"I have Autism, but Autism doesn't have me."

I started this blog to share my thoughts on what is life as a stay-at-home mom. With changes that have developed and shaped our characters here on the homestead, this is now Tristan's blog (Captain's log?) about life with Autism. We will be sharing various topics, focused on Autism, ranging from the professional focus to being in the parent's seat and how every day is different from yesterday and may not come close to tomorrow. There is much to continue learning when it comes to Autism, and as a family, we are sharing our experiences along the way. Pull up a chair, learn, then go out into the world and make a difference with what you've gleaned. Knowledge is Power!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Last Wednesday of April, part three

"I think I'm done, Mom...."

"Homeschool Schedule for May"
Ahhh....part three....we worked with an art project today for our Wednesday Creative Project. We made the schedule for the month of April as well, and I did photograph it, I just didn't post it. Looking back, Tristan barely put crayon to paper then and with this time, he really went to town-note the Picasso marks in the bottom and in the upper right hand corner. I was so proud of him, as he didn't need prompting to do so-only to keep the crayons and markers on the paper and not on the coffee table we used as our tabletop to work our project. Homeschool preschool trials have been going well, and I find I'm getting better at schedules, organizing activities, making sure we get time for what I've sketched out for the day. We're also working on potty training, and we're seeing success. I keep in mind that Tristan may regress once the new baby comes in July but this is something that does happen at times with older siblings and we'll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it.
Now that we have May and June schedules set up, I have to sit and work out the details to put it on the poster boards to post when the next month comes into view. I want to work on as much as we can, within reason and also to not put pressure or stress my lil' man out with learning, because as of July, we'll be working on our "Summer Reading Program." For the months of July and possibly half or most of August, we'll be reading, playing at the park, squeeze some swim time in there, and working in the garden. Ahhh...the joys of summer to come. ~Mom

The Last Wednesday of April, part two

So, after a bit of troubleshooting with internet speed and downloading, I've attached the links for my recipes for Sunday night's dinner that we had here in our home. I made Columbian & Peruvian dinner, as a treat for the interns who've been here in Vermont since mid-Jan. We've sponsored the Columbian interns since last summer, which has been a treat for improving my spanish and exposing Tristan to the spanish language to continue to grow and nurture our bilingual home. Anyway, please click onto the links below for the recipes in full, and remember, when life hands you lemons, launch them back like hand granades if you don't care for the prospect of making lemonade. Cheers!

Empanadas - Beef Turnovers | GOYA® Latin Recipes

Empanadas - Beef Turnovers | GOYA® Latin Recipes

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Arepas – Cornmeal Patties | GOYA® Venezuelan

Arepas – Cornmeal Patties | GOYA® Venezuelan & Colombian Cuisine

Posted using ShareThis



Posted using ShareThis



Posted using ShareThis

The Last Wednesday of April, part one

"Tulips Resisting the Cold"

"Potted herbs with a Blanket"

"Who Requested This Weather?"
I have so much to write about today, so I'm going to have to break it down into a couple of entries. Spring/Winter weather changes, creative project for Tristan, and the dinner I cooked on Sunday; I still have to take a picture of Tristan wearing his new sweater so that I can put that post together but that's for another time.
It started snowing yesterday morning, after a light rain and slight hail decided to fall first. I stood in the kitchen, looking out the window by the back door, watching it come down. Little did I know, it would keep snowing right into mid-day today. Now, its moving over into a small patch of rain, and according to the weather man, who is never truly right anyway, its supposed to stop and start warming back up between late tonight and into tomorrow. Global warming? Climate change? Human kind messing with the planet? Lots of possibilities....
"The cure for boredom is curiousity. There is no cure for curiousity." ~Dorothy Parker 1893-1967

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day 2010

Earth Day 2010....celebrated at our home by gardening more this morning. My Glory of the Snows are about to their lifetime, and all other flowers are in bloom or coming up to bloom later this season and into the summer months. Scattering of lettuce and greens seeds, cleaning areas out to let flowers and herbs grow...yarrow, dandelion greens, plantain leaves, and sorting through the massive tangled roots of flowers that have been here long since we've come but due to neglect, bulbs have formed root systems and need to be thinned out severly. I love the colors when the flowers bloom but I don't need massive groves of these beauties; they also multiply, anyway. Share, share, share.....
The other element of today's posting is what is for dinner tonight.

