Saturday, April 27, 2013

Coming full circle in Life

Some memories keep popping back into my psyche from years ago. At times I can envision the scenario like it just happened, but mostly these experiences have been tucked away for so long.

While doing some research on Pluto in the first house with Virgo rising specific memories came to the forefront of my mind. Last year on the last day of school my 16 year old son got off school campus. The K-9 unit and helicopters were out searching for him. Suddenly today I recalled that I too had police and dogs searching for me when I was 16 years old back in New Jersey. In fact, it was Easter Sunday and I never made it home from roller skating the night before.

My son is a Cancer sun sign, which is also my moon sign. I've been delving into the Crab to get more insights for this sign, especially since my son is nonverbal. Moody seems to be the keyword.

As a teen growing up I prolonged going home until it was curfew. I avoided the home front because that is where the abuse and negativity took place. My Father never wanted me to forget that I had a disabled sister and we could not go on vacation because of that. Any complaints I had about my life and restrictions were met with comparisons to the life my sister was living.

Now my teen son due to communication and behavior issues hurts me in the process of getting his message out. When therapies take place in the home I get pushed and banged around. When he goes to school I cannot wait to get out of the house and away from this environment. I want to stop the therapy and just have a peaceful existence, but I need to toughen up and get this toilet training taken care of so that he can live in this society as independently as possible as he gets older.

My Mother acted like she was so embarrassed to be seen with any of her children, like we were beneath her. My natal chart shows that there was an important female figure in my life, which I view was my paternal Grandmother. She was the one who encouraged me to make something of my life.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Circumstances change your future plans and dreams

A change is on the horizon for my household, which has me thinking of all the changes that have led me to this point in time. My son will be turning eighteen in less than two months. Besides that major life event he is also going back to public school from doing online school for the last six years. We were concerned with bullying and thought since we did not like the Middle School options that he would try a safe alternative of online schooling. I held him back in first grade since he was doing special ed class in Kindergarten and first grade. When he went into general education I felt it was necessary to start at the first grade level.

We liked the routine and ease of independent learning. Some people confuse this with homeschooling, but that is not the case. This is California Virtual Academy. He has teachers with the parents considered the learning coaches. He wants to experience senior year at a brick and mortar school. The following year he will be entering either an autism vocational school or a community college.

I have gotten used to my son being home and helping out around the house and having lunch and watching the mid day news together. But I am also looking forward to having the house to myself during the days. For the last nine years I have been a home health care worker for my younger son Matthew. Basically I am on the clock when he is home.

I was a member of a special education committee through the school district for many years plus I served on the board as Secretary for two terms. The school district was to facilitate these meetings with the parents running the committee, but too many changes led me astray and uninterested in pursuing something further within the district as a parent facilitator or public speaker at venues.

My passion is for astrology, tarot, numerology and feng shui. I love working out and motivating others to challenge themselves. I am also interested in genealogy, writing and public speaking.

My natal chart always mentions poetry, mysticism, philosophy, writing, public speaking and music. I have high energy and prefer physical movement and action. For the past few years I have contemplated taking a year-long course to become a health coach. I will need to learn how to skype and get over that anxiety. I still think it is worthwhile a pursuit with an emphasis on the autism community as well as adding astrology into the mix as it plays such a key role in my motivation and goals.

I can pinpoint circumstances that changed the direction of my life many times. Back in Middle School I desired to work on Wall Street. I grew up in New Jersey and went for a field trip to the NYSE. I wanted to work on the floor and be a runner. A few years later in High School we took a trip to a Court House. We got to speak with the court reporter, which was another dream of mine. I decided I was not the type of person to sit inside a court room all day typing away.

I was not very interested in cheer leading, but did try out in the 8th grade, although I could never do a back bend. I was full of enthusiasm and energy but could not really control it. Eventually I got a baton and learned how to twirl it. I spent a summer creating routines with the intention of trying out for the high school team. When it came time to toss the baton in the air and turn around for some flip the lights distracted me and I dropped the baton. I did not make the team.

The following summer I taught my best friend how to use the baton and twirl so we could try out together. She made it and I did not, so there went our friendship since I saw her as getting my spot and my dream was shattered. If I had made the team either of those years my high school experience would have been so different.

As a result I ventured into roller skating and spent Friday and Saturday nights at the rink plus Sundays after church. I met my first real boyfriend there. A year later I was working after school and weekends at Dunkin Donuts where I met my next boyfriend.

When I got bad report cards I was hit with frying pans and hair brushes. One night after work I was scared to go home with my report card so stayed out all night with the boyfriend. That led to getting kicked out of home and having sex for the first time which resulted in getting pregnant. The nurse at school officially told me the day of the senior prom. I gave him up for adoption since the boyfriend and his family all pushed for it. I was under the impression that we would be getting married after he finished college and have kids. I lived with a foster family during the pregnancy. We parted ways a few months later.

