It was cold last night, only a few degrees colder than it was the night before.  At least, I think so.  And the thermostat was not set particularly low.  But we shivered through supper and homework.  Julia had had a moderately challenging day—she was late for study hall, her stomach hurt during reading and she still couldn’t present her earth science project due to some IT problem with her powerpoint.  She had math and earth science homework and a Death of a Salesman test to study for, and it was admittedly harder than usual to catch her attention. Once she was working, she was fine, though her processing speed slowed to a half crawl at times.  But we got through it all. She was incredibly tired which has become the new normal more than half her days.  I’m not sure if it is that without the ADHD meds, her body runs down sooner, or that she is exhausted from working harder to concentrate on any form of work throughout the day, or something else.   Continue reading

weekend update


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CC205581-33FB-4AE4-A011-F431601D05A9Loneliness, as in an uncomfortable emotion, passes and I am left alone in the house with Julia back at school and feeling really okay about my aloneness, as in the state of being with no company apart from my own.  And the cat.  

Quick meds update: Julia is still off her Concerta.  Friday night we went to Overture to see School of Rock, a rather kid noisy rock musical with a very enthusiastic cast including about a dozen kids.  Julia enjoyed it.  So much so that when the kids sang, “Stick it to the Man” (The chorus if not the name of the song), Julia was ready to get up and join the cast on stage, and if not on stage, at least stand up and raise her fist and wave her hair.  My hand had to rest gently in her lap to keep her in her seat.  We were in the balcony which may have helped keep her in her seat.  Had we been in the orchestra . . .  Continue reading

all good enough



Just a few things up front:

Being alone with Julia for a holiday can be somewhat lonely for me. 

There are few lovely moments to lean into during the irregularity of a tradition-less holiday. 

When joy is elusive, self-pity sneaks in steals all the cookies and leaves crumbs in bed.

Totally unfair is a science project that is due next week—in a moment of pique, I cursed the offending teacher with Christmas day essay grading with only non-alcoholic eggnog to drink.   Continue reading

days 4, 5 & 6


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Weekend:  Days 4 and 5 Concerta free.  On Saturday, Julia took a 3 hour nap in the afternoon.  I woke her for supper.  She ate, did some homework, read a bit, watched half of Death of a Salesman on YouTube, watched a bit of Great British Bakeoff and then asked to go to sleep.  She was snoring by 9.  She didn’t have a nap on Sunday but again she was in bed and asleep by 9.  

She is eating.  Like a Hobbit, we say — second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, and supper.  She was ready for them all.  She went through a week’s worth of fruit in 2.5 days and yesterday, she ate the crust on a piece of pizza and said she loved bread.  She never eats crusts and has never loved bread.  Is it hunger, a desire for the physical act of eating and/or taste?

Continue reading



It is cold (but not like NYC with 6 inches of snow.  What’s up with that?). The garden has been put away. I am not forgetting to put on a hat and grab gloves when I go outside. Julia is wearing a coat (Why do teenagers think that underdressing is cool?). There is a thin coat of ice on our little bay.  There were large patches of gray, still water yesterday with just a few ripple-ly circles. 

Winter is coming. Continue reading

morning reflection



Not a wave, not everything I wanted, but a check and possibility a balance and a call to accountability by at least one house of Congress.  Possibilities that did not exist yesterday.  It is politics and you never get everything you want.  In 2016, there was nothing for me.  Today, Julia is over joyed that Scott Walker is out—8 years, or is it 28, of union busting, gutting Wisconsin schools and selling the state to the highest bidder could possibly stop.  It saddens me to see how much of the country is still red in the worst way.  Not the conservatives of my youth (that I did not agree with but respected) but  a racist, misogynist, white national basket of deplorables with leaders ready to lie and manipulate almost without reason and certainly for political expediency.  Still, the deplorables and their leaders have ushered in a wave of opposition that has been depressed and despondent since 2016 and uninvolved for a good long time.  Women and people of color have stepped up and I believe that they are here to stay.  Brava!  Bravo!  Walking outside this morning, I felt Madison breath a sigh of relief—shoulders look a bit lower, music sounds a bit more vibrant, the cold air feels a bit cleaner.   There is tittering in the coffee shop this morning and a shit-eating grin on my face.

