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Learning About Autism

Sunflower w address

Personal News: A Good Visit with Family

My trip to the mountains was one of the best ever. I got to see all of my grandchildren!  It’s no coincidence that good news stories about autism jumped out at me last night after I got back. My grandson, L, has autism, and I want to learn more. On Sunday, we all had lunch at Daily Bread, a wonderful, cozy restaurant in Boone, NC. We got there just in time since the place filled up quickly. As we waited for our delicious food, the noise level increased steadily and my grandson covered his ears – a good coping strategy for him to signal the noise was starting to overwhelm him. His 14 year old sister left the restaurant to look for ear muffs since his were at home. Big sister came back about ten minutes later with a handsome and comforting cap with soft ear flaps that wrap under his chin.   I was so proud of them all and loved spending time with my family in the mountains.

Liam looking

L really likes his new cap.

Now for Good News in the world…..

Clonakilty, Ireland Goes Autism Friendly

To learn more, check out this article from the Good News Network:

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/this-entire-town-became-autism-friendly-after-every-business-agreed-to-apply-four-specific-measures/

Todd Gets a Big Nod of Appreciation from his City

Todd Kirnan, is more than just a delivery man, he also has autism and is well-loved by his city of Gresham, Oregon. He’s a clear example of helping others simply and directly by doing what he can. Watch what the city of Gresham did to show their appreciation for Todd.

Going back to personal news, on Sunday night at the mountain hotel, I watched one of my favorite TV shows which happened to be about an autistic boy.  God Friended Me reminds me of Quantum Leap, but with God directing from social media. Sunday night’s episode was about a non-verbal, autistic boy who discovers piano music. It ends with the boy playing John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy.”

 

After lunch at Daily Bread, we went to Blowing Rock. The air was chilly and the sky cloudy, but I loved the feeling of autumn and the misty mountains.

misty mountains behind rocks at blowing rock

mountains view from blowing rock with lichen

flowers growing in rock pocket

At Blowing Rock, we discovered these tiny flowers growing in a pocket of rain water. 

Good News is all around us!

Please feel free to share yours in the comments.

 

 


21 Comments

The Path to Freedom (Inspired by a Morning Dream)

Technology pathway into the forest (2)

Walking through gray halls

My daughter and I look for a way out

Not yet frantic.

“There goes your old boss,” she says.

“He just went around that corner.”

“He must be presenting at the workshop,” I reply.

I coulda been a presenter.

But I wanted freedom.

 

Up ahead are steel doors.

We push through to the sunlight,

Take a left turn, and climb up out of concrete walls.

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We can walk on the pavement and risk traffic

Or  walk on the path beside the road

Leading to narrow ledges

Beside dark pools with lily pads.

That wouldn’t be so hard,

knowing we’re good swimmers

In case we fall off.

sally 's lily pads (3)

So we choose the narrow path

Leading us along mountain overlooks

With steep drop offs – scary but beautiful.

We long for the mountains, my daughter and I.

There’s fence to keep us from falling over the edge.

But what if the fence ends?

 

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(I’ve been fantasizing about a mountain home. Yet I don’t want to have to drive on twisty, steep roads.  Freedom often asks for a certain amount of courage.  Adventure calls!)

 


18 Comments

Stream of Consciousness: Bun, Bungee, Bunch, Bungalow, and Bunk beds

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “bun.” Find a word that contains “bun” or use it as a word all by itself. Have fun!

Bun

Bungee

Bunch

Bungalow

Bunk beds

Those are some words I could use. In no particular order.

Bun – cinnamon buns. Hot cross buns – we’ll have them at church Sunday. I’d prefer them without a lot of frosting. I want to taste the cinnamon. Like dark chocolate which is good for you. Don’t want milk interfering with my chocolate.

Bungee jumping. Never did it. Don’t care if I ever do. But I did enjoy a zip line and wouldn’t mind trying that again. I’m afraid of heights. But zip lining is different, especially if you’re zooming through the trees and you have something to hold on to.

Bunch of stuff to do. Skipped church last night because #1 priority is to get rid of this sinus infection so I will be able to sing in the choir on Sunday and go to the mountains on Monday to see my son and his family. I went and got an antibiotic, something I rarely do, and I’m getting better. Drinking lots of fluids and trying to take it easy and not do any yard work.

