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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...




Tuesday
Dec272011

Home Again, Home Again -- New Year Ahead

Home again, home again...

It is December 27th, and I am trying to come up with something profound and thought-provoking, optimistic and reassuring for the New Year. Only 4 days to go, and 467 words for this year-ending missive.

Another brand-new year, 2012...so many challenges, so many new possibilities: where to start? I almost wish we were moving – I like to move – the chance to re-organize, deep-clean and de-clutter. But we’re not, and that’s okay, too. There are plenty of good things about NOT moving, like loving our location and community, stability, not having to go through all those address changes for utilities, driver’s licenses, schools, checks, address labels, etc. I like where we are, I just wish we could re-organize, deep clean and de-clutter, get rid of the old big-screen TV (who knew it would be so hard to get rid of what was, a decade ago, the latest in modern technology and home entertainment – and now doesn’t work anymore?!) and buy a new couch.

Since we knew we were not moving this year (our lease was up, we extended), and with our oldest kid a senior in high school next year, knowing we will be losing him so soon to college and beyond, we decided to Go BIG this year for Christmas. Instead of presents and all the usual routine, we took the kids on a fabulous Road Trip & Caribbean Cruise Adventure. We were gone nine days (six onboard) and it was amazing. I can’t write about that, yet, though, in case the major women’s magazine to which I pitched the article responds affirmatively (fingers crossed, everybody!). So...

I can’t think of any New Year’s Resolutions, either. Well, other than to land another article in a major magazine, I’d like to get back to that. And to update and revitalize The Rebel Housewife – it’s definitely time, but that is so overwhelming, I don’t even know where to start. With the 10th Anniversary of the Rebel Blog & Rebel Reviews coming up this year, I feel like a dinosaur. Apparently, I need to make the move to Wordpress! Update my logo design! Figure out what to do with all those archives! Develop my Facebook presence – make a landing page! Twitter! Google+! LinkedIn!

Arrrggghhhh! I just did figure out how to add pictures to my blog posts – and how to announce the updates on Facebook & Twitter – let's celebrate!

As I work my way through the post-vacation laundry, trying to get everything put away, I have decided to clean out my closet, which is certainly a resolution-worthy intention. If only it were as easy as cleaning out my email inboxes, which I did earlier today: from hundreds of messages to about a dozen. The To Do List is calling, including two new Rebel Reviews to close out the year. Perhaps I will come up with another couple of New Year’s Resolutions in that mess...or maybe not.

Happy New Year --
Live, Love & Laugh in 2012!

www.facebook.com/TheRebelHousewife


Sunday
Nov272011

New Rebel Review: Goody, Goody, Goody!

For all the long-hair Ponytail Princess Fashionistas out there...

Rebel Review: NEW Goody Doublewear Ponytailer + Bracelet = Brilliant!

This one was a lot of fun!*

*Of course, really, all of the Rebel Reviews are fun, I just don't always love, Love, LOVE the product so much!

Monday
Nov212011

Formerly Reluctant Facebook Enthusiast

Because of Dear Hubby, the tech geek (affectionately, of course), I have been online and blogging for a very long time...coming up on a decade in 2012 for this blog, as a matter of fact. More and more I feel like the grand dame of bloggers -- the sexy, fun, vibrant one, of course. [Congregation responds: "Of course!"] And so, here we are, 10 years later, and everything is different in the blogosphere. Things that were working five years ago, three years ago, even just last year, don't work anymore, in terms of revenue, interest and technique...to name just a few. It hasn't even been a gradual evolution of marketing, audience and technology. No, more like an epic revolution -- a Digital Spring, if you will, every six months!

While I may have been hesitant to fully embrace change in the past (or just too darn busy keeping up with life in The Real World), as an author, columnist, reviewer, freelance journalist, blogger and now SMM (Social Media Mom), it's time to update, renovate, rework, repurpose and revitalize the old girl.

Check it out & LIKE (please) -- but come right back, because, of course, I have a couple more thoughts on this for you, before I lose you to the awesomeness that is, indeed, Facebook:

www.facebook.com/TheRebelHousewife


Having put that out there, I have been thinking about the Evolution -- er, sorry, the
REVOLUTION(s) of Social Media on The Rebel Housewife...

Twitter @RebelUpdate

Twitter seemed to be the first legitimate uprising in Social Media, and I loved it, for a time, as I mentioned in June 2009:

However...interpersonal and professional communication is changing rapidly in the modern technology-addicted age. Even I have noticed. In the past couple of months, it seems everybody, every organization, every company, large and small, is on Twitter and/or one of the other big social networking sites. I am happy to Twitter, and have fairly successfully acclimated to it, but I'm not going to be MySpace-ing or FaceBook-ing any time soon. The biggest reason not: TMI!

In general, I've discovered my preference for receiving 140-character updates over longer emails, articles, newsletters, etc. - just the facts, please! I also discovered I like the limitation of 140 character messages when sending - Too Much Information, people. I am trying to simplify my life and suppress my own natural tendencies toward verbal spew...

