Life | Love, Death & Sickness

WARNING: I don’t usually do this, but I felt the need to include this little warning for anyone who can be triggered by the events that have happened recently. It involves a death of a beloved pet.

Hello!

This past month has been a freaking roller coaster! There were so many random things happen that were bad and good that they’re starting to blend together. For today’s post, we are going to go back to the very beginning of the chaos and weed out the special things that happened.

We start at the last day of March. It was a bittersweet kind of day for my whole family. I was able to get on the floor early in the day to go outside and visit with the cats, and after I came back inside I decided to hang out with my mom and ChiChi The last few days, Chichi had been feeling like crap. She was having issues breathing and my dad had noticed her heart was running a lot faster than normally, to the point where my mom was having to monitor with her nursing equipment. Anyways, while I was in the living room and actually leaning up against her “step” onto the couch and as I was doing it, the little dog decided to scare the crap out of me by coming out behind me and licking half of my face until she was ready to get down on the floor again.

She was enjoying lying on her blanket basking in the sun by the front door. I had been told to not play with her because of how she’d been feeling the past couple of days, so I gave her some of her toys and we enjoyed looking at our neighborhood for a little bit. After a few minutes, she decided that it was too hot and she curled up next to mom on the couch. After a few minutes I asked my mom to help me back on top of my bed, and then all hell broke loose. Chichi had collapsed at the bottom of her step and had a seizure, which resulted in my parents taking her to the vet immediately where they made the ultimate decision to put her to sleep so she didn’t have to suffer anymore.

The best thing about this story though was what happened when they arrived at the vet’s office. He was just about to close for the day and was probably looking forward to going home, but ChiChi wanted to make sure she left this world on her own terms. She tried to bite the bastard, so they had to put her in a muzzle but I have to say, I hope when it’s my time to go, I want the same amount of spunk in my veins to do something like that!

We are still healing after her loss. The house is definitely quieter without her high-pitched barks at the poor neighbors that enter the house or yard. I’ve had the operatic J. G. Wentworth commercial eight times and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve wanted to ask my parents where ChiChi is, and I know she can’t be anywhere on the couch because my mom doesn’t keep a blanket out for her. The food bowls and pee towels are put up and her step has been fixed to match with the rest of the couch. The only thing that is still out are her toys and none of us have dared to move them yet. I actually sleep with her blanket she used to soak up the sun to cover my feet at night.

Two days later, we left home to start our road trip to visit my mom’s side up north. We hadn’t seen anybody since late September I think. The drive went pretty good, we were unable to visit our favorite Starbucks in Martinsville because they were working on the road and GPS took us on another route that really messed with us. My brother-in-law Brandon was driving and I sat in the passenger seat with limited space for my legs and feet but as we reached Indy, Brandon and I were more than uncomfortable at that point. I had to literally remind the both of us to be patient as we attempted to shift positions in our seats. Our destination couldn’t arrive fast enough for us!

Once we got there, I heard Brandon’s back pop like four times. After my sister opened my door and removed the pillows that were shoved underneath my feet for the whole ride; I was so happy to bend my legs again and they were somewhat sore for like an hour later. As we went into my aunt and uncle’s house and hugged everyone, I was busy observing my nephew have an absolute blast with my Aunt Laurie and nana. He showed them his cars and played with Myla a couple of times too. It wasn’t long before we ate pizza and had even more family come over for the evening. My cousin Amy and her wife Danielle and their kids came over. Nolan had playmates and was thoroughly enjoying himself! He was a flirt and a mooch at the same time.

However, once we began nighttime, either we were delirious after the long day with driving, playing and talking our heads off, Nolan wanted nothing to do with sleeping and he became a complete goofball. We all slept in the living room and Nolan is used to having a fan and nightlight, and as we were inching towards sleep, he wanted to argue who he wanted to sleep with and at that point, we had the lights off but one cell phone light that shone brightly on the wall and Nolan was like Peter Pan and found his shadow and we just erupted with laughter! Suddenly everything he did in those couple of minutes were hilarious and I mean, I had tears coming out of my eyes and I knew I wasn’t the only one! Thankfully, he figured out the best position was in between his mom and dad and we all drifted off to sleep.

