Friday, May 30, 2014

Not My Dream, But His?

Blogging Friends.... I am halfway finished reading "Kisses From Katie" by Katie Davis, an incredible true story about this young woman who flew to Uganda, became captivated by this impoverished place, then swiftly adopted thirteen--or more!!--motherless girls!! I am loving it!! I'm underlining parts like the crazy person that I am, and taking notes!! However. I could not even get past Katie Davis' introduction before reading this!!
For as long as I can remember, one of my favorite Bible verses has been Psalm 37:4: "Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart." I used to believe it meant that if I did what the Lord asked of me, followed His commandments, and was a "good girl", He would grant all my desires and make my dreams come true. Today, this is still one of my favorite passages of Scripture, but I have learned to interpret it in a totally different way. It is not about God making my dreams come true but about God changing my dreams into His dreams for my life.
Wow. Just wow. About my lifelong dream of being an author and seeing every single fictional book I write sold at stores such as Barnes & Noble? Perhaps. Perhaps writing fictional books and "publishing" them on Minuscule is good!--meanwhile hopefully touching Readers' lives--is not my dream, but His? Hmmm....

Today, this is still one of my favorite passages of Scripture, but I have learned to interpret it in a totally different way. It is not about God making my dreams come true but about God changing my dreams into His dreams for my life.
Underlined. With a bright red pen. And dog-eared.

I nearly forgot!! Curse my premature short-term memory loss!! Just curse it!! Look for my June fictional story to be posted on Minuscule is good! {Lord willing!!} on June 2nd!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I Dream....

Blogging Friends.... This was taken from my private Word document journal!! I wrote it last week after a minor mood swing infused pity party. Due to my unobtainable, broken, shattered lifelong dream of becoming an author. Honestly? Sometimes Reality still hurts like hell. This is the ending, my perspective gleaned through emotional/mental growing pains. Yes, I did say that dreams suck!! Aloud. To my Mom. But I did not mean it. Oh!! And I recovered in true Drama Queen fashion!! I immediately rebounded with four new fictional children's book ideas!! Four!! Meanwhile, I have been clinging tight to these words like some toddler with her Teddy bear.... Love you later.
I said that dreams suck--as strong, negative emotions pulsed through me--and, literally speaking, they do. Personally, dreams can suck away my happiness like some mosquito does with human blood. Or so it feels. I never struggled with these issues until I dared to dream. Oh, sometimes I wish I hadn't. But then again. Sans this lifelong dream, I would not be writing monthly fictional books. I know that. Why must dreams always be cosmic, anyway? Why?! What is so wrong with dreams being minuscule?! Because. I dream.... Of boldly stepping out of the children's book genre to which I find myself blissfully stuck in. With one story. I dream.... Of writing an Independence Day-themed children's book come July, despite having very few ideas for it yet. I dream.... Of writing twelve books throughout 2014!!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Rushing Water Sound

Blogging Friends.... "Better late than never", as that phrase goes? Here is my previously unfinished story about Rose!! Love you later.

