Friday, November 30, 2012

How Useless Was the Congressional Hearing on Autism?

Answer: A huge huge waste of time. All I saw was grand standing by uneducated Congresspersons trying to act as if they had all this knowledge about autism. I am certain all they were doing was using questions that some of their staff had prepared for the panels. Whether their staff was hand fed the questions by some constituents with their own agendas, or they read a few articles on the subject so lo and behold they were now autism experts, you truly couldn't tell the difference. Yes I know how it works on Capital Hill, been there done that.

I have to tell you though, what annoyed me the most, was that they kept asking the same questions over and over again. I truly thought we had gotten past the disproved theory that vaccines caused autism. I truly thought we had gotten past the debunked mercury-thimerisol-autism link. I don't understand parents who simply cannot deal with the fact that they genetically passed their child's autism on to their offspring. It is sad that so many are so willing to latch onto conspiracy theories. These theories get in the way of real research and real studies that could be used to help and support our children. And I am disgusted by those whose entire income is based upon leeching off of parents' fears and otherworldly hopes.

I also was annoyed by the Congresspersons who had to point out how the CDC doctors were making parents cry in the audience. The doctors weren't saying what the parents wanted to hear that was all. The doctors weren't blaming big bad pharma and some secret cabal somewhere trying to keep autistic children from becoming healthy. Yes the doctors were clinical in their approach. They are research scientists, not tinkerbell or the toothfairy. I truly don't know what the parents thought was going to happen at the hearing. Did they think that out of some magic box the doctors were going to pullout the cause and "cure' for autism?

I have to say one of the stupidest things I heard was from the representative of Safeminds. He actually had the nerve to hold up a medical book from 1930s and say they don't mention autism therefore autism didn't exist back then. He actually said that autism is something new. Never before seen in human history before modern medicine's vaccines/mercury/thimerisol use. What was worse is that no one called him on it.

Simply because there was no name for a disability in a medical book from an era so backwards that the world had not even discovered antibiotics at the time, does not mean the disability did not exist. That there just was not a name for it never seemed to cross anyone's mind, or quite frankly people could have been diagnosed as mentally retarded, psychotic, schizophrenic, or whatever they called issues they had no understanding about at that time period. They used to think that illness was caused by an unbalance of humors in the body too, should we have stopped thinking and discovering at that time period as well? Luckily the advocate from GRASP did touch on the definition of autism in the DSM4 as one of the reason for the expansion of the number of diagnosis.

I honestly found the panelists useless, except for the persons from GRASP and ASAN.  Both of whom are on the spectrum themselves. Nobody but these two representatives actually talked about what needed to be done for persons on the spectrum, especially those that age out of the public school system.

I wasn't impressed with the AIM program. I know its won numerous awards and is seen as the premier aspergers college support program. But to think that only "professionals" can accomplish these goals is false. The truth is that what the AIM program does for those on the spectrum is what I created for the boys on my own. The issue is finding the right school and the right people to work with your children. The idea that your child has to be handed off to someone else at the age of 18 is beyond me. These are not typical young people. They do not necessarily follow a typical path for education either.

REMEMBER you know your child best. REMEMBER you know your child better than any "professional" ever will. REMEMBER you will never throw your hands up and say your child cannot be helped.  REMEMBER you will never say your child can't. REMEMBER never let yourself be bullied by the professionals.

Anyway here are some of the issues mentioned by the panelists that I found important:

1. The ability to travel with your medicaid and SSI. The fact that these programs are monitored by states means that if you move states you need to reapply for benefits all over again. They mentioned how this was left out of Obamacare. This unfortunately is the biggest issue I have with Obamacare. Not simply that you cannot carry your medicaid and SSI with you, but that you cannot carry your health insurance from state to state no matter who you are. The ability to open up the state borders to insurance traveling, allowing for competition, would create a true supply and demand market for health insurance.

2. Lack of adult programs, housing, support systems, therapies etc. Of course there is no answer provided. Just a recognition that these issues exist and that as the autistic population ages, these issues are going to come as a tsunami on society.

