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Typically, when one goes on vacation the first thing you do the first day of your vacation is to sleep in. Apparently, that's not the case for me. My body is still in full-time work mode and I've been popping up in bed at 6:15 AM. Totally unacceptable.

But, considering the holiday, I suppose I should be thankful that at least I'm sleeping in an extra 15 minutes and slept well.

Also, when one goes on vacation, they usually don't work harder around their house than they do on the typical week. Apparently, that's not the deal with me. I've been running around like a crazed woman trying to get my house ready so promptly after the last crumb of Thanksgiving has been wiped from the table, I can instantly transform into Christmas mode. I'd really do it now but my husband would stab me in the face for putting my tree up before the ole' Turkey is served. Okay, not stab me in the face literally, but he would shoot me stabby-looks until I would prefer if he would have just physically done it.

But, I should be thankful again that I have the time off from work (and gainfully employed) to do all of this!

See, I'm getting better, I'm not all bitter! I'm only 50% bitter during the holidays!

Every few days I sit down and I do a Google Search on "Nook vs Kindle" and it's interesting to see the results (hint: click back there). I really wanted a Kindle. Like really, really wanted. To the point that I wanted it because it was a Kindle, not because of it's features or it's books or because it was worth $279 in my mind. It was... (drum roll).. the Kindle, right? I mean, nothing is supposed to be better.

Then I actually read the specs on the Barnes & Noble's Nook.

Wait a minute? Dual Screen? Color? Expandable memory? Android OS? Seriously? Those are just a few of the features that first stood out. The "lend" feature that allows me to lend out my purchased e-books for 14 days to friends running the Nook application. Built in Wi-fi, exclusive content while I sip my coffee at my local store, PDF reader compatibility! OH MY!

Most importantly, I can read my eBooks on multiple platform devices, PC's, iPhones, Macs! What?

Do I need to go on? Of course!
I can preview titles in store, I can personalize my screen saver and I can replace the battery!

I started off fighting the Nook, I fought liking it. I cursed it's name because it didn't start with a "K". But now... I embrace it.. I welcome it's beautiful Android OS and..

Hopefully, I'll be doing an unboxing video come Christmas day!!! (Hint Hint Hubby!!)

This is some video that was forgotten about on my Flip until today, so I just wanted to share with you a little of what I consider to be Southern Utah's beauty.

Almost a year ago, we went on a family vacation to Myrtle Beach to have some family portraits done and while there, we bought my son a very cool Lightnin’ McQueen suitcase (which now, I can't find a picture online to save my life, so I'll have to snap one later to post) from the Disney store at Boardwalk at the Beach.

Upon getting back to our rented house and opening the suitcase up, we found there was an absolutely gag-i-fying (which in real people vernacular means it stinks big time) smell in the suitcase. It smelled like burnt plastic wrapped in sweat, in 100 degree weather, near a landfill. You get the point.

I was certain this wouldn’t be a problem, so I just drenched the bag in Fabreeze and went on my merry smell good way. The next day I check the bag and now it smells like burnt flowers, wrapped in burnt plastic, wrapped in sweat… and so on and so forth. Literally, over the past year, my husband and I have tried everything. Baking Soda didn’t work. Vinegar didn’t work.. in fact that was a big mistake. Airing it out for days didn’t work. I was really getting concerned that the bag was going to just sit in the attic because I couldn’t get the smell out.

In the meanwhile, I bought a new luggage set off of Woot! for our upcoming trip out West and when we opened them… there was that exact smell again!! What’s the odds? It must be something in the way they are made! But now… it’s not just one Lightin’ McQueen suitcase, it’s now a total of 3 suitcases!

Then, last week my husband sends me a link to Tap-A-Drop on Amazon and asks me to order it, that he was going to give it a try – I mean, really what did we have to lose. So the Amazon box arrived on Tuesday and we ripped open the box and ran upstairs to the bonus room, as if we had just acquired some secret spell book and was about to perform some life changing ritual.

This is the cut to the chase, how to de-skink-a-fy stuff!!
We took one cotton ball and a safety pin (and I say we, meaning my husband did while I watched) and we doused the cotton ball with the Tap-A-Drop and then pinned it to the inside of the suitcase and zipped it up.

Fast forward 2.5 days (today!) and we open the bag to smell… NOTHING! In fact, it smells… GOOD! I’m so thrilled, it’s only taken a year and, who knows how much money, for us to resolve the stinky suitcase issue but it’s done.

