Monday, June 24


Guess my brain assumed that since I have been taking notes in my travel journal, that one method of recording is enough. Despite seeing it in my planner, completely spaced on writing my usual Sunday post. Bah!

Thursday: Dragged my sorry behind out of bed and made sure I had everything set to go. The SO took me to breakfast at McDonalds on the way to the airport because their hashbrowns are one of the few good reasons to be up before 10:30 in my world.

Flying was fairly uneventful and found myself in a pretty positive mood. That doesn't often happen but maybe there had been just enough stress going on that the chemicals in my brain just snapped and were deliriously giddy.

Landed in Dallas about twenty minutes ahead of schedule, which was extra awesome because even after I hauled butt across the airport to my next gate, there were a mere ten minutes before my next flight began to board.

Also, thank goodness for traveling with just my backpack as my carry-on because it meant that I was able to board both flights pretty early on!

Picked up by my brother and dad at the oh so humid, warm, and damp airport. Opted for a calm and quiet dinner at home of homemade beef stew, continued planning out the weekend road trip, and had six inches of my way-too-long-for-me hair chopped off by my mother. Yep.

Went to bed super late because of time differences and having a ridiculous lack of self-control.

Friday: Woke up late and start going shopping with my brother before meeting up with one of my best friends at our local hobby store to pick up two card games: Fluxx and Star Munchkin. My friends and I are now obsessed. Have been looking forward to picking up a couple of games for weeks now and it was way too exciting for me to be with nerdy people again.

Played a few rounds before packing up to head to Orlando (a 3.5 hr drive since we avoided rush hour) and made it to my other best friend's house at 10:30pm. The joys of youth. We played more rounds of both games with her and her sister before heading to bed.

I am so grateful to have been able to see her while we were both visiting the same state for a limited amount of time. I don't know why the stars keep aligning like that but I am not going to question it ever!

Saturday: We all did our best to get up early and head over to Cape Canaveral (1.5 hours away) to visit a dear friend who was in the same area of the state at the same time. Yeah, there was a lot of planning and re-planning involved the 24 hour prior to all of this. It had been years since we had all been together. Had lunch seaside hoping to see some dolphins.

Dear friends' parents have the best condo there. It's paradise for sure! We hopped into the inflatable kayak and were surrounded by manatees. Yes, that place again! My brother and I kept being pushed back out by two manatees and I have some great pictures and video clips that I will upload this week. When the other two went out, they saw big jellyfish in the bay waters beneath them.

Played more of the card games together (told you: obsessed) before heading back to Orlando with my dear friend in tow a few hours earlier than initially planned. That gave us enough time to take my best friend's sister out to dinner and we could all catch up and be goofy.

We left to make that 3.5 hr drive back down to our hometown while watching the Super Moon and it only rained right when we entered town again. We dropped off my friend at her house, where I promptly left my wristlet containing my camera, phone, and wallet things in her bathroom, and got home just past midnight.

I was so incredibly close to not leaving behind something at someone's house. Sigh. It's been a problem for me since forever. Go figure that, despite how careful I was this trip, I would screw it up at the finish line. Yup.

Sunday: Brother and I headed to church the next morning after finding out that our mom canceled our day together. She's just too cool for us. :P It was the whole reason why we had rushed to get home the night before. Sigh again. Did a little more shopping and grabbed lunch with my dear friend again and hung out at her place since we were in the neighborhood. That and I needed my wallet back. XP

Helped her clean her pool before grabbing some delicious Italian Ice from a hole-in-the-wall shop down the street. We all went to the hobby store again to hang out. Watched some people play player versus player games (like arcade Street Fighter-style) on a screen behind the counter from the moment we entered and were talked into trying out a new card game by one of the guys who worked there.

It was called Sentinels of the Multiverse (just looked it up) and we each were assigned a superhero and given the coordinating deck of powers and abilities to work together and defeat a villain deck coupled with an environment deck. It was slightly overwhelming and intimidating when we first started out because we were getting out butts whooped by the cards, but we managed to survive and pull off a victory in the end. Surprised us all, including the mastermind of it all.

Eventually, two more of our friends were able to join us and we window-shopped before heading to my dear friend's house again to play a few rounds of Fluxx, Star Munchkin, and Dokapon Kingdom. It has felt so good to have friends willing to try and enjoying all these games again. It's one of the best things about coming back to visit.

Wednesday, June 19


The title says it all. Sigh.

Monday: Last minute errands before my trip. I'm talking more and more with my brother and friends as we try to cement initial plans. It seems that the weekends are booked solid while the weekdays are wide open to spontaneity and relaxing. If that's ever a thing when I'm there, lol.

