Wednesday, February 29

Begging For Green

Been having a mental health- catch up on sleep kind of day, so I'm not sure what to report.

It got nearly freezing last night, so the plants were covered and they seem to have done fine. Nothing but the lettuce as sprouted and it gets me a bit anxious.

I'm currently working on a storage system for the extra PECS cards we have at school. There was a mishap with my new recipe of meaty nacho dip. :(

Oh! We had to head out to our local supermarket that offers more organic foods because a certain fuzzy little man has decided enough was enough and insisted upon having some greenery to eat. He has been jonesing for a few days now and while I finally started a batch of new pet grass, for some reason, it's been very slow growing. If you've been around here long enough, you know that I usually can't stop that grass from starting up and being six inches in no time. It's just driven him crazy because he's figured out that I'm sort of holding out on him. Climbed on the back of my chair, put his front paws up on my shoulder, and headbutted me in the back of the head. Complete withe pathetic meowing in my ear. Poor spoiled, obnoxious baby, lol.

He's normally so low-maintenance and sweet that it actually makes us feel super guilty about how we can't make grass grow faster in the desert. >_<. So I shoveled the rest of my PB&J lunch in my mouth as we headed out the door, picked up some new grass (so much cheaper, fuller, and long lasting than at the big box pet store!) as well as some raspberries, blueberries, and kiwis as treats for FMIL, and headed up to a very despondent and desperate cat. He was so happy. XD

He spent the first few minutes tickling his mouth and licking the blades before purring nonstop and nibbling on a few of the outer strands. For the rest of the day, he has mostly left all of us alone aside from begging to have a field trip outside. He figures if begging can get him his favorite snack, that he might just get everything he wants. Mewing up the wrong tree, sweetie. We love you too much to let you become desert bait.

Sigh. I cannot believe that February is already over! Happy Leap Day? Oh man, do I have some resolution catching up to do.

Tuesday, February 28

Yoo Hoo

Another stretched title is what that was right there. :P

It was a bit of a rough day so there's not to much to report on the home front. However, it's my baby brother's 20th birthday which he spent relaxing after midterms last week. He deserves the downtime! Got to chat with him a few times today so that's always great. We kept forgetting things we had been waiting to tell each other, lol.

I also got an update on Kitty and she is doing so well. Our thoughts will be with her at the end of the week while she undergoing surgery. <3

Even more good news today was that my dear friends had finally received their gift and that means I can share it without spoiling any surprises.

Quick, cute, and squishy little owls in their favorite colors of green and pink! Hoo hoo!

I'm not sure why, but I'm currently zoning out and fascinated with RuPaul's Drag Race. Many of these ladies are so gorgeous! Random, I know. :P

Monday, February 27


When I start to worry about what I might write about, my family seems to swoop in to save the day without even realizing it. Forewarning: this will be a pretty girly post!

It's a belated Valentine's Day gift from my mom, who has been my Valentine for every year since I was nine. No shame- she gives some of the best gifts! The funny thing was, I had partially forgotten that it was on its way because of everything that's happened lately. So, while I was heading out to pick up the mail, there's a package "from" my brother but the addresses are in my dad's handwriting. Family collaboration, right there. XD

I recently told my mom about my new obsession of learning about makeup and my own physical features. Pretty foreign stuff, as awkward as I typically am. When she asked if I wanted anything, I asked about her suggestions and advice on lips (lipstick types and colors), why she uses the brands and products she does (because the only pieces I have were inherited from her), and about an eyelash curler. I have finally gotten brave enough to try again. I sound like such a wimp, lol.

Fast forward to this care package turned haul:
- a thoughtful card
- two sweater tops (violet and burgundy)
- two scarves (silvery lavender and linen)
- an eyelash curler and a mini straight one (I haven't quite figured that one out yet),
- two heavy duty nail files
- toe separators for pedicures
- three lip liners to try that she's not using (clean)
- two lipsticks &
- five nail polishes

Holy cow, right?! On my own, I don't even get this much stuff in an entire year and it was all in this little box. I have tried a lot of the beauty products and it inspired me to splurge a little on a few things when the SO and I were at Target earlier.

The lipsticks had a "Pearl" finish which gives it a silver-frost sheen on my lips and because I don't have any matte finish eyeshadow to balance them out, I found a neutral matte "Creme" finish. I'm so excited that it actually looks nice on my lips and I picked it myself! It's a little dark for a spring color, but I'm easing into all of this business. :P Here's a quick picture I took of those:

Revlon's Super Lustrous Lipsticks in:
Rose Violet (Creme) - Sky Line Pink (Pearl) - Silver City Pink (Pearl)

You can see the bright sheen of the latter two. I was kind of, okay, I panicked a little because I'm a neurotic beast- when the light shades all seemed to have that Pearl finish. The one I ended up getting after a few anguishing minutes of looking at all that they had to offer about three times was one of the lightest Creme shades. 

I did quite a bit of research with reviews and YT videos and found a beginner-friendly mascara to try. With wearing thick glasses for most of my life, it has been so out of the question. I ended up getting a waterproof formula because I assumed I would be a hot tranny mess while I figure everything out. Due to that, I also picked up a foaming face wash that's not only meant to clean but to remove makeup. Hopefully, I can get this stuff off with just a wipe but will have the face wash just in case. The scrub that I recently got and adored isn't meant to get anywhere near the eyes.

