Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fifty People, One Question

Stop what you're doing! Wait, don't stop yet, keep reading. Stop everything else you're doing, besides reading this, for just a moment. I just found something amazing, and I have to share; I want you to experience this, too.

Fifty People, One Question. They set up on the street and video 50 different people all answering the same question. So far they've released four videos. In Brooklyn and London they asked, "Where would you wish to wake up tomorrow?" In New York and New Orleans they asked, "What do you wish to happen by the end of today?"

And the answers are, simply, amazing. It's incredible how much insight you can gain into a person just by listening to their answers to these questions, and watching them as they think and then answer (and then think more). One little question. You might walk right past these people on the street, never giving them a second glance. And one little question changes everything. Their answers reveal so much--or almost nothing, which can also be revealing--about them.

You can watch all the videos in one place here, or hop around on Fifty People, One Question and read people's comments and their answers to the questions. Watch them all; I've watched some twice. The production is just beautiful, I adore the way these are put together. Beautiful. As my friend Jilliene would say, these videos are a gift.

It's heartbreaking, some of the answers given. Some of them make me think, "If that's your wish, why don't you make it happen? You can do that! Please, do that. Please, be happy." And I wonder what the reasons are for not doing it--like an author, I concoct life stories for them in my head. Some of the answers are more crushing; nothing can be done. Some are funny, and some make me think, "That's it? That's all you want?" Some are so humble that it makes me sad for them, and some are so humble it makes me happy for them.

And of course it's not just what they say, it's how they say it. It's the long pauses. The looking away. The smirks and sighs and nervous smiles. Those few seconds that the camera stays on them, urging them on, when in normal life everything is rush-rush-rush. These peoples' answers would not be the same if they'd been given five seconds to answer and then move on, please. They are given those few extra seconds, and they reveal something about themselves because someone is listening. Someone is interested and giving them their undivided attention.

What would happen if we all did that? If we all asked, "How are you doing?" and then stopped and actually listened? If we paused long enough to give people those few extra seconds to realize that we really did want to hear what they had to say, what would they tell us? And what would I say if someone asked me and really wanted to know the real answer? Would I still say, "Fine, thanks!" like I do when we're both just passing each other by? Would you?

And it makes me think, too, what my answers to the two questions would be. Where would I wish to wake up tomorrow, and what do I wish to happen by the end of today? Would it be the same answer if I had to answer quickly after being stopped in the street as it would be if I had the time to think about it and mull it over after watching other peoples' answers?

What are your answers? Where would you like to wake up tomorrow? What do you wish to happen by the end of the day? Could you make it happen? If not by tomorrow morning, if not by the end of today, but later; could you make it happen? What's stopping you? What's stopping me?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Favorite {Photo} Friday #45--I Can Do It!

With only a week until the Avon Walk, and all my recent posts about it, if you read my post title I bet you're thinking that this will be about the Avon Walk, right? "I can do it! I can walk 39.3 miles in two days!"

Wrong. I mean, I can, and I will; I've trained and trained and "Walk Weekend" next weekend will be amazing, just like it was last year. But that's not what this post is about. This post is about ME getting back to the weight I want to be. I am soooo not there. But I WILL be!

I will tell you now--I am not all, "Woe is me!" Although I have felt that way a few damn times lately. Especially with the walk approaching and all the training I've been doing. I mean, if anything will make you feel like the pounds should be magically melting off, walking 22 miles will do that. When I arrive home I feel like I should suddenly slide into size six pants, I'm telling you. And everyone e-mailing me saying, "Wow, you must be in such great shape!" really makes a person think, "Yeah! I should be! I just walked 22 miles and then 10 miles! The weekend before I walked 20 miles and 9 miles! I must be in fantastic shape! So how come I'm not?!?!"

