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I really like the idea of lists. My mom always had a list. She still does, for almost anything she’s doing. Planting, shopping, redecorating, chores, vacation spots, movies to see, you name it. I’m not really very good at keeping lists. I tried putting things on a notepad on the fridge that we needed from the store; it didn’t get very far before I forgot about it, and wouldn’t cross things off as they got bought. So, this idea really speaks to me. First, I need to get a kick start at blogging so that I don’t go for so many days and/or weeks without posting. Second, I want to see what the lists are and what they can teach me. I’m a few days behind, it started March 1, but I’ll catch up here in a day or two.
List 1: A few things about yourself
- I love nature
- I’m a student in my 30s
- I have one dog, a boxer
- I enjoy being outside in any and all kinds of weather
- I learn lots of new things all the time
- I get bored with projects and move on to a new one before finishing the previous one
- My favorite color changes every few years Right now its green
- I work in an Irish bar/restaurant/live music venue
- I volunteer/work at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
- I am a Texas Master Naturalist
- I dream of working for a National Park one day Preferably in the mountains
- My hair grows really fast
- I’m allergic very allergic to penicillin
- I run
- I drink
- I’ve brewed a couple batches of beer
- I sew
- I embroider
- I am learning to knit
- I’m cluttered Not dirty or messy really, but very cluttered
- I hate shopping
- I love camping
- Vintage aluminum trailers are my newest obsession
- I enjoy really good music, but don’t seek it out
- Have a few close friends, but lots of social friends
Man, that was a crazy long week that just finished! I love looking back and ticking off the good fun stuff I did.
Sunday: H4 Red Dress Run.
Hilarious time with all the best running friends I could ever ask for. Walked through Midtown and ran through Montrose in our get-ups. I even won best dressed female!
Monday: Well, not much to say about Monday except that I battled a hangover from Sunday, and worked at the bar for Valentine’s Day. Lots of red & pink balloons, wine sales, and fake sappy people.
Tuesday: Hot Yoga – ahhh my favorite. Hung out with my awesome niece Roma on her 6th birthday & gave her a sweet magnetic “paper” doll set that came in a metal box – perfect for car trips to Grandma’s house & vintage trailer rally camping trips! Then off to work for a surprisingly good show.
Wednesday: okay, this day actually wasn’t so great. My allergies were so overwhelming that I really thought I was getting a head cold. I volunteered at the HANC and my absolute favorite activity, pond dipping, was fogged by my half open eyes. Ended up calling in sick to work.
Thursday: awesome day! Spent the early afternoon crafting with my super cool cuz Alex. She was making these sweet pennants out of fun fabrics – I really wish I had gotten a picture of the one she was sewing. I am working on this cute Heather Bailey Market tote with some fabrics I got a great price on at SewCrafty. In the evening I went on a run with the hubs – we love this iPhone app called RunKeeper. We both just got new shoes so, for the time being, we’re motivated. That night was Broken Social Scene concert! Love this crazy loud over-populated band. woo hoo!
Friday: More volunteering, February Full Moon Hash!
Saturday: More HANC volunteering, lunch on the patio at our very favorite beer bar, gardened, & an awesome night at work!
Sunday: Helped the BFF pick out fabric for her future daughter’s bedding, discovered a fabric warehouse in town with the BEST prices! Very excited about this. Although their selection of trims and do-dads left a lot to be desired. Then . . Sunday is a hashing day!!! A run that was advertised as 4miles turned out to be closer to 7, and I lost my shoe in a muddy water crossing around mile 3. That left almost 4 miles to run in just my shiggy socks. So many bruises on my arches! The hares got lots of down-down accusations, and the hashers enjoyed making fun of their inability to do math.
Wow. Is it really already Monday again?
What a cold and rainy day it is here in Houston! Again! My awesome inlaws up in the Great White North gave us some delicious Tim Horton’s hot chocolate over Christmas. Came in handy today as I got home from leading 5th graders around the Arboretum in damp 32* weather.
Just last week at this same time we got one of the worst freezes and ice storms that we’ve had in recent years. It was cold, slippery freeways, and the whole city went into a tailspin. Luckily I got to stay warm at home mostly and cuddle with the dog on the couch. I did go outside last Friday morning to snap these few pics on the trusty iPhone though!
I really hope it warms up soon. My toes are cold.
I really did mean to get a post up on this here old blog before January was over. I was all gung-ho with New Years’ resolution energy. Now here it is Feb. 9 and I’m just getting around to it. Eh, that’s the way things go. But, I didn’t want to let too much time pass and not mention the incredible feats of strength I witnessed last Sunday. I had a really great time being a volunteer at mile 24, the Hash Mile aka Beer Mile, for the Houston Chevron Marathon.