Being the impressionable goof that I am, I did a swatch test on my hand with the goodies that my mom sent me.

Pay little to no mind to the polish on my three inner fingers. I just threw them on with no base or top coat (the blue fingernails are still dyed >_<) and they are from the OPI Shatter collection. It's a cool effect that... well, here are the bottles:
Blue Shatter - Turquoise Shatter - Pink Shatter (Breast Cancer Awareness 2011) - Fly (Nicki Minaj) - Last Friday Night (Katy Perry).

I am having too much dorky fun trying everything on, figuring out what they do, how to use it, and things about my features. A whole lotta hot messery up in here. I'm so excited that this has nearly doubled my collection. 

Step by step, I'm turning into one of those girls that has a million of pampering products to put in the bathroom. However, I am being good and it's limited to my little drawer unit and a bin under the bed with minimal bleeding into the communal bathroom. Half a dozen things like shampoo and toothpaste. See? Behaving and finding a delicate balance, lol. 

It really is nice to learn to really take care of myself and pamper myself with a scented lotion or something though. I hope that everyone takes a little time out for themselves each day. Also, bless the SO's heart for humoring me when I gush and think out loud about it all. Ha ha!

Sunday, February 26

An Appearance

There's been a new appearance in the garden!

We have been anxiously waiting for something new to start happening- be it leaf growth on the poor peppers from last year, herbs, or sprouts from new seeds.

I was predicting/ crossing my fingers for either the beans or peas because they are infamous for being quick starters and often used in classrooms. I was hoping if I started up soon and figure out how to properly care for them, we could possibly start a science experiment at school for the kids to see. However, it was the row of rapid-growth leaf lettuce that has arrived with a vengeance!

I have way too many seeds leftover from last year, so there was a generous sowing this time around. There are still tons left over so maybe we'll have a plethora for the rest of the year. I will have to thin out the herd quite often because of this but that's okay. I want to be able to eat some this year! Well... yeah, I'll try it out while the rest of the household eat it, lol.

Tonight, we made a turkey club bake that was delicious. It had tomatoes from a coworker's garden and some freshly chopped parsley from mine! Weird, but exciting. :P

In other news, my little brother (who I will perpetually picture as somewhere between 9-11 years oldd) is turning 20 on Tuesday. I am freaking out! I have a hard enough time realizing how old I am now, let alone my one and only sibling no longer being a teenager. Totally freaked.

That's all I can handle today, lol, so

Saturday, February 25


It's like rewinding half a dozen years.

Playing an old game with my best friend and even though we're quite the distance apart and many things have happened and change (in and out of game), it's almost as if we're sitting in that dorm room made of cinder blocks painted white at our laptops. We're screaming the same gibberish but there seems to be a tint of something darker looming over our shoulders. It's probably the fact that time has carried on and we're not where we thought we would be by this time, let alone be as carefree as we were back then. At least, that's from my perspective. We're definitely more jaded with life and people more than ever. It's a struggle to find, see, and hold onto the good.

Sorry, I'm a bit delirious and we all know how openly intricate the mind can get in the moments (or what feels like an eternity) before sleep.

Friday, February 24

Tuning Back In

Slowly but surely, I'm tuning back into reality and getting back to what I should be doing. Sort of.

Back to getting school work done again and a crafting job as well. I don't believe I'm doing much more in terms of the Rodeo this year besides eating Smokies tomorrow. : ) Who doesn't love cocktail-sized meats? We did pretty well not eating meat today for dinner by having mac'n'cheese and some peanut butter on toast. 

I'm still a bit drained so

Thursday, February 23

A New Life

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone for the support, well wishes, strength, and love you have sent our way in the last few days. It has given great comfort even from across a country. <3

I really do not want to be writing this post right now but there are many of our loved ones who want to understand better what has been going on with the family dog, Kitty. I'm still dealing with the emotional roller coaster is has been.

I have been writing about her since she got out last Friday evening. After my family questioned neighbors and canvased the neighborhood, I discovered a posting on Craigslist about a salt and pepper Shih Tzu found in the exact neighborhood on Sunday morning. I was ecstatic. I replied to the scrambled anonymous assigned email. It had been posted two hours before. I sent it twice, just in case it may be filed under spam coming from Craigslist with different titles. It included a detailed description to prove that it was the same dog and contact information to arrange a pick-up. I called to let my family know that I had found her (in a way).

We did not hear back.

Panic started to set in again by Tuesday. That night, I blogged about the first time we met Kitty and posted a few pictures. The first is from the first night we brought her home. I had written my own ad on Craigslist to reference the one that the finder has posted, emailed again, and called local shelters and veterinarians. A few were kind enough to take down my information.

Still no word.

By Wednesday, yesterday. after many phone calls and much deliberation, my family and I had started to face a bit more of reality and start funneling our energy towards praying she was being taken care of, at the very least. It had been a relief to at least know she hadn't gotten into traffic or something crazy like be gator bait. My brother and I struggled the most but he had getting over being sick and midterms to also worry about this week. I have written blog posts about the heartache and frustration I went through.

