School started!

My baby started high school & seminary today (seminary is a worldwide, four-year religious educational program for youth ages 14 through 18).  My kids are quite independent already (they wake themselves up, etc.), so all that is different is that all my kids are gone earlier, & I’m not “hanging out” with her in the morning.

Seminary is at 6 AM, & since Mark teaches them, it was just me & the dog, Cooper, for an hour.  When they left, Cooper seemed to say, “oh, it’s starting again…”, & went to “his spot” on the couch to sleep.  They were back briefly at 7, & when they left again, Cooper briefly looked at me, like, “Who do I play with now?”, & then settled down to rest on his blanket beside me…

Oh, good grief!  I have no kids to talk about, so I’m talking about our dog!  Ah! What will I do in 4 years?!?  I won’t even be 50 years old—my mom had a 2 year old kid when I’ll have an empty nest!

Horse Therapy

Just sharing: In a little over a week, I am starting horse therapy again!  I’m sooo excited!  Horse therapy is out every summer, & my core gets weaker during those months, so I can’t wait to start back!  (It was at the Abilities Convention that I learned how to find horse therapy: I was told to google/look up something like ””professional association of horsemanship international PATH international equine therapy””.)

About 4 years ago, before I started horse therapy, I checked out standing w/c (wheelchairs). It was awful, because I needed re-adjusting once I stood, so not only was it uncomfortable, but I also needed so much help to stand that I lost what little independence I had!  Standing felt a chore, & not fun at all!

When I tried the standing chair this summer, it was a 100% different experience!  My core was SO much stronger, so there was no re-adjusting needed. If I get a sanding w/c, I could actually use the feature of standing to stand up whenever I want to, & drive around!  The idea of a standing w/c actually is fun now!

Horse therapy has also helped with my anxiety & my speech, so I look forward to how another year will help me!

An article about where I do horse therapy: http://hillcountryview.com/2016/08/the-magic-of-horses/

P.S. If the link works, I’ve added some new traditional scrapbook pages for Zach & Jessie’s albums.

The Abilities Convention

Since I’m being asked:

The Abilities Convention wasn’t as exciting as last time (cuz I had already seen some of the cool stuff, & others, that I was hoping to see from last time, weren’t there..), but it was still helpful in 2 ways:

  1.  I also came interested in finding a standing wheelchair, & I was able to try 1 that I was interested in, & eliminate it.  I also found another company  that I did not know about for standing wheelchairs, & I am sooo glad I found it– the chair I demoed stood me up so well, that I cried!!!  So, I  think I found the company (Levo) I want my next wheelchair from—Or at least it was great to learn that a standing chair could feel that awesome & natural as it stood me up, so I can make a better choice, & not “settle”!
  2. & I posted about the new app I found about accessible/handicapped parking:

http://www.parkingmobility.com/

What I like about it, is that it also educates, & it is not directed at non-handicapped people. I love that, cuz I actually get just as upset at those who are “legal”, but poorly park, so I still can’t come in/out of our van!  In fact, my biggest pet peeve is w/”legal” people, but I don’t think there is a way to document it, unfortunately: the people who are allowed to park there will take the last spot when they aren’t that handicapped…definately can walk fine.  & to “rub salt in the wound”, the parking spot isn’t even closer…they just feel “entitled!”

my speech

A few weeks ago, we went to Utah, & I saw my husband’s family.  Usually when I visit, they comment on how much I have changed, but it had only been about 3 months since I saw my husband’s parents, so I didn’t think they’d see anything different—I sure didn’t feel like anything had changed!  However, my Father-in-law said he saw MAJOR improvements in my speech, which shocked me… I thought there was none!

Thursday night we had several people at our home: some who don’t know me really well, mixed w/others who do know me well.  It was cool, cuz I could talk to anyone!  I don’t think I was understood 100% of the time, but there were times when I knew I was understood, since they responded to me!  It’s exciting to reach a “new level” with my speech!

How’s my memory?

My son left on his mission this week (https://www.mormon.org/me/643G/Zach — the “about me section is old, but the rest has been updated), & if we are Facebook or Instagram friends, u may have seen a post & a scrapbook page I made about it!  I am often asked about my memory now-a-days.  It is 100% in tact, but when I had my stroke, while I did not loose my memories, it is like the “bridge to memory land” was burned…so many of my memories are triggered.  Luckily I’m an avid journal writer & scrapbooker.  I never dreamed that I’d profit by doing these things, but I have!

I am in the process of re-reading my old journals, & it has been an interesting process. I began writing just because I was told to, & became more frequent a writer because I wished that my anscestors had kept journals, so I had a connection to them, but since they hadn’t, I decided to keep mine for my future posterity… I thought that was it. But as I re-read things, I can see the Lord’s hand in my life 20 some years ago, preparing me for people & events in my life today!  & as I read, I feel that my stroke was no accident!

