Tuesday, November 12, 2013

breakfast of champions

Thursday, November 7, 2013

currently reading

"'No, well, there's the Philo Vance method.  You shake your head and say: 'There's worse yet to come,' and then the murderer kills five more people, and that thins the suspects out a bit and you spot who it is.'
'Wasteful, wasteful,' said Wimsey.  'And too slow.'"
Dorothy L. Sayers, Have His Carcase

Monday, November 4, 2013


Just a reminder to myself of life's good stuff.

Rain on a good roof and this filling my arms right now:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

good morning from downtown

Sunday, October 13, 2013

what we did sunday

What did you do Sunday?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

this time last year

Sparkly toes, sunshine, new friends, hours in a warm Mediterranean sea.
(Day trip to Tel Aviv before classes started.)

Monday, October 7, 2013

good morning

view on my way to the bus station.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

What We Did Sunday

What did you do Sunday?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

trip to the library!

Last week, one of the days of the week when I was feeling tired, deliriously hot and discouraged, I took a trip to the library (as one does when one is feeling those things).  Books cheer me up, and I find a good brisk walk (brisk, in this case, to avoid being struck by vehicles) also cheers me up.

From what I can discern, Sheba finds hissing at her purple ball works also.

I scowled along, sweating, and felt my spirits rise as the sidewalk ended.  If there's one thing I love about the South when I'm in one of these moods, it's the tremendous sense of warmth and protection expressed towards pedestrians.

Not.  Never.  I'm pretty convinced Texas is working on a Survival of the Fittest theory, where Cars = Fittest.

Along the way, I walked past churches, homes and businesses, all quiet and ready for the end of the day.  The light in the sky was changing, dogs were sniffing excitedly, not thinking of their short leashes, and parents were chasing kids from playgrounds toward minivans and dinner.

After several hot blocks, I made my way into the neighborhood where my branch of the library resides.  At times it's not the nicest of places, but it has its feet firmly planted, knows who it is, and no one bothers you.  The hamburger smell is also preeeety special.  I keep meaning to find out if they're any good.

My favorite part of the library is browsing.  Anybody who tells you that browsing in a library isn't what you're supposed to do has never loved a book in their life.  Where else can you rummage around, tasting a little here, perusing a little there, find your arms too filled and sit, ruminating, until you've made the determination that these two need to go back, those four can wait, and this one is what you'll be taking home?  Why else would you make the trip?

I like this library because they have a whole rotating section of books, magazines and tapes that are usually offered for about a dollar (suggested donation) and if you're lucky you can find a few good ones.  Even though I'm way away from home, there are usually a few authors that find me out and remind me of my family and the places I've been.

I made my selections, found out I had a late fee (the scourge of all library patrons), and made my way back home to Sheeber.

Do you have a library you like going to?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

6-word story

"Five times a day a terrible wind blew through them and bent them like grasses to the ground."  Michael Chabon, Gentlemen of the Road

Sunday, September 22, 2013

what we did sunday

What did you do Sunday?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

sentences i love

Here's favorite from one of the books I'm reading, Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon:

The torches guttered, and the tinge of blood drained from the moon as it rose into the night sky. (p.12)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

good morning!

This week sure has flown by, hasn't it? I feel like it's already Thursday.  Sheba's chomping away at her breakfast of kibble champions and I am waiting for my tea to steep, and here we are!

You look like you could use some pictures. 
It's been a mish-mosh of life experiences this weekend/beginning of the week, filled with Sheba snuggles, chats with family, improv games involving clapping while moving around (FINALLY the skills I learned in elementary school coming in handy) and making new friends.  For those of you who fasted this weekend, I hope you had a meaningful one.  For those of you not interested in fasting, here are some super things that have been floating around the internets:

This article on bugs - SO COOL.  Even if you don't like bugs, read it.

A Tegan and Sara video I stumbled upon which reminds me of, oh, all of my experiences traveling abroad (why doesn't traveling have two l's?)

This guy who tried to cross the Atlantic with helium balloons - what?! Dream big.

An article by one of my old advisers fitting for this (Jewish) holiday season.