3. The lack of vocational and work related training. Knowing how to navigate office politics and social system is very important. As one of the panelists said, it is much better to invest in the training and create viable taxpayer members of society then to ignore the issue and allow human capital to go to waste.

4. In many ways the most important, is the attitude that many in the audience exhibited. And yes the GRASP advocate  called them out on it too.  To continually talk about a "cure" or that your child is defective is abusive. You don't have to like autism. You can hate autism. I am no stranger to that feeling. But to continually make it out that your child is defective and without hope because of their disability is revolting. To continually act as if your child has not future and no worthwhile existence because of their autism is child-abuse. If a child has no future its not because of a disability/difference. Its because you as the parent have given up and allowed them to have no hope. If your child has no future, its your fault as the parent. This comeuppance was one of the best moments of the hearing.

5. The advocates did mention the financial burden on families. Which is good. But I don't think the committee understands it. Unless you live in the autism or special needs community there is no way anyone truly understands the financial trauma that we all go through every single day. Either we need money for a therapy. We try to get money for a therapy or a doctor. We research therapies and the costs. We try to figure out how to give all our children everything they are entitled to and try to figure out what aspect of normalcy we can bring into all our children's childhood as well. We figure out what we can do without to give our children what they need. As they age we also sit and look at our debt trying to figure out how we are going to pay it all off, save for their future (education and special needs trust) and maybe fantasize about retiring...oh yeah that retirement plan was gone along time ago.

So what was the reaction of the Congressional committee. Some verbal pats on the back and some virtual high-fives. But nope, no promise of support, help or of course money. The congresspersons congratulated the work and spirit of the advocates. They told them they were the future and that their passion is so important. That's all.....

Whoop-ti-do. As I have always told people. Do not rely on the government. Do not rely on anyone but yourselves to get the necessary work done. Figure out what your child needs and find a way to get it. Find a school that will help. Find therapists that get your child. Find psychiatrists/psychologists who are on the same page with you. Don't be afraid to demand excellence from those that work with your child. Remember if you don't ask you are not going to get.....

Also, find a local merchant who will let your child work for nothing, so they can learn how to function in the work place. Find a charity that will let your child volunteer so they can learn some office skills. If you can't afford a job-coach, or even social skills therapists, do it yourself. Help your child to learn the next step in life.

I know that this hearing was also about those with autism. Understanding who are children happen to be and how to help them. The family and caregiver was not in the picture.  But we are always there, hidden in the background. I know at this point in life, I was supposed to have two boys away at school and have my days all to myself. I was supposed to rejoin the work force and create the second half of my life. Well its not to be, at least right now. When will it happen? Someone day I guess. But then again who really knows. The boys still need me too much and I need to help them interact, advocate and fix the issues in their day to day lives. I need to still coordinate their therapies and work with the doctors. Emergencies appear out of no where and glitches always fill the horizon. I console myself with the thought that Grandma Moses didn't start painting until the age of 80....

So no, I don't think the congressional hearing accomplished anything. I heard nothing new. I heard nothing I didn't already know.  All I heard was that, yep, its all in my hands and I am all my children have. Like I said nothing new and nothing I didn't already know.



Elise


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cultural Dissonance: Christmas Tree or Holiday Tree...Oy Vey Who Cares

So it starts once again the nonsensical fight over words and reality. This is the time when certain politically correct individuals have major issues with words at holiday time and cultural conservatives cry "foul." ..Christmas versus Holiday...oy vey. I call this cultural dissonance. Dissonance, which means supporting one concept yet understanding reality to be something completely different. It really doesn't matter what you call this time of year, with the population of the United States being over 90% Christian, its basically Christmas season.

Being Jewish I understand why many think that it is hurtful to not be inclusive at this time of year. Calling it Christmas instead of holiday means that a small segment of society feels unwelcome. Well yes we do. I did as a child growing up. Guess what? I not only survived, but my Judaism is quite intact. But the reason I felt like an outlier in my own country at this time of year wasn't because society called this season "Christmas Tide," it was how the people around me treated me at this time of year. Ultimately it is not truly about words, its about deeds.

