Friday, November 29, 2013

Toxic "Human" Foods

Blogging Friends.... Thank-you for your sweet comments on the other day's post!! So far so good.... I have not suffered from any minor mood swing-infused pity parties!! However. I am currently riding a roller coaster of negative thoughts versus positive. But that is okay!! Because I am soul searching and growing along the journey!! Soul searching is a positive....  
Well, it's officially Christmastime!! They played Bruce Springsteen's version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" on the radio before Thanksgiving, and I danced as though nobody was watching!! Because, well. Nobody was!! Plus I cannot dance!! We experienced a little bit of insane Black Friday shopping this morning. Oh. And, according to a recent super fun Blog post on Molly the Wally's Website, I am not Raelyn!! Nope!! My identity has been Christmas-sised!! I now have an Elf Name!! It is Spunky Twinkletoes!! I like that!! And Rose's Elf Name? Based on her Gotcha Day month, she is Spunky Sugarbells!! Now. I am going to request that all of my dear Blogging Friends call us by our Elf Names throughout Christmastime!! Because I am an oddball!! Thank-you!! Love, Spunky Twinkletoes.
{Taken from one of my HealthyPets e-mails!!}
There are various foods that are toxic to dogs. Some we know about, however, there are many others we are not aware of that are just as dangerous and poisonous to your pet. Below is a list of common foods that are harmful to dogs.
Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound
that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic.
After their pet has eaten a large quantity of
chocolate, many pet owners assume their pet is unaffected. However, the signs of sickness may not be seen for several hours, with death following within twenty-four hours. Symptoms include staggering, labored breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, tremors, fever, heart rate increase, arrhythmia, seizures, coma, death.
Cocoa powder and cooking chocolate are the most toxic forms. A 10-kilogram dog can be seriously affected if it eats a quarter of a 250gm packet of cocoa powder or half of a 250gm block of cooking chocolate. These forms of chocolate contain ten times more theobromine than milk chocolate. Thus, a chocolate mud cake could be a real health risk for a small dog. Even licking a substantial part of the chocolate icing from a cake can make a dog unwell.
Semi-sweet chocolate and dark chocolate are the next most dangerous forms, with milk chocolate being the least dangerous. A dog needs to eat more than a 250gm block of milk chocolate to be affected. Obviously, the smaller the dog, the less it needs to eat.
Mushroom toxicity does occur in dogs and it can be fatal if certain species of mushrooms are eaten. Amanita phalloides is the most commonly reported severely toxic species of mushroom in the US but other Amanita species are toxic. Symptoms include abdominal pain, drooling, liver damage, kidney damage, vomiting diarrhea, convulsions, coma, death.
As few as a handful of raisins or grapes can make a dog ill; however, of the 10 cases reported to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), each dog ingested between 9 ounces and 2 pounds of grapes or raisins. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and lethargy.
Macadamia nuts are another concern, along with most other kinds of nuts. Their high phosphorus content is said to possibly lead to bladder stones. Dogs develop a tremor of the skeletal muscles, and weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters. Affected dogs are often unable to rise and are distressed, usually panting. Some affected dogs have swollen limbs and show pain when the limbs are manipulated.
Baby foods can contain onion powder, which can be toxic to dogs. Can also result in nutritional deficiencies, if fed in large amounts.
Bones from fish can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system. {The same goes for turkey and chicken, as well!!}
Cat food is generally too high in protein and fats.
Fat trimmings can cause pancreatitis.
Milk & dairy food: Some adult dogs do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk. {Rose has zero issues with dairy products!!} This can result in diarrhea. Lactose-free milk products are available for pets.
Raw Eggs contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.
Raw Fish can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. More common if raw fish is fed regularly. {Raw, or undercooked salmon, steelhead and trout from the Northwest carries flukes that can cause Salmon Poisoning. According to one of my books. "It is not the fish itself that causes canine salmon poisoning but the presence of a bacteria--Neorickettsia helminthoeca--that lives in one of the salmon's internal parasites. This parasite, a fluke, travels throughout the fish's circulatory system, invading its muscles as well. When a dog eats uncooked fish, he ingests these flukes--and the pathogenic bacteria they contain. The flukes pass through the dog's intestinal tract, but the lethal bacteria remains behind, causing disease and often death." {Eating small amounts of raw or undercooked salmon, steelhead and trout can kill your dog. Symptoms are slight fever, followed by a loss of appetite. Then higher fever, often reaching dangerous levels. Above 107 is considered a lethal temperature for canines. Even if they survive the 107 degree fever, worst, oft deadly symptoms include this. Severe diarrhea and dehydration. Few dogs survive untreated.}
So, dear Blogging Friends. Please keep this information in mind as you celebrate the Christmas season!! Or Hanukkah. Or Kwanza. Or Solstice. Or New Year's....
Expect a Christmas-themed children's story to be posted on my other Blog, "Minuscule is good!" {Lord willing!!} on December 2nd!!   

