Learning to monitor myself with things

Difficulty with monitoring myself was another part of my Autism. I found it very difficult knowing when to stop doing certain things that aren’t very good for me to do all the time. I have learnt to monitor myself with things through the years by learning when to stop doing them before it became too much.

I attended my friends birthday parties during my primary school years. I loved crisps and I found it very difficult to stop eating them because they tasted so good. There were two incidents at parties when I ended up eating too many crisps that I can remember.

Once when I attended a friends birthday party when I was in First class at Brusna NS Mum went home for an hour and she asked someone else at the party to look after me before she left. I thought that I could take more crisps. I sat in the utility room eating five small sized bags of crisps.

Once at another friends birthday party I couldn’t stop eating crisps because I didn’t monitor how many of them I ate. I just kept taking them out of the bowls whenever they were refilled and then a lot of pringles.

I started monitoring how many crisps I should eat by learning that crisps are junk food and they can be very bad for my health if I consume too many of them. Now when I attend parties I only eat a few handfuls or one small sized bag. I also made up a joke called party giddiness. I pretend to steal some of mum’s crisps out of her bowl when I finish mine.

I flew in an airplane so many times to Sweden and I became very fascinated with how they fly. Every day when I was allowed to go on the computer I typed in Ryanair videos into google and I watched so many videos on YouTube of airplanes taking off and landing. Mum had to listen to the same sounds for months. I had to learn to monitor my video watching because it became my obsessive behaviour after a little while and It wasn’t doing me any good. After School when I finished all my homework I allowed myself to only do it for a bit.

I learnt to monitor noise levels. Sometimes I’m exposed to certain noises that I can’t really avoid. We need the fan on high speed in vehicles when the windows get steamed up and it is very noisy. I just accept it for a bit and I know that it isn’t going to be on for very long. My stepdad jokes with me about the fan and that helps me get conscious about it. There was some very loud drilling in my day service a few times. I chose not to show any reactions. I managed with it and I just continued to do my work.

A few years ago when I came home from my day service in Ballaghaderreen I spent most of my free time in the evenings doing gaming on my Nintendo Switch. I talked to my stepdad about reducing gaming and doing other things such as reading a book or helping him with tasks. Gaming all the time doesn’t get me anywhere and too much screen time can put strain on my eyes. Once I helped my stepdad do a task for two people rather than gaming one evening when it was more important. I only do gaming for 1 hour in the evenings now.

I set timers to three minutes for brushing my teeth twice a day so that I brush them long enough. Before I bought a timer it was very hard for me to monitor how long I was brushing my teeth. The time was shorter than three minutes.

Daily photo 1

I haven’t written many blogs in a while because I have been going through grief in the past year. My stepbrother called Finley died in a motorcycle accident on the 10th of December 2021. Now I’m going to write a blog post about a lovely photo that I will take in the garden to keep my blog up to date again.

Today I went outside to take some photos in my garden and I found lots of bumblebees on flowers. My daily photo of today is a bumblebee which represents the start of spring.

My summer holiday in England

When I had my two weeks of summer holidays from my day service in Ballaghaderreen I went on a holiday to England for one week with my family from Tuesday 26th July to Wednesday 3rd of August. While I was there I took photographs of beautiful English buildings when I went on outings in Andover, Portsmouth, Southsea and Gosport.

The Town Mills traditional pub, Andover
The Angle Inn, Andover
George Yard building and alleyway
Street view in Andover
Town Mills, Andover
River with Town mills in the background, Andover
Line of beautiful houses in Portsmouth

This building is called Tony wood hairdressing with a clocktower. It is located in Portsmouth.

This house is a hotel in Gosport. This house was used as the officers mess of Grange airfield during World War 1 before it became a hotel.

I saw lots of geese at the river in Andover. I took photographs of the geese without going too close to them.

