Sunday, January 29, 2012

Thing 6

Donate to an animal shelter.

Last week as I was in the vestibule of my bank...I am so stoked that I just used the word "vestibule", I can't even focus now THAT'S how proud I am!  Okay, maintain.  So, last week I saw a poster hanging on the window; normally I'd have passed it by in my daily rush of life but I didn't this time.  I've found that doing 52 Things has caused me to be more aware of my surroundings.  I'm now more aware of potential things for me to do.  Instead of brushing past it, I walked over and had a closer look.

Immediately I phoned a friend and the date was set.  How much better does it get donating to an animal shelter AND getting fed to do so?!

After church on Sunday I picked up Mel and we headed over to the dinner.  Surrounded by old men and women we sat at a table and enjoyed our spaghetti, salad, bread, cake and soda together all for the small donation of eight bucks!  Of course in the rush we didn't have time to go through our things at home and look for potential "stuff" to donate, like blankets, but money is always helpful and even though we have very little of that, we knew it was for a good cause.

With the leftover money that we scraped from our purse linings we bought t-shirts and "eggs".  The t-shirt was a given, a symbol of our 52 Things challenge, and it was easy because we knew the money would go to the animals.

The "egg game" was awesome.  The shelter had received donations from local businesses and for a dollar you won a prize.  It could be anything from hand sanitizer from Bath and Body Works to coupons for free food at local eateries.  It was anything from samples of pet food to sets of cleaning supplies or candles.  It was fantastic!  We "donated" and left with LOADS of things; including a free t-shirt prize that I won.  Woo hoo!  I think my favorite "win" was the dog toys.  I won a set of dog toys that look like people food.  Beans freakin' LOVES the giant sausage, and Ivy walks around the house carrying this crinkly bag thingy.  My cats think they are dogs.

Oh, in other news, and to settle a dispute, I weighed my little monsters....

Beans is a lean tall boy weighing in at 12 pounds 4 ounces.
Ivy is a round little girl weighing in at 11 pounds 2 ounces.
Needless to say, I'm trying to sort out a diet for Ivy, while making sure Beans doesn't lose any weight.  Wish me luck with that one.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thing 5

Attend something totally small town-ish; a play, a talent show or an Elementary School Christmas program.

Friendship is massively important to me; it always has been and possibly always will be.  Blame my Mom, it's her fault, she's the one who named me; my middle name actually means 'Friend'.  So in reality, I really had no choice in the matter!  All that to say, an old friend of mine has been having a rough go of things lately.  She was diagnosed with Lupis back in our teens years (I believe) and now she is on dialysis, has found out that she has a few leaks/holes in her heart (which thankfully aren't concerning to the doctors) and is on the waiting list for a new kidney.

Last week I made it a point to get together with this old friend, as we have intended to for months now.  Sometimes you need to just halt the business of life and make it a point to get time with an old friend.  There's just something about those friends you had when you were growing up; they knew you at such formative times in life.  I always enjoy those friendships.  At any rate, we were texting in the morning and managed to squeeze in a dinner date to play catch-up.  It was fantastic - other than the hot wings that I got burning the crap out of my lips, but whatevs! Through our chat I found out that her daughter had gotten a role (as an orphan) in a local theatre production of Annie and the final two showings were that weekend. 

Of course I called my sidekick in my 52 Things adventure, and of course she was game!

So, on Friday night, when the partying singles go out clubbing and the non-partying singles sit at home watching romantic comedies in their pajamas, we headed out to the theatre. 

As with any local theatre production it had that small-town feel.  There were kids that didn't completely grasp proper blocking techniques.  Adorable little girls that looked like miniature Punky Brewsters.  Girls who knew their places so much that if someone tried to upstage them by standing in the wrong spot they'd pull them by the arm and guide them to where they were supposed to be. A real life Sandy who was thee best stage animal that I have ever seen in a live production.  And the woman who played Miss. Hannigan?  She absolutely stole the show! I'm not kidding you, her voice and theatrics mirrored Bette Midler; she was a riot!

