adventure

Meet the Cast

Meet Mandy. She is sweet like candy. The sweetest girl you ever did meet. Kindness is her way of life. Whenever something sweet happens candy is involved. Do you have a friend as sweet as my candy I mean Mandy?

How about Secret Sally? Sally is the confidante of the group. The trusted soul you share all your secrets with. Your secret is always safe with Sally. I surely hope you have a Sally to do life with.

Daring Danielle is a a diamond in her own way. She dares to be different in many ways. She is the pal that invites you to be daring. Dares you to try a new skill.  Dares you to test your comfort zone. Dares you to test a new vacation spot. Daring Danielle will keep you asking for more.

Completely Crystal. When I say complete, I mean the complete package head to toe and everything in between. The brains. The brawn. The genuine heart. The flirtatious giggles. The adventurous soul. The flashy and famous sunshine girl. The one from the T-shirt. Bare it all kind of gal. She keeps the tribe spirit alive on many levels.

Simple Sarah. She is simple some days but complex other days. Sarah is fun to be with. Some days she is a drunk nurse while other days she is an actuary. Such a simple girl yet complex in many ways. Sarah is a such a great cast member.

There are so many cast members to speak about. So many stories to tell. Unfortunately the stories are still unfolding. The book is full of adventures but also tales of scandal, vengeance, treachery, betrayals, intrigue, and utter stupidity.

The betrayals are hideous. The adventures are amazing. The vengeance is unspeakable. The scandal is press worthy. The treachery would embarrass any grown woman’s mother. Interesting stuff coming to light in the future.

A real page turner, if I do say so myself.

author moments

Symbols

Meaning is hidden everywhere. Places. Signs. Memories. That little park you pass on the way to work every day is the place where someone proposed. It is also the place where some friends had a huge fight. It’s the place where a kid broke her arm and ended up in a cast. Maybe it’s even the place someone first learned to drive, smoke pot, who knows. Countless scenes in countless stories have taken place there. All in the little park you pass each day without thinking.

Meaning, symbols, roadblocks are everywhere. We stumble over the hearts and sometimes heartaches of others without even knowing it.

Music is potent for memories with me. I grew up singing and listening to tunes all the time. Paul Simon, the Statler Brothers, and Dolly Parton on my parents’ 8-track tape deck in our conversion van. Show tunes and standards I belted out with our player piano in the basement. And then the love songs I would pine over each night, wishing in vain someone would dedicate something to me. It took decades for me to listen to the music of Chicago without bristling or quickly switching it off. Even today, there are songs I may never listen to again. Places I may never go. Overly sensitive? Perhaps. After all, it is just a place, a song, who cares?

Maybe I’m just too much. I willingly embrace being labeled sentimental. Someone watching closely may see the quick shadow roll across my face when that potent memory pops up. Most will miss it.

Just part of what makes me me.

For some people, cardinals are a special symbol. A reminder or even a visit from someone departed and dear. A symbol more purposeful than just happenstance…a place you used to go, a song you used to sing to. This is more of a sign. For me, it’s ladybugs. They always pop up at the most unlikely times. They bring me back to myself. A reassurance. A reminder.

Recently, someone new in my life called me ladybug as a nickname. And it stuck. Sometimes when she says it, it makes me smile, sometimes tear up, sometimes just makes me hold my breath an extra beat. She could never have known that ladybugs are so special for me. Just a sign that she has some role to play, a scene to share. A hand reaching out of the day-to-day doldrums to remind me of the bigger picture.

What it all means.

healthy hacks

Backup Plans

I am a “just in case” kinda gal. Belt and suspenders, as it were (and probably a safety pin or two in my pocket for good measure). (And a carabiner clip). I like to have extras, options, backup plans. Leaving things to chance makes me skittish. I can easily spin out on worst case scenarios. I can think down too many rabbit holes. But I like to be prepared for as much as I can imagine.

Sometimes this comes up in my fitness life. I have been working, slowly but surely, up to #35 dumbbells in different movements. I wrote it in my goal book. Maybe a year ago I still had a hard time picking one #35 up. But I have been working on it, ever so slowly, over the year. When dumbbells come up in workouts, I will usually grab two sets. One I will start with, and then one that is 5 pounds lighter, just in case. Usually, if I have the lighter set, I don’t use them. They just sit there. But if I need them, I can grab them without wasting too much time. They’re my backup plan. My insurance policy.

