Saturday, March 31, 2012

House Building - Secret Doors

What a great surprise I got this week!  Early on as we were deciding what to add to the home, I wanted gorgeous iron window inserts that had a strong degree of privacy, versus the standard 2/3 window option door that is standard.  I like to be able to "pretend I'm not home" and if the person at the door is staring straight at you, well.....that wasn't going to work.

But then the cost of these door inserts made me go "ACK!"

When it came down to my beautiful granite and how badly I wanted it, I gave up my iron doors....and just thought I'd do something different later.

Well, behind my back EngineerHubby had my boss order these doors anyway and surprise me.  They are stunning!   Neighbors have already stopped and commented on them....

In this photo, the doors will be painted Sherwin Williams Black Fox, which is a dark charcoal gray, along with the shutters.  Dirt is going to be hauled in to level this house (it is much higher than normal due to having to switch to a "block and fill" foundation"....I just love the doors!!

On the painting front, the main color we picked for most walls different in a significant way when using the builder's paint....bases were different, etc.  It was a little dark.  It is being changed now to Sherwin Williams Perfect Greige and I think it will be a perfect choice.  Might look gray...might look taupe depending on the lighting...just what I wanted.

Sherwin Williams Peppercorn has gone in the formal dining room and master bedroom and it is so striking....

Inspiration Photo - Pulp Design Studios
Source: via Cheri on Pinterest

One of the site supervisors/head honchos at our company loved my choice so much he took photos and sent it to his wife...I think we will get many nights of restful sleep in that room!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

House Building - Exterior

We have been so goodness.....I'm falling back on taking photos and need to get back on the stick.  EngineerHubby surprised me with the iron door inserts I "gave up" to get the granite I wanted and ordered them anyway behind my back.  I need to get a better photo of them because they are STUNNING!! So many compliments already.

Have no idea why this photo looks such a different color...guess it is the minute the home looks more gray, the next ....tan.

The door inserts are called Wyngate by Western Reflections.  Best of all?  They are private...folks cannot see in!  I got the inserts on 2 doors...nothing above and no side lights...but gorgeous nonetheless.

In other new, sheet rock is done, painting went up but the wrong shade so that is being corrected...and my special ordered mantle is in....GORGEOUS!    I heard cabinets are coming in this week...tiling up soon...trim is going in as we speak......

And best of all, I met the gal I sold a house to over the phone...they've come to town and love everything...what a relief!  I have sold a house over the phone via photos one other time and while my attention detail and zillion photos make it happen, it is still worrisome until the client arrives and LOVES it.  Relief!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

House Building - Sheet Rock

Starting to look like a house......


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Love And Aspergers/Autism {Article}

I belong to several Asperger online support groups/boards and find it an invaluable resource of information....


The following article was recommended to me and while lengthy, is an excellent representation/snapshot of the intricacies of Aspergers/High Functioning Autism and relationships.  So far 2 family members have read it and found parts they identify with.....this is not a one -size-fits-all situation.  Aspergers and Autism are SPECTRUM disorders....many there are VAST differences in all traits among any 2 folks diagnosed.

I personally describe folks with Asperger's Syndrome (Einstein, Bill Gates...) as having 2 sets of gifts.....and if their social anxieties and issues could get quickly resolved/under control, their second set of gifts could Einstein and Bill Gates did....they have amazing attention to detail, their "literalness" and relative rarity to get distracted by emotions positions them to be excellent researchers and scientists....

But what they do not know, they will not "pick up on".  Things must be told straight up and spelled out.  They do not easily "mirror" with others, do not easily read facial clues, innuendo and sarcasm flies over their heads in most cases.    In fact, I have learned to be SO literal and blunt that I find I have to temper myself in other is TOO blunt and TOO strong for most people.  I refer to this as having "soft edges".

For instance, in the article they mention hand-flapping as a typical autistic trait.  However, the girl in the article obsessively pops her knuckles...rather than hand-flapping.


Everyone in my immediate life obsessively knuckle-pops.

All in all, it is encouraging and with how literal Aspies are, any easy-to-read (and encouraging) articles always serve to help them learn, help encourage them.  The overwhelming anxiety sometimes has them believing they will never make it, never fit in.



