Diet: Week One – Success! (and some other things, too)

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So, this week I really hunkered down and decided that I was going to do this diet thing! and right! and lose weight! and be happy! So, out went anything that I perceived to be “bad.” I threw out or gave away or put in the other freezer the items that fit this list. My individual pasta “nests” (semolina flour), ramen noodles (though I couldn’t tell you how long they’d been in there! a few months maybe? no later than a year…I think…), I got rid of my bread (the birds in the backyard were happy!). I stocked up on yogurt, apples, unsweetened organic applesauce, whole grain granola bars, lowfat turkey breast, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, lowfat/low cal dressing. I gave my bottles of Snapple to my sister (sigh, how I will miss them) and bought Smart Water (it’s the only water that is halfway decent to me). I went for a run on Saturday morning, it was gorgeous out. I also went for a run on Wednesday, which was nice but not so nice at the same time because it was hotter. It didn’t matter once I weighed myself – down three pounds this week overall (I was only aiming to lose between one and two-and-a-half pounds a week max). It was really nice to finally see progress on my weightloss. Guess I’ll have to eat salads for lunch from now until forever! But, you know what? It’s really awesome to put jeans on and a shirt and not have to look like I’m preggo (all of my weight is sitting on my upper arms, my stomach and thighs).

Anywho, my Anatomy midterm was this week and I was really worried about it – and I had to go down to the campus (above) to take it. I have a mild social anxiety when it comes to that campus for some reason (okay, I know the reason but I don’t really feel like I need to say it on here). I didn’t do so hot on my last exam and thought I didn’t stand a chance on this midterm. Most of my professors take the last two or three chapters and use that as the basis of their entire midterm. Not this professor. I was really happy that he used mostly chapters from one through eight. I passed! I couldn’t believe it. Plus, the guy next to me was gorgeous eye-candy so that made me a little happier about being there.

Aftewrwards, I went to Books-A-Million and bought three new books (two books by Sophie Kinsella and one by Jill Mansell), then over to Bed Bath and Beyond for some towels and general browsing. I found out that the rust/pumpkin/terracotta color that I like is actually in the shower curtain I bought, so I can get that color for my actual towels that I’ll use. My backup towels will be the blue that is most prominent in the design. I wasn’t able to find anything else that I wanted (okay, so I’m still eyeing the Rachel Ray pots and pans, but I didn’t buy them). They had a pretty good sale going of Yankee Candles (Spiced Pumpkin is to die for). I finally heard back from A and I’ll be hanging out with her, her hubby and her friends which have slowly become mine over the years. She told me I could invite A2 so I did. We’ll see if he can go because he’s got his kids.

Next weekend I am taking my CPR/BLS course to become certified – but I’ll try to update this “Diet” theme at least once a week. It will give me something to be accountable for!

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Shopaholic: Etsy Finds

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Shopping for a new place like me? Then you’re probably searching for goodies to decorate with. Why not buy handmade instead of commercial? Look at what kinds of goodies I found on Etsy.com

Luiza Vizoli


The Zen Artist


Ive Got Wood Furniture


Warm Fuzzies

Birthdays, memories and diets…

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So, Tuesday was my birthday. As I get older I get the whole “ugh, don’t celebrate, it’s just a day like any other…” mentality. I don’t know why it’s become that way, but I really wasn’t…into my birthday. I had to work, which lets just be frank here, I haven’t really had any time off since I went to Georgia last May, and I’ve been working about 50 hours a week since July. I didn’t really care one way or another that it was my birthday. I’m getting too close to the big 3-0 for my sake. If I’m not married or in a committed relationship by 30, then I’ll quit and just be happy being single. I didn’t really feel like hearing the same stories my Dad tells every Christmas, every birthday, every Easter, every…holiday basically. I didn’t feel like hearing my sister, brother-in-law, mother and father talk about Jersey. I was 12. I don’t really remember it. I mean, I remember parts of it like how much I loved my friends, my house, my bed, my family. I couldn’t tell you what streets were what, or who lived down the block etc.

