Wendell Berry

Because this man can say it all in just a few words:

We’ve been talked out of love, mercy, kindness. We’ve got to take those things back.

For any family members or friends who might be “on the fence” about contacting their Senator about Sen Jeff Sessions’ nomination for the Attorney General — He said in May 2000, disabilities protections for students with disabilities was a reason U.S. public schools were failing.

“We have created a complex system of federal regulations and laws that have created lawsuit after lawsuit, special treatment for certain children, and that are a big factor in accelerating the decline in civility and discipline in classrooms all over America. I say that very sincerely,” Sessions said.

As Michael’s mom, I have fought for 20 years for people to respect the dignity of all people. When he was diagnosed I was asked “What’s wrong with him, is he retarded or something.” That stuck in my head and turned me into an advocate and activist. We have left churches because of bullying and belittling.

I ask my family and friends to stand with me and call your Senator to oppose Jeff Sessions. He will not be good for families with special needs.

 

Read about it:

http://www.snopes.com/jeff-sessions-slammed-protections-for-disabled-students/

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In Indiana you can call:

Senator Joe Donnelly (202)224-4814; (812)284-2027

Senator Todd Young (202)224-5623; (317) 226-6700

IN District 6 — Rep Luke Messer (202)225-3021; (317)421-0704

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What I’m reading: Hidden Figures, The Father Brown Mysteries, The Snow Child

What I’m listening to: Harry Potter #2 (yes, again)

What I’m watching: Timeless, The Return of the King

What I’m smelling: toothpaste, coffee with almond milk cream

What I’m pondering: a world in which my son wonders if it is “Safe to have autism.”  seriously , no joke, he’s wondering.

In my house: a new infinity scarf in a lovely dark grey wool that seems like it will never be done, good German chocolate, and chocolate covered almonds back in rotation. A new bed.

Life

@SenToddYoung — Let’s be so pro-life that we include feeding, sheltering, healthcare, and education for all children.

oil :: fracking

Keep it in the ground and keep our water pure, our crust stable, and our future bright #frackingfriday

pen, paper, stamp

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Yesterday Hannah and I sat together in the living room writing out our weekly postcards. I’ve decided to use mine to educate my representatives about the nature, challenges, and blessings of parenting an adult with autism.

I realize I can’t appeal to their sense of fairness. They don’t live our lives. They don’t face our struggles. Nor do they share our joy. Nor do they share our fierce determination to protect the one we love.

This first card introduced them to my family and why the ACA has ben a life saver for us. Literally a life saver.

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In Indiana you can call:

Senator Joe Donnelly (202)224-4814

Senator Todd Young (202)224-5623

IN District 6 — Rep Luke Messer (202)225-3021

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What I’m reading: Essentialism (by G McKeown), Freedom of Information Act paperwork

What I’m listening to: Harry Potter #1 (yes, again)

What I’m watching: Timeless, The Two Towers

What I’m smelling: mud, wet puppy, and African violets

What I’m pondering: relationships, truth, honesty, respect

In my house: a new infinity scarf in a lovely dark grey wool still taking shape, good German chocolate, and chocolate covered almonds back in rotation.

Women’s Rally

Why I march . . . “What does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

I march because I love myself, my sisters, my mother, my aunts, and my daughter . . . and all my “Sisters” around the globe

I march because I love our Planet Earth . . . all her waters, all her mountains, all her woods, all her plains.

I march because all people deserve respect and dignity . . . all people.

I march because to be silent is to be complicit.  I march because that is too high a price to pay.
img_3342img_3345img_3366img_3368img_3392img_3393January 21, 2017 :: Downtown Louisville, KY

plans: doing something

duckling

You know that feeling you get when you’ve done everything you can and you must simply float along waiting for the next step? Yeah, that’s me this week. I’ve made my calls for the week and I’m resting up.

I’m sorry to say, but not shocked, that only one of my elected representatives voted in a manner that helps our family this week. Senator Joe Donnelly voted to keep the ACA in place. He has my gratitude, my respect, and my support. Senator Todd Young’s office was aggressive and borderline rude on the phone. Representative Luke Messer’s office was quite pleasant, but ultimately he chose to toe the party line.

So while I wait to find out how badly this will hurt us (along with an estimated 18 million people) the first year, I’m doing some more planning. Not garden and budget type planning, but more activism planning.

