life

We Three

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It’s nearly Tuesday, but I’m going to treat this like a Microblog (it’s technically still Monday so…). My mother turned 70 recently and the girls and I painted this series for her. We chose the same colors for the background and picked the sea creatures we wanted to paint. I think we did an amazing job. I’m constantly impressed at the creativity and talents my two daughters possess. To be a witness as they blossom and grow continues to be the highest honor.

They are away visiting family and return in a couple of days. Time and space away is good for any relationship. There are outside stresses that have made this distance quite difficult at times. I know we’ll all be glad to be back together again. This triad of canvasses reminds me so much of us. We are all unique and different, we are our own, independent beings, yet when placed together, we flow beautifully.

I have so much to write about. Some time to myself helped nourish my creativity, as well as provide me with free time for some fun and to do some much-needed organizing. I do plan to be back here more regularly. I’ve been writing about cool things over at Nerdy But Flirty, check it out!

#MicroblogMondays: The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Waiting by Edgar Degas

Waiting by Edgar Degas

Tom Petty was right, waiting sucks. I’m waiting on what feels like a million things right now.

Waiting for more time.

Waiting for some quiet, some peace.

Waiting for healing.

Waiting for answers.

Most pressing on my mind right now is my waiting to hear back from the doctor. My youngest has an apparent compression fracture and needs an MRI to confirm and proceed with treatment. She is in pain and we’ve just been getting through the days of discomfort as best we can. Pain plus boredom can quickly breed sadness and anger. I’ve been trying to keep her spirits up with plenty of hugs and whatever I can come up with to get her mind elsewhere. (Special thanks to video and board game creators, movie makers, authors, singers and songwriters. Also, coloring books, television, Mother Nature, and candy!)

At night, I dream of vacations and extended moments to myself. I imagine writing, reading, sleeping in, exploring… Oh, to be alone with my thoughts! And without the creeping worries that have followed me around as of late? What would that even be like? I have no clue. It’s nice to consider, for a moment, until reality slaps me right back into place. Did I mention my $900 in car repairs I found out about last week? I nearly made a joke about the camel and its broken back, but it was too close to home. Sigh.

The past few months have been so rough, I can’t help but wonder when the clouds will lift. I want magical band-aids to make all the woes and pains of my children to go away. I’m an optimist struggling to keep things afloat. I hope that along with spring slowly making its way to us, so will easier, quieter, calmer, happier times for us. Until then…

Special thanks, as always, to Stirrup Queens. I was sifting through medical bills and waiting for a doctor’s call, when I remembered it was Monday, and that means time to microblog! I feel better having put these words (more than 8 sentences…) down.

#MicroblogMondays – Reaching for the Bottle

glitternailsI was near tears on Saturday night.

I was tired of facing disappointment yet again, and the stress of life was bringing me down.

I wanted to drown my sorrows in booze. Oh, the temptation of forgetting everything, even if only for a few moments…

I weighed my options and reached for a bottle. Thankfully, it was this bottle, of fantastic, glittery nail polish.

I learned it’s impossible to be sad when it looks like Studio 54 exploded onto your fingertips.

Things I Miss This Week: writing, video games, tv, gazing into the abyss, my bed…

From May 12, 2014

From May 12, 2014

So, as I’ve promised myself to write here at least once a week, I’m doing a quick check-in. Oh and yeah, I have some BlogHer news, if the picture didn’t give it away. I’ll get to that in a minute. I’ve been spending nearly every waking hour doing some training for an at-home job that would have regular weekly hours and would sure be a help getting my finances in order. Being an unemployed single mom does not have its privileges. Things have been pretty rough lately, so I’m keeping my fingers (and toes!) crossed this gig works out. I’ll find out next week. I’ll take all prayers, luck, vibes, meditations, what have you…

I have a lot of stuff that’s waiting to be written, either lurking in my head or half-drafted. This week is just not one to put much time or energy into writing. I will hopefully return to my regularly scheduled soapboxing next week. In the meantime, if you are new here, hello and thank you for checking my blog out. You can find me on Twitter and (new!) “LIKE” me on Facebook. There’s a bunch of other places you can find me listed over on the side bar as well. Oh and look, you can also help me pay my bills and save enough funds to buy a desperately needed laptop. Sorry, had to mention it!

I was delighted to receive an email last week from Deb Rox, Entertainment Editor at BlogHer, telling me they would be featuring my piece about diversity in comics. If you haven’t read it yet, please head over to BlogHer and check it out. Just as exciting, was seeing my quote and name in BlogHer’s newsletter on Monday. That news surely helped to lift my spirits. And not to be all cheesy by making a pun, but, Deb Rox really rocks. I’ll show myself out now…

More pieces coming next week, including pictures of the zoo cake I made. Until then, be well. Thank you again for coming by!

