Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Quiet Day of Reflection

Tomorrow it will be exactly one year since Ann died. But today will be the only semi-quiet day I have this week. So I will spend as much of it as possible being still inside. Ann Loved the sparkle of Christmas lights. They just made her happy, as did her lava lamp. In all of her paintings she worked to get light and shadow just right, and she loved reflections in water of all forms, clear ice, water, the glare off of snow, etc. So I will hang a string of multi-colored Christmas lights in her memory.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mixis Question and a Funny Conversation

I DO wish Blogger would give screen reader users like me access to the comments page! Then D7ana wouldn't end up answering most of my questions. But are there going to be a new line of Mixis dolls? Will they be the same dolls in new outfits or new "Mixes" of racial backgrounds? I would like to see the latter or some male Mixis dolls. Do these girls Have to date Ken! They're too smart! Well maybe they can meet a nice Power Ranger or G.I. Joe who is Home from the wars!

I've been sick with a vicious stomach but going around in our area which has lots of people out of work. It isn't a flu, which is respiratory, but they used to call it "the stomach flu" around here. No details, don't worry. But it's horrid and I'm keeping everyone I can away from me so They don't catch it.

That's what led to this funny conversation with a sighted friend.

(friend) "When I can't keep anything down I eat or even drink clear jello. Strawberry is my favorite, but you can get jello in any flavor."

(me) "Wait a minute, I'm confused, what is clear jello? Sighted people wouldn't drink something they could see through that has a flavor like strawberry."

(friend) "Oh, it's got red food coloring in it, but no fruit or marshmallows or things like that in it."

(me) "So it's just plain jello, right?"

(friend) "Yah, I guess so, plain jello with nothing in it."

(me) "Ok, got it. Does it help?"

To me, "clear red jello doesn't make sense. Or maybe it's red, but you can still see through it, translucent red jello? Makes about as much sense as that horrid nylon sewing thread which comes in "dark clear" and "light clear". Hu?

At least fishing line is still Clear clear, only you can see it, I'm told, because it is thick, has an edge. Maybe the only thing which is Really clear is that Clear is a subjective word when describing anything but glass with no coloring or water. And my bet is that there is sadly Precious little Clear water anymore. The river I used to swim in as a kid reflected everything and I was told you could still see every rock on the bottom. Now it isn't even Dark clear, it's just sick.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


A long time ago Ann told me that I would have to learn to work with patterns in sewing and learn to make the same things over and over. I was bummed by this, as I Never run out of new designs for doll clothing, in my head. Ann was so good at making patterns that I could just Describe clearly what a piece of finished clothing should look like and she could make a paper pattern for it and cut it out.

My problem has been that most of the time, I cannot sew as straight as a sewing machine. But I think I may have conquered this problem for Good! Ann was right, I did use a purchased pattern. And a sighted friend cut it out. But Then she put a line of half inch wide rough textured Tape along the pinned edge and I sewed just Inside the tape, along the edge. Today another sighted person looked at my work. She is someone I can Trust for an Honest opinion about How something Truly looks. She declared it Fantastic, and as good as doll clothing sold online! Finally, Yeh!!

So, I wuill keep ripping out and re-sewing my own designs, but I will Mostly use patterns and Taped pinned cloth. I can vary the patterns by decorative touches like ribbon, differing colors of cloth, bead work, etc. When I get better at it I can add sleeves or vary their length, or subtract them. But Finally finding a way to sew perfectly Straight is for me a Major Achievement! I called up the friend who suggested the tape idea to leave a Thank You message for when she gets home from work.

And OJ, the canary, is living and his wing is healing. The birds are back together now in a compltely cleaned cage, and I Won't play anymore canary tapes until Breeding season is Over, mit to late Feb. so maybe he won't try to love Father or Brother Rafi again and get beaten up for his trouble.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Animals, doll Question, and Frustrations About blindness

OJ is still living, as are the other two flaps, (birds). None of them are happy, as the isolation cagews are smaller than the big one they shared. But until OJ's wing heals, its Iso. for him, (isolation cage). His cage is near enough to see, hear, and yell at the other two, so he will be Less scared than otherwise. Gives me the chance, the Joy? of cleaning the big bird cage, YUCK! Ann and I used to make this a team effort and I Don't like doing it alone, just as I don't seem to have the energy for a yowling, (talky?) cat when he wants attention, food, or anything else. I swear, he looks like a Russian Blue, but his eyes are the wrong color for that and from his Voice and Volume, I thing he's part Siamese. Ann was a much better cat chooser than me. She loved fuzzy buzzy lap cushions which she could mentally "get in tune with" and pur along. I like happy, playful, cuddly cats ok. This one just Ain't! Dude has Catitude out the . . . Oh Well.

