15 December 2015

Center of Universe Found!

I think that a lot of my lacklustre thoughts about this year have to do a lot with things that I stopped doing. 

  • I stopped writing in my journal.
  • I write poetry sometimes, I stopped. It was a great outlet, if dramatic.
  • I focused on the defects or imperfections and instead of appreciating them, I vilified them. 
  • I stopped writing blog posts, though more difficult to find ideas for posts recently I think it is because I do not have a direction for this blog. I need direction (understatement of the century).
  • I stopped sharing with my loved ones when I was feeling down, stiff upper lip and all that. I'm not British, I need to express myself.
  • I was extremely Me-centric. When we only have ourselves to focus on it really brings out your flaws. I envy parents, the focus they have on their children, it may be stressful at times but at least it takes the spotlight off of the I.
Perhaps this coming year needs to be less me-centric but something else. I still haven't figured the what else but I have time, I think. Let's see what I come up with this year. 

11 December 2015

Yearly Recap

Lets go through a recap of the year - it was amazingly unsatisfying. At least it feels like that, although I completed quite a few of my goals this year - for the most part. This year was a year of action and the action left me feeling as if I were falling short of an ideal that I set for myself. Goals, a double edged knife. Perhaps it was because in retrospect most of my goals were very shallow and lacked depth.

I'll go through each one.

  1. The first goal from last year was good for a few months and then I was less vigilant. I let my thoughts slide and that led me down a rather dark path. I'm not saying I did anything bad but overall my attitude did change. I became more sullen, tended to obsess on the negative and avoided activities that I usually really enjoy. I need to address this in 2016 because I think this could develop into something unpleasant and by that I mean depression. It's almost a cycle that I have every 3 years or so, looking over my blog and my journal I can see the pattern.
  2. I did not in fact practice the piano but I still want to, so I will attempt this again.
  3. The garden has actually moved along nicely, it will be an evolving thing though because I really enjoy gardening. Next year will include new plans for some of it but it was a good thing this year.
  4. I am still working on Duolingo and my Italian but I am not as fast as I want. I have improved and hopefully one day I get to go to Italy again and try it out! The French I did not try honestly because I want to focus on a language at a time.
  5. I did not eliminate the fast food but I'm trying, I will not lose hope!
  6. Relating to #1, this suffered. I had the lists, most of the material but no desire. Maybe next year.
  7. We all know this I accomplished! Most days I see it and still think WOW! Other days I hope I'm not refused at the pearly gates, the Christian upbringing judges me some. I'm still happy with it and I still love it but like I said I've been a little judgy of myself this year.
As you can see #1 really cast a shadow on the rest of the year. I feel a little down even now but I blame fall and winter; the no sun thing. We'll see how I plan 2016 out...

03 November 2015

November Blooms

Gardening has become a bit of an obsession for me of late. Obviously as many of my posts this year have involved my garden. My kryptonite? Clearance plants at Lowe's and Home Depot. Yes you read that right - clearance plants. They are awesome! If you don't mind waiting a little bit later in the season those are the best buys. You can't always find great selections but sometimes you hit the jackpot with those plants. Recently I bought 3 plants for a dollar each, $3 for large perennials! Earlier in the summer I bought some portulaca (aka Amor) for $0.65, yeah. That one is absolutely beautiful too. Everytime I go I have to look at their clearance section. Have. To. Yeah I have become obsessed.
Obsession seems to be a repeating theme for me, from knitting to gardening to partying to building. I feel I fall into an obsessive activity easily, mind you obsessive not addictive. The only addiction I had recently was Candy Crush and I have given that up! It was hard the first 2 weeks but it that too has passed.

Of course, gardening is just one more thing to fill up the days with and to the point of this post - I want to change the course of my goal making. I want to be able to make deeper commitments to life and myself. These past few years (or decade) my goals have been short-term and a bit shallow. I know it's only November but seriously 2016 is only 2 months away. I think this year I'm giving this whole goal thing a thorough analysis and be careful of what direction I need. Any suggestions?

And yes my garden is still blooming in November. I have new flowers almost every day!

16 October 2015

Setting Summer Sun

OK a dry well here of late but I'm back!

Actually I've had quite an exciting month or little more. At the end of August I won tickets to an ACLTV concert for one of the guys from the Eagles and then about 2 weeks ago I won tickets again to Alabama Shakes! Yeah I know right?! Well I didn't go to the first concert because my concert buddy was out of town and part of the reason I actually go to the concerts is so I get to visit her and her family. Mind you in my 20's I would have probably just gone on my own but age has made me realize that the Eiffel Tower is prettier with a friend. Yup good times :) I also got to meet her son for the first time and he is adorable! The sweetest smile you have ever seen and quite the charmer. It was a really good weekend but that was almost 3 weeks ago!

Since then it's been work, work, work, and sister, sister, sister. Yes I may have a case of sisteritis, spending all of my free time at her house because now my sister lives less than 5 minutes away. I could walk to her house - could, not will. However, I can't even complain about work because it has really been good lately, lots of good results and progress. I haven't had much time to be introspective or look for issues to solve in the personal realm. Obviously I have no dating life and Match.com was a complete bust, so I say with complete confidence romantic relationships are now off the table. Obviously it's not going to happen thus I will employ my time and mind in the pursuit of something equally entertaining. I will let you know when I figure that part out myself. Maybe I'll be better at blogging if I stop thinking about romance? Maybe.

Well other than that life has been hectic with work, family moving closer, friends, and obviously random ticket wins like the past month! Life has been good, over all a good way to close down the summer.  I hope everyone has had a good time of late. A bit of the Alabama Shakes for your enjoyment, who knows you might like their music :)

28 September 2015

Buff & Fluff

My makeup application ability
Girly girls!!! I am not one of them. I have recently become interested in makeup and its application but I don't think I could do it. It is crazy complicated. I mean seriously there is way too much work that goes into putting on makeup and doing a "full" face. I don't think I can master this one skill, I really should have started in my teens if I wanted this particular skill. The extent of my skills is slathering on some tinted moisturizer, try blush (followed by trying to rub it off), and some eyeshadow with eyeliner. That alone sounds complicated. Oh and I can do mascara, when I remember - I didn't remember today.

It is also expensive. Extremely. Expensive. Seriously. Mind you most of the people that do tutorials online have products provided when they endorse that product or are given free samples for them to highlight. Of course that can always backfire because they can get a negative review for their product. I am not too envious because quite honestly I do not have the time to dedicate to makeup that these ladies do but I would love to know how to apply makeup for certain occasions. In the coming days I might put up some pics because I'm trying a little harder in the mornings. I put in a video that shows a now mirror challenge and it is fun because she looks way better than I do when I use several mirrors. You don't have to watch it all you can just skip to the end, I did. Mind you this young lady has beautiful young (emphasis on young) skin, now if I could just find an older woman who has my laugh lines to show me how to apply makeup to my no longer as young skin :)

Just a bit of fluff today but hope everyone has a good week!

09 September 2015

Old Stones

What kind of person do you think you are? Are you kind? Understanding? Empathetic? Negative? Positive? Dramatic? Plain-Jane?

Today I had a situation that I could have handled better, instead I let my quick temper get the better of me. I should know better by now but I guess like everyone we let it slip once in awhile. When someone asks you to quit doing something it's annoying, to say the least. It calls to attention a behaviour you thought was appropriate but is bothersome to another, that implies you are bothersome to that person. When in reality they may have a headache, your behaviour reminds them of something negative, or they simply cannot deal with it because they are busy and focused. However, when does it become your duty to bend to another's will or is it a compromise? Are you the one giving something up for the selfish pleasure of another or are you really just maintaining a cordial environment with the other person? Obviously being in close quarters with anyone makes it an excellent opportunity to create problems or lose it over something stupid. Today I reacted and caused a problem that didn't exist, and I'm sure the other person didn't even realize that is how I felt. Why? Simply put it really wasn't a big deal but some life experiences have made me doubt myself and my ability to have cordial relationships. Simple things to remember (that I seem to forget, blame the age):

  1. Other people have opinions that you may not agree with, deal with it.
  2. Close quarters are not bad, but you do need to be conscious that you are not the center of the universe (that bit is for me). Act like someone SHARING space, not someone controlling that space.
  3. Understand that what works for you does not necessarily work for others. If you need to click pens to concentrate/think, it does not mean your neighbor does. That's an example, no one does that in my workplace, however applicable to any situation.
  4. It also means that you have the right to speak up when someone else is creating an environment that is disruptive to you. 
  5. Learn to let it go because at the end of the day the only person who obsessed for those 15 minutes about the gall of your friend/neighbor was you, because they sure as hell did not.
  6. Your past is not an issue for others, only for you. Do not expect for others to treat you like those in your past. Do learn how to recognize the negative of the past in your present and learn to not let it hurt you like in the past. Move forward.
There's a saying in Spanish, "No te trompiezes con la misma piedra." Translation: Don't trip over the same stone twice. Today a simple request from a friend, called to mind the demands of a very nasty person from my past and I reacted as if I was talking to that person. The past is the past, we should learn, not repeat. Today I was the negative person but I swear that I try really hard on a daily basis to be positive, some days it just comes easier than other days. Lately though I've been letting the negativity get to me more than I should. Man this whole life thing is a lot of work, if I didn't enjoy breathing so much I would totally quit.

25 August 2015

New Mexico: Land of Hidden Beauty

Ruidoso. A word in Spanish that means very noisy. Also a town in New Mexico. My father took us there this weekend, a quaint mountain town with some fun outdoor activities. We actually drove up a very winding road to Ski Apache because my father wanted us to see the place. He felt it was very pretty and just wanted us to go with him. Once we were up there, all he and my mother wanted to do was sit and talk! My father is afraid of heights, my mother is afraid too even though she won't admit it. I think for him the thrill comes from driving up the mountain and wondering how the truck isn't tumbling down the side as it's a very small road. Thus we drove for 3 hours to get there and just sit and chat! They have gondola rides up to the top of the mountain and the view was beautiful but my parents declined the offer to go up. My sister and I actually want to go back up because Ski Apache has mountain biking and a zip line, totally want to do the zip line!

Looking towards White Sands, another hidden New Mexico gem.
Missing a sister here.

Although I found it a bit silly that my parents drove so long and high for "nothing", it really wasn't for nothing. They just wanted to spend some time with their daughters and their grandson. My sister recently moved, they don't get to see him everyday as before. They've had withdrawals. I guess having us all out of the house has been a strange thing for them; going through a bit of empty nest syndrome. I don't have pictures of them up here on the mountaintop because my parents refused to accompany us :)

New Mexico, so many hidden gems. They really need to amp up the advertising, seriously they have tons to do and such beautiful scenery.

18 August 2015

Summer's Wintery Highlight

Hello everyone!

Church waiting to be
rebuilt after the last earthquake.
I was reading through my blog yesterday and I thought what else could I add to my description of Chile? Honestly it was more I got to know a few people and ate out while I was there. Very delicious food mind you, the ceviche is to die for there and coming from a person who doesn't like seafood that says a lot! I'm not huge on seafood but I did enjoy it while I was there. Oh yeah, I was in Valparaiso which is a twin city with Viña del Mar. I guess I can take Viña off my bucket list, I had always wanted to go to a music festival they have there and technically I've been to Viña now. I may not have attended the music festival but I'm going to count it because the festival does not appeal to me anymore. It would be cold, wet, and probably musicians I've never even heard of now. Viña - check!

Quintay, a former whaling village.
Those two cities have a strange dynamic. Viña is nice and posh, very clean, still some graffiti but overall nice. Valparaiso not so nice, not posh, not very clean (public urination is apparently an issue), lots of graffiti but I still liked it for some reason. Perhaps it's because I got to meet a bunch of really nice people who lived in the area and got to walk around with someone who lives there. I think that makes a huge difference in one's opinion of a city. Mind you both cities were amazing and I enjoyed my time there, I really hope I get to go back sometime in the future. I don't think I can add more to my thoughts on this matter so I'll just leave you with some pictures.




16 August 2015

Invasion of the Cantaloupes!

Well hello there! Where to begin? Last time I simply summarized but lots has happened since I last wrote. Let me begin with my homelife and then we will move on to the trip in July.

The garden and my house have been coming along quite well. I have chosen to paint my bedroom, really refresh the white walls and add one accent wall. Maybe the closet too. The bathroom is a large project that will take quite some time to tackle, especially as I want to change up the shower setup. mainly the expense of it, it will eventually take place but for right now I will simply commit to purchasing the supplies I will require and then take a week and tackle the whole thing all at once! The paint for the bedroom was inexpensive because I got a promotion at Ace Hardware. Check your local Ace Hardware because pints of Clark & Kensington or Valspar are only $0.99; limit of 4 per purchase. Ask and make sure you have a copy of the ad (or on your phone) because it is running from now until August 30. Obviously they don't want to give away this stuff and some stores may say that it has ended but it hasn't. Always double check. This is just a quick picker-upper for my bedroom, I needed a little flair to end the summer :)

So delicious!
As for the garden it is amazing! I came back to a bunch of weeds but prior to the trip it was beautiful. I can now say I am tired of eating cantaloupe, at least for this summer. I have eaten the cantaloupe, I have made it into a drink, now I don't know what to do with it anymore. I have learned some valuable lessons about planting cantaloupe this summer and watermelon. Corn too. I keep on eating but it just keeps on coming! Well I've harvested the corn, that is that for the corn but the chile is still growing and the melons are not done yet. Better planning will go into next  years crops, much better planning.

I think this post will be limited to the garden and my house because I don't have all night for this! Hope everyone had a great weekend!

29 July 2015

Adventures on a New Continent

Oh my gosh! I am so sorry for not posting before but it has been an incredibly busy summer for me.

This was soooo goooooood!

  1. I took a 2 week vacation - more like staycation - because I had to not because I wanted to; had no money to go anywhere. I forced myself to not be productive. 
  2. The trip to Chile was finally confirmed - right before my vacation. I returned to work for a week and then left the country. I am currently in Chile! It´s cold.
  3. Right now I am working in a lab that is very different but very cool! It´s been interesting. The culture here is very European but they might disagree. It does have its own flavor and is very relaxed. The food is very different from what I´m used to but good. Sandwiches are a staple but very different, they use a lot of avocado (palta here). They don´t use a lot of lettuce and vegetables are limited but I was informed that due to drought most vegetables/legumes are very expensive. Thus limited. 
I think they were cold.
It is so strange to be writing this from Valparaiso but so much fun! The people have been so nice and welcoming. The only thing is that it´s cold, I´ve been invited back but told it will be in summer next time. Thank God! The city is very different and what is acceptable is so strange to me. For example there is graffiti everywhere! I mean everywhere. It´s not gang related and is more artistic in nature but it´s weird to see houses full of random drawings, words, etc. The take away from Valparaiso so far is that it´s an old city fighting to maintain an antiquated vision but moving forward quickly; perhaps too quickly. People here are very intense too, right now they are having lots of demonstrations/protests by students and labor protests. 
Oh yeah, I have completed another one of my goals! I now have ink! I actually did it in April but it is in a private area, nothing dirty just not something you would see out in public. Mainly because I don´t wear midriff bearing clothing. Scandlous! Yeah this has been a strange summer and year.  When I return I will post more about this trip!

