Monday, April 30, 2007

Nor'Easter Post

I wrote about the Nor'Easter we had a couple weeks ago and since it took me a few days to write it it is down a post or two. So it feels a bit out of order to me so I thought I would post something here to link to the other post. What I can I say I am a bit nutty about what order things should be in. :-) Here is the long Nor'Easter Post.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Diaries and Journals

I have never been a person to write in a diary or in a journal so this whole blog thing is a very new idea for me.

I did try a diary for a short period of time and a journal for even a shorter period of time.

I had this diary with a Kilban cat on the cover with a little lock and all that stuff. The problem was that the lines were so close together and because of my dysgraphia I couldn't write in such a small space. Plus handwriting for any period of time makes my hands hurt with is another side effect of the dysgraphia. My hands hurt because I hold the pencil/pen too tight. I can't fill out forms for my daughters' camps without pain and needing to get up often and shake my hand out, so diaries have been right out for me. Though I did learn later that fountian pens because of their nibs do make writing less painful for me. Using a fountian pen is what let me get through college without someone else taking notes for me.
When I was in high school my Senior English teacher wanted us to keep journals and he understood my problems so he was 100% ok with me typing it. Well I wrote my journal, my mother read it and I was grounded.

So between the two experances I saw no benifit in putting my thoughts down because they only got me into trouble or caused me a lot of physical pain. So we will see how Blogging goes.

Patriots' Day 2007 Nor'Easter

Fly Guy was in England for the week before the storm (The storm was on April 16, 2007), he was flying into Logan and I was very nervous about how they handled a trans-Atlantic flight that was flying straight for a huge storm. Well it doesn't matter he got in just before the storm really hit Boston. He said his plane was the only one coming in or going out from the international terminal so he was able to get to customs and get through it very quickly and get the bus to Maine. He said the bus was blowing in the wind as it traveled North. He made it home around 8pm.

Fly Guy being on England time still woke up early but stayed in bed, but then he started hearing a dripping sound. So he got up and turned on the hall lights and found a leak in our ceiling in the hallway. It was about 4am with all the stuff he was doing he woke me up. He just put a towel under the leak and I went back to bed. Of course I didn't fall back to sleep worried about the leak.

I got out of bed around 6am. It was school vacation week so no huge rush to do anything. I had breakfast. Then Fly Guy went to the attic to check out the damage. I went to the basement to see what was going on there. Well the basement was begining to flood. I started some laundry in hopes that I could get all the clothes that Fly Guy brought back from England cleaned before the water really came in too high. Then I started getting things off the ground like all my Girl Scout Leader supplies and stuff like that. Fly Guy and the girls checked in on me, but they were getting buckets and stuff for the attic so I was alone dealing with the basement. Then we hear a *HUGE* explostion and the power went out. So here I am in a damp basement in the dark with water coming in quickly. Well Fly Guy was quick with coming down with candles and flashlights. I worked on finshing getting everything off the floor. I was sending the girls upstairs just to get it out of the basement.

A few years ago had a rain water back-up into our basement twice in two weeks and I was just envisioning the same thing of about a foot of water at least in the basement and losing a bunch of things. So I just wanted everything out of the basement and safe.

Well while we were doing this Fly Guy found a spot in the basement that was a pin hole and since the water presure was so high water was squirting about an inch and half to two inches out of the pin hole. I told Fly Guy that I could handle it, he should take the girls and get the special cement that can work under water. So he did that and also bought more batteries and more plastic shelving for me to put all the Girl Scout stuff on. While they were gone I was able to get everything in the basement in order.

He got back and used the cement on the hole while I put together the shelving and working on putting stuff on it. Fly Guy was able to make the water stop coming in. Which was great. Because of that our basement took on hardly any water even though all around us I heard stuff about water in everyones basement.

To be totally honest I have no idea what happened for the rest of the day. I know we went to try to take Horse Girl to her appointment with the ADHD specalist, but turns out they didn't have power at her office. Then we went to the grocery store and I bought some self heating hot chocolate. We went out to eat at a Chinese buffet the girls like a lot. We went home and played games by candle light and drank self-heating hot chocolate.