Traditional Hummus
Coconut Curry Hummus*
Black Bean Hummus*
Braised Chicken with Crushed Wheat Stuffing
Steamed Brown Rice

Focus is on the hummus for today. I love the stuff, especially when its made that day. Well, its a hummus making factory here in my kitchen today. The traditional is very basic: chickpeas-canned or dry to cook, your choice; salt to taste, 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped; lemon juice and tahini (ground sesame seed paste, found in the health section of some markets or located with the peanut butter at others). Combine ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Serve at room temperature. That's the basic; here comes the good stuff.

Coconut Curry Hummus
-2 15oz. cans chickpeas (or dry if you have the time to cook ahead of time)
-4 Tbsp tahini
-Juice of 1 lemon
-3 lg. garlic cloves, minced
-1/4 c. water
-1 tsp. sea salt
-1 Tbsp. black pepper
-1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped (you can use dried, just half the measurement)
-1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped (same rules apply for dried herb)
-3-5 dashes paprika
-7-8 Tbsp. red curry paste (international section of market or make your own, I do)
-1/2 c. coconut milk (international section of market)
-1/2 c. coconut shavings (baking aisle)
-2 dashes olive oil

In a food processor or blender, puree all ingredients until smooth. Pour into a serving dish with olive oil and enjoy!

Black Bean Hummus
-16 oz. dry black beans, cooked, drained
-4 Tbsp. olive oil
-Juice of 1 lemon
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-Sea salt
-1 tsp. cumin
-Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
-Tahini, to taste

Combine the black beans, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, cumin, pepper, and tahini in a food processor container; process until smooth. Serve at room temperature.

Yum! If concerned about how your traditional hummus is going to turn out, jot down the ingredients, making reference to the recipes added here today for measurements and directions, and go for it. Getting the consistency just right is the essence of the whole experience; don't sweat it, just try it. So, in honor of a very special mother today, take time to smell the flowers, savor the sounds of the birds calling to each other, enjoy the making of and eventually eating of a home cooked meal, and take five minutes of your day to research something in regards to earth conservation, green energy, wildlife conservation, sustainable living practices, etc....just five minutes, really. You'd be surprised what you might find. ~Mom

Growing Pains
-" ...the most important event in a woman's life is the birth of a child...In this period, she learns the discipline of sacrifice: her body, her time, her nutrients, her psyche, her knowledge, her skills, her social life, her economic abilities, her relationships, and her spiritual knowledge and values are called into service for her children. This passage, ambivilent at best, pushes her to reach far beyond whatever limits she thought she labored within, making her stronger." Paula Gunn Allen

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday Creative Project

"I thought I moved these..."

"Pollinator Attraction Planting"

"Creative Project"

"My Little Gardener"