Have a good week!

15 June 2015


I really don't have much to talk about lately. Mostly everything has been about my garden and my ongoing struggles with weeds. The struggles are ongoing, the weeds are not going quietly. Perhaps I need to be a little more introspective.

Well one thought I've had lately is that I have been much happier this year. I have to say that I feel like I've come a long way from 2  years ago. I'm not saying it's been easy or all that enjoyable on some days but I am in a much better place. I have left behind a lot of negativity, it has been difficult to do that because it is so easy to hold on to the bad things in one's life. However, there is still work to be done on that, letting go of past hurts feels impossible some days but every day is an opportunity to forgive - whoever needs the forgiveness. You see this month has brought its very own "drama", nothing that is absolutely horrible but frustrating. I have had to concentrate on letting go of the bad this month. June brought with it a broken AC unit unfortunately. Yes it finally died. The compressor died in the condenser and that is equivalent to the whole HVAC breaking down. It seems my unit is so old that I have to replace the furnace along with the condenser because I need to change the coil. If you don't know what all that means it's OK, I didn't either I had to ask questions and look it up as well. The heat - not too bad actually - coupled with "friendly advice" from some family has been extremely frustrating.

Frustrating situation plus a less than stellar work week last week have forced me to take stock of what I can be grateful for this month. If I do not remind myself on a daily basis that there are things to be grateful for I fear for the life of some people. Here goes then a list of things I can at least be grateful for:

  • It has been a surprisingly cool spring, with lots of rain and low temperatures. I am extremely grateful for this weekend and the wonderful rain. I needed a couple of nights of good sleep.
  • I woke up.
  • I am able to exercise.
  • I am still trying to master swimming and every time it gets easier and better.
  • Wonderful friends who listen to me rant about the "drama", which I think is mostly me frustrated with hot days and nights. Hopefully I will get the AC thing sorted this week.
  • Netflix. 
  • A working vehicle.
  • Beautiful garden :) Yes that is looking incredible but those weeds are killing me! No matter it is all worth it to feel such a sense of accomplishment and pride.
  • Food to eat.
  • Having a job.
  • Did I mention incredible friends?
That is all I can think of right now and I also have to get back to work; just needed a break and to be grateful for a bit :) I leave you with a picture of some of my flowers.

27 May 2015

Brown Thumb to Yellow-Lime Thumb

Alright I am not going to jinx myself by saying that I have a green thumb just yet but I am well on my way to a green thumb!  Check out the back yard!

Yes if you compare to other pics the grass has really filled in the back yard. There are still a few bare spots but we are gaining ground. All of my flowers are doing quite nicely as well :) You have no idea how happy I am this year with my garden. Mind you none of this would have been possible without all of the rain we've had this year.

You can see in this picture how much bigger all of my plants are and where the grass has really filled in the yard. Still have all of the stumps but hey I feel that what has been achieved compensates for the stumps. The front yard still has a lot of work that it needs and most of the plants are seedlings at the moment but as you can see there are a lot of blooms as well. The one with the pink flowers has survived many years of my neglect and now that it has full sun it is incredibly lush and beautiful. In the distance there you can see a row of plants growing at the edge of the neighbors grass - those are sunflowers! Yup a medley of stuff in the front yard but next year it will take on a more organized look. This year I wanted to clean it up and make sure that I made the major changes. I feel it has been achieved. 

Not fully green but approaching a yellow-lime color :)

12 May 2015

Brown Thumb

I am glad I chose a different career path than that of waitress, I would have starved to death. I cannot walk and carry a cup of coffee to save my life. I'm amazed some days I can tie my own shoes but then I remember that I can purify difficult membrane proteins and I am a little more forgiving towards myself. According to the brain there must be sacrifices made, carrying a cup of coffee is not the end goal. The brain is a little full of itself most days.

Speaking of the career path, today was a good day. I like days where I have neat results with beautiful images and it all makes sense. I'm trying out some new protocols this week and I'm a little hesitant to do them. I always feel like if I mess them up I'm wasting money, mainly because I am wasting a lot of money. However, failure in science can be our best friend but not always, sometimes it's just a colossal waste of time and modest loss of money.

