Beginnings, Endings & How I Suck At Both

I struggle with beginnings. Sometimes I just don’t know how to greet my audience. Good morning? Hey! Dear Reader…sure, if I want to sound like an advice columnist.

Because I struggle with beginnings, I often choose to just jump right into a post. Welcome to Exhibit A, I’m glad you made it this far. This is the part where I tell you that I’ve totally tricked you as this post has little to do with my struggle in acceptable beginnings; once again, I changed my site name to 1BadBlogger for a reason. It’s actually about my on-going struggle with endings. You can pretty much click on any of these posts to see that completing things is an issue for me: try this one, or this one, or maybe visit here.  Those posts are from a 30 day blog challenge it took me approximately 60 days to complete, however that’s a huge improvement from never finishing things at all. Need more proof? Just try searching through my blog posts from the last couple of years and you’re sure to find a few where I’ve said I’m going to share or do something and then only partially followed through. I have an idea, I get excited, I do a few things with it & then, inevitably, I get to a point where I simply lose steam & the whole project shrivels up and quietly dies where it sits. I’ve been practicing seeing things through regardless of my current level of “steam” but as previously mentioned, it takes me twice as long as it’s supposed to. But hey – that’s progress!

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 9.49.52 AMAt the end of February I challenged myself to a 30 day Social Media Detox. I was going to spend the entire month of March avoiding Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat & Pinterest. The idea is to reconnect with people and the world around you by disconnecting, just a little, from the internet. I was told numerous times that it would be great for stress-relief, my anxiety levels would decrease significantly & I would, overall, be able to experience more real-life joy instead of worrying about trying to document everything for social media. I believe those things to be generally true, but specifically – for me – I was surprised by what happened. Clearly I didn’t make it the full 30 days because here I am on 29th day already summing up the experience for you, but in this case I’m not really upset that I didn’t see the challenge all the way through. If you’re curious, keep reading. If not, you’ve probably already closed the tab and this sentence is completely pointless.

Day 1 – It was hard to stay off Facebook in particular. Once, I even wanted to log in just to post a status about how hard it is not to log on to Facebook to post a status.

Day 2 – I failed. Already. I found myself feeling forced to log on to Facebook to post about a fundraiser the girls were having for school. It was fruitless and I should have just told them I posted to Facebook instead of actually doing it, but I have this annoying policy about trying not to lie to my children. I couldn’t even pull off the Santa thing for a whole 4 years. Or the Tooth-Fairy thing, or the Easter Bunny thing, or any of the commercialized, supposedly-magical, (or actually magical) things. The only thing I’ve successfully lied to them about (that I can think of at this current moment) is that boy babies come from Home Depot & girl babies come from their store of choice. (Girl babies started off at Wal-Mart and then I thought wait…why do girls have to come from Wal-Mart? Why can’t they come from Bath & Body Works, Sephora, a fancy shoe store, or I don’t know…Game Stop?) It’s a double standard, I know, because clearly I didn’t struggle with Home Depot as the birthing place for boys, but my only son loves Home Depot so it was an easy lie for him to swallow until he hit the age of 9. This is a rabbit I don’t need to chase right now, but maybe there’s a blog post on that in the future? No promises though; remember, I’m bad at finishing things. The point is that on day 2 I was already allowing my arm to be twisted into making exceptions on my 30 day detox. It’s a good thing I’m not addicted to anything more dangerous than an iPhone.

Day 3: I wanted to log onto Facebook to see if anyone responded to the post about the girls’ fundraiser, but I refrained. I thought Instagram was going to be the challenging one to stay away from but Facebook was clearly the biggest challenge.

Day 4: It was hard not to check Facebook in the mornings like I usually do. I had no trouble staying off everything else, but all it did was give me more time to play Candy Crush. I told myself I didn’t want to defeat the purpose of staying off social media by continuing to spend an inordinate amount of time on my phone so I deleted Candy Crush too.

Day 5: I reinstalled Candy Crush.

Day 6: My diary of notes that I was keeping on my phone tells me that I hadn’t noticed many positive effects of not using social media at this point. My husband was still sharing (mostly fake) Facebook news and stupid survey posts with me (“hey babe, this says my spirit animal is a bear.” Okay…) so the things I was really trying to get a break from, I was still exposed to even after actively trying to avoid them. Now I’m thinking day 6 was a little early to be expecting any benefits.