I always feel very left out. My sister and brother-in-law can turn to each other and murmur to each other about a comment that was made or steal glances at each other with silent “can we go home now?” looks. My mother and father can have an entire conversation just with their facial expressions in their own looks. Then there is me. Just me. Sometimes it really ticks me off when they will be talking about something and for once I can participate because I think I kind of remember something about what they are talking about and then…I just get talked over. But, then again, I would totally miss hearing my Dad’s stories about how much different he was back in the “old days,” and I’d miss the memories of him and my Mom’s marriage back in the early days. I’d miss my sister acting like a Mother.

I didn’t really want anything for my birthday, didn’t really need anything. I got mostly the odds and ends stuff for my apartment…a turkey baster, a barbeque brush (when I’m really into my diet, I barbeque every night on my indoor grill). I got a really cute jewelry thing for my dresser. I’ll have to snag a photo of it, it’s just very…”shabby chic” kind of decor. I really am going to have a hodge podge mess in my new place and I’m kind of looking forward to it. It may wind up being just exactly what I wanted. I’ve really been kind of picking things up as they “speak” to me, not really caring if they match something else. My boss asked me the other day what my color scheme is – I had to think really hard on this! I basically said “rich, bold colors. My dishes are royal purple, my rug for my sink is red, yellow, green, white and black, my couch is coffee colored, my pillows are green and terracotta -” “So, Pier 1?” she interrupted me. I couldn’t help but smile and say “exactly!”

A coworker approached me on Wednesday and asked me if I would be interested in joining Weight Watchers at work. Appparently, my job offers a big discount on WW and has meetings at work – which is awesome. I haven’t really posted about my weight loss because I haven’t lost anything. Back when I started my blog I was actually three pounds lighter than I am now. I got up to almost 200 pounds, which will be the highest I’ve ever been in my life! But the thing of it is? I gave up potato chips back last year for Lent. I rarely drink soda, and if I do it’s a glass and I’m done. At work? I eat a half of a turkey sandwich and their low-fat low-sodium chicken noodle soup. Or, I’ll make my own at home and measure out 3 ounces of turkey, put a half of a slice of mozzerella, with light mayo on one of those sandwich thins. If I do have a snack, it’s a half of one of those Nature Valley granola bars, or a regular yogurt (I can’t do the fake sugar in the light stuff). Dinner depends on whether or not I can convince my Mother I want to make my own dinner or not. I log my calories into my counter and I’m eating anywhere between 1650-1750 calories a day. It’s just starting to get tolerable outside and I’m able to go out and walk. I’m hoping I can start running soon – but I’m afraid to look like an idiot starting to run and then stopping a block later. I guess I’ll just have to get over it. I’m hoping I can get a day off to go over to the Dr. to do bloodwork, maybe there is a medical reason I can’t lose the weight, because it’s not like I’m not trying to change my eating habits and lifestyle!

But, back onto WW. I am thinking about joining, I am not sure though. It seems like it might be very restrictive. Has anyone you know (or yourself) had any success with it? I mean it kind of seems like common sense stuff (you can have as many fresh fruits and vegetables as you want, but you are limited on the unhealthy stuff..) I emailed the leader and asked her about if I can still join with the discount and if it included the eTools (like the iPhone app) and she wrote me back and said that this session was halfway over and she didn’t think the phone lines were still open to join. I guess I might have to wait until next session – but I still get a discount. This will give me time to start getting into a routine about walking/running etc. She (my coworker) lent me her pocket guide and I’m going to start checking it out to see if I can plan a weekly menu based on some of the stuff in there. It will give me an idea of what I can eat and can’t – that is if I can still join.

Tomorrow I am planning on getting up early to go for a walk/run – wait, scratch that. I’m hoping I can get up early to go for a walk or a run. I am not feeling so hot (please don’t let me get sick! I want my overtime!!) and I know it’s not good to exercise when you are under the weather. I can’t decide if I want to wear my regular sneakers or my shape-ups for it – I guess I’ll just have to see how I feel. After that I have to head over to our public library and do some studying. I have to write a paper on health care in other countries. I’m choosing the UK (go figure). I was going to do Canada (hi neighbors!) but I’m on a UK kick right now (even Google has only been showing me .uk links lately, wth). I don’t know if I’ll be able to find anything on other countries in our library. Our county isn’t the brightest crayola in the box in the terms of counties.

