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Special Me.....eight more? Are you kidding me?

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

23. I'm basically pretty fearless. I'm not afraid of snakes (I'd have them as pets if they didn't insist on eating things that are alive and needing heat all the time) or mice or even spiders as long as they're outside. I do admit a certain amount of displeasure with the cellar spiders, probably because the "ceiling" is so low. I am afraid of polar bears, but where I live that's not really an issue. I'm not afraid of the dark or the paranormal or anything that goes bump in the night. I'm reasonably cautious about my fellow humans (I do lock doors and the like), but with two dogs, a shotgun and a healthy dose of common sense, I don't lose a lot of sleep.

24. I have great legs. Even at my age and weight, I've still got great legs. And I know how to walk in high heels. A lot of women teeter or sort of clump, but I can walk gracefully in four-inchers. So much so that I lived in heels for years, and destroyed my feet, leading to me being the first kid on the block to have a joint replacement - big toe, 39 years old.

25. I generally have a "can do" attitude. Around my old, rambling (and for a good ten years, completely abandoned to squirrels and rain and all that sort of thing) house, I'll tackle just about any repair or renovation. I don't do roofing, and I don't do electricity - anything else, I'll give it a shot. I read up on the project, ask around if possible, then go for it. It doesn't always work out, and in some rooms, you can see my learning curve if you look from one end to the other (that was the lesson in installing cove moulding,) Some projects I thought would take years wound up taking only hours ... and some projects I thought would take a weekend wound up taking years. But I'll always give it a try.

26. I'm extremely punctual. Early, in fact. And I hate when people set their clocks ten minutes ahead to trick themselves into being on time, because once I know the clock is wrong, I'll calculate the correct time every time I look at it, and that's annoying to me. If I'm not on time, it probably means I totally forgot or will show up quite punctually...on the wrong day.

27. I'm a darned good gardener. When I was still gardening professionally, I billed at $35/hr, which is expensive, but I'm worth it. I know what I'm doing and I can accomplish it quickly because I know what tools I need, I have them, and they're sharp and ready. Sure, you can hire college kids to do the job, but they'll rip out your grandmother's phlox, make messy edges using the wrong shovel, and you'll wind up paying more for them because it'll take them forever to do a lousy job. Hire those boys to mow your lawn and rake your leaves - I'll do those jobs, but it's a waste of your money and my time. Just don't come by my house to look at my work. Classic "shoemaker's child".

28. This may sound silly, but I follow directions extremely well. People think I'm a good cook, but I'm not - I just know how to follow a recipe. I'm supposedly so good at building those things that "require assembly", but it's just because I go to the trouble of laying out all the bits and identifying them, then following the directions one step at a time instead of assuming I know how something should go. Ditto sewing; I can sew quite well - tailor, even - because I do the things in the order they tell me to. I figure it takes five minutes to read through the directions first, and often a whole lot longer to disassemble and reassemble because you "assumed" that it was time to put the doors on and now you can't get the shelves in.

29. I love to label things. I have three label makers - two of the newer kind that print electronically (bought the second because the first was lost) and one of the old kind that made sort of embossed letters. I label all kinds of stuff - boxes, of course, but also light switches (old house = confusing array of switches), file drawer contents, anything where reading a label makes it easier to know what's inside. Occasionally I will label things incorrectly on purpose, or just label things ("lamp", "hairbrush") simply to entertain myself, but we won't talk about that here.

30. I don't always feel obligated to finish what I start. I know lots of people who, once they begin reading a book, feel that they have to read through to the end even if they aren't enjoying it. I feel that there are too many books to read and enjoy as it is - why waste time on the unenjoyable? I won't finish painting a room if I'm not certain that was the color I wanted. I'm usually glad I did that and didn't waste more time and money painting something mint when I wanted celery. I have no problem putting off finishing a task because I need to think about it - the tub is still awaiting its tile surround because I keep changing my mind and tile is a lot harder to re-do than paint. And there are things that, even though I bought the necessary supplies to do something, I lost interest in it before it was even begun (anyone need twenty year old macrame string?) But there are things that I will see through to the end, just because it feels good to put paid to the thing. And this set of thirty Special Me qualities is one of those. Done!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

UUCEEJAY 6/18/2011 6:53AM

    I like your can do attitude! I have always waded into house repair projects like that. My husband doesn't like doing those kinds of things and always worry when I start one that I will mess it up.