Example: My sister and I were the only two Jewish students in our school in Memphis, Tennessee. We did not participate in the Christmas pageants produced at this time of year. My parents felt it was a violation of the Supreme Court rulings, while teaching us to respect our own traditions. (PS my family could not afford private school. Most of the Jewish students in Memphis attended private schools at the time.) The first year that we were in our public school, my sister and I were placed in the back of the auditorium during pageant performances, not allowed to sit with the other children because we did not participate. The second year we were in that school we were left alone in our respective classrooms and not even allowed to go to the auditorium to watch the performance. Honestly this is only one little example of some of the antisemitism we faced and that the teachers not only refused to prevent but actively participated in themselves.

I personally had/have nothing against Christmas. I do happen to enjoy the colorful and fun atmosphere of the Christmas season even though we don't celebrate the holiday. I had and have nothing against Christians. My issue was with those who purported to be Christian but forgot to ask themselves, "what would Jesus do?" Allowing some form of ignorance and bigotry to get in the way of actually how they treated some vulnerable children doesn't seem very Christian to me, but then again I am speaking as the target of the antisemitism. To me, I see the attempt to marginalize me because I am Jewish in the same way some have treated my children in our community over the years due to their autism and how so much of society is not ready to accept my boys for who they truly happen to be as aspergeans.

So you see, I, as  a Jew, find it truly inane that there is this so-called "war on Christmas" here in the United States. No one can take from you the meaning of the holiday no matter what words you use. That is if you are wise enough to remember what it is you are supposed to be celebrating. In the end it's not about words, its about choices and teaching compassion, understanding and respecting the other.

The same can be said for how society views those with special needs and invisible disabilities. You can always use the "right" word but in the end it is how you treat someone that truly counts. It's what you do on a daily basis to make this world a better place for the most vulnerable that is the only true measure of righteousness.



So as you go about your shopping and preparations for the holiday think about those that are outside of your purview. No I do not mean Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, Sikhs or atheists. I mean the forgotten in our society; the defenseless, the disabled, the homeless and the needy. Think about what truly counts in this world.

We need to remember even for one day a year that we are charged with making this place a better world for all those in society. From my understanding of Jesus, I think he really wouldn't care what you call the holiday. Not certain he truly had an ego. He might have even seen a self-proclaimed holiday as hubris and rather venal in some way. Something tells me too, he would prefer that society find a way to help their fellow man rather than fight about some marketing strategy.



By the way, just so everyone also knows, calling it a Holiday Tree instead of a Christmas tree is rather nonsensical. Jews don't have "trees' at this time of year. No there is no such thing as a Hanukkah Bush. We have menorahs that celebrate the miracle of the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, Israel. We have dreidels, spinning tops, that remind us how the Assyrian-Greeks tried to prevent us from teaching our children about Judaism. We give "pretend coins" to our children, to remind ourselves how our ancient freedom-fighters, the Maccabees, had to meltdown every bit of metal in the Land of Israel turning it into swords so as to battle a stronger and greater enemy. We remind ourselves that over 2,000 years ago our people fought and won the first war for religious freedom. But no, we do not have a tree and honestly we don't need one either.








Well anyway, to my Christian friends at this time of year, Merry Christmas. To my Jewish friends, Happy Hanukkah. To my geeky friends Happy Saturnalia or Happy Birthday Sir Isaac Newton. And to those who have no holiday at this time of year and simply act upon the concepts of charity, happiness and community....Welcome to the United States of America.




Until next time,



Elise

Monday, November 26, 2012

You Know You Are Right When.....You Piss Off Everyone

Well I was presented with some truly interesting paradigms these past few weeks. As I am certain that anyone who reads this blog knows I am not a democrat nor do I vote democrat (generally). This has tended to alienate me from quite a number of people who used to follow and interact with me on twitter and Facebook.

