21 Questions

Lexi & Me in Joshua Tree - Cheers Susan

Lexi & Me in Joshua Tree – Cheers Susan

Good Morning Everyone!

Is it just me or are you guys also struggling with the fact that it’s November already? I just can’t wrap my head around it. It’s been a crazy busy year already and I still have a ton of stuff planned for the last couple of month of this year. Plus, I need to catch up on a bunch of stuff and gear up for 2016. Eek!!!

This morning I thought I’d take some time to share a little about myself before tackling more posts about some of my adventures the last few months. This of this as a 21 Question Road Trip Challenge! Are your seat belts fastened?

1. List 10 random facts about yourself.

  • Early mornings are my favorite. Before everyone is up and it’s just Lexi and me out for our morning wander followed by a cup of coffee and breakfast with the sunrise.
  • I have a pair of neon yellow running shoes. Secretly, I think they make me run faster.
  • Favorite fruit – the mango. I can’t get enough of them. I could eat them everyday. They kind of remind me of pine cones. Not that I’ve ever eaten a pine cone but they kind of smell like pine.
  • I can’t stand reality TV. Really and truly! It’s the worst! So, in case you were wondering, no I did not catch the last episode of Real Housewives, Biggest Loser, or any such things.
  • Speaking of TV, I don’t have cable, just Netflix and a hard drive filled with movies that I got as a birthday present. What else could a girl want?
  • There are empty frames on my walls waiting for the right photo to fill them. Does anyone else have this problem? I really think I need to fix it. Good thing I have a whole lot of photos that I need to go through from Washington, Oregon, NorCal, Portland, Arizona, Utah, and more. There’s bound to be a few good ones that should do the trick. Also, I need to tackle a little DIY project for my living room wall.
  • I have more than one birth mark. Anyone care to guess how many?
  • Rock climbing and back country snowboarding sound like the the ultimate adrenaline rush to me but, get this, I’m afraid of heights. This contradiction does not escape me.
  • My closet is color coded (lightest to darkest) and based on sleeve length (tank tops to t-shirts to long sleeve shirts to jackets). What can I say, I’m strange like that.
  • I’m quite the traditionalist when it comes to my day planner. For the life of me I’ve never gotten used to the whole organizer on your phone thing. Boy does that make me sound old. I just really enjoy writing things down and crossing them off far too much to give it up. It’s like a drug. Give me a pen and paper any day!

2. Describe three legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.

  • Spiders: Eek! I can’t stand them. Dexter, thankfully, finds them to be really tasty. So, I usually go and grab him and let him have a little snack. Now, as to why I’m afraid of them, I have no clue. For as long as I can remember I’ve been afraid of them. All those legs – yuck!
  • Heights: My first memory of being afraid of heights was before I was five. I think I was in Folsom and my mom, brother, and I were standing near a lake and I remember looking down and being afraid of falling in and not being able to get out. Since then, I’ve always been afraid of heights. Actually, I’m terrible with them. I even break down in tears occasionally. Usually though it’s not in front of complete strangers.
  • Failure: It’s not the failure of something small, it’s the kind of failure that big, like failing at life. Failing to live it and finding myself alone and homeless. Yep, failure is probably the biggest fear I have. It leads me to making lists and setting goals.

3. Describe your relationship with your parents.
My family is not exactly traditional or semi-traditional. My parent divorced when I was five and at the time, I didn’t understand why but, now that I’m older, I do. My father was an alcoholic and, to put it nicely, difficult to live with. I haven’t seen or heard from him since I was 16 and he signed my emancipation papers. Honestly, I don’t feel any loss there nor do I spend anytime thinking about him. He hasn’t been a part of my life in forever so, for me, it’s like he doesn’t exist, or rather never existed. My life has gone on and I’ve had far better people in my life, like my mom. We haven’t always seen eye to eye, but she is one of my best friends. I speak with her several times a week, sometimes for a few hours at a time. We see each other several times a year and when we get together we cook, hike, drag the dogs everywhere we go (now, you know where I get it from), go wine tasting, watch The Pioneer Woman (because Ree and I could be sisters!), bake, visit with family, and lots of other stuff. Oh, and we usually spend a meal or two in the kitchen eating over the kitchen sink while sitting on the counters. This is partly why I need a house with a big kitchen. It’s not just for me, but most of the people in my family are kitchen lovers.

