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Jan. 1st, 2017

Laugh As The Sun

2016, A Year in Review

Where did you begin 2016?
Mike and I hung out until he had to go to work. We both passed out on a couch in the living Where did you begin 2016?
I was at a party with some really good friends. The memory is bittersweet this year, as those friends have since divorced.

Did you know anybody who got married?
Yes, and I got to be in one of their weddings! Protip - if ever you have the chance to get your makeup done by a person who is a professional makeup artist by day and drag queen by night, don't stop don't think don't hesitate just say yes. You will never look more fabulous.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes!! My sister in law had her 4th baby girl, my lovely niece Jamie, and my wonderful sister had her first tiny human, Thea Elizabeth. I am in auntie heaven over here :)

Did anyone close to you die?
Not a family member or close friend, but two very dear ladies who I interacted with at the shelter on a frequent basis passed away, and losing them was very sad.

Where did you travel to and with who?
My Mburg loves, and I went alone.

Did you move anywhere?
I did! I moved to my lovey little barn house :)

What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
Confidence, strength, and the resolve to follow through on important decision that need to be made.

What date from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
October 3, when my niece Thea was born. I was so, so scared that my sister would be like me, and be unable to have children. And then along comes this tiny little miracle baby, and I don't have to worry about that anymore. I can't tell you how relieved that makes me.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Taking care of my mental health in the best and most positive way I ever have.

What was your biggest failure?
Letting Adam come back, after I had asked him to leave. Again. It's like I don't learn...

Did you suffer illness or injury?
My knee has been ROTTEN this year. But I've worked hard to get it back into being a decent joint to possess. Also my depression has been the worst it's been in a while, and again I've worked hard to make sure I am doing everything I can to get myself into a better mental space.

What was the best thing you bought?
My house, hands down.

Whose behavior merited celebration?
My best friend Mike, who continues to support me and be there for me no matter what. Also, my friends in Mburg, who have accepted me despite my flaws and struggles and given endless amounts of love. I've also had the pleasure of meeting a small group of nerdy internet folk, and been able to form friendships with them that have enriched my life greatly. Love my Love Box Monsters :)

Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
My mother's family, who have torn each other apart, and all over money. It's so stupid, and we will never recover as a family unit.

Where did most of your money go?
Taxes and towards buying my house.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Getting my 3rd tattoo, moving, and getting my student loan debt down under $4k.

What song will always remind you of 2016?
Thunder in the Rain - Kane Brown

What do you wish you'd done more of?
Standing up for myself, and not letting bullshit slide.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Give in to my fears.

How will you be spending New Years Eve?
I stayed in this year with Gunner, made myself pizza and drank (and am currently still working on) a bottle of Winter Jack. I participated in an online nerd event, and have spent the night watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall and chatting with various friends. It's been a lovely evening.

Did you fall in love in 2016?
Maybe.

What was your favourite TV program?
Archer, Doc Martin, Frasier

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I have complex feelings about that, same as last year.

What was the best book you read?
This was a bad year for reading. I haven't finished Going Postal yet, depression really disrupted a huge part of my life this year.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Panic at the Disco.

What did you want and get?
I wanted a place of my own to live, and I made it happen. I wanted just a half assed gesture of love, and didn't get it. I wanted to recommit to my journey towards wellness, and I did.

What was your favorite film of this year?
Not sure if there's one I went crazy over. I really did enjoy Fantastic Beasts though.

What concerts/shows did you go to?
I get to any this year. Goals for next year!

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 32, and I worked.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Sticking to my guns.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
Leggings and tunic tops are my life. LuLaRoe is seriously all it's cracked up to be :)

Did you change your hairstyle?
A little bit, strayed back towards red. Still trying to grow it out, but not sure I want to.

What kept you sane?
Gunner-fuzz, coffee, and my friends. Same answer, still true <3

What political issue stirred you the most?
This election. Holy shit, how did we end up here??

Who did you miss?
Houghton people, forever and ever and EVER. FOR-EH-VER!!

Who were the best new people you met?
My online nerds. Seriously, they are some awesome people.

Other than home, where did you spend most of your time?
Work, outside, and with Mike and Laila. Not a bad way to spend my time!

Best month?
October, because Thea.

Do anything embarrassing?
Oh yeah, I'm sure I did. Nothing in particular leaping to mind currently, though.

Favorite Night out?
Going bowling with some fine PA folk, and seeing Fantastic Beasts afterwards. Serious awesomeness going on right there.

