Friday, November 28, 2008

I'm Moving!

Ok, to be most accurate, the hubby and I have been working on moving all week, but we're in the new place now, and I won't have reliable internet access for a few days.  I'm going to head over to my parents place to use their wifi when I can, but if I'm a little behind on blogging for the next day or two, that's why! Thanks for understanding :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful for Family :)

It's Thanksgiving - and that's the time to sit back, take stock of your surroundings, and count your many blessings.  I've had a wild ride this last year, sometimes it's felt like a roller coaster that never was going to stop!  But even through the rough times, I've had a lot to be thankful for.  The biggest thing I'm thankful for is my family.  I love my family! And in the last year it's just gotten bigger.  So here's my wonderful family :)

1. Moses - my beloved husband, we'll celebrate our first anniversary next month!

2. My parents - a girl couldn't ask for more supportive and loving parents! As Moses and I have struggled through my health problems and everything that's resulted because of it, they've been there for us every step of the way, supporting our decisions, and helping us out in anyway they could!

3. My brothers - I have two younger brothers and they are incredible! Right now I'm missing Peter something fierce, because he's living over seas as a missionary, but we still get to e-mail back and forth, and that helps a lot! Gordon is here, and he's been an incredible support as we chat on-line, he lets me vent, and we spend time watching crazy tv programs and making fun of life!

4. My in-laws - I love Mo's family! They are very different from my family, but they have been incredibly supportive, and I've loved getting to be a part of their family!

5. Melissa - She's my sister of the heart, and we've been through so much together! I don't know what I'd do without our daily phone calls...

6. John - Brother of my heart, and incredibly supportive through the good and the bad!

7. Alanna - My pudding sister! Long story behind that nickname, but we've had long hours of chatting, jewelry making, and fun!

8. Bethie - My evil-twin! Neither of us is good enough to be the good twin, so I'm her evil twin. Love her to death :)

I love my family! And I'm very thankful for everything they've done in the last year to support me as I've gone through this wild year.

Want to know what else I'm thankful for? Check out what I said on my other blogs!

Thankful for Etsy
Thankful for Friends

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankful to be Alive

Today's been one of those days where it would be really easy to just whine and complain - there have been many things that have gone wrong - and lots of things that have really frustrated me! Ok, I'll be honest, I have done my share of complaining, but I'm done with that for now! I'm going to focus on some good things :)

Like being alive. Do you have any idea how sweet it is just to be alive? Think about it - so many things can go wrong with our bodies, and there are so many ways that you can die, but here I am, alive. I'm breathing (clearly at the moment too!), I can walk, I can think, I can type, and I'm alive! It's a wonderful feeling :)

I have a lot of reasons to be extra glad to be alive too. The most recent of those being that I was very nearly in a bad car accident this afternoon. My brother had picked me up to hang out and we're almost to my parents house when the car in front of us stopped extremely suddenly. My brother reacted as fast as he could, but the wheels locked and I was positive that we were going to hit the car. At the very last second the wheels caught and we were able to pull to the side a little. Right as we did there was a flash of light in front of us. The only thing I can think of is that we hit an Angel instead of the car!

Praise God!

Second reason I'm glad to be alive - the shock of what happened made me stop breathing for a good 30 seconds or more. With the severity of my asthma condition I'm very, very grateful that I started breathing again, my inhaler helped, and my breathing returned to normal!

I'm thankful to be alive :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Twilight Makes it Big

© Summit Entertainment
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart

I wasn't surprised to see an article on today that stated Twilight took in $70.6 million it's opening weekend. What did surprise me was that they were so surprised at how well it did! Any fan of the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer knows that the series has developed a HUGE following!

I haven't seen the movie yet. I know, bad fan, but it was a busy week and I have to be really careful to manage my energy because of my health problems. So the plan is to see it on Tuesday with some of my close friends. Since my hubby has to work on the night of my birthday - I figured a chick flick was a good alternate option! I'll do my own review on the movie after I see it.

Back to the fans of Twilight; the girls who love the series are seriously addicted to it. I've talked to girls/women who rave over the books as much as they would their favorite movie star or musician. Which, as you know, isn't quite as common of an occurrence.