Gardening today, and it has gone well. I finally got all three of my raised beds moved, and can concentrate on working in and around them as the season unfolds. Now is a time for planting seeds, starting seedlings, taking inventory of my seed collection to see what else I'm missing for seeds and plants, track the lunar calendar to keep track of the right times to plant, keep the squirrels at bay so they don't end up in my soup pot-although, its been years since I've had squirrel for dinner, and to enjoy the season as it comes along.
It amazes me that even though I moved bulbs and plants, somehow they seem to pop up in the places I've moved them from. Roots? Perhaps, and something I'm not too concerned about. Move them again and again until all are moved, I suppose. I love letting some things grow and go where they will, as it creates color to appreciate for the time we have it; its when it gets out of control that I have to take a step back to access the situation of moving or totally taking out and giving away just to get rid of it. Looking for a plant/seed swap....
It was supposed to rain this afternoon; my plans to clean the house, work on tonight's dinner, and the seemingly never-ending sweater project to finish are still being carried through but augh! Who wants to be inside on a day like this? I love days when the sun shines all day; makes me want to hire a housekeeper just for those days....yeah right, like that's going to happen. Right now, I'm focused on prepping dinner and cleaning the kitchen to start with. I'll move around the rest of the house, along with shutting down the garden project and cleaning off the back porch to move into the late afternoon and early evening.
Tristan and I put together a pollinator planting box; he made the box @ one of the kids' building workshops we take him to on Saturday mornings. I thought it was a cute building project and to use the project for a school project was great. We planted sunflowers, marigolds, moonflowers, and morning glories to attract butterflies, bees, hummingbirds to pollinate our gardens for this year. I still have seeds left over that I will start and transplant as we garden along. Next week may be an art project but if its this nice again next Wednesday, we'll be utilizing the back porch for our creative time. ~Mom
-"I don't know everything. I just do everything." ~Toni Morrison

Monday, April 19, 2010

What's for Dinner

The Bavarian Gastronomic Express blew through my kitchen last night; actually, I had planned this "all day" eating frenzy about a week ago and after shopping, prepping, and waiting to taste authentic German food in my own kitchen, my alarm at 6 am yesterday morning didn't make me jump out of bed like Julia Childs-have you seen the movie, Julie & Julia, yet? Oh, please do; we pulled it up through Netflix to watch here at home, and I really liked it. No, no food blogging for me; just the occasional dinner entry and if I do a creative project with Tristan's learning that pertains to food. Three blog pages are enough for me, really.

The Cooking of Germany, Nika Standen Hazelton & the editors of Time Life Books. Good book, and I've delved into some of the other "Foods of the World" cookbooks for exploring recipes and twitching in the afterglow if the meal was a hit-you know, the well planned meals that make you as tired as post turkey dinners on a Sunday with a ton of relatives, or the holiday meals that bring old recipes and dysfunctional families together? No relatives this time, just three adults and one toddler who can put the food away like a beaver building a dam. Yes, my boy can eat, of which I'm very happy for. On to the "five meal" Sunday....

Breakfast #1 (yes, I said it) 7 am

-Mixed Berry Muffins

-Apple Raisin Cinnamon Muffins


Breakfast #2 9 am

-Sausages with bread & gravy


Midday Meal 2 pm

-Braised Stuffed Beef Rolls

-Hot Potato Salad w/ Bacon

-Red Cabbage w/ Apples

Afternoon Break 4 pm

-Sugar-crumb Cake


Dinner 7 pm

-Farina Dumplings

-Steamed Bratwurst in Sour Cream Sauce

Mind you, I'm only listing the meals throughout the day; skimming over the recipes, it would take me a couple of hours to write out the measurements and instructions to put together the recipes. And after all the eating that went on here yesterday, its a wonder any of us crawled out of bed this morning to function for the day. Just reading about eating five times a day was like a small challenge but when it came to the actual event, wow. Eating I've got down, and the cooking and prepping just goes with the territory. What tired me out was the feeling of constantly being in the kitchen to turn another burner on, empty another pot, cut this up, cook another half pound of bacon...yes, lots of yummy artery clogging pig protein. I remember eating a lot of potatoes when I was growing up, especially whenever we went to visit my mother parents and have dinner with them. Believe it or not, I always thought that only poor people ate tons of potatoes, pork, and greens from the local meadows. Maybe we didn't always have money for things that entice children because of what someone else may have but poor we were not. Rich in heritage, even if we didn't know, much less talk about it. Amazing what memories food will push to the surface while you're prepping, cooking, eating, and recovering....