Tuesday: I have been rearranging my garden after chatting with a few people online about their gardens. In a video game stream, what a venue. :P

I've gathered the miscellaneous bits and bobs that I plan to bring with me. Those are always the bulk and what gets packed first. My silly priorities.

I'm busy panicking mostly despite not having too much left to do. I got some news today of events that may transpire while I'm away and my heart just dropped into my stomach. I guess it's for good reason that I'm the last to know because of being the raging worrywart, but this was so disheartening that I'm genuinely scared to leave now.

The trip will go as planned, I'll just have to pray really hard that life here will be uneventful and not as crazy as it has gotten every single other time in the past. Okay, I lied earlier. My heart's either been dropped down into my stomach or it's been in my throat.

What will I come home to in three weeks? :(

Wednesday: Gonna finished up packing, but it's all here. I just have to make it look nice and be able to cushion my makeup. I'm dreading the early hours tomorrow and in subsequent days.

For reals, I've not been able to fall asleep until about 6am on average but 2am at the earlier. I'm going to need all of the caffeine tomorrow but it might be nice to pass out on the plane to calm my nerves.

Here's the last garden vlog for a while! I have pictures but those will be saved for the comparison shots when I return. Lol, the epic plant post is pretty much becoming an annual thing!

Sunday, June 16

Flip Flop

I'm rubbing my temples and sinus area as one does when they are exasperated. It's all about how little I've done lately. Worse than before. Not sure what has gotten into me. Maybe I'm procrastinating with cleaning and packing because travel makes me nervous. Wouldn't be the first time.

Photo-a-day project has been a total flop already. The specific assignments have started to shove in my face how stagnant my life has become. On the other hand, I am taking more photos again and with how much scrapbooking I've done this year, I am being more mindful of the purpose and composition. The plan now is to get all of the ideas taken by the end of the month.

Thursday: FMIL and I went to visit a co-worker and her adorable kids. We ended up spending the whole day there. I worked a bit on a scrapbook about the little ones, we picked up and started assembling a grill that she had gotten for her husband as a surprise Father's Day gift, and played video games with her god son. Way too much fun!

Friday: Watering the garden every other day with these high temps now and discovered this little gem:

I think we have the beginnings of melons! The first batch of flowers did not have that bulbous growth, lol. Talking to my baby brother a lot lately and we started planning out a visiting-activity schedule for when I arrive. The weekends are intense but I cannot wait to see him.

Saturday: Finally starting to put stuff away and set aside things that I know I want to bring with me. It doesn't help that I've started playing way too many games again on FB and have started up a new online game with the SO called Scrolls. It's a deck-building game from the same people who made Minecraft. We wanted a fun way to stay connected while I'm away.

We also had out first monsoon storm of the season that even started today! Unexpected but relieving.

Sunday: Got more cleaning, clearing, and planning done today. Kitty has been a silly mood lately, the heat and my irregular activities has set him off. I have to keep him occupied so I don't accidentally step on him as I'm whirling around while he's bolting in and out of the room.

Cue the catnip-scented giraffe mouse and some tissue wrapping paper. At least he spazzes out on the bed where I can see him before zonking out.

"Mine. All mine."

Wednesday, June 12

Wrap Up Begins

This week has been sub-par so far. My sleeping hours are screwed up beyond reason and my mind's checked out for a few days now. It's gotten ridiculous.

Monday: Photo-a-Day project is all jacked up now. There was supposed to be a picture of me but I was an absolute wreck and not feeling well. I'm sure I could have gotten creative the day of, but I think I want to use a picture I took a few weeks ago instead.

While I cringe at not fulfilling the assignment "properly", it was to help motivate myself into taking pictures again, right? That part has been successful.

I have done nothing of note, it was a pretty pitiful day.

Tuesday: I was determined to get something done today- anything. That would give me more points than I earned yesterday in a game that no one is playing/ counting. Except me. Sometimes. Does anyone else do that?

The normal chores of cleaning up the massive mess I've made on the table, laundry, other errands and chores. I'm trying to force myself into a routine again, especially in the mornings because my auto-pilot functions better than the normal guy. Trying to eat better too. Way too much junk in the past two months. Well, year really. More about that next.

Wednesday: Sheets are washed. Hooray! What a good way to reward myself for getting off of my butt and computer to do stuff. Making more plans for the first weekend of my trip to Florida. It's about a week away now and I'm starting to get anxious. Change of subject- quick!

