Tag Archive: Disabilities



Girl in SnowGirl in Snow by Danya Kukafka

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I want to thank NetGalley for letting me read this book. It did keep my interest.

That said, when you read like I do, using text-to-speech almost exclusively, books like this leave me feeling lost. I feel I may have missed the important sentences as to who-done-it and why. There were a lot of characters and they all sound the same, the writing style of the narrative is the same in the dialogue. That may not mean too much when visually engaged with the story, but I often didn’t know which characters thoughts/memories I was in.

This was an ARC or early read copy so by the time others will read it these other problems may be fixed: Between sections, there is a line ___. Often that stops the TTS. And often the name of the person who is starring in the next section is totally left out with TTS. I assume these are formatting issues that will be solved and others who get to read this with their eyes will be able to stay with the story and find it all pulls together.

Using the thoughts of one who seems autistic or in other ways a little different than the norm, was a nice tool. I found the character Cameron to be very interesting. Others I found harder to understand. Maybe that says more about me than the characters being portrayed?

At any rate, I think others may find this book to be very good. I loved to see your comments. I may have to come back to this book and read again to see if I can find where I turned left when the writer turned right. ???

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End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days, #3)End of Days by Susan Ee

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m jealous of folks who get to read this series one book after another. It has been so long since I read books one and two that I had sort of forgotten a lot of what happened before. I sort of remembered as I went along but by now the story was so deep and often scary that I just couldn’t handle much of it at all. I know I was charmed by the characters and story the first couple books. A little of that crept through. But in spite of all of that, in spite of a big sister who has grown up with a mental patient for a mother and a disabled sister, and who is in love with an angel, no really! they are all living in a post-apocalyptic mess and this big sister is trying to save the world.

But how again did little sister turn into–um–a demon or locust? I vaguely remember mad scientist types but I read the series too long ago.

Even still I got into this book and didn’t want to stop reading until the world as they knew it was safer.

So if it has been a while since you read the first two, maybe a re-read is better. If you haven’t read any of the books, try to get all three so you can read them in a row and not get lost like I did.

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Third Life: Taken (Life First, #3)Third Life: Taken by R.J. Crayton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a good ending to a good series. It was good because it offered plenty to think about. When a government can tell a person what they can or can’t do with their bodies, where does it end? Can they make you give up a kidney because it can save someone else? And who is held responsible when something goes wrong? And though there are scientists that can prove or disprove as much in the scientific realm as theologians can do the same with the Holy Books who can we trust?

Let’s say you decided not to give up your kidney. You feel you need it as much as anyone else. Where does your right to live stand in comparison to someone else’s? What if the government decided who should or shouldn’t have babies? Can you see what a sticky-wicket of a world it would be?

In this last book, which makes me sad to say as I will miss these characters, there are a wedding, a kidnapping, and healing while running for one’s life–or that of another. The action picks up and isn’t as slow as book two.

It has been nearly a month since I read this but I feel good reviewing as I feel I remember quite a lot. At least it made a big enough impact for me that I could remember the gist. **SMILE**

Now a quick question for the author: What was the purpose of the hidden room? Did I miss something? Or did I imagine a greater purpose than that given to us? Could there be more in store for us?

Anyway, I highly recommend this series. Sure there is romance but it doesn’t take over the main story and sometimes adds to it.

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Second Life (Life First #2)Second Life by R.J. Crayton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this second book to be slower and not nearly as exciting as the first book. But then how do you compete with emergency skydiving? I tried to be patient realizing we were getting to know other characters better.

Having a disabled person as the main character was a plus. I love it when authors take a chance with something other than perfect people and let us see characters who are different.

Still, the first half of the book took place in two rooms. THAT was boring! Sure we needed to get to know our characters’ thoughts but there had to be another way to do that.

Towards the end, things picked up and felt more like the first book. Knuckle were whitened, nails were bitten. And I was praying that there would be no cliffhanger. And there wasn’t. The book left you in a safe enough place but you knew there was more that needed to be done. Luckily, I had book three lined up and took off with that one!

Something I need to add here is another original idea of these three books is the moral dilemma similar to abortion or capital punishment. What if we were forced to give up our organs to those we match who are dying? This book takes further into what if by being forced we become disabled or otherwise harmed? Who is held responsible? I love books that make you think and this series does do that while presenting well-developed characters and lots of adventure.

Shoot, I just decided that I need to raise this from three to four stars, just due to my own review. I will remember this series long into the future that hopefully doesn’t have the dilemmas presented here.

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The Mother's PromiseThe Mother’s Promise by Sally Hepworth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Maybe if I don’t write a review, I can hang onto the charms and lessons of this book. No. That’s not right. Others need to read it and the only way to hang on to the knowledge in this book is to read it again.

I finished this book four days ago. That’s how long I had the above conversation with myself.

