Friday, January 31, 2014

Red Dirt Friday, Vol. 13

As you all know, I love social media. I also follow all of my favorite artists and bands on Facebook, so I can keep up with their lives and maybe hear new songs or find out about shows somewhat close to my home.

Now that's soul. Photo courtesy of the official Cory Morrow Facebook page.

This came from Cory Morrow, a red dirt artist. Check out his Facebook too.

Fans of the genre, you may recognize this song, "Lonesome." It's a goodie --



Last week, he posted this question on his Facebook page.

For the rest of your life, you are allowed to listen to music from ONLY: 1 male artist, 1 female artist and 1 band. Chose from any genre. What are your 3 choices?

I've spent the better part of the week thinking about my answer ...

Band: Randy Rogers Band
Female Artist: Mariah Carey
Male Artist: Ryan Bingham

Truthfully, I based my decision on if I skip their songs when they come on my iTunes when I'm working.

I own every album from RRB, including live albums. I wouldn't dare skip. A personal favorite, "Tommy Jackson" from the Like it Used to Be album.

And Bingham's voice is so sexy and gravely. Plus, his lyrics are phenomenal. I find myself thinking about the words, even after the song is over. Like the "Weary Kind" from the Crazy Heart soundtrack. He won an academy award for this song people! Watch the video here.

Your heart's on the loose
You rolled them sevens with nothing to lose
And this ain't no place for the weary kind
You called all your shots
Shooting eight ball at the corner truck stop
Somehow this don't feel like home anymore
And this ain't no place for the weary kind
And this ain't no place to lose your mind
This ain't no place to fall behind
Pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try
Your body aches
Playing your guitar, sweating out the hate
The days and the nights all feel the same
Whiskey has been a thorn in your side
It doesn't forget
The highway that calls for your heart inside
And this ain't no place for the weary kind
This ain't no place to lose your mind
This ain't no place to fall behind
Pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try
Your lovers won't kiss
It's too damn far from your fingertips
You are the man that ruined her world
Your heart's on the loose
You rolled them sevens with nothing to lose
This ain't no place for the weary kind

Female artist was the doozy for me. But I decided that years of singing in the car and trying to sing like Mariah and nailing it failing. I'll let her awesome voice continue to amaze me forever. I mean seriously, how does she get that high? Listen to "Always Be My Baby" if you need a reminder.


Most of these artists fall in the "red dirt category." But, hey -- I love all music.

Tell me friends, what three artists would you choose?

Until next time,
Robin

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wanted: Crafting Skills

I've been having a difficult time coming up with interesting blog post ideas. I love writing, but sometimes I can't think of, well ...
  1. anything nice to say
  2. something that you would find entertaining
So I had to look for some outside inspiration. I came across this list - 365 Days of Writing Prompts - on Pinterest

Today's entry was this - 


If I could have any skill, it would be craftiness. I wish I were able to create beautiful things with my hands (and maybe a hot glue gun or a sewing needle). I mean, I've got a computer and Photoshop / InDesign ... but it's just not the same as THIS -

Photo courtesy of sugarhi5105 on Photobucket
I have a whole Pinterest board filled with things I want to make entitled, "Crafts ... leaving comfort zone now".

I've been a Pinterest user since 2011, and I have yet to create any of the things on this board.

I go to Hobby Lobby like any average American 20something female. I usually buy picture frames or Christmas decorations. I don't make my own.

Why you might ask?

I am afraid of making something ugly. Or ruining perfectly good crafting supplies in the process.

For some reason, I have little faith in my crafting abilities. 

Don't blame my mother. She tried to teach me how to sew. I even made pajamas one year! I took the 4-H gift wrapping, wreaths and ceramics projects. All of her hard work (and many other volunteers and family members) and none of it stuck. [Homeboy gets mad I can't sew on his buttons...]

Maybe one day I'll get brave and try again.

Things I want to make include
And a project of some kind with all of my ribbons from showing cattle - similar to the pillow above. This was one of the 24 Things I Want to do Before I Turn 24.

