InSanity~Normalize, Don't Stigmatize Mentall Illness.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Summer Camp Fun, Sh'mucks (Repost)

Striving for coolness

My Dear Sillies,
Please forgive my periodic re-posts. I figure that having blogged for 8 years, I've earned the rights. Some of you are so loyal (e.g., Alex), you've seen this before. But it's been 6 years and didn't get many views. So I'm re-posting a snippet from a fun (and exhausting) summer camp experience.
   They comprise a stigmatized yet ever-increasing segment of our population. Nothing but a twist of genetic fate brings on a developmental disability. (Though we are inundated with concepts about the causes of autism, none of these hypotheses has been proven.) There is no known cure, and symptoms last a lifetime.
   Fortunately, some laws and systems address this groups’ special needs. For one, Ronald McDonald Charities offers camp experiences wherein kids and adults with developmental delays can be themselves and have a great time.
   Fortunately, the campers offered at least as much laughter as they posed challenges. I was fueled by their uninhibited randomness and spunk. (Sporadic doses of hot chocolate helped too.)
Here are 10 HIGHLIGHTS from the session. [Names have been changed to protect their identities.]
1)  When we first met, camper Traci sized me up (literally). “Wow, you’re short. But I don’t mean to make assumptions.”
2) In the middle of outdoor activity time, Jimmy casually dropped onto the grass at my feet for meaningful dialogue:
“Ekxy6tynmypsi, how 'bout you?” he asked.
“Oh yes, how about you?” I replied.  
This exchange repeated itself approximately 23 times.
3) While walking to Eagle Lake, Karl ranted about “sh’mucks, sh’mucks, sh’mucks!” I was tempted to commiserate via explicit detail regarding all the sh’mucks I’ve encountered in this lifetime, but – as a chipmunk crossed our path- I astutely realized he was likely referencing those little critters. Phew. Good thing I maintained a professional stance.
4) At the lake, I laid Annie’s towel across a beach chair, adjusted the chair, and told her to try it out. She stretched out on it.
“How does that feel, Annie?”
“It feels like a million bucks!”
5)  “Okay ladies, let’s drink some water before we leave for arts and crafts,” I suggested.
“Yeah,” Carrie quickly agreed. "If you don’t drink enough water, you’ll get hibernated."
6)   As Helen dashed out of the cabin to join the group, she bounced with a mixture of cheer and hypochondria. “I need to go to the nurse! I just popped my knee!”
7) In all of her glorious drama, Traci asserted, “Girls can be so dramatic sometimes!”
      8) Readying herself to take some pictures of the, cabin group, Becca concentrated on highly scientific calculations: “I’ll take half of the group in one shot and then the other half in another picture. Half plus half equals two and a half.”

 9)  Traci advised the group on Justin and Selena:
“Justin Bieber is 17 and he’s dating Selena Gomez. She’s 18. That’s very bad. They are setting a bad example of teenage dating.”
10)   On the last morning, with sadness pervading the campsite, Becca hung onto me for minutes with a silently somber hug. Suddenly, she blasted my eardrum, shouting “Red Robin!”

Kudos to the campers and their families for facing life with gumption, love and cheer!  They're an inspiration! (I'm glad to see Camp Ronald McDonald is still going strong these days.)

Take good care of yourselves.
Love, smiles, & coolness or heat (whatever's most needed) to you.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Frozen Hot Chocolate & Spedden

Dear Silly Friends,
How are you? I hope you're managing life's challenges with your usual tenacity.
It's hard for me to imagine that the whole world isn't sweltering now - we've been facing weather in the 100s (Fahrenheit) for seemingly 89 straight weeks. Probably more like 5-6. Regardless, for you and me, I needed to do another taste test.
This time, I sampled Enlightened's FROZEN HOT COCOA.

