Monday, June 30, 2014

Fireworks Season

Blogging Friends.... Is it that time again?! Already?! Fireworks season, as I am now calling it, is once again upon us!! Just last night, before bed, our neighbor shot off several illegal, heart-stopping, booming, beautiful when exploding in our skies, bottle rockets. Or bombs, as I call them!! Rose, my noise phobia suffering little girl darted from our bedroom, first cowered in the kitchen, then living room, and finally our sound barrier of a "boy's bathroom". Poor baby!! I lead Rose to our bedroom, and linked her spare red leash. There we heard a bottle rocket--bomb--explode, so I walked my reluctant, terrified little girl toward the great room. All while sarcastically whispering these words. "God bless America." And so begins yet another long {weekend} fireworks season.... Love you later.
Did I seriously write the other day that my July fictional children's story will be posted on the first? Really?! What on Earth was I thinking?! July 1st. We will be watching my two-year old niece, "Amethyst" that day!! So. Since we will also be watching my nearly eleven-year old cousin on Thursday, look for the story {Again, Lord willing!!} to be posted on July 2nd!!

This information was taken from a Summer 2011 local dog newsletter issue.

"Every year, many companion pets escape and are lost or injured because of their fear of fireworks. While many of us love the big bangs and beautiful lights, our companion pets do not share our sentiment. Many dogs and cats escape their homes, some never to be reunited with their families. We encourage each of you to please take the necessary precautions to make sure your companion pet remains safe, at home and healthy. If your pet is easily frightened by sudden noises or bright lights, talk with your veterinarian about a mild sedative to ease your pet's anxiety. Keep your pet in a safe place when the fireworks begin. Options include the pet's crate, a safe room or the basement. Turn on a radio for background noise to help muffle some of the bangs. Provide a high quality chew toy to help keep them busy and distracted. Provide their favorite stuffed toy, blanket or other item that helps them feel safe. Every year all animal shelters see many pets that have escaped over the July 4th holiday."

And.... Its veterinarian writes this.

"With the Fourth of July right around the corner, fireworks and loud noises are plentiful and for some pets, it's anything but a happy time. They can become anxious, stressed, terrified or uncomfortable and can suffer from a fear of loud noises known as noise phobia. Learn to recognize the signs of a noise phobia. Signs commonly seen are: shaking or trembling, excessive drooling, barking or howling, hiding, and trying to escape from the house, fence, or other enclosure. Some animals will lose control of their bladder or bowels and some may experience prolonged diarrhea from the stress. Keep in mind, dogs that escape can end up with wounds, lacerations or worse-hit by a car. To help you manage your dog's anxiety, try these tips: keep you dogs at home. Keep dogs inside in a safe, quiet room, turn on music and pull the window blinds. Remove any items that might be chewed. Take your dog for a walk prior to the start of the noise. Provide a safe "escape" place. For safety measures, make sure your pet's ID is current. If needed, visit your favorite vet for medical help with the noise phobia/anxiety behavior to ensure a safe holiday for you and your pet."

I acknowledge completely that some facts were repeated in this Blog post. My apologies for that!!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

I'll Still Be Me

Blogging Friends.... This was written in my private Word document journal/diary on June 20th. Some changes were made!! As per usual!! I wrote it specifically with my youngest brother, Michael--who does not take well to change--in mind. But truth be told? As I still find myself {Occasionally!!} processing the Reality that I'm more than likely going to lose my hair because of F.D., I also wrote it for me!! And I meant every single word!! I'll still be me!! Love you later.

Look for my July fictional children's book to be posted on Minuscule is good! {Lord willing!!} on July 1st!!
I'll still be me
Just a normal girl from small town nowhere
I'll still laugh at your jokes and argue over silly things
I'll still be me
If you can count on one thing, I'll be here
The same girl that you've known for centuries
--Martina McBride