I tend to take a more balanced view of the book series. Did I really enjoy them? Yes! Not a question. I squealed and jumped up and down when I got an e-mail telling me that one of my best friends had pre-ordered that last book in the series for me! However, I'll also be the first to admit that it's not the best book I've ever read.

Now put that in perspective - I've read thousands and thousands of books - and I own 400+. So I've got a LOT to compare them too! They are, however, on my list of favorites :) I do think they were really well written and I really liked her different "take" on vampires and werewolves. And, yes, I read each of the books in one sitting per book. Pretty high recommendation from me!

Look for my movie review later this week :)

*UPDATE* Movie night was put off until later this week - so you'll have to wait for my review!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Do You Hulu?

That's right - I asked if you hulu! No, I'm not talking about that toy we all played with as kids, the hula hoop, I'm asking about HULU! is one of the web sits that I visit the most often! My brother was the first one to introduce me to this wonderful web-site, and I've been addicted ever since.

So what is hulu and why is it so great?  Well let me ask you a couple questions...

1. Do you hate missing the latest episode of your favorite show?
2. Do you also hate being a slave to tv's time schedule?
3. Do all of the above apply, but you don't own a VCR, DVR, TiVO, or any like device?

THEN - this is web-site for you :) takes all of the tv shows that are available to watch on-line, and puts them in one place for you.  Now, a lot of these you can track down by visiting the actual web-site ( etc), but they also have seasons of some shows that are no longer on tv!

Now, granted, you can't find any show that you want, but there are a lot of your favorites.  Miss Heroes? Did you miss Bones? What about some of your comedy central favorites like the Daily Show or the Colbert Report? Those are all on here!

One of the things that I love about hulu is that you can create a "queue" of your favorite shows.  You pick the shows, and they will update you as soon as there is a new episode available!

I was lucky enough to have cable for almost a year, and while I miss it dearly, I'm very grateful that I didn't have to give up all the shows! jewelry is something I can work on in front of my I like to watch old shows to keep me entertained while I create!

Revisiting Oz

Pendant by ItsAllAboutThePrint :)

I've always loved the classic Wizard of Oz movie with it's bright colors, witches, and flying monkeys! Somewhere along the way I realized that I had never read the books, and so I read through most (I think all) of the series awhile ago.  I don't remember how long ago, but it's been long enough that I don't remember them very clearly anymore, so I decided that it's time to re-read them! Starting, of course, at the beginning.

"The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum is full of fanciful images, sweet childhood, and great illustrations by W.W. Denslow!  It was fun to reread this book and remember all the differences from the movie, and yet all the similarities as well.  The copy I got from the Library had an introduction by Robert A Baum, the great-grandson of L. Frank Baum.  He said that:

"L. Frank felt that the old European fairy tales were dated and full of 'stereotyped genies, dwarfs and fairies,' not to mention 'horrible and blood curdling incidents devised to point out a fearsome moral in each tale.' He felt it was time for a new generation of 'modernized' fairy tales to be written just to entertain."

I think he did an excellent job - and if you've never read the book I highly recommend you go out and pick up a copy - revisit your childhood!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hell Boy II - The Golden Army

I know, I know, this came out earlier this year, but I didn't have an opportunity to see it in theater!  That's actually quite a frequent occurrence for me, and as you see me put movie reviews up, they often won't be the latest and newest thing out there.  However, I'm betting that a lot of other people are like me, and don't always get to watch things the instant they come out.  Plus I know I always like to hear other people's opinions before I decide to watch a movie! I'll try not to give any spoilers :)

My brother, husband, and I all watched Hellboy II together.  To be fair - let me give you a run down on each of our reactions.

Brother - LOVED it and laughed hysterically throughout!
Husband - Got a little fed up with the story line - but we did catch him laughing a few times.
Me - I enjoyed it, but it wasn't exactly the best movie I've ever seen.

Now let me tell you a little bit about our movie tastes to help you understand that!

