Friday, June 8, 2018


There are more examples than I can list ... this is only the most recent example.

Most of you know that DC works in a group supported employment program.

During the spring and summer he works in their greenhouse and also helps to take care of the grounds/lawn.

You may also know that every morning I have to load him up with bug spray and sunscreen (which he <insert sarcasm font> thoroughly enjoys <end sarcasm font>). 

Adding to the sheer annoyance of having me spray this stuff all over him every morning, there is also the issue of him not really understanding how to hold his breath so he is not breathing it all in. I do try to cover his nose and mouth AND we usually go out on the porch but he just can’t seem to move out of the cloud before he takes a deep breath.

I grabbed a few of these masks the other day from work to use temporally until I had a chance to pick up some not-so-cumbersome masks somewhere else.

The day I brought them home, DC and Doug were going to walk the trail with his ARC friends.  I told Doug to be sure to put some bug spray on DC before they walked. I gave him a mask and explained what it was for.

I wondered why Doug was taking the mask with him but I saw he was also carrying the can of bug spray so I just figured he was going to put it on DC when they arrived at the trail.

When they arrived home after walking Doug reported that DC hated the mask. His glasses were fogging up and he just couldn’t stand it.

Me: (confused by this)”How long could it have taken to put bug spray on him?”
Me: “How could his glasses fog up in that small amount of time?”
Doug: “We only made it half way down the trail before he insisted on taking it off.”
Me: “Wait! You made him walk with the mask on?”
Doug: “Yes, you said it was for his allergies!”
Me: “No..... I said it was so he didn’t breathe in all of the bug spray”
(I mean, seriously.... what he heard wasn’t even close to what I said)
Me: So did you at least put the mask on him while you were spraying him?
Doug: No, I put it on him when we started walking.

#NobodyListensToMe #YouCantMakeThisStuffUp

From: Facebook Status May 31, 2018

After the initial Shaking Of My Head and "Wow! How did he get that so wrong" faded away, the next realization was:

I am sure that more than one person in the ARC Group must have wondered and asked why DC was walking wearing this industrial-style, cumbersome mask. I don't have to even ask; I can hear and see it, clear as day - Doug's explanation:

"His mother <insert head shake and eye roll>. You know how she is."

No matter what he tells me, I know there was some amount of eye-rolls and "over-protective mother" insinuations on his part.



This blog is used for shorter posts, off topic posts and also for longer Facebook statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

A 'Dinglehopper' will just have to do

I must admit that I have never really carried a brush, comb, makeup or anything of the sort in my purse. Although my purse is heavy enough to be used as a weapon, I never got into the habit of carrying the "basic items" that everyone else always seems to carry.

My hair was always pretty much "my hair". There was really never any specific style to it. It was long (down to my waist) and straight for many years and later (we'll skip right over the perm stage in the 80's) shorter but still really with no specific style, so carrying around a brush or a comb (a comb, that would have never made it through my hair back in the day) was never anything I thought about.

DC is very in-tune to my hair (and hair in general) and points out my hair flaws quite often. He will randomly come at me with a comb or brush. He once, while "braiding" his step mother's hair, tied it all in teeny-tiny knots that had to be cut out. He loves to "do hair", but one must be very careful to pay attention to exactly what he is doing when he is "doing" your hair.

Facebook Status December 2012 (No link, it was on my personal page)

"Mom, your hair is a de - aster" - Happy Saturday!

Facebook Status Feb 2013 (personal page)

DC-"Mom, your hair is a 'de-aster"" 
(apparently this is a cronic condition)
me- "But DC, doesn't it look better now that I've brushed it?"
d- "NO!" 
.....everyone's a critic... Happy Tuesday!


Facebook Status September 2016

"Mom! Your hair looks 'loverly' it looks so 'grouchous' " 
(believe me, it does NOT!)
Can we all agree that he is definitely up to something?


