Rebel - Right Here, Right Now!

& Sponsors:

Powered by Squarespace

The Random Rebel Coffee Blog:

Lifestyle HUMOR from The Rebel Housewife: Anecdotes, observations, experiences
On LIFE AT 30 & BEYOND: kids, family, men, BOOKS, cars, pets, tattoos...NASCAR, Aspergers/Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Virtual/Home Schooling, teenagers, Navy Mom...


It's not all about menopause and women's humor!

Dear Reader,

At the moment, The Rebel Housewife is somewhat of a hodge-podge portfolio/archival site, and in transition. Please bear with me during renovation-- you never know what you might see!

I do want to let you know there is a NEW ARTICLE posted on Rebel Reviews (good, solid Literary Review-- nothing to do with Menopause, kids, or women's humor!)--
You should definitely check it out:

Mamet - When Books & Theater Collide

Here's a preview:

ATLANTA: There are a dozen reasons why you should check your calendar, get online, and reserve your seats immediately to see David Mamet’s American Buffalo LIVE, performed by Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company at the Southwest Arts Center in Atlanta, February 9 – March 6, 2016.

The most important reason: It will make you a more interesting person. I promise. You will have something new and different to talk about -- the experience of live theatre, this play, by this theatre company, in particular -- Impress your friends, your colleagues, your boss!

What: Live Theatre - David Mamet's American Buffalo
Who: Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company
Where: Southwest Arts Center - Atlanta
When: February 9 - March 6, 2016
More Info:

Do you know Mamet?... continue :)


45 & Pregnant or... Oh. 

For the ladies...buckle up, girls, for an inside glimpse of the continuing journey...

45 & Pregnant or... Oh

by Sherri Caldwell - The Rebel Housewife® - All Rights Reserved.
For more information, contact

I remember waiting for It to start, in a very Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret kind-of-way, with excitement and growing concern, as all my friends seemed to start before me. I was 13 when It finally happened, and then I wasn't so excited anymore...what a pain!

Thirty-two years later, after the blessing of three healthy children, I suddenly find myself at the other end of the reproductive life cycle, waiting for a period that doesn't seem to be coming. I just hope, at forty-five that it's NOT pregnancy, God forbid; with three teenagers -- we're done! But the other reality, in many ways, is just as disconcerting.

Really? Is that it? Menopause. There, I said it.

WebMD tells us menopause is the stage in a woman’s life when she has not had a menstrual period for one year. That twelve-month transition is called perimenopause, and actually begins much earlier, as the equipment gradually begins to shut down. Perimenopause usually starts in a woman's 40s, but can begin earlier.

How's this for clarity:
"The average length of perimenopause is four years, but for some women this stage may last only a few months or continue for 10 years. Perimenopause ends the first year after menopause (when a woman has gone 12 months without having her period)." -- WebMD Menopause Health Center

Well, now that I may have had it, that last period leading into menopause, it makes me sad that I didn't notice. I wasn't paying attention, and I am suddenly faced with my body shutting itself down and what...getting ready to die?

No, that is more than a little dramatic. Considering the alternative to this situation (pregnancy), there are many positives to menopause. I'm sure...thinking...

Well, for one thing, once the factory shuts down for good, Prince Charming and I can enjoy a spontaneous sex extravaganza (sorry, kids!), without the risk of another baby coming along...that’s sexy, right? (Prince Charming, God love him, assures me it is.)

If you believe those ED commercials, we'll be sexy, silver-haired seniors, humping it up all over the place -- riding motorcycles, sailing exotic locations, taking romantic bubble baths in the middle of the week -- oh!

It's not like I didn't see it coming. Just as my daughter entered her time, with all the resulting mood swings and drama, I noticed changes, enough to think it was ironic: just as she was going through puberty, I was entering the extreme after-puberty, all perfectly normal:

Hot Flashes = Check
Mood Swings = OMG, Check
Difficulty Sleeping = Hello, my 4AM Facebook crowd!

There's more, but you get the idea.

Last year, my OB/GYN said it was "much" too early, but look at my hair -- I am 100% silver. My chiropractor, who, after 16 years, is a good friend and trusted doctor, gave me some herbal horse pills about the same time, in response to my whining, and I am addicted. ProFema™ made those early uncomfortable symptoms abate somewhat, even making the mood swings more, but not completely, manageable. (No, I am not getting paid for that mention!)

You don't miss something until you lose it. I don't miss it, I am just shocked that's where we are now, trying not to feel old and used up. I am Cougar, hear me roar. Meow.

