Go Play – Obstacle Course – On Wheels!

Being a wheelchair user can have its ups and downs.  One of the ups is playing games in a wheelchair.  For some events (like last weeks Pickleball) I can use either my power wheelchair or my power.  There is an event called the Slolam, and basically it’s an obstacle course, both for  manual chairs and power chairs.

My first Slalom was done in a hospital-issue wheelchair.  I had to open, go through, and close doors, without knocking any little plastic pylons, and the course is done following a path from one obstacle to the next.  It took me more than 10 minutes to get through that challenge.  The second, and last time through a manual course, I was using a sports chair that was designed to fit me.  I got through the course in just over 3 minutes.

I  have done a lot of sports in a wheelchair but this one is the most challenging, I think.  I have played slow-pitch softball,  9-ball (billiards with only balls 1-9, shooting at the  balls in order), shot an air gun at targets, archery, bowling, track & field, and other things which I can’t think of now.

This autumn, I decided I would do the power course, laid out for differently, according to the athlete’s ability.  There are three quad courses, and I’ve done several of them.  This year, I was reclassified, and thus compete with people in a class that’s more competitive than the one that I did before.

The time was finally right, I put on my helmet (required), and I went through that course.  It may be a little different from the obstacle course most people think of when they hear, “obstacle course.”

Event For The Day

Today was the first day of events, at the Valor Games Southwest in San Antonio, TX.  I always play by the seat of my pants – no preparation in advance.  The game today was the best 3 out of 5 games.  I had to score 11 points and try to keep my opponents points to a minimum.

So I warmed up with a standing guy, who was a better player than I am.  I figured out where his weak spot was, and shot the ball in that direction as much as I could, then I would hit a soft little lob that just made it over the net, hitting the table on his side, but out of his reach.  You would have to have gargantuan arms to reach a ball that close to the net.

wp_20160927_030When I finally was up to compete (the official murdered my last name), and I played against one of the women I played 9-ball with in June/July.  She remembered me to.  We played.  I won, she won, I won, she won.  We were each 2 out of 4 at this point.  I took the fifth game.

We were a good match, about the same levels of play between us.  I had a good time.  I didn’t expect what was coming next.  They paired me up with a guy I didn’t know – and he just stomped me into the ground, taking the first three games.  I was out.

I later learned he was one of three professional players there.  They played on a team together.  No wonder he beat me so hard! 

This post was written without using the taboo word for 9/27/26.  Tomorrow, the last day of the challenge, is nearly impossible.

You can see today’s taboo word below. Visit Eric, author of the All In A Dad’s Work blog and creator of the challenge, for details on participating.


Click the blue frog to read others taking part in this fun challenge 

Why I Hate Tuna Tempter

Taboo Word  9/20/16

During the summer, once the three of us were past the screen door, it was locked behind us.  There were very few excuses that would change this situation.  Once we were out, we stayed out.  Period. 

Image result for WinterDuring the winter, after a big snowstorm, we begged to be allowed to go outside.  Most times it was as though the door was locked on the other side, and we could not go out and play with all that snow.


During the spring, we were allowed to go through that door, anytime we wanted, as long as there was daylight, and it wasn’t time to go back for supper.  I dreaded supper during the week.  

Every night during the week, the food was the same, only a little different.  Every weeknight there was a pot of boiled potatoes,  a smaller pot that held one can of vegetables, usually the much hated can of mixed vegetables.  

And then there was the plate, which held one piece of meat.  It could be a small steak that we had to divide among the five of us, or it could be two chicken breasts, and every so often, a piece of liver thrown out there for variety, I think.

Needless to say, the portions that each of us got were minimal, and yet almost every night, my brothers would sit there, refusing to eat something that was on their plate.  They would often sit there for a very long time, and she would not relent.  The ruler of the house, and everything outside the house for that matter, always had the last say.

Image result for kraft macaroni and cheeseOccasionally we would get a break from this and she would fix two boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese.  Everyone gobbled this up, and there usually wasn’t enough of that even. 


Saturdays were the bane of my life.  One time, she actually read a recipe that was on the back of a box of noodles.  

The recipe was for Tuna Tempter.  I remember it to this day, and it has been almost 40 years since I’ve had to make it, or eat it.

