Monday, January 24, 2011

Harley's Handsome Boy

What better "therapy" could I ask for, than a "rescue", who came in the form of a horse, named HARLEY. My bird skittles died in our house fire. I miss her dearly. WE, well, I have her out back peacefully sleeping under the Pear Tree. Her little grave is marked by some wind chimes (which she loved to scream at) and a stone memorial, I purchased from a pet boutique. You may think she was "just a bird", but she was my Little buddy, and I loved her dearly.

Harley came from a home in Taylorsville GA. The man who had him, paid no mind to his horses. Harley sat in a pasture with little grass. He was under weight and very stubborn. Harley is considered a rescue, simply for the fact that he was about to be sent to an auction in Tennessee. People go to these auctions and buy horses for slaughter. Harley's hooves were long and cracking. He had a space on his neck that was bare and misshapen from leaning through a fence trying to eat grass on the other side. He was under weight, and he was "barn-sour", meaning he has not been ridden in a long time and acted like he has NEVER been ridden. He needed a lot of work. I knew if somebody attempted to ride him through an auction, he'd never make it, especially the way he looked and acted. I begged to take him....and won. Harley is now a healthy weight and his mane is growing back slowly. He has had his feet trimmed 2 times now and they look beautiful. I'm working on his "manners" under the saddle... and trying to get him back in shape. It's therapy for the both of us. He let's me love on him and I let him plow me down for treats, drench me with water after he takes a drink and drools all over, and when he opens my tack box looking for more treats..... spilling it all over. He tolerates the 400 million photos I take of him. He tolerates my hugging his neck. I in turn tolerate him doing his little bucking dances when I try to ride him. It's give and take equally.... well.... most times.  And now onto some pictures.....

Gotta know what's happening, it may involve a cookie!

Harley in the Summer....
During the Winter storm of 2011
I watched Harley transform from a summer horse to a big fuzzy woolly mammoth in winter.  He has the BEST winter coat.

Harley and his fuzzy winter coat

He also has the perfect "bulls eye" spot on his butt...
Harley is a good memory in a time that was full of bad memories.  He rescued me and Andrew, I think.......


Friday, September 10, 2010

Am I okay.... Really?

Many of my friends and family know, we had a house fire.  I have experienced so many emotions in the past few weeks, I am exhausted.  I cannot seem to get that day out of my head.  Coming through my kitchen to the sound of a fire alarm going off... and seeing smoke in the hallway - and thinking, "My baby is in his room...".  I ran to get him only to see my bed, with HUGE orange/red flames coming up from behind my headboard.  It's an image I can see as clear as day.  An image I cannot seem to erase from my mind.  The image of my bedroom in flames..... I try to remain positive about the "new home" we will move back into in a few months, but I cannot.  Yes, my home did not burn to the ground.... But maybe that would have been better.  Better to see rubble and ashes, instead of my once cute little cozy home.  My home that has been alive with my little family for the past 10 years, comfortable and clean.  Not the home I see now with boards on the windows.  The home that has the unforgettable smell of smoke, that you can smell from the road.  Some of the windows have blinds still hung.... many of my windows are bare, where my plantation blinds melted and fell off due to the intense heat that swam through every room in my home.  My bedroom suffered the most.  My walls, once smooth, are now bubbled and black, stripped of paint.  An eerie white pattern winds up my wall and across the ceiling where fire ate it away.  The rest of my bedroom is black. 

My Bedroom the day after....

The bathroom is black, toothbrushes melted down, lotion bottles bubbled and misshapen. 

Nothing was safe from smoke and soot.  Lamps stand in place like bare skeletons, or lay on the floor in pieces.  Pictures still where they were, black and burned.  There is a gaping hole in my ceiling, sheet rock and insulation hanging loose, and littering the floor. 

My bed is a skeleton.  It reminds me of a horror movie or a haunted house.  The mattress (what's left of it...) lays outside in the grass where firefighters tossed it.  The box spring is a mess of coiled loose springs... the metal frame, laying haphazardly within the bed frame.  The wood once a beautiful Deep Cherry, is now dull and damaged, BURNED.  It's eerily silent.  The ceiling is black everywhere.  The carpet is black.  There is smoke in my freezer... in my dryer - Smoke in all of my kitchen cabinets.  Smoke in my beautiful china hutch.  All of my beautiful wine glasses, family heirlooms and special things, all contaminated with that nasty black powder.  My clothes and and blankets, sheets and towels.... pillows... All smoke damaged.  The smell of a house fire is one a person will never forget.  It's not like smelling a bon-fire in the fall.... or leaves burning.  It's an awful smell.  As long as I live, I will NEVER forget that smell.  I am reassured constantly by all of the contractors working to fix my home, that we will have no trace of any smoke damage or smell when we move back in.  I am scared.  I am scared to go back to my home.  I know it will look totally different and have new paint, walls and flooring.  But that Tuesday, when I saw my room on FIRE... will always haunt me.  I can hear fire engine sirens and literally flash back to that day.  Certain smells send me into a panic mode.  I unplug things.... Look for fire alarms everywhere I go.  I am worse when I have to actually GO to the house.  I went the other day to water what is left of my house plants.... there was a huge dumpster in my driveway.  I knew eventually, all of the damaged things would be taken out.  I Never thought I would actually see it.  I stood in the middle of my driveway and saw what was left of the last 10 years of my life.  My husband's clothes all melted together, black and brown, BURNED.... laying in a pile.  My shoes, all melted together, thrown in the trash.  In the middle of all of it, 2 bears I got when I was in 5th grade.  Fine, undamaged.... laying amongst all the chaos.  I lost it.  Standing in the dumpster digging out my bears.... wondering what else is there?  Driving myself crazy.  Crying in a dumpster.... It is so hard to explain.  It is so hard to know that ALL we have, was sitting in a hotel room.  ALL we have, fit into the trunk of my car. 

I am thankful I have my FAMILY.  Possessions are nothing.... I have my FAMILY.  I saved my kitty.  It was so bad when I got him, I was unable to save my baby Skittles, my Sun Conure Parrot.  I am haunted by this.  I miss her terribly. I miss her more than anyone can imagine. 

~*~ Rest In Peace My Pretty Baby Skittles ~*~

I have pictures that are smoke damaged.  All I can do is keep them together in bags.  Some of our furniture (the wood) that was away from direct smoke, can be cleaned.  All of our food had to be thrown away.  Anything unsealed was dangerous to eat.  Most of our electronics have to be replaced.  Sure they work (some), but the soot is deep inside.... it corrodes the insides of electronics  and you can SMELL that day every time you turn anything on.

Making a list for your insurance claim is like taking your house, and trying to remember EVERYTHING you had..... after a tornado came through and blew all of it away.  It also makes me think MORE.... of the things that were lost.  Some things that cannot be replaced. 

I thank ALL of my friends and family who have been here for us.  We thank you for ALL of the gift cards, prayers and kind words.  We would have never been able to get through the past 2 weeks without you.  Time heals all wounds.  My faith in God is helping me heal too.......

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Loving my little man......

