Post #65 – Reading minds for a day?

Insecurity plagues me sometimes, particularly when I wonder what people think of me.  Do they really like me?  Or are they just being nice?  Do they really think I’m a good writer, or are they just trying to encourage me?  Does he think I’m attractive or fat?  The list goes on and on, especially on days that I’m down.  I often people watch while sitting in coffee shops and ponder what people think of me, both the people that pass me by and the people that really know me.

So, if given the chance to read minds for a day, I would seriously contemplate the pros and cons of doing so.  I could discover what people really think of me, both those who think well of me and those who don’t.  Would the confirmation of my friends’ love really be worth any potential bad feeling I stumbled upon?  Perhaps.  Perhaps not.  Though I do already know people who genuinely don’t care for me, so perhaps finding out that more people could feel that way wouldn’t hurt as much as the betrayal I felt when I discovered that some people close to me genuinely don’t care for me.  Ok, let’s be real.  It would still hurt to find out that anyone doesn’t like me, and I have no reason to distrust what my close friends say to me.  So perhaps reading minds for a day to discover what people think of me would end badly.

I could use the power for good though.  I could learn what my friends really like and surprise them with gifts or excursions or whatnot.  I could learn what they are intimidated by or afraid of and encourage them.  Somehow, I don’t think this justifies reading minds for a day.  I could just ask them these things and be open about my own likes and fears.  Then we would all know.

So I suppose that I would not read minds for a day if given the choice.  The risks outweigh any potential benefits.  This is one time that I would rather not be sorry than safe.

Post #55 – What do I want to eat right now?

So there may be some benefits to blogging when I eat my breakfast.  You know, like being more consistent since I do eat breakfast every day.  Also, getting my post done early so I don’t have to think about it later when friends want to hang out.  And last, but certainly not least, not having to think too terribly much about the topic, which is what happened today since the topic is what do I want to eat right now (and who would it be with)?

Though I am making a delicious breakfast consisting of a glass of milk, a cup of Espresso Roast coffee from Starbucks (brewed at home), a banana, and toast with melted peanut butter (which would only be better if it was crunchy peanut butter), that is not what I would pick if I could eat anything I wanted right now.  I would eat a cranberry orange scone with a grande nonfat latte at Starbucks with Lo.  That is what I want to eat and who I want to eat it with.  Since Lo currently lives in Portland, and I am broke and trying to eat more healthy food anyway, I will enjoy the previously mentioned breakfast.

One of my best friends Lo and I!

Since I don’t frequently get to purchase Starbucks’ cranberry orange scones, I recently decided to try my hand at making them at home.  Below is a fantastic recipe from Taste of Home.

Cranberry Orange Scones

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 10 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup cold butter
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Glaze (optional):
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • Orange Butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons orange marmalade

 

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, 7 teaspoons sugar, orange peel, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the cranberries, orange juice, cream and egg. Add to flour mixture and stir until a soft dough forms.
  • On a floured surface, gently knead 6-8 times. Pat dough into an 8-in. circle. Cut into 10 wedges. Separate wedges and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with milk; sprinkle with remaining sugar.
  • Bake at 400° for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack.
  • Combine glaze ingredients if desired; drizzle over scones. Combine orange butter ingredients; serve with warm scones. Yield: 10 scones.

 

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 331 calories, 17 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 65 mg cholesterol, 396 mg sodium, 43 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.

 

 

Post #52 – The best roadtrip

Ok, so this isn’t exactly post #52 because I’ve been slacking on the blogging front for the past month or so.  But I do intend to slowly finish the posts I have missed (I’ll back-date them so that they are in order) so that I can say I wrote 365 posts this year.  However, for now, I’ll just pick up where I left off without giving myself too much grief.

Today’s topic is to describe the best roadtrip I’ve ever taken.  Since I haven’t really gone on too many roadtrips, my selection is a bit limited.  I went to South Carolina the summer before sophomore year of college with my friends Sarah and Joel.  That was a blast!  On the way back, we had a couple days of freedom since we had requested so much time off of work, so we drove through a couple different cities, including Nashville, Louisville, Indianapolis, and Bowling Green (ok that isn’t so much a city, but I wanted to show them where I went to school).

Other than that, all of my roadtrips have been local – Ann Arbor for the day, or Detroit for the Jazz Festival.  That is, until about seven months ago.  My husband, John, and I drove out to Chicago for three days for our honeymoon.  It was fantastic!  The drive was long enough to really get into the zone of driving, and exploring downtown Chicago was a lot of fun!  We stayed above the Majestic Theatre downtown.

