50 Questions: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Today’s 50 question is number 38.

“What do you want to be when you grow up? (Yes, there is still time!)

I thought I would answer this a wee bit different from just “I wanna be a writer!” I am listing what I wanted to be throughout my life.

Here are my top six of things I wanted to be (and why I didn’t become that).

What I wanted to be #1: A Bird

When I was in Kindergarten I wanted to be a bird.

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Photo Credit: holyknight33 (is gone! too busy! sorry guys!) via StoolsFair / CC BY-NC

Specifically, I wanted to be a RED bird. For some reason, I didn’t realize that you stayed human through your whole life. I wanted to be able to fly. 

What happened? I stayed human. I know. That’s so anticlimactic. It would be cooler if I had turned into a lizard or a polar bear instead. That would make blogging a lot harder though.

What I wanted to be #2: A Teacher

Then came along the desire to be a teacher. I had dreams of being the best teacher EVER! I was going to be just like Mrs. Beaulafont, my third grade teacher.

What happened? As I got older, I realized that I like children, just not that much. I also get migraines easily with a lot of noise. I don’t want to be near them 8+ hours a day 5 days a week, 10 months out of the year. (School here starts August 31st and gets out June 9th). 

Plus, I realized that my idea of education and teaching varies greatly from the public school system’s idea of education and teaching. I would probably be fired by the end of year one.

What I wanted to be #3: Race Car Driver!

Yes, at one point in my life I wanted to be a race car driver. I wanted to feel the thrill of driving at stupidly high speeds and enjoy the exhilaration and rush of the sport.

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Photo credit: pedrosimoes7 via Foter.com / CC BY

What happened? When I was 18 years old, I was in a pretty bad accident that totaled my 1967 Plymouth Valiant. That thing was built like a tank.

I realized that if a car accident at 55 mph could total the Green Beast, I would probably die if I crashed a glorified aluminum can, even if it did have a reinforced roll cage in it.

What I wanted to be #4: A Nun

Oh how I dreamed of living in a cool cathedral style church, gardening, singing, praising God, and doing all the other cool Nun things.

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Photo credit: zoonabar via Foter.com / CC BY

What happened? I learned that you have to be Catholic to be a Nun. I am not, nor have I ever been, Catholic.

What I wanted to be #5: A Rodeo Clown

Yes, at one point in my life I wanted to be a rodeo clown because it combined rodeos (which I loved) and clowning (which I also loved) into one really cool job!

What happened? Common sense and self-preservation kicked in. I realized what could happen.

WARNING: Link is probably NSFW/ NSFL and you probably should not open it if you are squeamish. Why I am not a rodeo clown.

What I wanted to be #6: A Doctor or a Nurse or a Nurse Practitioner

Wouldn’t that be cool though? Helping people and saving lives would be the highlight of that career. Getting to know people would be cool too. Just making a difference in people’s lives would outweigh the bad things of the job. Right?

I did become a Certified Nurse Assistant and had a plan of working up to becoming a Physicians Assistant or Nurse Practitioner. 

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Photo credit: DES Daughter via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

What happened? Well… first off, I can’t afford to go to college. My credit sucks so hard it could suck the yoke out an egg through a pinhole so, loans are out.

I had made some plans for after both my kids turned 18 and all. But I ended up screwing up my back and I don’t think I would be able to go through college now.

It was a fun dream though.

What I want to be now

Now, I want to be a writer. Wait… I am a writer. I want to be a well-paid writer. Erma Bombeck is my idol for writing. 

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Photo credit: Leukos. via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

My goal is to publish one Erma Bombeck style book before I die. I should work on that.

So, what’s taking you so long? Self doubt. I am my own worse critic. I am the only thing holding me back. Admitting that doesn’t make it easier to do either. For right now, I am sharpening my writing skills.

I also have spent my off time getting all of my poems into a book. I decided to really take my time on it and get it how I want it – then I will publish it as my first book. I will work from there.

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

How to Create a Secure (but easy to remember) Password.

This is number 26 of my 50 Questions. The question is…

Write a how-to post on something you actually know a lot about, as obscure as it might be.

After a lot of thinking on this, I am going to teach you how to create a password that is easy for you to remember, secure, and hard for anyone else to break. And you can even write it down!

Ready? I will create a fake new password for your example.

