Morton Arboretum 2013

Chicago had a crazy night of wind and rain, and I think that the high in the upper 40s today means that the part of autumn I’m not a fan of is settling in. The part when all the pretty leaves are falling off the trees with a vengeance and it’s just rain and cold and grey… until all that rain turns to snow. I think the Christians were on to something, tossing Christmas where they did. If I didn’t have the holiday season to look forward to, I don’t know what sort of shape I’d be in. I guess mourning for the true loss of summer, jeans shorts, sandals, and tank tops.

But. Moving on from that. I had a really neat October. There was my trip to New York City, which was amazing and awesome and will be blogged about for sure because a little blurb in a potluck post won’t be able to cover everything. But I’m not completely cruel, so here’s a photo of me laughing in Times Square.

New York City 2013

There was an afternoon spent at Morton Arboretum to capture the beautiful fall colors. I visited Graceland Cemetery, where I always get a little bit maudlin. I start freaking out about mortality and letting my mind go to dark places. Maybe I shouldn’t visit cemeteries anymore. But then, how could I get photos like this?

Graceland Cemetary

There was my trip to Columbus, Ohio, where I hadn’t been for three years. Things just fell into place for me to attend the Ohio Valley Filk Fest this year. I’m not even *that* into filk, but a lot of people I adored was going to be there. Someone offered me a ride. And I made hotel arrangements with Belinda and Patrick. And with all that working in my favor, plus a chance to see Aidan? It was a no brainer. Aidan had no idea, so when his dad pulled up to the hotel, Aidan was not impressed. Then he saw me and his little face lit up like the sun. It was so awesome to see! I’d missed that little guy and scheduling this year has made it hard to see him. Last weekend was the first time I’d seen him since he left in August.

Surprise Weekend with Aidan
i was so happy to hug him again!

It was so nice to spend the weekend with him, and with some other friends in the sci-fi/con community.

Belinda, S00j, and Me
belinda, s00j, and me
so blessed to know those two beautiful women
and of course i had to represent my alma mater

I got to eat at my beloved Bob Evans with my friend Angelo, who I’ve known since college and who I adore. Even though I really enjoy the Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches, there is no sausage better than the Bob Evans patties.

Now that November is here, all of my shop emails are turning to holiday themes. Which I’m usually OK with but this year, I feel like it’s rushing me a bit. Probably because the place isn’t holiday ready, what with Lena’s litter box habits being very out of whack and the constant cleanup because of that. Also because we need to just do a serious deep cleaning anyway and I have zero motivation to do it any time soon. There’s cat hair everywhere. The kitchen counters need a good scrub down. I need to sanitize the bathroom again. And I will. Truly. A lovely pixie named s00j is coming to spend the night in a couple of weeks and I want to make sure that the place is spic and span for her.

Crookshanks has plopped on to my lap and is purring like a purring thing. He’s also putting his paw on my hands every time I start typing, so I think that means it’s time to sign off for now. Tonight’s plan is to kick off my weekend Singing Myself Awake. Third year in a row I get to study with Suzanne Sterling. I’m a bit nervous about the asana practices. She kicked my butt last year and that was when I had a regular and strong practice. Now my practice is weak and sporadic. I’m going to be hurting by the time this weekend is over. But it’s my fault for letting my practice slip so much. I’m also worried because I have health issues this year that weren’t as severe last year. This year they could be a hindrance, but I know that I can always modify. Maybe this weekend will kick me back into gear.

Anyway, I’m off for now. Need to shower and eat something to prepare for the asana kicking I will surely experience tonight. And Crookshanks really does mean business.

Till next time….

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taking stock.


Making: a mental list of things to pack for ohio and things to do before ohio. and another header for my blog. i just can’t get satisfied!

Cooking: nothing right now because as usual, i can’t decide what i want to eat for dinner.

Drinking: zevia ginger ale. ginger ale is the only pop i allow myself to drink.

Reading: harry potter and the deathly hallows. again.

Wanting: my pink combat boots to arrive already.

Looking: at my computer screen.

Playing: lego harry potter years 5-7 on the 3ds.

Wasting: time. always time.

Wishing: i could decide what to eat.

Enjoying: these relaxing days i’ve been having.

Waiting: to see my mommy and cousins next week.

Liking: new music on my playlist. and ios7. it’s so cute.

Wondering: when disney will put out its winter/spring 2014 promotions.

Loving: my family.

Hoping: that adam doesn’t make me drive the whole way to ohio. also that the leaves have started changing colors. i want to take some pictures!

Marveling: life in general.

Needing: to figure out what i should have for dinner. i actually want sushi but the hermit in me doesn’t want to go pick it up. i know, it’s bad.

Smelling: skin.

Wearing: pink leggings and a shirt with dancing bananas on it.

Following: too many blogs.

Noticing: anything plaid. boots and bags.

Knowing: it’s going to be getting cold soon and i don’t like that. but i have autumn to get through first, so that’s good. our leaves haven’t even started changing yet.

Thinking: about things to do next week.

Bookmarking: nothing.

Opening: nothing.

Giggling: some gifs on tumblr. people are crazy on that site.

Feeling: a little tired and hungry.

what can I say? illy has the best posts. she got it from here. :)

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About 6 weeks ago, I wrote a post in which I outlined some of the self-talk that goes through my head:

1. Shut up, just shut up. You’re so stupid and NO ONE CARES.
2. I bet none of them really like you. They only put up with you because they have to.
3. OH MY GOD you are so dumb. Seriously, shut the hell up.

