Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Random That Makes Me Me.

I've done this before, but I thought it might be fun to do it again, years later, and compare the randomness that makes up who I am. I did not read the other list I came across, and I won't until I finish this one.

100 Random Facts about Abby

1. Blogging has been hard for me, since switching from the one I used to keep. It's mental, I know,but still, it's been hard.
2. I love color, patterns, and matching those that others would not.
3. I miss scrapbooking, and I think I shall take it back up again soon, especially since I have the room right now at the store to do it.
4. I never in a million thought i would be a store owner.
5. Why I never thought that, I don't know, since everyone I know has always encouraged me to write a book and open a store. Go figure.
6. I would love to write a book...a book about the random things that make up my life.
7. I have a terrible, schmerrible memory, and it gets worse every. single. day. For. REALS.
8. I never thought I would be divorced, and certainly not remarried.
9. I miss my Grandpa Painter and my Gramps very badly, and the older I get, the more I miss them. Same goes for Jason's Mammy and Pa.
10. I wish that my kids had the relationship with my parents that I had with theirs.
11. I'm happy that they do have that sort of relationship with their Nanny and Pa.
12. One of my closest, most-trusted friends is one of my mom's very best friends.
13. I never want a day to go by without talking to all of my kids.
14. I am very sentimental. Always have been, always will be.
15. My feet don't like shoes, so I'm not sure why I own 200+ pair of them.
16. I love makeup and jewelry.
17. I love to dress up, but not since I've gained so much weight.
18. I want to lose the weight again, and I know how, but I don't have the gumption to do it. What's up with that?
19. If I eat sugar and carbs, I *need* more and more of them, and I know that I don't need them...but I eat them anyways....and I *must* stop.
20. I do my best thinking in my sleep.
21. I rarely see things for what they are at surface level. This goes for people as well.
22. I am a GED graduate, and a Masters Degree holder.
23. I love fast cars. I love to hear them, I love to drive them.
24. I love baseball.
25. I love soundtracks, because of the mix of genres of music.
26. I love to hear the piano being played, especially classical music.
27. I love buttons, and I have a button quilt made by an ancestor and it's one of my prized possessions.
28. I do not drink milk, nor will I ever.
29. I have a heart disease, and shouldn't be alive because of it, and I am labeled a "miracle" by my cardiologist group.
30. My sisters are my bestest friends.
31. I will always craft, as long as I can.
32. I fear not being able to use my hands and not being able to see.
33. I'm really quite shy.
34. Teaching is something I do with great confidence, something that God has gifted me with the ability to do.
35. I miss working with delinquents. In a big way.
36. I bit my nails until I was 29, then I quit. I have no idea why.
37. If I can make things into a game, at least in my mind, I am more motivated.
38. If I were single without children, I would be a flight attendant and travel the world and get paid to do it.
39. I LOVE to fly.
40. I'm friendly. I'll talk to anyone.
41. I may appear to be full of strength, but inside, I am a huge coward.
42. I'm good at disguising the coward and the shyness.
43. My all-time favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11, and after that would be Philipians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
44. I love a house with a red door.
45. I've always wanted to own an older, victorian-style house and fix it up.
46. I love to decorate, and could make a living out of it.
47. I also would love to be a personal shopper.
48. I would love to be a life-coach/trainer for women who are trying to make something of themselves and need some help.
49. I love rubber duckies. They make me smile.
50. The word "penis" makes me laugh hysterically. My son knows this and says it randomly just to make me laugh. Wrong, yes. Funny, yes.
51. I love typography and quotes.
52. I want my whole back to be tattooed into a collage of all sorts of images that make up ther person i am.
53. I have two tattooes.
54. I love the smell of leather.
55. I want to go back to school to be a nutritionist so I can council teenagers and others who have Diabetes.
56. I have a personal vendetta agains the aforementioned disease.
57. I love keys and locks, and always will.
58. I love buttercups. They are my all-time favorite-est of all favorite flowers.
59. I love the sunshine, and quotes that are about them.
60. I am an eternal optimist.
61. I love to help others, and wish I could do more along those lines....maybe some day.
62. I love to travel. I'll take anything from a day trip to a vacation...it doesn't matter.
63. I love to drive.
64. I am a good cook, thanks to my mother.
65. I can make the *perfect* cornbread, thanks to my father.
66. I am the gutsiest person I know, or the dumbest. I'm not sure which sometimes.
67. I don't really care what people think of me....except my sisters, my kids, and my parents.
68. I love to see the reactions of people who presume things about me or my family when they find out their presumptions were wrong....or when they can't disguise their surprise.
69. I always love Fred Flintstone and Popeye. I've been married to both. Both have their good qualities, both have their bad.
70. My favorite number is 6.
71. My hands are never ever still. They are always creating, cleaning, making, doing *something*.
72. I love to read.
73. I am a magazine junky.
74. I love strange facts.
75. I love to shop, but only sales, goodwill, and thrift..or yardsales.
76. I've been the fat girl (225 pounds), and the skinny girl (99 pounds), and then the fat girl again (225 pounds) and there are downfalls to both, believe it or not, and neither place is healthy.
77. I'm an all-or-nothing kinda gal. It's jump in head-first, or not at all for me.
78. I have an "off" switch, and when it's been flipped, I'm through with whatever/whoever it is and nothing will change that.
79. I allow myself to be walked all over by giving people more and more chances, but I will stand up for myself at some point, and at that point, you better watch out.
80. I am eternally grateful for so many things.
81. I say "I love you" often, to everyone I love, because I can.
82. I never knew that other kids' dads didn't tell them that they loved them, and I'm really glad mine did...it's made a difference in others' lives. (Thanks, Dad.)
83. I feel guilty about some things that I choose to keep to myself, and nothing will ever change that.
84. I have distinctly lead two different lives. I have only a handful of people that were in my old life that are in my new life.
85. If you've only known me in one life and not the other, you'll never ever understand me. (That's OK, I don't care).
86. I *love* peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and my kids swear mine are better than anyone else's.
87. Every time I eat a bowl of cereal, I think of my childhood best friend, who loved cereal so much.
88. I never thought I would be me, where I am, living the life I live, not even if I had the imagination of Walt Disney.
89. This quote is what gave me the strength to change my life in a "forever" sort of way: Today is the first day of the rest of my life...I'm alive and well....
90. I've been given many "chances" at life, so I'm trying to glorify God with the life I live, since He has seen fit to keep me around so many times.
91. I love the smell of fresh dirt...it reminds me of being in the garden with my Gramps, followingn along behind him with my coffee can, looking for worms.
92. I am a girly girl, but not so much, really.
93. I don't like water or being wet. At. All.
94. I choose to be happy; I choose not to dwell upon things that have happened that I can't change.
95. I believe that while we should learn from the past, we should leave the past in the past, and concentrate on a bright and sunny future.
96. I believe that if we are not here to help others, then what are we here for?
97. I am a really good speller, but I hate crossword puzzles, or any puzzle, for that matter, except I can get a word search done in record time.
98. I believe that with enough hard work and effort, anyone can be anything they want to be.
99. I also believe that if I treat others as if they were what they should be, they will rise to those expectations. On the flip side, I believe that if others are treated in a negative way, without believe for a bright future, that they will love down to those expectations.
100. I'm a super good judge of character.
And, for good measure:101: I can write things better than I can say them.