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SLIMLILA 6/14/2011 10:54AM

    Wow, amazing blog... makes me want to go back and read the rest, but you know what's going on in my life and I can't take time to do that right now, gotta try to fix up my own crazy life.... thanks for stopping by my blog and offering support and encouragement and back at ya!!!

I'll trade you the macrame cord for wool (old phentex for slippers) and fabric!!!! Some of it is at least 20 years old!!

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ACIMPEGGY 6/7/2011 6:01PM

    Great blog! Got you thinking, huh! As a student of ACIM, though, I believe as part of the Sonship of God, we are all special....or none of us are.

I do believe, in this illusion, we each have our strengths and weaknesses, though.

Isn't it interesting how many different ways there are to look at things?!

Love the sound of your old house! emoticon

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STARLASUE 6/7/2011 7:32AM

    You can do it - 8 more to go - I have 12 to go and yeah they get tougher as we go.

May I just say you are one AWESOME person! Just look at all the wonderful things that are great about you. emoticon

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WONDERFUL2BME 6/4/2011 1:56PM

    23. Me too
24. Not me because so much of my weight is in my legs but I know they are under there and I'm working on that!
25. Mostly me too. I don't do plumbing because I don't want to but I have, out of necessity, done a lot of my own fixin and repairin and making better
26. Me too. I hate being late. It is just too stressful. I'd rather get somewhere in time to relax a bit before I have to rush into whereever.
27. Not me. I always end up killing plants. I think I over nurture them!
28. Me too
29. Whoa is me! I am such an organizer. The problem here is I go crazy around disorganiztion to the point I have worn myself out trying to organize others. I now resist or leave the situation because it is too frustrating when I return to that persons home (my sister) the next day and it is chaos again.
30. I do finish but it may not look like it to others because I do have many things going on at the same time. This way I can switch around what I do for the day. I guess I don't feel obligated to work on one thing until done though.

This is a really great list to do. I think I will try my hand at it as well.

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BETHGILLIGAN 6/2/2011 8:48AM

    YAY!! You did it!!! Reading these make me glad you're my Spark friend!!!

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HIPPICHICK1 6/1/2011 11:42PM

    This blog makes me wanna hang out with you all the more! You are special and then some. Can I call you Ginger (Rogers)?

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EMRANA 6/1/2011 8:46PM

  Great list! I especially like #30, 'cause I agree with you and most people I know aren't like that. I am not going to spend time on something that isn't what I'd hoped, so the book can be donated, the DVD can be given away, and I can always create a different outcome. YAY!

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Special Me #21 and 22

Friday, May 27, 2011

21. I honestly, genuinely do not care what people think about me. I mean, everyone likes to be liked, and I'm always polite - sometimes painfully so - to known detractors. But in my bones, I don't gave a single damn about their opinions. I will go to the beach (example, here - no trip planned) and I will wear a bathing suit. I won't intentionally offend their sensibilities (wasn't there some famous saying about not scaring the horses?) by wearing a bikini or something, but I will wear a bathing suit without a skirt or what appears to be torso armor, and anyone who doesn't wish to see me thus can damned well avert their eyes.

I also understand that people (almost all teenagers, for example) will declare, "I don't care what anyone thinks!" and then go do something that they see as outrageous. But as I patiently explained to both my daughters at some point, that means you're still letting other people control your actions, only this time, instead of doing what they want you to do, you're doing what they don't want you to do. You're still, in effect, letting them decide what you will do.

(Go back to the tolerance blog entry to see the rules on not hurting people.)

22. I don't sweat the small stuff. Family story: I was driving somewhere with my husband as passenger. A car cut me off and my husband angrily demanded, "Are you going to let him get away with that?!" I replied, "No, of course not dear. Could you get out the gatling gun please?" and he didn't speak to me for the rest of the trip, I think.

I'm a little behind on outdoor tasks here. The lawn is now literally knee high, but instead of fussing about it, I've decided that I no longer have a lawn - I have a meadow! A lovely, fresh meadow! How delightful! Admittedly, this is a lot easier to get away with out in the country, but the principle remains.

I really try to take things in stride, and for the most part I'm pretty successful. Forgotten items are done without or the menu is changed. People are given the benefit of the doubt. The unexpected is incorporated without fuss. Library fines are paid without complaint or embarrassment - I forgot, It happens. (More and more frequently forgotten, it seems, but we can talk about that another time...if we remember.)