- - -

Update - pregnancy test. I've only had to take a few more in my life than I was prepared for (meaning hoping for positive results). Forty-five years old, with a senior in high school, buying a pregnancy test, as quickly and inconspicuously as possible...peeing on a stick, waiting for lines to appear: two = pregnant, hoping for the single = not pregnant...3 minutes...

Single line, folks. You know what that means -- yay?


The Rebel Housewife Goes To Washington DC

The Rebel Housewife Goes to Washington DC
by Sherri Caldwell, Parent Advocate

Several months ago, I was invited to Washington, D.C. in July for a “parent advocacy training boot camp”. As an active parent and freelance journalist often reporting on civic and education issues, I have long been involved in our traditional public schools (Atlanta Public Schools). I also know intimately the desperate search for public school options, including private and virtual schools, when our neighborhood public schools did not work for our youngest child.

I had no idea what to expect from this adventure, and 2015 has been such a crazy-busy summer, with our daughter’s high school graduation; Navy son visiting from Guam for three short weeks on leave; various college summer programs, school competitions and travel; two summer birthdays; Freshman Orientation & Registration--figuring out how to pay for the first year of college (much less the next three or four); and a big cross-town move... I never had a minute to think about it, worry about it, research or prepare. I just got on the plane--

As it turned out, BOOT CAMP 2015 National Parent Advocacy Conference was a life-changing, two-and-a-half-day, whirlwind event, jam-packed with meeting new people, learning new things, finding my voice, and advocating -- in Washington, D.C.! on Capitol Hill! In my Representatives’ and Senators’ offices! -- for my child and others, for education reform, and is an alliance of parents that supports and defends parents’ rights to access the best public school options for their children. The Coalition supports the creation of public school options, including charter schools, online schools, magnet schools, open enrollment policies and other innovative education programs. Additionally, we advocate for free and equal access without restrictions to these public schools for all children.

PSO BOOT CAMP was the adventure of a lifetime. After and alongside power networking with parents and teachers from all over the country, we enjoyed (survived?!) a full day of advocacy training Monday on lobbying and the issues, prior to spending Tuesday morning on The Hill. Capitol Hill. (I still can’t quite believe I was there!)

Tuesday began with a public rally on the Upper Senate Park, in the midst of Washington’s most iconic buildings. On Capitol Hill. School Choice champions and supporters spoke to the crowd and the cameras, while more than one hundred parents from thirty states rallied in bright red #ITrustParents tshirts, with signs, stickers, and other SWAG.

The Georgia Coalition (five of us) had to leave the rally early to make our first appointment in Representative John Lewis’s (D-GA) office, which was... AMAZING.

[Note: The politics of ESEA Re-Authorization (a.k.a. “No Child Left Behind”) is complicated, and there is a very helpful article here. I found myself a Blue Lady (Democrat) in a contingent of Red (Republicans), which was fine, after a minor crisis in ideology. Education is a child-centered issue, and that is primary, although there are some differences in approach and detail. Nevertheless, we were able to visit both Democrats and Republicans as a bi-partisan coalition, which was very effective.]

Although we were scheduled to meet with “Staffers” in the legislative offices, Representative Lewis walked in while we were meeting around a table in his small antechamber. For many reasons, I think John Lewis is a living national treasure, and I was in awe. He took a picture with us -- one of the most extraordinary events of my life:

From Congressman Lewis’s office (excellent meeting), we visited Representative David Scott’s (D-GA) office, and met with his Education Staffer. (The meeting was not as excellent, but we held our own.) We also visited Senator David Perdue’s (R-GA) office, but Senator Perdue already supports the Senate version of the School Choice Bill, so it was more of a check-in, not a formal meeting. (Sen. Perdue was not there.)

And that was it. A big luncheon, additional networking and good-byes, and we were done. My colleague and I went on a quick visit to Arlington National Cemetery, and Uber-ed our way back to the airport in time for our flight home to Atlanta, back to Real Life.

For more about The Adventure -- what I said & why I was there -- click on:
TRH Goes To DC - Part Two.

TRH Goes To D.C. - Part Two
by Sherri Caldwell, Parent Advocate

Also see: The Rebel Housewife Goes To Washington DC (Part One)

My husband and I raised three children in Midtown Atlanta, in Atlanta Public Schools since 1999. We graduated two successfully, in 2013 and 2015, amidst funding crises, re-zoning battles, cheating and accreditation scandals.