It was around 2:00 AM. Although I did not know that yet. I had been having a weird, crazy dream. Details from which I, as per usual, don't remember. Because I seldom ever do!! Then, suddenly--sans any warning--I was abruptly awakened by Rose running out of my bedroom. Groggy from sleep, I initially thought that perhaps Rose needed outside. Wrong. Rose always slowly wanders through my bedroom doorway when she needs outside. And if I were not so groggy from sleep I'd have known that!! Like some preprogrammed robot, I peeled my warm blankets off. I stepped out of bed to find Rose. See. This preprogrammed robot has pulled herself out of bed during ungodly hours countless times. For various reasons. Because Rose needs outside. When she has to vomit. Or because we are experiencing thunder and lightning. Ah, the joys of being Rose's Mama!! And I love it!! Immediately upon stepping foot into our dining room/kitchen, my ears heard something. Something loud. Still groggy from sleep, I thought, Where is that rushing water sound coming from? Suddenly, my internal Sherlock Holmes took complete command over that groggy head of mine. I'm afraid I even forgot about poor Rose for few minutes. Whoops. I was wide awake now, my mind on investigation mode. For I had a mystery to solve!! I looked around. Our screened kitchen window was open as early, early, early morning air wafted through it. Where is that rushing water sound coming from? I had wondered. Shortly thereafter, I solved my mystery!! It was the familiar sound of pouring down rain against our backyard patio roof!! Which terrifies Rose, because she is seemingly convinced that thunder and lightning will follow. Even though we do not reside in a location such as Roswell, New Mexico where it was dangerously in close proximity to my grandparents' house. Or despite the mere fact that thunder and lightning doesn't frequently occur around here. Rose is still seemingly convinced. Myself on the other hand? I love, love, love a good rainstorm!! I looked at our oven's neon green digital clock. What time is it? I thought. 2:00 AM. Completely captivated by this awesome rainstorm--and remembering that our local news station weatherman predicted Sunday thundershowers--I made a beeline toward the living room window. I then thought about poor Rose. If there was/is thunder and lightning, then my terrified little girl is going to need some consoling. Which means. As thunder and lightning storms can persist for hours on end, I will not be returning to bed anytime soon!! I stared out our window toward the skies. Now. I do not know whether this is fact or fiction, but I heard once that in the event of lightning, to stay away from windows. Why? Because, apparently, you could get struck by lightning. But, being the rebel that I am, I seldom ever abide by that fact or fiction!! It makes absolute zero sense to me, anyway!! Besides. Thunder and lightning may terrify poor Rose, but am totally mesmerized by this--to quote Dusty from Twister--"Wonder of nature, baby!" Truth be told? I haven't got any fear!! I've been known to step outside and watch lightning bolts stretch out across ebony skies--whether it be here or in Roswell, New Mexico--which I never do anymore!! But stand by windows during thunderstorms? When I'm not stroking Rose's velvet-soft fur--which I always am--I occasionally still do that!! Because. Why not?! I never did witness any lightning bolts out our living room window. However. I did see rain roll off of our Chevrolet van--illuminated by a streetlight--as though somebody had been dumping bucket water on it!! I just stood there--while Rose was cowering down the hall--and whispered "wow...." Then, the unexpected occurred. Ebony clouds opened up and I witnessed a nearly full moon!! You know what? The moon is so much more incredible at 2 AM then 8 PM!! Who would have thought....? Again, I just stood there and whispered "wow...." At last I walked down the hall to find Rose. I touched her body. Tremors were not making their way through my mutt's body. She is fine. See. I understand that Rose is terrified of thunder and lightning. Its booms are, after all, quite loud!! And there is absolutely nothing that I--or anybody--can do about Rose's Noise Phobia issues. But rain--however hard it falls--is rain. Alright? And it pours a lot around here!! Winter. Spring. Occasionally Summer. Rainy weather is--to us--quite "normal"!! So I neither understand, nor allow, Rose to freak out over rain!! I grabbed her red collar. I gently, yet firmly, lead Rose back to my bedroom. I decided to close the hollow wooden door. This way, Rose will be confined in my bedroom. She won't aimlessly wander through our house. Or trip somebody in the pitch black darkness!! This was where Rose relaxed and fell asleep. As did I!! Where is that rushing water sound coming from? I had wondered with a groggy head. This question now brings me laughter. Because. That question was not too far from the truth!! As our skies had opened up, there truly was rushing water outside!! Literally!! For it sounded like we were in close proximity to some rushing river or a flowing waterfall!! Thanks, Rose. For giving me the opportunity to experience a mighty 2 AM rainstorm and nearly full moon....   

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I Shouldn't Be Alive

Blogging Friends.... I had a story about Rose in mind for today's post. However, it is not finished yet!! Then, on a spur of the moment decision, we watched my nieces, "Amethyst" and "Opal" today!! An opportunity which made me smile!! As that is the kind of Aunt I always wanted to be.... Ready and available for my nieces/nephews at any given moment!! So now here I sit at this very flat screened desktop computer happily exhausted!! Have a Tony Stark quotation!! I've been thinking about this lately. Since, like Tony, I am "hard to kill", as that phrase goes. Love you later.
I shouldn't be aliveunless it was for a reason. I'm not crazy, Pepper. I just finally know what I have to do. And I know in my heart that it's right. --Tony Stark from "Iron Man"

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Big Round Eyes

Blogging Friends.... My Grandma is leaving this morning. Thus, I will at last have time--eventually!!--to read/comment on your Blogs!! I cannot wait!! Love you later.

Sorry for posting this on Saturday, but I felt as though it needed to sit in the oven overnight like a certain blueberry dog biscuit recipe that I may never, ever, ever bake!! We shall see....

