Monday, April 27, 2015

BLOGGING CHALLENGE A2Z: LETTER W

WALKING


I've written  posts about the way I walk with Cerebral Palsy. I mostly describe it as I weeble, wobble but don't fall down, most of the time. I thought I'd give you more detail.  It is comical so you can laugh because you will be laughing WITH me.

I walk with an ataxic and spastic gait. It is similar to walking when you are drunk, clumsy and staggering with stiffly irregular steps.

The characteristics of an ataxic gait are:

Broad based-gait.
Lurching quality.
Difficulty with turning.
Difficulty walking a straight line.
Broad based posture

Spastic gait is characterized by moving in a stiff manner with the toes dragging.

I have them all pretty much.

I definitely don't walk a straight line. When I was a young adult, I was driving, speeding a little because I was upset with my then-boyfriend. A cop stopped me and wanted to do a sobriety test which was walking toe to heel in a straight line. I had to repeatedly tell him that I had Cerebral Palsy and it was impossible. After a few minutes I convinced him and he let me go. WHEW!

Some people say I walk bowlegged like a cowboy. Some people say I walk like a duck or penguin. Others say I walk with a limp. I guess they all could be accurate in a way. My legs are bent, bowlegged and stiff and I have a slouch posture

My feet drag but mainly my left. How do I know this? Because my shoes wear out on that foot more. I sometimes literally walk on my own feet causing my shoelaces to unlace. However, my wonderful Husband ties them for me in a way it doesn't happen as often. Before having him in my life, BabyGirl would retie them. It is embarrassing for a grown woman to have her child tie her shoes but its better than tripping and falling. I am just saying!

I don't like being  in a line that stops and goes. Like when I walk to receive Communion in church. I attempt to inconspicuously grab hold of a pew to keep me balanced sometimes. All I usually have to do is place my hand on a pew as I pass to get my bearings.  I know it is stupid to be embarrassed grabbing onto a pew but my pride gets in the way. I also have to concentrate to stay on my side because of my wide gait. It's frustrating for me sometimes but it is all worthwhile to receive Communion.

MyHubby is usually behind me in the Communion line. I feel he is no use until I am literally on the floor. I don't blame him. When we first got together, as everyone who first gets to know me, tried to rescue me. When I tripped or lost my balance flailing my arms in the air, he used to try to grab me. I told him if I needed his help I would tell him and told him to stop. When you live with someone like me, you get used to it. At times when I land on the ground or floor I ask him why he didn't catch me. He shakes his head and says he can't win. He is right. I'm so lucky he loves me! 

I hate crowds and avoid them at all costs. People stop and go or in a hurry and push around me. It is so annoying when people stop in the middle of a crowded area to chat.  Lately I take MyHubby's hand, if we are not already holding hands and pretty much barrel through saying, "EXCUSE ME!" I get the 'Who in the hell are you?' look until they look at my legs and they usually move quickly like I have the plague. 

One little tap or even a breeze can knock me off balance.  

When  I feel or hear people behind me, a lot of times I try to step aside so they can pass because there is nothing worse than having people at your heels. I'm sure most of us with some kind of walking deformity can relate. I am happy to say on occasion some people  are reluctant to seem rude and refuse until I convince them it is okay.  I don't walk fast. I never did and I never will.  I think I walk fast sometimes but there is always someone faster than me. Hubby walks really fast. However, from day one we've always held hands. I think it helps both of us. It helps me with the support and it helps Hubby to walk my pace.

Here is one friendly suggestion for all of you. When you come across someone slower than you, stay at distance behind them. Say EXCUSE me and allow them to move out of your way. If they don't, find a way to go around them far enough not to brush against them. Because REALLY, most of us would like to walk fast just as you but it just ain't gonna happen!

Standing up for a while causes me to go off balance and sway. Yes, I know. Weird. I usually try to find a place to sit if I can. Standing then stepping can bring me to tripping with those arms in the air!

For whatever reason I have not figured out why it happens but I have what I call wobbly days and good days. Getting out of a bed or chair is hilarious sometimes! I  push myself up and fall back down a few times until I get on my two feet. Once I am on my feet I okay. My Hubby will help me stay on my feet by placing his hand on my back for support.  On wobbly days, its the same getting up but my balance is off a lot more.  I am all over the place on those days. The other day I was getting up on a bad day and I had to hurry to go to the bathroom. I finally got on my feet. When I made the first step, my balance threw me towards the wall headfirst. Luckily I caught myself.

Hubby and I laugh. I always laugh at myself. Hubby laughs with me but sometimes he says it just looks funny. 

Walking in between something tight is difficult, especially moving objects or people. When I move into a new home, I always look at the kitchen's layout.  I do most of the cooking. It's a catch 22. I like all the appliances especially the sink and stove close so I don't have to walk with a heavy pot far. Because of the way I walk, water sloshes all over and I need to be careful. Also I figure out how many turns I have to take to get from point A to B. I eventually adapt and there is no second thought of what I am doing.

I always think if I'm in the kitchen and I lose my balance I have something to grab on if everything is close by. But on the other hand, if I lose my balance and don't catch myself I could fall and hit my head. Hubby is always concerned about that when I am alone. MyBabyGirl has always been concerned about that too, not only in the kitchen.

