Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Friggin' Google Nazis!

I've only been able to get onto my dashboard ONCE, in the last 3 days. That's real cute, when I've got comment moderation on! Every time I try to moderate comments, or write a new post, I get a screen to sign up with "new blogger", with no other options on the page. I finally bit the bullet and switched over today. I DON'T WANNA!! I'm perfectly happy with my "old" blogger.

Blogger also hasn't been letting me comment. I'll write a comment, hit publish, and comment disappears! Hopefully, "new blogger" will let me blog again.

Things are a little bit better AND a little bit worse around here.

Z, with a little advice from Dad, managed to get his MP3 player working again. It still has a few glitches, but it's useable. Z learned a valuable lesson about taking risks with valuable possesssions.

I have this weekend off and we WILL get the Christmas boxes out of the living room and into the attic of the garage.

Last weekend L had a migraine on Saturday, so he slept all day. Sunday his arthritic shoulder hurt. Well DUH! Laying on it all day Saturday didn't help his shoulder one damned bit! Needless to say, communication was at a standstill last weekend. This weekend we WILL have a family meeting to get everybody back onto their schedule of chores and schooling.

The sale of my parent's cabin went through yesterday. My mother had to make one more cutting remark to me. Hopefully this issue will fade into the background now.

My Boss hired a new afternoon waittress, 2 weeks ago. So far she's showed up 3 days, out of the 7 days she's been scheduled! Boss also hired a new morning dishwasher this week. She showed up, and did a great job, the first 2 days. Today, she was a no-show! HOW do these people pay their bills? So today I got to waittress, wash dishes, and bake bars for a catering job. Too bad I only get paid for 1 of the 3 jobs.

We haven't heard anything from the loony Twin Cities relatives this week. No news is good

Once again, I'm sucking it up, and accepting my lot in life as the unappreciated manager of this household. It's a dirty, thankless job, but SOMEBODY has to do it!

If you get time, stop over at SME's at and watch the video of my new "granbunny" playing with her rattle. Sophie's antics are a real day brightener!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

On My Mind....


Communication is non-existent at our house right now. NOBODY listens to me!

My mother insists on rubbing my nose in their sale of the cabin.

Z ruined his $189 MP3 player, that we gave him for Christmas, by trying to tweak the firmware with an unauthorized program.

Our boss has no clue how to efficiently run a business. I worry that one of these days her overspending will catch up with her, and L and I will be without jobs.

100% of the homeschooling is falling on me right now.

I now have arthritis in my ankle, in addition to my knees, wrist, and fingers. I pray that this won't prevent me from working someday.

L's schizophrenic mother is having another bad spell. Two months ago she thought our sister-in-law was trying to poison her husband. Now she thinks SIL is trying to poison her and my stepson. They all live in the same duplex, so this is a real picnic for everyone involved!

Little Stuff
I still have boxes of Christmas ornaments cluttering our living room.

Our microwave is acting goofy.

Garage door openers do NOT work well in the cold.

The dog's ear is infected AGAIN.

The dog has become petrified of the heat registers and cowers in a "safe spot" between them, until someone escorts him past them.

My family expects me to solve all these problems.

We haven't had a vacation for 3 years! We'd LOVE to take some time off when SME's family visits this summer. Right now, that doesn't look too promising. There's nobody to replace us at work. I've worked 11 out of 14 days, year 'round, for the past 27 years. In that time, I've taken 2 vacations, and 6 weeks off when Z was born.

I pour my whole being into my family and home. Right now, my glass is empty. Would someone kindly refill me?

Friday, January 26, 2007

There is a LOT of chaos in my life right now.
Theres's just so much shit pushing at me from all sides.
I'm sitting here in tears.
I'll get through this, like I always step at a time.

The first step I must take is to enable comment moderation on this blog. I really hate to do this, as I enjoy the discussions that occur in my comments even when I'm not here. Comment moderation tends to take the spontanaety out of discussions. I'm hoping this won't be a permanent condition.

I feel it's necessary to moderate my comments to prevent a certain bullying troll from destroying our fun and friendship. I know first-hand how bullying can erode a person's psyche. I WILL NOT TOLERATE BULLYING IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM!!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

TS Searches

The past few months I've been keeping a close eye on my blog statistics. I've been particularly interested in what brings people to my blog. Like the rest of you, I've had some bizarre search words. I'll post the weirdo searches later.

Most of my search hits are legitimate. I get very few ordinary homeschool hits. I get a LOT of homeschool tourettes, homeschool ADD, and homeschool OCD hits. I also get a lot of hits from the TS webrings I belong to. In addition, many people exit my blog by clicking on the TSA link in my sidebar. Several of these "lurkers" have returned to read my archives. This makes me happy. That's what I'm here for; to share our experiences with TS, OCD, ADD, Executive Dysfunction, and Dysgraphia.

