Thursday, December 31, 2009

Pray for Cliff

Cliff of WIXY's Gone Bananas fame just received a layoff notice this morning. He and his wonderful wife do not need this at all, not after two lousy years.

Makes my knee problems pale in comparison.

Keep Cliff and Kathy in your prayers.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

An Update on Last Week's Prayer Request

This is an update to the prayer request I posted last week.

Alicia's uncle has improved, albeit slightly. He had his breathing tube removed yesterday. She says his vital signs are holding steady and he's breathing and talking. (UPDATE 9:08 AM: He's also able to eat, she tells me in an email this morning.) He's still got a very damaged heart and is still on the heart transplant list right now. Continue to pray for Bill Shults and for all of Alicia's family, as you have been doing.

Also, pray for me...I have messed up my right leg but we're not sure how bad yet. I took a headfirst tumble down a flight of stairs downtown yesterday.

Oh, and happy New Year... Good riddance 2009. (Never thought I'd be so glad to see 2009 go...)

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Prayer Request for a Friend

I just got this email from a longtime friend of mine. Alisha Pratt is someone I have gone to church with for years. Her family is unfortunately hitting some hard times and so she sent this email.

"Good evening all! I hope that each of you have enjoyed your Christmas and that you got a chance to celebrate with the ones you love. I wish I was writing just to say Merry Christmas but I am also writing to ask that you remember my uncle (Bill Shults)
in your thoughts and prayers."

"Christmas Eve my aunt called 911 because he was unable to breathe. My uncle has been on the heart transplant list for years, has a defibulator and pacemaker and over half his heart muscle is dead, the past few months his health has declined rapidly. Upon getting to the hospital he was immediately sent to ICU and put on a bipap ventilator and in the past two days made no progress, they said that he is in congestive heart failure and are trying to treat it. Today he has slept most of the the day and has really struggled to move air. Please also keep the doctors and nurses that are taking care of him in your prayers as well as he is quite complex right now."

"My uncles wife Vicki is not healthy herself, they have a 13 year old Autistic son and 33 year old mental handicapped daughter - please keep them in your prayers as well as they are struggling with my uncle being so sick."

"Thank you in advance for your thoughts and prayers. I'll keep you update as I know more the next few days.
Love you!

This request speaks for itself so I now lift it to Jesus and ask you kind folks to join me.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

From This Space to my readers nation- and worldwide, MERRY CHRISTMAS! This is a short post, but, there hasn't been much time to update recently...a full update tomorrow, and I'll try to do a special Saturday Freestyle, too...

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Friday, December 11, 2009

Freestyle for Friday, December 11

Here we are, back again
J-Mo is back and writin and stylin
Let's see what's going on
It's been a rough while

Mom is doing better now
This is good news
Let's hope she stays healthy
I need her round for awhile

Got the Christmas stuff done
Feeling less stressed
Dad's present just got here
Can't wait to give it to him

Went down to the Ville this past week
By this I mean Louisville
It wasn't all that bad
But could do without the wind

I think that is it
My brain, it's all emptied
I'll get back to you soon
Stay warm and blessed

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Trip to Louisville

Here's the promised recap of the quick trip I took to Louisville, KY yesterday.

I left my house at 8:00 yesterday morning, in order to make an 11 AM bus to the "Possibility City" (yes, that's one of Louisville's nicknames). After boarding the bus (which was full), we set out for the 107 mile trip down Interstate 71.

Right out of the gate, the winds were gusty as predicted by John Gumm and others, including myself. Sustained winds were between 25 and 40 mph when we left at 11:05 AM. Gusts were higher than that and the bus showed it on the way down. Immediately after we hit Interstate 75, the bus started to get bumped around. It went left, it went pretty much did anything BUT go straight the entire way down to Louisville. I can't blame the driver for that...but I now have my threshold for high winds and bus trips aboard the Greyhound at 40 miles per hour. Any higher than that and it scares me.

As I traveled, I began encountering damage ranging from tree limbs to entire trees down. I didn't see much property damage, but there were some areas that had some damage.

I arrived in Louisville around 12:50 PM, and set right down to business...which was really pleasure. I had planned to head down to Jefferson Mall on the south side of town. immediately became crystal clear that that was not going to happen. I can tell you this...walking in downtown Louisville was anything BUT easy. At one point in my efforts to find a local National City or PNC ATM (at West Jefferson and 5th Streets), I attempted to go north along Fifth towards Market...and immediately was blown backwards. And by backwards, I literally mean BACKWARDS. I could not get across Jefferson! Good thing is, there was one in the building behind me...the PNC Plaza. I went inside, got a few bucks, then went to the Arby's on Fifth and West Liberty. At this point, winds were now gusting between 50 and 60 mph. Doors became impossible to open from outside if they opened outward. Such was the case the rest of the time I was in Louisville.

But, in another occurrence that ALSO became common the remainder of my day in Louisville, people opened doors for me. This is a great example of Southern hospitality at its finest and really defined my experience in Louisville. It didn't happen often if at all on either end of my trip in Cincinnati (which was a shame), but in was almost second nature to people. I won't forget that.

Finally, it was time to return home. I got back to the Greyhound terminal a little after 2:30, waited until almost 4:00, and then got back on the bus. Unfortunately, the tiedowns wouldn't work on the bus, so I had to hang on tight. Fortunately, I made it back with less bumping, getting home about 8:00. The interesting thing on my way home was that I was able to pick up at least one Louisville radio station (840 WHAS-AM) all the way to Gallatin County - but most faded away before then, somewhere in Carroll County. Even so... 700 WLW was a hard pickup even near the KY Speedway (at least without a ton of static), and I didn't get a full lock on Q102 until Boone County. I would have thought I'd get a good fix on WLW earlier, and I needed info on what was going on back home for when I got there.

All in all, a good trip. I found out my tolerance level for wind, and cold as well. I'll make another trip in Spring...I'll probably stay longer, and do it on a not-so-windy day.

Below: The scene around 11:20 AM EST in Florence, as seen from I-71/75.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Monday, December 7, 2009

Twitter Gadget

I think the twitter gadget here on Blogger is eating its own face at the moment.

I was trying to put it on the still-new sister blog in the Tri-State Weather/Media/Observations Empire (long name, and it's all tongue in cheek...heh), Tri-State Weather Watch, and... for whatever reason, it wasn't displaying MY weather twitter feed. Instead...I have no clue whose twitter feed it had. (Yes, I still follow weather stuff...and yes, I still do media - who says I need to have just one interest? Heh.)

If you see something go amiss with the feed on this blog (as in, it displays tweets that don't look like they came from me - and you'll know if they aren't bc they won't link back to my personal twitter but to another feed) - let me know about it so I can remove it ASAP.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Witness to a Crash - Car Crash, that is.

Above: Two Florence firefighters help the female driver of the SUV out of the wreckage following the rollover accident at Dixie Highway and Turfway Road. Courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Below: The scene as I saw it through the lens of the Cricket Phonecam, 3:15 PM this afternoon.

This crash happened around 3 PM this afternoon on Dixie Highway in Florence. You may recognize the location above, as it is depicted in one of the pics in my header.

Yes, the Chevy Blazer you can barely see is on its side. It jackknifed when it clipped the front fender of a Chevy Impala. I was there, in fact sitting in the exact spot where I took the second of the above pics, waiting for a bus when the crash occurred. I was also one of the first bystanders to the scene before EMTs, firemen and police arrived, making what I'm sure was a less than calm 911 call. Dixie Highway had the northbound lanes shut down while crews cleaned up this crash and all traffic used the southbound lanes of Dixie, one lane each way around the crash site.

There were, fortunately, no serious injuries but the SUV, from what I could tell, is heavily damaged from the two impacts, first the rear of it with the front corner of the Impala, then the entire driver's side with the sidewalk.

The police took my statement along with half a dozen other people's, and then I left to head to downtown Cincinnati.

Needless to say, I'm still not feeling good about it.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Monday, November 30, 2009

I'm glad I put the traffic feed up.

I am really glad I put up the Feedjit meter.

Over the last 24 hours, I've had hits from:

-- Cincinnati
-- Lebanon, TN
-- Germantown, TN
-- Oklahoma City
-- Terre Haute, IN
-- Akron, OH
-- and Valley City, OH.

No, I'm not going to stalk anyone who visited to find out who they are. In fact, I don't worry about it.

But...the interesting hit came from right here in Florence. Someone, in fact, who searched for MY NAME. (And NO, I know it wasn't me - I still show up as Chatham, Illinois even though I'm NOT in that town.)

That one, I'd like to know who they are. I find it interesting they came here via a google search, and left via my twitter link.

Hmmmm....maybe I WILL stalk that person and find out why they tracked me down...or wanted to.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Added something

I don't know about some of you, but I like knowing where my visitors came from.

On that note, check out the traffic feed to the right. It shows where visitors to my blog hail from. I know where some of you are - but not every visitor. I am thinking eventually I may move this to TSMW.

Oh and ignore the "Chatham, Illinois" posts. Those are me - but for some reason, any site I visit seems to think I'm in Illinois when...well, I'm not.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Just Over One Year.

53 weeks ago (that would be November 22, 2008), I began this blog to share the personal side of my life.

I have written blogs of frustration, blogs of joy, blogs of deep thought, blogs of sadness, and even blogs of anger.