Days 7 – 14: On day 7 I was too busy getting ready for a trip home to worry about social media. I spent the day cleaning, packing and not really missing it at all. Day 8 was all driving home so no time for it then either. Days 9-12 were spent at home with family and that’s always a busy whirlwind of events which don’t give me time for much else, though I did log on to both Facebook and Instagram on day 9 to post an updated picture of my freshly-styled hair. I couldn’t NOT share this. 17201376_10154883514554845_625678593497360933_n

Day 13 was mostly driving back to Florida & crashing once I got home. Day 14 was getting the kids back to school & using the day to recuperate from the trip. Plus, I had insane hives; so many that my face swelled up to twice its normal size so Instagram selfies were out of the question. I was so annoyed that I did post a status on Facebook about it. I promptly closed Facebook out and didn’t visit or reply to any comments that day though.

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Days 15 – 18: were spent indoors hiding from world due to a red, swollen face that looked a lot like this: Stinging_hex_effect

It’s safe to say I was more interested in my bed and SOA on Netflix than I was in being sociable with anybody, but still – I did reply to a few comments on my previous Facebook post.

Day 19: I felt & looked a lot better by this time, but I didn’t make any notes on this day so I can’t remember exactly what we did. I checked my Facebook page and there are no posts or comments from me so I can only assume I successfully avoided it on this day. I do know that I had successfully avoid Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat completely. I didn’t even miss Twitter (because I never actively use it anyway) or Snapchat. Pinterest was harder because I wanted to search for house decorating ideas, but Google sufficed in that instance and I didn’t pin a thing. Success!

Day 20: I got several email notifications of having been tagged on Facebook. I did not succumb to the temptation to check them.

Day 21: This is where my Facebook and Instagram activity both go back to being used at least once a day. I had to share this lovely picture from the beach. I still wasn’t logging on to Twitter, Snapchat or Pinterest though.

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Days 22-29: I logged on to Facebook at least once daily (multiple times on the 24th-today, the 29th) and Instagram quite a bit. I had pretty much given up on the need to “detox” so much as just really limit my exposure. If I caught myself scrolling mindlessly I would check myself and close the apps out to go do something productive.

The final result of the detox:

As you can clearly see, I technically failed, but I can honestly say I’m not disappointed about the experience at all. I didn’t go a full 30 days completely avoiding all social media – and maybe my results would have been different if I had – but here is what I noticed in a nutshell:

It did not decrease my anxiety or stress because none of that stuff was coming from social media. If anything, the use of social media (in appropriate amounts) really helps me with those things.

The vast majority of the people I follow share funny, inspiring, wonderful things that really uplift me. I try to do the same with my posts. It didn’t free up anymore time than usual because all I did was fill that time with Candy Crush & internally cussing out Licorice Larry (pathetic, I know). As long as I’m not spending an inordinate amount of time on it and overloading, I feel great. I accomplish what I need to during the day, I sleep enough at night, I have time to exercise, I have time for my family, I have time to write…social media isn’t taking away from any of that. It used to a few years ago, but I have actively been trying to correct that and I can see now that I’ve done a pretty good job. I’ve learned how to use it in small doses that have more of a positive impact than a negative one. Social media isn’t the problem; it’s how much time you actually spend on it and the quality of that time when you do. If you’re always reading someone’s drama, sharing sad stuff, using it to avoid your real life, finding yourself annoyed or depressed, or comparing your life to someone else’s life then of course it’s going to be kind of a crappy experience for you. So don’t use it that way!

If you want the longer, more detailed novel-like explanation that I wrote before I wrote the “in a nutshell version” here it is (just because I can’t stomach having written all that stuff and then just deleting it). Otherwise, feel free to skip to the section in bold at the bottom as I know you have way more important things to do than stay here and read my (redundant) babbling. 🙂

People told me I would experience a decrease in stress and anxiety, I’d find myself with more free time, spending more time with my family, etc.; all great things, obviously.  What I noticed was that I already do a lot of those things. I already spend A LOT of time with my family and when I am actively spending time with them the desire to check Facebook or be on my phone isn’t really there at all. I easily avoided taking phone calls when I was having conversations with my husband. On several of those days I took forever to respond to texts because I was too busy talking to my hubs or my kids, or driving, or any number of other things. We visited Georgia, we did household chores together, we went walking, riding bikes, we went to the beach, we went to the pool several of those days. Each time, I posted a photo or two (in one case an album with more than 5 photos) and then I logged off, OR I waited until we were home and the kids were cleaning up or otherwise engaged to post. The point is that I realized I don’t spend a lot of time on my phone when I’m actively engaged in activities with my family. I already try to be as present as possible in those scenarios and I discovered that the time I spend on Facebook or social media is usually what I would consider my free time anyway. I may use Facebook during the day when the kids are at school to procrastinate washing dishes, but I don’t neglect my family in favor of scrolling, liking, or seeing how many surveys or “name-tests” I can take.