This post is dedicated to answering the questions my "searchers" have asked.

pictures of real tourettes kids: Any kid will do. Seriously. Viewing pictures of Z would NEVER indicate that he has TS. A video, on the other hand...
While attending school, Z became a master of inhibiting his tics. Anyone who has dealt with TS knows this is NOT a good thing! Sooner or later, the tics "release". Z could usually control his release until he got home. Sometimes his tics would explode at school, which would embarrass him, creating anxiety and anger....not a pretty sight. Releasing his tics at home could take up to an hour, which wasted valuable homework time.
Inhibiting tics at school also makes teachers doubt the TS diagnosis. All they see are the resulting behaviors(anger, frustration), which they attribute to bad parenting.

baby "shaking head" neurological: Get a referral to a pediatric neurologist NOW! Is this TS? Maybe, but there are many things this could be. Ask the experts, trust your gut instincts, observe your child, and PRAY that you will find a doctor who is knowledgable about your child's problems.
We were lucky. Our one-and-only local psychiatrist correctly diagnosed Z with TS. He had never dealt with TS before. Neither had ANYONE within 300 miles of us! This included the closest(150 miles) pediatric neurologist. The neurologist's solution was to experiment with a variety of drugs, to see if any of them worked on Z....they didn't.
Out of necessity, I've become the foremost authority on TS in northern MN. Trial and error has taught us a lot. TS is different in every person. Know your child and find what works!

tourettes rewired: Yes, there is a surgery that "rewires" the brain of TS patients with debillitating tics. This surgery seems successful, but it's still in the experimental phase. They're not sure how long the "rewiring" job will last. This surgery is only for the worst cases; those who are unable to perform normal functions, such as eating, speaking, driving, or even walking.
We would NEVER consider this surgery for Z! Neither would we consider medication, at this point. Z's tics can often be annoying, distracting, or sometimes funny. But 99% of the time, they don't bother Z at all. Don't EVER be embarrassed by your child's tics!! This will only create anxiety in your child, and anxiety worsens tics. Tics are part and parcel of your child's identity. Do you REALLY want to change your child's personality? We don't!

tourette's oil: Huh?! This is a new one to me, so I did a search. The only results were for aromatherapy and Omega 3 oils. Z has been taking flaxseed oil for over a year; we all have. I'm not sure if it helps, but it can't hurt. I've also been adding whole flaxseed to most of my baked goods. There are a lot of health benefits associated with Omega 3s, so if it also helps TS, all the better!
We have also dabbled a bit with aromatherapy, especially lavender. Lavender is supposed to soothe anxiety. I'd like to step this therapy up a bit, but...sometimes teenaged boys can have an aversion to smelling like lavender. ;)

tourettes and caffeine: I've had numerous hits on this subject. I came across a study on caffeine and ADD, about a year ago. The study stated that caffeine could sharpen attention in anyone. Start with the lowest dose possible, as our bodies develop an immunity to caffeine. When this happens, slowly increase the dose. Do NOT give ADD kids caffeine late in the day, as it might interfere with their sleep patterns.
Z has been having a glass of Diet Mt. Dew with his breakfast. It has helped. Why diet? We've found that high fructose corn syrup wreaks havoc with Z's tics and attention span. We also avoid food dyes, especially RED.
This leads to the question of food allergies. A few studies have proved that SOME patients have wheat allergies, which can mimic TS. This led to scores of parents, who eliminated wheat from their TS child's diet. The results? Miserable families with food cravings. This process is very time consuming and expensive. I've read these family's experiences. Sometimes tics worsened as a result of the stress created by their cravings.
Once again, KNOW your child. If tics seem to worsen after your child indulges in certain foods, try removing the offending food. There's a LOT of trial and error when dealing with TS.

noises throat ocd: Sounds like a tic to me. However, go to your doctor. Your doctor will be able to diagnose other causes for this behavior. If it continues, see a psychiatrist or neurologist.

if i have tourettes should i have a child: That's a TOUGH one! TS is an inherited disorder. You'll need to discuss this with your future mate. Z has thought about this several times. So far his decision is that there are a lot worse things that can happen to a child. In the future, this will be a tricky decision for Z and his mate to make.

ocd child homeschool: Sounds like a good idea to me. The school isn't sensitive to quirks in your child that could develop into full-blown OCD behaviors, with an accompanying compulsion. You need to nip the quirks in the bud by having your child face their unreasonable fears. This requires a LOT of time and patience. The more times the child faces their fears, the sillier their obsession becomes to them. They eventually will realize that nothing bad will happen if they don't obsess about their fear.
If your child's obsessions have acquired an accompanying compulsion, they will have concentration and frustration problems in the classroom. Their anxiety, over the need to perform their compulsion, will override the lessons being taught.