Scrapbooking provides me with the pictures that accompany the stories I write about.  (& if u like to look at my scrapbook pages, I added some new pictures of traditional pages I have recently made for Zach & Jessie).  Pre-stroke, I slowed down on making pages that might involve more than 1 kid…I wasn’t quite sure how to do it until scanners became so big in the scrapbooking world, & now that “the stars have aligned”, I have worked on finishing Zach’s baby book, & then I did Sophia’s baby book–I had never scrap booked my baby book for Sophia, the one kid who scrapbooks & would appreciate a scrapbook.  (Soph has seen her book & seen Zach & Jessie’s nearly finished baby scrapbooks, & though she has never said a word, it has always bothered me that her scrapbook wasn’t made!)  Now it’s Jessie’s turn…

After my stroke, I tried traditional scrapbooking on several occasions, but often felt discouraged or frustrated unless I “dumbed it down.”  It’s just so hard to explain the picture in my mind!  So I was thrilled to discover digital scrapbooking, cuz I could do my hobby without any help or need to explain the “picture” in my mind, & it was only up to my own abilities to see “my picture” come to pass!  However, I still had all those pages I had organized to do.  My mom gave me a glimmer of hope: she began scanning all of my scrapbook supplies & preparing them for me to use on digital pages–a huge job (which I appreciated SO much, cuz I’d been trying to do it myself, but with my double vision, it took me hours to do what should take me minutes, & I couldn’t see me scrapbooking traditionally very much in the future, so I might as well use what I had bought!)  That took care of everything after the year 2004 (when I had my stroke), but I still wanted to somehow traditionally scrapbook at least Sophia’s baby book.  I decided to give Angie a shot, anticipating to really “dumb it down”, since she doesn’t scrapbook.  But, boy, was I in for a surprise!

I don’t know if Angie just thinks like me, so she “gets” the picture in my head, or if it’s cuz I don’t allow myself to fully form a picture in my mind, so I’m not disappointed (I have been working on my OCD & anxiety, & it helps if I don’t let my OCD take charge) or if it’s both: But I will give Angie a basic idea, then just let her do her thing, & tell her to “make it  awesome”, & she does exactly what I’d do! ( For example, when Sophia was a baby, I came up with an  idea for a Cracker Jack scrapbook page, so pre-stroke I scanned all the stuff from a Cracker Jack box, & kept the wrapper–yes, I held onto that trash for 12 years!  The idea was a fuzzy picture now & I wasn’t sure how the page would work, but I did my best to tell Angie my jumbled thoughts, & then she said she’d find a way to make it happen!  The page she made is exactly how I would’ve made the fuzzy picture clear in my mind!)  Additionally, since I had journaled about the things I was scrapbooking, I could scan it, & still include my handwriting on the pages!

In  the past it wasn’t necessarily the people who helped me that made it harder, I just have evolved in 2 major ways:  1.  I’m a control freak, & I’ve needed to learn how to let go, realizing there are more ways than 1 way to do things, & the other ways may even be better than my way.  2.  My stroke affected my ability to process & use words well to express myself.  It didn’t take away my ability to communicate, just “slowed it down”. (For example, when I think I’ve written a post, I wait about 24 hours, so it can “stew”/process.  Usually I think of corrections &/or additions.  Often, I recall more “colorful” words, fill in the “blanks,” & re-arrange things to make more sense).  However, I don’t have time to process when someone is helping me that instant!   I’ve given in to that, which has been easier to do, since my helper just happens to have the talents & abilities that have helped me to evolve!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!  Mother’s Day is a bit different for me, as I usually have people feeding me anyway!

 

I keep being asked about what my favorite thing about my new home is…the thing that is my favorite changes from week to week, but what doesn’t change, is how it has increased my independence.  When we moved, a big reason was to make our home more accessible, cuz I’d “outgrown” our old home, & I was  banging into walls & things, as I tried to do more.  So our new home has wider spaces & hallways, & bigger & more open rooms—for example, I can TURN in our pantry!  Other ways I have discovered increased independence:

  • Drawers have been used a lot in my craft room, so I can do many things on my own in there now!
  • We have a “smart home”, so I can use my iPad to turn lights on/off, a TV on/off, regulate a thermostat if needed, see who’s at my front door & see in other places in my home, turn on music in rooms, etc.  I can even call people by name to certain rooms in our home!  While this is all great, what makes it even better is how this aids me as a mother—I can turn things down or off if my kids are being “kids,” I can turn off all the lights in our home if Mark is gone…& best of all, everything can be done from the comfort of my bed!
  • I love the kitchen because I can do SOOO much more in there now!  In fact, I just want to share that lately, I have fed myself 2 out of 3 meals!  It is so cool to feel hungry, & be able to go get myself food!  (That can be a good or a bad thing!)  I will share pictures of these 3 things that have made such a difference:
    • The sink—the spout is on the side, & it is touch-sensative, so I can finally wash my hands & some dishes (I actually like washing dishes, & since my kids think it’s gross to clean my cup out from my green smoothies, they are probably glad that I can do it now!)
    • The microwave—we have one down low, with a drawer, so I can do it– & I confess that at times I will cook popcorn in it, just cuz I can!
    • The fridge—it has a door I can use, but the best part is this has a drawer I can access, with things like fruit, veggies, hummus, babaganush,meals I can heat up, or eat cold…

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