I can tell you one reason I'm not; I'm freaking hungry all the time. After I get home from my walks I eat and eat and eat and eat, and then the entire rest of the week I eat. I'm starving, and of course I feel like I should be able to eat anything I want, having just walked for six hours straight. Only I'm obviously not starving; after walking 22 miles on Sunday I weighed myself on Tuesday to discover that I had gained 4 pounds since Saturday. I know, I know, water retention, muscle gain, blah blah blah. But YOU walk 22 miles and then have your scale tell you that you gained four pounds in three days and THEN try to give me your logic. You will want to throw your scale out the window, I promise you.

But this started long before the Avon Walk training. It's been building up, as weight tends to--so very, very obnoxiously--do. I have a long list of excuses reasons, but suffice it to say that I got down to my goal weight in Italy (now that's a feat!) and maintained it for almost a year. [By goal weight I mean the weight at which I feel the healthiest and which is recommended for my height & age by medical professionals.] And then we traveled all over Eastern Europe and I wanted to try the food--gaining a few pounds wouldn't kill me, I could lose it again. And we were leaving Italy, so I had to soak up (and eat and drink up) all my favorite things for the last few months we were there. Then we went on a 12-day Eastern Mediterranean cruise; all the food is paid for on the ship, and off ship you have to try all the local cuisine! I can lose the few extra pounds once we get settled! Then we took about six months to find a house and get our stuff delivered, so I wasn't cooking much. [And of course it wasn't stressful at all to leave Italy and so many of our friends, move across an ocean, change Jason's career, and find and buy our first house in an area where we knew four people total. Not stressful at all.] And blah blah blah blah you get the idea. Suddenly I'm not fitting into any of my clothes, and I look at photos of myself like, "When the hell did my face get so ROUND?"

So here we are again, at "rock bottom." The place I was three years ago when I finally decided that enough is freakin' enough. I'm smart and I know how to fix this and it is absolutely ridiculous to not just put on my big girl panties and fix it. Say "No!" to Tostitos and queso and "Yes!" to weight training and running and celery. To live the mantra that my neighbor had on a sign in her kitchen when I was in fifth grade and cleaned her house for $6 every Friday afternoon (and could I find anyone to do that for ME now, please?): "Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels."

The only thing more stupid than allowing myself to slide back this far would be to try to start a new diet/lifestyle a week before the Avon Walk and then traveling to Inspired. I plan to do the South Beach Diet again because I read the book and understand why it works, and it worked for me last time and I was able to maintain my weight (until I threw everything I'd learned out the window, that is). And the first two weeks on the plan are hard. HARD. There's no way that I should attempt such a thing when I have any other stressors in my life. So I'm going to do it, but I'm going to start it when I get back from Inspired. That way when I'm cranky the only people around will be Jason and John. And they'll deserve it for one reason or another, anyway. :)

I know I can do it. I know I can get back to that elusive goal weight and/or fitting back into all my cute clothes. So I'm posting this photo on my fridge to remind me that I can get there again!

Our friend Shannon took this photo for us when we went on a little wine-tasting trip in Italy. I'd quite comfortably maintained my goal weight for about eight months at this point. Man I miss those jeans! And I loved that shirt. AND I think it's pathetic that when I look at this photo of us, standing in one of my most favorite places, in this gorgeous location, all I can think of is how small my waist used to be. ENOUGH of the obsession without action. I can do it!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Few April Creations

I've been writing so many text-heavy posts lately that I thought I'd throw up an image-heavy post for a change with photos of some things I've been working on lately. :) Which I can DO since our big computer is back up with new photo-editing software (which I am slowly-but-surely getting used to!)!! Hooray!!!!

Here are some more charms I made for another swap with some Inspired ladies. (And oh my goodness I love my 50mm 1.4 fixed lens! Which I only used for this shot out of all of the ones that follow, for some reason; I need to play with it more.)

Another Inspired swap. This one is for art journal pages, designed for people to be able to draw and write on, focused on our personal One Little Words for 2009. It's hard to tell in the photo but the pattern is made by glimmery-inky spray (made by me) sprayed onto each page over a flower template (Maya Road Sheer Sheet). It's really shimmery in real life; see how there are variations of greens and yellows in the photo? Really it's just one color but the more yellowy parts are where it's reflecting the light more. Then I stamped my word on top.

