Tuesday, December 16, 2008

63. Try a new recipe once a week for a month

Part of my new living arrangement includes being responsible for dinner once a week. Now if that doesn't lend into my 101 I don't know what does! Granted being "responsible for dinner" just means I need to ensure there are edible substances available in evening, but because of this 101 task I have totally stepped up to the plate.

For my first meal, I stole an old favorite from the Best Friend and made pesto gnocci with chicken and asparagus. As my uncle would say "Yum-O!"

I got a little adventurous on week 2 and went without a recipe *gasp*! Lucky for me, my days as a waitress in a mexican restaurant paid off and the chicken and lime soup also earned a "Yum-O!"

Of course the recipe-less evening only lasted one night and by week 3 I was clicking my way through websites only to find another "Yum-O" worthy recipe. Now I am a huge fan of breakfast for dinner and the scrambled eggs with borsin and peas, ham, and homefries really hit the spot.

I went back to what I knew on week 4 and used the leftover potatoes to make a friend's cheesy ranch potatoes with hamburgers (this was done with the help of my uncle since I have yet to complete the task of learning to grill... but work with people I'm learning!).

Now let me just say the fun has only just begun. I have since made lasagna; spinach, tomato, onion, and goat cheese quesadillas; and homemade doughnuts! This is definitely a 101 task that has paid off. And my future husband will be so thankful ;)

71. Send the little sister a care package at college

Anyone who has gone away from home for any length of time knows how great it is to receive a care package. While in college it is easy to get the Charlie Brown syndrome when you check your mail box each day after class. I remember those days, so as a part of my 101 I knew I needed to include sending the sis something special.

So when she asked that I send her one of my formal dresses I figured it was the perfect time to send some extra goodies her way. I could have packed a million and one things, but my box was only so big so while it contained a lot of love, it contained a little of the following:

Warm Delights
Individual Oatmeal
and of course... a Hallmark card :)

Two Month Hiatus

As I sit and ponder my 101 progress I quickly realize that, yikes, it has been two months since I last posted! Do not be deceived, dear people, for I have been a busy girl and have many updates to make in the next week or so. Though the blogging may have ceased momentarily, the 101 must gone on, and it did!

In the past two months I have moved to a new area code, started a new job, and made some grand progress on the 101 front. So stay tuned because there is certainly more to come!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

21. Paint a picture that I will display in my house.

As part of The Best Friend and my 101 Weekend we visited a craft store and got the supplies to paint the pictures we would display in our homes (this was a task we had both added to our lists). I am no painter, but I decided this could be fun and if it turned out somewhat decently I would have an inexpensive, homemade decoration in my home.

The day I left for the Best Friend's apartment, I received an art catalog and decided to flip through it for some ideas (as I had no idea what I wanted to paint). I found a painting somewhat similar to the one I ended up with, but really just used the idea as a springboard. I ended up with my little autumn tree with red and pink leaves that will match my living room decor. The swirls were The Best Friend's idea as I was slightly hesitant in leaving the entire background blank.

All in all, I'm pretty pleased with my painting (which ended up costing less than $10 and took under an hour). Who knows, maybe there will be more to come!

99. Buy a more gas efficient vehicle.

Even before I was able to drive I wanted a Jeep Wrangler. I have no idea why, though the big tires, and the ability to take half the vehicle off and drive around was certainly appealing. And so, a little over a year ago, while on my way to work I drove past the Jeep dealership and so the vehicle of my dreams (or so I thought). By the next day I had my very own Jeep.
The Jeep certainly came in handy, pulling trailers and floats, enjoying nice days with the top off, and the four-wheel drive in bad weather. But, I soon found, as with all things, my Jeep and I did not have a blissful relationship as it seemed. For one, the top was much more difficult to take off than I had hoped. There was absolutely no storage area either, so unless I was hauling it behind, it wasn't coming with me. And then there was the gas issue, which ultimately, was the deal breaker.

With the economy at a low and gas prices getting high, I knew it was time to say good bye to the Jeep. And so last week, I finally took the plunge and found myself a new, more gas efficient vehicle. I had been looking online and after much debate I settled on the Honda Civic because really who can argue with a Honda? The end result of my search was 2006 Honda Civic and I must say I love it! I had a few things that I had put on my mental list of things I wanted in a new car and have gotten them all including a sunroof, radio controls on the steering wheel, a large trunk, and comfy adjustable seats. All good stuff. I must say that I am very pleased and am even more pleased each time I go to the fuel pump (not an easy emotion these days!). I hope to have this car for a very long time.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

101 Weekend

Jack Johnson said it best (and most simply), "It's always better when we're together." Throw in a cookie dough straight from the tube, a few movies, and a plethora of craft supplies and you really can't get beat it. And that is how The Best Friend and I spent a day this past weekend.