And that my friends, is my gift to you… the power to defunkify your suitcases!! I'll be posting a review on Amazon for it as well because it's just that awesome!



Check out the author's website

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Also, if you really are bored and want to see why I will never be able to do live reviews.... watch this:

Slippy Slide Fun

7.19.2009 |

Recently my husband and I decided that we were interested in having a cleaning service come to the house once a month to help take care of some of the chores that we both fall behind on (read as: we hate to do them so we just, don’t). Things like cleaning baseboards, windows, mirrors. If I were to be honest I could make that list much longer but for the sake of trying to keep my reputation as somewhat of a homemaker I’ll pretend I actually like doing laundry, dishes and dusting.

So, I call a local company and I set up a time to have them come to the house and walk through it with me for an estimate of cost. I am generally very critical of people being on-time for appointments, especially businesses. So, when my appointment time of 5:30 came and went, I was annoyed to say the least. So, my husband and I hop in the car and I tell my father-in-law (who will forever be known as “The Mean Greek”) that if they do show up to tell them we no longer need their services.

I must interject here.

There’s one thing about the Greek’s I love. They are absolutely the most blunt people I have ever met. Here in nice ole’ lil’ South Carolina, they come off as rude – to me, it’s heaven. You never need to wonder what they are thinking because not only have they already told you, but they’ve probably informed 15 people around you as well.

So, my husband and I are at Academy Sports picking out his father’s day gift and my phone rings, I don’t recognize the number so I don’t answer, but what I do realize is that my calendar of appointments has just informed me that my appointment time with said no-show-cleaning company was really at 6:00pm not 5:30pm, and the time was currently 6:02. Of course I had to scream “Oh-my-god-Chris-I-totally-goofed-and-forgot-the-appointment-time-and-it’s-like-now!” to which my husband replied, “ok, so now what”.

Before I could answer that my phone rings again with an unknown number and I’m sure I know who it is so I answer. It was the gentleman who I spoke to the previous day to set up our appointment, except now, his voice isn’t so welcoming.

The conversation goes something to this extent:

Him: Hi, Jonna this is So-And-So from Angry-Cleaning-Company and I just got done speaking with someone at your house.

Me: Hi, let me first apologize, I’m so sorry, I made a mistake about our time and thought our appointment was at 5:30 and literally, just now realized it was supposed to be at 6:00. I’m very sorry again to make you go out of your way.

Him: Yes, that’s fine, however who was the gentleman I spoke with at your house?

Me: He’s my father-in-law…

Him: He is extremely rude and I understand that you made a mistake and we can reschedule for another time for me to come back out and do an estimate however I have to ask, does he live there or was he just babysitting.

Me: He lives there and let me explain..

Him: Well, is he going to be there if we come out and clean because honestly, I’m not sure I want to subject my employees to that because honestly, I’m just going to be honest here, he is a mean, grouchy old man.

Me: Well, yes he can be, but only because he was under the impression that your company had pulled a no-show on me and I was irritated as well. But Sir, I’m not available right now to reschedule and I would like to, and I apologize…

Him: I mean I have never been talked to that way and I have to say..

Me: Yes I understand and I apologized, it was a misunderstanding and it was my fault and…

And that’s when it hit me. I finished the conversation up telling him that I would call back tomorrow if I wanted to reschedule the appointment. I apologized again for his inconvenience because it was, for him to drive out all that way to get cussed out for no reason.

But I won’t be calling back. See, here’s my opinion. Yes, I made a mistake, a big one. Someone got cussed out (not literally) for it, who shouldn’t have been. But seriously, I’ve worked in customer service for years and I would have NEVER told a customer that their relative was an angry, old man. Especially after learning that there was a misunderstanding to begin with to cause that to happen. Talk about unprofessional.

I’ll take my punches where they are due, I caused it all to happen but seriously, don’t call my father-in-law a grumpy old man. So, now I move on and find another company to work with (one that may be able to handle some lip from a 78 year old Greek guy) so HAH!