I have not blogged in a LONG time..... I have wanted to and then another thought crossed my mind and *poof*, I was onto another project.  Anybody who knows me, knows this is how I am from day to day.  It's what make ME, ME..... Anyways.  My son Kevin Andrew, whom we formally call "Andrew", has been going through some "tough" times for the past few months.  I noticed LONG ago my baby got frustrated easily, was not fond of LARGE gatherings (unless it was family or friends he knew well).  Andrew has always excelled in school, from the moment he was in daycare and my friend taught him his shapes and colors.  What 2 year old knows the color "Khaki" or "violet".... and other colors that come off other colors?  He knew what a Hexagon was, an octagon, and would correct you if you called a rectangle a square.  I figured, WOW, he's smart!  He excelled in pre-k, Kindergarten was no different.  In 1st grade they recommended he be tested for the gifted program.  I was excited, but received a letter back that scored him high in all areas but "emotionally".  I blew it off.  Second grade came and he was in a class which placed him w/ kids that were higher up in scores.  He did well, I thought.  The CRCT testing came and he scored lower.... where he had been in the highest range before.  Again, I blew it off.  Summer came and the frustration came.  Storm have always upset my little man, but now he can get on a computer, or my iPhone and TRACK radar and the directions and intensity of storms.  He'd avoid going places or outside.  He avoided things he once loved like swimming or playing at the lake.  Crying and melt downs became a part of my every day existence and his, if the weather was bad.  I blew it off to anxiety.... but with past instances in the back of my mind, I wondered.  When he was 4, my father came down from Buffalo, NY for a weekend visit.  Andrew was playing a game on the computer about trains that my father had brought him.  He was into it, we decided to go to dinner out and announced it.  Andrew flew into a tirade.  Crying and screaming, kicking... he had strength no child should have at his size.  My father is a tall man... over 6 feet.  It was difficult for HIM to restrain Andrew.  We cancelled dinner and cooked at home - I calmed down my baby with soothing words and a book.  He was fine, acted like nothing happened.  Little did I know, this was the first instance, of many to come over the next 4 years.  I enrolled him in Clash Soccer.  He even had a few kids from his class on the team.  The first day he was hysterical.  The second time he was happy, learning and smiling.  When they started to play little mock games, he became agitated and upset if he missed a goal and another kid got it and scored.  After that he didn't want anything to do with it.  One night after I tried to force him to play, he started to kick and scream, even using curse words.  Embarrassed, I Packed my things and left, as parents watched me and thought my child was a "brat", and out of control.  On the way home, wearing his soccer cleats, Andrew repeatedly kicked my shoulder and arm... pulled my hair and screamed.  I just wanted to get home.  I was scared and frustrated.  A day later he acted like nothing had happened.  I took him to a psychologist, worrying he was bi-polar.  A psychiatrist said he was ok, nothing wrong and not bipolar.  I mentioned autism and got a negative to that too.  Things stayed ok for a while.  Recently, I noticed things getting worse.  Andrew hated his life, said I would be better off if he was gone.  Why did he have these things in his head?  Why doesn't anybody like me?  I always knew he had issues with making friends but I was shy when I was young.  I still felt like I needed to have him seen again.  I took him to another doctor this time, a doctor recommended to me by a close friend, whom I trusted.  I filled out a form that was miles long with questions about Andrew.  Dr. Atalla met with Andrew for 30 minutes.  When it was my turn to meet with him (alone, which I Liked, so we weren't talking about him in front of him), he smiled and started to laugh stating what a "Wonderful" child Andrew is, "So smart and inquisitive".  I felt stupid.... until he said my baby has a form of Autism, Aspergers"... in the Autism spectrum.  "High functioning" autism.  It's called "NLD", A Non-Verbal Learning disorder.  I was confused.  Non verbal?  Andrew has the speech of a 40 year old.  Words and sentences that an adult would state.  I was upset.... Nobody wants to have their baby to have something wrong with them.  I was so confused.  I saw him speaking to me but I was not hearing him.  I couldn't understand.  I wanted Andrew to be happy and healthy.  I wanted him to enjoy being a child.  I want him to grow up have his own family some day.  One thing I did do, was ask Dr. Atalla to write down what he was telling me.

At home, I was able to look up what "NLD" is.  Reading the description, was like reading a paragraph of my son's life thus far.

**Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD), also called Nonverbal Learning Disability, is a developmental disability which all too often goes undiagnosed. Individuals with this potentially debilitating disorder generally suffer in silence. 
The term Nonverbal Learning Disorder/Disability is actually quite misleading.  highly verbal, with their areas of deficit being in the nonverbal domains.  
They are often bright, sometimes incredibly so. As young children they may actually be targeted as gifted, due to their mature vocabulary, rote memory skills, and apparent reading ability.  

However, parents likely realize early on that something is amiss. As preschoolers, these youngsters probably have difficulty interacting with other children, with acquiring self-help skills, are not physically adept, are not adaptable, and present with a host of other troublesome problems that are of concern, but not alarming.  
In all likelihood, the children bump along (figuratively and literally) through their early elementary years, handling the academic demands fairly well, except when their fine motor difficulties get in the way, or they fail to attend to a math symbol calling for addition or subtraction, or some other subtle symptom of their disorder derails them.   

As these children enter the upper elementary grades or begin middle school, they are left to handle more tasks on their own. Things rapidly begin to deteriorate. They get lost, forget to do homework, seem unprepared for class, have difficulty following directions, struggle with math, can't read their social studies textbook, can't write an essay, continually misunderstand both their teachers and their peers, and are often anxious in public and angry at home. They are accused of being lazy, rude, uncooperative, and worse. Nothing could be farther from the truth! They are hardworking, persistent, goal-oriented, and incredibly honest. They have NLD.**

I recently purchased a book online about NLD.  I have 2 so far and they both state kids go undiagnosed until the age of 8 or 9, because of the way this disorder progresses.  I currently have Andrew scheduled for more appointments.  I contacted his school so he could be placed in a class that can understand and help him better.  I have a tough decision regarding medicine.  Some days I am totally against it, but after this last week, I really have to decide what is best for my little man.  The first week of school was rough. I had a lot of anxiety and meltdowns to deal with in the morning and of course before bed time.  It's hard seeing your baby go through so much.  It kills me to see him ask me to "fix" him.  It's a work in progress.  I have a friend helping him through "Equine Therapy", often called "HIPPO Therapy".  The first time we went, I figured it was a no-go.  But I was shocked to see my little man hop right on the horse, no saddle either, BAREBACK (after my friend's daughter Sabrina did it.... he likes her a lot, she's 18 and the one that's helping us).  I almost cried.  And of course I have pictures.  Even got a small video (man I love my iPhone 4 - Thank you Apple!).  I still have much of my things from when I had my horses.  I knew I saved it for a good reason.  I Made Andrew a basket with all the brushes and combs to help groom "Sid".  I have halters and leads for him and 2 bridles.  I don't know who's more excited!  

