Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ideas Worth Spreading: A Stroke of Insight

I received this link twice yesterday, and decided that it was definitely an idea worth spreading. Here, a Neuroanatomist shares what she learned while experiencing a stroke.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Bad day for driving

So, we've had the Prius for four years now, and hardly a scratch has it seen. This is, without a doubt, my favorite car I've ever had. Her name is Mary Poppins (because she is practically perfect in every way). She's even better than Jack ('o Lantern), my '74 orange (Phoenix red, to be exact) VW Bug (but don't tell Jack that!).

Thursday afternoon Bekka and I are in the car, stopped on Harrison waiting to turn into our driveway when all of a sudden we hear tires screeching and then, BANG! A car comes crashing into the back of our (formerly perfect) car.

In all my years of driving (jeez, 28 years already), I've only been in two accidents. One was when a 16 year old driver pulled out in front of me from a stop sign when I was about 30 feet from the intersection in a 35 mph zone and this one, a 17ish year old driver crashing into me while I'm waiting to turn into my driveway (breaklights engaged, turn signal on). Ugh! Not that I'm against young, new drivers, I just wish they wouldn't run into me and mess up my cars.

But Bekka and I are fine, and I figure it was a great driving lesson for Bekka (who hasn't gotten her permit yet, even though she could have months ago - waiting patiently for her to decide she's ready).

Oh, and guess how much this will be to fix! ~$2000! Thank goodness she has good insurance.

I can't even imagine how much her's would be - I'm guessing it's totaled. I'm glad I don't have to pay her insurance after this - her poor, and getting poorer, parents!

Chicken Pox!

About a month ago we found out that a friend in town had the chicken pox. Steffi hadn't had them yet and she's getting close to either needing to have them or get the vaccine. We talked with Steffi about her choices, and she decided that she would rather get the chicken pox than get a shot.

So off we go to the strangest play date we've ever had! Bekka came with us and helped Steffi get the chicken pox. The best thing the girls did was play hand-clap games, with Steffi ending each round by touching the pox on Sophia's forehead and then rubbing her eyes! (As I said, it was a very strange play date.)

We went through all the things you're not supposed to do (when you're trying to stay well).

Then we waited. And waited. And gave up the idea that she was going to get them. The doctors all say that the incubation period is from 10 to 16 days. We kept Steffi home during that time, since you are most contagious two days before the spots appear. When the official time was up, Steffi went to the Celtic jam Friday night, the folk dance performance Saturday night, church with her friend on Sunday (and lunch with the extended family after) and mini golfing and Gelato eating with our fellow GS troop members on Monday.

Steffi seemed a little lethargic on Sunday and Monday, but she only had one spot on her back, and it looked nothing like the pictures of chicken pox I'd looked up. When we got home Monday afternoon from Gelato, she had lots of spots and was feeling pretty crummy.

On Tuesday and Wednesday she didn't really feel like doing anything but lay around on the couch and watch TV. The spots traveled everywhere, but she never really itched and didn't want any creams, tonics, or baths.

On Thursday she decided that other than being boring, having chicken pox really isn't so bad, and she was glad she decided to get them instead of the shot!

Bekka has a dance floor!

A couple of weeks ago we (Steve, Bekka, and I) installed a dance floor in Bekka's spare room above the garage.

You see, she's really gotten into Irish Step Dancing, which is really great, but also really hard on her joints. The best surface for practicing Irish Step Dancing is on a sprung hard wood floor. Now, that would be pretty expensive (as would the pre-made dance floors you can buy). The room above the garage had carpet down, so we pulled the carpet up, left the carpet padding and installed laminate over the pad to create the spring she needs.

First we remove the carpet (who knew that the carpet pad matched the walls!)

Then we lay the floor

Lyra brings Bear Friend to help

Bekka lays the last piece

And gets ready to dance

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Unschooler's Grief CELEBRATION Week

What a week it's been. This has been a powerful week with great reminders from brave and wise women.

First from Diana Jenner, who always reminds us all that we need to help our kids enjoy their life RIGHT NOW, 'cause we don't know what their future may be, or if they will have a future. February 24, 2006 her nine year old daughter, Hannah, crossed over to join her dad, Mitch. Nine years old! She lived a life of value and joy, friends and fun. Her short life continues to gain in value with every family who hears the lessons she has for us, every parent who is frustrated with their kid and who stops and thinks of Hannah and turns that frustration into gratitude for the pure joy of getting to be with their child in that moment.

While I never got to meet Hannah, I've had the great pleasure of getting to know her brave and wise mom. I can't help but get joy from her sobering message. She celebrates life more than anyone I know, and she has lost so much more than most. I want to always carry Diana's spirit of LIFE with me, no matter what.

On Monday the unschooling community lost a truly bright spirit in Lisa Heyman. I just met her in September - I shared a couple of meals with her at the Live and Learn Conference - but she really touched me, as she does most people she meets. After L&L she and her daughter Roxy started coordinating teen unschooling gatherings in NY. Every time I saw the invitation on the L&L list I wished we were close enough for my daughter to go. Finally this spring we decided that we would just host our own here in Oregon, so I emailed Lisa and Roxy to find out how it was working for them. A few days later I received a thoughtful, detailed reply from both of them with the closing from Lisa of an invitation to come visit. I didn't really pay much attention to the invitation at the end of the email until I was reading through some of the posts on the Tribute to Lisa blog. One of the other unschooling moms mentioned that she always closes with a sincere invitation, so I went back to my email from Lisa and sure enough, "PS if you ever want to make a trip east – we’re an hour north of Manhattan and it’s always fun to host fellow unschoolers."

I encourage you to go to the tribute blog and read about this wonderful woman. She is a bright spirit whose physical light went out too soon for most folks, but whose spirit will shine on and illuminate the lives of many families. She is an inspiration.