Ten on Tuesday/End of NaBloPoMo/Thankful for Day 30

It's the end of November.  The day my timesheet(s) are due.  The end of NaBloPoMo (failed).  The final day of my "Thankful For".  And I'm doing another Ten For Tuesday.

Phew.  I'm exhausted just reading that.  You know, because my life is so rough.  And all those things took so much time.

This month was a good challenge for me as a blogger.  And even though I didn't quite manage to post everyday, partially due to some wintery weather, I feel like I did well.

I'm so thankful for this blog as a way to communicate with friends/family and the online community I've met through it.  I can't tell you how wonderful it's been to make all these new friends.  I've mentioned this already this week, but I really mean it.

I'm also thankful for only having 3 more days of work before the break.  That's part of the reason my job rocks.  To me, it's even worth the lack of paycheck that comes with it.

Finally, I'm thankful for some good music.  I got some great albums from Amazon over the past week for $1.99 and I just downloaded the newest Glee album today.  I'm addicted.  I can't help it.

Without further ado, here is my Ten on Tuesday: (check out everyone else's here.)

1. Where are you from? Have you lived there your whole life?
I'm from Bellingham, WA and went to school in a small town called Ferndale.  While I have been in the area off and on for over a decade, I definitely have not lived here my whole life.  I was born in Spokane, and have also lived in Tacoma, Sequim, Pullman, and Colorado Springs, CO.

2. How would you classify your clothing style?
I would say I have a pretty classic, clean style.  It can sometimes edge towards preppy.  More often than not, though, my style can be a little lazy.  I can pretty much wear jeans everyday at work, and I have to walk a lot, so I keep it casual.

3. What kind of car do you drive?
'05 Honda Civic Hybrid, baby.  I love my good gas mileage.   My complaints are that upkeep costs are a little high and it lacks power.  My hybrid is also, surprisingly, a manual.  I recently gave Gwenyth a bath (well, the car wash place did), because she was maybe the dirtiest car in existence.  You couldn't even read the license plate.

4. What would your dream home look like if you could have it?
My whims for a dream house change pretty much daily.  I'm a ways from home ownership at the moment.  A real career (not a job, I have that) has to come first.  And grad school might precede that as well.  I like houses that aren't just boxes, ones that have big porches to invite people in, light streaming through windows, open spaces for people to gather in, and cozy places to tuck in with a group.  Someday I might find that.  I hope.

5. Do you have kids, and if so, how many and how old were you when you had them?
None that I know of.

6. What is your favorite hobby?
Outside of watching ridiculously pathetic televisions for hours, probably reading.  I could go for hours.  Or watching sports, specifically basketball and football.  Do those even count as hobbies?  I also like long walks on the beach and underwater basket weaving.  And being serious all the time.

7. Are you going to have any New Year's resolution for 2011?
I actually just posted about this yesterday.  I'm thinking about budgeting a little better, not because I don't have enough money but because I want to be more responsible and less materialistic.

8. What is something, if anything, that you'd want to change about yourself?
I really wish I had a career or a career goal that I was really passionate about.  There are things I'm interested in or things I would like to do, but there's no driving force in me, or so it feels.  Unless a potential employer is reading this, in which case refer to the end of my answer for #6 (and read between the lines).

9. What is something you love about yourself?
My sense of humor and ability to make others laugh.  My ability to learn quickly and find efficient ways to do things.  My hair.  Sorry, that's about 4 things.  I'm not so good about really choosing.

10. Pick one of the following: someone to cook for you, someone to do your laundry, or someone to do your dishes.
Ooo, this is kind of hard.  I pick someone to do my laundry as long as it includes putting my clothes away.  True fact about me: I always put my dirty clothes in the hamper but often pile clean clothes on the floor.  I know, it doesn't make sense to me either.

And that's the end of today's essay and the challenge that has been November (in so many ways).


Isn't It Ironic (Don't Ya Think)

After yesterday's less-stuff-is-probably-better post, I'm following up with a few gift guides online that have been immensely helpful in my gift search.  Hence, the Alanis Morissette reference in my title.

But it's Christmas, and it's for others (mostly), and I love gift giving.

There are a lot of great guides out there.  By a lot of great bloggers.