Sorry this is so rambly!

Book Review: Love Letters by Katie Fforde

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I have been on a UK authors kick for the last few months (probably since I read Hopeless Romantic by Harriet Evans). I haven’t had a chance to go to B&N in a few weeks to pick up a new stash, so my Mother who continues to go to the Library weekly, as she did when my sister and I were growing up, had only one directive: find me British authors, Scottish authors or Irish authors and I’ll be happy. Mostly, this has been a British author kick, but I’ll read Scottish or Irish if she finds them.

This weeks book was Love Letters by Katie Fforde. Current price: $17.15 at Amazon. This is a light read, generally not sad but it doesn’t evoke strong emotions.

First, I have to say this. I always judge a book by its cover – don’t get me wrong, I’ll read a book either way. Better cover art generally means a better known author and they book will probably sound more commercial, more rushed, perhaps because they have a deadline to meet or they just were writing to write. The current book cover is whimsical, with a water color of a young woman laying in a field with a book by her side.

The opening line of the book is “Someone murmured into Laura’s ear…” A semi-good draw in. Writers should always want to open the first few lines of their book with an intriguing thought, a question or explanation. It draws the reader in and makes them want to read further. Without this, they will lose their reader before they even get to page 2. The book itself is well written and put together in an organized fashion (i.e. the timelines are correct, it doesn’t jump around).

It starts off with Laura, a young to mid-twenty something, who is about to lose her job when the bookshop she works for closes down. She has set up a book signing and runs into the editor, who starts questioning Laura on her knowledge about books. She somehow gets roped in to working on a literary festival. The other festival organizers get the impression she knows a big named author. The rest of the book is her meeting and convincing this author to come and be apart of this festival. She has to hide her feelings, or feels like she has to hide her feelings, because she’s had a crush on this author since she went to University.

There is no real depth to this book – what you see is what you get. The author doesn’t use enough description of things. The book is mainly set around conversations, who said what, her steps she must take to undergo the processes for the festival. She meets people along the way who seem like two-dimensional characters, not even just your general stock characters. I think the author was attempting to create a relationship between two of the supporting characters but she added a third character to the mix and it threw off the potential for depth of the supporting characters (I.e. “the best friends”). The other characters in the book seemed to have the same tone, the same type of emotion towards Laura’s character, all had advice and things she needed to do. There wasn’t really a divide between their characters. I am sure one could have easily filled Sarah’s rolls with Fenella’s and no one would have been the wiser.

Overall grade: C
Reason: I read this book, couldn’t get into it, though it did what it should; it was a light hearted read not meant to stimulate thought processes. It kept me entertained enough, and as many times as I wanted to put this book down, I wanted to see where the main character and her main attraction were headed. The ending of the book was better written than most of the book, and it was an ending I hadn’t been expecting but was well worth the journey it took to get there.

My hearts a stereo…

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First, I have to show you guys the song that has been stuck in my head for days. The lyrics make for great reading! (hehehe).

This morning was simply beautiful outside. It was 70-ish, with a light breeze. I couldn’t sleep because I was so excited to “go to the farm” to see this unit for rent. When it turned 7:01 I simply could not lay in bed one iota of a second longer, so I got up, went in the shower and went about my business. I took the folks along again this weekend. I don’t want to get roped in to something by the people at the apartment places, and I honestly want my Dad’s opinion. I respect it. I want their opinions of the places I’m looking at. I mean, it is just me living there and if I pick some place that they agree with, then they’ll feel safer knowing what type of place I’m in.

I knew the way to this guys farm because I drive the main road every day to work. It is this long and winding road, full to the brim with horses of every shape and size. Every color you can think of. The air was country-thick, homey and smelled of saddle soap, horse and trees. We pulled up to the gate and drove a bit down his drive towards the stable. It was a pretty good size stable, about 22 stalls. The guy was pretty nice. The first strike against the place was that the unit was converted from an office next to the tractors and hay balers and stuff. The front door was just an office door, with a window that said private. Typical barn like. When I walked in, all I could smell was horses. If I had been younger, I would have been grinning from ear to ear. In fact, I think I still was. The living room was smaller than small. It had to only be 5 x 8. There was no way that I would have been able to get my couch, loveseat, t.v. and coffee table in there. The kitchen was good enough (no dishwasher). If there is one thing I am willing to give up…it’s the dishwasher. I would hate not to have that, but it is what it is.

