Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Accept difference. Not indifference!

So tonight I returned to a group jointly run by my local Surrey Advocacy Group together with the National Autistic Society   (NAS). I have been a member of the National Autistic society for many years and found them incredibly supportive and I had stopped attending the meetings for personal reasons which I won;t go into. Inspired by the fact that the local NAS amabassador invited me back to try it as it is under new leadership I went along to see what it was like . So I thought I would blog a little in case any of you know anyone who may benefit from this mummy rambling :-)
Autism Alert card
This is the card I carry in my handbag , I even got one for a friend :-)
91p in every £1 goes directly to helping people affected by autism.
It takes £20 a month  give practical support to someone with autism who is looking for work. You will find lots of advice and details on their website if you want to know more about how they help people like me and my children on the spectrum.
Or how about buying some Xmas cards - check out next years competition for Adults and children alike and maybe enter your design here 
These meetings have proved invaluable for me as an undiagnosed adult with Aspergers. I discovered a likeness to my diagnosed children almost two decades ago . The NAS has been helping people like me for 50 years and yet as we discovered tonight there are still many of us who remain without a diagnosis. Sadly there is not enough funding for PR on local groups and the amazing contribution they make to our daily lives and to that end I leave you with some links to browse should you find the time . I have met some wonderful people through the NAS events .  I hope you can accept the difference too and not be Indifferent . Find out if there is a local support group near you , I host the ocassional coffee morning for newly diagnosed parents of children on the spectrum and I also atted meetings such as the one tonight to receive support as an adult . Let's spread the work we are not disabled , as Wendy Lawson one said we just want you to accept our differability - we are different and may of us have abilities if you take the time to get to know us . A label is only as good as what it can tell you about someone . If carrying a card , helps then do it .
'I know that I am alive; I breathe, move, talk and function just like any other Human Being. However, I understand (because it has been said to me) that other people perceive me as being different to them. My difference expresses itself in various ways, (egocentricity, eccentricity, and emotional immaturity) but, in particular, in my uneven skill ability. Life seems to me to be like a video that I can watch, but not partake in. I sense that I live my life 'Behind Glass'. However, at times I am completely taken up with an obsession or a perception that may dominate my existence and make it easy to stay focused. For me, such times mean that I feel 'connected' to life. Life, for me, takes on meaning and purpose.' Quote from Wendy Lawson a  dear friend of mine , who made me realise it was time to step beyond my gold fish bowl 
her poems speak straight to my heart - here is a copy of one that I simply had to share:
"Autism is: being present in this world,
But not entirely of it.
I am one step removed and curled,
The switch just doesn't click. I perform the role of my perception,
And play many parts so well.
But minus files for my redemption,
My part in life I cannot tell. Life is like a video,
I watch but cannot partake.
My uneven skills are but an echo,
Of the frustrations which I hate! However, my focused use of time and space,
I would not give away.
I know that I am especially placed,
For some developed career one day! " 

with thanks to Wendy Lawson for reminding me that I am indeed able x

Wendys Book  which first lead me to seek her out and meet her can still be found here ..

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Support Groups and the joys of social media and networking.

Hosting events and spreading the word via media and these days via internet ad social media .

Social networking from my scooter in 2009
 When I was 21 I had my first son . I read books on breastfeeding, watched a video on child birth and attended Lamaze classes and met up with my first ever mums-club for bumps and babes  in Florida. As a group we met and practiced breathing and relaxation classes and when our babies were born we met up at local play places like the Yellow Submarine in Old Town we also began a baby signing course and were amazed at how quickly our babies were keen to communicate their needs with us .
The support we gave each other made all the difference , we shared real emotions and helped each other and celebrated motherhood together. By the time I had my 15th pregnancy and 6th live birth I had already begun to write articles for media , continuing my plan to ensure others were supported and were given choices. I was met with adversity as I fed my children beyond a year , as I breastfed during labour, and tandem fed in public. I suggested people stand up and get moving during labour and tried all kinds of alternative therapies and oils writing about my experience as I discovered new things and wanting to share with others. I managed to maintain my choice of parenting style and whilst unconventional proved to be of interest to others and as time went on I hosted more events and became involved with several charities and organizations.  I think the reason support groups have extended onto the internet is simply because we are generally very busy as Mums.
We are also likely to be multi tasking as we bob on and off of twitter and Facebook . For me , with odd sleep patterns I could read and catch up on things at my own pace , I still host monthly meetings but these days they are for my friends with Fibromyalgia. Whilst I did manage a few outings when I was in my scooter, by the time I was in a mobility chair I pretty much relied on the internet and my virtual friends for support . These days I am out and about when I can be .
 I have met a lot of my virtual friends at a variety of events and hope to be able to continue to help Mums. Whilst I have made huge progress I have to face the fact that I am having to undergo further investigations on my health .
So I will be supporting as often as I can when I can. I would really like it if my blogs became more interactive so at this point I ask- what topic would you like to hear about ? Anyone that knows me will know I will blog on about anything - I would love to get some requests in so leave a question for me in the comment box x