Here's where you can find a few:

  • One of my favorite bloggers, Krystal, has a great round up over at her blog, Village.
  • She also contributed one of a handful of guides at Chic 'n Cheap Living.  Look for Part 2 in addition to the link for Part 1 that I provided.
  • OC Family featured a great line-up of sites with great gifts that support great causes.
  • El Vintage, who I've mentioned before and has her own etsy, featured some of her favorite gift finds from Etsy.  
There are more guides out there, I just know it.

I've found all of these helpful and I thought I'd give you a (almost, not quite) handful of options to get you started.

Today I'm thankful for 4 more days of work before my Christmas break begins.  I. Can. Not. Wait.  But I will anyways.


The Things I Carry With Me

It's 9:15 p.m. and I'm ready to go to bed like whoa.  Black Friday completely screwed up my sleeping schedule.  But before I fall into bed...

I've been thinking a lot about the materialism mindset that is so prevalent in our culture.  We have a lot of stuff.

This is ironic following up my Black Friday shopping, I know.  Try not to hold it against me.

For me, at this point in my life, that means a lot of things related to fashion (clothes, shoes, etc.).  It's easy to do--go shopping and find 1 or 10 more things that I just "need."

But I don't need more.  And really, if I look at my motivations, I probably don't even want more.

So I've been thinking about really trying to restrict myself, as a new year resolution.  I haven't committed myself to one of those in years.  I think it would be a challenge, but in a good way.

Maybe I should wear through a couple pairs of shoes before I buy another pair.

I had been thinking of setting an actual limit on what I could spend monthly on all things clothes, shoes, etc. related.

I haven't ever been that strict with myself.  I keep track of my finances and know what I should or shouldn't spend at a given time, but haven't needed financially to limit myself to a sum per month.

I am very thankful for what I have in terms of things, opportunities and privilege!  And I'm tired of taking it for granted.

Just some thoughts, I haven't actually decided whether to follow through or not.

How much do you budget for those expenses?  I know this is an amount that can vary with your situation, but I have no idea what is a reasonable or realistic amount for myself.


A Deal (or two)

While most of what I purchased on Friday morning (a.k.a. the dead of night) was Christmas-related, I couldn't help pick up an item or two for myself.

My favorite purchase was these boots from JC Penney:
Aren't they adorable?!  A great color and I love the small wedge.  These will be well used throughout the holiday season.

And they are $30.  So nice.

A lot of JCP's boots were discounted to $30 for Black Friday.  My sister also snagged a pair for herself and as a Christmas present for someone else.

Hers are snazzy, too.

Let's all use the word snazzy more.  Okay?

Today I'm thankful that there's still one more day of weekend left.  I don't feel like I've recovered entirely from the gorging and unnecessarily early shopping.


Blackish Friday

Today has pretty much passed in a daze.  That is, if a daze includes shopping at 4 a.m., hours and hours of Criminal Minds and What Not to Wear, leftovers and delicacies such as cheese and crackers.

I have now been awake for 18 hours and I feel every minute of it.

The good news is that my sister and were completely victorious this morning.  We had a game plan, stuck to it and were out in about 2 hours (hitting 4 stores in the process).

Target was B-A-N-A-N-A-S.  Not even joking.  It was scary, dangerous and so, so crowded.  Ridiculousness.  If there hadn't been a specific thing I wanted there (gift, so I can't tell details), I wouldn't have stayed.

I am actually almost done with my shopping.  A couple more little things to get and I'll be set.  That's what happens when you start shopping in September.  Supposedly that kept me from spending too much on myself, but I'm pretty sure it just made Christmas get out of hand quickly.

Shopping for presents is so much fun though.  Love it!

But I have to sleep now, even if it isn't even 9:30 p.m.  I want to be alive tomorrow.


This is Why I Wear Stretchy Pants

This is the first Thanksgiving that I legitimately cooked.  My mom and I double-teamed it.

We also had a game plan going into today, which helped things run really smoothly.  We also had some help from some cooking powers.  Martha Stewart inspired us to add reisling to our turkey brine, Paula Deen helped us create a much improved green bean casserole, and Bobby Flay gave us my new favorite dessert (pumpkin bread pudding).

