Big Fat Meetup or BFM

In two days I’m getting on a plane and flying to Seattle.  I know, it’s a simple 50 minute flight, but I wanted this to be an actual VACATION, and if I had to drive 6 hours each way, it would seem like work instead!  When I land, I will be picked up at the airport by someone I’ve never met, who will take me to a hotel so I can meet 19 more women that I’ve never met!  Hence, the name “Big Fat Meetup”.

Actually, if I have the story correct, there was no such thing as a BFM a few years ago, and it all started like this…

A company called Sonlight began a forum for homeschooling parents to discuss homeschooling.  It grew and grew, and became so much more than a place to compare notes on the joys and sorrows of homeschooling.  It became a place to meet people, make friends, pray for people, discuss hard topics with people, and just generally socialize and have fun.  For the homeschool mom, stuck at home all the time with her kiddos, some secluded in other countries, and/or in a country setting in the states, this was a true place to get adult conversation and to not feel quite so alone in this journey of homeschooling.

Soon women began to discover that they lived near someone and they would “meet up”.  Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but one lady, or possibly a few, thought it would be fun for lots of women to “meet” in real life, so the BIG FAT MEETUP was born, planned in a city somewhere in the US (I really should have researched where the 1st one was), and a group of women showed up, never having met IRL life before, and they spent the weekend together.  It was so successful, that it has become a yearly tradition, and the rest is history!!

In my limited knowlege I know there has been one in Huntington Beach, Virginia, and several others, and this year it’s going to happen in Seattle (and next year in Chicago, which I totally plan to attend as well).  So, in two days, I will settle into a hotel room with 3 other women, share a bed with a stranger, and probably have the time of my life hanging out with other homeschooling moms.

I can’t wait!

I’m so excited!

I have a shell of an idea what I’ll do with everyone to fill up the time, but a lot of it is still unplanned and I will just “go with the flow” as much as possible!  There are plans to go to the top of the Space Needle, Ride the Ducks, Cruise on the waterways, go to the Aquarium, eat dinner at a hardcore seafood restaurant (this will be VERY interesting as I am vegetarian, almost vegan, and the last time I sat with someone eating lobster, well, it wasn’t real easy to watch!!), walk in a famous market in Seattle, dine on the rooftop of someone’s condo, jacuzzi in the hotel pool, and just generally take in the sights and sounds of Seattle.  And all this with just WOMEN.  Sounds  like a REALLY good time to me!!

I have been doing my laundry, and thinking about what I’ll pack.  I expect the weather to be much like home…still needing layers and fleece in the evenings.  I’m going to pack light, but will check my bag so I don’t have to deal with travel size bathroom items.  I hope I will learn everyone’s names before it’s over!!  I think we might have nametags, which will be very helpful! 

Anyway, when pictures appear on my blog of total strangers, now everyone will know why.  And by the time the weekend is over, they will no longer be strangers to me!!

Why I Should be in Sales

Now, I’m not going to tell you that I can sell a freezer to an Eskimo.  I’m not sure I’m THAT GOOD at sales.  But today’s experience found me walking away rather pleased with myself, and it reminded me of another experience I had a few years ago, (which I’ll tell about another time).

The truth is, I AM in sales already, selling cute, fuzzy, cuddly puppies, but I was thinking that there must be a job out there that pays BIG bucks for the skills that I have.  I was at the pool today, visiting with some friends, when it was finally time to head home.  I had to stop by the feed store to check to see if any of my 3 kittens were still there, as I would need to bring them home with me.  I was really hoping they would all be gone, the last of 6 unexpected kittens that were born in our garage attic.

The feed store is the place to go to get a kitten.  Everybody around here knows that if you need a barn cat, or a cute, sweet house cat, the first place to check is the feed store.  They also know that if you are trying to get rid of cats or kittens, you can leave them for the day at the feed store, and hope when you come back later, your cat or kitten has been taken to live in some one’s home or barn.  So that is where I was today, crossing my fingers and hoping all my kittens were gone.

As I pulled up and parked, I saw out of the corner of my eye little orange ears.  I couldn’t be sure if I saw one or two sets of ears, and when I got out of the car, I could see there was just one of my kittens left in the pen.  Ahh, 2 had found homes, and now there was just one.  It was a cute little light orange kitty, that we found out was a female, after one of the farm store workers, who was the master cat sexer, told us.  This particular kitten was not happy in her pen alone, and was crawling up the sides trying to find her escape.  I REALLY didn’t want to bring her home to be alone in the crate I have here (otherwise she’ll disappear into the woods, become #10 or #11 barn cat that we have around here…I’ve lost count), so I began plotting how I could find someone to take her.

So, I stood in front of the store, next to the cats, in my innocent white skirt, and navy tank top, and smiled at each person as they came from their vehicles and asked them, “Did you come here today to choose a kitten?”  I refrained from batting my eyes (I wasn’t that desperate, and really don’t have those type of flirting skills anyway), but I smiled sweetly at each person and tried to engage them in conversation regarding the benefits of a new kitten.  Pretty soon a young guy, probably in his 20’s came up the steps and I asked him my question.  He said no, he wasn’t here to find a kitten, and I told him about my desire to find a home for this last little creature. 

