Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Good Game of Tag

I've been tagged by my blogger buddy and real life friend, Judy over at Life...Minute by Minute.

Here's the gig:  I have to answer Judy's questions, then ask eleven of my own, then tag eleven others to answer my questions.

Here goes!

1.  Dogs, cats or neither? 
Neither.  I really really love children, but I have no desire to clean up after a pet--however, I love and honor other people's love of their pets and think it's beautiful that they find joy in those relationships...and, it's not a relationship that I want personally.

2.  What is your favorite holiday (besides Christmas) and why?
The 4th of July!!!  I think just because that's the next one coming up.  It is a dear friend's birthday that day, and a bunch of families gather and celebrate the day and enjoy each other's company.  And we eat...a lot.  Possibly more than we could lift, which, according to Miss Piggy, is a big no no, and, really good advice.  Think about it, "Never eat more than you can lift."
See?  Smart, right?

3.  What is the greatest life lesson I've learned so far?
The greatest life lesson I have learned so far is that I get to choose my life.  I get to choose who I include, what I think, and how I respond to any situation.  This also makes is really apparent that if things aren't going well, then that's my choice too.  So when you find me screaming at traffic, come get me, will ya?

4.  Is it easy for you to say "I'm sorry?"?
Yes.  In fact, it's easy for me to say just about anything.  And since I suffer from chronic "foot in mouth" disease, it is not only EASY for me to say "I'm sorry" it is imperative!

5.  What is one place in the U.S. you've always wanted to visit?
I've always wanted to visit the Bayou.  When I do I will don my overalls and get my banjo and then I will sing Hank Williams at the top of my lungs, "Jumbalaya, a-crawfish pie, and a file gumbo!!  Cause tonight I'm gonna see my ma cher a mio!"  Seriously.  I'm gonna.

6.  How do you deal with anger?
I cry.  Then I walk.  Then I walk until I'm done with it--and it's somewhere in all this walking that I realize that anger is my choice, and not real at all.  It's not possible to go out and fill up a bucket with anger.  I'm serious.  Try it.  I'll wait.

See.  It can't be done.

So then it dawns on me that the anger I feel is a choice, because my anger is just a response from my ego which feels offended or bruised--or whatever--and is always trying to Edge God Out.  If I let go of my ego, and let God come right in and make himself comfy on the couch in my mind, and we chat for a few minutes, then I realize that my anger has been replaced by love, and I don't know about you, but I like love a lot better than anger.

7.  Comedies or drama?  Favorite?
Both. When someone asks me my favorite movie, I go all "deer in headlights" and I remember any movie I've ever seen.  I've considered tattooing my favorite movies on my arm or something, but then I wouldn't have anywhere to write my grocery list.

8.  When was the last time you laughed out loud?
Funny that you should ask me this!  Actually, it was just this morning.  And I will show you why:

One of my amazing small friends wrote this to-do list for living a healthy lifestyle.
In case you can't read it, it says, "Do this everyday.:  20 crunches, 15 crunches, 10 crunches, 5 crunches, 10 good push ups, cool down, 20 side punches, 10 squats."  And this is all admirable--but my favorite thing is in the right bottom corner it says, "Eat Pie."

Sound advice for healthy living at any age, I say.

9.  Are you who you want to be?  Anything you would change?
I am who I want to be.  I wouldn't change a thing---unless it would be to hire a cook.  *insert sly smile here* Because I have some serious loathsome feelings about cooking dinner every night--it's not normal.  In fact, this week we've been preoccupied with helping some friends move and I've been overjoyed that I've just been to busy to cook.  Seriously, that's sick.

10.  Do you have a hero?  Who?  Why?
I do.  In fact, I have quite a few.  I won't call them all out here, but the thing that they all have in common is that they lift, love, give and bring joy in everything that they do.

11.  Have you ever lied about your age or weight?  In what circumstance?
Duh!  Ever heard of a driver's license??

So here are my eleven questions:

1.  Do you like your first name?  Why?
2.  What is your favorite television show? Why?
3.  What is the greatest life lesson you've learned?
4.  Who is your favorite author?
5.  If you could be a pair of shoes, what kind of shoes would they be?
6.  Twilight.  Love it?  Hate it? ;)  (If you don't know what it is, lucky you.)
7.  (Besides blogging,) what's your favorite hobby?
8.  Are you a fan of eggs?  What kind?
9.  Where is the most exotic place you've ever traveled?
10.  What's the WORST thing you've ever eaten.  (If it's your mother-in-laws cooking, I'll never tell...)
11.  Can you keep a house plant alive?

