My trip to Florida. Yes, there are pictures.

Florida was definitely . . . hmm . . . unexpected – all around.

I had some fun. I had some revelations. It was an experience, for sure.

One of the first revelations will be one of the last that I mention on here.

The following one: I might have to do some spelling lessons with my niece when she returns.

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My next revelation was that Florida during the rainy season is quite unpleasant at times, and somewhat scary at others. I recorded a video, but have no intention of posting it.

My disdain for Spanish Moss has not lessened in severity since leaving Georgia several years ago. No offense to those who are fans of it, but it just disgusts me. I have a horrible daymare about a big chunk of it falling from a tree, such as the one below, and landing on my head.

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Something completely unexpected was (what my friend J calls) a magnificent little plot bunny hopping around in front of my face, while looking out very early into the trip at the scenery below and hearing a story about a certain bird. (If you follow me on Twitter, that is the lamppost I mentioned on there as well, though from a different angle).

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Beach Day Number 1 was fun. My sister and I went alone and alternated between laying out, and walking around in the water.

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We then shared a giant platter of fried seafood (and fries) after, which was lovely. Our waiter needed a haircut.

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Dogs, generally, love me. The latter of those below followed me around the entire time while at the house. He tried to sleep on the bed with me one night and was so insistent on staying there that he had to be picked up and carried away. Poor thing. And yes, those are two different dogs. They are both thirteen or fourteen years old, believe it or not.

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Beach Day Number 2 involved several people and LOTS of rain. Needless to say, I have no pictures of during. It rained on us the entire time. I had children holding my hands (which was strange, but made me wonder if I MIGHT NOT be so horrendous at dealing with them when I possibly have my own one day).  I got the crap beat out of me by waves (which was a good laugh). All in all, it was a startlingly fun time. I’m glad there was no lightning, or else the time wouldn’t have happened at all.

The picture below is of my grogginess waking up on Beach Day Number 3. Those are my favorite sunglasses. They broke, shortly after I took this picture.

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I am expecting some pictures of BDN3 to appear in my email at some point, but as of now, I have none. That was another day with many people. Another revelation I had that day: My social anxiety has NOT lessened. I nearly had a panic attack due to the COPIOUS amounts of people on the beach. It was not pretty. Not at all. Well, the BEACH was pretty, but me on the beach? Not so much!

Later on, after it rained (which cleared out most of the people), my sister and I walked around in the water, looking for seashells. She found the best ones, but she let me have them.

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Beach Day Number 4 was only me and my sister again (yes, I know that is not the appropriate way to say that).

It was lots of fun, apart from some strange sand-bee things that were hovering around our laying-out-blanket. And, of course, the seagulls always make for a nervous time. Poo? No thank you. Also, some jerks tossing a football over people’s heads right before we left caused a bit of frustration. Anyway, that was the only day we saw dolphins. As mentioned in the last entry, my sister took 30 pictures of them while I was away for a few minutes. I will spare you of them all. If you see the little specks far off into the distance on the second picture – that’ll be the dolphins. Yes. Specks.

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The last full day was the 4th of July. I was missing Husband terribly, dyed my hair again, and was then thrown around people I didn’t know, a couple more kids, etc., and was about fifty million different levels of uncomfortable. The picture below is me sitting in the car while the kids did things at a little carnival type . . . thing? My misery level was 9000.

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But things got a little better (about 3 hours or so after that picture). Watched fireworks. Got a glow bracelet (hadn’t had one of those in a long time . . . I’ll disregard that it was yellow). Plus, I’d had some awesome blue cake earlier in the day, which was pretty great.

A few small things? I got an email from a friend that absolutely MADE one of my days. I spent some time with some awesome people. I found out that my favorite band, Geographer, will be playing close enough for me to see them. Yes, six hours of driving is close enough to see them. Don’t even talk to me about social anxiety; I will stomach it for them. I missed them the last time they were that close and I’ve been regretting it ever since.

Anywho, that was basically my trip.

But apart from realizing that I DO NOT LIKE BEING AWAY FROM MY HUSBAND, I also realized that my sister and I? Well, we can have a pretty dag on good time together. That was the best thing about all of it for me, which is what he’d hoped – for the two of us to get some quality time together. We did.