Some of my favorite pieces I’ve written lately:

Challenging Stigmas & an Imperfect System: My Struggle With Depression

I Am Sounding the Alarm (on Autism Propaganda, Everyday)

The FDA Hearing and the Judge Rotenberg Center: What You Should Know

An Open Letter to Jenny McCarthy

Hello, Fall

Fall Tree

Fall is my favorite season. I don’t think anything gets much better than New York City in Autumn. Of course, rides in the country at this time of year are incredible too! Second to Fall would be Spring. I enjoy Winter and Summer, don’t get me wrong. I love playing in the snow, I’m still not too old (And hope I never will be!) to sled, build snow-Daleks (Yes, really.), or join in a snowball fight. In the Summer, I love the beach. Few things soothe me so much as the warm sun on my skin and the sound of waves hitting the shore. I love to collect shells and could float all day in the ocean. But it is Spring and Fall, with their comfortable temperatures and most beautiful of colors that I love best. Spring is when flowers blossom, and it seems like all is new once again. By the time the first blooms appear, I often think I can’t handle anymore Winter. The leaf-less trees, the grey skies, the bone-chilling cold… Then I’ll see a stalk of green sprouting up, maybe even a bud appear. It’s like nature has exhaled. I know warmer temperatures, brighter days, and new life are on their way. So I stick out the rest of Winter, and sometimes even miss my hat and scarf by the time Spring is in full-effect.  (more…)

City Mouse or Country Mouse?

A book with a similar title was one of my favorites growing up. I’ve always swayed back and forth between the love of country and of city. I find beauty in the mountains and rolling hills, in sunsets on water, and on days at the beach. Nothing will ever compare to the sights and sounds and vibe of the city though. I lived in Texas for almost ten years. I longed for New York, its abundance of culture is what I missed so much. I’ve been thrilled being back in the tri-state area these past four years. I spend as much time as I can in New York and in Philadelphia; my kids love both as much as I now. I cannot imagine living a great distance from either ever again. (more…)

Some days peanuts, some days shells…

Lately, I’ve been struggling. Emotionally, I’m trying to stay afloat. I have what feels like the weight of the universe on my shoulders. I’d dare to say that only those that are raising their kids alone will truly understand. For those who don’t know, imagine feeling like you’re constantly having to be everywhere doing everything all at once. From paying the bills to making lunches to fixing “boo-boos” to carpools to, well, everything else. Right now, I’m unemployed. I’ve been looking for a job since December; sending out my resume is just depressing at this point. I need to find a job that, hopefully, will have benefits for me. The kids have insurance; I still lack healthcare however. I need a job where I make more than minimum wage, and that doesn’t require me to work nights or weekends; affordable childcare outside of the normal 9-5 workweek does not exist. (more…)

We’re not living on the moon…

…but I can have an online-date for five hours with my boyfriend, and that makes the future, the now, pretty rad. My boyfriend lives in New York, I’m in New Jersey. We’re usually able to see each other at least once a week. Lately though, due to wonky logistics on my end, this hasn’t happened. Okay, it’s just been over two weeks since I saw him, but you know, I’m rather fond of him and we have a lot of fun together. So, I’d love to spend more of my time with him. Until that’s possible, we’ve been utilizing something I’m fairly new to: Google Hangout. And it’s pretty awesome. And yes, I realize I’m late to this party.

My MacBook missed an OS update or three, and it’s kind of on its last leg so at this point to invest in it is fairly pointless. It’s so out of date, I can’t get Chrome on it! Major geek fail, I know. So while I can Skype on my Mac, I can’t access Google+ or do this nifty Hangout stuff. I first discovered this a month or so ago when the boyfriend (trying to think of a better title for him…) asked me to join him on one so I could meet some of his friends. I quickly realized my Mac couldn’t hack it so I hit up the PC, which I then found out did not have a webcam. WHAT? I did not purchase this computer, and hadn’t used it much until last week. Anyway, I did get to experience the Hangout, without a camera, simply watching them and talking through my special gentleman friend’s phone.

Last week, I did that HuffPost Live thingy, and I had to find and test the webcam we had sitting around. So the night before, The Dude and I had our first official Hangout. I loved it. It was great seeing him, sharing videos, goofing off with the different apps it offers. It was so close to having a real date, it delighted me. We had a second one later in the week, and again it was hours of laughing and chatting and enjoying time together. Finally, a reason for that rush of excitement I felt when I first opened my Google+ account, and how so many of my friends were initially thrilled about all that could be (before it all seemed to fall away and become no man’s land). I love that my manfriend and I have this for times when it’s not possible to be next to one another. I also hope to use this with my friends who live in different states. Perhaps I’ll even be able to get my mom to try it out, I know my kids would love to chat with her in this form. Skype is fine; this is just plain fun and offers so much more. If you haven’t had a Google Hangout yet, go for it. The usefulness of it seems limitless. This makes me happy, to see social media fulfilling its ultimate purpose–to bring people together. It’s tools like this that make me want to give technology the biggest of bear hugs.

