Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.

Blogging Friends.... My future is looking uncertain at the moment. Nothing drastic. Just uncertain. All in correlation to Little Miss Secretive Writing Project. I finished editing "her" on Friday, then enjoyed a nice weekend of doing absolutely nothing. Bliss!! I hung with Rose, attended church, strolled through our city's largest bookstore, plus enjoyed some Ben & Jerry's chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. {Okay. Maybe that is not exactly doing "absolutely nothing"!!} But no editing. No writing. No work none whatsoever!! Now I have some cosmic decisions which need to be made. Decisions, decisions, decisions. And, nobody who I am in close proximity to even knows about Little Miss Secretive Writing Project yet!! Or my cosmic decisions. See, Dad is leaving for California on Thursday, so I think that I'll wait until his return to reveal Little Miss Secretive Writing Project. Yes, procrastination is my shortcoming!! It is an attention deficit disorder thing based on research. That's my excuse, anyway!! Also, just when I think Little Miss Secretive Writing Project is finished, I quickly realize that it's not!! Yes, I am still writing for it!! But that is okay. I love, love, love to write!! And I am feeling happy, emotional, plus grateful right now!! I miss all of your Web sites, dear Blogging Friends. I must delve back into life again and visit!!

This Robert Downey Jr. quote resurfaced within my head the other night before bed. It was spoken in 2010. I needed this quote. Robert Downey Jr., a voice of humility. Based on the man he used to be, who would have thought.

“Minuscule is good! Trust me, it’s much better than thinking everything you do is important and meaningful. That is not good.” ~Robert Downey Jr.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Land of Editing

As I promised, here is a picture of sweet Rose!!
Her first snow with us!!

Three weeks. That is approximately how much time which was required to travel through the Land of Editing regarding Little Miss Secretive Writing Project. Three freakin' weeks!! And, my editing journey is not yet finished!! Sigh.... It turns out, Little Miss Secretive Writing Project is even more strong-willed than "her" owner!! How so? Because, although I predicted having Little Miss Secretive Writing Project complete yesterday, think again. But I have a strong feeling that the three-week mark looks promising!! {That would be today for those who are not following along with this!!} Wow, a lot has occurred in just three weeks. A lot. Life most certainly did not stand still for Little Miss Secretive Writing Project's editing process!! I followed Robert Downey Jr. through his international "Iron Man 3" tour. Which was a lot of fun, by the way!! I caught and recovered from some nasty head cold. Which made me miserable!! {Yes, I strolled through the Land of Editing with a head cold!! Why? Because I am insane!!} And, lastly, Boston was attacked. America was attacked. Couldn't life have just stood still for Little Miss Secretive Writing Project?

Alright. Back to the Land of Editing.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Feeling The Love

