Take a Walk in My Shoes First… Janet Smedile

The following is a post by a friend in regards to some tasteless jokes/status that have been circulating around Facebook.  It is with her permission that I am posting it here.  Sandy Moroney

After seeing some rather nasty posts and one-sided articles over the past two weeks about vaccines I am using my wall to rant a bit.

TRUTH – Many vaccinations contain neurotoxins in the form of preservatives and other such chemicals that are KNOWN to be harmful. The vaccination schedule is much more intensive than it used to be thus some infants / toddlers bodies / brains cannot handle it. Our Steve has a neurological condition that made him vulnerable from birth so I have researched this extensively. Many parents are choosing NOT to vaccinate their children. I understand why but I also have had to think about my child’s susceptibility to disease and the welfare of others. Here is what we did as parents: asked our doctor for preservative free vaccines and had the schedule be spread out. Our pediatrician was great about this. For the later vaccines Steve needed, the doctor did blood work to see if he already had immunity for some of the diseases and we vaccinated accordingly. It does not have to be an all or nothing issue. Also before anyone says that I don’t know about children with conditions thought to be caused or exacerbated by vaccinations or other environmental factors, I have worked with children with exceptional needs off and on since I was 19 as a teacher so I have taken the time to honestly look at this subject. For those of you who have not walked in my shoes – clean your own house before you try to clean mine. Sick of the bitching, sniping and whining on this subject – just like politics – go do something about it instead of posting stupid crap and inappropriate jokes about autism and other neurological disorders.

The Autism Club, It’s No Joke

Some things are important, some are not.
What is important, can sometimes depend on one’s perspective. Where you’re coming from, what kind of cards life has dealt you.
One thing that should always be important is respecting others, even when what they believe to be true is different from what you believe in. This should be basic stuff you learned in Kindergarten, though many who claim to be highly educated still have not learned this lesson.

Some times it is not the journey, but the destination that is important, which brings me to the point of the soap box rant de jour.

This past week, a friend on Facebook came across a post that contained a link that supposedly told how the MMR shots caused Autism.  When you clicked on the link, there was one sentence on the screen that read,  “They F***ing Don’t”.  Some how this was supposed to be a joke, and we all were going to have a good laugh.  Instead of laughter, my jaw dropped.  My brain actually froze for a second, as I could not believe how anyone, ANYONE could think this was remotely funny, or anything but insensitive.  It didn’t even matter to me, the how or why of Autism, but the fact that someone made a joke out of something so devastating to families all over the world. What were they going to do for a follow-up, make a joke that started, “Three Women with Breast Cancer go to a bar…”???  I was told the post “evaporated”, but the damage had already been done.

My point is, in this instance, the how or the why of Autism does not matter.  What matters is that Autism is not in any shape or form, funny.  Yes, laughter is the best medicine, but in this case the punch line was just a punch in the stomach, to those already suffering a devastating medical syndrome, that has no known cure.

You see, there is an unspoken Rule in this Autism Club, and it is no joke.  We have each other’s backs.  No matter what.  And Sometimes it is the only thing we in The Club can count on.


Twittering about Facebook, and, of course, Autism

Yes, I have joined the ranks of  millions who twitter.

As a Facebook addict, I rebelled at first.  What, no pictures?!  No Farm Town?!  People will start  to “follow” me,but won’t be my “friends” ?!  But, I’m worth $3.3 million dollars on Farm Town!

You will love it, give it a chance, said sister Maxine.  Follow people,  and they will follow you.  Look for people that twitter about Autism, or what ever else you’re interested in, AND  keep up with it!!  She bellowed.  Ok.   She didn’t bellow, but she typed: IN  ALL CAPITALS!!!

So I have been twittering for a few days now, and am just starting to get the hang of it.  Things are said short, but not always said so simply.   That is where the “lingo” I am just starting to learn, comes in.  DM, means: direct mail me.  Learned this from another Autism mom when she wanted the someone to DM her the scoop on the first 1/2 hour of “House”.  NO!, I typed to her, I have not seen it yet!!  That’s why I wanted it DM-ed to me, so no one else would see it,she typed in return. <Oops, sorry>   Then she graciously clued me in to the DM.