Bungalow. That’s my house – my little urban cottage with the urban forest in the back yard. Low carbon footprint. I want to use the money I might some day get from my parents’ house to buy another bungalow in the mountains. With some land. My dream, shall I dare say it, is a healing retreat center in the mountains. Not a big fancy place, a simple, farm like atmosphere where people can come to meditate, quit smoking, relax, and be well. I’d be there more in the warmer months. It’s fun to dream. I’ve been looking at real estate in the Appalachians, though I’m no where ready to buy anything. Too much still to do on my parents’ house. But I like to dream about how I’d furnish a little mountain cabin retreat with

Bunk beds in one of the bedrooms, a futon in the living room,  and the little wooden kitchen table from my parent’s kitchen could go in a mountain retreat kitchen. The chairs don’t even have to match. As long as there are cinnamon buns for breakfast.

Dreaming is fun.

What’s your dream?

As long as I’m dreaming….

 

dream cabin

Compliments of Pixabay

 

For more Streams of Consciousness, visit our host, Linda G. Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/03/30/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-30-18/

SOC winner 2017

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


27 Comments

We Can’t Change the Weather, But…

SOC winner 2017

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is “hot/cold.”

I don’t usually mind the heat, especially with all the shade my trees give off. But last week, I was in the mountains, up around the Blue Ridge, and when I got back home, I thought, Man, it’s really HOT here. Hot and humid. I guess I had gotten used to cooler temps in the mountains. The other thing that happened when I got home is that my allergies hit me in the head, like a face mask monster in the movie, Alien. Okay, I’m exaggerating a little. When I was in the mountains, I was not congested at all. Before I left, I worried I was getting a cold. During my visit to a dryer, cooler climate, I could breathe easy. Then back home, Bam! Sinus headache.  It might help if I go to the beach. It’s usually better at the beach.

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I wonder if I move to the mountains, if I’ll miss the beach. Plenty of time to explore options. No hasty moves. I’ll have to research with more trips to the soft, old, green hills of Appalachia.

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We can’t change the weather, but we can choose who we weather the storm with.

Or maybe we can change the weather. As a species, we’ve made a mess. Maybe we can clean it up. Every little bit helps. We do what we can. Plant more trees, save more trees, turn off the lights, eat lower on the food chain….

Be cool.

The Saturday Stream of Consciousness is brought to you by Linda G. Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/09/22/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-sept-2317/

The rules are:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

 

 


9 Comments

Boldly Go and Keep Your Eyes on the Stars, or the Road, Depending on What You’re driving.

Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Prompt for today is, “view.”

I immediately thought of the wonderful views I enjoyed last weekend in the Blue Ridge Mountains which I included in Thursday’s post. The view of the sunset from Beech Mountain was more than I could have ever hoped for.

But I really want to write about Star Trek, because this is the 50th anniversary of the Trek. I’ve written about this before, my love for Star Trek, how it got me through a tough time when my dad was in Vietnam and my mom was having nervous breakdowns, and how my first crush, Mr. Spock gave me stability. He was so dependable, so logical, so tall. (I was 5’7 in 5th grade.)

So I would view Star Trek, in the bedroom shared with my mom and sister as we stayed with friends or relatives that year dad was in Nam, on the little TV. I guess it was little compared to the flat screens most of us have now. I remember the view of the TV screen being about the size of a record album. But my imagination enhanced the show greatly. I had, and have, an excellent imagination. I think that was my way of dealing with challenges, to escape into fantasy. I could imagine myself being rescued by Mr. Spock, maybe wisked into the future to explore strange new worlds, as if I was right there.

Have you ever imagined, fantasized so clearly that you could actually see the scene you were imagining instead of what was really in front of your eyes? DON’T DO THIS WHILE DRIVING! But I have to admit, I’ve done this while driving. Not intentionally, of course. I’ve gone from point A to point B a mile away and not remembered seeing the road. Yet I must have seen the road on some level, even stopped at traffic lights, I hope. It’s pretty amazing when you stop to think about it. I was seeing a movie in my head while my eyes were still watching the road.

THIS IS NOT RECOMMENDED! DRIVE MINDFULLY!

If I was at the helm of a star ship, I would drive mindfully. I would not fantasize living in the 21st century in a little house on the coast. Would I? But driving a star ship would definitely be a fantasy, unless they develop much better, long acting motion sickness meds, because, alas, I am notorious for motion sickness. I have to keep my eyes on the view ahead. I can’t read in a car or look at my phone for long, especially on twisty turns, without getting queasy.  Yet, I can watch a movie in my head while driving. DON’T DO THAT! which would indicate my eyes really are watching the road, because I don’t get queasy day dreaming while driving, which I should not be doing at all, so yeah, JUST DON’T.
I won’t be driving a star ship. I could be the ship’s counselor though. 🙂 Just pass the new and improved, Galaxy class Dramamine.

