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 | 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 | W : Wheelchairs

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It is extremely difficult for me to talk about wheelchairs. Last year, the big contervesory was about the death of Stephan Hawking was announced, an artist made this beautiful drawing of him coming out of his wheelchair and basically walking up to heaven. As a disabled woman, I was very conflicted with this, but it wasn’t for the picture per se. It was because I felt like I had to choose between what I’ve always been taught and agreeing with the rest of the disability community.

The big deal wasn’t necessarily about the drawing itself, it was more about how a disabled person relies on their wheelchair to do things, like simple tasks around the house and/or getting out and having drinks with friends. However, everything just exploded into this chaotic thing that I really did not want to be part of at that time. Honestly, I still didn’t want to talk about it again on here, but I am on the letter “W” and there wasn’t anything else I could talk about other than this.

So, I’ll just say that my wheelchair doesn’t give me freedom. There it’s out and I can separate myself from the crap I’ve been feeling all this time.

I do think it allows me to do tasks better but I still feel stuck whenever I am in it. I really feel I am limited in both varieties of wheelchairs, as I’m either too short or too bulky! I have yet to find the perfect fit. Maybe this is what regular woman deal with picking out new heels! The second point I would like to get across is, it’s also all about your state of mind. I think after so long, you adapt to every different setting, and wheelchairs are a part of this too. You might get to do new or lose some beloved challenges while figuring out your surroundings.

Again, I have conflicting feelings about my freedom. I know I can never get away from my limitations. I say this not a sad note though, I like being able to test them anyways. I think this is really healthy! My family might not always agree with that statement, but you know. Honestly I would lastly like to say, I will believe what I want to. I have been doing pretty good on several other subjects throughout the years, I can add this onto the never ending list too! Even if that means keeping it in for a year and a half until I can find a clean way to discuss it on here, that’s what I’ll do.

If you’re in a wheelchair, whether that is full or part time, what are your thoughts on your freedom to be able do all the things you want to do? 

snowflake

Blogmas | The Christmas Day Tag!

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Howdy!

I think every Blogmas I’ve done, I always have some kind of Christmas tag in the lineup. I’ve never planned on any of them, by the time the season rolls around, they just appear at the right time, so I just end up doing them anyways!

I found this one while on Twitter. A fellow blogger Nina posted her link through the many retweet accounts and it came up on my newsfeed. When I first read it, I quickly realized that I hadn’t done it before and that it was all about what goes on Christmas day. I thought it would be fun to kind of guess what’ll happen that day a few weeks in advance, and maybe I’ll find out everything I said in my answers was right. Sometimes I like placing bets on myself, keeps things entertaining on those boring gloomy days!

It is a tag, but I am opening it up to anyone who wants to do it. If you end up answering the questions below, I would like to read your posts! So, please link it back to me at the end, okay? Have fun!

What time do you wake up?

It varies with every year honestly, but it is always very early! I’m not saying we get up at like three or four in the morning–when I was little, my sister and I tried to make this happen on more than one occasion; it actually happened once, we were proud of ourselves!–but we tend to get up around sevenish. When my grandparents lived in town, this was our usual schedule: wake up at 7am, play for 10 minutes and then rush to get ready to go to nana and papaw’s by 8am. This might be the way, Blondie and Brandon do it this year, but I could be wrong.

Where will you be spending the day?

So, since we no longer go to my grandparent’s house, it’ll just be my immediate family gathering at our new house! I am actually really excited to celebrate it here, we were jipped last year but we want to make up for it.

What will you be wearing?

I have a really cute pajama set, they are white with little Cardinals sitting on tiny branches and red leaves. It is made of velvet, so they are comfy and warm – perfect for Christmas I think!

What games will you be playing?

We don’t really play any games, at least not with my parents. Nolan will probably play with his cars for the “short” time before we unwrap presents. I don’t think my parents, mainly my dad, to have my little nephew wait even five minutes to dig into the gifts under the tree! He’s always been awful about that, but he has turned into a big softie when it comes to him.

What will you be eating and drinking?

So, during Thanksgiving, my mom is the one that tends to do the bulk of the cooking but dad is in charge of the turkey and gravy. However, when it comes to Christmas, this is where he tends to shine the most. He loves making big Christmas breakfasts.

We usually have any way you take your eggs, bacon, fried potatoes, sausage and cinnamon rolls. Sometimes he makes me breakfast burritos or quesadilla, but if he doesn’t, my go-to is the potatoes with ketchup, plus two or three cinnamon rolls for good measure!

As far as beverages go, we never have anything fancy. Nolan will probably drink apple juice and the rest of us will have milk, which seems like the perfect breakfast to me.

What will you be watching?

Okay, since dad gets up pretty early to cook everything, he usually takes over the remote and turns it to TBS for the 24 hour broadcast of “A Christmas Story”. Here’s the funny thing about that, I haven’t watched it all the way through since I was in middle school!

