June Playlist

Hello! ūüĆą

June was a long month full of interesting things, some bittersweet and others were wonderful!

During the first week, we had birthdays to celebrate, and you saw the last of the DIY projects I had done in late March; the dotted sea turtle! It was such a fun and somewhat abstract kind of experiment for me, and I do hope to share more artsy stuff soon! The other birthday was my papaw’s. As some of you know, my papaw on my mom’s side died in 2016 and it’s still as fresh as it was then to all of us, and I don’t tend to share a lot of my personal life on my social media, much less on here, but I had shared a photo I had found a few months ago and wrote something special about him for the special day.

Two weeks later, we had another birthday, which was my nephew’s and he turned FOUR years old already! It doesn’t seem like he should be that old yet, you know?! I mean, he definitely seems older because of the way he talks, figures out things, and the fact he’s so excited to go to preschool in the fall! He’s become a little human now and its crazy how time files with him. I hope his sister grows somewhat slower for us, or we need to take more photos/videos‚Ķ

Besides these celebrations, I’ve had a really good early summer, despite the scorching weather; it’s been in the upper 80’s and 90’s since the second week and my mom and I keep saying, “we’re only in June! It’s going to be even worse by the time we get into July and August!” Apparently, we’re not alone in that assumption as I saw somewhere, cattle have died in Wisconsin and Kansas, which sounds more like they were neglected, because isn’t the farmers responsibility to provide shelter and water to their animals? I mean, that sounds really shady but I’m not animal farmer.

Speaking of farming, my family have really upgraded our landscaping as I’ve talked about in last month’s post, but my parents have wanted to grow our own food on our property and this year seemed like we could do it, so I have decided on doing a garden tour for July or August, depending on what I have time for next month. I am pumped to get it out to you because I know a lot of people have been curious about it and even though I don’t have any role in the creation of the garden, I thought this could be my way of contributing to the whole thing.

All right now let’s turn our focus to music as that is what this post was supposed to be about, but you know, I kind of enjoy summarizing the last 20 or so days for you, so I hope you like this new feature because it might stay as part of this post.

Here are my Top 20 songs I loved in June 2022. If you want to check out the entire Spotify playlist, click here.

Before I Ever Met You by BANKS
Dark Star by Tarja
SOLO by Jennie
Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson
I Don’t Want To Be by Gavin DeGraw
God Is A Woman by Danielle Bradbury
Everybody’s Fool by Evanescence
Die4u by Rain Paris
7 Rings by Ariana Grande
Boyfriend by Dove Cameron
All In by 2WEi featuring Marvin Brooks
My Heart’s Grave by Faouzia
I Want My Tears Back by Nightwish
Anything But Ordinary by Avril Lavigne
Boston by Augustana
Let’s Go by Trick Daddy featuring Big D & Twista
Heels by Hysterica
Shake It Off by Taylor Swift
Angel by Sarah Brightman
Simmer by Hayley Williams

What were you loving this past month?

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A-Z Disability Challenge | F : Treat Your Friends In The Way You’d Want To Be Treated

I know I’ve said this for almost every post, but for today it is really important. The topic I will be discussing is how you should treat your disabled friends. I wish this was common sense, but I guess for some people, they lack knowing how to act while hanging out with a person with any kind of disability in both private and publicly!

I am purely basing this off of my own experiences I had while I was in school, because this was the time that I saw anybody outside of my family really making the conscious decision to really hang out with me outside of having a sleep over and of course, seeing each other in classes. This was also the point in my life that I realized that I was truly different than my “friends” because whenever I was around them, I made myself forget that I was disabled. I wanted to be like them so badly that I never felt accepted to be myself, so I wanted to write this post for both sides.


I loved birthday parties! I enjoyed getting out of the house and spending time with my friends outside of school. Although, from the ages 7 to about 10, there wasn’t anything too major that we all did together. I never played spin the bottle or seven minutes in heaven like most preteens did. Now whenever I had birthday parties and sleepovers, I was in a more controlled environment and everybody was basically forced to do what I wanted to do. After my 7th birthday and having over 20+ kids, that included a bunch of rowdy boys, came over to our house, I never had boys over ever. So, I never really had the chance to play spin the bottle like I really wanted to!

I think my favorite parties were over at Haley and Zack’s houses. I’ve been friends with both of them for YEARS! I met Haley in kindergarten, she was my first true friend and Zack’s grandparents lived really close to mine, so we’d see each other almost every other weekend. Anyways, I loved going to their parties. Whenever I would go over to Haley’s, we would be indoors, but when I was attending Zack’s, we were mostly outdoors, sitting by the bonfire, or at least I was. Both made sure to include me as best as they could, but there were a lot of things that they were doing that I knew I couldn’t do, so I felt conflicted a lot of the times, but whenever I’d get in that little funk, I’d end up talking to their families. I love both of their mothers, and whenever I see them, we’ll talk and hug each other!

Once we all got into high school, it was almost like, everybody was too uncool to have sleepovers. I had the hardest time finding people that wanted or had the time to sleep over at my house. I rarely slept at anybody’s house other than my friend Haley and with my cousin Kristi. There was a reason for this though, after I had my back surgeries I grew a lot both in height and weight,¬† in a short period of time, and it wasn’t until probably 2008 that I began to feel okay with somebody touching my back again. I was still pretty fragile by the time I hit middle school to the end of junior year of high school. This is why I only hung out at two people’s houses, because only two adults were really comfortable and basically took up the challenge to lift me up stairs, beds, couches, etc.

It wasn’t until the end of high school, were things really started to change. There is nothing like a broken heart, especially when it’s caused by your friends. Boys will come and go, but I think I cried more about not being to hang out with my friends. It was never like I wasn’t allowed to go out because my parents said so, it was the fact that nobody would do it. It wasn’t until my 18th birthday that I actually had a friend of mine, take me out. One person.

So, imagine the disappointment when I was told that I was going to get picked up to go out to eat with some friends and I never got a call or a text that said “they were right outside.” In that moment, I truly hated the body I was born in, because I thought if I wasn’t like this, I could be driving my own car, picking them up, and we’d be happy as clowns. Instead, I sat in my room permanently attached to my mom’s shoulder as the minutes trickled by and I received no messages.

It wasn’t until my mom basically said this is not right and packed us up, she texted my cousin Kristi to see if she wanted to go putt-putting that afternoon. While we were at a stop light, I got a text message from the same person I was supposed to be waiting on, asking if I was there already because they’d seen my mom’s car–still didn’t get the message that they were going to pick me up like they said–so I quickly realized that the whole thing was a big joke and that I got excited for no absolutely fucking reason! I know it’s been over 8 years, but I still feel somewhat hurt about this! Friends should never make you feel like that, ever! I can never literally look forward to anything because of this one outing that never happened. It’s okay though, my mom, sister, Kristi and I had fun at miniature golf anyways!

I do worry about these younger generation of disabled kids and teens, because I know how I was and how I dealt with my pain of never feeling like you are enough for roughly anybody. It wasn’t healthy and I know that now. It wasn’t until 2012, two years after I graduated from high school, that I truly began to really love myself for who I was. I started treating myself better! Unfortunately, I’m still not good at keeping up with my friendships, and it’s probably stemmed from this past experiences and other stuff. That’s why it’s highly important to always remember to treat your friends, whether they are able or disabled, like you would want to be treated.

The End.

Do you have any advice for the younger generations on how to treat other people? Were you ever put in the same situations? How did you make it out? Let me know!

What I Love About Afternoon Tea!

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Hello!

Last October, when I stayed at my mom’s work while she recovered from her second surgery, my nana and I got to have a lot of fun together and one of the things we both got to enjoy was a theme dinner there at the nursing home.

Gail who works in the activities department explained to us that they try to have four different themes in a year. She and the other girls decorate the different dining rooms and they plan with the chefs of a meal that would go with that particular theme. The one I got to enjoy was “Serenade At The Seven Seas” or something like that. I liked it. I also loved trying the different courses, but the other ladies were a bit mixed though!