When--or if--I lose my beautiful straight brunette hair, go bald, and transform into Frankenstein, will it be a cosmic Life change? Absolutely. But one thing is definitely certain. I'll still be me!! Because when--or if--I lose my beautiful straight brunette hair, go bald, and transform into Frankenstein? I will still have unwanted premature short-term memory loss. When--or if--I lose my beautiful straight brunette hair, go bald, and transform into Frankenstein? I will still possess the reputation of being clumsy. When--or if--I lose my beautiful straight brunette hair, go bald, and transform into Frankenstein? I will still be a Children's Book Writer. When--or if--I lose my beautiful straight brunette hair, go bald, and transform into Frankenstein? I will still be a church-going Christian. When--or if--I lose my beautiful straight brunette hair, go bald, and transform into Frankenstein? I will still be Rose's Mama. When--or if--I lose my beautiful straight brunette hair, go bald, and transform into Frankenstein? I will still play Wii with my youngest brother, Michael on a regular basis. When--or if--I lose my beautiful straight brunette hair, go bald, and transform into Frankenstein? I will still be a proud Aunt. When--or if--I lose my beautiful straight brunette hair, go bald, and transform into Frankenstein? I will still be known as "the fun one". When--or if--I lose my beautiful straight brunette hair, go bald, and transform into Frankenstein? I will still be silly. When--or if--I lose my beautiful straight brunette hair, go bald, and transform into Frankenstein? I will still laugh. When--or if--I lose my beautiful straight brunette hair, go bald, and transform into Frankenstein? I will still experience minor mood swing-infused pity parties. When--or if--I lose my beautiful straight brunette hair, go bald, and transform into Frankenstein? I will still be hopelessly flawed with a laundry list of character defects. When--or if--I lose my beautiful straight brunette hair, go bald, and transform into Frankenstein? I will still be a huge Robert Downey Jr. fanatic. When--or if--I lose my beautiful straight brunette hair, go bald, and transform into Frankenstein? I'll still be me!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I Remember....

Blogging Friends.... Thank-you, Molly, Freya, Tweedles and Ruby for your encouraging comments on the other day's lengthy post!! I appreciated them more than words can even express!! Update. I am now swallowing yet a third pill form of medication. But it is not for treating F.D. . No. This medication--I am calling it Plan C--is for treating severe acne. Which I haven't got!! Thus, I am a bit skeptical about whether or not Plan C will even be effective. Guess what? I still don't give a damn!! My next checkup appointment with Dr. Erin is on August 1st. Love you later.
I composed this poem before Shadow passed away. Yoda was my feline. He wandered away and disappeared in 1999. Goldie was our family cat. He was euthanized in 2004.
My heart is like a mansion;
Where abundant love dwells in;
It's designed with rooms aplenty;
For pets who have gone before me;
Your special place is deep inside;
When you die, that's where you'll abide;
Next door to Yoda and Goldie;
A place with lots of memories.

Losing your beloved canine and friend is the worst way to begin a Summer. In my experience, anyway!! After I euthanized Shadow on June 15th, 2010, we drove to countless birthday parties. In parks, of all locations!! And seemingly everywhere I observed--whether they were being walked or running leash-free--I saw canines!! Here I was, dog-free for the first time in over one decade. And everybody owned a canine but me!! Or so it felt. I opened my Inbox last week to find an e-mail from some dear friends. It bore heartbreaking news. Their 14-year old Beautifully Unique Mystery Dog--they guessed that she was an Australian Shepherd/Doberman mix--will be euthanized on June 21st, 2014. The first day of Summer. Ginger has now taken up full residency in my heart's mansion. She is next door to Tejas and Andy, who have gone before her. For those of you who did not understand that. Tejas and Andy were my dear friends' other canines. Tejas died in 2000. Andy? He died in 2011. My sister and I used to walk down our old city neighborhood block, cross the street, unlock their door, then play with Ginger {As well as Andy!!} while her Moms were away at work. We even walked Ginger {Alongside Andy!!} around neighborhood blocks. I remember.... That Ginger--who was mostly ebony-furred with some white and tan markings--suffered from a bad case of separation anxiety during her puppyhood days. {Despite Andy's companionship!!} I remember.... That as resulted to Ginger's separation anxiety, she chewed/clawed her Moms' upstairs wooden windowsill. What an unforgettable memory from her wild puppy days!! I remember.... That Ginger needed to be locked in a kennel. This arrangement obviously protected both herself and the house from harm. But. She "grew out of that" and was eventually granted freedom!! I remember.... My first Beautifully Unique mutt, Shadow's "first impression" on Ginger. Now. Shadow was very aggressive toward her own kind.... As though she were a trained dog fighter. My girl would growl, lunge forward and bark at every canine we saw. Ginger was not exempt in Shadow's mind. Yes, she growled, lunged forward and barked. But that did not deter Ginger from  becoming Shadow's best friend!! Somehow. Because Ginger won Shadow over!! What a girl. I remember.... That my sister and I used to occasionally walk Ginger {Alongside Andy!!} with Shadow for mile-long walks through our city neighborhood, past a brick Elementary school, {My landmark to home!!} and through other people's neighborhoods. I remember.... That Ginger was an energetic little girl with almost deer-like hind legs. They were great for running!! I remember.... That my sister used to "race" with Ginger full-speed down a hill!! While holding her leash, of course!! I remember.... That Ginger was my sister's "dream" dog. Well-mannered. Obedient. Sweet-natured. Like Rose!! I remember.... Ginger. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I Have Folliculitis Decalvans