I am loving this show from Denmark.  It's definitely giving me my travel fix, sort of.

For those of you who say Philosophy is dull and passionless, I present to you this.

Aaand, since you asked nicely, here's another one of Sheba:

Have a great Tuesday :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Well hello.
Nothing too exciting to post about today, except that this is what my life looks like right now:

Every day we go through the same routine.  After I get home and Sheba's gotten her tummy rubbed and little kitten head kissed and we've bonded over putting my shoes away, she sits on my lap very nicely and gets petted while I do whatever it is I do - put away my stuff/check email/talk on the phone.

Afterwards, this is our conversation:

Me: Hey Sheebs, want to sit on the chair and snuggle?


Me: Come, let's snuggle.


Me: Ok, let's don't snuggle.  I'll check my mail.

Sheba: (vicious assault on my feet with her teeth)

Me: Sheba! No.

Fast forward ten minutes.

Me: (feet tucked underneath me, blanket over my body, having pulled Sheba off my feet seventeen times and tried, valiantly, to play with her toys) THIS IS YOUR LIFE - THESE ARE YOUR CHOICES.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

6-word story

Good morning! I am woefully (woefully) behind on bloglovin blogs - it seems like there are 700,000 posts that keep updating.  Lots to do, lots to read, exciting!  But I digress.  Today I want to talk about those 6-word memoirs that have been going around for a while, which are lovely.  I like the fact that they convey so much in so few words, and that you can come up with so many. 

My favorite is seeing all of the shared memoirs from different people, which NPR did a while ago.

To add some spice, coming along are 6-word summaries of things I've seen during the day.  You know, to mix things up and so on.  Here's mine, something I saw on the way to work this morning:

Four basset hounds wobbling while walking.
(I also saw some swans, too, living near people and animals is awe-some.)
What's yours?
**P.S. - Thanks for your patience as the layout changes! I'm excited about the new look and hope you will be too :)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

What We Did Sunday

Sunday, September 1, 2013

What We Did Sunday

Friday, August 30, 2013

Weekly Wishes

Good morning good morning to all!

How are you today? Let me tell you, I'm pumped.  Most of all because I'm having a truly fantastic cup of tea right now, which is just the right temperature to sip through those two little black "straws" which are really stirrers and make funny squeaking noises.  Man.

The simple pleasures! Am I right? I'm right.

Second of all (reasons why I am pumped) is because it is Friday, the last Friday in August and that means, hopefully, please Lord God, that it will start cooling down in this deeply, humidly hot state of Tex-hot.

Third of all, I am wearing my sparkly-collared shirt, of which I don't have a picture (yet).  It catches the light and makes the crisp paper-colored walls look like they have little disco spots on them.  Also it makes me feel like a cowgirl.  R to the a-d.

In any case, here we are, Friday again, hurrah!

Instead of linking with Jen today for 7 Quick Takes, I will be updating my Weekly Wishes.  Come back around next week for 7 Quick Takes.  You bet your buns I will be packing twice as much Quick Takes goodness in there, and you will not be disappointado.

Weekly Wishes is a link-up with Melyssa of The Nectar Collective, where she and a whole bunch of other wonderful bloggers list goals or challenges they'd like to accomplish in the next week/year/month/millennium/etc.  Join one, join all.  It's a fun way to keep track of where you're going and where you've been.  So here we go, coming in at the tail end of this week, am I:

The Nectar Collective

How things went last week: With the exception of one evening, I was in bed before 10:45pm each night.  I am uber proud of myself.  It's not the 10-10:15pm I had been hoping for, but aiming in that general direction got me where I needed to be, and hopefully I'll be able to keep it up.  I feel more grown-up already.  Next up, my cards - I got the majority of them out, and if we're being totally honest here (as we are on Lonestarch), those are probably the only ones that will get themselves out there in the universe, but they're the ones that were supposed to go.  Lastly, my sewing machine was a smashing success.  I can now retire.  I made three cat toys for Sheba using an old dish towel and she loves them.  Expect a whoooole blog post on that.