Swan in Gosport

Fort Brockhurst is a palmerston fort in Gosport. This fort was built in the 1850s and 1860s to protect Portsmouth and it’s harbour against a French invasion. It is an English heritage property now. I took a walk in Gosport and took photographs all around it.

We went to the Portsmouth international kite festival on the 30th of July. I saw lots of big kites such as sonic the hedgehog, turtles, bears, fish and many more. I made an amazing video of an octopus kite flying in the air with the tentacles moving in all directions.

This ship was the first ironclad hull and it was the first ship to have rifled barrels on the guns so they could fire twice as far as normal guns. Historians believe it stopped many wars for years. It had a steam engine and was rigged as a full ship. I came across this ship on the way to Portsmouth on the Gosport ferry

These are photos of the stony beach in Gosport. We went for a walk around the beach after we had fish and chips in the nearby park.

Texture of stones at Portsmouth stony beach.
Isle of Wight ferry called WightLink.
Stony beach, Portsmouth

This is the outside of the Museum of Navel firepower that is located in Gosport. There is a wide variety of exhibits ranging from the 18th century to present day.

Beautiful scenery and cats in Sweden

While I was in Gotland, Sweden I went on many outings with my family to go on walks and look at all the beautiful scenery.

We went for a walk in a meadow called Boge Laxare in Slite. It is located close to my grandmother and step grandad’s house. Many trees such as hazel, oak, ash, birch, aspen and wild apple grow there. The whole meadow looked beautiful.

I enjoyed walking around Visby to get photographs of all the lovely buildings and alleyways. I also found some very old doors on two buildings. St Catherine’s church is in ruins. The construction of the church started in the 1250s and continued through the 14th century. It was never completed and it partially collapsed during the worship in the 1540s. 

We went on an outing to a cairn called Majsterrojr in Gotland. The cairn is about 33 metres in diameter and 4 metres high and it is dated to the early bronze age around 1800 BC to 1100 BC. It is surrounded with Bronze age graves, a burial mound with kerbstones and a line of stones that looks like the outline of a boat.

On the way back to my grandmothers house we saw a big barn with a thatched roof, a wooden carriage and a wooden boat.

We went on another outing to a beach called Hideviken. I saw the cement factory in Slite from a long distance over there. There are also lots of cliffs that surround the beach and there is a barbecue area where people can grill their food and relax.

On the first day we stayed with my great aunt called Karin for a day in Stockholm before we travelled to Gotland. She has a cat called Alfie. It took him a bit of time to get used to me and then he let me stroke him. He was shy at first.

My step grandad’s sister and her husband came to visit us in Slite and they brought their Maine Coon cat called Selma with them. 

My holiday in Sweden

I haven’t been to Sweden in 4 years before my holiday on the 19th of May to the 7th of June 2022. I went to Sweden with my family to visit my grandparents and relatives. I didn’t bother to bring my Canon digital camera with me because it is too bulky and it would have been hard for me to carry it around everywhere. I used my phone to take my photos in Sweden instead.

We flew with SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) from Dublin to Stockholm Arlanda. I chose the window seat on the plane because I wanted to take photos of the views of Stockholm and the scenery when we were landing.

My grandmother and step grandad live in Slite on the Swedish island called Gotland. We took a few walks around the beach and the park in Slite when the weather was very nice and sunny.

Stony beach in Slite
Sandy beach in Slite

We also walked in a beautiful park in Slite when the weather was very nice.

There is a factory that makes cement in Slite. The name of the company is called Cementa AB. About 230 people work in the factory and there is a large number of subcontractors and transporters. There are a total of 430 people employed in the company. They produce different types of cement such as Construction cement for bridge construction, Bascement with a lower carbon footprint, Multicem for soil stabilization and Fast hardening cement for winter casting.

I helped my grandmother to cook meals often and these are two examples of dishes in the photos attached below. We made a rhubarb crumble and a potato gratin together.

I went to my grandad and step grandmas house in Stenkumla for three days. They have a Jack Russell called Charlie. Luckily he kept still when I got photos of him.

