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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Throwback Thursday: English Writing Exercise


   As I sit by my window, looking out, snow begins to fall in large heavy clusters on the dark green grass.  The sky is gray and the world is still.  I open the window to feel the cold air, to smell winter, someone's wood burning stove, and I hear a blue jay call.  I turn to look at him.  He's yelling at a squirrel who has ransacked the bird feeder...again.  The poor jay.  He cocks his head back and forth and caws once more before flying away.  His blue body is stark against the bare black branches of the trees.  Squirrel has stuffed himself with seed and is meandering his way toward the barn.
   The blustery wind blows and I close the window and watch.  The snow falls faster and harder.  The ground is soon covered in a comforter of snow.  I hear the wind hum.  A deer breaks through the woods.  Stumbling in over a few more branches, she falls.  Sitting quietly for a moment she sniffs the air.  Great puffs of breath come flowing out of her nostrils as she darts up onto her hooves.  She's spotted the spilled seed from the feeder and is helping herself to plenty.
   I look towards the barn.  Mr. Squirrel is staring and twitching his tail.  His bounty's been discovered by a bigger foe.  I laugh at the scene and wish I had a camera to take a picture.  The deer nibbles and picks for what must seem an eternity to the squirrel.  She is savoring every morsel she tastes.
   She must have heard something for she leaps back into the woods.  Satisfied she's gone Mr. Squirrel goes back to gather more storage.  I decide I want to taste the snow, which has covered the ground at least an inch or two.  I open the window, force my hand out, wait for a fistful of snow and stuff it in my mouth.  It's cold and sweet.  Another fistful, I feel the texture, it melts in my mouth.  Delicious.  A perfect day in November.  Cheers, Mr. Squirrel.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

"Loneliness" by Sak

"Just remember, I'll be your friend forever,"
Said he to I
"Like a shadow, I will follow,"
Said he to me
"Always around in the midst of a crowd
You can't hide from me"
I fall asleep to his reminders
I wake up to his announcements
I try to shake him,
but he lingers
He's loyal as a dog
He's clever as a cat
Knows just what to say
Knows just how to act
"You need me,"
says he,
but he'll give me my space
Then just when it's time
"I'm back,"
right in my face
A liar, full of deceit
I tell him to shut up
from time to time
He'll begin to whine
He's a coward
He'll give excuses
"They don't really care..."
but they do
"Just remember, I'll be your friend forever."

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Three Years


"You are the call and I am the answer,
You are the wish and I am the fulfillment,
You are the night and I the day.

What else? It is perfect enough,
It is perfectly complete,
You and I,
What more-?" - D. H. Lawrence

Our three year anniversary was spent at The Desmond Hotel in Albany, New York.  The Desmond Hotel is beautiful and unique to the area.  If you ever visit Upstate New York, it is the perfect location for easy access to our Capital Region.  Here is the link to their website, if you are interested.  Let them know SwitchThoseFeet's blog sent you. *wink wink* * nudge nudge*  No, they are not a sponsor and will not know who I am, but it never hurts to recommend a place you love to friends and followers.

The night started with us watching the Starcraft II World Championship series.  We were rooting hard for Scarlett to beat Jaedong, but he cheesed her in the fifth game.  We were disappointed by her loss, but still excited to see a female player rise to win third place in the championships.  We know we haven't seen the last of her.  Jaedong did not go on to win the series.  Polt beat Jaedong 4-0.

We booked a reservation at Barnsider for dinner.  The deciding factor was we both love Barnsider's atmosphere and delicious food.  We both ordered steak and wine.  For dessert, Joe had deep fried ice cream and I broke my gluten free diet to eat a fudge brownie sundae.  It was so good.  Here is the link to the restaurant.  You will be delighted by their service.

The Desmond Hotel has a Koi Pond and the fish were very friendly.  They all came over to visit with us.



The next morning, we had breakfast at the Scrimshaw, one of three eateries located inside The Desmond.  Joe ordered Eggs Benedict and I ordered a ham omelet.  We also ordered a side of bacon.  Both of our dishes came with breakfast potatoes.  We are both not huge fans of potatoes at breakfast, but these were no ordinary potatoes.  They were thinly sliced and looked like uncooked potato chips.  They were delicious and perfect.

We went shopping together at the mall, which sounds dreadful, but early in the day, hardly anyone is there.  We went to Teavana and ordered our usual Samurai Chai Mate/Maharaja Chai Oolong Tea.  In addition, I decided to try the Strawberry Rose Champagne Oolong/Peach Tranquility Herbal Tea.  Once we arrived home, we worked on the house a little, which again, sounds weird to say we did on our anniversary, but it felt good to work on projects together.

Part of me wishes I had brought my Nikon camera, but it was important to focus on the moment.  Joe and I needed some time with just the two of us.  I feel our short time apart from the stresses of our everyday life, allowed us to reconnect and realize how important we are to each other.

Writing about my area, makes me wonder about some of you, who read this blog.

Where are you from and what places would recommend a tourist visit?

Monday, August 12, 2013

July Progress Report/August Resolutions


The month of July was a difficult month for me.  While a lot of exciting, fun things happened, it was also a stressful, trying time.  My mind was not focused on resolutions, but I would like to pick up where I left off on my list with a little refinement.

My Prayer Journal will still be my Spiritual Resolution for the month of August.

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." - Philippians 4:6

"Pray without ceasing." - I Thessalonians 5:17

"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;  For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;" - I Timothy 2:1-3

In July, I was able to read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.  Instead of focusing on finishing last month's list, I decided to start reading A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin.  It is amazing!  I love the first book.  While I am not finished yet, it is definitely on my Top Ten Books, possibly even my Top Five.  It has drawn me in with it's many characters, multiple perspectives, and many plot points.  The details in this book are like little dropped hints, which I love.  Too many details can lose me in a book, but I feel like the author is giving me just enough, so I can use my imagination.  We will see how many books I can read in August.  Maybe I will be able to finish the list.

My Emotional Resolution last month was to travel and journal.  We did take some cool trips, but only managed to leave the state once, going to Massachusetts for a Six Flags Day.  It was Jen's first time going to Six Flags and her first time on a roller coaster.