Then, I got a phone call today that started to change everything.

After posting in distress on Facebook, a dear friend of mine had also tried to contact the Craigslist poster. However, she succeeded and almost immediately was in contact. She called me with the good news and right after I let my brother know, I called. It turns out, the lady that found Kitty is an animal rescuer who had not received my emails but had been actively looking for us. She runs a non-profit animal rescue that mostly handles cats (more about that later).

We had prayed that Kitty was in good hands but could not have dreamed for better care than what she received. She had been taken to the vet and her various issues (such as the fleas she contracted from the kitten my folks had temporarily tried to rescue a while back and the subsequent allergic reaction) were examined and intense treatment had begun. She was taken to the groomers as part of the treatment and the rescuer was already preparing for the mostly cosmetic surgery to remove her cherry eye. She was currently staying with a foster family.

There were many phone calls, texts, pictures, tears, and serious discussions over the past few hours. She was willing to give guidance and advice after making sure that we understood how deep Kitty's health issues had become and making sure that we did truly care about her. As torn up as I have been about the entire situation; I was humbled, grateful, and admired her passion for animals and compassion for people. I don't know the proper grammar for that previous statement.

Just before that phone call was made, my brother and I were already talking about how heartbroken we were but how we felt that maybe this was a way for Kitty to get the pampered life she truly deserves with a family that was at home often like ours used to do before long hours of work and school got in the way.

I arranged for my equally distraught brother to meet with the rescuer, foster mom, and Kitty. He and I discussed what was going to happen in the immediate future in terms of helping Kitty heal. I anxiously awaited to hear how the meeting went once the two of them got home.

After more than an hour and a flurry of phone calls...

I'm very proud of my brother. It was such a difficult decision to make after he heard and processed how my folks felt, how I felt, and how he felt. After the ecstatic reunion (he's her favorite), he stayed and talked with the ladies about the quirky things that Kitty does and knows. They also discussed the current home life. My brother is an honest guy.

There has always been the option/ offer to help Kitty find a new home. One that would guarantee that she would get all the loving attention such a sweet dog deserves that our family could not do anymore. More and more health concerns have been uncovered during her stay with the foster family and my brother knew that spending time at home was only going to become more difficult in the next few years. He made the decision to surrender Kitty.

Bless his poor heart, he couldn't bring himself to tell me right away. I admit, I started to get upset that he had decided against what we had discussed and planned right before he headed out. However, my heart aches for him too because I know they were extremely close. He saw how well she was handling everything and being handled and knew that he wouldn't be able to do as much as they could and have already. Kitty sat on his lap during the meeting. I am so proud of him for being so strong.

She will continue staying with the foster family, a husband and wife with two older labs and two cats, as she is treated and recovers. Then, the search for a new home will begin and, thanks to her rescuer who has really turned out to be closer to Kitty's guardian angel, it will definitely be an amazing environment for her. Such a sweet girl deserves the best she can get. My brother and I will be receiving updates and pictures of her progress and it's more than we/I could ever hope for under the circumstances.

Thank you for all of your support in helping us find her. Now, we'll have confirmation that she'll have a wonderful home soon. While my brother and I will take a while to heal ourselves, we both know that this is the best thing we could do for her. The bitterness I was beginning to build up over the past few days has nearly disappeared. I do wish it was our family who could have provided that type of environment for her but too much has changed in the past six and a half years (Yes! She's 6.5 years old!) for that to be plausible.

Here are some of the pictures I was texted today of Kitty at the foster home:
She looks like a puppy again. Doesn't she? It looks like she's two again! Well, minus the addition of a few rolls... The redness is her allergic reaction and the cherry eye will be removed soon. Her shots will be updated soon and she'll have a dental check-up as well.

I'm happy my brother was able to see her one last time and that I got these. I have felt the spectrum of emotions but this is about our baby girl and what's best for her. Got to keep reminding myself of that.

** I want to mention the rescuer and her organization. She has asked for nothing in return and I am now a great believer in both. I will be giving what I can when I can (especially since I know a part of it will directly help support Kitty! <3) and if you are able to, I would appreciate if you at least checked out her website: Purrfect Match Adoptions. Her name is Constance (or Connie) and she's excellent at keeping in touch with pets she has placed in new homes. Kitty will probably be featured in local media next month so people can start beating a path to try an qualify for the honor of being her new family. **

Again thanks to everyone whose hearts ached with ours and especially to my dear friend who helped find the last piece of this emotional puzzle. It's not what I had expected at all (with each and every development) and I really wish I could have been there to do more, but this has all happened for very obvious reasons. I know Kitty has so much love to give to the world and that her new family will absolutely adore her just like anyone else who has met her.

Wednesday, February 22

Family Talk

In the last 24 hours, I have been able to talk with my folks and my brother about how we feel about the situation. It doesn't make me any happier but it's helped me continue on with daily life again.

Been difficult trying to observe students for my practicum, let alone go through a fire drill and bus evacuation drill, to be pulled away to work. I guess it's the universe's way of trying to throw me a bone with starting to keep me busy again while offering me an unexpected short work day. I am grateful for the opportunities that continue to come my way. My heart still aches for my brother and our dog.


