Tuesday, December 14, 2010

2010 in Review

January: After years of kind people complimenting me on both my writing, quilts and other artworks, I decided to look into starting my own business. My husband, in turn, considered the start up process (aka, $$$) and decided to look into buying antacid by the case.

February: "Julie Clark Art" launched. More like a paper airplane than a jet, but, hey, you've got to start somewhere, right?

March: This blog came to life. Well, kind of. It's sort of my middle child; it needs more attention than I seem to give it. Poor thing.

April: Ok, it's fess up time. I'm sure something earth shattering happened during this month, but I'll be darned if I can remember a lick of it. I can blame it on age, having a teen, or all sorts of things. Then again, it could simply be that April was a quiet month. And I'm ok with that. Sometimes, excitement is just that. Others, it's a migraine waiting to happen, right?

May: Mr. FruFru turned two. I still can't believe we have a dog in the house. Neither can some friends who swear he's really a cat trapped in a dog's body. I think they might be onto something...

June: "Asperger's in Pink" was published (Future Horizons 2010). I continued to be humbled by the support, and encourage everyone to share their stories! We can only learn and grow if we chose to share and truly listen to one another.

July: Another 4th of July. Another night K prayed for rain so fireworks would be canceled anywhere within earshot. We've given up on expecting anyone to understand her aversion to them.

August: K started high school. So did another "Meet Asperger's" conference with her teaching team. *sigh*

September: After months of kicking and screaming, I signed up for Twitter. For a wordy person, such as myself, it's become somewhat of a cerebral challenge. I'm still not quite sure what to make of it, especially in 140 characters or less. Which this isn't.

October: I attended Future Horizons SuperConference in Charlotte, which was nothing short of incredible! It was also my first book signing, where I met several wonderful people. And, of course, out of respect for K, I didn't wear any shirts with buttons.

November: Guess who learned what a head ga$ket is, and how much it co$t$ to repair? I al$o learned that the initial diagnosi$ can be wrong, and $till co$t the $ame to fix. Nothing say$, "Happy Holiday$" like $pringing for an unexpected car repair... (That remind$ me, I need to ask $anta to $lap a bow on the hood Christmas Eve.)

December: December's story has yet to be written. And I like it that way. There's something to be said for "hope" and "promise". And for a year full of high's and low's, I'm hoping December will be filled with high notes.

Not just for me and my family, but for you, as well! Thank you for stopping by, and being part of what's made 2010 such an exciting-in-a-good-way year! Cheers!

Friday, December 10, 2010

On Christmas and Holiday Newsletters

It’s that time of year again. And even with the changes from paper holiday cards to ecards, one constant remains. The newsletter.

Or should I say... “The Longwinded Personal Diaries Released En Masse in December”?

Years back, we had a designated letter writer for my extended family. Part news, part cringe, 100% mimeographed. After all, nothing screams Christmas like faded purple ink on white paper. But being a kid, not only did I have the bliss of not having to read it – I didn’t even have to pretend to know what was in it!

Ah, those were the days…

But now, I’m an adult. At least that’s what the calendar says. And my husband and I get the honor of lugging them from the mailbox, into the house, directly to the “library.” I mean, really, if every kid on the planet made the Dean’s list, then we probably wouldn’t be in the economic position we’re in now, would we? And about the 4,682 bags of leaves sitting on the curb... Talking about gripping statistics!

Or is it “griping statistics”?

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some friends whose letters we miss when they don’t write them. In fact, we pleaded one family to send theirs out this year. Why, you ask? (Oh, you didn’t ask? No problem, I’ll tell anyway.) They are hysterical. And, above all else, they are real.

I mean, who hasn’t seen a kid give her sibling’s bangs an impromptu buzz cut? Or dumped fuchsia nail polish all over the newly installed carpet?

Or the dog?

And about that word, “camp”, when 19 year-old Johnny goes there unexpectedly in March, what kind of “camp” is it, exactly? Hmm…

Ahh, the things you’d really rather read in family newsletters. Oh, the things that will never find their way to print! But, oh, how delicious they would be if they did…

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Funny Thing About Soap Making

Like so many people, I’m having a handmade Holiday this year. And it’s not all about the budget (although it doesn’t hurt, either!). As this is the first year I’ve started making a living writing and selling things I design and make, it just seemed, well, odd and a little hypocritical if all of the gifts coming from our home came from a big box store.

But like many other artisans and most other families, December is crammed tighter than Santa’s sack. And, of course, I decided on this idea after Thanksgiving.

Of all places, I got the project idea, Pantry Soaps from a mass email from Martha – yes – Stewart Living. No, not soap from scratch. Well, not this year, anyway. (Anyone familiar with my shop knows I’ll try almost anything.) This process is called melt and pour. You buy a block of soap base, melt it, add in whatever, and pour. Not only was it easy, it was fun, and a heck of a lot easier than baking. I used their ideas and made soaps with oatmeal, honey and spices. But, true to who I am, I also made my own versions, including vanilla mint (which, by the way, makes the clear soap have an amber hue) and one I call “oatmeal cookie”. All add-ins were items I already have in the kitchen.
But after the soap was set and cooling, there was a mess greeting me by the microwave. Oh, was there mess! A mess that I left sitting on the counter all night long, still not knowing how I was going to clean it up.

Then it dawned on me.

This is soap. You wash with it. It dissolves in water.

Like it's supposed to do.


Is time tight, and are you looking for handmade soaps to buy? You won’t see them in my shop, but these fellow artisans, as well as many others, do make and carry them: E-Scentual Creations, Soapsmith Bonnie Bartley, and AJ Sweet Soap.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Already?

In the early morning rush as I grabbed my phone to check the time, I couldn't believe my eyes. Right there in front of me were the characters: Dec 1.

December? Already?

Sure, the lights are up around the neighborhood. Gift lists are long and money short. (Who knew a blown head gasket would make for such an unexpected and lavish "gift" for my husband and me this year? As they say, timing IS everything.) And don't even get me started about trying to convince my teen that a "wish list" is not a "check list"...

Like many others, some of my gifts will be handmade this year. And, like many others, if I don't get going, they won't ever be finished, will they? Don't get me wrong, I love my job as a certified handmade artisan, but this is the first year I've found myself in my studio having to make sure I pull from my "personal fabric stash" (and we quilter's all have a fabric stash!), and not the "business fabric pile". And I need to schedule time to do that. And I need to get going.

