A White Kangaroo

Flashback Friday – I’m resurrecting some of my old favorite posts from before anyone read me.  This gem first posted December 20th, 2008.

A couple of weeks ago I was spending the afternoon at my friend’s house with her two daughters. The oldest just turned three and is as adorable as all get out. For awhile she would bring me each container of play dough to open for her. Then at one point I was holding eight wads of play dough in my hands. Next she decided to make requests.
“Make a green butterfly.”
No problem. I can do a butterfly.
“Oh! I like that. Make a purple flower.”
Sure.
“What is that?”
Ok! It must be a pretty bad flower if a three year old doesn’t know what it is.
“Make a white kangaroo.”
Excuse me?
“A white kangaroo.”
I looked at my friend and we busted up laughing. She said she was so glad I got the kangaroo and not her. None of you will believe this but I produced the best white kangaroo ever! I even gave her a pouch with a baby kangaroo inside it. Neither of us thought to take a picture of this national treasure but I can tell you all were impressed.

I still smile fondly of that lovely afternoon but the other day something really struck me. Even though I failed miserable at making a simple flower. She didn’t skip a beat and immediately handed me an even bigger challenge. She didn’t think to herself, “Well this one can’t even produce a flower perhaps I should give up on her.” She basically shrugged off my failure and moved on to the next thing. I thought that was such a marvelous gift that children have in themselves. They so unconsciously just believe that they and others can do anything. There are no barriers. We all used to be able to do that but something goes wrong in some of us as we age. Sometimes it is other kids being hateful or a teacher/parent/old lady neighbor telling us how horrible we are at something that makes us stop believing that everything is possible and that perhaps failure is the end of the world. I tend to wallow in my failures instead of seeking out the next challenge. There is a saying that the mountain of success is a pile of failures. The next time I am down about a failure in my life I hope that I can remember my white kangaroo and know that I can rise to any occasion even if I can’t produce a play dough flower to impress a 3 year old.

Out on a limb..

Flashback Friday – I posted this on November 12, 2008.  No one cared.  I wonder what the number of trees is today?

How many trees are there in the world and how many trees does that equal per person in the world? I was challenged with a news story I heard this morning. This scientist worked out a way (using NASA satellites) to determine exactly how many trees there are in the world but then she wanted to know exactly how many trees that meant per person. In 2005 there were just over 400 billion trees (actually 400,246,300,201) and as of Dec. 31st of 2005 there were 6,456,789,877 people in the world for the most part. That would give each person 61 trees. This ecology professor (and I) were totally excited that we each got more than one tree apiece but then her husband (another scientist – microbiologist) burst our bubbles when he pointed out that he didn’t think that was too many considering how many trees are used for products that we use every day. Her husband has a way of deflating her just like my does with all his dang logic. So she then went on to make a list of everything that is a tree-based product. The list was immense! Here’s some of what they found: baseball bats, barrels, books, blocks, benches, crutches, coffee filters, guitars, grocery bags, pencils, pine oil, beds, billboards, buttons, candy wrappers, buttons, chewing gum, cork, crayons, egg cartons, fruit pie filling, kites, linoleum, luggage, paper, ping pong balls, chopsticks (especially the disposable kind), rubber, tambourines, telephone books, tires, toilet paper, turpentine, xylophones and yo-yos (the wooden kind).

This started to scare me. While it is important to note that wood is a renewable source, it is not always the fastest growing source. It still made me wonder if I was doing enough. I’ve been an avid recycler since I was 13. I’ve started programs at several places that I have worked. I begin to think of ways that I could do more. Most of our junk mail comes for my husband so I went on-line to opt him out on two web sites that help with that process. If only I could opt out of the “getting a new phone book thrown on my lawn once a month” club I would be in heaven. I am careful about what I purchase so that it doesn’t come with too much packaging. I use cloth bags to shop with. On that note: I discovered that my huge IKEA bag works perfect for holding all my Sam’s club food in the trunk. Looking at the list I thought that my recent cost cutting venture of checking books out of the library instead of buying not only saved money but saved trees as well. My coffee pot does not use filters – I was sure to make this a priority when we shopped around. Of course, I could plant a tree. There is a spot in my backyard where a small tree died so next spring I can replace it with a new tree. It just feels like I’m not doing enough. That is probably the overachiever in me. I welcome any suggestions that others might have for me.