She could be anywhere in South Florida by now...

Crap. There I go being consumed by it again. Luckily, the Rodeo is in town this week and therefore there is no school for the next two days. Maybe I'll get some decent sleep during this long weekend even if my mind races with terrible thoughts and I start to panic again.

... This is the last time we, as a family, will experience this kind of heartache. We talked about that too. Twice in our lives is more than enough. I thought that was mind-boggling with a very friendly cat that most of the neighborhood knew that we had growing up. He had his tags and even a tattoo from the Humane Society we adopted him from. This time... we were that much closer to bringing her home... No, never again. My folks are going to stick it out with their fish, turtles, and birds until they or the animals pass on. No more sibling-pets/ fur-babies. It has almost been too much.

All I know to do now is to hope she's well taken care of and check-in again with local vets and shelters over the next few days. Maybe someone will either slip-up or step-up soon. I can only keep hoping and sending my love to her now.

Tuesday, February 21

This Sucks

Not only does this entire situation suck but it's heart-breaking and has consumed my life from over two thousand miles away.

With phone calls to shelters and vets, jumping and stumbling every time my phone rings or gets a text, not being able to sleep because I try to figure out the reasons why it's all happening, writing emails, and posting my own ad on Craigslist...

... some places were kind enough to take down my contact information and a description just in case she's brought in over the next few days but I even had one guy from a rescue try to sell me three completely different dogs instead. All this trouble and what do we get?


Neither me nor my family (I have no idea how to properly say that) have received any further contact from the people that found our dog. How could she be so close to coming home and yet not at all? How is that fair?

I've managed not to cry until writing this just now.

This just doesn't feel right.

Do I just start giving up hope and change my prayers to hoping that they give her a better life somehow? She's was always more my baby sister than my baby.

I remember being off away at college for the first time and hearing about my folks researching different breeds that fit the new family dynamic at home. I remember surprising my folks with a visit one long weekend in the fall. It was all the incentive my dad needed to take me to meet the breeder they been talking to for the past few weeks. I met a loving lady with her two precious prized Shih Tzus that were the proud parents of a healthy litter born during Hurricane Katrina rampage. My mom wanted certain coloring and we saw a little boy puppy that matched her idea, but my dad fell in love with a little girl puppy. He didn't admit it but I knew that's why within hours everything was arranged and taken care of. We brought her home and she promptly passed out from the day's worth of exciting events. My folks wanted me to name her and I thought it would be the funniest thing to name her: Kitty. My folks would go on to say it's short for Katrina, the hurricane she was born during.

 She fell asleep on this towel in a fallen laundry basket.

Who would have thought that this baby girl would grow up...
 ... into this loveable hot mess who nearly passes out by 11pm?
She learned how to pose for pictures on her own. : )

It's just heart-breaking. She was just another quirky kid in our family. All the weird games we play together... smushing her already flat face into a leg, couch, or floor to squeak a toy, how she sneezes and huffs to get your attention because she hardly ever barks... it just fit in ways we never thought it would. I can't keep typing this anymore... T_T

Monday, February 20

Not Homeward Bound

I can't believe this.

There has still been no answer to my email (I gave them two numbers to call as well) about the family dog. This kills me that she could be just two blocks away at someone's house and not at home. Why would you post a "Found" notice and not take it further?

On top of that, this is going on a few days that she's not undergoing her flea treatment after my folks had temporarily taken in a stray kitten found under the hood of my dad's car. Sigh. I'm so frustrated and worried. She's a very sweet dog, so they may just keep her... I just can't keep thinking about it. My brother is becoming heartbroken and he has midterms to worry about this week. Poor thing. Poor both of them.

Ugh, I just wish we would receive some news. This just hurts.

Sunday, February 19

Almost Found

I will admit that this post is a bit late.

This is because the family dog in Florida has been missing since Friday night.

But thanks to technology, I was able to help find her thanks to a posting on Craigslist. I wrote those people an email with a better description of the dog and gave them our contact information for pick up. Several hours later, we're still awaiting their information.

This is really nerve-wracking, to say the least.

Saturday, February 18

Maple Syrup

Bittersweet memories...

Back in my freshman year of college, my roommate/ best friend and I got into this MMORPG that was free to play and oh so cute before we were introduced to WoW. We made friends, I learned how to understand and read quite a bit of conversational French, and I started to feel comfortable playing video games myself instead of being a cheerleader on the sidelines.

This was Maple Story. It's actually still around and still free to play. Still very cute and still pretty glitchy. Lol.

A while after she and I got into it, my cousin, my brother, and his friends discovered it as well. They started really playing together around the time that I discovered WoW, so I gave my account to my cousin to use at her disposal and never looked back.

My old account is still there. I just can't access it anymore. Or for now. What a shame.

So my brother and his friends recently started to get into the game again for whatever reason and he encouraged me to look into again so we could sometimes play together. I let my best friend know and now she and I have been on a lot this past weekend. Quite a bit has changed and yet tons of it feels familiar. So much nostalgia. And confusion. :P

I wonder if most people rediscover things they used to be obsessed with or at least like tons of time later and enjoy it as much as I do.

It's nice how somethings never change and while others don't stop changing. It's great to experience both.

