Be Inspired! Meet The First Woman To Fly A Plane With Her Legs

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J coxx J. Cox Jessica Co Jessica cox jesss

 

When Jessica Cox was born without arms, doctors warned her shocked parents she would never lead a normal life.

“She’ll never be able to feed herself,” they said. “She’ll never be able to drive a car, brush her teeth or live on her own.”

Yet today, despite her physical limitations, Jessica, now 30, has gone on to achieve more than most people will in their lifetime – including becoming the first woman to fly a plane with her feet.

And Jessica’s dexterous toes are just as useful on land, where she uses them to text her friends, apply make-up and even play the piano.

Speaking from her home in Arizona, US, Jessica, who recently married Patrick Chamberlain, a karate instructor, reveals that while life hasn’t always been easy, she can do everything – and perhaps more – than many able-bodied people.

“Growing up I always felt like I was living in an alternative universe where everything that comes naturally to most people was extremely difficult for me to learn,” she says. “But since embracing my uniqueness, I’ve realised my life may not be ordinary by society standards, but it is extraordinary.”

No one knows why Jessica’s arms didn’t develop – there is nothing beyond Jessica’s shoulders – or why it wasn’t picked up on ultrasound scans during her mother Inez’s pregnancy.

Jessica has an older brother, Jason, 32, and a younger sister, Jackie, 28. Neither of them had any birth defects, nor does anyone else in Jessica’s family, so it is not a genetic disorder. Doctors told Jessica’s shocked parents Inez, 62, and Bill, 71, a musician, that she would always be physically dependent on them.

“For a long time my mum blamed herself for my condition and thought she’d done something wrong during her pregnancy,” she says. “My older brother Jason had been born perfectly normal and my deformity is rare – a one-in-a-million chance of happening according to our doctors. Right away she started wondering, ‘How is my daughter going to eat when she’s older? How will she play with other children? Who is going to marry her?’”

But Jessica soon started to reach the usual childhood milestones in her own way. At five months old she shuffled along on her bottom instead of crawling. And by the time she was 18 months old, she’d built up her core muscles enough to stand up on her own and start walking.

“I developed normally like any other child, I just didn’t have arms to break my falls,” explains Jessica. “My parents were so concerned about it that I constantly travelled with pillows around me just in case.”

Jessica’s parents tried hard to make sure she led a normal life, so they didn’t treat her condition as a disability, but encouraged her to try new things like gymnastics and tap dancing. She excelled at these but was still frustrated by her limitations.

“I knew I was different, but it wasn’t until I was about three years old that I started getting angry about my condition,” she says. “It made me feel very isolated to not be able to do things independently like tie my shoes or brush my hair.

“When I’d see my friends play on slides or watch my brother swing on the monkey bars I was upset because I desperately wanted to play the same games, but my limitations kept me from being able to do those things.”

Jessica’s problems were also compounded by the fact that she struggled to fit in at school initially.

“Kids would look at me funny in class because I was raising my foot instead of my hand and I was drawing with my toes, but eventually it became more normal,” Jessica says. “Sometimes there would be an activity like volleyball or ice-skating that I wasn’t able to participate in, but the other kids would try their best to involve me. They’d hold on to my shirt sleeves rather than my hands so I could play along.”

Incredibly, Jessica says she learned to be confident of who she was at the age of four when she asked her teacher if she could be on the back row at her first dance recital.

“I didn’t want people staring or laughing at me,” she says. “But my instructor said, ‘Jessica, there is no back row, you’re going to be right up front with the other girls.’ That lesson has stuck with me my whole life.”

Jessica continued to push her boundaries, learning how to use her feet to brush her teeth, feed herself at the dinner table, wash her hair and write. But despite her rapid progress, Jessica’s parents wanted the best for her and decided that she would benefit from being fitted with prosthetic arms in 1987 when she was four.