Monday, November 25, 2013

Five "Books"

Blogging Friends.... Warning. This is yet another self-serving "therapy session". {Don't worry. I am not suffering from any minor mood swing-infused pity parties!! Yet. Oddly enough, I nearly always suffer from mood swings after writing "therapy sessions". This could be interesting!!} So, come. Sit. Have a cup of tea, coffee, soda, wine, or just plain water. Read on as God gradually works through my life....

Strange. This Blog post was started on Wednesday. But. After a couple breaks from writing it, plus at least three approaches, I behold. Five freakin' days later. This Blog post!! 

"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.

Question. Do you make New Year's Resolutions?

This may appear to be a rather odd query. But is it? Really? 2013 is swiftly drawing a close, and most of us have probably either broken or forgotten our New Year's Resolutions by now!! Correct? Well, this is going to sound crazy--which I am--but I don't make New Year's Resolutions. Not anymore. God makes New Year's Resolutions for me. In 2012, it was this. Accept yourself--learning disabilities and all. This was a challenge which I ignored, as per usual. Until Friday, May 4th. When we watched "The Avengers" in a local movie theater. When my life was mysteriously and profoundly impacted by Tony Stark/Iron Man. When four words left Robert Downey Jr.'s lips, and changed me forever. "It's a... terrible privilege.". See. Several years ago, in the year 2001, I stopped living. I gave up. And I quit. I was seventeen years old {17!!} when I began creating my pity parties. Then. Shortly thereafter, I was eighteen, and I'd just "graduated" from Home School. If "ignorance is bliss", as that phrase goes, then up until age eighteen, I did not see my learning disabilities. I had a carefree, happy childhood. And I could achieve anything. My dreams--which were constantly changing--would occur. Because "the sky was the limit", as that phrase goes. Then Reality attacked me like some powerful military ambush. Yes, at the tender age of eighteen. See, Reality told me that I have "developmental delays". True. For this is what we were told by doctors. I have "developmental delays". Translation? I live with learning disabilities. Reality told me that "the sky is not the limit, because there are a lot of things in this life which I can't do. True again. So I stopped living. I gave up. And I quit. My life then felt hopeless, pointless, plus meaningless. I stopped living for well over ten years. Most of my twenties were completely wasted to pity parties. Completely wasted. Then I was--in my words--"touched by a schmuck". Named Tony Stark. It is sort of like being touched by an angel, only he hasn't a halo and wings. For Tony Stark is no saint!! But, honestly? After being "touched by a schmuck" on Friday, May 4th, 2012, my life has not been the same. And it never will be. Why? Because. For the first time--although I still suffer from minor mood swing-infused pity parties which are beyond my control, and I still struggle with being different--I started living again. Truly living. I have reached out to Moms {Plus one Dad!!} who brought children into this world either born with craniosynostosis or congenital diaphragmatic hernia, my birth defects. Never both. Because. I. Am. A. Freak!! I have--with my gracious Blogging Friend, Robyn's permission--"featured" twain C.D.H. TinySuperheroes, plus one "Cranio" kid on Beautifully Unique. I am part of two different Online Blogging communities. C.D.H. . And Blogville. I created "Minuscule is good!" to feature monthly Writing Projects. Oh, yes. And I have written five "books" within one year's time!! Yes, five. Despite not being a published author. I wrote my Life Story. Which still needs some "tinkering"!! I wrote "Monkeys in the Woods". Which was inspired by my niece, Little Munchkin!! I wrote a Breast Cancer-themed children's story. "Bubbles the Bubblegum Bunny". I wrote an odd yet imaginative Thanksgiving-themed children's story. Which, was basically rewritten from one of my poems!! And. Soon-to-be-revealed on "Minuscule is good!". I rewrote a Christmas-themed children's story!! Five "books". Wow. These are stories. Never sold on any Barnes & Noble shelf. But they are also "books". A dear friend, "S", advised me to "redirect my energy and goals". You know what? I intend to--Lord willing!!--write twelve "books" in the year 2014!! You know, I think I can obtain that goal!! And I am already writing January's and February's "books" within my crazy head!! Robert Downey Jr. was correct. Minuscule is good!! Writing twelve "books" throughout the year 2014? That is living life while I am alive. I'm no quitter. I am a fighter. I'm a survivor. And I possess one long surgically-created C.D.H. scar across my abdomen as living proof. "It's a... terrible privilege.". Truly.     

