Friday, June 29, 2007

t minus 3 days and counting

Well Bush has already shown up in Maine for the Bush-Putin Summit....Putin will be showing up on Sunday. They have already announced where the secure zones are in Kennebunkport and the Coast Guard is already to enforce Walker's Points waterfront. Everyone is talking about how this is history being made. They might be right. I am still concerned about what will happen during those all important 24 hours that Putin will be here. I guess I have to just wait and watch like everyone else, but it has been making me a bit anxious. I don't trust either of these guys as far as far as I can throw them...yes I used to throw the shot put, but I can't throw them far. Well I guess I will be reading both the US and Russian papers closely the next few days to see what happens.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My little Red Sox fan

When Horse Girl went to bed tonight I read 86 Years: The Legend of the Boston Red Sox by Melinda Boroson to her. When we were done she started to talk to me about Curt Schilling and how he played with a bloody and hurt ankle. She said to me "He is a great man. He is a brave man." Yes sweetie he will always be a guy I admire....he put everything on the line in that game...he might never have played again, but he push himself farther then anyone else would push him....and that is something I admire in a person.

Currently Schilling is on the disabled list....with an injured shoulder who knows how long he will be on the disabled list and I don't care he will always be the Red Sox designated hero. I also know if the team really needed him again like they did in 2004 he would push himself again. It is nice to know he is able to take a break and let himself heal.

I am pleased to know that Horse Girl seems to understand hard work and dedication are qualities that I value because she so clearly understood what Schilling has done for the Red Sox.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I need to get this bumper sticker

I just saw this on a car when I was coming back from swimming this morning. I need to get it. :-)

Monday, June 25, 2007

A couple odds and ends

I just had a couple little odds and ends that I thought I should post.

First thing when I was away a guy at the hotel didn't believe I was old enough to be Horse Girl's mother. He was all upset about Horse Girl getting breakfast all by herself, even though I was right next to her. When I told him I was her mother he didn't believe me. Then I told him my age. He did a double take and said "Good work." So I guess being sixteen at heart sometimes shows through to the people looking at me. ;-)

The one of the other things is that a few posts ago I said the only thing I could think of that I have been doing longer then Studying Russian History was swimming. I came up with something else. I have been listening to the band The Police for longer time then I have been studying Russian History. I have always been a big fan member of their Fan Club and all that jazz and I will finally be seeing them in concert on July 29th. I had long given up hope when it came to seeing them in concert, but luck prevailed. :-)

The last thing is that Fly Guy got me this book, Putin's Russia: Life in a Failing Democracy, by Anna Politkovskaya and the forward by Anne Applebaum. Anne Applebaum wrote this great book on the Gulags that I have read. It is well written and researched. Anna Politkovskaya also wrote a great book about Chechnya which I have read and really helps a person understand what is going on there. Anna Politkovskaya isn't a historian she was a journalist for Novaya Gazeta....a very good one at that. She was murdered in October 2006. Since 2000, when Putin came to power, there have been 12 Russian journalist murdered while working stories Russian politicians, mafia and oligarchs didn't want worked on, that is including Anna Poltikovskaya.

Any how I really look forward to reading this book on Putin. It is a few years old published in 2004, but Putin hasn't gotten any better, he just has gotten worse so it will be interesting to find out what she wrote.

Music Camp and my alma mater

History Girl went to Band Camp takes place at the university I got my BA at. It was weird to pick her up because memories came back. I have a strange relationship with my alma mater . When I first was applying to schools when I was in high school I never even thought twice about USM, because it was local and because it was where all the losers went. Even though one of my closest friends went there but she went because of money issues. She was ahead of me in school so when I was a Senior in high school I would spend the night with her at her dorm...we would hang out and she was the first person to show me what was to become the Internet....the university was on Bitnet and I used Bitnet relay which fostered my love of communication over computers. My friend was a music major so the place I had to pick up History Girl from was the building I hung out with my friend. So I have many fond memories of the University.

