seven (or more) answers

Last week I asked for seven clever questions. A few of them are so clever, they might have to be entire posts someday. In the meantime, to get this ball rolling and I will answer questions from seven readers. If your question is here... email me with your mailing address! My email info is in the sidebar. Thanks for your questions!

I just had to start with this one from BAM:

Once, I had last-minute dinner guests and no dessert plans. I had lots of fruit on hand so I made a simple syrup mixture and let it cool. I pureed kiwi fruit and put it in one Ziploc bag and pureed watermelon in the another. I added the simple syrup and some salt to each of the bags and placed them in the freezer. Every ten minutes or so, while I was preparing the rest of the meal, I opened the freezer and squished the bags around. 

By the time dinner was finished, the bags were each frozen to a nice, sorbet-like texture. I placed one scoop of each flavour into serving dishes and topped it with fresh blueberries and pomegranate seeds. It looked pretty and festive and as though I'd been planning it for ages.

Okay, I am totally doing that again in the next week or so. I haven't thought about that one forever.

Thanks for the questions, Hollie. I think I would be  girl superhero/insurance hawkster Erin Esurance. For reals! She fights costly premiums and she has a sweet pink bob!

Erin wants Hollie to know that Jewish girls don't have tattoos, because if you have a tattoo you can't be buried in a Jewish cemetery.  But if I had a tattoo, I guess it would be... Erin Esurance.

Rhonda Roo wanted to know:

Ummm... is it odd that I carry a pink jewelers loupe in my purse? I mean, you just never know. Someone might give you a bracelet or a ring and you might have to slip into the bathroom to make sure they're real diamonds before you get too enthusiastic.  The Secret Weapon gave me my pink loupe years ago and it comes in handy for all sorts of things. Oh, and you look pretty cool when you pull it out of your Juicy handbag when you're shopping.

Gail at Crafty Little Beana asked two questions and they were both so good, I answered them both. She asked about my hair:

I haven't seen my natural hair colour since I was about sixteen. You can see that Loopy has followed in my highlighted footsteps. 

In fact, the same person who does my hair now is the same person who did it then: my BFF, Andrew. He practiced his styling skills on me in high school, and later, in beauty school. I was his hair model more than once when he was styling in competitions and The Fan could tell you a few stories about his "experiments" that left me yellow, purple, black, permed, pixie cut, shagged, shorn or beehived. 

Andrew has a top-secret formula that he honed over 25 years of working with my hair. He claims to have it written down on a special card in his salon, but he went to Italy once and I decided I just had to get my roots done in his absence. His top-secret formula at the hands of any other is just not the same. 

Plus, he shares all sorts of mood-altering pills with me. She also asked:

Regular readers of this bloggedy-blog will remember that Loopy was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a baby and later, with Asperger's Syndrome, a social disorder that is related to autism.

I have a few key ideas to share:

First, children with special needs often have multiple disorders. This was obviously Loopy's case. I was so focused on her physical needs and working at therapy to meet her needs regarding her mobility issues that it was easy to miss the signs that something else was wrong... she wasn't diagnosed with Asperger's until she was almost twelve years old. Behaviours that should have been an indicator of  Asperger's were "explained away" as being part of her initial diagnosis. In hindsight, my mommy instinct was telling me that something else was wrong... but I didn't listen. 

I mean, would you ever think that two things could be wrong with your child, let alone one? Once we got the second diagnosis, things got much easier for us. Suddenly, we had more information, access to more help, and most importantly: a plan. 

Of course, I would also say that every parent, but especially the parents of children with special needs, need to listen to their mommy instinct. You know your child best.

I have also tried my best to teach Loopy to be her own advocate. Sometimes, this has backfired because people with Asperger's have less of a "governor" when it comes to speaking their mind but it generally helps. I won't always be around to guide her and stick up for her, she has to learn how to do it for herself. It would be easier to step in and make more decisions for her and spend more time on her behalf dealing with teachers but she really needs to learn how to do this. When I do advocate for her, I make sure she is part of the discussion and process. I always try to model firm, businesslike behaviour when I deal with teachers and doctors. That's why I was so upset with myself when I "lost it" on the last day of school and left some frustrated parting thoughts with the principal. 

We don't have private schools here where we live, so that wasn't an option for us. Homeschooling may have been an option, but not for Loopy. She tends to be withdrawn as it is and she needed the forced social interaction of the public school setting. Otherwise, she would be downright anti-social.

Lastly, it has been our experience that since Loopy was a tiny baby, sometimes we weren't told outright what programs or assistance would be available to us, and it didn't occur to ask. For instance, I had no idea that the government plans would pay for diapers and incontinence supplies or a lightweight wheelchair... we needed these things until she was about eight years old. The doctors thought the nurses told me who thought the therapists told me. It was a giant muddle. Make sure you ask the golden question, "who can help me with this?" and don't be afraid to ask for help. It also didn't occur to me to ask for a wheelchair parking sticker for my vehicle until I'd wrestled with her wheelchair for a year.

Michelle, while I am a fan of Hawkins Cheezies, I must admit that I also enjoy Old Dutch dill pickle chips. I'm told they are a Canadian "thing" and when I mentioned them on this blog before, there were plenty of quizzical comments about them. Yes, they taste like... pickles.

Aside from the excellent snack foods, Canada is home to a wonderful health care system, and some very talented musicians. I really dig Canadian music. I'm not talking about just Celine Dion and Shania Twain!

Check out Michael Buble, Chantal Kreviazuk, Avril Lavigne, Sam Roberts, The Tragically Hip, Diana Krall, Alanis Morrisette, Barenaked Ladies and Jann Arden. 