I immediately fell in love with his big round brown Robert Downey Jr.-like eyes. That was my youngest sister's description, lest anybody wonder!! Not mine!! Spaced a little further out than his older sister's, I was utterly smitten by them. I have grown to love big round brown eyes in guys!! He also had a huge ear-to-ear killer smile!! Which I also fell in love with!! But I never noticed his crooked nose. Because I seldom ever see people's physical abnormalities. I did not even notice a slightly visible scar on the side of his head until I looked for it. See, my nearly five-year old nephew, "J.D."--who I just met on May 10th--was born with craniosynostosis. Like me, only a different form of it. His was coronal craniosynostosis. Mine? Well--based on research and observation--I was born with sagittal craniosynostosis. During Grandma's visit from California, we connected with my long lost oldest sister and her three kids. I had never met the two youngest. My oldest sister brought up in conversation her nearly five-year old son's surgeries. "For what?" I asked. "He had craniosynostosis," she answered. "What?" I said, a shocked tone in my voice. I never knew that!! My nephew was a preemie. That I knew. He was the blessed result of a one night stand, if memory serves me right. That I knew. But "J.D." was born with craniosynostosis. My birth defect?! Huh. I suppose this cosmic detail must have slipped my Mom's mind.... Perhaps I was "told" that "J.D." was born with craniosynostosis only in her head, which makes it seem real. Trust me. As a person who lives with premature short-term memory loss, I "do" things within my crazy head!! All. The. Time!! I check them off my mental list, then completely forget!! That must have been what occurred. I was "told" about "J.D."'s craniosynostosis--in my Mom's head--because I may be forgetful, but I'd have remembered!! I mean. Whenever I learn that somebody's infant was born with craniosynostosis, my mind immediately spins like the rotator blades of a helicopter. It races to this child's unforeseeable future. As though, oddly, he/she is mine. My heart races, as well, like it's playing the drums for Bruce Springsteen's band. Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump. I feel for this child. And his/her poor fretful mother. Will he/she have unwanted learning disabilities? Like me? I most certainly hope not!! Example. A few years back, my Dad's good friend had a grandson who was born with craniosynostosis. All of these thoughts/feelings/emotions were stirred up within me and then some. I still wonder about my Dad's friend's grandson to this day. He would be about four years old. So yeah. I'd have definitely remembered that "J.D." was born with craniosynostosis!! I'd have definitely remembered!! And, although our paths with my oldest sister had been severed, I still would have cared. Deeply. Chances are, I would have thought about "J.D." for days, weeks and months afterward. Because I am right now!! My oldest sister told me that the main reason why they properly diagnosed "J.D." with craniosynostosis was because I had been born with it before him. If memory serves me right, doctors initially shined "J.D."'s condition off. But my oldest sister knew. Never underestimate a Mother's intuition!! My oldest sister was knowledgeable of craniosynostosis!! Because of me. Wow. My oldest sister also said that she knew "J.D." would be alright because I turned out well. I survived craniosynostosis before him!! Wow. Just wow. You know what? I have never, to my knowledge, met anyone who was born with craniosynostosis. And "J.D." is my blood relative!! Naturally, I felt a Kindred connection to this sweet-natured, reserved, polite Beautifully Unique "Cranio" Buddy of mine.... Even though he had no idea why!! Before my oldest sister and her kids left, "J.D." was in Michael's bedroom constructing a Lego boat. I walked through the great room, kitchen and halfway down our hall toward where "J.D." had been sitting. His Lego boat kept breaking apart. I asked "J.D." if he needed help. And my nephew answered with this. "No, I got it." It broke apart several times until, finally, a small boat was built!! "Good job!!" I encouraged him, "You're doin' great!!" And he is.       

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Natural-born Dog Lovers

Blogging Friends.... I have been writing like crazy ever since Grandma arrived from California--it keeps me sane!!--so much so that I'm afraid I've mislocated some potential posts in my Word document file!! Whoops. I hereby behold. A story about Rose!! Love you later.

I have been absent from reading/commenting on all of your Blogs. I miss you terribly!! I hope that Life has been well. Please do not forget about me!!

