Friday, March 30, 2018

Weight, Frosting, Birthdays: You have to be a little bit impressed.

(((off topic; aka - not autism related))))

My birthday just passed. I had the day off from work.

People seem to be under the impression that I do not like my birthday because I always take the day off. I do take the day off to avoid the "forced birthday cake where everyone stands around the staff room uncomfortably", but I also take the day off because I LIKE my birthday and do not want to spend it at work.

I have never been a fan of cake (frosting is another story) but still we are required to have forced, stand around uncomfortably in the staff room cake - every year. I do not eat the cake, but it doesn't matter - it is all about the cake. Even as a kid, I was never a fan of sitting there, having everyone staring at me while singing "Happy Birthday" - There are many home movies that still exist of me crying - cake in front of me - while people were singing.

Over the years I have, many times asked for no cake. I was told I was depriving the rest of the staff of cake. Since it is all about the cake and not really about my birthday, I started instructing the person in charge of cakes to have the cake on my birthday when I was out of the office.

This tactic worked for a few years. This year, I was scheduled to be off but a Nor Easter hit, so no one made it into the office that day.

Because of the storm, the following Friday was declared "Free Lunch Friday", and lunch was purchased for the staff. My birthday was listed among the reasons for this lunch (St. Patrick's Day, College Basketball, Ides of March were some of the others). Much like my mother making meatloaf every year for my birthday dinner (I HATE meatloaf. And NO, it is not "just like hamburgers"), they ordered barbecue. I hate barbecue. I also hate things that are smoked because to me, if you smoke something, it ends up tasting like ham. I hate ham.

All of this started me thinking about all of the foods that I do not like - and there are plenty.
It also made me realize that it is simply amazing that I have been able to gain as much weight as I have managed to gain when you look at all of the foods that I just will not eat....

You HAVE to be a little bit impressed by that.


About THE Frosting........

After having oral surgery I went searching through my refrigerator and cabinets for some more exciting “soft food” when I came across a can of frosting in one of my cabinets.
Why did I have a can of frosting?
Beats me!
My baking skills leave a lot to be desired.
How old was this can of frosting?
Your guess is as good as mine – but in my mind, it fell into the soft food category; so…. okay. Score!
Finding this can of frosting brought me back to when DC was little. I always had a can of frosting in the refrigerator. It was a staple.
I am not a fan of cake, really – but frosting?
“Just the frosting, please.”
Never trust a person who says the cake is delicious but the frosting is just “too sweet”.
Move away from the cake… just hand it over.
I have it on good authority that THE second best thing for a frosting junkie is access to leftover cake, preferably refrigerated but room temp will do.
Leftover cake in the privacy of your own home gives license to slice (not scrape…. slice) off all of the frosting around the sides and of course the top so there is just a very thin almost just crumb-like layer of cake with the sliced frosting.
Be warned! There will be complaints that you are leaving everyone else with naked cake. What is everyone else supposed to do with a naked cake?
Donate it to the “frosting is TOO sweet” people or throw it away. Who cares?
It’s frosting-less cake.
Nobody wants it, but feel free to let it sit, naked in the refrigerator for a few more days for appearances sake to sort of console yourself into thinking that you left some for somebody else. (You also rendered it useless for those you were so nice to leave it for. But letting it sit there creates the illusion that you do not in any way understand that you have ruined the leftover cake for everyone else)
The frosting that I always had on hand when DC was young and replaced as soon as it was gone, was MY frosting. It was there just for me when I decided a spoonful of frosting was in order. (of course I was much <MUCH> thinner way back then).
Some people keep a stash of chocolate. I kept frosting.
That along with my (MY) own jar of Peanut Butter for those occasions when a spoonful of Peanut Butter was the craving, were always present in my refrigerator. I still hide my own jar of Peanut Butter – because some things do not change.
DC did not know about this frosting that I found in the cabinet, so I declared it, in my head to be mine. My mouth had been ripped to pieces. It had been a week and a half of soup and other foods that I do not like. It had been a week and a half of pain and after all of that time stuck in the house in pain and starving, this is what my life had come to…. total over-the-top excitement about a can of frosting!
But I deserved this frosting.
I only took it out when DC was not in eye shot.
I felt guilty hiding it from him, but not guilty enough to share it.
It was mine.
Mine, I tell you!
All good things must come to an end….. he caught me.
He wanted some.
Not wanting him to pick up the bad habit of eating out of containers or finish the last of it,  I spread some on a few bite size cookies for him.  He was good with that.
It was the tail end of the can so there was just a little bit left for me.
It was the tail end of the can. He knew that, so he would not be looking for more.
It was the tail end of the can and although I thought about it – a lot,  it will not be replaced.
It was the tail end of the can…
I found a can of frosting.
I was excited.
It is gone now.
That is all.    