When it was time for me to go to college I ended up going away to New York to go to school. I ended up in an abusive relationship while I was there which really negatively effected my performance in school...not surprising at all. I have dealt with the issues with the abuse, but I still can "see" the carpet that I woke up seeing when I came to after a beating. It was a short pile tan carpet and it smelled like a new carpet, there were dark spots that it took me a bit to realize was my blood. I was able to the hospital with some help from some friends. Turned out when my boyfriend found out that I had left he went on a rampage...I have heard different stories about how he had a knife with him or how he had a gun with him and he asked friends where I was, but nobody would tell him where I was.

dropped the ball about getting me a computer for the test that day. This After a few years I hadn't gotten my feet back under me, I felt like I was stupid and a failure and stuff like that. I had met Fly Guy and he knew I was smart and he encouraged me to do whatever seemed right for me. I decided I had to get out of New York. I wanted to get back to school. The only school that would take me with the grades I had was USM and I was excepted on probation...I can't remember if I had to get Cs or better or Bs or better or they would let me go. Well I made dean's list ....I made dean's list nearly every semester I went to USM....I seem to remember not making it when I took Asian History because I didn't like that course. I had amazing professors.....I had this one who was very excepting of my learning differences she even let me use her laptop for a test once because the Office for Students with Disabilities professor was the hardest History professor in the department. People told me I was insane to have her advice me for my Senior Theses...I was told she never gives anything higher then a B- when she was grading Senior Theses....I did mine on the Shoah (another term for the Holocaust which I rather to use...why is another blog posting) and homosexual men. I ended up getting an A on it.

During my time at USM I worked hard because I need to prove to myself I could do it and there was a major cloud over me because of what I had dealt with a few years before. So when I go to the campus I have all these feelings. Remembering the fun I had with my friend when I was in high school. I remember my time in New York. Remembering the gratitude that I felt for being given a second chance. The feeling of sadness because I don't feel like I lived up to my expectations.

So all these feelings swirled together when I drove on to the campus to pick up History Girl. Because of that I didn't handle her saying she didn't like band camp. I think she is just tired and once she settles in she in she will like it. At least I didn't yell at her....I just told her that I didn't want to talk about it now and we could talk about it later. Well she is yelling at Horse Girl....time to break it up. :-)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Back from being away

We took a trip to see my in-laws for this past week. I love my husband, but I am not sure how he can be related to his mother. About 17 years ago Fly Guy's mother became a Jehovah's I am going to call her The Witness.

The last time we saw The Witness it was August and she and her husband (not Fly Guy's Father...she and Fly Guy's Father have been divorced for about 34 years) came up to see us and the girls. They also brought their grandson. Well to make a long story short there was an altercation between History Girl and the cousin and The Witness...History Girl didn't want the cousin following her into the bathroom and The Witness saw the History Girl closing the door on the cousin and The Witness yelled at History Girl because she felt that it was wrong for History Girl to do that to the cousin....personally I don't think a 6 year old boy needs to be in a women's bathroom with his 10 year old female cousin so I think History Girl was right about having the door close. I ended up yelling at The Witness in the hotel restaurant telling her off for acting that way towards History Girl. So The Witness and her husband left Maine earlier then planned. History Girl has held a grudge against her grandmother since then and feels that The Witness hates her.

Fast forward to this trip. We thought it would be a good thing for History Girl and The Witness to spend some quality time together. The two of them made plans on what they wanted to do together for the last day of our trip so History Girl would feel good about her relationship with her grandmother. Well the two of them were about to head out on their adventure and The Witness said she couldn't been seen with History Girl because she was wearing a skort. Well History Girl wears skorts all Summer and is the main part of her wardrobe. The Witness said that History Girl needed to change because she can't be seen with History Girl. The Witness isn't making herself clear, but she is upset and saying stuff that seemed to be attacking History Girl and not the clothing she was wearing. The Witness asked Fly Guy if he would make History Girl change and he said no since he saw nothing wrong with the clothes she picked to wear and that they were the same clothes she had been wearing all week long. History Girl is very upset now and says she doesn't want to change because she picked this outfit out just to go out with her grandmother. (It was a new shirt and her favorite skort.) Fly Guy, both girls and I ended up getting in the car and leaving.

