Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Hot Pink Pearl

Ok so way back when I wrote a blog about my wheelchair. I had gotten a great deal on a really nice wheelchair. Then I gave it some personalization and upgrades. (see that blog HERE if you'd like.) I also added after that posting a Pirate flag to the front of the seat as well as my mom and I made a bag that would hang on the back of the chair so I could put stuff in it. I also created a cup holder above the bag so that I would have something to hold my drink as well as the drink of any person who might be with and/or pushing me. Here are the pictures of the additions. Also I didn't update that blog but as it turns out the color of the wheels match the color that they painted the gates outside CA Adventure when they re-did it. At the time that I painted my chair the entrance to CA Adv. was blocked off so I had no idea what they were doing or what color they were using. Pretty cool! I also later eventually got some footrests for that chair. So it was perfect. I had a fun colored wheelchair with a nice bag, drink holders and finally footrests. I hate that I cannot stand to walk that long, but if I am going to sit in a chair I would prefer to do so in style. Thus I "pimped my wheelchair" I really miss the days when I could walk around Disneyland or anywhere else for more than a few hours without pain! I miss hiking and all kinds of other activities I cannot handle now. I miss being at the park and talking with whoever I am with because I have learned that when you're with more than one other person and you're in a chair you tend to get ignored a little because they're both standing making eye contact and talking while you're below them and in front of them so you're forgotten a little. I really wish I had never messed up my knee! But I know I have grown thru this trial especially after 3 knee surgeries!

 Flash forward to the past few weeks. I am on a group on Facebook that is called Simi Goods Exchange. It is similar to Craigslist where people are buying and selling items. But it is primarily people who live in Simi valley and since it's through people who know each other on FB it's not open to as many people so it's slightly safer. The group was started by my neighbor. Now of course I have spent more than I have sold, but I have gotten some cool stuff at really good prices. So I cannot complain too much (except for the fact that i am spending money) Anyway someone awhile back had posted a wheelchair. It's a simple model was all black and not as fancy as my chair. But it is a little bit bigger. Now obviously I fit in my chair but it is a little snug as it isn't a typical standard size chair. I checked how much she wanted for it, thinking that if I bought it I could tranfer my wheels and flag and then sell my other one on Craigslist or somewhere and get my money back maybe plus some profit (since my wheelchair is fancier and worth more) but she wanted $75. I didn't really want to pay that much and I didn't want to low-ball her an offer knowing that I would most likely sell mine for more than that. Well then at least a few weeks go by. My sister Denise gave us her old couches as she was getting some newer ones from her in-laws. Now my mom didn't really need the recliner she was using anymore. It was electric and I bought it prob close to a year ago from craigslist for like $40. I posted it on Simi Goods for $25. As it turns out the girl who wanted to buy it was the one who had been selling the wheelchair. She hadn't really gotten any other interest in it and asked me if I would be willing to trade the recliner for the WC. I said sure. So we traded.

So now I have 2 WC's. The second WC does have a bigger seat and although it's not as fancy as my first one I didn't really need all the fancy features on the other chair anyway. I put the 2nd chair in the garage knowing that I didn't really have time to do much to it, plus Deann still had my other chair in her trunk anyway. ... well last week I got my chair from D's trunk and decided to start transferring stuff. I took off my Pirate flag and had put it onto the back of the new chair. It didn't really fit the way it did on the first chair. :-( So then I took off one wheel from each chair to exchange them. The wheels were the same size, everything looked good so I started to switch them..... I ran into a problem.... UGH

As it turned out although the wheels are the same size, the bolts holding the wheels onto the frame as well as the bearing in the wheel itself were different sizes. So I thought about getting new bolts in the alternating sizes so that I could still exchange the wheels but realized that may not work right. One needed longer fatter bolts, and the other needed shorter skinnier bolts. So although I knew I could probably get new bolts in the same sizes with the alternating lengths from what I needed they may not work right. Because now the chair that initially had the larger bolts, the bolt would sit loose in the frame (although it would fit right in the bearing) and that may cause problems while going. Then the one with the larger bearings with the smaller bolt to fit the frame, the bolt would be loose in the chair/bearing....again possibly causing problems.  (If this paragraph doesn't make sense I am sorry, ignore it and move on...basically I couldn't change the wheels because of the bolts)

