22 May 2008

meet our newest roommate

Meet Rocky. Rocky decided to become our roommate this morning. After fighting/"playing soccer" in our ceiling around 5:45 this morning, Rocky managed to get into the duct work in our ceiling. After running around, my roommate opened the bathroom door and...

Rocky fell out of an open vent onto our dining room table.

That's right my friends, Rocky was in our house this morning. Ran around the dining room, the kitchen. After my roommate called our landlord, they tried to chase him out of an open window. Soon enough, Rocky was running around frantic for escape, so he ran up into my roommate's room, under the door, and introduced himself. She was not impressed, nor did she return the favor!

Rocky finally ran out of an open window, but not before traumatizing our house. We made a house decision to stay at 5 girls in the house. No squirrels. Hopefully we'll patch up some holes and finally solve this problem.

17 May 2008


After warning from Sheriff, Family of autistic child attends different church
(Lora Pabst, www.startribune.com)

The mother of a 13-year-old autistic boy who was banned by a court order from attending services at a Roman Catholic church in Bertha, Minn., woke up Sunday determined to take her son to mass.

But Carol Race changed her mind when Todd County Sheriff Pete Mikkelson met her at the end of her driveway Sunday and told her she would be arrested if she brought her son, Adam, into the Church of St. Joseph.

Instead, Race took Adam and her four other children to mass at Christ the King Church in nearby Browerville, Minn. "It occurred to me that if I step foot in [St. Joseph], they will arrest me and I won't end up going to mass anyway," she said.

She is scheduled to appear in court today over a citation she received last week for violating the restraining order by taking Adam to church on Mother's Day.

The dispute has drawn attention to what Race and advocates for the disabled say is a lack of education and understanding about autism. Race said that even though her son, who is home-schooled, sometimes acts up in church, the experience benefits him.

"He has a sense of the routine," she said. "That's one of the beautiful things about the Catholic mass for autistic individuals, its routine."

The Rev. Daniel Walz, who did not return calls left at the Church of St. Joseph parish office, wrote in court documents that Adam's behavior was "extremely disruptive and dangerous." He alleged that Adam, who is more than 6 feet tall and weighs over 225 pounds, spits and urinates in church and has nearly injured children and elderly people.

In an affidavit, Walz wrote: "The parish members and I have been very patient and understanding. I have made repeated efforts through Catholic Education Ministries, Caritas Family Services, and most recently, sought to try and mediate the matter with the family to ask them to voluntarily not bring Adam to church, but it has been to no avail." The Diocese of St. Cloud said in a statement that the restraining order, issued May 9, was "a last resort."

Race said Walz's descriptions of Adam's behavior illustrate that he understands little about autistic behavior and how to address it. She said that Walz used language like "urinate" to describe an incontinence problem that Adam sometimes has which is no worse than that an elderly person or a young child might have.

Adam's parents sometimes tie his hands and feet with fabric restraints, which Race said is a technique used by other families and school personnel who work with autistic children. At Sunday's service in Browerville, Race said Adam participated in the service, kneeling with the congregation and accompanying family members when they went up front to take communion.

Carol Race said that her husband, John, attended mass at St. Joseph's on Saturday evening without his family and had stayed home Sunday morning because the family wanted to ensure that one parent would be available to care for the children if Carol were arrested.

The restraining order will remain in place for one year.

The Races haven't decided whether they will attend another parish. "My primary focus is to do the right thing, according to what God wants me to do," Carol Race said. "Without church every Sunday, my family life would have fallen apart. This is what sustains us."

Sheriff Mikkelson said he sent deputies to Sunday's service in case the Races tried to violate the restraining order.

"It was an uncomfortable thing, and we didn't want to get involved," he said. "She heeded our warning. Now, hopefully, this will get resolved through our courts."

14 May 2008

All Creatures Great and Small?!

On the way home from Iowa this weekend, a deer and my car had a meeting. Poor Ruby Garcia took some of the damage, the damage to the deer is unknown. Didn't really want to go back and see if it was alive or dead, so I chose to just not look at all. Pictures follow of dear old Ruby, who is now at the shop getting fixed so she can be good as new.

edit: I'm okay. No harm done to human. :)

Luckily, the car was still driveable, so I was able to get all the way home and to/from work yesterday. Now I'm without a car until Monday or Tuesday of next week. Alas.

05 May 2008

good ole bobby dylan

I'm remind of the ole bobby dylan and his song, "The Times They Are A-Changin'"

Just seems like a lot of things around me are changing:

- My coworker moved this past weekend
- My best friend is moving across the country this week
- Dordt students are graduating this week
- My sister is going to Brazil today!

Plus a lot of other good things are going on as well! It's finally spring weather, which means open windows, spring air, and the sound of the ice cream truck and kids playing outside.

Our neighbor kids were all over the place this weekend. They love the outdoors and I could hear them playing through our open windows - laughing, yelling, crying - all of the typical childhood sounds. It was downright wonderful!

On another note, if you know of anyone who needs translation/interpretation work done, I'm in the market for such work. I'm hoping to start doing more of it. I had wanted to do it at my job now, but apparently due to "legal issues", that's not allowed.

Anyway, hope you're doing well wherever you may be. Enjoy the weather, enjoy the creation. Life is good right now!