Truthfully, I figured if my political philosophy was too much for them to bare then in the end it was their loss and not mine. Honest open and heartfelt discussion is what democracy is all about. Seriously if you cannot defend your position with someone maybe you need to rethink that position afterall.

Then of course there was the few times that I have had "discussions" with extremist conservatives as well. As I have noted they can become as nasty and abusive as any hard-core extremist liberal. Read here if you don't believe me.

Honestly I am not that confrontational. Truly I am not. I have my opinions and my opinions are just as valid as anyone one else's. I used to think that to help others within the autism community you needed to shy away from politics. But yes I definitely changed my mind. That includes autism politics as well.

Listen when it comes to autism I do tell people if I think a therapy or a treatment is dangerous. I tell them what I have done to help my boys and try to relate it back to what I understand about their world. I never ever tell any parent to try something for their child that I have never done. Nor do I tell people it is OK to do whatever some expert tells you to simply because they call themselves an expert. I tell parents to think, analyze and reason everything through. Never jump. Never be that desperate. Your child's life depends on your ability to remain equalized and rational throughout the years of "fighting the good fight"...as the Brits learned so famously during the Nazi bombardments in World War Two ...Keep Calm and Carry Onhere, here, here, here, here, here

My recent problem, among many as we all know,  is that  I am tired of people who think they can decide what is right and wrong for others, especially when those people do not have any "skin in the game." How can you tell someone else they should send their children to war if your child is not one that will be sent off? How can you tell others to risk all that they have and everything that they have built to pursue a political agenda that will do nothing to your world if you are wrong? What am I talking about? I lost on-line friends last week because of my position on the Israeli-Hamas ceasefire (I am for it of course). Never actually saw the forced-alienation coming though. Shocked the hell out of me truly. Read here for my position.

I think what it comes down to is the idea that when you are not confronted by the exigences of war it is easy to tell others what to do. Just like when you are not confronted by the reality of autism it is so easy to tell others how to raise their children. If you or someone you love cannot be harmed by the decisions you advocate then you really should be quiet about the decisions that need to be made.

I have always been offended by the Jewish-left that tries to tell Israel what her security needs should be. If you are not Jewish it may be hard for you to understand just how the Jewish world works. We see ourselves as responsible for a universal community (Jew and gentile) as well as citizens of the nations of our births. Of course, being citizens of the greatest democracy in history does make it easy. No real balancing act is necessary for us.

If you sit happily here in safety in the United States the security needs or decision of another country are none of your business. This of course does not include the problems of civil rights, religious and gender issues in any nation. There are some universal truths when it comes to what Americans believe and I think it is just fine to try to teach the world about equality, liberty and freedom. As you can tell by my writings, I am also not someone who adheres to cultural relativism. No, not all cultures are equal and not all cultures deserve respect. Totalitarian, dictatorial, authoritarian, gender apartheid, racist, antisemitic cultures are not equal to the ideals of the American populii.

So I waded into a maelstrom last week when I accused the Jewish-right of hubris and hypocrisy, similar to the Jewish-left,  for pushing the ground invasion scenario. Not a one of them, that I interacted with, has a child in the Israeli army. Not a one of them faced the possibility of fighting a hand-to-hand battle, in the midsts of civilians with the entire world ready to target you for anything that may go wrong. And we all know, in war something is going to go terribly wrong, no matter how many precautions you take. It always does. Especially when your enemy hides behind children, in schools, sports auditoriums and in hospitals.  Peace in the Middle East

Its also why I don't say too much about how the war is being waged in Afghanistan either. Yes I am an American. Yes how the US is perceived internationally because of the things she does effects me in some way. But if I had a child there it would be my right to tell others what to do. But I do not.  I will not decide how a war on the ground needs to be fought so that  other people's most precious beings are put in harms way. OK, I do think that we should do everything possible to protect our service-personnel in a war zone no matter how it might hurt the native populations' feelings. Sorry our people do come first. But it is times like these that you need to trust those in charge. The generals and sadly yes even the politicians, no matter how incompetent you think they might be.