Facebook Status - September 2017

DC: "Mom! Mom's hair is a mess and 'rooted' (DC- speak for ????)
Me: Thanks, Bud!
Happy Saturday

Facebook Status October 2017

Usually DC will ask me to tie a bow (after braiding, of course) in one or more of his doll’s hair - it’s kind of my second job...
Today he asked me just to make a bow. I asked what the bow was for.
“Ariel’s hair”
But how are you going to get it to stay in her hair?
#ScotchTape - the next best thing to #bandaids


Facebook Status - May 2018

DC has always had a thing about my hair (see date on the FB post in photo) - On Saturday we took a day trip to New York City, DC's favorite place. It poured early in the day (see photo behind FB post) - Even though it did not rain the rest of the day, I was poured on and there was no coming back from that. All day long at semi-regular intervals, I heard:
"Mom's Hair"
"Mom's hair is a 'de-aster'"
"Mom's Hair is a big mess"
(I got it, really I understood)
Then to add insult to injury he turned to his Grandmother and said:
"Grandmother's hair looks very pretty"
BOOM! #BadHairDay


I admit that there are times when carrying around a brush or a comb would be very helpful. Getting stuck in the rain - helpful.

(Warning! Run-on Sentence) Going to the dentist where they have you way back in the chair so they can lean all over the hair that falls over the sides of the head rest, knotting it up and ripping it out of your head and the end result is you leaving looking as if you have just walked through a windstorm - helpful.

On these occasions, when I happen to be going straight to work, I have been known to get a plastic fork from the staff kitchen to run through my hair.

If it's good enough for Ariel, it's good enough for me.

 DC would be so very proud....


This blog is used for shorter posts, off topic posts and also for longer Facebook statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Those Tree Branches just can't seem to leave him alone...

Standard answers via: Random Facebook Statuses: When he finds an answer he likes, he certainly sticks with it!

January 2018

This morning: DC, up and ready for “boys day out” - I noticed a scratch on his chin..
Me:What happened to your chin?
DC: Scratch 
Me: How did you scratch your face?
DC: Cat (we don’t have a cat)
DC: Bear claw (we sure don’t have a bear, unless Teddy counts)
Next up, was his standard reply to any scratch, mark or injury.....
Say it with me.... TREE BRANCH !

Facebook Status - January 2018

June 2017

We went from the hotel room, to the car, to a quick stop for lunch (where we walked through no forest, woods or shrubbery). Looking at DC across the table, I noticed a mark on his forehead. 
Me: DC, what did you do to your head? 
(Say it with me. All together now)
DC: "Tree Branch"

Facebook Status June 2017


March 2017

We'll that pesky and elusive tree branch has stuck again!
"DC, what happened to your head?" (there is a bump over his eyebrow)
DC: Tree Branch
(We are knee deep in snow - he has not left the house)

Facebook Status - March 2017


December 2016

"DC fell asleep on the couch last night. I happened to notice a scrape on his elbow. I went over to check to see if it was actually a scrape and accidentally woke him from a dead sleep. I apologized and told him that I was just looking at the scrape he had on his arm. In his half-asleep/half-awake fog, he felt for it. I asked him what had happened –

and even in this not fully awake – really mostly asleep state; his answer was the same as it always is. Already drifting back to sleep, he whispered, “Tree Branch”.

August 2016

When DC called today to say he was in the car and on his way home, I didn't get the normal "going home nowwwww". 
I got "Mom, I ripped my pants on purpose"
Me: Again?
DC: I ripped them to pieces. 
The last time this happened it was so bad that I had to leave work to pick him up. 
The driver seems to think that he ripped them getting in the car this time but he can't be sure and after seeing them, I'm not too sure either. 
Tonight I was trying to get the story out of him because of course I'd like to know if he is shredding his clothes again or if it was just something that happened. 
His reply..... "Tree Branch" .... 

Those Pesky Tree Branches.

Facebook Status - August 2016

 For something of an explanation about his "Tree Branch" injuries:

Those pesky tree branches…

I know that I have written more than once about DC’s inability to communicate to me or anyone else if/when something might be  wrong. There have been very few times that he has actually volunteered information to me when he was not feeling well or when something hurt or was bothering him.
Most of the time when he does communicate a problem to me, it is really just a ploy to cover himself in Band-Aids:  Continue Reading at Taking It a Step at a Time

This blog is used for shorter posts, off topic posts and also for longer Facebook statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Hmmmm. What don't you know about me?