First, we are going to make the base of our passwords.

Step 1: Pick 3-5 Capital Letters

These letters can be anything to you. I am going to pick the beginning letters for the sentence, “My New Fake PassWord.”

We have MNFPW so far. These are all capital letters. Remember that.

If you can’t think of what initials to use, here are some examples to get you started:

  • The name of your high school.
    • MHS for My High School
  • Your initials or your alter ego’s initials
    • Make up an alter ego… like:Senior Sexy Stud Dingle Hopper would be SSSDH
  • Your best friend’s initials.
  • A parent’s initials or both parent’s initials.
  • The name of your pets,
    • FMSW would be for Fluffy, Muffins, Sweetie, and Wiggles)
  • The nicknames everyone called you, in alphabetical order.
    • Mine would be BBDDA (Bubbles, Bobbi, Dollars, and Dotchi Anni)
  • A saying that is an inside joke.
    • STFDB would be “Say! That’s fairly decent, Bill!”

Step 2: Pick a PIN

You don’t want this to be a real PIN to your ATM card or bank statements or anything like that. It can be any length of numbers. I use a PIN from a credit card that I had back in 1994. Oh yea. I remember it!

I’ll make on up for this post. We’ll use 0524 (the ambulance that picked me up after a car accident … I remember that too.)

Now our password is at: MNFPW0524

If you can’t think of a number, here are some samples for you to use

  • Go to Random Sequence Maker and put the largest value at 9999. Then click on “get sequence”. When the list of numbers show up, pick ones that are easy for you to remember.
  • The last 5 of your social security number.
  • Your old phone number (last four, first three, the two in the middle)
  • Your old house number from when you were a kid.
  • The number on a random ambulance.

Caution! Do NOT use your initials and the last four of you social security number (or your birthday) together.

Base password done! Memorize it!

Now that you have this, you have a base password. This is the only part you will need to memorize. Do whatever you need to but don’t write this down.

If you need to, write down a hint. Like:

  • “Kelda’s third child and the ambulance number.”
  • Or “Daniel’s sister and Aunt Ida’s house”.
  • Or “Uncle Kevin’s High School and Joe’s number.”
  • Or “Mom’s old street name and the PIN for my old bank.”
  • Or “My old name and Karl’s Birthday”

Step 3: How to use your base password.

Now, let’s say you are signing up for WordPress. You have to create a password so you start by entering MNFPW0524.

The next step is to think of a word that you will use for ONLY WordPress and no other site. This word will be all lower case letters. Here are some questions you can ask to get a word for this part.

  • What is this site? wordpress
  • What do I do on this site? readandwrite
  • What do I think of when I think of this site? blue
  • What is my favorite part of this site? comments
  • What do I not like about this website? editingposts

We’ll pick the third option.

Now our pretend WordPress password is MNFPW0524blue.

It will be different from Facebook’s password (MNFPW0524chatting) and YouTube’s password (MNFPW0524videos) and Reddit’s password (MNFPW0524lotsofsubs) and Twitter’s password (MNFPW0524tweetandreshare).

See how I always put the base password and then something about that site? That is what you are going to do with every site.

What if I need a symbol?

Just pick one and add it into your password. For example: MNFPW0524bank# could be for your bank. Or MNFPW0524wtf! could be another.

What if I have to change the password a lot?

If your bank or job requires you to change your password a lot, then do it. Start with your base password, your secret word, and a number 000. Then next time, change it to your secret word, your base password, and 001. The changes would look like this.

  • MNFPW0524work000
  • work000MNFPW0524
  • work001MNFPW
  • MNFPWwork001
  • MNFPWwork002

But it doesn’t matter that much because you can write down the extra part each time or enter it in your phone. All people will see is “workieworkie” or “typesabunch211” or whatever your new word is. They won’t see the rest of your password because that part is secret.

Phone storing tip!

If you want to enter it into your phone, you can put down “Tom in Security” as the name and a fake number. 1-800-323-0 and then the last numbers on your password.

OR you can just write down the number at the end if you remember that your password for work is MNFPW0524work followed by numbers. So just write down “oo1” or whatever number you are at.

Helpful Hints for the Forgetful

Now that you have samples of how to make a password for individual sites, if you are forgetful, just write down the password! No, really.