My Physical Resolution was to continue eating gluten less and to cut down on sugar.  While I did not succeed with the later, somehow I still lost four more lbs!  It is very exciting to see the numbers go down and feel better about my body.  The gluten free diet is easy for me to follow.  Only very rarely will I crave a wheat product and usually I am strong enough to say no.  Sometimes though...I do give in to temptation, but the majority of the time, I am gluten free.  August I will focus more on consuming less sugar.  I find if I eat a savory food, like cheese, it can curb my sweet craving.  Sugar is highly addictive.  This article from the BBC describes the different types of sugar:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/0/21835302

What foods do you crave?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July Resolutions


Kelli from She Learns As She Goes has a monthly link-up where we share our goals and keep a record of our progress.  Be sure to visit her blog.

My Spiritual Resolution for July is to keep a prayer journal and set aside a time each day to purposefully pray.

My Mental Resolution for the month of July is to catch up on my Goodreads Challenge. Right now I have these six books on hold for me at the library which I will pick up tomorrow...

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

Plus, I have Saturday by Ian McEwan here at home.  Let's see if I can finish all seven by the end of July.

My Emotional Resolution for July is to journal and travel!  Traveling is good for the soul. We will finally be able to cross a state off the list this month, which makes me excited.

My Physical Resolution for the month is to continue eating gluten less and experiment more with different recipes.  Another thing I need to work on is my sugar consumption.  I'm consuming too much sugar.  This month I would like to monitor my sugar levels and at least attempt to limit the sweets.

What are your plans for July?

Sunday, June 30, 2013

June Resolutions Recap

A beautiful day in June.

My Spiritual Resolution for the month of June was to focus on the Fruit of the Spirit Temperance.  Temperance means self-control.  This month due to some dietary changes and health decisions, I have lost eight pounds.  Practicing self-control with food and eating is a bit of a struggle for me.  I've felt a lot better with the changes I've made and hope to stick to them.

My Mental Resolution for this month was to finish You're Wearing That? by Deborah Tannen, The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier, and to catch up with my Goodreads Challenge, which is to read 52 books in one year.  While I did read World War Z by Max Brooks, No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy, and The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, this only added up to five books for the month of June.

My Emotional Resolution was to journal.  I did not do enough of this.  This resolution will transfer to July.

My Physical Resolution for June was to continue making healthy eating choices and keep moving.  My determination to eat gluten less has been a success.  Gluten free seems impossible for me at this time, but it is something to strive toward.  The other day I made gluten and MSG free shrimp fried rice.  It was delicious.  People become confused when I tell them I'm trying not to eat any wheat.  I would not go as far as to say I am allergic to wheat, I'm not, but I feel a lot better when I do not consume wheat and other grains which contain gluten.  Plus, the weight loss!  It made me feel great to see the scale go down and stay down.  My digestion has improved.  The gluten less diet is trying at times, just the other day I craved some candy and bought Twizzlers without reading the ingredients until I took the first bite....oops!  I quickly spit it out.  The other night I made the mistake of ordering a regular pizza, instead of gluten free.  It was very disappointing, but I did not deprive myself.  I remind myself, no one is perfect.

The idea of monthly resolutions comes from Kelli from She Learns As She Goes.  She is a wonderful young woman, check out her site.

Tomorrow I will post July's Resolutions.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Summer Bucket List


Kelli from She Learns As She Goes has inspired me to create a Summer Bucket List.  A regular Bucket List is a list of things to do before you die, while a Summer Bucket List is a list of things to do before the summer season is over.

2013 Summer Bucket List:

Visit NYC

Museum of Natural History

Take a picture of Strawberry Fields in Central Park

Museum of Modern Art

Top of the Rock Rockefeller Center (at night)

Visit Vermont

Visit Massachusetts

Visit Connecticut

Visit New Hampshire

Visit Rhode Island

Visit Pennsylvania

Tollgate Ice Cream

Three Year Anniversary

Homemade Lemonade

Relay for Life Event

Bake a Gluten Free Bread

Visit Maine (!)

Stress Free Move

Barbecue

Swim in the Ocean

Yes, you read correctly, there are seven states to visit on my Bucket List.  Exciting!

Let summer begin!

What are your plans this summer?

*The above photograph is not my own, it is from a collection I purchased the rights to use.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Goodreads Questionnaire


Lois and Elyssa did this book survey from Goodreads, so I thought I would join the fun. Here are my answers:

What book are you reading right now?
I am reading two books at the moment:  The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier and You're Wearing That? by Deborah Tannen

What will you read next?
There are many on my to read list, which is too long to list here.

What was your favorite childhood book?
This is an almost impossible question, because there are so many!  Maybe The Phantom Tollbooth, because I went through a phase with it, like most children.  The movie was pretty sweet, too.  Who remembers the Doldrums?

What were your reading habits like as a kid?
My reading habits as a kid looked about the same as my reading habits now.  I was always getting books out from the library, at times too many.

How many books do you have checked out from the library?
Eight books.

What books do you have on hold at the library?
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell and Non-Violent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg

Do you have a bad book habit?
Checking out too many books from the library and not returning them on time.

Do you read one book at a time or several?
Several.  Usually, I like to have one fiction and one non-fiction at a time.  Fiction gives me a little breathing room from too much 'real life'.

What is your favorite book you've read this year?
This is an incredibly hard question.  Probably Looking for Alaska by John Green.

What is your least favorite book you've read this year?
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.  This is not to say the book was all bad, it is just my least favorite so far in the year.

What is your reading comfort zone?
My comfort zone with reading is pretty wide, I enjoy many books of different genres.  See next question. ;)

How often do you read outside of your comfort zone?
The two book clubs I joined have introduced new genres and authors to me.   It has been a refreshing experience and I do feel stretched a little out of my comfort zone.

What is your favorite place to read?
In bed.

Do you lend out books?
In the past I have, but not recently.

Do you dog-ear books?
No.

Do you write in the margins of books?
No.

What makes you love a book?
Good characters, plot, and ideas.

What will inspire you to recommend a book?
If it fits the personality of a person or if the book has inspired me or changed my perspective.

