Up On The Roof & Gumby

It was really windy today.  Things were whipping around in our backyard like crazy.  It always amazes me that our dirty old inflatable beach ball is still out there when we go looking.

There’s a weird downdraft at the top of our back wall that prevents stuff from escaping.  It doesn’t prevent them from dancing violently on the ground until the wind dies down though.  The beach ball never leaves home, but it sure does cha cha.

Wind like this always makes me think of my dad.  When I was little, a windy day usually meant Dad would be climbing onto the roof to check that nothing had blown off and away.

We had a long aluminum ladder that he would lean against the wall behind the garage.  Up he would climb.  Sometimes my brothers and I got to go with him.  It was truly a great adventure and treat – doing something dangerous with my dad.  Looking back on that with my grown-up eyes, I see now that the whole thing probably made both of my parents very nervous.

Having the three of us so keen to walk the edges of the open roof was worrisome enough, but finding wind damage would mean money, time, and inconvenience.

Dad climbed the ladder fearing the worst, I suppose.  And he always took his tools in hope he could fix things himself.

My dad was a true DIY pioneer back then.  He taught the three of us how to hammer nails, use a saw, and improvise, whenever we could.  On the roof.  In the wind.  Even in the rain.  Eventually though, Dad’s age and declining mobility would keep him on the ground and away from that ladder.

Husband and I are lucky enough to have sturdy clay tiles on the roof of our own house.  We don’t worry that the wind will mess with them much.  I wish my dad had experienced that same peace of mind when he was my age.

Then again, I’ll bet he really enjoyed showing us around the top of the world.  🙂

P.S.  Someone just knocked on my front door.  I peered through the peephole and spied a well dressed man whom I didn’t recognize.  I did not answer the knock.  What’s your policy?  Do you answer when it’s someone you don’t know?

P.P.S. And for your viewing pleasure, here is something I didn’t buy from the thrift store this month.  Ha!

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Just Add Legos

We forgot about the camera yesterday, so we have no Christmas pictures.
Again.  😦

I need a smart phone.
Would that make it easier to capture my life in photos?

I did manage to snap one blurry old phone pic as I was emptying the dishwasher last night…
How many spatulas does it take to get me through a day of holiday baking?
This is the answer:

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And at some point over the week, I took this photo of the beaded fruit on my dresser:

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I love beaded fruit.

Husband snapped these pics of our new white Camelia:

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I love our new white camelia.

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But that’s it.  😦
Not one picture of the boy as he was unwrapping his gifts…
or the grandparents sipping their Baileys in our living room.
No snaps of the tree, all laden with packages.
Nope.  None of that.

But I did take these pix of the boy and his Rapunzel hair late last night…

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He’s adding Legos now.  🙂

Fa la la la la la…la la la la!

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Merry Christmas!

♥♥

Tangled Autism Hair

A few weeks ago, I posted a note on Facebook about my son’s love for the movie “Tangled” and how he had fashioned himself some long Rapunzel hair using a few lengths of orange Hot Wheels car track.

Not long after my post, I bought the boy a long blonde wig. He tried it once and abandoned it in favor of the car track again.

Now, when he arrives home from school each day, he goes immediately to his room to get the car track.  He puts it in his hair and wears it until he needs to dress or shower the next morning for school.  Yes, he even sleeps with plastic car track stuck in his hair.  And usually he attaches three or four pieces – about eight feet of track – so it drags on the ground when he walks around the house.

I don’t know why I’m telling you all this, except maybe to give you a glimpse into life with an autistic child whose sensory issues, OCD, and creativity frequently collide.

We can usually anticipate that he will react strongly to things, but we are powerless to accurately predict for you exactly how, or for what duration, that reaction will grip his body and our house.

We have simply learned to slip our arms under the track when we hug him and to call him Rapunzel, as if he were the most gifted princess in the land.

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DSC00461Happy Thursday!

P.S.  What’s happening at your house this week?

♥♥

Holidaze 2011

It’s Saturday morning.

The boy is up, energetic, LOUD, and relentless in his demands.

Just now he asked for banana circles.  Okay, not so loud or outrageous.

I cut them up and gave him the plate.

I figure I have about twelve seconds before he is finished eating them and wants me to do/make/be something else.

I’ll write fast.

Thanksgiving is gone.

We had lots of people and a ton of food.

I wasn’t that excited about my mashed potatoes – should have used the russets.

The stuffing was kind of dry – celery chunks were too big and too plentiful.

My green beans were uninspired and far from my personal standard – bought late and microwave-steamed in the bag.  Sigh.  Painful to confess.  I served them anyway.  I ate them anyway.