The more I learn about this new way of publicly declaring myself, the more I understand how it can become addicting.   On Facebook, you gather friends from your past and also make new ones via the games and groups that you play and join.  Twittering is more about the ‘right now”, and  not so  much about reminiscing with old High School pals.  It’s  more about chit chatting  current  topics, and social dilemmas,  sometimes with perfect strangers, and a few celebrities, now and then.

With Twittering, you can create your own forum, or jump into someone else’s.  I can vent about my day with Autism, also known as my son Mattie, or I can tweet a comment about one of my favorite TV shows, or what is going on in Afghanistan.  It is the short version of the world all wrapped up in 140 letters, numbers and spaces.  I can tell the world of my new blog post and still be able to find a new Dora episode on TV for Mattie to watch all under a minute.

For expressing myself to hearts desire, I’ll keep my blog.   For harvesting pineapples with my new “friend” Marlene from Sydney, Australia, and catching up with old chums Liz, Karen, and Janet, I’ll stick with Facebook.  But when I have just one minute, or a few, I’ll Twitter,which may win in the long run,  because with Autism, sometimes all you have, is one minute to yourself.

Farm Town, take me Away!!!

Amber’s “Little Patch of Heaven”



“Come visit my farm,anytime!!”  I heard that a lot in the last week.  I was sent notes on my Farm Town note pad, got messages on the Forum link, and people stopped by my farm and invited me back to theirs.

I saw many, many wonderful farms.  I went to “Grannie Judi’s Place”, a level 31 farm where Grannie Judi has made a resort type bar out of concrete blocks,tent and stools.  I traveled to the “Middle of No Where Farm”, where Dora-no relation to the explorer- had constructed a realistic beach complete with sand and waves.  On “Kim’s New Groove” farm, Jungle Kim has created-can you guess?- a jungle, so spectacular that I expected to see natives chasing King Kong up the Aztec inspired pyramid.  Too bad Mr. Kong isn’t on the animal list to buy at the market!  On Granny Mo’s “High Line Canal Farm” the new American flag waves in front of a 3 white house combo on a multi level farm.  Just this morning, I dropped by to see “Hill top cottages” who’s proprietor, Ms.B Potter, who hales from Arizona, has created a 3 mansion working farm, that brings to mind old English elegance.

There was one farm,though,  that upon bouncing into I stood speechless.  Rare in itself , for me.  “Little Patch of Heaven” by Amber.  I immediately went to “full screen” to truly take in what I thought I was imagining.  This really was not a farm at all.  No trees.  No houses, barns, fences, rivers or waterfalls.  Not an animal to be seen for miles- not even a rogue chicken.  I had beamed into the middle of an old fashioned cross stitch sampler, like the kind Grandmothers have made into pillows or framed on their walls.  In the middle, using “frozen’ crown’s of thorns as her thread, Amber had stitched ” the Beauty of Creation”.  Surrounding this was butterflies made from red, yellow and Orange poppys, and larger flowers constructed from purple crocus.  Frozen in time marigolds and roses were used as green vines and leaves.  The border of this was the crops itself that when matured create a new color patter.   This farm was no longer a farm it was a piece of art.  It had so evolved that it needed it’s own level.  Amber told me herself, she had never embroidered in her life.  I have done many types of stitchery, and this farm in it’s simple elegance would put them all to shame.

So, what had I learned from my 40 plus farm visits?   That every farmer I got the chance to meet in person, was extremely proud,if not boastfully so, of the farm they had created.  That many, like Amber had used this as an artistic outlet.  for some, it was the friendly competition of getting to the next level- or for me – getting that red mansion.  But the common thread was, that Farm Town is a release from the real world and all  it’s complications.  It was a short-or long- time away from the struggling economy, a loved ones-or one’s own-illness, or in my case, my son Mattie’s Autism.  Like one of the farmers I met, Farmassist , owner of “Farmacy” farm,  told me, “Forget the Calgon, Farm Town, take me away!!”.