Monday, February 25, 2013


Being born and raised in the sunny (albeit frequently liquid sunny) state of Florida I never understood the wonderful cold flakes falling from the sky known as snow. Then my family and I were shipped overseas to Germany with the military and I found the beauty of that powdery wonderful fluffy cold stuff. I lucked out and had a white Christmas while there, and have been addicted ever since.

Here in Arizona though snow is again a rarity, and is usually only seen on the mountains.

But at the beginning of last week on Monday we were treated to white flakes out of a fairly clear sunny sky. We went into my daughters doctors appointment being able to see somewhat green trees and parking lot and came out to find a white blanket covering everything.

So beautiful, I watch the snowflakes fall, so graceful in it's decent. But my thoughts are broken by the grumble of a curmudgeon.

"Oh Lord! Oh Lord! Look at this mess." The lady cried rushing to her vehicle.

Mess. I thought What mess? How can they go through their lives and not see the beauty and magic of snow? Do they not see the fairies that flitter amongst the branches? Wrapped in woollen coats tossing tiny snowballs at those passing by?

These of course are my instant thoughts as I watch the snow and here those Negative Nancy's (no offense if your name is Nancy) with their complaints and nay says.

Always in touch with my inner child I suppose whenever I see it fall. I love the snow it falls and I want to fall into it to make snow angels. I want to dump baskets of it on myself just to pretend its snowing. Build 10ft snowmen and have snowball fights till it's dark and I'm so cold I have to be thawed out by a gallon of hot chocolate, chicken noodle soup and a long hot soak in a tub filled to capacity with glorious white bubbles that remind me of that glorious snow.

Then I was treated again this week to a practical blizzard of rarity in our neighboring town. Went into a store for lunch with a cloudy sky, came out trying to avoid the onslaught of a fairy snowball attack. Of course once I was in the safety of the nice warm car I was immediately accosted by a snowball to the face by my loving husband, but despite trying to avoid being covered in snow outside. I truly reveled in it's beauty. It's rarity in this neck of the woods, (well cactus) so to speak.

Now the snow is gone, and as always I'm left wanting more.

So until it comes again I will find ways to experience that childlike wonder again. I will relive it over and over after looking at the photographs, and every once in a while throwing a bit of flour or powdered sugar up in the air to let it snow down on my head. ;)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

So I know I posted recently that I would be letting you all in on what has been going on in my life recently. Well, this is still a bit hard, but I am going to insert a video here that I recently did for my class. It gives an overview of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, then I will comment below.

Now that gives you a bit about the disorder and what it entails. I did mention briefly in the video that I have been diagnosed with PTSD.

I haven't told many people about this because I feel extremely guilty about having PTSD. I never went to war, and I have guilt over that as well. For me I have difficulty accepting that I am a veteran because I never saw war. It doesn't help when hard core service men and women also flat out tell you that you are not a real soldier unless you deploy. So this adds to the weight that I feel.

Not only do I feel guilty about having the PTSD, on top of the guilt felt for not going down range, my form of PTSD is a bit odd because my brain will not only remember my training, but then start adding in additional dangers.

My PTSD is associated with my initial military training (Basic Training). While many of you are thinking that it's no big deal it was to me. I treated ever scenario and training session as if my life, and the lives of my fellow soldiers were on the line. That is a very traumatic ordeal to go through for someone who had been sheltered her entire life from the negatives and ugly side of the world.

I went from the magic of dancing with fairies, riding unicorns in rainbows, and trying to find mermaids in the ocean to being taught how to take that magic light and sparkle out of someone else's eyes. And while many of you may think that sounds dramatic that is exactly how it felt for me, and how it is.

I am currently going through therapy to alleviate this situation, and the flashbacks that I have. I have gotten better, I am at least able to watch movies that are military related now. True I practically cry through the whole thing but it is getting better, I am able to cry through it instead of trying to grasp for a weapon I no longer carry as protection.