Two weeks later, we embarked on a more serious roadtrip.  We started in Bowling Green, OH by attending a friend’s wedding (it also happened to be where we lived) on a Sunday night.  After the wedding we drove to Kent, OH to visit some friends for the night.  On Monday, we headed through several states to arrive in Washington, D.C. (we were there to obtain our visas for our trip/move to China).  We left D.C. Tuesday (with visas in hand!) and drove back to Columbus, OH to visit my best friend.  Wednesday found us in Dayton, OH for a little over 24 hours.  We stopped back through Columbus to see my Grandma on Thursday on our way back to Bowling Green, via some town we met his sister in for dinner.  After a brief stop in BG, we headed up to Michigan on Friday to say good-bye to my parents, then rested in BG on Saturday before heading back to Columbus to fly to China on Sunday.  That is probably the best roadtrip I’ve ever taken.  It was fun to see so much of the country and see all our friends.  I can’t wait to roadtrip again!  And that might just be tomorrow!

Post #50 – What would I do with a million dollars?

If I had a million dollars tax-free, what would I do with it?  Well… there are many things I would do with it, such as the following.

  1. I would pay off my husband’s and my debt.
  2. I would pay off all of my good friends’ debt.
  3. I would save enough money to live reasonably for a year so that I could write a novel and several articles.
  4. I would live in Europe for a summer or maybe even six months.
  5. I would support more GCM staff and increase the support for those I currently support.
  6. I would open a replica of The Daughter Project somewhere on the West Coast.
  7. I would move to Portland.
  8. I would go to barista school.
  9. I would replace my old, sloppy clothes.
  10. I must admit that I would buy a couple pairs of new shoes.
  11. I would also open a coffee shop.

And then, after that, I would give the rest to charities or causes that I support. Yup.  That’s what I would do.

Things to be happy about!

  1. Skyping with a best friend
  2. Lovely weather
  3. A quiet evening reading
  4. Talking in Chinese with some kids on the street
  5. A good book
  6. Blogging
  7. Emails from friends
  8. Moleskine journals
  9. Candles
  10. Being productive
  11. Dreaming
  12. The local hand-pulled noodle shop (so delicious!)
  13. Local street food

Things I miss from the States

While it is amazing how similar life in China can be to life in the United States, there are few key differences as well, which is definitely to be expected of course.  The following is a list of things that I dearly miss in no particular order.

  1. COFFEE
  2. coffee shops, namely Starbucks (note they do have 1 in the entire Hunan Province, but it is 2 hours away)
  3. public libraries
  4. bookstores
  5. Twizzlers
  6. plain milk (all the milk here is flavored)
  7. kettle cooked chips, especially bbq chips
  8. toilets
  9. toilet paper and soap in public restrooms
  10. free wifi
  11. binding straightforward work contracts
  12. individualism
  13. tampons
  14. FRIENDS
  15. Mexican food
  16. Jed’s
  17. dryers
  18. soft mattresses (you can dribble a basketball on my mattress)
  19. unlimited access to the internet, including facebook, hulu, and youtube
  20. boneless chicken breasts (all the chicken in China has bones still in it)
  21. ground beef
  22. regulated traffic
  23. 8-5 work hours
  24. family
  25. evenly paved roads and sidewalks
  26. convenience and proximity to grocery stores and restaurants

These things I miss dearly!

On becoming alive

As I sat in one of my favorite coffee shops yesterday, I realized that I felt apathetic about life.  I desperately wanted to feel, even if that meant feeling sad or angry.  While I was journaling about this lack of emotion that I felt, my friend walked into Grounds, came over, and invited me to her table with two of her other friends.  I joined, and we all started talking.  We connected about random, sometimes ridiculous things.  And all of a sudden, I realized that I was feeling again.  I was feeling alive again.  Why?  Because I was connecting.

I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking, pondering, and considering what I want to do when I graduate.  I am single and free to go anywhere and do anything.  I want to pursue my dreams and passions, which I believe that God has laid upon my heart.  I’ve dreamed about many different things.  Moving to Seattle.  Moving to England.  Moving to Boston.  Moving to Spain.  The last place I want to move is back home with my parents.  And until quite recently, the second to last place I wanted to be is Bowling Green, Ohio.  I moved to Bowling Green for school in August 2006.  And it has been a great place for me to grow and really become myself.  However, I have never dreamed about staying in BG.  I didn’t even want to come here for school.  But as I have been really delving into my soul to realize my dreams, I have come to realize what I want to do with my life.

I want to connect with people.  Through writing.  Through social justice organizations.  Through teaching.  Through being friends.  Through investing in each other’s lives.  That is what I want to do.  Connecting with people makes me come alive.  It makes me feel.  Yes, I have been hurt, and I will be hurt by people.  But being hurt is no longer enough of a reason for me to run away from people.  I would rather feel and connect with them than run away and withdraw.  So that is what I am going to do… now to just figure out how… and that might mean that I stay in Bowling Green and continue to connect with people.  Who knows?