Thursday, October 31, 2013

Heirloom evening

I'm loving these little evenings our blogger community has created.  I mean, what's not to love?  Local dining with friends you've met through blogging and have begun to build community with (and always an opportunity to finally meet someone you feel like you already know!).  Some travel from other parts of the state, some travel across county lines and some just live 3 blocks away.  But, what's so fun is we solve the problems of the world - our world.  We express freely.  We share honestly.  We love.  We hug.  We keep it real and honest.  And, above all else, we eat really well!
 
this month we gathered at Heirloom on the Rogers Square.  Love this place.  Love the chef.  Love that her parents are her staff.  Love the food she serves.  Love that she keeps it local.  Love the environment.  Several good conversations in my last 12 months have happened here.  Including some heart healing.

 
thankfully Terra remembered that we were supposed to bring socks for SOCKtober...thanks to Kid President calling us out to support our friends down in Little Rock.  Stop and watch this video....do it right now and come on back!  Love that he called out someone in our state and that we could be part of it...I forgot my socks so I'm going online and making the donation instead!  One month.  One Million people...what can we do? http://happysocktober.com



So, we dined Mezza style, which I'm beginning to learn is my favorite way to dine.  I mean who doesn't love a plate of mini bites.  And, the best part...everyone shares.  Or, at least their plate gets passed around the table whether they want it to or not!
 
Where else can you try sardine butter?
Or Bacon Jam - pretty sure they now know that homemade pimento cheese is a no-brainer...I will always order.  Especially when I can mix it with bacon jam on homemade wheat crackers

 
And then, you get to enjoy all that in the company of these dear folks!
 
See, we were trying to solve the problems of the world.
 
Love my blogger chicks!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Day 11 - best/worst date

Seriously could not let this one sneak past me.  Fortunately this person is not still in my life so I can freely talk about it without fear of hurting someone's feelings.  (Its a blessing and curse that I could still talk to most of the guys I've been on a date with)

My WORST date was one of the "why not" options....now I really debate if the free meal and conversation are worth it!

Some friends of mine met a guy at a restaurant in Hot Springs one night while they were out.  He was (clearly) single and so they thought..."hey we know a girl who is single so you guys should talk".  Thankfully they did text and ask permission to have him "friend" me on Facebook before they allowed the stalking to begin. 

It was my first date based off the lovely "social media land". 

There was the expected back and forth on Facebook where I finally felt safe enough to share the cell number.  We arranged to meet up.  I insisted that we meet in Hot Springs.  Where, I could drive my own car in case I needed to get away.  I didn't want him to know where I lived.  And, I didn't want to be seen out in my little town with a "new guy" until he obtained the status worthy of being seen "in town". 

Of course with the luxury of Facebook I knew what he looked like so just meeting up at the restaurant was safe enough without the proverbial red rose on the book.  I really don't remember much about our "hello" because the rest of the evening was so overwhelming that I can't even go back that far in my mind. 

Soon after we were seated he complimented my cardigan and jeans.  Let's be honest that its a 4 day process to decide what to wear on a first date so to have a guy notice and then comment is always a big deal.  So, he did score a point there.  The fact that he was so impressed by a cardigan should have been my first clue that it had been a while since he had been on a date.

Somewhere in the course of dinner conversation, we had an argument with our waiter about refried vs. black vs. charro beans.  Grown up conversation is so fun!

I could tell this wasn't really going anywhere but I could also sense that he was very nervous.  Now, you know I can talk to the wall about pretty much anything and he could talk about toilet paper and be happy so we were never at a loss for conversation.  I was however scanning the room at all times to see who was in the restaurant from "my town" so I was ready for the barrage of questions that I might later find myself prepared for. 

Post dinner I made the standard trek to the bathroom - not to check my lipstick because I could care less.  I needed to make sure my face didn't read boredom and when I'm nervous I drink a lot so my water glass had been refilled 8 times. 

