Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Memory, All Alone in the Moonlight, I Can Smile at the Old Days...

Recently my dad decided to move and sell the house. Unfortunately we are a whole family of pack rats so we have tons of things to go through. Between the basement, main level, and my bedroom, I have dug up tons of old things and memories. I am trying to be pretty ruthless in getting rid of all my (let's be honest) crap, but it has been tough. I am waaaay too sentimental for my own good.

The first day I was doing this, my mom and I worked namely in the basement. While we did get through all of my boxes down there, it's a scary place. Hence my protective equipment:

Yep, gloves! To protect me from spiders! (We didn't have another pair of gardening gloves, so snow gloves were the next best thing).

And look at some of the things I found in my boxes:

Pogs! Yep, that's right! I don't ever remember playing, but friends must have given me some.

VERY old clothes. Some of these things will be kept. I am determined to be a quilter one day, so the fabrics/memories will come in handy.

Lots of Polly Pockets which will hopefully make some other little kids happy soon.

And just because I can post them, here is the kitty (Faithful aka Fidge, Monster, Bug, etc.) and the doggie (Amber).

Once my dad sells the house, my brother or I get to adopt Amber. Luckily my mom will take the Fidge so they will go to good homes. My poor old doggie. She's about 13, has arthritis, and is just about deaf. Someone has to take her home, right? She's so sweet and loves everyone. And I would be happy to have a dog! At the moment I have a little hamster, but he's more than three years old (and if you don't know hamsters, three years is about the maximum lifespan). I've had him since he was born, his name is Pico, and I love him more than I love most people. I will be sad when he's gone, so Amber will be a great comfort for me. Just for fun, here is little Pico eating an apple!

Friday, March 23, 2012

My Life in Quotes

I have a bit of a confession: I love and collect quotes. Sound odd? Yes, but it's true. I am not sure what it is; I guess I love how people can sum up ideas and feelings so well with their words. As someone who is not much of a writer, I attach myself to the words of others. Quotes I like a) are funny, b) are touching/meaningful/inspiring,  c) pique my interest or d) are relevent to situations and feelings I have. I find these quotes in movies, books, or song lyrics. I am blessed with truly wonderful friends and they are a great source of quotes as well, usually of the funny variety (ie: "Glitter is the herpes of art projects; it gets EVERYWHERE"- My friend Cat). I feel that many things I think and feel can be accurately expressed with the words of wiser people than myself. I suppose that is why I love to find quotes. On this note, here are a couple quotes about quotes! Obsessive? No...

"Collecting quotations is an insidious, even embarrassing habit, like ragpicking or hoarding rocks or trying on other people's laundry.  I got into it originally while trying to break an addiction to candy.  I kicked candy and now seem to be stuck with quotations, which are attacking my brain instead of my teeth."  ~Robert Byrne, The Other 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said

"Most collectors collect tangibles.  As a quotation collector, I collect wisdom, life, invisible beauty, souls alive in ink."  ~Terri Guillemets

I am a very sentimental person, so words often hold strong feelings for me and they stay with me. So when you see quotes popping up (and I know they already have been), that's why. And I hope others will be willing to share their thoughts on them, too. I think I have quotes for just about any situation, so I'm sure my readers will find lots of them.

"It has power because you believe it does." -Practical Magic

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


This week at Hearts and Horses, I mucked more than enough stalls to earn a ride! One ride per 50 stalls/runs cleaned and I usually clean 15 each week. I am not sure how the rides work, but I will find out next week (I didn't ask today because I am still more comfortable with the horses than with the people). I hope I can choose which horse I would like to ride. If so, I think I will have to pick Sole here:

Sole is an eleven-year-old Haflinger. He is very social and very, very mouthy! (That is, he likes to put things into his mouth. He doesn't bite, just lips and licks, whether it's clothes, hands, tools, rails, etc.). He is very cute. Exceedingly stocky, he looks like a miniature Belgian draft, which I love. While cleaning his stall, he mostly stood right in my way or tried to tip over my wheelbarrow. When I went out to clean his run, he followed me in and out as a ferried manure from the run to the stall. The bottom picture is of Sole about to follow me back into his stall for the up-teenth time.

In other news, the weather was beautiful! The horses enjoyed it, too.

  Above: Mista and Tem laying out in their runs. Bottom: Gavin in his run looking at me in the stall.

And because I thought it was entertaining, here is Tem playing with an empty bag that blew into his stall:

That's all for now! I hope those who read my blog can deal with my love of horses!

"She's--what's the K'miri term?--horse-hearted." -Numair Salmalin, Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce.

"'D'you ever want to run with the herd? To just--be a horse? Do what the herd does?' She sweated, waiting for an answer. It had cost a lot to ask.
"''Course I do,' was the mild reply. 'Don't everybody?'" -Daine and Stefan, Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Once Upon a Time, in a Faraway Land, in a Shining Castle...

Sorry I haven't updated for a while. I was very sick over the weekend and am just now getting over it all. Last Thursday, three of my lovely friends (Rachelle, Miki, and Liz) took me to see Beauty and the Beast the Musical! It was incredible! If you think you love the Disney movie, you will love this even more! It was so fun! The humor was a good mix so children and adults could enjoy it. All of the songs from the movie were there (including "Human Again") plus several new songs.

While I enjoyed the overall performance and everyone was entertaining and talented, Gaston definitely stole the show! He was hysterical! My favorite line was from a little song of his called "Me!":  "We shall be a perfect pair/Rather like my thighs." I cracked up! Gaston's song was great, too. Everyone had metal beer steins and clanged them together in time to the music and it was a wonderful number! Is it sad that the bad guy was my favorite?

And then the lovely Rachelle bought me this shirt. I know it's hard to see in the picture, but it's red with roses all over it.
All in all an awesome night! I highly recommend seeing this one if you have the chance!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The GRE aka the source of my Great Anxiety

Some of you are probably aware that I took the GRE yesterday.

As of Sunday night, I was terrified and on the verge of yet another mental and emotional collapse. Despite the fact that every day that I've had off of work has been devoted to studying, I felt completely unprepared. Saturday night I called my mom in tears, sobbing away about how I was too stupid to take the GRE and asking what ever made me think that I could do this. Just like the song, "Do you... call up Momma when all else fails?" (Blake Shelton, "Who Are You When I'm Not Lookin'"). Yep, that's me, gotta call my mom!

 Essential study materials: my GRE books, dictionary, pencils, and flashcards. My two study movies. And, of course, my laptop!

Sunday I tried to rationally and calmly go through last minute things, namely vocabulary words that I've been struggling with and analytical writing prompts. Tangent: as an educated person who loves to read, it is very unnerving for me to come across vocabulary words that I have never even heard. I found several that I knew and didn't know the exact definition of, but to come across words that I've never encountered has been an unsettling experience for me. End of tangent. I also figured out what things to bring, what not to bring, and where exactly the test was held, so that helped. And then I reviewed what I had, what I still needed, and other basic GRE tips and began to panic again. And it was starting to get late and I knew I really needed to sleep. "I need some sleep/Time to put the old horse down/I'm in too deep/And the wheels keep spinning 'round." (Eels, "I Need Some Sleep"). I took a little melatonin and slept on and off on the couch for a couple hours, ending up in bed and asleep by 2am.

This morning, I woke up a little after 8am to an awful nightmare concerning someone hurting my hamsters. That was a very distressing way to start my day. I tried to dress kind of cute to bolster my confidence and put on make-up like Stephanie Plum swiping on extra mascara for courage. Then I proceeded to follow every little trick and superstition that I used to when I was nervous about tests in college. I wore a red ribbon, ate a good breakfast of eggs, toast, and chocolate. I followed that with a chai from Starbucks to avoid a caffeine headache later and as I walked in I chewed some peppermint gum. So here it is: I have heard (and never heard proven either way, but as it raises my confidence levels, I won't question it...) the color red, cocoa, and peppermint all stimulate memory. I figured I need all the help I can get. The rest is pretty self-explanatory. And the best part? When I opened my door this morning, there was a beautiful big balloon tied to my doorknob from Rachelle with a good luck card!
My superstitious items. The movie I felt like watching the morning of the test. Yes, High School musical. And my balloon!
Anyway, I ended up doing alright one the verbal reasoning sections, but did poorly on the quantitative reasoning sections. I am not sure about the analytical writing parts, but I felt OK about the first essay and pretty good about the second... except that I ran out of time one the second in the middle of fixing a sentence, so I will get counted off for that mess. I just hope I did well enough to get into graduate school. If not, I will take it again in a couple months. I get my official scores in 15 to 20 days.

I am SOOOO glad its over! Whew!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Heart of a Horsewoman

I spend one day every week volunteering out at Hearts and Horses. It's an organization in Loveland that does therapeutic riding. They work a lot with disabled children, but also with veterans, troubled youth, and children who have lost parents. On the side they board some horses and teach regular riding classes. It's a really neat place and I am glad to be a part of it. Right now I just muck stalls and the attached runs. I imagine at some point or another I will be cleaning out paddock areas as well. I have to say, it's hard work! It's been a long time since I have done anything like it. I come home sore, with dirt in my lungs, nose, mouth, eyes, and clothes, I reek of horses and barn dust, but I am SO happy! I love being around the horses. I haven't gotten comfortable with the people yet, but most of them seem nice enough. When I am more comfortable, I suppose I will take some more of their required classes and work with people. Maybe. As it is, I will do just about anything if it means I get to be near horses.

This is the sign. They can never have enough volunteers! You are always welcome to come help me muck stalls! No? Alright...

This guy's name is Tem (or Temple) and he is young and still being trained. I took a picture because I think he is the very first Gypsy Vanner I have seen in person. He is very pretty. I love the feathers on his feet. However, I imagined these guys to be bigger...

This is Gavin (silly name, I know), but he was my buddy this week when I was cleaning the stalls and runs. He's sweet :)

 This little guy is Simba. He is some sort of pony and he is adorable! Yes, he is a therapy horse, er, pony. For a pony, he is very mild-mannered, but he seemed to be wary of my manure rake so he didn't want to get too close to me. He has the cutest ears!

Overall, a very satisfying experience! I look forward to being out there more. And to being buff, 'cause mucking stalls and sweeping barns is a great workout!

"You can say anything you want about me. I'm gonna have to ask you not to talk about my horse that way." ~Hidalgo  ;)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Drumroll please

Well, here it is. I have wanted to start a blog for a while now, and here it is! Ta da!

Here are my reasons:
1. I love reading blogs by people that I know, especially friends who are far away. This is a good way for me to keep track of them and perhaps my friends will use this to keep track of me.
2. I want to work on my writing skills. At the moment I consider them to be mediocre.
3. I hope to gain a more positive outlook, especially about my life (hence the blog name).
4. I would like to keep people up to date on what I am doing as well as catalog things I do like craft projects, volunteer work, school, etc.

So, why "Positively Miscellaneous"?
I took a page from Charlotte's book: she loves the word "minutiae" and created a blog with that title. I have always liked "miscellaneous" and I think that's a good word to describe my life--many miscellaneous components, many of which are unrelated and much of which will end up here. As I stated above, I would like to use this in a positive, reflective way. I am not always very good at being positive, but I hope that this will point me in the right direction. There you have it, "Positively Miscellaneous."