God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A Bunch of Other Stuff

Once again--an "Other Stuff" posting--and it will just take a minute or two to write and less to read. Two very exciting things happened this morning that I desperately need to share and I'm here all alone--so, dear audience, here they are:

1.) Casey's teacher called today to let us know that he had scored in the very highest category attainable on the GATE testing. For those of you who are not Californians, this is the test the state uses to identify high achievers; it is the doorway into higher level academic classes--throughout the school years. Well--Casey not only tested high enough for the general GATE program, his scores make him elibible for the seminar program which is reserved for those at the very top.

Now--understand that Casey is all boy--doesn't want to focus on schoolwork any longer than absolutely necessary--is a good reader but doesn't particularly like to read--can't be bothered to take the time to do neat work--loves sports, transformers, power rangers, weird trading cards, his bike and more. In other words, academics aren't really his thing-although he does not like it when he gets less than a good grade.

I am not certain what we will do about his achievement level. As an ex-teacher and school administrator, I have serious reservations about the seminar program as it tends to isolate the children and, often, does not encourage well-rounded development (in my opinion.) But--at least, now all the doors are open to him and his choices are unlimited when it comes to education. So that is very good news, indeed.

2.)The second exciting development today, May 4, is that we finally received our passports with the much sought after visa attached inside each of them. As you know if you have been following our adventure, Rome approved our application in March. But--since you can only apply for a visa 90 days before departure, the actually granting of it could not occur until May 2--90 days before our July 30 departure.

But--now we have them in our possession--the final hurdle is over and the real reality of what we are doing has come home. We are truly on our way and almost there. Our passports now look so, so official. VISTO RESIDENZA ELETTIVA. How long and how much work and how much sweat and tears it has taken to get these--mostly because of the legal issues with guardianship--but, now we are unstoppable--I think.

This is Casey's visa which is glued to a page in his passport.

Now you know what an Italian visa looks like in case you've been wondering.

Moving right along--a completely unrelated and non-sequitor subject but one that I want to share--particularly addressed to women but it, also, is relevant for men. An important health screening that often is not sought and yet can prevent misery as the years wear on is the bone density scan. After seeing an elderly friend of my mother's a few years ago--a woman who had been vibrant, in charge of life, a real go getter before the days that most women would assert themselves--and finding that she was then so stooped over that she could not look into a person's face due to osteoperosis, I decided that I never wanted that affliction.

In 2002 I had a bone density scan (about as simple a test as you can find). I was in the "better watch out" range for hip and spine breakage and deformity. Since then I have taken a calcium replacement medication and daily calcium tablets. Today the scan was redone and------my body has rebuilt the calcium and my bones are now in the "safe" range. This is not meant as a report on my health but as motivation to you who are reading this to be proactive in getting a scan. It is such an easy step to take and the remedy is so simple and the possible devastation so severe that procrastination is very bad! Call your doctor and set it up--now!

The last item is about my little poll in the last entry. It is so very strange. Since it was posted there have been 132 hits (many staying for quite a while--others for a few minutes --and others who dropped in by mistake and didn't stay at all) but only 26 readers chose to identify their locations. I guess we live in a world where we value our privacy a whole lot and are leery of anything that might have the potential for bridging that. I am that way and so understand it in others. But--just to assure you--this type of poll gives no information about you. You remain completely annonymous--well, accept for your e-mail address, your name, your home phone number, your marriages, your children and your favorite pasta.

If that doesn't scare you off, you may want to scroll down and join the poll.

Have a great weekend! Ken and I are off to San Francisco to celebrate our anniversary. Son Jeff is taking care of Casey and so we can really do "The City"! What fun!

No comments: