....bringing the imagination and heart to life.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Learning As I GrOw: faith, special needs & the children's section of life

Learning As I GrOw: 
My daughter T and I enjoy going to the bookstore together.  We went last week; finding ourselves once again in tbe children's section. Dr Suess is one of her favorites so we sat down to read a few. There's usually at least one  child and/or adult who look at us in strange awe, with a curiosity as to why a seemingly adult girl (18) was so excited about this occurrence, let alone sitting in the kids isle. This reminds me of how as Christians we are sometimes looked at oddly; for our belief, for our choices, for our excitement in a faith that seems intangible. I'm not going to lie and say it's not frustraTing at times, it is; but it offers me an opportunity to raise  awareness about her medical condition. Likewise, as Christians  witnessing to others about our faith and just how tangible it truly is. If you find yourself searching, wander over to the 'children's section' of life, let your guard down and simply be. There you can experience the wonderment of joy that God has to offer. In letting go of what others think, in enjoying the little things and in searching your soul;  what once seemed unobtainable will quickly just be. 'With God all things are possible~ april XO #aprilcorbettauthor #LearningAsIGrOw #TianaHope #passageofhopefortiana #specialneeds #awareness #spiritual #GodisTangible #devotion #reflection #ourstory
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Learning As I GrOw (2014 Holiday Message)

●Learning As I GrOw●                                                                   This morning I was thinking about our family outing last Sunday to our local holiday craft show. Among the tents of creativity Mr & Mrs Claus made their appearance, a man up the way was constructing balloon characters and the waif of  multiple aromas filled the air. We bought some kettle corn to share and settled on a bench a short distance from the pavillion to take in the melodic sounds of the Christmas concert. Nearby a woman selling hot dogs would intermittently shout out "get your delicious hot dog here!!" Every time she said it my daughter piped up saying "I do!" Just her way of saying she wanted one. I reminded her we had just eaten lunch; not to mention she was eating kettle corn. Isn't this how we are at times? Especially around the Holidays. As we're 'holding' onto what we have: our family, our jobs, our dreams, our homes, our accomplishments we hear the world shouting at us- look at this that & the other. We look, we want, we feel insignificant if we can't have more or do more thimking 'that' will make me feel somehow satisfied. It's so easy to become distracted when our focus should be on what's right there in our grasp. Love on your family, pursue your dreams, climb that ladder, get in the holiday spirit with some decor & gifts; however, you do not have to respond to the shouting of this world. Place God in the center and lean on Him when life becomes too loud~ april XO #aprilcorbettauthor #learningasiGrOw #thereasonfortheseason #blog #writing #inspiration #lifelessons subscribe *

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

STUFF


After a year of living aboard a sailboat I'm still slowly getting rid of stuff.  Now,  I will tell you that I purged and purged and purged before moving onto this 34ft catamaran. Storage is not an issue, IF,  and only if you know how to arrange said stuff. Lately I just want less.

Since we're still working I need my work clothes.  Oh the day will come when we'll practically live in our bathing suits,  but that's a couple years away.  Until then I've utilized the locker (closet) and space above the drawers (because if left inside you'll find clothing will become musty,  damp and even mold). To avoid this we use damp rid and a dehumidifier,  but to no avail I have had to throw away an entire bag of clothes because of this. I use a mesh laundry bag for some storage, since it's breathable. Lately flats are my go to shoe,  even for work. I actually wore a pair of heels to an art show recently,  of which I acquired from the trunk of my car before leaving. 

The galley (kitchen) hasn't been an issue as far as storage. Cooking and counter space can be,  but you adjust. I love my tiny gas stove and am used to the way it heats/cooks. You cannot get distracted or your eggs will burn. Just sayin. My pet peeve is trying to wash dishes in the tiny sink. Instead I usually use a small bin to allow for easier rinsing etc. I've mastered utilizing the small refrigerator (similar to those in a hotel room). On shopping trips you have to keep in mind how much you're buying due to space. I usually can buy food for two main meals,  breakfast items,  drinks,  fruit,  sides and extras like cheese and butter. Condiments are stored in the door.  The freezer is teeny tiny so you'll usually find ice and a bag of frozen veggies,  that's it. 

