Monday, March 31, 2008

Weekend Roundup

Where is everybody? It seems traffic to my comment box is down.

Oh well.

I excused myself from work on Friday and went with several members of my quilt bee to the Quilter's Heritage Celebration in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It was my first time attending a large-scale quilt show. It was fun to go on a road trip with my quilty friends, it was cool seeing some really neat quilts. This won Best of Show, it had some really intense machine quilting in it. Maybe some day I'll get close to that good.

I liked the colors on this one:

But, oh my goodness, look at the quilting: (click to enlarge)

It was interesting to me to see all different kinds of quilts and to notice which ones I was attracted to; am I making the kind of quilts I'm attracted to? No. I'll have to re-evaluate my skills and tastes. I might even have to learn a new thing or two.

The trip to the show would not be complete without a stop, or several, at the vendors and local shops. I set a loose budget and stayed loosely within it. ahem. I bought some silk thread, a lot of cotton thread, sewing machine needles and a straight-stitch throat plate I've wanted for a long time and some fabric. But by the end of the day, I didn't spend nearly as much as some of the others in my group, for example, Dr. J bought a featherweight, and other's shopping bags bulged more than mine did. It was a good road trip.

Armed with inspiration from the show, Saturday I was anxious to sit down to quilt some with my new threads, but just pieced some blocks instead. I'd dropped my "big" machine off at the shop for a 75K mile check-up before I left for spring break, but evidently, my shop has the best Bernina tech in the area and the wait for service is three and a half weeks. So I used my 51 year-old Singer 99K instead. She's got a nice stitch, but I'm not used to her so the comfort curve was a tad slow.

Saturday night Dan and I went to the Ramshead Tavern to see Paul Kelly with some friends. It was a nice show, his music is so comforting and melodic. Fern and Kevin stayed home alone and she had gotten her brother into his room for bed by the time we got home. Thumbs up to her.

Sunday I got up for early church and Dan took Fern to an ice skating competition at a neighboring rink. (Think a lesser version of sharks and jets....) Her team got third out of three, they some problem with the music, but I don't think that factored into scoring. Now they've got Districts in Richmond in two weeks to get ready for.

I left before the judging was announced, Kevin and I went to a birthday party for one of his buddies from after-care. It was held at a Tex-Mex restaurant, not one of Kevin's cuisines, but he did OK, ate a ton of chips and a quesadilla, called it pizza, so all was well. The party lasted a long time, three hours, mostly because the service was so slow. Our waiter wasn't very attentive (Kevin was the last one served long after everyone else got their food!); I'm guessing because the tip was already included in the bill, he had nothing to really "work" for.

After that, I took a nap, mourned Davidson's loss (I love a good underdog) and listened the the boos as Dubya threw out the first pitch of the Nat's game. I'm still and O's fan, thankyouverymuch, so I did enjoy hearing Jon Miller's voice even if it was for them.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

It didn't last long

The nice thing about traveling to Europe is when you get back your body is nice and tired at the end of the day, you sleep quite well.

At least for me that's true.

As for my son, not so much. He was back to his old tricks of staying up far too late and making a lot of noise when he takes his shower. To discourage this, I try to disable the Internet at 10 to guide the children towards bed at a reasonable hour and prevent after-hours Internet usage. However, given The Boy didn't get take his shower until after midnight, (I wondered what he had been up to, shouldn't he be tired?) and this morning when I came back from my walk the Internet was already on, I have a mystery to solve: Who dunnit?


  1. The Girl turned it back on after I went to bed and surfed the web on the laptop far past her curfew, thus allowing her brother Internet access at the same time.
  2. The Boy figured out how to turn it back on on his own and and played much too long into the night.
  3. I have recently acquired the skill of sleepwalking and turned it on.
  4. Dan did it.
I don't have any evidence for these last two to be likely, but I thought I'd list them anyway.

The bottom line is I need to find a more effective way of controlling my children's addictions. I mean, disabling the Internet.