Sunday, March 18, 2012

Inspirational Words, Autism/Aspergers and Alexithymia

"You have all you need within you to become the best version of yourself. Anything that inspires you is an outward reflection of the potential within you. Cultivate in your own life, in your own way, the qualities and greatness you see in others and pretty soon you will be living a life that is your personal version of greatness. Your work is to apply yourself everyday and don't look back."

- Jackson Kiddard, author & polymath

Asperger's Syndrome (High Functioning Autism) got professionally diagnosed a year and a half ago.  The rigidity of school kept them under the radar despite my going to doctor after doctor after doctor begging for help.  Everyone in their life has had "HUH?" moments with them.  The extreme literalness, the clueless behavior, the utter lack of critical thinking skills, almost ZERO forward thinking/forecasting....not understanding others, having to control every play date, not ever understanding how their playmate might be feeling, coming out to get something to eat and NOT offering anything to their friend......utterly unaware of how their friend might be feeling, he/she might be hungry too....everything is just about THEM without massive training.  And once there is training, there is simply training.  Not true real understanding.  Just a new "database" that says:

Remember to offer friend food or drink if I am eating.

Remember to consider if friend would like to do something else.

It's been a tough year and a half.

So reading the quote above, I get so inspired UNTIL

I stop and realize....

The alexithymia (and mind blindness) my men suffer PREVENTS them from sensing or realizing any inner potential....they just know what they believe, what they have learned (that they choose to believe and process) and what is told to them very succinctly.  (Add in sarcasm or innuendo and you can forget comprehension.)

They cannot "cultivate in their own life the qualities and greatness they see in others" because they do not SEE any of that in others.  At all.  Ever.

They just see what they see....."Cheri went to work.  Cheri is home."

They do NOT see (unless massive training), "Cheri is sad.  Cheri is mad. Cheri is excelling."

Cheri (or whomever) has to TELL them straight up "I am this....for this reason....and this is what I need you to do".  (Hug me, avoid me, help me solve something...)

Otherwise, Cheri has men in various episodes - meltdowns, shutdowns, lockdowns.  

Many do not feel any inner drive from inside....they stare at you blankly if you try to describe this....

They go to work IF they believe it is the right thing to do, after they decide if they want to or not.  If they call in sick and you say, "This is a terrible time, your boss is so slammed with work, how could you pretend to be sick and stay home" you get blank stares.  Who cares what their boss is going through? Consider others before making decisions?  Why?  (They are not trying to be rude...they honestly do not know WHY.)

Emotions?  Feelings?  Even noticing their own overdone rage during a meltdown?

Isn't happening.

A very unemotional inner dreaming, no intuition, "dreams or goals" is a dirty word because they cannot grasp that easily (Aspergers is a spectrum with a wide-variety of symptoms.....)

But now I know WHY....why my jaw hurts so much from clenching, why my life as a parent has been filled with so much pain with all the choices that made NO sense until diagnosis......

If you think you may be living with someone devoid of normal emotions/goals/dreams...but cannot quite put your finger on it, take this online Alexithymia test to see what I am talking about and see if it applies.  Also good to just learn what Alexihtymia is like.

Online Alexithymia Test

I am going to slowly start posting on this subject....what I've learned has the potential to help so many others.

I haven't even touched on the intense massive anxiety that almost brings their entire life to a halt.

Just remember - Asperger's can go undiagnosed for a LIFETIME.  Most "Aspies" develop an outer mask.....of behaviors to fit in.....but they don't even realize they are doing this.  Many folks are getting diagnosed in their 40's, 50's and 60's.    Anyone in your life who NEVER reciprocates emotion?  Look in to Asperger's Syndrome.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Custom Lighting Question

If I needed THESE custom lights made for me, where would I start?

I fell in love with this photo and have to have these lights for my kitchen, or something very similar.  Even the color is PERFECT.

Modern Loft Dining & Kitchen Areas modern dining room

Our new house is going to have similar colors....walnut brown, grays, cream and this tobacco/caramel color......

Any ideas??  We live in the MidSouth, but have access to Dallas, Little Rock, and surrounding areas.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hungry For A Change?

Are you tired?  Sluggish?  Moody? Cranky?  Achy?  Sleep all night but never feel rested? Skin sallow?  Wrinkles?  Acne?  Hair lifeless?

Guess what....this isn't a post about the latest "MLM - multi level marketing product you must have....don't get me started on those...."
I haven't had time to talk much about it on here, but I have been back on

for months.  I got to looking back at photos when I looked SO much younger, much less wrinkles, healthy vibrant skin and I remembered - that was when I was on Green Smoothies!

