Category Archives: family

A Painting a Day: Mother’s Day

Celebrating all types of motherhood today. This commission, a watercolor of a German shepherd and her Leonberger buddy, arrived as a surprise to their owner yesterday, just in time. I have since learned that the German shepherd, Banshee, was one … Continue reading

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Don’t Be a Shunner

I am fortunate in that I have been on the other side of the Shun and I see how the join-up system works. This is the story: Continue reading

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Amanda Portrait, Day 3

Amanda is a Special Olympics gold medal swimmer and diver. If the ferry boat ever sinks, she is, “under contract to save my sorry cement block butt.” She started out young — Dad wanted her to be confident in the … Continue reading

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My Own Immigrant

We called her Grandma Gus. Her name was Esther. She had a serious countenance, but a quick smile and intelligent blue eyes. She was born during the long golden days of the Nordic Indian summer, early September 1887. Her home … Continue reading

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Precedent, Not President

The election of Donald Trump has shaken a large (perhaps the majority – since more people actually voted for Hillary Clinton) part of the population. One faction affects me personally — Hillary had promised to be a champion for people … Continue reading

Posted in abuse, amanda, disabilities, disability, down syndrome, down's, down's syndrome, dysfunctional, empathy, families, family | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Autumn Harvest

Driving the truck around is cumbersome, and slightly embarrassing, today, because it’s still stacked with a tower of hay. The bales are packed so tightly that I can’t get my fingers under the twine, and those suckers are heavy: One … Continue reading

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Bad Habits

My sister Amanda has some bad habits. Amanda loves sweets. She loves food in general. She loves to sleep late. She doesn’t like to shower or brush her teeth. Amanda has Down syndrome. She has struggled with her weight throughout her … Continue reading

Posted in abuse, cognition, disabilities, disability, dispute, down syndrome, down's, down's syndrome, empathy, families, family, guardianship, Michigan | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Prior Lake Priorities – On Bullying

I know everyone likes to see nice and sunny, funny stories about my sister Amanda, who despite (or maybe partially due to) having Down syndrome, has an offbeat, self-deprecating sense of humor and a characteristic bluntness.  Her one-liners quickly became … Continue reading

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For Those Who Try to Shut Me Up

It’s a little bit ironic that yesterday, of all days, I got the phone call. The whole world was reeling from the sight  of three hooded terrorists, screaming about Muhammed, their spattered gunfire echoing through the streets of Paris.  How much nerve does it take … Continue reading

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How To Say Goodbye – With Cats

My best friend is dying. We met in 1989, and became daily companions. But after 8 years I had moved away, and we had seen each other sporadically thereafter.  Now that the cancer is taking its toll, of course, I wish I had put … Continue reading

Posted in amanda, cancer, cat, cats, dysfunctional, family, friends, relationships, rescue | 2 Comments