My dining room table would have fit nicely in the kitchen. The bedroom had vaulted ceilings and overlooked a meadow. The closet was nil. I mean, it was so tiny that I could have probably only fit a weeks worth of clothes. The laundry room was huge. The birds could stay in there, if worse came to worse, but…I would hate that for them. They have been in my parents front bedroom out-of-the-action for ever now, and I would like them to be at the center of it all. They deserve that. The inside of the place smelled like horses. Not even faintly, it just was there. I don’t know if I would want to go to bed smelling horse, wake up smelling like a horse, going to work and wondering if everyone else can smell horse on me. Another negative, was that the front window overlooked the busy stable area. People would be coming and going at all times during the day. I had a little area for a patio, but riders had all of their boots, grooming stuff, extra helmets laying on top of the current tennants table. I wouldn’t be happy having someone else use my furniture. I guess, though, over time they wouldn’t be strangers any more. I defintely would not get to sleep in on the weekends, that’s for sure. At 10 o’clock, this place was teeming with people. Riders, car detailers, riders getting their mounts ready.

I was so in love with this place. And my parents hated it. They talked my ear off about how they didn’t like it, why it wasn’t a good idea, why they thought I should do better than that. Depressing stuff, really.

We went along our merry way, to this apartment complex by my job. I had driven past it the other day and thought, this is perfect! It was literally 2 minutes from work, in a quiet neighborhood, with new buildings, gated, etc. So, when we went inside today? I was super bummed to find out it was income restricted. I made too much money to rent there.

So, we drove down the road a little further, towards the main street. Highway, really. But, next to the big movie theater, there is an apartment complex that D, at work was telling me about. He said his friend and his boyfriend lived there and they really liked it. So, when I went in, I was expecting nice things because D wouldn’t tell me something if it wasn’t true. He’s a good guy. Anywho, go in, find out that the unit size is smaller than the income restricted ones, and nothing is inluded except sewer and trash. Okay, fine, I can deal. It’s close to work so I can probably spend a little more in the apartment because I’ll be saving gas to drive to work. Everything was extra, like for instance, if you wanted a “lake” view (more like pond view) it was $50 extra a month. If you wanted first floor it was $30 extra a month. They had garages, so if you wanted a garage that was $75 extra a month. The unit itself wasn’t bad. It had washer/dryer hookups, screened patio (balcony was more like it), and it was honestly not a bad size. They have every single unit rented out right now, including the one on either side of the only vacant unit, and the unit on top was rented. I heard not another sound. Opened up the screen door, I didn’t hear the theater noise, I didn’t hear the highway and it didn’t seem to be that bad of a community. The gym was 24 hour and if by chance my washer dryer broke down, they had 5 laundry sites.

The guy is going to call me back when they have a vacant one bedroom for me to look at.

The next place we went to had sounded promising. It was about the same distance from work as I am now, just in the opposite direction. But when I got there, I found that it too was low-income. However, it wasn’t restricted to just low-income. I believe the units were the same price, it just depended on what they included with your rent that determined the low-income thing (i.e., I think it was all inclusive if you were low-income and if you weren’t then the rent only included the rent basically). The place was dirty. The outside needed painting, the stairs were rusty, and the other renters either a) didn’t speak english or b) were loud and trashy. I quickly said no thank you, even though the unit had one bedroom plus a den.

We drove all the way down towards the “beach” (if you can call the beach over here a beach). Dad was insisting that it would be the same drive, if not closer. It wasn’t. Every two seconds was a traffic light. It would have honestly taken me so much longer than it does now to get to work. We couldn’t even find the apartment he wanted me to see. So, on our way to the next place, the saddest thing happened. There were a whole bunch of turkey vultures on the road. I am not at all saying turkey vultures are cute…they are kind of morose…and huge (not kidding, their wingspan is about 6 feet). But, there was oncoming traffic, and the flock of them decided to take off to avoid getting run over. One of them was about to get run over, and it took off towards the woman driving a jeep in front of us. This poor bird couldn’t get lift and smashed into the side of her car. It’s poor self flung at her, broke side mirror clear off of her car and landed in the middle of the road. The woman pulled off of the road, I think she had gotten scratched, possibly hurt from the glass from the mirror. I didn’t have the chance to slow down and see if she was alright, but the person behind me did. The bird didn’t make it. I was quite upset about it.

