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Sunday of the Arkansas Adventures of Labor Day Weekend 2010

Posted by adrionna on Aug 6, 2012 in A Crown and Glory Story, Just for Giggles

I’m not delusional – I know it’s August of the year 2012 and this story is about a day during a trip to Arkansas in September of 2010. Unfortunately, this post was sitting all by its lonesome in my “draft” inbox, even though it’s one of my favorite days to think about. It’s so memorable to me, which is probably why I didn’t see the need for writing it down for posterity. I love that I can look back on it now, however, and smile. It’s written down! If you are interested in reading my weekend from the beginning, here is my Friday and Saturday. Take a look and “live” through it with me =)

On a Sunday two years ago, Cody and I went floating (that means rowing in a canoe down a river, for all my yankee friends ;) ) down the Buffalo River a few hours north of where his parents live. At some points the water was so shallow we had to get up (er, Cody had to get up) and push us until the water was a little more manageable. I don’t think I’ve ever been more grateful for currents in my life. It was so nice when I got to stop rowing =D. I saw my first cliff that people were able to jump off of and be just fine (also something I had only seen in the movies) but I was too much of a weeny to try (and besides, I didn’t have special water shoes that would protect my toes from rocks – Cody let me have his, but they were a good 5 sizes bigger than my shoe size). It’s definitely on my bucket list, though! We saw snakes mating (they dance around each other.. like they’re on their feet, but, you know.. they don’t have any). They would entwine around each other… definitely one of the cooler things I’ve ever seen. We also saw the cutest furry animal (Still don’t know what it’s called). I want to say it was an otter, but I think otters have flat tails, and this guy was all fur, all over. Simply adorable. The float was 4-6 miles (not sure which), and it took about 6 hours to complete. Definitely one of the more adventurous times of my life. It always seems to happen in Arkansas.

After we floated the Buffalo, Cody and I went to find the cabin that we had reserved for the night. To check-in, we visited the managers (a cute old couple) who lived in a large cabin themselves. They hopped in their truck and told us to follow them. It was about 9pm at this point and it was dark. I’ve been a city girl all my life, so to see zero lights on the country road was a little scary, especially considering that we just kept driving, and driving, and driving down this road that didn’t seem to have an end. I remember telling Cody “If this were our first date, I’d have opened this door, got out, and wouldn’t have stopped running for miles.” I mean, looking out the window was like having a thick blanket wrapped over your eyes – it was pitch black and it was becoming a 15 min drive! I was getting nervous, but before it got too ridiculous, we pulled into a drive-way and saw our room for the night: a beautiful cabin wrapped by trees, and absolutely silent.

Our phones didn’t work, it was really dark, and we were letting complete strangers lead us into the woods. Sounds like the beginning of a horror film. Cody wasn’t having it – after the woman left (she had turned the lights on inside first, bless her heart), he took it upon himself to check nooks and crannies and check the premises. It was an interesting feeling – the more I sensed his nervousness, the more I felt I was okay – I felt stronger and more reassured than I ever would have in that situation. We decided to turn on some music and start cooking dinner. It was a pleasant distraction, until we realized the steak on the oven (we forgot to buy coal) was beginning to smoke a little too much. I recommended turning the fan on and thought it’d be enough. When I started coughing, however, we realized we made it worse by turning the fan on… we hadn’t even opened any windows! We were circulating the smoke around the entire cabin. We had the camp-fire smell all over the place! Long story short, dinner was delicious, the cabin was absolutely beautiful and comfy – everything we had imagined it to be, and more.

I can’t believe this happened two years ago. I’m glad I finally got to finish this post – it’s taken me long enough, and it’s a great reminder of how much fun I always have in Arkansas. I can’t wait to visit again next week and see what adventures await me next!

 
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Why I’ve Always Been Afraid to Blog

Posted by adrionna on Aug 3, 2012 in A Crown and Glory Story

I want my words to change the world. I want my ideas to spread like wildfire and touch peoples’ hearts like all the inspirational minds have before.

