Monday, July 28, 2014

Random Thoughts of a Sicky

I've been sick the last several days and mainly haunt Facebook, Tumblr, et cetera between naps.

Here are a few random thoughts that have tumbled through my (slightly fever-ridden) brain:
  • Getting a job where you can call in sick is the dream (yeah, I had to work the past few days, sick or not and couldn't get anyone to help cover my shifts).
  • Why is it when I tell people that I am vegetarian they ask about fish? "You don't even eat fish?!?" Uh, no? Fish are still animals...
  • Where the heck does all of this snot come from? Seriously, I keep blowing my nose and it never stops (gross, sorry).
  • Why do I find Tyler Hoechlin attractive? I mean, he is gorgeous, but not the type of guy I am usually attracted to (see: Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Morgan, Robert Carlyle, and so forth).
  • I am worried about my little Romulus rat because he is skinny and sick and that makes me very sad. We have a vet appointment tomorrow. 
  • I also need to clean their cage, but don't have any energy to do so. Sorry boys.
  • I have been sleeping really well. Probably because I have been so sick and my body needs the energy. I also get weird dreams. I'm thinking that's the fever.
  • Being sick in the summer sucks cause everyone else is out doing fun stuff. Jealous.
  • I like knowing the origins of phrases, but there doesn't seem to be one for "more than you can shake a stick at," which annoys me. (I have found origins for "knock on wood," "the real McCoy," and others. I like knowing random things.) That's one of the things I was trying to look for between naps.
  • The latest season of Sherlock was funny (despite Moffat's recycled lines). I wonder how long we have to wait for season 4...
Anyway, that is what is going through my bored, tired, and illness-addled mind. I will stop rambling now. It is time for another nap anyhow.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Growing Up

Growing up can be difficult in so many different ways. I feel like I am constantly dealing with and adjusting to the idea of growing up and being a grown up.

If it isn't about money, it is about jobs, if not that, then relationships, or chores, or learning more and understanding better, or letting things go, or watching my health.

When I graduated with my Bachelors, I got pretty depressed after a couple months. First of all, I had no luck with getting a job in my area. Also, I didn't know how to not be in school. It was a pretty scary adjustment for me.

After the years passed and now that I have finished my Masters, I feel like I understand better and have a little more preparation, but I still feel like I don't always want to be a responsible grown up. Sometimes I don't want to work and do chores and pay bills--OK, no one really WANTS to do these things, but you know what I mean, right?

What triggered this post? Well, in my process of trying to grow up, I really need to clean, consolidate, and reduce the amount of stuff (dare I say "crap") that I have. I was trying to organize and clean the spare room (and I always start one place and end up in a hundred other places) and ended up going through boxes in my closet. I didn't even know what was in most of them.

During my excavation, I found an old shoe box which I had used to hide away some of the most negative and hurtful things from several years ago. This was around the time of my parents' divorce and the horrible falling out with my sister. It was a long time ago and things are so much better now, so I am not going to dig up too many details.

I put away letters, pictures, cards, notes, whatever hurt or made me angry into this little box. I don't even remember who suggested that I do this. I was in such a bad place then.

But it had been years since I have seen or even thought about this box. So I opened it up and opened everything inside up. Some things were pictures and cards that my sister had drawn or made for me, as well as some pictures my family. I used to keep all of these out in my room and then my dorm rooms as mementos and happy reminders. When it got to the point that it hurt to look at these things, I wasn't willing to throw them out (because I am insanely sentimental--to the point of it being a fault, actually, it can be almost debilitating). So when someone suggested a box, I put it all in there. Separated. Then maybe I could separate myself from what was hurting.

I pulled out several pieces of art Kema had made for me. She's quite the artist, you know. And I'm glad that it doesn't hurt to look at them (though it does make me sad--our relationship has never been the same). I found a rough draft of a letter I had written her for her Psychology class. Yes, I kept a copy. It was kind of funny, reading back through that. I know I was trying to show her that I cared and loved her (and I sure hope some of that came through), but man, I was pretty naive, I think. And probably a bit selfish. And I also realize that much of my relationship with my sister seems to center around a weird selfishness that I imposed upon her. And maybe a little jealousy. Despite feeling like I was a horrible sister, at least some of the time, it's funny to look back and see where I tried to show that I loved her. That one made me laugh a little.

I also found a series of notes that I had written my (often very angry) feelings out on and stuck in the box. I had to get the feelings out and keep them separate, you see. Some were about Kema, some were about my mom and the divorce.