Blogging Friends.... I wrote this in last week's post.... I have been embarking on yet another cosmic self-acceptance journey throughout the past few days, experiencing some soul searching, maturity, and thinking profound thoughts. Ooohh, scary!! Love you later.

My entire thirty years of Life has been seemingly one cosmic self-acceptance issue after another. I live with unwanted learning disabilities. I can't--no shouldn't--pursue my lifelong dream of being an author. And.... I am most likely going to lose my beautiful straight brunette hair. Why? Because I have a condition called Folliculitis decalvans {F.D.}, and have since last Summer. I finally took the time to research it!! This ailment, apparently, also has several other names, as well!! Folliculitis decalvans is a form of alopecia (hair loss) that involves scarring. It is characterised by redness and swelling and pustules around the hair follicle (folliculitis) that leads to destruction of the follicle and consequent permanent hair loss. Folliculitis decalvans is one cause of cicatricial alopecia (baldness with scarring) and is sometimes known as tufted folliculitis. I've even found several Online forums written by others who have suffered from F.D. before me, so now I know what, exactly, to expect. Such as watching clumps of my hair fall out in the bathtub during showers. Awaking to blood-stained pillows. Or taking ineffective medications. Folliculitis decalvans. Do all head ailments have long impossible to pronounce names?! Like, say, craniosynostosis?! Speaking of which. I have been bald before. Years ago, when I was an infant, and Dr. J. shaved off my curly hair prior to repairing the craniosynostosis. With twain surgically-created scars forming an upside down "T", I looked like Frankenbaby. That was what my Dad lovingly called me!! "Bald is beautiful". So the phrase goes. Which usually pertains to cancer patients. But nonetheless. "Bald is beautiful". Nothing against cancer patients--they are truly inspiring people--but I sit here unconvinced. Bald isn't beautiful. Not on me. Bruce Willis rocks a bald head. As did Britney Spears. It was during her wayward child years. This I know. But she has turned out okay!! Right?! And, yes, cancer patients rock a bald head. But me? With my surgically-created craniosynostosis scars? Bald will make me Frankenstein. You know what? I have never been a vain individual. Ever. I have never been interested in clothes. I don't wear makeup on my face. Not eye shadow, blush, or lipstick. I do not stare at my reflection in mirrors for hours and hours and hours on end. I have always lived the firm conviction that God does not care about outer appearances, for it's what is within us {Character qualities} that matters most to Him. No, I have never been a vain individual. Then, suddenly, everything that I firmly believed in drastically changed. All because I lost a patch of hair on my head. All because of F.D. I will never forget the moment when my youngest brother, Michael--who has Down syndrome--noticed "Baldy". I had just showered. This is when dripping wet hairs tend to part so that "Baldy" {Always red and inflamed after showers} shows itself. Shamelessly. And I have never been more self-conscious before in my entire Life. Ever. I began checking mirrors and my reflection on our Chevrolet van's windows to be certain that "Baldy"--which can be covered by hairs--is not showing itself. Then I wondered why I was acting so vain. We made an appointment with this awesome dermatologist, Dr. Erin. Attempting my very best to maintain a sense of humor during an unfortunate situation, {Something I learned from being Robert Downey Jr.'s fanatic!!} I referred to my hair loss as "Mr. Snake Skin Bald Patch", meanwhile charming everybody!! I loved making them laugh!! Dr. Erin performed a needle biopsy on "Baldy". The area was numbed. However. Having been born with craniosynostosis, I possess a freakishly hard skull!! I never even felt the needle as it was injected into "Baldy"!! My face swiftly became numb. I felt that!! The numbing medication accidentally dripped onto my arm. I felt that!! Blood dripped onto my arm during the needle biopsy. I felt that!! I will never forget my thoughts, feelings and emotions which followed the needle biopsy. Waiting for an unknown diagnosis--as everyone very well knows--can transform you into a hypochondriac. Even if you are not one!! I will never forget how devastated I felt upon learning of the diagnosis--my hair is falling out--I just wanted to cry, because I'm a Drama Queen like that. Yet. No tears streamed down my cheeks. Somehow. Just what I needed, I thought, Another physical imperfection to add to all of my other physical imperfections!! I already have a scar on my abdomen because I was born with congenital diaphragmatic herniaI already have a short right hand ring finger and no knuckle there. I already have a cockeyed smirk because I had Bell's palsy. I already have two scars on my head because I was born with craniosynostosis. Did I need another physical imperfection?! I will never forget the feelings of denial I'd experienced regarding "Baldy" always being there. I just repeated this question to Dr. Erin over and over and over after several appointments. "My hair isn't gonna grow back there?" So I have been attending check-up appointments with Dr. Erin. At first