In other news this weekend was a good one, as I have moved some of my yard projects along! As you can see the walkway is expanding and it is looking rather spiffy if I do say so myself. I had a few rosebuds this year, a whole decade and this rose bush has produced exactly 8 buds. Eight. Buds. Yup. This year it was going to be torn out but then I noticed the rosebuds and I gave it a 10th chance. I mean come on 10 years and this is the only time it bloomed! The rest of the garden is coming along nicely thanks to some lovely rain, OK not lovely because it was rather destructive. We had a really bad storm last week on Monday but that pushed my sunflowers through the ground in record time. It takes about 14 days to germinate with constant watering but that mini-monsoon we had got them there in less than 7 days! We're expecting another mini-monsoon tomorrow so hopefully that will help the other seeds I planted in the back. Today if weather permits I'm putting down some more seed, I just got my wildflower mixes! I'm excited because a lot are perennials and the annuals self-seed after the season is over blooming all summer well into fall. As for the backyard the moon has a bunch of seeds that should really benefit from the rain and the little fruit garden has all sprouted! I have lots of corn coming up, lots of watermelon, and lots of cantaloupe sprouting. I also added to chile plants to the set because the seed I had put down did not come up. This whole black thumb is looking significantly browner, who knows by the end of the summer it may be green.

04 May 2015


Life moves way too quickly in my opinion, even if it is sometimes beautiful to see it pass us by. I think that's why we never notice the passage of time, it's a beatiful tapestry. Then we look up and a decade has gone by or a year or an hour. Weird but I find it difficult to reconcile the years with the course of life sometimes. I'm sure everyone feels that way sometimes, if not all of the time. Why so philosophical? Well this month has the 1 year birthday of a good friends daughter (today actually! Happy Birthday A!) and my nephew's 5th birthday in a few days! My time goes by quickly. A little too quickly sometimes. I feel like he's still a baby and I am just thankful that he loves hugs, cuddles, and kisses. I feel bad for my sister sometimes, imagine how she feels seeing her baby grow up!

Cleared walkway.
Test run with mold.
Well besides contemplating my mortality, I have also been busy working on my yard and I have quite a bit of progress. The back yard is about as good as it's going to get but the front yard has been my main focus for the past 2 weekends. The backyard now has a sun and a moon, with tons of lovely fruits and grains coming forth. Yes for once I may not kill my whole yard! Let's not jinx myself and just put in the work. The front yard has had quite a transformation truthfully. A tree is gone, 3 bushes have been moved, sunflower seeds have been planted, bermuda grass seed was distributed in desired areas, and all weeds/crabgrass have been cleared! Well most of the yard has been cleared. I have maybe 10% that needs to be cleared but that is part of a larger project so that may take a few more weekends. I have cleared an area next to the walkway to make it wider and plan to place some lovely stones in the midst. I also created some drainage for the rain gutter. Moved more lemon balm into the area too. Love that stuff! Did a test run with the mold that I bought last summer and never used because volunteering. I was satisfied but i think I may have a friend or two help because that was a lot of work to mix and pour by myself. This is only part of what has happened in the past 2 weeks, there is so much more to do in the coming weeks but this weekend it will be temporarily halted because I have Mother's Day coming up. Yup been busy but happy about the progress. Although with all this work I will say I have not been good about doing the piano playing like I had promised. I may have to pace myself a little better. I will show a better picture as soon as I take one of the full yard.
Moon to the left; sun to the right.

Rain Gutter drainage.

20 April 2015

Gardening with Melasma

Well hello world! I am feeling pretty good today despite being sore from this weekends activities. I have been working hard on my garden despite it's lack of love towards me. although the weeds have been less aggravating this spring! I put down some feed & weed a month or two ago and it seems to have definitely helped despite some reviews online to the contrary. Although not 100% where I want the yards to be but better than nothing at all or the wild jungle of weeds from last year. Seriously last year was harsh, those weeds tried to take everything over! I spent most of my time trying to kill off all the purslane that seems to have infected the whole neighborhood, OK not the whole neighborhood but almost. Well except for those people who seem to have an amazing green thumb on my street, some of those yards are amazing. The major focus of my weekend was to clear out remaining tree stumps and branches, also some planting because I am lazy and should have done this last weekend but I have an excuse - it rained. I planned out a rising sun or setting sun as my nephew said. I planted some corn, watermelon, cantaloupe, some herbs and peppers. It's all from seed so cross your fingers it all comes up! The tree is a jujuberry tree, I love those things!

The downside of working in the garden when you think you're still in your 20's? Although I am a firm believer in wearing spf containing lotions, it was not always so. Sadly I moisturized but rarely ever wore anything with any spf in my younger days. Now I face the consequences. I have always tanned easily and rarely burned, mostly in my childhood when you don't know when enough is enough. I recently had a course of antibiotics and a lot of sun exposure, combined they caused melasma. People wear your sunblock. People always ask whether you should avoid sun exposure when taking antibiotics or other medications. I'm hoping some aloe vera will help fade the problem but usually once you develop melasma it's very difficult to get rid of it. It's most found in pregnant women, called chloasma a hyperpigmentation of skin. Melasma is mostly associated with people who tan easily or produce melanin easily, of course including sun exposure without protection. Oh how I regret those weekend carwashes I did with the church group and no sunblock.  Seriously the amount of sun and water wasted is enough to make me groan now. Well fingers crossed the aloe vera makes it all go away.

Goals this summer now include having my own aloe vera and finishing the yard.

