Thursday, July 31, 2008

Duck, duck, goose

I took Horse Girl to feed the ducks this afternoon. I have always felt that Horse Girl has a way with animals that most people don't., but this is her biased mother talking. I have been to this pond many times before and the ducks are friendly, but not overly so. These ducks would walk right up to Horse Girl sitting on the ground and head butt her and look like they wanted her to pet them and walk right up to her...they all but walked onto her lap. She would sit and talk to the ducks making sure they all got some bread making sure none of them went without. It was very cute and I wish I had my camera.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Horse Girl

I don't know what to do about Horse Girl. She is clearly having problems and has been for a few weeks. I think it is related to her sensory issues, but I am not sure. I think she is sensory seeking right now, but our normal way of dealing with that with brushing and mini trampoline don't seem to be working. She is fidgeting and leaning on people all the time. This is causing her not to be able to get her work done at the Dyslexia Center or during the extended year services at the school. I have had three of her teachers talk to me about it and I have no idea what to do.
She even has been having nightmares lately. She is tossing all over her bed and crying out. I have no idea what is going on with her.
We are taking her out of the EYS and the Dyslexia Center next week so she can go to Horse Camp. I am hoping doing something more physical will clear up whatever is going on with her. Then she will go back for one more week at the Dyslexia Center. Then 3 weeks before school starting. Those weeks we will do a few thing at home in hopes that she doesn't lose ground, but trying not to over work her.
I think part of the problem is the fact Horse Girl is a bit of a perfectionist....which is something she gets from Fly Guy. Being a person with learning differences and a perfectionist is a hard combo to live with. She so wants figure things out and she gets really frustrated about it. She started crying today at the Dyslexia Center today because she feeling wriggly and that and having trouble keeping her mind on her work and it wasn't working for her today. This all made her cry. Her teacher felt bad because she hates it when Horse Girl cries because Horse Girl only cries at the Dyslexia Center when she is upset with herself.
I don't know. I need to figure out what to do to help Horse Girl. I hope a week at Horse Camp does the trick.

Update on drums

Well I have been talking to the people at the local drum shop and they put me in contact with someone who would be me a good drum instructor for both Horse Girl and myself. So I hope that works out. We are still working things out. So I will post updates as things go on.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Not original

Well I guess I wasn't the only person who thought that singing the praises of Decoder Ring Theatre on Canada Day. Here is a link to another person who did the same thing in the "Review of The Red Panda Adventures - Season 3" So here to me not being original.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Horse Girl told me this morning during our driving around this morning that she wants to take up drums. This isn't the first time she has asked to do this. My response has always been the same. The school offers drum lessons in 6th grade so she could take lessons then. Then she said to me she was going to have Pop-Pop (Fly Guy's Stepfather) buy her a set of drums because he promised her a First Communion gift the next time they saw each other. My mind started whirling with thoughts.

You see I love drums...when I listen to music I hear the drums and everything else is extra. One of the reasons I love The Police is because Stewart Copeland has no equal when it comes to playing drums.

I took drum lessons in school, but my parents being who they are and not knowing what they doing with regards to helping their LD kid get what she needed in school...listened to the music teacher who said that I couldn't possibly play drums because of my LD. I kept fighting them on it and a year later then all my peers started drum lessons at school. I had no support at home. My parents would only pay for my sticks...I didn't even have a practice pad I had to fake it with a Frisbee. I had to push myself to practice...with my brother they had him sit down 30-45 mins everyday at the piano and they watched over his practice. My drum instructor clearly didn't think I would make I was older then the other kids in the lesson so I got pulled out of a different part of class rather then quiet study time...I got pulled out of math and when they did word problems I got a D- because a dyslexic and word problems just sucks and I wasn't in the class for them. So my parents said I had to give up drumming because clearly it was affecting my school work. Ever since then I have wanted to take up drumming again and get a teacher who doesn't give a damn about my LD or even better doesn't even know I have it.

So the idea of Horse Girl getting a set of drums just makes my heart sing. It would be a step closer to what I would like to do. Horse Girl said that maybe she could get Pop-Pop buy a whole set of drums. I told her you only really need one drum to start with and that way you can get a better quality drum and slowly build up a drum kit. She said that makes sense, but she would want a cymbal also. I told her we might be able to work that out. :-)

Horse Girl and I were stuck in traffic with me and I put on some Police and she air drummed with me. I will have to see about lessons for her. She has the benefit of a mom who knows what she is going through and knows the words to say to tell the doubters to just shut-up. So maybe she will go farther with drums then I did. That would make me happy.

