Words by Julie - Living Life With Paralysis

Call it good “dirt” and an end of an era 2

It’s been ages since I have taken the time to post. It seems that since returning from Vancouver I have been going non-stop. I have had four speaking engagements, an assignment to complete – a full assessment of the the college building where the course was – and an exam to write. The exam requires studying the 800+ pages of the RHFAC manuals. Although it was just a two week continuing education course, it could easily have been a full semester, or a full college course! Anyway, that is where a lot of my time has gone. I hope to be done by the end of June.

What’s next is setting myself up as an Accessibility Professional, providing advice to those looking for ways to make their building or business more inclusive and/or using the RHFAC rating system to help a business earn a “Rick Hansen Certified” label that they can use to promote their accessibility. I already have two clients from right here in Blyth!

Being out of my physio routine was hard on my body – sitting all day for two weeks was definitely not ideal. So now I’m back at it, standing this week again using a walker with just my knees blocked and some support at my hips. Did a little “hands free” time too 🙂

On Friday the excavator rolled up the driveway – a big change of scenery is the result. This exact location used to be the kitchen garden. All the “dirt” behind me is topsoil that we lovingly fed with our own compost every year – it fed us for 10 summers! I think I am sitting in what will be my future laundry room.

Tomorrow the foundation will be excavated and the most important decision will be made in order to make this house accessible. The height of the foundation will determine how much fill will be used, and in turn, we’ll decide what the grade or slope of the land will be from the driveway to the front door. For me, obviously, the flatter the better, but we need the rain and snow melt to run away from the house.

I’m going to do my best to chart our daily progress on Facebook and detail why our house is different, but in the end, the goal is that you don’t even notice that it is accessible!

The other big change is that Theo’s days of being a full-time stay-at-home Dad are over. He has found work at this “little” brewery three km down the road called Cowbell. It’s great; part-time to start, weekdays only. Getting back into the world of “off the farm” work is going to be tough – change for us all – but I know he’s up for it.


  • Jane Vorbrodt says:

    Julie, I love the photo of your team amidst the pile of dirt – what a great time of year to start building. I hope you plan to recreate a kitchen garden in the new scheme! Looking forward to updates. I will write about my construction process on my blog, but for now, we are still waiting patiently for building permits. -Jane

  • Anja Vandervlies says:

    That is soooo exciting! Let me know what the best slope is. We have to finalize the outside yet.

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