Why I’m Glad HUD Secretary Carson Got Stuck in an Elevator…….

This afternoon I read an account of Secretary of HUD Dr. Ben Carson becoming stuck in an elevator in the midst of his “listening tour” of affordable housing across America.

And I have to say, I’m more than glad it happened.

No, not because I don’t agree with some of his policies or political beliefs. I respect Dr. Carson so much as an uber-talented neurosurgeon and his story of growing up poor in the projects and being raised by a single mother to rise to where he is today is truly inspirational.

So why am I glad for the misfortune of someone I respect?  Because it shows how low-income housing has taken a back seat to quality. As if it doesn’t matter that the elevator doesn’t work because they are poor people anyway so why fix it?

This is the same attitude to the one found in my old HUD building where I lived for almost 3 years before my husband and I were married. The elevator was so old and seldom worked that one summer the leasing office asked us not to use it because it was overheating from use……for a building full of elderly and disabled persons this was not acceptable.

Do you know what ended up happening? When the building was bought for local college student housing the elevator, deemed not fixable before, mysteriously was fixed and the ENTIRE inside of the building was gutted and renovated for the new tenants.

Dear Dr. Carson, you have now been reminded how the other side lives on a daily basis. Here is your opportunity to fix it. To give low-income housing the dignity and care its residents deserve.

Please take it.

Funky Fresh……..

Wednesday. The day that falls in the middle of the week. That day where we can finally see Friday and a much-needed day or two of rest.

You know what Wednesday also is?

That day of the week where you are so stressed and tired that you *almost* grab that can of dry shampoo for brown hair instead of that same sized can of athlete’s foot spray for your feet.

Uh, at least I could have passed it off as an errant spray tan??

 😀

Photo on 2017-04-05 at 19.23

This almost went where it wasn’t supposed to. Thankfully this week is almost over, until we get to do it all over again. 😛

**This blog post is not sponsored by Batiste, but I’d recommend this particular dry shampoo in a heartbeat.

 

LAFF On Sunday: From A to B: The Art of DJ’ing (And Why I’m Not One…..)

Blogger’s note: The regularly scheduled post for today on the subject of April the Pregnant Giraffe has been postponed till next week because it was accidentally eaten by WordPress and it won’t spit it back up for me. #Rude!

I only hope she can hang on one more week! 😛


When I was in high school I decided I wanted to be a radio DJ. I was obsessed with listening to the radio (this was before social media and we needed something to do :-P) and my mom and I would listen to the radio every morning on the way to school.

I loved listening to the morning DJ’s and thought that would be a fun job. (Excluding the fact that at that time I was NOT a morning person and still am not. But at that point I figured I’d be more of a morning person when I became an adult.)

(I’m still waiting…..)

So I was excited to take a radio class in college. This class taught us about the history of radio and how to use all the equipment in the studio. As a bonus, each student had their own radio show block on the campus wide radio frequency.

This was the most exciting part for me. My radio DJ’ing dreams were about to come true and I planned to CRUSH IT!!

For the next few months I ran a 30-minute radio show once a week and LOVED it. Each week I became more confident in my DJ’ing abilities and more comfortable with the equipment.

The semester wore on and I continued my show.

One day after I returned to my on campus apartment after doing my show, I found a message on the whiteboard on my front door. It said the following:

“Listened to your show tonight. Great music, but I never heard you talk.”

Well, crap on a cracker, that’s not good!

Why?

Because my radio show was a mix of music with TALKING. I’d give you fun interesting facts about the world, and even held a campus wide trivia contest one night……which no one ever won because, well, apparently I suck at radio-ing.

So how in the world did I go months and months doing my show without realizing no one could hear me?? Simply this…….

I KEPT HITTING THE WRONG FREAKIN’BUTTON!!

Let me explain. At the time I was in college we weren’t entirely digital yet and had to use an old-school board to get our shows to air. The board came with two important buttons, one marked A, the other marked B.

Now we had learned what each button did, but I guess this information squeezed out of my brain when it came time to actually apply what I had apparently learned.