I kind of wimped out on the back and did the definition on the printer instead of by hand, but as you may know I'm kind of anal precise about words and their definitions and I just imagined myself writing all this out 31 times and I almost passed out. So the printer won out, and then I stamped flowers in the top corner. Also, the outside edge is punched with a new EK Success mini scallop punch which is apparently so new that it's not even on the EK Success website until May 1 (as I found out when I tried to embed the link and there isn't one). Little did I know I'm such a trend-setter, ha ha! (The slimline punches are all AWESOME, by the way.)

Sweet, sweet Claudine lost her beloved adorable puppy Toby to cancer this past Thursday. Claudine was an instructor at Inspired last year and we've stayed in touch via Facebook and Twitter. (Yes, for real.) For the past few months I've been reading daily (and sometimes hourly) updates on Toby's status and was so, so sad for Claudine when she announced that he'd passed. She was so, so good to him and she is such an animal lover that I wanted to do something for her. This is a photo of Toby that's mounted in a sterling silver bezel setting and then covered in epoxy.

I gave this to her at the class Michelle and I took from her on Saturday but told her not to open it until she got home (she was doing a remarkable job--via avoidance--of staying upbeat and super-professional considering she lost her dog two days before!). I got an e-mail from her later saying that she loves it and was wearing it non-stop. Man-oh-man do I love to give gifts that touch people and that they enjoy.

Speaking of gifts, I've been busy fulfilling orders for Mother's Day. Here's one I just made (ordered by the grandma) for a mama with four kiddos. The crystals represent the kids' birthstones.

Here's another order for Mother's Day that my sweet friend Marliss ordered for her daughter. David is the husband/father and the three little hearts each bear the first initial of her triplets. (Triplets? Mamma mia!)

Remember when I had to get industrial? When I tried every-damn-thing and still couldn't fuse until I broke down and got propane? GUESS WHAT?!?! It was the stupid brick I was fusing on. Long dumb story, but I bought a new brick while I was in Seattle and now I am a fusing freaking expert. Okay, so maybe not expert. But holy crap, what a difference! I've been so busy I hadn't even had a chance to try fusing until this week and within a short time of using my new brick I'd made this sweet bracelet:

I freaking love it. I made it out of silver wire! It was a spool of silver wire and then a while later it was a bracelet! That's so freakin' cool. I put three little birds (which I did not make) on the end of it to remind me to not worry (if anyone knows why this is you get a prize. No, really, the first person to comment with the correct reason--and why they know it, and Google does not count--gets a prize!) but I'm going to have to take them off because they get caught on everything. Seriously. Today I was driving and when I went to click something on the GPS the birds got stuck in the air vent. The light was turning green and my right hand was stuck to the dashboard, which was a problem considering I drive a stick shift! I had to reach over with my left hand and unclasp the bracelet to change gears. So the birds are coming off. This is also a good reminder that I should personally field-test all my new designs before I sell them! :) But I still love the bracelet.

I took these last two photos while walking my 10-mile training walk on Tuesday. I love walking under these trees. I'm so tempted to bring a chair and a book and a glass of wine and set up camp under these trees!

I don't usually pick random people's flowers, but I must admit that on my way back home I snapped off one of these beauties.

They're this gorgeous for such a short time and I wanted to enjoy it fully. I kept smelling it and putting the blossom up against my cheek. Divine. Soft and fluttery against my cheek and all the more gorgeous for being so short-lived.

Monday, April 20, 2009

22 Miles of Tweets

The 22 miles yesterday was a LOT better than the 20 miles last week. I am worried about my hip problem since there is no jogging allowed during the Avon Walk. I'm crossing my fingers and praying that another visit to the chiropractor will fix me up. Rather than type out a huge long message like last week, here are all my recent tweets that have to do with my walk yesterday. [If you don't know about Twitter... oh, wait. Oprah signed up for Twitter so now everyone knows about it, right? Well, if not, learn about it here.]