What has been your favorite moment(s)?
Holding my nieces for the first time, how my Laila girl hugs me and says "Yay, my Cici!!" every time she sees me, and signing my name on the deed to my home.

What's the one thing you thought you would not do but did in 2016?
Let Adam come home. I hate how this cycle works. It's time to break it.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
It's ok to let go.

Overall, how would you rate this year?
It's been such a huge challenge. I've struggled to get through it, and even though I had moments when I really didn't think I could hold it together anymore, I still managed to do it. I am still standing, so this year didn't defeat me. It was a shit year in so many ways, but I proved I can survive whatever is hurled at me. There is a lot to be said for that.

Jan. 1st, 2016

Kokopelli

2015 Year in Review

Year in Review

Where did you begin 2015?
Mike and I hung out until he had to go to work. We both passed out on a couch in the living room (separate couches) and I woke up in time to see the ball drop and kiss my fuzzy babies.

Did you know anybody who got married?
I think so, but no one super close. At least I can't remember right now... might have had a few earlier :)

Did anyone close to you give birth?
No one super close, but I do know quite a few people who have had babies.

Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. This year was lousy with funerals. I lose my grandfather in February, my cousin in July, and Adam's grandfather died last month. Aerie crossed over the rainbow bridge in July too. This was a rough year.

Where did you travel to and with who?
I got to see my Mburg loves this year! Twice!!

Did you move anywhere?
I did not.

What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
The wisdom to do the right thing, and the courage to do it.

What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February 6th, which is when my grandfather died. And July 11th, when I lost my Aerie.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Lost 20lbs, which brings my grand total up to 50lbs! I'm really, really proud of that.

What was your biggest failure?
Taking Adam back when I should not have. He told me he made a mistake and asked if we could try again two days after my grandfather died. If he had not done that when he did, I would not have said yes.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Migraines are almost totally under control, so this is the first year in a decade that I can say I didn't have major problems with them. Yay!

What was the best thing you bought?
Clothes that I feel pretty in :)

Whose behavior merited celebration?
My sister, who has been my rock through all the nonsense. My Mburg loves, who harbor me when I need a safe place. And Mike has continued to be an amazing best friend who I can truly count on.

Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Adam, mainly because he has broken his promises (again) and has not done any of the things I said were important that he do if we were to try again, and has done all the things he promised not to do. But more than that, my own behavior has made me appalled and depressed, because I let him, and I let him get away with it.

Where did most of your money go?
A giant chunk went to taxes, because Adam refuses to get health insurance. So I lost my entire return, and then we had to pay hundreds extra on top of that.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Getting to see my PA people twice within a month, and getting my second tattoo!

What song will always remind you of 2015?
No More Wasted Time, from the soundtrack of the Broadway musical If/Then

What do you wish you'd done more of?
Standing up for myself, exercising, and playing music.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Giving in to the worse parts of my personality.

How will you be spending New Years Eve?
I went to a party at a friend's house. I became pretty good friends with a girl who used to work the shelter and her fiancee, and they have invited me to a lot of events with their friend group. It's a really group of people, and I always have a good time when I hang out with them. We played card games and listened to music and played beer pong, then we all watched the ball drop and shared a bottle of champagne. I had a really nice night.

Did you fall in love in 2015?
Yes.

What was your favourite TV program?
How I Met Your Mother, Futurama, South Park, Castle, Doctor Who.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I have complex feelings about that.

What was the best book you read?
I have not finished a book yet, but I am really liking Going Postal.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Five Finger Death Punch. They are really good for when you're feeling angry.

What did you want and get?
A grand romantic gesture is what I wanted, what I got was his used Magic cards that he "wasn't ever going to use". I may be a bit miffed at that.

What was your favorite film of this year?
Paranorman. I know it's not a new movie, but I saw it for the first time this year and I love it.

What concerts/shows did you go to?
I went to a couple open mics, and I really enjoyed the couple new bands I saw.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 31, and I worked.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Just being brave. That's all I needed to be.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
Always hippie flair, but it's gotten darker. Now that I think about it, I'm closer to a sparkle goth than a hippie chick. Weird...

Did you change your hairstyle?
Growing my hair out for a wedding that I will be in next June, in which I will need enough hair to have an up-do. I don't really like it right now, and I think I will probably cut it short again after the wedding.

What kept you sane?
Gunner-fuzz, coffee, and my friends.

What political issue stirred you the most?
Gay marriage - do I need to say more?