As an English major, however, I realize that someone can, and will, always change my words to end up meaning the opposite of what I originally intended UNLESS I write my ideas clear enough, with enough logic and pathos (how I make you, as an audience, feel). When I get Bs or Cs on my essays, then, I ask myself how I can write for the world when I can’t make one person happy? Naturally, I get discouraged and allow all my ideas to evolve, but then suppress them because I’m afraid of what others might think. It’s the fine line of being the pretty girl who charms those around her, and the nerd who just wants to talk about how she feels and what she believes about people and relationships and love. It’s a challenge reconciling the two, but I realize it’s what makes me different.

This is why only a few people know my actual identity – It scares me to think that someone might disagree with me so strongly that they realize they don’t want someone like me in his/her life. I’ve always been an extrovert, but as I’ve grown, I’ve realized that, most of the time, people are intimated by someone who knows so strongly who she is and what she stands for. I like to be liked, so I try my best not to look like I’ll be a bitch when people first see me – I’m tall, thin, and blonde. I have the media singling out my body type, and people don’t really care for the media. don’t really care for the media.

Someone told me the other day that I thrive in situations where I’m the center of attention. I denied it vehemently at first, but it’s true. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I’m the youngest of four kids, and I’m the only girl. I grew up hearing “Hi, princess” and now my boyfriend treats me like one. I play and sing at my parish church on the weekends, so all eyes are on me for guidance. I’m also a children’s choir director at the parochial school I teach music at. I adore it when I feel that people accept me and support me, in whatever it is I”m doing. I love feeling that I’m touching a lot of lives at once because I know, at the moment, I mattered. In those moments, I feel worth it – like I’m a good human being who is able to offer a lot to the world. I feel purpose.

When someone disagrees with me, then, I put up my defenses and pray I’m resilient enough to get over it. In many cases, I am. But it’s the fear of being told “You’re wrong” to something I believe wholeheartedly to be good and right that’s prevented me from blogging on a regular basis.

I’ve come to terms that, if YOU want to be in my life – and hear what I have to say – you are most welcome. Seriously. If you so choose, you can click the orange envelope on the right side of the screen and subscribe to receive my words as they come through my fingertips. If you don’t care for what I have to say, it’s easy to unsubscribe and move on with our lives. Please don’t get me wrong: if you disagree with something -anything- you are always allowed to comment. It’ll be a good resiliency practice and as much as I hate to admit it, I love opposing viewpoints that make me stop and think. It helps me grow.

I want to be a best-selling author one day, you know? I want my words to melt into people’s hearts and stay there, solidifying the good that’s in them and make them a little better than they were the day before. I want to do that.

And I’ve realized I can’t do that if I’m being silent.
So here I am.

"the only thing standing between greatness & me...is me" -woody allen

 

 

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Centuries Ago, A Stupendous Saturday

Posted by adrionna on Nov 26, 2010 in A Crown and Glory Story, Just for Giggles

Now that my first quarter of college is complete, I have time to blog! …and do a million other things that I just haven’t had time for. For example, in the past 72 hours, I’ve learned how to make a yummy dessert, started reading Catch-22 (which has been on my list for ages), have actually made my bed, cleaned up my room and focused on MY own piano life, rather than those piano lives of my 7 peanuts (and large walnut – sounds offensive, but she’s older than me!)    (;

Let me continue from where I left off -

On Saturday in Arkansas, we slept in (er, Cody did – I was up at 7 and watching CSI with Momma =]). I can only take so much mystery so early in the morning, so I got my hoodie (it was that kind of chilly morning, where you can just feel autumn starting to take over), slipped my flippy floppys on (mistake? there was heavy dew – not quite used to it in Chicago) and walked outside to just take in all the green. I had remembered that last time I visited (in July), Cod and I took their 4-wheeler and drove full speed on the pasture  around his home (I love saying that.. straight outta a country song: “pasture around his home..”) I realized, however, that there were plastic bags tied around the fence. Thank goodness Cody told me about that when I was there in July because being a city girl like myself, I assumed that the plastic bag had flown out of some litterbug’s hand and gotten stuck on their fence. I… was very wrong. Turns out the plastic bag serves as a warning that the fence has an electric current running through it, thus shocking whoevers feels the need to trespass (read “Third Times the Charm” at the bottom of this post for a related story). Point is – I couldn’t find the entrance to the pasture and was beginning to wonder why a pasture should exist if one can’t even walk on it. My reflective mood morphed into a confused one, and a confused prettynerd isn’t a happynerd.  Obviously.