So I called out some on-line former friends for their dare I say, obnoxiousness. Well, did they get all offended. I basically told them to stop whining. The decision wasn't theirs and they had no right to put other people's children in harms way. So no, no more tweets and no more Facebook follows. Honestly I never did understand it. The need for human beings to decide that it is simply OK to let someone else's child die for your ideals but not to put your own child at risk.

Before you ask, no, I do not think the situation between Israel and Hamas is simple. It is not easy. It has been anything but resolved. Yes in the end this ceasefire may have just made the situation worse. But it is not my decision to make. For whatever reason the government of Israel made the decision it did, it is up to them and if their people do not like it, then they can be voted out of office. Just like we in the USA have the right to vote our representatives out of office if we don't like their decisions.

So I have found myself  in twitter politics, in much the same position that I find myself in the autism community. Basically I have pissed off everyone. I think that means I probably am on the right track. Listen not everything is a compromise in life. There are rights and wrongs and the proper way to accomplish any goal. But when lives hang in the balance it is so very important not to decide someone else's future unless you are living the situation yourself and your decision has a direct effect on those that you love and are willing to sacrifice them for your ideals.

Rant done know.

Until next time,


Elise

P.S. Ten Facts about Hamas










Friday, November 16, 2012

Tired of Worrying About Words: Using Political Capital for the Right Fight

Another article complaining about the "r" word can be found here at CNN. I know that I have railed against the "r" word and have castigated celebrities for using this word in their tweets, columns and interviews. But the question I ask is when does it become enough? When do you stop whining about words.

In fact there is now some inane list of words that no one is allowed to use like "idiot" and "moron" based upon their historical conception. If we worried about the historical conception of most words in our language you can rest assured that we would probably communicate more with clicks and whistles rather than our written and oral language. Our community needs to get a perspective and figure out what is truly important. It is time to worry more about societal apathy towards our children's real needs, and stop worrying that someone somewhere may have used a word you don't like.

Also I don't care what some so-called self-advocate says about words and their usage. I don't care about politically correct garbage that has infected the autism community. What I care about is that these self-appointed autism "leaders" are wasting societies time, turning my children into laughing stocks and preventing my children from being seen as full, whole, functional human beings. Adults don't spend their time worrying that someone is going to hurt their feelings. Listen in life, someone somewhere is going to hurt your feelings about something. And its not going to happen just once.  Adults spend their time trying to create a future and a life. Adults have real concerns and real issues to deal with. Worrying about offensive word usage is for small children, college instructors and dilettantes.


Oh and freedom of speech doesn't mean you only get to hear what you like. It means you get to hear what anyone anywhere has to say about anything and anyone. It's called democracy.  It's what western civilization and western freedoms are all about.

Meanwhile you get Anne Coulter or Bill Maher to stop using the "r" word or  the "c" word  and other offensive language. Yet, in so doing, you have used up so much political capital, and exhausted your time that no one will listen to you anymore and you have no energy left. Sadly though your child still has no place to live as an adult, no adult medical care and no ability to get a job or take care of themselves. But no one is going to use an autism-community non-approved word in polite company.

We as a community seem to be putting our efforts into the wrong fight. It's about perspective and a limited amount of resources. Society also doesn't revolve around autism and developmental disabilities. There is alot of trauma and heartache in this world, each with their own stories. The question is are you really going to use up the short time slot society doles out to autism to kvetch about words or lobby for service and support for your child? Also if all you do is complain, and want and want and want, society will eventually turn you off and tell you you are completely on your own.

By the way, here is the comment I left at CNN:

As the parent of children with developmental delays, I am personally tired of members of our community getting affronted by every little thing. That being said the "r" word is offensive because it is used to bully and dehumanize other people. It is used to denigrate and disempower. But so are many words. Words and attitudes that are racist, antisemitic and misogynistic abound within our society as well. Personally I am tired of all the whining by everyone.

