Monday, May 31, 2010

To My Someday Daughters

(Daughters, granddaughters, daughters-in-law, and all female descendants thereof)

Be kind to yourselves. Do not allow your thoughts to dwell in paths that degrade or diminish who you are.

Take time for yourselves. When life gets too busy, leave something behind. Invest in yourself by learning something new or creating something beautiful.

Your body is not a mannequin. It was not created for drapings and fashion shows, it was created with a much greater purpose than this! You may do amazing things with it! Learn to love how it moves, no matter what your limitations may be, and do not allow self hate to creep in when pounds settle in uncomfortable areas. Love those pounds instead, every inch of them, and with time and exercise, you will find a happy place, but you must first love who you are now. Learn to love how it feels when you exercise your muscles, or build something, or lift something. This is your miraculous, lovely body, and it is your friend, not your enemy to be beaten into submission. Love every ounce of it, care for it, and it will care for you.

Never compare your shape to someone else's body! Each flower is beautiful in its own way, but built very different! Some of us have bigger hips or chests or ankles or chins or shoulders or bellies! Jesus Christ was described as being in the image of God, in his likeness, and he was not described being physically attractive. Still, the media places so much emphasis on our appearance that you may forget that this really is the least of things. You should take good care of yourself and be healthy, but do not try to wish yourself into some cookie-cutter physical build and weight.

Be strong. Not the cruel, unfeeling, brutal kind of strong that others may tell you that you must be in order to be successful, but reach deep and don't be afraid of challenges, even when they may seem impossible. Perhaps they are impossible on your own, but you aren't in this alone. You have God and others around you to help you. You don't have to do it by yourself.

You will be hurt and betrayed sometimes. You must learn that even your closest friends or family members may unwittingly crush your very heart, and you must try to forgive. Not for their sake so much as your own. A bitter heart is poison to the holder of that heart, and to no one else. While you may not need to continue to allow yourself to be hurt, you must let it go as soon as you are able.

Choose a variety of friends, and be wise about confiding information. You may have a hundred friends without ever sharing a single intimate detail. There are so many things to talk about in this world, that you never need to speak ill of another person. Gossip destroys trust between those who gossip. Find positive things to speak about, and do your best to never say anything about someone that you would not say directly to that person's face.

If someone is willing to gossip with you about another person, remember that it will be much easier for them to gossip about you to someone else. Change the conversation and be positive with them, and do not encourage them to say unkind or critical things about others. That being said, we do occasionally need a sounding board to work through difficult problems. Remove names or alluding to specific individuals as much as possible and skew the situation so that trust is maintained. When discussing specific details about individuals, ask yourself, is the person with whom I am speaking able to help with this situation? For example, if your mom told you that you are the favorite child, it will not help anyone to tell your siblings what she said, instead it will hurt everyone. Don't disclose unnecessary information that has no purpose other than some interesting subject to chatter over. Also consider your trust level with that individual. If this is someone who later betrays your trust, you will want to adjust your trust level, which may be different among different friends. You may have one friend that you have lunch with every few weeks, and another friend that you swap recipes with, and another friend that you set weight loss goals with. They don't all need to know every detail of your life, and you may want to center your conversations on things that you have in common.

Be confidential. Confidentiality is one of the most rare commodities available in the world. You will be a rare person indeed if you can keep confidences. If someone chooses to share information with you, don't share it with anyone else, even if it seems like harmless information. Also, don't judge them for what they share. In the rare case that they are sharing something that you feel you must disclose to someone else, such as the law, stop them and explain to them that if they share certain details with you (for example, about a child being abused) that you feel morally obliged to report this thing to the police or to a legal authority. Don't sugar coat what they should do. If a husband is being abusive, encourage and support the woman to report it or to discuss it with someone who may help. If the information being shared with you is gossip or backbiting, don't repeat it, but rather say something nice about the person under attack to change the mood of the conversation.

