Left of Centre and Straight on til Morning

Slurping Life

“What is that smell Maddy? Is it your perfume?”
“Yes. I put it on especially, as I knew you were coming.”
“Ah, no time for a shower then?”
“Hmm one of those days, you know me so well.”
“What's it called?”
“I'm not sure. It's some hooch my Mum gave me for Christmas.”
“Do you have the bottle?”
“Yes, but I've lost the cap and there isn't a label.”
“Perhaps we could guess. I know it smells……..oddly familiar?”
“Nothing smells like the original on me. My mum used to wear Blue Grass. I loved it on her. She gave me some as a gift when I was a teenager. I thought I was sooo grown up, but after a few minutes there was this horrible stink. It's didn't agree with my body chemistry, smelled more like gnat's piss.”
“Gnats piss, gnat's piss, gnat's piss.”
“Oh dear. He's been so quiet I forgot he was there for a moment.”
“Not much gets past him does it! I know, how about we all think of a name for your Mummy's perfume?'
“Hmm that's a good idea? You guess first then?”
“Ooo let me think a moment Maddy….how about……. Maddy Mystique.”
“Ooo I like that. That one definitely gets my vote! Now lets see if I can think of anything better………Muck de Madeleine.”
“Not quite the essence we're looking for.”
“What about you dear? Do you want to have a guess? Can you think of a name for my perfume?”
“Er……Hoochy Mamma.”

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Happy Halloween

Please drool down for our ghoulish scheduled programme

From a wee while back

And a bit more recently

p.s. I learned today on the news, that the two most common Halloween costume choices in the US of A are ‘A Vampire’ and ‘A Pirate’ :- Horray! At last we are truly “commoners!”

p.p.s. Oopsie! Don’t forget to pop along and visit “4 Green and Speckled Frogs” for their Pumpkin Patch Parade!

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Garfield! The Fiendish Theif!

We drive home from school in a whirlpool of words.
“A banana has two uses, food and entertainment!” he chortles.

I am immediately aware that someone has stolen my child and replaced him with someone with verbal diarrhea. I turn to my daughter for clarification, “he's been like that all day, since first thing, since assembly.”
He hangs out the window to shout at the traffic guard, “hey give me yur lollipop and I'll lick it fur you!” I hit the automatic window button and try not to amputate his arms in the exercise.
“What happened in assembly?”
Popcorn, get yur popcorn here!
“He won the award thing, you know, 'caught in the act of doing something good.'”
“Gosh! Did he…….that's …….wonderful…….isn't it?”
“Well it would have been.” I hardly dare ask, but I have to know, “what happened?”
“Well he goes roaring up onto the stage, to the Principal…….she gives him a certificate for a pizza party…”
“Oh no…..he hates pizza….”
The hardest thing in the world is John's left over frozen pizza!” I swear he's memorized every line in Garfield.
“Not a problem mom, he didn't care…..”
“Didn't care? He won a prize that he hated and he didn't care?”
“No…..instead…..he starts doing like this victory dance thing, stomping all over the stage shouting 'I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man,' with all these hand movements like he's some kinda rock star or something.”
“Gosh…..were you perhaps……a little embarrassed?”
“Nope. He was having a whale of a time, everyone was laughing……his teacher had to drag him off.”
“Oh dear…..”
I'm fat and lazy and I'm proud of that!
“Ever since……I saw him at recess…..and lunch recess……he's been non-stop jokes….”
“Oh…..I wonder why……”
“It's your fault mom.”
“It is?”
“He's finally got the message.”
Seafood diets man! I see food, I eat food!
“What message?”
“The one you've been lecturing him about for months!”
“I'm gonna erase you! You are be gone forever!
“Lecture? Me?”
“Yeah, you know the one.”
“Which one?”
“Cut out the potty talk, the name callin and the teasin.”
“Ah, well that really has been out of hand lately, hasn't it. That constant barrage of raspberry noises, burps and f …..well…….completely inappropriate.”
“He did say excuse me straight after though.”
“Quite mind numbing.”
“I know, but you said he should be positive not negative, tell jokes instead. Jokes are friendly, tothers like bullyin.”
“Hmm…… I see……I think?”
“So that was the final straw!”
“What was?”
You know what is a “diet” is, don’t you? It’s “die” with a “t,” that’s what it is!” I think he must have swallowed that Garfield book in the night.
“The movie you chose this week, coz you don't want em watching too many cartoons, coz you want em to watch movies with real people in em……?”
“Ah…..I see what you mean.”
“What were you thinking mom?”
“I'm sure…..that…..well……”
“Dontcha see, he's connected the dots! That 'Dennis the Menace' movie was the clincher, a serious error of judgment mom!”
Mom?” I turn to the chortler.
“Yes dear?”
“You are being my favourite adult woman in the whole wide world.”
“Oh…..well thank you so much for telling me dear.” I wonder if he's still in joke mode?
“Yes dear?”
“Sometimes life jus comes up and kisses you on the lips