We stayed on Gotland for two weeks and than we went to the mainland on the ferry from Visby to Nynäshamn on the 4th of June. I got some photos of the views of Visby when we went outside on the ferry. The last three days in Sweden were spent in Stockholm before we flew back to Dublin.

Stockholm city has beautiful architectural buildings. We walked around a lot in Stockholm and we enjoyed the beautiful weather there.

This is a narrow alleyway in Gamla Stan (Old Town).

This is Molins Fountain in Kungsträdgården park in central Stockholm. The bronze sculpture on the fountain was designed by Johan Peter Molin in 1866. The sculpture contains the ocean gods called Aegir and Rán with their nine daughters. They are all listening to the river spirit Nix playing his harp. Molin put six swans at the base of the sculpture because critics called this fountain an object of luxury and he decided to placate them. The public could get drinking water from their mouths.

Harvested Potatoes

We started harvesting our potatoes that we planted in two of our potato beds on St Patrick’s day on the first week of August. We had three potato beds in total. While the potatoes were growing in April and May we covered the potato beds with some old poly tunnel plastic each evening to prevent frost damage from the late spring frosts.

The two varieties of potatoes that we have grown in the potato beds are Purple Majesty and Sarpo Mira. They both taste very nice. The Purple majesty potatoes are the best variety I have ever tried. They have a very strong flavour.

Boxes of Purple Majesty Potatoes

Here is a dinner that I made one evening with my Purple Majesty Potatoes. It is Purple mashed potato with some salad and sausages. My dinner plate wasn’t like this before I have gotten over my limited diet problem with my autism. When I was a child I only had mashed potato on my dinner plate but It wasn’t this colour.

We also gave small bags of potatoes to some of our friends and family so they could taste them too.

During the first week of September we harvested some potatoes that we didn’t plant this year. They grew in our onion bed this year which was last years potato bed. The two varieties of potatoes that we planted last year were Maris Piper and Kerr’s Pink.

We harvested lots of onions as well as potatoes.

During the third week of October we harvested our Sarpo Mira Potatoes from our last potato bed. I don’t think that we have to buy anymore potatoes for a very long time as we have so many now.

Mushrooms that grew on top of the potato bed.

We are storing our boxes of potatoes in the dark tunnel surrounding our roundhouse because if we leave potatoes in the light they will produce chlorophyll and turn green. They wouldn’t be safe to eat then.

A Beautiful Outing at Queen Maeve’s Cairn

Yesterday I decided to go on a beautiful outing to Queen Maeve’s Cairn which is located on Knocknarea Mountain in Strandhill, Co. Sligo with my family because the weather was lovely and sunny. We parked our car at the Knocknarea Mountain Car Park. As we were climbing up Knocknarea Mountain I enjoyed looking at the view of all the beaches and scenery in Sligo. It took us about 40 minutes to reach the summit to see Queen Maeve’s Cairn. The distance of the walk was 1.2 km. I saw everything very clearly in the lovely weather. On the way down I had to walk very slowly with my camera because I didn’t want to drop it.

In this photo there is a view of Strandhill Airport and the Runway.

Queen Maeve’s Cairn is a Neolithic passage tomb that is about 55 metres wide and 10 metres high. This passage tomb was probably built between 3,200 and 3,500 BC. It is estimated to contain 30,000 tons of stone.

We were planning to go to Strandhill Beach after we have been to Knocknarea Mountain but there were a lot of people there so we decided to go to a different beach to stay safe from COVID 19. We found a beach which is located at Streamstown near Ballysadare. I enjoyed having a picnic and looking at the mountains there.

On our way back home we went on a road to the Ox Mountains to take a look at all the scenery. There was a river that we have decided to stop at to get out of the car for a bit. I took some lovely photographs of the rocks and stones at the river.

I really enjoyed our outing. It was my very first time to visit Queen Maeve’s Cairn and Streamstown Beach.