I read through the ones about Kema and thought, "I am definitely over this," and I threw them away. It was time. Past time, I think! That was a relief.

The ones about my mom and the divorce actually still hurt though. I think that I have come to pretty good terms with the way my family life has turned out. It was hard and it took a long time, but things are pretty good. But I cried when I read one because I still have dreams that my family is together or just starting to fall apart. It's always my family, my parents, but scenery and scenarios vary. I didn't really realize how often I still dreamed about these things until I read the letter. Some of the hurt is still so close to the surface. And I was actually pretty shocked. Even though I am OK with things, I think I had a really hard time loosing my family and my home life like that and, apparently, it still gets to me.

I had also forgotten what a complete mess I was. Good grief. I am glad that is over. At the same time, though, I can see how much hurt and anger I had. I guess that would make anyone a little crazy.

I'm older now, and hopefully wiser. I was sad, yes, but I think I can look at things a little differently now. At least while I am awake, since I can do little about my dreams.

Growing up is crazy.

Monday, July 21, 2014

NDK 2014 Costumes Part Two

It has been a while since I posted anything about costumes and NDK. Granted, I have done very little. I guess that explains it.

Well, my tights and leotard came and they will do nicely. I also found these sparkly gold flats at good old Hellmart, I mean, Walmart. But they were cheap, so there you go.

I am starting to budget and plan for buying the rest of my fabric for the midriff, skirt, scarf, and bows. I am thinking of doing sheer turquoise and sheer gold. Or sparkly gold to match the shoes.

The wig is going to be the most expensive part. I need to check the local costume shop to see if they have one that will work. If not, I need to order it, ASAP!

And I need to look into gloves.

The hiccup costume is still kind of in the air. My budget is going to be pretty tight. I was planning on mainly altering thrift store pieces to make it in the first place. If I can still make that work, I will. I considered doing a gender-bent version on the off-chance that Isaac wants to join me as gender-bent Astrid. Also, then I won't have to cut my hair/buy another wig.

I will most likely be bringing my Lady Doctor costume back (yay!) and who knows--maybe Katamari, maybe Miyu, or even Yuki.

Anyway, I need to get my butt in gear and make my Sailor Jasmine costume. NDK is only two months away!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Life in Eugene

We had many adventures in and around Eugene. Our days here consisted of lots of family time, good food, board games, walks, and more. We revisited an arcade/bar called Level Up with Mark, Kristin, and Michael and played silly games. I had to take this picture...

It has Benedict Cumberbatch's face on it. I must have a picture...

We played "Ticket to Ride" and "Pandemic" for the first time. Both board games were fun. Here is a picture of our outcome for "Ticket to Ride"--it was a pretty fierce competition:

We went on a bike ride which was fun. Kristin and Mark had several different bikes so we could borrow a couple. I got to borrow a Bike Friday bike. Sadly, there are a lot of problems with this particular bike (first and foremost for me was that the seat was so hard that my bottom was bruised, which is pretty horrible in so expensive a bike), but I loved riding it! It was very smooth and maneuverable. This particular model is older and is a fold-able bike with a sort of rubber belt instead of a chain (which I LOVE).

Here is a picture of me riding that Mark took. You can mostly see the bike.

For anyone interested, here is a link to the website: Bike Friday.

Kristin had a cool bike (actually everyone did, but this one was another favorite). It is called a Strada and is also a fold-able bike with a rubber belt instead of a chain. Her's was shaped like a triangle! But she let me try it out. It was super weird because you are very close to the handle bars. I felt a little wobbly on it, but it was VERY maneuverable. And the seat was a lot more comfortable. It was a cool bike. You can google images of these things.

We also went to an indoor archery range. It was super fun!

One of my favorite parts was the day trip that Isaac, Zea, Kyla, and I went on to Bandon, Oregon. There is a wild life park that houses many animals and breeds some for zoos. I felt a little skeptical about seeing the facilities, but it was very nice and the animals seemed well-cared for. The main reason we went is because they let you pet many of their animals and some of their babies and they had a baby black bear! I LOVE bears! As soon as Isaac heard that there was a baby bear, he knew I had to go!

So we had a mini road trip to the West Coast Game Park Safari. And they let you buy little ice cream cones filled with feed and there are lots of animals running around the area like goats, sheep, llamas, donkeys, deer, and some type of goat/small ram with big horns that butt you (which actually really hurts). Anyway, you can feed these animals. We also fed an emu (but not out or our hands--ouch!) and a couple peacocks and wallabies. The wallabies were super cute and gentle! They just licked the food out of your hand and their muzzles were SO soft!

