My Family



That’s Dad at White Sands.  If you notice the manly tattoo, it is a rattlesnake. When he moved to New Mexico to work on his Ph.D., he kept rattlesnakes as pets.  And yes, they did get out one night.

Since Dad is one part Crocodile Hunter and two parts Ernest Hemingway, he caught them all, had a smoke and went back to sleep. Dad would tell you that snakes are much easier to understand than people.

Dad married in the mid-sixties.  They decided not to have a family.  Dad would advise you, “If you want a vasectomy to work, don’t get it in Juarez, Mexico.”  Heh. I am an only child.

Dad constantly monitors his website, Ramblin’ Cameras. Filled with over 1,000 images, Ramblin’ Camera’s is the collection of photographs he and Mom have taken.  Drop by! He’ll be jazzed when he checks his web statistics.



Mom is an adventuress who was raised Quaker. Summers with an orthodox uncle taught her Quaker Plain Speech–she can thee/thou/thy like Shakespeare. The family owned a dairy where she sterilized dairy equipment. To this day, she is mindful of sanitation. She even keeps an industrial sized bottle of Purel velcroed to her car seat for easy access.

When I was a kid, Mom rebuilt car and boat engines in our living room. In the guest room, she customized underwater cameras and scuba gear. Once, she bought a boat, stripped it to the hull, and rebuilt it. I was sixteen when Mom and I took a zany road trip to California to buy wood for its decks. We wound up stranded in Tijuana for a week due to election protests.



Over twenty years ago, I married Egor, a Russian physicist. He speaks perfect English and sounds just like Ren, from Ren and Stimpy. He acts more like Mr. Spock.

As a young man, Egor watched tanks roll down his street to the Kremlin. Four years later,  I watched him shake hands with President Bill Clinton on CNN.

Now a US citizen, E spends his time playing guitar and harmonica or riding his motorcycle. I have a helmet to go on rides when I need to feel even more anxious.



After 12 years of marriage, my husband and I had Liev.  We never realized our son was remarkable until he was 18 months old. Although he did not speak,  he knew his numbers from 1-200 in both English and Russian. He could read before he turned two. Six months later, he could echo back any sentence adorably.

Shortly before his third birthday, we learned Liev was autistic. We did a lot of head scratching. We said, “What do you mean he’s not normal? He’s just like us!” Now, we are a wiser family. We embrace being atypical and realize that “normal” ≠ “better.”

Liev loves elevators, countdowns, and clocks. We have watched over three thousand YouTube videos. Liev has his own playlists on our YouTube channel. If you like watching elevator floors count up and down, you must visit!



Oh and me. That’s my default mood over there →

Most people would describe me as being “different” and “sweet.” I have been described as “an abnormally happy spazz, ” which suits me, since I have Tourette’s Syndrome.

So yes, I am cheery and anxious, almost all the time. And, no, I can’t sit still, ever.  😊

How else to describe me? A list seems appropriate:

  1. If I am in line at the supermarket and you look tired or stressed I will swap places with you.
  2. It takes me a day to recover from teacher’s meetings.
  3. You can never have enough books, movies, or wigs.
  4. I seem ditzy but I am actually exceptionally gifted.
  5. I trained my two Oscars to ring a bell for their dinner.
  6. I adore short fiction and strange stories. I buy as many collections as I can afford.
  7. Art films delight me. If a film is bizarre and Eastern European, chances are it’s in my collection.
  8. Almost everything I wear is black, grey, navy, tan or red. I’m the person who will buy several pairs of the same outfit because it’s comfortable.  I also organize all our clothes by color and sleeve length.
  9. I sing when I’m happy. I rarely use lyrics. Instead,  I combine my favorite voiced plosives with high back vowels, ex. “blue-dude“. I have been singing the Phantom of the Opera score in “blue-dudes” since September. I LOVE the way the sound vibrates my lips and vocal cords!
  10. I love maps and old books.


28 thoughts on “My Family

  1. Your family presentation is a beautiful story, and I love your blog design! It makes reading anything here a pleasure, and the words are beautiful too… concise, sparse, every word positioned with great zeal. The style reminds of Hemingway.

