Friday, June 26, 2009

8 Things Friday

Quick post before the day begins.

1. New header! Go look, if you read this through RSS! (Or, you know, don't. It's not that wonderful, it's just not the same one I've had for the past three or four months.)

2. We're going to look at our new house again today! :) And take pictures, and measure things, and imagine where to put everything, and what colors we want to paint, and lots of other stuff! My mom and grandma are coming, and Matt's dad is coming, too. He's an engineer and has built lots of houses, and supervised the building of lots of houses, so he'll do a sort of pre-inspection-inspection. Mom and Grandma just want to see it! If I can, I'll put pictures of the place up early next week. If not, you'll see them in the next 8 Things Friday post.

3. So, Michael Jackson died yesterday. I'm not particularly sad, though I'm sad for his family. It's not like he was this great, charitable, kind person or anything. It's just kind of weird to think about. His Wikipedia page is already all in past tense. I know Ed McMahon and Farrah Fawcett died the same way, but they're from a different generation, so I don't even know what to think about them.

4. We're off for the weekend to help friends move, and celebrate a birthday while we're at it. It's pouring rain here, so hopefully the weather will be nicer by tomorrow, since the birthday party is a cookout in the park!

5. I need to find out when I can buy tickets for the midnight release of the Harry Potter movie, and when/if they're letting (making?) us camp out like they did for the last one. Please, won't someone in town go with me? Both my HP friends moved far far away and I neeeeed to keep going to the midnight releases! Who wants to hang out all day Friday, the 10th (I think) and read books and play games and chat and be silly, then stay up ridiculously late to watch a really freakin' awesome movie? I know you do!!! Let me know!

6. I had some cantalope for breakfast. Yummmm. Speaking of fruit, this smoothie recipe looks intriguing, but I don't think throwing cantalope in there would be too delicious. Maybe when I get some strawberries again, and toss a banana in, too.

7. Since Mom closed the tea parlour, she gave me all the vintage gloves and hats she had for people to wear if they wanted to dress up for a high tea or a birthday party. With the gloves I already had, I have something like 20 pair now! And that's after making myself give up three pair. (Along with a few of the hats I didn't love, they'll serve in a trade at the vintage shop downtown that I like, so maybe I'll get a new dress or something!) I also have about 8 vintage hats from about the 60s. I don't think I'll wear them very often, but they will look super cute hanging on the wall in my sewing room in the new house!

8. Yes, sewing room! Instead of making the downstairs bedroom into a tv/game room, we're just going to keep the tv and stuff in the living room, put Matt's computer in the loft area upstairs, and I will take over the downstairs bedroom with my crafty stuff! This will also finally give me a place to hang all my vintage (and non-vintage) aprons! (Instead of in the kitchen, which has a new theme: sushi!)

Off I go!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New Home

In case any of you aren't on Facebook (Megan, I'm looking at you!), here is the news: We are buying a house! A townhome, really, but it will be OURS, our very own first home! It's three bedrooms and two bathrooms with new pergo floors downstairs and new stainless steel appliances. It also comes with a stackable washer/dryer (which we might replace eventually since it's kinda dinky, but at least we won't have to pay quarters every time we do a load!) and a teeeeeny tiny little backyard with a bit of a patio. We'll get a dog soonish after we move in, yay! Our closing date is July 22nd (I don't know where I got the 20th from, FB peeps who'd seen that) which is LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY!!! We're hoping to be entirely out of our apartment now by August 3rd, a little less than two weeks after we close. Do-able, right? (Since I'll be gone for a full week at the end of July.) Hope so!

Anyway, there's the latest happening in our life. *Happy dance*

Friday, June 19, 2009

8 Things Friday - Topical Version

1. New: I need a new, more summery header for the blog. I also need a new picture of me in the sidebar, since I've had bangs for three months and have not taken a decent picture of myself since we had that one done in December.

