Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The freeness awaits

Tomorrow is December! I can't believe it! So much is going to happen this month I can't even take it.

Moms bday.
My bday.

Crazy pants I tell you. Throw in there visits from friends and family. Should be a jolly time that's for sure! I can tell you that I will be a hell of alot happier once school is over. Then the fun begins.

As of today...

13 days.
4 finals.
3 classes.
2 forum postings.
1 quiz.
1 paper.
1 poster session.

...until I'm a free bird!

Today I finished research paper number 2 and tomorrow starts the last one. Which is the worst of all of course.

M and I were discussing today going to the movies solo. Thoughts? I'm thinking about going solo on December 14th as a solo celebration of my freeness. However, I have never been to a movie by myself but I think it would be kinda nice. Plus during the day the movie is more likely to be empty. Lyddy of course is against it but I think I might just do it! Hmm what else can I do on the marvelous day that will be December 14th... I hope its snowing so I have reason to cuddle up with the poochies, eat good food, watch movies, read, and do WHATEVER THE HELL I WANT.

Soon to be basking in my freeness,


Monday, November 28, 2011

School and other ramblings...

You know when you look forward to something for so long. You hype it up and you count it down. Then poof! It's over and you're on the other side. For the past almost 5 years this looking forward to has been the end of a semester. Once I get to the other side? Well more school... but not this time!

I'm tyring to psych myself up for finishing college. I feel like I should be over the moon right now. Unfortunately class stress is not allowing me to feel the excitement. I want to be excited but its just not happening. I wish I had one more extra week wiggled in there to get stuff done. O well, I just have to make it work. I foresee many sleepless nights and tears in my near future.

But can you believe it...

15 days
4 classes
3 exams
2 papers
2 forum postings
1 quiz
1 poster session

... until I'm a free bird.

I hope I feel the euphoria I have been looking forward to. But that's the problem you see. Once you finish one obstacle there's always another one to overcome. Maybe it's a matter of perspective. School was an obstacle there's no doubt about that, I keep forgetting to look at the future as an adventure. It can be hard sometimes as a 20 something graduate in this economy.

As I said to my sis, I just want a farm dammit!

As you can tell by my book selection lately, I'm trying to absorb all of the farm related info. I can gather. Specifically organic gardening, throw in some hens and a coop, with the possibility of 2 hives, some sheep, and some wabbits.

It's interesting because every author has a slightly different opinion and it clearly comes out in their writing. Specifically in terms of "farm" animals and what should be done with them. I just can't imagine butchering my hens and succumbing them to the seemingly torturous mating practices of roosters. Some authors say never to name your animals, only give them numbers so you don't get attached to them. I understand that in western culture we tend to humanize our animals but come on, if your hens are excited to see you and have distinct personalities how could you shove your unassuming hen into a crate, one that trusts you, and bring it to slaughter? I just can't imagine it. I think I'm off to a world of vegetarianism.

The authors do make good points in saying that all animals must die and with some circumstances on a farm you need to kill an animal in order to put it out of its misery. I am going to have to find a way to cope with these situations. I mean I know my dog won't live forever, but I can't ever imagine living without her.

So a post that was supposed to be about impending graduation turned into a post about organic gardening and farm animals, go figure. Well my end goal is to provide food for myself and hopefully fiber to wear and knit with. This leads into other goals of being completely self sufficient. How amazing would that be? Always something to strive for.


PS: I'm currently absorbed with (even though there are certainly other things I should be reading that pertain to ahem.. school!) The Vegetable Gardener's Bible by Edward C. Smith. AMAZING. I'll give a full review once I finish.

PSS: Continued frustration of not being a twin. I need my Lyddy to experience this end with me. It would just be so much better. I feel like I can't be excited because she still has a year to go! I don't know what it is. Maybe just the perpetual worry I have for my siblings and their well being. Hmph. Maybe she can find it in her to celebrate with me, that always makes me feel beter :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Banana Saturday

Let me start off by thanking Gwen Stefani for being able to spell banana with no hesitation.

Moving on... I bought some bananas at the store the other day with the intention of baking something that I can bring for breakfast in the morning as I am running out the door.

Lo and behold, I made two somethings.  First up is Baked Oatmeal off of the lovely food blog A Cozy Kitchen.  I must admit, try as I might, I can't get myself to love oatmeal.  It's the texture that gets me, just too slimy.  But oatmeal just seems like the perfect warm wholesome breakfast for when it's chilly out, so I am hoping that this oatmeal will finally be one that I like.  I haven't tried it yet though, so I will have to update you on that.  The only alterations I made to the recipe was leaving out the nutmeg cause I didn't have any, I only used 1 banana, I used steel cut oats instead of rolled (I won't pretend like I know the difference between the two), and I did not include the raspberries or almonds (I like my food plain).