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The theme was called “My Fair Lady” and I guess the ladies in the activities department decorated the dinning rooms and made feathered hats or “bonnets” for the female residents! She took pictures and even wrote out the menu of what they served to the residents! I was going to use the one she made, but it had some spelling mistakes so I just redid it – later I realized I could have spelling mistakes on mine! Funny how they works!

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They also had a little tea party too!

According to Gail, in the film a couple of characters host a party and they decided to recreate that with the residents, so they decorated the large activity room with very pretty and colorful table clothes and had these beautiful centerpieces in the middle of them. They looked very vintage but yet modern too! They also made the ladies hats with feathers and ribbons in crafts. My nana really loved that, but as you can see apparently so did Alex!

28535342_1768924659838523_1707063689_nIn 2016, I actually wanted to have an afternoon tea themed birthday party. I had so many ideas that I wanted to do. I wanted to decorate my grandparent’s kitchen table with different fabrics, and since my birthday is like the day after Halloween, I knew my nana had a large black table liner and I thought if we put that on the table itself and laid out a red runner in the middle that way it wouldn’t look too dark and gloomy for the party!

Over the course of the last two years, I’ve actually wondered what I’d serve to this tea party if I ever had one! Since I read so many of my fellow blogger friends going to afternoon tea at different hotels or just plainly at home with their family members and/or close friends., I’ve been able to figure out what all is served, and I’ve grown to love the three teared stand of food that is laid out on the table. The first thing they give you is your tea. However, I’m like the 1% that doesn’t like coffee or tea, so I’m more interested in finding a good lemonade recipe. My mom actually made a homemade strawberry lemonade last year, where she let the strawberries sit out in the juice overnight to allow the flavors to marinate together. I’m kind of partial to anything raspberry, so whenever I see a “raspberry lemonade” on a menu at a restaurant, I instantly order it! So I’d rather have a raspberry lemonade instead.

As much as I’ve gathered, you usually start with the sandwiches, they are usually placed on the bottom and bigger tear.¬†The traditional flavors are egg salad, smoked salmon and cumber all cut in small bites so they look more dainty, and they always have the crusts cut off! Now I look on Pinterest for other ideas to make this a little bit more casual, so I am curious about creating a sandwich or two as some kind of wrap or pinwheel–using the traditional plain tortilla or having a variation of spinach or whole wheat!

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On the second tear you had the scones, which apparently in the states we say the word completely wrong! I’d explain on how it’s really pronounced but I don’t even know how to describe it, so I apologize there.

I have actually seen quite a few of my favorite chefs make scones on their television programs, so I already know of some different kinds I’d like to try out. I also know that when you’re making them for the first time, they’re suppose to be crumbly, so there’s nothing wrong with them, that’s just how they’re meant to be! Ree Drummond created the¬†Maple Oat Nut Scones¬†after not being able to visit a Starbucks where she lives; they look really good! The way she described them on her show¬†The Pioneer Woman¬†they taste like a biscuit type of pancake, because it has a strong taste of maple syrup! However, I think I would have to keep the coffee out of it! And then there’s a Cheddar and Dill Scone recipe from Ina Garten, she’s made this with both cheddar and a Stilton, which is like a stronger blue cheese! She’s very inspired by French food and had a gourmet food store back in the day, so she’s figured out different ways to make a good savory scone!

28536475_1768924629838526_1468751189_nNow the real question is what would I do about the clotted cream and jam that they serve alongside the scones itself? I know we don’t have the traditional clotted cream or nobody makes it to that level as the British, so the next best choice to have would either be mascarpone or cream cheese! Personally, I’ve never been in jam or perseveres, so I wouldn’t necessarily put it out as an option if it was only me, but if I had a group of people, I’d probably get a small jar of strawberry or blueberry jam, but for those who want to be really adventurous they can try out the marmalade. You know, I love the smell of that stuff because it’s like oranges, but I have never tried it before and if it was put out there on the table, I probably would like to try a small dab of it.

