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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

10 Day You Challenge: 8 Fears

I'm scared of a lot of things, actual deep fears though... that's different.  Here is a sampling of both...

  1. My number one fear is being alone.  Not for an hour or a weekend.. but forever.  For some reason I've always felt like I was going to end up alone and lonely for the rest of my life.  To this day - even though I have Steve and we talk of spending forever together - this fear is still a prominent thought in my head.  something could go wrong, what if something happens... etc.  I love being around people and I love having someone to share things with.. I just can't fathom not having that.  I don't even like thinking about it.
  2. Heights - ugh.  I do things that would make you think I'm not scared, but I am.  I LOVE to go up to the top of buildings and look OUT... but I HATE looking down!  Skydiving was different... once all was said and done.  I knew I'd be scared while up there and before jumping out - but I just told myself to not look down... so I didn't.  I just fell out of the plane and when I opened my eyes, we were already falling.  I had GREAT faith in the parachute... I knew I was going to be headed towards the ground, but I also knew I had something to 'catch' me.  When I'm at the top of a building (say the Sears Tower) if I were to fall.. there would be NOTHING to catch me.  That is terrifying.
  3. The Dark - I'm not scared of the dark like how children are, I'm not worried that monsters are going to come out of my closet - but I certainly don't like the dark.  It's a huge adjustment for me to live in this new house with Steve in that regard.  I'm used to sleeping with a TV on or a computer monitor or something that provides me with some sort of light.  It's strange, I know my way around without light... I just get kind of scared when it's dark.  Maybe I'm scared that there will be someone in my house?  I don't know... it's fitting for this topic though, so there you have it.
  4. Public Speaking.  Ugh.  I'm just fine in a group of people having a conversation, but once I'm put on the spot and asked to 'present' it's like my nerves take over and I get super red in the face before fumbling over my words.  Even at our little monthly work meetings, we sit around a table with just the people I talk to everyday ~11 people... and when I have to open a topic or I have to lead... I just clam up.  I had to stand up and say something at a birthday party we had several years back for my grandma... that's just family, and I almost couldn't do it.  I have little to no memory of it either, it's like a black out or something.  Public speaking class in High School was AWFUL!
  5. The Dentist.  I've tried to get better about this as I've aged, but I just can't do it.  I hate making the 6 month trip, I know it's only a cleaning and they'll be done in no time at all, but I still get tense and anxious before I have to go.  It wasn't until a couple years ago that I tried no gas for a cleaning.  Yep - that's right, gas just for a cleaning.  I've done without it now for a couple years, but it's not easy - and really the only reason I don't get the gas is because my insurance doesn't cover it for a cleaning.  Don't even get me started on needing a filling... I hope my teeth last forever.
  6. Elevators.  I use them, but I don't like to.  I have a good reason for this fear and it's two-fold: not only do I dislike small spaces, but once upon a time I was stuck in an elevator.  It wasn't overnight or anything crazy, but we were a couple floors up and all of the sudden, the elevator stopped and fell those couple floors to the basement level.  It fell fast and hard too (that's what she said?).  No one was hurt and we were out probably 45 minutes later, but it was still scary and has absolutely contributed to my fear of those damn things.  I'll use stairs or an escalator first, if given the option. 
  7. Phone calls... strange, I know.  I think it's sort of a type of social anxiety disorder, but not to the extent that others may have it.  I just really hate making calls, answering calls, or whatever on the phone.  I get panicky - what should I say, what if there is an awkward silence - I'm good on the phone, and I know it - hell, it's part of my job!  It really takes me a few minutes of getting my head straight to make a call and I often times don't answer calls because of this fear.  Text messages and smart phones have really helped me not have to deal with this... thank God!
  8. While it's not a great fear, I do shriek when I see bugs/spiders (however, I've been playing it cool around Steve).  I despise killing creatures as well, not because I care, but because I hate the crunchy sound they make when you squish them!  I just don't like creepy/crawly things by me... you can't fault me for that - can you?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Get Human

Every once and awhile I post a website that I think is neat and think everyone should know about... today is one of those days!

How tired are you of calling a company and getting a recording?  Or following the voice prompts (to get you to the right person) and then still having to hold.

This website - - gives you numbers to call, for just about any company, that will connect you directly to a human - a real human person!