Another direct quote from Garfield!

He was completely silent the next day of course!

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Thursday 13 – dietary supplements

Thirteen Things about how to pad your diet and save some pennies

In these financially stricken times, it pays to revive some of those housewifely skills of yesteryear. Depending upon your weekly food budget, it may be that with a little resourcefulness, deception and cunning, you can stretch the pennies a little further, as well as indirectly stretch the diet.

When we first arrived in the States we went to a chilli cookout. It was quite an extraordinary experience for the naïve and uninitiated. Whilst the variety was quite daunting, the main ingredients consisted of pure ground beef, chilli beans, [very few in number] and chilli in a variety of different forms. If you take a standard dish of chilli you might be surprised to find out just how much you can add to the recipe without reducing the flavour. Oddly enough, you may also find that you increase the nutritional benefits of the recipe.

1. A cupful of lentils will blend in without a trace, and add fibre surreptitiously.
2. Similarly, unlikely as it may seem, a cupful of rolled oats are barely noticeable, introduce a hithertofore unknown food substance to the wary and you may help reduce cholesterol a smidge.
3. Finely diced carrots are inoffensive to most. For the few who do find them offensive, try carrot puree instead.
4. If you usually add onions to your recipe, try doubling the amount,
5. Similarly with the chilli beans. If you have a bean counter in your family, then puree the additional quantity of beans that you plan to add, to foil their accuracy.
6. Consider adding side dishes to the main course such as baked potatoes, freshly baked bread or a bowl of brown rice.
7. These additions are filling in themselves, which may mean that you halve the consumption of the chilli itself, which can then be frozen for another meal at another time.
8. Add more liquid, water or tomato juice to make it more of a soupy consistency.
9. Add any left over vegetables from previous meals. A cupful here or there is hardly detectible, especially if it is mashed first. If you use a particularly distinctive flavoured vegetable such as parsnips, add a tablespoonful of pickle or chutney to further confuse the taste buds into co-operation.
10. Now is the time to break the mould if you have people who do not eat fruit. A cupful of apple puree or mashed bananas adds a tangy sweetness that masks the ingredients but may just get past the fruit bat sentries.
11. This would be a good time to introduce salad or other vegetables that your family hates, because with a bit of luck their taste buds will be numb from the chilli.
12. Of course if you double the amount of chilli you can be safe in the knowledge that no-one will eat what you have produced. This may appear to be a saving in the short term, but in the long term, hungry tummies have to be filled.
13. Do not on any account add a cupful of bran fibre. Although the health benefits are unchallenged, the fall out can be dire. Any pennies saved, will need to be expended upon further quantities of toilet paper, and that my fine friend is what is known in the trade as a 'false economy.'

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Wordless special Exposure Wednesday

5 Minutes for Special Needs

A small snippet:-

“Yes dear?”
“What letter is come after M?”
“Er…..what letter is come after the letter M in………the word bom?”
“Is it a centipede?”
“Er……yes, you're right it is a silent B.”