Now to work.

peddling fish


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Last week, I asked one of Julia’s art teachers for an update on how she was doing in class.  Learning Adobe Illustrator is not second nature to Julia (or me, I might add).  The answer was that she is doing okay but not getting any of the larger art concepts.  Oh, how I wish she was.  But I am not surprised.  That is Julia in all her classes.  She doesn’t take history because she is awful at time and although she is okay at memorizing dates, people and the causes of any war, she doesn’t get any bigger pictures.

But I’ve held onto much more hope for art.  She has probably drawn more pictures and made more clay figures than any ten kids put together.  That counts for something, right? Continue reading

transitions, holidays & scratching


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F8FE9971-36D3-4C2F-9DAF-16512D3E1919State of my world:

Julia’s head scratching has not abated with the delousing and aftermath.  She is losing hair and areas without hair are increasingly visible to the casual observer.  I think she is doing most of her scratching at night before she goes to sleep and when she is alone in the bathroom.  Anxiety, habit, stimming or something else?  Years ago, the way she finally stopped scratching her skin was on a three-strike-and-she-was-sent-home-from-school program.  It was radical and it worked.  I don’t know right now how much scratching is going on at school — I’m checking.  I don’t think that school staff would be willing to put such a discipline into effect.  Of course, if it is mostly at night, that it wouldn’t work anyway. I am in full worry mode.  We will visit our doctor next Tuesday and her shrink on Thursday.   OT is working on it as well. Needless to say, I am without control.

I spoke with a local reporter yesterday about Shabazz High School and my experience last spring when Julia applied for admission and was first asked for an interview and then rejected before the interview took place.  I talked about inconsistent messages and requirements, and apparent exclusion of kids with IEPs.  I told him that just before school closed for the summer and we were about to travel, how I got a call that they were reconsidering everyone who had applied and was rejected.  (I don’t remember if it was rejected without interview.)  Julia couldn’t interview before traveling and when we returned home, I check out the requirements again.  Julia had been summarily rejected for not doing grade level math.  Neither the requirement for doing grade level math nor her math skills had changed.  I decided not to put her through an interview.  I acknowledged to the reporter that the school has been good for kids there and I didn’t want to jeopardize the school for those kids.  And yet, what of kids like Julia?  I am conflicted. Continue reading



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I’m having a hard time writing.  With all that is swirling around in the greater Madison/ Wisconsin/USA world, with pipe bombs and the massacre in Pittsburg and the killing of Kroger shoppers in Kentucky–all just in the last week–I find it hard to take the petty concerns of my days seriously. Can we all vote now or on November 6?  Can we vote for Democratic candidates no matter how we’ve voted in the past?  We need to break the choke hold that the current administration has on the rhetoric of our nation.  I’m sorry to ask good Republicans, moderates, fiscal conservatives to betray your party.  But really, is it your party?  I find it hard to believe that the Republican judges I worked for and those I knew in the legal Indy community approve of what the Executive and Legislative branches of out federal government are doing.  Or saying.  It is horrifying to see a major American political party welcome Nazis, White Supremacists and misogynists into its ranks.  It is appalling to hear a president’s speak so disrespectfully of people, institutions, agencies that are vital to our way of life.  Today’s insult, to nullify the long-accepted constitutional guarantee of birthright citizenship in the United States via executive order is absurd.  He must know that.  It is, however, a great way to rally the racists.  And when it proves not possible, he will lie and say he never said it and those same racists will believe him.  How can you stand his lies? 3084 since his inauguration, some possibly not intentional but for a president to lie unintentionally is no excuse.  It just means he didn’t both to find out the truth. Continue reading

the dinosaurs are playing saxophones!


News Flash!  Three years ago it was a Dancin’ Dino. This year it’s a Sax playin’ Dino! Visit http://www.papercloudsapparel.com to order shirts, hats, bags, etc. in adult and child sizes emblazened with Julia’s newest design. Also, for those who missed the chance to order their own Dancin’ Dino, check this out: Dancin’ Dino stuff. Paper Clouds Apparel is a great organization! They sell t-shirts, hats and totes featuring artwork designed by individuals with special needs; they hire individuals with special needs to package all the clothing and 50% of the net proceeds from the sale of all merchandise go to a special cause.  Proceeds from Julia’s Sax playin’ Dino will go to SOS Children’s Villages which builds loving, stable families for orphaned, abandoned and other vulnerable children in 135countries, including the United States.