Something Else Sunday #12 – The Beginning of a Love Affair, Part 2

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Mid-yawn funny face. Still cute.

It’s Sunday again! I’m in the middle of a 24 hour shift at work (which basically involves sitting at a desk, being available, and awake…not a lot of actual work). Still waiting on the new domain to transfer over so I can start blogging over there…I’m sooooo excited and feel like I can’t possibly wait another day but wait I must. ๐Ÿ˜›

This week I’m continuing my story from last week’s Sunday. Like I said: Iโ€™m doing something a little unusual, a departure from my typical Sunday posts. Why? I just felt like something different, and this idea had been knocking around in my head for awhile. Itโ€™sย myย story, one thatโ€™s still growing, but the beginning, at least, I can tell because itโ€™s over and done with. This part sounds kind of like a downer…but it gets better! Also, even if it’s depressing or sad, it’s still MY STORY and deserves to be told. If it can help even one person realize that they are worthy of happiness and fulfillment in life, than it’s worth writing.


(Read part 1 first)

The little girl was growing up very fast, now. Pain has a way of doing that.

People kept asking her what she wanted to do. She was good at writing. Or she had been. She loved books. But she wanted to go places, do things, and help people. She wanted adventure. Some people kept putting pressure on her to be a teacher, be a writer…but she knew in her heart that while she loved those things, she didn’t want to make a career of them. Reading and writing were her joys, her relaxation, her outlet, and to her it just didn’t make sense to make a job of it. Odd as it was, given her other interests – medicine, the science of the human body, and to some extent the biology of the entire world, was her real driving interest.ย 

About her junior year of high school, she started writing again. Non-fiction now, more than before. Her fiction seemed uninspired, and her lack of experience annoyed her. She felt she couldn’t write a good, realistic story – even of the fantasy type – without more experience with people and places than she had, and it frustrated her.ย 

It came time to make decisions about college, and she let certain people push her away from what she wanted to be her life work. She majored in English.ย 

About this time too, there was this guy.ย 

She was angry about a lot of things, and so was he. She was in love. She thought they needed each other. She thought they would make each other happy. So she married him.ย 

Turned out, he was really very bad for her. He cut her down in all kinds of little ways, and told her he was intimidated that she was good at – better than, he thought – he was at a lot of things. Like writing. He was a writer. He was going to be an author. And her writing – that she already thought was rather shoddy and miserable – intimidated him.ย 

She loved him. She didn’t want to make him feel bad. So she stopped writing all together. She wanted to be a supportive wife, so obviously making herself smaller or giving up part of herself for him was the proper course of action.ย 

Little did she know how far down a dark road that way of thinking would lead her, and how long it would take her to come back to the light. But this was still the beginning.

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She finished her degree, and was so tired of picking apart books and essays for hidden meanings that she quit reading almost completely for about two years. During this time she had developed a rather snobbish attitude about popular literature (no Twilight or smutty romances for HER, thankyouverymuch), so the idea of picking up something that might be lighter, easier, more FUN to read, was out of the question.

But she had graduated, and that meant she could go on to other things now. Things that interested her, that set her brain racing, that made her stretch her mind and grow new thought pathways. So she went to phlebotomy school – it was the only medical course she could afford.ย 

She passed with flying colors. Her patients loved her. She loved working with all the different people, learning new things every day, playing with all the different machines and tests. This, THIS was what she was made for.

The books – she still loved books. In a way she still loved writing. But nothing had made her feel alive like this before, even though her job was a very simple one. Funny thing though, working this job – rekindled her love of reading. It was as though working a job so far removed from books, writing, and the literary world in general, made it come back into focus for her.ย 

Slowly, she began to realize that she didn’t necessarily have to make a choice. Even more slowly, she began to realize that it was okay to good at something and be proud of that thing. But she still had a long way to go.

To be continued next week (final part)…

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Something Else Sunday #7

So, this is more like Something Else MONDAY, because with the holiday I wasn’t on board with the idea that yesterday was the last day of the weekend. Also I needed the time to recharge after the last two weeks. Holy hell in a hand basket. SO GLAD it’s over and things can go back to normal, or at least as normal as things ever are here.

I actually paid someone to clean my house today, because DH and I have both been a bit overwhelmed in the last few months and hadn’t done a thorough cleaning, just what bits needed to be done to keep it livable. It was at the overwhelming point, so we bit the bullet and had it done professionally. Cue the singing angels. It was glorious. I sat on the balcony and read while the lady cleaned (like an effing whirlwind, I might add).

