Tag Archives: Thoughts

Growing up

As a child I often wondered — what will I be when I grow up? A question, I personally think, is pretty common. We look around us, the great wide world, as ripe as a fruit, and we dream of adventures to come. We look at our parents, our aunts, uncles, coaches, grandparents, Tv stars, anyone who’s anywhere above one inch taller than us, and we KNOW that they have it better.

I remember sitting in Home Economics class, learning to balance a checkbook, and thinking, “One day… One fantastical, explosively exciting day, I will actually need to balance a checkbook.”

That day came, and now it wont seem to leave me alone. It follows me around like the smell of newly stepped in dog feces. I’ve tried to rub off this day — to leave it on a rug, or some newly budding grass… But, alas, it holds tight.

I spent my whole childhood waiting for the day that I would “grow up”, and I now spend the days wondering when I get to be a kid again. When it’s ok to be carefree and excited about life. When deciding what I’m going to be… not what I have to be, to pay bills, but what I WANT to be… is the greatest question I need to ponder.

I’m making a decision today. I’ve decided that although I may never get to be a child again, with few cares, and little angst… I can be as excited about the little things as I once was. That I can dream, and I can look forward to becoming something better. That I should embrace one of the truest changes that has taken place.

I have the power to choose.

When we are young, life happens around us. It is this vast entity which we are unable to comprehend in entirety. Much as it is now. However, as adults, we are given so much more freedom, so many more choices.

No longer are our options: Fireman, Cop, marine biologist (I liked dolphins), or an apprentice glass blower (trip to italy)…

We can be anything we choose to be, and we are the ones who make the choices, and take the actions that will get us to these points.

So, I suppose I’m saying embrace who you are, what you’ve become, and where you want to go. Take time to marvel at life’s wonders, and let yourself be a child every once in a while. Embrace the strange that is you.

I may never take joy in balancing a checkbook again, but that doesn’t mean the wonder has to be left entirely to younger days.

-Brittney

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Being a Better Person In Your Heart

There are people who wake up puking rainbows, and singing sunshine into the world. I am not one of those people. There are people who upon hearing the statement, “No, no, no…What do you DO do?” don’t immediately whisper inside their own mind…’oh, man! He said doodoo!’… I am not one of those people. There are those who think happy thoughts, praise the ass hole at work for being slightly decent, and genuinely stop to smell all the roses. They are the clean ones, the untainted. I am not one of those people, but I do consider myself a “good” person. Why?

I recently had a very eye opening conversation with an intelligent man, regarding the inner most workings of the human being. I’m not talking about internal organs or the vascular system, I’m talking about the wayward workings of the heart and inner mind.

‘I wish I was a nicer person in my heart.’ He says, glancing over at me quickly before returning his attention to the road. The car ride has been mostly silent up until this point and I am slightly startled by the sound of his voice.

‘What do you mean?’ I ask, forcefully ripping my eyes from the clean pages of my recently purchased novel. It’s probably for the best that I put it down, my stomach is starting to get that queazy reading-in-a-car feeling. 

‘I was just contemplating whether I should swerve now to facilitate your motion sickness, or wait until after we’ve had lunch so that it’s worse for you.’ He smiles at me, chuckles slightly and then goes back to driving. 

‘Yeah, I wish you were a nicer person in your heart too!’ I say, before folding my receipt firmly between the pages of my book, and clamping it shut. I don’t want him to get any more ideas. 

The truly remarkable thing about said conversation, is that it was followed by nothing. No swerving, no reckless driving to ensure my equilibrium stayed shaken…nothing. In fact, I would go so far as to say that his driving improved almost immediately. This, cruel thoughts-kind actions, mentality got me thinking. I don’t know about you, but there are countless times in my life where I have found my self thinking something cruel, inappropriate, mean, or downright nasty. I have plotted elaborate hoaxes, envisioned rivals tripping on their own feet, and my brother’s computer self combusting into a thousand tiny pieces. I have giggled internally about potty humor, and cursed out my mother. (Sorry mom…It was mostly in my 17th year… you know… THAT year.) All of this, without a soul’s knowledge save my own. I spend many days wishing that I was a better person in my heart, but does having these thoughts and feelings make me a “Bad” person? I don’t think so. I think that having these thoughts and feelings makes me a better person, to be honest.

On a typical day, I can have anywhere from 1-1000 horrible things pop into my head; the number is not predetermined, nor have I ever kept track. I firmly believe that it is in these thoughts that my moral code and ethical behavior is strengthened. Guilt, shame, and a desire to stand apart from these thoughts are all powerful motivators. There is a statement that’s been flying around for a great many years. ‘Actions speak louder than words.’

