1. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Has your April been filled with showers? Do you carry an umbrella, wear a slicker, or make a run for it? Besides rain, what else has filled your April?
We have had both snow and rain in April...though more of the latter than former. Looking at April as a whole, there have been many more beautiful days without any precipitation which has been nice.
Umbrellas at the Macy's flower show.
(Taken on April 5, 2013.)
Depending on how heavy the rain will depend on whether I wear a raincoat or use an umbrella. It has to be a pretty significant downpour for me to carry an umbrella since it is just one more thing to deal with when I'm outside.
During April, in addition to rain, my time has been spent going through homeschool files and streamlining them. I recycled 20 bags of photocopies and magazines clipping that related to a wide variety of subjects. It feels great to have so much more room in my file cabinet; and have only the things I will use and refer to over the next year.
2. What's something you could you give a 30-minute presentation on at a moment's notice and with zero preparation?
Nothing. I need to think about what I'm saying and have it clearly laid out.
Olivia riding backwards on a horse during
her therapeutic horseback riding lesson.
(Taken on April 22, 2010.)
That being said, if it were a question-and-answer format where there's a theme I've dealt with a lot over my lifetime and/or the past decade; and people ask me questions and I'd answer them, there would several topics I could talk about comfortably:
=> sensory processing disorder
=> volunteering ideas
=> caregiving for someone with Alzheimer's Disease
3. Share with us a favorite food memory from childhood.
One of my favorite meals was tacos. My mom would make tacos using the packet of taco seasoning, 3/4 cup of water, and one pound of hamburger. Nothing fancy. Same thing I do now.
What I really liked was that she had this Tupperware container with different compartments. In each one was a different chopped topping: lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and green peppers; and cheese.
Going through my photos, I was happy to see that
I had one of a taco dinner that my mom made.
This was done for Halloween because the whole family was over.
She knew that we all enjoyed a taco dinner.
(Taken on October 31, 2010.)
The fact that she took the time to chop all those vegetables was something that meant a lot - especially when she was working nights to help support our family. I knew she was tired with working, keeping the house looking nice, and taking us kids to our lessons and activities.
Usually it is a word or short phrase of words that I don't hear correctly. For example, there was a song not that long ago - I'm not sure of the title - that had in its refrain something that I thought was about "pinky pants."
I thought to myself, "What in the world are 'pinky pants'?"
Turns out - thanks to being pointed out by my teenage daughters - that I was hearing the wrong words. It wasn't "pinky pants" after all. It was "picket fences." The artist was describing her ideal world that included white picket fences.
Pinky Pants. Picket Fences. Yeah...I have no idea how I heard what I did. Probably a sign that my hearing is going.
5. According to one travel website, the most overrated tourist attractions in America are-
Niagara Falls (NY), Hollywood Walk of Fame (California), Times Square (NYC), Epcot (FL), Seattle Space Needle (WA), and Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market (Boston). How many of these have you seen in person? Did you feel like a tourist? Did you care? Tell us about a place (not on the list) you've visited that might be considered a tourist trap, but you love it anyway.
Out of the tourist attractions listed, I've seen: Hollywood Walk of Fame, Times Square (a couple of times), Epcot, and the Seattle Space Needle (twice). Sophia, Olivia, and I walked by Faneuil Hall and went into Quincy Market, but didn't spend much time there.
Sophia, Olivia, and I saw Faneuil Hall in Boston.
(Taken on September 10, 2011.)
Did I feel like a tourist? In some cases, yes, but I didn't care.
My sister and I visited the Space Needle in Seattle.
(Taken in June 2016.)
I'm not sure if it falls under "tourist trap" - although a lot of tourists visit it every year: the North Shore in Minnesota. Starting at Duluth and going to Grand Portage, the North Shore follows the western side of Lake Superior. It's a beautiful part of the state.
Sophia and Olivia at High Falls of the Baptism River
at Tettegouche State Park.
