Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Surprisingly Perfect

Sitting here quietly and feeling my medicine start to work. At first it is just a slight tiredness and then there is relaxation. After this point there is about twenty minutes before I start snoring. Thank goodness for muscle relaxers! I'm not sure where I would be without them.

It hadn't really dawned on me I sincerely needed them until my leg muscles began to spasm righteously one evening. When I attempted to bed my knee the spasms became less, but I just couldn't get my leg bent enough to make he entire spasm go away, so I took a muscle relaxer. I am not quite such a silly ninny any more.

Not much has happened today. The world has kept on spinning and my classes have kept on going. The sun was brilliant and it was quite a hot summer's day. It was perfect. It was perfect even with me being in class and inside for most of the day. Now I am tired and the muscle relaxer is beginning to work and I am ready for bed.

Sometimes perfection doesn't really require much to be just what it is...perfect.

Monday, July 30, 2007


The more "independent" I become the more I realize we really don't do things completely alone except for perhaps bodily functions, but even then if you are going in a public restroom you could be having someone a few stalls down "going" with you!

The reason I thought about this today was because I did the pool at Cardinal Hill by myself today! It was independent in the fact that my physical therapist didn't suit up and get into the water with me. However, she was there to talk to me and give me moral support while I did my exercises. Once I was out of the pool it hit me just how "independent" we are because we are actually depending on other people to help us be independent.

Let me explain:

In order for me to do the pool independently I need to be lowered into the pool on a lift. Since I cannot get into the pool and operate the controls, someone works the controls and lowers me into the water. This really doesn't mean I did this independently, but on the other hand it does.

What about opening doors or going to the post office? If you hands are full you really appreciate someone holding the door open for you, and even though the post office is slow it seems we still need the people behind the desks in order to fill out forms and pay for parcels, etc. And we go to the grocery store but how much harder would it be if we had to stock the shelves ourselves in order to do our grocery shopping?

As I really am more independent in my life, I realize more and more just how much we actually depend on each other in order to have our life with all of its triumphs and failures. This doesn't make me sad, though, because it brings forth a unity of people, of human kind and actually, if you look at it, makes us realize we are not living in a bubble. People are everywhere helping us live our independent lives, and helping us keep human kind united.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Sad State of Healthcare

Last night was one of those nights that made me wonder yet again if people in the health care profession actually care about the people in their care. Why? Because they "released" Jayson from the hospital. It was more like they expelled him.

For those of you who may have forgotten, Jayson is my niece Mel's husband. They have been married for three years, but together longer than that. This past year has seen Jayson's health deteriorate rapidly. He has had extreme pain in his back and legs and was told on one or two occasions that it was all in his head. When he went to the doctor about three-four months ago because he was in pain and his right leg was paralyzed, a doctor broke the unspoken rule: he ordered an MRI for a patient that didn't have insurance. It was discovered Jayson had a mass in his spine and was promptly shipped to University of Kentucky Hospital.

Jayson's pain level is high. His pain is massive and so intense he has had seizures because of it.

Eight days ago Jayson had a very long, very intense operation to remove as much of the mass from his spine as possible. It was a 15 hour surgery. When he came out of it he was in excruciating pain and his battle with the pain management group began.

It seemed as if "pain management" didn't believe he was hurting, or that he was needing such high doses of the pain medication. At one point a pain management doctor told Jayson, as well as those of us in the room, he, Jayson, was receiving a cocktail that would actually bring down a bull elephant and it still wasn't helping him completely control his pain. Jayson was accused of very childish behavior and when his PCA--the pump attached to an IV that gave him a boost of pain medicine every 6 minutes-- was removed and he went to oral medications the pain, of course, was even less under control, but Pain Management didn't care at all, and neither did the doctors apparently.

Last evening when Jayson's doctor came in he was told he had been discharged from the hospital and arrangements had been made for him to begin radiation therapy in Hazard, KY on Monday! Jayson had no one with him. It was only by the grace of God a cousin had decided to stop by on the way to Florida to see him. They took him home, once a great and horrible prescription battle was fought.

University of Kentucky Hospital sent the man home in an open-backed hospital gown and didn't want to send any prescriptions with him. The drive from Lexington to where we are from is a three hour drive at the least and he was expected to make the journey without pain meds to help him endure it nor were they encouraging to him at all, just begin radiation therapy on Monday and come back in 10 days so they could remove his stitches.

