Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Liebster Blog Award

One of the blogs I follow, It seemed like a good idea at the time..., just posted this message about the Liebster Blog Award.  Having only been blogging a short time, especially compared to Funder's 7,000 internet years, I'm new to the concept, but I'm game to give it a try.  I also love that Funder changed the rules a bit.

So, here are the 11 random facts about me.

1.  I studied to be a secondary level social studies teacher, but didn't quite finish the program because I became horrified at how public schools are run in Virginia and couldn't stomach the thought of being part of what seems like a prison system for kids.
2.  My favorite color changes all the time, but it is currently red.
3.  When I was little, I desperately wanted to be a jockey and I obsessively watched horse races and tracked the results in a three-ring binder.  It should be noted that while I no longer track horse races, I do have an impressive number of three-ring binders for a lot of other crap.
4.  I am a horrible singer, but I love to sing along to music in the car, and I always sound fantastic when I'm by myself.
5.  I love planning a garden, but I have trouble with implementation.
6.  Most of the rooms in my house are only partially painted - see number 5.
7.  I write differently depending on my mood.  If I'm tired, stressed, or in a hurry, my cursive and printing look completely different than when I am not one of those things.
8.  I wish I could have one chicken from every type of heritage breed because I think they are so beautiful.
9.  In third grade, one of the girls in my class was using my spelling tests to cheat off of, so I would deliberately misspell words, wait until she copied them, then go back and correct them before handing my test in.
10.  I hate small talk.  I would much rather talk about interesting stuff like religion and politics, even if the person I'm talking to completely disagrees with me.
11.  I want to have a Chihuahua with some Mexican-sounding name that I carry around in my purse.

Here are the answers to Funder's questions:

1.  Where are you from?
I'm from Dickinson, North Dakota.  For those of you who have never been to ND, there are approximately 3 nice days every year.  The other days are too hot, too windy, and/or too cold (mostly they are too windy AND too cold).  And by too cold, I mean below zero degrees...Fahrenheit...which is why I don't live there anymore.

2.  Where have you been?
I've been to a lot of places, but among my favorites are New Orleans (before Hurricane Katrina), Washington, D.C. (so full of history!), Florida (lovely beaches and cool palm trees), Wyoming (ahhhh, the Grand Tetons), British Columbia, Canada (so beautiful!), Scotland (for my honeymoon, and I would love to go back), and Australia (I spent a semester there when I was in college and the host family I stayed with was so generous and amazing).

3.  What scares you the most (and I don't mean "spiders")?
I'm terrified that something will happen to my daughter.  I am constantly besieged by images of her death and dismemberment in every way imaginable.  I'm told this is normal, though, especially when your kids are young, which is what I'm hoping, because otherwise I might be insane.  Of course, I might be insane anyway, just not for this reason.

4.  What's your favorite food?
OMG, I love all food, especially food that other people have cooked.  If I had to choose today, though, it would be (in no particular order):  cheesecake, chocolate (the good kind, not Hershey's bars, although I'm really not picky when I'm having a chocolate emergency), pasta (especially if it is drenched in some kind of creamy sauce), bread that is homemade and fresh out of the oven with melted butter, and a juicy medium rare steak.  And yes, I realize if I ate all those foods all the time, I would probably have a life expectancy of about 5 years, so I mix it up with stuff like cucumbers, yogurt, blueberries, and chicken.

5.  What's your biggest regret, or do you not believe in regrets?
My biggest regret is that I allowed myself to lose confidence in my riding abilities.  When I got into dressage, I let my trainer convince me that I didn't know how to ride and that it wasn't good for my horse to be ridden outside the arena.  Now I know that both of those things are BS.  Not that I can't improve my riding and not that arena work is all bad, but both my horse and I are so much happier now that I ride outside the arena and am taking a break from having someone tell me how to ride every week.  I just wish I had figured it out sooner.

6.  Favorite band (with links!)
Hands down, it's got to be Nine Inch Nails.  I started listening to NIN when I was in high school and have been to several concerts.  One of the concerts I even went to twice - once so I could get the mosh pit experience (I was in college and arguably not very bright) and then again so I could actually see the concert instead of being stepped on, shoved, spit on, and slammed around.  I love the music because it is so passionate and no album is ever the same (although I can always tell it is NIN).

7.  What's the first name you ever gave?
I got a weanling Quarter Horse when I was probably about 13.  His registered name was Diamond Is Hot, but I called him Bandit.  I can't remember why, but it may have been something to do with his attitude:) 

8.  Is there a name you're saving?  For a girl child, or a homebred horse, or a funny cat name?
I used the name I'd been saving when I recently had my daughter, Gemma.  Now my naming desires have been fulfilled:)

9.  Biggest personal accomplishment, present or future?
When I was pregnant, my health started to decline a little toward the end.  I was forced to accept care from an obstetrician and perinatologist instead of a midwife, and the doctors tried to force me to take medication that was not approved for pregnant women and to have my baby weeks early.  Every instinct I had (plus a ton of books I read) screamed that taking unapproved medications and having the baby early were wrong, wrong, wrong.  All tests showed the baby was doing fine and I knew the longer she stayed inside me, the stronger she would be when she was born.  So I endured being insulted and threatened by my doctors and stuck to what I thought was right for my baby, even though it meant that I went the last 10 days of my pregnancy without a doctor at all (apparently, if you disagree with your OB, he/she can just terminate your care and our maternity system is so messed up, you can't get another one).  In the end, I had a strong, healthy baby and I was OK too, despite receiving an overdose of drugs at the hospital that caused a violent reaction in me and a serious drop in the baby's heart rate.  I know that keeping my baby until I was almost at my due date was the best thing for her, and I'm glad that I didn't cave in to the pressure I was getting.

10.  What's your favorite book?
My favorite book is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  I love all the HP books, but the final book of the series is so powerful.  JK Rowling is a gifted author and I am always amazed at the depth of research, the realness (is that even a word?) of her characters, the brilliant plot lines, and the sense of humor that comes through even at some of the darkest moments.

11.  What do you want for your epitaph?
This is a tough one.  Part of me wishes that I could accomplish something earth-shattering that changes the world, but the other part of me recognizes that life is difficult enough without adding that kind of pressure.  And now that I have a child, it really is clear to me that motherhood is the most important thing that a woman can do, if that is the path she chooses.  I want to be a good role model for my daughter, which means living my life the way I hope she can live hers.  It means making sacrifices to help others, but also being selfish sometimes so that I don't lose myself.  It means that I would die to save my daughter and kill to protect her.  So, I think, "She was a good mother" sums up my hopes for my life accomplishments.