Archive for the ‘NaBloPoMo’ Category

Unearthing

November 10, 2012

I’m getting ready to buy a new laptop and having used several different ones over the last few years, am trying to consolidate all my files. I’ve finally managed to get everything onto one machine, which is major progress. Now I need to go through the lot and purge and re-organize. Like, for example, do I REALLY need a high-res version of this before photo of my storage closet from 2006?

Before

Ahem. Amongst all the silliness, I found a list of goals from January 2009. Happily, I met quite a lot of them! Here’s the rundown with updates:

  • Read a book a month
    • This seems like a reasonable goal but I fell short in a big way. There are sooo many great books I want to read – my Amazon.com wishlist is a shameful 29 pages! It’s not that I don’t have time; I just haven’t been making time. The last book I started was Tina Fey’s hysterical memoir, Bossypants. I definitely want to re-commit to this goal.
  • Get & keep alive 3 new plants
    • Done!
  • ASSORTED HEALTH COMMITMENTS THAT NEED (ALL CAPS stet – ha!)
    • I’m guessing I planned on expounding on that deep thought at some point but never did. I’m proud to say that in the last few years, I’ve made major progress in the health department. I started consistently exercising again in the spring of 2010 and aside from temporary breaks after surgeries, haven’t stopped! (For me, that’s a major accomplishment because in the past, I would only exercise in fits and starts and give up after a few months.) I’m also doing all kinds of things to keep my issues in check, including journaling, writing down my food, & attending a support group weekly, all of which has helped my mental health tremendously as well. I can always improve on this front but am pleased with my growth.
  • Bubble bath once a week
    • Done, at least once a week and usually more often.
  • Manicure once a week
    • I feel compelled to clarify that I meant at-home DIY manis, because they make me feel fancy, but I definitely did not do them once a week. I think once a month is more reasonable. (Sidebar: I’ve never had a pedicure because I think my feet are ugly and they’re very ticklish and I’ve read too many fungus/infection horror stories. Maybe 2013 will be the year to overcome my neuroses and get a pedi?)
  • Learn to do something cool with new camera
    • I’m not exactly sure what I meant. I started Instagramming in April of 2012, which has encouraged me to take more pictures more often and to think more creatively about the ones I take. I would love to experiment more, especially with Instax and light paintings.
  • Buy: couch cushions, new vacuum, tires, bed
    • Aaaand consumerism rears its ugly head. I ended up not getting new couch cushions but this summer finally got a new couch, which I love! (More on that and other fascinating home-decor dets soon.) I also got a new vacuum but again, not until recently. The tires and bed I did get in 2009.
  • Start a vacation fund
    • Sadly, I did not meet this goal. It’s added to my list for 2013.
  • Learn to knit in-the-round
    • Nope but still dying to learn.
  • Try to be less judgmental of myself and others
    • ♥ this one and think of it often. So important!
  • Make shower curtain
    • Nope but that hasn’t stopped me from buying fabric for it. 😉
  • Don’t be afraid to write some query letters for writing projects
    • I didn’t do this until this summer. More on this soon, hopefully.
  • Score a freelance gig
    • At the moment, I can’t remember if I did any freelance gigs in 2009. There may’ve been one I ended up bailing on because I didn’t have enough time? I’m definitely seeking a freelance writing gig but am less concerned with taking on Web design projects. There’s other stuff that’s more important to me now.
  • Re-quit sugar
    • Done! This time it’s been almost a year.
  • Remember that baby steps matter
    • ♥ this one too and could do with reminding myself more often.
  • Embroider
    • I did some cross stitch but actual embroidery didn’t happen until 2011 and I still haven’t finished my 1st project.
  • Journal every other day
    • I don’t journal that often but much more often than I used to – I’d say at least once a week.
  • Recommit to recycling
    • (God, I’m such a dork.)
  • Walk Abbs
  • Church twice/month
    • A few years back, I started going to church more often but stopped and let this goal fall to the wayside. I went with my Dad a few weeks ago, which got me thinking about this issue again. I’m still mulling over where I want to take this goal.

I have to say, I’m surprised and pleased with my progress overall and so glad I found this list! A few years ago, I realized that after some painful setbacks, I stopped making goals for fear of not achieving them so I’m glad I got back on the horse and am inspired to keep at it in 2013!

Progress

November 9, 2012

I don’t blog much about politics, although I’m guessing most readers have a pretty good idea where I fall on the spectrum. But yesterday I read something that is so incredible, I had to share it here because I think regardless of how you feel about the outcome of the election, it’s news to celebrate:

Thanks to a surge of both female and minority candidates, white men will no longer constitute the majority of the Democratic House caucus. –BBC

So inspiring!

