Ms. Sunflower of the FLIRTY Plains in The Flirt Time Zone is doing 17 things including…

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Ms. Sunflower of the FLIRTY Plains has written 38 entries about this goal

#37. What makes you feel most alive?

Thank you to atinygoat who asked me this question.

Feeling alive is a state of mind, and there are lots of things that can put me there just by thinking about them – though, of course, I’d rather be doing them:

Praising God and being with my family have to be #1 – after all, that’s what gave me life to begin with.

Hopping in the car and going on a road trip, especially with a friend or three. Whether for a day or a week, just cruising down the open road lifts my spirit and fills me with energy.

Hanging out with kids – how can you not feel alive when there’s so much energy around you.

Girls night out (or in) with long-time friends -laughing, sharing memories, and making new ones, what better way to spend a Saturday night.

(The open prairie* – riding through the pasture in the pickup (or on a horse) checking the cattle, or just checkin’. Or maybe just standing there, on the open prairie, soaking up God’s graciousness. The prairie for me is kind of like Maria’s mountains in “The Sound of Music”.

Swing Dancing to some rocking country, classic rock, or whatever. Twisting, turning, swinging around the dance floor with a partner, getting out of breath, becoming one with the music – priceless.

One last thing that comes to mind, even though I haven’t done it for ages and ages (and probably never will again, because of my muscles), is water skiing. Just thinking about it makes me smile, speeding over the open water, with the wind and water blowing in your face. FUN!!!



#36, What word best describes the way you’ve spent this last month?

This question from Julie

This month has not been an easy one, which, conversely, makes this is an easy question for me to answer: CARING.

Right now, I am down the street two blocks from my house, sitting up with a neighbor/long-time family friend/almost relative (his wife was one of my mom’s best friends since they were kids and her sister married my uncle). He has bone cancer and his family has been only been able to have him home the last three months as long as they had someone with him at all times. Several weeks ago the situation had progressed enough that his wife was not able to to take care of him herself. Her health is not as good as it could be, plus the emotional and physical stress is taking its toll. So I have spent the last 3 weeks helping out by staying at night so that she could get some rest and their kids could have some peace of mind.

I have helped out like this before, several times, for other families, but I have not known the others like I know this family, and it certainly makes it a more personal mission. Thanksgiving was a very difficult day, as the day before, the kids had decided that their dad was going to have to go into a nursing home, and their mom, already very confused and upset, was not handling it well. Thankfully, she was able to calm down enough to enjoy the day with her family (including her new great-grandson), and was able to sit down the following day and discuss the situation with the family. Together they were able to make decisions that, while not easy, were understood and accepted by her. The plan is for me to be here 3 more nights, and then on Monday he will go into a nursing home.

It’s hard to watch the family as they go through this pain. It’s also hard to be reminded that my family may be going through this same thing sometime in the not-too-distant future.



#35: If you could go back in time to change one historical event, what would it be, how would you change it, and why?

this question from makeupstained

This is a tough one, because on first thought, there are so many things that come to mind that I would want to change. But to come up with 1 thing that would really have made a positive difference in the world if it had been different… I am not a historian by any means. Although I do enjoy reading, hearing – learning – about history, it’s just not “my thing” when it comes to really being able to discuss, contemplate, debate, etc. That being said, my 8th grade history teacher, Mr. Robertson, made a lasting impression on me (and I dare to say, most of his students) when discussing World War II. I knew of it before, of course, but not a whole lot, even though my 3 uncles fought in it. Most of what I knew came from the movies, which tend to glamorize it.

And then Mr. Robertson stepped in front of the class one day and started sharing his stories and experiences. The statement that most sticks out in my mind is when he talked about how the U.S. stood by and watched what Hitler was doing in Europe and didn’t do anything. And THAT is what I would change. I’m not enough of a student of history or war, to be able to say what I thought we should have done, but we should have done something long before we did. I often read or hear comments (in books, movies, etc) about the debates that went on during this era about what, if anything, we should do. There were no easy answers then, and there are no easy answers now, even with 20/20 hindsight. Should we have joined the war earlier? Or was there some other kind of action we could have, and should have, taken? We will never know, we can only think “what if?”.



