Tales of a Misfit Mom: Special Needs...

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     I have a good, good friend. She is brave and amazing and kind and exceptional. She is the mother of a sweet and funny girl with the most beautiful red curls I have ever seen.      She is the mother of a daughter with special needs.      She recognized me when I did not recognize myself. And for that, I am grateful. But admittedly, when she pulled my hands away from my eyes ever so gently, I first felt shocked. And then enraged. Because my daughter, with all of her problems, was not a KID WITH SPECIAL NEEDS.      But she is.      And so I am a Special Needs Mom.      We are a Special Family.      We are labeled.      We are the topic of conversation.      We are the family...

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Venti Moonshine Latte

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     So there we are, on the front porch of a friend’s friend of a friend. There is a child’s bike in the yard, a dog sitting among piles of moving boxes on the couch, a coffee table with no glass, and a gun in the bedroom. A jar of moonshine and a pile of playing cards sit on the table, under the glow of a bare light bulb. Things had gotten very weird at Starbucks.      But let me back up. Sometimes, as a young educator, new to Alabama and a tiny bit bored with living out in the woods miles and miles from what was once considered acceptable civilization, a trip to Starbucks sounds nice. When the nearest business is a gas station with slot machines featuring displays of sequined pantsuits that...

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From the Editor: September 2013...

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Dear Readers,      Welcome back to another autumn issue. We're excited to be back and to have you along for the ride!       After the slow hot days of summer, the breezes are bringing us back to life. We're ready for football, fall leaves, and cool evenings outside with friends.       This issue is packed with music reviews and fun columns from our writers. We also have some off-season travel recommendations and reminders to prepare for the height of hurricane season.       Also, we have one very special recipe. Since it's our second birthday, we decided cake was in order -- handheld, savory cupcakes. We used our most utilized (and, well, maybe overused looking at our recipe archives) recipe to top them. Our other gift is the fresh look for the site.       Thanks...

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Changing Seasons

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     Ahhh…. The seasons in the South. They bring wondrous changes of color and temperatures that hint of what is to come. It is now late summer, and we're beginning to see and feel that marvelous slide into the season of FOOTBALL!      I know that football is played in other areas of the country, but in the South it is more than an athletic contest, or an excuse to indulge in too much beer and body paint. It is a Saturday celebration that combines tailgates, debutantes, and the WWE.      Tailgating incorporates the preparation and presentation of those old and well-guarded secret family recipes that we happily share with our parking lot pals. Well, except for that one little detail of ingredient, measure, or instruction. We’re not going to give everything away.      Debutantes...

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Serial Pisser

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Editor's Note: As we prepare to, heaven help us, use toilets at sporting and concert events, please remember Melissa's PSA. Be purty, y'all!       It’s summer. Time for picnics, swimming, and family vacations. Travel season is in full swing, and as usual, I find myself in a great deal of pain. The Commonwealth cut back on the number of rest areas it supports and so I find myself holding it a lot more than I should. And also visiting a lot of extremely sketchy gas station bathrooms.      Since this cutback started the summer I was pregnant (AKA full-on Moby Dick) and couldn’t go thirty minutes without peeing, I found myself having to make several stops whenever I’d go visit my sister, who lives ninety minutes away. So I began traveling with antibacterial wipes...

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An Open Letter to the Mother of the Year Selection Committee...

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Dear Ladies:      Thank you again for your kind consideration. Despite the fact that I was nominated largely as both a joke and a dare, the fact that you have actually considered me a viable candidate is somewhat flattering. I’d like to take the opportunity to address some of the “concerns” that you have mentioned, as your harsh judgment seems to invite a response.      It is a fact that I once locked my daughter in the car, along with my keys and cell phone, at a local Wal-Mart. Allow me to explain the circumstances by which I managed this rather foolish act: I got out of my car, opened her door, locked the car, put my keys and cell phone in my jacket pocket, and then decided to carry her in a sling....

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