Now the idea that persons with disabilities are "angels" is brought about by the need for society to try to understand why such things occur to the innocent. It goes back to the Bible and the attempt to describe disabilities as parent's sins past on to their children etc or the expression of the devil. Today society counterbalances the old ignorance that those with disabilities are spawns of evil by imbuing them with godliness. Yes society needs to understand that our children are just like everyone else, with good and bad and everything in between.


But what most people need to do is spend their energy trying to get the
appropriate services and support for their offspring. They don't have time to fight with people about the words they use. Words do hurt yet how much time and effort do you have to spend on this when
there are real issues that exist? I spend my time trying to get my children the support and help they need. I spend time trying to get people to see my children for who they are and not as their disabilities. People need to get a balance and a grip on what's truly important.

In reality mostly what society needs to do is see our children as human beings first and foremost. No labels. No categories. No grouping of issues. Like everyone else on the planet they are simply people
entitled to respect and the ability to proceed with their lives as they see fit. Making their own choices and leading lives that are fulfilling and joyful.



So I have decided to finally spend my time on what truly matters. Helping my sons work on their future and not worry that someone somewhere  may be politically incorrect and say something mean. Using your time and resources wisely is the only way to create a meaningful future for your children. Join me or not, the choice is yours. Afterall it is only your child's future at stake.


Until next time,


Elise

Thursday, November 8, 2012

With Holiday Season Approaching Give A Gift that Saves a Life


Chicago-based product and branding firm Mirza Minds is looking to put an end to such atrocities as world hunger, breast cancer and AIDS – while also bringing water to rural communities in Rwanda, raising awareness about the environment and providing mammograms to women in need. The project, dubbed the 1:Face Watch, sells colorful timepieces with universal colors and in turn donates profits to reputable organizations like One Day’s Wages, Charity Water and the American Cancer Society. For example, when you buy a white watch, One Day’s Wages provides food supplements to 16 children in the Horn of Africa. Each battery-powered and waterproof watch is $40 USD and supports one cause. In speaking about the project, Creative Director Fam Mirza commented, “Change originates from within. That is why the face of the watch is designed as a mirror. When you check the time, you see your reflection looking back within you.” 

h/t Hypebeast 

THE 1-Face STORY

BUY HERE

Think about it. At some point in their adolescence a child needs a watch. Buy one that is not only indestructible ( I hope) but one that teaches an even bigger lesson than telling time....That on the planet Earth we are all responsible for each other, no matter where that person lives.

Until next time,


Elise




Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Basic Disaster Survival Needs From the Jewish Indiana Jones

No, I still do not have power. Since I am driving the boys back and forth to their college because even the bus company has no power,  I am piggy backing on the school wifi to bring you this update. It's cold, its wet and the earliest they say we will have power is this weekend. We are all very cranky. The boys are studying by flashlight and still having to get their assignments in on time and take tests. Watching them study I am reminded of Abe Lincoln who studied by candle light.  Poor guys. But they are troopers. Let me tell you. Personally I am tired of living this semi-19th century pioneer woman life and an looking forward to rejoining the 21st century.

I want to take this moment however, to remind everyone about some supplies you should always have in your home. No one is immune from mother nature and its best to be prepared for the physcial issues. The issues you will have to deal with due to your child's autism will definitely be made easier if you have the necessary day to day supplies ready.

Luckily I am married to hubby who is not only a Wise Old Sage, as CM1 likes to refer to him, but he is without a doubt, the Jewish version of Indiana Jones. We have also referred to him as Post-Apocalyptic-Dadiyio in snowicanes and hurricane Irenes past. Yeah I know, there is that kibbutz thing and preparedness in Israel to point to for rugged Jewish individualism, but being full fledged indulged Americans the closest I truly ever got to camping was sleeping in my girl scout leaders den as our camp out and hotel vacations. Roughing it is staying at my parents instead of having room service on vacation. (Yes we are spoiled and we are proud of it.)

Anyway here is some pictures of what is needed and how we functioned:

My Jewish Indiana Jones cutting wood for the fireplace.
Battery operated radio. It is good to know what is gong on in the world. remember no electric means no TV, no wifi, and computer.