Doll Question. Have you ever gotten a doll which just felt especially good, or bad? What I mean is, do you think any of the designer's feelings or intention actually survive the manufacturing process so that when you buy the doll it has a feeling which isn't yours connected with it? I have had this experience and just wondered if others have.

I don't like super straightened hair for African American or African dolls, and yet I like Grace of the SIS dolls. She just has a Feeling about her. I like Trichelle because of her cool clothes, curly hair, and the color contrast of her skin and hair. To me, these things make her more interesting than Kara. But I can't explain Why I like Grace. The glitter on her lip is cool, but Pink Ain't my favorite color, Especially for Dolls! Is this the favoritism which gave Grace the car?

New subject: Sometimes being blind is just a pain in the butt! Ann owned a boom box with a multi-CD. tray. I hate those because I can so Easily mix up CD.'s and their cases. All it takes is for me to push the button telling this machine to go to tray Three, and the machine goes to tray Two instead. I take out the CD. from what I Think is tray Three, put it in the Wrong cover, then put it away. Next time I want the CD. from tray Two, it's Gone, and the machine keeps switching to some other tray (probably three, Finally) and beginning to play the Wrong disk. I use this boom box for reading while I do kitchen work or sewing. The stereo (Yep, it actually has a Turn Table) in the living room has only One CD. tray, the way I Want it. Of course, the sollution is to keep only One CD. at a time in the kitchen boom box. I try. But once in a while I stupidly play a second one and this is all it takes to screw up two disks and two covers.

Also, I Cannot find a good way to cut out a Pattern! Annoying! I have to wait for a sighted person to help straighten out CD.'s and covers, And to cut anything out! So I guess I'll go clean the bird cage, Gross!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pepper Spraying Teens in Birmingham Schools

If this description of events is correct, what is happening to teens in Birmingham's schools is Totally Unacceptable! But I don't know about banning the use of pepper spray altogether. How do other police Dept.s handle the use of pepper spray in schools? I can imagine it being preferable to breaking up a group of kids involved in violence instead of beatings or shooting. What do you think? The fact that the Southern Poverty Law Center has taken notice makes me think the use of pepper spray in Birmingham's schools has probably gotten Way out of line.

In a Birmingham, Alabama high school, a girl named Gloria turned around to confront
a boy who pushed her while she waited for her mother after school. When she went
up to her attacker, Gloria says
a police officer stationed in the school pulled her from behind, and shot her with
pepper spray directly in her face, mouth, and eyes
Gloria's mom, LaTonya Stearns, said seeing her daughter after she was pepper-sprayed
in school was "like a nightmare." "I couldn't believe how red and swollen her face
was," LaTonya said. "She was crying out to me to help her and I couldn't do anything."
What's incredible to LaTonya is that, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center,
nearly 200 other Birmingham students have been pepper-sprayed by police officers
in just the last 5 years
. They've been unable to find
any other school system
that allows pepper spray use this frequently for what amounts to typical teen behavior.
LaTonya thinks it's ridiculous that Birmingham schools allow police officers to use
pepper spray on students so often, so she wants to work with her city's mayor to
change the policy.
She started a petition on Change.org asking Birmingham's Mayor to work with police and school officials to stop pepper-spraying students. Click here to add your name to her petition
After she was pepper-sprayed in school, Gloria's face was red, swollen, and covered
in welts for days. The welts turned into black scabs that didn't go away for weeks.
It hurt to wash her face, as water only made the pain worse. She soon fell into deep
depression and refused to come out of her room.
"She's a teenage girl, not a criminal," said Gloria's mom, LaTonya.
Birmingham's frequent use of pepper spray against students is not a secret to the
city's mayor, school board, and police department. Local media have reported on the
city's disturbing trend, but city officials have yet to respond with a way to stop
the pepper spray attacks on students.
LaTonya wants to work with Birmingham's mayor, city council, and school officials
to make sure that Birmingham students no longer have to fear being attacked by police
officers in schools for normal teenage behavior. Your signature on LaTonya's petition
can make a difference by showing Birmingham officials that the rest of the country
is watching the city's treatment of students.
Click here to sign LaTonya's petition asking Birmingham to stop pepper-spraying students in the city's schools

Changes, Happier

Well, OJ the canary was still alive this morning. A friend stopped by and said that one of his wings was bloody and that the finch named Rafi had feathers pulled out. So they are now separated into different cages. Iremembered that either Neosporin (sorry about spelling, if wrong) or Tripple Antibiotic could be used on injured birds. Called pet store to find out if this was still true, (no new science, etc.) and when they said yes, OJ let himself be doctored. I am very glad to have found out what was wrong and to have separated the two combatants while both are still alive!

