Category Archives: Wednesday Randomness

If I Had a Million Dollars (If I Had a Million Dollars)…

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Please tell me someone else thought of the Barenaked Ladies, too.

Anywho, today’s Wednesday Randomness blog topic is…The First Five Things I’d Buy if I Had a Million Dollars.

I could go all noble on this and help others, and I would do some of that for sure, but I’m going to focus on the material aspect here, people. Just assume I also do good for others. 🙂

First, a new house. I don’t need a huge, multi-million dollar house. Who would want to clean that? I would like more than one bathroom (preferable with a huge, free-standing, amazing tub), a fireplace, and a nice size kitchen with an island and an oven in the wall. I’ve always wanted an oven in the wall. I think I can get a house that has these things for a relatively reasonable price. Oh, and a two-stall attached garage. Especially if the house is still in Michigan.

A weeks long trip to Europe for two. I’d hit all the big places and make my waty from the U.K. to Eastern Europe.

Maybe a new car. My car isn’t old and I like it fine, but I gave up something with 4-wheel drive and I’d kind of like to have that back. And heated seats. I REALLY missed my heated seats this past winter.

A top of the line Mac. A nice desktop to go along with my laptop so I’m not always typing on a 13″ screen.

Okay, that’s four, but that’s all I can really come up with. I’m sure there are other, smaller things, but nothing significant, so I’m sticking with four.


So, that’s what I would do if I won a million dollars. Click below to see what the other Wednesday Ladies would buy.
Bronwyn
Jess
Kris
Jenny
Gwendolyn

Wednesday Randomness…Stress, ugh.

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The topic for this week’s Wednesday blog is what I do to relax when I’m stressed. I kind of laughed when I saw this topic because people who know me know that I am pretty much a huge ball of stress most of the time. I do manage to keep it bottled up quite a bit, but that doesn’t help. I have tried different things over the years to relieve my stress and so far, none of them have stuck. But, let’s see what I’ve at least attempted.
Yoga. Yup, I tried it. I liked yoga, but I didn’t find it particularly de-stressing. I was always worried about not being able to do the poses or people judging me for being too overweight to wear yoga pants in public, so it wasn’t a relaxing experience for the most part. It did help with my flexibility though.
Meditation/relaxation techniques. This did not work at all. I seem to have a very hard time quieting my mind; I spent most of the meditation time worrying that I couldn’t quiet my mind, so that made the whole process even harder.
Massages. I’ve tried getting massages a few times over the years. And I do like them, but the relaxation I experience at the time ends as soon as I walk out the door.
Gardening. A couple of years ago, I planted my first vegetable garden. It has gone all right, for someone who has always had a black thumb. I get a ton of tomatoes every year, but haven’t found my stride with other veggies yet. And, while I like trying to grow my own food, I don’t find it relaxing. I’m always worrying about why some plants aren’t growing and not weeding enough and are they getting enough sun/water.
In case you haven’t caught on yet, I can pretty much take anything that should be enjoyable and/or relaxing and turn it into a stressful situation. It’s my personality; I’ve always been this way. There are a couple things I can do that sort of help, but I still walk away feeling some level of stress.
Reading. I love to read, it’s really my favorite pastime. But it’s not as relaxing as it should be. I get too caught up in things emotionally, or spend too much time worrying about the tasks I *should* be doing while I’m reading.
Exercise. The ultimate de-stressor. All those endorphins are supposed to make you happy. All I do is worry that I’m not doing right, that I’m being judged for being too overweight (if I’m out in public), or that I basically just suck if I miss a day in my schedule. It’s good for the half hour/45 minutes that I’m exercising, but then things start up again in my mind.
What it comes down to is I’m basically always stressed and worry most of the time. I’m too tightly wound for my own good. Even writing this post made me anxious because I can’t really answer the question posed. So, if anyone has any other good stress relieving suggestions, let me know!
Check the blogs of the other Wednesday ladies to see how they de-stress:

Wednesday Randomness…My Dream Yard!

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Today’s Wednesday Randomness blog is about our dream yards. This blog was a lot fun because I got to search for pictures (and maybe I did some of that at work…shhhhhhhh), but I seriously had to reign myself in.

