Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Just a few of my toys....

I am just a little kid at heart and love old toys, dolls and the like. Here are some of my toys. 

My antique fair finds.

Once a month I like to visit our local antique fair. This month I found two vintage Fisher Price toys. 

I like to collect vintage toys and am partial to the older wooden Fisher Price toys.  I found the Jumbo Rolo Elephant (755) for 30.00 and the chair ride from the Amusement Park (932). The yellow chair is broken, but still good for 2.00.  It is a part of a hard to find Little People set. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

More self discovery.....

This season as an empty nester has been very insightful. My children are adults, and my focus is much more on myself;  I have "discovered" some things about myself. The pervious post is about my learning differences. Finding out that there is a reason my brain works the way it does. That I am not dumb or inferior.

Another discovery has been coming to understand that I am an introvert and that is OK.  In fact I am embracing being an introvert. 

Most of my life I have equated being an introvert with being shy. Shy people are not as pleasing to our society. They are looked down upon. Just one more thing I felt inferior about, one more thing that made me different. 

I am not shy, I am outgoing and friendly. But, I have always wondered about my need to be alone. Why is it that I can't be in a large group or crowd for long. While I complain about not having lots of close friends, I don't want to be with friends much of the time. I like/need to be alone. At a very early age my kids saw something in their mom. They recognized when I had reach maximum capacity, they used to say "You're full, aren't you, Mom". Meaning they could see me getting "spacey" at events or even after interacting with them all day.

Find out what an introvert really is helps me "see" who I am. This is a definition I found.....

"......Definition: Contrary to what most people think, an introvert is not simply a person who is shy. In fact, being shy has little to do with being an introvert! Shyness has an element of apprehension, nervousness and anxiety, and while an introvert may also be shy, introversion itself is not shyness. Basically, an introvert is a person who is energized by being alone and whose energy is drained by being around other people.

Introverts are more concerned with the inner world of the mind. They enjoy thinking, exploring their thoughts and feelings. They often avoid social situations because being around people drains their energy. This is true even if they have good social skills. After being with people for any length of time, such as at a party, they need time alone to "recharge."

When introverts want to be alone, it is not, by itself, a sign of depression. It means that they either need to regain their energy from being around people or that they simply want the time to be with their own thoughts. Being with people, even people they like and are comfortable with, can prevent them from their desire to be quietly introspective.

Being introspective, though, does not mean that an introvert never has conversations. However, those conversations are generally about ideas and concepts, not about what they consider the trivial matters of social small talk."

This very clearly discribes me.

So I'm am introvert with dyscalulia. I believe I am finally growing up and learning who I truely am. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Changing my story.......

dys·cal·cu·li·a  (Diss- Kal-cue-lee-ah) n. Impairment of the ability to solve mathematical problems, usually resulting from brain dysfunction.

Photo from.....

It is very hard for me to speak openly about the struggles I have endured because of my learning difficulties.  I have shared these struggles personally with friends and family. Posted about it on my blog is a HUGE step for me. While I have very few blog followers, it still feels like I am putting it out there for the entire world.
For most of my life I have thought of myself as stupid.  I knew I was very smart about some things, but there was a place, a very large place where I was stupid.  I learned to compensate, I learned ways to get around my struggles, to hide them from my peers.  But there was and still is an underlining fear of being “caught”.  Of showing the world how dumb I truly am…..
I am 59 and I still count on my fingers.  
I am unable to do mental math. 
I don’t know my multiplication tables.  
I was a junior in high school before I could tell time.  I covered it up by pretended my glasses were not strong enough to read the clock. 
For years I had a cheat sheet in my checkbook, because I could not remember how to spell the numbers needed to write checks. 
I avoid having to figure out tips at restaurants, because I am terrified of not doing the math correctly.  I can't divide the check so everyone knows what they owe.
I never wanted to go bowling with friends for fear of having to keep score.  
When I give verbal directions as we drive, I often say left when I mean right and the other way around.  
I don’t play board games because almost all of them have some math aspect, counting money, keeping track of cards, etc.  I also find concentrating on a board game for a length of time to be difficult.  Don't even get me started on games of strategy....... 
I can’t “work” a ruler if it involves fractions.  
I can’t figure out percents while shopping for sale items.  
I could go on…….
Photo from.....
While I don’t have an official diagnosis, I now know I have dyscalculia. While talking with a girlfriend about the struggles her son is having in grade school, I shared about my struggles with math and numbers.  She said “Oh, I bet you have dyscalculia.”  I Googled it and there was my answer: Dyscalculia. A learning disorder! 
I took a short test on a website.  I realized for the first time in my life that I wasn’t some inferior person.  I was just struggling with something that is so little known and so misunderstood that even the special education departments in school weren’t aware. Ask the average person on the street what dyslexia is and most of them will have at least a general idea and acknowledge it as being a legitimate disorder. Ask that same person about dyscalculia, and they will usually not have a clue what you are talking about. When you try to explain, often they will just wave it off and say “Well a lot of people are bad at math.”  
But this is so much more than that. In high school I took remedial math, struggled to pass it after two tries.  In community college, I again took remedial math.  I knew I could never gain a degree higher then an A.A., as I would not be able to do the math needed.  So I have two A.A. degrees, but no B.A.
I can’t really explain what it’s like to someone that doesn’t have it, but imagine that every single time something having to do with numbers comes up in your life, you freeze like a deer in headlights. Your brain goes blank, you sweat, it is paralyzing, it is humiliating, and it feels so hopeless.  
This will be a lifelong issue and I will always be different because of it.  Nobody should have to feel inferior because they have a mind that works differently.  I am not lazy, and I am not making excuses. My disorder is legitimate and painful.  But just knowing what I have is healing.

