Monday, October 1, 2012

Rainy Day Musings

Today is the kind of day that I love. It's rainy and cold, a little dreary but not miserable. The perfect day to curl up with a book and a cup of cocoa and just snuggle the day away. Unfortunately I had to work this morning. Now that I'm home, I have put on the least attractive outfit ever (Leggings, oversized hoodie) and am curled up watching LOST and reading The Diviners by Libba Bray. And I'm glad that I have the opportunity to just relax and hang out with fictional characters in fictional worlds and enjoy that. Tonight I'll watch DWTS and go to my auntie's house for a Castle party. But for just right now I'm content to be with myself- reading, watching TV, and snuggled up under a blanket on a rainy day.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Happy Birthday to Myself

Yesterday was my birthday, and as usual, I spent the day (and part of this morning) reflecting about where I am in my life and where I want to go from here. This year hasn't really been the best. By year I mean both the year I spent being 28 and also the year 2012. Most of this was due to the family problems I referenced in a blog post at the end of 2011, specifically with the fact that my mother had an affair and left my dad on Christmas* and has spent the past nine months ignoring me until she decided to come home two weeks before my birthday; thus ruining the two most important times of the year for me. But I'm trying to move past all that. See, most of this year I've been in a...not so great place. I'm not really talking battling depression or trying to find the will to go on...just kind of being unengaged with life. As some of you may know (or don't know but are getting ready to find out-you lucky devils) I was engaged several years ago and things didn't work out. It was gross and messy and terrible for me, but it truly would have been even more terrible had I gotten married. So, most days I'm really okay with the fact that I'm almost thirty** and single. Because usually, I'm quite HAPPY. Happy to not be in a relationship where I give too much of myself without having my own emotional needs filled. Happy to be surrounded by a family that is too wonderful to even describe. Happy to have wonderful friends, specifically the BFFs, but also the numerous people I know from online communities that I've been fortunate to connect with and inspire and be inspired by. Happy to enjoy the things I like without having to worry that the people around me may think I'm strange and unworthy of friendship. And mostly, happy that I have the freedom to be who I am and who I want to be without having to wonder if I should change to make other people happy. Unfortunately, this past year I've let the blahs get me down. I've retreated from social media, and the friends I have online. Because I don't engage with other people now. Not frequently. The BFFs and my friend Forest being the exception, I'm not sure I can even recall the last time I had a conversation with someone that I'm not related to or don't work with. That's probably not so healthy, ya know?

So, for the rest of this year AND for year 29 in general, my goal is to BE ENGAGED. That means back to tweeting, even if it is asinine details about the commute home from work or the MASH reruns my grandmother watches each night. Back to attempting to blog once in awhile. And not just sob stories about how bad things are. A lot of good stuff happens in my life. And recently I've been SO inspired by Kristen Cashore's blog because while she has been doing appearances for Bitterblue she has been posting picture blogs of the various places she's visited. I take approximately a million photos a week. Sometimes they are funny, sometimes they are random, sometimes they are ridiculous; but I'm pretty sure I'm going to start doing weekly photo blog updates about what's going on in my life. I'm also going to making an active effort to participate in the YouTube channel I have with BFF1. So far I've done a nice little tutorial and some videos with the BFF, but I haven't followed through with the commitment I made to her, which was that I would actually make videos and post them once a week. But no more! I'm taking the rest of September to wallow and rant and plan, and then in October I am coming back with a VENGEANCE. One more year in my 20s and I don't want to waste them. Life is for living, and sometimes it is easier to sit back and let the world pass us by, but that is not the life I choose to live any longer. I choose to be active. I choose to engage. I choose to LIVE and be a major character in my own story instead of an observer in the background.

*CHRISTMAS! After we opened all of our presents and she pretended none of us knew about her double life and that everything was fine. #bitter
**THIRTY! I live in a small town in the South, y'all I'm officially an Old Maid, Spinster, Maiden Aunt; whatever you want to call it

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Urban Spelunking BEDA 6/31

This past weekend I went with my dad to look for a chair to pair with the vanity we restored for my room and to find a frame to use when I make a chalkboard to put up in my room. We happen to own a very old, decrepit house that was the original homestead of my family. It started as a one room cabin, and over time a lovely old two story home. This house is crumbling and slowly being taken over by nature, and it is quite sad really. Even though the home belongs to my mother's family, my dad has always dreamed of being able to have the time and money to completely restore the house. Since neither of those things have happened, it has become something of a storage facility. As we walked (and sometimes climbed) through the house to look for treasures, I found that I felt like I was participating in a very rustic form of urban spelunking. In between gushing over mid-century pieces of furniture and the beauty of the house itself, I also snapped several pictures with my handy dandy phone.

As you first pull into the lot the house sits on, you can see where nature has fought hard to take back over the land where it originally roamed. Vines climb over and between the wood slats and trees loom above the roof.

The front porch has become a loading dock of sorts. There are stacks of lumber, several doors, and some windows and screens that were either part of the original house or that have been collected over the years to help with the restoration of the home.  Time and weather have wreacked havoc on the house itself, tearing down siding and gutters, blowing out windows, and allowing more open spaces for grass and vines to pilfer through the house.

Once you head to the door you find a veritable smorgasbord of delightful objects. This is an old vat that is filled with nothing but green bottles of various shapes and sizes. Slowly Virginia Creeper has made it's way over the vat and around several of the bottles. 

Along with these lovely bottles I found an odd mixture of strange and beautiful items inside the house. 
A creepy baby doll

A stack of mattress springs
A copy of The Stand by Steven King, which I thought appropriately fit the eeriness of the house.

The staircase leading to the upper floor. 

The fireplace in the living room, even without the mantle it is beautiful.
Stacks of old mattresses that I'm sure have become homes for animals.
The bottom of the banister. I was very disappointed when I learned that this was purchased and not hand carved by my ancestors. 

All in all I enjoyed my opportunity to explore on Sunday. At one point some sort of animal ran across the roof while I was alone in a room, and I was almost convinced it was a velociraptor,* which lead to me not wandering around alone any longer.

*My dad says it was NOT a velociraptor, but I've seen Jurassic Park. I know what they sound like, and I know what happens to doubters.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Thoughts on BEDA 5/31

So, here is the problem I always encounter when I attempt BEDA... I don't do ANYTHING! Seriously, I hang out with my family and work (during BEDApril) and read. And I'm happy with that. But it is not a good combo for BEDA. You can't just blog about watching TV with your gma and reading HP fanfiction. I mean, you CAN, but not for 31 one days! Maybe next year I'll do BEDOctober or BEDMarch and BEDMay. Those are active months. But I'm sticking with BEDAugust this year, folks. I'm doing it! When I finish this blog I'm going to set up a picture blog to post early tomorrow and then I'm still going to do another post tomorrow evening. It's going to happen! Now that I've said this, I am committed! Two blog posts tomorrow!