#34 - If you had three wishes – anything goes.. what would they be, and why. Feel free to elaborate!

This question came from Mollie

My wishes of a global nature:
1. world peace
2. an end to hatred and bigotry
3. that no one go to bed hungry.

If I were being selfish and wishing for myself, I would wish for:
1. a home in the country
2. someone I love to share it with
3. financial security

I didn’t explain “why”, but I think my wishes are pretty simple and self-explanatory. Please feel free to ask questions, though, if they’re not.



#33 - Beyond the Garden Path

This question is from Mahinui

(Best done with a partner who reads this out loud to you and records your answers) You get all relaxed, lying on a recliner, eyes closed, having sipped on a cup of your favorite tea.

Now, imagine yourself walking along a path, a fragrant path, with a shimmery lake in the distance. Along the path, there is a walk up to a house. This is your secret house and your secret garden.

Tell me about the garden path. Is it windy? Straight? paved? Mossy? Are there steps? Shady? Sunny? Dappled? Tell me all about it!

The path through my secret garden is not really windy, it just slightly curves around so that the approach to my secret home is slow and subtle. There are trees and woods around, enough that it’s shady, but not so much that there’s not some sunshine coming through to light the way and lend a feeling of peace and tranquility.

As I walk down the path, I am surrounded by color: wild flowers in their bright hues, ferns in soft green, and fallen logs that host moss and hidden fauna. It’s peaceful and inviting, and even offers an intriguing boulder for resting and pondering the beauty of nature.

Now you can see your front door. What color is it? Is there a knocker? A door bell? Potted plants? Hanging baskets? Windows to see and out? Tell me all about it!

As I round the curve and approach my porch, the trees give way, but flowers and ferns are even more abundant. I’ve planted some around the house to form an entry – some in the rich garden soil and some in old pots and containers I’ve collect.

As I step on the porch there are more plants, sitting on the steps and hanging from the porch rafters. Also hanging from the rafters is a big,old-fashioned porch swing. I’m imagining my front door being red – dark red, calm and warm. I don’t have a door bell – they’re too intrusive. There is an old door knocker, but it’s seldom used – most guests just give a holler and come on in.

Now you open the door. Was it locked so you used a key, or was it unlocked? When you walk in, what do you see? Tell me all about what it looks like, smells like. The furniture. The view. Where is the kitchen? The bedroom? Is there a bedroom? Details! Details!

My door is unlocked, so I walk in and breathe in the familiar scent of home – a mixture from the cut flowers adorning my mantle, the vanilla from my candles, freshly baked bread, and just a hint of last night’s chicken. My living room is small and cozy, with old, over-stuffed furniture offering a soft place to rest and relax. The kitchen opens off of the LR, with a antique table in the middle, so that no one misses out on anything. There’s lots of modern everything, in the kitchen, to aid in serving up delicious and delectable meals. There’s also plenty of brick, iron, wood and antiques to keep it cozy and inviting.

Out the the windows at the back of my house I have a marvelous view of my patio and the lake, just a short distance beyond. It’s a beautiful day, so I open the French doors and let in the fresh air. I’m tempted to sit down in one of my Adirondack chairs and take a nap, or maybe make my way to my comfy bed in the loft upstairs, but company’s coming for dinner and I’ve got work to do. :-D

Now that you are here, are you alone? Do you want to invite anyone over, or are there things you want to do here first?
Surprise! There are people coming over for dinner. Is it a potluck? Are you cooking? Having a caterer? Picking up ready made? what’s for dinner? Who’s coming? How many people? Eating in or outdoors?

My “best friend” is coming for dinner, and another couple – two of our very best friends. The menu is simple – steaks cooked on the grill, baked potatoes, a salad and some hot, fresh garlic bread – so there’s not much for me to do. I’ve got a bottle of wine chilling, but I’d better make it two – I feel rather celebratory.

