Monthly Archives: March 2012

Love

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This is a reprint of a post I wrote 2 years ago, on another To Write Love on Her Arms Day.
I saved this postcard from postsecret.com several years ago, when I was first diagnosed with depression. Off and on I would set it as my computer desktop picture, to remind me that there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
Today is To Write Love on Her Arms day, and I’m going to take part. I said I would last year too, but it was more of an “attending on Facebook” thing. This year I think I’m going to actually write love on my arm. Tomorrow also happens to be a youth group night, which is another reason why I decided to participate this year as well. I want people to ask questions.
I’m sure you have plenty of questions yourselves, and though I realize my blog doesn’t have a very high readership, maybe I can raise awareness with even just a few of you. TWLOHA is an organization whose aim and vision is to raise awareness of depression, self-injury and suicide. They also support organizations that promote and help with recovery.
One of the things I both like and hate about depression is that it’s hidden. People all around you could suffer from depression and you’d have no idea. I recently learned that a fellow-librarian graduate, Elizabeth, suffers from depression too. I saw Elizabeth almost every day for a year and a half and had no idea. Sometimes, you just can’t tell.
TWLOHA is all about telling. Letting people know that you support them, that you hurt too, are hurting now, or have in the past. Whether or not you are ready to write love on your own arms, it’s OK. I am participating because I want people to know I’m aware, that I’m a “safe person”, for lack of a better way to describe it, that I am someone you can come to and talk to. I’ve been there, and sometimes I still am.
How about you?

My love affair with coffee

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4:45 is very early to have your alarm go off.

It was the summer of 2005. Meant to Live by Switchfoot had just come out, and apparently the radio station I listened to at the time had a set order, because I woke up to Meant to Live almost every morning. I would roll out of bed, throw on my uniform, and be out the door by 5:10 am, at work by 5:30 am. I was working at Dunkin Donuts.

I graduated college in May of 2005 with a degree in journalism and no steady job aside from Dunkin Donuts. Living with my parents, I was paying the few bills I had, and freelancing on the side. It was a decent schedule. Out of work by 12:30 pm, home to nap some days, off to baseball or field hockey games in the afternoon. The only problem was that 4:45 alarm.

Once I got to Dunkin Donuts, one of the first things I did (alongside my set-up duties), was make myself some coffee. I added skim milk and a lot of sugar, and sucked down my first small within 15 minutes of my shift. After that, it was coffee throughout my day, until the early afternoon, of course, so I could sleep at night.

When a Starbucks opened in my town, and I got a decent full time job writing, I discovered the frilly coffee drinks. Though I still enjoy a plain old coffee, now from my Keurig, I often find myself at Starbucks on my way into work. Living in Seattle I embraced the love of coffee and now? I can’t start my morning without it.


This post inspired by Mama’s Losin’ It‘s weekly writing prompt.

New car basics

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I’ve bought all of one car in my life. His name is Max, short for Maximum Speed.

Max is getting up there in years; he turned 9 this year! I was reminiscing about when I first bought him, and thought I’d post some new car buying tips that I learned when I was searching for mine!

The number one thing you should do before buying a car, is figure out how much you want to put down, and save, save, save! Look at your budget and make mock car payments to yourself until you have a decent amount. Many people suggest between 10 and 20 percent. I say 10 percent minimum, more if you can.

Then, of course, there’s the decision of what kind of car you want. I’ll be honest with you. When I bought my Volkswagen Beetle I didn’t do any research on it aside from asking my dad for his opinion on Volkswagens. I had an idea of how much I could afford in a car payment, so when I researched cars and saw that the Beetle was within my price range, I jumped on it! Maybe I should have done more research, but I’ve had the car 6 years and it’s 9 years old, so I think it’s treated me right.

Aside from what kind of car you want, I think the biggest decision is used or new. Between my frugality and my penchant for non-consumerism, I always lean toward used. You’ll want to make sure your new car is certified pre-owned, because that means it went through a myriad of tests before it even hits the lot. My car came with brand new brakes, because they needed to be replaced, for example.
You can consider an ex-lease, but I wouldn’t consider an ex-rental, because no one takes care of a rental.

Most important of all, make sure you love your car! My VW Beetle is so much fun, to me. It’s fun to drive, and it’s fun to say I own a Beetle. It will be my last fun car before I have to buy a kid-friendly car (have you ever tried to put a car seat in the back of a 2 door? It’s a big pain!) Test drive as many or as few cars as you want (I only drove 1!) but just make sure you enjoy your car, because hopefully you’ll be together for a long time!

