Thursday, July 30, 2009

Why lie?

As a way of sharing a bit, I've been having weekly visits with a psychologist for the past 4 years or so. It's not an easy thing to do, but I think self-awareness and discovery are key if we are to become whole human beings who are caring and compassionate with one another.

Recently I've been working on being kinder to myself. I'm OFTEN very hard on myself about any number of things. I think it's a way of picking myself apart and tearing myself down before others get a chance to do it. Perhaps I think if I say mean things to myself then when other people think or say means things about me it won't hurt. Unfortunately all that happens is I end up feeling hurt twice as much.

I learned a long time ago that I don't like it when life is complicated and, for me, lying makes life complicated. You have to keep track of who you told what story to and if you've been caught lying and then want someone to believe you when you tell the truth, it makes it very difficult for them to do so.

So why do we lie? How do we act/respond when other people lie to us? If we find out someone has been lying to us, is it wrong to feel we simply need to exorcise them from our lives as a way of preserving and loving ourselves?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Support for the little guy....

I live in a kind of forward thinking neighborhood who believes in grass-roots efforts and supporting local business owners. We have a lovely little family owned restaurant that has been wise and slowly grown over the last 5 or 6 years. When a Starbucks moved in, the residents of the neighborhood made sure to support the local coffee shop and bucked the Starbucks!

So, in that spirit, I'd like to share with you http://www.lathermonkey.com/. This is a company that sells organic soaps, body wash, shampoos, etc. It's run by a friend of Troy's who he went to college with. He's a chemist and I've experienced his products first hand. They are excellent. Give them a try.

Besides, he's having a SALE right now! Sweet!

Monday, July 27, 2009

I seriously have the best dog ever!

I went to visit my parents up north this weekend (see #21) and of course took Sasha with me. I hate to leave her at home when she doesn't have to be there. While we were there, she got to hang out in the front yard where she had a wonderful time rolling around in their grass.


For quite a while, Sasha and I have been working on LOTS of obedience commands (ie, sit, stay, roll over, etc) and I decided that since I had my camera, I'd see if she's obey me as she has been taught. She knows what she should do, of course, but considering I didn't have any food to bribe her with, I think she did exceedingly well.

I obviously have the best dog ever!

Take a look!

video

Friday, July 24, 2009

Get rid of 101 items I own (1/101)

I think that purging ourselves of those things that are not adding value to our lives is an important "chore" that we should engage in often to keep ourselves mentally and physically healthy. For me, too much stuff around me makes me a little crazy...well a little crazier than usual.

In an effort to keep myself as sane as possible, I've decided to get rid of some stuff. The first victim of my purging? The first car I ever bought. A 1999 Mercury Mystique. I bought it in 2000 when it had about 25,000 miles on it. Over the course of the next 9 years or so, I put another 100,000 miles on it. In 2005, I was rear-ended in it while riding as a passenger. Despite the horrendous damage to the trunk and rear bumper and nearly constant nagging from my parents and brother, I still drove it until December of 2008. After all, it was paid for and the engine was still in excellent condition. When I bought my new car in December, I didn't get rid of the old one. Instead, I parked it in my garage "just in case". Just in case of what, I'm not sure.

Last week (more than 6 months after I bought the new car), I decided that perhaps the Mystique had served its purpose and I was tired of it taking up space in my garage. I considered selling it to the junk yard or donating it to charity, but instead I decided to list it privately on www.cars.com. I've never sold a car, so I made sure to do my homework as to its worth and the appropriate paperwork that should be completed. I'm happy to say that after only a week of being listed online, I sold it for the full asking price. Yeah!

I don't think the other 100 items I purge will probably be quite so big. It feels good to have it out of my garage and off of my insurance.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Words and deeds

This week's word of the week is:

"spontaneous"
–adjective
1. coming or resulting from a natural impulse or tendency; without effort or premeditation; natural and unconstrained; unplanned: a spontaneous burst of applause.
2. (of a person) given to acting upon sudden impulses.
3. (of natural phenomena) arising from internal forces or causes; independent of external agencies; self-acting.
4. growing naturally or without cultivation, as plants and fruits; indigenous.
5. produced by natural process.