(Taken on June 4, 2013.)
There are definitely tourist stops along the way that locals (and even people from other parts of the state) wouldn't go to, but they are not the majority of places to see and things to do.
6. Your signature clothing item?
Black cardigan, black shirt under the cardigan, jeans, and black clogs.
There's half of the outfit: black clogs and jeans.
For a few years now, I've been wearing this same type of "uniform" whenever I go out. I have multiple black cardigans and one pair of clogs. What's nice is that I don't have to think about what I wear when I go out. I can focus on other things and people...not on my clothing.
7. What's an experience you've had you think everyone should experience at least once? Why?
I was thinking of fun or meaningful things that I've done throughout my life - either a one-time experience or repeatedly. For me, these brought a sense of enjoyment. However, for others it may not be something they would enjoy.
Feeding a wild animal or somehow interacting with one
brings a lot joy to me.
(Taken on June 3, 2009.)
Each person is so different in what they like to do.
Seriously...not the best photo of me.
However, the memory that goes with it
is one that still makes me smile.
The girls and I were on a vacation to New England.
We were riding a sight-seeing trolley.
There was some major event in Boston and tons of roads were blocked off.
The driver - in an effort to get the passengers back in time -
asked if we'd be okay with going on the highway. In a trolley.
Everyone was okay with it.
So, imagine all open windows, going at 55+ mph, and
the passengers all laughing and smiling.
The girls were laughing hysterically because - according to them -
I looked like the White Witch from Narnia with wild-flying gray hair.
To this day, I can say "White Witch. Boston. Trolley," and
the memory of this wild - and fun - ride comes back to us.
(Taken on September 10, 2011.)
So, an experience I've had that I think everyone should experience at least once: something that brings them joy. Something that is so memorable that even years later brings a smile to one's face.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
One of our cats, Eenie, who is 14 years old, broke his scapula and suffered some nerve damage on Monday afternoon when he jumped down from a window ledge to the floor. The distance was not that great - maybe three feet at the most. However, he got stuck under Aspen's (one of the dog's legs) and we're not sure if he got jostled there as well. What it pointed to, though, was that he probably has very low bone density at this point in his life.
At any rate, we rushed him to the emergency vet since it was about 5:45 p.m. and our local vet was wrapping up for the day.
Eenie in the kennel at the emergency vet.
He had received his first dose of pain medication and
had x-rays taken by the time we saw him.
After administering pain medication and taking x-rays, the emergency vet initially was suggesting:
- Repair - place a plate where his scapula is and attach it with screws. Fix any nerve damage. Disadvantage: it may not hold because of low bone density. Amputation may be necessary.
- Amputation of the front left leg.
Eenie resting on the car ride home.
His neck and shoulder area is stabilized with this wrapping.
The green wrapping was where his IV was and
was able to be removed when we got home.
This is a much better option. Eenie will have his upper body wrapped so it restricts movement for one month.
Eenie resting on the bed at home.
The scapula should fuse itself back together and heal. X-rays in a month will determine if it worked.
He found a comfortable spot to rest his head.
He'll be on a lot of pain medicine during the next week or so as his body heals.
He fell asleep resting his head on my arm; and
resting his paws on my hand.
We were hoping that in May he would be able to go back to doing cat therapy at the nursing home after healing from sores on his face (from over-scratching above his eyes). With this injury and recovery time, he may not be able to do cat therapy again.
Betty, Sophia, and Eenie at the nursing home.
(Taken on May 31, 2013.)
During his time visiting seniors, he helped provide comfort to the residents at the nursing home - especially those struggling with dementia and Alzheimer's Disease.
Olivia, John, Sophia, and Eenie at the nursing home.
(Taken on September 27, 2013.)
Now, as a senior cat himself, it's time for Eenie to rest and be comforted by others. I'm hoping his recovery goes quicker than anticipated and isn't as painful as he was experiencing yesterday.