Sandy Butts Everywhere

Busy day today wrapping up a few things in getting ready for my return to classes.  Still feels funny to say that & makes me slightly giddy!  I know I’m a bit of a geek & will be kicking myself for doing this later when I am struggling to study or complete homework, but for now I’m just happy!  The closer it gets to the first class the more I realize needs to be done.

  • classes paid for: check
  • parking pass: check
  • ID & libray card: check
  • books: check (& saved around $70 getting them online since the store is closed til Monday, even WITH shipping)
  • get new insurance: working on that one.  I HATE figuring out which medical insurance plan to go with.
  • all the other crap “needed” to attend school:  ……yeah…. working on getting all that stuff.  So much could be helpful, but thinking old school – pens, paper.. with a dash of new school – memory stick.  Who knows.

Already I am feeling like the nontraditional student.  The faces on campus today certainly looked younger than me.  Learned that you can now rent textbooks instead of buying them and they now make erasable highlighters!  Guess things have changed a little since I was carrying around the books.

Part of me just wants to start already but another side says cherish these free moments.  Soon I will be nose deep in books and working again on the side.  Make memories while I can and live each second.

Which is why I am spending as much time as possible with this view

is there anything better than can be done in life alone that makes you feel better than relaxing on the sand with the sound of waves rushing on to the shore?  Thankfully most of the time its still not crowded and the sound of the waves is all I hear other than the occasional engine of the lifeguard’s truck or today the sound of a couple of Ospreys passing by on route back to base.  (I think those guys intentionally take the coastal path to scope the beach & who could blame them!)

I honestly think without the ocean, I would be insane.  It has a therapeutic magic that is unlike anything else.  At least for me.

With today being the 10th I thought it fitting to give some love back to the beach.  To protect the piece of peace in my world.  Plus I’m inspired by someone who is locally doing great things!

Amazes me at how many cigarette butts are left behind.  Even when I did smoke, we never left the butts in the sand.  You picked it up & took it with you.  Obviously not everyone acts the same.

Thankfully there are people who are working hard to keep our beaches & ocean from being polluted with the trash left behind.  Read a tweet today that at Wrightsville Beach, It Starts With Me blogger picked up NINE butts in about a second!  Completely unacceptable.  Currently there is a push to ban smoking on our local beaches.  I understand that many would be upset by this, but when you aren’t respecting the beaches, I’m not sure you deserve to be smoking there.

Unfortunately this isn’t just a problem here.  People are trashing our beaches everywhere.  Check out a west coast view of the issue at The Daily Ocean blog.

Clearly if you see what they can do in just a few moments a day, you have to feel inspired to clean up after yourself when you visit!

There is only one type of butt that should be on our beach! – mine relaxing without seeing a piece of trash or smelling anything but salt water.

Hoping through the efforts she & her family are committed to, others gain a better understanding of the impact of such a seemingly small thing.   May her actions inspire others to join in the process.  I know it has me thinking more about what is in the sand.  Perhaps next time I go out, I will take my own bag to collect trash and those pesky cigarette butts.

Maybe even take it a step further and join the local chapter of Surfrider Foundation.  Certainly feeling like giving some love to the waters that make me feel so alive and ground me into feeling that in the middle of all that stresses me, I am there in that moment and I am as I should be.

Certain sounds just soothe.  My grandmothers giggles & yes she could get them often.  She would get tickled over the most random things and then everything would be silly.  It over took her and she would be helpless to the laughter.  Deep laughing to the point where the tears come to your eyes and you can barely speak.  Skip that days ab work out because you are going to be feeling them.  How anyone could possibly not join it was beyond me.  You wouldn’t have a clue what started it, but it felt right to join in.

The ocean is similar.  It mellows.  Takes me to a place inside that still believes in happy endings, love and connections stronger than death.  Comforts me in a way that feel esoteric.   Heavenly.  As if you have found the place where you venture into the outskirts of the after.  You feel peace and forget worries since only your soul will live on.  As long as you have a pure soul and can deal with your choices, you can find peace for a while.  As if laying on that warm sand, feeling the sun’s rays, the body just slips slightly out of line with the spirit.  Like the many kites flown on the beach, our spirits seem to feel safe enough to float & expand beyond our limits.  How many great ideas have been discovered on those sands?  How many troubles have been reevaluated only to see they really weren’t such a big deal to begin with once you remove the passion of the moment.  Its just a magic that is beyond comprehension.  Primal tie to our soul.