I think I could keep going.....but first, it's your turn to tell me something about YOU!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Q: What is your salad dressing of choice?
A: Thousand Island
Q: What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
A: Fast food?  I'm not sure.
Q: What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
A: anything authentic Mexican.
Q: On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant?
A: depends on the service.
Q: What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of?
A: Mexican.
Q: What are your pizza toppings of choice?
A: ham and mushroom
Q: What do you like to put on your toast?
A: who actually likes toast?!?

Q: What is your wallpaper on your computer?
A: A quote that says this:  Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Q: How many televisions are in your house?
A: 2 and one in the garage.

Q: Are you right-handed or left-handed?
A: left
Q: Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
A: wisdom teeth, disc in my back
Q: When was the last time you had a cavity?
A: I have some now that I don't have the money (no insurance) to fix.  :(
Q: What is the last heavy item you lifted?
A: a hu-mon-go chain.
Q: Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
A: Nope.

Q: If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
A: Nope.
Q: If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
A: I guess I like Abby just fine. I can’t imagine me as anything else.
Q: What color do you think looks best on you?
A: pink
Q: Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake?
A: probably….
Q: Have you ever saved someones life?
A: yep. too many times to count. not fun.
Q: Has someone ever saved yours?
A: yep.

Q: Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100?
A: A quick muwah-muwah kiss? Yes.
Q: Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000?
A: Um, NO.
Q: Would you never blog again for $50,000?
A: sign me up.
Q: Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000?
A: it would be tempting.
Q: Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1,000?
A. sure.
Q: Would you, without fear of punishment, take a human life for $1,000,000?
A:there is not an amount of money that would make me do that.