Now, after all of the festivities die down a bit, I have a full afternoon of NBA basketball games. I like to think it’s a Christmas gift to myself because it’s usually all of the teams I normally watch during the season playing on that day. Last year, I only missed one game, because I was so exhausted and because the Lakers were having an awful bout of games, I figured I wasn’t going to miss much and I think I was right too. I might end up recording them all and watch at my own time, but who knows!

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What do you hope to find under the tree on Christmas Day?

You’re allowed to laugh at this answer, but I haven’t really asked for much this year. My mom said she has gotten me something that will be signed “From Santa Claus” on Christmas day, but the only thing I really hope to see is a giant pillow.

I sleep with three pillows at the moment! I have my childhood pillow down at the bottom because I can’t get rid of it for the life of me, plus two extra ones I’ve had to include because of my neck. So, I am hoping for one, hard, giant pillow to solve all of my problems.

Who will you be spending day with?

I am spending the day with my parents, Blondie, Brandon, Nolan and our dog ChiChi (and yes, she has a stocking and is getting her own gifts!). I feel like it could be chaotic because of the excitement in general, but since Nolan is walking now, we can’t just place him in his high chair and have him unwrap his presents there. I have a feeling, he’ll be attempting to help everyone with their gifts!

When will you be opening your presents?

It’ll depend on whether or not we eat breakfast first, but like I said, I don’t think it’ll take my nephew long to convince papaw that we need to do this first, but you never know – although when it comes to these two, I’m hardly ever wrong!

snowflake

Book Review: "Inside Out" by Demi Moore

I want to say about three days after my review for “The Handmaid’s Tale” published, I finished with my second book of the season which was Demi Moore’s memoir “Inside Out”. I was pretty proud of myself but not for the reasons you might assume. My mom and I are the readers in the family, and she is fast and can focus all of her attention into the books she reads, whereas I am very easily distracted. So, the fact that I got done with it before her, made me happy as a clown!

Before we got it though, I happened to read some of the articles of when she talks about her relationship with Ashton Kruchter, but thankfully nothing I read online diverted me away or towards it, I actually wanted to read it and see what kind of life she has lead to this point.


45167624Famed American actress Demi Moore at last tells her own story in a surprisingly intimate and emotionally charged memoir.

For decades, Demi Moore has been synonymous with celebrity. From iconic film roles to high-profile relationships, Moore has never been far from the spotlight—or the headlines.

Even as Demi was becoming the highest paid actress in Hollywood, however, she was always outrunning her past, just one step ahead of the doubts and insecurities that defined her childhood. Throughout her rise to fame and during some of the most pivotal moments of her life, Demi battled addiction, body image issues, and childhood trauma that would follow her for years—all while juggling a skyrocketing career and at times negative public perception. As her success grew, Demi found herself questioning if she belonged in Hollywood, if she was a good mother, a good actress—and, always, if she was simply good enough.

As much as her story is about adversity, it is also about tremendous resilience. In this deeply candid and reflective memoir, Demi pulls back the curtain and opens up about her career and personal life—laying bare her tumultuous relationship with her mother, her marriages, her struggles balancing stardom with raising a family, and her journey toward open heartedness. Inside Out is a story of survival, success, and surrender—a wrenchingly honest portrayal of one woman’s at once ordinary and iconic life.

Taken from Goodreads


Personally, I have never been a really big fan of Demi’s. I’ve only seen maybe two or three movies and for a good chunk of my life, I didn’t know that she was the actress who voiced Esmeralda on The Hunchback of Notre Dame! Other than that, I just read the book because A) biographies and memoirs are one of my favorite genres and B) I was really curious to hear her story.

In the beginning, as she was describing her early life with her parents, the dysfunction of it all with their fighting and moving around, made me remember the earliest parts of my life. My parents were young when they had my sister and I, and they had a lot of fights in front of us that I think has always made me second guess anything about love and marriage. Thankfully, as the years go by, the fights die down a little and you start to see more love come out of the result of all those hardships.

Since I have never been that interested in celebrities’ private lives growing up and even now–and trust me I try not to read any of the tabloids mentioned in People magazine–but the fact that she let us into her life was in a way bittersweet. I think my favorite parts were when she was talking about her time with Bruce and living in Hailey. You can tell that she loved it, not only because she became a mother during this time but she also portrayed herself as happy, despite dealing with her issues she discusses in the book.

If you’re like me and you’re movie crazy, you will enjoy her talking about the process of doing some of her notable roles over the years. She gives you little nice details about each film, whether they were enjoyable or not. But if you are just looking for a nice biography, this is also up your alley too! She really makes you think about everything. There was one word that I thought worked well with the entire thing and that was: perspective. When you decide to read it, I think you should keep this in mind because it will help you out as you get towards the end.

Have you read Demi’s book yet? If you have, what were things you liked or maybe disliked about it? Do you have a favorite section like I did?

A-Z Disability Challenge | V : Voiceless

I am dedicating this week’s post to all of the disabled people who cannot speak, both physically and mentally.

