Sea-Doos, Krazy Glue, and That There Fiddling Business

My Grandpa lived an extraordinary life. Known by many for his adventurous entrepreneurial spirit, there is no doubt that his success in business is very noteworthy and from that we can all learn myriad lessons. However, it is not from his public ventures that I've gleaned the most important lessons from Grandpa. Nope. Some of the most poignant life lessons I learned from him came from what might be considered regular everyday interactions, but Grandpa had a certain way about him that made those  regular everyday interactions uniquely his.

Of all the memories made and lessons learned, I've managed to boil it down to the four most important ones:

Lesson #1: Love the life you live, or "Put on your life jackets, we're going out on the Sea-Doo!"

If you knew Grandpa, you know that he lived his life to the absolute fullest. Did he ever have a bad day? I'm sure there might have been a few sprinkled here and there, yet if there were I certainly don't remember them. He filled his life with his passions which filled his days with things he loved to do. I'll always remember the time about 12 years ago when a number of us were at the cabin and we were going to take the Sea-Doos out on the reservoir and he wanted join us for a bit. We put on our life jackets and headed down to the water. my friend and I hopped on one of the Sea-Doos and Grandpa and two of my other cousins on the other. We were going to be daredevils out there, but Grandpa just wanted to go out for a few minutes to take in the views and the sunshine. I'll never forget the sight across the reservoir of him driving that Sea-Doo in his Wrangler jeans, cowboy boots, and button-down collared shirt under his life jacket, with my cousins holding on to each other behind him in their swimsuits. They didn't have to hold on too tightly because Grandpa actually got "pulled over" by the boating police for going too slow. But what did he care, he was doing what he wanted and was loving every minute of it. Life's too short not to do that. Figure out what you want to be doing and then do that. Love the life your living every day of it.

Lesson #2: You are more resilient than you think you are, or "Glue that tooth back in and get back to the party."

I consider myself a pretty tough girl and I have to attribute my ability to bounce back from hard knocks, or never shying away from a worthy challenge to Grandpa. I've mentioned this before: Grandpa was very leery of people wanting to scam you for all you're worth, and in his mind the worst offenders? Dentists. Orthodontia, periodontics, all of that is just one big racket designed to take his money. A few Christmases back, Grandpa had been suffering from a toothache and ultimately his tooth fell out. What did he do? (you know the answer is NOT call a dentist) He Krazy glued that freaking tooth right back into place and got himself back out to that party. Now, Internets, I'm neither condoning nor recommending Krazy glue as a treatment plan (I happen to believe wholeheartedly in regular check-ups and cleanings, which I'm sure means I'm bank-rolling this whole dental practice racket), but I am saying that some times you just need to take a deep breath, glue your tooth back into place and get yourself back to that party. Whenever you were feeling like you couldn't catch a break, or life was just giving you more than you could handle, you could always count on Grandpa to be there in your corner encouraging you to dust yourself off, suck it up, and throw yourself back into things. There wasn't any room for self-pity, just glue yourself back together (sometimes literally) and go out and try your best. He was a living example of resiliency.

Lesson #3: Seek out opportunities to be great, or "There's money in that there fiddlin' business!"

One summer when I was in high school, I went up to Grandma and Grandpa's to see Garth Brooks play at Frontier Days. Grandpa and Grandma also went to the show and the next morning at breakfast Grandpa was raving about the band, in particular the fiddler.

"There's money in that there fiddling business!" he said to me in his serious, low, rumbly voice.

He may have been trying to plant a seed with me, perhaps that I should consider a future of professional fiddling. Alas, I did not become a great fiddler, I've actually never picked up a fiddle. However, the seed he did plant with me was that this world is full of opportunities to be great and that it was up to me to seek those out for myself. As it turns out, there's money in a lot of businesses as long as you can find out what you love to do and do it to the best of your ability. I will tell you this, every time I hear a fiddle I think about him and think about the life full of future opportunities for me to be great.

Lesson #4: Dream big, work hard, and make it happen, or "Now you go in there tomorrow and make us proud!"

I've carried this lesson with me every day of my life. I can't attribute it all to Grandpa, but I can say that it's definitely a legacy of his that lives on in me. I know I've written before about how I haven't always been crystal clear on a single dream for my whole life, but when I am inspired by a dream, a big challenging goal, I'll work my hardest, and then a little bit harder to make it happen.

Seven years ago, I left a career in higher education to pursue my dream job in the business world. It was an extremely difficult transition and there were a lot of naysayers out there who tried to tell me it couldn't be done. But I stayed persistent and always believed I'd be able to make it happen, even when every door seemed to be shutting in my face. When I finally did find that dream role, I called Grandma and Grandpa the night before the interview. What Grandpa said to me right before we hung up has lived in my heart every day since, "Now you go in there tomorrow and make us proud, Kath-a-leen."

And that's what I try to do. Every day. Because of you, Grandpa, I keep my dreams big, I work as hard as I can, and I'm making it happen--all the while so you and all of my loved ones can be proud.

Grandpa, I will always love you and will forever live these lessons and pass them on to my own children and grandchildren someday. My voice may be less rumbly, but you will certainly be speaking through me to the future generations of our family. And I'll try my hardest to someday get us a fiddler in the family.


A Valentine's Day Aspiration

I realized something this morning. My grandparents were married for 72 years, my other grandparents have been married for around that long as well, and my parents have been married for 36 years. That's A LOT of Valentine's Days together (and when you really think about it, that's just a lot of normal days together, too. But given it's that oh-so-special Hallmark holiday today, we'll just go for the v-day count).

So, here's the realization: I've never had the same Valentine twice. Ever. That is fascinating to me. And in honor of cupid on his special day I'll go ahead and say this: I really want to break that streak with Mr. W.

I love him. And he loves me. And life is good. Here's to the first of hopefully many Hallmark holidays we spend together.


Six-word Sunday: February 12, 2012

It was a really tough week.

I'm wiping away the tears, gathering my thoughts, dealing with the shock of reality, missing my family so far away, and hoping for peace.

On Friday evening, February 10, my Grandpa passed away. He was a great man who lived a great life, and still I'm struggling with the hole his passing leaves in my heart. I know it's not common to be 34 and still have all four of your grandparents, but I was that uncommon 34-year-old, and losing Grandpa is taking it's toll and teaching me lessons I hadn't had to learn up to this point in my life.

All weekend, memories have unearthed themselves from the space in my soul where they've been buried for safe-keeping. I'm working on a little tribute for Grandpa as reflecting on his life has made me realize he's been extremely influential in me being who I am. And because writing them is the best way I can memorialize all that he meant, and continues to mean, to me, I'll post that here.

Note to self: Share your love and gratitude while you can!

And as I've made it through this weekend (with the love and support from my family at a distance and from Mr. W closer to home), I'm celebrating the life Grandpa led and how that life allows me to live the life I'm living. The tears are drying, the thoughts crystallizing; reality's sinking in--I'm still missing my family but will be with them soon--and the peace is coming and will wrap itself around me as I continue to move through my life and strive to make it as great as Grandpa's, which is what he wanted most of all for his family.


Hexes and Subways

Internets, I forgot how much I love and loathe home improvement projects. Love them because there is nothing more rewarding than playing a part in making your home into a space you love. Loathe them because holy hell, that's a lot of work!

I've hired out most of the work for this remodel and I couldn't be happier with that decision. However, I've saved some of the "fun" projects for myself. And thankfully, Mr. W is an avid renovator so together we tackled the tiling of my new bathroom (truth be told, we're still tackling it... but we should be finished this weekend).

Here's a sneak peek:

This is part of the shower. The easy part. As you can see, we have our work cut out for us on the angled part of the wall/roof. Yeah. Fun times ahead. The final shower walls and floor will be the last bit we do this weekend.

How do you like them apples? Subway tile detail wall (left) and back splash for the vanity (right). And my cool floor. Just wait until everything is grouted. It's going to be fabulous.

Here you get a better view of the detail on the floor. Just a pattern I made up. The plan is to do the reverse pattern in the shower with the primary tiles black with white border and florets.

And here's where I recognize I'm perfectly imperfect. If a picture is worth a thousand words, this one is fully valued in F-Bombs. This is where I realized that  I forgot about a row of white tiles and couldn't figure out why my pattern was misaligned. The fortunate thing is that nobody but you and I (and Mr. W) know about this, and also this part should be mostly covered or obscured from view by the toilet.


Six-word Sunday: February 5, 2012

Accelerated my relationship tiling all weekend.

One of the best things about Mr. W is that he's into renovating homes. He and I took things to the next level (actually we probably skipped three levels and took it past the fourth one) by tackling a renovation project for the weekend.

In true LMNT fashion, I was unrealistically ambitious about what we could accomplish. That and after we cranked out priming, painting, and tiling a complete wall in what surely had to be a DIY world record and I commented on how we were the valedictorians of bathroom renovations, I most certainly jinxed us and we hit a few snags. The great news is we survived completely intact--I think we might even like each other more now. And even though we didn't barrel through everything on the list, we did do some mighty fine work.

I'm going to have a new bathroom soon (more details and pictures to be posted on domestikat... someday soon... you'll be the first to know when they are)!

(Note: I can't get my pictures to upload to Blogger... I'll post them when I can, but I'm an exhausted LMNT and need to get my beauty rest, in my living room turned studio apartment, more on that to come...).

Goodnight, Internets!


Six-Word Sunday: January 29, 2012

Dust, debris, and a master suite.

I know it's Monday, going on Tuesday, but I didn't want to miss my six-word Sunday. I'm almost three weeks into a new home renovation (only this time, I'm paying to have someone do most of the work). It's time to blow the dust off of the other blog. I'll post pictures and comments there later this week.

Now I'm off to obsess over subway tile, and it's not the first time I've done that...



Ah, the early stages of a relationship. Whether you're 34 or 14 some things never change.

To say I've been giddy about Mr. W is a huge understatement. I've reverted back to giggly little schoolgirl and it's fantastic. It's been a month (what a month it's been). A few weeks ago, my co-workers were teasing me about how smitten I am and how I've likely been distracted by practicing my signature with his last name all over my notebooks, just like many of us started doing with crushes back in our school days.

And until last week, I hadn't done that.

But then I was snowed in at a work event with plenty of time for daydreaming and plenty of paper for doodling. Before I knew it, I found myself scribbling his last name a few times on a random sheet of paper. "Ha ha," I thought. "My little secret. Nobody will know about this." Famous last words; if Michael Bolton taught me anything, it's that none of my little secrets ever stay secret.

Over the weekend, Mr. W was getting into my car and I noticed that my notebook from last week's event was strewn about the passenger seat. I told him to just throw it in the back and he just paused and looked at something on the page. I sat there thinking, "what the heck? Just throw it into the back seat already and let's go get hamburgers!" And he just looked at me and pointed to something written on the random sheet of paper that had fallen out of the notebook.

There it was--in beautiful cursive penmanship, I might add--his last name. I gasped, squirmed, and blushed crimson red. No denying it. I've got a crush and it's making me act like a 14-year-old. I fumbled for words to explain why his good family name was written on that sheet. He was gracious and I was adorably mortified, what would he think and would it freak him out?

And because he's great and is not too unlike the 14-year-old me who has a massive crush, he didn't freak out. In fact I think it might have even made him like me more. Which of course made me like him more. And that's where we jumped into the infinite loop of the virtuous giggly-little-schoolgirl cycle.


Six-Word Sunday: January 22, 2012

Survived snowmageddon at luxury mountain resort.

If you live out here in the Pacific Northwest, or if you happened to watch the news at all this week, you'll know that we were hit with a significant blast of winter weather. Significant in Seattle is any amount of snow that sticks to the streets. This sums it up nicely:

Fortunately for LMNT, while most of the northwest got cabin fever hunkered down in their homes, I was coaching a leadership event at one of the most scenic local hotels situated in the hills East of Seattle atop a giant waterfall. If ever there was a place where you wanted to be snowed in, this is that place. Every room has a wood-burning fireplace and a view of the hills and the river valley filled with snow-covered pine trees. It was fantastic, until we lost power on the last day and suddenly the plot of The Shining didn't seem as far-fetched as it once had.


Six-Word Sunday: January 15, 2012

Manifesting something MUCH better than chocolate.

So I've been at this blog for a little over four years now, and in that time I know I've written countless posts (countless because I've never been very diligent about adding tags) about my seemingly endless search for Mr. Right. In fact, my very first post indirectly revolved around my search for him, or perhaps how that search had been cursed. Since then there have been a lot of Mr. So-Sos, Mr. Mediocres, and Mr. LMNT-What-Are-You-Thinkings: Marinara Jar, J_____ (known in my circle of friends as Cuff Links or Clinks for short), and New Friend to name a few.

Then of course there was Mr. McMichael. A Mr. Oh-so-very-close-but-not-exactly-right. Mr. McMichael helped me to realize the possibility of amazing, loving, respectful, and authentic relationships. He became the gold bar standard with which I began measuring all relationships. I know that who I am in relationship with a partner now is because of what I had with Mr. McMichael and I will forever love and respect him for that.

And as much as I do love the fact that I have a gold bar standard for relationships, it can also be a bit of a dating burden. As it turns out not a lot of people meet that standard and it can be really frustrating--deflating even--to keep putting yourself out there just to be disappointed again and again. But because it's what I do, I persisted (I also whined, cried, agonized, pulled-out-my-hair, and pretended to quit, multiple times with my close friends, but in the end I continued to persist).

Back in November, I reactivated one of my online dating profiles with the intent of just getting myself out there again and holding on to the very faint (and rapidly diminishing) hope that I might actually meet someone interesting. The bitter single woman that lives inside my brain kept trying to convince me that I was really fighting a losing battle, but the optimistic, hopeful romantic that also lives inside my brain kept repeating that if I'm clear about my deepest desires and wants and I put them out into the Universe, then they will come to fruition. Ultimately, the bitter single woman remembered how good I am at manifesting things (remember all of that chocolate?!), so she cautiously conceded to optimism. And really, we all wanted to see her win.

Online dating is a bit of a yo-yo. There are a lot of ups and downs, and while I was making some connections with guys, I'd meet up with them and would feel nothing. On paper they were great, but in person they weren't right. After a month of corresponding with and meeting really nice guys, but not really right guys (exactly like the guys I dated four years ago) I was ready to call it quits and give it a break. In fact, I had already declared several "rules" for myself (as I'm wont to do) and my online dating protocol. For instance, I refused to look at any one's profile simply because they had looked at mine. If they checked me out and wanted anything to progress, then they were going to have to contact me because they needed to demonstrate they were interested. Closely tied to this was the rule that I was not going to make the first move and e-mail anyone. Being the direct girl I am, I would do that often and only had about a 10% response rate, so forget it. Mr. Right needed to put in the effort, because I was tired.

Ah, but the Universe (not unlike the honey badger) didn't really care about my rules, because apparently it also wanted to see optimism win.

A couple of days before I was taking off for Christmas in Denver, I was online e-mailing one of those really-nice-not-really-right-guys (yes, I was following my rule because he had contacted me first), and when I hit send, the service populated a list of three guys that they suggested I might like. I read the teaser headline for the first guy, was hooked and had to read more. I opened up his profile and was astonished that I was reading the profile of what seemed to be the person I've pined so long for on this blog (and even longer for in my life). It was sarcastic, hilarious, articulate, and familiar. Bitter single woman thought, "Too good to be true." But optimistic romantic overpowered her with her Arseneo Hall-style whooping and a big, "I told you he was out there!"

But what was I to do? There are rules, LMNT; rules that you yourself decreed. I decided that I would e-mail him, but not in a way that really let him know I was interested, because the odds were he wouldn't respond (nice work, bitter single woman). So I kept the note very short and to the point (but witty as hell), and basically said: "your profile is unique and interesting. Congratulations. I respect that. Have a good night." I hit send and never expected to hear anything back.

He responded within two hours.

Fast forward a month and something amazing is happening here. I'm happier, more confident, more vibrant, and more glowy (yes, glowy), than I ever have been before. And because of all of the previous learning experiences I've had with relationships, and because I'm more clear than ever on what I want and desire in my life, I feel more prepared to throw myself into the amazingness and see what continues to happen. As I admitted to him in a recent e-mail: "Over the past couple of years, I've definitely had walls up and have been cautious about getting to the point where I throw myself into the fire, and this time is different. You make me feel safe enough to do that, in fact, you make me want to do that because it's the only way I want to experience this--feeling it 100% and also feeling confident about me, you, and us."

So things are good and you'll likely hear more as the amazingness continues. And ever since I've met him, I've been dying to find the right time to blurt all of this out and have also been desperate to come up with a solid code name, because that's really important. After toying with a few (the Prophet, Snowhawk), I've landed on a somewhat clever one that also plays on the fact that he's a high school teacher (Internets, join me in a collective swoon). Please allow me to introduce Mr. Wright, but we'll call him Mr. W for short.

And that's the story of how I persist and manifest. Mr. W, thank you for (unknowingly) answering this call. And also, you are infinitely better than Donnettes!


Ninja Garage Sale

Now I know that my neighborhood isn't every one's dream neighborhood, but over the past few years I have really grown to love it's quirkiness. From tech-geek gangsters to grand pappy rooster (okay, I never loved that damn rooster), the neighborhood is never boring.

There's this apartment building across the street from my house, and on unseasonably sunny and warm weekends this past fall and early winter, one of the residents has taken to pulling extremely random items out of his apartment and the trunk of his Cadillac and sets up his own little "sidewalk sale" of sorts in the middle of everything. Items I'd consider random: velvet paintings, a zero gravity lawn chair, and a spring horse not too unlike this one:
42" Wonder Horse Spring Horse with Lifelike Tail from Hedstrom

Viewed alone those items aren't so strange (well, except for the velvet paintings), but collectively they really make up a strange lot. And I could probably end my story there, but Internets, that's not where the weirdness ends. No. You see, what makes it even more strange is the fact that the proprietor of all this stuff will pace back-and-forth on the sidewalk waiting for customers all the while swinging nunchucks. Yes. Nunchucks. 

Now, I have never had a garage sale of my own, but I can't imagine that practice really drives up business. And come to think of it, I've never seen him sell anything (except one encounter which I think wasn't a velvet painting, but possibly narcotics, oh, the neighborhood), but who can say if the slumping sales are due to his not-so-in-demand inventory or his martial arts skills?


Love IS a Wonderful Thing

Oh, Internets. Remember when AP and I went shopping under the influence last spring? And remember how I bought a whole bunch of cassette tapes for $0.25? Yeah, okay, it’s going to come into play in a couple of paragraphs.

Earlier this week, I had a random series of events that all culminated in the most humiliating, or maybe awesome, event thus far into 2012. It all started when I was driving home from work last night and I realized I had a few of my tapes stored in the passenger-side door of my car. Upon closer inspection, one tape in particular stood out: Michael Bolton's "Time, Love, and Tenderness." Now, the reason I think I noticed this particular tape is because a few hours prior to my drive, a new fellow in my life admitted to me the cheesiest concert he'd ever been to. And because, I hadn't yet responded to him with a concert of my own I think the tape was the Universe calling out to me as a reminder. Because, oh yeah, I've been to not one, but two Michael Bolton concerts. But seriously, Michael Bolton was a big part of my tweener years, mostly because of my parents' fandom. In fact, I think I'll save more Michael Bolton stories for a whole post of their own. An ode to the long-haired crooner.
So, I admit to the new fellow that I have him beat on the cheesy concert front and all is well--he still likes me!
The next morning, I get in my car to drive to work, and there's that tape calling out to me it's siren's call. "Fine," I think, and put it into the Jetta's tape player. Holy Junior High flashback, Batman! Instantly, I'm taken back in time and amazingly I remember ALL of the words, and that's not embarrassing in the slightest (at least not in the privacy of my own car). There I am, in all my commuting glory, 100% jamming to Michael Bolton. I very distinctly have the thought, "I'm so glad that NOBODY will EVER know about this episode. Especially the new fellow, he's never going to know that I am singing this song as loudly as I can," as I hit rewind to replay "Steel Bars."
Now, it should also be known that I'm taking a new route to work because the state has started a ridiculous toll on my old way to work. I'm still getting used to things and am starting to take back roads, and I turn onto one of those back roads and note the speed limit is 25 MPH, and think, okay, that's how fast I'll go.
But I'm jamming and singing, and before I know it, there's a cop on a motorcycle in my rear view mirror with his lights on, pulling me over.
Faster than Michael Bolton can make a cougar throw her panties on stage, I turn my stereo off. No way is that cop going to know what I'm listening to. I've only been pulled over a couple of times in my life because I hate getting in trouble. But in this moment, I'm more embarrassed that it is 2012 and I was rocking out to MICHAEL BOLTON, than that I got busted for breaking the law.
Officer Rivera comes to my window and says, "Ma'am, I'm pulling you over for speeding today."
"Okay, Officer," I meekly reply, both hands on the steering wheel.
"The speed limit is 25 MPH here and I clocked you at 36."
"Oh, boy."
"Yeah, did you even see me there?" 

Me, sheepishly, "No. I was completely jamming to music."

"Oh really? What was it?"

No, Officer Rivera! Why did you have to ask me that? I'm a good girl. I hate getting in trouble and I'm embarrassed that you pulled me over in the first place, but even more than that? I'm embarrassed that the reason I was breaking the law was because I couldn't keep myself in control whilst listening to the 90s crooner. In all of my earnestness and inability to lie to an authority figure, I held on to the steering wheel and collapsed my forehead onto it, cocked my head to the side and with a grimace I admitted, "Michael Bolton."

"Michael Bolton?!" He laughed, "I was NOT expecting you to say that. Lady Gaga, maybe. But Michael Bolton?"

"I know. And I didn't think that ANYBODY was ever going to know about it." Uncontrollable blushing.

I handed Officer Rivera my license, he looks at it, and returns it to me. "Okay, Ms. Holmes, I'm just going to give you a warning this time. Michael Bolton?" Shaking his head he chuckled and asked, "Was it 'How Can We Be Lovers If We Can't Be Friends?" Ah-ha! Officer Rivera shows his soft underbelly. Only a closeted Michael Bolton fan could pull out a reference like that.

"Actually, it was 'Love Is A Wonderful Thing,'" I admit, regaining a little of my confidence and my sass.

"Well, take it easy on the Bolton and slow it down, ma'am."

"Oh, I will. Thanks."

Note to self: Be your authentic, adorable self. A wise man once said, "Birds fly and don't think twice/They simply spread their wings." That's what I did here. I could have played this so many ways, but I just did what came naturally to me (yes, burying my head in the steering wheel was that reflex). I did not expect anyone to know my secret guilty pleasure, nor did I expect to get out of that ticket, probably just as much as Officer Rivera did not expect to start his morning in a conversation about Michael Bolton. Isn't life awesome? To see just how awesome it is, you should check out the video below (because you know you're a closeted fan, too. I mean with soulful background singers, how can you NOT be?):


2011 in Posts (and thoughts that never materialized as such)

Internets, I am the Scrooge McDuck of New Year's Eve. I don't understand or buy into the hype and have always found that the best New Year's Eves are the ones without expectations (no over-the-top plans, no $50 cover charges to bars that on any other night of the year you can go to for free). Low expectations are almost always exceeded--a great way to start the new year.

This year, I spent New Year's Eve alone in my house and it was FABULOUS. I did some organizing, watched a movie, drank a glass of champagne and ate fancy salted caramels, and was in bed by 10:30. Ahhhhh. I also spent some time reflecting on the past year and thought I'd pull out the highlights of each month in terms of my most favorite (and sometimes only) posts for the month.

January--No post, however I started the year off coaching a couple of marathons and breaking up with the Olympian (who I think I may have never even blogged about to begin with, so, here you go: I was in a relationship, and then in January, I wasn't. The end.).

February--I fixed my $600 drying rack.
"The Commish and Monster have... talked about John C. Reilly's doppelganger the plumber. When I opened the door today, there he was... I half expected Will Ferrell to pop out from behind the shrubs."

March--I blogged every day for the whole month.
"And it being the start of the month and all why not use my freakishly methodical mentality to push myself into a blogging challenge? And, lo, a habit is born. Or at least force fit into my life."

April--I accomplished something REALLY BIG by running the Boston Marathon.
"Remember to keep breathing. When you turn on to Boylston and are within blocks of the finish line and you start to hyperventilate (again) because you're so overcome with emotion, and you're about to cross off a REALLY big accomplishment on your "life's list of things to accomplish," and the big crowd is cheering and calling out the name you have written in big bold letters on your shirt, and photographers are taking your picture (even in spite of the fact that you look like you just crawled out of the grave), and you almost start to cry, and then you realize you stopped breathing, inhale. And then exhale. And then inhale again, and keep moving."

May--My life was forever changed for the better because I went to PARIS! FRANCE!
"I'm feeling particularly verbose about my time in PARIS! FRANCE! The good news, there's going to be a lot more than just Part II. Today's theme: 'When LMNT went for a run and then wept openly about art'."

June--I was still only talking about PARIS! FRANCE!
"Just had an absolutely lovely conversation with an adorably lovely, older, French, non-English speaking woman sharing a table with me in a crowded cafe. I have no idea what we talked about."

July--There was so much that I didn't blog about. Instead of writing, I bought myself cowgirl boots.

August--I celebrated a lot of milestones, the biggest being a decade in the Pacific Northwest and the smallest being my little tattoo.
"That's right, on this very date TEN years ago I... sat in a tattoo parlor with one of my best friends, Jo Jo, and commemorated the 'passing of an era' by getting my one and only tattoo. We got matching tattoos, a small ladybug atop our right feet. Small, yet it symbolizes such big monumental things: my life up to that point."

September--I didn't post, but I got a year older.

October--I didn't have a free minute for the first 16 days of the month because I was coaching two marathon events and had tech week for... wait for it...

November--...Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Also, I demonstrated how you can move through the grieving process at a rapid rate (and I got back on Match.com, which could be important as we move into 2012, but more about that later...)
"Not that I'm going to make excuses, but if I were going to one of the reasons why you haven't heard much from me over the past three months is because I was busy getting my thespian on. And for those of you that thought it might just be a "phase" or something I was experimenting with, as it turns out I'm really into it."
December--The Cupcake Twins wooed the masses (and broke many a married man's heart) with BACON CUPCAKES!
"Sorry married guys who might really love cupcakes, but guess what? You've already got yourself a 'cupcake'--and she's at home--and your puppy-dog eyes will get you nowhere with us. We do not feel sorry for you. And no, you cannot buy one of our cupcakes for a dollar."
All told (and for what remains untold), 2011 was a good year, but I do bid it goodbye, because it's time to make way for 2012 and I've already got a feeling that it's going to be a great year.