Our head (bathroom)  is decent size but really only fits one person. It's similar to one you'd see in a camper. There's a tiny sink,  shower,  toilet,  small shelf,  medicine cabinet and a mirror. I had to downsize my array of shampoo,  conditioner,  lotion,  hair and makeup supplies.  Ladies,  we don't need that much to look our best.  It's about quality vs quantity when it comes to this, along with how well you can organize the stuff you want to keep. About the shower..  I must be sure the water tank is full and to turn on the water heater beforehand, otherwise I end up with soapy hair and a cold shower, running outside to the dock to turn on the water in my towel. Been there.  Ha! 

We have another shelf for books and such.  A basket holds towels and ectra sheets and the laundry basket is on the starboard side in ny daughter's space,  which we move out when she visits.  The port side space holds hubby's clothes,  shoes,  canned goods, trash bags and more. There are many little compartments inside and outside this boat,  but we must utilize them wisely.
Now when you're feeling like you need more space for yourself,  I love sitting or laying out on the bow. Going for a walk in the park,  hitting up the downtown scene,  or simply sailing off to an island are all options. I'm partial to the sunrises, and there's no shortage of photo opportunities, let alone writing spots. 

So,  could you do it?  Could you sell practically everything you own?  Live on a sailboat with your significant other?  &  a dog. ... 
 
Oh yes,  let's not forget Rocky the pirate dog, protecting our 'ship'.  My sweet boy. But always busy, busy,  busy.. nosy,  nosy, nosy, and the shedding is ridiculous. I sweep and wipe and vacuum all the time..  there's still hair to be found.  

I wouldn't have it any other way. 
 
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Friday, November 4, 2016

Paws of Remembrance


 11/3/13 RIP Chopper 

Strangely just a few days ago, before even remembering the significance of the date, on 11/2/16 I had a vivid dream. It was about an evil witch and a dark dusty road. Chopper was there guiding me safely to where I needed to be, as the witch kept trying to force me onto another path into darkness. Once I was safe I turned around and he was gone. It felt so real. I know, kind of Wizard of Oz like. Weird.
Last night was another active, vivid dream night. I was getting along with someone from my past. We were on a wooden river raft for a bit with new friends and I had photos I was saving but some were lost in a construction site along the river bank. As we stopped along the bank we visited other people from my past. A beetle looking bug appeared and I squished it. After that this person's real persona was exposed, so we went our separate ways. Eerily another bug was seen, but it scurried quickly away to hide before it too met its demise.

I've always had dreams that have a meaning, a message, or a warning.. either for myself or someone else. I've encountered angels and spirits, both while asleep and awake. I've also experienced seeing my body lying there as a force trys to pull me away. I should share more of my dreams in writings,  as I feel at times it can offer answers we may need. I do believe I have a God given gift. As a child fear overtook what now as an adult I am trying to understand.

My novel Apricity will tell of these things. It will tell my story, my daughter's story. Intuition. Life. Love.  Sadness. Empaths. Dysfunction. Truths. Dreams. Happiness. Knowledge.
 
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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Respect, Honor and Bravery

I must share a short story.  

Sitting in the airport anticipating my first visit to New York City I met a lady who was heading home to NY from business here in FL. We talked about 9 /11, her experiences and her feelings about how people should respect the memorial. She felt that it was awkward and disheartening to see visitors snapping smiling photos in front of where so many lost their lives. As much as I love taking photos the feeling was mutual. 

This incredibly brave woman was working on the 18th floor when the towers were hit-  she saw so much destruction; the chaos, the burning bodies, people falling, others screaming. What seemed to be a nightmare was sadly reality. Escaping with her life she ran towards home in Queens and didn't stop  running, that is until a tourist stopped her for directions. All she could muster up was to tell them not to go in that direction. How could they not know? 

