Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Is it easy to change my routine? See for yourself

This is what it feels like for me (an autistic person) to change my routine or add to my routine.

Reality to an autistic person is a confusing, interacting mass of events, people, places, sounds and sights... Set routines, times, particular routes and rituals all help to get order into an unbearably chaotic life. Trying to keep everything the same reduces some of the terrible fear. Jolliffe (1992) in Howlin (2004), p.137

Routines play an important role in the lives of people with autism. The everyday hustle and bustle that most people view as normal can be an overwhelming combination of frightening crowds, intimidating sounds and overbearing lights for people with autism. Routines help to create stability and order. 
People with autism quickly learn routines and are naturally motivated to repeat them. If the steps in a routine are presented with a clear beginning and end, the total routine is often learned quickly. Since people with autism are naturally motivated to repeat routines, the completion of the routine is in itself reinforcing. This includes daily, weekly, monthly and annual routines, as well as structuring tasks as consistent routines. 
A reliance on routine to provide certainty in the lives of people with an autism can potentially lead to their behaviour becoming ritualistic and obsessively rigid. This may be most evident during times of change or disturbance. If this occurs it is possible to support people away from this behaviour towards a more balanced approach to routine.

So anyway, there you go. A visual for you

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Do you love where you live?

I love where I live. I love the inside of my apartment and I love the outside yard.

On weekends and in summer I go out into the yard and take a walk around. There is an abundance of things to look at. There are a tremendous variety of birds, animals, and plants to marvel over. In spring the rhododendron, dogwood, pear tree, wildflowers, and azaleas are blooming. The squirrels and chipmunks cavort. Cows low in the distance. The vigorous rooster is crowing next door. Robins, crows, wrens, woodpeckers, cardinals, Eastern blue bird, cedar waxwings and many other birds I don't know fly from tree to tree and sing. The train hoots a few miles away. If it has rained, there might be a new variety of mushroom to observe on the tree stumps. A barn cat skulks by. It's quiet except for the birds, sounds I love.

The yard is large and contains lots of different trees. Dogwood, pear, magnolia, live oak, pine, and more. Here is a photo gallery of this weekend's morning rambles.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The weekend, coffee, and cats

The mornings are getting lighter and the evenings are getting longer. Ahhh, spring. Our yard has lots of birds and I enjoy hearing them in the morning. It's natural music and I love it. Wildflowers abound in the yard.

My morning has been filled with RefNet's music and a Sproul sermon. I also listened to Ligon Duncan's FANTASTIC T4G2018 sermon called The Whole in Our Holiness

Stop what you are doing and go LISTEN to that sermon RIGHT NOW. I don't usually urge or gush, because I know different people react to sermons differently. But this is one of the top sermons ever.


My cat is with me each morning as I sit and type or do my morning routine devotional etc. He has coronavirus.
FIP generally follows infection of a feline coronavirus, which typically does not cause any outward symptoms. It is assumed that there are some types of coronaviruses that mutate into the feline infectious peritonitis, either on their own or as the result of a defect in the cat's immune response. Also complicating the matter is that a coronavirus can lie dormant in a cat's body over months before mutating into FIP. The FIP virus then infects the white blood cells, using them as transportation to invade the entire body. Source
So a cat can live for a long time with coronavirus but then for unknown reasons something triggers the virus into its more deadly form, Feline Infectious Peritonitis. (FIP).

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a viral disease in cats which carries a high mortality due to its characteristic aggressiveness and nonresponsiveness to fever, along with other complications. This disease is comparatively high in multi-cat households as compared to those with a single cat. It is difficult to diagnose, control, and prevent...Source
All three of my cats have (had) coronavirus. Luke declined rapidly after the coronavirus triggered into FIP, and died fairly quickly after getting the disease (which was caused by my adoption of the stray, Murray, who unknown to me, had it). I've been noticing that Murray's coat is a bit rough and dull and he has been quiet lately. I am hoping it's my eyes playing tricks, or it's the change of season or something, and that he also is not declining yet. I know eventually they both will, Bert has it too, but not now. Not yet, please.


I am definitely a woman of contrasts. Found these at Kroger on the marked down shelf. I could resist neither of them.


Ahhh, slow Saturday mornings. Breakfast of cheesy grits, veggie hash with a fried egg on top. Yum! And coffee.


Speaking of coffee, I found this at the Dollar store. I looked at the price and then looked again, it had to be a mistake. Nope. It was $1 for 7 ounces. The price per ounce was less than half of the next highest item, one I had been buying for years. (The Dollar General restaurant sized generic coffee). If I remember, it was 7 cents per ounce. Coffee that cheap can't be good, right? I bought one bag to try it.

It was good. Looking up Mountain High Coffee, it seems that the coffee is gown and processed in VietNam and then shipped to port Savannah for distribution to DG stores. Um, OK, well, it tastes good and I'm thrilled to find something at DG that's both inexpensive and actually tastes decent!!

PS, I went back and bought 4 more pouches.

Speaking of buying things, The Special Store was having a 50-75% off sale last weekend. I saw on the photos they posted that they were selling a floating shelf bookcase. In inspecting the real thing, I saw that it was clean, new-ish, and heavy duty industrial (which I like)., There were three there, two black that were taller and this one that was gray and shorter.