We drank a CRAPTON of coffee (though it was never as strong as I like). We laughed. We talked. We talked some more. She made jokes about her Flintstone feet; we then painted our toenails to match and had ‘chrome wheels’. She fishtail braided my hair (I’d never had it done, and she’d never done it). I made her listen to Mr. Roboto (WHO HASN’T HEARD THAT SONG?!). We listened to SO much music. We did a lot of talking.

I’ll tell you what . . . that plot bunny aside?

All of that stuff with my sister was the best part of the trip. And missing Husband (and having several anxiety-episodes) aside?

I’m glad I went.

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Liebster Blog Award

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So, I got nominated for the Liebster Blog Award earlier by Briana Vedsted (you can find her at  http://whenibecameanauthor.wordpress.com/  – thanks Briana! ).  I was more than a little confused as to what it was (because, at first glance, all that came to mind were those 100 question surveys I used to fill out when I was bored on MySpace several years ago), so I did a little investigating on the matter.  What I discovered was pretty neat.  Basically, it seems to be a way for lesser known blogs to all connect with one another (or something along those lines).  Liebster translates to dearest in German, which gives it an undeniable, “Awwww,” factor…

Onward.

The Rules:

1)      Copy a picture of the award thingy somewhere (might take me awhile to figure out how to do that) into the post.  (Look, there it is.)

2)      Link back to the person who nominated you. (Check)

3)      List 11 random facts about yourself.

4)      Nominate 11 other bloggers to pass it along to (it goes unsaid that you should link to their blogs so the people reading yours can check them out…Well, I suppose that it IS said now).

5)      Notify those 11 other bloggers about their nomination.

6)      Ask 11 questions for your nominees to answer.

7)      Answer the 11 questions asked by your nominator.

When doing research about this, I saw somewhere that the original numbers were not eleven, but whatever.  Eleven is supposed to be a good number, isn’t it?  That’s what they say, anyway.  They say a lot of things, but that’s neither here nor there.  (There should be eleven rules to this, if we’re keeping up the trend.  Rule maker?  Where are you?)

Eleven Random Facts About Me:

1)      I despise odd numbers.  If I can see any sort of clock when I’m waking up, I will not get out of bed until that clock hits an even number.  Numbered volume?  Even.  Numbered speedometer?  Even.  I’m not as bad about it as I used to be (fits would ensue), but it still irks me.  Sometimes, I try to just not look at numbered things if it’s something that would bother me (not all things do).  Non-numbered clocks never bother me.  Yes, it’s weird.  I’m not ashamed of it.

2)      I can’t read books while I’m writing books.  I made about…two(ish?) exceptions while working on my second series.  No matter how much I love reading, writing is a more fulfilling experience for me.  When I’m working, I don’t want any other stories taking up residence inside of my head.  Bad for my working methods.

3)      Speaking of working methods – that reminds me of something else.  I despise noise if I’m not making it.  Outside noises, other people doing things that we all do (key-jingling, pen-tapping, etc.).  I grew up right on the verge of being in ‘the sticks’.  I like quiet.  I like peace.  I can’t work with noise.  I can’t think with noise.  (This is another thing that will induce ‘fits’, but when using that word in both of these instances, I mean a mental fit [for example – feeling the need to type things like ghasdhgjksdhgjshjfd in a bad way].  I can almost always manage to stay composed in any given situation and politely ask, “Will you stop that, please?”).  My dad will make noises like that intentionally around me.  I generally use the word please the first two times, but I’ll get rid of it after that.

4)      I may talk a lot (A LOT), but I’m a very quiet person.  I don’t speak loudly; I mumble most of the time (difficult when your husband has hearing problems).  When I’m at home, I rarely speak at all.  But when I’m talking to people that I don’t see on a daily basis?  I don’t shut up.  I’ve never been ‘loud’ though.  Both of my parents are big mumblers as well.

5)      I make makeup and nail polish in my spare time.  Wholesale websites have got a little too much business from me (being one person and just doing it for a hobby), but I enjoy it and I use it.  It’s a fun thing to do when you’ve got nothing else planned, but it can be extremely messy.  I believe there’s glitter inside every crevice of electronics that my husband and I own.  I’m glad that he doesn’t have a problem with it.  He’d be pretty miserable if he did (or if he was one of those guys that – for some reason – is terrified of glitter).