Though, we trudged along, back towards home. Stopped at the place S and his ex had rented. I wish I had known then, that they were income restricted housing. It would have made me a wiser person to have known that he wouldn’t have been able to support me. I made way too much money there too. They had “market” apartments which were like $200 more a month and nothing was included. If I wanted a washer/dryer, it was $50 extra a month. If I wanted to bring my own, I had to take their renters insurance. What’s worse is you had to take their cable service. It was 300+ channels, with a dVR box for $70 a month. That was just the cable alone. When I asked if I could reduce the channels and take the box away, they said that it was either that or nothing. They didn’t allow you to get satellite, and they didn’t contract with anyone other than the bigger cable company around. If you wanted phone and internet, you had to go through the cable company because they didn’t even do dial up (not that I could survive on dial up at this point in the game). However, it was just the principle of the thing.

The next place we stopped at the woman wouldn’t even see us because it was income restricted and I made too much money. I made too much money for five residents (i.e., it went by if you had one person in the unit you had to make under a certain dollar figure, if you had two you had to make under this other dollar figure). All the way up to five people the figures went to. I. I made more than all of it. What ticked me off was that it was a nice freaking unit. 800 square feet, washer/dryer, balcony, dishwasher etc. Yet, I made too much.

I’m really, seriously, considering writing to my congressmen. Why is it, that in this area, you have to be 55+, or dirt poor in order to have a nice, clean apartment? Why is for the working class you have to settle for small, dirty places with sky-high rent? I pay my taxes, I pay for the underpriviledged (Medicare/Medicaid/Welfare). It is so unfair that I have to find a place that is so far out in the sticks, away from my job that I can afford, just to live on my own.

Apartment hunting sucks. I am going to try to get pre-approved for a mortgage and find a little house in the area. Hopefully, this will solve my problems – because then I won’t have a pet fee, pet deposit etc. The mortgage, taxes and insurance would probably be cheaper than rent anyway.

I wish my folks had liked the place with the horses. I have three places on my list of favorites. My all-time favorite that went up the $200, the horse place, and the place by the movie theater. Sigh.

Bummer!

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I think I have three drafts saved on here? I keep meaning to post, then go back and read what I’ve written and feel “I can’t post that!” either because it sounds incredibly cheesy or depressing or too self-righteous (well, in my defense, it is my blog, right? 😀 ) I have also had a bit of writers block. It’s insane how much work zaps my energy to write. My letters at work are so structured, have to be at a certain grade level (8th or lower for easy readability) and it takes me twice as much time to write one simple idea or thought process than it should (i.e., your benefit says this, and you had this done, so this means…)

Anywho, I found out that (<- that word? Not allowed in our letters at work, by the way, hehehe) the apartment I was head over heels for went up in price by approximately $200. That's not chump change. That's seriously some cold hard cash. Especially since the price went up in the span of two weeks. My family did not believe me when I told them that I saw the price increase online. "Stuff like that just doesn't happen, Jame!" or "Jame, you have a price, don't worry about it," (yes, my nickname is Jame, those weren't typos. Can you imagine how dumb I'd be to write my name wrong twice?) So, on Saturday I took my folks around town to see if I could find another apartment that I loved just as much. Last stop? The favorite apartment. Who won this battle? Me. My tirade to my parents began with "I told you so." Their response? Silence. Win!

But, I digress. Let me backtrack. 10 o'clock in the morning, I gather them up and put them in my car (seriously, my parents are like kids "I forgot my bottle of water," "I don't remember if I closed the back door") and we head down the road. I wanted to take a drive-by these little garden style apartments I drive past every day. They are itty bitty but they included a lot in the monthly rent (me = cheap). I head up to the leasing office and find the leasing office with a note that says "we will not be here on the 22nd." It was the 24th and during their office hours plastered on the window, so I took that as a bad sign and we went down to the next place.