When I came back from dinner, he gave me 3 options for something to do post dinner.  I do realize that the rest of this story could have been saved by saying something similar to "well, I probably need to head back".  But, I don't really know how to be mean or get out of awkward situations and he was at least in a place to pay so I was going with it. 
  • Option 1 - "we could go to the movies and I will probably try to hold your hand.  I'm not sure what is out, but I'm sure we can find something".  I politely asked for option 2.  Holding hands is a special thing and I was sure he would try something more...I'm no dummy
  • Option 2 - "we could go to the county fair and I'll win you an animal."
  • Option 3 - "well, there is a county fair in town and we could go check it out" 
I could clearly see that redundancy was playing in my favor and it was a "public place" so it had to be the safer option.  Plus it was a beautiful fall evening so what could go wrong?

As we walked out of the restaurant his comment was "well, we are going to have to take your car.  I'm embarrassed of mine and we cant drive in it".  I thought "ok, no big deal.  We are grown ups and I can drive."  I hate driving, and usually I would offer to let him drive, but I had no idea who this dude was.  Which as I'm typing this kinda makes me nervous that I even got in my car with him.

So, we pulled out of the parking lot and I told him he would have to give me directions because I knew the fair grounds had moved and I wasn't sure where they were.  He agreed to give me directions but we needed to make a pit stop first - the bank.  It apparently never crossed his mind to think about stopping to financially cover the evening and his "options" before he offered them.  So, we took off for the local branch of his bank, which there was only one of on the complete opposite side of town from where we were and where we were going.  Not to worry, because of our "new" status, he could of course not give me his ATM card and code so I pulled into the drive thru backwards so he could get out and take care of his banking. 

Next fear you need to know about me.  I'm not a fan of crowds.  I'm less a fan of going to places with big parking lots in fields where you have to sit and wait in traffic.  And, I cannot parallel park.  All 3 played in our favor that evening and before we even made it into the fair, I was standing in the middle of the road helping him not hit the car on either side of mine as he "made up" a parking spot along the road. 

So, we are safely parked and headed into the local Arkansas county fair.  Now, I had attended this fair back in college when I was friends with a guy who's family owned fair rides.  We could get back door access to all kinds of small county fairs and play on the rides and hang with the "carnies" so that was not my concern.  The concern came when he said "stick with me". 

Apparently it was "Republican" night that evening (or should I say week) and his parents were the local chairs for a pretty significant candidate and were working that evening.  So, something was said about "the Republican party" as we walked through the gate and no money was exchanged.  But, in return for our "free" admission, we had to make a stop by "the table".  Lucky for me, I actually new this candidate so I was pumped to turn on my charm and have a fantastic convo.  Unlucky for me, her night to attend was the previous night and instead manning the both that evening was his...mother.  Of course...that's what we all do on a first date is meet our guys mama at the county fair. 

But, I was cool with it.  She was a Ouachita alumni, I worked with Ouachita alumni.  His brother was considering coming to Ouachita on a music scholarship, I used to recruit kids to come to Ouachita on music scholarships.  It was all panning out, right?  Well, he disappeared.  I won over his mom.  His redneck dad showed up running his mouth about the "locals" who were enjoying themselves at the monster truck rally under the big top.  She thankfully stopped him before the story got too colorful with this phrase - "now dear, watch your mouth.  This young lady is accompanying our son this evening".  Hold it there Bessie, did we just pull out our antebellum hoop dresses or are we still in redneckville at the local county fair? 

Thirty minutes later, he showed back up with some lady and a red solo cup and I'm not sure what had been going on.  To his credit he realized it was time to rescue me and take me out to the midway where he could win this prize he promised. 

Game one, I beat him.  Game 2, I beat him.  (you would think he would be smart enough to just let me watch him play but no, he was competitive enough to let me keep beating him).  Finally we find a game that was for just one player so he allows the "carnie" to negotiate some ridiculous amount of money out of him as he continues to throw darts and get higher on the prize options until he wins me a large tiger.  After all, I worked at Ouachita and if I needed anything to remember our evening, it was a stuffed tiger (thankfully some kid in Africa is enjoying that because it made its way into my Operation Christmas Child box that year!).  So, with prize in hand, we could move on to the next phase of the fair - the animal area. 