Melt 2 Tbsp of butter on the bottom of the pan.  Saute one small onion, diced, until  soft.  Add one can of Cream of Mushroom soup and 1/2 can of milk.  Stir until it is bubbly and well mixed.  Add 1 bag of egg noodles, and stir well.  Pour the noodle mixture to an oven-safe casserole dish.  Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 29 minutes.  Melt 1 Tbsp butter and add 1 slice of bread, torn to little pieces.  Coat bread crumbs well with the butter.  Sprinkle over the top of casserole, and place back on the oven rack for one minute.

He worked a half-day on Saturdays, and this Tuna Tempter was to be ready by 1:15.  Every Saturday.  Without fail.  I hate Tuna Tempter, and most other casseroles for that matter.


This post was written without using the Taboo Word for the day.

You can see today’s taboo word below. Visit Eric, author of the All In A Dad’s Work blog and creator of the challenge, for details on participating.


Click the blue frog to read others taking part in this fun challenge 

Share Your World #37

rocksHave you ever owned a rock, pet rock, or gem that is not jewelry?  I used to carry around a Tigers Eye, oh, back in the 80’s I guess.  I loved that stone, and I still do if I happen to see one.  But as far as pet rocks?  I was too old for those (or so I thought).  When I was younger (quite a bit), I used to collect interesting rocks, particularly during the summer of 1989, when I was taking a 2-week Geology class.  We packed up our camping gear, and spent two weeks, roaming through the rocks and geological formations in southern Illinois.  I know, who would have thought there were any kind of hills or canyons in Illinois?  I still have pictures to prove it, but not the rocks.

What is your greatest strength or weakness?  I believe my greatest strength, which is my mind, is also my greatest weakness.  Due to mental illness, even as a young child, my weakness was the mind, and that as I grew into adulthood, was plagued by nightmares, flashbacks, fears of things, real or imagined, which prevented me from living a fulfilling childhood, and caused me to live as an adult, still caught up in the mire of mental illness.  This lead to alcoholism and other behaviors that caused me to lose one job after another.  I believe that my mental illness was caused by both parents, as well as a gene carried by my mother.  My father was a pedophile of the worst kind, not that I’m sure there are varying degrees of pedophilia, and I was his victim – at least the only one I knew about.  My mother was a narcissist, who I believe also carried the gene believed to be needed in order to develop Borderline Personality Disorder.  This form of mental illness continues to plague me even today, causing irrational fears, inappropriate emotional responses to certain triggers, short, highly emotional relationships, fear of abandonment, and many other symptoms.  I also suffer from anxiety and depression.  Combine those with the MS, stomach issues, thyroid, parathyroids, and gall bladder problems and the results of all these problems, and I take 22 medications every day.

But my mind is also my greatest strength.  It got me through school with high grades, and then making the Deans list when I went back to school in the late 1980’s.  It is where my love of music, singing it and playing the guitar, saxophone, clarinet and the piano, originates from.  It is where my creativity stems from, allowing me to take a good look at myself, learning, understanding, and growing from my past.  My creativity has led me to writing, and then writing poetry, but also the ability to sit and look at an abstract design on the page and color it in, never knowing from the starting point where I will end up, but it is almost always something I feel is really good. 

firefliesWhat makes you feel grounded?  I think what makes me feel grounded, is being out in the country, or the woods or a forest, all of which make me more aware of this world that God created, and created me to live in, enjoying the ‘fruits of His bounty’.  Watching the fireflies blink bright green in the darkness of my campsite, or in the back yard when I was growing up (I don’t see them much now, since I’ve become city-fied. I don’t even have a backyard now.).  Or rolling down the bike path in my power chair, with only the sounds of the birds and insects that are all around me, when I am in areas that are overgrown once again with grass and bushes, and in wooded areas that I pass through.  The feel of the sun on my face in the Spring and the Fall, since I can’t be out much during the summer due to the MS, as I sit, stretched out in my chair, talking with others whom have come out to enjoy the nice weather, and the company as well.  Nature is what it is that makes me feel grounded, I guess I’d have to say if I was to put it all in one boring sentence.  😄


Would you rather never be able to eat warm food or never be able to eat cold food?  Oh this is an easy one.  You’ve all heard of comfort food?  Well, to me, comfort food is food that makes me feel good, and this is warm food.  Don’t get me wrong – I love my bowl of ice cream in the ice-creamevening, no matter if it is in the middle of summer or the middle of winter.  But cold ice-cream-conefood can get warm, and then definitely loses its appeal so just does not apply when talking about comfort food.  You can reheat a cold dish of chili, but you can’t put melted ice cream back onto the cone.  😬



Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  From last week, I am grateful for that monthly government check which just plops itself right into my bank account every month.  I’m grateful I was able to pay all my bills for the month, and still have some money left for groceries, as well some to put towards my upcoming trip to San Antonio, TX.  

