Monday, June 30, 2008

I Hate My DVD Player

Drat! Saturday, we bought an awesome Tae Bo set with FIVE workout DVDs and I came home today and changed into my gym clothes, only to find that no matter WHAT I tried, I could not get the stupid DVD player to work. What a bummer.

Joey loved his birthday hat (my first recent FO)! Here he is cheesing for the camera:

And here he is with a serious pose showing the detail of the hat:Yesterday, I got a headache and needed to be in the dark, so we lounged in the bed all afternoon watching MST3K and I finished my crocheted knitter's tote:
It looks a little cheesy, but I do love the uniformity of the half double crochet. It's my favorite crochet stitch, I think!

And, I decided to torture Shelli a little this weekend, so here are a couple of pics for you to this one, I wrapped her in a blanket and she was not a happy camper:
In this one, she was so passed out from sleeping that I covered her in all of her toys from her basket. Joey took this pic just as she was waking up and realizing that she was covered in toys:
This week, I'm making a concentrated effort to work on self-care. I woke up this morning with a sore throat and after the headache yesterday, I was beginning to wonder if it didn't have something to do with the vast amounts of crappy food that I ingested over the weekend. This week, I'm eating as closely to whole foods as possible (lots of rice, beans, veggies and fruit, low-fat dairy, and very little in processed convenience foods). I took my BP at Wal-Mart Saturday and was already impressed with how much it's gone down. I'm a little disappointed that I couldn't do Tae Bo today, but I'm pretty happy that I'm getting to relax and I got to take a little bit of a nap.

Oh!! And, there was a fantastic sale at Michael's yesterday, and I was able to get two sweater's worth of wool, a skein of something that Joey liked for another hat, and two sets of circular needles, and saved 25% off the entire bill. And, I made the "mistake" (not really, because I'm thrilled to have a husband who's interested in my hobbies) of letting Joey browse Ravelry and add projects to my queue....he must have added fourteen hats.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Good News Weekend

Joey doesn't have to take Hebrew 3, so this Thursday will be his last day of having to stay up there. Hopefully, he'll be able to pull out another "A".

I have a migraine-ish headache and I'm nauseated, so that's a bummer. I'm planning to eat very bland food this week to try to get off the processed crap that I put in my body this weekend.

Joey loved his birthday hat! I'll post pictures soon...hopefully tomorrow. I also crocheted myself a headband and I'm working on a knitter's tote bag (a crocheted knitting bag...the irony).

Michael's had a four hour madness sale this afternoon, and I got enough merino wool for a sweater for Joey, and enough wool blend for a sweater for myself. Joey also picked out a skein for one of the many hats he's added to my queue on the Ravelry site.

Well, I'm going to lay in the dark some more.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cleaning. Blah.

After an hour or so nap this afternoon, I undertook the overwhelming task of really cleaning the kitchen/living room since some friends are coming over tomorrow. Thus far, I have:

  • unloaded/reloaded the dishwasher
  • cleaned all of the junk off the counters
  • put away all of the appliances/gadgets/pots and pans
  • scrubbed down all of the counters, fridge, and trash can lid
  • vacuumed the kitchen, living room, and bathroom
  • Attempted to vacuum away the small cat that has formed on the back of the loveseat (Shelli didn't always shed so much)
  • mopped the kitchen

So, I'm completely exhausted and HOT because the AC only keeps the house at 80 (and we have it set on 80 anyway). Tomorrow, when I get home, I'll clean off the mantle and the loveseat and pick up some of the odds and ends in the living room and I should be ready. Oh, and I have to empty the trash tonight and leave it on the porch to take with me tomorrow. Blah.

So, enough of the super-boring "cleaning adventures"...I've decided to undertake the crazy and wild challenge of creating a fabulously wonderful wardrobe this year purchasing only clothes from thrift stores. I think it'll be fun to try to search out the pretty items, and it'll be a socially responsible and frugal way to build on my wardrobe. Right now, I'm wearing only five or six staple outfits, and I feel like a bum most of the time. Traditionally, I have not had much patience when it comes to scouring the racks at the Goodwill and Salvation Army, but I'm committed to saving money this year, especially with grad school (hopefully) coming up in January, so I'm willing to give it a shot to see what I can do.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My First Excursion to the LYS...