Again, I'm in a cardigan, skinny jeans and some form of sandals not really made for barn animal watching.  But, I pulled up my big girl pants and took one for the team...the last thing you want to be on a first date is "high maintenance"!  I mean looking at farm animals that the local 4H kids have raised has to be enlightening, and it was. 

(I'll go ahead and throw in here that on our way over to the "sale barn", my date grabbed my hand in the dark and said he needed some "consoling" so I was going to have to help his ego through the beating it had taken by me beating him and having to commit his life savings to "winning" me that tiger.  I was on to his shenanigans and quickly found a way to pry my hand loose and move the tiger to his side)

There were goats, miniature horses and pigs.  Big pigs.  Small pigs.  Baby pigs.  Mama pigs.  Pink pigs.  Black pigs.  Oreo colored pigs.  And, pigs with big udders.  Or, ones' who's "milk was ready" as I learned from my lovely date who bent over and stood on his head to make some animal observations.  I learned more about the "milking" and pig raising process that evening than I could care to know.  I guess when you grow up in Hot Spring county, you just learn a few things about the livestock life.

Once I started my sneezing fit and my eyes begin to swell, he realized it was probably time to end our lovely time together.

I drove us back to the restaurant and around to his car.  There was not a hug goodbye although I think he did try to go for the lean in while I remained full body plastered to my driver side door. 

I did stick around only long enough to hear the high shrill noise come from his car which indicated it was working and he could indeed leave and get home. 

(In case you are wondering the ... to this story was a conversation sometime later the next week where I realized with my busy schedule, that he complained about, I probably didn't have the kind of time it took to invest in a relationship at that time.  He took it well....until he called me back 3 days later wondering if it was "him" or if he had "done something".....geeze louise man)

Photobucket

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Making Strides 2013


Yesterday was such an incredible day.  No, I'm not always one for getting up early (ever, but surely not on a Saturday!).  But, when I think about the lives we saved and the steps we took, I'm overwhelmed by the generosity of our sponsors and the time of our volunteers.

Yesterday, we hosted the 2013 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event in Northwest Arkansas.  Almost 500 people came out to walk and we raised close to $40,000. 

But Friday really put everything in perspective for me.  Thursday night I had attended a meeting.  The volunteer who presented the "mission moment" is a 17 year breast cancer survivor.  She always finds a way to articulate what she has to share in a way that resonates and lingers in my mind.  I was overwhelmed thinking that over 17 years ago a group of volunteers were doing what we are doing to save her life.  Making Strides events have been around for 21 years and may have just been the thing that funded her life saving treatment.

Then, early Friday afternoon, I got a text from a friend that his mom had received the feedback from her PET scan and there was "no evidence anywhere of cancer in her body".  Now, where I come from, "no evidence anywhere" is God size healing.  I still have scar tissue and such that tell you it was there at one point.  My throat always looks inflamed, but to hear no evidence anywhere is a miracle!

Late Friday afternoon I got on Facebook and almost immediately read the status of one of my parents friends who just this week had received her diagnosis.  A woman less than 6 days ago walked into my sister's wedding shower with the biggest smile on her face.  She was happy and celebrating with our family while carrying such a heavy burden in her heart.  While I was pulling down the covers to crawl in bed and get to sleep early for the breast cancer walk, she was gathered in her living room telling her daughters the hardest news of their lives. 

After I pulled down those covers and crawled into bed, I got on Facebook and Twitter (2 bad habits I have every evening...guess it could be worse!).  Waiting for me was a direct message from a dear friend in Arkadelphia who just that morning heard the devastating words "its cancer". 

Cancer is ugly.  It sucks.  It drains you.  It cuts to the core of who you are and makes you ask really deep questions.  Yet at the same time, it has the power to draw out of you the best and worst of who you are.  It can bring a broken family together.  It can help you articulate and connect with another human soul in a way you never knew possible. It can define purpose and develop meaning.  It can draw perspective.  It can inflame fear and squelch need.  It can develop in you the diamonds of your spirit that only come after the storm. 

