A blog to share about Adrenal insufficiency, Addison's Disease, Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, Music, Inspiration, Scrapbooking and other elements viewed through the lens of my life. I'm hoping that others who are traveling this journey may find some commonality, and maybe some information and inspiration.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

There are so many things to be thankful for. Family, friends, having access to such amazing bounty, living in such a beautiful location.

I'm also grateful for small things today. The new recipes turned out well. Everyone enjoyed the meal. The grandkids got along almost perfectly, with a small exception.

Highlight of the day: S1 came home on leave today. He's in the Army. Next year he'll be deployed on Thanksgiving.

Missing today: D1 & her boyfriend, who live far, far away. D3 & her sailor hubby - he's deployed & she was in Japan visiting for the port call. But thanks to the amazing technology we now enjoy, we've gotten to video chat with them via Facetime. (We're an Apple family-it's a requirement to be an Apple user if you want to marry into our family :)

Here was our menu:

Figs & Brie from Gluten Free Girl and the Chef

Butternut Squash Soup with Smoked Paprika from Gluten Free Girl and the Chef

Honey Brined Turkey with Herb Reisling Gravy recipe from Whole Foods

Dressing following the advice from NPR

Mashed Potatoes from Pioneer Woman

Green salad with pears and avocado with a choice of dressings from Hawaiian Vanilla Company

Canned cranberries - I had intended to make a fresh cranberry chutney, but forgot to add the ingredients to the shopping list, so they didn't get purchased. Oh well - better luck next year!

Homemade pumpkin pie recipe from pickyourown.org

Pecan Pie purchased at Whole Foods.

The pumpkin pie was the only recipe I was disappointed in. The pumpkin I used was a really wonderful heirloom pumpkin. We'd already eaten a lot of it, so I knew it was a delicious pumpkin. I was expecting a fabulous pie, but it really wasn't. I think next year I'll be happy to buy the pie, and just eat my pumpkin as a vegetable instead of dessert!

My favorite bits were the figs & brie, the butternut squash soup, and the honey brined turkey & Riesling gravy. Those are definitely keepers. The potatoes were really good, too. Add them to the list. Along with fresh cranberry chutney next year.

One of our guests is a friend of the family who likes to tease the grandchildren. One of our neuro-typical granddaughters, who is 8, has learned to laugh at his silliness. Her brother, the 10 year old who is being evaluated for Asperger's has not. The friend keeps telling him not to be so literal and gets a bit irritated with him for not understanding. I'm hoping once we actually have a diagnosis, we'll be able to communicate better to him how this isn't possible for this little boy. It wasn't a blight on the day, but it was a big reminder that all is not what would be considered normal. He & his autistic sister spent a lot of their day on the computer and watching movies. And my husband is looking forward to tomorrow, when D3 comes home and there are less people living in our house. He loves his grandchildren dearly, but between his age and Asperger's, it's a stretch having a house full of children for a week.

But I want to add that these are really special people in our family, who bring us great delight in addition to the challenges.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Log Your Memory

I'm a scrap booking enthusiast. I've recently found this great product from Log Your Memory: http://logyourmemory.corecommerce.com/

In addition to regular planner pages, the logbook has weekly scrap booking challenges, among other goodies. I'm just starting to work on the weekly challenges. This is my page for Week #47. The challenge was food related, so I thought about the food I loved as a child and the food I love now. It was fun to reminisce about the food I used to love eating and what I love to eat now. The list has definitely changed since my childhood!

The papers I used are from www.OScraps.com, though the kit is no longer available on that site. It's called Coffee Epicure by Leiko Beck Designs. She can be found at www.leikobeck.com. Not surprisingly, Leiko lives on the Big Island of Hawaii, home of wonderful Kona Coffee.

What a Weekend

What a whirlwind this weekend has been! Daughter #3 headed off to Japan on Friday to see her dh, so her three children are living here with us this week (that's in addition to the dil and grandbaby already visiting!). Friday night I had a wedding rehearsal; Saturday was the wedding - oh, so beautiful - and reception. Today was a large piano recital. By the time all of that was over, it's time to get home, make supper, get everyone bathed and ready for Monday morning!

