A Visit to the Petroglyph National Monument on the way to San Diego

I drove solo to San Diego from Phoenix.

I made stops along the way at places that interested me

to stretch my legs and satisfy my curiosity.

Petroglyphs are ancient symbols carved onto volcanic rock. The outside of the rock is baked black by the lava and the interior reveals a contrasting color which survives in the dry desert heat.

11 miles from the Route 8 exit (one way) is the Petroglyph National Monument. It was $2.00 per car, and you paid via a cash envelope in  a drop box. There is a camp host and picnic areas, covered and uncovered. There are no facilities. It is basically a desert wasteland of hot hotness.

My IPhone shut down from the heat (in October) because it was baking.

This site is a lower elevation, so you can camp here in January if you like sitting and staying in a place with no trees or water and lots of rocks. Like you are Wile E Coyote. I bet the sky is brilliant at night and I bet it is very quiet. There are 60 camp sites. They  typically have room for drop ins, the camp host said. RVs are their most popular campers.

I parked and followed a very easy and obvious trail around the only thing to see a pile or rocks. Because I always do everything the wrong way, I started counterclockwise and that side of the rock pile does not seem to have petroglyphs so I was like yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

Then because I had invested like zero energy, I bravely bore on the gravel circle path and was rewarded at about 12 noon on the clock with some petroglyphs and then an abundance.

It was surprisingly epic. There is sun banked signage explaining geology and native peoples and local water that used to be in this area. If you are easily entertained or need a reasonable and inexpensive stop to picnic between on Route 8. I recommend the National Monument.

What does childhood mean to your autistic child?

The scene plays out a million times. Parents, the developmental paediatrician, the child who is not hitting social milestones. The tears. I’ve been there.


The advice. Meds. Therapies, Visits, Appointments.


The googling. I won’t even go there, it’s self explanatory, it is just what you would do if someone said anything about your child.

But in this case, I had memories stir inside me.

And I related.

 And I took the road less traveled.

And you can call it “immersive home based play therapy”

or you can call it “a 70’s child”

 with doctor appointments that drain his energy,
 confuse him
 and make him meet a million young OT’s that are bored and doing boring things.
 In weird strip malls.
 And crowded chambers.
 With spreadsheets and stuff you can touch and stuff you can’t touch.

And what you learn is what it means to go to the doctor.

 Instead of opening your door
 And running outside

and playing with your friends

 as best you can
 in your own way.

So I told the doctors No thank you.

No thank you Autism Speaks.

 No Thank you Autism Awareness.Thank YOU Miss Jodi.
 No Thank you ABA, no thank you trip for more testing in Scottsdale.
 Meds? Growing child? In our case, no thank you. Am I on meds? Yes I am.
Do my kids know? Yes they do. Do I grow two inches every six months? No. Is it about dosage? yes.
 Do I know what is going on at your house? No.
 Am I an expert?
 Yes and No.
I’m an expert on my child and my life and I’m fat and I’m in my 40’s and I am all done with professional advice that is not grounded in reasonable result.
We do speech therapy, we let our school help. The classroom teacher is HUGE in our world.

And kids. And nature. And loads of play.

And guess what, thanks to my sisters, my moms, Papa, teachers, school, other kids, it’s working.

No thank you, you only get to be a kid once and this particular kid, the one I have, is not going to spend the bulk of his week at appointments.

And it was really hard and wore me out and you know what is right for you.

 Don’t forget, you know what is right for your child.
Follow your heart, look at what is going on and don’t be afraid to turn that fat autism pipe off and just let it drip a little bit into your house and remember,
 every child is still a child. And childhood is precious and rare.

A visit to the Mesa Typewriter Exchange

Because I am impulsive, a middle child, did not grow up getting presents and swag bags every day of my life just for being a kid, I have these obsessions with acquiring books and typewriters. More than I could reasonably use.

I have the typewriter of my dreams, the Hermes 3000.


Sweet, right? Seriously? I want to eat it. If you scratch and sniff the picture it smells like mint cause it’s that minty fresh.

 Then I saw this sweet 95.00 electric brother typewriter. Looked like something my boys would use. Also, looked like a typewriter so thus, a great idea.
 so I bought it and brought it home, this is some of what we left behind.
 Corona. Works.
 Old school, Works, part of Bill’s personal collection.
If you haven’t been to this wonderful wonderland, please take some time to visit. But buy a typewriter because it is magical, like having a convertible.