In exciting news, I finally have one of my new bookshelves built and installed! It is so EXCITING! As I've mentioned before I am redecorating my room and adding storage space. One step is helping my dad build bookshelves to go in and add (much needed) space for books. Some might say "buy fewer books," to them I say "I don't understand the words you are saying." Since not buying books isn't an option, I needed shelves. Now I have one adorable bookshelf and I must decide what books to put on this small shelf that flanks my bed. It's an adventure! Of course my father and grandmother are amused by my anxiety over shelving books, but I'm used to their mockery!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Oops! BEDA 4/31

Well, as you can see I missed a day. HOWEVER, I am COMMITTED to blogging for 31 days. I know I say that every single BEDA, but I mean it this time. I'm doing a lot of interesting things right now with this redecorating project and I actually have things to blog about. So I am DOING IT! I fully intended to blog last night after my weekly movie date with my grandmother, if for no other reason than to discuss my feelings about the movie: Mirror, Mirror. But here's the thing...I was kind of underwhelmed. It wasn't BAD, but I didn't think it was GREAT either. I suppose I just expected a little bit more from a fairy tale retelling. In my opinion the characters were kind of flat and I didn't really care what happened to any of them. It didn't help that E spoiled a MAJOR part of the ending, so even then big *GASP* moment was kind of ruined. Alas, this was no Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix* level of disappointment, but I will probably not be rewatching this film. I didn't even think Julia Roberts was convincing as a villain. Nathan Lane, however, was AMAZING and well up to his usual standard. And of course the small appearance of Sean Bean** warmed my tiny fangirl heart! All in all, if you like fairy tale retellings, check this out. If you like AMAZING fairy tale retellings, read Jackson Pearce's books.

*OotP is arguably the worst movie I've ever seen. I can't think of another movie that I've EVER been more disappointed in, so much so that had I paid for my own ticket I would have written to Warner Bros and requested a refund. I was SO disappointed in that movie and it has become the yardstick I use to measure other disappointing movies.
**Although, I did remark to my dad that I was astounded that he was not viciously killed at some point because that seems to be his MO.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Moaning- BEDA 3

Tonight I have a headache. I say this as though it's an unusual occurrence when it really isn't out of the ordinary. Unfortunately I've been suffering from some other gross things- excessively bad allergies, being continuously wore out, allergy rash of DOOM, the headaches- and now I have to determine what the cause is. Is the issue just my normal seasonal allergies, a new allergies, stress related illness, another type of illness? Added to all of this is my distrust of doctors and my aversion to medication. I prefer using homeopathic remedies and solutions, rather than rely on chemicals to solve issues. Obviously there are exceptions, but I suffer from headaches and allergy symptoms so frequently that I don't feel comfortable adding chemicals that provide no release. Of course all of my home improvement things make my allergies explode in a mass of ick, so I'm really helping myself by tackling multiple projects a day. But at the end of the day I'm so immensely pleased with the work I've been doing that I don't recognize the problem until I'm miserable. Hopefully, I'll have some pictures of completed projects to post soon!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lazy Days- BEDA 2

I have been short on lazy days this summer, and today hasn't been any different. At least twice a week I babysit Doodle and A, and while this is extremely fun it can also be exhausting. Today was a babysitting day. However, I also has some home improvement stuff to do for my grandmother, and that was even more exhausting. I cleaned a large segment of our kitchen walls, cleaned under our hanging cabinets, and then painted under our cabinets so we can install some hooks for easy storage/organization. This chore wasn't particularly hard, unless you are my right shoulder! After about thirty minutes I ended up with cramps in my shoulder and an ache in both of them from holding my hand over my head. After finishing the cabinets I worked on staining a vanity for my room redo! Tomorrow I am babysitting the cousins again and applying more stain to the vanity, and possibly building bookshelves! Now I'm just hoping I have one day to be lazy before school starts and I go back to work.

Don't forget to leave a comment to let me know you're doing BEDA

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

BEDA....We Meet Again

Well hello there, August 1! How YOU doin'? In all seriousness, August brings a lot of things: the start of school, work days, frantic back to school shopping, BEDA, and this year it also has the Olympics! I've spent several evenings parked on the couch watching* various events. There are a lot of things I like about the Olympics. The sense of camaraderie, seeing world records broken, watching someone win a medal- especially if their country hasn't won medals before or in several years; and the chance to watch sports that aren't usually televised.

How many of you are watching the games? What are your favorite sports to watch (and cheer for) during the Olympics?

*Except for tonight when I've mainly been snoozing because I can't seem to stay

Thursday, July 26, 2012

R and R to the Max

This summer has been so incredibly  nice. As it winds down I figured it would be good to look back at some of the highlights I experienced.

  • By not working I've really been far less stressed than I usually am during the school year, and that has been LOVELY!
  • I've spent a lot of time with my family. A trip to the beach, I baby sit Doodle and A two days a week, and one of my aunts comes over each day for lunch.
  • I've spent a lot of time in contact with BFF1. Whether it is textversations or lunch dates when she is in town, it seems like there has been a lot more contact than there is during the school year when we are both working.
  • I've read a lot of books. Well, 13 books as of today. My goal for the summer was to read 20 books, and with roughly 3 weeks left I may actually meet that goal!
  • I've worked really hard to do a complete overhaul of my room. I've donated a lot of things to goodwill, rearranged furniture, and I'm getting ready to build bookshelves. I haven't updated on a lot of these room things because I'm doing BEDA* (I know, I know) and I figured that I should probably save something for THOSE posts. 
  • With this room redesign I've been spending a lot of time with my dad. This is nice since he is moving within the next few weeks. That's something I'm trying not to focus on because it leads to ALL THE TEARS!
Of course there are some not so great things. I haven't seen BFF2 on a daily basis like I do during the school year. Money has been tight. Some days have been more "work until you are bone tired" as opposed to "veg on the couch." But at the end of the day, the good things outweigh the bad. As usual. I hope you've all had amazing summers and that there have been many fun experiences for you all!

*If any of you plan to do BEDA leave a comment so I know, and I'll visit your blogs come August with all the comments!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Vacation Round-Up

I have returned (very late Friday night) from an impromptu trip to the beach with some of my cousins.* To sum up the list of characters: my cousin Jo and her husband Todd along with their kids A and Doodle, my cousin Ryan and his wife Terry and their kid Baby Cash, and my cousin Doda. And me of course! I've struggled recently with family discussed in my last post things with my mom have been weighing on my mind a lot lately and I don't really have the chance to really deal with those feelings. I live with my grandmother (my mom's mom) and any mention of my mother really upsets her, so I try to avoid any mentions at home. I obviously don't want to upset my dad by talking about things a lot. And truthfully I just hate focusing on everything, even if talking it out probably would help me deal with things. Usually I just work around my frustrations and focus negative energy into positive things to distract myself.

ANYWAY, the point is, I had the opportunity to tag along on my cousins' family vacation. It's been roughly six years since I've been to the beach and I've missed the experience. Mostly though I just enjoyed being away from my troubles. I spent a week reading in the sun, playing with the baby cousins, and hanging out with my older cousins. I ate good food and had a few drinks. I played in the ocean and allowed myself to be in awe of the greatness of creation. I watched dolphins swim in the ocean and went to the aquarium. Basically, I lived free for the week. I set down my burdens and relaxed. And it was the best time I've had in such a long time.

I'm truly grateful for my family. I realize I focus on them a lot, both here and on Twitter, but that's because I've committed myself to surrounding myself with people who love me and that I love. Family is a sure fired way to do that. They have seen me at my very worst and have loved me through it all, and the same is true for them. Sometimes they drive me crazy, and I'm sure that I grate on their nerves at time. I don't always fit in...I'm not sporty and I my idea of an outdoor activity is reading in the shade**, but I'm accepted in spite of my oddities. And when things are gross and bad and I need somewhere to hide out, I always have a place...or ten. And there will never be a way for me to express how blessed I am to have this group of people tied to me indefinitely.

