There are pros to living away from the city. No traffic, generally pretty quiet, more land and trees, fresher air, close to the river, you can kind of do whatever you want due to no HOA rules, etc. But sometimes it just gets a little lonely. I have found myself yearning for companionship and fellowship with other human beings, particularly female companionship.
Now, I have never been so satisfied in my relationship with my husband, let alone any other man. He’s absolutely fantastic, and even though I see him everyday, I find myself missing him when we aren’t together. I love him more than I ever even thought was possible. At first, I didn’t understand how I could feel so emotionally satisfied, yet still ache for more, for something different.
I’ve read several books on how men and women differ in how they process information and react to life situations. We generally differ in how we make decisions, how we react to struggle, how we show and feel love. Now this is definitely not all encompassing, each person is different, whether male or female. But the way I feel when I spend time with my husband is very different from how I feel when I spend time with other male friends, and especially my female friends. This is not to be construed in any way to bring sexuality into the picture. I’m talking about the emotional and spiritual connection between people. I don’t have many close female friends, but those that I do have, challenge me, accept me, and bring out creativity in me, and I love that about them.
In the past, I don’t know that I have ever craved companionship so much. Could it be because I’ve always searched for that intimate relationship with my lifetime partner, and now that I have that, I’m lacking in the other areas? Possibly. But to bring it back to living in the country, all I have to say is that I don’t have any friends out here. All of my friends live at least a 30 minute drive away from where I live, or farther. Some as far as 7 hours away. This is a challenge that I haven’t really ever had to deal with before.
My current challenge is to figure out what to do to resolve this lack in companionship. Maybe I can make more trips to where my friends are. The struggle I have with that, is that I get so tired at about 10pm, and after a long days’ work, it is tough for me to make the 30 minute to an hour drive one way to spend a little bit of time with some friends, to then have to turn around and drive that same distance back. Spending time with my friends is definitely more important than worrying about drive time, but it’s hard to look past, especially with gas being so expensive as well.
The feeling I get from time to time, from having not been around many of my friends in the last several months, is that their lives are all moving on without me in them. It makes me sad to think about, whether it is a true thought or not. I don’t want to lose my friends because I wouldn’t get in the car and drive to see them. You could argue that they could come visit me…yes. But I’m the only one they know out here. And there’s not a whole lot to do in the realm of entertaining. We’ve got 4 restaurants, 2 gas stations and a bunch of churches. Even to get a pizza or groceries you have to drive at least 20 minutes to the next big town. I don’t mind all that, but most people aren’t accustomed to it.
We’ll just have to see what the next few months holds. Hopefully things will resolve in my struggle over the battle with loneliness. I’m sure it will.
I just thought I would let everyone know…The TOMS outlet website, or any other website besides www.toms.com is in no way associated with the real TOMS One for One movement. I live chatted with a representative from the real TOMS, and she informed me that there are many TOMS imposters out there. If you are purchasing these shoes to be a part of the One to One movement, don’t purchase them from anyone other than www.toms.com
I am in no way affiliated with the company, I just believe that what they are doing is a positive thing.
So if you’re going to buy TOMS, buy them from the real TOMS store. www.toms.com
Dinah-Might Adventures in Intuit Small Business Big Game Contest
So for those of you I haven’t already told or who haven’t already seen…
The company that I work for (Dinah-Might Adventures) has entered the Intuit Small Business Big Game contest. We are currently in the second round, which ends on Oct 13th. From there the contestants will be narrowed down to just 20 entrants. We feel like we really have a chance!
The winner of the competition gets a free 30-second commercial that will air during the Superbowl in January! That’s a huge deal. This could be absolutely fantastic for my company!
I will be marrying my best friend. I still can’t believe that he wants me to be his wife. He wants me for forever. I feel so blessed to share in a love like ours, so unique to us, yet so perfect for us. I am so very thankful for all of the experiences, good and bad that led me here. Not only would I not be the person I am today, but I would have missed out on the greatest feeling I have ever felt. A love that I only ever dreamed of.
