Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hot & Cold


I am running both hot and cold this week. Saturday I will leave for a sunny adventure here....

SO EXCITED! More on that later....

Last weekend, however I was in opposite climate, bundled up and playing in the slushy white stuff. The WOW group and I drove up to Mad River Ski Resort in Bellefontaine, Ohio for an adapted ski clinic. This is our third year taking part in the clinic, and it was my fifth time skiing. Every time I go I wish I went more often. I love it so much! A few snapshots:






As you can see, five years of experience has not made me more..um....coordinated =).

While this field trip takes alot of planning, driving, money, it is totally worth it. It is such an inspiring, challenging activity for the kids. They get to test their nerves and muscles, and always have such a great time. This is one of those field trips that they talk about all year long.

The Adapted Adventure Sports Coalition (TAASC) is responsible for teaching the adapted skiing. The always do an EXCELLENT job. I can't say enough good things about them. They make it easy for us to come together, they ge to know each of the kids in the group, and really give them the best experience possible. We originally met them when they held a clinic at Perfect North (about 2 hours from Louisville) and liked them so much we followed them to Mad River (about 4 hours). They offer other programs, like canoing, kayaking, and water skiing. I highly recommend if you know someone in the area who has a disability, you check them out.

Find info here

Later on that night, fueled by hot chocolate and power bars, a few of us decided to go snow tubing. I had been before and thought it would be a great activity for the kids. Not such a great experience. Mad River is a great facility, accessibility-wise. Their lodge has great facilities, and we have never had a problem getting around. Their snow tube park is a different story. Their set up makes it basically impossible for a person with a physical disability to go tubing, unless they are able to stand and walk. Basically, the moving sidewalk is not wide enough to accommodate someone witting in the tube on the way up. Also, their parking lot and walking path is all gravel, which is a real nightmare for a wheelchair.

That, however, was not the biggest problem we had. I was there with one other guy with a disability, his parents and sister. We bought our tickets, Graham and climbed out of our cars and into our tubes, and the other people were nice enough to pull us up to the conveyor belt. Not an easy task. Took about 20 minutes up a hill...COVERED IN GRAVEL. UGH! But, we are trying to make the best of the situation, so up we went. When we get in line to board the moving sidewalk, then we were told that we could not get on. That we would have to turn around and go back. What??

After waiting for another 20 minutes for a manager to come and talk to us. We informed him that we were NOT in fact going to climb down the ridiculous gravel hill and we WERE going to take our tubes down the track. I think we overpowered him, because he finally gave in and up we went. For one very hard fought ride.

Check out the view (and one very happy rider, my friend Graham):



Pretty much worth it. The manager actually was very accommodating and even asked what they could do to fix the problems with their park. We gave suggestions, and hopefully, they will listen. We will see next year. If you want more information about Mad River, look here.

I have officially had my fill of snow for the year. I am so ready for spring. It's supposed to snow here in Louisville this weekend. I will be thinking of all of you while in sunny Florida....;)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Call to Action

The KY State government is in session and that means many new bills are being debated and voted on. Every year I receive countless emails from friends and colleagues about bills that they want me to know about. When you feel as passionate about politics as many of my friends, you want to educate everyone you know about what is going on. Usually these emails end with a way to contact my senator and they them to vote yes or no. If it is something I agree with I have no problem expressing my opinion. However, I don't usually send out emails or try to get people to vote on issues. Politics can be a sensitive issue and I am not always comfortable.

This is different. Two bills are currently in the legislature that are so important to the well being of our community, to the future of the people of this stae, I just can't ignore them. So, indulge me my soapbox and educate yourself. And please consider contacting your local legislators.

{HOUSE BILL 68}
Kentucky State Senator Gary Tapp (R), from Shelbyville, KY, introduced Senate Bill 68 (SB 68) which states "prohibit the approval of foster care, relative caregiver services, or adoption of a child by an applicant who is cohabiting with a sexual partner outside of a marriage that is legally valid in Kentucky"... in short, since Kentucky has passed a ban on same-sex marriage... this would prevent same-sex couples in the state from adopting.


{Kentucky HB 72}
Summary: This bill would extend existing anti-discrimination laws to apply to discrimination motivated by sexual orientation and gender identity.

Status: This bill was introduced January 6, 2009 and assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.


(My personal opinion is that HB 68 is the total opposite if what we need in this state. Why on earth would you limit the number of safe, loving, stables homes willing to open their doors to children who need them? Do people seriously think that a child is better served by growing up in a children's home or in foster care then in a loving, committed homosexual household? What are they afraid of? There was case I am vaguely familiar with in Lexington where a gay couple paid for a surrogate to have a baby for them. The child was growing up in their father's home, until one day 'someone' reported them and the local court forced them to give full custody of the child to the surrogate mother. Ridiculous. House Bill 72 should have been passed a LONG time ago. It's not special rights, just equal rights. Sad to think in this enlightened age that there can still be widespread discrimination over something so trivial, but 50 years ago people didn't think twice about limiting the rights of black people. Something to think about. Lastly, I have to say that when I think about the issue of gay rights, I have to wonder where is the root of the problem? What is the big deal with letting people get married or adopt a baby? I know it is a religious issue for some and many people believe that it shouldn't happen. Fine. If that is how you live your life and how your family lives, good for you. That is your right. Is it really necessary to legislate that other people live that way as well? Maybe we can live and let live instead and stop wasting time (and tax dollars) taking away people's rights. That's resources better spent improving our community instead.)

So, there's my two cents. Something to think about. Thank you for reading and keeping an open mind. If you want to contact your local senator, here how:

You can find your State Senator by going to lrc.ky.gov

OR

call 1-888-VOTE SMART (1-888-868-3762) or log on to www.vote-smart.org and enter your home zip code (5 digits followed by -0000) in upper left-hand corner. Once your information page appears, scroll down under "Current Officials" to "State Legislative" to find your Senator. Click on his/her name and contact information including email will appear.

Friday, February 13, 2009

tunes to groove to

Watching the Grammys last weekend put me in the mood for music. I have been downloading alot of new music lately. Here are a few new favorites:

{Adele}
I am pretty much obsessed with these two songs from her album '19'.




{Sugarland}
I have heard a few of their songs before, but they blew me away on the Grammys. That girl can seriously sing!



{BONUS)
Adele and Sugarland performed together on the show-FANTASTIC!


{Jennifer Hudson}
Another girl I have a little about. I need to get her CD.

{U2}
Love them. Can't wait for their new CD!