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Woman Standing on Dock
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Blog - The Gift of Being Heard

Navigation

River pilots have been a mainstay of the great rivers of the world and in the U.S. they taught many how to navigate dangerous places and waters. I’ve used this analogy in closed groups and am now choosing to use it here in this space. I hope the message is one of hope. Read More...


Connecting at the Family Table

Children learn about connection from the day they are born. The first connections are most likely with mom and dad. The child is held close, and the very first connection is born shortly after birth. They observe and they grow and in that process, they learn. Read More...


Radical Compassion

In 1958 there was a pandemic and my mother happened to be pregnant with me. It was only a slight case…she didn’t even know she’d had rubella until after the fact. Read More...


The Rose Room

As some of my readers know I’ve just painted and will be painting the rest of the space soon. There was one Room that has gone untouched. It is a beautiful rose color and in it there are many treasures. It is the Room of All Things Gail.

On the walls there are works of art and each piece has a loving history. 
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Raw

I’ve been thinking about this death, grief, life and recovery-from-it-all-thing. After 22 days of being in a snarky and angry state I will speak. 
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The Boring Machine

WARNING: this gets detailed and somewhat graphic for the imagination. Please read THROUGH IT before reading this post.
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Through It

The last entry I made on this blog was one of hope and gladness as I had come back from an illness that left some side effects. I was looking forward to returning to working. But that didn’t happen and the blog went silent. Why? 
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I'm Back

There is a reason for the down time on posting. It is complicated. I have not known what to write. It isn’t that I’m lazy but rather that the last eight months have been strange.… Read More...


My Five Anns

Note: My goal here is to put a more humanistic face on several psychiatric disorders. I hope you will read and learn. Note: All names have been changed and identities concealed. Read More...


Life with PXE

As my readers know I deal with PXE

When I was diagnosed, in childhood, little was known about PXE. The dermatologist who diagnosed me and my two siblings told us not to believe the literature that said we would die from PXE. At nine years of age I did just that: I didn’t believe the serious nature of what was in my body. At 56 I believe what I read because I know I can die from this. The truth is PXE is brutal and does cause disability and death. Read More...


Thanks but not this gift

Late Wednesday I asked Jon “if you could give me a gift..any gift what would it be. I wasn’t ready for the reply.

He told me he’d give me a healthy body. He told me he would want to take it all away and give me health and I was stunned silent. Two days later and I’m still stunned. Read More...


Ushers International

A reader with ushers asked for some help in getting the ord out. I’m bummed that I couldn’t get this up sooner but I didn’t read it until late Saturday evening. Here it is for your information. Please take the time to learn about people who function with the loss of two vital abilities: vision and hearing. These people are challenged in ways that are beyond anything I can imagine. Read More...


Dear Parental Units

It seems that I’m the recipient of an opening in the space-time continuum and being as I’m a very brainy baby I’m going to take advantage of it. I don’t know how long I’ll have to say all of this so here goes something! Read More...


Walking Tall. Standing Proud.

I walk slowly down the path. Myrtle Mae and I are headed to the bus station. This path isn’t always clear so I’m glad that Myrtle Mae is out guiding me and protecting me from dangers I can’t see. It is more than that though: Myrtle Mae warns people I might not see them. Read More...


Being In The Room 2 of 2

A few of my readers have contacted me off blog post with questions and this second post is meant to focus on the area of support and maintaining a positive outlook when you are in the room with a person that is stuck in the tube of depression. This is long but worth it. (In my humble opinion.) Read More...


Being In The Room 1 of 2

I’m posting this as an update. I realize this is a long post but read and learn. George is on new medication and is doing great. It isn’t a perfect fix but it really works for him. I’m also posting this as a 1 of 2. I’ll be adding to this blog. Read More...


Endings: Short, sweet and to the Point

Yesterday at 4:00 in the afternoon I left the rehab center. It was the final visit for all rehab services. It has been an interesting several months. Read More...


The Journey Begins: Random Thoughts

I’ve had my first week at the center for rehab and it went well. Since that I’ve had several more weeks all of which have gone well. I like the rehab center: I ask and they attempt to grant my desires. Most of the time they just send me my weekly appointments, I show up and sit at the table in the lobby and a kind therapist shows up to take me to work. Read More...