I jumped on the 101 bandwagon at The Best Friend's urging and we've never looked back. So when we found that we had a free weekend and a few tasks that needed a little jump starting, we decided there was no better reason than to make a day of it. And so the 101 Weekend came into being.

While many of our serious high hopes for the weekend went unrealized, we did come out on the other side with some grand project completions and some ideas for further 101 greatness. This is only the first of many 101 Weekends to come. And so, without further ado, some of my newly 101 conquests.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

In progress...

Just a little sneak peek at what's going on behind the scenes of this 101 adventure.

2. Flatten my tummy. So this has been an on going process. But I have become much better about going to the gym and watching what I eat. I have noticed a VERY slight difference, but hey, girl's gotta start somewhere! Hopefully there will be a pic of my abs of steel so very soon.
7. Pay off my credit cards. Slowly but surely, this one is coming along. It has been really difficult not to get overly frustrated with this one, but sometimes you just never know what will come up (you gotta love family like that). And I am chipping away at this. I have no definite idea of when I will be able to check this off, but to help me not get angry and to keep me on track I have the following posted in my office now, with a running tally of the balance as it goes down.

29. Learn how to drive a stick shift. I have been debating about checking this off the list. I have had two "lessons" (one of the guys in the fire department pretty much put me behind the wheel and said drive home... yikes, real roads!). Both of them went quite well except for a couple minor lurches and a stalling out situation at the bottom of a hilly driveway (luckily no one was coming). So while I have a working knowledge of what I'm doing, I'm not quite comfortable enough where I feel this is something I could do on my own (without someone saying ok, clutch, brake, shift into 3rd, now let off it). Soon, though, very soon...
78. Go through and clean out all my hair and make up products. Last weekend in a fit of "MY HOUSE IS A MESS HELP!" I decided to tackle the hair and makeup products. It was not pretty. However, I am in the home stretch and I believe after this weekend (if I can find something to do with all my hair ties... any suggestions?) I will be able to check this off.
79. Organize jewelry. I hate jewelry boxes. They always look like something in my great grandmother's closet and they just don't do it for me. I also have found that keeping my jewelry in my non-ventilated bathroom (it's an old house) is leading to do some deterioration... not good. So I am on a quest to figure out just what to do with all this jewelry (there isn't a great amount of it, but I have some pretty big items such as bangles and big bauble necklaces). Again suggestions are welcome.

Not to mention the date has been written in (with pen) for a fabulous 101 weekend with the Best Friend. Stay tuned for a plethora of posts in mid October. It will be a fun time for all!

Monday, September 8, 2008

91. Print out all my digital pictures

I really do enjoy taking pictures. I like knowing that I can look back on all the fun times or sit down with someone and show them all the fabulous life experiences I've had. Unfortunately, with the dawn of digital photography I have no motivation to print these pictures out. They sit in the camera, occasionally get downloaded on to my myspace page or emailed to friends and family. But there are no hard copies. And really, there is something to be said about being able to flip through a photo album and reminisce. And so, this weekend, I bit the bullet and took my memory card into the local Walmart. Among some of the treats...

A little pig racing in Houston...

Sunset over the mountains

The Little Sis pimpin' it out on graduation day.

Now I can move on to some other 101 tasks such as scrapbooking and organizing all these great new photographs I have on hand!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

48. See my sister off to college

The day has come and gone. My baby sister is all grown up and has left the nest. On Thursday we packed up the car and drove down to Charlottesville where she will spend the next four years gettin' all educated. She's on her way to be an Army nurse and I could not be more proud.

I sort of missed out on the freshman move in experience as I moved in early and my dorm wasn't ready so they put us up in a place across campus. Going to a new, smallish liberal arts university the dorms were large and well air conditioned. Good thing UVA has the prestige thing going for them because the dorms suck. Of course the little sis is residing on the third floor of a building without elevators (I'm pretty sure elevators weren't even a notion when this building was erected). We got her all moved in and settled. We took a spin around Charlottesville and picked up a few last minute things. After an almost tearful good bye on my part we left her sitting in her new dorm room amidst all the things every college girl must have.

I'm pretty sure we weren't even an hour away when I text messaged her. I know that she is more than ready for this new era of her life and I hope that I have imparted enough wisdom and sarcasm to get her through the times when she is lacking.

Monday, August 4, 2008

8. Throw a party

And a successful party it was! The men grilled, the women gossiped, and the various groups of my friends were brought together in one place. I was really pleased. The weather was beautiful and the food was tasty. Fun times were had by all!

Friday, August 1, 2008

35. Watch a sunrise

I recently got back from a wonderful vacation with the Little Sister. We spent five days at a friend's condo in Cocoa Beach, Florida. It was relaxing, rejuvenating, and absolutely breathtaking. The view from the living room was so awesome, so the first morning I woke up ready to catch the sunrise. Unfortunately, the weather had other ideas. On the second morning, I was in luck. I got a few great pictures though nothing can really capture what it's like to be sitting there watching the sun come up over the ocean. The colors change and the water sparkles and you can't help but thank God is so amazing to do such great things.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

30. Be a bridesmaid

Photo Courtesy of Kate Triano

I know what you are thinking, such a cop out. Yes, I sort of knew I was going to be a bridesmaid when I made this list, but come on, every girl needs to be a bridesmaid at least once in her life right? So check, this is done.

