The last thing Hermione destroyed

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I’m linking up with Mama Kat’s writing prompts today! The prompt was, write about the last thing your pet destroyed.

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It’s not quite destroyed, but Hermione did chew through a plastic bag of plastic Legos recently.

OK, a little backstory. For whatever reason, Hermione LOVES the Legos Harry Potter minifigs we have on our bookshelves. I don’t know why, maybe because her name is Hermione? Anyway, we were constantly finding them all over the house. Constantly. They were in the family room and we’d find them three rooms away. I don’t understand.

Anyway, we got a hamster (long story, but he was a class pet at work and no one was taking care of him, so we got him) so I packaged up the minifigs because Fuzzy took over their location and I wasn’t sure what to do with them. So I put them in a little plastic bag.

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A week or so later, we found this, in the hallway. That’s right, Hermione not only chewed the corner of the bag, but she dragged it through two rooms into the hallway.

Really, I don’t understand her at all.

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Easter, a week and a half later

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Now that I’m writing part time again, I’m trying to get back into writing here. I’m sure I’ve lost half of my small number of followers because I’m not updating, but that’s OK. I’m really not concerned about my stats, clearly.

Anyway, here’s my Easter recap! My mother-in-law came to visit for a few days and she was here for Easter! We also had planned on having friends over who also don’t have family local, so it was a fun little Easter dinner we prepared.

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First, let’s talk about the lambs that were down the street from us. I love when the babies come out! OK, moving on to Easter.

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Hermione thought it was a good idea to help Jane with the deviled eggs.

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We used Geoff’s grandma’s recipe for the deviled eggs! Also, we used up all our hard boiled eggs so we decided not to color eggs, haha. Oh well.

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Since I had to stay at church for both services, I decided to plan a little appetizer! Thanks, Pinterest (OK, it doesn’t look exactly the same, but I got to use my cheese plate my aunt made for Christmas)!

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Clarabelle got some awesome cuddle time in.

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Obligatory mostly group picture before the meal!

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I had to force everyone to take group pictures. Doesn’t Geoff look awesome in his bow tie??

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I love this one of Geoff and I.

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The aftermath. Sadly, it was a little too late for a nap, but we did enjoy some Les Mis and recliner time.

So, that was Easter! My first time hosting and I think it went well. Thankfully the house wasn’t totally full.

Coming full circle

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“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” -Helen Keller

Just over 3 years ago I graduated with a masters in library and information science. I got married, moved out to Seattle and started looking for a library job. A library job that I still haven’t secured, 3 years later.

Not many people know that I recently interviewed for a library position and didn’t get it. Because of the way public library jobs work around here, getting this particular job rejection meant that I’m out of options to work in a public library around here, at least for the present.

With that door slamed shut in my face, I stood there and stared at it, shocked. I spent about a week walking around, feeling like a failure, and wondering what the heck I was even doing with my life. I attempted to pursue a couple supervisor positions at my current job, to no avail. Then I got the email.

Let me back up to the end of January. I’m not sure what prompted it, but I decided to look for and apply for reporter positions. After all, in my former life I was a reporter, and I did enjoy it. I applied to a position on January 28th, and promptly forgot about it when I didn’t hear back in a reasonable time. On February 20th I received the rejection email from the library. On February 26th, almost a month after applying, I received an email in response to the reporter position I’d applied to.

The position had been filled, but a part time news clerk position was open, and the editor was wondering if I was interested. It is a step down from what I used to do, but, 5 years after I left my reporter position I couldn’t really expect to pick up right back where I left off. Freshly hurt from my rejection, I decided to pursue it, mostly to see where it would take me.

Today I interviewed, was offered, and accepted the part time position. I will be doing events calendars, briefs and police blotters, but as time allows I should also be able to write a few stories a week. It’s perfect. I’ll be able to fit it into current job, and I’ll be easing back into writing regularly. Until I spoke with my new editor and walked through the newsroom…I didn’t realize how much I’d missed being in that environment.