Friday, February 17

A Slip Up

Sort of.

Remember how I said I wasn't going to go as plant-parent-crazy as I did last year? I'm still not going to do that but as the SO and I ran some errands today, I did get two more things to add to the garden area. This should be it for this year though! Mostly because I don't have much room for anything else. XD

I'm trying hard to think of vegetables that we often buy therefore use in everyday cooking because all we ended up with last year were a bunch of tiny sweet cherry tomatoes for personal-sized salads and way too many little super spicy chili peppers. Not exactly versatile. I'm trying again with rapid-growth leaf lettuce and more actual tomatoes for salads and the two new types of peppers because those are commonly found in Mexican recipes that we've seen on PBS and we're a big fan of those. Well, at least the SO is and he hardly asks for anything.

Took another step in that direction by grabbing some beans and peas today! Meant to just a few screws for a duct vent cover and some plant food that I could mix into my watering can to really give the plants a jump start. If there are seeds sold at any store, I always feel compelled to check out their selection now. XD I don't know why I haven't tried these out before. They seem very quick and easy to grow. Besides carrots, those are two of the most common vegetables you can find in the freezer. Duh. It's a bush variety of beans and heat-tolerant/ resistant peas. We need all of the help we can get here and with me, lol.

It rained again today (just rain) so I haven't been able to try out the new mixable plant food yet. I did plant the beans and peas using two tomato cages I had leftover when they were outgrown last year. I can't wait to see something/ anything good happening in the garden a week from now! I had to move some of the little herb pots forward in order to fit these additions. Here's the garden area now:

 Beans then Peas in two medium blue pots in the middle.
The update from yesterday. : )

Thursday, February 16

Take Two(?)

Did I seriously just procrastinate writing today's post for two hours because I couldn't come up with a satisfactory title? Yes. Yes, I did because I am full of win like that. >_< Sigh.

At least grocery shopping and dinner was made in the meantime. I was yet again a hungry hungry hippo that's obsessed with peanut butter + something sandwiches.

My garden work was finished pretty quickly today. Actually, it was kind of bizarre and I had loaded up on coffee for the occassion. Realized early on that my thighs were sore from the lifting of dirt-filled pots yesterday while rearranging my space, lol. Dancing around the yard singing at the top of my lungs had nothing to do with it, of course.

New (and old) seeds were planted today, the pepper plants were fed, given another soap bath, labeled, and watered with some coffee-water to deter some tiny bugs. Here is the new layout:
It's a lot like last year, but I may switch the Bird's Eyes and the Tomatoes because of sunlight issues.
Many of the plants I transferred yesterday are looking pretty upset today.

From right to left in terms of the picture above:
That's the prolific Dill in the back slate blue pot after numerous trimmings.
That's Cilantro in the front and a streak of lettuce seeds planted in the planter.

Back Row: Big Boy Tomatoes - Cherry Tomatoes - Big Boy Tomatoes planted.
Front Row: Bigger pots are jalapeños that suffered some frost damage this past winter and had little black bug eggs under some leaves. :( Smaller pots are Chive seeds, repotted Thyme, and repotted Tarragon.

Two bigger white pots are Poblano pepper seeds and the smaller pots are Stevia and two Parsleys.

The empty red pots are Oregano in the back, Basil up front, and two pots of Serrano peppers.

 These sad-looking creatures are what remains of my Hogwarts of Bird's Eye Chillies.
Pathetic, isn't it? They've had what I suspect to be aphid eggs laid on their few leaves in the past few days. Ugh!

I really hope those guys come back like many people said they would. I cut off dead or really yellow branches and that's all that is left. I really worry about them, lol. My mom says I should just cut my loses and use seeds that I saved from my first harvest a few months ago and use those to replant them. I guess I'm okay if they don't survive this year. We all know how (fairly) well documented they became and we had a hard time finding uses for the tons of peppers we ended up having. 

I am very much crossing my fingers that we have plentiful growth now that we're expanding our inventory. Besides the bigger tomatoes, Serranos, and Poblanos... everything else is just my umpteenth try. Mostly trying for those herbs that haven't gotten very far. Maybe starting everything during a practical time of the year will also help too. Instead of, you know, June or September or some nonsense like that. XD

I can't to see stuff survive and liiiive! The silly jalapeños have started to try to bud again. Silly things. I feel terrible picking them off constantly, but it needs to focus on getting stronger first! The trauma everyone shows over the next few days should be... exhilarating. At least I have a better idea of what's "normal" and won't freak out as much. This is me promising not to be as new-plant-parent-crazy as I was last year. That was ridiculous, lol.

Wednesday, February 15

The First Step

I need a whole lot of clarity right now. My judgement is very congested and while I don't know all of the factors that are playing into that, that's not my main concern. I need to get over this mental roadblock asap before I do something I'll regret and be too prideful to fix.

I channeled that energy today by creating a playlist of recent favorites and house dance remixes, sticking in my iPod, and rocking out in the garden. I didn't get as dance-y as I would have liked to or have felt the desire to lately, but it's a step in the right direction. I hope. I guess bringing myself to the point of exhaustion, getting many pent up emotions out, and being productive will bring some sort of epiphany.

