about YOU

things about me

My 100 things post inspired a few friends to write lists of their own. So now it's your turn!

Post a list of things about yourself that many of us might not already know. You don't have to make it a full 100—you could do 50 things, or 25, or however many you want.

Then come back and link up so we can all get to know you better! 

Tag, you're it.

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100 things

100 things

  1. I lost my Long Island accent in Africa,
  2. but time with my family—even just over the phone—brings it right back.
  3. So does talking about things I'm passionate about.
  4. And driving in traffic.
  1. I blame my Sicilian roots for my loud talking and laughing,
  2. and, of course, for my inability to speak without using my hands.
  1. The word moist makes me shudder
  2. almost as much as ointment. 
  3. And bars of soap just plain creep me out.
  1. I maintain a healthy fear of treadmills
  2. because of laughing-till-crying at countless YouTube videos of people completely wiping out on them. (Search it. You'll thank me later.)
  1. I haven't yet mastered the art of neatly applying nail polish or mascara. Both end up looking like a crime scene.
  2. And I'm the messiest teeth-brusher on the planet. Seriously.
  3. So I brush my teeth in the shower. It's just better for everyone that way.
  1. I don't really like water—either drinking it or being in it—
  2. but I absolutely love an ocean view
  3. and my perfect vacation includes a swim-up bar.
  1. I love not camping,
  2. hate wet grass,
  3. and generally have a "like to look, not touch" stance on all things outdoors.
  4. Although I've hiked Pike's Peak,
  5. whitewater-rafted the Zambezi River,
  6. lived in a tent in the African bush for months at a time,
  7. and eaten Mopani (grub) worms.
  1. I don't like bacon (I hope we can still be friends)
  2. or chocolate—
  3. except for dark chocolate with a glass of red wine (mmmm....) and the occasional M&Ms or Reese's—
  4. but I can eat my weight in cheese
  5. and goldfish (the crackers, not the actual fish).
  1. I prefer to eat things from the inside out, not the outside in.
  2. So I cut things like burgers and sandwiches in half
  3. and rip apart cookies, so I can start on the inside.
  4. Yes. I fully own the fact that I'm weird.
  1. I am a walking musical,
  2. even though I can't sing. At all. I'm not even kidding.
  3. But I love spontaneously interjecting off-key songs, usually remixed with whatever words come to mind.
  1. I don't like talking on the phone
  2. and would choose text over talk any day.
  3. I have to constantly fight the urge to judge people who write in text-speak. (BTW, c u 2nite! LOL!)
  1. I've got a severe case of wanderlust.
  2. I've spent time in 29 countries,
  3. and I really want to add a 30th to that list. Soon.
  4. And I'd love to spend more time in Italy. How about a month? In a villa. In Tuscany. Yes please.
  1. As much as I enjoy traveling, I equally love coming home.
  2. I can be quite the homebody when I let myself.
  3. I think that sometimes doing nothing is far better than doing everything,
  4. and my favorite friends are those who comfortably enjoy doing both.
  1. The tests say I'm an introvert,
  2. but I beg to differ.
  3. The mere thought of eating alone at a restaurant, watching a movie solo, or going on vacation by myself makes me want to cry.
  4. 99% of my joy of experiencing something is having someone to experience it with.
  5. Otherwise, who would laugh with me? (Laughing's my favorite.)
  6. So I've decided I'm a self-diagnosed extroverted introvert.
  1. I wish I had a poker face,
  2. but in a lot of ways, I'm glad I wear my heart on my sleeve.
  3. I'm working on growing thicker skin though.
  1. I never thought I would get a tattoo.
  2. Now I have three,
  3. and I don't think I'm done yet.
  1. I'm ordained.
  1. I buy hats more often than I wear them,
  2. but I really want to be a hat girl. Someday.
  1. I frequently have to ask a friend if what I'm wearing "makes me look like a missionary". 
  2. Quite a few articles of clothing have been vetoed, but I can't always bring myself to get rid of them.
  3. My wardrobe needs an extreme makeover.
  1. I've never been able to do a cartwheel,
  2. or whistle,
  3. or make my bed every day.
  4. I can, however, sock-skate across wood floors like it's an Olympic sport.
  1. Autumn is my absolute most favorite time of year.
  1. This white girl can't dance, but still loves to. Isn't that what kitchens were made for?
  2. I've been known to one-person Conga-line through the house
  3. and bust out in my own version of a Touchdown dance for no reason at all.
  1. I love the first 20 seconds in a hot car after I've been in air conditioning. It feels like a full-body hug.
  1. I always lean my airplane seat back ever so slightly as soon as I sit in it—
  2. that extra quarter-inch of room makes me feel like a rebel.
  3. Sometimes I have to force myself to break the rules, even a little bit.
  1. I don't enjoy reading as much as I used to,
  2. But given the right circumstances, I still love a book worth losing myself in.
  1. I firmly believe that food tastes better when someone else cooks it.
  2. And if my budget (and waistline) would allow, I'd eat out almost every day.
  3. I can be a bit of a food snob,
  4. but I also love ramen noodles, Kraft Mac & Cheese, and baseball game hot dogs.
  5. I do a happy food dance when I like what I'm eating—which is pretty often.
  6. Sharing an amazing meal with my family is one of my all-time favorite things to do. Ever.
  1. I think the saying "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" is a lie.
  2. In other news, I've been trying to lose 10 pounds for over a decade.
  1. I am ridiculously sentimental.
  2. Songs, smells, and places always carry memories,
  3. and pretty much everything I own holds some sort of significance.
  4. (Which is why my vetoed clothes just get relocated to the back of my closet.)
  1. I live perpetually tired,
  2. but struggle to fall asleep most nights.
  3. Mornings and I don't get along very well.
  1. I dreamed I'd live in Africa forever.
  2. Though cut short, my 13 years there were a lifetime. This I know.
  1. I never ever ever imagined I'd live in Nashville,
  2. although there was my pre-teen Amy Grant-loving stage when I desperately wanted to.
  3. But I find myself loving this little big town.
  4. And I'm only half-joking when I say that living in Africa prepared me to live in the South.

Tell me something about you that I probably don't already know.

You can also link up your own "Things About Me" post here >

all skate!

Remember what an all skate is? Think back to your roller rink days... Well, I’m calling an all skate at the Grit.

Everyone’s gotta comment on this one. Even the silent-lurker types. (Yes. You.)

I promise you it'll be quick and easy and painless. Well... mostly painless.

We're all gonna just paste in the very last thing we've cut or copied.

See? Easy. But also kind of insightful in a strange sort of way.

So scroll down to the comment box and hit CTRL-V to paste in whatever's in your digital clipboard. (⌘-V if you're on a Mac. Or Right-click > Paste if you wanna kick it old school in honor of the roller rink mention.)

I'll go first.

To delete a blank page at the end of the document, select the page break or any paragraph markers (¶) at the end of the document, and then press DELETE.

Riveting stuff right there, eh? Sheesh.

Okay, your turn... (And no cheating now!)

What was the last thing you copied-and-pasted?

photo credit.

when i fly

20120306-225638.jpg When I fly...

I touch the outside of the plane as I board.

I choose an aisle seat.

As soon as I sit down, I put my seat back just a tiny bit -- not enough to be caught, but enough that I feel convinced I've scored myself some extra room.

I keep my seatbelt as loose as possible.

I adjust the air-blower-thing to high, and angle it right at me.

I wear a sweater or zip-up for when the air-blower-thing inevitably makes me cold.

I always bring something to read and rarely ever read it.

I text my friend right before I have to shut my phone off. It's tradition. Last text before takeoff, first text after landing.

I turn my phone on as we're landing, so it is fully powered up by the time we're on the ground. (I know, I know... So I won't also tell you that I've been known to occasionally turn it on mid-flight...)

I drink ginger ale.

I never eat the peanuts. And I always wonder why they still give those things out, especially with so many people allergic...

I become completely anti-social. I'll smile and say hello, but that's where I'd prefer our interaction end. Sorry, neighbor.

Armrest down. Always down.

I try to avoid going to the bathroom on the plane, but if I do... I cover my ears when I flush. That sucker is loud! Heh. "Sucker".

I try to force myself to sleep if there's turbulence.

I am that girl whose head drops when she falls asleep, jarring myself back awake just enough to reposition and do it all over again.

I thank the flight crew on my way out.

I'm sure there's more, but I'm drawing a blank.

How about you? What do you do when you fly?


Let's have a little fun together this holiday weekend, shall we? I say we play a round of I Spy. Remember that game? Of course you do...

So, let's pretend for a moment that the commenter immediately before you has the magical ability to look through your computer screen. They can see you and your surroundings. (Don't be alarmed. It's only make-believe...) And you can look through the screen of whoever stumbles along next.

So with that in mind, here's how we play:

Respond to the last comment and tell us what your through-the-computer visitor might have spied based on their clue.

Then leave a clue for the next person, telling them what you spy through their screen.

Make sense?

I'll start us off. I'm looking through the computer monitor of the first commentator, and...

I spy with my little eye something that is out of place.

any, all, or something else altogether

I recently got back some of my shoes and clothes that I haven't worn since I livd in Africa. Most of which I've had for a very long time.

Some of which moved to Africa with me.

In 1998.

The pragmatic sentimentalist in me has held onto things longer than I probably should have. Beyond them going out of style or wearing thin or not fitting anymore.

But, somewhat begrudgingly, I weeded through my things and pared down.

It's a good thing.

It is.

And for the things I've chosen to keep, I just run the "Does this make me look like a missionary" test first.

So far everything's passed the test.

Even my jean skirt.


I did toss my Tevas though.

It was time.

And a matter of public service.

You're welcome.

Feel free to answer any, all, or something else altogether: Are you sentimental? What's your favorite piece of clothing? Do you need to do some spring cleaning? (Even though it's summer...) What's the hardest things for you to get rid of? Why? Is there something you wish a loved one would finally part with? Is it time to clean out your fridge? o_O Have a question for ME?

the one where i sell the shirt off your back

The Hodges decided to have a yard sale to help with the purging process before our move to Nashville. This is a first for me. I've never had a yard sale before. I cringe at even the thought of stopping at someone else's. It all just seems so awkward to me. So all week I've been asking stupid questions about how the heck you actually run a garage sale, and the likelihood of people showing up and buying our stuff. It just seemed so beyond me! But I went through my things and added a bunch of stuff to our garage sale pile.

It's been a crazy whirlwind around here, so we really didn't do much of anything to prepare for the sale today. Yesterday Brent put up a listing on Craig's List -- announcing it would start at 8 am---and late last night we went and bought a "garage sale" sign to stick on the corner. We got a bit of a late start this morning and when Tam opened the front door at 8:15 to start bringing things out, there was already a guy standing there waiting. Seriously!? Even though there wasn't a blessed thing out in the front yard yet!? I don't understand this! HA!

As soon as we started carrying things outside, people began showing up in droves. There were suddenly multitudes -- of Biblical proportions! I just kept laughing and shaking my head and exclaiming, "I don't get it! Where are all these people coming from?!" These, apparently, were the professional yard-salers. The ones who scour the local Craig's List listings and show up early for "the good stuff". It was seriously cracking me up.

I jumped right into the spirit of yard-saling. I kept going back inside and scouring the house for more and more things we could sell. "You don't use this, do you?" "What about this?" "Can I get a screwdriver to get this thing off the wall? Tam laughed so hard she almost peed her pants when I came out carrying a large potted plant and plopped it down in the yard with a $5 sticker on it.

Good times.

It's been such an entertaining day. The people-watching has been awesome, made even funnier by our own Mystery Science Theater commentary of course.

It all is still so strange to me. I still don't get it. And it still cracks me the frick up.

Annnnd I'm still wondering if I should make another pass through the house for any last minute items. "Excuse me, Tam. I need that chair..."

What about you? Are you a garage-saler?

a Christmas give-list

Everybody has a Christmas wish-list. Some written... Some spoken... Some that you never say out loud, but secretly hope for.

So I know you've got a wish-list.

But forget about that for a moment.

What's on your give-list?

Not what you want to get, but what you'd love to give.

What's a big-dream gift you wish you could give someone?

I'm not talking about world peace or heart healing or contentment. Nothing intangible.

Real gifts. For real people.

What? Who? Why?


we interrupt our programming

My life is seriously stranger than fiction. I think if everything that's happened in the past few years was written up as a movie script, Hollywood would say it sounds too far-fetched.

I'm telling you, you couldn't make this stuff up.

In fact, a couple months ago I was contacted by a TV show producer. They were interested in my story -- in my life -- and wanted to make it the basis of a reality television show.

What the what?!

Don't worry. I declined. But seriously?

My life is a reality tv show.

And I'm so ready for a commercial break.

So... Tell me the strangest thing that's happened to you lately. Or that you've heard about.

Ya know, just for kicks.


Gonna get a little creative for some weekend fun at The Grit. (Shocker, I know...) Let's pretend for a moment that the commenter immediately before you has the magical ability to look through your computer screen. They can see you and your surroundings. (Don't be scared. It's only make-believe...) And you can look through the screen of whoever stumbles along next.

We're all gonna play the I Spy Game together. Yep, you know the one I mean. The one that's usually reserved for boring road trips...

Respond to the last comment and tell us what your through-the-computer visitor might have spied based on their clue. Then leave a clue for the next person, telling them what you spy through their screen.

Make sense?

I'mma start us off. I'm looking through the computer monitor of the first person, and...

I spy with my little eye something that is fuzzy.

sporty shirts

Now that I've completed the Half-Marathon, I'm ready to buy a whole bunch of running shirts. Because I'm sporty, ya know. I've gotta show off my athleticism. Ha!

So I'm thinking of filling my wardrobe with shirts that say things like:

13.1 miles. Been there. Run that.

I'm running my mass off.

In my dreams, I'm a Kenyan.

Will run for margaritas.

If it weren't for me, you'd have nobody to pass.

You think I run funny? Wait till you see me walk tomorrow!

I'm only doing this so I can post a picture on Facebook.

This seemed like a good idea 3 months ago.

This IS my race pace.

Does this shirt make my butt look fast?

And I'd add one of my own to the list:

I'm working mine off so I can kick yours later.

Got any to add?

a tale of two dogs

I'm house-sitting this week, taking care of my friends' two dogs, beta fish, and hamster. (Oh yeah! That reminds me... I've gotta feed the hamster!) Last time I house-sat for them, I nearly killed the fish. I had to actually contact them on vacation to tell them he might not make it. Stress. Full.

This time around, the fish has been fine. You can be sure I keep a close eye on him though. Hamster? No worries there.

The dogs, however, are unbelievably high-maintenance. And this week has been no exception.

When they go outside to... you know... do their thing, one of them likes to mill about forever. I call and call and call, but she won't come back inside.

Until I give up and go back to whatever it was I'd been doing. That's always the moment she decides to scratch at the door, wanting to be let in.

But I can bribe the dogs with cheese.

It's the fastest way to get them to come running. When I have no more patience for the outdoor wandering, I shout "Want some cheese?" and---BAM!---there she is.

Go figure.

The other dog is a hypochondriac. Or that's what I'd be thinking by now if she were human and not canine. She is at the vet multiple times a month for all sorts of strange ailments. Who knew a dog could have tonsillitis!

A few hours after they left for vacation, my friend called to say she was concerned the dog may also have a bladder infection.

She asked me to get a urine sample to bring to the vet.

Say what?! Payback for nearly killing their fish, perhaps...

It felt like a very low moment when I was outside, tupperware container in hand, trying to get the dog to pee.


Then a couple days ago, both dogs escaped from the backyard and took off running down the street.

I ran after them only to discover that they run much faster than I thought they could. I ran back to the house, grabbed my keys and some supplies from the kitchen, and hopped in the car.

I drove up and down the streets in the neighborhood, windows down, calling their names.


So I reached for the supplies I brought.

As I looked around to make sure no one was watching, I held a Kraft Single out the window and started shouting "Cheese!"

And I discovered things could get lower than urine-sample-collecting.

The cheese slice was melty and gross by the time I found the dogs. But they came running for it anyway.

All I know is:

I'm gonna need a vacation after this!