I know I have said before that I do not participate all that often in Finish The Sentence Friday only because my mind goes blank when given a subject to write about.

The "Listicles"- I can manage at the last minute...... sometimes.

This weeks list - 10 things most people don't know about me, might be difficult. I may not come up with 10 (but I am sure to think of the rest 2 weeks from now) and I will try not to go to the "dark side" which is a real possibly, but I am going to give it a shot.

1. I have not driven on a highway since early 2000.
I was never a fan, but I finally just stopped one day when I felt as if I was going to just stop my car in the middle of the highway, jump out and run away screaming.

I started a new job a few months before that incident and every day the ride (for me) got worse and worse. It wasn't the traffic and as I said, I had never been a fan but every day I was sure would be the day that I would not make it.

Apparently this is one of the the ways my anxiety manifests itself, I am told. You do not have to tell me that the job had more than a lot to do with the anxiety manifesting. I know that.

I used to be embarrassed to admit my highway fear and would make all sorts of excuses not to go places when invited. I finally got over that and now I either get a ride or drive the back roads - everywhere.
It takes me a good long time to get any where, but it is okay. I do not mind.

No, I am not afraid to drive in the snow and I am not afraid of flying (these are questions I always seem to get asked when anyone learns of my 'highway anxiety". My anxiety is not limited to the highway. There are some roads that I have a difficult time with as well, but the highway is the big one).

2. I have severe anxiety
But  I have just told you that.

3. I have a red spot in my left eye (so I always look like I haven't slept in 5 days) from getting hit in the eye with a rock when I was a kid. It hit me while my eye was wide open because I did not see it coming. I still remember how much it hurt and being terrified to open my eye because I was sure my eye would fall out.

4. I have 4 younger brothers. I am the oldest.
My brother, closest in age to me and me are from my mother's first marriage.
After she married my step-father, they had three more children - so you know how that went. He had his own kids now.

5. I stole a penny candy.
Yes, there really was such a thing as penny candy once. Actually it was a gum ball that I took. I do not know why. I think I just wanted to see if I could do it. Seriously, I was so awkward about it that I am sure the store own knew. She probably felt sorry for me because I was just so bad at it. Afterward I was so wracked with guilt that I did not even chew the gum and the next time I was there, I left a nickle (just as awkwardly) on the counter. I am not sure that I ever told anyone about that to this day.

6. I understand that "Life isn't fair" but when there is a blatant display of unfairness - I cannot let it go.
I make it a mission to make the person who might be treating someone (not just me; anyone) unfairly to see the light. Often my mission leads to an argument but I can not just let it go. It festers and festers.

7. (Kind of along the same lines) I won't stop arguing if you don't let me finish making my point. 
There is nothing worse than when you know someone is not understanding what you are trying to  say but won't give you the opportunity to explain it in a way they will understand without being interrupted. You don't have to agree with me, but you are going to listen. DO NOT walk away when I am trying to explain something or the explanations will never end and I will bring it up at every opportunity.

(You may be beginning to notice that I have had a bad week)

8. I sleep with the lights on.
Although I have never been a a fan of the dark, sleeping with the lights on stems directly from DC who always has to have every light in the house on whether he is in the room or not. I would often wake up in the middle of the night to find DC had gotten up just to turn my bedroom light on and gone back to his room to sleep. It is like he had some sort of radar that tells him when someone turns a light off. I am so used to it that now I have to sleep that way. My neighbors must wonder why my lights never go out.

9. I sleep with the TV on - all night.
The TV is a distraction from the "mind-race" I have while trying to get to sleep. I can't watch anything too interesting or it will keep me awake, but whatever I am watching does have to be at least something that I semi-like.
This is a necessity.

10. I am totally afraid of animals.
Mice? I get it; they are tiny. Why would I be afraid of something so small? I am. Terrified! I can't even look at them on TV or in a commercial. No!
If I have to enter a dark room (like the ladies room at work), I will stick my hand inside to turn on the light while not looking into the room and wait; just in case there are mice so they have time to scatter before I see them.
I do not even want to see them.
Traps? No! I don't want to see them dead or alive..... period.

