Wednesday, August 22, 2012


A little about me.

I am a grand daughter. I drive my grandmother crazy. She fusses over how clean the stove is, how clean the kitchen is, is there at least 18 different dishes on the table for a meal. She saves everything, stores everything, and lives in the same house her and g'pa bought after he returned from the war in 1944. She has never drove a car, she has never had a drivers license. She did work for 3-5 years in the early 50s when my grandfather was recovering from Spinal Meningitis. Her pride in housework scares me.

I am a daughter, my mom drives me crazy. She is from the deep south, and her ideas clash with her upbringing, she was raised a southern bell, but she was a hippie with free love all San Francisco and Height Ashbury. At some point she get all religious and now HATES tattoos and body piercings, and drinking and smoking, and all those crazy things that democrats do. It is hard to keep my identity with that going through my head. Her doubt of my keeping a clean house scares me.

I am a mother. I am a helicopter parent. I worry and fuss about my kids every day. Today I watched all three of my grand kids while one daughter went to work and the other went to find work. The shift change was after lunch, I left all of them with one daughter while I had to other drive to the gas station to fill the one that is looking for work's tank with fuel. Then we drove to the college so that I could be supportive while the one that is working picked up her school books for college. The first year I showed her how, this year, I guided her through and sat in the chair if there were any questions. She is about weaned and ready to tackle it on her own. She, her husband and child moved back to Texas after his military service was over. Lived with us for 1 year while they get situated. Now they live 12 miles away, close enough to visit, but far enough that it is not a nuisance. I still see Jordan every day now.

Her twin sister just moved cross county in a broken down Dodge pickup, a u-haul trailer, two dogs and a hamster. Three months ago she delivered her two babies ages 5 months and 20 months to my doorstep to care for while she and her also recently retired marine husband tried to work out his issues. She was in school full time, working two part time jobs, he still has not found his way. I am confident that being close to her sister, brothers and family will help her weather the storms life keeps sending her. I believe that I did her and her sister a huge disservice by leaving them in public school. Jasmine struggled daily with the rigid uncompromising environment, she is an ultra rapid cycling bipolar. Think of Tigger--Eeyore--Tigger--Eeyore cycling, four times in an hour. He twin sister is her fiercest critic and her fiercest protector. After fighting through the system of I.E.P.'s, 504's, ARD meetings, They graduated, but upon entering college, had to repeat the high school level Math and English.

My third daughter was born with a triplicated sequence of the molecular structure in the q-axle arm of the 15th chromosome. She is unique and special and fairly rare. There are about 300 kids now with Isodicentric15. Some live to adulthood, some do not. She is now 21. she has high functioning autism and can speak, is potty trained for the most part, and can write her name and phone number for the most part. She can dress her self and she has a gifted connection with animals. I love her laugh, it sounds like a hyenna when she is excited.

Erik, *sigh* Erik is my oldest son. He is eager to please and is dealing with adolescence admirably. He is very active in scouts, mostly to please me but recognizes that it is good for him. He is within a year of earning his Eagle Scout (13 years old) well within the limits of 18. I struggle with the decision to keep him home. It is extremely beneficial for his brother. He is such a social creature, I was crushed that he was bullied at school on a daily basis. The tapes from the bus rides home and the reports from the teachers were gut wrenching. But he misses the good people, it was just a few that made it impossible to remain. He is a complex person. He has an extraordinary high IQ (127) and yet, misses many social cues that would guide him to keep the friends that he makes easily. He prefers long hair, butterflies and dragonflies, and has as many close girl friends as guy friends. He is gender neutral. He is very good at chess, electronics, robotics, and computer science. He has not grown so old that he does not show affection or miss an opportunity to tell me he loves me. He does distinguish the difference between my two jobs. Tells me that he sometimes does not like me (when I am his teacher) but always loves me (when I am his mom).

Magnus is complicated. He has a very dry wit and a caustic sense of humor, he wavers from being affectionate to being completely rude and standoffish. Currently he finds my existence annoying and he wishes I would disappear. He is obedient when I am closely surveying him, but escapes the first chance he gets. He has an extraordinary high IQ (119) and yet is extremely social phobic and rarely leaves his room, we force him to get out of the house for 30 minutes a day to play with the neighborhood children. He is diagnosed with sensory integration disorder, which means that there shalt not be any disorder in our lives. 

He has one or two friends that come in to play with him, but mostly they just sit on the bed and play with him on line, which they could do from across the street. It is unusual and so far only one friend has remained willing to do this type of extreme parallel play. He is terrified that someone is going to touch his back unexpected, really does not want people that are not his immediate family to hug him. The song 'happy birthday' is so grating on his nerves that it will send him into a thermal nuclear meltdown. He does not listen to music, he hate for the volume to be up too loud, and will use headphones to muffle ambient sounds in the house. Going to the park is very hard for him, the wind on his skin is extremely difficult, as is water from a shower. 

