Friday, September 28, 2007

not again

this post will be a rant. this is your one and only warning on that.

they discovered more lead in toys made in china. these toys are thomas the train toys. thomas the train is a big hit with children with autism. they like the fact that thomas and the other trains don't show much emotion in their faces. it makes it easier for them to relate to the characters because people with autism don't often "get" facial clues.


children with autism are more prone to getting lead posining because they are so habitual. take the silent prince who gets 80-90% of his sensory information from his mouth. everythingnew he gets he flicks and tastes. add to this the fact that lead paint tastes sweet.

what the hell do these people think they are doing? and what the hell are we doing buying so many things from a place that doesn't care about its people or the people of other countries?

am i generalizing? no, i am ranting! (ok, that's 2 warnings.)

my mother-in-law (hi, mom) has already announced that she will not be buying any toys for christmas this year. and that's just fine with me. the kids certainly don't need any more toys, but the fact that anyone has to make that decision frustrates me to no end.

ok, i feel a little better now.

God's peace y'all

Saturday, September 22, 2007

i LOVE 69

ok, first get your heads out of the gutter.

and i was born in 1970 so it has nothing to do with the year.

69 refers to the silent prince's body burden lead level.

it's been almost two years since he was first diagnosed with lead poisoning at which point the lead level in his blood was close to 60 (at a level of 70 or higher they talk about brain damage and fatalities) and his body burden level (the lead in his bones and soft tissues) was over 500.

this past week i took him for his blood test to see if the iron treatments we've been giving him helped move some of the lead from the bones and soft tissues into his blood. the brave boy didn't even flinch when they stuck him. he even laughed for the women drawing his blood. two days later we got a call from the lead clinic saying that his blood level had gone from a 29 to a 32 and that his body burden had gone from 102 to 69!

his blood level still isn't high enough to treat him, but this is the lowest his body burden has been ever!


God's peace y'all

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

where were you when...

oj simpson is back in the news. i've only caught bits and pieces of the many and various charges that have been brought against him. i commented to hubby last night that clearly what goes around comes around.

then today i read $2 who had this to say... and i think he is right. let's not give this man anymore of our time. let the authorities do their job and let us leave him to obscurity.

except that this got me to thinking. i always believed him guilty. not because of his race, but because it was clear that he was an abuser and abusers will often times kill those they abuse. the true sin of racism is that it corrupted his murder trial and inflicted new wounds on race relations back in 1994 when it was taking place.

i was in seminary during the trial and watched almost none of it, except what i couldn't escape. i worked in the refectory where we students and faculty ate our meals and remember clearly playing the radio as loudly as we could so that we could all hear the verdict before praying and sitting down for lunch. i think i was the one to pray, though i don't remember what i said.

not long after the faculty at the seminary decided we needed to have some special classes on race and i attended a forum where students and professors talked about the issues with race and racism. one of the professors, who was running the forum, introduced the topic by saying something like this:

"my generation is defined by the question, 'where were you when kennedy was shot?' this generation will be defined by the question, 'where were you when the oj verdict was read?'"

i thought it was a terrible question to be defined by. and then of course we inherited a new question in 2001, "where were you when the towers fell?"

which all begs the question, why can't we be defined by the positives that take place in our world? is it because we have so very few? is it because we disagree on what the real positives are?

can we not be determined by events like the berlin wall falling (anyone remember where you were that day?) or what you were doing during live aid?

i'm a firm believer in the power of positive thinking. i'm an ever firmer believer in the power of positive doing. and while people often come together in the aftermath of tragedy wouldn't life be better if we came together before tragedy struck so that we can ask and reflect back on questions like these:

where were you when the levies were rebuilt?
where were you when the peace accord was signed in the middle east?
where we you when our troops came home from iraq?
where were you when the law was signed that all children have health insurance?
where were you..?