I also noticed that my anxiety doesn’t come from being on Facebook. I don’t socialize very much with people who share things that make me feel annoyed, sad, or just generally bad after having read it. I promptly delete or simply unfollow those people once I recognize that as a pattern. (There’s a difference in sharing the occasional rant, bad mood, sad news, vent, etc. and doing it all the time.) If I notice that I regularly feel bad after spending time with a certain person I either cut that person out of my life or, if it’s someone I can’t really cut out due to family relations or other deep ties with them, I really limit my exposure to that person to decrease those negative feelings without completely cutting them out of the picture. Social media is meant to be fun & to keep you in contact with people you can’t regularly see or hang out with and that’s mostly how I’ve been using it. All you people complaining about the stupidity and drama in your lives: newsflash – you have complete control over that, especially online. If you don’t like it, change it.

I did this challenge because I felt like I needed a reset. Maybe I was getting back into a bad habit of using social media too much and that’s why I felt the need? I’m not really sure. I just know I heard a little voice tell me to take a break & I went with it. The only thing I really found out is that I need to delete my Twitter account & maybe my Snapchat, because I REALLY didn’t miss one and I barely missed the other. I haven’t logged on to either of them once in nearly a month, nor have I been tempted to. Facebook and Instagram is all I’m really interested in & I discovered that I do a pretty good job of managing my time on both of those. I didn’t need 30 days of social media detox from them because I find that using them is beneficial to me rather than the opposite, but like I said: if you find that is not the case for you, change it! Maybe a 30 day social media detox will be more successful for you than it was for me. Have you done it before? How did it go? What were your impressions during and after? Do you plan to do it in the future?

 

 

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K…an We Talk About Text Etiquette?

Good Morning Friends! Happy Friday! (If you’re reading this from Facebook, for the love of all that is holy, just CLICK THE LINK. Thank you) 🙂

Now that the 30 day 60 day blog challenge is over, it’s time to talk about something else & today I want to talk about the alphabet. There are numerous languages, each having its own unique means of written communication, but for today we are going to focus on the English alphabet; just 26 letters is all it takes to create all the words you see here & many, many more. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. We can say anything we want to say with the use of just 26 letters, & maybe the occasional emoji (or not so occasional if you’re like me & people don’t know you’re kidding unless you use a smiley at the end of everything). What happens when we have all these magnificent options at our disposal and we choose to use only one of them? You know which one. That’s right…the obnoxious “K.”

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We’re all probably guilty, but let’s examine this for a moment. Why do we do this? Are we just getting so many texts that all we can manage to muster is a single letter before we move on to the next text? Like celebrities: when you get their autograph they always write “best wishes” or something arbitrary followed by an “x” (or an “xo” if you’re really lucky) and a scribble that looks vaguely like it might contain at least one actual letter of their name. Then you get shoved down the line so the super important celebrity can lather, rinse & repeat with the hundreds of people behind you. Are we that important that we can’t wrangle up at least one extra letter? “OK,” perhaps? (Though, to be honest, that’s probably only marginally less annoying than “K.”)

What about the days when you were charged by the text, both incoming and outgoing? I can’t be the only one who got more than a little annoyed when someone cost me 10 cents just to say, “K.” For 10 cents you better have been sending me a full sentence complete with no unnecessary shorthand & proper punctuation.

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I know the point I made above is now considered moot since the majority of us are fortunate enough to be on some sort of plan which allows for unlimited texting, so why is this “K” thing still so annoying? For me there are two reasons:

1.) “K” has too many possible interpretations.

K, what?

As in, “Ok, Cool,” “I’m looking forward to it,” or ‘K’ as in “whatever. I’m done talking to you, you chatty nerd.” Or, “I’m sorry, my hands were bitten off by a t-rex & I can only text with my nose. ‘K’ is the best I can do.” The most terrifying thing to go through my mind might be, “K. Because I’m going to feed you to a shark. Shark has K in it.”

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135ee6abbb34c616b6b3144d97f77e65-jpgWhat do you mean?! There are no tonal clues with the letter K. There are no facial cues, no body language we can assess to determine if this letter is friendly or if this letter has nefarious, diabolical plans which include me ending up with a hole in my neck. Those of us with anxious brains prone to over-thinking need answers to these questions.