2. School: It is still here, oh yes it is.

3. House: Financial stuff is falling into place, and we have our top three choices! We want Matt's Dad and my mom to look at them if at all possible to get a couple other opinions from people who have done this before, and of course everything will take a really long time, but it looks like we could actually be in a new house by the end of the summer! (I forgot my camera when we went house-shopping on Tuesday, but was too busy looking and writing notes to take pics anyway, sorry.)

4. Health: I have been doing pretty well eating more fruits and vegetables lately. When we're out of fresh fruit, I often have canned in the house, and we always have orange juice and milk. I'm proud of myself! :)

5. Work: I'm starting part-time hours after next week. Whew! I'm going to work no more than 3 days a week, though they'll be long shifts so I get a decent amount of hours. That will give me a few days to JUST do school (hopefully take my laptop to the library, which I haven't done since the first week of school), and a day or two to do house stuff/errands. I think this will work out MUCH better.

6. Crafts: There have been none, and this is sad. At Weekly Fiber on Wednesday, I did start making some plastic bag yarn (which is just what it sounds like) and attempted to finger-crochet a piece of "fabric" to turn into, perhaps, a shopping bag, so we'll see how that goes.

7. Summer: I'm not going to say anything about the weather today so I don't jinx it.

8. Happy Father's Day on Sunday! What are you doing for/with your dad this weekend? Matt and I are going to my parents' house for a bbq with Matt's parents and my grandparents, which will be nice. Unfortunately we have to be back for my meeting at work (another one!) that night at 8:30, but at least we'll see everyone for a few hours.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I don't like cooking. Or do I...?

I realized today that I actually do like cooking, though I've been protesting for years that I don't. What I don't like is that I rarely have time to cook, and cook well, so I'm forced to throw together the same handful of easy, boring-ish meals over and over. That adds to the idea that I don't like cooking, since not much that I make turns out that great, anyway. Yes, it's (almost) all edible, and even yummy at times, but spaghetti for the third time in a month... eh.

I don't see this changing any time soon. Even though I'm going down to part time at work soon (hopefully by the end of next week, since that's how far out the schedule is right now), I still have lots and lots of school this summer. I start at my middle school on August 11th (12th?) to help out my mentor teacher with set-up, and the week after that, the kids get there. The way it looks, with me on campus at the middle school four days a week, and at the college campus at least four days a week, with the evenings and weekends devoted to homework for my college classes, and grading papers and doing lesson plans for my middle school class... I don't think I'll be cooking too many spectacularly involved meals for, well, a while.

I am a huge fan of the crock pot. I also like casseroles: cook some rice, some meat, throw it in a pan with some sort of cream of ____ soup and some veggies, and call it good. Grilling is also nice, since Matt does that part, I nuke some instant mashed potatoes and some frozen veggies, and it's dinner. I could probably make spaghetti in my sleep, and there's always the standby of meat- and/or cheese-filled ravioli with sauce from a jar. Since there's just two of us, if I manage to make about four real meals a week, we can live off leftovers the other few nights. And I've even been trying to get us to eat healthier lately, too. I'm excited to check out the weekly Farmer's Market this summer for fresh produce, honey, etc. Currently, not too much comes out of a box or a jar pre-made, though I don't beat myself up if that's my only option, at times.

And I've come to accept all of this. I have other priorities, for sure. But someday, far, farrrrr in the future (maybe; we'll see, I guess), I might actually have time to plan cool meals for my family. When that day arrives, I hope I still enjoy it. I think I will.

Friday, June 12, 2009

8 Things Friday

1. Oh my gosh it's Friday again! How does this keep happening? It was Sunday, then suddenly Wednesday, now the week's almost over! I guess I've been busy enough that time is just zooming on by!

2. Which is good, because at the end of July (a month and a couple weeks away!) I'm flying to San Diego with Mom to visit my aunt and cousin for a whole week! You can see the ocean RIGHT THERE from her living room picture windows, so I'm sure we'll spend a couple days at the beach. Also shopping (maybe the swap meet), hanging out and watching movies, and maybe a touristy thing like the aquarium or something. I'm so excited!!!