“I remember getting teased for not having arms, but when I finally did get them the name calling became even worse,” recalls Jessica. “The other kids called me Captain Hook. The arms were really heavy. They didn’t allow me to feel things with my senses like hot, cold, smooth or rough, and they were very mechanical looking.”

Even though they made it easier to open doors, carry schoolbooks and participate in class, Jessica hated the prosthetic arms so much she took them off as often as she could at home, preferring to use her feet.

“I really did live a normal life – I just had to train my feet and my toes to do the work of other people’s hands and fingers,” she says. Eventually in eighth grade she ditched the false arms for good.

“They weren’t mine, they were foreign objects on my body that were forced on me for 11 years,” she says. “When I arrived at school without my prosthetics some of the boys made fun of me by putting their arms in their T-shirts to imitate me – but a lot of friends stuck up for me. I felt liberated and I promised myself I would never look back.”

Since then Jessica decided to never let her limitations hold her back. At 14 she earned a black belt in karate, at 15 she became a competitive swimmer racing able-bodied teenagers and at 26 she began surfing.

“That was easy as my balance is spot-on,” she says. In 2005 Jessica started taking flying lessons with a fighter pilot, and over time he allowed her to take control of the plane, leading to her eventually gaining her pilot licence. She is now qualified to fly a light-sport aircraft to altitudes of almost 3,050 metres.

“Some people are scared to fly with me because they don’t understand how I’m able to handle a plane by using only my feet, but they eventually get used to it,” Jessica says.

“Flying is the one place where I feel entirely independent and genuinely proud of myself. I’ve proven that anything is possible if you just believe in yourself.”

Despite Jessica’s incredibly daring achievements, she admits she’d given up on finding someone who would see beyond her disability. But all that changed in May 2010 when she met Patrick, an instructor at her karate school.

“Right from the start Patrick didn’t see me as the girl who could do weird things with her feet, nor did he see me as the sad girl with no arms – he just saw me as Jessica, which is why I fell in love with him,” she says.

“I have no insecurities when I’m with him and I never feel uncomfortable when we’re together. He never judges me and I know he never will.”

Jessica and Patrick got engaged a year after meeting and were married the following year on May 12, 2012.

“I always knew that I was different from other girls, but that never kept me from feeling pretty,” says Jessica. “Some guys I dated in the past were superficial and only saw what was on the outside, but Patrick sees me for me; he thinks I’m beautiful despite not having arms.”

Walking down the aisle, Jessica says she’d never felt more beautiful. “My wedding gown was exactly what I dreamed about since I was a little girl, which made it feel very special for me,” she says. “Patrick and I also had a secret first dance prepared for our guests, which was a great surprise. And when we cut the wedding cake I put my foot in Patrick’s mouth, which gave everyone a good laugh.

“When it came to exchanging rings I put Patrick’s ring on his finger using my toes and he gave me a beautiful white gold bracelet to put around my ankle. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect start to our lives together.”

And now as the couple adjust to living under the same roof, Jessica admits she cannot wait to start a family.

“It’s been an adjustment moving in together as I’ve always been very independent and relied only on myself when it comes to cleaning, cooking and laundry. But I’ll admit it’s nice to finally have a pair of hands around the house for once.

“Thinking back to my childhood and even early adulthood, there were moments when I wondered if I would ever get married and have kids, but finally that day has come.

“We have a lot of memories to make together and within the next year we hope to start a family of our own. I cannot wait to face the challenge of being a new mum.” [GN]

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“You Invested So Much In Me And Believed Even When No One Did” Tiwa Savage’s Note To Fiance

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Tiwa_Savage_101933288   tiwa and manager

When news of Tiwa Savage’s relationship with manager and business partner Tunji “Tee Billz” Balogun hit the blogosphere, the diva denied initially, but the love blossomed and she couldn’t hide it any further.

