A-Z Disability Challenge | G : Long Term Goals

Howdy!

For today, this post will hopefully be lighthearted; the kind to make you smile with some of the things that I’ve been collecting as part of my long term goals to accomplish in the future. It’ll have the same format as the other post about my goals for 2019, but I’ll explain a little more about each one, so you will understand why they are important to me.

I like to think there’s a big difference between a bucket list and long term goals. In my Pinterest board for my bucket list things, are not very realistic. You’re wishing to do them rather than actively trying to seek them out. Now, I’ve seen a lot of people who make bucket lists and actually cross off certain ones, but not everybody is that lucky. I’ve never thought about having or even listing out my own personal long term goals like this before, but since I wrote out my other top five goals for the year, I figured maybe I’d be lucky and actually push myself a little bit to actually make a dent in my list. I’m hopeful that’s all that matters to me!

When I created this list, I tried to list them in some kind of order, but we all should know that life doesn’t always follow this rule all the time, but at least it’s organized for me to explain each one for you below!

Write A Cookbook 

I’ve always wanted to write a cookbook, between being my dad’s guinea pig for years and the beloved recipes that my nana was taught by her parents, and then papaw’s family, I just feel like this is the next step! What I find interesting is that I have these big plans of writing it and including inventive gadgets that could help other disabled aspiring cooks and/or bakers, but I still have yet to actually do anything in the kitchen.

When I was with my nana, I could convince her to let me help her mix or pour the various things into the bowl, but I can’t even do that with my own parents! Recently, I went out into the kitchen to watch my mom make broccoli and cheese soup and she would not let me do anything. In her defense, she hadn’t made it in a long time so she was basically panicking making sure she had everything and it was all coming together. I was basically there to express my cooking knowledge with her, which that part was fun, but I yearn to actually do something. I’d love nothing more than to make my parents dinner one day, but these two goofballs won’t let me!

Go To The AMC Convention 

In 2012, I found out about the Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita Convention. This was also the same year, I found the whole mother-load of fellow AMCers and the fact that we even had an awareness day for us! I was extremely happy because I love to talk to people, especially family members of kids that have various types of disabilities. Parents and guardians are always looking for others that may have experienced similar situations, and I enjoy being a voice to the younger generations to gain some independence and be who they want to be. This was one of the main reasons why I created my blog in the first place!

It wasn’t until 2017, when the AMC group basically announced to everyone where they were going to host the next convention – because they go to a different state every year, so it keeps things interesting for everybody that attends. Well, I usually like to look on their Facebook page on the last day to see where they will be going to, and for 2018 they were going to Louisville, KY. I was happy! I showed it to my mom, who basically told me “if you can talk your dad into it, then maybe.” Now this came out at the end of July, my sister announced to us in October that she was pregnant and that she was possibly due at the beginning of July… So, my nephew was the reason why we basically dropped that idea from ever happening.

I would love to go to the convention one day, which is why I have included it onto this post. I would love to meet other people to see how they’ve managed to do things. I also think it would be a good thing for my family too, because I’m always hoping that they’ll want to help other families, especially my sister, she’s very helpful and I think she’d enjoy meeting the siblings and basically talk to them about her experiences of being the younger sister of someone with such a physical disability. I just think it would be a great experience for all of us!

Speak On A Panel At AbilitiesExpo

A couple of years ago, I heard about the AbilitiesExpo. I know there is one in Chicago and the other is in Los Angeles. I saw a vlog on YouTube of an attendee that jacked a tripod onto the foot pedals of his wheelchair so he didn’t need somebody else holding his camera for him. I was stunned at this, and I immediately showed it to my dad, we’ve been tempted to do something similar to mine. Anyways, I think the expo is very cool! It is usually for three days, and includes small sections of different companies for fashion, wheelchairs, biotechs, etc.

