Monthly Archives: January 2012

Pipe Dreams

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In the Kaokoland region of Northern Namibia the Himba people are a tribe of nomadic pastoralists who are descendants of a group of Herero herders who fled to the remote north-west after being displaced by the Nama. The Himba continue their rich traditions such as wearing loin cloths and goat skinned skirts, rubbing their bodies with red ochre and fat to protect themselves from the sun, and developing intricate hairstyles and traditional jewelry.

Image Courtesy of Clay O

The Himba have held on to their traditions and adapted to outside influences in their own way. For instance, the Himbas have developed handcrafted bracelets; while these would have once been made from ivory the modern version are made from recycled PVC pipes. This unique fusion of a modern material into a traditional art form has started a popular trend and when I’ve had the opportunity to sell these bracelets they have sold out in a matter of days.These bracelets have become popular among tourists and trendsetters who support environmentally friendly, fair trade products.  Due to their success, other tribes in the Okavango region in Northeast Namibia have created a similar product.  I have a new selection of bracelets, purchased directly from the artisans, that are made from the same materials but infuse color into the bracelet’s design. I currently have 15  bracelets, shown above, on sale for $20 per bracelet plus shipping ($4.95).  I also have a selection of 10 keychains on sale for $5 plus shipping ($4.95).  When ordering please let me know what color/design you prefer (all of the bracelets are shown above).  I will try to accommodate your request but please know that supplies are first come, first served.While I may get more of these bracelets in the future, I have a limited supply at the moment. Don’t worry, if you aren’t one of the lucky few to purchase a bracelet I’ll be hosting a giveaway for one of the bracelets soon! 

Update: My PayPal account is having problems. If you’d like to purchase a bracelet or keychain please contact me at rbranaman(at)gmail(dot)com. I’ll give you details on where to send payment and when to expect shipment.

Babies Are Like Zombies

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There is not much that strikes terror in my heart. A lion and antelope fighting to the death? Yawn.

Lion v. Antelope

Jumping out of an airplane with a parachute and a prayer? Sign me up.

Image Courtesy of Travellers_Checklist

Yet, a week-old baby can send chills through my bones.  I wasn’t sure from where my irrational fear stemmed until I googled it. Apparently other (totally sane) people share the same (completely rational) fear of small children as me. And they are really convinced that babies are rising up to start the zombie apocalypse. Or that drug addicts are snorting babies. Regardless, I plan on barring the doors and filling all the bathtubs with water.

Image Courtesy of My Google Search

Now I’m afraid to go to sleep in fear that a coked out undead baby will crawl out from under my bed with a shank. Please save me from myself. And babies. Mostly the babies. They are coming for me.

Thor

Yes, this baby is wearing a TARDIS cocoon with “Police Box” stenciled on his head. Mostly because if he’s going to shank me slash eat my brains he’s going to do it while making a bold fashion statement. You have to have priorities.

P.S. While you may not notice the immediate parallels between Thor and a zombie please examine the diagram below to see the startling similarities. I’m lucky I got out of there with all of my appendages.

Image Courtesy of "How To Be A Dad"

“Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right.”

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I don’t believe in making resolutions as they tend to end in tears more often than not. Rather than focus on “resolving” a supposed deficiency (because I’m perfect, of course!) I prefer to create attainable goals with an achievable action plan. As we ring in 2012 I am challenging myself to maximize my potential! Here are 7 things I plan to do in 2012:

1. Celebrate my accomplishments. Building a freelance business is HARD. I will celebrate my accomplishments small or large and plan to accomplish more.

2. Spend time with myself… and then spend time with others. It’s always important to spend time with yourself and carve out time to rejuvenate your mind and spirit.  However, there is such a thing as living too much in your head and I can be guilty of that at times.  I won’t be afraid to enjoy a solo dinner or a lengthy conversation with a dear friend.

3. Think outside the box. I don’t think anyone would accuse me of being a traditionalist but my goal this year is to help others think outside the box and consider new ideas that will help them in business or in life.

4. Kick procrastination to the curb. There are always things in life that get pushed to the back of our “To Do” lists because they are boring or just plain unpleasant.  Rather than waste time procrastinating I plan to hold myself accountable to all of my “To Do” items.

5. Focus on the journey. As in MY journey. Not my best friend’s journey. Not that random chick at the coffee shop’s journey. Who cares if someone else is younger, more accomplished, wealthier, prettier, etc, etc? Everyone has their own unique journey and successes in life. Rather than trying to live up other’s success I plan to live up to my own success.

6. Make health and happiness a priority. No one else is going to take care of my body and my mind. I will get off the couch and work out as well as focus on healthy eating for a fit lifestyle.

7. Let go of negative relationships. Just because you’ve known someone for 10 years doesn’t mean that you have a healthy relationship. I will focus on building healthy, happy relationships and releasing negative friendships.

What are your goals for the New Year?  How do you plan to maximize your potential this year?

“Diaper backward spells repaid. Think about it.”

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Once you enter your 30s it is inevitable that friends will start to settle down. When a slew of wedding invitations and birth announcements found their way into my mailbox I accepted the change with as much grace as I could muster. I figured that while these poor schmucks were yoyo dieting to fit into wedding dresses and becoming sleepless zombies thanks to their newborns, I could continue to bask in the freedom of single life without a husband or child to weigh me down. But then I moved back to the States and witnessed first hand the impact of nesting on once single friends. These friends, once beholden to no one but themselves, were putting spouse and child’s needs ahead of their own… and it scared the crap out of me.

The reality hit me hardest when a good friend announced she was pregnant last summer.  I was on my way to becoming the last single girl. What did I have in common with these women anymore? I would rather scratch my eyes out than talk about breast feeding and sleep schedules. But as I watched this friend contend with pregnancy with her usual sarcasm and horror I realized that a child could never break the bond of crazy, we would always have irrational fears, awe inspiring stories, or just plain bizarre life moments.

With that said I’m happy to announce that said friend delivered her baby (aka Thor) at 5:46 this morning. If I was a better friend I’d know how much it weighed and stuff but I’m just happy knowing that he is a healthy baby boy.  With the birth of Thor I’ve decided it’s  no longer appropriate to continue referring to his dad as”Studmuffin”. I gave him a  variety of mildly inappropriate new nicknames to choose from but rather than allow him to weigh in on the matter I’ve decided that my favorite is an amalgamation of his former nickname and his new role as proud pop. So “Studmuffin” I hereby rename you “MuffinPop”. Congratulations!

Where Were You When… The Ball Dropped in 1999?

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Join me for the Where Were You When? Series and share your story about how major world events impacted your life.  

Image Credit: Where Were You? Events That Changed The World 26-episode series graphic
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Because I’m a slacker who doesn’t keep up with her own blog series I am always pleased when other people write my posts for me. It also helps when these events coincide with the exact same thing that I was doing at the time.

In 1999 I was 19 years old and in my second year at a small Texas college.  I remember the hoopla surrounding the millennial new year celebration and the fear that it inspired in the armageddonists.  Will the Y2K bug revert the world’s computers to 1900 and effectively stop commerce, business, and life itself?  Some people stockpiled supplies in fear of the end times as the world prepared to usher in the new millennium. I, on the other hand, was ready to party it up just in case there was no tomorrow.

To read more about avoiding death, zombies, and water turning to blood with the new millennium head on over to So Long And Thanks For All The Fish.  If you’d like to be a part of this series please drop me a comment so I can share your blog here as well.