I’ve always wanted to learn to drive a standard and now I have to! This is our new car. I sold mine on January 2nd and we bought this one on January 3rd! I’m really excited to have another Volkswagen. My first 2 cars were VWs and I loved them both! Way to go great fuel economy! It’s a TDI standard. So guess what have to learn?! And fast! This picture is day two of my standard transmission training.
Super excited about the car and about learning to drive it!
This day with go down in history! A Tuesday to beat all Tuesdays; and a birthday that I will never forget. I just thought I was turning 25; acknowledging my quarter of a century of existence; remembering the past. But little did I know, that day would begin a long journey into the future.
It would be the day that Taylor would ask me to marry him! And I said yes! Out loud and everything!
This picture was taken shortly after the proposal! Happy Tears! We’re both really excited! More story soon!
Knowing that it is a little late to be actually starting a garden, we decided to push on anyway. This past weekend we built our raised bed. We’ve been talking about it for what seems like forever. Between deciding what material to make it out of, where to buy soil and what kind, and what to plant, it seemed like all we were going to do is talk about it, and not make any decisions.
Well we made decisions!
This first photo is of the location we chose. The people who own the property behind us actually grow a variety of cacti and sell it at markets or something. There’s no fence line between the properties, but all of that stuff is theirs.
We decided to go with cinder blocks, because although they are heavy, they were easy to put together as a bed. They were pretty inexpensive, at $1.28 a block(we used 34) they won’t leach a bunch of bad stuff into the soil, and they will last a long time. Although I think it would have been ideal to use cedar wood, that was an expensive option that would have to be replaced more often.
Since this is our first try at this, we had to make some of these decisions based on financial restrictions and just to see what will happen. Neither of us really knows what we’re doing, so we are learning as we go.
There are things that we already know we would have done differently. Such as placing something over the grass ahead of time to kill it off before trying to remove it. We didn’t think that far ahead. So we dug it up! Mind you, we are going organic here, so we aren’t going to use any chemicals to kill grasses or weeds.
And these are all of the tools that we tried. Some we ended up using and some we did not. One plus to living on your parents property is being able to raid the tools to see what works best for you! :)
I’ve been reading a book loaned to me by my boss about composting. It has really made me aware of the soil and how much that can help in battling pests and infections, and keeping the plants growing strong.
One of the things about organic gardening is working with nature. We want to have a positive effect on ourselves by growing our own vegetables, but also working with nature, not against it, to work together for a healthy environment for our food and the things around it. We found this little guy(above) while we were digging up the grass.
It seemed like we measured and measured and measured. We did ok with keeping the size of our hole for our bed the right size, but we may gave gotten a little crooked with it, as you can kind of see in the picture. This picture if after we removed the grass but before we hand worked the soil with a pickaxe. Thank you, Taylor! I couldn’t handle the pickaxe. My upper body is not quite strong enough for that. We didn’t have a tiller to use, so we went old school and did it all by hand.
After we got the soil “tilled,” we placed the blocks. They are a little bit uneven, but they will settle a little as the soil compacts under the blocks. We mixed a little bit of our 4 way mix(compost, sand, topsoil, and mulch) in with the existing soil and then added the rest on top.
Fortunately, my dad wasn’t using his truck last weekend, so we were also able to fill it up with our soil mix. It fit perfectly in his truck. It took 1.5 cubic yards to fill our 4x19 ft. raised bed. We also added some organic fertilizer to the top 4 inches or so of the mix. Like I said before, we are kind of experimenting here. So we will see how everything turns out.
I’m so excited about our garden. We’ve got all of our stuff ready to go. In our garden we will be trying:
Carrots (2 types)
and possibly onions
We will be covering the bed to protect it from pests and to keep it producing longer into the season. We are in the process of locating row covers. Will keep you updated! Wish us luck…and maybe we’ll share some of our delicious veggies!
So Taylor and I have ventured into the world of renovation. Since we don’t have a house to renovate, why not the RV that has been sitting in my parents yard for years collecting dust, bugs and who knows what else?!
