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What Makes Me Special - day 6

Friday, May 06, 2011

Unlike most people, I *love* graveyards. I'm not afraid at all, and I like to just wander around, look at the tombstones, imagine the lives, see who is buried next to whom. It's always uncrowded and quiet, no one bothers me, and I just find the history fascinating. There's a nice graveyard on the way back from my dentist, so after a particularly bad session, I'll turn in there and just sit til I calm down.

Out here in the country, there are still a fair number of "family" graveyards, and many of them are now on public lands so you can go look if you want to. The old records say that here on my farm there's a family graveyard - "west of the orchard", but who knows where the orchard was 200 years ago? Still, every spring before the brush starts to grow up, I look for it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HIPPICHICK1 5/7/2011 11:32AM

    We are alike in this way. I love them too. SO interesting to walk through them and read the headstones. That's how I learned about my municipality. Walking through the cemetery told me that this village as named after County Mayo, Ireland and I started researching online about it. This place was settled by the Irish during the time of the famine in Ireland. Boats loads of folks came over to Canada and ended up here!

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EMRANA 5/6/2011 8:51PM

  OOH ~ awesome! I am not afraid either. What a fascinating thing to share with us!

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NORASPAT 5/6/2011 4:30PM

    As a child in England we used to take a picnic to the cemetery.
The graves in there were more like crypts over the ground. We used them as tables and ate our picnic there.
Later we would use paper and black wax crayons and do grave rubbings.
In our church yard there were pirates graves complete with skull and cross bones and there were and still are many graves with only 3 numerals on them. That is how old the cemetery is. Prior to 1066 in fact.
I too like cemeteries but I have never thought about walking in them after dark. Just never occurred to want to do it. Hugs Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/6/2011 1:08PM

    I really like them, too! I find them to be peaceful and calming. I feel close to God when I wander through. Not scary or depressing at all. When I go "home" to see my dad, I will always go to visit my mom, some relatives, and a man who had a very strong influence on my life; he was like a grandpa to me. Somehow, being there, looking at the gravestones makes me cry but also makes me very happy.

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SUZYMOBILE 5/6/2011 12:22PM

    I like them, too, and I think that I've instilled the love of graveyards in my daughter as well. She still remembers wandering around some very old graveyards in Nantucket--so old that they have the winged skulls.

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This is, 5?

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Hmmm...this is probably the first cinco de May (I don't know how to spell May in Spanish and I'm too lazy to look it up) that I haven't been happily swilling margaritas. No, it's (unfortunately) not because I'm a good li'l dieter, it's because I'm too damned tired. I spent all day loading and unloading square bales of hay. They don't weigh much until about the 400th one, then they start to creep up a bit.

But that does bring me to the 5th thing that Makes Me Special (and if you don't know what we're talking about, and you want to know, look at yesterday's blog): I'm not afraid of hard work, and will stay in there with the boys until the job is done (or done for the day, as in this case - still have another thousand or so to go.) Like a good draft horse, I may not be fast, but I'm strong, I've got a lot of endurance and I don't quit because it's 4:00 or whatever. (However, the guys at the other end - the unload-and-stackers - quit because it was 4:00, and I may be tested tough, but I'm not stupid.) emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HIPPICHICK1 5/7/2011 11:36AM

    RAWR!!! Go woman GO!

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SUZYMOBILE 5/5/2011 8:49PM

    Just think of the cardio! You can do ANYTHING, I think!

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/5/2011 8:37PM

    You are strong!!! I can't imagine!!! I admire pioneer women like you!! emoticon

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JANEDOE12345 5/5/2011 7:09PM

    Finally a link to the article. Thanks.

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(Edited) Okay, HIPPICHICK1, I'll take your challenge and raise you one quality...

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The deal was to say one thing about yourself each day that made you special.

I agreed to try it, and promptly claimed that for my first delightful attribute: I'll try anything once, as long as it doesn't involve parachutes.

Day two already posed a challenge. I can drink the boys under the table? Nah....that's not exactly a positive attribute (although it can be an interesting one)....okay, I've got this: I know my grammar, I do, I do. I know when to use an apostrophe and the difference between it's and its. I understand less vs. fewer. I recognize the difference between forte (fort) and forte (fortay), although most people don't believe me. I even realize that I use too many ellipses (...) but I ignore that, because when you know the rules, you can bend them to suit you.

Day three: I function extremely well early in the morning. I can, if necessary, even perform complex tasks before I have coffee. If you need someone to get up at 4:00 with you, I'm your girl. (Sadly, that efficiency wears off by about 10:00 a.m., but that's not what we're talking about here.)

Day four: I have excellent color perception and can carry colors in my head, so I can go buy fabric for draperies without taking the paint strip with me. Just for fun, take the following test:

I scored better than either of my daughters, one of whom currently colors online things for hefty commissions while the other is a professional photographer.