As far as the top layer of the stand, my thoughts have differed, sometimes I think a very casual take on decorative cupcakes would work out very nicely! You could make minis so they’d fit on the tear better. However if you wanted to add a fun twist to them, like stuffing them, it wouldn’t necessarily work on the tiny ones. I’ve noticed I keep looking into French pastries. You’d think I’ve been watching too much Ina Garten lately! So the possibility of having macrons, which is something that is on my food bucket list (yes, I do have one those! I actually need to work on that soon!) and there’s the tarts or tarlets you can make, like the Mini Raspberry Tarts that Julia Baker made on her TV show! These were so cute and seemed really easy to make! If you’re a chocoholic, in which I sort of am, you need a couple of good chocolate desserts too! Truffles would be a good idea, as you can just eat it in one bite! You could dip strawberries in chocolate or make little pote de creme (puddings!) in mason jars too.

There doesn’t seem like there’s a right or wrong way to create your own afternoon tea! If you’re interested in learning and seeing what is actually served at the teas in the United Kingdom, I have compiled a list of favorite blog posts for you! I hope you have enjoyed this post!

A Candy Shop Afternoon Tea at Conrad St. James – Lux Life | Love Is In The Air at Langham London’s Valentine’s Afternoon Tea – Fresh And Fearless | Afternoon Tea at Mr. Fogg’s Gin Parlour – Little Miss Katy | Afternoon Tea at Rockcliffe Hall – This Northern Gal | Sweet Treats: Glam Rock Afternoon Tea at K West Hotel & Spa – AbsolutelyLucy

Have you ever attended an afternoon tea before? If you have, what was it about it that you loved the most? For those of you who haven’t, have you ever been tempted to create one yourself? Let me know in the comments!

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Chevy’s 4th Birthday!

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Hey guys!

Our neighbor Sammy, her daughter Chevy recently celebrated her fourth birthday! It’s still pretty weird that she’s at that age because I can still imagine her trying to figure out my wheelchair sitting up in the playpen in my backyard one summer afternoon. There’s something about babies and kids in general whenever they see feet driving around my chair just freaks them out in the best way! Now she’s going to preschool and learning about letters and numbers. She’s starting to become a little being and not this baby anymore!

They decided this year to have the party at the park so the kids could have fun at the playground. The theme was Frozen related, all about the summer loving snowman Olaf. They even had an Olaf cake and pinata! It was all very cute! The kids sat at one table while the grown ups sat at another table. When we first got there, they decided to do the cake and I handed my camera over to Sammy to help me out a little because I was still too short in my electric wheelchair. While we sang Chevy happy birthday, she practically disappeared because she didn’t like all of the attention. It took her a bit to be comfortable to blow out the candles. Once I got my camera back, I moved myself away from the sun as it was beaming on my back and neck. All of the adults had the right idea, they all sat in the shade. I realized when I got over there that now would be a good time to take some photos of the landscape.

When I was junior, I was invited into NHS (National Honor Society) and one of our first projects of the year was fixing the playground out in the park. I wasn’t able to help out, but I always remembered it because it was the first thing our group did for our community. I don’t know if they have replaced any of the equipment that the kids were playing on as we watched from our table, but it’s what came to my mind was that memory.

After the kids ate their cake, Sammy moved on to opening presents. Chevy got a lot of neat things, like tutus, puzzles, bouncy ball. We got her a chalk set that were HUGE! I would never be able to grip one in my toes because they were so big! Right after that, they did the pinata, but they kind of forgot the bat so the kids had to pull on the strings at the bottom of Olaf’s butt! I think it was the fifth kid that ended up breaking it, which actually surprised me. I figured Chevy would end up picking the right one! What got all of us though was as the kids were crouching down to grab the candy, my dad walks up and takes two Laffy Taffys! And my mom took a piece of gum! I waited until the kids were gone from that area to ask for a sucker!

When everybody had a good handful of different candies, I got to move from the shelter house and go towards the swings and trees. I wasn’t that hot because of how much I was in the shade, of course the back of my neck, face and legs were red as can be so both of my parents freaked out a bit, but I didn’t care. I was too busy talking to Sammy and some of the older kids that everything just kind of faded! I really enjoyed being out there and I wasn’t too bothered by the bugs either!