She left us with a quote by the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore:

Trees are the earth’s endless effort
To speak to the listening heaven.
To check out the story for yourself go here.

40 Things to do before 40

Today is my (gulp) 39th birthday.  Sigh.  I can honestly say I never imagined I would be 39.  Ever.  I am already freakin’ out a little about finding my way on the long twirly slide splashing down into 40 pool.  I don’t want to be stressed about it.  I don’t want it to be a bad thing.  What I really want is to find a way to do what I do best – rush in headlong before I have time to even think about it.  I’ve come up with a list of 40 tasks to complete in the next year.  Cliche perhaps but why fix what is not broken.  

1.  Why not start with running? I’m going to do one 5K per month or a total of 12 5K’s in one year.  0/12
2.  Visit every kind of Dr. for a checkup.  My regular Dr. for a complete physical, my female Dr. for my female bits, my urologist for my colon, my eye Dr. for my eyes and my dentist.  Am I missing an important check?  0/5
3.  Become a mom.  0/1
4.  Get something other than my eyebrows waxed.  (legs, bikini area, underarms)  Which is the least painful? 0/1
5.  Make my t-shirt quilt.  0/1
6.  Take the intro to scuba class.  0/1
7.  Attend at least 3 meetings of the local Genealogy Association.  0/1
8.  Read the Wizard of Oz series.  I’m a Kansan and I have seen the movie a gazillion times but never read the series.  Did you know that even though Baum died in 1919 there was a new Oz book published every year until 1942?  0/14
9.  Completely setup my spare bedroom/office/sewing/workout room.  0/1
10.  Try to sea kayak.  0/1
11.  Get my blog all transferred to WordPress.  0/1
12.  Get a bicycle.  0/1
13.  Lose 60 pounds.  0/60
14.  Once a week call a relative or friend I haven’t talked to in awhile.  0/52
15.  Scan all the photos I have into the computer, sort them by family, label them, make copies and give as gifts to both the sides of the family for Christmas.  0/1
16.  Write a book.  0/1
17.  Attend a ballroom dancing class with hubby.  0/1
18.  Completely setup and decorate my nursery.  0/1
19.  Get my oldest trunk refinished.  0/1
20.  Finish 5 old art projects.  0/5
21.  Go on a hike one weekend a month.  0/12
22.  Volunteer to take an hour at adoration.  0/1
23.  Eat vegetarian a total of 6 months out of the 12.  0/6
24.  Create my vision board.  0/1
25.  Get my old desk refinished.  0/1
26.  Plant some garden like veg or herbs.  0/1
27.  Read and complete The Artist’s Way again.  0/1
28.  Pay off 3 more of our debts.  0/3
29.  Read My Year with Eleanor and use it as inspiration to pick 5 fears to conquer.  0/1 & 0/5
30.  Find a way to make money from home.  0/1
31.  Watch at least one movie a month on Netflix.  0/12
32.  Attend a cooking class.  0/1
33.  Once a week list the things I’m grateful for in my life.  0/52
34.  Join a social group at church.  0/1
35.  Go and actually get sized and fitted for the proper bra.  Buy matching bra and undies.  0/1
36.    File the paperwork to apply for the Daughters of the American Revolution.  0/1
37.  Spend a week vacation with hubby where I don’t plan a thing except getting up there because otherwise it will never happen.  0/1
38.  Visit a place significant to my family genealogically-wise.  (working mill in in SC, preserved cabin in NC, etc.)  0/1
39.  Publish as a guest blogger for another website.  0/1
40.  Make a list of all the tasks I plan to complete in my 40’s.  Looking forward to the next 10 years and all the life I plan to live.  0/1
What do you think?  What would you have on your list?

