Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 16: I'm eating junk and watching rubbish! You better come out and stop me!

Day 16: Something That Stresses You Out

Staying Home Alone.

Okay, to share a bit of an embarrassing side of my personality today, I've finally accepted the fact that the older I get, the more of a scaredy cat I become.

I've always been a bit of a wimp when it comes to staying home alone, but it's gotten progressively worse over the past few years. In college, it didn't bother me much. But it was after I moved back home, met and married Handsome that I have become a full blown, all out pansy when it comes to staying overnight by myself. J tells me about a trip he's going to have to go out of town for, and I turn into a clingy, blubbering, crying, ball of childish emotion. Okay. maybe it's not quite that bad, but it's pretty dern close (J will probably tell you it is that bad.) And then I quickly get on the phone and start calling all my closest family and friends that know I'm a big fat baby, and start scheduling nights that I'm going to borrow their guest room, because I'm a 27 year old, grow woman, who cannot stay home alone without practically peeing in her pants at the thought of it.

We have three dogs, yes. But 2 of them are under 20 pounds, and the big one that's 90 lbs. and would conceivably be the one to "defend our house" is deaf, blind, and dumb and would sooner play handshake with an intruder than bite them in their boy parts and save the day.

We have neighbors, but not the kind that are so close in proximity to us that you could pass a cup of sugar back and forth through the kitchen windows. So there's a good chance, they would be unable to hear me scream.

Plus the house is in the woods. Plus we live right off the highway. Plus we live in America, in the 21st Century, and there are all kind of crazies out there.

We are a household that proudly takes advantage of our Right to Bear Arms. But it's hard to shoot an intruder in the dark. Plus, I'd probably be sleeping when they grab me anyway, so my gun wouldn't be very useful at that point.

I know that this fear is cultivated by the fact that the only shows on t.v. I watch are crime dramas. I'm a big Law & Order (all of them), CSI, and Bones fan. (I also love Jersey Shore... Snookie is a trainwreck, that likes pickles, and bad fake tans, and she

I have tried staying home alone. And in fact, have done it on multiple occasions. But, I.don't.sleep. I sit up in bed, with the door barricaded, boobie traps set up, tiki-belle (my 20 lb. dog who has the most ferocious growl of the 3) in my lap, surrounded by various self-defense paraphernalia, (you know numb-chucks, and throwing stars, and all that good stuff), 911 dialed into the phone just waiting on me to hit "send", listening for any noise that means there must be somebody in the house with me. <----Oh good times.

Yes, I'm a I'm not proud of it you know. Some people just love being home alone. Nobody to tend to, make meals for, clean up after. Peace, quiet, and solitude. I get it. And I like that too, until the sun goes down.

Have you seen the movie The Strangers? No? Well, let me just tell you. The couple in that movie get tortured and left to die, just...because...they...were...home..... I'M HOME ALL THE TIME. OMG. I feel the hair on my skin standing up as we speak.

Anyway. Today's post is about "something that stresses you out"

Something that stresses me out?

Being home alone. Jason just left for a 5 day fishing trip. perfect.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 15: Regrets

Day 15: Something You Regret

I believe in having no regrets. One of the single most things I pray for is that at the end of my life, I can look back and honestly say that some days were good, some days were bad, some were perfect, some were heartbreaking, some were just so-so and easily forgettable, but not one of them do I regret, not one thing would I go back and change a choice I made for me and my life.

Okay. Having said that I do have to confess that I have a few things in my past that if I could take back I would.

There are people that have passed through my life, that I don't care to see again. There are events and circumstances that have happened that have been unpleasant and sad. But those are things that I wouldn't necessarily take back because they have helped shaped me to be who I am today. They have been the people I have met, things I have done and experienced, and the roads that I have taken that have put me exactly where I am in this moment.
Of course, having the knowledge I have now, there would be a few things I might have nudged in a different direction. There are people I have lost, and circumstances that have happened to loved ones, that I would without a doubt change for them if I could, but choices that I have made?

Things I do regret?