*Honestly, I should make a tab just to keep track of my relatives!
**We won't even get into my crazy liberal ideas.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

BFF Antics

Earlier this week my grandmother had an appointment with her endocrinologist and I volunteered to drive her to Roanoke for her appointment. This was not the best choice I've ever made. Two of my aunties came along and we planned to meet BFF1 for lunch and some shopping afterwards since my grandmother's appointment was in the town where she currently lives. This didn't work out as planned because even though we left on time we also ran into a wreck on the interstate and were almost late for the appointment. This frustrated one of my aunts. The other was upset because she had things to do at home and wasn't excited about a day spent shopping. I ignored the overwhelming silence in my car on the ride to Roanoke and tried to make the best of the situation. A feat made easier because my bestie is used to these dramatics and when she met us at the doctor's office she helped distract me from the uneasiness. We spent our time in the waiting room sitting side by side playing DrawSomething with each other and laughing at how terrible we are at the game and chatting about various things. After the doctor we went to lunch at a pizza bar, and that was AMAZING and tasty. After lunch we embarked on Speed Shopping. Literally. I went through Target at a jog, grabbing random items that were on my shopping list so that we could GET OUT IN A HURRY!!! I needed to buy a pair of jeans, but didn't have time to try on. I'm not so upset about THAT...I absolutely HATE trying on pants.*

During the awkward lunch and doctor's visit and all through Speed Shopping BFF1 and I chatted about various difficulties we have dealt with recently. We had been out to lunch the previous day since she was in my town (her hometown) which ended with me almost in tears over my cheese fries. I know, right! Why are there tears if cheese fries are present?! Turns out that even after six months, conversations centering around my mother can cause emotional turmoil. I'm blessed because BFF1 handled it like a CHAMP! So we revisited my emotional breakdown the previous day and also talked about how she is sometimes uncomfortable in the area she currently lives and also about how we just miss each other. She only lives about an hour and a half away now, but that's a big adjustment since she had previously lived 15 minutes away from me since we were in fifth grade. We have adjusted well, but things are a lot different and sometimes it is really hard to be far apart. We talk to each other constantly throughout the day and we have a group of shows that we "watch" together while texting comments about the content, but the time we spend together via phone or computer dwindles during the summer. To counteract that we have started a "book club." It's not really much of a book club with just the two of us, but we're testing the waters for now. If we enjoy it and are successful we may expand and include some of our other friends.** For now we're slogging through Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews, and when we've finished I'll update this with our progress/success. Hopefully it will be a fun activity to share. I love reading and she doesn't read many novels, but we both love funny girls and The South so MKA was a good starting point for us. Mainly I'm looking forward to sharing an activity with someone I adore, that I miss on an almost daily basis.

I have to say...I have mad respect for you guys that move away from your childhood friends and your families. Perhaps you are better at making friends than I am, maybe you're just braver...but I get absolutely verklempt whenever I think about leaving this tiny place that has been my home for 28 years.

*Or shirts, or dresses, or basically anything. It sucks.
**Who are we kidding, we don't actually have that many friends...hence the two man book club.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Summer Break Thus Far

So far summer break has been HECTIC! This isn't really unexpected, I've had cousins around since Thursday, have a family cook out today for Memorial Day, and have been attempting to get paperwork done before the work day at my office since I have to use that day for file review/updates. So far I've had a mani/pedi to celebrate the start of summer, baked cookies, made Nutella swirl ice cream pops, and froze lemonade so I can attempt to make my very own Lemon Berry Slush.* All of these things were accomplished with E by my side. I also had The Clone over Friday night, and have been plagued by allergies which thoroughly  ruined all my plans to work outside yesterday. Instead of weeding my herb bed and restacking wood so I can hang my hammock, I slept on the couch for three hours and watched several episodes of ANTM. I know, I live the high life. 

Right now I'm letting tea steep so I can make sweet tea for out cook out, and trying to plan a summer reading list. Also highly exciting plans. The plan for today is to spend the evening with the family, swim in my aunt's pool while trying to avoid being drowned by the cousins, and probably have E back tonight for slushes and movies. Now that she is out of school I'm sure I'll have her here at least three times a week, probably more. This is always fun, but slightly exhausting...sometimes I have trouble keeping up with a nine year old, especially one with so much energy! Hopefully this summer with little to no work will give me the time I need to work on some projects here at home and to successfully deal with the stress I've been under due to family drama. I'd like to start next school year a happier, healthier person and I'm planning to use this summer to do make that happen!

*Hands down my favorite thing on the Sonic menu.

Friday, May 18, 2012


THREE AND A HALF MORE DAYS!!!! Just one partial week and then school is over and summer is here! I am so stinking excited. Last summer I tried to do this thing where I highlighted all the things that made my summer great. I did some amazing things: I took a road trip to Orlando for LeakyCon with BFF2, I spent a lot of time with my family (especially The Fantastic Four) and my besties, and just generally enjoyed my summer. I spent some time reading. I marathoned some TV shows. I also got bogged down by work. Luckily this summer I'm not working and I truly plan to make this the Best Summer Ever.

Of course I have a HUGE list of things I'd like to get completed over the summer. I have the room redecorating project to prep, several major projects to complete for my Maw-Maw, and the weight loss/exercise goals. I also have a reading list** that I'd like to work through and I'll probably spend several evenings watching TV shows and have movie marathons with The Fantastic Four. Doda is already planning on us watching the all of the extended editions of the Lord of the Rings movies. Because they aren't long enough, we need extended footage of the Fellowship!

But more than anything I just want to enjoy myself. I don't have a problem working, but recently I've really needed a break. So, unlike LAST summer I plan to make regular updates and share all the excitement with all of you!***

*Stayed tuned on Twitter and on the blog for this fancy tag, which will highlight all the adventures I have in the next two and a half months.
**Which I'll post in a separate page as soon as I finalize it, until then you can always follow along with my GoodReads account.
***Really, guys. Regular updates! You'll see. Promise.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

All Roads Lead to Ice Cream

Occasionally my Maw-Maw and I have conversations that go like this:

Me- What are we having for dinner?
Her- I'm not sure, I'm not even really hungry.
Me- Let's have ICE CREAM!!!

This is proof positive that I'm a mature adult and also a major reason that I am not super slim. Or slim at all. I've talked about summer plans before, and one major goal is to lose 20 pounds. That seems like a reasonable number considering I'm going to be swimming daily, I'm doing the Couch to 5k program, and with fresh produce I'll be eating loads of fruit and veggie based dishes throughout the summer. I'm excited for this, and I hope that I actually stick with these activities. I've been pretty concerned about health issues recently and I really do want to be a healthy weight. Although...I'm not willing to give up ice cream and delicious baked goods completely. Everything in moderation is going to be my new motto!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

BEDA 10: Updates

If I decide to do this in August, I'd like someone to punch me.