Even typing about it has slowed me down and made me think its time to sleep.  Baxter has been snoring away by my side for a while and the birds have long gone “night night”.  We will have to see who is going to be waking who tomorrow.  For a change it may actually end up being one of them!

One night I will sleep on the beach.

I can only imagine the peaceful night that would be.


Rocking Out in Red

Delayed post.  Sorry. Crazy weekend surprising my parents with a visit & slight restricted computer wise.  I ripped my power cord for my laptop & had to order a new one.  LOVE the Kindle Fire, but as far as blogging goes its a tad limited.  Then again that isn’t what it is intended to do, so I am perfectly fine with that.

As they say the best laid plans….

So I am LATE on my 10 on 10 post & I had intended on posting on time for the ROCK THE RED PUMP project.

I wore the shoes to work on Friday!

Love them & seemed so did everyone else.

I stood in solidarity with other women across the nation on Friday & Saturday in raising awareness in the benefits of getting tested for HIV/AIDS.  Prevention is key, but also is knowing your status.  The sooner you know the sooner you can get care & the less likely it will be the death sentence that it once was.  Plus then you are better able to protect those you love.

The best part – it is easy.

Needles are NOT fun & I am the world’s worst for passing out.  Honestly the sight of a needle makes me queasy.  So if I can do it, anyone can.  It is hard to wait for the results.  Even as someone who is safe, you start to doubt & wonder.  The “what if” game will drive you nuts.  But isn’t that what you are doing by not being tested? The difference is when you are tested, you get  the answers and you can plan the reaction to the results.  Be that a celebratory strut or getting support to deal.

As well as the National Rock the Red Pump day, it was also time for another 10 for 10 donation! Love these days of the month.

In honor of the spirit of the day, I went with an organization that I stand beside in support.  They offer HIV testing & reasonably priced care for those who need it and might otherwise be prevented from getting it.

yes I am supporting Planned Parenthood.

Take that plunge

I admit it… I forgot yesterday was the 10th! Work has been intense & frankly I have a lot on my mind.

But a few hours late, I celebrated 10 on 10!  I guess technically its more like $10 on 11th, but whatever.

Sometimes people do amazing things because they like to push themselves.  Sometimes people do amazing things because they care about others. Sometimes people do amazing things simply because they can.

I am so grateful for those people for being inspirations.  Showing the rest of us what can be done.

A fellow blogger & friend amazes me with her dedication to jogging & ability to stick with the program, even on rest days!  But now she is going & doing something else pretty amazing… a polar bear plunge! yes.. its the COLDEST weekend we have had so far and she is ready to jump right into the ocean!  Hoping for her sake next week is warmer, even though I know the water is still going to be brutal.

While I’m not up for tossing myself in to the frigid Atlantic, I am up for tossing some cash her way in support.  Lucky enough not only does this small gift support her, but also she is supporting a great cause – the Special Olympics.

So what about you? Are you up for the plunge? or are you chicken like me & more up for donating? Either way at least you should do something, which would make you pretty amazing.

Outside of a dog a book is man’s best.

Since adding the 10 on 10 aspect to this blog, I have really started to look forward to the 10th of each month.  Its a chance to just give without a reason or giving myself grief about “can I afford to do this?”, “is there a better way to spend this cash”… nope.  Budgeted & its not my money – its to be shared.  More than that its a chance to support in efforts I care about or are inspired by.

This month I am certainly inspired.

Having just finished a book within a couple of days, I am officially bitten by the reading bug.  Started book number 3 of 2012 – still another non-fiction one that is slowly being read, but another fiction work has sucked me in.  I know reading on the treadmill isn’t going to win any races, but it certainly made that 30 minutes fly faster than ever!

I am so grateful for being able to read.

Its a gift that my parents gave to me early in life.  Teachers who knew that by learning to read, you give keys to life.  So many lessons and secrets that would never be discovered otherwise are found within the pages bound in each cover.  Knowledge, guidance, confirmation and reminders.  Even a space to get away from life..  all discovered in books.  The library was a place where we were very familiar, even before the days where my Dad retired from teaching to work there.  New books were always coming into our house.  So many nights spent together reading “just one more story” before we were tucked in & lights out.

evidently my sister was really excited to hear about the Baskin Robbins adventures

Historically, (WAY back when) I know it was something taught to boys, not girls – since it was more for business and government which was not for the fairer sex.  Now I am lucky enough to live in an era where barely anything is off limits for me as a girl.  I can explore the world equally.