Many years ago Ann and I bought a White Hooded Nun Finch, and a Black Hooded Nun Finch. We decided since they were called "nuns" we'd start with "sister's" names. Mine, with the black hood was Sister Ursula, and Ann's with the white hood was Sister Rafaella. But Ursula's name had to be changed to Father Ursul, and Rafaella's name was Father Rafi. It has been canary mating season and OJ has no girlfriend. Far be it from me to harrass a gay canary, but evidently Father Rafi didn't appreciate OJ's advances. OJ is lucky his Eyes didn't get pecked out. When birds fight they can be Horrid! So, at least OJ and Rafi are alive today and I am Glad! The third living finch is Rosebug, she is smaller than the others, doesn't fight, and is a Rosy Rumped Wax Bill. Ursul died of old age in the Winter of 2010. He and Rafi were great buddies, being so similar that they could have interbred, If one of them Had been female.

Turkey's in the oven, I have some time to myself and clean up the kitchen mess, I am thankful!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Many Changes

Tonight I was and probably am going to make rice stuffing for the turkey someone gave me for Christmas. I just wasn't up to making it then. I'll put home cooked spiced fruit with wallnuts, onions, shredded carrots, and a mix of brrown and wild rice altogether. I learned to make this by experimenting because Ann couldn't eat anything with wheat, barley, or rye in it, or all the foods which contain gluten from wheat. Ann learned from a cooking show that if you make slits in the thawed turkey's skin and tuck in the stuffing, the meat picks up the flavor of the stuffing. It makes the turkey look funny, but tastes great.

I have some pears with sweetener, ginger, cinnamon, and fennel, (not sure how to spell that spice). Will moisten rice and veggies. (probably cole slaw mix and onions and green peppers, with pears. Before cooking, will add wallnut pieces, so they stay a bit crunchy after cooking.

In many ways which are individually small but may be large when added together, things are changing. I'm making a dish I only made for Ann on holidays. Just figured all of the deer burger spaghetti and fruit salad were eaten, and would enjoy turkey. Then I decided if I was going to cook it, might as well cook it with the stuffing we, now just I, like.

Also began setting up a room for reading my Braille books, studying Braille maps, and for meditation, with Buddhist altar in it. I have a small altar shelf or space in each room where anything important happens. Didn't have one in this room or the kitchen.
Thank you for info.. on window plastic kits, Phily Collector. After getting windows plasticed from inside by a very kind friend, she and I got curtains hung in all but one room. Figured that might help a bit with utility bills, having more than just blinds. She said that the place had looked a littlle Temporary without curtains and that it looked more "pulled together" with them. I guess it has Felt temporary all this time and still does, often.

Bought things today to offer to free (wild) creatures on day one year after Ann died.

Also got book about Japanese braiding techniques for clothing decoration, jewelry making, etc. on tape so can follow directions. Am hoping to buy some "fair trade" recycled sari yarn to use, but strings of seed beads can be used, ribbon, many things. And I Will dress a Chinese or Chinese American doll in Some color Other than red, kept that in mind, after reading it.

Missed all of the toy sales, didn't have transport after Christmas to stores. Still don't and now inventories are done, I think. But bought several larger dolls. It will be interesting to find out if I like sewing for fashion to 12 inch dolls best, (advantage is I can feel an entire garment easily with one hand, or for larger dolls, like American GGirl, (advantage is can use machine more easily.) Found an American Girl with a MAT for hair cheap on Ebay. After 4 or 5 hours, hair isn't new, but is good. Took a lot of work!

I've been feeling lately like one of the birds, possibly the canary, will die soon. There is a different feeling around the cage before one of them dies. Tonight I went in to feed and water them and found one alive, but down on the floor, bad sign, and there is no emergency small bird vet clinic open at night. Thought the bird Was dead, it didn't move when first touched. But when I began to gently lift it from floor, flew up onto a low perch.

I freaked. The three birds Ann and I had left when she died are all old. One is at Least sixteen, a finch who lives from 10 to 12 years in the wild, according to the bird care book we read before getting any birds, the youngest is probably about 8, not bad for a canary, they can often live until 10, if Not fed colored food to dye their feathers. This food slowly poisons them and can cut their lives in half. Ann and I never used it, but the canary she got me Was color fed for at least a season, may shorten his life. We always tried to take good care of our pets, but did allow the birds to die of old age and put down terminally ill animals when they began suffering and not enjoying living.