My parents had driven past this place about a month ago. Mom explained she had stopped in to the leasing office, told me they were afforadable and didn't have a monthly pet rent. Score! So, we went in to the leasing office to see if we could see a unit. As the woman is walking us around the complex I couldn't help but notice people that I may not want to associate with around. Shirtless, drinking beer at 11 am, cursing up a storm (please tell me you catch my drift?) The weeds lawn, was very healthy. I was thinking that I was going to cross this place off of my list until I got inside. 916 square feet for a two bed two bath. I could fit both my loveseat and my couch, plus my dining room table, put my t.v. in my bedroom, and still have room to put my desk in the other bedroom. There was no counterspace and the cabinets were very dated and dirty. The pantry was plywood shelves shoved into knotches in the wall but it would have done the job. However, I saw more than five dead cockroaches (if there are dead ones, there are live ones when it comes to German cockroaches – trust me). I will not be in a place like my old apartment with the ex. Never! So, we said thank you kindly and moved on.

The next place was also a two bedroom, but only had one bathroom. It was only 700 square feet…manageable but tiny. There was virtually no room for my dining room table, and I could have fit my couch but the loveseat could have maybe squeezed in – as long as I didn’t want a coffee table or end table. The kitchen was so tiny! No microwave. The counterspace that wasn’t taken up already would have been taken up with my microwave, toaster and coffee pot. The washer/dryer hookups were not for a full size washer and dryer, but rather stackable ones and I wasn’t crazy about that. The master bedroom had one wall taken up by closets and the other taken up by a sliding glass door. That left one and a half walls free for my bed, dresser, mirror, nightstand and t.v. stand. I would have had to block off one of the closets with my dresser or I would not have enough room. The other bedrom had double doors leading in to it on an angle, so that took up nearly two walls, the third wall was lined with sliding glass doors. So, that left me with about a wall and maybe a half. They wanted crazy rent for this place and if you wanted to have a washer/dryer, you had to pay extra, and if you brought your own, they raised your rent the equivalent. So, no-win situation. Plus the entrance to those two sliding glass doors would have freaked me out at night.

I then took them up to the place that I liked initially (beginning of the summer). My Dad hadn’t seen it yet, but I still liked it – or thought I did. On this visit I noticed things I didn’t notice before…like the bathroom door when open was about an inch from hitting the toilet. There was no microwave, and they were going to charge me $400 for my pet fee, plus another $100 for the deposit and then I would have a $20 pet fee per month. Nothankyou. It’s not like Deo and Bebe are ginormous dogs that will pee on their carpet, and bark all night. Total combined weight between them is less than 200 grams. I doubt they would be a problem. Though, the pantry was huge, and there was lots of light and a private entrance, I crossed this one off of my list as well.

The next place was about an hour away, but only 20 minutes from work. It was gorgeous online. Gorgeous! Then, the deals are started. It will be this price for this amount of months, and this price for this amount of months. Plus, paying for parking, plus an administration fee, a credit check fee, a manager fee, plus pet deposit for the birds, plus a monthly pet fee for the birds, plus mandatory renters insurance per month. If I wanted an upgraded unit, it would be another amount added per month. The unit was nice though, the living room of the bigger unit had wall two walls of windows in the living room/dining/kitchen area, and a fireplace. I am not a big fan of using heat in Florida, I kind of think it’s pointless. However, there are some nights that do need some kind of heat or else it would just be insane. Fireplace would be a good solution for me. The bedroom was on an angle, so wall space was compromised (can someone tell me why they angle walls? It eats floor space! And wall space!) Plus, the bathroom had an entrance from my bedrom as well as from the hallway. If I had guests over, I certainly wouldn’t want them peeking in my bedroom! I said no to this place because everything cost extra.