When we went to bed we put the girls both in Horse Girl's bed because we didn't know how cold it would get over night. They hated sleeping together in a twin bed, but we figured that it would just be for one night since of course we would have power back in the morning.

Well we wake up Tuesday morning. Still no power. I take the girls over to my parents house so they both could shower and I could shower. I left Horse Girl there while I took History Girl to a class in Improvasational Acting. I also swung buy and got more self heating hot chocolate. When I picked up History Girl from her class we stopped at a bakery and had hot chocolate for me and a Chi for her. Then we went back to my parents and got Horse Girl. I took the girls to see Meet the Robinsons.

Meet the Robinsons was a good movie. It was mostly just a warm place to hang out and since it was Tuesday we got free popcorn because I have the Regal Crown Club Card. When we got home it was just a short time until Fly Guy was expected home. We still didn't have power at out house and it was raining and cold, so we went to eat at a local Mexican resturant. It turns out many people dining at the resturant were eating out because of not having any power at home. When we got home we all went to bed. This time we put Horse Girl in her normal bed and had History Girl sleep in Horse Girl's room on a trundle bed. Horse Girl's room is the smallest room in the house (except for the bathrooms) and we just redid it so we knew it was well insulated and thought they could keep the room warm enough with just body heat.

When we woke up on Wednesday, there was still no power. I sent Fly Guy out for hot chocolates and donut holes and he headed out to work. The girls and I hung out at the house for awhile then left. We drove around and checked out the damage because it finally stopped raining....more or was drizzling a bit....or it might have been just a very very heavy fog. I took a bunch of photos when we drove around.

We first took photos of the damaged transformer that was causing the power outage for us.

Then we checked out the brook that is normally a trickle at the end of our street. It was nearly to the top of its banks.

Then we went to Fort Williams. Fort Williams is a local park right on the ocean. I was a millitary base during WWI and my grandparents met there so it means a lot to me.

The beach area is always very rocky, but the grass area normally never has water up to it even at high tide. You can tell by the rocks and stuff on the grass that high tide was at least up to the grass if not to the parking lot. I have no idea where this orange washed up from, I just found it interesting that it just came ashore with all the other crud.

These are sea cucumbers normally they are at the bottom of the ocean, so the fact they were washed up shows you how much the ocean was churned up during the storm.

Here are some sea stars also washed up from the storm.

Here are some lobster traps also washed up from the storm. I couldn't believe all the lobster traps that had washed up during the storm. It made me wonder how the lobster industry was going to do this year with all the damage to their equipment.

Here are some utlity poles being stored at Fort Williams until they are ready for them around town.

Here is a photo of my favorate hardware store. They were completely out of power , but they set up a generator and kept the business running because people needed stuff from them to take care of the damage to their homes and yards. To me that is just such a great thing for them to do. They put up with hardship to help the people in their community. That is what real Mainers do. I have to say I am a bit biased with regards to this hardware store I did go to school with the son of the owner. The are great people anyhow. :-)

This photo was taken in town Portland at Deering Oaks. This tree was around years old and it just fell over lifting the sod up and everything. There were a ton of trees down all over Deering Oaks. Deering Oaks is a place that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote about in his poem "My Lost Youth". I am proud of Portland, even though they lost all of these trees in Deering Oaks they are not wasting the trees. They are saving them and building things like benches and the like for the park. So yes the park will be missing many great trees, but they are becoming other things that people can use in the park.

After driving around checking out damage we went to the Children Museum of Maine. It was crowded but the girls had a great time. When we left I bought them some paper dolls figuring that if we continue without power then they could play with the dolls for awhile.

At noontime we headed over to McDonald's playplace for lunch so the girls ran around and took bites of lunch between the running around. On a side note....I am suprised how many parents at the playplace get angry about their kids playing at McDonald's more then eating. In my mind the food there is not health food by any streach of the imagination, so if they rather get some excersize by running around then eat. I am all for it because the excersize is so much better for them then the food. Though it seems my view isn't held by many.