After my move to WP I will have this up and listed to the side so I can mark it off and you can follow my progress just in case you actually give a damn.  :-)  

Why I Want a Digital Camera!

Humor Blogger Redhead Ranting is hosting a giveaway.  It is in conjunction with Pierre’s Lab.

They are giving away a Polaroid DVG-720BC.

Here is why I want to win the digital camera.

1.  Have you been to Savannah?  We have some characters in this place.  We sat and watched this guy stumbled down the sidewalk dragging this really large stick behind him.  We thought he was really proud of his stick.  As he was crossing the street halfway across he drops his stick, looks around and walks on.  He was just trying to cause an accident or something.  We were laughing so hard.  It would have been fun to tape the whole thing.

2.  I’m accident prone and things just happen to me.  Everyone keeps saying I should be taped 24/7 so we could win the American’s Funniest Home Video.  Who wants to watch me break up a fight on a London train with my Kindergarten teacher skills?  Slip on a Mayan ruin?  Walk into one of those glass walls at the mall?  Who designed glass walls at a mall anyway?

3.  I could video tape my neighbor and his ever evolving women.  Seriously I think he rotates at least three women and four children in and out of his house.  I haven’t got it all figured out yet but a camera would help.  I would so be Gladys Kravitz.  Ten points if you can tell me what show Gladys was on.  Ten points towards what?  Nothing.  Karma?

4.  I see things and people never believe me!  No one will believe the gang of uni-cyclists.  I was lucky enough to get the pic of the dog sled golf cart.  Imagine what I could capture with a digital video camera. 

5.  We are preparing to adopt a child later this year and I inform my hubby that as soon as we were are matched we have to get a video camera.  Most people get to video parts of their process and get to enjoy all kinds of stuff.  We get kind of screwed but just because we get the short end of the stick doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun with it.  For instance, we will have to get on a plane with all kinds of baby stuff like a carrier, etc. as we fly to where the baby is being born.  I think it would be fun to have all this baby stuff and when people start looking for our baby or ask us where the baby is I will get a stricken look on my face and say, “Crap!  We forgot the baby!”  I think it will be fun to video the reactions.

PSS I just realized it is 2011 and I don’t actually own a digital camera.  Does that make me lame or retro?

Which author would you rush to see at the Decatur Book Festival?

Back in 2007 I heard Diana Gabaldon was going to be speaking at the Decatur Book Festival.  I called my bff and begged her to go with me.  We were quickly in the car and headed to Festival.  I fell in love with the Festival.  I need your help to win press passes to the launch party on the 16th.  I know what you are thinking, “Junebug, really?  You just have to wait a few more hours and the author list will be on-line.”  Hello!  Have you learned nothing about me?  I have no patience!  I’ve already been waiting since the Festival ended last September.  You want me to wait a few more hours?  Have a heart!  Leave me a comment telling me which author you would love to see at the Festival.  In return, I will send good thoughts and friendly karma in your general direction.  You don’t have to leave a comment but remember I will find you and it won’t be pretty when I do.

Here are some reasons you should consider attending the Festival:

1.  It is free.  You read me right – FREE!  Who can’t afford free?  Where else can you sit two rows back from authors like Diana Gabaldon and Sherman Alexie for free?

2.  The festival is Labor Day Weekend.  One of my favorite weekends in Atlanta.  I can ride the Marta back and forth between the DragonCon downtown and the Book Festival in Decatur.  Better yet – my hubby stays at DragonCon while I enjoy the Book Festival.

3.  I love the accessibility of the authors.  I can sit and listen to a terrific author then go outside and stand in a short line to buy their book and get an autograph.