Seriously, the bread pudding.  I may come up with reasons to make it in coming days, weeks, months, etc.  Pumpkin bread cooked in vanilla-bean infused cream, topped with caramel sauce and homemade whipping cream.

Foodgasm.  I don't care if I made that word up; it still happened.

Now I need to rest up for Black Friday.  My sister and I have a list and a plan of attack.  We will not lose!

Today I'm super thankful for my mom who works hard even when she feels like crap, my dad for making endless chauffeur trips, my brother for his endless humor and ability to sleep through our craziness, and my sister for her partnership in crime, er shopping.

I also loved spending the day with extended family: my aunt and uncle, grandpa and grandma, and cousins.

Thanksgiving might just be my top holiday.


Turkey Time

I know it's Thanksgiving (or practically...30 more minutes) because I've been to what feels like 20 grocery stores in the past 2 days, there is family gathered around talking, and the dog is hiding out with me.

Yep, that's about right.

My mom and I have already worked on choreographing tomorrow's cooking.  Our oven is small and not very efficient, so the turkey has to be in by 8:30 a.m., or we won't eat until about this time tomorrow.

You think I'm joking, but I'm not.  What I wouldn't give for double ovens.

Today I'm thankful for laughter and awkward moments, cuddly dogs, warm cocoa, brisk winter winds, and lots of delicious food to eat.

Bring it on Thanksgiving.  I'm ready with my stretchy pants.  Let's do this!


Etsy Shopping Specials

Black Friday isn't just happening in stores or on the big sites, it's happening on etsy, too.

I thought I'd spotlight a couple shops from people whose blogs I follow.

First up is Tumbleweeds.  They have the cutest collection of little treasures and other vintage pieces on their etsy shop.  Adorable!

Use the coupon code "tumbleweed" to get 20% off.  Buy before Dec. 1st to get your purchases wrapped and delivered for Christmas.

El Vintage is also having a Black Friday sale.  But only go visit her etsy if you like amazing vintage clothing and accessories.  You may find yourself wanting it all!

Get 15% off through Dec. 15 using the coupon code "precious."  There are also a ton of items already on sale (which won't be discounted further).

As an unrelated, yet Black Friday related, deal, Amazon is marking down a handle of mp3 albums every day.  To way cheap (think $1.99).  And these are good albums.  I got John Legend and KT Tunstall today.

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?  If not, you should definitely start online, and miss out on the crazy crowds.

Getting a Jumpstart on Thanksgiving

One of the perks of deciding to drive home a day later was tagging along with my cousins, aunt and uncle to Thanksgiving dinner with the other side of their family.

(Wow that was a long sentence.)

Grandma R. hosted the dinner, served up potluck style.  With a large, extended family, this meant lots and lots and lots of food.  Really, really delicious food.  Sweet and mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls, jams, and more--all homemade.  Not to mention about 5 or so different desserts.

It was a feast.

Grandma R. had even decided to make a ham in case there wasn't enough turkey to go around.  (Packages of turkey were packed up afterwards for leftovers.)

Now Mom and I have started preparing for Turkey Day.  Today we put the turkey (all 24 lbs. of it) in a brine, made cornbread for stuffing, and baked pumpkin bread for our pumpkin bread pudding (a la Bobby Flay).

Tomorrow will be a big prep and cleaning day with a few errands thrown in for good measure, as we have family coming into town in the evening.

And my sister makes it home tonight!

The only thing that would make this better if it wasn't freezing-your-digits-off cold and two weeks from when I'll have my camera off.

Today I'm thankful for the start of vacation!  Par-tay!


The Big Freeze

Well, the good news is that I made it home.  I was also driving early enough in the day that I missed the worst of the Seattle roadways.

(I've heard of some people who haven't even made it home yet down there.)

That's not to say it was a fun drive.  The pass was actually easier than most of the driving on the west side of the state.

I didn't think the freeways seemed that slick, but apparently a number of cars disagreed with me.  I saw probably 6-7 accidents on my drive up the freeway, including multiple semis and at least two with flipped vehicles.

I also managed to leave my SLR camera on the east side of the state.  But my aunt and uncle have promised to take pictures for me.  I was going to post a couple pictures from the trip over on Friday, because it was absolutely sunny and gorgeous.  Apparently that won't happen.  At least not in the near future.

