Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween! ~ Once Upon A Midnight Dreary ...

I love the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe. The Raven is my favorite. I read that Poe was paid less than $10 for The Raven which was published somewhere around 1845. Poe lived a troubled life and endured many losses in his forty years on earth. I imagine that's what drove the gifted literate-artist to drink as he did. ... It certainly shows in his words.

The only thing that could make The Raven better is, Vincent Price reciting it. Right? And guess what I found on youtube? If you're a Vincent Price fan AND an E. A. Poe fan, you'll love this combo.

So it's no secret by now that I'm a Vincent Price fan. Well, back in the day I was also a huge Michael Jackson fan. The Thriller has to be my all time favorite music video. I was 16 years old when this hit M-TV. Here it is in it's full version! The embedding was disabled so you'll have to click the link.

I'm about to go and make a ton of pumpkin shaped cookies and gut the pumpkin for the husband to carve when he gets home. Tonight we're going to the church for trunk-or-treat and they are having an indoor festival with activities for the kids. Y'all have a safe and happy Halloween!

take care!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Stephen Update and … Keeping It Real


How about a Stephen update? It's been a while since I've really gone into detail other than just posting a photo.

Yesterday, I was being lazy, laying around because my back was bothering me. I guess it goes without saying that Stephen only likes a few pounds being caught up with his mama’s size. Yesterday was one of those days that my back felt strained and I pretty much lived all day in my pajamas and visited a few blogs. I’m behind on housework but feel that I’ve gotten caught up on a lot of my friend’s blogs and even visited a few new ones that I enjoyed and will be returning to.

So let’s get back to Stephen and that photo up there. I’ll be the first to point out that Stephen is not showing off his million dollar smile and the whole thing turned out blurry. Never mind that. The main focus of this picture is the fact that Stephen is feeding himself with a fork. He still needs our help but that’s only with minimal assistance now days. I’d say he’s finally mastered this goal. We’ll work on his Emily Post at a later time. Right now, I’m just thrilled beyond measure that he’s able to grip the fork, stab at his food and eventually get it in his mouth. It’s hard for him but he’s getting there. Let me tell you, it’s hard for me as his mother to not do it for him when I see him struggling with this task and if I’m honest with you, the fact that I had a hard time for so long with that issue, I may have held him back with this and other skills.

I’ve never raised a neuro-typical child but I’m guessing that all parents, moms in particular struggle in that department. I remember that my mom did. It was a rule that my bed was to be made daily so I started making my bed before I even attended school. Mom said it looked like bodies were under there and she’d redo it for me instead of waiting for me to develop that skill on my own. She was a perfectionist (which I inherited from her) and the corners of the bedspread had to equally touch the floor all around the bed. If one corner was higher than the other, she couldn’t stand it. Also, my friends and I were not allowed to wallow (woller, we call it down here in Alabama) on the made beds; we had to sit in the bean bags or on the floor. I don’t care how good you were at straightening up that bed, mama knew someone had “wollered” on it. ;-)

I know a lot of my friends struggle in helping their children with their homework. Again, I remember those days. I attended Shelby Academy during my elementary years, which was a private school and the classes there were way tougher than the public schools in those days. (I’ve heard they’ve lowered their standards since back then. How unfortunate for me) Back when I was four or five, my mother was convinced that I was above average intelligence and in just a matter of a few short years at Shelby Academy, I had the honor of proving her wrong. Very, very wrong. My poor parents had the hardest time helping me with homework. We didn’t know it, but I was ADHD. It’s SO abundantly clear now that I am ADHD as an adult. Can’t you tell by trying to read my stories? This is why I don’t update very often. Being ADD and a perfectionist (OCD), I just don’t have time to do it to my standards! Anyway, a lot of the time, my mama or my brother would just do the homework for me because after all, Christmas would be here before I finished on my own. Eventually, the homework got much tougher and it was getting harder for them to “assist” me so my parents hired a tutor for me. For the first time in my life, I had to do this task on my own with the tutor working with me but pushing me to actually learn the math. I’m glad I finally learned the basic stuff, it comes in handy when I’m doing the books, cooking with a recipe or mixing chemicals for someone’s hair color. ~~ Forget French though. That just wasn’t happening for me. I failed French with flying colors. The tutor told me that she hoped I never had to live in France.

All this to say, so many things I wasn’t pushed to accomplish because it was easier for someone else to just do it for me. Till this day, regrettably, I’m still the type who needs a nudge with the important things. I give new meaning to the word, procrastinate. And, at the same time, I see myself doing the same exact thing to my son. Notice, I didn’t say “for” my son. Because, I believe if you don’t encourage your children to do all they can on their own, you are doing nothing “for” them. The greatest disservice we can be to our children is to reinforce their fears and insecurities (and their laziness) by allowing them to avoid the things they don‘t want to do. My goals are a little different from most parents. I just want my child to be able to feed himself, go to the bathroom on his on, dress himself -- Just basic daily living skills. But, I’m hindering his progress when I give in and do it for him. I think, as parents, special needs or not, it all comes down to teaching our children to live independently to the best of their ability when we are no longer around. The thought of Stephen being in this world without me is the one thought that keeps me awake at night. The one thing he needs most from me is for me to push him to be all he can be and do all he can for himself so he‘ll be as prepared as possible for that day. That’s very clear to me now. So I’m praying now for God to show me the way of doing this because this is a new skill for me to learn. -- And this is one thing NO ONE can do “for” me.