After that we took Horse Girl to her annual physical. She is 100% healthy. Her Doctor agrees with the ADHD specalist that she doesn't see that Horse Girl has any of the other symptoms of ADHD then the distractablity and the hyperactivity and just having those two things does not make it that Horse Girl has ADHD. So it is nice to know her Doctor is backing us up.

We finally went home. Still no power, but the sun was out. So I boiled water on the grill and Horse Girl helped me wash dishes. It is interesting under stress Horse Girl wants to help and be helpful to people. History Girl just wants to be by herself. It took me until three days into not having power to realize this about my girls.....what can I say I can be a bit slow. :-)

Fly Guy came home early from work and we all walked down the the grocery store and bought stuff that we could make on the grill and we ate at home and played boardgames, listened to the Red Sox on the radio and had a good time.

Then we went to bed, the girls still together in Horse Girl's room since it seems to keep them warmer at night.

Fly Guy and I woke up on Thursday and still no power. The girls slept late. Fly Guy and I talked about what to do about the laundry stituation. Should I take it to the laundrmat or should I take it to my parents. After awhile I called my mother and asked if I could bring over our laundry. Well I loaded the car up and got ready to head over and what do I see on the street? Bright orange Central Maine Power trucks. I have never been so happy to see something bright orange as I was to see those trucks.

Everyone who was home on the street watched them do their work. When the power came on there was a celebration. You could hear "Thank Yous" being yelled out of a window at every house. We were all very happy.

I took the laundry out of my car and back to basement so I could wash it in my own washer and drier. History Girl watched TV and logged on to her Webkinz account to check her Webkinz. Horse girl did the same, but a friend from school called her to come play at her house so she did that.

So we made it through the storm with little problem. It was hard. The house was damaged. But at least we still have our house....some people's homes washed away and our house didn't flood. We were very lucky in many many ways. We fixed the hole the water comes into the basement so our basement has been dry since then. One of the best things was that we didn't have see everything that happened at Virgina Tech on TV the whole time. I could read it in the paper and digest it that way which was easier for me. People have asked me if I think the rest of the country missed what was going on up because of what happened at Virgina Tech....yes I think that is the case, but being Mainers I am not sure we would have wanted the attention. We are quite strong people, who I believe would rather have the attention on the people who lost their love ones at Virgina Tech. We as a state were very lucky we had only three death from this horrable storm, so the attention was at the right place.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Get to know me questions

1. Explain what ended your last relationship.

I have been in my current relationship 18 years so it has been awhile since I had a relationship end. The quick easy answer is my last relationship ended because we had different needs.

2.When was the last time you shaved?

No clue. I don't shave regularly because when I was in high school we didn't shave during swim season and then we shaved down for the big end of year meet. That has continued the rest of my life. I don't shave often

3. What were you doing this morning at 8 am?

Getting the girls bagels because Fly Guy is off fly fishing this weekend and had to get Horse Girl fed and ready for riding lessons.

4. What were you doing 15 minutes ago?

Goofing off with my girls. Wrestling and tickling and making a lot of noise.

5. Are you any good at math?

Math yes.....advance math like Calculus and DifEqu of many reason my major changed from Chemical Enginering to Russian History.

6. Your prom night, what do you remember about it?

My date, picked me up and my two best friends were there to see me off. My mother didn't take any photos because my friends were already taking photos and she didn't want to overwelm my date. My father was at work so he wasn't there to see me off.

I wore a blue metalic strapless dress.....what can I say it was the '80's. ;-) I picked out my date's bowtie and cumberbund to match my dress. I picked out the flowers he got me. What can I say I know what I want.

We went to a local resturant for dinner since the prom didn't do dinner.

The prom was at a local country club. I had a great time and danced with many people....more people then I thought I would, but the day before I made an amazing save during a Lacrosse game so a lot of guys danced with me to talk to me about the play.

After the prom I went to a friends house for a post-prom party. My date had to go home because he had school the next day. My prom was on a Thursday night, because there was no school at my school the next day.