Now we're hunkered down under blankets and with multiple layers on.  My room doesn't really get heat, so I'll probably just keep all these layers on and climbed into bed tonight.

The high tomorrow is around 20 degrees (farenheit).  I'm just trying to figure out how to layer most appropriately.

Tonight I'm thankful for a warm (mostly) place to sleep, a safe drive home, and a delicious dinner in my belly.


Food and Sparkles

I should be helping the cousins get the house ready for our jewelry party.  I use "our" loosely, as I had nothing to do with the planning.

But I have done some cooking today.  We've made artichoke dip, taco dip, a salmon ball, shortbread, candlelight cake, and also have plans for stuffed mushrooms and chocolate fruit fondue.  Needless to say, I'm excited to eat.

If there's one thing you should know about me, it's that I really like food.

We will browsing Silpada's most recent catalog, and I may have to pick out something pretty and sparkly for myself.  And maybe a Christmas gift or two, just so I don't feel guilty for a personal purchase.

I don't know if you noticed, but I failed at NaBloPoMo.  I drove across the state yesterday and then was so exhausted last night that I fell asleep without even thinking of posting.

I don't really feel that bad about it.  I may still try to finish out the month, but I make no promises.

In other news, there was no snow the entire drive.  At all.  So I got myself all worried for nothing.  Let's hope Sunday's drive is as stress free.

Happy weekend!

Today, I'm thankful for family that loves to cook delicious things as much as I do.  It makes for a lot of fun.


The Open (and snowy) Road

I'm feeling a little tired, not because I've worked that much this week but because I haven't gotten enough sleep recently.  You know, the thing that usually makes you tired.

I'm driving across the state tomorrow, it's supposed to snow, and I'm taking my Civic Hybrid, which is not known for its performance in the snow.

Can you tell I'm excited?

That said, I am really looking forward to the weekend.

I get to spend time with family, my cousins, my sister, my aunt and uncle.  I get to eat good food (and help make it).  I get to look at (and probably buy) beautiful jewelry.

I may even catch up with a friend or two along the way.

So you see, my life isn't actually all that rough.

I plan to make the journey as enjoyable as possible with some good eats, at least one egg nog latte, and good tunes.  I'm putting together a good playlist right now.

If you had to pick a roadtrip soundtrack, what would it include?

Today I'm thankful for Friday, but I'm pretty sure that's true for everyone.  I'm also thankful for puppy cuddles and my Fuggs.  (They keep my toes warm.)


Cooking It Up

I've been doing a bit of cooking recently.  And I really do mean a bit.  Living at home has its perks, one of which is that I'm not expected to cook ever.

Sometimes I do anyways.

This weekend I made homemade mac and cheese.  It was delicious.  I didn't follow a recipe for it, but here's a breakdown:

  • Boil pasta to al dente - it's going to bake anyways so you don't want it soggy
  • Cook diced bacon, set aside
  • Make cheese sauce - I melt butter in a small amount of the bacon grease for flavor, then cream cheese.  To that I add milk.  Finally I mix in my desired cheeses (this time it was white cheddar, monterey jack, and Cougar gold).
  • Chop and briefly steam broccoli - I used two crowns of broccoli and cooked it in the microwave
Finally I mixed all of those elements together in a 9x13 pan, topped it with parmesan and panko bread crumbs, and baked it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

It was a hit and provided plenty of left overs.

Dish #2 I made this afternoon after work was cancelled (don't worry, I was still paid).  I had picked up a head of cauliflower to make Pioneer Woman's soup.
Image Source
Unfortunately I didn't have all the ingredients, so I made it up a little as I went.  Again, I'm not much of a measurer.

I didn't have any carrots, so I used extra celery.  I also put sour cream in each individual bowl to serve, instead of mixing it into the whole soup.  I probably simmered the soup a little long and my flour/milk mixture was a little clumpy, but it was delicious.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone.

I never claimed to be a health-food addict.  Both these dishes are heavy on the dairy (cheese, milk, butter, cream, etc.), but for me food is all about taste.