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”  ~Sir Richard Steele

Part of me still struggles with reading electronically, but it works.  It is easy & I guess eco-friendly.  But there is a magic beauty to be found in turning a page to find written words there for you to see.

So this month, I want to share the gift.

I want to help others to read.

There is nothing that will ever give me a glimpse into what the world is like for someone who is illiterate, but I know from work that there are adults locally who simply do not have the skill.  It breaks my heart & I have to wonder what life they have had to endure to reach adulthood without anyone being there who was able to connect in a way that they learned.

“Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.” ~Mortimer J. Adler

So my gift this month is to the Cape Fear Literacy Council.

This group works hard to enable local residents to learn to read.  They work with those who are just learning to read and people who are learning to understand English.  They offer a place for everyone to grow in their learning.

What better gift to give right now?

Even when reality seems hard to face, a vacation from the day can be found in a book.

So thank you Mom & Dad.  You have enabled me to go further than you can imagine by taking the time to share with me this love of reading.  I know it probably wasn’t a quick or easy task, but I truly am grateful.

Well Hello 2012

So its 2012.

for blog 2012

Feel any different than yesterday?

As a true Southerner I will be having my black eyed peas today.  Kale chips sound better than collards & easier to fix so that’s on board.  I don’t even remember the significance of these traditions, but I think it has to do with money.  Not risking.  Just like the 12 grapes & 12 wishes at midnight, why not?

I was good & waited til last night to put the new sheets on my bed that my parents were sweet enough to give me.  So I woke in 600 thread count purple softness.  Also get to wear a fresh new Panthers tee for the first game of the year against the Saints.  New year WITH a Panthers game from bed is a perfect start to things!

Today is day one of the latest greatest challenge…  hoping to stick with this one.  Hate that the last one ended up being more than I was really into.  But this one is simple.  Move 30 minutes each of the first 100 days of 2012!  Sounds easy enough, right?  Easy enough that I should do it.  Start the year off right.

While on the 100 kick, I’m also revisiting a challenge I previously have done.  Out with the old & maybe later in with the new.  Time to purge 100 Things again! Today & tomorrow I’m off work & its a great time to work on dejunktifying my life.  (yes that is a word. I just made it one.) That and tossed 2 things out of my world.

Confession.  Last year I watched 127 movies but only finished TWO books.  Head hangs very low.  I started several I never finished.  The real blame is probably all the blogs I read.  I can’t even imagine how many I have read this year.  This realization gave me an added push to go check out eReaders.  This year I will read more books.  Maybe the eReader would help.  Maybe not.  Certainly worth a try.  Just need to figure out which one is best for me & find a time when the store has it & I can spend the cash.  Could be a great reward for completing the first 100 day challenges!  I admit I love the whole books on the shelf look.  The cover art.  The pages & size of the book.  I’ve been hesitant to hop on the eReader train & ditch the old fashioned reading train, but who said you can’t read both ways?  Save the shelf space for the really loved ones instead of the ones I keep wanting to get around to reading.

Started doing the 10 on 10 giving last year & there is no way I am stopping.

Feels great to give back to various organizations that are doing great things all over in so many ways.  Hoping that others follow me & are inspired to give when & where they can.  We are so lucky in all we have & we always have something to share… even if only a kind word or smile.

Also I am back on board with the budgeting every month.  Its been long enough at this job where I can predict the paychecks.  Its time to work on that debt snowball.  Inspired by Dave Ramsey, but I’m not that hard core (yet).  Still need to enjoy & live life, but being aware of where every dollar is going isn’t a bad thing.  I’m a Virgo, its my nature.  I feel more comfortable knowing I am controlling my cash rather than just watching it flow in & out.

Need to make a decision that I’m dreading but not sure why.  You can be sure I will blog about it sooner or later, but for now its just one of those things where I need to figure out if risking who I am is worth becoming who I could be.  I’m amazed by everything that science can do, but do I want to be a guinea pig & risk it all?  Good thing is that I can put it on hold as long as I need.

So much opportunity in a new year.

Going to spend today continuing to dream & see what best fits me.  Hoping that 2012 finds us all Happy, Healthy, Safe & Secure.  May we always be making wishes & making those wishes come true – if they are what is best for me & you.

