On a Wing and a Prayer…

A warm welcome to the newbies who are joining us for the first time. And a friendly welcome back to those who’ve joined us before.

As the title indicates, I’m going to wing the topic of this week’s blog. I’m giving the blog to set the pace and go in the direction it wants to go. I call this, ‘the Holy Spirit’ within me.

‘Blog,’ that’s a funny word. My definition is, A friendly chat. A conversation with… An interesting topic to share and learn about. Hmm. That’s the idea behind the ‘No Shoes Required,’ Blog.

The dictionary says, ” A blog  is an updated website or web page.  It’s run by an individual or small group. Its style is informal or conversational. So, we’ll see what I can share with you and what you might learn from me.

No Shoes Required is an interactive site where we share and learn about each other. The blog needs you to be interactive. Otherwise, it’s all about ‘ME,’ and that’s not the point.

Last week, I featured a guest blogger. Louise is from SW Florida. And she shared her story. I hope that many of you read about her. I know there are many ladies who are following this blog. The blogs are still available to read. I encourage you to go to the site and read them.

But now, I need you to come out of the closet, so-to-speak, and tell us your story. It’s easy to do. Just write what you are comfortable sharing about. Read what Louise wrote. Read any of my blogs. They will give you an idea.

We have something in common. We all have a disability. Perhaps, it isn’t visible, and maybe it is. We each face challenges that we share. I choose not to let my affliction hold me back. It’s my style to push through and find my own triumph.

I don’t expect you to be a carbon copy of me. I want you to be you… I’m comfortable living in my skin. I’m an artist. I’m a writer by trade. I’m a ‘girly girl.’ I’m a true Fashionista. And I like myself.

I might be in my sixties, but I love being trendy. I enjoy being the center of attention. When I’m out-and-about, and people look at me. I want them to see ME. And not my wheels. I’m comfortable flashing a big smile. I’m comfortable with the vibes I give to those who surround me.

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I’m guessing that you are comfortable in your skin. This is the person we want to hear about. Just be you… the real you. It’s easy, just email me your story. Email it to me at punken1947@live.com. I will post your story and a picture too.

So, you say, this ‘No Shoes Required,’ blog is about fashion. And you don’t think you are a Fashionista. But, you are. Whether you are a feminist who wears satin and lace, or your style is jeans and T-shirts. Fashion comes in many styles. And you march to your own drummer.

This week’s blog wants to move in a different direction now. My guest this week is Mia Perez. She’s a fictional character in my latest book, ‘Broken, Crisis of Faith.’ Mia comes alive on the written page. Her’s is a tragedy to triumph story.

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I’ve decided to treat you to the forward to Broken, Crisis of Faith. I’m proud of my daughter for writing about her perception of having a mother with a disability.

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Forward written by

Rebecca Krafft-Martinez

For as long as I can remember, our society said that my mom was disabled. I watched as she learned to live with some pretty hard stuff in her life, but she faced it all with pride and dignity.

She has a genetic disease that caused deterioration of her muscles. This, in turn, diminished her mobility.

The disease has affected her since her early childhood and peaked around the age of thirty. I remember how Mother never let this disease or loss of mobility get in her way.

Under the circumstances, she made our lives the best that she could. She cooked dinner. We went shopping, and she used her artistic talents for school or community events.

She always remained positive and approached every task with the best of her ability. Although she was unable to walk, she found a way to compensate for legs that did not work. She moved on in her life to overcome her disability. She faced her challenges head on with faith and determination.

I’m not just referring to her physical disability.  But she also had to face the social challenges of the times. I watched as Mom blossomed. This during the time of the Americans with Disabilities Act. She became even more self-reliant and less dependent on her husband and children.

Through her I discovered that burdens can make a person stronger. And that insecurity can become strengths. She has taught me to be the best that I could be.

I’ve learned to put my heart and soul into everything I did. I am not the best and never will be, but I do put one hundred and ten percent into my endeavors. I learned that work ethic from Mom.

Mom, you are an inspiration to me. You helped me to see that dreams can come true. That sometimes suffering and joy go hand-in-hand. I’ve become a strong and independent person. You taught me to love myself in spite of any limitations.

I thank God for His wisdom. I could not have asked for a better mother or role model. If it wasn’t for my mother’s example, I would have never ‘overcome’ my own fears and insecurities. I don’t think that I would have become the woman I am today.

I am proud to call her my mother.

Mia Perez has a bit to say too.

When I woke up from the coma, my doctor said I was in a head-on collision. A drunk driver hit my car. It was a severe car crash that killed my boyfriend and the driver of the other car.