Moving on! As usual there is not much going on in Small Town, USA. I've been on this work, read, sleep, repeat routine for weeks now. Work is the same as always. We just finished up all of the Mock Standardized Testing last week, and we will start actual testing on May 1. I'm so glad I'm not a kid. I mean, I'm completely burned out and I haven't even had to take any tests! Massive testing means boring work days filled with too quiet hallways and large amounts of paperwork catch-up. The bright side is that as of tomorrow there are only five weeks of school left! FIVE WEEKS! I'm so excited I can't stand it! I've been reviewing my finances and my Summer To Do List in preparation of my free summer. I worked in my herb bed yesterday and checked the mini-composting I've been doing. The rate of decay seems spot on, and I added some extra coffee grounds and egg shells to the mix and then turned the top layer of soil over, burying the compost. I'll turn everything again next weekend to continue to mix the compost into my soil and it won't be long before I'm planting herbs and trying fancy pants recipes with tasty fresh herbs! Unfortunately I discovered that a colony of ants have moved into one corner of the bed. I'm a bit worried about what to do with them, because I'm so anti-pesticides but I need to find a way to get rid of them. An article I read online suggested sprinkling cinnamon around the hill because the ants hate it and will leave. This seemed to be working yesterday, but it rained for most of the afternoon and I'm not sure that it actually worked. It's supposed to snow tonight though, so that will probably take care of the ant issue.

While we're on the subject, SNOW?!?!? Really? It's almost MAY and for the first time in recent memory school will actually be over before mid June. I'd prefer it to stay warm and slightly rainy. We don't really need winter weather at this point! I'm ready for lazy days in the hammock, swim session with The Cousins, soaking up warm rays of sun,* and mornings in the garden. So I'm hoping that the weather doesn't get too wintery and that spring reemerges SOON!

I'm going to try to finish strong with BEDA, since I got more than a little lost in the middle of the month. I have no real excuses, except for massive allergy attacks and large bouts of sleeping off the associated pain. Hopefully silver lining of the imminent snowfall is that it will reduce the pollen counts and I won't be quiet so miserable.

*After lathering myself full of sunscreen. I'm also anti-tanning. Skin cancer is a MAJOR fear and I am as safe as possible while in the sun.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

BEDA 9: Ice Cream

Allow me to share with you a riveting story. Today after working my required 8 hours and then trudging home, I discovered that our mail lady had delivered the second and third discs of Downton Abbey. Huzzah! I've been looking forward to seeing how season two ends for quite some time. After watching the first two episodes of Disc Two (and crying and sniffling my way through the episodes) I decided I needed junk food. "I'm getting ice cream!" I announced to my grandmother. She was EXTREMELY impressed by my ability to say words and asked me to bring her some ice cream as well. Only one large scoop though. While scooping out her ice cream I managed to rip the box. "Quelle horror!" I exclaimed. After tearing the box open I realized that there was NO WAY I could salvage the remaining ice cream and would therefore need to eat ALL THE ICE CREAM. So I did. Now that I've devoured a gigantic bowl of ice cream I've been sucked back into the world of Downton Abbey. Seriously, if you love British people, period dramas, an beautiful sets you should be watching this show. It is WONDERFUL!

Monday, April 9, 2012

BEDA 8: The Problem with Loving Books

Clearly this is no longer BEDA...however, I do hereby swear that there WILL be thirty blog posts by the end of April.* I don't really have any excuse for not posting yesterday, and really what is the point of dwelling on our past failures? ONTO THE ACTUAL BLOG POST!!!

It's no secret that I love books. Just flat out adore them. I love them in any format - hardback, paperback, ebook, with the dust jacket, without the dust jacket, new, used, borrowed, etc. It doesn't really matter to my how I get my hands on a book as long as I have books. The problem And also time. There will never be enough time in my life for me to read all the books that I will desire to read. And that makes me a little sad, but it also makes the discovery of books that I love and cherish even more special in the long run. Currently I have a LOT of books. I have stacks of books and shelves filled with books and my friends have stacks of books that I've loaned them and I have an ereader that is ALSO filled with books. It's no surprise that one of my Major Summer Goals is to reorganize my bookshelves and catalog all of my books. This is vital for numerous reasons. 1) I'll know what books I own, 2) I'll know where my books are, and which books are off in the Wild Blue Yonder, and 3) I'll be able to weed through my shelves and donate books that I don't need for whatever reason.

Another major issue with having ALL THE BOOKS is actually deciding what to read. I ran into this issue this weekend when I had several hysterical crying outbursts because of Family Drama (centering around my mother) and I just wanted something fluffy and funny to read. You know what I don't own a lot of? Fluffy, funny books. So I was torn, should I read something I love (HP) and find comfort in that? Should I pick up something random from my shelves and risk it being filled with angst? Should I just ignore all the books and watch super hot brothers kill demons on Netflix? I had too many options, which usually happens when it comes to deciding What to Read.** Truthfully, I'd rather have too many options when it comes to What to Read than no options at all. And sometimes I look around at all of the books I'm hoarding and I remember that there are children and adults all over the world who don't own books. And then I dislike myself just a little bit. I'm good about giving books away and donating money to book related charities and the like, but I still feel kind of greedy when I see how much I have. I'm sure that by the end of summer I will have donated a large number of books to my local library or I will have them boxed up and ready to mail out to some sort of book drive. And then I'll start the process of purchasing and hoarding books all over again.

*No really, guys...I am GOING to do this. Really!
**For the record I just read a book I had already started.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

BEDA 7: Updates

At 11:33 PM I finished Paper Towns (HUZZAH) and completed my Book Nerds for Lent challenge. I'll probably post more about that tomorrow or Monday. I don't have much to talk about as today has consisted of lazing about and reading a book. I watched Hugo though, and it was AMAZING more on THAT later too. Ultimately this seems like one big teaser post. Apologies for that. The reason things are disjointed and half-formed is mainly because Old lady Bedtime rolled around about 45 minutes ago and I can't cope. I'm rarely awake past 11, but forced myself to stay up to finish PT and also to update ye olde blog as promised this morning in my scintillating post about compost. Now I'm going to bed because my allergies are off the wall and I'm tired! Expect a REAL post tomorrow! And have a happy Easter/day/Passover/whatever you may be celebrating

BEDA 6: Herb Bed Planning

It only took me SIX DAYS to fail BEDA!!! Go me!! I honestly had the bones of this typed and ready to finish up last night before I went to bed, but then I received a message from my mother, which made me EXTREMELY upset and ended up crying for over an hour and falling asleep completely wrung out without even thinking about finishing this post. That means TWO posts today, folks!*

Day two of spring break included baking two batches of cookies and prepping my herb bed. I really wanted to build and plant an herb bed last year, but due to the sheer overwhelmingness of summer I didn't manage. I wanted to try this quick fix composting trick this year, but I've been lazy and I'm not sure it's going to have enough time to really work. Now, without further ado, HERE is a pictorial blog about my herb bed prepping.

This is the wild mess that is growing beside our front porch , which must be groomed into submission before I can even think about doing my garden!

After clearing all of the weeds, I turned all the dirt over, and cleared rocks and twigs from the area. 

After I finished the major prep work I started building my quick and easy compost set up. I'm really nervous about this part, and I want to run outside every 15 minutes or so and peek under the tarp** to see if things are working, but I can't or it really won't work!!!

Step One: I used ashes from our wood stove as the base of my compost. Ashes add various nutrients to the soil for healthier plants!
Step Two: Luckily Doda mowed our yard today so I had fresh grass clippings to add for the first "green" layer. Green layers are what add nitrogen to your compost/soil and are also essential for decomposition.

Step Three: The "brown" layer consisted of dried pine needles. Brown layers add carbon to your soil, which helps with decomposition. These break down really easily and have made my regular compost heap work really well!***

I added dried bread to my mini pile to help everything start to break down. This is just an added  step so that things stew and the bugs are attracted to my compost dump.