Don’t write down the base password. Just write down the ending. Put a star or a pound sign in front of it to remind yourself that it where the base password goes. You can always put the base password at the end too. Like “noexamplesMNFPW0524”.

I use * or # to note the base password. When you write it down, it will look like this…

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 Not my real passwords.

You don’t have to label it with “My Password List” unless you are super forgetful. And no one will know what the actual password is except you!

No more resetting passwords! Now, usernames… with me, that is a different story.

50 Questions: Excruciatingly Embarrassing Moment

I am having a lot of trouble with this one. I can’t really think of anything that was “excruciatingly embarrassing”. I don’t really go enough places to embarrass myself except to the store with my friends and when… Oh, wait… no… I thought of one.

“YOU’RE NOT YOU!” 

My friend, Nikky, and I were on a road trip from Bremerton, WA back home to Montana. We were sleep deprived and just wanted to get home. But, first we had to pee. So we stopped at Fred Meyer’s in Tacoma and went running inside because we didn’t stop in two hours and we were chugging coffee.

The lay out of that Fred Meyer is strange. The bathroom was at the end of a very long hall that was at the end of another very long hall. Nikky made it first, saw that someone was in one of the stalls and took one near the middle and then tucked her feet back behind the toilet so I would only see one set of feet when I went in. 

It worked, I saw one set of feet, ran straight to the back of the bathroom, took the last stall and barely made it onto the toilet. And peeing felt so good at that point. My bladder was hurting from holding it so long. Being the silly person I am, I said loudly and enthusiastically, “OH MY GOD! That feels so good!” I hear Nikky laugh. So I said, “I feel like a new man!” She laughed more.

It was great fun. When I was done, I was getting my pants up when I saw a person walk out of the stall and head to the sinks. Their coat was white. My friend’s coat is white. I thought it was my friend.

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Hand washing gone wrong

So I walk out, walk up to a sink, soap up, and turn to the person thinking it’s my friend… I realized it wasn’t her and jumped and shrieked, “OH MY GOD! YOU’RE NOT YOU!” The poor lady recoiled and stepped as far from me as she could.

By this time, Nikky had come out of the stall and laughing hysterically. It was the kind of laugh you give when you are sleep deprived and everything is exceptionally funny. She starts washing her hands as I start rinsing mine off. I turn to Nikky and explained that I thought the other lady was her. I didn’t even know there was someone else in the bathroom. We laugh.

I went to dry my hands and get out of the bathroom as fast as possible because I was dying of embarrassment at this point. I grabbed paper towels, dry my hands, toss them in the trash, and head for the door as Nikky follows me out. So I turn to her and get like inches from her face, literally, before I realize it’s not Nikky. It’s the other lady… AGAIN!

I jumped back and yelled, “OH MY GOD! YOU’RE STILL NOT YOU!” which is when Nikky completely lost it and started belly laughing, complete with gasping for air. The poor lady pushed her way past me and ran out of the bathroom. I stood there mortified for a second as Nikky dried her hands and headed toward the door.

As we left the bathroom, we see the lady running down the hallway, hitting the other hallway wall, turning and running out of sight. EVERYONE in the hallway turned to look at us as Nikky fell out of the bathroom in hysterics.

We managed to make it through the store and back out to the vehicle. But I learned a lesson that day.  Nikky laughs are amazing. I also make sure it’s actually Nikky before I start talking and not some terrified lady. I will never live that down.

50 Questions: Heat Wave! Hello Summer!

I am using this rambling post for question #31 of my 50 Questions. Because I do this a lot to figure out what I want to write about… so now, you get to see the brainstorming process. I just realized… this whole post is one gigantic squirrel alert. I’ll just put that here…

A.D.D. is easy as 1-2- OH EM GEE! A SQUIRREL!
SQUIRREL ALERT!

A quick welcome to new readers. I saw my page views jumped up by a lot. That usually means new readers. So Hello! And Welcome to my asylum. Feel free to leave a comment. I don’t think you have to be signed in to leave a comment. I’ll double-check the settings later today.

The last couple days have been hot here. We hooked up the air conditioners after I swelled some. And I have been on a falafel kick lately. Those are delicious! I think I ate those for the last three days. At least I am getting 800 calories a day! Celebrating the small things.

I even learned how to make my own garbanzo bean flour. It’s really easy. Dry chick peas into the blender. Run on “blend” for about… well, until it looks like flour. Then run through a bread sifter. One cup of dry chick peas makes about one and one half cups of flour.

