Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I'm reflecting back on this one in a much more logical, methodical, reflective way, not wishing that I could do something again or wishing that something hadn't happened, but looking back and seeing how every part of what I experienced this year was very significant to me in the long term. Decisions that I've made this year will affect how my life plays out in the future; they are changing the way I view the world, the way I interact with others, the way I view myself. This year was a year of growth.
Speaking of growth, my ponytail is a foot long now...I'm going to let it grow until February and then I'll get it cut short...I want to make sure that the kids have good hair for a wig. I'm glad that I decided to donate to Locks of Love. I don't know that I'll be able to do it every year, but I will try to do it again, definitely.
The girls in the office have decided to train for a 5K in May...I printed off the Couch to 5K training plan, and I'll start it when we hit the gym on Thursday...we were going to start tomorrow, but the gym won't open until 8 am and I'll be at work by then.
I'm also going to take the Bento Challenge. I'll be focusing on making bento-style lunches (and incorporating lots of Japanese ingredients/food) to help with portion control (and because I just think that it's fabulous!). I've already got some stuff set out for tomorrow's, and I'll take a picture once I get to work.
That's all I've got for now.
Shelli playing with some of her Christmas stash. She really racked up!!
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Yesterday was SOOOO dead at work...Joey came with me, which was good because once we got into the afternoon hours, since there were only three of us at work and it felt safer with him there. But, yesterday was also nice because it was so quiet; I really got a lot done.
Pics from Christmas day will come soon...you'll never believe all of the awesome stuff that Shelli ended up with:).
Thursday, December 25, 2008
For most of my childhood, I never spent a Christmas at home....the only one I can remember is the one when I was 10, when my dad had his heart attack and he couldn't travel. While I enjoyed those Christmases very much and I appreciate the memories, I just don't want to put my own child through that. I never got to see Puss on Christmas day, and I always felt guilty that she was left behind in a dark house while we were far away from home. I don't want to put Shelli through that either. It works out so well that both of our sets of parents like eachother so much and we can just all hang out and have our own Christmas lunch. We also only do gifts for Shelli on that day; we do presents with each set of parents at different times. Shelli got some really neat stuff this year, and she played with everything that she got!
It's also a balmy 65 degrees or so, which is a little strange for Christmas, but it's nice to have the windows open and air out the house. This year has been so very busy, between year-end at work (which we've been totally kicking butt with, yay us!!) and all of the parties and activities we've been a part of, we're definitely ready to settle back into a routine of normalcy and chill out some.
So, Merry Christmas to you all. Much love to you!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
It was a SUPER BUSY week...Monday wasn't all that relaxing because we had so much shopping to do while I was off...the knitting group met Tuesday night, we had our "wrap party" for the musical Wednesday night, and an ornament exchange on Thursday night. Last night was our first chance to relax, and it was nice to get to do so with James and Shannon (as it always is). We lost a shingle off the roof in the windstorm yesterday, so Joey and his dad had to climb onto the roof in the dark and replace it. How fun....but they were able to get it fixed.
I have a sad confession to make that will probably shock those of you who know me very well.....Joey and I have gotten too lax on our frugality. Yes, I know, it's horrible and unimaginable that I, the person who would sit in the house and shiver last year so that we didn't have to turn on the heat, have allowed us to get lax about our spending and now we're having to back up and take a hard look at how we're wasting our money. January is apt to bring a whole new set of seriously frugal challenges as we need to get back in the mindset of saving as much money as possible. Joey's got some ideas that, should they come to fruition, would potentially allow us to get our Hyundai paid off this year (which would mean no more car payments!!). Since we've got to deal with tuition for both of us now, it would be helpful to go ahead and get the car paid off.
So, you'll be getting some of the "frugal challenge" posts again....stories of our cooking from scratch, saving on water, power, and gas, repurposing, reusing, recycling, donating, buying from thrift stores (I have kept my word and not bought any new clothes since I decided to take that challenge in April). And, I'm going to try to use up the yarn stash that I've got rather than constantly buying new (even when you're buying the nicer acrylics, you're still racking up some sizeable debt).
Along the same token, we're going to work toward a much more healthy lifestyle....we have been very regular at going to the gym, except for the past two weeks that I've been sick and busy. We're going to get back to the gym this week and I'm going to do more cooking rather than buying processed convenience foods.