The next morning, Laurie and Mike made breakfast of both cinnamon and orange rolls! It has become a great traditional and is the only time I get to have my favorite orange rolls because neither one of my parents like them!

On the agenda for that Saturday, once Uncle Rick came over the younger kids were going to hunt eggs all along the front yard and it was so precious to watch all three of them search for the eggs. Amy and Danielle had made Nolan special eggs and they were full of different goodies like candy (he likes gummies the most!) and little toys, but the most popular were the confetti eggs! He had so much fun and was sweet enough to share his treasures with his mommy, mimi, and his favorite bestie: Danielle.

After the eggs, we went back inside to have some lunch and I wasn’t able to eat very much but I figured it was because of the rolls I had a few hours ago. Now there was something very different about this visit, because Easter finally landed on my nana’s birthday. So, once most of the guests were finishing with their plates, the cake was brought out and it was so good! My Aunt Laurie made array of cupcakes in both carrot cake and vanilla batters. I had a vanilla cupcake and it was really good, but my eyes were still glued to my nana’s as it much larger than anyone else’s and I knew she would make it last for a while as she has her own freezer for this exact purpose! She’s smart like that but really, she just has a bad sweet tooth!

The next thing we did was make our way into the garage to paint Easter and spring-y scenes. My nana and I each had a different thing, she had this beautiful bumblebee windmill that she did very well on and I got this beautiful sign that is of a mason jar of flowers with the words “Hello Spring” at the bottom. I took my time on it, because I was working with something I don’t usually do and I am still shocked how good I was able to do the lettering, because I was going to have my sister do that part because she can do various things with this sort of thing but Danielle and I were the last ones to finish our masterpieces. I was thoroughly impressed with what I was able to do with it!

Unfortunately, I don’t remember a lot that happened after that. My uncle David made a late appearance and I remember seeing him and enjoying his voice and laughter again, and then I wanted to go on the couch and Nolan also went to lay down on the lounge chair on the opposite side of the living room, and we both passed out. I’ve been known to crash early but usually I show symptoms of it like crankiness or just being uncomfortable and since I was just painting and having a great time like not even 15 minutes before this, it was a bit of a shock for everyone. The next day I felt fine again but I just thought it was from the pain I had and took medicine for while in the garage that afternoon. We didn’t leave Sunday until probably noon but we hugged everyone and I made sure I had enough for any movement in my seat because I refused to be stuck in the same place for a 4 hour drive back home!

Sunday night, I felt pretty good overall. I allowed myself to relax and watch some TV, but honestly all I did was binge watch Criminal Minds on Netflix and had a good sleep that night. As far Monday, it was absolutely beautiful! I was able to go outside with my current Harry Potter book, journal, and camera to hang out with the cats on the deck. We have found out that sitting on a rug helps my bottom a lot especially for multiple hours! It has been somewhat odd to sit like on the wood without being in my wheelchair mainly because I am up close with our cats again and they are clearly loving this just as much as I am and really hope I get to continue to do this as we go into summertime!

And then, everything changed and time seemed to go faster than any other time, including the three day visit I just did basically, because the same day I have a steady knowledge of was the 7th of April 2021, after that, everything is a blur. In the matter of two days, I came down with the stomach flu. I hadn’t had it since possibly late 2008 or early 2009. In the thick of it though was probably the worst because I was so depressed as I was sick. I despise being sick in any form but stomach flu has to be the worst in my opinion because I was basically attached to my commode for 72 hours at best. I wouldn’t eat anything other than applesauce, popsicles, and ice cubes. I drank Gatorade and water like they were nothing and tried so many pills to make everything stop flowing out of my body. I was having to call my mom every 20 minutes or less and would have to call her in the middle of the night for the same reasons. It was so much and I just wanted out of there emotionally and mentally, and then as suddenly as it came into our house, it went away.

I have been extremely lucky at avoiding different sicknesses, except for what happened at the start of 2020. Other than that, I have not experienced anything else and I do not understand how it came about because we only had two other members come down with similar things but nothing was hardcore as mine. The first three days I started getting better, I was so hungry and would literally ask my mom if she was going to the store to look for this , this, and that. I would wake up in the middle of the night wanting food but as my body began to center again, the cravings subsided and I am not as worried about how much movement I do that could produce bad consequences for everyone!