This week I am looking forward to cooler temperatures, when I will be able to go outside and enjoy myself once again.  I look forward to practicing for the events I will be taking part in, at the Valor Games Southwest, in San Antonio, TX.  The Valor Games are adaptive sports competition for disabled veterans as well as Active Duty members.  It is a time to celebrate old friends and make new ones.  I need to be able to get outside and practice for the air rifle event, find a Senior Center where I can practice my table tennis from a wheelchair, and to just go bowling.  A healthy body is a happy body.

Cee’s Share Your World is a weekly feature and all are welcome to play along.

What’s going on in your world?


Where Did The Sun Go?

Taboo Word  9/12/16

It seemed like only yesterday, when I commented to my roommate at he hotel in Salt Lake City, how late it was and it was still light out.  Now, it’s a little after 7pm and it is almost totally dark outside.  I can hear all the buzzing of the nighttime bugs that seem to disappear during the day.

I am unable to go outside and enjoy some company with friends, like we had been doing.  Now, I’m sitting here writing away, now that I’ve gotten through those 69 emails that I had this morning.  And that only counts the ones that were already there when I opened my email.  Others were creeping in throughout the day.  I spent at least an hour, going through all the ones like Office Depot, AARP and others, unsubscribing for all the junk email so that I can do something else during the day besides reading and deleting email.

Nerd In The Brain has started the GO PLAY event and I got busy with one of the 10 point challenges, which is to draw or color something.  I pulled up my chair, sharpened my pencils and started coloring.  This is something I had put aside, and forgotten all about.  I honestly have no clue when the last time was that I sat and colored.  They tell me that it is supposed to relax me.  Uh, right.  I think that is something that flew out the window when I was looking away and putting the coloring books and pencils aside to collect dust, and be annoying when I needed the space for some other project I was doing.

The point I am trying to make is that I’ve been a space cadet, jumping from one thing to another, and now I run out of time during the day, and I’m unable to finish anything I start.  Somewhere during the day, I thought I was at the gym . . . or was that a dream??   I guess the real point I am trying to make, is I can write a post without using the taboo word.

You can see today’s taboo word below. Visit Eric, author of the All In A Dad’s Work blog and creator of the challenge, for details on participating.


Click the blue frog to read others taking part in this fun challenge 

The Man Took Me

Taboo Word 9/7/16

I don’t remember how it began,
It was so very long ago
This was the one certain man
That would not let me go

I was so little at the start
And so my memory fails
The man who had no heart
Prevented my tiny wails

No one heard me cry at night
No one knew my fears
My heart beat fast with so much fright
My face so wet from tears

The man who never let me show
How loudly beat my heart
No one was to ever know
My words, they would not start

The man is gone, for all time
Never again, will cause me pain
The memories now forever mine
I will never be the same

~ van ~

You can see today’s taboo word below. Visit Eric, author of the All In A Dad’s Work blog and creator of the challenge, for details on participating.


Click the blue frog to read others taking part in this fun challenge 

I Am A Veteran

I am a veteran.  I am a female veteran.  I am a disabled veteran.  

Every summer I look forward to the National Veterans Wheelchair Games.  This year was my 9th year of competition, and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it.  I participate in events ranging from 9-ball to softball to track and field.  

This is a video from the games (as they are known among all of us competitors) for 2016.  It is the 36th year for the NVWG.  I plan to continue to go to these games for as long as I am able.

Also during the summer, I compete in the Valor Games, which are for disabled veterans and active duty personnel.  I have competed in field, hand cycling, and this year started learning to play Pickleball.  It would take me a long time to explain what that is so here is a link for further information about this fun game.

What is Pickleball?

Share Your World #36

If you were given a boat or yacht today, what would you name it?  (You can always sell the yacht later) Today I would be given a kayak if I had my choice.  I learned how to use a kayak about three years ago.  I would name it the San Antonio, as that was where I was when I learned how to use one.  I loved it instantly, and I continued to use one every chance again.  But where I live, the only place I would be able to propel one would either be on the Root River (as nasty as it sounds), the quarry, which I’ve forgotten what it is called, but is very deep.  I think I would be scared out of my gourd, even if I were wearing a life vest, which of course I would be.  The only other alternative would be Lake Michigan, and that would depend on the weather, if there were waves, or if it were smooth.  I don’t think I would want to do that unless I had a death wish.  I guess I would sell it and put the money in some kind of savings account.