My journey began the day I survived the accident. But soon, it became clear that I would face life without the use of my legs.

Many men and women, helped shape me into the person I became. I learned to face adversity and challenges with determination and humor.

My name is Mia Perez and this is my story.

You can read about Mia Perez in an Amazon E-book to download, or in paperback format.   Broken, Crisis of Faith,  is available at the Kindle ebook store for $5.99. If you prefer a paperback format, the book is available on Createspace at the cost of $9.59. A discount coupon is available on my webpage http://klorraine.com. And while you are there, please read my other blog. It won’t cost you anything. I write about general topics that differ from the No Shoes Required Blog. Thank you…

Author’s Message:

Disability has no boundaries. Creativity and imagination come from the mind, not of the limbs. Anything is possible.

Creativity, talent, artist+ disability = Handicapable.

Until next time,

So be flirtatious, fabulous, and be the Fashionista you want to be. Be yourself because everyone else is already taken.

K. Lorraine

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Louise, an entrepreneur from SW Florida…

Let’s give Louise a warm welcome to the ‘No Shoes Required Blog.’ I especially want to welcome her, because she is my FIRST guest. This is her testimony. I hope you enjoy… Louise writes.

“No Shoes Required” is a blog designed to help fellow women with a disability. There, we learn how to interact and gain knowledge of how other women cope with their limitations. This includes what styles of clothing are the easiest for us to wear along with being in step with today’s fashion world.

I am handicapped, but this has only been for the last 26 years. I have been fortunate enough to have the time to adapt to my slowly worsening condition. And I am learning daily about new ways to do things in a manner that requires very little leg work. In 1988 and 1992, I blew out the ACL ligaments, one at a time, in both my knees.

The right one was repaired in 1988, but the left knee has never been repaired, due to obesity. The Doctor’s say, “It would be a waste of our time and your money to do the repair without losing 120 pounds first.” So it’s up to me!

Just for good measure, throw in a case of sciatica acquired after an auto accident. My back goes into severe spasms whenever I stand for more than five minutes.  If I sit down, the pain is immediately relieved. But not so good for weight loss, however!  I’m not into pity parties, and yet, I am working slowly to get my weight down so I can get the surgery done. I’ve always loved to walk and cycle.  At the moment, I can do neither.

I am a retired x-ray/CT scan technologist. I did this for 30 years and really loved working with the patients and Doctors.  It’s a very rewarding profession. In my early days, 1963, all that was required was a lovely white uniform. Then in the 80’s, along came scrubs, which were wonderful, and comfortable. I loved all the colors.

My life partner and I then went into the pool table and amusement vending business. This was from 1992 to 2001. And then we sold it. He was the salesman, and I was the installer along with the crew of helpers. We did quite well at it-except for blowing out my 2nd knee lifting a large piece of slate. Enter my disability.

I had to find a job I could do sitting down. So we started a store on EBay selling mostly shoes. He was the buyer, shoe cleaner and polisher. And I did all the technical stuff. Like taking photos. Writing descriptions to list them. Taking care of wrapping them and making mail labels for them.

Since his death from a stroke, I have been doing it all on my own. I’ve got a pretty good system worked out so I can do it from home. Even the mailman picks up packages at the front door when I sell something. I can drive (my right knee is fixed), but I need to use an Ambulator to walk.

Fashion wise, I’m sure not a Fashionista. I’m more comfortable in sweat pants and cartoon T-shirts. I wear pullover tops and stretch knit pants for comfort. My shoes are Oxfords, so I don’t turn my ankle and stress my knees.  I love colorful tops, and I am partial to Henley tops with the 3 button neck. My Easter blouse has butterflies all over.

I’m an entrepreneur. My EBay store specializes in men’s and women’s plus size clothing, plus a collection of Fentonware. I have quite a few Western shirts, mostly men’s. My store is called LucyRae’s Emporium and it can be found at http://ebay.stores.com/Lucyraes-Emporium

Thanks for reading my story. I hope you find me a fun and interesting person. I enjoyed writing this short post. Here is a sampling of the clothes that I sell.

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I carry all sizes, and my inventory changes when items sell. I encourage you to visit my website http://ebay.stores.com/Lucyraes-Emporium and find something that will change you into your own kind of Fashionista.

I also hope that I’ve inspired you to write a little something about yourself. As the author, K. Lorraine said, “We’ve got something in common. And disability doesn’t need to be a drag.