What is the one book you will always recommend?
The Bible.  1984 by George Orwell.  Yes, that is two books.

Is there a book that you love that no one else seems to?
Maybe 1984 by George Orwell?  A lot of people have read Animal Farm by George Orwell, but 1984 spoke to me in a way which Animal Farm did not.  1984 focuses on one man against the system.  The Ministry of Peace is the military, The Ministry of Truth implements deception, and the Ministry of Love, well, you will have to read the book.  The concept of the government as Big Brother originated with Orwell.

Do you read while you are: Eating? Taking a bath? Watching TV? Listening to music? On the Computer? On the bus?
Yes, although if I am truly interested in a television program, I can't be reading at the same time.

What is your favorite genre to read?
Dystopia, which means the opposite of Utopia.

What genre do you rarely read, but wish you read more of?
Classics.  In highschool, I read a lot of the classics.  I would like to read them again.

What is your favorite biography?
I truly have not read enough to justify an answer.

What is your favorite non-fiction?
The Bible.

Have you ever read a self-help book?
Yes, life is about growing and changing.

What is your favorite reading snack?
Water.

What is the most inspirational book you've ever read?
The Bible.

Are there any books that have been ruined for you by all the hype?
Hype does not ruin books for me, poor plot, shabby characters, and flaws in timelines do.

How often do you agree with critics about a book?
Not very often.

How do you feel about giving negative reviews?
My opinion is only an opinion, not a fact.

What books are you most intimidated to begin?
War and Peace.  I started reading it in high school, but couldn't finish it.

What books are you most likely to take on vacation with you?
Fiction.

What is the longest you have gone without reading?
Maybe a few weeks?  Reading is one of my favorite activities.

What is a book that you just couldn't finish?
War and Peace.

What is the most money you have spent on books at one time?
Do textbooks count?  Hundreds of dollars...  Never again did I buy new textbooks, used textbooks worked
just as well.

How often do you skim through a book before reading it?
I don't.

Do you keep books or give them away once you've read them?
If I bought a book or a book was given to me as a gift, I don't give them away.  I don't usually buy a book
unless I read it first.

Are there any books that you've been avoiding, or refuse to read?
I'm just not interested in the Harry Potter series.

What is a book that you didn't expect to like, but did?
Probably a lot of the books I read in high school.  We did 18th and 19th Century English and American Literature.  Some of the books were truly intimidating, but I enjoyed most, if not all of them.

What is your favorite guilt-free pleasure reading?
The Bible.

What reading materials are in your bathroom right now?
None.

What book do you most remember reading for school?
1984 by George Orwell.

What was the last book you couldn't put down until you finished it?
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky  Don't get me started...  The book felt like a rip off of The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger.

What book is physically closest to you right now?
You're Wearing That?

What is your favorite book series?
As a kid, I loved Star Wars books, not the chapter books, the novels.

What is the longest book you've ever read? The shortest?
The Bible is the longest book I have ever read, but I admit I did not read it in order.  The shortest book would probably be one of the many picture books I had as a child.

Who is your favorite book character?
Very hard question!  Come back another time, while I perform an in-depth analysis of my favorite fictional characters (probably introverts).

Who is your favorite author?
God.

What is your favorite book?
The Bible

Consider Yourself Tagged!  Answer one of the questions in the comments below or ask a question of your own.

*The above photo is not my own, it is from an image collection I purchased the rights to use.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June Resolutions


This photo describes how the last few days have felt, hot and humid.  It's days like yesterday, with a high of 91 degrees Fahrenheit (about 32 degrees Celsius) that I just wanted to crawl inside the refrigerator.  The humidity is just awful, it feels like you are swimming in your own sweat.  The pollen count has been high, too.  It's all-around not a fun time.  I can't imagine how the rest of the summer is going to pan out.  It feels like we skipped spring and plunged into summer.

My Spiritual Resolution for the month of June will be to focus on the Fruit of the Spirit Temperance.  This is the last month of Fruits of the Spirit.  Temperance means self-control.

My Mental Resolution for the month is to finish reading You're Wearing That? by Deborah Tannen and The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier.  In order to catch up with my Goodreads Challenge, I need to finish 11 books by the end of June.

You can visit my Goodreads account here.  Feel free to add me as a friend and recommend books for me to read. :)

My Emotional Resolution for the month is to privately journal more throughout the month. Keeping a journal is therapeutic.  It helps me to organize my thoughts.  I believe this will tie in to my spiritual resolution to practice self-control.  Writing about strong emotions can prevent an awkward, hurtful outburst.

My Physical Resolution for the month is to continue doing Just Dance on a regular basis and to continue making healthy eating choices.  We tried gluten-free mac and cheese last night and fell in love.  Unfortunately, the kind we bought had natural flavoring in it, but one healthy food choice at a time, right?

Monthly resolutions is a concept from Kelli from She Learns As She Goes.  Visit her blog! She is a graceful woman of God with great posts from the occasional recipe to Summer Bucket Lists.

*The above photograph is not my own, it is from a collection I purchased the rights to use.

Friday, May 31, 2013

May Resolutions Recap


My spiritual resolution for the month of May was to focus on the Fruit of the Spirit Meekness.  While it is tempting to give in to anger and pride, life is sweeter when we have a mild and humble attitude.

My mental resolution for the month was to finish Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain, and Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.  Unfortunately, I had to return Ender's Game before I could finish it.  Luckily, I have already read it and the movie does not come out until November.  I am excited to see if they stuck to the original plot, how the director translates the battles scenes from the movie, and how they include the fantasy simulation game.  At first I was skeptical of the actor they chose to play Ender, but after seeing the trailer I am stoked!

Jurassic Park was incredible, much better than the movie.  It was a fast read for me and left me craving more.

Quiet by Susan Cain is amazing.  Her work is brilliant and she has a TED Talk.  I highly recommend them to anyone who believe themselves to be an introvert or even to extroverts who want to understand the introverts in their life. She explains how American society embraces the extroverted, from childhood into adulthood.  When I shared some excerpts from the book with my mom (an introvert herself), she mentioned the challenges of raising an introvert when society pushes extroversion.  Many people judge introverts because they choose to be silent and observe, before interacting with others.  This is seen as a negative attribute.