By the time we'd snapped a few pictures and made it out the door both of us were asking ourselves why we didn't do these things more often?  We had so much fun and actually had gotten ourselves out of the house on a Friday night.  Oh, AND we got to support our friend's little girl in the process - double bonus! 

There is something about live theatre that really brings you back.  For me I was returned to childhood and reminded of how often we (as a family) were involved in supporting the local arts.  It's something I'm ready to return to.  I could see myself working on projects around the theatre in days ahead.  Chalk up another successful "Thing" that awakened something that has long been asleep in me - the theatre bug!

Friday, January 27, 2012

She's Baaaaack!

The weekend and week ahead will see me (yet again) messing with my profile.  I'm tired of being so clean cut.  I need a little funk.  The problem I have with my old layout is that I cannot expand it with the changes that blogger has made. 

I've got a lot of work to do here, Folks!


I'm still self-teaching myself how to adjust html code.  I find it fascinating.  How frustrating was the opaque writing last time around?  I'd post pictures and you'd see the background mixed in with my photos; at times this was cool, at times it was bothersome.  I FIXED IT!!!

This is fun but I can't adjust anymore at this time. 

Please be patient as I declare my blog:

Cheers to the freakin' weekend!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thing 4

Learn calligraphy.

My Mother had the most amazing handwriting I have ever seen.  The thorn in that truth also came from the fact that her writing was so unique and definite that it absolutely screwed all of us children when it came to needing her signature; it was impossible to forge.  Believe me, I tried.  I cherish the things that I still have from my Mother that were hand-written.  In fact, years ago I designed a tattoo around her signature.  I have no idea what will ever come of the whole tattoo, but I am fairly convinced that at some point I will (at least) get her signature on me.  That is another story though.

Perhaps it was part of the artistic flare that came from her side of the family; it seems like most of her siblings excelled in different medias of art, and each of them had unique, legible, and in my opinion beautiful handwriting. 

My handwriting bugs me.  Every few years I completely change my writing.  The only thing that stays the same is my autograph. 

When I was very young I remember sitting at the table and coloring as my Mother practiced the art of calligraphy.  Hours spent on achieving perfection with each letter.  Pages and pages of individual letters filled sketchpads and notebooks.  In the end, her perfect cursive became an even more stunning print.

Calligraphy is an art I never mastered.  I made attempts through the years but those attempts were just plain lame. 

Sitting on my couch, with Beans and Ivy dozing beside me, I taught myself Calligraphy!  Thank you, Instructional Booklet from Hobby Lobby!

WARNING: If you are a beginner and are attempting to write something brilliant and beautiful, DO NOT START AT 1AM. Calligraphy-ing(?) in the wee hours of the morning leads to horrid spelling. The word 'definitely' does not contain the letter 'a'. Apparently at that hour of the day, however, it does. I saw that writo (get it? typo/writo? Gah! I'm a nerd.) when I woke up and thought "are you kidding me?" I think I just wanted to write another 'a' because the letters 'a' and 'm' are my favorites to write using the art of Calligraphy.

One more challege met.  Yes!

That's about all I have to say about that!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday 23

"Gabe is awesome. He's accomplished so much career-wise and height-wise. Thank God he's my boss because I would not have said "yes" to a first date if I didn't have to, but it's been great."   -Erin

I love my Office calendar.


Midway through my week off of facebook I had to 86 it and log-on to be in better touch with family.  Even though I only made it almost 5 days with no facebook I still learned a lot.  And by a lot, I mean a LOT.  I'm still undecided as to my usage of it at this point.  It will still be part of my life, but will it be daily, weekly?  I'm not sure.