Who did you miss?
Houghton people, forever and ever and EVER.

Who were the best new people you met?
My coworker's group of friends is really full of funny, talented, awesome people. I've really enjoyed making friends with them.

Other than home, where did you spend most of your time?
Work, outside, and with Mike and Laila.

Best month?
The one where I got to see the PA people :)

Do anything embarrassing?
I got "I love you, man" drunk on Halloween and hugged people. That is really weird for me to do, and definitely embarrassing.

Favorite Night out?
A couple months ago I had a pretty stellar night out with my newer set of friends, made especially awesome because my coworker adopted a puppy from the shelter where I work, so I got to see her in the real world and now I can be there as she grows up!

What has been your favorite moment(s)?
Laila wrapped my Christmas present herself this year, and she wrote my name on it. That's the first time she has done that, and it made me so amazingly proud of her and happy that I get to be her Cici. Also, the fact that when she tells anyone about me, she refers to me as "My Cici". It's just adorable and I love being her Cici :)

What's the one thing you thought you would not do but did in 2015?
Let Adam come home. I love him and I always will, I just don't think we're right for each other anymore. And that is a painful thing to say. Maybe the most painful thing I'll ever say.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
Love is one of the most important things we do, but sometimes just love isn't enough. Love is a start, the work of relationships is what makes them truly amazing.

Overall, how would you rate this year?
It was a rough year, in so many ways. But it strengthened me in ways that I needed, so I'm not ungrateful for what this year has been. Still, I'm hoping 2016 will be a little kinder.

Jan. 1st, 2015

Can&#39;t Hurt Me

Year In Review, 2014

Year in Review
Where did you begin 2014?
Rang it in watching Doctor Who with Adam and Mike. It was the perfect beginning, really.

Did you know anybody who got married?
Quite a few, actually.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, Keri had her baby this year! Lots of pregnant people right now, too.

Did anyone close to you die?
I did not go to any funerals, but I know of several people who passed on this year. None were super close to me, though.

Where did you travel to and with who?
I went to Georgia with my dad. This year was sadly light on travelling.

Did you move anywhere?
I did not.

What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
That's a hard question to answer. I want to say "a healthy relationship with my spouse" but Adam has moved out, and I don't think there is any hope for a reconciliation.

What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
December 16th. My entire world crashed down on December 16th, when Adam told me he doesn't love me anymore.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I have paid down my college loans and I now owe less than 5,000. Not a lot less, but less!

What was your biggest failure?
The loss of my marriage.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Migraines continue to be a significant problem, but I have a referral to a neurologist and am resolved to clear up the problem as quickly as possible.

What was the best thing you bought?
My new (to me) car!!! I love her so, so much.

Whose behavior merited celebration?
Mike really stuck with me and helped me get through the first few days when I didn't think I would be able to survive. My darling KT continues to be an immense support, and my sister in law Jessi (who has been through this with Adam's brother) has been wonderful to me through all of this too. My dad also deserves special mention, because of all he did for me in order to find my new car.

Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Adam. He gave up on us. I played my part in the destruction of our marriage, but he was the one to walk away instead of working to make it better.

Where did most of your money go?
Propane. Seriously heat is expensive.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The fact that my dad went to Georgia to buy me a car, came back to NY when the car was too big to haul, then went BACK to Georgia and drove my car home. Seriously my daddy is amazing.

What song will always remind you of 2014?
One Good Year by Slaid Cleaves

What do you wish you'd done more of?
Talking, listening, crying, opening up. Really all of the things I should have been doing more, in order to save my marriage.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Being angry. I spent so much of this year angry. If I hadn't, I feel like things would be a lot different.

How will you be spending New Years Eve?
I fell asleep watching TV, and woke up at 11:58pm to the sound of Mike snoring on the couch, and the dogs snoring on the floor. I kissed Gunner's nose and ruffled Aerie's ears, and headed to bed. Not the worst, but not at all how I would like to be celebrating the new year.

Did you fall in love in 2014?
No.

What was your favourite TV program?
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Who, Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Yes and no, it's complicated.

What was the best book you read?
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. In addition to loving his work, it also gave me a better perspective on my cousin Bethany's life, as she (like the main character of the book) lived on borrowed time with a terminal illness.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Pentatonix and Watsky

What did you want and get?
I wanted Adam to fight for me. That's literally all I wanted. And he walked away, instead.