So now I knew I needed to leave things the way they were, my pirate flag didn't fit and the wheels were not switchable. I knew I wanted to go ahead and keep the larger sized chair but now it was going to be boring. I knew it wasn't too hard to paint the wheels and that It was only like $10 for the paint so I figured I would pimp my new chair now instead. I could still sell the initial chair I would just have to post it with the green wheels. I liked my green wheels especially since I unknowingly painted them the same color as the entrance gates. But I thought if I was going to do a new chair maybe I should change it up a bit. I started thinking about things and thought maybe Hot Pink was the way to go. .... I know they do a lot of "party" type stuff in the parks (especially CA Adv) involving black lights and so with Flourescent Colors my wheels would "glow" :-) That decision was made! I went to Lowe's and bought some spray paint! Woohoo!

I thought about adding some fabric around my pirate flag so that it would fit properly on the seat back. I was also thinking I needed to try and tie in the color of my bag (I have more of that fabric) along with some new fabric so that the wheels would coordinate with the seat and the bag somehow. I found a fabric in the garage (in our stockpile) that I liked and would work. I laid it on the seat and seat back and left it there a bit. After awhile I decided it was too busy of a print and wouldn't work to my liking. I thought maybe I could find something else pirate-y to coordinate with my flag so that i could still use the flag somehow. I got online and looked up Joanns. I searched fabric for "pirate" and found a fabric called "hair bow pirate"

Hair Bow Pirate is a repeating pattern of the skull & crossbones and periodically a skull has a pink hair bow on it's head! I loved it the moment I saw it! I knew the pirates would work and the pink would match the wheels! So on Mon during my lunch break I went and bought 2 yards! Monday night I created a seat cover for the chair. It is removable with a zipper in the back. (part of why I needed to do a seat cover was the seat fabric was slightly faded) Then last night I did a cover for the seat back. The seat back is done differently and basically slips over the top and the handlbars so it comes down just a little on the top of the seat back. Then it drops down behind the seat and I brought up the bottom just a little and it wraps around the bottom of the seat back. So it too is removable for washing etc if needed.

I may take the pirate flag and some of the leftover hair bow fabric and wrap part of the bag for the back of the chair. I am not sure yet. I don't want to make it too busy... But I do want it to coordinate. So we will see. Or I may take just the hair bow fabric and cover just the top of the bag. ... I haven't done anything yet. I think I like the idea of just the top of the bag because it is kind of a lot. Prior to beginning any work on my chair I was on FB chatting with my friend Jen who is currently living in FL. I told her about my ideas with painting the wheels hot pink  and she said she was going to name my chair Hot Pink Pearl. I am not one who usually names my cars etc. but once I found the hair bow pirate fabric and worked on my chair expecially once I got the wheels on and saw just how Hot Pink they are... I decided it really FITS! So my new chair is the Hot Pink Pearl! I cannot wait for my next Disneyland trip and it's maiden voyage!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dreaming, wishing and hoping

Wishing, hoping, dreaming. I think that we all have our expectations in life. We grow up with fairy tales (especially the girls) about “wishing on a star” or other things. We all think of ourselves as a Princess and wait for our Prince Charming. Maybe we are expecting a knight in shining armor or some other form of perfect man… But today I kind of have felt as if maybe I need to let some of my dreams take a back burner. Maybe some of my hopes are not what they should be. Am I wishing for something that isn’t really there? I don’t want to go into too many details but I just have begun to realize one dream that is maybe a little too far-fetched, or it seems like it right now. I guess I have held onto a hope that I am beginning to wonder if it’s worth holding onto.

There are many Disney songs (again with the Princess’) they tell us “When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are. When you wish upon a star your dreams come true” Or there is Snow White who sings

I'm wishing (I'm wishing)
For the one I love
To find me (to find me)
Today (today)
I'm hoping (I'm hoping)
And I'm dreaming of
The nice things (the nice things)
He'll say”

Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty sings:

“I know you
I walked with you once upon a dream.
I know you
The gleam in your eyes is so familiar a gleam
Yes, I know it's true
that visions are seldom all they seem
But if I know you, I know what you'll do
You'll love me at once
the way you did once upon a dream”

 during this song she meets Prince Phillip walking in the forest and they sing together