So tell me crafty friends - where do you get your inspiration? What lessons have you learned while wielding your glue guns and needle/thread? What's a good starter project?

Until next time,
Robin

P.S. - Guess what folks? I turn 24 on Sunday, but I'll save my post about this "bucket list" for next week.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Success

I think my measure of "success" varies everyday. Sometimes, success is just brushing my teeth twice a day and other days it's crossing every single thing off my to-do list, landing a new client or mastering a new recipe.

Earlier this morning, my friend Jake shared this article, "Hard Things You Need To Do Everyday to Be Successful".

Now Jake is a really successful dude in my eyes. [Go check out his photography blog - Urban Prairie - if you don't believe me.] He is creative and entrepreneurial and interesting. I can only hope I come off that way to others. So if he shared this article, I knew it would be good.

I'll argue any day that these people (my family) make me want to be successful in one way or another.

Family inspiration aside, let's look a little deeper at the list featured on Business Insider. The first thing on the list from author, Dan Waldschmidt spoke to me.
You have to make the call you’re afraid to make.
Sometimes (okay all the time), I get nervous talking on the phone to people I don't know. I get clammy hands and do awkward half laugh things. I also end sentences with "...so..."

Not my proudest moment.

But, I still make these calls. Whether it's to someone about some cattle I'm interested in purchasing, or someone who wasn't exactly pleased with my latest photo shoot, or to a new doctor's office --- I have to make these calls. No one else is going to do it, and it's not anyone else's problem. But, sometimes with these difficult calls great things happen.

Like you get a job! Last year, I got hired over the phone to work for Focus Marketing Group.

Another on Waldschmidt's list -
You have to look like a fool while you’re looking for answers you don’t have.
This happens. In my line of work, people will ask you to do things (photos, design work, etc) that you've never done before. A little part of me wishes there was a step-by-step tutorial for everything that we do.

But, then I remember that the creative part of my job allows me to follow my guy. Sometimes it's just intuitive that I take a step to the left or ask the child that I'm photographing to tell me a joke in order to get a giant smile on their face, or I flip the flyer from landscape to portrait style. Often times, these strokes of genius notions lead to the best results and happy customers.

So, it might seem crazy to our customers that I suggest something off-beat. These strokes of genius notions usually pay off.

And maybe my favorite from the list -
You have to deliver results when making excuses is an option.
Every. Damn. Day.

I have people tell me that they're too busy to make something happen or change something in their routine. Or they complain on Facebook that they have no time to do anything. Excuse me - if you have enough time to post on Facebook ... you're not that busy. The world we live in today, everyone is busy.

Busy is an annoying word in my book. 

The definition of busy (according to www.dictionary.com) is -
1. actively and attentively engaged in work or a pastime: busy with her work.
2. not at leisure; otherwise engaged: He couldn't see any visitors because he was busy.
3. full of or characterized by activity: a busy life.
4. (of a telephone line) in use by a party or parties and not immediately accessible.
5. officious; meddlesome; prying.
6. ornate, disparate, or clashing in design or colors; cluttered with small, unharmonious details; fussy: The rug is too busy for this room.
 
We are all busy, but a successful person won't let that be an excuse. Despite all of life's interruptions, they still make things happen.  I try to live by that. And, I'll never use "I was busy" as an excuse again.
 
I also wanted to add my own "hard thing" to the list.
 
You have to put your best foot forward, always. So put a smile on your face, no one remembers a sour puss.
 
With all the people I encounter, I try to treat them with kindness and fairness.  I try to block out the negative things I've heard from others and present myself for what I am - a strong, independent woman who is confident in her abilities, who shows respect and expects respect in return. Plus, a smile might brighten someone's day and I'd love to be that person for them.

Waldschmidt ends his article with this, "The simple truth about how ordinary people accomplish outrageous feats of success is that they do the hard things that smarter, wealthier, more qualified people don’t have the courage — or desperation — to do.