11 and 11 1/2 Teeth and Feet: I cannot stand seeing anyone brush their teeth, in person, on TV..... anywhere - I gag. I have to look away when DC brushes his teeth.
I hate feet. I don't want to see them on TV, in books, online or in person. Stop showing me your pedicures - I don't want to look.

(Many of the "dark side" items were edited out.)


This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. It’s old-school blogging with the listicle of “10 things most people don’t know about me,” hosted by Kristi of Finding Ninee and  co-hosted by Kenya G. Johnson of Sporadically Yours.

This blog is used for shorter posts and also for longer Facebook statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

There is extra sunscreen in his backpack

You may or may not remember that a couple of years ago I had a very difficult time getting the people at DC's work/day program to understand that he has seasonal allergies (see below if you want to catch up). Much of the problem is that the people I talk to in his annual meetings or at any other time, do not seem to pass any of the information on to anyone else that is working with him.

When he began breaking out in a rash because of the gloves they were using in the greenhouse - that information did not carry over to the other program he works in during the winter months. Sometimes I feel as if I have to talk to each and every person individually about everything.

Normally sometime before October the program moves the clients out of the greenhouse and has them work other jobs indoors until March/April.

Last year I asked them to tell me when they would be moving back indoors so I knew I did not have to continue applying the bug spray and sunscreen every morning (for those of you new here - DC just can't stand doing that every morning and because it stayed warm and sunny much longer last year than it normally does, his tolerance for all of that was stretched to the limit).

I also told his boss that there is extra bug spray and sunscreen in his backpack everyday, if he needs it (ticks were really bad last year as well).

A few days later I got a note in his talk book "DC is now working indoors with me until April" - I didn't know who "me" was and it just blows my mind that I have to ask to be told when there are changes in his program, but I always have to.

He was very happy that first morning, not to have me apply all of the screens.

The following day, his talk book said - "Worked raking leaves and weeding today".


Me: "I received a note saying he was back inside until April. I did not put any sunscreen or bug spray on him this morning. Please let me know if he is going to be working outdoors so I can do that. Also, there is extra sunscreen and bug spray in his back pack if he needs it"
Staff: "We only worked outside today because we were short staffed"
(to me, that reply sounded like it was just a one day thing)
Next Day: "We watered the plants and turned over the garden today" (or whatever they did, but whatever the specifics - they worked outside).
Seriously.... when I said to let me know if he would be working outside, I meant BEFORE he was going to be working outside, not after the fact. (and still, the sunscreen and bug spray in his backpack remained untouched).

We finally made it to a point where he was not working outside anymore because.... winter.

Now it is spring. I wrote a note asking them to let me know when he would be going back to the greenhouse so I could start putting on the dreaded sunscreen and bug spray.
They told me they were going back the following Monday.
Since that day, I have been applying sunscreen and bug spray every morning before he leaves. The extra is still in his back pack.

Today I got a note from his program:
"Worked on trimmings, cleaning up the yard. Please put 'tanning' lotion on DC if sunny"

For the above mentioned allergy issue, please read Maybe it's allergies (it is short)

This blog is used for shorter posts and also for longer Facebook statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time

Monday, April 16, 2018

#TravelingWithDC First Stop; Arlington and Washington D.C.

At the time of this trip (June 2017), I was bombarding my Face book page with so many pictures; I thought I'd wait awhile before writing about it - just to give everyone a break.

We went on a cruise a while back and after DC asked and I was made to recite the entire schedule for the week probably 153 times, I decided to try something new. I wrote it all out and posted it as wallpaper on his phone so he could read it anytime he felt the need to ask me to recite it. It actually worked. Instead of asking, he looked at his phone and recited it (probably over 152 times) out loud. I still had to listen to it, but I did not have to recite. 

I decided to try it again for this trip after his questions started to get to me; it did not work so well this time...... 


Moving on... We arrived at our hotel in Beltsville well after midnight. I was already feeling overwhelmed with trying to schedule everything we wanted to do in the next 7 days and also looking forward to getting some sleep that night and taking our time in the morning before heading to Washington D.C.

Upon checking in to the hotel:

- the hotel that we had made reservations for quite a good long while ahead of time.... - the hotel that could have called us at any time before we arrived...

