Take a Trip to Trinidad to Find Guest Blogger, Celeste Mohammed

By Wendy Pierman Mitzel (4/3/17)~~~

Celeste is one of my favs. I met her at grad school in Cambridge and was immediately taken with her for so many reasons, one of which is her fabulous  accent from “the islands.” But seriously she has a heart of gold, keeps me inspired and has the ability to tell a story like no one else.

Through her fiction writing, I came to know the places she calls home: Trinidad. From her non-fiction essays I find myself questioning how I see the world.

I mean, look at that woman and tell me you’re not going to click on the link to read her words…. I dare you.

Click now… on the picture… or right here ……    Badman don’t…
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My Life With Asperger’s

2/15/2017 ~~~~A few years ago I wrote this after a particularly difficult spell. Since then, there have been the usual ups and downs, and a pretty big hole for a bit, as high school progressed but the good things are SO GOOD! After advocating for nearly a year to arrange for a job internship for my now 18-year-old son it's happened! He is working with dogs at a great place that is welcoming him with all his uniqueness. He passed a college class last term and is set to attend community college in the fall. He is learning to drive. He is learning to thrive! Thanks to the support of friends, family and the caring educators who see the benefit for ALL when you help even ONE, we are heading into adulthood. The difficult spells are still there. But time and experience are helping us stay on track more often than not. It's the ride we're on and we are going the distance. ~~~ By Wendy Pierman Mitzel 4/3/13 Living with Asperger’s can be difficult for me, and I don’t even have it. My teenage son does, and while he bears the brunt of the high-functioning autism disorder, at times it can take a toll on the rest of the family. Many days my heart soars for him, other times it breaks Read more...

Shakespeare is the Answer

"O, wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, That has such people in't!" It's appropriate that the words of Shakespeare come to mind when I stumble upon this heartwarming story about an actress with the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Company in London. She and her colleagues have developed a method to improve communication in Autistic children using Shakespeare’s plays.  Using Shakespeare to Treat Autism Shows Great Promise, Say Researchers It's no secret that my son has Asperger's, a highly functioning form of Autism. While he was not necessarily challenged by verbal communication issues (believe me, when he is engaged in a topic of his choosing he can talk your ear off!) my experiences within the Autism community have led me to spaces where others have struggled to express themselves. It's not that ASD individuals aren't thinking and feeling, it's just that somewhere along the way, the lines get crossed and communication is compromised. It's people like Kelly Hunter and her colleagues who think in ways that challenge our typical learning styles that can make all the difference. Ask an Aspie like my son, and he will tell Read more...

Running with Pack

By Cami Beiter - October 14, 2016---   When we were young rambunctious teenage girls, sleepovers consisted of staying up past the new episode of Fantasy Island. We slumbered in sleeping bags bought from the Sears catalog that and waited weeks for. We gossiped about idiot boys, slutty girls, evil parents. We snuck a few shots of Jack Daniels from behind the bar and, even though it burned and tasted disgusting, you lied to show off your bad ass self. Cigarettes were stolen from mom’s purses and collected like playing cards, only to be handed out after Mr. Roarke waved good-bye to his guests in their polyester wardrobes. You laughed at each other’s personalities while embracing individuality. Everything good was happening before your eyes, yet you had no idea what forever, cherished memories you were creating. Breakfast was likely prepared by a helicopter mom wearing a matching robe and slippers. Or even better, we found a stash of forbidden sugar cereals stacked in the pantry. It was heaven. Things we normally didn’t do, or weren’t allowed to do at home, were suddenly there for the picking. We were a handful of Eve’s in her garden.   Things haven’t changed Read more...

Feeling Shaggy

By Wendy Pierman Mitzel - In tribute to a high school friend who recently performed a similar feat of goofiness, I present you with an oldie-but-goodie from June 2008. OMG! is that really 8 years ago! Times have changed, kids have grown, but I'm pretty sure I'm still a tad whacky! Here you go: Those of you with kids will understand when I say the end of the school year has me running around like a dog chasing its tail. All the end of the year parties are approaching, sports are frenetically wrapping up and I spend more time shuttling kids to and fro many appointments. But I guess I didn't realize how discombobulated I'd become until one night, last week I took the dogs medicine. Yes, you heard right. Took it. Took it out of the bottle, got distracted on my way to shove it into her mouth and do that stroke the neck until it goes down thing. Took and got myself a glass of water, popped it in my mouth and swallowed. At which point, my eyes must have bugged out of my head in surprise, like those cartoon people. "Omigod," I said to The Man who is sitting at the computer working. "I just swallowed the dog's medicine." He turned around in resignation of my stupidity. "I have Read more...