Friday, 9 November 2012

TOP TIPS on Going green for 2013 - will you try some of them ?

I was recently asked what I did to go green and I made a list of just a few of the things and thought I would challenge you to try some of them - who will pledge to try and be green for 2013 - Comment and let me know how many of these tips you already do or plan to try !

Repair and reuse broken items (eg. toys, furniture) Upcycle and recycle it can be great fun to get the kids involved spray painting or covering pieces with fabric and glitter for that personal touch.
Donate your old computer/ mobile phones to charity
Use biodegradable bin bags especially in the food bin
Send unwanted furniture to a reuse scheme – freecylcle is handy and many charities like the BHF will collect your unwanted items for free and ensure they get recycled or sold again.
Buy, sell and swap online – networking is great for this, get online find out who will trade a service for something you have or can do – check to see if you have a local timebank in your area or start your own group.
Give services as presents, not products  
Buy antique or second-hand furniture
Write to retailers to complain about unethical products and supply chains - Boycott unethical products
Choose cardboard coffins and recyclable urns
Use rechargeable batteries not disposables -Only use disposable products when there is no reusable alternative
Use your kerbside recycling collection
Reject junk mail switch to paperless billing
Buy products with recyclable packaging or buy products in reusable containers
Use charity shops, and buy local; Buy your books/CDs/DVDs second hand
If you have to take carrier bags from the shop, make sure you reuse them

Fit a hippo or flush saver in your cistern
Take a 5 minute shower instead of a bath - Avoid power showers
Switch to a water meter
Buy a rainwater butt
Use rainwater (not tapwater) to water plants
Use a watering can rather than a hose or sprinkler
Use an energy saver plug on your fridge Run your fridge between 3-5 °C
Purchase energy efficient appliances eg. Choose an A+ or A++ fridge/freezer
Avoid plasma TVs and choose a more energy efficient style
Unplug appliances when not in use and avoid using stand-by

Draught proof the house / Draw your curtains at dusk/Keep internal doors closed- do you qualify for help with insulating your loft or upgrading your boiler? Can you afford to invest in solar panels?
Fit shelves above radiators under windows
Fix foil reflectors behind radiators on outside walls
Turn down the heating in rooms which you are not using; don’t heat your conservatory and put on a jumper instead of turning up heating

Take a trip to your local Farmers' Market
Get milk and more from your local milkman
Buy fairly traded food and drink
Plan a weekly food menu and make a shopping list
Waste less food
Avoid heavily-processed food and go for healthier alternatives
Drink tap water instead of bottled water
Reduce your food miles and avoid buying produce which has been air freighted to the UK
Buy more seasonal food
Use chemical-free laundry products I buy ecosense once a month for a family of 8 as it is 6 times concentrate and works out at 17 per load
Use the washing machine at 30 degrees - I use pre-spot which is 4 times concentrate on tough stains as it naturally lifts the stains and for tougher ones like grease ,chewing gum, blood I use a capful of solumel to freshen them up - I always use a cold wash on reusable feminewear products simply because I want them to remain clean and absorbable so that they will last and save me money.
Line-dry your clothes
Use natural cleaning products - for an easy clean up and spray with a mild solution of sol-u-mel for a tea tree fresh smell- banish bleach from your house – learn about alternatives. I love Tub n tile and use it as toilet cleaner and shower cleaner it has the power of 20 lemons and you do not need to wear gloves and it is safe around children and pets.
Avoid products tested on animals – none of the products I buy are tested on animals – and my vitamins and minerals are the only ones to have been trialled on a human gut!  Makes you wonder.
Buy one general-purpose cleaning product, not several Sol u mel tackles more than 30 different cleaning tasks and takes up less space in your cupboard, you add water to it according to the instructions and the spray is refillable, the bottle is fully recyclable saving on landfill space
Buy 'green' products many companies are going green, do your research, find a company that will let you try the products with a money back guarantee you may be surprised at how many products you can switch and save with. Take a look at on your blog hop to find out more .