6)      I have a thing for fuzzy socks and pajama pants.  I don’t know what it is, but I will wear them until it’s so hot that I can’t stand it.  I’ll still wear my robe in the middle of summer sometimes.  I should probably throw it away, but I just can’t force myself to do it.  That robe (and those fuzzy socks and PJ pants) kept me warm(ish) many a night while sitting in my shed mid-winter writing my books.  They hold a special place in my heart.

7)      I have some guns and a bow that I enjoy shooting (responsibly) very much.  Since moving, I have no space to do that safely so they’re just sitting here taunting me.  It’s one of many things that make me miss home.

8)      I’ve traveled quite a few places (even lived in quite a few), but Kentucky will ALWAYS be home to me.  Every time that I go somewhere else, I get a quick reminder of why my home state is so beautiful and amazing.  I want to move back there, but not to my hometown.  And yes…we wear shoes.  I have about a million pairs of them, in fact (clear exaggeration).  Yes, we can read and write.  Yes, we go to school.  No, we are not all unintelligent ‘hillbillies’.  You wouldn’t believe all of the things that people assume about Southerners – ESPECIALLY people from Kentucky.  It’s quite ridiculous.

9)      I’m an avid UK basketball fan.  I watch every game that I can and talk about the ones that I can’t with my dad (or my mom, who mostly complains about one thing or another with it).  UK basketball is a big deal with most of the people in my family (my sweet little mamaw included).  I even got my husband (who is from a different state) watching it and loving it.

10)   I love video games.  My all-time favorite is Final Fantasy VII.  I’m sure Husband enjoys that about me; it makes his life much easier, I would imagine.

11)   I don’t like soda.  I could blame it on the carbonation (which feels like acid to me when it’s going down), but I’ll occasionally drink a flavored carbonated water, or an energy drink.  Coffee is generally my go-to beverage of choice.

The Eleven People I’m Nominating:  (I’m not sure how many followers any of these people have, and this whole thing seems to be about lesser known blogs, but…how am I supposed to know if they don’t have a counter?  You should check all of them out though.)

http://bnbrown10.wordpress.com

http://ajburch.wordpress.com

http://ruralhabituation.wordpress.com

http://njmagas.wordpress.com

(Yes, I can count.  I was trying to pay attention to both followers [where I could], and whether it was obvious or not if they’d received this before…Both of those things eliminated quite a lot of my already short list.  We’ll say that’s MY number eleven in this instance…)

Eleven Questions For The ‘Eleven’ People I Nominated:

1)      Reading: Digital, or Paper?

2)      What is your favorite place in the world (could be a city, a state, or even something more specific, such as a room), and why?

3)      Cats or dogs?

4)      What is your favorite holiday, and why?

5)      What is your favorite thing to do to pass the time (this does not include your occupation if you love it, unless it’s the only thing that you enjoy doing)?

6)      What is the most frustrating thing to you in the entire world?

7)      Who is the person that you most look up to in your life?

8)      When writing (in any form), what is the most helpful thing for you to have during (for example, a cup of coffee, or background noise)?

9)      Your dream job?

10)   What do you believe is the best thing about you?

11)   What is your biggest hope/aspiration in life?

The Eleven Questions Asked By My Nominator:

1)      What is your pet peeve?

–          More things bother me than they probably should.  Hmm…I was going to say something else, but I’ve changed my mind.  I believe the one thing that bothers me more than anything else in the entire world is people only doing things halfway – not putting in the work required, but expecting the results of it.  If we’re talking about minor annoyances, I will spare you all of the long list.

2)      Where would you like to go on vacation?

–          England, Ireland, Scotland (also Rome, Russia, etc.).  Anywhere with a lot of history.  I know nothing about architecture, but I think it can be remarkably beautiful.  I would love to see some of it.  And I would also like to see where my family came from…at least the family that I’ve got traced back.  A lot of my favorite actors are British.  Running into one of them?  Unlikely, but still more likely there than it is here.  That would be awesome.  Could you just IMAGINE running into Matt Smith at a pub (I can’t even imagine GOING to a pub)?  I’d probably pass out before I could get the words, “New companion…do you need one?” out of my mouth.

3)      Who is your favorite singer?

