Weapons of Mass Distraction

So the President is traveling to Africa where it appears he may still be on July 4th…costing us who knows how much money.

And a woman in Texas is being hailed as “brave” for her filibuster of a late-term abortion bill.

And the Supreme Court of the United States has declared that:

1. Silence can now be interpreted as an admission of guilt.

2. Same-sex couples can receive federal benefits if they are legally married and living in a place which recognizes their marriage.

3. That gay marriages can resume in California, but they’re still not legal everywhere.

And read those last 2 carefully. Gay marriage was not legalized everywhere although a few people on both sides might have said that in the wake of the announcements today. Yes, it’s still a blow to traditional marriage, but if where you live gay marriage is not legal, it is still NOT LEGAL. Interestingly, on DOMA, the court split on ideological lines with Justice Kennedy being the deciding vote but on Prop 8, Justices Scalia and Roberts sided with the majority while Justices Sotomayor  and Kennedy were in dissent. Read more here. Jimmy Akin is, as always, what I aspire to be. Factual without emotion in the wake of such emotional issues.

Oh and did you miss it? The Street Gang of 8 is ramming amnesty through the Senate. And the President is out of the country. And yes, the NSA is reading every single word of this post because my voter registration card says “Republican” and so that ballot that I filled out  last year is not so secret after all.


I’m on a social media fast for a bit.

I’m over summer…already

Let’s see, the storms that I love have kept my kids indoors and due to a recent unforeseen circumstance, they haven’t been able to play with friends. At all. So, at this moment they are playing with the hose out back because it’s not raining.

Shelby spends two hours, four mornings a week at school with her extended school year and I’m working more hours, but somehow this is all making life more stressful not less. Jeff is working on my days off. And the kids are determined to eat every single last thing in our house.

Make mess. Eat food. Whine a lot. Destroy things.

Yep, that’s how we roll here.

So this is when people chime in with all the “free stuff” suggestions. Unfortunately Shelby cannot do the free or reduced movies because of her sensory needs and her general behavior. The closest sensory friendly movie is over an hour away. The parking at the beach costs mucho dinero we don’t have (a quarter for every 10 minutes and it starts the second you pull into the spot) not to mention with Jeff and I taking alternating days, the beach is impossible as neither of us can manage all three of them solo and none of them swim well enough to be casually monitored. The library cancels all their programs over summer (how convenient) and Shelby is not welcome at those either because she cannot maintain the baseline behavior of sitting quietly the entire hour. Parks are good for about 30 minutes…if we’re lucky. And my kids like to go all different directions at them to, so they are really a 2 parent expedition. Sigh.

Joey was too young for any camps this summer except Vacation Bible School which conflicted with Shelby’s school and since Jeff and I have to work opposite days, you can see where that leaves us. And there was no one we could find to carpool with either. Not to mention we couldn’t afford the motley camp prices.

I just want my kids back in school where I know where they are and they aren’t eating me out of house and home for eight hours a day. I just want the structure  back in life so  Shelby isn’t so set off and out of sorts about everything. I want gas prices to go down so we can actually afford to drive to anything free. I want August to be here and filling up backpacks.

I think I know now why I am not cut out for homeschooling. Even with structure, my kids are such different people that it wouldn’t be easy to school them all at the same time at different levels. And I’d have to do it on a year-round schedule. No such thing as a three month summer break. Three weeks, that’s my limit.

Hope everyone else out there is enjoying their summers! And not running into wall after wall (literally and figuratively).

A word on password protected posts

I will be utilizing password protection on some of my posts. You can always email me at crazytowntimespublisher at gmail dot com for passwords which I will distribute on a case-by-case basis. Some things are not for general consumption. Others I am protecting privacy in. I will try not to post these kinds of things too often.

Five Favorites




Joining Hallie again this week for five random (or not so random) favorites. And please go to her site for five reasons to help Dwija during what has to be the most harrowing pregnancy I have known about in ages. If you’re like me and living paycheck to paycheck, and the best you can offer is prayer, hey, that’s okay too.