I didn't go on a family trip to Egypt my senior year of college. My grandmother has always had a love for Egyptian history, archeology, and culture (& alcohol, not just Egyptian alcohol, but alcohol in general). She has made several trips to Egypt over the past decade or so, and this last time she offered to take my family. Of course they went. I mean, duh. Yes, they went. But I didn't. I might have blamed it on studying for finals, and having to wrap up and present my senior history thesis. But the real reason I didn't go was I was terrified to fly. I have flown many times in my life. My aunt and uncle lived in San Francisco for years, and we went out there occasionally to visit. I've flown to Washington State, once for a cousin's graduation, and once for a skiing trip. I've flown places on various family vacations. I've flown to Europe TWICE. I mean, I've done it plenty of times. Yet, I was 24 years old, my grandmother offered to take me on a once in a lifetime trip, and I turned it down because I was completely paralyzed with fear of stepping foot on that airplane. This phobia seemed to develop over time, and several years after 9/11. I've never had a flying experience that would cause this intense fear. (Side note... we did miss our flight from New York to Atlanta due to weather, and had a random layover in St. Louis, the plane we hopped back home was basically a tin can with wings. The toilet didn't flush, and the cockpit door was broken, and we couldn't hear ourselves talk over the noise of the engines, but overall it was an okay flight). I'd even flown cross country since the day I my phobia started. This fear is not so much being terrified that an extremist with an ax to grind and a hatred of my country would choose my plane to fly through a building (I mean, that would be terrible), but rather it's a fear that one of the any million little pieces that keep my plane in the air for the required length of time, (as in, until our chosen destination was in site and the landing gear down, and seat backs and tray tables in their upright and locked positions). I have this recurring nightmare that I look out the window, and the wing of the plane has just fallen off, the oxygen masks have just dropped out of the ceiling, I can't get my seatbelt fastened, and we start the spinning downward decent of death, and can do absolutely nothing about it, but scream and really regret taking that specific flight <---nice huh? It's that thought that makes my heart seize up, and my chest get tight, and it's what makes me tell my grandmother over the phone when she offers me an all expenses paid trip to visit the cradle of civilization, "um, yeah... no thanks, but y'all have fun!" She was tentatively planning another trip towards the end of this year, or the beginning of next, but that may be shot due to the fact that the middle east is in complete turmoil, and can't get their acts together. So yeah, I completely hate and regret that I passed on that experience with my family.

Second thing I regret? my tattoo. eeeekkkkk!!! I forget I have it most of the time. Usually, until I see one on somebody else, and I roll my eyes until I remember and think, "who are you to judge? you have the most obvious tattoo, in the most obvious place that any teenage girl, drunk out of her mind, at Panama City Beach has" Yes folks, that's right. I (me!), has a tattoo of a butterfly on my lower back. *hangs my head* I'm so ashamed! Haha. I was young, and dumb, and apparently bored. And for some reason what little bit of creativity (and good judgement) I have was taking a day off, when I looked at my best friend, and said "ya wanna go with me to get a tattoo?" of course she said yes. And so we drove down to Marietta, I walked into the shop and up to the biggest, burliest, tattoo covered man there and said "I want a tattoo, but I don't want it to show, and I want it to be different" <---- butterfly on my lower back. Reeeally unique. Anyway, it's not that I hate tattoos. I'm just not a permanent ink drawing, faddish kind of girl, and yet here I am with one and it's forever....Oh the irony! The thing is, I don't even regret getting it. I just really regret where it is, and what it is. If I was going to get one, it should have meant something. It should have been personal. And it wasn't/isn't. Oh well, not much to be done about it now. At least, it may help me relate to my future kids better if one of them goes off their rocker a little bit. Never tried drugs, never been a boozer, don't listen to grudge metal bands, don't wear emo clothing, don't cheat or steel, but hey! mommy's got a tattoo, so she is totally relate-able! *wink*

Thirdly? I totally regret eating those two rows of samoas girl scout cookies I just scarfed down.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 14: The Saddest Place on Earth