I also have a whole other family who mean the world to me as well even if we’re not really related. You see I adopted them and they adopted me. Not legally but who needs a piece of paper? Oh, and they’re not all related either. This is where it gets interesting. I have a best friend/sister, Casey, who I met the day before Kindergarten in JC Penney’s in our hometown. Her mom and dad were like extra parents to me growing up. If I have a car question or something then it’s her dad I turn to. Through her and her father I met Mo. Mo was her dad’s neighbor for years and years. Casey and I would ride her horses and she would come over for birthday parties and holidays. She was one of the family and she became my other mom when I was 16. Mo’s mom is my Grandma Ducky and her family is my extended family. I just went on the annual family PNW road trip and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. Basically, it was a week in the car with Mo and Grandma Ducky, two really great women, while we visit family and friends in Oregon and Washington.

4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.

  • You’ll make it – just keep working hard and it’ll be fine
  • Boys are stupid. Breaking up with them was the right thing to do.
  • Run more – this will help cover some of your college expenses. Hello scholarship!
  • Dance more. Hike more. Go horseback riding more. Write more.
  • Ask questions and ask why. Find solutions to working smarter and more efficiently and not harder.
  • Don’t always believe what other people tell you. Question things.
  • Don’t wait for other people. Do it yourself!
  • Let other’s help you. Ask them for their assistance. You’re not alone.
  • Find some sort of balance to the two previous statements.
  • Remember to keep your sense of wonder and awe of the world. You will have far grander adventures because of it.

5. What are the five things that make you most happy right now?

  • Writing
  • Cooking
  • Running
  • Backpacking
  • Photography

6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
This is a tough one. There are several. How do I choose? In the past I would have said getting emancipated but now I’d say ending a relationship after 11 years. Maybe I’ll tell you guys about it some time.

7. What is your dream job, and why?

Working in performance wear, for brands that I already am obsessed with, as either in the realm of product development or in marketing. I love them both. With product development and marketing you get to work with so many people inside and outside of a company and your days are never the same, never boring.

My second dream job would be to wander around this ol’ planet exploring and writing about it. Oh, and writing about food, fitness, and fun all while taking pictures. Doesn’t that sound like the best time ever? Just need to figure out how to support my wanderings. Suggestions welcome!!!

8. What are five passions you have?

I could easily say, see # 5 above, because let’s be honest, I’m passionate about all of them. Haha! But, to dig a little deeper…

  • Learning about all things food related – nutrition, history, agriculture, social impacts, testing out new recipes, understanding the effects carbohydrates have on the brain, our relationship between food and family, what is taught and learned around the dinner table, where our food comes from, and more. The relationship we have with food is fascinating, not only from what we need to survive, but how it shapes civilization and our daily lives, and how it brings people together.
  • Getting outside. Exploring. Going on adventures. Testing my limits. Taking pictures of these places and adventures so that other people can see them and appreciate them as much as I do. There’s a whole amazing world out there and it’s simply stunning. It’s worth seeing and experiencing. It’s worth sharing and protecting. Why would anyone want to sleep at a five star hotel when they can sleep under five trillion stars?
  • Researching sustainability and it’s application within the fashion/clothing industry. I would take it a step further, as it isn’t just making textiles in a more sustainable manner, it’s also the impacts on human health, water and food safety, human trafficking and modern day slavery, and a myriad of other factors that are all interconnected. I’m working on writing a book about it.
  • Testing my own limits. I’m curious to see just how far and how long I’m capable of running. Mind you, I don’t want to jeopardize my love of running to try and prove a point. Burnout is something that I am not a fan of. But, I also want to know what I’m capable of. We are all capable of great things and it’s not always the physical challenge but also the mental challenge that goes along with it. I am continually amazed by athletes and what they are capable of. They inspire me to do better. I think we all need like that in our lives. People to inspire us to reach for the stars.
  • Learning about photograph. I am fortunate to be able to get out to see new places and meet new people. It is my hope to bring what I see and experience to others. Also, I’d like to share what I learn with others. I’m a big far of knowledge sharing and trying to share a story or image that inspires other to strive to something greater, whether that’s challenging themselves to do better work, run a faster mile, protecting our natural places, finding peace within themselves, or making a quick meal that will make your friend and family members jealous.