But through it all, this blog has been my place to share my world and my perspective on it. I remain committed to sharing my life and my struggle as a 24 year old who has Spina Bifida and writes a fairly successful media blog.

I let the one year anniversary of Tri-State Media Watch slip by without really commenting on it, so as not to seem full of myself. But this blog...I did not want to let its 1 year anniversary slip too far away. (It got far enough away as it is, didn't it?)

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hallelujah, God Is Good!!!

This morning, I was thinking Mom would not be able to go home.

Fast forward to tonight, and HALLELUJAH, SHE IS HOME!!!

As stated in an email I sent to many of you on my list, she's not 100 percent out of the woods, she does have two blockages but not serious enough to require stents. But still, she is HOME and resting.

HALLELUJAH! God is SO good, I am so glad she got to come home!

Courage + Belief = LIFE

A Brief Update

I got word last night as I was leaving to go to my sister's house then to church as far as what is next for my mom.

She will be transferred from St. Elizabeth Ft. Thomas to St. Elizabeth South in Edgewood, KY sometime today, and then undergo an angioplasty.

We aren't sure when she would be able to come home - but early thinking is that it won't be today, and is about a 50/50 chance tomorrow. That, of course, assumes no complications from the angioplasty.

Continue keeping us in your dailies today and for the rest of this weekend, that mom will take it easy when she DOES come home.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

URGENT - Mom In Hospital

UPDATE 3:35 PM 11/24: An EKG was done around 1:30 PM - They have CONFIRMED she is having heart trouble and further testing is to be run this afternoon and evening. Further details will be available through my twitter and/or here on this space as soon as it is possible to do so.

My mom has been taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital Fort Thomas as of 12:30 PM ET. We have no details on what is wrong, only that her doctor has sent her there due to chest pains. She'll be there at least this afternoon and possibly overnight for observation - they want to make double sure she's going to be okay and that it's nothing serious. If all my blog friends would say a LOT of prayers, my family and I would appreciate it.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Feeling Better...Cautiously Optimistic, Anyway

After a good night's sleep...I feel better.

Yesterday was pretty tough, I will admit. But...after venting my frustrations, my doubts and my fears...I feel a lot better than I have in the last 7 days.

So, I'll move forward, cautiously optimistic that life is going to be better. Thanks everyone for the support which was much needed.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Monday, November 23, 2009

I Don't Say This Often..

...but, why me?

Why is it that I'm going through these issues with my spine? The doctor thinks the Harrington rods implanted during my 1998 scoliosis correction are likely the cause of my back pains.

It has gotten to the point this year I am on Flexeril up to 3 times a day to just FUNCTION. Yes, to function, let alone SLEEP.

Again, I do not often say this stuff. You almost never hear me saying "Why Me?". But...knowing I have a spinal column that is LIKELY going straight to you know where is really frustrating as hell.

Maybe I just needed to vent this frustration so I can stop saying "Why Me?", but, I'm just...not sure. No knowledge of what I'll need to do next if the new chair doesn't help the matter. No idea if I'll need more surgery. No clue how bad this is going to get.

God, I hope this winds up getting better very soon. Because if it gets worse, I fear I'll be permanently damaged.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Update After the Appointment...Plus Thanks...

Well, I promised an update, and here it is.

I had my appointment at 2 ET. It went okay. They've put me on Flexeril for my back pains. It's thought that the scoliosis MAY be worsening once again. If you recall, I had my spine straightened in 1998. That won't be known until we figure out if the new chair will help matters.

Speaking of the new chair - I will be going to the Drake Center in Cincinnati sometime this winter for an evaluation. They'll determine what will work best for me in terms of a wheelchair.

Finally, as to my depression, I'll be monitored closely to see what happens with that.

And, they're setting me up with a pulmonary doctor and an adult urologist.

Now, some thanks need to go out to Cliff of WIXY's Gone Bananas fame as well as Frasypoo (Joyce) of This and That fame and Jen of Unglazed fame for the prayers throughout the afternoon. They were, and remain, much needed at this time.

The hardest part of the week is over. return to "normal" - if I can call being in pain and yet not depressed "normal"...

Courage + Belief = LIFE

New Doctor, Same Frustrations

Well...I go to my new Spina Bifida doctor this afternoon around 2. This doctor will be seeing me about every year from now on for Spina Bifida-related care. This is good news, as I've needed a doctor of some kind for the last 3 months thanks to Children's Hospital's sudden change of policy last August with regards to my care.

However...there's a lot of the same frustrations that I've dealt with for the last 3+ months still. I'll list them all here...

1) My headaches continue. I have dealt with headaches for some time. Occasionally, when I go a day or two without caffeine, if I get the standard "bi-weekly" headaches in the midst of that stretch, they get 10 times worse. I'm not kidding about this one.

2) My wheelchair problems. Needless to say, the first thing this doctor is likely to do is take one look at my wheelchair and say, "What are you DOING in something that small?" The problem is...because of the above sudden change by Children's, I was unable to secure a new chair. See where this is going?? Possibly for this reason, but more likely others as well...

3) back continues to give me hell. This week might have been the WORST in terms of my back pain. I literally was screaming at one point on Tuesday night, it was THAT bad. I didn't sleep that night. Because of that...

4) problems with sleep cycle continue. Sure, I'll sleep 8 hours,'s never a certainty that that 8 hours occurs at nighttime. I get on track once in a while for a couple days...then something will happen to me and I'll be thrown off. It's frustrating. In fact, I slept from 11 Wednesday morning through most of the day.

Hopefully this doctor can solve at least problems 2 and 3. I'll be even happier if he can solve problem 1. Problem 4...well that might not be so bad once the other two major issues are solved.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Monday, November 16, 2009

Clearing the Brain

I needed to write something to clear my brain tonight. So, let's see what flows out...and by the way - I had to edit it, my appointment is Thursday. For about 10 seconds that it was published, it said Monday. See what I mean???

This is a little thing
To clear my big brain
Going through a lot right now
And lot runnin through my head

Goin to the doc on Thursday
Not sure what to expect
Is he going to want X-Rays?
Hope my back isn't too messed up

Need to be somewhere else
About 14 hours away
What's going on I dunno
I worry about her a lot

People around me struggling
I ain't gonna lie, it takes a toll
I want to help, but yet, I either
Can't, or am not sure how

I guess what I'm trying to say
Is there's just too much happening around me
I need this world to just STOP
And let me catch my breath!

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What Are You Thinking? - Not Removing Funds Until Too Late

Here we go with a "What are you thinking" post...for the uninitiated I got this idea from Alex Shebar, who worked at the Enquirer until layoffs earlier this year sent him out the door. He posted several things about local quirks...I started out with the same thing, but for this post, I'm transitioning to a more broad-brush idea.

Recently, I took a trip to a local bar/eating establishment on KY 18 in Florence. (Here's a hint: it features some hot women in distinguishable uniforms.) I was there for lunch with my stepfather and brother on a Tuesday afternoon.

As was my custom, I paid with my credit card when the bill came around and needed settled. I didn't think twice about it, expecting the money would be withdrawn right away, so there would not be an issue with me not knowing how much I had left in the account.

How stupid I was.

Turns out, they did NOT withdraw the funds from the account for 3 days! Big, big problem...I didn't have the funds there by this point (I was short by JUST less than 4 bucks) - and consequently was hit with darn near 40 bucks in overage fees! Boom. I was now 47 bucks in the red.

Luckily, my mom came to the rescue and bailed my fat out of the fire.

But...the fact remains that the money didn't come out of my account for 3 days. Had it come out right away, I would have been a LOT smarter.

I know where I'd have been. Had the funds come out on the 3rd as soon as I spent them, it would have left me with just over $85. I wouldn't have spent much else past that at that point.

Still, the fact that places are ALLOWED to wait up to THREE DAYS before taking's frustrating. Especially since ATM's take the cash automatically...

Bottom line, to those businesses that wait 3 days or more to take funds out of accounts...WHAT ARE YOU THINKING???

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Friday Freestyle - Saturday Early Morning Not-so-sleepy J Edition

It's time now for one more go
The freestyle's back, and it's been awhile
But y'all, that's okay, that's quite alright
We're gonna get this thing started after a long night

Been trying to relax for much of the week
I feel like I'm just getting very weak
But that's probably due to the small chair I'm in
Y'all, don't take it as though I'm complainin'
I wouldn't wish this on any worst enemy

It isn't a picnic for this 24 year old
But y'all, I somehow manage it anyway
Everyone chill, y'all I GOT THIS
It hopefully won't be long before it's licked

Nor'easter went through the eastern coast
My forecasting abilities, of them I shall not boast
I didn't do that great calling the track
But that's alright, I'll learn as I look back

Listenin to early morning music on the Q
Good mix to get this Saturday AM goin'
Thought I heard Holly'll be at the mall later
If she is, there I'm definitely headin'

So, I just thought I'd throw out this random thing
Don't have a lot, for sure no real bling
But I'll be back in 7 days, till then stay blessed
Don't even trip, y'all, don't be stressed

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Two Dollar Bills...I've Never Seen One Till Now.

I was at church yesterday evening, and was playing Wii Bowling. I had played 2 or three practice games when I was approached by Jonathan Kirk, one of the other guys in the young adults ministry. He wanted to challenge me to a game.