I also baked some banana bread to polish off my last two bananas.  I used this recipe off of  I didn't change anything with this recipe.

And ta-da, two baked goods that I can bring with me to school or work in the morning!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, bring on Christmas!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Made from Scratch

Made from Scratch is a wonderful book by Jenna Woginrich that documents her journey to a homemade life. This book was AMAZING. Seriously. It was hilarious first of all which I didn't expect. It was chock full of good info. without being too much plus it gave information while documenting her story. This book was suggested by Ashley English on her blog where she regularly talks about Jenna and references Jenna's blog. Jenna talks about going from her corporate job back to her rented farm tending her chickens, dogs (which she mushes!), and angora rabbits. Amazing. I'm right behind you Jenna!

On another note it's Thanksgiving. So, Happy Thanksgiving. But it just doesn't feel right. We celebrate a time when the Native Americans helped the pilgrims and taught them how to farm and survive. If the Native Americans had not done this then they all would have perished and the majority of us would not be alive today. So how did we repay them? Mass genocide. I find it ironic that we take a day out of the year to give thanks when we're celebrating one of the bloodiest and heinous parts of American history. I feel great pain for what we put Native Americans through. Being direct descendants of pilgrims, literally our family came over on the mayflower, we have the same last name and can trace our lineage straight back to them, I am not proud in any way of how we treated these people. Apart from the horror of our past, look at how many turkeys are slaughtered for this holiday? I'm just saying, it doesn't seem right.

Apart from this, I do love the thought behind everyone in America carefully considering what they are thankful for.

I am thankful for:

My Dad who has taken money out of his retirement fund to pay for my education. I will forever be grateful.
For my sister who is always there for me.
For my Lucy dog who provides me with constant comfort and love.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Canning & Preserving

Canning and Preserving by Ashley English will not disappoint! After reading Keeping Chickens I was hooked. The second I saw that the person who had been hoarding it finally returned it to the library, I ran out immediately and grabbed it off the shelf 10 minutes before closing. Yes her books are that good.

It provides you with the basics on how to can and gives you some great recipes to try out yourself. I love how her books are so easy to read for the beginner and are honest without being too daunting. So scamper out yourself and grab a copy!

I am really bummed because these are the only two of her books that our library has. Looks like I'll be filling out another request form to buy her others books. I wonder if they put a limit on how many requests one person can make? I would totally go out and buy them myself just to support Ashley, as I am sure I will someday but the funds are not permitting at the moment.

Now that I have finished Canning and Preserving I have moved on to a book Ashley suggests in her blog that I found at our library. The Self Sufficient-ish Bible by Andy and Dave Hamilton. I'm about halfway through but unfortunately there are other things I have to complete, ahem huge research paper due tomorrow, before finishing their wonderful book. Sigh.

Back to dreaded paper, am I done yet?


PS: T-minus 22 days till I'm a free bird

UPDATE: How can I have been working on this paper for O I don't know 17 hours now and I'm still not done?? Beats me.

Friday, November 18, 2011

And the Countdown begins...

5 more class days.
3 more research papers.
3 more quizzes.
3 more forum postings.
2 more tests
1 more poster session.

And after December 13th? NO MORE SCHOOL.

I will be a free bird. No more papers. No more tests. No more group projects. No more truckin around school in negative degree weather. No more 45 min. long morning commutes. No more door-opening-by-themselves bathroom stalls. No more grumpy teachers or annoying students. No more late night stress. No more ordering expensive books.

I can just go to work, come home and do whatever I want to do. Doesn't that sound like heaven?

It does to me, can't wait.

T-minus 25 days until I'm a free bird


Monday, November 14, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons...

So I've been telling myself that I don't want to use our blog as a way to complain about all the little things in my life because even though it might make me feel a smidge better, it is not uplifting and I don't like the idea of spewing negativity into the world.

Having said that, I did not have a very good day today.  Work was rough, I didn't sleep well last night (causing me to not feel well today, does that happen to anyone else?), and I had homework due tonight and I didn't get out of work until way late.  So overall, not my best day.

Such a sweet girl. She curls up in my lap then rests her head on my hand while I'm on the computer. Melts my heart!

