I’m starting the countdown early this year! Try to contain your excitement. Did I hear someone say countdown to what? No, I didn’t think so, but just in case you haven’t heard or been a participant in THEE countdown I’ll explain.
For the past ten years I have been sending out countdowns for my birthday. It all started while I was working at the Y. The woman that worked with me at the front desk had her birthday one day before mine. Working customer service at the front desk at the Y meant that almost everyone stopped by to say hi, or check on a problem or something. It was the perfect opportunity to tease my coworker by asking the member “Do you know who’s birthday is in X days?” They would not, I would inform them that it was my coworker, she would then tell them that the day after hers was my birthday and we’d all laugh. I think I did this for about two weeks prior to the day and guess what happened on October 17?
We got cookies, cupcakes, balloons, cards and lots of well wishes.
And guess what happened on October 18? We got more cookies, cupcakes, balloons, cards and well wishes. My coworker looked at me and said “It pays to advertise!” And so a tradition was born.
I left the Y and started a more corporate type job. Not wanting to miss out on cookies, cupcakes etc. I sent out a little email as a joke to a select few of my office friends. I incorporated stories, jokes, pictures and sometimes celebrities with the countdown and eventually people were voicing their desire to be included in the countdown.
Facebook is the perfect venue to continue the countdown extravaganza (yes, it is an extravaganza). The thing I find interesting about the countdown is that people miss it when I don’t do it. Yes, they roll their eyes and poo poo my self indulgence but when it’s not posted someone inevitably asks where it is. I do this countdown for all y’all, not for me!
As this is the year that I turn fifty I have had many (more than three) people asking me why I haven’t been counting all year. I do not have an answer for that. But, since today marks 100 days until my birthday I thought I would start today with this post.
Yes, back to the blog. It’s been eating at me that I have neglected it for over a year and I thank all that have inquired about it. I will offer my lame explanations along the way but at this time we have more important things at hand, such as The Countdown.
For the kick off event I am offering up 100 things you may or may not know about me. I know, I can hardly wait either.
1. I was born Teri Lyn Thiebaut.
2. My stepfather adopted me and I became Teri Lyn Nelson.
3. My mom wanted to name me Theresa Marie.
4. I tried to run away once. My mom helped me pack. I was unable to really go anywhere because I was not allowed to cross the street alone.
5. I went to Cedar Point before it had roller coasters.
6. I was born in Bowling Green Ohio and did a short stint in college in Bowling Green Kentucky.
7. I bowled on a league. My average was 145.We never had those cool league shirts. I’m still kinda disappointed about that.
8. Bowling is one of the few sports I can beat Bob at. I love bowling with Bob.
9. I know how to play cribbage and once one a cribbage tournament.
10. I know how to play two handed, three handed and four handed pinochle. I do not count cards, I have to recount how many there are of each suit every time I play (it’s 12). I don’t win very often.
11. I know how to play backgammon.
12. I love board games and card games. My grandparents played, my mom played and now I play with my kids. And Bob.
13. I like to play Mexican train.
14. I call bingo to old people three out of five days that I work. I still giggle when I say O69.
15. At least once during the two hour game playing I say “And here is everyone’s favorite number O62!” I say it so often that most of my old folks say it with me. If you don’t know why it is everyone’s favorite number I’m not going to tell you.
16. I also say “When the Cubs play baseball, more often than not they get B10.” Bingo is a good time.
17. I love working with the elderly.
18. I hate working with the elderly.
19. Okay, I hate working. I’d rather volunteer with the elderly.
20. I once asked my Gramma if I would still be around in the year 2000. At five it sounded so far away.
21. I lived with my Gramma and Grampa for a couple of years. It is one of the best things that could have happened to them.
22. My Grampa ate an apple a day. The basked was left out on the table. It was my job to shine the apples.
23. I watched the first man walk on the moon with my Grampa. He swore to me that his eyes were so good he could see him steppin’ out of the space craft. I believed him.
24. I am still gullible. I like to think of myself as trusting.
25. If you break that trust it takes a long time to win it back. Some never do.
26. I haven’t seen my father since I was seven.
27. I have a half brother that I hadn’t seen for 35 years. We found each other on facebook.
28. All those years that part of the family had been looking for me. My dad new how to find me but didn’t share that information with anyone. I am not able to forget that. Forgive yes. Forget? No.
29. I sometimes cry about it.
30. I think that the lack of a father figure is a big part of the reason that society is in such a shambles. And yes, I do think we are in a shambles. If you are a dad, loving your kids is easy. Just do it.
31. I have control issues.
32. When I was 18 it was legal to drink. They changed it to 21 but I got grandfathered in.
33. My first job was at a Judy’s Judy’s Judy’s. It was a total copycat of Wendy’s. We even had the same order of how to put the ingredients on. To this day, when I order at Wendy’s I use the proper order.
34.I watched the very first Sesame Street show. 001.
35. I was once on a show called Mr. Mustache with my dog Val.
36. Don’t worry, no one else has heard of the show either. It was based somewhere near Rockford I think.
37. I have eaten an entire bag of peanut M&M’s for lunch.
38. I used to deliver newspapers. I had 250 customers. Matthew was less than a year old and he rode in the back. It took me about four hours and I started around 3AM.
39. I don’t ever want to deliver newspapers again.
40. I was a live in Nanny.
41. I was the Sunday School director for one year and the assistant for one year. I also served on the elder bored. (Okay, board.)
42. I taught Vacation Bible School for two summers.
43. I have never petted a lion. But I have fed a giraffe and ridden an elephant. I’d like to put my head in a lion’s jaw.
44. I have caught catfish using bread and string.
45. I wrote a note to Campbell’s soup asking if they would please bring back Hot Dog Bean soup. I also called them. I am still waiting.