Now I just have to figure out what to do with some pumpkin.  I already made pumpkin pancakes, which were amazing.  The pumpkin bread pudding on tonight's Throwdown with Bobby Flay and Ree sounded pretty good.  Any other ideas?

Tonight I'm thankful for an expected day off from work (and still getting paid).


Ten on Tuesday

I was feeling uninspired about what to write today, and then I stumbled across Ten on Tuesday, hosted by Chelsea.

This is that point during the month when NaBloPoMo starts to get hard for me. It's halfway through the month so I've used a number of ideas, and I've spent most of the past 5 days sitting on the couch at home.

(That means life has been boring.)

On an unrelated note, today I'm thankful for layering clothes for warmth. Currently, I'm wearing leggings, socks, boots, a dress and a sweater. It's wonderful.

Here's my Ten on Tuesday:

1. What is your favorite breakfast pastry?
My dad is well know for his cinnamon rolls, which are super delicious, gooey, cinnamony rolls. He also makes amazing Sour Cream Pecan Coffee Cake and a really good Danish Cringle. So I have to go with anything that my dad might pull out of the over, or off of the stove. He is breakfast king.

2. Were you ever in a Thanksgiving or Christmas play?
Not that I can recall, but I'm not exactly well known for my memory so it could have happened.

3. What is your favorite clothing accessory?
Define accessory. This type of year, I love scarves. They keep you warmer and can add a lot of cuteness to a look. If shoes were an accessory (and since they are kind of essential, I don't think they count), I'd have to go with boots. I'd narrow it down further, but that's too difficult. I'm all about taking the easy way out.

4. What is your favorite item of clothing?
This may actually be the toughest question here for me. Right now I have a pair of jeans I could wear over and over and over again, but if we're talking real comfort I'd choose sweatpants or basketball shorts. Sexy, huh?

5. What is your favorite color and why?
I love jewel tones, most especially emerald and ruby. And teal or whatever the corresponding jewel tone is. How about I just tell you about my favorite color family. I think that jewel tones look fabulous on everyone and are so rich.

6. What is your favorite type of Christmas cookie?
I love to decorate sugar cookies but I'd rather eat gingerbread/snaps. I love the spiciness. I also won't turn down anything that involves chocolate.

7. What is your favorite scent (food, perfume/lotion)?
I love the smell of fresh cut grass, clean laundry, our dog when she comes home from the groomer, and something delicious baking in the oven.

8. What is your favorite household cleaner?
I really like Windex, and not just because it's good for everything (name that movie!). I love cleaning a mirror or window and having those immediate, quick results. It doesn't take time to do and there's just something about a clean mirror.

9. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? And what did you actually grow up to be?
When I was really young, I wanted to play in the NBA. Obviously that did not become a reality, for many reasons. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a physical therapist. Again, didn't happen. I don't really think I've found what I'm supposed to be. Currently I'm a transcriber at a local university, but that's not what I want to do with the rest of my life. I'll let you all know when I figure it out.

10. What is the last song or album you bought?
I just downloaded Girl Talk's new album, but that was free. I pre-ordered the next volume of Glee music, which I'm pretty excited about. While I wasn't a big fan of "the kiss" last week, I'm pretty sure that episode was my favorite for the season.


Cleaning Clothes

Today I'm thankful for a washing machine.

Fun fact about me: I've never lived anywhere that didn't have a washer and dryer, except that one summer my family was homeless (which is less dramatic than it sounds).

I finally did wash today, after I pretty much ran out of jeans.  And that's saying something.

The problem with the rainy season is that pants get dirtier a lot faster.  I don't tend to wash jeans every time I wear them, but this time of year I have to.

So I'm thankful to be able to stick my clothes and a little soap in the washer, press a button, and come back to clean clothes.

It's pretty much wonderful.


Thankful for this Blog (Day 14)

Yesterday was my 3rd blogiversary.  (I think that's how you spell blogiversary.)

That's crazypants.  Three years of blogging.

This blog pretty much started on a whim.  I didn't have some deep desire to pour out my thoughts and feelings.  I didn't have ideas or inspiration to share.  I just decided to start writing.

Part of my motivation was a move halfway across the country (although temporarily) for an internship.  I could keep my family informed without having the same phone or email conversation with each person individually.