I was so ashamed when Joey mentioned that we'd been letting things slide and eating away at our cushion, especially with gas prices going down and our gas card dropping by $100 per month or so. But, I think I've gotten myself back together and I'm ready to start pinching those pennies again and SAVING some DOUGH!!
But now, back to cleaning;)...
Monday, December 15, 2008
Another topic, which I didn't write about last week because I wasn't sure if my mom remembered and didn't want to upset her. December 7th was the anniversary of Puss's death. I still miss her just as much today as I did on that date. It's this dull ache, and I'm torn between wishing that time would pass so it would hurt less and being afraid that I'll forget her if it doesn't hurt at all. I don't know. I'm very thankful that we have Shelli in our lives, and honestly, I really don't care that people may think that I'm crazy to be so devoted to my kitty. I think that, just as God made evangelists that have a very specific way in which they can serve Him (although I tend to disagree with their methods), He also made people like me who are tender-hearted toward His Creation, which has no voice. We are that voice.
I have the day off today, and I'm sooooo glad for it. It's been a long weekend, and I'm glad to have a day of respite.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Taking my friend Erin's advice (haha....I thought of you when I was picking out my shoes;))...I have a pair of comfortable shoes to wear on the performances where I don't have the solo part. Last year, my feet hurt so badly by the end that Erin brought me a pair of her shoes to wear during the last performance, which helped IMMENSELY. This play has really made me miss Wayne and Erin. I hope you guys know that we're thinking of you often.
Today's performances are at 3 and 7, so it makes for a long day, but Katie and I are both bringing our knitting to do between the performances (and a cold dinner...yay frugality). It's nice to be in a good mood today....I feel like it'll probably be fleeting, as I think there may still yet need to be an adjustment made to my anxiety meds, but it is good to feel that I'm making progress every day to be "normal" (whatever that means).
I also got to spend some time yesterday with my friend Sarah, and her son Mason, while Joey was helping her husband Wesley to change out his brake pads (actually, they probably both just did whatever my dad told them to;)) Mason is such a little cutie...such a little flirt too. I also enjoy any time I get to spend talking to Sarah. I'm always amazed by the wonderful circle of friends we have those days. I'm so grateful.
So, this morning, I'm just going to relax. It'll be a busy afternoon and evening;)...
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Today was stressful.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Here's a glimpse into my psychotic world: I woke up this morning and knew once I got out of the steamy shower that I was not going to be able to sing tonight during rehearsal for the Christmas music...my voice is scratchy and hoarse and it sounds like I'm trying to talk over a thick layer of phlegm right over my vocal chords. After agonizing over and over about whether or not to even go to rehearsal (What if I look like a diva who never shows up unless it's time to sing a solo? What if people are totally grossed out that I came to such an important rehearsal all snotty and gross to potentially spread the plague to the entire choir and ruin the whole Christmas program??), I decided to go, but to sit in the back of the sanctuary and just knit during rehearsal and listen, but not sing.
I sent an email to our music minister to let him know about my predicament and, wouldn't you know it, the plans were for the PM soloists to do the rehearsal tonight (we split the solos since there are six performances...it's a lot for anyone to handle and we have too many talented people to need to have such limits (thank goodness!)), but that my "afternoon counterpart" could do the rehearsal tonight if need be. One thing to learn about me; I always seek approval from people in authority. I always did it with teachers, with my parents, with my managers, and with music ministers/choir directors. I am absolutely terrified of letting people down. And, of course, I spent most of the afternoon feeling like I'd let everyone down by being sick....or maybe like I was imagining that I was *that* sick and was just being lazy. But, I know my vocal chords pretty well, and I've found over the past fifteen years or so that, should I abuse them too much, they rebel by plaguing me with laryngitis for weeks at a time.
Isn't it sick that I agonize about this stuff? Most people would be like, "hey, I'm sick, I'm going home. I'll be back when I'm well," or, "I'm sick. I'll be there, but I can't talk or do anything because I need to rest my vocal chords." Not me. I have to worry constantly about how I've inconvenienced people and let them down because of something that's entirely out of my control.