I was thinking about the heat this last week because I know it is coming. It’s summer time (almost). First day of summer is June 20th. The only reason I look forward to that day is because the days will start to get shorter. I never understood how people could like, and look forward to, summer.

I am debating on how much Benadryl I want to live on this summer. The boys are going to visit their dad soon and I will have the whole house to myself! I am totally running around naked.

But I also don’t want to hermit myself away the entire summer. I can go outside in the evening. The weirdest thing about living in Montana is the really long summer days. I really look forward to winter because it’s dark around 4 pm. In the summer, it gets dark at around 10 pm or a little later. So much sunshine! And I get to be a hermit through it all.

I am going to make a sun cover for myself with some material I have. It’s 1970’s green and pattern. So that will be fun! Now I just need to find bell bottoms LOL. AND, I found my Mexican shoes so I am happy!

For the two people who asked how I do the word cloud pictures: I make them at this website and then save them to my desktop. Here is the word cloud for this post.

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I am of to make more falafel. Some of these random thoughts will be turned into post eventually.

Enjoy the heat… or the air conditioning.

 

50 Questions: My Favorite Shoes

Anyone who knows me in person, knows I am far from a fashionable person. My personal style is known as lazy, teenager, and pajamas. Those are the three I heard this week. I’m not hating the descriptions either because they are all pretty much true. Well, except lazy. I would go with “relaxed” over lazy. 

Trying to think of anything to go with Question #29 on the list was a challenge! Then I remembered I have a lot of shoes. Not that I wear them all. In fact, I should get rid of some of them. BUT, I do have favorites I tend to stick with when I am going out. SO with that in mind, here is my list:

My Top 5 Favorite Shoes!

Just a quick note: I am counting “shoes” as any item I wear on my feet that I would wear out into public. That is pretty vague but I am not counting socks, slippers that are like socks, or socks that have sticky dots on the soles of the feet. This made it a touch more challenging but a little more fun.

Shoes #1: My Aussie Dog Boots

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I bought these a couple of years ago during winter when my feet were freezing and I couldn’t take walking around a Montana winter in slippers anymore. They were on sale for $75 which makes them the most expensive pair of shoes I own. At that point in my life, I just wanted warm feet! And these are WARM!

Shoes #2: My Airwalks

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I hate pink. BUT, I actually like these shoes. I have had them for YEARS. They are comfy as hell too. 

Shoes #3: Flip Flops. All of them.

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Do I really only get to pick one? Okay. I will stick to one pair. If I had to pick just one pair, it would be the red Earth Spirit flip-flops.

Shoes #4: My Hiking Shoes/ Low Boots

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I almost forgot to photograph these. I din’t have someone to help… so here is one of them while on my foot. I’ll try to get a better picture up here eventually.

I am not sure if these are considered boots or shoes. But I love them! They are kind of heavy though so I don’t wear them often. Best thing about them? They make my size 11 feet look small.

Shoes #5: My Sparkly Pretty Flip Flops

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I love flip-flops. They are my favorite shoe, period. These flip-flops are on my list because they are cute and because I saved up for them. They were $50 but very worth it. The quality is high, they fit perfect, and they are platform so I am a little taller. The gems are falling off slowly but that’s okay. They are still cute.

They don’t fit perfect anymore because someone put them on and they stretched out. If I save up for another pair, I will be a lot more assertive about not putting my shoes on!

What is your favorite shoe? Please someone tell me you have a lot of shoes!

 

 

50 Questions: Homelessness is a Goal, Right?

Before I dive into this one, I will try to update with a question a little more often. I’ve been exhausted and trying to make bags to sell which eats into my blogging time. Bare with me. I’ll get there.

#45 on the list is not really a question but I like it.

Set a goal, and a plan on how to get there

My goal? I am going with “Be happily homeless!”

But first… WHY?! Before you lecture me on how that isn’t acceptable as a plan, I have already heard it all. Thank you for your concerns. Without a job, with not being able to get on disability, I am pretty screwed. No one will hire me. Without an income, I have to make plans for the future that don’t include a lot of costs.

Let’s be done with that and move on to something constructive… or productive!

How to get there step 1: How can I make money?