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They say that with age comes wisdom.
I’m not really sure who “they” are or how “they” know, but for the sake of not complicating life anymore than I already do, I’ll just take “them” and “their” words at face value.
May 4th is my birthday and I’ll be turning 1 year older – that is unless in one week’s time I find a way to rip a hole in the time and space continuum – which hasn’t really been a goal of mine so it’s highly unlikely.
I’ve never been one of those girls who are hung up on the whole age thing. I turned 30 gracefully, or at least what I can remember of that night was graceful. So turning 34 isn’t really any more of big deal.
Frankly, I’m already having to do the math of figuring out my age a few months before my birthday, so realistically that just puts me in the “You can’t remember how old you are anymore so you are just effin’ old” category.
And I don’t mind that at all. I am not trying to compete with the 20-somethings out there. I had my day in my 20-something glory. I had fun! But now I’m having a different kind of fun.
This usually doesn’t include hangovers or having to save up for the possibility of needing bail money.
I look back at all I’ve done throughout my life and I’ve learned so much and yes, I honestly do believe that with that sort of vision you do gain wisdom. You have a different perspective on life as years pass by and your goals and aspirations change. I love who I have been and who I am becoming as I change with each passing year.
But seriously, I make really dumb decisions every day. Just this morning I decided to wear a bra that I have known for months is uncomfortable – where’s the wisdom in that!?
So, looking back over this year and reminiscing on things done and said, overall I have gotten wiser and here are a few pieces of wisdom flair I’d like to share with all of my friends in hopes that you can save yourself some time, embarrassment and money.
Jonna’s 34th Birthday Wisdom Bits
    1. When your son head butted you 6 months ago and you managed to not scream out profanities – rejoice in your wisdom, because now he’s not the one teaching those cuss words to his friends in daycare – he actually just picked them up from one of his other little buddies.
    2. Deciding to invest in your hair color instead of saving the money for a rainy day that one time may not have been the most financially sound decision you’ve ever made but damn your hair still looks good. HAH Mr. Trump, you may have riches but money obviously can’t fix that flop!
    3. Chocolate is a food group and is acceptable for dinner on occasions.
    4. Exercise really does make you feel better (especially after indulging in #3), but seriously, you can’t lose 10lbs in 30 minutes on the elliptical – I know, I tried.
    5. Whenever you are feeling down about life, go get your hair done or a pedicure or a facial. Life may still suck later but at least you’ll feel a little prettier, which isn’t half as sucky as being all pouty AND ugly.
    6. And finally (because I had to end on an even number!), use twitter all the time. Not only can you broadcast your thoughts instantly and live to regret them, but you will also realize that your such an open book no one even needs to ask you “what are you up to?” because they all follow you already!



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Hey moms! You need some extra cash right now in these economic times? Go check out the promotion put on by Sears and win $2,500 + big discount coupons on www.bustedmoms.com

In a Twilight Cave

3.28.2009 |

Twilight booksImage by Annafur via Flickr

I do believe that I am one of the last women in America who has yet to read, see or even care about Twilight.

Even my hair dresser is so enthralled that during my last appointment as I sat under the dryer, she sat next to me totally captivated in her book. She's on the 3rd, or was it the 4th?

Everyone I talk to who has read it is completely infatuated with "Edward" and the love story that makes up the books. It's the vampire lure, the love of the immortal hottie.

It's just something that I can't see myself buying, let alone getting wrapped up in. But maybe I'm wrong, maybe if I just read the first one I'll understand?

Either way, for now at least I'll continue to be in the Twilight Cave. I still have a list of true crime books to read first.

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It was off to Kings Mountain State Park this past weekend!
This camping trip was a lot of firsts.

The first trip of the season.
The first trip in our new travel trailer we bought way back when.
The first camping trip for my son.
The first trip to Kings Mountain.
The first time we've relied on others to help make us through.

But enough of that.

The trip was all around, great. Kings Mountain State Park is probably one of the nicest State Parks in South Carolina that I've stayed in. In addition to just being a beautiful park, the camp sites were laid out nicely and the staff was really friendly.

We arrived at the Park just after 3pm on Friday. We were a little worried about how long it would take us to set up the travel trailer, being our first time and all, but luckily for us our neighbor, Alex, helped us with a few key issues and got us right on track. He will be known to me forever as Awesome Alex, because without him we would have probably never had a level trailer and would have burned up our water heater. Our "RV newbieness" was totally showing.

The only downside to our trip was the weather. It was a little colder than I normally would like to camp in. Thankfully the RV's furnace worked perfectly and we stayed warm at night, but it did kind of hinder the outdoor fun. Not to mention, we are all coming down with either a cold or allergies are starting to hit us all.