I have had the same recurring dream of speaking on a panel with other wheelchair users, it usually included Tiphany Adams, Jordan Bone, and myself. These ladies are very special to me as they’re always talking about their experiences of becoming a wheelchair user, and what keeps them going and thriving! I think being able to speak to a large crowd with several other fellow disabled ladies would be interesting! We could discuss real topics like sex and relationships, and give people another outlook to women with disabilities. I don’t know if AbilitiesExpo has ever done anything like this, but I thought it would a cool idea to do in the future!

Visit England

I think everyone knows about this one. I actually didn’t have it in the original line-up, I had a totally different goal but I realized that it kind of went with the first one, so I switched it out.

I’ve talked about how much I love England, and yes, most of it goes with the royals, but I have become kind of obsessed with the overall history of the country. I love the cities, London being my favorite! Bath and York are two of my favorite cities that like to show off their impressive structures, from the cathedrals to a row of houses.  Recently, I’ve been loving various pictures of the countryside. The villages are beautiful, they’re completely different compared to what I see here in the United States. Buildings and houses that were built in the 1600’s still being used to this day, the architecture is gorgeous! If you’d like to know all of the places I’d like to visit one day, click here.

Have A Baby

For a long time, this was the only long term goal I ever had and as the years go by, it continues to go further down the list. I’ve talked about this in the past, so I’m going to attempt to keep this as short as possible.

Years ago. I did include the words “get married” before it, but I’ve sort of lost my interest in wanting to do that. Even though I have my parents and sister’s marriages to look at for inspiration, marriage as a whole in this day and age doesn’t appeal to me. People make vows and sign a certificate but will cheat on their spouses anyways. I don’t want to say because of my disability, I’d always be faithful, because I am not invincible to anything, especially my own temptations.  However, being attached to someone that could be the one to give a child frightens me, because they could always come up with a story that I could be a bad mom, adding to the stereotypical image of people with disabilities can’t bear and raise children.

I’ve always wanted to be a mom. My maternal instincts come out whenever I am around young children. I want to teach them how not to be afraid of someone like me. It is hard sometimes to be around my sister and nephew together, I still get fairly jealous that she has a son to call her own, but I also have to tell myself that I get the easy job as an aunt, but I’ve always wanted to do the things that she does on a daily basis. I have met with other disabled moms out there and they do ease the questions of whether or not, if it’s possible to have a child, but it’s getting to that point where I can fulfill that dream of mine that feels impossible. Hopefully one day it will happen.

Do you have any long term goals? What have you done to try accomplishing them?

Places To Visit In England

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Hi 🙂

I am so happy that you guys have allowed me to talk about history and I can actually discuss some of my favorite sections on here for the past several months. Right now, it’s been about British royal history and the lone Russian Imperial Family post, but hopefully I’ll be talking about other eras that have always interested me too. I do have three more possible “versus” posts coming soon, but I wanted to do something a little different this week and explain a little bit more about why I had to change my bucket list destination from London to just England in general.

London will forever be my main destination. It currently holds the #1 spot in my heart but everybody is familiar with London and while that’s nothing to be sad about really, I actually know about different cities and villages that surround London as I’ve been able to learn more about the Plantagenet and Tudor eras and I really liked to visit them just as much.

I’ve actually been longing to create this post for the past two years. Yeah, I said TWO years! I realized after I finished this post that I didn’t go into any details on how much these castles were handicap accessible, although I know I will not be able to go up to the second floors, as there were no working elevators at the time! So this will be a rough list, because I can always figure out other places to add on, but at least you’ll get an idea of where I’d like to visit one day! Oh, I probably should say that I don’t have any plans of going there anytime soon. If I’m honest, I feel like I’d need more than one week to get my fill and visit some of my favorite places and landmarks. I’ve always wanted to stay there for two weeks to a month at a time so I don’t have to rush things and I can enjoy being in the moment.

Hampton Court Palace – located in London

If you are into the Tudor times like me, you may think that King Henry VIII was the one who created Hampton Castle/Palace, but he wasn’t. It was actually one of his most trusted advisers Cardinal Thomas Wosley. He had it built for himself but gave it to Henry. After the demise of both Wosley and the Catholic church, it was still one of his favorite places.

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Hampton Court is one of my favorite Tudor palaces. It’s also the one I know the most about too. It’s very unique as it is mainly used with red brick, that’s not traditional when you think of the gothic look to buildings of that time! I also love the subtle gestures towards Anne Boleyn in different corners of the entrances. It’s kind of shocking that they were never plastered off after she was beheaded but maybe Henry had forgotten he had them put in? At least that’s what I’m thinking what happened!

Ludlow Castle – located in Shrosphire

Ludlow is one castle that I feel I still have a lot to learn about, but I know it was the place where Prince Arthur lived when he was a boy and teen. When he married Katherine of Aragon, this was where they lived for the first few months before he died. I think it was a popular place to send the heir apparents to study with their tutors and the clergymen. Elizabeth of York’s younger brothers Edward V and Richard, Duke of York was set there. When Edward was about two years old he was sent to live away from court life and his parents. King Henry VIII and Jane Seymour’s son Edward VI was also taken there as a young boy too.

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Ludlow would be considered a “ruined” castle as it hasn’t been kept up to shape as several other palaces have in recent years. It no longer has the second floor and grass has grown over the walls and ground. However, it still looks imposing! These ruined castles, abbeys and houses are still fascinating to people because there is still so much history to them and that’s why people still want to visit them.

Warwick Castle – located in Warwichshire

Warwick Castle is another favorite of mine. It has always been owned by a noble family, mostly the Earls of Warwick and eventually privately to different families. The first earl to inherit the stunning castle was Henry de Beamont in 1088 and it was given to him by William the Conqueror.

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I became interested in Warwick Castle after learning about “The Kingmaker” (Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick) as he was the cousin to both Edward IV and Richard III. Richard’s daughters married the younger brothers of Edward, Isabel married George, Duke of Clarence and Anne married Richard, Duke of Gloucester who later after the death of Edward she became his Queen Consort. I think Warwick Castle has this interesting yellow glow to it. Everytime I see pictures of it, I see like a very plain shade of yellow within the stone.

Hever Castle – located in Kent

Hever Castle is the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII the one responsible for Henry’s sudden change to the Protestant faith and wanting to divorce his wife Katherine of Aragon after she wasn’t able to give him a son and heir. Anne lived there with her parents Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire and Lady Elizabeth Howard and siblings Mary Boleyn (who was also a mistress to King Henry VIII) and George Boleyn, 2nd Viscount Rochford.

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What is surprising is that Hever hasn’t been on my radar that long as despite the fact that I’ve always been a huge supporter of Anne Boleyn, I just figured her childhood home had been destroyed years ago either from old age or during the aftermath of World War II and the Blitz. So when I did find out that it was still standing, I was kind of happy! If you’d like to see the inside of Hever Castle, you need to look into The History Review on Facebook and take a look at Hayley Nolan’s podcast/videos, you’ll be just as amazed as I was of the inside of this place!


I have two other cities I’d like to pop into, first there’s Bath. It is known for the Roman built baths, they thought the waters had healing powers and so they created baths all over the city. One thing that I want to say about Bath is that, despite not knowing a lot about King George III “The Mad King” and his son and the regency age that his son George IV who had command of Great Britain in the early 1800’s, I have always found the history of Bath during this time period interesting. Besides the baths themselves, there are some very cool architecture and I’ve been very fond of the townhouses, but then again I like townhouses anyway! Every country has a different design and paint them in quirky colors, but “The Royal Crescent” in Bath are my favorite. It is a giant half circular row of townhouses that were first used for the wealthy. but honestly I still feel like you need to be pretty wealthy to be able to afford one of these apartments!

One of my favorite girls and blogger Kelly recently went to Bath and wrote about her experiences about what to do and what not to do in Bath. She took photos while she was there so you can see the beautifulness of the two locations I just spoke about in the last paragraph to get a better idea of the amazing things it has to offer.