Of course, I accepted the challenge. He then raised the stakes as we got started with a 2 dollar bill up for grabs to the winner of the game.

I soundly defeated him, 204-132 (or somewhere in that neighborhood anyway), and he paid up.

I've never seen a $2 bill I took these pictures.

I'm hesitant to spend it...but, money is money, right?? ;=)

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Random Sunday Thoughts

Just a couple thoughts on a Sunday afternoon, following a Bengals win...

Watched some Strikeforce MMA last night. Fedor Emelianenko is a BEAST! The right hand he threw to win that bout was SICK! They call him the best, last night he proved it...

I'm so tired lately it isn't even funny. Seriously, it sucks bad. I'm always yawning, never feel like doing anything.

I've got an appointment on 11/19 with a doctor who's taking on all the patients from the Cincinnati adult Spina Bifida clinic. That clinic closed this year. Hopefully, this doctor can get the ball rolling on getting me a new wheelchair.

Speaking of that, I do need a new wheelchair. I first got this one in June 2004, after a car crash destroyed the previous one which had been purchased in 2003. That accident, on April 26, 2004, may have destroyed the wheelchair, but obviously, didn't destroy my spirit. Anyway, I'm supposed to get a new chair every 5 years - and in fact, I asked my previous doctor to send in some paperwork confirming medical necessity...but that didn't happen. Thus, I'm currently sitting in a wheelchair that has become too small for me, due to my increased weight (120 pounds) and height(5'6").

Bengals and Bearcats both win which I'm highly pleased with. Bearcats go to 9-0, Bengals are 6-2. Double WIN in my book...

Ok, my brain is empty so I'm gonna go...just remember...

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Saturday, October 31, 2009

SBAC Walk and Roll Update

A brief update to the fundraising effort I undertook in late September...

As you'll recall, I walked in the 9th annual Spina Bifida Association of Cincinnati Walk and Roll on September 26th. At the time, my team had raised $2,147.

As of this hour, that total stands at...$2,417!!! That's right...$2,417! And you have to take into consideration, too...there's still some donations that hadn't been counted!

I expect that the Rockin' Rollers will have raised over $2,500 when the money is all counted and things are said and done! What an awesome thing to this writing, SBAC had raised, in TOTAL, amongst all the teams...$83,505!!! This event was truly a game-changer for the Tri-State area! What an awesome day September 26 was!

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Freestyle for 10/30/09

Yo y'all it's that time again
I'm bringin the freestyle like only I can
So let's look back at the day that was
Because it's a day that was full of WIN

I started my day not really doing much
Tried to get the energy to get up and move
When I finally did, the sun, it greeted me
This is October, I said, "Are you kidding me?"
It don't feel like October, it's 80 degrees
You really can't beat this time of year in Cincy

Turned on the radio and straightaway
Heard the sounds of a Q102 DJ
Holly was the name, the music she played
Was just off the charts for a warm fall day
Skyline was the first stop and I must say
The chilito is awesome, somethin ya must try

Brian and Laura, they were up next
Kept me goin while I did some shoppin and stuff
Got me a headset for the ol PC
Now, I don't gotta worry about waking ppl up here
I can play music as loud as I want on my computer here

Got me a game for the Wii too
Smackdown V. Raw '10, oh yeah, it's true
I'll probably play it sometime tonight
I just have to figure out how to get controls right

So that's it for this Freestyle
About my super epic Friday
Tune in next week, same time same place
Til then stay blessed and away from the stress

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Friday, October 23, 2009

No freestyle this week.

My heart just is not in it this week. I don't have any creativity in me because of events over the past hour or so.

Therefore, there won't be a Friday Freestyle this week. Hopefully, it will return next week...if I can get the creativity back.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Monday, October 19, 2009

I Like Trae Huffman Because...

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I began this series some time back to spotlight friends I felt deserved it. I still feel all my friends deserve said spotlight - but, I got away from the series for a bit for reasons I'm not very clear on. But it's back... Way back on May 12th, I wrote about this man's girlfriend, Lindsay Zeis. Now, it's HIS turn for the spotlight. Introducing, Trae Huffman.

I first met Trae Huffman in September of 2008. I was taking part in the annual Walk To Cure Diabetes in Newport, Kentucky. I didn't know much about him - all that I knew was that this man was Lindsay Zeis' boyfriend and I was getting a chance to meet him.

At first interaction, I knew this guy was cool. He didn't have a bad word to say to me. He seemed like, and is, a really nice dude. That said, I wouldn't want to be on his bad side - because at the same time, he looks like a man who would go Chuck Norris like at the drop of a fist. (Although as long as YOU'RE not his target, that's a good quality.)

From the second I saw how he interacted with Lindsay, who I've previously talked of before in glowing terms, I knew he was going to treat her very well. And he has.

I don't know much more about him. I'm sure he has family that he loves to death...but, beyond that, I'm sad to say I don't know much. What I know of him, I like.

Trae does have a dog, who he makes sure he takes good care of. This year at the WTCD, which was once again held in BEAUTIFUL Newport, he brought this dog along with him. I have a picture of the dog here I think...

Above: Diesel at the 2009 Walk To Cure Diabetes, Newport, Kentucky. Photo by me.

But yes, Trae likes his dog. And he LOVES Lindsay. And in my eyes as her friend AND his, that's all that matters.

Anyway, the reason I decided to write about Trae today was not to go through a specific order. Indeed, it's because of events of this weekend. (I noted this in my previous, classic post, in the update.) Trae and Lindsay got engaged over this past weekend. So it made me feel bad because I haven't gotten to know him like I should, BUT, I know enough to know Why I Like Trae Huffman.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Classic Post: I Like Lindsay Zeis Because...

AUTHOR'S NOTE/UPDATE: I originally posted this blog on May 12th, 2009, celebrating 6 years of friendship with Lindsay. The reason this is partially an update is, you can scratch out "girlfriend" when it comes to her relationship with her boyfriend Trae Huffman...and write in "fiancee" - they got engaged this past weekend. I am proud to say I know both of these individuals and I know they will have a great life together. So, here's the classic post. Oh, and next up is a separate "I Like...Because..." post written this morning about Trae himself.

Above: Myself and Lindsay, September 6, 2008 following the JDRF Walk To Cure Diabetes.

So, tonight I would like to spotlight a friend who has dealt with a devastating disease for ten years, but yet has never once said "poor me", never gave up and never quit. This friend is Lindsay Zeis.

Lindsay is 23 years old. She was diagnosed just over ten years ago with Type One Diabetes. The disease has ravaged her body on the inside, but it has not destroyed the heart of this wonderful young lady. She has inspired ME to never give up on occasions when even I had my moments of breakdown, where I just wanted to quit fighting my own battle with Spina Bifida.

Lindsay and I first met in 2003, at Boone County High School. We never really spoke much before that time, but we had crossed paths well before...having gone to two schools together (Ockerman Middle and Boone County High). The way I met Lindsay was that we both were nominated to the Homecoming Court for Basketball Homecoming. I didn't have anybody to escort, and Lindsay chose me. That began our six year friendship.

We continued to talk through much of 2003, and all the way to graduation in 2004. I knew of her diabetes. How could I not? When someone you're friends with misses school more than a couple times a year, you kind of have to expect that there is something serious. Add to that that I knew the signs of diabetes because of my stepdad, and you can see how 2 + 2 began to equal four in my mind.

I lost touch with Lindsay after graduation for awhile. In that time, her condition got worse. Sometime after a Conner vs Boone game both of us attended, Lindsay began to drastically lose weight. She wound up on a feeding tube, because she couldn't eat. Through it all, I know the heart inside Lindsay did not want to give up. She allowed doctors to use experimental methods to save her life. When I saw her in February 2008, she looked better than ever, and was just the same as I had known her to be when I was in school with her.

After that, we started communicating off and on through Facebook here. And in August 2008, I was surprised to learn of the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes in Newport. I decided I would attend and would walk with Lindsay. I did so on September 6, 2008. I was proud to do so, for a wonderful friend like her.

Lindsay not only has a heart that will never quit, she is a sweetheart. I cannot even begin to count the number of times she's been willing to drop everything and run to her friends. And I know there's been things she has either said, or written to me, that have left me with the biggest smile on my face.

Lindsay also is a devoted family woman. She is a loving girlfriend to Trae Huffman, who I had the pleasure to meet at the JDRF Walk last year. Her family is really blessed that they have her, as she will do whatever she needs to for them.

All of these are reasons why I like Lindsay. As I say about all my facebook friends, if you are one of her friends, go drop by, let her know you read this note, and let her know how much you appreciate her friendship.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Recovering Nicely

I've spent the weekend in bed, trying to let my arm rest and recuperate from a minor pull. I've been needing to give it a rest - but unfortunately, life would not really cooperate. I was staying very busy and doing too much...or trying to do too much.

Anyway, I think I've completed my classic post quota for the month...but I'm going to surpass it. In the next day or so, I'll be updating/working on a repost from something I started months ago, and REALLY need to get back to...the "I Like...Because..." series.