I carry around too much stuff in my car. I bring my computer places in case I have extra time to work or write. I keep an extra set of workout clothes and shoes in my trunk in case an emergency bro sesh or walk / hike with friends breaks out. I carry emergency protein often. I have camp chairs all the time (and recently, a dear friend did actually need one and I happened to be passing by! Ta Da!)

Some succeed in life by traveling light. They will figure things out whatever happens. I admire that quality…I work on adopting that effortless approach sometimes but mostly I don’t. I usually have a backup plan, even if I never tell anyone about it. Do I waste time and energy overpreparing? Sometimes. Do I get satisfaction out of being ready, come what may? To some degree, yes.

Just a bit of life in my corner of the world.

health

That Cup of Coffee

I like to have a cup of coffee in the morning when certain circumstances arise to put me in the mood for a cup of joe. Sometimes it’s a group coffee event while other times I’m solo or maybe even in a dynamic duo.

I could be at the farm and want to look out at the hillside and smell the fresh air with a cup of coffee in hand. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s hot, cold or something in between. It’s the environment and the coffee seems to be a warm and soothing way to take in all in.

Today I had a cup of coffee by the window in my kitchen. I was sitting solo while others slept in. I just watched the trees with a gentle breeze on a pretty weekend morning. Nothing fancy but a good way to kick start a busy day. Today’s coffee was warm from the keurig with a squirt of sugar free vanilla syrup and a splash of creamer. Just right for me in my cute mug I picked out. It’s funny how sometimes the cup I choose makes me smile as much as the coffee. Simple pleasures.

Somedays it’s a Starbucks kind of morning. If it’s chilly I go for the hot caramel macchiato: if it’s warm outside I’ll take the iced version. When I get the iced coffee it’s all about the presentation. A photo is normally taken by me when it’s just right. The milk about half full. The coffee floating on top. The caramel drizzling sliding down the side. It’s a delightful sight that makes me smile. Some days the field trip to the coffee shop is just the break I need from the chaos of the day.

Then there is the plus one coffee. I may meet a friend for a cup of coffee. I may make a crazy tiktok coffee with my kiddo to test the latest fad coffee. The last one was a hit with almond milk and my frother. I’ve even had a coffee date drive-up style during Corona to keep my 6 feet distance. Sipping side by side in vehicles. Only in a pandemic would that seem normal.

Sometimes I just want to sit outside at a little bistro table and sip away. I could be a party of one or two. I could be at home or out and about. It doesn’t matter to me. It’s the comforting feel of the warm coffee and the environment. The fresh air. The scenery. The smell of fresh brewed coffee. Sometimes the company is good but sometimes the silence is even better.

That cup of coffee. Just one cup. Many thoughts. Many conversations. That cup of coffee is such a sweet addition to my week.

adventure

The Crystal Ball

Recently I got a gift. It was a strange gift. The gift was a crystal ball. Can you believe I got a crystal ball? It was funny at the exact moment but it got funnier as time progressed.

The person who gifted me such a unique gift said I bought this for you because you always say “I don’t have a crystal ball” whenever I ask you a question that I really want a clear answer to.

I never really thought about that key phrase until that moment. You see, I say it a good bit. I am not psychic so I can’t predict the future. If I don’t know the answer I may say that phrase with a little sarcasm. And I just happened to say it multiple times to this person. Pretty funny if you ask me.

I thought about where I would put my crystal ball. I opted for a shelf in my office. It’s all shined up and positioned nicely on its base stand. I’m sure I’ll have to dust it often. I will do the dusting to make sure it remains nice and shimmery. I’m sure it will be talked about often. The gift that becomes a talking point.

I will often look at it when I’m using the key phrase about not having a crystal ball because now I have a crystal ball! Maybe that means I’ll have to consult my crystal ball instead of using the phrase. Of course a crystal ball can’t really give answers so who even made up that saying?
Today’s random thought post is about the crystal ball. What would you do if actually had a crystal ball? Since I have one I may just have to put it to the test.

Enjoy your week and if my crystal ball is accurate, you might even get a giggle out of this post.