Q: What is in your left pocket?
A: I don't have a left pocket at the moment.
Q: Is Napoleon Dynamite actually a good movie?
A: I’ve never seen it!
Q: Do you have hardwood or carpet in your house?
A: both.
Q: Do you sit or stand in the shower?
A: stand (do people younger than 80 and over 5 actually *sit* in the shower?)
Q: Would you live with roommates?
A: depends on who they are.
Q: How many pairs of flip flops do you own?
A: a few
Q: Last time you had a run-in with the cops?
A: What kinda cops?  Made friends with a state trooper a couple of years ago.  None since then, I don't think, thank GOD.

Q: Last Friend you talked to?
A: Nycole
Q: Last person who called you?
A: Tracy
Q: Last person you hugged?
A: Nikki
Q: Last person to stick their foot in your face?
A: That doesn't happen often.  I don't remember.

Q: Missing someone?
A: Yup.
Q: Mood?
A: tired, sad
Q: Listening to?
A: Poker
Q: Watching?
A: Poker is on the TV, and I'm listening about half, but I'm not really watching.
Q: Worrying about?
A: relationships

Q: First place you went this morning?
A: bathroom
Q: What can you not wait to do?
A: Go to bed.
Q: What's the last movie you saw in theater?
A: 21 Jump Street
Q: Do you smile often?
A: yes, all the time
Q: Are you a friendly person?
A: yes

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Piggapancake Post

There's been so much going on in the Land O' Perry these last few weeks...but then, when isn't there???  There are a few highlights I would like to touch on, though, and hope I remember the important ones.  LOL.

1.  For my birthday, Kate bought tickets for me to go and see Eric Church.  I have fallen in love with this guy's style, songs, stories, voice...enough to say I believe he would be in my top five all-time favorite singers ever.   Period. 

1. a.  I was able to go to the concert with one of my top five all-time favorite people in  the whole entire universe:  Nycole.  The funny  thing about Nycole is that she has been a part of my life for over 20 years now (that makes me feel old to say it like that).  *BUT*...we didn't know each other.  We spoke... you know, the normal "How are you?" or some small talk over Christmas dinner...one of the only two times a year we saw each other.  Then there came a time when she desperately needed me, and I desperately needed her, but we didn't know we needed each other, but God did, and He managed to get us together....it's been over a year now, I think, since we've become closer friends, and I'm sad that we wasted all the time not knowing each other, when we could have had this friendship all along.  BUT...the flip side is at least we are now, and maybe it had to happen when it did for us to appreciate it the way we do. 
What do I love about this girl?  Besides her quick witt and her spunk, she has listening ears, and a caring heart.  She's always sure to make me laugh and have a good time, me just being me, and she just being she.  We've held each other up through some rough times, and we laughed together through a lot of fun times.  Back to what I love...other than all that...I love that she's always up for anything...concerts, rock-hunting, taking a walk, just sitting and enjoying the conversation....it doesn't matter....she'll always be up to going or doing....she's a trooper like that.  (I'm not easy to keep up with, just in case you haven't gathered that already.)  The best part is that we are just right around the corner from each other, literally...less than a mile, I think.  In all of God's green Bethpage and Westmoreland area, he put us right there, together.  And boy, has that come in handy for late-night talks, pick-ups, and drop-offs of kids...and, well.....just because.  Just because I *know* she is right around the corner should I need her.
So, for my birthday, we went to the Eric Church concert with the tickets that my Katie bought.  I just have to love that kid.  She is the most caring and generous and loving person...nough said.  We took Kevin, Mitchell, and Alexis and they hooked up with Katie down there as their seats were all together.  We had quite a few laughs on the ride home, especially...any time you put "Kevin and Mitchell" into one sentence...ya better watch out!  :)

2.  Mother's Day (and coincidently, my birthday as well).  It was a nasty, rainy day.  For a myriad of reasons, Katie and I ended up alone, staring out at the rain, and decided to take Nycole up on her birthday lunch offer, so we trekked out to get some lunch...and do a little shopping, too.  As always, a great time was had, the rain slacked off, and rain or no, there was a lot of sunshine in my time with them.  :)  When we got home, Kevin and Mitchell and Anna came over to tell me Happy Mother's Day, and we all got to just sit back and talk and laugh.  Just me and my kiddos....there's just nothing better than having them all in the same room, at the same time, laughing and being happy together.  I was given my Mother's Day/Birthday card, and some very awesome earrings, which I happen to be sporting today:
Sorry for the scariness, but it's hard to take a picture of your ears, lol.  I think part of the day that gave me the biggest smile was when the boys came tromping back in the house around 9:00 and I asked them what they were up to, and they said to come and tell me Happy Birthday, because it was my BIRTHDAY!!!!  :)  Two trips for two holidays, all wrapped up into one day....gotta love their creativity. 
I may be a tad bit prejudiced, but I think I have the best kids in the whole entire universe. 