What was your favorite film of this year?
I really enjoyed the Lego Movie

What concerts/shows did you go to?
I went to a few open mics that my dad emceed, and I think they were fantastic.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 30, and I worked. But I made myself turkey enchiladas and spent the evening with Adam and Mike.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Losing more weight, fixing the issues in my marriage instead of watching it fall apart. (That marriage thing is gonna be a theme....)

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
Frazzled, still hippie chic but a harder edge to it. Also, my nails have been amazing this year. Thanks, Jamberry!!

Did you change your hairstyle?
Not really, but I am in the process of growing it out. Still not sure I like it longer, but I'm going to see.

What kept you sane?
My dogs, coffee, music, and my friends.

What political issue stirred you the most?
I am so fed up with politics. SO fed up.

Who did you miss?
Houghton people, forever and ever and always.

Who were the best new people you met?
Meeting my friends in Georgia was pretty amazing (since we met online initially) and I've made a few close friends at work and that was pretty cool.

Other than home, where did you spend most of your time?
Work, outside, and with Mike and Laila.

Best month?
February, when I went to Georgia.

Do anything embarrassing?
Fell on my ass, out of a door, at work. I opened the door to let a dog outside and put my foot outside the door, directly onto a patch of ice. I went down like a rock, and did so RIGHT in front of my boss. Who asked what I was doing, and didn't help me up. Oy...

Favorite Night out?
I don't really have a night that stands out in my mind, but I have gotten together with my high school friends a few times this year, and we always have a pretty good time together.

What has been your favorite moment(s)?
Meeting online friends and finding they are just as awesome in person, getting to play with Laila and watching her incredible imagination, quiet afternoons knitting with Gunner asleep on my leg, the moments when Aerie actually prefers to snuggle with me rather than a boy because sometimes you just need your momma.

What's the one thing you thought you would not do but did in 2014?
Go back to my job at the mall. I did temporarily, but thankfully left before the holidays.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
You can't fix someone who doesn't want to be fixed, and no amount of love will change that.

Overall, how would you rate this year?
It was a pretty horrible year. I'm ready to put it in the rear view and move along.

Dec. 31st, 2013

Laugh As The Sun

Year in Review

Where did you begin 2013?
I drunkenly watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall with my amazing little sister. Seriously, that movie is funny sober but it's one of those movies where you pee yourself laughing if you watch it while inebriated.

Did you know anybody who got married?
A few people, but no one super close to me.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, and a whole bunch of people are pregnant :)

Did anyone close to you die?
I have avoided going to any funerals this year. That is pretty cool.

Where did you travel to and with who?
I went to Mburg with Gunner, Houghton to meet friends, and the Adirondacks with Adam.

Did you move anywhere?
Nope, continuing to stay put.

What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Better credit. This is going to be the year of me fixing my finances.

What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
July 21st, my official hire date for my job at the humane society.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
FINALLY getting a job that provides health insurance!!! Seriously I am so proud of that.

What was your biggest failure?
Not dealing with things that needed to be dealt with.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Migraines, but less this year. Developed planar fasciitis (basically - incredible pain in the bottom of your feet), which is annoying, but hopefully as the weight keeps going down that will resolve itself.

What was the best thing you bought?
The laptop that I am currently using. His name is Cyril :)

Whose behavior merited celebration?
I have had some people really be there for me when I was down. Mike continues to be an awesome support, and he's been my rock through a lot of the upheaval of the last month. Also my darling KT, without her my sanity levels would be much lower.

Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Adam. His crappy attitude got him suspended from his job on the 10th of December, and they fired him on the 20th. Merry Christmas from Applebees.

Where did most of your money go?
Just the normal bills, thank goodness. And some to savings, which will come in handy.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Hitting my 30 pound weight loss mark. I still have so far to go, but I did it. I can't believe I really, really did it :)

What song will always remind you of 2013?
Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol

What do you wish you'd done more of?
Reading, kayaking, playing music, creating anything of any kind.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Hiding from people, fighting with Adam, trying to make relationships work that just won't.

How will you be spending New Years Eve?
This is the first year that I'll be spending it stationary with Adam. The only other time we've ever been together for New Year's we were driving in an ice storm. But Mike is coming over and we're going to order pizza and watch Doctor Who until Mike has to go to work.

Did you fall in love in 2013?
I might have.

What was your favourite TV program?
Castle, the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Who, The Big Bang Theory.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No, I'm getting too old to hate people. I'll settle for "extreme dislike". Same as last year.

