the show as well. Let's face it, everyone wants to be a contestant on this show. And for the announcer to yell a brand new car! when it was your time to play for a prize. Memorable Quote: "Actual Retail price..." "Come on down! You're the next contestant....!" and I can't type it out, but remember the music they would run when a contestant lost their game? "Bum bum ba ba bum. Waaahhhhhh". I know you can hear it in your head.....

Press Your Luck - "Big Money! No Whammies!" Ok.. that's all I have to say about that show. Big 80's hair and bad animation with the whammy-dude. But we still quote the phrase...

Password - no, not the version they have on now with Regis. The classic password. Well, my classic password anyway with Bert Convy. Whatever happened to him anyway? (Yikes, wiki tells me he's dead. Sorry, Bert.). It was so great to see what kinds of clues contestants, and most importantly, the celebrity contestants, would come up with. One of my all time favorite shows. Memorable Quote: (whisper) "The password is...." (and my DH and I have a funny inside joke on this one... hee hee)

Family Feud - ok. Hands down, my favorite. Richard Dawson kissing all the girls. The "strikes" during the game and that "buzzzzzz" when one of the families made a wrong guess. What a great show. Memorable Quote: "Survey says....!" and "Ready for action!"

Ok.. I'm sure I've left several off this list. I can think of one or two already. But game shows were great, weren't they? Ahhh... memories.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Setting an example

Yesterday, I read a letter to Dear Abby by a mother in Texas who is a stay at home mom to her three daughters. She was concerned she was setting a bad example for them, by staying home and not having a "career". You can read the whole article here (sorry, I don't know how to do that funky HTML stuff!)

Abby gives some good advice, but doesn't really address the "example" and whether it's good or bad.

While I'm not a traditional SAHM, I have altered my "career" path to accomodate my son. Barely being able to make it through a normal school day, putting him in after school care is completely out of the question. And that is why I work part time - to be home in the mornings before and after school with him.

We could play "what if" about this for a long time... have I compromised my "career" for my son? Where would I be career-wise if I had refused to work part time and just worked full time? I have passed up a few job opportunities in the past to be able to do this....

Have I regretted it?


Am I bitter about it?


Do I feel I am setting a bad example for him?

How? How can being a responsible adult be a bad example??

Sure, I could totally ignore his needs and focus on my own. But shoving him into an after school program ill equipped to handle him is a complete disservice to him. And not fair to the people working the after school program who know nothing about autism in most cases.

Then again, I have my trusty ol' "autism glasses" on here. There are tons of examples out there about how parents of children with autism have done just what I'm describing here - altered their careers to be able to accomodate their children.

But enough of MY situation, because my situation is special.

Back to Texas Mom - The letter writer never says how old the children are, but from context we can assume they are all under 9 years of age. We don't know if they are all in school full time, or if there are preschoolers still in the picture.

At the risk of getting into the sexism and feminism that is currently surrounding the whole political mess lately -- is it wrong for this woman to stay at home with her children? Is she somehow less of a woman if being a mother and wife is all she has ever aspired to? Is she cheating herself?

While I do think self-esteem is coming into play here for this Texas Mom, setting a bad example is the least of her worries. At least in my opinion...

I would love to hear your opinions, though!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wednesday Rewind: Classic Television

When I was little, whenever I got sick enough to stay home from school, I watched classic tv shows. Of course, at that time PBS only ran Sesame Street and the Electric Company at lunch time - there wasn't 24/7 kiddie tv! You had to watch what was on. But that was ok, because some of the best tv was on in syndication. I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, I Dream of Jeannie, etc. Everytime I hear the whistled theme song of The Andy Griffith Show, I feel the overwhelming need to lay down on the couch and cover up with a blanket.

Some of the recent times my son has been sick, I've turned the tv to some classic television. Unfortunately, he doesn't appreciate the shows as much as I did, or still do.

However, he DID watch this episode of I Love Lucy. What a great show this was overall, but this particular episode is my all time favorite. Vitameatavegamin. Both of us just laughed and laughed....

I know this clip is long.. but it's so worth it. And it really showcases what a great actress Lucille Ball was. She's just perfect.

Remember... "it's so tasty, too!"

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Knitting - good for the soul

I am in the process of knitting a baby blanket for a cousin of mine. The baby shower was today, and of course, I didn't get the blanket done in time. I'm about halfway, maybe a little more than halfway done. I really like it and think it's a nice pattern, but it's just taking a lot longer to knit up than I originally thought. Oh well, great art takes time!!

There is something about knitting... I can't quite place my finger on it. Maybe it's the rhythm of the needles, the repetitive movement of the hands and needles, the feel of the yarn.... I'm not quite sure, but it's mesmorizing. I have the best "thinking sessions" ever when I'm working on a project. The hands just seem to do what they need to do, and your mind is left to wander.

Where it wanders TO is always the question. You can find yourself thinking for hours about nothing in particular. Or trivial things, too. Like - SpongeBob. You never see any other sponges on that show. SpongeBob doesn't have any other sponge friends. He's left with a starfish and a squid. Doesn't he long for others of his kind? Am I the only one who wonders about such things?