Joey and I were looking for some sort of adventure to have yesterday, so I decided to look for yarn stores online. I came upon one in downtown Matthews, so we decided to venture out since it would be near PetsMart and we needed to pick up a thing or two for Shelli.

I should have known I was in trouble from the minute I stepped into the store (first of all, a very nice woman opened the door for me, so I was sucked in from the start). I was in awe of the vast amounts of yarn, and not the "Red Heart" yarn that you find at Wal-Mart and the craft stores, but good, expensive natural fibers, hand-sput and hand-dyed. One of the staff there asked me if I knitted and I told her that I'd been crocheting for the past twelve years, but recently picked up knitting. I didn't get nearly the "stink vibe" that I was led to believe I would from LYS employees to allegedly see crochet as a lesser art.

I wandered the displays, feeling the fibers and falling in love with the different textures and colors. I especially fell in love with the merino sock yarn that was hand-dyed...but it was $23 per hank. Joey convinced me to go ahead and buy it, thus bringing me to part 1 of my new stash additions:

Then, we happened upon some Peruvian wool which was so soft to the touch that you would never think it was the typical, oft-rued itchy, prickly wool. I bought two hanks of that for a scarf for Joey, one in a lovely beige:

And the other in a dark green with blue, earthy flecks throughout.

I also picked up the Reader's Digest Knitters Handbook, which right now is much too complicated, but I'm sure will come in very handy later when I'm a bit more skilled at knitting.

After being invited to every yarn event that they offer and watching the magical ball-winder, we left with my spoils in tow and headed to Michaels for some double-pointed needles for sock-making (the needles at the yarn store were too expensive). I was able to get some with a gift card, and we found skeins of 100% merino wool for $3.99, and also found out that next Sunday is a "four hour madness" sale where everything will be 25% off, so we'll definitely be heading back to get some of that next Sunday.

I spent the evening crocheting to burn through some of my stash and decided that I was going to focus on making granny squares with the "baby appropriate" yarn so that I'll always have some ready to make my signature patchwork quilt when a friend is expecting. I made four typical granny squares in white (photo to be posted later)

And then made a burgundy one with the "circle in square" pattern:

Then, I tried the trellis pattern, only to be sorely disappointed because I didn't keep my stitches even and it narrowed a lot at the top.

But for my first try, I wasn't terribly disappointed.

So, this afternoon, I picked through my stash and pulled out some of the scratchy, uncomfortable acrylic yarn to donate to the children's department at church because they always have need for different-colored hair, etc. Now, my stash has only yarn that I intend to use for something or another. I learned how to increase and decrease stitches today, which was frustrating (I still haven't figured out one of the methods for increasing), and I'm wanting to start a hat to go with a scarf I made for Joey a long time ago, so maybe I'll get up the motivation to give that a try before the night is over!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Finding a Place in the Sun

endlessly hoping, searching, seeking, praying, crying, clawing, grasping at straws, struggling, dreaming, losing, striving, hurting, healing, walking, trudging on, letting go, thinking, wondering, wandering, waiting, working, whining, weeping, worrying, winning, wasting, wallowing....

Today is a step in the right direction. Heard back from Dr. Tovey. I'll be applying to ECU for their online M.A. in English with focus in Multicultural/Transnational literature. They will accept my previous GRE scores, and should they choose to accept me, I'll start classes in the spring. I'm both terrified and elated at the thought of finally getting back into the world of academia, which is where I've always felt I belonged (because I love school so much that I'd rather just stay there...ha!). And I'm constantly praying that since these doors opened for me so quickly, that God is blessing this and I'm doing what He wants for me to do.

I thought a lot today about why I constantly feel like I have no time at all. Every obligation is an imposition...every commitment makes me resentful until I get there and end up having a good time. I wasn't always that way. I can remember in high school being busy every night of the week and loving it. I worked a very full part-time job at Weight Watchers in high school and college, all while going to school full time and being actively involved in church. Now, it seems as though I get angry and stressed if I don't have several nights at home during the week by myself.