Sometimes, I really don't like "me" all that much:(.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
So, I made a list yesterday of three things that I was going to allow myself to worry about....one being my second assignment for the writing course I'm taking. I got halfway through the analysis for Ranger Rick and noticed that, in very small print, was a notification that says that they no longer accept unsolicited queries. Blah. Back to the drawing board it was, and I was really disappointed. I spent most of the afternoon looking for some regional magazine that I could select and became increasingly disappointed that the only regional nature mag I could find was about hunting. I ended up settling on Carolina Country, which is a magazine subscription included in the participation of one of the state's power co-ops. It doesn't pay much, but I think my likelihood of getting chosen to write for them is a good bit higher. It's also a relatively rural magazine by nature (most people here who participate in power co-ops live in outlying areas....like us). I think I'll be able to put it together. Anyway...if you're reading, Wendee, I promise a finished assignment by week's end....hopefully both 2 and 3 by the end of the weekend:).
Joey survived his day today. I'm really glad. And pissed that I'm feeling sick. Honestly, I will be really happy when this holiday season is over and we can get back into a normal routine and rest for a while.
Monday, December 1, 2008
2. If the situation absolutely dictates that you call me on both numbers, please only leave a message on ONE of them. Leaving two identical messages on both of my numbers wastes the time of the individual who must wade through the endless series of passwords and options just to hear you tell them the same thing TWICE.
3. DO NOT, under any circumstances, leave a message that simply says "call me back." There's too much uncertainty in that. You could mean, "hey...just checking up with you, call me back." Or, you could mean, "your mother has been in a car accident and was rushed to the ER. CALL ME BACK!!". Quite honestly, if you don't think it's important enough to tell me what you're calling for, I'm going to assume it wasn't important enough that you really need a call back. There is nothing more irritating than dropping everything and calling someone back, only to end up being sidetracked in a phone call about what was on TV last night, etc. I once had a friend who left messages like that. I didn't call her back once, and she gave me the silent treatment until I apologized for her. No longer. If you don't think it's important enough to tell me the subject matter of your call, I'm not going to think that it's important enough to call you back.
4. DO NOT call me back more than once after we've had a phone conversation and hung up. I appreciate the finality of hanging up the phone. I don't want to get called every hour afterward with "status updates" on whatever you were calling me about in the first place. If you have an additional question, text or email me and I'll answer you, but I'm probably not going to pick up the phone after you've called me twice. And I'm not likely to answer you in the future.
This may not bother some of you, and that's fine, but I don't like to talk on the phone, so I want my calls to have a purpose and to be efficient. If I want to chat with you about what's going on in our lives, I'll want to do that in person, or I'll want to spend some lengthy time drafting an email/letter. I don't want to spend time with a battery powered, digitally-connected device pressed against my brain.
That is all.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Maybe if I look entirely disinterested, she'll move away...
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Also, in honor of my new found desire to make sure that I get in enough exercise, I think I'm going to start posting what I do each day...maybe it'll help keep me vigilant. Today, I did 20 minutes on the ski machine (it's like one of those Gazelles that Tony Little screams about) and burned approximately 197 calories. Then, I moved to the recumbent bike and did 32 minutes and burned about 196 calories. It was probably the best workout I've had in a while.
Anyway.....I don't have much else today. I've been feeling pretty piss-poor, honestly....seems I'm not doing anything right these days. Hopefully, that'll all even out once I'm through the Christmas program and can stop panicking every day.
Friday, November 21, 2008
And after a pretty humble blessing by yours truly, we got to the important part....the EATING!!
This morning was freaking cold. As a result, I wore my super-spiffy warm socks over my regular socks. My feet were toasty warm all day!!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Tomorrow is shaping up to be a full day already. I wish there was some way to say "no" more often. I'm such a doormat in that respect, and when I do say "no," I end up feeling terribly guilty, like I'm a bad Christian or something and then Joey and I have no time together because he's busy studying and I've agreed to do something or another. Sometimes, I think I could definitely be one of those off-the-grid kinds of people who don't really interact with others all that much. I know it's not healthy, though, and honestly, I would get tired of myself after a while, I think.
Have you ever felt like there was so much that you wanted to do, but you didn't know where to begin? I'm really having trouble with that...and when I do know where to begin, I have trouble getting the motivation to actually take the steps to start.
And so ends another blog.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Happy Veterans' Day!! To all of the veterans in my life (and any who may happen upon my humble blog), thank you for giving up part of your life (and maybe part of your health too) to keep us safe and free. I hope that someone buys you a meal today and shakes your hand. That seems to be much less frequent these days.