I was very reluctant, and possessed a bad attitude--because we wouldn't even need to see her if not for "Baldy"--but she swiftly became our friend. As did Nurse Olivia!! I was prescribed a medication in pill form. Plus we drive to Dr. Erin's office regularly and she injects my skull with steroid shots. Which only feels like several little pricks!! Both treatments have kept "Baldy" tame and I've not lost any more hair!! Thus far. But then I experienced a rare side effect from the pill form of medication. My skin is turning blue. Or, black, to the naked eye!! So now I have been prescribed a different pill form of medication. Which, for reasons that shall remain unknown here, I am discontinuing. I'm in the process now of obtaining yet a third pill form of medication. Provided that it is even available. However. Based on research, there are merely a few other treatment options available. And I am running out of treatment options. Which, inevitably, leaves me with absolutely no other choice. I will most likely lose my beautiful hair. Upon learning this, I just wanted to cry. Again. I could practically hear the sound of my heart breaking. Yet. No tears streamed down my cheeks. Somehow. I've never experienced any minor mood swing-infused pity parties over F.D. . I have, however, said/thought this cliché phrase. "It's not fair!!" Countless concerns have since ambushed me. When I lose my hair, will I look like some Frankenstein mutant from X-Men? What will people think? Will my appearance terrify children such as "Amethyst" and "Opal"? What about when I look at my bald scarred reflection in mirrors? Will it reduce me to tears? Will I look away or close my eyes? Will I become a mental/emotional fugitive and run from Reality, as I'm way too good at doing that? I have so many questions. So many concerns. And they keep building up within my head brick after brick after brick. Yet, I have very few answers. Further concerns will most likely ambush me. My Mom has promised that she'll crochet some cute chic hats. Ironically? I have worn hats before according to baby pictures. With my odd head shape, I cannot wear fashionable fedoras, as they don't fit. And baseball caps? For reasons beyond my comprehension, they tend to give me headaches. And wigs? Aren't they specifically manufactured for cancer patients?! Another concern. Will wearing cute chic crocheted hats--hiding my scarred head--help, or hinder, this ongoing self acceptance journey? I foresee images of me in a public restroom {Such as at church.} pulling off a crocheted hat, and staring at my bald scarred reflection. Another concern. Will I be forced to wear my crocheted hats in public places because mean people will stare, be frightened, or kick me out because of my scars? But then when I think about this head of mine? These surgically-created scars? I remember that because of Dr. J.'s miraculous skills--plus God's Grace--blood pulses through my veins and oxygen fills my lungs. For, honestly? If Dr. J. did not reconstruct my head like "he was setting a broken arm"--his exact words!!--chances are, I would be dead. See. I was born with a severe case of craniosynostosis. I'd suffered from unbearable migraines, and, as resulted, I quit eating. Despite my Mom's knowledge. So. Being "hard to kill", as that phrase goes, set aside? Dr. J. saved my Life!! And, more importantly? When I think about this head of mine? These surgically-created scars? I am reminded that because of craniosynostosis, I'm alive in Christ!! See. My parents became Christians as I was scheduled to have a third craniosynostosis operation. Yes, a third. But one of my Dad's co-workers suggested that I be brought to his Pentecostal church. There I would be healed, he confidently promised. My parents accepted the Lord as their savior, and I did not need any more craniosynostosis operations!! Thanks be to God!! When I think about this head of mine? These surgically-created scars? I realize that Dr. J. did a remarkable job, as he even took some bone from my forehead and threw it away!! When I think about this head of mine? These surgically-created scars? One thing is for certain. I would definitely not have currently written ten fictional books within less than twain years' time!! When I think about this head of mine? These surgically-created scars? I am 1 out of 2,000. Unless. Unless I was born with lambdoid craniosynostosis which is the rarest form. It effects 1 out of 300,000 babiesNow that is rare!! When I think about this head of mine? These surgically-created scars? I acknowledge that craniosynostosis is--and always will be--cosmic, integral part of me. In more ways than one. When I think about this head of mine? These beautiful surgically-created scars? I cannot help but wonder this. Why shouldn't I proudly flaunt them?! My entire thirty years of Life has been seemingly one cosmic self-acceptance issue after another. I cannot help but question why. And more often than not, I haven't got any answers. However. In this such case of having F.D. and losing my hair? God is teaching me how to be less vain. And I did not think I needed this lesson!! But now? When I think about going bald? Losing my beautiful straight brunette hair? To quote from "Gone with the Wind". This line sums up every feeling that I have perfectly!! Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn. 