Are you having a handmade holiday? Do you make it yourself, or have a favorite artisan small business or two you love, who have the perfect gift ideas? Feel free to stop by my JCA facebook page and post a link to the shop, or share your own handmade project ideas. Have any advice for this sensory-saturated time of year? Or concerns you’d love to throw out there, and reel in a suggestion or two? Post it on the “Asperger’s in Pink” facebook page. No doubt, times are tough. Let’s help each other through it.

~ Peace

All I ask is that links and content be relevant and family-friendly!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Just For Fun

All blogging plans have gone to the wind this week. With Thanksgiving almost here (in the States), I don't expect much to change before the weekend, at best! So, just for fun, if you had to choose between Tofurkey and fruitcake, what would you choose?

I promise I'll share my answer if we get to 25 votes! (The poll is to the right -->)

Have a great week!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day Two of the Conference

The second day of the Future Horizon's Autism Asperger's SuperConference was the most anticipated, by far. Not only by me. Not only by my sister. But by the attendees, evident by the crowded room.

Wearing her trademark shirt and tie, Temple Grandin started the morning. And she started on time. And heaven help anyone who forgets to hold her hotel room for her. (Of all the people to overbook...)

Temple Grandin was remarkable. She squeezed more into 90 minutes than anyone I've ever heard. And she was efficient, entertaining, and enlightening. Unlike the day before, the room was quiet as all eyes and ears tuned into her. Personally, one point that stuck with me was about thinking in pictures. I thought everyone did that. On the ride home, I asked my sister how she thinks. She says that she can picture things, but that's not typically how she thinks. I'm still pondering all that...

I can't even begin to touch on what she covered. But I do encourage everyone to seek her out.

She made me feel better about myself. And, most importantly, my daughter.

Monday, November 8, 2010

More on the Autism Asperger's Conference

The speakers at the Conference were absolutely amazing. Carol Kranowitz had us move around, and reminded us that sensory-filled moments are often the most fondly remembered. Dr. Jed Baker followed, although I missed some of his talk, as I took time to meet other moms, dads and therapists outside the conference room.

There were so many amazing people I met. And I hope they will share their stories, as well. Some could relate to our journey. Others had experiences altogether different, and that's ok. We can all learn from each other. But we need to take the time to learn. To hear.

And that was one disappointment of the Conference.

The teachers, therapists, and other professionals who sat around us, talking throughout the presentations. And a few folks chatting on their cellphones, even.

Maybe they can talk and hear at the same time. I know I can't. And I can't hear the speaker's voice when others are filling the air with their own.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How I Spent Last Thursday

She drove out Wednesday night, and stayed for a few days. Early both mornings we hopped in the car, driving in the dark through all sorts of traffic, finally reaching the heart of the city and an unfamiliar building. Walking through a cold, gray parking garage without a hint of direction, we made it to the sign in table as I wondered how 1,400 people would ever fit into a ballroom.

I think my sister was simply relieved I got us there in one piece.

The conference organizer greeted us, and pointed out the table I’d be using to sign books. I wasn’t sure how to react. All sorts of emotions, from excited, to humbled, to downright nervous, ran their courses through me.

I mean, I’m just a mom.

A mom of a daughter who just happens to have Asperger’s Syndrome. A mom who wants to turn up the volume on these kids and grab a piece of the spotlight so often shining on their counterparts. A mom who desires to get the conversation going longer, deeper, and stronger of girls and Asperger’s Syndrome.

And I can’t do that alone. Rudy Simone can’t do it alone, either. Neither can other Aspergirls, as Rudy refers to them. We need other voices to join in the mix. Voices that have different experiences than ours. Even voices who sound the same. Simply put, we need more.

As my sister picked a pair of chairs for us toward the center of the grand room, and I clumsily placed my lunch bag and coffee under the chair in front of me while waiting for Carol Kranowitz to start the SuperConference, I pondered how we can help these Aspies become better understood, loved and accepted.

Over the next few days, I will be sharing my experience at the Autism Asperger's SuperConference in Charlotte, sponsored by Future Horizons. I'd be honored if you followed along, and shared your thoughts, as well.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Today is a Few Days Behind

Hi everyone, hope your week is going well! This week's blog will be a few days behind schedule. (You'll have to check back in a day or two to find out why! Curious...?)

Meanwhile, I've been working on facebook pages for both my book and my studio. Although my book page is still in the works, my studio page is starting to hum along, and I'd be honored if you checked it out!

Here's where you can play a part. Interested?

If you're an ArtFire artisan, feel free to stop by and post a link to your studio on the "Julie Clark Art" page.

If you are passionate about Asperger's and Autism, feel free to share links, etc., that have been very beneficial to you on the Asperger's in Pink page.

All I ask is to please keep whatever you post family friendly and relevant. :) See you in a few days! - Peace

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Seasonal Thinking

This autumn found me kicking and screaming against it. Any other October I’d be gazing at leaves, pulling out sweaters, dusting off fall themed knick knacks and pumpkin recipes. But not this year. The thought of a cold winter peeking around the corner distracted me too much. In fact, it distracted me to the point of ignoring autumn altogether, clinging onto summer with all my might.

Silly, huh?

Even my daughter, who abhors change of any sort, embraces the seasons and all the decorating that comes along with them.

I love this time of year. And it’s time to embrace it. Looking at my blog this morning wondering what to type, the daisies reminded that summer is over, and life needs to reflect that. After all, shorts aren’t going to cut it when frost is on the ground.

So I’m going to have fun with it. I’ve “dressed up” the blog for autumn, and the Holidays are next. Let me know what you think of the new look. It will change again by December.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Angry Alfredo Sauce

I named this recipe ANGRY ALFREDO SAUCE, because I was complaining when I threw it together. (For my non-vegan friends.)


Cut off a hunk of butter (1.5-2 Tbsp)

Grab a little less than 1/2 a block of light cream cheese (3oz+)

Melt it together in a small saucepan over medium. You need to stir it to get it to melt together, but it might not, so feel free to give up on that part. I did.

Add chicken broth to get it to the consistency of milk. (You will probably use up to 2 cups, total.)

Cook and stir until you mutter one problem with the universe.