Friday, October 17, 2008

"Fall"ing Into Photography

::To see full size, click on the photo::

Ahh, that's my favorite kind of photo. When the subject is unaware they are being photographed. I cannot take credit for this one. As it turns out, Stephen's daddy has quite the eye for photography. Of course, I have to ask you, who could go wrong with Stephen for a subject? The kid is a natural camera magnet.

The photo above was taken two weekends ago when Stephen's dad took him to the park so I could have some time to myself. What that means is, Stephen, bless his sweet little O heart, was getting on my last nerve. But, never mind that ... His daddy took this photo with his camera phone and I did very little editing. I was just so happy to see that Stephen stopped running in circles long enough to focus on something. He's just like his mama. He can't stand still and appreciate the beauty around him for being so controlled by racing thoughts. His daddy told me that he was fascinated by the leaves falling from the trees and floating down the creek; he thought it was a kodak moment. And, he probably wanted to rub into my face the fact that Stephen behaved well for him

Last week, we went to the Fall Festival and I got some really good shots of Stephen. As usual, I'm running behind and I'll try to have those uploaded before Thanksgiving.

Hope y'all have a great weekend.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I can't say enough about this movie!

In this journal's archives, you'll find a five year old entry titled, "My Cousin Vinny." I won't make you go there to read the story I'll just tell you briefly, that, up until this past June, My Cousin Vinny was the last movie that the husband and I went to the movies to see (just the two of us). That was in 1992.

Brace yourselves! ... Last night, the husband and I had a date night at the movies with over 150 other couples from our church! I KNOW! We were very excited to have a night out to see a movie together. And it was an opportunity to meet other couples from our church. It just occurred to me the other day that ... we don't have friends. Let me rephrase that; We don't have "couple" friends. I have my friends and he has his but we don't socialize at all with other couples. Weird, huh? Our first years were extremely stressful as a married couple because our son was born three months premature with so many health problems we weren't prepared for. We didn't focus on our social life. We just didn't have one for over a dozen years. Now that we have a respite provider and are able to have a little bit of a social life, most of our old friends are divorced. We've had respite night (date night, we call it) on Fridays for the last three years which has been instrumental in restoring our relationship. The thought of where we'd be without it terrifies me. That's one reason why we feel so passionate about this movie. There just isn't enough focus on marriage and family anymore in the big screen world. There isn't enough focus on marriage and family, period, if you ask me. But that's a whole 'nother journal entry. I am a survivor of a broken marriage that ended in divorce; I know exactly how difficult divorce can be. I am also a survivor of a broken marriage that did not end in divorce, but was restored.

One of my favorite lines from the movie is when Kirk Cameron's character was having a talk with a friend of his who was trying to counsel him about his marriage. His friend told him, "You can't follow your heart. You've got to lead your heart." Wow --- I can't add anything to that.

I'll try to update soon with a few photos. Till then, y'all take care!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I'm Here!

Please overlook the unpacked boxes; I have lots to do here. ...Whew!

A little disappointed that only the photos on the index page are viewable after AOL transferred the files. I guess they got lost in the move. And I know the ones posted from "AOL Pictures" will disappear after the 31st. Which is why I copied every dadgum one of 'em. But, all in all, I'm just happy the past entries and comments made it over. Who knows, one of these days when I have plenty of time on my hands, I'll upload each of the photos to match their past post. Yeah, I'll do that while the maid is cleaning my house and my son's private nurse is bathing him.

So, this is it for now. Hmmm, I'm still thinking about going private again. But if I do, I'll "friend" those of you who want to stay in the know.

Till next time, y'all take care!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Just Curious ...

How many of you guys are on facebook, myspace, etc. ---

What do you think of facebook? Is there blog space there?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

So Long ...

AOL Journal Community. aka: J-land ... The end of an era ...


The above photos were some of the first I posted in this AOL journal. They will be permanently deleted on October 31st. Not by choice, mind you.  

Ahh, look at 'em up there. It was Fall of the year. October, 2003. Stephen was so much smaller. Patches was still alive. ::sigh:: During this time, I was in the midst of making some of the best friends I'll ever know. I've already lost touch with many. My first bestest buddy, SloMo. Sigh ... How I still miss that girl. If I just knew she was OK. ~ Armand ... where are you? I miss your political reports (even when we didn't see eye to eye all the time) and Stephen misses his Army-Man-buddy. And...  Vivian ... dear, sweet Vivian, how I miss you. Lets not forget those who, in the beginning made AOL J the community that it is. Pam. Frank. May you two always rest in peace. I'll never forget the impact y'all had on my life and I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say, "we'll never, ever forget you.

There are more. Many more friends I've sadly lost touch with. Most of which happened after the split a few years ago when AOL began posting ads on our journals. I have to say now that I am thankful in a small way that AOL imposed the ads on us because it was then that I moved to Live Journal. And today I still have that journal and most of the time, I copy my journal entries and post over there. It, too, is private. SO I don't have as much to back up as I normally would. I just don't trust AOL to move everything for me to blogger so I will manually copy most of my entries posted in those first 2 or 3 years.

Those of you who are not AOL members and are a reader of this journal, you may not be aware that AOL is shutting the doors to the AOL journal community and also closing our FTP webspace where we have SO MANY photos and memories saved. Stay tuned. After this is all over, you can find me at blog spot. Same user name and email only, (it's at gmail dot com) my journal will again be named none other than, Daily Gratitudes and Attitudes.

The last five years and two months have been special and I look forward to keeping in  touch with all of you!

Till we meet again!