What was the best book you read?
I didn't read any new books this year. I feel so, so sad about that. But I got myself 'The Book Thief' for Christmas, and I have high hopes for it being pretty awesome.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Epic Rap Battles of History. Seriously you gotta see them.

What did you want and get?
I wanted to be more active and do more and I did. I wanted to lose weight and I did. I wanted to buy myself a laptop and I did. I wanted to find a job I liked and that provided health insurance and I did. This was a good year for me in terms of getting my ass on the move and reaching my goals..

What was your favorite film of this year?
I don't know. I haven't really gotten to see anything new, though I plan on buying Despicable Me 2 and Anchorman 2 eventually.

What concerts/shows did you go to?
I am boring and did not see any concerts or shows.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 29 and I worked. I don't really want to talk about birthdays anymore lol.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Losing 50 pounds instead of just 30.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Comfy, polished, hippie chic.

Did you change your hairstyle?
Yep, went back to brown but I darkened it a little bit and added some honey-colored highlights. I'm pretty in love with it, and my friend Meghan is consistently awesome at doing exactly what I want. Growing it out now, we'll see where it goes next year.

What kept you sane?
My dogs, my job, my good friends, coffee, music, and completing a lot of the projects I started.

What political issue stirred you the most?
Obamacare. I don't even want to talk about it anymore.

Who did you miss?
Houghton people, forever and always.

Who were the best new people you met?
A couple new coworkers who are very nice people, and I met some people who live in Georgia through a facebook group centered on our favorite author. I'm hoping to meet them when I go to see my grandmother in Georgia in February.

Other than home, where did you spend most of your time?
Work, being outside, and with Mike and Laila.

Best month?
End of September to mid-October, because that's when I quit Lane Bryant, went to the Adirondacks, and saw Houghton folk.

Do anything embarrassing?
Well, there is nothing but chain link and concrete at the humane society, and when I first got hired I ran into everything. I didn't see a giant bruise on the back of my arm, and I actually had a stranger pull me aside in the grocery store and ask me if I was a victim of domestic abuse. It was nice that she was concerned and all, but "No, I swear, I'm actually just REALLY uncoordinated" is just not the best explanation in that particular situation and definitely embarassing.

Favorite Night out?
I was feeling really sad and lonely one day, defeated with everything and just generally very off. Mike called me and must have heard it in the way I sounded, because he told me to put on pants and get ready to go for a drive. I did, and while he was on his way to get me he called up some friends of ours and got them to come down for wing night at our favorite bar. It was a really sweet thing, and it made me feel so much better, and all my friends gave me hugs. And there were wings. Delicious wings.

What has been your favorite moment(s)?
Gunner and Aerie falling asleep on me, introducing Laila to books from my childhood and seeing her love them, Buying jeans in a normal people store. Seeing my friends.

What's the one thing you thought you would not do but did in 2013?
I didn't think I'd ever be able to leave my retail job. But I did :)

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
You can't wait forever. Every second is precious, don't waste too many.

Overall, how would you rate this year?
Pretty good overall. I'm a little worried about Adam losing his job and we're not exactly closing it out on the best note, but I have a lot of hope that this next year will be even better.

Jun. 21st, 2013

Kokopelli

More changes!

Shoulda been in Mburg. But my car is going to fall apart if I push it too hard. Bah.

So, because NEED MONEY, I have been looking for a second job. A friend of mine works at the county humane society, and she told me that a part time and a possible full time job are opening up. I turned in the application Tuesday, Wednesday they called me to tell me I got the job and I started training on Thursday.

I now work for the Ontario County Humane Society. I haven't told my other boss yet, seeing as I haven't been in to work for the past several days. I really don't know what's going to happen when I tell her.

I know that my friend who works there part-time makes $9.36 an hour, but I have absolutely no idea what I'm making. It just didn't come up yet. They also don't know what days they will want me for, so I don't even know what to tell my boss at LB about my changed availability. I'm a bit stressed over that.

Also, my boss is back after 2 months of managing 2 stores and splitting her time between them. I have been averaging 35 hours a week. Apparently the corporate tools that run my company have decided they need to slash payroll costs, so now store managers (who are salary) are expected to work 45 hours a week so that everyone else works less. This upcoming week I am scheduled for 22 hours. And have 9 hours of training at the humane society. So even with 2 jobs I'm not breaking the 32 hours a week mark, but I will be working all 7 days.

I have no idea what to think about any of this. I am outrageously happy for an opportunity to work for the county (once you're in, it's SO much easier to move around later on and STAY with the county, which is what I have always wanted to do). On the other hand, how many jobs do you have to have and how many days do you have to work in order to make a decent amount of money or hit sorta close to the 40 hour mark?

