Tag Archives: community

Whose Approval Do You Desire? 

A kiss from my autistic son

A kiss from my autistic son

Do not ask my son for approval. People stare at him sniffing my hair and he could care less.  The acceptance of God in our lives is not dependent on humans.   

Sitting at church today,  it struck me how critical humanity can be towards each other. I watched an elderly man act out.  He disgreed about some dialogue. I sat quiet. How many times had I opened my mouth? How about thinking it, but not speaking it?  Words spoken or not can divide. 

I travel a lot.  Getting out of my comfort zone brings me to different cultures and diversity. I enjoy meeting new people. Communication is key.  I find a smile is most inviting.  It is the best kind of approval. Maybe. I am happy.

I think upon myself and wonder how hedonistic I may be. That deep seeded place thinking only about being happy as my greatest approval factor.   Can you relate?

Hiking the Issaquah Alps!

Hiking the Issaquah Alps!

Do I need to look to the skys for my answer? Yes, and I also know my approval rating needs to be more like how my son looks at being accepted. It is with no thought of what others might think. 

Let it go.  Close my eyes and sniff away like my Luke!  There will I find peace in God. 

Random Acts Of Kindness

Something cool happened to me yesterday. Keep reading for the awesomeness vibes you are about to uncover here! 

Imagine a world without hurt. Everytime I turn around lately,  the world’s a bit more cold, distant, aloof. The pain is palpable.   

I am full of life and know this feeling comes from deep within. It is a blessing from God. I know when I crash, however, it can be as if my breath is taken away from me. 

Last night I attended Neil Diamond’s 50th anniversary concert here in Seattle. I loved every minute.  After the concert, my friends and I stuck around the venue late walking around. A medic working with the musicians came up to us and asked me specifically if I was a big fan.  I said yes. Before I knew it he handed me the oxygen mask Neil Diamond utilized right before he came back onstage to give his encore.   

Random, don’t ya think? It was very sweet of him. It was a breath of fresh air figuratively for me and physically for our star. I wonder what I should do with it. I need your ideas!!!!  I am one happy girl right now.          

I Wish I had A Tractor

IMG_0271.JPGI wish I had a tractor 2 weeks ago when I decided to drag my family out to the old Jenkins Cemetery in Caldwell county,  Kentucky.  Many of you may not know, but my most popular post was on finding a haunted cemetery.  It has been a top 10 google search especially during halloween.  Go check it out: The Haunting .

However, if you want to come on this adventure just keep reading.

Continue reading


Death Is No Big Deal As Told By Our Dog Linus:

I was not afraid to go.
No siree.
I was not sure about the Path.
But off I had to be.
I know tears might come.
But try not to cry for me.
I had a great earthly journey and
more fun than can be. Luke and Elijah
you are my pals from here to eternity.

I am now resting quietly on a gentle cloud.
Believe me, I am barking out LOUD!!!!
Just you boys remember to live joyfully.
I will be fine In Heaven’s Glory. Just
wait and one day you too will see.

Dedicated to all who have lost a pet. You too will see….


Oh Those Eyes!

Oh Those Eyes!

Fitting In


Yes. That is me--over 40 years ago!!!

Yes. That is me–over 40 years ago!!!

I hope you will take a moment and find out why I started to blog initially and answer my question below. My blog has evolved tremendously in 2 years. If my words only assist one person to feel better about themselves, I say that one person was worth me writing for.

I am looking at writing more about a few issues and I wanted to share those with you and ask for your help in what you would like to see more from me. Here are the choices:

1. Medical Advice or commentary on medical issues from the perspective of my 30 year career as an RN.
2. Autism ( My 21 year old son was born with moderate to severe autism).
3. Cancer and my own medical story/Journey and how I have coped with my health.
4. Genealogy and my international roots I have uncovered on American soil as well as International soil.
5. Photography of nature and my take of life through photos.
6. RETRO 70’s post making fun and light of my childhood…( OK I must admit I love doing these kind of posts! )

Thanks for your input.

Southern Nights

On the beach somewhere in Florida! Chillin' out after passing Nursing School and the Boards I suspect!

On the beach somewhere in Florida! Chillin’ out after passing Nursing School and the Boards I suspect!

Have you ever felt a southern night? Growing up in Alabama, I had the distinct privilege of touching, feeling, smelling, and living it. Back roads run through my blood. I travel along those rural roads that lead me straight to family and friends. Bringing back a simpler time, but also a mysterious time. What did my life have for me to hold? What was my particular destiny?
The mind is a powerful thing. It is unlimited. It is pure if you let it be. That is what is so beautiful about it. In Greek studies, reason was looked upon as divine. It was the glue and the influence to today’s thought processes on God and theology. Greek thought may have had some quirks, but it did help lay some foundation for where we are today.
My first big life choices evolved a southern night. Good thinking tends to happen when life itself is looked upon in simplistic fashion. It does not mean you do not weigh all the facts you have, but rather you include your emotional state in that equation. Logic may not always win. In my case, I can see mostly decisions based on logic, but those decisions were based on good people around me giving their share of praise to me and allowing me to feel a sense of purpose in my life.
Once I was on the back-end of a decision made by my superiors when I was employed at a hospital. The hospital leadership decided that all the nurses needed to rebid for their positions. This was a scary time for everyone because many nurses thought they were going to lose their job.
For whatever reason, I was concerned, but not overwhelmed by this crazy tactic being utilized by my employer to get rid of employees. I had a lot of seniority and it is what kept my position intact. Why do I bring this up? Essentially because a good leader would never do this to his team of employees. He would bring everyone on board so that folks do not think they have been hit over the head with a two by four.
This brings me back to my southern nights. It was those nights that brought me back down to reality. The memories of that simpler time reinforced my sense of purpose. It brought me rest and peace in my mind when all hell seemed to be breaking out in front of my eyes. Those southern nights have served me well. I hope you too can find your “southern night” and let it be an important part of your thought processes. It is no fun to be out in the dark and left without inspiration.