Our older son graduated from Grady High School in 2013. He was the lead cadet of the Grady JROTC. He enlisted in the Navy from high school, and is now serving in Guam (8000 miles away from home).

Our daughter graduated in May (2015) from the Biomedical Science Academy at Grady High School. She is starting her Nursing Degree at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia, in just a few weeks.

Although our older children made it through our neighborhood public schools just fine, through all the ups and downs with Atlanta Public Schools over the last decade, it has been a very different journey for our third child.

Our youngest son, Tiger, just turned 15. He is going into 10th grade with Georgia Connections Academy, a virtual public charter school. Tiger was diagnosed with Asperger’s/Autism Spectrum Disorder at the end of 3rd grade, after struggling in Atlanta Public Schools from Day One. Our neighborhood public schools were never a good fit for him. He is a brilliant kid, but autism is characterized by anxiety, sensory overload, social challenges and difficulties with communication; oftentimes, he was bored and frustrated, which could lead to crises and meltdowns. In my experience, Asperger’s/ASD can be more of a Superpower than a disability, but our public schools are not yet prepared to handle this exceptionality.

In the middle of an incredibly difficult 4th grade year, just before Winter Break, I received a postcard with the simple question, "Is your child happy in school?" I broke down and cried. No, he was miserable. Every single day. By the end of the break, we had transferred him to Georgia Cyber Academy, the only public virtual charter school option we had at the time in Georgia. I think that postcard was heaven-sent.

Tiger has been in and out of Atlanta Public Schools-- he wanted to try again, in 6th grade and 9th grade, with his older brother and sister, but he prefers to go back to the virtual option to finish high school and start on early college through Georgia's Dual Enrollment Program.

The virtual schools in Georgia -- Georgia Cyber Academy, Georgia Connections Academy, and Georgia Provost Academy -- are online public charter schools; not private schools, not home school. Students have the same curriculum, attendance, and testing requirements as their counterparts in the brick & mortar public schools. Textbooks and materials are provided, and Title I students are eligible for free computers and internet connection. Each student has a primary teacher or team of teachers (middle & high school), including Special Education and IEP services, and they attend live classes online. Parents (or other designated adults) serve as Learning Coaches, and work with the teachers and the school to support the student. Although they are primarily online at home, cyber students enjoy a wealth of opportunities for social interaction, both with school -- sports, field trips, study groups, in-person events and activities -- and extracurricular.

Virtual school has given Tiger the opportunity to come into his own -- to succeed, to develop his strengths, to explore his own interests, to build confidence and skills toward a bright future in technology/cybersecurity: toward INDEPENDENCE.

It is essential to have options and support when the local public school is not a good fit for your child -- public school options that are accessible to families who cannot afford private school.

I went to Washington D.C. with to protect and promote school choice and public school options for all students. As another issue in the mix, how grateful we would be if federal funding followed our child to the public school of choice-- the school that works for him, when the neighborhood school does not. is an alliance of parents that supports and defends parents’ rights to access the best public school options for their children. The Coalition supports the creation of public school options, including charter schools, online schools, magnet schools, open enrollment policies and other innovative education programs. Additionally, we advocate for free and equal access without restrictions to these public schools for all children.

Autism Awareness: 250 Words

This is Our Autism (in 150 words):

Our 14-year-old son was diagnosed with Asperger’s/Autism Spectrum Disorder when he was nine years old. Our Autism is a Superpower, although it definitely has its (social, sensory and communication) challenges.

Our son is brilliant, but quirky; interesting and extraordinary. He has a great sense of humor, but he is very shy. He is a techie genius--loves computers, technology, programming and video games, and lights up about his strengths and interests. He is extremely helpful with anything computer-related.

We worry about our Autism future and independence. The world does not always appreciate quirky. We know, with the right encouragement, resources and support, with a pathway, our son will be completely self-sufficient. We know he fits in the tech world, that he will be happy and productive in a technical, creative environment.

We often worry about how to help him get there.

99(+1) Words about LiveCode, Indiegogo and Empowering Autism Through Coding:

THIS. This is what we need, for our techies with Autism: LiveCode, with support from international autism organizations, will provide an extensive online training program to help young adults on the autism spectrum develop employment skills in programming.

I encourage anyone to consider this worthy project for donation to support Autism. Please share the message and encourage your friends, family and network to get involved. Contribute and participate, if you have or know a young person on/near the autism spectrum. $99 is a very small contribution toward independence.


Also see: CNNMoney: Teaching Autistic Kids to Code