Now, three years later, I feel like I have an online community.  Interactions with bloggers (and tweeters) are something I cherish.

So I am very thankful for this blog, the new world it opened up for me, and the people it introduced me to.


Let the Healing Begin

Today I'm thankful that my brother is home from the hospital and on the road to recovery.

He had complications from a fairly routine surgery (cyst removal), and ended back in the hospital to fix him up.

Now, almost 24 hours later, he's back home resting, drugged up, and enjoying having more than 13 channels to choose from.

And I'm thankful.


Finding the Bright Side

I having trouble finding something to be thankful for today, not because there's nothing in my life to be thankful for, but rather because it feels like bad is overshadowing the good.

It's nothing too major (I hope) and not really worth sharing at this point.

Wow, this is a lame post.  Sorry.

Today, I'm just thankful that it's Friday, that I don't have anything major planned for the weekend, that Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away, and that I have a puppy to cuddle with.

For now, that's enough.

What are you thankful for today?


A Thankfulness Two Fer

It's Veteran's Day (a.k.a. November 11th), I'm celebrating my grandpa, for his service in WWII, and my (step) grandma, for her 92nd year of birth.

So I'm thankful for both of them.  We moved them, Grampie and Thyrza, to our town just over 10 months ago.  They had been living over 4 hours away and needed more help with things that come up in life.

And it's been a job to have them so close, even if it can be a little exhausting.

Grampie, who I mentioned in my basketball post, served in the Army during World War II.  He left college to fight the war, and almost wasn't allowed to join because he was too tall.

I don't come from short stock.

His mom actually had to make his uniform.  He even had a cot specially built for him.  That's some dedication to your country.  And I can quite imagine any of today's basketball stars fighting for the same chance.

Grampie's life was actually saved by dengue fever during the war, too.  He was sick in the hospital when his unit was ambushed and killed.

And Thyrza was born on Armistice Day.  In 1918.  She's 92.  That's a lot of life lived.

She's lived all over, the country and the world.

Thyrza has been part of our family for over 17 years.  She and Grampie married on Valentine's Day all those years ago, after they had both lost spouses to cancer.

We celebrated tonight with soda, pizza, and German chocolate cake (Thyrza's favorite).

Today I'm very thankful for our veteran's and for long, fruitful lives.


A Break

Today I'm thankful for a bit of a break from work.

When I got done with work last night, at a much too late hour, I realized I only had 4.5 hours of work from that moment until next Tuesday morning.

And I just worked 1.5 hours this morning.  That means between now and Tuesday morning at 8 a.m., I have all of 3 hours of work.

Tomorrow is completely work free.  While this means I won't be making much money over the next few days, I'd rather have a break.

The only thing I'm really worried about is whether my butt will take on a couch-like shape.


A Brand New Room

Our family room, when we moved into this house 7 years ago, was rather unfortunate.  It was blue carpeted, with wood paneling and hideous lighting.

While we haven't fixed all of those problems, today we made some great strides.  Check it out.
This is a semi-before shot.  You miss out on the blue carpet here.  Lucky you.  It should also be noted that I was pretty much covered in grime at this point in the process, and most rooms and doors in our house are blocked at this point.  We had a lot of furniture to move.

As part of the changes, my parents had a tile entryway put into our family room.  Isn't it pretty?
Here's the after, with the new sectional couch, love seat, and (not blue) carpet.  Notice that I'm busy watching Househunters.  And it's dark, at way too early an hour.

I think it's important to note that all of the furniture you in the above shot is there because I moved it, by myself, this afternoon.  I'm not even joking.  Did it myself.  It's a really good thing our couch is literally individual pieces.
All this moving-around business was unsettling for our furry friends, but I think they'll appreciate this nice padded carpet.

So that's what I'm thankful for, a new look for a loved and well-used room.  Don't you enjoy mixing things up?


It has begun!

I'm a total sports junkie, but I don't love all sports equally.  If I could only watch one sport for the rest of time, it would definitely be basketball (specifically college basketball).

And so today, I'm thankful for college basketball, especially since the season started up today.  I'm currently watching basketball sitting on the couch, and I couldn't be happier.

