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Showing posts from August, 2012

Bliss, Redux

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Three months ago, we went to see Cavalia's Odysseo and it was blissful. I claimed to be full, didn't need to go back again, but The Boy knew better. He'd occasionally drop a hint and finally, I knew, too.

I couldn't let these beautiful horses leave without seeing them again. So we did. It kicked off the Birthday Weekend celebrations and as before, the level of bliss was out of this world.


It's possible I was vibrating with excitement as with waited to go into the stables. because of course we were going to the stables.


While we waited, four of the performers came out to chat and meet. The big difference this time was that the horses faced us and were willing to be touched. Notice the beauty on the right - I've named him Mr. Nuzzly (because I didn't catch his real name) and he'll return in a bit. Very friendly horse.



I didn't name this one, but he had the softest nose



I know this because I got to touch it



Off we went to the stables to commune and the smel…

50, Sarah and Miss Piggy

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For the last 30 years, I've battled against the prevailing North American belief that Copenhagen is the capital of Holland and that coming from Denmark makes me Dutch. However, thanks to Marianna, I will today claim some kinship with that other small Northern European nation.
Because today is what the Dutch would call my Sarah Birthday. It boggles my mind that I can claim that many trips around the sun, but the idea of it representing the gaining of wisdom makes it something to be happy about.
This weekend we celebrated with a lovely party and more photos will be forthcoming. Later in the week. Today, I plan to do nothing. Maybe Nothing. But I'll leave you with a photo of me and the singing telegram organized by my family and friends. Nothing at all like the Miss Piggy they'd expected, but that just made it even more fun.

The Annual Rant

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This might be my last rant about Buskerfest. Despite it having become an annual tradition to which I know you’re all looking forward with bated breath (no?), it may be time to close the series (2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011). Not because Buskerfest has magically become a paragon of accessibility – were it only so. No, it’s because I'm starting to think that it might be healthier to ignore the blasted thing. Not accessibility itself – I’ll continue to advocate for it – but accessibility in the context of Buskerfest. I believe the adage about not being able to control what happens applies. The adage that continues that you can control how you react to things. And after today, I will react by focusing on something that doesn't aggravate me quite so much. So, for the last time I present: the annual rant about accessibility issues at Buskerfest.
On the plus side, Buskerfest has an accessibility plan and a stated commitment that they are "working to ensure that all visitors enj…

Driven to Drink

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The universe is continuing the theme…
There's a bit of a celebration going on this weekend and although I normally don't partake of alcohol (it gives me headaches), I decided to go in search of a particular product. I first learned of Woody's pink grapefruit cooler when it was handed out free on the street (yes, really). It's delicious, refreshing, and because I don't normally partake of alcohol, I was tipsy within three sips. My four-pack is going to last me years. So… I went to the local LCBO, which is a brand-new store just opened. Once inside, you can tell that they might still be cleaning up after the construction or are not quite finished, but there is stock and employees and that was all I needed.
This brand-new store is on the ground floor of an old building and was completely gutted and renovated prior to opening. You’d figure it out what with the relatively new Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the even newer customer service regulati…

Bullying and Juvenile Arthritis: A Memory of Childhood

Writers across many HealthCentral sites are doing posts related to the theme of back-to-school. We're interpreting it widely, discussing not just going back to school, but also educting kids about various medical conditions. My contribution was to write about bullying of kids with chronic illnesses froma personal point of view:
"I flew across the schoolyard, adrenaline blocking out the pain in my ankles. Behind me I could hear the pack of five or six girls chasing me. As I ran, harder than I'd ever run before, I could feel them getting closer and closer. The bike racks were in view and to be safe, I just needed to get there, grab my bike and ride home. And then it happened. One of the girls lunged and sank her teeth into my right shoulder. I don't remember what happened next or how I got home. My next memory is of sitting on my bed, shaking."
You can read the rest of the post here.