3. School is going well. It's kind of a lot, but I'm getting used to it by now. Not this coming week, but the next week, we go in for our second face-to-face, i.e. three days on campus all day long. Then four weeks more, the last face-to-face, and I'm done with summer semester! The first day the teachers are on campus at the middle school where I'm student teaching is August 11th or 12th, and the kids get there on the 18th. Of course I'll be there with the teachers to set up and get things ready. I'm getting excited! (Can't remember if I said, but I've been placed in 7th grade. Wish me luck!)

4. We're looking at houses, finally, on Tuesday night. Not just driving around to see the neighborhoods and possibly peeking in windows, but having appointments and seeing inside and with a realtor! Woohoo! If they let us take pictures, I'd love to! Then I can share our favorites with you, as well as keep track for our own sake.

5. I saw the cutest bike ever tonight while I was driving! It was light blue but the fenders, the middle of the body, and the seat were patchwork! Literally painted patchwork like squares of cute vintage-looking calico! I WANT IT! (Matt said, "You didn't ride the last bike you had!" and I said, "But I would ride this one! And take it for walks and give it baths and feed it, I promise, pleeeeease?!") I'm sure it was super-expensive at some fancy bike shop, but holy crap! So cute! I could probably do something like that to a bike, someday, if I ever get a bike again.

6. Let's see, crafty news... I've been doing baby shower gifts, one per week, for the last three weeks! (Actually I still need to do Haley's blanket, but I'll do that Sunday.) So nothing new with the charm squares quilt I was doing, and I'm DONE with baby hats for now! (I have a good stockpile of them for future baby showers, too.) I'm knitting a really simple shawl out of a nice rose-pink, kind of heathered, wool yarn. Just Patons from Michael's, nothing fancy. It's seven "stripes" going vertically, alternating seed stitch and garter. Really simple, so it's good to do while watching movies or yakking at knit night. I also want to make a very simple (geeze, I'm all about simple crafting lately, I guess) dress or two from this pattern. It's more of a square neckline when it's on; I've made it before several times for Ren faire outfits, and once for a nightgown. I'll make the sleeves short and draw elastic through the ends so they kind of puff up a bit, and put a drawstring or sash under the bust for an empire shape. Maybe some trim or a ruffle at the bottom hem, about knee-length or slightly shorter. I have a light blue sheet (from Goodwill!) that would be great for that, and maybe a circle skirt or something too, and heaven knows enough other cottons I could use. It's just finding the time!!

7. The first Downtown Farmer's Market of the year was yesterday, and I worked til close (i.e. 9:45) so we didn't get to go. I'd really like to go this Thursday, though! The zucchinni should be starting to get good, ooh, and watermelons! Also it's nice to just walk around and listen to the music, since they usually have at least one live band/performer. Also: free samples! Yummm!

8.Come onnnnnnn, Summer! I'm done with this whole overcast, chilly-ish, sprinkling on and off crap. Be sunny! Be hot! I know I'll whine about being sweaty and all, but after the stupidly long Winter we had, and the weird, hot-then-freezing Spring, I'M READY!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hair and Stuff

Tried something new the other day with my hair. I think it turned out kinda cute! I just washed it that morning and put it up in clips to sort-of dry, then did the rolls and put the rest in a side-ponytail that afternoon. Would've been cuter if the ponytail was a little curled, or at least not the usual bushy craziness it is right after washing, but oh well. (I did the same style for work the next day after sleeping in rag curlers; much better.) It actually stayed in pretty well, too, despite moving around a bit and being out in the wind a little. I think a combination of damp + spray gel works well to keep my hair in a style.



Arty pose

One just for fun:


I wore this to Jen's baby shower (the one having twins), to which I brought these:


Both prints are 100% cotton. The green with ladybugs has solid yellow flannel backing, and the yellow with ladybugs has green solid flannel backing.