The super disheartening thing about this is the fact that he was told, in the presence of witnesses he wasn't going to be discharged for 14 days because his body needed to recuperate after the surgery for at least that long before he began the radiation therapy treatments! It hasn't been 14 days yet, but the treatments are already scheduled. This has me concerned, but there isn't anything I can do about any of this situation.

What has happened to health care in this country? Do doctors out there care about their patients any more, or is has health care become nothing more than experimentation and money? I am convinced this is what has happened to UK Hospital. It is a research hospital and Jayson has an extremely rare cancer. The doctors did a very dangerous surgical procedure on him. This procedure gave the doctors performing the operation as well as the assistants a great something to place on their resumes. Once the surgery was over Jayson was no longer any part of a person, a human being. Even just before the operation he was looked upon as a "thing" rather than a human. It made me, and still makes me, physically ill when I think of this!

No, this isn't new to me by a long shot. It has happened to me on and off my entire life. In the beginning my case was unusual and unique and then, when I survived, they (the doctors) decided I was no longer an interesting case. My parents didn't give up on me, however, and they kept fighting until they found doctors that actually cared and placed me in their care. It is even more sad that this has happened to someone like Jayson who is fighting to stay alive and have as close to a normal life as possible.

If you live in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and your doctor(s) want to send you to the University of Kentucky Hospital, find out if there is any other place you can possibly go, because no one cares there except for a few nurses and CNA's I have actually witnessed being kind and nurse-like. As for doctors, only one. One out of who knows how many hundreds.

What has happened to health care in this nation? Doesn't anyone become a doctor any more because they want to help people? And, if they do, what does the profession due to them? How do they punish them to change them or encourage them to be the way so recently witnessed?

One day they will have to answer for their behavior. I firmly believe this. Karma, for want of a better word at the moment, may just turn around and devour them, forget just biting them in the ass!

Friday, July 27, 2007

So...Now What Do I Read?

As you may have guessed from the title, I have finished reading HP7.

I smiled quite a lot at times, giggled a couple of times, and even cried once. Can you guess which part got to me the most and had me crying? I'm pretty sure you have a clue.

The end was...interesting to say the least. However, I am really glad it had its conclusion the way it was, but it almost made me think Ms. Rowling has left herself open for some more stories for later on. It was good to see she left us some hope, but really, why does the novel need to go on any further? This particular story is told and I have fallen in love with the entire series against my will. *big grin* So now I look around for a new series to sink my teeth into. It should be something epic and heroic. Jaybird suggested Fire and Ice which I'll check out at Bohannan's tomorrow if we actually make it to tai chi.

Why would we not go? Well, there is drama brewing. Hopefully I'll be able to explain in a few days.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Deliciously Slow Day

My first two classes are essentially cancelled. I wouldn't even have come today if not for the fact I have to work today. Even then I would have gladly lain back down to go back to sleep, but Hubby was insistent. No, it did NOT improve on my mood. Still, here I am and I am actually getting ready to do some legal research after tons of email, reading LJ friends' pages, and just goofing off. I forgot what it was like to goof off at the computer. I've missed it.

Hubby sent me the following video. Aren't these guys just simply wonderful?!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Hello all. Yes, I know, it's hard to believe I am actually updating here. The really amazing part is that I am actually able to update from Blogger itself instead of having to do an e-mail post. I guess IT security here at school decided Blogger wasn't a horrible creature after all. This pleases me down to my very soul.

It takes so little to make me happy.

This week is mid-term week here at Sullivan. It has...was a quiet week for me until today. Today I had a keyboarding mid-term (no, it wasn't that difficult) and in intro to law and legal research many projects suddenly arrived to be done by Monday morning. Eight o'clock Monday morning. This makes me feel as if, just possibly, I may have to miss tai chi this Saturday and it makes me sad. The projects for the two classes mentioned are quite detailed and will take time. A good amount of time. Since I can't work 24/7 and my brain and body need a break, I may have to use my break on Friday and just sleep and relax, watch movies, and read and on Saturday begin all over again so I can have Sunday off, perhaps.

Something struck me today as I was tooling down the hallway to the student lounge where I was going to have my popcorn and Pepsi for lunch. (I just couldn't find anything neat-o for lunch today, especially since my tummy wasn't feeling absolutely wonderful.) I am a freshman. I am a freshman in college again. Then suddenly I saw it: freshmanism. What is that, you ask? Let's see if I can explain.