I've used it for work, I've used it for personal... it's pretty well amazing!

Trust me - I'm getting nothing for plugging this site - I just like to help people out once in awhile :)

Stuffed Peppers

Last week I had a vision - I wanted to stuff something... LOL.

I had some leftover Zatarain's Dirty Rice in the freezer that I wanted to use - so I started looking around for what I could stuff it in.  I found that people use meat and rice mixtures to stuff into peppers all the time - so I just looked up what temperature they do it at and for how long -

Pre-heat your oven to 325°
Start with your peppers cleaned out and washed - then just pack tightly with the dirty rice mixture.  Mind you the week prior I prepared this dirty rice mixture using the box directions - which is a crucial step, don't just assume you can take raw beef and the box of uncooked rice and it'll work.
I placed mine in a square baking dish to assure they remained upright while cooking

One hour later - you have dinner!  It really is the easiest way to get a good quick meal and reuse some leftovers!

It was the end of my work week, so I also made myself a cocktail:

Passion Fruit Vodka (report on it from the anniversary post: it smells JUST like passion fruit, and at first sip, it tastes like it too.. then you feel the burn of the vodka and nothing else matter at that point), fresh mint, lime, and soda water.  I didn't have a muddler at the time of making this drink (do now!) so I just cut up the mint to try and release some flavor - it was an okay drink - I'm going to try it again by muddling the lime and mint before adding the vodka and soda.  It's a good alternative to drinking things FULL of sugar - I usually enjoy a nice Weed and Lemonade cocktail on my weekends.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

10 Day You Challenge: 9 Loves

At first I thought this was 9 people I'm in love with... and well... I'm only in love with one person.  Then I thought about it more (give me a break it's early!) and realized it's probably 9 things (generically speaking) I love.... so I'm going to roll with that.

  1. Being that it's the Summer Solstice today - I'll list Summer as the first.  I absolutely LOVE having 4 seasons in Minnesota.  As much as I complain and generally despise winter, there are certain aspects of it that I do enjoy (like waking up to beautiful hoar frost) - wait, I'm talking about summer here!  While it's not my favorite season - I love it because there is so much to do and so much fun to be had.  Corn on the cob fresh from a Minnesota farm, swimming in one of our 10,000 + lakes, beautiful flowers blooming everywhere, opening windows in the house and driving with the windows down... it's just such a welcome break from being cooped up inside!
  2. Food!  One of the greatest things Steve has brought into my life is an adventurous appetite.  I was raised in a meat and potatoes home.  We didn't eat anything spicy and we certainly didn't eat anything off the wall.  Our veggies were standard and the same (green beans, corn, broccoli).  Often times I was offered money (like $1) just to try something.  Exploration of food came way later in life; a huge part of that has come with Steve.  I'm not sure why, but since meeting him I've tried a lot more food and finally conquered spicy hot things, to the point where I crave it!  My food repertoire has expanded!
  3. Steve.  While this list is in no particular order, he would most certainly top the list.  As mentioned above he's helped me explore my wild taste buds (that sounds dirty... I promise it's not!) - but he's done so much more for me than that.  He's been a shoulder when I cry, he has loved me unconditionally, he accepts my quirks, he smiles every time he sees me, he holds my hand, he empties the dishwasher, he does his own laundry, he makes me laugh, but more than anything he is my best friend.
  4. Travel - I wish I could do more of it.  I know that I've been very fortunate to have traveled so many places and having big girl bills now pretty much puts a stop to it all, unless I save and save.  I've been to 34 of 50 states in the US, as well as a couple places in Canada and Mexico.  I love the hustle and bustle of city life, but quite enjoy going somewhere less busy as well.  I love seeing new things, things that you see in movies and only dream of seeing one day in real life.  I love people watching in different cultures as well as my own.  I love picking up a map in a new city and getting from point A to point B all on my own!
  5. Our New Home.  I'm simply in love with our home.  Everything about it from the old wood work to the neighborhood it's in.  Deep down I am a city girl - growing up in NE Minneapolis was one of the best and most amazing things in my life.  Living in Anoka now has brought a bit of community back to my life - we are able to walk downtown Anoka and grab a bite to eat or browse an antique store or get a scoop of ice cream.  All things I lost when living in Andover with my mom.  We live across the street from a park, so there is noise every Monday night while the people play their co-ed softball - and I LOVE it!  The inside of the house reminds me of my roots as well - a lot of the NE neighborhood was built around the same time as our home, so the craftsmanship is stellar and good quality products were used.  It's absolutely beautiful, even with the small annoying things that need to be replaced or repaired.
  6. Boomer.  Probably more so now after our little scare last month.  I've always had a pet cat, my entire life growing up, they've always been the family pet - Boomer is my boy.  He's all mine!  What's even better is that he loves Steve as well (he hasn't so much cared for my past suitors).  Even though Steve is allergic to cats, Boomer seems to have less of an affect on him with each passing day - and he's got mad love for the kitty too!  Sometimes I think Boomer likes Steve more than he does me :(
  7. Sour ... well, sour ANYTHING!  I almost just put sour candy, but I love lemons/limes as well.  Steve and I were seeking out any and all things sour for awhile there.  We found that Warheads Extreme are about the best, but I never turn away a bag of sour patch kids or sour apple gum... and even a stick of raw rhubarb to get my sour things going!  If you present me with anything sour, my mouth will start watering in .025 seconds.
  8. Family - without my family I am nothing.  I've blogged about my family many times and simply put - we all like each other.  How many people do you know that can say that?  I feel like everywhere I turn someone is talking about how their family is crazy or they don't get along or they don't spend holiday's together.  It's so odd to me.  My parents, my brother and SIL, my nieces, my cousins, my aunts & uncles, my grandparents... ♥
  9. Wine!   I love wine and everything it stands for - I think it can make almost anyone look classy (except for maybe this person), I love wine glasses and I love wine related art.  As of late I've been trying to cut sugar from my diet (see #2 on this post), basically because it's unnecessary - so I've cut out a lot of wine drinking.  Plus, with summer being here Red wine just doesn't feel good to drink as often as it does in the winter.  I don't usually keep a stock of white wine, but I do enjoy it quite a bit.   