Does have a 101 in 1001 list mean that I'm not spontaneous? hmm.
_________________________________________________________

I went to visit Troy's family at the farm last night since his oldest sister and her family were in town and it seemed like I hadn't seem them in forever. They are a hugging kinda people, so as a result, my list of people I've hugged (#16) instantly grew from 1 person to 9 people. Sweet!

#28 Learn all the state capitals (29/50)

According to Sheppard Software, which has an online United States capital quiz, I currently know 29/50 state capitals. So, which do I know?

New York - Albany
Illinois - Springfield
Oklahoma - Oklahoma City
Hawaii - Honolulu
Delaware - Dover
Louisiana - Baton Rouge
Florida -Tallahassee
Minnesota - St. Paul
North Dakota - Bismarck
Indiana - Indianapolis
Massachusetts - Boston
Michigan - Lansing
Iowa - Des Moines
Rhode Island - Providence
California - Sacramento
South Dakota - Pierre
New Jersey - Trenton
Vermont - Montpelier
Wisconsin - Madison
Nevada - Carson City
Ohio - Columbus
Mississippi - Jackson
Montana - Helena
Arizona - Phoenix
Colorado - Denver
Kentucky - Frankfurt
Alaska - Juneau
Maine - Augusta
Georgia - Atlanta

Not bad for my first try. My apologies to the other states. I'll get to you soon.

#5 Eat sushi once a month (1/34)

Sushi trip for July 2009 all done! As a way of celebrating Troy's clean bill of health from his doctor on Tuesday, we ventured to my favorite little sushi restaurant here in Indianapolis. I was suprised that Troy suggested it as our celebratory dinner since he's not really a huge fan of sushi. He does enjoy their teriyaki chicken though and he'll sample the occasional piece my sushi. It was VERY yummy! The only problem is it's usually so good that I eat too much. Ick!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Week # 1 summary

Week # 1 Summary

Items completed: 1 (#50)
Items in progress: 14
Items remaining: 100

After 1 week, here are where things stand:

I completed #50. Write myself a letter on Day 1 to be opened on Day 1001. Now I just have to find a place to put it so that on Day 1001, I can find it. Any suggestions?

Items that are currently in progress:
4. Make one blog entry every day for a month. This is day 1. Ugh.
8. Collect 100,000 pennies. I currently have 768. I had 410 on Saturday, but Troy empties out his change into a bowl on his dryer and I coveted it. He VERY graciously let me have them for my little project. That nearly doubled my penny count! Sweet! Thanks Troy! In order to stay on track, I have to collect about 100 a day, so I'm ahead of schedule.
16. Hug 50 people. Thus far, I have hugged Troy. I need to remember that this one is on the list. It may take quite a bit for me to step out of my comfort zone and ask people if I can hug them.
20. Donate 1,000,000 grains of rice through www.freerice.com. In order to stay on track, I should donate about 1,000 grains per day. I'm currently at 4,500, so I'm just ahead of the game.
28. Learn all the state capitals. So far? 1/50. Of course, it helps that I actually LIVE in Indianapolis, so that makes it easy. Does anyone have a suggestion for learning these? A great website? Flash cards?
31. Learn 50 phrases in American Sign Lanquage. My friend Oksana volunteered to help me with some of these. Her son doesn't speak very much, so they've struck upon teaching him sign language as an alternative way to communicate. So far, I've learned, "How are you?"
33. Find a word of the week and use it 3 times during the week. Last week's word was procrastinate. As in, I hope I don't procrastinate and fail to finish all the items on my list.
45. Get at least 10 official followers on my blog. I currently have one and I have no idea who it is. If it's you, please give a shout out and let me know who you are. Thanks!
56. Pray for those I love once a week. 1/144 done.
57. Pray for those I don't love once a week. 1/144 done. This one is very difficult to do.
79. Walk 8,008,000 steps. So far, I've completed 22,602. That's about 2,400 per DAY that I'm behind already. I need to get moving. I once heard a phrase that sticks with me. If your dog is fat, you're not exercising enough. Amen!
84. Moisturize daily. Check! I may have been given some good genes in terms of retaining my youthful looks, (my mom doesn't look near what her age is) but it's always good to help them out.
90. Take one picture every day. So far I've accomplished this, but I haven't really done anything artisits yet. Hopefully I'll perk up the quality of the shots soon.
96. Make plastic bags to use up all the plastic bags I currently have. It takes about 100 bags to complete one of these reusable grocery bags. My friends and family have been VERY generous with the bags, so they are beginning to take over my craft room. I MUST dig myself out.