After the party we went to a local amusment park and I didn't get home for over 24 hours after I left. I only swung by home to get my stuff to go report for work. I was lifegaurding that evening at the pool.

7. Do you have any famous ancestors?


8. Have you had to take a loan out for school?


9. Last thing received in the mail?

Swimsuit edition of Triathlete Magazine. I have never seen a woman do a Tri in a swimsuit like the swimsuit they have on the cover. Some of the suits in the magazine I have seen at a Tri.

10. How many different beverages have you had today?

1 a lemonaide/pomogrante mix

11. Who did you lose your CONCERT virginity to?

The Cars

12. Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach?


13. What’s the most painful dental procedure you’ve had done?

I have had very few dental procedures...most likely one of my orthdoture things were the most painful, but I can't remember.

14. What is out your back door?

The deck, with the fire pit and chairs.

15. What did you do last night?

Watched the Red Sox beat the Yankees 11 - 4. Yankees are 6.5 games behind the Red Sox which worries me what August will look like. Baseball Karma and all that. I am too much of a Red Sox fan to even dream they can keep playing like this all season.

16. Do you like what the ocean does to your hair?

I very rarely swim in the ocean....mostly because it is too cold most of the time, but that is the negitive side effect of living in Northern New England.

17. Have you ever received one of those big tins with 3 different kinds of popcorn?

No, but I got a tin with 2 types of popcorn in it this past Christmas. We only ate the carmel popcorn a couple weeks ago when we were out of power for 4 days. We still have the cheese popcorn.

18. Have you ever been to a planetarium?

Yes, in Portland, Boston, Pittsburgh and I am sure I have been to others.

19. Do you re-use towels after you shower?

Depends....if it is a towel that I use after swimming or working out no, if it is a towel I use after just showering yes.

20. Something you are excited about?

Nothing right now. Most likely the August Moms reunion.

21. What is your favorite flavor of jell-o?

I don't really like Jello, but if I do eat it I like Black Raspberry or Peach

22. Describe your key chain..

A pewter Pooh Bear looking into a honey pot.

23. Where do you keep your change?

In banks around the house and then I take them to coinstar and have them counted and turned into an iTune gift card.

24. When was the last time you spoke in front of a large group of people?

When I was doing my Girl Scout camp training.

25. What kind of winter coat do you own?

I live in Northern New England...I have many winter coats, but teal ski jacket, and my red wool coat are the ones I use most of the time.

26.. Do you sleep with the door to your room open or closed?


27. Do you love someone right now?


28. Have you ever cheated on someone?

I don't know.

29. Do you have a crush on someone right now?


30.How many pairs of shoes do you own?

7 or 8 and three of the pairs are related to me doing Triathlons.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Frustration and Depression

It seems that most of my of my time lately have been dealing with services and the like for Horse Girl. She had a Neuropsych evaluation this past Fall and most things in the report sounded like her, but we were suprised about the report saying she had ADHD bad enough that we should look in to medication. The thing is that when we met with the neuropsychologist so she could tell us about her findings she said that Horse Girl's ADHD was subclinical and shouldn't be medicated and she wouldn't medicate her child with those results. That was the reason we were suprised when we read the report. Horse Girl's Doctor refered us to an ADHD specialist because she didn't think the report jived with what we all know about Horse Girl.
Yes Horse Girl is active. Yes she is distractable. She mainly has problems reading and speaking. She also has trouble with concitancy when it comes to holding on the knowledge she works so hard to get.

The ADHD specialist says there is no way that Horse Girl is ADHD because it is Horse Girl's Tempral Lobe that has the problems, not the Frontal Lobe. There is such a thing as Tempral Lobe ADHD, but the symptoms are clearly not Horse Girl.

