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.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

I've been enjoying vacation and working many hours on some family heritage projects instead of writing blogs.

We had a very nice, quiet Christmas. Tonight will be another story! We've had firecrackers that sound like bombs going off around here since before Christmas. Tonight is going to be noisy!

Happy New Year!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tranquility and Joy

As I sit in the peace of early morning, listening to doves coo and water drip from the ginger leaves, I am reflecting on joy. In the case, very specific joy. The joy of my granddaughter in anticipating Christmas. The joy she had when we went shopping for presents for her siblings and friend. The joy she had making gift tags to put on them. Her joy is so simple and child-like because she is a child.

It reminds me of Jesus' admonition that we must become like little children to enter his kingdom. This was spoken in the context of the disciples' concern for rank and position in that kingdom. And Jesus' response was to direct them to be like little children. If you observe young children, they are not concerned about climbing the ladder of success. They aren't concerned with power over others, or even what their life will be like in five minutes, much less tomorrow or five years from now.

So what does this have to do with joy? I think it has everything to do with it. Joy doesn't come from being busy or successful or famous. It comes from simple things. Love. Trust. Enjoying what we have and who we are. Living in your present, not your past or your future.

So my wish and prayer for the world today is Joy.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, December 17, 2010

#reverb10 for December 10

Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

Hmm - did I make any wise decisions this year? Maybe it was to choose Family as my word of the year. It certainly played out to be a year of the family. For one, there were family needs to take care of that were very unexpected and demanding. For another, we got to enjoy time with every member of our immediate family, far and near. And my depth of understanding of other family members has certainly deepened. So, yep, I'm going with choosing Family for my word of the year.

In case you are wondering, picking one word to focus on for the year is inspired by the wonderful Ali Edwards at aliedwards.com. She's a wonderful designer, scrap booker, and inspiring person who also happens to have a son on the autism spectrum. Ali is teaching a class in 2011 at Big Picture Classes for people who want to focus more on the word for the year. I have to say, I've heard about this idea of picking a word for the year before, but this is the first year I've actually picked one. I'm very glad I did. It helped remind me, when life was going crazy around here, about what I wanted to focus on, and what was important. It helped keep me from having a pity party a time or two. And it made me more conscious to be aware and thankful for the family I have, with all it's weirdness (which includes me, by the way). 

Explanation of my total fail

I've totally failed to keep up with the #reverb10 and here's why. We've had pneumonia. Almost all of us. Out of 10 immediate family members who have been in the vicinity, 6 of us had pneumonia. Most of us are still recovering from it. Slowly. The antibiotics have taken care of the cough and fever part, but the extreme fatigue is carrying on. Maybe in another week we'll be somewhat normal.

One result of the fatigue and slowness of brain is a total lack of attention to #reverb10. So I'll play catch up.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

#reverb10 Catch Up Number 2

December 7Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

I've discovered some new online communities this year, as well as a local women's business group. My biggest sense of community always comes from my relationship with God and with my family.

December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond

I'm different in a lot of ways. Homeschool, how I practice my Christianity, how I take care of my body. Nothing that is unique, mind you, just different from the norm. I think what lights people up is feeling my genuine love and affection for them. 

December 9 – Party Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)

It was a friend's daughter's wedding. Specifically the father-daughter dance. It certainly had me in tears. It  was so wonderful to see this beautiful young woman so obviously loving on her dear dad. Food, drink, none of that mattered. It's always the heart things that speak to me.

OK! Caught up, in spite of being ill with a nasty something. Heading for the doctor tomorrow, hopefully. 

#reverb 10 Catch Up

I'm horribly behind. Life has gotten in the way. Illness mostly, but also just being busy with family and work.

But here's the next #rever10 prompt

December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)

Oh, there are so many. I'll pick a recent, early morning. The air was cool and smelled spicy from the surrounding eucalyptus trees. There was only the slightest of breezes. I was full of gratitude for living here, for the air and the plants and the smells, and for feeling good.

December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)

I am always inspired by nature and small children. Sitting in our lovely garden, walking along the beach, spending time with grandkids and young students. They all give me a sense of wonder.

December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)

I let go of unrealistic expectations of my husband and my grandson. Since 'discovering' Asperger's and his own conclusion that it describes him well, I've realized that it's all too easy to expect things from others they are unable to give. I'm learning to be OK with who they are. This has been a long journey in some ways, but it has really come into focus just in the last month.

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

The last thing I made was a scrapbook page. This one:

I did it entirely digitally, which is my most frequent means of scrapbooking these days. No materials needed other than my computer, Photoshop Elements, and some photos and digital papers.  I was full of gratitude for having these people in my life.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Evaluation #1

Yesterday was my grandson's first evaluation. It lasted about an hour and a half to two hours, and the doctor's conclusion is ADHD and sensory integration disorder. He has a further evaluation coming up, so we'll see what they say.

Personally, I don't see the ADHD. This is not a hyperactive child. At all. I've taught quite a few hyperactive children, and maybe they were at one extreme or something, but my grandson mostly just wants to stay at home on the computer. He doesn't move fast. I would put him on the hypoactive end of the spectrum.

The sensory integration diagnosis is no surprise at all. He has noise and light sensitivities for sure.

Yesterday was a difficult day for many of us in the family. Too much going on, surprise (to me)decisions made, plans not working out.

Oh, and in the midst of it I realized that a certain little boy's mom is probably an Aspie too. Quite a few signs, but when she was growing up, this wasn't even on the radar. Never a 'normal' child. Obsessed with her books, still a huge fantasy novel reader. Physically a little out of sync, difficulty making friends, naively trusting people when she got older. Averting eyes frequently during conversations. And more.

I certainly do wish that this had been more widely known decades ago.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I'm following #reverb10 for one word a day to write and think about 2010 as the year wraps up .

Since it's the 2nd and I didn't get my post up yesterday, today is 2 for 1.

December 1 One Word
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
(Author: Gwen Bell)

My word for 2010 is Family. I actually chose it in January, being inspired by Ali Edwards to focus on a word for the year. And boy, this turned out to be a year of family focus! Our youngest daughter was in a car wreck that left her injured and needing help most of the year. She has 3 kids, including the one with autism and the one with suspected Asperger's. That's the most all-encompassing thing for me about 2010. In addition, her husband, who is in the Navy, has been out to sea a lot of the year, which always makes everything harder.

Not that it's all negative, in spite of the stress and my daughter's pain. I did get to spend a lot of time with my grandchildren, which we all thoroughly enjoy. And my daughter and her boyfriend and my older son and his family have all gotten to visit this year. It's amazing to me, though, how much of the year ended up being very much focused on this one word.
So yes, 2010 was the year of Family.

December 2 Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
(Author: Leo Babauta)

Since I'm not an author, I'm going to change this a bit. What do I do each day that doesn't contribute to  reaching my goals? Can I eliminate it? I'm not sure I want to. My biggest distraction is being online. I do want to focus that more and spend less time dinking around, but let's face it. At the end of the day, when I'm tired and want mindless activity, Facebook fits the bill for me. I don't watch TV, so I hang out online. Are there other things I could be doing? Definitely. Do I have the energy to? Definitely not.

No real news on this front today. My grandson was evaluated today to see which social skills group to put him in. He stutters pretty badly, which was the impetus for all this evaluating. Asperger's eval is on Monday.