i have your back


drawing by Mo Willems

the tumult in the country this week is sapping my energy, so i don’t have much for today.  i have been making a concerted effort to try to counteract all of the negative stuff with positive actions.

in the interest of putting my money where my mouth is, i have set up a recurring monthly donation to planned parenthood,  and i made a larger, one-time donation to TransLifeline.

i plan to send  notes of support to muslim schools and mosques in the area, and to write thank you notes to president obama and secretary clinton.

i am planning to have a box of diapers shipped to Refugee Services of Texas, as they are in need of diapers (sizes 4,5,and 6) and gift cards for groceries.  I will also donate a box of diapers to our local early intervention group that sees families with kids with special needs, and those families can’t always afford the diapers they need.

i am going to embrace the simple safety pin and wear it as a sign to others that i will stand with anyone being bullied.   i will continue to look for opportunities to “be the change” in my community, and continue to examine ways in which i can use my white privilege to fight for equality for all.


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A monstrous collaboration


xfailurefacex and i have been chatting back and forth about doing a collaboration of monsters.  we thought a plush monster collaboration would be amazing, but hard to get going during this month of daily postings.  in an effort to scale down to something a little more manageable, we are going to do a drawing collaboration instead.

the plan:  i will write a description of a monster here, and we will both draw/paint/render it artistically.  we will post our results on both of our blogs.  then xfailurefacex will write a description and we will do it again.

the invitation:  anyone is welcome to join us, and i am happy to post your pictures on my blog, or link to images on yours.

the description:  the monster’s body is vaguely spherical, sheathed in wrinkled, leathery flesh the color of a summer melon.  the hills and valleys of its lumpy flesh are marked by occasional tufty eruptions of mangy fur that might be called chartreuse, due to its similarity to the color of a bowl of split pea soup.  the majority of this viridescent fringe seems to have congregated at the extremities, and its arms and legs drip with the fuzzy plumage.  its hands look strangely human, in the way that the hands of a primate clearly demonstrate their heritage as our ancestors.  the feet leave its means of locomotion to the imagination, as walking or running in the usual manner seem unlikely.  some quirk of creation took the monster a small step away from the biological tradition of radial  symmetry, and its cranium is perched at an angle that makes the whole creature appear slightly out of whack.  but what is most striking is the way its enormous eyes, prominent even in a face marked by multiple fleshy protuberances, seems strangely human in their quivery desire to connect.

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Nervous hands

i was so anxious today i made potato soup and clover leaf rolls…from scratch.

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a grain silo

when she saw the grain silo, she inexplicably felt as if she was finally home.

thank you to nobodysreadingme for the prompt.

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home school on the range

so, you have heard me say that this year i am homeschooling the kiddos.  i have not gone the formal “we sit at the table and work from 8:30 to 3:00 route.”

the squirm is getting the most academic time.  he goes to the coolest home school enrichment program on mondays, where he does art, physics and pe.  he is the youngest in the group, so he is getting exposed to things i would not dare attempt!  i love it.

he also goes to a weekly science class, presented by another of the home school moms, and he is part of a monthly science coop.  wednesdays through fridays we use work boxes to present curriculum, and his aba therapists help him work through the contents.

 of course i try to balance things out by including mostly reading and math exercises.  but i can’t resist adding an art activity each day as well.

i was originally struggling to find a way to put a self contained art lesson in a drawer,  something that could be done without my involvement.  then i discovered deep space sparkle.  fun activities, great directions, and it is really the one opportunity for both kids to participate in the same activity.

this friday  i chose this activity, based on the book a color of his own, by leo lionni.  it was a guided drawing (excellent practice for following verbal directions), and then watercolor resist.  i helped the squirt out by drawing his chameleon, but the squirm drew and painted completely independently.  i might have to frame this one.

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Mystery Blogger Award

i am so excmysteryblogdoneited to share that i was awarded the mystery blogger award!  yay!!!

as per the rules, I am to share three things about myself!

  • i am finally fulfilling my dream of being a radio dj.  i have a weekly show that is broadcast over the internet.  the radio station is based in the u.k. and i am currently the only dj who broadcasts from the u.s.a.
  • i have two sons with autism.  after fighting with the public school system, and then moving to try private schools, i am currently homeschooling them with the help
    of a team of behavioral therapists.atcyouneverknow
  • i am an artist, who rarely has the chance to create.  having the kids home all the time
    has eradicated all of my alone time, and i have trouble focusing wheni know i will be interrupted.  i am trying to start art journaling, to cultivate more of a process art habit, where the end product is no longer a goal.

i am to also nominate 10-20 bloggers:

i am to link my best post:  

ok, i am stumped on this one.  no idea….

and 5 questions for me to answer:

Why did you start blogging?

i was a new mom and feeling very isolated.  i was looking to find a community online.

What is your favorite thing about it?

being a part of the community i found!

What do you do when you are not blogging?

take care of the kids, the dogs, the cat, the lizard, the house….if i am lucky i read or crochet.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

i must not be scarred by embarrassment, because i can’t really think of anything.

If you could be an animal which would it be?

probably a dolphin

a big thank the person who created this award: Okoto Enigma. I enjoy reading your blog and I love the fact you created an Award like this. 

thank you so much to Creative Misfit for the nomination.   it is always extremely flattering and affirming to me to get recognition from my blog peers!

This is why the award was  created : 

“There are a lot of amazing blogs out there that haven’t been discovered, yet. And, most of these blogs deserve recognition. For that reason, I decided to create my own award; and nominate people who can also nominate others; and so on. This is one of the best ways to create a friendly community and build a link between bloggers in the blogosphere; as everyone gets nominated and they too can spread the fun by nominating more people for the award. I decided to call the award “Mystery Blogger Award.” Why? Because the meaning of my name, “Enigma” is “mystery.” So basically, it’s named after me; the creator. Plus, I think it’s cool because there are so many blogs that are still a mystery to us; and when we get to know them, it’s divine! And we find friends where we least expect.”