You won't be sorry.

I'm glad you asked that Jenn. I have just found what I think is possibly the best mascara I have ever used: Make Up For Ever "Smoky Lash" Professional Mascara. In black, of course. I lurrve it. It goes on without clumping and added great length and definition... just what I look for on a mascara. It stays on in this summer heat but comes off nicely with just one cotton ball of makeup remover. I hate having to use extra makeup remover!

Oh, and if I didn't answer your question here, I might pull some questions out another day. In the meantime, some random answers are: no, yes, an Armani dress for forty dollars, Paris, Sassy, cold pizza with hot chocolate, no, yes, many, a list-maker, I'm not telling you that, Campbell for a girl and Kendrick for a boy (not mine, Gracie's), Grace for mine, and four cupcakes in one sitting.


Miss Quoted said...

I love that you make sure that Loopy is part of the process when you have to advocate for her. I think that really must give her a lot of security as well as a pretty awesome role model.

I have to say I love those Canadian muscisians as well Jann Arden, Chantal Kreviazuk and my big fave Lily Frost -- and Deborah Cox's Nobody's Supposed To Be Here -- is still the best ever! Ms. Cox is going to be here for Southern Decadence, and provided we aren't hit by a hurricane - I'm there!

Alison said...

I also enjoy Dill Pickle Potato Chips - we have them here in Michigan (I think Lays makes them). I also had ketchup flavored potato chips once while staying at a hotel in Windsor, Ontario...I have yet to find them anywhere here in the States and I'm not sure that I would want to.

I too LOVE (is that too extreme?) - Michael Buble - my husband and I walkind in to our wedding reception to his music :-) I also enjoy Diana Krall and BNL.

I really enjoy reading your blog too! (found it through Ready. Set. Craft.)

YSLGuy said...

These were great to read! Thank you for taking the time to do those.

Taiya said...

I read a lot of blogs from a lot of women, and I have never come across someone who defends your healthcare system... except you. it's interesting how different people's opinions are of such things..

(I will disclaimer this immediately before it gets misread... this is not a criticism in any way, just a simple observation I decided to share. I don't live in Canada so your healthcare system doesn't affect me. Were it to come about in America? I would have some things to say)

Amy said...

I love the answer about Loopy. More people need to be aware that we as parents need to be the advocates but we also need to teach our children. I've been lucky to have a few select people guide us to some programs but I've fought tooth and nail to make sure my son gets what he needs.

And that dessert sounds absolutely lovely. Maybe you could share the recipe for the syrup for those of us who don't quite have your cooking talents?


What? You lived in England for 3 months. I don't think I knew that. I have to find out where to buy your mascara.

3rdEyeMuse said...

what great answers ... makes me wish I has taken the time to come up with a clever question. :)

indavao said...

hi... just dropping by!

Taiya said...

It would be interesting to see what your take on the healthcare system there, is, however I can't say you won't get hate commenting. People can be pretty harsh with little or no provocation... especially on blogs it seems.

I wouldn't want universal healthcare in the United States, but that doesn't mean I begrudge you your system... I'm glad you have something that works for you!

Saucy said...


You are right! People on blogs can very often hide behind the mask of anonymity... and hateful comments ensue as a result of people voicing their opinions, its very sad.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the great thing about both of our countries is the ability to voice our opinion freely, no matter what it is!

The system here isn't absolutely perfect but it works for us. It really does.

Sue Sparks said...

My favorite native Canadian musicians are Joni Mitchell and Neil Young:)

roostreehouse said...

A hoot I tell you, my Canadian lovely, you are just a hoot! Of *course* you would carry a jewelers loupe. LOL. So Saucy ;) and I mean that in a good way, like I mean Moondance is one of my favorite songs. Seriously. So very.

xoxoxoxoxo Rhonda Roo

stephanie (bad mom) said...

What helpful words you have about your girl, and other kids who might need extra (and unique) support.

My son has very mild Tourette Syndrome which was only diagnosed (and tentatively) last year. It has been a tricky road advocating for him - and teaching him to do it, as you wisely mentioned - because he is embarrassed and wants to 'be normal.'

Before my comment becomes an unbearable book, I will conclude with "You are lovely in many ways; thanks :D"

Coco said...

This was really fun. I enjoyed reading the Q & A. I think you have done an excellent job with Loopy. I didn't know she also had the other problem.

I am only familiar with Asperbergers with one person. Someone I worked with had a daughter with it. She actually slapped her teacher. So she definitely has some issues.

I have a question...Were you working in London? It just sounds interesting that you were there for three months. I am too nosy I guess. LOL.

Cheryl said...

Saucy, I work in the healthcare system and I would be the first to say it needs an overhaul but for now, it works fairly well within the parameters established by the government. I could ofer suggestions to the policy makers but my suggestions aren't politcal correct so they probably wouldn't use them!!! Oh ya, I could talk for hours on this subject but I won't.

SandraD said...

Great questions and answers. As always, I got some great hints from reading your blog.

Jenn said...

I was soo excited when I went onto the Sephora website and found Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash. I am definitely adding it to my mascara collection. Thank you for the recommendation :)

Saucy said...

Whoops, I needs to fixes the pictures.

It was Michelle who lived in London England, not little Country Mouse Saucy. Michelle is the City Mouse! It was part of her question, as in:

"what do you need to have to remind you of Canada", that sort of thing...

Poor Saucy.
Has never been to London.
She so sad.

Anonymous said...

I really, really hope you answer the other questions that were posted someday... will you??

Maija said...

My very favorite mascara- Cover Girl Lash Blast in plain old black. Perfect for my very long but not very thick lashes!