I came to the following conclusions:

  • TV is taking up way too much of my time. I'm going to start seriously limiting, if not trying to cut out entirely, extraneous TV watching. I know that I need the noise in the house, but I'm thinking that I'll just leave it on the news channel and let that be it, rather than tuning in to TRU tv and watching a show that I've already seen two or three times.
  • The internet (gasp) is also taking up too much time. I'll sit on MySpace or Facebook with nothing to do, so I'm going to try to update them briefly, spend some time blogging, and then be done with the internet
  • I'm going to try to restructure my day so that I'm using up all of my "own" time that I spent at the office. I end up staying there for nearly 10 hours per day, simply because I hate traffic and would rather be super-early than have to sit in it and watch my gas gauge decrease. So, I'm moving my morning pages to work...I'll come in and get settled, and then go outside and sit and do my morning pages for 1/2 hour or so. That'll just leave me with lunch time, and I'm thinking it'll help me to be more productive during my day at work too.
  • I've got to find out some way to fit in this running plan. I need to spend more time outdoors. I love the outdoors, the sights and smells and sounds. So, I'm going to have to figure that out.

Oh, and I can't remember if I blogged it or not, but Joey got an A in his first Hebrew class. Yeah Joey!! I'm so proud of him that I'm ready to pop all of the time! He's working hard and he's got a lot to show for it!

Monday, June 16, 2008

How to Deal

I saw that movie last night; it was cute....not a piece of cinematic gold or anything, but cute, nonetheless. I'm feeling strange today...I got worried because of something that may derail my path temporarily. I had this "off" feeling all day, and then I got home and found out tonight that one of my friends was laid off from his job.

That really helped put things into perspective for me. While I'm still dealing with uncertainty in pursuing my ambition and love, I'm not having to worry right now about where my next paycheck will come from. I do have at least some level of job security. It amazes me how quickly you can have the rug pulled out from under you...thinking that everything is moving along, and then all of the sudden, you're just dropped into the middle of chaos. So, while I'm sad that I'm not in the place in life where I wished I'd be at this point, I am grateful, because we are relatively safe right now and we are trying to do our best to make sure we stay that way.

I also found out today from another friend that she's expecting! Yay! That'll be a great chance to hone my knitting skills and make lots of great things for the new baby. I'm so happy for her...she's worked hard and been patient, getting her M.A degree and then seeing her hubby through school, and now all of the hard work has paid off with a great home, great family, and now a new baby. Congrats, H!

I'm missing Joey pretty badly today...this past weekend was so fantastic that I was so sad to see it end and him have to go back to school. Oh!, and yesterday was my parents' 40th wedding anniversary!! I can't even put into words what awesome parents I one out there has better parents than I do, and I'm really proud to be their daughter. They taught me well, and they really showed me what a true marriage looked like, which already has (and I'm sure will continue to) come in handy in making my own marriage work. And my parents are just pretty freakin' cool. Happy 'Versry, Mom and Dad!!

So, right now, I'm in a spinning pool of happy events and sad ones, of feelings of elation and bliss and feelings of anxiety, worry, and sadness.

Things I want to do this week:

1. Go for a run or two
2. KNIT!!
3. Fold the laundry
4. Hear back from J. Tovey.
5. Write a TON and a half.
6. Get the grocery budget back under control

Examples of God providing the past month that Joey has been in school;

1. The Hyundai is getting 40 mpg with him driving it.
2. Rhonda the Honda is getting 34
3. Our gasoline bill for May was only 75% of what I budgeted
4. We paid Joey's summer tuition and board out-of-pocket without hurting badly
5. Two weeks ago, our grocery bill was only $12.84

Here's another (slightly blurry) pic of Shelli in my stash for your viewing pleasure!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Weekend Goes By So Fast...

It always does. In some ways, it was probably the best weekend I've had in a long time. Joey and I got to spend some good, quality time together without ten thousand obligations (which is usually what ends up happening all week and then all through the weekend). I'm taking active steps now toward where I want to be rather than just thinking and dreaming. And we spent all afternoon watching MST3K. Yay!

But, Sunday is always a sad day...nevermind the fact that it's never the day of rest that it's touted to be by the church folk (the same church folk who chide you for mowing your lawn on Sunday, but think nothing about going out to lunch and making some poor waiter work his butt off for their food...sorry, soapbox. I don't necessarily think that there's anything wrong with working on Sunday, and I prefer to say it that way rather than being hypocritical about it). Sunday always signals that the weekend is coming to a close, and when time together is so fleeting these days, it's even sadder because I know it'll be another four days until life returns to normal again.