Saturday morning, after breakfast we drove over to Kings Mountain National Park and went through the Kings Mountain museum. Also, there's an "encampment" exhibit where people dressed in period clothing and basically had a mini-camp set up to see how it was like living out in the battles of the revolutionary war. We got there just in time to see a demo of their guns, which was really exciting even for someone like me.

After that we went back to the camp grounds and while my husband and son played I went to the central area of the campgrounds for a Dutch Oven Cooking Demo put on by a lady who also works the Living Farm in the park. She was really interesting and knew her dutch ovens! Now I want one!

The two parks, the State Park and the National Park are literally a hop, skip and a jump away from one another and both are equally beautiful. I'm really surprised that I haven't heard about it before considering that I live under 2 hours away.

If you are a history buff or just someone who likes to do some camping, go to Kings Mountain State Park, it's worth it for the history and the beauty.

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Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase

As Twitter becomes more mainstream, I’ve seen people ask the question, “Why would Twitter be useful for me as an individual?”

Here’s my Top-10 Twitter Is Great Because…. answer:

  1. I’ve been introduced to great wines
  2. I’ve gotten suggestions for some great cigars
  3. I’ve been given recipes that are scrum-o-licious
  4. I’ve gotten the opportunity to do more product reviews
  5. I found great reviews & advice for buying new gadgets
  6. It’s re-enforced my addiction to reality television (not sure if that’s good or not)
  7. I’ve had great political discussions
  8. I’ve met local, great entrepreneurs and business people
  9. I’ve been able to network with other mothers
  10. Most of all, I’ve made some great new acquaintances and friends from around the world that I would have never had the opportunity to meet otherwise.


I don’t use twitter for business purposes. I use it for personal enjoyment and I must say that it’s been the best social network I’ve ever joined!

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Because here, in South Carolina, snow days are celebrated more than state holidays!


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Prime Pimpin



((Forgive the choppy editing, I'm learning!!)

I made the mistake of falling into my kid's trap. He asked me for some Lucky Charms and I fell for it.

and this is what he turned into...

The Microsoft Visual Studio .NET logo.Image via Wikipedia
I'm an ASP.Net programmer and I can admit, I don't know everything. In fact, since upgrading from Visual Studio 2003 to 2005, I really feel like I don't know a lot.

One of the major pluses to VS2005 was the use of Master Pages. But I came across a problem that was it not for the help of some seriously smart geeks on experts-exchange, I doubt I would have ever figured it out.

The application I was writing is using 2 masterpages.

The first one (Main.master) is parent for all of my pages except login.aspx & error pages, it contains a banner image (located \img\TitleBanner.gif) and an asp:menu control.

The second one (Misc.master) is the parent for the initial login.aspx page & any generic error pages that I am redirecting to. It is identical to the Main.master page, minus the asp:Menu control.

In Visual Studio, everything looks fine & all images are showing. However, upon debugging when the login.aspx page loads, the banner in the Misc.master is not showing (red X), however all contents of the contentplaceholder are fine.

When I log in successfully, it will redirect me to my Main.aspx which is a child of Main.master and the page looks fine, then if I log out (which redirects to the login.aspx) then, and only then does the banner image show correctly.

Initially, both Masterpages were pointing to the same banner image in \img\TitleBanner.gif but I've tried copying the image into the root of the project (outside of the img folder) but still no go.

The Answer!!

The Answer was given to me by someone named guru_sami and basically he lead me to figure out that since my web.config file was blocking all anonymous access that it was also blocking access to the images within my folder to show on the master page. So, the solution was to create a second web.config file within my \img folder giving allow all users access, which then allowed the images to be used in the master page!

These are just one of the coding things I wanted to share! Enjoy!


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Our trip to Bryson City, North Carolina went from great, to bad, to okay, back to great again. All in the span of about 5 hours. I want to make a point upfront, Bryson City, NC is a good destination place but just be very careful with your accomidations.