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2.) Time. I am busy. Maybe not I get 5000 texts in a day because I’m so important busy, but I do have a husband, 3 kids, a small business, a need to take time out to exercise, errands to run, a dog to walk, bills to pay, homework to help with, & endless amounts of laundry & dishes to do. I’m busy the way most of us are busy so while my time may not be any more or less important than yours, stopping what I’m doing to find my phone (which, at this point, is basically always on a charger which is not in the same room with me) just to read one lonely letter & nearly have a panic attack over the possible meanings of that letter & how to respond (or not), feels like a waste of time, energy, & internet data.

Bonus reason: while I know this is not always the intention, it can be rude.

Of course, we’re all going to do it every now and then, but if you frequently reply with a letter when I’m trying to have a conversation with you, please know that I’ve thought about cutting you.

Me: Hey, love! How are you?

Them: k

Me: K, good? or K, bad?

Them: just k

Me: There is no such thing as “just k.”

Them: k

Me: *screams*

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Can you relate? Does ‘K’ bother you? Why or why not? Do you have any fun reasons to add or creative responses to people who frequently do the ‘K’ thing? I’m planning a post on how to respond to ‘K’ and I’d love to see your best answers!

Turns Out I’m Not Going To Hogwarts

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fe157e31468e2efbc926b6a1aeca1477On Wednesday I was supposed to write about where I’ll be in 5 years. I tried. I really, really tried. I even had a fun thing planned (sort of a choose-your-own-adventure/alternate-ending kinda thing) but I just couldn’t get it together. I feel like I’ve hit a wall with this post & that no matter how hard I try I can’t seem to write anything worth reading. Instead of telling you what I don’t know or trying to imagine some impossible future where I finally get my acceptance letter & ride a unicorn off to Hogwarts, I’m just going to tell you what I do know.

Nothing is certain.

It used to sound so appealing to me to find a place, settle down there & not have to move again, but now I can’t think of anything more depressing than spending my life in the same old place, doing the same old things & never experiencing anything new. I think the little bit of gypsy in my blood has decided to wake up & it has made me want to go to ALL THE PLACES. If I had both the brains and the patience, I’d probably just sell all my crap, buy a huge RV, & homeschool my children while traveling around the world. Then I remember that part of selling all my crap includes my house (which I love), & that even though I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with my life yet, I do know that it isn’t teaching. Teaching is not one of my gifts, lol. Besides that, my husband farts too much; I don’t want to be stuck in any small space for an extended period of time where he might have control over the windows. I also know that my desire to wander at the moment isn’t driven solely by a desire to see the world (though I do want to do that); I think it’s because I feel kinda aimless, & I have no idea what to do or where to go next.

I’ve been in limbo for a while, not really sure what my personal future holds or what I want to do with it & I hate that feeling. This is the first time in my life I’ve not had some sort of plan or goal. At first, I was just enjoying the ride…seeing where the road takes me. The road didn’t really do anything but confuse me more. :p Now that I’m ready to hop out of the backseat & drive again…I can’t figure out where I want to drive to. Do you know how frustrating that is?!

One of the only things I do know is that our lease ends soon & when that happens I’ll be back home in Georgia. My house needs quite a bit of TLC so while we’re working on that I’ll have plenty of time to think about what I want to do next. All I want to do right now is finish this post I’ve been struggling over for days & drink the diabetes in a cup (sweet tea) my daughter so kindly brought to me this morning.

Happy Friday!

If You Want To Change The World…

Dear Kids,

You are growing up in a crazy world. Sometimes it’s crazy beautiful and sometimes it’s just plain crazy. The difference is really all in your perspective. You will grow up hearing words  & phrases like “feminism,” “women’s rights,” “human rights,” “climate change,” “back the blue,” “black lives matter,” “all lives matter,” & proclamations of “let’s make America great again!” These things will mean something different to each person who says them. I won’t dive into all of that today, but there are a few things I want you to know about a few of these words which will permeate this part of your life & profoundly affect the way you experience & perceive the world around you.

ct-womens-march-national-pg-20170121Recently, there have been a series of marches and protests happening around the country, all for one cause or another, some peaceful and some not. You may have heard about it. Your kids – should you choose to have them –  may learn about it in school one day; this is your history in the making. For the rest of this post I’m just going to assume you’ll one day have a family of your own. If you decide not to, that’s okay, but to drive home my point, I’m totally going to use my future grandchildren. 😉 (If the word “children” doesn’t apply to you, maybe substitute nieces and nephews? I know how literal you 3 can be. *sigh*)

One day you will be faced with the responsibility that every generation before you has faced; the responsibility to enact positive change for the next generation. It might sound irrelevant to you when you consider how fortunate you already are and how much you already have. It might sound like a pretty big deal. It may sound almost unachievable for one person. So, how do you do it?

