A-Z Disability Challenge | Z : Zoom

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I know I’m late on getting this post up, but I have been feeling really lazy in the past few days.

I have always been called “speed demon” because I have my power wheelchair’s speed on high. It’s crazy how much my mom thought the volume was down low while I was in school! Speaking of that, my middle and high schools were attached and had multiple ramps in the hallways. The first time I ever visited, I was probably going into fourth grade and my face lit up. I couldn’t help but race up and down those halls with Blondie and our cousins. Now as an adult, I feel like I have definitely calmed down, and to just seal the deal, the occasional popping a wheelie doesn’t even do it for me anymore. For my parents, this is a blessing and this could be a good sign for other families out there who are dealing with little speed demons at home too, but I feel like I should say that if I was in my power wheelchair for 8 hours straight and there were ramps all around, I would totally go for it in a heartbeat!

Since creating my Instagram account a few months ago, I have been speaking to other people with Arthrogryposis, and it has been really nice to discuss our stories and everything, I also love when parents will follow me too. I get a chance to watch the younger generations grow up and learn how to deal with it in an entirely different era.

There is one little girl that takes me back to starting school for the first time, making what I thought would be long-lasting friendships, and receiving my first wheelchair. The girl’s mother told me once that thanks to her brothers encouragement, she tracked mud all over their house. I could tell she wasn’t thrilled about the incident. There is a big difference between the mini daredevil and I. When I was in elementary school, we left my power chair there and only took it home during summer vacations because our house wasn’t handicapped accessible. So, I never really got to do things like this when I was younger, but this was also at a time where I could scoot everywhere so I didn’t need it too much.

When we did go places that required something more substantial, we used a toddler stroller. It was lightweight so it wasn’t that big of a hassle to put together and take me on trips. I want to say that we used them from the age of seven to probably 11 years old. After I had my surgeries, my body decided that it not only wanted to grow but everywhere! Honestly, for the last five years of being in the stroller, I never wore the seatbelt. I couldn’t. It never wanted to fit around my belly.  Thankfully, by the time I started going to middle school, I was riding the bus to the school and home, so we could keep my wheelchair with me at all times but more importantly, this also meant we could finally get rid of our trustee stroller of the early 2000’s.

Once you got your first power wheelchair, were you described a “speed demon” growing up? Do you remember the first time you discovered rolling down into ramps and/or mud? 

snowflake

 

Blogmas | December Playlist

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Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone that celebrates Christmas is enjoying their time with family and friends.

I’ve decided that today will be my final ‘Blogmas’ post of the year. Since I will be including two playlist in the couple of weeks, I thought it would be smart to schedule this one a little earlier than normally.

Here are my Top 21 favorite songs I listened to this month! I’ve also included 6 holiday tracks at the bottom of the playlist too.

Expectations by Lauren Jauregui
Let It Go (Africanized Cover) by Alex Boye feat. Once Voice Children’s Choir
Everything I Need by Skylar Grey
Black Butterfly by Leaves’ Eyes
Way To Break My Heart by Ed Sheeran & Skrillex
Bet’amen Bel Sodfi by Carole Samaha
Love Me by Stanaj
Post Malone by Sam Feldt featuring RANI
Blndside by Icon For Hire
Gimme Brain by Travis Barker featuring Lil Wayne & Rick Ross
Boomition by Celestina
Teeth by 5 Seconds Of Summer
Outlaws & Outsiders by Corey Marks featuring Travis Tritt, Ivan Moody, & Mick Mars
If We Have Each Other by Alec Benjamin
Lose You To Love Me by Selena Gomez
Silhouette by Krigare

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year by Andy Williams
Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy by Lindsey Stirling
O Holy Night by Upon Wings *review here
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow by Vaughn Monroe & His Orchestra
Somewhere In My Memory by John Williams
Carols Of The Bells by Lindsey Stirling

If you would like to check out the rest of my December playlist, I have added the Spotify link right below because you know I listen to a lot of music 24/7. Enjoy the tunes!

What were you listening to this December? What is your ultimate holiday song(s)?

snowflake

A-Z Disability Challenge | Y : Let’s Talk About You

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Since we are at the end of this challenge, I wanted to do something fun. I kept going back and forth on what I wanted to do. I originally had titled it, “It’s YOUR life” but I felt like I have been talking about this a lot, so I changed it to discuss you.

I’m also doing this in a totally different way than my previous posts too. Since I’ve already done a Q&A several weeks ago, I thought it would be fun to get to know you and your way of life, so I am opening this up to you now with ten questions.

1.) What is your disability? Do you have more than one?

2.) What are some ways you’ve learned to adapt with it?

3.) I came across this question last week, and thought it would be cool to include it here. Do you think you’re a warrior?

4.) How do you feel about the word “inspiration”? What is your response to when someone calls you that?