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Travelling back down memory lane

I was taking a look back at some of the articles on the post ONE SHOW blog from 2009 in which I took part in an attempt to highlight the impact our choices make on the planet and came across my old carbon footprint score and thought I would post it in this evenings blog 
91. At 2:17pm on 14 May 2009, Mum0f6 wrote:Okay the show was very keen to show the average V my large family , I wonder how a family of two actually stack up. For those of you who have worked out your carbon footprint her is our full scores:

Average 4.53 V Large family 5.38 on HEATING EMISSIONS

Average 1.62 V Large family 4.38 which was used on the show on ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES

Average 3.81 V Large family 3.36 Which includes 5 of y children flying abroad once a year with their Dads.If we discounted that travel we are well under average!

How about the Governments overall target which again was not discussed the grand total TARGET is 10.48 per household and what do we add up to currently before I finish insulating my loft 13.12 and as soon as my loft is finished it drops to 11.62 !!

Try it for yourselves and see what kind of carbon footprint you are making . The overall result lead me to my conclusion that the small increase on my footprint did not out-way the pleasurable life we lead as a large family and as the eldest of 5 children myself I know things do average out . As amongst us there are only 7 grandkids with little hope for anymore - as one of my sisters has often argued I had my siblings share and as she herself has none she makes the most of mine whenever she can !!At the end of the day in her house they run 2 cars still run same amount of equipment and go away 4 - 8 times a year ...I think more information should be out there rather than the current rather bias views within this blog ..
I then looked to see what our carbon footprint is today and updated the scores - I would love to see a comparison so do post your scores x

Update Have you checked yours - ours has improved vastly since we took part in the show .

Your footprint is
1.85 planets

  • food 20%
  • travel 20%
  • Home 21%
  • stuff 39%
  • We've also calculated your carbon footprint, which is 6.97 tonnes per annum

    After going through and checking off the things we already do it adjusted our result  I am pretty impressed with that !

    Your footprint is
    1.26 planets

  • food 27%
  • travel 18%
  • Home 26%
  • stuff 29%
  • We've also calculated your carbon footprint, which is 4.27 tonnes per annum

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Testing ..testing and more testing..

For the last 8 years I have had a number of unusual tests checking on my autoimmune deficiency ,my fibromyalgia and my over all health. The amazing thing it that whilst the doctors are baffled at my relapse and remitting chronic infections I am still confident that one day they will give me the test result I long to hear - All tests are normal please go and enjoy the rest of your life !
This week I had my tumour marker results and thought I would add a link for those of you who follow my blogs to explain a little as to what the test is for ;

Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is a glycoprotein, which is present in normal mucosal cells but increased amounts are associated with adenocarcinoma, especially colorectal cancer. CEA therefore has a role as a tumour marker. Levels exceeding 10 μg/L are rarely due to benign disease.[1]
  • Less than 25% of patients with disease confined to the colon have an elevated CEA level. Sensitivity increases with advancing tumour stage. However, poorly differentiated tumours are less likely to produce CEA.[1]
  • CEA values are increased in approximately 50% of patients with lymph node disease. Values are elevated in 75% of patients with distant metastasis.[1

This week has passed by incredibly quickly with all 6 of us at home we have been busy carving pumpkins, making home made soup and baking home made pie. It has been wonderful having everyone home with me and I cannot believe the week has come to an end. On Monday we step back into the real world and I head back to hospital for more tests. But I just wanted to share some lovely photos from the last week and send some virtual hugs to all of you that follow my blogs and keep me company x