Blogging Friends.... I know, I know. Beautifully Unique is a Blog about my dog. And, I have not written any stories, or even posted pictures of Rose lately!! But. I am still stuck in this tedious land of Editing regarding Little Miss Secretive Writing Project. If everything goes as planned {But I do not plan anything. God does!!} I should be finished editing on Wednesday!! We shall see!!
My heart and soul continues to be in Boston, with cosmic emotions suddenly bursting through me like dam waters. And, during the "aftermath" of such tragic attacks, it is heartwarming to discover feel-good stories which emerge. They are reminders that positive still exists in this world. Sometimes we could use that reminder. Yesterday morning, I found this article Online about London's marathon. I cannot speak for all of America, but I'm feeling the love!! Because I have countless {Literally!!} dear sweet Blogging Friends who reside in the United Kingdom, this is a shout-out to your side of the pond!! Thank-you for so fondly thinking of us!!
A defiant, festive mood prevailed Sunday at the London Marathon despite concerns raised by the bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon six days ago. Thousands of runners offered tributes to those killed and injured in Boston on a glorious spring day in London. The race began after a moment of silence for the victims in Boston, and many here wore black armbands as a sign of solidarity. "It means that runners are stronger than bombers," said Valerie Bloomfield, a 40-year-old participant from France. London's is the first major international marathon since the double-bomb attack near the finish line in Boston, which left three people dead and more than 170 injured, including many who are still hospitalized. In addition, a policeman was killed during the search for the two suspected bombers. One suspect was killed during a shootout with police, while a second has been arrested. Some 36,000 runners were expected to take part in the London race, which also draws tens of thousands of spectators. Police said they planned to add 40 percent more officers and extra surveillance as a precautionary measure. Most runners in London said they weren't worried by the Boston bombings, and the impressive turnout of enthusiastic fans lining the routes showed the same spirit. David Wilson, 45, said there was no question of canceling the marathon. He noted that Londoners had come back onto the streets the day after the lethal July 7, 2005, transit system bombings and weren't easily cowed. "You can't not do anything, because otherwise you'd stay on the outs all the time," he said. But Chris Denton, a 44-year-old engineer stretching his legs by the start line, acknowledged an undercurrent of anxiety. He'd asked that his family not come out to support him because of a possible copycat attack. "I left them at home," he said. "If only for my peace of mind." The men's race was won by Ethiopian Tsegaye Kebede; the women's champion was his compatriot Priscah Jeptoo. Among the participants in London was Tomasz Hamerlak of Poland, who finished fourth in the men's wheelchair race and had competed in Boston last week. He said he was determined to race in London. "It is terrible what happened in Boston, but we can't look back, we must look forward," an out-of-breath Hamerlak told The Associated Press moments after crossing the finish line. "The show must go on." A relaxed-looking Prince Harry presented awards to the wheelchair racers and mingled with spectators. "It's fantastic, typically British," he said. "People are saying they haven't seen crowds like this for eight years around the route. It's remarkable to see." He said it was "never an option" for him to cancel his appearance following the Boston bombings. "No one has changed any plans, volunteers, security, nothing has changed," he said. "Typically the British way." On Blackheath, the spacious green common area where the race begins, runners massaged one another's legs as loud pop music boomed on a sound system. A half-dozen police officers in reflective vests strolled around and chatted with the runners. Many in the crowd wore Boston T-shirts. Moments before the majority of runners set off on the grinding course, announcer Geoff Wightman used the loudspeakers to ask for silence. He described marathon running as a global sport that unites runners and supporters in every continent in a spirit of friendship. "This week the world marathon family was shocked and saddened by the events at the Boston Marathon," he said as he asked the people gathered to "remember our friends and colleagues for whom a day of joy turned into a day of sadness." As those gathered responded to his call, the only noise that could be heard was the buzz of helicopters and the beeping of a truck. Security was plentiful but not intrusive near the finish line at the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace. Marathon staff, officials and media had their bags thoroughly checked, a process not deemed necessary at the event last year. Officials said this was in response to the Boston attack. Shirley Gillard, a 63-year-old retiree sitting on a bench at the edge of the starting area, seemed pleased with her decision to come out and watch the race. She described herself as the type of person who was always worried when spotting an unattended bag on public transport, but said people shouldn't change their habits because of what happened in Boston. "That would be letting them win, the terrorists and lunatics," she said. Marathon organizers plan to donate money to a Boston fund set up to help victims. They said they did not consider canceling the event, which is a highlight of the sporting calendar. In a smaller event in Germany, some 15,000 runners were participating Sunday in the Hamburg Marathon. They wore armbands with the slogan "Run for Boston" as a mark of respect for the bombing victims. Hamburg's top security official, Michael Neumann, has said that security "is adapted to the situation," without giving further details. There was no disruption to the marathon. Hamburg organizers have said that they know of only eight people who pulled out because of the Boston bombings.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Three Wishes For Boston