Put 1 Tbsp. flour in a small dish, and add a little chicken broth to it. Stir to make a paste and get rid of lumps, then add this to the sauce.

Dump in parmesan cheese (we use parmensan romano blend). How much, you ask? Just think of how the universe made you cranky earlier in the day, and give it a good shake, out of the side with the largest slot. (prob. 1/3 cup or so?)


Forget to add salt and seasoning.

Say carp.

Grab the garlic salt, and add to taste (1/8-1/4 tsp.) Add 1/4-1/2 tsp salt (to taste).

Or do what I did, don't taste it, because if you are like me, you'll get a nasty stomach ache, which, of course, will make you curse the universe again.

Stir and cook until you feel better, and the birds start singing. Or at least four minutes.

Feed it to your sister. Hear her rave about it. Give her the recipe. Thank her for listening to you verablize all sorts of things. Catch yourself smiling and feeling better about the day.

Apologize to the universe.

The End

(And, yes, I'm still doing the vegan thing, so I can't vouch for how this tastes.)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ten Observations from the First Month of this Vegan Journey

(For the record, next week will have absolutely nothing to do with diet. Thanks for reading!)

1. No matter how I slice it, dice it, or coat it in sauce, my husband is never going to willingly touch tofu.
2. Tofu comes in a variety of forms - and a variety of strange names: bean curd, tempeh, seitan (yeah, I think it’s pronounced like that evil dude.)
3. I now have proof our frufru dog has a horrible sense of smell. He comes running and begging by the stove whenever I’m sautéing slabs of…tofu. (I’m not kidding.) My daughter, however, runs in the other direction.
4. Some of my favorite foods are actually vegan, like my favorite chocolate cake, and a pecan streusel pumpkin cake. That was a shocker. I figured I’d be relegated to the produce bin for the rest of my life.
5. It’s been, oh, about a month? And I don’t miss meat, even chicken. Not one bit. I wasn’t expecting that.
6. It’s not that hard to cook “normal” meals for my family alongside “my” new diet. Most of our side dishes never contained butter, milk or cream in the first place.
7. I am not yet comfortable saying, “I’m following a Vegan diet” in public. Even though I really do feel better, I also feel rather self-conscience about it. I think some people believe all vegans/vegetarians walk around with a sermon in their pocket. Not me. This is a personal decision. What works for me may not be the answer for you.
8. Yes, you do get tired of eating beans.
9. Coffee isn’t the same without real, honest to goodness cream in it.
10. All things being considered, I feel better, am less hungry throughout the day, and have more energy. I can truthfully say (except for my morning coffee), for the first time in my life I’ve found a way of eating that finally feels like the “right” fit. And, honestly, wish I had started this journey years earlier.

We’ll see how long it lasts, but, for now, it’s working. Thanks for following along. I’d love to hear your story, too. I am always open to suggestions for what you would like to see here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

An Accidental Vegan. Me.

As many of you may know, I’ve ventured into the world of veganism. Now, there may be some who are taking bets as to how long this will last, not to mention many rolling their eyes at me and thinking I’m crazy. Or that I’m going to starve to death, living on carrot sticks and something called kale.

And I completely understand that.

If you would have told me, five years ago, even, that I’d be considering veganism I would have laughed it off. I mean, give up meat? That’s not too hard, but don’t tell me I’ve got to let go of all that cheesey goodness! Cheese is an Achilles’ heel. And I’ve got to have my coffee the way I like it – and that’s with light cream. No sugar, just real cream.

But that’s exactly what propelled me down this path. Dairy.

Now, don’t start cringing. I’m not going to divulge all that personal stuff that even I don’t want to see in print! Suffice it to say, I finally came to the realization that dairy and I don’t mix (even though removing lactose does work, but only to a point). So, one late summer morning, I threw my hands up in the air and decided to just get rid of it altogether. And I felt…lighter.

No, I didn’t lose any weight. Not that kind of “lighter”. With my luck, I’ll probably end up being the poster child for “Vegans who need to go on a diet.” Just ask my jeans. The non-elasticized ones.

It’s hard to describe, but I feel better. Now, some would say that giving up dairy doesn’t mean I have to be a vegan. And I agree. But, see, I never really have liked meat, and we cook most meals without it, as well as rarely use eggs. Throw out the dairy, and, well, I guess you could say an “accidental vegan” was born. Now, I did try to add some dairy back in over the weekend to see if this “feeling better” was all in my head. But at 1AM Monday morning, my body convinced my mind this ride is for real.

Since I started this journey, I learned of others trying it out, including Bill Clinton. I think this interview sums up some of my thoughts pretty well. (And if the IT gods are smiling on me this rainy morning, the YouTube link will work.)

In reality, who knows where this journey will take me? Let’s face it, soy in my coffee just isn’t the same! But, at the end of the day, I feel better when I eat this way. And let’s face it, when you cut out a few food groups, you almost have to, by default, up your fruit and vegetable intake, and that's a good thing. Veganism may not be for everyone, but presently, it seems right for me.

If you want to follow this accidental journey, let me know, via comment or message, and I'll blog more about this experience.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What Started it All (My Studio)

It all started one cold and rainy fall morning about a year ago. My daughter’s school offered up a yard sale opportunity for parents to sell their stuff, putting all the proceeds toward a very expensive field trip to our nation’s capital. We couldn’t really swing the cost, so, as much as I am uncomfortable with these things, signed up for the tag sale.

We didn’t have a lot to offer up. We’re relatively simple people, and much of the excess we did have was donated during the move. But one thing I did have was plenty of fabric. Not one to give up easily, I decided to spend the previous day sewing fabric plastic bag holders. I made the pattern up as I went along, and found a way to eliminate elastic from them. Not only ingenious, so I thought, but cost and time effective as well.

The big day came, and the crowd was sparse. More came to sell than to buy, as the cool mist called for so many to sleep in that Saturday morning. We only sold a few things, one of which was a bag holder. It drew the most attention of anything we had, and seemed to pique a lot of interest. But at the end of the morning, we packed them all up, along with old jeans and a few baking dishes, and headed home. Not enough money to make a dent in the trip, but enough inspiration to wonder if I could sell the bags elsewhere.