You see, when you are a freshman in high school or college you are essentially the new person. You are experiencing something that you haven't experienced before. You are meeting people, different kinds of people, and most things are vibrantly original, at least to you.

It has happened to me, too, of course. School and attending school is new, again. It fills me with elation and joy and makes me look at my schedule with surprise because it is so full. However, the freshman-itis portion of freshmanism wore off relatively quickly for me and I can say, quite happily, I have a pattern to the days and I enjoy them; the innermost me remains the same while more knowledge is crammed into my brain daily. However, recently I've been seeing how it has affected some of my younger contemporaries.

It is the "college dating" portion of freshmanism. Couples are forming. It isn't unusual to see a couple hugging in the hallways between classes or curled up on couches together in the student lounge. Did they all meet here at school? The majority have, which was a surprise. They have become couples in the past five weeks of school and some of the very young ones are adamant they have found their soul mates, while others are just happy not to be alone in a strange place.

Cliques are also forming. Even I am slowly gravitating towards familiar people and making new friends, albeit slowly and especially more slower than my young contemporaries. Luckily I can stand back and look at what is happening around me (figuratively, of course) and not advance into conversations or decisions being made because a) the serious decision of where to go for lunch doesn't affect me; b) it doesn't matter I am not going to have a black shirt to go with my black slacks just like this or that person's so we'll match on "dress Fridays"; and c) I am not completely disheartened by the establishment at this point. It may come, after all it is a bureaucracy we are going through to receive our education. However, the main difference for me is that I don't expect it to disillusion me or cause me problems. If it does, well it doesn't, if it doesn't I am happy and extremely grateful.

One of my young acquaintances is from a small town in southeastern Kentucky. She is so homesick she can't see herself staying here beyond 18 months to get her Associates degree in paralegal sciences. She doesn't like "the city" and can't wait to go home on the weekends. Today I gave her my number and e-mail address and told her that if she wanted to go shopping or needed something to give me a call and I'd do my best and try and help her out. Why? Because she looked so lost and I could have benefited from this so very long ago when I went through college the first time. She looked like she needed a Sissy.

Yes, freshmanism is definitely here, but somehow I'm not fitting into it exactly. When did I become a caring adult? Have I always been this way? A seriously large part of me would like to believe I have been, but the truthful part of me simply can't agree because it knows better. Still, I am glad this much has changed in me.

OK, time to get back to legal research.

If all goes well there should be more tomorrow!

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Wait is Almost Over!

I didn't intend to be a Harry Potter fan.  I had no intention of it at all.  I read the first three books because a friend bought them for me as a present.  I felt guilty in not reading them since they were indeed a gift.  The first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, was a quick read.  Despite myself I enjoyed it.  However, when I read HP and the Chamber of Secrets I was pretty sure the third book would completely suck, but that would be all right because I would have used my present and then I could give them away and not feel guilty.  However, with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban J. K. Rowling had me hooked, and hooked deeply.  Suddenly the characters weren't just children, but an entire world had opened up and it was a fascinating place to run away to.  Since the third novel I have waited, sometimes patiently, for the novels to come out and began purchasing them in hardback because I wanted to keep them like I do my lovely Charles Dickens.  Once I have the seventh novel, which should be in my greedy little paws by tomorrow afternoon with the delivery of the mail, I will sit and read it quite happily.  I will even get the homework done early so there will be time for me to sit and read quietly.  I will enjoy it and see how it ends.  Is Dumbledore really dead?  I don't believe he is because of something he told Harry once.  I will vanish into this newest of fantasy worlds that has won my heart over and when it is through I plan on going back to book one and reading all the way through to book seven.
Am I saddened the series has ended?  No, not really.  Why?  Because the story is finished.  I have been brought into a world I can enjoy and I have laughed and cried with the characters and literally wept over Dumbledore.  But, also being the writer, I understand how it is--the tale has been told.  Doing any more with it would make it just for the money instead of just for the adventure of telling the tale and seeing what was going to happen next.  Why mess with a good thing when we have all known from the very beginning there was going to be a conclusion and wrapping up of the story with book seven?  I am hoping, however, Ms. Rowling doesn't stop writing.  Period.  I am sure she has other stories and novels up her sleeve and tapping furiously at her gray matter to get out.  What will be next from her?  As far as I am concerned it doesn't even have to be a fantasy novel.  I just would really like to read more from her.  Maybe she will write a romance or a horror novel or maybe even a sci fi piece!  The horizon is the limit, and since we never technically reach the horizon....  You understand what I am saying.
So, to everyone out there waiting for the next Harry Potter novel, I am SO right there with you!  I can't hardly wait!  What are your Harry Potter parties going to be like?  Anyone want to share?  For my own I am planning on going to Georgetown, KY where it is reported the entirety of Main Street will be closed down and there will be "wizards" wandering the streets and doing their tricks, and people running around in costume and enjoying their piece of Hogworts-style fun.  Yep, going to be as much in the middle of it as possible.  I hope Hubby can tolerate all the wonders of it.
(And yes, each and every time I so much as think about being in the middle of things Just Bill pops into my mind and I can't help but smile.)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I'm Still Alive, but There has Been Fifteen Hour Operations