Your friend from SW Florida, Louise

I’ll see you next week with another Fashionista story,

K. Lorraine

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A Circus of Colors

 

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In keeping with the theme of my new book, The Traveling Dingleberries, I sorted through my closet.

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I pulled together some dresses of vibrant colors.

Seated in a scooter all day, I want something comfortable. But, I also want to look feminine and trendy. I love color. I guess that’s the artist in me. So, when I find a dress style that floats my boat, I buy several in various colors.

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The dresses pictured in this blog are from an online website. I bought my dresses in 2015. But, I looked again on the site (Amerimark) and the dress is still available. The price has gone up a bit, but what hasn’t?

I shop online. I find it a convenient way to shop and I don’t need to have my husband take me from store-to-store. He’s not a fun shopping companion. I don’t think most men are. His comment is, “Don’t you have enough clothes?”

My usual answer is, Nope. Girls love to shop and we girls love fashion.

I’m proud to be a Fashionista. Clothes and the bells and whistles that go with fashion, defines me.

So, now I want to explain how these colorful dresses fit into the theme of my new book. ‘The Traveling Dingleberries,’ is a book of humor/satire.

There are several settings in my book. You see, the plot was about time travel. Through an error with Walter Shuster’s elbow, he sends his companions back to the 1800’s. This was the period of cowboys and Indians in the wild west.

Now, you need to open your mind and think about how the folks back then would perceive a metallic clad foursome. I think this might raise a few eyebrows. This is where the ‘No Shoes Required,’ BLOG comes into play.

Ms. Lorraine is the fashion coordinator in the story. Her job is to find clothing that works in their geographic locations. And of course, for the period of time they happen to be in.

Now, my job in writing this blog is to find clever ways to introduce fun, trendy and easy to wear fashions. The idea behind this blog is to share clothing options for women with disabilities.

My disability is a physical one. I use a mobility device and I sit all day. I also work from home. But that doesn’t mean I want to wear my sleepwear all day. I feel better about myself and I’m more productive when I look nice.

My husband comments every time the mailman brings me a package. But, he’s okay with it. Because he likes my style. A happy wife makes for a happy life.

So, now back to my book, ‘The Traveling Dingleberries, Time Travel.’ Walter & Katy Shuster are in the company of Commander, Mr. Ed who is a genius. He’s the glue that holds the eccentric couple, Walter & Katy together.

As I said before, Ms. Lorraine is the brains behind the plot. She is a writer and her creative mind is what the other characters depend on. The Shusters are misfits. They create havoc and misguide the foursome. It’s up to Ms. Lorraine to push the story forward with her ingenuity. She is also the wardrobe coordinator throughout the book.

The primary setting in the story comes about in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The time, period is in the 1960’s. And they are in desperate need of money.

So, Ms. Lorraine changes the time travel pod into a circus tent. Of course, what happens in the story is full of laughs and costume changes. This is when I thought about my dresses. I had always called them… my colorful circus dresses. Perfect!

Now, my lady friends. I’ve started this blog by sharing bits of my life. I want you to come out of the woodwork and share your thoughts, ideas and pictures about you. Tell the readers about the tricks you’ve learned to make your disability a fun adventure.

Send them to me, K. Lorraine at my email punken1947@live.com. I look forward to reading and posting your story on the ‘No Shoes Required,’ webblog. http://www.noshoesrequiredblog.wordpress.com.

Author’s Message:

Disability has no boundaries. Creativity and imagination come from the mind, not of the limbs. Anything is possible.

Creativity, talent, artist+ disability = Handicapable.

Until next time,

Be the Fashionista you want to be.

P.S. My new book is available at the Kindle ebook store for $5.99. If you prefer a paperback format, the book is available on Createspace at the cost of $9.59. Please take a look. Thank you…

K. Lorraine

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Getting to know you

The lyrics to the Oscar Hammerstein song express it so nicely…

Getting to know you,
Getting to know all about you.
Getting to like you,
Getting to hope you’ll like me.

Getting to know you,
Putting it my way,
But nicely,
You are precisely,
My cup of tea.

Well, the same goes for me. I’d like you to know about me.

Author Biography

Getting to know me…

The author writes under the pen name of K. Lorraine.

Kathleen Lorraine Whitmer-Wiederhold…

She grew up in the small lake community of Sanford, Michigan. Kathleen is the second born of nine children–six girls and three boys. She was always considered to be artistic by her family, friends and community. She discovered her writing talent early in life.

Kathleen’s school teachers had always considered her to be an especially creative student. She had an artistic flair for words, but she also showed promise as an artist. Kathleen graduated from Meridian High School. During the four years, she was on the honor roll. Kathleen continued her education at the Grand Rapids, Michigan University. Her curriculum choice was art design and Technical Illustration.