I heard “Marco!” from afar. I had to smile, and answered “Polo!” Cody found me and asked what I was up to. I expressed my sadness at not being able to run around the pasture to let free the suppressed country girl held inside my silly yankee body. He smiled and led me to this entrance (a huge thing that keeps the horses in?) and swung it open – I didn’t know I could have opened it! In the movies, only the cowboys do it! I, clearly, am not a cowboy. I was stunned, but very happy that I could now visit the green waiting for me.

It was gorgeous. Huge trees surround the property.. green, freshly mowed (and there is A LOT to mow), and morning dew on my feet. Their two horses were grazing; it was just a picture perfect moment.  The horses must have seen us and assumed we had food, because they started walk on over to us. We pet them for a while and then started walking back towards the house. As we were walking, the horses started following very close behind and, “Momma,” I believe her name is, started nudging her nose into Cody’s back. I say this while shaking my head.. those horses are not horses. Cody said it best: “What do you think y’all are? Yard dogs?” I’ve got to say, it’s the first time I felt I had bonded with a horse. She was nudging her nose into my hand! It was adorable! And yes, very dog like. Anywho.

We walked home hand in hand and had a nice breakfast and headed off to a purty lake – Lake Catherine. We took the boat with the tube and went tubing – I did get knocked off, but it took Cod’s dad quite a while – I wouldn’t go down without a fight! It’s fun shaking your fist, challening the guy on the boat. I wouldn’t suggest doing it often though – you might not handle the next gigantor waves they throw at you.

Dinner on Saturday was fantastic. I got to meet a lot of Cody’s cousins and yes, we played Uno again. See? The north and south aren’t that different after all. We just all need to play Uno as an ice breaker every now and then. If only it had existed before the Civil War broke out, huh? =)

**Third Times a Charm

Cody’s mom told me a story that included this evil, electric fence. Cody’s dad was sitting on porch looking onto the pasture and saw a baby deer. This deer tried passing through the pasture (smart deer, I think; s/he must have heard from somewhere that nothing good can come from playing on pavement). Poor guy got shocked once (stupid, I guess, who wouldn’t know that the plastic bags mean stay away!?), jumped back, walked forward again, got shocked again, and finally – after getting teased a third time (I feel so bad for just having exploited a deer for the entertainment of those reading my blog, but hey), the deer moved around and moved on.

Probably the best time of the weekend was Sunday, and that’ll be posted another day =).

 
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Arkansas Adventures, Part I

Posted by adrionna on Sep 20, 2010 in A Crown and Glory Story, Just for Giggles

 Family Friday

Forget about the fact that the first day of autumn is a couple days away and pretend today, Monday, September 20th, is the Friday of Labor Day weekend - a day where dreams of the possibilities and expectations arise in hope that what this one last summer weekend can offer you really is the topping on the cupcake. I had such dreams (goodness, sounds like I’m 80 and telling the miserable-version story of my life) on that Friday, and they were quickly coming true. You see, I’m in a long distance relationship (and have been for two years). The jam to my jelly lives in Philadelphia because of school, but he was raised in Arkansas. I was trekking my way over to O’Hare Airport to meet him, because his layover from PA to AR was in ORD (Why there’s a ‘D’ in O’Hare’s airport code has always buffled me). We met and giggled like five year olds finding out that our moms will let us play outside while we waited for our flight.

The flight was so fun. First off, I’ve never experienced a shorter flight. My first flight was to Poland, and it was a good 9 hours (count more, though, because we had a 2-3 hour layover in London). My second flight was also to PL and my third was to Costa Rica. The total flight time was about 7 hours (because we had to fly to Atlanta, then transfer to fly the rest of the way). SO – this 1.5 hour flight to Little Rock was so nice. It’s kind of peaceful knowing that, if I ever needed to, I could leave in 10 minutes (4pm) and be there by (5:30). Cody and I couldn’t sleep (as you could imagine – 5 year olds can’t really sleep when on a natural high), so we played individual games of Sudoku and manuevered our bodies to manipulate the direction the plane was headed (Cody swears that when he hugged me to him and brought me towards the window, the plane tipped every time. PS if I wasn’t the skinny minny I am, I would be offended, I’m sure. As luck would have it – the only thing that I can tip is.. no… wind tips me. Damn). We landed shortly and I got to see his beautiful parents – they really are a purty couple.