It turns out that Jehovah's Witnesses do not allow their members to wear skorts because they look like mini skirts, but they can wear skirts and shorts, but a skort that is a combo of a short and skirt is wrong.....HUH? The thing is that Fly Guy and I both think skorts are great for girls because they can play without worry that their underwear will to us a skort is modest, to The Witness a skort is slutty. This could have been handled so many different ways then the way that it was handled. That The Witness could have taken History Girl clothes shopping first thing and they could have picked out an outfit that worked for both of them or The Witness could have been more clear about what was the issue and we would have been willing to work with her to make her feel ok, but The Witness seemed to be attacking History Girl as a person and that made Fly Guy and me upset so that made things really bad. Any how clearly that History Girl's and The Witness' relationship wasn't repaired and was made worse. *sigh* So we aren't sure what we are going to do yet. I am not sure if The Witness really knows why we are upset. We will see how this shakes out.

On top of this the Fly Guy, The Witness' husband and I were talking about Horse Girl learning differences and he said that people make too big a deal out of dyslexia and that it isn't that big of a deal because people grew out of it. ARGH!!!! I am a guest in his house....I wanted to scream and yell and tell him what a fool he is. I instead just ignored it. Maybe I should have dealt with it differently, but I knew I couldn't do it with out being angry. *sigh*

Well I am home safe and it is time for me to curl into my bed and read until I fall asleep since I haven't slept well in days.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


7 years ago I bought my first bike in years. It was a Univega Beach Cruiser, single speed with coaster breaks. I was so out of shape I weighed about 250 lbs. I had trouble making it up the smallest hills because of how out of shape I was. I was able to turn things around. Lost weight and work out and stuff like that.

Tonight I went on a bike ride with my family...I rode the same beach cruiser and we went on the same trail that used to cause me I have no problem biking that trail. It made me happy to see the difference in how easy it is for me now.

Last year I bought a Masi Alare that link shows you this year's model last years model is my bike is this really nice red and black. ( Here is a photo of someone else's 2006 Masi Alare. I have clipless pedals and it is so lightweight. I love my bike it is so fast. I know there are better bikes out there, but when this fish wanted a bike that was a nice bike for me to use for Tris this fit the bill and I have fallen in love with it.

There will always me a soft spot in my heart for my beach cruiser because that is what I used when I started to get fit again. I don't see me getting rid of either bike anytime soon.


Well today I got the call we have been waiting over a year for....the call from the Scottish Rite Learning Center with a space for Horse Girl this Summer. It turns out the space is only 1 hour twice a week right in the middle of the day for six weeks.....the same six weeks she has Summer camp. It was so hard to say no, but Horse Girl has the right to be a kid and do Summer things...if it had been more of a camp type thing (lasting all day or at least most of the day) or taking place at either the end or begining of the day....I would have grabbed that space so quickly. I am just so dissapointed. The Scottish Rite Learning Centers are the best place for kids with Dyslexia they have all the most current ideas and they have people who are just trained to work with Dyslexic kids. I so want Horse Girl to get in. The woman I talked to said most likely Horse Girl will get a space this Fall. In the mean time, Fly Guy and I continue to donate money and raise money for the Learning Centers in hopes they can hire more teachers.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

You know you live in Maine when.....

You know you live in Maine when the gas station sells lobster for $7.99/ lbs. :-) I won't buy them at the gas station, but I found it funny.

Friday, June 8, 2007

The New Cold War

I have been studying Russian History and Culture since I was 13 years old. There are few things in my life that have been that much of a constant in my life....I think the only other one is swimming competitively.

When the Soviet Union collapsed I figured the old Cold War think tanks weren't going to need me and I realized I wasn't going to be able to find a job related to my passion. The people who were needed were people who studied the Middle East and had a passion for the culture and history there....which wasn't me. So I ended up being mothballed with all the other relics from the Cold War.

I have never stopped following what is going on in Russia. Putin has scared me for years and his relationship with Bush makes me worried. There has been funky dynamics between them for years that have made me worry both for the US and for what it means for Russia. Now with what is playing out during the G8 summit makes me feel like there will be a new Cold War. I have to say, what did people expect with former KGB as President of Russia. I love the Russian people, they are a very loving, caring people, but I strongly believe in what the majority of the Russian people believe....never trust KGB. When Putin was saying that Bush had to win a second term because it would give international terrorism a new impulse and extra power, it made me question who Bush was even more then I questioned before. If Putin was backing Bush there is a problem.