But I have used one, and I won a silver medal two years in a row, in a kayak competition.  



Unfortunately, since I’ve sold my kayak, I will not be able to compete with one this year.


Which of Snow White’s 7 dwarfs describes you best?  (Doc, Happy, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey) Plus what would the 8th dwarf’s name be?  Which of the 7 dwarfs best describes me?  I would have to say Sleepy, but Grumpy also, so the 8th dwarfs name would be Slumpy, which is a very good description of me.  I spend my days slumped into my recliner, when I’m not in my power chair.  I can’t slump in that chair, but I most definitely do in my recliner.  I think I have a permanent slump shape in that chair.


Name a song or two which are included on the soundtrack to your life?  Hmm, I really have to think about this one.  I loved the Tori Amos song that was posted on Cee’s site, but it has to be something else.  Okay.  It just hit me like a ton of rocks.  I have made a lot of changes in my life over the last . . . years, and so this is the one that is a part of my life, both when I first heard it 40-some years ago, and much more so today.  The song would be “I Am Woman” by Helen Reddy which I believe came out around 1975, and was very much a part of my life.

Complete this sentence:  I like watching…TV series on Netflix, particularly The Fosters. and I can hardly wait for the next season to come out.  I have other favorites as well, but this is the best one, followed by,  The Walking Dead, which kept me enthralled for a few weeks, I do believe.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  I guess that I’m grateful that I did not have to go anywhere last week, I had no appointments, so I didn’t have to leave home in all that heat, which I cannot tolerate.

 And in the week coming up, I’m looking forward to staying at home, being entertained by my big screen TV, and my laptop.  My cat is more of a bother, but she makes me get up in the morning, which I guess is a good thing, or else I might just sleep the day away.  She has a built in alarm clock, and sits on the middle of my chest, and checks to see if I’m alive and going to get up and feed her, by trying to lick my eyelids.  That is not really a very pleasant experience, but the opportunity to stay at home, with friends around in my building, out of the heat, is something that I look forward to this week.



Cee’s Share Your World is a weekly feature and all are welcome to play along.

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What’s happening in your world?

Weekend Coffee Share

Image result for CoffeeIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had a great, if tiring week.  I spent Tuesday thru Thursday in Chicago, for the Valor Games Midwest.  This is an adaptive sports event for veterans and active duty personnel who are physically disabled, or blind, or have PTSD, which I can tell you is very disabling, or traumatic brain injury.  I signed up for the field event throwing the discus and hand cycling only, as I didn’t want to trigger the MS due to the extra fatigue I might experience.

Image result for CoffeeIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that I was so worried about making travel connections, I google-mapped my route from the bus that took me to another bus that took me to a train Image result for Trainthat took me to a bus that took me to Soldier Field, in Chicago.  My travel and connections all went well.  The discus throw earned me a Gold medal Gold Medal
and the hand cycling earned me a silver medal, IMAG0017which was so unexpected that I had to wait for my chair to power up so that I could roll up the second place ramp, to receive the silver medal.

I would tell you that when I saw the pictures of myself on that podium, I felt much older, because of how grey my hair has become.  But after a bit, I realized that color of my hair didn’t necessarily match the age of my body, or my abilities.  I was also inspired to do some strengthening of my upper body, and continue to compete in these, and other adaptive sports for disabled persons, veteran or not.

Image result for CoffeeIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have a quiet week ahead, with only one appointment.  I hope she doesn’t end the session early because she is ill again.  I would tell you that having BPD causes me to feel as though I’m being abandoned when she cancels an appointment, that I take it as though she does it on purpose, because she knows that it’s a day on which I have an appointment with her, and it has happened several times.  This, among other thought patterns, is something that I am now aware of what the truth is, and that I just have to convince the little me it doesn’t have anything to do with me.  I would also tell you that I have inappropriate emotional responses, that these are exaggerated and that I have a negativity in myself that causes low self-worth, negativity, and inadequacy, especially when problem solving.

Image result for CoffeeIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that you are part of the new world I have let happen, in my blogosphere, people that I didn’t even know, read the thoughts and reactions and behaviors I have experienced and still do to some extent, and opened myself up to the comments and support of these people, and that I now feel as though I’ve known you all for the four-plus years that this blog has been my outlet.  You help me to believe in myself, that I can accomplish great things, in my writing and also in the things I try to do, even if the thought of it scares me or seems impossible.  The impossible is becoming possible, and I thank you all for your help.

Flower Of The Day

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