What I do is to act and pay back.  I'm here because someone came before me and wanted to leave a lifesaving legacy.  My dollar today, my hour today, my miles, my weekends, my late nights, my ideas, my conversations and my stories may not do something today....but they will do something tomorrow....of that I am 100% sure!

I have a few days left to reach my $100 goal and I have $75 to go.  If you would like to donate, you may do so my going to my personal page on Team Rack Pack!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

mammography facts

Today in Northwest Arkansas, we are Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.  Maybe you had a chance to come out and take some steps to finish the fight, or maybe you didn't.  Either way, I wanted to share some very important facts that might just save your life or someone you love.

We have some serious technology working in our favor to save our lives.  Makes sure you are doing everything you can to take care of your health!

 
need some more info on these great stats?  Check this out!


Photobucket

Friday, October 25, 2013

Day 10 - meaning of your name

While this topic doesn't really seem to apply much to being "single".  With a name like mine I just couldn't pass up the opportunity.

Day 10 : Meaning of your name and what it means to you

So, KEISHA - yea, you know a good American name!

I did a little google searching and here are some interesting things I found.
  • American Name, used in English Speaking countries (I know you were really wondering!)
  • probably the shortened form of the name Lakeisha, a form of the name Aisha
  • reached peak of popularity in 1969
  • derived from the biblical name Keziah, one of Job's daughters in the Bible
  • West African root meaning "favorite daughter".....just saying!
But, the website that seemed to get me was www.first-names-meanings.com - check this out!

Who is she?
Beneath the aloof and sometimes glacial exterior, Keisha   is more sensitive and emotional than the average person. Her intuition is considerably well developed, and she applies it with mastery in her personal interactions. Indeed, she tends to be passive, even a little lazy at times and is often far away in a daydream; although her faculties of observation are excellent. She is very attentive to the needs of others, but often forgets about herself. She is generally shy, and can be very touching, however she is just as capable of showing quite formidable character. She is discreet, modest even, to such an extent that she can appear frosty and distant. She holds her privacy dear and tends to be rather secretive, which is why Keisha   is often such an enigma to those around her! This is probably just a protective mechanism, because she is sensitive and generally feels vulnerable. If she experiences emotional upheaval, she may react by becoming withdrawn and hiding away from the world, and could even experience periods of depression. Yet she is also capable of great courage and determination if she happens to be touched by a particular cause (usually of a social nature). Actually, she is such a complex creature because she is divided between two rather antagonistic frequencies of vibration. The energies of the 9 are conducive to a certain spirituality and concern for others wellbeing, inciting her to join groups or associations with similar ideals... Then there are those of the 7, which tend to induce scepticism, egocentricity and push her to flee the world and live as a hermit - even in the family home... Parents, beware, because Keisha   can be rather manipulative, and underneath the cool reserve, wisdom and kindness, she could have a surprise or two up her sleeve! Furthermore, she can often be of quite mercurial temperament. On the other hand, she has an enormous need for affection. Magic and the supernatural: the weird, wonderful and fantastic have a special place in her heart, as do tales and legends. If she suffers an emotional disappointment, she is inclined to escape into her inner world of daydreams. It would be desirable for her to develop an artistic hobby, and to participate in group activities to help develop her sense of solidarity.

What does she like?
She treasures her privacy and you are not to pry, and she is probably the keeper of many secrets. Because she is such a sentimental sort, she is attracted to life as half of a couple. She possesses a profound sense of friendship and can be counted on to give sound advice. She dreads loneliness and tends to be conciliatory and patient in her relationships with others. Where her heart is concerned, she is much more tender, loving and affectionate than she appears to be; however the smallest heartache could signify the return of the ice queen.