Some things stay within a family. A spouse telling friends or other family about arguments, or siblings telling friends that a brother still wets the bed betrays trust in a family setting. Ask the family member if they are okay with you sharing specific details about them to others, and if they are not, then keep their confidences. This includes gossiping about your children to friends. The child needs to feel safe while they learn and grow.

If you are angry at a family member, tell your woes to the person who may do something about it, rather than someone who later may continue to hold bad feelings about that family member long after you have forgiven them. This includes discussing details of petty spousal fights with your parents and friends. Of course, if a family member is planning to do something that will hurt themselves or others, seek out a trusted person who has the power to help.

Build bridges rather than burn them. Seek opportunities to repair damaged relationships, whether at work, school, church, or elsewhere. Speak with others when they have hurt you or when you have hurt them rather than letting feelings fester. Try to leave relationships in the best possible condition because you never know when your paths will cross again. We are, after all, all daughters and sons of God and should treat each other with kindness. If someone has been emotionally or physically abusive to you, do your very best to forgive so that you may move forward. Kindness does not mean that you continue to allow them to hurt you or have control over you, and in many situations, this means eliminating or minimizing contact with that person when possible.

Smile and be happy! Find beauty in the worst of situations, and let trials carve out more space in your heart for joyful fountains that will fill it again! Sometimes it seems as if you won't make it through, but seek for the lessons you may learn, even if you feel this trial is unjust and unfair. This can be especially difficult when someone else is the cause of your trial.

You can only change you. Don't marry a man thinking that you can change him, and remember that this applies to family members, friends, and work colleagues. Your greatest power is within, and perhaps that means that you may learn some new skill that will help you adapt to a difficult situation. Look for the things that are going right, and dwell on the positive as much as possible. In marriage, when you have the right person, sometimes the ride is bumpy. Beware that you do not fall into a pit of criticism and discontentment. If you find yourself there, start looking at what he is doing right, and tell him!

We all have ups and downs, and we all respond so much better to positivity and kindness. Sometimes this means holding your tongue about the fact that he leaves his socks in the same place every night, and telling him how much you appreciate that he comes home to you each night. With time, as you build a positive communication, opportunities may arise to discuss serious concerns, but petty ones may drive unnecessary wedges in your relationship. Also, marry someone who you may be honest with. If he angry easily or gets his feelings hurt too often, this may be a red flag to avoid marrying him in the first place. Create an environment where honesty may help each of you become your best selves.

Don't doubt yourself. If someone else has achieved it, you can too! If someone else has NOT achieved it, it doesn't mean you shouldn't try! You may be laying the foundation for someone else to succeed!

Never, ever, ever, think that motherhood is below you. It is the greatest accomplishment of all, and there is nothing more worthy of your time. You may do many wonderful things in this life, but nothing will exceed that one thing, and don't let anyone tell you or make you feel otherwise. This from someone who has already accomplished many things in my life but who has not yet accomplished the greatest of all.

Do not relish in other's flaws. Smile at all women, we don't do it enough. We aren't competing with each other, but should lift and help each other the best we are able. Smile and you are the most beautiful person in the world to the person whose heart is aching. Lift others and you can't help but be lifted as well.

Each day find something beautiful about yourself and write it down. Write down how you were kind to someone, or were extra patient, or how you didn't yell as loud as usual when something bad happen, or how you let someone pull out in front of you while driving, or how you complimented someone else sincerely. Like yourself and love yourself and soon you will have an overflowing well of love to offer others, no matter your situation.

Let yourself feel difficult feelings. It's okay to feel unhappy or uncertain, pain or fear, sorrow or betrayal. Unless you allow yourself to feel these things, it will be hard to resolve it. Feel it, and then try to determine what is causing that feeling. Determine if there is anything you may do or someone you may talk to about that feeling to help find a solution.