I don't blog in months and when I do.... it's a novel.  This is info about my baby.  There's nothing "wrong" with him.  He's not damaged.  He is not "violent".  His little brain is simply wired differently.  Andrew is very loving and affectionate.  He's very sensitive.  Andrew loves hugs and kisses (especially giving them!).  Andrew loves to learn... He can tell you anything about the Titanic.  If you are planning a vacation, he'll tell you the weather for the next week (and be eerily right on 9 times out of 10).  Andrew loves technology - he can play a video game and beat it faster than some older kids.  He has a scalp sensitivity.... and a very sensitive sense of smell (something I noticed but never thought much of).  But all in all he's a typical 8 year old.  People hear Autism and Aspergers and think that the child is hopeless or violent.  Andrew has a chance at a happy and healthy life.  I am doing everything I can to make it that way.  He's going to grow up and be successful.  In fact...... I'm pretty certain he's going to replace Glenn Burns on Channel 2 News.  = )

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Where to Start?

I sit around sometimes and I have all these Great things I would like to Blog about.... then my little scattered brain finds other things and I am off in another direction. Usually I find Face Book.... I like to read about other people from school... and friends at work, and my family scattered all over the United states. I love to look at family photos. I look forward to reading the blogs I follow on here too.

One thing I have a hard time with is when people tell me how beautiful Andrew is and why don't we have another baby? This is the one question that makes ME cringe. In reading a blog recently, it made me think of the thing that makes me cringe. I would have loved another baby... and a lot of times my heart aches for just one more. It's very hard for me to see so many of my friends having baby #2, or even number 1. Now, don't get me wrong, I am happy for them all, I don't want to come across as a jealous snot... it's just hard. My husband has 2 children from a previous marriage. Sometimes when you have a family that comes with kids.... the other family is not as welcoming in more kids (this is what I have experienced). The ONE child I got, was my miracle baby. I never knew that until 2004 when I Had a surgery done to see why my female insides were not functioning properly... come to find out, I Had so much scar tissue from Endometriosis, one of my ovaries was pinned down and probably not functional. Getting pregnant with Andrew was a gift from God to me... he's my miracle baby. My husband always wanted to "wait until Megan was 18", then for us to have a baby. Just to let you all know, Megan will be 18 in June 2010. I had a hysterectomy in July 2005. Had I waited.... had Andrew waited... I would have no baby. God knew I needed to have Andrew when I did.... it was in his plans for me. I know every day I am blessed when I see my little boy. I think back to tims in the beginning, certain people said to my husband, "You don't need another kid... you got 2 already", and that hurt me... I had a precious baby growing inside of me, healthy and perfect. And now that he is here he's loved but always on the back burner in a lot of ways... I love him more than anything. Having a child is a whole new way of seeing love. I Never know I could love somebody so fast and so hard, as I did when I saw my baby boy looking up at me at 5 minutes old. I felt so blessed the first time I saw him on an ultrasound, I was 7 weeks pregnant barely... I saw his little heart fluttering away - The most amazing sight and sound, filled my heart with love. I was officially a MOMMY.

I am officially now a GRANDmommy. I know MIchael is my my biological son, but to me, Rylee is my Granddaughter, and Andrew, is "Uncle Andrew"... something he doesn't like... he said he's too small to be an uncle. Rylee adores him... and his every move. She will be a year in March, where does time go? My baby is 8. My husband and I will be married 10 years on February 26th, 2010. I know I am truly blessed. We have had a rough 2009 but I have a feeling 2010 will be GREAT....