We finished recording our first track for a potential future cd last night; things went amazingly smooth for my first time in a genuine recording studio. I'll be excited to hear how it turns out after some "studio magic" has been performed on the rough track. The song is called "Return to the Fold." The lyrics are touching and the instrumentation is fantastic. Look for it on my myspace site sometime in the near future!
Tonight is the monthly meeting of the Twisted Sisters Knit 'n Lit group over at FBCIT. Unfortunately, I'm not working on a prayer shawl right now...there are scarves that are screaming to be finished so that they can be Christmas gifts. I haven't gotten the yarn for my mom's yet, so I'll need to get on that (I want it to be totally fabulous). I really don't know what to knit for Dad....maybe a wig. I'm also thinking that if we are to do more of these bonfires and/or potential camping trips with our new buds, I'm going to need some wool fingerless gloves to help keep the chill at bay:).
We've not been able to get to the gym yet this week and that always worries me. If I don't keep pushing myself to go, I'll get in the habit of *not* going and that will just totally ruin what I'm trying to do. We usually go on Monday nights, but we had to do the recording last night, and I'd normally go tonight, but the knitting group is meeting. Joey and I are going to shoot to get up *really* early in the morning and go tomorrow so that we can keep ourselves in the swing of going.
And, now, I leave you to shake your head in boredom and wonder why you've just wasted five minutes of your team reading this;)...
Sunday, November 9, 2008
As we were riding home late last night, Joey and I commented on how much we enjoyed the evening. There was no TV, no video game to play, no movies, not even any music...just four friends, a warm fire, something tasty to eat, and a vast black sky above....four human beings who were "forced" (for lack of better word) to interact, to carry a conversation, to build relationships.
Too often, these days, we allow video games and television to keep us from having to hold adult conversations with other people. We can reduce our interactions to a few comments about a movie or some laughs about Guitar Hero and keep ourselves safe from the danger of interacting with others in a meaningful way. How sad.
I'm not trying to promote doing away with TV, movies, and video games entirely (although I imagine that we'd surely survive if it were to happen). I enjoy a good episode of Scrubs as much as anyone else and Joey and I have been known to spend a random day playing Super Mario World all day at times, but it occurred to me that we live in an era where people would rather interact with others artificially than allow themselves to be in a social situation where they must actually genuinely connect with people without distractions.
May we never get to the point where we'd rather spend time in front of a computer or a TV in a "virtual world" (read: FAKE world), than sitting around a warm fire with good friends.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
I feel like I'm knitting every moment that I'm awake and not surfing the 'net these days...I've got two scarves going right now (Christmas gifts for my grandmas) and my sweater. I got a lot done on the sweater last night; the band is recording one of our songs, and since I don't do anything other than vocals at this point, I had lots of knitting time while they were laying the rhythm track and guitars. It was a lot of fun!
Well, that's all I've got...enjoy your Saturday!!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
History was made; it would have been either way. If your side won, congratulations. It's going to be a tough row to hoe in January to bring this country back together. I don't think it's impossible. We've always been able to surprise ourselves with our ability to come together (remember 9/11, anyone?). Change isn't always a bad thing...sometimes it's a clean slate and a chance to try again.
If you woke up disappointed this morning, remember that everything is cyclical. Just as the seasons change, so also does the political atmosphere of this country. The pendulum swings, and we come full circle again. It's actually one of the things that keeps our country alive and thriving. Your time will come again.
That's all I have to say. I'm thrilled that I won't have to listen to any nasty political commercials on television anymore. In my world, we will keep on truckin'...we will keep reading, learning, knitting, loving, trying to manage our money wisely, working, helping those who need it (be they human or animal), and sharing Jesus by caring, not by judging. That's what life is about, and it should stay that way regardless of political leanings.
I hope everyone has a wonderful day today and is respectful to those around who differ in opinion. There's no reason for us to fight; we've got to work together.
Peace and Love to all.
