Journeys–Trips with Falls

Hey, all! I have decided that my two lives must stay separate in my blog world. I want my Journeys area to be free from the cacophony of couponing and freebies and giveaways. So, I have started a new blog specifically for my newest addiction….

Please, pop on over and tell me what you think. My stat counter is pretty low right now…uh, stagnate would be the proper term. :)

If there is an AWESOME deal that I cannot keep to myself, I will post a blurb referring you to the Chronicles of a Couponer site, but otherwise, you are safe from the savings.

My dad tells my kids “Friendly Bear” stories.  He started them when my 18 year old daughter was just 2 or younger.  He makes up these wonderfully colorful and imaginative stories about the kids and their adventures with the Friendly Bear.  Some of them are rather macabre…like the one where it is raining and **little child** is getting wet.  Well, **little child** really wants to play board games with her friends that are with her, but there is no shelter, let alone games, because they are lost in the woods!  Friendly Bear gives a suggestion and UNZIPS his  belly and they all climb in  to a cozy wood paneled living room with a fireplace, hot chocolate and games.  They play until they are tired, the rain has stopped, and the Friendly Bear has walked them to their homes, so they aren’t lost anymore!!!!

My youngest is 10 and still asks grandpa for FB stories (I think more to make Grandpa feel good than anything).  We have a little 5 year old neighbor girl that comes over for the stories, too.  My parents stay with us during the winter…my dad is almost 86 years old.  We have videotaped some. It is really neat to see the kids through the years with my dad.  I know they will treasure this in the years to come.

Great memories.

I also remember my grandma (my dad’s mom) living with us when she couldn’t live at home anymore.  I was afraid of thunderstorms, so when one was a’rollin’, I would run to grandma’s room and she would read or sing to me.  I still was afraid of the house-shaking thunder, but being with grandma made it easier.

Ahhh, warm fuzzies.  What a great way to start the day!

I have a confession to make…I love artsy-fartsy scrapbooky stuff AND I love techie-nerd stuff too.  I really do.  I love cutting and pasting, lettering and stamping, photoshopping and gps-ing…  I am sure I am not the only one out there who loves the kindergarten-meets-techinal college (or, should I say, collage??) school of thought.  (Am I FULL of puns today, or what?!)

Well, for those of us who like the best of both worlds, I have a PERFECT product!  It’s QuicKutz’s Silhouette Digital Craft Cutter!!!  You can use it for scrapbooking with your special paper, for window adornments with vinyl…there are so many possibilities!  I would LOVE to use it with my 3-5 year old Sunday School class!

And, to make it EVEN MORE perfect, Simple Finds is hosting an awesome giveaway on their site for this and more!  Click here to check it out.

I have become a coupon fanatic!!! And, I have to tell you, I love it. It is like a huge strategy game and even my 10 year old is enjoying it. It is a wonderful feeling to come home from the drugstore, arms heavy-laden with goods, knowing your out-of-pocket was equivalent to taking the kids out for a dollar meal at Mickey-Dee’s.

I also have become fond of giveaways…yes, I have won some wonderfully awesome items–books, clothing, jewelry, movies, etc. I am ashamed I have been hiding this bounty from all of you! But, NO MORE! In addition to the lively and entertaining monthly-ahem-posts you have been devouring, I will also share with you some of the great deals and giveaways I have found in other blogs.

Since I have been doing couponing-on-steroids for a couple-o-months, I have found that I don’t have NEARLY as much storage space as I once thought. Unfortunately, my 18 year old daughter really doesn’t want any feminine hygiene storage on her dresser, so I have to get creative…. We bought some shelves to put in the garage and I have been looking longingly at other storage options. Then, I found this WONDERFUL storage site that I want to share with you!!! It’s Fun with Food Storage and has already helped me with storage/organizing ideas. Check it out when you have a chance!

Until next time….

Jenn

Hi, everyone! Well, um, I have been busy. I have been reading some very good books. I have been calculating pi to the utmost digit. I have been eating pie with all of my digits. I have been doing anything and everything I possibly can, except updating my blog.

*sigh*

SO! Now that the excuses are out of the way, shall we get on to gettin’ on? To the POST!!