And a bit o’ gratitude → When I was swimming laps this afternoon, I happened to be in the lane closest to a wall of windows. It was gloriously sunny out so sunshine was pouring into my lane, dappling the water and penetrating its depths. It was SO lovely that I wished I had an underwater camera to capture it. Then I got to thinking about how odd the lifeguards would think it was for me to take pictures in the lap pool. Then that thought led to another and before I knew it, I’d swum 50 laps! I have to tell you that my swimming time is so precious to me. I always feel so much more calm and centered afterward.

Bear

November 8, 2012

NaBloPoMo has been a bit of a FAIL for me this year but I don’t want to completely give up. I also don’t want to have to keep mentioning my failings at the beginning of posts when I’ve missed the day before. So I’m still trying but won’t bore you with excuses when I don’t hit the mark every day. Onward! 🙂

The other night I got giddy about the upcoming holiday season when I saw all of the Christmas ornaments at Target but then felt tears stinging my eyes because this will be my first Christmas without Abby. 😦 I had to put down my sweet, fluffy girl a few weeks ago. It was heartbreaking but definitely the right thing to do because her arthritis had gotten really bad and her senility was getting worse. I’d been trying to prepare myself for awhile but it didn’t make it any easier or less traumatic. Abby never liked going to the vet and would always be nervous and pace-y while we were there. I did not want her final moments to be like that so I did some research and discovered Curbside Care Mobile Veterinary Clinic. I am so, so grateful to have found them. It allowed Abby and I to be together in our calm, familiar environment at the end.

I miss her so much and am still adjusting to life without her. Like when I get home from work in the evening and realize I won’t get to see her big grin. Or when I make plans with someone and think, “I need to take Abbs out first” and then remember she’s gone. When I’m feeling blue, I just try to focus on how lucky I was to spend 15 years with such a wonderful creature. She changed my life in so many ways. Before Abby, I was afraid of dogs and hadn’t thought much about animal rights. I had no idea how amazing dogs are and how much they enrich our lives. I really do feel blessed to have spent so much time with her.

I snapped this picture a few weeks ago, before Abbs stopped being able to go on our daily walks:

I Vote for “Biscuit Brownie Town”

November 4, 2012

You guys, I know it’s only day 4 of NaBloPoMo and I’ve already missed a day but sadly, I’ve got a good excuse. The first half of yesterday went pretty well. My new mattress was delivered and set up without a hitch and although I wanted to faceplant into it and sleep all day, I pressed onward to vote early. When I arrived at the early polling place for my county, it was sunny out but sleeting, which was strange but I managed to find a parking spot & make my way into the building. Once inside, I found a reeeeeally long line that snaked all the way around the building and back. At the time, I didn’t realize just how long the line was or I might’ve given up and tried again later. Once I knew how long I’d have to wait, I had already invested enough time that it felt silly to leave. I ended up standing in line for more than 2-1/2 hours! I was not wearing appropriate footwear so my tootsies were hurtin’ but I’m so glad to have cast my ballot and grateful to live in a country that offers me that freedom.

Next up, I decided to visit my Dad at the facility where he’s been convalescing and found him in HORRIBLE mental condition. He was confused and could barely put a sentence together or accomplish basic tasks. I took him to the ER and he was re-admitted to the hospital. It was a long, hard night and I hated for him to have to go back into the hospital but it’s where he needs to be for now. I made it home around 1 a.m. and immediately crashed onto my new mattress for a night of fitful sleep.

It’s been really hard for me to focus at work lately because I get calls and emails about my Dad’s care all day long. I’m realizing that helping him is going to require my full attention, at least until things get better, so I’ll probably be using some FMLA time to get off work.

And now for my favorite text of the week → I was telling my friend (whom the tabloids refer to as Maxine Dangerous) how dumb it is that the place at the hospital where you go for mental health emergencies is called “Crisis.” Her response?

Okay, suggestions for rebranding “Crisis”: The Bahamas, Unicorn Happy Town, Lollipop Land, Monopoly City, Biscuit Brownie Town

LOLz!! 🙂

Vote

November 2, 2012

It’s waaaay past my bedtime but even a professional procrastinator like me couldn’t abandon NaBloPoMo on day 2, so I’m showing up! I’ve got a busy weekend ahead. The plan is to get up in a few short hours and vote early. I really want to avoid the long lines next week. I will be SO glad when the election is over. I feel very strongly about my choice, but the constant, back-and-forth political flim flam is driving me crazy!

Remember on Sunday...

Let’s Get This Party Started!

November 1, 2012

JenFul blogged every day last month, which put the notion in my head. Lord knows I haven’t been making enough time to write lately & I sure could use the catharsis so today, ill-prepared and by the seat of my pants, I decided to embark on a NaBloPoMo adventure! Stay tuned for scintillating minutiae about blustery November days, peppered with shaky cell phone snaps of my ill-conceived endeavors.