9. Describe your most embarrassing moment.

Oh my god. Do I have to? Can we just skip this one? Actually, I don’t really have any super embarrassing moments. At least not that I can remember. Nothing that’s uniquely me. We’ve all tripped on our own feet, asked a boy out only to be turned down, shown up to school with the our shirts on inside out or backwards, etc. Nothing stands out as being that terribly embarrassing. Except maybe that time I got altitude sickness and crawled out of the tent just in time to puke and manged to puke in my hair. Not my finest moment.

10. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.

  • Rudeness
  • Stupid people
  • Leaving cupboards open
  • Not putting dirty laundry in the dirty laundry basket/hamper
  • People who tailgate
  • Not using your turn signal
  • Recipes that do not live up to what they claim
  • Unmade beds – occasionally, it’s okay, but not on a daily basis.
  • Pet owners who have not taught their pets any manners
  • Micro managing

11. Describe five weaknesses you have.

  • Saying yes
  • Taking on too many projects at one time
  • Sensitive
  • Overly cautious
  • Chocolate

12. Describe five strengths you have.

  • Positivity/Inspiring
  • Self Motivated
  • Athletic
  • Incredibly fast learner
  • Knowledge seeker

13. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

A fox. You’ll have to meet me to totally understand. I think it might have something to do with the whole red hair thing. Haha!

14. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?

Not needing sleep! There’s just so much I want to do and the days are never long enough. Plus, I really need eight hours of sleep in order to function. I’m a hot mess without it.

15. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

Pretty much anywhere on the West Coast. It’s where my soul belongs. West Coast is the best coast!

16. Describe three significant memories from your childhood.

  • Learning how to make risotto. I think this was the moment that changed how I related to cooking. I had always enjoyed it before but after learning how to make risotto, the world opened up. It’s not as hard as people think. Because of this, I’ve been far more willing to tackle recipes that are more complicated and more time consuming. They’re a joy!
  • Getting emancipated. Talk about standing up for yourself. It wasn’t easy but it was what I had to do and I have no regrets.
  • My cat Sam. I drug him everywhere, and by everywhere I mean everywhere. To the bus stop to pick up my older brother, to the grocery store, to the neighbors, to just about any place my mom would let me. I learned about all the big things in life. Love, responsibility, care giving, cuddles, sharing, or rather loosing your pillow with a cat, companionship, loss, grief, etc.

17. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?

To be able to teleport. It would be like free travel. I could just pop over to Italy for lunch or over to Tibet for a weekend of wandering through the mountains. How amazing would that be?

18. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?

Rachel Carson, Coco Chanel, Julia Child, Barak Obama, Gandi, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, Martha Stewart, Ree Drummond, Jamie Oliver, Sean Brock, oh my god I can’t stop. As to why? There’s lots of reasons. I’d like to see how their brains work, where their inspiration comes from, and sometimes, because they just seem like totally awesome people I’d like to know.

19. What is your favorite part of your body and why?

What? I can’t choose just one. So, instead, I’m going with two. My legs and the color of my hair. I have great legs if I do say so myself. Haha! Not that anyone would know. I’m very fair skinned so I tend to keep covered up. Because, let’s be honest, I don’t tan. I turn lobster red and it’s not pretty.

People also compliment me on my hair regularly. I was fortunate to be born with auburn hair and, while I didn’t appreciate it as a child, I appreciate it now. It’s like being part of a secret special club. If you’re a fellow redhead, you know what I’m talking about. Redheads Unite!!!

20. What do you think people misunderstand most about you?

That I’m more sensitive than most people think. I put on a brave front and am a rock for those around me but I’m not always as strong as I appear to be. Seriously, I cried in Cars. Actually, I cry during a lot of movies. I’m a total softy.

21. Do you believe in ghosts?

Yep. I even dressed up as one for Halloween. It lasted all of 37 second but still, I proved ghosts exist and they have really great white sheets. Haha!

Hope that cleared things up. Now, off to work you guys!

Cheers-

Susan

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