Older and Wiser? Eh, Close Enough!

You know you are getting older when, having an extra few dollars means a special treat from the grocery store. That special treat? Calcium gummies! 


I hope this made you smile. Remember you are never alone. I’ll see you back here tomorrow! Cheers! 🙂

*Maxine appears courtesy of https://www.pinterest.com/mimimememe/maxine-makes-me-laugh/


Car Maintenance: A Cautionary PSA

Surprise! You know, since beginning this blogging thing a few months ago, I now find myself in a constant state of trying to figure out what to write about next. If you know me, you know that lately, if we have a conversation, I can randomly shout out, “OOO! I need to blog this.” Of course, I always follow proper blogging etiquette which stipulates when you talk about someone in your entry, you ask permission from that person before you publish the story to the interwebs. Today was no different. I made several notes in my blogging book about future topics, and in the midst of that, something happened that I just had to blog about. Right now. 

So, my husband and I went out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in town. This is a restaurant that has a case of beverages and an array of potato chip flavors next to the check out counter. One of these potato chip selections is chocolate covered. Let me repeat that for my mostly female audience: Chocolate. Covered. Potato. Chips. They are as delicious as they sound. Since we are big fans, we bought a container before leaving the restaurant. 

Now in an earlier entry, I mentioned how we are organizationally challenged. This lack of organization extends to our car. So, as we are pulling out of the restaurant, the potato chip container, dangling sideways on the dashboard, starts rolling towards me. With quick reflexes I recover the container before it spills. See, some time before this, my husband had been snacking on corn nuts in our car from a small paper cup. While driving one day, he stopped short and some of the corn nuts flew up into the air (ala The Matrix–it was pretty impressive), and landed on the floor mat of our car. When the potato chips almost followed the same fate as those sad corn nuts, I panicked and was able to save them in time. Because you know what would have happened to our car if the chips had hit the floor to mix with the salty corn nuts? One awful fate……….. 


Don’t be like us. Save your car from mechanical diabeetus and clean it out regularly! Your car will thank you! 😀 

I hope this bonus blog made you smile. Have a great Monday!

*Wilford Brimely meme appears courtesy of: https://heavyeditorial.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/wilford-brimley-meme.jpg

Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees and Other True Tales That Will Bum You Out

Happy day after US Tax Day! Let’s talk about money. Nothing puts stress on a relationship like money can–maybe sex, but that’s a topic for another day. Money is a necessary part of life. You can’t buy anything without at least a little money. These days you can’t even watch TV without money–if your set is broken and you live in a town that only gets two TV stations anyway. And by broken I mean, having reception so poor, you have to tilt your head and squint and then maybe you can make out Al Roker’s brighter-than-the-sun grin. Or, maybe that is the sun? If your TV doesn’t work, you are left to pay for a service like Netflix, or our current favorite, HuluPlus, if you want to watch regular TV. (Update: I’m currently watching a LIVE Grey’s Anatomy on our broken TV. Reception is great and I’m trying not to breathe too hard for fear of losing the signal 😀 )

Money can also cause people to act in strange ways depending on their history with it. When I was a kid, my family didn’t have much, but we were able to get by. The youngest of 3, I remember going out to eat after church on Sundays sometimes, but I don’t remember what usually happened once we got there. Only after hearing from my sister later on did I realize everyone had a set amount they could spend, and to make sure they ordered something that was within their budget. This seems like a perfectly healthy way to teach your children about the value of money and the importance of budgeting. But sometimes these strategies can create unhealthy habits with money that, on the outside looking in, seem healthy and responsible. Although I was too young to remember our family’s budgeting strategy, I have distinct memories of going with my mom to shop for school clothes every year. Of course, being the youngest, I benefitted from hand-me-downs, but if I needed something that couldn’t be attained through hand-me-downs or hand sewing, to the store we went. While these shopping excursions were fun, there was one element that filled me with dread when I became old enough to understand; paying for our purchases. It would get to the point that I couldn’t be at the checkout counter. Of course this was before I was able to pay for things with my own money. The funny thing is, none of these purchases were frivolous, but things I needed. I’ve seen this way of thinking, being afraid of purchasing things and obsessing over how much things cost, trickle into my marriage. My husband and I openly communicate about what we spend money on. We even follow a piece of financial advice my cousin–married 20 plus years–gave us before we married. We decided on an amount of money each of us can spend freely on anything. If something is more expensive than the target amount, we have to talk about it before purchasing. Despite this rule, I’ve found myself having difficulty expressing financial needs. Not that my spouse is the type that would discount my needs over something he wanted, but I have a hard time expressing what I need for fear of what it might cost. This is probably a byproduct of how I was raised, but I don’t blame my parents for this mindset. I blame being an overly sensitive, slightly neurotic, anxiety prone adult. I am slowly working to reverse my reluctance to express my financial needs. And I’m slowly coming to terms with my relationship with money. While we may not be soul mates, money and me, we are on speaking terms again. That’s a healthy step in the right direction. Cheers! *fake money tree appears courtesy of http://www.marketyourcreativity.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/iStock_money-tree.jpg (**the author of this blog sincerely apologizes if you thought at any time that the tree was real) 

The H Word: Breaking the Stigma, Embracing Reality

Disclaimer: The following opinions are my own and don’t reflect the disabled community as a whole.

Let’s talk about words. We use them everyday to express ourselves. Words express joy, surprise and sadness. There are some words that we use that some people find offensive. In the disabled community, there is some debate about what word people with disabilities want to be labeled. Here is where I think we’ve taken it too far at times.