When I picture my backyard, I see an English garden. And let’s be honest, I see myself in the cottage, too. I love the wildness of an English garden.


And in that yard/garden, I would need to have an extremely comfortable place to relax, read, and drink tea. Something like the bench below, but full of big, squishy pillows.

That bench would need to be nestled under an arbor covered with plants and vining flowers.

 Next to my arbor I would really like to have a fountain. The water sounds would just add to the relaxation aura of the whole space.

The last item of my dream yard would be a fantastic vegetable garden. Something where I could grow all my vegetables for the whole summer.


Of course, along with all this I would also need to have a gardener to tend to it, because while I have managed to grow tomatoes and impatiens in recent years, that’s the extent of my ability. And let’s be fair, those grow themselves, really. 

Check the blogs of the ladies below to see their dream yards:
Bronwyn Green
Jess Jarman
Kellie St. James
Kris Norris
Jenny Trout

These are a Few of My Favorite Things…Books Edition!

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Time for Wednesday Randomness again and the topic this week is one dear to me. Books! It’s going to be tough to keep this from becoming a ten page blog, but I’m going to try to keep it to just my absolute faves. 

Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) – This is probably my all time favorite book. I can’t count the number of times I’ve read it and I’m sure I will read it again and again in the years to come.

Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) – My AP English teacher in high school turned me on to this author. She was such a super fan, I remember she had an apron she would wear during class with Jane Austen’s picture on it. She wore it everyday during this unit.

The Mummy (Anne Rice) – This was a standalone book and is not like most of her other works (that I’ve read). That’s all I’m going to say, except READ IT.

The Eyes of the Dragon (Stephen King) – This was originally a fairytale type story he wrote for his kid(s). It has two princes, an evil magician, and a daring escape. 

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) – Awesome in every way possible. Enough said. 

To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) – A large part of my family comes from the deep south so I always like to read books with that kind of setting, they feel familiar.

The Amelia Peabody Series (Elizabeth Peters) – This is a series that takes place from the late 1800’s up through the early 1920’s about an English family of Egyptologists. They are mysteries and are wonderfully written. The author actually studied Egyptology and the books include real people as minor characters (i.e. Howard Carter who discovered King Tut’s tomb), so they are loaded with tons of information about Egypt. 

These are all a bit older, but I do read current stuff, too! Here are a couple of my new favorites. 

Blackbirds (it’s a series, actually) (Chuck Wendig) – These books are edgy and intriguing. If you’re not familiar with Chuck Wendig, his language is colorful and inventive. It always makes me think of that quote from A Christmas Story. It’s something like, the Old Man worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium, a master. I mean this as a compliment to the author; his writing is original and turbulent.

The Vampire Academy Series (Richelle Mead) – Vampires, sure. Been there, done that. (Don’t get me wrong, I love vampires.) But this is a bit of a new twist with natural born vampires and made vampires and the world they inhabit. Richelle Mead’s writing is fantastic and the six book series is well paced all the way through. She has an additional series focusing on one of the somewhat minor characters introduced halfway through the first series. I haven’t read those yet but I’ve heard they are even better than the originals. 

Okay, I’m going to stop there or this list would really get out of control.

Check out some of the favorite books of my fellow bloggers! 
Bronwyn 
Jess 
Kellie 
Tess 
Kris 
Jenny 
Gwendolyn

Wednesday Randomness…Behind the Scenes

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After missing Wednesday Randomness Blogging for a week, I’m glad to be back and to welcome a new lady to the group. Say hi to Gwendolyn Cease!

Had I written this blog last week, it would have been completely different. At that point I considered a different WIP my current project but then I had lunch with the fantastical Bronwyn on Saturday and now I’m going in a whole new direction. Or maybe it’s going back in an old direction, but with a new twist?

See, I wrote the first draft of this book that I thought would be the first in a series of four. Something felt off though. What I realized is…its not supposed to be a series. Its supposed to be one book.

How can I go from four books to one you ask? Well, let me tell you. It is going to be one page-turning, action-packed, conflict-filled piece of YA. If I do say so myself.