Last I covered everything in a layer of grass to add more "green" material to break down and also to discourage animals from sniffing out the bread and disturbing everything.****

After I added all the layers to my herb bed, I used an old black plastic trash bag to cover everything. This ensure that heat and water are contained and it also discourages animals.
In a week or so I will go out and check on this bed to see if all of the elements are meshing well. I'll also mix the compost for the first time and I'll add water if the materials are too dry.***** After I turn the heap I'll be adding coffee grounds and maybe some shredded newspaper, depending on how quickly these materials are breaking down. I'm planning on planting my herbs mid-May, so I don't have time for heavy duty composting, and truly that is reserved for the heap I have in the back year.

If you are interested in starting a compost heap, this is a great website I've found that details different styles of composting,****** has resources, and even talks about how much of each type of material you should add to your own compost heap! I'm a huge fan of being green whenever possible, and composting is a really easy, and beneficial way to be green. And if you garden (vegetable, flower, or container) the composted material really improves the quality of your produce without adding harmful chemical agents to your plants!

*Get excited!
**And by "tarp" I mean "black plastic trash bag"
***I have no idea why this picture imported upside down, lets just roll with it!
****Another photo that refuses to orient correctly. No idea why
*****I was lucky that we had massive storms all week so my soil and the pine needles were both pretty moist. If you're trying this and everything is dry make sure you lightly water your heap before covering it.
******My dream is to start a worm compost, but it just isn't possible at this point in my life. Maybe when I have kids I'll do one in a glass aquarium so they can watch the worms break down the organic materials.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

BEDA 5: "Spring" Break and Lent Updates

I am now officially on break! Technically this is our spring break, but when you live in a tiny town that is mostly White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestants it's referred to as Easter Break. I don't care what they call it as long as I don't have to work until Tuesday! But with Easter fast approaching I thought I would review my Lent for Book Nerds challenge.* I was really happy with this challenge. While I didn't always manage to get my 30 minutes of reading in every day, I do feel like I spent a good amount of time reading over the past 40 days. I only reread one book, and I've finished nine books so far. This means that I only need to finish reading ONE book by midnight on Saturday! This should be gravy because I'm rereading Paper Towns right now and I started a memoir about the filming of Breakfast at Tiffany's that I've been reading for about a week, but haven't made much progress on. The best thing about this Lenten Challenge (in my opinion) is that I really took time to evaluate my TBR list and make headway there** and I enjoyed taking time to read. I know that sounds silly, and anyone who knows me in real life would probably argue that I spend more than enough time reading,*** but I am usually bogged down with paperwork (or really painful allergy symptoms) and I don't take time to do things for myself. That has been changing over the past few months and with a summer filled with NO WORK I am going to have even MORE time to devote to myself. I generally think that I'm a pretty selfish person, but recent events in my life have reminded me that I really do put others first a lot of the time. I live with my grandmother, who is very capable but is also elderly, and I spend a lot of my at home time doing little things to make her life easier. I've been keeping a lot of my personal anxieties on the download because the rest of my family is reacting so poorly to this entire mess that has been going on with my mother. My weekends generally consist of having at least one of my cousins at my house for sleepovers and generally at least one night per week I am going to one of their games or picking one up from practice. And I am SO HAPPY to do those things for the people that I love, but it also adds to my stress levels and leads to me feeling crappy on a regular basis because I HATE disappointing people. And ultimately, as much as running around like a chicken with my head cut off to do things for my family can seem overwhelming, they are also the most therapeutic thing in my life and being around them allows me to heal. Catch-22 situation at it's best! And worst. But summer is going to be all about spending time on ME. Yes, I am going to be doing some home improvement type things for my grandmother and I will most likely be moving my father halfway across the country so he can be away from my mother and all of the drama that comes with her and also so he can begin a new job. But summer will also consist of sitting in my hammock, reading in the sun, messing in my compost heap and herb bed, camping with the cousins, and swimming every single day. It will involve HEALING and making sure I am okay when I go back to work in August. I am looking forward to the end of May for the first time since I graduated high school, and THAT is an amazing feeling.

*Giving up fast food for Lent was a complete success. No real issues with that, except on days we had meetings. I just used those as an excuse to eat yummy Chinese food!
**I only I only read one newly purchased book (Black Heart by Holly Black) during this challenge, all others were previously owned.
***No such thing

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

BEDA 4: Adult ADD

I don't ACTUALLY suffer from Adult ADD and truly I shouldn't joke about it in any way, but there are times that my attention span is so small that I honestly wonder if I should possibly see someone about making things better. Currently I'm listening to American Idol, typing this blog entry, and attempting to finish reading Black Heart so BFF2 can read it tomorrow. However, I'm having extreme difficulties managing any of the three. I WAS pretty successful when I was drooling over Phil Phillips. But being enthralled with Phil Phillips doesn't take a lot of brain power. He's just so PRETTY! And drool-worthy in other various ways.

MOVING ON (before this just becomes a Phil Phillips Appreciation Post) to other conversational topics!

Today was the last school day of the week! I now have a five day weekend to look forward to! This is SO exciting for me, because honestly I could use a break. I love my job, but it is stressful and time consuming, so any break is MUCH appreciated. I don't have many plans for break per se. I've been learning how to make rag rugs, so I may spend the weekend sorting fabric strips and running them through a wash load before I braid them into the beginnings of a rug. I also hope to start working on my tiny, baby herb bed! We have a lovely little section right off our front porch that would be ideal for an herb bed, but I have to see how the soil quality is, look into organic fertilizer that I can work into the ground, and I need to procure so sort of border. I may get rocks to edge the bed with, or I may get some excess lumber from a local lumber yard to create a border. I'll also have to wage war with various family members about my decision to mulch the bed instead of using plastic to kill any weeds. Sometimes they are really confused about my environmental choices. It is also getting to be PERFECT weather for composting! My poor compost heap has been sorely neglected over the last year and I'm hoping to whip it into shape by the end of summer and then maintain it through the school year. Last year I produced enough compost to cover my grandmothers small tomato patch, which was EXTREMELY exciting. It's lovely to take things that normally go to waste, in our case left overs and vegetables that fall from their vines, and make something that is beneficial. That cycle is calming and it also makes me feel powerful. I'm using things that would otherwise be cast aside and using them to better not only my own environment, but the world's environment as well.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

BEDA 3: I have never been punched in the face...

...but I can certainly sympathize with those who have had that experience. As I told the 7th grade math teacher today, I believe I may be allergic to someone in the first period class I have to attend. His suggestion that I'm probably allergic to ALL of the children was hilarious, but seriously unhelpful. Although, word on the street is that laughter is the best medicine. If this is the case then I should never be ill. Between BBF2 and several of the teachers I work with, my work days usually involve massive amounts of laughter.* And I suppose, if I'm honest, I don't usually get sick. Well, if you discount stress related illnesses and general allergy ickiness then I'm never sick. I guess you could say I'm always sick, but only if you're a "glass half empty" kind of person. Today just for laughs I looked at a map detailing pollen counts. Our county was a BLAZING red, which caused BFF2 to burst into hysterical laughter when she saw it. Today wasn't really terrible though because only tree pollen counts were up. Grass and weed pollen counts were LOW!!!** My favorite days are uwhen all three counts are BLAZING red on their respective maps. Those are the days that I cry or just stay in bed all day.

