Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Dog's Guide to Life


Every day when I get home from work, I immediately let the dogs outside in the back yard. While I give them time to do their thing I do a few chores around the house. Sometimes I sneak to the back window to see if either of them are standing at the back door waiting to come back in. I say sneak because if the weather is nice I don't expect them to come right back in, but if Lola sees me or hears me...no matter how much she is enjoying her sunny spot...she'll want to come back inside. So I spy on my dogs.

Yesterday I did my usual sneak-a-peek out the back window. Both Duke and Lola were sitting in the sun just watching the world go by. I don't know why this time, out of all the other times I've checked on them, it struck me how simple a dog's life must be. My dog's were just enjoying the beautiful weather. They don't have cell phones to distract them, no iPad or Kindle. They don't have to try and snap the perfect selfie of their porch sitting to share on social media (guilty!). They don't have to check-in to let everyone know where they are and what they are doing. They have no distractions...and no one to validate how awesome their day is.

The truth is dogs don't need anyone to tell them how awesome their life is. Dogs just know that it is, in fact, the greatest thing ever. Their enthusiasm for life, even when no one else is looking, is something I hope to strive towards.




Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Greatest Belly Button Mystery of the Century!


Once again the Internets is all a-buzz about Miss Taylor Swift. This time everyone seems to be talking about her belly button.

Take a second and let that sink in.

There are "news" stories about Taylor Swift's belly button.

A belly button.

.
.
.

At first I was like,

"Really, Internets? There is NOTHING else going on in the world today, so you have to go bat shit crazy about a girls belly button?"

and

"What's wrong with her belly button? Is it deformed or something?"

So, I did a quick google search to find out what all the fuss was about. Apparently, there were people out there who questioned if Taylor even HAD a belly button. Seriously? Taylor Swift is not an alien (I don't think). Turns out, everyone went ga-ga over her bully button reveal because she rarely shows it. Now, isn't that a novel idea. A famous young pop artist that DOESN'T show her belly button. People found this news worthy...because she made the decision to keep her belly button covered up. It's like we've found a fucking unicorn!

Which brings me back to my musings on why people seem to dislike her? I still don't get it. She seems like a class act to me and some of these other little fluff pieces running around Hollywood could probably take a lesson or two from her play book.

Instead we have this:

 




Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Welcome to the Club...we're all old here.


My baby sister is turning 30 tomorrow. Where does the time go? I can remember when she moved off to the big city and I was all kinds of worried that she was going to lock herself out of her car and not know what to do (here at home..she just called me). She has navigated this big bad world of adulthood with surprising ease. And I honestly could not be more proud.

I was sitting here thinking of different 'I love my sister/My sister is better than yours/My sister is the best' kind of posts when I started thinking back to when I turned 30. What did I blog about when I turned 30? I headed back to my blog archives to take a look. I did a great post about what my 20's taught me. So I decided to ask my sister for 10 things her 20's taught her.
1. Guys are assholes {adult dating sounds crazy hard, yo - Jinny}

2. Girls are bitches and guys like that for the challenge {it's all about playing the game}

3. Being fiscally responsible is not lame; it's one less thing to worry about {she didn't learn that trick from me}

4. Stick to your principals regardless of how people make you feel because of them. {like my friends and I use to say...go wit' yo feelings}

5. Never regret the things that have happened or decisions you've made; they've made you into the person you are. {and you can't go back and change any of that stuff anyway!}

6. Depend on yourself. People are human and mess up and will probably disappoint you. {Expectation is the mother of all disappointment...someone famous said that, I'm sure}

7. Be thankful and grateful for those that have been there with you, even if they do disappoint you. {Your homies are your homies...4 life}

8. Your dreams and goals can, and will probably, change throughout your 20's and that's ok. {what do you mean you still want a pony?}

9. Find something you are passionate about and dive into it. {unless its cake..don't dive into that unless you are in the privacy of your own home}

10. Invest in yourself in whatever capacity. {like with cute shoes}

Do y'all know that my sister bought a Kurig machine for her apartment specifically for me? Well, she did. And it only took years of me complaining about having no coffee when I went to visit her. If that's not sisterly love, I don't know what is.

Thanks for introducing me to Doctor Who and Sherlock (the Cumberbatch edition).

I love you more than my dog...and you know that means a lot.




Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Adventures


Last summer I bought a cross stitch kit as a Christmas present for my sister. It's the Tardis from Doctor Who and it says 'Tardis Sweet Tardis'. I started working on it as soon as I got it, but thankfully I didn't get far before my mom checked my progress. Turns out it's called a counted cross stitch for a reason! Ha ha. I learn something new every day. I started the cross stitch border on the very edge of the aida cloth and my mom gently encouraged me to count out from the center of the picture guide. Turns out that my entire cross stitch pattern was going to be much smaller than the size of the cloth. She set me up with an embroidery hoop to hold the cloth and a storage box for all my
thread and cute little scissors. And once I had counted and started over again in the correct spot, I was in business.

But...I found that I was having a hard time making myself sit at home and work on it. I was too distracted with the TV and the animals and the husband and the Facebook. So, I was lucky enough to be invited to join a sewing group. I know, I wasn't really sewing but the ladies were nice enough to let me come and sit there doing my cross stitch. And I really, really enjoyed it. As Christmas drew closer, I finished up the cross stitch and decided to make it into a pillow. I ordered the fabric online and brought it along to the sewing group. One of the ladies, my co-worker, was nice enough to help a girl out and sewed it all together for me.



