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Saturday, September 30, 2006


Tonight we went downtown to the Oktoberfest celebration that the town hosts every year (since last year). It was hard... it was so hard that it wasn't really worth the effort to go. Sidewalks were crowded, and had so much stuff on them that it was impossible for a wheelchair to use them when we had to. We avoided the sidewalks when we could. Plus, there weren't always slopes down from the sidewalks to the streets when we needed one, so then we would have to use different routes all the time... It was honestly easier to use the streets.

Plus, there are always bands playing loud music as entertainment at things like this... Music is fine, and the entertainment was fine, but there was absolutely no possible way for me to join in the conversation, as our friends we were talking to at the time couldn't hear a thing I was saying. This is, of course, no one's fault, but not being able to speak usually means that I become bored. to. death.

Every time I decide to attend one of these types of outside celebrations, I'm reminded of why I don't often bother to leave the house, of why I don't attend these types of celebrations. Next time, I think I'll just cause everyone a lot less trouble all around and stay home where I can write or read if I want. At least, I'll be able to get to where I'm going with as little fuss as possible... That way Don has fun talking to people, Ellie has fun climbing on things, and I have fun being where people can hear what I have to say. It's a better situation all around.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Worms, Just Like I Promised

Okay, here's the story of why worms give me the heeby jeebies, and why I can think of about a million things that I would rather spend my time catching...

One summer day, when I was a teenager or in college or something... I remember being young enough to climb the maple tree in the front yard. The tree was an easy climb, with limbs that were close to the ground. Anyway, I was only up one or two branches, when I put my right hand in a crook of a branch in order to lever myself up to the next branch... But when I got up to that next branch, I realized that I'd put my right hand right in with a bunch of bag worms sunning themselves in the crook of the branches. Only, they weren't sunning themselves now! They were crawling all over my hand... I jerked my hand back so hard to fling off all those worms that I lost my grip on the tree and feel backwards onto the ground... Luckily, I was only up a few feet at the time, and landing on my butt on the grass of the lawn wasn't much of a fall. But I have been ridiculously terrified of worms that can crawl all over you ever since, and even though I know that I'm being ridiculous, it doesn't help... Worms just give me the heeby jeebies... and probably always will.

So catching that worm the other day wasn't the easy task I made it out to be. I first had to deal with the fact that I couldn't breathe from the second I saw it crawling on the floor by the back door, then decide to fetch Ellie's bug jar, then catch a worm that definitely didn't want to be caught... UGH! I don't understand what Ellie sees in bugs... Maybe because of the fact that bugs move a heck of a lot faster than I can colors my perception of them. I just plain don't like anything that crawls... That, however, lends a bit more understanding to my utter revulsion last Friday when a huge wolf spider crawled right up to my desk and disappeared underneath it after playing around the legs of my walker for a minute... I still don't know where it is, and I check everywhere I go in the Family Room. Double ugh!

I've been writing lately, which is why I've been so quiet lately. I finished a very long story (50 pages long - I checked out of curiosity, not for bragging rights or anything). I was quite pleased with the final versiion I got on this one. But then, that night I thought of another story plot. Only, when I started writing his new story, it was nothing short of utter drivel... I deleted it from my computer and started over. It's much better this second time around, but it keeps me busy enough t make me have to take the time to write a post... Now you know what I've been doing... That story has me so befuddled in the mind that the rest of the world might as well not exist for all I notice what's going on it in...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I'm Always doing PT, It Seems

I lock my left knee all the time whenever I take a step... So, I've been working on not locking that knee when I walk. That means that I have to tighten my left knee muscles before and during every step I take. I 'walk the right way' about 80% of the time now (corners and going backwards are still too hard to 'walk the right way,' so I still walk wrong whenever I come to a corner or have to walk backwards). However, the amount of concentration necessary to 'walk the right way' is enormous... I'm so tired right now that it's a wonder I can walk at all...

A Good Ellie Story

I found a worm (a big, huge, juicy worm) on the floor by the back door the other day. Instead of killing it (who wants bugs in their house, after all?)(besides, squishing it would have done nothing but make a huge mess that I would then just have had to clean up), I decided it would be easier all around to capture this worm in the bug jar that Ellie keeps around for her bug collection... (She loves bugs) So, I caught the worm in the bug jar that has a lid with air holes already poked into it, so I didn't have to do much of anything but put the worm far away from me. (I'm not fond of worms... as to why I'm not fond of worms... that's another story for another day.) When Ellie got home from school that night, she was thrilled with her new 'caterpillar.' When my sister came for a visit later that evening, she told Ellie that the 'caterpillar' needed some grass to eat so that it wouldn't go hungry.

My Sister: Hey, Ellie, what kind of grass do caterpillars eat?

Ellie: Green.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

A Day in The Sun

We went to a Truman State University football game today. It was hot, hard, crowded, walking was way too painful, and we were losing when we left after halftime. But I got to see the band, so all was not lost, and some friends of ours looked after Ellie for us during the game and into the afternoon, so it was well worth all the agony of going... and I like going to football games... They remind me of when I was in college and in the band... Do you know, the band cheers really haven't changed since I started school in 1987? That says a lot right there. Either I'm getting old or the band cheers are getting old. Either way, the band looked quite good... they actually marched... We never marched for the first game when I was in band... and the music was rather hard... harder than we ever played.