And now, the rest of the story.
So, we had a 3-day weekend trip planed to Bryson City, NC. Three couples, two cars and 1 good ole’ time! One other couple rode with us and the 3rd couple was planning to leave later on in the evening. The ride from Greenville, SC was just over 2 hours and considering we took the scenic route instead of the interstate, it was actually a great ride. We arrived in Bryson City and our GPS even managed to get us almost to the doorstep of our cabin. It was a few streets off before I resorted to printed directions that the Property Manager of Hidden Creek Cabins gave us.
I was thoroughly excited because we reserved our cabin online and I’ve done this 3 other times with great success. Pulling up to the cabin my big grin turned down slightly as it looked much older in person than the picture online. The 50-foot waterfall in the backyard was a 50-foot trickle (which actually was not bad), but it poured into a small pond that looked like it was not maintained very well and really wasn’t all that “picturesque”.
I tried not to let that worry me and we headed inside to see what our rustic, charming cabin had in store for us.
Yes. It was rustic all right. Which was okay, we knew that going in. However, apparently in upgrading they forgot to put any functional locks on any of the 5 sliding glass doors. Also, in trying to maintain that rustic appearance, apparently sweeping and mopping went out those open sliding glass doors because there were some dust bunnies trying to escape from under a couch that were larger than @mmWine’s dog!
(I reference @mmWine because for some reason when I think of smaller dogs, I know call them all “Zia Zia the killer Chihuahua” – even if they aren’t Chihuahua)
The floor felt gritty under my flip flops, I could see dust flying, I could see cobwebs in almost every corner. This was not good. The cabin smelled.. musty.. which if everything else wasn’t in play, I could have dealt with, I mean, it is an old cabin! So, we did what most normal people would do, or so we thought, we called the Property Manager, which the sign on the kitchen table said to do if we had any questions or problems. In fact, in the paperwork we submitted, it stated to walk through the cabin when you first arrive and call if there is any problems or questions so that we later, would not be held responsible for something we didn’t do. So, we called. And called. And called. And for 2 hours got voicemail. I finally tried one more time while the guys were inside Ingles buying food and got the Property Manager, who then informed me that he had just gotten off of a plane, hence the reason I wasn’t getting an answer.
I briefly discussed the problem and told him we would call him back. Realistically, I’m a push over, so I let my husband do the talking on this kind of stuff. So, he called the Property Manager and basically explained that we were unhappy with the accommodations, that it was dirty and most importantly, absolutely no locks. How were we to feel comfortable leaving our property inside a place that doesn’t lock?
I forget the exact answer, but apparently, we are the first people to ever complain about this and Property Manager didn’t exactly sound like he cared that we weren’t at all happy.
So, we get back to the cabin and discuss what we want to do. The overall consensus was to leave and find somewhere else to stay. I mean hello… Friday 13th, remote cabin, no locks.. I think not! We were waiting on a handy man to come by and see what he could do for us, and also for the Property Manager to call us back about waiving our cleaning fee, since.. it wasn’t clean when WE got there.
Handy man came and let me say this, if it were not for him, we would have left, demanded a refund and I would have totally slammed that place up and down all over the internet for such terrible customer service. Now, I’ll only slam the Property Manager because the handyman went out of his way to make sure every single door in that place locked and that we were more at ease with the situation. He brought a bottle of wine and some flowers for me and my friend and basically really tried to accommodate us in every way possible.
He is the only reason we stayed.
So, we swept and tried to clean up what we could to at least not feel skeezy. The rest of the weekend was awesome. We walked around downtown Bryson City and sang karaoke at Mickey’s. We wondered why there were so many old cars lining the banks of the river between Bryson City and the Cherokee reservation. We ate, drank (lots!) and generally were merry. We utilized the hot tub greatly, as it was the most hygienic thing on the hillside! And I even won $40 at Harrah’s Casino!
My recommendation, do not rent “Chestnut Lodge” from Hidden Creek Cabins, the pictures online are SO deceptive of what this place actually looks like. If you do rent from them and you are unhappy, find John the handyman and his two sons. They are awesome. And finally, eat at Jimmy Macs, you won’t regret it!
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My new XD Subcompact and Chris's new AR got broken in last weekend at Allen Arms in Greenville.

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My son's birthday was this past Monday. We had a party the Saturday before at the house but decided on his actual birth day to take him and his cousin to Chuck E Cheese (his "favooorite").

So, I just thought I'd share a little...

Life lessons, for me, are usually learned by one of the following reasons:

  1. Accident
  2. Stupidity
  3. Experience

I’ve learned 2 life lessons this week, one accidently and one out of stupidity.

Both important even though each one affects different aspects of my life, and regardless of why I came about learning them, I did. I will be better for it.

Isn’t that what life lessons are about? Bettering yourself?

Remember this blog about buying a new Travel Trailer? See that date up there. Right, October of 2008. Well, 4 payments later and we finally got to pick up our new Travel Trailer! Of course we took some pictures of it and got it all snug in it's new home.