Finally, remember that people are most important. Things will always get broken or lost, clothing will get ruined, but there is no price on a person. I have watched families fall apart and stop speaking over land, or even something as small as a photograph. Remembering this will help you prioritize and check your feelings when a difficult choice comes up. I have never regretted spending less time on a school or work project, and more time with family or a friend in need. Somehow the Lord helps make up the difference. I don't know how, but he does. Remember that he loves everyone, even the unlovable, and he doesn't love us for what we DO. He loves us for who we are.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Front Porch Fight and Infidelity

Last week C asked me if I would like an extension to the front flowerbed. It would allow me to have a defined place in which to plant an ornamental tree, since I am a sucker for ornamental trees. Dwarf Japanese Maple, anyone? He started working on it at night after a long day of work. I told him it wasn't really necessary, and yet he plowed ahead, measuring, leveling, perfecting...

More than anything, I just wanted to hang out with the cute guy, who was so set on finishing this project that was just for me, therefore I sat on the porch to "supervise." I was really trying to reign in his perfection streak by setting a time limit on how long he could mull over what he could do to make it better, but don't tell him that. At last he placed the final piece, and asked me to come take a look from the front. "Looks great! Now let's go do something fun!"

"Do you think I should dig up this part and put another brick underneath this row?"

"No! You are done! Put it away!"

He then proceeded to tell me it wasn't done and that he still needed to clean up the uprooted grass, and so I told him he had five minutes. I stepped inside to entertain three visiting young ladies who wanted to play with Kawi. [Yes, this is our kind of neighborhood. Day before yesterday three teenager girls presented me with a flower for no apparent reason at all while I was sitting in the hammock in the back yard.]

When Kawi's visitors finally left, I walked out on the porch to see C hosing down this tiny wall. "Stop that!" I said firmly.

"What? I am just cleaning the dirt off the wall!"

"You are trying to wash all of the sand out from under that brick so you will have to tear it up and add in that other brick!" He didn't try to deny it. That's exactly what he was trying to do. "You are finished! I really appreciate it! Thank you! Now let's go!"

"I will probably have to put in that other brick."

"You are NOT going to tear up that entire wall just to put in another brick when it looks fine! It's finished!"

"It's not finished, and I don't have to tear up the whole wall, just these three bricks, see... In fact," He said, being the funny guy he is, "maybe I should just do it right now!"

We have one of those great echoing neighborhoods, so I am pretty sure everyone could hear us, and those who don't know us may have really thought we were fighting, which makes it even funnier. A neighbor stopped by to borrow a table saw, and we exchanged pleasantries and told him not to rush to return it. Great fellow, that Don.

We proceeded to banter over the planter, and C said he was almost ready to go. I went inside and looked at my unkempt hair and thought, who cares? I put Kawi to bed and walked outside to find him chatting with another neighbor who recently had foot surgery and was limping around on crutches. I walked over and slipped three Jordan almonds in C's hand. "Do you have any more of these?" He asked, very interested. When all else fails to get a man going, food should do the trick. It was my bribe to get him in the car and it worked.

Chuck limped across the street and gave his daughter a push on her bike with the end of one of his crutches. "Just one push," he said, "because then you get going so fast that I can't keep up!"

"You forgot to mention that if you push her again with the other crutch that you will fall over!" I joked.

Soon we were on our way, and after a quick stop for a small dish of mint ice cream, we were wandering through lovely gardens and hopscotching across pavers. As the light slipped out of the sky, we heard a peacock cry in the distance. After some debate on which direction it came from, we wandered over near a goat pen.

What happened next was most unexpected. I have long known that my one and only is adored by children and animals (I have yet to meet one of either breed that does not instantly fall in love with him), but there they were, sultry goatresses eying my one beloved with their baby blues! What's worse is that he was so spellbound by their enticing glances that he started to return these flirtations right in front of me! Well, I never! How rude. Really, you goatresses, can't you see I am with HIM! and he is with ME?! I shall somehow recover, but it will take lots of loving. Maybe a fun play with friends will help, and then a lovely day at the races to top things off. Oh, and the peacock? Never found him, although we did spot a few fluffy turkeys, some llamas, and some sheep...

