Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bob Jones Bike Trail

One of our favorite places to go on Saturday is the Bob Jones Bike Trail. Yesterday we decided that after dinner would be the perfect time. It would be cooler and a lot less crowded. It ended up being perfect. We enjoyed such a peaceful walk/roll.

 Oh, no, here is a sign that greets us to the trail!! 

 We know what to do if a mountain lion is spotted so we continued unafraid. 

This is Evan's Dragon Fly from Rio Mobility.  It just snaps on to his wheelchair and turns it into a hand-cycle.  He can go faster and it works different arm muscles. 

Evan is working hard!!

Most of the scenery is beautiful!!

We pass along the San Luis Creek.  

We almost always see ducks.  

 There are lots of trees and the trail is away from the road so it's peaceful.

Then you come to this!! Rusty poles in the ground!

Strange and lovely at the same time??

Can Evan make it up the hill?? 

We decided to try and get out here on weekdays too!  We certainly all need to the exercise! And it's only a ten minute drive from our house!!  Ask us in another month how we are doing on that??

Where do you like to stroll??

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Half-Way Point


Well, FamilySearch is at the halfway point in completing the index for the 1940 US Census.   You can read about this accomplishment here. I have enjoyed being a tiny part of this history making event.  Here of some of the States I have helped to index.  

I tried to pick States where I knew there had been family living.  I was hoping to accidentally find someone that was related to our family.  While that hasn't happened, yet anyway, I have been amazed at the diversity of our great country.  I have index names from a convent, a US Navy base, and a prison. I have indexed names from Japan (in researching the correct spelling of names I know some of them were interred), Spain, China, Mexico, Italy, Yugoslavia, Russia, Czechoslovakia, Canada, Ireland, England and on and on.   I have indexed a 64 year old who was living with a 71 year mother.  Not sure how that happens!!  Also, I indexed a mother-in-law who was a man, a son that was female, etc.  You get the idea.  While we know these are inaccurate the rule is to type what you see.  So, that is what I do. Family members who know will have to sort that all out!!

I also became a brand new arbitrator on the 1940 US Census!!  I have been indexing for many years now and decided now was a great time to start arbitrating.  I have enjoyed it. There is help out there from FamilySearch with training, and articles like these.  And there is a Skype group and a Facebook page where you can share a batch and others will help you decipher some of the more difficult handwriting. You never have to feel alone when you are indexing or arbitrating. 

I am looking forward to the Index being completed.  I know there is family waiting to be found. I wonder who is out there Indexing my family names.  I wonder who is going to be happy to find family names I am Indexing. 

It's not to late to become a part of this wonderful endeavor to Index the 1940 US Census.  More information on how to join this great project can be found here.   Oh, and check out this great map, here, that shows the status of each state!  California is almost done!! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Speaking Up

Sometimes it is good to speak up when you see something that is wrong.  A few weeks ago I read something in a travel magazine that really bothered me. It was a suggestion that if you want a larger hotel room opt for a wheelchair accessible room. Having just traveled across the country we know first hand how hard it can be to find a room that is accessible. 

So, I sat down and Mike helped me to write a letter.  This is what we wrote.

"As parents of an adult son who uses a wheelchair, we are angered by your hotel review, regarding the Jalama Beach Cabins (June 2012, issue page 24).  You stated "...opt for the ADA-accessible Comorant, which has a bigger "yard" and ocean views from every room".    There was no mention that this room is for people who need the accessibility. And that is what it is for, PERIOD!!  It is NOT for people who just want a spacious room or an ocean view!!  

Out of seven cabins there is one with wheelchair access.  If it is taken by able body people, then the person using the wheelchair is left out.  Do you have any idea what that feels like?  Do you know how hard it can be to find a wheelchair accessible room??  Trust us, it is difficult!  Shame on you!! 

We think there needs to be an apology in your magazine addressed to people with disabilities.  And NOT just in a stuck in a little corner!! 

Maybe next time you do a hotel review you could borrow a wheelchair and try to get around and see how it feels.  Or maybe your magazine could do an article to help people with disabilities travel easier.  Certainly, a well trusted organization such as AAA could do better than you have done with this article." 

We didn't really expect to receive a reply with an apology but we did and were pleasantly surprised.

Dear Cindy and Mike,
Thank you so much for your letter in response to our review of the Jalama Beach Cabins ["Out&About," June]. We certainly would never recommend that someone who didn't need an accessible room or cabin take one over a person with a handicap. We're sorry we didn't make that clear in the story. We asked the writer to further clarify what she meant. Here's her response:
Thanks for your insight. Your point is a good one. We rented this cabin because it was the only one available on the weekend we camped, and we were sure that we weren't taking it from anyone who might otherwise need it. I can see how this might have seemed inconsiderate, however, and I appreciate hearing, and learning from, your perspective. Starshine Roshell
We can't speak for the policies of the Jalama Beach Cabins, but most hoteliers that we've spoken to have a "last sell" policy about their ADA-accessible rooms, saving them until the last-minute, so that they rent the ADA-compliant accommodations only when all others have been rented and when they're fairly certain that the room won't be needed by someone with a disability. You're absolutely right – the ADA compliant rooms are built to accommodate those who need them, not to give better accommodations to those who don't. In fact, we've done many stories about travel for people with disabilities, including these two:
And we'll continue to cover the topic in the future. Travel for those with disabilities is an issue we feel strongly about; that's why it's particularly troubling to me that I wasn't alert to how Starshine's comment could have been misinterpreted. I'm so sorry. We'll run a clarification in a future issue. Thank you again for writing to us. And thank you for reading Westways !
All the best,

So, the moral is speak up if you see something you don't think is right.  Maybe it will help others.  I truly hope this magazine writes something really positive to help people with disabilities travel easier.


I wrote a nice thank you for the reply and received this back.

Dear Mike and Cindy,
Thank you for understanding. I feel terrible. And so does the writer. I'm sure we're all going to be much more alert to these things in the future. Thank you again for calling my attention to this. (Incidentally, we've deleted the comment about the ADA-accessible cabin from the online version of the article. I should never have allowed that to go through.)
All the best,

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Quick Weekend Trip

Saturday was Kyle's third birthday party. So, we took a quick trip down south to help celebrate.  We got to our hotel early on Friday and Katie and boys came over to swim.  We had fun.  The water in the pool was pretty cold so Evan decided to be the photographer.  I think he did a great job!!

Little Joshua loved being on the water.

So, did Kyle.  Evan encouraged him to dunk Grandpa!

I think that Kyle is a natural in the water. He sure did love being in the pool. 

Joshua taking after his big brother, hiding in the cupboard. 

It's hard to share the same space!!

Kyle sneaking fruit from the fruit bowl.

Yummy watermelon. 

Kyle has been obsessed with watches lately.  Here he is with my watch on his wrist!! 

Thank goodness his Auntie Rachel gave him his own watch.  The funny thing is when he opened the watch he loved the card more. It was Sesame Street and sang "Happy Birthday".  Joshua loved it too, and here he is dancing to the music.  It was just too cute..

Mr. Cookie Monster Cake.  So darling!!

Mr. Cookie Monster Kyle, himself!!

Cyclops Cookie monster!!

Kyle in his new outfit!!

After the party we drove a few miles to meet up with a longtime friend.  Sandy had lived down the street when we first moved here and now she lives down south.  It had been a while and it was great to see her again.  Brought back old fond memories. We enjoyed our visit. 

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