5.) Have you ever thought about how we can change people’s perspective on what a disabled person should be in every sense of the word?

6.) What is your dream for the future? Example: goals for 2020.

7.) Does having sex with your husband/girlfriend/partner made accept or hate your disability even more? *If too personal, just skip it!

8.) What do you hope to accomplish in your lifetime?

9.) Do you follow any other disabled influencers? Such as Alex Darcy of Wheelchair Rapunzel or Jessica Kellgren-Fozard on YouTube?

10.) If you kept up with my A-Z Disability Challenge the whole year, did you enjoy the content? Did I miss anything you think was important?

It is crazy to think that not only do we start a whole new year next week, but I will also complete this challenge too. After what happened at the beginning of the year, I really did not think I could finish it. I was perfectly fine with letting it go until after new years day. I don’t really know what inspired me to get up one day and look into my daily planner and count some how days and letters I had left to find out they matched, and then get back on it every Monday. I guess I was determined to do it.

snowflake

Blogmas |Rock Band Upon Wings Releases New Christmas Cover “O Holy Night”!

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Honestly, I wasn’t going to have a blog post for today, because all of my other ideas really take a lot of my time and even though there are essentially three days that I can write everything up, I just didn’t want to rush into anything, but then I saw a tweet that saved the day!

If you have been reading my blog for the last two years, you know how much I love the band Upon Wings. The lead singer, Anne and I have been talking to each other for the last two years now, and she knows how much I love the band’s music. She’s even written a couple of pieces on here in the past! Unfortunately, they haven’t been releasing anything new, but since last Christmas, they’ve sort of started a trend for the festive season. For this Christmas, they’ve decided to do “O Holy Night” and I am going to listen to it for the first time and review it for you.

I’d like to point out that “O Holy Night” is one of my favorites. I am quite picky when it comes to Christmas carols and hymns, so I was a bit hesitant when it came to listen to this. I think I became a fan of the song after I watched Home Alone as a kid, which I’ll let you on a secret. The scene where Kevin goes into the church and listens to the choir sing that exact song is the main reason why I wanted to join choir in school. However, I don’t remember actually performing the song ever…

The beginning of this is so charming and light, as it was mostly Anne’s voice with an acoustic guitar. Once you get towards the chorus, the sound does expand but it doesn’t necessarily stay that way all the way throughout the track. It includes a really nice guitar solo and since I have lost my love of solos in the rock world (yeah, I know!) it was a nice surprise for me. I do believe the main reason why I enjoyed it is because it was just simple. It wasn’t full of thrills and obnoxious.

For me, it was really nice to hear Anne’s beautiful voice again. Even though, I listen to their “You’re My Weapon” every other month, I do miss their music. However, I know they have other responsibilities outside the band so I will be patient like always, but if you are in need of a sweet little tune, this cover might be up your alley! Enjoy.

Have you listened to “O Holy Night” by Upon Wings yet? What were your thoughts about it? 

snowflake

Blogmas | Favorite Christmas Short Films

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Howdy!

I have talked about how I am going very non-traditional this Christmas, with my tree and how I choose to decorate it, but when it comes to the holiday as a whole I have my ultimate favorites that I look forward to doing like baking sugar cookies and putting lots of frosting and sprinkles on the tops of them with my sister and brother-in-law. Hopefully this year, Mr. Nolan can join us as we create a fairly large mess in the kitchen–I can’t wait to see my mom’s face for that!

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YouTube isn’t just about influencers/creators and live sports – although they are both nice to watch every day of the week, I actually like finding things from my childhood on there. I have watched a lot of movies that I hadn’t seen since I was seven or nine years old. Unfortunately, there are some channels that have been taken off because of violating copyright policies, but I wouldn’t let that make you sad because I’ve also found there is always another one in the depths of the site waiting for you to find it!

I’ve already shared on my Instagram stories who I am watching on YouTube, but I have yet to share with you what makes me feel so festive and ready for Christmas. Well, technically I wrote a blog post about it back in 2011 or 2012, but I thought it was time to redo it and give you individual links to each one so maybe you can check them out too with your family!

I am actually fairly picky when it comes to the oldie Christmas shorts, the only ever modern film that I love is Olaf’s Frozen Adventure that came out in 2017! The ones that I will be discussing today all came out in the early 1930’s! The story behind them is a bit of a blur, because I still have no clue who had them on TV but my gut always brings me back to Turner Movies Classic, considering the date they were all released! However, they also could have been recorded on a VHS for when my mom and her siblings were little, and my grandparents let us watch it. Both of these stories are very likely, it’s just the matter of figuring it out which one is right!

Here are the four Christmas short films I love:

Somewhere In DreamLand (1936)

I know this isn’t directed towards the holiday season, but the first time I watched it was for Christmas.