So. Do you make New Year's Resolutions?

Break them? Or forget you ever even made any New Year's Resolutions? Well. This was God's 2013 New Year's Resolution for me. Find contentment where you are. True contentment. Smile more. Laugh more. For joy and happiness is a choice!! I am working on it.

God's 2014 New Year's Resolution for me? We shall have to wait and see....

Have a happy Thanksgiving!! Dear Blogging Friends. I am thankful for you and your encouraging comments!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

One Out Of 2,000?

She did not see it coming. Or her Hubby. Craniosynostosis. Like déjà vu all over again. This was definitely unexpected. An irony which hurt, in more ways than one. They had already experienced it with their fourth child, Alayna. How could this be occurring again? How? One out of 2,000 babies are affected. One out of 2,000. So research says. My dear Blogging Friend, Serene, recently welcomed into this world a handsome baby boy--her sixth--and, yes, Jackson was born with craniosynostosis. There are--thus according to Jorge Posada's Website {The former Yankee's baseball player had a son born with my birth defect. Yes, I know I'm a Red Sox fanatic!!} --five different types of craniosynostosis. Jackson has the same as Alayna. Sagittal craniosynostosis. Life can feel so very coincidental.... And cruel sometimes. Dear Blogging Friends. I have expressed on here my feelings concerning craniosynostosis. How I would never recommend this birth defect. How I literally experience heart-pounding panic whenever hearing that a baby was born like me.... With a deformed head. How I blame my learning disabilities on craniosynostosis. Because, shouldn't I? I left twain comments on Serene's Blog, as she broke Jackson's birth story up in two parts. The first half left everybody waiting, impatiently, for Jackson's craniosynostosis diagnosis. Hey!! That rhymes!! This is what I wrote. First things first. I feel that when parents are potentially facing a serious not to mention expensive birth defect--especially mine--one should wholeheartedly express "congratulations". So. Congratulations!! Jackson is beautiful, Friend. I want to protest that, no, his head looks fine, and he doesn't have craniosynostosis, but I'm not a doctor. All I can do is pray. For you. For Jackson. And I can hope that the doctor's prediction was wrong. But, if Jackson does, in fact have craniosynostosis, then please know that I will support you with prayer, plus comments. And he is Beautifully Unique!! --Raelyn. And this. What an emotionally-stirring post, Friend. I have another Kindred Spirit "Cranio" Buddy. Hello, Jackson!! He is--like Alayna--Beautifully Unique. Fearfully and wonderfully made. I love the picture of Alayna holding Jackson!! They shall have a precious, intricate, lifelong sibling connection, your two "Cranio" babies. Like "twins". I can feel it!! Yes, you have already experienced this neurological birth defect. But nobody, nobody, nobody would ever want to do it again. Knowing what to expect truly does make matters worse. And, really? How can you even know what to expect? There are still countless uncertainties which lurk regarding Jackson's future. And handing your baby over to some neurosurgeon? It never becomes easy. I get it, Friend. More than I probably should. I can sense your feelings/emotions. Craniosynostosis--plus needing twain separate skull operations--really impacted my Mom. Example? She checked my new baby niece for a soft spot!! Welcome to the world, little Kindred Spirit "Cranio" Buddy!! Welcome to the world. --Raelyn
Dear Blogging Friends. Jackson is going to require at least one skull operation. Perhaps before he turns four months. Can you keep them in your prayers? Please? What a way to "ring in" the holidays....   

