Living and laughing with a disability - cerebral palsy; ordinary life, extraordinary circumstances.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Oil in North Dakota?

Jodie has family in North Dakota. Her mom was born there, and moved to Portland as a young girl.

One summer when Jodie was in high school, she took the train with her grandparents back to Minot. She saw the Johnson family farm.

The family here has not had much contact with the family there, but it's kind of fun the see this story...and wonder if there are some new millionaires in the family.

'Overnight millionaires' popping up left and right in North Dakota | - Portland, Oregon | National & World News: "BEULAH"

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Down Syndrome dolls

An interesting post about a new teaching tool cor college kids and a way for Down syndrome kids to feel acceptance. The company - Downi Creations.

It has sparked a debate, according to the London Times.

I think it would be cruel to make it the only doll that a child has. Dolls are an escape. Kids should have dolls that help them dream.

Dolls should also inspire us that it is okay to be who you are.

What would a doll of my look like? Let's see...
  • my head's not always straight
  • my hands are shaky
  • my feet don't stay straight when I walk
  • according to strangers who call me on the phone, I sound like I just woke up
  • I ride a mobility scooter some of the time
  • a doll of me would have to include a toy Sprinter van, complete with a rear wheelchair lift

Hey, a doll of me might be a hit!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hello Johnson Family...

Monday night E had his last baseball game of the season. Districts are in 2 weeks.

I am nursing a bad cold, so I stayed in the car for awhile. Then, I just had to get out and watch the game.

I tried to sit back where I would not have much people contact. We were playing Corbett. E was taking care of business on the mound.

A little boy started looking at my scooter. He was about 2 I'd guess...not quite verbal. He thought my scooter was pretty cool. His mom, Cindy, came over to introduce him to me. I love such opportunities...I can't initiate them very well, but when other adults do, it's a great learning experience for kids.

Cindy introduced me to her husband and each of her 6 kids. She use to coach volleyball at E's school, Portland Christian. PC and Corbett at big rivals in sports.

I told her that we have been going to the 4th of July parade for the last few years. We love it! She encouraged us the get there earlier this year, so we could park at the school, and stick around for the booths afterward. I think we will!

Turns out my sister-in-law, Denise, and Cindy use to work at the same hair salon years ago. Small world...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Bright spot in tournament weekend

We are playing teams a step up from us this tournament weekend. Not fun losing by 20+ twice in a row.

E pitched...and then caught the ball for an out. Look at that grin!

Friday, June 20, 2008

We won?

E's baseball team played the nearly unbeaten Camas team on there home field last night. E pitched three good innings, Drew finished the game very well. Boys on our team who have struggled made some stellar plays in the field. This Camas team has been beating other teams by 10 points or better. I don't know how we got out of there with a 10-3 win!

There was a young boy (maybe 10?) with some sort of disability tooling around on a smaller scooter than what Jodie and I have. He was driving on the edge of the blacktop with one wheel in the dirt, kicking up dust. Littler kids were chasing him in fun. He was cruising around the tennis court. Made me feel good to see the little guy having fun.

As I was loading my scooter into Jet White, I saw a man watching us from his truck with a big smile on his face. I wondered if it was little guy's father....

Monday, June 16, 2008

Kid's on the other team laughing at Jodie and I

Baseball is nearly over for E, but not fast enough.

Bickering coaches, kids and's been a trying year.

Tonight kids on the other team began mocking Jodie and I. Jodie and I didn't see it happen, but my mother-in-law did, and she marched over to the dugout and told the boy (or boys?) to knock it off.

A mother of another boy on our team thought they owed us an apology.

My preferred method of handling it is to ignore the mocking, stare the kids down until they look away, and go on.

Jodie and I were cheering for the team, and that's what the kids were mocking.

What troubles me most is not the mocking, but how it affects E to see his parents be mocked. I wish he could ignore it the way we do, but it really affects him.

It affects me more that it affects him, if that makes sense.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Babies to grads....

Jodie's sister was pregnant when we began was my sister.

Eighteen years later we are attending 2 high school graduations, last week in Tualatin, yesterday in Washougal.

The simularities of the ceremonies were interesting. Both held on football fields, Jodie and I on the track with our scooters with the rest of the family in the stands, the band, the validictorians, the speeches, the diplomas, the switching sides of the tassle, the tossing of the morterboards, and pictures of the grads on the football field.

The mob scene afterwards as we tried to leave was the same too....but Aunt Jodie and Uncle Troy made it through.

Two babes survived 18 years. The were just seniors...but now they are babies again.

Excitement and uncertainty lie ahead. Embrace the future, talk to geezers like me to find out what mistakes I learned from, it's great to succeed, it's okay to fail, take care of today, see past tomorrow when you need to find hope.

Brit & Tyf, God is smiling upon you today. Uncle Troy & Aunt Jodie are praying for you.

Go out and shake things up!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dr. my eyes

We went to the eye doctor yesterday. It's been five years. Time flies.

My eyesight has not changed significantly. Even so, I asked if I could drop my bifocals and go back to a single lens. The way I move, the two lens tend to blur everything. I'm tired of dealing with it. I think Jodie has trifocals...I don't know how she does it.

The Dr. said I will miss the lower lens, though I will keep my bifocals close. He said the dashboard instruments in the car and menus will be places I miss the lower lens.

He offered me half strength glasses for when I use the computer. Not right now.

E no longer needs reading glasses...but he did score a pair of Oakley's...he has nice parents.

Jodie -- not significant change.

We aren't getting any older!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Harriet McBryde Johnson, 1957-2008

A great disabled rights activist and civil rights attorney has passed.

I am not familiar with her work, but I plan to familiarize myself with it.

Thank you, Kay, for a list.

The Gimp Parade: RIP Harriet McBryde Johnson, 1957-2008

I like this snippit from the Washington Post:

"• Ms. Schiavo is not terminally ill. She has lived in her current condition for 15 years. This is not about end-of-life decision making. The question is whether she should be killed by denying her food and fluids."

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Dream ticket?


It is a critical question that could make or break the Dems chances for taking over the White House in 5 months.

Obama has work to do to appease Clinton's huge base of blue collar and older white female votes. Picking Clinton as a running mate might make short order of that. But would being a running mate be a plus or minus for Clinton herself?

Do Veeps do anything except be the butt of millions of jokes?

Obama and Clinton both have baggage. White Water...what was that all about? I'm sure that if Clinton is on the ticker, we will be hearing about it over and over and over...

Two strong and wonderful people. Two big targets for the Republicans.

Movies cannot keep up with the drama of our presidential elections.

CNN has a good run down of possible VP selections for Obama.

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Associated Press: Beijing organizers apologize for language in volunteer guide

The Associated Press: Beijing organizers apologize for language in volunteer guide

"For example, some physically disabled are isolated, unsocial and introspective; they usually do not volunteer to contact people. They can be stubborn and controlling; they may be sensitive and struggle with trust issues. Sometimes they are overly protective of themselves, especially when they are called `crippled' or `paralyzed.'"

When they interviewed me, I told them that I was not representative of all disabled people.

Poetic Justice

ABC News: Robert Frost Vandals Get Taken to School