What's on the agenda for Week #2? All of the above and I might try to get in my flower purchase and sushi dinner. Yum! I love any excuse to eat sushi!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

List #2 is off and running!

For those of you who are interested, here is 101 in 1001 List #2. It begins today and the last day is April 11, 2012. Wish me luck and if you've got pennies (#8), hugs (#16) or a wedding (#3) to share with me, please speak up! I could use all the help I can get!

1 Make a wall of my favorite photos that I have shot
2 Give blood 3 times (0/3)
3 Be a guest at a wedding
4 Make one blog entry every day for a month (0/31)
5 Eat sushi once a month (0/34)
6 Host a poker tournament
7 Attend a concert at White River State Park
8 Collect 100,000 pennies (0/100,000)
9 Donate those 100,000 pennies (or $1,000) to a charity
10 Go to a street fair
11 Go to a river boat casino
12 Go to a parade
13 Feed 3 expired meters (0/3)
14 Volunteer at a nursing home
15 Volunteer at an animal shelter
16 Hug 50 people (0/50)
17 Buy tickets to and attend a charity dinner
18 Send flowers anonymously 3 times (0/3)
19 Plant a tree
20 Donate 1,000,000 grains of rice through http://www.freerice.com/ (0/1,000,000)
21 See my parents at least once a month (0/34)
22 See a Colts game in the new stadium
23 Attend a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater
24 Buy fruits/vegetables/flowers from the farmers' market every week for a month (0/4)
25 Help build a house for someone
26 Get a passport
27 Use my passport
28 Learn all the state capitals (0/50)
29 Learn one really good joke
30 Learn to make homemade ice cream
31 Learn 50 words in American Sign Language (0/50)
32 Read 5 Classic Novels (0/5)
33 Find a word of the week and use it during the week 3 times (0/144)
34 Take the online Jeopardy Test
35 Visit 3 museums I've never been to (0/3)
36 Visit one of the Smithsonian Museums
37 Make turkey jerky using a food dehydrator
38 Memorize Robert Frost's "The Road Less Traveled"
39 Read the whole Harry Potter series (0/7)
40 See the butterflies at the Indianapolis Zoo
41 Keep a large wall map with pins in all the places that I've been
42 Attend a taping of the Oprah Show
43 Build a snowman
44 Watch AFI's 100 Greatest American Movies (0/100)
45 Get at least 10 official followers on my blog (1/10)
46 See Rockefeller Center at Christmas
47 Get 5 badges in "You Can Do It!"
48 Wear fingernail polish for 1 week (0/7)
49 Don't bite my fingernails for one month (0/31)
50 Write myself a letter on Day 1 to be opened in Day 1001
51 Create a Year in my Life scrapbook
52 Make a scrapbook of my 101 adventures
53 Make a list of 101 things that make me happy (0/101)
54 Go to a palm reader
55 Sleep in a Teepee at one of the Wigwam Motels
56 Pray for those I love once a week (0/144)
57 Pray for those I don't love once a week (0/144)
58 Get rid of 101 items I own (0/101)
59 Have a photo taken of me that I really love and frame it
60 Ride a rollercoaster I've not been on before
61 Ride on a carousel
62 Ride in a convertible
63 Eat a candlelit dinner
64 Don't complain for one week
65 Put flowers on the graves of my uncle and grandfather once a year
66 Place 100 inspirational notes around me to inspire me (0/100)
67 Go 24 hours without talking
68 Keep a Gratitude Journal for one month
69 Find 3 new musical artists whose music speaks to my soul (0/3)
70 Buy flowers once every month (0/34)
71 Take a kick-boxing class
72 Take a yoga class
73 Go ice skating
74 Go snow skiing
75 Play paintball
76 Fly a kite
77 Get an odometer for my bike
78 Bicycle 1001 miles (0/1001)
79 Walk 8,008,000 steps (0/8,008,000)
80 Do 50 push-ups in a row (0/50)
81 Go to an indoor climbing wall place
82 Go rollerskating or rollerblading
83 Try 10 new fruits or vegetables
84 Moisturize daily (0/1001)
85 Keep a food journal for one month
86 Get a manicure
87 Get a pedicure
88 Go golfing 10 times (0/10)
89 Drive a combine
90 Take one picture every day (0/1001)
91 Complete the 100 Snapshots list (0/100)
92 Compile an Emergency kit for the house
93 Compile an Emergency kit for the car
94 Write down all of my spending for one month
95 Have no library fines for 6 consecutive months (0/6)
96 Make plastic bags to use up all the plastic bags I currently have
97 Buy a Wii
98 Keep my bedroom clean every day for one month
99 Have no dirty dishes in the house over night for one month
100 Don't eat out for one month
101 Create another 101 List