This woman, like so many is a walking miracle. She said she's only gone by that area a couple times but now cannot even go near there,  and never will. I felt honored she shared her story with me because she said she hadn't talked about it much; explaining it was like a movie reel in her mind. I was moved and saddened by this, but truly grateful for our encounter. She seemed intrigued by my story of living aboard a sailboat along with the simplicity of future dreams, as work had seemed to take over lately. I offered up how journaling helped me through difficult times. 

There were other things discussed and we soon realized multiple similarities in our life. I know we were meant to speak to one another that day. People are important, life is precious and we must open our eyes to see this truth. I wanted to tell her she was brave. Not only in that moment of time; but since then she continues to be  brave, courageous and strong. 

#neverforget but #respect and #honor
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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Going Home

He watched as everyone celebrated him; as each person spoke, laughed, cried and prayed. It was time to press forward; so he watched as family and friends slowly dispersed, said their goodbyes and left. His eyes were always on her, and his boys. As she headed home he heard her take that deep breath and breath out a heavy sigh as overwhelming thoughts crossed her mind. How proud he was as she showed strength, love, and compassion to all; as she carried him home.

Love knows no time, distance or space.   Love keeps on loving.
 
He knows what they cannot yet comprehend; joy will be found again.

As he whispered through space the words were easy to say, but he knew would be difficult to hear.. .
 
I'm already home ♡
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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Life Is Much Too Fragile

I tend to get dreams, intuitions and feelings that I cannot always explain, or pinpoint. When this happens I know my spirit is forcing me to pray because there's someone who needs it,  including me. Certain times I've been able to relay messages that have been given to me from God and people were astonished by them. Most times I do not know who,  why or where until after the fact. I don't talk about it much.

For the last few weeks I've had a heavy feeling of impending doom. I kept thinking something bad was going to happen to someone close to me. I've been hugging hubs a little tighter lately, trying to shake off those dark vibes. I realized those feelings were not totally incorrect this morning as I received a phone call from a dear friend, who sadly had devastating news to share.

My heart is aching right now. The only way I know how to even digest this news is to write. I will be praying in warrior mode for my friend, who is like a sister to me. Please pray with me, as God will know the direction.

Life is much too fragile for us not to wrap our arms around it and pull it safely close. Time is not on our side, so instead of stealing those precious moments we should be basking in them. Tell your loved ones you love them, show them that love and in turn share it with those on this journey with you.

(I love you my sweet friend and soul sister. I'm here for you when you're ready, for whatever you may need) 

♡,  april XO
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Monday, September 19, 2016

The Adventures of Chopper & T:
Sharing my heart

There are no guarantees in life. Hopes and dreams are often times fulfilled in a way no one expected. I'm not saying in a bad way, just a different way. My daughter Tiana Hope was born with a rare brain disorder called Pachygyria, or Periventricular Heterotopia; along with Megalencephaly. This rare neurological condition means that the neurons did not migrate outward as they should have, leaving behind neurons that cause seizures which in turn leaves behind less grey matter which causes developmental delays, mental delay, autism, sensory & behavior issues, along with much more. Early intervention was key. Her condition was not fully diagnosed until much later, but that didn't stop me from getting her all the help and assistance I could. This included many nights of of research, second opinions, doctor appointments, paperwork, fighting for therapies, more paperwork, and creating ways myself to assist her along the way.

I've learned as we've both 'grown' that it truly is the little moments that matter. Slowing down to appreciate them instead of holding on to fear and worry was a challenge. Each and every milestone has been a celebration, not only of Tiana's progression but of who she is. When T was 7 we adopted a stray pup, an American bulldog we named Chopper. Chopper and T were best best buds. Tiana may have been my angel in disguise but he was hers. I knew one day we would share our experiences with hopes of helping others. Writing, prayers and her crooked little smile kept me sane throughout our journey.