Last night after a long day at school, C came home with bags of dirt to fill in the rest of the planter before we headed out to enjoy an evening with friends.
Yep, you guessed it. He tore up part of the wall and added in that extra retaining wall brick as well.

If I Happen to Get There Before You Do...

If by some chance I should win the race, and you should be left behind...
Should your heart be uncertain of where to look, feeling empty, and lonely, and blind...
Think on this treasure map my love, and follow your feet to this place.
Perhaps you shall find me again somewhere, in an old forgotten space.
It begins with a truffle. How odd, you must think! But if no truffle, a petit four with a wink.

Then somewhere beyond the Wisteria...
Where the weeping blue atlas' repine, under whose sage and solemn boughs...

Is hidden the well-tamed vine.
Hop-scotch around the checkerboard...

...where I'll steal a gazebo kiss...
Then 'round the stone wall where the non-pavers lie, and the footfall was placed amiss.
Wander along for each day is a stone, memories carefully placed, 'til our pathways were parted, though briefly so, leaving the heart malaise-laced.

The vine knows no bounds, and our lives are the same. They find new pathways to roam. When you are missing me don't forget this: Eternity is our TRUE home.
Down secret tunnels well garnished in vines, to remind you of twilight in May.

Up and over the bridge, pause to hear, "Kiss me on the veranda today!"
As you stroll past the large sleeping giants of green, the birds just might drop you a wire,
That reads, "After tunneling deep through the dark, you'll emerge again from the mire."
Then under the bridge that isn't, a camera kiss may befall,

And through the archway,
Beyond the bridge,
Where forest pathways may call.
Close by the bridge, there perhaps you you will find
A forget-me-not-message with just you in mind.
Across the bridge, this is where I will stand
Then guide you inside with your heart in my hand. You may not have seen me, but you'll know I am there, as we sit hand-in-hand, side-by-side in these chairs
There I'll sing you a love song, whether mic's there or no,
Then we'll laugh 'til we cry while we take in the show.
You may feel my touch with the kiss of the breeze, and hear my voice whisper soft through the trees.
You may not want to leave, you may wish you could stay, but remember, my love, that I'm not far away.
Listen closely my love, I've a bit more to share. It's not just one place where you'll find me there. Perhaps a gazebo, perhaps a lighthouse, perhaps in a temple, or our very own house.
Should your heart ever wonder if I'm really there, know that heaven's so close that you're already here. And now and again I promise to send a bright yellow message on the wings of a friend.
Lastly I promise, affirm and declare, when you reach THIS finish line, you WILL see me there.
(But, if you still really miss me, I happen to know that the goats and llamas will help out with a kiss! :D)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dear Elven Slippers (B.B. Flocking), and Diamonds on my Soles,

I had some time today to finish your follower buttons for your own blogs. To learn why I do this, and how to install them, please visit my Follower Buttons post. To see your buttons, please go here. Just a little note, I had more difficulty with Elven's buttons (to make sure they didn't look tacky with your blogs), so I created a few more variations, but for both of you, if you have any special requests, just say the word. And if you don't want them, that is fine, too!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

SEVEN New Posts!

But you have to go to Whose-its. ----------->

Memorial Day Holiday To-Do List

1. Spend 1 hour playing a strategic game (because I LOVE solving problems)
2. Exercise to my heart's desire
3. Turn in 1 (hopefully 2) homework assignments
4. Spend 20 minutes making my kitchen clean again
5. Go to a play and dinner with some friends
6. Teach a lesson on barren women in the scriptures (should be fun, if not awkward, considering I am the ONLY person who falls into this category in my church congregation - not so much awkward for me, but everyone else because they have more of a problem with it than me, I guess... you get the picture)
7. Shamelessly eat as much Indian food as I want because I skipped lunch (oh, wait - I did that yesterday with a friend...Linnuke!)
8. Enjoy a day at the moto races with my one and only
9. Bask in a sunshine-filled hammock with Kawi bird
10. Find something exciting to whip together in my kitchen

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Sweetest Smile

A while back I purchased tickets to a guy event. I wanted to surprise C, but I had to see if he had anything going that day, so I told him I had a surprise for him, but didn't tell him what the event was.