Hats I started when I first learned about all the pregnant ladies last winter. There are little leaves at the top; someone at the shower said to stick these hats on them, put them in orange, and call them pumpkins for Halloween!

I made great big calendars for June and July to keep track of my work schedules and Matt's, as well as school deadlines, trips, and holidays. I'm not referring to it a whole lot just yet, but I do like having both our work schedules in one place so we can plan things.

Third time in the space of a week that I've posted! Who knows where the insanity will stop??

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Whining about whining

Wow, two days in a row! Craaaazy!

I just had to whine about something: whiny people. Yes, I realize this may be counter-productive, perhaps even a paradox. But it's been bugging me, and I have to get it out.

I am so tired of people who whine all the time. I understand that crap happens, and sometimes a little whining is justified or even needed. I get venting occasionally. But what I don't get are the people who just whine all the dang time. "I don't want to be herrrrre," at work, or "I'm just so busyyyyy all the time!" "I never seem to catch a break." "I'd be happy if I could just have one normal, stress-free day."

Guess what? It's called LIFE. Stuff's going to happen to you, and you're not always going to like it, and you can't do anything to change that. What you can change is your attitude about it. I know you'd rather be at home playing video games or watching movies with your friends, but you have a job, and you need to fulfil the requirements of that job, i.e. having a good attitude and getting your stuff done. If you don't want your job anymore, I know a lot of people (9.4% of the country at last count, I believe) that would love to have it. If you don't want to get paid for something you agreed to do, then go home and let someone else take your place. You know what? I don't want to be there, either! It's work! If it wasn't work, they'd call it happy-fun-time! But I make the best of it. I smile at customers, I hum when I dust, I make jokes with my coworkers. When someone says something negative, I do my best to brush it off. When something screws up or doesn't work right, I try to fix it or wait til it works again.

Everyone is not out to get you every moment of every day. Bad things do not happen to you because you're cursed or you're unlucky or because you've done something to deserve them. Bad things happen to everybody. So if you think you're special because your life is harder than anyone else's, you are wrong. It's not. All the people I know who whine constantly have a bed with blankets and pillows to sleep on every night. They never miss meals for lack of food (just busy-ness). No one regularly beats them or abuses them. They can vote, they can walk down the street without worrying they'll be shot or blown up at any second. They have amazingly excellent lives, but because someone said something not-nice about or to them, or because times are tougher than they'd like, they seem to be unable to ever say anything positive!

And I don't understand why! You can choose to be miserable and whiny and negative all the time, and wallow in your own pity party. Or you can choose to see the glass half-full, to smile, to look forward to the good things as you endure the hard things. Why would anyone choose to be miserable? It's just beyond me.

Friday, June 05, 2009

8 Things Friday

1. Oh my goodness. Once again, it's been a week since my last post. I hate only posting once a week! I want to talk to you all more often than that and (hopefully) you want to hear from me more often! I just feel like I've barely had time to breathe this last week. Taking my online classes has been an adjustment, for one thing. When I'm at home and feel like I could/should be doing other things, I'm doing school work. I spent most of yesterday in the library, and that was great! I got a lot done, I was alone in my little area most of the time with free wireless so I could watch the videos with my headphones on, and text Matt now and then. It was just... a LOT of school. Secondly, whenever I'm not doing school or errands (grocery shopping, laundry, dropping off rent check, etc.) I'm at work! Though I've requested, after next week, to only close til 9:30 once or maaaaybe twice a week. Hopefully I'll work no later than 5 or 6 the rest of the days, then I can go home, make dinner and take a little break to eat it, then do school for a couple hours. And hopefully on my days off I can get a fair amount of school done, then relax the rest of the day. (Pshh. Yeah, we'll see how that works out.)