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Four Years

Blogging Friends.... Today is a double date. How so? It is Father's Day. {Hi Dad!! I love you!!} And.... It has also been four years since I lost my first Beautifully Unique girl, Shadow. Wow. Four years. Oddly enough, it does not feel like that much time has passed {No pun intended!!}. It feels less than four years somehow. I wondered why this is. Then it occurred to me. Shadow may have been gone all these years {And I still miss her!!} but these four years have been spent creating new memories with Rose!! That is why. {Which fills my heart with abundant gratitude for Rose!!} Here is a poem that I composed about Shadow approximately two weeks after she passed.

During that dreadful, dreadful night when you fell;
Nobody could predict death, no one could tell;
But it was such a hard collapse;
Did your hips quit on you, perhaps?
Trying hard to get up, this proved a losing fight;
So I stayed by your side nearly all through the night;
For ten years you've been faithful toward me;
This was my time to show loyalty!
Farewell, Shadow Sunshine, farewell....
You've left lots of stories to tell!
Wherever I go;
You will be missed so.

Sorry for posting only once last week. That was unintentional!! We were experiencing some internet issues on Friday and Saturday, which prevented me from signing into my Blogs!! Darn computer!! The issues have been fixed!! Obviously!! Also. I know that I have been a stranger to all of your Blogs. Sorry!! I shall return!! Someday....     

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Self-Acceptance Journey

Blogging Friends.... So I abandoned Beautifully Unique for one week. Sorry. That was unintentional!! I have been embarking on yet another cosmic self-acceptance journey throughout the past few days, experiencing some soul searching, maturity, and thinking profound thoughts. Ooohh, scary!! More shall be revealed. Or not!! I am still writing--it keeps me sane!!--but nearly everything that I have written lately pertains to my self-acceptance issue. So!! Have yourselves a Robert Downey Jr. quotation!! It was spoken in 2009. This quotation really grabbed my heart. How he has the ability to do that remains a mystery to me.... Love you later.

Life is--I don't know if it's long or short, but I know I have to be in my body for 18 hours every day of it, and I want to feel a sense of pride for the person I was able to be. --Robert Downey Jr.

Oh!! To keep this a Blog about my dog, have yourselves an amazing professional picture of Rose and me, too!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

You Can't Use Up Creativity

Blogging Friends.... I was preoccupied today with watching my two-year old niece, "Amethyst"--therefore I'm feeling blissfully exhausted--as per usual!! So. A "normal" Blog post will just have to wait!! Love you later.

 I posted my June fictional story on Minuscule is good!.... Better late than never? Check it out!! And leave some comments so I know you visited!! I appreciate them.... More than words can express!! Seriously.

 You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. --Maya Angelou