My Best Friend in the whole world got married in July, and there I was standing up with her. We have been planning this wedding since we were about ten years old, complete with three ring binder, price lists, and pictures. Tastes have changed (thank goodness) but the fabulousness that surrounded it all was still there. Best Friend's wedding was amazing. Everything was beautiful and came together perfectly. I am so happy for her and am glad that I was able to be a part of her day as well as by her side for years to come.

Monday, July 7, 2008

89. Go to the gym every day for a week (except Sunday)

Ok, so it's been awhile since I've posted, I know, slightly slacking. But things are picking back up now that the summer is in full swing.

I started off the summer by quitting my old gym that had horrendous hours and a strict regimen, and joined the new club in town.

True to its name, Anytime Fitness allows me to go, well, anytime! They have a great discount for volunteer firefighters so I took advantage of that and am now paying less than I would to get cable television to my little farm shack. I can now go in and watch television anytime of day and burn calories at the same time! It's great. While I am trying to get into something resembling a routine, the flexible hours have allowed to me to reach my goal of going to the gym every day of the week. I can go in the morning, the afternoon, right after work, or even late at night if I can't sleep. And the equipment is fabulous. Did I mention they have television? Haha.

Anyway, I'm hoping that this becomes a habit and will help me to accomplish other goals such as #2...

Monday, June 16, 2008

93. Complete a full bottle of vitamins instead of buying them and forgetting about them

It is official... I am a Flintstone's kid. 10 million strong... and growing :)

In all seriousness I have come to recognize the importance of a multivitamin and have through the years tried to take them on a regular basis. However, some of them make me feel icky, others find a way to the back of the medicine cabinet where they are long forgotten until after their expiration date.

So you can imagine my joy when my doctor told me that Flinstones chewable vitamins contained all a girl could ask for, and came in yummy flavors! Turns out that children really need a lot of vitamins so even though I'm a big kid now kid vitamins are chock full of enough goodness that they are good for me.

And there was step one, I knew what vitamins I needed, I went to the store and made the purchase, but this task was not about buying vitamins. I had to make the effort to remember each and every day to get with the program and get my dose of all those essential vitamins. I wish I could say I have since turned into superwoman... but hey... I'm on the right track at least!

70. Plan a fire and rescue event at the library

When I'm not reading books to children and singing an upbeat rendition of the Itsy Bitsy Spider, I spend a good deal of time as a volunteer firefighter and E.M.T. So, it only made sense to combine my two loves and have a fire and rescue event at the library. My boss latched on to the idea immediately and we decided to use this a kick-off to our Summer Reading Program.

I began asking around in late fall and a volunteer from the County Fire and Rescue offered to help get the event rolling. We sat down a few times and came up a list with possible activities and participants and before we knew it we had a list of ten organizations and summer was just around the corner.

How could anyone resist? We had food, we had prizes, we had firefighters and police officers and Smokey the Bear. Unfortunately, we also had high humidity and a 80% chance of thunderstorms.

In the end we had 80 people attend the event. Kids came and had a good time. They learned a thing or two, as did their parents. It was a great success. It is definitely something we plan to do again next year.

Monday, June 9, 2008

51. Go to a wine tasting

In my quest to become the posh and well-rounded person that I aspire to, I added the task of going to a wine tasting. On the rare occasion that I go out to some place nice for dinner and am looking at the wine list or hoping to buy a bottle of wine and instead find myself staring down the rows of bottles I am always completely clueless about what I'm looking at or even looking for.

I have always been a smidge jealous of people who seem so at home in the world of wine. They know exactly what should be paired together, they swish the wine around in their glass, sniffing (for what I don't know) and then sip it delightfully during their meal or gathering. What the heck is all this about? I had no idea, but I was determined to find out.

Here I must admit that though I have indeed crossed this off my list, I am still far from a wine connoisseur.

Last weekend as a jump start to the Best Friend's bachelorette party, we decided to head outside Richmond to James River Cellars. It was a quaint little place where we sampled some wines and then went on a tour where the whole wine making process was explained to us. Learning how wine is actually made was really interesting and our guide was great. I ended up purchasing a bottle of wine which is now at home in my wine rack.

I'm hoping that I can go to some other vineyards in the new future. With so many practically in my backyard it is a shame not to experience all they have to offer while moving along in my quest to be a connoisseur!

Monday, June 2, 2008

60. Plan a big fundraiser with the high school youth group.

Anyone who has ever worked with teenagers knows just how rewarding/frustrating/ it can be. Try working around graduation events, sports schedules, work schedules, and of course the "eh I just don't feel like its" to put together a great program. Not always the easiest task. But as youth leader at my church I was bound and determined to have a successful fundraiser. And that we did.

