Archive for the ‘Laws’ Category

I was watching some news for a bit. I felt like being nauseous, and the news is usually the best way for me to accomplish that.

The last thing I looked at was the story of the disabled man being tied up and beaten in Chicago. One news reporter mentioned that if this case is “raised” to the level of a hate crime, the four attackers could face up to 30 years in prison. Most of you have probably seen the news report but here is a link to what happened.

Chicago beating

As I watched the video, and read the report, I wondered something about hate crimes. Is not “hate” the motivator behind all crimes? People love to jump on the “No Hate” band wagon for their favored group. But is one group any more important then another? Politicians fight and babble over gun control. We can take the gun out of someone’s hand, but until the hate is taken out of the man’s heart, there will be no change. If not a gun, then some other weapon.

So we as society have decided how much hate constitutes a hate crime. And what if I disagree with the measuring rod? Does that make me a hater? Am I as guilty as the attackers in the video if I don’t agree with someone?

You are by now thinking this post ridiculous. Maybe it is. Just seems to me that it is just fine for me to hate, as long as I hate the same things you do. Just don’t let my hate leave the boundaries set by society.

But wait…what if we lived in a world with no hate, no violence, no crime, etc. Oh wait, that would be called heaven. I’m not there yet, but watching the news often makes me wish I was.


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A nickname that we gave our cat because he truly was the meister of spooking. Jet black and very stealthy, he could evade detection from the best of searching or flashlights.

You may wonder at the odd spelling of his name, Spewky, but our youngest daughter wrote out his name with this spelling when she was 10 years old and it stuck. We did just call him “Spooky” but we all loved the spelling.

Today was a sad day for the rest of Spewky’s family. I knew he was not acting or feeling well, so we brought him to the vets. Not even attempting to use all of the terms the vet used, he had what amounted to congestive heart failure. Fluid had collected around the exterior of his heart and lungs and he was basically drowning. So we made the very difficult decision of having him put down.

We had the “Spewk Meister” for 15 years and he certainly became a part of our family. He will be greatly missed.


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The busy little bees continue to buzz and the ants continue to march as the finishing touches take place on our new home. I try to roll myself in once a day or so just because I am nosey and eager to see the work. So here are a few more pics to update.

Remember I had this home designed barrier free and landscaped so that no ramps are needed to get into the home. I hope you enjoy them!


Back wall with all of the windows of the open concept area with trim work complete and wooden floors down.


Fireplace in the living room area, built in TV area above the fireplace, and kithen off to the right.


Corner bedroom of the home. Wood floors throught the entire home except bathrooms and laundryroom.


View of kitchen taken from where the living will be.





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Front entrance with kithen on the right and hall on the left leading to library, bedroom and bathroom.

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Kitchen…I hope you can see the beautiful crown moulding here and countertops.

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Bathroom floor in Wendy’s and my bathroom.

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The cutout in the vanity will be where my accessible sink will be placed.

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Barrier free shower for accessibility. Has oversized drain in the back corner with a 2 inch drop from the entrance. This meets ADA and VA requirements. The door is 36 inches wide.

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Roll-in shoower with the plumbing fixtures on the back.

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Wendy’s and my bedroom also with wood flooring.

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Wendy’s and my bedroom.

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Greetings fellow bloggers and blogees. What! Blogee is not a real word?! I can’t imagine. 😉

I was informed it was time for an update on the house. Not mentioning any names of course, but here is the update, as requested, from someone in South Africa. Fortunately for all of you other readers that are just tingling with excitement and anticipation, you get the update also. I will just tack on small notes to the pics, and the videos speak for themselves.  Enjoy!


The is taken from the back corner of Wendy’s and my bedroom. The door on the right goes into our bathroom and the door straight ahead goes into the hall coming in from the garage.


This is taken from the kitchen area looking down the main hall in the house. The first door on the right is the library. The last door on the right leads into Wendell and Hilda’s area of the house.


This is taken from the back corner of the dining room. The main part of the house is an open concept consisting of the dining room, the den that you see here and the kitchen is off to the right. The door on the left also leads into Wendell and Hilda’s end of the home. The two holes on the right that you see will be for the fireplace on the bottom and a built in TV on the top.


This is taken from the back corner of the kitchen looking into the main part of the house. Lots of Windows for lots of light. The double glass door will lead out onto the patio at the back of the house.


This is taken from the bathroom door in Wendy’s and my room, looking across the back of the bedroom.


This is the tub/shower enclose and my roll in shower in Wendy’s and my bathroom. The roll in shower is barrier free with a two inch slope down to an oversized drain at the back of the shower.



Front of the house taken from Avery Road.

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Well it has been a long time since I have written in my blog. I think the move from South Carolina to Maine has encouraged me to be lazy. By lazy I mean doing my usual things in life. So rather than writing here, or anywhere, I have been spending hours, literally, at the DMV, town halls and numerous other places getting our residencies changed. Several times I have felt like heading back to South Carolina, but I guess I have too much invested in the move at this point to turn around now.

Anyway…the house is also keeping me busy. That at least is a busy that is enjoyable. I will let the recent pics of progress speak for themselves.

Back of Garage and Utility Room This pic is taken from the garage door looking across the garage to the utility room and the door leading into the house.




RW Bedroom1When you first walk into the house from the garage, if you turn to the right, that will be Wendy’s and my room. This pic is taken from the hall looking into our room.



RW Bathroom DoorRW BathroomRW Tub_ShowerThese three pics are views of our bathroom. The open area next to the tub/shower is my shower. Fixtures, grab bars and oversized drain will meet all ADA requirements and VA requirements as well.