Yes, I am still alive. Still kicking. Still feeling as if life is suddenly full and pulling me forward at a breakneck speed. It is fun for the most part. Except for those days when I lose my footing in the "breakneck speed" thing and get drug for a few hundred feet before Life goes, "OK, sorry about that. Why don't you rest for a moment?" Yesterday was one of those moments.

It has been coming on for a while. I have felt myself losing pace with everything and stumbling here and there in attempting to keep up. Yesterday just happened to be the final moment when I couldn't regain my footing. It began quite normally with getting up at 5:30 a.m. and then heading to school, which, to my surprise, was quite relaxing. I had a good three hours before I had to work in the tutoring lab so I used that time to relax and eat some popcorn, watch one of my favorite soaps, and get some major legal research done. At work someone actually came in for help!

After work I headed to UK hospital to check on how everyone was doing because Jay was having his operation. If I am understanding correctly, it began about 2:30 p.m. and ended at 5:00 a.m. this morning. My niece said the surgeon told her it was a 15 hour operation! Hubby and I stayed at the hospital as long as I could take it which meant we were not home until about two o'clock this morning, which left only three hours of sleep for me. When my alarm went off my feet were throbbing. I had already been dreaming about walking up this mountain and my feet were absolutely killing me. It was also happening in reality (except for the walking up a mountain part of course). So, I didn't go to school today.

I've slept. I've eaten. I've relaxed. I've studied. Lucky for me there is this thing called "Free Friday" at school which lets you make up the things you've missed. I am putting my first Free Friday to use. I feel more relaxed about school right now than I have for quite a while.

OK, off to bed with me now. More later kiddos.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I'm Alive!

Life has been happening to me, for me, with me, around me, and as many other places as can possibly be thought of for the past several days.

School is progressing. Now the first week is over us students, especially us new students, are thrown into the deep water and told to swim. So far I am swimming with the best of them. Mid-terms aren't here yet, but I am feeling a little more confident than I have for a while. The law research class is proving my hardest class. I am working on it as hard as I possibly can and succeeding. There is a completely different mind-set to get into and I am not quite there, yet. I am not stopping until I am though. This challenge helps remind me I am alive (although currently exhausted) mentally and physically.

My niece's husband is in the hospital at University of Kentucky Hospital with an extremely rare form of cancer. The original diagnosis meant that he was one in a million; now it has been discovered he has the rare form of this particular cancer, so the odds have grown tremendously. Wednesday he is going into surgery to try and remove some of the cancer. Sadly, in order to remove part of the cancer the surgeon is going to have to remove part of his spinal cord. No, not a good thing, but a necessary thing.

Now I go and study.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Banana Sushi ahead - Set Phasers to Deep Fat Fry.

(You're right, the title makes no sense, but it's not supposed to)

Cheyenne here again, checking in on behalf of our wayward Editor.

While we're waiting on her to return to make her triumphant return (ask her about shushing a drummer when she gets back), I provide a couple of links for your enjoyment.

First, in case you wonder just what it is I do with my time, I supply a brief description of what I do at the office. Mostly, it involves programming, and the occasional duel to the death with barbarian snakes. These are the trials of a ninja code monkey.

Secondly, for your inspirational poster needs, a veritable slew of original series Star Trek inspirational posters. I myself am partial to the “Captain James T. Kirk,” “Expendability,” and “Ingenuity” ones myself.

