Monday, August 31, 2009

I don't get it

I was profoundly disappointed with Dateline's segment on vaccines. I was in the car most of this morning, and mulled it over and over in my mind, trying to get an objective handle on what exactly I didn't like. Was it the information? Or how it was presented? Or did I feel like one side was not properly represented?

I finally made it to my computer about 2:00 this afternoon, and jumped into the Dateline site, hoping that there would be a place to read some viewer comments. I wanted to know if the majority of comment posts seemed to feel like I did, or if the majority seemed to be supportive of the information as presented. The autistic community is a very vocal group, so I knew that they would be speaking out in force, but what about everyone else? What about parents, like me, who do not have children afflicted with severe autism, but deal with less severe neuro-developmental disorders with the common co-morbid gastrointestinal and malabsorption issues? What were they saying?

Upon signing in, I was surprised to see that Dateline was offering several follow-up videos. So, not seeing a comments link, I decided to listen in. In those videos was a whole host of information that should have been presented in the main show. What the heck? Why wasn't this information presented in the main segment, rather than the garbage mumbo-jumbo that they threw out there? In the videos, there is a call for vaccination schedules to be given on a much more individualized schedule (based upon family history for developmental disabilities, etc.) rather than "one-size-fits-all." What's that? Is that common sense I hear?

So.........I don't get it. But whatever Dateline executive determined the final comment that would be aired on Sunday night? They missed the boat!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

And open discussion........I hope

This Sunday night, Dateline on NBC is airing a show titled "A Dose of Controversy." The topic is vaccines, and the controversy of whether they do, or do not, cause brain injury. (I refer to "brain injury" because I think too many people turn off the information when you refer only to autism as "this-doesn't-apply-to-me." We are barraged by so much information from the media that we can't absorb it all. But vaccines and brain injuries.........that applies everyone. Even if you don't have a child or loved one afflicted with a brain injury, as a taxpayer, you are going to be supporting millions of children in the future that are afflicted with brain injuries. Like it or not. Okay........getting off my soapbox.)

I encourage everyone to tune in. This is a highly-emotional issue for some, and a non-issue for many others. I find that many people are aware that there IS a controversy, but don't know the details behind it. I also find that a lot of a people with children born prior to the mid-1990's, or people that just blindly do whatever the doctor tells them to do, don't realize how the sheer number of recommended vaccines sky-rocketed around 1993. And then there is the issue of common sense (and I myself am at fault for this one). Why are we giving newborn babies a vaccination on their first day of life for a sexually-transmitted disease when their mother tests negative? Hmmmm.........We all need to be asking these questions!!???

I hope that Dateline presents the issue in an open manner. I feel strongly that the American public needs to be provided with both sides of the issue, and allowed to make their own decision.

If you have children or grandchildren, or hope to have children or grandchildren at some point in the future, please tune in. Follow this link for more information: //

Monday, August 24, 2009

Football football football

My boys eat and breathe football.......all three of them. High school football practice is in full swing, and Dane and Mike (as an assistant coach) are both up to their eyeballs and enjoying it to the utmost. Our head coach is new this "import" from California.....and he's making some BIG changes to the program. Not a bad thing at all, but there is lots to learn and football talk dominates our dining room table once again. Grant is the temporary wanna-be football player, but only until Junior High practice starts on September 2nd. Until then, he is running daily to get into better shape in anticipation of his fun to come.

One of the changes that our new Coach Cavender has made is that the high school team is doing some serious hitting in practice. For most football programs, this is a "duh" comment, but our previous coach was always concerned about our limited team numbers and strictly curbed the contact in practice to prevent injuries. In any case, Dane is in the height of his glory. For such a docile kid off the field, he dreams of being a one-man-bulldozer in helmet and pads. Odd......but after 4 years, I think I'm used to it. It doesn't surprise me anymore...

We've got a whole team of kids trying to "impress" the new coach. Okay.........thats pretty understandable. But its amusing in an odd way to hear them talk about who "creamed" someone else the hardest at practice. After several years of only getting to really experience contact in game situations, they're enjoying smashing each other. Ugh.........boys!! Dane ended up against "The Freight Train" today and got flattened pretty good twice, before the coaches told the larger boy that they didn't need any concussions. Dane is laughing about it, and rather enjoyed the opportunity to face down this particular kid. I think he's crazy! If this boy ran at me, I'd either sit down or run the other direction. He's HUGE!

But I enjoy listening to our house filled with enthusiasm. I'm sure that by late October I'll be sick of football.......if it takes that long. For now, I'm just enjoying them enjoy something they enjoy. :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Its been another busy week around here, so this morning I headed out to the barn for a long therapy session via horseback. Perfect day for it! Sun out.......but not too warm. My horse was as delighted as I was to be heading out and we went forever. All alone........just the two of us on winding trails, up hills and down hills, along meandering creeks, an d through wide-open meadows. Even the elk were nowhere in sight, which was nice, since Yodi is rather afraid of them.