Photo of the Day

Pula, Croatia
2000 year-old Roman Amphitheater, sixth largest of its kind still standing.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Photo(s) of the Day

Plitvice Jezera

After leaving Zagreb, we stopped at Plitvice National Park which contains numerous waterfalls and lakes. Fresh snow lay on the walkways so hiking around on the boardwalks was tricky in places, but the views were wonderful.

I'm sure the view are even more stunning in the summer.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Back to the Grind

I think I had 800± unread email messages this morning when I got to the office. I'm down to 280 after deleting the junk. Most of the rest I actually have to look at. And do something about.

I might be getting a window cubicle here at the office soon. I'm very excited. Except about the prospect of actually moving, of course. Since it will be one cubicle over, no boxes will be involved, just a lot of trips back and forth moving one shelf or drawer at a time.

There's too much work to catch up on to post a lot now about the trip, so I'll start with this picture and promise more later.

Bled, Slovenia
This is Bled Castle which sits on a hill overlooking the town and was built between 1004 and 1011.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Home again, home again, jiggity jog (Travel Log part 6)


I check my watch. It's 20 till 8, 19.40 to be exact. My body thinks it's 00.40 and I've been up since 05.00 the day before.

I've been expelled from my seat so I've been walking laps, or "U's" when aisle is crowded. We're due to land at JFK in about 25 minutes. For the first six hours of the flight the kids sat next to each other and I got to sit next to my husband for the first time all trip. Then, as teen-age siblings do, I traded places with Fern and sat next to Kevin to end a elbow shoving match.

I get up to visit the lavatory and Kevin claims my seat too, sprawling his lanky legs across my spot, so I go for a walk. My laps around the cabin give me views of the cabin and my fellow passengers, those sleeping, playing cards, and even those who choose to kiss each other just as I walk by. Lovely. I'm not terribly impressed with Iberia Air Lines, the aisles are littered with remnants a long flight. The food has been fine, the attendants have been attentive, but I think other carriers are a bit more polished.

Our flight out of Venice was about 45 minutes late so our connection in Madrid was very tight. Since we were leaving the European Union we had to go through passport control instead of just going on to the next gate. Our flight was loading when we finally got there. I worried about our luggage, especially since Iberia lost one of our suitcases on the way over with a full amount of time for the layover. Luggage that didn't make the connection would have been par for the course after the day we'd had. I had.

When Kevin and I went through security in Venice, his backpack full of his plastic letters and legos won the lottery and was pulled for a chemical check. Except Kevin didn't understand what was happening and took his pack from the xray belt and bolted. In a split second I was afraid the Italians wouldn't understand his autism and pictured myself getting pulled into an interrogation room for hours. But they ran the test on my bag instead and no fears materialized.

The four of us were supposed to have seats together, but Dan and Fern got an A and a D seat on one row, and Kevin and I were several rows back and got two aisle seats. Close enough together, but I couldn't be the buffer between him and other passengers.

Then, when I went through security in Madrid I set off something and got pulled aside for a frisking, even under the center of my bra strap. The front center. At the gate my boarding pass wouldn't give me the green light when it went through the reader so I had to wait until they could look me up in the system. I was the last one on the plane.

Our luggage made it, pretty close to the first bags off, since they were probably some of the last bags on to start with.

I'll post more about the rest of the trip and pictures tomorrow.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Travel Log Part 5

On the road to the Adriatic coast, Croatia
20 March 2008

The road out of Zagreb was much too curvy to pull out the laptop and type this morning without getting carsick, it's better now but not by much. Yesterday was our day in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, and when I saw our itinerery, I'd wondered by we were to only stay one night. Now I understand. It's a boring town. It's way south of the Alps so the terrain around the city is pretty flat, but the town itself was partially built on a hill (more hills and steps to walk up, oh my aching thighs). There's the upper town, the lower town and the "new" town across the Salva River. We left our tour group early (too much talking, not enough seeing) for lunch and to make our way back to the hotel on our own by way of the tram system. I like to try out local public transportation systems when I travel. It gives a glimpse of a place you don't always get to see from the comfort of a motor coach.