Am not looking forward to walking 22 miles today. It is hard to get motivated to get ready.
9:55 AM Apr 19th from web

Heading out to walk 22 miles. May the force be with me.
12:36 PM Apr 19th from web

Mile 3.7. I just bought some Starburst and M&Ms to reward myself with throughout the walk. Very excited!
1:47 PM Apr 19th from txt

Mile 5.5 means I'm 1/4th done! My left hip is bothering me, I'm trying not to worry about it. Time for some M&Ms!
2:19 PM Apr 19th from txt

Just past 8.3 and stopping to stretch. My hip is really bothering me now. Jogged for a while 'cause it doesn't hurt then.
3:00 PM Apr 19th from txt

I might be the first person ever to JOG when the pain of WALKING gets to be too much, instead of the other way around. Almost to 11 miles!
3:36 PM Apr 19th from txt

13 miles! My hip is killing me and I'm jogging about half the time. Changed my socks. Listening to Mary J. Blige, aw yeah!
4:04 PM Apr 19th from txt

Mile 14. Stopped at 7-11. Wanted a slurpee. Got a gatorade and a banana instead.
4:31 PM Apr 19th from txt

16 miles down, 6 to go. Feeling good considering but could use a cheerleader... Please DM me or send an encouraging text to 571 225 4326 Thx
5:13 PM Apr 19th from txt

If I think too much about the reason I'm doing the Avon Walk and walking all these miles, I start to cry.
5:36 PM Apr 19th from txt

Back from 22 miles! Shoes off--no blisters!!,--beer poured, Chinese food ordered. Sooo happy to be done! Jason walked last 3.5 miles w/ me!
7:18 PM Apr 19th from web

I had Jason run to meet me and then walk back with me the last 3.5 miles of my 22 miles today. It wore him out so much he's already in bed!
about 23 hours ago from web

Just finished watching The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Headed off to bed... after walking 22 miles today I'll sleep WELL tonight! :)
about 21 hours ago from web

Hobbling around today. I'm sore after my 22 miles yesterday! Can't figure out how to stream Netflix through the TV. Cranky.
about 10 hours ago from web

I should be walking 10 miles right now, but feel like taking a nap instead.
about 8 hours ago from web

I took a nap, and it was a great, great thing.
about 4 hours ago from web

Friday, April 17, 2009

Favorite {Photo} Friday #44--Tulips

Jason worked some magic on our desktop computer and swapped out hard drives (or something), but I still don't have any photo editing software. He's working on it, but I fear that my Photoshop CS2 might be gone for good (sob!). Anyway, while he was messing with the computer he put up new background photos, and this is one of them.

I'd forgotten about it but I really like it. I took it back in April of 2005 at the Keukenhof in the Netherlands. My aunt and uncle were traveling in and around Amsterdam and my high school friend Tenley lived in Rotterdam, so I flew up for a two-visits-in-one trip and had a great time. My visit just happened to coincide with peak blooming season at the Keukenhof, the largest flower garden in the world. It was pretty great.

This is a busy busy busy busy weekend. I have two different activities in downtown D.C. tonight. Tomorrow I'm driving (90 minutes each way, UGH) to take a six-hour class with my new friend Michelle, which is being taught by Claudine. Sunday I'm walking 22 miles. Monday I'm walking 10 miles. And somewhere in there I need to get some sleep, make six necklaces, go grocery shopping, and do about a hundred other things.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, April 13, 2009

20 + Wal-Mart Fundraising + 9

There's only three weeks until the Avon Walk; that means it's crunch time. I'm spending a lot (and sometimes A LOT) of time each day either training or fundraising. This past Friday I walked 20 miles. Saturday I spent much of the day standing in Wal-Mart asking for donations. Sunday I walked 9 miles. And today I spent hobbling around the house, sending out e-mails to just about everyone I know asking for donations, and then taking a hot, hot bath to sooth my aching, aching hips.