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"Thanksgiving Veggie Platter" Treats

Blogging Friends.... Well I have been awake since 1AM. {Do not ask why!!} So, after spending quality time with Rose on my bedroom floor during ungodly hours, I stood up at 4:00, smiled, made me some chocolate/chocolate/chocolate milk {With a TON of Hershey's syrup mixed in!! It is a chocolate addict's secret "recipe"!!} and I turned on this desktop computer. I am now sleep-deprived. Yet I'm high on chocolate. Caffeine. Caffeine makes me happy....
I finally did it!! I have wanted to bake this dog biscuit recipe for Thanksgiving throughout the course of probably two years. But I never did it. Why? Because my family hosts Thanksgiving at our house. And we have all of this "deep cleaning", baking, plus cooking which is required before Turkey Day. So. I always thought that baking Rose treats would seem an unnecessary hindrance. And she gets to enjoy a little turkey.... But then, with this ongoing difficult place which I currently find myself in, I needed something to do. And then I was recovering from a minor mood swing-infused pity party yesterday. I rebound!! I am resilient!! So, I needed something fun to do that would distract my crazy mixed-up thoughts/feelings/emotions. It worked!! So I finally baked this recipe!! Hey!! This is my second posted recipe in one month!! Cool!! I was a bit nervous as to whether or not Rose would even like this recipe. How so? While baking Rose treats, I always give her samples of the ingredients. One was celery, which she appeared to be interested in. So I tossed my little girl a chopped piece. She played with the vegetable, pouncing on it like some feline with his mouse. But it was never eaten!! No. I throw it away!! The recipe also calls for unsalted sunflower seeds. So, I sprinkled a pinch into Rose's bowl. And she snubbed them!! Little does Rose know. That these treats will contain both celery and sunflower seeds!! Little does Rose know!! I needn't have worried, though. I thought they were tasteless and bland. But Rose?
Rose would rate this recipe: Four 'paws' way, way up!!
3  1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup diced celery {You know how with nearly every recipe I bake, rules are broken? Well.... Does it count when rules are broken by accident? I did not know how to "dice" the celery. So I chopped it, instead!!}
1/8 cup diced red bell peppers (optional) {I baked this recipe without the red bell peppers!!}
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup unsalted sunflower kernels
1  1/4 cup water {Because these treats were so bland in taste, I highly recommend substituting water for beef or chicken broth!!}
3 tablespoons olive oil {Rachel Ray would give me a high-five!! We have extra virgin olive oil, which, I used!! E.V.O.O., baby!!}

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix water and oil. Add flour, oatmeal, vegetables, and sunflower kernels. Knead dough for 2-3 minutes {I just mashed it in the bowl!! My dough was crumbly. So I added water. As per usual, I poured too much into my dough. So I added white flour.} and roll to 1/4-inch thick. {I never follow that rule!!} Cut dough into bone shapes {Or, in my case, carrot!! Get the correlation? "Thanksgiving veggie platter" treats? A carrot-shaped cookie cutter? Cute, right?} and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Makes 2  1/2 dozen. {We baked 26!!}
Bake bones on the middle oven rack. If your dough is sticky, apply a light layer of flour to your hands, the rolling surface and rolling pin. Because of variations in oven temperatures, monitor the cooking time for your batch of "Doggy Bones". Bake bones until the bottoms of the biscuits become medium brown, and adjust remaining baking times accordingly. If bones do not become "bone hard", bake bones for an additional five minutes or leave them in the oven as it cools. Store "Doggy Bones" in an airtight container. For extended supply, double your batch and freeze them!





Friday, November 15, 2013

"My Life isn't Perfect, but I am grateful."