Do you make signs and march? Protest? Riot, rally in anger, preach in righteousness, fight…? Maybe you’ll feel like your voice is best heard in a group because how can just one person – or even two people – make a positive impact on any part of the world?

images-3I just want you to know you can & I’m going to tell you how. I don’t personally believe that real, effective change is brought about in crowds yelling, inciting anger, violence, fear, & hate. Or yet in silent, peaceful crowds carrying signs about love. It makes a statement, sure…but what kind of statement? Some people are just really good at making speeches or signs and can make you buy what they’re selling regardless of your own convictions. If you don’t do anything else I ever tell you, at least do this: know that you are only responsible for yourself. Learn what you can from history & verify it for yourself rather than taking other people at their word just because they can make it sound good. Evaluate the words and actions of others for yourself. Study. Watch. Listen. Get your own facts, your own references. Just as you take responsibility for yourself, let the ones around you take responsibility for themselves. Do not ever let another person dictate your beliefs for you. Make choices you can be proud of.

You can’t make anyone do anything. You cannot make 100% of the people happy 100% of the time so you need to be able to live with the choices you make. You probably won’t cause huge cooperations or groups of people to change their beliefs, or their approach no matter how many people you rally, especially if their main concern is the money they’re making. This is because real change is a personal responsibility rather than a global one. It starts small & ripples out slowly over time, affecting one person at a time beginning with yourself.

Change starts with you. It has a ripple effect in regard to what you teach your children; if you want to change the world, start with your world.

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Feminism is simply a belief in equality, yet our society has bastardized it and given it some incredibly negative connotations. What are women really saying when they walk around with their shirts off yelling about being ‘nasty women?’ How does this help? Are they really ‘taking back the power?’ Really think about that. What does that even mean? How does excluding certain women send the message ‘we are all equal.’ That, in my opinion, certainly doesn’t communicate anything reminiscent of equality. It is a contradiction to everything they claim to stand for. Your time would be better spent at home teaching your children the value of kindness, chivalry, self-respect; teaching them to set standards & boundaries for themselves so that they can make positive choices in their own lives, thus eventually rippling into the hearts and minds of others.

“Black Lives Matter.” Of course they do. “All Lives Matter.” Unequivocally. I find it abhorrent that after everything we’ve been through in this country, after everything generations before us have fought for, we still live in a time where this distinction is necessary. How can you change this? Not by blaming or segregating, but by teaching your children to choose their friends based on the content of their character and nothing else.

Climate Change. I believe it’s a thing; some do not. Your beliefs regarding its validity make little to no difference when you consider that there are things we could be doing to help preserve and protect our environment whether you believe in the effects of climate change or not. If we all recycled, used less energy or more solar energy, turned the water off while brushing our teeth, unplugged appliances we aren’t actively using, turned off the lights and the TV when we left the house (your dog doesn’t care about The View, I promise), put our trash in the trash can or a recycling bin instead of tossing it on the ground, etc. not only would you see a decrease in your bills, but you’d be helping to ensure the future of our planet. These small choices we make daily have the biggest impact. Teach your children to respect and care for their environment and your beliefs about climate change become irrelevant; you’re doing your part for the world you want your kids to inherit & you’re teaching them to do theirs. That’s all there is.

So, let me say it again:

Change starts with you. It has a ripple effect in regard to what you teach your children; if you want to change the world, start with your world.

16194956_1240064922755969_8824124583631119672_nNo amount of sign-holding, marching, yelling, fear-mongering or hate-speech will ever effect the kind of positive change people talk about wanting to see in the world. Nor do I  personally believe that tolerating and accepting everything & everyone is the appropriate response. I don’t tolerate racism, rapists, abusers or manipulators. I don’t tolerate people who would treat me as less than simply because of the color of my skin or my gender. I don’t tolerate people who mistreat my family and friends. Does that mean I’m going to go blow up a prison, get a group together to beat up someone I don’t like, or put on a mask and become a vigilante? Of course not (I’m not nearly as good a shot as the Green Arrow anyway). I won’t be burning down buildings because I don’t believe in the politics or ethics of that business or group of people; I’ll simply stop buying their product. I’ll never walk around topless yelling about my lack of rights and if I wanted to do that, I wouldn’t do it in America where I HAVE RIGHTS (but that’s a different post). You’ll never find me disrupting traffic & stopping people from going to work just because I’m angry & want the people around me to feel angry, too.

you-teach-people-how-to-treat-you-quoteWhat I will do is make choices to ensure these types of people are as far removed from myself and my family as is within my power, & I will do my best to teach you – my children – what it means to be people of character & integrity.  I will teach you to walk away from people & situations which make you feel inferior. I will teach you to choose your friends wisely, to sit with the lonely kids at lunch, to offer help to those in need, to get outside your comfort zone & not to place ridiculous standards or restrictions on yourself. I will teach you about humility. I will teach you about respect, both for yourself and others. I will teach you to apologize when you should & how to recognize when there is nothing to apologize for. I will teach you to work hard, to earn rather than expect. I will teach you to lead by example, & even, sometimes, to follow. I will teach you to share, to give freely, to speak kindly, & love fiercely.