I twittered happily through the summer of 2009, experimented with the concept of TWOGGING (as in, Twitter + Blogging = <3), but that didn't really seem to take off. I embraced 140-character updates. I liked that it was impersonal, that I could welcome the world to my public Twitter feed and not worry too much about privacy, since those little Tweets disappeared into the Twitterverse in a matter of minutes and really, what could you give away in 140 characters? [As it turns out, quite a lot in some cases, i.e. Anthony Weiner, but that was much later...] I indulged in Following, clicking the yes, please! for every passing interest and tenuous connection.

Twitter quickly became overwhelming. Seriously. A lot too impersonal, like thousands of people standing on line in a huge crowd blurting out soundbites. Twitter = Tourette's. It became increasingly difficult to engage with anyone or keep up with anything in the constantly-updating stream. I still check in, every once in a while, but I have realized, just as I am not that extroverted, party snippet, ADD-kind-of-girl in the Real World, I'm not that chatty or energetically interactive on the Internets, either. I like conversation and less sporadic interaction.

To Facebook or Not To Facebook...

And so we come to...Facebook. The Evil Empire of Ultimate Exposure and Disclosure, or so I thought, as I mentioned in May 2010:

I fought it for YEARS...but I am finally on the FaceBook and none too happy about it.

It is all so overwhelming: too much information, infinite points of contact and messaging, strangers lurking, inconvenient intrusions and the biggest potential time-suck I can imagine, especially for addictive personalities and compulsive sharers (I am/have been a member of both groups) -- no offense to my rabid FaceBook Friends who know how to FB and enjoy it, obviously a great deal.

Ha -- or should I say, LOL -- what a difference a year makes! I have since had my come-to-Jesus with Facebook, and I love it sooooo...

I joined FaceBook that summer, with a personal profile, for one reason only: to interact with our school community at the time, Georgia Cyber Academy, which was all virtual, with 6,000 students and families all over Georgia. Facebook was the primary means of communication and interaction among parents about school, activities, local offline events and everything related.

Once I joined and put it out there, personally, people found me, I found people and now I have almost 100 Friends, which is more than enough. People take all different approaches to Facebook -- from the very personal and intimate profile page to very public profiles and pages, with hundreds or thousands of virtual strangers hanging on every status update (or so they think). I prefer to know and have some connection to the people with whom I am communicating, interacting and sharing updates of my life and family -- with photos -- on my personal profile, anyway.

I tried to Facebook small, in the beginning. I enjoyed the interaction within the online school community, and then it started getting bigger. I discovered old friends from high school I hadn't seen or talked to in 25 years. And more found me. I connected with Dear Hubby's extended family all over the country. And more found me. Local friends and other random, wonderful connections. Ditto. And finally, just recently, on my personal profile, it happened: a Friend Request from a stranger, related by blood -- a half-sister, long-lost, which is a long story for another time, found by Facebook. And more found me.

So I am loving Facebook. It shrinks the big world and keeps us connected. To me, that is a wonderful thing. I even set up the private Facebook Group for parents at our new school to interact and keep in touch.

With my youngest former-homeschooler settling into a new school, it came time to get back to work: monetizing the website, new projects and book proposals, magazine articles and freelance work (all that revitalization I mentioned earlier). It quickly became obvious that Facebook Pages, for businesses, brands and public personalities, is the new calling card, online resume and a quick & easy means of interaction...and that's where we are today, for now, until the next big revolution...



Sunday
Oct022011

New Rebel Review Posted - October 2011

October 2011 is Asperger's Awareness Month on www.RebelHousewife.com (continuing a theme, I know!), beginning with a new Rebel Review!

Check it out:
Rebel Review - BOOKS: Life at The Edge and Beyond by Jan Greenman
"An amazing book for a very special audience..."

Monday
Aug012011

The Rebel Housewife on Asperger Syndrome

I published a two-part article about Asperger Syndrome on The Rebel Housewife blog because I needed to write this information for my son's school and also to provide a resource for other parents and teachers. When I first heard the term Asperger's, I had no idea what it was. My first question: "Is it a degenerative condition?" (No, it isn't!)

I had a lot to learn, as my son's diagnosis was confirmed several months later and my personal investigative journey into Autism and Asperger Syndrome began. I read everything I could get my hands or Internets on; I talked and worked with other parents, doctors and experts. I took my son out of an elementary school that wasn't working for him and home schooled (through Georgia Cyber Academy) for two years.

I have since come to see Asperger's as a gift -- a unique personality: quirky, but brilliant. I see Asperger's as a child, with love, support and guidance, destined for an amazing future, someone who can and will change the world.

Not easy, though. Never easy.

I like to think challenges build character, strength and resilience. I have a lot of faith that will prove to be true.

Although I have loved home schooling with my Aspie Phenom, as he enters 6th grade and Middle School, we both need more regular interaction with other kids and supportive adults. He is going back to public school and I have my hopes and concerns, optimism and pessimism in equal measure.

I needed to share my experience and what I have learned with my son's teachers and the people who will be working with him. I learned before that not a lot of people in our schools know much, if anything, about ASD/Asperger Syndrome, so I have tried to share some information, without deluge of technical detail or information overload.

Feel free to copy, link, reference, share and use this information as a brief introduction to ASD/Asperger Syndrome from an amateur expert. I hope it helps!

Part 1 - Helping Students With ASD/Asperger's Succeed
Part 2 - 10 Easy Ways to Help ASD/Asperger Students Succeed

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