Enough of these word games! If you enjoy caption competitions and photographs, you may wish to nip along to“DJ Kirkby” over at “Chez Aspie” and test your brain power.

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Try and tackle Tuesday – the slimline version

Try This Tuesday

I have adopted the American way. I will not whisper the word Christmas or the Holidays until after Thanksgiving, my new favourite holiday. However just this once I am breaking my self imposed silence in the hope of broadcasting peaceful sanity during the season of clamour. There are 57 days left until the Holidays. Here's your chance to get ahead of the hunt.

Nip over to your library and borrow a book called “Unplug the Christmas Machine” by Jo Robinson and Jean Coppock Staeheli. This will give you more than enough time to speed read your way through, so that you can figure out what, if anything, is important to you, and “jettison” all the stressful rest.

I read this book about 5 years ago when my children were really small. It was a Christmas present from a jolly good American pal of mine. I read it during the post Christmas carnage where my home looked like a toy shop but no child played with the mountain of gifts that had descended. I decided to adopt a new rule. The new rule was that Father Christmas only brought 3 presents and a stocking for each child.

The Grinches amongst us would announce this new rule on Christmas Eve, but for everyone else, the gentle introduction, nay suggestion, that the Holidays are about to be scaled down to fairer family fit size, would do everyone a favour.

Initially, in my home, there was a certain amount of confusion and descent, but during the course of the following year I played the little drummer boy and forced everyone to accept my benign dictatorship. Hence 57 days seems like a reasonable period of time to ease this new mind set on reluctant small people.

Three may seem a somewhat paultry number, but when you take into account the generosity of family, relatives and friends there is more than enough to go around.

Another aspect of this book that I particularly warmed to was the role of the male/partner/father/husband in all the festivities. Broadly speaking it is the womenfolk who rule the roost, determine which traditions are followed and delegate a whole host to dull laborious chores to the man. Otherwise, his contribution is somewhat limited. The writers suggest that if their, paternal or familial traditions were incorporated, this would give the holiday more meaning to them.

Whilst I'm tempted to do a 'bloggy giveaway' to pass on my own copy to the lucky winner, I shall restrain myself since I am wicked mean with books. I cannot think of anyone who would welcome a spine split, dog eared, copiously annotated floppy back.

Cheers dears

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Magic Marker Best Shot Monday

Hosted by “Tracy” at “Mother May I,” but the photo-picture below will whizz you right there with one click.

Just call me snap happy.

red BSM Button

Nasty, scary, Halloweenish piccy at the bottom!

20 months ago I had jaw surgery which disrupted our family life quite considerably. Recently, I nipped back to the surgeon to finish off a little unfinished business, a replacement implant and a bone graft, the cause of a great deal more moaning from me.

Once home again, I examine the x-ray closely, just to check that the new dental implant really has been embedded in my jaw, pop a couple of pills, tie an ice-pack around my head and hide the black and white sheet under a pile of other papers. I head off for the easy option, computer time and supervising the creation of new Spores. Their enthusiasm for the new game is a delight and also allows me to have some valuable recovery time. The principle of the game is to design a creature that is best able to survive and reproduce or alternatively, the basics of evolution and Darwinism.

My youngest son talks incessantly as he creates, “dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones.” It's an off shoot from the whirl of Halloween, a holiday that has previously been off the radar but has now been enthusiastically embraced by one and all.

The two headed Spore he has made roars jocularly. “What are you going to name it dear?”
“It is being jus like you!” he beams. I peer at the screen and the lurid coloured, short clawed, long tailed creature.
“It is be having… …she is be having……two necks.”
“Yes, two necks and two heads, funny shaped heads with big……fangs.”
“Yes…..jus like you!”
“But I don't have two heads dear.”
“Hmmmmm………I know……but …….you are having “two necks…unner……under your skin.” How come you are having two necks…………and one head?” This is far too an existential conversation for my tiny brain in my one addled cranium to compute, especially under the influence of Vicodin. My daughter joins us to admire his Spore Creature. “Ooo, I get it! It's just like yur x-ray mom!”