I just don't even... Still processing it all.

Jun. 3rd, 2013

Can&#39;t Hurt Me

Every so often

Yesterday, my parents had a tree removed from their yard. It was one of two birch trees that used to be in front of the house, both of which had perfect swing branches. When I was little, I played in that yard and swung from that tree for hours.

At first, I felt a little nostalgic and reminiscent of those seemingly endless days. It made me think of playing with my cousin Bethany, who has passed away now, and about how my youngest cousin in now in the second year of her Masters program and is no longer the tiny kid with the curly hair that I used to babysit. And it made me sad, because I always thought I would sit my own kids in one of those swings and watch them kick at the clouds.

Most of the time, I'm absolutely fine knowing that I'm not going to have children. Every so often I comfort myself and think I'm only 29, there's plenty of time for me, of course I could have one if I wanted to. But now is a bad time, things with Adam aren't right for starting a family. It's perfectly ok. I'm just not a person who is going to have children. And I'm really fine knowing that.

But then there are moments like today, when I drove home from work and saw that empty yard and this icy feeling filled my chest as I realized that dear God, I am not going to have children. I'll be looking at pictures of Laila (who I miss so much I can't hardly stand it) and generally being pathetic for the next few hours. Blah.

Apr. 22nd, 2013

Laugh As The Sun

Thoughts From Places

My favorite author does these little episodes on Youtube of his thoughts from the places he's been. I want to start writing, and I recently went to a place, so I thought I'd give it a go.


In the morning, much later than I had wanted to, I got going. I was heading back to Houghton to visit Tom and KT and the blueberry-baby. I was excited, but frustrated with myself. My uncooperative body demanded sleep, but my heart demanded adventure. So I hurried myself, lost my keys, found my keys, lose my shoe, found my shoe, forgot my wallet, grabbed my phone, and headed out the door. I knew I had to put gas in the car, and had to pull out two different cards and some coins to have enough. As I laid my meager offerings on the wooden countertop of my local gas stop, where the woman ringing me out asked how my grandfather was, I felt my cheeks burn with shame. I had nine dollars left for my trip should anything go wrong - I was broke.

But no matter, I was off. Or was I? It's always the days you have to be somewhere that you get stuck behind a tractor. Or someone who is driving a boat of a vehicle 20mph under the posted speed limit is ahead of you, and every time you edge towards the yellow line they decide to take their half of the road out of the middle, and you're just as stuck as ever. I passed through the town where my mother works, where I went to high school. It is the same today as it was 11 years ago. Same crappy cars lining main street, all belonging to the seniors. Same sign advertising the same Rotary fundraiser. Same prom, being held in the same location. I shook myself free of that town and that tractor that that car, and had a few miles of 55mph to get ahead. Only I didn't, because it's spring and that means potholes. Not just the annoying ones, but the ones that kill tires. I may not know much about repairing vehicles, but I know that $9 will not buy you a tire.

So I am careful, and I pick my way through the pock-marked pavement. Through the next few slow-and-go towns that you'd miss if you blinked. And I finally settle into the part of my journey where the roads wind less but climb more, and the sharp turns turn into wide arcs. This is farm country, and I used to love driving this way because of all the great old barns that stand resiliently along the way. Only I'm noticing that my beloved barns, standing strong against the ravages of weather and time, have started to give way. The biggest and best is gone completely, the ground is raw and rutted where it used to stand. I have hopes for the barn, maybe the Amish or the Mennonites came and took it to a new home, but a giant burn pile in the field sours my hopes. A little ways farther up the hill there stands a tall, three-story barn. It always looked well kept, so I am shocked to see that half of the barn has fallen away. For a second I think it looks like a doll house, but then I get closer and see that the middle floor used to be someone's workshop, and there are huge half-finished pieces of furniture everywhere. And in that moment I feel like a voyeur, like I frightened a neighbor who was only wearing a towel, and now I'm staring at them, staring at their exposed self as their towel lies crumpled around their feet. I drive on, and there's a house that's been abandoned. I can tell because of the sign posted outside, because I know this area and I know the agencies that auction bank-repossessed homes. Now I'm getting angry - things are supposed to be getting better. Things are supposed to be turning around. Time has passed, we are supposed to have learned our lessons and figured something out, but instead everything was just broken. Broken, that word echoed in my mind. The road is broken. The buildings are broken. I'm broken. So I drove my broken self along the broken roads through the broken towns, and felt generally very miserable. The joy of this trip was still going to be in the people I would meet at its end, but I had so desperately wanted something good. And I got inside my head and felt very deeply sad. Until something small out of the corner of my eye caught my attention.