I don't want to be at any sort of crossroads right now. I need reaffirmation that I'm on the right path. Anything otherwise is too scary of a prospect to consider at the moment and fills my heart with dread. I'm praying that I'm just having a moment of weakness from frustration and lack of patience.

Either way, something like pouring my blood, sweat, and tears into the garden should bring me peace on some level, right?

I weeded, tilled the soil, and clipped off branches that have died during the winter. Then, I found tiny creepy green eggs underneath the few leaves that my Bird Eye chillies have left. AHHH! Aijw 09q3tu gjeagh 03g0ghe0g9hae09gha3g943ga. Roar. Sigh. There were too many to just keep brushing off. So FMIL helped me by finding donating a spray bottle for me to fill with dish-soapy water so I could thoroughly spray the undersides of the leaves on all of my plants. I have hesitated to do this in past because I thought soap in the dirt would be be bad, but it turns out that phosphates are commonly found in dish soap and that stuff is great for plants. I really hope this works.

Due to some research I did about it, I now recognize a lot more signs of pests and lack of nutrition. So, I guess that's the silver lining. I also removed all of the herbs that have thrived in my planter and put them into their own pots so they can quit encroaching on one another. I'll think about trying to replant (yet again) the ones that have not survived. The pots with plants in them (plus the ones that will have tomatoes in them as of tomorrow) have been rearranged in the garden area too.

Tomorrow, I'll plug myself in, dance around with a shovel and dirt-covered gloves, feed the existing plants, plant new seeds, and water the whole she-bang.

More good news is that I'm caught-up, pictorially, to my birthday (August) of last year. That went by a lot faster than I thought it would. I did find some pictures missing. Realized how redundant some photos are when I'm out of the moment, so that provided a perfect excuse for cutting back. I have all of my photos backed up on my external hard drive and could have uploaded them again, but eh. So seven more months of posts left to double check picture links. Huzzah!

Alright, time to relax after a nice warm shower to gear up for another day of grime tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 14

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

Before I get into anything else, I have to mention what happened this morning. We knew it was going to get increasingly cold today. Then, we learned there was a 50% chance of rain in some parts of town. We saw odd weather coming in yesterday:

 Odd flat clouds blanketing the mountains.

... and while I was getting ready to come deliver the treats that I put together, IT SNOWED! What?! I live in the desert now. It's been getting pretty warm lately and actually quite nice. Yes, we sometimes get a freeze but what?! It hardly ever snows in town. Well, it did. It was rain, then sleet, then snow that melted and turned to slush just as it hit the ground. We waited out the pouring... wetness before heading out and here's a picture of what the mountains in the North looked like:
 What is this? I can't even...

Of course, just a mere few hours later, the skies are nearly clear blue, it's cold out, the breeze has died, and the only way you can tell it was any different is by walking on the ground and sinking a bit in the gravelly mud.

I did make it into school and delivered by treats and checked out the book fair. Here are some treats that were waiting for me when I got there! 
The conversation heart says, "Yes Dear". XD

 Bag of chocolates from FMIL. She used various mini stamps that had hearts in them. :D

It is also Arizona's 100th Birthday of Statehood so there are all sorts of festivities going on around town today. All the more reason to stay inside all bundled up warm. 

Obviously, I'm probably not going to follow my own advice and get out to till the wet ground in my garden area because it's that much easier when it's damp. I just want to get rid of as many weeds as I can even though I'll be planting all sorts of things in pots like I did last year. Nothing seems to be working out well yet. I do believe the dog got to my baby cilantro and annihilated it all. Sigh. Hopefully, this week's potential freezing nights will be the last for this season and I get started in earnest on this year's crop. *Snorts* Like I'm actually a gardener or farmer of some sort. I still have no idea what I'm doing and my Bird's Eye Chilies have barely survived the winter. :(

If you're into that sort of things, I hope that everyone has a nice time celebrating their love with those they deeply care about. Be it a partner, friends, or family. Stay safe, everyone!

Monday, February 13

Next Digital Step

EDIT: Sigh. I'm sitting here the next day (Valentine's Day) about to type my post and I realize that the 13th's post never went live. Go me.
- - - - -
I have finally done it! I've cut down my online photo storage for this blog down to about 1300 edited pictures. Now, I'm barely using any of my free allotted space and I can post pictures that are edited in advanced to my heart's content here with no worries! That's taken so long but it's been well worth it. Now, the next part is to go back to each of my old posts and fix any broken image links. Oh joy, lol. it would probably be a good idea for me to back up my blog before and after. I should look into that after I'm done here... hm.

Well, tomorrow's Valentine's Day, but you probably didn't need me to tell you that. I have always preferred a nice and quiet evening at home than to go out with the masses at restaurants and compete with the ridiculousness it brings with trying to get into someone's good graces. A special dinner or night out at any other time means so much more to me. A spontaneous showing of affection has much less pressure in terms of planning. Hopefully, we'll do something like that soon but life is hectic in its own way.

The past two days have been an absolute joy on my body. So much sarcasm. I've gone two days without any caffeine and have no spare energy. Pretty sure that means that I'm officially hooked on coffee for survival. I knew this day would come.

