september bullet points…

It’s been too long, you’ll say. Well, that is completely true. You’ll have to forgive me, because it’s going to last a while longer. But let’s review the main stuff, shall we?

  • This is my senior year. While I am kept busy (and occasionally swamped), that means that within a year, I will be a college graduate searching for a job. Which means, some sweet day, I will have time for non-school related activities. Like blogging.
  • I still take photos, but mostly post them to Instagram from my phone. My camera only tends to travel with me when I visit family, and then I try and take pics on camera AND phone, because of occasional lighting and speed issues on my phone. But my phone quality keeps improving, so it’s my go-to. Laziness? Maybe. Sometimes,  you do what you have time for.
  • The Lord has blessed me with a lot of spiritual growth this year, partly because of attending a new church. Sometimes, I want to shout for joy… and then a new school assignment “calms” me down. But my Savior has been gracious, and is working on me in the patience area, as well as the worry area. Not the same, I assure you.
  • I am enjoying my history classes, as always, as well as taking another fiction workshop. So, I spend a LOT of time reading for class, and writing assignments. Which is why most of the time, I don’t have brain space for any other kind of writing. Except, you know, on FB or on my Instagram posts.
  • What else is there? Some of you began following me because of my trip to Australia… what is it, 5 years ago now? While I keep in regular contact with my Aussie friends, I do hope that in the next year or two, I will be able to afford to go visit them, finally. And visit all the places that I didn’t get to, last time. But maybe, once I graduate, I will have time for more trips here in the U.S., too.
  • Continuing that thought, I have been on several road trips this year, mostly to the beach and PA and Virginia. To visit family and friends. But mostly, I wasn’t in a writing mood, because I’d been “schooled out” at that point. There are times when you never want to go near a computer again.
  • Along with the above JOY about knowing the Lord better this year, along with that comes a renewed interest in a few things that I’ve slacked on over the years. Playing my guitar or playing the piano. Trying new things, mostly art-related. Getting a bike, and taking some leisure skills at school, like tennis and top ropes. So, since writing and blogging still remain in my list of things I like to do, I’m more likely to do them when I’m not busy AND when I’m particularly happy/joyful about something. When worry and frustration crowd things out, the fun things slide, because… well, that’s playing with avoidance tactics, as I see it. If I’m blogging in order to avoid studying, then I’m shirking what I have to be doing. I want to keep my GPA up high, you know. 🙂
  • So, all that to say that, I’m praying for more patience and to hand over the worries, as well as to make sure I’m not slacking on my schoolwork. It’s a mixed bag when it comes time to thinking about blogging. But I’m trying to get it back into the list of things that I CAN do, when there is time and freed up brain space.
  • Thanks for hanging in there! I just thought I’d include a collage of photos from this last month, just for a bright spot in the writing blather that I’m including here. I hope you have a blessed month and the rest of the year, in case I get tied up totally with school until Christmas!

friday randomness…

Just some random thoughts to share with everyone, on this cloudy, occasionally rainy Friday…