So I got back on them and it has been amazing, just like last time.  I basically drink a large ( and I mean LARGE) green smoothie in the morning and evening, and eat what I want for lunch.  Literally.

A coworker has now started Green Smoothies and she is doing great too.  I believe this trailer and this movie is going to help explain WHY are bodies are fat, tired, can do something about it, but it starts with getting OFF anything with ASPARTAME  (Equal, Nutrasweet....) ASAP (with I knew how to put a red circle with an X through it for DANGER...)....I got off Aspartame a few months after first ingesting it when I realized the cause of my short term memory loss and massive headaches that had a sudden onset started around the time I started putting Equal in my tea....and folks, this was in the 90's!!!  (I've talked about our food diary experiences....and it trains you to pay attention to what you just ate/drank to connect to what is going on in your life negatively.)

Finally, we must all wean off sugar...I'm not there yet but have seriously decreased my consumption.  Strangely enough, drinking pure nutrition (greens, vegetables and some fruit - NOT the next multi level marketing "product" for health.....)...actually curbs many is awesome how it works.

If I can do it, you can do it!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

House Building - Framing


25 Years Ago Today

After knowing each other less than 8 months, we got married.


I'm feeling really old right now!  lol

2 grown boys, a lifetime of experiences, 7 states, building our 15th house...friends all over the map.....

A surprise Renewal of Vows Wedding just prior to year 10 - he pulled it off...I had NO clue!

Aww...look at the boys...they went to school and told everyone their parents got married.......that was fun in a tiny Arkansas town of 10,000!

Our heart is in Dallas and some day we will get back there....(funny how 22 years ago when we left to move to Arkansas "briefly", we said we were only leaving temporarily.....).  Lesson learned!

Really poor iPhone photo from the other night
I've often many people have lost money on the bets?

Here's to another 25 honey!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Is Your Word Gold?

There are many things I am passionate would probably take less time to list what I'm NOT passionate about, but at the top of the list is.....


Our Word.

Have you ever really stopped to think about it?  If our word is GOLD, if we mean what we say and say what we mean.....can anyone ever take that from us?

This is POWER.

This is RESPECT.


I explained to my boss last week why I work so hard and so late if need be.  If I have TOLD a customer I will email them, I EMAIL THEM.  PERIOD.  And I don't go home until I do.  It isn't up for discussion.

Now, I carefully watch what I say....I carefully watch what I promise word means so much to me.

Because my word is gold, I respect MYSELF and have the respect of OTHERS.  Working in sales, doing what you say you are going to do STANDS OUT.  It makes an impression.  A great one.

And this video says it all:

How about you?  In what ways, if any, do you feel strongly about this?  Does someone keeping their word impact you?  Have you ever really stopped and thought about it?


Thursday, March 8, 2012

House Building

Dirt is going to be brought in to level out the backyard....had to do quite the number with the block and fill foundation!

Here is the floor plan again:

EngineerHubby did not like the elevation over the garage, so he had it changed.  Plus our neighborhood requires a side load garage.  With our tweaks and changes, we are over 3250 sf last I checked.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

House Building


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Reducing your BPA Risk

What is BPA?  Bisphenol A, a toxic, dangerous chemical that is found in so many places.  I recently had a trip to a highly recommended endocrinologist whose sister is a neurologist and as a result of studying what effects our brains, lives VERY holistically and organically avoiding as many chemicals as possible.  While there, she had 2 big pleas for the health of my family (unrelated to why I was personally visiting her).

1.  Remove as much BPA in our diets as possible.

2.  Remove as much food dye in our diets as possible.

We started removing food dyes when the boys were itty bitty because we noted extreme behavioral changes when they ingested food dyes (and chocolate among other things).  The boys spent their entire childhoods NOT eating candy, pop tarts, cereal with food dyes, etc.  So on Halloween and Valentine's Day, they got movies or video games instead of candy.  As I saw child after child eating pop tarts in the car on the way to school, I wondered if THOSE parents had behavioral issues that they just assumed was ADD/ADHD, defiant personality, etc.  Some reactions are immediate - some took 36-48 hours to show up...making it nearly impossible to connect a trigger unless keeping a detailed food diary.