You are not sheeple & you do not have to flow with the status quo; you always have a choice. You have a miraculous gift, both common to all people & still uniquely individual: it’s called a brain. Use it.

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Not to sound like a cliche’ or anything, but…

Love,

Mom – xoxo

 

My Fridge Had A Puppy

I made it to Day 13 in this Blogging Challenge. That’s farther than I’ve made it in any other challenge, ever. Today, I’m supposed to write about what’s in my fridge. Probably a lot of the same things that are in your refrigerators, but let’s see…

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Going off my vague memory:

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    I wish I could say our husky actually did this, but this photo is compliments of Google. I don’t particularly care for dog hair in my salad.

    a husky

  • Wilted salad mix and baby spinach that I should probably throw out. It went in there fresh, but the next time I opened it, it was like someone had replaced it with mush.
  • One red bell pepper
  • Half a yellow pepper (I blame the husky)
  • Another entrance to Narnia (I know it’s typically a wardrobe, but we had to move ours because every time I went to get dressed I’d find a talking honey badger or a little goat-man clinging to my good shirts. It only took one time of accidentally putting my jeans on with a ticklish porcupine in my back pocket. I won’t give you the rest of the gory details, but let’s just say I learned my lesson after that and now we all go to Narnia through the beer drawer. Don’t judge me; it’s better than when we have to take the toilet to the Ministry of Magic.)
  • A quarter of a unicorn roast that I can’t remember what night we cooked. We also can’t find the horn…
  • Pie, which I’m saving as a trap for Dean Winchester
  • A full mermaid tail which is taking up an obscene amount of space. I recommend getting your Mermaid from Fresh Market or Whole Foods; you can’t really trust those other guys, too many GMOs.
  • An empty bottle of Ketchup
  • A full bottle of ketchup (our pet dragon really likes Ketchup)
  • A box of Vampire Capri-Suns for the occasional fanged guest
  • A bottle of Veritas-Serum & some moldy Polyjuice Potion
  • Left over green beans

And that about covers it.

So, what do you think? Same old boring stuff you have in your fridge, right?

Hey There, Tar Baby!

I have to be honest, y’all: this blog challenge is feeling pretty stupid to me right about now, but I’m just plugging on because I mentioned in an earlier post that I probably wouldn’t even finish it & now I feel personally challenged to prove myself wrong. Today’s challenge is to talk about my favorite childhood book.

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I’m pretty sure this is the origin of my distaste for  ill-mannered morons.

I chose The Tales of Br’er Rabbit by Uncle Remus (who is actually fictional for those of you who thought he was a real person). Specifically Br’er Rabbit & The Tar Baby; it’s my favorite because my Granddaddy used to tell me this story all the time. He was so animated about it and I loved listening to him. When I was 5 or 6 years old, I tried to immolate the way he told the story & as a result, there’s a rather embarrassing video floating around of me telling it. Thankfully, there was no social media then. 🙂

 

Are you familiar with the story?

Where did you first hear/read it?

What’s your favorite childhood story?

Sorry, I Got Nothin’

My challenge for today was to write about my ten favorite foods, but this is not a topic I care to write about, nor one I think people give a damn about. I’m feeling pretty cynical today. My girls brought home their report cards & well…the report wasn’t so good. It’s just got me down and honestly, feeling kinda throat-punchy. So for today, I have nothing to give you. No funnies, no sarcasm, no small chicken nuggets of death wisdom.

But in the (debatably) wise words of Dean Winchester…

Strike out GED, replace with High School Diploma, add something about pie and we’ll call this #ChallengeComplete.

We’ll Always Have NOLA

10422967_10153079154294845_1695749929289341744_nHow many of you can recall the best trip you’ve ever taken, right off the top of your head, no time to think, you just know what it is without hesitation? It’s probably a lot more difficult if you’ve been on a lot of trips, yes? Well, I haven’t so I know what mine is without having to think about it too hard.