I actually played basketball through college and then two years at a community college.  My dad was working for a basketball camp the summer I was born.  My grandfather played college basketball at Oregon and was even drafted into the NBA.  I guess you could say that the sport is in my veins.

As an aside, when my grandfather was drafted in the early 50s, a young senator with the last name Kennedy tried to talk him into coming to play in the NBA.  My grandfather, Doc the Rock, chose to go into education instead.  It was more stable and better paying.

How the world has changed.

I totally understand if you pass this post by.  I realize that most people don't get quite as excited as I do about the sport.

But these next five-ish months are the best 5 months of sports calendar, and you can't convince me otherwise.


A Fine Fall Day

The sun was out today so I stepped outside our house for a few minutes to snap a couple quick pics of the colors on our front patio.

And I really mean a few minutes, since I've been fighting some sort of sore throat, running nose, headache sickness.  I even napped today, which is not something I do, pretty much ever.  Even as a small child I didn't nap, much to my mother's dismay.

I am thankful for fall, particularly on days like today when the sun is shining and the air is crisp.

That said, sometimes I resent fall.  Mostly because it means the end of summer, which is probably my favorite season ever, in the history of seasons (you know, all 4 of them).

The pictures I took today help me remember that fall is actually pretty sweet (as are other fall things like boots, scarves, eggnog lattes, chunky sweaters, and saturdays in front of the fire).

Don't these images make you like fall (even) more?

Also, the view from our front patio is pretty gorgeous.  I can't get enough of it.

Now excuse me as I spend the rest of my evening curled up on the coach under a blanket.  I'm better off not trying to write much with how I'm currently functioning.


Thankful for, Day 6

Today I'm thankful for our puppies.

I'm a huge dog person, meaning I love dogs and I love big dogs.  Our "small" dog, Jamaica, is a 50-pound English Springer Spaniel.
And she's adorably crazy.  Recently she's taken to silent protesting.  For whatever reason, she spends large chunks of time sitting in the backyard staring into the house.

We're not sure what the protest is about, but it is hilariously cute.

She recently got a haircut and we've left her bandana on for the heck of it.

Our second dog, Jackson, weighs somewhere over 100 lbs. and just turned 10-years-old.
Now that he's aged (a.k.a. isn't out of control), he's pretty much a big sweetheart.

He still likes to steal any human food left unaccounted for.  This week it was caramel sauce and chocolate chip cookie dough.

At this point in his life, he's pretty much immune to chocolate.  He just experiences hyperactivity.

He loves swimming the water (we should probably take him more), barking at any and all possible intruders, and having his bum scratched.  Jackson also hoards rawhides and prefers to greet us with something in his mouth.

I love our dogs, even if they can be pains in the rear end.
They are just so cute.  In a large, furry way.



Tonight I'm thankful for:

  • My very comfortably and cozy bed 
  • Two days off from work (yay weekend!)
  • Family here for a visit
  • Really good food
  • Shopping at the outlets
  • Sweat pants
  • College football Saturday


Thanks and a Letter

Today I'm thankful for long chats on the phone with a friend who is far away.

There is nothing quite like spending an hour catching up on life, love and everything else.  And it made my day.
- - - - - - - - - - - 

Dani wrote a letter to her 16-year-old self and invited other bloggers to join her.  I decided to play along.

Dear 16-year-old E,

Life is good now, but it's better later.  You will laugh at your car accident and luckily for you, no major harm was done, but try to keep your eyes on the road instead of you discman.  You really shouldn't worry about that grade that isn't as high as you think it should be.  Your GPA won't matter once you start college and it's plenty high enough to do that.

Family is important, which I think you already know, and someday you and your brother will be able to spend long periods of time together without fighting.  And you and sister will have quite a bit in common, and it won't just be clothes, shoes and makeup.  Your dad will get funnier and your mom will get wiser.  While you and your cousins may not have much in common, you'll still be great friends.

There's this boy this year, and you should figure out how you feel sooner rather than later.  I know that he doesn't talk about things like feelings (shocker), but he's pretty serious and there are plenty of signs to tell you that.  Even though you don't intend to, you will break his heart.  

Even though you apply to way too many colleges, you will choose community college, which is definitely the right choice.  You will have a blast, you will make new friends, and you will be a little more ready for the real world because of it.  Don't mind the people that don't think community college is good enough.  It was right for you.  Community college isn't lesser and you will be really thankful to have fewer student loans.