I took a peek at it today, after another 2 or 3 days of easily surviving without it, and I thought to myself "why do I have so many friends on here?"  Today I read about 3 status updates that where whiny and complainy about random things and at times I find them funny, or agree with them, but today it just annoyed me.  Like, why do I care if you're the healthiest food eater on the planet?  You just completely trash talked foods that I love and now I feel like a horrible fatty for no reason. Why did I just willingly subject myself to this by reading the praised and aclaims your other "friends" wrote? I mean, you haven't talked to me in real life in probably over a year!  And, and why am I looking at pictures of this couples wedding?  I'm not even friends with them but they know a person I know and then all of the sudden I've just looked through about 50 pictures of complete strangers before asking myself "how did I get here?"

Facebook is a strange entity.  I now realize that I have a love/hate relationship with it.  I love it for communication but I hate it for the same exact thing.  Ironic.

At the end of the day, however, I have learned that it is like so many other things and I can live without it.  If the time came that I had to shut it down forever, my life would go on.  I think testing things in our lives; whether facebook, Internet, Television - you name it, I think it's important.  If I become too reliant on things of that nature it's good to have a wake-up call that there IS life outside of these things.  There are books, friends, birds, squirrels, sun and snow to hear, feel, touch and see.  Although don't touch a squirrel, unless you know it; it could be dangerous.  Just sayin'.

At the end of the day, no one missed the crap out of me while I wasn't posting witty status updates.  And after a day of re-conditioning myself NOT to involuntarily grab for my phone to post something, I found myself seeking out physical human life forms.  Meaning: I become un-self-focused and contacted people personally - even if it was just by text.  Sometimes we substitute "likes" for actual conversations.  How sad is that?

This social experiment was interesting.  It showed me a lot of things and I think I'm better for having done it!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New Year, New Art

I haven't tackled any of my list in the past few days, which is understandable considering things that are going on at the moment.  Last night I enjoyed my favorite Wednesday night programs of Revenge and Criminal Minds.  I tell you, that Derek Morgan and that Spencer Reid...when will one of them wake up and realize that they are meant to be with me? 

That sketch that I began a few days ago, remember?  The one I did the same night I danced, pathetically, to "Thriller".  Yeah, that one.  Well, I actually started painting on it. 

I've been bragging about the shoes that I intend to wear on my wedding day - don't worry, it's not anytime soon; you didn't miss any important announcements!  Anyway, I've been talking a lot recently about the shoes I've always planned on wearing.  Hint: I'm tall, so I won't be able to wear heels.  Regardless, I have had lots of strange reactions to my plan and I've found it humorous almost.  In the end, I decided to paint it.

Why paint it?  Easy!  One of the items on my list is to send a postcard to Postal Secrets.  I can explain more about that in a future post.  But seeing as this painting was something I wanted as a post card I made the choice to paint it and use it (maybe) for two of my check marks.  Only time will tell if any of that happens.

I'll keep you updated.  I'm sure it's the highlight of your day - finding out where I am on some random art or writing project.  Sure it is.  Heh heh heh!  Like I said, I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Bachelor and Michael Jackson

Last night I did a slew of random things.  That's how I roll though; random.

I won't list all the boring things, I'll spare you, I'll skip ahead to 7pm and The Bachelor.  Yes, once again I find myself rooting for two people to end up together that I don't even know.  Ben should pick Clarksville, that's my choice out of the bunch.  Her name is really Kasey (sp?) but I call her Clarksville because that is where she's from.  It makes sense to me.

During the show I pulled out a blank canvas that I've had at my house for over a year now, and I began sketching on it.  I do believe a new painting is in the works.  We'll see how that goes.

Lastly, I decided to see how much of the "Thriller" dance I remembered.  This is always an important mystery to solve around the midnight hour, when you should be in bed.  It wasn't pretty.  Don't get me wrong, it was hilarious but it was in no way pretty.  I am so out of shape.  I really need to fix that.  I mean, if I can no longer do the "Thriller" dance, what purpose do I possibly serve?


Yes, I'm kidding.  Partially.

By my next birthday I had better be able to do that dance again.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Thing 3

Make a snow angel in my pjs.