Needed desperately to switch the hot-cold weather wardrobe since I use about 1.5 foot wide of space in a closet and three narrow drawers to hold all of my current clothes. I can fit so much more in the summer months when the temperatures make me feel like I'm melting.

In doing so, the SO and I rearranged furniture and I cleared a piece of luggage that I typically store clothes in but also often travel with. The rest will go in a bag and back into the garage until I return.

Still in the midst of purging and using up my stuff, so there's a lot of things that are not put away (aka strewn everywhere). Hesitating to just shove it away somewhere because I'm afraid of more "out of sight-out of mind" shenanigans happening. I either have to move+think fast or deal with that fear because either way, it all needs to be not around while I'm gone. As per tradition.

Okay, enough of that! Here's an update from the garden:

Sunday, June 9

Burnt Out

It's hot, there are bugs everywhere, and kitty and I are not having it.

Thursday: I wrote briefly about it during my last post and not much more happened after that. I hung out/ chatted with a few friends and passed out in bed early again. Maybe it's the heat.

Oh! I did find a free pattern to crochet this mug cozy. Super cute, quick, and handy. No pun intended. :P

Friday: FMIL, two of our friends, and I went to visit a former student in the children's hospital a week after the poor thing had major surgery. That's another downside to working in special education, they seem to run a higher risk of having these scary things happening to them.

Fortunately, we were all pleasantly surprised to see the patient up and walking around and drinking for the first time in about a week of being in the ICU. Almost home!

Did some business downtown, helped beta test a chat moderating bot, worked briefly in the garden, and kept playing with polymer clay.

 Holy sprouts, Batman! Right?

Saturday: Laid-back day with the SO. A lot of the same stuff.

Seriously? What am I supposed to do with you guys?

 Monk characters from Diablo 3 game. I burnt the male and am not satisfied with the female at all.

 The SO found this juvenile wolf spider on the back patio. Wicked looking pattern!

Sunday: Started to clean up the aftermath/ supplies of all the "brilliant" ideas that I've had pop into my head for the past two months. The table that I've commandeered is a huge mess and I need to start getting things rearranged and ready for when I leave for Florida in a few weeks. By a few I mean about one and a half weeks. Bah!

Woke up late, worked a little bit more on the scoodie, spilled a mug of soda on my lap, watched Tabletop with Wil Wheaton on Youtube, and have this garden vlog. :D

Thursday, June 6

Early To Bed

I've cut back on my caffeine or when I have it so while I have been enthusiastic about staying up late, the reality has been falling asleep watching shows in an office chair. It's been a few times that I've laid down and joked around about just resting and instead waking up five hours later still in my regular clothes. Yup. Getting older, lol.

That's why this post is a day late. Kitty has taken to waking me up so I can turn on the cooler. That clever little boy. :P

Monday: This day was a blur. I've been working diligently on Project Life 2011, staying up to date with all of the vlogs I watch, and working on a fox scoodie. I'm working on doing a Photo a Day challenge from Fat Mum Slim for June 2013.

It was kind of hard for me to find a list even though I see a bunch of people participating it in the scrapbooking blogs that I follow. Kind of bizarre. Maybe it's because it's seems to mostly be a Flickr group activity-community.

I'm being very lenient on myself on when the photos are taken. I try to do my best to take at least one photo a day and it has already been helping my motivation to keep documenting everyday life again since it has become suffocatingly stagnant. It helps me remember that, "It'll be okay. There's still time to fix everything and make life better."

Here are some that I've taken so far. I won't be sharing the challenge here because Picasa's been a jerk with Google integrating it into its network completely and it would go against my personal policy of not having people's faces on my blog.

 "1. B is for Bandit". I laid out an outfit to go out, left the room to eat breakfast, and came back to this little boy refusing to let me have my clothes back. He had even made a little nest out of it which is all stuff he has not done before. Silly boy.

I was debating using this for "2. A moment" because the SO and I had banded together to make this ramen. We rinsed off the original waxy water, tweaked the broth to our own taste, I tried a new way to make hard boiled eggs (I never liked them growing up so was super rusty), and we used up some leftover shredded pork. It was just a nice experience in a couple-home sorta way.

Ended up using a sweet picture of the SO and his kitty instead.

Tuesday: I was up pretty darn early for a babysitting job that was canceled 30 minutes later. It was way too hot for me to go back to bed (It reached somewhere between 103-107 degrees. Bluck!) Again, I worked hard on Project Life and I'm almost halfway through 2011.