This turned out longer than I thought, so we'll have to get to #'s 3-5 in another post....if I can remember what they are!  :)

Happy Thursday!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

On Rocks.

Yes, I said,"Rocks.

I have to preface this post with a little story...

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Katie Key, and she *loved* rocks.  Yes, rocks.  She would pick them up and put them in Ziploc bags, baskets, her hands, her pockets...whatever "container" she could come up with was sure to yield a rock, if not more.  She would come to me, and show me all her pretty rocks, and would talk about each of them as if they were a priceless gem straight from the Smithsonian.  I would find these rocks in what was their "normal" container...the infamous Ziploc, all over the house, and when I would straighten her room, there would be bags upon bags of them.  I would sneak and take them out to the driveway, where I thought they should live, and then I'm sure they ended up back in the house at some point in time...and back out to the driveway, too...you see the cycle, right?  I think I suffered from the "Mom's on Autopilot" syndrome, because I really didn't care about the rocks, or find them nearly as glorious as she did.  I'm sure she received a lot of "Ummmhhhmmmmms" from me, rather than some form of conversation that *really* involved two people  as she shared the beauty of her findings with me.  As she got older, she grew out of her love for rocks, and I suppose I really haven't thought much about them or her love for them in many years.  That is....until tonight.

Me, being me, tends to mean "out of the box" or "outside the lines" or "creative" or "weird".  I'm sure the list could go on and on, but the bottom line is that I want to have art classes that are not the norm.  I want to do fun things with my students, and I want them to be proud to show off their creations when they leave the class.  I want them satisfied.  (Of course.)  I have said it hundreds of times, and will no doubt say it hundreds more....I do my best "thinking" in my sleep.  Lately, though, I've been brainstorming, and it seems that my mind is constantly working, constantly looking, and I can't turn it off, not even if I wanted to.  You see where this is heading, right?  One of my ideas is to create something with...rocks.  Yes, rocks!  I am not going to be more specific than that right now for several reasons, but you *will* hear more about them in the future, I'm sure. 

I know this is going to be a huge, long post, but....I think it's worthy of telling, so I'll keep telling!  :)  I have this friend...friend seems not a good enough word for her...but it's what I can think of to call her.  :)  One of the things I love about her the most is that she is always up for anything, with a smile on her face, tramping right along with me on the way to the outside of that proverbial box.  Seeing as how I had this idea about using rocks for class, I needed to go rock hunting.  Who else do I call when I want to go on an adventure?  None other than Nycole.  And here is why I love her so: 
True conversation:
Abby:  Hey, you wanna go rock huntin' with me?
Nycole:  Go what???
Abby:  Rock hunting.  You know, rocks?
Nycole:  I can't hear you very well.
Abby:  Be ready, I'm coming to get you in 10 minutes.
Nycole:  OK. 

Now, as if that is not reason enough to love this girl, it gets better.  Once we clarified that I had indeed said I was going "rock hunting" she didn't even ask why.  She didn't even act like I was weird for "hunting" for rocks.  She just came along and looked for them with me, and I suspect that she had a hunch what they were destined to be:  an Abby creation, and she was OK with that because she loves me inspite of my "weirdness," or maybe even because of it, for there is never a dull moment in the life and times of Abby.  Ever.  Never ever.  Ever ever.  She can vouch for that, too, in case you think I'm exagerating.  Anyhoo...the perfect rocks eluded us, and when I found a snake, we decided that maybe it was time to head back towards home, and besides, it was getting dark. 

Now, for the rest of the story...the today part of the story. 

I bought a bag of rocks today.  Yup.  I know you're at least smiling, if not maybe chuckling just a tad.  The irony did occur to me as I shopped for the perfect bag....all I could think of was all those bags of rocks that I snuck back to the driveway years before, and now there I was, looking through bags of rocks for *just* the right ones.  And paying for them!!!

When I got home, I started sifting through the bag, looking for the "good" rocks; the ones that would work for the project that was residing in my head.  This bag of rocks, or perhaps they are more like pebbles than rocks, was ha-uge.  It was *heavy*!  It filled a 5-gallon bucket.  That's a lot of rocks, folks.  I sifted through this bucket of rocky goodness for way over an hour, I know.   Possibly closer to two.  For real.  