A lot of people have asked me questions about walking 20 miles. What's it like? How long does it take? So I thought I'd document it for posterity. You know, in case I get the crazy idea to do this walk again next year. :) This will be a long post without photos, sorry!

As I mentioned in my last post, I got a late start on Friday to head out for 20 miles. But I was happy to have my new pedometer watch and my new mp3 player loaded up with all the songs that had been on my old one (both of which went "missing" when my luggage was inspected by the TSA). I skipped my training walks the weekend before because we were at Wal-Mart fundraising Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. So I was making a big jump to walk 15 miles and 7 miles and then two weeks later walk 20 miles and 9 miles, but I really wanted to get back on track on the training schedule, so off I headed.

My route is really boring; I walk on the bike path that runs alongside a parkway, just down and back. There's not a lot to look at, but I can also just kind of zone out since I don't have to worry about making (or missing) any turns or putting my life on the line crossing big intersections full of cell-phone yakking drivers.

After my hectic week it was kind of nice to walk and only have to focus on the music and putting one foot in front of the other. I'm a math geek so I was happy to see that I'd calibrated my watch correctly so that when I reached crossroads that I knew to be a certain distance from home the watch said I'd gone that distance. And I was staying right at my normal pace of 4 miles per hour.

The first 10 miles were great. I felt good, my pace was good. At about mile 6 I had this weird experience where I suddenly felt in my body in a new way that I don't remember ever feeling last year during training. I felt strong and really tall, which is weird since I'm not really tall! I think it had something to do with my lower back being out of whack, so everything felt different than it usually does.

Two and a half hours after starting I got to the ten mile "marker." It's always good to hit the halfway point where I can turn around and start heading back home!

At mile 10.5 I had to cross the street so while I was waiting for the light to change I stretched a little and danced, I'm sure much to the amusement of the waiting cars. But it was The Ting Tings "Shut Up and Let Me Go," you can't not dance to that song, I'm telling you!

At mile 11 I stopped by the 7-11 to use the restroom and buy a LifeWater since I drank all of the water I brought with me. Then I ate the energy bar I'd brought.

By mile 12 I was getting tired. So when Destiny's Child "I'm a Survivor" came on, I sang along outloud, forced myself to keep my strides long, and then replayed it four times in a row.

By about mile 13 I was really thinking that walking 20 miles was a very, very bad idea. I just focused on getting through to mile 15, an easy marker since it's a bridge across a river.

At the river I realized that I was only 75% done and now I was really tired so the last 25% would be, by far, the hardest. The front of my shins were hurting, especially when I walked downhill. So I bent my knees and did a weird low walk to help ease it whenever I went downhill. I was still keeping up a pretty good pace, only about 30 seconds more per mile over the standard 15 minutes.

By mile 16 I was thinking of calling Jason to come and pick me up. The sun was going down, the clouds had rolled in, and I was hurting. I felt my face for some reason--maybe an itch--and it was gritty from the sweat that had dried on my skin. I made a mental note to put some wet-wipes in my bag next time.

When I got to mile 17 I decided to slow down--screw the 4 mph pace, I just wanted to walk the whole thing. About that time I felt that my sock was bunched up around my baby toe on my right foot. I knew I should stop and take off my shoe and readjust it, but I also knew that if I stopped and sat down I would not get back up, and I'd end up calling Jason and having him come pick me up. Momentum was the only thing keeping me going.

At mile 18 I had to cross a big intersection and go up and down curbs. My legs were so unreliable that I wobbled doing anything other than walking straight ahead. I imagined that people had driven out of town past me, ran errands for four hours, and then drove past me again on their way home, and I wondered what they would think I was doing!