“Mystery Blogger Award”  is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.

– Okoto Enigma 

The Rules are: ( Rules by Okoto Enigma – the creator of this award) : 

You have to post these rules (Do not change any of these rules) in your blog too..I do not force everyone should do this..But by doing this we are helping each other..There are many talented bloggers out here who haven’t got enough exposure..

By reblogging this post making your own sufficient changes(no changes for the rules) you are helping yourself and others too..If you have any question, feel free to ask..Thank you!!

My questions to my nominees are:

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. What have you learned about yourself since you started?
  3. What is your favorite thing to do when you get to choose?
  4. Are you right-handed or left-handed?
  5. What do you collect?
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i have 57 days to read 24 books

17675462i know a lot of blog readers are also book readers.  has anyone else pledged a “reading challenge” on goodreads?  well i pledged to read 45 books this year and i have only managed to log 21!

can i claim that some of them were audio books, and that it seems to take much longer to listen to someone else reading a book, than to read it yourself?  whatever my excuses, i need to get my booty on the ball and get reading!!

i am an omnivorous reader.  i read real books and ebooks, and i listen to audio books.  i never thought i would be an audio book person, but last year when we lived in austin, and i spent 3 hours a day driving in traffic, they totally saved my sanity.  now i have a few books that i just can’t imagine reading, rather than listening to.18007564

one of those books is the martian, by andy weir.   has anyone read this?  did you laugh out loud?  this is the first, and only, audio book that literally cracked me up.  i have been scared to watch the movie, because i loved the book so much.

8490112another series i loved listening to was the daughter of smoke and bone trilogy, by laini taylor.  something about listening to the books created the most warmly magical feeling in me (sort of like comfort food, but in a literary way?).  i was really sad to reach the end of the series.

i am currently listening to the raven boys, by maggie stiefvater.  the narrator does a great job, and his accent really transports me to rural virginia, where the novel takes place.  the tragedy is that i don’t have enough time in the car to get my fill!!  i might have to switch to actual text for the rest of the series, so i don’t have to wait!!

what fabulous books have you read, or listened to lately?  i am always looking for books to add to my “to read” list!



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Baby steps?

well, i didn’t accomplish as much yesterday as i hoped.  it has been a challenging few weeks with the kidlets.  i was hoping to get a chance to visit with our behavior therapist and get some suggestions for how to handle challenging behaviors.

i let myself imagine that she would come, it would all be resolved and life would be a little easier.  so when she called in sick, it felt like a punch to the gut.

so i didn’t get any suggestions, i didn’t get a break and i did some wallowing in my misery.

but, i also did my radio show.  which i consider one of my few outlets for creativity and me-ness.  since it was the 41st anniversary of the release of the queen song “bohemian rhapsody,” i focused on the year 1975 and found some great songs from that year.

and i made my own granola!  it came out strangely chewy (rather than crunchy, maybe i need to cook it longer?) but it is full of healthy stuff and it tastes awesome.

so i didn’t get around to working in my art journal, or starting that crochet project i had been eyeing.  but i didn’t raise my voice to the kids, and i was the only one that did any crying.  i will take that as a victory and move right on.

baby steps right?  did you accomplish anything great?



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Art journaling

I gleefully unwrapped a new blank book last week to kick off my art journal resolution.  I am a sucker for journals, and I have all sizes, shapes, and paper types.  I thought this one would be perfect, but when I tried to watercolor my illustration, my pages warped and wrinkled, and the color bled through.
I can’t decide whether to continue in this book, or switch to a book with thicker pages.  I have let this quandary, plus my inability to locate my prismacolors, keep me from moving forward.  Well, that and an extremely difficult few weeks of  kid behavior.

How do you keep yourself on task when life feels unbearably hard?

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NaBloPoMo is here!

well, november is upon us, and this is the time of year when i make my bravest effort to post every day for a month!


why you might ask?  let me quote my dear rarasaur here:

“NaBloPoMo is internet-speak for National Blog Posting Month, which happens every year in November.  It’s a designated time for bloggers to stretch a little bit, by posting every single day through the month of November.”

my guess is that this is related to nanowrimo, which is an even more daunting concept.  it challenges participants to write a novel in the month of november!  i have a friend who is planning to write a novel this month, and i can’t wait to read it!

for those who  have been following my blog for years, you know that i used to post quite frequently.  i am not exactly sure why i stopped…

ok,maybe i do. if i stop for a moment of navel gazing, i think it is because i have gradually deathlet myself slip away.  the stress of constant  caregiving has worn me to a nub, and when i do get a break, i tend to sit and mindlessly scroll facebook.  do you know why?  i get interrupted constantly.  and if i start something that requires real concentration, the interruptions are so much more frustrating and disruptive.

back to the why.  i have GOT to get back to doing some things that feel like the parts of me that i have shoved into the dark, dusty corners of the garage and ignored.  i need nablopomo to give me a little accountability in this area.

in addition to blogging every day, i also want need to work in my art journal every day.  i need to start a crochet project, and to sew up some of the cute fabric i am hoarding.  i need to try a new recipe, to take a walk, to watch a movie.  if you don’t see evidence of me doing those things….CALL ME OUT!!!  

it is hard for me to ask people for help, but i am asking now.  i need community more than ever.

i am going to ask one more thing.  if you aren’t part of the nanopoblano crew, but love reading amazing blogs, check out the roster of the other bloggers taking part in the challenge.  you might be inspired, learn something, make new friends…who knows??

do you blog?  are you participating in NaBloPoMo? do you think you should?



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