Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wrangling: {Alter-Ego}

(A weekly round up. Each week I am going to “wrangle” my life's happenings into a post filled with pictures, lists & general tidbits about the past 7 days.)

Whew. Hello, bloggies! Happy Friday :) This week has been a really busy one for me work-wise (we've got a HUGE April 15 deadline), and it feels really good to be able to sit down and reflect and use my brain creatively. Now if I can just hit publish before I pass out due to sheer exhaustion.... Here goes nothing!

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Okay. *Sighs* I really wish that I could talk your ear off this week about all the progress that I made after last weeks cry for help (& extremely helpful response, both on the blog and facebook front. Ah, social media, you never fail to impress me.)... But alas, nothing yet :-/

...Well, perhaps nothing was a bit harsh. I've got a lot of dreams, but nothing physically manifested yet. My weekend plan is as follows: Tonight, weed, weed, weed (*sigh, I'm hoping to channel 'my inner Hannah' and find peace & joy in working with my garden... even if it is, for now, a garden of weeds :); Tomorrow, heading over to Lowes to pick up a bright ceramic planter & fill it with cheery flowers. I'm going to put the planter on my porch so that on Sunday my guests (big bridal shower doings this weekend, remember?) will be welcomed with a bright splash of life & color.

But to hold you over until I can get some "before pictures" (read: yard now, pre-transformation), here is a little collage of what I'd like to see in my yard when all is said and done:

{A little note from me: I want primarily vibrant colors (reds, yellows, greens) because our house is black & white. ... But couldn't resist the softed muted pastels of the sedum & lavender...}

(Click plant names for photo credits/links! from top L: tulips, daylily, hosta,

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So Wednesday night, as I'm sitting on the floor in our family room working through my thoughts for the blog post (yes, it did, in fact, take me 3 whole days to get this post up...), I'm drinking chardonnay & snuggling with Gracie (multitasker extraordinaire)... and I'm watching Idol. I'm actually not typically an 'American Idol' watcher, but Jon was downstairs playing video games, and I needed a little background noise ambiance ;)

Anyway, I happened to pause between wine drinking, Gracie petting & thinking blogly thoughts to watch a performance of Blondie's 'Call Me' by a girl named Haley. I was totally sucked in (although, as I remember, the judges were lukewarm about the performance).... I mean, this girl was vibrant. And as I watched her prance around on the stage in her sequinned dress and purple knee high boots, curls flipping, it hit me: I was looking at a physical representation of my alter ego.

Okay, let me clarify a little bit: not her exactly... but what, in that moment, she represented: courage & the strength to live out loud; unapologetically...

Can I tell you a secret?

All right, fine. It's not a secret at all. (Those of you that have met me in person will be nodding right along with this.) The truth is this: I can be painfully shy, and I'm very quiet. Jon is definitely the loud (meaning that in the nicest way, dear!) extrovert in our relationship. I'm a great listener, but I pretty much fall flat on my face when I meet strangers.

Perhaps that's why writing & I get along so well together. Writing allows me to pour my heart out and say exactly what I want to say when I want to say it; in, what is to me, a non-threatening environment. Writing allows me to be the witty, insightful, sarcastic & compassionate person that I am; the person that I'm not sure always comes through in public. Now, I don't think I'm particularly 'socially awkward' (although, let's be real: we all have our moments)... I'm just saying that in some ways, I can be a lot more authentic on paper.

Although I am learning everyday that it's okay to fall more & more in love with who I am, sometimes... inevitably... I wish I possessed some different qualities. Sometimes I wish I was that stubborn, fiery, passionate girl that just exudes self confidence. The ballsy (sorry. can't find, for the life of me, a better word than that) woman who marches up to her opposition & looks them in the eye, daring them to turn down her offer. The woman who grabs the reigns of life and wraps them around her hands-- drawing them to her; holding her head high in rapturous joy, enjoying the ride.

She is my alter ego.

... And, my alter ego would totally wear purple knee high boots :)

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How to make the perfect tomato sandwich:
(1) Toast up 2 slices of bread, you favorite kind, as dark or as light as you like.
(2) While bread is toasting, slice tomato as thinly or thickly (?) as you like. If you're like me, you do a little bit of both :)
(3) Toast pops up. Rescue it from toaster and spread butter on one slice of bread so it gets nice & melty.
(4) Place tomatoes on buttered toast. Use several slices and cut around them so that you make one 'perfect' layer-- it's like a jigsaw puzzle!
(5) Generously sprinkly Krazy Salt over tomatoes. (If you're like me, this involves chasing Gracie out of the laundry room, where she darted while you were getting the salt.)
(6) Top with remaining slice of toast
(7) ENJOY!

This sandwich just tastes like summer to me. Enjoy!

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To continue with a theme from last week: The bunnies are out in full force. Here's Gracie chirping to them :)

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Though I don't have news for you in terms of yard progress, spurred on by today's delicious weather, I decided to dwell on the good. While there are things I cannot wait to change in the yard, these are a couple things I absolutley love: our tulips and this gorgeous tree by our garage.

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Now, to bring it full circle (Idol --> music.)

Monday evening I ate dinner with my parents, and then my mom left for book club. I spent the evening with my father, listening to music... catching up.

At one point near the end of the night we started talking about musical influences. My dad was primarily influenced by the rock and roll of the 60's and 70's: Hendrix, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Iron Butterfly (for the record, I totally just googled "In-A-Gadda-Davida" .... turns out it's spelled exactly how it sounds...)

He told me that he remembered one time when he was visiting my Aunt Midge and Uncle Joe (his oldest sister & husband), right around when 'In-A-Gadda-Davida' first became popular. My dad had brought his Iron Butterfly Record with him (one whole side dedicated to the 17 minute version), and he and Joe blasted it... all weekend long from the sound of it. He laughed as he remembered: Midge scolding them to turn it down-- what would the neighbors think?

I love these glimpses into who my father really is .... and oh, how I've missed sharing music like that.

"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.
Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents."
-Ludwig van Beethoven

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Good List

1. Jon. Always Jon.
2. Sunshine.
3. Coffee.
4. Pink nail polish.
5. Gracie.
6. Day-by-Day Calendars.
7. Long walks.
8. Exceeding my own expectations.
9. Giving.
10. I can finally say this: Congratulations on your engagement, Heidi!

Your Turn: How was your week? Any weekend plans?

Still coming this weekend: "Gardening" pics; a fun, fluff post; bridal shower recap :)