I wasn't always this way. I remember agonizing over what to wear to a first-grade parent-teacher conference. But I began to observe how ratcheted up people got over the smallest things, flying into tantrums, verbally abusing unwary strangers, and generally making life miserable for themselves. Not so much the people around them, but for themselves.

At first I was cautioned that if I went on this way, I'd be thought of as a doormat, or a shy, insecure person who couldn't speak up for herself. But I discovered it didn't feel like that at all. It felt like freedom.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LADYIRIS313 5/27/2011 4:35PM

    bah ha ha... I have to remember that Gatling gun comment!
Thanks for a wonderful share.

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/27/2011 3:39PM

    As a young woman I cared tremendously what people thought of me. I worried about it and had a hard time being my own person trying to please everyone. As I've gotten older, talked to a couple of counselors, and read some wonderful books/info I am a much stronger woman and truly care less what people think of me. It's taken me a long time to get here but it is freeing and it feels good to feel good about myself!!
I definitely sweat the small stuff!!!! I worry about EVERYTHING!!! I know I drive my hubby crazy. I am working on this. Trying to let go and let God. I work on prioritizing what's important in my life--what is worth a worry and what isn't. What can I control and what do I need to just let go. I continue to be a work in progress!
Love the meadow!!! Sounds beautiful!! emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 5/27/2011 1:40PM

    Calm, cool and collected. Yep, that's my girl!
emoticon emoticon

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EMRANA 5/27/2011 12:37PM

  Oh my goodness, that comment about the gun really made me laugh!!

I agree with you, yet again. emoticon

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SUZYMOBILE 5/27/2011 11:22AM

    Bill shares these qualities with you. He really, truly doesn't care what other people think of him, and I respect him enormously for it! I try not to care, but just can't ... quite ... do it!

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special quality #20 - thinking

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I think about things a lot - more than most people, I suspect. Sure I occasionally think about the human condition or the fate of the universe, but usually it's stuff that no sane person would even come up with, let alone dwell upon.

For example, this morning I woke up with the song "Little Bunny FooFoo" in my mind. For those of you who have somehow managed to avoid this classic, the lyrics go:

Little Bunny FooFoo
Walking through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And bop them on their heads

I swear to you, my first conscious thought this morning was: why would he do this? Scoop them up with what? And what were the field mice doing in the forest to being with? Aren't they by definition supposed to be in field, where theoretically they'd be safe from Little Bunny FooFoo? "FooFoo"???

*sigh* I need more coffee.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HIPPICHICK1 5/26/2011 10:17AM

    Obviously Little Bunny Foo Foo is a bully. Maybe this was a prophetic dream. You may encounter a person today masquerading as a mild mannered rabbit who really is a bully!

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RACERXGIRL 5/26/2011 8:38AM

    You rock.... emoticon

I have those tangential thinking meanderings too - I wake up and tell my husband "I have X song in my head!" He thinks I have my own personal brain DJ that is spinning tunes while I sleep and dream.

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EMRANA 5/26/2011 8:00AM

  Oh nooooo!!! Earworm!! lol

I have to admit, I don't overthink Little Bunny Foo Foo. But it's cute that you do! I never like the "bopping 'em on the heads" part either. I agree with Beth, it's mean! I don't overthink, but I do "overcare" when it comes to the animal world. emoticon

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/26/2011 7:09AM

    As a preschool teacher, I protested this song and refused to EVER have it sung in my classroom. LOL I never "got" it either. It just sounded mean! LOL

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SUZYMOBILE 5/26/2011 6:44AM

    It's an allegory for the American banking system, I think. ... Hmmm ... I think I need more coffee, too.

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#19 - gambling

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I don't, for the most part. When my husband and I were first married, we went to Atlantic City (actually we went to Cape May, but it doesn't matter) and his mother gave us $20 to put in the slot machines. We walked in, converted the bill to whatever kind of change was necessary in those days, put it in the slot machines, lost, and left. The coat check person asked us if we'd forgotten something in the car, it was so soon after our arrival. We just never were money gambling sorts. Lives, reputations, sure; money, no.

That said, I and a friend of mine, both in grad school and impecunious in the extreme, used to go to local bars and hustle......backgammon. We were an odd pair: he, a veteran who'd lost an eye in Viet Nam and acquired a drinking problem to replace it, and I, good at playing the reckless innocent. We ate and drank free all over town for two years.