Some people--based on observation--are natural-born dog lovers. It is like an instinct. I was. As a girl growing up, we only owned felines--siblings named Sugar and Goldie--but no canines. However. I used to happily run toward strangers at stores as a girl and pet their canines!! Heedless of my Mom's consistent warnings against it. "Ask the owner if you can pet him," she would say, "Not all dogs are friendly." But, as per usual, I never listened!! My two-year old niece, "Amethyst", is the same way as I, a natural-born dog lover. She always was, even from the beginning. One day I was cuddling with "Amethyst"--then eight months--while sitting in a comfortable red chair. And miss "Jealousy, thy name is Rose" decided to see us!! She balanced her front legs upon the chair. And Rose was face-to-face with "Amethyst". Wet ebony nose-to-cute-button nose!! Sheer delight in her voice, "Amethyst" giggled!! It was so very cute!! Now didn't Rose just make her entire life?! Because today, "Amethyst" still loves Rose!! Her little chubby toddler hands will stroke my mutt's velvet-soft fur. "Amethyst" embraces Rose. Even while my little girl is lying down!! Which, occasionally, makes "Amethyst" accidentally fall into Rose!! She loves it when my Mystery Dog is hyperactive and playful!! "Amethyst" even squeals with delight as my little girl belts out her ear-piercing high-pitched bay!! For she truly does love Rose!! They are best friends!! For "Amethyst" is a natural-born dog lover. Like my youngest brother, Michael. And her baby sister, "Opal", as well. For being natural-born dog lovers flows in the family blood!! "Opal"--who will turn seven months old in the end of May--is quite observant, her big round blue eyes breathing everything in. And that includes Rose!! "Opal" will watch my canine in every single activity {Rose's hound bark only causes her to jump} she was always enthralled!! Everybody screams whenever Rose barks!! One day, I sat "Opal" on our great room carpet--while supporting her balance--and my niece's chubby baby fingers touched Rose's ebony nose!! To which she cooed with delight!! "Opal" had made physical contact with Rose at last!! Then, on Sunday, May 4th, we invited my brother, sister-in-law, and their twain little girls over for barbeque dinner so they can see our Grandma, who is visiting from California. "Opal" had been sitting independently on the great room carpet when I crouched down. Rose--jealous again, I am certain!!--walked up to us both. "Opal" flashed her big killer somewhat toothless baby smile, giggled and cooed. Bliss. "Opal" extended her chubby arm toward a visibly nervous Rose, touched my mutt and cooed some more. Yep!! "Opal" is a natural-born dog lover!!            


Friday, May 9, 2014

Kick It Back Right In The Face

Blogging Friends.... Well, now isn't Life ironic? I wrote this awhile back with the intention of posting it today. Then yesterday we talked with Grandma--who is visiting from California--about somebody who I am in close proximity to attending college and how I'd struggled with feeling as though my Life lacked purpose. And the fact that I felt like a failure.... Even though I'm not. Here's the thing. I still struggle with this. Feeling Jezabelle wildly bucking, I held on tight to her leather reins. But she threw me anyway, as per usual. I stood up from our great room table, walked to my bedroom, closed the door and hot tears freely streamed down my face. Why is it that the only twain aspirations I have ever dreamed of {Motherhood and being an author} are unobtainable?! The reality that I cannot throw any prolonged minor mood swing-infused pity parties because of Grandma's visit helped me find my sanity. I had to let it go. Again. And this following Robert Downey Jr. quotation saved my sanity as well. I remounted Jezabelle's saddle. I am in a good place.... Happy. Love you later.
I have been absent from reading/commenting on all of your Blogs. Because. I have been waking up very early to write. Spending quality time with my brother Michael. Stroking Rose's velvet-soft fur. And visiting with Grandma. I miss you all terribly!! I hope that Life has been well. Please do not forget about me!!

 When life is kicking your butt, never forget to kick it back right in the face. --Robert Downey Jr., Kid's Choice Awards, 2014

I can't become a published author. Yet I have continued to write books. I should not become a published author, because I'm somewhat insane and my monthly Writing Projects are the superglue which holds me together emotionally/mentally. Yet I have continued to create books. And. According to so many people {Family, Blogging Friends, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera} I am "published". Because I write on Beautifully Unique. Not to mention, Minuscule is good! . And I just wrote my tenth book in less than twain years!! Now that is something to be proud of!! I mean, come on. It is a testament of my resilience and perseverance!! Besides. How many published authors--whose works of literature are being sold at Barnes & Noble--can say that they have written ten books in less than twain years?! Huh? They cannot!! Ten books in less than twain years. You know what? That is, I think, a true definition of insanity!! And it's proof that I have never stopped writing. I have never stopped creating fictional stories!! 