Brother - Very easily amused and tends to like just about anything with action in it.
Husband - Tends to be very hard to please when it comes to movies, likes to tear them apart for their inconsistencies and how they can be done better.
Me - I'm somewhere in the middle. Not as hard to please as my husband, but no where near as easy to please as my brother!

Let me expand on my opinion of the movie.  I did think that the first movie was better and that there were times where this movie lost momentum. Having said that, there were also some priceless moments where I was laughing hysterically! There were some really good action scenes and I loved their portrayal of tooth fairies and the Troll market.  To say more would be to give things away :) I'm intrigued enough that I'll probably watch the third one that I'm
assuming they'll make.  They certainly left it open for another one!

Bottom Line: If you like the genre, you might like this movie, but don't expect quite the same quality as the first one. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Creative Aussie Magazine

I've been in the blogging and writing worlds for awhile now, but in the last year I've really worked on developing my skills in both areas.  Starting this blog is a part of that, and I also started a blog for my jewelry business awhile ago. In that blog I've been working on including posts that are designed to help my fellow artists, and not simply promoting myself and talking about myself.

Well, apparently my hard work has paid off! Kerry, from the Creative Aussie Journal, asked me to write an article for her magazine! It's mainly published on-line, but it is distributed some in her local area.  This is the first time anything I've written has been published in anyway and I'm pretty excited about it! I'll be writing a follow up article in a few months so please check back if your interested.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I love to read! So one of the things I'm going to do in this blog is share with you the books I'm reading.  I read a wide variety of books, so if this one isn't your style, check back, the next one might be!

Charles de Lint is one of my favorite fantasy authors. I first stumbled on his work a year ago when a friend of mine, who I called Grizzly Bear, loaned me one of de Lints collections of short stories.  I've read many of his books since then, and I honestly don't remember right now which one I read first!

De Lint writes his fantasy in a modern New England setting, but in towns that he's created.  I love how he blends traditional fantasy elements and twists them into his own stories!

"Widdershins" simply means "to walk counterclockwise or backwards around something.  It's a classic pathway into the fairy realm." (Taken from the book jacket)

In this book De Lint combines elements of Old World fairy traditions with Native American traditions, and he does so beautifully! If you've read his work before you'll recognize many of the characters as he develops the stories of Jilly Coppercorn and Geordie Riddell.  But don't worry, if you've never read a single word of his, you'll still be swept up in the story and you won't get lost!  He does a good job of telling enough of the backstory that that new readers don't get lost, and those who've read his other works don't get bored.

One thing I admire about Charles De Lint's work is that he's more than willing to tackle tough issues in his writting.  He recognizes that this can be a dark, dark world, and he faces it head on.  Yet, you never find yourself with out hope at the end of the story.  De Lint finds a way to bring hope, cheer, and a reason to go on, no matter how dark the story gets.

If your interested in checking out this book (or others!) click on the picture at the top of the post to be redirected to

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Finding a Definition for Disability

The term "disability" is one that I've wrestled with for a years.  For a long time I equated the term disability with "handicapped."  When I heard the term disability I visualized wheelchairs, crutches, or a blind man's cane.  I'm not saying that it was correct, that's just what I thought.

Last year, while I was still attending CWU, I took a class with the rather heavy title of "Students with Exceptionalities." We talked about students who faced extra challenges at school because they are gifted, disabled, or faced difficulties in their home life that affected their performance in school.  Our main focus, however, was on students who had disabilities.

I learned many things in that class, but one thing that stuck out at me is that the term "disability" covers a wide range of conditions, and that it doesn't necesarily equate with an obvious handicap.  In fact it may not really handicap a person at all!

To have a disability simply means that there is an area in one's life where you are not able, be that physically, mentally, or even emotionally.  It may not be something that affects your daily life, or it may be something that you learn to overcome in such a way that it no longer affects your daily life. 

Why is this distinction important? For some people it might not be.  For me it was vital for coming to grips with who I am.

What do I mean by that? Well, I know I am not defined by my limitations, just like I'm not defined by my abilities, but I do think part of being healthy mentally is thinking about yourself accurately.  In my case, a part of that has been coming to terms with having a disability.

