Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Just Call Me Sharpie Girl

It's been so long since I actually completed a project it is almost anticlimactic. I started my October Scare months ago, and I am so not kidding. I bartered with my niece who is a piecer and after I cut out the kits I gave her two backgrounds to piece. She then returned the two completed backgrounds for me to appliqué. which was no big deal. It was fast, it was fun, it was easy peasy. Now why is it that I hadn't finished this baby? It was the embroidery. What is it with me and embroidery? I just can't embroider. I am an embroidery failure. I just don't get it.

My embroidery is so bad it's like a toddler scribbling with crayons. Really, my straight lines have sharp edges. How the heck does that happen? I have no idea.
So this weekend I decided I would "bite the bullet" and take my time finishing this little cutie. I just had to clear it out and put an end to this "pending" project. I couldn't move on. I had to put this one behind me so I whipped out my black sharpie (Oh yes, I did, LOL!) drew in my lines, and then stitched on the lines. Oh and if you are thinking it's not so bad...I'll have you know that AFTER I stitched my little spider legs I went over them with my extra fine sharpie and "Fixed" them. Oh, it's "Just" a wall hanging. It's not like it's some fancy schmancy quilt... a crafter has to do what she has to do, and until my embroidery skills improve (I don't really foresee this happening anytime soon), I shall be a "cheating" with my sharpie so you can just call me Sharpie Girl. =)

If you would like to make an October Scare quilt of your own, you can order the kit here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Have a Zero Tolerance Policy for Attitude

At forty five I feel I have lived a life far beyond my years. I feel that life's turns have tumbled me to where I am nowhere near what I thought I'd be "when I grew up". I studied hard, played hard and expected nothing but the best from myself, and for myself. You get not what you deserve, but what you work for and earn.

GP and I were at a local restaurant the other day and after the server had done one eye roll too many, one "What?" too many, and one "sigh" too many. I called her out. I did. It's been nagging at me for days. I can't let it go, and I know why. I have reached the end of my "Taking crap" line. Yep, I'm done

I have to tell you. I am so sick of people who think they are entitled to huff and puff at the "inconvenience" of having to write down "Lettuce and cheddar cheese only, croutons on the side, ranch dressing on the side, no garnish." I mean, really? Are you freakin' kidding me? Maybe the fact that I have spent MONTHS, teaching my son exactly how to phrase this so that he gets exactly what he wants, so he doesn't totally flip out and have an emotional meltdown at the table, has something to do with my zero tolerance for "attitude".

Teaching an autistic child independent living skills is no easy task. It means many, many embarrassing moments when the clerk stares at you with the "why don't you just tell me what you need lady, and leave the poor kid be?" look. It means you might get into a squabble right in front of the cashier because he refuses to figure out how much money he must give the person. It might mean that you hold up the line at the supermarket because you need him to count his change before he leaves, lest he be shortchanged. It's no small task. But one day I will be dead, and I know that he will be able to shop for groceries, make change, and eat out, among other things.

Children grow up and my once cute little boy is now turning into a young man, and because I have not had "autistic" tattooed on his forehead I have found that sometimes, some people, feel that they can treat him with contempt. It's subtle, but it's there. And I for one, will not stand for it. I think if more people were called out for their bad behavior they would stop being jerks. I think folks feel that they are safe hiding behind a badge and need to be called on it, so I am starting with the woman in the mirror.

The number of special needs children turning into adults with special needs is alarming. I guess everyone forgot that these kids grow up, and when they grow up they look just like anyone else, and if they are lucky, they talk and do things that everyone else does...except they do things in quirky ways.

Here's a hint, if someone is talking to you while staring at the table, they are probably NOT being rude, they are probably AUTISTIC. If someone is talking "at you" while on a cell phone, they are just being rude... see the difference? I was once at a restaurant where I actually told the server, "My son speaks English. Do you understand English?" Oh yes I did. She was some young Chickie whose every other word was "What?" and the more she, asked, the more GP flapped (stimming is an outward sign of happiness, distress, anxiety...); but I would NOT speak for him. I would sit there till the freakin' cows came home before I would say what I knew he could say. He could do it and he would, and I would not let that arrogant kid get away with being a jerk. Oh she clearly understood English, and after I called her out she "listened a little more carefully" and understood his order... I understand the need to have someone LOOK at you when they speak to you, I do. I struggle with it every day. I have a "Look at Mom" mantra going 24/7. But if the person is not looking at you, and clearly not distracted otherwise, wouldn't that be a clear sign that something is amiss with this person? Hello?????????????? The lack of empathy makes me angry.

If someone is telling you exactly how they want something, over and over and over. What would lead you to believe that of you keep asking the same question you won't get the same answer? "Do you want tomatoes on that?", "I want a cheese and lettuce salad with croutons on the side and ranch dressing on the side". So, you don't want onions on that?" "I I want a cheese and lettuce salad...." Hello? How many times do you need to hear the same sentence before your brain clicks to "ON" and tells you "This is a recording!" It drives me nuts. It's scripted language, it's obvious. It's so clear it could be water from a spring. Oh, OK...maybe not to everyone, but you really don't have to be the sharpest tool in the shed to get it, you really don't.

Scripted language is like a recording that helps autistic children cope with the anxiety of having to express their needs and wants to strangers. I don't expect everyone that I meet to know this. I just expect people who are in the service industry to realize that when someone is telling you exactly what they want and how they want it, you should just take them at their word and let them be. It's not rocket science. It's common sense.

So I had to vent and tell you that I now understand those angry old ladies that snap at people with very little provocation because I have turned into one of them. Be warned, if you are my server and you even glance at my son in any way that is not kind and caring, I will call you out on it. I will not sit there and pretend I don't notice because his life is too full of real challenges, he tries really hard to fit into "our" world, he is doing the best he can and if you can't or won't work with him, I'd like to see the manager because I have a zero tolerance policy for "attitude"!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

Are you lovin' my sweet Nellie? I think she's the bomb. If you're not a primitive lover, you probably won't understand the love of primitive portraits. The little kids with the small bodies, thick necks and big heads are not for everyone but I tell you, I have a soft spot for these cuties For the longest time I have wanted to add one to my home but as you probably know by now, my house is tiny (and yes, I do mean that literally). When you have such a little house you have to be very picky with what you put in it, lest you end up on one of next season's episodes of Hoarders. I had looked and looked and had not found one that I loved so it was put on my home's "wish list". Then, in late Winter Cynthia Ereksen posted a Saturday workshop for a "Primitive Portrait" and sight unseen, I signed up.
I've never been disappointed in any of the pieces I have painted with Cynthia and this one was no exception. As soon as I saw her I knew it was just meant to be. Notice she is learning to stitch... coincidence? Nah. Destiny! She was meant for me to paint and was well worth the wait.Isn't she the cutest thing ever? Look at that sweet little face, and her fancy little dress. Oh, I just love her. Now I just have to find her a spot in my tiny little love shack; I know there's bound to be a spot for her... I just have to find it, LOL!

Hope you're month is on a roll too. Is it really the ninth already? Wow! Time does fly when you're having fun...