46. I have had my stamp art published in The Rubberstamper.
47. I have taught stamping classes at two different stores.
48. I own a lot of stamps that I don’t use anymore. I miss stamping.
49. I can make jewelry and had a show at an art gallery in Wauconda. I sold quite a few pieces.
50. I have a lot of beads that I don’t make things with. I miss beading.
51. I competed in the Disney marathon. I only ran half of it. Okay, I walked!
52. The reason I couldn’t do the whole thing was because I preferred drinking to training.
53. Most of you know that I am sober, it’s been 11 years since I had a drink of alcohol. I loved drinking.
54. Becoming sober was the hardest thing I have ever done. I still cry about it.
55. Each one of my children was born in a different state. I get around.
56. When I started college I weighed 105 pounds.
57. When I left college I weighed 115.
58. I am currently busting the seams in my pants and am worried I will have to go up a size.
59. After my divorce I was a little depressed. I used to eat Carmel Empanada’s from Taco Bell with ice cream and carmel sauce for dinner.
60. If I wasn’t having number 59 I was at Dairy Queen. They knew my first name.
61. I lost 30 pounds on Weight Watchers.
62. I hate brussel sprouts.
63. I prefer my vegetables raw.
64. My first car was a ’67 Datsun. The ignition was on the left side. It didn’t run well. And shortly I got my second car.
65. My second car was a volkswagon bus. I loved that car.
66. When we sold that car it went to a group of nuns. Quite a different lifestyle for that van.
67. I had a boyfriend that went to college. Cell phones weren’t around so we couldn’t call very often. Then we found a credit card. We called each other a lot using that credit card. We got caught. Fortunately all we had to do was cover the charges.
68. I got suspended from high school for leaving campus to smoke. There may or may not have been warnings prior to the actual suspension.
69. I was on double secret probation in college. Really, the dean put me on probation and told me if there was one more infraction he would send me home. There was one more infraction. He then told me that he thought I was a good girl, just hanging with the wrong crowd so he was going to keep this little incident a secret but if there was just one more he would have to send me home. There were other infractions, I just got better at hiding them.
70. When I went to college all the boys had to be out of the dorms by 10pm. My roommate and I lived on the first floor. We kicked the screen out of our window and ALL the girls told their boyfriends to sneak in through our window. That could have been one of the infractions listed above.
71. No pets were allowed in college dorm rooms. We had a dog for a couple of months. He was not one of the infractions but we did get in trouble.
72. I lived in an old house in college called The Castle. It had a round turret in front, hence the name. We were not allowed to have pets there but at one time or another we had a cat. We also had two ducks. And Bruce the dog was known to spend the night but he wasn’t ours.
73. I drove a moped in college.
74. I drove a moped in the ‘non lane’ on a six lane highway with a passenger.Regularly. Without a helmet.
75. While living in The Castle we became friends with the guy in the basement. He was a drug dealer and we helped him split up his kilos into bags. We got paid for our work but not in cash.
76. I worked as a waitress at a Chinese restaurant. I could never get the smell of Chinese food out of my clothes.
77. I worked as a waitress at The Brass Ass Saloon. It was not the classiest place in town but I had to drive to Nashville to take a lie detector test before they would hire me. They were also considering hiring a guy so he and I rode to Nashville together. I got the job, he did not. I thought to myself that that was a close encounter with a shady character. And yet I didn’t bat an eye while spending time with the guy in the basement in 75.
78. I used to drive a blue minivan. The girls and I named her Bessie. We had to sell her eventually and the three of us stood next to the car in the car lot crying because we were going to miss her.
79. I cried at the end of The Little Mermaid. Yes, it’s a cartoon,
80. I used to watch All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital. And I didn’t DVR or VCR any of it. Sometimes I watched Ryan’s Hope too!
81. This is the year I graduated high school.
82. I skipped class to watch the wedding of Luke and Laura.
83. I went to a different school every year from third grade on.
84. I still regret that I don’t have a college degree but I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up so I have no idea what classes I would even take if I were to go back today.
85. I was the tallest girl in my kindergarten class.
86. I had a friend in fourth grade. She was a Christian. Her family took me to church often, they prayed before meals, they didn’t swear. They talked about being saved and when I voiced my ignorance about what that meant they promptly got a bible down, showed me some key verses and got me saved right then and there. All through my life I knew because of that moment that I was going to be okay. I still misbehaved but I had a little nugget of hope that I would be forgiven.
87. I prayed every night and every day for 90 days when I first got sober. Those 90 days were the toughest days of my life, but also the brightest. I prayed with such fervor and had such a strong belief that my prayers were being heard. I don’t have that same thought right now and I miss it.
88. I should have started this list about a week ago so I would not be here at 7:33AM on the day it is to be posted struggling to come up with 100 things about me!
89. Bob and I have had worse arguments than I have had with anyone and yet I love him more than I have loved anyone.
90. My children have always been my greatest source of laughter. And tears. I remember being pregnant with Emily and thinking I could never love another child as much as I love the first one.
91. The first night that Matt slept through the night I kept waking up every hour to put my finger under his nose to make sure he was still breathing.
92. Emily and Ellen were fighting over a book in the car as we were driving down the highway. I couldn’t stand it anymore so I grabbed the book and threw it out the window.
93. If I had my way I would live in Tennessee.
94. I told Ellen I would not cry when I drop her off at college (she actually stipulated this rule). Guess what? I cry just thinking about it.
95. My sister is my best friend.
96. I’d rather play Runescape than clean my house, cook dinner or watch TV.
97. I think of my Grampa often. He had a great sense of humor.
98. I only have 20 minutes to get ready for work.
99. I still have to pack my lunch and eat breakfast.
100. My birthday is in 100 days!