Tag Archives: sw florida

Surfers For Autism

4 Nov

We had the best day ever on Saturday.  Seriously.  EVER.

Biggest thanks ever to Surfers for Autism, the surfers, the founders, the volunteers, Fort Myers Beach, and FMB PD & FD.

I’ll be updating this post as I sift through the 789 images I took on Saturday when we were guest of Surfers for Autism.

They say that we (people with autism) are “Rock Stars”  so if we are, then I’d have to say that knowing them and being there with them on a gorgeous Saturday on Florida’s SW Gulf Coast was like the worlds most epic fantasy jam session ever, because we think they are worthy of the title as well.  Seriously.  If you had three wishes and could wish for anyone to play together, for you… That’s the fantastic and awesome I am trying to express here.

Where to begin…

We rarely go to the beach as days off and not-too-sick days rarely line up.  Also, the beach is sensory overload wearing a disguise that suggests that she (the beach) is a serene environment, but for us it can be overload starting at the application of sunscreen and escalating from there.

We did it though.  We went on Saturday.  I have proof!

Before the first run of the day:

Fort Myers Beach FD brought over a truck and handed out paint! Everyone painted and tagged! It was great fun and quite a masterpiece!

Alex painted these words on the wheel well trim: fire, 911, emergency, truck… I found a blank spot and painted his name, some hearts, and an orange penguin.

Alex didn’t know where to start so I told him, “just find a space that doesn’t have any paint and start painting!” So he painted words (you can see 911 in this image) and then he proceeded to paint all of those little rubber feely-bobber hairs on the tire orange. Nobody else had thought of that! (by the way, those feely bobber hair things are left over from the injection molding/tire making process. The NASCAR peeps have to cut them off their tires! Ahhh Viva La Google!)

Alex’s first surfers/guides/volunteers. The dads on the short kept commenting, “Oh that kid has it rough! Three total babes in bikinis!” It was pretty funny. They weren’t just gorgeous, they were incredibly patient and kind and warm and really made Alex feel so secure in that new and alien environment. I’m very thankful (for his surf goddesses! :-) When he came back to shore he had two more with him! One of the dads said to me, “That kids got talent!”.

For his 2nd run, he had another two fantastic guides. Corey and Marlene Lilly. Corey looks uncannily like Russell Brand and I was surprised when he spoke and his accent wasn’t British. He’s a really kind and mellow guy. He finds and picks up sand dollars with his feet. He brought one over to show us. I’ve never seen a live one… Corey also stopped by Alex’s sand digging extravaganza and talked to him and his dad.  And remembered his name.  These surfers, these volunteers, are brilliant at making each person feel wonderful about the experience.  Alex had a good second outing with Corey and Marlene and he was definitely more relaxed and chomping at the bit to get back in the water! After this we had lunch. Alex’s Oma (my mom) showed up just before he went for his 2nd paddle. We were so excited that she came by to see him surf!

That is my kid STANDING UP and SURFING and nobody is holding onto him! He stood up from his paddling/kneeling position, unaided, with the board gliding toward shore! I know! I was doing fine most of the day but that was it. I let my camera drop around my neck, started flapping my hands and started to cry some very happy tears and cheering loudly. His guides from the 3rd outing are not seen here but they were two guys named Jeff and Jim (or Bill. Spoken language keeps getting more challenging for me over time. It sucks, but it’s also a positive because it makes me more sensitive and aware when delivering any information to Alex who has a similar challenge).

I made this for him today:

Yeah.  I’m still getting goosebumps when I think about him surfing into the shore, with his hands out.  He amazed me.  He amazes me each and every day and has since he was born.  It’s not that I think he can’t do something, because he can do nearly anything he puts his mind to.  That being said, he can’t be neurotypical and neither can I.  We can put on an act that works in some situations, but that’s not us.  Surfers For Autism  has an incredible calm to it, that I rarely feel when with anyone other than my kid or by myself.   The reason for the calm, in a very large group of autistic people and their families, is that everyone there can just be themselves.  We pulled up to the lot next to Crescent Beach Park and I saw 5 kids in maybe 15 feet of sidewalk flapping and walking tiptoed.  I said, “It’s going to be a good day”.

And it was a good day.  It was the best day we’ve had in a very long time.  We deserved that and I will treasure that feeling probably forever, though we will have days to match once the 2013 Surfers For Autism season kicks off.

xo

B

It’s Electric!

21 Jun

image

Southwest Florida’s summer weather has changed so much since we have been here, or perhaps every year is just different. A fantastic resource for our weather down here can be found over at Cape Weather.

Also, instead of teaching kids the second counting & distance of lightning thing, which provides a false sense of safety, please teach that if you can hear it then it’s close enough to hit you. We have many tourist families who stay in our complex and enjoy the pool and they don’t make the kids stop swimming until the thunderhead is over our complex! It’s pretty scary considering Florida’s lightning stats. Please be safe!
Cheers,
Bek

Just for you…

7 Nov

I captured this just for you.20111107-010153.jpg

(Bonus: I’ve heard that this light really burns up trolls faster than any commercial anti-troll preparation. Neato!)

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

xo

Bek

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Wood You?

17 Jul

Logs Logs Logs

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

Like to see my new vintage glass with the reflect-o-matic sterling silver treatment…Glows….

Trying to upload photos and descriptions for a few new pieces….

Anyway, I may be blogging more in the next few days… I have been stuck in bed for the most part all week. While it sucks that baldguy lost his job and our unemployment rate here is pretty miserable, it was good timing as he is keeping after boyo and fetching me provisions.

Something is very wrong in my back and I am trying to figure it out…
I had a big bad emergency spine surgery 12 years ago and the pain is near there…. I fear another infection or that perhaps the vertebrae are finally squashing some nerve… Anyway. It really freaking hurts.

But, I can stand still and type and I feel ok, for the most part….And I’m not a wuss. I have had pain every day for 12 years. But dull, achy pain is one thing, feeling like someone is chiseling into your spine and ribs (on just one side, thankfully) is another.

So here I am…

Had an hour and 15 minute long MRI this morning but won’t know anything until they decide to call me. Medicine is so lax down here it’s ridiculous, so I’m not holding my breath for an answer. When I had the parathyroid tumor two years ago the docs suggested we use a “wait and see” approach. I wound up doing a boat load of research and demanded the scan to see what was going on and then I found my own surgeon to schedule the surgery(Dr. Norman’s Parathyroid Clinic in Tampa- amazing surgeon…). Wait and see. Those things don’t just disappear- they are there and they cause problems until they are removed or you die from the freaking side effects (heart issues, digestive issues, liver issues…yikes!)… So I’m none too confident about my medical care here…If whatever this weird back thing is needs anything more invasive than an alcohol swab I’m heading north for a spell.  If this is another bone infection, I’m worried.  Last time they didn’t find it until I was in ICU, on all sorts of apparatus, in a coma.  No more comas for me, thank you very much.  One was more than enough! I have to be here for my little guy.

Anyway. Here I am….Trying to stay as still as possible while my brain wants to run around doing a happy dance because the new issue of BUST magazine is coming out next week and woohoo! one of my pieces is in the Etsy co-op ad. Yay! So buy a copy and check out all of the shops.

Ok. Going to grab some tea and go be as still as a rock in front of the TV.

Sorry for the kvetching. I’m in a good mood really I am!

Hugs, albeit very gently frame-y ones, all around…
xo
b

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