Last Thursday night was our first "big" snow of the season.  Two months from now a snow like that one will be child's play; lame and not a big deal.  But seeing as it's mid-January and we're just now seeing white on the ground, it's pretty exciting.

After a long day at work, I had safely made it home in the storm and parked myself in for the night.  I ate dinner and bundled up in preparation for shoveling the sidewalks.  After spending enough time huffing and puffing outdoors, the walkways were cleared and I locked myself in the house to thaw out.  A bath sounded perfect right then.  So that is precisely what I did; I drew an incredibly hot bath and plopped myself in, melting back to room temperature.

About an hour later, there I was on the couch; every muscle in my body relaxed and ready for bed.  Glancing over to my left I noticed that my phone was lit up.  Text messages from Mel.  Picture messages.  One by one pictures of her in her pjs gearing up and heading outside flooded my screen until finally I "got" it.  She had made a snow angel in her pjs!  One more "thing" done!  DANGIT!

I was SO relaxed! And WARM.

Me:  I just took a bath and am all relaxed.
Mel:  It's the first snow!  I JUST TOOK A BATH TOO!!!!
Me:  Dangit!

At spas you pay big money to go from hot to cold.  Here in WI, you go from your bathroom to your front yard!

Here it is, #79 on our list; my third "thing"...

                              ... DONE!

A few words from the wise(er):
  1.  tie your hair back.  My long hair froze solid/stiff.  It was pretty comical.
  2.  have a fried take your picture, it's very difficult to get decent pictures of yourself in a FLATTERING manner, while making an angel...
  3. Live life and ENJOY it!  Do things that force yourself to look stupid once in awhile!

(You can imagine how awesome I found it that a police car was in the background of this shot!)

Friday, January 13, 2012

It's Hitting Me Already...

My blog background is boring me. [yawns]  I miss my funky girl.  I have this looming feeling that she will return.  In fact, truth be told, after I got rid of her I spent an hour looking for her again.  I found her and when I did it was like a piece of home.  That background makes me think of my blog.  It's happy thoughts.  I think when she returns I will just have to do a bunch more html coding and tweaking before I am totally happy.  Seriously, this happens every time.

I may try on a few more outfits before I totally commit.  I'm a girl.  It's my right.

I need color.  If not bright splashes, I at least need pinks and black.  Man, way back in the day I had thee most awesome xanga background.  I changed it, lost it, and still miss it.  I don't even use xanga anymore.  I don't even think that I know what email address I used or my password for it.

Let's try it out! Please sit tight while I attempt to find my old blog....

Dude, this is awesome:  "Hi stopdropandrollyo! It's been 2429 (wow, that's a big number) days since you joined Xanga... Please support us by joining Xanga Premium."

Apparently I left the xanga world a few weeks after my Mom passed away.  It seems like yesterday that my Mom died, yet an eternity since I've looked at Xanga.  Strange.

Well, here she is; my xanga.  I actually remembered my name AND password.  Jeepers, I had a ton of privacy settings on that beezy.  I think you should be able to see it though, I'm pretty sure it's public now.

Wow, blast from the past; I spent an unbelievable amount of time on that website.  That was before facebook dominated my time online.  Things were so much more simple in those days...  kidding! 

Another fun fact: I started xanga right after my friend Pam passed away.  Seems like a big death in my life has twice now brought me down a new blogging road.  Interesting.  Let's find something else interesting.  How about an old post from a younger me:

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

If stupid Carrie wins American Idol - I'll be pissed.
Only a little over a month till I move. I can't wait! I am soo over living above my stupid drug dealing neighbors. Other than them, I love my apartment.
Random. I'm absolutely random today.
Toilet paper.

How ironic that I just mentioned needing pinks and blacks on my background - if it's not the girl.  My xanga is exactly that!  Creature of habit, that's what I am.

HA!  Thursday June 9, 2005 went a little like this:  Michael (Jackson) is innocent!  and Tom Cruise is molesting Katie Holmes!  LET GO OF HER!!!!! RUN, KATIE....RUN!