Susan Cain's research opened my eyes to the plight of introverts in our current work environment.  Introversion is looked down upon and extroverts are favored more for promotions.  Many jobs require individuals to be "all types at all times", meaning introverts are expected to speak in large groups and be "social" from 9-5, while extroverts are required to spend time at a desk alone from 9-5 and sell to one person.  I put the word social in quotes, because this is an erroneous belief about introverts, that we are merely anti-social and shy.  Introversion and extroversion are ways to describe desired energy sources.  Introverts are recharged by being alone and crave interaction one on one or in small groups.  Extroverts are energized by spending time with others (a lot of others). Whereas an introvert never feels truly alone unless they are by themselves, extroverts can feel alone with one other person present, not a bad thing!

My emotional resolution was to practice gratitude.  Being thankful brings peace and clarity to life.  While I did forget a few nights to set aside time to pray my gratitude, I did wake up in the middle of the night and remember.  Throughout the day, I would do my best to adopt a thankful attitude and did see an improvement in my mood.

My physical resolution was to walk and take a hike.  My family and I went for a walk on Memorial Day to Cohoes Falls.  I forgot my camera, which is too bad, because the falls were beautiful.  It had rained pretty heavily the days before, so the Falls were full, haha. Also, I've been doing Just Dance 3 a lot.  My daily movement has increased.

My Bonus Resolution was to stick to a grocery budget, which is easier said than done. This is going to be a continued work in progress.

I'm excited to begin June's resolutions!  The idea for monthly resolutions comes from Kelli. She writes a blog called She Learns As She Goes.  She is also a member of the Youtube channel Blimey Cow.  Visit her site and watch Blimey Cow's videos.  They bring humor to truth.

This is their latest video:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Relay for Life


Dear Readers,

This year I am participating in Relay for Life with The American Cancer Society.  There are many people in my life who have had cancer, some made it to remission, some lost the battle, and some are still fighting.

My goal is to raise $100 by June 15th, 2013, the day of the Relay.  Please help me reach my goal.  Your donation is tax deductible.

There is a page dedicated to my Relay for Life site at the top of my blog.

I will also link the site here:

http://main.acsevents.org/goto/switchthosefeet

Your donation goes toward research in early detection and finding cures.  Your donation goes toward free housing, transportation, and support groups for those with cancer.

For more information on where your money goes, here are links from Relay for Life and The American Cancer Society:

http://www.relayforlife.org/learn/whywefundraise/index?__utma=2443503.1357620644.1367846794.1369503260.1369753736.13&__utmb=2443503.27.9.1369754104060&__utmc=2443503&__utmx=-&__utmz=2443503.1369753736.13.12.utmcsr=switchthosefeet.blogspot.com|utmccn=(referral)|utmcmd=referral|utmcct=/&__utmv=-&__utmk=144435766

http://www.cancer.org/aboutus/index

Thank you for time and if you donated, thanks for your donation!

*The above photograph is not my own, it is from a collection I purchased the rights to use.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Caturday!

The squirrels at our apartment complex are bold.  BOLD.  This little guy created such a ruckus, I had to film a little of it.






...and then he went on his merry way.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Soulmates


"You are the call and I am the answer.  You are the wish, and I the fulfillment.  You are the night, and I the day.  What else?  It is perfect enough.  It is perfectly complete.  You and I." - D. H. Lawrence

Plato believed humans had four arms, four legs, and two heads.  He believed humans were split in two by Zeus.  He believed humans longed for their other half and when they found each other, their soulmate, they would be complete.

In Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte wrote about the tragic story of Heathcliff and Cathy.  In my mind, Wuthering Heights is one of the most romantic stories ever written.  It truly caters to the idealistic mindset of a soulmate.  There are many emotionally stirring quotes throughout the book, including:

"He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same;"

"If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it."

"Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you—haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always—take any form—drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!"

"The entire world is a dreadful collection of memoranda that she did exist, and that I have lost her!"

Wuthering Heights is Emily Bronte's only novel and it gets to me every time I read it, even though I know the whole story.

What examples in literature do you believe embody the idea of soulmates

*The above photograph is not my own, it is from a collection I purchased the rights to use.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Thoughts on Motherhood


Happy Mother's Day!

Yesterday my dad pointed out a question, "Where would Jesus be without his mother?" We can tend to focus on Jesus as the Son of God, but what about Jesus as the son of Mary?  Mary was an amazing woman who was chosen by God for a purpose.  She was highly favored of God and called blessed among women.  When Mary heard what the angels told the shepherds:

"Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." - Luke 2:10-14

She "kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart." - Luke 2:19

Again, when Jesus was older, he stayed behind in Jerusalem after a feast.  His parents couldn't find him and freaked out (I am taking liberties with the text a little).  "And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.  And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.  And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.  And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?  And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.  And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart." - Luke 2:46-51

Being a mom is more than giving birth and no one knows that more than someone who is adopted.  My parents adopted me when I was about a month old.  My mom has always shown me love and has never made me feel like I am not her flesh and blood, even though I'm not biologically her own.  She is the one who changed my diapers and comforted me in the middle of the night.  She taught me how to read.  My mom chose to homeschool me.  Every child knows the sacrifices a mom makes for her children.  I love you mom! Thank you for raising me to be the woman I am today.

The above photograph is not my own, it is from a collection I purchased the rights to use.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Netflix Picks


Every week I will spotlight a movie or series on Netflix which I enjoy.  There may be spoilers, so please read with caution.

This week:

Bones.

I never got into the series when it premiered on television, probably because it was on during a show I watched on another network.  It is about a woman named Dr. Temperance Brennan (nicknamed Bones).  She is a forensic anthropologist who works with an FBI agent named Booth.  While the show can be graphic (dead bodies), I have chuckled at the humor in the show more than once per episode.  The show is based on the life of anthropologist Kathy Reichs.

The main character 'Bones' is very logical and intense.  She is not socially adept.  She is a genius and does not mind reminding people of this fact.

Booth is an FBI agent who was a sniper, but now works with 'Bones' solving cases throughout the country.

