Friday, April 6, 2012

Eleven-Eleven-Eleven: Where I Share All My Crazies

Being the retiring wallflower that I am, I forced myself upon Jade at Tasting Grace when she posted this meme.  I nearly demanded to be tagged so I could play along.  Thank you, Jade, for allowing me to crash the party (and for being such a gracious hostess)!

The Rules:
1. Post the rules.
2. Post a photo of yourself along with 11 random facts.
3. Answer the questions given to you in the  tagger's post.
4. Create 11 new questions and tag new people to answer them.
5. Visit the people you tagged to let them know.

Before the haircut...

The Randoms:
1. Once upon a time, I was a violin player, and I wasn't half bad.  (I wasn't really good though, either.)  And ever since having kids, I've wished that I'd kept up with playing because it feels like it would be the perfect outlet from our crazy household's pull on me.  I adore playing.  I miss playing.  I will play again.  When I can find the time.

2.  I rather enjoy cleaning toilets.  There is something so satisfying about scrubbing a toilet (when it's my own, anyway); I imagine the brush is a lawnmower, plowing through invisible germs and guckyness before the magic whirlpool whisks it all away.  A clean toilet is nearly as satisfying to me as clean sheets.

3.  Which would lead you to think that I'm a very meticulous house cleaner.  I am not.  This place is a jacked-up mess, yo.

4.  When I was a teenager, I actually heard voices in my head. Wait, that's not really accurate; it was more that I felt an unknown someone else's emotions in my head.  At unexpected times, there would seem to be a panic of feeling that I could hear.  Raging somewhere in my head, but separate from my own feelings.  I really can't describe it well and you're probably about to click away to read something less insane, so I'll stop now.

5.  When Mia was a baby, I broke out into cold sweats when she started to cry.  With my third baby, I smile and admire his well-formed vocals.  Time heals all freak-outs.  Maybe experience helps a little.

6.  There is not much I find more terrifying than crickets.  Their jumpy, hairy, crooked legs are an ABOMINATION in an otherwise beautiful world.  *shudder*

7.  Breastfeeding might be my favorite past-time. 

8.  I think I'm hooked on dystopian literature right now because it makes me feel strong.  I read gutsy characters with myself in their shoes; I suddenly gain strength of will and body that aren't usually mine; I feel as if I could protect everyone I love because I am on the side of good.  So when I go back to that mountain of laundry, I imagine it as the man and I am REBELLING against it by not folding it.  I am full of righteous strength and the will to take control of my own circumstances.  I'm quite tough.

9.  My eyes are more gray than blue.  More icy than floaty.  More steely than flowery.  I think they're one of my details that I will always love.

10.  I sleep curled up on my right side, with one leg thrown out of the covers though never NEVER hanging off the edge of the bed.  That's far too dangerous. 

11.  When I was little, I would stare into the mirror for hours. The room behind me seemed like an unexplored territory: mysterious and always cooler than the one I actually lived in. I made up stories about the room -- secret passageways and rotating closets -- and created a character just like myself to live there. But she was a mirror-version, too. Much more interesting and mysterious than me.  She was poised and confident.  I wanted to step into the mirror and live there instead. 

And after the haircut!

Jade's Questions:
1. If you had to live a homesteading kind of life (i.e. planting all your own food and raising cows and chickens and pigs, etc.), how do you think you’d do?  I'd probably fail miserably for several years until I learned some things (mostly gumption and anti-laziness) and then I'd succeed, but very grumpily. 

2.  How many boyfriends (or lovers!) did you have before you got married (not counting your husband)?  Um, maybe, two boyfriends?  I didn't date much, though, and I wouldn't call them boyfriends so much as 'boys I hung out with or met at parties and kissed for awhile.'  Justin was my first serious boyfriend.  My first everything.  I feel very lucky to have him.

3.  If you could drop everything and take a one-week vacation all by yourself somewhere, where would you go? What would you do?  I have a mental fascination with northern beaches.  Like coastal British Columbia or Maine in the summertime.  I think of them as wild and rocky and aggressively peaceful (is that a real thing?) without the heat of southern beaches.  So I'd go to a northern beach, I think, with several books, and I'd read until my neck got sore, and then I'd wander around the town (which would be small) by myself to explore.  It's a quiet vacation.

4.  What chore do you hate the most?  Cleaning out the fridge of its old food that we've forgotten about.  Gag.

5.  What do you wish more people would know or notice about you?  That I put on a positive face most of the time because it helps life go by easier.  But it doesn't mean I'm simple-minded or ignorant about the hard truths.  I merely try to be joyful instead of dwell on negatives.  One of the only times I express my negatives or fears is through writing; it feels safer.