Part of my struggle is that my disability is not one that most people would automatically recognize as a disability, a health problem, but not a disability. Why? I have asthma.  Of course, so do 1 in 4 of other Americans. That's approximately 200 million people. For most of these people asthma is only a minor annoyance, many of them don't even carry their inhaler on a regular basis, and for many more a simple pill a day controls the vast majority of their symptoms.  And, for a large portion of my life, I was one of those people. My asthma was controlled.

Backing up a little, I was diagnosed with asthma when I was 7 years old. I had always dealt with some allergy problems, and occasionally that would lead to wheezing, but that was the age when they first gave me an inhaler.  During those early years I rarely had to use my inhaler, and when I did, it would take away my systems pretty quickly.  By the time I was 10, though, it had gotten to the point where I quit my basket ball team because I was having attacks too frequently. 

Over the years my asthma problems fluctuated.  At times it I would be having more attacks, and then I'd go through a period of time where I was under control again.  The one pattern that was consistent was that my problems slowly got worse.  In other words, the bad episodes slowly got worse, and then I slowly had more bad episodes. 

During my high school years my asthma got to the point where the attacks could be classified as "life threatening."  Still, it didn't interfere with my life that often.  When I had a flair up it would, but for the most part I'd go about my life, and I just avoided the things I knew would trigger an attack.

I didn't really start working seriously until I was 19.  At that point my asthma had settled into a pretty predictable pattern. Once or twice a year I'd get a cold that would settle into my lungs, I'd have a bad flair up, the doctors would have to heavily medicate me, and it would take a week or two to get back to normal.  This, as you can imagine, was rough at work.  When I was just a lowly crew member it didn't matter that much, but I quickly moved up to management.

Let me tell you, when your in fast food management they expect you to show up for every single shift! I can't tell you how often I'd go to work on low oxygen, or my friend John would cover for me while I sat in the back trying to get my lungs back under control.  Still, there were times I had to go home, or couldn't make it to work at all.  Always there was pressure to get better as fast as I could.  I remember my boss sitting me down once and telling me I had to "take better care of myself" so that I didn't have as many asthma attacks.  I was seeing the doctors regularly, and taking all my medication, there wasn't much more I could do!

I remember right around the same time the company got sued on an ADA violation.  I don't remember what it was, but I remember at the time it seemed like a relatively minor thing to be making such a big deal out of.  I also remember wondering where the ADA was for people like me as I was getting hassled for having health problems that I had no control over.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm NOT trying to bash the ADA. It was just frustrating for me, and it continued to frustrate me with every job I had after that.  Employers like you to show up regularly, and even doctors notes don't always help.  They will "accept" it, but you often feel the pressure of their frustration weighing heavily on you. 

Somewhere along the line I finally was willing to admit to myself that my asthma was a disability.  I think the fact that I could attach the term "life threatening" to my condition was one of the things that helped me come to accept that.  Still, I've always thought of the term "disability," when applied to myself, with a bit of derision, because it's not as if other people would really consider it a disability.

I suppose I still didn't really consider myself as disabled. I had accepted the term on a surface level, but not fully.  That became crystal clear to me earlier this year after my asthma became much more severe than it ever had been before.  I was forced to quit my job and found myself in constant negotiation with my teachers to allow me to turn my assignments in late. 

Acceptance has been a slow process full of small emotional shocks.  First I had a teacher tell me I needed to sign up with the school's disability department.  Then I saw a lung specialist for the first time and he was shocked that I wasn't already carrying an epi-pen.  Most recently I've been given a temporary handicapped parking permit to use on my bad days.

I am disabled. It doesn't define me, but it does affect me. Recognizing that fact is one step toward being a healthy and whole person.  For now my disability does handicap me, but I know that doesn't mean it necessarily always will.

I just wish I'd accepted that a long time ago.

I've never looked down on other people who had disabilities, but when I applied the term to myself I saw it as a negative. Saying I had a disability meant I was "less than." I don't know why I had one definition for everyone else and another for myself, but it was a destructive way of thinking.

I wish I'd realized that a long time ago as well.