And here are my taggees:  ALL OF YOU!  If you've stopped by, please join in the fun and play along!

Ready?  Set?  GO!

Friday, May 25, 2012


I live in a constant state of surprise of the things that haven't happened to me. This morning after I made the bed, I thought, "Wow! I'm so surprised that a snake didn't crawl out of my bed while I was making it."

Now, I have no idea why a snake would be crawling out of my bed as I don't live in a place where there are a ton of snakes, or how one would even get into my house--because if you are prepared for zombies to attack, then you are prepared for snakes--but that was the thought that occurred to me this morning.

Which led me to, "I'm so surprised that the zombie attack of 2012 hasn't happened yet" or "I'm surprised that I've never been struck by lightening" even though common sense dictates to stay indoors during a thunder storm, and I usually do.  Other things that surprise me are the fact that I haven't been arrested, been chained to a tree to protest logging, been shot, mugged, won the lottery (even though I don't play it) or starred in a Broadway musical--because according to the tiles in my shower, I sound AWESOME.

On the other hand, maybe these are all just a bunch of "firsts" waiting to happen, because ya know, life is full of surprises.

What surprises you?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"And Thunder"

Recently, I was looking over my stats page on Blogger and there's a section where it shows you what key words people used to find you.  (This explanation is for my mom, just in case you are wondering...) I always get a chuckle out of some of the key words that people type in to find this blog--whether it's accidental or not.

One of the recent searches someone used was "passport 2340."  I was perplexed so I typed it in thinking that maybe MI-6 was trying to send me a coded message to put me into "play."  Um, but wait--I'm not an undercover spy, I have no idea what you are talking about. *shifting eyes*

Other phrases people have used are, "how to find a zombie attack", "grey hair at 37" which makes me think I really should update my blog profile photo, and my personal favorite, "and thunder."

"And thunder"...I have no idea where this has come from or how it even linked to me, since surprisingly, I have no views on thunder as a whole, or even on thunder individually.  Which is actually quite surprising as I have many views on lightening and tornadoes--mainly that people should stay away from them so they don't get blow into Oz and meet that weird guy behind the curtain.  Who, incidentally, actually IS a spy--or a zombie, I can't really decide.

On the other hand, I can think of many ways in which I am like thunder personally, namely because I am really loud, and I like making a lot of noise, and that's pretty much all there is to me.  No lightening here, friends.  I'm all growl.  Then I let it go and move on.

Hmmm...maybe "and thunder" makes sense.

What are some of the more interesting search words people have used to find your blog? 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Questions and Randomness...what? It's Saturday.

I've been absent this week.  My other life has been intruding--you know, my life as a spy.  Or a zombie.  They are pretty much the same thing.  Anyway, imagine my surprise and delight at being awarded two blog awards from my friend Siv Marie over at Been there, Done that. And from my blogging buddy Liwi at Lifles Trifles.  If you haven't been around to their blogs, check them out, they are delightful!

So,I am supposed to answer the following questions, then tell you some random here goes!

What is your favorite song?
My favorite song right now is "Beauty in the World" by Macy Grey.   She rocks the reminder that there is beauty in the world if we just pay attention.  Also, I love anything by the Indigo Girls because it is still 1989 and I can't find my Aqua Net.

What is your favorite dessert?
Pie.  My momma's chocolate pie.  Or cake.  Or anything that my friend Sassy Britches makes.  Because I think she puts drugs in her food--but my mom may put drugs in her food too and that's what it tastes so good and why I'm shaped like a bundt cake.  See, there was no hope.

When you are upset, what do you do?
I walk.  I'm like Forrest Gump, except not so tall, and I'm not a man, and I don't plan on running across the United States seven hundred times and I don't think that life is like a box a chocolates, it's more like a Shepherd's Pie.  Some of it's meaty, some of it's fluffy and some of it I'd just rather skip.

What was my favorite pet?
I am not a pet owner, and I never owned a pet as a kid either.  Although my dad was notorious for planting and then cutting down trees.  He'd plant them, let them grow for a couple of years then yank them out.  There was a nectarine tree that we all loved a lot, until my dad sent it to the great big tree farm in the sky.
Does that count?

What do you prefer to wear, black or white?
Black.  Because I'm the female version on Johnny Cash.  But with less addiction and musical talent.