There is a nice blurb about this book on GoodReads. And the one on NetGalley had me seeking it out. I’m glad they let me read it. But here’s my blurb: A young teen with severe social anxiety only child of a single mother dying of cancer, a social worker who is a victim of abuse, a nurse who is finished with IVF unsuccessfully.

Sally Hepworth pulls these four females into a book that is hard to put down and hard to leave behind. And not only is it a great story, it is full of real life answers to some of the problems these fems deal with.

I want to thank NetGalley for letting me read this, again. I do plan on a second read. Please read it, especially if you have social anxiety, there are some good ideas in here and the author shows she knows how we feel who have it. There are triggers for cancer patients and abuse victims but they are handled well and give each of the other characters more depth.

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Service Dog


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It suddenly occurred to me today how I can help Kali not be left at home alone. She has separation anxiety and will tear up the place if left alone. That was why her MamaLaura (my daughter) had to giver Kali to me. She had to go to work and leave the poor pup alone. We are retired so there is almost always someone here so she is never alone. But should I need to go to the city (an hour and a half away) on the senior bus it might be that she wouldn’t be happy. But there might be a time when I need to go to the doctors or something.

So I was looking at this page: United States Service Dog. Has anyone done this? It says I don’t need a doctor’s note though I could probably find my doctors who put me on disability ages ago. She does help me feel better just by being so cute! She’s been well trained as far as simple commands. I think she’d do well on the bus just sitting with me and giving me the pain distractions I need to get through the rough part of the trip.

It is very beautiful (scenic) to see but the road itself is so full of potholes and my tailbone usually hurts so bad by the time we get to town that I can barely walk. After a full day, coming home is even worse, especially if it is dark and I have nothing to distract me from the pain that is so unbearable that I have to sit straight up and not lean back. Then it starts hurting my whole back. Once I am home I feel crippled for a week. It sets off huge fibro flares that make me worthless to do anything but sleep.

Look, I know that having the dog with me won’t prevent a lot of that pain, but it may make it a little easier to deal with. Does that make sense?

Now I just need to figure out how to afford it. I’d love her to have the vest and all, but even the basic (just a certificate and ID card) is $69. Is this a good idea or am I on another wild goose chase that wouldn’t help either of us and money out for nothing????? Are there things I need to think about that maybe others have gone through? It seems like a win-win idea but maybe I am being naïve?


Elusive

Time. Where did today go? I still haven’t done my Spanish and German on Duolingo for the day! I still haven’t written my JusJoJan. Time is probably the most elusive thing ever!

Okay, on top of my ordinary day, with my ordinary disabilities challenging me, I now have taken on my husband’s needs and jobs. Being retired, there isn’t that much to do, the lack of funds make a lot of things off limits (maids, etc.) but keeping up with little things is difficult for me regularly. GAH!!!!! And we have the discussion about all he feels he can do one handed while in pain. So dishes get done. Yay! Feeding and care of furries. Bigger Yay! But the feeding and care of we two humans is the hard part. Standing in the kitchen that you can see your breath in has to be done in quick spurts. Taking doggy outside BRRRRR!

Oh, wait! This isn’t Stream of Consciousness Saturday! But that is what is happening in my head. One shiny chicken after another! Oh! And I got some new looms that I learned about from LoomAHat.com and bought for lots less on sale at WalMart.com I have a scarf in the making for my brother right now.

Maybe it isn’t time that is the elusive thing here. Maybe it is my brain!

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Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the WorldTemple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was lucky enough to pick this up from my local library system through Overdrive. My friend, Cheryl, wrote an intriguing review that had me searching it out. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1…

I had hoped to read while listening but the ebook but it didn’t come to me in time. That was okay. It provided my background entertainment while I worked on the charity hats and dolls. The reader, Meredith Mitchell, kept me involved in the story of Temple Grandin’s life.

I have read other books about and by Ms. Grandin. Though this book is for young people, I found it more thorough than the others in covering the aspects of autism, living with it and knowing someone who has it. The author was able to bring this disorder to the understanding that a young person would need.

Something that I felt when reading this book and others about autism is that I think there are levels of this that many of us have. The sensitivities Temple had to scratchy clothing or loud noises or too many people or strong light I can relate to. The inability to connect to others, especially in a crowded room, I can understand, too. Knowing that Ms. Grandin found ways to make her disability work for her in her life gives us all inspiration to see how we can overcome our own problems.

Though this is for children, it is neither a short book nor pablum for babies. I felt there was a lot of depth to the stories told and much to learn for all of us. Please, seek it out and see how you like it.