This morning we left Zagreb and headed to Plitvice lakes, I couldn't type and Fern stole the book I was reading, and I didn't feel like knitting, so I just looked at the scenery. Which was also kinda boring: snowy, barren land. I finally pulled out my iPod after our tour guide, Maja (my-a), droned on and on and on about the Croats, the Serbs, the Italians, and the Hapsburgs. It was interesting for about a minute.

Our first stop was the Plitvice lakes. The temperature this morning was about 3°C, maybe colder, so the walk around the lakes and falls was quite chilly. Fern forgot to set out socks with the rest of her clothes before the porters picked up the luggage from our rooms, so she bravely, her word not mine, trekked on the snow-covered boardwalks in her crocs and naked piggies. The falls were beautiful and I took lots of pictures. I even set the camera to B&W for some artsy shots. I can't wait until I can unload all the pictures onto the computer with the big screen and see where I've been.

Oh, now she's going on about the Serbian territory. Sheesh.

Our next stop was for lunch at what could be compared to as a truck stop diner (sorry John) with cafeteria-style Croat food. It scored very low on the price-tastiness scale.

Our tour group consists of 74 people on two buses. The buses depart about a half-hour apart from each other so we're not waiting for or stepping over 74 people, but only 35 or so. Oh, by the way, I was wrong, by a number of years, about the ages of some of the others in our group. There are a pair of girls in their late twenties, who like to travel while their peers just talk about going places; they appear to be the youngest after Kevin and Fern.

Rovinj, Croatia

The bus went from Plitvice to the coast, then along the A1A, as I call it, but the real route was the E65, the coastal road overlooking the Adriatic, finally ending up in Rovinj (ro-veen) at 6:30. We checked into our last hotel, the Hotel Eden, and signed up for 24 hours of Internet access for 100kn (kuna).

Travel Log Part 4

Ljubljana, Slovenia (lu-blee-YAW-na) 19 March 2008
On the bus from Bled to Zagreb, Croatia

The demographic of this tour group is interesting. It's not what I expected. I'm not sure what I did expect, but this isn't it. Fern is the youngest member of the group, followed by Kevin. I'm close to being the next youngest after that. There are several people in their 30's-40's, the rest, all older. My parents would have fit in nicely with this group. I kinda expected more families with kids. We chose this trip because it coincided with spring break and the price was about the same as a cruise. And, it's someplace we've never been. Different is always good when it comes to vacations. Or so I think now.

Casino Report:

Last night was Tuesday, a quiet night for restaurants in the U.S., and it seemed quiet for Bled, too. We ate dinner at the Panorama Restaurant, with a wonderful view of the lake, and were the only diners. Fern and I had different preparations of trout, Kevin had spaghetti carbonara and Dan had seafood risotto. The casino just happened to be on the way back from dinner and I just happened to have my passport with me to get in. Dan took the kids back to the hotel and I made my detour.

Roulette is pretty much universal. American and Caribbean casinos have 0 and 00, European casinos just have 0, but the rest is about the same. I made a loop around the place to check it out and noticed one roulette table was open and there was someone there playing already. I don't like to play alone, I like the camaraderie of fellow gamblers, cheering them on for numbers hit. I payed 20 euro for a stack of chips and joined the table. This other woman make no acknowledgment of my congratulations when the ball dropped into the slot with one of her numbers. I felt slighted at first but there is a language barrier so I wasn't offended long. She lost her money soon after that so I played alone. I tend to play conservatively, I wasn't out of chips yet and I wasn't ahead, so I kept going.