–          I don’t necessarily have a favorite singer.  In fact, I generally have a difficult time picking a favorite anything…comes with the territory of being indecisive.  As of now, my favorite band is Geographer.  Michael Deni’s voice, coupled with Blaz and Ostreicher’s instrumental talent, all tied together with some of the most AMAZING lyrics I have ever heard or read?  Well…it’s about as freaking close to musical perfection as anything my ears have ever experienced.  (If you’re interested, there is an acoustic version of their song “Verona” that is just…beyond words – the link is  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8d4Tx_hW9M ).  I don’t see that favorite changing.  They’re incomparable to me.

4)      Do you have a nickname?

–          I have quite a few of them, actually.  Almost all of my friends call me something different.  I prefer not to be called by my full first name – not that I don’t like it because I do, but it just feels weird when I hear it; there are some exceptions to that rule.  Given that this is in some way a ‘work’ blog (because I talk about my work) and I won’t be publishing under my legal name, anyone on here can just call me C.  Actually…anyone in the world could call me C and I would be more than fine with it.

5)      Is there something you collect, i.e. stamps, rocks, dried flowers…

–          I ‘collect’ quite a lot of things.  R has called me a hoarder on more than one occasion, but I most certainly am not.  I only collect my favorite things.  Books, make up (mostly eye shadow and nail polish), clothes, shoes, and movies.  I guess that you could also count pictures in there as well.  My mom is an avid rock collector, believe it or not.  If you get around her, expect to be held up for at least an hour while she shows you her collection.  Some of them are pretty cool, but it’s not my thing.  Although I do have a few of them she gave me that I keep close.  Only a few.  I used to collect stickers when I was little.  Okay, okay…I still have a shoe box with some of those somewhere.  Okay.  Yeah, I have some yarn.  And puzzles.  But those are just ‘occupy time’ things.  >.>

6)      If you could go back in time for a day, what year would you go to?

–          I’m all about moving forward and only looking backwards to keep track of where you’ve been to ensure that you’re not stepping over your own old tracks.  I honestly can’t say there is a single moment I would want to relive more than moving forward.  But for the sake of choosing and answering the question?  2011 – The day my husband came home from his deployment.  Good day.  Very happy day.

7)      What is your favorite color?

–          Cobalt blueish (grayish, silvery blue), and dark purple.  See, I have problems picking singular favorite things.

8)      What smell reminds you of home?

–          Green.  Plants, grass, trees.  Good things after barren times, rebirth after dormancy.  And dirt.  The latter might not sound pleasant, but it most certainly is.  Makes me think about my mom’s garden.  Results yielded from hard work.

9)      What was your first pet?

–          I’ve had a great many pets in my life.  My first favorite pet was a Labrador Retriever/Golden Retriever mix.  She was the only good dog that I’d ever had, until Pig.  I had her from second grade until right after I turned 18.  I never thought I would love another more.

10)    What is your most prized possession?

–          If we’re speaking of physical things, it would be my books.  Hard work.  But the thing I cherish most in my life are the loving relationships that I have with the people I care about/the people who care about me.  I don’t care if that sounds cliché; it’s true.

11)    Name your favorite book off the top of your head.

–          I’m sure most people have a favorite book, but this is another of those things for me.  Not counting mine (I’m close to them and of COURSE they’re my favorites, what can I say?), some of my favorites include Graceling by Kristen Cashore (I’m not as big a fan of the two that followed, but I LOVED the first), The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare (I’m not as big a fan of The Mortal Instruments as I am TID), and I love the two series that Richelle Mead has out (Rose is probably one of the most ass-kicking female main characters I’ve ever seen in a book.  I love her…most of the time).  There are also a few Stephen King novels that are as near and dear to my heart as any of his books could possibly be to a heart (I probably began reading his books WAY too early in my life, but I can attribute a good deal of my vocabulary knowledge to him).

Okay, a little endnote here.  Most people that I’ve seen who did this thing didn’t answer questions as in-depth as I did.  I answered them in that way for two reasons.  One, I am long-winded.  Two, I am generally not very OUT THERE when I blog, so I figured this would be a good way for people to get to know a few things about me that they otherwise wouldn’t.

I’m very much looking forward to reading the questions my fellow bloggers fill out.

Have a good day/night everyone.