The time my husband and I went to New Orleans for our 11th wedding anniversary. I didn’t post about it on my blog because I was a really bad blogger then – the kind of blogger that didn’t blog ; sadly, I don’t have a post that I can link back to in order to tell you about it. Most of our trip was catalogued on Facebook so I just took some brief screenshots and will post them here. I don’t even think the screenshots I took really cover the best parts of the trip, but another trait of a bad blogger is that I really don’t want to take the time to locate and (re)save the trillion photos I took just to share them here. Since I doubt anyone cares anyway, we’re just going to cut a few corners m’kay?

The best thing about it was that it was the first trip my husband and I ever got to take on our own. We spent a lot of time together, it was loud, fun & carefree, & everything we probably should have done early in our marriage, but were too busy being broke young parents to do.

I ate shrimp and grits, had my first beignet, saw tons of beautiful art & colorful city-life, heard fabulous (& some not-so-fabulous) street music, danced (badly), took a carriage ride, had the best Hurricane (#NotKatrina), saw Marie Laveau’s tombstone as well as Nicholas Cage’s very pretentious future resting place, stopped to watch some street performers, saw a show that was supposed to be burlesque and turned out not to be at all

I had my palm read for the first time ever in Jackson Square. Supposedly for free, but by the time she got done reading my husband’s palm, doing a tarot reading and telling us about our guardian angels…well, we were definitely hustled and I’m not even mad about it. I wish I could tell you exactly what that trip meant to me, but I believe it’s one of those things that can only be felt. I hope to go on many more trips & see a thousand places before I leave this earth, but if I don’t, at least we’ll always have NOLA.

Care to share your favorite trip? Have you been to New Orleans? What was your favorite thing there? Would you like to go? What would be your dream vacation?

 

What’s In Your Purse?

As you all know, a woman’s purse is a magical jungle of mystery with which she is often accused of “carrying around the kitchen sink,” or “carrying everything but the kitchen sink.” What’s this obsession with sinks, guys? Maybe you don’t like the pile of receipts, the business cards or the first aid kit we carry around in the deep, dark depths of our bags, but A.) it sure comes in handy when you need to return something, find a store you wanted to visit, but can’t remember the name of, or when you need a band-aid!  B.) It’s our shoulders & arms being weighed down so if we want to carry a diaper bag, 49 kinds of lip balm , a camera & enough water to supply a small developing country for a month, we can!

Today I’m going to show you the contents of my purse. I was hoping it would be like it usually is (with something ridiculous inside which has a great story) but it was surprisingly tame this time around.

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I would also like to point out that I’m not much of a purse person to be honest – I prefer wallets – but I’ve found one to be necessary and helpful since I’ve had kids. I’ve discovered I like small ones because I’m not a “kitchen sink” kind of girl & also because my purse usually ends up looking like a homemade cheerio bomb exploded in it & thus, it’s best not to give myself too much room to play with. I have two favorites: My denim purse which my really creative & talented friend, Taryn, made for me out of a favorite pair of my jeans, and this little Hogwarts purse, which when looking at it from the outside looks small and innocuous enough, but when you open it…

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My enormous wallet is hiding most of the mess, but I promise you it’s not pretty in there. Let’s see what we’ve got.

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  • Keys
  • Wallet > Inside the wallet > receipts, earbuds
  • Not Pictured because I forgot to include it in any of my collages is another set of earbuds that were just loose in my purse. I had to move a set off the side table to take all these pictures too. Count ’em – that’s 3 sets of earbuds. Clearly I have a problem.

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  • An old shopping list. I left it in my purse because this shopping list came out of the planner that I made & printed for myself and there were still blanks left to fill.
  • Tons of receipts. I hope I put all these in my Walmart Savings Catcher…
  • Two of my daughter’s book fair wish lists, some of which she received for Christmas this year

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  • Pills for energy, allergies, and headaches. What’s funny about this is that anyone who knows me knows I don’t take medicine of any kind unless it’s absolutely necessary. I can’t even stick to a vitamin regiment. I prefer a mostly holistic approach to health. The only one of these I would actually take (very rarely) is the Excedrin. Everything else was just stuff that my husband left in my car and I threw in my purse meaning to give back to him.

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  • A random glove. The only explanation I have for that is that I have a son, but he’s long since grown out of these gloves & we have no idea where the mate is, so I have no idea why it’s in my purse.
  • Cleaning cloth for my glasses (which are not on my face) & a shameless advertisement for Dr. Moore. I’m wearing my contacts today and my glasses are in the bedroom on my headboard. My case for my glasses is in a basket on the other side of the living room, & evidently the cleaning cloth lives in my purse. I feel like this is a metaphor for my life. All the pieces are within reach, but I do not have my stuff together. Lol

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  • An old lottery ticket. Again, not mine as I don’t play the lottery. The closest I get is scratching tickets that other people buy.
  • An old business card for the guy who used to do our taxes
  • An old Marathon gas card which I fear no longer has a balance, but instead of checking the balance like a reasonable human being, I randomly swipe it at the gas pump only for “please see attendant” to pop up on the screen, at which point I just pull out another card because I prefer not to see the attendant.
  • A bunch of other cards. Dog grooming, The Winey Winch (where I am going to go consume wine and paint one of these weekends), some other cards which weren’t important enough for me to retain the names of, a Winn-Dixie card, & a bunch of library cards.

