My TBR pile and some thoughts on THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS

The other night I went out on a date with my sweet husband. And like we used to do before we had kids we went out to eat… and then to the bookstore. This was the conversation we had on the way there.

Him: Oh! Let’s go to the bookstore.

Me: Okay! But, I’ve got such a HUGE to be read pile now. I won’t get anything.

This is also known as one of the lies I tell myself. Especially because I cannot go into a bookstore without buying something. So, I added to my TBR.

Currently some of the books that are waiting for me to read them:

We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist.

Believarexic by JJ Johnson

Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt

We Believe the Children by Richard Beck

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

And copious others that I can’t remember off the top of my head.

I’m slowly working my way through This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp and it is just killing me at every turn. I think that any of us that have been in school in a post-Columbine time it is particularly haunting.

As a parent, this is one of my biggest fears played out in front of me. It’s a hard read, but I think it’s necessary. I think it says a lot and I think it’s definitely going to be one of those books that I just dwell on for a while. I’m most of the way through it and I know it’s a book that I’d recommend even without having finished it.

I’m not going to spoil anything. But, I will say that there’s a side character with a disability and the author perfectly captures my thoughts and fears after Columbine happened. I was always afraid of just being a sitting duck. And then once I was a teacher I worried if I would be a hindrance to my students.

This book could be too much for some readers. It’s not a light read by any means. The struggles that all of the narrator’s face are very real and fleshed out. You are with each of them as they try to understand exactly what is happening and why. And there aren’t a lot of answers.

What are you reading now? What’s on your TBR? Have you read THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS?


International Day of Acceptance


Today is the International Day of Acceptance.

As I get older the more I admit to myself that I am, in fact, disabled. I have one leg. I hated being called handicapped when I was younger. Hated the word. Hated what it implied. But, it is a fact of my life. It’s not something I think a lot about at this point. I mean, it’s just my life. I can’t change it and I don’t regret it (hello, I really like living and stuff), so why spend any energy thinking about it.

But, I am privileged. I walk upright and rarely need assistance in my life. I don’t need automatic doors or ramps. I don’t need braille or assistive technology to read a menu. I don’t need someone that can sign or have to read lips to communicate. I don’t need to wait on unreliable public transportation to get me from various places.

I am lucky. I am privileged.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t felt the sting of being judged based totally on my disability. I’ve had people make ableist comments about how I raise my children. I love how people say they would NEVER use a “leash” on their child. Well, for me, if it keeps my child from running out into traffic because I can’t hold her hand, yeah, I’ll put a damn leash on my child.

When I was still an actor, on more than one occasion, well meaning directors told me if I just wore a prosthesis… Yeah, because it’s just that easy. It doesn’t take time, MONEY (the c-leg knee is the same as a brand new luxury car), hours of PT to learn to use it. Also, why should I change the way I physically look when you don’t make others? Why should I have to add a body part when I’m talented WITH or WITHOUT my leg.

It’s time to notice that people with disabilities are all around you. They are fighting to be noticed. To be heard. We are fully realized human beings. We are not your fetishes or inspiration. We are people.

It’s time to make the world accessible to all.

Falling. Literally.

It’s no secret in my family that I am a huge klutz. Add in the fact that I am on crutches and it just makes my life even more interesting. This means that I fall, a lot. The good news is that for the most part I know how to fall “correctly”- as in with as little damage as possible to my actual body. It’s a skill and one that I learned through, my awesome physical therapists and just years of experience.

Lately though I seem to have forgotten all of my knowledge about being an amputee or how to handle it. If I was still having growth spurts I’d blame my complete lack of grace or coordination on that. Instead I think it’s just my clumsiness comes in waves and I’m in a pretty big wave.

Last week I just didn’t think. Like, literally I was not thinking, and I stood on my spare pant leg and then tried to walk. Know what happens when you do this? It’s like pulling a rug out from under your own feet. There was a thunderous THUD as I hit the floor of my hallway, shaking the entire house. Classic rookie amputee mistake. It’s only been 25 years. One would think I would learn. (a 9.5 on the Kati-Falls-Scale)

Tonight, in about a five minute time span I managed to fall twice in my kitchen. I was making dinner for my kiddos before we left for church. I turned and my crutch managed to find the plastic bottom out of a reusable bag and I sort of gracefully slid to the ground. Eleanor was hanging out in the kitchen with me and gasped, “Mama! You scared me!” I’m sort of sitting there on the floor thinking that at least it wasn’t a big fall. (only a 4 on the scale) I got back up, finished cutting up her apples, and going about my business. THEN as I was leaving the kitchen my crutch slid on a stupid tea towel that I had up for decoration (and it was a Christmas one at that). I fell straight down on my stomach. I managed to mangle my knee and my arm up. This one was much more dramatic and definitely hurt more. (a 9.6 because of the pain involved) Neither of my kids even noticed.

I’ve had other really great falls over the years.

  1. I broke my wrist my senior year on the last day of auditions for my last high school musical by tripping over a vacuum cord in my closet.
  2. I sprained my knee tripping over a sidewalk my freshman year of college. In the middle of the day.
  3. I broke (the same wrist) during rehearsals for my first professional show when I fell out of an imaginary closet.
  4. I fell in a parking lot while wearing infant Eleanor. This one required a trip to the walk in clinic and massive irrigation to get it clean. And my knee now bleeds if you look at it wrong.

So, tonight after this fall I decided to come up with a rating scale to judge these by. A 1 is barely  fall, more of an ungraceful trip. A 10 requires a trip to the emergency room. I’ll keep you up to date on where I land. ((ALL PUNS INTENDED).

giphy (7)

I don’t like New Year’s Resolutions.  I just don’t.

I do however like goals. So, instead of saying what I’m not going to do (which is what it seems like a lot of resolutions are), here’s a list of things I’d like to do this year.

  1. Read more. But, if a book isn’t working for me, admit that it’s not and put it down.
    I want to read more books. I’ve never kept up with how many books I read in a year, so I’m just going to say I’d like to read 50 books this year.
    But, the second the book stops working for me, admit that it’s not working for me and put it down. No matter how many people OMG LOVE this book or how many awards it gets, put it down.
  2. Write more. That’s an obvious one and one that I feel like is on my goals EVERY year.
  3. Be more intentional with my interactions. Both in real life and on line. I want to hear more from people, hear their stories, listen to their words. I want to work on a way to find my reasonable tone when people say things that I absolutely don’t agree with.
  4. Be less irate about things I can’t change and then do something to change them.
  5. Be more organized in life. Which also means being neater and not letting clutter build up in my life.
  6. And maybe use my gym as an actual gym instead of a place to write.