It’s a 45 minute drive from the airport (WHICH, FRIENDS FROM CHICAGO, HAS ONLY 1 TERMINAL AND.. 12? GATES. I was definitely south of the Mason-Dixon line =D)  to “Wit’s End Manor” so we talked and I got to drink in all the green I don’t see every day (If anyone ever feels the need to drown in steel and bricks, I can definitely provide; my hometowns got it all). After some dinner and dessert, we (Cody and I + Cody’s sister and her boyfriend + Cody’s momma) sat down and played some oldschool UNO (when you don’t have the color or the number, keep drawin’, baby!!)

It really was a great night — Quality time with family, AMAZING food, and three more days left until I had to fly back to Chicago. This really was a great weekend. I’ll write about Saturday, Sunday, and Monday soon! Subscribe to get the updates when they come! To the right of this post is an envelope icon. Click it, type in your e-mail address and you’ll get my posts (but you can always unsubscribe if you so desire – no hard feelings, because I don’t know who’s subscribed in the first place).

Happy Reading!

 
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Floods, Trucks, Ignorance; Oh my!

Posted by adrionna on Aug 3, 2010 in A Crown and Glory Story, Wisdom and Life

       I woke up one morning at 5:30 in the morning to get ready for work, went through my normal ‘wake up and smell the sunshine’ routine and looked outside to checkwhat weather I’ll be styling my clothing decision for. Hello, river! I’m sent to the basement to pick up water with rags galore, and learn that I’m actually not helping -anything.- Dad tells me to give up (Thank God; I was getting tired). I step outside the door when the angry rain stops pounding on everything and see a huge UPS truck coming down the.. river? Okay. Cool. The front of the ginormous vehicle is causing strong waves that are moving the parked (now drowned) cars and whooshing (sorry, couldn’t find a better word) the water closer to the homes. A neighbor of mine waits for the UPS truck to approach closer and then waves his fist at the delivery guy, “You’re the reason for the water in my basement, asshole!”

Okay. Wait.
We were Venice before the UPS guy went down the canal.
…I don’t think he’s really the person that should be blamed here, but whatever.

He’s acted as inspiration. I found this little.. parable? And decided to add my own comments, in honor of my neighbor who now detests the United Postal Service.

The man whispered, “God, speak to me.”
And a meadowlark sang. But the man didn’t hear.

So the man yelled, “God, speak to me!”
Thunder rolled across the sky (&& it started raining in PrettyNerd’s neighborhood. Her basement experienced some flooding and because there was a river where a street used to be, someone canoed down the street..  And this all happened because the man didn’t hear the flipping meadowlark). Again, the man didn’t listen to the sign.  (Great. God’s going to erupt a volcano and this guy still won’t hear. He’s gonna be the start of the end of the world at this point)

The man looked around and said, “God, let me see you.”
A star shone brightly. But he noticed it not.

And the man shouted, “God, show me a miracle!”
And a life was born. But the man was unaware
(Okay, I kind of see this. If it was his baby, he might have had a change of heart. It’s not like I think of random babies every day. Moreover – look at a tremendous tree — you try making that, brother!)

So, the man cried out in despair (what a cry baby), “Touch me, God, and let me know that you are here!” (Whoa. Maybe the water from the UPS truck was God touching the man’s basement?! Bastard didn’t pay attention, and I had to pay for it, too. Boo.)

Whereupon God reached down and touched the man.
But the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.

Moral: Don’t miss out on a blessing because it isn’t packaged the way you expect.

Source Unknown

Turns out, the force of the UPS truck moved the garbage (leaves, dirt, etc) from the sewer and the water started going down slowly.
Makes you think, dunnit?
I wonder if that man is my neighbor.

Hmf. That would make God the UPS guy.

Go figure.

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