Why? Because the key player in one of the early "I Like...Because..." posts got engaged over this past weekend. I will let you folks speculate if you wish...if you follow me on Twitter, you might already know who I mean...but if you don't, you'll have to wait and see.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Classic Post: Personal Recall: October/November 2000

AUTHOR'S NOTE: The following was written November 29th, 2008. It's a timely post, as I was at a Boone County High School football game tonight (we lost, 63-21), and I spoke to someone who works with Young Life NKY. Young Life is a group of young Christian students that meets every week. I told this young lady the first part of this story. Maybe if I run into her again, I'll get the guts to offer to tell this story to the Young Life group. Anyway, here goes.

October 1, 2000. A day that for me lives forever etched in my brain.

And the intervening 5 weeks after that also remain etched...what I can recall through the drugged stupor I was in for the first week of that anyway, and about everything since.

I'll attempt to go through the first two days each as I either remember it or was told that it all happened, then continue with a recap of what I do recall of this time period.

October 1, 2000

I went to church as I normally do on a Sunday. And yes, I remember it being Sunday. Anyway, I recall several people asking me if I was okay; my shoulder had been hurting and I told them so. But got worse. I began turning blue. I wasn't getting oxygen and I didn't even know it.

I was run to the pastor's office while they called my mom down from the 9am service. After minutes of discussion, I was rushed to Children's Hospital in Cincinnati (I was 15 at this time). As soon as my mom got me to the ER, I remember staring up at lights, and that was it. Nothing after that registers from that day in my own personal memory. I was later told I coded, or went into cardiac arrest, for about 10 minutes that Sunday morning. They did emergency surgery and discovered I had ruptured both bowel and bladder, which had allowed large amounts of toxins to be released into my blood. That had choked off the oxygen supply, which explained why I had turned blue.

October 2

I was still in a fog. I don't remember much of anything, except that church staff came to see me in the hospital. I was extremely weak at this point. Meanwhile, back in Florence, massive amounts of information were being sent out about my condition. At Ockerman Middle School, my sister and brother spread the word. At the Boone County Bus Garage, when word was received I was in the hospital, somehow, someway, they found out just how critical I was, and this was passed on to Boone County High School, which I attended. The word went around the school like a wildfire.

October 3-13

I continued to drift in and out of consciousness until October 7. At that point I began to slowly come back to life. Additional visitors came to see me, including a few of Boone County High's staff. Steve Horstmeyer, who was then at LOCAL12(then branded as 12News, WKRC-TV) and is now at WXIX-TV 19(and by the way, this is one of only TWO media references you'll get in this blog, I promise), also came for a visit. I was released October 13. I also received a LOT of cards and well-wishes.

October 14-29

I was home schooled during this period. Continued to receive visitors to my home here in Florence, and also received I don't know how many cards and things from fellow students both at BCHS and OMS. (AUTHOR'S NOTE: One of these even contained about 50 dollars)By 10/21, I was beginning to target October 31 as my comeback date.

October 30-November 6

On October 30, I made an appearance on 12News First at Four (second and final media reference) following a doctor's appointment, to tour their studio. This came about because of a personal interest in meteorology that, as WIXY will tell you, continues to this very moment. This was to test my physical endurance. The question wasn't if I was a tough guy, I knew I was that. The question was: Could I handle being out of the house for 8 hours? The answer: Yes, I could and I was ready for a return to routine. I returned to BCHS the next day, Halloween, and was greeted with an unbelievable welcome back. My fellow students didn't let me forget how much they were glad to see me and that I had returned in one piece. This continued for almost a full week before I had a...

November 7-16

...setback. I had to be hospitalized again. This time, it was for a bowel obstruction which had to be flushed out, I would return on the 16th, and that was that.

Special Note: If I had never taken the time to thank you for the well wishes...I am now. I know - I am HORRIBLE at this stuff. But, I do mean this from the bottom of my heart. Especially those of you who I went to school with in that time period of my life.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Classic Post: Perspective From the Wheelchair

FROM THE AUTHOR: I originally wrote this post November 23, 2008. It deals with the perspective I see things through, having been in a wheelchair for about 17 years. Doris is my now ex-girlfriend, who I was dating at the time I wrote this post.

OK I promised last night I would do a perspective blog about what it is like to be disabled. However, I got home at midnight last night from dinner with Doris and her family, and quickly crashed into bed. So here it is...

I am 23, but have spent all but 7 years of my life in a wheelchair. Why? I don't do it for kicks.

I have Spina Bifida, which occurred when my spinal cord was still exposed at birth. It was surgically closed within hours after my birth; however, doctors could do nothing to save my mobility. I am paralyzed from my waist down. So in 1992, I started needing a wheelchair. I pretty much have had one since.

So why is this a perspective blog?

You'd be surprised at the number of people who tell me they're "sorry". (NOTE: I know they're not sarcastic, I'm quoting) They shouldn't be sorry.

And you'd also be surprised at the number of people who, every day, ask me if I need help. Sometimes, I need it (ever try to push a wheelchair through snow? Doesn't work well). But most of the time I don't. It is nice of them to offer. But then, other times, people come up behind me and just start pushing my chair or trying to carry things for me. I don't appreciate people just doing things for me. I really appreciate it MORE if you ask.

The thing I hate worse than people trying to help without asking, however, is the "C" word. To be specific, the word "cripple". I LOATHE that word. I despise it. It sounds like a word you say when you don't give a hoot about a person who has a wheelchair. And to be honest, that's pretty much what it says to me if you say it to me. You don't care about me. You don't care that I have feelings, or a heart.

So the next time you see someone like me, and you want to help but aren't sure what to do...ask. And don't tell us you're sorry about our condition. We don't all want pity. And if you ever see me, or anyone like me, and you want to use that "c" me and everyone else a favor. Don't. It makes us feel better about the world.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Freestyle - 10/10/09

Yeah here we go again
I'm bringin the freestyle like only I can
I guess there ain't much to talk about this week
But we gonna try this anyway

Being sick really does suck
I would know because I had to go through it
Three days in bed really sucked muchly
But I'm feelin a lot better right now

The Bengals be kicking serious tail
But y'all, ENOUGH close calls already
I swear I'm gonna need blood pressure meds
If it comes down to yet another few seconds

I'm missin my someone special
And I know she misses me
So I gotta get my mention in of Sheena
We might fight, but I still love her

Alright guys this is the end
Of another Friday Freestyle
Stay blessed
Forget the stress
See ya next week y'all

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A 5 AM Musing

I sit here at 5 AM East Coast time thinking. I do this a lot in the early morning hours when I SHOULD be asleep but unfortunately am not.

Here's my musing for the morning: Love.

Not love like "I love my girlfriend" (although what I'm about to discuss can and SHOULD certainly be demonstrated to ALL people around us). I'm talking brotherly love.

Here's what I mean: How many of us look around and see people that just truly seem to be invisible to everyone else? Or how many of us take time to CARE for those who no one else seems to? Not just who we WANT to care for, but who NEEDS to hear it from us because no one will tell them?

We as a society have completely lost the plot of love. We use the SAME WORD for how we feel about ice cream, as we do about our families. When the heck did a FOOD become on the same level as a person? (That's a free thought, by the way - not totally related to my point for the day.)

Need I remind you of Romans 5:8? "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Read that again. "...while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Folks, I don't know about you, but that sounds selfless to me. There is NOTHING conditional about that verse! Zero. Zilch.

Wednesday night, I went to an online bible study webcast via which is where we discussed this subject. If you have time today, check this out. In this video, there's a really powerful story in here beginning around the 3 or 4 minute mark. This young lady named Stacey takes time out of her life, and in the process most likely lost some friends, to love a man who she later wound up marrying. He might have had cerebral palsy - but friends, he is NO LESS of a human being than you or I, deserves no less than ANYBODY else on this earth does to be loved, and this young lady made it a POINT to show it.

So my challenge to you is this: How many people will you show unconditional love to today? You don't even have to do something for someone, to show it to them. Just do it for the people who are IN your daily life. Those people who you might not have to interact with daily, will look at you, and will see God IN you.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Testing second new header

Clean and Crazy of My Recovery fame sent the above header to me. So, we're using that one now! Jen and I are trying to figure out how to enlarge the one she sent me, so that it fits the entire header area.

By the way, if you are wondering what the pictures are of, they are, counter-clockwise from top: 1) Newport, Kentucky at 7:30 AM on September 19, 2009. 2) Florence, KY at 6:25 AM the same day. 3) The same area of Florence (a different view due to being in the parking lot of a McD's), around 8:20 AM on September 26, 2009.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Update On My Header Help Request!

I would like to thank Jen of Unglazed fame, for her assistance with my header request of this morning! The header above came from her. She also sent me these:

I also am expecting to receive something from Clean and Crazy of My Recovery fame. So thanks to her as well!

Finally, a HUGE thank you goes out to Cliff of WIXY's Gone Bananas fame, for his help putting the word out.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Quick Post about a page change

I made a change to the header. I hate stretching it out, but I don't like to leave a space to the right of the picture, either.

With that said, the above picture is from the morning of September 19, 2009, when I was on my way to the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes in Newport, KY.