But I digress.

Anyway, I hadn't knitted a baby blanket for awhile. I knit one a few years ago for a friend who was pregnant. But this is the first one in quite some time. Obviously, one of the topics my mind wandered to while knitting this blanket was the new baby that will (hopefully) we swaddled within it. I know it will be a boy. And, like his mother and father I'm sure, I thought about what he might be like when as he grows up. What his likes and dislikes might be. What kind of personality he will have. Will he have his mother's eyes? His father's mouth?

Unfortunately, with my life's experiences, I thought alot about his health. I tend to view most everything with the "autism glasses" that a parent of an autistic child wears. It's inevitable.

Autism affects 1 out of every 166 kids. Will it affect this child? What about the next one?

As I knitted this blanket, not only did I think about the baby boy who might be swaddled within it, but I prayed for him and his parents. For health. For strength. For all babies coming into this world.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wednesday Rewind

I'd like to do a "flashback" every Wednesday to something I remember from childhood. Old shows and cartoons, toys, commercials, etc.

Anyway, my son REALLY likes infomercials. I mean... REALLY. Billy Mays is his best friend. Every commercial he sees... "we need that!" Mighty Putty, Pasta N More, Orange Glo, the helicopter thingie (though that does look kinda cool).

So, I was about to compose this big speech to him about "back in MY day, we didn't have infomercials, blah blah blah..." and I remembered *this* one...

Holy cow! I loved this commercial! "Coincidence?... I think not."

Monday, September 1, 2008

Up To Date!

ok, now we're up to date!

What's going on in my life? Well... you'll be sorry you asked.

School started on August 18th. Third grade for my son. This was the first year - the first! - that I actually was NOT looking forward to school. I didn't want the summer to end! I was having so much fun with my son. He hadn't drove me crazy yet! Which is quite the accomplishment, actually. Every other year he's driven me batty by the time school started. So, this summer went *really well*.

Anyway, he's excited about going back, excited about having a man for a reg ed teacher this year... all is going well.

Day 3 of school - we're home sick! Aahhhhhhhhhhhhh!

He's got the flu. Who gets the flu in August?!?! Really?!?! So, he's out the rest of the week with fever and snot everywhere. (sorry)

Ok! Another Monday! Now we're back on track and back to school! It's day 6 of the school year, and we've only been there 2 days. It's ok. No problem...

He attends all week, but with the lingering effects of a cold, he's not really 100%. It's only the 2nd week of school, so he can't be missing too much... right??

Now, it's Labor Day weekend. We're pretty much over our sickness (except for a lingering cold), and it's the last "official" weekend of summer - let's go out and enjoy it, right?

WRONG! Let's stay home cooped up all weekend with the STOMACH FLU!

Kill me now....

I don't believe this. Honestly. I don't. This kid gets sick more often any ANYONE I know. Unbelievable.

It's Labor Day and school starts back up again tomorrow. I "think" he's ok to go back. No more "stomach issues" (ahem) as far as I can tell. He still has some snot issues, but that we can deal with that.

I'm ready for "normal". Please, please... PLEASE bring me some normal!!!

Autism in the media

[moved from an old blog]

There has been so much negative press about autism lately. Here are a few links in case you've missed them:

Michael Savage, a radio host with a nationally syndicated program, using his platform to tell America that autism is a "fraud, a racket" and every child with the disorder is a "brat". The whole situation just makes me sick. Obviously he doesn't even know the first thing about autism to go and say the things that he did. It's just stupid.

Then, a police chief, a man in a position of power, a person that we even teach our children to look up to and to trust, asks a woman to remove her autistic daughter from a restaurant because she's crying. Wow, shouldn't that have been up to the restaurant owner, instead? The police chief was just a customer in the restaurant at the time. Again, a misinformed, uneducated individual thinking they know what is best. Another person who doesn't understand the disorder. A person who could have helped out in this situation, but chose to do the opposite instead.

And lastly, Kindergarten teacher Wendy Portillo, standing up little Alex Barton in front of his classmates so they could vote him out of class. A sick version of the TV show Survivor. Shame on her. Shame on her especially since she's a teacher! Another person in a position of power, a person who we tell our children to trust! And again, especially shame on her, since in her building, she would have had special education teachers and therapists to help her out.

Basically, what this boils down to is a lot of people who are uneducated about the disability. And you know what? With 1 out of every 150 children having some form of autism, everyone needs to get educated about it, and fast. Especially people in positions of power! Whether they are regular education teachers, police officers, and lowly (in my opinion) radio hosts. Especially that part about the regular education teachers. I often wonder if these teachers think "oh, that's something that I'm just going to let the special ed department handle… after all, that's what they're there for." Hmmm.

I was thinking this morning – why aren't there any positive stories about autism? Where is the "good press" on this? There are plenty of parents who have made noise about the above stories: several groups protested outside of radio stations that broadcast Savage's show. But other than the occasional protest or comment on the above stories, there really isn't much. And I'll tell you why.