The main side characters at this time seem to be Angela, Hodgins, and Cam (don't forget Dr. Sweets!), but this could change as the series continues.  We are in season five right now.  While some shows stick to the same core cast, this show has proven it can surprise you.  One character Joe and I both loved was Zach.  We miss him.

The plot of each show is to solve a case and in that sense it reminds me of Law and Order, without the courtroom proceedings.  I like how the writers juxtapose Brennan and Booth's often conflicting decision making processes.  Dr. Temperance Brennan is clearly a rational thinker, while Booth relies on intuition and his feelings.  Both are needed to make good decisions.

This show is one of my favorite genres, but it is not for everyone.  If you decide to check out an episode or two, let me know what you think.

What are you watching on Netflix?

The above photograph is not my own, it is part of a collection I purchased the rights to use.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Questions about Reading


A few people in my subscription box have taken this quiz about their reading habits.

Do you snack while you read?

Sometimes.  If I am reading at my leisure, I do not usually eat while I read, but if I am at work, I will read while on my lunch hour.

What is your favorite drink while reading?

Water is my favorite drink, but I also drink tea.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?

The idea of writing in a book irks me.  If someone else wants to mark their book, so be it.  I like my books to remain clean.  I will have a notebook with me while I read some books, because I like to write down quotes or concepts I would like to explore.

How do you keep your place while reading a book?

Haha, whatever is handy.  Bookmarks are one of my favorite things...  Unfortunately, I am always grabbing a book to read and leaving the bookmarks behind.  This leads me to use receipts, napkins, scraps of paper or when worse comes to worse, I remember the page number, which leads me to the next question.

Are you the type of person who tends to read to the end of the chapter, or can you stop anywhere?

When I am reading on my own time, I like to finish the chapter, but if I am at work, then I have to stop where I am to clock back in on time.

Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or onto the floor if the author irritates you?

There was one book that I did throw across the room, as a child.  I do not remember the title or even what made me so upset.  This did not happen again.  Books are precious.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you look it up right away?

While I am a good judge of a word by its context, it depends on the word.

What are you currently reading?

Jurassic Park

What is the last book you bought?

I bought some books for my mom at Barnes and Noble and cannot reveal my purchases in case she reads this post.

Do you have a favorite time/place to read?

My favorite time to read is when I am alone with no distractions.

Do you prefer series books or stand alones?

My favorite books have been stand alone, but I do enjoy a series now and again.  I loved the Graceling series by Kristen Cashore.  If a series continue too long, I do tend to lose interest.

Is there a specific book you find yourself recommending over and over?

Besides the Bible?  1984 by George Orwell.  The book changed my life.  He wrote the book in 1941 about a futuristic world with government surveillance and control.

How do you organize your books?

My bookshelf is usually divided into categories and from there by size and author.  It is a mess right now, because I am running out of room!

What is your all-time favorite book?

The Bible.

Thanks Kelli, for sharing this fun survey with us.

The above photo is not my own, it is from a collection I purchased the rights to use.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Gratitude


Man, I am grateful.  I am full of gratitude.  The definition of grateful is feeling thankful, appreciative, wanting to return a kindness.  When you think about that last definition it really is appropriate.  Some people may rebel when hearing someone's thanks, but most people will respond positively and feel comfortable expressing their gratefulness.  Feelings are contagious.

In another blog post, I mentioned how a friend of mine shared her heart about being grateful and stating thanks.  She pointed out the mind shift which happens when one purposefully focuses on what they have versus comparing what they do not possess.  The next day, I was watching the Shaytards on Youtube and Shaycarl challenged us to pray everyday and/or express thanks.  Watch here:  Challenge

Shay mentions different ways to profess gratitude:

Pray.

Write in a journal.

Tell someone to their face how thankful you are to have them in your life.

My personal challenge is to pray every night before I go to sleep and only focus on being thankful. I am not allowed to ask for material items.  Now I will continue to pray throughout the day, but at night I would like to  end the day being thankful, focusing on all God has graciously given me.  God is gracious, meaning He gives to us without us doing anything to deserve it.  He is also merciful, meaning He shows compassion and forgives us, instead of holding things against us.  I am thankful for you God!  (And Jesus, too.)

Shay mentioned going in a closet to pray where nobody can see, and it reminded me of this passage of Scripture,

"Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.  Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:  That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.  And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.  But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.  Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." - Matthew 6:1-8

How I love God, He can see through to the heart of man.

The Greek word for thankful is eucharistos, meaning, mindful of favors, grateful, thankful, pleasing, agreeable, acceptable to others, winning, liberal, and beneficent.

Here are some other verses about thankfulness:

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." - Philippians 4:6

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." - I Thessalonians 5:18

"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;  For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;" - I Timothy 2:1-3

"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." - Colossians 3:15

The above verses are only a small sample, being thankful is an important truth.

Some things which I am thankful for are my relationship with Joe, all of our kitties, our jobs, our friends, and the basics, like water, food, and shelter.  I am thankful for music, sunny days, chocolate, and notebooks.  I am thankful for all of you who read and interact with this blog.

What are you grateful for?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Resolutions


Every month I join Kelli's link up at She Learns As She Goes, to share goals we set for ourselves each month.  Visit her blog!  She is a creative, fun, and caring individual.

My Spiritual Resolution for the month of May is to focus on the Fruit of the Spirit Meekness.  Being meek is not the same as being weak.  Meek in Greek means mild.  It reminds me of another verse in Scripture,

"He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city." - Proverbs 16:32

This will be my verse of the month.

My Mental Resolution for the month is to finish reading Jurassic Park and start reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain.  I'm waiting for The Alchemist and World War Z from the library.  I would also like to finish Ender's Game.  This still leaves me behind in my #50in52 club.  It would be nice for me to find some shorter books, but they have to be legitimate additions.

My Emotional Resolution for the month is to practice gratitude.  One of my friends mentioned to me how purposefully focusing on being grateful and expressing thanks have benefited her life.  Yesterday, I watched the Shaytards on Youtube and Shaycarl mentioned how his family prays every night and challenged us to pray and/or express gratitude.  I took it to heart and decided to accept the challenge.  While I pray everyday, I decided that my prayers before I go to bed will focus on being grateful only.  Other times in the day I can pray for requests and for myself.  At night, before bed, I will only express thanks.