Over the next few months I wondered how I could do just that. Jobs are hard to come by, and the longing to work consumed me. So, in true “Julie form”, I decided to make my own work. I opened up an artisan studio on ArtFire.com, listing the better made bags from the yard sale. Now I find myself several months later going in a new direction. The longing to make practical art pieces works well with totes and placemats, but not so well with the bag holders. And as of this morning, they are now being discontinued.

It’s a bittersweet thing, really. The piece that started it all is the first to “go”. But I’ve learned a lot, and continue to learn. Among other things, I’ve learned to narrow down my studio’s focus and create that which gives me energy – not saps it.

And as for the field trip? In true Asperger form, my daughter decided some of the stops would be too sensory for her to handle. We couldn’t argue with that. And neither could our checkbook.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thank Goodness for Skinny Jeans. No. Really.

It was back in the 80’s. Neon socks, studded belts and leg warmers filled the halls of my high school. That’s when I learned what the color “chartreuse” was and how to spell it. And how to wear it. I had soft limey yellow socks that could light up the night. And make my eyes cross looking at them. And, for the first time, I also had jeans.

Like my daughter, I couldn’t stand the feel of jeans. The tougher, rougher material felt abrasive, not to mention a bit more snug than those polyester (cringing yet?) stretchy pants. But once high school hit, the desire to “fit in” pulled hard, and I recall spending hours trying to find a pair or two that didn’t feel like a tourniquet.

Eventually, like any other teen, jeans became a staple of my wardrobe. And jeans, way back when, were “skinny”. So skinny, we had to unzip the bottom of each leg just to get them over the ankles. And once over the ankles, getting them the rest of the way became nothing short of a contortionist’s warm-up. Back then, jeans were so solid, they probably made Kevlar blush.

Once my daughter hit high school, the fashion sirens came screaming. The knit pants and gauchos were becoming an embarrassment for her, but she felt stuck. With buttons (still) off limits, and her sensory concerns, shopping for pants felt like an exercise in futility. But shop, we had to.

Transitioning (love that key word?) from young girls to juniors was a close to a chasmic leap for her, not unexpected for someone with Asperger’s. Somehow, we stumbled on a store with some interesting “acceptable” hip pieces, and found a “miracle.” Skinny jeans.

Initially, I laughed to myself, remembering wearing them. But while she was trying on new shirts, I took a closer look. No buttons. No zippers. They looked like denim. They felt like denim. But they s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d. Hallelujah.

Thankfully, the school allows these.

Thankfully – and you can see the relief on her face – my daughter can now, comfortably – wear jeans. Real jeans. Fashionable jeans. Skinny jeans.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

About Those Cookies

Don't ask me about computer cookies. I kinda sorta know about them, but not enough to text home about. Besides, I don't think there's any sugar involved. But chocolate chip cookies? Feel free to ask me about those! Over the past week, I've discovered two new recipes, alone.

Well, one recipe. The other came from a box at the natural grocer. My kid is allergic to natural - so she claims. Somehow, she thought buying those cookies would help her overcome that aversion. I don't think it helped any, but, darn, they are good!

But the biggest surprise of the week came in the form of wheat-free vegan (yes, vegan!) chocolate chip cookies. I pulled out the cookbook, gave them a whirl, and now my entire family is hooked on them. (You can find the recipe here, thanks to the Post Punk Kitchen.) They are so much easier than the - ahem - "real" thing, I think we've found a cookie for life. So inspired, I even used them as a prop in my latest photo redo.

But then I ran out, and had to use another kind for rest. Hmm...wonder how that happened?

Honestly, these are terrific. They suggest whirling oats in the food processor if you can't find oat flour. I tried that because I found oat flour - and I'm too cheap to buy it. Their suggestion worked beautifully. Let me know if you give them a try!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I can't believe I'm on twitter

I finally did it, after swearing I never ever would. I took a deep breath, and signed up. Julie Clark Art is now part of the twitterverse.

Heaven help us all...


Happy Thursday, everyone!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Apparently, I'm Produce

The other day, after lots of searching and a little more griping, I finally discovered another grocery store to check out. Not that we don’t have plenty around us, it’s just that I’m, well…picky. Throw in a few allergies, and grocery shopping-day seems more like a scavenger hunt than another errand to run, with a dose of “medicinal” chocolate always on hand by the end.

Unfortunately the new to me store didn’t have enough variety to check my entire list off, but it did have many items I hadn’t been able to locate anywhere in the area, as well as many new items that are sure to empty my wallet on the next trip down.

And I mean down, as in far, far away.

I swear, if I start shopping there regularly, it will feel more like a commute. Not to mention that organic” and “natural” doubles the bottom line, throwing that carefully analyzed budget out the window.

Still, it was good. Until the end, when it changed to perplexing. As the cashier scanned my organic this and natural that, she began by referring to me as hon – short for honey. A few scans later, it was pumpkin (guess she noticed those ten pounds I’m still trying to shed.) A little later, I evolved into a sweet pea. By the time the bags were loaded, and I was contemplating a latte, she might as well have referred to me as “dear produce section.”

Well, I guess that’s not too bad. If she starts to referring to me as “canola”, “olive”, or “safflower”, I think I’ll start to worry.

But I’m not giving up my chocolate.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The First Day

The first day of Kindergarten, I cried like a baby. The first day I dropped her off at middle school, pessimism and a busload of anxiety consumed me. On the drive home, I cried – and I cried hard. Today, as I walked home from taking that "first day of school" photo, I’m not quite sure how I feel. She looked so beautiful this morning. Her hair carefully coiffed. Her outfit nothing short of stunning.

God bless whoever invented those jeans that pull on like leggings! No zippers. No buttons. For the first time in her life she wants to wear jeans. And, for the first time – ever – she wore them to school.

To high school.

My baby is in high school.

I should be sitting in my armchair, with a huge cup of coffee and a large box of tissues, bawling my eyes out right about now. I mean, the next “jump” – if she makes it – is college. But I have yet to shed one salty tear. Sure, high school is an emotional roller coaster. No, it wasn’t perfect for me, but it was an incredible part of my childhood. The best part, even. I met people who would forever impact my life – in a positive way. One whom I saw just a few months back. One who is serving as a visual reminder to my daughter that no matter what this road named “high school” lays ahead, there are incredible promises beneath its surface. And I hope she can find them. And I hope she holds onto them. For if she does, when the winds of adulthood blow, she’ll have those memories, and maybe even friends, to cling to.