Speaking of music, I just saw my CD for the miniseries North and South in my CD rack... remember that series? All I know is that I've wanted the music to that mini series since the 80s, when it came out, and it took me this long to buy a copy of it so that I can yell "Good horns!" when I listen to it... I always listen for the French Horn parts, probably because I've played Horn since I was in sixth grade. The band conductor originally wanted me to play baritone, but I couldn't lift it, so I kind of got to play Horn by default... Good Horn parts are hard to come by... The hardest was anything by John Williams... that guy really knows how to use his horn section! He nearly killed me every time we played his music when I was with the Quincy Volunteer Community Band... And it blows my mind (what's left of it) to think that we used to sight read that stuff! Either my sight reading skills improved during those years, or my faking skills did. I'm not really sure, now. All I know is that Sundays used to mean driving to Quincy, playing in the park, dying of sweat, and drinking Frappucino's on the way home. I still love the coffee and own my own Horn, even if I can't play it yet (it takes an amazing amount of air to get noise out of a French Horn!). It sits in the corner and gathers dust now... That is, when Ellie's not pestering me to get it out and play a little for her.

And speaking of Ellie... The other night, when we were at supper, she brought her little toy pink and purple hair dryer to the table and proceeded to 'blow' on her food. I nearly died laughing.

Friday, September 15, 2006


The word today is 'erudite.' It means to be characterized by extensive reading or knowledge. Every time I hear that word (not that I hear it very often), I think of the movie The American President, when Michael J. Fox's character says "He just got everyone wondering how to spell 'erudite.'" (I may have the quote slightly wrong... it's been a long time since I've seen that movie.) When I hear him say that, it's inevitable... I think 'Gosh, how do you spell 'erudite?'' So, to make my third grade teacher totally proud of me, I looked it up in the dictionary... Only, I didn't know how to spell it. So, I started reading the dictionary... And the next thing I knew, it was two hours later and I was still reading the dictionary like it was a fiction story, and I knew that I was a person in BBBIIIGGG trouble... I was one of those geeks who read the dictionary. Yeek!

Coumadin strikes again... I've been awake sinc 2:00 a.m. I'm starting to get a little punchy now... Does it show?

And 'insouciant' means to act nonchalant. I had to look that one up, too, when I first saw it in high school. However, that word is so strange that you will probably never forget its definition... I know that I never did.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I tried to update last night, but then hit the wrong key on the keyboard and erased my entire entry, and then was so disgusted that I played Don's computer game that he wrote called 'Mahjonng' to help me calm down again... Otherwise, I might have hurt my computer, and it's hardly the computer's fault that I hit the wrong key so often. However, I have to wonder what on Earth some computer programers were thinking when they designed their programs a certain way. My email program is written the same way... a keystroke will erase everything... so the fact that I have literally spent hours writing a letter only to hit the wrong thing once and have the letter disappear is highly aggravating when the same thing happens in another program. But what can I do, except learn a new program? Again Ugh! Sometimes, I wonder if technology is really worth the pain and agony it causes! (Then how, I wonder, could I possibly have married a computer programmer? Life is full of surprises, I guess!)

Speaking of surprises, we actually hired a babysitter and went out last night. We were invited to a meeting where local and not so local politicians wanted to talk about what they all planned to do for handicapped people if they were elected. There was a lot of talk about Medicare and Medicaid, and playing the system, and lots of statatistics were thrown around... but, really, the thing that most affects my daily life is not drug plans or money or new programs... Not that those aren't important issues, certainly, but they don't affect me personally... No, the most important thing for me is something so simple, so basic, and therefore, so ignored,... it's almost embarrassing to admit that simply being able to go to the bathroom in a public place is far more imprtant than any new programs... To the point that I don't go out in public very often anymore... It's just not worth it. But, then, no one asked me what I think... But I figured that I can hardly complain about this state of mine if I didn't go listen to what they all have to say... We left in the middle of the program, as I needed to use the facilities, but the facilities... We just went home early. I played Mahjonng instead, and ate chocolate chip cookies that the babysitter made with Ellie. A much more enjoyable way to spend the evening...

I have an ingrown toenail that is infected. This is not really a big deal, but I've noticed that it hurts so bad so often that it is affecting my walking, such as it is. So, I have an appointment to go to the doctor this afternoon... I don't plan to go to the ER, which should make some politicians happy... but I just want to get rid of this infection once and for all. Oh, and I also got a new pair of tennis shoes last week... Not that I can enjoy them, as this toe of mine hurts so much... Sometimes, life is just full of clouds, and it's better to eat cookies than to dwell on your aches and pains too much. Besides, the cookies will taste better, and who can turn down chocolate?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Two posts in one day? What's up with that?

It's a Puzzle

I've had something on my mind for the last... say... six months. But I can't decide which of two doubtful choices I would ultimately make... I can't make up my mind. (Not that any of this is real, mind you, and I know that, but I can't resist a good puzzle...) So, in the hopes that you will give many opinions, and that those opinions will influence me one way or the other, here's the most recent mental puzzle that has been slowly drving me crazy. (As if I'm not half crazy already.)