What does she do? 
Where her career is concerned, Keisha  could be drawn to the social professions (law or medicine), communications and creation (media, cinema, theatre, music), anything to do with foreign travel, or the social sciences (psychology, graphology, pedagogy...), or in connection with esotericism or spirituality.

Kinda interesting thoughts if you ask me!  I know one thing.  My name is unique.  Its always thrown people for a loop.  But, here's the deal, its fits me and I like it.

Interesting facts from my view point
  • I did always like The Cosby Show and thought it was cool that there was a girl on there with a similar name in real life. 
  • anytime I type my name in a computer for the first time, it always wants to autocorrect it to "geisha"...that's a lovely thought
  • I'm always a fan if someone throws the $ in there!
Photobucket

Thursday, October 24, 2013

kindness

Its a little known fact and super bad habit that I have to spend some time in social media land before I get out of the bed each morning.  It really became a habit earlier this year when I was looking for inspiration and promises anywhere I could.  Its amazing what an encouragement my Facebook news feed can be during the 7 and 8 o'clock hours.  If yours isn't, I highly encourage you to "unfriend" some folks and find new ones!

So, this morning in the twittersphere, I ran across this little gem.

Hugh Freeze @CoachHughFreeze 14h
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We only have today. Let us begin. - Mother Teresa. btw kindness cost u nothing

Apparently I'm not the only one because more than 12 hours later it has seen 266 re-tweets and been favorite 122 times. 

Of course a Mother Teresa quote is always a "ringer".  But, the "kindness costs u nothing" is the portion that I really liked.  I marked it in my mind and moved on.

Later in the morning I found myself standing in a roadside store in Hattiesville, AR referencing my social media morning (pretty sure that's the first time Twitter much less quoting Twitter has ever graced those walls!)

The conversation was with a volunteer who manages this little roadside gem.  He was thanking me for being nice to his niece at the Relay last year.  I'll admit. It didn't even remember doing anything special.  And, I guess that's why it hit me.  He went on to tell us that it meant enough to her that she wrote about it for a creative writing prompt in one of her classes this fall. That's what got me.

All the things we strive to do in life and what means the most to someone is because we were "nice" to them.  And, were we nice when we weren't intentionally being nice.  So, the question presents itself.  If we make a difference when we aren't thinking about it, what kind of impact could we make if we were intentional? 

Let me ask you.  Are you intentionally kind?  Do you smile?  Are you the happy in their day?  Do they see integrity in your eyes.  Do they choose business with you over someone else?  Are you the chosen person over another because of the way you treat people?  Do they feel better about themselves and their day because your paths encountered each other?

There are many things I hope I'm intentional about, but kindness sure is one of them.  After all.....it's FREE!

And, if you don't follow @CoachHughFeeze, you should! #WinTheDay
Photobucket

Friday, October 18, 2013

love this quote

So, the other night I was reading on The Single Woman and came a cross this quote in her post about reflections on the quote "every woman has the exact love life she wants". 

I mean to tell you I had never thought about singleness in this way and when I read it, it smacked me in the forehead like a light pole I wasn't paying attention to (yes, I've actually done that before...it will smack you right dab in the middle of the face!).

"I like that I can sit on my front steps on a cool autumn night with a blanket and a cup of hot cocoa and talk to God for HOURS, because I don’t have anywhere else to be or anyone else to be with. I like that my heart belongs to Him and is safe with Him. I like that He is the only entity I feel the need to consult with before making big life decisions…and I like that I have the luxury of a deeply intimate walk with Him, because He has my undivided attention and undistracted devotion.  I’m pretty sure God really likes that, too."


The luxury of a deep intimate walk with HIM - because my devotion is undistracted!

Wow, what an amazing thought.  That this time of singleness is a gift bc its my chance to really, wholly, fully give my undivided attention to God. 

Oh that I will dwell on that sacred thought!  And, live in that sacred place.