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Skydiving 2007

So... I've been trying to update my bucket list and link to the things I've crossed off - some are as simple as linking to a photo I've taken at a place, others link to blog posts describing the event or whatever... so this post is going to be picture heavy and from 3.5 years ago.

One of the things on my bucket list was to skydive - so dive I did!  Joining me was my friend Amanda, who had jumped with this place before, and my good buddy Morgan.
Back in September of 2007 I was offered an opportunity to skydive at a place in Wisconsin.  Wisconsin is not my first choice of places to jump, especially after my (at the time) platonic friend, Steve, had just jumped in the Florida Keys (imagine how beautiful that was), but it would do the trick!
The plan was to arrive, jump, set up camp, enjoy the big party, and then camp overnight - all on their grounds.  The place is quite awesome, they have plenty of room to set up a tent and they offer grills for you to cook your own food on.  Alcohol is allowed!

So we get there and watch the safety video, get suited up, sign our lives away, and get into the plane.  ey, ey ey! I was excited - I had adrenaline racing through my body - I was set!
So we get up in the plane and up and up and up and up we go.... way up!  13,000 feet up!  We are quickly reminded of how it's all going to go down - then we mount up to our tandem partner and walk to the edge of the plane... I don't remember the actual moment we stepped foot off the plane and I don't remember the spinning in mid air that I know took place - I opted to jump facing forward (unless requested, they have you fall backwards out of the plane).  I do remember the moment I first saw something - lots of farm land in Wisconsin, but still beautiful to be amongst the clouds!

Then the moment came when we pulled he cord - the instant it caught I heard my spine crack from the tailbone up to my neck... OUCH.  Instant pain.  Falling out of the sky I couldn't exactly assess how bad I was hurt, so I just continued to fall... and we landed safely and soundly.  I wasn't dying but I was experiencing noticeable pain.
I go on with my day - take some drugs and begin setting up camp.  As the day drug on the pain grew, but nothing bad enough to need to get checked out or anything.  So we walk around, drink our beer, cook our dinner, enjoy the time we have there - it was an all around pretty great day/night.

The pain in my back took MONTHS to go away - it was more of an annoying dull ache - but it was always there.  It finally went away and I'm fine now (3.5 years later) - lol.

Here are all the pictures - all of the in flight pictures are taken with a disposable camera:


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