Tuesday, July 31, 2007

One Step at a Time

While we were in MN a few weeks ago, we went over to FIL's fiancee's daughter's to go swimming.

I discovered something about myself.

Here is the gorgeous view of the lake behind her house.

I am standing at the edge of a steep slope. I have seen slopes leading to the lake before. The lake I grew up on had a small slope, but the other side of the lake was pretty steep. Mostly, though, it's not always that bad of a slope. Sometimes, some lakes are level with the ground.

There were concrete steps leading down to the pier.

Now, I mentioned before about how descending steps can be in a previous post.

As I stared down these steps, my heart pounded. Concrete is the worst. One step blends into the other and I can't tell where one step ends and the next step begins. I have bad depth perception. On top of it all, there were no railings. Nothing to hold on to. I knew I had to be guided down those steps.

My daughter held my hand as I descended. The steps were small. I had to go down sideways. My feet were too big for the steps.

Then the automatic counting began. Five small steps, then a bigger, longer one. Five more, then a big one. Then six small ones, then a bigger step. Then four little steps, then a bigger one. Now we reached the bottom step.

Here's two similar pictures of the steps looking up.

Looks pretty steep, doesn't it? Scroll back up and look at the second picture showing the top of the incline, looking down.

I never had an issue going up steps before. Not really. I felt dizzy without a railing to hold on to. I asked (yes, I asked! This does not come easy for me.) for assistance to get back up. I felt like a toddler hanging on to her mommy as she was guided up, one step at a time.

Constant adjustments. Always. Little by little, I have to find the right time to be independent (yes, I can be stubborn) or swallow my pride and ask for help. Other times, I just don't want to argue with another person because they mean well-but they just make me feel like I can't do anything for myself.

This is personal growth.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Heading for an RP "Cure"?

There is a clinical trial going on from Neurotech called CNTF (ciliary neurotrophic factor) implant.

This implant is about a size of a single grain of rice. It is surgically placed into the eye. In it are CNTFs that are slowly released directly into the retina.

As always, hoping and praying for a "cure".


Friday, July 20, 2007

Harry Potter Fan

I am a Harry Potter fan. Tomorrow the final book is released. I will quote Paul Sweeney when I get to the end of the book, "You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend." Only in this case, it's final. No more sequels. It will be a kind of a letdown knowing that this is it. Sigh. Only I hope, from the rumors I have heard about two people dying in the book, that they aren't the ones I am attached to. I don't want it to be the end for a beloved character. I can't even think that the author would choose to do it to our favorite. I don't want to "lose my friend". But to paraphrase what the author says, it's the reality of real life, that death happens. Why not in the wizarding world, too? Kids (and adult readers,too) cannot really avoid it. It's a learning process.

On a lighter note, I am only 20% Harry Potter-obsessed, though, according to this quiz. I guess I can live with that. No need to actually carry a wand around casting spells and wearing long black robes, even Gothic-style. Why would I want to buy extra books in a different language? Does sign language count? Lucky for me, I don't have to reread the books; they are still fresh in my mind. I have watched the movies over and over. All in all, being 20% obsessed is good enough for me. I am happy with it.

I also took this quiz just to see how well I knew my trivial facts about Harry Potter. After all, sometimes when you read or watch something, you realize you missed something. (Or is it just me? lol) Anyway, I passed with 100%. I bet you will, too.

I played this Harry Potter quiz below. I got the info from Jennifer. If you are a Harry Potter fan, try it. I was wondering if I even had a character that matched me. I thought for sure I'd be Ron, because I can be spooked easily and I don't like spiders.

It's fun. Can't wait till the book comes out. Tomorrow. Happy Reading!!

Find out your Harry Potter personality at LiquidGeneration!


Thursday, July 19, 2007

I'm It!! Not Once, but Twice!!

I got tagged/invited to play a meme-type game. I don't really get into this stuff, though it is interesting to read other blogs that got tagged. I have done a meme or two before.

I got double-tagged, just days apart. One was an "Eight Facts about Me" and the other was "Seven Truths" which I think is basically the same thing, just one less "true fact".

Hello from Julia (3 for 365 blogette) tagged me with Jeu - Juego (the Seven Truths meme).

Here's the rules:

1. Tagged individuals must write seven truths on their blog, as well as the rules of the game.
2. They must then tag seven people and list them in their blog.
3. You must leave a message on the blog of each of the seven and invite them to visit and play.

Okay, here we go, or rather, here I go:

1. I have Usher Syndrome Type 2. I am severely hard-of-hearing and visually impaired. I can speak well and I can still read a 12 point font and do most things. I am almost "normal". I may even fool you for a short time if you didn't know I had Usher, though it is getting harder to do.

2. I am basically shy, but I can be outgoing. It just depends on how comfortable I am with the person I am with and where I am (if it's quiet and well-lit).

3. I am pretty tall at 5' 9" (though for years I thought I was 5'10". but it turns out That either I am shrinking or I was measured wrong-I always had gym shoes on and lately I took the gym shoes off to "lose a few pounds"-lol-viola, I am an inch shorter). I am always surprised when another woman is taller than me, because I don't always bump into many around here. I feel really "short" when I come across a woman who is taller than me. It's a weird feeling. Sometimes there's this telepathy I have with another tall woman, because we understand the "tall woman" thing and think the same thing, like there's this unspoken, mutual understanding, "You're tall, too."

