A Lifetime of Birthdays: November 29, 2016

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Latest foraging knowledge haul from the library.
Latest foraging knowledge haul from the library.

Tuesday was filled with tacos and treats, although the dark side of #LifewithAutism started the day at 0217 hrs. Since the dawn of his existence MWB has not slept. He swore he took his sleep meds, but clearly his anxiety had other ideas. Night Terrors are a normal part of #LifewithAutism, no young child required. The young child is trapped in the mind of a near 21-year-old.

I did get to nap between 0400 and 0600 hrs.  Get the youngest (No. 2) and the husband (No. 1) off for the school/work day and get daily chores done. There were more wrestling matches with #LifewithAutism before I had to depart for a Buy Nothing pick up and retrieve a new-to-us Yule Tree skirt. It looks wonderful. Then I stopped by the drug store to get ornament hooks because for some reason our supply over the past decade has dwindled. Then it was back home to do more chores, sprinkle in some book formatting (No. 6), and walk with the dogs (No. 3).

At near lunch time, hubby checked in with me and I text’d him a photo of this cute ornament I saw at the drug store. It was a Yule decorated crab trap. Given our love of the ocean and fishing and crabbing (No. 18), he thought I should have procured it. He said, “There’s a lot on the tree that is me, or you, this would definitely be an ‘us’ ornament.” How could I refuse that?

A symbol of an activity we love to do together for our Yule tree.
A symbol of an activity we love to do together for our Yule tree.

So, I headed back out into the world. First stop however was the library (No. 7) and picking up some new books on foraging (No. 17), then I sneaked off to read them over a plate of fried rice (No. 10) at my favorite cheapie lunch spot in the Valley, Got Rice. Then I headed back to the drug store and got the ornament. Back home, I got the freshly washed skirt out of the dryer and put it under the tree and put the new ornament on.

#LifewithAutism was having a banner day and there was more fussing and fighting. I feared there would be a trip to the hospital or someone would call the police — as much as I try to contain his meltdowns indoors, MWB inevitably goes outside to expose the whole world to what I snarkily call the “fun side” of this disorder. Sarcasm is called for because the brand of Autism my child suffers from doesn’t seem to have a fun side, no super power, no sweetness, nothing positive to hold onto. That may seem harsh, but it is a reality for us and we’re one of the cases of Autism that does not become a poster child for Autism organizations, but it exists. Oh, yes, it exists in full-raging, negative spectrum of meltdown colors. So when I need to spend a whole month making a list and checking it off about the joy in my life, it’s easy to imagine why I would so such a thing.

Our new tree skirt procured from the Buy Nothing movement.
Our new tree skirt procured from the Buy Nothing movement.

I de-escalated him to the point of calmness so I could do laundry, hang the other ornaments missing their hooks, and dust and vacuum the house. Then it was back to book formatting until it was time to make dinner. In between then youngest son came home from school. Within 1o minutes of his arrival, #LifewithAutism picked a fight. Clearly it was a pick-a-fight kind of day. So, I carb loaded MWB with some pasta&cheese bake, which calmed him down. Getting him to eat yesterday was another battle.

Then youngest and I headed out to try to catch the hockey game (No. 13) at our local sports pub. It was happy hour so we got tacos and wings super cheap. My son also got a salad and sandwich. Got to have a conversation with my youngest about how NOT to act in public as there was this really loud-mouth blowhard discussing things he knew nothing about and being completely obnoxious about it. He was on the other side of the restaurant from us and we could hear him. I love natural teaching moments (No. 22), and that mansplainer gave me a perfect opportunity to talk to my son about public decorum and the truth about the subjects the man was talking about (current political climate, gender identity, and the economy), along with the fact that public education has created people who think everything they get from shock jocks and radio pundits is truth.

The Red Wings were playing well and we left in the third period (I can’t extend stays too long anywhere when #LifewithAutism is having a bad day). Alas, I had to stop by the drug store a third time this day, because I needed padded envelopes to mail some things on Wednesday and my son needed some supplies, too. Then it was off home where things were calm.

A quick hockey respite from #LifewithAutism with my youngest.
A quick hockey respite from #LifewithAutism with my youngest.

I cleaned up the kitchen and fed the dogs (No. 2) and took them outside. Then started a fire in the wood stove, as the wind had picked up and things were getting cold fast. Then there was an internet-induced eruption from the #LifewithAutism corner of the house. When hubby got home from spending his weekly work night at his father’s homestead (he hung a chandelier I got from Buy Nothing at his dad’s house last night), I made him block facebook again on the computer MWB’s using (my coding skills aren’t there yet, if you’re an #intheweeds fan). I hate to keep social things from him, but he is stuck in middle school. Imagine a middle schooler picking fights online with adult males… yeah (even though the adult males should know better). Fun times.

Then I holed up in my room to work on my book formatting and watch some Gilmore Girls, No. 14 (I’m so a bit disappointed in it thus far, but I’m reserving judgement until I finish the season). Hubby came home and we did our evening chores and headed off to dreamland.

Like life my second-to-last day of my half century birthday month celebration was filled with good and bad. But, when you seek out the light, you can often find it. If you look for the dark, it is all you will ever see. Yin. Yang. Joy. Sorrow. Good. Bad. It’s cyclic and necessary. This is life as a human. Hopefully, I’m blessed with another half-century to experience.


