Locked In

If you had to get locked in some place (book store, amusement park, etc.) overnight alone, where would you choose to be locked in?

Most people who know me  know my love for bacon. Friends will randomly share bacon posts with me on Facebook, message me links or email photos and recipes. I even have a Pinterest Board dedicated just for Bacon that’s my most popular board among friends and random followers.

So if I had to be locked in a place overnight alone, it would have to be in the bacon store.

Just kidding! I’d make myself sick before the night was over.

In all seriousness, I’d have to say that I would much rather be locked in the Canyon Ranch Spa at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. For the past several years, my husband has attended the Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas, and the past four years I have gone with him (to Las Vegas, not the conference!). Last year I spent a day in the spa at the Venetian, and it topped my list as the most relaxing place I have ever visited. I’ve had facials and massages in the past, and I took part in those services last year, as well, but the real treat for me was their Aquavana spa that offers several different types of spa experiences, like a sauna, a steam room, an herbal room, a rain shower, a wave room and several others. For the full treatment, they recommend experiencing at least a few minutes of each one. It was simply amazing!

I’m NOT being paid, comped or receiving discounts from them for writing this (but if Canyon Ranch contacted me with a free day or discounts, I would deny them!). I’m really just answering the question that if I could get locked in one place overnight, it would definitely be in the Aquavana spa or at least something like it. When they found me the next morning, they would have to scoop me up and wheel me out of there, because I would be a puddle of relaxation after a night spent in the spa.

I’m already planning my spa day for next year’s Las Vegas trip if David goes to the conference again!

Would you rather be locked in the Bacon Store or the Spa? Have you ever had a spa day? Where would you like to get locked in overnight?

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I’m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

Sunday Scribblings: Silence


On Sundays, I participate in Sunday Scribblings, a weekly writing prompt challenge. There are no rules within the challenge, however I am imposing the same rules that I follow for Five Minute Friday: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, or over thinking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Silence

START

Complete silence hurts my ears. Really, it does. My ears ring when there is complete silence. I’m pretty sure that it has to do with listening to loud music through headphones when I was younger. I also think it might have something to do with never having lived without electronics and electrical items constantly running, like the refrigerator, fans and such. Have you ever noticed how silent your house is when the electricity goes out? Yeah, that. It’s deafening to me.

I first discovered how important it is to always have some sort of sound nearby when I went to college. My college roommate slept with a fan running at night. At first I thought it was weird to have a fan running when it wasn’t hot in our room, but little did I know that I got used to it. When I went home for Christmas, I had a hard time sleeping. It finally occurred to me that when growing up, I always slept well in the summer when I had a fan running all the time, and slept poorly in the winter when the fans weren’t running.

For several years now I have slept with a sound spa running all night…or whatever you call them. I switched from a fan to the sound spa when I found out that they exist, and they certainly make more sense than running a fan at night when it’s cold. I even have a white noise maker app on my phone to play when I travel, though I used to have a portable sound spa that I carried for travels before smart phones existed.

As much as silence may be therapeutic, for me complete silence drives me batty.

“Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute.”  – Josh Billings

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Read other Sunday Scribblings posts on the topic of ‘Silence’.

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I‘m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

Ghost Dream House

Would you buy your dream house if the price was right BUT you also were told it was inhabited by ghosts?

Two words: Absolutely Not!

Let me start off by saying that I’m not convinced that ghosts exist, but I’m afraid to truly admit that because of fear that there’s a ghost reading my blog who will prove to me otherwise. So if you’re a ghost reading this, then I totally believe that you exist, so you don’t have to come haunt me to prove your existence! If you know any ghosts, don’t tell them that I’m not convinced. The reason I am not convinced is that I’ve never been confronted with a ghost or know anyone reputable who has. I have the same stance on aliens, too.

The closest ghost experience I have had is something that I don’t remember but was told happened to me. My mother’s mother died when I was 6 months old, so I never knew her. My mom told me that when I was 2 or 3, I woke up one morning and told my mom that my Nanny had come to visit me last night. I think mom said that she had heard a strange noise in the night, but now I want to know why she didn’t investigate the noise. I’m pretty sure that my Nanny hadn’t come to visit me, and that I had a very active imagination at a young age. If she did come to visit me, I wonder why she never did again? I mean, who visits close family just once in 35 years?

So back to the actual question, I would not buy any house to live in for any price if I was told that it was inhabited by ghosts. I just can’t imagine that there is a house out there that is worth the hassle of dealing with angry ghosts breaking your stuff, keeping you awake at night or bothering your guests. I’ve watched enough horror movies and read enough ghost stories to know that ghosts who haunt houses are rarely helpful and friendly. I mean, I suppose if this ghost cleaned my house and did my laundry then I might be willing, but I’m sure a house like that wouldn’t be priced right. You know what I mean?

Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever had an encounter with one? Would you be willing to have a ghost for a roommate?  

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I’m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

Five Minute Friday: Stay

The rules: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, or over thinking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Stay

START

So the first thing that popped into my head when I read today’s prompt is the song, “Stay Just a Little Bit Longer” by Maurice and the Zodiacs. You know, the song from the 60’s that was re-introduced to my generation when it was featured in Dirty Dancing in the late 80’s? Yeah, that song. Now I can’t get it out of my head to come up with anything worthy for this post!

*clears mind*

Last weekend ended up being one of those weekends that I needed to recharge. This introvert had been on the go way too much, and my weekend was filled with various activities that first meant that I was not going to get my much needed recharge. What ended up happening was that my Saturday plans were cancelled, plus I started feeling ill (not because the plans were cancelled). Because I wasn’t feeling well, I ended up not doing anything all weekend and cancelled my plans on Sunday, as well. I stayed home all weekend to sleep, relax and read. My Weekend Staycation was just what I needed! I felt revived and energized by Monday morning.

This weekend is filled with several activities again, and next weekend we’ll be in Detroit visiting family for the holidays, then I’ve got another full weekend after that. I am thankful I was able to relax and stay home last weekend in preparation for a busy three weekends in a row. Christmas will be right around the corner, so I’m sure most every weekend until the end of the year will be a little bonkers. MAYBE I’ll find another Staycation weekend somewhere in there.

“I had a lot of dates but I decided to stay home and dye my eyebrows.” – Andy Warhol 

STOP

Hey! Thanks for reading! I have a question for you. Do you have any experience being a mentor or being mentored? If so, I want to hear about it! 

 

Read other Five Minute Friday posts on the topic of ‘Stay’.

NaBloPoMo November 2012
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Super Powers

If you had the superpower to know what everyone was thinking (but not saying) would you use it?

I’ve watched enough movies and TV shows to know that the ability to hear everyone’s thoughts would be incredibly annoying and distracting to everyday life. I already have enough of my own thoughts going in and out of my head all day that I can’t imagine having other people’s thoughts bumbling around in my head, too. It would be enough to make one go insane pretty quickly. Most of the stories in the entertainment world who have characters who can read minds learn to be able to turn it on and off. I suppose that’s their coping mechanism to achieve peace.

However annoying it would be to have other people thoughts in my head, would I actually use it? I’m pretty sure I would be unable to avoid it. Sure, I could start off by saying that I don’t want to hear other’s thoughts and that it’s not fair to them that their private thoughts are no longer private. In reality, there would be too many excuses to listen than to avoid. Without a doubt, there would be plenty of experiences where I would hear something that I wouldn’t want to hear. It’s like reading someone’s diary or email and finding out something you weren’t supposed to know. Lesson learned, eh?

Perhaps after several instances such as these, I would want to completely block it, but I’m sure after a while there would be a situation where it would come in handy, and I would go back to it. Good examples of similar experiences can be found in those beloved sitcoms of the 60’s and 70’s, Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie. The shows were both based on the female character having an ability that their male counterpart wanted them to forget and never use. Every episode involved some reason where the female character would break her promise and use her ability, anyway, usually to get the male counterpart out of trouble. As silly as those sitcoms were, I feel that they are pretty close to reality as far as what would happen if most people had a beneficial (at least in certain situations) super power.

While mind reading or hearing other people’s thoughts is not high on my list of preferences, my superpower of choice would be teleportation. I feel like so much of my life is wasted in a car, in lines, waiting and so on. Wouldn’t it be nice to twinkle my nose and just be where I need to be. Ah, patience is a virtue, my friend!

I want to leave you with a story that my friend, Liberty, shared recently when she wrote about the funny things her kids say:

Alex wanted to build one of his many creations and required a hammer. Joey told me not to worry it would be done under his direct supervision. At this point Alex says Supervision, dude, you’ve been holding out on me. I want SUPER vision. What other superpowers do you have???? He was dead serious and didn’t even get why it was funny when I tried to explain it to him with the giggles.

If you could choose one super power, what would it be? Would you use your super power for good or evil…or both? 

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I’m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

The Best Meal

Tell us about the best meal you ever cooked.

Since one of my journaling prompts last month was cooking, I almost changed today’s prompt because I didn’t think I would have much more to add. Good grief! To think that I actually considered that I wouldn’t have anything to say?

