[nfbwatlk] Fw: Update from Ruston
jp100 at earthlink.net
Sun Dec 13 19:42:16 UTC 2009
Wow! I remember my Ruston days. Some of the best and most eye-opening days
of my life.
Sometimes, I wonder if those days weren't a lot simpler for me than what
days are now.
From: nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of Mike Freeman
Sent: Sunday, December 13, 2009 11:22 AM
To: NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List
Subject: [nfbwatlk] Fw: Update from Ruston
----- Original Message -----
From: "ELIZABETH LALONDE" <elalonde at shaw.ca>
To: <list at cfb.ca>
Sent: Sunday, December 13, 2009 11:02 AM
Subject: Update from Ruston
> Hello everyone, I hope those of you in Victoria had a wonderful Christmas
> social last night. I wish you all the best of the season. I am thinking
> of you all and send you all my love. Below is another update from my
> blog. You can read all my posts at my blog at
> December 11, 2009
> It's been a while since my last update. Time sure flies here. The days
> blur together and I cannot remember what happened on which day.
> We are getting ready for mom's arrival. She flies in tonight. We will
> pick her up in Shreveport.
> Haven't seen her in almost three months. We miss her and my dad so much.
> She will notice a difference in the boys, as they have changed and grown.
> We are watching a DVD with classic Christmas cartoons. Rhys and Ronyn had
> their Swine Flue shot yesterday, so they are tired today.
> I finally have some time to catch up on my blog.
> Last week the students and staff at LCB went to a Christmas tree farm and
> cut down Christmas trees for the centre. We were divided into three
> groups. Each group cut down a tree: one tree for the lobby, one for the
> dining room and one for the career centre. I helped cut down the tree for
> the dining room. We were in charge of the "Charlie Brown" tree; we had to
> find the most imperfect tree and bring it back.
> We each got a chance to cut with the hand saw. Our tree was small and
> without a top; it was perfectly imperfect. I carried the tree back to the
> It was a cold day. Surprisingly the temperature can get quite low here,
> below freezing - much like a cold day back home. Of course, just like
> back home, it is damp, so you can really feel the sting of the cold. The
> weather can also change rapidly. For example the other day, within a
> period of four hours, the temperature went from 32 Fahrenheit to 72
> Fahrenheit. It was amazing.
> Then we sat around the dinning room table for the afternoon and made
> decorations. I learned to make paper stars. Only five different folds
> and it took me three hours to master it. I have never been crafty!
> I taught Rhys how to make the stars on the weekend. We now have colourful
> stars around our trailer.
> Yes, Jeff and the boys, and myself on the weekends, are still living in
> our travel trailer. We are in our backyard, while Jeff works on the house.
> I have been busy with so many projects at the centre. Last week I baked
> Mexican corn bread; this was my second attempt after my first batch of
> regular corn bread failed because I forgot to add the Mayonnaise. If your
> meal doesn't work out, you have to re do it until you get it right.
> So far I have had to redo two things: the corn bread and then this week my
> chocolate chip cookies. I have never had much luck baking cookies.
> Usually they taste bitter from too much baking soda. This time, they
> rise, probably because of too much baking soda. I made them once again
> and they were excellent. I was so proud, even Jeff liked them. It is a
> landmark in our marriage, as it is the first batch of successful cookies I
> have ever made for him!
> On Friday, I cooked a hamburger paddy on a "George Forman" grill. This
> grill closes and grills both sides of the meat at once, so you don't
> have to flip it over. I am getting one when I go back home. It was
> Another landmark- this week: I finished reviewing the grade two Braille
> code. Now I am starting on reading books. I will read and read until my
> speed improves, and then I will keep reading, as one student says "until
> my fingers bleed!"
> My teacher, Mr. Whittle, says we must read at least one hour in the
> evening and at least five hours on the weekend to improve speed.
> In shop I learned to use a radial arm saw. There are many safety steps we
> must learn to follow before we cut. My first cut was terrifying. I have
> never used a power tool in my life. I did it. Now I cut all my own
> blocks. I am still making grid blocks. I divide the block into a grid of
> squares using an awl, so you can feel the lines. Then I make indications
> and drill the wholes.