Parents of kids with autism – we're busy. More busy than you'll ever know. Busy doing what, you ask? Busy parenting our autistic children. And unless you know, unless you have a child with autism yourself, you'll never understand what that sentence truly means. Michael Savage seems to think that parents of autistic children are the worst parents in the world. The old "refrigerator mothers" from back in the 1940s, when the belief was that bad parenting caused children to have autism.

Well, in addition to being a mother of an 8 year old child with autism, I know a number of parents of children with the disorder. And I can tell you – we are an elite group. We're some of the best parents in the world, Mr. Savage. Because I can tell you first hand, no other parents out there are as dedicated, as hopeful, as committed to parenting and to our children, than parents of children with autism.

All autistic kids are brats, huh? Yes, my child can be bratty. Any child can be bratty. But to ignore the disability and blame it's cause on the fact that he's a brat? That's like telling a child with epilepsy to stop having those stupid seizures. Like telling a child with an amputated arm to stretch, you idiot, you can reach. Like telling a person in a wheelchair to just try a little harder, and they'll be able to walk.

Yes, if only my son would just *apply himself*, he could obviously overcome his autism and be more "normal".

Yes, lets all just wave our magic wands, Mr. Savage, since you think it's that easy.

Weather Tunes

[moved from an old blog]

I’m a closet Weather Channel watcher. No one really admits to watching the Weather Channel. Sure, we all tune in when we want the "Local On the 8’s" to know what to wear in the morning. But do you really watch? Well, I do. I find it fascinating – the southern drought, which poor bastards are getting snow and how much, and exactly how hot is it in Taiwan?

But what really fascinates me is the music. Where do they get the music?? Are there Weather Channel musicians on staff? Do they sit around after recording and say "Boy, I hope this gets some air time on the LOT8’s!"? I often wonder about the bands that have music playing on the Weather Channel. And, more importantly, I wonder where they get the inspiration to write the songs.

Personally, I have my favorite songs. I think we all do. Currently, my favorite is "Jazzy Flute". Who knows if that’s the correct title or not. But it’s a catchy little number. There’s also "Jazzy Piano" and "Jazzy Synthesizer". Again, not knowing the correct titles, I’m not sure what else to call them. Frankly, I think that would make good use of those scroll bars down at the bottom of the screen. I really don’t care what special is going on at Clark’s Appliance. And I already have Comcast Digital Cable, thank you. Why don’t you tell me "This is Bob Smooth and his Smoothettes playing ’Jazzy Flute’. Buy this album at Amazon. com".

Also, haven’t we all turned on LOT8’s or the Weatherscan channel (local feed) and said to ourselves, "ugh, not this song again!" and hit mute?? Admit it.

Song choices are bizarre. I’m not at all into smooth jazz, so I’m not sure what makes a jazz song "Weather Channel worthy" or not. But, I do know that when they used Pink Floyd’s ’Run Like Hell,’ I was appalled. Was this someone’s bad joke? "Run Like Hell" away from the oncoming tornado? Egads.

Anyway, my curiosity got the best of me. I went to, internet site for The Weather Channel. They actually have a music page! They’ve even released a CD in the past! "The Weather Channel Presents: Best of Smooth Jazz". No kidding! Unfortunately, the Weather Channel music page has not been updated since Dec 2006. I was looking forward to finally knowing who recorded my Jazzy Flute song. Oh well…

New Cookie!

[moved from an old blog]

So, last week was my son's annual IEP meeting. For those of you not in the "special ed" world, this is the annual meeting the parents have with teachers, administrators and therapists concerning your child's education. You set goals and services for the next school year. I get WAY stressed before these meetings. Anyway, the meeting went well, and I thought I would make the special ed department at my son's school some cookies to show them how appreciative I was.

So, I baked some chocolate chip cookies the day after the meeting, and drove off all the would-be cookie theives in my household with a sternly worded note on the plate - DO NOT EAT! FOR THE TEACHERS! Don't worry, I made them their own plate...

And what happens? We get 2 snow days in a row!! No school! And then we had the weekend on top of it. Those cookies weren't going to be any good by Monday!! Needless to say those cookies did not go to waste. (waist?) As a family, we all scarfed down the cookies, with promises to make a new batch for the teachers.

Fast forward to tonight - I'm out of chocolate chips. No problem, we'll make another flavor. I haven't made Snickerdoodles in a long time, and those sound good.

I don't have any shortening. All I have is butter. For those of you who aren't "cookie savvy" out there... cookies made with butter taste REALLY good, but they don't "puff" up very well and tend to be flat. Cookies made with shortening hold together better and puff nicely, but don't taste as good as cookies made with butter (imo, of course). So, having only butter, I knew these snickerdoodles would be a little flat, but I figured, no problem.

A little flat?!? Who was I kidding?!? You could READ through these cookies! They are anomalies of nature!

But here's the kicker! I was in a hurry, so I took them off the baking sheets before they had completely cooled, so they "melted" on the cooling rack. So now I have paper thin cookies that droop along the rack. They look like something Salvador Dali would have baked!

Hey wait... a new cookie! Hello Dali's! LOL