Here’s the gist of the story. Girl is a witch, and a bad one, as in no talent. Her family has an affinity for the element of water, dating back to a spell cast centuries ago. Things are going awry because that spell is causing the natural order to be thrown out of balance. Girl meets boy who has an affinity for the element of fire and a quest begins. Originally that quest was going to be completed over the four books. Instead, its going to be one intense ride.

I have to say, this decision to re-work the story feels right and I’m excited about it again. I haven’t been excited about writing in quite awhile. 
Here are a few pictures to show you some of my inspiration for this story.
Lake Michigan – the true inspiration
The lighthouse in Grand Haven

Main Street – home to the Silver Moon

To see behind the scenes of everyone else’s projects, click on a name below.

Alright, back to it. I have a LOT of editing to do.

10 Somewhat, Kind of Random Things

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Wednesday Randomness is back in full force and this week’s topic is 10 random facts. To check out everyone else’s blogs, click on a name below:

Bronwyn Green
Jess Jarman
Kellie St. James
Kris Norris
Jenny Trout


I struggled with this for awhile, so I’m calling my list of 10 Somewhat, Kind of Random (and a couple of strange-ass) Things.

1. My cat once saved me from being locked out on a balcony, no lie. Long story short, the security bar fell down across the middle of the door and after about 10 minutes of me tapping on the door and getting him to paw at the bar, he pulled it down enough that I could slide it open. This is the kitty…Noah the Genius.

2. I studied Russian in college and wanted to be a Russian Studies major. I think I wanted to work for the CIA.

3. Speaking of government jobs, I also wanted to join the FBI. That lasted about four years.

4. This isn’t so much about me, but includes my husband too.  He doesn’t remember the first time we met. It was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (we “officially” met the next July). We were in a bar with a bunch of mutual friends and we talked. He has no memory of this and thinks I’m making it up.

5. I once got into a car accident with a tire (bigger than a car tire, smaller than a tractor trailer). It was rolling down the road, up hill no less, and it was dark so I didn’t see it in time to swerve. Plus I couldn’t figure out what the hell it was. So it slammed into the front of my car.

6. I wrote a short story in high school that had a silver locket in it. Because of that story, I bought myself a silver locket at a plantation outside New Orleans (that was used for some scenes in Interview with the Vampire) and wore it for years. I bought it in high school and I still have it.

7. I recently found out there is a name for my sensory/sound issues that I have. Misophonia. Basically its a condition that means I am super sensitive to every day sounds and the reaction is to get completely, irrationally angry. I thought I was just losing my mind or that I needed to just relax. Turns out it is a real thing. I’ll be honest, I still wonder if its not something people are making up because it sounds so strange, but at least other people have the same issues and I’m not the only one. It got bad enough at work that I had to move into my own office because I couldn’t handle my office roomie and her carrot/cereal crunching. Or her stapler. I wanted to staple her head.

8. I don’t like fireworks. The big, overhead, loud ones. I’m assuming this is mostly because of number 7 above, but I don’t like to be under them either. I might get burned. When I was a kid, I basically used to try to dig a whole in the ground to bury myself in so I couldn’t get hurt.

9. I grew up in Michigan, but I was born in Gulfport, Mississippi. I spent time on the Gulf Coast every summer when I was growing up and some of my family still lives there. 

10.  My favorite animal is the giraffe. I’ve fed them a couple of times at Binder Park Zoo and it was pretty much the coolest thing ever.

Alright, that’s 10 things about me. What about you? What are some random things that people may or may not know about you?


A Day in the Life…

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Wednesday Randomness is here again! This week we are welcoming a new member to our little group, everyone say hi to Jenny Trout!

Today we are walking through a day in the life of…us. Check out the blogs of Bronwyn Green, Jess Jarman, Kellie St. James, Kris Norris and Jenny Trout to find out out how we spend our days.

I’ll do my very best not to bore you with this description of my daily activities, but most days I feel like a hamster on a wheel.

But, you know, one of those flesh eating hamsters that kicks ass.