Photobucket

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Day 8 - 5 things most important to you in a mate

So, I'm just picking and choosing what I want to talk about on these topics.  Just for full exposure, I'm skipping:
-biggest fear as a single person- this was covered mostly in my first 2 posts...otherwise its walking to my car in a dark parking lot
-the biggest misconception people have about single life - I may come back
-thoughts on the quote "every woman has the exact love life she wants" - def coming back...building a bigger soap box.  The one I have is not big enough to hold the words...kinda already his this...I'm old school, MAN UP!
-where you are in life vs. where you thought you would be - skipping bc I'm more grateful for the experiences I'm learning from trying to understand "obedience" and "surrender" in the context of what God's grand journey of life can bring

So, I land to today - 5 things most important in a future mate:

1.  He loves the Lord.  Sometimes I say if he loves Jesus and loves me, then the rest can be figured out.  But, the core of who I am is built on what Jesus did for me on the cross and I strive to live in light of that influence in my life. 

2. He can love me - every single day.  Like, I want him to love me, but like me too.  I want him to want to hang out with me.  To sit in silence and to talk for hours.  To want to show the world he loves me and yet not gross them out.  To love who I am and not try to morph me into to something else.  Let's be honest, at this point, I'm set and just who I am.  I want to be a better version of myself, but I'm sure not interested in being forced to be something else.

3. his reputation - what his friends, co-workers and my friends think about him. I want people to love him.  To love being around him.  To be impressed by the way he lives his life.  The way he gives and treats others.  I wanna know how he treats his mama and respects his dad.  If he is a boss, what is he like to work for?  If he is a team member, what do his co-workers say about him.  What is the gut reaction of my best girl friends?

4. ambition - does he live by a driven spirit? I could care less about the money.  I think those details work out when you find how to give to the world.  But, does he want to be better.  Do better.  Love more abundantly. 

5. adventure and playful spirit - too much of life is too serious.  I want someone to just play with.  Explore life with.  One who doesn't want to fall to the status quo.  I want a guy who likes to try new things.  Embark on a road trip.  Take the scenic route just in case we might find the most amazing view. Someone who will stop and eat at the skanky looking restaurant because its probably one of those "local dives".

What I seem to find out about myself is that this list has morphed.  Back in the day I could sit down and make a list of 30 things.  I think with time you learn that much of the silly stuff doesn't matter.  And, when you try to reason the why behind the "item", it takes on a little more meaning.  I kinda think beyond these 5, the rest are just bonus items!

You know, I'm not really looking for the guy who completes me.  I mean yes, it will be nice to be someone's "other half".  But I don't NEED a man.  I want someone that I WANT to spend my life with.  That's a big break through for me.  For a long time I thought I needed someone to complete me.  To make me fill whole.  And instead I realized that a relationship is about  2 people bringing 100%.  Yes, some days we have to give more than our 100, but its not about it "adding up to 100".  We have to be fully ourselves and bring all of that. 

What about you?  Do you think if you had gotten married later in life you might have looked for other things or less specific from what you searched for in your mate?

Photobucket

Monday, October 14, 2013

home reflection

so, being in Arkadelphia this weekend made me think a lot about "home".  The word.  But more, the definition. 

While I'm from the Dallas area and its where I grew up and my family lives.  Arkadelphia is still the place I call HOME.

Right now, "here" is not "home" yet.  "Here" is where my stuff is.  Its where I live.  Its where I work.  Its where I do life.  But, there are many more layers to "home".

Home is the place I spent my weekend.  But, I do realized that "home" is a place you can visit.  It doesn't have to be the place you "are".

Home is the place that knows you best.  Where you find your roots, but grew your wings.

Home is a launching pad.  Home is a grounding place.

Homes brings your core its best energy.  It makes you (or me anyway) the best version of yourself.

It loves your ugly and cheers your great.  Its the place where you have people that you can read their mind with a glance and knows how life is by the look on your face.  Its the place where silence is deafening and laughter is always a belly laugh.  

Its a place where people see your face and forget that you aren't there every day.

Its a place that fits you like a glove and makes your shine like a little black dress.

Home always holds a piece of your heart yet fills it in a way that makes you expand to your greatest potential. 

Photobucket