Then we took the empty cones and fed them to the grown bears who sit or stand up and wave or clap! SO cute! I love bears. (I am not sure if there are really such things as spirit animals and such, but if there are, mine is, without a doubt, a bear. Probably a grizzly bear.)

Anyway, here are several pictures. Some are ones that I took and some are ones that Zea took because she had a nicer camera and one is from Isaac.
Todd the fox. He was very soft.
Zea and I petting the baby bear. I'm the one with the insane smile on my face. Taken by Isaac.

Kyla and I. I am still the one smiling like a crazy lady. Taken by Zea.
Trick bear!
Carl the Caracal. We got to pet him, too. Taken by Zea.

We also got to pet a baby lion. Taken by Zea.

And a baby tiger! Taken by Zea.

Yep, lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!

On the fourth of July, we went to a local event called Art on the Vineyard. Which is kind of a silly name because it wasn't held at a vineyard, but at a park. There were several booths representing local wineries, though. There were tons of local (and non-local) artists displaying and selling their work. There was OK live music (none of us were much impressed with any of the artists/bands, sadly). There was plenty of food and dessert. We spend our evening eating and wandering and after dark there was a firework show.

Isaac celebrated his 30th birthday in Eugene. Michael and Mo hosted a birthday BBQ and there was lots of food, good company, and fun cupcakes afterwards.

We also visited a couple of local wineries. We started at Silvan Ridge which had several excellent wines and a beautiful setting.
Silvan Ridge

The view!

Then we went across the road to Sweet Cheeks Winery. They were super nice and had several interesting and good wines.They also had a great view.

This picture doesn't do the patio or the view justice, but it was the only one I got. And Aunt Kay is not drinking both of those, one is mine.

We went up to King Estate. They grow lavender, too, and you can smell it while you drive up to the main building. However, even the tastings were expensive, not to mention the food, so we didn't stay. I took a couple pictures though.

The main building from a distance.
Beautiful lavender
Otherwise we spent lots of time with family and ate lots of good food! We really enjoyed our trip! And thanks to everyone who made our stay so wonderful! And thanks to my momma for watching our plants and rats while we were gone!

A Trip to the West Coast

Ahh vacation! It was long overdue! Isaac and I took two weeks off to venture out to the west coast.

We drove to Boise and stayed there the first night. The downtown area was surprisingly quiet and pleasant. And we found a nice restaurant and distillery called Bardenay, where we enjoyed dinner and a beer after 12 hours of driving. It had a great atmosphere and space and good food.The beer that we had was nice--an oatmeal stout of some sort. Then we walked around the downtown area and the capitol building. It made for a very pleasant evening.

The next morning, we went off to Seattle. Our main goals here were to: 1) have good coffee and 2) meet a buddy from my Masters program, Andy. The day we got there, we had dinner near the bay with Andy and walked around. We saw some jellyfish and local art. It was nice and laid back. However, we didn't think much of the Washington drivers...

The next morning we left to head to Olympic National Park. But we stopped for coffee, first.

Isaac did some research and we ended up going to Cafe Vivace in Seattle. The coffee was delicious! And pretty:
Truly wonderful coffee!

We made it to Olympic National Park and went for a shorter hike (because my ankles are still giving me problems). Here are some pictures because it is beautiful:
Very tall trees.

Gotta love temperate rainforests!

The water here was SOOO clear!
At the park we stayed at a lodge (Kalaloch Lodge) right near the beach so we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening there:
Sea gulls everywhere
The lodges in the distance.

The next morning we went up to Ruby Beach to see the tide pools:


Starfish were everywhere

Hermit crab

And then we began our drive to Eugene, Oregon! We had to stop in Portland briefly (no time to go to Powell's bookstore, sadly) to grab lunch and more delicious coffee at one of my favorites: Stumptown Coffee Roasters:
Love latte art

And we made it to Eugene in time for a little family dinner! It was great to see everyone again! 

I will write about my Eugene adventures in the next post or two.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Baby Shower!

Now I can post the kinds of stuff we did for the baby shower!

First of all, here is the finished diaper cake:

My goal was to have lots of cute, but useful decorations. This was the center piece on the gift table, as seen below.
Pretty, almost finished table. This was late the night before the shower.

We decided that we liked the rain theme that we used on the invitations in the last post. We made this large cloud and a couple small ones by tying together a bunch of white and silver balloons. 

We cut out a bunch of raindrops as odd-shaped hearts so we could fold them around the strings. We used a packet of about five different shades of pink to make them. Then I hot-glued them to the strings at random and we tied them into the clouds! Quite cute, if I do say so myself.