Sure, a good high school experience is no guarantee. Maybe the lack of tears now will be shed tenfold a few months later. Kids can be cruel.

But for now, I’m choosing to cling to optimism. She has such a bright future ahead of her, and today, more than ever, it truly is within her grasp.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Explanation Optional?

The other day, in another place, I posted a picture of a spool I had recently painted. As others posted pictures of beautiful pieces of jewelry or other handmade works, I plopped down a photo of my latest vision in pink. Granted, it's a rather odd looking sort of thing, and not the kind of piece a traditional seamstress would envy. (I swear some might refer to it as a “Nightmare in Pink”.) Bold and erratic strokes of rose and white acrylic paint cover the wooden spool, rendering it anything but useful. But post it, I did - along with a brief description of why I created it, and who I was thinking of when I did.

Sure enough, someone commented that she had seen the piece earlier, and was quite puzzled by it. But, thanks to a sentence or two, she now understood it

That got me to thinking a little about art, in general. Sometimes, I'll look at a piece and "get it". Other times, I'll wince at a creation, begging for someone to explain it to me. Then I’ll wonder if art should ever be explained in the first place.

It's not much different with my daughter's form of autism, really. There are days we don't say a word, as it really isn't necessary. But there are other times we take a deep breath and try to explain any given awkward situation. Sometimes, doing just that puts someone at ease, as now they can "get it". Other times, it just seems to add to the confusion. (And, no, we don’t ever excuse poor behavior.)

But most times, I'd rather no explanation be needed - or desired. Just like in art, where viewing a carefully crafted work is often best left unexplained, without any critique. I suppose when it comes to autism, to explain or not, to disclose or not, will be an ongoing question. But, as with the spool, sometimes, an explanation is needed to increase awareness and understanding.

And that explantion need only take a sentence or two.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Imagining a Better World, Part 1

Every once in a while, I think about all the things that create stress in our lives, and how nice it would be if some things were never ever necessary. (And, please, no disrespect for those who earn a living via any of these things!)

The first thing that came to mind today was keys. Even beautiful, oversized days-of-old keys. There are many reasons we have them, the main one being safety – protection of our home, our cars, our belongings from theft and damage.

But the bigger reason is trust, isn’t it? We don’t have faith that others will exercise respect or self-control. Or, on the flipside, keys may represent something that someone wants locked away, out of sight, out of the light. And keys are virtual as much as they are tangible. It all makes me rather sad when I think about it. But, instead of dwelling on that feeling, I choose to spin it around, and imagine…

Never locking myself out of my own house (trust me – been there, done that)
No safes
No security systems
No security codes to fumble
Never worrying about forgetting my passwords, for they’d never be needed
Never leaving work keys on the dresser at home, especially after a long drive into the office
Never needing to lock my car
Never needing to find my key to turn that very car on
Or seeing it on the driver’s seat, with every single window up, doors locked tight
Stores closing without clearing out registers or sealing the doors for the night
No keys to lose, especially when supervising an overnight field trip (Would you like to know how many times teens can lose multiple keys – for the very same room - in a 2-hour span? I quit counting after the first day. So did the hotel receptionists.)
No locks on luggage, just closures to keep my overstuffed luggage from popping open
No gates
No fears
No crime
No worries
No locks

Just trust.

Isn’t that pleasant to imagine?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Just Stand Up

We did it. We took a quiet day and threw all sorts of spontaneous plans into it. A long car ride. A new ball park. A few other odds and ends in order to appease everyone on a hot July day.

And then we gave the news to our teen.

The teen who doesn’t like anything unexpected. Ever. Especially ballgames.

But she rose out of bed, to the challenge, knowing that we’d buy her the same old “this” at the brand new “that”, adding another ball to her collection, safe in the understanding we’d leave the park if things got to be a bit much. Aside from the loud speakers before the game began (they call them LOUD speakers for a reason, right?), it all went well.

Except for the roaches.

Apparently, one of the promotional games for the kids is to swat humans dressed in cock roach garb.



Later came the bumper boats. Somehow, I allowed her to talk me into climbing into one of those things, thinking all the while that at least I know how to swim. Because I was certain I was going to topple over. Then my astute teen pointed out the black on gold letters. The water is only three feet deep. And if I did fall in, I just needed to do what the sign – in bold face type – said.


Something so obvious applies to so many other situations, doesn’t it?


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Prepping for the City with Asperger's

It was a big undertaking, months in the making. And this week, finally reality. Our first mother daughter trip held the flavor and promise of the Jet Set.

With an overnight whirlwind on the horizon, a mom had to do what a mom had to do. Give her daughter a boatload of new “rules and tips”.

And, like every other teen, this mom was greeted with a bucketful of eye rolls.

But this trip was to the City. Manhattan, to be precise, where you truly need your wits about you to make the most of it in order to return home with your health, sanity – and wallet intact.

And then it hit me. Some of the “standard warnings” and “things to anticipate” need not be articulated to a teen with Asperger’s.

Realize brushing up against people in heavy sidewalk traffic is normal. (This kid never realizes when she does just that.)

Understand that most people here will be direct, and speak their minds, so don’t take it personally.

And then the most well-known NYC habit of all: Avoid eye contact.

No problem. We’re good to go!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Blarticle

A little while ago, while mulling over newsprint rapidly being replaced by pixels and power cords, I wondered what was happening to the grand ol’ article. In the old days (about a year or two ago, right?), whether for news, opinion, or simply something goofy to read, I’d grab a newspaper or the nearest magazine, plop on the couch and read…an article. Now I push the magic button, which lights up a thin screen, click a few keys and read my friend’s blog or a news story, depending on my mood.

And then it came to me.

Sometimes, I read a blog. Sometimes, I read an article. And I’ll be darned if I can always tell the difference. So, I decided to be brave, and coin a new term. From now on, I think I’ll refer to them all as “Blarticles”.

But a good friend of mine isn’t so sure I’m onto some vernacular breakthrough. He pointed out, only the way that an honest friend can, my new word sounds like those scratchy things that attach themselves to the bottom of a boat.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Ok, I’ll admit it. I did it. After years of study, I neglected to draw upon my self-financed college education. Years of papers, projects, and late-night cramming for classes whose names I will never remember. That final Spring Break spent in the library, working on a major paper, while seemingly everyone else went South, spending time in the sand. I worked hard, and, among other things, learned how to proof different genres of writing.