Do you have any car buying tips? Are you in the market for a new car?

Ten things to write about when you have blogger’s block

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If you’re like me you’ve run into blogger’s blog now and then. In fact, I’m running into it right now! So here are some tips for when you have no idea what to write about. You may be seeing more of these in the next week or two, until I get inspired again!

  1. Repost a previous post. Have a post you love? Repost it! Just make sure it hasn’t been posted recently.
  2. Find a link-up! There are plenty out there. Brunch with Amber does It’s OK Thursday. My Pretty Pennies does a Weekly Money Check-up. Fabulous but Evil has The Nail Files, and Mrs. Monologues does Fur Baby Friday. Just check your blog roll, there are plenty out there.
  3. Post a list of posts you found interesting in the past week. Bloggers love promotion and it feels especially good if you find that someone else liked a post you worked hard on.
  4. Post a recipe you tried and love. I’m not into posting or really reading recipes, but lots of people love them. It’s easy to do and takes as much time as writing up the recipe! Make sure you tell people where you got it from.
  5. Review a book you read recently. Everyone loves to hear about a new book to read, especially if it isn’t a huge, popular one. Read: don’t review The Hunger Games.
  6. Write about an experience you had. Be it the last time you stayed in a hotel, or the day you closed on your house, write it out. Most people love a good story, especially if it’s well written.
  7. Write your goals. This, obviously, is typically used for the beginning of the month, but it doesn’t have to be! Write the goals you hope to accomplish in that week. I find that writing out my goals and posting them publicly helps keep me accountable.
  8. Write about what you’re watching these days. Whether it’s Scrubs, which has been off the air for several years, or The Killing whose second season starts in April (yes, I’m watching both!), write about it! It’s always interesting to see what people are watching.
  9. Post a picture or two. Have a picture you recently took that you love? Post it, along with the story behind it.
  10. Write a list. There are so many things to list. Things to write about when you have blogger’s block, things you learned your first year of marriage, or planning your wedding. Buying a house. Whatever you feel like listing!
What are your tips or tricks when you have blogger’s block?

Fur Baby Friday!

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Typical morning routine:

Hermione loves the bathroom. She used to hate it, because when I first got her I lived in an apartment where the fan turned on with the light. I had another lamp in there, so I only turned the light on when I was going to shower, so she took to running out.
Somewhere along the line, that changed. Whenever I shower I can almost always guarantee that I’ll get out, to see Hermione sitting on my towel, on the toilet. She’s never far from either of us when we’re getting ready, and often hops into the tub to do God knows what. Lick the sides, I guess.

Clarabelle loves sinks. We think it’s because it’s like a box for her, but she loves them. She is almost always in the sink…at least until Geoff turns the water on to shave. Then she crouches on my side of the sink, glaring at him because he dared move her. When she’s not on the counter, she’s typically on the scale or on the heating vent. She, too isn’t very far from us while we’re getting ready.

I swear, I have two of the weirdest cats.

The last time I stayed at a hotel…

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Mama’s Losin’ It
When I walked in, it took my breath away.

It was the Parker House hotel in Chicago, and we were there for my sister’s college graduation.”I can’t believe we’re staying here!” I said, looking around. My parents had stayed here before, and they knew how much I loved it when I visited them then, so they got us two (connected) rooms for the weekend.
The history of the hotel is that it was built for a rich man’s wife, years and years ago. Now owned by Hilton hotels, it retains it’s original features in the rooms and lobby. Each door still has the original wood, and the round doorknobs, not the generic, handicap accessible metal ones.

Every room was different, and the bathrooms were not furnished not with the typical toilet and counters. The rooms looked like they were each individually designed, like something I would like it my house. My family mocks me, but I love staying in hotels and this one had me in fits!
Then there were the beds. Oh, the beds! It was like sleeping on air, with the feather mattress, and the feather comforter. There were so many layers and I just snuggled right into them. 
I’ve been spoiled for all hotels from here on out.
This writing prompt brought to you by Mama Kat. The prompt was: “What was the occasion? Write about the last time you stayed in a hotel.”

Fur Baby Friday!

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I’ve had a pretty intense week, blogging-wise. And by intense I mean not very fluffy. So, today I’m being fluffy! In the form of kitties!
By the way, if you haven’t read yesterday’s post, you really should.

Anyway, onto Fur Baby Friday!

Today’s picture is of Hermione as a baby. This is before she went “poof” as I say, and got all fuzzy. She was still crazy as ever though!

Yeah, who can’t love that face??

Sometimes it’s hard to remember she was ever that little!

Go link up with pictures of your fur babies!