This weekend the senior high youth rocked in rocking chairs for 10 consecutive hours (taking turns of course). We had live music, ate pizza, watched movies, and played games, and above all we raised over $800 that will go towards our summer mission project.

Rock on!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

46. Visit the Best Friend and Soon to Be Husband's new apartment

Bridesmaid Luncheon at the Best Friend's Apartment

Another check off the list. And what a great way to spend the weekend too. Traveled southward into the city for some time to catch up with the Best Friend and her Soon-to-be-Husband. Their new (well at this point not so new I suppose) apartment is quite lovely. It's a renovated old bakery with high ceilings and big windows. It's very adult and makes me wonder what our lives are coming too... definitely no Never-never Land for us, Peter.

All in all a very good time with the Best Friend. We still scoop cookie dough straight from the tube, still watch Braveheart and other movies into the night, and still play board games with fierce competitiveness. However, these days the cookie dough is paired with champagne, the movies are watched in places where we actually pay rent, and the games are so old and obscure you can't even buy them on eBay for anything less than a small fortune. While the some things have changed, the best parts will forever remain the same.

On Sunday morning we joined forces with the rest of the female bridal crew for a Bridesmaid Brunch at the apartment. In full on Best Friend style it was quite a posh event. One step closer to the big day (and checking off another 101 task!).

Friday, May 23, 2008

49. Talk to my sister about all the things she needs to know before she leaves for college

I don't know when I deemed myself my sister's protector. Perhaps it was the time on the bus when a boy made her cry and I threatened to punch him in the nose if he ever so much as looked at her the wrong way again. Needless to say, I have not had to resort to any physical violence in the protection of my sister, but being older certainly has had its challenges.

There was no one to help me with my math homework (trying explaining the quadratic formula over the phone from 200 miles away), no one to tell me what boys are really like, and no one to give me the least bit of college advice. And so, as a task on the 101 list I decided to give me sister the talks of all talks... the "college talk."

Now let me preface by saying that my fabulous little sister will be graduating in June from high school and will be heading off to the University of Virginia (what the heck is a Wahoo anyway?). She has senioritis to it's full extent. Being the older sister that I am I tend to give advice and tidbits of treasure at every turn, but last night it hit me that now was the time to reach for the big guns.

We were on a walk in town discussing the trials and tribulations of being single girls in a small town when I asked how she was feeling about college. I told her about parties and studying and friends and boys and the wonders of microwaved meals. She asked questions, I told stories, and in the end I think we both feel better about her going to college. This may be only one of many talks we have before she leaves, but it was nice to really talk to her and hard to believe that my little sister is heading out into the real world (or the pseudo reality that is college at least).

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

25. Write a personal mission statement.

Why a personal mission statement, you ask? Trying to think of 101 items that can be realistically completed with a bit of stretch is not an easy task in itself. The entire purpose of this 101 in 1001 excursion is to come out better on the other side. And there was a reason for putting down on paper (or other electronic medium) specific experiences, habits, and tasks that I want to accomplish, rather than just swishing it around in my head for only me to know and forget. Here there's that accountability factor. Not that 101 police are going to hunt me down if I don't do something... but you get the picture.

The same goes for a personal mission statement. A statement of the person I am and want to become, written down for all to see, and more importantly for me to have and reflect on. To sit back and reflect and push forward and know where I'm going.

And who knew there were so many resources ready and waiting to assist me in this journey to craft a statement of intent for my own life. Of course the ever organized Franklin Covey has an entire Mission Statement Wizard that walks you through a series of steps that helps you to recognize values and goals that important to you. There is even a Mission Statement Museum so you can read through the mission statements of others to assist you in crafting your own. Or you can find a series templates where you can simply insert personal information into a ready-made statement.

Whew! So where do to begin? So much to think about, so many values and goals. This list alone is a personal mission statement of sorts. And even what I come up with here will transform as I journey ahead. So here goes (for now):

To live each day with energy, passion and faith so that I may experience life fully and strive each day to reach higher while maintaining an optimistic outlook.

Friday, May 16, 2008

40. Decide what is the next step.

Yes, this may sound incredibly ambiguous, and really the task was just as uncertain as the wording.

Every time I was asked what I want to be when I grew up, my answer changed. I wanted to be a doctor, president, movie star, an archaeologist. I watched The Today Show just to see Katie Couric so I could one day do her job. I had no idea what I was going to do when I graduated high school, but I somehow managed to matriculate to a four year university. College flew by, as it does for everyone and again I was faced with the question, "What's next?" And I was clueless. I sat down with a school counselor and bounced some ideas back and forth and then he made the fatal error. He told me there was no way I could go to law school. See this was September, the LSAT was less than a month away, and having never really given this thought before I was in no way prepared. Well, I'd show him. And show him I did.