What is your biggest fear?
Falling down the stairs at church and screaming, "@#!%$&*!!!" as loud as possible.

What is your attitude mostly?
Annoyingly optimistic.  I even annoy myself.

What is perfection to you?
Well, according to the Greeks, perfection translates to the word "telios" meaning wholeness.  So when Jesus said, "Be ye therefore Perfect." He was really saying "be ye therefore whole." So the question I guess is, what is wholeness to me?  Wholeness to me is being kind, loving, generous and living simply--and paying attention to the joy along the road.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Hmmmmm...I look forward to every evening after the kids are in bed and Mountain Man and I catch up on the day, tell each other the juiciest work gossip and wrestle with life's great questions like, "How long to you think it will take to get the front porch painted?"

Ten Random Things about me: 

  • I have a favorite pair of shoes that make me feel like I own the planet...or maybe just France, Italy and part of Montreal.  
  • I make a lot of lists.  I like to cross things off and feel like I accomplished something, even if its, "got out of bed".  
  • I can tap dance.  But rarely do, which is really just a crying shame, because there should be more tap dancing in the world. 
  • I loathe cooking dinner each night.  It has less to do with cooking than it does having a PLAN of what to cook. But if you can't find me at 6 pm, I'm probably hiding under the bed.  
  • I rarely sleep through the night, troubled by such questions as, "How will I kill the raiding hordes of zombies that will inevitably come in 2012?" and "Did I pay the water bill?"  You see, they are equally as important.
  • I am so glad summer vacation is on it's way so I can finally stop sharing my children with the public school system that I lovingly refer to as "The Man."  I'm sick of the The Man and his rules like, "Be here on time!" and "You can't wear pajamas to school."  Seriously, Man, get over yourself.  You're fired.  
  • I like to sleep in, when I sleep that is...
  • I NEVER, EVER answer my front door--because how do you think the zombies are going to sneak in?  Obviously, they will knock and come through the front door, because zombies are polite and etiquette aware...right?  
  • This is the daily dialogue I have with myself:  Today I will give up Diet Coke...."But I love it."  No!  No more chemicals!  "But it tastes so good!" You are oozing formaldehyde! "But it's the elixir of life!" At this point I usually crack open a cold one and enjoy every carbonated ounce with glee.  
  • I like dangley earrings.  I once pierced my ear in a mall bathroom because the jewelry store wouldn't pierce my ear up in the cartilage because I was under eighteen.  It was unsanitary, but I still have the hole, and my ear didn't fall off.  

And the Awards go to.....

Annalisa Crawford at Wake up, Eat, write, sleep.
Crystal at Crystal's a Pistol
Ellie at Ellie's Blank Book
Jenny at The Modest Peacock
Judy at Judy-minute by minute day by day
Andrea at Maybe it's just me....
Susan at The Contemplative Cat

Tell me something about YOU now...:)

Monday, May 14, 2012

I Didn't Die

As you know, at least most of you know, I ran my very first 5k on Saturday morning.  I've actually walked more that a few 5ks, but I've never run one, and the experience wasn't what I was expecting.

Have you every gone on a really big trip?  Not to your grandma's house, but a REALLY BIG trip, you know, like the ones where you pack and repack your bags, consult travel guru, Rick Steves, and maybe even email him about a hundred times once or twice before your trip in hopes that your grand adventure is somehow blessed by him?  (Side note: Don't ever email Rick Steves a hundred times in a week.  His lawyers don't like it.)

Preparing for a race is the same way.  Of course, I'd trained.  I ran the course beforehand.  I even fussed over what I was going to wear.  I didn't want my big can flapping in the wind and have my shirt ride up around my chin come the finish line.  I got all nervous with excitement.  I also worried that I'd find that I disliked running in a group and run home instead.

Curiously, as the race began I felt an overwhelming joy at being a part of something greater than myself, and a little bit competitive every time someone really fast passed us.  As they flew by, I silently slapped them in my mind, then wished them well.  It's not that I wasn't pleased for them, I just got tired of watching their tanned and toned legs running by as if the zombies were actually behind them, because everyone knows they would eat me first.  Of course, I ran as fast as a cow crossing a country lane, but I had a blast.  And most importantly, I didn't die--which was actually kind of a surprise.

Imagine my utter amazement when my running mates and I got to the end and said to one another, "When are we doing a 10k?"

Rocky Babe Boa, Sassy Britches and the Square Toothed Girl.
I think it's interesting that both of my friends look totally hot after running 3.16 miles,
because I actually felt like I was melting.