  •  I joined a local activism group so I can stay informed.
  • I’m attending a prayer vigil instead of partaking in any inauguration event.  This is being held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Jeffersonville.  Taize service and a meal with others — just what I need to keep me from grief and anger.
  • I’m marching in a Women’s March on Saturday the 21st.
  • I’m signing up for a charity 5K every month starting in April.
  • I’m reading books that are outside my comfort zone.
  • I’ve put making calls and writing letters into my calendar so that I don’t lose heart and give up.
  • I’m practicing radical self-care so that I have the strength to survive the next 4 years.
  • I signed up for text alerts with daily action steps:  228466

In Indiana you can call:

Senator Joe Donnelly (202)224-4814

Senator Todd Young (202)224-5623

IN District 6 — Rep Luke Messer (202)225-3021

 

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What I’m reading:  Clouds of Witness (by D Sayers).  Essentialism (by G McKeown),

What I’m listening to:  Watership Down (by R Adams, audiobook)

What I’m watching:  Timeless, The Fellowship of the Rings

What I’m smelling:  Ayurveda Herb shampoo bar, peppermint soap

What I’m pondering: New mattresses, heavens there are tons of good options now.

In my house:  a new infinity scarf in a lovely dark grey wool taking shape, tuna salad and lightly salted chips, a startling lack of chocolate, and detox tea.

 

hope: seeds & garden

It is January in Indiana and I have seed catalogs spread out all over the table…because that is what desperate people do in Winter, we look forward to Spring.  Seed catalogs are a symbol of hope for me and I need all the hope I can get.

I had thought that we would take this year off from gardening. I had thought maybe I could travel to see family.  I thought maybe a vacation would be nice.  But the fates have conspired against me.  So not only will we be gardening, we’re going to have to go big again.

The reasons are mainly economic — if the Congress overturns the ACA (Affordable Care Act), then our son will most likely be without insurance. I spent months searching for insurance when it began to look like the Republican Party might get control of Congress.  Then I hit a period of frantically making phone calls when I thought that DJT might really become president. I knew that one of the big promises was to repeal and replace the ACA.  The problem with the plan is . . . they don’t have a plan.  “Let’s repeal it now and we’ll worry about replacing it later” is not a plan.

I had a someone tell me in November, “You’re getting your exercise jumping to conclusions.”  She was convinced that I was worried for nothing.  Everything is going to be fine.  Right.  So I’ve stayed quiet and stayed off Facebook because it hurt.  I’ll be honest, it really hurt that she would belittle my feelings and my knowledge of the world with autism.

If anyone thinks that perhaps it isn’t all that bad, I invite you to contact insurance companies, tell them you are a 28 year old male with autism and ask what kind of plans are available to you.  The answer 9 times out of 10 is “We don’t cover people with autism.”  The 10th answer is a premium so high it would take half your family income each month.

I’ve spoken with other families that have declared their adult with autism as a legal dependent. They have confirmed that in the case of autism it will remove his right to make most decisions (medical, financial, marital)  It’s expensive to do.  It’s expensive to un-do.  I’m laying it all out here: I do not want to ever say that I gave up on Michael’s potential to be independent. It’s breaking my heart to even consider this option. The alternative is simply to hope he never gets sick, never gets hurt. I’m actually much more comfortable with option 2.

Since Congress and the President-Elect don’t have a plan, I’ll have to come up with one:

1. I’m back to gardening plans and seed catalogs . . .

2. I continue to hope that common sense and compassion have a place in this new administration.

3.  And I’m going to ask you all to do something you may not agree with, but I’m asking anyway.  Congress is moving very quickly to repeal the ACA (Affordable Care Act).  They have no plan in place to help those who depend on it to get insurance.  I’m asking you to call your Senators and Representatives.  Ask them to simply slow down.  Ask them if they would want their children’s (or grandchildrens) medical care to dependent on Medicaid or to have to go without basic care. Tell them about Michael.  Share your concern.

In Indiana you can call:

Senator Joe Donnelly (202)224-4814

Senator Todd Young (202)224-5623

 

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What I’m reading:  Clouds of Witness (by D Sayers).  Essentialism (by G McKeown), seed catalogs.

What I’m listening to:  Watership Down (by R Adams, audiobook), Aaptiv (iPhone fitness app that is rocking my world right now)

What I’m watching:  The Perks of Being a Wallflower

What I’m smelling:  Ayurveda Herb shampoo bar, soup bubbling in the crockpot

What I’m pondering: If I should learn to knit with multiple colors.  I typically stick to a single color or perhaps 2, but I’ve never done anything elaborate with color.  Advice?                        ,Also the logistics of making 3 foot tall raised beds.

In my house:  Laundry in front of a fan, overcast skies, trees bending in the wind, the last of the Goldenrod stems falling into the grass around them.