Leftovers

By Wendy Pierman Mitzel ~ Thanksgiving Leftovers: So I said this: "Life is about amusing your mother. Just do it. Hang the ornament." And this: "You will find, as you get older, you really don't care about being awkward." Maybe I no longer feel awkward because no matter how cool I try to be, my kids still try to avoid me. Still, forced family fun consisted of helping to set up the new sparkly deer on the front lawn, adorning the tree and watching stand-up (John Mulany) while noshing on pizza. I had to whine and resort to motherly guilt but, I made it happen. Also, I broke down and upgraded to an iPhone 6+ mainly because I needed the extra big screen with the extra big icons/keyboard. Am pretty sure I got snookered somewhere on the deal because my "free" upgrade was in no way shape or form free. When I put the phone up to my ear to talk, I feel like I'm back on the clunky relics from the 90s. But it does have fingerprint access. And over the course of four days our family provided pet-care for one always-hungry yellow lab, two slobbering St. Bernards, one welcoming kitty, and three ducks. Next year we add a pachyderm. Then, today, I got into the minivan (really did Read more...

Random Thoughts on A Wendy Wednesday

By Wendy Pierman Mitzel ~ I don't have a large house by any means, but I am confident my house is large enough to this annoying flyto find somewhere else to haunt besides the room where I am working. That the fly might be attracted to me,personally, has crossed my mind. Since I am too lazy to get up to find a fly-swatter, I am randomly dousing it, mid-flight, with lotion spray on my bedside table. It doesn't seem to be working, but it smells good in here anyway. Writing is hard. Coffee tastes good all day long. Because writing is hard, I spend a lot of time walking into the kitchen to get more coffee. Sometimes writing makes me jumpy. Or maybe it's the coffee. My dog  doesn't do the laundry, even though I ask him to do so quite often. There is never enough bacon. There are always too many dirty dishes. I have a lot of kids. Who have a lot of shoes. A lot of big teenage boys shoes. There is, more often than not, a pair of sh oes to trip over at any given time. Pearl Jam still sounds good. Not so sure about Duran Duran. Every Fall, I am surprised by hayfever season even though I have spend my entire life suffering through hayfever season. It takes me a few Read more...

Re-Run Monday: The Bird Battle Begins Again

Here's a new feature, Re-Run Monday. Lots of our old stuff didn't make it over to the new site last year, so we're uploading some of them here on Re-Run Mondays. Some of you might remember them, some of you might be new enough, this will be just like the first time around. Thanks for sticking with us! By Wendy Pierman Mitzel 3/27/13 Ahhhh Spring! The daffodils burst yellow from the muddy earth. A single crocus reaches for the sun.  And the shiny grackle bird spreads its wings in preparation to turd-bomb my backyard swimming pool. As I said to my son the other day: “It’s not Spring until I start yelling ‘Quit pooping in my pool!’ out the kitchen window.” Grackles show up in Spring to nest and like Navy Seals carefully plan their siege on my pool cover. Birdwatching blogs identify them as bullies and now I know why. These birds mock me with their beautiful iridescent feathers and alight on the very tree the little sparrows prefer and either kill them or drive them away. The sparrows and I are not the only victims of these poop-launching missiles. There are tons of blogs and web-forums dedicated to other’s driven cuckoo by these bird-brains.  Apparently, these Read more...

Re-Run Monday: Youth Sports is About More Than Just Winning

Here's a new feature, Re-Run Monday. Lots of our old stuff didn't make it over to the new site last year, so we're uploading some of them here on Re-Run Mondays. Some of you might remember them, some of you might be new enough, this will be just like the first time around. Thanks for sticking with us! Wendy Pierman Mitzel From : 3/6/2013 I used to squeak. From kindergarten through high school I put on my trademark white cleats and hit the “pitch” as those Brit friends of mine call it. And for the first few years I squeaked each time the black and white sphere came my direction and required me to engage in battle. It was a weird habit that my gawky, bespecticled-self developed. It took years to break once I realized I was too old for it to be cute and instead it had turned just plain weird.  I wasn’t a great soccer player at first, but as time went on I gained confidence and skill and control over my long, skinny arms and legs. Just as a foal takes time to become a mare, I needed a few years to GROW into myself. Eventually, I earned a varsity spot and a few conference awards for my kick-ass defensive moves and rockin’ white cleats. What’s disheartening to me, Read more...
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