On February 5, 2013, Balogun proposed to her in the full glare of the public and camera shutters, just as she celebrated her 33rd birthday.

tiwa savage engaged lindaikejiblog

Twitter was the platform she chose last night to pour out her heart and let everyone know how much she appreciates her fiance who was there for her even when he wasn’t they would become an item, and did all he could to help her career dreams come true.

Tiwa sure wants everyone to read this, but she says it probably wouldn’t make the news. But it’s here, Tiwa.

She wrote these sweet words about Tee Billz, and I wondered as I read through how all swollen Mr Balogun’s head would be now… but really, he deserves it.

The lines will make you wanna fall in love with someone awesome, I bet.

Tiwa got me reading and I waited a long while to know if she was going to tweet more.

“Going through some files, some thoughts heavy on my heart..this probably wont make news because people just wanna hear bad news and not the truth,” she wrote.

“Blessed to have a beautiful man @TeeBillz323 in my life.Nobody was there when youu saved and paid for my 1st ever video kelekele,” Tiwa tweeted and added a picture from the set of Kelekele video, with Tee Billz there-http://pic.twitter.com/ZbrFTOHIB0, firmly by her side-I guess he had always done that.

“You invested so much in me and believed even when no one did. My backbone when everyone said we were wasting our time,” she continued.

Tiwa was typing so fast, and she knew–emotions running deep I’d say. So she wrote, “Please excuse my typos, really wanna express myself or maybe I’ll just put it in a song”. Yeah, put it in a song!

“When the pressure gets too much, first thing you do is pray with me….. @TeeBillz323 you are my escape”

“You put in time, money, energy into a dream that had no guaranty, and here we are today by His grace.”

“You don’t get the credit you deserve @TeeBillz323 but even though men don’t know God knows”.

She’s in love with a man that has done a lot for her, a man she adores in every sense, and her man should be proud he’s got her. What do you say?

tiwa savage and teebillz engaged lindaikejiblog2

For Men: Cargo Pants, Drawstrings, Dress Pants & Shorts

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Jeans, Khaki, corduroy are the pants we’ve discussed earlier here, but there are other pants that will look great on you. Of course we’ve agreed that not all pants are good for you, so make sure choose the ones that look good on you and make you look fabulous.

Cargo Pants are a fun fashion statement that has pretty much become a staple. I believe they are here to stay, so you can feel safe buying a pair.

Cargo pants (called Combat pant in some places) can add a sense of youthfulness to your look, especially if you are actually old – as long as they fit well and don’t have too many pockets. And the pockets they have are not storage units. Don’t put all of your life’s possession in your pockets.

I guess I don’t need to tell you that you may feel uncomfortable wearing cargo pants in the summer, well, the heat will tell you.

Drawstring Pants are for the summer, the beach, and vacations. A pair of drawstring pants with a white T-shirt and flip-flops is a wonderful, easy breezy, relaxed kind of look, but drawstring pants probably don’t fill a need other than that. This is because they are a little too close to elastic waistband pants, hence sketchy. They make you look like you’re wearing pyjamas in the middle of the day, which is just not okay.

Dress Pants are essential for official outings, dates, or other functions that require corporate dressing. Here we are talking about any pants not Khaki, Corduroy, or Jeans.

dress pant

When temperatures have risen, say in the summer, dress pants can be made of linen, lightweight cotton twill, poplin, while winter ones might be wool, heavyweight cotton twill, suede, leather, or cashmere blend.

The great thing about dress pants is you can add a variety of sport coats, sweaters, and patterned shirts to top them off. These will give you tremendous versatility.

If you buy a couple pairs of solid-coloured, well-fitting dress pants, you’ll enjoy using dress pants as you get to wear those few pairs with as many shirts, sport coats, sweaters, etc. as much as will stay within the confines of good fashion. But please, always remember our deal on pants; NO PLEATS. If you have a pair in gray flannel,, a pair in black or navy wool, and you throw in a tweed pant, you’ll have the ammo to pair them up with interesting shirts and sweaters and make lots of interesting looks.