Monday, November 3, 2008
I was really proud of something that my coworker, D, and I did during the last two weeks. Every quarter, we have to create a bulletin board about a randomly-assigned subject, and we're judged on the creativity and subject matter. This quarter, we did holidays and she and I drew Thanksgiving, which made me happy since it is my favorite holiday. We ended up tying with the New Years board for third place, but I'm still very proud of our effort and think that our board looks really classy!!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Holy Crap. It's really dark outside and it's not even Six yet. I do love Daylight Savings Time...good memories of summertime and staying out playing cards on the front porch until it got dark around 9 pm. Those were good times. However, these days, I never turn down an opportunity to get an extra hour of sleep, and I also heard on the news that the switch back to Standard Time is actually good for your heart health as it does give that extra hour to rest. Now, I'll have to become a voice of support for the "early bed" movement. I do hate it getting dark so early, though....it'll be dark by the time I get home from work now.
I have been knitting up a storm this weekend; I have about 12 inches of the body of the sweater done....the pattern says to go to 15", but I'm thinking that I may want it to be a little longer, so I'll probably see how it fits sometime tomorrow and then either split for the sleeves or keep going on the stockinette.
I think that next week is finally going to be a week where we don't have something huge coming up or something aggravating to deal with...just an ordinary week, and that's awesome. We've got to get to the gym four times at least (we had our wellness evaluation last Monday and the nurse suggested that I do 45 minutes 4 times a week to start achieving what I want...she's a knitter too, which was really cool). I'm taking Friday off, just because I have days to burn and didn't want to let them go. Joey's going to be stressed because of schoolwork, but I can take the day to relax.
I hope I can get into the holiday spirit this year...I wasn't able to last year and didn't enjoy much of the whole season. I miss "getting into the spirit," decorating for Christmas and going to parties and having fun. I hope this year will be better:).
Saturday, November 1, 2008
I was able to sell my first flute ever, the one my parents bought for me when I first took band class in the fifth grade. I sold it for $26....I was a little sad to see it go, but, honestly, if I ever want to play again, I've still got my sterling silver one from high school. It was nice to see it go to someone young who will perhaps enjoy it as much as I did.
Whatever we didn't sell was loaded onto the truck and Dad, Joey, and Vic took it all to Goodwill. There is something cleansing about letting go of things.
I've got about seven inches of the body of the sweater done. I'm thinking of making it an off-the-shoulders deal rather than the neck that they've got on the pattern, so it'll be interesting to see how it ends up when I get there. I've still got quite a while to go before I split for the armholes anyway, so I've got plenty of time to think about it.
So, thus is the ever-uninteresting update on my life. If I don't blog again before Tuesday, pleasepleaseplease get out and vote. Whatever your political leanings, please remember what a privilege it is to live in a country where we do have a voice in the selection of our leaders (albeit a very small voice). Don't waste that; none of us can afford it.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
While it was a good week, I really don't handle being that busy too well. Wednesdays and Thursdays are nonnegotiable, which is fine, but I start feeling stressed when I don't have enough time at home. I kind of hope that's another thing that'll get better as my anxiety problems continue to improve.
I bought three skeins of Bernat Super Value (with improved softness) to make into a sweater. After a rough Wednesday, it was my "retail therapy." I think it's funny just how much of a yarn freak I've become, because I was really upset Wednesday, but once I got into the yarn aisle at AC Moore, I felt better:). I do have to say, though, I'm not going to be able to be one of these knitters who only uses wools and silks, etc. It's just too expensive. Maybe one day when I have enough money to play with, but for right now, I've got to stick with acrylic blends because it's what I can afford. And I'm really not all that shamed of that, honestly. It is what it is.
Monday, I register for one of my classes for the spring. And so it begins...:)
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
2. Whiny people, people who don't listen only to Southern Gospel, and people with tattoos and piercings need Jesus too. Not everyone wants to dress in a suit and sing "Give Me That Old Time Religion" while clapping on the on-beat rather than the off-beat, and that's okay. What's most important is that we're reaching people and loving people, not making them feel alienated because they don't fit into a certain paradigm of what "correct worship" is. The day that we starting saying that we don't want a certain kind of person to come to our church is the day that we need to check ourselves.
3. I am totally going to have to swim today at the gym because I'm so sore.
4. We had to postpone the yard sale because of predicted inclement weather. Seriously. I'm getting sick of looking at an office full of crap.
5. I started a basketweave scarf on the bus and it's adorable! Lots of work though. Pics will have to come later.
6. I totally overdid it at Waffle House last night on the way home (but planned for it and didn't eat much the rest of the day), but we had a blast talking to the cook and waitress, and Joey got a genuine Waffle House mug out of it. It was definitely the best Waffle House experience I've ever had.