I ended up at a pretty decent law school the fall after graduation. Finished up the first semester and then had to return home where I landed the aforementioned library gig. And while I do greatly enjoy it here, the County leaves something to be desired. The Dixie Chicks may have longed for Wide Open Spaces, but when the only thing in those spaces is cattle, you often get the urge to run. So I set forth task #40.

I have been going back and forth on this issue before the 101 list was even an idea stewing in the Best Friend's mind. I have looked at other locations both far and near. I have browsed through the local community college's summer schedule, and even enrolled in a class (which I have since dropped haha). I have made pro and con lists all over the place. And finally, a decision has been reached.

The library will have to put up with me a big longer. Which probably means the geek squad will only bring me further into their realm. I have decided to attempt to go back to law school. This time, as something more than an in-you-face-counselor! move. I will retake the LSAT actually studying this time. I'll get to a more financially stable place in my life. And then, once I finally receive a big packet from some prestigious law school (as opposed to the little envelope that can hold nothing more than the Dear John letter), I'll bid ado to Conan, Nick Burns, and the rest of the library entourage and try my hand in the world of barristers.

What is that girl doing?

It is more than half way through May. I'm not really sure how that happened. And needless to say I have not crossed off a darn thing from the 101 list. Completely unacceptable, you say? Ah well, this girl isn't just sitting back, I promise you. But, how would you know that right? So alas, here is a posting to prove just what this girl is going.

70. Plan a fire and rescue event at the library.
This task is well on it's way and boy will I be happy when it is over. This year I decided that we should kick-off our Summer Reading Program with a Safe Kids' Day at the library. With a little help from by buddies at Fire and Rescue the event that started as a firetruck and ambulance in my mind has now grown to over ten organizations participating, four classes being held throughout the day, and even a visit by Smokey the Bear. We'll have food, face painting, prizes, and whew... who knows what else? Mark your calendars for June 14th, with posting and pictures sure to follow.

30. Be a bridesmaid.
The next best thing to getting married? Your best friend since elementary school getting married! In fact I might be even be getting the better end of the deal here. I currently only need to listen to the venting, give occasional opinions, and wear a dress of her choosing. Which happens to be super cute. Way to go! Just a few more months and I will be a bridesmaid. Hopefully this will not be the beginning of my own personal version of Twenty-Seven Dresses.

7. Pay off the credit card.
Ah the credit card. Without it I would never have made it through my senior year of college or that lovely semester at law school. And things were going well there for awhile too. Until that fateful day when I received a letter that my credit card company had been bought out by another. That happens all the time right? Perhaps so, however, this new company then proceeded to jack up my interest rate 20 percent. That's right 20 freakin' percent! That was the beginning of the end. Now that I have a full time job and various part time jobs on the side, I have been working on paying off the stupid thing. At the track I am on, it should be paid off by the end of the summer. At least that's the goal. And when I get there, that company will definitely be getting a piece of my mind, and a loss of my business. And I will do a jig of joy.

60. Plan a fundraiser for the high school youth at church.
For anyone who has ever worked with high schoolers, I feel for you. Heck, I feel for myself some days. Don't get me wrong. I love these kids with every bit of me. They make me proud, they make me laugh, and sometimes, they make me cry. Planning anything with this group is a task in itself and something that requires an actual commitment is nothing short of an astronomical human feat. However, I am taking this task head on and have planned a fundraiser for the beginning of June. There will be music, t-shirts for sale, baked goods, and high schoolers rocking in rocking chairs just so we can say "Jesus Rocks, so we're going to rock for Him." Corny, yes... but hey, it's all good.

10. Read a classic lit book I have not read before.
Yes, I know, I work in a library. There is absolutely no reason why this task should not have been done months ago. On a suggestion from my sister's English teacher I picked up As I Lay Dying. The more I read the more I found myself feeling as though I was the one dying. So back onto the shelves it went. But, I will persevere! Though what book I will blow the dust off next is unknown to me. Please, leave comments, and help a girl out!

Friday, May 2, 2008

A Change of Plans

During the formation of this list The Best Friend and I realized that there was a distinct possibility that during the course of 1001 days changes may need to be made to the list. Things would become impossible or obsolete, or perhaps something would occur to us and become so important it is crazy it never got added to the list in the first place.

Well, though only 122 days have passed I am taking my first 101 mulligan. With the best of intentions I documented that I was going to send a care package to Professor Tarzan during his stint in Iraq. However, his year long stay in the depths of turmoil is thankfully almost complete. My own personal to do list is to go back down to college and see him as soon as he steps back onto American soil. However, there is no need for this on the 101.