I decided to self publish "It's My Life & I'll Smile If I Want To: a journey towards inspiration", a poetry book that essentially stemmed from my daily journaling. Sharing the raw emotions I struggled with will hoefully help others know they are not alone on their journey. Then of course there's "The Adventures of Chopper & T. I wrote this to help spread awareness that we all have differences, that it's ok to ask questions but being a friend is what matters most. This book is a zany adventure story that shows how art, music, and nature can help with emotions while also bringing awareness of rare and invisible disabilities to children at an early age. I shared the vision I had with illustrator Alexandra MacVean who captured them both perfectly with her whimsical and bright illustrations. An activity book and sensory tote bag is in the works, with a completed vision for a book series. Donating my books to many local libraries and schools has been important to me as I believe this will offer more awareness to the community.

My daughter is now 20, living with five other amazing young ladies. She will always need care, she will always require an advocate and she will always illuminate joy and love. I intend to be there for her forever and always. Letting go is the most difficult thing I've had to do, and as a mom to a child with special needs I cannot, nor will I ever fully let go. I am learning to loosen my grip a little more each day. Yes, she may be childlike despite her age, but Tiana Hope has grown into a beautiful young lady- finding her way, at her own pace. Words cannot express how proud I am of all her accomplishments. Her determination has shown me just how strong I really am. To all the mommas, poppas, siblings, and caregivers- stay strong! You are not alone!

Please subscribe to my blog and like my author page on Facebook along with Instgram and Twitter.You'll find links to my books, upcoming events, helpful tips, inspiration, including posts on our new adventure: the boat life living aboard Summer Reign! Our goal is not only to cruise but to provide sunset sails for parents and caregivers as a respite for all they do. I am available for speaking engagements, school events, story time and Creative Journaling sessions called Project Journal: Learning As I GrOw.

For the record, I think someone at Disney overheard me saying her name and shared it at the castle. Tehehee. T is my true princess!

Remember; always follow your dreams, be inspired, and find adventures along the way!

~ April XO
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Monday, July 11, 2016

Renaming Ceremony ⛵

On July 1st 2016,  a year shy of purchase,  we completed our renaming ceremony for SUMMER REIGN.  There's a sailors legend and so we wanted to ensure we followed through.  Captn Paul led us in a successful Ceremony and I his 1st mate assisted while our friends and family members cheered us on.  The old name was removed from the Ledger of the deep and Poseidon's memory.  We read the verses,  offered champagne to Poseidon, tossed the coin with the old name on it into the sea and unveiled the new name.  Such a beautiful feeling to finally have the name we agreed upon on the boat. Now we're not superstitious, however  we don't want bad luck,  and it was fun to do.  My brother,  who's a pastor,  will be by soon to say a prayer of blessing over Summer Reign.  We wouldn't be where we are without God's grace and we're grateful that our dreams are coming true.  God is good! ♡

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Addictions

So I shared this photo for the first day of SUMMER because it reminded me of the lake I used to go to as a kid with my mom,  dad,  & brother, but my sister was younger &  didn't have that experience.  So her memory of the lake was our ex step dad.  He was a good guy,  but an alcoholic. For many years I was somehow granted the duty of protecting my brother and sister from his craziness. This day was the day I confirmed to Dennis & placed his mind at ease, that I forgave him for his drinking,  his blackouts,  his abuse towards our mom (that was unwillingly allowed) .  It's not pretty.  But it's real. He was drunk even then. Shortly after he passed away because his organs shut down. That's what's real to me.  He knew I forgave him and he finally forgave himself.  Sadly it was too late.  I forgive,  but I can't forget.  Love you Dennis,  RIP.  See you when I see you.  *If you or someone you love is an alcoholic please know there is help.

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Friday, June 24, 2016

Solitude

Having moments of solitude is a necessity to one's life, in my mind. I am grateful for those times, whether minutes or hours, that seem to 'take' me away to where I need to be. I'm not a morning person persay, and I adore the moon,   but I love meetings with the sun. Now sunsets are beautiful, however those first few minutes when the sun greets you with a bright hello- you will be captivated. Life gets busy. We can slow it down by simply soaking in a few golden moments. Find your treasure today and tomorrow and the next day. Those moments of solitude are my treasure.

