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Katherine’s Day to Day Life

lying down to paint

How I Paint: Perspective, Habit, & Practice

This may surprise you, but I paint lying on my right side, stabilizing my left hand on my body. This is actually the position in which I do most daily activities. Because it's hard on my back and my joints to sit up for a long time,even in my wheelchair, I've adapted to doing most things from a more comfortable lying down position. When you have constant pain, it's hard to get anything done, let alone something that requires a good deal of concentration. I have less pain lying down, so it's just easier for me to work like[...]

The French Quarter: A Love/Hate Relationship

One of the first questions I get when people find out I'm from New Orleans is "Don't you just love to hang out in the French Quarter? Do you do that every weekend?" My relationship with the Quarter is very much a love/hate one. I love the atmosphere of the Quarter. I love the fact that there is always live music to listen to no matter the time of day (or night) and I love the cast of characters just walking the streets. I love having my fortune told in Jackson Square and I love seeing all of the different artwork on displ[...]
wheelchair control

10 Useful Gadgets Brought to You by People With Osteogenesis Imperfecta

Having Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or Brittle Bone Disease, certainly poses some unique problems for those of us with short limbs and limited mobility. Here are ten gadgets/adaptive technological advances that help actual people with OI as well as other disabilities. 1. Wheelchairs: This one is pretty obvious, but most of us with the more severe forms of Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Types 3/4) use electric wheelchairs for mobility. Most of us use one of Permobil's models because they are technologically the most advanced and e[...]
at a concert in a wheelchair

Concert Fun

Anyone who knows me knows that my idea of the perfect night involves being in the front row of a concert. I don't have a lot of hobbies besides painting (which usually feels more like work these days), but I absolutely LOVE listening to live music and attending my favorite artists' shows. Thanks to one of my aides and my aunt, I was introduced to country music at a very young age (much to my mother's dismay), and absolutely fell in love with it. That's not to say I don't like other types of music too, but I am definitely a c[...]
Lexie, Katherine's Service Dog

Meet Lexie, My Service Dog

Meet Lexie, my 7-ish year old sheltie/border collie mix and trained service dog. We rescued Lexie about five years ago from the Gulf Coast Sheltie Rescue in Pensacola. She had been found five months prior running on the interstate with a child's leash attached to her, had heartworms, and knew absolutely NO manners or obedience. Though we did not want a puppy, we basically got one in adult form. She barely even knew her name. Originally, I wanted to get Lexie into competitive dog agility. It turned out that Lexie was p[...]
on the beach

Why I Hate the Beach

What is the first place you think of when you think of taking a summer vacation? I bet more than half of you instantly thought, THE BEACH of course! There's something about that beautiful blue water, the ocean waves, white sand, and sun that just lures people in. Kids love to run in the surf, build sandcastles and maybe throw a ball around while their parents love the relaxing sound of the ocean, a shady canopy, and maybe an adult beverage or two. Even the dog loves to play in the sand and the surf. There is something for ev[...]
wheelchair

Lessons in Wheelchair Etiquette

First and foremost, don't assume someone in a wheelchair has a mental disability. Like me, there are many, MANY people in wheelchairs who are completely aware of what is going on around them and chances are they understand exactly what you are saying about them even if they are physically unable to respond.  Most people in wheelchairs are not deaf. I don't know why, but a lot of strangers have this innate need to speak loudly and slowly to me when they first meet me. It's true that I do have a little hearing loss, bu[...]
tyler hubbard and florida georgia line

Don’t Pet Me!

Here's your laugh for the day. About a year ago, I caught a really nasty cold. When I get sick, I tend to break ribs and collarbones from coughing hard or sneezing repeatedly. Right as I was getting sick, my friend and I went to a Florida Georgia Line concert here in New Orleans. Now, yes, maybe I shouldn't have gone since I was already starting to not feel well, but if you've ever been to one of their shows, you understand why it was worth it! Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett and Frankie Ballard put on one heck of a show[...]
dumb people

15 Dumb Things Strangers Have Said to Me:

"Mommy, it talks!" (six year old after I politely told her hi when I caught her staring at me) "How did you get that way?" (Uhh... Depends on what you believe?) "Does it hurt to break a bone?" (What do you think? How about I run over your toes with this 400 lb wheelchair and we'll see how you feel.) "It's eating chicken wings all by itself!" (Exclaimed by an old lady to an entire food court in a mall.) "What a cute baby!" (Dude, I'm pretty sure I could teach you curse words you never knew existed. Can your[...]
looking up

Looking Up…

So what's with all this "Looking Up" stuff you ask? I graduated with a BA in graphic design from Loyola University New Orleans in 2011. The guidelines for our senior thesis were short and sweet: Create a project that you can display in the class show at the end of the semester that only YOU can create. We had to present three potential ideas, then our professors helped us choose the best direction. My professors encouraged me to create something that visually showed my unique perspective. We toyed with a poster series,[...]