I'm not morose about the week coming or'll be a good week; I'll work a lot, and we have a Sunday School fellowship on Tuesday, but I do enjoy the languid Saturdays and I miss them greatly on a Wednesday when I know I have to go straight from work to church and not back home until it's already dark outside and the Kins is hungry.

I feel so scattered. Goodness. I just had a pomegranate popsicle and it was awesome.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Good Day:)

Today I:

  1. Knitted some, and made my mom jealous
  2. Got my window fixed so that it won't rain on me again.
  3. Got the lawn mowed (Joey did that) and the weeds trimmed
  4. Got the living room tidied up and vacuumed
  5. Brushed the Kins silly
  6. Saw a friend play with his band
  7. Got our grocery shopping for the week done

Productive, eh? I'm feeling pretty good about it....good to have done things today and not just piled up in front of the tv, good that I've finally got direction and a plan, good that Joey has had a nice weekend and that he feels good about how he did on his final.

I hope this feeling lasts; I always have a little, tiny seed of fear within my joy, because I know how many times before I have started feeling good, only to have anxiety and worry snatch it away. I always feel like I'm tottering just on the edge of falling back into my funk.

But, today is a good day and we're sitting in a cooler house with the windows open, and we're going to have pomegranate fruit popsicles in just a few minutes and I can't wait to try them!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Knitting, Knitting, Knitting

I've spent most of the night knitting. I can now knit, purl, and do two different types of ribbing. Tomorrow, I'll likely tackle increasing and decreasing. Here are some pics from the evening with my new Nikon Coolpix Camera!!

Shelli was treading dangerously close to getting in trouble...

Shelli, face tinged with displeasure, staring intently at the knitting, wishing to be left alone with the tempting skein of yarn for just five minutes...

Tonight's project, the sockinette stitch and two types of ribbing. All were a success thus far!!

On tomorrow's dockett:

  • Breakfast with Mom and Dad
  • Joey trying to get the window to stay all of the way up on Rhonda the Honda
  • Yardwork (blech). I will vacuum and tidy up the living room
  • More knitting!
  • Seeing our friend Cory's band play at an outdoor festival
  • more knitting!

Tonight, I'm feeling good, happy, like I have personal direction and purpose, and like things are going to get better and better!

On Disturbing Feelings...

I watched the last few minutes of an episode of Homicide: Life On The Streets today after I got home early from work. Normally, I don't watch shows like that, but I wanted to sit back and eat lunch and relax and watch something mindless, so I was flipping channels and saw Vincent D'Onfrio, so I originally through it was an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, but I soon discovered it wasn't when I saw that his character was trapped between a subway train and the wall.

I had to read the plot summary after it was over because I missed so much, but it turns out that they had taken the urban legend about the person who gets crushed and the force of the object crushing him is the only thing keeping him alive, so when they remove him, he will die immediately. In the oft-told legend, the victim calls for his wife/girlfriend and has a chance to say his last goodbyes and then they remove the crushing object, thus killing him instantly. On this episode, however, the carrier didn't know that he would surely die, and the detectives had to keep up a charade, pretending that he would be rushed to the hospital and would then be okay, all the while knowing that the rescue workers were undertaking a body removal, rather than a rescue. At the end, after the victim dies and his body is taken away in an ambulance, his girlfriend, whom some other detectives had been searching for throughout the episode so that she could get there, jogs through the rescue workers, totally unaware that such a horrific event had happened.

Maybe it's still the hormones, but this disturbed me greatly. I know full well that the entire concept is faulty and nothing more than an urban legend, but the thought of being in a situation and knowing that I was going to die at the end made me feel so uneasy. And it made me feel even worse for people who really were in situations such as that, in the World Trade Center, the Tsunami, and countless other situations. I wept for those people.

Something I've noticed as I've gotten older is that I have much less ability to handle things that disturb me. When I was in college, I enjoyed watching movies with disturbing concepts or reading books of the same ilk...they made me think about things that I wouldn't have thought about otherwise. After living a little bit longer and seeing that those things are far more likely to happen and are a possibility, I want to run as far away as possible and keep them from my mind. I start to obsess over them and worry.