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Marina Life

Marina life is not for everyone. Many of my friends and family have said they couldn't do it. Couldn't get rid of all their stuff,  couldn't live in a small space,  couldn't have a tiny bathroom, couldn't...  but we can. The difference in why we can is simply our mindset. I used to say those same words. Now I wouldn't want it any other way. Sure, it has its ups and downs. A smaller space, the a/c going out,  using the marina laundry facilities,  finding new leaks when it rains, having less stuff- alot less. All of these things are actually a refreshing change.  I am entranced by the sunrises, and enjoy those evening rays dissipating as the moon shines its light over the water as the dolphin and manatee play hide and seek, the fish jump, and the pelicans swoon. Not to mention Rocky loves chasing tbe ducks. Celebrating nature, simplifying our lifestyle and appreciating life has offered us growth and a peace we would not likely have found. We've been able to go sailing, finding our groove so we can take family and friends out. To some our sail from Key Largo to St Pete is a drop in the bucket,  and I am certain that one day it will be for us as well as we now dream of cruising. Our dreams became goals which is now our reality. In four to five years the goal is to quit our jobs, cruise,  stay where we want for as long as we want. I cannot wait to share those adventures with you!  For now I will be continuing to share our story of living on a sailboat -  the boat life.  As we work,  play,  dream,  and sail be sure to follow along!

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Monday, May 9, 2016

Mommy Moments

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day!  Each and every one of us had a different experience with our children, and our mommas. My mom raised me to always believe in myself,  to never give up and to place my trust in the Lord. I am forever grateful for her love,  guidance and support throughout the years. I've watched her overcome battles that I'm not sure even she thought she would get through. I'm a proud daughter, and also a proud mommy to Tiana Hope who is now 21! Life has been full of ups and downs,  but the knowledge and love my mom passed on helped me overcome battles that I never thought I'd overcome. I got to spend time with my mom before Mother's Day,  then spent time with my daughter on Mother's Day. Now wouldn't it be nice if life waa always picture perfect,  like we see all over social media?  Well, it's not. Yes, our time was precious, but unfortunately T had behaviors with aggression towards me that ended up in a meltdown. Crying and screaming in front of the marina was the scene many witnessed. A nice couple stopped to ask if she was ok,  another young lady passed by asking questions. We had to ride out the storm until she was finally able to contain herself. Was it upsetting?  Of course. I needed some down time afterwards, of which I pondered on how far we've come on our special needs journey. Love enables you to find the strength you so desperately need no matter what you're faced with. I may get discouraged but my cup is always half full. Cheers to all the mommas out there!

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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Feel your sadness, then release it

My life has changed quite a bit in the last year. Life is good.  We live in paradise, on a sailboat, off the St Petersburg waterfront; and we love it!  There's always something happening around town, and even though we're still working it certainly feels like a vacation coming home to the docks. The last few days I've allowed sadness to creep in as I overthink my writing goals, not to mention the day job has my anxiety level up. With an impending full moon this hubby & wife recently found ourselves at odds. Isn't it crazy how those silly little things become gigantic if we let them? Not all our ideas are going to be the same because we're two different people,  imagine that, and so we're certainly not going to agree on everything. Striving for perfection in anything is not how relationships, jobs, or goals are accomplished. It's about striving for a pasion, a love, a dream that brings you to your  perfect destination. I decided not to be so hard on myself. If one goal doesn't happen there's many more out there to work towards. Finding time to write is a must for my sanity and therein lies my problem.. I just need to write. As far as our marital bliss, we all have times where we don't like one another for a minute. Nobody is going to have the same feelings or experiences. If we stop to look at the big picture then we can stop worrying about the little things. Instead of only seeing and hearing each other in the physical realm, I believe we should  look and listen at one another in an emotional aspect as well. Talk things out and pray together. Doing something for yourself like going for a walk alone can recharge your mind, heart and soul. It's ok to feel sad, it's learning how to release that sadness that's so important. Don't get caught up with busy or worry,  instead pick up a hobby you enjoy.  Go outdoors. Get a journal and write things down.  That sadness, anxiety or depressed emotion will be replaced with joy, peace and harmony.                                                                                             photo and article by april k corbett ©