In a 'use what you have' moment, a few months ago I had brought inside my wrought iron plant stand and had been using that as a bookcase. But now that spring is here I really wanted to bring that back outside as I am anxious to spruce up my patio area. I want to put come small cacti on the plant sand and the painted birdhouse I'd gotten a few weeks ago. This floating shelf book case was only $20 and I thought that was a deal. When I got home I swapped out the plant stand for my new book case.


Speaking of using what you have, I had taken down a hanging quilt I'd had up for ten years in order to put a painting there instead. Yes change happens slowly in Casa Prata. What to do with the lovely hanging bar so it doesn't get lost or I forget about it? Oh, use it to solve another problem. I'd somehow accumulated a lot of bracelets. This is what I did with the bar:


I plan to stay quiet today. Next week will be a bit busy as we begin a mandated statewide grade level test for 3-8th graders. I am proctoring. Today I will stay in, nap, read, and write some more. Lucky me, this is exactly what I love to do. About only 30 more days of school with the kids, so soon enough I'll have the summer off to do this every day, not just Saturdays. Have a good weekend everyone!

Friday, April 06, 2018

Murray's napping routine

When I'm home on weekends or on Spring Break, Murray, my younger cat, has a routine. He likes to arise with me from bed, where he sleeps at my feet atop the covers. I feed him and Bert in the morning so they enjoy their breakfast. Murray is an active cat and he marauds all night. He goes from window to window, spying out the nocturnal animals. he checks all the corners, crunched up leaves he might find on the rug or on my shoe I'd tracked in from outside, or chase moths or even invisible insects only he can see. He plays with his ball. I find it in different locations in the house.

But after breakfast, he's tired. He wants to be with me some more though, which is wonderful. As sit down at the table where my laptop is, with my coffee, he leaps on the table and lays down in the cat bed I have there behind the computer. He gazes at me a while (I feel so adored!) and then he curls up and naps.

I browse the internet, type, and read. He snores. It's nice.

Murray has always enjoyed sleeping under the bed covers. He likes his head covered. Sometimes he snugs his head under my arm, or pushed it up under my hand. But the bed is his favorite. Strangely, he will not sleep in or on the bed when it is not made. He lies the covers to be flat. If I linger at the table too long and he has decided to go to bed, he makes some noise or gets off the table and twirls around my feet. I know what it means: Make the bed!

I get up from my chair and head toward the bedroom. He is ahead of me. He sits under the headboard watching and waiting while I make the bed up. When I'm done, he noses his head under the fringe hanging down and then noses his head under the sheet. He jumps up and chooses which end to sleep in. Sometimes he chooses the foot of the bed, where an additional throw carries extra weight for snugness, or sometimes he chooses to snuggle up next to the pillow.

In any case, he will stay there all day until around 4:00 when he leaps down to take a drink of water from his bowl, and greet the world again.

Cats are so particular about what they like and their routines. I love Murray. He is a good cat.

I don't know what the difference was between being one foot
to the left or to the right, but it makes a difference to Murray,
who always chooses more toward the wall.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

How happy

It's Spring Break. I'm off this week. No kids, no school, no bells, no duties. Just leggings and my oversize tee shirt and naps and kitties and BOOKS.

How happy am I.

Here is what I have been up to.

I have a pile of books I want to make serious headway in. Aside from blogging and answering technical theological questions from readers, both of which take up a lot of my day, I will be reading my Bible regularly in the Michael Coley Bible Reading Plan our church is doing together.

I also am 2 weeks behind in the Biblical Doctrine study I am doing with ladies in a Facebook Group. The study is authored by Jess Pickowcz, wife of Pastor Nathan Pickowicz, an author and a church planter up in New Hampshire.

I am listening to Dr Abner Chou's lectures in Exodus.

My duties and pleasures in the biblical realms concluded, I turn to the books I'm reading. I finished two of them, David Gibson's Living Life Backwards, lessons from Ecclesiastes, and Kris Lundgaard's The Enemy Within. Both were excellent. The enemy within is our sin nature, and it's a really convicting book.

I am still going through Reckless Faith and then someone gave me a book from my Amazon Wish List (I love Amazon Wish Lists, especially other people's- then I KNOW what to get them!), the book on Discipleship by Boice. I can't wait to start that today. Reckless Faith doesn't have a dust jacket, that's why I wrote the title on it. It is about having discernment.

Then there are the secular books.

A friend had recommended the Mrs Pollifax series, a grandma who winds up going undercover for the CIA, lol. Christy is about a 19-year old missionary to Appalachia in the 19-teens, a books I'd read as a teenager but missed the Christian parts. It is based on a true story but told in novel form.

Plants & Herbs of the Bible is browsable, meaning, each page is a stand-alone description of the plant featured on that page. Getting the Picture is a chronological overview of famed photographer John Naar's life.


The Biblical Doctrine books is a monster, It's heavy and it's thick. I had a hard time handling it while reading it, so I bought this:

I was worried that the book would not fit, but one reviewer said his heavy Law Books fit on it, so I tried it. For $12.99 and free shipping it fills the bill!

I'm having tea from a china cup, because it's chilly outside. After 83 degrees yesterday, a cold front came through and now there is a freeze warning out for tonight. Go figure.

Well I better get back to it. Instead of writing about reading books, I should start reading books! Have a good one everyone!