Make sure you don’t forget to buy dress shoes, a dress belt, and a beautiful shirt to go with your dress pants. Sneakers with dress pants and a T-shirt may look good on models and fashion gurus, but it’s sure not for amateurs. Don’t also forget that dress socks go with dress shoes that go with dress pants. They shouldn’t be athletic socks or tube socks.

Shorts. Like pants, avoid pleats in shorts too. Make sure they fit, which includes fit of the rise and the seat. Avoid elastic bands and drawstrings.
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Except you work at the motor park, shorts I believe are really for weekends and vacations – not for the office. They were conceived for casual country club or beachside living, which is important to remember when you pair them with shoes. Shorts are meant to be worn with a classic tennis shoe, a sandal, flip-flop, driving moccasin, or loafer. Wearing any other kind of lace-up shoes with shorts is always the wrong answer. And please, be wary of the shorts, socks, and Birkenstocks look.

Work with the few tips you’ve read here and watch people laud your fashion sense and ask you who dresses you. All we want is for you to look fabulous.

Forty and Five Margaret Thatcher Quotes

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MT1

Margaret Hilda Thatcher was a British Conservative Party politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and the Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990.

The woman made famous by her no-nonsense attitude, fearlessness and outspokenness will be forever remembered in history as the first female British Prime Minister, and so far the only one, who is also Britain’s greatest post-war prime minister.

Many mourned her death, many celebrated it, but most of her words are on the marble, and they shall always be remembered.

Read some of her quotes below

1. You and I come by road or rail, but economists travel on infrastructure.

2. We were told our campaign wasn’t sufficiently slick. We regard that as a compliment.

3. Platitudes? Yes, there are platitudes. Platitudes are there because they are true.

4. No woman in my time will be prime minister or chancellor or foreign secretary – not the top jobs. Anyway, I wouldn’t want to be prime minister; you have to give yourself 100 percent.

5.The battle for women’s rights has been largely won.

6. I am in politics because of the conflict between good and evil, and I believe that in the end good will triumph.

7. There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families.

8. Pennies do not come from heaven. They have to be earned here on earth.

9. Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.

10. It pays to know the enemy – not least because at some time you may have the opportunity to turn him into a friend.

11.Of course it’s the same old story. Truth usually is the same old story.

12. Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.

13. I’m extraordinarily patient provided I get my own way in the end.

14. Being prime minister is a lonely job… you cannot lead from the crowd.

15. You don’t tell deliberate lies, but sometimes you have to be evasive.

16. If you want to cut your own throat, don’t come to me for a bandage.

17. No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions; he had money as well.

18. It may be the cock that crows, but it is the hen that lays the eggs.

19. One of the things being in politics has taught me is that men are not a reasoned or reasonable sex.

20. What Britain needs is an iron lady.

21. Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensus.

22. I don’t mind how much my Ministers talk, so long as they do what I say.

23. If you lead a country like Britain, a strong country, a country which has taken a lead in world affairs in good times and in bad, a country that is always reliable, then you have to have a touch of iron about you.

24. People think that at the top there isn’t much room. They tend to think of it as an Everest. My message is that there is tons of room at the top.

25. It’s passionately interesting for me that the things that I learned in a small town, in a very modest home, are just the things that I believe have won the election.

26. Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.

27. Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.

28. I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.

29. What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose.

30. If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.

31. If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.

32. Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.

33. I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.

34. Democratic nations must try to find ways to starve the terrorist and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend.

35. I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but should get you pretty near

36. Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.

37. To cure the British disease with socialism was like trying to cure leukaemia with leeches.

38. I usually make up my mind about a man in ten seconds, and I very rarely change it.

39. There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty.

40. It is not the creation of wealth that is wrong, but the love of money for its own sake.

41. I love argument, I love debate. I don’t expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me, that’s not their job.