Last night C came home from the gym and cautiously but quietly said, "I think I know what your surprise is."

"Oh yeah, what do you think it is?"

He hesitated, "Well, I don't know. Maybe not."

"No, what do you think it could be?"

"Well, maybe the motorcycle races?" He said, hoping, but not too hard.


"Really? Did you? Did you really?" The biggest smile I have ever seen spread across his face. "I saw the ads for it at the gym and thought how great it would be to go, but, REALLY?"

"All right, I was going to keep it a surprise, but yes. And I got you reserved tickets. Good ones."

"Are you coming with me?"

"Of course! Unless you have someone else in mind..." And he didn't. Imagine that!

I don't think I have ever seen a bigger smile on that guy. C is not the type of man who places expectations on me. He doesn't expect me to clean or cook or do anything else, but he sure appreciates it when I do. I on the other hand, am pretty good - er, bad? at expectations - I expect him to call when he's going to be late for dinner, and I expect to get something for V-day.

I started thinking, wouldn't it be nice to do something that was JUST for him? Sure, we go see movies and do other things together, but that's for both of us. So we will go to the moto races, and he will LOVE it, and I will love it because he loves it, and that's what really matters anyway, isn't it?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Is it Secret? Is it Safe?

The most exciting part about my secret is the point where I am right now, therefore, I need to bring you into the loop. You see, it's one of those things that may never happen, but the exciting part is that it COULD happen. A close encounter with an adventure is almost as good as a real adventure. It's like looking at the presents under the tree before you open them. Dreaming about what COULD be is almost more thrilling than reality!

So here it is....

Once upon a time there was a girl who was very good at her boring old job (so boring, in fact, that she never talked about her job unless she was attempting to lull a family member or friend to sleep). One day she saw an announcement looking for talent in her particular field. She tossed the announcement in the garbage, but then it arrived at her desk again. She thought, what can it hurt?

She submitted some information and the recruiter responded right away. The recruiter told her that the development director REALLY liked her for talent! But then she waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, she gave up.

Even if they wanted her as talent for a reality TV show about her field of expertise, it didn't mean anything. The show might just be on a list of a hundred other show ideas that are passed over by some producer, and then forgotten forever. The show might grow roots and actually get a pilot out, but if no network wants the thing, it may rot away in some basement, never to see the light of day. If the network did take it on for size, it MIGHT have one season, but then, if it is so boring that nobody will watch it (did I fail to mention that not even my friends want me to talk about my job?) it goes off air, a fallen leaf on the network of TV programs begging for your time.

As I was saying, the recruiter passed her, er, my information along, and a month later (yesterday) I find an e-mail that wound up in my junk mail box ten days earlier. They are finally ready to take a closer look at this show. Is it too late? I e-mail and wait for a response...

Them: Sorry we couldn't get back with you sooner. May we call you?

Me: Yes.

Them: Tomorrow?

Me: Yes.

Today they called to interview me. At the end of an hour long discussion, the interviewer asked, "May we call you again next week? I would like to have you speak with [development director]. She wanted to speak with you today, but we just had a show picked up by TLC that they wanted right away, and she has had her hands full with that."

Those are the facts, folks. I am a realist while loving the dream, and even if it never happens, it's still exciting to be asked in the first place. That is my secret (er, one of them)! Shhhhhh!!! Don't tell!!!

"She turned me into a NEWT!"

Today was Foreign Accent Friday. It is especially fun because C is really good at doing accents, and I have been told that I am too. Today was our first shot at FAF. Our accent of choice fell somewhere near the Monty Python, "She turned me into a NEWT!"

Our farewell went something like this:

C, holding A in a kissable hug: All right then, kiss me right 'ere.

A, leaning into his right ear: Your right ear?

C: No, right 'ere.

