This week has been incredibly busy. It's always annoying when people ask "Well what do you do with all of your free time?" Free Time?
Logically I know this question comes from their assumption about themselves, "If I were totally blind and had those hearing aids I just don't know how I could have a life." But when I am tired and sore from work, it feels Very annoying.
The fact is, most of us, disabled or not, do what we have to because we Have to or if we're lucky, we Want to.
A couple of friends and I have been building an organic garden in my back yard so that we can have a permanent place to grow healthy food. All of us have some disability or other. Like with Ann, I'm the "step and fetch it". But I can't keep up with the 20 something friend who put the wood frame for the garden bed together.
None of us is physically strong enough to strip back the sod, so, black plastic contractor bags weighted down with the garden frame and the layers on top to kill it out. Sand for drainage, spagnum moss to hold water until there is enough that it needs to drain, 1700 pounds of dirt, oops, forgot the grossest part, compost from food cores, coffee grounds, and science experiments from the fridge. Then cover with dirt. A friend who hadn't worked with compost before asked for a bandana for her nose. Then she asked if I minded if she threw up in it. I laughed and told her to barf in the garden, more compost. Then said I didn't care, so long as it got into the washer without Me having to touch it. She didn't throw up, but she had good cause for the question.
Above the dirt, bails of straw. We haven't decided, or I haven't, about plastic bags either held down with rocks, (best crop in the Ozarks) or heavy wire we shape like staples, for the top. I like doing this because it keeps bird droppings containing seeds from having the seeds sprout. I Hate weeding and this usually keeps a garden nearly weed free.
I fell while hauling a bag of sand and sprained my wrist. And I had an eye infection from a sty which went Under my eyelid, to the Inside. Never had that before, gave me headaches.
So, this week I went to Dr. made big batch of sugarless granola with only some dried fruit in it, cooked batch of sweet potatoes, added veggies and more hot spice to Delicious curry a gardening friend donated to the cause and cooked that, went to Sam's Club with someone who has a membership, stocked up on dish soap, (I'm often the dish washer, no machines) TP, stuff like that.
The canary was/is sick, takes an hour a day to do his medicated seed and water, plus feeding cat, dog, taking dog out, and giving dog his meds.
Listened to a very helpful and informative webcast from Consumer Products Safety Commission, Thank You, Lynn, for the info.
Still much research to do, may have to sell fashion dolls for whom I've made clothing to Only adult Collectors, which may slow down any business I start Considerably. This is due to fact that they don't meet newer lead and phthalate content standards. So, If I should ever get a business off of the ground, you grownups Stop Chewing on the dolls!
As for Fair Trade from wholesalers employing people with disabilities? What a Mess! They are some of the most Shut Out, Marginalized people in the World, but if their products aren't compliant with our safety laws for kids, goods must be sold Only to people Over 12 years in age. I don't know if it will ever happen that I Can supplement my income and help other disabled people survive.
The difficulty of working with disabled people here is that I cannot read the print forms and don't have the resources to document that, yes, this person has a real disability. With Fair Trade wholesalers overseas, they tend to have a work place for only deaf people, blind people, people who cannot walk, etc.
So I ask myself what constructive thing I can do instead, and I don't know. First, more research to see if there is Any way to do what I have dreamed of for years and was about ready to begin when I heard about the newest regulations. I have no wish to harm kids. But I have a Great wish to assist disabled people here and elsewhere.
Medicaid cuts in Mo.? We're waiting to see what the Senate and the Governor do, the House has already passed them. "If Onlys" are a waste of time. But I DO wish I had ignored all those people who told me I was doomed to fail and started my business Sooner. I believed them for too long.
Without Medicaid, wonder what I would have done about the infection inside my lower eyelid which hurt each time I blinked, scraping that lid across my artificial eye.
And I keep thinking of Treyvon Martin. Why hasn't something been done about arresting his Killer? If I do not spell his name correctly, it is Not out of disrespect. I haven't seen his name written in Braille. I heard an NPR story yesterday about Seatle (how do you spell that?) Police shooting a Native homeless man who was carrying a knife and a piece of wood. He was told to drop the knife and didn't, so they shot him. He didn't threaten the police with the knife, just hung onto it and died. And Treyvon Martin carried Tea and Candy! In Seatle a shop lifter was punched in the ribs and held while pepper sprayed in the face, according to the NPR report. And I always wanted to visit there bedause there is a large deaf-blind community there. Now I'd be afraid to go there. If I failed to hear a police command would I be shot?
Is the conservative movement which would "Let Steve die" and is balancing budgets on the backs of the poor feeling so afraid that the fear is turning to rage? Or is it just that no one who is Importannt enough Cares?
Walked the dog this week, (as usual,) with help from healthcare aide (may be gone with Medicaid cuts if they pass) read through mail and paid rent and other bills, and looked through grocery adds to see if anything I needed was on sale. There were also some garden clothes which needed spray spotting before washing. I knew the General area that needed it, but was thankful for the help of someone who could thoroughly hit the right areas.
On the positive feeling side, I received a Braille Display f if I cannot hear the difference between an F and an S in computer speech, or a D from a t, a B from a V, a B from a P, a D, from a T, (this often happens) I'll be able to Read it in my One Language, instead of spending time going Over and Over it with speech. When reading words via speech it isn't a problem all the time because, like most people with a significant hearing impairment I pick up a lot from context. If I can't understand a word the computer speaks I just reread the sentence or paragraph and can usually figure it out. But this take time.
It is crucial when spelling someone's name, dealing with an E-mail or physical address, to get the letters Right and this is an area where the context isn't much help. I already know I'm working with an address, but whether it's Suite D or Suite T could make a crucial difference.
I read through the manual and am excited about learning to use the Braille Display. Another advantage is that I can type in the contracted Braille books are written in, and if I send you mail it will show up on your monitor as ordinary print. Writing in contracted Braille is much faster for me than typing out everything letter by letter.
But for some reason, those who designed "computer Braille" didn't use the ordinary Braille punctuation, like I do when taking personal notes. So I'll have to learn a new system. It will be like when I learned Spanish Braille. There are only six dots to make Braille with, so when Braille is used in another language than English symbols have different meanings. The same is true with computer Braille. An example from English to Spanish Braille is that a symbol standing for the letters "er" (made by one symbol in English) becomes the symbol for the "ny" sound of an N with a tildeor in Spanish Braille. Complex but workable.
Another thing which happened this week is a friend with a computer with much more memory than mine and added features is replacing his computer and has offered his old one, which is six years, (at least) newer than mine. to me. If this happens I can donate my computer, which is quite old but still working, to an organization which rehab.s computers for blind people who fall through the cracks and have no computer access, or I think I can.
Thank you AGAIN Blogger! Had to answer phone and you Lost a chunk of this post, then required me to sign in to find what was left and edit it. Oh yah, in my free time I try to keep a blog going. No time this week to read those of others. And when I'm not doing any of these things I am sewing or beading, one bead at a time.
The fastest sighted readers can read between 20 to 25 pages an hour, out loud. So adds and bill paying are Quite time consuming!
Ann and I used to buy a piece of lamb, every couple of years. I bought some this year and already miss Ann to share it with. My hope is that I can still enjoy it. It was a huge treat for the two of us, as we both love the taste, but it is so expensive.
May those of you who celebrate Easter have a very Happy one!