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The fat lady is about to sing....

On day 1000 of 1001, I think perhaps it's time to take a moment to look back on what I've seen and experienced over the last 2.75 years.

Did I finish everything on the list? No. Is that the point? I don't think so. On Day 1, I probably would have said yes, but now my thoughts on the list have changed. I think the list in and of itself can be a great insight into where we were and who we were for a brief moment in our lives.

I started this list on October 18, 2006. I had just turned 33 and most of my focus was on accomplishing those things that I thought I should accomplish because those are the things other people expected. Those things, like passing my professional exams, losing weight and getting married are the things I imagined that other people expected of me. Whether or not they were things that I actually wanted to accomplish is something I'm still trying to figure out. At the time, not being able to cross those items off of my list seemed like a horrible failure on my part. Today, I'm trying to figure out if an actuary and a wife are things I really want to be. As far as losing weight, I'd LOVE to weigh 120 pounds, but if I continue to put off living, loving and caring about myself and truly enjoying life until I've reached that goal, then perhaps I've missed the whole point of the list completely.

As I near age 36 (closer to 40 than 30...ugh), my attention has turned to learning how to truly nourish my soul. I hope that my next list and the next 1001 days draw me closer to that goal.

But before the excitement of a new list (like a new baby or a new friend) starts to overshadow the old, let's look back and reflect on the great adventure I've had so far.

