Friday, July 31, 2009

I Finally Did It!

Wow! I finally got my haircut yesterday. They chopped off 10 inches (25.4 cm). I'm going to donate it to Locks of Love. This will be my third time in six years donating my hair. According to their website "Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics. Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses we provide help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers."

This is my hair before they cut it

Prepairing for the cut

Ready, set, cut!

After the cut

Styled to perfection

I think I look older with my hair shorter. I was scared at first, but it's nice to do something for a good cause.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Science Museum of Minnesota

Today I went to the science Museum of Minnesota. I met a friend of mine, Karly, and we went to the IMAX film at the Omni theater called "Titanica". It was about the Titanic and had scenes from them actually exploring it. It was very informative; I liked it a lot. They also have a Titanic exhibit at the science Museum. I didn't go to that this time, but I would like to go to it at some point before it's gone.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Shaking Hands

At church this morning, there were three separate occasions where someone reached out to shake my hand. Most people don't realize that I'm paralyzed and unable to shake back. This actually occurs quite often and I'm trying to figure out what to do when it happens. Most of the time I just sit there, but I think people feel embarrassed for putting their hand out or bad that I don't reach my hand back to them. I think I should come up with something to say like "I would love to shake your hand, but I'm unable to. Thanks though." Or something like that.

Then I was thinking about getting a mechanical arm built in on my wheelchair. Every time someone tries to shake my hand, my nurse or I could push a button that would make the arm rise. Although, that might take a lot of work. That's why I think I should say something or have a sign. It would be more polite than just looking at them and making them feel bad or awkward. I know I shouldn't but sometimes I laugh after the person walks away. Not at the person but at the situation. I know I can't shake their hand, but they don't realize that. Next time it happens I'm going to say something and see what reaction I get.

Oh, and the picture above. I went on Google and put "shaking hands" in the search box under images. After looking through 14 pages of people shaking hands, I finally found this picture of a guy with his head cut off reaching out to me. Perfect representation.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Fall Classes

I have finally registered for classes at Normandale community college for this fall. I'm taking two this semester; one more than I usually do. The first class is Interpersonal Communications. Since I would like to work in the field of communications someday, I thought it wouldn't hurt to take all the classes they had to offer. After this one, I will only have one more communication class to take. The second class is Creative Writing; it is an online class. I have never taken a class online before so I'm excited to see how it will turn out. I will definitely let you know how they are when I start taking them. Both the classes start the week of August 17; not too far from now.


"The Lord gave us two ends-one to sit on and the other to think with. Success depends on which one we use the most."
-Ann Landers

Friday, July 24, 2009

Quiet Again

My aunt, uncle and four cousins left our house this morning at around 6:30 AM. They are heading back to Colorado. I think they are going to drive straight through which is like 15 hours or something like that. Way too long for me to be in a car.

I had so much fun with them here. It's so quiet around the house without them. I love having guests at the house. Yesterday we went shopping at the mall down the street from my house. It was just kind of a fun outing to hang out before they had to leave.

The picture above is of my sister and I and my four cousins. It's the best one we've ever taken together. I hope they come back soon!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Stories from the Past

Before my accident I played softball and basketball. I played both sports for about seven years each. Softball was my favorite out of the two. I used to get up to the base and then grin as the outfielders yelled to each other "move back, move back". I averaged 2 home runs a game. The positions I played were first base, shortstop and pitcher. Basketball was also fun. Although, at the time of my accident I was debating whether to keep playing because as I got older the game got way more intense and competitive. I was a post on the team and better at defense than offense because of my height advantage.

The first picture above is of me playing softball. I think I was in the outfield during that game. The next two pictures are of me playing basketball. One shooting a free throw and the other of me running down the court.

I do miss playing sports, running around and being active. Doing posts like this bring back a lot of memories. It is actually a good thing. Someone asked me if I thought it would be hard talking about the past. Sometimes it is, but I just tell myself that things are different now. Not any better or worse, just different. I never would have taken up painting watercolor if it weren't for my accident. Things just have a way of working themselves out. I don't feel sad talking about or sharing stories from my past. I feel blessed with the memories that I have made.


"We don't know who we are until we see what we can do."
-Martha Grimes

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I mentioned in one of my recent posts that I collect angels. I also collect many other things, one of them being butterflies. I have loved butterflies since my accident because of the tremendous change they go through from being a caterpillar to butterfly. It reminds me of the change I went through. They are definitely symbolic.

When I was young I started collecting rocks. I've always had a fascination with them, even up till this day. I have tons of them around my room ranging from big to little and polished to unpolished. I also have ones from different states and mountains that I have polished with my rock tumbler. The first picture above is of my rock collection behind the head of my bed. Since I've taken that picture, my collection has grown tremendously back there.

One of the other things that I collect are antique marbles. All of the ones I have are made at least 50 years go. They are antique because they are old and not made the same way anymore. I have hundreds of them and I love all of the different colors. The second picture above is one of the displays that I have for my marbles hanging on my wall in my bedroom.

Another thing that I find collecting more and more of are cigar boxes. I really don't know why I like them so much. I guess because you can use them for so many things. I like to decorate them and turn them into jewelry boxes.

Okay, so the last thing I collect are glass bowls, vases, and figurines. I love glass. Probably because of the colors and the way people can shape it. I use the bowls to put my polished rocks in to display them around my room. The vases and figurines are just for show.

