Friday, August 31, 2012

in your face, last year me!

I noticed that I blogged more in the month of August than any other month this year, with a grand total of seven blogs, including this one.


Last year I blogged 106 times.  If I want to hit that number, I'll have to blog nineteen times in each of the remaining four months of 2012.  (Wait a minute...really?  There are only four months left in 2012?) average number of blogs per month so far this year is pathetic.

I initially started this blog because I wanted to share all my great recipes and craft ideas with as many people as I could.


Actually I started it because I think I'm really funny.  (This is actually true.  I tell Sam at least five times a week how hilarious I am.)

The truth is, I blog because I want to be a writer and because most of my friends and family live in other states and I don't want them to forget about me.  But judging by my frequency of posts, my friends have all forgotten about me and I don't care at all about writing.

I don't want either of the previous statements to be true.

So, here it new goal is to beat my number of posts last year, leaving me with 108 in 2012.  (I'll be in competition with myself?  That's my favorite kind!)  That means I have to blog 19 times per month, which averages out to about five blogs a week.  Considering the fact that I'll be in school full time starting Tuesday, and that I just accepted a new job, this may be a challenge.

Fortunately, I like challenges.

So be prepared to be faced with an onslaught of blogs in the coming months.  Some will be serious, some will be funny, most will be (naturally) random.  I'll talk about my life, what I think about, and funny things our cats do.  (Feel free to unsubscribe now, if you wish.  It won't hurt my feelings.)

So here goes...nineteen blogs a month, which means I'll be doing a lot of writing.  But if I want to be a writer, I have to write...right?

(Also, I'll probably continue to add in Friends quotes every chance I get, as evidenced by this blog's title and content, so deal with that if you want to keep reading.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

weekends and nail polish

For the past year, there are two things I have greatly missed.

Weekends and nail polish.

They may seem like small, insignificant things to you, but if you go for a year without weekends and nail polish, you might miss them, too.  (Granted, not everyone would miss the nail polish, but I'm one of those girls that loves painting her nails, so I miss it.)

Working at Starbucks equals giving up your weekends and your opportunity to paint your nails.  I have sort of hated having to rush off to work right after church every Sunday, or wake up at 3am on Saturdays to get to work while my sweet husband slept another six hours.  Whereas weekends are when most people plan trips and activities, weekends are generally when I'm busy at work.  My free time was often random days during the week, when everyone else I knew was working.

But not anymore.

Ladies and gentlemen, in less than two short weeks, this girl will retire her green apron forever.  I'm not kidding this time.  Forever.  

No more opens, no more frappuccino happy hours, no more being judged as incompetent or unintelligent simply because I work at Starbucks, and no more smelling like coffee all the time.  

Thanks to Grae, our friend from church, I will now be working in an office.  I won't have to rush to work on Sundays, I'll be able to paint my nails, and I can even walk to work, since the office is less than two blocks away.

It's kind of like the ideal job for me right now.

(Besides, of course, staying at home with the cats, knitting, and writing silly blogs.  Anyone want to pay me to do that?)

Friday, August 24, 2012

My Week's Woes

I met my friend JulieAnn when I was in high school.  We had the same group of friends and we both swam breast stroke, so in swimming practice we often shared a lane.  JulieAnn never cared what people thought about her; she was simply her true self, and loved life, and I thought it was awesome.  So we became good friends.

In those first few months of our friendship, I would often tell JulieAnn about the frustrating and embarrassing things that happened to me, in hopes that I would gain sympathy.  But what would JulieAnn do?


And when I would try to explain that it wasn't funny, that this was my life we were talking about and yes, these things actually happened to me, guess what would happen?

She would laugh more.

My life (and all the devastating and embarrassing things that happened to me) was hilarious to JulieAnn.

Thirteen years later, she still laughs.

So, this is for you, JulieAnn.  The woes of my week, the glimpse into what it's like being Kimberly, a clumsy, ungraceful magnet for ridiculousness.