Handicapped. This word has been a source of contention within the disabled community for a long time. In this age of political correctness, the word handicapped has somehow become an offensive term, perhaps implying that the person is somehow less of a person because of their physical appearance/abilities. So alternative words have been manufactured to replace it. My least favorite replacement? Handicapable. Blech! Even writing that word makes me twitch in the face a bit, like I’ve just eaten something extremely sour. Sidenote: while editing this entry, the word “handicapable” was actually flagged as a word not recognized by spellcheck….hmmm….

Should the above definition stick? And what can be done to change this definition where those of us in the disabled community can embrace it and be proud of how we were made? I think it helps to look into the origin of the word. According to oxfordictionaries.com, the word handicapped originated in the mid 17th century:

from the phrase hand in cap; originally a pastime in which one person claimed an article belonging to another and offered something in exchange, any difference in value being decided by an umpire. All three deposited forfeit money in a cap; the two opponents showed their agreement or disagreement with the valuation by bringing out their hands either full or empty. If both were the same, the umpire took the forfeit money; if not, it went to the person who accepted the valuation.”

Seems to have been a more positive definition way back when, before it was supposedly clouded with negativity. As time went on, I think the word became more polarizing as the disabled community was having an increasingly more difficult time earning a living, and enjoying life without discrimination. But I think I have a solution to turn this negative word into a positive. It’s to simply think like a child. Case in point: many years ago I was spending a week at my grandparents house. One day we went out to a movie and took my then 7 yr old cousin with us. We stopped in the bathroom to take a break, and I used a non handicapped stall-I’m able to transfer out of my chair when I need to move around just a bit. I transferred into the stall, leaving my chair outside the door…. Later that day my grandma told me what happened next. My little cousin, becoming restless, had climbed up into my wheelchair and was moving the wheels back and forth. Someone else came into the bathroom, saw her and went into the stall. My cousin, oozing pride, breathlessly announced to my grandma, “I think they thought I was handicapped!!…..”

There you go, ladies and gentlemen. Out of the mouths of babes comes wisdom and insight. My little cousin in that moment was so proud to be labeled handicapped. In my work with children over the years I’ve also found this to be true. They are constantly questioning me about my chair or why I have braces on my legs. Or they pretend to be disabled in their playtime. They see it as a thing of pride and honor (and fun 😉 ).

And so I choose to be labeled as handicapped. A moniker that I’ll wear with pride the rest of my days.

I hope you found this helpful. Always remember you are never alone, and are worth more than any label you wear.


“You May Now Kiss the Bride…And Pass the Antacids!”

Today I am in recovery mode from a wedding I attended on Saturday. No, not because of that, I only had a small glass of wine ;-). From what am I recovering? Simply put, I ate too much!

Weddings are fun. As a guest you get to go, eat your weight in amazing food and cake-or pie in this case, and then attempt to work it off by dancing. It’s really the perfect weight-loss scenario. Except when you overdo it. Today I stand before you as exhibit A. 😀

The wedding this weekend was beautiful. The primary colors were white and gold and large feathery pom balls were used to decorate the church in place of flowers. Some commented that it looked like something out of Dr. Seuss; a bit of whimsy. As I sat there during the ceremony, I couldn’t help thinking back to our wedding almost two years ago….

As a child, I had dreamed of my wedding many times. I always envisioned a large congregation at the church with a great feast at the reception. There would be speeches and dancing. Fun would be had by all. At one point in my childhood I even picked out bridesmaids dresses from the JCPenney catalogue. They were a hideous shade of rhubarb pink.

Years passed, and the dreams of my perfect wedding continued. There were still lots of people gathered and a delicious feast. Then I became engaged to the man of my dreams. Dreaming about your dream wedding and actually planning it, realizing it will actually happen, are two very different things. Purposefully planning your wedding involves making decisions about venue, guest list, food and how much each of these things are gonna cost. Physically planning your wedding likely will result in an event vastly different from your childhood dreams.

Our wedding had to take into account one more factor than money, venue and food. My anxiety-especially in regards to how many people would be in the congregation. I’m a person that loathes the idea that weddings are all about the bride. I wanted our day to be a reflection of us both. So the fact that my husband may have wanted more people than my anxiety could handle kinda sucked. Of course, being the amazing partner that he is, he tells me to this day that he wanted to do only what I could handle.

We ended up having immediate family only, with a few very very close friends in attendance. My sisters and my best friend stood up as my maid of honor and matrons of honor, and my husband’s brothers and my little brother stood up as best man and groomsmen. A few more family members took seats in the congregation. We didn’t have a rehearsal the night before, we kinda had a briefing a few minutes before we started. That was a benefit of having a tiny wedding, we didn’t have to practice a huge production.

Now I thought long and hard about our wedding and what we wanted because I wanted to avoid one element….regret. I didn’t want to look back on our wedding and say, “Oh, I wish we had done this, or this…” and I thought I had. But sitting at this beautiful wedding this weekend, I had snippets of regret. Regret that my mind is such that I couldn’t handle a typical wedding with lots of people. This regret vanished midway through the reception as I began to tire and realize how much more tired the bride and groom must feel after the months of planning and preparation.

If you live with anxiety, your wedding may not look like someone else’s. You may have to scale back the guest list, or you may need to elope. That is perfectly ok because at the end of the day the most important thing is that you are married! And your marriage should take priority over a large wedding anyway. So cast off your regret, kick up your heels and dance off those wedding day calories with joy! Or make sure to pack some extra antacids, just in case.

Remember you are not alone. I’ll see you tomorrow!


PS: Below are a couple glimpses of our wedding that I LOVED…Our shoes brought in an element of whimsy…..

wedding shoes

and #2: Our wedding song. This was played during the processional by my amazing cousin, Ted Yoder. Check him out in the video below and find more of his stuff at www.tedyoder.com