I realize that I've written two blog posts in a row about my allergy woes. I promise that every BEDA blog will NOT consist of a detailed account of my allergy struggles, unless you like that sort of thing! =D

*They also include large amounts of stress, tension headaches, and occasional panic attacks.
**YAY for low pollen count days!

Monday, April 2, 2012

BEDA 2: Allergy Woes

There are many things I love about Spring. Flowers blooming, warm weather, driving with the windows rolled down, sitting outside when it rains, etc. But I hate what Spring does to my allergies! I deal with them year round, but this time of year is THE WORST! Today I've been plagued with a headache, terrible itchy and runny eyes, and random pains shooting through my ears! Consistent pain makes it difficult to really enjoy the things I love about this season and t always makes me grumpy! I suppose I shouldn't complain, the past two winters have been very harsh and I've suffered a lot less than usual with m allergies. Even if I have a bad year with them this year at least there has been a small reprieve. The saddest thing is that it has been warm enough to sleep with my windows open* and I haven't been able to so far. I suppose it's time to buck up and plug in my air purifier if I want to enjoy open windows!

*Open windows are my absolute favorite thing about warm weather!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Hello again, BEDA

EDIT: I'm not sure how exactly this blog managed to disappear, but it randomly reverted back to a draft. Reposting so that ALL of the BEDA blogs exist!

If at first you don't succeed...try, try again? Right? That's the adage. Which is why I am once again attempting BEDA! Which will probably consist of me blogging daily for two weeks, and then disappearing for months. 'Cause that's how I know...

Anyway, I can at least begin BEDA with SUPER AWESOME WONDERFUL NEWS!!!!* After a complete breakdown last week and weeks of suffering from stress related illnesses (migraines, loss of appetite, feeling sick whenever I eat) and being a miserable person to be near (again with the stress induced horribleness) I made a pretty big decision to not work this summer. It was a big step because I had already promised to work and I had promised BFF2 that I would run a therapeutic group with her during the course of our day camp program. It was a big deal, choosing to take this step for myself, but after talking to BFF2 last week and my boss on Thursday I feel AMAZING! For the first time in two years I'm looking forward to summer. I have some plans to do a massive overhaul in my room. This includes getting rid of clothes that don't fit or aren't wearable, cataloging my bookshelves again, and redecorating my room. Not sure how much of the redecorating will happen because I will be on a VERY tight budget this summer, but hopefully I'll at least get everything arranged so that I will be ready to paint in the fall and can buy linens and curtains and other accessories when I start working again inûp August.

I'm also looking forward to time with my family. The past two summers have been really hectic, and while I've taken a few spur of the moment trips with The Clone and family, I haven't actually spent much time with The Cousins. That will be different this year. I plan to fully enjoy cookouts and bake sales and pool time. Actually I'd like to swim at my aunt's every day this summer. It's excellent exercise and it will really help my (so far unsuccessful) attempts to be more active and fit.

With less overwhelming exhaustion this summer I am also hoping to read a lot. I know this comes as a shock to you all! I really want to read books that have been on my shelf for a long time that I've never read. Last year I banned myself from buying books for a few months and then I attempted to restrict buying to no new books unless I read a book I already owned. With a tight budget this summer I won't be able to buy a lot of books, so I'm hoping to make a good dent in my TBR list. I'm also planning on actually compiling a TBR list of all the books I own but haven't read. I've been using GoodReads for this and I enjoy it more and more with each use.

If any of you are participating in BEDA this year let me know so I can visit your blogs!

*That I already announced on Twitter and told the people I see in my actual every day life.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Springing Forward

Time changes are always so challenging! The process of adjusting can be a real pain, but there is something so fantastically wonderful about knowing that spring is here* and that it won't be dark so early. I rarely am able to pick a favorite season, but this year I am really looking forward to spring. Rebirth and freshness are kind of a recurring theme in my year, and having that manifested by nature every time I look out my window is uplifting to say the least. There are currently daffodils blooming in out front garden and crocuses have popped up throughout our yard in a multitude of colors. They all look so happy! Soon it will be time to plan our garden, plant tomatoes, and hopefully this year I'll be able to start a small herb bed beside our porch. Bake Sale Season starts at this end of this month and I'm already busy planning a variety of snacks to prepare and sale. I've been stockpiling recipes all winter long and am really looking forward to baking in the upcoming months. I've also been messing around with basic cupcake recipes and adding to them based on various inspirations to create my own recipes. THAT is more fun that I would have imagined and it is gratifying to create something that other people enjoy.

Life in SWVA has been run of the mill. I wake up in the morning, go to work, come home, rinse and repeat. This may SEEM lousy and boring but in all actuality it's pretty much what I need right now. Work has been calm enough that I am able to get most of my paperwork done before I leave the school, which leaves my evenings open for reading and relaxing while I watch TV and chat with the BFFs. I've been fairly successful with my Lent challenge. I've finished four books and I've read at least 30 minutes every single day. I've also only read one reread, which is refreshing. I love to revisit books I've loved, but sometimes in doing that I forget how many amazing books are out there that I haven't taken the time to read.

Television this season has been a little disappointing. We regularly watch American Idol, but so far most of the shows have been too boring to hold my attention and I've read through each episode. ANTM has been wonderful so far this season though. If you've never watched the show I would recommend this season as a fantastic starting point. Tyra has sadly been normal and hasn't attempted ACTING so far this season, but I'm positive that will come about later on. US models in the making are competing against previous contestants from Britain's Next Top Model in Cycle 18. The most recent episode is the makeover episode** which includes all the usual DRAMA about hairstyles and cuts and colors. I find these episodes particularly amusing for multiple reasons. I'm looking forward to the new season of DWTS and the celebrity lineup this year looks MUCH more promising than last years. Urkel! Laura Ingalls Wilder! Gladys Knight! As usual I will livetweet my viewing of DTWS. Occasionally I livetweet Idol, but it hasn't been tweetworthy so far this season.

*Spring has actually been here all winter, truth be told.
**This is always my favorite episode of every season. My goal is to own every single makeover episode of ANTM so that I can watch them on repeat on bad days.


As usual I gave up a beloved food item for Lent this year, but I've also been trying other things as well and setting goals for myself during this 40 day period has been reasonably successful in the past. So here are my goals for Lent!

First, I read about this challenge. Now, I never need a reason to read, but sometimes I do need to streamline my reading process. This year I am WAY ahead of my personal reading goals so I didn't want to pick a huge number of books to read for this challenge. Instead I decide to challenge myself to read 10 books over the seven week period of Lent. But really, 10 seems too easy in a way, and after reviewing my current reads I realize why. I am currently rereading two series. Therefore, my additional challenge is one new read for every reread. I have a list of 22 books that I am choosing from during this reading challenge. I'll try to post them in the sidebar, but my computer is broken again and that may prove to be an impossible task with the tablet. I am also creating a separate GoodReads shelf to list all my challenge books.

Other challenges include exercising more. That's been a challenge for 2012 in general, but I've really slacked off in February. I really want to be healthy and I can't do that if I don't work for it.

The food I gave up this year is fast food. This ties in with being more healthy, and it is a step I'm considering making permanent. I know that will be difficult, especially when I have to leave work and go straight to meeting and such, but I'm willing to forego the majority of fast food if it means I can be healthy and fit.