My goals for this week:
  • Make and eat good food, and get some sleep.
    • This weekend is Labor Day, followed by the first half of the High Holy Days, and I hope to make the most of the opportunity to enjoy being around family and being able to make delicious, delicious foods (and sit on the couch in a miniature food-coma).
  • More dance parties and music.
    • I'm all for silence and sitting with your own thoughts (one day I'll have to tell you about that time I went on a week-long silent retreat).  That being said, my Russian-speaking friend from work gave me some music this week that I predict will bring lots of happiness to my mornings, and I would like to take advantage of that opportunity, too.
  • Take stock of where I'm at for the New Year.
    •  On a more personal note, I like to take a bit of time to reflect on the past year - the kinds of choices I've made, how I've responded to certain situations - and what ways I can improve myself or abstain from poor choices and see how I've grown (or, you know, in some cases, not).  A little bit of cheshbon hanefesh, an accounting of the soul, for the month of Elul.  I started making an actual list last year in a journal, and I'm looking forward to checking that out.
And that's it! Congratulations, you made it to the end.  Go eat something sweet.

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sad news

Oh hello.
How's it going?

Some sad news, back at the Lonestarch ranch, before we get going to our usual Friday shenanigans.  One of the pets I grew up with back home died this week.  (Not Sheba, Sheba is very much alive and shredding toilet paper as we speak).

It was very sad.

I knew that cat from the time I was seven years old, and he was the curmudgeon-iest cat that ever was.  In spite of that, he was my mom's favorite, and she was not afraid to openly admit it.  We rescued him from a life in a crate, or being put down, and he loved us (and we loved him).

You would go to pet him and he would purr, and you would think, "Gee, this is nice," and then he would claw you and hiss.  Not nice!

He was a very good mouser, and had terrific self-esteem.  There was no doubt in his mind that he was the most important creature in the entire world.  He was a very good snuggler as well, if you were not afraid for your limbs.

If you think this is basically a blog dedicated to cats, well...you're not far off.  Mostly I don't have such an exciting social life right now.  Ok?!



See you later.

Monday, August 26, 2013

good morning

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

What We Did Sunday

Friday, August 23, 2013

happy weekend!

enjoy your summer days and flowering trees (if you got 'em!) wherever you may be :)
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7 Quick Takes

Happy Friday, friends.  Linking up with Jen, as per the usual!
  1. To new readers, those stopping by from The Nectar Collective or elsewhere, Velcome – I hope you will (mostly) not regret it!  This is a blog filled with mosquitos and kitten teething, so…you’ve been warned.  Thanks for stopping by!
  2. Guess what finally came?! My sewing machine!!  I carried it home yesterday, in a box that could probably fit me and my whole family, pausing several times to send a plea to the heavens for upper arm strength.  It is lovely, you guys.  It is so pretty.  I’m so excited to get it figured out and start using it.  Also, I really need to start lifting weights or doing planks or something, because my arms were Jell-O by the time I got that sucker into my apartment.
  3. Speaking of kittens, I accidentally closed Sheba in the fridge this week.  Yes, Sheeby Sheebs likes to poke her head in the fridge whenever I open it, just to, you know, check.  Usually I nudge her out of there, but that day, of all days, I didn’t see her and didn’t nudge.  Sheba is a pretty quiet kitten – she sort of chirps, and has a little silent meow that she does when she’s saying hello – but she does have two ferocious yowls she’ll let out on occasion.  The first is what I call her battle cry, when she leaps off of the couch to run frantically after some dust.  The second is her “Help Me!” meow, which she brought out when I first got her and she couldn’t find the litter box.  When the fridge door closed there were some pretty frantic “Help Me!” yowls going on.  It took me a second to figure out where she was, because, well, she likes to get into just about every door I open, but I found her and she’s fine.  Shaken, not stirred, and lightly chilled.
  4. I have 12 new bug bites on my legs and feet.  Down from last week.  Bugs: 1, Cornelia: 1.
  5. I have a little crack in my ceiling (which I told my apartment peeps about), which normally would not be cause for so much worry, except that it’s the side of my apartment where it sounds like my upstairs neighbor dumps out 2 entire bathtubs every night at 11pm, and then rakes his floor.  Everybody has neighbors like that, is what I tell myself.
  6. There’s a maintenance guy at work who speaks Russian, and every time he sees me he talks to me in Russian – which is great! Except every time he stops by I have a heart attack because I have to speak Russian.  Full-on cold-sweat flashbacks of my Soviet-style professors in college, complete with nervous smiling.  I really have got to up my game.
  7. There should be a re-vamping of the look of this blogging space, hopefully, in the next week or so, so keep your eyes peeled.  I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out, and hope you like it also!