It is not in the thoughts or feelings that we have, but how we choose to process and act upon them that makes us who we are. I make a conscience effort to do good things, and be kind to others, partly because of the darkness that plagues my mind, and partly because I truly believe in being a better person. I have chosen not to be determined by what I was born with, but rather, forge my own path. I have no control over what I think, or how I feel, but I can control how I treat other people. I’m sure there are those in this world who doubt their morals and ethical fabric, because of these thoughts. Well, I’m here to tell you that no one is perfect, and that despite the little devil on our shoulder…we can be as good, or as bad, as we choose to be.

Imagine a world in which for every bad thought, a person performed an act of kindness… Even at 50% we’d be looking at a whole hell of a lot more beauty and friendship in the world. So yeah, we can all wish that we were better people in our hearts; we can dream of a day when we don’t make fun of the neighbor’s comb over, or think awful things when no one is listening. But if we want to be better people? All we have to do is…Be. Better. People.

Cheers!

Brittney

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Rowing Along Past Today!

Well, this is my final update for my first round of Row80 and there have been some ups and some downs! I’ve met a lot of new people whom I hope to continue getting to know! I’ve written more on my WIP and thought about starting a couple more. I’ve lost 22 lbs and been able to keep it off for the most part, which is a feat in and of itself. I’ve taught myself to write everyday, and I’m starting my Bachelors in English on the 9th of April!

I still need to work on blogging more, and possibly come up with more entertaining topics..but working 12 hour days, writing on my WIP and trying to be entertaining on this bad boy can be a pretty daunting task!

Here are a few things I have discovered about myself and the world in the last 80 days:

1. I love grapefruit.. I’m talking love it. I could eat a few of them a day! However, they have to be peeled all the way down to just the insides. I don’t like ANY skin when I eat my grapefruit.. that’s what makes it sour.

2. Sugar free peanut butter taste just like it sounds. Free of sugar. I can honestly say I don’t know if that is a good thing!

3. Writing every day bring a wonderful feeling of accomplishment and productivity…I need to work on keeping track of my word counts though, as it gets old recounting every few days when I forget where I last counted up to.

4. Coconut oil is possibly the best thing ever. Period.

5. Blogging is A LOT harder than it looks and people who do it, and do it well are impressive!

6. I am not one of those people…But, I hope to work at it and become one of them!

7. Knitting isn’t my thing… I like to think I’m that creative, but life gets in the way and knitting is the first thing I set aside.

8. I will be doing Row80 Round two because this community has helped me grow as a writer, a blogger, and a person! Thank you all for your encouragement and support!!

Brittney

 

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Row80 3/4/12

Well, as you may have noticed I did not post yesterday…and the guilt is slowly eating me from the inside out! No, Just playing. I was exhausted, worked all day and could barely keep my eyes open! So you all got nothing! Muahahah! Hate to admit that today wont be much different. I find that after almost 4 weeks at work, doing the same thing day in and day out.. I run out of things to talk about. Imagine that!

I’m still working on my WIP, and have written every day on it, whether those words are legible and/or staying in the final draft is yet to be determined. I have also started note cards for another WIP,But decided I didn’t want to actually start writing it until I have finished the first draft of this one! I WILL finish this! After three or four false start and stops on other WIP’s I feel the need to scream at myself on occasion…

I have lost about 17 lbs since we started this ROW80, so diet is going well! I read about 6 books this week, so I just have a few more and then I will start working on my “better your Plotting” writing exercise!

Hope all is well!

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Let’s ALL hug trees & Foodie Friday!

Busy with work tonight, so I thought I would just shoot you all a cool article I found online about New York City Phone booths and their hopes to convert them into Communal Libraries!

http://www.treehugger.com/urban-design/john-locke-nyc-communal-phone-booth-libraries.html?campaign=daily_nl

Foodie Friday..

Today I made some Chocolate drizzled Coconut Macaroons for the guys, So I thought I’d share that recipe!

Coconut Macaroons

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 1/2 cups flaked coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For Glaze:
  • 3/4 cup Chocolate Chips
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Light Corn Syrup
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, coconut and salt. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla using your hands until well blended. Use an ice cream scoop to drop dough onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about golf ball size.
  3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until coconut is toasted.
  4. Meanwhile, add all of the Glaze ingredients into one microwavable bowl…I know, I’m awful…But, you can always go the double Boiler method if your feeling froggy and have an aversion to microwaves. Anyway, pop that sucker into the microwave for 30 seconds, stir and put it in for another 30 seconds. After that stir and give it 10 second shocks until its smooth when you stir it. Easy as pie and it comes out sooo nice, and hardens nicely when cooled!

Enjoy!

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TBL Thursdays! Funny Stories at Sea..