Therefore, I will be replacing this item with the new task of setting up a rainy day fund that consists of at least a three month salary cushion. Through high school I was always a big saver, then college hit and those lovely years after where I started paying off debt and the saving habit fell into the abyss. However, I think it is fine time for me to get into full I'm-a-grown-up-now mode and start saving again. This is not going to be a task that is completed anytime in the near future, but its on here now and so it's time to start working and saving.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

37. Be at a job one full year

Time really flies when you're having fun. For the first time in my life I can say that I have been at a single full-time job for an entire year. I'm not sure, but I believe that being at a "real" professional job for this length of time bestows upon me some sort of title relating to that very special place that I spend an enormous amount of time. If this true, which I am not ready to concede, then I am a librarian.

However, recently, I have come to dub myself Queen of the Nerds. Part of this may be to the fact that this lovely public institution is slowly altering my mind. Anyone who has worked in a public library can attest to the fact that every day one comes dangerously close to the edge of mind-numbing.

Lucky for me, and possibly to the chagrin of the upper echelons of the library food chain, I was placed in an office in the far reaches of the library, away from all other signs of life. There with me is "Conan the Librarian." Conan and I made up the under 30 crowd here at the library, until he went and turned 30 on me. But we still find mischief to unfurl and feed into each other's slacker mentality from time to time. He is also responsible for pushing me into the pool of Nerd with my clothes on. And so it is from here, that I diligently update my blog in html coding, seek to change css on my myspace page, and use words that are far too big for me.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

56. Make a new friend

In Shenandoah County the likelihood that you will meet someone that you don't already know is slim to none. For most people, in fact, it is most likely that any given person you encounter can actually also be found somewhere on the branches of your family tree. Therefore, the making a new friend thing was put on the list to make me go outside the box so to speak. And of course, a girl can never have too many friends.

I actually met Workout Buddy several months ago at a get together but was only briefly introduced. When she got a new job working at a place close to me we started chatting and soon became friends. We are now workout buddies, getting our bods ready for bikini season (which is also on the 101 list). She has become a great friend over the past couple months so without thinking, I accomplished another 101 item, and am so better off for it!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

52. Set up a system for recycling at home

So after a couple trips to the dollar store for these posh little "recycling" cans, I now have my very own recycling center at my fingertips. And the best part is these little receptacles fit perfectly in the back of my Jeep for ease in transport to the dump.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

64. Go to a rodeo

The biggest, most loaded baked potato ever!

Texas Longhorn... he was a little scary...

Mutton Bustin'. Funniest thing ever!

The hat, the belt buckle, the Texas painted horse... I was ready to roll.

Let the Houston Rodeo begin!

Wranglin' some cattle!

Sugarland... so good...

So, yes, I did slightly set myself up for this one, but going to a rodeo has been a life ambition for quite some time.

The Houston Rodeo is a month-long extravaganza that really can not be put into words. Hot men in tight jeans and cowboy hats, ropin' steers and making all the girls swoon, was only the beginning. First of all, the Houston Rodeo is not an event, it is a way of life. The people, the animals, the games, the food, the competition, it truly is it's own culture.

47. Visit K. and D. in Houston

So I finally did it... did a little jet setting and stole away for a few days on a much needed vacation. The flight seemed to take forever, and a layover in Chicago didn't help that aspect much but there were no smelly people or screaming children so the trip was overall satisfactory. This also gave me a chance to finally use the posh luggage I bought myself as a graduation present a couple years ago. It had been used but never been airborne so I'm sure it was as excited as I was about the trip.

My Beautiful Christian Friend and The Wonderful Husband were there to greet me when I arrived at Hobby Airport. After a few days I realized Houston was not at all what I had expected. It was not a city populated by the Bush family, but a New York City of sorts that just happened to be in the midwest.

It was great to spend time with My Beautiful Christian Friend and The Wonderful Husband and their too-cute-for-his-own-good puppy, Spencer. It was great to get away and enjoy a change of scenery and some warmer weather. I also got the chance to check off yet another task on the 101 list!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I'm leavin' on a jet plane...

And I'd like to say I don't know when I'll be back again. But, unfortunately, I will only be away for five days. However, while I am gone I will be completing at least two tasks off my 101 list, woohoo!

Somehow it has all come together that I will be visiting K. and D. in Houston this coming week, and really, it could not have come at a better time. I have started dreaming about new ways to arrange the Juvenile Literacy area (which is telling me it is time to step away from the library) and my misunderstanding of men has come to a whole new level (which tells me that a different time zone is just what the doctor ordered).

And in steps Houston to rescue me! Houston, with your cowboys and rodeos, 70 degree temperatures and lack of humidity, best friends and non-English speaking neighbors, I can't wait!

For all of you out there in blog-land, never fear, for I will return soon. With many pictures and stories and hopefully a few things checked off the 101 list.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

81. Read a biography of someone I don't know much about.

Working in a library means there is never a shortage of books at my disposal. So when I decided that the next task I would tackle on my list would be to read a biography about someone I knew little or nothing about I simply got up from my desk and walked the thirty or so yards to the biography section. And I stood there. Now, let me interject that I do not work in a massive library, but regardless I was slightly overwhelmed by the options. So, after wandering aimlessly up and down the aisles for about ten minutes I took the only logical step I could come up with... start at the beginning and pick something that looks interesting (who says you can't judge a book by it's cover?).