> I had a scary travel experience a couple of weeks ago. It was my first
> independent travel route, meaning I did the route on my own with out the
> instructor. I was excited, but nervous. I walked to the apartments and
> back. Everything went well, I was so proud of myself. I was on my way
> back. Things were going well, when suddenly cars veered out of nowhere to
> my left and to my right. The motors roared diagonally across ahead of me
> startled, I realized I was in the middle of the Street. Yikes! How had I
> managed to veer into the street. I had been walking jauntily down the
> sidewalk and then the next moment in was in the street. I didn't know
> which way to go, so I stopped and stood frozen. A voice called to me from
> somewhere to my left. The female voice called me over. She yelled, "you
> are in the middle of the road." Well, I already figured that part out.
> Anyway, she got out of her car and helped me over to the sidewalk. I
> walked the rest of the way back to the ce!
> ntre, disappointed, but knowing it was all part of the learning
> experience. Of course, veering into the middle of the street is something
> best to avoid, but if you do, it is good to know how to get out of the
> situation and back to safety. My instructor said, if that happens again,
> to wait until it is safe to move and then head back in he direction of the
> sidewalk I was just walking along.
> The experience shook me up a bit, but a few days later, my task was to
> walk to the apartments and back again. I did well and felt much more
> This week I practiced walking along the sidewalk and finding stores. I am
> learning to locate the door of the shop with my cane. My task this week
> was to find the door, enter the store and then find out what kind of store
> it was. Then I had to locate the door again to get back outside.
> My favourite store was "Bath and Body Works," a scented store like the
> "Body Shop."
> On Friday, I learned how to navigate my way over the train tracks: the
> main goal being to get across them as quickly as possible before a train
> came. Ruston has many trains. The train whistle shrills through the
> centre all day long.
> I have a small part in the Christmas play. I am an elf. I am also in the
> We practice almost every night. The performance is on Tuesday at the LCB
> Christmas party.
> Friday was the Ruston Christmas parade. Jeff and I took the boys. We
> stood and watched the lighted trucks, local high school marching bands and
> even Santa Claus passed by. People in the vehicles threw candy to the
> kids and honked their horns. Rhys spent the entire time waving and
> picking up candy off the road.
> Ronyn sat mesmerized on the tailgate of our truck and sucked happily on a
> In seminar this week, we did a personality test. It was like the popular
> "Myers-Briggs Type"
> test, but simpler. I learned a lot about myself and certain personality
> traits that make me who I am. It is a great way to learn about others and
> yourself and learn how to work better with others. There are four main
> personality types and usually everyone has one primary type and a
> secondary type. I can't remember the name of the test, but if you google,
> "Sanguine, Melancholy," it should come up. I think it would be an
> excellent thing to do with our members back home. And it is a lot of fun.
> Here is a brief description of the four types from the Web:
> A person who is sanguine is generally light-hearted, funloving, a people
> person, loves to entertain, spontaneous, and confident. However they can
> be arrogant, cocky, and indulgent. He/She can be day-dreamy and off-task
> to the point of not accomplishing anything and can be impulsive, possibly
> acting on whims in an unpredictable fashion.
> A person who is choleric is a doer. They have a lot of ambition, energy,
> and passion, and try to instill it in others. They can dominate people of
> other temperaments, especially phlegmatic types. Many great charismatic
> military and political figures were cholerics.
> A person who is a thoughtful ponderer has a melancholic disposition. Often
> very kind and considerate, melancholics can be highly creative - as in
> poetry and art - but also can become overly pre-occupied with the tragedy
> and cruelty in the world, thus becoming depressed. A melancholic is also
> often a perfectionist, being very particular about what they want and how
> they want it in some cases. This often results in being dissatisfied with
> one's own artistic or creative works and always pointing out to themselves
> what could and should be improved. They are often loners and most times
> choose to stay alone and reflect.
> While phlegmatic are generally self-content and kind, their shy
> personality can often inhibit enthusiasm in others and make themselves
> lazy and resistant to change. They are very consistent, relaxed, rational,
> curious, and observant, making them good administrators and diplomats.
> Like the sanguine personality, the phlegmatic has many friends. However
> the phlegmatic is more reliable and compassionate; these characteristics
> typically make the phlegmatic a more dependable friend.
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