I think of Jasmine and Aladdin singing  “A Whole New World. Shining shimmering splendid” and I love when in Beauty and the Beast as they start to really see who each other are inside and begin to fall in love and Mrs Potts starts to sing “There may be something there that wasn’t there before” and little Chip just doesn’t understand “what’s there mama?” Or Belle as she singsNew, and a bit alarming, Who'd have ever thought that this could be. True that he's no Prince Charming, but there's something in him that I simply didn't see. " or in the street as she sings about her book Oh, isn't this amazing?
                It's my fav'rite part because you'll see
                Here's where she meets Prince Charming
                But she won't discover that it's him 'til chapter three 
(Belle is really my favorite Princess)

I think they are great messages. Messages of love and hope and of great things to come. But then there are people who aren’t meant to find “true love” who maybe won’t meet their “Prince Charming” in this life. What if I am one of those people? Maybe I am not meant to get married and have a family? What if I am destined just to be the favorite Aunt? I don’t think that is the case, but from time to time (days like today) I start to wonder.

I begin to think of all my faults, and I look at my life and wonder when things are going to change? What will I be doing when my life changes in the Love department? Will I be reading a book in the “town square” Days like today I begin to think less of the dreams of love and I start feeling like I am with the Goonies at the bottom of the well, when Mouth says Yeah, but you know what? [holds up a coin] This one, this one right here... this was my dream, my wish. And it didn't come true. So I'm taking it back. I'm taking them all back”

I know I shouldn’t let things get to me, afterall just over a week ago I was feeling like a celebrity because the In N Out guy gave me extra fries. But then today I am starting to feel as if I will never get another date or get married. I am not sure why my emotions go to such extremes. I guess what they say is somewhat true. That Disney can give us “Princesses” too high of an expectation, and the truth is I don’t even see myself as a Princess.  I am not expecting to be walking through the forest singing and have some Prince come up behind me singing as well. I don’t think I will find my fairy Godmother who will rescue me and send me to the ball. But I would like a guy to surprise me and “sweep me off my feet”—figuratively. I guess I was just expecting it to happen by now and so today has become one of those days where I doubt myself.

I guess today I am feeling a lot like Sally in the Nightmare Before Christmas (although she isn’t considered a Disney Princess), her song is one of my favorites:

I sense there's something in the wind
That seems like tragedy's at hand
And though I'd like to stand by him
Can't shake this feeling that I have
The worst is just around the bend

I can realate especially to this part:
And does he notice my feelings for him?
And will he see how much he means to me?
I think it's not to be

What will become of my dear friend?
Where will his actions lead us then?
Although I'd like to join the crowd
In their enthusiastic cloud
Try as I may, it doesn't last

And in the final chorus:
And will we ever end up together?
no, I think not, it's never to become
For I am not the one

Today I guess I started to feel as if “I am not the one”

Maybe I need to keep thinking of Cinderella… I need to remember to keep believing, afterall:

A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you're fast asleep
In dreams you lose your heartaches
Whatever you wish for, you keep
Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling thru
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
the dream that you wish will come true

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Twin Comes to Town

Ok so I often get funny looks when I speak of my close friend Renee. After-all Renee is not a super common name. I can really only remember going to school with one other Renee. My older sister has a friend named Renee and other than that I haven't known too many that I can recall. Well as it turns out I do have a super close friend named Renee. We met through church and over the years we have become so close we call each other our twin! I mean we do share the same name so why shouldn't we?

We have also been known to be called Renee Squared, and depending on who we're with we switch between being Renee 1 or Renee 2. Obviously if we're at my house or in a situation where most of the people know me first I am Renee 1. But when with her family or situation she is Renee 1 and I am #2. It somehow works itself out. Except there is the occasional time when someone says "Renee" and we both say what. That usually causes a good laugh.

Well a few years ago Renee moved to Salt Lake City. So unfortunately we don't get to hang out as often as before.... It is really sad because we tend to have a lot of fun together. When we road-trip we read books out loud together. We joke and have a good time, and at one point she even had a Disneyland Annual Pass as well! It was great (although I am beginning to think she enjoyed it more for the churros than my company) Just kidding!

Well in  June was her birthday and I being lame-o totally forgot! Which is not like me at all.. I typically am well prepared for birthdays and have cards mailed on just the right day for the card to arrive on the birthday etc. But I slacked this year. I am going to blame it on a mix of the vacation I took at the time, the new job and I am not really sure what else may have played a part in it! But I decided I would make it up to her. Knowing she was coming out this month I had decided to take her to see the Cirque Du Soleil show Iris that is now permanent at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. I told her I wanted to do something for her while she would be here visiting and she re-assured me she would have some nights free so we could work it out.