I suspect that by the end of the month I'll be saying things like, "I can grow very strong fingernails!" or, "I know the correct plurals of matrix and terrarium!", but we'll see.


I've been treating this lightly here, but I do believe there is a great deal to be gained from this exercise in terms of personal insight and positive outlook.

Thanks to HIPPICHICK1, who keeps me honest, here's the link to the original article:

Spark Daily Blog written by By John T. Jurkiewicz (JOHNTJ1)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARLASUE 5/19/2011 8:02AM

    Interesting challenge. We rarely stop and focus on our good qualities. Most of us tend to harp on out shortfalls. Love this. Great job. You won't have any trouble making it through b/c you have so many shining qualities.

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JRSWHIMSY 5/4/2011 1:54PM

    So what IS the plural of matrix?

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EVERLEARNING 5/4/2011 11:54AM

What a great idea for an exercise in self care! I'd seen the article, and thought it was a good idea, but seeing actually being used is truly marvelous.

I may have to join you......

Thanks for doing this.......for YOU, and for the rest of us!

(I, too, over-ellipse.......) emoticon

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JENERIN01 5/4/2011 9:53AM

    That's really cool. I like the idea of finding things about yourself that are positive. I might have to borrow this.


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ANATASHIKI 5/4/2011 9:50AM

    I got 4 ! I had no idea I had such great color acuity, I always thought I'm terrible with colors! great blog , great idea and you're very funny!

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SUZYMOBILE 5/4/2011 9:42AM

    Okay, I think I found the link you're talking about: John's Daily Spark blog, right? Now I'm working on the color test, but my eyes are crossing! emoticon

Got a 4 though.

Comment edited on: 5/4/2011 10:05:58 AM

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RACERXGIRL 5/4/2011 9:32AM

    Excellent! I think I need to add this to my blogs.... :)

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/4/2011 7:55AM

    Great blog! You are obviously very special (and you can add funny to your list!)

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2BMYOWN 5/4/2011 7:45AM

    You are too, too funny, Scooter! I take it this is a team thingy? LOL I sadly suck at keeping colors in my's paint strip all the way for me....

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HIPPICHICK1 5/4/2011 7:11AM

    Hey JANEDOE12345
Here are the details of the challenge:
I ran across this in Spark Daily Blog written by By John T. Jurkiewicz (JOHNTJ1)>og.asp?post=yes_we_can

From the last paragraph:
"A few years ago I ran across an exercise in building self-esteem. It's called Special Me. It challenged me to write one thing about me each day, for thirty days that was special and unique, something that set me apart. The first few days were easy but it got harder for me. I had to dig deep and it was uncomfortable.

"Every morning, before I do anything else, I read that list. Not a quick glance but a lasting, sincere view and lo and behold I am becoming that special person who works hard, deserves success and hangs around with most excellent people Like You. "

I challenged myself (and now SCOOTER has too) to do just what John describes.

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SUZYMOBILE 5/4/2011 6:51AM

    Matrices and terraria, I hope! Hey, I loved this so much better than those silly "25 things about me" chain blogs--to which I, of course, succumb from time to time.

Being able to drink the boys under the table, as opposed to the reverse, is a very good attribute.

Comment edited on: 5/4/2011 6:51:48 AM

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JANEDOE12345 5/4/2011 6:47AM

    What? What is this challenge? May I compete? I am a good speller and have strong fingernails!! I am where are the guidelines?

PS Please no sharp parts....

Comment edited on: 5/4/2011 6:48:23 AM

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Finally! Good news for Mac users who are BodyMedia devotees.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

You know how you always have to use Safari (which is to Mac as Explorer is to Windows...only better) and then half the time it doesn't see the Java software, and even if it does, you have to go through the whole yes-I-see, USB, plug-in-now-and-maybe-I-can-update deal?

Well, Body Media has new software!!! If you plug your armband into your Mac with a regular USB cord, Mac now goes, "Hey, look! An armband recorder!" and updates immediately in Firefox (!) with no intermediate steps. Mac has always been able to do this with cameras and the like, but this is really, *really* nice for those of us who rely on the BodyMedia armbands to record our activity and sleep. I'm a very happy child right now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HIPPICHICK1 5/3/2011 9:40PM

    emoticon emoticon

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JRSWHIMSY 5/3/2011 6:53PM

    Firefox is my friend.

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/3/2011 6:13PM

    YAY for you!! Glad you're happy! Technology can be such a pain!