Now we are back in the situation that we all know and love from the Cold War....with an argument between Russia and the US about placement of U.S. missile defense system. Then with the meeting between Bush and Putin in Maine next month...who knows what will happen then. Pravda is saying worse case scenario is that the New Cold War will have a start date of July 7, 2007. I am concerned that Bush will fumble this and that worse case scenario will happen. Bush seems to like to believe that foreign policy can be done with personality and charm and that doesn't work well for former KGB. The fact that in 2001 Bush said that he looked Putin in the eye and found him to be "straight forward and trustworthy. I was able to get a sense of his soul - a man deeply committed to his country and the interest of his country." Putin is former KGB...far from being straight forward and trustworthy.

Well with this all on my mind and reading Pravda and the St. Petersburg Times very closely, I am thinking I need to brushing up on my Russian again and maybe I can be removed from the mothballs.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Reply to comments

Christina says I crack her up because I seem to know what I should do. I know what would be allowed and viewed as ok by the general public, but I am not known to do just was is viewed as ok....I tend to go over the top....which is great with some things and a pain in the butt for others. It has worked well for getting me through school when people didn't think I could make it. It helped when I was 250lbs and wanted to lose weight and get fit...I didn't just lose the weight I started doing Tris and swimming meets again. This Summer will be my 4th Tri and I am now one of the top backstrokers in the state of Maine for my age.

So the issue is when do I give myself a break and say that it is ok to not give 110% for something I care about. Cutting myself a break is something that I find very hard to do, but I did order the audiobooks, so I am giving myself a break on this. :-)

I went out cycling this morning and these lyrics came up when I was riding and it fits how I feel about how I work towards something whether it be with my education, reading, writing, or fitness.

This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain
And a hundred percent reason to remember the name!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Update on Audiobooks

Ok you guys helped me feel ok about me using audiobooks to finally "read" Lord of the Rings. I decided to go with it on CD rather then downloading because you can't get the best version digitally in the can only get it digitally in the UK and iTunes and makes it next to imposible to get something from them if you don't live in the UK and they don't allow gifting items to people in another country since I know many people in the UK I thought about that but reading the terms and condition found out that wasn't allowed and being a person who plays by the rules most of the time I couldn't see risking breaking that rule and losing my audiobook copy of Lord of the Rings. Turns out there is the same problem with the UK version of Harry Potter audiobooks. I had decided I wanted to get Horse Girl the UK version because I find the reader more pleasing to the ears then the US version and since I figure I will be hearing it also I wanted something I could handle. So I placed an order with to get audiobook copies of the first two Harry Potter books on CD. So I guess I will have a lot of CD ripping to do in the next few weeks. :-)

Monday, June 4, 2007


I saw this quiz on my friend's blog so I thought I would try it. I am only sort of suprised about the results.

Which God or Goddess are you like?
Your Result: God Zeus

You are Zeus. You are fierce and stong, and you like to throw lightning bolts at people who deserve it. You are fearless when it comes to fear, and harmless to nothing. You have the guts to take on anything and never look back. Congratulations!! You are God!!

Goddess Sekhemet



The Christian God


Goddess Bast

You are your own God or Goddess

Which God or Goddess are you like?
Make Your Own Quiz


I was just checking out the Harry Potter audiobooks because Horse Girl really wants to be able to "read" the books but with her learning difference it just won't be possible for a long time. So I was checking out both the American version and the UK version...trying to decide if I want her to experience them in American English or UK English that J. K. Rowling wrote them in. It is a hard choice, but I have awhile to think about it because I want to do one huge download and get all 7 books at once. Anyhow when I was browsing iTunes UK edition I found they have Lord of the Rings which the US iTunes didn't have the last I checked. I listened to a preview and I nearly cried.

To understand why I nearly cried I need to give you some back story. I have owned a copy of the Lord of the Rings trilogy since I was 13 years old....that is mumble decades ago. I have never been able to read it. I keep trying, but it is written in away that my learning disabled mind can't wrap my head around. I have tried to read it so many times I can't even count them. The guy I was in an abusive relationship with was (and I guess still is) a Tolkienisan. Fly Guy also has loved the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. So it is something that has been there around me for decades and after the movies came out I really felt I was missing something by having not read the books. Here I am a very smart woman, who loves reading Fantasy genre books and has been reading them y since I was able to read, but every time I have tried to read Lord of the Rings I totally and completely fail.

