Friday, October 22, 2010

Top 10 Things that Annoy People who use Wheelchairs...but maybe shouldn't

''Accessible Parking'' sign
Here's the official list of the

Top 10 Things that Annoy People who use Wheelchairs...
1.Able-bodied people parking in accessible parking space37%
2.Accessible bathroom stalls being used by an able-bodied person12%
3.Talking over my head as if I'm not here9%
4.Continuing to insist on helping me after I've said no thanks8.3%
5.Congratulating me for things like going to the grocery store like it's worthy of an Olympic medal6.1%
6.Strangers asking what happened to me5.7%
7.Not inviting me to an event because you are protecting me from some frustration (let me figure it out)5.3%
8.Patting me on my head. Don't.5.0%
9.Holding on to the back of my chair so I can't move4.4%
10.Speaking slowly to me because I'm in a wheelchair3.5%
Now that we have the Top 10 List, we just have to get people who are behaving badly to cut it out!

I don't agree with some of these so I thought I would comment on them one at a time.

1. Not all people who park in handicapped spots are in chairs but that does not mean they don't need them. For years I went without a chair or walker or even a cane. But then my body started hurting with distance. Finally a doc I was working for asked me where I was parking. He was most surprise I was using the regular parking that was a fur distance away. After a sever lecture we started the process to get my car a disabled sticker and a closer parking space.  About a year later a guy started to jump my case for illegal parking. After he ran down, I pointed out my handicapped licence plate and explained my problem with walking distances.  Moral: Not all people with disabilities use walking devices but still need close spaces. Look for stickers, licence plates, and tags that hang from the rear view mirror first.

2. I cut people a break on this one. They may be about to burst or have diarrhea. And if they don't go now they my mess themselves. Moral: it could have been a disabled person in there as well as an able bodied person. My problem with some bathrooms are architectural barriers that keep you from getting there. No joke, I have had to go back out to find someone to move a trash can so I can get to the disabled stall. And then there are the stalls that aren't big enough to get you and your chair in and be able to close the stall door.

3. This is one I have not run into often. I attribute it to ignorance and fear of what they don't know so ignore it and just speak right on up. But then I've dealt with my disability all my life ...also, I've always been the shortest person in all classes which is why I probably became such a big mouth. Moral: don't take offence from ignorant people. Just speak up and let them know you can talk for yourself.

4. Don't take it personally. If you watch you will see these 'helpful' people do the same thing for able bodied people. They want the sale and they have been trained that the most helpful get the biggest sales. I generally thank them for their offer, ask their name, and then say 'Mary, let me look around a bit and when I find something I need help with, I'll come and find you." Moral: don't take it personally.

5. This one used to bug the hell out of me until I realized they don't understand that the things we do and the way  we do them are 'normal' for us. Just like the same sorts of things are 'normal' for them. We all have to adapt to something. These people just don't think they could handle things if they were in our shoes. Moral: cut them a break, they fear they could do it if they were in the same conditions.

6. This is one I figured  out at a kid as they were the ones who generally asked (much to the horror of the parent with them). Here's what I figured out. If I can't talk about it, I have a problem. If they can ask it, I have the chance to educate someone. And if they can't handle the answer, they shouldn't have asked it in the first place.
(Sorry, I couldn't think of a moral for this one.)

7. Piffle! Talk to the person about it. They may have dealt with it before. If not, there's no time like the present! What a lot of people don't recognize is that most every place you go today has ways to accommodate us. You may need to call ahead to find out how but it can be done. One new years, we wanted to go to a swanky dinner in what was once a  very beautiful home. We called for reservations and explain my chair would not go up the stairs. No problem, they told us how to come through the kitchen. A wonder of sites and smells no one else got to experience that night. We might have stayed the night but there was no elevator to the second floor. Moral: most things are doable. It's rare to find a roadblock but everyone finds some sometimes.