Autistic Man Brings Home First Paycheck!

Proud mom is sharing photo of my disabled son’s first paycheck given to him by his boss. My son assists in opening up Menchie’s Yogurt Shop with his job coach twice a week. I am very happy and grateful for the yogurt company supporting our disabled in the community. If you live near a Menchie–go buy some yogurt and tell them you are buying from them because they are giving jobs to folks with Autism.. Thank them with your pocket book..Would you as my friend? : )

Luke is placing the tables and chairs out as part of his job routine before the store opens for business.  GO LUKE!

Luke is placing the tables and chairs out as part of his job routine before the store opens for business. GO LUKE!

Fair Weather

At times you struggle in life and so does nature. For you see the mood in the air each day. As nature speaks out, “What shall I do today?” The photographer goes behind to see the result. On a recent walk through a familiar area that I live near, my camera captures the season upon us as a neighbor gladly rakes the most beautiful leaves to mulch in his garden not so far away. He states to me, “This is a photographer’s paradise. No more beautiful street than ours is there?” I say back, “No. No other. As I snap a few more photos. Enjoy:

Risking It All For Our Children

Luke is a handsome young man looking to find a job. Luke is severely disabled with Autism.

Luke is a handsome young man looking to find a job. Luke is severely disabled with Autism.

BASIC FACT: According to the UN, only 2% of
individuals with disabilities are able to
access basic services in their communities,
including education, work, healthcare, and
basic necessities.
Now let me introduce you to my son:
Luke has Autism. He is 20 years old and has only 9 months left in the public school system. Luke is a very loving young man who needs ongoing assistance to function in the world and to communicate. This year the school is attempting to place Luke in a job. Job internship placements are extremely difficult and in some cases lacking. Participation in job exploration in Luke’s past have included working in the library, gardening, recycling, and cleaning tasks. These specially designed activities for Luke are successful only with strong support including a job coach.

Luke has Autism. He is the most precious young man a mother could ask for and yes he needs special help everyday and will need it for the rest of his life. Today I hosted a meeting with a group of individuals all working as a team to assist in Luke transitioning from the school world to the real world. What does a meeting like this look like? As the host, my part is to make sure everyone is on board planning for Luke’s future. Perhaps this may mean developing a personalized work training plan. It also means teaching Luke acceptable worker traits.

Luke's Team of Experts include his teacher, a vocational expert, a job coach, and a visionary who wants to chart out a plan for Luke for all of us to follow.

Luke’s Team of Experts include his teacher, a vocational expert, a job coach, and a visionary who wants to chart out a plan for Luke for all of us to follow.

Luke has Autism. He will always need 24 hours supervision as Luke can be violent and unpredictable at times. Yet, he is the most precious young man and son a mother could ever ask for and he is worth risking it all for to see him be successful. As his mother, it is important to build relationships with Adult Service Partners as I did today hosting a meeting to facilitate Luke’s adventure into the real world. It is my hope the school will work hard to show Luke a visual representation of work experiences. This means a parent must be a strong advocate.
Luke relaxing between jobs at home which include emptying the dishwasher!

Luke relaxing between jobs at home which include emptying the dishwasher!

Luke has Autism. What does success look like for Luke you might ask? First of all it means working with many agencies and coordinating meetings to ensure Luke has success in his future. Today was a day for doing just that. I had folks from Luke’s team meet at my house to discuss possible employment opportunities for Luke. Some of the jobs we brainstormed about included working in a warehouse, or possibly working to clean at a winery. I loved the idea of Luke working in a winery!

Luke has Autism. Who hires someone like Luke? This is a good question. There are not many employers who do. Finding accepting and workable business owners who are willing to go the extra mile to hire someone like my son can be a challenge. For you see Luke can probably only work one hour maybe twice a week. The good news is that Luke wants to work. He talks about it and is excited about it, but he is also nervous and stressed about it in his own way. He realizes his school days are coming to a close rapidly.

Luke has Autism. Luke is worth risking it all for and being there to see him succeed no matter what that success looks like. For now Luke is cleaning school buses, packing lunches, and recycling and carrying out the trash for the school district. It is our hope these jobs at school will translate to gainful employment by the end of the year.

Luke --my goofy son.  He is looking for a job.  Are you hiring?

Luke –my goofy son. He is looking for a job. Are you hiring?

Luke has Autism. He will be the best employee you can ever imagine. It is my hope his future boss will have a great imagination and see what I see. I see success for Luke. This vision is what I hope Luke’s future boss will see and that they see Luke as a great investment. Wouldn’t it be great if all folks with disabilities would be given more opportunities to step into the workforce. This mother knows her son will be a great employee. Why not? He has been an awesome son for 20 years.