I really had to think hard about the best meal I have ever cooked because nothing specific was coming to my mind. However, my mind kept going back to the biggest meal that I have ever prepared: Christmas Eve 2011. David and I bought our house the week after Christmas in 2010, so we had been in our house for almost a year. We decided to host Christmas Eve dinner for the first Christmas in our new home.

While I didn’t cook everything for the meal that day, I did prepare a good portion of it for the 20 guests that we had that day. And because I am a super planner, I mapped everything out for the day in my Google Calendar to time everything to be cooked in time. I even worked in time to nap, shower and clean my room.

The items that I prepared was ham, turkey, dressing, monkey bread, green beans and snacks. It was stressful to get it all done, but I loved it! I loved preparing everything, planning it all out and hosting 20 of my friends and family in my home. It was perfect!

My parents recently remodeled their house and want to host Christmas Eve at their house this year. I’m looking forward to the holiday again and while I wish I was hosting again this year, I’m glad that my parents have a nice home to share with us. Maybe I’ll see if we can alternate years.

Monkey Bread Recipe

 

Prep Time: 25 Min
Total Time: 1 Hr 5 Min
Makes: 12 servings

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1teaspoon cinnamon
2 cans (16.3 oz each) Pillsbury Grands Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, if desired
1/2 cup raisins, if desired
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 12-cup fluted tube pan with shortening or cooking spray. In large -storage plastic food bag, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Separate dough into 16 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Shake in bag to coat. Arrange in pan, adding walnuts and raisins among the biscuit pieces.
  3. In small bowl, mix brown sugar and butter; pour over biscuit pieces.
  4. Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn upside down onto serving plate; pull apart to serve. Serve warm.

Do you have an awesome meal that you prepared? What’s your Christmas Eve tradition?

Proof of my insane Christmas Eve planning.

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I‘m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

Favorite Place To Blog

Where is your favorite place to blog?

I have a laptop. Well, actually I have 3 that I have regular access to. One is my work laptop, another is an old laptop that is still hanging in there, and my main laptop is an Alienware that I bought earlier this year when I was pretty sure that my old laptop was going to crash. Without a doubt, my favorite is the Alienware. Since it’s so large, it usually stays on my desk in the bonus room (aka The Treehouse*) upstairs connected to a second monitor because I have been spoiled by working with dual monitors for the past 5 years. Every once in a while the Alienware takes a trip downstairs to hang out with me in the living room, but it rarely leaves the house. I’m not one to take my laptop to Starbucks or Panera or . I’m a home body.

With that said, I’m usually blogging upstairs while my husband is playing Xbox a few feet away.

More importantly than where my favorite place to blog is located, is when my favorite time to blog is. Usually I end up blogging in the evenings after dinner because that’s when I have the most available time. However, in the rare instances where I got up early and had time before work, is when my best writing seems to come out. I am NOT a morning person, so it actually comes to me by surprise that I can write well in the mornings. However, as the hour gets later in the evening, the less likely I want to write or write anything interesting.

Though, I have to admit that I am writing this right now in the evening. Maybe I shouldn’t have admitted to that so not to appear boring! It’s really late at night where my writing lacks a certain oomph that makes me feel accomplished.

I will also admit to writing out blogs in advance, especially the last two months when I have made a commitment to write daily, because I don’t want to get behind. It came in handy last month when there was a death in the family, and I didn’t have to stress to get my entries written. Since we’ll be traveling for Thanksgiving later this month, I’m hoping to stay ahead to be prepared for that, as well.

*The Treehouse is what we call our bonus room. It’s a term that my aunt coined when we first bought our house. The Treehouse started out being where my husband spent most of his free time, and it was set up sort of like a man cave. However, my aunt felt that it wasn’t really a man cave since it’s upstairs. Since I work from home on Fridays, we ended up putting a desk upstairs, so now I hang out in the Treehouse some evenings, too.

When and where do you prefer blogging? Are you one to write from home or gather your creativity in the library or restaurants? 

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I’m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

miscellany monday at lowercase letters

On In Around button

Sunday Scribblings: Mud


On Sundays, I participate in Sunday Scribblings, a weekly writing prompt challenge. There are no rules within the challenge, however I am imposing the same rules that I follow for Five Minute Friday: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, or over thinking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Mud

START

I was a fairly normal child, I suppose, when it came to playing in the sand, the dirt, the mud. My dad built me a sandbox just outside my play house, and I loved to play in there. I’d sit on the squared edges and build roads for my cars, including tunnels and hills. It took a little bit of water and mud to form them, and I didn’t mind getting dirty. In fact, I could get downright filthy playing outside.