BTW a couple weeks ago my mother told me she was sorry that she didn't stick up for me in school more or in a better way. She said she always wanted to believe what the teachers told her and she just followed along. She sees me question the Horse Girl's teachers all the time and check to see how Horse Girl is doing, so she feels like she didn't do as good a job as she could have. I told her she didn't know any better, she was doing what seemed right at the time, just as I am doing what seems right at this time. I am not sure what I would do if I didn't have the Internet and could research things deeply at home. I don't have time to spend a lot of time at a library doing research. Plus I have the benefit that my mother never had, I have traveled this road that Horse Girl has traveled and I know the words that made me feel better when I was discouraged and I can talk to Horse Girl about how it took me forever to read and now I am reading all the time. So that is a major thing my mother just never had and never will have, so my relationship with Horse Girl, her school and her teachers will always be different then my mother's relationship with me, my school and my teachers.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I have talked about how dyslexics look at the world differently and think about things differently and I was thinking about something while driving Horse Girl around which made me stop and think...wonder how many people actually think about these things as they go about their day to day lives.

Before I share what I was thinking about driving around I want to share a couple other times my different ways of thinking about stuff helped solve a problem.

First thing was when we moved into this house the previous owners left a old concrete column laying on the ground by the back stairs of the deck. I hated that thing and talked about getting rid of it. Everyone one I talked to talked about how heavy it was and how hard it would be to cart it away. Well I thought about it for a bit and came up with an idea. I dug a hole beside the column and under it a bit and rolled it into the hole buried it and covered it with sod. Nobody can tell that it was ever there. It was lucky I figured it out because a month later Horse Girl fell off those steps and her head would have landed on that column

Second thing was we were refinishing our living room floor. We pulled up the old carpet and there was something stuck on the floor. It wouldn't sand off, it would slowly chisel off, but vary slowly and risked damaging the floor. Once again I thought about it a bit and decided to heat up the area with an iron and then try to remove it. It came up with no problem at all and no damage to the floor. we are at the point about what I was thinking about when driving Horse Girl around this morning. Well I got to thinking about teleportation and the invention of it.

I thought about how people are mostly space and it is the electro-magnetic forces that cause us to feel solid...well not just people everything. If we were able to stop the electro-magnetic forces then we would be reduced to the size of a pinhead, but if we did that the pin would be affected also so it would be smaller also. So I kept thinking about all this and trying to figure out if this had any value with regard to teleportation. Then I got side tracked and started thinking about dimensions.

First I wondered why is time viewed as the forth dimension? Shouldn't it be a 0th dimension, you can really only naturally go in one direction, you can't back up, so it seems to me that it would be a zero dimension....a dimension, but with less directions the the others so zero. Then I got to thinking about the other dimensions.

Ok......1st dimension is a line. Then the 2nd dimension is a square. Then the 3rd dimension is a cube. Then the 4th dimension if it isn't time would be another shape, that we can't understand because of our 3D thought process.

There could be 4D objects all around us, but we can't tell because we see things as 3D. Because if you are 3D world and you look at a ball you would see a sphere. If you were in a 2D world you would look at a ball and see a circle. If you were in a 1D world you would see a line. So in our 3D world we might be looking at 4 dimensions (or more) and only seeing them as 3D because that is all we can see it as.

Then I dropped off Horse Girl so train of thought was lost again. Then started thinking about how freaky it is when you really think about all the space between the electrons, neutrons and look at things that look and feel solid and know there is a ton of space there. Then I got home and had to get the laundry started and so my mind went elsewhere again. :-)

With all this does it surprise you when "crazy" ideas I tell them it might be true, but we don't know now. Like Horse Girl was talking to me about how horses talk to each other in horse language. I know most parents would say that the horses communicate, but don't have a language. How do we know that 100%? Are you a horse...has any human been a horse? So we don't know 100% horses may have a language with words that we just can't see, hear or understand. Who knows maybe Horse Girl will break that code.

I just know in High School biology the teacher kept saying that all living things are carbon based. I kept asking was he 100% sure. Couldn't there be living things on another planet based off a different element? There is a whole bunch of elements with the same bonding capabilities as carbon....Star Trek took the idea of silicon life form and ran with it for one episode. Then there is the argument that there is only so many planets in the world that they think can support life because of tempture and water variations. Who says life has to be just like us...maybe there is a life form that doesn't need water but liquid nitrogen and likes it very very cold. This could be why my biology teacher was pleased when I stopped taking biology courses in favor of physics and chemistry. :-)

Closing one's mind to other off the wall possibilities could easily prevent people seeing stuff that is right in front of their face.

So that is all I mean about thinking about things differently and why I think a good number of scientist and inventors are dyslexic. They just have a different way of looking at things.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I really have a hard time with Summer. Yes I don't like the heat...for Pete's sake I have lived in Maine for most of my life so of course anything over 75 is a bit toasty for my tastes. What I don't like is the craziness and all the driving I need to is the schedule for most days with some small changes on some like Speech is only Monday and Tuesday so the rest of the week we can leave the house 30 minutes later:
7:30am - 8am Speech Therapy
8am-9am Learning Center which is about 15 minutes away from where speech therapy is
9am-2pm Camp which is 20 mins from where the learning center is.

So I really feel the need to invent teloportation, but I don't even have the vaguest clue where to start.