A few years ago he sent me messages through classmates and facebook. We discussed in detail the experience from high school and the adoption process. It felt good to share my feelings from years earlier.

I wrote an essay online in 2000 on the whole experience and met many in the adoption triad. Last summer the birth son found me through Facebook in part due to that essay he read years earlier. He was given our names when he was eleven years old so he knew a lot about me through my online writings.

In the early 90s I was a recreational drug user and spent one weekend getting high with this guy who had previously been a neighbor. After work I roller skated over to his place to drop off a jar of vitamins as I was trying to help him stop his drug use. Instead of turning the situation around I jumped right into it. We ended up getting married that Sunday afternoon. He found some female minister through the yellow pages that practiced out of Beverly Hills so he rented some car service to drive us over there. It was like a scene out of a movie but I was really in it and not just watching it. I honestly thought after that event we would go back to our regular lives like it was a joke.

Later on that night when I went to leave for my own apartment he tried to strangle me, which resulted in the police coming. Turned out I was the lucky one because that was the same weekend that OJ Simpson murdered his ex wife. I was stuck in this crappy situation. He started showing up at my work so I got laid off and found out I was pregnant. He woke me up one night and slapped me over a phone bill so I went to the police the next day to do a citizens arrest. When we got back he was gone so I moved in with a friend to figure out what to do next.

My brother said come to New Jersey. I had left NJ in 1985 so here I was going back in 1994 to escape a madman with a criminal background. I called his parole officer to tell him I was leaving and make sure he did not allow him out of the State. He did the exact opposite and authorized his entry into New Jersey.

What ensued was a very high stressful pregnancy for me, including smoking and drinking. I lucked out that I got a job right away and met a neighbor that turned out to be a good friend for many years. I had to call the Hospital mental health department the day we left the Hospital because I was scared to leave the Hospital with that Man and did not know what to do.

Now that son is turning eighteen. To be continued .....

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Life before kids

Lately some memories have been coming back to the forefront of times long ago before my two sons. I have been married and divorced twice and lived with someone for three years. I took a bus across country when I was 21 and lived in San Diego for 7 months before taking a bus back to New Jersey.

I had some interesting experiences with dating - these were before online dating sites and were in newspapers - exchanging letters with someone in another state and then heading off to meet them.

I recently went through my photo albums and found some pictures from one of those relationships. The other day I was reminded of a guy I spent a summer with who was working in the US from Holland. I spent weekends during two years of high school at the roller skating rink. I kept bumping into one guy from that period of my life over the years - at the Jersey shore in my 20s and then several years later at an airport bar in Los Angeles.

I was an avid Nascar fan for a very long time - I got my first husband and his brother involved and we went to many races. Our honeymoon was at one race.

During high school I lived with my grandparents and also with a foster family. I also had some fun jobs along the way. I am fascinated with astrology - spending hours delving into my chart and reading about the houses.

During high school years I was writing a book and have wanted to write on several topics over the years but have yet to reach that goal.

Moon in Cancer natives have a large potential to be able to get in touch with the feelings and moods of others. Often, they are quite wrapped up in themselves. Their memories of the past are outstanding, especially for all things emotional.

So I will be expanding the topics for this blog to cover my life and write about some fun experiences I have had. My life did not start when I had kids.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Lessons Learned From A Tragedy

We have lived in a duplex for thirteen years with the same people residing behind us. We have the front yard and they have access to the basement and backyard. Ours is the original house and they have the add-on apartment.

Because the utilities are all one location the landlord pays these. Our bathroom is hooked up on one circuit with their bedroom. Our back porch uses their walkway, but we have our own main walkway.

Just a week ago there was a loud boom from there and I was not sure if it was in the area near their front door or the basement below. I ran out front with my flashlight and looked in the back walkway and heard their Niece say something about being blue. Her Uncle who was staying back there during the Holidays was choking.

Evidently he collapsed on the ground so at this point you cannot do the Heimlich maneuver. I have on my refrigerator an Emergency first aid reference guide with diagrams. I yelled out for her to call 911 and then heard her passing on the info from the dispatch to her grandfather, my neighbor.

I let the fire department in the gate and was getting information after awhile from one of them at the gate who was there with the Niece. I knew not to move someone once they are in a position, which he did note and he said they were working on him.

When they wheeled him out one of the paramedics was pumping his chest and there was a bag attached to his mouth. They did get the piece of meat from the burrito he was eating out but his heart gave out and he flatlined an hour later at the Hospital.

From what I learned he was walking out of the kitchen eating and drinking water. According to the Coroner there were no drugs in his system. This was asked as he was a recovering drug addict and on the wait list for a bed at a sober living home. This was my neighbor's son, her oldest and died at age 53.