07 April 2015

Amor & DIY

I am behind in my goals, feeling like I keep on falling behind but not so. I have actually accomplished quite a bit this year already. Truthfully I have done more than can be expected but always the perfectionist nothing is done to my liking. Anyway that is the current state of affairs, a feeling of lagging but when analyzed not so bad.

The garden is a slow go and right now a little difficult because it's been crazy weather. Freezing threats prevent me from fully believing I can put seedlings out. Some of my seeds are not cooperating and that is irksome. Otherwise it's been pretty good. I also managed to kill my rosemary. It had survived this long and then last month I thought hey let me clean up it's base. Next thing I know we had a frost and the roots were not as protected as they had been and it died. I checked the branches by pruning and it is dry as bone :( I was sad. I will go look for one this weekend, I really like rosemary and this time I will not trust warm weather!

Portulaca grandiflora
This past weekend we had a bachelorette party for a friend (guess who was volunteered to plan it?) and it was tons of fun. I had to recover on Sunday. All. Day. Sunday. I know, I know, it was also Easter but we have discussed the not so religious thing. I did go to an Easter BBQ if that counts, I know it doesn't. Anyway as a gift to all the guests, I turned some mugs into planters and put Portulaca into them! I know Portulaca does not sound good at all but let me translate for  you. My mother calls it Amor, (aka Love) and in some places here in the USA it's called Moss Rose. It's quite beautiful. It requires full sun and very little water. It produces tons of seeds so I would not recommend that it be put in the ground, keep it contained. It is a relative of common purslane, bane of my life but it is much prettier in my opinion. At the actual party the seeds were only just starting to sprout but I'm sure that if everybody takes care of it, it will do quite well. I thought it was fitting to give out a plant that is called Love :) As for the mugs I also did a little special thing there. I drilled holes in the bottoms so that it would drain properly and then I marbled them!

It's a simple process really. In a bowl or any container you don't mind ruining you place some warm water, not boiling just warm. Drop in a few drops of nail polish - multiple colors or one single color - and quickly dunk your mug into the area where the nail polish has spread. This is a quick process because the nail polish will begin to either dry and create a film or bead up and sink to the bottom. Using glittery nail polish is a pain, you need more than a couple of drops and it has to be layered on top of other colors or bottom, as long as that is the last polish you add to the water. Otherwise have fun with this! Also once you drop in dark colors if you don't do enough of the color it will thin out and be a very pale version of what's in the bottle. Put it somewhere to dry and in an hour or two you have a marbled mug. It is not dishwasher safe, the polish will come off in there. Also do not scrub very hard, use a soft sponge because you can rub it off with a brillo pad.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

27 March 2015

#HomeOwner Problems

So many pinterest crafts to do and so little life to do them all. Sigh. I was scrolling through my craft board last night on Pinterest. I am so over my head on that list! I think I need a pintervention at this point. Well speaking of pinterest, I have completely removed the branches from my front yard but there is one little problem with that. I have a huge tree trunk and I refuse to pay to dispose of it, I'm trying to convince my brother in law that if we slice it in half and let it fall where it may we can turn it into a planter but he remains circumspect. I know it's very scrooge of me but I have great difficulty separating from my money for things I find superfluous. Like gym clothes. I buy clothes to specifically sweat in them and not be able to wear them anywhere else. Does anyone else find that a superfluous purchase? Anyway, that is not the point, point is that I really don't want to have to pay for removal of the trunk but I guess I will eventually cave.

Add 2 augurs, another plunger, and bottles of acid.
Something you do need to pay for - plumbing issues. Monday I caved and finally called the plumber. Oh yeah, my bathtub had a clog; just the tub. I have 2 augurs, I used both but to no avail. I tried the vinegar & baking soda trick that has worked before - nothing. I even tried chemicals, something I don't like and still nothing. I even tried to vacuum it out but nope. The guy came out on Wednesday (good thing I have a second bath) and couldn't remove the item clogging the tub so he pushed it through the main line. Hopefully I no longer have issues with that tub because I hated paying the $95.

16 March 2015

Throwing Shade

Front yard
Well hello there! Look at this! I have chopped down (aka killed) 3 trees! Well not by myself but this still happened. All three trees were mulberry trees and yes they deserved this. You see their roots are very invasive my driveway is all cracked, along with sidewalks. The 2 trees in the back have already given me problems with my plumbing. Therefore, they joined the fishies. Metaphorically. This actually happened 2 weeks ago but I had forgotten to share. Cutting these down was also about my redoing the landscaping at my home because all the shade did not permit anything to grow under the shade. Talk about throwing shade. I am still trying to get rid of all this stuff, so far I have 1/4 of it cleaned up. Although I'll take any suggestions on how to get rid of that huge trunk you can see on the right hand side there. I have no idea how to hollow it out and I find it very irritating to have to pay to have it picked up. Thankfully some people were very interested in some of the larger logs and have picked them up themselves. Yay for people who like free firewood. I would actually keep some of it but my father spent a whole day telling me how bad this wood was for chimneys. I really don't want to deal with visits that involve him moaning about how I'm going to burn down my house with that wood. Who knows perhaps he's right and fireguards don't work and I will burn down my house. 