The spinal column appears twice, left and right at the edge of the x-ray!

Not for the first time, I am speechless, either due to jaw ache, head ache or both.


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Daily Daub

Please scroll down for a plethora of awards



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Please Scroll down for the Daily Daub

“Mary the Teach” over at “Work of the Poet” has very kindly given me this award! Thank you so much for thinking of me. This was exceptionally well timed after four consecutive nights of the nocturnal!

I’m happy to pass this on to “MOM-NOS” at “MOM – Not Otherwise Specified,” in the hope that this will encourage her to give us a few more, or maybe more frequent lessons. Her family life has changed considerably since we first ‘met’ and I appreciate that her time is severely sandwiched with numerous pressure and responsibilities, but we can but try!

Also to “Casdok” and her sterling new blog which puts the faces to the ‘label’ of autism, in all it’s many facets, here at the “Faces of Autism.” This is particularly heart warming for me as although I think I know all the bloggers featured to date, many do not post pictures of their delightful children. I think each and every one deserves a bravery award for illustrating just how truly delightful all our children are, if everyone would just stop with the stereotypes……although I am the most guilty when it comes to typecasting!

Then to “Sharon” at the “Family Voyage,” as her political insight that keeps me abreast of what’s ocurring back home, the general trend of opinion as well as her family doings, help keep me grounded. I won’t mention the homeschooling aspects as that’s just far too intimidating for people with little brains like me.

Alright, I admit it, I am in awe of the homeschooling mob, er….sorry…I meant blogs. I have a hard enough time finding time to blog, I cannot imagine finding the time if I were homeschooling too, although to be fair, just the thought of homeschooling makes my yellow back stripe glow neon. So I feel it’s only fair to note a few of those tremulously strong women who also homeschool, such as “Mrs. G” at “the Homeschoolnet”, “Kaber” who blogs at “All About my Boys” and “Frog’s Mom” at “4-frogs.” These supremo parents sometimes post their schedules, enough to make the mind boggle I can tell you, and they certainly make me think and teach me more than a thing of two!

“Joey’s Mom” at “Life with Joey” has very kindly given me this delightful award.

I’m happy to pass this along to “Lori” at “Spinning Yellow” who always makes me hunt her down due to a lack of RSS feed!

Also to “Laa and Family” at “Mom Embracing Autism,” which sort of tell you all you really need to know, but more importantly adds to her growing list of very well deserved awards!

Then to “The Bishops Wife” who also blogs about some spectrumy issues with verve and class, but with a title of “The Pentecostal Pariah” how could we resist!

Also to “Osh” at “the House that Osh Built,” where her family enjoy the same ups and downs as the rest of us, with a healthy dollop of good humour, without sentimentality and a realistic approach to the curve balls that hit us all. [usually in the head when we’re least expecting them!]

Then to “Rhemashope” at “Autism in a Word,” where she ceaselessly adopts a positive spin on the complexities of life with a rare cheerfulness and perspective.

Also to lovely “Linda” at “Are we there yet.” Sometimes it’s hard to put your finger on quite why you warm to a particular blog. Linda’s life and mine have little in common. She works full time and her children are older. She’s in a different State and experiences weather and seasons. It could be that Linda’s is one of the first blogs that I felt comfortable commenting upon. I know that whenever I turn up there I will enjoy what I read, what she has written even though her posts run the gamut. Linda is my soft spot to fall.

Dear “T” from “Send Chocolate” very kindly gave me this, “Kick Ass” award. This was especially timely for me, lost in the fog of Vicadin, searching x-rays for my new implant and in a state of more general confusion than usual. I always love visiting her blog, partly due to the content, since I’m obviously biased in that department, partly because the chocolate reference reminds me of heady days when I was just starting a business called “Tamsin Truffles” and partly because she always evokes such interesting debates where her readers actually participate!

First to “Mama Mara” at “Mama of the Edge,” which would have been my own alternative title I sometimes think. This is another mum who tells it like it is, pulls not punches, the rough and the smooth, the expansions and contractions, the frustrations and joys.