4.  There are fantastic booths and a great attempt to highlight local authors.  They work hard to highlight authors that you might not have heard of which is an awesome way to find a new favorite author.
5.  It is not so big you have to fight mounds of people to see the authors or shop the tents or browse the booths.  As Goldilocks would say, “This one is just right.”
6.  The little shops on the Decatur square.  There is a child’s store with a salon in the back and the chairs are little vehicles the kids can sit in.  How adorable!  There is a bookstore that was once a bank.  A section of books are actually housed in the former safe.  Restaurants, book stores, coffee shops, all the quaint little shops that exist around a Southern square.  One year I bought a few Anne MacCaffrey books there to take over to DragonCon and have her sign.
The year I was there Diana Gabaldon said (in reference to how she got started writing Outlander), “I said to myself. Mozart died at 36 and I’m 35 so I better get started.” What great inspiration!  If you have never attended the Festival, why not get started this year!  

To recap: The blogger who writes a post that generates  the most comments will get press passes to the Launch Party June 16th and be among the first to hear this year’s author roster.  I just need your comments.  I promise to tell you all about the party if I get to go.

Which author would you rush to see at the Decatur Book Festival?  (besides me – your favorite blogger)

Spread the word.
Tweet:  Is there an author you would drop everything to go meet? Go tell Junebug #AJCDBFcontest @DBookFest http://bit.ly/lHha0O Leave a comment! 

How not to attend a Twitter Party

When I started researching moving to WordPress I found this Twitter party all about the subject over at Blogelina.  This is basically how it has gone.

Last Thursday:
I found twitter party announcement.  First, I followed @Blogelina and @SharonHujik.  I quickly signed up and put a reminder on my phone.  When I put the reminder on my phone I realized that I had a chiro appointment at the same time.  Made note to move chiro appointment.  See how rapidly my mind went from one task to another carrying me swiftly away from the actual task of signing up for said party?

Monday before Twitter party.
I had a chiro appointment at 9:30 am so I changed it to later in the day believing the twitter party was at 9 am.    Mission accomplished.  Feeling pretty good about myself.  I almost always forget about this things.  I’m so going to get it right this time.

Thursday of Twitter party.
8am – Realize I don’t remember what the Twitter party is about or who it is through.  Start searching.  Searching Twitter party will bring up about as much crap as googling porn.

8:20 – Remember I followed someone for the party.  I go through my recent follows and @Blogelina pops my memory so I hop over to their blog.

8:21 – Discover that like a complete idiot I actually signed up for the party with just my name and not my Twitter handle.  Sigh.  I’m so used to doing blogging hops and such I am completely new to this twitter party thing.  I re-register with my twitter handle.  After which I realize I might disqualify myself for prizes because I signed up twice.  Shit!

8:23 – Attempt to figure out Tweet Grid and Tweet Chat.  See others have tweeted a RSVP to the party.  Try through Tweet Grid and get an error.  Try through Tweet Chat and get an error.  Go to Twitter and tweet RSVP.

8:35 – Hop into the shower.  I know that I don’t need to shower and dress for a Twitter party but I have to rush to the chiro after and I don’t like to sit in my birthday suit in front of my computer.  I’m pretty sure there is some way that people can turn my camera remotely and view me.  I watch too much TV. #paranoid I shower, shave and put the Moroccan oil in my hair.  (Moroccan oil is the most awesome stuff if you have problems with dry or frizzy hair!)  See how my mind hops around like water droplets in a hot skillet.

8:48 – Finish drying off, throw on a nightgown and lotion legs.

8:50 – Refill coffee mug.

8:51 – Check my twitter messages.  Marla has said she wants to go to party but has class at that time of night.  What?  I rush over to Blogelina and discover the party is at 9 PM not AM.  F*CK!!!  Yeah, I said the actual word.  I couldn’t believe I had been jumping through hoops for nothing.