Anyway....just some thoughts I'm having. I can't wait to forget about that show. Joey will be home soon and we'll have a nice night of Chinese food and KNITTING!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

We All Know About Good Intentions

The road to Hell is paved with them. My intentions for today:

1. Do my second day of the running plan
2. Clean the house.
3. Wait until the proper time to eat dinner

What actually happened:

1. Arrived home
2. Piled up in the chair
3. Ate dinner an hour early
4. Got on the internet

I feel like a bear ambling sleepily toward her cave anticipating a winter of slumber. I even want to go ahead and get in the bed right now. It may have been the stress from the day, but I'm just not even in the mood to do anything I've set out to do. I've at least got to get the dishwasher emptied and reloaded so that the house isn't quite so messy, but I'm thinking that I may knit in bed in a little while and then go to bed.

I'm also feeling weighed down by everyone else's sadness today....every sad story that I hear makes me want to cry for the people involved. *sigh*. Must be hormones or something.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I Can't Stand the Rain...Against My Window...

I'm channeling a portly Missy Elliott in a giant trash bag, for those of you who would like to take a walk down memory lane to the mid-90's with me. Seriously, though, it is really coming down outside. I'm not sad about that...we really need it to cool things down, but I'm not thrilled with the prospect of the power going out.'s been quite a couple of days for me. Let's just suffice it to say that God has spoken to me in a big way last night and I'm feeling better than I have in quite some time.

And, I am going to do an artist's date tomorrow! Since it's my late week because of the summer hours, I can't go to Caribou with my parents, so I'm going to go to AC Moore and get myself some knitting needles. When I was going through my stash, I only found one of mine, and I've been itching to pick knitting back up again, so I'm going to take the replacement gift card (that I finally got). I feel like I have craft ADD right now...there's so much that I want to do that I think about one thing and then I'm moving on to the next. I'll be glad to actually get something started.

I started the running plan today, but it was too hot to do the full program, so my friend and I went for a mile (ran about 1/4 of it) and then called it quits. I still have a pretty righteous headache from the heat.

So...that's all I've got for you tonight.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Weekend Update

1. The gig yesterday went very was probably the best we've sounded musically in public in thus far. And, thankfully, we were able to play inside, which was good for us and for the people at the festival, as they had a nice cool place to relax and listen to our set. here's a pic from the festivities!

2. Today was not great. We had to get a tire replaced on the Hyundai (only because I happened to notice that it was totally bald), which led us to suspect that there may be a problem with the suspension or the alignment as the rest of the tires were just fine. So, we had to get a tire at Sam's, and it took them 1.5 hours to change one tire. On a high note, we walked over to PetsMart and bought Shelli a brush, and we were able to get two or three week's worth of groceries, so it wasn't an entirely terrible trip. On a low note, though, unfortunately, I have to drop the car off at the dealership Tuesday. But, at least if it's the suspension, it will be covered by warranty.

3. I made Joey an Excellent send-off meal tonight! I roasted some sweet potato fries (sliced thinly and roasted in a 450 degree oven for 20 or 30 minutes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and some paprika this time). We also bought some 93% lean ground turkey at Sam's and we made turkey burgers (just added some egg, bread crumbs, finely chopped onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper). Here are pics of the fries in progress and of the finished plate!

I love it when we have a successful meal to show for some hard work! Tomorrow, I'm helping a friend with a mass-mailing that she's doing for a festival that their new church is hosting on Saturday, which will be fun. We're also getting a break from rehearsal on Thursday night, so I'll have plenty of time this week to work on my Market Bag! I'll print the pattern off tomorrow, and will start it tomorrow night after I get home. I'm so excited!

Saturday, June 7, 2008


An early morning Saturday blog, eh? I was up at 6 am (gasp) because Shelli was kind of done with the sleeping thing. Joey was still tired from his stressful day yesterday, so I wanted him to be able to sleep for longer, so I came out to the living room to do my morning pages and entice the Kins into leaving Daddy alone. Here is a pic of the Kins all up in my yarn stash...funny, though, when I tried to put her in the box for a better shot, you'd have thought I was putting her into a bathtub full of water. I've never seen her make a more hasty retreat. It was HILARIOUS!

