So Begins the Week Long 18th Birthday Celebration

September 7 2019:

I remember when I was a brand new single parent when Lillian was 5 years old, hiding in the garage and sobbing, thinking how am I going to do this? How will I do this alone? Well, here we are …

Photo from Lillian’s graduation photo shoot …

Tomorrow begins the week long celebration of her 18th Birthday happening on Saturday, the 14th. She has a mile long list of things she wants to do for her birthday so we are having a week long celebration to make it all happen.

This one has an incredibly tender heart. She was sad and disappointed that many at the C18 conference were not aware she had graduated as they were asking what grade she was in now. So, if you missed the millions of posts I posted around that time, here’s your chance to get caught up! HA! Lillian GRADUATED from high school on June 1 2019!! YAY!! And, she turns 18 on Saturday, the 14th. Be ready for a deluge of posts dedicated to her.

This was the perfect spot for the first set. The little garden behind the library. We’ve been coming here ever since she was 5 years old.

I’ve taken tons of photos of the three of us in this little garden throughout the past 12 years.

More Research on Supported Decision Making

September 5 2019:

I’ll be immersed in this for the next few days. Thought I could wait a bit longer and come back around to it. However, our move in date to the new place happens 2 days after Lillian turns 18. She will have to sign the lease and/or I’ve got to have this bit figured out.

September 6 2019:

Done reviewing the handouts. Moving on to the websites now. Here are a few slides that stood out for me. 👀 Deeply appreciative to Diana for getting me copies of the slides and handouts as I found out about this workshop on the morning it was to happen.

Adventure Day with a Museum Pass to The Discovery Museum

September 5 2019:

Today’s adventure … Thanks to Washoe County Library’s “Museum Pass” program, you can “check out” tickets to several local museums (and several more in California!)

Lillian stepped into one of her fears, and took the steps back up to the main floor. Got a few good pictures of that. Her hands were quite sweaty by the time she made it to the top. Yet, she did it!

We stopped for ice cream on the way home … Blueberry lavender for me, cookie something or other for Thomas, and a bag of BBQ chips for Lillian since she doesn’t eat ice cream.

Throwback Post: An Amazing Food and Culinary Experience

**THROWBACK POST**

May 11 2014:

This was THE MOST AMAZING food and culinary experience I have ever had!! This is what food is supposed to taste like! Good golly!! I got to take a trip to Seregno, Lombardia in Italy on Sunday night with some very beautiful and loving friends … Brenda, Glenna and Noreen!!

arte italia is delighted to welcome renowned Italian chef Giancarlo Morelli of Ristorante Pomiroeu for three culinary and wine pairing classes May 11 – May 13, 2014. Pomiroeu is located in an old courtyard in Seregno, Lombardia, just outside Milano. The restaurant sits on a quiet corner and combines classic and contemporary charm with a cosmopolitan spirit and welcoming atmosphere, much like Chef Morelli and the cuisine he prepares.

After graduating from the Institute Hotelier of San Pellegrino Terme, Chef Giancarlo embarked upon his career as head chef on the cruise line The Pacific Princess. In 1981, Morelli began consulting for various Italian restaurants throughout the world until he decided to focus on his own culinary creations and opened Pomiroeu.

Over the years, Chef Morelli has won many awards including the “Riso Gallo Risotto of the Year.” Risotto has always held a special place for Giancarlo. “Rice is the food of my heart,” he says. “I consider rice, with its elemental elegance, a valuable raw material that is a bit like a beautiful, rough stone, and when expertly crafted, reveals its potential and value.” It is with that passion and spirit that Pomiroeu has earned the coveted Michelin Star.

The cuisine at Pomiroeu is varied and follows the traditions and authentic flavors of the Lombardia region infused with Chef Morelli’s creative genius. His kitchen is part laboratory and part innovation. The Chef maintains a deep respect for seasonal, raw products of the highest quality in order to preserve the authenticity of the dish’s origins.

When conceiving a menu, ingredients are evaluated in relation to one another and their ability to create emotions. Says Chef Morelli of his process: “I do not think the plate. I feel it.”

The culinary class schedule for each day will include the demonstration and preparation of an authentic Italian dinner beginning with antipasto, primo piatto, secondo piatto and dolce. In addition, fine Italian wine will be paired with each dish.

Our menu for the evening. Chef Morelli only speaks Italian so Chef Ivano from La Strada was the interpreter for us.

Dolce: Sbrisolona tart Bavarese with coffee mascarpone and creme anglaise gelato …. I have honestly never had gelato this freakin amazing! The PERFECT meal. Did not leave feeling bloated and over full. Just perfect!! xoxo

Chef Morelli only speaks Italian so Chef Ivano from La Strada was the interpreter for us.

Secondo: Sea salt crusted rack of veal with shallot confit, sage scented pineapple gelato, honey, and mint … The sage came straight from Chef Morelli’s home garden! He brought it with him! Oh My Word!!! This was so very delicious paired with the gelato!