Also to “Sheila” at “Ma Vie Folle” [That’s “My Crazy Life” in French,] who acts on her words, puts her words into practice and is doing a fine job of achieving the goals that many of us aspire to. She also taught me the importance of clicking on the sponsorship links, but some of us learn more slowly than others.

Then to “Michelle” at ““Life of Riley, full soul ahead!.” I would especially recommend that everyone follows her link on this post called “Who does she think” Click on the link in that post and I promise you’re in for a real treat. I’d like to make it compulsory for all female bloggers, but I try and suppress my tyrannical traits! Suffice to say that if ever you are inclined to throw in the towel and give up completely then this may provide a little welcome battery boost to the ever so slightly jaded creative juices! I’m going to pop it in my sidebar because navigation is always a challenge.

Lastly, I should like to pass this smidge of an award to “Lime” at the “House of Lime.”


I was dreading checking out who the 100,000 visitor to my blog might be. It is a little known fact that I have a considerable number of visitors, searching via google, on the term ‘babes in the wood.’ I fear that they are all sadly disappointed. Hence I was delighted to learn through my Vicodin fog, that the 100,000th visitor was a familiar pal, also a familiar pal that was kind enough to comment. Be assured that if you have the time to nip along and visit her blog, you will always be greeted with a warm welcome.

Cheers dears

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Twiddling with the ledger

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SOOC and Smiley Saturday

They all have some version of it, the twiddle syndrome. It is of course extremely annoying. However, I thought I should better detail this particular twiddle because whist it is terribly irritating, one day it may not be there any more. Elimination or extinguishing the behaviour, would be designated as progress, but I will also miss it in some strange way that I don't really understand.

In his book “Look me in the Eye,” “John Elder Robinson” details many skills, talents and abilities that he experienced as a child, which were later displaced by other skills, such that the former intuitive capabilities were no longer available to him. It makes me hopeful, but also cautious.

In our house, like many houses with children, many objects are on the floor. Not just furniture and toys but other things. Within minutes of their wakefulness a whole slew of things hit the floor such as cushions, sofa cushions, anything that happened to be on either. This means that the floor space becomes an obstacle course in seconds. This wouldn't be a problem per se, but my children also have difficulty navigating their space and frequently trip over things that aren't even there. The obstacle course makes the task of moving from A to B even more hazardous.

My eldest son, speech delay aside, is now far more willing to communicate with us verbally and voluntarily. It is at first light that he is most willing to talk. He talks primarily about Pokemon. Through the haze of dawn he chats. As he chats his feet propel him over a radius of approximately three yards in constant movement. As he moves, his feet come into contact with an object. The object sticks to his feet like a magnet, even if it is made of plastic or cloth or paper. The object moves similarly to a ball that is being dribbled by an expert soccer player, but in slow motion. As the object tumbles between his feet, clenched by toes and glued from one ankle to another, the words flow from his mouth with a sweet breathy expression. It is very hard to concentrate on the words, as my eyes are distracted by the object. It is quite mesmerizing.

I already know how to correct this. I need to take him by the shoulders to orientate him towards me, his audience, and remove the distracter. Experience tells me that if I ground him; 'stand still while your talking!' and remove the object, his words will dry up, the smiling expression faulter, so I refrain, and just listen. People are unlikely to listen to a spinning speaker but somehow I suspect that given time, he will adjust himself, as he grows older and more things fall into place.

These days it's also reciprocal, not just a monologue as he asks me pertinent questions about my own preferences, questions that I am supposed to answer. As I stumble for an answer, whilst the object tumbles, he is patient with me, as my brain searches for the right words. I'm sure my annoyance and confusion is well disguised. As I gape like a fish, my mind struggles with word retrieval. He steps across to me to pause and place an index finger on my chin, fix me with soft brown eyes, “it's o.k. mom, I know that “you are being tired,” he beams, “dere you go!” he puts the two foot, Halloween spider from his feet into my hands and scampers off.

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