   Pretty impressive label, right? Super high in fiber, low in sugar, fat...And only 90 cals per "serving," which means when you eat the whole thing (one real serving), it's only 360 calories.
   How'd it taste? Well, it did disappear quickly, but it was too marshmallow-y. I love marshmallows, just not when they take precedence over chocolate and replace any semblance of chocolate. Plus, dare I say? It was actually a bit too sweet for my sugar tooth. I can't recommend this one. I'll give it a 5 on a 1-10 scale of chocolate goodness. BTW, does anyone know what Erythritol is? I just noticed it on the label.
   Now, as a reminder of how wonderful Blogland is and can be . . .
   When I found an old family photo recently, I realized that I'd been misspelling my Mom's hometown. That's why I couldn't find any indication that "Speden" still exists. But, add another "d," and it's cited in Wikipedia as a hamlet (very tiny town) in Alberta, Canada.  How exciting! Yet I'm thousands of miles away and may never see it with my own eyes.
   So I messaged Debra* (She Who Seeks), who lives in Alberta, to find out if she'd seen Spedden.  She hadn't been there, and it's a few hours away. But Debra said she'd gladly make the trek on my behalf to do some sleuthing and picture taking.
   Not only do I now have photographs of my Mom's home-town, Debra went well beyond this to embark on more research. She located and sent me a 10-12 page booklet that talks about my Grandpa Isaac and my cousins' family - the original pioneers of Spedden. Thanks to her efforts, I've learned specific details about my family, my identity. (I'd never met either Grandpa - they died far too young. My siblings and I have very few pictures of our parents' earlier days. It's priceless to have this memorabilia.)
   Thank you, Debra! You're stellar! *If you don't follow Debra, you need to. Her blog is packed with fun and meaningful gems.
    We're lucky to have this little slice of cyberspace utopia, aren't we?

Class of 1948-49, Spedden, Alberta, CANADA      ^Mom, Edith Stern, middle gal, front row

Keep a smile.
May you find treasures to appreciate daily.
Love to you, my Sillies.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

My Date with Bernie Sanders

My Dear Sillies,
I hope this finds you well.
Thanks to a generous friend, who set me up with my dream man, I had a date last week...
Here we are, me and Bernie Sanders (Action Figure) pressing up against my chin flab - we'll call it some form of necking. Yet Bernie was a perfect gentleman.

He didn't drink, couldn't reach the straw.
Below: If anyone knows how to manage a lemon, it's my Bernie.
And the highlight of the evening: Bernie picked up the check. Such a gentleman, my Bernie!

Bernie Sanders, my (and his wife's and some of the world's, but most importantly my) love, still fighting the good fight. #ForeverBernieSanders #Resisttheorangemofo

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Comment Collage Starring You!

Dear Sillies,
You're the silliest, and that's why I love you.
I got many laughs from re-reading and mixing up some of your recent comments. Apologies if you're not quoted. I couldn't fit them all in.
Please be well, take care of yourselves, and stay safe.

Birgit said people (the sound not the spelling and not sure if it is a German dialect), in German, means penis!  
Anthony J. Langford said I’ll be sure to unfurl the curl, unleash the beast, let loose Ma Bruce, unchain Mr Pain, back in a jiffy with Mr Stiffy. 
 Geo. said My compliments and admiration. 
 Alex J. Cavanaugh said Hope there is a triple-chocolate cake waiting for you.  
Pat Tillett said Betsy Ross as porn star? Who would've thunk it... Gina Gao said This is so hilarious.
A Beer For The Shower said It's like that person who breaks up with you and then has to passive-aggressively say on the way out, "You're ugly and I didn't like you, anyway." Crystal Collier said What a meanie head. L. Diane Wolfe said Just be sure to put that Hancock back in its proper quill.  
klahanie said Having read this, I might just have a celebration weiner.  
Gorilla Bananas said I'm going to re-read the Declaration of Independence to check whether that's really a fundamental liberty! 
 Pat Hatt said I think one may get arrested if they parade it.
Stephen Hayes said Ha! I'm enjoying this after hanging my flag from our balcony. Elephant's Child said No points for me. I am clueless about movies.
Joanne said Ran the flag up the pole / Playing music loud with soul / In theory we are free / From a king of tyranny?
Jono said I'll run it up the pole and see who salutes it.  
Susan Flett Swiderski said Happiness always looks beautiful.  
Pat Hatt said But don't neglect to inspect before the right one you select.  
Janie Junebug said Wave your flag high and proud.
Debra She Who Seeks said Old Glory, raise it high! Long may it wave!
Lux G. said That story deserves a standing ovation.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Saluting John Hancock, July 4th Erotica

Have a great holiday weekend, Dear Sillies.
To those in Canada, keep celebrating!
Love you all.