We decided to go on Weds night and I ordered the tickets. We were not in the most expensive seats but they were in a really nice location. We drove down in the evening and it happened to me the Expendables 2 premiere at the same time so we got to experience a little bit of a crowd scene but it wasn't too bad. We started out in the "Boutique" (aka gift shop) for the show and as we looked around I knew for sure I wanted to get a program. I looked at the music and such as well  but not having seen the show yet wasn't sure if I would buy anything.

Finally I picked up a few items and asked about the program at the register. She told me they did have them, they were $20 each and that the cd/soundtrack is $15 but they were offering a "combo pack" and so if you bought both together it was only $29 (tax included) ... she then told me that the music was composed and produced by Danny Elfman and asked me if I knew who that was? Of course I know! He did the Nightmare Before Christmas! Plus several others that I LOVE!! She asked me if I wanted to purchase the combo pack and I said "YES, you had me at Danny Elfman!" She told me he even recorded some stuff for the opening scene! AMAZING! Renee also purchase the combo!

We went in and found our seats, It wasn't long before the performers started making their way through the crowd. We were looking at our programs and waiting for the show. It was cool. I was so excited, this was my second Cirque show. I had seen the travelling show Kooza a few years ago with Renee and her family when they took me along with them! That show we were in the front row for! (Sorry Renee I can't afford that!) So far in my 2 Cirque shows I have seen I am hooked! I want to see more! There is another travelling show coming later this year and will be in Long Beach called Dralion that I want to see as well. Maybe I will buy less expensive tickets and take my nephews along! I think they'd enjoy it!

The show was incredible! I really enjoyed it! I wish that we could take pictures but you can't. I guess I could've been like some people and tried to sneak a few shots without using my flash but most of those people still got caught and were told not to take any pictures! I did feel occasionally there were a few spots where too much was going on at one time on stage (or in the air acrobatically) and so it was hard to know where to watch! But awesome none-the-less!

I had asked for Thurs off knowing that I would be getting home late from the show and since Renee was to leave Thurs evening we had also planned a Disney related activity for Thurs. At the Reagan library in July they started a new exhibit, it will be there until April 2013 and we went.... It is a DIsney Treasures/Archive exhibit. Renee had reserved and purchased the tickets online in advance for us (Thanks Renee since I never did pay you back) we went through the Reagan Library and Air Force one as well (all included in one ticket price) which was nice because although I have been to the library a few times and seen some stuff I hadn't actually been thru the library. I love libraries and museums and such! There is actually a Cleopatra exhibit coming upo at the California Science Center I want to go to as well! I went to the King Tut one a few years back! The King Tut one I had received tickets for my birthday for it, maybe I will ask for that again..only Cleopatra this time!

While walking thru the exhibits my knee was starting to hurt of course and while mostly standing still waiting for the line in front of me to move on Air Force One my knee kind of buckled under me! Renee was behind me and noticed and I told her I was ok. But it started getting worse after that! She of course noticed a little later that I was limping more and slowing down. When she asked me if I "kinked" my knee on AF-1 I said "no it kinked itself" it is so frustrating. But I am trying to walk as much as I can since any more physical activity is too much and makes it even worse. I am also trying to  get back on track with watching what I am eating and doing what I can to lose weight. I know that will help but unfortunately I don't think it will completely get rid of the pain. I am pretty sure I did something to it again! After 3 knee surgeries I think I can tell.

The Disney exhibit was awesome and i definitely want to go back again (maybe a few times) before it leaves if I can! I took a ton of pictures! I loved the original artwork and costumes. I loved the scale models they had on display and all the many neat treasures! I am sure there was stuff I missed because I would get distracted and focus on one thing and go to it. I loved that they had the original statues of the 3 hitchhiking ghosts from the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland and what I didn't know they had that I was so excited to see was the original Bride from the ride too with her beating heart! I have told people recently that I missed her on the ride because the holographic one they have now just isn't the same! I probably squealed when I saw her there! I know I did internally! Renee even bought me the "program" booklet thing for there when she ordered our tickets! (Thanks again) so I got that one too! I love getting those and having them as souvenirs because they last and people can see the many shows and places I have gone! It's fun and sometimes they contain stuff that you can't take with you (like pictures from the Iris show)

So that was fun.   I enjoyed getting to spend some time with my Twin! Whenever we can get together I enjoy it. There had been a little bit of talk of us getting to do a road trip this month to Utah but it fell through. I was super bummed! I love road-trips and with my twin it doesn't get any better!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Celebrity Life

So celebrities occassionally known to say that they neither want nor appreciate being treated differently because they're a celebrity. .. But at the same time we know that is not often the case. They are treated differently. They are given things we "normal folk" are not given. They are in fact treated with "celebrity" status.