Blogging Friends.... Warning. This is yet another self-serving "therapy session". {Don't worry. I am not suffering from any minor mood swing-infused pity parties!! Yet!!} So, come. Sit. Have a cup of tea, coffee, soda, wine, or just plain water. Read on as God gradually works through my life....
"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.
Question. Have you ever wanted to do something your entire life, only to eventually realize that it is virtually unobtainable?
{This query possesses "errors". I used the word "to" twice in one sentence. This is not my writing "style". But I will let it go. Just this once.}
I am a writer. I'm an artist who paints pictures with words. You know what? I somehow always wanted to be a writer. Really. Growing up, I would often take my favorite American Girl books, the ginger-haired, green-eyed, spirited colonial-times character, Felicity, and rewrite Valerie Tripp's stories on our clunky old outdated computer. Yep. They were her stories. But my characters. This was violating copyright laws, I know!! Never published, these stories are, most likely, still on that clunky computer, even though they were not any good!! Now. Rest assured, my monthly fictional children's stories which I post on "Minuscule is good!" aren't copied off of somebody else's work!! No. I like my stories to be unique, and "me". Not Valerie Tripp. You know that popular phrase "There's nothing new under the sun"? Well, when it concerns my Creative Writing Projects, I respectfully disagree. I "Go for broke and exempt all clichés if possible.".
Have you ever wanted to do something your entire life, only to eventually realize that it is virtually unobtainable?
Writing may have always been my aspiration, but being published, eventually, was the goal. As a kid. As my parents' most rebellious teenager. As an adult who is currently pushin' thirty. Being a published author was always my dream. {I hate that word!!} However. In this mostly digital age which we find ourselves living in, Dream and Reality collide like Major League Baseball outfielders against their opposing team's potential run. There is emotional pain, emotional "bruises", even emotional "fractured body parts". But only one "outfielder" gets the fast-flying baseball. And Reality somehow always makes this catch, leaving Dream broken. Fractured if you will. My dear friend {Who I apologize for dragging into this drama!!} wrote in an e-mail that I need to "redirect" my goals. Good advice. But may I ask how, exactly, "redirecting" my goals can be obtained, when Dream has let me down? Huh? May I ask how, exactly, "redirecting" my goals can be obtained, when I haven't any left? Dream robbed me of them when Reality made the catch in Life's "outfield", remember? I have not replied my friend's e-mail, as I needed to nosh on her advice for awhile. {I will send her this post!! She does not read Blogs!!} So. I need to "redirect" my goals. How about this? I "redirect" my goals--whatever they are--in writing true stories about Rose on Beautifully Unique for memory's sake? Or this? I "redirect" my goals--whatever they are--in anticipating a new month as I write fictional children's stories for "Minuscule is good!"? Or this? I "redirect" my goals--whatever they are--by writing, writing, writing. For God's Glory. And for me. You know what? I do not want to be a writer. Because I am. I always, always, always have been. Being a writer is in my DNA. I am an artist, who paints pictures with words, after all. Being a writer flows proudly through my veins. I am a creative, unique individual. {So people keep telling me!!} Being a writer is truly my God-given gift. For which I am grateful. So very grateful. I do not want to be a writer. Because I am. I always, always, always have been. No, I want to be a published author, and see my books sold on store shelves. Like Valerie Tripp. But, alas, Reality beat Dream for the baseball in that outfield. I found something which was posted on a Kindred Spirit congenital diaphragmatic hernia Mom's Facebook page tonight. It stated this. "My Life isn't Perfect, but I am grateful.". Wow. That describes my existence so well, it is almost uncanny!! I cannot become a published author. Yet, I am grateful. For so much. And the pangs of my broken, shattered dream {I still hate that misleading word!!} will not throb forever, right? I'll wipe away my periodic tears as God works through me. I will "get over it". Correct? I do not know. Because right now, the fact that Dream disappointed me hurts.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Giving Rose Kisses