In my brain it went like this: Push A to start your show and B to end it. Because, you know, that’s the order they are in the alphabet so clearly this makes sense. Right?

WRONG-O!!

In reality, the A button stood for “Audition” or “push this button when you want to hear what you sound like in studio but no one else can hear it.” B meant “Broadcast” or “push this button if you want to allow people outside the studio to hear you!!”

Oops!

So that, dear readers, is why I am not a radio DJ and am instead a blogger.

Fewer buttons to push and not as much risk for public humiliation.

Or something. 😛

Cheers!

 

Not Acting: How to Advocate For Yourself When You are a Young Adult With a Disability……

Now before I get into our topic of the day today, a small caveat: The particular person mentioned in the post below meant no harm, even though they didn’t think of the implications of their words. I wish him no harm, so please be kind in the comments (As always I reserve the right to delete any and all comments that are rude and disrespectful 😉 )……


Regrets. We all have them. Things we wished we hadn’t done. Or things we wished we had. Today I wanted to talk about an experience I had in college and what I wish I would have done……..

Our church denomination makes bulletins that follow the lectionary for the entire church. However, not all churches in our denomination use these bulletins. The church I grew up in does not. They make their own.

The denominational newsletters more often than not use photographs of stock images, ect…to convey the message of a particular Sunday. Sometimes pictures used would be of a church in the area or some such.

While on summer break from college one year, I attended my parent’s church (the church I grew up in). A member approached me after services one Sunday with an idea. He had been picked by our denomination to produce a concept for a new set of newsletter covers to be distributed to churches denomination wide. The scripture used would be Luke 14:12-14…….

“Then Jesus said to the man who had invited Him, “When you host a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or brothers or relatives or rich neighbors. Otherwise, they may invite you in return, and you will be repaid. 13But when you host a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind, 14and you will be blessed. Since they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”…

Now of course we don’t use words like, “lame” and “outcast” to describe people with disabilities anymore. Those words are terribly outdated and offensive. Thankfully other translations of the bible use more appropriate wording that doesn’t change the meaning of the original passage.

But semantics isn’t the point of this blog. I want to focus on my conversation with this producer.

After he approached me to ask if I wanted to be a part of the photo shoot, he described his idea. I would sit in my wheelchair in the front row of the church next to all the other disabled people from our church. Then we’d hold hymnals and pretend it was a regular church service as photos were being taken.

As a young adult, I instantly had a few misgivings about this concept but didn’t immediately decline to participate. The first of which was that all the disabled people in our church didn’t sit together in a group. Not that we all didn’t like each other, we just chose to sit with our families.

The second misgiving was that, at the time, I didn’t use my wheelchair during church. Just crutches. I even suggested I would just use my crutches during the photo shoot. After I mentioned this concern and the follow up suggestion, the producer looked at me a bit smugly and said, “Just pretend you are acting! You are playing a role!”

Um, what??

Now the 37 year old me would have laid down a litany before him of why that statement was offensive and SO rude to even say aloud. But the 21 year old me just stood there in disbelief. Wondering how anyone could think that suggestion was OK.

And in a move that has haunted me every day since, I decided to go through with the photo shoot. After it was over I ran into the bathroom and cried. Feeling so ashamed that I hadn’t spoken up and told him I wasn’t going to participate because it was an offensive idea. The idea that I can pretend to be disabled.

My life is not pretend. Every day I wake up in a disabled body and go about my day. It is not an act.  And years later I wish I had stood up for myself and told the producer that what he was doing was damaging and exploitative.

So what should you do when you are young and a situation like this happens? I have a few options for you below. Things I wish I would have said:

1. “No.” Just simply say no. Don’t feel pressured to give a further explanation. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.
 
If you’d like to give an explanation, say:

2. “I don’t feel comfortable pretending that way.” 

3. “Doing this would make me feel exploited.”

Being asked to do something you don’t want to do or feel uncomfortable doing can be awkward. But advocating for yourself in these situations can help others to understand your point of view.

Cheers!