I ended up choosing Maya Angelou's Why the Caged Bird Sings. I knew very little about Maya Angelou other than the fact she is an African-American female writer. Now, two hundred and seventy-four pages later, I am in awe. Not only is she an amazing woman but the way she tells her own personal story was just amazing. The way she viewed the world as a young black girl in the South and the changes that she went through as she grew and moved to a new age in California really gave a new perspective on history, ideologies, and life. Angelou is more than just a skilled wordsmith, through her story she crafts a world that I was completely immersed in every time I picked up the book.

This was the first book I had ever read by Maya Angelou, but now it will certainly not be the last.

Monday, February 4, 2008

57. Keep my dining room table clear for eating for two weeks.

Two weeks and my dining room table has been clear of the usual mail, purses, change, hair accessories, pens, pencils, laptop, and the like. Part of this, I will admit, is due to the addition of a desk in the adjacent room, but hey, the table has been clear and I'm hoping that now this is a habit. I no longer come in and plop all of my belongings down on the first flat surface where they tend to lay dormant for several days or even weeks.

Now the purpose of this task was not only to become more organized and less cluttered but I was also operating under the assumption that a clear table would mean more sit down meals in my dining room/kitchen. Now I have eaten a couple meals there in the past two weeks, but there is still some work to be done in that area. It's all about baby steps...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

82. Buy a fire extinguisher for my house

So I completely forgot that this was a task on the list til just now. After (finally) looking into renters' insurance, I realized it was high time for me to get a fire extinguisher for the house. Though I do spend a great deal of time at the fire department, finding a small household extinguisher proved to be a bit more challenging than I had originally thought.

But leave it to my favorite place on earth to scope out the opposite sex to come through for me... Lowes. For only $24.95 I am now fire safe and may have found a date for next week. Ok so not so much on the second part... but I'm working on it!

73. Have mom and sister over for dinner

So last night, more on a whim than anything else, I invited Mother and Fabulous Sister over for dinner. It started off mildly catastrophic as I rushed in the house 30 minutes before the scheduled dinner time, realized that only 2 of the 3 chicken breasts were thawed and the rice recipe called for milk, which I did not have. I also spilled bread crumbs all over the counter and quickly realized that rushing was going to get me no further than a very messy kitchen.

In the end dinner was delightful. Nothing spectacular, just some chicken, parmesan and herb rice, corn, and wheat rolls. But tasty none the less. And it was great to finally have mom and S. over for dinner in the not so new house. Hey so it took five months?

This is also getting me rolling on yet another task on the 101 list:
57. Keep my dining room table clear for eating for two weeks.

It's only been three days on that front... but we're getting there people!

Monday, January 14, 2008

On my way!

The leave has been approved, the tickets have been purchased, and on March 8th I will be on my way to visit K. and D. in Houston! Since they got married two summers ago, I have only seen K. and D. once. This is painfully unacceptable as K. is such a great friend and being able to spend time with her is really invaluable. But as for March 8th that will no longer be a problem! I have never been to Texas in fact I can count on one hand the number of times I have flown. So this will certainly be an experience. While there I'm sure I'll be doing what ever tourists do in Houston including going to the month long Houston rodeo!

For those of you who are keeping tabs that will be two things (that's right, count 'em TWO) of my 101 list.
47. Visit K. and D. in Houston
64. Go to a rodeo

I am more than a little excited and will definitely be updating when I can actually give a full report!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

75. Get a desk and organize it

Ah the loveliness that is an actual home office... Working a part-time job from home was becoming exceedingly challenging (and cluttered) without a desk and some sort of office space. Bring in the 101 list and WaLa! The back room in my house which had become a catch-all for everything that didn't belong elsewhere is now a cute little home office. I had been eyeing this desk from afar for several months, beginning when I saw it in an issue of Real Simple. A trip to Tysons Corner and a little do-it-yourself handy work and it is now together and functioning.

Now that I have a little more organization in my life what shall be my next 101 conquest?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

42. Compile all birthdays into a google calendar

And the first task of the 101 has been completed! With a little help from my own personal geek squad I have learned the many marvels that are google. In a single day I have not only started my own blog but have also completed task #42. I will now never forget a birthday as they are all set up with email reminders. Now if I can just get better about buying birthday cards!

Time to move on to the next...

and so I'm puttin' it all out there

So thanks to my best friend I am now on the blogging bandwagon as we embark on an adventure to last 1001 days. I now have until September 27, 2010 to complete my list of 101 goals, tasks, and other random escapades. Let the journey begin!