Time for pug snuggles, parrot dancing & cheering on the Panthers in that bitter sweet last game of the season.  Before I know it, they will return & hopefully I will again be able to sit in BOA Stadium for at least one home game.

Mustache Ali

Moustache? for moi?

maybe not… but for today I have to.  Inspired.

Thanks to Twitter I learned of this fundraiser from a seasoned grower himself!  Check out @Jergo for his status on this year’s new growth.  Better yet do like I have & DONATE!  You can give a little or a lot, but every little bit helps kids who could really use the cash.

2011 Mustaches for Kids Promo from Matt Ev on Vimeo.

I moustache you to help too!

Remember back when I said this month’s 10 on 10 was going to be at a later date?  This is why! Had to support this great cause.

Wilmington’s Mustaches For Kids is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has been giving to children’s charities since 1999. These guys spend a month growing mustaches and raising cash for local organizations.

Donating is easy.  Just go HERE, make whatever donation you can to (remember to choose “PERSONAL” & “GIFT”) & follow along as the month goes on to see this year’s ‘stache progress.

To those participating: GROW ON!

Funny enough, facial hair has always sort of been a turn off for me. Throw back to bad experiences of my youth made me slightly untrusting, well other than Santa.  Still lately I am learning about the beard. Part of healing has to be rethinking those thoughts that you think but don’t really have a good reason why.  If you can’t defend the belief, why support it.  So open mind, open heart & forget the fear.

Finding myself seeing past it to the comforting eyes behind.  The guys who are participating in Mustaches for Kids prove the fantastic things these hairy guys can do.  So tossing the old urges aside & opening my world to a whole new view.

Added bonus I never thought of before: its great for exfoliating.  Don’t think about that too long.  Probably too much information but my lips are doing wonderful even in this cooler weather!  Funny enough one of the dates I thought wouldn’t amount to much more than just a night out is the one that I’m finding myself thinking more and more about.  Who knows where it will lead but I know it tis the season of the ‘stache! (no not @jergo! Don’t want to start any rumors by misunderstanding.)

Now I am afraid I MOUSTACHE away & defurrify my face.  Admittedly the fuzz is not my style.

Never Forget, Never Be Able to Repay

Tomorrow is Veterans’ Day.

I know today is the 10th, which means I should be doing the 10 on 10 thing – & I am, but this month, its going to be discussed later.  Promise its worth the wait.

Today is all about those who serve and protect.

One of the perks of my job is meeting different people I never would have met in my non-work world.  Sure we might be in the same store at the same time or dine at tables side by side, but we would never speak openly about our lives.  The interview conversations aren’t exactly two sided & stick to the professional life story, usually, but its interesting to hear all the glimpses into life.

Thankfully I was lucky enough to get to participate in a job fair today for local veterans who are unemployed.

Just like people who spend their lives thinking of others first, they had a session, over the lunch they treated us to, for the organizations participating educating everyone about ways to help and going over some of the details of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).  Some of the example of companies going above & beyond had me almost in tears of joy listing to how people take care of each other.  Warmed my heart to know there are so many who truly see the sacrifices these men & women make giving years of their lives.

At one point we were asked if anyone knew what today was… several knew it was the birthday of the United States Marine Corp.  Next came “Does anyone know how old?”… silence.  So I popped up with 236! That bit of knowledge (thanks to Twitter friends), won me a prize.

Fancy, smancy coaster to bring back memories of the day & remind me at my desk each day of those who are out protecting me & those who need assistance in finding a way back into civilian life again afterwards.

Local leaders spoke, interesting enough these leaders were also Veterans.  Listened to a statement regarding this week being “Hire a Veteran” week.

But the majority of the event had networking of companies hiring and those veterans learning about the opportunities.  May have even found a few people myself who would be perfect for a couple of positions I know of locally we have been trying to fill.  Just a great event.  Able to give them time and feedback, when they have given so much.

True honor to get the chance to speak with these men & women.  Get the chance to thank them face to face.  Hoping I can connect them with new hope and the next step in their transitions back.    There is no imaginable way possible to ever repay them for the things they have sacrificed.

Hoping that everyone tomorrow takes the time to thank someone active in the military or who has been.  Remind them that what they have done still matters and is still appreciated.

Then maybe we can continue to say thanks through out the year instead of just once a year.

..and as one speaker reminded us, its especially important to thank the World War veterans while they are still here.

Wishing I could thank my grandfathers one more time.