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  • 57 pens, sharpie & a dry erase marker (?) in case I come across a white board I want to sign like a middle-schooler? I don’t know. “Beth Wuz Here X
  • A random piece of tissue paper
  • Allen wrenches, a piece of Trident which I bravely opened and pleasantly discovered is watermelon flavor, 11 cents, a 50 cent Euro piece (we have Euros all over the place we’ve been too lazy to collect in one place to exchange) and another random piece of tissue paper not even big enough for my kids to wipe a booger on.
  • A knife because sometimes you need to open a package, clean your nails, or cut someone.
  • Purell, because you’re gonna need to sanitize after you cut someone
  • Lip balm, because what kind of person would I be if I didn’t have lip balm in my purse?
  • Campho Phenique which I keep on me mostly because my husband is always buying and losing them. This way, I always know where one is if someone needs it.
  • Contact lens case #3. #1 is on my bathroom sink, #2 is in my toiletry bag and I keep one in my purse for emergencies so that if I have to take my contacts out for whatever reason they won’t dry out. However, this bit of logic does me absolutely no good considering I don’t have a small bottle of cleaning solution in my purse or my glasses. No preparedness girl scout patch for me. *sad face*

The contents of my purse was pretty lame this time around. Please tell me you can do better?! Entertain me with the contents of your own purses & comment below! At the most, we’ll both get a laugh and at the least you’ll have a clean purse. 🙂

 

5 Things I Should Adult About

Day 8 for the blogging challenge is a little late because today has been a long day. I don’t anticipate this being a long post; I’m currently quite a sleepy blogger. Today is all about my 5 current goals. All of my goals require me to Adult, with which I’m currently experiencing technical difficulties.

Listed in order of priority:

5.) Getting new items listed on Adopt-a-Dish. I want to create some new stuff this year. I want to write new stories for my pieces, make my Facebook page more interactive and engaging. In general, I simply want to have more fun with it. I’m not looking to get rich selling hand-painted dishes; I only want to wake up in the mornings and be able to say that I enjoy what I do.

4.) Make friends. We moved to Florida 6 months ago and I still don’t have friends here. At first, I didn’t see the point in making friends since our move was intended to be very temporary, but that’s what social media is for. Besides, I need a workout buddy. Someone who can help hold me accountable. Someone I can go have lunch with occasionally. I’ve been encouraging my kids to socialize and make friends so I’d be a hypocrite not to do the same myself.

*Note: I just want to point out that my not having friends here shouldn’t make you feel pangs of pity or anything. :p I don’t feel like I’m lacking anything; my life here is so full and wonderful. The main reason I haven’t made any friends here is because I haven’t tried to do so. I’ve been so busy with my own family, sight-seeing, and painting that going out to socialize just didn’t rank high on my list of priorities. I’m only wanting to make it a priority now because I know myself well enough to know that it could become a problem for me later and I don’t want that. I encourage my kids to get out of their comfort zones and build healthy relationships with different types of people, so they need to see me doing the same.

3.) Making health a priority/spending more time outdoors. This has been on my priority list for years and I’ve been making slow progress. I eat a ton more green things now than I used to, thank you very much. I do want to kick it up a notch this year though. I want to utilize the gym here in our community more. I used to go to a yoga class 2-3 times a week when we were in GA (before things got really hectic and I couldn’t anymore) so if I can fit it in our budget I’d like to do that again since there’s a studio close by. At the very least I’d like to accomplish the above goal so I have a (home) yoga buddy or gym partner. Maybe take my dog for more walks, visit the park more.

2.) Starting The Cuteness on a Brain Balance Program. If you’ve never heard of it, look it up; I believe it will be absolutely amazing for her, and us as a family.

And that leaves the main priority as:

1.) Determining what our more immediate future holds. Things may change dramatically for us in the next 6 months & I’m really struggling with deciding what shape those changes are going to take & how we’re going to navigate them. I need someone to pray that God miraculously makes us an adultier couple because we’re going to need the guidance of a beings far wiser than ourselves to make these decisions and see them through.

What are your 5 current goals? How close or far away are you to achieving those goals?