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I can has a cheezburger now? or, July Brain Dump

26 Jul

Lots of stuff going on, none of it being properly blogged.  This month is testing my limits in ways I never even thought about.

I started my new job on July 1st.  All is well there.  I am learning the ropes and today I even got an engraved nameplate installed on my door.  They can’t fire me now.  Or something.

The first couple of weeks in Southwest Virginia were spent at hotels and motels and I finally could not inspect another room for cleanliness and watch the same 15 channels.  So now I am staying at the lovely home of the boyfriend’s mom and step dad.  They are super nice for letting me crash in their home.  It’s clean, it smells normal (unlike the aforementioned hotels and motels) and I don’t have to do a room check for things that may creep me out in the middle of the night.  This is a good thing because it is getting me used to the drive I will have to make when we move to Christiansburg.  And the early wake up time, which, actually, is not going as bad as I thought it would.  Granted this is me waking up alone and there’s no warm boyfriend to stay snuggled up with so, yeah, getting up in the morning is pretty easy right now.  We’ll see how it goes come next month when we are reunited.

There was a vacation this month.  Pictures can be found on Flickr.  It was great and very needed.  The boyfriend’s dad’s family has taken to renting a house in Chincoteague for a week in the summer.  I was lucky enough to be invited this year.  The house had a pink front door.  Adorbs!  There was surf and sand and the best ice cream ever and very little on the grid activities and shopping and horses and sun and mosquitoes and time with great people (something spending two weeks in hotels and motels seriously lacks) and quite, relaxing time and very little doing of the hair and bathing suits and sunscreen and Scrabble and reading of books and open sunroofs and really good beach bbq and pictures and sea breeze and fish catching and good times.

Sadly, there was also the passing of a grandparent.  Dan got a call that his grandfather passed away.  We left a day early so Dan could get some formal clothes together and head to N.C. for the funeral.

Now Dan is back in Richmond (packing up the apartment) and I am in Southwest Virginia (working and doing nothing).  Hurry up and wait.  That is my motto for the month.

I did get to spend a day with my mom after returning from vacation.  That was really nice.  We shopped, did some computer stuff and had dinner with my dad to celebrate her birthday.  It was a nice dinner and the food was good.  When is the food *not* good at Bonefish?  Srsly.  I enjoyed hanging out with the mother and the father.  Probably won’t see them again for a few months.  They have an RV now so there is talk of them coming out to Southwest Virginia in the fall.

Unfortunately, it all depends on a dog named Willow.  Willow is the dog I picked out at the pound when I was 15 or 16 and declared “of course I’ll take her with me when I move out!”  Yeah, she stayed with the parents.  Willow is about 13 years old.  About 4 or 5 years ago she had melanomia in her gums.  They operated and got it out and she was fine.  A few months ago it was discovered that she had “a growth” in her bladder.  The growth was getting pretty big, pretty quick so they operated.  Turns out she had/has bladder cancer.  Malignant bladder cancer.  Mom is taking her to an oncologist for follow up.  Poor Willow.  She’s such a good dog and totally does not deserve this.

Dan has been great.  He has taken care of most things involving the townhouse.  His last day of work was July 13th so he has had more time to do such things.  I did call and find out what the procedure is for getting water, sewage and trash service, so there’s that.  Also, he bought us these salt and pepper shakers (probably because I went all girly on him when I saw them while in Chincoteague) and that totally erases all the bad stuff.  Right?

And I want to see Despicable Me.  In fact, the last three movies that I have wanted to see have been cartoons.  Take what you will from that.  I reprogrammed my car stereo with Southwest Virginia radio stations today.  I have yet to memorize any zip codes out here.  I know they start with 2.  That’s about all I got.  All our houseplants are sick and dying, all of a sudden.  One that Dan picked out seriously just ate the dust in the matter of a few weeks.  The stalk turned a dark brown/black, the leaves dried up and dropped off.  I guess it just didn’t like us. 

I’ve regained all the weight I lost last year, that’s been fun to deal with.  It’s a combination of this and that and the other thing and snow (I honestly blame the snow, I was doing just fine until it snowed and there was bacon).  Mostly it’s the too much intake, not enough outtake situation.  I used to walk a couple miles a day and then it got cold.  I’m a summer girl and hate being cold.  Therefore, no couple of miles a day anymore.  It’s like no one ever revoked my All You Can Eat/No Exercise Snow Pass and I’m trying to eat everything before someone remembers to take the pass back. 

This month has also been the most expensive month of my life.  Gas, food, hotels, repeat, more gas, clothes because last year’s summer wardrobe does not fit, and blahdy blahdy blah blah.

I think that might actually be everything.  If you’ve made it this far, thank you and good night.

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Sometimes a song is just a song. Sometimes it’s so much more.

9 Mar

Sometimes it’s just something to hum along to.  Sometimes it’s just fluff and meaningless, just noise in the background.

But sometimes it’s a reminder of something/someone you’re missing/love/forgot.  Sometimes it’s an eye (ear?) opener.  Sometimes it’s the thing that you are feeling/thinking/needing.  Sometimes it’s the truth you couldn’t admit to until you heard that music/lyric.  Sometimes a song is everything.