After my homework was done, I sat on the couch with B and G thinking of a way to unwind.  I thought about making some tea, but that didn't sound that great.  Then I thought maybe watching a movie or some TV would do the trick, then I said nah that's not what I want.  So anywho, I picked up my computer and started reading the archives of Ashley English's Small Measure (I read blogs like they're books, ps). And let me tell you, her life makes me green with envy.  There is nothing more that I want for my future than to live a self-sustaining life, with gardens and chickens and homemade everything!

Moving on, I decided I would try and bake a loaf of bread.  In the past, I haven't had great success with yeast (I had trouble with things rising, or not rising to be exact).  But I said ya know what, if it doesn't work, at least I did something productive to entertain myself with tonight.  So I slipped my apron on over my cat bathrobe and got to work.

And it worked people! I used the recipe on the back of the yeast packet, nothing fancy.  I kneaded out all my frustrations of my day and watched my dough rise!

Dough after it was sufficiently kneaded.

So at the end of my rough day, I came away with this! And I couldn't be prouder of myself!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Q for Quilts

So what are our thoughts on quilts? I'm usually not a fan. Mostly because of the patterns that are typical "quilt" patterns. They're usually tons of colors with tons of shapes and tons of patterns. If you haven't noticed from my taste, it's pretty neutral. I like white, gray, tan, and black. And if I want color it's as an accent. That's just my steez if ya know what I mean.

Well today thanks to the lovely Pintrest I came across two quilts that I love.

Isn't this amazing? Of course it's from Anthropologie. Guess what the price tag on this baby is, $548!

How lovely is this? This is made by a lovely lady over here. She also has an etsy shop and her quilts also run around a few hundred dollars.

Now I'm not saying that these prices are unreasonable, quilting seems like it is alot of hard work so these people are totally fair with their pricing. However, I am completely capable of making my own so luckily I don't have to pay someone else for the labor cost.

So I have decided to embark upon a quilting adventure. I've always wanted to quilt but have only seen a few quilts that I actually like. These wonderful quilts will act as my inspiration! Now hopefully sometime in the future (December 14th!) I will be able to find the time and resources to do such a thing.

Ta Ta,


PS: Did you watch Once Upon a Time? Amazing. Coolest show EVER.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

Keeping Chickens

How cool would it be to have a couple chickens and harvest your own eggs? The answer is, so cool. Growing up our Grandma had a couple chickens (nothing like when my Dad grew up, then she had cats, dogs, chickens, ducks, horses, pigs, donkeys, and the list goes on). Our Grandma is the ultimate animal lover and the animals feel the same way about her. When we were growing up she had two Plymouth Rock chickens named Henrietta and Gertrude. Plymouth Rock being the breed, but oddly enough one of them lived out its last few years at Plymouth Plantation in MA.

So sis and I grew up around her chickens, regularly feeding, watering, and gathering their eggs. Once I settle down on my own plot somewhere, I would love to have my own little flock.

At the library today I picked up Keeping Chickens by Ashley English. This wonderful book gives you general information in regards to keeping your own flock in an easy to read and entertaining manner. She covers all necessary topics ranging from hatching your own chicks to building your own coop. She gives advice based on research in the topic and her own personal experiences and preferences. I finished this book in one sitting and would encourage anyone who is interested in keeping their own flock to pick it up!

Now I'll be passing it off to my equally interested sister...Off to find a book about keeping alpacas or sheep! Can you imagine spinning your own wool from your own animals?


Etsy Purchase!

I have made another etsy purchase! This lovely case is made by the etsy store ChubbyCloud. The owner has graciously worked with me to make a custom case for my Mom's new Kindle Fire she will be receiving for Christmas. I am so excited!

I am almost done with my Christmas shopping and couldn't be more happy about it. It was tough this year because I'm on a tight budget and I usually am able to spoil everyone. But all my gifts so far have either been made by me or purchased on Etsy, so all handmade items! Plus I am supporting all of the handmade artisans out there! Now the only person left is my Lyddy... She's the hardest one!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

What's next?

We obviously have spoken many a times about our life as college students. But now as that time is coming to a close, I have been regularly thinking about what my next journey will be. If you had asked me this question at 17 I would have said my next label would be wife and career woman. At 18 I would have said nurse. Since around 20, my answer has been, who the hell knows. When the realization hit me that the golden age of 22 didn't mean beautiful husband, successful career, and picket fence, I was (to put it lightly) distraught. I have always been a planner and assumed that things would just work out in this perfect way or I would make it happen. I finally got over the shock that my life wouldn't turn out how I envisioned it to, and eventually got to a point of accepting this reality.