God's peace y'all

Monday, September 17, 2007

i got mooned

well, not really. this weekend was the annual harvest moon festival here in town and for the second year we had a booth at the fair.

last year our tent was right next to my chiropractor's booth. which was cool because they are cool people. this year, for electrical reasons, her tent was a few spots down from us and we were next to the mormons.

yes, the mormons.

who also needed electric and so i really don't understand why my chiropractor couldn't have occupied their space. it also puzzled me because the person who organizes the fair told me last year that he doesn't like to put two booths "selling" the same stuff right next to each other.

on the first day of the fair another pastor from town was walking around with two of her kids and i mentioned this fact to her. she wondered if they were put there purposefully so that my lutheran booth could counteract their booth. whatever the reason, it was weird to have them right next to us.

now, don't get me wrong. i am trying not to be judgemental, but i often hope that this particular group of people is very suprised when they get to heaven and discover they weren't quite right about a lot of things. (this is not to say that i expect the same won't happen to me.)

it was an odd thing to be neighbors. the first day i introduced myself as pastor cats from the lutheran church. and they (who couldn't have been more than 21 at best) introduced themselves as elder so and so and elder so and so. i told hubby later that i find it interesting that the mormons only seem to pick the best looking boys, which meant they were nice to look at although i kept wondering what kind of underwear they had on.

i also realized that while i am pretty good at small talk and not necessarily good at talking to strangers about God, that they are really bad at small talk but very good at talking about God as evident in this conversation.

cats: "so where are you both from."
elders so and so: "utah."

cats: "and how long have you been here?"

elders so and so after commisterating and doing some mathmatics: "about three years."

cats: "do you like it here?"

elders so and so: "it's nice."

cats, pausing to see if they want to ask anything about her.

elders so and so: "do you know anything about our church?"

cats: "a little bit." very short pause. "well, it was nice talking to you, i'd better get back to my booth."

while they sat on the curb i asked if they wanted a chair. i had an extra. nope, they were fine. later i asked if they wanted lollypops since the day was getting long and not many people seemed interested in either the mormons or the lutherans and i was told they had apples.

"you're so good." i told them.

i'll be honest and say i don't consider mormons to be christians. they have enough vast theological differences from the basic christian dogma for me to make that assertion. i would be more comfortable with the idea that they are a seperate religion than with the idea that they are a seperate sect of the religion.

i did get a kick out of all of it, especially when a reporter i've worked with in the past from one of the local papers stopped by and made this astute observation: there are some really interesting dichotomies at work here, she said. the fried food cart was opposite the booth for balanced body wellness center (my chiropractor), the old bitties who sold the crocheted goods were next to the sorority sisters whose combined age wasn't as much as the amount of years that the old bitties had been going to the harvest moon fair.

all in all it was a weird weekend which ended in complete exhaustion and a real desire for a vacation which i have no time left to take, but at least i got my fried dough with hot apple topping and whipped cream. mmm, fried dough.

God's peace y'all

Thursday, September 13, 2007

one in 94

last night at about 10pm my phone rang. rarely, if ever, does my phone ring that late at night. as i reached for my purse to fish it out i looked down at my jammies and hoped it wasn't someone from the church to say there was terrible accident and could i come to the hospital to pray.

but it was my teacher-friend (tf) who had earlier yesterday watched a story on the news about autism. she often calls when she sees something pertinent to my family's situation on the tv so that i can check it out.

apparently, governor corzine (NJ-D) just signed a bunch of bills into laws having to do with autism. why? because while the national autism rate is 1 in every 152 children new jersey's rate is 1 in every 94 children.

this is pertinent to me because both kids were born in new jersey and the silent prince was diagnoised with pdd-nos (pervasive developmental disorder - not otherwise specified). pdd-nos became autism when we moved here and finally saw a developmental doctor.

i did some googling this morning and found this article about what took place.

first, it made me happy that i voted for corzine back in the day. my tf told me that he had said something to the effect of not being this affected by events since 9/11.

the new laws include helping doctors make earlier diagnoses and putting money and programs into place for children with autism who eventually become adults and are left-behind by the school system.

these two things, in and of themselves, are almost enough for me. it takes long periods of time to even get to see a specialist who can give an autism diagnosis (sometimes over 1 year) and i worry about what will happen to my silent prince once he is 21 and can't go to school any longer.

secondly, it broke my heart. hubby and i always joked that we hated the fact that are children are from new jersey. (growing up in philadelphia can give you those feelings about new jersey.) i know that i can't ask questions like: what if he hadn't been born in new jersey? because that's just a dumb thing to do. i can however be frustrated by the fact that so many children from new jersey are autistic.

and that's exactly how i feel.

