Tag Archives: southwest florida

Autism & Testing 1-2-3…

21 Oct

Originally uploaded by CleverIndie

This is from our local Autism Speaks’ Facebook page:
***Please note that the Care Mobile will also be at the Autism Speaks SWFL Walk Now for Autism on November 7 at Estero Community Park*****

The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, in partnership with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida, will offer free monthly autism spectrum disorder screening for toddlers 18 months to 36 months of age.

The first screening will be held Nov. 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, located in the Cape Coral Hospital parking lot. Additional screenings will be conducted monthly at different locations across Lee County.

It is estimated that one in every 150 children is diagnosed with some form of ASD, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined.

That’s why parents are encouraged to bring their toddlers to the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile for a free screening. Clinicians will use the M-CHAT, with Denver Developmental Screening Tool to assess the toddlers. The screening is not intended to make a definitive ASD diagnosis, but rather to determine whether your child may be at risk and needs further evaluation.

Medical consultants for the project stress that an early diagnosis can make a vast difference for toddlers and their families. They say early intensive behavioral intervention, or EIBI, can make an immense difference not just in the development of the child, but in their families as well.

The ASD screening is conducted by the Neurosciences Center at TCH, under the guidance of pediatric neurologist Jose Colon, MD, MPH, and pediatric psychiatrist Marianne Krouk, DO. The onsite screenings will be administered by an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner, who has extensive training and experience in typical child development and developmental disorders.

A physician referral is not required. To schedule a screening, please call 239-985-3608.”

If you have any concerns, I’d make an appointment. For those who think that a pediatrician would have mentioned something during the annual checkup, I wouldn’t put all of my trust in that, though it is getting better. Remember, getting clarification and help for you and your child, is the best thing for your kid and their future, and the earlier, the better.

Just wanted to share….Hope this helps someone…

LOVE School.

10 Mar

I just received a most delicious email!

Norman Love Confections (previously blogged about: Love. Norman Love.)  is offering chocolate cooking classes!

From the notice I received:”Expand your culinary horizon with a course taught by the world-renowned artisans of Norman Love Confections. You’ll learn expert culinary techniques and gain a lifetime’s worth of knowledge about your favorite ingredient and ours – chocolate.”

You too can learn to cast and handpaint chocolates (there is even a chocolate easter egg class at the end of March and the beginning of April), make ganache, create truffles, cookies, fondue or learn the subtleties of chocolate in it’s purest form (a must for dark chocolate fanatics) in a class based on Norman Love’s most recent release: BLACK (ultra premium dark chocolate, each unique piece in the collection features a different single origin cocoa as it’s foundation)

Download the course “menu” (pdf)

The class cost is $95 per person, the experience: delicious and priceless!

If interested, or if you have more questions, please call Lisa Mariani at 239-561-7215.

Norman Love Confections & the decadent chocolate salon is located off of Daniels Parkway, near Southwest Florida International Airport(RSW) in Ft. Myers, FL (mapquest/directions)

Everyone could use a little Love!  Don’t forget Easter(April 12, 2009) and Mother’s Day (May 10, 2009 in the US) are just around the corner… They do ship and everything arrives wonderfully fresh and beautiful!  I have ordered from them before and had them ship, and they did a beautiful job.  You can order via their website or by calling their toll-free number: 866.515.2121

You can, of course, find some sweet wearable treasures (crafted by this artisan) in my Etsy and SmashingDarling shops



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Evening weather….

8 Jun


Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

PLEASE VISIT CapeWeather.com or NWS for weather updates

Weather Underground is a great resource for weather information….

Not A Tomato.

17 Jul

When I was very small I thought that the violent storms I heard about were “tomatoes”. I had visions of small towns on large prairies being pummeled by tomatoes.

Until I was in one. A small one, but a tornado none-the-less.