So since then I have majored in psychology and minored in sociology. I have interned in a research development department at a major corporation in town. I have become a teaching assistant for a religion class. I have quit my first job (one that I had for 5 years and hated). And I have been single for the first time since I was 14. When I write it all down it seems like alot, but it all led me to where I am now, at a cross roads.

This being such a stressful time in life as a huge turning point and a leap into adulthood, I am still shocked that I haven't been warned about it. Oprah did say yesterday on lifeclass that change becomes an ugly scary monster that we avoid at all costs because of the nightmares we conjure in our heads. So maybe that's all this is. I am feeling two very conflicting emotions, fear and utter excitement.

It's sort of freeing actually. Being in college and financially dependant on your parents feels like you constantly have chains on. Letting you go only so far until you're at the end of your rope. But once I have completed my education, I am free to make my own decisions. Of course others will try to influence these decisions, only because I know they love me and don't want to see me suffer or fail, but ultimately the decision must be made by me. And I think parents need to remember sometimes that people learn from failing and that life is one constant jumble of decision making. So while I am scared shitless, I am also so excited to do everything just for me.

So everything boils down to, what will make me happy. When I picture my happiness what does it look like? I oddly enough always picture the same thing (I haven't even told you this lyd). I picture me hunched over working in an abundant veggie and flower garden, with practical clothing, no shoes, a small old house, solar power on the roof, greenery all around me, up on a ridge that overlooks the ocean, fresh air, and lots of land.

Over time I have tried to pick apart the meaning behind this image, here is what I have come up with. I'm in a place surrounded by flourishing nature. I am supporting myself through my own garden with the growth of my own veggies. I am surrounded by a wildflower garden with no sense of order or planning. I think deep down I hate how regimented I can be and picture my future happy self as letting go of that need for perfection and order. The fact that I see myself with practical clothing means that I no longer care so much about my outward appearance, and therefore have let go of my body image issues and have accepted myself. I love to be barefoot so that's the reason behind that one. The solar panels represents being environmentally friendly, which is one of my main goals. The self sustaining nature of the garden is also very important, meaning I take seriously what enters my body and no longer feel like food rules me and I no longer support food that has been obtained in unnatural and unhealthy (for the environment) ways. And last but certainly not least, I can see the ocean from my home, which has been a dream of mine since I was little. I truly believe that those who grow up on the coast feel a connection with it that can't be described or taught.

In order to survive comfortably I obviously need to work. But the question remains, doing what?? That's been the question lingering in my head for a long time. I think I would love to work from home and have enough left over time to volunteer. So if I would love to work from home, what profession could I do from my window by the sea? Writing.

The first time I can remember writing was in I think 4th grade. I wrote a little book and loved the process. Needless to say my book was way longer than it was supposed to be. Then when I got older and started to experience love and loss, I turned to writing. Ever since then, when I am extremely distraught I write. Whether it be just jotting down things that don't make sense or full descriptions of how I am feeling. Oddly enough, it always makes me feel better. Like I somehow release or purge some of the pent up emotion that I am feeling.

I also love to read. J.K. Rowling taught me that by reading, you can transport yourself to a different reality. Reading has helped me in many ways. It has worked not only as entertainment, but also as an escape and even sometimes hope.

A goal that I have always set for myself is to help others. Whatever that help may be. I have found myself lately consciously or subconsciously basing my decisions off of this goal. Writing to me seems to be a way you can reach others and could potentially benefit them while also supporting yourself.

Writing seems to fit nicely into all of these wants and needs. Working from home and for myself. Doing something I love and feel passionate about. And in also helping others.

Now keep in mind that in 3 months this idea could seem crazy, but that's OK. I don't have to have all the answers now. And if I think this idea is even crazy tomorrow that's OK, because at least I'm trying to figure it out. At least I'm trying to figure out now what makes me happy and not at 65 when I've retired and already lived most of my life. I have the luxury now to choose my path, so choose it I will.


The Forbidden Game

The Forbidden Game by L.J Smith, I'm making it through all of her books apparently. Well I am in shock right now because I hated the ending. I get it, but I still hate it. This book is about a girl who started off on a quest at the last minute to find a game for her and her friends to play at the party she was having for her boyfriend. She ended up getting a game that wasn't actually a game, it was a game in a sense but really it threw them all into the reality that the earth is not the only world there is. I won't say anymore, but I loved this/these books. There's three books within this one. I loved them until the last couple pages that is. But I was reassuring myself because I knew there were sequels... no there aren't, this was it.

So frustrated. How could you just end this way? I have similar frustration about the fact that the last Night World novel has still not been written/released. Like for reals??

Now I'm afraid to read more of her books. I feel like I'm left with a cliff hanger with no way to fix it.