That is all from this end.  Happy weekend!
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Weekly Wishes

Hello again and a Glorious Wednesday to you all!

 I’m joining up again with Melyssa at the Nectar Collective and a whole bunch of other bloggers today who are writing about a goal or challenge (or several) that they’re hoping to accomplish this week/month/year/decade/millennia/etc.  I had a lot of fun last week looking at other blogs to see what they were up to, and I’m excited to link up again this week!
Here we goooo….
The Nectar Collective
This is what happened with my goals from last week: I DID exercise 3x last week (woo-hoo!), though the last one was a bit unstructured.  I ran 20 minutes and did some core work, did Yoga and some meditation, and had an impromptu Dance Party (the best kind, believe you me) with the Sheebster (who went berserk).  Exercising 3x/week is part of my 25 before 25 goals as well, so I’m hoping to keep that going.  Secundo, I pulled my project together and launched it this week, and I’m really looking forward to working on it and watching it unfold!  Lastly…I didn’t get the pictures ordered.  womp womp.  I wasn’t sure which ones I wanted to pick (I tend to pick out the ones I want on different days, and then never actually put them together?) and so I didn’t want to just arbitrarily order them.  Also, does anyone else have frame anxiety??  No? Ok, just me.
Here’s what I’m looking towards this week:
  • Sending out the rest of my holiday cards.
    •  I had some ordered from Minted which look super, sent a bunch out, and now the only hurdle is getting addresses on the rest of them and…finding a post office/someplace I can put postage on them and send them on their merry way.  This is a bigger challenge than you might suppose, as I have yet to see an actual Post Office in Dallas.  Anywhere.  There are Postal Centers, unaffiliated with the USPS, but I don’t know what you can do in them.  Some of these are going overseas, so I don’t want to get the wrong postage on them.
  • Getting to bed – in bed – ready to sleep – by 10:00-10:15pm.  This is a big one for me.
    • This is a holdout against adulthood.  I knoooow it makes me feel better.  I knoooow it helps me stay healthy and sane.  I knoooow I really should do this.  And yet.  And yet! Doesn’t happen.  Like, 95% of the time.   I am hoping that if I get into the habit of it maybe it won’t seem like such a terrible, horrible, no-good, bo-ho-ho-ring thing to do.  Fingers crossed.
  • Figuring out the settings on my sewing machine and practicing sewing straight lines.
    • According to Amazon, my sewing machine (!!) is set to arrive in the mail today (!!).  I have wanted a sewing machine for a long while now, and a couple of weeks ago I finally did it, after a machine I’d been looking at (checking out reviews obsessively, comparing prices and use) went on sale.  I am hoping it does arrive today and that I’ll be able to get started this week without impaling anything/one.
And in other news, unrelated to Weekly Wishes (feel free to skip if you're only interested in WW today), I am a sponsor with SOS Children’s Villages, an organization that works to provide stable, safe, and loving families, long-term, for orphaned and abandoned children all over the world (including in the United States). 
It has been a rewarding and a genuinely lovely experience for me, and all of my experiences with the organization have been pleasant.  Education and a healthy, stable familial relationship are two issues that are very close to my heart, and I believe they are central to helping children succeed.
They are looking for sponsors for 26 children in Peru. 
Maybe think about it? If you have any questions, feel free to email away or check them out here.
SOS didn’t ask me to write this, nor are they compensating me.  I just think they’re great, and that kids deserve a safe place to be silly and ask big questions.
Off my soap box.
Have a great day!

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

What We Did Sunday

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Friday, August 16, 2013

happy friday

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