Time to eat some chicken wings and drink some soda.  Good times.  Good. Times.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thing 2 - My Sunday Drive

Take a drive with no directions or plans; leave the city, travel to a new place and dine at a new restaurant.


Saturdays are my Sundays.  To most of society Sunday is a day of rest.  Not the case with me. But when have I ever been known to conform to society's rules?  Saturdays are typically my free days; I do things around the house and for the most part lay pretty low.  Sundays fill up quicker then I have time to process it.  More often than not I have Sundays that consist of me teaching Sunday School, rushing home to eat lunch, maybe a football game thrown in there, transcribing a CD from a meeting (which takes about 2-3 hrs sometimes), maybe a quick snack and then off to work - where I have been known to be until 2am on some occasions.  Needless to say, Sundays are pretty much my most rush-rush/busy-busy days of the week.

This past Sunday was an unexpected surprise for me. 
      I didn't teach Sunday School. 
            I didn't have to transcribe. 
                  The Packers had a bye week,
                        and I didn't have to work.  Holy crap! 

I hopped into the car after church, made a few calls to people and then decided that hey, this is the perfect day for me to tackle one of my road-trip oriented "things".  And that is exactly what I did!  My sister was in migraine-town, so she gladly lent me her car and I headed on my way out of my city.  Stopping first at my house, of course, to kiss the kiddos good-bye, feed Miss Gassy Pants, tell Mr. Man he was in charge till I got home; grab my ipod, garmin and a can of cherry Pepsi and then I hit the road, Jack!

Let me tell you, there is just something about a Sunday drive that makes me all happy and giddy.  It's not weird for me to sing and bounce around while I'm driving by myself usually, but on this day I was even more carefree.  I could feel people looking at me as they passed by and I didn't even give a rip.  I was 'Ridin' Solo' with Jason Derulo and I didn't care who knew about it.

When you take the time to explore your backyard it is amazing what you will find.  There are so many places (very close by me) that have that "small town" feel to them, and are really cool.  The thing about it is that I have never really cared to check them out.  Completely my loss!  And I learned that full well on my drive.

About an hour and a half later it was time to eat.  My stomach wasn't havin' it anymore, it needed fuel.  The car coasted down the road until it dead end stopped (pun intended) at a massive cemetery.  Of course I had to investigate it.  And I am thrilled that I took the time to do so.  It was amazing.

There is something about cemeteries that has always called to me.  Not in a weird 'goth' sort of way.  But in a peaceful way.  Often times I've taken strolls, paused to write, taken pictures, or just spent a lot of free time in random cemeteries.  There is something eerie and peaceful about them, both at the same time.  I enjoy it.  And every time I enter one and walk among the dead, I say to myself a verse from the Bible, 'Death is the destiny of every man, the living take this to heart.'  There is something sobering about it.  Something that immediately puts life and our 'trials' into perspective. 

I also find it a fun little game to search for the oldest gravestones...

Back to being hungry.  So, back in the car I circled around, found a main street and ended up in Delavan, WI.  Home of Barnum and Bailey?  I'm not sure, but there definitely was a LOT of circus stuff throughout the brick laid streets.  And that is where I found my restaurant, perfectly named the 'Brick House'.

Camera in hand I walked inside and sat at the bar.  Mr. Bartender greeted me and asked for my drink order.  I was caught off guard and ordered a Pepsi.  Hardcore drinker right?  I know.  As he turned away I noticed he was sporting a jersey, number 80 from the Packers.  80 = Donald Driver.  Donald Driver = my boo.  I knew this was the right place.

And there I sat...