Here are some more functional decorations:
These are burp cloths or rags made to look like peas in a pod! Cute!

These are red washcloths wrapped in onesies wrapped in blankets and put in little kiddie tupperware cups. Functional and cute!

These are diapers (in the basket, I put a packet of wipes and the rest of the diaper pack to prop everything up) wrapped in washcloths with socks on their heads! There is some bath soap, lotion, etc in the back, too. This was a big hit.

We also put some other things like booties, hats, et cetera on the tables. Our punch drink dispenser is clear plastic and there is a bottom sort of stand for it that you can put ice in. We put booties and headbands in there instead. Sadly, no one got a picture of the punch dispenser so I cannot show you what it looked like.

For food we had a little variety, though we weren't strictly serving a meal.

We made a punch with the following recipe:
This recipe was found on Pinterest via

We also had a couple of soda choices, iced tea, and iced coffee.

We ordered a meat and cheese tray and a veggie tray from the local grocery store and provided rolls, croissants, and condiments for sandwiches. We also got a bunch of fruit and made these:
Fruit rainbow! Not the best picture but it was super cute and colorful. Matched the theme, too. My sister was kind enough to put these together for us.
My mom and I attempted to make cake pops. We used chocolate cake and I have a little cake pop maker. We dipped them in pink-colored candy melts, and we were going to give them white polka dots. Unfortunately, the dipping went horribly wrong and they ended up looking very messy. We skipped the polka dots. Despite how bad they looked, they were actually quite tasty!

The main food event was the cake from Das Meyer. I was excited to see it for DAYS! And they really out-did themselves! It was absolutely GORGEOUS!!


Here is the side detail:
Clouds and pink rain! I love it!

So amazing! And it was lemon poppy seed with raspberry filling--delicious!

We did have a few activities and games.

I made signs and we put together prizes:
I have tons of scrap-booking materials laying around so we didn't have to buy anything specific, just the frames which we found cheap at a craft store.

I bought plain bags and added a little pretty to them myself. We tried for a couple or prizes that were a little more masculine and put them in the red bags. Two of the pink bags have silver ribbons tied to the handles. These were special prizes for the diaper raffle.

We had onsies, bibs, and hats for people to decorate. My mom has a clothesline out back (where most of the shower was set up) which was perfect to show off completed projects. We provided fabric markers, some paints, and rhinestones with fabric glue. We ended up with a couple extra game prizes, so Arik and Pamela picked favorites and the artists got prizes.

I found an idea on Pinterest to make a baby's first alphabet book. I printed A through Z on card stock and provided markers and crayons and such. My sister and I ended up finishing the blank ones, which is fine.

For games we did "guess the distance" by cutting string you think fits around Pamela's tummy. We also did "guess the baby food" which was very funny!

I hot glued printed numbers on ribbon. Then I took the food labels off the baby food and glued these on. Cute and fun.
We got a lot of adventurous people to try the foods! And one person did manage to guess all seven correctly!

Lastly, I made pins for Pamela, Arik, my mom, my dad, my sister, and myself. Because I wanted to.
These are actually wooden medallions painted white and written on with sharpie. I did have some stickers and embellishments that I glued on for a little pretty. Pamela's and my Momma's have cloth flowers on the back that we found near the hair section in a craft store. They didn't have gems or anything in the middle so I could easily glue on the wooden medallions. The pin backings are hot-glued to the backs.

Here are several links which I found on Pinterest for inspiration (which are also on my Pinterest account under Baby Shower):
A picture of baby shower rainbow fruit.
The punch recipe again.
Here is the same website, different link that has lot of info and even some free games and such: Cutest Baby Shower Ideas.
Initial inspiration for the rain cloud: Event Inspiration.
The pink/ombre inspirations came later from this: Etsy: Blue Ombre Rain Drop Garland.
Photo of the diaper babies.
Etsy: Receiving Blanket and Bodysuit Sundae as well as Cupcake Onesies Gift Idea which shows how to make your own. I took ideas from both.
The idea for the alphabet book came from here: Renee's Baby Shower.
The idea for the burp rag peas in a pod came from here: Project Nursery: Unique Baby Shower Gifts and I believe it takes you to an Etsy link.
Here is the Guess the Distance inspiration (though I have played it before, but I liked this way of doing it): Baby Shower Game-Guess the Distance-Measure Mom's Belly.
Decorate a onesie inspiration.

And there you have it! Feel free to check out my Pinterest for even more baby shower stuff!