It’s funny how things don’t work out…and it’s funny how they do.

While touring the newsroom and meeting my new, fellow employees, I ran into an acquaintance from church. As I explained my background, he was surprised to learn that my undergrad is in journalism. “Had I known,” he said, “I could have told you about various openings around here!”

I was so focused on getting a library job that I forgot my roots. I forgot my first love. Writing. I’ve always been a writer. I’ve always needed to write. Do I wish I’d mentioned my background to this friend 3 years ago? Of course, but the fact is, I didn’t, and yet here I am.

I think I needed to go through the process of searching for a library job, and being rejected. I still wonder if the decision to go back to school was the right one, but I’m trying to trust God, because He knows what he’s doing.

So here I am, right back where I started, writing. Is it where I thought I’d be, 3 years ago? Most definitely not. Is it where I should be, right now? I think so. I’m happy. I have purpose. And I’m no longer staring at that closed door. I’ve finally found my open door.

Getting to know us…

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Geoff was bugging me to start blogging again, so I sucked him into doing this fun survey thing that I’ve seen floating around.

Who cares that it’s been 3 months since I last blogged. And also that this was a Valentine’s Day thing. What can I say, I live on the edge.

And in case you’ve forgotten what we look like (it has been a while)…

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1. How long have you been married?
M: Just over 3 years
G: 3 years and 2 months. On Saturday.

2. Where was your first date?
M: Shoshone Falls, Idaho
G: The drive-in in Twin Falls, Idaho
(This was the same trip!)

3. Where was your first kiss?
M: Outside our best friend, Kim’s house.
G: Outside our mutual friend Kim’s house.

4. Who first said, “I love you”?
M: Me
G: Megg

5. What were your wedding colors?
M: Silver and blue
G: Silver and blue

6. What is her most commonly used phrase?
M: I have no idea!
G: Geoff, Geoff, Geoff, now listen.

7.Who is her celebrity crush?
M: Harrison Ford
G: Johnny Depp

8. If she was ordering drinks for both of you what would you each get?
M: I’d get a Dr. Pepper, and he’d get a dark beer.
G: You’d order us both a beer.

9. What is the best meal she has ever cooked you?
M: That time I made him a cheesecake.
G: You did a really good corned beef and cabbage the first year we were married.

10. What is the worst meal she has ever cooked you?
M: Teriyaki chicken in the crock pot
G: You don’t make anything that’s horrible.

11. What is the most-played song on her iPod?
M: I don’t usually like music, but currently it would probably be Wicked.
G: Defying Gravity (Wicked)

12. What would she say is your most annoying habit?
M: When he doesn’t hang up his coat!
G: Not paying attention to you.

13. What is the last thing she does before she goes to bed?
M: Read
G: Read your book

14. What would you say is your favorite thing about her?
M: She’s cuddly
G: Her smile

15. What’s her go-to drink at Starbucks?
M: Grande non-fat caramel macchiato
G: The caramel macchiato

16. What’s her blog’s name?
M: The life of a not so desperate housewife
G: Um, unemployed librarian?

The Purple Scarf Project

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Almost 5 years ago my feet were knocked out from under me when I heard words I never thought I’d hear. It was a Sunday afternoon, after church. Geoff and I usually talked in the evening, but he’d called in the middle of the day, that day.

“My dad has pancreatic cancer.”

Geoff and I were just dating at the time, though we’d been together just over a year and a half at the time. Up until that moment I hadn’t even heard of the pancreas. I had no idea what it did, and my first question was, can they remove it? No, you can’t live without your pancreas, he said.

The next 3 months followed in a blur, but Geoff’s dad, diagnosed at the beginning of December, was gone by the end of February. The cancer was agressive, and faster than I ever thought it would be. It’s been nearly 5 years since his death, and we still miss him.