7. Advice to all who read this: if you have as stellar of a Waffle House experience as we had, you should tip very well...they have to put up with a lot of crap...especially the people who work the graveyard shift (which was when we were there).
8. I really did need a day off from work...even though we're really not doing anything. It's just nice to relax.
9. I am absolutely amazed that I have two subscribers to this blog. I have a good idea of who one of them is, but no idea about the others. I really appreciate that. You guys totally rock:).
10. Joey was supposed to check out Saving Darwin and some other books by Donald Miller for me and forgot. Blah. However, Cory loaned me On Writing by Stephen King, so I'm looking forward to delving into that.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Yesterday shaped up to be a good day despite my feeling pretty morose about Puss all day. I'm not going to post what I wrote about her yet, but I did write something last night that helped me get some of the pain on paper, so I may put it up at some point depending on how transparent I want to be and how much I think it may make my mom cry (and I'm not in the business of doing that at all).
Today, I'm lazing around while he does his paper and studies for a quiz on Tuesday. I love afternoons where we can laze rather than have to run around trying to get things done before our next obligation. Tuesday, our choir is going up to Wake Forest to sing at an evangelism conference at Southeastern, which will be exciting since Joey will be up there for class anyway and his professors will probably be there and I get to sing a solo:). I'm taking Wednesday off, too, because it will be very very late when we get back from the trip.
Wednesday will be spent working on the yard sale, getting more stuff from Mom & Dad's, helping them bring out their stuff, and going through the stuff in our office. I love the thought of getting rid of things that no longer "fit," no longer "match" our lives today. Although there are parts of myself that I do miss a great deal from being younger and carefree, I also know that they would come at a very serious price. My blog-friend (and hopefully real-life friend eventually), Wendee, had her myspace status the other day as being "Grateful for the wisdom that comes with time." I know that I lack a lot of that wisdom, still being only in my twenties and just now feeling like I am actually an adult, but I think I've come to terms at this point that I wouldn't go back and trade the wisdom I have gained for the carefree days of yore.
This didn't end up being as short as I though it would...Joey says that Aquinas isn't something that you can just "breeze through." Well, I'm off to work on another scarf...finished my cowl, which ended up being freaking HUGE, so I don't know how that's going to work out, but pics will come, nonetheless.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Anyway, it was just profoundly disappointing to me, not only that I was unable to handle the situation well, but that it seems that those who picked on kids like me also haven't grown past it either. I really can't fathom the rest of my life as a giant pissing contest, just as it was in grade school....make sure that you sit at the "cool" table; don't talk to people who don't "look" right or who seem to be a little strange...don't stand up for oneself or anyone else who needs it for that matter. I can't live that way.
By the time I got to college, I had pretty well come to terms with my personality and sense of humor, and I found tons of people who were the same way, and surprisingly, found that it is possible to be different and get along just fine. I really miss that kind of camaraderie. It's sad to get out in the real world and find out that essentially, things haven't really changed much since high school.
Anyway, sorry to have such a bummed out blog:(. We had an awesome night last night with some friends...although it ended with me putting a temporary tattoo on my neck (it's a skull in a pirate hat), so that'll be fun to try to hide at church tomorrow. Today's a lazy day...we've just got to go out to get a song for me to sing next week.
Things are brewing in the Weaver household...God's starting to show us some things, and I think that's great. I'm also really very excited about starting grad school in January. If nothing else, my unfortunate experience this week solidified my desire to pursue literature and work toward a future there.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
The second is of me with the Terminator from T2, which is still my favorite movie. I was so excited to be next to that figure of him that was used for the special effects of the film.I didn't have as much trouble being in the present moment back then....I guess it was because I didn't have as much responsibility, as much riding on my ability to handle things and to take care of everyone. I was the one being taken care of by those around me. I know that was probably a selfish place to be, honestly (but natural for someone who is still dependent on his or her parents), but there has to be some way to be able to get there now. I've been feeling overwhelmed lately with everything.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
But then, Thursday, Pat McCrory makes a statement that a huuuge load of fuel is coming in and there'll be enough for everyone soon. We drove to my parents' house this morning and there was not a station on our way in Charlotte that had gas. There were a couple in Union County, and those had lines down the street with cops directing traffic. My conspiracy theorist side believes that the announcement about the "massive shipment" of fuel was probably not true at all, but was just an attempt to stop the hysteria. The problem with that, though, is that the announcement of lots of fuel is going to send people out in droves as well.