There were several things that I realized on my frolic into new territory.  I even wrote a few of them down on a random receipt somewhere.  They went kind of like this:
  • For as brave and adventuresome as I am, I am too intimidated to ask for a frickin' menu.
Fact.  It took me about 20 minutes to muster up the courage to ask for a menu.  A menu! Everyone there was local and knew what they were doing.  I felt like the biggest idiot in the world.  The only reason I asked for one was so that I could fulfill a "thing".  Pathetic, Heidi.
  • At 32 years of age I learned what Happy Hour is.
I'm not unfamiliar with bars, I's not my life.  I always thought Happy Hour meant that drinks were cheaper.  People, I worked at a bar, running Karaoke, for over a year...and I guess I never really investigated what it meant.  All that to say, I filled my belly with Pepsi and by the time I ordered my meal I needed a drink.  Wild Child that I am I ordered a hard lemonade.  Slammed the crap out of it with my food.  Could I leave?  No.  Bam, Happy Hour means your next drink is free.  Before I could breathe the white Donald Driver had another beverage in front of my face.
  • Harmless people can be terrifying.
Sat at a bar, with locals who were extremely nice...I couldn't muster up the courage to take out my camera and snap a photo of my plate.  Yes, I was a sissy girl.  Had I have been sat at a table, this wouldn't have been an issue for me.  But what kind of loser sits by herself at a bar and takes photos of her plate?  <-- I couldn't stop asking myself that question!

There are other notes I jotted down, none of which I can remember right now, so instead I will list more highlights:

- Delavan, WI has some really great places to be seen and photographed.  It requires more visits for sure.

- Taking photos of myself by setting the timer on the camera can be incredibly fun.  Especially when the locals are watching you and wondering what the heck you've been smoking - because how could taking a picture of yourself across the street from a bar and grill possibly be worth it?  And why on earth would you be soooo overly excited about it.  Weirdo.

- 'Brick House' is a fantastic bar and grill.  It's new.  It's clean.  The food was fantastic - some of the best french fries I've ever had in my life!  And, they have huge plasma TVs all over the place, so I actually got to watch almost half of the Broncos/Steelers playoff game.

- Sunsets in the Midwest are made so much more thrilling when the moon is large over the horizon.  My ride back Eastward was gorgeous.  So much, in fact, that I stopped on the shoulders of several different Highways simply to take pictures.


My adventure was well worth it.

Have you ever gotten in a car and just gone wherever the road leads you?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Thing 1

Send a thank-you card to a military member overseas for their service.

 Photo by Ken Jarecke

The Persian Gulf War started when I was 10 years old.  Almost one year later, Operation Desert Storm began.  At only ten years old I watched as my Brother's friends went off to war.  His peers had reached the age where serving our Country and going into battle became no longer just the games that were played on the local playgrounds and backyards, they had now became real life.  As a fourth/fifth grader I learned about how quickly life can change.  My Brother's cute friend (who looked like he could have joined any number of 80s hair bands) who had spent many nights crashing on the couch in our house, eating our cereal, and putting up with a 10 year olds obsession with him, was now on his way to fight for our freedoms.

All my brain understood was that his life was in danger, and he was living in the desert now.

I often times look back, through my grown-up eyes, and realize how lucky I was to have the Mother that I had.  She changed me and shaped so much of who I would grow to become.  As young men and women shipped out to fight and die, she took her children and made a difference; beginning at home. 

Our school tied ribbons on the fences in honor of soldiers away at battle.  My Mom went out and bought ribbon and made tiny ribbon pins for our family and friends to wear, daily, on our clothing, backpacks, purses and jackets.  The tree in our front yard was lovingly wrapped in a giant yellow bow. 

In school I learned about Saudi Arabia, chemical gas masks, bombs, deaths, and the fight. At home, my Mom had us all write letters.

My Mother came from a generation that was very familiar with the impact of War.  Her response was to do what little she could to bring a sense of home to someone far away.  So, at age 10 I wrote my first letter to "Any Soldier", and to Mike, my Brother's friend.