  • Yesterday morning I was leaving for work.  We don't have a driveway, so Sam and I both park on the road in front of our house.  I was parked behind Sam's car, so I backed up in order to pull out onto the street.  I heard a bump, but there are giant walnuts all over the street that I always run over, so I didn't think anything of it.  But as I started driving, I heard an awful noise.  I pulled over in front of the neighbor's house because I thought maybe the bumper fell off and I was dragging it behind me.  Nope.  I was dragging a trash can.  Our trash can that was set out on the curb for pick up.  I had knocked it over and apparently backed up over it and it got stuck under my vehicle.  I tried to pull it out but couldn't get it free, so I frantically ran to get Sam, worried I'd be late to work.  I ran inside panting, "I need help, I need help!"  Sam walked outside, but didn't see the car.  So his first thought was, The Ford was stolen.  So he freaked out until he finally saw it parked down the street, with a trash can stuck underneath it.  I was squeaking, "I can't get it out, it's stuck!"  He calmly and effortlessly pulled it out, laughed a lot, and went back inside.  And I hoped none of the neighbors saw any of it.
  • I trim my own hair because a.) I have curly hair so it's not really obvious if it's crooked and b.) I'm really cheap and don't like paying for something I can do myself and c.) I've never met a hairstylist who knows how to cut curly hair.  (The trick is to cut it when it's dry, and to cut it curl by curl.)  Yesterday I was trimming my hair and started with the longest layer, so the rest of it was piled on top of my head, when our doorbell rang.  It was our next door neighbor (who I had not yet met), who had lost her kitty and was looking for it.  Naturally I was distraught for her (You lost your kitty?! I'm so sorry!) and was distracted as I talked with her and promised I'd help her look for her lost cat.  I had completely forgotten about my hair until I went back inside and walked past a mirror.  This is what I looked like while I was talking to my neighbor, the neighbor I've never met, the one who undoubtedly hears me singing songs made up to  my cats all day in my kitty voice through the open windows.

Any chance she doesn't think I'm crazy?

Hope your week was less embarrassing than mine was.  Remember, these were just the things that happened yesterday.  If I went over the whole week, this would be a rather long post. 

Happy Friday, people.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

so...i like animals.

Sometimes I get teased about being a "crazy-cat-lady".

Um...okay, so most of the time I get teased about it.

It's true.  I love cats.  I love all animals, really, but cats do have a special place in my heart.  I can't explain my affection for them, though I'm pretty sure a great deal of it has to do with a certain person named Nancy.  Hey, Mama.  We sure love those little kitties, don't we?

Sometimes my husband wishes I didn't love animals quite so much, especially when a commercial comes on for the ASPCA and I immediately start sobbing.  I had to stop reading my ASPCA newsletters because I became so enraged upon hearing of animal abuse.  I mean honestly, how cowardly can you be?  Abusing a defenseless creature with no voice?  Talk about scum of the earth.

But I digress.

To be honest, sometimes I wish I wasn't such an animal lover.  It's not fun being really sad when I hear about animals being abused, and I don't enjoy how upset I get when I consider that millions of animals are euthanized each year due to overcrowding in shelters.  Sometimes I don't like this sensitive little heart of mine, and I wish I could turn it off and become more calloused toward these creatures.  If I didn't care, I wouldn't hurt.

But I do care.

So make fun of me if you want, call me crazy-cat-lady.  I can handle it.  I'm assuming if you read this blog, you know me and love me, so you're okay with my love for animals.

I was recently given an opportunity to blog for a company called Jusani, a company that cares about animals as much as I do.  As a blogger, I get to help raise awareness about animal adoption, as well as educating others about animal care.  I'm so thrilled to be able to do this, to use my abilities to help a cause I feel so passionately about.  Now my writing won't just be for my own silly self; it might actually help some animals.

Jusani is also an online boutique, and sells clothes, jewelry, stationary, and fun items for your pets.  The proceeds go toward animal shelters, providing food and medical care for those animals in need.  Isn't that great?  I love it.  I've been checking out the website and there are so many items I can't wait to order!

How cute is this shirt?  I'm already envisioning layering it when it starts getting colder.

And Sam likes Boston Terriers a lot, so maybe I'll get this for him:

I'm a little obsessed with this necklace...

...and these earrings!

There are so many other cute things on the website, but obviously I can't list them all here.  And the best part is, the money is used for good.  (And now you all know where to shop for presents for me.  Seriously, you could not go wrong getting any of this stuff for me.  Just so you know.  I know you were all hoping to buy me presents in the near future.)

And if you don't like cats, that's okay.  I mean, I think you're crazy, but it's okay.  :)  We aren't just helping cats, we're helping all shelter animals.  For all you dog-lovers out there, Jusani is saving dogs, too!  And there are lots of cute things for your dog, like personalized collars and tags.  So adorable!