My brother paid $500 dollars for this beauty. And a few years later my dad bought it from him since it had been sitting in the yard nearly untouched. My dad was just going to scrap it, or use it as a hunting cabin. I couldn’t let him do this. Now, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover right? Well, in this case, I’m going to say you can’t judge an RV by the cover or by the insides.
When I first saw this beautiful 1972 Superior Motorhome, I fell a little in love. But thought that it was a love that could never be requited, since it belonged to someone else. But in so many cases with love, we just needed time. Time for our lives to both be in a place where we could really be together. Okay. I’ll stop with the cheesy love references and move on the the real story. I really did think this thing was awesome when my brother first brought it home. I immediately started thinking of what it could be. It just had so much potential. Finally a few weeks ago, I asked my dad what he was going to do with it. After some wishy-washy response, it ended up being that if I was willing to put in the time and money to fix it up, it was mine. Mind you I asked my dad repeatedly how much he purchased it from my brother for, but each answer was “$5.” Yeah right. Lol. My dad is so stubborn and so sweet.
I brought Taylor out I think a few days later to my parents and we took another really good look at the motorhome. It wasn’t until then that he could really see the potential she had. Solid metal body with metal frame work and a mostly working engine. It has functioning AC, which you wouldn’t guess, right!? And there is a fridge somewhere in storage for it. Great start. Now take a look at what it looked like before we began.
Now whoever owned it before my family was using it as a work station or something and built in all of these weird work benches in the front and the back. They obviously had dogs, based on the hair and dog bowls that we found in the RV. The lovely curtains are made out of old towels…classy. And it was just filled with trash.
Here are just a few of the things we found inside…
From the right:
a small number of the large collection of gauze pads that were on the bathroom counter
another small number of the large collection of alcohol wipes that were also in the bathroom
2 of the rolls of medical tape we found
some kind of channel thing for the old CB radio that is still in the front
a tv remote
a VCR/DVD remote(mind you we did not find a tv or player of any kind)
one of the current license plates for the RV (we found the other one later)
Krogers & Randalls cards
Sears & a Discover Card
a personal date organizer, brand new old
an ace and a 2 card… cheater maybe?
map of New Orleans
cook book that had all of the pages stuck together
An assortment of screws
Tools: little wrench, saw blade, drill bits
half of a kitchen steak knife
a number of pins including one that said Desert Storm on it
about 4 or 5 matches
a battery from a remote control car
some kind of fuse
a flashlight key chain (works…keepin’ it!)
some pens and pencils
three blade sharpener blocks - assorted sizes
We also found an old toaster from Sears, an old microwaveable popcorn maker thing, the original hand book for the RV, and a collection of random other things. This is all after my brother’s initial cleaning when he first got it. It was full of beer cans a dip cans. He did find an old film camera in there that he oh-so-kindly gave to me.
The Renovation Begins:
Our first goal was to clear out the trash and take out the add-ons that the guy before us added. Here’s after one weekend:
We took out the little 5” shelf that raised up here where I’m assuming the original dinette went. We found out that the reason that was there was because of that little silver piece above. Turns out that is for the gas tank. After talking it over and discussing it with my dad, there is room for us to bring the fill up “hole” or whatever you want to call it down far enough to level out the interior floor without having to mess with the actual gas tank. This was good news. No major fixes and a little bit of extra room inside.
Looks a lot better right?! Wait till you see what happened this past weekend.
And by the way… the green shag is not staying. I’m a little sad about it, because I do like green, and I do like shag carpet, but ew. That’s gross.
Pulled out cabinets and walls through out. Below is where we put most everything. I had never dealt with rivets before. But thanks to Taylor and my dad, I’m a pro now!
We decided to focus on the rear first, since that will be the sleeping quarters and looks like it might also be the living and dining quarters as well.
This past weekend I also found a compartment with all of the lights, mirrors, windshield wipers, etc. I got so excited because you can see on the side mirrors the color that the top part of the motorhome used to be. It’s like my favorite color green! Love it! We are definitely going to keep with the neutrals/vintage look. We both like greens and browns, and since the green leather in the front part of the RV is in surprisingly good shape, we’ll just go based off of that.
