Friday, April 29, 2016

What I Learned April


I took a short class on sourdough.  We were given sourdough starter so I decided to give it a go. Making sourdough bread had been on my bucket list for a while. More details here of the whole sourdough experience


My son is getting ready to graduate from High School .  There is a lot of madness surrounding that and adding to that is my son's special circumstances.  IT is a recipe for chaos. As my son transitions from high school to the community transition program, I am learning a lot about what the deep end might look for my kid.  I won't lie I am scared to death for him.  It keeps me up at night.  I have done more advocating this past month than I have done in a long time.  (calls, emails, MEETINGS) 


I think that declarative statement speaks for myself.  I got tired of referring to my gray hairs as glitter. My friend and cohort Mrs Epi gave me a non permanent dye job.  She did a terrific job. No one noticed but I felt a lot better.

Linking up with Chatting Up with the Sky

Earth Day Ivy Pulling

This is all of standing by the fruits of our labor.  We pulled so much IVY that it is
also piled in front of us - photo PNWbrat
A week ago we got a chance to volunteer with a local geocaching group to pull invasive ivy at Larabee State Park.  It was a great time. We did this a couple years back.  We pulled ivy right next to the area we did a couple years back.  It was amazing how clear it is still of ivy.  Our work really paid off. Our kids were real troopers and came out and pulled ivy too.

Our Selfie was photobombed by the rabbit ears

Monday, April 25, 2016

Diary of Mediocre Homemaker- Sourdough

Dear Diary
I feel like I have accomplished the holy grail of homemaking and even managed to make that mediocre.  My friend and I attended a short class on sourdough at the library from a cute baker guy. We received sourdough starter. 
Meet My Little Friend - My Starter - Tigger is checking it out.

First, I want to say the baker guy made it look extremely easy.  I managed to make a giant mess. I had starter everywhere and FLOUR too. 


dough ball

I made two loaves. I was trying to use up my old wheat flours.  The one I made with whole wheat pastry flour we enjoyed more. The starter we received was part rye and whole wheat. This sourdough is the more healthy kind. We slathered ours in butter. Both loaves were totally edible though.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Linky Love

My Worst Nightmare - What if I accidently raise the bully - aka Where Helicopter Parents Need to Hover. OH SO VERY EXCELLENT !!!!!

The Kind Gesture That Helps Elizabeth Gilbert Find The Light Her Worst Day

Realistic Konmari for Moms - Marie Kondo wrote the book "The Magic of Tidying Up"  Her method is interesting and it helped me but I love this more realistic approach.

Doctors Explain How Hiking Changes Your Brain

Harriet Tubman to Appear on the 10 Dollar Bill - I think this is pretty exciting.

Friday, April 22, 2016

t-shirts with a message #9 - hitting the motherlode

Sometimes for entertainment purposes, I look through the t-shirts at Value Village.  It is a great source of entertainment for me and my friends.  I have decided there is really nothing off limits for t-shirt sayings.  During Spring Break, Mrs Epi and I found the motherlode of amusing t-shirts. 

my favorite t-shirt

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Something for Everybody Linky

6 Words to Say to Your Kids Today

The Novogratz Renovation  - Emily Henderson - Style by Emily. I love Emily and I love the Novogratz.  You got to check out the Novogratz Castle renovation.  It is pretty awesome.

John Schnabel's Eulogy - John Schnabel 96 years old is best know from the reality series Gold Rush. This was a really touching and interesting Eulogy. 

13 Signs You're a Washed-Up Couponer - I think I might be washed up.

19 Reasons Smoke Bombs are the Latest Wedding Trend - For REALS! Can't decide if  I like this or not.  Some of the pictures are really cool.

Man's Fitbit helps Doctors Save His Life

Hotel Guest Finds a Not of Warning in Sheets YIKES!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

What I have Been Listening To (Podcasts)

I am a bit late to the whole podcast experience.  But I am addicted so I thought I would share a few I have enjoyed this week.

Only Human - Every (Dead) Body Has a Story - 29 min  - This follows some first year medical students in their anatomy class.  Discusses how students feel about the body they are dissecting and why someone who would donate their body to science. This  was really fascinating

Also from Only Human - When Opera Meets Autism

The House on Loon Lake on This American Life - This was intriguing.  A true story about a house found with all it's contents just abandoned  as the people just left in a hurry and never returned.

Friday, April 15, 2016

What I Read April

Spring Break brought some extra reading time for me as our family life slowed down a bit. I am linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit.  Check out what everyone is reading.

Paper Towns By John Green

My 17 year old brought this young adult book home from the library so I asked him if I could read it too.  It was interesting.  I love the concept of Paper Towns.  The book explains that so I won't spoil it for you.  At first, I was a little incredulous that teenagers would set off to find their friend on a wild road trip then I remember my friends high school escapades. It was a thing to drive to the Colorado/Nebraska line back in my day.  I have not watched the movie. There is an old linky about John Green on YA Fiction - Too Old For YA  I also thought one of the abandoned buildings the teens explored reminded me of the American Life Podcast - House on Loon Lake

By George R. R. Martin

I totally got sucked into the Game of Thrones hype and read the first book. I don't think fantasy is my genre but I really got into this.  I was sometimes annoyed that he left me hanging right when I got into a character's story and had to wait several chapters to get the rest of the story.  I don't think I have any desire to watch the series but maybe.  I do desire to read more in the series. This is like Outlander in that respect.