The List

  1. Go on a cruise
  2. Flatten my tummy
  3. Learn to grill meat
  4. Take a road trip and stop along the way to take photos
  5. Travel to Colorado (10/12/09)
  6. Learn to play the guitar
  7. Pay off my credit card (01/15/09)
  8. Throw a party (08/02/08)
  9. Finish the quilt I started for T. (12/21/09)
  10. Read a classic lit book that I haven’t read before
  11. Start a scrapbook documentation of this list
  12. Make a conscious effort to eat more slowly for a week
  13. Write a letter or card once a week for a month
  14. Make fondue (02/14/09)
  15. Go on a picnic (05/29/10)
  16. Go on a hike (04/15/09)
  17. Go back to school (07/02/09)
  18. Concoct my own cocktail
  19. Run a 5K
  20. Create a soundtrack for my life
  21. Paint a picture that I will display in my house (10/11/08)
  22. Go sailing
  23. Hail a taxi (07/28/10)
  24. Plant a tree
  25. Write a personal mission statement (05/21/08)
  26. Get a professional massage (05/24/09)
  27. Work at a soup kitchen
  28. Eat an entire meal with chopsticks
  29. Learn how to drive a stick shift (12/28/08)
  30. Be a bridesmaid (07/12/08)
  31. Read the entire Bible
  32. Journal once a week for a month
  33. Have my picture taken with my sis for our parents
  34. Have a piece of my writing published
  35. Watch a sunrise (07/20/2008)
  36. Watch a sunset (09/01/10)
  37. Be at a job for one full year (04/01/08)
  38. Open a savings account (01/01/09)
  39. Go to a professional football game (11/15/09)
  40. Decide what is the next step (05/16/08)
  41. Buy a nice television
  42. Compile all birthdays in a google calendar (01/02/08)
  43. Make a concerted effort to be completely positive for a week (08/20/10)
  44. Read the Bible every night for a week
  45. Float the river (05/29/10)
  46. Visit K. and M.'s new apartment (05/29/08)
  47. Visit K. and D. in Houston (03/08/08)
  48. See my sister off to college (08/21/08)
  49. Talk to my sister about all the things she needs to know before she leaves for college (05/22/08)
  50. Put together an in-case-of-emergency car kit (07/01/10)
  51. Go to a wine tasting (06/07/08)
  52. Set up a system for recycling at home (04/07/08)
  53. Make a "happy box" (10/13/08)
  54. Knit or crochet a scarf
  55. Write a book
  56. Make a new friend (04/10/08)
  57. Keep my dining room table clear for eating for two weeks(02/04/08)
  58. Do yoga twice a week for a month
  59. Go to California (05/04/10)
  60. Plan a big fundraiser with the high school youth group (06/01/08)
  61. Ride a horse (10/31/09)
  62. Eat veggies once a day for a week (08/13/10)
  63. Try a new recipe every week for a month (12/15/08)
  64. Go to a rodeo (03/10/08)
  65. Bake and decorate a fabulous non-birthday cake (03/20/10)
  66. Go paddle boating
  67. Buy a bouquet of flowers for myself
  68. Learn to juggle
  69. Kiss under the mistletoe
  70. Plan a fire and rescue event at the library(06/14/08)
  71. Send my sister a care package at college (11/11/08)
  72. Set up a rainy day fund consisting of at least 3 months salary.
  73. Have mom and sister over for dinner (01/23/08)
  74. Have my grandparents over for dinner
  75. Get a desk and organize it (01/03/08)
  76. Go to the zoo (05/31/10)
  77. Spend a day going through a museum (04/20/09)
  78. Go through and clean out all my hair and makeup products (02/07/10)
  79. Organize my jewelry (02/04/10)
  80. Visit my sister at college (02/07/09)
  81. Read a biography of someone I don't know much about (02/13/08)
  82. Buy a fire extinguisher for my house (01/12/08)
  83. Buy myself a nice piece of jewelry just for the heck of it (06/11/10)
  84. Give a friend a fabulous surprise gift(03/20/10)
  85. Go bowling
  86. Stay in bed all day and go out for a fabulous dinner
  87. Go to a make your own pottery place
  88. Splurge on a great pair of jeans that fit
  89. Go to the gym every day for a week (except Sunday)(07/06/08)
  90. Take a mental health day for myself, with absolutely no agenda (12/11/09)
  91. Print out my digital pictures (09/05/08)
  92. Organize all my printed pictures in photo albums and/or scrapbooks (02/11/10)
  93. Complete a full bottle of vitamins instead of buying them and forgetting about them(06/16/08)
  94. Have a yard sale and donate everything that doesn't sell (08/08/09)
  95. Take a random art or dance class for fun (10/16/09)
  96. Start and finish a scrapbook (02/10/10)
  97. Get a safe deposit box for valuable documents
  98. Take a self defense class.
  99. Buy a more gas efficient vehicle (10/04/08)
  100. Go to a play or opera (03/05/09)
  101. Set up a meeting with K. to review our success after 1001 days! (08/25/10)