My Physical Resolution of the month will be to take a walk once a week and plan one hike with friends and/or family.

Bonus Resolution:

Stick to a grocery budget each week.  Take a portion from each dinner and set aside for lunch the next day.

Do you know of any short classic books or stories? Please share them below.

April Resolutions Progress Report


The Day of Reckoning!

This past month's resolutions went pretty well.  My finances have been monitored.  The biggest change I see which needs to be made is to rein in the food spending.  May will give me a chance to try a food budget each week.  One idea I had is to set aside portions of food from dinner for the next day's lunch.  This will also help me cut back on my portion sizes.

My Spiritual Resolution for the month of April was to focus on the Fruit of the Spirit Faith. Faith is not blind hope to me, but a reliance on truth.  Life has it ups and downs, but God is.  He is just, He is righteous, He is love.  He forgives.  He is faithful, loyal, and true.  I have faith in God as a loving Father.  I have faith in His Son Jesus Christ as my Savior.  I have faith in the Bible as the Word of God.  I have faith in heaven and everlasting life.

My Mental Resolution for the month was to finish my two books.  While I did finish The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, I did not finish Ender's Game.  It is has been difficult for me to re-read a book.  Usually when I love a book, I can re-read it many times, but Ender's Game has proven a little difficult.  Sometimes when I read a book for the second time, I see things I might have missed the first time.  So far, this has not happened.  I am expecting each step in the plot.  I know there is a deep meaningful message father into the book, so I still want to to finish it.  Plus, the movie comes out this year and I want to properly be able to compare it.

My Emotional Resolution for April was to spend more quality time with my loved ones. While I still feel this area of my life needs to be strengthened, I have reached out more this month.  My friend and I saw Oblivion in the theatre.  I went thrift store shopping twice with my family.  Joe and I played strategy games and watched Bones on Netflix quite a few nights in a row.  I had a few phone dates with some of my closest friends.

My Physical Resolution for the month was the least successful area.  Maintaining physical exercise has always been difficult for me.  The weather is getting nice so I would like to plan some hikes and nature walks for May.

Overall, I think the month was a success.  Kelli from She Learns As She Goes, inspired me to start monthly resolutions.  Give her blog a peek, she is a wonderful lady with great ideas.

How did your April Resolutions go this month?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Clorox


Today I thought I would spotlight the eldest kitty in our family.  Clorox turns thirteen this year. Yesterday morning she came into bed and asked to come under the covers with me. After we both had our breakfast, she sat on my lap and purred.  Even though the photograph is fuzzy, I like how it brings out the green in her eyes.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

April Mid-Month Progress Report


How am I doing this month?

Let's first take a look at my financial report so far.

Rent:  This month is looking great!  My rent money is all together already, and I still have 2 weeks left in the month.  The extra week has been a great help in setting and keeping a budget.  I wish every month had an extra week.

Car Insurance:  Paid in full for the month.

Cell:  Paid!  The bill is a little over a dollar more this month than last.  I don't know what happened, perhaps they raised a fee?  I'm not complaining too much, just a little.

Netflix:  Paid!

Groceries:  ...

Car Fund:  This fund is a small amount set aside each week in preparation for yearly inspection.  Some states do not have yearly inspection, boy do I miss you Kansas!  If you do not know what yearly inspection is, it is where every year, you bring your car to a mechanic or a dealership and they check your care for safety.  They check your filters, brakes, lights, emissions, etc.  Anyways, if they find anything wrong, which they always do, you have to get it fixed or you do not pass inspection.  If you pass the inspection, you get a sticker placed in your windshield!  Usually, I have just enough money for any minor repairs needed for yearly inspection, but next year I would like to have plenty of money just in case.  Eddie is getting older, he will be fourteen next year.

Gas:  I am not being very intentional about my gas money.  This needs to change.  It is unsafe to run your gas tank too low.  One should have at least 1/4 tank.  Depending on where the nearest gas station is located , maybe one should have more gas in their tank.

Groceries:  My food budget is completely kilter.  Next month's budget is going to have a complete makeover in this particular area.  I am sick and tired of throwing away food, because I did not appropriately plan.

Misc:  My miscellaneous fund has gone mostly to vitamins and supplements.  Next month I will have an envelope marked Health.  The other day I did visit a second hand shop and the Salvation Army shop with my family.  It is such fun to rummage through and find a treasure.  I bought a cute candle topper.  I don't know what else to call it, but I'll include a picture.  I also bought *cough cough* a bunch of *cough cough*  classic Disney videos.

My physical resolution for the month has been difficult to pursue because I have a sprained rib.  The reasons for some of those vitamins and supplements.

I am almost finished with Ender's Game for the second read through.  I am also almost finished with The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.  The latter is another book chosen by the first book club I joined, but I have since joined a second book club.  I am excited to read Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain.

My emotional resolution is going well.  The other day, as I mentioned earlier, we made a family trip.  I spent some time on the phone with my two closest friends.  Next week, I have a plan to visit the Saratoga Battlefields with a friend.

My Spiritual resolution for the month of April is to focus on the Fruit of the Spirit Faith. God truly is faithful, we may fail, but God is steadfast.  He is loyal.  He is always there.  No matter what, I know this to be true.  I want to be a faithful and true friend.  Imagine me singing, "I Can Be Your Friend" from VeggieTales.

If you make monthly resolutions, how are they going for you this month?  Which one have you been struggling with the most?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

"Whom Shall I Fear?"


The Hebrew word for faithful is aman.  It means to sustain, to support, especially to support with the arm, to carry a child.  We are God's children.  He cares for us.  The above song is "Whom Shall I Fear?" by Chris Tomlin.  It reminds me of a verse in Psalms,

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" - Psalms 27:1

This official lyric video also contains the chords for the song.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Matthew 17:20


"If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." - Matthew 17:20

The above photo is not my own.  It is part of an image collection I purchased the rights to use.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Disney Tag


There is a Disney tag floating around Youtube.  A Youtuber I enjoy watching named Mickeleh posted a video, go check him out!  He is one entertaining guy.