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Boat Life: STILL AFLOAT


Where did I leave off? It's been awhile since I've blogged about the boat life, so it's time I bring you up to speed. We've settled in quite well. Living on a sailboat brings with it mostly perks, however there are a few things I would change if I could. My favorite part of this lifestyle is having less. Yes, I said that. Seriously,  it has been exhilerating to remove stuff you truly don't need from your life. Confession: I do utilize the trunk of my car for extra shoes, and purses etc- a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. Then there's the fact that I've never slept better in my entire life. Our state room is cozy, and the lull of the boat along with the distant sounds of halyards cling clanging among the marina makes for a peaceful rest. Sunrises from my 'back porch' (cockpit) are a wonderous sight to take in every morning as I keave for work. Returning from work the view towards downtown boasts a majestic sunset almost daily. Now, lets  discuss the cold and rain. Well, we're toasty warm inside as we have heat (&a/c) but I could do without the rain. I love a rain shower here and there, but lately we've had alot of it, which brings along with it dampness; and strategic leaks. We've purchased a dehumidifier and are learning along the way how to keep our home comfortable and welcoming.  Our walks to the nearby market, and all that downtown has to offer is amazing. We take advantage of walking, bike riding and of course sailing whenever we can. Both of us have lost weight which is a plus. Then there's always some type of excitement happening at the marina. One evening we came home, as we're walking down the dock we hear someone yelling for help from a distant dock. My hubby ran over to the next dock to find a man in the water near his boat who couldn't save himself from his epic fall. Needless to say hubs pulled this guy out of the water to safety. I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd be living on a boat,  but I'm sure glad I am. It's not for everyone; as it requires a total mindset change. Most people are intrigued and I believe they wish they could do it. Others aren't sure how or why we do it. My goal is to pursue my passion for writing and inspire others. Our goal is to work less,  enjoy life more, and bring simplicity to a world that is constantly striving for excess; which in turn causes stress. Start small, declutter, write down one goal, follow a dream and find adventures. I promise you, it will change your life for the better.
Photo credit: April K Corbett


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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Relish please


Today my daughter & I spent the day together. I cannot express enough how proud I am of her progress. The days when I could only wish, and pray she would speak to me, respond and converse. Her speech was always delayed, but increased over time, from words to repeating, to sentences.  If I would prompt her about a subject she would say a few words about it. Now she is answering questions,  speaking on her own about a subject,  & even saying some funny tidbits that are so on point. When I hear that sweet voice say 'that's MY mom, or I love you mom, or really anything I melt because there was a time I wasn't so sure I'd ever hear those things. I still sometimes wonder what she is thinking, what she wishes she could say but can't. Today we sang, we danced, we talked, and we laughed, then we laughed some more. As I listened to my sweet T's gighles I didn't think about her delays, her struggles, her seizures,  her autism, her medications or any of it; instead I soaked in that beautiful moment. I wish I could have relished sooner, instead of worrying about all of it. Don't get caught up in the worry. Yes, it's ok to at times, it's what we do. But we must relish in the moments we are given, before we realize they've passed us by. -Learning As I GrOw by April K Corbett
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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Special Announcement: New Children's Book


I'm thrilled to announce my long time coming children's book has been released and now ready for purchase. You can either grab your copy on Barnes & Noble or Amazon. Illustrator, Alexandra MacVean of Blue Chair Diary Illustrations, did a wonderful job at capturing the heart and spirit of both Tiana and Chopper.

Story Focus: An adorable, zany adventure story that shares the heartwarming bond of two best friends while bringing awareness of rare and invisible disabilities. Chopper & T find out along the way how art, music and nature can help with emotions. 

Make sure to check out my events section for upcoming store visits and book signings.


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