The wheel was cold, I like to play the "street," one chip to cover six numbers, so my numbers would hit a round too late, or I was off by one row. I had resigned myself to be just playing to play, not to win. I started betting on red or black and hit a couple times, but still I was down. I had 4 or 5 chips left and was mentally ready to leave when a new dealer came out to my table. Then it got hot. Needless to say, I have a lot more fun when the table is hot. I got up to over 30 chips, and after a few losing bets, I cashed in, mostly because no-one else had joined my table, I was still playing alone. Maybe gambling alone is like drinking alone? But I was 10 euros, $15 ahead, not a bad little detour after dinner.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Travel Log Part 3

Bled, Slovenia 18 March 2008

Our hotel rooms are typical European rooms, small, with two twin beds pushed together each with a thin mattress on a box spring-like base and a duvet on top. The toilet has a big flush button and a small flush button, you use whichever button corresponds to how much water you need. With all the talk in the US about water conservation, I don't know why we can't adopt this same system in America. I guess it makes too much sense.

Breakfast has typical European offerings: breads, sliced meats and cheeses, teas, coffee, fruits and tomatoes, which I know are really fruits, but are treated like vegetables. I won't go anywhere near what they call scrambled eggs or the sausages. I'm not that brave.

Last night we had dinner at a pizza place near our hotel. Another man from our group came in there too. It turns out he is an algebra teacher in California and we told him we have an algebra student. It was quite evident he enjoyed talking with Fern about her class and where they were in the curriculum and she enjoyed his questions and attention.

Dan's missing suitcase was delivered last night after midnight so he had his own clean clothes to change into this morning.

We spent today on a bus tour of the lake area of Austria with a long stop in Klagenfurt (klagen-foot) and shorter stops in Velden and Kranjska Gora (kranska gora) and views of Woether Lake. It was snowing this morning in when we left Bled but it wasn't snowing on the other side of the Carinthian Alps. However, it was cloudy and overcast so we didn't get full panoramic views of the mountains.

When we had our free time in Klagenfurt, Dan lamented having his suitcase back for a brief moment after seeing all the shops with clothes on display in the pedestrian shopping area. Velden sits at one end of Woether Lake, a cute town, but not as picturesque because as I imagine it could be if not for the clouds. Kranjska Gora was the smallest of the three towns, but "famous" for the skiing area, some slalom championships were held there a few weeks ago, the season is almost over now, not many people were on the slopes.

We haven't had too much trouble with the language differences. Usually the store clerks speak enough English to help me buy something. Credit cards, different matter. I tried my Visa today at one shop which only took Maestro, a MasterCard family card. I found an ATM that took Visa and was able to pay in cash. It's a fine science, figuring out how much money you'll need till you leave the country so you're not stuck with a pocket full of euros when you move on to Croatia but still have enough to buy a cappuccino when you want. The prices are reasonable when you think of euros as dollars, but when you throw in the exchange rate... well, just don't think about it, you're on vacation.

We'll walk over to the main town area of Bled (the hotel is about a ten minute walk along the late away) for dinner tonight and I might venture back out later for a visit to the casino. Love me some roulette. I'll deal with exchanging the euros to kuna later.

Tomorrow we ride to Zabreb, I'll post again when I have an Internet connection for the laptop.

BTW, Slovenia = Alps = hills = my thighs are killing me.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Travel Log Part 2

Bled, Slovenia
17 March 17, 2008

This morning we spent touring the Bled Castle that sits about 400 ft above the lake and was built about a thousand years, no I'm not kidding. This afternoon I've been putzing around the village, shopping and looking for sundries to replace the ones in the missing suitcase.

Fern and I discovered free Internet connection at the Hotel Park. Now Fern just wants to hang out here in the lobby, sipping cappuccinos and surfing the 'net.

More later when I can get the laptop back from her.

I'll try to upload some pictures, too.