The hotel (yes THAT one) told us that they would be turning off the water at 9:00 am the following morning for some sort of maintenance! It was after midnight and at that point much too late to find another place.

I was not looking forward to having to get up, showered and out by 9:00 am.

Should we just get up, get ready, have breakfast and go?
Should we just get ready before 9 and hang out (as originally planned) with no water?

If I was not already feeling overwhelmed, it probably would not have been such a big decision, but I was tired and crabby so we just went to bed with no plan for the next morning.

Morning came, DC also pretty crabby, was angry that the razor I packed for him was the "wrong color blue". After the razor fiasco wound down, he went on to yell/order "I want breakfast" over and over again. He has been known to "mention" his wants over and over again, but yelling orders at me is just not him. 

Through it all (did I mention they only gave us two towels and time was running out? Should we make due with the two towels and hand towels or should we wait for someone to bring more towels?) I may or may not have been giving Doug conflicting instructions... 

So Doug, in the screechy voice he only uses in these instances when I expect him to know what I want to do even though I, myself do not know what I want to do said/yelled "I don't know what you want me to do? You're not making any sense."

After all of my hemming and hawing, we managed to get ready by 9, took DC downstairs for breakfast and were on our way.

(BTW, these #$*^ heads decided at some unknown point, not to shut the water off at 9, but I guess decided to keep it a secret. By the time we realized, we had already had breakfast and DC knew we were leaving, so there was no turning back)

Next stop Washington D.C and Arlington.

We visited D.C. around 5/6 years ago (maybe more) so we were only stopping to see the couple of sights that we did not get to see the last time. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial was still under construction at the time and due to Rolling Thunder, we did not get to Arlington. We could have gone after the procession ended,  but it was our last day there and did not want to wait due to the long ride home.

One thing that I did take away from this entire trip was that I am no longer "one with the heat".
It was HOT!

First Stop: Arlington.

It was hot and DC was bored, but we were able to make our way through more of it than I thought we would. I would like to go back again some day in the spring or fall.

Next Stop: The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

Quite honestly, after Arlington I did not think DC would last very long here. 

Doug was walking the wall of quotes and DC and I were standing at the entrance/exit because he had already said that he was ready to leave.

While we were standing there waiting for Doug, DC noticed the quotes on the wall. He then proceeded to walk down the walkway to read each and every one of them!

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that"

I get a little bit teary-eyed every time I watch this video.

I am glad we finally got to see the completed Memorial.

We only scheduled the one day in D.C. so after we left the Memorial, we made our way to Virginia.

I promise you that the rest of our trip was not as crabby (but it was certainly HOT!)

To be continued.....

This blog is used for shorter posts, off topic posts, for longer Face book statuses and apparently complaints about dentists and doctors :) . Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time 

Friday, April 13, 2018

10 things I hate today

The 10 things I hate more than anything.

This is going to be easy and maybe a little nit-picky. Allergy season has just reared it's ugly head and I am crabby (I have a much better word, but I will try to be nice). 
Ten things I hate more than anything else?  Maybe not. Certainly 10 things I hate more than anything else recently...  some more shallow than others and in no particular order.

1. Allergies: Mine have gotten worse over the years and nothing seems to help. I tried Zyrtec last year but after reading Kenya's post, I stopped taking it immediately. Because we had nothing but cold and snow (3 times just last week) I was not ahead of the game and in a preventative frame of mind...
Now I am sure I will die before the Flonase starts to work.

2. The Group Text: The friend that texts you and 28 other people at 7:00 AM just to say "Happy Whatever Holiday" it might be - There is a way to opt out of the 28 replies (or how ever many chose to reply through that text instead of  replying via a NEW text to just the sender) in Facebook messenger, but if it's just a regular text, text - there is no way to do that. 

3. Hot Flashes: I am DONE. This is cruel and inhumane.  12 years of no sleep. 12 years of being drenched in sweat 24/7. Thousands of dollars spent on cooling pillows, blankets, ice packs, portable fans. No Sleep - did I mention that? I NEED Sleep!