9:00 – Write a blog post on how not to attend a twitter party while watching the end to American Idol.  Totally disappointed that Jennifer didn’t go for the Spidey kiss.  Go back to Blogelina and ask in comment to remove one of my sign ups.  My fingers are crossed that I don’t look too much like an idiot.  I’m afraid that ship sailed a long time ago.

You can still sign up for the twitter party on how to move from Blogger to WordPress at 9PM tonight.  Wait! What time zone is that in?  Damn it!  I swear I’m going to miss this thing yet.

Breaking News! Rescue Attempt!

In case you haven’t heard – Bacon has been meatnapped by Tribal Blogs.  They are holding him hostage until the right amount of money towards their conference.  Bacon’s cousins, the sausages, decided to attempt a rescue. 

All the cousins gathered to board a plane to Minnesota.  Then Billy started to argue with Lola about their luggage.  
Billy wanted to bring rope to tie up the kidnappers, handcuffs to further bind them, a knife for protection and the things that secure the sheet corners down because he hates when they creep up.  
Lola wanted to bring a picture of her puppy, a hair band to hold back her hair while she kicks butt and her GoGirl so she can potty wherever she wants.  While they were arguing….
Frankie was beheaded and Simon dismembered.  Billy comforted Lola and they boarded the plane.  Will they save the bacon?  Will Lola be able to bring home the bacon? 

What can you do? 
A.  Contribute to the ransom fund at Kickstart.  Bonus gifts come with every level of donation.  Awesome gifts like memberships to Tribal Blogs
B.  Get your own ticket to the Tribal Blogs conference in June.  Besides this awesome agenda, you will get to meet me.  I’m currently working on my Gaga/Royal Wedding hat for the cocktail party.  It is sure to be something.
C.  Sponsor the conference, sponsor me or just send good vibes in our general direction. 

FYI – Sausage is not that easy to cut into stick figures.  I thought you would want to know in case you ever tried it yourself.  The handcuffs were borrowed…err…found…umm…never mind…they are mine.  Think what you will.  :-) 

Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

My mom’s side was the Irish side but we never ate corned beef and cabbage.  However, after my mom died and I went to live with my father’s parents, my gramma would make corned beef and cabbage ever St. Patrick’s Day just for me.  I hate cabbage!!!!  My gramma was German.  Now, Germans do cook with cabbage all the time and I hated the smell of cabbage growing up plus I was a vegetarian in high school so I didn’t want to eat corned beef.  She would insist I eat a small portion of the corned beef and the cabbage.  So my first year of college I was so excited that I wouldn’t have to eat any corned beef and cabbage.  St. Paddy’s Day fell the week before Spring Break so I thought I was home free.  When I came home for the break, I walked into the house and my gramma had a plate of ….. wait for it ….  wait for it …. corned beef and cabbage sitting on the table for me.  Damn!  I dutifully sat down and choked down my medicine.  She had made it one week late just for me.  Awww. The love!  I’ll admit that I do stomach cabbage better now then I used to and even cook some traditional family recipes with it because my husband loves the crap.  I would, also, give anything to sit at my gramma’s table and choke down a plate of corned beef and cabbage today just for her if she was still here.  What is even funnier is that when she made other family recipes with cabbage she would actually make two pots.  One big pot with cabbage for everyone and a small pot just for me without.  Why she insisted I eat it on St. Paddy’s day and go through so much trouble the rest of the year so I didn’t have to eat it is a question I never thought to ask.

Giveaway of the Century!

I want this!  I want this real bad!  One of my favorite blogs I go to for design ideas is House of Hepworths and she is giving away a Silhouette SD Machine! (cue really loud screaming and random jumping around)  Seriously if you have not seen this machine you are totally missing out.  Hop to it and check it out right now. 

Even if you don’t win the giveaway or you for some odd reason like to show your love to complete strangers like myself in big ticket type ways, you can get the Silhouette, regularly priced at $299, for ONLY $199!! (must use coupon code HoH4ever).

HouseofHepworths