6.  Do you prefer heat or cold?  I prefer a happy medium!  Heat is unbearable, cold is irritating, seventy degrees is just right.  Though if I were pressed, I think I'd choose cold; hot days make me cranky.

7.  Red or white wine?  I wish I knew -- I don't drink much wine, and if I do, my only preference is for it to be sweet.  Dessert wines (which, I hear, aren't beloved by true wine connoisseurs) are the best.

8.  What are some of your go-to, easy dishes to cook at home?  Soups, stews, chilis -- they are quick enough to be thrown together easily, but simple enough that I can leave them simmering all day without ruining them.  And Taco Tuesdays make everyone happy.

9.  Favorite way to unwind?  Reading.  While nobody touches me.  I need space, man.

10.  What’s your love language? (i.e. do you communicate love through: words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch, purchasing gifts, or quality time?) Does it match your husband’s?  I really need to look deeper into this -- read the book or something -- because I'm so interested in knowing more.  I think I communicate love by giving words of affirmation and doing acts of service.  My husband communicates love with physical touch.  (Ahem.)  We do not match here, precisely; more than physical touch at the end of a long day, I would rather know that the dishes are being done (or something) than get a good snuggle.  (See number 9...)

11. What is one skill you wish you had learned?  I wish were a better dancer.  Seriously, I'm HORRID.  I have wonderful rhythm but terrible coordination.  I can memorize a routine well enough, but when it comes to just dancing?  Like in a living room dance party?  Let's just say I'm SUPER GLAD that my family loves me enough to see past the wonky moves I throw down. 

My Questions:
1. Do you always read the entire book once you get started, or have you ever stopped halfway through a book?  If so, what was it, and why?

2. Which would you prefer to spend an afternoon doing: painting with a room full of preschoolers or painting with a group of adults?

3. Is there a television show on right now that you try to never miss?  What is it?

4.  What is the most adventurous food item you've ever tried?

5.  If you could have as many children as you wanted without fear of discomfort (either physical or financial) or social judgement, how many do you think you'd have? 

6.  What foreign culture fascinates you the most?

7.  When you're grocery shopping, what snack item has the greatest ability to tempt you into an unnecessary purchase?

8.  When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you succeed?

9.  If you could go back to school and get any degree, would you choose differently than you did the first time?

10.  You have a $500 gift card to the closest mall: what will you spend it on?

11.  You are headed into a party full of people you've never met before and where mingling is expected.  What one word describes your mindset as you open the door?

The Tagged:
Kam at Nap Wars
Sarah at A Line at a Time
Brook at Redhead Reverie
Sarah at The Unwrapping
and anyone else who's interested!


  1. That was a fun read :o) A good book to read for the love languages is called "The Five Love Languages" I believe its by Gary Smalley (I'll get back on here and give you the right author if thats wrong). I enjoyed reading it because Im very much words of affermation and my husband is 100% acts of service. So I make sure to tell myself hes telling me hes loving me when he starts the laundry, does the dishes, helps with the kids etc (he does tell me he loves me but I like to be complimented a lot. I also feel lazy when he helps so much, you know?). Anyhoo, that was really long.
    Also I lived right near of the coast of BC once upon a time. Gorgeous place to live, I would move back in a heartbeat.

    1. I think I'd like to read the book -- thank you for the recommendation! And it sounds like your hubby is speaking my language for sure! Do you think he appreciates that your words of affirmation are how you show love?

      And now BC is even HIGHER on my list of perfect spots! I need to see it soon!

  2. Ha! I almost got it right, its Gary Chapman that wrote the book.

  3. "Time heals all freak-outs." Wisdom, Sarah, wisdom!

    Oh, my friend, I've liked you for years and this just confirms my initial hunch that we are kindred spirits, yes, we are. I don't share your horror of crickets, but cockroaches freak me out. And I, too, hate cleaning out the refrigerator... which is why Ben usually does it ;)

    1. Ew, cockroaches...dirty refrigerators...if we lived together, we'd probably get nothing done. Except read on the couch with a pile of cookies between us. Which sounds pretty much perfect :) Ben and Justin can kill bugs and gag at moldy green beans for us!

  4. I like the phrase aggressively peaceful. I think northern beaches are exactly that. But they're also cold!! No swimsuits!! I will do this meme-- but give me ten days or so. We're on spring break and up at my parents' and everything is just a little too chaotic :)

    1. Who needs a swimsuit -- I'd have a book, and that's all I want :)

      And I'll hold you to it; I need Random-Robin! But I hope your spring break has been wonderful!