So why did I freak? Not sure. First death since Ann last Feb. 1st? Partly. Also, we always loved our pets and shared their deaths together. I will have to bury the first bird to die. Also, their have been times before when I've thought one of these three was ill and had to run my hand over bottom of cage to see if one was gone, had died. Until now, nobody was down, they always seemed to bounce back. Shocked me to find bird body lying limply on cage floor. Sometimes when birds have been together for years and formed a bond, as these have, if one dies the others will die soon after.

I did not touch Ann's body after her death. After touching my father's body when he died and I was fifteen, I am Glad I'm not the one who found Ann under the snow. It's not that I didn't or don't love her. It's that no one warned me how Different and Unreal a body feels in the funeral parlor, before I touched my father's body. I don't expect to forget it. With animals you know when they are living, they feel totally different, and so does the air around them, when they are gone.

The bird cage has that feeling around it now and a bird on the cage floor who allows you to touch it is a very Bad sign, unless it was used to being petted. Mine are used to me making their sounds and will usually answer, but they don't want to be touched, so I don't touch them.

First "family" death since Ann, a shock to touch partly living bird on the cage floor, I guess that's it.

Like I said, these changes are all individually small, but together feel large, hanging curtains, beginning to accept this house as home and wondering if I should, life has been very unpredictable for about a decade, only I feel like I might be settling here for a while, who can say? Learning a new skill, getting more of an inventory ready to go online, the holidays Over without Ann, and now probably burying my first pet alone here. Shall I get another canary if OJ (his original food had turned his feathers a bright peachy orange and when they faded back to normal color, name had stuck) dies? They are expensive now, $100 or more, not like $30 to $50 at a bird show. Now bird breeders are all into larger birds, many of whom will live longer than me. Pet stores take at Least a fifty percent mark up, so $100? Lot of money, probably not.

Oh yah, and cooking the stuffing I invented for Ann.

I have tried to keep in mind since Ann's death that it can come to anyone at any time, including ME. But somehow finding that bird scared me.

Jolly damn post, ain't it?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Civil Rights for Deaf People Denied by Big Bank and a Question

I got this from a reputable, active, person on the deaf-blind listserv to which I belong. Some of us, like the person sending this, are culturally deaf. Some of us, like me, aren't. But we try to help one another so if you know someone deaf or hard of hearing who may have experienced this problem, please pass this info. on. Thank you.

Denied Access by Wells Fargo? File Your Claim By Jan 29 |
* National Association of the Deaf *
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) urges customers who were refused
access to Wells Fargo Bank or Wachovia Bank services before June 1, 2011 to
file a claim with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Refused access includes
denial of relay call to Wells Fargo or failure to provide effective communication
such as sign language interpreter for meetings while visiting a Wells Fargo branch.
The DOJ entered into a settlement agreement with Wells Fargo which will pay
up to $16 million to compensate individuals who experienced discrimination
in violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when
trying to call Wells Fargo, access Wells Fargo's services, or visit one of
Wells Fargo's retail stores.
Prior to the settlement, Wells Fargo refused to accept relay calls from deaf
and hard of hearing individuals. The NAD led the way in filing over 15
complaints with the DOJ for deaf and hard of hearing individuals against
this illegal practice.
The NAD can help you file your Wells Fargo complaint if you contact us by
12 pm (noon) Eastern Standard Time (EST) on January 25, 2011. You can file
a claim by yourself directly with the DOJ up to January 29, 2012 by following
the link below:
IMPORTANT: All claims must be filed by January 29, 2012.
* 51st Biennial NAD Conference*
"Nothing About Us, Without Us!"
July 3-7, 2012
Louisville Hyatt, Louisville, Kentucky

A Totally Separate Question:

Google wants me to enter a mobile phone number for "security" of my blog, so no one "highjacks" it. First, does Everyone Have a mobile phone? Lots of disabled people do not. I wonder if this Request will become a Demand. Second, have those of you who do me the honor of reading this enter your mobile phone numbers when you occasionally are asked to sign into your blogger account? Do you trust Google with this info.? I suppose that was a bunch of questions, just wondering what others think. Thanks for any answers.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Blessing for 2012

I don't often go in for New Age things because often I find them to be repackaging Old things, but without the cultural references and wisdom about the old things. I am Only speaking for myself when I say that I don't collect religious objects from cultures to which I don't belong. To me, this feels disrespectful.

So it may sound odd that I include here links to what may Seem to be a New Age blessing for 2012. It is not specific to a religion and to me, just feels right.

