[nfbwatlk] Fw: Update from Ruston

Jim 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.  

-----Original Message-----
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
> www.elizabethlal.blogspot.com
> 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

> bus.
>  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 
> wonderful!
> 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 
> confident.
> 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

> quire.
> 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 
> sucker.
> PS.
> 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:
> Sanguine
> 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.
> Choleric
> 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.
> Melancholic
> 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.
> Phlegmatic
> 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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