Checking the secondo! Chef Morelli only speaks Italian so Chef Ivano from La Strada was the interpreter for us.

Primo: Carnaroli risotto with saffron, bone marrow and a white wine glaze

We had a ball cheering on the tossing of the risotto!! Look how high he got it!

A little lesson on butter and clarified butter!

Antipasto … Goat cheese terrine with sardines, slightly smoked smashed tomatoes, and crispy garlic chips

This is what Chef Morelli is famous for … I see why! Words cannot describe how yummy this risotto was … Oh My Gosh!!

Supported Decision Making – Research as Lillian Approaches 18 Years of Age

August 20, 2019:

Thank you Diana Beeghly Rovetti for getting me one of these packets! And, thank you for spending 2 hours with me discussing Supported Decision Making, Sierra Regional Center odds and ends, transportation, SSI, Sibshops, and whatever else we covered!!! Ha! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Deeply grateful! Another load off my shoulders. Whew!

August 24 2019

Two to three weeks working my way through the “Lillian turns 18” next month list, along with other “must be addressed” items.

SSI figured out for the moment
I have a better grasp on Supported Decision Making now and know I don’t have to feel rushed for that one.
Have researched and messaged back and forth regarding changes to the dosage of CBD oil
One issue almost completely taken care of – just waiting to receive something in the mail.
Still working my way up the ladder with the SRC issue. Got the supervisor of the supervisor’s email address yesterday afternoon.
Have gotten Meeting the Authors nearly caught up
Got 2 boxes packed for our upcoming move 😂
July and August date day with Lillian
Now … hoping to make my way back to my book this week and plan for Lillian’s 18th birthday!!

Thinking I may take a day or two off in October … July, August, and September have been and will be intense! Whew!

**************

August 27 2019:

FINALLY got the issue with SRC resolved! Took nearly a month and going as far as the supervisor of the supervisors. Now I know why I like emailing as opposed to the phone. I had a timeline that indicated I had turned everything in as asked, when asked.

Recap: Turned in all documents in May having to do with a service for Lillian. It was approved. We used it for June and July. Got a message in July they had canceled the approval and had put her on a wait list as they didn’t get the documents needed. I kept getting “nothing can be done” until I sent an email this Monday to the supervisor of the supervisors. Done. And, retroactive to include July as I didn’t know they had not paid the provider for July.

So …. when dealing with agencies, keep notes on your calendar and email whenever possible!! Whew!! One thing completely off the list! Onward!

And a side note … I am kind in these communications; but firm. I also make sure the supervisors know that the person they supervise has been pleasant and helpful and that I appreciate them (if they have and I do). I did let them know about a rude individual who had contacted the provider about not receiving a form that was turned in …

News and Events: Cover Reveal for Words of Alchemy

Book cover for Words of Alchemy will be revealed on Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 1:00 pm PST! The reveal will take place on my Author facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/CamillaDownsAuthor … I’ll be open to any questions anyone has and I’ll read a few poems included in the book.

You can pre-order a signed copy of Words of Alchemy using this link … WordsofAlchemy.com. The book debuts near the end of October, at which time it will be available on Amazon, and the signed pre-ordered books will ship as well.

One person will be chosen to receive a free copy of Words of Alchemy from everyone who comments during the event time 1:00 – 1:30 (if you are outside of the US, you will receive a digital copy). Join the fun and comment and you could win!

Book Blurb:

In Words of Alchemy, Camilla Downs invites you to walk with her to share her love of Nature through a heartfelt free-verse poetry collection.

During her daily strolls she is mindfully present as she delves into life in the raw and experiences her heart’s observations.

Camilla embraces what happens when she opens her heart and invites the written words to flow. The Alchemy of Love and Healing is what happens.

Advance Praise for Words of Alchemy

“Words of Alchemy, Camilla Downs heartfelt new collection, lives up to its namesake in numerous ways. Downs spans the broad range of nature, healing, love, and parenting, while making sure we have a little fun along the way. And the bridge she creates from the mindfulness of how we see the world at large to the poetry of everyday life is certainly worth a stroll or two across its borders.” – Thomas Lloyd Qualls, Award-winning author of Painted Oxen

“This poetry collection offers contemplative words, soothing thoughts and peace to the reader.” – Sue Bentley, Bestselling author of Second Skin

“Camilla Downs shares truth, vulnerability and wisdom in her Words of Alchemy collection, inviting readers to be inspired, contemplate and dive into her world of self-awareness and growth.” – G. Brian Benson – Award-winning author, actor and spoken word artist

“These poems take you on a calm and loving walk through the verses of the author’s thoughts. Alchemy is a perfect word for the title as Camilla Downs understands nature; connecting with its magical, medicinal qualities and beauty which she conveys throughout her poetry.” – Ailsa Craig, Author of The Sand Between My Toes

“Words of Alchemy is a chronicle of hope. Camilla Downs poetry is an encouragement, especially when we are feeling at our lowest, to keep seeking the light that is our way forward, and focus on the real. This collection is a walk through the positive nature of life. Camilla Downs is to be commended.” – Frank Prem, Author of free-verse memoir Small Town Kid

Nevada Humane Society Duck Races – River Rats

August 18 2019:

Although Thomas and I haven’t been able to volunteer at the Humane Society in quite a while, he was adamant he wanted to volunteer at the duck races …. as a river rat. (The duck races are an annual fundraising event put on by the Nevada Humane Society. People adopt a rubber duck for $5 each and the winners, first ducks to the finish line, win things!!)