Maybe I can eve get on here more. I know certain people on here do Inspire me. Thanks Ashly :)

More soon!  (P.S. Am I missing the spell check on here?  I can't find it anymore??  So please excuse any errors ; )

Rylee Alexa 10 Months

And our new Baby.... Spencer Hutchings

Monday, December 21, 2009


Where do I start? Christmas time and the holidays in general, have always been a difficult time for me. Well, let me rephrase that... I think after I got older and stopped staying with my father for Christmas, I truly started to miss that BIG family gathering I got so used to. It was how predictable things were - The Buffalo Snow, seeing my friends again.... a warm toasty fire in the fire place... seeing the HUGE Christmas tree my dad got every year (sometimes so big he had to tie it to the stairs, and my aunts and uncles on my dad's side and of course my Grandpa O'Brien. My grandfather was a big tall man, and he had an "iron finger" he loved to tickle us with... but it hurt more than tickled. = ) I never told him. He passed away in November 2007 - and this year, as with every year, I pulled that ornament out of the box and hung it on my tree. A picture of me and him, the last time I saw him, on his 85th birthday. It's hard to look at for me and I usually start crying, the same way I do when I pull my dear friend Luann's ornament out. She died from lung cancer, I saw her last in march on my 30th birthday - she died almost 4 months later. I never really got to sat goodbye - I wish I could let that out of my mind, but it is hard for me.... I guess the same way I never got to say goodbye to my grandpa. Now my Grandma Lucy has the beginnings of Alzheimer's... They say dementia, but my mom and I agree it seems much worse. My grandma always cooked, now my Grandpa does. She lost interest. She forgets where the washing machine is, he has to watch her constantly. I miss the way my "grammy" used to be... I wish she was well again. It breaks my heart and it warms my heart to see all that my grandfather does for her. They have been together over 60 years, married. It's true love and commitment to see him take care of her - making sure she is safe every minute of the day.

This Christmas has been a little harder than most - my husband and I Have been through a lot this year, the past few months have been especially hard - my main goal is to make sure my little boy has a good Christmas morning.... seeing his little bright blue eyes shine when he wakes to see what Santa has left him, brings joy to my husband and I. We have tried to buy things along the way. This will be our first Christmas that we don't have presents for each other and it makes me sad. But then I remember it's my little man that we are concentrating on and I am thankful I have my family. And also thankful we have a new addition to our family too.... Baby Rylee.



Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Did you ever notice how a certain smell or a song can trigger a memory from years ago? I was sitting at work today and a song came on the radio - it immediately brought me back to early winter of 2002 when my baby was still a baby. It brought me back to the cool temps outside, and what the trees and sky looked like. It made me remember how sweet and innocent my little man was sitting in his car seat in the back of my car. I see him now, just starting 2nd grade.... joining the Cub Scouts... and searching the "Ga Radar" daily to track the late summer storms of Georgia, or the hurricanes brewing off in the ocean. I take great pride in all of his accomplishments. I love the way he loves to learn. I love his sweet kisses and hugs he is always willing to give me. I love the way he says "Daddy"... Minus the "D" sound... so it sounds more like "da-ee".... He cracks me up when he tells you a story and says, "And you know what?" (10 times) until you say "What".... then he goes on. I wonder if 7+ years from now I will hear a song on the radio and remember these hot summer days and his little stories and "You know what?!".... and think back of how fast time goes by. Having a child really makes you stop and think of how fast time can go by and to take notes and remember small details. You cannot get those little details back.... so enjoy them while you can.... or wait until that special song comes on the radio, and you can smile and think, if only for a moment, back to that special day.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Post... Old Post....

I had a post yesterday that I archived which was entitles "Making Macaronis and memories". I always type these blogs then decide to hold them.... Why I do that I have no idea. Anyway.... today a dear sweet neighbor of mine was literally "Kicked" out of her home. She's in her 70's and has been a part of my life since 2000. She always had me in for coffee and conversation. Her long time friend passed away nearly 3 years ago. Although they were never married they knew each other a lifetime. She took care of him faithfully as his health failed him. She thought, he was making sure she would be taken care of. He did a reverse mortgage.... and left her name OFF the home. Now Fanny Mae wants her home and her money. Juanette moved out today leaving her key in the door and her tears on the porch. They are coming tomorrow to "throw her out". But they have no idea she's already moved. It makes me so mad they won't help her. It broke my heart as she drove out of my driveway and told me she loved me. It took all I had not to drop and cry. Even though she is not far away and I can go see her - it's not the same as walking next door and seeing her in her kitchen. Juanette was like having my grandmother right next door. She loves plants and birds.... she loved gardens and the outdoors. I loved listening to her stories of her kids, her mom and her family. We looked at pictures, shared laughs and smiles.

I'm gonna miss my neighbor... Screw you Fanny Mae. Juanette's name is on half that trust and they can't sell it w/ out her signature. Let's see who gets the last laugh here.....

Over and out.....