Next trip out there we’re focusing on patching the few holes on the roof. I’m sure Taylor knows plenty about how to fiber class stuff, but it’ll be new to me. And we’ll be sealing up the holes and gaps between the interior and exterior. No more bugs and lots of insulation! Wish us luck. It’s going to be an adventure!
Keep checking back for updates. I’ll try to keep them coming!
So it has been tradition for one of my best friends, Sue, and I to decorate Easter Eggs and Christmas cookies every year. We’ve been doing it since we were probably 4, with the aid of my mother of course. We’re 24 now and still carry on the traditions on our own. Sometime after we graduated high school we added one member to our tradition, another bestest of friends, Valerie. :) We are a crazy trio, though not in the now traditional sense of the term “crazy.” Our version of crazy is trying fun crafts and art projects. We have a glass of wine a just go nuts! lol
So this year for Easter, we decided we should do something a little different than the traditional PAAS or store brand tablet dyes.
Tie-Dyed Eggs! Literally. Silk ties + eggs and boiling water = super funness! Valerie and I both found this idea in separate places. I found it on pinterest. Here’s the link that we followed.
Here’s our adventure. I had pictures of the ties, before, but I haven’t been able to locate them quite yet. Will try to add them when I find them.
We shopped at local thrift shops for ties. They have to be 100% silk in order to work. I’m guessing the silk allows the ink to release when other fabrics may not. When you deconstruct a tie, it actually has a lot of fabric there. We easily got two eggs covered with each tie with room for more. Wrap ‘em up, wrap those with a neutral colored fabric and boil!
Some turned out better than others. But either way, I thought they were awesome! I’d totally do it again! I’ve kind of felt bad cracking them to eat them, because they’re so cool looking!
Several weeks ago, Taylor and I went strawberry picking in Fredericksburg. It was perfect timing because the peach trees were in bloom. It was beautiful! They only bloom for about 2 weeks, so we really lucked out. My family has been picking peaches at this orchard for somewhere near 20 years and I always love going there.
There were lots of bees hanging around the peach trees. They were doing a good job making the honey!
Here is our selection! Beautiful right?! And so delicious. As soon as we had payed for our strawberries, we took a few out of the box and scarfed ‘em down.
Animal decided to check out some of the small strawberries. In the end he decided he didn’t really care much.
So I had been reminded of the time I spent folding t-shirts for Nothing More before we headed off to 5 Warped Tour dates in 2008. When I was at the Puddle of Mudd show with them a few weekends ago, I spend a few minutes going through their boxes of merchandise before the show to get ready. There were so few t-shirts in comparison to when I was on the road. We were headed out for a week at that time, so we had taken a lot, but they had also been steadily ordering. Nonetheless, I remembered folding what seemed like thousands of shirts, although it was probably only in the hundreds. I found this picture last night of my parent’s living room completely full of t-shirts.
We also have recently had to fold and roll the t-shirts that we designed and had printed for conferences at work, but it was like one box… That’s nothin’!!
So Taylor and I jumped at a chance to go back on the road with Nothing More for a show in Houston this past weekend. It had been almost 3 and a half years since we were on the road with them before. We thought it’d be fun, and the band was playing with Puddle of Mudd. I’ve never been a big Puddle of Mudd fan, but I knew their radio hits from the 90s/early 2000s. More than anything it was a chance for us to spend some time with our friends.
Unfortunately their set was pretty short, and there were some problems with at least two of the mics. But the talk that we did hear from the crowd was all good. They seemed to really like them.