    The stylish design of the text in the bottom tricked me at first because everything here seems to have a strong meaning. So ‘No comments’ looked like a statement that you don’t want any comments here. It made sense because everything here is so neat, but why have the function then? ‘Post your own’ suggested that you want people to post their own family story, that seemed like a novel idea! I expected to see a form or something when I clicked the link… but then it dawned that this is just the standard words stating that there are no comment here yet;-) It is fascinating how layout and context can impact the perception of words.

    Ps. No, it is not the first time I visit the Internet;-) and I do have a normal IQ.

  2. I feel like you are Diana and I am Anne Shirley. But ONLY becuase I have red hair. Do you have red hair under your hat? It looks red. Maybe we are both Anne. I am excited to come home from work today and read your blog. Have a good day.

    1. Heh! At any given time my hair varies between muddy blonde, red, light blonde or plain old blonde. It was probably reddish at the time. I am glad you like my blog! Nice to meet you! 🙂

  3. What a lovely discription of your family. Reading this has cheered up an anxious (is there any other kind?) Aspie’s early morning. It is really lovely to read about autism that is written with cheerful acceptance and also that you have focussed on the positives, of which there are many. Good Job!

    1. Thank you so much!

      And you have cheered up my post-Thanksgiving Saturday immensely!

      I hold the tenets of neurodiversity close to my heart. People on the spectrum have always exisited. Now we can reach out and find each other without the stress of travel or aggravation of word of mouth. Awesomeness!

      Thank you for visiting with me and sharing a slice of our life.

      Best Wishes,

  4. Love the family , just like mine. I’m 43 and have an almost 6 year old ‘twice exceptional ‘ boy on the spectrum , and a wonderful husband of 20 years. I am an undiagnosed Aspie . And very likely my husband too! And do I love to organize stuff. Spices, dried beans, pasta ……..mason jars filled with beautifully displayed food. My clothes also organized in the same way. I over think everything . I’ve been called a ‘happy spazz’ by my high school best friend. Anxiety & Depression are a part of my life. I feel so at ease following Aspie bloggers like you. I may be joining in soon ‘ blogging’ I mean. Facebook makes me sad & angry; I deleted my account so here I am. Thank you for your blog, I am now following:)

    1. Natalie!

      It’s nice to meet you! Thanks for taking the time to share with me. Reading your story, I see we have much in common–long marriage, 2e six year olds and Aspieness! Plus we are organizers. I have just as much fun organizing my art supplies as creating with them! And, check, double check, anxiety, depression. The benefit is the depth of emotion that comes with Aspie wiring. Beauty is transcendent.

      I would love to hear from you, although I am lousy at getting to my comments in a timely fashion. Should you join in on blogging, drop me a line for a followback!

      Cheers and look forward to hearing from you in the future!

  5. Hi Lori! I’ve been a followers of yours for awhile now and I was wondering if you would be interested in writing for my hope segment on the blog. You have a talent for writing and I would love to feature you. The basic idea of the segment is to spread hope through stories of autism. The kind of hope that makes you strong on the weak days and helps you believe that in the end it all is going to be ok. Let me know what you think!!!

  6. Hi! I like how you looked at the things your son did and thought they were perfectly normal because they were just like things everyone else did. That’s how my family was/is too!

    1. How awesome for you! It always delights me to find others with understanding and accepting families. I’m glad you dropped by. The internet is a wonderful place, full of surprising connection and great people! 🙂

  7. I just found your beautiful blog and read this and we have so much in common… Happy and anxious at the same time- check, old movies- check, books- check, organizing- check! Aspie? Hmmm suggested, but not confirmed 😉 I usually say nerd and leave it at that! You have a new follower. Me, I mean, lol.

    1. This is so cool! I could high-five you right through the internets just for being happy-anxious like me! Wooo! Nerd/NT/Aspie? They are all fantastic! Thanks for taking the time to introduce yourself!

      Lori D.

    1. Thank you! Forgive me for replying so late. I get scatterbrained over weekends, or actually, during random intervals. Your sweet message perked up my whole morning. I will need one less cup of coffee now! 🙂


  8. I love your comment about singing without lyrics – my husband does the same thing, his favorite singing phrase is “in-taaaay.” 🙂

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