Tuesday, November 29, 2005


I went to Chicago with another homeschooling family in November. Here are a few pictures. Chicago was great. There are so many things to do and our local memberships to zoos and museums entitled us to free or reduced entrance to most of the top locations. We saw the Planetarium, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Science Museum, Art Institute and tried many good restaurants. The subway and bus systems were excellent and a visitor's pass allowed us to hop on and off all day long for $3! Hotels are extremely expensive in Chicago, even using every discount I could find. We want to return and take Ginger with us next time.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Memory loss

As some of you know, I have a little memory problem. This has been going on for over a year and honestly at times I'm completely "over it." Once again I am gathering my information and energy to try and get a clear consensus diagnosis. We now know I do not have a brain tumor nor have I had silent strokes. It took months and tens of thousands of dollars to get to this point so it is with great fear and financial trepidation that I wade into the medical waters again, but here goes.

I have found a grid that might be helpful if you know someone, or if you ARE someone, with memory or cognitive loss/impairment. http://www.adrc.wustl.edu/cdrGrid.html There is an interview type of test that is done and this is the scoring grid. I haven't had the interview done. Reading the test and reading the grid, I'd say I'm 0.5, BUT my incredible insight late last night was this; I know how hard I work to keep track of what's going on. I know how I side step things I can't remember or figure out how to do (like sometimes I can't figure a tip or organize my day), BUT if you're just watching me you wouldn't see that. Neither would a medical person. So, while I have stopped volunteering and simplified my life, taught our kids to navigate when I get confused or lost while driving, I'm still only every so slightly impaired compared to ::gulp:: where I could be. So if I continue down this dementia/cognitive loss road and find that a clear diagnosis is not to be made perhaps it's just because I'm over-aware of my loss and not crazy?

I have spoken and emailed with some research facilities to try and get in a research study. I hope a research study will get the testing done without adding to my outrageous medical debt. Wish our marriage were recognized, then I'd have insurance, but that's another rant. I am deeply hoping to hear back from any of the research studies. So far I know I've talked to Chicago and St. Louis, but can't remember who/where and didn't write it down. Okay, I think I've talked to those sites, maybe just emailed with no response. I'll let you know if I get in a study. They all involve travel at this point, but we like St. Louis and Chicago and would welcome any excuse to return. Until then I'm knitting and living a simple small life.
Go hug the ones you love and be grateful they're with you today.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Everything and the bathroom sink...

Last night the local unschooler's group celebrated Martinmas. While this is a Christian festival, it certainly isn't celebrated as such by our (Jewish) family, but we don't make a big deal of it and we participate in our own way. Many families do the same. The boys enjoyed spending some time with friends even thought it was late when we arrived and got very dark. Max shared GameBoy with Nick and William ran with a group of kids close to his age. We were among the last to leave. It was very pleasant and the many small adult conversations that were short, but incredibly important, are the highlight of my evening. Sending a big warm thanks to Lynn for continually organizing this, all the families who brought great food, Margaret for taking a moment to talk and to Jeannie and family an extra hug and good energy for clarity in the job situation!
It's a beautiful fall day, what AM I doing at home instead of out hiking? Being responsible ::sigh:: Home improvement remains at the top of the list. The bathroom is almost finishing being painted. There are a few pieces of trim to remeasure, cut and paint. While I did dishes, cooked and laundry, Ginger cut in and rolled the bathroom ceiling. If we keep at it, this will be done by evening with only the replacement of the floor to complete the transformation. What a chore! Who knew that by changing the the lighting we'd end up redecorating the entire thing? Certainly not moi! We've removed plastor and lath, replaced wiring, shimmed out walls, hung drywall, scraped walls, patched walls and mudded seams. We've primed and painted and there's more painting to be done. The curtain rods and trim are calling so I must to the home improvement dash! One of these days you'll see a completed picture on here.
Next time maybe I'll tell you about our most excellent trip to Chicago, Halloween and Wm's birthday! Go forth and redecorate!!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

To tell or not to tell, vote please!

I'm back on line, and for some of you that's a relief. You've not had an update for ages. Ginger worked on the shipped hard drive and it's just fine. I'm slowly building my files back. I did, however, lose a month of pictures and might have lost most of the bar mitzvah pictures, but I'm in denial about that.

One thing I am not in denial about is Sexual Offenders. There is a sexual offender's registry and you can check by last name or zip code. http://www.sexualoffenders.com/archive.php Someone shared the link and I looked around. Looking doesn't mean, as an acquaintance said, that I think the world is a terrifying place. It means I use resources that are available to protect and inform. I also lock my doors and use the factory installed alarm on my car, when I didn't have a car with a factory install alarm, I didn't buy one. This resource is on the web. I encourage ALL parents to use it. Check the last name of any and ALL adults your child comes into contact with. Don't write off your next door neighbor as "I know him/her, I don't have to check" unless you know and understand that it's your fear that's keeping you from checking. Knowledge is power. Check, then chat. Find an offener? Read up on what their offense is. Know them personally? Chat with them about your discovery. Then, when you know, should you tell other friends who come in contact with the registered offender? I vote "yes". Why? Because knowledge is power. Because sexual offenders are felons and it's important to make informed choices. Even if you think the offender is harmless, being around children may put his/her parole/probation in jeopardy. Think, ask, then go with your gut. If the offender lives with kids, remember they are not offenders and should not be castigated because their parent is an offender. Welcome the child, but avoid the offender. Safety first, manners later!
What about group events? Individually, responsible offenders know their legal and judge ordered limits, but may choose to live outside them. Again, check. If you discover a member of a group is a registered offender, speak to the organizers or leaders about asking that individual to refrain from attending group activities. You might not want to see a headline "XYZ Group harbors sexual offender" the next morning with your coffee.
While you may not feel threatened by a convicted sexual offender as a partner or neighbor, others might. You both have a right to your feelings, but you don't have a right to knowingly expose other's to someone just because you think it's safe. There's a sexual offender's registry for a reason. Use it.