Planting spuds on Paddy’s day

On St Patrick’s day my stepdad and I have decided to plant potatoes in beds in the garden. St Patrick’s day is a very good day to plant all sorts of potatoes.

These are the purple majesty seed potatoes

These are the Sarpo Mira seed potatoes.

We planted 8 potatoes in each row about 15-20 cm apart in four rows on a bed.

We had so many potatoes so we decided to plant the rest of them on this empty bed. It took us a couple of hours to plant our potatoes.

Effects of CBD Oil on my autism

I take CBD Oil twice a day everyday to help myself to reduce stress and symptoms of my autism. CBD will help everyone to feel calmer and help their brains to function properly.

Before I discovered CBD oil I always had healthy waffles with hemp seed, flax seed and carrots everyday for breakfast. The hemp seeds in my waffles contain Omega 3. A lot of people with special needs have a limited diet and they are only limited to foods etc. flour, sugar and starchy foods such as bread and potatoes. Those foods only contain Omega 6 and don’t have any Omega 3. CBD Oil has loads more Omega 3 and other beneficial compounds than my healthy waffles.

I have eaten thousands of these waffles before taking CBD.

CBD has helped me to concentrate more instead of getting distracted often. I can now concentrate on things better etc. road crossing, photography, household jobs and cooking.

Once at a parent teacher meeting the teachers were surprised and asked “What have you done to Josie as she is a lot calmer and she can concentrate better in class.” I passed every subject in the Leaving Cert and I got very good grades. Without CBD I would have felt more stressed out and worried about the Leaving Cert. I used to get very stressed out about tests in first year so I decided to call them question lessons so I could think about it like I’m just answering questions from a piece of paper and overcome my fear of tests.

CBD has helped me to stop overthinking about things when I’m doing them. When I think about things too much I get very confused on what to do and it doesn’t work out very well. I can do so many jobs better without overthinking about them so my thoughts don’t get in the way all the time.

Before I started taking CBD I used to get upset about noises such as car engines and loud fans. Now I can go on car rides that are longer than five minutes without using noise cancelling headphones. Since my mum started college in IT Sligo I go in the car to pick her up from Sligo on Friday and drop her back to Sligo on Sunday every other weekend as she comes home on the weekends. I limit my headphone usage and music time to the way back on Friday and the way there on Sunday so that I can chat with my stepdad when only two of us are in the car. I have gotten more used to the engine noise since I have been using that idea and taking CBD.

I can take long trips in the car without using these headphones. I don’t get so agitated in the car anymore when I don’t use them.

I have learnt that it’s not very good to wear noise cancelling headphones all the time in the car. If I get too used to noise cancellation I would become over reliant on the headphones and I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere in the car without them. The car windows often fog up due to condensation in the winter time. The A/C fan has to be on speed 4 to clear the windows. I came up with a solution to do something about the loud fan noise so that I don’t get upset. I found an old pair of wired earbuds because I go to places where I don’t bring my noise cancellers sometimes. My stepbrother got me into Motörhead so I listen to that music as it’s loud enough to block out the fan noise.

My decision making has improved since taking CBD. I have gotten very good at choosing music on the CD shelf and choosing movies on the DVD shelves in the shed. I just think about what myself and my family want to listen to on the stereo or watch on our DVD projector. I chose very good Christmas presents all by myself for all my family this year. I thought about what kind of stuff everyone likes.

Before CBD I was at this shelf for over half an hour trying to choose a CD.

I have been coping very well with this COVID 19 pandemic without getting too worried and upset about it. I found lots of nice things to do during the last two long lockdowns. Without CBD this pandemic would have been very difficult for me to cope with. I would have been more agitated by all the restrictions and having to stay at home.

I think CBD should be grown on government farms and be provided for everyone. It should also be provided on prescription for everyone who wants to take it instead of buying it every time one bottle runs out.