This follows a pair of siblings, brother and sister, and they are shown collecting chunks of wood laying on the street. As they drag a very heavy wagon of wood back home, they come across a selection of shops that specialize in every child’s dream: sweets. Unfortunately, they are very poor and cannot afford to have anything, but once they arrive home and climb into bed for the night, they dream about all of the candy and ice cream their little hearts desire and when they wake up the next day, they are welcomed by a beautiful surprise.

The setting for this cartoon is during the Great Depression, which makes a lot of sense for both the plot and the year the film came out as well. In 1936, we haven’t established our decision on joining our allies in World War II yet, but we are slowly making our way out of that time in history. You do get a sense of what families were going through during this time though, because the mother of the children, looks very worn down and when the kids ask for more food, she breaks down and sobs into her apron. I can’t imagine the pain everybody went through during this time, and then on top of that I remember that it happened again in 2008 – the dates might’ve changed but the pain stays the same.

Christmas Comes But Once A Year (1936)

This is incredible little tale about these very poor orphans that are celebrating Christmas. They each get out of bed and run out to their living area where they have a sad tree with some dirty socks hanging above the fire place. The children grab and play with their toys only to see them break in front of their eyes. As they cry, an older man drives by in his car whistling a festive tune and discovers the heartbreaking wailing from inside the house and he basically fixes up their toys, house and it’s a merry time with all of these smiling faces again!

It tugs at your heart because in the back of your mind that are children and their families that cannot afford food, water, shelter, even new toys for the holidays! It really puts things into perspective about your surroundings. I definitely feel very humble after watching this film and always want a big hug from my parents afterwards.

Side note: This has captions included at the bottom of the screen!

Santa’s Surprise (1947)

This is next one, I think is what drove me to enjoy learning and respecting other people from around the world.

The story goes like this, Santa Claus is making his way through all parts of the world, the US, Norway, Germany, China, etc and what he doesn’t know is that as he puts the presents underneath the tree, a child is sneaking onboard his sleigh and when Santa is done for the night, he heads off to the North Pole with these kids. As he snuggles into bed, the little ones make sure the coast is clear and head inside his house to basically return the favor of bringing them gifts every year.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1948)

Everybody has their favorite movie on the story of Rudolph, but this is mine. Apparently, the saying “the older, the better” works perfectly here!

I feel like I should say, I really haven’t seen any other movie about the story of Rudolph, so I’m not sure on how much they really go on about his life before becoming part of Santa’s crew. Once this one starts though, you see this deer that just wants to fit in with the rest of the herd but because of his big red nose, he gets made fun of by his peers but as his mother calls for him for the night, she reminds to hung up his stocking.

After he drifts over to sleep, we venture into how Santa Claus prepares for his night ahead and finds out that it’s extremely foggy. As the clock crimes, he calls out to all of his flying reindeer to their places and they race out to deliever gifts to everyone, even the animals.  When he stops at Rudolph’s house, he discovers a very noticeable light coming from a room and finds it is Rudolph and his special nose. Santa invites him to guide his sleigh and they leave to finish the night off. By the next day, the news has spread across the village and because he helped protect Santa and his other reindeer, he was rewarded a hero and was finally accepted among his kind.

I think the main reason why I love this one the most is that the way the backgrounds remind me of Scooby-Doo, where it doesn’t matter how much running or in this case flying everybody does, the background rarely changes! It is a very adorable cartoon.

Have you ever seen any of these before? If you have, which one is your favorite? What are your favorite movies or shows that you enjoy watching at this time of the year?

snowflake

A-Z Disability Challenge | X : X Marks The Spot

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This week’s installment will be kind of funny as I know a lot of disabled people deal with this on a daily basis. Luckily for me, I don’t, but it does happen every once in a while. I will be discussing mysterious bruises. Oddly enough, on the day I came up with the letter theme, I actually did have a bruise on my leg that just sort of appeared out of nowhere, so it works out great!

I always find myself with a black and blue spot in the most weirdest places, like my knees or shoulders. The only explanation I can give to you about the one on my knee is that it could have happened in the middle of the night and I accidently whacked my knees together while I was turning to either side. However, I can’t say anything about the shoulder though. Am I alone with wishing I could get them on places that make better sense; going back to what I said about my knees. I know I hit the bony side of my left foot a lot whenever I am in the process of putting on my blanket! I think at night, I forget how close I am to the walls, but still when I wake up, it’s not the place on my body that is hurting the most!

The plus side of this is that I am no longer banging my head on the wall. Yes, I have been known to do that too! I literally have to keep a fleece blanket next to my line of fire so that if I do get very close to it, I have that soft barrier in between and maybe I won’t end up with a damn goose egg on my forehead. Again, this has happened in the past too.