I'd say that the Editor will return tomorrow, but last I heard, the entirety of her plans for tomorrow were 'sleep' - which sounds like a good plan to me. Rest assured, though, she will be back as soon as she can.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"Each racing foot is made of about 50 to 80 layers of curved carbon fiber and weighs almost four pounds."

http://sports.yahoo.com/sa/news?slug=ap-amputeesprinter&prov=ap&type=lgns   This is a link to a very interesting fellow by the name of Oscar Pistorius.  His story and courage encourages me, and I thought it might encourage you as well.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Felt like a Monday, but it has turned out super! Thank you, God!

Yes, I know, I should already be in bed by now. Believe me, I'm going. The only thing I really wanted to do today just for myself was to sit down and . . . share:

For a while now I have seriously been worried about how I was actually going to be able to do the research I need for my classes as well as for my job since most everything I need is in law books that are usually 2 to 3 inches thick and feel wonderful in your hands (although my hands nearly drop them every time). Today was the first actual "research" thing we did (and it was very easy, thank goodness). And I did it, too!

How, you ask? There are twp places I can go to to look up cases and other things. I is called Westlaw.com and the other is called LEXIS. You have to have passwords for these places and you seem to need to be in school or actually working in order to use these two electronic resources. Even though I have not received my LEXIS password yet, I was able to use Westlaw to do what I needed on-line and keep up with everyone else. This made me quite happy! It felt as if I had almost discovered a new way to tie a bow or something! I was giddy with it.

Then it hit me -- I'm preparing to use these tools in my education and then a job. Me. The Editor. Yep. Going to be using these two items a lot because attorneys don't have time to be reaching me big thick books. So, I have decided I am going to be the "Westlaw and LEXIS Whizz" at Sullivan. This will help me and my job career as well as my studies because I will have access from these sources even at home. This makes me relax a little in some ways, and makes me tense in others because there are possible days when the arthritis will try and keep me down. If I can't make it physically into the office I can still telecommute and do what I need (I hope) from home as far as the research is concerned.

According to my intro to law teacher, the new trend is to go electronic. I am right there, people. I love books. I'll never give physical books up, but man, will I use the dickens out of Westlaw and LEXIS!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

A Haro-ing Experience

Hubby and I have a friend we will call Haro.  He is tall, dark haired, handsome, and funny as all get out when he decides to be.  We really didn't know exactly how funny he was until last night.
Thursdays are usually our role playing nights.  We play paper/table TPG games like Dungeons and Dragons, Rifts, and now we are possibly beginning to play War Hammer RPG.  To prepare for playing, as in all rpg's you have to make up characters (which is done with rules and dice rolls and careful manipulation of stats in order to make up the character you feel most comfortable with).  The place we usually play at, one of the more famous gaming stores in Lexington, called Rusty Scabbard closed so we went to Barnes and Noble for some drinks and a nice place to roll up characters.
It was quite interesting.  Hubby is a human and I am a halfling, or a Hobbit if you will. 
Barnes and Noble closed so, as per our usual habit, we stood outside of the establishment and talked of various topics.  One of which ended up being sleeping and dreams.  Haro said he has made plans while sleeping and even ordered a rental van to go to King's Island with his friends.  I will save that particular telling for a later time.  The time I want to tell you about concerns stairs and a skeleton.
Haro said, "I jumped down a flight of stairs once."
Me and Hubby:  "Why?"
Haro:  "Because there was a skeleton down there and I was going to attack it!  I woke when I smacked the wall and my arm was at an unnatural angle and painful.  I also have sleep paralysis."
Us:  "Oh?"
Haro nodded intently.  "Yep.  I was quite paralyzed when I had fallen asleep in my recliner and the TV was on.  I couldn't move when I woke up, and really wasn't all the way awake, because there was this little alien over by the door peeping out at me and making all kinds of gestures.  It was coming to get me and do experiments on me and was nodding and grinning joyfully, and quite...evil.  I thought 'No, no, no, please don't' and it nodded and grinned more.  It was an interesting night." 
I love our friends.  I really, really do.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I R Student

Sitting here in this classroom, at this moment, the difference between myself and the rest of my classmates is quite visible. I am in a wheelchair. They are not. I have been around the block and just by the majority of their behavior and questions it is easy to see they have not (except for one or two older ladies, but even they are younger than me, but definitely older than 19 or 20).

Many are still quite uncertain of who they genuinely are at their very base; I am not so uncertain any more. My base is settled and surprisingly firm.

The one thing we have in common is this class and this school. We are all sitting here trying to open our minds and take in spectacular new information. We have general anxiety on tests. We are students.