It was this house, this house that had always been teetering on the brink. Every year it looked a little worse, a little more crooked, a little more like the occupants might want need to worry if the winds blew too strong. But it didn't look like that anymore. It has new windows, so new that the stickers still haven't been taken off. And new siding, the good stuff, the kind that won't peel and split two years down the road. And there's a paved driveway now, and what look like flowerbeds. Signs of life in the middle of everything that's broken. Jolted out of my frame of mind, I started to actively look for hope. And to my surprise, I found it. A new house that had been built. An old trailer that had been taken away and it's former site cleaned up. A business that had added another building. I started to feel ok again, like these small things meant so much more than they really do.

I got to Houghton and there were signs of construction, and I raced on to see my friends. And I got hugs, and heard their baby boy laugh. Best of all was being able to talk as if we had just seen each other yesterday and were picking up our conversation again, talking like we didn't live 5 (or 25) hours away. Friends like that are what makes the broken pieces not matter so much. The visit was so much but too short, as those types of visits always are, but the feeling lasted. And as I drove home through a fog that had rolled though the hills, the feeling of being that deeply loved and of having people that I love that much in return stuck with me. I have felt so broken in the last few days, the last year, but the difference of the last few days has been that when I think all hope is lost, I reach for that feeling. That knowledge, that things are broken, but there is hope. Which may be a simple lesson, but one worth finding out is true.

I'll see you on the flip side.

Mar. 8th, 2013

Laugh As The Sun

Choose wisely...

We did a Secret Santa name-draw at work, and then everyone got the flu. Except me. I got a nasty sore throat for a day, but I'm not bragging. I figure my body is waiting for spring to come and for everything to get beautiful and then nail me with the Mutant Death Flu or something. Anyway, I digress, on to more important matters.

My Santa got me a chocolate-strawberry cake pop kit, and a separate cake pop maker. And if that wasn't awesome enough, she also got me a cookbook. Of desserts. All of which can be made and/or served in jars. It is SO ADORABLE! And it includes such things as espresso creme brulee, lemon-blueberry bread pudding, sweet corn panna cotta with bacon & blueberry sauce, fried ice cream, peach-bourbon pie, and a variety of cheesecakes. That's just a small sample of what I've been fantasizing about making for the last 8 hours.

You will imagine my delight in being invited to dinner with some friends this Sunday, and being asked to make dessert. And I have it narrowed down to 2 (or 5 or 6, don't you dare judge me) choices. And all I can think about is how to make OTHER desserts that fit in jars. Because seriously that's awesome.

I might just make both of my top 2 choices, and call it awesome. That likelihood is becoming more and more of a certainty the longer I think about it.

May. 10th, 2012

Voyeuristic Intentions

Long Live Big Al's!!!

ZOMG YOU GUYS!!!

I've gone a lot of places in my life, tried a lot of local cuisine, but never have I ever found any other place in the world that served the same incredible mozarella sticks that Biggie's did. UNTIL LAST NIGHT!!!

I didn't get to the gym (fail - forgot to put gym bag in my car) so I took all the dogs for an extra long walk, just over an hour. Then a friend texted and asked if I wanted to go to wing night at a local bar. A bar I lived 5 minutes from for over a year. I decided to go since there was really nothing much else to do, but found I was totally not in the mood for wings when I got there. But I did want me some mozza sticks, so I threw caution to the wind and ordered.

AND DELICIOUS, NOSTALGIC ABANDON FOLLOWED!!!

Seriously. Best Day this year was yesterday :)

Dec. 31st, 2011

Kokopelli

A Year In Review

Where did you begin 2011?
Home alone, just like last year :P

Did you know anybody who got married?
Yes, two couples.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yep, and have ADORABLE babies. Many, many more are pregnant now.

Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, my cousin Bethany. She died at the age of 39, of complications from birth defects caused by the Agent Orange her father was doused in while in Vietnam. She was absolutely amazing, and she survived far longer than was ever expected. There are several other cases like hers, but all of those people died as children or teens. The next oldest person with her condition died at the age of 19. I am sad to lose her, but her life taught doctors how to better the quality of life for people with congenital heart and lung conditions, and that is the best legacy to leave.