As I sifted, not only did I think of the irony I explained above, not only did I reminisce about days gone by with my "little girl"...who will be 20 this year...but I also thought about how even though the rocks seemed alike, they were very different.  Some were smooth.  Some had cracks.  Others were chipped around the edges.  There were some that looked like jellybeans (which made me think of my dad with a smile on my face), and others were big enough, I could see them all dolled up as Easter eggs, should I choose to give them a new look.  There were many different colors...some matching closer than others...and all different sizes.  There were even "fat" rocks and "skinny" rocks...big ones, and little ones.  There were smooth ones, and then there were rough ones....but all of them were different from each other in some form or fashion. 

Next, my mind wandered to how the rocks in my bucket are much like people.  We come in all different shapes and sizes, all different colors, all walking different paths, all with both a past and a future.  I wondered what made the smooth rocks smooth....how many years they withstood water running over them, slowly but surely shining them up and making them soft and "pretty"...if you could call a rock "pretty".  I also wondered what happened to break the broken ones...why the rough ones were rough...how they got chipped, and why they were different colors.  Each rock, as with people, I observed, had its own personality; its own story.  The only part of the story that I knew was the "future" part of it.  I didn't know the past, why some were scarred and others were not, just as I don't know what many of the people around me have been through or are going through...and this reminded me that no matter what, I need to remember that each person, no matter if they seem happy, sad, or indifferent, has a past, a path they are walking, and a future...all making and molding them into who they are and who they will be.  This being said, I should treat each person that I come across during my days with kindness, for I have not walked their path, I do not know what they face or where they have been...but I do know that if I am kind, I can make a difference. I can help take a cracked and broken person and make them new and shiny, just by being kind...by smiling, offering help, saying a kind word, having a positive attitude....because that matters.  Just like with these rocks, my actions have an effect on their future...and I want those actions to help make them beautiful, not sad or disheartened.    Like another fir
I guess I had a lot of time to reflect on life in general as I sifted for the "perfect" rocks...but I must have enjoyed it, since I spent such a long time bonding with this purchase I made today!  :)  If you have read to the very end of this post, you deserve at least one gold star, if not 5.  :) 

Stay tuned to see the fate of these pebbles....I will be "playing" with them tomorrow!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

It's almost here...

...Mother's Day, that is! 

When I saw this quote a week or so ago, I KNEW that I wanted to make something with it, and I knew it needed to be a class.  Since Mother's Day is approaching and us mothers tend to get a bit sentimental, it seemed fitting to work on it and offer the class now.  ("Now" being Monday, May7 at 6:00)

I found myself pondering the prayers I prayed (and still pray) for my children, and how this quote can be taken in thought in two different directions.  I have a few friends who have diligently prayed for a child, who have had trouble conceiving or carrying their babies.  I am happy to report that those friends all have babies of their own now, and all of the prayers for these children worked...in HIS time, not ours.  (Imagine that!)

Then, I think about how I never prayed for a child.  Not like they did.  It's funny..I never prayed to be blessed with children, yet my world has revolved around my prized possessions, my children, since I was the ripe "old" age of...hold on to your seats, please...15.  Yes, I was 15 years old when I found out that I would be having a baby.  I was scared to death, but I immediately started praying for the child that God had given me.  Fast forward a little while, and at age 17, I found out that I would be blessed with another gift from God.  And I immediately started praying for that child, as well.  Fast forward a very long time....and at age 28, I found out that I would be receiving a third miracle from He who thought I should not be done rearing children too soon.  And guess what I did?  Yup...I started praying. 

I often think about how differently my life could have turned out had I not been blessed, blessed, and re-blessed with the best things that have ever happened to me, and I am in awe that God knew *exactly* what I needed, and gave me those gifts, without me asking.  He knew just what I needed and when, even if the timing did seem kind of wonky and scary to me at the time.  :)  I mostly think that I would not have *chosen* to have children, but then, what 15 year old really does, ya know?  So maybe I would have later on down the line...nevertheless, I was given the three best surprises ever when God chose to allow me to be Mommy to Katie, Mama to Kevin, and Mom to Anna.  I thank Him each and every day that He has given me to be with my children, my friends, my anchors, my purpose, my life, for without them, I would be lost.

I love you, Katie Lynn Key.  I pray for you daily.
I love you, Kevin Allen Key.  I pray for you daily.
I love you, Anna Lucia Key.  I pray for you daily.

Thank you, Jesus, for these gifts you have given me, and help me to treat them as the jewels that they are day in and day out, and never to take them for granted.