Today when I was in the waiting room at the Learning Center I got to talking to another mom. Since the learning center is just for kids with dyslexia we have a lot in common to talk about. I am so glad Horse Girl doesn't go to the school district this person's kid goes to.

First of all one of the teachers told her that dyslexia doesn't really exists. Then a few weeks later tells her to have her son tested for ADHD. dyslexia does not exists and ADHD does?!?!?! Huh? Is it because a kid can be medicated with ADHD? What is the difference between the two in this teacher's mind....inquiring minds would like to know.

Second of all this school department that this boy goes to denied him special ed saying he didn't qualify. some schools can be really hard to deal with to get kids the services that they need. Well months later she gets a letter from the state wanting her to review the quality of the special ed. that her son was getting at the school. Turns out that the school told the state they were giving the boy special ed services when they denied them. I really hope this mom does something to this school department....of all the way to get extra money this has to be one of the lowest. I hope it was just an honest mistake, but with all the horror stories I have heard who know what the case is.

Hearing stories like that sometimes makes me feel guilty about how easy we have it when it comes to services. At our school I really feel like we are a team that works together well to get Horse Girl what she needs and we bounce ideas off of each other and try new things and we really work together. I really wish that more schools dealt with special needs like our school. Well we can always dream.

History Girl heads to overnight band camp this weekend. She is every excited. I am excited because it is easier to pack for then Girl Scout camp. She will be staying in a college dorm, so no sleeping bag, no mess kit, no dunk bag, no packing each outfit in a ziplock bag to keep them dry.....sheets, French Horn, music stand, alarm clock and clothes....much easier to pack for.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Horse Girl and Camp

Well it seems that this happens once a Summer and this Summer it happened early, so I hope this doesn't mean it will happen again this Summer.

Well Horse Girl was teased about her speech. As I said this happens about once a year. Though it has never happened at this camp before. This is a camp that I tell all the other families with LD kids about, because it is a town run (so fairly cheap) camp that is very well organized and breaks the large camp into very small well run groups, so it is perfect for kids with learning differences. So I was surprised when Horse Girl told us about the teasing.

I went to the Assistant Camp Director this morning and talked to her about it. She said that they would have a camp wide talk about respecting each other's differences and stuff like that. So it seems she is taking it seriously. We also talked about how this is the first time we have had this sort of trouble at this camp and that I have recommended it to many families with kids with learning differences. She was pleased to hear I was so happy with the camp and it seemed that made her want to take care of this issue as quickly as she could.

I hate it when Horse Girl gets teased. Not only from the Mother Bear angle, but the fact that every times she gets teased she becomes unsure about her skills. Last night and today She was _VERY_ unsure about her reading skills. Her Extended Year Services reading teacher told me that Horse Girl was being very clingy this morning with regards to her reading and didn't want to take risks. Which is a shame because Horse Girl has been making great strides with her reading over the last few month. She is only a year behind her classmates now so that is great for her. I hope she can shake off these negative thoughts about herself and keep going because she has really been doing a great job and I have been so proud of her.

Here's to hoping that this was the one and only teasing situation this Summer and we can get it behind us quickly.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Some Podcasts to Celebrate Canada Day

I have been meaning to write about this for awhile but never got around it, but it seems the perfect way to celebrate Canada Day (well a day late...I was busy yesturday) I want to share my favorite export from Canada....well maybe is hard to say what a podcast is.

It is Decoder Ring Theatre. It is a group of people who recreate old time radio with today's podcasts. They have three major series The Red Panda, Black Jack Justice and Deck Gibson.

Personally my favorite is The Red Panda, it takes place in the 1930s. The Red Panda is "Canada's Greatest Superhero" and his side-kick, isn't a 15 year old boy, but a 20-something woman, known as the Flying Squirrel she is described as a delicate flower who leads with her left, but her right is a doosy. She knows Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, and she boxes. She might be viewed as the brawn and The Red Panda the brains, but he can throw a mean punch also and she comes up with her own theories on crimes without problems. His secret identity is a wealthy bachelor in Toronto and she is his driver. The technology isn't from the 1930s and there is magic in their world. So it is like Sci-Fi, fantasy, mixed with a mystery.

The end of the last run 6 Red Pandas left us with a major cliffhanger. Normally I don't think twice about cliffhangers, I haven't been annoyed with them since Star Trek: The Next Generation, with Jean-Luc Picard and the Borg with "The Best of Both Worlds." The Red Panda cliffhanger has left me thinking about what will happen and how it will work out. Not something I have ever really done with a show in years.

Well Decoder Ring Theatre, talks about doing a "Five in Your Drive" membership drive sort of thing to increase the number of their listeners. Burn five of your favorite episodes to a CD to give to your friends. Well I find listing my favorite five here easier. I will link to Decoder Ring Theatre's website, but you can get the podcasts at iTunes also. So here they are, I hope you like them:

Devil's Due
Red Panda: Dead or Alive!
Deadliest Game
Merlin's Tomb
A Midwinter's Murder