Thursday, September 27, 2012

Real Reality Thursday: A New Coffee Mug!

Today is just another typical day. Target. Laundry. Blah. Blah. Blah. But it was made all the better by this little gem I found at Target. It caught my eye right off the bat, and I tried to resist it. I did. I strolled by, stopped, drooled, kept going. Got two aisles past it and had to back up. I stopped, stared, fondled, talked myself out of it, and strolled on. Made it one aisle past and said, "Oh what the heck. My cart is already full. What difference is another 5 bucks going to make? Lousy rationalization, I know. But it's mine. And I'm happy. I mean, the dudes are orange (my fave color), and one of them is holding a hotdog. It was meant to be.

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, I hope you.are keepin' it real.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Real Reality ThursdayFriday

My Real Reality Thursday posts have been hit or miss lately, haven't they? Well, I have a reeeeeeeeeeeealy good reason this week.

Last night, my friend, Heather, and I listened to Gretchen Rubin speak about her new book Happier At Home. Gretchen autographed our books, and agreed to take a picture with us. No one else was getting their picture taken, so we thought maybe she didn't do that sort of thing. But Heather said we should ask (Heather is brave, and she embraces life). So, I blurted out, "Do you take photos with people?" Eloquent, yes? And Gretchen said, "Sure!" We started a trend. Lots of people behind us started having their pictures taken with her.

It was a lovely night. Gretchen came across as an articulare, intelligent, curious person. I am fascinated by how she grasps onto seemingly simple ideas, researches them, dissects their different angles, and shares her findings and thoughts. Her voice is rather relaxing and calm, and she possesses a wonderfully understated sense of humor.

I can't wait to dive in her book!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Uh ... Where's the Chicken Exit?

Photo courtesy of

This past weekend, I roadtripped to Ponca, Arkansas, with some good gal pals. We rented a cabin from the Buffalo Outdoor Center, and spent time catching up, shopping, eating, and zip lining. It was a fantastic getaway! If you ever get the chance to head south to the Ozarks, I highly recommend the BOC. Great lodging, fantastic hospitality!

Zip lining was a new adventure for me. I like to challenge myself whenever I can because I'm realizing that, while my level for risk taking was never sky high, it's definitely sank lower as the years have passed. Zip lining sounded like the perfect way to pump up my lackadaisical adrenaline.

The morning of our zipping adventure, I geared up and was ready to go. And then I realized that we were going to be way high up on a teeny weeny platform. And I was supposed to jump off this teeny weeny platform and careen through the forest on a cable. Say what?

Here is what I looked like on the first three zips. (I had to make it big so you could see me. I forbid my friends to post of any close ups because then you would see what a true scaredy cat I was! As in, my eyes were closed.)
I was scared to death! See how I'm clinging to the rope for dear life? Because had that steel cable snapped, my death clutch was going to save me as I plummeted to the forest floor. Yeah. Right. After the first zip, I gave myself a mental pep talk like no other:

"You can do this. You can do this. You don't have to love it. There are only six zips. Besides, there is no chicken exit. To get down, you would have to zip back the way you came, so you might as well just keep moving forward. Do not be a sissy."

Somewhere in cyberspace there is a picture of me zipping in straight line formation. Like a pencil. Did I mention I was scared to death? I don't think I have ever puckerd my hiney so tighly in my life!

But I rallied. Here is a picture of me on the zip No. 4 - the length of two football fields. My goal was to let one hand go off the rope. But look at me! All four limbs are waving in the wind (and rain; it rained). And .. I loved it. YeeHaw! I was sad when zip No. 6 brought us back to the ground.

This was one of those times when my Real Reality (fear of heights; fear of falling from a teeny weeny platform and smashing into the ground) almost kept me from achieving my Ideal Reality (trying a new adventure).  Chicken Exit? Not for this chick. I realized I had a great opportunity in front of me, and I took it. (**insert pat on the back)

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, I hope you're Keepin' It Real!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11

On this day, those of us who are old enough to remember the events of September 11, 2001, relive the horrifying images we have pushed away for 12 months. Our hearts break all over again, and we succumb to the overwhelming feeling of helplessness that engulfed us that day. We spend most of the day living our Real Reality, but tears simmer just under the surface, blurring our vision at unexpected times. We are a little kinder to each other today. At least, I hope so.