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Catching Up


I can’t believe we have been in this house for over a month now. Isn’t it funny how you fall into your rhythms again after being disrupted by a move or other trauma? There are still boxes in the living room. That’s the only room to have no furniture. (We need couches and chairs and a coffee table still.) So the boxes sit there until we can get around to them. Most of the boxes with my name on them are books. Since a couple of the bookshelves at the old place broke down we didn’t bring them along. So my boxes of books have no home yet. : -(

Can you believe I finally have an office/studio/craft room? I have my piano on an interior wall. I have my sewing stash, and crocheting/knitting stash, and scrapbooking stash, and bookshelves full of books, and a couple boxes full of books. My desk is a simple card table.That works for all my needs. There are two wonderful windows in this room. One faces north, where in the far distance I can see some hills that make the shape of one of those Easter Island gods laying down looking at the sky. And miles and miles and miles of sagebrush, and the wonderful sky. The other window faces west, and although I can see the sunset there, there is also a neighbor who lives very close on that side whose house blocks the view. He’s a nice neighbor so I can’t be too upset. As the winter gets colder, I appreciate that west window. It keeps the room warm from early afternoon until dark. It does get a bit of a glare, but I have curtains.

I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween, Samhain, and a sacred All Hollows night and day.

Meaning no disrespect to you, who enjoy it from either point of view, but October 31st has been NaNoWriMo prep day for me for the last 14 years. In fact, usually, the whole month of October is NaNoWriMo prep. But somehow I couldn’t settle my mind and making an outline or create my characters until the last couple days. But make no mistake. I knew I was going to be doing this again. For some reason, I didn’t win last year. I don’t remember why. I just didn’t get that into it, I guess. I can’t even remember what last years’ was about. But I do remember getting into the one the year before. It was fun.

Funny how during Nano, I always seem to find other things to do besides writing. I seem to be so much better at housework. There’s always a lot of research to do. Oh, and look at me, I’m blogging! But I did reach 1767 words last night. I usually stay up until the witching hour to start on a novel. Last night I got sleepy! But around two o’clock I was awake again. So I crept into my wonderful office, put on my headset and started writing via Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I did have a chance in the quiet of the night, to start my outline and do better research on my characters. The sad thing is, my outline only took me to chapter 5. And last nights’ writing took me all the way through chapter 1. Oops! Guess I’ve got a lot more planning to do!

Oh! I meant to tell you about life in the country with no car. When we lived in Reno, we didn’t have a car for quite a while. Mostly it was due to not having the money to fix the car we had and then to the landlords who wouldn’t let us keep it till we did have the money to fix it. But that was okay, there.We have a lot of good businesses really close that we could walk to or take the bus to. We got ourselves a little shopping cart to walk back and forth to and from the stores. Worked out quite well.

But now we are 1.7 miles from the nearest store, a little farther to our little library, and 2.8 miles to the post office. They don’t have door-to-door, mail delivery here in Christmas Valley. I’ve never lived in a place where they didn’t have door-to-door mail delivery, so this is an adjustment. Taking a walk a couple times a week is healthy and gaining room in my waistband. And…If you don’t have a box at the post office and they seem to have run out, you must go after three o’clock to pick up your mail. Because that’s when they receive the mail for those who don’t have a box. Which during this first month has not been easy. This is the desert after all. From three o’clock through about six is the hottest hours of the day. So we took our time and made sure we had water with us and learned to wear a hat. Now that it’s getting colder and the days are getting shorter, it’s becoming the coldest part of the day. I’m learning to adapt.

There is a Senior bus here, and the kind of dial-a-ride for seniors or the disabled. The bus takes us to Bend or La Pine or other areas a little ways away. The dial-a-ride people, pick us up at home and take us to the bus, or take is to doctor’s appointments or even to go visiting if we call them soon enough. That makes not having a car a lot easier.I think it’s a feature of Oregon and other states need to do this, too.

I’ll bet you catch everybody up to date on my little corner of the world. Happy November, and good luck with your NaNoWriMo’s!


Drawing AutismDrawing Autism by Jill Mullin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received my book from FirstReads in the mail today: Feb 27, 2014 It is a very exciting looking book. I can hardly wait to sit and actually pour over the drawings and descriptions!

And here it is April 18, 2015. What took me so long? Why isn’t this a 5 star rating? FONT! If it were for the artwork and the inspiration I felt from them it would be worth 10 stars! But it took me months to get through the reading part. I just couldn’t read the tiny faded gray font. There are a couple pages at the beginning which are by Temple Grandin (Forward). I really wanted to read it as I was reading/read her book Thinking in Pictures. But I found I could only read it a line or two at a time. Even with magnifying glasses, or my large magnifying page reader. It took me a long, long time! The next two pages were by the editor Jill Mullin. I just finally gave up. My eyes were hurting so much! After the torture of the first few pages, I found I could get by, a page a day. The pictures were wonderful! But, again, it was the font explaining the artist or the work that nearly killed me.

Still, I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves art and are curious about those who think differently than yourself.

I found that I will have to make this part of my permanent collection as the pictures gave me ideas I’d like to try in my own artwork. BCID: 745-13301987

Thank you, First Reads at GoodReads.com for this win!

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