No matter what our backgrounds are or the life experiences we have had, in here we are all the same more or less. I find it quite refreshing actually. School, higher education, more education is a challenge I have needed, even desired, for a long time. It is like having a long draught of water after taking a very long walk in the hot summer sun. So far, my thirst has not been quenched. I am beginning to wonder if it ever will.

All of this is so very rejuvenating!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Test #3

This is the third and final test.

Not the Fourth of July I expected, but it hasn't actually been bad either...

There were plans for today. Good plans. Hubby and I would sleep in, then after food we would walk downtown and enjoy the Fourth of July parade and then walk around and see the vendors and listen to all of the wonderful music people pull out at this celebration. We didn't do any of it.

It isn't because we didn't want to do any of it, but because of circumstances far beyond our control as in the following: 1) My niece is here in Lexington at the University of Kentucky hospital with her husband. He is horribly sick. We stayed with her and him until after eleven o'clock last night. This really wiped me out and also Hubby, who would have slept past Noon if I had actually been able to sleep. 2) Since early this morning my stomach has not been happy with me. Part of it could, of course, be nerves, and part of it could be maybe having a touch of something from school. Something was going around Monday which may explain my migraine of yesterday and my upset stomach this morning. Right now, however, I am feeling better and have been able to actually finish my math homework (there is a test in there tomorrow) and I have been studying my intro to law.

Hubby didn't want to go downtown by himself, and he has stayed around here to make sure my niece didn't need something. He is such a wonderful guy.

My break is over now so back to studying I go.

Happy Independence Day everyone! Hope yours has been fantastic!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Sparklers and Fireworks: Celebrating My Dad & the 4th of July

The Independence Day celebrations are quickly approaching. As with most things patriotic the Fourth of July was always special with my family growing up, and even afterwards. For as long as my Dad was alive we celebrated the day grandly and as a family. He is gone now, but the Fourth of July makes me happy, like a little girl waiting for her Daddy to light the sparkler and give it to her in the dark of the day.

My Dad was a World War II veteran. He received the bronze star. The only thing he ever said about it was that he did what he had to do. At his funeral an old friend of his who had served in the war with him said, "It had something to do with a building and a lot of Germans with guns." I asked my Dad's friend for more information and he just smiled like I've seen a lot of Vets smile. It said quite plainly, "If he didn't tell you when he was alive I'm not going tell you now."

Being the creative sort I have tried to come up with scenarios and each time I fail. Not because my imagination isn't good, but because my Dad never wanted me to know what he had done in the war, so I always let it go. About the only other thing I have been able to discover is that it is the "real" bronze star awarded for valor in the line of combat.

My Dad was a hero for my country, one of many who fought and thankfully survived that war. When we celebrated the Fourth it wasn't to celebrate a hero (although he was to all of his girls), we celebrated having him with us and us with him. He celebrated living and being alive as well as the country he fought for still being free: It was still America. And when we lit the sparklers and the pinwheels it was the greatest because we were all together as a family and as a nation.

After lighting out sparklers and pinwheels and singing the national anthem, we would either go downtown to see the fireworks or we would watch the show the neighbor boys would put on for us all. I enjoyed their show more than the one downtown, even though both fireworks displays were over sooner than we all wanted.

We could have hand fireworks, and sometimes we did, but I noticed that when we did the fireworks my Dad never slept as well that night or a couple of nights afterwards. Maybe it reminded him of the war. He was honest when he said he was not proud of what he had to do or did in the war, it was just him trying to survive and come home to his family. "I left a boy and came back a man," he would say, but never with pride. It was just a general statement of fact. And on the Fourth of July he permitted himself to celebrate the fact he had made it back alive, and the entire family celebrated having him with us.

I can remember the glances he and my Mom would sometimes exchange. It wasn't a "knowing" glance, but it was something special and important. She had made it through as well. She had given him four loving daughters. She was there with him at all times. She was his love, and he was hers. The family began with them and even now they are our example.

This Independence Day I am going to celebrate with joy and happiness because my Dad made it back from a war I read about in my history books. I will enjoy the food and the firework displays in acceptance of my Mom's sacrifices for a man she loved until she drew her last breath. I salute and honor all of those who have fallen fighting in all of the wars this country has had to go through in the past, and currently. But, most importantly, I celebrate and honor all of those soldiers in so many branches who have actually made it back and are re-discovering their lives as free men, and not just soldiers. I ask you to also do the same.