Okay, I think I am finally done talking about everything. I hope everyone else was able to enjoy their Easter weekend and to anyone who has the stomach bug or who had it recently, I really hope you start to feel better sooner rather than later.

Blogmas | Christmas Tree Projects

Hello!

This season I was inspired to do something a little bit different.

In September, when I was able to decorate my bedroom for autumn, I went on YouTube to find tutorials on how to make my moon phase garland together easier on my mom and I. As you now know, this still didn’t really help, all it really did was my parents wish we had done it all homemade like in the video. Anyways, as I continued to look for other helpful ways, I came across four DIYers that just seemed fun and genuine with their personalities. I watched all of them for basically a least a week and afterwards, I became inspired to do a little project myself.

I’m still shocked that I came up with this so quickly, because usually it happens within two days (or nights) to finally figure out how I want everything, but not for this one. I instantly knew what I wanted to do but asking for it proved to me a little scary, because I haven’t done anything as grand as this since I was a senior in high school! I still don’t think what I did was at the same scale considering the fact back then, I made six similar portraits on larger canvases within a week apart from each other. For these projects, there were only three items on slightly smaller surfaces, but the biggest difference is that instead of drawing with pencil, pen, and pastels. I only used pencil to start and eventually acrylic paint.

I am not a painter. I’ve never thought of myself as a painter but since the videos I was watching online were in that media, and that’s how my vision was coming to me, I thought I would take a crack at it.

There was something that my mom told me on the second day that stayed with me throughout the process and made me feel at ease once I started on it again. I wanted to share it here in case anyone reading this is like me, and needs some type of encouragement.

You’re not Picasso, and we don’t expect you to be.

If you want to copy what I did or make something similar, here are the materials you will need:

  • Canvas – ours are 12×6
  • Acrylic paint – we purchased the prime colors: red, blue & yellow
  • Assortment of paintbrushes – I used both thin brushes, one a little bigger than the other
  • Paper plates or handy palette
  • Ruler
  • Water

When I officially started on them, I forgot that I never told my dad about what everything was for, and after I asked where the ruler was, he showed me how to actually use one. Honestly, I’m thankful he did it because I’ve never really used them, I usually just estimate and go from there. And after he showed me where the middle was on the first canvas, you could still see my remints on the first time I made my lines and I was off by a couple of inches! My dad was pretty impressed by it and so was I!

So, we measured the border first, and with all of my patience, I did miss the mark a couple of times, but in order to make it more about fun, I had to tell my ego to shut up to make myself keep going, especially when I got to doing the measurements for the big item that all three will have and that was a large triangle or Christmas tree in the center of the canvas. Once I figured out everybody’s shapes, I took pictures for both proof and to show you the process as I continued on this artistic journey.

The next day, I went back to it and was utterly excited to get my toes dirty!

Despite knowing I’m not a painter, I still freaking love it! It’s like glitter but more liquid-y…

Anyways, I thought the best decision would be painting all three trees first and then move on. My mom poured out my blue and yellow onto my plate and I started mixing it with the end of the brush I was going to use first and I wasn’t necessarily happy with the color that appeared first, it was more blue-green and as pretty as it was, it obviously wasn’t the shade I was going for, so I grabbed the yellow again and undid the cap and put the container on its side and squeezed with all of the strength in my feet to get a small amount of paint. Once I got what I wanted, I mixed it all again and I ended up with a very green color and it still had a little blue but it wasn’t as noticeable as the first color, so that was good for me!

I got to painting the sides of the first, I used my homemade desk that my dad made for me back in October. However, everytime I went to turn it around I would end up with more paint on my toes than I liked because that meant, it wasn’t sticking and I would have to go back over it with a second coat. Well, as I let that one dry, I looked around my room to see if I had anything to help fix this problem. So, I have another, older foam box that I have used in previous DIYs and I really needed an easel and my thought was I could prop each one up so I could see everything and allow it to dry a little bit before turning it over. The only issue was, I didn’t have anything to put underneath the canvases to make sure I don’t make a bigger mess than I was, and I grabbed my sunflower rug and flipped it upside down so that I wasn’t ruining the pretty side and this turned out to the second best idea I had that day.