Anyway, my day starts with me pulling my zombified self out of bed. A morning person I am not. Usually there is a bit of tripping over my cat while I get ready and that’s the excitement in my morning, followed by a half hour drive to work. A nice drive in the summer, a horrific drive up the lakeshore in the winter that makes me feel like I live north of The Wall.

I then proceed to spend the next 9 1/2 (sometimes less an hour for lunch) in front of my computer manipulating Excel spreadsheets. Now don’t get jealous everyone, I know you would all rather be in my place. Admit it.

I suppose I may be exaggerating a bit, but I do spend the vast majority of my day playing with Excel in my duties as a senior financial analyst. And that folks, is all I’m going to say about my job. We don’t want to go down that rabbit hole.

It’s after my half hour drive back home that the fun really starts. That’s when I get to do the stuff I love. Sometimes I cook, depending on my mood. I actually like cooking, I think it’s fun in a weird way. There is something satisfying about taking raw ingredients and turning them into a meal.

Then I usually spend some time reading or writing, depending on my mood. Sometimes I binge on a new favorite tv show (Supernatural is the current obsession). Every once in a while I tackle a home project. And I try to exercise a few times a week, at least a walk on the treadmill. Oh, and I can’t forget practicing the piano for my weekly lessons.

Then it’s bed.

These are my days during the week, pretty boring and fairly repetitive. Things change some depending on the season. In the summer, I spend time in the garden.

My weekends tend to be all over the place. My husband and I have a lot of freedom since it’s just the two of us, but that will change soon when our puppy finally comes home (yay!). And, I’m starting an online fiction writing class this week that will, if nothing else, force me to write on a daily basis.

So, that’s a day in my life. For better or worse.

What about you? What’s a day like in your life?

Phobias and Fears and Scary Things Oh My!

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This week’s random topic is phobias and fears, so I’m probably going to freak myself out just writing this. I’ll keep not too scary though, no nightmares here!

To check out what the other Wednesday Bloggers are afraid of, click on a name below:
Bronwyn
Jess
Kellie
Tess
Kris


Okay, fear number one. And this is probably one of my biggest fears if not the biggest. Tornadoes. I am terrified of them. When I was a kid and there was any sort of tornado warning four counties away, I immediately hightailed it to the basement and sat there until it was over. The street I grew up on was a dividing line for two counties and whenever there was a tornado watch or warning in the county that was the other side of the street, my dad would tell me “It’s fine, we don’t live in that county.” But I was on to him.

Fear number two…snakes. I hate them and everything they stand for. I once ran across a little garter snake (is that even what they’re called?) while hiking with my parents and some other people. I can honestly say I totally lost my head and screamed bloody murder until somebody made it go away. That is the only time I have ever run across one in the wild and I hope it stays that way.

The next would have to be things that jump, like frogs and grasshoppers. You never know which way they are going to jump and suddenly they are attached to you. No sir, I don’t like it. Bunnies are okay though. Even with their hoppy legs and twitchy little noses.

One more animal one and then I’ll move on. Bats. We had a bat in our house once and one appeared in my husband’s family’s cabin, and I think you could safely say I also lost my head both of those times. I’m not good in a crisis. At least not animal related crises.

The fear of looking stupid. I don’t know if this quite fits with the theme, but I have an extraordinary fear of looking stupid to others. So much so that I almost never speak up in meetings or classes unless I absolutely have to. I’ve overcome it some in recent years, but sometimes I still revert back to that person I was in college where I could go a whole semester without uttering a word in class. It’s hard to have this kind of fear when you work in a professional environment because you are expected to contribute in meetings, but I’m always afraid of what people will say about my ideas. Or that I’ll say something backwards and everyone will know I’m a fraud and that I don’t belong there.

One last one and then I’m going to try to find something fun to do to dispel these evil thoughts.

Lightning. I am terrified of lightning. And really thunderstorms, in general. I like rain, I find it soothing. But the noise of thunder and the power of lightning (and the fact that it could fry me where I stand) scare the stuffing out of me. To the point where I can’t sleep and usually make my husband stay up with me for awhile. And I hate being home alone during storms. Its panic-inducing.

