Eloise happened upon many a bird this past week, Readers.
I guess that is why this post is completely for the birds.
Our snow is melting here in Erie.
I promised no more boring weather posts,
so I'll just show you a few last snapshots of some really cool ice.
Ok---that's enough until next season.
Natalie got out for her favorite after school activity.
She loves to walk the dog.
And while we were out for our breath of much needed fresh air,
we found some really neat birds.
This red headed woodpecker was hammering away at a tree in my parents' yard.
The geese have returned to the pond.
The one on the right is pooping on my favorite thinking spot against my leaning tree.
I slithered up the bank of the pond on my belly
to get a peek at the mad pooper and his flocking friends close up.
In reality I am a mom and a teacher.
In my pretend world I am a National Geographic wildlife photographer.
Then the one on the right glared at me and honked.
He stuck his neck out in an aggressive gesture.
So I did what anyone would do,
I screamed and ran.
Exactly why I am a teacher and not a National Geographic
Natalie, Josie, and I took off for the trails in the woods.
I've spent most of my life back there exploring.
I find something new every time I go there.
This time I found these.
Now many people would think these are animal tracks.
But can we be so sure?
Upon closer examination,
and some complex discussions with my dog and Natalie,
my trio came to the conclusion that these could only be arrows
leading to a hidden treasure.
We searched the woods for awhile and came up dry.
Well actually, we came up wet and muddy if you want to be picky about it.
Then Eloise's freight train brain got to thinking.
It sped up and almost derailed.
Could these be markings be leading to a drug drop,
or perhaps a dead body?
Since Eloise holds the key to this city,
I passed an ordinance about walking in the woods past 7:00 pm,
and we got the hell out of there!
I found these robins instead,
and felt much safer.
After I got home, I got to thinking about the robins and how much I love to see them return every spring. Then I realized how little I know about them, so I looked them up. Mr. Google led me to this site.
Did you know that robins have different kind of calls?
If you don't believe me, bird lovers, click the link below.
Bird lovers, CLICK HERE
I know what you're thinking.
I can hear you through the screen:
My God, Eloise, what's happened to you?
You go beerless for 42 days this winter and write the most boring posts in the world.
Your snow posts were even more boring,
and now your writing about,
Where is your spunk?
Who turned the hose on your spit fire?
My Readers ask.
Sound the alarm, Readers!
Eloise is issuing a Call to Action.
In truth, I'm feeling a little blue tonight, as you can see.
Actually, I've had a case of the blues all week.
It shows in my photographs,
It's on my playlist,
CAN YOU GUESS A BLUE SONG? CLICK HERE TO SEE ELOISE'S CHOICE
and on my bedside table.
I am enjoying my new book from one of my heroes, Jimmy Carter,
and I am bound to comment on it later
(prepare yourself for battle Dan K).
But no, this is not what I am blue about.
I needed a couple of greens in me to be able to write about it again this year.
It's Autism Awareness month,
Autism has historically been represented by puzzle pieces.
Now, following in the footsteps of Breast Cancer Pink,
Autism and its related conditions are represented by the color blue.
April 2 has been declared World Autism Day.
Landmarks from around the world are lit up blue.
We've even been issued one more tireless spin on England's WW2 morale boosting posters.
After a baker's dozen years of dealing with this,
Eloise's eyes are glowing red.
It's time to get fired up!
There's nothing to be calm about.
The statistics are for the birds!
We should be further ahead than this!
The advocacy sure is working.
Awareness is growing.
But who do we have to thank for that?
We've been the ones beating the drum for our kids.
We tirelessly preach:
Autism spectrum disorders touch everyone.
All socioeconomic groups.
Eloise would normally make a strong statement here,
and call for lawmakers, and schools, and physicians to step up and take action.
But you know what?
I've been doing that for 13 years and we sure aren't getting too far.
Parents, it's time to take matters into your own hands.
We need some help for our odd ducks,
and we need it now!
Make connections with these odd ducks:
whoops, wrong picture---the feathery heads threw me--
I meant THESE odd ducks.
Matt Kleck can capture the beauty of autism through his lens.
Dr. Krauza will help you look at neurological disorders from a chiropractic standpoint.
I think the time has come for a fresh perspective
Ask yourself this:
What is in your control?
You can control what goes into your body.
Stop using or reduce contact with any of these:
If you light it up blue,
you better be sure your energy efficient light bulb doesn't contain mercury.
The benefits of the energy savings far out weigh the pollutants put into the earth when they are discarded?
Only a small amount of mercury is released into the environment when they eventually find their way to a landfill?
317 million US citizens.
I'm no math whiz, but that $h!t adds up.
Kind of reminds me of vaccines.
You can also control how much you let autism control you.
Take time to celebrate.
Take time to celebrate.
Rely on family
Make standing appointments with these doctors:
And don't forget about Doctor #7!
Laughter is important and always the best medicine.
And most importantly,
Have faith in him
and the many, many more like them.
In the United States alone,
1 in 50 have neurological problems or developmental delays.
That's a whole lot of twitchy.
Awareness is good.
Action is better.
Eloise urges you all to take action now.
In about an hour it will be April 1, 2014. Four years ago, on this date, I was diagnosed with Stage 3C ovarian cancer. We found out my family also carries the BRCA1 gene. Today I will wear teal to help everyone become "Ovary Aware" of another disease they have no cure for yet. Somehow, though, through fiestiness, love, and support I have been given the gift of 4 years! That's 1,460 days I have been blessed with-and still counting. I will continue to thank God each and every day. I will also continue to steal moments where I look around and soak in the moment. I plan to smile at the sun shining (hopefully) on my drive into work and the smell of the fresh, crisp air as I walk into the building. Many times it's the little things that can make our day special. If you haven't planned your outfit for the day yet, wear a little teal in honor of all the women who have battled ovarian cancer; some have lost their battle, others are fighting, and still more will be diagnosed each day. Ladies, if you continue to feel bloated, have a loss of appetite, and some symptoms of a urinary tract infection-but no infection is present, see your oncologist and be more persistent than I was. Although I went to my OB/GYN four times in 4 months, and my PCP twice, they did not discover anything until I went to the E.R. Insist on a CT scan. Have them check your CA125 tumor levels It's just a blood test. A pap will NOT pick it up. Mine came back normal. It's your life you are talking about. Until they find a cure, and as long as I am around, I will continue to do what I can to get the word out about ovarian cancer! Fight like a girl!