After finding that technical art didn’t suit her interest, she moved to Miami, Florida. Kathleen attended the Miami, Florida School of Design to pursue a career as a floral designer. She specialized in wedding design. Later, she owned and operated her own Wedding Floral Design business for several years.

Kathleen expanded her artistic endeavors into the area of fashion design and interior decoration. She designed a children’s clothing line inspired by her young daughter, Rebecca.

A young Kathleen wrote her first book titled ‘Pockets’ for her daughter Rebecca. It was her birthday gift when she started her first year in school. Although her first book never saw the light of day, some of her later works did.

Kathleen became a volunteer artist in her children’s schools. She designed several program covers for her daughter’s ballet school. Rebecca danced from age three years to ten years old.

As a young wife, Kathleen stepped into the role of campaign manager for her first husband. His political career began in Gratiot County, Ithaca, Michigan. This experience opened the door for a local newspaper to offer her the position of a staff writer. The newspaper gave her a bi-line of her own.

After her divorce, she moved to the larger city of Midland, Michigan. She worked as a Community Development Coordinator. The non-profit organization worked with people with disabilities. Kathleen wrote and produced a documentary on Disability for Public television. She wrote a sequel screenplay and used the puppets that she also designed with its production.

Kathleen and her second husband, Ed, blended their love for antiques and artistic design. They use their talents in the decor of their homes.

Kathleen returned to school. She attended Great Lakes College in Midland, Michigan. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.

The couple made a lateral move from a Michigan nonprofit to Ft. Myers, Florida. Kathleen resumed work there as a Statistical Specialist at a Fort Myers non-profit organization. The organization used her management skills as a government statistician report writer.

Kathleen and her husband Ed, moved to South Florida. The Wiederholds’ lost their home in the succession of the four 2004 Florida hurricanes. They were fortunate enough to move to their custom-built New Mexico home.

Kathleen founded a non-profit organization in cooperation with her church in Roswell, New Mexico. She worked as the Program Coordinator for over two years until her decision to retire at the age of 62.

This is when the upcoming author began to write her stories under the Pen Name of K. Lorraine. Ms. Lorraine resurrected her interest in writing after a thirty year absence. She has lived with a genetic disability most of her life. But she considers herself blessed.

Ms. Lorraine’s favorite genre is adult drama and romance. She also writes suspense, satire/humor, and children’s stories. She is a recognized author who has written over one hundred ‘five star’ short stories. She has received seven ‘First Place’ wins, and many  second place prize winning awards. She has also achieved many third place and ‘Recognized wins,’ for her work. Ms. Lorraine joined the group of thousands of writers on FanStory. She became a member in 2014.

Ms. Lorraine has spent the past thirty years working on her writing career. She published her first book in June, 2011. It was a (Sci-Fi Romeo & Juliette, love story) A Next Generation: Love in Silence.

Ms. Lorraine continues her passion for storytelling. She recently returned to her favorite adult genre of romantic thriller suspense stories. Ms. Lorraine spends her time between writing adult human drama, romance, and suspense stories.

She has written a series of ‘Read and Color’ children’s stories about an alien called Spog. She also has to her credit… The Misadventures of Walter and Katy Shuster.

This is a series of books about a retired Florida couple. She wrote and illustrated an adult coloring book in 2016 featuring the retired couple, Walter & Katy Shuster. The book cover art and illustrations are original pieces by Ms. Lorraine. Credit for the digital rendering goes to Jeanne Whitmer, founder of Envisioner.

When not writing, Ms. Lorraine still devotes her spare time to painting. She has used several original designs as the cover art for her books. K. Lorraine writes two weekly blogs. The original blog is on her webpage, http://klorraine.come.

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‘No Shoes Required,’ is Ms. Lorraine’s newest challenge. The website is on WordPress. www.noshoesrequiredblogs.wordpress.com  It is a learning and sharing website for women with disabilities.

She’s added another new feature in 2017 called the READING ROOM. The idea was to offer her earlier books FREE for the general public to read. These are full length edited books. She revised the stories to give them away FREE. The original books are still available for purchase. The library list of books is available on her K. Lorraine webpage.

Ms. Lorraine and her  husband Ed, of twenty plus years, live in Roswell, New Mexico. The couple has five children from previous marriages. They are also blessed with six grandchildren.

Until my next post… you can follow me on Facebook & Twitter.

Have a great day and please leave your feedback and comments.

Warm hugs,

K. Lorraine,

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