My inner conspiracy theorist also toyed with the idea earlier today that the news media just wants to see how well they can control the populace. I know that's far-fetched, and it's really just got to do with the rabid, blind, ruthless pursuit of ratings, but, were the media wanting to get a gauge of their own power, this gas shortage has most definitely proven to them that they are able to incite almost primitive behavior in otherwise decent human beings.
We got gas several days ago, so we were not worried, until today when Joey had only 1/4 tank, and he'll definitely have to drive up to school Friday, so we needed to get him fueled up. We finally found a station on the way home that had just started to develop a line, so we only had to wait for twenty minutes or so, and the man running the station was doing his best to direct the traffic to keep things flowing and to keep people honest. It wasn't a terrible experience. I still have half a tank, so I should be okay for most of next week.
Honestly, I can't even imagine what it's like for those people with huge gas-guzzling vehicles right now. I am so thankful that we have two cars that get over 30 mpg. I'm also hoping that our society takes note at how over-dependent we are on oil. I doubt they will, as we seem to be the only area affected and thus, no one is talking about us on a national level, but it really brought home the idea to me of living more locally and smaller, or at least getting in shape so one can ride distances on a bike;).
So, we're spending the evening at home to keep from wasting gas. In full frugal mode, we've got the windows open, letting the cool breeze in, have the lights off and are using the natural light from outside, and will be eating out of the pantry tonight. Tomorrow, we'll just go to church and do our grocery shopping on the way home, and then we will be in for another night.
I've got our menus planned for the next week, and Joey and I have planned for it to be a little more expensive week than normal because I really want to stock up on staples. This gas experience has really gotten me thinking about having a stocked pantry after seeing how possible it would be to end up stranded, needing to live off our own stores for weeks at a time.
The older I get, the more I begin to understand this world and the cycles in which it runs. To my grandparents who lived through the Depression, this is nothing new. To my parents who went through the last Recession and gas rationing, this is nothing new, but to my generation, this is devastating, and it's worse than it's ever been, because we're more dependent on conveniences than we ever have been. Generations past have known how to take action to live in a self-sufficient manner. We're used to cell phones, mp3 players, cable, microwaves, supermarkets, cars...and were these things to be taken away, we wouldn't know what to do.
Employment focus is more and more on the financial markets, which are starting to prove themselves to be a house of cards of sort, based on greed and money that doesn't even exist...which all works very well until it's time to settle up and there's no way to pay. Few of us still focus on the work of our own hands...we don't need to because we can just import it from a third world country.
It all concerns me. I love technology just as much as everyone else (except cell phones. I hate them), but I'm just concerned that we're not as balanced of a society as we used to be...we're always a people of excess...if ONE is great, then ONE HUNDRED must be even greater!! We fail to understand that there is a place in this world for every task, for every specialization, and once we start to move the basic rudimentary jobs away, we're making ourselves more and more dependent on others to meet our basic needs.
We weren't always that way....this country was founded on the ideals of working together as a community to provide for ourselves, without being under someone else's thumb. Now, we're only interested in passing the "boring" or "annoying" jobs off to someone else so that we can do something more sophisticated. It's like we've completely forgotten that sometimes it's necessary to do things that we don't necessarily want to do, just because we know it's good for us to do them.
Sorry...no solutions here. Probably not a whole lot of facts and statistics either. Just my feelings from watching the mass hysteria in Central NC and hoping that whoever is elected will take these things to heart and pay attention to the proper direction that we need to take our country.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I went out to mow the lawn Tuesday with the reel mower and saw some strange, unidentifiable objects in the yard. I moved closer to them and it seemed as though they were GIGANTIC mushrooms. I tapped one with my foot and, as I suspected, they were hugely gorgeous mushrooms!! They were bigger than a human head, and were absolutely magnificent. One of them looked like a giant butt, haha!!
- continued water conservation, which should get easier now that it's getting to be cooler and we have less reason to need to take more than one shower per day.