Day 14: A Place You've Traveled To

The summer between my junior and senior year of high school, I was fortunate enough to be able to go to Europe for a second time. This time, we traveled to Italy (my favorite), Austria, and Germany. The first time I went to Italy, our travels included Rome and it's surrounding suburbs, Florence, and up into the Tuscan countryside... on a side was there in the little town of Montecatini, that I had my first taste of socialized medicine, when I developed a horrible skin rash due to a knee brace I had been wearing over my linen pants (the knee brace was from a 4 wheeling accident I had been involved in 2 weeks before my Europe trip!). And I had to go into the city to the local hospital, have x-rays, antibiotics, blood cultures (the doctor was worried I had developed a blood infection), and then sent to the local spa for a short round of physical and warm water therapy. The spa trip was quite the foray. There I was sitting in a hot tub wearing a swim cap (it was required, trust me, I wasn't wearing that sucker for it's stylish charm ), surrounded by pleasantly plump, older Italian women. Who chattered non-stop, and kept looking at me, to see if I agreed with whatever they were talking about. Thankfully, smiling and nodding in feigned agreement is generally, universally understood regardless of one's mother tongue. Anyway, it was quite the experience. One of which my parents paid less than $50 for, in the form of a new leg brace that could be worn under my linen pants, and a tube of cream, whose name, ingredients, and instructions were in Italian, and therefore I had no idea what it's purpose was. But the pharmacist made a rubbing motion with his hand hovered over my knee, so I got the point of what I was to do with it. These were purchased over the county at a small pharmacy. Everything else was..."free." I didn't have a long wait, the doctors I saw were very thorough. They called my parents to update them, and check on me. All in all, a much more pleasant experience than I have ever received at any hospital here in the States. I'm not saying socialized medicine is perfect or the answer to the problems in today's US healthcare crisis. I'm not educated enough on the subject to have a very valid opinion, but I will say the experience was very interesting.
Wow. I got a little off topic here. So, where were we? My first trip to
Europe was amazing, and fun (this was the trip that included the gypsies). But it was the second trip where we visited Venice, that I lost my heart to. I'll talk more about Venice later.

The point of this blog is to tell about the place I visited on that trip, that invaded my soul, and has lingered ever since.

Auschwitz II-Birkenau

It is entirely strange that the two words that I would use to describe the atmosphere at that Holocaust death camp on that day, would be, both peaceful, and haunting. It is estimated that anywhere from 700,000 to 1 million, men, women, and children walked through the gates of that camp, to their ultimate deaths. My mind cannot comprehend that. I can sit here and type out those numbers, and not truly understand what that means. My husband. My mother. My father. My brother. My friends. Everybody I love. Myself. If we had happened to have been there, under those circumstances. The odds are, we would be dead. We would be there as each of us were divided into categories, and separated. More than likely, my parents at the age they are would have been sent straight to the gas chambers. My husband and my brother would be sent to work digging ditches for their bodies, or for their ashes. And me? what would I be doing? Would I have been worth anything to keep alive for a bit longer, to waste away until I was nothing but skin and bones, or would I have been taken to the "showers" and done away with as well?
In the cruelest sense that is hard to write, it's hard to read, it's hard to think of. So, we don't think of it. And maybe it's because we can't, maybe we can't think of and reflect on things like genocide because it's simply too hard to comprehend without going a little insane at the basic, primordial evilness of it. But it is important to remember. It's important to reflect on what damage and devastation, pure hatred, nonacceptance, and corrupt and evil power can do. Because it could happen again. It does happen.
That was somebody's husband, somebody's parents, somebody's brother... and friends and loved ones. Somebody's.

Peace. That's a hippie word right? Tree huggers, and vegans, and liberals, and people who home school their kids, and push coexistence, peace is their word right? wrong. peace is something that every human being on every inch of this Earth should strive for, and be accountable for. Don't get me wrong. I'm a big believer in the Second Amendment. I support our troops. I sing the national anthem with abandon. I'm conservative in many of my beliefs. But I also pray from the bottom of my heart that my children would be able to grow up in the world where madness, and violence, and hate, and dominating power were not the driving forces of so much in this world. The Holocaust is the prime example of what can happen when these things are left unchecked, and when peace is not looked to as the answer.