4. I am a world-class worrywart. I worry too much about everything and nothing. I worry about my weight. I worry about how I project myself to others. I worry about what others think (way too much). Sometimes I even hestiate to publish a blog topic because of how it may look to others-am I too whiny, too "oh poor me", or whatever.

5. I am a pushover-a doormat. I hate confrontations. I would rather bury my feelings or give the cold shoulder (or the "evil eye") than to argue, except with the kids. I yell at my kids, but I don't want to pick a fight with anyone else. I think I am getting better at it, though, at speaking up for myself. At least a little. I had very little self-confidence growing up. I felt like I was being criticized a lot as a kid by my siblings, because I was the "baby". I didn't like getting negative attention. Still don't. I am too much of a people-pleaser and very self-c0nscious.

6. I am a country music fan, though I do like a lot soft rock music of the 80s and the 50s and 60s music, too. Ironically, my oldest enjoys listening to country music. How many kids actually like to listen to the same thing their parents do?

7. I love reading and learning. I love books and I love learning. Even though I was an average student in high school, I was a High Honors graduate at the tech college. I may be book smart, but I still need to work on my street smarts. I can be naive about things.

So there you have it. Seven truths about me.

*Rule number three says that I have to tag seven people. See below.

Breazy tagged me for the "Eight Facts about Me" meme.

Here's the rules:

1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Since I think that this is so similar to the above meme, I am going to just add one more fact about me.

8. I love the color blue. Sapphire. Royal. Turquoise. Lapis. Baby blue. I just love blue. It is said that blue is a calming color. I like to think that blue calms me or that it makes things more comfortable for me or even that I can help calm others.

*Rule number four it says that I have to tag eight people. So because this is so similiar to the first meme, I am going to just tag eight people. I really don't have a lot of people to tag (most have already been tagged). They can choose to write a meme in their blog if they want. I won't hold you to it if you don't want to do the tag.

I tag: Sue, Amalia, Sara, Hillgrandmom, Eileen, G, ...well, I am two bloggers short.

As I said before, I don't have a huge readership (as far as commenters with their own blogs go) and most have already been tagged previously. Half of my readers are googlers looking for information (revelant or not) and happen to hit on my blog. I may have others I could tag, but I know they don't really like memes and some are just good about it. Again, the six I listed here do not have to do a meme if they don't want to. I won't be offended. :)


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Remember When...

Remember these?

Modernization isn't so bad.

I remember family trips when I was growing up. We visited the Apostle Islands (northwestern tip of WI on Lake Superior), Washington Island (Door County-beautiful!), Grand Ole Opry in TN, etc., etc., etc.

My sisters and I would help my mom make sandwiches the morning of our trip. We'd make egg salad, ham salad, and cheese sandwiches. It was always the same. We'd pack them in separate bread bags. We put them in a cooler along with the drinks, of course.

Every few hours, we'd stop at a wayside to go to the bathroom or eat. I hated it.

They reeked. Spiders were all over the "outhouse". There was a big deep hole where you had to do your business. I would hold my breath or plug my nose as long as possible, try to avoid touching anything, and get out in record time.

I learned to associate "wayside" with the "stinky place with bugs".

Now the waysides are cleaner and not at all like I remember. It's a bigger building. It has maps and brochures. There may be a sign describing the county we were in.

My kids would never be able to comprehend the waysides I remember. I don't know if they even exist anymore.

Already I am feeling like I am preaching about "years ago". Is this a sign that I am getting old? I don't really feel "old".

Here's to modernization.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Adventure at the Lake

"A crab pinched her!!" My youngest, Angel, was standing to a little to my left, waving her hand at me.

We were at my sister's for the Fourth of July celebrations. A lot of kids were swimming in the lake.

Angel, my explorer, liked to collect clam shells and snail shells. As usual, she was wading in the shallow water.

"Mom, a crab pinched her!!" She repeated.

She didn't have the look of alarm on her face.

"A crab pinched her!!" I exlcaimed, immediately scanning the water for Flare, but she was swimming in the deeper part of the water, playing with her cousins.

My eyes traveled back towards Angel.

Again, she repeated. "A crab pinched her!!"

I looked for another girl who may have been pinched by a crab.

I remember trying to catch crayfish when I was little. I would step in the area in front of it, and then put a bucket behind it. It would swim backwards into the bucket. They really don't go around attacking. At least I didn't think so. Maybe a kid provoked it??

Now she was waving her hand at me some more.

myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics

I was almost afraid to look at her hand. What if there was a crayfish hanging off of it? It didn't make sense to me, because it there was one there, she'd be crying or someone else would have noticed something.

In her hand was a water-decomposed severed crayfish pincher.



Sunday, July 01, 2007

Read 'em and Weep

myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics
Glitter Graphics

The last three times we rented a movie, I was disappointed in the changes in closed captioning.

I like the regular closed captioning we have on TV-the kind with a strip of black background with white font.

The latest rentals seem to have the white font without the black strip in the background. Some of it blends into the background or the movement of the actors/actresses make it distracting. It also makes it hard when they are wearing something light-colored.

I can't read it very well. I don't know why they changed how it is captioned in the movies. Does it hurt their profits that much? I hope this is not a trend and will also affect the shows and movies on TV, too. I had to find just the right angle to watch the video, which was dead-on center. I couldn't watch it sitting on the left or the right.

I am going to wait till some of these new releases start airing on TV, then I watch it again and see if the captioning has the black strip in the background of the captions.

How many others noticed how hard it is to read this kind of captioning?