1. Ride 10,000 motorcycle miles in 365 days. - 3,270/10,000 - I think I actually rode more miles than this, but a new puppy has definitely bitten into my riding time this season.
2. Ride a 500-mile motorcycle day. - See the explanation for #1
3. Ride a 1000-mile motorcycle day. - See the explanation for #1. Besides, that a LOOOONG way!
4. Change the oil in my car.
5. Change the oil in my motorcycle. - #4 and #5 seemed like a good idea at the time, but for me, learning about myself has meant realizing that I really don't like getting dirty.
6. Learn to drive a manual transmission. - Completed 6/20/2009 with the help, patience and car of Troy. I think driving from Hay, KS to Denver, CO means that I can cross this one off of the list.
7. Visit California. - COMPLETED 6/23/2009. We visited Kelso, CA and the Mojave National Preserve on our 10 day road trip out west. I highly recommend it! It's in the middle of the desert, but that's definitely part of the appeal.
8. Visit Chicago. - COMPLETED 1/26 & 1/27, 2008
9. Visit New York City.
10. Ride on a train.
11. Get at least 5 stamps in my National Parks Passport. - COMPLETED 6/24/2009. I was also able to complete this one on our road trip out west. Over the course of the trip, we visited Zion National Park, the Mojave National Preserve and the Grand Canyon. There were LOTS of stamps at each destination, so check!
12. Run the Indianapolis 500 Mini Marathon. - I was registered for this in 2009, but I hadn't trained, so I just completed the 5k. I think that was VERY good decision on my part. I did walk/jog it in 2006 though.
13. Weigh less than 200 pounds. - Hopefully soon.
14. Weigh less than 175 pounds. - Maybe someday.
15. Weigh less than 150 pounds.
- To dream, the impossible dream!
16. Work out at least 30 minutes 500 times. - 253/500 Complete - I actually completed well over 300, but I didn't make it all the way to 500 and I stopped counting at some point. Strange how working out 300 times still counts as a failure.
17. Be called "skinny" by someone who isn't prompted to do so by this list. - See #15.
18. Wear make-up every day for one month. - My hangup always seemed to be the weekends.
19. Be in bed by 10 PM every night for one week. - This one seemed VERY easy on paper, but unfortunately I am too much of a night owl.
20. Be up by 6 AM every morning for one week. - See #19.
21. Go to the dentist twice.
I REALLY should have done this. Teeth are one of the most important determenents of overall health.
22. Get my cholesterol checked. - COMPLETED 01/13/2007
23. Eat no chocolate for one month. - COMPLETED October 2007
24. Drink no soda for 6 months. - COMPLETED 9/16/2008
25. Drink only water for one month.
26. Get married or be planning my wedding. - hahaha. Actually, I'm not even sure that this is something that I'm looking for at this point. I think it's easier to find what makes me happy when I can go to my own house and be alone. It's hard to do that if you're married and living in the same house.
27. Learn to juggle. - This one's just weird, huh?
28. Keep my car clean for one month - COMPLETED January 2009
29. Buy a new car - COMPLETED 12/27/2008 This is REALLY easy when it's a new car!
30. Bowl a 500 series. - This was quite possibly the most frustrating item on the list. Despite the fact that I bowl in a weekly league, I COULD NOT get it crossed off of the list. I would get REALLY close though. I can't tell you how many weeks I was in the 480s and 490s. UGH!
31. Bowl a 200 game - COMPLETED 2/21/2007 (201)
32. Set up an IRA with regular contributions - COMPLETED 3/6/2007
33. Draw up a will - COMPLETED 5/16/2008
34. Have $XXX,XXX in my 401(K) account - This was CLEARLY the wrong time to make this one a goal. Before the economy tanked, I was well on my way to making it happen. Oh well. It's a good thing I'm young and still have plenty of time.
35. Have 9 months of earnings in savings - Um, HELLO! Have you seen all the things on this list that I've spent money on?
36. Save $1 per day to spend on something "fun" at the end of the 1001 days. - COMPLETED 6/19/2009. Actually I spent some of it on my casino night birthday party and the rest on our road trip out west. Both VERY fun!
37. Spend no money for 1 week other than what is required for bills (mortgage, electric, phone, etc.)
38. Learn to make pie crusts with Mom. - I still really need to and want to do this one.
39. Take Mom for a day of pampering at a spa - COMPLETED 8/9/2008 I was very pleased that she loved this. We'll definitely have to do it again.
40. Go to the Auburn/Cord/Deusenberg Festival with Dad - COMPLETED 9/3/2007
41. Plan a "Surprise to Troy" trip - I guess technically I could count our road trip out west because I did all of the planning and he just basically got to sit back and say, OK, what's next? I won't though.
42. Buy a GPS System or Autocomm System - COMPLETED 5/14/2008
43. Send on card per month to someone who makes a difference in my life. - There's a reason I put this on my list. I'm so bad at it!
44. Send birthday cards to everyone that I have birth dates for. - See #43.
45. Cook and serve an entire holiday meal by myself.
46. Take photos of my parents for mounting. - Once again, this is something I don't want to let slip through the cracks. I really want to have these for the future.
47. Do a video interview with my parents. - See #46.
48. Plant a flower garden.
49. Plant a vegetable garden - COMPLETED 5/10/2009
50. Watch no TV for one month.
51. Volunteer at Soup's On.
52. Give $1 to charity for each thing not finished on this list - I'm taking a check for $52 to Robert's Park Soup's On program tomorrow
53. Donate my hair to charity - COMPLETED 5/26/2007
54. Do a charity walk/run/ride - COMPLETED 4/21/2007
55. See a concert - COMPLETED 9/29/2007
56. See a play.
57. See an outdoor production of something - COMPLETED 6/29/2007
58. See a symphony production.
59. See an IMAX movie - COMPLETED 6/14/2008
60. Visit the Indianapolis Museum of Art - COMPLETED 4/12/2008
61. Enter a Texas Hold'em Poker Tournament - COMPLETED 4/21/2008
62. Complete a knitting project that I can wear - COMPLETED 6/30/2007
63. Take 3 photography classes.
64. Take dance lessons.