I'm really excited to get to use it, but honestly I'm more excited about decorating it! I mean seriously, you have to decorate your mobile-command-unit! Which, is by the way, what I've dubbed it, for some reason.

So, there we have it, finally.

And yes, I know I'm posting this at 4 in the morning - it's not a scheduled blog post. I really can't sleep, I have code for a program I'm currently writing hijacking my dreams and it makes for a crappy nights sleep.

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase
There seems to be two groups on twitter, the people who like #followfriday and those who don’t.
The concept behind #followfriday is that you post a tweet of a person you are following that you think your followers would find interesting enough to follow, in hopes of sharing interesting people and somewhere in that tweet, you tag it with the #followfriday hashtag so it can be searched.
I personally like it because I’ve found some awesome people to follow from seeing suggestions my friends have sacrificed offered. Sure, you can go through the 100’s of “People To Follow”, but frankly now there are so many of those lists out there that how do you decide which list of people to follow is really THE list. And do you just add the 300 people you just saw in a list because someone you know thinks they are cool enough to add and then edit them out later if they aren’t? Well, I don’t because realistically I like knowing what I’m getting into before I get into it. I don’t like the idea of following and then shortly there after unfollowing because I didn’t do my research on who they were to begin with. Yes, I know, I over think this. But to me, it’s important.
Others have complaints about #followfriday. They say they see the same people over and over. Sure, I’ve seen a few duplicate (a few 100 times) names like @chrisbrogan or @guykawasaki but frankly, if I didn’t see their names I would have been surprised! And, well I already follow them so I just kind of write them off – sorry guys – but who ISN’T following you!?
I have seen a few people that basically just repeats the same person every Friday, which happens to be their significant other or their boss or on the other hand lists a huge list every other tweet of every single followers. And yes, I can see how seeing that list every Friday may get old.
Personally, I think it’s a great idea when used correctly. If it weren’t for #followfriday I would have never found a few of my new wine and cigar resources and a new mommy vlog site. So I fully endorse #followfriday even though I’ve not posted the past two Fridays. Wow, I’m a slacker.


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So, I was sick since Wednesday. Not like *sniff sniff* *cough cough* sick, more like "I'm in a freakin' walking coma here people!" sick... not fun.

Because I'm known for being dramatic.

I’ve been kind of quiet on my blogs lately, not for the lack of “going ons’ to write about but more because I’ve had too many “going ons” to have time to focus on just one to really share.

So, some blog news first.
I’ll be updating soon with a few vlogs. My first one is going to be an overview of my new toy, the Flip Mino. I would have already uploaded the live unboxing video of the Flip but being the tech savvy programmer that I am, I deleted the video by mistake. So, I made a new one. I’m just working out some of the editing, trying to cut out the fluff.
Next, some political news.
We have a new president. (just in case you didn’t know)
And finally, a few things to mark on your calendar.
It’s officially March for Babies season, so if your looking to donate some charitable hours, it’s a great cause! You can click on my widget to the right (over there à) and follow the link and join the March or you could be charitable and donate to my Family Team that will be Marching in April in Spartanburg.
Wow, this is so far off from what I typically write about. I will be updating soon!
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I'm sliced on Golf

1.18.2009 |

From Blogger Pictures

I would have said I was "hooked" but from my swing, I'm definitely sliced. Big time. But that's okay considering I've had exactly 3 lessons. And, that is the exact reason I am a huge advocate of taking lessons. Had I not taken my lessons, I'd never be able to recognize my challenges or even know how to address it. I absolutely love The Eagle Zone which is the driving range I go to. It was awarded Top 100 driving ranges in America and my instructor, Chad Phillips, is incredible. Not only is he an extremely knowledgeable PGA Apprentice, but he's incredibly patient with sucky newbies like me.

Yes, I suck.
But I love it!

Even if it's just the driving range, there is something seriously therapeutic about hitting golf balls at the driving range. You are concentrating enough that you block out all the rest of the noise in your life, but your not concentrating so much that it's not fun.

And seriously, I am using muscles in my back and arms that I have never used before. Ever. And thanks god for icy hot.

Now, my next goal besides perfecting my swing is to invest in a glove and figure out what type of clubs I want to buy!

A golf ball directly before the holeImage via WikipediaLet's see if my sentiments stay the same through the next 5 lessons I have!