I wrote my first blog there today, and even if you have no intention of buying anything or supporting the company, I would definitely appreciate it if you checked out my blog.  Read about my little baby Lulu, who has since adopted my mom as her mom. :)  And let me know what you think!  And even if this just becomes fodder for more ridicule, so be it.  At least I'm doing something I believe in, right?

Thanks for your support!

I Love Lucy Blog

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

only special houses get named

I called our home in Petaluma the 'Luma Loft because it was on the second story of an old house, and immediately when you opened the front door you had to walk up a crooked, narrow stairway which should have led to at least ten injuries but surprisingly didn't.  I didn't name our Salem apartment because it wasn't a house, so it was automatically disqualified.  And the townhouse we almost bought in Lancaster shall forever be known as "The House That Shall Remain Nameless" because, well...just because it wasn't special.

Some people have requested photos, so I'd like to introduce you to The Cottage Green (so named because it is a cottage and it is green).

When you first walk into our little abode, this is what you see.

Look left, and you get a view of our living room.

Willow tried to sneak into as many pictures as she could.

Morty, too.

If I'm home, that front door is open.  It's been too nice to ever have it closed, and I love all the light it brings in.

If you go right when you walk inside, you see this:

And keep going through the kitchen and you come to our laundry area/where my dresser lives.

Keep walking through this little hallway and you get to our office/guest room/cats room.

And you can catch a glimpse of our little deck, too.

Fun facts about our house:
1. The washer and dryer are probably older than I am, so when the washer is on the spin cycle, it shakes violently, causing what resembles an earthquake.
2. There are spiders all over outside.  Tons of little webs are everywhere, and if you go in our backyard you have to karate chop your way around so that you don't walk into an invisible web.
3. There is this fun little thing:

It's just small enough to be almost invisible, but just high enough to hurt if you stub your toe on it.

You don't get to see our bedroom or bathroom today because I'm washing all our bedding and cleaning the bathroom.  But I hope you've enjoyed your tour through The Cottage Green.  Now don't you want to come visit?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Week and Why it was Awesome

Last Monday, I began a fast from Facebook and blogs.  (Technically it is still going, so while I'm writing my own blog, I'm still not reading any others, and while I'll post it to Facebook, I won't actually get on Facebook.  Sort of cheating, not really.)

If you're one of those people who just uses Facebook to keep in touch with people, you probably don't need a break.  But if you're like me and you use it to keep score, you'll likely benefit.  Now, I know I'm not supposed to keep score.  But this is often how my Facebook time goes:

"Oh, they bought a house.  We don't know where we want to live."

"Oh look, she lost weight.  I've gained seven pounds."

"Oh nice, she's pregnant, too.  Good for all fifty of you pregnant people I know.  If you name your child (insert-any-of-the-names-I-have-picked-out-here) before I get to have a baby, we're not friends."

"Oh she got a promotion/her dream job/any job where you don't smell like coffee 24/7.  I still work at Starbucks."

Okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating, but sometimes that's how it feels.  I seem to log on to Facebook when I'm in a particularly weak, vulnerable place, when I'm not feeling great about myself, and when I want to feel sorry for myself.  I don't know if I ever thought Facebook would help me in those times, but guess what?  It doesn't.  It makes things worse.

The same often goes for blogs.  I don't know why, but sometimes I find myself reading blogs by people who are fashion-y, crafty, and decorat-y.  Guess who is most definitely not fashion-y, crafty, or decorat-y?  The girl in yoga pants, who is too impatient to wait for spray paint to dry.  (Me.)  Those are the things I'm least good at, so when I look at blogs that show these girls in cute outfits who just spray painted a new shelf for their house (which they own, by the way), and sewed their own curtains, I feel a little inadequate.  I seem to forget my own gifts and the things I like spending time on, focusing instead on the talents that I lack.

The truth is, it all came down to my heart.  I needed an overhaul of my attitude, and the only way I could think to do it was to avoid these things that only served to make things worse.  (Fortunately, Kari and I agreed to do it together, so I had someone keeping me accountable.)

Here is the basic in-your-face truth:

"That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse.  We have far more interesting things to do with our lives.  Each of us is an original." Gal. 5:26

I found this verse to be particularly helpful during the first week of my social media break.  And I discovered that I do have far more interesting things to do with my life.  My week was amazing, simply because time wasn't wasted on comparison.  When I didn't have that jealousy and competition bringing my down, I found I had the time and energy to focus on being the person I want to be, apart from any other expectations or comparisons with others.  So...

