Coats in the closet

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I love winter clothes. I’m in heaven when the Bean winter catalog arrives. The problem is  that I intensely dislike winter. That little incident with the ice and the spinal cord notwithstanding, winter is not my thing.

When we get an occasional cold spell (near Orlando, Florida) I head to the coat closet. Now comes the problem. Which coat? We have about 10 cold days a year, so I have to be prepared. So here I am this morning, sitting in front of an array of choices. The ancient teal one with the purple collar? No, it’s too warm for today. The blue and white striped hoodie? No, it’s better for wind and rain. The blue Mickey Mouse hoodie? Maybe. The polar fleece pullover? Another possibility. Denim jacket? Why do men’s denim jackets have to be made from such heavy material? London Fog? Another one best suited for rain. Canvas pullover?

Ah ha! The plaid pullover! My favorite. The choice is made! Off I go outside. Wait a minute. It’s cold out here. Back inside, coat hung up, I think I’ll slip on a sweater. Now, which sweater????

Thank you for stopping by. I love your comments. It’s been awhile between posts because  it appears I reacted to a new med, and things went downhill for a few weeks. I hope y’all are having a wonderful holiday season.

Picture: George is outside in the sun in front of a background of green trees. From the top down, blonde hair, sunglasses, and the plaid coat. Multicolored, predominately blue and red with a bit of yellow layered over a red tee shirt. 

 

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Beautiful Pandora

Portrait of a beautiful young lady with blue skin and long, dark hair.

Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom has been on our radar for months. Summer in Florida is not the time for someone living with MS to be out, so we waited. The weather finally cooled. It was worth the wait!

It was a cool day, so my available energy was good. There is a long hill just after the park entrance. “Let’s see if I can push this.” Indeed, I did. I kept up with young families pushing strollers, so that was encouraging. (I’ve been rehabbing my shoulder and arm all summer.)

It’s the South, y’all, and for lunch we had a Southern favorite, pulled pork on mac and cheese with a side of cole slaw. And a big ol’ Diet Coke. We ate in a shelter house by the lake at the Flame Tree Barbecue.

Then on to Pandora. One of the most popular features is meeting the beautiful, blue skinned warrior Neytiri. The vegetation is awesome.

It’s afternoon and time for a break. Sandy went to get something to drink. “If you see something really neat, get that if you’d like.” She did! Behold! Chocolate mousse plus blueberry and lemon. If you are going to indulge, this is the way.

We explored a bit more and wisely decided to call it a day whilst my limited energy was still holding out. Next time we are going to do the ride and see the River of Lights.

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Thank you for stopping by. As always, I love your comments. I’d also be delighted if you subscribe. Coming soon, Epcot Food and Wine.

Pictures: Top photo is a close up of Neytire. She has clear, blue skin and beautiful, long hair. First composite photo has vegetation. A red plant resembling a croton only with fan leaves and a large yellow plant in the shape of a pineapple set amidst luscious ferns. Second composite are a chocolate mousse, a blue and yellow mousse, and then Sandy siting back and enjoying her soda. Final picture is George in my wheelchair, left leg on the footrest, right leg forward and on the ground, wearing an orange hat, bright green shirt, jeans shorts, and blue flip flops. (Yes, it’s a tad bit colorful!)

 

The WHILL on Halloween

In my best Alfred Hitchcock voice… “Good evening. Ladies and gentlemen, you are about to be introduced to an amazing concept in electric mobility.”
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Since this is being written on Halloween, I hope you are all having a fun evening doing your favorite things, like eating chocolate. The Amazing Zina was so kind as to pose for us as we explore a new electric conveyance called the Whill, Model M.

Over the next several weeks, we will learn a great deal about this new concept as we explore its potential together. I initially saw the Whill, Model M when a friend was the Ambassador, and she showed how it differs from conventional wheelchairs (or scooters for that matter, though I am not a scooter fan). I applied to be a Whill Ambassador and was so pleased to be accepted.

In future Popping Wheelies and on my social media pages there will be pictures of some ingenious design and what it will do. Stick around. And please save me a piece of chocolate.

Picture is George in the Whill, Model M wheelchair with friend Zina in all her Halloween finery. Both are wearing black. George has a  Medieval  cross. Zina is wearing a flowing gown with her long, dark hair over her shoulder.

Here is where to find me online.     Instagram: grector71     Twitter: @grector71     Facebook: George Rector     To search even more.      #WhillModelM     #Whill   @_whill

 

“Still” Letting off steam

IMG_1035It is not my intention to use this forum, which you so kindly grant me, to blow off steam.  This evening it is exactly that.

“…. still ….” Today a person who I respect was impacted negatively by one word in a comment made to him/her.

In my many years as a wheelchair jockey I’ve heard many backhanded compliments that were hurtful to the person on the receiving end. A lady I know was told, “You’re too beautiful to be in a wheelchair.” What?!? There are so many things wrong with that sentiment that it would take a room full of PhD’s to sort them out. I’ve been told that I look good “even if you are in a wheelchair.” Same thing again.

The word today, though, was “still.” It was followed by “beautiful.” That word is so often used as a backhanded compliment that it makes me cringe when I hear it.

If someone is beautiful, they are beautiful. If handsome, please say so. If nice, they are nice. I’m preaching to the choir. You all know this. Many of you have been impacted by it. I’ve deflected so many that it is just instinct. That skill, for lack of a better word, did not come easily, and it came at a price.

Thank you for hearing me out. Thank you for stopping by, and I’d love to hear your comments.

Photo is a drawing of the 60’s cartoon character Super Chicken. It is an angry chicken wearing a floppy, purple hat and purple cape headed out to save the day.