- reduced electricity and natural gas useage. Last year, we went the entire month of November without turning on the heat, and even when we did, we left it at 62 only so the pipes wouldn't get too cold and the Kins wouldn't be uncomfortable. We plan to do the same this year, but most likely will aim for using the gas logs less too. We will also continue to work to use the residual heat from the stovetop and oven when we're cooking, and we'll be eating lots more "warm meals" (i.e. soups and stews that can be made in the crockpot)
- Stocking up on canned and frozen veggies and fruit so that we can make good, hearty, healthy, delicious meals all winter.
Monday, September 22, 2008
I had a nice dinner tonight with my friend Donna...we caught up as we hadn't seen each other for a few months since she, along with her husband and others, have started a new church in the Waxhaw area. It was nice to talk again, to get to be myself and not get overwhelmed with everything around that seems to be spinning out of control.
I spent more time on the cowl today:). WIP (or perhaps CIP) pics will have to go up tomorrow...it's too dark to take some now. And I'll probably need to pull out that shawl again soon...it would be pretty crappy to neglect that for my beautiful cowl;).
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I feel so off-kilter, like life is getting away from me. When I'm home, I'm tired and don't want to do anything. For some reason, it seems as though I can always turn our money over to God and be a good steward financially, but when it comes to time itself, I'm unable to get things together. I hate feeling like I'm barely getting enough done to string myself along through the day...surviving, but not thriving.
I started knitting a cowl yesterday in some Bernat Denim Style that I had in my stash. It's my first attempt at circular knitting and I had to frog it and restart three times, which was also frustrating. I'm moving along pretty well now, though, so I'm feeling good about that.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
I leave for my trip to Jacksonville on Wednesday. I'm nervous about getting there by myself, but I'm also excited because I feel like it's something that I need to do. And I won't be totally alone because my coworker and friend Elizabeth is going too. I just have to fly the first leg by myself.
I'm definitely going to incorporate swimming into my routine. The pool looked so inviting tonight when we walked by after doing our routine in the weight room. Honestly, there weren't all that many people in the pool, either, so it looked like I would be able to get a lane. I joined this awesome website; registration is free and they personalize a workout for you so that you can begin a swimming program. I'll probably start that Saturday since I'll be gone until Friday. The hotel we're staying at does have a pool, though, so if it's warm enough still, I may try to do a little swimming there.
The shawl is still coming along. Our knitting group meets tomorrow night, so that will be fun. I took some pictures tonight, but they turned out very poorly because of the lighting in the living room and the deep red color of the shawl. I'll try to take it to work tomorrow and get some pictures there where there must be some better lighting.
Oh, what a day.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
We're going to start next month taking out $100 cash and having that be our grocery budget for the month. I'm excited. I think it'll help us focus on stocking the pantry and shopping the sales. I don't want to be so reliant on Wal-Mart, and I want to feel as though we've always got enough in the pantry.
Part of why we're doing this is because we're going to join the Monroe Aquatic Center next week after I get back from Jacksonville. We've decided that it's worth the money to have a good place to work out and swim (I love to swim for exercise), and when we were looking at how much we spend each weekend eating out, if we cut back to one take-out meal per week (and possibly just share one entree), we've more than made up for the monthly fee. We've always been very dedicated when we have a gym membership, and we're feeling like this will be the best way to use that money. The Aquatic Center is AWESOME from the website...they have everything, and it's much cheaper than the YMCA.
There'll probably be another post later as I've got a WIP that I need to show off:).
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
- Riding in the truck with the windows down listening to John Mellencamp
- the golf carts at Ocean Lakes
- Getting annoyed that my mom wanted to stay on the beach for 14 hours every day
- waking up at 8:30 in the mornings
- going to breakfast with my mom
- Lunch with mom and Bobbie on Wednesdays
- swimming in the pool in the backyard
- sleepovers that could last for the whole weekend
- helping plant the garden
- jumping through the sprinkler
- summer movies!
- going out for ice cream
- playing cards on the porch into the night
- riding bikes
- Seeing Hanson in June of 97
- Walking and Harmonizing with Crystal
That's about all I've got. I was thinking about it earlier today while pondering the summer's end. I wish summer still held the same free, glorious feeling as it did before. Now, every day is the same. I hope to get that rush at the end of May again someday. I'll always love fall most, but it was nice to feel free...