Blogging Friends.... I have been absent from commenting on everybody's Blogs. Again. But, as I continue to be In Editing with Little Miss Secretive Writing Project, I'll just need to remain absent. Because. I wish to have this completed in about two weeks!! No pressure!! Seriously. As a person who lives with attention deficit disorder, I cannot do "deadlines"!! But please don't forget me or Rose!! Check in on us from time to time. And leave comments, so I know that you were here!!
As everybody very well already knows, a "terrorist act" took place in Boston, Massachusetts on Monday, April 15th, 2013. "A terrorist act". I hate the sound of those words. Thus. As with everybody else, my heart and soul are in Boston right now, with cosmic emotions running freely through this thick skull of mine. More shall be expressed. Or not. Some emotions are best kept private. Even coming from a girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. I was walking through our tall grass yesterday, cleaning up Rose's poop, prior to it being mowed. I found several wispy-seeded dandelions. I picked one, and for a single second, my body transformed into a little girl. I blew on it, watching every seed fly away. Every seed. Suddenly, the thought occurred to me that I should have made a wish. But for what? I thought about it for a second. I shall make a wish for Boston. I picked another wispy-seeded dandelion. I blew on it. To healing. Then, I picked another for Boston. To recovery. And, lastly, a third, symbolizing the bombings' "death toll". To justice. Apparently, this is what I do during times when I feel utterly helpless. Oh, and I pray during Rose's morning walk. For healing. Recovery. Justice, and then some. My heart goes out to everyone involved. The survivors. Those who are in close proximity to them. The victims. Their grieving families. The hospital staff. Their doctors and trauma teams. The firefighters who witnessed such horrific things. They are superheroes for sure. The onlookers. Every symptom of post traumatic stress disorder that each person--no matter what their encounter with this tragedy will inevitably face. And--all politics set aside--President Barack Obama.   
To freedom. God bless America. To peace.  

Monday, April 15, 2013


Blogging Friends.... I have a question. When you hear the word "superheroes", what immediately enters your mind? An old eighties-version of a tight-wearing, briefs on the outside Batman? {Yes, I know that his superhero wardrobe has evolved over the years!!} Diverse members of Professor Xavier's X-Men? For me, two superheroes immediately enter my mind. Ready? My first comic book love, Superman. Thanks, in vast part, to Christopher Reeve!! And, of course, Iron Man!! He literally blasted his way into my heart thanks to Robert Downey Jr.!! Now. I have another question. DC Comics or Marvel set aside, what immediately enters your mind when you hear the word "superheroes"? Me? Doctors and surgeons are superheroes. For they save lives!! That's what being a superhero is all about. Right? Last week, I read a special post on this Web site called TinySuperheroes about Ramsey, an extraordinary little guy who, like me, was born with congenital diaphragmatic hernia. I read his Mommy's Blog. TinySuperheroes is authored by Robyn, who generously sews together capes for "special needs" children. After reading Ramsey's post, I left a comment. I expressed that I was born with CDH as well, and thanked Robyn for raising awareness toward this life-threatening birth defect. To my utter surprise, she replied back!! Robyn then subtly requested that I share this TinySuperhero's story. Now, it was my turn to reply. I asked permission from Robyn if I could post Ramsey's story--which she had written!!--on Beautifully Unique. Robyn replied. With a definite "yes"!! So, here it is, minus the pictures. Ramsey's story. I feel honored beyond words to share it!! Ramsey is, indeed, a TinySuperhero!!

We were introduced to Super Ramsey by Super Case (who is really helping us build quite the Extraordinary TinySuperhero Squad)! Super Ramsey was born just three weeks after Super Case, and since both had immediate complications, their moms became good friends while their babies were in the NICU at Children's Hospital - Pittsburgh.

Before Super Ramsey was born, he was diagnosed with CDH, or Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. (Not to be confused with CHD, which is Congenital Heart Defect.) His ultrasound showed that his stomach had herniated up into his chest, which pushed his heart aside. At the time, it was unclear from the ultrasound how this was affecting his lung development. Simply put, CDH is a birth defect where there is a hole in the diaphragm (the muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity). Because of this hole, some organs that should be in the abdominal cavity move into the chest cavity. These organs then take up space that is reserved for the heart and the lungs to grow. The survival rate of babies born with CDH is only 50%. Survival is dependent on many factors, though largely affected by how much the lungs were able to develop. This is a lot of information to process before your child is even born. Ramsey's parents gathered their support team as soon as they found out his diagnosis, and before he was even born, thousands of people were "Rooting for Ramsey".