Hearing the audiobook preview of the books made it clear how easily I could understand the books if I "read" them that way. I really should do it, but there is the stubborn part of me that keeps telling me not to give up trying to read them the conventional way. This is the stubborn part of me that pushed me to graduate from both High School and College when people said that it would be impossible because of my learning disabilities.

So I have two sides waring right now. The side that really wants to finally "read" the Lord of the Rings and understand it in a way the movies don't allow and the stubborn side that refuses to give up. I don't know which side will win out yet.

The interesting point here is that I don't have a problem getting Horse Girl audiobooks because I feel that it helps her keep her comprehension skills up where they should be for a kid her age, but I have trouble getting them for myself. What kind of double standard is that? Also I just realized when talking about our learning issues, I just realized when I am talking about Horse Girls issues I call them Learning Differences and when I talk about mine they are Learning Disabilities....another major double standard. Maybe I should just cut myself a break.

One final note....Horse Girl loves the Lord of the Ring maybe I can her the audiobook versions for her and "preview" them to make sure they are ok before she listens to them. ;-) What ever work to get around my stubborn side. ;-)

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Quick update

Things are going really well well that I am worried that is just the calm before a major storm. History Girl hasn't had a major panic episode for nearly two weeks, which is what I needed. She was having at least one a day there and it was very very draining on me because I was the one who had to deal with it all the time since they happened most of the time while Fly Guy was at work or a Mason thing or whatever, just not around. History Girl's therapist gave her some great ideas how to deal with her panic episodes about two weeks ago and since there we have had no major issues. There was a small one yesterday where the 5th graders we presenting their reports on the states and History Girl handled a poisonous plant before the student announced that it was poisonous and she panicked, but she pulled herself together and even though I was in the school at the time nobody came to get me since it was such a minor episode and school councilor and the school social worker praised her for handing it well. So my fingers are crossed that we have turned a corner. I really do because the photos I took of History Girl before the 5th grade social last night they don't match up with this panic filled girl I deal with. The girl in the photo twirling in her dress because she like how it spreads out....that is the real History I really really hope that we have turned a corner.

Horse Girl right now is at her riding lessons. Fly Guy took her this morning so I could have time to myself. (History Girl is camping with her Girl Scout troop.) Yesterday I was in the school for the whole day either working or volunteering. With just two weeks left in school I end up spending most of my days there. Any how Horse Girl's speech therapist and then her reading tutor came to talk to me. They are both amazed how well she is doing right now. Their only fear is that we are going into Summer vacation, Horse Girl is known for the large regression she has with speech and language even over just a long weekend like Memorial Day weekend. Horse Girl is getting Summer services which is great, but Fly Guy and I will have really work with her over the Summer too, so she just keeps going. Both her teachers talked about Horse Girl's great work ethic and how hard she is working lately. I told them I knew she was working hard at school because every day she comes home and just wrung out. She works so hard at school she is physically exhausted at the end of the day and the last few weeks she has been more tired then she has been the rest of the year.

Things are going well for Fly Guy....I don't think there is anything to report since they are going so smoothly.

With me I finally was able to shake that last depression and then I just have been busy with Girl Scouts....I just got my Leadership Development pin with 3 leafs (one leaf for every 10 hours of extra training I have done for Girl Scouts). I already know that I am going to get two more leafs before the end of September. Then there is always the fun running around making sure the girls are all registered for their Summer activities. History Girl: Band Camp, 5 weeks of Middle School Adventure Camp and Harry Potter Girl Scout Camp (which is an over night camp) Horse Girl: 6 weeks of day camp, Trip week (every day they take them to a different fun location...this happens to be the week that History Girl is at overnight camp so I will be able to just veg and take a break for myself that week....I wonder if I can get Fly Guy to take a day or two off that week) Lastly there has been the end of year wrap-ups for the girls to make sure things are in place for them for next year. Horse Girl needs to have a teacher who is ready to deal with someone with the phonological issues she has, and luckily there is a second grade teacher who is very good that that at her school. History Girl is moving from our nice small Elementary School to a much larger Middle School so there has been a lot of time spent getting her ready for the big transition, but I think she will do fine...she is looking forward to band and drama and I am sure all will be fine.

So that is my update for now. :-)