Mickeleh: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVFw2EXYdho

Youtube is a big part of my life, but making videos is difficult for a perfectionist introvert such as myself.  Writing a blog is more my style.  So, here is my written version of the Disney Tag.


1.  A scene in any Disney movie you wish you could experience:

Wow, this tag is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be...how can I pick just one? Possibly with Aladdin and the genie when he's singing "Friend Like Me" or with Ariel and Sebastian when he sings "Under the Sea".

2.  An unforgettable experience/moment you've had at the Parks

Never been to Disney.  It's not on my list of places to visit.

3.  What non-Disney song(s) reminds you or brings back memories of Disney and/or the Parks?

Any of the Anastasia songs.  For some reason, I always thought Anastasia was a Disney film, but it's a Fox movie.

4.  When was the first time you went to a Disney Park?

Never been to Disney.  Even as a child, I could think of more exciting places to visit.  The only time I can remember having any desire to go was when I was six.  My grandparents took us to Florida.  We drove by the exit for Disney and I asked if we could go.  They said no.

5.  If you could choose any of the characters to be your best friend, who would you choose?

These are hard questions!  My first reaction was Ariel, because I was obsessed with The Little Mermaid as a child.  My friends and I would watch it over and over and over...and act it out when our parents said we couldn't watch it anymore.  Then, I think about Belle, Timon and Pumba, Wall-E...or Stitch!  There are too many to choose just one.

6.  Who are your favorite Disney princesses?

Ariel, Belle, and Mulan.

7.  Name a scene/moment in any Disney movie that never fails to make you cry.

Bambi's mom being shot by the hunter or when Mufasa dies.

8.What is the first Disney movie you remember seeing?

This is highly debatable.  We had many Disney movies in our house, but I do remember Pocahontas being the first Disney movie I saw in the theatre.

9.What is your favorite Disney movie?

Can I name my top four?  The Lion King, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and 101 Dalmations.

Tag, You're It!

Consider yourself tagged.

The above photo is not my own.  It is part of a collection I purchased the rights to use.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Currently...


Drinking:

Water!  It will always be my favorite drink.  When I hear people say they don't like water, I wonder why.  Maybe they had a bad experience once?   Water is refreshing.  When you are thirsty, it is too late, your body is already feeling dehydration.

Buying:

Nothing.  Or at least trying to refrain from unnecessary purchases.  I am determined to come out ahead in the finances department this month.

Driving:

Eddie, my 2000 Subaru Impreza, pictured above.  He is called Edward when he is clean.  He did not come into my life until 2009, but he has been a steady companion.  He hardly ever needs work done and always gets me to my destinations.  Whether you believe me or not, he is NOT named after a Twilight character.  The name just fits him.  He has been missing a hubcap since the first few weeks of my owning him.  It's a part of his charm.

Missing:




My baby Buttons.  She died a year ago.  It's still hard for me to talk about...  It happened when I wasn't there.  I was working when my mom called to say she was passing away.  Even though I rushed home, I missed it.  She died in my mom's arms, instead of mine.  It was heartbreaking to see her laying there...not alive.  I didn't want to believe it.  I kept asking my mom if she was sure.  My baby looked like she was sleeping.  The thought of burying her was unbearable.  I kept stroking her fur and kissing her little head between her ears.  When I was consoled enough to know she was really gone, we buried her on my parent's property next to where Abigail, our Australian Shepard/Black Lab, is buried.  Never try to dissuade me from believing all animals go to heaven.  If I could go back and give myself advice, I would say to take more pictures and video of her.  While it is difficult sometimes to watch, it reminds me of the good times when she was healthy.

Wow, I had intended to write about how I miss warm weather, but this was a cathartic expression.

Obsessing:


Over my blog.  I have a bunch of rough drafts saved and my brain is constantly thinking up new ideas.  Also, I just created a Facebook page for the blog.  Check it out:

https://www.facebook.com/SwitchThoseFeet

What are you Currently?


HK

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Can't Sleep


Tonight I made the mistake of drinking a caffeinated protein drink at work.

Now I'm *awake*.

Today is the 2nd of April and guess what it decided to do?  It snowed.  I woke up this morning and had to scrape my car before driving to work.  Not fun.  It's supposed to be Spring.  Where is the global warming I was promised?

The above photo is not my own.  It is part of a collection I purchased the rights to use.

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Resolutions


My Resolutions have been MIA.  February was never updated and March just flew by. Now that my schedule is ironed out and I have set shifts at my two jobs, my blogging will hopefully be back on a regular schedule.  I've missed this!  The above photograph is not my own, but it perfectly describes how I have felt, on my last strand before breaking.  April will be a better month.

My Spiritual Resolution for the month of April is to focus on the Fruit of the Spirit Faith.  My verse of the month will be:

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." - Hebrews 11:1

This Fruit of the Spirit will be easy for me, because "I know whom I have believed" -
(II Timothy 1:12)

My Mental Resolution for the month will be to finish reading Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card for the second time and to read four more books by the end of the month.  I'm behind schedule for my #50in52 Book Club.  The leader of the club sort of disappeared on us.  He hasn't posted past the first ten books.

Do you have a book recommendation?  Please share in a comment below.  I will give any book a try.

My Physical Resolution for the month of April will be yoga!  One of my coworkers recommended it to me and another girl told me she lost 30 lbs doing yoga.  I'm going to borrow some DVDs from the library and do it in the safety of my own home.

My Emotional Resolution will be to spend more quality time with friends and family.  Joe and I have spent the past few nights playing card games.

An additional Resolution without a category is to monitor my finances this month.  Every purchase will be tracked.  April is going to be an envelope method experiment.  The idea is to have an envelope for each classification, for example rent.  The potential "leftover" money will be divided between a miscellaneous envelope and savings.  April has an "extra" paycheck which won't be there in May or June, so I will definitely have to keep that in mind.  Next month, I will institute a more strict budget based on the information gathered on this month's finances.

The idea for monthly resolutions comes from Kelli from She Learns As She Goes.  She is a fun, creative girl, check out her site!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

PAX East 2013 Boston


This past weekend was PAX East.  Joe and his friends drove over Thursday night, but a friend and I couldn't request off both our jobs (especially since she just started her new job), so we took Amtrak Saturday.