It may help to give a new perspective to anyone who has been listening to all of the doom and gloom prophecies about this year. Check it out for yourself and see what you think.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Catching Up

I am reading a book on mumerology by Glynis McCanth, out of curiosity. I wondered if it would seem valid to me and am surprised at How valid it seems, most of the time. The book is "Glynis has Your Number." I am not very far through it, still learning what the differing numbers 1-9 represent. But I wonder some things.

First, how does disability effect the kind of person one's numerology chart says one is meant to be. I am thinking of Ann. She had a "5" attitude which was Very evident in her personality. Among other things, the "5" is the wanderer, adventure. Ann was so physically cisabled that she could only venture into the spiritual realm.

And I wonder how family environment influences the kind of person one's "numerology chart" says one is meant to be. So far, I don't have answers for these questions. But I will probably learn more as I read farther into the book. I cannot put together a chart for anyone, because I don't have Braille copies of the charts associating certain numbers with certain letters of the alphabet. Yet I still find the text of the book being read to me surprisingly accurate.

New subject. When I was a kid and the series "Roots" was on TV I missed it. I cannot remember if in that dormitory we were made to go to bed before each episode ended or Why I missed it. But I have always Wanted to read it. I am doing this now. The actor, professor, musician Avery Brooks is the book's reader at Audible.com. And he isn't reading, he's doing oral interpretation. I Cannot Imagine how Any African people Ever survived to get here, even though I knew a lot about some of the conditions under which they were violently transported here. When I stop listening, I'm in shock for a few minutes, not quite knowing where I am, and I have to re-orient myself in the present. I recommend it as a Vital part of American and African history to anyone who Hasn't read it!

Have been sewing for dolls while I read, simple patterns in my mind don't require thought as I sew. My hands know what to do. Have been, with help from a friend, working at Rehabbing (not a word, ok.) some garage sale fashion dolls, mostly Barbies.

It is in the fifties today and sunny here. Supposed to get into low sisties tomorrow, then get cold again. That first cold and snow was emotionally Hard to get through! Don't think I will like the cold at all This Winter.

And there is this:

Here's a copy and pasted version of the bill:
House Bill 1227, introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives on January 10,
2012, would, if enacted, require "the equal treatment of science instruction regarding
evolution and intelligent design,"
to the legislature's summary of the bill. The equal treatment provision would apply
to both public elementary and secondary schools and to "any introductory science
course taught at any public institution of higher education" in Missouri.
HB 1227's text is about 3000 words long, beginning with a declaration that the bill
is to be known as the Missouri Standard Science Act, followed by a defectively alphabetized
glossary providing idiosyncratic definitions of "analogous naturalistic processes,"
"biological evolution," "biological intelligent design," "destiny," "empirical data,"
"equal treatment," "hypothesis," "origin," "scientific theory," "scientific law,"
and "standard science."
Among the substantive provisions of the bill, applying both to public elementary
and secondary schools and to introductory science courses in public institutions
of higher education: "If scientific theory concerning biological origin is taught
in a course of study, biological evolution and biological intelligent design shall
be taught. Other scientific theory or theories of origin may be taught."
For public elementary and secondary schools, HB 1227 also provides, "If scientific
theory concerning biological origin is taught in a textbook, the textbook shall give
equal treatment to biological evolution and biological intelligent design." After
the bill is enacted, new textbooks purchased for the public schools will have to
conform to the equal treatment requirement. A committee will develop supplementary
material on "intelligent design" for optional interim use.
HB 1227 is apparently a descendent of
HB 911
in 2004, which was also dubbed the Missouri Standard Science Act, began with a glossary
of the same eleven terms (and also "extrapolated radiometric data"), would have required
equal treatment of "intelligent design" in the public elementary and secondary schools
(although not in public higher education), and would have required textbooks to conform
to the equal treatment requirement.
HB 911 was widely criticized, including by the Science Teachers of Missouri. A sequel
HB 1722
, also introduced in 2004, contained the same language as HB 911, but omitted provisions
that would have required the text of the bill to be posted in high school science
classrooms and that would have enabled the firing of teachers and administrators
who failed to comply with the law. Both bills died when the legislative session ended.
Rick Brattin (R-District 124) is the main sponsor of HB 1227; its cosponsors are
John McCaherty (R-District 90), Charlie Davis (R-District 128), Andrew Koenig (R-District
88), Sue Allen (R-District 92), and Darrell Pollock (R-District 146); Davis, Koenig,
and Pollock also cosponsored the antievolution HB 195 in 2011. HB 1227 is the fourth
antievolution bill of 2012, joining Indiana's
Senate Bill 89
and New Hampshire's
House Bills 1148 and 1157.