So hooray for technology and hooray for geeking out on dates over the Internet! This past week was pretty heavy in the “issues” writing. Sometimes it just happens that way. Smiles to anyone who actually read to here. If you have visited my blog prior to the last week or so, you’ve seen more casual and random posts such as this. I throw them in quite often. Why not? Also, here’s a taste of some of the funny videos (NSFW) we watched during our Hangouts. I took out the political ones, trying to keep this light. Have a laugh! I’m off to wrap some presents and do some work.

(And I promise to come up with one term of endearment for the bahhhfriend and stick with it!)

Disclosure & Exposure

In my past blogging experience, I kept many aspects of my life undercover. For the most part, it was necessary to maintain the theme of my blog, which was autism advocacy. I focused solely on the role of parenting a special-needs child and advocating as such. It was at times political and controversial, and even posts that were more personal lacked many details about life outside of parenting my autistic child. I wanted to shield my kids from being displayed on a blog for the world to see, and at the time didn’t want myself out there either. However I felt compelled to write my message, and so I did, albeit slightly hidden away.

Flash forward a few years to a very new chapter of my life. While I still don’t feel comfortable posting pictures of my kids or even discussing them in detail, I have the confidence and desire to put myself out there. I was still quite hesitant when I set up this blog over a year ago, and I was still finding my voice. I thought perhaps I’d keep it focused on my adventures and travels, small and big. But over the past few months, I found myself wanting to write about issues relevant to me and my experiences. Some important, some funny, some just because. I had this hangup about a blog needing to be specific. What would I focus on?

My life is anything but specific, it is all over the map. I’m an artist and a photographer, I’m a woman, I’m a single mom, and that’s just the top layer. Dig deeper and there are so many things I am and so many directions my life travels in, how could I focus on one small bit? I then became comfortable with writing whatever I wanted to. I want this to be real. otherwise, why bother? At the start, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep this more anonymous, as that’s the only way I’ve actively blogged in the past. In the last couple months, I began to feel if I was to undertake this, I had to be open and have it reflect all the parts of my life, and with that comes exposing myself. Whether I’m recalling something from my past or reflecting on this morning’s news, it should be me, my voice, my life. Honesty is key. So then what parts of your life do you leave out? Should you? That’s still something I’m debating. I think ultimately I’ll be sharing more than holding back. There are stories I have to tell that I feel might help others or serve a bigger purpose being out in the open instead of stuck in my head.

Once I was comfortable with the idea of writing openly about my life and that which I’m passionate about, I had to consider those who are in my life and how I would, or would not, include those individuals. I had already decided that my children, at this point, will be mentioned only when necessary to get a point across or tell a story accurately. But for now, I don’t feel entirely comfortable disclosing much about them. They’ll have their own stories to tell, and that should be up to them. Mentioning other members of my family isn’t something I had to think too hard about; if warranted, I’ll do so but I would run it by them before sharing anything deeply personal. The next decision was regarding my boyfriend and how much more I would reveal about him and our relationship. My first concern was if this was akin to getting a tattoo with his name on it–am I tempting fate by mentioning him or us? Then I thought that’s fairly ridiculous. I’ve been in relationships where things were purposely kept under lock and key, and for no good reason. I’m done with that.

When done properly, and tastefully, I think being outwardly expressive about your relationship only strengthens it. It’s not about full-disclosure on all fronts, I don’t think that would ever go well. There is a balance to be found, for sure. When we first started dating, I still wasn’t sure if and how I was going to be utilizing my blog, as it continued to evolve. So I hadn’t mentioned it to him and since I had yet to connect it to any of my other social media accounts, he was not aware of its existence. When I finally was comfortable with the direction, and openness, I wanted to head in, I had to see how my boyfriend felt about disclosure. So, it came time to tell him that I had this little blog, oh and that I might have mentioned him a time or two, and that I was still sorting the whole thing out and whether I’d include him and us in it…and if I did do that, would he mind? (Yes, that’s pretty much how the run-on email I sent him went.) I wanted to make sure he was down for some inclusion, and because he’s awesome, he said sure. This will never be a lovesick-ode-to-a-lover sort of blog because that’s just not my style. But I’m blogging about my life here, and he’s in it. I’m happy to have his encouragement with this, and in so many aspects of my life.