All in all, I think it was a good weekend. A conversation was had that was over three years in the making. I’m still very excited about that. We got to see horse races - the show was at the Sam Houston Race Park - although I don’t think I like them. I just felt awful for the horses. It was a lot more violent of a start than I originally thought. Lots of whipping and yelling. Not a fan of either of those things. We got comped hotel rooms from the park I guess. And they were pretty nice rooms. Suites, if you will. :) We got to see the guys from Puddle of Mudd(although I don’t know that anyone in our group actually watched the show…feel a little bad about that.) We got to encounter the singer, who unfortunately seems to have let his fame get to his head. I hate it when that happens. Good time spent with friends! All that equals totally worth being tired all day today at work. lol
Here’s really the only picture I got of Puddle of Mudd while they were doing a meet and greet. The singer is actually smiling! I think that was the only time I saw him do that the whole time we were there!
And a picture of the horses making their way across the track…
Today is a day that only exists once every four years. Because of the way we keep time in combination with the earth’s rotation and its revolution around the sun, we are left with a little bit of extra time each year. Some one in history decided to clump all of this extra time into a day that would occur every four years at the end of our shortest month, February. Now I did a little research to figure out why February is our shortest month. Apparently it dates back to the Roman empire. Julius Caesar decided he wanted a month named after him(July) and of course his month would be 31 days long. Augustus Caesar decided later he wanted a month named after him as well, and his month would also have 31 days. Because the year could only be so long, they had to take a day from another month. It is said that they chose to take a day from February, which was already a short month, because it was the least favorite month. It happened in the middle of winter so apparently it didn’t matter as much as the other months. There is a little more information about the leap year in the video below. It’s a fun video.
But the whole reason I brought up the 29th day of February is that we get a chance to have an extra day every four years(most of the time-you’ll get that if you watch the video). I know that I often complain about not having enough time to do things. I hope you were all able to use this extra day this year to do something great. If not, wait four more years and do something great with the next extra day we get. We only get so many days a year. Let’s use them and enjoy them! Happy Leap year everyone!
The link to the original source of the video that I found is here as well as an article about leap years.
I don’t feel like I am an obsessive person. Ok, some things I might be a little OCD about, but that is more like hair in the bathtub, or folding clothes, stuff like that. But over all, I’m a pretty indecisive person. I have a hard time choosing my outfit each day, and I don’t like choosing where to go for lunch. I think about a purchase before I make it for a long time, just to make sure that it is something that I really want to get. Sometimes I can’t even choose what to eat from my own refrigerator, so I just don’t eat anything for a while. I’m indecisive. And most of my friends and family would confirm that.
I may be an adult, but I don’t always feel like one. I know that I put up a fight when people think I’m still in high school, despite the 7 years between it and now. I’ve grown a lot, but I still feel like a kid. Although, I was reminded the other day about the types of decisions I could be making. I’m old enough to decide how often I choose to take a drink. This year I can rent a car without paying a ridiculous amount. I’m independent enough to decide where I live, what groceries I buy, what time I go to bed. I have a good, steady, full time job, which means I can decide what want to purchase and what kind of lifestyle I want to live. But am old enough to make decisions that could change my life?
There are several decisions that can change the rest of your life. Some of which, I’ve already made. I made the decision where to go to college and what degree to get. Granted I did not come to those conclusions very quickly or without much though. I am a weigher of options. I like to look at all possible outcomes and choose the one that I think is wisest and best for me. But what happens when the pros and cons lists consists of the same number of things? What if neither option appears to be something you want to choose? What if choosing one options now could mean possible rough times in the future. I’m not a good decision maker in the first place. What about when those decisions really mean something?
When they say Plains, boy do they mean it. I guess I’m just used to hills. I don’t have a problem with the flat terrain, but as Valerie mentioned on our way today, there are no surprises on the other side of the hill. You can see everything coming! I thought that was an interesting thought. And I think it’s kind of true. I have found myself in positions in the past when faced with wide open or vast areas, feeling anxious and nervous. Maybe I have issues facing what I know is there, or maybe I find it more important to focus on smaller things and not be faced with large quantities of things. As a kid, I really enjoyed sitting in corners. I liked having my back to both walls and being able to look out. I felt like nothing could get me from behind and I could see everything going on in front of me.