That's it for things I collect. Oh, except for my collection of clothes. I don't think that counts though. A girl has to have outfits. No wonder my room is so full of stuff. I better not start any more collections or I won't have any more space in my room.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Guests at the House

Today I went to the grocery store with my mom. My aunt, uncle and cousins are in town from Colorado. They drove all day yesterday and got here around 10 PM. They are staying with us through the weekend. I haven't seen them in a few years. So my mom and I went to the grocery store today to buy some dinner for tonight. She will be cooking for nine people instead of just four. On Saturday we are having a bunch of family over. We will be having a huge feast then. We don't really have anything else planned at the moment, but that's okay. I'm really happy they are here.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cirque Du Soleil

The other day I went to Cirque du Soleil. It is a dramatic mixture of Circus arts and street entertainment. There is no ring and are no animals which helps make it a modern circus. They have 18 separate shows with almost 4000 employees performing over five continents. The show that I saw on Sunday was called Kooza. I have also been to a few of their other shows in the past. They are in Minnesota with this particular show for the month of July.

The picture above is of my dad, sister, nurse and I in front of the Cirque du Soleil tent that they have set up for the show. I have also posted a video below that shows some behind-the-scenes of the show that we saw, Kooza.

I want to know if any of you seen any of the Cirque du Soleil shows. Did you like it? I had a great time and hope to do it again next time they come in town.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Series Number Three

So far I have two series going: Life As a Quad and Did You Know. I decided to start a third series that will be called: Stories from the Past. Each post will be a story from my past either before or after my accident. I decided to do this series to share some stories about things that have happened to me or things that I've done whether good or bad, happy or sad. I'm hoping it will give some more insight on me besides just my life now. Let me know what you think.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Life As a Quad III: Physical Therapy

One thing that is very important for people with disabilities is physical therapy. Therapy can help in many ways and be very beneficial to someone who is unable to move on their own. Not only can physical therapy help with the body, it can also help relieve stress on one's mind.

I get physical therapy 3 to 4 times a week. My therapist comes to my house for a 45 minute visit each time. We do many activities and exercises during this therapy time to help my body. These help loosen my muscles, help me strengthen my ability to move, and help with pain management. I also gain more energy by working out in therapy which gives me the ability to do more things during the day.

My physical therapist has helped me with being able to tighten any muscle in my body in order to move certain things (i.e. my arms, legs, back, stomach etc.). The picture above is of me sitting on the edge of my bed. This is one of the activities that I have been doing to help strengthen my back and stomach muscles. When I first started sitting up by myself, I could only do it for about 30 seconds before I would start to lean forward and my therapist would have to hold me back up. That was a few years ago. Now, I am able to sit up on the edge of my bed for a lot longer. My record so far is 5 1/2 minutes. If I start to fall forward, I am able to tighten my back muscles and pull myself back up straight. Same with if I start to fall to the left or right. I am very proud of all the work that I have been able to do because of physical therapy.

The physical therapy that I receive is private pay. That means that I pay for every visit with the therapist. Unfortunately, insurance will not pay for physical therapy. With most cases insurance will only pay for a couple of months of therapy directly after the persons injury/accident. That's what happened to me. I was able to get two months (16 visits) of physical therapy paid for. I went to the Courage Center to complete my therapy. After that I was on my own to pay for therapy.

This is very difficult for the people who do not have the funds to pay for physical therapy. They spend the majority of their life with extremely tight muscles, making it difficult for them to be moved and transferred. They also experience great pain due to their tightness and end up taking pain pills to try to alleviate pain. I am very lucky to be able to pay for my physical therapy. However, this may not be the case forever.

I recommend physical therapy for anyone who has a disability and has trouble moving themselves, has tight muscles or needs help with strengthening.


"To believe in yourself and follow your dreams, to have goals in life and a drive to succeed, to surround yourself with the things and the people that make you happy-this is success!"
-Sasha Azevedo

Monday, July 6, 2009

I Believe In Angels

Angels, Angels Everywhere

There are angels all around,
way up high, down to the ground.
Wearing long, white, flowing dresses,
hair in buns, all full of messes.
Wings fluttering, hands and feet steady,
I think they know, to see them I am ready.
Back and forth, to and fro,
these angels fly high and low.
They bring life, love, and joy to all,
helping us heal, avoiding a fall.
They guide us through the year round,
careful not to make a sound.
Goosebumps trigger when they are near,
but usually they don't appear.
Angels can come in forms of light,
if you see them, no need for fright.
Flashes of spirit, not pain,
think of the feelings you will gain.
There are always spirit guides,
angels to protect you.
When you're sad, lonely, or angry,
just call on them to do.
One doesn't know how dedicated they are,
on those days of loneliness, your angels are not far.
-Jenni Taylor

This is a poem I wrote a couple of years ago about angels. I do believe in angels and spirits. I also collect various angel trinkets around my room. The picture above is of a display I have hanging above my bed.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

I went to the pet store today. I got some things for my birds and some treats for my cats. I was outside before that watching my mom paint a bench. It's kind of a cloudy day. It sprinkled this morning and it just down poured rain like 20 minutes ago. Now everything is all wet including the bench. I think it will be okay though.

I won't be out watching fireworks tonight. Maybe I'll watch them on TV. Anyways, I hope everyone is having a good Fourth of July. Whether you're spending it at your cabin up north or with family at your home.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Watercolor Paintings

Below are some pictures of my latest watercolor paintings. These are ones I've done on my own in the last couple of months. I'm very proud of all the work I've been doing. Every painting is different. I am hoping to start making copies of my paintings and selling them. I also would like to make them into greeting cards as they are easier to sell.

I'm not quite done with the landscape one.

When I finish a piece from my watercolor class I will post that as well. Let me know what you think.