I kept trying to keep my pace up, just so that I'd get home faster. If a song came on that wasn't one of the most high-energy songs I hit "next." A vision of the Soup Nazi came into my head: "No slow for you! Next!" Obviously, I was starting to hallucinate. :)

As I turned the corner onto our street I heard a motorcycle rev up and a second later Jason came around the bend. I can only imagine the look I gave him! I was thinking, "Where the hell do you think you're going? I'm going to need you in about two minutes to take care of me!" Apparently that was all written all over my face because he turned around as soon as he could and pulled up next to me. "I was coming to cheer you on! Good job, Baby!" :)

One of the neighbors was outside with his grandson, who was checking out Jason's motorcycle. I said hello and headed straight inside to hit the couch, but just before I went in the garage door I heard Jason tell him, "I have to go inside now to take care of her." The little boy must have asked why, because then Jason said, "Because I'm the husband!" Ha ha ha! Good answer. :)

I plopped on the couch, 5 hours and 11.5 minutes after I'd left. Jason brought me a good dark beer and a bottle of Advil. When I got up a while later to take a shower, I was really stiff and sore. Jason looked at me in wonder and said, "You're almost, like, totally broken."

I had a blister on my baby toe and also one on the back of my heel. After my shower I put on my favorite sock monkey pajamas (they're pink flannel!) and went back to the couch for the rest of the night. Jason and I watched Baby Mama, which was the perfect funny no-brainer.


When my alarm went off on Saturday morning it was raining, which made it even harder to get out of bed than my sore legs did. But I got ready and headed back to Wal-Mart to fundraise with my team. Luckily they let us set up inside since it was raining, but it was really hard to stand on those hard floors all day! If I didn't move around enough my legs would stiffen up and I'd just about fall over if I tried to squat down to grab something, or move sideways to get out of someone's way. But we did pretty well and sold almost all of our little goodies we had for suggested donation amounts.

I still managed to run a few necessary errands on the way home and then once I'd been home and found a recipe online, to head back out to the grocery store for ingredients for a side dish for the next day. Jason didn't feel like eating the soup I'd made on Friday to get us through the weekend, and I didn't have the energy to argue with him, so I just asked him what he wanted from the store since I was going anyway. "Oh, I don't know, chicken strips from the deli, or sushi, or pizza...." I came home with six deviled eggs, six pieces of sushi, and boneless wings. This is the kind of thing that seems perfectly reasonable when you're completely exhausted. :)


Getting out of bed on Sunday was a lot easier. I got up, cleaned the kitchen, boiled the potatoes I'd need later so they could cool while I walked, changed into my gear, and headed out. And I must say, I ROCKED the nine miles! I was still a little stiff and sore but loosened up through the walk and I kept my pace up and felt great! I finished up the side dish (red potato, asparagus, and artichoke salad), hopped in the shower and prettied myself up, and we headed over to Andrea and Scott's for an early Easter dinner.

My hips were really sore when I woke up on Monday, which is unusual for me, and I think is related to my lower back being out when I walked (time to head to the chiropractor!). What was really weird is that they didn't hurt when I was walking up or down the stairs, only when I was walking on flat ground. Weird. I took a long, long, hot, hot bath and that helped ease things.

This coming weekend I get to do it all over again, but with 22 miles + 10 miles. I'm trying not to think about it too much. :)

And if you think this post was long, try walking 20 miles. :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Favorite {Photo} Friday #43--Ducks in a Row

I have all sorts of different ways to choose a photo every week. This week my method was to think about the way I've been feeling lately, the mood of the week so to speak, and then scan through a bunch of photo thumbnails until one spoke to that mood.

Lately I'm feeling like I'm just trying to get things in order. I'm trying to keep up on my everyday tasks while also preparing for future big things. BIG things. Two of my biggest weekends of 2009 are back-to-back in just a few short weeks. On May 2-3 I have the Avon Walk, and then the very next week I have Inspired. I'm trying to work on training and fundraising for the Avon Walk (and worrying I will not meet my minimum donation amount to walk). Printing supply lists for the Inspired workshops (and another class I'm taking April 18) and trying to gather all the supplies I own and obtain the ones I don't (at the lowest possible cost, in an area without many decent art supply stores!). Trying to get my house into some semblance of order so that when I have people over they do not think that we just moved in two months ago (and for my own peace of mind and to quiet that darned Spring Cleaning bug). Selling jewelry for Easter and Mother's Day and trying to keep track of who ordered what and when they need it and which supplies I need to order to replenish my stash. Making lists upon lists in order to try to keep track of it all. In other words, I'm trying to get my ducks in a row.