To understand this puzzle, you have to have a brief synopsis to the background story I'm thinking of, and you have to completely suspend your desbelief (This may be harder for some to do than for others to do):

I've been watching the series Stargate, SG-1 on DVD since a friend gave me the first season for my last birthday. Now, I knew nothing about this series, other than that it was science fiction. I discovered that this series, which is now in its 10th season on the Sci-Fi channel, was originally based on a 'B' movie called Stargate, with Kurt Russel and James Spader. The idea of the original movie was fairly simple: the Egyptian God known as 'Ra' was actually two beings in one... an alien with a human host. Now, 'Ra' was the first alien, and he was as bad as they come (stereotypical bad guy). Enter Air Force Colonel Jack O'Neill (stereotypical good guy) , who was sent to where 'Ra' was currently conquering his slave nations, where Jack was to destroy the alien, even if it meant killing himself in the process... As he had just buried his son, the idea of suicide was not so much of a problem for him. The alien was rather stock, and so was the Colonel (he was simply 'military' without much character development), but the problem posed by the movie was, in and of itself, fairly real and interesting.

The series Stargae, SG-1 is based on this 'B' sci-fi movie (thus, the names Stargate versus Stargate, SG-1), but it's much more complex, complete, and intriguing. There's much more character development... for example, the alien bad guys are now an alien race known as the Goa'uld (say that name ten times fast, I dare ya!)(I can't say it at all!) who harvest hosts after breeding them specifically to become hosts, and once the alien (a snake-like creature who wraps around the hosts' spinal chord and enters the brain from there) takes a human host, the takeover is complete... There's supposedly nothing of the host personality left... the Goa'uld (the alien) personality takes over... until the host body is killed. Not a pretty life for the Americans who watch this show... They prize individuality as a high commodity. Plus, for some odd reason, we all are taught to distrust snakes.

My current puzzling conundrum is this: given the two choices, do I have a stroke and force myself to relearn... well... relearn everything, or do I become a Goa'uld, and let an alien entity steel my individuality, while I spend my extra long life (a Goa'uld gives its host excellent health, something I've never known, and extra long life) , but knowing I will spend that extra long life killing and steeling other host bodies for other Goa'ulds... So, do I live with the effect of the stroke (and let's face it, they're pretty devastating) or do I become Goa'uld and accept all the baggage that comes with it, all the while knowing that to become a Goa'uld means that 'blending' with an alien will cure all the effects left over from a paralyzing stroke? What a hard choice to make! I can't do it! Even after six months of thought, I haven't been able to make up my mind... (Not that this ultimately matters... But it's fun to puzzle out what I would do, given the choice) On the one hand, you have individuality, but no health, and on the other hand, you have health, but no individuality... Which would you choose... What do you all think?
Not my fault it's been so long between posts... My blog company had upgraded, and as is per usual with upgrades, instead of upgrading much of anything really important, they broke the blog program! It's finally fixed now. (But you just gotta love computers.. Not!)

It's a Small World After All

Okay... I'm lying in bed last night at 3:00 a.m., wondering why the heck I'm wide awake... (besides the sawhorse namedDon sleeping next to me)... and I wonder if it's because the blood thinner I've been taking for the past two years is giving me insomnia or what... Didn't know that particular feature about Coumadin... It causes insomnia, loss of sleep, staring at the ceiling at 3:00 in the morning... Well, at least it wasn't 1:00 in the morning... (Been there, done that.)

This all made me think about how we finally learned that a blood thinner causes insomnia. Because, no one had ever told us that before. Not the doctors, not the nurses, not the therapists... I figured that this side effect to Coumadin was relatively unknown... Until, one day a while ago, my first oupatient Speech Therapist named Andrea told us about it. She knew because her previous patients had told her they took Coumadin and had insomnia, and she was the first person I ever heard who put two and two together and came up with a connection between the two. The funny thing about Andrea is that Don knew who the heck she was from waaaaayyyy before the stroke... It turns out that she was in the NEMO Singers with him in college... she sang soprano... and she also gave our daughter her first hearing test while we were in the hospital... way back then. How weird is that? We totally lose contact with her, then she turns out to be the Speech Therapist I'm assigned to. Don knew who she was right away, and she at least looked familiar to me... you know how Truman (Northeast) is such a small campus... everybody knows everybody else... at least, by sight. So, the world just keeps getting smaller and smaller all the time, and they all live in Kirksville, I swear...

By the way, she was a really good therapist, too...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sick Humor

(The word of today is 'insouciant.' Two points to anybody who knows what it means!)

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the kind of things Don and I think are funny. They aren't the normal things that normal people think are funny. We have really sick senses of humor, actually. In the movies, or literature, we have what is called 'Dark Humor.' For instance, we go around, saying gross things about brain injuries, such as, which one of us really has one, me, who has been proven to have had one, or Don, who is an eccentric genius who has no common sense. So, which one of us is really sick? Or are we both sick, and just don't know it?

Things to make you go Hmmm!