Okay, I’m done. I need to find some happy thoughts now. But feel free to share your phobias in the comments.

OMG Pet Peeves!

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It’s time for Wednesday Blog Randomness and we have another new person joining! Say hi to Kris Norris and check out her blog!

Click on a name below to visit the blogs of everyone involved:
This week we are talking about our pet peeves. I thought this would be an easy topic for me considering how often I’m irritated (just about every day it seems), but I had to think long and hard to come up with some specific pet peeves.
First and foremost are people who don’t use their turn signals. I know that’s probably a common one, but I get so road ragey anyway, when I come up against someone who is turning (and taking their sweet ever-loving time about it) without a turn signal on, what comes out of my mouth would make a sailor blush. It’s not healthy.
Bending the covers or pages of books. It makes me want to stab someone with an ice pick. Most of my books like they’ve never been read, even though many have been read more than once. I refuse to let my husband read any of “my” books because he rips covers or dust covers, he cracks the spines. He has learned not to dog-ear pages because that means instant death.
I don’t know if this qualifies as a pet peeve, but it’s something I deal with regularly. I’m not quite sure how to word this succinctly… People who behave one way part of the time and then change their behavior 180 degrees the rest of the time. I’m not talking about anything as serious as bi-polar. I’m talking about someone who is a witch to you most of the time and then every once in a while will be super nice so that you are constantly on your guard waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s exhausting to be constantly vigilant. It sounds dramatic, but those “nice” periods make me think something is being plotted behind my back.
Okay, this one tends to be mostly work related for me, but people who don’t read past the first line of an email. I mean, I went through the trouble of typing it for a reason and if I type a longer email it’s on purpose. It’s because whatever I’m trying to convey is easier to get across in writing than on the phone or in a voicemail. Read it! Don’t then come back and ask me a question answered in the third line of the email!
Deep breaths, deep breaths.
One more and then I’m going to stop, both for the sake of my blood pressure and for the fact that if I don’t cut myself off I might go on forever. Once I opened the dam it doesn’t seem to want to close.
This one I get a lot from one particular person. I’ll get a text message that says, “Call me as soon as you can.” The person never tried to call me. Just sent a text. And then, I call and the reason for the request was either something totally not important or can’t be remembered by the person who wanted me to call. Those always give me the urge to chuck my phone across the room.

Those are some of my pet peeves, just a taste. How about you? Everybody has them. What are some of your pet peeves?

What Can’t I Live Without?

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This week the Wednesday blog group is looking at the top five things we can’t live without.  We have some new people joining us this week, welcome to Kellie St. James and Tess Grant!  

Click one of the names below to read the other posts:
Bronwyn
Jess
Kellie
Tess

Okay, so five things I can’t live without. I’m going to stay away from the serious things, family members, friends, pets, etc…. I think those are kind of a given.


So, here we go:

     1. Books. I can’t imagine a life lived without books and hopefully I’ll never have to.

      2. Unfortunately…my phone. I never wanted to be a person that relied on their phone, but apparently I do. I text mostly (talking on the phone is practically a phobia for me) but I also check my email and social apps obsessively. I’m not sure if it’s out of boredom most of the time or if it’s really a desire to know what’s going on.

      3. My Converse. I love Converse shoes; the classic, old school Chucks. For some reason I always feel more like myself when I put them on. I wear them year round, except for when we have four feet of snow on the ground because they aren’t very good cold weather shoes. I have a few pairs, but I always seem to stick with black or purple. My two signature colors.

      4. Ponytail holders or anything I can use to get my hair out of the way. Occasionally, I try cutting my hair short and it bugs me because I can’t pull it back. However, the minute it gets long enough, I rarely wear it down for a whole day. I think I look more like myself with my hair pulled back, if that makes sense.

      5. My purple, crocheted afghan that my husband’s grandmother made for me for Christmas the year before she passed away. Purple is my favorite color and the blanket is soft and big enough to wrap around me and I just love it. I rarely let my husband use it, which he says isn’t fair because his grandma made it. Too bad.

      So, those are the five things I can’t live without. What about you? What do you have in your life that you can’t imagine being without?