Oh, another surprise. Something happened today that was unexpected and mind boggling, and you absolutely love it. In fact, this is life changing. What happened?

I fell in love. :-D

This was a long one, I think it should count for 2 5 questions.



Question #32 - Where did you get your name from?

NOTE: I thought I had answered all the questions people had asked so far, but I was wrong. I’ll answer the ones that are left, and still need a few more asked to make it to 50.

This question is From Niel.

My given names are from my greatgrandmothers. My first name from my dad’s paternal grandmother and my middle name from my mother’s maternal (step) grandmother. My mother and I shared our middle name.

My original 43T name – wildaboutthecats – refers to the mascot of my alma mater, the Kansas State University Wildcats. Since that was a mouthful for people to say/type, it slowly evolved into Flirt, stemming from my goal, Learn to Flirt.



Question #31 - Can you tell me what you are looking for in a partner?... P and S... no cowboy stuff unless it is really really something he must have.

From Serenity (via e-mail)

“No cowboy stuff”? Geez, T, you really know how to take all the fun out of an answer. ;-)

Seriously, no, he does not have to have “cowboy stuff”. I read an article about 25 years ago in “Cosmo” that advised against restricting yourself to a certain type of person. It was smart advice that stuck with me – the more open you are to possibilities, the more of life you’ll get to experience. So whether he’s a city slicker or a country bumpkin isn’t nearly as important to me as what’s inside his heart.

So what am I looking for? I remember discussing love, marriage and all that other stuff, in Sunday school when I was in Jr. high and figuring out that I wanted the person I married to be my best friend. This may seem kind of obvious to some of you, but it really amazes me how many people partner with someone that they might be madly in love with, but don’t really like. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely want passion, I just want it with my best friend.

When I examined my own past dating patterns, I’ve realized that I haven’t done such a great job of connecting love and friendship. Hopefully I’ve got the right road map now and won’t veer off course again.

Other details: Two years ago I posted a list of “must haves and can’t stands” under my date smarter goal. The list came from the profile process on eharmony. I hadn’t looked at my list for awhile, so I just went and looked at it again. I had to choose from pre-made lists, and I had to choose 10 for each list, even if I thought there were only 7 that really applied. So it’s not a strictly “black and white* list, there are a lot of gray areas that leave room for interpretation. But it is a pretty accurate description of my values and beliefs.



Question #30 - Getting to the heart of the matter: Abandon your inhibitions, give yourself a fictional name and write a fictional story (at least a few paragraphs) describing a typical day in your life.

From SG

I don’t know that I “abandoned many inhibitions”, and I didn’t get through a whole day, just up until breakfast. But it was getting pretty long, and I didn’t want to bore people. I’m more than willing to finish the day out, if SG wants me to.

It was kind of interesting, I tried to put other people into this day, and I couldn’t do it – I’m not sure why. Part of it was that with other people in it, it didn’t feel like “my story”, but rather more of a dime store novel. There might be more to it, I just don’t know what it is.

Mollie woke up with the sun shining through the windows and dancing a prism of colors across her walls. Never one to hurry out of bed, she lingered awhile, praying and giving thanks to God for the sunshine and her many blessings. When she finally pulled herself out from under the covers, she let her dog, Dusty, outside, then headed to the frig for a glass of orange juice. A few minutes later she was ready and out the door—it was a beautiful late-spring morning, and a walk would be a perfect way to start the day.

She hollered for Dusty and let themselves out the garden gate. As always, Dusty ran ahead, impatient to explore. Mollie paced herself on the dirt road, noticing all the wild flowers in bloom along the roadside. She would have to pick some on the way back and add them to a bouquet from her garden. She walked as far as the bridge, and, as expected, found Dusty playing in the creek. “Come on, Dusty, it’s time to head home”, she called, as she turned around and headed back the way she had come.