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Sir Tristan did NOT approve of a stranger doing the cleaning (see the claw grip on my jeans).ย 

The Harry Potter Knitting/Crochet House Cup started again this week! I was really in a creative slump but this has perked me right up again. Go Hufflepuffs! I’m actually Divergent, on all the Potter tests I get some conglomeration of Ravenclaw/Gryffindor/Hufflepuff, but as far as the House Cup goes I’m ALL PUFF. I’m actually doing my first term as staff this time, and even though I knew there was a shit ton of planning and volunteers that were behind the Cup, I really had no idea. And I’m not even really doing anything, just seeing what all goes on behind the scenes. I guess the whole idea probably sounds crazy to non-HP fans/non-crafters, but it’s a lot of fun for the crafty nerds of the world. ๐Ÿ˜‰

As I mentioned last week, I finally dragged my Vivian out of hibernation. Got a good start on one of the sleeves!

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Complete with cute little pumpkin stitch marker.

I actually got quite a few letters written this week, too! Yay. I had a lot of fun playing with wax seals. ๐Ÿ˜€

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In bookish news, tomorrow my wrap-up August post (shut up, who said the first week of September is almost over??) will be up. August was a rather disappointing month as far as my reading goals. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But, on to other things!

Books I’m (hopefully) reading this week! Aiming for 2 reviews, 3 if I get really excited.

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  1. The Reader (almost finished this one, OMG it’s so awesome!), by Traci Chee – releasing this week!
  2. Royal Blood, by Rhys Bowen
  3. Equal Rites, by Terry Pratchett
  4. The Dream Thieves, by Maggie Stiefvater

Well, that’s it for now! Hope everyone had a great Labor Day if you’re in the States, and here’s to a great week. May your reading time be always uninterrupted. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Returning to Normal

My crazy two weeks of work are over. We were sent home early today. I am exhausted, but eager to return to my normal life with all the reading, writing, and creating I love to do. Hold on though. PSA.

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I have heard people talk for almost 12 straight hours a day for the past 2 weeks. Desperately need a little time in my theoretical blanket fort.

That said, a review of Imprudence is half-written and should be up tomorrow! I’ve missed my books and book bloggers…I’ve only read maybe half a dozen blog posts in the past 2 weeks and it’s made me sad!

Something Else Sunday – #2

Sunday again! This week both went by very slowly and very quickly. Funny how that works. So aside from my reading life (which was horribly slow, I only finished one book)…

Starting off with Sir Tristan, naturally.

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I somehow managed to come down with a beastly cold that stole my voice and knocked me flat in the space of about 12 hours. It also rendered me unable to sleep – quite a feat, as sleep is usually my answer for everything. Tristan was much confused, but stuck to my side like glue.

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Hiding his face from the offensive glow of my booklight.

I did manage to complete another yarn for the Tour de Fleece this week. Just barely though, so I only have an on-the-bobbin shot for the finished yet…it’s still hanging on the line drying. It’s so very girly…way outside my usual colors, but I’m aiming to make a stuffie for my lovely little goddaughter with it, so girly is acceptable. It’s a 3-ply, about 3.5 oz, 220 yards.

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I also got to go on a bit of a road trip with a bunch of people from work – we went deep sea fishing! Sadly DH couldn’t go, and my camera died about 6 pictures into the trip. Because of course my rechargeable batteries weren’t exactly recharged. Sigh. I’ll try to put actual fishing pictures up later, but for now, here’s one of the small-town Korea we passed through on the way. Quite blurry of course…the bus wasn’t exactly a smooth ride. ๐Ÿ˜›

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Book Reviews Coming Up: (covers link to GoodReads)

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Top 10 Tuesday: 10 Facts About Me


This TTT pick from over at The Broke and the Bookish this week! Link to be added once that side of the world wakes up to Tuesday (it’s almost noon here).