We were fine. It was a very close call as we were trapped in my mom’s rockin’ coppery Camaro in the Late 70’s in the burbs known as Westchester…

But I’ve been fascinated by tornadoes since. Pretty much I’m fascinated by “sudden” weather. Big stuff like hurricanes elicit a transition of modes – I go into autopilot. With sudden, severe weather there is no time to transition into a mode of vigilance and preparation spread out over days (which is how it is here in SW Florida during “the season”)

I am vigilant about keeping my eye on the sky and my ears open though as we do have almost daily storms where the sky looks like something out of Ghostbusters II. It’s also that much more dramatic as we have a complete lack of hills here and you can see for miles. (side note: I really want to move back to a place that’s on the curvier side, I feel too exposed here… but we are stuck for who knows how long as my mom being a little more off than usual these days and the baldguy is just settling into his new job.)

Late yesterday afternoon (5:30ish) I unplugged my computer so it wouldn’t fry. I went into the kitchen and poured a giant vat of tea so I could get to work while Lexo was napping. I looked up from my mug and saw smoke and dirt barreling towards our complex from the woodlands. My eyes followed the dark dust up to where it connected with the ceiling of the mother of all storm clouds. I grabbed Lexo from his room, put him under my arm and ran. I had my keys in the other hand, slammed the door behind us, but didn’t lock it. My brain was saying “run. it’s far enough away that you can get to the garage.” My legs, my brain, just knew that running outside for a moment when it was still relatively safe would be better than being on the 3rd floor, right under the roof, when it sliced through our home.

I flew down 3 stories. Lex looked puzzled. I normally don’t pick him up for any length of time as my bones are older than the 31 years they are supposed to be. I fumbled with the keys and opened the deadbolt to go into the garage and I stopped. I listened. There was a strangeness about the air, the light, the sounds. It was windy in the courtyard and I could feel a breeze but nothing right on top of us.

I ran further with Alex to the parking lot thinking I’d lost my last marble. Our neighbor John was loading his truck and I said to him “tornado or fire or what?” and he looked at me like I had 10 heads. He looked at the back part of the complex, toward the woods, but didn’t say anything. I heard a car behind us. It was the baldguy. He opened his window- I pointed “what the hell is that?” and then I saw it move. I saw the charcoal billows rolling to us. I hopped in the car, Alex on my lap.


“Don’t you want to put him in his car seat?”


We pulled over 1/2 a mile away and buckled Alex in. I watched the funnel. I could see where it hit the cloud and where it was dicing the ground. It looked like a cuisinart eating the air and the ground.

We drove toward my mom’s house.

Everyone in the other cars looked calm and unaware.

I searched the radio. FM. AM. Nothing.

I turned to look at the sky and there was a definite disconnect between the sky and the smoke on the ground. Slowly we circled around the area and watched as the dark grey smoke became a ball on the ground with smoke drifting off. It was a complete shapeshift. A complete mood switch.

Alex voiced fairly deep concern for the location of his shoes and pants. I grabbed him and that’s all.

We came back home. Still nothing on the radio or TV.

I cried for a bit and snuggled with Alex.

After we got him clothed and settled with some milk and a prized matchbox car I called my mother.

She said “it isn’t even thundering out” (I think she’s losing her mind and her hearing these days…It happened to my Opa – her stepfather- in reverse. He went from cantankerous to sweet, Mom is going from friendly to vicious, nasty.)

I explained it all to her and she made me describe it. She insists that there wasn’t a weather advisory so nothing could happen. There was an advisory. I saw it on Weather Underground moments before shutting the system down. Something big happened less than 1/4 mile from our home.

The violent appendage turned into a ball of smoke and fire and into what we are used to seeing from brush fires and the occasional, distant, house fire I have seen in my life.

I finally sank back into the pillows to relax to Scrubs reruns rather than do any work. Way too drained for hammering. Still to shaky to trust myself with my torch.
Alex joined me under the covers and completely lost his shit. Not because of the incident earlier- or any of the feelings of fearing for your life and the accompanying adrenaline rush.

He wanted pants and shoes. Today he is still asking for “Pants! Shoes!” even though we are staying right here for the time being and I’m dreaming of the northeast more than ever.

note: There is nothing on the newswire today. Not a mention in the local paper. The baldguy and my neighbor saw it as well so I know I’m not completely batshit. Today I’m still not even thinking “oh maybe I overreacted”. I did what my gut told me to do when my kid was being threatened. That’s all.

Big hugs all around,

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