So, I have decided to share little bits of my life here on the Stalwart, by starting Tug Boat Life Thursdays! So to start off TBL in style, I’m going to share a little story that has nothing to do with me, and therefore can not embarrass me!:) (always the best kind of funny story)

So before we begin, I need to share a little background information about how the tug/barge life works around here. I’m a cook on a tug, simply because there are no cooks on barges. While working on a barge you either A. Are tied up to a tug boat, and therefore have your living quarters and eating area aboard the tug, or you B. (like the 500-2) sustain yourself on hungry man frozen dinners, pizza pockets, and copious amounts of dove bars. If your feeling froggy you might throw in a candy bar or two…Yes, that’s the way it is on the 500-2.

Our story begins with one man, we will call him Jack so no one gets embarrassed, who thought he should make a pineapple upside down cake for the rest of the barge crew. They do have ovens.. surprising, I know. Anyway, Jack being the kind of stand up guy he his, took it upon himself to make it from scratch, coating the bottom of the pan with brown sugar and all the goodness that seeps into the cake part, the pineapples..even the little maraschino cherries! He slaves over this cake, making sure each ring is perfectly positioned, and the cake is perfectly fluffy and moist.

It comes out of the oven, and I can assure you the crew of the 500-2 is salivating. Pineapple upside down cake smell has been wafting through the mess area, begging to be consumed…And anything homemade is a treat, even if it is more sweets! The boys gather round, passing out plates and smiling as they dip their forks into this beautiful cake. Deep golden brown topping, sweet pineapple rings, and cherries. They detect a slightly strange odor, but they are so excited about the cake, that it doesn’t seem to bother them.

The first man takes a bite.

He quickly spits it out, and starts to laugh.

Jack, having rarely used the oven aboard the barge, which is understandable considering the amounts of pre-made junk food they have available to them, has coated the entire bottom of the pan (now the top of the cake) with dried beef bullion instead of brown sugar! This perfect cake, with its decorative topping, and pretty little rings of yellow now tastes like some sort of sweet mushy beef cube!

I laughed pretty hard when I heard this story and I Hope you all enjoyed it! If you have a bag of bullion lying around… labeling it is a good idea!

Cheers!

Brittney

 

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Pinterest and My Fascination With Arts and Crafts..

My good friend Catherine is getting married here in July and was asking me last week what sort of ideas I had for the wedding. (I’m going to be a bridesmaid) To be honest, I didn’t have many. It’s really hard to give someone advice on their wedding, for one: They probably have a pretty good idea of what they want, and two: I’m not that creative…decoratively speaking.

So then…*drum Roll please* she introduced me to Pinterest. Wow..how addicting! I spent the better part of my night, and into the wee hours of my very short-lived morning pinning and searching through wedding photos/ideas for her. Putting them on a board marked “Possible Wedding Ideas”…Now, A word to the wise. If you want to help your friend out when she is in need of some creative juices, be sure to say that it is for your friend. I have a few of my family members in an uproar over my “possible wedding ideas” popping up on facebook…Not to mention my boyfriend’s lovely mother.. Oops.. “No he hasn’t proposed grandma, I swear I’d tell you if he had!”…

Yikes!

So, anyway…I fully recommend Pinterest if your like shiny objects, arts and crafts, a nifty writing quote or two…you get the Gist. And that coincidentally is why we are here. Arts and Crafts!

Looking through all these wedding ideas I came across a lot of DIY sorts of things, and besides the writing on the nails a few posts back, I also took note of this lovely tutorial about dying mason jars. Catherine is really into mason jars, and so I thought I could post this for all of your enjoyment..And you don’t have to be getting married to enjoy a nicely colored mason jar. Flowers? or candies? who knows.. use your imagination!

Materials needed:

-Clear jars

-Modge podge or white Elmer’s glue

-Paint brush

-Green & blue food coloring

Romantic Candlelight Anyone?

Instructions:

– In a small bowl mix (approx.) 1 tsp glue or modge podge, 2 drops blue and 1 drop green food coloring, 1 1/2 tsp of water (this amount will color around 3 jars)

– Mix together with a small paint brush

-Using even strokes, brush the outside of jar from top to bottom.  Be careful not to use too much to avoid clumping.  The streaks will become invisible when dry.

– Turn upside down on a paper towel and let dry

*Warning* the paint will chip or wash off, so you have to paint the outside so you can use them as floral containers like this:

There you have it! DIY colored mason jars! And don’t just stick with blue, mix and match your food coloring using the good old-fashioned color wheel! We could have purple, green, yellow, orange! Any color you want! You could even try painting one half one color, and the other half another.. or stripes?! Enjoy!!

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