How I’m coping with the COVID-19 virus

I have seen and heard many reports about the COVID-19 virus that is spreading over the world. I feel sorry for what has been happening and I have been praying for a cure for some time.

So far things are normal for me. I am continuing to write and think of new ideas as I stay at home to help do my part in fighting the virus.

I feel that keeping busy has helped me with the anxiety I have been feeling about the pandemic. I been keeping myself occupied by reading An Irish Country Family by Patrick Taylor. In addition to that, I have been keeping up with my blog posts, edited my book, and producing my YouTube videos.

In my spare time, I have been watching a variety of shows on Netflix. I have been watching a lot of cartoons from Looney Tunes to Garfield.

I have been doing my regular chores, such as laundry, dishes, and yardwork.

Whenever I get anxious about the virus, I find that talking with friends on social media helps to alleviate it. My anxiety is more heighten at nighttime for some reason. To help with this, I play rainstorm sounds on my Alexa device, and I run my essential oil diffuser.  I love the scent of lavender; it helps me get a good night’s sleep.

If we all pull together and do our parts, hopefully we will be successful in this fight against this virus.

What have you been doing to keep yourselves busy while we are told to stay home?

 

Three tips to help improve handwriting

March is Cerebral Palsy awareness month. I have seen parents on many social media platforms raise concern about how Cerebral Palsy can affect their children’s handwriting. To help raise awareness, here is three tips to help improve your little one’s handwriting:

  1. Pick a teaching curriculum that is easy to follow and easy to teach. When I was going through Physical and Occupational Therapy, I was taught two different methods of handwriting. One was taught through the school system and one was taught at the local military base where I lived in Texas at the time. Because I was already used to the one from the school system, the other method I learned at the military base confused me. As a result, I ended up using the HandWriting WithOut Tears method from my Occupational Therapist at my local school. That method was easy for me to learn.

2. Strengthening hand muscles! I loved this activity when I was a child. Because having strong muscles is a key in improving handwriting, they used this play activity to help improve my muscle strength in my hands. I had to do other activities such as stretching a rubber band and playing with jumping plastic frogs. I found that these activities were some of my favorites.  Even though my Physical and Occupational Therapy stopped when I was around 14, They told to continue to keep my hand muscles tight by working with either TherapyPuddy Or Playdoh 😊

3. Stay positive and practice. This is the most important piece of advice that I can give. When I entered the sixth grade, my Occupational Therapist and my mother decided to stop teaching me to write in cursive. Their reason was because my handwriting did not improve like they hoped. I was only taught, in cursive, how to write my signature.

My printing is much better than cursive.  After that year, I worked on Typing. I have found reports stating that the Therapist was doubtful that I would ever be a good typist. During my senior year of high school, I started having problems taking notes. I experienced hand cramps and a lot of pain. To combat this, they gave a small keyboard to take notes. This enabled me to type the notes I needed.  At my last typing test, I typed 97 words per minute. Not too bad for someone who was told that they would never be able to type. As far as the cursive goes, I pushed myself with that too. With the help of my low vision teacher, and a positive attitude, I was able to learn all my letter and my handwriting has improved. Don’t give up on your child. Keep positive and you will see some amazing results.

Nothing in this post is sponsored in any way. This post is based off my own childhood memories and experiences. If you are concerned about your child’s handwriting or health, please speak with the proper medical professionals.

2020: More Courage, Self-Control, and Joy-February Edition

February was filled with lots of tears. Some of them were due to sadness, anger, uncertainty and joy. However, one thing I know for sure is that God was with me through every step of the way. In early February things between a good friend of mine and me broke down. This person hurt my feelings and I became very angry with what happened. I had to remind myself that I had to have courage to continue working on my business no matter what happened. I was very worried, and I even had physical symptoms that were alarming to me. Luckily, I had a lot of support from my friends. It says in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” My friends did just that; they kept reminding me to continue to work and that God wanted me to continue working.

It took a lot of self-control for me to calm down from this situation. My friends are so loving, and they reminded me that getting angry would only make things worse. Once I was calmer, I was able to see what went wrong and I was able to move on with joy.