Do the hard things. You might be surprised at how amazing you really are."
 
I like surprises.
 
Until next time,
Robin

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Don't Be Quick to Judge

#2 on Elizabeth's list is Find your "thing" ...  I think I've found it.
This article has blown up my Facebook news feed lately - 23 Things to Do Instead of Get Engaged Before You're 23 from blogger Vanessa Elizabeth.

I read it, and I cheered! I was like "Yeah, this girl knows what's up."

Lines like this had me nodding in agreement - 

"It is a way for young people to hide behind a significant other instead of dealing with life’s highs and lows on their own. It’s a safety blanket. It’s an admission that the world is just too big and scary to deal with it on your own; thus, you now have someone that is legally obligated to support you till one of you dies or files for divorce."

I loved her words. I sent the link to my best friend. I was thinking to myself --- this girl gets me.

Elizabeth says, "We are not our parent’s generation.  I’m tired of hearing about how 'my mom and dad got married young and X, Y and Z' because they were raised with a completely different set of values, priorities, and without the anxieties and adulterous risks that comes with the worldwide web.  I’m speaking directly to the Millennials.
Millennials deserve the opportunity to develop ourselves, alone."
Image courtesy of www.apracticalwedding.com
But then I think ... being alone kind of sucks.

Some of you may remember an earlier post of mine entitled, "No, I'm Not Engaged Yet." Here, I visit about how I am getting some pressure from friends and family alike about getting engaged. I was SOOO nervous about writing it. Here's the sappy part of that blog --- Yes, I live with my boyfriend. Yes, we've been together a while. Yes, I like having him by my side. I couldn't imagine the last few years of my life without him.

Then, that blog got so much attention from my peers! You, my friends, were saying nice things to me --- both in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter and in text messages. I was happy to be understood and my opinion respected.

I was feeling less self-conscious about my bare left ring finger and that was awesome.

Then, I read a rebuttal to Elizabeth's blog from The Flower Girl - The Truth About Getting Engaged Before 23.

Remember how I said being along kind of sucks?

The Flower Girl says,
"having a teammate in life is not a bad thing. it’s not a “cop-out” or a “safety blanket”. it doesn’t make you weak and it doesn’t mean you’re looking for someone to hide behind “instead of dealing with life’s highs and lows” on your own. it means building a new life with someone else as a team. it means sharing hopes and dreams and responsibilities. it means braving life together, having someone on your team to encourage you through the lows and to celebrate with through the highs."
And you know what --- I get that too! Shoot, am I thinking all the wrong things?

She goes onto say,
"do i feel like i didn’t get a chance to find myself before marrying someone else? i spent the first 20 years of my life figuring out who i was and how to feel good in my own skin. it wasn’t until i figured out who i really was that i met someone who loved me for me. now i have someone to grow with me, to encourage me to be myself."
Myself, and my good friends Deanna & Beth at Deanna's Aug. 2012 wedding.
Now, I'm not married (duh) ... but never once has Homeboy told me I couldn't do something. He encourages me to take on projects, to go visit my friends, to try new things and to take a break! In fact, most of our arguments revolve around food and movies and who's going to take out the dog. I feel like together, we are accomplishing awesome things.

So I'm just sitting here realizing I am just as judgmental toward my peers that get married early. Maybe they really have found their soulmate. Maybe they're going to explore with their partner. Being married isn't putting a shackle around your ankle. You can still do fun stuff, right married friends?

Who are we to say that you have to be XX years old before you get married? Who are we to say you need to travel the seven seas and have sex with a stranger before you've really lived? I certainly have never done those things ... but I think I've done lots of shit stuff in my nearly 24 years.

So, I'm going to put my judgmental eyes away. Congratulations to all my friends -- married, single, graduates, dream-job landers, etc. You are doing big, great, exciting things. It might include a wedding ring and a white picket fence, or it might be quitting your job and backpacking around the world. That's what's so great about this life, there's no single, correct way to do things. And I think you're awesome for making your own decisions.

Best,
Robin