Aug 29, 2013

Horns! Horns! Horns!

We have reserved the Pavillion in Silsbee tomorrow evening (Friday) from 3 to 7 to have a horn drive.  Even though Mr. Bandman is no longer open as a retail store, Paul is still doing repairs in his home shop and we still have acess through NEMC to our rent-to-own instruments.  We also have a few used instruments left to sell.  The Rudisall Pavillion is commonly called the farmers market pavillion.  It is on 3rd St. just north of  the railroad tracks.  It is really nice place with usually a nice breeze through it, as pavillions are prone to have.  It has lights and ceiling fans, and there are restrooms and water available, We usually take some things once a month when the Hardin County (Facebook group) has a trunk sale there. It was a big event last month.

I have been trying to get advertising out for the event.  There ads in American Classifieds (Thrifty Nickel) and the Silsbee Bee, also on-line on  I just finished signs to put around town to direct people to us.  Considering my limitations due to ataxia (described in my last post) I think they turned out pretty good. I made 3 two-sided signs--or a total of six "Horns" and I traced all the letters and colored them in with a wide paint marker.  Being 70+ and having ataxia I have finally learned that something like this does not have to be perfect, good enough is good enough.  It also helps to be exposed to Flylady's philosophy regarding perfection..
One side of signs!

Other side of signs!

Anyway, we are looking forward to renting a lot of horns to beginner band students. It is always exciting when the beginners get their new instruments, whether they are actually new or "new to them".Getting a band instrument is usually a family affair, and the kids and parents are so excited.  Sometimes you'd think the younger sibling was going to play the horn, theyseem so proud to get it.  Paul has also had a lot of repairs recently and is expecting some horns to arrive from out of state anytime for repairs. It is good for him to be busy right now.

See you at the farmers market pavillion in Silsbee tomorrow!

Aug 23, 2013

The Trials of Ataxia (Part 1)

Ataxia really sucks.  There are lots of things about it to deal with on a day to day basis and it is common for Ataxians  to be depressed because they are not able to do what they used to do.(when I mention this to my age contemporaries, I am often reminded that no one can do what they did when they were younger) The difference, I think, is that often young people, or people in the prime of life, are stricken with ataxia.  Also, those of us who are older at the onset of it face some different challenges than just growing old.

One thing I find most frustrating is that I can't write or print anymore.  I feel this must be a language function as I can crochet and do other things that require fine motor skills.  I can't even sign my name like I used to.  We work crossword puzzles (with pencil in a book) each night and no matter how carefully I try to print the words legibly, it is hard, if not impossible, to read the letters later.  Last year I practiced writing  and could "draw" the letters with concerted effort, but it was a chore and, it was not my handwriting.  I have always been one to take a lot of notes when listening--I guess I am a kinetic learner.  You can imagine my dismay when I couldn't jot down notes and scripture references during a Bible class or sermon. I have always liked to make lists and write cards and letters by hand.  Somehow making to do lists, printing envelopes and cards, and keeping a calendar on the computer just doesn't seem natural.  Necessity will change old habits, I suppose.

The last two days, I tried my hand at coloring a picture.  I started off with map pencils which work well for the small spaces.  The problem came with trying to sharpen them--the lead was broken in the pencils, it seems. So I had to change to crayons and use a different brown color. The blue Z's showed better with the original brown background. It was not so easy to get in the small spaces with the crayon either.  I was happy with end result though.  I was able to stay in the lines! It was a strain, but I did it.  I think I relaxed and didn't hold the pencil or crayon quite so tightly the second day.  Perhaps handwriting practice at least several times a week would be helpful?  Another positive was that I was able to draw somewhat of a circle (blue) around the picture.  I intend to color it all in tomorrow and make a colored background.  
Here is the picture I've been working on:  
Here's some of my writing. It is done holding the pen very tightly and takes a lot of effort--like a little child learning to write.  My penmanship was never outstanding, but this is so frustrating!
This just one aspect of living with Ataxia.

Aug 20, 2013

Hi! It's been so long since I.have  written anything here.  So much has happened in this last year.  I will try to hit some of the highlights.
1) I was diagnosed with Ataxia--I will devote a blog to this at a later date. Suffice it to say that the condition worsen during the last year and a half and I use a rollator (wheeled walker) to get around now.
2) We closed the Music Store at the end of January,2013, but Paul has a repair shop here at the house and we are still doing the NEMC rental plan on band instruments.
3) I sold my stock for Hazel's Hodge Podge and am not doing on-line sales right now.
4) Paul had a colonoscopy in late June as required by our insurance company. What we expected to be a routine exam turned into a diagnosis of colon cancer.  Right now we are awaiting the results of a second colonoscopy/biopsy.  The plan is to shrink the tumor with chemo treatment then remove the cancer laproscopically. My daughter, Sharon, set up a care page for me to keep everyone updated. link to it here.
5)Of course, there were lots of other big and little things that happened in the last year but this will maybe catch you up some and get me back into the "blogging" groove.