York is the second and a very historic place in many ways. There are castles and abbeys there, but there’s other things too, like a museum called the “Jorvik Viking Centre” because after the Romans, the Vikings invaded and inhabited it. York has a rich history of both invasions and are still finding artifacts from the area. I feel like my dad would love this place too since he’s so interested in the Vikings.

Fellow blogger Kelly of Let’s Go Somewhere Nice has been very helpful with telling me some of the history about York that I kind of knew about, I heard the story once on Mysteries At The Museum about Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. The story is pretty interesting and every year on November 5th, I have to fight the urge to want fireworks! Look up the story and then you’ll understand what I mean. I follow a fun group on Facebook that talks about the past and present day British royals, and a follower Nic James had posted some pictures of his trip to York and Edinburgh, Scotland on the page. I’m not that familiar with a lot of the landmarks yet, so I left her a question about a beautiful gothic cathedral that she told me later is called York Minster. I recently watched a special about England’s Northeast side and I got to see the inside of the beautiful church. She left me a great quote about York that I wanted to share in this post because it sounds like my kind of place!

It’s full of folklore, ghost stories, majestic architecture, tradition; all mixed together and steeped in history.

One of my dreams is also to visit the burial sites of some of my favorite monarchs and put roses by their effigies. I’d like to visit Peterborough Cathedral as that’s where Katherine of Aragon is buried, people like to put flowers, her symbol pomegranates, and pray for her by her tomb. And then I’d like to place three white roses on the site of King Richard III at Leicester Cathedral. I’d also love to visit Westminster Abbey and Tower of London do the same thing with Elizabeth of York, Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard and Lady Jane Grey but tie both a red and white rose together and lay them by their sites.

If you could choose any place in the world to visit for two weeks or a month, where would you go? And why are those places important to you?

References:

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Mary Vs. Jane: The Real Usurper

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Hi 🙂

I’m really enjoying these different history posts I’ve been doing lately. I’m not trying to do one every month but it kind of just happens. The last one about King Richard III and King Henry VII was completely accidental, I actually wanted to do this first but I needed to think about how the other post would do with my audience and so I decided to wait a bit.

Queen Mary I is the oldest daughter of King Henry VIII and Spanish princess Katherine of Aragon. After Katherine declined to annual her marriage to Henry so he could marry his mistress and one of her ladies-in-waiting Anne Boleyn. She was set away from court and was forced to stay away from their daughter. They were technically still married to as he secretly wed Anne and after Katherine passed Princess Mary was then considered a bastard and lost her way to inherit the throne.

Henry had a total of six siblings, but only two of his sisters survived to adulthood. The youngest, Princess Mary was married to Louis XI of France but they didn’t last very long when he died shortly after. When she came back to England, she secretly married Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk who was one of her brother’s best friends. Since they also married in secret, they had to pay a hefty fine to the King for not asking him for permission to marry. Mary and Charles had a total of four children. The only male heirs who were both named Henry died young, but daughters Lady Eleanor and Lady Frances survived to adulthood.

Lady Frances Brandon married Henry Grey, the Marquess of Dorset (who was the great-great-grandson of Elizabeth Woodville and her first first husband Thomas Grey) they had a total of three daughters themselves: Lady Jane, Lady Catherine and Lady Mary. The girls were King Henry VIII’s great-nieces and they were born into a Protestant family. Now I don’t know that much about Lady Jane Grey, only that she was put into succession in King Edward VI’s will and she was married to Lord Robert Dudley. This is all I really know of this part of her personal life.

Lady Jane Grey was the granddaughter of the sister of the former King of England and born into a Protestant family, so she had the means to keep the religion afloat until Queen Mary sent her troops into England and she arrested Jane and her husband and father for their crimes for going against the Act of Succession that clearly states that once Edward died, she would rule after him. Edward had tried to bypass this law and basically threw her into the woods. Jane is known as the “nine day queen” because she only had nine days on the throne of England. To historians, she’s the usurper because she went around the law, but I don’t see it that way.