My mom’s friend has a daughter a few years younger than me, and she had a sandbox built underneath her raised play house that we would play in, as well. My mom would often point out that Katy could play in the sandbox and come out clean as if she had never been playing in it, and that the dirt and sand must have all stuck to me instead of her. It would even be in my shoes and hair.

Want to know something? I liked the feeling of it in my hair. Weird, huh? I like scratching it out of my scalp later on. I’m sure my mom didn’t think so highly of it in my hair when she was washing it out, but what did I know as a kid, other than the fact that it brought me simple joy?

“There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud.” – Carl Sandburg 

STOP

Read other Sunday Scribblings posts on the topic of ‘Mud’.

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I‘m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

One Change

If you could change one thing about your life right now, what would it be?

The first thing (because don’t we all have a list of things we’d like to change?) I would change is that I would be out of debt and stay out of debt (mortgage not included).

Actually, I am REALLY close to being out of debt, but it seems like the closer I get, the further I get because of one thing after another. The “thing” that is adding to my debt now is dental procedures in the shape of old fillings causing problems.

During my first marriage, a significant amount of debt and bills accumulated, and I am ALMOST done with the last of them! I re-financed my high interest (because of collections) student loan after my divorce, and that will FINALLY be paid off next summer. By the way, I graduated from college in 1999, so it only took 14 years to pay off 4 years of college, but IT WILL BE PAID OFF! I also purchased a new-to-me car after my divorce that will be paid off next summer, as well. I really hope the car last several more years, because I don’t want another car payment for awhile.

After my debt-ridden first marriage, I swore off credit cards for a while but after a couple of years I got a few of them. The plan is to pay them off once my student loan and car payment are paid off. I don’t have a lot of them, I promise! Seriously, I can’t fathom not being in debt. I’ve been in debt since I was 18 and got my first credit card. I am not responsible with credit. Not at all! I admire my husband for paying off his credit cards each month or before interest sets in on those Same As Cash offers. It takes a certain discipline that I have never had but hope to someday achieve.

So the latest in financial woes is the dental work. I’m actually embarrassed for all the work that needs to be done, but the truth is I have taken decent care of my teeth. They’re not rotting away or anything, though my dentist will say that not flossing regularly has contributed to some of the problems. Ugh! I have fillings that were not done correctly and other fillings that have gotten loose and caused more cavities underneath. The work that I am having done is crowns and replacing fillings. And it’s not cheap, even with insurance!

So it seems that just when I see the light at the end of the old debt tunnel, the tunnel has a new addition built onto the end of it. I’m still seeing that tiny bit of light, so I know I will get there some day.

What would you change? How do you manage debt or are you debt free? 

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I’m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

 

Five Minute Friday: Quiet

The rules: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, or over thinking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Quiet

START

Overall, I am not a quiet person. I never have been and never will be as long as God continues to bless me with a voice. There have been numerous times in my life where I have been called out for being too loud and talking too much. Sometimes I wish I was more aware of it, but mostly it’s just who I am. I can even remember back to grade school having comments on my report card to the effect of, “Tonya is a good student and very sweet, but she talks too much.” I feel the need to excuse myself when someone points it out, and honestly it’s embarrassing, though I’m sure necessary. When I first started working from home on Fridays, my husband said that I would babble on and on and on when he got home from work because I hadn’t had anyone to talk to all day. Luckily he didn’t mind…too much 🙂

Despite being quite a talkative person (and a loud one at that), there are times when I relish the quiet. Usually in the mornings I’m not quick to turn on the tv or even talk for a while. Also in the evenings after work, David and I might watch a tv show or two during/after dinner, but there are plenty of days where I just want quiet. I’ll turn the TV off and read.

Also, I absolutely despise talking on the phone these days unless I am in the car when there is nothing else to do. I’m pretty sure it comes from working in my previous call center jobs where I had to talk on the phone ALL DAY for 8 hours (or more) a day. Before 2006 when I got my first call center job, I loved talking on the phone! Now that I am not in a call center job, I still hate talking on the phone, but there is still a big portion of my day that involves talking, even if it’s not the full 8 hours a day. I live by the rule that I prefer texts or emails unless it’s an emergency or you absolutely cannot text or email (such as driving). I may or may not be guilty of not answering the phone just because I don’t want to talk.

Believe it or not, this loud mouth does like quiet…sometimes 🙂

STOP

Read other Five Minute Friday posts on the topic of ‘Quiet’.

NaBloPoMo November 2012
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