Once I was finished with that, I started wondering what I was going to work on next..so that I could keep going to the sewing group. I have a sewing machine. My mom gave it to me for Christmas years ago. But its been up in a closet unused for nearly all that time. Was it time to actually get it down and learn how to sew? Once the thought was in my head, I couldn't get it out. So I took to trusty Pinterest for simple, easy, beginner sewing projects. One project I came across was a tie-on dinosaur tail for little kids. I'm not sure how "beginner" this project was considered but I really wanted to do it for my friend's little boy. He turned three this week and I thought it would be the perfect gift.

Instead of getting my own sewing machine down (I'm working up to it) I took the fabric and directions to my Grandma. Thank goodness she was there to help me because I would have never figured it out on my own. Keeping to the seam allowance is SUPER important, I learned.


I did most of the sewing, and some of it had to be ripped out and re-sewn. But my Grandma did do a little bit of the sewing for me (mostly because I was over there for three hours and it was getting late). Either way, for better or worse, the tail was made and shipped off to the birthday boy.


It's the elusive Kidasaurus.


According to my friend, Jonessa, the tail was a real hit with Jethro and he even sent me a video to show off his dino ROAR!

Well, as much fun as I had putting that together, I did it outside of the sewing group. So, I still have to come up with a new project (maybe one that actually includes my own sewing machine). I might try infinity scarves next. How hard can that be?

I have another cross stitch kit heading my way...in case this whole sewing thing doesn't work out.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

All the cool kids are doing it


New years always means RESOLUTIONS! You know the age old typical resolutions. This is THE year we are going to get lean and clean up our diet..right?! The TV is overflowing with ads for diet plans and exercise DVD's and equipment. According to Jillian Michaels you can just WALK AWAY the pounds..its so revolutionary! The greatest thing since sliced bread....which none of us are allowed to eat anymore...right?!



Except, March rolls around. And the newness has been brutally worn off by reality and daily life. Changing long held habits is hard. It's not fun...no, it's not. It really, really sssuuuccckkkss. It takes up a lot of time and it costs a lot of money. Especially if you want to go all in on a gym membership/diet plan/personal trainer. You have to pay all kind of fees, buy a ton more work out clothes (or do laundry every night), buy all new organic, locally grown, fresh foods and cooking supplies. Have you seen how much that crap costs?!


So, I've pretty much given up even making new year resolutions. But that doesn't mean that a sister can't try and set teeny tiny goals..that don't take a new wardrobe or gym membership to accomplish. This year I'm going to try and drink more water. I just need to do it, it's good for me and I can do it while sitting down. I'm going to try and make better food choices. I started tracking my food on myfitnesspal again. I'm going to try really hard not to let the calorie goal be a hard line in the sand for me. It's really ok if I go over it, I just want to be more mindful of what I'm eating on a daily basis.

Using a lettuce leaf rather than a tortilla is a smart move.
Making sweet potato, broccoli, and chicken for dinner is a good choice.
All I really want to do is stay hydrated, not snack too much, find fun and inexpensive ways to eat a little better, and get off my butt and workout a little more (not every day...don't be crazy). Here's to 2015 and small and manageable life changes.





Sunday, January 4, 2015

Relationship status: It's Complicated


I found out, by Facebooks handy-dandy 'People You Might Know' carousal, that my dad has a Facebook account.

Never one for technology, he's a little late to the game.

So far, he has friended his son, my half-brother (who is older than me, from my dad's first marriage), and both of his step-children (who came around from his third marriage after my mom).

He hasn't sent a friend request to me or my sister. But we haven't sent a friend request to him either.

I'm not sure how I feel about all this.



Here are a few back posts about my dad, if you want to get caught up: The Key , Daddy Dearest , L is for Let It Go

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Looking out, looking in, looking up - Happy New Years




I bundled up to venture out in the backyard to snap a picture of the sky. I didn't want to do it because the sky is a never ending sea of nothing today. I wanted to capture something beautiful....something I consider beautiful. A lovely sunset of pinks, oranges, and purples. Or whispy white clouds against a backdrop of blue. But there won't be any of that today....just cold, stark white.

But as I wondered around my little back yard, with my camera pointed at the sky, I did find a little beauty in the stillness of the cold. And I couldn't help but notice how lovely the ice covered branches were against the bright white sky.

It made me think about this new year, how everything can be considered new. A true blank slate. A quiet moment to just stop, take a moment to breath and decide how you want to start this new chapter. And it also made me think of this last year. I've been telling myself 2014 has been the year of the holding pattern. Not much has changed, on the outside. But I feel like I've learned more about myself this year. I've stripped away many of my long held notions of how people should act, how I should act and my confusion about why those things didn't make me happy. Things that didn't make sense for a very long time have started snapping into place. I'm sure my friends and family are just about sick of me using the term "introvert" but I am just so excited to finally have some idea of why I have always acted the way I do...why I feel the way I feel. And the more I learn about what it means to be introverted, the more comfortable I have become with saying no, with walking away, with staying in, with telling people what I need.

I can't say that walking away from things and having no one notice hasn't hurt my feelings. I might be introverted but I still crave to be needed and wanted and important to others. I'm still dealing with my feelings of being inadequate, feelings of rejection when I'm not recognized for the things I do. Those things are on me to deal with, not the people around me.

I can say that having a better understanding of how I gather and dispense my energy makes a world of difference to my psyche. I've learned to pay attention to things and people that make me feel good, that make me happy. I'm still trying to get better at or continue to acknowledge those in my life that I love and appreciate. And I've become better at getting rid of things and people that stress me out or drain my energy.

Overall I am coming into this year peacefully hopeful. I'm not looking to dramatically overhaul my life, I don't want to make any grand resolutions or plans. Always reaching for the next thing makes me tired and wears me out. So, I resolve to find my happiness in the very moment that I'm living, I don't need any more or less than what I have right now.

I hope you find your perfect balance this year of peace, love, and hope this year.