Monday, May 4, 2015

My friends have asked me specifically for more stories about my charming son, who, for the purposes of this public medium we shall call Drew*.  Drew is an awesome little guy. He is mostly unconcerned about stereotypes and likes what he likes, including fishing, fart-jokes, and various artsy-crafts.  Stores forthcoming….

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tuesday morning… less than 72 hours ago.
My morning filled with mundane tasks. I walked dogs, ate breakfast, and made a dent in the household chores. I helped my son (who was home from school that day) with homework. I completed a bit of job-related paperwork.  I then dragged my boy with me to my neurologist, armed with books and Legos.
The results included several abnormalities I have known about for years.  I repeatedly heard the beautiful phrase, “no significant change.”
And yet, there was something “New nonenhancing lesion of the right amygdala. “
Translation: (in my mind at least) here it is, a brain tumor.
I walked out with my eyes glazed over, 10 pages of MRI results in hand, and an appointment for more MRI’s and neurology appointments in 6 months.
What did I do next?  I fixed lunch, took my son to his pediatrician and then dropped him off with my husband so I could go to work for a few hours. I picked my son up again later to drive him to karate and to gossip with other moms about school fundraisers and everyone’s plans for summer.

So how do I live day to day with this chronic disorder, and every-impending scary  news? I simply live. I wash dishes, fold laundry, do yardwork, sort garbage from recycling, listen to my favorite music, and watch the evening news. I take my son to birthday parties.  I groan when weather ruins weekend plans. I go to church, read novels by my favorite authors.  I call my parents, visit my grandmother, and meet friends for coffee. Life can be remarkably normal.  And some days it simply is not.  MRI’s and CAT-Scans are nearly as routine as cholesterol and blood pressure checks.  Conversations with friends, family, and complete strangers can include, “by the way, if you see me have motor tics or a seizure, I need you to tell me, because I won’t be aware of it.”  I push through chronic pain, leaning heavily on my husband, family, and friends. I pray with sometimes-shaky faith to a loving and merciful God.  I weigh the advice of medical professionals. I practice yoga and go to bed early. I update my will, insurance, and funeral arrangements. And then I make travel arrangements, plant tomatoes, and purchase green bananas.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

No Science in 2nd Grade.

Recently, I was telling my parents about how my child is doing in school, how I love the small classes and curriculum pace, and about the science project his class is doing. He very emphatically interjected:
We don’t do science!
Hmmm.   Well, the rest of the conversation went something like this…
But, doesn’t your class have a garden? 
Okay.   Don’t you make predictions, take measurements, and record observations? 
Aren’t you learning about plants?
Tell me, what do the plants need?
Sun, earth, air, and soil. 
Really? What would happen if a plant didn’t have sun?
It wouldn’t grow.
Why not?
Well, that is one of the things that it needs! (insert eye-roll). 
Don’t you guys have a cistern that collects rain so you can water the garden? 
What about compost? 
We are making posters to teach the other grades about compost.
Tell me, can I put egg shells in the compost?
What about left over barbecue ribs?
No, that’s not good for it.
Tell me again what you can compost so I can know for our compost at home.
Dead leaves, grass, horse poo (insert 7 year old snicker).
How about tea bags or paper?
paper with no ink on it like paper towels, banana peels, potato peels, water melon rinds, orange peels and other fruits and vegetables. 
Very interesting.  So you are gardening, but you are not doing science. 
Nope, we don’t do science in 2nd grade. 

(Fernandina Beach Christian Academy, Fernandina Beach, Florida).  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Drew gets an MRI

Many, many thanks to Laura McCalvin (at Wolfson's in Jacksonville, Florida) for the "MR-I AM READY" program.  We were able to complete a long test without medication. 

Slowly, the bed moved backwards into the machine.  It looked just like the pictures from his practice! Drew pretended he was a mummy, like King Tut, and lay very, very still. His Mommy rubbed his toes. The machine was loud.  It was loud, but it didn’t hurt at all.    It made lots of funny noises.  Drew imagined a woodpecker playing drums inside a submarine.  This almost made him giggle, but then he remembered he wasn’t supposed to move.  He could feel his mommy's hand on his feet.  That helped him to feel a whole lot better. 

(note: I'm developing this into a book, more coming soon...) 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Each evening, it is a short walk from my front door to an amazing sunset.   I have an open invitation from my neighbor to meander through his yard and watch the sky over the marsh light up like a rainbow of cotton candy.    I like to end my day there. I drink in the beauty of the view, briny smell of the water, and the sound of the birds, crickets, and rustling trees.  My husband teases me that I’m going out to feed the mosquitoes– but is well worth it.  Sometimes my son will ride his bike, racing circles around me up and down this quiet street. The sun sets in this spot every day. I do not get there as often as would like. Some evenings other obligations pull me away. And, other times clouds obscure the view.  But, it is always there.  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Free Printable Worksheets

Commercial:  I've added new free printable worksheets and other resources to my online store.  These can be downloaded at:

A surprising solution


Ketchup, yes, ketchup, was the solution to one little household dilemma. I found it quite by accident, one morning when  I was doing some general cleaning.  A plate was still sitting on the my grandmothers antique brass plate, on a coffee table from the previous evening. I picked it up, and proceeded to wipe up an errant spot of barbecue sauce.  I was quite surprised to find that the spot where the barbecue sauce had been now shone like a new penny.   Off to the local dollar store I went, and, after consulting with one of the clerks, came home with 2 bottles of ketchup.  Wow.  It did better than that and expensive, smelly, and very poisonous metal polish.  Not surprisingly, a quick Google search confirmed my accidental discovery.  Who knew?  I, certainly was quite happy to find an easy and environmentally friendly solutions to one daily conundrum.