When Henry finally had his son and kept marrying these other women to make sure he had another “male” heir in case Edward did not survive, which he didn’t and Edward died at the same age as Henry’s older brother Prince Arthur. The kingdom roughly should have went to the Lady Mary, since as Henry got older he did put both Mary and Elizabeth back in line of succession. However, something has always made me wonder, when King Henry renounced the Catholic faith, why did he put Mary back in line to the throne when he knew she still practiced the religion? Did he grow to regret his decision to create the Church of England or did he only do it, so she wouldn’t leave for Spain or France and start a war with her half brother and her homeland?

England was practicing both religions, let’s be honest about here. Lady Jane could have kept the faith but when Queen Mary came and had her killed for trying to go around the law, she brought Catholicism back. In her reign, Mary set ablaze to the Protestant martyrs and with that, she gained the nickname “Bloody Mary” because she killed over hundreds of people for not accepting the true faith. After failing to give an heir with her Spanish husband King Phillip, England went back to being a Protestant kingdom with Queen Elizabeth I as she was the daughter of the reason why King Henry VIII had renounced the religion in the first place.

So I do get the fact that Jane was put on the throne after Edward went around the Act but I doubt she wanted that role or knew what would happen to her after those nine days, but I wouldn’t call her a usurper. Mary was a devout Catholic and was going to change the religion back after her father spent so much time and effort into it. I often think even if Mary wasn’t put back in line anyways, she obviously had the resources to create an army anyways, she would have fought for that crown.

So what do you think, who is the real usurper? Lady Jane Grey or Queen Mary I? 

snowflake

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Tune Tuesday | England ’17

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Hi 🙂

Now we’re in one of my favorite places! Have you ever felt homesick for a place you’ve never been? Well, I have and my heart belongs in England, mainly London! The music in this post is all over the place really, we have a lot of pop but in different ranges! All three artists have been featured on the Billboard Charts!

The first is Dido and I am REALLY hoping that I have not talked about her yet. My gut is telling me that I have either wanted to mention her or the possibly is this will be a repeat of an older post, who knows! I love Dido though! We tend to believe that this trend of chilled, dark, pop/alternative/indie music is new but it’s not and Dido should be the mother of it! After hearing her song “Thank You” and “White Flag” years ago, I have had this love of a somber vibe in music! She’s the reason why I’m obsessed with Banks! They have such similar sounds, it’s so good!

Second will probably shock you and/or make you remember the year 2004, whether or not that was a happy year for you is another thing altogether! Mis-Teeq is an all girl group consisting of Sabrina Washington, Alesha Dixon, and Su-Elise Nash. Does the song “Scandalous” ring any bells? It does for me, between my mom and I, we were obsessed with it. We tend to do that with girl groups for some odd reason! One movie that I love is Catwoman, I’m like the 1% of the population who loved it I guess! If I could find the soundtrack or score, I’d be a happy camper because they basically helped with it.

Last one is Dua Lipa, she’s our new artist! Of course, I did not think she was British until I looked her up and was amazed but was also very happy too because then I could include her with this year’s lineup since she’s been featuring practically everywhere! You might’ve saw her all over YouTube last year towards the summer, she was the featured artist on there! She’s recently released a new track with Miguel called “Lost In Your Light” but you might be more familiar on Martin Garrix newest single “Scared Of Being Lonely”. I’m still obsessed with this sucker!

So what do you think? I’m looking for more British music, so if you would like for me to talk about someone just let me know! 

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Tune Tuesday | England 2016

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Hey guys!

So this whole post is going to be about England, which as you all should know is one of my favorite places! Another cool thing about this post is that all acts I’ll be discussing, you’ve probably never heard of but who knows, you guys might’ve heard of a couple or maybe all three – who knows!

The first one is Kano. Now I recently found out about Kano through the show on Viceland called Noisey and I seriously love this show! It’s brought a new light to what I call music. It mainly talks about rap music, but they did go to Las Vegas and talk about EDM and how big it’s managed to get and these DJs are getting so much feedback from all sorts of people. It was really interesting, but the one episode I liked the most and made me see the “ugliness” of it was when Zach and the crew went to London and talked to the rappers there. The hip hop there is actually not as old as ours, I mean American hip hop and rap music in general is like probably over 30 years old. Grime, what the British call their hip hop genre is like under 20 years old.