If anyone is interested, I'd like to come up with a header that will showcase a few (say 3-5) pictures I have taken of scenes around my area, but will fit the header box above with the minimal amount of either stretching OR squeezing down. If you're interested in assisting, email me.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Classic Post - What I Have Endured in 24 Years

AUTHOR'S NOTE: The following post was originally written on November 29, 2008. This was a post in which I chronicled some of my previous medical history. Not in great detail, mind you - but significant enough to explain some of what I have had to fight in what was then just over 23 years of life. Since then, I have had fainting spells due to anxiety attacks, along with what is currently increasing back pain. I have, however, decided not to list those at the end of this post, but rather, leave it as is. Later this week or early next, depending on if I get Round Tuit (trademarked by my friends at Ohio Media Watch, who inspired me to begin blogging about local media, which in turn eventually led to a desire to spin off the personal stuff to this blog), I'll try to put up the other posts referenced here. I originally intended to do so over the past weekend, however, illness did something that weather doesn't this time of year - stopped me cold in my tracks.

I decided to parlay the blog from last weekend into a three part series. I told you last week about the perspective I see things through, being in a wheelchair for sixteen years and not having use of my legs for all 23 years of my life.

Today, I have decided to let you have a peek at some of the things I have had to endure over these 23 years, separated into 3 segments: Birth to 10 years, 10 years to 14 years, and 14 years to today. This isn't a complete medical history, but it DOES give you a look at some things I have had to deal with in 23 years.

Birth to 10 years:

1985 - Shunt placed in my head, correction to spina bifida, tendon releases for club foot. Also a broken foot.
1986-88 - Bladder infections, but that was really about it.
1990 - Attempt to use a walker. Didn't go over too well.
1992 - First use of a wheelchair.

10 years to 2000

1995 - Cyst removed from spine. Also began having more and worse latex reactions.
(AUTHOR'S NOTE: To this day I cannot come in contact with latex balloons, toys, or anything containing latex. Otherwise, you'll be watching 3rd degree burn-type blisters sprouting on my arms and other areas)
1996 - Bladder surgery.
1998 - Surgery to correct scoliosis.
Early 1999 on to mid 2001 - Pressure ulcer issues. This is due to weight shift following the 1998 Scoliosis Correction Surgery.
2000 - Septic Shock - First major illness. Spent 13 days in hospital, another 2 weeks at home for this alone. Then in November, bowel obstruction landed me in hospital for another week, and in December, a broken leg put me in a cast for 3 weeks. I've suffered an additional obstruction since then but cannot recall the date. (AUTHOR'S NOTE 2: I will describe what I remember of the October/early November timeframe in the next blog)

2001 to today

2001 - Finally had correction of pressure ulcer from 1999.
2004 - Car crash. Destroyed wheelchair, but otherwise I was fine (incredibly, and by God's hand alone)
2005 - Mitroffanoff began to close off. Late December surgery to construct first ilial chimney.
2006 - Another bout of septic shock that June, caused by inadvertent clog in ilial chimney. I had severe pain in my stomach for two days and a very high fever. I was later told that if I had waited another 36 hours, I would have been killed. Two weeks in hospital leads to recovery by late June.
2007 - Another pressure ulcer becomes infected and results in 7 month bedrest, with surgery done in December resulting in the final month of rest. Also, early 2007 - depression diagnosis, but haven't had a significant episode of such since then.
2008 (Current to Nov. 29): Broke neck in April. Had surgery in May to construct a second ilial chimney. Another pressure ulcer led to 2 months of restriction which was lifted August 20 in time for a small 23rd b-day celebration. Nothing since.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Freestyle 12 - October 2, 2009

Here we go y'all it's time for anotha Freestyle
I looked for ideas, and these came to my mind
Have some things I want to say, people I wanna thank
So yo, here we go it's time to roll

First thing's first I wanna thank Sheena
She's been there for me for a while now
Over a month, we still going strong
I love you babe, I hope that you know this

Had to go pay the phone bill today
That was a pain in the you know what
But yo, if I don't pay y'all I can't play
I found I can tweet from the web on that thing
It's so cool I think it rules

I saw LoyalBelieve with a tweet about a cupcake
That might not interest most but hey, what can I say
I told her she should worship it then eat
But y'all, you know I'm just playin cause there's only one God
I believe in and it's not some thing ya bake

Did a couple walks in the last two weeks
They were both for good causes, I am proud to say
1500 for one, 2 grand for another
That's a big accomplishment I have to admit

Alright you guys it's time for me to cruise
Because I got some stuff to do like WOW and WWE
I'll see ya in 7 days til then stay blessed
Forget the stress and just stay chill, y'all
I'm out

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month

I know a LOT of people focus on it being Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Don't get me wrong - that's a great and noble cause, too. But for me, October is about something else.

October is officially National Spina Bifida Awareness Month. So today, I will give you some information on Spina Bifida. Plus, I'll have a classic post from last year, over the weekend. (All of the following facts are from the Spina Bifida Association of America, except as noted.)

What is Spina Bifida? Spina Bifida is a neural tube defect, occurring in the first months of pregnancy, where the spinal column does not completely close up.

Over 185,000 Americans live with Spina Bifida, according to the latest tally from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia. Nearly 1/2 live with the most serious form of Spina Bifida, called Myelomeningocele.

There are three forms of Spina Bifida.

Often called hidden Spina Bifida, the spinal cord and the nerves are usually normal and there is no opening on the back. In this relatively harmless form of Spina Bifida, there is a small defect or gap in a few of the small bones (vertebrae) that make up the spine.

There may be no motor or sensory impairments evident at birth. Subtle, progressive neurologic deterioration often becomes evident in later childhood or adulthood.

In many instances, Spina Bifida Occulta is so mild that there is no disturbance of spinal function at all. Occulta can be diagnosed at any age.

The protective coatings (meninges) come through the open part of the spine like a sac that is pushed out. Cerebrospinal fluid is in the sac and there is usually no nerve damage. Individuals may suffer minor disabilities. Additional problems can develop later in life.

This form of Spina Bifida occurs when the meninges (protective covering of the spinal cord) and spinal nerves come through the open part of the spine. This is the most serious type of Spina Bifida, which causes nerve damage and more severe disabilities.

Spina Bifida costs over $532,000 per child. That's a LIFETIME cost. Staggering, isn't it? Here's an even more staggering statistic. In the US, total surgical and other medical costs for ALL of those with Spina Bifida is over 200 MILLION dollars. (These numbers are in mid-1980's US $$ - and so these are likely higher!)

What can be done to prevent Spina Bifida? The best course of action is for ANY woman who may become pregnant to be sure to take a multivitamin that contains Folic Acid, or Vitamin B9. The suggested dose for those women who do not have a history of pregnancies with Neural Tube Defects is 400 micrograms, while for those who have had a child with an NTD is 4,000 micrograms. Even if you're not planning on getting pregnant, this is the best bet just in case you DO become pregnant. Folic acid has been shown to reduce the incidence of Spina Bifida and other NTD's by 70 percent! However - there's no single cause, as in my case, it was due to the use of a herbicide called Agent Orange in Vietnam, which was found in 1997 to cause an increase in Spina Bifida incidents. There is currently a study that is trying to figure out what in a person's DNA causes Spina Bifida - and yours truly is planning to be a part of this study.

Is there a cure? Not currently. The effects can be reduced via pre-natal surgery, which is currently in a phase III clinical trial - but the surgery is not without risk to the mother and the unborn child and as such further study is needed.

So, there are the facts. I tried to keep it as simple as possible. Hopefully, this is easily understood by all of you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at or at and I'll either assist you myself, or find someone who can.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Total Raised by The Rockin' Rollers As of Saturday

As you all know, last Saturday I was part of the Spina Bifida Association of Cincinnati's Walk and Roll. This was the 9th year for the event.

While final numbers may not be available for several weeks, we do have a total-to-date for my team, the Rockin' Rollers.

As of when I spoke with Judy Albert, the Walk Committee chairperson for SBAC, our team total was... $2147! That's just our team...and that is with a couple hundred dollars of donations still needing to be collected.

And Judy also tells me that together, all the people involved raised OVER EIGHTY THOUSAND DOLLARS. The goal for SBAC was $70,000! We blew that goal away!

As I noted Friday, coming up this Thursday will be a post to begin Spina Bifida Awareness Month, which goes through all of October here in the United States. As I noted, I'll tell you what it is, how many people are affected, and what can be done to either help deal with the problems that come with it, or outright prevent it.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Friday, September 25, 2009

Staffmark Downtown HQ Blows Me AWAY!!!!

Without being able to give a final total, I will go ahead and put over the folks at Staffmark, 435 Elm Street, Downtown Cincinnati.

People all over the building, spurred on by my mother, Tereasa Herald, as well as whatever knowledge they have about me, have come up HUGE for Spina Bifida Association of Cincinnati! I will have a final total Sunday for our team.

I was simply blown completely away. As noted before, Staffmark personnel had raised $665 between donations to my mother and to myself IN THREE DAYS. We not only doubled the $690 we had raised before today... but have tripled, and QUADRUPLED IT at least with a couple more hours left in the workday to collect!

This is HUGE for Spina Bifida Association of Cincinnati! Staffmark has blown my expectations of a low fundraising event completely out of the water, almost doubling our team goal!

So, to everyone at Staffmark, especially the second, third, sixth and eighth floors, I say THANK YOU ALL.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

One Down, One To Go - 28 Hours Away!

Even though you're probably reading this at 8 AM or later, I wrote this around 4 AM.

As I noted previously, I did the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes at the World Peace Bell in Newport, Kentucky. I don't know the exact number, but HUNDREDS were there. WKRC-TV 12's Cammy Dierking was there, also and met my friend Lindsay (pictured in the sidebar at right).