When life is kicking your butt, never forget to kick it back right in the face. --Robert Downey Jr., Kid's Choice Awards, 2014

Thank-you, Robert!! That describes exactly what I feel like I've done within less than twain years time. Life has kicked my butt. In more ways than one. I mean. I was born with craniosynostosis, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, and Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. I live with premature short-term memory loss. An unwanted learning disability. And I can't--should not--see any of my fictional stories be sold at bookstores. Yet. It truly feels as though I am kicking Life back right in the face!! With each and every fictional book I create!! "Monkeys in the Woods". {September} "Bubbles the Bubblegum Bunny". {October} "Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims". {November} "A Very Important Visitor". {December} "The Star". {January} "Made For Each Other". {February} "Everybody is Irish on St. Patrick's Day". {March} "The Case of the Mysterious Easter Eggs". {April} "The Lost Cat". {May} Yes, I have continued writing books!! Yeah. I've definitely kicked Life back right in the face!! And it feels so freakin' good!! Yes, I am hooked on kicking Life back in the face, addicted to Writing Projects!! And recently, I was given an idea.
When life is kicking your butt, never forget to kick it back right in the face. --Robert Downey Jr., Kid's Choice Awards, 2014

This is my newfound Life Philosophy. And it was spoken from a martial artist!! Cool.

Dear Blogging Friends. Has Life kicked your butt? In what ways? And how are you kicking it back right in the face? Do tell.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Two Years

Blogging Friends.... Sorry about how the words are spaced. And its size. Because, really?! Blogger was being a cosmic pain in the ass!! I can't work with this!! Oh wait. I do all the time.... Love you later.

 {This was taken from my Life Story--an entire chapter!!--sorry it is so lengthy!! I added the quotation, though!! It was not put in my Life Story!!}

I never expect to have an impact on anything, except perhaps a brick wall at a hundred miles an hour. --Robert Downey Jr.

"It's a... terrible privilege"