I count a handful of songs as my everything songs.  Songs that make me think of my deceased brother, Greg.  Songs that make me think of a certain wonderful/horrible time in my life.  A song that I know reminds my mom of her beloved dog, Katie, and therefore makes me think of my mom and Katie.  A song that made me see that I was being a twat and to give love a chance.  A song that showed me that loving someone and letting someone love you isn’t as bad as all that and totally worth the risk.  A song that makes me think having children while my grandparents and parents are alive to meet them is a good idea.  I could go on, but I’ll stop there.  (So maybe not a handful of songs.  More like a bucketful.)

The latest song in my bucket of everything songs is Lady Antebellum’s Hello World.  That song just… makes you want to wake up and look around and be grateful for being alive.  Even if you don’t believe in God or god or little white churches, this song makes you want to believe.  Charles Kelley’s voice, the arrangement, the swell of drums and strings towards the end all add to this song’s greatness.  It’s simple.  It’s lovely. It’s an everything song, for sure.

Lady A hasn’t released this song as a single so there’s no official video, but a YouTuber put this together.  Enjoy!

Thanks for…

26 Nov

my parents who put up with and love me, no matter what

the rest of my family

my friends who listen to me and put up with all my shenanigans

my wonderful, funny, smart, supportive boyfriend

Google and Twitter and the whole of the internets

Crossroads

lipgloss

knitting, apples, a trip to the middle of nowhere, and lots of links

5 Nov

I finished knitting my first scarf. Yay! It only took a few years, but whatevs, I finished it and that is all that matters.

I have moved onto two more projects. Project # 2 is a pair of fingerless gloves I saw in One More Skein. I’m using a very pretty light grey wool. Project # 3 is a baby blanket for a friend that I’m kind of making up as I go along. It all started with a pretty pale pink wool that I found on the clearance shelf. I don’t have enough of the pink to make the whole blanket so I am going to do a wide border in a dark grey. Both projects made possible because of gift cards my friends Caitlin and EB got me to The Yarn Lounge. I have discovered a few things about myself while knitting; let’s make a list: 1) I love bamboo needles and hate metal needles; 2) I cannot knit and talk at the same time if there is more than one kind of stitch involved, apparently I cannot divide my attention; 3) I get no reading done when I am knitting because my hands can only do one thing at a time; 4) I knit longer when I am watching tv; and 5) I can think about absolutely nothing, my mind actually quiets down and it’s quite lovely.

Now the part about apples! I went to Graves Mountain for their Apple Harvest Festival with my Buddy (my Buddy is my paternal grandmother whom I have never called “grandma” in my life), Aunt Paula, Aunt Linda, Cousin Emily and my cousin’s daughter (is there a title for that? does that make her my second cousin? I don’t know), Ashley. I had a great time and discovered that I had actually been there before. I’ve always had this memory of a creek and a bluegrass band playing by it and when we were walking around, I saw the creek and put it all together. I said to my Buddy, “Hey! I’ve been here before!” to which she replied, “Yeah, I brought you here when you were little.” *That* would have been nice to know before.

I drank cups and cups of yummy hot cider, we looked at crafts and pumpkins, got some apples, listened to bluegrass, and hoped it didn’t snow. Then we went up to the lodge on the mountain and had a very yummy lunch and the best dessert ever. It was some sort of apple cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yum-o!

After finishing up with the fam, I headed over to Buckingham County where my grandfather has a little lego house. There is no cell phone reception at the house. There is one spot on the front porch, if you stand just so, you can pick up a signal. So there were some fun moments standing just so to make a couple of phone calls and send some text messages. I had two days alone and I made the most of them – I finished reading my October book club book, started knitting projects 2 and 3, ate a lot of apples, napped, did some very therapeutic writing, watched The Whole Nine Yards, and generally just stood still for a minute. It was so lovely and I am so glad I took the time to do it.

On the way back to Richmond, I stopped by my dad’s family’s homestead (the house is still standing, for the most part), stopped by the family church and saw the old folks that are buried there, from there I drove over to Scottsville for lunch/dinner at Lumpkin’s.

And now, I give you pictures from my weekend in the sticks…

{Here is my Buddy rocking my first scarf}

{Emily and I in front of the creek I recognized}

{my hot cider and Buddy’s black coffee}

{pumpkins}

{apples}

{random}

{crafts}

{pretty}

{my bounty}

{the Buckingham house}

{the old house}

{Old Bryant Lane}

Buck is 60

8 May

I’m a little late in getting these things posted so bear with me. My dad turned 60… back in November. I know, I know, but at least I’m getting this up before his next birthday.

Anyhow, we (mom and I) had a small party to celebrate. Below are photos from the event.

You can’t go wrong with cupcakes from Ukrop’s. The cakes say “Oh no! The Big 6-0!”

From Party for Dad’s 60th Birthday

Aw, someone even wrote a birthday message on the dry-erase board. (Ok so I was the person that wrote it, but still “aw.”)

From Party for Dad’s 60th Birthday

Balloons, cupcakes, ice cream… is he turning 6 or 60?

From Party for Dad’s 60th Birthday

Look closely at what he’s doing. Pretty MacGyver of him.

From Party for Dad’s 60th Birthday

The Birthday Boy, himself.

From Party for Dad’s 60th Birthday

The Birthday Boy’s mother (and uncle).

From Party for Dad’s 60th Birthday

The Birthday Boy’s sister and daughter.

From Party for Dad’s 60th Birthday

It was a good party. Good times with family. Oh and the food. The food was sooo good. Mom got chicken from Pollard’s, I made the best macaroni and cheese ever and five pans of Sister Schubert’s yeast rolls (there were no leftovers) and the cupcakes came from Ukrop’s. Food doesn’t get much better than that.