He is orally tactile defensive, and so his diet and menu have not changed in 11 years. Rigid routine are paramount. We have the same food on the same day of the week without fail. If it is not something that is for that day, he simply will not eat. Sunday is stuffed crust cheese pizza, Monday is hot dogs, Tuesday is tacos, Wednesday is tomato soup and grilled cheese, Thursday is spaghetti, Friday is fish sticks, and Saturday is crepes. Bacon / toast / pancakes for breakfast. Ham and cheese or pbj for lunch. A smoothie for snack each day. And a gallon of milk a day. I worry about his health on a daily basis. It is a good day when I can get 600 calories in him.

Now that I am caring for / raising my three grand kids, that makes my life just a little bit more challenging. Jordan is 5 and learning sight words and could be dyslexic or left handed, it is early to tell. Lily is almost 2 and is extremely bright and just need more one on one time and she could be reading sight words as well. Rose at 5 months is a sweet baby and an old soul. She is most likely the least dramatic in the family and most likely to have her nose in a kindle all day. She is already crawling, sitting up, and just into everything. The keep the house hopping all day long.

Once upon a time I went to college, I got a degree in Natural Resource Management in Forestry, a Minor in Geology, with an emphasis in Geographic Information Systems (computer cartography). My first job out of College was publication editor for a magazine. This is when I met my husband online.  He was the European expert in pcmcia technology and I was writing an article and needed his help. We were married the next year. But I really fell in love with Photography so that was my main business career since 2002, until all the kids started to need more of my time. I have not picked-up a camera in 4 months since the girls come to live with me. I miss it, but there is just not enough time for portraits and that makes my husband sad. It puts all the strain of feeding 9 people on him alone. And there are days that he wishes we did not have the family motto: 
When someone needs help,
You give it
Whether it is convenient or not. 
Today was the 14th time my husband forgot our anniversary. I guess he is content that he made the right choice.

I blog about homeschooling Magnus:
I blog about homeschooling Erik:
I blog about Jordan:
I blog about Lily:
I blog about Rose:
I blog out my struggles with weight at

with a population of five children under 12 years old living in my house, most days I wonder where did all the rum go.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Basic No-Knead Bread
slightly adapted from Jim Lahey’s My Bread

2 2/3 c. cool water
1/2 t. instant or active-dry yeast
1 T Local Honey
6 cups bread (recommended) or all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 t. salt

In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water and stir until all the ingredients are well incorporated; the dough should be wet and sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest 10 hours on the counter at room temperature. When surface of the risen dough has darkened slightly, smells yeasty, and is dotted with bubbles, it is ready.

Lightly flour your hands and a work surface. Place dough on work surface and sprinkle with more flour. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice and, using floured fingers, tuck the dough underneath to form a rough ball.

Lightly flour your hands and a work surface. Place dough on work surface and sprinkle with more flour. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice and, using floured fingers, tuck the dough underneath to form a rough ball.

Generously spray 6-8 quart heavy covered cast-iron Dutch oven with canola oil to prevent the dough from sticking as it rises; place dough seam side down. Cover with the cast iron lid and let rise for about 1 hour, until it has doubled in size.

After about 30 minutes, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the 6-8 quart heavy covered cast-iron Dutch oven, in the oven bake for 40 minutes, until a deep chestnut brown. The internal temp of the bread should be around 200 degrees. You can check this with a meat thermometer, if desired.

Remove the bread from the pot and let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

it is BEAUTIFUL every time.

oops, forgot this on the counter, went grocery shopping, still worked out great, even though it has been brewing for 20 hours and smelled like beer. ;)

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

It is Complicated

I have a couple of blogs that I post on, a lot
and for healthy eating and crazy household management and general venting:

my kids: (that is complicated)
Rose (25 Feb 2012) Drooler (inherited)
Lily (17 Nov 2010) DIVA (inherited)
Jordan (14 Feb 2007) K in B&M (inherited)
Magnus (27 Jun 2001) 6th TXVA [SID]
Erik (29 Sep 1999) 7th TXVA
Jasmine (25 Sep 1985) Junior Online College - ElemEdu [Bipolar]

Naomi (7 Dec 1990) graduated [Autistic] (Washington)
Chase (17 Aug 1988) (stray)(Washington)
Krystal (25 Sep 1985) Sophmore Online College - PoliSci (Texas)
Jason (4 Jan 1985) (stray)(Texas)