I have a wonderfully large vehicle that drivers of small cars despise. I understand their feelings, though, because on the days I cannot wheedle–er, convince–my husband into leaving the hunk-a-gleamin’ metal with me, then I have to drive the “sensible” car. The Toyota. The economy car. The car that you climb out of instead of step down from. And also the car that is a planet unto itself…BECAUSE YOU CANNOT SEE AROUND ALL OF THE FREAKISHLY LARGE VEHICLES THAT SURROUND YOU! Sorry…venting for those of us saddled with the wise-choice car for the day.

Anyway, when I drive my Suburban, I have control of it all…the entertainment (unless the kids want to watch a movie), the music (unless my daughter is in the car), the temperature (unless…well, you get the idea). I do get to run the GPS, though. It is my baby and I would be lost without it…literally. It was the best Christmas gift my hubby could ever give me! I am so directionally challenged…seriously, I have gotten lost leaving a parking garage. I ended up in a part of town, explaining things to my kids I never thought I would have to talk about until they were well into their 40’s. So, it’s a survival thing for me. Don’t get all in a tizzy if you’re behind me in a parking garage, though. It takes a while for the satellites to be located, so I know which way to turn.

On long trips, my husband usually drives. He says it has something to do with my wakefulness. I don’t understand it, really. The driver’s seat is just so *comfy* on those long, monotonous trips. I also happen to enjoy having icy-air conditioning blow on me full-force while the radio is on VERY loud. All of that swerving and head-bobbing makes the trip interesting. He should learn to sleep amidst distractions.  Really.  I am doing him a favor!

Where was I? Oh, yes. So, my husband drives, but I still use the GPS to find the gas stations (bathrooms), restaurants (bathrooms), and rest areas/parks (bathrooms). The only problem is, that despite my 5’8″ frame, I cannot for the LIFE of me reach the GPS mounted with the cute suction cup to the windshield. I try! Over and over I try. I reach with my left arm as far as I can and stretch against the shoulder harness…but it holds me back. Again, I reach…then sit back…reach…back…reach…back…THROW MYSELF FORWARD (trying to fake out the seatbelt…seatbelts are NEVER really prepared for the sudden force against them…it’s a design flaw, I think)…then vault to the seat back.  Over and over and over again…lurching back and forth–bungeeing from the seatbelt to the seatback, if you will–with my arm outstreached, never *quite* reaching the GPS. No, I never *ask* for the GPS until this ritual was accomplished. Why should I?  I will win someday…I will overcome!  Of course, my husband always turns to me and asks, “Need help, Rexie?”  Yeah, like a T-Rex…arms too short. Oh, but that’s not enough! nooooo  He has to pull his elbow to his side and act like he is extending his arm. like a T-Rex! Then the entire Suburban (it holds roughly 42.3 people…roughly) erupts in raucous laughter while my new nickname is volleyed from passenger to passenger.  I am so pleased I can provide wholesome entertainment for my family and friends.  It is my purpose.

You know those cute pet names families have for one another that stays within the family?  Like Schnookums or WiddleBear or PiddlyPants? Rexie is not.  uh, no.  I found that out rather suddenly when I was playing Sequence and I couldn’t quite reach the board…and a family “friend” pulled his elbow to his side and said, “I can’t quite REACH it…can you, Rexie?”  Again, guffaws galore.

I will reach that GPS, someday.  It is my goal.

Okay, so I was driving in my not-so-cheap-to-run-yet-comfy-vehicle to the grocery store and I was flippin’ through the radio stations to find something to hum along with. (…something with which to hum?…Let’s break all of the rules and END WITH PREPOSITIONS!) After circling the FM dial a couple of times, I finally hear the beginning of a song that makes me pause… those CHORDS… I feel a stirring within…ahhhhh…. Next thing I know, I’m belting out a song I haven’t heard for a decade without missing a note or flubbing a lyric.

“Babe, Im leaving, I must be on my way; The time is drawing near; My train is going, I see it in your eyes…The love, the need, your tears. But I’ll be lonely without you! And I’ll need your love to see me through! Please believe me, my heart is in your hands, And Ill be missing you!!!!!!!!!”

I am in the Albertson’s parking lot, engine running, an almost 30 year old song blasting from my mom-mobile, singing ballad-style at the top of my lungs. You know what I mean–neck stretched long, contorted and emotion-filled expression, head nodding and bobbing at the appropriate emphasis spots–yeah, if my kids were in the car, they’d be on the floorboard.