On this day, we remember the people who lost their chance to achieve their Ideal Realities 11 years ago. And we ache for the people who were forced to forfeit their Real Realities and their Ideal Realities when they lost loved ones or suffered life-altering injuries of every kind.

We remember. Always.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

With Friends Like These ...

A couple of weekends ago, Mark and I attended a dinner party thrown by a friends of ours. The gathering consisted of five couples, most of whom I met eons ago when we all attended the singles ministry at a local church. That particular ministry was pretty successful seeing as how all of us at the party, with the exception of one gal, married someone we met in the group.

At the time, these people were my core friends. We hung out together quite often. We held each other accountable for our actions and our words. We laughed , traveled, and talked together. As it often does, life led us down different paths, and we lost contact with each other. Our common link was the dinner party hostess. She has kept in touch with everyone over the years and keeps us all up to date on who is doing what. She thought it would be grand fun to pull us all together again. I was pretty excited until ...

"Oh! I like your tablecloth dress!" my friend exclaimed when we walked through the door. I looked at Mark; he looked at me. We were both thinking, "Huh? Who says that to a guest?" I smiled and let it slide. After all, the hostess isn't known for her filtering.

Apparently, neither are very many people at the party. By the time the dinner was over, I don't think there was any part of my belief system or life that hadn't been hatefully criticized. (To be fair, the comments came mostly from one person.) Here's the rundown: 
  • Democrats are jackasses ... and it wasn't a reference to the Democratic party symbol.
  • If you choose to live in Missouri vs. Kansas ... you suck on all levels.
  • People who work in the field of information technology (which Mark does), are geeky nerds.
  • If you mention on your Facebook page that you enjoy alcohol on occasion, then it is assumed that you spend most of your time hammered.
  • If you are gay, you are the root of all evil.
And they shared other opinions, plenty of others. Here's the real kicker: Every other sentence was spent praising God and bragging about how often they attend church, and which Bible study or small group they were a part of. It was almost like a competition amongst themselves to see who was the best Christian. And apparently, if you go attend church on a regular basis, that makes your hateful and hurtful comments OK.

I sat rigidly silent in offended shock through most of the dinner. And, I was kind of embarrassed at the closed-mindedness of some of the people at the table. I don't know if they thought we were all like-minded because we all knew each other, and that made their comments acceptable. I don't know if they live in such a small bubble that they truly have no awareness that other perspectives exist in this world.  I do know that Mark and I try to be very careful with our words in mixed company, especially when we are around people we consider friends. And while I am certainly OK with viewpoints that differ from my own, I believe there is an intelligent way to communicate those ideas.

So, lately I've been wondering if these friends always held these views, and I was just oblivious. Or, maybe they have changed and I haven't. Or maybe I have changed and they haven't. Not sure what the Real Reality is here, but I know that evening was far from my Ideal Reality.


Real Reality Thursday: What'cha Up To?

Welcome to Real Reality Thursday, where I offer you a snapshot of what my Real Reality looks like at this one moment in time and encourage you to share as well.

Did you read that? SHARE, people! For those of you who are not yet sufficiently caffeinated, that was a semi-polite way of saying, "Chime in with some comments, folks!"

Today, I am:
  • Walking the peeps to school ( I love doing this more than I ever thought I would)
  • A-washin' and a-dryin' the laundry (made more fun by the portable drying rack I found at Target)
  • Blogging (duh)
  • Organizing the pantry (again)
  • Organizing the office (finally)
  • Fixin' up my Reading Nook curtain
  • Weeding the front landscaping
What are YOU up today? Wherever you are, whatever you're doing ... Keep It Real

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Gone Girl Interruptus

I've been meaning to jump on here and dazzle you with my stories of powdered peanut butter and dinner parties gone wrong. But my friend, Heather (of Battery Brains fame), challenged me to read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn by September 20, so we could discuss it over din din before we see Gretchen Rubin, (author The Happiness Project and Happier At Home). I told Heather I would TRY to get it read, or at least most of it.

Uh, well, reading this book is almost all I've done for the past several days. I usually shy away from books that everyone and their Aunt Millie like, but I gave this one a chance. A big chance. A "Why  must life interrupt my reading of this book?" chance. All I can think about is when I will have another opportunity to sneak away with my book. Can we say ADDICTED?

I'm almost done ... and then I'll be back to regale you with stories about powdered peanut butter and dinner parties gone wrong.

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing ... Keep It Real.