I know, I know! No job. But I still need to be able to buy the basic needs, even if I am homeless. Mild depression, and the thought that I will never get hired for any job, has become a firm reality. I need to do something that I can do from home. Here are my list of things I can do.

  • Blog. I love blogging! Like, stick to it! Even on the bad days.
    • My goal from now on is two days a week. No procrastinating!
    • I would like to work up to three days… but for now, it will be Tuesday and Thursday. Every week!
    • I can post pictures the other days like I have done on occasions. I should probably figure out how to make money from photography.
  • Write. I am thinking of writing books. Cookbooks. Stories. Poetry. Kids’ books.
    • My goal from now on is to write something every day (or at least Sunday through Thursday)! I’ll post my goals met on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Crochet and sew. I am going to make items to sell on Etsy too.
    • My goal from now on… eh, I am working on that. Not sure what my goal should be yet. But I’ll figure it out.
  • YouTube videos. I can make those too. I actually love making videos, I just don’t share them because I am self-conscious.
    • My goal from now on is to post one video a week.
    • I would like to work up tow two a week but this will give me a chance to learn video editing and other video related things.
  • Design shirts or items to sell. (T-shirts, bags, cups, etc) Not sure if I’ll stick with the crazy theme but I like crazy. Me and crazy are good pals! Anyone want to help with designs?
    • My goal for now is to … thinking … working on this plan. It’s still a very new idea. So… keep researching!

I know these things won’t have me rolling in the dough. But any amount of money means that my family has to help me that much less.

I have friends and family helping in the background. Some are in the cheering squad. Some are going to help me get things rolling. I love my friends and family!

I can’t use Google Adsense or Amazon to help with income. So those two are out. I have to make it on my own. This is both terrifying and exciting.

How to get there step 2: Where to park my RV

I have some options here but most of them mean I would have to move from Montana. My goal will always be coming back to Montana if I have to move.

I need to survive though. I am working on this. My hope is that I can stay in Montana, or at least the Northwest. I love the mountains over here.

I love the climate. I can go outside most of the year! I am not stuck inside all the time. Living elsewhere, I would be inside eight to nine months out of the year. I don’t want to do that again.

So this is a difficult one for me. Plus, I have to make sure I move somewhere that allows marijuana (either medical or recreational). So that limits my decision also.

My first thought was if I could find a mobile home park that will let me park there and pay the low rent, I can figure out the rest later.

How to get there step 3: Think positive!

I am not really sure what else I need to do for this. I need to get rid of pretty much EVERYTHING! Frugal living is a must. Simple living is a plus. RV living is making me excited! I am so looking forward to this!

Not every day is a positive day for me though. I have many days where I am just down on myself. I have to remain positive. I have to keep telling myself that this is going to all work out. It always does. I just have to keep my chin up. Nothing is so bad that it can’t be worked through.

How to get there step 4: Everything else

There is a lot I need to figure out.

How am I going to get around if I am not allowed to drive? BIKE! Or living somewhere that has public transportation.

Selling all my stuff. I won’t have to sell ALL of my stuff. Some of it will go to my kids. Some of it it their stuff. But I need to downsize.

Deciding what I need. I NEED shelter, clothes, warmth/cold, and food. But other things will make this so much better. I have to figure out what I can live without. I can live without a microwave and other items I would miss but don’t NEED. But my coffee. I have to have coffee. There is no way around it. I can use a press though.

The need category is a tough on for me. Like, I don’t NEED internet but it is going to be how I make money. So I kind of do. There are quite a few things like that.

I need to plan when I am going to do this. I have help now but I still need to plan for the future. That is so scary. I have never been this low yet so optimistic.

Okay, readers! What am I missing? What else should I add to my list? Let me know in the comments or down below.

50 Questions: The Worst Christmas I Ever Had

My next 50 Questions is “The worst Christmas/Birthday you ever had?” just for the holiday season.

I haven’t really had a worse Christmas that I can think of. Instead, I will share a story of a year I thought it would be the worst Christmas and ended up being one of our best.

First… a Christmas picture from this year.

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Okay, now on to the story! I don’t have pictures of the year in question. Sorry. But here is what happened.

It was a rough year. We were being super frugal at this point and Christmas was coming up. We had chopped down a small cedar tree to decorate. It looked like Charlie Browns Christmas tree. Actually, his looked better. Continue reading