Travel Log Part 1

Bled, Slovenia 16 March 2008

Forty-three bags were left in Madrid instead of going on to Venice with their people. About half the EspaƱa Balonmano (Handball Spain) team, what looked to be a large group of mostly teen-aged boys, were left standing at the carousel looking forlorn without their bags, about half of our family was without our belongings as well. Luckily, there was no line, so I hopped over to the lost luggage desk quickly to report our "red 22" (pick the style from this chart, please) bag was missing. The clerk confirmed it was still in Madrid and would be sent on the later flight this evening. I gave her our hotel address and we should have the suitcase tomorrow, fingers crossed. We met our tour guide and boarded our bus and rode about three hours from Venice. The Venice-Slovenia border is now open, as of January 1st this year, but we will have to go through border control when we go to Croatia on Wednesday.

On the flight over, which departed at 10:00 p.m, we were served dinner at 12:30 and breakfast a few hours later. I wasn't hungry but ate anyway because we didn't know about the food situation for the rest of the day.

When we arrived in Madrid, we went through "borders" and tried to find out what gate to go to. It wasn't on the board of departures. So, of course, we didn't know what terminal to go to but all EU flights were in one building, so we found our way.

We made it to our hotel at about 8:00 pm and had dinner. I'll write more later when I have time.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bucket List

Do you have a bucket list? I don't have one per se, just a vague wish-list of travel destinations. Austrailia, Greece, Scandinavia. I have no desire to bungee off a bridge or surf Maui.

Thinking about speech class and Mrs. Boyd the other day got me to thinking about my knot of friends from that class. The four of us, Jim, Ron, J and I would hang out together, go off campus for lunch and talk endlessly about who knows what. J was my best friend from back then. I met her in my English Composition class (ENG 206) and we got along like peanut butter and jelly. Our instructor was A. Perry Whitmore, our silly school-girl emphasis on "A" always made us giggle. Like all college students I've ever known, we were full of inside jokes and would finish each other's sentences. We also shared a love for Dixon Ticonderoga 1388 #2 pencils, the best pencils ever, and a love for horses. For PE credits we took a horseback riding class, and ended up volunteering at the farm on weekends for riding groups. Oh, what fun times.

I left Urbana after two years and transferred to VCU. She stayed and graduated from there with a degree in graphic design (I think), then woke up one day ten years later and wanted to be a dentist. She got into OSU and now she has a dental practice in Kettering, Ohio.

We've kept in touch on an off over the years, not nearly as well as intended. Anyway, since I'd been thinking about her and speech class I called her on my way to work yesterday. No answer at her office (closed on Fridays) so I tried her cell. When she answered, I told her why I called, that I was thinking about her and school. Funny thing was, she has also recently been thinking about our speech instructor as well as thinking about me. We swapped memories for a few minutes and I said we needed to see each other more often.

Then she told me her news: stage 3 breast cancer was discovered in January. It might have spread into her hips which makes it stage 4. Sheesh. My neighbor, L, is recovering fantastically from her mastectomy done last fall. I can only hope and pray J's recovery is that successful. If the cancer has gotten into her hip, she'll start on her bucket list.

I tried to stay positve during the phone call, but my eyes wouldn't stop leaking after I hung up, hoped they weren't too red when I got to the office.
The above post was sent from my iPhone, please excuse typos, misspellings, and lack of a final edit.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Oh, Not Again!

On the packing list for spring break is the Nintendo DS we got Kevin for Christmas. The plan was to take it with us to keep The Boy occupied on long stretches of travel.

We can't find it anywhere. Kevin was playing with it a week or two ago and probably put it "away" to hide it from Fern and me, we both love to play too. I'm pretty sure the charge was running low and instead of bringing it back to plug in, he might have stashed it somewhere "safe." You've heard me whine about lost things before (like here and here). I hate it.

I've scoured the living room where I'd seen it last. I've looked in his room where he puts his iPod when he's done listening or it's run out of juice, under his bed, under the couch cushions, even his underwear drawer. Everywhere.

We have less than two days to get our things together and packed. I'm racking my brain: what else can we pack for Kevin's travel bag and where can that darn DS be?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

SPE 201

I think Mrs. Boyd would be pleased.