Another reason there were so many tears this month was I had a lot of uncertainty. I was waiting on Vocational Rehabilitation to update my laptop. I had heard many horror stories about how some laptops had updated from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and they stopped working. I was praying that this would not be the case for me. I was getting worried because I know I was getting behind on some of my work due to my hard drive crashing and my laptop still running Windows 7. Does God not say that he will supply us of our needs? Indeed, he does. In Philippians 4:19,”…And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given in us in Christ Jesus.” Vocational Rehabilitation knew of my situation and acted quickly. Now I am happy to report that my laptop has been updated and is working much better.

Lastly, on the 25th of February my heart was full of grief, on that day, 15 years ago, my mother passed away.  My heart will always ache because I miss my mother. But on this day my heart also sang with joy. For those of you who don’t know, since my mother’s passing, I live with my loving and supportive grandpa. It says in James 1:27, “Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles and refuse to let the world corrupt us.” My grandpa has continued to do what the verse implies. He has helped supply me with my basic needs and more. To help say thank you for all the support he has given me all these years I treated him to lunch at a local restaurant. My grandpa had red beans and rice and I had catfish. We had dessert too. Ice cream always hits the spot after a great meal.

Speaking of joy, I was able to enjoy a shopping spree with my friend this past Friday.😊

How was February for you? What brought you joy? Tell me in the comments below.

 

Please note: Bible verses come from the TruthQuest New Living Translation Inductive Student Bible.

Remembering my mom and feeling thankful for my grandpa

“I love you mom,” I said as I stood as a panicked sixteen-year-old standing in the living room. “I love you too, Amanda,” my mom said. Those were the last words that my mom said to me before she died from a sudden massive heart attack. The days and weeks to follow seemed to come in waves all in a blur. I had to work through my grief. It was a tough road, but one thing I have learned from all of it is I can enjoy and be thankful that I am able to look back at the sixteen years I had with my mother and smile. Days of fishing, dancing and cooking in the kitchen. These are the memories that I cherish the most.

It has been 15 years since my mother died, and in that time frame I have grown. My mother has missed seeing me go off to college, graduations, and many happy and sad days in-between. There are days when I wake up and I wish I could just sit down and have a cup of coffee and talk to my mom.  I hope as I write this, she is looking down on me from heaven and she is smiling at the young woman I have become.

After my mother died my grandparents took over my care. They have fed, clothed, and provided treats for me. Even though my grandmother died in 2018, I am still thankful for all the help that she provided. Now it’s just my grandpa and I. He continues to provide for me while I work on my freelancing career. He has provided food, clothing, shelter and more. I am thankful that he helped me fight for the education I received at The University of West Florida. After college, my grandpa could have sent me on my way after continuously looking for employment. He hasn’t given up on me. I can’t thank him enough for helping me grow into the young woman I am today.

On the anniversary of my mother’s death I sit with my grief and I miss my mother. I also rejoice in the fact that she is with Jesus, and one day I will meet her again in Heaven. Sometimes I look back at all the things that my grandpa has provided for me and I can not express enough gratitude. Like in years past I will treat him to lunch. I am not sure yet where we will be dining, but I am sure it will be great.

Top five songs that help me stay strong

When I get anxious or depressed, I put on songs that are encouraging and empowering. Here are five suggestions from my personal playlist. I hope you like them.

  1. One Republic-I Lived

I like this song because it reminds me to keep going and to enjoy life. Even though life is full of successes and pit falls its more important to keep going and to choose to keep going. That life is worth it.

  1. Imagine Dragons-Whatever it takes

I love to play this song while I work on my writing. It reminds me to keep writing even when I don’t feel like it. It reminds me that when you work hard and you don’t let negative words or actions get in your way you can keep chasing your dreams.

 

  1. Aly&AJ- I’m Walking on Sunshine

Okay, this song probably tells my age, but I don’t care. I love to turn this song up on full blast when I am in a sad mood. This song reminds me that life is good and that positive sunny days and events come again. This song also reminds me to count my blessings. Whenever there is a negative there is always a positive somewhere.

  1. Orinoco Flow by Enya

I was first introduced to this song by a friend of mine when my grandma was battling Alzheimer’s disease. This song helped me work through my grief of losing my grandma. One thing that I was worried about was not being able to show my grandma that I would be okay even after her passing. This song reminded me not to give up on achieving that goal. Now I know my grandma is able to look down at me and smile with pride at all I have and will continue to achieve. This is one of the songs that I have on my bedtime playlist. I love this song because it reminds me to close my eyes and just dream about the world around me.