Okay, so these are seagulls, but as soon as I saw this thumbnail I thought, "Yes! Exactly."

This photo was taken in Oregon in December of 2006. Jason and I flew home from Italy for Christmas and made a special trip out to the coast while we were there. I just read The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper for a book club (it was okay, I enjoyed it but wouldn't highly recommend it) and one paragraph really stood out for me. "...[The ocean]'s presence assured me that there were other people out there, living other lives on the other side. The ocean connected us to the world, giving me a sense of security.... being near the ocean made me feel that there was something out there for me...." Personally, I would add that it makes me feel humbled and gives me perspective... I am just one little person in this big huge world, facing this big huge ocean, and my problems are not all that different from--and definitely not any more important than--everyone else's, on either side of that massive expanse of water. I have it good.

And now, I'm just crossing my fingers that the little ducks I get into the row actually stay there. :)


Right now I am off to walk 20 miles. THAT IS INSANE. Seriously. I'm all set with my new pedometer watch and my new mp3 player that is exactly the same as my old one (thank you, eBay!) and now has all the same songs, too, after my late-night "I can't sleep so I might as well get something done" session last night. I'm upset that I won't be able to join my team in fundraising tonight at Wal-Mart... Lord knows that I need all the donations I can get to make my minimum! But after staying up until 2 a.m. I had to sleep in late (a 20-mile walk requires a well-rested person!) and then I had a few hours' worth of other things I had to get done (jewelry shipping, custom orders and delivery, getting dinner in the crockpot, making and eating a big healthy lunch to sustain me for 20 miles), so here we are at 2 p.m. and I'm headed out to walk for 5 hours or more. So I'll join the team tomorrow for fundraising at the Wal-Mart.

Up for this weekend: Using my 30% off entire purchase coupon at Michael's to hopefully finish up my shopping for my Inspired supply list. Team fundraising at Wal-Mart tomorrow. Making five more custom-order necklaces. Finding a recipe that involves asparagus and artichoke hearts (I can't just steam the asparagus and dump the artichoke hearts on there, can I?) and then shopping for the ingredients. Finding a few bottles of wine to go with Easter dinner of quiche and lamb. Starting my pages for the art journal swap and at the very least coming up with a finalized idea so that I can whip them all out early next week and get them in the mail to Jilliene. Walking 9 miles on Sunday morning. Heading to Andrea and Scott's for an early Easter dinner. Whew.

Wish me luck! If you can find it in your heart and pocketbook to donate to my walk for the Avon Foundation, please do so here. If you can find it in your heart but not in your pocketbook, then please leave me some words of encouragement and love! You really have no idea how much it helps me to keep going when I'm out there walking.

Have a great weekend and a very happy and blessed Easter, Passover, or just plain old weekend! :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Today I...

Today I...

... woke up at 7:50 after having gone to sleep at 10 last night. HOORAY for catching up on sleep (the night before last I was awake from 1:30 to 5:30 a.m.)!!

... made my new Cinnamon Hazelnut decaf espresso, which I only bought because my local grocery store stopped carrying my beloved Illy decaf. The new stuff is pretty good.

... brushed my teeth with my new Sonicare toothbrush--so clean-feeling!

... realized that I will have to clean my bathroom mirrors and countertops a lot more often now.

... breathed a huge sigh of relief when Jilliene extended the deadline for an art journal swap I'm signed up for! The deadline snuck up on me and now I don't have to miss any sleep to get it done on time.

... got a very generous donation to my Avon Walk from my friend Andrea, who did the walk with me last year but is far too busy this year. Thanks so much, Andrea and Scott!