Once I got everybody arranged, I was moving pretty quickly but I have found my absolute weakness with painting: borders. It wasn’t the paint this time; since I made “proper” measurements with a pencil, staying within that area was a bit difficult, but I refused to let it get to me in the end. After all of the borders were a royal blue, I got to work on giving each tree a decoration of some sort with using ideas I found on both YouTube and Instagram.

The main objective to these projects was to make them as different as possible. So, the first one looked absolutely gorgeous! There were no mistakes at all, but the other two: well, the second has one side bigger than the other and the third actually looks like a tree with branches as I was running out of green paint and it turned out better than I expected it to be. This one is actually my mom’s favorite, so go figure! I left everybody to dry for the day before I moved on to the decorations!

For the most part, I used the pencil to create the star on the first project in the way I know how and even though the yellow we had was light, after splashing two coats in that small space, it covered up the guide. I pushed it to the side to dry before doing the trucks, and I did the next with ornaments. Now in my original idea, I was only going to put three in different sizes but once I grabbed the pencil, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. The first trick I found was using the back of a pencil (I got really creative and used the back of my red colored pencil!) or small lid and just coat the flat surface in whatever paint you’re using and pressing it like a stamp on your designated area. Well, if you know me, once I get going, there’s really no stopping me. I meant to do the tree but was having so much with this trick that I kept going all around the tree. Technically, everytime I look at it, it makes me think of an apple tree because of how many dots I laid on the tree.

For the second, I had my mom grab two Q-Tips from the bathroom and I took both in between my toes and held on tightly to both and just did the same motion with the pencil, expect for having individual dots, I took the gold color paint and dotted in a line from one side to the other to the paint where it looks like you wrapped tinsel all around the tree. After I was done, I told my mom that it was my favorite because it looked like what I was initially wanted and I think the lopsided part helped a lot because it meant I could make the tinsel look long and thicker like regular garland.

The final addition that was put on all three projects was some sort of truck; in my head, I just wanted something minimalist and for the most part I stuck to that idea and two of them ended up with a L shape at the bottom of each decorated tree. I used the last bit of brown that we had for it too. As for the third, I was going to put two little vertical lines showing you the outline of a trunk but never connecting the two, but I didn’t like what I had painted on the canvas so I just gave it a full trunk and leave it to me, to place it on the tree that has an odd shape already, so the trunk isn’t necessarily in the middle as the other two but by the time we figured it out, the paint had dried up and I just waved it off.

After they were all dried, I told my mom where I wanted to hang them. There is a mini hallway in between the spare bathroom, my room and Nolan’s playroom. There is a medium sized of wall space that has always looked dull and I thought these would be perfect to hang them and make the house a little more Christmassy! My parents are not the type to decorate every space in the house like I would, especially being that this house is still “brand new” to us and I feel like it needs that sort of vibe going on. So, my mom hung all three in the order I had already picked out and since they are all unique, I thought my last wish for them are three have the same meaning but it is translated in three different languages: the top is the star and this one is called, “Merry Christmas”. the middle is the gold tinsel and full trunk and it’s name is, “Feliz Navidad” for Spanish and the third with the pretty red ornaments is German’s way “Fröhliche Weihnachten”.

Overall, the projects were a success and I am very proud of myself for not only being strong throughout the whole process, but for being committed to doing something different and definitely out of my comfortable zone. Here are the rest of the photos I took of the whole thing.

When was the last time you did something that was out of your comfort zone, but that was bigger than you would normally do? If you create your own Christmas décor, what is your absolute favorite you have made for 2020?

snowflake

Blogmas | December Playlist

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Merry Christmas!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

snowflake

Song Review: “O Come, O Come Emmanuel / God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by Upon Wings

Over the summer, I wanted to do something different for my summer Tune Tuesday series and I got the idea to let other artists that not only do I enjoy but everybody would get to know and love too. Anne Erickson of Upon Wings wrote a couple of great pieces back in June and I really appreciated that she took the time out of her life to do something as great as this for all of us. Upon Wings have been working a lot lately to release some new music to their fans and this week, we got a treat with a Christmas song. Well, technically, it’s two songs mashed up into one track, but you get what I’m trying say, right?

