Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wow, It's the last day of July...

Is summer over? Clouds are here, cool breezes blowing, leaves on the maple tree are turning orange...I'm not ready for fall, yet. Global warming where art thou?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

We love Wii..

Nathan did his part to stimulate the economy by purchasing a Wii recently. It is great for someone who has disabilities like he does. It can be done with one hand, it can be set up for left or right handed players. It can be played by one person. The set up instructions are not complicated. The games (baseball, golf, tennis, boxing, and bowling) are simple, but can be made harder. They are especially good for eye-hand coordination exercise. They give instant feedback plus a replay of each action. He can operate the whole system by himself from memory and can choose his own games. We are very pleased with the Wii and plan on buying some more games for it. Thank you to the designers of the Wii for making a product that can be used by a person with very limited mobility and cognitive deficits, a product that brings hours of joy.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Only in the Pacific Northwest...

I think this may be the only place where you can put on a sweatshirt and drink hot chocolate in July. That's what I'm doing right now. As a native of this area, it still amazes me that in the middle of summer, it can be this cool and dreary. Looking on the bright side, I won't have to water anything today!

Monday, July 28, 2008

I never cease to be amazed...

Today I took dad to the new out-patient laboratory for Good Samaritan Hospital. It is located several blocks from the hospital in a brand new building. The grand opening is tomorrow. The building is located on a narrow street filled with construction vehicles due to the hospital expansion going on in the area. Parking is plentiful, there is a parking garage under the building. Please keep in mind that this 3 story building is full of doctor's offices in addition to the lab. The door to the main entrance does not have the automated features for those with handicaps. It is very heavy and not particularly wide. I had dad and his walker to manuever through it. I am now dreading taking Nathan and the wheelchair next week. The elevator seemed crowded, not very deep, another challenge when I bring Nathan. To get to the lab there is a very heavy door to go through, again no automated features, followed by a hard right and another heavy door into the lab waiting room. There is also another heavy door to be navigated into the drawing area. Why so many doors and why so heavy and where are the automated door openers? This is a new medical building, shouldn't there be some consideration given for those with walkers and wheelchairs, not to mention young mothers with little children in strollers and in tow?
Why are medical facilities designed to be unfriendly to those with disabilities? I think it should be a requirement that the designers of these facilities visit them in a walker and a wheelchair and try to get around before the building is signed off by the building inspectors.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I looked out the window and what did I see?

...a little brown bunnie looking back at me. He hopped across the front yard. He hopped around a tree. And as he hopped away, I think I heard him say, "Ha, ha, you'll never catch me!"

Better watch out for the coyote little rabbit.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

If you want to donate to a good cause...

My best friend, Pam McRea Seip, died in 2006 from complications due to a brain tumor. I miss her and think of her every day. Below is an email I received from her son, Craig, who is training to run in the Chicago Marathon in her honor.

Some of you know, many do not, that I am training for the Chicago Marathon, October 12, 2008. I am running on the team of the American Brain Tumor Association, in memory of my mother. Many of you were lucky enough to have known her: All of you know that she died in November 2006 from complications from a brain tumor. If you could support my run by giving a donation for the ABTA, I would be very grateful. There are surely many families who do not have the resources that mine did as we dealt with her illness, who rely on the ABTA for support.

I'm nearly up to 9 mile runs, and think of my mom even more as I run than I usually do, imagining her cheering me on as she did when I was a 17-year-old cross-country runner bringing up the rear of the race!

If you could pass my link to people who I do not even that we can all further help the ABTA in their cause...I would be further humbled by your love and support.

Below is the link to my page.

Thanks and love,


Monday, July 21, 2008

Hi Ho Hi Ho its off to Costco I go!

I decided today was the day for the trip to the big box store. They sent me some coupons which I diligently clipped and actually remembered to take with me. I also made a list that corresponded to the coupons, something I don't always do. Then it was off on the grand adventure. First stop was the aisle with the computer printer ink, not on the list, but a useful item. No ink refills for the Lexmark printer that I own and that I bought there. Things were not looking good, better get out the list. Quickly found that even with the coupons, the store brand was a better deal. Chatted with a few other customers on the detergent aisle who had also discovered this. Skipped the meat department and frozen food sections today, after all I was a woman on a mission with a list that didn't include those items. Managed to locate all the items that I had coupons for and only had to ask two clerks for help. My one personal splurge item was a book called The Friday Night Knitting Club, a nice lady looking at the books with me highly recommended it. I am now resting from the big adventure and all the boxes are still sitting in the family room waiting to be put away. This I will have to do soon as the missionaries are coming for dinner tonight. If you want to spend a lot of money in a short amount of time, I suggest a visit to Costco, and it's good exercise too.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Another week gone..

I cannot believe how fast this summer is going. I've got the jam all made from the delicious local berries. The garden is growing, but I don't think the pumpkins will weigh 500 pounds, or even 5 pounds, for that matter. We did have some radishes from the "square foot" garden. Somehow the peacock missed a few leaves, he loves to eat all the new green leaves in the garden, right down to the soil. He is such a pretty bird, but very messy and he has a huge appetite.
We are enjoying the sunshine, but have no plans to go anywhere this summer. I would like to go to the beach before summer is over.
Nathan and I watched the Spiderwick Chronicles on DVD yesterday, it is a little bit like The Chronicles of Narnia only not quite as complicated.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I miss Ma Bell..