8. Head patting it a sign of affection and being a shrimp all my life, I have had it a lot. I either ignore it (some of my friends are just like that) or growl and snap or ask where my cookie is. The soon get the idea and stop after we both laugh. The other alternative is to be honest and tell the person you really wish they would not do that as you are no longer a child of 6 and it really bugs you. Moral: it is OK to be honest about feelings.

9. Sorry, folks, I've never had this one happen. If I did, I would probably ask them if there is a danger I've missed and if not, LET GO. Moral: you may have to sit there but you don't have to take it!

10. This person is ignorant. Listen politely and then answer them at your normal speech. (Or if you are in west Texas, realize it is not you. They ALL talk that way.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bake Sale Murder by Leslie Meier

Bake Sale Murder (Lucy Stone Mysteries, No. 13)Bake Sale Murder by Leslie Meier

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lucy is the mom of 5, works on the small town newspaper, and is highly involved the school activities. After one the regular meeting of the group of 4 (moms who have been raising their kids and helping others for years) decide there is a need for a bake sale to help kids in need with school supplies, Lucy is sent off to round up the moms who used to bake. Problem: they are all into other things or have moved, are empty nesters, etc. Next meeting, it is decided it is time to involve the new moms that have moved into Lucy's neighborhood.

The meet and greet and bake sale planning is held at Lucy's house and all goes well. Next meeting is a taste and decide on the best products and who's going to make what and all the other details involve.

Comes the day of the bake sale and all the women schedule to work the first half of the day show up. Except for Mimi who works for the city and is a royal pain in the butt who reports everyone's slightest offences except her son's roaring motorcycle.

Lucy is sent off to find out what is going on as Mimi is also not answering her phone. What Lucy finds is burning cookies and smoke and Mimi slumped over the counter. As she goes to pull Mimi out the of the smoke filled house, she discovers Mimi's problem is not due to smoke inhalation but a carving knife embedded in her back.

Ah but that is not the only mystery in town. Someone is sending unsigned note to the paper about hazing of the JV football team and the cheerleaders (one of whom is Lucy's daughter). And then there is the tramp who shows up for Mimi's funeral only to show up dead himself.

While this is one of a series of books, don't worry, everything is nicely wrapped up (not who I thought 'did it'). There is an starter for the next book. BUT most importantly, there are some good recipes at the end that were referred to in the novel. You could jump to the end and start a batch and read while they are cooking unless you are one of those people who block things out while reading.

This is another that I would call a "cozy" mystery. So fix yourself a cuppa, curl up in your favorite chair, and enjoy yourself.

(This is an e'book I got for my Mac Kindle.)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

Safe Haven   by, Nicholas Sparks
Oh, Hachette, I can't thank you enough  for letting me listen this book for you! I don't know why you have an abridged version of this book.. It is so beautifully written. The descriptions are so necessary for the settings and the people!

I can say Katie is new to a small rural town in North Carolina; that she is reserved and lovely and has moved into a small cottage in the 'boonies'. But that doesn't really describe her. It doesn't show her reservation or give you any feelings of something ominous in her past; that she may be running from something or why.

An abridged version might not build her slow friendship with her new neighbor, Jo, in the only other cabin near hers or her relationship with the grocery story owner and his 2 kids.

This is a cosy mystery. The start is gentle but the writing makes it worthwhile as we start to learn about Katie as she makes friends we learned to love. That gentle pace picks up as we learn who and why Katie is on the run  and we run with her to the end.

It was nice to take on a story that builds and builds and builds to a strong ending.  I hope you all enjoy it as much as DH and I!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Red Church

The Red ChurchThe Red Church by Scott Nicholson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As most of my friends know, I am not a fan of the 'horror' genre. So why the heck would I read this one? I've been following Scott Nicholson's Kindle tour and as I read his postings, I found I liked them. While some were very lengthy, I didn't mind reading them because of the way he wrote. And then he wanted his fans to push his ebook sale of "The Red Church" up to the 100 mark. Well, I have Kindle on my Mac and 99 cents was a good price to help a friend....yes, I went to Amazon and got it.

I had just finished my last book and thought I would see what I had gotten for 99 cents. If I didn't like it, I wouldn't have to finish it.