Soon, I'll be back into my garden and starting on digital scrapbooking again. Half excited and half terrified of the prospect. Deep breathes, lol.

Sunday, February 12

Good Feeling's Gone

If you've seen the movie Finding Nemo, you may remember the scene when Marlin and Dory happen upon the lit lure in the deep darkness. Marlin talks about how it makes him happy, which is a big deal to him. Then... they realize it's attached to this hideous looking monster (an anglerfish- I love learning about deep sea life) and he suddenly says, "Good feeling's gone."

I had the same feeling, especially looking back at what I wrote in my delirium last night. For a few reasons, the remainder of my night was a little rough around the edges and I'm fighting to conquer my temper and get that good feeling back again.

I did promise some pictures though, didn't I?

Here's the order that I finished them in: crocheted buttered toast scarf for my gift stash (while on a Skype date with my best friend), a pair of owls for a great couple that I had the honor of calling my roommates for a few years (but I can't show those until they see them- don't want to spoil the surprise), and these treat bags for a few of the ladies that I've worked closely with at school. I need to remember not to do any sort of project that requires thinking late at night. Some of the cellophane bags are backwards. Whoops. Oh well! What matters is the chocolate. :D
In the meantime, I'm going to keep listening to the songs I've posted over the past few days and see if I can fight my way back to a better state of mind.

Saturday, February 11

Pink Allergy

As I sit here and congratulate myself for only eating one Hershey's Kiss while making a batch of treat bags for Valentine's, I remember that there was a point over ten years ago (holy cow) that I swore I was mentally allergic to the color pink.

I hated a color.

I loathed the type of person I had come to associated it with- I can barely describe that now. I found any shade obnoxious. I would stay away from using napkins or touching clothing that was pink, I was so disgusted with it. Did some weird things in the past to avoid dealing with it, lol.

Nowadays, I can wear some pink without cringing or being completely exasperated with myself (or the fact that my mom shopped for my clothes) and I think it's great in small doses. It's just funny how some things change and evolve while other aspects of our personalities and characters stay the same. At the very most, they just become more defined and polished. I think that is one of the best things about growing up.

Lately, I have had a hard time finding anything positive about not being 17-19 anymore. As tumultuous as that time in my life was, I really miss it. There was much more good then than I have found since. However, there is only so much that can come from pining over the past while taking on the present. I've broadened my sense of accomplishment from finishing a few more projects today into where I am as a person today. Well, I've started to and it's giving me a bit of peace.

I should have pictures tomorrow of said completed projects. I am way too wiped right now to figure out how to properly operate a camera and edit photos afterward.

Had another Skype date with my bestie tonight and I think it makes us both feel that much more nostalgic for all of the times that we could just hang out in close proximity without really interacting with each other and it was perfectly comfortable. It's just really nice to hear her voice again let alone be able to see her via webcam.

Guess my emotions and mentality are coming full circle just like my list of projects are doing right now. Hopefully, I'm finding that recharge in spirit that I've been praying for while not needing to slow down. Crossing my fingers.

Friday, February 10

Dream Tag

I wasn't quite "tagged" because blogging doesn't necessarily work like YT videos, XD but I saw this video today in my subscriptions and thought that it would be pretty fun to do here.

1) Do you dream?

2) What did you dream about last night?
I don't remember all of it, but one of the last scenes involved me trying to make serving my family and cousins some scrambled eggs and omelettes and finding out that there wasn't enough while we were on some vacation. That made it a combination of memories from this past summer and Lunar New Years with a hint of a trip to California I took years ago because that's what a particular restaurant looked like... pretty odd.

3) How many dreams do you usually remember?
Either two to three dreams of equal length or one really epic saga and glimpses of the subsequent ones.

4) Do you have a dream journal?
No, but I do feel that it's a great idea and I have taken notes about things I dream about sometimes so I can remember them. I think that it's fantastic that Cat has kept them for years.

5) How often do you have nightmares?
I think roughly every other month. I have dreams that aren't very happy but I don't necessarily consider them truly terrifying or upsetting nightmares.

6) Do you lucid dream?

I had to look up the definition of this one to make sure I understood "lucid". Yes, I quite often am aware that I am dreaming. Lately however, it's been towards the end of the dream a few minutes (dream time-wise) before I wake up.

7) Do you dream in color?
I most certainly do but every few months, I have a dream where one color especially sticks out to me. Since learning about more color meanings with my studying of more Native American cultures, I have not had one to interpret. :(

8) Do you dream in first person?
I often do but sometimes I can see myself as if having an out of body experience or moment. I think that's second person. Every now and then, a daydream that's a story I made up turns into a dream so it's more third person but I'm not sure if that counts.

9) Do you have recurring dreams?

All the friggin' time. Actually, I guess not so much the past few years but growing up there were dreams that I kept having a few times every year. What's interesting about those dreams was that they were often in the form of an adventure that mixed many memories up and I would realize that I was having "that dream" again and would be able to change one small choice I had made before and it would unlock a different/ next part of the dream that would then be added to the recurring dream the next time I had it.

10) Have you ever had déjà vu?