... am trying to cut myself some slack. (But not too much because I still need to get stuff done!)

... wished for a magical house-cleaning and -organizing fairy to come over and whip my house into shape.

... reminded myself that if people are really my friends they will not care a lot that my house is a disaster right now.

... sort of almost believed it.

... exchanged multiple e-mails with Jason about the DVR and dinner plans.

... ate a truly decadent lunch.

... stood very, very still at the kitchen sink when a male cardinal perched on the birdfeeder outside the window.

... sent out e-mail thank-yous to the people who've donated to my Avon Walk so far.

... got an e-mail telling me my lowercase metal stamp set is in stock, hooray!

... folded laundry while watching the second half of the DVR'ed Oprah.

... gasped out loud when I found out how much money Dooce makes in advertising on her blog ($40K. Per month. HOLY CRAP.).

... added $100 worth of beads to an online shopping cart and then closed the browser window before I could hit "Buy."

... watched the DVR'ed Academy of Country Music award show while making yet more polymer clay charms for my final charm swap.

... had to YouTube Carrie Underwood's acceptance speech since my DVR cut it off.

... burned part of my thumbnail lighting a tealight candle and didn't notice until a few minutes later when I went back to making charms.

... finished making the clay part of my charms while listening to Dr. Phil.

... had to wash my hands for about five minutes to get the red clay dye off of them.

... avoided looking in the mirror as I got into the shower so as to not dwell on my current horribly negative body image (and made yet another unrealistic promise to myself that I would start working out every day).

... drove to a not-very-local scrapbook store to take a little class about how to use the Silhouette that I got a killer deal on last November and didn't pick up until tonight. It's super cool and I can't wait to use it! It can cut any TrueType fonts, sketch things with colored pens, cut adhesive vinyl... oh, I have so many ideas already!

... stopped by A.C.Moore to buy more lobster clasps for my charms.

... drove home, unloaded the car, sighed deeply and turned on the hot water when I saw the kitchen sink was full, and happily turned the water back off when Jason said, "Oh, uhm, I'll take care of that!"

... happily took the glass of wine Jason offered me after he finished loading the dishwasher.

... watched Without a Trace while I attached the jump-rings and clasps to my charms.

... actually, I watched Without a Trace while I waited for Jason to go to bed. Then he did and I watched The Mentalist while I finished the charms.

... actually, I finished the charms while I listened to the news, because I wanted to pay attention when I watched The Mentalist.

... realized that I should only type things that I've already done instead of things I'm about to do, since sometimes it changes. :)

... got a few things ready to ship out, which is a lot more complicated than it seems or than it should be, since we are now living in The Days of a Dying Desktop (computer).

... still can't find the Scotch tape I just bought.

... found a pack of Dentyne gum hidden in a bag full of padded mailing envelopes I bought over a month ago.

... finally watched The Mentalist, even though it meant I won't get enough sleep before I have to wake up tomorrow.

... posted this blog, which I've been typing throughout the day, right before going to bed!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Favorite {Photo} Friday #42--Avon Walk

I'm training and fundraising for the Avon Walk again this year, and I'm not going to lie to you: IT KINDA SUCKS. Walking 15 miles in the rain is not really fun. Asking my friends and relatives for donations is really hard for me (and really pushes my boundaries). Spending my weekends walking for hours upon hours (upon hours) and then standing in front of Wal-Mart with my teammates asking strangers for donations is not in the top ten of my list of Ways I'd Like to Spend a Weekend--it's not even in the top 25.

I did this walk last year, so I knew what I was getting myself into. So why am I doing this again?

This photo says it all; I took it during the walk last year. I just happened to be walking behind this lady and I couldn't resist taking a photo... I had tears in my eyes and I wanted to remember the moment. Breast cancer is still taking lives, so I'm going to spend my weekend walking in the rain and standing in front of Wal-Mart, asking for donations. Wish me luck.

Click here to visit my Avon Walk page and donate to my Avon Walk.

Click here to read about my walk last year.