Here's an update on my weekend.

Saturday morning Lady had a vet appointment to check out her ear that had been bothering her.  So Kitty Daddy and I got up bright and early to take her.  Now you see, Lady is a little emotional and can throw a tantrum when she wants to.  We got lucky though and she was very well behaved.  (Except when she refused to walk through the front doors of the vet and I had to carry her in while the receptionists looked on, but we'll let that one slide...) Turns out there wasn't anything majorly wrong, just a ball of wax.  However, the vet did say that Lady was alittttllleee bit on the husky side.  Poor Lady :( He even jiggled her fat to make his point, rude.

At least she doesn't look too broken up about it.
Sunday was a day of lounging around.  I camped out in bed almost all day and worked on homework and embroidered while jamming Adele.  I told you guys, I am all up on her bandwagon these days.  Here's the progress I've made on Dennis...
I don't know how I feel about it.  I mean it's alright for a first attempt but it's a little too arts and crafts for my liking.  Oh well, I'm sure Cat will appreciate it anyways, she loves all things Dennis.

Hope you guys had a nice weekend!

Etsy: Deer and Flannel

Yes that's right, deer sweater. My lovely sister is jumping on the deer bandwagon this year and wants a deer sweater. Did I mention she also wants clothing to cover her rear when she wears leggings? We try to be non-commiters of the bare-rear-with-leggings offense, but unfortunately we don't always follow through. We find it is very difficult to find clothes that properly cover our backsides when we wear our second favorite closet item (next to sweat pants of course), leggings. So here is my attempt at pleasing my sister with her deer, while also helping her out with covering her rump.

Without further ado...

What are your thoughts on these etsy finds lil sis? I think with these there's a fine line between tacky and great. Sis thinks it would be comfy and cute to wear one of these with leggings and boots in the winter. I am in total agreement. But while she is on the lookout for the perfect deer sweater, I'm on the lookout for the perfect flannel...

I picture myself in a similar situation as my sis. Cuddled up, with snow falling outside, in leggings, a cute/comfy flannel, and some big thick socks.



Thursday, November 3, 2011

Vampire Diaries: The Hunters: Phantom

Vampire Diaries:The Hunters:Phantom was a book I was so excited about, until I read that it was being written by a ghost writer and not L.J. Smith. Which is confusing because it makes it seem like she actually wrote it, but everything I read says it was written by a ghost writer. So I was skeptical but was dying to hear how this story continued. The last book ended alluding to Damon not being dead. I was SO excited about this. Damon was my favorite character, and him dying meant that I would no longer be reading the books. Seriously. But bring Damon back into the picture? Hell ya.

I honestly couldn't tell this book was written by anyone other than Smith. The only part I was disappointed with was when Damon and Elena were reunited. I wanted it to be more dramatic I guess. It's hard to explain the plot of this book because so many have come before it. But anyway I would suggest this book to anyone who loves the Vampire Diaries!

Now I just wish I had time to read...

Tomorrow's Friday... Get excited!


PS: Apparently my shoes leak. I came home today with soaked socks and wrinkly feet. This can't be good.

Turning Tables

Loving this song lately, so I thought I'd share. When the weather starts to get colder and a little more gray, I start to listen to softer, crooney-er songs.  Like this one!

I mean her voice is incredible. If there was one thing I wish I could do it would be to sing.  And a super cool British accent like Adele's wouldn't hurt either, just saying.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

School Shmool

Wowsers, this school stuff blows. And work on top of it? Explosive I'm tellin' ya.

Today it began at 7 am at work where it's stressful. Then I had a fight with a Redbox and subsequent fight with Redbox customer service. Then began the fight with my group members for tomorrows presentation. Followed up by writing a paper, accidently deleting it and having to start over. Submitting said paper then realizing that I didn't include the references section. And finalizing the 8 hours with the final fight with the group members. F M L

This semester might just be the death of me.

I'm happy to read that others are feeling the same pain. Well I'm not happy, you know what I mean.

But ya know what the worst part is? There's so much to do and not enough time to do it. And once you've finished a long day full of working you expect to be able to cross a bunch off your list. Nope, only a few items can be crossed off and the list is a mile long.

At least tomorrow's a new day,


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trick or Treat

R's is the awesome one on the top! Hers always come out the best! Then under that is R's best friend's, she stepped in and carved J's for him.  And last but not least is mine! It was messy and our arms were tired but Kitty was happy so it's all good.

Hope everyone had fun on Halloween!

P.S. The muse for last years pumpkin.
Precious, even though he does weird things like hang off the coffee table like it aint no thang!