The morning pages didn't come easy this morning. I hate it when that happens...usually there's something great floating around that I'm waiting to get out on paper, or I'm only a paragraph or two into them and then whatever I need to write about comes along. Today was a struggle to get all three pages out. I also woke up feeling ill at ease....I don't know if I'm nervous because of the gig coming up today or if I'm aggravated by how short the weekends are, or what, but after a couple of weeks of feeling pretty much okay, I'm not enjoying having that pit of anxiousness in my stomach again. Hopefully it'll even out during the course of the day.

I have some yarn that's waaay too cheap and itchy to make into anything wearable or a scarf, so I'm thinking of making a "market bag" out of it. I joined the Lion Brand website and they have access to tons of free patterns, and the market bag looked too cute. It's a big, bohemian style, fits-everything-and-then-some bag with a comfy strap. I'm SO in!! But I seriously need to find a yarn store around here. I need some really nice natural fibers to work with.

Today and tomorrow should be relatively the gig tonight, and then tomorrow just church in the morning and a little shopping after lunch, but then I'll be making something fantastic for Joey's send-off meal. The afternoon should be relaxed and beautiful, full of conversation and chilling:).

Part of me wonders if my ill-at-ease feeling right now is because I've actually verbalized my thoughts and plans to Joey (last night) and now I need to start actively moving in the direction that I want to go. It's always easy to dream and somewhat easy to plan, but once it's verbalized to someone else, it's real and then it requires action lest one becomes someone who never follows through with anything. And I'm not even making any huge life changes at this point...just some huge attitude adjustments and big differences in the way I view and interact with the world. But now, I have to actually do it.

I'm taking some pics today to add to my blogs. Yay!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Rolling My Eyes...on the Inside...

Although today was stressful enough that I wouldn't want to do it over again, I felt pretty good about myself today and felt like I did a pretty good job at being who I should be today. Since that seems to be a rarity, I'll take what I can get and hope for the best. I kept to my "I'm Done" motto...did what I could do, didn't worry about what I couldn't do or control, and didn't worry about trying to keep everyone happy. The older I get, the more I realize that there are certain things that I'm just not cut out for, and I need to recognize those things and look for the things that are right and in the right direction.

I have two upcoming crochet that should be able to use up a little of my stash of acrylic yarn. I found this awesome website ( Crochet Pattern Central ), and they have all kinds of links for great things to make. Under the "Pets" section, there's a CAT sweater that looks like a piece of candy corn!! You can see a picture of it here . I also want to make a headband of some sort...they have lots of patterns on the site, but I'll have to get some better yarn (where in the heck is a yarn store around here!!??). Shelli is going to be so ticked about the sweater, but I can't wait to see it on her. It'll make a great Halloween costume and she is a black cat (well, a torti really). Here's a pic of a skinny scarf I started a while didn't turn out the way I was hoping, so I may rip it out and start over...

Band rehearsal was very productive tonight...although we're temporarily without a bass player, we're moving along nicely and I think our gig on Saturday will go well! And, thank God, we get to do it inside now...I was worried about my dad having to be out there running sound.

Tomorrow is Friday!! Yay! And better even still, Joey will be back!! Double yay!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I Thought I Was Going to Die

For those of you who may be new to this blog, Anne (a coworker) and I try to walk at least once a week whenever we can during lunch. Since we've both been gone for various reasons for much of May, this was the first chance that we had in about a month to walk together. We intended to go during mid-morning so that it wouldn't be quite so hot. However, she got caught up in a conference call and we ended up not being able to go until 12. The trail is really pretty well-shaded and a little swampy and jungly, and there was a good breeze, so it didn't seem so hot while we were doing our two miles, but once we got in the car to come back to the office, I got the shakes and felt like I was going to pass out. It took a fruit roll-up, lunch, and a low fat fudge pop to bring me back to life. My face was also a very deep an embarassing shade of magenta for half an hour.

It ended up affecting me all day...even when I got back home tonight, I felt very melty and flat. It probably doesn't help that Rhonda the Honda lacks AC and the driver's window doesn't roll down, so the airflow that is created by the other three windows is just enough to entirely pass you by. But, I will say, that for those to be the only issues with Rhonda, I am very happy. She gets over 30 miles per gallon, and after having some work done to her, she runs perfectly. Thanks, Wayne and Erin!!