  • I know I’ve only had to work a three day week, but I’m so glad it’s the weekend. Did any of you moms out there ever realize, before you had children, what hard work vacation would be? Here in Australia, there’s a LONG vacation before Christmas. As my girls like to say, “we have 52 days left of vacation!”. That’s right, they don’t go back until January, and keeping up with five kids is HARD work. Go hug your own parents, and say thank you.
  • Just returned from seeing Breaking Dawn, Pt. 1 for the second time. I just wanted to go to a movie (and seeing Smurfs again or Jack and Jill once, those were not an option), get out of the house, and enjoy my freedom. Oh, and for the record, I didn’t go to see Smurfs on purpose, I was asked to take the kids. The nauseating… schmaltz just about killed me several times. And I used to watch the Smurfs on TV. But back to Breaking Dawn… I still like how they did the movie, and look forward to the second part. Then, from the theater, I went and had a coffee and scone at Mickey D’s, while I read (pain-free) from my Kindle. Bliss.
  • Last night, I finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, so that means I finished the whole series in just under two weeks. Not bad, I’d say, considering I had to put one of my carpal tunnel braces on for three days, to get through. Several years after the first time I read them all the first time, I enjoyed them even more this time around. I was still just as enraged with the cruelty of Dolores Umbridge, who somehow seems more evil, because she pretends she is doing good. I’m still as heartbroken over the deaths of Fred (especially), Lupin, and Tonks. And yeah, having an understanding of Severus Snape, from start to finish, makes the whole story much more satisfying.
  • Despite a pile of books from the library, which seem to stare accusingly at me, my hands and wrists needed a break from real books, so I’ve started on my latest addition to my Kindle. I was delighted to find that a new P.I.G. guide was for sale on Amazon, so I am now reading The Politically Incorrect Guide to the British Empire, by H.W. Crocker, III.  Not only do I read every P.I.G. guide I can get my hands on, Crocker’s Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War was awesome, so I know this’ll be great, too. Yes, I often break up my fiction binges by adding in some excellent non-fiction.
  • Christmas really is coming, though my brain refuses to believe it. Well, if you were enjoying the heat and humidity that I am, with occasional forays into my bedroom’s air conditioning, you wouldn’t believe it either. But my Aussie family have gotten out their Christmas decorations and the neighbors have their Christmas lights out. No, I’ve never before lived on a street with Santa and his reindeer on the neighbors’ roof.
  • My girls were unable to find their nativity set, so they decided to make their own. After borrowing my brand new markers to color with, and making ingenious use of paper and pipe cleaners, I think their new nativity is really awesome. Their dad did eventually find the other one, though.
  • I’m trying to get used to the fact that the Christmas tree is the same height as I am, since I’m used to a house with one 7 ft (I think) tree and one 5ft tree. My mom and I both have enough of our own ornaments to decorate both trees ourselves, but since mine are in a storage unit in PA, I guess they’ll all be hers again, this year. No Chewbacca ornament, either. I know you’re upset, Mom.
  • While shopping in Rockhampton, recently, I was tempted to get some beautiful white ceramic ornaments, but figured they’d be unlikely to survive the trip home in my suitcase. Besides, why spend all that money, when there’s an extreme likelihood of breakage? Instead, I got a nice little star-shaped ornament made of bells, and hung that on my door handle. I know, exciting… but my desk is too messy to make room for even a small Christmas tree.
  • With five curious kittens in the house, who, together, get into more mischief than my Bubby does, we’re hoping they’ll be adopted soon. If you know someone in the Emerald area who wants one, let me know. They’ve yet to do more than pull some tinsel decor down from the bottom branch of the tree, but I’m hoping it’ll be no worse. They like to get into my laundry baskets, and I found one lying on the table, when I walked in, earlier. Their climbing skills are improving, so just like my Bubby, they become curious about everything. And yet, one of their favorite hangout spots continues to a certain small red basket.
  • Bubby gets into plenty of her own mischief, though. I feel like I spend all day saying NO, and she knows exactly what I mean. If she hears me saying it from a distance, and then hears me moving towards her, she’ll run, knowing she’s about to get her hand swatted (or it’s highly likely). One way of trying to escape is to run to one of her sisters, so I had to play tug-of-war with Bea, earlier, because she didn’t know Bubby was in trouble, and wanted to play with her.
  • And as I stare Christmas in the face, far from home, I also realize that I’ve been here for 7 months… so that means I’ve got 5 to go. It’ll fly by, after the New Year arrives. But though I don’t wail about being homesick, the longing for home is starting to build up inside of me. For those of you who think I’m “oh so brave” for coming over here, or just plain invincible, please remember I’m only human, and I miss my family. Badly. If I went home for Christmas, I think I’d break, and never be able to come back. But when Christmas Day is almost here, if you don’t hear something cheerful and upbeat from me, it’ll be because I’m hanging onto my heart for dear life, holding myself together.
  • I am not brave. I am not invincible. Don’t put me on a pedestal, just because I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve. Christmas is coming, and because it’s summer over here, I might just survive.
  • I’m listening to the Breaking Dawn soundtrack and loving it. Smile! Just because some of my random comments are serious doesn’t mean I’m depressed. Unless you’re Dani, go turn on some Christmas music and sing your head off. I hope to introduce my Aussie family, soon, to Christmas music by Celine Dion, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Hayley Westenra, and Bing Crosby. I just wish I had my Billy Gilman Christmas music on this laptop. Any chance you could e-mail it to me, Dad?