New YearFrankly, I can’t even believe it’s November. At the beginning of the year when I started back to work, I created a fresh Notepad document and filled it with goals and to-dos. Just the other day, I realized we’re at the tail end of 2012 and I’m still using that document, entitled “newyear.txt,” to keep track of things.

In crafting news, I just finished this burlap bubble wreath:

Burlap Bubble Wreath

I thought it needed a little something extra so I added 2 yarn-loom flowers. (I am now totally addicted to making them and want
to put a flar on everything I own!) I followed this tute to make the wreath. It requires a bit of finessing but once you get the hang of positioning & pinning the little squares of burlap, you’re set!

P.S. The directions that came with my yarn loom ($2.99 @ Michael’s) weren’t the greatest but I found some awesome tutorials on YouTube.

My Golden Girl

November 30, 2010

When I got home from the pool last night, Abby was resting in her usual spot on the tile by the door. These days she takes a bit longer to get up but once she makes it, moves around just fine. Last night though, she seemed exhausted by the prospect so I ended up having to help her, which broke my heart into a million pieces. She’s 13 so I’m lucky to have had so many wonderful years with her but I honestly don’t think she was in pain as much as she was just plain ol’ tired. Also the weather was rainy, which I think she felt in her old bones. Like many shepherds, her hips are a problem area now that she’s in her twilight years so at her vet’s suggestion, I started her on Glucosamine Chondroitin. I bought a small bottle on Amazon to see how she tolerated it and she did just fine so I got a big bottle of the exact same kind. Naturally she started completely refusing the pill even when I divided it into 16ths in her kibble. The vet said GlucChon is the best thing for her though so I’m now forced to disguise a meat-flavored pill in a delectable pill pocket, marketed specifically toward pushover pet-owners like me. (Sometimes if I’m lucky, Abby will begrudgingly accept her pill on goat cheese & pesto pizza. ;)) Of course I wouldn’t have it any other way.

One interesting side note is that Abby seems to have figured out if she lays with her front end on the tile and her back end on the carpet, she can use the carpet as traction to get up more easily. I’ve thought about putting something on the tile to help her get her footing but the reason she likes laying there is because it’s cool and she has a warm, wooly coat, even during the summer. I was thinking of trying that stuff you put under rugs to keep them from sliding around, since it has holes and would still allow her to stay cool. Any ideas?

What the Web Is All About

November 29, 2010

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged about the crazy searches that’ve led innocent seekers to my blog but today’s query? Well, it takes the cake:

does cabbage patch kids have a dick and balls

My Mom made me Cabbage Patch-esque dolls when I was little since we couldn’t afford the spency real deal, but I loved them all the same, especially Buffy, who was my favorite. I still have her and her sweet little face is still smudged from years of pretendsies feeding. Thanks pervy searcher, for leading me down memory lane!

The ‘bucks Redeems Itself?

November 28, 2010

Oh, Starbucks. We’ve never been BFFs. I’ve always hated that you don’t recycle and your prices are ridiculous but sometimes, your convenience cannot be denied. In particular lately I’ve been enjoying your oatmeal a few mornings a week. I love that it’s plain and whole grain and toppings come on the side, so I can use the nuts and dried fruit, but skip the brown sugar. That said, I noticed that your drive-thru menu changed; you stopped listing your smallest bev size (infuriatingly named “Tall”) on the menu, even though it’s still available. That kind of customer manipulation really pisses me off. Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one who was annoyed, so you got a well-deserved rubbing and now Tall’s back on the menu, where it belongs. Shame on you for leaving it off to begin with, but I’m glad you came to your senses.

P.S. There’s a Starbucks commercial running right now with an adorable song playing in the background, Snow Day by Matt Pond PA. Enjoy!

The Elephant in My Blog

November 23, 2010

Let’s not talk about how I haven’t blogged the last few days, OK? I mean in the “every day” sense, I haven’t been the best NaBloPoMoer, but going from blogging once a week at most to 16 posts in 23 days ain’t bad. So let’s focus on the spirit of NaBloPoMo as opposed to the letter of it, umkay?

The last 24 hours perfectly exemplify the unbound insanity that is Indiana weather. Yesterday the temperature rose into the balmy 60s. The minute I got home from work, I flung open a window to infuse my apartment with the lazy, auburn warmth of late fall. Sadly, I awoke at 4 a.m. freezing my arse off. The temperature had dropped more than 30 degrees and in the dim haze of approaching dawn, I’m pretty sure I saw the sheen of frost on my comforter. I was forced to turn on the heat to thaw out my bed linens as I grumbled myself back to sleep. Really, Indiana? REALLY? Poo on your head!

You’ll be relieved to know that my gym replaced the curtains in the locker room showers. Aside from the suspicious brown splatters, none were wide enough so each shower meant another opportunity to decide which half of your body you were willing to expose. I’ve already shared how even a regular day in the locker room leaves me hovering on the brink of a panic attack so enjoying the freedom of a private shower is truly a welcome event.