I was thinking today, and this may sound horrible to my church friends, but I'm kind of glad that I wasn't raised in church. I don't fault those who are, by any means, but for me, even though I've had my share of doubts and uncertainty and "crises of faith," I can safely say that I've never worried about whether I made the decision just because my parents raised me that way. They really didn't pressure me (probably because they were having their own "crises of faith" (hey, it was the '80s...wasn't everyone??), and I came upon Christianity on my own as a teenager, and while I know teenage brains aren't really capable of making many informed decisions, I do feel like I was able to make the choice for myself, not because I thought that it was something my parents would want.

I felt pretty teriffic for most of the day, although I'm still working my way through this pesky identity crisis. At least I don't feel like the world is going to end anymore, or like I'll never get better. And my new phrase right now is "I'm done!" I have decided to be done....done with the trivialities, done with trying to please everyone and feeling inadequate if I'm not able to deliver what everyone wants all of the time, done with pettiness and stupidity, done with worrying about things that don't matter and things that aren't helping me move in the direction that I'm supposed to go (whatever that may be....God, step in at any time....). I'm just DONE. It was liberating to say that to myself today when I'd feel aggravation or whininess creep up.

My childhood friend (and hopefully present-day friend) Jessica has inspired me SO much to crochet and maybe even pick up learning to knit again (yes, Jessica, I can make a chain, but that's about it). However, I realized that I need to spruce up my yarn stash. It's made mostly of the typical acrylics, mostly gleaned from my grandma or other people who "used to crochet" or had a family member who did. Lots of it is absolutely hideous colors. And I really don't know what to do with it all. I may practice on my granny squares and see what happens with that. I do love to use the Granny Squares to make patchwork blankets (although that acrylic yarn is WAAAY to rough for a poor baby's skin). Mostly, though, I'm just thrilled that my fingers are ITCHING to pick up the hook again and make some projects. I have missed the crafty me so much.

I'm also very much newly motivated to get back on the healthy eating routine, and I can safely say that I've done well the last two days. I have also exercised both days (although both brought about new feelings of pain and heatstroke).

I think that's all I have for the night:).

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Little Bit Tired, A Little Bit Blah

I'm not really blah or anything...just a little aggravated because I wasn't able to get as much on the lawn done as I wanted to. I love the old-fashioned reel mower; it's a great workout and I love the idea of not using any's frugal and better for the earth. The problem, however, is that certain weeds grow much faster than normal grass, and once a weed has reached a certain height, the reel mower no longer just pushes the weed down, rather than pulling it between the blades and striker plate. And, unfortunately, we had several of those weeds pop up very quickly in the past week, so there was a whole section that I really couldn't do much with. However, I did mow for about an hour, so I'm sure I burned 300 calories or so...not a bad workout for something that I had to do anyway.

Today, I spent much of my time contemplating everyday satisfaction, contentment with where one is in life and what one does every day. I can't say that I'm there, and quite frankly, I'm a little jealous of those who are. Someday, I want to be able to say, "I wouldn't want to be doing anything other than what I'm doing right now," and really mean it every day. And I don't want to have to wait years and years for the moment to come along.

In The Artist's Way, which I've been reading and working through, the author discusses the concept of synchrocity (I think that was the word, and I don't have the book in hand to make sure)...she says that once the blocked creative starts allowing creativity to flow again and makes a concerted effort to foster and feed the creative side, events will happen along the way to foster this growth, that would seem like amazing coincidences to people who don't have a particular faith. I take it to mean that God will bless the movement to foster new ways to glorify Him and will allow things to happen along the way to help you along.

I could see it happening with the band...I've always thought it would be super-cool to be involved with a band, but I never knew what to do to get up with people and be a part of one. Three years ago, or so, Harold mentioned in passing that I should come jam with his band sometime...I didn't really think he was serious, so I never pursued it. It wasn't until Dad was in the hospital last year and I got to know Mitch better and then ended up coming to a concert that the opportunity was just dropped in my lap. And now, I'm pretty much right where I want to be musically. I am getting to sing original stuff with some really phenomenal musicians, and they seem to genuinely want me around. But, were it not for my movement toward it, and God's direction along the way, it never would have happened.