Linda Boyd was the Speech and Drama instructor at Urbana College, which is now Urbana University (I'm not sure when or why the name got changed, but it did) which is in the booming metropolis of Urbana, Ohio, population 11586. I started my college life there, partly because my grandmother taught there (biology and botany), but also because I got accepted there (if you know what I mean). It's a teeny tiny liberal arts school in central Ohio, north of Dayton. When I was there, there were less than 200 resident students and I knew most of them. There are about 1500 students enrolled there now, and they even have a graduate school. Who knew.

Because the school was so small, it was easy to participate in activities like the annual drama productions. I was part of the ensemble casts of Bye Bye Birdie and South Pacific which Linda directed. She was one of those great teachers, the kind you wanted to take all of her classes and to do well for, she was vivacious, fun, spunky. I'll always remember her with bleach-blond hair in her snug jeans and white Keds. She also directed the pep band and we played at the basketball games. Of all my years in college, I guess many of my fondest college memories revolve around things in which she was involved.

In the spring of my second year at Urbana I took Speech 201 from her. It was a great class and of course I got an A. I remember one exam. It was open-book and you had of choice of questions to answer, something like answer any eight of these ten. One asked for two types of persuasive speeches and I still remember the answer. Maybe I remember because it's just one of those things you remember, or maybe it was because Linda told me after class no other student had opted to answer that one, and she was proud of me. I thought it was an easy question. To persuade someone of something, and to change their mind about something. Easy.

Linda died much too early, if you ask me. I can't even remember how long ago now, maybe 10 years. I happened to be out in Ohio visiting my grandmother one weekend, the same weekend as the funeral. I went to the funeral home for the visitation, and was so depressed to see her lying there. The make-up artist got her coloring all wrong so in addition to being dead, she also looked sick. All the life and vitality she once exuded was gone.

This post started out to be about the persuasive speech I gave last night for the Parks and Planning Commission about the therapeutic programs Kevin participates in and enjoys and what else I'd like to see them do for us, and has instead turned into a memorial of sorts. Linda, I miss you. Thanks for everything. It went well last night.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Weekend Roundup

There's not a lot to round up from this weekend, blogger was misbehaving, my daughter was, well, shall we say, being a new "teenager."

If I had to recap my weekend in one word, it'd have to be laundry.

Our laundry room is a small space off the second floor hallway. The washer and dryer face each other with a space in between where we dump our clothes to be washed. I'm proud to say I got all the way down to the floor. I even used a hanger to dig out all the escaping socks from underneath the washer. Usually when I do laundry I start at the top of the pile and pick out all the clothes I can find of the selected color family, do a load, then pick off the next major color category, jeans, khakis, reds, etc. A couple loads every weekend usually keeps the family going. The little items usually slip to the bottom as I pick out each load and it might be a month or more before I get around to doing my "favorite" load: the dark socks. Everybody's got'm, my dress socks, my husband's dress socks, my daughter's skate socks. Fun indeed.

I keep the utility laundry behind the bedroom door, towels and sheets, the big stuff. I only did one load of utility wash this weekend and I probably will get another load in tonight while I'm still in the mood to get it done. Now if these people would stop taking showers and wearing clothes, there wouldn't be laundry to do.

But, on a happier note, we have less that a week to go before spring break. Dan's posted a map of our trip on his blog, please stop by to see it. I won't be redundant and post the same thing here.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


AT&T for $5, please Alex.

You need this to add a feature to your cell phone service on-line.

What is my password?

That is correct, select again.

Amazon for $30.32, please Alex.

You need this to make your purchase.

What is my password?

That is correct, select again.

eBay for $77.83, please Alex.

You need this to sign-in to eBay.

What is my password?

That is correct, select again.

PayPal for $77.83, please Alex.

You need this to pay for your winnings on eBay.

What is my password?

That is correct, select again.

AmEx for $500, please Alex.

You need this to make an on-line payment.

What is my password?

That is correct, select again.

Passwords for $1000, please Alex.

This is the key to your life.