I am not writing this for you to feel sorry for me or for you to give me sympathy. I am writing to let you know why sometimes I'm away for undetermined amounts of time. I'm writing as a way to no longer be ashamed of the hidden wounds people never see. Above all, I am writing because I want people to understand that this can happen to anyone, and a reminder to treat others as you would want to be treated. We do not know what trials another has had to endure, or what demons they battle.

Please be good to one another. And if you need help, please seek it, DO NOT feel ashamed of what you are struggling with.


Video works cited:

Aggravated Assault. Digital image. Criminal Defense and Contract Disputes. Matthew E. Becker, Esq., 2013. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.

Car Accident Wallpaper. Digital image. Wallpaper Asylum. N.p., 29 Jan. 2012. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.

Creagan, Edward T. "Vet's and Families Cope with Post-traumatic Stress." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 22 Nov. 2011. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.

Digital image. Emotional Abuse. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.

"Frequently Asked Questions about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)." Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (Formerly NARSAD). The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, 2013. Web. 18 Feb. 2013.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Among Veterans (Infographic). Digital image. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Deparment of Defense, 2013. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.
"Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder." PubMed Health. Ed. A.D.A.M. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 13 Feb. 2012. Web. 18 Feb. 2013.

Safeguard Their Smiles. Digital image. Redbook. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.

Shelby. Prevent House Fires! Digital image. Prepare University. N.p., 7 July 2012. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.

Smiling Soldier Picks Up an Iraqi Child. Digital image. - Acclaim Stock Photography. N.p., 2002-2013. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.

Staff, Mayo Clinic. "Causes." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 08 Apr. 2011. Web. 18 Feb. 2013.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Brian Russell Book Review

First I would apologize for a delay in blogging. I have been going through a bit related to my army days, and will address this issue in my next blog post.

 But for today I've got something quite fun for you all. I am going to be reviewing a book for author Brian Russell.

Now those of you who are not familiar with Mr. Russell, I'll give you a brief background. He is an author, illustrator, father, and has run an online comic since 2007 called The Underfold.

His new book What I Remember About Dinosaurs is now available on Amazon here and is well worth the read.

For me the book truly brought back memories of my own childhood learning. How I would spend hours drawing from my How to Draw Dinosaurs book, and devoted days to learning about what the difference between herbivores, carnivores and omnivores were.

 What I Remember About Dinosaurs voices the opinions that I have often thought privately or only discussed in the confines of my car with my husband.

The drawings are simple and kid friendly. You loose yourself in the words that have been written and are immersed in a world where even the vicious T-rex looks a bit friendly. I allowed my mind to wander within the book, and rode on the back of a Triceratops, waved to the T-rex who returned it with a smile, and wiped away the tears of the Brontosaurus.

The truly magical thing about this book though is that it touches on the basics of dinosaurs and makes the reader want to learn more about them.

Sure there's Dinosaur Train that teaches what's going on with Scientists now and the ever changing world of the extinct dino's, but this book captures the essence of what dinosaurs were to those of us who grew up when they (dinosaurs) were all the rage.

I could carry on all day singing the praises of this book, and tell you how it is witty, and cleaver, but perhaps it is best for me to let you see how children actually feel about this book.

These are my own children who viewed the book, and loved it. See what they have to say.

Khyra (age 9) " I liked the book, parts of it were funny, and it was educational, I really liked the dinosaurs talking about the eggs, and swimming."

Amber (age 8) "I didn't like it. I loved it! I really liked the speech bubbles."

Cheyenne (age 3) "I want a dragon book." (I believe this is in response to part of mine and my husbands theory and discussion that dinosaurs were really dragons. I mean how else can you reason T-rex's tiny arms. He had to have been a Wyvern.)

I hope I have done justice in my short review, and hope you will pick up a copy for your kids, or grandkids, heck, pick the book up for yourself, because it is truly worth it.

Remember, sometimes to get in touch with your inner kid, you have to act like a kid yourself. While I don't mean go throw a tantrum; I do mean go find a kids book, preferably this one, and read just like you did as a child. Curled up in a window, or tree, upside down on the couch or with a flashlight snuggled up under bedsheets.

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