where i’ve been hiding

A yarn shop opened about 3 blocks from my house.  Honestly if my little town would get a quilt shop I would never have to leave the city limits again.

At my first stop, I found the yarn.  Then came home to start knitting and realized I didn’t have a size 2 needle.  No problem.  All I had to do was walk back up the hill.  At this point, I knew I had to switch to a size 6 for the crown, but did I check to see if I had a 6 – of course not.  A couple of days later the brim was done, I was digging for 6 but only came up with 8 and 9.  No problem.  I really like having a yarn shop in town.

The pattern is “aloof” from hattitude, a book of knitted hats that a friend gave me for the birthday.

I’ve also been working on a quilt.

I’ve have definitely been eating far too many of these.

I’ve been patching jeans.

I’ve also discovered that iLs takes a serious commitment.  I didn’t really think an hour a day, 5 times a week would really bite into a schedule, but it does.

The other thing I didn’t expect was to see a such change in him, but that’s a story for another day.

There has also been play dough.  This time it’s blue.

play dough

1 cup flour

1/3 cup salt

1 Tablespoon cream of tartar

1 cup of water

1 Tablespoon oil

liquid food coloring

Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar, water, and oil.  Place over low heat.  Stirring constantly until it is the consistency of mashed potatoes.  Remove from heat.  Add food coloring.  Stir until color is blended.  Knead dough until smooth.

ages 10 and up

last week was birthdays week at the cottage

this guy


now looks more like this

He still asks for the same chocolate cake that he had on his very first birthday, but this year it was an R2D2 version.

Besides droids, he also loves owls.  I made this little one for him, which he named Eglantine after the little owl in the Guardians of Ga’Hoole.

I celebrated my birthday with some antique time.

Here’s my cake

It was a cream cheese frosting over a vanilla cake that I dyed purple.

We ended the week with some bowling.

lulu and I took a moment to admire our cool shoes.


the good, the bad, and the best

April is autism awareness month.  I am aware of autism every month.  For those who aren’t, there is April, they see pieces on the tv about it, or things to follow on facebook, but then it’s on to the next month.  I don’t blame them for moving on.  Some days I truly envy those people.  There are those days when I would like to hide from it, but then there are those days, like today when I would like it to come out in the open.  Then I could see it and know it and embrace it and maybe even tell it how I feel about it.

Like most things, autism was one of those things I knew little about until it showed up in my world.  cj was diagnosed when he was 3.  I was torn between feeling glad that finally someone agreed that something was going on and heart-broken that my fears had been validated.  No one wants to hear their child has something that makes them different from the standard.  He’s nine now. We have been through exams by neurologists, psychologists, and audiologists.  He has made gains through occupational therapies and speech therapies, and survived MRIs and blood tests.  We have come so far, and after all these years I can tell you this, I know everything and nothing about autism.

I know it as stolen my patience.  I know it’s why I have cried myself to sleep so many nights.  I know it’s why not a minute passes when I don’t worry about him – will he make it through school, will he be able to drive, hold a job, live independently?  I know it has pushed its way into every relationship I have, be it with a friend, the spouse, or family.

I don’t know who would cj be without autism?  Conversations are a challenge for him.  There is rarely more than a sentence or two before he moves on, but he speaks to people with such honesty and matter of factness.  Would he be the same boy who recently told one of his associates that she has “beautiful golden hair that is soft as a pillow”?  When a teacher, passing in the hall, saw him struggling with the zipper on his jacket, she asked if he needed help, without autism, would he still have responded “no, but I’ll take a hug”?  Who knows?  I don’t.

I don’t know what it’s effects are on lulu.  She is a second to mother to him, but she is only 5.  She has never known me when I wasn’t stressed to my limits.  I don’t know how big of a role it plays in my need to create.  I bake, knit, and sew the stress away.  If autism wasn’t in my house would there be a freshly made quilt tossed in my chair right now?

I know autism brought me to my little town.  I felt cj needed a small school community, not an oversized school that ran itself like a business.  He loves going to school and he finds a piece of success there everyday.  I know autism has taught me that we all turn inward at points in our lives, we all have autism.  I know it has introduced me to amazing people.  The people who love him for who he is.  The people who don’t judge.

I know it has taught me to value everything a child has to say, whether it’s with words or actions.

I know it has taken a long time, but I accept autism’s presence in my house.  I sometimes even celebrate it a bit.  The other night cj gave me a bedtime hug and told me “Mom, you fill my heart with greater joy”.

Moments like that require celebration.