Then a store worker came out asking if the kittens were males or females (that’s when the other store worker came and worked his kitten sexing magic), and said he had a lady on the phone asking and wanting barn cats.  I told him to really promote the ORANGE kitten, and also tell the kind woman that there was a lady out front (me) with several adult barn cats if she needed any more than a couple of kittens.  I was working every angle I could as we would be very happy to just have the ONE spayed female that we actually like.  I guess he went back to talk with the lady and returned to tell me she was coming to look at them and would talk to me if I was still here.

During this time, I was still engaging each newcomer to the store with my happy question about why they had come today, and engaged yet another lady in the discussion about my kitten.  THEN, the next thing I knew, the young guy, who apparently had made a quick phone call to his wife, said he’d take my kitten!  SCORE!  I then talked him into getting the grey kitten as well so they would have companions, and helped him plop both kittens into the box, close the lid, and send him on his way.

This guy, when I originally talked with him, hadn’t come for a kitten, and then he left with 2 of them!!  Now before anyone gets upset with me, forcing people to take an animal when they didn’t really want one, he did tell me that they had been talking about getting a kitten, so it wasn’t a completely impulsive decision on his part. 

The main point of my story is that I wasn’t going to leave with that last kitten, and planned to stand there, engaging people, promoting my sweet kitten, until I found it a good home.  I figure there must be a job out there in the corporate world that needs those types of skills, and maybe I could actually get paid for my perseverance and communication skills!!

I also learned that there is a cat spay/neuter clinic that comes through town and will alter these little creatures for $15 each.  I’ll definitely be calling that number, 635-MEOW, so we can solve our abundant cat problem.  In the past, whenever I’ve had a cat fixed (except the Calico female that we like), they have always disappeared, and my $60-75 investment disappeared as well, leaving me very discouraged.  At $15, I’m willing to take the risk.  When you live in the country, cats seem to be sort of disposable, not due to carelessness, but simply because if they live outdoors, it’s not always safe.  But in spite of that, ours seem to have beat the odds and are reproducing faster than we can deal with them.  But not anymore!!

In Case Anyone Was Wondering

I’m trying to redesign my blog and can’t figure out how to make my picture narrower and wider without stretching and schewing it to look out of proportion. So, in the meantime, you all can enjoy this huge photo, that I took myself!! Personally, I think it’s a great picture!!



Never knew there was a spider until I saw the picture big like this!!



I Just Joined Twitter

Social Media.  I blazed a path through Facebook for myself and my business, but I’ve been dragging my feet on Twitter.  But today I finally began the new journey.  I’m @CuriousKristy if anyone cares to “follow” me.  I want to figure out how to link it to my Facebook so one posts to the other if possible. 

That’s all I have for now.  Just thinking about keeping up with all the different sites is making me tired!! 

Gymnastics

I”ve been learning about blogging, sort of like getting crumbs that are falling from the table, bits and pieces here and there from others who are taking blogging very seriously, evening planning to go to blogging conferences to learn more.  I feel like I’m getting left behind, but I am eager to hear what they have learned.  I would go to a conference, would LOVE to go to one, so maybe I can find something local.

In the meantime, I can see that these other women have given their blog a more decisive direction, have focused on exactly what their blog message will be, and it seems they are moving in an organize direction with their posts!  I’ve been thinking about what direction I want my blog to go, and have been contemplating again, just how vulnerable I want to be out here in this public place.

The truth is, I have 4 blogs that I post in regularly, one for business, 2 for pleasure, and 1 that is completely private.  By doing this, I can cover all areas of my life, but the reader really only sees me in parts, and not the whole.  Somehow I want to change that, but haven’t gotten the courage just yet, mostly because most of my readers actually KNOW me IRL, and SEE me regularly.  It would be easier if most everyone was a stranger, or just an acquaintance, or if I could somehow be anonymous.

So, as I figure out where I want my blog to go, and I figure out what I want to write about, how much I want to share about my struggles, and how much I want to invest in my blog…while I figure all that out, I needed to do something that was enjoyable and relaxing.  And this is where gymnastics comes in.

I LOVE GYMNASTICS!!  I was a gymnast as a kid, and would still be, if my body would cooperate.  I love flipping and twisting, twirling and spinning, dancing and moving to music, and the discipline that gymnastics requires.  Since I can’t do gymnastics anymore, I have to be satisfied watching it.  And so, I share with all of you, my favorite gymnastics montage of all time….RUSSIAN GLORY.  This montage was brilliantly put together, the clips and music seemlessly intertwining together, the movements, the emotions…everything in sync, depicting the heartache and power that goes hand and hand with this sport.  Whenever I need a pick me up, I go to this montage and watch it over and over.  It makes me happy and gives me motivation.  Enjoy!!