Pley.com –renting legos

This is NOT a sponsored post about Renting Lego Sets from Pley.

 Only 7 people read my blog. (This guy probably reads it)
 This is possible the most private place on the internet.

Yesterday my first box from Pley.com arrived, They are rental for service Legos. This is what our package looked like.

 You can make a queue and request sets.

LEGO® Technic Hovercraft 42002

You can buy a set. They come in this orange bag, but I dumped it out to try to build a hovercraft and enjoyed the simple pleasure of playing with Legoes.

 I don’t know if you can get more than one set a month but it seems reasonable if I finish a set quickly that I can send in for another one.
 The first set was free, I saw the ad on Facebook. Is this something you might like?
  • First LEGO set FREE. Then $15+/month.
  • Lost a piece? We won’t charge.
  • Clean and sanitized.
  • Free shipping both ways

The lego pieces come with everything I showed you, except they are zipped into this labeled orange bag. I’m into it. I like this idea. I think we will continue.

The Impossible Sight of a Ship

Originally posted on Travels with the Blonde Coyote:

First Flight by Sarah McRae Morton

First Flight by Sarah McRae Morton. 6 ft by 9 ft! My favorite from this show.

Apologies for the lack of posts lately. I stashed my dogs and my rig with friends in Seattle and flew east for two weeks. First I flew landed in Maine to attend the opening night of my sister’s show “The Impossible Sight of a Ship” at the Dowling-Walsh Gallery in Rockland, Maine. Sarah has been making her living as a painter for over a decade now and her paintings never cease to enthrall me. I’ll let Sarah’s words and paintings speak for themselves. Here is her artist’s statement:

A family tie brought me to Maine. I have returned, following windy curiosity to see whereseafarers fed my favorite painters, find the “Grim and Wild Maine” described by Thoreau, follow water veins he coursed with Penobscot guides, and hear the wrath of the ocean on the fortress walls…

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Munchautism by Proxy or Cultivating an Identity for Myself

On August 4th, both boys started school.

For the weeks leading up to that golden day, I fought my own battle with munchautism by proxy whereby I fabricated autism challenges that did not exist so that I could have something to do with myself. For 9 years I’ve smother-mothered Brady (and Max for 6).

Boston news: Under an armed policeman’s gaze, the gorilla prowled along Seaver Street last night. It took at least four tranquilizer darts to subdue the ape.

Ever since Brady started school, I’ve been right by his side shoved somewhere in the building like an escaped zoo animal roaming the suburbs that they can’t find a powerful enough barbiturate to knock out. Clearly they must need me?

Things that I considered doing

Things that I actually did leading up to August 4th.

10. Bought an iPhone for Brady on the sly “in case he had a meltdown”. It sits in his bag untouched except on rare occasions when he pulls it out to text me or his grandparents something vital like AAAAAA akjdfld;ajdka;l or takes a picture of his open mouth 9,000 times. That’s a good use of our money. He’s mature enough for a phone.9. Drafted dozens of letters to Brady’s poor teacher who was http://www.busyenough.com setting up her classroom in a brand new building in sweltering heat. Sent a two or three or five or seven to her. Hi. Yes. I’m sorry.

8. Texted Brady’s teacher about modified days, skipping music class, skipping sibling care, getting picked up early and personally by me. Thought about sitting in the parking lot eating Dairy Queen and playing on my phone. Opted to ask my friend to drop her son off during the day to keep me out of school. That worked fine except on days he did not come, then I drove around listening to Kenny Rogers on repeat and ate Dairy Queen.


7. Blathered about homeschooling in a boring way to any adult that gave me a second chance. Told the boys I would probably keep them home from school half the week. Told them it would probably be “too much” and “better to be with me” Mr. Dreamy gave me the stink eye.

6. Overshared with Walgreen’s cashiers (I don’t drink or go to bars, so this is a my go-to social inappropriate outlet, the cosmetics counter at Walgreens or Fry’s checkout)


5. Ate 5 boxes of Captain crunch with Crunchberries. Dry.

4. bought about fifty new books and piled them all over the house, ostensibly for the boys who could not/would not read

3. because I let them play minecraft or surf the internet non stop while I ate captain crunch and stared at Facebook or piled books

2. Wore my pjs all day and put my hair in a pony tail.

1. And on the day before school, I went for a horseback ride and signed up for art lessons.

And I started the real work of finding out who I was and where I went after all this time.

Because it’s not about me. He’s already made it. I feel pretty amazing, now that I made room to let that idea sink in.