Where do you get most of your bruises on your body? Do they start to appear at night or as the day continues? 

snowflake

Blogmas | Christmas Tree Ornaments

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Howdy!

Before I start on this, I am leaving my previous Blogmas post about my Christmas tree because if you haven’t read it yet or this is your first time on here, you can get caught up on why I have adopted a very interesting way to do my tree this year.

For today though, I am discussing my process of both the ornaments and the way I took the pictures, because that in itself was a big production that some people might find enjoyable! Fun fact: I am one of those people! 

  The Ornaments  

I feel the need to mention that the day I finished writing my previous post about my tree, my whole original theme of white lights, purple bulbs, and a star on top, kind of went out the window since my mom could not find anything to match that scheme. However, my dad did say something about going to Dollar General and getting things there. So, one morning I went on the DG website and looked over their very limited holiday decorations and found two that I actually loved, and they were: a pair of angel wings that came in two colors on the site, gold and red. I really fell in love with the red ones. The other one I just couldn’t get over was the crown. If you know me well, you know I need anything royalty and I thought for this reason would be no different!

Later that day, my mom went to the store and came home with an interesting sort of things for me. She got me a box of array silver ornaments. There are the normal shiny ones but my favorites are really the glittery and matte bulbs the most. Unfortunately, they didn’t have their hooks on them already so that was a bummer, but I managed to put two of them on the tree myself before letting mom take over! Now, you’re probably wondering about the two I found online. Did we have any luck in that department? Well, I’m happy to say, she found both of them! There was a setback though, she found the wings only in silver.

This wasn’t what freaked us out though. When I saw them online, they looked pretty smell, almost the same size of the other ones she got me. No… The wings and crown are huge! We couldn’t believe it! Honestly the crown is the perfect size but the wings just look obnoxious! This wasn’t the funny thing though, because both of my parents thought it would look great as the topper, but every time I look at it, I think it looks like a vagina! I literally thought of the episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, when Marie takes an art class and the sculpture she presents to her family, looks just like a vagina. The wings are basically in the same shape but with a bigger opening in the middle, so when my mom placed it at the top of my tree, it just looked very wrong. I mean, I’m all for my Christmas tree being non-traditional, but I have to draw the line somewhere!

I managed to talk my mom into putting the wings lower on the tree, but as much as I had my heart on a star on the top, I kind of thought the crown would look better there instead. It took some convincing on my part because my mom was very adamant about the vagina–I mean, the wings on top–but it does fit on there nicely. As far as decorations on my tree, this is about it. My mom did find me some lights too, but the cord was white and since the tree isn’t as full like others, it looked a bit chaotic but all is not lost, because my mom came up with another idea for them. I don’t even know what prompt this, but she just started wrapping them around my curtain rod on both sides and it actually looks amazing with my sunflower curtain! Thankfully, the lights don’t generate too much heat that I can actually leave them on all day and night. They make my room look really cozy!

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  The Process Of The Pictures  

Now that we have that part out of the way, I can talk to you about how I managed to take the photos for this blog post. I will say, it was not easy, but honestly any post that requires a lot of pictures is usually pretty difficult anyways! Between the fact that I am always adjusting myself to get the ‘perfect’ shot and basically trying not to pop out of my wheelchair and land butt (or worse, back) first on the hardwood floor, isn’t the best thing in the world. Thankfully, I can say I did not hurt myself too awful that day – I did sleep like a baby that night so I took that as a good sign!

For the first round of photos, I used my Kodak digital camera I got last Christmas. I thought the pictures turned out really good the last time so I tried it out for this part, but since I was working with higher angles, I was having a lot of difficulty keeping the camera steady enough. I was able to get a few of the ornaments in their places, so that was nice, but for the rest I switched to my tablet.

Now, I will say that I would only use this as a last resort, because they weren’t in the best quality. I think the culprit for this was because it was too dark in my room. I have become dependent on the flash and since I didn’t have enough lighting, they might not look the greatest but I honestly loved how they turned out for some odd reason. Besides this, I used something else to help make everything easier for me. My nana and papaw had this foot stool that they inherited from the aunts, and I use this to prop up my tablet to color and read. However, I hadn’t thought about using it as a tripod until that day. It took me a good hour and a half to arrange it in certain ways to get the shots I wanted, because when it comes to blog photography, I am incredibly picky! We were successful though, or at least I’ll found out if any of you send me comments about them after reading this post.

The last thing I would like to do, is find this large bag of classic Christmas heirlooms my nana gave me a couple of years ago. I think they would look awesome surrounding the tree. It would complete the whole thing I think. If we find them, I’ll update you about it on Instagram and Facebook!

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What was the meaning for your Christmas tree theme? Do you have any funny ornament stories you would like to share with me? For anybody with a disability, does it normally take you a while to get everything just right? What do you use to make things easier?

snowflake