* This post contains amazon affiliate links

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Diary of a Mediocre Homemaker - Under Pressure

Dear Diary,

Sometimes I just can't keep up with the trends in modern homemaking.  I just FEEL like I am not enough of a homemaker.  All the PRESSURE to keep up with the trends. Well, it has come to my attention that ELECTRIC PRESSURE COOKERS are a thing.  I see posts everywhere on the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker.  I have always, maybe not too secretly, been afraid of the old style pressure cooker.  I put together some linky's on this type of device.  I REPEAT I DO NOT OWN ONE.  Read at your own risk.  You might find yourself wanting one.

As a RV friendly appliance - Take That Exit
Pressure Cooking Today
How to Make Yogurt in Instant Pot - Hip Pressure Cooking

***This post contains amazon affiliate links

Monday, April 11, 2016

Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month.  Groups like Autism Speaks have the campaign - Light it up Blue for Autism.  In honor of the month for autism awareness, I thought I would share a conversation my son had with his doctor.

Recently, my son's doctor asked him what he calls the conditions my son has.  My son says people say I have all these A words (Anxiety, ADHD, and Autism/Aspergers)  I don't really like those.  So the doctor asked what he wanted to be called.  HE said DIFFERENT.   So, lets embrace Different Awareness Month.

I saw this t-shirt at value village and it reminded me of my son.  It might even be his motto. So embrace your differences this month.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

t-shirts with a message #8

I never tire of finding interesting t-shirts at Value or Goodwill.  It is my form of entertainment. I thought I would share my latest finds.
Here is a closer look at a few of my favorites

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Transition from High School to the Real World -pt 3

No Football Games, No Prom, No Homecoming, No Dating, No Driving, No First Love, No Phone, No First job

Not having these erases all the landmarks of a typical high school landscape. We as a society put a lot of value in those things. We expect kids to have had some of those life experiences. My kid won't experience nor will he probably experience any of those things before graduation in a few short months.  Often times I feel like his whole high school experience has been learning through adversity mainly self imposed adversity. How do you navigate this transition when all the landmarks of success or normalcy don't exist? When you have a kid straddling the able and disable world, you wonder what success really looks like. More importantly you wonder if they will live with you forever.

January 2016

The clock is ticking down. There is lots to do but it is pretty much hurry up and wait.

Just a link that caught my eye

Am I Spoiling My Child or Accommodating His Special Needs - This hit me hard as my son was having bus troubles and I was accommodating his special needs by transporting him. 

February 2016

I had the opportunity to attend a road show that had speakers from the DDA, DVR, ARC, and Whatcom Disabilities.  It was great to have so much info right there and see how these services work with each other.  There is a still things I am unsure but having them all there cleared a lot up for me.

More interesting links
The Dirty Truth Behind Unemployment in the Autism Community

Parade Magazine had an interesting article on a company that employs autistic animators Exceptional Minds: Movie Magic

March 2016

An overwhelming list of links

Will He Live on His Own - Oh boy do these Mom's word's resonate with me.
I Can Not Die - Karen once again sums up challenges in transition and letting our kids adult
Autism Theory of Mind - this is a topic that is coming up frequently for my child and how he doesn't seem easily able to see other people's perspective. This mind blindness is causing a lot of social problems
Teen with Autism Reluctant to Learn to Drive Should Parent Push - I have a non driving teen.
Because of You - Autism and Marriage.  Once again autism is all the time thing and it takes a toll on relationships.
Top 10 Questions Parents Ask at Seattle Children's Autism Clinic

I spent a lot of time reading In a Different Key, The Story of Autism.  It was enlightening to me on a couple of different levels.  One that parents really were very instrumental in propelling people to think about autism and  research autism.  Secondly, it was helpful to see the whole picture and spectrum.  My review is here.

Attended the transition fair with my kid, he was most interested in getting all the stamps in his passport.  BUT he attended and he has never before done that. 

I also went with him to get an ID card.  That reminded me a lot of some of the challenges he is going to face with waiting, lines, and dealing with government agencies.  There is some work to be done there. Now I need to teach him to carry that ID.

Part 1
Part 2

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Spring Break Linky

Ahh the sweet sweet start of our Spring Break at Last!  Here is some reading material for your Spring Break. The Tim McGraw song has been stuck in my head for the last week.

Growing Up in a Bad Neighborhood Does More Harm Than Good

Tell Me What You Did Today and I Will Tell You Who You Are - OK, this one is deep but I keep coming back to it. Just some food for thought.

When Frustration Gets the Ball Rolling - Love me some Modern Mrs Darcy. 

10 Things You Want to Know About Fixer Upper - Continuing my love fest of Chip and Joanna Gaines

Friday, April 1, 2016

What I learned in March


This ivy heart is in Bellingham, Washington  near the waterfront. I kept seeing it on social media so I decided to seek it out.


I learned that when I turn age 45 unintentional accidents are no longer the leading cause of death in my age group.  I don't know if that is reassuring or not because Malignant Neoplasms becomes the leading cause of death - GOOD TIMES  CDC Data on the Leading Causes of Death by Age Group.


I was TOTALLY late to the Podcast party. I started to listen to the first season of Serial and I am addicted. I totally binged listened. Anyone else do that? Oh by the way it is totally relaxing to color doing these things. Any one have some podcasts to recommend?

Interesting link - Why Listening to Podcasts Helps Improve Kids Reading

Passport from Transition Fair
I spent a lot of time this month on transition activities for my High School Senior who has autism. I attended the transition fair put on by the Arc and got my son official ID. Some of the journey can be found here - part 1, part 2

I am linking up with Chatting with the Sky