Back yard

This weekend I spent some time picking up branches and throwing them in the dumpster because I no longer had access to a truck. At times like this I really wish I had a truck. I also wish we had better city employees. There is a service center close to my home and the attendant is a real jack-ass. According to him I can only use the center 4X per year and that the rules were clearly stated online. I checked, that's a lie. I'm not quite sure why he lied to me but I thought it was very rude. I have a very suspicious mind and the only other thing that comes to mind is that he was helping out a business friend and didn't want me to fill up the extra-large bin. Seriously, even with all the branches you see there in the second picture it really isn't that much, they're just not placed correctly. Due to my center limitations I still have 3 piles in the front yard and all the stuff in the back yard :(

10 March 2015

Holding Hands

Recently I had a conversation with someone regarding lies. Everybody lies, at least a little. I'm not talking about huge whoppers such as "I am not married! I swear!", as they try to hide their wedding band tan lines or lying about your name because you don't want to give that annoying guy your real name, who knows he may be a stalker. I'm talking about little lies like, yeah I like sushi or yes I think that sweater is nice. Sometimes it's in order to be nice and not hurt someones feelings, other times it's because we want something in common with the other person. Usually this happens when you meet someone you would like to date and those lies usually involve saying you like sports or camping.

Age difference not this big :)
Back to the conversation. I have recently explored online dating and I met someone, rather quickly may I add. I was pleasantly surprised at first and then later disappointed. It was an interesting interaction and in the end a bust but lets talk about the inbetween. I noticed that he was younger than me, but I thought what the hell I haven't found someone my age so why not. The why not lasted 3 weeks, almost 4 weeks and I was surprised it lasted that long. The more I talked to this person, the more I realized that we were so not on the same page! Now what of the lies? Well, he omitted a very important detail I thought. Turns out he was much younger than he had posted on his profile and although  I wasn't particularly angry, I felt it merited an apology. Other than the fact that I have no desire to live through that phase of my younger years again with him, it was a lie. His defense? I didn't ask, oh, it wasn't a lie he just omitted the info. In my experience it's called a lie of omission. He was also pushing for shared living quarters and after 3 weeks that was not going to be on the table. Period. I decided and my answer was no, that no effectively ended things.

I also realized that I <3 me very much, I'm no longer looking to please men/potential partners. I'm checking to see if you please me, perhaps that's an age thing. The reality of it is that I hadn't realized how sure I am of myself until I dated a younger guy! I'm not saying I want someone who is perfect in every way, just someone who has balance in good and bad. Your laugh or the warmth of your hug will outweigh the fact that you love pickled onions or pickled garlic or that you are more conservative/liberal than I am. There is a balance that I want in a relationship that I knew was not going to be had with this younger guy.

Having said all of that, would I date a younger guy again? Yes. Not that young but yes. Age is a number, a lot of living can be packed into a few years and very little living can be packed into many years. The age differences aside (significant) what's your take on lies of omission? What constitutes a lie of omission? Perhaps to someone else the omission wasn't too bad but to me that omission made me question whether there were other "omissions" that would later come to light; seemed like a bad start to... anything. 

11 February 2015

Retro New

As this year is a year of action, I have been giving my home quite a bit of thought as to what I like and I don't like. Turns out I don't like a lot and I like very little. Especially right now that my sister is searching for a house in town and I'm seeing all of these nice homes. This in turn has spurred a desire in me to update my kitchen. I thought to myself, I should keep the house in the period it was built (too much Rehab Addict). Then I looked up kitchens from 1972. I found the following:

I just can't. Full sentences could not describe the horror I felt at seeing what a 1970's kitchen was supposed to look like. See that edge above the sink in the yellow kitchen? My kitchen has that all the way around the top of the cabinets in an overhang-like thing that sticks out. Can you say ugh? I can. Ugh. I also have a yellow/white marble-like laminate counter, at least the yellow kitchen has tile instead; to say that my kitchen is retro would be a gross misuse of the word. After seeing what I'm up against if I keep the "style" (I don't think the 1970s had style or understood the word), I have decided to opt out of the 1970s. I know I was born in the decade but I am not claiming any of it! 

Instead I am going to keep a slight retro feel with some accents but I need to redo my kitchen. Besides the fact that it is truly not functional it could use a bit of plastic surgery. I have a lot of unused space because the cabinets are set into deep corners, lots of lost space because I can never reach anything back there. Also the previous owners cut into the cabinets to put in a dishwasher and it looks so ugly where they did that. Recently my father helped put in a new stove and we had to cut out part of the cabinets because my old stove was a built-in stove top/oven. Now I have ugly lines everywhere and I do not like it at all. The top cabinets can be saved and just moved but the bottom is pretty bad. The drawers stick and for some reason the rollers they are on rub on the wood so I always have little pieces of wood over everything, then I have to rinse/wash my pots/pans again to remove the wood splinters. I need to reimagine that kitchen but that is a long-term project, may not even happen this year. Who knows, it might but only if I have the time. And money. Pics of my dirty kitchen will come soon :)

02 February 2015


I had written a mundane post about boring old weather but the shame made me delete it. Seriously? Is that all I can write about? Apparently it is, seems my world is so bleak right now that all I can write about is bleak weather. It has been kind of crazy but still not worth more than this blurb.