Mike was faithful to write me regularly and even now, 21 years later, I am friends with him on facebook.  Other soldiers wrote for awhile and then faded.  Some never responded.  A few wrote for several years after they'd made it home to their families.  Whether they wrote or not, I always pictured in my mind that one lonely soldier who rarely, or never, received mail.  At mail call I saw them watch as other people got care-packages from home, pictures of loved ones, and letters, never expecting anything.  And then, one day it changes, the superior officer hands them a letter; addressed to "Any Soldier".  For a moment the concerns and worries of their daily life and survival fade away, as they breathe in the hope of "home". To this day that thought is heart-warming to me.

September 11, 2001 changed American History by shaking the very ground that we had always felt secure on.  I have no doubt that each of us can recall specifics events of that day as the nation watched things unfold before our unsure eyes.  In 2001 we invaded Iraq.  Once again our loved ones were thrust into the front lines of battle.

In the early 2000s I became a "Soldiers Angel", a member of a group committed to sending care packages and letters to soldiers at war.  I also joined the Presidential Prayer Team, organized by President George Bush.  As  member I received several "soldiers" and their "details" as I committed to pray for them daily.  Somewhere in the early 2000s I found the "Any Soldier" organization.  I sent out several letters, with little expectation to hear back from someone.  Eventually, a letter came from a man named Michael.  I wrote him for many years, impressed by the advancement of technology.  Often times we emailed.  I'd keep him updated on games and scores and things back home, and he'd tell me about his wife, and his baby that was on the way.  Michael and I stayed in touch once or twice a year up until a little over a year ago.  My soldier made it home, safe and sound. 

"Why haven't I written any soldiers more recently?", I asked myself a few weeks back.  And, finding no legitimate excuse, I determined in my mind that it was time.  One of my "things" was to write a soldier and thank them for their service.  So that is what I did.  Last week I mailed out my letter, hopeful to hear back from someone, but prepared not to.  Messy writing and all, I did it, and it's out there.  I wonder who SGT Vincent Montoya will hand it to.  It doesn't really matter, I just hope it puts a smile on his or her face - if even just for a moment.

If you are at all interested in writing to "Any Soldier", I'd recommend beginning at this website:  follow the instructions and choose the route you'd like to take.  Your simple "thank you" could mean the world to a woman or man who may be far from home.

Also, you don't need to take a picture of yourself with zit cream under your lower lip, no make-up on, and greasy hair as proof for your blog.  So, double bonus for you!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

52 Things for 2012

I'm not one for "New Years Resolutions". To me they are lofty, and somewhat unattainable, goals designed simply to mess you up. They set you up to fail. "52 Things" is something I'd like to do to beat those New Years pressures, yet allow a little fun into my everyday (read: mundane) life.

It's the challenge of a short-term, year long, "Bucket List" of sorts.

52, is the number of weeks in one year.

52, is the number of challenges I'd like to dominant, document and be proud of.

I didn't want to embark on this list on my own, so I invited my friend Mel to join me.  Asking her was way easier than I thought, she actually got just as excited about it as I was!  And so we set out to make a combined list of "things".  The month of December we brainstormed and then, by the beginning of January, we had our final list of the items we can choose from throughout this year.  All in all I believe we have over 120 challenges on the list.  And they are, by nature, attainable!  What's more encouraging than that?  I mean, sure, I could stand to lose at least 50 lbs right now, but why put pressure on myself to do it - only to be disappointed if I don't?  I don't operate that way.  When I decide to go for it, I will.  Until then, I refuse to become a person to yo-yo diets or works out.  I'm  just not wired that way.  But, if I do decide (randomly) to make wiser choices and drop weight - bonus!  If not, well, there's just more of me to love.   *smiles*

This isn't meant to create pressure. If a week goes by where we cross absolutely nothing off our or lists, well, do extra another week. Or, wait till the last day and do "52 Things" all at once!  Who cares?