42. You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.

43. If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.

44. A world without nuclear weapons would be less stable and more dangerous for all of us.

45. I’ve got a woman’s ability to stick to a job and get on with it when everyone else walks off and leaves it.

For Men: The Pants & Shorts That Are Good For You

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pleated-vs-flat-front-pants

What needs to be discussed on pants and shorts cannot be exhausted in a day’s piece, but we’ll discuss the ones we can and talk about the rest next time.

 

Men mostly wear regular pants these days. Except you are a banker or you have a dress code at your workplace that requires you to wear suit every day, you’ll agree with me when I say it hardly crosses your mind to wear suit. No matter what you wear however, regular pants will come up in what you wear as often as anyone can imagine. If this is so, you have to wear it right. For pants, the best way to wear it right is keeping it simple, like I always say.

 

In this piece, we shall discuss important aspects of your pants you should take cognisance of in order to have the perfect pant that serves and suits you.

The world used to wear pants with flat fronts only, until designers crazy about having something new, or improving on the existing ones introduced pleated pants. Pleats have been existing as far back as 1470, not on pants though, but on gowns, especially the ones worn by priests.

 

The pleated pants had its fair share of reign, but suddenly the fashion-aware utterly creative minds that have evolved over the years ended its reign. Although there are still pleated pants here and there, but the number of men who wear it has reduced drastically over the years; more men who still do will stop today too.

pleated pants

Pleats just add extra fabric and bulk to your midsection. They draw unwelcome attention to that area. Come on, ladies may want to know what the bulge is all about, not knowing it’s just fabric your pleats have gathered there.

 

A fashion critic once said, “Men in pleated pants look like they’re retaining water. Pleats create a little more roominess below the waist, which only encourages you to put too much stuff in your pockets and look even bulkier.”

 

Plain flat-front pant will always look more sophisticated and cleaner than a pleated pant. Most men know it today though, but there are still many men who don’t. Flat-fronts give a slimming effect that looks good even on slightly overweight folks.

 

I believe a little more mind have been ridded of pleats, so let’s talk about other important aspects of casual pants.

 

The length of your pant is very important, well except you are Muslim cleric whose pants shouldn’t touch the ground.  The pants should cover the top of your shoe when you’re standing, but make sure there is no excess fabric pooling around the ankles, while you also make sure there’s no overexposure of sock. This way, the pants look neat and smart.

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For dress pants however, the hems should be slightly angled, so that the front of the pants is a smidge shorter than the back. Remember you just want the front to land just on or above your shoe, and you want the back of the hem to just touch the top of the heel of your shoes. In other words, your pants should cover the entire back of your shoe, except the heel.

 

Buying pants? Note that most good quality dress pants are going to have unfinished bottoms. Ensure a nice clean hem with no cuff. Cuffs generally belong to pleated pants, and you already promised me you’ll never wear them again 🙂 Pants without cuffs look a little cleaner, a little more modern, and honestly, a little more sophisticated.

 

The waist of your pants is equally important. It should fit comfortably, not super tight or snug (two fingers should fit into the waistband easily after you put the pants on).

 

Your pants importantly, should sit at the right level on your waist. Guys don’t know where to wear their pants. Some have them pulled up to the sky and others have them so low they look like a gangster.  Dress pants must fit on your true waist or higher, there are no two ways to it. This means when you try them on, the waistband should fit above the hip bone, but not touching the belly button. Dress pants should never be worn low. Jeans should be worn low slung on the hip bone, but not so low your pubes, or the tattered boxers you’ve refused to change despite my advice show.

 

The rise and seat are also very important. The rise is the distance between the top button to your scrotum or penis, whichever one is lower. A long rise looks bad on everyone though, but make sure you don’t cut it too short there is no room down there.

 

The seat refers to your bum-bum, like my nieces and nephews call it. The seat should fit so that you can tell you have a butt, yet stop short of being so tight that the pants accentuate your butt crack. Sadly for me though, it always looks as if I have no butt, no matter how fitting the pant is… sobs.