10,000 QUESTIONS ABOUT 10,000 STEPS

10,000 ways to leave your lovin’ lard ass – or something like that.  At work, we’re doing a 10,000 steps per day challenge. While losing weight could be a side-effect, the goal is simply to get our bums up out of chairs, take some time to quiet our minds and get those creative juices flowing!

My OCD tendencies' best friend!

My OCD tendencies’ best friend!
WTF – Walk to Fitness!

The weekend before the challenge started, I practiced for perspective of just how many steps 10,000 is.  We were walking (2,500 steps) through downtown to pick up my race packet for the 3.5 mile mini marathon (approximately 4,600 steps) and found ourselves sitting down for lunch at the Original Pantry Restaurant.  When my pedometer leaped off of my purse in protest I saw it as a warning that clearly there is no way 10K steps would walk off what we ate there.

Thanks for the photo AlbanyKid, we should meet for breakfast! Mine were too blurry as I ate too fast.

Thanks for the photo AlbanyKid, we should meet for breakfast! Mine were too blurry as I ate too fast.

My patron saint of wellness sent me 2 more pedometers on Monday and I was back on track without a-breakin’ my stride.  It’s 550 steps from my car to my office; 160 steps to the coffee shop; 60 steps across the middle of our floor end to end.

Well guess what, they’re right! The creative barriers become much looser and I have questions flooding my head like an inquisitive 3-year old.

Because I said so...

Because I said so…

Now there are some things that are troubling my one track, 10,000 step mind:

1) In the order of the universe, is it better to walk farther (more steps) to ride the elevator up or is it better to walk a
shorter distance to walk up the stairs (but less steps overall)? See my conundrum?!

2) Isn’t choosing salad over paninis worth an instant 1000 steps?

3) Why aren’t stairs worth 2 steps each automatically?

Check it out, we have a name! Workshifters!

Check it out, we have a name! Workshifters!

Here are some additional steps that I am having trouble reconciling:

Steps racked up during a cake-walk

Back and forth to the all-you-can-eat buffet in Vegas

Chasing down the ice cream man

OK, this kid is helping me reconsider

OK, this kid is helping me reconsider

Scurrying down the hall to the free leftover lunch at work

Steps getting up and going to the loo – we’re going to do that anyway, no extra walk effort

Racing after people to kiss their ass – have some dignity!

Who you callin' an...

Who you callin’ an…

Now that I managed to make it more complicated, please join/help me?

 

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Welcome to CA – What’s your Powerball Dream? Everybody’s Got One!

The Powerball has landed in California bringing along with it an inspirationally aggressive marketing campaign. They boast larger jackpots, yet, recognizing people aren’t as materialistic anymore, are marketing to more humanistic players eager to be a positive change in this world.

ooh-believe

Powerball targets 38 million Californians with one powerful emotion – Hope.  The campaign communicates how Hope implements change by pointing out historic events like Armstrong’s Moon landing reminding us memorable moments started with single sparks of hope.  Their campaign reinforces the power of dreamers, those willing to take a chance.

Powerball gives daydreamers the model to believe in something bigger, a cause, miracles, a long shot. But, start small – even one ticket! They have to overcome those who resist saying “Powerball is a money pit,” “the odds stink,” or “don’t gamble” by, instead, getting people to buy into hope – anything is possible but you can’t win if you don’t play.

pballdream

Now, I mentioned Powerball targets every Californian – every one.  When my family first heard the haunting rendition of children singing “California Dreamin’,” it immediately hooked us. My kids (8 and 12 years) downloaded the real song, discussed the lyrics and sparked inspirational conversations “If you win – how would you positively impact the world?” (Answers: “Cure AIDS” and “Open a candy store where everything is free.”).

I don’t play regularly, I only buy tickets for big jackpots (I know, my odds are worse) but what made us purchase our first ticket was when radio campaigns became personal. On my daily commute, I was regularly teased by a guy saying “It was like any other day, driving in your car, fighting traffic. It was like any other day… until it wasn’t [cue music].”  It wraps its arm around you and points you towards your destiny. It’s that simple to dream, believe – and buy a ticket.

pballtix

Some people feel the ads resemble religion putting too much faith in something intangible. They feel those who would use money wisely for good would not usually be the same crowd playing the Powerball.

I say, try me. I dream about buying reasonable homes, providing college educations and providing sports scholarships for AYSO and Little Leagues so no child “can’t” play.“

believe

6/9/13 UPDATE:

I didn’t win, she did!

The Powerball launch was a winning success!

Dan from the creative agency David&Goliath wrote to let me know that it was THE most successful lottery launch in U.S. history (kudos!!)!

For you folks who want proof (remember Powerball tix are $2/ea):

  • $3.1 million in first day sales 
  • $8.5 million in sales in the first 4 days
  • $25 million in two weeks 
And by the 6th week…
  • $83 million worth of tickets sold, accounting for 11% of Powerball sales in the entire country!

You know what I said about only playing the big draws?  I lied… I have a ticket in my wallet right now from this past weekend’s draw and until I actually check the winning numbers, I can hold onto the hope that I may have been the winner this time!

INTELLIGENCE DOUBLE AGENT

You may have noticed, I’ve been on the lam in recent months, not regularly reporting my wanderings.  A clandestine operation, simply referred to as trojaN horsE, occupies my time with my first assignment requiring 100% secrecy and dedication.  Now, I find myself living the life of an intelligence double agent. The success of this operation finds me balancing demands of both worlds.

Alter egos – WTF: I Watched The Fightscenes!
My favorite show ever Alias (C) Disney

This remains a delicate operation as I continue to cement my position in my known career, while offering myself as a walk-in with the competing underground agency.  No one, not even those working side-by-side with me are aware of my covert mission. I’m not sure how they’d feel knowing I am engaged in a complex dance of seduction with the other agency.

The initial message came to me one night, an innocuous yet intriguing pop-up cipher delivering no more instruction than “Click here…” On the receiving end of that hotline was an eager case officer eager to recruit me to the path of higher knowledge, exposure to intellectual missions, and, ultimately, more responsibility for my own path.

Computer Lab or Spy War Room?

We infiltrated the system quickly for a successful outcome. The case officer, my handler, managed my paperwork and requested special clearance from the Chief of Station to avoid additional testing.  My legend required some authentication while my bona fides hoped to present me as the ideal candidate.

I, too, have so many questions…
(Where was this blog when I used to watch it… letstalkalias.blogspot.com)

Opportunity and preparation crossed paths and I gained admission to the program. My daytime cover puts me face-to-face with the high-caliber professionals grooming intelligence and intellectual paths of others but at night, I glean information from the same sorts of people on master-level missions exclusive to me.

Even now, only those readers closest to me know my true identity for I don’t want a dangle reputation to jeopardize my current assignment.  For the next 18 grueling months, my attention will be focused on gathering intelligence and deciphering communications.  I will do my best to report back to you my wanderings, although I hate to admit that it will be fewer and farther between as my operations become more demanding.   I will not cut communications completely unless it becomes unsafe to have above ground dealings.

Until next time…

fighT oN!

Best spy couple: Sydney and Vaughn!
Yay fanpop.com for keeping our shows alive!

SOMETHING SMELLS FISHY

People say this is how it happens, but I never thought it would happen to me.  My life changed in the blink of an unblinking eye!  I went from being a loving mom to a suspect in a crime.

More special than other days, last Friday held big meaning as I’d be reuniting with my kids! After days of grandparent spoiling, they couldn’t wait for Lauren’s weekend-long birthday celebration! I drove as quickly as I could obeying all laws and speed limits.  I parked my car, leaped from the driver’s seat, and ran around the back, arms outstretched to capture both kids at once! I heard a high pitched shriek – was it my daughter eager to greet me, or my own voice screaming in horror as I coiled back from what appeared before my son?

WTF? What the Fish?!

My son stood, beaming, clenching a little clear plastic box with a shimmery flicker reflecting sunlight from within.  He stepped forward, “Mom, meet Paul and PJ (Paul Jr.)!” Goldfish – only they weren’t gold, they were black, tarnished goldfish. I held back every negative emotion and memory and got close enough to the fish to kiss my kids quickly on the cheeks.

Immediately, the voices outside my head got jumbled, “Threw balls,” signals crossed, “Colored Water,” and over-lapped, “Hit a bump!” They got more urgent, “…Big splash,” louder “On rug flipping out!” and angrier, “My new car!”

“Aaah!” I yelled! “Carefully put the fish in our car, make sure the lid is tight so they can’t escape and don’t knock them over when you close the door!”

As we put the distance of the parking lot between us and the Pauls, my knot of anxiety loosened.  I talked my daughter onto the circular swing ride 301 feet up – only to have her shoving “Rock On!” fingers into the air after the first rotation while my fingers gripped her so tightly leaving marks.

Nervous to go on the tall ride
but she dove in head first!

That ride put it in perspective for me that at 42, I could barely rationalize my fear of heights, but I could not rationalize my fear of fish, so I decided to try to work through my fear. Things didn’t go as swimmingly as hoped…

To be continued…

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – FLEETING MOMENT

Knott’s Berry Farm, on my daughter’s birthday, presents a whole new magical experience at night!

They project lights across the floor and the kids decided the goal was to make it through Camp Snoopy without stepping on any lights on the ground.

WTF! Watch the floor!
Don’t step on stars or you’re in HOT LAVA!

 

 

WHEN THE KIDS ARE AWAY, MAMA’S GONNA PLAY!

When I was a kid, what was the first thing I did when I heard my parents would be out of town? Mom, if you’re reading this, the answer is Picked up my room, Asked for extra credit homework assignments, Rested, Told my friends no parties when my parents were gone, Missed You! I’ve heard of an unspoken rule that you wait 15 years until you tell your parents the truth about things you’ve done.  I personally enjoy my position as the eldest that means, for the most part, my siblings don’t have much dirt on me because they were too young to be tattle-tales when I was a teenager having fun.  I relish in my “shining example” role so in most cases, I’ll never admit to anything.  (I guess we’ll see if my parents read the blog!).

Just in case me, all alone, nobody else here, really mom!

Perhaps this next statement will be more telling as to what I truthfully did back then, because I still do it now!  My kids will be out of town next week so with evenings all to myself, I am planning ways to have fun:

GET CAUGHT UP! Life has been so crazy lately that I need to get caught up with paperwork, housework, friends, blogging, etc.  I will dedicate 1 evening to do what I have to do before doing what I want to do – catch up with friends!  See kids, I lead by example!

Just a fun idea to make me want to go through paperwork and turn it into something new and exciting! What pile of paper drives you the most crazy?

SEE A MOVIE! Whether it’s at home or at the movie theatre, it’s a great excuse to not cook, just eat popcorn for dinner like I did in college and be entertained!

What are the hottest flicks in theatres/rental right now?

READ A BOOK AT THE BEACH!  This is my new favorite to take a book to the beach and not leave til I’ve damn well finished it!  Next time I’ll be sure of more accurate coverage with sunscreen.

What book shall I read next?

BE CRAFTY! Pinterest is my new favorite toy!  I’m going to make 1 meal completely from pinterest recipes and do 1 craft project inspired by something I saw on there.  Give me a link to propose your favorite ideas in the comments below and don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest!  (Button to the right!)

Such a fun and simple idea – wait, don’t have a sewing machine. What’s a fun and simple one you recommend?

Well, tell me what you would do!

COME IN, I’LL THROW SOMETHING TOGETHER

When you’re working on an idea that you’re not ready to share with everyone, does it put up walls preventing other creativity?  Maybe that’s just me.  So sorry I’ve been absent and thank you for still being here!  To make it up to you, I made you a cake!

I’ve been praying for a potluck to bake this for, but promptly forgot to when I received an invite!  Fortunately, someone else shared my wavelength and brought this yummy cake! It’s super appropriate this week paired with loads of laundry and wall-to-wall paperwork from two school desks covering my floor.  This dessert is called DUMP CAKE!  I’ll give you the easy steps while explaining what makes it the best!

BUY: Yellow or White cake mix, 2 cans of fruit (or mix in frozen/fresh) and 1 1/2 sticks of butter – you heard me…

I first heard about Dump Cake from a friend that I’d lost touch with 16 years ago!  Every time I saw her style car, I longed for her personalized penguin plates. Facebook successfully reunited us and while we occupy opposite ends of the country, we can still share recipes!

Mmm, love the red! Tonight, the role of peaches will be played by crushed pineapple. Mix them together in the baking dish.

The first recipe she shared with me was healthy veggie soup over a cup of pasta for lunch! This would go really well with Dump Cake because it is far from healthy.

Sprinkle whole bag of cake on top of your fruit mixture. Use a fork to smooth – if you are OCD like me.

I first tasted this cake from a new friend found this Spring!  What made this year’s baseball and softball season’s awesome were the amount that my kids’ ability and love for the game flourished and the amazing families!

For fun, Lauren dumped chocolate chips on her side and I dumped pecans and some cinnamon on mine.

This crew was so much fun we had several get-togethers!  The most recent found us at the beach complete with an epic water balloon fight – remember, the coaches taught these kids to throw hard and accurately!

Take stick and a half of butter and cut into thinner pats and distribute evenly on top of cake powdered mix.

When researching Dump Cake recipes, I chuckled and thought “Well, if that don’t take the rag off the bush!” it’s The Pioneer Woman’s recipe!

Cook for 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees. See the cherries and pineapple under the cake layer? My new friend’s had peaches!

I love this woman!  She traded in corporate success for cowboys!  I’m so excited to finally try one of her recipes.

Remove from the oven when the top is light brown and crispy. The left side is browner on mine because of the nuts.

When I’m wandering and find common threads along the way, it’s heartwarming on so many levels. The synergy of celebrating the old and new, baking a recipe from a creative cowgirl – with  my daughter – lassoed it all up with a pretty little bow!

We chose Vanilla ice cream over home made whipped cream. The fruit wasn’t overly sweet – perfect for hot summer nights!

Greatest gift ever!  Enjoy!

Lauren: Loved 1st bite, Carson: Eh, it’s ok! I liked it, but it’s rich!  Overall A+ factoring in the simplicity! My kids: Please leave us alone, it’s movie night!

BOWLING BALLERS

After surviving the craziest few weeks that I can recall in our 11+ years together, plus faced with many fabulous events that collectively threatened to blaze through our weekend with the blink of an eye, a theme song entered my head and had me searching for an alley to hang out in Friday night. We dangled a bowling ball in our line of sight hypnotizing us to focus our eyes on the prize – the weekend!

You’ll live to bowl again…

Despite the disappointment of not finding our favorite theme song from the Grease 2 soundtrack on iTunes, Friday arrived and we earned it!

We’re gonna booowl tonight! We’re gonna booowl toni-ight!

Even now, still finishing errands before officially letting loose for the evening, we ate dinner first, and unexpectedly almost melted. Now that the deadlines passed and we slowed for a victory lap, time caught up to us like a huge weight that might anchor us in bed until we caught up on sleep.  The kids alternated with wanting to bowl or play video games at home – which requires much less movement.  I finally said, we promised to reward ourselves, let’s go, play one game and see how it goes.

ME: Magic B ball – show us fun without game controllers!
BALL: It is certain!

The smell of smoke, nachos and beer blasted us at the door.  We got our lane assignment, wedged between the Pros and the Happy Hour Hecklers.  Surprisingly, my son didn’t think of the number of feet that occupied his cool shoes before him.  Both kids loved that now they could dance like Michael Jackson.

We searched diligently for the right size thumb-hole and weight ball then got to our lane to find a magical assortment to choose from.

Somehow the gem-like bowling balls reminded us of Spencer’s multi-colored poop!

Lauren started off strong and stayed the most consistent with her skills landing the balls in the lane more quietly as the night went on.

Carson had a knack for splitting the pins, then managing to send the 2nd ball directly between the pins without touching any pins.

Once he learned footwork, he had more power and more fun!
What do you do for fun without being plugged in?

Despite his tendency, he actually got the most spares.  I warmed up slowly and my competitiveness – yes, even with bowling – came out and I tried to get a strike but struck out instead.

It’s a close game! Rematch!

We wound up playing two games, had a blast – way more fun than if we’d played the wii version!

Take one adorable girl and add a (hand-dryer) wind machine – instant supermodel!

I’M STUCK ON GETTING UNSTUCK DAILY

Waking up Friday, the first thought sneering and challenging me counted “10 hours til Friday night!”  Still high off the me-time from last week I counted on the zen to return once the 5 o’clock hour hit.  Only one job, a short commute, and Tae Kwon Do class to carpool first.

Then, I got a sunshiney email saying that another really creative and fun blog that celebrates 365 day projects and getting UNSTUCK featured MY BLOG today! Check it out!

So excited I didn't need coffee this morning!

It put a spring in my step and a smile on my face! Validation flowed through my veins. I became community property, shared with another blogger’s audience!

Then, ironically, I got stuck!  Now, expectation looked over my shoulder watching what I typed.  My daughter moved my shoulder to tally today’s total views. My son hugged my shoulders asking about today’s topic. Now, he literally sleeps right behind my shoulder on the fold-out couch meaning I’m not alone with my thoughts.  I do love that they’re interested in my passion, and I hope they learn the pleasure of expressing themselves through creative mediums.

The saying goes “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Today’s attention took this project from a personal challenge to the general public. Yet thoughts of the obvious perks from turning my treasured pastime into my life’s work turn fuzzy when considering business plans, budgets, and SWOT analysis reports.

Running low on time, I went to the room where I get my best thinking done and a book offered advice “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…” A bookmark still saved the spot where I meant to continue reading back in 1998.

Anyone else find it ironic that this advice is found in a self-help book?

The chapter teaches that instead of forcing ourselves out of a bad or challenging mood after heavy self-analysis and exploration (who me?!) that if we understand and even celebrate bad moods as much as we celebrate great ones, we’ll see that this, too – even writer’s block – shall pass! I love this nightly opening of the dam and letting words flow onto the page.

Smooth sailing from here on out!

So, thank you Noah and thank you readers, whether you’re floating through for your first or fifty-fifth time, I’m glad you’re wandering with me!

 

Aside

FANTASTIC FRIDAY FEATURE

What a way to start the weekend being featured on another fantastic blog! I am tickled pink!

Please check out his site (and his book!): http://makesomething365.blogspot.com/2012/02/365-words-day-for-365-days.html

While we’re at it, I am always relishing your comments, feedback, suggestions, and questions! So keep them coming! It helps me grow as a blogger!

Thanks for wandering by!

My regular 365 words to come tonight in the wee hours!

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