I would say the best part of this cooking/eating experience was that it made me realize that I know how to cook most of this without the book but its always good to reference just to make sure you didn't forget something or change it in any way that you can't identify it later on when you attempt to replicate the recipes. I know what I'm putting in for a request for a Christmas gift this year-cookbooks. Definitely have to have German cookbook (no, believe it I don't have one!) and not sure what other literary collections of edibles I would be interested in but hey, time will come to figure that out at another time. I love to cook around the world, so its not like I don't have a book I don't use. ~Mom


-"God is really another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant, and the cat. He has no real style. He just goes on trying other things." ~Pablo Picasso

Friday, April 16, 2010

Why Do I Write?

"One Little Step At A Time...."

So I get the news last night that a college friend of mine is deciding to step off the social network scene and concentrate on constructing and working on her new blog. I think this is a great idea, yet feel sad at the same time. So, I started thinking to myself...."Why do I write?" Quite a few other questions and contemplation popped into my head as well but this is where I want to start for now.

I started my own blog(s) after reading others, finding out that it could be good for my business (and being a free service isn't a bad perk), and finally the pull into writing again really hooked me into blogging. I wasn't sure how I was going to do, if I was going to stay consistent or not, how often would I be writing, etc....so many questions, and yet forging ahead with my decision to blog. I started out with a business blog, which shortly after I shut down my first website; I had jumped the gun and wasn't totally satisfied with the services I had available for my site, so the decision to take a "time out" came after much deliberation. Did it hurt me to make such a business decision? No-if anything came of it, it was peace of mind that I didn't have to stress about what my site was and wasn't doing. I could pull back and continue with a clean slate.

Blogging didn't stop there for me. I went on to create a page that speaks of who I am as a mother, how I manage to stay at home with my child-soon to be two children, how I find time to create, let alone write, and how I manage to keep my sanity to a level only I seem to understand. Many entries and projects have gone onto the cyber canvas to let readers in on who I am and how I operate. I got involved in a creative project for the 2010 year, of which I've been struggling at times to keep up with it yet finding my own way through the process. Trust the process.....words to live by....

Who I am as a mother, urban homesteader, independent business woman only scratched the surface for me. As I've been going through the creative projects each month since January, I started to feel a stirring of sorts. I know who I am as the many hats I wear within a day but who was I to myself? I wrote in high school, worked my passion for art into sketches that most are but a memory of yesterday, and then with my four year committment for my undergrad degree, the writer emerged once again. The artist-the creatress, came forth as well. Four years came to a close, I chose a different career path which radically changed my life, struggled for what felt like an eternity, and in the process, found myself morphing into a mother....the emotional changes, let alone physical and mental were the greatest challenges I have learned to come through since my college days of endless studies and mountains of papers written to turn over for credits....little did I know....

So, now as the author of three blogs, a mother of one soon to become two, urban homesteader, independent business woman, freelance writer, artist, creatress, thinker.....I could go on; I look at the importance of why I write, who I'm writing for, and what I have to say. Yes, I've been on the social network scene for a bit of time now but I have been questioning its importance. Yes, I've reconnected with friends, which is great but how important is that arena to me, really? I can do without it; I don't play games or copy and paste numerous posts to catch the attention of friends. Some postings are wonderful, great ways to converse but some are just not necessary. I can stay connected to friends and the few family members through emails, phone calls, and maybe even the occasional visit; those things in life are not extinct, at least not yet.

Rainy days are great for relaxing with a book, playing with the kids, taking an extended nap, and the creative process of placing words down from the thoughts that loom at the forefront of the mind. I write to share what's going on, be it from ideas that manifest into something tangible, what's for dinner, creative projects, time with my little one, random thoughts, business, homesteading......giving my perspective on the world and how I choose to live in it.