In any case, we returned to the barn almost two hours later with the cobwebs blown out of both of our brains. I was congratulating myself on what a terrific horse I have, and feeling very grateful for his ability to just GO. No fanfare........he just puts his ears forward and happily goes down the trail. If you are a horse person, you know the sheer value in this statement and how rare it can be!

I got Yodi unsaddled, cooled off, brushed out, and turned out in his paddock. All was good. And then, less than 15 minutes later, he pulled an extremely stupid stunt with a fence and is now missing a 1 inch x 6 inch piece of skin on his left hindleg. I'm glad that I was still at the barn, so I could bring him back in, doctor him up, and stall him for the rest of the day. I briefly considered calling the vet, and then realized that there wasn't enough skin left to stitch together, so the vet wasn't going to be able to do anything to him that I couldn't do myself. I guess that's where my years of experience with horses pay off.......the ability to not get too rattled by a little blood and make a rational decision about treatment. I can certainly clean and bandage a wound as well as the vet, so there's really no point in spending the money for a Sunday outcall and all that goes with it.

So........I'm probably looking at about two weeks of wound care and bandages. The part of his leg that he scraped is right against the bone, so there isn't really any muscle of soft tissue to injure. I guess I should be thankful of that, but still..........he earned himself a few weeks of vacation and I will go through enough bandaging supplies to fill a landfill. We're at the height of "fly season," so even when it is scabbed over, it will need to be bandaged to keep the flies off of it.

Good grief..................

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Where did my summer go? Part Deux

Okay.........I am sheepishly posting a follow-up to this afternoon's rant. You see........I am basically a pretty black-and-white person. Hence, the following sampling of my rules of life:

1) If you live in Florida, you have to expect hurricanes from time to time. If you don't like hurricanes.......move.
2) If you choose to dress and speak like an ignorant hoodlum, people will generally treat you like a.........well........ignorant hoodlum.
3) If you break the law, you deserve to be caught, so don't whine to me about your financial situation if you just spent a ton of money trying to get out of parking tickets, DWIs, blah blah blah.

You get the idea. My list goes on and on. Bottom line...Actions have reactions. Consequences. All that jazz.

But lastly, if you choose to have four children and be self-employed, you're bound to be a little busy and don't have a lot of room to whine.

Sigh. My pity part is over. Onward and upward. :) Thanks for listening.

Where did my summer go?

Has anyone seen my summer? Anyone? I was supposed to have all this FREE TIME this summer to do things...........lazy sit in a lawnchair......and read books........and play.........and do nothing.

I know I should feel grateful to have an active busy life, but some days......I struggle with it. Today is one of those days. I think sometimes I have an "anger management" problem with my lack of leisure time. I get very annoyed at my lack of time to do leisure-type activities. I find myself laughing (in a non-amused way) at people without children at home, careers, special-needs kids, etc. that THINK they are busy, and then proceed to tell me how they cooked some yummy-yummy dinner the other night that involved seemingly hundreds of steps. Have you ever been grocery shopping with one of those people? They carefully PLACE things into their cart and walk casually down the aisles. Now me? Grocery shopping should be considered careening around obstacles (people) while armed with a cart. During which time period, I hastily hurl things in the general direction of said cart on the off-chance that some of these things will be eaten by myself, my husband, and/or my children in the coming days. "Meal planning" is a joke. There are meals fed at my house at regular intervals, but the "plan" part is a little lacking. Unless your idea of "plan" involves the 10-20 minutes before consumption. And I have to plan ALL of my drives anywhere from Point A to Point B to Point C to eliminate unnecessary trips anywhere. There is no time for error. For example, if I'm headed to the day care to pick up girls, it also involves running by the bank, the post office, the school, etc.--All on a carefully-executed path to minimize time-consuming parking problems, notoriously-long traffic lights, and slow-moving people.

This is pretty much the norm for me------24/7/365 days per year. Thank heavens I am self-employed. I would never accomplish a days list of tasks on an 8-5 schedule without room to add in the orthodontist, occupational therapy, speech therapy, dentist, pick-up and drop-off from ball practices for boys, ya da ya da ya da. There is not a boss in the world that could accomodate that much vacation and sick leave. Period.

But this least I have had Yodi. God has smiled upon me, and I have no cell phone reception at Misty Valley Stables. Which means that when I run away to my horse.......I am totally 100% with my horse. :) I saddle him up and we disappear into the hills. Only to be seen or heard from when I choose to return. Or I show up very late or very early at the barn and hope that nobody else is around. And then I use the "quiet time" to soak in the smells and sounds of horses--like therapy.

So enough of my whining. I have chosen my path in life, and life is good. I have four great kids, a great husband, a beautiful home, a business that is sometimes more successful than I would prefer (but better than the other option--"Welcome to McDonalds! How may I help you?") horse.