Me again: Creationism or Intelligent Design are products of monotheism and each religion springing from the Judeo-Christian tradition might differ as to the details, but could Probably agree on some form of this bill. I don't like it and will work against it's passage. Why?

To the Cherokee, their creation story explains this world Just as well as that of Christians, Moslems, or Jews. To the atheist, the monotheistic creation story is a myth. I believe in the Separation of Church and State! Teaching Intelligent Design is teaching monotheistic religion at publicly supported institutions. Do we Really want a Christian controled Educational System? Do we Want a Christian version of Iran or Saudi Arabia? And Whose monotheistic view should be promoted? Did God create the universe in a literal 7 days? Or as some Christians say, who knows what equals a day in the mind of God?

If a teacher has to say "this is what we know at this time" before teaching Science, ok. If a teacher is Forced to say, "and every religion has it's own explanation of creation" I can live with that. But in Public school and College, that is where it Must Stop!

Where will the Creation story stop, will it include Eve's bringing "original sin" to all humans by eating th apple in the garden?

On a brighter note, there is going to be a Buddhist temple built in a city near me. I hope I can visit it and that some of the teaching will be in English, as Asian American Buddhists are building it.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Winter Weather Memories

In all of the years I have treked through Winter snows, to go to collete, work, etc. I have never been so afraid of Winter. Although I am one of the Lucky ones with heat, a warm place to sleep, and food, I still fear.

There was the ice storm of Jan. 2007 when Ann and I lived in my trailer for a week, listening to limbs boom onto the roof and the trees all around us screaming as they were ripped apart, shredding into pieces, from the weight of ice on their branches. We learned to tell the sound of an ice slide onto the roof, from the boom of a branch, from the boom and crunch of a big puncture hole. We traded off nights of sleeping so that someone was always awake if a fire should start from the gas stove we heated with, and so someone could open a door or window every couple of hours to let out potential carbonmonoxide fumes. Also, if one of us got hit (or one of the animals did) by a limb punching through the trailer, the other could call for help.

You could tell who lived through the ice storm like us. For weeks afterwards they were still cold to the bone and walked around in mismatched layers of heavy clothing. And each time a limb fell close enough to make a noise, they would cover their head with their arms and duck.

Then in 2008 there was a freak string of JANUARY tornadoes which went through, rocking the little house I'd purchased for us in May (which neither of us liked). It rocked that repaired and added onto house on it's foundation, causing major foundation cracks we couldn't afford to ix. The flooding in March that year made us so constantly sick with mold and bleach fumes to try and clean it up that we left to rent a house we could Breathe in, by July.

I couldn't help thinking this morning, "and This is the kind of weather which killed Ann." Thirty to forty MPH winds, blowing snow, only we got just an inch or 2 today, not a foot or more like last Feb.

I kept wondering how long Ann had to be caught outside before she stopped suffering as hypothermia set in. Then I kept telling myself it was done, Ann Wasn't suffering now, so get a grip.

I have a student in Braille whom several people have been unable to reach in several days. It seems her phone number is no longer active. I told myself Not to be a drama queen, but after checking the hospitals last night and finding she wasn't at any in this area, I called the police today, asking if they would please check to see if she was all right. In this Horrid weather they very kindly did so and my friend has been seen, so she is at least physically well, a Great Relief!

A friend helped me plastic and seal windows from the inside and today we hung up curtains, curtains Ann had picked out at differing times. My friend said they made this place look more like a home, that it had a Temporary look before, even though the windows had blinds. That felt wrong to me. I realized that although I like the house I'd emotionally been living here on a Temporary basis, since July 2011.

I could have hung up two curtains which Ann had picked out in my bedroom, but couldn't make myself do this. Since they were both shades of gold, I left one curtain I had picked and hung One which she had picked out for the house I bought and lost. Doesn't make sense logically, but just felt Wrong to take down the curtain I picked and put up two matching ones which Ann picked out. Seemed to fill my room with too many memories.

Was angry with myself, but reminded myself there IS notthing logical about Feelings.

Kept hearing the beginning of an old Dooby brothers song part of which goes, "I keep forgettin' things will never be the same again, I keep forgettin'".