By the way, I continue my efforts to raise money for the JDRF. They still have my page up, so feel free to donate anytime.

I also continue my efforts to raise money for Spina Bifida Association of Cincinnati. At the second picture link at right, you will find my fundraising page for that event. That fundraising effort does continue into 2010 according to the website at But I plan to leave the page up until I meet my personal goal of $600. (That's right, it's raised from $300 to double that, thanks to help from my mom's office at Staffmark in Downtown Cincinnati I had raised nearly my entire original goal in 3 days, so I decided to challenge myself. I plan to head to Staffmark's offices later today to meet and thank each and every person who donated, individually and the office teams as a whole. I was told some other things were being done to raise money for the Rockin' Rollers team.)

As I get set to walk on Saturday morning, I think it's a good time to put everything into perspective. I'm just one of 185,000 people in the entire United States of America who has Spina Bifida and there are thousands more around the world - perhaps even a few million.

Coming October 1st, I will do a blog post specifically with the talking points about Spina Bifida - what it is, how it affects people, and some more of the current statistics that are out today. You might be shocked at just how serious of a problem Spina Bifida still is - and how it can easily go undiagnosed for 20 years or more!

I'll try to put it in laymen's terms and avoid as much medical terminology as I possibly can.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Got this one from Busy Bee Suz

Before I play 15 Words, I wanted to explain it... I got this idea from Suz of Day By Day, My Life As A Busy Bee fame, who in turn got it from Caution Flag of The Human Race 600 fame. Sums up my Wednesday morning pretty well. Basically, you use fifteen, AND ONLY 15, words to describe...whatever is on your mind.

Three hours sleep.
Not a good thing.
Need some more sleep.
That, or some caffeine.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Walk To Cure Diabetes Day

If you remember, last June, I did the American Cancer Society Relay For Life in Union. Today, it's time for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Walk to Cure Diabetes in Newport, KY.

After this week, I focus on a cause that I am 100 percent passionate about...Spina Bifida. I'll be doing the Walk and Roll in Harrison, Ohio. That's going to be next Saturday morning at 8 AM.

Whew...I'll be tired after these...

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Freestyle

So it's been awhile
For the Friday Freestyle
But I'm back again
So let's get goin

So my Bengals lost last week
Yo, that's alright, it's only week one
We can get that loss back
Time to play the Pack

Year ago this week
Ike blew through my hometown
No power, no food for many
We all learned how to rough it
I got lucky, only lost it for about 18 hours
Some went without a lot longer

Special person in my life
Who I miss and love to bits
Not bein with her is the pits, but
It'll resolve itself real quick

Guess that's all I got to say
For this week's Friday freestyle
Stay blessed
Get rid of the stress
And I'll see ya in seven days

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Still Need TONS Of Help!

Hey guys!

As you know a couple of major fundraising efforts are happening on my part in the next two weeks. I am doing the JDRF Walk To Cure Diabetes this weekend in Newport, KY and I'm nowhere near my online goal of $100. If you can help with that, click to the right on the top picture of myself and Lindsay.

Also, the following week I switch gears to concentrate on the Spina Bifida Association of Cincinnati Walk and Roll 2009. If you're able to help with this, PLEASE click to the right on the second picture.

I realize both walks fall within one week and it's a lot to ask you to support both...But if you even give $5, it would help me TREMENDOUSLY!

Thanks y'all and remember...

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Hilarity Ensued Yesterday.

I was in Cincinnati yesterday with my friend and brother from another mother, Mikey. This story is from after our four hour excursion around Northgate.

I had to wait 20-25 minutes for a bus. When it arrived (it was late due to traffic), I boarded as usual, and paid my $2.25 fare. Before I could get into one of the handicapped wheelchair areas, the driver took off and the chair went rolling! I wasn't strapped down! Whoops...after laughing about it for about 3 minutes, I was finally tied in and we left...

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Downtown Cincinnati Experience of Tuesday

Imagine this: 3:25 PM, downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. You're in a wheelchair. You're walking across a busy street, one of the major arteries on the north side of downtown. Suddenly, someone suspicious starts following you. What do you do?

That happened to me Tuesday afternoon, at that time, in that city.

Here's what happened. I was outside of Cincinnati's major public access facility, Media Bridges. This is in the 1100 block of Race Street, right on the edge of the Over-The-Rhine district of Cincinnati. I was talking to my girlfriend Sheena but I still recall all of these events in my head, so nothing is left out of the situation.

I could see this guy standing in the street. I think nothing of it, so I start to cross Central Parkway (basically, those not from here might think, that's just 11th Street, but its given name is Central Parkway).

Now I'm not writing this to slam either Media Bridges, the Cincinnati Police or Fire/EMS departments, or any part of my hometown. Listen: I love the state I was born in. I love Cincinnati. But this was a scary sight at 3:25 PM on a Tuesday afternoon. Broad daylight, and this guy is out in the MIDDLE OF CENTRAL FRICKIN' PARKWAY! I still wonder how he wasn't hit all this time.

I decide to head on south, back toward the central business district area. I'm not feeling too comfortable about standing there at that moment even for a second. This guy begins to follow me. Not cool. I turn and walk a little quicker. He's still following me.

I cross Court Street (which you from outside of Cincy might think is 10th, but...the courthouse is at its east end, thus its given name once again). The guy stays on the north side of the street, BUT HE'S STILL BEHIND ME. At this point, I'm freaked. I call Cincinnati PD. As I'm giving his description, the guy has come across Court and is now headed straight across Vine Street, still in my general direction.

I'm not sure whether he realized I was on the phone to police, but he turned and walked south on Vine. I didn't follow him. I feared a trap. I tell police he's gone, but then a familiar response overtakes me.

It's that feeling I get before I go into the syncopal episodes I sometimes have. So now, here I am, standing on the corner of Court and Vine, and I'm having a panic attack. Great. I tell the dispatcher to send me medics to the location. I'm transferred to the medical side of Cincinnati dispatch, tell the operator my symptoms, location and phone number, and hang up.

At this point, medics arrive within 3 minutes. (Where's the police? You'd think dispatch would still send the police to this particular medical emergency, given the circumstances.) After a quick check of my vitals to make sure I'm in no imminent danger, of course my ass high tails it straight out of there, AWAY from the OTR area.

Here's the point of this blog, which is two-fold:

1) to vent the feelings I still have, which are of fear, distress, and quite frankly, a mixture of these and illness in my stomach, and;

2) to make a crucial point about the state of my beloved city.

Now, I'm no idiot. I KNOW OTR can be a dangerous area. I have re-iterated this several times since. Hell, even the MEDICS told me anything north of Central Parkway is a dangerous area!

But in broad daylight, near a major public access facility, doesn't the public, even someone from across the river, have some right to feel safe? Some places even in OTR don't need a 24/7 armed guard. In the case of Media Bridges, where there's lots and lots of expensive electrical equipment at any given time inside the building...I'd say this is one, and the area within a block or so of that building should be as well. Just my opinion.

And here we have Cincinnati City Council squabbling over POLICE STAFFING. WAKE UP CINCINNATI COUNCIL! If someday, someone gets robbed, shot, beaten, whatever on that street corner...well it's gonna be an "I Told You So" moment.

The signature seems especially appropriate today for some reason...

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Monday, August 31, 2009

Cutback on Caffeine - Days 2-7

Well, the rest of the week didn't go as well as Tuesday.

I cut caffeine totally on Tuesday...and then got sick Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. So, I'm down to 1-2 caffeine drinks a day (only 1 if I can help it.)

I really hope I can keep this thing up...I really do.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Giving Up Caffeine - Day 1

Last week, I announced my plans to cut back (or out) my caffeine intake beginning Monday and just generally get (or stay) healthy in my 24th year of life.

Due to other things that needed done that might have thrown my plans off track, I pushed that back a day to alleviate the stress and the temptation.

I'm glad I did, because I am proud to say that I did not touch a DROP of caffeine all day Tuesday. I drank caffeine-free Diet Coke (and LIKED IT) and water, all day.

Today is day two. And my body is feeling the effects of yesterday. I woke up around 4:30 this morning, throwing up and with a headache. Oh, and CRAVING caffeine!

It may be worth it in the end...but my body is trying to tell me it's not.

I had some inspiration though. Sheena Clifford is someone who's become very important to my life and my world over the last few days. She kept me from thinking about how BADLY I wanted that caffeine fix...and because of her, I didn't give in. Thank u sweetheart...

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Monday, August 24, 2009

College Begins

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Logos on this page are those of the individual institutions and/or agencies.

My brother Andrew begins college today at Northern Kentucky University. It takes me back to 2004, before medical problems started to happen and I had to take a sabbatical.

My first day of school, I was a 19 year old who was new to the whole college thing. I didn't really
know too much about the college experience. I, just like my brother Andrew, was a commuter. What that meant to me was, I would ride in with my mom in the morning, go to my classes and then go home. In 2005, when I had my second semester, I had two options to get home:

1) I would ride home with my friend David Jones on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The travel time with this was 25 minutes.
2) If I had a Tuesday/Thursday class, I would ride the TANK bus. I took the routes 11 or 25 to Covington Transit Center, then rode from there to Florence on the route 1, walking home from the bus stop. It took 2 hours, 30 minutes to get home by this route.