Very often. In dreams and awake. I've had what has felt like premonitions and other times when it has turned out to be a memory I had forgotten. Most of the time, I have that sense that the circumstances/ situations have occurred at least twice already. Almost as if it was recurring déjà vu, lol. I do know better in that it's probably the phenomena of our brains accidentally filing stimulus that our peripheral senses are picking up into our long term memory bank. It just really doesn't feel like it though. XD

Well, that was actually a lot of fun to think about. Those were really good questions! I was able to catch up on a lot of rest today, get some work done, and then go to the ladies' night happy hour that a friend organizes monthly. It's really fun having a reason to try new places and socialize about work and whatever topic we decide to blurt out.

Thursday, February 9

Dance Party

The more I think about it, the more I feel that I've used that title before.

However, I'm really tired and cranky this evening so... we're just all going to have to deal with it. :P

Ever feel so much emotion that you don't quite know what to feel anymore or what to do with yourself? I've reached that point and out of habit when I logged online, I went through the motions of checking my emails, Google Reader, and FB games after a long day. Sigh, I bring most of it onto myself anyways so I can't really complain how draining it is all quickly getting. Eventually, that bled over to checking my YouTube subscriptions and... darn. I have totally written about this process before- the train wreck of checking out a video that leads you to something entirely new after just a few clicks? Yeah.

Luckily, I crashed somewhere that ended up being just what I needed. Breathe Electric is a band/ musician that I guess recently went through a name change to GOLDHOUSE. Um... I don't know but either way, I just want to throw an impromptu dance party in my room and just spaz out/ dance until I drop. With how I've been feeling, I'll probably become overwhelmed by everything that I've been feeling/ keeping in and start crying while I just lose myself to the beat. Then I'll probably get light headed, take a break, eat some comfort food, and either collapse into bed or drag myself back to my computer to surf the web. Because that's a term we still use nowadays. XD

Believe you me, it's very tempting. I'll probably tear myself up for a little while about it while I get a few more things crossed off my list. While I wallow in my mental anguish (rofl), I'll leave you with one of the songs I'm blasting into my headphones:

Remix of Paramore's "That's What You Get":

At this point, does it still feel like I'm an onion-ogre with many layers? I feel like I'm pretty quirky still sometimes, lol.

Wednesday, February 8

Book Ends

The title is a bit of a stretch, but we're just going to go with it today. :D

Went in and volunteered a full day today after staying up well into the night catching up with my best friend via video chat in Skype. Hooray! It's been way too long since I've seen her online let alone in person so we spent a lot of time reviewing what information and news we've managed to get in the past few months. Then, we moved on to running around our living spaces grabbing quirky fun and cute objects to show one another. I still have some of it sitting around me now by the table. >_< Whoops.

At one point, we got into talking about my animal medicine cards and sharing that with her reminded me about how I could personally use a refresh in guidance right about now. I have to add that to my to-do list this week.

Kitty got plenty of furry face time on the camera too. He's such a handsome and sweet boy that has been obsessed with his new pet grass. I was trying to do a sparse pot this time around and he has already annihilated nearly half of it already and it's still growing. It is pretty sad looking. XD

Thanks to the magic of mixed coffee drinks, I was able to get into the home stretch with the picture booklets. We're missing a few pictures of the various teachers that the kids work with but they are pretty much ready to go tomorrow. Very exciting and I hope that it works well. Took it upon myself to sort through the stockpile of extra cards from over the years. It's an interesting collection that I'd like to update or fill-in missing spots but we may be gaining access to an updated version of the software in the next few weeks. That means holding back, just in case!

We're starting to crank the wheels on revamping the teacher websites as well. I hope that we can figure out all of the hiccups and hurdles asap so I can just get to work already! May have signed myself up to re-designing all of the individual classroom webpages... I think I have some sort of mental death wish. Or some part of me wants the remainder of me to never get a significant amount of rest. Eh, it's a way of keeping me on my toes and active during this personally stagnate time in my life.

When we finally got home, I had a package waiting for me! The order from my recent workshop came in so it was nice and fun to divvy up the goodies. I cannot wait to deliver them tomorrow! I just really like giving. Luckily, I also am decent at "getting" so it's not some terribly unbalanced or unfair scale. XP

If you can't tell, I'm a tad delirious and under the weather. What a combo for nonsense to come spewing out of me, lol.

Tuesday, February 7

Hanging On

Two songs that I have been constantly listening to are Taylor Swift & The Civil Wars' "Safe and Sound" from the Hunger Games soundtrack and Jason Mraz's new "I Won't Give Up." They have helped keep me grounded and are reminding me to keep hanging in there. I need to keep believing that we can change where our lives have taken us for the better. Here are a few of my favorite covers of each, in order of how much I like them (ending with my favorite cover). Hm, that was kind of difficult narrowing it down...

Megan Nicole & Tiffany Alvord's cover of "Safe and Sound":

Madilyn Bailey's cover of "Safe and Sound":

Jeff Hendrick, Tristen Hagen, & Songs with Friends' cover of "Safe and Sound":

Savannah Outen & Jake Coco's cover of "Safe & Sound":

Madilyn Bailey's cover of "I Won't Give Up":

Jake Breune's cover of "I Won't Give Up":

 Megan Lee's cover of "I Won't Give Up":

Cimorelli's cover of "I Won't Give Up":

I hope you enjoy.

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