I am alone in a room where window hasn't been plasticed yet, cold and may just crawl under the covers and hide there for a while. I feel scared and until I have to take out dog again, nothing that I know of to be scared About.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Personal Changes

I remember now why I didn't like cane travel as a teenager. It is too damn Slow! Today I went out with a sighted friend following me and counted driveways from the end of the street to my house. There were Fourteen, except there were Really Sixteen, two of them had nearly adjoining driveways due to the way the garages were set up. I only counted these two Once Each. Decided I will start from other end where I am 2 or 3 driveways from a busy road. To go around parked cars, trash dumpsters, and make sure I have touched and counted Sixteen driveways, so I can turn in at the correct house, That is just Too much trouble!

I have worked with two Seeing Eye Dogs. they travel Much faster, three or four miles an hour. Most people walk at about two MPH. And after a few times of training, the dog automatically turns in at the right drive to the house where it lives.

But I have a very formerly mistreated dog who I'm not willing to leave while gone for three or four weeks training, and then come home with a New dog who goes everywhere with me. So guess I'll be caning it for a wile.

My sister gave me some ham a few days ago and a friend gave me a box of dry cereal which she didn't like. There are things I haven't eaten in years because Ann couldn't eat them. The salt and sugar in ham made it impractical for someone with high blood pressure and diabetes to eat. Most cereals, dry or cooked, have wheat, barley, or rye, (all of which a gluten intolerant person cannot eat) in them. And the ones which don't were so expensive we just stopped eating them. Also, dry cereals are Full of sugar. It is the second or third ingredient in most of them.

If I cold have what I want, it would be to have Ann here to talk to. We could live where we used to, where we knew a couple of neighbors, and had planted fruit trees.

But since I Can't have what I want, I try to enjoy new things when I can. So I've been enjoying eating some new foods and enjoying them. Nothing compared to having a partner to share things with, but pleasant change is pleasant change and I try to be thankful for All Pleasant change.

Some of the deer meat from the doe hunted for me was made into Summer sausage, flavored with jalape~no pepper. I like it! Ann could not have eaten much of it, too salty.

Monday, January 9, 2012

We Saved Their Backsides, Let's Hold Them Accountable

Ok, so maybe you never voted for President Obama and Still don't like him. So you do Not like being labeled as a "progressive". Just for a moment, please listen.

You and most of your countrymen and countrywomen helped bail out big multi-national banks. Did the President or anyone else give you a choice? No.

The bank bail out helped to increase the national deficit which my neice and nephew, Your children and Grandchildren will have to pay for, assuming we can stay Out of another War long enough to pay it Down.

Right now the President has the chance to have those banks you had no choice but to bail out, because nobody Bothered to Ask you, Investigated. Regardless of what you think of the ZPresident Or the Congress, Doesn't this sound reasonable? If you think it does, please consider signing the petition below.

I don't care if anyone joins moveon.org or not. This seems like an issue to Me that Most of us could agree on.

Click here to sign your name:
"President Obama: Hold Wall Street banks accountable by fully investigating the big
bank fraud that caused the housing crisis."
Sign the Petition!
Dear MoveOn member,
Last Wednesday, President Obama stood up to Wall Street by appointing Richard Cordray
as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. For months, Republicans
have been blocking the appointment, and Obama's action will finally allow the agency
to get to work.
Now, President Obama has a choice to make: whether or not to order a full federal
investigation into bank practices during the housing crisis.
Progressive attorneys general have temporarily blocked a sweetheart deal that would
have given broad immunity to the banks.
Now, the president can decide whether or not to move forward with a full federal
investigation that would hold the banks accountable.
The president has the power to order this investigation
and start the year off right. It's up to us to make sure he hears loud and clear
that progressives are counting on him to continue taking bold and immediate actions
to help the 99%.
Can you sign the petition calling on the president to order a full federal investigation
today? Click below to add your name:
Who was hurt by the greed of Wall Street's 1%? Fellow MoveOn members like Eleanor
J., who was sold a high-interest subprime loan even though she qualified for a safer
one. Now she is struggling to make payments after her home lost over a third of its
There are plenty of examples of Wall Street banks pushing bad loans on unsuspecting
homeowners and lying about the value and risk of mortgage-backed securities.
But without an investigation, we can't hold them truly accountable for the $7 trillion
they cost the global economy, and homeowners can't get fair compensation.
The president has the power to order a full investigation. Can you help send him
a strong message today?
Click here to tell President Obama to launch a full federal investigation into the Wall Street banks and the housing crisis, and insist on a fair deal for homeowners.
Thanks for all you do.
–Elena, Stephen, Milan, Lenore, and the rest of the team
1. "California breaks from 50-state probe into mortgage lenders,"
The Los Angeles Times, September 30, 2011
2. "Massachusetts AG Lawsuit: Five Major U.S. Banks Accused of Deceptive Foreclosure
Practices," The Huffington Post, January 6, 2012
3. "U.S. Subprime Crisis Costs World $7.7 Trillion Dollars," The Huffington Post,
February 15, 2008
Want to support our work?
We're entirely funded by our 5 million members—no corporate contributions, no big
checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way.
Chip in here
PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, http://pol.moveon.org/. Not authorized by
any candidate or candidate's committee. This email was sent to on January
9, 2012. To change your email address or update your contact info,
click here
. To remove yourself from this list,
click here