I remember when there was just one telephone company in this area, the Bell Telephone Company, affectionately known as "Ma Bell". You could dial 0 for operator and a nice lady would answer after just one ring. She would be very helpful and if she couldn't do what needed to be done, she would call her supervisor who could. Today I tried to call the place where Nathan has a volunteer job to let them know he was sick and wouldn't be coming. I started calling the number at 9 a.m. and continued to call until 1:45 this afternoon, all I got was a busy signal. I decided to call the operator to see if she could put me through. In the days of "Ma Bell", this was possible. Evidently in this day and age of technology, it is no longer possible. Nor is it possible for me to report phone problems for this facility. They must report it themselves because there may be "charges" involved. I hope they discover that their phones are out before the day is over, no one is going to be able to call and tell them, nor is the phone company going to look into it and see if there might be a line problem. I do miss Ma Bell, now more than ever, and I miss that nice friendly HELPFUL operator, too.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I can't believe it's Tuesday

Today was a very busy day. Nathan had a routine dentist appointment that lasted for 2 hours. Then I took him for a haircut and lunch at Subway. On the way home, he got sick, "code brown" for those in the know. The afternoon was spent cleaning him, the clothes, the wheelchair, the bed. He is resting now. Never a dull moment.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Jam day again..

Today I made raspberry freezer jam. It is easy to make and tastes so good. We just about have enough jam for the coming year. Tomorrow I am going to make a batch of raspberry-nectarine jam (I'm substituting nectarines for peaches). In a few days I'll make some blackberry jam. Since we are storing a year's supply of peanut butter, it will be nice to have something to put with it on a sandwich.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Meals on Wheels

A cat died and went to Heaven. God met him at the gates and said, 'You have been a good cat all these years. Anything you want is yours for the asking.
' The cat thought for a minute and then said, 'All my life I lived on a farm and slept on hard wooden floors. I would like a real fluffy pillow to sleep on.
'God said, 'Say no more.' Instantly the cat had a huge fluffy pillow.
A few days later, six mice were killed in an accident and they all went to Heaven together. God met the mice at the gates with the same offer that He made to the cat.
The mice said, 'Well, we have had to run all of our lives: from cats, dogs, and even people with brooms! If we could just have some little roller skates, we would not have to run again.'
God answered, 'It is done.' All the mice had beautiful little roller skates.
About a week later, God decided to check on the cat. He found him sound asleep on his fluffy pillow. God gently awakened the cat and asked, 'Is everything okay? How have you been doing? Are you happy?'
The cat replied, 'Oh, it is WONDERFUL. I have never been so happy in my life. The pillow is so fluffy, and those little Meals on Wheels you have been sending over are delicious!'

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The new FamilySearch

Wednesday is my day to volunteer at the Family History Center. As a ward family history consultant, I am able to access the new familysearch program even though it is not available to members in this temple district. I have been taking lessons online to help me learn the program so that I can teach others. It is always challenging to learn something new. The program was developed to cut down on duplicate submissions for temple ordinances. Sounds good in theory, but I seem to have no problem creating duplicates when I'm entering new information. I'm not sure if it is me or if there is a glitch in the program. Today I was entering Samuel Isaac and the next thing I knew his father, John, had been registered with Samuel's birthdate. How did that happen I wonder? Lucky for me, I had done a lesson today on how to delete a record. Something I find disconcerting is to see my ancestors' information submitted incorrectly by someone I do not know. For example, Ardilla Isaac has been submitted as Ardilla Stevenson Isaac, Stevenson is her married last name, not her middle name. Lots of corrections to submit! So, to my nieces and nephews who may be using this program, be very careful. I am trying to get everything corrected for you. Also I have noticed that ordinance data shows on some screens but not on others, please check with me before submitting for temple work.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A question or two

If you were going to build a bathroom in a motel to be accessible to a person with disabilities, wouldn't it make sense to put in a walk-in shower? Why would you put in a bathtub? I went for a visit to a local motel to look for a place for our family to stay while we have the asbestos removed in our house. The bathroom was the perfect size for a roll-in shower chair and would have worked great, except for the bathtub. A very disappointing experience. I had hoped that in the past 20+ years since our last trip involving motels, that accessibility would mean more than a tub with several grab bars. Evidently, not much has changed, but I will keep looking.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Monday, time to do laundry..

Five loads washed, three more to go. In between loads we ran the dishwasher, giving the septic system a run for the money. Let's see how much water we can run through the system until something overflows. Wild Thing's family living life on the edge on a sunny July afternoon. Also, took a break and watched the "Work and the Glory" part 2 "on demand". It doesn't get any better than this.

Friday, July 4, 2008

It's the Fourth of July..,

We have the flag flying and a few red, white, and blue decorations placed strategically around the house. We have no plans for today, Nathan is still not feeling well and the weather looks like it could rain any second. Several thunderstorms passed through the area yesterday providing plenty of "fireworks" accompanied by very loud rolls of thunder. I am thankful every day that I live in this free country and I am especially grateful to the men and women who have served and currently serve in the military. Their sacrifices have kept us free from oppression. One of our ancestors, Andrew Englis, served in the Revolutionary War and was present at Valley Forge. If you would like to read a little more about him go to: His name is the fifth from the bottom of the roll of those who signed the Oath of Allegiance.