Today I’m thankful for Science

Today I’m thankful for science. I am glad that I am breathing and functional and that I get to go to physical therapy. I am glad that during this coming week I’ll begin the process of strengthening my arm and my leg. I’m glad that there are people who understand what it is all about. Read More...


Minor Stroke of….

October third was a glorious and warm fall day Jon and I were visiting friends. The drive south was warm and sunny and we were having a great conversation. The visit was great and we were now headed home for a nice long weekend. We were in Utrecht stuck in traffic and I was getting tired. I put my head down. “We need to leave for home earlier.” Once again rush hour. Read More...


The thing in my brain

It sits at the base of my brain in a place that can’t be disturbed. Why? Because you have two carotid and two vertebral arteries and I have only one abnormally formed artery. This is the complicating factor that is connected to my aneurysm. Read More...


Loss of Robin Williams

This is a post from another blog. It says it well and is edited to protect one person who wishes to remain anonymous. I hope you get as much out of it as I did. The poster spoken about is entitled: NO Cry For Help Read More...


A Sad Update

On Monday 23 June I went off to the KNGF with high hopes. Maira is a great dog but she will not be mine. On Thursday the 26th I was admitted to the UMC-Utrecht neurology unit. The short story is that after all of the time I spent planning I can’t have a dog. Read More...


Night Walking & Maira

I guess you could call today “Maira Eve” and as I have been thinking about my life and events that lead to this very day I thought I’d update the original posting. This post tells of how I came to understand that I needed to have a dog. Read More...


It’s a Goal not a Dream 3 of 3

Helen Keller once wrote a piece about having three days to see. “If I Had Three Days to See” It was published in 1933. That article affected me deeply. I’ve often wondered what I’d do if sight weren’t an issue for three glorious days. I decided to write a third part in this series about keeping options open. I think that it is common for those with disabilities to first see the supposed limitations. Read More...


Nothing like home and the world 2 of 3

It all begins in the home or maybe we should say that it really begins at the time of the birth and diagnosis. What you ask? The process of raising your disabled child. Helping them to find his or her way in the world. Read More...


Follow the great ones

I don’t remember how old I was, which is rare for me because I have a great memory. I couldn’t have been more than eight when I learned of Helen Keller. Helen’s out of control behavior seemed logical to me as she was separated from the world.  Read More...


Myrtle Mae Goes on an American Adventure

My mother is in her 86th year and I haven’t seen her in over 12 years. We talk on the phone weekly but it isn’t the same. My sister and her family gave my mother a wonderful Christmas present: me. Yes, I was the recipient of a plane ticket to the U.S. so that I could see my mother. Myrtle Mae went with me and together we had an adventure. Three weeks and two days later I am back. Now I can post all about it. Read More...


I can’t do that. No, really I can’t.

Last night I opened an e-mail and glanced at the news. The news was about and within the world of disability. Susan Boyle has announced she has Aspergers, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a case regarding intellectual disability and the death penalty, and the condition of unemployment amongst the disabled community. No, NOT AGAIN not that pesky unemployment issue!!!! I read the article. Read More...


The meaning of Enough

How many of us think about what we could do with money? How many of us understand its true value? Whether we squander or spend lavishly everyone gives thought to having the stuff that makes it possible to live.  Read More...


No Regrets: Just Lessons Learned

I found this in a mass mail that a friend sent out. It made me giggle. I giggled and thought RIGHT. This kid gets it. Do I? Read More...


Seasons

The air was crisp and the trees were colorful. I was happy because my favorite season of the year was present. Autumn was present in every form including the warm colors of clothing that I loved so much. Read More...


In The Room

I’m posting this as an update. I realize this is a long post but read and learn. Henry is on new medication and is doing great. It isn’t a perfect fix but it really works for him. I’m also posting this as a 1 of 2. I’ll be adding to this blog. Read More...


Sneakiness is Happiness

Today has been very hot. I like the heat because it is means that the sun is out and the sky is blue. The only bad thing about the heat is that sticky feeling. Today I had to be out in the heat and it was wonderful!!!! Read More...