tourette's titties
girls with tourette home videos: Searches like this enrage me!! There are a LOT of sickos out there who think The Tourette's Guy videos are hilarious. Many of these sickos have infiltrated TS message boards and chat rooms, hoping to get some laughs. When they are put down for their voyeurism, they get nasty and vicious.
FYI: It hasn't been proven that The Tourette's Guy has TS. The experts think that he is merely a foul-mouthed alcoholic. IF the "Guy" has TS, he has copralalia. Copralalia causes the person to blurt out inappropriate words, phrases, or sentences. Copralalia only occurs in 1 of 10 TS patients. People with this disorder are mortified by their behavior and often become homebound, for fear of offending others. If this amuses you, maybe YOU are the one who needs psychological help!
This doesn't mean that people with TS and OCD don't have a sense of humor. Z enjoys watching Monk. Monk's disabilities are portrayed in a realistic manner. Z recognises a few of Monk's behaviors in himself, and freely admits how ridiculous they are. Laughter can be a good therapy.

TS is a REAL disability, and is listed as such in the Americans With Disabilities Act. This CAN open some doors for your child, especially in school. Unfortunately, you'll have to fight the "powers that be" every step of the way, to open those doors. The fight is often too costly and time consuming to bother with. That's why we homeschool.

To all of you "searchers" who have lurked on this blog, feel free to contact me by email. My address is on my profile page, which can be accessed by clicking on the link under my avatar. If you're a registered blogger, please comment. Sorry, but I had to disable anonymous comments as a result of a couple of mean-spirited "trolls".

Monday, January 15, 2007

Double Tagged

Tweets and Gardenia BOTH nailed me with this one. What is this, Tag season?

A - Available/Single or Taken? Totally Taken!
B - Best Friend? Scrunch
C - Cake or pie? Non-fruit pie
D - Drink Of Choice?Rum and coke
E – Essential Item You Use Everyday? Teeth and bifocals
F - Favorite Color? Forest green
G - Gummy Bears Or Worms? Ewww! It's not candy, if there's no CHOCOLATE!
H - Hometown? Here
I - Indulgence? Blogging
J - January Or February? January; there's still a bit of Christmas glow left.
K - Kids & Their Names? SME, Z-kid
L - Life Is Incomplete Without? LOVE!
M - Marriage date? 5/10/77
N - Number Of Siblings? None, I'm one of a kind. ;)
O - Oranges Or Apples? Apples; oranges make me gag.
P - Phobias/Fears? Some heights and extremely tight spaces
Q - Favourite Quote? "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. " Heinlein
R - Reason to Smile? Babies and puppies
S - Season? Spring or Fall? Definitely Fall. I hate Spring! It's dirty, sloppy, and unpredictable.
T - Tag 3 or 4 people? NO, Unh-uh, not ME
U - Unknown Fact About Me? I'm an open book.
V - Vegetable you don’t like? Cooked carrots, but I eat them anyway.
W - Worst Habit? Smoking
X-rays You’ve Had? Teeth, wrist, hand, back, lungs, ankles(several times), foot, knees
Y - Your Favorite Food? Partridge(Ruffed Grouse) in mushroom gravy!! Scallops
Z – Zodiac sign? Sagittarius

Friday, January 12, 2007

Raven's Christmas Tag

1. Players start by listing three things he/she got for Christmas.
Fact or Crap game (Our family had a BALL playing this at the cabin!)
DVD recorder(This turned out to be a family gift. We're ALL enjoying it!)
Books & DVDs(ALWAYS appreciated, even the weird Christmas DVD from our son-in-law)
2. Then they list three things he/she definitely did not want to get for Christmas.
Expensive jewelry(I'm just not that kinda girl. An appliance or power tool is more appropriate.)
Donations in MY name(PLEASE, let me pick the charity!)
More Menards gift cards(Between our birthdays and Christmas we have $300 worth. Insulation for the garage is such an impersonal gift )
3. Then he/she tags 3 friends and lists their names.
This is tough. Just about everybody I know has either been tagged, or has posted about their Christmas gifts.

Monica(Because she STILL owes me one.)
Notta Wallflower(Because I'm curious)
Sadie(Just to keep her blogging)

The tagger needs to leave the tagged a comment that says you have been Christmas tagged!

Tagged by Tweets

If you had to choose one vice in exclusion of all others what would it be?
Rum, of course.

If you could change one specific thing about the world what would it be?

Name the cartoon character you identify with the most.
Maxine, the old broad from the Hallmark cards.

If you could live one day in your life over again which one would it be?
How about I pick two, half days....the births of my 2 beautiful children!

