What's running though my mind comes through in my walk / True feelings are shown by the way that I talk. ~MCA Adam Yauch 1964-2012

Monday, April 28, 2008

Why is this the big news of the day?!

Revealing Photo Threatens a Major Disney Franchise - New York Times

I think the thing that stands out the most in this article is Linn Buress posting on her "Telling It Like It Is" to burn Hannah Montana merchandise. Of course, I wanted to see this whole post in context, and it gets a little worse, especially when the writer suggests that Miley is on the path of trampdom, like other Disney starlets.

It's amazing what makes news anymore. I have seen ten times worse and the media is focused on an artsy photo of Miley Cyrus. It's like they are frothing at the mouth waiting for her star to fall so they can document her train wreck in gory detail.

We need to get real, people. This is NOT news. It's a distraction. Have you noticed that we have lost 40 of our troops in Iraq this month? Did you notice that the price of a barrel of crude oil is now $120 and the average price of regular unleaded is $3.60 per gallon (up here in the North Country, last I checked it was $3.78). Have you noticed that the economy is in a recession, even though Dubya won't admit it? How about how many people in this country don't have health insurance?

Yes, I know that I am sounding a little preachy, but you know what? I am tired of this kind of stuff making the top stories and I am tired of a media that tries to shield us from what is real.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Watertown Daily Times | Father of special-ed student protests funding cuts

Watertown Daily Times Father of special-ed student protests funding cuts

As a mother of a child with autism that went once went through the special education services of Carthage Central School District, to find that a state audit specifies that students in these programs are "over-classified and over-served" is laughable. I spent the first years of my son's time in the district fighting tooth and nail for every service and accommodation that he needed. Once he hit 7th grade, I decided to homeschool him because he was getting further and further behind.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't put all the blame on the district. I know they have to keep a budget. This particular school district, as well as a few more in this area, have to continually deal with an ever growing enrollment from the influx of children from military families. I am sure it isn't easy running a school district and making everyone happy, especially in the age of No Child Left Behind, but to cut special eduction services would be a disaster to the special education students of Carthage CSD. Cutting even nine positions will cause problems in delivery of services.

According the the Watertown Daily Times article, the public hearing on the budget is at 7:30 p.m. May 13 in the high school cafeteria (which is on Route 26 in Carthage) and the public vote is May 20. This would be a very important subject to pay attention to.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Soaring food prices elicit creative solutions from moms - Apr. 21, 2008

As a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom (both boys, 15 and 10) myself, I completely relate to this article on soaring food prices. One has to get REALLY creative trying to make the food budget stretch. I know every time to go to the grocery store, I look at the cost and wonder what the hell I bought. Unfortunately, it's the same stuff I have always bought....just more expensive.

Soaring food prices elicit creative solutions from moms - Apr. 21, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

General what's going on in my world post

Wow...it's been a few days since I last posted, isn't it? There are so many things I can post about today....I could post about the continued drama of Obama and Hillary.....hmmm, I could post about the climb of gas prices....maybe some more on the ever present fiasco that is Iraq (but don't say that to the President, you know to him, it's a success). No, I think I will post about good things.....


Like how completely AWESOME the weather has been here this week. The kids and I are on Spring Break from homeschooling and we have been enjoying the beautiful North Country spring weather. The temperatures have been in the 60's and there is rumor of it hitting 70 soon! This is an actual treat for us North Country residents as we have a looooonnnngggg winter that usually starts in October / November and lasts right up til April / May. My first year here, it snowed on Mother's Day and I usually don't put out my seedlings until after Memorial Day because frost is still an issue. I have seen a many Spring Break period where it is too cold to enjoy it.



But, wow.....it is beautiful! There are North Country-ites out in droves. People on their bikes, going for walks, enjoying the sun, going to the park....all of us jonesing for the sun and the warmth. Spring Fever has embraced the North Country.


My man and I bought some kites and tried them out at Thompson Park. Not bad for $5 Big Lots kites!! A few days later, I took the boys to the Park to fly them and shot some photos of them as they flew them.




I tried to snap a few while I flew them too with some success.