We had our conference here in the Permian Basin at a local high school. As we wondered through the halls setting up our exhibits, we couldn’t help but wonder how those high schoolers saw us. To them, did we look like fellow students, or adults? I graduated high school 7 years ago, but I still feel like I could pass as one of them in a crowd. It made me think. I couldn’t help but notice how most of them looked so much alike. The girls dressed mostly the same, and the boys were all looking pretty similar as well. And boy, are skinny jeans in! I am pretty certain I saw people from different groups or “clicks”, all sporting the skinny jeans, boots, and the bouffant or “bump-its” hair style. I was insecure in high school and definitely remember wanting to fit in, in general. I went to a small school and I knew everyone. We didn’t really have clicks, but I wanted to be liked by everyone, which was never an easy feet. I definitely feel like I have come unto my own in the past 7 years. I definitely don’t have quite the desire to meet people’s standards of normal and acceptable. Mind you, I did go through a faze in high school where I didn’t wear makeup. So I guess I started my journey to becoming a black sheep then.
Anyways, I could rant on about how I feel about those things for quite some time, but I am again running on minimal sleep after a LONG day. I will leave you with a pretty awesome find from today. We provide refreshments for the teachers attending our conferences, and this strawberry-which I was later told was not the largest in the bowl-caught my eye. It was nearly the size of my palm. It was like eating 3 or 4 ordinary sized strawberries.
After we started taking pictures of it in my hand, it started to remind me of something I would have seen in “Across the Universe” or as album artwork for the Beatles. I might play with the picture a little more later, but I’m having a hard time keeping my eyes open. Goodnight world. :)
So today was the longest day I’ve had in a long while. Not a terrible day, just long. I had a hard time sleeping last night. It could have been the air mattress, or it may have been that I was at someone else’s house in someone else’s room. Or it might have been that my mind was racing all night! I wasn’t feeling anxious, like before, but I was thinking about being anxious and reasons I could be feeling that way. Either way… not much sleep. Out of there by 7:30 on my way home. Arrived around 8:15(earlier than I thought it was going to be), and left at about 8:45. Work from 9 to……. FOREVER! Didn’t leave there till about 9:15 this evening. And I didn’t have time for a lunch break today. Luckily, my mom brought my grandmother by today. I hadn’t seen her in a long time, and she hadn’t seen where I was working. A few hours later my dad calls me from the other side of our building and asks me to come outside. And who was in his car?! My grandad! Apparently the boys were hanging out together and the ladies were hanging out together. It was so nice to see all of them. I miss my family. I see my parents weekly, or biweekly, but I hadn’t seen my dad’s parents in far too long. But those visits were the extents of my “breaks” today, neither of which lasted very long.
I was reminded of something today. The hazard of working for a publishing company. PAPER CUTS! I forget sometimes when we aren’t printing as much. But I managed to even get a paper cut way up on the inside of my arm. I have never had as many paper cuts as I have had since working at my job. Don’t get me wrong… I love my job, but geeze those things hurt. Mine get a little swollen after too, and they get all sensitive.
Enough about paper cuts.
Despite being incredibly busy all day, and being nearly at the point of my head hitting the key board right now, I felt like I remembered a few important things today. Family is priceless. I know I get “busy” with other things most of the time, but it’s at times like those, when it has been too long since I have seen those important people in my life that I remember how much they mean to me. I have wonderful family and I feel so blessed. I also remembered how much I value my relationships. I’ve been thinking about all of these things lately, but today just seemed a good day to bring it all together as one giant thought. I have wonderful parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings and cousins. I have an amazing man in my life, and the best friends that I could ever ask for. And a very handsome cat to come home to every day.
I want to become more aware and thankful for not only the positive and wonderful things in my life, but also in those things that I find struggle.
Well, I am sleep deprived and I am also getting picked up at 7AM to head to a conference. I believe I hear a bed calling my name.
Tomorrow morning is going to be a coffee and quick smoothy kind of morning. I wish it could be this…
Fresh homemade strawberry scones and coffee with homemade vanilla creamer. Mmmm… it was all delicious!