Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday Bloopers

I love to go Black Friday shopping. I find a great thrill in being among a mass of human beings, none of whom I know,  yet we each share a camaraderie of braving the cold and the lines to get a deal on a TV or a cashmere sweater. Yes, it's foolish and crazy, but there is an element of competition and conquest that can't be found any other time. 

This year, we crossed the foolish and crazy line. Kohl's had some awesome deals that I wanted & the doors opened at midnight. Back in my big city days, this would have meant you get a few hours of sleep, drive five minutes to your local store, and go home a hero. Now that I live in small town USA, there is no after dinner nap or local store. An hour and a half drive back from my sister's, then another hour's drive to D-- where the Kohl's was. Did I mention it was snowing? Not like Currier & Ives snow, this was like three-year-old shaking a snow globe blizzard. 

By the time we got to the Kohl's parking lot I was worried we were going to have to trudge a mile in the howling fury, but by good fortune there was a spot open near the door. People were running through the slushy parking lot, hanging onto coats and each other, dashing to the store. Most of us were making horrified groans, "Awwhghgheityger, why... what are we doing? Whahahahharghfp, this is so stupid! Hurry up!" I don't think a single person complained about long lines, because at least we were inside and warm. Mom, Dad, and I took turns holding a spot in line while the other two dashed around and looked at deals. I have been considering buying a tablet for some time, and there was a deal on a Polaroid PTAB8000. I crossed my fingers and bought it, hoping this was a good model. 

At 3am we went to the mall and had a delicious stromboli from Sbarro - the food court was more packed than I have ever seen it before. People everywhere, carrying six bags apiece, cramming around the coffee kiosk like ants on a candy bar, and everyone shouting. When we left, the snow was packed into our wheels and we had to kick it off and pry the doors open. The snow finally stopped, but the wind picked up, and it was making the stop signs shudder and sway. I began to fade at about 7 o'clock, and fell asleep with my head on my knees in the car... for future reference, this is a bad idea. My neck is still sore! However, at that point I could have slept standing up. 

When we finally got home, I took just enough time to plug the tablet in to charge before I crashed into bed. I woke up five hours later, feeling like Loki must have felt after the Hulk tossed him around... my brain was rather fuzzy, everything ached, and the one bright spot to waking up was the fully charged tablet on my nightstand. 

I was about to find out why you are not supposed to operate machinery while drowsy. Here is a glimpse into my thoughts at the time: Man, this is so exciting! I like the feel of this tablet, it doesn't feel cheap. Metal back. Nice. Ok, here's the power button. Hey, it's powering up! Wait... oh. Um, wow, the screen seems kinda grainy, no, more like a cross-stitch grid. Surely Polaroid can come up with a better screen quality. I mean, they're photographers, for goodness sake! Ok, just calm down, maybe it will get better. (An hour later) There is no way I can put up with this! It's making my eyes go crazy! I can barely read the screen, and it's giving me a major headache. I'm going to have to go all the way back and return it. I'll never find a deal like this again. But then again, for the money I spent, I expect some quality! Why can't anything ever be simple?!!

At this point I was irritated, a little sad, and still not thinking clearly. I took it to show Dad & his reaction was similar to mine. Right away he was on the support website, looking for a phone number and checking for updates. He figured this one must be defective & we'd need to get it exchanged, but for now we just need to wait until Monday to call. Then Dad says, "Hey, is this some kind of screen protector?" "Do you think...?" "No way..." If you looked in a picture dictionary under the word Thunderstruck, our faces would be there. I peeled back a corner of the plastic and looked. Beautiful. Crystal clear little apps danced under my fingertips, laughing at one of the biggest technical bloopers I have ever committed. I've never felt quite so stupid...

The Polaroid PTAB8000 is a very fine tablet.*

*12/6/12 Although the screen quality improved greatly after my "discovery", I did wind up returning it because of performance glitches and being unable to access the app store. Apparently, I was not the first, and the lack of support for the device made me reconsider. So, for now, I am saving up for a Google Nexus 7, which will hopefully be more to my liking. :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

No Ordinary Pumpkin Pie

So around this time of year, Americans start craving the essentials of fall food - gravy, stuffing, cranberries, and pie. Not being able to wait until Thanksgiving, a few weeks ago I found myself pouring over recipes for pie: chocolate, pecan, key lime... I was having a hard time not drooling on Betty Crocker's glossy photos. I think my feelings would be best expressed with this meme:

(By the way, I am not usually one to follow trending among 
the masses, but I really do love this meme. It expresses a brand 
of extremity which I can relate to so very much.)

