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.