I always have a rule for myself, if I am walking with a dish or pot or anything and I lose my balance. It is not going to be me falling down which results in broken dishes or supper on the floor. Broken dishes  happened so many times I cannot count. I think supper landed on the floor maybe once or twice.

Do not ever ask me to walk backward or sideways. I mean really! I can't walk straight and balanced moving forward, what do you expect? Just the other day, Hubby and I were trying to move a big object and at first he had me pulling. He ran over my foot by the way and that hurt! But anyway I told him to switch. It was so much better.

I hope I was able to paint a picture of how I walk and stand. You may think wow she has a challenge every day. But don't! Yes, I am aware of the way I walk and trip etc  but don't think about it. I just do what I have to do.

Until next time…

Saturday, April 25, 2015

BLOGGING A2Z CHALLENGE: LETTER V

    VAN HALEN AND VILLAGE PEOPLE


I know these are two completely different bands, one from the disco era and the other a rock band. I love all kinds of music, mostly from the 70's through the 90's. I like country, Classic Rock, and disco.

The Village People members were:

Erik Anzalone, the biker
Felipe Rose, the Native American
Jim Newman, the cowboy.
 Ray Simpson, the Cop
Billy Whitefield, Construction worker
Alex Briley, the soldier.

Two of my favorite songs  were Y.M.C.A and Macho Man. It was in the disco era. Yea, it shows my age for  sure. They were upbeat and sang tunes that made you want to get on your feet and dance. Remember the dance when the letters were formed with our arms?





Van Halen is another one of my favorites. The members were :

Eddie Van Halen, guitarist and vocalist.
David Lee Roth, Vocalist
Alex Van Halen, Drummer
Michael Anthony, Bassist



My favorite songs are Jump and You Really Got Me. I thought Eddie was so adorable. He was a fantastic guitarist. Love his solo above.

I hope these videos work because I've been having trouble getting them to work.

What are some of your favorite bands?



Friday, April 24, 2015

BLOGGING A2Z CHALLENGE: LETTER U

Undertaking This Challenge

I felt Uneasy Undertaking this challenge.  It was an Uphill battle because I Usually don't post every single day. I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to think of anything to write. 

I want to thank the hosts for making this challenge and allowing me to participate They were always Upbeat and encouraging in the posts and comments.

I met a lot of new bloggers with Unique and interesting blogs. I have subscribed to some. I have made new friends. I appreciate everyone who stopped by my blog and commented. HUGS!

I'm somewhat sad the end is near. At the same time I'm Upbeat that I can say I actually finished a Challenge! On the last day I will Uncork a bottle of wine and toast a cheer to all the challengers who finished!


Thursday, April 23, 2015

BLOGGING CHALLENGE: LETTER T

TABASCO

Tabasco is a hot sauce that was first created in 1868 by Mr. Ed McIlhenny. 

Mr. McIlhenny mixed up fully aged red peppers, salt from the salt mine and the highest quality distilled vinegar and formed this hot sauce. It is hot and spicy. The recipe has never changed. It is that good! 

I remember my sister worked at the Pepper Factory as a teenager. They used to grow the peppers here. However, they only grow for the seed stock and then it is transported to Central and South America because of the predictable weather and farmland available there. 

It is sold in 165 countries. Bottles are sent with the presidential seal to be served on the Air Force One. Bottles are also included in the Meals, ready to eat(MRE) for all of the armed forces. 

What I think is even cooler is that the company (McIlhenny) is one of the few companies to have received the royal warrant of appointment that certifies the company as a supplier to Queen Elizabeth II.  
It is fascinating imaging the little bottle from my childhood island is shipped all over the world including the Royal Family. How cool is that?!!

You can put Tabasco on anything. I put it on just about everything I eat whether it be pizza, eggs, rice and gravy, burgers, sandwiches. The use of it is endless.

I remember my parents threatening to put Tabasco in our mouths for saying a curse word.  I did it to BabyGirl once because she just would not stop saying a particular word after being told not to. I put a minuscule dab of Tabasco on her tongue and I felt so bad immediately after. Milk helps the burn but it takes a while if you put it directly on your tongue.

I noticed there are a variety of them such as chiptole, habanero, mild and garlic to name a few. They have Tabasco chili which is delicious along with other food products you can find at the Tabasco Country Store on Avery Island either when you tour or online.

I highly recommend a tour if you are visiting the area or just want an outing.

Do you use Tabasco?  If so, what do you put it on?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

BLOGGING A2Z CHALLENGE: LETTER S

SMOTHERED SAUSAGE, Gravy, Rice and SWEET Peas

Here is something to whet your appetite. I cook this often and it is so good.

I buy either Cajun or Hot Fresh Sausage from Winn Dixie. Then I cook it in a gravy and have it with rice and sweet peas.

Here's MY recipe.

Main Ingredients:

I lb Fresh sausage. (They also have the original).
1 cup of Seasoning blend
A tablespoon of Roux (I go the easy way and use Savoie's Dark Roux).
A tsp of olive oil.

After the oil is heated brown the sausage on all sides.
Add seasonings and sautee until clear
Cut sausage into bite size pieces.
Add water and Roux.
Simmer for about 45 minutes, until sausage is cooked.
Add one capful of Savoy's Browning Sauce or Kitchen Bouquet. 
To thicken gravy, I mix 1 tbsp corn starch and cold water until it is pasty. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
Season to taste. I use a tsp Cayenne Pepper and Tony Chachere's.