Here’s a scene from one of my favorite episodes, “The Devil in the Dark.” Spock found out that she wasn’t a devil at all. She was just trying to protect her babies. An episode where point of view made all the difference.

 

socsbadge2016-17

For more Streams of Consciousness, go boldly to Linda G. Hill’s blog:

https://lindaghill.com/2016/09/09/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-sept-1016/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


20 Comments

Old Soul Mountains

In high school and beyond, I listened to John Denver sing, “Rocky Mountain High,” over and over. I sang along with him and longed for the Rockies with the feeling that that’s where I belonged. Yet, after all these years, I’ve still never seen the Rockies in person.

Living on the east coast for most of my life, I’ve settled for visits to the Appalachians. I love them, because they are mountains. But I’d always felt like they weren’t quite enough. Like they weren’t the real deal, until last weekend.

My friend and I spent Labor Day weekend in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. On the first morning, I woke early to a lovely sunrise.

Saturday Sunrise

By mid-day, the sun brightened the crisp blue sky as we hiked a moderately difficult  trail on Beech Mountain.  The waterfall gleamed like silver flowing over smooth rock and fed a creek who’s cool water tasted cleaner than any I can remember.

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Later that day, I shared my longing for the Colorado Rockies with my friend who is well traveled. She talked about how the Rockies don’t have the tree coverage of the Appalachians and about how Colorado had become heavily “developed.” I remembered John Denver singing about “more people, more scars upon the land.”

My friend reminded me that the Appalachian Mountains are much older than the Rockies though they used to be at least as grand. Time has weathered the eastern mountains into gentler slopes covered by a rolling blanket of green and smokey blue.

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I started to wonder if maybe these gentle old soul mountains are just as good as the Rockies. They may not be as dramatic, but they sing their own sweet song. My heart sings in their presence, like John Denver sang in “Country Roads,”

“Life is old there, older than the trees…”

On our second evening in the mountains, we went up to Oz.

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A prosperous amusement park in the 70s, The Land of Oz is now open for a couple designated weekends in the summer and fall. No one was home, but we peered through a mysterious locked gate at the glowing yellow brick road, and I imagined skipping off to see the wizard, and meeting Glinda, or being Glinda, since I’ve always wanted to play her character.

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oz-gate-close-up

 

Then I sat on a hill near the Oz bridge and thought about how there’s no place like home, and how nice it is to live in a state that has mountains on one end and the ocean on the other….

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….and I watched the most magnificent sunset I’ve ever seen in my life.

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I still want to visit the Rockies, but now I know

I am exactly where I belong.

There’s no place like home.


21 Comments

Farm Vision

socs-badge

This weekend, my daughter and I are visiting God’s Whisper Farm for a writer’s retreat. When I looked at pictures of the farm, I couldn’t tell much about the lay of the land. My daughter had asked me if it was in the mountains, and I wasn’t sure. To us flatlanders, it is practically mountainous. The air smells crisp like mountains and the nights are cooler than our Carolina swelters. What a relief!

The best surprise so far: fireflies! My recent post lamented about the lack of firefly sightings in my city, and here they are! I must have seen at least 50 twinklers last night! Plus, there are no mosquitoes here! The animals on the farm, goats dogs, and chickens, have lots of room to roam. This fits my vision of what a farm should be.

If I could do anything I wanted, I’d have a farm like this one. I envision people coming to relax, meditate, quit smoking and get healthy. There would be music, bonfires and maybe yoga classes. Oh, and I’d have one room for an art studio. As long as I’m visualizing, why not throw in a stream or a babbling brook.  Tomatoes, corn, basil, squash, beans and arugula growing in the garden.  A pecan tree with a tire swing. Lots of trees, but also open space to see the stars. And fireflies.

I’m looking forward to writing, getting feedback, enjoying the company of other writers and relaxing in this beautiful space.  It’s a good time to connect with my daughter too.

Within a few days, I hope to have some photos to share for more visual detail.

 

Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday post prompt for today was “vis.”

If you’d like to join in the fun, visit:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/07/24/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-2515/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!