There was not a whole lot of documentation or pictures but I'm making myself okay with that.  Heard a quote in one of my scrapbooking videos that I've been using for motivation: "What you get done is more than you had before."

While I love gathering the photos and kind of making the notes (maybe that's from my love of lists), I really love having a finished project. "It doesn't have to be perfect." Which is great to remember because I am never satisfied with my creative work so its going to get there anyways.

In other news, since I was up so early and had a few "extra" hours to burn, I was checking on the greenery and found this:
It's hot. We're all wilting.

 You can barely see it, but in the bottom third of the picture towards the middle are the tiniest of green sprouts. These are the seeds that I planted last Thursday.

Wednesday: I had plenty of chats with so many people today. I had conversations with my mother, my brother, and three of my dearest friends. All unplanned and I think that's what made them that much more appreciated and special. Miss them all.

There was a lot of rearranging in my Project Life June 2011 pages and it just reaffirms my choice of going purely digital with my scrapbooking. I so desperately love the embellishments of washi tape, enamel dots, wood veneer, and flair buttons that are so big right now, but that's just way out of price point for me.

I'm not giving up on traditional scrapbooking but it's going to be put way back on the burner for now.
Yes, I could always get digitized versions of these bits and bobs, but I miss the feeling of playing with the actual goodies. Plus, my biggest weakness is embellishing to make my pages feel complete. Bah! Silly realistic expectations.

I'll just save that dampered obsession for the next time I make a mini-album. Project Life with its photos, texts, templates, and cards are working very well for me to get these stories done.

Oh yeah! Look at what I found a day after:
Those squash seedlings in the upper right are reaching the top of the box lid. Oof.

Sunday, June 2


What I should have done was posted a bonus blog on Friday because I had enough material to do so. Instead, today's going to be chockful of media.

Thursday: I was a bit frustrated today, so instead of my usual internet shenanigans, bunked down to tackle a couple of budgeting issues now that it's summer time. There were also bits and pieces of important grown-up paperwork to take care of and I had been putting it off long enough. Not the most fun way to start off my day.

Rewarded myself with some work in the garden. Here's a shaky vlog (sorry in advanced) from that day and the promised pictures.

  FMIL had some extra seeds from her classroom so I planted some of them with some extras of my own.

Here is the order that I planted them above. They are living in a box where the original garden corner used to be.

Lucky Bamboo is doing well. The onions are doing really well seeing as how they did not reach the top of the jar originally.

 The strawberry plant on the patio rotated, watered, fed, and surrounded by yet another batch of pea seeds.

Friday: I've finally caught up with two weeks worth of YT subscriptions and started crocheting a fox scoodie. Finally! Really though, click that link. I'm trying to make it the proper size for me and once I figure this out, just watch out for the silly creatures I'll make! 

I started tackling Project Life again and it took me the evening to figure out where I had left off and get back on track. I spent the night hanging out with the SO and going through his old CD collection. Lots of reminiscing on his behalf while we jammed out.

It's times like these that I really wish we had our own place so we could blast music without worrying about waking up anyone else (given that the neighbors are far enough away too) and that we really notice our age difference.

It's funny when he tries to figure out why I didn't know a particular popular hard rock song and then we realize that I was in elementary school. It just wasn't my scene back then.

Saturday: I finally slept in Worked a bit on PL 2011 before getting ready to head to a surprise retirement party for one of our (now former) coworkers. It was throw by her family and I'm glad to have been a part of it.

She taught and helped me so much these past few years. I cannot imagine school without her there and it hit me as FMIL and I put the final touches on her present. We both teared up. She's a great friend.

Time to reveal the pet project that FMIL and I have been working on this past week: a fairy garden kit! We are officially obsessed and are dying to make our own when we come back from traveling this summer. One (well two) less thing for the SO to take care of while the womenfolk are gone.

Our friend and her husband have a extensive succulent garden and it gave me the idea that we could give them the accessories to build one with her new little granddaughters. Here is what we came up with, keeping in mind that we have to save them some of the fun of finding their own treasures to add.



We packed tiny pieces in little mesh pouches and everything in a wide bowl-shaped pot. We included a sheet of fairy garden photos for inspiration and I made a miniature coloring book to go with the gift. She and her granddaughter opened it together and the white bottle was instantly broken, but that's okay.

Today we got text messages from her saying that we've created a monster because they are all very excited to get started and knee-deep in researching beautiful ideas on Pinterest. 

Sunday: It got really hot outside today and I ended up doing another garden vlog for comparison in the future.

I think my brain was melting a little by the end. I promptly went inside and had a drink and lunch.
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