I exercised every single day.  This is probably not impressive to you people who already exercise daily (Janna), but I was pretty proud of myself.  By Sunday, I couldn't wait to work out, so I'm excited to be back in the groove of being active.  As a result, I had tons of energy and was in a much better mood, a fact that my sweet husband can attest to.  And with all that energy...

I only allowed myself one caffeinated beverage a day.  Again, unimpressive to those of you who aren't coffee fanatics, but this is coming from a girl who typically drinks three cups of coffee and has five or six espresso shots daily.  I used to blame it on my job, but then I remembered I have this little thing called willpower that I can choose to use if I so desire.  And I always wanted to be one of those cute people who couldn't drink too much caffeine without getting jittery.  Yesterday, that was me.  (Is it weird that I was really excited about that?)  Not only that, I discovered that I don't need all that coffee.  I still had plenty of energy (if not more than usual), and I slept really well at night.  Who would've thought??

I cooked and baked a lot, I got really disciplined about budgeting and recording all our purchases, and my sweet little guitar got some attention.  (Poor baby has been neglected since April.)  It was honestly one of the best weeks I've had in a long time.  Maybe when I'm ready to end my fast,  I'll have a new frame of mind with which to interact on Facebook, and those blogs that just intimidate me can begin to inspire me.

It was a great week because it sort of felt like I made New Year's Resolutions in August.  And we all know how much I love resolutions.  It's a lesson I have to learn over and over, but I want to be purposeful, using my time to cultivate peace, hope, and creativity, and not letting any time be wasted on discontentment or discouragement.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I jogged...this is a big deal.

Here's what I want everyone to do.  I want everyone to come and visit me and Sam just so you can go on a walk through our neighborhood with me.  Okay?  Also, Morty and Willow love visitors.

I went for another jog today, but only because I love jogging through the neighborhood.  I don't say, "I went for a run" because let's be honest - I don't run.  I jog very slowly.  But still, I did it!  And who knew that to get me to exercise, all Sam needed to do was move me to a pretty place?  Unfortunately, my jog turned into a stop-every-ten-steps-and-take-a-picture-of-that-adorable-house-on-my-phone.  Is that considered jogging?  Well, the good news is that even after I wound my way through all the little streets, I went through a second time without stopping, just because it was so pleasant and pretty.  So I kept jogging after I planned to stop.  Seriously.  This is not normal.  Also, is it okay to take pictures of someone else's house?  If you think about it, they probably bought the house because they wanted people to take pictures, right?  If you own a house that pretty, you're just asking for it.  If it's deemed appropriate, next time I'm taking my real camera on my jog, because the cell phone pictures didn't really do it justice.

You know the house on Father of the Bride?  The one that is so gorgeous and quaint that you think people don't live in houses like that in real life?  Well, all the houses are like that here.  And I love how unique they all are.  Today I was really tempted to go start knocking on random doors, begging the inhabitants to see the inside of their home.  In one particularly nice house, I could see a woman sitting at a computer.  (Um, so it's not creepy enough that I'm taking pictures of your house?  Perfect, I'll just spy on you from outside like a crazy person.)  I was immediately convinced that she is a writer, that she sits surrounded by such beauty, and writes novels.  It's also how she affords her lovely brick home.  See?

I love all the open windows, the plethora of flowers and vegetation, and Adirondack chairs on every porch or front yard.  And yes, people sit on the porch here.

Literally the whole front yard is a garden.


Yeah, just a garden on the sidewalk, no big deal.

It's amazing to me how much where I live affects my mood.  I used to say I could never write in Salem since I missed Petaluma so much, but now I realize we were just living in the wrong part of Salem.  I feel a lot more inspired here.  Maybe it's all the sun streaming in my windows (which I know won't last forever, since the rain is coming soon), but I think it's just this sweet little neighborhood of ours.  

Speaking of writing, guess who got a blogging internship?  Yes ma'am.  So stoked!  But more on that later.

And here is one of my favorite parts of our house, cat included.

Uh...yes, we let our cats on our table.  Or rather, our cats let us know they will sit on the table no matter what.  It's okay, we never eat at our table.

And hey, those yellow flowers in the picture?  From my husband of two years.  Yep, exactly two years ago today I said "I do" to this stud.

I'm a lucky lady.  I would write a long sappy love note to him, but I've already done that here and here, and at least four other times on this blog.  I figure you all are getting sick of hearing about how happy I am to be married to him.  But nevertheless, happy 2nd anniversary, husband!  I'm so thankful for you.
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