Happy Fourth of July everyone.

Monday, July 02, 2007

I Miss My Keyboard

Ahhh, I am home. *relaxes happily before the keyboard and screen*

I miss my keyboard when I am at school. I can type on their keyboards, of course. My speed hasn't decreased in the least, but this is my keyboard and it is set perfectly for me. It feels good beneath my fingers and my hands automatically go to the keys. Many hours have been spent here and, I suspect, many more will be logged before this keyboard is given in for a new model. It is familiar beneath my fingers like an old friend. I need old friends today.

The saga begins.
Promptly at seven o'clock this morning, I called Wheels to update my ride schedule and discovered there wasn't anything for me for the entire month of July. Yes, you could say there was a moment or three of panic. The dispatcher and I went through the schedule quickly and we made sure I was going to be picked up from school, although getting there before eight was going to be an impossibility. Luckily Hubby had not left for the office so he ran me to school and then went on to work.

Once at school the panic subsided a little, but something felt off. I felt off, out of place or, more correctly, sync. The first class of the day went off without problems, as did the remainders of the classes. Lunch was quite pleasant, although I did feel somewhat rushed. Even when I went into the small bookstore to purchase the necessary items I needed -- folders, 0.7 mm lead for my pencil, an eraser -- the feeling of rushed-ness was still present, still pushing me to be to my class earlier and earlier. It was so strong I had to actually sit still and force myself to make a couple of much needed calls before going on to my classroom (it also didn't help that it was math).

When my class was over and I was back upstairs speaking with Cat, the Receptionist, I felt as if I was really just getting to school to begin my day, not waiting for my ride to take me home and that the day was already over (at least that phase of it).

And so we relax and begin anew.
So, now I am home. I have relaxed some. Eaten some. Drank some good cool tea. The dogs welcomed me happily and everything feels once more to have a place and everything is in its correct place. The keyboard beneath my fingers is my own, my old familiar friend, and the dogs are curled around my wheelchair in their happy, familiar places. All is right with the world.

Even though I cannot undo what was done today, I can permit myself a new beginning. A start over. Normally I would be quite uptight about this "start over" mentality because I am not beginning the day again. Why am I not so uptight about it? Because I choose not to be upset and, quite honestly, I am looking at it like tai chi.

In tai chi class when we screw up or forget, we start over. Sometimes it is from the beginning. Sometimes from the very end, or middle. We make sure we go from one move to the next and if we screw up on that move we do it over and over and over.... You get the idea. It would seem like a big headache to do things over, but, really, once you let go of all of the hang ups about being perfect from the very beginning, it is just something that needs to be done to move to the next, newest movement. Starting over gives you practical practice of patience.

Patience is not my strong point, but I'm getting better. And today, well, today has been "off" for one reason or another. So, I'll let myself feel good about my accomplishments from the morning, and I'll let myself refresh and renew for the remainder of the afternoon. The evening, I figure, will take care of itself.

Isn't it amazing how you learn something some place else in your life and it actually makes it into other areas positively?

Oh, and I have not forgotten any of you! I have little things written I will type in here just as soon as possible. Sadly, the computers at school do not appreciate Blogger.com as much as we do. 'Tis a pity.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I Live and Life Has Picked Up Steam!

It is late, yes, but I promised myself I wasn't going to let another single day go by without writing here. Even if, perhaps, you have not missed me, Dear Readers, I have missed you! Having life suddenly jump forward fifty feet and you're holding on with both hands for the ride of your life isn't half as fun when you aren't sharing it with someone, or many someones!

The first week of classes went remarkably well. The elevator at Sullivan and I are now fast friends. I am adoring my intro to law class, and I am beginning to really get seriously interested in the intro to law research class. Sadly I did not test out of my remedial math class so I am looking at it as a learning process and simply moving forward. The keyboarding/typing class is a hoot at the moment. (I have a one page paper, first draft, due in the keyboarding class on Thursday which means I should really get to looking up some material for it.) And, I begin working at the English/writing center on Tuesday.

Yes, I am VERY glad we have off on Wednesday for Independence Day! I need it.

My head and heart are quite full of words to share with you all, but, sadly, I must away to bed and prepare for Church tomorrow. Just wanted you all to know I am still alive, and, well, I miss you. I really, really do, and now that my schedule is settling down and settling in, I should be sharing this wonderful new adventure with you almost daily very, very soon.