Friday, July 29, 2016

Adventures with autism

Well, I am finally posting some photos from the vacation we recently took (with Bigbig and two of our 4 kids) to Gilbert lake state park, where we have gone for at least 5 years. Traveling with someone who has autism on Jace's level is not always an easy experience. 

Jace normally has trouble dealing with certain aspects of the trip. He gets very anxious about the packing and after a week there, he gets anxious again about the packing to come home. 

We all love it there though. It is a quiet, calm place. With lots of places nearby to eat good food. Jace loves the swimming especially,  but part of the reason we have gone to this park over and over is to give him some consistency. We rent the same cabin every year and still Jace has been so upset in previous years that we thought he was sick. He made trips to the bathroom every 20 minutes one year, but after a trip to the doctor we found there was nothing wrong and he stopped doing it as soon as we got home. Other years he has wanted to walk nonstop and even though he's pretty much non verbal as far as actual communication goes, he can talk and that trip he kept saying "sad people walk".

BUT....This year was so much better. He is 13 now and we were warned puberty might make things worse, but for him, it doesn't seem to be the case. He was so much calmer this year. He didn't show any anxiety this year when we packed, and then he had no trouble on the 3 hour drive. (We have had to stop at least twice other years.) He is certainly nowhere near "over" all his autistic tendencies but he is now calmer most days on average.  

The forests there are lush 
and quiet 
and full of ferns 
that seem primeval.

So we hiked a bit. This year we only got Jace to hike with us one time, he refused the rest of the week. So I stayed in the cabin or on the beach with him more while my husband and daughter hiked. Which was fine and relaxing.  I got to quilt and read and get a tan. Other days my husband stayed with him while my daughter and I did things. 

The photos don't really show how many ferns and fungi there are....

Can you read the sign?

(The photos of Jace at the beach are stuck on my camera which I can't transfer online without a computer yet) These were all taken with my daughter's cell phone.

Oneonta is 20 minutes away from the state park so my daughter and I went to the Butterfly conservatory there one hot afternoon.  It was too hot to try to take Jace as he hates the heat. Plus we really don't take him out in public unless we are sure it is something he can handle. 

It was extremely humid in the conservatory, and there was panflute music playing in the background. The owner, I am assuming he was the owner, had a gray beard held together with a ponytail holder and he told us the names of all the birds, not just the species names but the names they gave them as well.

This little poisonous tree frog was very tiny. The owner explained he isn't actually poisonous now because he hasn't eatten the ants that make him poisonous. 

This bird is a cousin of a toucan. He let me pet him and his twisty black "hair" actually feels as plasticy as it looks. 

These blue morphos are so hard to get photos of, this one was mid flight!

I only got a gew sketches done in my sketchbook while I was there....Because I actually spent more time reading. I finished 'Miss Peregrine's home for peculiar children'. But here are a few pages from my sketchbook. Of the beach and things I bought....

And since it is Sunday, and I did show sketches in my sketchbook, I will happily link up to Sunday sketches at Bluechairdiary...
Have a good week everyone!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The historical society garden tour

Here are some photos from the local tour my mother and I just took. It was HOT out! But there were some really cute gardens, all different styles. At the first stop, a local artist was painting this gazebo in watercolor so that was fun to see. The brochure says that Rev Norman Vincent Peake often visited here in his time, spending his time writing in this garden gazebo.  

Then at the next  english cottage garden we got to listen to two women; one playing a recorder and one a violin... I don't have their photo as I didn't ask their permission.

Then this one was my favorite, I think. It was very french looking with lots of black and white. Black, cute little awnings and full window boxes, and a perfect little pergola, (I think that is what it's called...I don't know my garden feature terms) covered with grape vines....

There really was a lot of variety considering the size of the town we live in. I loved the little baby shoes turned into a tiny planter at this shady garden.....

At the next whimsical one, with at least 4 bottle trees scattered around, my mother helped by adding some garden decorations.... Crochet spiderwebs (which wonderfully and magically ended up appearing in my garden that afternoon after the tour- thanks Mom!) and crochet covered rocks.. And a wonderful quilt covered hammock in a shady garden "shed", complete with prayer flags and a copy of the 'secret garden' open to read. 

The second to last stop was a much more formal english garden with statues and a beautiful pool.

And very last was the largest hens and chicken garden I have ever seen!......

And since it is friday and I hate to miss a paintpartyfriday, here is a tiny rosy piece I painted to make into fabric. It is before any editing in photoshop to make it ready to post to where I make the fabric, since I haven't fixed my computer yet so don't have access to my photoshop. Zeplin, another of our (well, my daughter's) cats was trying very hard to stop my from getting a photograph.....

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A tour of my garden

I am going on a garden tour in my small town with my mother tomorow, so today I am giving you a tour of my garden. Nothing fancy, I would like it to be bigger, and I have plans for lots of cool garden decorations and stepping stones in between the checkerboard of boxes. And I wish it was healthier this year......It has been very hot, and  muggy, and too dry here for my small raised bed garden to be really thriving. My garden plants are much smaller than other years at this time. And yet we are still eatting zucchini and beets and I have been using my herbs. The only thing the critters have eatten are my marigolds, which were planted mostly just to deter critters! 
We live in town but near the edge so we get deer and bunnies and woodchucks, squirrel and bear.  The cats and the dog keep most of them away from our plants but I was worried the bear that kept coming around would eat all my berries. I saw him run off once when I took my dog out around midnight. And the next night he got in our garbage cans. Then a few nights later we were woken up by gunshots and men running around in our backyard with flashlights. The next morning, our neighbor, a sheriff's deputy, told us he and the town police officer had to shoot the bear that night when they saw he was sick. He had mange, i believe.
And yet while we were away something came in close to the house and ripped out one of my two watermelon plants, didn't eat it, just ripped it out. Overall though I would say we have been pretty lucky since we never fence anything in, (the fence in the photo is just a privacy fence that blocks our back yard from view from the road, it doesn't go all the way around.)

So here it is, looking pretty dry.......


Cherry tomatos

Rosemary and parsley


Cukes and my daughter's baby dragon

Brussell sprouts and cabbage

Butterball lettuce and rainbow blend carrots

More tomatos, we planted 7 types, as we make alot of canned salsa.

Blackberries, safe from the bear

Peppermint and sage

Lemon balm

Lavender, and winter savory

Silver mound, orange mint and lemon thyme

My new elderberry bushes