Traffic on the road home usually wasn't a problem unless I left at 3 PM or later (as I sometimes did). Then, it was rush hour and that was never fun. Rush hour would increase my travel time by half an hour or more.

Anyway, my first day was made especially memorable when I arrived. I was greeted by people from the Baptist Student Union (which is now called the Baptist Campus Ministry). They were passing out breakfast to those arriving near their building. That made an impression with me, and I joined that group and stayed there for my year and a half of schooling at NKU.

All of this to say, I hope Andrew has a good first day of school and finds something, just like BCM, that he can be part of. And to all those going back to school, whether it's college, high school or something else, I hope your 1st day goes well.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Personal Health Plan for Year 24

OK, I'm sitting here and I'm reading a blog from WKRQ afternoon DJ Brian Douglas. This blog is his blog about his weight watchers experience, he lost over 125 pounds in the space of a year.

Now, I do not need to lose weight lol. Far from that...I actually think I'm at a healthy point in my life and government guidelines do suggest that with my height of 5'6" I should weigh somewhere between 118 and 148 pounds for a healthy BMI number. At last check I weighed 120. Good place to be.

Now comes the difficult part...MAINTAINING that. Look, I don't eat exactly healthy. I have this habit of caffeine addiction. Yes I said addiction. I have to have my Mountain Dew every day or one or both of these two things happen:

1) I drag through my day, feeling groggy and sleepy and/or,

2) I get severe headaches.

I basically wind up having 6 cans of Mountain Dew PER DAY, or 2 liters. After adding up the caffeine content of said amount of cans I was astonished to learn I have been putting basically 310 milligrams of caffeine into my body PER DAY. I gotta cut back on that at least a bit. Maybe down to 200 or less.

So my health plan is basically as follows (and given that I stayed out of the hospital for a long-term stay this year I'm off to a good start):

1) Cut down or out on caffeine. How can I do it without enduring the headaches that always, and I mean ALWAYS, follow?? I did well for a month last year, fell off that wagon and haven't gotten back on but, after Friday I'm going to try very hard to do this.
2) Eat healthier. Meaning a few more fruits and veggies.
3) Exercise. I'm off to a great start... I do get an hour plus of good cardio in at least 4x/week, walking to and from Florence Mall and around inside the mall.
4) SLEEP! This means sleeping 6-8 hours per day. I'm not doing well with this one, in fact to be blunt it is an out-and-out struggle. Like one day I will stay up all night or get maybe 2 hours of sleep, then the next night because I denied myself sleep the night before, I sleep 12 hours. That see-saw isn't healthy...

This is my resolution for year 24 of life, as I try to reach a quarter-century of life in 2010...yes I realize I haven't really begun to celebrate my 24th yet, but my goal is to still be healthy this time next year...

Courage + Belief = LIFE

24 Today! it really August 19th? Am I really celebrating another birthday??

You'll forgive me if this is a little hard for me to believe, I am sure.

There are a few days that doctors thought would be my last day on earth...and yet, I am still alive. I'm still living, still breathing...still kicking (but not literally).

Heck, there have been days I thought I was gonna die...but I'm still living.

Now, at year 24... does this year feel different from years past? In some ways yes.

For one, year 23 in life was actually fairly decent to me medically. I didn't have anything major that put me into an inpatient stay in the hospital. Any time that that happens, it's always a good thing.

For two, for the most part, I've kept those in my life who were worth keeping. You, my blogger friends, are worth keeping. I wouldn't be doing this this morning if I didn't have the readers.

But in other ways...this isn't much different. But those are small potato kind of things, really.

I'm still disabled. I'm still in the wheelchair. But you know what? I've learned to accept it. I'm dealing with it. I don't get depressed over it.

I have my down days, yes. But...they're fewer.

I still have the core group of friends I KNOW I can count on. There's more of them though.

So...maybe beginning year 24 isn't much of the same thing, after all. Every year is a new beginning. And I think it's great.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Reviewing TNA's Hard Justice Pay-Per-View

So, yesterday was spent hanging out with Mikey, aka thenotoriouskid on twitter. We watched the Total Nonstop Action Wrestling pay-per-view known as Hard Justice. These are my thoughts on it.

-- The Steel Asylum X-Division match was OFF THE HOOK. Daniels won which I can agree with. He now moves to a feud with Samoa Joe (more on this a little later). Those were some SICK spots including a hurracanrana-style DDT by Amazing Red on Consequences Creed!

-- The Abyss/Jethro Holliday match over the $50,000 bounty was fine for what it was...which was a hardcore match. Holliday turns face with his attack on Stevie which I'm happy with. Maybe they do Jethro and Abyss as a tag team.

-- Hernandez beat Rob Terry to get his briefcase back. If they have him cash in his title shot at or before No Surrender on pay-per-view, I'll be pleased. (More on this later, too.)

-- The British Invasion tag team went through Beer Money like a steamroller through cardboard. That's all I can say here. The World Elite faction didn't look horrible here.

-- ODB (use your imagination if you're not aware already what this stands for) and Cody Deaner beat Velvet Sky and Angelina Love and ODB captures the TNA Knockouts Title (similar to the WWE Women's and Divas titles, for those not aware). OK, I get that. But...ENOUGH OF THE SINGLES TITLES BEING DEFENDED IN TAG MATCHES!!! It doesn't work, and besides, it's very awkward when a man (Deaner) pins a female in this kind of match. What, are we suppose to believe that Deaner is ACTUALLY the Knockouts champ?? Well, it worked for WWE, so it must work here, so thinks TNA anyway...

-- Homicide lost the X Division title to Samoa Joe. I like this one and it's the logical move to further Daniels' win earlier in the night. Plus it means that the Main Event Mafia/World Elite superfaction has all of the gold (excluding the Knockouts title, but expect Traci Brooks to take that no later than Bound For Glory, I'm calling that now; and more on how the other title change happened in a few).

-- Booker T and Scott Steiner retained the TNA Tag Titles over Team 3D. I understood why they had two referees when the finish happened and both refs counted pins for opposite sides. Going to the videotape was a nice touch and something TNA (and WWE for that matter) should do for future controversial finishes. Plus it furthered that feud, and leads naturally to Team 3D getting a future shot. They were all over the arena, but the pinfall happened in the ring - so why the hell is this "falls count anywhere" if the deciding pinfall only happens in the ring??

-- Kevin Nash wins the Legends title over Mick Foley and all I could say is "holy bloodbath, Batman"! Wow. That was a bloody match! Again, MEM/World Elite look very strong right here!

-- Kurt Angle retains the TNA World Title over Matt Morgan and Sting. Two things about this match I liked, and one I didn't. They teased Matt Morgan going along with Kurt Angle's plan, which made him turning against Angle believable. I did like that. I did like Sting and Matt Morgan getting more time in the ring, which if Sting wasn't about to retire would be a great opportunity for Morgan.

But what I didn't like about it is who walked away from this match with the victory and the title. Kurt Angle does NOT need to be TNA World Champion right now. For those who were living under a rock all weekend, Angle was arrested Saturday morning on charges of Violating a Protection From Abuse Order (otherwise known as a Restraining Order), Possession of Illegal Substances (he had a vial of Human Growth Hormone), Harassment and Driving On a Suspended License (his license had been suspended following a DUI last year). He'd beaten his girlfriend Friday night, she went and got the Protection From Abuse order, and then left to seek refuge elsewhere. Angle apparently drove to where his girlfriend had taken refuge at a Starbucks, and was driving around the parking lot when he was stopped by police.

Angle has some major issues at this point, and I believe he needs to be suspended based on the HGH possession charge, and probably needs to take some time away from the business. So what did TNA do? They KEPT THE BELT ON ANGLE! Not smart...he's mentally unstable, and to say the least he has some major personal issues that he really does need to deal with, NOW! If TNA doesn't do the right thing soon, something is going to happen to Angle and they're gonna find him dead or seriously ill somewhere. Mark my words on this one and watch if my prediction doesn't come true. TNA, put the title on Hernandez, NOW.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Freestyle Ten

Here we go again
It's another Friday night
And it's time to freestyle
Let's get right to it

I didn't do this last week
Because too much was happenin
But now we're gonna fix that
It's gonna be good

Friends always have your back
There when ya need em
Mine certainly were this week
And I give them big props

From Flo-town to the 'Nati
From the west to the east
My friends came from everywhere
And I'm glad I got em

As bad as my week has been
It coulda been worse
But hey, that's okay, I made it
And that's all that really counts

So we gonna end this verse right here
And I'm gonna get back to relaxing
I'll definitely be back at ya in 7
When I will be twenty-four

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Straight Shoot - My Aunt Mary, The Last Four Weeks, and Things Going Down

This is going to be a multi-part shoot on a few things... in case you're wondering, a shoot means that I'm speaking of real stuff, no lies, no mis-truths, no nothing. Just a straightforward blog.

Shoot 1 - My Aunt Mary and Her Involvement in Aunt Kathy's Suicide 2 Years Ago

There aren't many people who knew me 2 years ago here on blogger. So this shoot is new to most of you.

On August 14, 2007, my aunt Kathy Ludwick committed suicide by drug overdose. The sad thing is that it wouldn't have happened had the stress not been present in her life.

What stress? Financial stress and emotional stress.

