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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Name that decade - The Boston Globe

The "You Decade"...I think the name will stick. The terror of
9/11 affected us all in some way. Facebook has really connected me with family and friends whom I have not seen for years. I follow people whom I never met through their blogs.

9/11 terror made connections more important. This is a good piece:

Name that decade - The Boston Globe: "On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, the planes, and the towers, and the people fell from the sky. The terrorists’ plot was pre-computer age in its conception - a set of box cutters, a term in flight school, coordination, patience, and perhaps the sense that we were all looking away just before it happened. Indeed, the attack was a crisp, cold slap, just as we were revving up to a decade of collective attention deficit. The terrorists’ ruthlessness was a sharp reminder that they were not as entranced as we were with our views, our interests, or our lives."

No more furlough days for me?

My position with the state is federally funded:

The Seminal » Judge Rules Arnold’s Furloughs Are Illegal: "These are employees whose salaries (and the benefits they administer) are funded by federal money or state set-asides and therefore are not subject to the general fund’s being held up by the legislature — but Arnold furloughed them anyway and refused to hear appeals. This slowed disability reviews as well as processing of special federal assistance administered by state employees. In some cases, it has led to reduced federal payments to the state, an absurd situation when the Governor is asking the federal government for more than eight Billion dollars in emergency budget-balancing assistance."

Getting around in slush

A snow event two days ago left us with slush to contend with yesterday. Jodie's sister, Denise, helped us get to our van.

We got to Jodie's office. Lots of icy slush. I had to go out to run our lift. I was afraid. I broke my arm once falling on ice.

Lucky for us, Joe, the security guy, met us. I was able to tell him how to run the lift. Jodie backed her new power chair onto the lift like a pro. First time! Her dyslexia makes it interesting....this way way...your other right...

Then I drove to my office. Very little slush.

We made it!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Practicing at the mall

Eric, Jodie and I went to Clackamas Town Center last night so that Jodie could get some driving experience in her new power chair.

Being the day after Christmas, the parking lot was filled with non-moving lines. We didn't know if we would ever find a spot!

I haven't test driven the power chair yet, but Jodie and Eric both say that it is a lot different then driving the scooter. Eric has been loading and unloading it from out Sprinter van so far. I will need to learn to do it. Eventually, Jodie wants to be able to drive it on and off of our van lift herself.

Jodie plans on using the power chair at work, at church, when we are out and about, and, eventually, at home.

Jodie did really well driving the scooter at the mall. She just needs practice to build up her confidence.

Special Christmas Eve delivery for Jodie

From Jodie powerchair

The real "Rainman" was more interesting than Hoffman's version

Did Dustin Hoffman exploit the rainman? After his death this week, his father makes a startling accusation | Mail Online: "By 14, he had completed the high school curriculum four years ahead of schedule, but it was not until he was 18 that he got a job, managing the payroll for 160 people, a task he performed in a few hours a week without even a calculator."


"Surprisingly, his father told me Kim once had a girlfriend, whom he met through a group for disabled people. She suffered from multiple sclerosis, so was largely confined to her home, 35 miles north of Salt Lake City.

"But every month Mr Peek senior would take his son to meet her, and they would go to a restaurant and then the cinema.

"The relationship wasn't physical. 'I think he was interested in females and respected them, but he never showed any sexual feelings about them,' says his father. 'He wanted her to get out and have some fun.'

"His son had a strong sense of duty, and his own moral code, he adds, recalling what happened when he was entered in the 50-yard dash in the Utah Special Olympics, aged 19.

"'He was racing against two guys in wheelchairs and as he approached the finishing line he looked back and saw their chairs had got tangled together. So he went back and pushed first one, then the other opponent, through the ribbon before crossing in third place.'

"He may have received only a bronze medal, but he won the most important prize for this act: the special sportsmanship award."

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Rockwell for Christmas

We went to Jodie's sister Pam's for Christmas Day.

A fun time with family and friends.

Presents we open. We were snacking and the chiefs in the kitchen were getting dinner together.

Nice, calm, uneventful.


A knock at the door.

It was friends Joyce and her boys.

But wait...they were followed by three dogs. Dachshunds.

Big dogs Vinny and Jesse were already there.

I was thinking "Joyce brought a bunch of dogs to the party...that's interesting..."

The dogs came running upstairs...and they were running everywhere.

I heard a loud "Oh shit!" from the kitchen. They weren't Joyce's dogs. Joyce thought they were our dogs. Pam knew whose dogs the dogs were.

The guy next door breeds Dachshunds. They had gotten out of the backyard. The neighbor was away from home. Mandy called him, and he came right over.

Joyce and all the kids raced outside to gather the dogs that were still loose. They herded them into the bathroom until the neighbor came.

Now for the Rockwell picture: Jodie had been holding one of the dogs. She let go of the dog so our niece could get him. The dog ran in a circle. Brit was running in a circle. At one point, I swear, Brit's feet and all four of the dog's paws were off the ground.

A Norman Rockwell picture. A Christmas to remember.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas wish


Stepdad John has been out of work for going on a year.

He worked as a manager of a documentation department at a high tech place...ECO' change orders...John is a master of those.

John has a master's in systems analysis.