While watching the episode, the music and rappers do give you that old school vibe but it’s heavier and some of it can be very dark too. I’m not going to lie, it’s a little strange to hear a rapper speaking in a British accent. I have nothing against it, I’m just not used to it. Kano was the one that I liked and was pulled closer towards in the episode so that’s why I’m including him into this post.

The next is a band, we’re moving out of the rap and into the rock genre now. Counterfeit is a group of guys made up of Tristan Marmont, Roland Johnson, Jimmy Craig, Sam Bower and his brother Jamie Campbell Bower! Anyways, these guys are pretty good. They were originally called “The Darling Buds” but changed their name in December and started to finally release tracks through their new band name Counterfeit. It says on their band’s Facebook page that they are more punk-thrash type of band. I’m ready to hear more of their songs and maybe they’re do a tour here in the US too!

Last one is RAIGN and I got into her around the same time as I found Zella Day, Laurel, and Banks. Her music was featured on Vampire Diaries just like the other girls. I really love her stuff. She’s got a beautiful voice and I want to put her in the alternative genre because her music doesn’t sound very pop ordinated but it is very dark and gives you this overwhelming calm feeling as you listen to it just like with Laurel and Banks too!

Do you listen to any of these acts I’ve listed above? What are your favorite English musicians?

Family Weekend

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Howdy!

This past weekend has been probably one of the longest weekends I’ve had in a while! I spent three days and two nights at my grandparent’s house! Blondie and Batman were still in Hawaii on their vacation and didn’t get back until Sunday evening! And our folks had one of their bike rallies going on this weekend too. Unfortunately, this rally has a bad terrain for my wheelchair, plus the fact that it stormed and got extremely hot so I’m glad I didn’t go because I probably would have been miserable! So as a backup, my nana would babysit me for a few hours until my Aunt Laurie, Uncle Mike and cousin Taylor came down from up north. They came down as a “summer surprise” as my nana called it!

I was alone with my grandparents for maybe three or four hours which is normal for us! We kept ourselves busy! Poor Papaw couldn’t decide if he wanted to be in the kitchen or in his bed.. so imagine trying to navigate in a somewhat small kitchen with three push wheelchairs. Not easy! My nana and I basically ate, chatted and baked a cake! She likes to get those cake mixes in a box, and usually she gets chocolate cake–she did have that but had a craving too! She had my mom get a Confetti cake this time around. My nana and I are trying to figure out more things for me to learn. I suggested maybe learning the measurements, like teaspoon and all that! Cooking stuff! I mean, I watch these food shows but they hardly show you what to use, you know? I took Home Ed in middle school but since I was in a wheelchair, I couldn’t reach countertops and so our teacher/aides had trouble showing us those types of things in class. So my nana showed me a bit!

Besides learning the equipment to use in the kitchen, I got to beat the batter in the bowl. My nana doesn’t have a stand mixer or anything, she does this by hand! In a way, she was happy to have an extra set of “feet” to help her out! I also helped put on the icing and sprinkles, she mostly did that though! She gave me an off set spatula and I did my best of spreading the icing like Ina Garten, even I was a little proud of myself! I didn’t make it all fancy, but it looked great! How this all started, why I got back into learning (and sometimes re-learning!) things was after my nana had the idea of maybe I could use her small vacuum cleaner. We figured out that I CAN use it! It hurts my toes but I manage! Laurie and Mike got their around 6:30pm and a half an hour after they arrived, I had Laurie get me out of the wheelchair. So I mainly on the floor, scouting on the carpet (in shorts!) the whole weekend! My hips handled it a lot better than I expected! My butt was another story!