The universe has taken my cry for excitement seriously and has decided to be a jerk. I was out sick the whole last week! I had food poisoning on Monday and was told to do a little recovery on Tuesday. I happily agreed on Tuesday. Then Wednesday morning my body betrayed me! I woke up congested, sneezing, coughing, and with low-grade fever. Thursday I caved and went to see a doctor but the drugs didn't help much - at least not the day drugs. The night drugs? Those were AMAZING! Breathing and sleeping go together very nicely. Friday was more of Thursday but by Saturday I was on the mend. Sunday my sense of smell finally returned! I was not overjoyed, I could smell some garlic that fell behind something and couldn't find it; it was going bad and no bueno. Let's just say that last week was a total bust. Yeah thanks for the excitement universe.

Otherwise, exploring some options - in between naps. Hopefully next week I'll have more to write about. This week might be a bust because I have tons of work to catchup on and still feel pretty tired.

14 January 2015

2015 - Year of Action!

I have been thinking about what I want for this new year but I have to say it's been a difficult one to pinpoint. Last year all I wanted was an easy year, no big scary changes or major events, I did well in that regard. I coasted and it was nice to not have any drama or any conflicts. I wasn't sued, I didn't have any major conflicts, or bad things happen at the house. The air conditioner is doing rather well and the furnace is holding up, the boiler is also doing well. It was a bland year no doubt about it, by no means a bad thing but I'm ready for a little excitement! OK so I had gone through my goals from last year and I got some of them done and others I didn't even start (sadly). For example I had decided to  keep track of all expenses and watch my budget more carefully but I did not. Ask me what I did the first week of the year - I downloaded an app that allows me to maintain an accurate record of my expenses and income! Hooray! Not within the 2014 time frame but better late than never, I really like it too. Simple to use and I like the way it graphs my info - the nerd in me.  Now for 2015!

The first 2 weeks were a little hectic and I was thinking about what I wanted to accomplish this year. You see I figured I wouldn't worry about this year until it actually started because lets be honest I had other things to do prior to new years. This year is going to be an ambitious year, a year of - dare I say it? - more. Yes, more action. Yes, more fear. Yes, definitely more excitement. Not drama. Not cowardice. Not negativity. As much good stuff as I can muster. So here's the lowdown:

  1. I'm sticking to the being nicer to me thing. I was pretty good about not comparing myself to others but now I want to be kinder to myself. Just building on last years momentum. You know we can be so critical of ourselves and it happens a lot. You don't mean to but somehow or other you use mean words against yourself. "Oh that was so dumb of you, you're so stupid", would you ever say that to someone else? Have you said it to yourself? Yeah. I thought so, we all do that and I want to halt my thoughts. 
  2. I will be learning piano! I read an article where a little boy learned just by watching youtube videos. If an 8 year old boy can do it, I can too. I will dedicate 1 hour every Sunday to a video. I will dedicate 30 minutes every other day afterwards to practicing. Of course, exceptions will be made for travel, work, or illness. That's the plan because just saying isn't the same as planning and acting. 
  3. I will be finishing the garden plans I had last  year that I only got started because I decided to be a volunteer. I don't think I'll be volunteering for a while after that but I definitely want to finish my garden. How? Well, this month I will finish the design and the list of plants that I want and what type of garden, details to come at a later date on that. In February, I will start collecting the plants and starting indoor seeds. Come March and April, plants will start to move outside and hopefully more definition will be added to my yard. 
  4. I plan on finishing all the levels on my Duolingo for Italian and hopefully improving my French accent. Everytime I do the French lessons the program doesn't understand my accent. Thus 15 minutes every day will be dedicated to learning a language, instead of candy crush.
  5. I will continue the early morning exercise. Next after that I will improve my diet. I eat a lot of fast food, I want to limit or eliminate - preferably eliminate - consumption. I know that just getting rid of the processed foods from restaurants I can lose weight, I've done it before. This time lets hope I can stick to the plan of not going back to tons of fast food. 
  6. I will definitely make my own Christmas presents this year. I have decided that I will make a list of all giftees by February. Projects will be determined by April the latest. May will bring the purchase of materials and the start of all projects. Thus by Christmas I will have finished all of my gifts. I have decided that I will not do this every year, I will do it every few years or every other year. 
  7. Now the best for last!!!! You see I have always wanted a tattoo. This year I will get one! I have found the parlor, now I just need to contact the tattoo artist and discuss the design. I am so excited about this last one! Hopefully I will have pictures of this soon.

There it is. My 2015 in a nutshell. Sort of. I am excited about this year and I hope that it brings a bunch of great events and experiences. I hope your 2015 is filled with amazing events! A year of action, a year of more. More means action to me, so lets get this going!