“Since Ramsey’s diagnosis, I’ve become aware of the need for CDH awareness. Most people have never heard of it, yet it happens as often as spina bifida, cystic fibrosis and congenital muscular dystrophy. I pray that some day there may be a voice powerful enough to inform the masses about CDH, and teams of surgeons capable to increase each child’s chance of survival. In the meantime, I am doing my best to spread the word about Ramsey. I hope to create awareness, and most importantly, to increase the number of prayers that he has.” — Super Ramsey's Mom

His parents chose Ramsey Armand as his name. Armand is this name of his grandfather, and means Strong Soldier - something they new their son would be. Because of other complications, they had a scheduled induction for Ramsey's birth, and chose for Ramsey to be born on Armand's birthday, January 12th.

Super Ramsey cooperated and arrived by C-Section on January 12, 2011. He had a big fight ahead of him if he was to be part of the 50% that survived CDH. His initial X-Ray showed almost no lung development, which led many to believe he wouldn't survive. Ramsey's parents continued to support their little man by letting him fight. Because of their decision not to give up on him, he is here today - amazingly with only asthma and some scars as proof of his battle. When Ramsey was 1 week old, his mom received an urgent call. She had been staying at the Ronald McDonald House (where she met and befriended Super Case's mom) recovering from her C Section when she wasn't next to Ramsey. Her husband called and told her to come right away because they were going to place Ramsey on the ECMO machine. ECMO stands for Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation and is the last thing any parent wants associated with their baby. ECMO is used as a last resort - it's a form of life support for infants, and works as a heart/lung bypass. Ramsey's oxygen sats were down to 30 (expected to be anywhere from 70-100). They were manually giving him oxygen. Ramsey's mom arrived, wrapped her arms around him and kissed him on the forehead while he lay preparing for the surgical procedure. Almost instantly (no exaggeration) Ramsey's sats rose to 80! He remained stable, and avoided the ECMO altogether! What a miraculous moment it must have been for them to literally see their child regain life. A strong soldier and TinySuperhero indeed…and quite a magical mom to top it off! Super Ramsey spent 4 weeks on a ventilator and 8 weeks in the NICU. He was able to undergo surgery to repair the hernia, and his lungs looked good after all. The doctors didn't think that Super Ramsey would survive. Today, Ramsey is 2 years old and thriving! It's really powerful to look at Super Ramsey and think that his chances at survival started at 50% and were even lower in his first week. Now, this TinySuperhero lets nothing stop him and his TinySuperhero power of strength that saved him will surely help many others as well! While he was fighting, he had a whole team "Rooting" for him. Now, Ramsey and all of his helpers are rooting for others! He is already a picture of hope in the CDH community, and we hope his story can reach other families who are fighting the same battle.



Friday, April 12, 2013

Pet Peeve

Blogging Friends.... Well, Little Miss Secretive Writing Project continues to be in editing by me. I despise this task, and find it quite tedious at times. But so far, I'm pleased with my capabilities in re-reading and making this into something more!!
I have a pet peeve regarding Robert Downey Jr. fanatics and magazine journalists alike. So allow me to get it out of my system. Ready? Many fanatics and magazine journalists equate Robert Downey Jr. to his "alter ego" character Tony Stark. Really?! Anybody with even a small sense of observation can plainly see that they are nothing alike!! For instance. Tony? He is cool. Robert? He is a bit old-fashioned in the way he speaks--for the most part--reminding me of somebody's wise, experienced grandfather. Which I love, love, love!! Tony? He is arrogant, cocky, and "self-obsessed". Robert? He works very, very, very hard on humility. Tony? He is independent, and thinks he can handle everything on his own. Robert? The absolute opposite!! I mean, come on, people. There is a stark difference between Robert and Tony!! {No pun intended!!} I can look at photographs, or watch somebody's YouTube videos, and immediately tell when Robert Downey Jr. is "in character" as Tony Stark!! Because Mr. "Genius. Billionaire. Playboy. Philanthropist.". is a fictional comic book character!! Brought to life by Robert Downey Jr.!! Not the opposite!! Robert Downey Jr. is simply an incredibly gifted actor!! If anything. He reminds me more of Sherlock Holmes than Tony Stark. Now. Does Robert Downey Jr. infuse a little bit of himself with Tony Stark? Certainly!! Doesn't every actor? During Robert Downey Jr.'s globe-trotting promotional tour for "Iron Man 3"--which I have enjoyed following!!--he said this. I thought I'd share it.