Around 9pm, we were all basically bored out of our minds already! We weren’t exactly tired but getting close to it! I bought a deck of UNO cards with me and we played two games, plus a tournament! My nana and I actually won a couple of them too! I was very surprised at her, she was very exhausted that first day. My mom brought me over a little earlier than originally planned, so she didn’t get to have her nap in the afternoon before everybody came over! She still made up past 10pm so that’s impressive! I actually got better sleep than I thought I’d get on that couch. The next day, Taylor and I were the late sleepers, I got up at 10 something, which isn’t bad but my mom sent me a “good morning” text at 7:30 and I sent it back about three hours later! I was tired damnit! Leave me alone!

That morning was a little bit of a blur for me! All I remember of it was Laurie doing my nails for me. I brought my new collection of polishes to my nana’s. I used the green/teal on my toes and the very light pink on my fingers! My aunt was going to have Mike do her nails, but then I stopped her with “I can do them” I’ve done nana’s nails before! I’m not as clean as she was with me, but at least I didn’t spill it everywhere! She got the teal/pink on her hands. My Uncle Mike got pictures AND video of it all! If I could post it on here I would, but I can’t. After that, we had a couple of cinnamon rolls for breakfast and about an hour or so later the next batch of family came down from up north. My Uncle Rick and Aunt Linda came bearing KFC for lunch and it was so good! For the next hour, we sort of lounged in the living room. I had been on the floor since I got up that morning, my butt was already feeling sore from rubbing against the carpet about a hundred times! Ah, scouting! It was its good and bad points about it!

I think they stayed there for two hours. We all talked, both Rick and Linda helped nana with her laptop, and we showed off pictures! A little bit into the second hour, we had ourselves a surprise! My other uncle, David and Aunt Katt came down too. Apparently it was a long story and I wasn’t present in the telling of it! It was so much fun honestly having that many members together and it wasn’t a holiday get together! When Rick and Linda left everything becomes a blur once again. I was REALLY tired that afternoon! That evening we played UNO and Taboo. We finally figured out how to play Taboo thanks to Taylor for reading the directions and explaining it to a bunch of tired souls like us! It was a fun time, lots and lots of laughs! I was actually allowed to come home that night, my folks came back early from the rally and asked if I wanted to come home. I told them no, we still had to play a tournament! You remember the saying of “too much of a good thing?” Yeah, maybe I should have went home that night because I could not sleep in that house for the life of me!! I don’t know what happened, I was sleepy but my brain would not turn off! It was like past 1am when I went to sleep!

On Sunday, I got up at 8am, when I usually get up I stay up sometimes! That couch was starting to not be so comfortable anymore so I was more awake than I wanted to be! Mike placed their air mattress a few inches away from the couch, so I didn’t have my normal amount of room to truly get off the couch in a comfortable way, I just didn’t want to wake anybody up and I didn’t! I knew nana was up, because I could hear her doing the dishes in the kitchen. So I made my escape through papaw’s room on the opposite side of the living room. I went in there and found nana on her laptop instead. I got on my laptop and she managed to wake up Mike in the process, didn’t get to scare him. However, when Laurie got up she was surprised to see me on the floor leaning up against the chair! I couldn’t help but laugh! I used to be the master at this as a kid! I guess I still got it! Laurie made two different rolls this time around, regular and orange. I’ve never had those before and they were so good, but tasted like fruit loops! It has an orange glaze on it! My nana got a kick after calling it a “glaze” I watch too much of the cooking channel!

Do you remember a post I did last year about my great aunts’ collection of spoons? They went to different places in the Midwest and up in Canada to get these little guys? Well, they also collected teacups and saucers too! I’ve heard about these for years and I’ve been looking forward to Laurie coming down so I could see some of them and take pictures. Laurie took out quite a few and I had to be the one to take pictures. I used Laurie’s phone which was a disaster! It was too big for my feet/toes to figure out, the pictures I got were too close and blurry! It wasn’t all a bust though, I didn’t take 100 of them so that’s better than nothing! Majority of the ones she brought out were made in England, but a few were created in China and one we found said “made in Japan” so that was cool! The next time they come down, we’ll try to get more out of there and divide them up between Laurie and I because my nana is willing them to us! I’m hoping there’s an even number of them! I think I’m hoping a little too strongly here am I?