When was the last time you went to the park? 

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Happy Birthday Papaw!

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Howdy!

I didn’t think I’d have to wait two weeks to actually publish this post, but I had no room for it. It’s all right though!

My papaw’s birthday was in earlier this month, we had plans to do something special on it since planning his funeral in April. It was a family get together that everybody had been dreading because it’s going to be hard to celebrate any other holiday without my papaw being there. However, I was pretty excited about it. I know he’d want us all to enjoy ourselves.

On the first day, my Uncle Rick drove down and even though he was slightly sick I think he still enjoyed being around us. We were still goofy and laughing at each other’s stories. Especially when I managed to stomp Rick twice. He now has to test out Cashew cheese! It’s a long story!¬†Every time we have a family gathering, we get a fruit, veggies, and meat and cheese tray. It usually fills us up in the two or three days we’re together. I mostly had vegetables than fruit. The only time I wanted oranges was when my Aunt Laurie decided to eat the last three slices and offered me at last minute. I didn’t take it because I had a full mouth of broccoli!

When we first got there, Laurie and my nana told us that she bought balloons to be released or what nana kept saying all weekend long “lift off” into the sky. As everybody went with their sappy, somewhat sad messages, I went for the humorous approach. I have to say, it was my first time writing on a balloon! The fact you can read it, is a freaking miracle! Since Rick was there that day, he, Laurie, Mike, Taylor, and nana released theirs into the sky. It rained off and on all day, it actually started misting as I watched in my wheelchair, camera in foot, snapping away!

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Blondie had to work that day, so she missed the craft session. My Aunt Linda, Rick’s wife purchased us little mason jars painted in different colors like turquoise, gray, and dark gray. She also bought different lids to go on top. We were going to put papaw’s ashes each one. I originally didn’t want one at first, but I decided to have one made just in case later I’d change my mind. I chose a light gray jar with a red zig-zag decorative lid. What was funny though was we didn’t have a big enough funnel or anything to scoop into the box to pour the ashes into the jars. So my mom had to use my nana’s measuring cups! I also suggested using a piece of paper as a homemade funnel. They turned out to be pretty “cute” I don’t know how my papaw would feel about me saying that!

We didn’t go home until 4:30pm that day, it was probably the latest my Uncle Rick (he stayed a little longer) has ever went home in a while but I think he genuinely enjoyed talking to all of us.

The next day was officially my papaw’s birthday. He would have been 85 years old! My dad went out early that morning to get a paper and ended up getting stopped by the train. According to him, the whole thing was new. It was clear black going backwards on the track. He also got lottery tickets and lost, which he thinks was my papaw doing as a joke.

I stood outside spending time with the babies as it was clear and cool before we headed over to my nana’s again. We thought it was weird that our rain and storms were gone on his birthday! My mom and dad got me some bubbles the other day and I decided to take them to my nana’s. When we got there, we knew Brandon and Blondie were there already. They brought Brandon’s friend and best man Allen with them, who was very nice. Laurie had to go out and find more balloons as the other three were losing helium. The new ones had white polka dots on them. So my mom and Em and Brandon had their own balloons, while my nana used the last one and wrote down our deceased pets on each one. I released that one into the sky as mine was tied onto my mom’s.

My dad came over and spent some time with all of us. He got out his bike and watched both of his daughters and future son-in-law play with Laurie and Mike’s dog Mila with the bubbles. I haven’t had so much fun with bubbles in a long time! I’ve got to do it again soon! He also stayed and ate a sandwich or two and helped sing “happy birthday” before we ate the cake. My mom got passed the first line and started crying. My poor sister had to leave the room! I was doing fine until my aunt pointed out my mom’s bawling and red face! Later on, my mom, Blondie, and Laurie went upstairs and take pictures of the upstairs for my nana and they brought down some stuff that I’ll share in another post I promise!

I think it was a successful weekend, better than I thought it would be. I think papaw would be a happy camper knowing everybody enjoyed it too! ‚ô•

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