God's peace y'all

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

the day after

6 years ago, yesterday, i remember finally leaving work and going home to see what had happened. i had only heard the reports on the radio and from the people who showed up at church needing to pray. (tuesdays were typically my day off, but i had to attend some meeting early that morning and had decided to make it a work day.)

last night as i flipped channels on the tv i remembered that 6 years ago it was a struggle to watch tv... especially the day after and the day after that. it seemed like weeks went by before there wasn't a constant focus on the pictures of those planes hitting the towers and people jumping to their deaths from burning buildings.

my favorite television moments after were the emmy's. ellen degeneres hosted and started off by saying that the best way to deal with our enemies was to have a gay woman hosting. and then later steve martin jumped up to accept someone else's award because he was tired of people not being there to accept them on their own.

i didn't watch any of the specials or news remembrances yesterday. i couldn't bring myself to do it. i suppose it stems from those days of not being able to get away from it in the one thing that is an escape (television.)

but i did remember and i know that for some people that day still hasn't, nor will it ever, truly be over.

God's peace y'all

Sunday, September 09, 2007

he was in the basement

first, the irony: yesterday we attended a local fair and the police were there offering fingerprinting and child information packets for kids and i had the silent prince fingerprinted.

now, the story:

sunday afternoons are family time for us. either my parents come the 25 minutes to our house or we travel the 25 minutes to theirs. since they happen to have central air and it has suddenly turned hot we made the decision to head to their house today.

the silent prince has a wonderful time at his grandparent's. he has the full run of the house and grandmom is constantly feeding him all sorts of goodies. we usually know exactly where he is just by listening for the sound of a bouncing ball on their hard wood floors (we still have hope for the nba someday because he dribbles like a pro).

we had a great dinner out on the back deck and the prince and princess kitty enjoyed ice cream treats (as did their mom). after we had filled up on grandmom's cooking grandmom took the kids in for a bath (i always pack the bedtime clothes for the ride home), hubby went to make his sunday call to his mom and grandpop and i enjoyed a few minutes sitting outside and talking before cleaning up the mess from dinner.

by the time the kids were out of the tub and dressed, hubby was off the phone, and the dishes were in the dishwasher it was time to hit the road. sunday is afterall a school night and it takes 25 minutes to drive home.

somewhere in the midst of collecting all our things the grownups all wound up in the back of the ranch-style house that my parents own and hubby asks: "where's the silent prince?"

we listen for the sound of a bouncing ball and hear none and begin to move through the house. my dad hits the kitchen first... the back door is unlocked... it is dark out... the silent prince is nowhere to be seen.

we all run out the door. hubby and the princess kitty make a dash into the neighbor's yard. the yards are all open and the silent prince likes to make life difficult by taking off towards the fish pond at the neighbor's house two doors down.

but we can't see, because it is dark. the prince doesn't talk and so he won't answer us if he hears us calling his name. he also thinks running from us when we chase after him is a really fun game.

i go around to the front of the house and scan the street. my father has gone back inside to look for the flashlight which is not where he usually keeps it. my mom pops her head out the front door and i tell her to check his favorite hiding places in the house once more. (one time he hid in the closet of the guest room for several minutes before we finally found him.)

hubby and the princess kitty emerge onto the street from a few houses down. he tells me to search the house once more and call 911.

back into the house i go, into the kitchen. my mother had looked down the basement steps, but the lights weren't on and we know how much he loves to be outside, but i am looking once more before calling the police and launching a full scale search.

i flip the light switch and take two steps down into the basement... and there he is, playing with a toy he has found in an old pile of stuff that must be going to a tag sale at church.

the princess kitty is behind me, i scream: "I HAVE HIM! I FOUND HIM! TELL YOUR DADDY I HAVE HIM!"

and i run down the steps and grab him, much to his dismay, and won't let him go. i hear hubby moments later tell grandpop, "no harm, no foul."

i can barely breathe and neither can the prince for how hard i am holding him. when i finally let him go it is to find myself in my mother's embrace. the only thing that keeps me from falling completely apart is that i don't want to upset the princess kitty any more than she is already upset.

and now both of them are fast asleep and safe in their beds and i thank God that i didn't need to use that set of fingerprints tonight.

God's peace y'all... and kiss your kids if you have them.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

sing along with me

well, dondon said he expected me to have music on my blog by the time i got home from vacation. it took a little longer than that... but here it is... a small sampling of what i listen to and sing with, at the top of my lungs, while i'm driving in my car.

and yes, the princess kitty (at age 8) knows all the words and can sing along too.

God's peace y'all... i'm going to bed now.

"and vivian followed."

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