But…

the guests brought delicious side dishes and desserts, the turkey seemed moist, and no one complained!

And I did make a very good cake – even if I do say so myself.  🙂

I’m marking the “success” box.  Yea!

Husband and I were full and sleepy after everyone went home.  We sat on the couch, defenseless, and allowed an entire episode of the little boy’s  Wow Wow Wubbzy to assault us.

The boy was tired too.  Visiting cousins are very exciting!

I’m glad I got to see the taller ones for lunch in Old Town the next day.  There’s nothing quite like a huge plate of my favorite Mexican food, having someone else cook it, and then getting to shop afterward.  And with cousins, no less!  😀

Now Christmas is coming.  😀

Miniature candy canes have been dipped in chocolate.

The trees are up – a big one downstairs, small ones in the bedrooms, a one-footer in the guest bath, and teeny versions tucked into the china hutch, the bookshelves, and a few other corners.

The little boy made paper trees to line the stairwell wall.

The stockings are at the mantle – one for each of us, one for each of the cats, and an extra for kitty cats past.

The garlands have been wrangled too.  Stripped of  failing white bulbs, they’ve been re-wrapped with cheery colored lights and hung happily from the banister and bookcases.

The upstairs landing looks like the site of like a plastic pine needle massacre and my hands are scratched in twenty different places, but the lights work!  Ha!

They’re on timers too.  I don’t even have to flip a switch for a daily dose of Christmas cheer.

Inflatable Santa is in the yard and husband hung the outdoor lights.  If the wind blows in from L.A. tonight, we’ll bring Santa inside for a while.

All of the leaves have dropped from the plum tree and the nasturtiums are back.

The late season hibiscus flowers are smaller, richer in color and more fleeting.

I stewed the mini pumpkins and poured them into the yard to hasten their demise.

And my twelve seconds are up.

What’s going on at your house?

Hope you’re having a Happy Saturday!

P.S.  The picture is of the Fairy Princess Grey Poupon in her standard winter spot.  Sweet.  Warm.  Dirty, furry kitty.

♥♥

9th Birthday Pictures

The Doll

The boy was very excited about his new doll.  He held her sweetly and seemed proud to pose with her.

These two pix are my favorites:

It pretty much went downhill from there.

The Cake

The boy chose a Happy New Year theme.  He liked the clock and all the colors.

It has only taken me nine years to figure out exactly what kind of cake to order:

1/4 sheet of chocolate AND
a 1/4 sheet of white,
both with white buttercream filling,
frosted & decorated together as a single cake.

It’s not as pretty later in the day, but both halves taste really good.

The final improvement over last year’s version was the omission of the fruity filling.  The sliced strawberries do that sliced strawberry thing and look kinda scary the next morning.  Blech.  😕  They had to go this time.

This year, his name was even spelled correctly.  Thank you, Vons bakery manager lady!

There’s a ton of it left in the kitchen.  Wanna come by and have a slice?

The Helium Balloons

I can’t tell you how heartbreaking it is to me that we didn’t get a single photo of the helium balloons.  😦  I thought they were magical.

Our front room has a 24-foot ceiling.  Sounds grand, but it’s really more problematic than anything else.

Every year, the balloons head up there and are impossible to get down when the kids want to play with them.  I’ve never really liked tying the balloons to chairs or anchoring them with toys or weights, so this year I paid extra to have twenty-foot ribbons.

The balloons floated skyward as usual, but the long ribbons (two dozen of them) dangled down and made a little rainbow ribbon forest that we could walk through.  It was very festive and I am determined to do it every year from now on.

The floral department was NOT pleased with my request.  Right from the start, I even offered to pay more and they still gave me crap.  Then they called me at home to give me more crap.  World ribbon shortage or something.  Annoying.  Small minded.  Not service oriented.  Whatever.

It’s funny to me that the skills I’ve built advocating for my kid spill over to stuff like this.  Heh heh.

The Other Balloons

The husband blew up a zillion extra balloons to leave outside the boy’s door the night before the party.  This is what he woke up to:

The front door was like a vacuum.  Every time we opened it for a new guest, the balloons were sucked out at lightening speed.   The scramble to retrieve them was funny, but rather unsuccessful.  Many met their ends on the porch or lawn.  It was kind of a nice icebreaker for our friends and family though!  😀

Miscellaneous Other Birthday Photos

Happy Birthday Party, Little Boy!!

P.S…

Dumbest thing I did at the party?

Putting the pizza boxes on top of the piano.

The “protective” towels made it worse.

Jenifer, don’t look.  😦

Anybody know a good piano restoration service?  😐

♥♥