  5. I think I want a t-shirt that says "Time heals all freak outs" it is so wise.

    Also, if we meet bring your violin (that you don't get to play) and I'll bring my banjo (that I want to re-learn how to play because its been so long) and we'll have a jam session fo sho. Can you imagine the glorious banjo strummin / violin plucking we could accomplish together?

    I loved your answers and your new questions. :)


    1. I can absolutely imagine it! Oh, we'd the coolest string-players. I mean, if there *is* such a thing as cool string players ;)

  6. Oh, man, I need my space too. And my husband's love language is touch FOR SURE. And after being climbed on be small children all day? Snuggling is the last thing that makes me feel loved!

    As for the voices in your teenaged head, you don't sound crazy! But... just curious... have you at any time ever been attacked by Lord Voldemort? Any lightning-y scars anywhere on your person? I just think that might explain it :)

    1. Haha! Oh, Lucy, I love ya. I don't have any recollection of He Who Shall Not Be Named, but I DO remember this one time that I coerced a donut into my mouth by sheer force of felt faintly magical ;)

  7. Can I get a t-shirt that says "Time heals all freak outs" too? Anyway, thanks for joining in! I'm super glad you asked. I never realized this could be such a fun way to get to know each other better, but it really is! So I'm glad we're participating!

    Super cute haircut by the way :)

    #4 on your first list is REALLY interesting. Makes me wish I could channel that more for my creative writing. And also makes me really curious what that's all about.

    "Aggressively peaceful" is a fantastic phrase. I totally know what you mean.

    I'm also all about the words of affirmation and acts of service. That's how I express myself naturally. But I think as time goes by I kind of draw on all of them (maybe purchasing gifts least of all) in appreciating love given and in giving it myself. I think Toby is more about purchasing gifts, followed by quality time and physical touch (acts of service least). I don't think matching each other is important, though, so long as you recognize and appreciate each other's way of communicating love. Problems, I think, only arise when someone *expects* one kind so much they don't notice when another is being given.

    Love your questions too! My answer to #7? Oreos.

    P.S. I hope my response to your comment yesterday wasn't overbearing. It was meant to be encouraging, but sometimes I get way too excited and over zealous. :}

    1. That's why I love these things -- there are so many tidbits of interest that we don't know about each other. It's the little things that often draw me to a person, as much as the grand, sweeping knowledge.

      And I agree that it's not important to match in our love languages; just to use the knowledge to help understand one another and make your attempts more meaningful.

      Also? Oreos. They are perfect in every way.

      Also again, your comment was PERFECT. I keep meaning to email you, but instead, i keep re-reading the comment instead. It's really pushed me to move FORWARD because at least then I won't regret not doing so. Even if it's hard. Thank you so much for the encouragement. It was exactly what I needed to hear. So much so that I need you to move in to my neighborhood so I can wail to you and get a swift kick in the behind when I need it. Or a hug ;)

  8. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE CRICKETS! Oh my goodness. One time, when I was about 18, I was dreaming that I had a cricket on my head. Sure enough, that freaked me out enough to wake me and when I put my hand on the top of my head there REALLY WAS A CRICKET ON MY HEAD!! ugggh, makes me twitchy just thinking about it.

    1. Oh, lord. Now I feel one on my scalp...uck! They're just so BULBOUS. And WIRY. At THE SAME TIME. Freaks.

  9. Ever read Anne of Green Gables? She had a mirror world and her "mirror person's" name was Katie :) Or was that only in the movie? Well, either way, it made me think of Megan Follows :) Also "time heals all freak outs" -- true dat, home slice :) And love languages? Mine used to be quality time...then we had children and now it's acts of service all.the.way.

    1. Oh my goodness, of COURSE I've read (and watched) Anne of Green Gables! I can't believe I never connected the two!

      I hear you about how having children can totally change your love language. I think I used to feel love through receiving gifts, but now I'm like "DUDE. That is ONE more thing for me to clean up, and plus? THAT COST MONEY!" Acts of service are free ;)

      And I LOOOVE that you called me home slice. You're so gangsta ;)

  10. Yay! I am so glad to be tagged! I can't wait to do this. And, I love your hair. Also - I hope you don't think it makes me a creeper but I might need to do something similar to my shaggy post baby head! Thanks for tagging me!

    1. Creep away! I'm glad you like the hair :)

      And I can't wait to read your post! There's something awesome about random, you know?

  11. i had fun reading this. thanks for tagging me -- i finally put up my post. well, kind of. i did as much as i could. :)


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?