Well I am someone who is not normally feeling as if I am the "most beautiful girl in the room" and I definitely don't feel as if I am ever being treated special because of who I am or how I look. But once in awhile you meet someone who does give you a little feel of that celebrity like status.

This may seem like a silly story to some, and maybe I am over-thinking it or over-reacting but it certainly made my night. ... Last week on Mon after work I had a few things to do and also had my weekly church activity. My mom had not gotten any dinner made and so I decided to grab something on the go. After the activity I was running some errands picking up a few things and decided to grab a burger from In N Out for dinner.

As I was pulling into the parking lot I noticed the drive-thru line was a little long (typical really for In N Out) and I needed to use the bathroom so I parked and went in. I ordered my food and asked the cashier if I could leave my cup on the counter and grab it after the bathroom. He told me no problem and that when I came out to just put out my hand with my hand shaped like a "C" and he would provide me with a cup.

After I was done in the restroom I came out and the cashier Justin had a little bit of a line formed, he was also in the middle of taking someone else's order. I stepped to the side and was waiting to get my cup not wanting to interrupt. When he was done taking the order he looked up from the register and noticed me waiting. He handed me a cup and said "you didn't put your hand out" I told him I didn't want to interrupt and I thanked him then I proceeded to get my drink.

After getting my drink I was waiting for my food and sitting off to the side. There was another guy working the fries and finishing the orders. I was waiting and then I saw Justin tell the Fries guy to put extra fries into a bag and he put in the burger than came and called my number 71. I got up and he offered me ketchup for my food I told him no thanks. He smiled and told me to have a great night. I told him thank you and left with my food.

Now like I said it may seem like a silly story or really not that significant to some, but a little part of me thinks maybe he thought I was cute and so he made sure to get me those extra fries and be the one to give me my order at the counter. After-all he was the cashier not the guy who had been filling the bags...

And I am not going to lie he was cute and has beautiful blue eyes. I do love a pair of beautiful eyes and a nice smile. Which he had both! :-) Ahh... as of yet I have not been back to see him again, or to see if I get the celebrity treatment again... but if it happens again I certainly won't be complaining! ... oh and I fully intend to call In N Out and give him a compliment (not for the possible "flirting") but the good customer service with the cup etc. in the first place! I think people need to reward good works more often and complain less!

Simba: The Lion Head Floppy Ear Bunny

Ok so I know many people know Simba as the Lion King. Disney made him the coolest lion to be known. But as we all know the Circle of Life continues and sometimes bunnies are bred with other bunnies and we end up with Lion Head Bunnies! They are called so because of their lion-like mane.

So when you are having changes take place at work and you are now working clerical in another office and that office has a Sargeant with baby bunnies to give away sometimes you see a picture and you're hooked. You spend your weekend buying supplies and building a hutch so then Mon you come home with an 8-week old bunny! Simba is a mix of a Lion head rabbit and a floppy eared. So he will be kinda mid-sized.
Medic is pretty mellow around Simba. 

So meet Simba! I have now had him a few weeks and we are getting to know each other better. I take him out of the hutch almost nightly and we "hang out" he sits on my chest and I pet him. I want him to be used to human contact. The first week or so he slept in a bin with a piece of cage wire over the top in my room. Lately he has been in his hutch even overnight. He seems to like it. He is even starting to "take care of business" in his litter box! (Yes you can litter-box train a rabbit) It's awesome. He is getting bigger and I love him!

If I can get it to attach I will also include some videos, apparently he likes to "burrow" in my chest when I am holding him. Its funny! Oh and sometimes he is "sniffing" and will go up near your ear so it tickles!
His "hutch" is 4'x2'x2' ... it is now sitting on bricks to bring it off the ground.

He tends to sit kind of curled up in a ball but he does have some "length" and in this picture not only do you see his mane a little but also his fluffy tail