Hi. I'm a painter, a writer and a mother of three teenage sons, one with a severe disability. This is a journal: riotously disorganized, full of art, food, children and everyday domestic events. Unless you are a friend or family member you may not be interested, but you are welcome to look. Artists who are parents may find some common ground here, as well as parents of children with special needs. For art only, see my site: nancybeamiller.blogspot.com
Sunday, May 30
I'M SO PROUD
This is Hugh's first effort at using PhotoStudio. I kept saying, "No, no, no, that is not going to... oh. Wow."
Friday, May 28
BLACK & WHITE
Is the black dog dog in or out? Both, and she's brown, really...
Friday, May 21
A friend gave me this plant and I put it in my studio, where it shines like a beacon of strange and exotic beauty.
Thursday, May 20
LIFE IS JUST A BOWL OF KETCHUP
Sweet, tart, tangy. Both fruit and vegetable. And Henry's latest after-school snack invention.
Wednesday, May 19
Last Saturday Hugh and his friend Jule were running around outside like sports-crazed banshees for a while and then suddenly: silence. I went out to check and found them totally engrossed in reading. They'd come upon a big plastic bin of children's books I was storing in the garage: treasure!
Tuesday, May 18
One of the things that first grabbed me about this house was the flourishing peony bush at the side of the house: I'd never been able to grow them and they are among my favorite flowers. I wouldn't say it clinched the deal for me, but it was one ingredient added to the soup, which added up to a "This is it." flavor!
However, the reality is that Henry adores flower buds. One memorable summer he actually ate all my daisies just as they were about to break into bloom (he is a conoisseur. He only eats them at that perfect stage of "ripeness"). So, last year, I waited and waited with joyful anticipation for the peonies to start their show, but one morning went out and saw Hen carefully snapping off the last fat peony bud, and letting it fall gently to the ground (didn't actually eat the peonies so perhaps his poison sensor kicked in). I rarely allow Henry's escapades to get to me, but that morning I was in tears and dragged myself around wretchedly all the day.
This year, I put all thought of peonies out of my mind. Yesterday I was walking past the side of the house when some vivid magenta splotches caught my eye. I was astonished to find he had left three buds on the bush and they were in various stages of bloom! Thank you dear Henry!
Thursday, May 13
That's Peter playing in the Elementary School Orchestra (he's the little blob third chair from the left). We brought the whole family despite Henry worries. I pointed out to Paul that Henry loves live music. Paul pointed out to me that this was going to be killed dead music. Still, we persevered and Henry was at least as good as several nearby toddlers. Our secret? Orange Tic Tacs, spaced out about every 3 minutes.
Lots of the Dads looked like this:
Sunday, May 9
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY
to all, past present and future.
Saturday, May 8
Or are they toadpoles? Hugh is sure they will turn into toads, not frogs. "This is the best party favor I ever got!" he declared fervently. (Yes, they really were a creative party favor!) Hugh is desperate for more pets. Henry's fear of animals and passion for the gravel bottoms of fish tanks (don't even ask) have kept us from acquiring more. Truthfully, I am not sure how long the bowl of tadpoles is going to last. Henry was already looking at it with a gleam in his eye!
Thursday, May 6
I WILL NOT BITE
While visiting a friend I saw this piece of paper on the floor. Apparently, my friend's eight year old daughter suddenly and inexplicably bit a playmate, hard and in anger, while at the playground. This is totally uncharacteristic behavior, and in fact, at first I thought I had heard her wrong! Nobody could explain it. My friend was at a loss as to how to deal with this anamolous behavior. In addition to apologies, she finally hit upon having her daughter write out "I will not bite" a certain number of times.
The whole incident reminded me that even neurotypical, or "normal", children will occasionally act on some arbitrary and mysterious impulse. Henry does not (knock on wood) have a biting problem, but I am often distressed by what I see as his Out of Nowhere impulses. It was a good reminder that, yes, he is autistic, but at least some of his erratic behavior is, well, normal!
Tuesday, May 4
I mentioned to somebody that I was going to a demonstration today and they asked me "For what cause?" I guess I could have paraded around in the studio where this art demo took place with a placard reading "Fine Art Now!" or something. This is my friend Paul DuSold demonstrating his tonal painting technique. Amazing!
Monday, May 3
Now when I say "Henry has had a meltdown" it can mean anything. He helped himself to pistachio nuts and put the plastic lid of the container onto a burner that was turned off, but still cooling down. You can imagine how delicious our kitchen smells right now.
SPRING SPECIAL NEEDS BASEBALL
What an experience! There were so many kids they had to split up into four teams. Henry refused to wear his cap, but he's on the green team. His assigned "buddy" was very nice, and didn't give up on him when he attempted to leave the field numerous times or even when he succeeded in raiding the stock of after-game juice boxes!
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