My grandson's developmental differences are now seeming very obvious to me, especially in a setting like the recital today. He played his piece very, very well, but his demeanor and behavior during the long wait before and after he performed stood out to me as being not that of a 10 year old. Some of it was pretty subtle, some not. But oh, he has a good heart! Music is not his passion, but he seems to enjoy it well enough and does well. His passion is trains. He is now regretting giving up his large collection of Thomas trains. I was very surprised when he did it, and I'm not sure he wasn't yielding to some pressure from his parents to give up childish things. I'm thinking some more grown-up train sets need to be part of his Christmas this year.

His evaluation has been delayed due to his mom's trip - it's rescheduled for next week.

On a side note, I have discovered that my autistic granddaughter's psychiatrist is probably the most knowledgeable in the state about autism and related issues. I'm glad to know it, since my grandson will most likely be his patient as well.

I know that for many who get a diagnosis, it's a life-shattering revelation, but for us, it's more of a clarification. It gives us an explanation for all the little oddities we've observed but didn't have a good explanation for. My heart hurts a bit for him because he'll have some struggles I wish he didn't have to face, but I'm also very encouraged to know that many adult Aspies live full, happy lives and have a lot to contribute to the world. I wish we'd known sooner, but finding out now is better than not knowing. At least we can take appropriate steps to help now, before he's a teen.

It's also helping things around here. With all the reading and discussing I've been doing regarding Aspergers, I'm certainly learning to be more patient with my (almost certainly) Aspie husband.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Foot kindness

I've ordered a pair of these:

It may seem out of season, but it isn't here - this is year-round wear. It's time to replace last summer's worn out slippers and give these a try. I'm working on my alignment - hope these help.

RUA Rib Thruster?

On a totally different note, I've recently discovered Aligned and Well by Katy Bowman. She's got some very interesting videos about good alignment. I never realized until I read this how much I compensate for kyphosis by thrusting my lower ribs out. RUA Rib Thruster?

Monday, November 15, 2010


While I was explaining the symptoms of Asperger's to my husband, he said something to the effect of "I think I have that." I was floored. Not that I didn't see him in the symptoms, but I was floored that he saw himself in them. I've always known he had quite a few "quirks," but I had never put them together as being related or part of a larger syndrome until this whole topic came up in relation to our grandson.

Here are a few of my husband's reactions that fit:

he is very uncomfortable in group settings
he doesn't like to meet new people
he gets a headache and gets very tired and stressed by fluorescent lights
he sometimes talks on and on even though the rest of us lost interest 5 minutes ago
he remembers long lists of which actors were in which movies
he is sometimes rather rude but thinks he is just being honest
he sometimes seems to be uncaring and distant, even though he is a very caring, loyal person in reality
he can play Scrabble on his iPad the whole day, and is very focused on improving his score
he is always very concerned with the details of how planned events will unfold
he has a certain level of physical clumsiness, or, more accurately, a lack of finesse when it comes to touch and other people - things like patting babies just a little too hard, when he means to be gentle

As I learn more about Asperger's, lightbulbs are going on in my mind in relation to my husband. Why he reacted a certain way, how he could have said what he said, why he sometimes seems so removed from family life - there is a long list of things that now all make sense.

He has not been professionally evaluated, and I'm pretty sure he has not interest in doing that (he has a strong dislike for visiting any kind of doctor). But the indications are pretty strong, at least in my mind, and I'm inclined to think he's right, especially since he saw himself fitting the pattern so readily. I think it is almost a relief for both of us because it gives us both a better understanding of his past, our past together, and our ongoing relationship.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


We are about to start a new journey. First, a little background. My daughter and son-in-law have a special needs child, their youngest. She has some profound needs and developmental delays, including an autism diagnosis. I'll write about her another day. Perhaps because of her needs being so obvious, we may have missed signs of Aspergers in the oldest, who is now 10.

He stutters, and it isn't improving, so they took him to a speech therapist. In the course of evaluating him, they began to suspect Aspergers. Since we are always hungry for information, we checked the symptoms, and, yep, it looks like a distinct possibility. He's very bright, he's advanced in math and becoming a good reader as well, though that has been late in coming. He has been almost entirely home schooled, and his only experience with a regular school setting was a huge disaster.

The interesting thing is that now that this has been brought to our attention, we have realized that many of these traits are present in other members of the family. We've always been fine with being a little different, out of the norm. And of course "normal" is such a subjective term. So some of these little quirks have always been viewed as just quirks.

So as we explore this new situation, I'll be sharing it here. Come along for the ride.

For information on Aspergers: