Category Archives: 30-Day Blog Challenge

Blog Chllenge Day 17 – Things that annoy me

Finally, a list I will be able to finish with zero trouble…
People who waste my time.  As a busy woman I don’t have time to waste.  So the checker at Smith’s who stopped my checkout process to sniff my dryer sheets and then launch a conversation about them before continuing was not my favorite person that day.  People who walk slow in front of me, meandering, when I can’t get around them.  People who drive the speed limit limiting my ability to go as fast as I wish.  (Yes, I am a speed demon, why do you ask?)  People in the express checkout lane in front of me with more than 15 items.  People who stop in the aisles at the grocery store to talk to someone else and block the entire aisle.  Meetings where nothing gets accomplished.  Yes, this category has many, many sub-categories of which I could go on and on.
Having to pick up after Big Sister.  This one sucks and is more than likely my own fault.  For eight years of her life I had enough time to baby her and go behind her whirlwind cleaning up after her since, after all, it was just her.  Now that we have added Baby Sister, I don’t have the time or the energy.  It might kill me before she gets the hang of picking up after herself.
Baseball.  I hate everything about the sport and the fact that they play it practically all year is SO annoying.  And, no, this does not make me un-American.  I am allowed to have this opinion.
People who don’t pull their weight at work.  This is a huge one – people who wander the cubicle halls and chat all day – either in adjoining cubicles within earshot or at intersections that I have to walk past.  They annoy me even if I don’t know who they are.

Books that have not been made into audio books that I want to read.  Seriously, why isn’t every single book just automatically made into an audio book for people like me?

Blog Challenge Day 16 – A song that makes me cry

Remember the post about odd things where I confessed that I cry at lots of stuff?  Well, I’ve never – I repeat – never cried about a song.  Is that weird?  I did, once, cry because a certain song came on at a particular moment so I’ll tell you about that instead.

It was seven and a half miles into my second leg of Ragnar.  I had already run six miles that morning and the leg had been rated Very Hard.  I thought it was because it was extra long but it was because it was also a lot of rolling hills.  It was excruciating and I didn’t think I could go the distance.  And then I crested a hill overlooking a beautiful valley and “our song” came on my iPod and I knew that Hubby was at the next exchange waiting to take the baton from me and cheering me on from there in spirit.  

I’m not gonna lie – I cried like a baby for the next two miles.  

Had it been another song would I still have cried?  Perhaps eventually since that was the most painful two miles I’ve ever run, but since it was that particular song I didn’t wait.  Anyone who things that running is only a physical sport has never done any endurance running.  It is one part physical, four parts mental.  And yes, there’s crying in running!

Blog Challenge Day 15 – Five funny fears

How are fears ever funny?  I guess I’ll regale you with my silliest ones and hope that’s adequate.
1.  Spiders – seriously, even the daddy long-legs kind scare the be-jesus out of me.
2.  Bees – they send me screaming and running.  And the time one flew in the window while I was driving?  I almost died because of that damn bee!
3.  Ladders – I am not afraid of heights if looking down from above but I’m super squirmy and scared to climb higher than two rungs on a ladder.
4.  Throwing things away – I have serious hoarder tendencies that I must vigilantly curtail.  Every time I throw something away I’m afraid I will need it in the future regardless of how long it has been since I used it.
5.  The I.R.S. – those bastards truly frighten me with their ability to completely screw up your life if you cross them.  *shudder*

Blog Challenge Day 14 – A vacation I’d love to take

This was an easy one… My dream vacation is really more of a lifestyle change.  I would love to live abroad – in Italy.  If it can’t happen permanently, I’d settle for a trip long enough to immerse myself in the culture beyond the typical tourist areas.
About seven years ago we had friends who had moved to Germany that we went and stayed with for two weeks.  Those two weeks changed my life.  To see how fundamentally different life is in Europe has never left me.  No large refrigerators to hold a week’s worth of groceries because the bakery, the butcher and the grocer are all within walking distance and you buy what you will eat today and maybe tomorrow.  Think of how much food you would no longer waste because the vegetables – from Costco – go bad in the crisper before you have a chance to use them!  Recycling is not optional – you have a separate can for paper and one for real garbage – the stuff Americans send down the garbage disposal to be cleaned out of the water supply at the treatment plant.  Most things at the grocery store come packaged in recyclable paper packaging and there is very little plastics.  Those two things alone revolutionized our lives after that trip.  We are recycling Nazi’s and the only time I ever use the disposal is if people who don’t know are over and put crap down the sink that I cannot get out.

My heritage on my Dad’s side is Italian and I have always been drawn there – as if my blood somehow longs to return home again.  I love the food, I love the wine… I even tried to teach myself the language in fifth grade as part of my gifted and talented program project.  (Yes, I’ve always been an overachiever.  Why do you ask?)  Maybe someday I’ll work at a job where I have enough vacation to take an extended trip – and lots and lots of disposable cash on hand!  Or maybe when the kids are grown and I’m a full time writer I can do it from there instead.  Either way, bring on Italy and soon…

Blog Challenge Day 13 – Five strange facts about me

Here’s another of those challenging posts that I was tempted to replace.  How do I define strange and how do I pick just five? I looked it up on and here’s the official definition: 
unusual, extraordinary, or curious; odd
Hmm… I can work within those boundaries! Here are five extraordinary, odd or curious facts about me:
1.  I am fearless and honestly never nervous in any situation – except when it comes to spiders and bees which send me screaming like the girl I am.
2.  I am one tough cookie, a heartless bitch even at times – but I cry at almost every episode of Parenthood, practically every movie ever made including some action packed ones, and lots of books.
3.  I still have the movie ticket stub from every movie I’ve ever seen in the theater for seventeen years with Hubby.  I have no plan of what I will do with them, nor do I scrapbook.
4.  I love chocolate and I love peanuts but I despise peanut M&M’s and chocolate-covered peanuts.
5.  I am a problem solver to my very core.  Even Hubby sometimes has to stop me and tell me to just listen because he is merely venting and does not require me to solve the issue at hand.  Many arguments could have been avoided in our early years if he had figured this out immediately.
Bonus fact:  Doesn’t matter what we are talking about, I can still eat.  I chalk it up to my Mom being a nurse and always answering any question that came up over dinner, regardless of the topic.  Like that one time when I was seventeen and asked what an IUD was in the middle of a restaurant…

Blog Challenge Day 12 – A song played at my wedding

Nevermind the creepy 80’s video that even I wish I had never seen…  
This was “our” song back when Hubby and I tied the knot in 1994.

Blog Challenge Day 11 – A recent photo of me

This is me… 

at the beginning of the summer right after I got my feathers in my hair.  Can you see them among all the crazy curls?

Blog Challenge Day 10 – Five things from my bucket list

I’ve never made a physical list of things I want to do before I kick the bucket before.  There’s always things swimming around in the back of my head that I know I want to do but never something to mark them off of when completed.  Here’s the first five that come to mind:
1. See Italy – including the town my family name originates from
2. Write a book – publishing it would be nice, too but not necessary
3. Get my pilot’s license (I got halfway done in college)
4. Compete in a triathlon – and finish

5. Learn a foreign language – preferably Italian

Putting these down in an actual list makes me feel like I need to check them off.  You know what they say… someday will never come unless you are doing the things you want to do then now.  Or maybe that’s just me that says that?  Now I’m not so sure but it’s true nonetheless.  What’s on your bucket list?

Blog Challenge Day 9 – A photo I’ve taken

This was the sunset of the best day we ever spent at the beach.

And this is still the coolest picture of animals with attitude I’ve ever captured…  Can’t you just see the mischievousness shining through in the one giraffe that’s looking at the camera?  I know it’s a female and that she doesn’t take crap from any of the others.

Blog Challenge Day 8 – Thank you letter to someone who has changed my life

How do you pick just one person?  One person to single out as the biggest influence of change? Is it your parents?  Your spouse?  Your children?  Your mentor?  The author of your favorite book?  I can’t pick just one – and have been struggling with this question for a week now knowing this post was lurking in the blog challenge.  I was even tempted to replace it with something easier.  But then what would be the point of the blog challenge if I got rid of all the challenging posts?  Then I decided that I wasn’t being graded on this and anyone I picked would give you an insight into me so I went with the first one that popped into my head a week ago.

Dear Big Sister,
             Thank you for surprising me with your conception at a time in my life when I was convinced I didn’t want kids because my career was so important I couldn’t be bothered with motherhood.  I was wrong.  Over the years I have suspended my selfishness in ways I didn’t think possible without regret just to make you happy which in turn makes me a better person.  Your logical mind challenges me daily to explain how life works which means I surely won’t ever suffer from Alzheimer’s.  In trying to mold you into a well-rounded adult, I hope I don’t scar you and that you don’t need therapy as an adult.


Blog Challenge Day 7 – Five things I couldn’t possibly live without

Since it says ‘things’ and not ‘people’ I’m going to answer literally instead of going to the safe and predictable places like family or friends… which goes without saying anyway.

1.  A smart phone.  I never really got over my addiction to the Blackberry – which was my gateway drug.  Currently I have a Droid and just upgraded my work phone to an iPhone.  And I carry them both.  I feel naked if I don’t have my phone ON. MY. PERSON.  I’m not a lady who keeps it in her purse.  I don’t wear pants without pockets.  I never ever turn it off.  Seriously, I could not live without my phone.

2.  Running shoes.  Again, an addiction.  What does this say about me, I wonder?  I used to be a shoe whore and was a sucker for a cute pair of shoes – especially heels and strappy sandals.  Now I love running so much that I have spent my allotted shoe money for the last three years on running shoes rather than shoe shoes.  I do not currently own any sensible black shoes for work and my brown shoes – the last pair I haven’t worn out – are ones I bought more than three years ago.  Once my running shoes wear out and I can’t wear them for running, they transition into my everyday shoes.  And if the day came that I couldn’t afford to buy a new pair FOR running, I would spend food money to buy them and starve instead.

3.  Cottage cheese.  I eat cottage cheese every single day.  It is one of the best forms of non-meat protein and requires no work to prepare.  I love it plain. I love it with berries mixed in.  I could eat it for every meal.  If they quit making it, I would die.

4.  Hair color.  I suffer from a pretty shitty gene pool in the hair department.  I got my first gray hair at fifteen and have been coloring ever since.  If I didn’t have hair color, instead of looking like Little Sister’s mom, I’d look like her grandmother.  No joke.  No exaggeration.  I’m so busy these days that I don’t get time to color it often enough and I KNOW it’s time for color when I have a stripe of silver starring me down from the mirror yelling “color me quick!”.  If I had to endure having THAT hair color from roots to ends, I would die.

5.  Books.  Bet you saw this one coming, huh?  I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love to read.  I came home the first day of Kindergarten so mad because “they didn’t teach us to read today” like my Mom had said would happen.  I always have a book with me – either tucked into my bag or loaded up on my iPod or my reader app on my smart phone or all three.  If other authors stopped writing great stories for me to read I would die.  Probably why I want to be one of those authors and give back to other readers like me.

So, what on this list surprised you the most?

Blog Challenge Day 6 – A moment I wish I could relive

Time to get a little heavy… fair warning.  As I said, this list has a bunch of things I don’t normally blog about which is, I guess, the entire point.  I have two specific moments that, at their essence, are really the same moment with two different people and are the only two real regrets that I have in my life.  I wish I could go back and say goodbye to my maternal grandpa and my fraternal grandma differently before they both died.

One thing I don’t do well is death – I always find a reason to skip a funeral, when I go to viewings I skip even going near the body.  It isn’t necessarily that it creeps me out but just that I don’t get the whole ritual.  When I die, I don’t even want to be embalmed.  Donate all my organs, put me in a cardboard box, let my kids say goodbye one last time then burn me to ashes and have a gathering to celebrate my life.  Once I’m gone there’s nothing left in the shell of my body so why go to all the trouble with preserving it.  And don’t even get me started about the whole idea of cemeteries with all those bodies rotting away sealed up tight where they can’t even nourish the trees and other life around them.

My grandpa died four years ago.  He was one of the most important men to ever come into my life.  I was there with the rest of my family – brothers, sister, parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, literally everyone – when he died.  I think he held out long enough for us all to get there after the dreaded middle-of-the-night phone call before he took his last breath.  We all took turns going to the bed and saying our last goodbye and while I didn’t skip it, I didn’t do everything I wish I had.  I held his hand and told him I loved him but I hesitated and for some reason held back throwing myself on him for one last hug and kissing him like I really wanted to do.  So, I’d like to relive that moment and this time not give a shit how it looked or if it messed up some machine hooked to him and give him that hug.

I should have learned my lesson about this particular moment by the time my dear grandma on my Dad’s side passed away a year later.  But, instead I listened to my Dad – who knows how I feel about the whole subject of death.  He told me the last time he had seen her she hadn’t even known who he was and that it wouldn’t matter if I went to see her one last time or not.  So I didn’t.  At the time I rationalized that it would break my heart to have her not recognize me and to see her in such a diminished capacity preferring instead to remember the small, sweet lady who was always such a gracious and giving woman.  Even now I wonder how different it would have been had I gone to say goodbye.  Maybe she would have known me and taken some small comfort in my presence.  I’ll never know and I wish I had gone.

Blog Challenge Day 5 – The meaning behind my blog’s name

For a long time I’ve been fascinated with all things occult.  I love astrology, read Tarot cards, am fascinated with palm readers, have been to a psychic, and always gravitate to movies and books with these things and characters who do them.  One of the things I’ve always said is “I wish I had a crystal ball!” – usually when I’m trying to make tough choices where there are no easy answers and could mean significant change in my life.  When I got the blogging bug – which seems like a lifetime ago – I thought it would be cool to theme it around being a glimpse into my life from the outside – like a crystal ball – and also a reflection of my own life from the inside.   Over the years it has been just that – a way for me to project outward what I’m doing, feeling, thinking and also for me to reflect on what makes me who I am.  I still have days when I really wish I had that magical crystal ball to make my life easier, but in the meantime I have this!

My blog began before I consciously decided I wanted to be a writer who would also have a blog or thought there might be actual people who would read it regularly.  Many times I have thought “Terra, could you have made the blog url any longer and why doesn’t it match the name of the blog?” and have thought long and hard about changing it.  But if I change the url to match the name of the blog would I lose people who stop by occasionally or would it be easier for everyone to find – never mind the fact it’s printed on my business cards?  Or would I fall into the trap of being one of “those” bloggers who are infamous for changing their blog name or deleting them? I’ve found several in this category over the years and am sad when the blog is one day inexplicably gone.  So of course I don’t want to do that to any of MY readers.

I’d love to know…  How did you find me in the blog-isphere and what do you think of the name or the url – love it, hate it or never thought about it?