Inspiration. Sometimes it can occur during the most unlikely of moments. Yes, the most unlikely of moments. Because sometimes inspiration can occur when we least expect it. Like a pleasant surprise. And, sometimes inspiration can also be produced from the most unlikely of people. Or the most unlikely of movie characters. During such moments, it can virtually feel as though some powerful lightning bolt has extended from our heavens, striking you senseless. Yes, some powerful lightning bolt!! Then, ZAP, your heart and soul are affected. ZAP, just like that. Then afterward, you are never, ever, ever the same. Why? Because self-acceptance, plus personal change takes place. That's right. Self-acceptance, plus personal change. This literally occurred to me. On Friday, May 4th, 2012. A date which shall forever remain securely locked within my psyche. Because I threw away the key, which is now buried deep, deep, deep underneath some virtual landfill. It all began when I was sitting in a local movie theater, popcorn's buttery aroma wafting through our room. They were showing the film which comic book nerds, Robert Downey Junior fanatics, elementary-aged kids, and moviegoers alike had long anticipated. "The Avengers".
We did not drive to our closest theater for this movie, which is located near Stark Street. (No, that little fact wasn't fictionalized!! Honest!! Life can just possess a very, uh, "punny" sense of humor!!) Instead, we drove toward the city closer to my childhood home. This theater's facility is seemingly smaller in size than the one near Stark Street. It's a grey and tan-colored brick building with tall front door windows. Bright red uppercase letters boldly spell CINEMA upon the side of this theater. Now, we seldom ever see movies there. And chances are, I will never set foot in that theater again. That theater where magic took place. See, while watching this action-packed superhero movie, laughing at its humorous lines, and becoming completely immersed, not to mention entertained, my inspiration was conceived from Tony Stark!! I repeat. Tony Stark!! Yeah, I was a bit shocked about that concept myself!! Tony Stark. An inspiration?! As a writer, part of the job is describing locations, people, or our five senses, even. It's at least 50% observation. Maybe more. And I have a few select words to describe Tony Stark, not all of them positive. He is arrogant. Cocky. Insensitive. Volatile. Self-obsessed. And very, very, very human. (How is that for "a few select words"?)
Yet, Tony Stark is also very, very, very loveable!! How does Robert Downey Junior do that? A natural charming personality? Brilliant acting? Lifelong personal experience? Or, are we all simply attracted to such characters? (Hmmm. Considering the very fact that Han Solo was always my favorite good guy character from George Lucas' original, now-classic "Star Wars" films, apparently, I am!! You know what? I possess a long laundry list of "guys in transition" movie/television character crushes. A long, long, long, long, long laundry list!! Should I be concerned? Nah!!) But Tony Stark. He is also witty. Not to mention heroic. He is evolving. Plus gradually maturing. He is an unlikely Avenger!! Tony Stark can have some real, serious, and deep moments, where--if your mind wanders for even one second--you miss them. Yes, you miss them. And these are lines which should always be heard from audiences. Yes, always. Because. Because you just might learn from them. So, there I was, sitting in my theater chair, when this scene took its turn on the screen....
Tony Stark: You know, I've got a cluster of shrapnel, trying every second to crawl its way into my heart.
(Stark points at the mini-arc reactor in his chest)
Tony Stark: This stops it. This little circle of light. It's part of me now, not just armor. It's a... terrible privilege.
Bruce Banner: But you can control it.
Tony Stark: Because I learned how.
Bruce Banner: It's different.
(Banner tries to read the computer screen, but Stark slides the data aside with his finger so the two can see face-to-face)
Tony Stark: Hey, I've read all about your accident. That much gamma exposure should have killed you.
Bruce Banner: So you're saying that the Hulk... the other guy... saved my life? That's nice. It's a nice sentiment. Save it for... what?
Tony Stark: I guess we'll find out.
(Banner and Stark get back to work at their respective computers)
Bruce Banner: You might not enjoy that.
Tony Stark
: You just might.
Then, something extraordinary occurred. Yes, something extraordinary!! Watching that scene in our darkened movie theater, Tony Stark reached through its colossal-sized screen, and, with his muscular arms, he grabbed me!! Yes, he grabbed me!! (Figuratively speaking, of course. Tony Stark did not literally grab me!! But he may as well have.) Because, Tony Stark captured this woman with attention deficit disorder's undivided concentration all the same!! Yes, he captured my undivided concentration. And, suddenly, I was magically transported into the theater's wide screen. I was there, touching futuristic computer screens alongside Tony Stark. Bruce Banner did not exist. I have never experienced this while watching any film before!! As resulted, Tony Stark now has a firm grip on my psyche and will not let go!! He refuses to. (Which, has surprised me immensely, seeing that I am a "one step forward, two steps back" flawed personality type!!) Why is it, exactly, did Tony Stark firmly grip my psyche during that scene in "The Avengers"? Simple answer. As we watched this film, I reached a mental conclusion that, personality-wise, I am just like Bruce Banner.
How so? See, Bruce Banner possesses an incredible gift. Yes, an incredible gift. Because, all Bruce Banner needs to do is lose control of his anger. Simple as that. And enemies? "Be afraid, be very afraid", as that saying goes!! For once this comic book superhero character does lose control, he morphs into a wildly screaming muscular body-builder-like green monster!! It's as though Bruce Banner is under the influence of some rapidly-acting performance enhancing drug!! He can destruct property, smash through hard surfaces, and, yes, murder people. No anger management class available in the universe could "save" his condition!! And this is all resulted from "unfortunate" circumstances. Gamma exposure. A science experiment gone awry. Then, suddenly, sans any warning, Bruce Banner became The Incredible Hulk!! Just like that. What an amazing ability. Yet, he would spend years wishing away these superpowers. Yes, years. Kind of like me, the weird and crazy learning disabled freak. The oddball.
