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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

We're cooking!

Ellie and I made a meatloaf today in the solar cooker we built around Christmas. It was a bit windy, so I put together a kind of cardboard frame to hold it together and then sort of secured everything with clothespins.

Ellie did much of the stirring and mixing as I measured all of the ingredients. Then I spooned our meatloaf into a quart jar painted black with non-toxic paint. We had it in the sun from 11am to 1pm and it was about 190 degrees Fahrenheit when I brought it in.

It was no better, but no worse than meatloaf made in the oven, perhaps a bit more moist but generally unbrowned. Linda condescended to try some, and said it tasted fine.

Four eyes, four legs

Four eyes: For those who remember, Linda had a prism for a long time after her stroke to take care of some double vision. She generally doesn't wear a prism now, although her glasses are slightly bent from falling on them. Still, she is wearing her contact lenses more and more. They make her a bit tired by the end of the day (she could still do with just a little bit of prism probably) but she much prefers to wear them to glasses.

Four legs: We are still practicing with Linda's forearm crutches. We don't do them everyday, but pretty regular. Of course they keep her hands full, so she can't carry anything. She can't even really scratch her nose, so the canes will definitely be for "out" when we get somewhere that just isn't practical with a walker or wheelchair.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I know what you're thinking

You're thinking that I don't update the blog often enough. That's true.

Ellie is finishing up swimming lessons this week. I can't believe how well she swims. Way better than I did at her age. She even dives off the diving board. I can't even count the number of times I walked out to the end of the board and lost the courage to dive. One day, she just said "We can jump off any way we like, right?" When I said yes, I didn't realize that she meant head first. But she was a natural.

Last weekend we went to Linda's 20 year class reunion. Naturally that's a kind of challenging event. The place we had dinner didn't have accessible bathrooms (no surprise in the Midwest we've found). We sort of expected that, and managed. There was music and lots of noise, so naturally it was hard for Linda to talk. Luckily we came early before it got really noisy and Linda yelled a lot and the combination was pretty successful.

We had a picnic the next day, and that was a bit easier. Not so loud anyway. And the bathrooms were accessible to boot. The picnic was at a park and there were lots of activities for kids, so Ellie especially had fun.

This week Linda order a pair of forearm crutches, pink. The just came today, and we've tried them once. They are a bit challenging, so we'll have to practice with them for a while. They're sort of for those places you get to where a wheelchair or walker is hopeless, like Pagliais (a local pizza place in town). We'll probably keep the crutches in the trunk of the car most of the time so we'll have them whenever they are needed. Naturally we don't need them at home.

School starts in a few weeks. Ellie is looking forward to kindergarten, and I'm trying not to think about classes yet in earnest. I do always like the fall though, with that excitement of new students looking for their classes, everything being new.