The river rat volunteers get in the river and line the “race” section so as to help any ducks that get sidetracked. 20,000 rubber ducks is a huge load of ducks!!! Once the race was over, we helped get the 20,000 ducks out of the river. That’s a lot of work!! Thomas is in the photo across the river from me. 😃

I’m so glad Thomas suggested this. I didn’t want to go. I’ve got so much to do and I’m not a fan of crowds. Yet …. I had so much fun!!!! Watching the kids and their excitement about it was heartwarming. And, I loved swooshing the water around the ducks who were headed for the side, to help them back into the race. Cool!

Throwback Post: Happy Mother’s Day Camilla 2012

**THROWBACK POST**

May 13 2012

Yep, these two right here! They didn’t take me out to eat, didn’t fix me breakfast, didn’t buy me chocolate, flowers or jewelry. Don’t want that stuff from them …. What I do get from them is priceless …. their unconditional love and the lessons that each one of them teach me that help me grow and move forward in this amazing adventurous life of ours together.

Lillian’s Handmade Card: I love my family. But most of all, I love my Mom. Decorated with hearts and smiles and the three of us.

Thomas’ Handmade Card: Dear Mom: I like to play Uno with you. I like to run with you. I like to read with you. I like to go with you. Happy Mother’s Day. Love, Thomas … along with a ceramic wall hanger with his handprint.

Yep, I cried …. Happy, Warm and Peaceful Tears!! Hope EVERYONE had a GREAT day surrounded by those you love!

Thomas and Lillian May 2012

The New Place While Making My Way Reading

August 12 2019:

Got to see the new place this afternoon .. styling with the orange vest and hard hat!! Less than a month now … We will lose a few great aspects of this place and community; yet, will gain great aspects that this one does not have. 🎉🎉🎉

August 13 2019:

Making my way through the “to do” list for this month and September. With Lillian turning 18 in September and our move in September, there’s much that needs addressed.

After two days spent educating myself about the qualifying aspects of SSI, I think I can check that one off the list. What a relief and weight off my shoulders for that one!

Now to address a call today that due to an agency losing paperwork that I followed instructions for submitting, and for which Lillian has received services for 2 months; they have decided she has to get on a wait list since they lost the paperwork the first time around. Tomorrow. I will deal with you tomorrow. I’m on a roll!! Bring it!

August 15 2019:

Currently reading. One is the second time around. I have different books for different times of the day. Two for early morning reading and one or two for before bed. How about you? What are you reading? Do you read different genres for different times of day? Or is that my special thang? Haha!

The Flame of Advocacy – Camilla Downs

August 15 2019:

I know I am not alone in hosting in my heart a flame of advocacy for our children, and definitely our children with differences who cannot advocate for themselves.

My motto of “Love is the answer” was put to a true test this morning. In May I followed all directions, completed all paperwork for a service for Lillian; which was approved and we have used for two months now.

I was told a few days ago that since they did not process the paperwork properly (and actually lost the first set of documents I submitted, therefore making it overdue and Lillian not eligible) that Lillian would be put on the wait list.

I patiently waited for a reason for this from our contact person and only received, “nothing can be done”. So I asked for the supervisor’s name and email address. I sent an email yesterday to the supervisor with a time line of all conversations and emails showing that everything had been turned in and I can’t possibly control what someone does with it after it leaves my hands.

I received an email back this morning that blew me off and said that nothing could be done. After receiving this email, you bet there was huge anger rising. I absolutely had to concentrate on taking long deep breaths to create calm. HA!

I emailed back asking for this person’s supervisor and email address. I immediately received two phone calls and two voice mails and an email as the person I emailed thought that I was someone else, so she did not have the same tone and response had she had if she had known I was Lillian’s mom. I was okay with that since I know people make mistakes.

And, in that email where she said she was very sorry for thinking I was someone else, she also said she is asking administration to reconsider since everything was turned in and they lost it or misplaced it. And that we should not bear the cost of their mistake.

Well, thank you Ms. Supervisor. That is precisely what I thought too. I am so relieved you agree with me. I thanked her very much for stepping in and helping to right the situation. We shall see what they say. I may be continuing up the supervisor ladder … If it must be done, I’ll do it.

I am not posting this for sympathy. I am posting for solidarity, for strength, for courage … and just because that’s what I do. I share. Here’s to all who advocate for those who cannot. Whether they be human or animal.