the versatile blogger award…

What a nice way to wake up! I’ve been given the The Versatile Blogger Award, so I humbly accept, and many thanks to Ukate! As it’s my first time receiving it, I’ll do my best to live up to everyone’s expectations. But Kate? Your write-up of the nominations and the blurbs about them… I don’t think I can quite live up to your beautiful descriptions.  : )

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In order to accept the award, each of these blogs must complete the following steps:

a.  Write a post accepting the award and show the award’s image.

b.  List seven random, quirky facts about yourself – things that probably haven’t already come up in your blog posts.

c.  Pass the award on to 5-15 other blogs, ones that you already follow or for which you solicit invitations.

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And so… good grief, seven quirky facts about myself? Oh, wait, I can use random facts, too. Hey, I know I’m weird, but I can’t think of anything nearly quirky enough.

1. I was born in New York State, raised in South Carolina, and then spent five years in Pennsylvania. For any Aussies reading this, that means I was born up north (where it’s COLD and SNOWY in the winter), grew up in the South (where it’s HOT and HUMID in the summer), and then went back to the snow for five years.

2. I took piano and violin lessons (but I hated practicing and piano recitals) for ten years, but I don’t play violin anymore. I taught myself to play guitar, when I was 19 or 20.

3. One of my favorite things to do is use super glue to fix broken ceramic figurines and things like that. Yeah, my family doesn’t get it, either, but my mom still saves the broken stuff for when I get home.

4. Though, I grew up in SC, I went to Bible camp in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (that’s right next to Canada) for many years. See if you can figure that out.

5. When I was little, my parents thought I would grow up to be a cruise director. I’ve now been on a cruise, and I know that ain’t ever gonna happen.

6. I’ve only “played” golf once, when I was five. According to the audio tape, I claimed that I won. However, I really wouldn’t mind trying it again someday, if I get the chance.

7. I won the school spelling bee, when I was in 6th grade. The following year, I didn’t get beyond the class contest, because I misunderstood the word “tourniquet”. I’ve never been able to forgive myself for not asking the definition, because from the way our teacher pronounced it, we thought she was talking about a distant relative of a “tunicate”.

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Ok, so the next part is that I have to nominate some other blogs, so here goes…

My nominations for The Versatile Blogger Award are:

1. Freckles & Fickle Take Over the World, by juliesaysyay. I love reading about her adventures as a mom of two, and her hilarious take on life.

2. Taking the Road Less Traveled, by Jennifer. An American family living in Australia. What else can I say? I can empathize with so many things she writes about, as we’re both living in the land Down Under.

3. Enjoying the Journey, by Jennifer Marie. A fellow traveler and photographer, I enjoy seeing and hearing about the places she visits.

4. Butterfingers for Breakfast, by Brooke. Another mom, sharing her adventures with her two boys, and I like reading both her quirky (consider the candy corn) and her serious posts. And I’m very glad she’s back from hiatus, now that her move across country is complete!

5. In Other Words and Pictures, by Roberta. Last, but not least, my first blogging buddy, who almost always has a kind word to share and some encouragement to give. With lovely pictures and an ever-changing backdrop, she takes us on her excursions, and I do enjoy the ride.

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I don’t feel like I’ve done any of them justice, but I hope you’ll check them out, and see for yourself. Again, many thanks to Ukate! Ok, it’s somebody else’s turn, now.