I am Autistic

Person-first language is common among those who work with anyone with any type of disability or diagnosis.  It is taught in classes, seminars, and more.  But I am NOT a person with Autism, I am Autistic.  This is called identity-first language and is common among Autistics.  There may be some who prefer person-first language (she has autism, he is a person with Autism), but I would say a majority prefer Autistic.

Autism is a big part of who I am. It is very different from many of my other diagnoses. For example, if you were to take away the kidney stones, nerve damage, latex allergy, etc. I would still be Amber. The core of who I am would be the same. Experiences and abilities might change, but I’m still me. On the other hand, if you were to remove Autism from me, I wouldn’t be the same person, I would be someone completely different. It isn’t like I’d just be a neurotypical Amber, I’d be someone new and very different person. A not-Amber person.

It is because Autism is such a vital part of who I am that I say I AM Autistic rather than I have Autism. I’m proud of being Autistic, regardless of the public’s perception, the hate I get, and the negative connotations with saying that.

I wasn’t officially diagnosed with Autism until about five years ago. Prior to that, I felt extremely awkward, like I didn’t belong and couldn’t fit in no matter how hard I tried. Once I finally got the diagnosis, it was such a lightbulb moment when I finally realized that not only was I not “the weird one” but there were others like me!

I know other Autistics of varying abilities and we are all working toward better awareness and more importantly acceptance of Autism, especially Autism in adults since most people think of kids when they hear autism. Even after my diagnosis, I didn’t tell many people, I was afraid of the stigma that goes along with the word Autistic. Eventually, I realized that the stigma can never change if others can’t see people who are actually Autistic and if we don’t ever challenge those stigmas.  This is the first time I’ve felt open enough to mention it on my blog.

I tell people now that I’m Autistic. I tell them when I’m having issues with a crowd and start crying and they are worried. I tell people when I’m able to explain genetics in a way that makes sense when no one else has been able to do that. I like to show the awesomeness of being Autistic as well as the struggles.

I AM AUTISTIC and I’m not afraid to say it.

A Rant About Latex

I hate latex.
I hate going to the ER.
I hate that I can’t go places without the (very real) fear of a reaction.
I hate that my body thinks latex is going to kill me.
I hate that my body tries to kill me because it thinks latex is going to kill me.
I hate that latex is in everything.
I hate that latex is everywhere.
I hate the after effects of a reaction when I don’t use Epi.
I hate the after effects of using an Epi.
I hate taking prednisone after a reaction.
I hate that if I don’t take prednisone, I have a high risk of another reaction.
I hate that prednisone totally messes with my mood, sleep, and everything else.

*this rant brought to you by another lovely reaction to latex followed by the lovely prednisone…did I mention it messes with my moods?*


I’m now an official volunteer at the local humane society!  I went through the training and did my first hours of volunteering cleaning cat cages and then spending time playing with the cats.

This cat, Tinsel, insisted on patting me on the head the whole time I was cleaning pet rat cages (which is defienelty big enough for here and lets her move around better.) and the ones around her.  She didn’t want to be petted, she wanted to pet me!

This cat’s name is Mittens and I’m completely in love with her.  She is a polydactyl (has extra toes), something I’ve always loved and wanted.  She is also a gorgeous color, dilute or blue tabby.  The others at the shelter don’t like her because she is a bit sassy, but I think that makes her more fun!

This is the same shelter where I adopted Luie, Izzie, Jo, and Kamikaze!

My First Best in Show


Liberty Little Miss Jingles won Best in Show at the Wapakaneta Spring Show, under judge Don Peterson.  This is my very first Best in Show with cavies – and to win with a pig I bred is extra special.

Meet Dr. Huey

The rose bush when I first bought my house, nearly overgrown with weeds.

Remember when I first bought my house, I was super excited about the rose bush, but didn’t know what variety it was?  I’ve finally solved the mystery, and indeed it is interesting.  I’ve been reading more about roses recently, primarily to learn about when and how to prune them, since by the fall last year it’s long rambling canes and sharp thorns were growing over both my outside spigot and my gas meter.

Last fall, before the first freeze.

In the process of learning about pruning and how to train it to a trellis, I also learned it’s variety.  He is ‘Dr. Huey,’ which is commonly used throughout the United States, and especially in Ohio as rootstock for various types of grafted roses.  In all likelihood, the previous owners planted an entirely different variety of rose, which has since died or was taken over by the rootstock, leaving only Dr. Huey.  To many rose enthusiasts, Dr. Huey is a nuisance and it was recommended by several people that I dig him up and get rid of him so I could start “real roses” instead.  But the truth is, I’ve become quite fond of my rose and I want to keep him.

The more I read about Dr. Huey’s history, the more I became enamored with him.  He was originally bred by Captain George C. Thomas in 1914, so Dr. Huey celebrated his 100th birthday the year I bought my house.  Dr. Huey was first introduced in the United States in 1920.  It is also sometimes known as ‘Shafter‘.  Like some other old-fashioned roses, Dr. Huey only blooms once in late spring/early summer.  His blooms are dark red, semi-doubles with bright yellow stamens, which fade to magenta.  He blooms off of old wood, so should be pruned after blooming.  The reason his long, rambling canes have grown over my spigot and gas meter are that he is a Hybrid Wichurana climber.  Hopefully if I give him a trellis of his own to climb and prune him away from these he will behave!

The few blooms my Dr. Huey had last year.
The few blooms my Dr. Huey had last year.

The biggest problem with Dr. Huey is that he is very susceptible to black spot and powdery mildew – both of which I encountered last year.  I was actually afraid that my poor rose was dying between the black spot and powdery mildew covering the leaves and the thistles and bindweed trying to choke it out.  Fortunately, Dr. Huey is known for it’s toughness, which is what has managed to get it through the years of minimal care by the house’s caretakers prior to my purchase.  And I’m now reading up on how to control bindweed as well as how to deal with and prevent blackspot and powdery mildew in order to give Dr. Huey the best fighting chance!

Poor Dr. Huey’s leaves were nearly covered in either black spot or powdery mildew last year.


One bit of Dr. Huey’s history that I haven’t been able to find much information about is who the rose itself was named after.  Though a few reference the rose as Dr. Robert Huey, none give specific reference to any particular person who goes by this name.  A mystery to be uncovered in the future perhaps?

At least I’m not alone in my love for Dr. Huey, I found another blogger over at Hedgerow Rose who writes that she can’t imagine her garden without Dr. Huey – and now neither can I!