For warm weather disasters, battery operated fans.

Food stores including extra paper goods, dog food and if you need diapers and baby formula. Remember in an emergency drug stores will not be opened.

Dehydrated food bought from a reputable on line website. They have everything, main meals, veggies, breakfast, snacks and desserts. That is for when the supermarkets are closed or there cannot be food deliveries or you do not have a generator (see below)or there is no gas to run the generator. That was a fear here. If there is no electricity to pump the gas you can't get gas no matter how much is available. Also they can't get it to you from the transfer stations. So if you hear of a coming storm, fill your gas tanks in the car and for the generators.
Camping stove for cooking dinner. Yes you can use your propane grill too but its not bad to have both on hand. I made steak and eggs and pasta. the pasta didn't come out so good but I tried. They also have camping coffee pots for the stove but if you have a generator you can hook up a microwave and boil water or even the coffee pot. If you can use your microwave getting frozen food into the hooked up fridge is good or if you have dry ice from the electric company to store some food in those huge camping food carriers.

This is a jump-battery for the car. Just in case your car battery dies. My Jewish Indiana Jones bought it for my car after i need a jump at the boys school. Luckily the security guard had one of these in his vehicle. It can also be used to power cell phones and laptops if need be until the battery looses its charge.

Chainsaw and gas, oil. You are going to need to get rid of all those tress that have fallen in your yard and on the wires so the electric company can get to the lines. Also its good to use to cut the wood up to use for the fireplace.

Huge floodlights and flashlights. You forget how really dark it is when there is absolutely no power at all. You should also have camping lights and snap-chemical lights to help light up a room.

Old fashioned corded phone. The one you used as a kid. The land lines still work and these phones do not need electric to work.

This is our computer back-up battery. It can last for several hours after the blackout, It will allow you to shut down your computer without losing any work and frying your PC with an electrical surge. Also if you have a generator you can hook this up to the generator and keep recharging it so you can repower up all the cell phones, laptops and kindles.

Extension chords...at least ten, very long extension chords. Use this to hook up the generator, which has to stay very from from the house because of CO2, to the fridge, microwave and backup batteries.

Propane for the grill.

Yep more paper products. Running our to paper towels is none thing. Running out of toilet paper is another.

Paper goods. Unless you want to continuously boil water to clean all the silverware, have paper andplastic on hand.

GENERATOR. This is a 7500 watt generator. We just learned that we can have a transfer switch installed near the fuse box and this way we wouldn't have to use the extension chords and can switch appliances including the dishwasher on and off. We are gong to have it installed when they become available. My neighbor even has her washing machine hooked up. Yes we already made a pit stop to target to get some more clean clothes and towels. Honestly the boys needed some new items anyway. Remember if no electric, even the laundromat won't work. Then do you really want to spend all day washing clothes in a laundromat? Not me..sorry enough already. I will wait for my machines to come back on line.

Fireplace.
VERY IMPORTANT WINE......it is so cold I don't need to put the white wine in the fridge to chill it.

And if all else fails MARGARITAS.
We also have camping showers. They are supposed to be heated by sunlight. You  hang them from a tree and wash yourself. We attached it to the showerhead of the shower and heated the water  separately in the microwave to turn it into a shower. It is time consuming but its much better than a freezing cold shower.

I had the boys help last Sunday clean the house. I swept and mopped the floors. CM1 dusted everything he could and CM2 used clorox wipes to clean the bathrooms. Remember to use Lysol spray on the bathroom everyday. Germs are nasty and it is easy to get sick under these circumstances.

We are all sleeping in the livingroom with the fireplace to stay warm at night. Family togetherness is getting a new meaning. I am beginning to feel like I live in a one room log cabin.

By the way if anyone can think of anything we may have forgotten please let me know. Leave a comment. We tried to figure out how we could have been better prepared and besides the transfer switch we couldn't come up with anything.

Oh and tomorrow we are getting a Nor'easter. There will be some snow at night.

I am not happy.

Until next time,


Elise