About a year and a half ago, I started running with a local group called the Houston Hash House Harriers. You may have heard of them, there’s usually a group in every major city. They claim to be a drinking club with a running problem. It’s funny, and probably true for a lot of folks, but I’m proud to say that in the H4, there are some elite athletes. We had lots of runners in both the half and full marathons on Sunday.
Essentially, at the Hash sponsored mile, we set up tables and hand out small cups of beer to runners as the pass us by. It’s really amusing to watch some runners grateful and excited that they get a beer, others just think we’re silly and a nice distraction from their pain, and some don’t listen to the yelling that we have BEER and think its water. That’s the best, watching the faces get all pinched and the looks of disgust when they realize it’s beer not water.
It was a fun and exciting thing to be a part of, and if I’m not running in the marathon or the half next year, I’ll definitely want to volunteer again. This year’s theme was Cowboys and Indians – I can’t wait to see what kind of cool stuff we do for next years’ theme, Pirates – Arrrrrrrr!
Hot yoga is one of the best things that I do for myself. It allows me to get rid of all the sludge that is normally occupying my mind. When the room is that hot, and the poses are really pushing me to my limits, it’s nearly impossible to think about anything other than my body and my heart. Money, love, health, work, school, all of it disappears for a while. When I come out of class I feel cleansed, refreshed (even though I feel completely limp & weak), and happy. At the end of the class today, as the instructor lead us through the short meditation part, he said to us, ‘happiness is yours to take. be happy this week and no one can take it away from you. you create your own happiness’.
Here’s what wikipedia has to say about happiness:
“Happiness is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy.”
I kind of like how they say happiness can be lots of things! It could be any of those descriptors alone, or any combination thereof I’m sure. I think, in the effort to create my own happiness, I will try to really be happy because of any of those things. First I think I’ll focus on contentment, not too hard not too easy. Then we’ll see how that goes and move to another. Might be fun.
Anyhow, hooray for hot yoga and the blessing of more time to go this semester see I’me already working on trying to be content with that little situation!
Well, what a lame blogger I’ve been! Today is a great day to pick up where I’ve left off, though! Just this morning I did a little growing. Personal growth has been a theme of my life for the last 6 months, and I’m hoping to just keep on walking down that path. Went to the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center today to do the Orientation and basic training to become a volunteer there! I feel really guilty saying this, because it truly is one of my absolute favorite places in Houston, but I’ve not really been back to visit since my wedding there! It’s so full of life and growth, even in these cold gray winter months. So, soon hopefully, I’ll have lots of new and exciting things to do!
Surrounded by all that natural goodness, I was inspired to get started on my own natural home. I have been wanting for years to have a nice vegetable garden, and this year I’m finally going to do it. For certain. I went by my favorite nursery on my way home from the Arboretum and picked up a bunch of organic seeds and some good seed starting soil. I’m going to start with lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers – all of which should be easy enough to start from seed. The lettuce likes cool weather, so I need to hurry up and get started so I’ll do those later today. It’ll be summer before I know it. I also picked up some eggplant seeds, but the expert at the nursery told me they have to be heated to germinate. That means I have to set up my heating pad under the soil of the seedlings and keep em warm. Odd, I’ve never heard of doing that, but I’m excited to try something I’ve never done before.
I’m also starting some morning glory seeds. The 1950s ranch house we live in has this ugly metal work at the front, and I’d love to get morning glories to grow up and all over it. MGs are a lot more needy than most flower seeds. Not only do you have to nick the seeds and soak them in water overnight, but they also hate being transplanted. I’m going to try a little trick my mom told me about, though! See those empty egg shells? I’ve been saving them for weeks, and they are going to be the first home for my little seedlings! Perfectly organic and FREE! When the seedlings are ready to go in the ground, I’ll crack the egg shells a bit so the roots can easily grow through them, and place the whole thing in the flower bed! I’ll follow up on that later. I only nicked about 2/3 of the MG seeds and I’m saving the rest to sow directly into the soil in 6 wks or so when its warmer. I just want to see if there’s any difference in how well the plants grow.