Where did you travel to and with who?
Mburg (twice, brought a different Mike each time), Spencerport solo, Lyons solo, Adirondacks with Adam.

Did you move anywhere?
NO!!! Yay I finally went a year without moving!!

What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
A full-time job with benefits, health insurance, a sense of pride in anything at all...

What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I honestly can't think of any. There have been many days I will remember fondly but not that got etched in by date. I don't really remember dates, sometimes cause I can't but mostly because I don't want to. If something bad happens, I will not look at a calendar for a few days. I don't want to have bad things associated with days forever. But there was a lot of good this year, and though I get fuzzy on the date I will remember the day.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I got a job writing for my local news paper :)

What was your biggest failure?
Too many to think about, so I'll just say not getting a full-time position anywhere.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Bronchitis and pneumonia and a broken toe (oh, my!) in November. Migraines year-round.

What was the best thing you bought?
New bras that fit properly. I can not express to you how important this is when you reach the ridiculous proportions my chest seems determined to be.

Whose behavior merited celebration?
My friend Mike, who tells me when I'm right and tells me when I'm crazy. He helps me keep on an even keel on a pretty much daily basis.

Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
My godson's father (used to be DadBoss), Adam, my own.

Where did most of your money go?
Bills. And more bills. Oh and did I mention bills?

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going to Mburg TWICE, the birth of Vivian and Francesca, the announcement of Baby Bowers, getting a job, getting the job at the paper, any time that I spend with Laila and watching her learn new things.

What song will always remind you of 2011?
Waiting for My Real Life to Begin, by Colin Hay

What do you wish you'd done more of?
Crochet, read, work, exercise, play outside with the dogs.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Eat, worry, spend money.

How will you be spending New Years Eve?
I will be making enchiladas tonight, then going to see Mike and his daughter Laila. I might go to Applebees so I can kiss Adam at midnight (we never have had a New Year's kiss, ever). Likely spend the night alone, and I don't mind.

Did you fall in love in 2011?
Yes.

How many one-night stands?
None.

What was your favourite TV program?
NCIS, Billy the Exterminator, World's Dumbest, Hoarders, Storage Wars

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Nobody new, same feelings as I had last year.

What was the best book you read?
Looking for Alaska by John Green.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Colin Hay. He was the lead singer of Men At Work (they did the song I Come From a Land Down Under). He has a solo career now, and he's amazing!

What did you want and get?
I wanted to find a good job, get financially stable, get organized, lose weight, get healthier, and get pregnant. I got a job that pays money, got a gym membership, and am slightly more organized. Still a major fail on my part though.

What was your favorite film of this year?
Gnomeo and Juliet :)

What concerts/shows did you go to?
Didn't go to any

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 27, and I worked.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Spending more time with friends, having a job that pays more, and seeing more of my grumpy husband.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Polished, taking my hippie and "granola woman" style to a work-appropriate, fashionable level.

Did you change your hairstyle?
I have grown my hair out and dyed it red. I love love LOVE red hair, I've wanted to do it for years. Should have done it sooner :)

What kept you sane?
The dogs, angry music, Muscato wine, having good friends to talk with.

What political issue stirred you the most?
The whole entire circus that has been this year of politics. The Occupy movement, the ridiculousness of Republican presidential candidates, the spinelessness of our current president.

Who did you miss?
I really, really miss my Houghton friends. More and more every year.

Who were the best new people you met?
My coworkers at Lane Bryant, who are pretty damn awesome :) Only time I've worked closely every day with a group of females and didn't feel like it could disintegrate into a catfight at any moment.

Other than home, where did you spend most of your time?
Work and with Mike and Laila.

Best month?
December, had more money for a little while there.

Do anything embarrassing?
My boss at Lane Bryant calls me "Grace". This, for those of you who may not remember, is not an adjective that remotely describes me. I have truly earned that nickname at work, which is pretty embarassing...

Favorite Night out?
Halloween, went out with Mike's mom, who is my friend too, and got my drink on. Mike was my DD. It was a truly awesome night :)

What has been your favorite moment(s)?
Looking at all of the adorable baby pictures my friends post, laying on the couch with Gunner and having him believe that he can still "sneak" up and lay on my chest :P

What's the one thing you thought you would not do but did in 2011?
Something I swore I would never do again.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
You can love someone with your whole heart and whole life and whole soul, but that doesn't mean that you are any good for each other.

Overall, how would you rate this year?
It was better than last year.

Are you happy to see 2011 go?
Yes.

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