Years later, all that hard work paid off with my first book, Asperger’s in Pink, hitting the shelves shortly.

Writing calls to me. Poking and prodding, doing anything possible to gain my attention. A few months ago, I decided to plunge into the Blogosphere where I could write freely, creatively, hoping for a minutiae of feedback along the way.

And then I wrote a piece I thought was mildly funny.

And left it there, for all the world to read.

A little while ago, I pulled this Blog up, and there it was, laughing in my face.

The typo.

It’s rather obvious, and glares at me. I should have known better. I should have caught it. Alas, I shall slink away, realizing that this writer does, indeed, need a mechanic.

Not to mention, I’ve gained a greater appreciation for my editor.

(Feel free to find it, and note it in the Comments!)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sneak Peak of Next Week's ArtFire Blog on a Mundane Studio Items of Mine

Hey everyone, here is a sneak peak at my blog, which will run on ArtFire next Wednesday. I'd love to know if you can relate to this! Have a great day!

Ok, I'll admit it. Some of the items that fill my studio are...boring. Like placemats and coasters. My daughter would add to that list. After all, she’s a teen, and does know more than I ever will. At the top of my list of the lackluster are long, lean bags, which fill my collection. Bags with a simple loop handle attached to each.

With moderate holes in the bottom.

No matter how hard I’ve tried to make them exciting, alluring, desirable, the fact can’t be changed that they are what they are. That thing you keep on your doorknob to keep plastic bags off the floor.

Unless you shove them in too firmly.

Plop. Drat.

In an age of “green”, plastic bags are a necessary nuisance for so many of us, still. So, I suppose, admitting we even have them is nothing most of us wish to shout from the street. Or admit that we make things that collect them. Like plastic bag holders, which my family has dubbed: BagBags.

But, alas, they remain. Nevertheless, they are quite useful, as they allow us to keep the grocery bags for reuse – and out of sight, adding a splash of personality to wherever we choose to store them. So, I’ll continue to make and create the “mundane”, striving to make them as striking as possible. After all, they are, well, practical.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

That Little Light of Mine

My little light bulb blew out the other day. Not the kind attached to my ceiling fan that needs a ladder – or my husband – to change out. Not the one screwed into the lamp on my nightstand that barely gives off enough light to tell whether or not my socks match. No, the one that “went” is far more useful to me. It belongs to my sewing machine. It’s just a little thing, rarely blown. Over sixteen years, I think I’ve only replaced it once. Maybe twice. Which is why I initially put off buying a new one.

I could not, for the life of me, remember how to remove the old one.

Sure, I could check the manual. But that required remembering where I put it.

Stubborn that I am, and a new project to pulling me harder than getting into a hot car and driving forty minutes for that 4 second errand, I turned the machine on and sewed. And squinted. And breathed loudly, which is one of several coping mechanisms for not saying those things I really don’t want to utter out loud. Or hear my daughter utter out loud. Well, one project done.

And that was it.

No matter how much I tried to encourage myself that my maternal ancestors sewed using treadles, and markedly less light that I surely had, I gave up. It was simply too hard to see. Too hard to tell if what I was making needed more seam ripping than my average product.

Not that I ever use a seam ripper…right? Hmm…

This made me wonder if perfection was held to a different standard back then, if function over perfect seams ruled the day. Or were they simply more attuned to the feel and motion of fabric, needle, and machine?

Regardless, somehow, without breaking it, I figured how to remove the little oblong light. And, somehow, without damaging the machine, I figured how to insert the new one.

Ah, light!

Now, onto “skill”. Too bad I can’t purchase that!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pass the Coffee. Please.

It's a bad habit. I know that it is. Steaming, fragrant coffee with a splash of cream. No sugar. No sweeteners. Just moderately hot and refillable. And caffeinated.

Especially today. As I sit typing, I'm taking bets on how many cups and how many filters (non-bleached, of course), it will take to awaken from the weekend.

It really was a good weekend. Anything but boring. Then again, "middle school" and "boring" rarely fill the same sentence. Unless you are the middle schooler. And you are in class. Or home, listening to your parents talk about...well, anything.

For a handful of middle schoolers, last weekend was thrilling. Last weekend meant "field trip", an out of state, overnight, how-much-can-I-push-the-limits field trip. How can I sneak over here? How can I escape over there? How many times can I roll my eyes until the teacher catches me? How quickly can I spend all that cash? Sure, some were angels. Some were quiet. Some showed maturity well beyond, well...the others.

For us, the brave, the chaperones, it was an exercise in herding cats.

It's a funny thing. Somehow, once children turn into teens, they consistently and repeatedly announce to the world they are the new intellectuals. They do, indeed know everything. And they know it better than anyone over the age of thirty ever did - and ever will.

Despite the fact that 25 cent slime from a vending kiosk is super cool.

Especially when you wrap it around a drinking straw.

And so is seeing how many super stuffed chocolate candy infused cookies can be eaten in a quick stop for lunch.

And we weren't even "there" yet.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On to Knitting

Well, next to it, anyway.

That's where it sits. In a wicker basket, lined with green fabric embroidered with birds, next to an over-sized armchair.

Don't ask me what type of birds. I couldn't begin to tell you. Maybe they're knitting birds. They sit there, unmoving. Content to be in the same spot for hours on end. Doing the same thing over and over. And over again.

Like knitting.

Honestly, I do enjoy knitting. It's incredible to have the ability to design and create something practical, stylish and unique. The feel of the fibers while witnessing string turn to cloth can be cathartic.

Several years ago, I fell in love with a pattern for a sweater, for myself. It was an entire book of sweater patterns, actually, printed exclusively in color, displaying colorways that were simply stunning. I finished one for my husband, and he wore it in public, even. That was the true test. Now my turn. So out came the needles, here came the stitching for my personal creation.

And there, in the basket, it sits.

I remember learning how to knit. It was a hard craft to pick up, especially considering I've been involved in fiber arts as far back as I can remember. So difficult for me, it would be years later until I took the time to conquer it. My cousin taught me, standing in the living room one hectic holiday, grabbing a pair of plastic yellow needles and a spare ball of yarn from some forgotten project. I remember it well. Purl one, curse two.