The nursery was packed with folks getting their seeds and lots of conversations about what to start now, indoors and what to wait and plant later on. It was just abuzz in gardener activity. This is the first year that I’ve really had the time to get started this early, and I plan to take full advantage of it! Most of the seeds are going to take at least 4 weeks before they’re ready to move outdoors, so I’ve got that long to get a raised bed assembled in the backyard. Researched lumber prices today, but I think I’ll keep looking on heavy trash days and freecycle.org for materials I can reuse and keep out of landfills! I also have my eye on some honeybee boxes and am toying with the idea of building a chicken coop and getting a few laying hens. Just need to decide if it will annoy my landlord or not!
Off to plant lettuce!
Lately I’ve been reading a book of short stories – “Interpreter of Maladies” by Jhumpa Lahiri. Previously I haven’t been a fan of short stories by anyone, because just when I’m getting attached to a character and submersed in a storyline it all ends. It’s always been kind of frustrating to me. This time, though, the stories have been so well proportioned that I’m starting to feel differently. Each one is like a minute glimpse into a person’s life. Some of them spanned a few days, others a few months, and even one that was only a few hours. What they’ve made me think about is how our lives are composed of many sequential short stories. When I look back on a busy week or month I can segment that time into just a tidbit of my long collection of sequential stories. I don’t claim to be a master of putting word down on paper, but I am, for the most part, in control of writing my own life story. Right now I’m going around one of life’s big corners. I have been working in the same job i’ve had a love/hate relationship with for 4 and a half years, and just recently put all wheels into motion into another direction. Years and life goes by and I realize I don’t handle change well- unless I can get enough courage to be impulsive and then I sort of have a weird pride about it, but mostly I think change is cool but I’m a nervous chicken. So tonight when I finished the most recent story it hit me. I can’t just start reading the very next story in a row because I need time to let this one settle. I was just allowed to share a piece of someone’s life, a little mundane slice of life, but still a very intimate thing. I know it’s all fiction, you don’t have to tell me that, but fiction is a representation of some of life’s basic truths sometimes. I need to think back about how many details are crammed into a whole story about 10 pages long. Even the times in our life where we feel lost, or bored, or even a little agitated are still all little stories separately. Each one is important on it’s own because what happens now is going to change what hapens next. When we look at say, our childhood or our twenties, we might say they were good or bad or sprinkled with both or maybe we’ll even say we don’t remember and shrug it off saying they were just okay. But there are so many separately amazing stories that have all added up to equal our life! When I start getting nervous or sad the next few months while I’m rounding this corner I’m going to try to remember that. I will have a week between the end of my sales and retail career and the start of school. I want to take that time to let this one story settle for a little while before I start writing my next one. I need to remember that while it’s okay to immerse myself in being one character for a while, it’s okay to bring this short story to a close and start a new one.
So, I’m testing out the word press app on my iPhone, so first of all – ignore the typos. I’m really hoping that this will enable me to write more frequent short posts, since I can be on the go and still update here. Seems feasible. A lot of what I think about writing down is real random and easily forgotten about before I can find the time to sit down at the computer, log in, and actually type it up. Anyways, let’s just see if this works!
I finished Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five today. Finally! I’ve been working on finishing this one for at least a month. It got to the point where I realized there was not going to be the typical buildup>climax>anticlimax. It was just going to drone on in front of my eyes for another 100 pages. I can’t just stop in the middle of a book though. I have a need to keep pushing through to the other side, no matter how painful or drudgerous. (is that a word?) So, I did make it to the end of the book, and it never got any more interesting than white toast with no butter. I began to resent the book itself, because I have so many others that I want to read, but couldn’t start until I finished this one. Then I felt bad for resenting a book. I really should have felt resentment towards Kurt for wasting my time. Hopefully, the next Vonnegut book I read will be better. I hear Mother Night is pretty good.
It’s been the kind of day where all you can think about is how you can’t wait to take the next step. Once I decide I want to do something, I have to keep my focus on it, and I can’t take my mind off whatever it is. Right now, all I can think about is how excited I am, and how sure I am that my plans are really going to happen. 3 years ago, I quit attending classes in pursuit of my first Bachelor’s Degree. 3 years ago, I was a newlywed, and wanted to not be so stressed in my marriage which required a lot of attention. 3 years ago I still wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do with my life. Today, I am certain. I’ve had enough time to think it over, and see that what is really important isn’t how much money I can make or how prestigious a job is. The things that really qualify as important are self-worth, confidence, satisfaction at the end of the day, exertion, meaningfulness, and all the usual things that constitute “pursuit of happiness”.
I’m so grateful that enough time (3yrs to be exact) has passed to get me to where I want to be. The journey to get to this place has been a frustrating and really up-and-down one, but I’m here. And I’m so ready to really start my life!