RW BedroomThis is looking from the back corner of our bedroom back into the hall. Wendy’s closet is on the right and my closet is on the left. the room on the opposite side of the hall is the laundry room.



DenComing into the main living section of the house, all open concept, the dining area will be on the immediate left, den straight ahead and the kitchen on the right. Lots of windows here to offer lots of light from the southern exposure.

The door you see here at the end leads into Wendy’s mother’s bedroom area.


FoyerThis the opposite wall from the windows. The fireplace will be on this wall. This is also the hall leading to the library and Wendy’s dad’s bedroom. The front door and foyer is just to the right.



KitchenThis is the front door, foyer, and my brother Steve standing in the kitchen area. I’m taking this pic form the hall leading back into the garage.



The way I designed the home is that there is an open concept central living area for all of us. Wendy’s and my bedroom area is on one end of the house, and Wendy’s parents have the opposite end of the house. Built to offer all of us privacy when we want it.

This week the drywall goes up and then it will start to look more like a home. My brother and all of us will be going out this week to choose all of the light fixtures. Fun!

Hope you enjoy the pics and I will attempt to do better in keeping this relevant.


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cokeIf you take a bottle of soda, shake it up, and then take the cap off, I’m sure that all of you know the end result…a mess. That is how my thoughts are about the recent trip that I took to Utah. I was only gone for five days, but so much happened in that short time span that it is hard to sort out my thoughts.

Breaking things down into topical format will be the easiest way for me to get my thoughts organized. I guess I will start with the traveling aspect. But bare with me, the more exciting piece of this adventure, bobsledding, will eventually hit the paper.

I was injured 14 years ago and this was the first time that I got on a plane and traveled alone. I travel quite a bit by myself with my van, but this trip was really a good test of my mettle. Beyond any shadow of a doubt, Wendy spoils me rotten. As a minimalist with a slight case of OCD, traveling alone in a wheelchair really took me outside of my box.

The very start of my trip threw me into a tailspin that took me quite a while to recover from. Since we have flown quite a bit, I know all of the TSA rules about what not to pack. So before leaving home, I went through all of my luggage, back pack, wheelchair pouch, etc., to make sure that I was legal. The last thing I needed was to be tossed off a flight because I was hiding a pair or fingernail clippers. I arrive at the Greenville airport a little after 5:00 AM which was nice to avoid most crowds. Things are going smoothly and the TSA agents are great at helping me get things situated to be scanned and x-rayed. I then go to my little spot to be frisked which is never a big deal. I’m watching my things as they are being looked through when I see one of the TSA personnel motion for the others to come over. There are now about five of them looking into my wheelchair pouch on a table in front of me. They are all looking rather serious, so I casually ask if I forgot to take something out that did not pass. The head security agent takes something in his hand and casually walks over to me and opens hisStupid hand in front of me. I must have turned about 50 shades of white as I was staring at five .38 shells in his hand. My mouth just opened and closed with nothing coming out as I was trying to remember why I even had them on me, and why someone had taken my straight jacket off. Wendy is standing on the outside of a glassed in area watching and wondering what is going on. I won’t bore you with details here or the groveling that I did in the dirt trying to explain why I had them. After several serious chats from the chief TSA agent, he took the shells and brought them outside to Wendy. She turned about as white as I did. Let me just say that the TSA agents handled everything very professionally and with common sense. I was finally allowed to pass on and get to my gate in time to catch my flight. If you look up the word imbecile in the dictionary, you will find my picture along with the description.

From Greenville I flew to Newark, then to Chicago, then to Salt Lake City. Thankfully my ride was waiting for me at the airport who became my first of many new friends, and brought me to my hotel. The mountains and scenery were absolutely amazing, but that will be for another day.

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WP_000532It may not be Christmas yet, but I am just about as excited. We found a perfect building lot in Waterboro, Maine. It is right in the center of everything that we need to be involved with once we move home. Very close to all of our family and so we can help out when needed. Huntress Bridge Road is not the road we will be living on…but it is home!


Finding the right building lot took a lot of time. There is plenty of land for sale but we were looking for very specific qualities because of accessibility concerns. For instance, lots that were beautiful but on the side of a mountain were out of the question. I would have felt trapped inside of our home if every time I went outside I rolled down a mountainside.


I would recommend to anyone who is buying land, or a home, to find a broker that you like and trust. We had a fantastic one. He photo4instantly knew what we were looking for and why. He did not waste our time showing us MLS listings that would not work. I asked many questions of photo1him that he was always willing to find answers for. He certainly went above and beyond his call of duty. Since we are still living in South Carolina, I had to depend on him a lot to find the perfect location. I also had my brother looking with him at land. My brother’s construction firm will be building our home and he is very familiar with disability needs.


Once we found a lot and signed a contract, Wendy and I made a trip to Maine to check it out. We spent a week there going over plans on how it would work best, took lots of pictures, talked to neighbors and put mock computer homes onto the property to see how it would look. Once we were sure it would work for us, we closed on the deal.photo5


Now the real fun begins. We are already getting the land cleared and hopefully by next week we will settle on the final design. Then the footprint can be started on, septic put in and well drilled. We are currently going through lots of home magazines and contractor books to settle on things like siding, roofing, chimneys, etc. The inside choices will come a little later.


The pics do not look like much right now but it will give you an idea. The lot is surrounded by old beautiful New England stone walls. We are getting them back into ship, shape condition. After about 200 years, anything needs a little TLC.


I hope you enjoy the pics and follow the process throughout. My goal is to build the perfect wheelchair accessible home. Success? Probably for me, but everyone that is in a wheelchair faces different obstacles, and would need different accommodations. But maybe you will get some ideas here for yourself and to share with others.



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