1. Extended School Year.

What-the-what? I know a few moms are scratching their heads thinking. Well, as most people know, Shelby has classic autism, sensory processing disorder and global developmental delays. And public school is the absolute best option for her and we love her school so much so that Joey is going to be a kindergartener there this fall. Anyway, our district offers what is known as “extended school year” to children with special needs who are at a risk of regression during the “downtime.” The services vary based on each child’s needs and range from therapies to social skills to academic learning. Shelby receives academic services for two hours a day four days a week for the entire summer. She is in her same school, same classroom with some of the other students she was in school with last year. She also has with her one of her assistants from the school  year with her. The teacher is a frequent sub in her classroom and knows her well. They mimic an academic school day as best they can in that 2 hour time frame. And it gives Jeff and I lots of one on one time with the boys while she’s there and gives her days a sense of routine and ensures she doesn’t regress over the summer!

2. Thunderstorms

The last couple of summers have been so devoid of them and that’s uncharacteristic for this area. (As you may have guessed, it’s not southern California!) So, we’ve made up for it over the last week. Every day rain and rain and rain and thunder and lightening galore. I just like the unsettled feeling of the wind and the smells. Oh the smells. I can smell the ocean.

3. Mobli

Mobli is like Instagram but I like it better. More effects you can use, and you can import from Mobli to Instagram and back again AND they were doing the video thing  BEFORE Instagram. 🙂 I still use both which I think is a good thing because most of my friends are on Instagram and will probably be there forever, but in the mean time, gimme some more Mobli!

4. My cat

I’m still not a “cat person” but I am for this cat. He is our little sweetheart but he is rough on the dog :).



5. Real  books.

I did not particularly enjoy any e-books on the iPad (I got a couple free because free is the name of the game) so I never asked for a Kindle or Nook for a gift. And reading some brick-and-mortar (or would that be paper-and-ink) books has made me a nicer person to live with of late. Like something I can reclaim of my life before craziness :).

Our new family member



Once upon a time, about ten years ago, I married a man who swore he would never, ever have a cat live under his roof.

Once upon a time about six years ago, I gave birth to a little boy, my oldest son. Little did we know this little boy was born with an innate desire to have a cat. Specifically, an orange cat.

Once upon a time about three years ago, that man I married altered his stance slightly. The only way he could own a cat was if it was outdoor only.

Once upon a time, ten days ago, Oliver became our first cat. He is orange, as Joey specified. He is exclusively indoors. I handle feeding, watering and litter box patrol. Everyone, even Daddy, doles out love. We rescued Oliver from our county animal shelter which is run by our Sheriff’s department. We wanted an adult so they would already be litter box trained. Will and I adopted the cat then got Joey from school. They said he was very scared but loved to be petted. That day he stayed under the bed all day except to come out at night and eat. We were prepared for it to be a long time for him to warm up to us. Within 24 hours, he claimed us as his humans. Even Charlie gets along with him, although Oliver did have to show Charlie that he is no one to be trifled with. But no one was bleeding so that was good. Never thought we’d be a cat family. But here we are. No turning back. And zero regrets.

Five Favorites


1. Blackberries

Ah, summer and your luscious fruits…I was blessed to grow up in a place where blackberries grew wild everywhere. My dad’s workplace had some walking trails and he would often spend his lunch hour picking wild berries on it to bring home because us kids would eat the vines at home clean. They stained our fingers red-purple with their sticky sweetness. They don’t grow wild where I live now. I nearly pass out looking at the price at the grocery store so most years I don’t get them :(.

2. Cherries

Now these didn’t grow wild where I grew up or where I live now. Darn. They are super expensive too, but it is summer and I can get them on sale occasionally. Never met a cherry I didn’t like. I am confounded as to how, exactly, I am the only person in my house with this obsession.

3. Angry Orchard Hard Cider

Guess what has gluten in it? Beer. And alcohols aside from wine. Guess what doesn’t? Angry Orchard Hard Cider holla!

4. Dateline…

I seriously cannot get enough of Dateline and the stories they tell. My personal favorite reporter is Keith  Morison who is, fun fact, step father of Matthew Perry.

5. My awesome mom friends from Joey’s school. For the most part our kids will all be different places in a couple of short months but we’ve made a really good effort to keep in touch and keep our kids together as much as possible. I was so sad his last day to know he wouldn’t see these kids every day anymore.

God, Glory and Gluten

I am sitting here today on my 11th day of being gluten-free. I didn’t do it to lose weight but to make a lifestyle change toward eating healthier and and cleaner. And fingers crossed maybe it will help with some of Shelby’s behaviors but I’m not placing any bets on that!