A Lifetime of Birthdays: November 27, 2016

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images-7Sunday. Funday. Although I wasn’t filled with much fun. I think everyone was a bit “touched out” and cranky on Sunday, although I did my best to be celebratory and grateful. There were moments when #LifewithAutism pushed me over the edge and I lost my joy and thankfulness.

Hubby (No. 1) and I  fasted in the morning to make up for all the extra calories and sugary items we’d enjoyed over Thursday and Saturday. #gettingoldaintforsissies and if you want to play you have to pay. I cleaned house, he went to the storage unit and got Yule items so we could at least set up our tree, which we did. The house (N0. 15) is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Then we grabbed a quick bite to eat of leftovers. Then we set things up for the arrival of my father-in-law for our weekly Seahawks game with him (No. 4).

I wasn’t much into the game and started pintrest-posting our menu for Yule Eve/Yule Day. Youngest son was a total grump, and MWB was pestering for cash to go BMX’ing. I headed into the bedroom and read (No. 7). When I came to the end of the book, I went back into the living room and began putting the decorations on, as hubby had set the tree up and put the lights and topper on. We have a new topper this year, a Yule Stag, and I just love it. It was a birthday gift from my husband. By the time we finished decorating, the game was over — an absolute terrible outing for our ‘hawks, as there were too many injuries. FIL headed out, having spent many days here already over the course of the week, and I think he was ready to be by himself.

Hubby and I did a meditation (No. 8) because we both were feeling out of sorts. Then it was time to have a real meal again. He heated up leftovers, while I searched online for a new Yule Tree Skirt. Since ours has long been worn out. We ate leftover salmon and crab cakes and butternut squash pasta (No. 10), then we listened to jazz (No. 9) and hung out in the kitchen prepping for more Yule festivities. Hubby was reading the newest Motorcycle Consumer News (No. 19) and sharing information on it with me.  We dreamed about motorcycling again and what it would take and we’re kind of at a cross roads with it. Again, lots of what we have to do in life (Namely No. 2, Kids) interferes with our ability to have extra time to ride again. But, it’s not discounted yet. Then we retired to the bedroom to cuddle up and watch some of our programs. Not exactly Couch Time, but we needed the sanctuary.15195940_10211370102190602_6127113200768413290_o

In between we took breaks to stoke the fire and cleaned the kitchen and talked. Mostly we talked about strategy to help our middle son. We’re struggling with #LifewithAutism right now. We cope for a time and then it just crushes us down. We finally have an attorney that called us back, so we’ve got some hope on the horizon. I’m trying hard to not be a downer and think that there will be no help with getting an attorney and trying to get my son housing, services, and sheltered employment. On Jan. 9, he’ll be 21 years old. He has no high school diploma, the school having given up and saying they “couldn’t get him to progress,” which is their legal term to allow him to fall by the wayside. He has no job skills. He seems only interested in playing World of Warcraft competitively, and doing BMX competitively. Both of these things are foreign to us and require hand-holding we don’t have the resources to do. Also, every time we get a new person involved in this fight with us — doctor, counselor, social worker, whatever — I have to tell the whole tale all over again and again and again. It’s painful and I hate it. Think about the worst thing you have to deal with in your life — a problem that has never gone away, will never go away, but you have to face it every day and then you have to talk to people constantly all day long about it. You begin to loathe it so much and just want the problem to go away. Alas, there is no cure for Autism. So we just try to do small things like cuddle and support one another and do the best we can with and for our child. This child who looks like a man, but has a psycho-social age of about 12 years old right now.

Then I got to read (No. 7) before lights out.  I finished one book earlier in the day and am well on my way to finishing another. Given the stack of books I physically have in my “to-read” pile, this is good. 10c1jz

I’m feeling rather my 50 years as I bid adieu to Sunday, and a bit in a funk for the problems that my next personal new year will have me wrestle, which many I’ve already been wrestling for years. At 50 I have even fewer answers that I had at 49, or 39, or ever. There are days like today where I’m dissatisfied with the solutions, and other days where I realize this is as good as it gets and I’m okay with it. Today I was very much not okay with it.

Sorry Honey, Even If I Keep the Crazy Down, It Lives

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Addicted to creativity and the love of my work? Check.

Regular diet of caffeine and whiskey? Check.

A ginormous library? Check.

Create a living hell in words for my enemies and exes? Check.

Ready to critique and spoil at a single sentence? Check.

Can make a trip to the grocery store look epic? Check.

This is the “you might be a writer, if…” measuring stick.

See here and laugh.  Thanks again to Chuck Wendig for making my Monday tolerable.

I recommend any writers reading this forward that blog link to anyone in your life.

4.26.10 – The debate over the publishing industry…

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I think like every new medium, it’s a matter of balance. Honestly, I think these devices have opened up even more opportunities for authors and writers and the entire industry. That’s not to say that I prefer the Kindle or iPad to a good ol’ fashion book. People need to remember that you can’t take those electronic devices on the beach or in the tub with you…well, I mean you could. But, it’s a hazard, or course. So, it’s about reaching a new audience and then balanacing resources. I’ll have more to say on balance later tonight. Stay tuned.