When?

Mommy, are we there yet? The woman in the front seat of the car is fighting the urge to turn around and duct tape her Childs’ mouth shut permanently. This phenomenon has happened on every long journey since time began. Then the mother has this flash in her mind that carries her back to the beginning of time and particles smashing together. Read More...


The Kitty Story

For the past 21 years there have been cats in my life. The first cat was Phred. Phred came with my now husband so I got to know both of them in good time before we married. Phred was wise, good and a mighty hunter. Phred was an amazing boy who could sit in porcelain kitty pose on the window box and just be the most precious welcoming cat in the universe. Read More...


Unending Journey

A place for my heart
Towards the end of my work in Apeldoorn I became aware of my personal space in the house. We moved into this house in March of 2011 and I was busy with the details of settling in and making sure our things had places. Read More...


Cell Break

In the past two months I’ve deleted multiple ideas for this blog. None of them felt right. The truth is that I dislike endings, saying goodbye in any form is a challenge. So with my husband playing “Pink Floyd” in the background…here goes. (Prayer: May “the Floyd” inspire me!) Read More...


Low Vision Rant

I do not like this Microsoft.
I do not like that it is slop.
I would prefer an open source
And I will sing in joyful chorus
When software developers get the drift
That low vision people are caught in a rift.
We like to see things Yes, WE DO. Read More...


The Secret of Snow

One of the most beautiful things I can think of is a blanket of freshly fallen snow. The beauty of snow is best enjoyed from a warm place.  I’ve enjoyed the snow by being cozy and warm looking out of the window or all bundled up and playing in the stuff.   Snow is not enjoyable when one is cold.  No, that won’t do at all.  Warmth is the basic requirement for enjoyment of snow (in my humble opinion.) Read More...


Chargers and Starry Skies

When I got my first pair of contact lenses they came with a goofy looking cleaning device.  It looked like something out of an alien movie.  There was a large metal canister that you filled with distilled water.  Sitting on top of that was a black removable container that you put your contact lens case into.  It worked well and I used it until the new and improved soft contact lens cleaners came out.  Let me think…that was 1974. Read More...


Music Bridging the Gap

Throughout my life it has been music that has saved me from the insanity of life’s happenings.  Music has been a vital part of my day.  It has calmed me, allowed me to express emotions that I could otherwise not readily connect with, and it has allowed me to create wonderful things.  There is one other wonderful thing about music: it is an equalizer. Read More...


Faces In The LIght

When you look at a face you, most likely, see the entire face.  The details are clear: eye and hair color, nose, and ears all stand out as a part of the person.  You can tell who they are by how they appear to you.  You magically memorize things about this persons face so that the next time you see them you may recognize them.  That tiny computer in your head does the job it is meant to do. Read More...


Stick Magic

As a child I have memories of having to be carefully led down steep dirt paths to get to water and the fun that was to be had there.  The problem was that I couldn’t make sense of where I was going due to a lack of depth perception.  Someone would have to stay behind to help: my mother. Read More...


Pillow Talk

It’s dark, quiet, all is calm.  The cats are at peace with one another for now.  We are speaking Dutch as we drift off.  Weird.  The fact is that ten minutes per day helps.  If I don’t do it while at home I suffer for it. Read More...


Hearing For the First Time

I’ve been living in the Nederlands for 12 years now. I’m often asked why I’m not speaking Dutch. This is a reasonable question given that I’ve been here for over a decade, shopped in stores, ridden the train, the bus, been to major cities and had contact with the natives. Read More...


Mobility in a Slipper

Because many of you are asking me about the mobility segment of my training I thought I’d post about this area first.

My first session with Hanneke. Read More...


Night Walking & Maira

I guess you could call today “Maira Eve” and as I have been thinking about my life and events that lead to this very day I thought I’d update the original posting. This post tells of how I came to understand that I needed to have a dog. Read More...


The Gift of Being heard

I’ve spent many hours “listening to and being listened to.” I’ve communicated, at least on some superficial level, what I meant to say. I pause to listen, to tune in, but in my haste I fail to hear the real sound that I am in need of hearing. I listen and fail to hear. Read More...


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