A little bit before my mom came over, family friend Brittany came over and visit with everybody for a little bit. She was up early mowing before it got too hot! Wish dad did that sometimes! My mom came over about a half hour after she said she would, which is becoming a normal thing in our family now! My dad’s an early person, and mom isn’t. The whole day we did nothing but play games, talk, eat, and laugh! Which is always great for us! We all pig out and have fun! Poor papaw thinks we’re going to disturb our neighbors everytime we get too loud but no police ever comes to the door so that’s good! My sister was supposed to be home around four in the afternoon, but she had a rough time with her plane that they didn’t make it home until like seven o’clock! Everybody decided to leave around six and when we drove up to the driveway, the cats greeted us! All of the babies were at my feet, literally! From what mom told us, when she and dad came home on the bike, when he turned off the motor they all came running up and I guess dad noticed it first and said, “look…. this is not right.” He can’t say it wasn’t sweet that they missed them though! When I got home, I basically got the same treatment! I was sooo happy to be back in my own bed again but I guess not happy enough that I could sleep like a baby! I couldn’t sleep that night at all!! I don’t know what the heck happened!

I’m still very sad that it’s all over. Blondie got to have a whole week vacation and I got three days. I should be happier and I know my grandparents are happy to have their house back to being nice and quiet without having all of us around now. Didn’t want to leave this post on a bad note, but I did anyways! My bad! That’s what happened on my weekend, how was yours?

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Tune Tuesday | England

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I have to say last year I messed up dramatically when I went to do my England post. I didn’t necessarily have one in a way last year, I had a two week UK thing but that’s it! Leave it to me that I’d find out later on that I probably should have added both Ireland and Scotland musicans to it too! So I’m redeeming myself by doing an England tune Tuesday post. Since majority of my music is internationally based and quite a lot are from England that I figured I’d have a lot to chose from and I did! I had a total of three different acts. I wanted to do more, but I’m not doing the whole two weeks thing again no matter what!

I wanted to leave these two singers for my Femme Fatale TT edition, but when I decided to go ahead and start on this edition, So I figured since they’re both English ladies that they’d be perfect for this one. I’m starting on Natasha Bedingfield and Leona Lewis. I’ve been a fan of both of them since 2007. They have very different but beautiful voices! I still remember hearing Natasha’s first single “These Words” playing on the radio and since she has an unique voice my mom and I figured she was black. Sorry, but we did! My mom was really addicted to “Unwritten” and “Pocketful Full Of Sunshine” if either one played on the radio, she’d turn it up on full blast! One time we were at Wal-Mart, I was in my element – in the music department – and I saw her album “Strip Me” in the overwhelming rows of CDs and I was only allowed to get one CD and even though I had only heard of her title track on the radio, I still bought it! It took me maybe six months to get myself to listen to the whole thing. It’s actually pretty great I will not lie! My favorites are “Neon Lights,” “Weightless,” and “Touch.”

Now for Leona Lewis, I didn’t know that she was a contestant and won The X Factor when I heard her first single “Bleeding Love” but I also didn’t hear it on the radio! I actually watched the music video for it first and that never happens anymore! I was pretty addicted to the song when radio stations did start to play it on air! Almost all of my friends were into it! She has an amazing voice! Very powerful! It’s taking me a few years to finally be able to hit some of her high notes. Especially the big one on her song on “Happy” that took me four years to finally get but it was worth it! Moving on a little bit, eScala is a group of mucisians that don’t sing! They are an electric string quartet and members are Victoria Lyon and Honor Watson are violinists, Helen Nash plays the cello, and I’m going by what’s on their Facebook account and Stephanie Benedetti must be new and she might play the viola. They were on a TV show over in England called Britain’s Got Talent but didn’t win. They released their first album in 2009 and I’ve been on the eScala train since then!

 Bleeding Love – Leona Lewis

Happy – Leona Lewis

These Words – Natasha Bedingfield

Tough – Natasha Bedingfield

Kashmir – eScala

Palladio – eScala