4. Volunteers: People that volunteer for the wrong reasons - especially with my son and others like him. I originally gave this particular volunteer the benefit of the doubt and thought that maybe she was shy. But after looking at the whole picture.... no, that wasn't it at all.
I just wrote about this last week, so this is just an excerpt:

A shy person would say hello. A shy person might maybe look in his general direction once in a while. A shy person would at least acknowledge his existence. She does none of those things.... not one. If you were there to see this, you would understand that this is NOT just a case of her wanting to spend time with her friends.She treats him as if he does not exist, as if he is not a person.You have to wonder what motivates her to even volunteer with this team.Common courtesy would motivate a person to at the very least,  say hello. Apparently some people do not see our children as real people. This is a problem.
5. Inspiration Porn: (From that same post)
Doug works as a job coach in a transition program. Like the program that DC attended through our school system (18-21) but located at a local college, the program Doug works for is also through that town's school system and is located in their local college. Doug will also volunteer his time to DJ dances for his students.A little while back, while on our way to one of DC's events, I asked him how the dance went the night before. He said that it went well. Then he began telling me that one of the college's sports teams had to do some community service hours - I thought he was going to say that they volunteered at the dance, but no.They opted to have dinner with some of his students in the cafeteria before the dance. Basically, they took 45 minutes < Insert Sarcasm Font> out of their busy day to have dinner in the cafeteria with these kids <End Sarcasm Font>.So........ having dinner with one of our kids is now considered community service???I wonder if there will be a video?

6. Meatloaf: We talked about this a few weeks ago - Hate it!

7. Weight: Mine! We've talked about this as well. Some of the difficulty in losing any of it may swing back to the whole Hot Flash section, but it is never not on my mind. I am uncomfortable all day, every day. I have gained and lost weight plenty of times over the years but never anything like this. I have not even come close to anything like this since I was pregnant with DC when it was like someone gave me a license to eat. I gained the whole 25 lbs. allowed for the entire pregnancy in the first 4 months. By the time I was through, I had put on 60 (maybe 70/80) pounds. Now, in my defense - when I was pregnant I worked for Baskin-Robbins in the office in the plant where they made and shipped the ice cream. The production guys would actually ask me what flavors I wanted in the lunch room every day (Be nice to the pregnant lady). There is NOTHING like the tubs of ice cream that have just come off the line. Nothing. Trust me.
I have no excuse this time around except "Oldness".

8. Telemarketers:  (I was just reminded about telemarketers so this list item has been edited) The only people who call on my landline are my mother and DC's father, every other call is a telemarketer.
I am being traumatized by my phone. My cell is worse and I feel as if I have to answer because I have a child with autism and a seizure disorder. How could I not answer?
The worst thing about these telemarketers is that they call my son's phone a good twenty times a day (no exaggeration). He barely understands how to use the phone and these people are just proving to confuse him. He gets so many calls and texts that I am sure that his number was on a list that was sold by our provider to these companies. I had to put his phone on Do Not Disturb, which was the last thing I wanted to do because I want to be able to reach him when I need to. There is a setting to allow calls from the people in his contact list but what if something happened and I had to call him from another phone or something? Why does something as simple as a telephone have to be this difficult for him?

9. The Pile: The pile of mail and forms and things that I have to fill out or things that I'm not sure that I should throw away. Fortunately there is only DC and me that have to sit at the kitchen table or we'd have to get a bigger table. (It's not just the table that is cluttered. You can not imagine how much paperwork one has to fill out and save when your disabled child becomes an adult. I don't know where people put all of this stuff.)

10: Shredding: Rather; emptying the shredder. This may circle back to the piles of mail on my table. I will go to great lengths not to have to empty the shredder. 

Bonus: I also hate how I can not spot my own typos. When I proofread, I find myself not reading what I typed but "reading" what I know it is supposed to say instead of paying attention to what it does say. I miss a lot. Since I wrote this rather quickly and do not have time to proofread even once, I am apologizing now... 

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday Listicle. 10 things I hate more than anything hosted by Kristi Campbell of Finding Ninee and , Kenya G. Johnson of Sporadically Yours.
This blog is used for shorter posts, off topic posts, for longer Facebook statuses and apparently complaints about dentists and doctors :) . Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time