Popping wheelies in the hurricane

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“One if by land and two if by sea.” What is the signal for something coming by land and by sea? We in Florida are looking down the barrel of a nasty hurricane. I’m in the middle of the peninsula about 60 miles (96 km) from either coast – and therefore close to both.

We have worked for days preparing, and this morning the first bands of wind and clouds arrived. The first wind driven rain arrived at noon. How does a paraplegic prepare? What extra precautions do we have to take to accommodate wheeling through this safely?

First things first, and that means food and water. We had sent our “hurricane kit” to Houston, so we started over. Canned soup with pull tabs, protein bars, 2 loaves of bread, and a big jar of cheese puffs. Additional water, orange flavored carbonated water, and some Coke Vanilla Zero. Then we went back for paper products and that necessary stuff. It was a lot of trips between the car and the kitchen. Sandy lifted the reusable bags out of the car, and I trucked them in on my lap.

Having taken care of ourselves, we moved outside. I lifted the small and medium pots off the patio, and Sandy carried them to the protection of the covered and screened lanai. Thank goodness for good neighbors. IMG_0427.JPGThey lifted what would could not lift and reached what we could not reach. The flowers you saw in The Empty Pots no longer grace the patio. It’s devoid of everything. Then we moved to the front of the house and repeated the process.

 

Books! Too heavy if we’d have to leave. Ebooks, yes! Lots of them. Audiobooks. Are three enough? Maybe not. Charge our electronic devices. Do we really have that many? I’m guessing you have several, as well.

Pffft. As I roll past the kitchen island the sound came from my left tire. Flat. Fortunately, in a moment of brilliance, I had ordered spare tubes. I can change a tire if needed and proceeded to try. That was a no go. Enter again a good neighbor. An excellent bicyclist, he picked up the wheel, tube, and tire and proceeded to change it with just his hands.

Rolling again, it was time to prepare the wheelchair. You might ask why something so important was left to last. I don’t need electricity to prep the chair, and flat tires aside, it is something that doesn’t require help from our friends. Make sure tires are aired, chair cleaned, front casters rolling well. My cushion is washable, and I’d washed it last week when electricity was certain.

Well in advance of hurricane season I had talked with our county Emergency Management people about accessible shelters and transportation. They advised me to stay in my solid home if at all possible but to call if I need transportation. Never ride out a hurricane in a mobile or manufactured home. Just don’t.

We are experiencing outer bands 12 hours before we will receive tropical storm force winds and 24 hours ahead of hurricane force winds. And in a wonderful moment after a band of wind driven rain. a rainbow appeared. We’ll be fine!

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Pictures: Top photo is the statue of a lady holding grapes in front of a dark, leaden sky. Center photo shows the brick patio with everything removed. The final picture is the same statue taken through a rain soaked screen with a rainbow beside her. By the way, her name is Gina.

Wheelies and waves

fullsizeoutput_149b.jpegI love ships – cruise ships. Big ones, small ones, new ones, and old ones if they’ve been refurbished. Cruises are our escape. Escape from the grocery, pharmacy, hardware store, watering plants, and running the robot on the floors. Escape to flip flops.

Oh, wait! I wear flip flops for everything. Let’s try this… Take my flip flops, my wheels, and my camera and go somewhere. Somewhere stress free and laid back and accessible. What is more accessible than the ocean if you have a beautiful ship?

Two weeks ago we drove to Port Canaveral and headed for the Caribbean. Sandy and I cruise differently than what one might expect. This week, for example, we actually used the dining room. My tux consisted of a shirt with buttons and soft, brown pants with the drawstring tucked in out of sight. And I wore socks!

This beauty is new and large. Very large with lots of carpet. Did someone find a sale at Captain Ollie’s Carpet Outlet? Wheelchairs don’t like carpet. I got pushed a lot more than I like. But other areas are nice and smooth with the freedom to roam around, get  a coconut cooler, hit the Coke Freestyle machine, and shop. I love to shop. This trip I bought some sunscreen and some spray aloe. I said shop. It takes money to actually buy!

DSCN1835We relaxed in the pool. Why are ship’s pools not accessible? Getting back into the wheelchair takes some doing. The lifeguards offered assistance. The water was warm and the fountains fun.

My favorite stop was the beach party. DSCN1801Caribbean. August. Hot. But the sidewalk is paved close to the water, there was a great breeze, and the lunch was fun. I didn’t attempt the sand. fullsizeoutput_1499.jpeg

You can make a cruise into whatever you want. Flip flops or ties. To this wheelie, the sea is the place to be.

Thank you for sailing with us. It is always a pleasure having you here. Try out the new Follow button!

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Pictures: The opening photo is a blown out flip flop with a repair tag that reads Flip Flop Repair Shop; Customer, Jimmy Buffet; Address, Margaritaville; Service Required, Fix blown out flip flop. – Small photo on the right shows a small, round pool with overhead fountains. Next pictures are of Sandy behind a life preserver and George under a palm tree on the beach. – Final picture is a large photo of George sitting partially turned in the wheelchair, in front of a cut out of a huge butterfly.

Where’s the Follow button?

DSCN1183 Last evening I received a nice message from my friend, Sassy Wyatt who writes the wonderful blog Thinking Out Loud. She was trying to find the Follow button. I knew it must have been there at one time. Nope, not there. Only by accident did I discover how to access it. This had to be fixed. And fixed it is. I cleaned up the side panel, simplified it, and added a nice, easy to find Follow button. If you are new here, I invite you to try it out! Meanwhile,  here is the link to Thinking Out Loud. I think you will like it, and I suggest you check it out. Thinking Out Loud

Thank you for stopping by. I always welcome your comments. By the way, Sandy and I just returned from a cruise. More on that soon.

Small photo at the top is a purple oval against a black background. Actually it is a light fixture from a cruise ship.