The beginning of this post was written a few weeks ago but never finished. Instead of finishing it the way I had intended, I decided to use it as an opener for an old post - That counts, right?

This is a Throwback Friday post. It's the fifth Friday prompt, of the Finish the Sentence writing community, Co-hosted by: Kenya G. Johnson of Sporadically Yours and Kristi Campbell of Finding Ninee. This week we're sharing something previously written. 

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 

Friday, March 23, 2018

Connecting to 'I love you"

Yesterday was DC's 27th birthday.

‘Twenty-Seventeen’ (27 in DC-speak) is so difficult to wrap my head around. We’re moving closer and closer to 30 and I may never get over that.
Many times over the years and the course of a day, DC will tell me that he loves me, complete with the “I Love You” sign.
I, of course will say and sign it right back.
This has morphed over the years into our own little thing, where we connect our two “I Love you” signs into one and I love it! It was DC who first came up with the connecting.

That "I love you" connect just makes me happy every day, but especially on his birthday. Who would have ever thought he would come up with that himself?
This child is the love of my life. He is my joy.
My wish for my boy on his birthday is that the rest of his life will be filled with the love and happiness he brings to me every day.
Happy Birthday to the guy who will always be my baby. 

I love him “Magly”. 
(This is a small excerpt from DC's annual birthday post)

This was a Share a Photo/Tell the Story Friday post. It's the Week 4 old school blogging prompt for the Finish the Sentence Friday writing community hosted by Kenya G. Johnson of Sporadically Yours and Kristi Campbell of Finding Ninee
Finish the Sentence Friday is a link-up where writers and bloggers come together to share their themselves with a particular prompt (different formats each week of the month). 
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 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Fortune Cookies, Coffee and Laughter

I was not prepared to write anything this week, until Kenya visited my facebook page and mentioned that I should post the video of my son that was there today. So that is pretty much what I did and all I really could do here at (shhh) work (shhh).

There is nothing like the sound of my son's laughter. Especially his "can't stop belly-laugh". It is highly contagious and you cannot be in anything but a good mood after you hear it.

There will never be anything like my son's laughter.

Facebook Status 3/16/18
Reading fortunes at the Chinese Restaurant (we had snow on my birthday so we chose the close-by option for dinner) - Video includes pauses for eating - he had to finish one before opening another - and for laughing - some of the laughing is in his the fake over the top, breath-out laugh that makes me nervous that he will pass out.... #FortuneCookies


Facebook Status - One year ago

He's finding my day long - looking for my coffee, finding it cold in the microwave, reheating, looking for my coffee, finding it cold in the microwave, reheating, looking for my coffee, finding it cold in the microwave, reheating debacle highly entertaining. #WhereDidILeaveMyCoffee

Nothing like it!


Finish the Sentence Friday is a link-up where writers and bloggers come together to share their themselves with a particular prompt (different formats each week of the month).
this week's Finish the Sentence Stream of Consciousness post! Write 5 minutes on the prompt word "Laughter." 

Hosted by Finding Ninee and 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 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Here I go again...Safety and Danger

(Apparently, I have not gotten this topic all out of my system. Also, for the record, I do not focus on the downside, but I do write about it from time to time. I have, in fact at times been accused of being too lighthearted on both of my blogs - so I just cannot win.)

I have told you anauseam that DC does not understand safety or danger. I have told you that I tell stories; individual stories, to show you how his mind works - so that it is clear to you that every autistic individual is NOT the same. 

We keep hearing and reading:
If you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism,” ~ Dr. Stephen Shore
but it does not seem to carry over into our real life views and assumptions.

So I tell stories, about my child and about his autism. 

I tell stories about his inability to communicate even though he is verbal.
I tell stories about the things he has come to figure out and learn and things that are still works in progress.
I tell you that he is unaware of danger and safety issues, no matter how often these things are explained to him.

Just telling you that, does not seem to make you believe or understand, so I try to tell specific stories.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

This post IS about Star Trek Discovery

((off topic))

I wrote a post about the first part of season one of Discovery and I tried hard not to spoil anything. Without being able to spoil, there was not a whole lot I could say.  The post went in another direction and turned out to be more about what distracted me (fun things) than about anything else.

(See: This post is supposed to be about #StarTrekDiscovery)

This post will be more about some of my own theories or hopes for the next season. We have a very long wait for season 2 so some of my theories may change, but for now this is what I have.

I may have offered some of these opinions in other posts or on the #MomsGoingBoldly Pod Cast but am not going to go through everything again to check what I said and where I said it, so please bear with me.