So, I've decided that I'm going to start praying very seriously for God to show me opportunities to use my creative side, be it writing, or crochet, or painting, or whatever he decides....I just want to see little blessings along the way to direct me that I'm moving in the right direction and to help nudge me along in the right way.

I have to say...very little is as wonderful as lounging in the recliner with the laptop and a kitty laying on your chest. She is the most perfect creature on this planet, by far.

Monday, June 2, 2008


****originally attempted to post on Monday, 6/2, but the stinkin' internet had other ideas...****

Today is Shelli's adoptiversary! Just one year ago today, Joey and I were browsing at PetsMart and we came upon a cage of tortishell kittens...all of them were playing, but only one came over to where we were. I poked my finger through the bars of the cage and she came over and chewed on my finger a little and then stayed by me....and I let out a huge, sad sigh, and Joey said "do you want to get her?" I thought it was waaay too good to be true as I had been praying for a kitty for years, but the timing had never been right because of where we were living. He said, "go ahead and start filling out the paperwork, and I'll go to the ATM to get the adoption fee." And that very day, Shelli was ours. I didn't get to take her home that instant, because we had to go to a wedding, but we were so excited about her that we left the reception early and went back to PetSmart to go ahead and get her. And I can safely say that life has never been the same since.

This past year has been full of little kitty adventures, from learning how clumsy a cat with no tail can be to an eight week bout with an intestinal parasite that bestowed upon her the nickname "PooFoot," to having to live in the upstairs back bedroom at Mom and Dad's because Dad was in the hospital for bypass surgery....we've been through so very much in the past year. And (although I would not want to do the hospital part over again) I wouldn't trade a minute of it for the world. She's blessed us more than I can begin to put into words, and I know that it's only going to get better and better.

Today was a good day; work was relatively uneventful, and I got to have Hawaiian shaved ice with three good friends tonight...we actually ended up closing the place out because we were having such a good time talking. I love times like that. My morninig pages went smoothly this morning, and I felt pretty thoughtful and contemplative all day.

You know, God is pretty awesome.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Short-Lived Weekend Respite...

Well, as quickly as the weekend came, it's rapidly coming to a close and Joey will be back to the grind of school for another week. I'm happy that we're falling into a pretty decent routine, but I'm bummed about the stress of this time in our lives. I made Sweet Potato Gnocchi again, and it was super-tasty, so I'm going to share the recipe with you!

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

4 medium-sized sweet potatoes
1 egg
2 cups flour

Wash Sweet potatoes and poke holes in them with a fork. Microwave for 12 minutes or until soft. Allow to cool until you are able to handle them. Scoop out the insides into a bowl and add 1 egg and 1 cup of the flour. Mix up with a fork until well mixed. Turn dough out onto a floured board and gradually add the other cup of flour, kneading until it's a good consistency. Roll dough into several 1 inch thick logs and cut into 1 inch long pieces. Using a fork, press the pieces over the fork to create a small impression in the dough. Add to salted boiling water and cook for 12 minutes. Drain and serve. We served with light alfredo sauce and it as wonderful!

It was such a good homemade meal for Joey to enjoy before he's back to the grind. And, on the frugal front, we only spent 12 dollars on groceries this week. I'm eating healthily this week and already have my lunches in the fridge and ready to go.

I'm looking forward to this week; I've started the overhaul of the house and things are finally starting to shape up, and I've got my meals and exercise planned out. I spent part of the afternoon online looking up crochet patterns so that I can get a project or two underway, and I'm excited about maybe having pretty homemade gifts for Christmas this year.

I'm back on the frugal reading kick; Joey and I have discussed our frugality at great length, especially since our gas bill just doubled and we had significant work done to Rhonda the Honda (she's running GREAT now), and we want to be the best stewards of our money possible, but we also want to make sure that we're taking care of ourselves so that we don't start to feel deprived and give up. We're on our way toward working for a happy medium between frugality and satisfaction.

I'm so excited about the Olympics in August. I can't wait for them to come on; I'm such an Olympic junkie! That's all I've got for tonight!