Here's me, melting.  Just so you know, this was staged.
Have I mentioned that I have a flare for drama??

All in fighting shape, or at least good enough shape to run away from
slow zombies, not fast ones.  Wait, are there such things as fast zombies??

What did you do this weekend?

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Strange Case of Andy's Market

In this teeny-tiny-itty-bitty town that I live in there is one health food store.  I do the majority of my shopping there as it caters to Seventh Day Adventists who tend to be vegetarian.  I mean, I'm sure there are non-vegetarian Seventh Day Adventists but they are probably as rare as vegetarian Mormons, since I'm the only one of those that I know.

Anyway, every time I go to Andy's Market there is a plethora of folks in their golden years navigating the aisles and who mysteriously seem to flock to me like bees to honey which I think has less to do with my personal charm, and more to do with the fact that I'm nearly 6 feet tall and I can reach all those rows of tofu sausages on the top shelf that are so popular in vegetarian communities.

When I say that there are "plethora" of older folks I don't mean like five or ten--I mean that often I am the ONLY person under 70 in the store on a weekday.  Of course, it's not like I live there or something, so I'm sure that the demographic noticeably changes throughout the day. However, I also don't go to Andy's at the same time every week--which has led me to the following conclusions--since the one definable thing that all my elderly neighbors and I seem to have in common is the fact that most of us shop at a store geared towards people who don't eat meat.

My first conclusion is:

That vegetarian living really is the key to longevity.

Or, (my second conclusion):  That vegetarian living really does nothing for your health except make you look older because most of the people shopping at Andy's are probably like 42, not 82, and there's only so much righteous living a body can take before it just rebels and you start to look like Yoda.

I can't decide.

And before you call me ageist and think that I don't respect my elders, you are absolutely wrong. And here is how I know that: right after my daughter was born, I belonged to a lunch club with a group of women who were all over 75.  I was the youngest member at 26, and the next youngest member was 78.

Take that, doubter.

I have no idea why they invited me to join them--or maybe I invited myself because that sounds like something I would do--but I'll tell you this, those women taught me more about mothering than any book ever could because between them they had, oh I don't know, a hundred million years of parenting experience and it doesn't get more real than that.  Each of them was vivacious and dynamic and interestingly, we met for lunch at a place called, "Smoky Davis" famous for its smoked meat sandwiches.

...Which makes me think that perhaps I've just solved the strange case of Andy's Market.

What are your thoughts?  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Running from Zombies

So yesterday's post was about my recent attempt at running, or rather, wogging, since it's slower that a jog but faster than a walk.  In response, a couple of friends shared these two little gems with me that I just had to pass on.

The first is that there is a 5k obstacle course where you REALLY GET TO RUN AWAY FROM ZOMBIES!!!!  If I wasn't so sure that the zombies would eat me (snatch my flags) in less that 3.2 seconds, I'd totally register.  But my real question is: How can I volunteer as a flag snatching zombie for the day??

The second is this.  Which needs no explanation, but just know that I run like the Geezer...maybe I should get a headband.  

What kind of wogger are you?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Run, Bundt Cake! Run!

I am shaped like a bundt cake.

If you are unfamiliar with what a bundt cake is, here is a picture:

I have always been shaped like a bundt cake, but my proportions increased as I had babies. My metabolism is as rapid as sedimentary rock, meaning, the continents shift faster than my fat does.
Don't get me wrong---I've got a lovely body.  All of it's movable parts, well, move.  It's chronically healthy, and in spite of my bundt cake backside, all of it's important numbers are in fighting shape because I've always enjoyed walking.

Then, quite by accident, I started running.*

*Running is a loose term for what I do.  It's more like jogging or walking fast, except with less speed--so that's what? Wogging? 

One morning about three weeks ago I forgot to drop off something at the school where I teach art.  Another volunteer had a class in fifteen minutes and all the materials were in the back of my car.  I was about mile from home.  So I ran (wogged) home to get the materials there on time.  

I felt great, but also like I was going to die.  Because how could I not?  My life long philosophy is to never run unless someone is chasing me, and to be honest, because I'm shaped like a bundt cake I can just go "limp noodle" and no one (besides Superman) could move my dead weight anyway.  A kidnapper would rupture a disc trying to load me into his big windowless white abductor van.  
And what kind of criminal wants a mouthy Greek as a hostage anyway? 
Take that, Snatcher-Man.    