After watching the first half of the season, I wondered whether those first two episodes were really necessary. Most of what happened in the first two episodes (which to be honest, if it were not for the pod cast I would not have stopped watching there) could have been taken care of in exposition or flashbacks. It seems now after watching the rest of the series, those two episodes were there only to bring us the Captain Georgiou character back story and only the Georgiou character backstory. It still seems to me that bringing this character's story into the Discovery story-line could have been just as easily accomplished through flashbacks.

After those first two episodes, it became a whole new show and it was fantastic.

There were things that I did not pick up on right away because I did not realize at first that this was more of a serialized Star Trek and not a stand-alone episodic show like TOS. Elizabeth (Host of #MomsGoingBoldly) picked up on the whole Voq / Ash Tyler conspiracy before I did . But once I realized that this would not be a collection of stand-alone episodes, my compulsion for having to figure out everything kicked in - many times over the rails, kicked in - but it was there every moment.

The biggest question, in my and everyone's mind at the mid-season finale: Was Ash Tyler really Voq and we had that question answered rather quickly in the second half of the season.

I still believe that the IMDB page "error" that listed Shazad Latif as playing a Klingon on Star Trek Discovery (you know the one that was quickly removed?) was all a ploy to build interest in the new series. Knowing Star trek fans would be out in force looking at everything printed or posted, I strongly believe that this "accidental" addition to the IMDB page and then the sudden appearance of an "unknown" actor being credited to the role was all done to get people talking and to help generate fan theories around the show and character.

It certainly worked and whoever came up with that idea deserves a big promotion and raise. Hats off to Star Trek Marketing.

The second half of the first season was even better than the first. We visited the Mirror Universe, which was probably no surprise to anyone, but still fun. We had been a little bit (more than a little bit) leery of Captain Lorka and all of those fears came to fruition when we discovered he was not the prime Lorka at all, but the mirror universe Lorka! Leaving the fate of prime Lorka, who was dismissed as dead a little too quickly by Admiral Cornwell, up in the air. I am hopeful that we will get to meet Prime Lorka eventually.

The death of Dr. Culber at the hands of Ash/Voq was devastating at the time, but even at the time, I felt that this would not be the end of Dr. Culber. Unless you are working in a Joss Whedon production, I do not believe that anyone would hire Wilson Cruz and set up this lovely relationship with Paul Stamets only to have it end so abruptly in the very first season. You just don't.

(Full disclosure; After Kol was killed I did go on the record on that episode's pod cast as saying, "You don't cast Kenneth Mitchell as an unrecognizable Klingon only to kill him off in the first half of the season". And so far, I guess the show's creators may have done just that very thing. So what do I know?)

But....according to some of the articles, tweets and posts I have read very recently, I might have correctly taken my assigned seat on the  "Dr. Culber Lives" bandwagon.

Let us not forget that lone spore that fell on Cadet Tilly's shoulder. Is it a piece of mirror Lorka? Is it the piece of Dr. Culber that we met in the mycelial network? Is it something else all together? Of course I am hoping for Dr. Culber, but it really opens up a lot of different avenues for the show to take.

L'Rel has taken control of the Klingons.... for the time being. 

Mirror Georgiou is still out there. We surely have not seen the last of her.

I am guessing that we have not seen the last of Harry Mudd either.

When we left Discovery, they were on their way to Vulcan to pick up their new captain. My first question is why is Saru being passed over?  The next question - who is this new captain? My money is on T'Pol but really only because they are headed for Vulcan and I really cannot come up with another character that we have seen before who would be alive during this time period. But who knows, it may just be a totally new character all together. Jeffrey Combs? I am waiting for him to make an appearance somewhere along the line. It IS becoming tradition.

At the very end of the last episode, while on their way to Vulcan, the Discovery received a distress signal from none other than the USS Enterprise - Captain Pike to be specific.

This was exciting to say the least. We all know that the Enterprise's science officer in this part of the Star Trek timeline is none other than Mr. Spock.

I am excited to see who will portray Captain Pike, but I am not 100% convinced that we will actually get a Mr. Spock (an observation of mine that I do not think made the cut in the final episode's pod cast - but I did not listen to it all over again to be sure).

I am really not 100% convinced that we will see either (more-so, Mr. Spock) but I would be very happy to be wrong. Casting these two characters will be very difficult, indeed.

I have one final observation/obsession/theory that I cannot seem to shake. Due to the treatment of Voq by the Klingons, the manipulation of his body and mind by L'Rel and because that manipulation/surgery and reprogramming did not go as expected and left him as basically one body sharing two vastly different personalities, memories and allegiances; I believe there will be a breaking point. A break from both Klingon and Human. Maybe a failed attempt to revert to his Klingon body combined with the added confusion and stress of being not one or the other; but something will lead this character to drop both the Voq and Ash identities and become the character we all know as "The Albino" from DS9.

I may never see pay dirt on this theory, but unless I see Voq/Ash's death at some point during this series, I will continue to believe that he is The Albino. It will be fact, if only in my own head.