See, when Tony Stark told Bruce Banner off during that scene, so confident, calm, casual, rational, plus matter-of-fact, once his lips spoke the line: "It's a... terrible privilege." , I strongly felt as though he was talking directly to me!! That's right. Tony Stark was point-blank telling me off!! And, suddenly, the very message of self-acceptance which those who I am in close proximity to had been long preaching, he conveyed within minutes!! Yes, minutes!! Now, experts say that lightning never strikes twice in one location. (Well!! I was a female "Cranio" baby!! I do not abide by experts' rules!!) See, we saw "The Avengers" twice in that local theater. Yes, twice!! And certainly enough, my powerful lightning bolt struck again. Because, this scene was not any less influencing the second time around. For Tony Stark pulled me into the screen!! Yes, he pulled me into the screen. You know what? I can even personalize Tony Stark's lines. Alter them a bit. I can make his lines befitting to me. For my life story. Like this.
Learning disabilities. They are part of me, not just limitations. Birth defects. Hey, I know all about your medical problems. That congenital diaphragmatic hernia and collapsed lung could have killed you. Doctor's surgical skills. (Myself, in place of Bruce Banner). So you're saying that the surgeons... The Other Guy... saved my life? That's nice. It's a nice sentiment. Save it for... what? (Tony Stark). I guess we'll find out. See, God saved my life. Plus He preserved its quality. In a sense, as ridiculous as this may sound, God is The Other Guy. I have now watched this scene countless times. Yes, countless times. And I can quote every one of Tony Stark's lines throughout this scene. Effortlessly!! Sometimes I silently whisper them, so that my ears can hear Robert Downey Junior's soft, deep voice recite his lines. Because I must hear them. For it is vital to my emotional/mental well-being like blood flow through one's veins. So very vital. Because Tony Stark speaks into my heart. He speaks into my soul. He speaks into my life. Every time. I oft choke up while watching this scene. I shed real, physical tears. Then, for the first time in far too many years, I feel something. Something called personal change, and self-acceptance. What a palpable, palpable, palpable feeling. And to think that this was inspired by an odd movie line!! It's a... terrible privilege.
I oft wonder how an egotistical, hubris, prima donna character like Tony Stark could have ever impacted my life. You know what? I have zero answers!! I guess Tony Stark was simply "in the right place at the right time" as that phrase goes, during a current life season of mine. For, unbeknownst to me, personal change and self-acceptance were previously on the horizon, like some red blazing sunrise. After all, God did speak these words several months earlier. "I have a New Year's Resolution for you. Accept yourself--learning disabilities and all. You can't break this New Year's Resolution." For that scene in "The Avengers" was an unexpected experience, my life changing moment. And a great one at that!! For Tony Stark has touched, transformed, and left an incredibly profound impact on my life!! Yes, an impact!! I will never forget that. I refuse to. For I was touched by a schmuck!! In every single sense of the word!! For this, I am eternally grateful!! Yes, eternally grateful. Experts say that toddlers' brains are like little sponges soaking everything in. Well, I may be an adult, but mine is no different. And this will all most likely require the rest of my existence soaking in before making complete sense. But that is growth. An evolution to my character. Much-needed healing.
I am overly nostalgic. And, had I been even remotely capable of predicting that my life would change on Friday, May 4th, 2012, I'd have drank it all in. I'd have observed everything. (In fact, the only reason why I know what the theater's building looked like is because we pass it every Sunday on our way to church!!) Yes, I would have memorized a few details. Such as the exact showing time of our movie. I would have kept my ticket stub simply for memory's sake. And our theater's room number? Such a detail as well would have been memorized. See, I can act like some tourist in my own city pulling out this mental camera, and snapping imaginary photographs. Therefore, I would have observed their "Avengers" movie poster. Or the people who attended along with us. I would have observed our room's light fixtures, even!! You can say that I have forgotten every piece of nostalgic fact from that day--which is one reason why this premature short-term memory loss sufferer writes in the first place--to remember. But then again. How can one forget what was never even observed? But that is the beauty which lies within such an unexpected moment. I never could have planned it even if I'd tried!! No, I never could have planned it.
So now, on an almost daily basis, I consider the very fact that my entire existence is "a terrible privilege". Because, after all. One out of every 2,000 live births are affected by craniosynostosis. Yes, one out of every 2,000 live births. This neurological birth defect mostly affects male babies. I was one of them. A baby girl born with craniosynostosis. One out of every 2,500 live births are affected by congenital diaphragmatic hernias in the United States. Yes, one out of every 2,500 live births. Approximately 1,600 babies are born each year with C.D.H.. Yes, 1,600 babies. Only 10% of cases occur on the right side. Yes, 10%. And. Only approximately 50% of babies who are inflicted with C.D.H. live. Yes, 50%. I was one of them. A right-sided (At least that's where my abdomen scar is located!!) C.D.H. survivor. One to three in 1,000 people worldwide are affected by Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Yes, one to three in 1,000 people worldwide. You know what? As a self-described "journalist at heart", I love statistics!! I am literally fascinated by them!! How befitting that I would fall among such insane statistics. From my moment of conception. To the second I was born. From my birth defects. To undiagnosed "developmental delays". I lead a weird and crazy life. (Kind of like me!!) And yet, I've discovered--gradually--that when my learning disabilities are concerned, I truly was "chosen". For reasons beyond anybody's--beyond my own--comprehension. Yes, "chosen". To live. For God's Glory. "It's a... terrible privilege." . Every second of my story is. What a deeply humbling concept.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Blueberry Butterfly Treats