My aunt was born deaf and she has been successful at getting through life, she has had some issues over the years, like right now, one of them is that she is loosing her sight, and I can’t imagine how scary that is! She relies on a lot of things, especially her eyes to be able to do sign language with other people, including her family. So, I really hope this post doesn’t offend her or any other person who is deaf out there.

One of the biggest misconceptions about disabled people, is that we can’t speak for ourselves. It’s crazy how many stories I’ve heard from various family members of people coming up to them in stores when I was younger, and they were absolutely amazed that I could talk. Sadly this is a reality to a lot of people out there. They can’t say anything, and I’m not just talking about people who are deaf. My focus are on those who could be scared, unable because of their condition, etc There are lots of reasons for a person to become silent.

People think this only happens to elderly people, after they’ve had a heart attack or stroke. They lose the ability to do things for themselves, to the point where they have to relearn how to do things again. Sometimes, one of those things is speaking. Unfortunately, there are people, who never get the chance to go back to who they use to be and they’re stuck like this. It’s always sad to see an older person in this state, but I often think about the ones who were born without ever having anything like this happen to them, and yet they are going through the same things and it messes with me emotionally; I feel grateful that I am of sound, mind and body, but I also feel awful at the same time because I don’t really know what to do to help them.

This is when you understand why some opt for assisted-suicide, because they believe it is the best choice for them.

Blogmas | Why I Went Non-Traditional This Christmas

Howdy!

I am a couple of days early, but I already had this in my daily planner that it’ll work the best. Let’s be honest, there’s a 50/50 chance that you put your tree and decorations in and around your house way before yesterday, so I wouldn’t be judging me so quickly! 😉 In my defense though, I only got the tree itself done. It’s just a little naked at the moment.


Last Christmas, I published a blog post about decor ideas that I was thinking about for this year.The main reason why I wrote that post is because we didn’t put up our family tree because of the mess after our new house arriving but having to wait to actually move into it until after new years. It was Nolan’s first Christmas but as much as we all loved watching him tear into his gifts, it did feel a little off not to have that tradition continuing even if it was our final family holiday together.

I like that little piece of tradition, putting up our 29 year old Christmas tree with both Blondie and Brandon. We usually make it a big thing, but now with Nolan being a year older, it’ll be interesting to see whether or not he actually helps with decorating it! With that being said, I was perfectly okay with switching things up when it came to decorating my room for Christmas–even if that meant getting a black tree!

Yes, you read that right. I said, I have a black Christmas tree!

In that post that I put up, I actually mentioned something about the trend of these black trees, but I didn’t even plan on getting or much less wanting one originally. I even put a poll up on my Twitter with four colors: green red, purple, and black; the only ones that people voted were purple with 80%, and lastly black had 20%!

At first, my plan was going about a regular green tree, but as I started thinking about more, I ended up really wanting a royal purple tree instead. My Charlie Brown tree I had in the old house was purple, so I figured I would keep this tradition going too. The only reason why I suddenly changed my mind was one night my mom was looking up trees on various websites and she found a 3″ tree in different colors. She almost convinced me to get a white one, but once she said there was a black tree, I just lost it! I knew it was for me, so we bought it for $16.95!

Now before it arrived, I expected it to be fairly large and full of little branches. What I got instead was a tree that is the same height of my push wheelchair! The only thing I got right were the branches, however my mom and I were concerned that it wasn’t going to be as grand as the larger trees, I still think it’s cute! I have fixed several of the branches since taking these photos, but nothing much has really changed.

As far as ornaments and topper, I am also breaking up from using my favorites ones in our family tote, but I am enjoying creating my own path though! I would like to keep a part of my original color scheme: royal purple and white.Apparently, it’s a lot easier to find white lights and ornaments, but anything in a darker shade of purple, is becoming a bit more difficult to do! My latest idea was if there was any room left that I would add some quirky ones throughout it too. At the rate I’m going though, it might become my alternative if we can’t find the right colored bulbs anywhere! For the top of the tree, I want a star instead of an angel, because I’ve always liked them a lot better!

I have only one window in my room, and it’s great because I am lucky to get both the moon at night and morning sun, which is something I wasn’t able to enjoy back in my old room! After learning the layout of my new room, and I decided which furniture would go where, I knew having a tree right in between and the middle of my window would be perfect! We don’t know if this will be okay for the lights, but I am prepared on getting battery powered ones if nothing else will reach over to the plugins. There is one final tradition I am not doing and that is, I am not using those stand wraps. I think my sunflower rug will be do just fine

When I finally have everything ready and go to actually decorate my Christmas tree, I will definitely be taking pictures of the whole process for you! Hopefully, it won’t take us the whole month to find any good ones, but you never know!

Do you have a tree in your bedroom that’s completely different than the traditional tree in your living room or at your parent’s house? If you don’t, is that something you are striving for in the future? What kind of version do you see for it?