I am also thrilled to say that the woods across the street from me are finally clear of most of the snow and the trails are now clearly visible so the kids and I have been mulling around in the woods looking for signs of spring and critters moving about. Last night all of us went out on the trails to check out the seasonal stream that runs through it (it is dry as a bone in the Summer and Fall, but when the snows melt and the Black River rises, it fills right up). I snapped this photos of my guys as they were checking it out. The cool thing is that this wasn't even a staged shot....that is just how they lined up at the stream. They made it easy for me, didn't they?


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Political Radar: Obama Says He'd Consider Gore for Cabinet

Political Radar: Obama Says He'd Consider Gore for Cabinet

How psyched am I to read this, you say? Very!! In my dream world, Al Gore would be running the EPA!!

'You get a slice of heaven and a pure love in your home' - CNN.com

'You get a slice of heaven and a pure love in your home' - CNN.com

Today is World Autism Awareness Day

Autism Awareness
Back in December, the United Nations General Assembly declared today, April 2nd, as World Autism Awareness Day to bring more of a awareness to this disorder that is affecting many of the world children. This is an event spanning seven continents and the first World Autism Awareness Day to be observed.

I am glad to see more and more focus being given to autism and it's spectrum. One of the complex things about autism is the range at which a person is affected by it and the mysteries that occur in the mind of a person with autism. One person can be affected by it profoundly, while another can be so mild as to escape a diagnosis. Here is some more information on autism from the Autism Society of America.

Autism Society of America - What is Autism?

I am the mother of a 15 year old son with Asperger's Syndome. It is one of the milder variants of the disorder, but has presented itself with it's own challenges and hurdles. He developed just like ever little boy should. He played, he laughed, he learned at an amazing speed. He never lost his language skills, a big indicator of Asperger's, but at around 2 1/2, he started to act a little odd. He looked at fans and things that moved in a circular motion constantly. He was the easiest child to take to the laundry mat, because he would pull up a seat and watch the dryer spin. He started to talk like a little robot, in a droning monotone. The thing is, being as he was my firstborn and I wasn't around other little kids so much, I just thought that these were some cute things he was doing.

When his father and I divorced, however, my son started to smack himself in the face, rock in the rocking chair constantly, and hit his head on the floor when angry. I knew something was wrong, but I wasn't sure if it was from the trauma of the divorce or if it was due to the something else. I took him to a child therapist and after observation, she recommended that he go to Syracuse to get observed because she suspected something altogether different.

So at the age of 4 1/2, my son was diagnosed with PDD, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, which is the starting point for many parents whose children are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Once I knew what I was dealing with, I started researching like a fiend. I read books, I looked at websites, I even looked at diets (but kind of stray away from that). My son was put in an Early Intervention program and to this day, I will say that if it wasn't for Early Intervention, my son wouldn't be where he is today.

I started researching more on Asperger's around 1999-2000. It actually was due to me being a little confused because my son did not seem to follow the "typical" autism pattern. He spoke very well, he carried on great conversations, yet he seemed socially awkward, not noticing when he was losing a person in the conversation due to him talking about his favorite subject, cars, over and over and OVER again. To many, my son doesn't even seem like he has an autism spectrum disorder, but to those who know and love him, we see the eccentricities that come with him and love him for them.

He has his struggles and he has his hurdles, but as his mother and his homeschool teacher, I do not allow him to give up, not that he gives up easily, it just takes him a little longer to do things. This is why I decided to take on the task of homeschooling him once he finished the 6th grade. I wanted to give him the opportunity to learn without struggle, without stress, and without getting further behind.

Living with my son has been an adventure and a joy. I see the world in a whole new way because of him. Even the simple task of going for a walk is different as he notices different things and perceives the world around him in a whole different way. I honestly wouldn't change him for all the gold in the world. He is unique and he is wonderful. He is my boy and I love him.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Congress lays into oil execs over profits, investments - Apr. 1, 2008

GAS PRICES

Congress lays into oil execs over profits, investments - Apr. 1, 2008

I hate to say this, but isn't Congress being a little naive when they railed the oil men about using their tax breaks? Are we expected to believe that Congress thinks that these executives have a conscience and would give up their tax breaks just to help us peons?

Come on now!! Why would they when they have the President of the United States in their pockets....a President that threatens veto with just the mere mention of taking said tax breaks away from his buddies.

Note to Congress....the Oil Companies don't give a rats ass about anything except profits. They don't care about the consumer, they don't care about the environment (check out Stephen Simon's excuse of why they only gave $100 million towards renewable energy), and they certainly don't care about what we all think of them.