Blogging Friends.... Two years. It has been two freakin' years this Sunday since my life was profoundly impacted by Tony Stark/Iron Man. And--for the most part--I have not looked back or "relapsed" behavior-wise. Yes, I've continued to move forward in my ongoing self-acceptance journey. That is huge for me!! You know what? For reasons beyond my comprehension, this anniversary seems much more significant to me than last year's. Huh. Is it perhaps because this has been one wild two years? Filled with far more minor mood swing-infused pity parties than I care to count? {Cosmic defeats.} Yet also filled with bouncing back and realizing just how resilient an individual I truly am? {Cosmic victories.} Is it perhaps because these two years have been filled with reaching out to Mamas--plus one Daddy!!--who've brought into this world children either born with craniosynostosis or congenital diaphragmatic hernia.... Twain of my birth defects? And lastly. Is it perhaps because these two years have been filled with writing ten books? Love you later.

Look for my May fictional children's story on Minuscule is good! I just posted it today!! Better late than never?

Entirely on impulse--and despite the mere fact that I'd just purchased Rose some crunchy turkey treats!!--I decided to bake her a batch of blueberry dog biscuits that I've never tried in celebration of my special two-year anniversary!! And, coincidentally enough, my Grandma will be visiting from California tomorrow night. For twain weeks. Or longer. So new special treats for Rose during a time when we will indulge ourselves? Perfect!! So, after searching Online, I found this recipe!! To give credit to whom credit is due. It was posted on . As per usual, I allowed Rose to sample some of the ingredients. She love, love, loves peanut butter!! Whenever I have some on Ritz crackers, Rose comes running into the kitchen expecting a liberal bite!! She also apparently likes blueberries!! I tossed her two!! However. Maple syrup? Like with honey, she could not even get past the potent smell!! Go figure!!

Rose would rate this recipe four "paws" way, way up!!
Homemade Peanut Butter Blueberry Dog Treats

Yield: about 14 dog treats (using a 3 ½ inch cookie cutter) {I doubled the recipe, but, disappointingly, we only baked 16!!}

1 large egg
 cup creamy peanut butter {Word of the experienced. Do not bake with crunchy peanut butter!! Why? Because all of the loose peanuts will fall out of your dough!! Trust me on that one.}
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil {Well. We used extra virgin olive oil!! Rachel Ray will be so very proud of me!!}
1 cup brown rice flour {We do not have any!! So I substituted it with wheat flour!!} 
½ cup oat flour*
about 2 or more tablespoons water
 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper {I just sprayed the pan!!} and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, peanut butter, maple syrup and olive oil until smooth. Add in both flours and mix until combined. The dough will be slightly dry, so add water a small amount at a time (mixing after each addition) to get it to a consistency that you can roll out easily. I added just over 2 tablespoons. Gently fold in the blueberries. {Yeah, about that. First my dough was so very crumbly that I did add water. Literally half a glass!! Then, I added the blueberries. I tried to roll them in. However. They kept rolling out!! So then I decided to be rebel, and squeeze the dough in my hands. Bad idea!! All of the blueberry juice squirt out into my dough making it moist!! Ugh. I must have added a half a cup of white flour to my dough just so it will be dry again!! The lesson learned here? Do not add any water to your dry dough.... The blueberries should serve that purpose just as well!!On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to about ¼ inch in thickness. Cut the dough with your desired cookie cutter. {Remember last year when I made arc reactor biscuits?! Now that was insane!! I just used my butterfly cookie cutter this time!! Because. I am a butterfly who has emerged from her cocoon!!Place on the prepared baking sheet. The dough will not spread while baking so you can place them fairly close together. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the treats are crunchy and golden brown. Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container.

*Instead of buying oat flour, just place rolled oats in a food processor and process until finely ground.