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale. It is responsible for the elastic texture of doughs.

Where is gluten found?

Bread. Pasta. Any processed food possible…including things like Campbell’s Tomato Soup. Wheat gluten is often a thickener in foods.

Why do people go gluten free?

For some people it is a genuine health concern like Celiac’s disease (for which a gluten free diet is the only medically acceptable/approved treatment) or a gluten intolerance.

For others, it is for treatment for things that there hasn’t necessarily been a connection to like autism, add/adhd and other developmental disorders.

And then, like our family, it is a goal to go to a cleaner diet including less processed foods.

Is it difficult to go gluten free?

Yes. And no. Yes because many of our go-to meals like spaghetti and pizza are either out or a lot more complicated. And no, because there are many foods naturally gluten free like fresh vegetables, fruits and meats.

You learn to read labels when you go gluten free.

And it can be difficult when you purchase generic items. Even if gluten is not in the ingredients list (or any wheat product) there is the risk of contamination as most generic products are manufactured in plants where wheat products are made.


Now, I have consumed some gluten in the past couple of weeks. I was worried that I might be consuming some from contamination, but evidently I was doing pretty well because yesterday I ate two hot dogs at Joey’s pre-K graduation and the buns were not gluten free (hot dogs are gluten free fyi for a convenience food for kids). Within 30 minute my stomach let me know in no uncertain terms that it hated me. The only other thing I knowingly consumed with gluten is the Body of Christ. Which leads me to another bullet point:

How do Catholics who are gluten free consume the Eucharist?

The answer varies.

If one has Celiacs, one cannot consume the Body of Christ as it is in most parishes. The options are typically a parish will offer gluten-free host (sometimes only if the person or persons requesting provides it as it is expensive) and/or only consume the Precious Blood.

If one is voluntarily going gluten-free, the above options exist or the person can consume the Body as it is. Which is what I do. And I offer up any discomfort for souls in purgatory. I consulted Cam at A Woman’s Place… about consuming the Body of Christ and she told me that it was the only gluten she consumed during her elimination diet. I chose this option because:

1. My parish does not offer gluten free hosts. Another parish in our deanery does and but unfortunately is much further away and has some liturgical “issues” I am not comfortable with.

2. I am unable to provide the gluten free hosts from a financial standpoint. Moreover, I am unable to insure they would not be contaminated or accidentally mixed in with the regular host. A friend in another state was providing along with three other families at her parish when they discovered some of the Eucharistic ministers were mixing them together. Kind of defeats the purpose. And created a lot more work for the families involved.

3. Receiving only the Precious Blood would cause confusion and chaos. And I speak from witnessing a man and woman attempt it at mass a few weeks ago. Moreover, whenever I receive the Precious Blood, I come down with something as most people choose to receive even when they are ill, so I almost never choose to receive it.

We haven’t bought a whole lot of gluten-free marketed items, although they do exist. We tried the Udi’s Gluten Free hot dog buns and liked them but probably won’t buy them often. The boys were not impressed with Van’s Gluten Free Frozen Waffles. The boys and I tried one of Udi’s Gluten Free pizza’s last week. Joey and I liked it, Will, not so much. It was expensive for how small it is.

My kids have discovered the joy of rice cakes. And slowly but surely requests for things like french toast sticks are falling to the wayside in favor of oatmeal and grits. Desserts are a bit more problematic but fortunately we are in summer where popsicles are available.

At work I do often times look longingly at baked goods in customers’ carts, but knowing the pain I know now, I’m not going back.


Light in Darkness, one day late

We had to make-up the last day of school yesterday after Tropical Storm Andrea cancelled it on Friday, so, you know, I’m a day late but joining Maria this week for Light in Darkness her meme of finding good news in our world that feels like it has gone so horribly wrong sometimes.

This week comes courtesy of my mom who posted it on facebook. What would you do if you heard of a tragic story at your church of a family who had a child whose life was forever altered in a horrible accident? Would you put in 12 hour days for a child who was a stranger because you felt “called” to do it and expect no recognition, no reward? This is a story from the state I have lived in the last 30 years, makes me proud to know it is “homegrown.”

Good Samaritan helps teen graduate from college.