So, this past Saturday I went to my first of 6 golf lessons that I received as a wonderful Christmas present from my ever so awesome father-in-law. Sure, he had the help of my husband, who had the help of my wish list, which I reminded him about promptly after we finished Thanksgiving. But hey, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!

I'm not sure why I wanted to learn golf so much. My father plays, my cousins play, but I had never really been interested in it before. I remember long ago... not THAT long ago... but maybe 10... ok 15 years ago, when my Dad took me out to the driving range and tried to teach me how to properly hold a golf club. It was pretty much over in my mind 5 seconds after trying to position my hands in what felt like a completely unnatural position on this club. I tried hitting a few balls. I even made contact with a handful, and one.. I remember specifically, rolled about 20 feet in front of me.

That was my experience with golf.

Now, fast forward to last Saturday. As I was driving to my golf lesson I kept wondering what made me want to play. Other than the fact that I'm a Tiger Woods Golf addict on my Wii. There was just something about the game that I wanted to try. So, I asked for golf lessons. And my husband dutifully kindly obliged and told my father-in-law to get it for me as a gift for Christmas, which was wonderful because I really didn't need another gift card for Target.

So, am I the only girl to go to a golf lesson in full makeup? Why? Because I was nervous. I know that makes absolutely no sense, but when I'm nervous, looking good couldn't hurt. So I made sure I was dressed really cute as well. And my husband, knowing me as well as anyone, along with my golf lessons he bought me some really cute Nike shoes to wear so I wouldn't feel.. well, silly. When I'm nervous, I try to look my best and at least then the nerves aren't about if my hair is done or if someone is spying a sun spot on my face.

And I digress.

I arrive at The Eagle Zone and ask for my instructor, Chad. I was very surprised. The place didn't look big or extravagant from the outside, but boy was I wrong! At least from my experience in driving ranges and all, it was. They had a nice little pro shop, a section for golf repair and then a room to do computer analysis of your swings. But the real surprise came when we walked out to go on the range and we went downstairs from main area and the tees were all covered and there were large heaters! Chad turned one on as the lesson started (as it was a frigid 40 degrees for South Carolina).

The basis of my first lesson was to learn how to properly hold a golf club, the basics of my footwork and how to swing a club. By the end of my lesson, I was left with a bucket of balls and I was knocking them about 120 yards! For those of you who aren't that great at math, like me.. that's way better than my initial 20 yard hits I was doing years ago!

The main things I learned from this lesson is that I really like hitting golf balls. There's something very relaxing about it, even though it does take quite a bit of concentration. I also learned that how you are taught makes a huge difference in how you look at the game. What was once a huge uncomfortable clutzy feeling of holding a golf club became somewhat comfortable and seemed to make the whole process of hitting the ball a lot easier. There is a grace to it, which I definitely don't possess yet. But I can say, I really look forward to learning and practicing.

The biggest lesson I got out of this was that I should always try something new, no matter how intimidated I am by it (or the atmosphere that encompasses it) because you may find something you really like.

Like golf!

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Just like the movie I've managed to start creating my bucket list. I envision this list changing as time passes, growing and shrinking as I am able to (hopefully) fulfill some of these. Want to give me some suggestions that you think I may want to do, or how or where I can find some resources to do the things already on my list?

Bucket List
  1. Visit Athens, Greece
  2. Attend an NFL game (Went to the December 11th, 2011 game, Panthers vs Falcons - we lost - boo)
  3. See Mt Rushmore
  4. Drive Route 66 (I drove a part of this in New Mexico and Arizona during our cross country move)
  5. Visit Niagara Falls
  6. Read one of the "classics"
  7. Learn to Hula Dance
  8. Visit all 50 states
  9. Take a golf lesson (1/3/2009 my 1st of 6 lessons!)
  10. Tattoo my feet
  11. Drive an exotic car
  12. Take Dance lessons (preferably Salsa)
  13. Have a Cross Country Driving Family Vacation
  14. See a Broadway show, on Broadway
  15. Celebrate my anniversary cheesy-Vegas-style (Elvis and all!)
  16. Visit Rockafeller center during Christmas
  17. Re-learn to play the flute
  18. Publish a Poem
  19. Go skiing in Colorado
  20. Ride horses on the beach
  21. Love my curly hair
  22. Meet Ann Rule
  23. Show my son where I grew up, Camp Zama Japan
  24. Learn Greek (at least hold a small conversation)
  25. Kayak a major river
  26. Take a Cooking Lesson
  27. Go ghost hunting




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