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The Spring Into Shape Challenge

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Well, yesterday was supposedly Day 1. I was going to start yesterday, I was, but got derailed, first by not having enough space to do a grapevine right, then by an unexpected bout of crushingly bad depression. emoticon I had just talked a friend off a (figurative) ledge, then my daughter came home, all upset about money. emoticon She apparently feels that she works so hard, it isn't fair that she has an empty bank account (been there, grew out of that.) Money is the one thing about which I do not worry - it comes, it goes, it comes again and then goes again, and it all works out somehow, or else you are forced to change something and then that new thing works out somehow. As long as everyone is still breathing at the end of the day, it's a success. emoticon

Since my husband died, though, I find I'm much closer to the edge of stress, less able to pick up or deal with "one more thing", no matter how minor. My daughter came in around 4:30, all panicky about having her card declined at the grocery - something that happens to the best of us upon occasion - and I just lost it. I didn't yell at her or anything, just did the rest of the chores (feed the dogs and bring them in, fill the furnace, etc.) and went to bed ... at 6:00. Came down around 11:00 (after having slept for four hours, which messed up the rest of the night) and got a sandwich, emoticon then went back to bed. Up today at 4:30 this morning, which is early, but not unreasonably so, for me.

But I don't feel too bad, and I haven't yet eaten anything I'd be ashamed to track, emoticon so I may start today. Still have to clean the living room - I swear, I'm just going to throw out the bag of mismatched socks and lug the stuff to the storage myself instead of waiting for my daughter - but then, yes, I think I'll at least do Day 1. Maybe Day 2, depending upon how Day 1 goes. It's my impression that you can catch up that way, and we're not that far behind yet. I've never done a month's challenge - short attention span, I guess.

I'm sorry that I allowed myself to get so out of hand last night, but pleased that I wrangled it back under control in only one night (it used to take me days to recover from a bout of misery.) "Normally", I'd use that as an excuse to overeat emoticonand overdrink emoticonand remain couch-bound for another week or so emoticon, especially since the weather is grey and foreboding. emoticon However, I'm really actively trying to turn my life around, and the self-discipline of a month's challenge seems like a good place to start. Perhaps with someone else steering, I"ll be less likely to run off into the ditch.

I just have one question: I have probably a dozen big plastic storage bins (five of which are in the living room) and another bin full of big plastic storage bin lids. How can it be that NONE OF THE BLOODY THINGS MATCH??? emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CINDYC53 5/16/2011 4:57PM

    I've been so busy with school that I've gotten behind on my friends' blogs - so I looked back at yours and I'm starting here with the beginning of May, when clearly you're on the cusp of CHANGE.
I started the Spring Challenge too, but I didn't start until Yesterday!! (May 15th) So, don't feel bad :-)
You've been through so much... but clearly the pieces are beginning to come together. Sending you big
And yeah, the thing about the mismatched lids -- a universal problem!!

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/3/2011 10:38AM

    I think your perspective is great!! What a quick bounce back for you!! Hang in there--Day 1 will happen.

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SUZYMOBILE 5/3/2011 9:39AM

    The mismatched lids come from the same place that wire clothes hangers breed and socks are sucked into oblivion from the inside of the dryer.

Does your daughter live with you? If so, she has a support system in place, which is good, but it's a shame that it's taking a toll on you. I'm glad to hear that you bounced back from it relatively quickly. You ARE a resilient lady.

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FITMARY 5/3/2011 8:51AM

    I love the challenges for that very reason! They keep me going when I'd rather just sit back down on the couch. But getting off that couch for even "just 10 minutes" has made all the difference for me. Maybe my "just 10 minutes" mantra will work for you? You can even set a timer if that helps. Do "just 10 minutes" of some exercise, even if it's just walking in place in your living room. That almost always helps me do more, but on the days that it doesn't, at least I've done "just 10 minutes." Try it! Baby steps have been a life-saver for me.
p.s. The "just 10 minutes" works with clean-up jobs too! Good luck with it all!

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VALERIEMAHA 5/3/2011 8:46AM

    You're doing a GREAT job, all things considered. And reflecting upon the "hows" of yesterday's boondagle is useful in plowing through to new ground and...rebbing up...ta DAAAA: DAY ONE!

One bag of mismatched socks + a dozen big plastic storage bins/ big plastic storage bin lids: none match = perfect metaphor for the utter chaos and playfulness of LIFE!

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STARLASUE 5/3/2011 8:29AM

    We can start today. Tell me when you want to and we'll do it again. I can't do the grapevine with my foot but will work up something else.

Sending you a bright cloud to push that dark one away. emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 5/3/2011 8:28AM

    Sorry to hear that things got off to a rough start on the 1st day of a challenge. SUX!!
Mismatched sox sux too, not to mention freaking out about no money (I hope it's her last time and she figures out that she needs some savings) and mismatched bins/lids. The bright side to the last point is that they are all (usually!) recyclable.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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