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 



Plans and the weather

(24 hours in Facebook Statuses)

Night - Facebook Status

DC has big plans for tomorrow. Tomorrow is his scheduled 6 month IP (no E, he’s out of school) review. Although he does not in any way enjoy attending these meetings, he is excited because he knows that after the meeting I can stay and have lunch with him in the program’s restaurant. Friday is also, library day. After the library we are supposed to have dinner with his aunt and uncle - which he is also looking forward to. Now we hear that there is some sort of “weather” on the way for tomorrow. How much weather - we don’t know because I am not allowed to watch the weather, due to his belief that watching the weather actually brings the bad weather. 
In-between pacing and asking me over and over again about the meeting, lunch, library, dinner (to which I cannot give him definite answers) and opening the door to look out and yell “snow go away” (it’s not snowing) he is also announcing
“ My ‘twenty-seventeen’ birthday”. He just flipped the calendars this morning to March so he’ll be announcing his birthday to me all month. #ItsWhatsNext- He has a lot on his mind tonight. #Help 

The Following Afternoon after hearing about the weather, the meeting, lunch and dinner all morning before his transportation arrived, Facebook Status

Last night I posted about DC’s plans for today, the weather, and his growing anxiety over all of it. So far it is just wind and lots of rain so his program and meeting did not get cancelled (although I did have to avoid tree limbs in the roads all the way there and there still is a BIG threat of the power going out - which hasn’t occurred to him yet.... we’ll cross that bridge later I’m sure). 
When I arrived he was still out of sorts and wigging out over dinner (he was no longer concerned about lunch because I was there, so he knew lunch was on).
We were waiting in the conference room for his case manager who was late (did I mention that DC HATES these meetings???).
His case manager arrived and for some unknown reason did not notice that DC was upset right away (???) and began asking him questions which only made him that much more upset.
(Note: When DC is upset he will generally answer any question with the last thing you have said)
Finally he realized DC’s anxiety and asked:
“DC is something bothering you?”
DC: Yes!
CM: What is it that is bothering you?
DC: You!
(I am the mother so I am not supposed to laugh..... but I did)

The photo is of the finally calm and happy DC having “lunch with Mom”

Now let’s all join hands and hold our breath for dinner and begin praying to the power gods, please. This wind is getting scary.


Later...... (personal facebook page - no link)

aaannnd .... the lights are flickering.


3:20 PM

Apparently his program lost power sometime after I left, but he had library and dinner on his mind so believe it or not, it was not the first thing he said when he got home! (Progress??)

4:09 PM

So far so good - DC and Mrs. H. left for the library.

(I am left-handed, in case you might be wondering)


4:40 PM 

DC and Mrs. H arrive back home

Quick thinking on Mrs. H's part...... Treats!


5:27 PM Facebook Status

As much as storms and wind frighten him, he seems much better when he is able to watch what’s going on. Due to the high winds I wouldn't let him go down to the garage and watch with the garage door open, he decided to take position on the stairs in front of the front door.
#Whateverworks (dinner is still on, so far)

6:30 PM Facebook Status

For those who may be new here: I do not normally post this many times in a single day - 
Now, moving on...
We were able to go to dinner with his Aunt and Uncle (can you say, Phew?). He even received a few early birthday gifts.

(The photo is of the finally calm and happy DC having his highly anticipated dinner with his aunt, uncle and Mom)

As expected, with dinner being out of the way, he is now perseverating on the wind and the power going out. I made the mistake of saying “So far, so good” and due to that error in judgement, I will be hearing that phrase in my sleep tonight. 
#SoFarSoGood #StillPrayingToThePowerGods
The wind has actually died down considerably, but he’s too far into “storm mode” to hear any of that.

Later at home
All plans for the day have been checked off his list (in one way or another). Now it is time to devote his full attention to the storm, which in reality was not a storm anymore - it wasn't even raining.

Mom, so far, so good
Mom, I am brave
Mom, wind go away
Mom, look out the door

Mom, so far, so good
Mom, I am brave
Mom, wind go away
Mom, look out the door

Repeat....125 times...

Mom, wind will be over tomorrow

Repeat ...72 times...

Edited to add, because how could I forget...

Ms. (Lastname), the wind will be over tomorrow. (He skipped right past "Mom" and "Vickie" and went straight to addressing me formally. I don't know why. He calls me Vickie quite often because he has been told and is aware that he is an adult and he decided that he should be using my adult name. I don't know the reason for the Ms. - :) )


Finally it was time for bed.
He did wake me up twice which was an upgrade to the 4 times he woke me up the night before - so ... progress.

Morning came - the sun was out. The wind had died down to next to nothing.


It was OVER!


Moving on....

"Mom, DC's 'twenty-seventeen' birthday is coming soon"



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