An unplanned Lenten sacrifice may be not spending any money, because if Suzette is well and truly dead I will have to buy a new computer. Which will be horrid in regards to matching my desires (a Mac) to my finances (not Mac friendly.)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Snow Day

Today is the second snow day I have had this year. The first was on the day we were supposed to start school after Christmas break, and it didn't really count. Today has been kind of wonderful though. Schools were closed mid-afternoon yesterday, so naturally E came to stay overnight. This is in no way surprising, she's usually here as many nights as her parents will allow. Since the majority of my family is employed by the school system everyone congregated at my house around breakfast and for most of the day. We had lunch and dinner together. Doodle, E, A, and I made cupcakes inspired by Butterbeer, and they were consumed at an alarming speed. When the cousins went sledding I opted to stay inside due to the long-lasting cold type illness I've had this month. I spent my time lazing on the couch, watching The Walking Dead season one, and reading a few pages in several different books without actually committing to any of them. It was all just kind of GOLDEN. No schedule, no kids with behavior issues, no scrambling around a middle school...just resting and relaxing. I didn't even really communicate with anyone who isn't a relative. It was one of the best days I've had in a really long time. In a lot of ways this year feels similar to 2009, when I mainly stayed wrapped in the cocoon of my family and read a lot of books and just enjoyed where I was even when it didn't make sense to a lot of other people. I hope that I can continue to enjoy good things that come along in 2012, even if I haven't done an amazing job of that so far this year.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Blahs

Throughout the weekend I've been experiencing this overwhelming sense of ennui. There isn't anything I can pinpoint that may be the cause, and it's pretty frustrating because I don't enjoy spending my weekends feeling blah. I've been doing some really great things for my daily revolutions and I enjoy them a lot, but I've had no motivation to type them up. I've also struggled to read this weekend and to interact with other humans. Again, no real idea why that is.

In other news, I'm continuing to experience nightmares on an almost nightly basis. There are few thinks I enjoy more than working out my emotional issues during the night instead of ya know, sleeping. Every night in plagued with dreams that focus on every single person I love abandoning me in some way. CLEARLY I am dealing with my family issues well. I finally* told my dad that I've been having nightmares, and that went over poorly. He immediately assumed the majority of my issues were due to his plans to move away to work for a few years. While I am in no way looking forward to this occurrence it is NOT the reason for the nightmares. I was finally able to convince him of this, but it was fairly exhausting. I'm currently exhausted and yearning to sleep, but also kind of dreading going to bed and not sleeping well.

Hopefully I will feel better this week** and FINALLY update you guys on the revolutions.

*I've been having nightmares pretty regularly since Septemberish, but they've really increased in frequency since Christmas when my mother left.
**In order to cheer myself up this weekend I bought three memoirs about The Beatles. I hope they get here this week so I can read them and cheer myself up.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Missions Four through Seven

I didn't do daily blogs for several missions, because really they were short and simple or I didn't exactly manage to complete them. These things happen. I'm going to take a moment and update all of you on those missions and then I'll post about my "Destination Unknown" adventure tomorrow morning. It will be AMAZING!

Mission Four was called "Here Comes the Sun" and Revolution-ers were asked to make an effort to watch the sunset and the sunrise the following day. Now, where I live usually has AMAZING sunsets like this.

However I was foiled in my attempt to get a GREAT picture because it was SO overcast! This is the best picture I got and it's hard to even tell that it is sunset. Dawn was actually impossible because of fog and rain and just gunky skies, but I enjoyed looking for the sunrise each day.

Mission Five was was a bit easier in some respects. We were asked to compliment five people throughout the day. This was easy as pie. I made sure to give genuine compliments, because fake love isn't cool. I complimented students in the school where I worked, co-workers, and family members. The only catch was that we were asked to compliment two strangers. When you work in a small school with only 350(ish) students and less than 50 members on staff it is HARD to find a strangers. I am still on the lookout for strangers to compliment and I will report back ASAP when I find (and praise) them.

Mission Six was easy as pie. Give to charity. I decided at the end of the year to donate the amount of money I spend on books throughout the year to charities I like. Trying to balance those scales a little bit. For this challenge I bought a Basket of Hope from Heifer International. I love Heifer International because they give much needed supplies to people in areas of needs and those supplies don't feed one person for a day. Those supplies make it possible to feed multiple families, increase self-reliance, and boost the economies in these areas. It is a truly wonderful organization where you can buy "gifts" at almost any price point!

Mission Seven was tweaked more than a little to suit my needs. Revolution-ers were instructed to "suit up" and put on fancy clothes for the day. Fridays are the only dress down days we earn at school and I had PLANS to go adventuring after school with BFF1, so I was REALLY unwilling to give up my denim and Chucks. Instead I put effort into my appearance in another way. I actually blow-dried my hair and used a little product to make it look like it had a style. I also wore make-up. This isn't a normal thing for me, I usually sleep as long as possible or read in the morning, giving me only the minimum amount of time to get ready each morning. This usually means I have a quick shower, throw on clothes, and rush out the door with wet hair and no makeup at all.

These missions really are enjoyable and are usually so easy to complete. Even if I don't finish them on the day they are "assigned" or the way I am directed it is really delightful to add these things to my daily routine. Changing small things make each day a surprise and it is lovely.

Monday, January 9, 2012

My Revolution Mission Three

I didn't complete Mission Two...yet. It wasn't possible for me to do the mission the way was expected (once again I am hindered by small town locales) but I have a PLAN for executing the mission on Friday when I spend the afternoon with BFF1. If we succeed then I will be updating with a blog on Friday or Saturday, depending on what the mission for Friday is.

Today's mission was titled "Read-A-Thon," which is of course, right up my alley. However, the fates have been aligned against me today. I took the book* to work, but then I ate lunch with BFF2 and Mr. Math. While I was eating Auntie P wandered over from the high school (which is attached to the middle school where I work) in search of a Coca-Cola. These events led to more conversation and laughing than actual reading. Not that I'm complaining, ultimately life is to be lived, and too frequently I hide in a book instead of interacting with other humans.

After work-time-reading was a bust I planned to come home and read for awhile before I started doing paperwork. As usual, the best laid plans. Since Friday we have been having issues with our wood stove (our primary heat source) and it has been funneling smoke into our house instead of through the pipe and chimney like it is supposed to do. My uncle came over and he and I fiddled with the pipe and discovered that it had mysteriously worked loose, which was the source of the smoke. By this point my allergies were completely haywire, to the point that I was considering taking actual allergy medicine** to deal with the symptoms. I decided not to risk full on medication but did use some prescription eye drops to help my eyes, which were affected the most. After several hours I noticed that I was still miserable and that there was still smoke in the house. I got my Daddy and he checked the pipe only to discover that in the process of reconnecting the pipe we had managed to dislodge soot, which fell down and blocked the pipe. We got that fixed about 30 minutes ago and I settled down with my book to read again.

I only made it through the first chapter. I enjoy SRB and I'm sure I'll love the book, but today was not the day to read. I have no attention span and I don't feel particularly well since the Smoke Monster incident! I'm going to continue reading the book and hopefully I won't be hindered quite so spectacularly in the future!