Winners and Losers

Weirdly coincidentally, the universe has conspired to push me in the direction of a follow-up. If you've been reading for a while, you may remember my experiences with some interesting accessibility issues at Winners about a year ago and the grocery store Metro in late fall 2010 (as well as the very satisfactory resolution of both). Shall we check and then see how things are going?
Let's start with Winners. After I wrote a very irritated post about their lack of accessibility, I had a lovely and very productive chat with Charmaine at the company who told me about their commitment to accessibility and the customer service regulations of the Accessibility forOntarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) which came into effect in January 2012. Their efforts included a consultation with people with disabilities, more space between racks and detachable pin pads at all cash registers being planned for early 2012. Given my experience related to not being able to pay by debit card for my pu…

Window Cat

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Being Human

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For the past few weeks, I have been immersed in Being Human: The Complete First Season, a wonderful little British series about three roommates who happen to be a vampire, werewolf, and a ghost. I’ve been nagging encouraging everyone I know to watch this series, not just because of how good it is, but also because I need to talk to people about it! I'm so delighted with having found this gem that keeping my mouth shut about the details in order to not spoil it for anyone is getting really, really hard. So. Go get it. You won’t regret it.
I love Being Human for many reasons, but mostly I think because of the questions it asks. Such as: What makes you a human being? How does human beings act and believe? What does it do to you when you do certain things that are viewed as unacceptable? What does it do to you if you tolerate such acts? How does it change you? Does it change you? What do you do to atone for it? And this is not in the Christian sense of atoning for sins, but in a deep…

RA2day: An Awareness Campaign for Rheumatoid Arthritis

I'm very excited to share this news. Today, RAHealthCentral has launched a new awareness campaign for RA called RA2day. It's got real potential to pull us all together and give a realistic view of what it's like to live with RA:
"What does your experience with RA look like today? Is it an intimidating pile of medication, a swollen joint or testing a new mobility aid? Is it playing with your kids in the backyard, getting back into a kayak or baking a cake? Are you having a good day or a bad one? What do you want the world to know about RA? What do you want others with the disease to know about what is possible?
We are excited to announce the launch of RA2day, an awareness campaign for rheumatoid arthritis! We hope that it will help increase knowledge about RA - what it is, what it isn't and what it can be."

You can read the rest of the launch post here and see my first RA2day post on the RAHealthCentral Facebook page here. Please join us in raising aw…

A Bit Pervy

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I have no idea what this flower is, but had to photograph it.I'm not sure if it's slightly blush-inducing or an alien.




A Walking Paper, Pt. 2

Dear Ambulatory and Ablebodied Public At Large,
Four years ago, I posted a guide to walking geared to assist the clueless perambulating public to not be an annoyance (or danger) to those who travel seated in wheelchairs and scooters. Recent events when I’ve been out and about have led me to believe that this is an appropriate time to revisit this issue. Herewith some helpful hints to navigate public spaces.
Say you're in a large downtown mall and on your travels come to significant grade change. In front of you are two choices: a perfectly lovely set of 3-4 steps and a ramp. Do try taking the steps instead of the ramp, which after all is designed for people who use wheeled contrivances. Should you have a chronic illness or pain issue, you should of course use the ramp. The able-bodied are also more than welcome to use the ramp, provided they do not block the access of people using mobility devices (it’s considered rude). And no. I don't believe that a herd of more than 20 peo…

6 Steps to Happiness with RA

This week, I used National Tickling Month as a jumping off point to talk about how to get happy when you have a chronic illness:
"When you are in the midst of RA, with all that comes with it, can you still be happy? When you’re juggling pain, exhaustion, a dizzying amount of meds and doctor’s appointments and wondering what happened to your life, is there still room for joy?
You bet! It might not always be quite as effortless, but with practice, you can get into the habit of being happy. To mark the occasion of July being National Tickling Month, here are six steps to finding happiness with RA."
You can read the rest here.