"In an age when we are told that good mothering is just a matter of finding the right sitter and learning how to arrange "quality time," most of us could never have invisioned how completely we would be taken delicious minature people." ~Linda Burton


"God is not a cosmic bellboy for whom we can press a button to get things done." ~Harry Emerson Fosdick

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday Creative Project

"Off to the hose for water..."
"I might need some help...."

"Urban Homesteader......"

"How about a clean driveway?"
Here we are, a beautiful sunny day in Vermont! Perfect gardening day, and I think we made the most of the morning. I decided at 7:15 AM today that going outside would be the best idea after a day of what appeared to be chaos from yesterday. You know, those days when you clean an area and your kids come through and bring you back to the starting point all over again? Yeah, it was one of those Tuesdays; this was after a great morning at the library and wandering through the produce section of one of the local markets to identify foods....of course, we had to look at the "organics" section as well.....
This morning, we spent time digging in the dirt, planting seeds-turnips & early greens with pumpkins, melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, etc...in containers to wait until mature enough to plant and especially after the last spring frost. Yes, I plant the old way-lunar calendars, farmer's almanac, and sage wisdom from people I've known my whole life to propagate food from the soil. Tristan planted pumpkin and watermelon seeds, watered everything he could pour water on-including the driveway-and played with his trucks while I worked the soil to plant grass seed in bare spots, turn the soil over, work on the compost pile, and till over in my head how to better manage things. We tried potty training right there on the back porch, had three accidents, ate lunch outside, and came in to clean up, read books for nap time, and when I heard the snoring of a toddler snuggled in my arms, I knew that I did the right thing by making the morning an outside learning experience.
After a short rest stop for me, cleaning the house (I always leave it for the afternoon because our morning hours are focused on homeschool), laundry (I have a feeling I'm going to be going food shopping tomorrow and clothes are piling up), some research, and found a great way to make better use of my time. Thanks to a tip about schedules coordinating creativity, business, home management, time with the kids, and making time for yourself, I'm ready to bang out another schedule but this is a monthly set up; I already have a weekly schedule and a daily schedule, so I would say this makes sense. I was never one for schedules but once I signed on for my third attempt for an undergrad degree back in 2001, I managed to keep my spontaneous nature and learn how to schedule at the same time. Now, with being a parent, running my own business, and everything else I have on my plate, it comes in handy to schedule-I feel like my "free time" is spontaneous these days....oy! ~Mom
"Let each man exercise the art he knows." ~Aristophanes, 450 BC-388 BC

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wednesday Creative Project

Juice pops were on the list today for a creative project, working with materials from right here at home. Washed, recycled applesauce cups with a straw cut into thirds, a banana cut into thick slices, and orange and grape juice to make the main body of the pop.

Of course, as you can see, we had a couple of "floaters." For whatever reason, the grape juice pops ended up being interesting looking with their sticks kicked off to the side but I bet they're just as edible.
In the freezer, Tristan and I went outside to enjoy the wonderful weather we had this morning, once again after lunch, and we're on day two of no nap. I think nap time is going through another major adjustment due to the fact that his bed went from crib status to big boy bed by taking down the crib railing and putting up the toddler bed bumper. At least he's not falling out during the night onto the air mattress that I set up on the floor underneath the bed. The first night he rolled, bounced, and landed in the middle of the mattress-never woke up during this acrobatic feat.
Other notes, we're working on homeschooling and I think its going well. We have a schedule hanging up, a notebook to keep track of daily work, and my little sponge is quite the learner. I'm glad I made the decision to try homeschool, and hope that each day that comes, Tristan will continue to learn and flourish.
Fiber projects are coming together in completion. I have one I'm struggling with, so I set it aside to focus on others to give myself a break from racking my brain to figure this puzzle out. Writing is coming along, one step at a time like it usually does and I have no complaints.
Warrior Mom
-"Even the most courageous warriors need to remember this simple wisdom: there is a time to take on the world and a time to rest, replenish and reflect." ~Jillian Klarl