 

Clutching at the Heels of the Disabled: Why You Should Be Wrestling With the Idea of “Handouts” in Healthcare

Just in case you haven’t cried today, here is an excellent article by Running Through Water on caring for adults with disabilities:

Running through Water

white-1184178_1280I read a story this morning in the news about a woman in Texas who stopped on the side of the road to chat with a homeless man.  Her curiosity got the best of her since she passed him in the exact same spot on the side of the road four times a day for three years. You can see it here.  He was very thin, unshaven, filthy.  We’ve all passed “him” on the side of the road, haven’t we?  Remember the Man-With-The-Golden-Voice several years ago who hung out by the highway and  became a media sensation?  I passed him…sometimes twice a day on the way to my child’s school.  There he was–all wild haired and looking strung out…and then there he was on Dr. Phil with a Cliff Huxtable sweater and a haircut.  A former radio announcer who succumbed to addiction.  We were all cheering him on–he had…

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LAFF On Sunday: Sleep Deprivation and Porch Light Coffee…..

I’m sitting here on Sunday evening at our local Denny’s restaurant waiting for our business meeting to start regarding our new taxi cab business.

I’m in my pajamas.

It was a dare.

That I jumped on enthusiastically.

The weird thing is NO ONE is batting an eyelash. Seriously, I fit right in with the Sunday evening crowd.

Go figure.

I’m doing my Friday blog on Sunday because honestly, with this new job, things have gotten a bit crazy on our end. How crazy? Yeah, about that. We came home from a night out last week, got the keys out to open the front door and found this:

Porch Light Coffee

Yeah. We had a cup of to-go coffee stuck on top of our porch light. It was leftover from a business meeting we had 4 DAYS EARLIER. We came home that night and Chad’s hands were full, so he stuck his cup of to-go coffee on top of our porch light in order to have hands free to unlock the door.

And forgot to grab the coffee before he got into the door. And I know what you are thinking and yes, I DID think about drinking the coffee and doing a blog about it, but that particular porch light attracts most of the bugs we get on our porch, so I quickly decided that would have been a bad life choice.

Starting a business from scratch is hard work. It takes perseverance (which 9 times out of 10 includes sleep deprivation), persistance and drive. And lots of caffeine.

Just try to remember to take it off the porch light before you drink it. 😉

Cheers!

The One Where Lulabelle Tells You How She Got Through the First Monday of Her New Job…….And Reviews Edible Coffee…….

Yeah, I know. Edible coffee. It’s already a thing. But did you know you can get it in square form surrounded by chocolate?

You did?

Well, pin a rose on your nose. 😛

I was excited when we bought these home so I could try them out. Especially since I’ve been worried about starting a regular job and no longer taking ADHD medicine.

If yesterday was any indication, these little coffee squares of goodness are doing the trick.

Each package comes with 3 small squares of the coffee/chocolate amazingness. Eating all three squares equal one cup of regular coffee.

And apparently with this new job, I need more than one cup of coffee.

Being the only dispatcher on duty during my shift, I have to  constantly multi-task, and not being the best mulit-tasker, who is no longer on ADHD medicine (by the way, did I mention I have ADHD? True story), I quickly discovered I needed more than my one cup of coffee in the morning to get through the work day.

Enter Edible Coffee.

Now, I didn’t want to eat the whole package because caffeine is a bit of a tricky substance for me. I’m fine with one cup of regular coffee, even maybe two, but past that, I can get a little jittery and a tad more high-strung than normal.

Caffeine is a delicate balance for me.

So on Monday I tried just one square of edible coffee after drinking my usual cup. And I was able to get through my shift without feeling overwhelmed and cranky!!

WOOHOO!!

I also attribute my success to having a time of prayer with Chad before my shift started. And we’ve begun to pray together every day before I go into work.

So I’ve learned that to be successful in this new job venture, I need a little bit more caffeine and a whole latte Jesus. 😉

Cheers!

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*It also helps you get through work if you drink your coffee from your favorite-at-the-moment coffee mug. 🙂

**This post is not sponsored. All products were purchased by me.