Just a few of the examples I struggle with constantly. There’s more, believe me.

But recently, I’ve been showered with a lot of goodness. Here are some of the things that people told me the past few days:

· I really love seeing your face around here.
· You’re one of the few people I feel is authentic.
· How could anyone not like you?
· I had such a good time with you this weekend!
· I get so excited when I see we’re working together!
· I miss you so hard.
· So lucky to know this beautiful one (the caption under a photo, posted by a friend, of me and her).

Every beautiful thing that someone told me made my heart swell. I could hardly believe it. People really felt that way about me? I wanted to take every one of those sentences, bottle them up, and save the bottle for those days when I feel ugly, like I’m doing/saying everything wrong, and like I’m making everyone mad. Or, those days when I start wondering what I can do to stop people from being mad and me and/or possibly hating me.

But this is so important to remember….


By being real and being me, the right people will love me, and I them. It all works out. I am so blessed.

It’s amazing how words can affect a person. I know that all the negative self-talk is no bueno. NOTHING good is ever going to come from being so down on myself. And when I think of how tingly and happy I felt when people were saying all those nice things about me, I wonder if I could recreate the same effect myself if I stopped talking down to myself all the time.


It’s hard to change those patterns. I need to practice and practice and practice. Words are very powerful–don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. I need to feed myself more of this good stuff rather than hatred and vitriol. Who knows what I could accomplish once I stop talking down to myself and start raising myself up?

Who knows indeed.



More of That


I scroll through my Live Journal and Facebook posts and I see people doing a lot of what they love to do. I get so caught up refreshing tumblr, or staring at Facebook, or sleeping. The Internet sucks me in and the next thing I know, another day has gone by. I get so caught up in silly things that I forget to do the things that bring me really deep joy. Except reading–I ALWAYS remember to read.

I need more of these things in my life:

1. Drinking hot tea and drinking cocoa.
2. Writing.
3. Spinach. I want and need to consume more spinach. Mmm spinach.
4. Taking pictures. LOTS of pictures.
5. Dancing.

What joyful things do you wish you had more of in your life?

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Ahead to 2013!


I’m sitting here, watching Aidan play LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes and thinking about why I’m so nervous about 2013. Probably because I’ve had such a good few years, so I start to wonder when the other shoe is going to drop. That’s a crappy way of looking at things, so I’m trying to avert those worries and thoughts. I’m happy and comfortable and warm, so there is no need to worry about things that may or may not happen.

I’m also feeling my normal post-holidays slump. We party so hard in December, with all the shopping and singing and decorating. Two birthdays, a multitude of holidays, and just that special feeling I get during December of every year. I still have my tree up and will until the weekend, but I always feel melancholy after December passes. No more gatherings or excuses to eat indulgent foods, no presents to give and get, and all the pretty decorations give way to grey, cold, ice, and snow. I’m already tired of wearing my heavy coat with a million layers and feeling like the marshmallow man, and I’m really missing the hot sun, wearing sandals and flip flops, and flowers everywhere. There are so many days until Summer and so many more until next Christmas. It’s kind of overwhelming. I know that once I really get into “ordinary time” I’ll be OK but it’s always hard at first.

It seems like people have a love/hate relationship with New Year’s Resolutions. There are the people who make them faithfully every year and they may or may not break them, and then there are those who act like they’re so against the whole thing. I usually don’t make them because I know I’ll likely break them within five weeks if I even last that long, but that doesn’t mean I don’t start off each new year with some things I want to work on or improve or change. I can see why people pick the first of the year for these things. It’s a brand new year, a clean slate in a way. And I have a lot I’d like to get accomplished.

I’m looking forward to discovering new music, reading new books, and new episodes of the TV shows I manage to stick with. I’m looking forward to getting my 200 hour yoga teacher certification, and I’m looking forward to going to Disney World (would like to go three times this year–one trip is already booked and will be paid for next week). I hope to travel to visit my far away friends, and I hope to lose about 10 pounds. I’d LOVE to finally finish writing a novel, but that’s been in the works for about six years now so it might be time to hang up that dream. I’d love to go back to my no soda restriction–I failed big time at that yesterday while we were having dinner at Fuddruckers (that pop machine is just SO DAMN COOL and I had to try the cherry ginger ale. Had to!). I’d like to read at least 50 new books, and I’d be pleased if I could make it 75! I want to try to go to yoga at least twice every week–three or four times would be ideal, but let’s not get crazy now. ;)

I want to start playing my LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 video game that I got for Christmas in 2011, and then I want to move on to LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7. Maybe I can actually finish a video game! I hope to continue working with my freelance clients and maybe picking up one or two more projects. I am striving to be as well off as I was this past Christmas so I can continue to be as generous with gifts and helping out my family. I need to eat more vegetables. Especially dark, leafy greens. I need to get more iron so I won’t be so bloody cold all the time.

There is no reason why I can’t do most of the stuff on this list. The only thing holding me back is ME. So… that means I’ve got some work to do. I think I can do it, as long as I don’t get lazy! :)

Here’s to 2013!! May it be beautiful and amazing and full of love, security, good health, happiness, and incredible opportunities for all of us.

Happy New Year!!

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