He had lived for a few years with a girl in the neighborhood and she told the family that he wanted to be cremated. This was news to the family as he had never expressed this and they have a family plot. Currently they are still trying to decide what to do with his body one week later.

I shared this information with my kids Father, who is my ex husband and let him know my wishes have always been to be cremated. My Grandmother, Grandfather and Father were all cremated in New Jersey.

I also showed him where I keep my Life Insurance policies and where the phone number on the folder is to my Brother in New Jersey. As of this date I do not have a will because there needs to be a Special Needs Trust and a Guardian chosen for my two teen sons that are both on the autism spectrum.

It is really important to know what to do in an emergency. I let my son and his Dad know that I need my asthma spray when I am gasping for air, as that clears my airways.

Please watch over people who are walking and eating in your home. Make sure you have emergency instructions and your address listed on your refrigerator. In times that we panic we might not recall our address or it could be someone not familiar with it who is making the call.

Call 911 immediately to get the help instantly and the paramedics will be there faster. Make a plan - buy life insurance, make a will and let others know where these important papers are and let your friends and family members know whether you want to be cremated and where those ashes are to be held or disposed of or where you would like to be buried and what type of funeral, etc.

Take charge now at this early start of a New Year.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Using Google to determine vehicle problems

The other day as I was driving away I heard a ding from the car but due to the sunlight I could not see what light showed up on my dahsboard. I pulled into the gas station down the street near the air and water section to grab the vehicle manual.

There is a page that shows all the icons for the lights appearing on the dashboard. Finally I identified engine, otherwise known as malfunction indicator light. This is part of the OBD - onboard diagnostic system that monitors engine and automatic transmission control systems. It mentioned if the light is on to have the condition checked promptly.

There was also mention that this indicator light could mean poor fuel quality or loose/missing gas cap. The vehicle should be serviced if the light stays on through several of your typical driving cycles. In most situations the vehicle will drive normally and not require towing.

This made me feel better but I was still leery to head onto the freeway and go to the gym. None of the lights had ever come on before and I bought the vehicle at a Ford Dealership three years ago, although it is a Dodge Caravan Sport. I also did not renew my AAA membership since I was no longer needing towing services like my previous minivan.

The manual also listed below this section that the light can flash and that could lead to immediate loss of power. I did not like that message. I remembered the previous day driving through the city streets and feeling like the car might stall, especially when I hit every red light.

This reminded me of my other two minivans that had radiator problems and always needing a tow in the summer time from summer camp. I thought adding a quart of oil would be in order as I had checked a few days earlier and noted to buy some soon. After shelling out almost five dollars at the gas station I realized there is an indicator light for needing oil. I also added one litre of water that I had in my gym bag.

I did not feel comfortable driving the distance to the gym and then grocery shopping so headed to a nearby grocery store to do some shopping. I really wanted to get home to check google to see what I could find. I felt like I learned so much from my research. I now know that you can put the key into the ignition and turn it without powering up the vehicle and turn it off several times before a code will show up in the odometer section. I was shown two codes and then done.

I researched the codes P 1684 and P 0304. There was one site that told me 19 Dodge mechanics were online. I posted my question about the two codes and got a reply with a picture of a mechanic and a message that he could offer assistance and if I was satisfied with response I would pay $36. I closed that up but thought that was a good idea for making income.

P 1684 said that the battery had been disconnected and P 0304 that cylinder #4 was a misfire. The OBD codes. My neighbor was outside and showed me how to clean the battery section with a lemon and then twist off the cable. We did that and put them back on after cleaning before I checked for the codes and the second code was gone but not the code for the battery, but the engine light was no longer staying on.

I am so glad that google and the internet are around to help me deal with everyday issues instead of having to pay a dealer to do something that would take hours to wait and maybe something else would be required.

My teen son knows when we have a problem we go to google.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Social Media Update

It is time for an update and to get back into the rhythm of blogging once again. When I joined twitterback in 2008 it was to promote my autism website and make new online connections.

Soon after engaging with others and taking part in twitter chats I realized I needed to start blogging as well. While some think of the autism site as a blog, it is not classified that way and it does not support comments. I was commenting on blogs and doing all this reading and wanted to be part of that community.

I started the autism blog first and made a mistake with the name due to someone else already having autismfamily so mine is spelled autismfamiily.

A few years ago besides the autism site at BellaOnline I also wrote at the Insurance site and wanted to post my articles online, which is how this blog came to be. I did not want to continue with writing about insurance so I expanded the topics, but had already paid for my blog widget Insurance Topics, so that is the name but it is listed under my own name.

I won a Camera two years ago on twitter and started utilizing it at the Zoo where we are members. I started another blog to showcase those pictures and make the blog animal related.