Blogging Friends.... This is a post which I wrote during some mood swing-infused pity parties awhile back. I never thought I'd type--or say!!--these words. Thank-you, unwelcome mood swings!! Because, currently? I have found that I'm not in the mood to write stories about Rose!! No. I want to create fictional children's stories. Compose a poem. I want to write about me. My life has become a never-ending roller coaster ride of conflicting feelings/emotions, with soul searching and personal growth along the journey....
Oh!! I keep forgetting to mention this. But I am an Aunt again!! My brother and sister-in-law brought into this world a beautiful baby girl last month, Little Munchkin's sister!! 
Second chances. As I have most likely mentioned before, I'm a firm, strong, vehement believer in them. Heaven knows that with every one of my sins, faults and character defects, I have been granted more second chances than can ever be counted. Even Rose has allowed me some, as I walk around blindly attempting to be her best Mama. Yet I still make mistakes. Connected to forgiveness, second chances are, I think, as sweet as creamy milk chocolate. Mmmm. When you rescue an adult canine, you're adopting what I like to call "a Second Chance Dog". Translated. He has a past!! And very few people--not even the shelter where you adopted her--is educated on your new dog's history. Does she get along with other canines? They haven't a clue. Was he abused? They haven't a clue. Does she like children? They haven't a clue. Was he neglected at one point in his life? They haven't a clue. See. There is a certain unsolved mystery which arrives with adopting adult canines that even the great Sherlock Holmes couldn't crack. And personally? That is just the way I like it!! Because seriously. I love the thrill of "getting to know" my Second Chance Dog{s}!! Plus, adult canines are--usually!!--mild-mannered. Although. More often than not, as you solve the mystery that is your Second Chance Dog, you'll crack previous owners' mistakes. We are only human, after all. My first canine, Shadow, a beautiful "blond"-furred German Shepherd/Golden Retriever cross, was aggressive toward her own species. Especially certain canines, such as Sarge, this sweet-natured, well-behaved Pit Bull. Oh, she hated his very guts!! Shadow would spy some canine--any canine--then growl, bark and lunge as though somebody had trained her in dog fighting rinks. It was that bad. We got Shadow at age three, and never did solve that mystery. Was she abused sometime in her past? We hadn't a clue. Was she not completely socialized during her primitive years? We hadn't a clue. Was she taken away from her mother prematurely? {Later my research revealed that when puppies are given up for adoption before nature says they should, then these canines do not know how to socialize with their own kind.} We hadn't a clue. The only mysteries which I could crack were these. Shadow was incorrigible. She possessed some dominance aggression. No dog training book would change her behavior. The only thing I could provide for Shadow? Lots of love and acceptance. Fast forward. To September 2010. Shadow had been gone since June 15th, and I was more than ready for another canine to call my own. You know what? I seriously considered adopting a puppy--to start afresh--as I'd promised myself so many times while dealing with Shadow's aggressive behavior problems that this would be my plan. But then I fell in love with Rose--age three--her past an equal unsolved mystery. And I'm eternally grateful that I did!! We dealt with separation anxiety issues, and accidents. Rose hated her kennel so badly that she tore a dog pillow to cotton fluff. Really. She does not know how to interactively play with me like most canines do. And Rose seems a bit clingy, like I do not provide her with enough attention, which is absolutely untrue. Let the mystery solving begin, as I crack the code that is Rose!! Does she get along with other canines? Was Rose abused? Does she like children? Was Rose neglected at one point in her life? Only time and a keen observation which could shame Sherlock Holmes would tell!! Now. Does Rose get along with other canines? Like a champ!! Now. Was Rose abused? Not physically. But does yelling and verbal abuse count? Because Rose slinks away, head lowered, tail tucked behind her hind legs whenever anybody raises their voices. Now. Was Rose neglected at one point in her life? Well, not dropped off alongside some highway. But there is also such a thing as negligence. And, I strongly believe that Rose's former owners--whoever they are--did not provide her with enough attention. Then she ran away. And respectable dog catchers brought her to our local shelter!! Now. Does Rose like children? Yes!! This has been answered time and time again!! She is so very good with my niece, Little Munchkin, who loves canines!! I own this soft-haired plush Beagle, which was purchased for memory's sake. However. It is a stuffed animal, after all!! And, as Woody--voiced by Tom Hanks!!--has said in the "Toy Story" animated films. {Who, I am going to misquote!! Sorry, Tom Hanks!! Curse my premature short-term memory loss!!} "A toy is meant to be played with". So. I always pull my soft-haired plush Beagle down from his high shelf for Little Munchkin to cuddle, and play with. And. She always smiles when I do this!! Also. We will tie Rose's spare red leash around its neck, and she'll "walk" the Beagle, dragging my stuffed animal against our floors. This looks pretty funny!! My stuffed animal actually has twain names, plus dual genders. To Little Munchkin, her name is Rose. However. To my ten-year old cousin, his name is Linus from "Peanuts"!! One day, the living, breathing Rose's ebony nostrils were sniffing my plush Beagle. Not stealing it. Just sniffing. Little Munchkin saw this, and, being the boss that she is, scolded Rose, then snatched my Beagle away!! To which Rose just looked confused, as though thinking this. What did I do? I stroked my little girl's velvet-soft fur, and praised her. Good girl.... Then, on another day, Little Munchkin was holding the Beagle. I asked her this. "Can you give Rose a kiss?". I meant the stuffed animal. But there was a slight miscommunication going on!! Because Little Munchkin thought I meant the real Rose!! So, she walked over to my mutt, bent down, and kissed her....      