This is some information I found…..let’s just say it fits me almost exactly.

Dyscalculia involves frequent difficulties with everyday arithmetic tasks like the following: 

- Difficulty reading analog clocks, 

- Difficulty stating which of two numbers is larger, 

- Inability to comprehend financial planning or budgeting, sometimes even at a basic level; for example, estimating the cost of the items in a shopping basket or balancing a checkbook 

- Difficulty with multiplication-tables, and subtraction-tables, addition tables, division tables, mental arithmetic, etc. 

- Difficulty with conceptualizing time and judging the passing of time. May be chronically late or early 

- Problems with differentiating between left and right 

- Inability to visualize mentally 

- Difficulty reading musical notation 

- Difficulty navigating or mentally "turning" the map to face the current direction rather than the common North 

- Having particular difficulty mentally estimating the measurement of an object or distance (e.g., whether something is 10 or 20 feet (3 or 6 meters) away). 

- Often unable to grasp and remember mathematical concepts, rules, formulae, and sequences 

- Inability to concentrate on mentally intensive tasks 

- Low latent inhibition, i.e. over-sensitivity to noise, smell, light and the inability to tune out, filtering unwanted information or impressions. Might have a well-developed sense of imagination due to this (possibly as cognitive compensation to mathematical–numeric deficits);_ylt=A0SO8x2KaIpUXzMAzzRXNyoA?qid=20131206174535AA2SDvF

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Murray Girls on the road......

My mom, sister and I had a wonderful trip to Washington.  We did some antique-ing, some sightseeing, and some family visiting. We went to Farm Chicks Antique Show, tons of fun and treasures. We even won tickets to be a part of the visiting Antiques Road Show.

I love these little crepe paper party favors, i found at a Spokane antique store. I can't believe how carefully they must have been cared for to keep them in pristine condition. .45 was the original price. 

We saw this at rest stop ~smile~  They really had 6 doggies, one being too tiny to jump up on the dashboard.

Bloomsday - a running sculpture in honor of the annual Spokane Bloomsday Run

Childhood Express - a 27 ft wagon with a handle as a slide

Farm Chicks Antique Show

The Antiques Road Show

We took small items to have appraised.  I brought two small boxes, both were determined to be small souvenirs of someone's European travels.  Not very valuable, but I still like them.

My mom was pleasantly surprised by the appraisal of a vintage ring she wears.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Flashback Friday - Scholastic Book Orders

I was in grade school in the 60's. School was always a struggle due to some learning differences (I'm learning to rename and reclaim the term "learning disabilities").

A HUGE saving grace for me was reading/libraries.  Books were a safe place for me. So Scholastic Book Orders still stands as a wonderful memory. The excitement over the little newspaper like flyers still fills my mind. 

I found this example of a Scholastic order form online. It was found as a bookmark inside a paperback book. Oh the memories.....  

This is a scan of one of the Scholastic book order books I have collected over the years. Of course, my copies went the way of garage sales during the past years. But sometime I see a book at the thrift store and the memory floods back....."Oh, I had that book". 

Friday, May 1, 2015

I am typing this with one finger, on my left hand (I'm right handed)..........when I signed up for the Bead Hop, I didn't know I had rotator cuff surgery in my future.

I had surgery two days ago and still have a nerve block pump attached.  The first days were really tough, as far as pain goes.  Today was a bit better. I have a long road of recovery and therapy ahead.

My bead partner isEleanor Thomas of 

She sent me some amazingly beautiful beads and more.  I am so very disappointed to have failed in this swap.

Please be sure to visit Eleanor and check out her Wooly Wire.  It is so clever and unusual. Don't you just love the little green acorn?  The hand made glass beads...WOW! All these beautiful handmade elements. 

I will be creating something with all this treasure, but it will have to be revealed. Sorry, all you Bead Hoppers :)