When I first started at twitter I had been on gather.com and cafemom.com - running groups on both sites. Over the span of a few months I stopped visiting those sites and got hooked on facebook.

In May of 2011 I followed a link from a facebook wall to a site called Empire Avenue. It is a social media stock exchange where you hook up all your networks - such as flickr, youtube, instagram, foursquare, blogs, feeds, linkedin, twitter, facebook and fanpage.

Since this time I have created an instagram page, a foursquare account and a facebook fanpage. I regularly use yelp and foursquare, post pics to instagram, flickr and tumblr and learning how to get my Zoo videos up on youtube.

I am also located on klout where I imported a few of my twitter lists, hooked up all my networks like Empire Avenue and added last.fm along with G+. I have been regularly listed in the K+ recipients for autism on Klout.

For the past several months I have participated in twitter chats for empire avenue that utilize the hashtag #eavchat. Along the way I learned about scoop.it, Twylah, paper.li and Triberr.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Year Checklist

A New Year brings a fresh start for many with goals to achieve and lists to create on what your plans are for the year.

Here are some helpful tips to help guide you into 2010:

Prescriptions
- Go through your medicine cabinet and toss out all medicines that are beyond their expiration date. If a product smells or the color has changed you need to toss it in the garbage. Many medicines are still okay after the expiration date, but they are not as strong as they once were. Antibiotics that are in the refrigerator need to be disposed of. Nose drops and eye drops can become contaminated and should be tossed out.

When going through your medicines also check all the over the counter medicines to see when they should be used by and follow suit as well. Make a list of the items you have removed and purchase new bottles/products. Make a note on your new 2010 calendar to order refills on existing medications/prescriptions.

Coupons
- Many over the counter medications have coupons available in magazines and newspapers. Go through your supply of coupons to remove all those that expired in 2009 and organize them according to categories. Make a note on your shopping list which items also have a coupon to redeem.

Brushes
- Start the New Year by removing the germs of 2009 and invest in a new toothbrush and cover for each member of the family. Do the same thing for hairbrushes and combs you keep on hand and for your purse or handbag. For those with pets purchase new care products for them also. Don't forget cosmetic brushes in your makeup case and vanity.

Glasses - We should still be wearing sunglasses during the winter - this includes children too. I was disappointed to find out that Walgreens does not stock kids sunglasses at this time of year, so we had to go elsewhere for a new pair. For those who wear prescription glasses make an appointment to have your eyes checked.

Cosmetics - Many cosmetics should be tossed and replaced every three months. Start by changing your mascara, powder puff, lipsticks and balms. This includes the cosmetics stored in your handbag, gym bag and at home.

Soaps - For bar soap users clean out the dish the soap is stored and open a fresh bar. If you use a sponge or mesh puff sponge purchase a set of new ones in bright festive colors before removing the used puff. Consider trying a new brand of soap, shampoo and shaving creams.

Message Systems - Change the message on your answering machine and voice mail systems to reflect the New Year 2010 and wish everyone a prosperous New Year. Have the kids leave a message or say their name and Hello as well. Listen to the message before setting it so everyone is pleased with the results. Do the same thing with your work message.

Subscriptions - Check the expiration date on all magazines and newspapers for your family members and the professional journals you may subscribe to at the office. Decide if you want to renew or cancel subscriptions.

Allowance - Start implementing one now or make an increase for the New Year, unless you do this during the birthday month.

Calendars - Hang up new ones and have the children take part in writing down birthdays and events they want to be reminded of. Have calendars for desk and purse noted with dates of interest. We purchased at Border's last week at 50% off a daily cat calendar, a penguin calendar for the wall and a datebook.

Batteries - Make sure all smoke detectors have new batteries and are in working order. Check flashlights inside and in automobiles for working condition and store new batteries close by.

Photographs - Take a current photo of each child and note their height, weight, age and school information on the back. Keep in your wallet, car and purse for emergency purposes. Consider placing a family photo in the child's wallet or backpack.

Taxes - Get your taxes done quickly this year. Consider having more taken out of your paycheck by filling out a new W-4. If your family qualifies for Earned Income Credit obtain a W-5 form from IRS to have advanced payments in each paycheck.

Food - Clean out your refrigerator of old, smelly food and label plastic containers so you know what is inside. Toss out the old eggs and spoiled milk. Post on the outside of the refrigerator the emergency numbers for fire, police, Doctor, Hospital and poison control.

This is also a good reminder to take a class at the local community college or Red Cross to learn CPR, first aid or a number of other emergency related techniques that could save a life. Look inside the trunk of your vehicles to see if emergency kits are up to date and adequate for your family needs. Store bottled water indoors and canned food to last three days for each family member.

Start an activity as a family, whether it be roller skating one night a week, visiting the book store once a week or implementing a game night for all members. Take an active role in your children's education and their extracurricular activities and interests.