  1. I’ve been reading pretty much non-stop since I was 4. My mom taught me how to read. Little did she know what she was creating…
  2. I have a B.A. in English, but since I graduated in 2010 have worked as a phlebotomist and EMT. I love words and books, but I can’t make it my JOB. At least not currently. I get too twitchy if I do nothing but stare at a computer screen ALL the time.
  3. I think animals are better than people. About 90% of the time. I’m really a dog person, even though I’ve only had cats for the past 4 years.
  4. I like eating canned black olives straight out of the can.
  5. I love trees. I am convinced that somehow, there are spirits in trees that I could talk to if I could just figure it out.ย 
  6. I would like to get rid of television. Permanently.
  7. The first movie I saw in theater was Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I was 20.
  8. Besides reading, my next favorite things to do are anything outside (unless it involves LARGE quantities of mud, but a little is ok), knitting/spinning, and writing letters. Some of my best friends I’ve only ever “met” in writing.ย 
  9. I don’t plan to have children. I love my friends’ kids and have a lovely, adorable goddaughter (that I sadly haven’t met in person yet), but feel no need to procreate. And don’t tell me getting older will change my mind. I’m 28. I’m child-free by choice and my husband is 100% okay (maybe we should say thrilled – he already has a child from a previous marriage, and said kid is awesome but also almost an adult so…much awkwardness would ensue) with that.
  10. I’ve wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail AND be a medical doctor since I was 11 years old.

Well, that was fun and oh-so-very random! Can’t wait to read all the others that come from the link-up. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ˜œ

Odd Places

Today feels like a very weird day. It should be a good day…somewhat sunny outside (read: cloudy but bright), it’s Saturday, I didn’t sleep in too late, had delicious coffee and the husband made bacon for breakfast. Tristan has been super snuggly and lovey.

That little face.

That little face.

Husband is playing on the PS4, I have a handful of lovely letters to reply to AND about 3 books I’ve been dying to read, not to mention the journal and scrapbook I’ve been itching to make. And the knitting project. And the hibernating quilt project.

Letters!

Letters!

Knitting project.

Knitting project.

Yet I’m in some kind of odd place mentally and none of those are appealing. I’m not bored. Just…my brain is shooting all these different directions and can’t focus on any of them. I feel like a honeybee with ADD. In my head, anyway…physically, it sent me to the couch, to the computer, and to the bathtub. Where I decided the logical thing to do was to write a blog post about it, and then either make myself a drink or take a nap. Not sure which is more appealing right now.

I really want to be outside. But I’ve managed to injure my hip somehow and am on strict doctor’s orders to rest. Which means sit. And stretch. And walk a little. But no climbing or hiking or carrying packs…which rules out all the fun weekend stuff we had been planning to do. Hopefully just for about 3 weeks, but still…do you know how HOT it will be in a few more weeks? Also, I found, after more than a year of looking, potting soil…which means I could start a few container plants…but then, we will only be here less than another year and can’t take them with, so what’s the point?

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This is the kind of day it feels like it should be.

Books and More Books

This year, I’m really rediscovering my love not only of books (never doubted that one) but of writing. More on that later, but in the meantime it’s long overdue an update on my Reading Challenges for 2016! I just updated the “Books to Read 2016” page, which is my list of owned-but-never-read books that I am attempting to finish this year. I’m very bad at staying focused, so while I have read a total of 45 books for the year, I’m only at 15/45 from that list. Yikes! Need to work on that. But, while I do have reading goals, I am trying to follow the advice of my new mug and read what I love!

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Lovely mug courtesy of the Bookworm Boutique. Besides the shop, she has a beautiful Instagram @bookwormboutique and a book review blog.

Squirrel! Anyway, back to the reading challenges…

The challenge I wrote about doing with some friends is still going strong! Out of 50 categories (my original goal was 12, I’ve since raised it to 36) I’m at 26. Some of them are kind of stretches for me, but it’s fun. We’re not making the list public at this point, but it’s kind of like the PopSugar 2016 Reading Challenge.

I’m going to get back into doing book reviews. For the above challenge, in order to be able to officially list a book we had to write at least a brief review of it on GoodReads, and writing those has motivated me to write more detailed ones. I’ll be posting them here, and on GoodReads, and some on LibraryThing. I’ve been pretty lucky to be selected for a few ARCs from the Early Reviewers group this year, and it seems to be a fun, easy way to score a free book. And since free books don’t feel like failing at my book-buying ban…score! Besides the ER group, I’m expecting my first book from Blogging for Books soon (soon being a relative term ย – overseas media mail shipping takes almost 6 weeks, usually) and can’t wait to get on reviewing from them too!

The Little Quilter That Could

All together! Phew.

So, this quilt? I think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. Not only is it the largest I’ve ever made, it’s only the 3rd I’ve attempted to free motion quilt, 2nd on this machine, and only the 5th I’ve ever quilted, period. So, while that in and of itself is challenging enough, I was also too impatient to wait on ordering backing and batting from the States to finish it. DH kept asking if it was done and why I was working on something else…he’s so excited, it’s adorable. I love him. โค Anywho, we decided to go down to the Korean fabric market to find stuffs to finish.