John has followed man y leads so far. He is willing to learn something new.

All this "jobless recovery" talk is weird.

Santa, I'm just asking for leads.

Thanks Santa!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Christmas to me is Jesus in a manger. Christmas to me is God entering humanity, a reminder that He loves and cares for us.

The Santa perpetrated by the stores getting us to buy, buy, buy, is questionable.

The Santa who came to my family's door when I was a kid...he was real. We were having a huge Christmas Eve party like we always had. He asked to see me! The first year he came, mom and dad did not know who he was. The next day, a guy came to the door. He was driving a "Armour Meats" truck. Neighbors across the street had asked him to stop at our house.

Santa came and saw me on Christmas Eve for quite a few years. We would move; he would find us. Mrs. Santa was by his side, until one year we heard she succumbed to cancer.

When I first started to go to church, I saw Santa and anything to do with him as an attack on the true meaning of Christmas.

Now I wonder if there is room for us to be the "Santa" to other people, and for us to allow others to be the "Santa" to us this time of year.

Christmas to me is Jesus in a manger. Christmas to me is God entering humanity, a reminder that He loves and cares for us.

Christmas to me is also the love of God working its way through me and you.

Santa made me feel special every year he showed up to check up on me.

Lets try to make each other feel special this season.

We see this star coming home at night

A wonderful local tradition:

Gresham tradition keeps on shining

Of mice and us?



I don't get "the war over Christmas":

The J-Walk Blog: Leave Christmas Alone

Friday, December 18, 2009

Toys for Tots

The child welfare branches in Multnomah County pick up their Toys for Tots donations for our kids in care. I helped get my branch's list together.

Nice to see Michelle O involved with this too:

How Michelle Obama Turned Around Her Image -- Politics Daily

Prayers for our kids in care...and their families (bio, foster, adoptive, guardianships...)

Peace and joy to all!

Makes sense to me...

You did this to us...we'll do this to you.

The wheels in DC go 'round...the bus goes nowhere:

GOP Blocks Funding Troops - The Daily Beast

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Three decades after his injury, quadriplegic hunter takes aim� Standard-Times

I'm not a hunter, or a gun person....but this is an interesting story:

Three decades after his injury, quadriplegic hunter takes aim� Standard-Times: "It has been three decades since Cap last fired a gun — on Nov. 3, 1979 — and he remembers it as if it were yesterday, mainly because of what happened the next day: a high school football game, a head-on tackle and a neck injury that left him a quadriplegic and robbed him of hunting, one of his lifelong passions."

The King and Martina - Blue Christmas

Friday, December 11, 2009

Jeff and Jennie's Adoption Journey

The funnest part of Facebook is catching up with old friends. I followed the links and found this beautiful story:

Jeff and Jennie's Adoption Journey

Jeff and I were roommates at the "mansion." I remember when Jeff chopped the half gallon of ice cream in half...and we each took a half.

Jennie came along to out Campus Ambassador's Christian fellowship group. Jeff's heart was caught...and he was domesticated.

Now they have two beautiful kids, Felipe and Andrea.

A beautiful family.

God is good.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

We all know guys are wimps...

Football is for women:

Fighting Fillies play for the love of football | Portland News - –

I have days like this...

I don’t know how you do it @ Terrible Palsy: "So, to summarise, it is the additional stuff that keeps me up each night wondering why things can’t be easier. Why we can’t live in a perfectly accessible world where people give bags over to people making purchases, where people don’t make comments on children sitting in strollers or the age of kids that can’t walk. Where saying he has cerebral palsy is just enough for someone to go, say no more, you don’t need to explain anything – no judgements here."

Let the stereotyping begin


Beck Compares Tiger to O.J. - The Daily Beast

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Temps in the mid 90s

My college buddy Wes (most memorable moment, a ride is a 4x4 cadalac...door 4 feet off the ground), was in Ironman competition in Western Australia. Temps in mid 30's...celsius. I did the conversion...mid 90's F.

Looks like he placed 81 in his division.

Good job Wes!

Crawford and Vernay win at Ironman Western Australia �

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

No service dogs allowed on lift buses?

We had our run-in with Trimet 19 years ago when a driver refused to take one of Jodie's crutches so she could get on the bus. Here's another interesting one:

Disabled woman: TriMet discriminated against me | - News
- Portland, Oregon
| News
: "PORTLAND, Ore. - A disabled woman said Monday TriMet discriminated against her because a LIFT driver wouldn’t allow her to board with her service dog, which caused her to miss an important surgery."

"Happy meal" banned?


Spain Considers a Ban on Selling Fast Food with Toys - TIME

I'm not "right"...I'm never right

Ok...I'm outed...I am not a "righty"...but I do like Huck. I listen to his radio show at lunch, since he took over the time slot of the great Paul Harvey and his "the rest of the story."

Huck leans toward the center. I like his words of wisdom. I find it sad that this might bring him down:

Huckabee White House Chances Look Slim to None After Police Slayings -- Politics Daily

Not funny...just strange...

Former Miss Argentina dies after plastic surgery - "Solange Magnano, 37, died in a hospital after being transferred from a clinic where she underwent an elective surgery on her buttocks on Wednesday, the agency reported."