Or three times, depending on how many stitches were dropped and found five rows later.

I developed interesting, never before seen stitch patterns in the process. Who knew that skipping, dropping and combining stitches actually has a name? And if that "spontaneous" lace knit project is a little more eccentric than hoped? I try to look at is as something suitable for an incredibly unique gift.

Unless it's too unique.

Then I hope I knitted it with wool. A few rounds in the washer and dryer sometimes shrink and combine all the holes and haphazard stitches into felt. It worked for that brand named sweater tossed in with the towels last year.


Why is it that something I enjoy so much never seems to end in anything but a coaster? Pile upon pile of small gauge swatches, meant to test stitch length and width for any given project have found a home, though.

Just look in the linen closet.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Thank Goodness for the Vacuum

He is a good little boy. Full of energy and affection, keeping out of trouble.

Most of the time.

(Why is it that paper napkins and tissues are a bigger draw than anything else that lands on the floor?)

We bought the little dog, thinking he'd make a good companion for our daughter. A faithful buddy, keeping her company whenever she needed it. A little ball of fluff, never to shed, never to cause even a hint of a sneeze for an overly allergic household.

But one thing we didn't consider was how low this guy is to the ground. Mowing a day or two off schedule means he's walking through a jungle.

And I thought I was short.

That's how I noticed it all. After vacuuming the latest evidence of the dog's journey outdoors, it seemed that no matter how long I vacuumed, the bits and pieces kept appearing. On my newish carpet. Ever by my side, he followed as I cleaned, dropping more of Mother Earth on the floor.

It's amazing how that beautiful, long-ish fur works about as well as hook-and-loop tape when it comes to bringing in the great outdoors. Especially when it comes to those long, stringy tree droplets that fall to the ground as beautiful green leaves open for the season. The skinny tan things, which disintegrate the moment they are plucked from fur, falling to the ground in a million little flecks. And, oh, how they hide, tucking themselves deep out of sight.

Thank goodness, they last only for a week or two. Thank goodness, the vacuum hasn't given up on me yet.

Too bad it doesn't work on today's gift. Sticks.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

15 Minutes in the Dark

By all measure, January proved to be a busy month, keeping my mind whilrling from one opportunity to any number of in-my-face pressing realities. (How is is that laundry supernaturally multiplies, right in the middle of sorting it?) Too many times the pressure of the present overrides the prospect of a better tomorrow, clouding the ever pesky "to-do-list" pushing the things I want to accomplish further and further downward, to the brink of oblivion.

Thankfully, (to the exasperation of my husband) I am nothing if not persistent. And when something simmers in the background of my ever cluttered mind, it will eventually scream for attention, no matter how many other things in my life try to clamp the lid down on it.

Unfortunately, sometimes the rush and push of life takes over, and as much as we may strive to keep our mindset neat, tidy, and open, we may find ourselves in a place where shades are drawn, and we deny the realities that lie on the other side of the curtains. Whether it be in denial over a child's unwanted diagnosis (no matter how benign), digging our heels in to a long held point of view, or anything else - like the distraction of laundry and dishes, somehow, we'll land in the dark.

And if we're lucky, we'll only spend a moment or two there, choosing to search for the light, following it back to a better perspective of the situation that landed us there in the first place.

None of us should ever desire to cover our ears and shut our eyes to whatever any reality may be, no matter how uncomfortable, unwanted, or even simply unfamiliar, but if we do find ourselves in that place, may it only be for fifteen minutes, and may we become the stronger for it, learning, adapting, and choosing to continually move forward. Choosing the bigger picture.

Despite the fact that, in my case, the dreaded chore list continues to call my name.

Thankfully, steamy vanilla lattes scream louder.

And one's calling me now...

Monday, March 15, 2010

...and Then a Hockey Game Broke Out

When my husband and I were younger, hockey was part of (our dating) life. Overpriced pretzels and minor league matches made up any given Friday night.

Then, like most couples, we started a family, and all that changed. Sure, we brought our daughter from time to time. But as she grew, so did her sensitivity to darkness and unpredictable sounds that come with any given game. Autism doesn't like "sensory soup", so hockey switched from season tickets in the cheap seats to finding a not so cheap babysitter for date night. (Then hoping our daughter wouldn't wear her out!)

In short, trying to go to a game together not only became a hassle, it became a guys night out.

Which is great, if you are the guy in the relationship...

As life always does, time flew by, finding us in another state, with a grandmother-turned-sitter encouraging us to pick that old friend back up. But after a few years away from the game, here we were, headed toward seats five rows up from the ice. It felt good.

Despite the fact it was "bring your dog day".

To hockey. Indoor hockey. Where it gets dark and loud. And there aren't any fire hydrants, if you follow.

And then intermission hit.

The ticket prices were much higher than I expected, especially for such a low level of hockey, but we sure were entertained. On the ice were a troupe of girls with more material in their boots than the rest of them. That's right, boots on ice. Then they danced.

To, "Who Let the Dogs Out."

But that's not where it ended. Oh, no. We were just warming up. There was a dog race, a blimp dropping papers, pucks to throw onto the ice (which means, "Duck and cover!" for those of us sitting near the ice), flashing lights all over the place, all of which mesmerized the crowd more that any of the players did. It felt like the crowd was bribed to stay for a game. A game that most of them seemed uninterested in. And then there were the cheerleaders.

At hockey.

Cheerleaders. Standing off to the side of the stands, now in long-sleeved half shirts. (Apparently, they discovered it gets cold watching hockey.) Shaking pom-poms behind the Plexiglas, where no one could possibly hear them.

When did I miss the memo that my daughter could strive to be a hockey cheer-dancer-leader?

Somewhere, in the middle of all this, there was hockey. Ice scratched up by skates, checking into the boards, the thud of puck after puck hitting goalie pads, icing, 5 minute majors. Hockey. Pure hockey. And "our" team won.

But I'd be lying to say I don't miss higher level hockey. I'm pretty sure it does not come with as many bells and whistles.

Or pom-poms.

The old joke goes, "I went to a fight, then a hockey game broke out." Well, we didn't see a fight until the end of the third. That's how off the scale of normal yesterday was.