We found a very nice, but heavy navy cotton. Kind of like Kona but a tad heavier. The search for batting took longer. Google Translate doesn’t know quite what to do with the word and pictures weren’t that helpful either. After madly dashing around (the market was about to close), we found a store that looked like it was kind of a quilting supply store…kind of. And hallelujah! Cotton batting. It looked a little thicker than what I was used to seeing, but it felt and looked nice, and for 11 yards it was only about 45 US dollars.

He keeps trying to “help” and ending up only adding to my frustration. Good thing he’s so cute.

Fast forward to basting the quilt. When I picked it up off the floor, I staggered. It was shockingly heavy. Feeling the first real flutters of unease, I started it on the machine. First up was stitch in the ditch with a walking foot around the sashing. Which, while it still made my arms ache, wasn’t too bad. Took several hours, but it looked pretty good and I was happy with it.

One of the better sections.

Horrible, horrible. Red thread on white fabric = no forgiveness, at all. Stitch in the ditch obviously not for FMQ, only to be attempted with a walking foot. Lesson learned.

Doesn’t look as bad from the back, somehow. At least not to me, even if you can still see some of the wobbliness. Ignore all the fuzz.ย ย 

Well. Attempting to free-motion quilt…not. so. much. It’s horrendously heavy and no matter how I try to support it (granted, I only have an oval dining room table) it slides around so badly that every time I stop, I end up with a jagged stitch out of place. I’m very frustrated and just want it to be over. I’m glad my next FMQ project is already basted, backed with wonderfully soft, light Bella and with an almost paper thin cotton batting. And it’s only lap size.

On the bright side, even when I threw a literal temper tantrum over all the mistakes in the quilting, my husband declared he loves it and please stop fussing about it because he won’t notice my “mistakes” and if he does ever see anything it will just remind him I made it. Awwww.

28 blocks quilted, 52 more to go.

Reading Life

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New year, new goals! I knocked my 2015 reading goal out of the park, the first year I’ve ever actually reached my number goal, which was 25. I read 69. Sure, the goal was low for the speed at which I normally read, but considering that in 2013 I only read 13 books (for real), and 2015 was going to entail some MAJOR life changes like moving to the other side of the world, I thought it was reasonable. Then I had more free time on my hands then I anticipated, and wham. Almost triple. Whoohoo!

So this year, my number goal is 50. I don’t anticipate moving this year, but we do plan on doing as much traveling as possible, and I have all these other hobbies that intrude on my reading time. My other goal is to finish every book I’ve bought and not read. Towards that end I’ve created a new page with that list. Enjoy my extremely random library (the whole thing is cataloged here…still working on the audiobooks and ebooks). This goal was inspired by my husband wincing over a new box of books arriving in the mail not too long ago, and the reminder that when we DO move back to the States they are the biggest contributor to our moving weight limit. Eeep. So I either read them, or give them away. And, I am going to attempt – key word – to go on a book-buying diet until I have finished the ones I have. All 45 of them (since I already went through and cleared out the 10 or so that I decided I didn’t want to read anymore). I am allowing myself a subscription to OwlCrate…I’ve enjoyed quite a few YA reads in the last year, and I am in absolute love with the literary goodies I’ve seen in pictures of boxes. And I’m just a sucker for subscription boxes in general.

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I’m really kind of bummed I missed out on the Poe zipper pouch.

My last reading goal is a challenge I’m doing with a bunch of pen-pal friends. I’m choosing 12 challenges out of a list to stretch my reading horizons. Books a little out of my comfort zone.

Will I go over 50? I sure hope so! But I wanted to set myself up for success. What are your reading goals for 2016?

Finishing the Things

Pretty proud of all the stuff I managed to accomplish during the last 3 months as a result of participating in the HPKCHC! Ravelry is such an awesome place. ๐Ÿ˜€ So, pictures.

yarma_medium2Socks!

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Boy hat!

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Baby sleepsack!

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Dishcloth!

Halloween Sampler 2015

Massive Halloween sampler!

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Yarn!

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More yarn!

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And more!

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Last yarn!

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Sweater vest!

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Baby hat!

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And last but not at all least (see the beads?), Mr. Penguin ornament!!

It feels so good to be making things again. Hope everyone else had a great November, I’ll be back with holiday stuffs postings soon!