It is yet again time to get packing for the annual National Convention of the National Federation of the Blind. We look forward to this trip every year. While I’ve already laid the ground work of the NFB Convention, I love it so much, I just had to write about it again. One seminar I will be attending is about the Braille code. Unfortunately, some changes are being made. Not only do I not understand the reasoning behind these changes, but I need to find out what all of them are. Since I teach Braille, it’s important for me to stay informed of changes so I can properly teach my students. Even if I dislike the change, the damage in this case is already done. So I will be in a three hour workshop next Tuesday. Dishon and I are really hoping that we get another nice room this year. Last year, we stayed in a gigantic suite. All we did was ask for a room with one bed, so we’re doing that again this year. The beauty of convention is that while we know what to expect, there’s always something different each time we go. Whether we meet new people, attend a different meeting or are made aware of something else the NFB is fighting for, we are never bored with monotony. We take off Monday morning at 6:45 a.m. The pro to this is the ability to get settled earlier in the day. I plan to spend some time at the pool this year. Italians can tan very well.
Last Saturday, a group of forty-five went to a casino known as the Lady Luck Casino in Black Hawk. A majority of the group was blind. One might wonder how blind people would gamble successfully. Let’s start with the slots. Since Dishon and I have some vision, we were able to enjoy the slots. The ones we played were quarter slots. The numbers showing your current credits and the number of credits you won were bright red on black. When one has vision like mine, contrast helps. While I couldn’t visually tell what I won, I could tell by the sounds the machine made that I had won something. Both Dishon and I left with a little more than we came with, but that’s all I will disclose as far as money is concerned. In the area of table games, dealers are pretty good about telling you what’s on the table. They cannot deceive you because they are constantly on camera. While gambling isn’t something one should do all the time, it’s fun now and then. I have a feeling that Dishon and I will go back with a few friends in the near future.
This vacation has been great. My day at the spa was wonderful. My leg wax did not come out the way I wanted it to, but aside from that, it was very relaxing. That night, Dishon and I went to one of our favorite restaurants called Ted’s Montana Grill. If you plan to visit Denver and are craving a bison steak, that’s the place to go. Once we finished dinner, we went home and exchanged our presents. Tuesday was my lazy day aside from trying Wal-Mart grocery delivery for the first time. While it was time-consuming, the men who delivered our groceries were very friendly and not a single item was forgotten. Wednesday, I went to lunch with a few friends and got a couple of errands done. Thursday, a friend of ours came into town and is staying with us for a couple of days. I made my famous chicken alfredo Thursday and Dishon is making homemade pizza tonight. Today, despite being on vacation, I stopped into the center for one of my student’s graduation meal. It was delicious. We will see what the rest of the week will consist of. Whatever the case, it’s a beautiful day and I have four days before returning to work. While this vacation was very much needed, it’s still strange being away from my job this long. I think it will feel good to be back next Tuesday.
Today, Dishon and I went on a bike ride. Before you gasp and your eyes dilate, let me explain some more. In order for the blind to ride a bike safely, the best option is tandem bike riding which is what we did today. An organization known as Eye Cycle does a number of rides every year. They vary in distance and the group usually stops for lunch at some point during the ride. Today, we rode for twenty-five miles total. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it all the way, but I finished what I started. It was perfect biking weather and the restaurant where we stopped had outdoor seating. Will I participate in every ride? Probable not. But now and then, it will be a fun thing for Dishon and I to do together. While the blind don’t have everything at their fingertips, the options for sports and exercise are expanding all of the time. Dishon participates in running at least once a week now. He ran a five mile run yesterday. How is this done safely? Each blind person is matched with a sighted guide and they hold a tether. Part of why I haven’t participated is the thought of putting that much trust in someone else. Sure the same somewhat applies to biking, but with biking you have the handle bars to hold onto. What’s important is that he is enjoying it. I can’t wait to go swimming soon.
Monday, May 19th is Dishon and my two year wedding anniversary. It seems like only yesterday we had gotten married and went on our honeymoon in Vail. Two years have gone by. We don’t always agree, but we communicate well and can put our feelings out on the table. Even if feelings get hurt, it’s not long before apologies are made when needed. We haven’t decided where we are going to celebrate, yet. Aside from that, I will be having a spa day to kick off my week of vacation time. While I love teaching Braille, I never take time off. Furthermore, I rarely call in sick. So this is well earned. I will post once we’ve celebrated and gifts are exchanged. No matter where we go, we will have a nice evening of quality time filled with love. Of course , people are always telling me that we have to make it past seven years and then we’re golden. I see no reason why we wouldn’t. We both said for better or worse and we meant it.
Sometimes the guys need to be with the guys and the girls need to be with the girls. Right now, I’m needing to be with the girls. Why post about this? Well, I want to express and demonstrate that the blind partake in normal activities like that. A lot of people make the assumption that the blind just sit at home and collect benefits from the government. I can’t vouch for every existing blind person out there, but I can tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. So, tonight, I am going out with a few girlfriends to a local restaurant. From what I understand, it’s a tea and cocktail type place. Not sure what they serve in terms of food. Something else I wanted to address was the fact that I am hard of hearing on my left side. When going out with friends, it’s not my first choice to go to a loud bar. I want to be able to have a decent conversation. So at this place in particular, it sounds like we will be able to do that. For those who don’t participate in the occasional girl’s or guy’s night, I highly recommend it. My husband and I are very much in love, but it’s healthy to be with your girls or buddies now and then. If your partner discourages it, there may be some insecurity.
Since I am always behind the camera, I thought it would be fun to do a video with the front camera. Now you have a Face with the voice. I hope you enjoy.
Hello all. It’s been a few days. I’ve done this before and I’m doing it again. I hope that this time my followers won’t be shy. I’m looking for questions. If there was anything that I could blog about what would it be? If you’re afraid of offending me please don’t be. I would rather people ask questions than assume. You know what they say about assuming. As the title says, you have the floor. I welcome questions whenever they come to mind, but right now, I’m seeking them. So ask away. I will either reply in writing or demonstrate it through a video on my facebook group.
For those who are interested, I published a video on my Facebook group this morning. It’s Dishon’s first video and it won’t be the last. So please check it out. Go to facebook.com and search for “Diary of a Married Blind Woman.”
As a Braille teacher, I believe that we don’t have enough Braille in a plethora of places. Don’t get me wrong; we have come a long way. The blind can easily use an elevator, find a hotel room and find the men’s or women’s bathroom thanks to Braille. On top of that, there are multiple sources for Braille books for borrowing and purchasing. But what about restaurants? We’ve come a long way in this area, as well. There’s still work to be done. A lot of chain restaurants have Braille menus which is great. It not only makes it easier for us, but the wait staff, as well. I can almost guarantee that reading the menu front to back is not the most fun thing for a server to be doing. So to the blind community, make it easier on the weight staff by asking for the categories of food if there is no Braille menu. If a category sounds good, then ask for more detail. But how can we help increase the number of Braille menus out there? If you are proficient in Braille, go to a local restaurant that does not have a Braille menu and offer to Braille it for them. I Brailled a menu for a small restaurant in Maryland. Do your first one for free. Don’t get caught up in the money aspect. Do it for the blind community. To all of the servers out there, if anyone asks you to read the entire menu, I assure you, it’s not to be difficult.