  1. Love And The Outcome-You Got This

I recently found this song. I am currently going through some rough spots in my life, and I believe that God put this song in front of me for a reason. I love this song’s message. The message is simple. Remember to take some deep breaths, which I need to do more often, and have faith that God is going to take care of all things.

What are some of your favorite songs that you like to play when your stressed or upset? Tell me in the comments below.

My favorite Valentine’s Day gifts I’ve received as a child

Valentine’s Day doesn’t really mean a lot for me. That’s because I have not been in a serious relationship, and my parents didn’t really make a big deal out of the day. As I think back to all of the Valentine’s Days, I had with my parents one particular comes to mind. I had come home from school, and we had this tall entertainment center. I happened to look up and saw a NSYNC board game. “What’s that?” I asked as I pointed. “I told you she would find her gift,” my step-dad said. My mother sighed. “Just give it to her early.” she said. My step-dad reached up and got the game for me. I put my backpack down and bolted for my room.

I was so obsessed with the band. I had all of their CD’s, a few posters around my room, and I finally had the board game that I had been asking for. I quickly took off the lid. I looked at the many pieces and quickly tried to read the instructions on how to play the game. Come to find out you needed three or four players to play the game. This made my heart sink as I am an only child. So, I got down on the floor and started to play the game by myself.

The next day my parents gave me some candy. Even though I had found one of my gifts early I still enjoyed the game.

I had another gift from my step-dad. He knew that I loved my Tony Hawk Pro Skater video game. So, since I was getting so good at the game he went and he made me a custom park for me. I remember enjoying the game, and playing it for hours.

What has been one of your favorite Valentine’s Day gifts or memories? Tell me in the comments below.

I hope each and every one of you have a happy Valentine’s Day!

2020: More Courage, Self-control and Joy-January Edition

What can one say about January? It seemed to slowly drag by then the days and weeks would fly by. I have to say that this month has been full of lots of disappointments and a lot of lessons. First, my friend reported back that my hard drive that I sent off could not be recovered. I lost almost all of my photos, and most of my documents. I have to say that I have found the courage to continue to write despite this drawback. I have also found joy in the fact that my editor and my email had some of the documents that I really needed. When I look back at it all I didn’t really lost everything. I just have to accept the loss and move forward. For me as a writer this takes a lot of courage.

On top of that I finally got the answer that I have been waiting to hear from Vocational Rehabilitation. Before I explain the answer, I am going to give you all the details of what has been going on behind the scenes. In October during my monthly check in I mentioned that my laptop was running Windows 7 and that it was getting slow. Since in January Windows 7 would no longer be supported I wanted to find out what kind of technology assistance I would be getting.  I scheduled a meeting in November where my caseworker and I called several different companies to find out what our options were. Most of the companies agreed that my current software, ZoomText and Kurzweil, was outdated and it needed to be updated. We found out that my current laptop was probably not going to be able to hold all the software I would need and be able to run correctly. After this meeting my caseworker told me that she would ask a technology rehabilitation engineer to look at my current software and make a recommendation. On December 19th the engineer came and looked at my software and told me that he recommended a new laptop with Windows 10 and updated versions of office, ZoomText, and Kurzweil 3000. We went over my needs. He then went and spoke with my caseworker who said he had to file a report. After the holidays and a bunch of follow up questions I got an email from my caseworker with the report. The news was not what I wanted to hear. The engineer said that my current laptop just needs new ram and new software updates. I am very disappointed in this since I have concerns about my computer continuing to crash and cause me problems. I am currently waiting to hear back about some follow up questions before my case moves forward.  I have to say that I feel that I am lagging behind on my work. I am just doing the best that I can at the moment.

 

It took a lot of self-control for me not to get angry at this. I called my two best friends and told them what is going on. They both reminded me that I should have joy that I am getting the help that I need. They are right. Technology for people with low vision can be costly. Right now I am lucky to not have to pay for anything.

This month has really been a season of waiting on answers. All I know is I have to trust God with my life and remember to have courage, have self-control and find joy in all of the things that life has to offer.