*I decided to read The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan because it has been on my TBR shelf (AND in my work bag) for such a long time but I have never read it.
**I can't actually TAKE allergy meds because I have crazy extreme reactions to them and I usually just pass out and am completely unable to function after a dose. I know, SUPER helpful on the pain and agony relief front.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Revolution Mission One

Clearly I am a glutton for punishment. After my previous post I had a conversation with my father and in a fit of EMOTION I signed up for the daily challenge revolution. It maybe wasn't the best time to sign up, because today's mission was "Try a new entertainment." As previously mentioned I live in a TINY town in southwestern Virginia. Entertainment options include: the movie theater, hanging out in Wal-Mart parking lot* like local high school kids, sporting events at one of the local high schools, and our dinner theater. It wasn't really easy to find a "new" form of entertainment to try. I like watching sports, but even if I hated them there aren't games on Saturday nights. It was dark so no outdoor activities are available. Finally I decided to watch a TV show** that I wouldn't normally watch.

I absolutely loathe weddings, and with recent events in my personal life I find love even more off-putting than usual. With these thoughts in mind I browsed Netflix until I stumbled upon My Fair Wedding, a reality show that follows a wedding planner as he provided dream weddings for soon-to-be brides. Usually I find these types of shows a tad bit disgusting. All of the money and drama and's just too much for me. Perhaps because my own dream wedding includes sundresses, flip flops, and the field behind my aunts house. Or maybe a barefoot wedding on a quiet beach with our families. Nothing big or extravagant.

I watched the first show and wasn't really impressed. The wedding was pretty and David Tutera does a fabulous job of pulling all of the brides crazy ideas together into something cohesive and lovely. But it didn't really do anything for me. I decided to watch the second episode so I had enough data to write this post. I'm not going to lie...the second episode got me a little bit. The bride was super controlling and you could tell that she and her groom didn't have a lot of money. Her mom bought her wedding dress and the groom's parents gave them their invitations and other stationary as a Christmas gift. Even with obstacles the bride was fun and bubbly and happy. I immediately wanted her to have a good wedding and for it to meet all of her expectations. At each step along the way she ended up in tears because she was so happy and excited. She had wonderful manners and probably said "thank you" 100 times in the hour long episode. It was refreshing to watch her. And it was enjoyable.

While this wasn't my favorite show and I doubt I become an avid fan, I can see myself watching this show again. Especially since there were some great wedding themes that I'd like to see come to pass! I had to avoid the temptation of watching Alice in Wonderland theme and Pirates theme because that seemed like cheating! Although I know the point of this challenge wasn't to pick something you don't like, I did enjoy picking something that I would never voluntarily watch if it was showing on TV and giving it a chance.

*Truthfully I should have done this because even as a high school student I didn't troll local parking lots.
**Was inspired by Rosianna watching Eastenders in her video today

Not So Lazy Weekend

I'm not going to lie to you guys, going back to work this week was kind of lame, but overall it wasn't bad. Since it was a short week time FLEW by and the weekend was here more quickly than I expected. The downside of that is that it doesn't really feel like the weekend. I've been relatively lazy today- I took down our tree, fiddled with my layout* on the blog, and watched a few episodes of The Hour. I also made three separate spreadsheets: one to track my grandmother's dietary habits for her doctor, one to track the money I spend of books this year, and one to catalog the books, ebooks, and movies I own. Nothing drastically exciting.

This week as I've meandered around the interwebs I saw a cool challenge about watching 365 movies this year. My initial thought was "Oh! That would be amazing! And fun! I should DO THAT!!!" However, I quickly came back to reality and realized that there is NO WAY I can manage to watch 365 movies this year. Plus...I don't really watch movies. Mostly I watch television series or read. But I would like to watch more movies. So I'm going to challenge myself to watch at least one new movie per week. And maybe I'll blog about that.

Another cool thing going on is something that Rosianna is doing. Every day there is a challenge to try something new and then share your experience. Personally, I think this is brilliant. Her videos have been really enjoyable and also they have been insightful. Since I'm already on the "join ALL THE THINGS" kick I am seriously considering joining the revolution. Mainly because the stuff is so easy and simple to do. So far the challenges have been things like "try a new food," or "smile at people." SO SIMPLE! If I do join the revolution I'll be doing short blogs here detailing the challenges, because I don't have the time to edit or post videos.

I hope 2012 is treating you all well and that you are having success with your current resolutions if you made any.

*My allergies are well and truly insane today, making most everything I look at blurry, so if the new layout is difficult to read please let me know so I can fix the issues =]

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, New YOU...and other cliched things

Three days into 2012 and things are going pretty well. The fact that today is a SNOW DAY really* helps my happy mood. I mean, really, who DOESN'T love a snow day? Since there is a new year and a snow day on the day school was supposed to begin, I have spent a lot of time today on reflection. I want a LOT of things this year. Like silly, serious things. But more than anything else I want to BE HAPPY. I want to be overwhelmed with joy and happiness. There are some dark times in my future, and I want to be able to face them with a positive outlook. I want to reject the negativity that I could easily succumb to and celebrate the good things in my life. There are SO MANY good things to look at. I am going to spend the year seeking them out. When I first started this new job** I worked in an elementary school with 1st graders. This led to MANY hilarious tweets and stories. But I also did a thing where when I had a bad day or a difficult day or just felt off in some way I would find A GOOD THING, no matter how small it was and tweet about it with the tag #silverlining. This was an amazing thing and would generally help lift my mood. It also allowed for interaction with other Twitter users, because someone had a similar story. I am going to try to implement this tag into my daily life. Less focusing on the bad things, and more of the good. Not to say that there won't be times full of moaning and crying and just pouring out the bad things, but I want to make the effort to BE HAPPY.

A few other resolutions*** to focus on this year. I want to exercise more/be healthier this year. Mainly because anxiety is difficult enough without worrying that you may actually be having a heart related issue. And also because buying clothes can be miserable if you are full-figured. I want to read at least 55 books this year. That's how many I managed last year, and I'm determined to meet the same goal this year. But more than reading a set number of books, I want to ENJOY the books I read, and that goal allows me to take my time reading a book. True there will always be books that I can devour in a day, but there are also books that need to be savored. Sometimes I forget to savor. Just like I sometimes feel guilty for rereading old favorites instead of reading a SHINY NEW BOOK. Which is just ridiculous, because a book is a book is a book, and books that we love are like old friends that we should embrace frequently. I am also planning to tell the people I love that I love them. I am open and affectionate and I have no problems expressing myself, but there are times that I don't take the opportunity to tell people that I love them, and I may not always have that chance. So I plan to make it count. I'd like to blog more...but I always resolve to do this without actually succeeding. I am an avid Twitter user and I interact with a variety of people there and I've been inspired by my friend Megan I'll be tracking the books I read this year using the tag #ChelleReads2012. Recently I've been utilizing my tumblr account to save quotes from books that I'm reading or lyrics that I like or poems that I dig...random things like that. I used to be more active in the internet world, and I'd like to get some of that back. I miss interacting with people I've met online. With that in mind I'm going to attempt BEDA again this year at least once. I'm planning now so that I can be READY when the time comes!

I hope that all of you enjoy the upcoming year****. If you made resolutions I hope you are successful. If you enjoyed this blog find me somewhere listed above so we can be friends! <3

**Which is stressful and hard and overwhelming and HARD, but so VERY rewarding and worthwhile.
***I hate that word, really these are just goals I have for myself to work toward this year.
****As the old adage goes you should begin the year as you mean to continue it. I spent the first reading, watching some good TV, hanging out with the family, and having a sleepover with The Clone. As far as I can see there can be no better way to continue this year. =]