So that's my Special Quality for today: I'm a backgammon hustler.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HIPPICHICK1 5/25/2011 10:50AM

    Backgammon hustler?!

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SLIMMERKIWI 5/24/2011 8:27PM

    So now you know what you need to do when you are short of food and drink - LOL!

Kris xx

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/24/2011 7:21PM

    Wow! Hustling backgammon? Really? Good for you!!

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SUZYMOBILE 5/24/2011 6:37PM

    God, I'm impressed! I could never even figure out backgammon. Cribbage either. Or bridge. I'm not good at games that call for brains. emoticon

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Special Quality 18

Monday, May 23, 2011

I know the difference between whether or not I like a particular thing, and whether or not that thing is any good. At first glance, that seems simple enough, but there are an awful lot of people who don't seem to get that difference. I think this is an important distinction to draw, so stay with me here - it's not just one of my silly semantics games. (I love them, most people hate them - we'll get back to that later.)

How often have you been in a museum or a gallery and heard someone say, "My gods, that's dreadful!" What they almost always mean is that they don't like it. If you ask them to tell you why it's "dreadful", they'll point out the things that they don't like, ("But it's entirely *white!*) ignoring the fact that they're in the Museum of Modern Art, so there must be something good to be said about the piece, or at least some reason why it's an important piece to see. (Please note: this one hits close to home for me because I'm really not big on abstract expressionism.)

The flip side of that is, well, let's take Madonna. I was never a big fan, and I don't listen to her by choice (although i did like her in some obscure movie...something about Susan?) but I'll be the first to say that I think her dance music/party music, like Holiday, was flawless. Same with Michael Jackson's Thriller. Like it? No, not especially. Think it's any good? Absolutely - doesn't get better than that.

I'm not much of a one for reading poetry, other than the occasional round of some Romantic like Wordsworth. I never quite understood why e.e. cummings didn't like capitals (possibly punctuation, either) nor do I understand why his and many others' work is "good", but I don't doubt the judgment of those who do know about such things.

I recognize that escargot are (is?) a delicacy, adored by humans everywhere, but to me they all taste like garlic flavored erasers. I've eaten parts of creatures that aren't even talked about in polite company (my family is Scots, German and Greek - use your imagination) and often prefer them to the more choice bits - tenderloins and such. I have no explanation for this, but it's certainly part of why I'm mostly vegetarian.

So much for I-don't-like-it-but-it's-good. How about the it's-dreadful-but-i-love-it? Well, there are some mystery writers who couldn't (or shouldn't) be allowed to write copy for cereal boxes, but I read every one of their books as they come out, because I love them, though I've no idea why. I love lots of stupid, physical humor (Dick Van Dyke makes me laugh every time he falls over the footstool) and lots of stupid, physical writing (Ogden Nash comes to mind.) There are some kid cartoons that I laugh at every time (Fairly Odd Parents, Invader Zim) although even kids may lift an eyebrow. There are any number of small, quirky things that I adore, and they aren't even good craft, let alone Great Art. I love Cheez Whiz, and God knows there's nothing more dreadful than that.

Happy choosing!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANEDOE12345 5/30/2011 7:33AM

    Objectively speaking, there is no reason to reject escargot, a white canvas, or anything else that falls within the standards of a certain aesthetic. After the art rules are satisfied, however, we go to Plan B, which is our own subjective opinion - and they don't always match. It is knowing the standards for a particular discipline that gives us an educated mind. Selecting which to reject gives us our individual tastes.

PS I love squid whether in a salad or as deep-fried rubber bands, which my family thinks is gross. But I have NEVER licked frothy fresh snail snot...It is outside my aesthetic, as it were.

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HIPPICHICK1 5/23/2011 8:40PM

    I'm not into rubbery food either - snails, octopus...or slimy foods like oysters.

Have a choice is what makes life fun!

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SLIMMERKIWI 5/23/2011 6:38PM

    I have never eaten garlic flavored erasers, so I will have to trust you on that one :-) (mind you, I've never eaten escargot, either, EXCEPT when I was about 5 or 6! I vividly remember finding a bucket of snails in water that my mother had gotten off a fruit vine. They all had their feet out and there was lots of "froth". I remember picking them all out with the help of my brother (18 months older than me), and licking that froth off them all. THEN I started to eat them. My brother went into the house soon after. My mother can vouch for this as being a REAL memory, because she was watching out of the sun-room window - LOL! (NOTE - I WOULDN'T do that now :-)

Kris xx

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