What is ***********?

Oooh, I'm sorry, that's incorrect.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Pardon me while I take a moment to be overwhelmed...


I'm not exactly freaking out yet, but I'm starting to get anxious.

Spring Break. Less than two weeks away.

The travel documents came yesterday, which, without a true airline ticket anymore, amount to the itinerary and luggage tags.

Driving to Florida for a cruise is one matter, where you can stop at any Target or Walmart on the way and buy what you need. Flying to Europe and back on long flights is a completely different matter. Try going into a foreign land with a foreign language and asking for contact lens solution. Best not forget it in the first place (Fern).

I gotta buy some quart sized zip bags so the security guys will be nice to us. I gotta find mini shampoo bottles, enough for everyone.

I know I'm going to forget stuff. So I'm getting anxious about trying to remember it all now before it's too late.

I bought a new memory card for my camera. And extra batteries, too. I bought a solar charger for cell phones and iPods.

Oh, and laundry. I have to find that balance of washing clothes to pack and washing clothes to wear in the mean time.

And what to pack anyway? That kinda depends on the weather. And weather can be temperamental in mid-March. Don't want to over pack, but don't want to be spending time in foreign laundromats, either. I gotta pack the correct weight coat so I won't freeze or smolder. How many pairs of shoes? Do I even mess with "dressy?"

Got to come up with portable activities to keep the kids occupied. Got to set aside books and/or knitting for myself.

Did I remember the camera? Should I take the non-digital Nikon and film, too. With all the lenses. Tripod either way. Polarizer filter too.

eye yai yai.

Thank you for enduring this little moment of anxiety.
I'll write all this down in a notebook, before I forget.
But first, I have a killer headache and need to go get a coke.

Travel pillows for the plane?
And a copy of The Blade.....

Monday, March 03, 2008

Weekend Roundup

Kevin, my sweet boy, has such a contented nature about him. For the most part, he is very patient and compliant, (except when he can't find one of his precious letter Y's or wants the ceiling fan on,) I call him my gentle giant. When I ask him to do something, like "put your plate in the dishwasher," I get a sing-songy "oh-kay" in reply.

His autism turns his communications into echolalia, his room into a sanctuary for thousands of plastic alphabet letters, and his teenage years with crazy sleeping patterns into a non-competitive happy child.

Sunday was a St. Mary's Special Olympics event for basketball, one of the qualifiers required for the state competition in two weeks. The venue was about an hour south of Bowie in rural southern Maryland. I got to take Kevin this time, Dan usually gets the honor. Kevin participates in the individual skills competition, because, despite his height, he doesn't have the basketball concepts or concentration to play on the 3v3 team.

The athletes complete three skills activities, 10-yard dribbling "dash," bounce-passes, and shooting. Each of these earned the athletes points and the medals were give out for the points totals in each heat.

During the awards I watched three young women get their medals. The bronze was awarded first, then silver. The third girl stood there waiting, gears clicking into place, then she broke out into the most joyful squeal when she figured out she got the gold. It's hard not to smile along with her when you witness such pure glee.

Kevin did well, as he always does. Without the underlying competitive current, he has no expectations, he just enjoys being there and being with the other kids. I was a smidge disappointed he was the only boy in his heat, but I was glad to hear he got 68 points, so the automatic gold was well deserved.

Yes, it went in.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

I guess I should write a post so y'all know I'm alive.

I've been walking around in a fog lately, this cold isn't quite gone, doing a bit of house work here and there, but I can't come up with any earth-shattering news to share.

Unless you want to know my little brother called me the other day. (The short one, not the younger one.) Yes, while that, in it of itself is newsworthy, he wanted me to know he had the whole town of Culpepper laughing. Huh? He had his whole office reading my bed-fixing post, it was very Jeff Foxworthyworthy: You can tell you're a redneck if you use the car jack to lift your bed...

Ok, Little Brother, it's not that funny, even if I add: you can reach the bottle of juice you hid from the revenuers.