Saturday, November 9, 2013


Blogging Friends.... Thank-you for your sweet comments on the other day's post!! I truly appreciated them!! Sorry for posting this one day late. Time escaped from me, and flew away like some carefree bird!! I have been experiencing Writing Withdrawals, which means that Rose stories shall come!! I promise!! Even though I just want to create fictional children's stories, my newfound addiction....
Grieving the death of Dream. Something which I am still working through and processing....
I thank God every day that Robert Downey Jr. is "hard to kill". {His words!!} Every. Freakin'. Day. Really. I do.
These were words which I expressed in an e-mail to my dear friends twain days ago. But not for Robert Downey Jr.'s impressive acting abilities. No. Because in comparison to his profound wisdom--which I find myself constantly gleaning from--Iron Man is but merely a minuscule part of the picture. And this goes for his other characters, as well. Robert Downey Jr. lived life as an addict, then somehow survived when all given logic screams through a blow horn that he shouldn't have. Terrifyingly enough. And I need him. Yes, I need him. He imparts to me keeping my word. {"Discipline is doing what you say you're gonna do and not doing what you say you’re not gonna do."} I have a love-hate relationship with that quotation, by the way!! Honor. {"That's life. To me, that's honor. I don't want to be a person who doesn't have any honor."} He has more quotations expressing the importance of this word!! A non-judgmental/non-comparison attitude. Which we could all use more of!! {"To judge or compare is a really dangerous pastime."} But mostly? Robert Downey Jr. imparts to me humility. {"Minuscule is good! Trust me, it's much better than thinking everything you do is important and meaningful. That is not good."} Well, yesterday afternoon was no different. See, I watched some Robert Downey Jr. YouTube videos while my Mom and brother saw "Thor" in one of our local theaters. Yes!! Two hours alone!! Now, lest anybody wonder. I did not blow two hours watching Robert Downey Jr. on YouTube!! Although, I have before!! Anywho. While showing a rare serious side of himself during an artsy documentary-like video with his lovely wife, Susan, Robert Downey Jr. said this.
"You know what makes me happy? When I'm not so self-consumed that I'm genuinely interested in my surroundings. To me, happiness is the absence of self-obsession." --Robert Downey Jr.
Very good. Very, very, very good. Upon hearing those words, I immediately clicked pause. Robert Downey Jr. had just moved me to tears. Happy, touched tears. Because you know what? To tell myself this. "I'm a good writer. Why am I not published?" {Which I have!! Repeatedly!!} is the absolute opposite of what Robert Downey Jr. meant by saying this. Correct? I think so!! See, I may wish to see my children's books be sold on store shelves. Or Amazon, for that matter. And honestly? I have even told myself this. "I'm a good writer. Better than most published authors.". Wow. That sounds real humble, doesn't it? No. It sounds pretty self-consumed to me. You know what? Based on observation, humility and gratitude are in the same ship together. That being mentioned. Although I still find myself grieving Dream, and Life feels unjust at times, I'm eternally grateful for you, my dear Blogging Friends, my faithful Readers!! Yes, eternally grateful.
And thank-you, Robert Downey Jr. for yet another lesson in humility. I needed it more than you'll ever know.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"Minuscule Is Good!"

Blogging Friends.... Warning. This is yet another self-serving "therapy session". Come. Sit. Have a cup of tea, coffee, soda, or just plain water. Read on as God gradually works through my life....

"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.

Question. Have you ever felt jealousy and envy toward somebody.... Sans even wanting what this person has?

That is pretty twisted, huh? Normal people--definitely not me--usually feel envious and jealous toward someone who is Barbie-doll thin when you struggle to lose even one pound. Correct? Normal people--definitely not me--usually feel envious and jealous of best friendships, when, growing up, you never had one. Correct? {Okay, that is me. Sorry.} Normal people--definitely not me--usually feel envious and jealous toward someone who is super intelligent when you are learning disabled. {Okay. Me again.} But.

Have you ever felt jealousy and envy toward somebody.... Sans even wanting what this person has?