Aaaaaannnnnyway, I haven't needed to run from Zombies since high school P.E.--(think about it, P.E. teachers=Zombies), and my patent-pending "limp noodle" technique has worked so well all this time to save me from kidnappers, so I've just been strolling along.

Until I ran home.

With the wind in my greys, I found freedom.  Freedom from zombies, freedom from kidnappers, and freedom to enjoy the out right mocking and laughter of others as I "run" by.  

Here is what I think I look like as I run:

Or better yet:

Here is what I really look like:

Wheeeeeeee!  I'm runningggggggg!!!

No, really.  That's me. 

O.k., that's not really me, that's courtesy of Pablo Picasso--because what kind of person puts a picture of themselves running up on the interwebs for all to behold??  What if I want to run for--oh, I don't know--President of the Galaxy or something, and my opponent uses the picture of me running in his negative television ads?

It would be Janet Jackson' half time Super Bowl fiasco all over again.    

But to all of you whom I run past every day:  I'm sorry, and you're welcome. 

I'm sorry because you have to see my bundt cake derriere jiggle past you like a bowl full of jelly that you don't eat and that's why your butt is so small and non-jiggly. 

"You're welcome," because seeing my wobbly bits jiggling instantly makes you feel better about your jiggly bits and hey, who doesn't want to feel good about their jiggly bits?  

You may be asking yourself, why don't you just run in a gym and then you wouldn't be on the streets for all to behold?

Um, yeah, no thanks.    

Gyms are the places where real zombies lurk trying to suck out your brains.  Think about it: what a better place than to gather up all those who can't run fast into one place and distract them with mirrors and steam so they can't get away when the attack begins.
I think I'll take my chances on the pavement. 

Oh, by the way, I'm running my first 5k on Saturday morning.  My goal is to finish by nightfall.   

How do you feel about running?  

Monday, May 7, 2012

A to Z reflections...

Today is the day to reflect upon the journey of A to Z-ness that occurred over the last month.

Here are my (not so) deep thoughts:

  • I had a blast.
  • I really enjoyed writing under a structure of "Know the Signs"--not sure what that is?  Read this.
  • I met beautiful, amazing, funny, endearing and wonderful bloggers--which in and of itself was one of the primary reasons to do the A to Z challenge in the first place.  I feel it is a privilege to make friends across the globe and share in other people's journeys and experience a different perspective about the world. 
I only visited around 350 or so of the other challengers, so my goal is to keep ripping through the A to Z list as long as it's up to see who else is out there--I feel like an astronaut exploring a vast frontier!

In short, A to Z: a joy.
Would I do it again?  In a heart beat.  

How did the challenge treat you?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Captured Colors of the Last Year

Most times I'm just amazed at the beauty around me.  I was looking through these pictures and thought I'd share a few of the colors in Washington state over the last year...


Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Three Beautiful Things Thursday

Magnolia, Rain, Flooded Basement my mom.  We chatted this morning for an hour and I was reminded again what wonderful, generous and loving parents I have.  I was recently reminded in a book given to me by a dear friend that, "There are no motes or beams in God's rest."  I'm grateful for two spectacularly funny parents who have always shown this very philosophy to their mouthy, sassy and irreverent daughter every chance they have.

Rain.  Lightening and thunder hovers over the wee "mountains" (remember, I'm most recently from Montana, and compared to those beauties, the little Blues really are just wee ones)  in the distance.  The sky is my favorite Montreal color blue, and I am reminded of home.

Flooded Basement.  We are affectionately calling our recently flooded basement "The Great Flood of 2012." It will be remembered as the basement flood that rivaled Noah's in the history books.  If I wrote the mildew that accumulated in my basement without me knowing over two days a thank-you note, it would say,
 Dear Mildew, 
        Thanks for making me ask myself, "What is that smell?" every time I walked into the house over the last week.  Your vile and putrid stench of decay was the one thing that alerted me to your presence in the basement that serves as our haven for spiders and mice--oh and our kids' playroom.  Without you, all the spiders, mice and children would still be wet. 
 Additionally, thank you for providing the opportunity for me to clean out the spider and children haven and pass on some of their toys to others to enjoy.
        Also, I'd like to thank you for making the basement rugs smell so that I could fling them over our new pergola so our house looks like a Turkish rug store.  It makes me feel very exotic and international, a feeling which I always enjoy.    
                                                                    All my best, 

So, those are my three beautiful things today.

What are yours?