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Over the 200 Follower Mark - Giveaway!

I've finally pushed over the 200 followers mark. So in my normal fashion, I'm celebrating reaching a landmark. It's simple. Anyone who comments on this post will be entered to win a $15 Amazon gift card.

Now for some updates because I haven't blogged in a while.

Summer in is full swing here. As you can see by these peonies and daisies I got from the market.

We've been squeezing every weekend like a wet rag, getting every last drop of sun and activity. We've driven in the Black Forest with the removable top off of our Porsche, we've gone racing at the Nürburgring, sat on our balcony soaking up rays, and just enjoyed the long days.

I've been reading tons. Although I got stuck recently on a very long book about Cleopatra by Margaret George. It was wonderful but slow and long.

My writing stopped. Just quit coming. So I let it. I think it's starting to creep back in. It's like a thunderstorm, sometimes way off in the distance rumbling but not really effecting me, then suddenly it's booming so loud I can feel it deep in my chest.

We bought a grill today so we're having a meal of entirely grilled food. Corn, brats, and potatoes...yum. We've been cooking more at home, trying to eat better. I think it's that and the huge amounts of sunshine that are helping me feel not so depressed. (Yes, the winter had me very down this year.)

How about you? What has been going on?


Almost 25, Thanks Mom

This year I turn 25. Not until October, but that's creeping closer. Since it's Mother's Day tomorrow I figured I would thank my mom for those 25 years. I also have a to-do list of challenges for myself that I've been working on since January 2009. That to-do list is 101 Things in 1001 Days. It ends in October of this year, just in time for my 25th birthday.

You can check out the 101 in 1001 Project here. Red is my finished color, orange is in progress, and yellow is a failure.

1. Finish this list 1/20/2009

2. Buy a house (it's an apartment but a house in the German sense)
3. Decorate the house
4. Plant a garden
5. Start herbs 4/7/2009
6. Build a snowboard hanging swing
7. Keep the house picked up for 2 months
8. Have the dishes washed after dinner every day for 2 weeks
9. Organize the back room 1/19/2009
10. Organize the “stuff” closet 1/19/2009

11. Have $5,000 in bank by December (had it, and spent it)
12. Put $10 in savings for every completed task
13. Have a “non-spending” month each year 2/2009 5/2010 4/2011
14. Pay off credit card debt and then only use a credit card when necessary

15. Take 100 photos in 100 days, one a day (6/25/2009)
16. Finish the first scrapbook 7/21/2010
17. Buy a new video camera 1/21/2009
18. Buy a new camera 6/16/2009
19. Buy a new fancy lens
20. Learn to play 5 songs on the guitar well (this is changing to violin since that's what I'm learning now)
21. Draw with my charcoal

22. Test 4 times a day for a month 7/14/2009
23. Take a dance class
24. Work out twice a week for a month
25. Play tennis every weekend for two months
26. Snowboard 10 times in one season
27. Drink 5 glasses of water each day for a week
28. Take 50 leisurely walks
29. Go snowboarding in Alaska (Or perhaps Germany?)
30. Go surfing in California

31. Freerice.com – 13100
32. Have a girls’ weekend 5/3/2010
33. Visit Angie in Guyana
34. Write to Angie
35. Take photos at Bri’s baby’s birth 6/9/2009
36. Take photos of Samantha at 6 months 3/29/2009
37. Take photos of Samantha at 9 months 6/22/2009
38. Take photos of Samantha at 1 year 9/19/2009
39. Make freezer food with Mom and Kelli
40. Learn a language with Christie (although we are on different continents)
41. Write my dad a note listing the top 50 reasons why he means the world to me 2/18/2010
42. Write my mom a note listing the top 50 reasons why she means the world to me 2/18/2010
43. Write my sister a note listing the top 50 reasons why she means the world to me 2/18/2010
44. Buy gifts for others on etsy

45. Learn a language
46. Read 100 books (152/100)
47. Read 20 non-fiction books (28/20)
48. Read Beowulf
49. Read 10 classic novels
50. Learn about Buddhism
51. Learn about Henry the VIII 2/20/2009
52. Finish all of Jane Austen’s novels (6/7)
53. Watch all of the BBC Jane Austen movies
54. Learn to become a better photographer
55. Learn the publishing world
56. Understand Photoshop better 2/6/2009

57. Travel to 3 countries I haven’t been to (Germany, Switzerland, Austria)
58. Trade something on Freecycle.com (just gave things away instead)
59. Go backpacking
60. Climb 5 14ers
61. Adopt a pet
62. Take a completely impulsive, spur of the moment road trip 7/25/2009
63. Watch 5 sunrises together
64. Test drive fancy cars
65. Go to a Yankees game
66. Camp in the front yard
67. Go to Alaska
68. Work on the Mustang with Albert 5 times 6/16/2009
69. Have a meaningful date once a month for 6 months
70. Climb Devil’s Head
71. Climb the Rock 3/23/2009
72. Go stargazing with hot chocolate
73. Read 3 books with Albert (8/3) 3/25/2009
74. Write Albert a note listing the top 50 reasons why he means the world to me
75. Read Just Do It by Douglas Brown
76. And…Just Do It!
77. Go ice skating
78. Play hockey
79. Visit Paris
80. Write 5 letters to Albert (1/5)
81. Go to Niagara Falls
82. Play Scrabble 20 times (and some in German!)

83. Have a one sentence journal everyday for the duration of the challenge
84. Get published
85. Start a business 4/4/2009
86. Help Kelli with the non-profit
87. Step out of my comfort zone
88. Read the Bible
89. Find my niche
90. Write 5 short stories in 2 months 6/22/2010
91. Dye my hair again 2/24/2009
92. Take 10 bubble baths
93. Work on Papa’s book
94. Have a spa day
95. Write some letters of advice to my future kids
96. Stop swearing
97. Create my etsy shop 4/4/2009
98. Buy something on etsy for myself at least twice a year
99. Finish setting up my goodreads.com profile
100. Update the blog every week for 2 months 3/20/2009
101. Be content with life

This is the best way for me to accomplish goals. I'm always writing to-do lists. How do you accomplish goals?


May Free Desktop Calendar

April showers bring May flowers. Except that here in Stuttgart we're way ahead of that. The trees have already turned green and let their petals flutter to the ground. The weather has been stunning. Sunny almost every day and maybe a little rain shower in the afternoon. I love rain.

Just click on the picture. When it comes up in its own browser window, right click and save the picture somewhere on your computer. Then go to that location, right click on the picture, and set as desktop background. Voila, you have a photo calendar on your computer! And please let me know in the comments if you use it.