The ADHD specialist talked to the Neruopsychologist and found out that she has a template she uses to write every report she writes and she recomends medication for every kid who gets any ADHD diagnousis even when it is subclinical and when she said verbally that she wouldn't medicate the child. The ADHD specialist told the Neruopsychologist that she was harming kids by doing this because schools could say to parents you aren't medicating your child like the neuropsych said in her report even though she said something else verbally and then the parents went on to and ADHD specialist who also said that the child shouldn't be medicated. That one sentance in a report could cause problems for a kid years down the line. The Neuropsych didn't get that and said it shouldn't matter if the child is doing well in school.
That is the thing Horse Girl isn't doing well in school, but none of it is ADHD related it is all phonological processing, reading, writing, grammer, basically everything related to Dyslexia and Dysgraphia.

I told one of the teacher's at Horse Girl's school about the ADHD specialist saying Horse Girl doesn't have ADHD and she was like, well she gets distracted and she is active. Well for some reason people don't want to realize that a person can be active and distractable without being ADHD. If you check out some of the worst cases of Dyslexia which is a learning disablity that does take place in the tempral lobe. One of the symptoms is "abnormal distractibility, "twitchiness" and hyperactivity" which is Horse Girl to a T.

Here is a list of symptoms of Dyslexia, one of the most consice:

"The specific peculiarities that characterize dyslectic reading are as follows:
  • difficulty with sound-symbol matching
  • disregard of punctuation
  • omission or inappropriate insertion of functors
  • omission of syllables in multisyllable words
  • poor phonetic decoding skills
  • poor comprehension in oral and silent reading
  • poor letter-sequencing in spelling and reading
  • omitting or miscalling syntactical endings such as -ed, or -s
  • lack of phonemic awareness
  • substituting semantic criterior for phonetic criterior: ripped for torn, large for big, etc.
  • confusion of similar-looking abstract words, such as form and from

These kinds of reading mistakes are peculiar to dyslexia. they are not made routinely by children who are merely slow, disinterested in reading, emotionally disturbed, or undereducated.

In the dyslectic person a variety of non-reading problems, co-occur with poor reading. These are also problems for which no other cause such as retardation, social or medical factors, is apparently present. These include:

  • left-right confusion
  • difficulty remembering ordered lists, such as the months of the year
  • difficulty remembering a group of unrelated facts like the multiplication table
  • deficit in tactile localization skills
  • markedly slow interhemispheric transfer time
  • abnormal distractibility, "twitchiness" and hyperactivity
  • problems with fine motor control in handwriting
  • visual problems associated with motor control of the eyes: lack of smooth tracking, lack of smooth convergence, unstable ocular dominance, intermittent mismatched focusing and poor stereopsis at the midline."
Each and every thing on this list, except for the last one, is something that Horse Girl has or does, but she isn't ADHD. The problem I am having is the fact that people are quite willing to give anyone who is even vagely active and distractable the ADHD label, but I am having a hard time getting someone to say "Yes Horse Girl is Dyslexic."

The ADHD specialist we are seeing is amazing. She really wants the label of ADHD off Horse Girl's record so it won't hurt her later and she is lining up some of the best doctors in the field to help us get something that that accually fits Horse Girl.

So all this is causing me major frustration and depression.

The depression is a mix because I feel bad that I past these genes to my daughter and because it is so hard to get the right answer.


Me (aka Squib) - 30 something Dyslexic/Dysgraphic whos has her BA in Russian History; who love to swim and do triathlons; two daughters; one amazing husband; one brother; both parents still living. I am a Squib because I am a non-writer born into a writing family.

Fly Guy - my husband who is a year younger then I am; an award winning computer programmer; loves fly fishing; an amazing person I love having in my life

History Girl - My oldest daughter will be 11 in July 2007; She loves researching history, but never writing about it (a girl after my own heart); she is a moody tween, but we love her

Horse Girl - My youngest daughter turned 7 in Feburary 2007; She loves everything horses; She also seems to have gotten a large dose of my learning disablities and that is why I needed to start this blog so I can get my thoughts straight without driving friends and family nuts

Writer Mom/ Writer Dad - My parents; they are wonderful grandparents and are always envolved in my girls' lives

Publisher Brother - My brother lives outside of Boston, he visits one a month or so with his wife.