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Little Things can Make a Difference

Yesterday I got two new white canes from our state's Rehab. Services for the Blind. No big deal, but it was. On the deaf-blind listserv to which I belong everyone but mee seemed to use a cane with a rolling tip. Ordinary white canes used by blind people have a hollow nylon tip slipped onto the end of the metal or fiberglass cane shaft. But the rolling tip can look like a ball, a marshmallow, or a larger one. I got the marshmallow.

Instead of lifting the cane tip from the ground to tap it one step ahead of me as I walk, I can roll it along the ground one or two steps ahead of me. The difference this makes was a real Surprise to me.

By rolling the spinning cane tip along the ground ahead of me I get Much more tactile information about the ground ahead of me. I can still tap the cane, if I choose, in areas where it is difficult to roll, such as in uneven clumps of grass and weeds. But on a hard surface the rolling cane tip makes more noise than the tap, tap, of a straight tipped cane so that if a person has some usable hearing left, as I do, there is also a louder noise to provide auditory cues about the environment.

Ann had to walk slowly with a support cane, or use a wheelchair. When walking together we walked slowly with me holding onto her elbow, both to follow her guiding, and to help steady her. I used to tell her that I would keep her on her feet if she showed me where the hell we were going. We had a deal.

So I haven't traveled alone with a white cane for years. I had a sighted friend walking behind me yesterday to warn me of any life threatening obstacles I missed with my rolling cane. She said she was biting her lip not to warn me of everything, but I went for a walk in town and found parked cars, trash dumpsters, slopes under curbs leading into sewers, and all other obstacles. I felt safer having her along.

With a few more practice sessions, I think I will feel confident enough to take walks by myself, instead of waiting for a sighted friend to go with me. Some people think the dog I've trained as a Hearing Ear dog for noise at doors and the doorbell is also a Dog Guide for the blind. Nope, just a good hearing friend and protector. So if anyone sees me using a cane And walking the dog they may be confused. Kind of funny. The dog will have to learn to get used to the cane moving out ahead of us also.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Three Questions, Threeo Subjects

First, what is the best way to block wind from around windows without damaging landlord's house? I know, of course, about putting plastic on outside of windows. Didn't do this because until last couple of weeks it could be 60 degrees F. and 20 degrees F. with thirgy MPH wind in the same week. I think it won't get above fifty degrees for a while. So, now is too cold to do this. If I tape thick clear plastic on Inside of window, it will strip paint off of woodwork Around window. Tiny finishing nails or tacks will leave holes in wood work and can't the wind blow through even tightly stretched plastid Between tacks? I can't afford solar curtains for each window, and what storm windown already exist are down. Weather stripping will help only at the Bottom of a window, not around the sides. Any other ideas for letting light in and keeping Wind out?

Second, for doll collectors, utility bills are piority now, but what does the action figure of Wai Lin look like? Is she Chinese? Her name is spelled like it is Chinese. And Which action figure is the "Phily Coollector" showing? I seemed to find Several Wai Lin figures when I put "Wai Lin action figure" in searchbox.

Third, it seems common for people to change the clothing of their action figures and dolls. Do you buy cloothing online from people who make it, from stores, or do you make it yourselves?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Last night when I went to bed it was 22 degrees F. But the wind was so ferocious all day and into the night that I was praying the shelters wouldn't be turning people out early! Felt like the wind could rip your face off of your bones!

In the past few years we have gotten more wind here, both Summer and Winter. It used to be that a 20 MPH wind was considered a stiff breeze. Now we often have winds of 30 to 35 or gusts up to 40 MPH. May not sound like much of a difference, but when you're walking into it in the Winter it IS! In Summer and Winter it dries out my eyes.

Knowing it is not rational to Hate weather doesn't help. When it is as Painfully cold as it was yesterday I Hate it and think of Ann, out in weather like That, Before the blizzard!

Last night I dreamed about Ann, that she went to the hospital and never came back. I woke up saying, "But where is Ann?"

What is With this Damned autocorrect? As soon as I typed the word "feelings" into the "labels" box blogger and my computer plugged in, "faces and cloth" Ok, so I have feelings about more than one thing, doesn't everyone?