See, earlier that year aunt Kathy had begun a divorce proceeding against my uncle Terry. The main reason for this was that he was a full-on alcoholic. She went to live with my aunt Mary in Indiana. Mary then began to forge Kathy's name on things like receipts, credit applications, and other financial things. That brought Kathy into quite a bit of debt. That debt then triggered emotional stress.

For two years, then, I've blamed aunt Mary for what aunt Kathy did. And while aunt Mary was certainly guilty of other crimes...she was not guilty of murder like I wanted to believe. I still don't like my aunt Mary for other things she has done against my family. But she isn't a murderer.

Shoot 2 - Doris: I took a lot of heat for a myspace post from four months ago... including Doris herself finding said post.

I don't care if this gets me heat.

I need to shoot straight here... I did nothing wrong when she and I split.

All I was trying to do at the time we split is to stop myself from becoming physically worse. Unfortunately...she misread it as making my OWN choice to split up.

Now, I'm going to shoot on her. Doris, you caused far too much pain for me. For SIX MONTHS, I haven't been myself. That ends tonight, August 12, 2009. I am DONE being anything other than me.

Shoot 3 - The Shoot of Mikey and its Effects - I am not going to get directly involved in that mess. But... I too had been a member of I too saw the quick collapse of the family atmosphere that had previously existed.

I believe that Mikey spoke only truth. Mikey tells it straight, just like it is. And for ANYONE to suggest he was lying is a slap in the face to him, and, in my own view, a slap in my face as well. Mikey is the older brother I haven't had and NOBODY is gonna slam him for posting the TRUTH. And I say Mikey is straight up BALLIN' as a brother.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Saturday, August 8, 2009

What Are You Thinking, Cincinnati - Rant About Children's Hospital

It's been a bit since I've done a rant, and last night's experiences having to go to TWO hospitals to be treated for what is, right now, thought to be a muscle pull has inspired one. I hope you packed a breakfast AND a lunch, because it's gonna be a wild ride!

First, some background. As you may or may not know, I was diagnosed with Spina Bifida within hours of my birth on August 19, 1985. This is a congenital birth defect where the back fails to completely close around the spinal cord. Ever since then, all of my medical needs, both related and unrelated to Spina Bifida, have been taken care of in one place, the Children's Hospital Medical Center of Cincinnati.

Until yesterday.

I have been dealing with back pain off and on for a few months. I did my best to survive. After all, I'm tough, right? (Or at least other people say I am.) So, I toughed it out for 2 or three months. Finally, however, Friday morning I had so much pain, I couldn't move. So I called my doctor, which, like all medical care, is at Cincinnati Children's, and I was told by them to go to the ER there.

Friday afternoon, I left the house around 3:15 and went up there. I get there, go through registration and sit in the waiting room. Okay so far.

But then they take me back to the triage station...where they proceed to tell me that due to the fact I haven't seen my primary doctor (THE SAME PEOPLE I CALLED THIS MORNING) in six months, and I am 23 about to be 24, AND in spite of the fact that I had previously pretty much been told I was set to go as far as medical care for life because I will be wheelchair bound for life thanks to the Spina Bifida...I can no longer be seen at Children's Hospital Medical Center, AND I need to find an adult physician.


It's Children's policy that they do not serve patients over 21 in their Emergency Room.

Again, what???

Now, the rant. This policy is frickin' STUPID. I had NEVER had this issue before! I've been going to that hospital for 24 years! If their policy was not to serve patients over 21, should that not have been enforced, let's see...AT THE TIME I TURNED 21???? And FURTHERMORE, don't even get me started on this "you haven't seen your primary physician in over 6 months" crap. How many of you only see your doctors once a year because you're pretty darn healthy? Exactly. If I go a year without seeing my primary physician, it's because I have not had any major issues. The last time I saw this doctor was December 22 or so. Because of that, I cannot see that doctor anymore. And you're going to tell me that THEIR policy is also not to take patients over 21??? I've seen that doctor for about 2 years! I was 22 at the time!

What a load of crap. By the way, I was seen at St. Elizabeth, and I have to give props to them for quickly diagnosing the pulled muscle in my back.


Courage + Belief = LIFE

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday sadness

I just found out that someone I've profiled here in my "I Like..." series is...moving away. :'(

Trisha Chell, who I profiled in this post, is moving in about 62 days. She'll be moving to Virginia and I am gonna miss her... I hate to sound selfish, but why is it that a) I was the last one to find out about this and b) the people I get closer to, either already are or wind up moving far away???

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Needing Help with Fundraising Efforts!

As posted on Friday, I will be participating in the 2009 Walk To Cure Diabetes in Newport, Kentucky.

Another effort I am proud to participate in, happens to fall one week later. (An aside: Sometimes maybe organizations need to consult with one another on they don't fall one week apart like this. Heh. Just kidding, I support both.) That's the 2009 Spina Bifida Association of Cincinnati's Walk and Roll.

Links to BOTH fundraising pages are at the right side. The JDRF Walk page will stay up through September 21 (or as long as it still exists on their servers, whichever happens first) and the SBAC Walk page will be up through September 28 (or again, as long as the page is still there, whichever happens first.)

I would appreciate even a small donation to one or both efforts. My personal goals are to raise $100 for the JDRF walk, and $300 for the SBAC walk. (If one or both goals are blown out of the water...I'll just raise the bar until the end date, as high as needed. I'd love to blow them both out.)

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Freestyle the Ninth

Yo here we go again
Was a big week in the sports world
So wit that said it's time to recap
And do some freestylin' too

Shaq did RAW this week
And I dug every second
But it coulda been better
Ah well, at least he did awesome

Then came the trade deadline
And a lot of moves were made
Digging Rolen to the Reds
Peavy to the Sox is good too

Smackdown was awesome tonight
Hardy and Morrison tore it down
Punk versus Hardy next week
That heel turn was awesome

So, we're done here for this week
And next week looks busy
But we'll hit ya in 7 days
Til then, stay cool y'all

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Added Something to the Right Side

EDIT/UPDATE 4:15 AM Sunday 8/2: Like at Tri-State Media Watch, this has turned out to be the kind of item that I needed to update.

I hate to ask a lot - but both these efforts are VERY important to me personally. And no, I didn't schedule these - they just fall one week apart...LOL...

With that said, there's now a link to the 2009 Spina Bifida Association Walk & Roll homepage of yours truly. That walk is held September 26 in Harrison, Ohio at Miami Whitewater Forest.

If you're nearby, and would like to participate in either event - I'd love that, even if you yourself cannot donate. Our team goal for the 2009 walk is $1,000 - and it's easily attainable and even surpassable if the effort is put in. We won't stop - if we meet the current goal, we'll just set a new one!

Again - as with the below, click the picture labeled "2009 Walk and Roll for Spina Bifida". This link will be active later than the below by 1 week.

The original post is below...

I have added something to the right side of my page as you may have noticed.

From now until September 19, I have posted a link on the far right side of this space, at the very top. This link will take you to a donation page for the 2009 Walk To Cure Diabetes in Newport, Kentucky - specifically, my donation page.

I will be part of Lindsay Lou's Walking Crew at the walk that day. My personal goal is $100 but I'd LOVE to blow that out of the water.

So, if you're so inclined, click the picture to the right and donate! Myself, Lindsay, and the rest of our team would definitely appreciate it!

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Not a lot to say lately.

First, I'd like to thank those who have been in prayer for me in the last few days, as I've struggled once again with the syncopal episodes that I've had, off and on, for nearly 8 months.

I did have another dizzy spell late Tuesday evening, prompting me to make a somewhat early exit from my church event. The after-effects are still somewhat noticeable this morning - and consequently I don't think I will be going anywhere today.

About the upcoming week: An "I Like...Because..." post will be coming up either today or tomorrow...Friday Freestyle as always on Friday...I'm going to attempt to get back to Thursday 13 this week...and maybe another post or two...

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Saturday, July 25, 2009

My Stepdad's Birthday Today

Above: My stepfather, Stephen Herald, on a cruise in 2004.

Today is my stepfather, Stephen Herald's 45th birthday. He was born July 25th, 1964. I managed to run out on Wednesday and get him the Ghostbusters game I knew he wanted...and gave it to him just a bit ago. He was very happy about it... so now, I wait to see what everyone ELSE did. We're getting ready to go out to eat so I can't stay and talk... be back later...

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Freestyle the Eighth

Here we go again
Another weekly freestyle for y'all
We don't need to do memorial this week
For once, that I'm happy bout

Just watched the WWE
And saw a decent show
I just hope this weekend's big pay-per-view
Is better than what TNA put on

Saturday gonna be real good
I celebrate my stepdad's b-day
I just hope the rain holds off
Because who wants a wet party?

Alright y'all we're about done here
We'll be back next week
Til then, courage plus belief equals life
And I love y'all for real

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Needing More Prayer Again

I am once again dealing with the syncopal episodes that hit me for the first time in December, 2008.

Tonight I had a dizzy spell of about 5 minutes duration at Florence Mall around 7 PM, which, if I hadn't moved quickly to hang onto something sturdy, I would have certainly collapsed. I made it home, but I honestly haven't a clue how. I'm also having issues stumbling over my own words - I couldn't form the words in a couple of cases to talk to my family or friends.

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers in the coming few days, as I will need to watch it closely.

Courage + Belief = LIFE