We boarded our train and discovered the seating was assigned, which was a disappointment.  When Joe and his friend went last year, it was unassigned seating.  They could choose their seats.  Since it was a full train to Boston, we had to sit apart.  We should have booked our tickets together.  Live and learn!  My friend sat next to a man writing a novel and watching anime.  My experience was a tad different.  The lady directly next to me was asleep with the curtain drawn so I couldn't look out the window, which was fine.  Across the aisle to my left however, two teenagers were profusely making out and causing a scene.  Yes, I say a scene, because my friend noticed guys further up the train turning around in their seats to gawk.  It was awkward.  Finally, many people got off at the Springfield stop.  We switched seats which confused the ticket lady.  I don't know her title. She was the one in charge of seating. We ended up arriving in Boston an hour early. Our men picked us up and we checked into the hotel room at the Renaissance.  It was a nice hotel.  Nothing stood out to me.  I was afraid to touch any of the things in our room, because there was confusion if they were complimentary or not.  The bathroom did not have a fan, which threw me for a loop.  Since there were four of us in there, I ran the sink while "using the facilities".  Looking back, the tub would have been louder...

We (seven of us in all) had dinner at Morton's.  It was Restaurant Week in Boston, so I had a three course meal.  I ordered a Caesar Salad, Chicken Christopher with a side of mashed potatoes, and Double Chocolate Mousse for dessert.  Joe let me try a bite of his steak.  Normally, I am not a huge steak fan, especially if there is any color in it, but it was delicious!  It was definitely pink inside, but the flavor was amazing.  Next time, I would like to try their steak.

We fell asleep to Jim Gaffigan's Mr. Universe.  (Sorry, Matt)

In the morning, Joe and I walked around Boston to get tea and hot chocolate at Dunkin (I know!  How unoriginal, but at least it wasn't Starbuck's, which closes on the weekend in Boston).  We walked around the convention center before the crowd's began to swarm. We met an Enforcer (one of the volunteers).  Then we went back, checked out of the hotel, and walked over to the convention center to begin our day.



The calm before the storm.



The line grew massive as the morning continued.


We were handed tons of free paper and tsatskas.  I bought my sister some cartridges for her Game Boy.  We saw some very cool game tables from Geek Chic.  Here is an example of what they produce.

http://www.geekchichq.com/furniture/rift/

Mayfair Games had an exhibit.  Don't Starve had a booth in the indie gamer section. There were a lot of games I had never heard of before attending PAX East, but am very interested in now.  A few games which I am looking forward to:

Trial of the Clone
Girls Like Robots
Monster Loves You
Wildstar
Lords of New York
Journal

There were a few raffles for things like computers and game packs.  We entered three or four, but didn't win.  It's understood with so many people the chances of winning are slim. There was a slight kerfuffle at one raffle between two people, but security was right there and their presence dissolved the situation.  All in all, the people who attended seemed to be pretty cool, chill people.

The one thing which disappointed me greatly is there did not seem to be a strong celebrity or Youtube presence.  Maybe I missed them by only attending Sunday?  Maybe they are waiting for PAX Prime in Seattle?  I brought black and silver Sharpie's but did not use a single one.  It disappointed me greatly to not meet Day9.

We had lunch at Legal Sea Food Harborside where I ordered their Crispy Fried Shrimp.  It was pretty good, but did not compare to the Morton's dinner we had the previous night. Apparently the Morton's experience can spoil the taste buds of a person.


After lunch, we strolled around a bit.  My friend, her husband, and I walked through the table top area a bit more.  She bought a Doctor Who game, which I hope I'm invited to play in the future. *hint hint* In a choice between the 10th and 11th Doctor displayed on the cover, she made the wise choice of choosing the 10th Doctor, David Tennant.

We left around 6 o'clock and drove home.  Overall, it was a great experience.  Now, I have the song, "Boston" by Augustana stuck in my head, so I think I'll share with you.



This sculpture was too weird to not post a picture.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How I've Changed

We all change.  We all grow.  We all evolve.

It is as we learn, experiment, and try that we change.

If we never do those things, we cannot change.

We will be stuck.

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." -Benjamin Franklin

When I was child, I did not like sea food.  The only fish substance I consumed was fish sticks and only with tons of mayo or ketchup.

Now, I like shrimp.  It would be one thing, if I never tried shrimp and then after my first bite, I loved it, but that is not the case.  I tried shrimp as a child, and I thought it gross.  It tasted funny and I didn't like the texture.  Now, I love it.  I can't get enough and try it all different ways.  One of my favorite ways to eat it is covered in spices, which brings me to my next big change.

When I was young, I did not like spicy foods or mustard.

Now, I like both.  Again, it is not for a lack of trying them as a child.

Those two are the only scenarios I can think of right this moment, but I would like to continue this in future blog posts.

It's the little changes.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Wanting to be an Outlier...




I joined a book club!  50 Books in 52 Weeks, but I'm adding two more to make it 52 Books in a Year.  I'm using Goodreads to help me keep track.  I'm very excited!

The first book we read was Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.  The first paragraph had me hooked.  There are many ideas which challenge the idea of success.  We are not merely self-made men and women.  We are in part victims of circumstance and opportunity.  The book had me a little depressed until the section about 10,000 hours.  Essentially, if you have 10,000 hours of experience at any one thing, you will be successful at it.  The author highlights several people who we suppose were geniuses because of their innate talent. But no, time and time again, those very famous successful people had 10,000+ hours of practice and experience before they made it big.

This started my brain thinking on what activities I have done for 10,000+ hours.  The only thing I came up  with is reading. I don't know what that means for me, except that I read very fast and can give anyone a summary with highlights and any negative feedback I have to give with suggestions of how to make it better.  Guess I could be a book reviewer? I am going to give my opinion on the books in the Book Club, so maybe this is a start?

As a side note, I have stuck to the weight routine for four days!

If you are interested in joining the book club, here is the link:

http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/93446-the-defranco-book-club

One nice thing about Goodreads, it connects to your Facebook for an easy log in and let's your friends know what you are reading.  Unless you want it kept a secret...

The next book in the series is The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.

What books are you reading?
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