Back at home, she set her flowers in a bucket by the gate and headed down for the lake. A few seconds and a big splash later, Mollie was in the water, the coolness and calmness of it enveloping her like a blanket. She did a few laps, then lingered for a while longer – treading water while soaking in the sunshine and reveling in the peace and quiet. Ravenous, her stomach reminded her that it was past time for breakfast, so she climbed up on the dock and grabbed her robe. Making her way back to the house, she mused over ideas for spending the rest of the day. It was a fabulous day, her calendar was clear, and the world was her oyster.



Question #29 - Family? (Feel free to interpret this question as widely as you like.)

From Niel

“Our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family. Most of us would give our own life for the survival of a family member, yet we lead our daily life too often as if we take our family for granted.”

Unknown

Yes, I have family (a fairly big one). Is that what you want to know? ;-)

More (you may be sorry you asked):

I am the third of 6 kids – my one and only brother is the oldest, which makes me the second of 5 girls. Added to my family during the last 20 years have been 3 BILs, 3 nephews and 2 nieces. My father has 2 sisters and my mother had 3 brothers (all but 1 are still living) and I have/had 13 first cousins. My grandparents had (if I’m counting right) 23 siblings between them all, so my parents had more first cousins than I want to try to count tonight.

Anyone who has spent very much time around me will tell you, if asked, that family is very important to me – second only to God. I talk about them constantly, so most of my close friends could probably even tell you their names. Though I was born in Kansas, where my parents, and all of their families were also born, we moved to Indiana when I was a baby. So we didn’t have any family near us growing up. My parents, especially my mother, instilled the importance and love of family in all of us. We grew excited at each (infrequent) visit or piece of news from relatives and looked forward each summer (and sometimes in between) to our visit to Kansas.

Now I am back in Kansas, but I am the only one of my generation of cousins who live here, and only one uncle is still here (he still lives on the family farm about 4 miles from me). My dad and three sisters, my nieces and two of my nephews, live in Maryland (where we moved when I was 10). My sister and other nephew live in Seattle, Washington and my brother lives in Ketchikan, Alaska. Being separated by distance is much different today than it was 30 – 40 years ago. Between cheap telephone calls, e-mail, air travel, etc., I am in constant contact with all of them and get to see them sort of often (but not often enough). In fact, I’m sure they sometimes wish I’d get a life so I’d leave them alone. ;-)

I won’t bore you with anymore details, such as how adorable my nieces and nephews are and what they did last weekend, unless there’s something in-particular you’d like to know. As you can see, it’s a subject I love to talk about.



Question #28 - Creatures great and small Do you like animals? What animals do you own? Would you like to have more or fewer?

From Niel

I love animals. Right now I only have one animal, my Great Pyrenees, Bella. My neighbors’ cat seems to think she lives here, though I keep trying to tell her she doesn’t.

I have always had animals in my life. Growing up we always had a dog(s). And my grandfather had a pony, Cricket, for the grandkids when we came to visit. And, of course, there were the other horses on the farm, plus all the other animals to enjoy.

One year for Easter a couple from church brought us over 3 baby ducklings, because we were such well-behaved children. (My mother and father were sure they had the wrong children ;-)

The first animal I got that was all “mine” was a lamb, Pixie. I got her as a bottle lamb when I was 9. She was soon followed by a calico kitten, Sugar, who we found abandoned on the side of the road.

I got my first, just-for-me, dog (Happy) for my 11th birthday.

When I was a sophomore in HS, I finally talked my parents into letting me get a pig. In fact, I got two pigs – Carroll and Riggit.

I, and/or my family, have also had chickens, geese, ducks, rabbits, a goat, and dairy steers. (It seems like I’ve forgotten something, but I can’t think what.)

I would love to have more animals, sometime, someday, but I don’t really have the room right now. And besides, Bella really isn’t very good at sharing.

OOPS! I was wrong. Pixie wasn’t my first “very own” pet. I had a couple of pet turtles before I got her.



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