This Saturday I have an appointment for a place out on a farm. It’s a detached in-law suite with its own gated entrance. The way the guy described it, was that the pasture fence was right near the house/unit so I could have some horsey visitors in the morning. It would be perfect for me and the birds – but the more I thought about it, the more I’m hoping I don’t like it. Dogs are not okay there (if I’m going to be at this type of place, I want a dog for barking duty) and this is way out in the country. I drive the main road to work and pass the turn off every day. There are no streetlights. Plus, it’s a pretty big barn and the owners have a pretty active stable with a whole bunch of kids. They do lots of kid oriented stuff, hayrides, gymkhanas and host horsey sporting events. So, my saturday mornings sleeping in? May not be that quiet. I’m still going to see though, just in case. It may be worth all that if the place is nice enough. Plus it would only be a 15 minute ride to work (whereas now it takes me about 45 minutes to get to work).

Alright, I’ve probably talked your eyeballs off (heh). I’ll try to snap photos and post them up on my next post.

Top Ten

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1) 3rd Grade Birthday Party
Man! That was so long ago! So, I had no idea what I was getting for my birthday party until the week before. My parents came to me at breakfast and put a flier in front of me. As I read the brochure I was like “what’s this?” They had said it was one of my birthday presents. Basically, my parents rented two ponies from a farm and me and my 8 closest friends got to ride them up and down our street for an hour. In the middle of the burbs. It was the most talked about, awesome party for everyone involved.
2) Going to Maui
When I was a kid, my family and I went to Maui. I remember how awesome it was seeing the volcanoes (inactive), trying new foods, swimming in gorgeous water.
3) Getting riding lessons
I was in 8th grade, and I’d been wanting riding lessons for years. I mean I wanted them so bad that my 8th grade year when asked what I wanted for Christmas, the only thing I said was “riding lessons.” It was literally the last gift I opened and it was a riding lessons voucher. I screamed, I danced around my living room, I kissed everyone like five times.
4) Getting Deo
My two parakeets (Tweetie and Snowshoe) had passed away. Tweetie had been 8 or 9 and Snowshoe’s age was unknown. My Dad had said no more birds but my Mom went out and bought Deo. My Dad was furious, and after some begging and guilt tripping, I got to keep him (Deo). He’s delighted me for 11 years now with his antics. I hope I have another 11 years with him (at least).
5) Crocheting my first afghan.
This one “winter” during my relationship with my ex-Fiance, I was determined to make it work. I wanted to spend time with him. So, every night while he was on the computer, I would sit in the overstuffed chair in the room and crochet. I finished it in a month. It was terracotta, off white and a light brown.
6) Going back to school
After my relationship with my ex was over, I really had nothing. I was so melancholy about everything. I thought I wasn’t good enough for anyone, he’d destroyed my credit so I couldn’t go anywhere, I had mountains of debt from him I had to pay off etc. So, when I walked into the local college, fully expecting not to get in, and the woman told me that I was accepted and I qualified for a small grant, I literally burst into tears. I was so excited!!!
7) Getting my first place
So, technically, I’m going back to when I moved out with the ex, but still. It wasn’t the best of circumstances (he bought me a dog and my Dad was less than thrilled). We found the best place we could afford and we moved out. We literally had hand-me-down furniture which all mismatched but it was ours. This is where I learned I hate laundromats and dishwashers are our friends. I enjoyed being out on my own, though I always wished it had been with anyone other than my ex.
8) Going to Michigan
The guy my friends A&J set me up with, I’d been talking to a year. A&J knew him because A worked with him. He was such an awesome person. We had a lot in common, had the same type of humor. He took me around Detroit, I got to see the bridge to Canada (if I had my Passport, we could have gone). This was, hands down, one of the best vacations ever. I’m still sad it didn’t work out with D, I still miss talking to him, but it is what it is. It wasn’t meant to be.
9) Getting my second place
Okay, it hasn’t happened yet but, I’m so close I can taste the freedom. It’s so past time for me to move out, it’s no longer a laughing matter. So, basically, I had to pay off all the mountains of debt my ex-Fiance had put me through and I had to find a place I could afford. So, I did and now I’m buying all new furniture, all new things. I finally feel like I’m going to have a home of my own choosing. That’s something I needed for a very long time.
10) Getting my awesome job.
Hands down, this is the best job I’ve ever had. I love everyone that I work with, I love my job, I love my benefits and I love that it’s allowing me to spend lots of cash so I can get lots of awesomeness for my new place.