"You know I play Tony Stark as this very brash, sarcastic, and confident guy, and I can be like that a little bit, but I find myself looking at these posters and sometimes kind of like wondering how this happened. My relationship with it has been one of a kind, with increasing humility and a lot of gratitude.” ~Robert Downey Jr.
There we go. The difference with Tony Stark is that he would be expecting all of these posters of himself. Am I correct? I think so!! Take that, fanatics and magazine journalists!! Take that.   

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"I'm in prison!!"

Blogging Friends.... Well, I am knee-deep in editing Little Miss Secretive Writing Project these days. Whoo!! Fellow author Caryl Moll {Maxmom} was absolutely correct when she told me that the most challenging part about writing is editing!! I am now finding this to be true on an even deeper psychological level than ever before....
This was Rose shortly after we had adopted her. She was having serial "accidents" every time we left home and "abandoned" the girl. Both feces and urine. On our great room carpet. Thus, we were forced to purchase this kennel at a local PetsMart. I followed its paper's rules religiously, no rebel within me emerging. Then, came our first test. Sunday morning church service. We would only be gone a few brief hours. No problem. She will be fine. Right? This is what we returned home to....

Rose had been lying in cotton fluff--what was once her brown dog pillow--resembling that of some canine sitting on Heaven's cloud!! Being part Beagle, and quite the little explorer, Rose hated this, uh, prison!! We never kenneled her again....




Thursday, April 4, 2013

Happy Day!!

This is Rose stealing our tomatoes. The Little Thief will bite one off, then roll on the juicy fruit until finally eating it!! What a silly girl!!
Blogging Friends.... Thank-you from the depths of my heart for your sweet comments on the other day's post. "Everybody, everybody wants to love, everybody, everybody wants to be loved" as those pop song lyrics go, and I have felt just that!! Loved!! It has touched my deepest emotions. Many thanks to Finn, Molly, Fizz, Sampson, Dante, Daisy, plus Baird, and Ali for your comments!! Well, happy day!! I finished my Writing Project!! It still remains a secret, however, because, as of right now, even those who I am in close proximity to know nothing about it!! Yes, apparently, I'm that mysterious!! Or good at keeping secrets. Whatever. Although, Little Miss Secretive Writing Project does need a bit of tweaking. Anyway, should God allow {I must stop making plans!! He is in control. Not me!!} I will return to your Blogs. Soon. Like, say.... Tomorrow? We shall see!! I will not make any promises!! No. I will just sit here and be mysterious!! Thank-you for your ongoing support. I appreciate it more than words can express.    

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Peace Out

My dearest Blogging Friends, both dog and human....
In case you haven't noticed, I've been absent of late with commenting. To which I sincerely apologize. Although I miss everyone, I've an excuse for being a stranger around your Blogs. My Secretive Writing Project!! As I mentioned before, it is nearly finished, and--wow--May's almost here!! So. Meanwhile--unless I change my mind--I shall continuously be absent from all of your Blogs until my Secretive Writing Project is in completion. So little time. So much to do!! I will not abandon Beautifully Unique, however!! Check in on me from time to time. And leave comments, so I know that you were here!! Do not forget me or Rose....
Peace out.