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,'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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Thursday, August 15, 2013


I was going to post a review of one of the books I've read recently, but then the week caught up with me and this:
seemed like a better idea somehow. :)

Asta manana, kids.
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Monday, August 12, 2013

life lately

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

What We Did Sunday


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Friday, August 9, 2013

7 Quick Takes

Hello! How's your week been?
Linking up with Jen :)

  1. This is maybe old news, but this recipe for Banana-Nutella-Pistachio Popsicles from Smitten  Kitchen is basically my dream come true.  It looks so easy and perfect for the summer (especially here in TX, where it is a bajillion degrees out by the time the sun comes up), not to mention duh-lish. She's been posting different popsicle recipes for several days now - go check them out! Now I've just got to find some popsicle molds...and maybe, you know, a blender.
  2. This article by Costica Bradatan in the New York Times on the "Opinionator" Blog, about learning and writing in a foreign language, so aptly captures what it is I love about language - and what is so challenging and frustrating about it as well.
  3. It seems like the new BBC America show "Broadchurch" has been all over the newswaves recently(or maybe I spend too much time on  Much like my mom and sister, I love a good mystery series, and now that Inspector Lewis is over (sob), I may check this out.  Eight episodes of grief and angst?? Check.
  4. Having read "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg, been a Girl Scout and gone to a women's college, I really enjoyed this article on NPR about the recent rise in female COOs - and then stumbled onto this company, called The Muse, a career platform focused on professional women.  The interview with one of the founders on was also a good read.
  5. Grace over at Camp Patton posted about searching for a good mascara, and on a similar (and incredibly deep)(not) note, I may have been converted from my green-top-pink-tube Maybelline ways to BeneFit's "They're Real!" mascara.  It could be the small sample-size tube that fits in the smallest of pockets, or the spikey blaster-wand, but I'm liking it.  Every time I wear it I think, "Yes! Very nice."  We'll see if this lasts once I run out of it and am loathe to spend twenty-three bucks on mascara.
  6. I've been enjoying the Mishnah Yomit from CY I get in my email every day, especially recently, since it's been about offerings that used to be brought to the Temple in Jerusalem - the kinds of birds, fruits and so on, the types and decorations on the baskets, how they would hold the baskets, who would come when, what they would say - the whole ceremony of it has been fun to discover.
  7. Sheba continues in her quest to wake me in the wee hours of the morning.  This week she's been removing the caps from the something on the side of the toilet and swatting them back and forth across the floor, bouncing them off of the walls, mewing, bringing them to me and biting my has been a true pleasure to live with her.
And that's all! Have a lovely weekend, wherever you are.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

On the way to work

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Sheba the Diva, Fire Ants, and other Tales of living in TX

Well, this weekend was a doozy.

I took Sheba to the vet and found out that she probably has feline herpes.  That is a thing.

Poor cute-face.  It kind of makes me laugh, if I’m being totally honest.  She had been sneezing and snoring and it turns out that cats can get colds, and feline herpes usually causes it.

Please, throw your best lectures about cat promiscuity at me.

She’s four months old, for crying out loud! Oh man.  The vet said she probably got it from another cat at the shelter.  It basically only causes flare-ups (am I really saying this) when she’s under stress, like when I take her to the vet or move or, you know, do stressful stuff.  So she’s got some antibiotics to clear up her cold and other than that, she’s good to go!

Cat herpes.  Good God, man, what next?!

I got bitten by fire ants.  Oh, yes.  Yes indeed.  One of the best things about Texas, in case you are thinking of visiting this great land, is the bug situation.  Oh, the size of the mosquito bites, my friends.  I don’t even want to go there.

So after talking to my mom about the spectacularly swollen, red and deeply, profoundly itchy (aren’t you glad you’re reading this post?) situation that had been my left foot for the past three days and the dangers of infection, gangrene, meningitis and possible amputation (I come from a long line of rational thinkers) I decided to go to the Urgent Care Center, or, as I like to call it, The Place Where Money Goes to Die.

Moving on. 

I had a good time watching some HGTV Home Crashers on the TV while I waited, and prayed that the enthusiastic home remodeling would drown out the couple next to me talking about their infected cyst.

An hour later, I had a prescription for an antibiotic and instructions to stay off all grass everywhere, and Sheba the Queen of the Herpes and I sat down to watch some New Girl and North & South and wait for our medicines to kick in.  We really went to town on it.  (The snuggles were pretty good, though, and both patients feel better).

How was your weekend?
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Sunday, August 4, 2013

What We Did Sunday


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Friday, August 2, 2013

7 Quick Takes

Here we go! Linking with Jen:

  • Taylor Swift and Carly Simon singing "You're So Vain" together.  Thank you, Birchbox Blog, for bringing this into my life.  Need I say more?

  • This scene from "Orange Is the New Black," a new show on Netflix about a white woman from CT who ends up in prison on drug charges - it's really about all of the women in that prison, and it's smart and funny and honest.

  • I'd like to give a shout-out to DART, the public transportation system in Dallas.  I took two buses to the Drivers License Center this week and then three buses back to work on routes I'd never been on before and the buses were clean, air-conditioned, on time, and the drivers were helpful and polite.  With the exception of one girl on the bus at 6:30 in the morning who was yelling about cutting people who made faces at her, it was not bad.

  • I recently discovered, where you can find paintings, photographs, and canvas prints you love and print them out.  My grandmother had a copy of a Modigliani hanging in her apartment when I was little, and since I figured I might as well make this place homey (finally), I've been looking at different prints I like.  The one at up at the top, called Gypsy Woman With Baby, is a favorite, plus I really love Brian Kershisnik's work, though most of it is too expensive for me right now (I like this one).

  • Did anybody hear what Pope Francis said this week? The more I find out about him, the more he seems like an interesting man, and I'm looking forward to following his papal reign.

  • Sheba's newest favorite activity is carrying out vicious assaults on my feet, toes, ankles and heels and then...licking where her teeth and claws ripped into my flesh.  Delightful and charming.  Not sure where she got that one from.  Also I really need to invest in a pair of cat nail clippers, otherwise my feet won't survive.

  • Still reading Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson - slow going, but I'm finding it soothing.  The children really seem horrible - why do adult children always seem horrible? - but I'm only halfway through it.  More to come when I'm finished with it.
Happy weekend!
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