Somewhere, tucked into a manila envelope I found a stack of clipped recipes, and there was my golden ticket. It is a habit of mine to change recipes, so I am sharing with you the results of a delicious experiment:

No Ordinary Pumpkin Pie

9-inch graham cracker crust
1 can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
2 T maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, & ginger)

1/4 C packed brown sugar
1/4 C chopped or fine ground pecans
2 T flour
2 T cold butter/margarine

Toast the graham cracker crust according to package directions. In a large bowl, beat filling ingredients with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the topping ingredients, cutting in the butter until crumbly. Remove pie from oven & reduce temperature to 350. Sprinkle topping over pie & place back in oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool completely, about 2 hours. This pie is best served warm!! It's still great after it's been refrigerated, but nothing quite beats it when it is warm and crunchy with whipped cream pooling down the sides... Seriously, you will want to eat the whole thing in one sitting. I won't judge you if you do.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What Was I Saying?

When I first saw the above illustration, I laughed at the truth of it... and then I sighed. Because it's true. When I communicate, I use one of two portions of my brain. One is the 'social auto-pilot' that gets me through most interaction without too much fuss. I can hold a five to ten minute conversation without putting too much forethought into it, thus moving from person to person, saying essentially the same thing (which is really nothing), and neither of us is the wiser for it. In the second communication portion of my brain, I am holding a running conversation with myself & I am analyzing and preparing for the off chance that a deeper conversation might be forthcoming. You see, I hate being unprepared, and having unprepared thoughts is a calamity for me. If I know I am going to see someone that I want to have a meaningful conversation with, I have to mentally rehearse that conversation in my mind beforehand, so that I am prepared for the different avenues it might take. The laughable (yes, I laugh at myself over this) part is that, no matter how many scenarios I can go through, and no matter how many variables I come up with, there is an inevitable law of nature that says that my conversation will never go as rehearsed. 

I used to allow this to frustrate me - I would lose sleep analyzing exactly why my conversations didn't go as planned. I'm not sure what point it changed, but now I simply rehearse conversations out of habit and simply have fun seeing how far from the mark it is from the actual interaction. Was that over explaining? I tend to second guess myself at that... Usually my listener's glazed over look is an indication that I have begun inserting unnecessary details into my dialogue. But I can't see your expression, so bear with me. :)

Being totally inarticulate - I find it interesting that this trait is often found among introverts, but also I believe highly in Rational types. Not that their speech itself is slurred or incomprehensible, but the abrupt way we present information tends to confuse anyone who cannot keep up with our mental process. When you have a conversation with a Rational, if it has some meaning or puzzle to it, that conversation will run in the background of their mind until the next time they have a chance to renew the subject with you. So, days can pass, you move on (and most likely even forget), and then your NT friend will bring that conversation up to you as if it happened seconds ago, even starting in the middle of the context, picking up right where you left off. Point in case: I had a conversation in the car with my Mom about how excited I was because this blog has been read by people from across the globe - five countries, to be exact. I could only remember four of them at the time, so the next day while we were fixing lunch, the name of the fifth country occurred to me & I simply looked at her & said, "Germany. That was the other one." (With any other person I do try to give context before launching forward, but she has figured out my tendency to overlap subjects & fills in the gaps accordingly.)

I'm going to do a post in the future about psychological traits in the types and how it tends to manifest itself in healthy or unhealthy ways, but for now - take this information and try to see it in action in your daily life, while you are at work or with friends. Do you know someone who communicates in this way? Does it frustrate you? Perhaps they are not meaning to confuse you, they simply need to be reminded that you do not live in their brain with them, so you need them to back up to a common point and move forward. Also try to realize that for some people, it takes a lot of guts & mental planning for them to have a conversation, so make sure you listen! Listening is the key to consideration - and it just might be the encouragement someone needs today!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Peanut Butter and WHAT?

My Mom and I went on an adventure today. We weren't 100% sure where we were going, or whether it was the right day, but we set off with high hopes and a worn out map. I have a serious problem with direction. If the sun isn't shining, I have no idea which way is north. When I go out snowmobiling with my friend C. he makes it a game to see how lost and confused he can get me... we'll pull up to a four-way path in the woods, everything covered in snow and a sky full of clouds, and he'll ask me, "Where are we now?" Then he laughs when I point the opposite direction of home. 

Today we had a general idea of where the antique store was, and I was pretty confident this weekend was their big open house, but it wasn't until we saw all the cars lined up by the road that we knew we were in the right place. It's an old house converted into a store that is crammed to the gills with vintage everything. Once a year they have a sale and homemade refreshments. We really just go for the refreshments part... they have stollen, danishes, tarts, toffee, rice pudding, crullers, cookies, and any kind of grandmotherly goody you can think of all piled high on a table, waiting to be munched on. For an introvert like me, it is my idea of a perfect party: you can eat as much as you like, there are interesting things to look at, and you don't have to socialize!

Mom forgot to bring her checkbook, so we dug down to the pennies and came up with $4 between us. She bought Dad some caramel puff-corn (if you haven't had it - it beats caramel corn hands down, no kernels). I bought a Campbell's Cooking With Soup cookbook from the 70's, for the sole reason that while skimming the pages I came across a recipe that simply must be shared with all of you:

Creamy Peanut Butter Soup

1 can condensed tomato soup                           Stir soup into peanut butter, a little at a time,
1/4 C peanut butter (chunky or smooth!)     until well blended; add milk. Heat, but do not
1 1/2 soup cans of milk                                       boil; stir occasionally. 3-4 servings.

I almost want to try it, it sounds so hideous. Now, I have had cake made with pork & beans, and I seriously love fudge made with Velveeta cheese, but this is going a little too far. Peanut butter & tomatoes?? Chunky PB? In soup?!!

Ever tried something only to find out it wasn't what you thought, like apple pie made with zucchini, or pickles made from watermelon? I had meatballs at a party once & raved to the hostess how good they were, only to find out they contained raisins... my arch enemy. According to my family, I looked positively ill, which I believe was from having to swallow my pride and admit that I was actually enjoying a... a... raisin. So, learn from this - ask before you eat, but always try with an open mind.

If any of you have had this soup, or get brave enough to make it, please tell us about it! Maybe I'll whip it up one of these fine snowy days and serve it to my family without telling...

Friday, November 9, 2012

Angry Birds: Star Wars - Could It Get Any Better?

This is epic. You take Angry Birds, which is addicting, challenging, and strangely reminiscent of Scorched, and combine it with the most popular and well-loved movie series of all time... Angry Birds: Star Wars edition. I have not been this excited in a while!

I love video games & computer games. I thought everyone knew this, but when I expressed my joy over acquiring a free Xbox to one of my closest friends, she said, "You like video games?" I guess I've been doing a better job of hiding my geek side than I thought! 

A lot of people see gaming as a waste of time - and if you are neglecting your responsibilities to play them, yes, they have a downside. But as a recreation to do in your free time, there is nothing quite like the thrill of figuring out a new game, conquering new levels, and challenging yourself to do better. I see the positives: hand/eye coordination, therapy for the elderly, exercise, and it can sometimes be used to make connections with those who have autism, or a communication disability. I recently read an article that said computer games can be good for kids - in today's society where everything 'has to be fair' or 'everyone wins', computer/video games make no discrimination... you win, you lose, and you challenge yourself to try again. 

The new Angry Birds SW has some awesome background scenes and the characters will bring a smile even to the non-die hard Star Wars fans. The Luke Skywalker bird (shown above) has lightsaber capabilities, Obiwan has a force field, and Han can shoot stuff out of the way before he lands. There are even a set of bonus levels to unlock where you get to find out the special capabilities of the R2D2 & C3PO birds. *Spoiler* One of the things I got a kick out of was when the Darth Vader pig laughs at you when you fail a level... who knew Vader was a Bad Piggie?

If you have a mobile device, I believe you can download it for free, but for those of us on PC, you can download a demo version here. Seriously, do it! You'll have a blast, not only because it's good fun, but because of the nostalgic warm feelings you get from seeing your favorite space heroes turned into catapulting fowl on a mission. 

Now, my goal is to get three stars on every level...

Wheel Of Fortune, Personality Style

Ok folks, I am back! Since I didn't write a post yesterday, I'm going to do double today.

Ever wondered why some people "bring the party"? And others you don't even notice when they are around? Why some people never shut up... or others clam up? All of this is part of our individual patterns of personality, or type. Lots of people think that by labeling people by type, we are putting them in a box, or simply writing them off, but it's not true. The people who get into personality typing are more fascinated that there are so many ways people can handle things, such as social situations, personal relationships, even job placements. It is learning how you react to things, how your friends react to things, and how to bridge the gap that might be keeping you from some great opportunities. 

I was introduced to personality typing through the book Please Understand Me II by David Keirsey. I was pleased with how straightforward and "un-boring" it was. I was also pleased that most of his philosophy was in line with my Christian worldview, so I didn't have to dig through all the psychobabble to find basic facts. His theory is based on the MBTI, and it divides people into four categories, sixteen subcategories. It helps you decide whether you are introverted/extroverted, how you handle decisions, what you do under stress, and how you perceive the world around you. I find the whole thing amazing, but if it's not your cup of tea, I understand that too. Someone I am close to is really not into it, and that's ok - because I understand that most people with that personality are a little leery of having people analyze them.

For myself, I read the book when I was fourteen and it changed my whole life. I finally realized that I was not a freak, that it was ok to be exhausted after spending time with people, and that I have a very particular way of dealing with problems. I also began to understand how I needed to interact with the people around me so that they would realize that I valued them and how to communicate with them in a way that was productive and pleasant for both of us.

I am an INTJ Rational (I have this irresistible urge to write 'And I sea food differently.' Thanks, Red Lobster.) I will be writing posts occasionally about personality, Rationals, and also have a little fun with how we perceive the stereotypes. However, let's not lose sight of the fact, that while we are all human, and our personalities do follow one of four patterns, every single one of us is different. Every person has a distinct set of idiosyncrasies, and that is what makes us unique - each life is valuable!  

If you would like to take the free online personality type test, click here (11/15 I changed the link to a more specific test). It is a much shorter version than the one in the book, but it should give you a general idea of your type. If you do, please comment & let me know what your type is! If possible, I will try to write a post about your type, or direct you to someone who has written one (probably better than I can!). You can also explore the Keirsey website for a lot of information and articles about your type specifically. 

Until next time!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Computer Flu...

My computer is sick! I'm afraid it has a virus, and like most contagious diseases, you never quite know where it came from. Was it a link on Pinterest? One of the apps I got from the Chrome store? The Marvel Avengers Assemble game? ...I happen to think it's the last one. I broke one of the cardinal rules and clicked on an advertisement on a Youtube video. There is a reason you shouldn't.

It seemed like it was ok - for an hour, I was Agent Tanya, and I was saving the city from the evils of Hydra, Poison Ivy, and Viper. Iron Man and I even got the jump on Whiplash... Oh yeah people, I was on a team with Iron Man, Black Widow, & Hawkeye! Thor even came and helped us out when we were in a pinch. Captain America personally thanked me for defeating the bio-terrorists and he gave me a purple ion crystal. I felt like I was totally rocking the superhero thing! Then I tried to check my emails. And it wouldn't let me in. So I did the Number One Rule of IT training - turn it all off, count to ten, and turn it back on. It only got worse! Now I can't even log into my own user account!

This all happened at 12:30 last night, and since I couldn't freak out and tell someone (they all go to bed at a decent hour), I decided that maybe I should just go to bed. All those superhero-like feelings that I had surging through me only moments before slowly oozed out and I laid there thinking about every single file I had modified since the last backup. Doesn't really make for a good night's rest. 

I woke up this morning and discovered that Mom and Dad had left to help some people move. There went my backup IT guy... So, I took a deep breath, "You can do this! You are a certified A+ tech, aren't you? This is what you were trained for, just like in the book!" Except it wasn't very reassuring, because my instructor had told us that in most cases you just backup what you can and reload Windows, because finding all the corrupted files was much more difficult than simply starting off fresh again. I have been through pages of Microsoft support forums and I'm doing my best to avoid a reload, but I see it looming up in the distance...

For now, I'm using Mom's computer to write this, so I may not be writing consistently for a few days. Hopefully I'll be up and running again soon! In the meantime, be kind, smile at a stranger today, and whatever you do, don't click on popup ads! The price of being a superhero is too high for us mortals...

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Chicken That Knocked Me Out

I had to go to the chiropractor today. I always feel like such an old lady when I tell people I have a bad hip. I mean, only old ladies have bad hips, right? Nope! So I go in once every few months and the doctor gets me back into proper working order. 

The chiropractic office is in a town about 40 miles away, and Mom, N. and I decided to make a day of shopping around my appointment. There is a cute Main Street with craft stores and antique shops. While we were in the General Store, I looked down to discover a medium brown spider reclining on my cardigan. I flicked him off with a gasp of disgust, and he landed somewhere among the old fashioned candy display... I would recommend checking the next time you buy candy. You never know what might be lurking there. I felt creepy the rest of the time we were there, like the spider might be watching me or waiting to leave with us.

My Dad has Crohn's and is thus very limited in what he can and cannot eat. Usually, we all try to stick with his restrictions so that he doesn't feel left out, but every so often we will make a pizza or buy ravioli or eat steak and make him something else. Today he had decided not to spend 'girl time' shopping, so we had unlimited choices. We decided on the large deli attached to the grocery store and spent 15 minutes looking at all the menus. There was so much to choose from! Pastrami sandwich, mozzarella sticks, macaroni and cheese, corn dogs, creamy tomato soup, chili, etc. I think it was too overwhelming, because you know what we did? We got the chicken dinner. All of those delectable things, and we all picked a meal that we can eat any day of the week at home. In fact, 'chicken and green beans' is the standard answer we give people when they ask what Dad can eat. He can eat more than just that, but that is the simplest answer to give people without going through the entire list of 'Nope, nope, definitely not, etc.' 

It was the best chicken dinner I have ever had. The chicken breast was fried to perfection, the roll was soft, and there was a mountain of potatoes flowing with gravy. We all ate like we had never had anything like it before in our lives. 

I was so stuffed when we got up, I could barely scoot out of the booth. Three hours later on the way home, we were still talking about how full we were. And sleepy. You know how after puppies eat, their bellies get all full and they just flop over into a pile and take a nap? That is all I could think about the minute I finished that lunch. Sleep. I needed sleep.

By the time we got home I felt like the back half of my brain had simply shut down. The other half had a task to finish before turning off. It had now been five hours since lunch and I was still full, but it is my duty as a housewife to make dinner and keep the troops fed, so I stumbled around with pots and pans until I finally dumped the spaghetti noodles into a colander and stirred the pasta sauce one more time. I called for dinner and told them to clean up after they ate, because I wasn't doing one more thing until I got some sleep. Now that DST has pushed the clocks back an hour, it is getting dark at five o'clock, so my room was completely black when I hit the pillow. Usually I have very vivid dreams and never get past the REM stage of sleeping because I can wake at the drop of a hat. This was more like the drop of a bomb... I remember nothing, and I never even twitched a muscle. 

I woke up two hours ago like it was a new day. I feel like I could do Mensa puzzles and actually solve them. However, I want to know what was in that chicken... it gave me the best two hour nap in my life.

Have a naptime story you want to share? I'd love to hear it!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Cookie Monster

I'm not really a hormonal person. Seriously - I don't do the excessive bouts of rage or depression, irritated silence, or puddles of weepy sobs. My family would tell you I am an even keel person, and their only complaint might be that I am too quiet and too emotionally detached at times. Except for late at night, when I transform into a totally different person, but that's a story for another time...

However, I have "food swings." My deep, dark secret is that I have a cookie addiction. And pizza. And ice cream.... Well anyway, my passion for cookies is probably the highest. There are certain times when this super surge of desperation rises up inside of me, and I NEED a cookie. I can distract myself by eating twenty other things & telling myself it will all be ok, but the little cookie monster inside my brain keeps tapping harder and harder. So then I break down, because he is such a lovely monster, and after all, he only comes out every once in awhile. I pull out the flour and sugar, dig out a recipe, and I make cookies. Since I know that it is unwise to eat an entire batch of cookies to myself, I tend to save some for myself and give the rest to someone who will (hopefully) love them as much as I do. The sugar cookies with green sprinkles went to the football team, the oatmeal cookies went to G. at church, several batches of chocolate chip peanut butter cookies went to college guys, and my latest batch went to a Ladies Day. 

I frequently go to visit my sister J. and her husband, and the last time I went we invited a friend over for coffee. J. was working until the last minute, so on a five minute break she came home, dumped the contents of her baking shelf on the counter and told me I could come up with a treat to have with the coffee. She had a bag of coconut, some butterscotch and chocolate chips, and some oatmeal. You guessed it - I made cookies! I happened to cook the first pan a little too long, because my sister has cable TV and I put off checking them until the commercial break... Lesson One in Cooking: Do not cook with distractions. :) While we were eating them, we all came to the conclusion that they reminded us of seven layer bars, without the sort of overly sweetness that a bar has. (Funny story, I sent our friend home with a bag of cookies and while she was away at work, her cats and dog worked as a team to knock them off the counter and gobble them up!)

Today was our annual Ladies Day at church, and along with being the song leader, I volunteered to bring my new creation. I learned a few more things the second time around, and I thought I would share the recipe with you:

All The Good Stuff Cookies

Cream together in a large bowl:
1 C Butter (two sticks), melted. I do not recommend using margarine. 
1C Brown sugar
1C White sugar
Add in 2 eggs and 1 tsp. vanilla, mix thoroughly.

2C Flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda
Blend into sugar mixture completely.

Stir into dough:
1C Quick oats
1C Chocolate chips
1C Butterscotch chips
1C Shredded coconut

Combine and drop by teaspoonfuls onto a lightly greased baking sheet*, 8 per sheet, 2in. apart (this is important so they don't touch). Flatten slightly with a glass dipped in sugar, or use two fingers covered in margarine. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-14 minutes, until the edges just begin to brown. Cool for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire cooling rack. Store in an airtight container with a piece of bread to keep cookies from drying out. *Note on baking sheets - I used a metal sheet the first time and the cookies were crispier and easier to get off the pan. I used the stoneware the second time, which lengthened the cooking time and made them chewier.

Eat cookies responsibly - have a designated glass of milk! Bon appetit!

Friday, November 2, 2012

How To Comment On Posts

This morning, I received some emails from people asking how to comment and wondering if you need a Google account, etc. So, here is a quick 'tutorial' on posting comments.

First off, after entering a comment, select how you would like to comment. Many of you will be simply selecting Anonymous, *however* I had someone tell me they didn't have a Google account, when I knew for a fact they did! Do you have Gmail? Or a Youtube channel? That automatically means you have a Google account. You can just sign in using that username/password. But if you do select Anonymous, anyone can comment (I would appreciate a name or nickname at the bottom if I know you, but if not that's ok).

Ok, so now you are going to hit 'Publish'! Then it will come up with a screen like this...
You will be asked to type in a set of symbols/letters. This is to help keep me from getting spam. Some of the combinations can be super hard to figure out, so if you want a new set, click the 'refresh' button to the right (looks like an arrow going in a circle) and it will give you another. In the picture above, you would type in 20 babiali and then hit the publish button.

I hope this helps clear up some of the issues!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hi, Nice To Meet You!

I love to plan. I don't just make plans - I plan on my plan not working, so then I make a backup plan. I have been planning this blog for quite some time now. Deciding on a name, choosing a layout, getting excited, changing my mind about the name, choosing a different layout, getting more excited. Finally, I took a deep breath, clicked the mouse, and stared at my creation. My very own blog. 

I want this blog to be about so many things... Cooking, reading, personality types, my life in general. The things I really love and want to share with other people. Not because I think my life is so great that it needs to be published online, but rather the hope that there are people out there who can find some understanding, some relief, and a smile from reading about another person not all that different from themselves. Even if you and I are nothing alike, I can guarantee you will meet people like me, and maybe this blog can help you understand them better. 

Most of you who will be with me from the beginning already know a little about who I am, where I'm from, and my background. But for a refresher, and for those of you who are meeting me the first time, here's me in a nutshell: I consider myself a native of Texas, having spent my childhood/early teen years there. I now live up North with my family, but Texas is always home. I was homeschooled, and so thankful for having a mother who let me find my own educational niche and run with it. I am one of those people who can't come out of a bookstore empty-handed. I am completely taken in by electronic/technical gadgets - give me ten minutes and I will tell you how to use the functions on your camera or turn your MP3 player into a sound recorder. I prefer talking one-on-one with people, and I dislike large social groups. Notice I said "groups" not crowds. I love getting lost in a crowd and observing the sea of people around me. *Little Known Fact* I am partially ambidextrous and can also write backwards, right to left. 

That's enough to get started on - I'm sure you'll learn more as I start to post. Please, leave feedback and feel free to ask questions! I think I may start a daily topic post, but I will also be throwing in everyday personal posts. Thanks for joining me!