So we wound the date up by doing the obvious.

We went to the local furniture store, and ate dinner.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It's Asperger's, All Over Again

Last night, I sat on my couch, wrapping up the last pieces of my new book. Time flies, like it often does, leaving me amazed at how far life has taken my family since my daughter was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, known as Asperger's Syndrome. It hasn't always been easy, but on the whole, it's been good. Fighting the fog that only a stubborn head cold can bless us with, I took advantage of a quiet household, and typed away. Knowing the potential to help so many gave me the energy needed to do what needed to be done in the moment. It felt good. And, now, being in the position to encourage, I felt at peace.

But that only lasted a handful of minutes.

The television was on, and I have to admit I wasn't paying much attention. But what caught my eye in a split second gripped me for the rest of the night. The characters on screen were discovering their child has Asperger's. And it was hard. They were solemn, serious, tearful. The following scenes reflected scenes in my own life. Times when actions, which seemed typical, now stood out like a flag waving in a storm. Yes, my child is different. Yes, we need to face this. No, I'm not sure what to make of it. Yet.

My family has come so far since those early diagnostic days. So far, that, somehow, I'd forgotten all about those tears. The confusion. The self-questioning. The raw emotion of it all. Watching fictional characters awakened very real memories, giving me an all too needed reminder that as far as we've come, others are just now crossing that threshold. And it can be a hard step to take.

Somehow, work garnered my attention. The excitement of it all returned, along with a deeper sense of purpose, and a reminder that we all approach those early days with a bushel full of emotions. But, seeing life from the other side of the street - for years, now - I know that the tears dry up, if we chose to make them do just that. Life really does choose a rhythm and a beat we can dance to.

Ok, so maybe I can't dance, but you get the picture!

There is so much joy that comes with Asperger's. There really, truly is. There is a perspective we gain having an Aspie in the house, which is a gem. But it takes time to reveal that gem to see it for what it is. As a mom of a daughter with Asperger's Syndrome, I know lots of happiness lies ahead, but I also know that those in the beginning stages of this journey need a few minutes to adjust before getting comfortable with the path that lies ahead. It might not be easy all the way, but it is good.

And I was reminded of just that last night.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Day

It all started with some bubble wrap, ever so carefully removed from a soon to be glass topped side table. Miracle of miracles, our opinionated daughter not only accepted this new addition to the family room, but the unusual lamp we bought with it. As my husband always does, the cardboard box, Styrofoam and gnarled tape neatly made its way to the massive city issued garbage bin tucked out of sight. The bubble wrap was next. A few yards of pristine wrap, with large cushions of air begging to be popped, lay haphazardly on the couch. My husband, my resolute protector, looked at the bag then me, his middle aging housewife, on the brink of making an idea reality.

"You might need these to ship things, right?" he suggested.

"Right, " I sheepishly answered, as I felt a smile overtaking my face, promptly taking it to the spare bedroom - turned office - turned studio.

Studio. My studio.

I had toyed with the idea of creating and selling, but lacked so much confidence. So much follow through. So much direction. My husband's suggestion of holding onto that wrap, somehow, gave me the wind I needed to propel me forward. As much as I like to consider myself an independent, I needed that push, that boost of confidence. It was as if he was saying, "Go for it. It's okay. I'll be here for you."

So I am. Whether I fly or fail, today is the day I go from thinking and analyzing to taking a deep breath and doing. Am I nervous? Surely. Do I have doubts? Tucked under mounds of fabric scraps, splatters of dried paints, and a stubborn will inherited from both sides of my family. These exist, and try to deafen inner mantras meant to encourage me. Too many minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years of thinking, hoping, aspiring - then listening to every reason not to pursue have stifled me, and my family even.

But not today. Today I tune out the negative, though keeping eyes and ears open to reality, and take a leap forward.

After all, it's called work for a reason.

Today, all that changes. Today, no longer sitting still, I am choosing to move forward. Today, is indeed, a new day. And I hope you will join me in this journey, creating your own today, working hard to make a positive difference in the lives of everyone you touch.

Today, is, indeed a new day.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Every once in a while, one of those “if-you-are-my-friend-you-will-fill-out-this-note-and-send-it-back-to-me” forwards lands in my inbox. Always full of offbeat questions begging for honest, if not nosey, answers, I sheepishly admit they intrigue me. Predictably, one will ask, “What is your favorite day of the week?” After years of opening, reading, and even filling these out, it seems that most of my circle chooses either Friday or Saturday, making the question rather “blah” on the “How interesting is this?” scale, plopping itself right next to the “Have you ever had something you’d rather not remember but are asked to regurgitate (and therefore forever land) into cyber-land happen to you?” question. Let's face, it, there are a lot more interesting facts to drag out of our friends, aren't there?

But as for the, “What is your favorite day of the week?” question?

My answer is easy.

It’s Monday.

Maybe it’s from years of being an at-home-mom-housewife. Those of you in my shoes might understand how this all too dreaded day does bring an aspect of relief. Once our children are in school, Monday morning = big yellow bus = a few hours of quiet. Not to mention how the kitchen table and family room floor miraculously acquire the potential to remain spotless for the day.

Provided I choose to clean and neaten them after my morning cup of brewed beans.

But maybe it’s simpler than that. And maybe peace, quiet and a clean house aren't what makes "Monday" for me.

Monday, in my little corner of the world signifies a fresh start. An opportunity to begin again. A new day.

Without question, Monday begins a week full of promise. And, sure, sometimes the promises that lie ahead are ones we’d rather not keep, and may feel more like battles to be fought, but more times than not, there are gaps in the week, which we are free to fill as we choose even if the fleeting moments are only able to be filled with a few random thoughts, or even a dream. Whether an hour or a second, it truly is up to each of us how we choose to fill that free time. What we dwell on. How we plan to keeping moving forward, as opposed to remaining stagnant and invisible. Whether or not to choose to refresh ourselves so we can keep the momentum.

Whether it’s taking a brief moment for quiet reflection, or choosing to tackle something brand new, which might put our comfort zone a little over the edge, Monday offers so much promise and hope. It truly is a new day.

And for those weeks where bumps in the road are all that we seem to land on? There’s always Saturday.

Fresh start
New day
Time to
Wash away the old
Accomplish something positive

- poem by Julie Clark © 2009