65. Take a cooking class with Troy - COMPLETED 6/28/2008
66. Sell at least one photo that I have taken - COMPLETED 5/10/2008
67. Pass Exams MLC / MFE.
68. Pass Exam C.
69. Pass Exam EA-2B.

70. Go to a movie alone - COMPLETED 5/2/2008
71. Memorize the US Presidents - COMPLETED 8/4/2008
72. Sew the buttons on my black coat. I'm totally going to complete this one tonight or tomorrow night. Just under the wire!
73. Decorate for Christmas while listening to carols, drinking hot tea and eating cookies. - Aww, sounds sweet, huh? Why didn't I do this one?
74. Have all of my Christmas decorations down, organized and put away by January 15th
- COMPLETED 1/15/2008
75. Commute to work by foot, bicycle or bus for one month - Completed August 2007
76. Really organize my scrapbooking supplies - COMPLETED 3/2/2008
77. Play no computer games for one month.
78. Learn to meditate (work up to 20 minutes per day)

79. Keep a journal every day for at least 2 months.
80. Pick strawberries and make strawberry shortcake - COMPLETED 5/28/2007
81. Pick apples and make a cobbler - COMPLETED 9/20/2008
82. Fast for 24 hours - COMPLETED 5/23/2008
83. Ride in a limo
84. Ride in a horse-drawn carriage - COMPLETED 2/16/2008
85. Ride in a hot air balloon.
86. Go Blonde
87. Try one new recipe a month for 6 months - COMPLETED 7/6/2009 I actually just finished this one by trying out a smoothie recipe provided to us by Troy's college chum, Bill, when we visited them in Austin. Yum!
88. Sing karaoke in a karaoke bar
89. Create another 101 list - COMPLETED 4/22/2008
90. Read all of the Book Babes books.
91. Read 50 books.

92. Watch 50 movies - COMPLETED 12/10/2007
93. Buy a digital camera - COMPLETED 2/26/2007
94. Play Bingo in a real bingo hall - COMPLETED 2/23/2007
95. See 5 movies on their opening weekend - COMPLETED 1/22/2007
96. Let someone else order my meal for me in a restaurant - COMPLETED 1/13/2007
97. Win more than $25 in the monthly poker game. - COMPLETED 01/04/2007
98. Eat in a restaurant alone - COMPLETED 12/29/2006
99. See a musical - COMPLETED 10/29/2006
100. Host a fancy dinner party. - COMPLETED 9/6/2008
101. Pay off my credit cards - Alas, not yet....

A new day...a new name!

After much thought and consideration (and constant cajoling about my blog name being somehow porn related), I've decided to change the name. Hopefully people will still find me. If not, perhaps this new name will at least be easier to remember. It's http://www.growingplacesnow.blogspot.com/. That's "growing places now".



Stay tuned because in addition to a new name, starting on Thursday, there will be a new list! That's right. I've nearly reached the end of the current 1001 days (ends Wednesday, July 15th, 2009) and I'm psyched about starting a new journey and a new list. So check back soon (and often) as there are lots of new things in store.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I've fallen and I can't get up!

My sincere apologies to anyone out there who actually reads this thing. I have fallen down on the job! I haven't made a post in almost 3 months! It's not that I didn't have anything to say. After all, I ALWAYS have something to say! It's just that this pesky life thing keeps getting in the way.

When I'm at work, I have to work. It's a great thing to have a job and be busy. After a few years where business was a little slow, it's nice to know the work (and the money) are currently flowing in.

When I'm at home, there are soooo many things to do. I admit I don't have any kids or a husband, so I'm sure that I'm not gonna get much sympathy from those with those responsibilites, but I can't seem to keep myself from finding more and more hobbies and activities to occupy my time when I'm not at work.

Still, those are no excuses right? After all, you make time for the things that are important to you and this is important to me, so it's time to make time!

Let's see if I can do better.

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