Now. Where am I going with this? I have recently experienced these feelings. Guilty. As. Charged. And, not only that, but the judge sentenced me to self-inflicted prison for a while. Again. See, I possess quite the cosmic self-inflicted prison record!! {Not that I am proud of this, or anything!!} After privately holding thoughts/feelings/emotions within me, I finally let everything out last week as my understanding Mom listened. The uncontrollable tears had dammed up, and I simply talked. Let me explain. Somebody who I am in close proximity to is attending college. I will not mention her name. She is a very private individual. And here's the thing. I don't even wish to attend college!! But I cannot--cannot--feel happiness for this person. She is pursuing something important and meaningful with her life. I will not mention what. And I can't even see my writing being sold on bookstore shelves. Or Amazon, for that matter. I have felt jealous and envious of this person before. Countless times. Jealousy and envy. They are character defects of mine which I really should overcome. I know it. But, somehow, I have overcome my jealousy and envy toward her. Issue by issue by issue. Well, it has been at least three months, and I have not overcome these feelings. Because Dream has disappointed me with broken, unfulfilled promises like my half-sister or Aunt used to. Dream let me down. Oh, how I hate Dream. You know what? I should read through my private Word Document Journal entries dating back to June or July. Because that is around the time when these issues began. Or, perhaps I should look even farther back? I dealt with these issues, meanwhile deploying my best survival mechanism. I became a "mental drifter". Translation. I worked Attention Deficit Disorder {I flipped an "off" switch within my crazy head} then ran--hard!!--from these problems. And I wrote. My Life Story was worked on during this time. I sorted through thoughts/feelings/emotions. And I wrote. I believe my twain Robert Downey Jr. poems were composed during this time. I remained strong for so long until finally cracking like some hardboiled egg. And I wrote. I created my new Blog, "Minuscule is good!" during this time. Yes, the one part of my life which remained persistent through jealousy, envy, tears and mood swings. I wrote. So. Back to this self-inflicted prison. After sharing my feelings last week, you'd have thought that It would have been set free. Quite the contrary!! After sharing my feelings, remaining tears began falling like steady raindrops. I had been grappling with some seriously conflicting thoughts. I have a lot to be thankful for. A lot. And. I feel like a failure in life. I have never been much of an ambitious person. I always resided in this place called La-La Land, which, as everybody knows, lacks reality. I had some unobtainable ambitions throughout my existence. I wanted to be a pediatrician like Doctor F.  I dreamed of acting. Hollywood? Or stage acting? In Youth Group Drama years ago, I eventually got to do both!! And, an ambition which kept resurfacing within my crazy head. Like Jo March from "Little Women". Or Anne of Green Gables in the television-made films. I wanted to be an author. Well. I am now grieving the death of Dream. Like when Kelle Hampton brought her second born daughter into this world. She immediately observed that Nella has Down syndrome, and, suddenly, every dream which Kelle had envisioned for nine months shattered. But. After Dream disappointed her, Kelle picked up the pieces, and "created beautiful mosaic artwork", if you will, with Nella's life!! Not only does she love her middle child unconditionally. But Kelle also raises awareness for Down syndrome, and meets others with this birth defect. Sort of like me. Dream broke my heart. Now every time I write, I'm "creating beautiful mosaic artwork". I am picking up the pieces left over from Dream.... And my broken heart. Especially when it concerns fictional stories. But then.... After sharing my feelings last week, something insane occurred. For twain days, I lost my love of writing. Yes, you read that correctly. For twain days, I lost my love of writing. It just disappeared somehow {POOF!!} from my heart and soul. See, I had just created a Thanksgiving-themed story for "Minuscule is good!" through minor mood swings and tears. Because this thought kept flooding through my head. I just successfully turned a poem into a children's story. Why am I not published? First, I needed to write "Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims" for November's "Minuscule is good!" Blog post. And then. Somewhere along the road, it occurred. I lost my love of writing. So. After finishing "Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims", I began work on rewriting a Christmas-themed children's story. Even though it was still October. I rewrote this story for therapy. Because something within me had died along with Dream, and I wanted it back. I wanted it back. So, what did I do? I wrote. But then, for twain seemingly long days, I stopped writing the Christmas-themed story. I made every lame and stupid excuse available to avoid going back. Then, one morning, I was doing the dishes while also listening to an old Bruce Springsteen album. And it hit me that this is a self-inflicted incarceration. "I created this. Well, I served my time. I possess the power to set myself free.". Then, I wrote....