Next think I knew, it was time to go to bed. I had met 2 brothers, who while walking home from school had to pass the old red church (which like most from it's time, had a grave yard beside it). The younger brother (not knowing all the history of the church or ghost stories) saw something that drew his attention (a 'girly' magazine) and called his reluctant brother over to see the findings. Next thing you know, an almost dead person grab an ankle with causes much screaming as the ankle get unhooked and the boys race home to tell their parents of the gruesome happening!

The parents meanwhile are at home fighting. It seems a evangelical preacher from the area had left several years ago for California with the wife and a few other woman to start the Church of the Two Suns. The husband had 'rescued' her from them and brought her back to the mountains. But the preacher was back and the wife seemed to have come 'under his spell' again.

Two more strange deaths occur.

The church bell rings but how....there is no bell cord.

Yep. I was hooked. I finished it this morning.

There are ghosts and monsters terrible happenings but maybe because it is primarily told through the 13 year old big brother, it is not a gory as it might have been.

But I think my friends who lean that way will enjoy it as much as I did. 'Definitely right for this time of year~

View all my reviews

Monday, October 4, 2010

Agatha Christie Marathon

Ok, I know it looks like I've been off books. But it is not true! We have been listening to lots of shorts by Agatha Christie from

The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (Dramatised) 44:17
After the Funeral (Dramatised)    1:27:20
The Blood-Stained Pavement (Unabridged)    22:52       
Cards on the Table (Dramatised)  1:27:28     
Endless Night (Dramatised)    57:19     
The Golden Ball (Unabridged)   22:19     
The Gypsy (Dramatised)   27:46     
Hallowe'en Party (Dramatised)   1:27:39   
The Herb of Death (Unabridged)  30:48   
The Market Basing Mystery (Unabridged)  20:26   
The Plymouth Express (Unabridged)  30:23   
Sleeping Murder (Dramatised)    1:27:05  
The Thumb Mark of St. Peter (Unabridged)   28:43
The Tuesday Night Club (Unabridged)  27:34
The Wasp's Nest (Unabridged)  20:36

All but one we really enjoyed. "Endless Night" just didn't seem to match up as well as the others and I am sorry to say I can't tell you why. It wasn't bad, it just was not as good as the others.  But the prices were right for a wee splurge. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Bride Collector

The Bride Collector   by, Ted Dekker
I have to thank Libby of Libby's Library News for putting this book up as a giveaway and Hachette Audio for offering it to her!

When the audio arrived, I thought "Why don't we (DH and I) just listen to the first disc and see what we think. We can listen to the rest of it later (12 disc set)."

Well, that was Friday and this is Sunday and disc 12 has finished. What does that tell you? Yes, we did like it...a lot!

This is how Hachette described the book:
FBI Special agent Brad Raines is facing his toughest case yet. A Denver serial killer has killed four beautiful young women, leaving a bridal veil at each crime scene, and he's picking up his pace. Unable to crack the case, Raines appeals for help from a most unusual source: residents of the Center for Wellness and Intelligence, a private psychiatric institution for mentally ill individuals whose are extraordinarily gifted. 

It's there that he meets Paradise, a young woman who witnessed her father murder her family and barely escaped his hand. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, Paradise may also have an extrasensory gift: the ability to experience the final moments of a person's life when she touches the dead body. 

In a desperate attempt to find the killer, Raines enlists Paradise's help. In an effort to win her trust, he befriends this strange young woman and begins to see in her qualities that most 'sane people' sorely lack. Gradually, he starts to question whether sanity resides outside the hospital walls...or inside.

There is more to the description than this but I am choosing stop here because that last sentence is a salient part of the book. Where is the line between sanity and insanity? Is the line clear? Blurred?

I think the book does well in delving into those questions as it takes you through a hunt with the help some wonderful characters!

I could not see this book abridged without significant loss.

John Glover does a superb narrating job!

Audio or paper version, I think mystery/suspense lovers will enjoy this book!