2. I've been down to totally decaf coffee the last couple weeks--one cup per morning--and today is my first day with no coffee and black tea instead. I've been sort of missing that little caffiene jolt first thing of the day, but since I eased off full-strength coffee slowly, I had no afternoon withdrawal headaches! And I'll still have coffee (decaf mostly, but regular when I need it for early meetings and such) occasionally. Eventually, I'm hoping to get "down" to some green and/or red tea, maybe white, because I do like drinking something hot and cozy in the mornings. Just green/red/white tea will be better for me!

3. Baby shower #2 is this Sunday! I need to run to Wal-Mart or somewhere and grab about 12 cloth diapers for a game (probably "guess the melted chocolate candy in the diaper") and then to give to the mommy because she's going to use cloth diapers. Also need to make HER babies' blankets (this is the one with twins) and finish the hats (need to do the leaf on top of one and weave the ends in on both). I only have a little four-hour shift tomorrow night, so I'll get that done in the morning.

4. I want to start walking again! It's summer and nice out in the mornings and evenings, and I miss it! (So does my aching back!) Again, I have some major time constraints, but I'm going to just say twice a week for a walk. If I can do that, I'll be happy, and if I can do more than twice a week, great! I also do want to start back up with my Wii Fit (once more because of my poor back and hips and legs). I'm going to say three times a week for that, though more would be awesome. Hopefully once my work schedule gets a little more reliable, that will be a possibility.

5. To help with all of this, I want to get a big sheet of posterboard and chop it into halves or maybe fourths, and make monthly calendars. One thing I keep wanting to do is have my work schedule and Matt's in one place so we can plan things. Also trips and holidays and such, and especially school work! I think if, at the beginning of each week, I sit down and figure out exactly what I have to do--how long the videos are, how much research and how much plain reading--I can break it up into managable two- to -three-hour chunks, and have it all laid out. Hoping to get that done tomorrow morning, too!

6. I don't want you to think that I'm super-overwhelmed with school, or that I'm getting discouraged. On the contrary! Here's part of an email I sent my mom a few days ago:

I'm just feeling like this is really where I want and need to be, FINALLY. THIS is what I'm supposed to do with my life. From my few days on campus in class, it sounds like a constant challenge. Yes, it will be stressful and frustrating at times, and I won't always know what to do or how to do it. But all my retail jobs have been, after about six months, "Okay, now I know everything there is to know about working at (store). Ummm, now what? I'm bored." So I quit and found a new job! With teaching, it won't be the same thing every day (to an extent--the schedule and the kids will be, but the material won't). It will be a constant challenge--and by challenge I guess I mean "brain exercise"--to plan lessons and grade papers and figure out what way of teaching and learning works best for what kids. I like leading, I like problem-solving. I like doing little extras (even at work now) to stand out and improve the place I'm at. I just feel completely at peace with this decision, and thank the Lord that things worked out the way they did. Yes, I cried all day when I didn't get accepted to grad school. Yes, I'm sick of retail. Yes, living in Denver/Ft. Collins/Boulder would have been fun and exciting and different. But I love where I live now, and I really think I will love being a middle school or high school English teacher.

So don't worry too much about me, okay? This will all be sooo worth it, and I'm so excited to learn everything and see everything this next year!

7. I watched Taken tonight and it was really good! But (very mild spoiler in the brackets, don't read if you're easily influenced by other people's views on things) {{it seemed to end really abruptly. Like action action action... it's over!}} But other than that, ooooh! I heart Liam Neeson, and the whole thing was very suspenseful and exciting.

8. I am watching some Gilmore Girls now to calm down. I'm on the first disc of Season 6; only one season left after this! :( However, I did just buy the first two seasons of The Tudors on a really good sale! So even though I borrowed Season One from a friend a while back, maybe I'll get into that again. And then Matt bought Season One of the original Star Trek series, and the bits and pieces I saw while he was watching it were somewhat amusing, if entirely ridiculous. (Apparently we're big fans of buying whole TV series on DVD.)