One of the things I have learned since then is that I’m not the only one who is clueless about pancreatic cancer. I’ve written on this cancer before, so I won’t revisit all the facts, but I will say this. Right now, pancreatic cancer is often a death sentence.

Out of this frustration over the ignorance of pancreatic cancer and my own personal vendetta, the Purple Scarf Project was born. I solicited the internet for purple scarf donations (and made a few myself) last winter. This winter the etsy shop selling the scarves is finally open. Every penny of every sale will be donated to PanCan.org. I started with 23 scarves, and I’m happy to say that 7 have been bought, and $145 will be donated to PanCan.org…so far.

So what does this have to do with you? Well, I’d love it if you checked out my shop, but even more, I’d love if you helped me spread the word. Whether your life has been impacted by pancreatic cancer or another type, if we all band together to support cancer research then maybe, just maybe they will find a cure.

I have one other request. If you knit or crochet, would you consider donating a scarf, headband or something else knitting with purple yarn? I am hoping to expand past just scarves and could use your help.

Will you help me spread the word and, in my own small way, help make a difference?

Getting back to our roots

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It’s no secret how much I love pictures. I have always wanted them all over my house, to remind me of…everything. To remind me of how things used to be, of people I don’t see every day and even of those I do see daily. I just love the memories pictures have.

I’m constantly looking for frames at the thrift store, and I’ve definitely succeeded in the past. However, good frames for a reasonable price are hard to find, and if you want matching frames you could look for months before finding a pair. That’s why, when my mom and I stopped at an estate sale in September while she was visiting and I saw frames for $1 each, I grabbed 6! A good 8×10 frame is hard to come by, and these would have been at least $5 each at my local thrift store.

They sat in my garage for about a month before I figured out what I wanted to do with them. I was missing home, and had discovered pictures I took from fall in New England and the mountains of Idaho. Suddenly I knew what I wanted in those frames.

Now we have Idaho hanging in the guest room…(I thought the colors coordinated)

And Massachusetts in the bathroom.

Since I had 2 left over, I thought it was time to spice up the hallway, too.

Two of my favorite of our professional pictures, sandwiched between a wedding picture of Geoff and his family, and me with mine, Geoff’s sister and her husband, and all us “kids” (minus my sister).

Aren’t these frames great? The best part is I love looking at them, and for less than $20 I have refreshed 3 walls in our house, which makes me very happy.

In honor of my new nephew, use code BabyCash for 20% off your order in my shop!

Mapping it out

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Four years.

Four road trips.

One round trip cross country road trip from Massachusetts to Washington and back to Massachusetts via Alabama.

One map to mark every trip.

I’ve had this idea for a long time, but finally got around to actually putting it together. It’s a good thing I waited too since my sister and I took what I hope is my last road trip this summer.

With every road trip I take, I mark it on my map. The yellow stars are states I’ve visited, and the red ones are states I’ve lived in.

I wanted to mount the map on a canvas and hang it up, but large canvases are expensive, so I put the project to the side. That is until Michael’s emailed me a 50% off coupon! Hello cheap canvas! For only $12 I was able to get the proper size canvas and my project was underway!

Hermione supervises the drying.

I used spray adhesive to start with, and painted mod-podge over the top. It was simple and easy; I was actually surprised at how easily it came together!

I knew exactly where I wanted to hang it. Behind the door, in the living room it compliments the wall color and is unobtrusively on display.

I love it, and Sam Adams approves.

For the record, the road trips marked on the map are as follows:

February 2008, Massachusetts to Pullman, Washington

August 2008, (South) Idaho to Tuscaloosa, Alabama

December 2009, Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Reading, Massachusetts

July 2012, Los Angeles, California to Chicago, Illinois.

Those first 3 trips I was moving, the last one I was moving my sister. I like to think I’m settled, now. I hope so, anyway!

Have you ever decorated with maps?

In honor of my new nephew, use code BabyCash for 20% off your order in my shop!