“You know its yoooooou babe!! Whenever I get weary and I’ve had enough, Feel like giving up, You know its yoooooooou babe! Giving me the courage and the strength I need, Please believe that its true. (ding a ling a ling; ding a ling a ling) Babe, I love you.”

It’s amazing how a song can take you back in time…roller skating rinks on Friday night. Hoping the cool guy with Jordache or Brittania jeans would ask you to couple skate with him. Not just holding hands, but the cool way to couple skate…he skates backwards and you skate forward. You’re also hoping you aren’t as klutzy as you were last week. First, his hands were on your shoulders-okay! my shoulders!-and I was just concentrating on being cool…then I skated right into his skates and took him down. We both tumbled and caused a mass pile-up on the northeast corner of the rink. He had to be carried off of the rink and taken home–something about a hamstring?? Yeah, I was coooool.

This was also on the first album I ever bought with my own money. I was 10 years old and at a K-Mart with my cousins and my aunt. It was a best-of album–Best Love Songs of 1979, or something like that. I had other albums (Shawn Cassidy!), but this was chosen and bought by ME!

Isn’t it also amazing how you can remember EVERY WORD to a song you haven’t heard in EONS, but you can forget a password you set up just hours ago?

The song finished and I ran inside the store to get the milk, bananas, noodles, and foot fungus cream (just kidding!) that I needed. There’s nothing like an old, nostalgic song that triggers warm and fuzzy memories to make you feel like a kid again. I don’t think I will go roller skating anytime soon, or try to injure or maim anyone around me, but it made me put aside the weight of adult responsibilities and concerns for a few minutes and sing.

Oh, and I must’ve needed an extra boost, because the mystery-music-machine inside Albertson’s was playing Faithfully, and I wasn’t the only one mindlessly singing. (How do we remember these lyrics????)

Surprise! Hellooooo, everyone!

I am here, alive, and well. Really faked you out, hmmmm? I am sorry for the concern I caused you…I am back from an expert in maladies such as mine and the diagnosis is in…I suffer from severe procrastinitus disorder. Yes, it is a terrible thing! It affects so many people on a global level–it especially affects those who associate with those of us with said disorder. Yes, you have disorder in your life because we are not prompt in taking care of chaos, so it spills over. Whew.

So, one of the symptoms of procrastinitus is not being timely on blog posts/updates, even though you absolutely-truly-ya-gotta-believe-me!-wanna-do-it. Another symptom is being a horrid deadline pusher–it can almost be an addiction! You feel the rush and pressure to get something done by x o’clock and BAM! you crank it out in record time! Yeah, I’ve done it occasionally.

Like, my sophomore year of high school…I was in a Creative Writing class with a lot of my friends and a very open and sharing teacher. Yeah. You know the kind…she spent more time talking to the class about her life’s problems than teaching. But that is another post…. It was during that class I decided I would put an END to PROCRASTINATION and take an entire week to write my paper instead of the usual hour or so the night before. (I would write my paper, then write my rough draft and edit it to match my paper that I had actually done first. Ummm hmmm…somethings wrong here!) The paper I so painstakingly did the “correct” way–notes, rough draft, edit, rewrite, etc.–got a C! “Too padded,” she wrote. Then, I understood; given time, I would keep moving, adding, tweeking, when my original paper was just fine. Ahhhh! The POWER of procrastination!

Another experience–in college, we had to do packet work–researching a negative character trait in ourselves that we wanted to change and coming up with a plan to change it. There was a lot of work involved–hypothesis and then three books on the subject had to be read and summarized, then you pull from those books nuggets to help you on your better-you path. A plan was written (with predictions) and then followed for at least two weeks, with your reflections and experiences noted. Then you wrote a revised plan and predictions. There were two due for the semester and this reflected our total grade. I did my final one the night before in about three hours. I wrote the initial plan, figured what would have gone right and wrong had I actually done it, revised my plan, and concluded (along with all of the other required stuff). My professor liked my packet so much, she asked if she could keep a copy as a sample for students to model after in subsequent classes. My subject? The dire character flaw? Procrastination.

Yeah.

Thanks for reading!

Jenn

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