You will grow up, have great friends, and learn to let loose a little.  What you want to do now with the rest of your life is not what you'll actually do.  Not that you've exactly figured that out, even (almost) 10 years down the road.  Luckily enough, you will figure out your own style, in so many ways.  You will find clothes that look good and sometimes remember to wear them, you will find music you love, people that get you, and things that you love to do.

And that's just in the first (almost) 10 years.

There's more I could tell you, but I'll leave you to figure it all out.  You do a pretty good job of that.  I'm totally proud of who you are and who you are becoming.  Keep kicking butt!  (And spreading the love.)

An Older and (hopefully) Wiser You, a.k.a. someone who cares.



Today, I'm feeling very thankful for my job.  It's awesome in so many ways.

I get student breaks, I get an excellent hourly wage, I get to sit in on (some) interesting classes, and my hours are flexible.  I work only when I'm available.  Or only when I want to be available.

What is this magical job?  You're probably wondering.

I've talked about it before, but I'll do a quick recap.  (I don't want to bore people by repeating myself over and over.)  I'm a transcriber providing communication access for deaf and hard-of-hearing students at the local university.

I was lucky enough to get the job through a friend and didn't even have an actual interview.  I've been working for almost two years now, which is rather hard to believe.

This isn't my forever job, and it certainly isn't perfect, but in a lot of ways this job is awesome.  I can definitely use that reminder occasionally.

On an unrelated note, I'm thankful the sun is shining today.  It is beautiful.


Grateful for Caffeine

I'd be remiss if I didn't talk about one of my favorite things that's only around this time of year.

I'm not a huge coffee fan.  I tend to stick more to black tea and chai, but for me, Eggnog Lattes are the ultimate.  I could drink one everyday and not get tired of it.

(Although that's probably not the most healthy choice.  I get them cut with skim milk, but that's not really sufficient to make it healthy.)

To go along with eggnog lattes (a.k.a my most favorite coffee drink ever), the red cups debuted at Starbucks today.

If that doesn't get you into the holiday spirit (and make you a little concerned about Christmas shopping), I don't know what will.

As a side note, there are a couple great giveaways going on right now.

Check out the giveaway from Beso over at Clothed Much.  And check out Beso, the ultimate shopping search engine.  Elaine of Clothed Much also has some amazing, and affordable, style.

Crowley Party is hosting a CSN giveaway.  If you haven't been to CSNstores.com and are trying to participate in No(shopping)vember, you probably shouldn't go there.  Otherwise, shop away!  Crowley Party is another fun blog to check out.


30 Days of Gratitude

(I kind of hate myself for that title.  Too corny.)
My new friend, Jessica, who I met through Fall Fashion Week is doing 30 days of gratitude.  Since November is Thanksgiving and National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), I decided to join in.

I can post for 30 days for NaBloPoMo and focus on being thankful.  Done and done.

Well, at least it sounds simple in theory.  As I told my mom, at least this way my posting will be guided somewhat.  I'm not sure that every post will be devoted to something I'm grateful for.  Who knows, I may have a really good story to share with you all.  I will, at least, include it in every post.

I know some people are partaking in No(shopping)vember or No(eating out)vember, but I'm pretty sure that's not realistic for me.  Also, I won't be doing 30 for 30 out of fear, but I will be following along that madness for funsies.

Or die trying.

So today I'm thankful for my rain coat.  It poured this morning.  The phrase "cats and dogs" comes to mind.

In fact, my hair was straight (I'm just about at the 72 hours mark from getting it dyed on Friday and can't wait to shampoo.) and now it most definitely is not.  I had a hat on so I'm left with greasy roots and curly, frizzy hair.

(This gratitude stuff is already harder than I thought.  I get too distracted, I think.  Actually, that was just a demonstration of how wet it was here, except for that whole greasy roots thing.)

So I'm really thankful to my rain coat.

Especially since those of us from the Pacific Northwest don't use umbrellas, which really is a somewhat silly statement to make, but I guess we must stand for something.

My clothes are dry.  Yay raincoat!  Around here, a raincoat is pretty much a necessity.