I entered 2012, yet again, single.  Big surprise to my followers right?  I had the choice to be like Bridget Jones and sing 'All By Myself' while eating ice cream and crying like a sissy girl, or take a stand, dust myself off,  I chose the latter.  I refuse to let my status in life dictate who I am.  It may dictate who I am to 'other' people, but that's on them, not me.  If it bothers other people that I'm not married, it doesn't have to bother me.  I want Mr. Right to fall in love with the real me; the adventurous, fun-loving, hilarious, and unbridled me.  Not some chick who sits home feeling sorry for herself.  Not that I was that way anyway, that's not the point, but you know what I mean? 

2012 is a year for adventures for this girl.  A year of making fun of life, having fun with life, and enjoying the ups and downs life carries.  I can't afford to take vacations - I've never actually had a *real* vacation anyway, but I can afford to find out how to squeeze excitement out of the little that I do have. 

What about you?  Do you have any goals for this year that you are looking forward to?  Any books that have been sitting on your shelf waiting to be read? 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Change is good


I have done enough  "changing" to my blog for one day.  2012 has brought with it the determination in me to "clean house", so to speak, and I have begun by changing my blog.  I feel like a girl who has been playing with her Mom's makeup; my face was full of a mess colors and emotions and then...I washed it all off.  It was actually sort of sad for me to say farewell to my old layout.  Those of you that have been around for awhile know that I have been really attached to it for several years now.  Well, today I said good bye.  And much like a dramatic 'bon voyage' on the last day of school, I took a picture to remember it by.

I still love the picture, but there is something very 'emo' about it; something that speaks of sadness and darkness.  Ironically, that's never what I saw in the picture.  I saw a young girl who was herself.  And that young girl was looking out over the city/world at what lays ahead in life - with hope.  But that all changed recently.

Viewing my blog from a fresh set of eyes I came to realize that it may give off a more troubled feel; a feel which is the exact opposite of me.  I'm a determined person; sure of who I am and where I stand.  What I love about the picture is that I am that girl (in a sense), looking at the world with hope, faith, and a little dab of child-like imagination.  But none of that changes how others could view it, and in my heart I know it is time to move on.  *cue the break-up music*

fade to black... END SCENE

It was a tear jerker there for a moment wasn't it?
Carry on.  Let it out. 

Now, get yourself a tissue and clean up your face.  It's hard to read when you're all emotional like you are.  C'mon, get it together because now comes the happy bit:

[from a black screen the sun begins to rise.  birds flutter about and happy music follows suit.]

With faith I look forward to the road ahead.  I press on, quite like I did in Jr. High; when my Mom visited school and caught me in the hallway with black cherry lipstick on and I realized that it was time to grow up.  I washed it off, not because I was in trouble; I honestly don't even believe that my Mom ever said anything about my horrific "expressive" makeup, rather, I recall it as a moment where I felt just a little silly, and therfore I made the decision to grow up.  It's time.  It's time for a fresh start.  It is time to wash off the technicolor dream coat and begin anew.

Cheers to new beginnings in your lives this year! 

Now, let's hope I find a background that I don't hate in two days and have to change... and change... and change again.  'Cause I am definitely that girl.

Today May be THE Day

To change my blog for 2012.

Wish me luck.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, New Blog?

Happy New Year!

With all that has been going on...
With all that will be coming up in this new year...
And with all of the stupid new security things on this blog site...
          ... I may need to create a new blogger.

I know, I know, it's sad.
But I'm not leaving.  Per-say.
And who knows if I will really actually do it.

The problem is that my old email account was randomly shut down. 
As in, adios, see-ya, peace out!
It was my "whatever" account.  It was the account I used to set up lots of "things" because I never actually had to check it. Therefore I avoided all the update-emails overload.  It was the email address that I used to start this blog, and the blogs that paved the way before this one.  It was a brilliant plan, until gmail decided to 86 my Mom's account, therefore zapping mine into oblivion as well.  Therein lays the problem, at some point blogspot is going to require me to "confirm" my email account.  And when that day comes, I'm screwed.

All of that to say, with my new plans for the new year, perhaps it's time to start over?  Begin anew?