We walked around the grounds that day for hours taking pictures, and reading plaques and monuments. We went into the memorial museum, and looked at the pictures that were blown up to poster size so the viewer could see the look of desperation on the faces of the men and women standing behind the razor wire fences... there were no children....But more times than not, it wasn't desperation in their faces, it was a vacancy. A total lack of life and energy. And doesn't that make perfect sense?

There was a reverent quite there that day. There were little groups of tourist here and there, from every walk of life, from every different country, speaking different languages, and yet we all wore the same mantel of grief for those who did not get to get back on a bus at the end of the day, and drive back out of the gate, and continue on with their lives. There were birds chirping, and singing, and squirrels that ran this way and that, and there was a peaceful calm that seemed somewhat ironic and out of sorts for the magnitude of what took place there 60 some odd years ago. Yes, it was peaceful. And calm, and haunting, and breathtakingly sad.

Well, now I'm depressed. Sorry if you are too. I didn't intend this post to be so dark and gloomy, but once I started thinking about it, and remembering. It just naturally took me there.

Are people really good at heart? I'd like to think so. I hope so. I pray it's so.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day ? : I Believe

I have absolutely no idea what day this is....

I believe in God, in Jesus. I believe that there is no more special and magnificent gift than the gift of forgiveness and eternal life. And if you don’t know Him yet, just know that He is waiting for you. He is right beside you. You are n.e.v.e.r. alone. He was, He is, He always will be.

I believe in sunrises and sunsets.

I believe that you can always spot a person who likes to drama and gossip because they will always be the first to say how much they hate drama and gossip. I believe the truth is, they only hate it when people talk about them, but they love talking about other people.

I believe the world has enough hate, but not enough love.

I believe that we are only given one life... and if you don't live it to the best of your ability than you have no one to blame but yourself.

I believe that people can want to change for the good, but sometimes they just choose not to. I believe that is unfortunate.

I believe that being angry at somebody only hurts your own heart.

I believe in happy endings.

I believe there is nothing sweeter than a baby's smile.

I believe that no matter where you are, just before the sun goes down, the world is never more beautiful.

I believe sometimes you have to call a spade a spade, (quit trying to make it more than it is.)

I believe that dogs really are man's best friend.

I believe that more people should quit complaining, and actually do.

I believe that being politically correct is overrated.
That being said, I believe more people need to open their hearts and quit being so judgmental.

I believe in Karma. What you do, will come back on you. Good or bad.

I believe people don't give more, because they think "well, what can my dollar do?" If we all just gave anyway, what couldn't it do?

I believe in the power and majesty of the Great Outdoors. get out in it.

I believe I live in the greatest country in the world. I also believe that that goes to "our" heads sometimes.

I believe you have to stand for something, or you will be led around and told what to do your whole life.

I believe that people who abuse animals, children, and the elderly should be taken out back with a shotgun and a shovel, and done away with. (I don't know if I mean that literally, but maybe I do)

I believe good health is worth more than wealth.

I believe reducing, reusing, and recycling is way underrated.

I believe social networking is just another way for nosy people to be nosier. (myself included).

I believe God gave us the ability to laugh and the ability to cry, for the same reason. Release. And to laugh so hard you cry is the best feeling in the world.

I believe in make-believe.

I believe in having no regrets.

I believe that when life throws a stick in the spokes, the only thing you can do is abandon the bicycle, and keep moving forward on your own two feet.

I believe that caring too much about what other people think of you will only hold you back.

I believe in the question "Why?"

I believe that regardless of how much you love, marriage takes work.

I believe in naps. (like, big time believe)

I believe in the power of words and positive thinking.

I believe in taking responsibility for your own actions, and teaching your children to do the same.

I believe in Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

I believe in saying you're sorry...and meaning it.

I believe in self-confidence, but more in humility.

I believe in peace, tolerance, and turning the other cheek.

I believe in the restorative nature of a hot bath and good book.

I believe in seizing the day.