If you have never kept a food diary with your is what our looks like:

  • 7am - Woke up happy and alert
  • 7:30am - ate gluten-free homemade pancakes with apple juice syrup 
  • 8am - Off to school, happy and alert
  • Lunch sent - Carrot sticks, raisins, tuna, crackers, Fruit Leather, water to drink (no school "milk" - avoiding most dairy)
  • 3:30pm - after school snack of some sort - happy and alert
  • 5pm - Getting very cranky, snappy.... have a discussion about what he ate at school that I didn't know about...ALWAYS something on our avoid list....cupcakes or cookies with dye or chocolate, etc.  Few parents brought healthy snacks.
  • 6pm - Dinner - chicken, mashed potatoes with almond milk and real butter, corn on the cob, bread stick
  • 7pm - eyes very red and swollen, disagreeable, extra tired
  • 8:30 pm - bedtime, teary....

Through these food diaries, we learned our oldest son reacted also to rice, corn, dairy (milk and cheese, although could tolerate butter).  In fact, at birth, breastfeeding was so difficult (he reacted to EVERYTHING I ate) that I very sadly stopped breastfeeding (was very young, very stressed and didn't realize that was the best option)....son then reacted to milk and soy he ended up on Nutramigen, a hypoallergenic formula.  At age one, doc said "Put him on milk now" and we did.  While he no longer had the physical reactions of rashes and vomiting, he became VIOLENT.  His personality went from sweet and amazing to MEAN, VIOLENT and scary.  At age one.

Thankfully, Phil Donahue (hello.....23 years ago now....) had Dr. Doris Rapp on one day discussing her new book, "Is This Your Child?  Discovering and Treating Unrecognized Allergies".  I RAN to the book store and purchased this book.  I cried for days reading this book...because this WAS my child.  Within 3 days of removing ALL dairy, he was back to being his sweet, amazing self.

Youngest son reacted to eggs 48+ hours after ingestion with massive headaches approaching migraine status.  Also he would melt down within minutes of being exposed to perfume or cologne, even hand lotion would set him off...we live most scent-free to this day around him and he is 19 now.  If I know I will be getting in a car with him, I will wash anything off that MIGHT have a scent....

One of the most dramatic "mood altering" scents we discovered was Future Floor Wax.....our oldest son would go from sweet to hysterical in MINUTES after I cleaned the floors.....VERY interesting.....

BPA, on the other hand, is very difficult to avoid.  Reading the following article, as study was done with 5 families who avoided canned fords and drinks and ate fresh organic foods for 3 days in lieu of eating out saw their BPA levels drop a dramatic 60%!!!  

Want To Drastically Reduce Your BPA Risk?  Eat Fresh Food

When they returned to their usual diet, their levels went back up.  What should we avoid?  
  • All Canned Food (especially with acidic contents)
  • All Canned Drinks
  • Never microwave in plastic or plastic wrap
  • Choose glass containers
  • Eat out less
  • Eat Fresh (or frozen)
Did you know that China joined the United Arab Emirates, Europe and Canada in banning BPA in children's products?   WHY hasn't the US joined this?  Scary time to have a baby right now...I would DEFINITELY be looking in to how to avoid BPA for your baby.....

What does BPA do to you?  Why should we avoid it?

  • 1.  Confirmed link to Heart Disease.
  • 2.  Link to the effecting the functional ability of the intestines, causing "Leaky Gut Syndrome" and other issues.
  • 3.  Infertility and Reproductive Issues  - BPA mimics estrogen and can wreak havoc with important hormones.  We don't need our boys being exposed to EXTRA estrogen... and our girls need their regular hormones and not have them turned off by a xenoestrogen such as BPA.
  • 4.  Erectile Dysfunction - of 200 Chinese men exposed to BPA in their workplace, they were found to have 4 times higher chance of erectile dysfunction and 7 times higher chance of ejaculation difficulties.
  • 5.  Diabetes and Obesity
  • 6. Behavioral Changes in Children

Our family is working to reduce or BPA exposure....and I look forward to the US joining other countries in protecting their citizens against KNOWN detriments to health.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

House Building - Framing

More exciting framing pictures...for some, this is facetious, for others it is right on!  lol


Friday, March 2, 2012

House Building - Framing

Now I know how my poor client felt who got sick and hospitalized with pneumonia during her much happens each day, I can't imagine missing a week!

Yes, I finally went to the job-site...EngineerHubby was SO happy to see me..(he nearly lives there these days...)...