So, this starts off with a section of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and I really like the acoustic guitar in the introduction. It has a light vibe going about it but you still get a happy feeling as it goes on. To me Anne’s voice is in a darker tone but I actually like it. They are a rock opera band so it sounds kind of mysterious but it’s gentle and still has that cheerful quality you’d normally hear with a song like this.

Now when the next song starts up, you still have the same elements playing on, but the only subtle additions are the drums and violins in the background. This song is called “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and just for fun, I watched the movie A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey in it and this song is sung by a family group begging for money on the sidewalk. When I saw this, I instantly remember that scene and the fact that I haven’t finished watching it yet. Anyways, the track does pick up pace once we move onto this song. and we get a nice guitar solo and everything sounds really lovely together.

It was a nice little surprise for not only the fans  (myself included) but the actual track was really great. I like different variations of songs, that’s why I enjoy listening to covers and remixes on a daily basis. However I know, when it comes to Christmas music, it can be a little daunting because you’re so used to hearing them in one way and to find them in a completely different singer and most importantly new genre, it can really make you into a critic really quick, but you can’t hate on the artist(s) that do remake these beloved songs because they’re only reinventing them into what they like to listen to on a daily basis, you know? So, I give Upon Wings a lot of credit for putting this together for this holiday!

What do you think Upon Wings’s new take to these traditional Christmas songs? How are you about the various versions of your favorite holiday songs? Have you ever been converted into one or the other before?

Explosions In The Sky!

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Howdy folks!

A couple of weeks ago, America got to celebrate its independence! A holiday that requires a large amount of excitement and the day where you hear Katy Perry’s “Firework” over a hundred times, but you still sing it every time!

On Saturday, I went out with my parents to Wal-Mart. You can see what I wore here! I am going back and forth on whether I want to do a “recent purchases” post on what I got because even I was impressed with myself! Anyways, when we got back my dad went into town to buy our yearly fireworks. And as usual, my mom got the text from my dad stating that he shouldn’t go buy fireworks (he says this every year!) because he came home with a full box of different of awesome stuff that made me giddy with joy!

Every year I blog about it with very little pictures of how I celebrated it with my friends and family, this year was no different except for the fact that thunderstorms made me very restless. It rained all throughout the weekend, our weathermen said we wouldn’t have any rain, but we did! I was basically a nervous wreck. I thought I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the night without hearing the electric of pops and cracks and seeing flicks of red, orange, and green explosions in the sky. …I also had a full box of 40 snappers that I wanted to at least make a dent in before the day was over with too!

We went behind the neighbor’s garage for the second year in a row. I ate and proceed to give myself a workout when I was throwing the snappers on the ground of the garage! My Uncle Russell and neighbor Ronnie were trying to help me out by stating I could take breaks in between to breathe and relax my leg, I wish I had listened because I woke up to my upper thigh hurting whenever I rolled over on my left side the next day! As it got darker we dowsed ourselves in bugs spray and I watched my future brother-in-law and Sammy’s boyfriend Alex light firecrackers and something else that I can’t think of at the moment. One of the funnier things that I ended up doing was shooting both potatoes and golf balls with a potato cannon? I don’t know what it was called but it was cool! All I did was push the button in the back and watch the barely seen potato shoot over and basically disappear!

I thought that since I had my camera I would be able to use it to get some shots for my blog! I even have a fireworks filter that I was pumped to try out and every time I tried to take pictures I would either miss or my camera would shut off completely! So I had to give it to Sammy to help me out and I’m very happy that it worked for her as she kept clicking that sucker every time one went up into the air! Next year, I’ll hopefully figure out how to do everything on my own so I don’t have to worry about bothering anyone–Sammy won’t admit to or like it, but still! As she was busy doing this for me, my dad sat next to me taking a break as the younger boys got to launch the fireworks this year, so he got stuck helping me finish the homemade ice cream that JuJu had made just for the occasion! I’m still craving vanilla ice cream by the way!

What’s your favorite to holiday(s) and how do you like to celebrate them?

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snowflake

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