If you could go back in history and spend a day with one person who would it be?
I have to go along with Jeannie and my son-in-law on this one: Jesus. How COOL would that be? A whole day to bask in the peace of his presence.

What is the one thing you lost sold or threw away that you wish you could have back?
The doll bed that my Dad made me for my 2nd birthday. For some odd reason, my parents decided I didn't want it, and donated it to the Salvation Army 2 years ago.

What is your one most important contribution to this world.
I'm a good person. I've raised my kids to be good people. Our home has always been open to our friends and our kids' friends. I'm always available to offer a sympathetic ear or a shoulder to cry on. I try my hardest to spread the love I feel in my heart!

What is your one hidden talent that nearly no one knows about?
I'm a GREAT lay!

What is your most cherished possession?
I guess it would be the same stuff I've decided to rescue(other than my family), if the house was on fire: our photographs. They're irreplaceable!

What one person influenced your life the most when growing up?
My parents. Despite our differences, they gave me all the tools I needed to cope with the world.

What one word describes you better than any other?
Control of

Raven(Payback's a bitch!)
Scrunch(He desperately needs a NEW post!)
Wandering Coyote(I'd like to see her answers.)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Morning Has Broken

After a glorious night of moonlight, New Year's Day came in with a golden glow. I was up before dawn, having coffee with my parents. When the sun hit the treetops, I rushed outside to catch the beauty before the sun melted the snow.

The Glow of a New Year

Our final weekend at the cabin couldn't have gone better, with the exception of the rain and slush. We saw out 2006 by the blue glow of the full moon, and welcomed 2007 with the golden glow of a clear winter morning.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A Black and White Day

Shortly after we arrived at the cabin, last Saturday afternoon, it began to rain. It continued to rain most of the night, which made for a slippery walk to the outhouse. Sunday morning, New Year's Eve, it started to snow. We got about 2 inches of wet, heavy snow, which stuck to the trees beautifully. It was one of those gray, black and white days, where any splash of color becomes an anomaly. L and I spent the afternoon outside, taking pictures.

Sunday night it cleared off, allowing the full moon to illuminate the snow shrouded trees in a magnificent blue glow. The moon was so bright that it created shadows! Unfortunately, we couldn't capture this night beauty in a picture. Our memories will have to suffice.

Memories, pictures, and videos will soon be all we have left of the cabin. My parents are in the process of selling it to a group from Bemidji. L and I would've loved to keep it in the family, but this additional asset would have put us over our $20,000 asset limit for MNCARE. It was a heartbreaking choice, but we opted to keep our health insurance.

L is whining that I didn't give him credit for the pictures he took. He took the picture on my "Previews" post. He's also responsible for the 4th picture down on this post, and the red twig picture.
VV, I may be needing some legal counsel here. heehee

Keep the Home Fires Burning

There's nothing homier than coming around the corner into the cabin yard, to be greeted by the smoke wafting from the chimney of the barrel stove!

A Bit of Color

The green of the cabin and shed, the red branches of the occassional bush, and the yellow of Hairry were a startling contrast to this black and white day.

Next week I'll be posting the sunrise pictures that I took on New Year's morning.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Happy 29th Birthday SME!!!

Look what I found on the bulletin board at the cabin! You have always enjoyed a nice hot bath, haven't you?
20-some years later, you're still our favorite bathing beauty. Although I doubt if you'd allow us in the bathroom with a camera anymore. ;)

We all LOVE YOU and hope you have fun doing whatever it is that S&S has planned!!
Mom, Dad, Z-kid, and Hairry

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Preview of Coming Attractions

As you can see, we got some GREAT pictures at the cabin. Unfortunately I don't have time to post them right now. Hopefully, I'll be able to get them posted in between all the other chores that are demanding my attention.

Our holiday celebrations have made a disaster area of our house! Christmas gifts have created a mountain of recycling, that needs to be hauled to the recycling center. The new books, DVDs, and games we received for Christmas need to find a permanent spot in our home. L gave me a DVD recorder for Christmas. This required some "artistic" rewiring in our entertainment center. Then we just HAD to test out the recorder with all the various devices we want it to record from.

Our weekend trip to the cabin has left us with drying boots and snowmobile suits hanging everywhere. We hauled stuff from the cabin for my parents that needs to be taken to their house. Coolers are cleaned out and need to be returned to the shed. The rest of our stuff is only half unpacked, as we ran out of time yesterday.

We're shorthanded at work, so I'll probably have to work 3 Saturdays in a row. We would like to take down the Christmas decorations this weekend, but it doesn't look too promising right now. I can't find the time to write all the important dates on our new calendar, so we can hang it up.

I LOVE the holiday season, but I HATE the aftermath!!