A, leaning to his left ear: Oh, the OTHER right ear!

C: No, right 'ERE!

And that's how we kissed goodbye for the day!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Without Saying Too Much...

Excitement galore today!
I wish I could just spill the beans and tell you every single detail of it. Let me be a little hypothetical instead.

What if... had someone offer you an AMAZING opportunity over a month ago (as this develops into more than a possibility, I WILL share more), and you figured they just forgot all about you...

BUT THEN!!! Today you found the e-mail you'd waited for had wandered into your bulk e-mail account by chance and it has been sitting there for TEN DAYS!!!

You grieve, you writhe, you ache, you mourn, and then you call, hoping that somehow it isn't too late after all! You send them the information they need, and then you wait...

...And while you wait, you check your e-mail 100 times waiting for a response, and after your sweet prince takes you out for sushi to discuss the exciting, but very secretive events of the day, he holds your hand and guides you up on a big rock where you stand while he hugs you at the waist, holding you as if those people walking by didn't really exist, and as if the entire world had stopped spinning just to pause and take note of this happy little moment...

...this life pours you a sweet cup of nectar tipped with blissful blessings, and you drink it in as if it were the most wonderful day of all. A tiny spark of simple hope lights its fire in your heart of hearts and warms the place that so recently festered with despair's sting, until a syrup of joy trickles and dances through your veins.

You return home to find that the bulk mailbox once again played your emotions like a lyre and out emerges the answer you so wistfully watched for all day. There the spark of hope flickered into a possibility, and there it sat, like a last magical unopened present at Christmastime that somehow fell unnoticed until long after the early morning thrill, a final unopened answer, an unseen dream, an unfulfilled wish.

But welcome, new follower! You've already captured my affections with your magical, curious world! Thank you for introducing yourself in such a delightful way!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

We are at an impasse

Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.
There will be no arrangement --
-- and you're killing her!

But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.

There is an unusual reoccurring phenomenon in my life. It is not unlike the day when you woke up and realized that your favorite shirt at age eight no longer fit you at age nine, or the day when you looked at the sizzling basket of french fries in the deep fat fryer and realized that you didn't want to do this anymore. Okay, so I only worked at a burger joint for maybe a month before I realized that and quit, but you see where I am heading here.
It is the moment when you are tired of high school in the first months of your Senior year and are ready for something else. There is something stagnant about where you are because you realize that it simply isn't taking you where you want to go. Just like the airplane that sets its course for the final destination and must make hundreds of tiny adjustments as it travels through the air, lest it arrive far from the determined terminus, our lives need to adjust and adapt.
It usually happens when I have started to feel incredibly comfortable and safe, and then it begins. I realize that somewhere along the way this place stopped fitting, or perhaps I stopped being true to who I am and what I truly want, and it isn't enough to just keep moving forward. It is that veritable fork in the road where I realize that with some risk on my part, I may take a different path. Perhaps that different path is the right path where I will stay true to who and what I am, and my sudden feeling of discomfort is a voice telling me to follow it.
I am not speaking of relationships here. I am speaking about choices. Unfortunately I believe some lost souls mistake those feelings for the need for a different relationship when they have already made a lifelong commitment to the right person in the first place. This is a sad state of affairs (no pun intended) and as you can see this is not within the realm of my topic today.
Where did this all come from? It happened like this:
I pulled out a book that I had not read for a long time to offer to a friend who asked for it when we were making plans for her birthday. It was attached to my elliptical with a soft headband to hold the pages open. I tossed it in my car, intending to drop it off later that day along with another book for another nearby friend. While sitting at a light I glanced down and read the following from John Gottman's The Relationship Cure:
"Our culture discourages people from paying attention to difficult
feelings, because getting to the root of what makes you angry or
sad can bring about change in your life. It can take you away from
the role into which you've been cast - - whether that role fits or not.
"I'm reminded of the Nike ad that so pervaded our culture in recent
years: "Just Do It." To me, the subtext read, 'Don't think of how you
feel about doing it, because then you may not do it at all. You may
never set records, you may never achieve success. You'll wind up
a failure.'
"But I suggest that if you look into your heart and find that you really
don't want to do it -- whether "it" is to pursue a certain career goal,
commit to a new relationship, or go for some other brass ring that
others define as ultimate success--then perhaps you shouldn't."
Dr. Gottman then describes a young woman who chose a career as an accountant rather than a mathematician because she felt it would pay better. Years later she was depressed and her work lacked spirit, and she "regretted that she had silenced that small but uncomfortable voice inside that was telling her she was headed in the wrong direction."
The last part of the book I want to quote is this:
"Fear of changing paths is certainly a major reason that people try
to detach from their feelings. But perhaps the strongest and most
basic reason is to avoid experiencing the very real pain that
emotions can bring."
I wish I had some strategic plan that included building up an immunity to iocane powder so that I could easily beat my impasse opponent, but with some luck, and plenty of prayer, I will find my path again. In the meantime, I feel a bit like this fellow:

Sunday, May 16, 2010

WHERE is Your Sense of ADVENTURE?!!!

Welcome to my ADVENTURE QUIZZZZZZ! This is a test. This is only a test. This is a test of the emergency adventure center.

All scores will be based upon complete and honest answers of the following adventure metered questions. Scoring will be included in the subsequent post after you help me finish the last question of the quiz.

1. Are you the type of person who hides EASTER EGGS in your blog?

2. Are you the type of person who hides objects in the backs of photos or journals for your posterity to find?

3. Have you ever written a letter or journal entry in another language?

4. Have you ever made up your own language (perhaps the one you wrote the letter or journal entry in?)

5. Have you ever written a suspense thriller story or novel, or movie, and felt excited about figuring out how it will end?

6. When you have children in your home (whether they belong to you or not), do you ever hold treasure hunts, or play/create seek and find types of games with/for them? Or, have you ever hidden something and created a treasure map so that YOU could find it? ARRRRR, me matees!

7. Are you the type of person who has a magical element about you so that children could believe that there is a piece of hidden magic somewhere in your world (Lion, Witch and Wardrobe portal, for example)?

8. When I hear the word PAINT, the first thing that comes to mind is...
A. a canvas and a palette, sitting somewhere lovely and painting a masterpiece!
B. my fence (or bathroom, hallway, etc.). It really needs some paint...
C. a big mess. I don't even want to hear the word, especially when kids are around.

9. When I think of traveling to another country, the first thing that comes to mind is...
A. adventure! New food, new faces, new experiences, new places!
B. visiting those sites I see on the Discovery or History channel and am dying to see.
C. going on tours with large groups of people or traveling on a cruise ship
D. getting shots, waiting around in airports, expenses, and glad to be home again.

10. ***READER PARTICIPATION REQUIRED*** You write this question! No, really! Just write it right

You don't even have to tell me who you are!

Wochenende Linnuke

1. Help Coco find an AMAZING new home: LINNUKE! (Mental Note: I think he will heretofore be know as Crash, although he will be doted on like a king.)

2. Put the rest of my plants in the ground: LINNUKE! (Mental Note: Purchase tomatoes the week AFTER Mother's Day so they don't stain the bottom of my tub waiting around for two weeks)

3. Buy six bottles of Bistro Blends in Vegas via C's motorcycle trip: LINNUKE! (Thank you, C, for being such a good hubby!)

4. Get hair done: LINNUKE! (Is the true definition of pampering, 'two men simultaneously drying your hair with huge round brushes while you all chat over pleasantries like technology'? I think YES. Sorry no pic. Does C cringe every time he sees the price tag on that experience? MOST DEFINITELY.)

5. Have our wedding video transferred to digital files (not just a DVD, but full-on high res .avi files): LINNUKE! (Teach said transferrer about new optical disc technologies that don't contain organic dyes that deteriorate over time - linnuke.)

6. Write a blog entry using the Estonian word for checkmark: LINNUKE!

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