Mostly Pictures

I haven't posted anything. I've been very negletful. Right now I am supposed to be packing so that I can get up at 4:30 to catch a train to Portland for the next week and a half. I am very excited but that doesn't mean I am excited about packing and cleaning. So, I'm taking a break to post some pictures from the past few days. Hopefully the pictures make up for the lack of words. 

Yesterday I decided to try something new with my hair. I tried to make it into a bow - it looked super simple on pinterest. But, pinterest lied. Or maybe my hair is still too short and layered. Either way, to achieve this look took some bobby pins, a lot of hairspray, and a little bit of magic. And even though it was only my family who saw me, I say it was worth it.

This is Katelyn's eating Cheetos face. It's a pretty good face. She is quite precocious for an almost two year old. She is definitely in charge of things. She is also very sweet and doles out the tiniest, squeeziest hugs ever.  I absolutely adore getting pulled around by her going wherever her little voice commands.


Every Christmas Eve Santa comes. He has for as long as I can remember. He doesn't give me a present any more, but I do get a candy cane. It is now super fun getting to watch all the kids get excited, and then scared to sit on his lap, and then excited again to open their presents. This is one of my favorite traditions.
I still get a stocking from Santa. Every year when I go over to my parent's on Christmas morning it's there waiting for me. This year I got some new lotion and it smells amazing. I also got a lot of candy that I don't need to eat but will.
But the best thing about Christmas this year was that it started snowing in the morning and by the afternoon the view from my parent's back window looked something like this:
A winter Wonderland.


Happiness is possible

I was doing my Sunday morning routine, reading PostSecret and drinking coffee. I'd gotten through looking at the actual postcards submitted and came across the following letter at the bottom of the page:

I was at the PostSecret Event in London. I didn't find the courage to go up to the microphone, but if I had been able to, this is what I would have said.
I spent so long feeling guilty, feeling ashamed of my sadness, and you know what? It just made me sadder. You are allowed to be sad, you are allowed to be angry, you're allowed to be depressed. We all deserve to feel our own sadness in our own time.
Something you will have heard before - you deserve to be happy. That, of course, is not always easy to hear, especially in the depths of depression - so let me add something. You deserve to be happy - but you don't have to be happy right now or all the time.
It is okay to be sad, it's okay to not be ready to be happy yet. One day you will be ready to recover - that day doesn't have to be today or even tomorrow, as long as you know and trust me that it will come.
It's okay not to be okay.
Thanks for everything Frank,
Holly, London
P.S My secret is that I decided last night that I'm ready to recover and it's going to be incredible.

I can't tell you how touched I was, but I can tell you that I wish I would have read these words a long time ago. My eyes filled up with tears at the simple statement "you deserve to be happy." I, finally, can believe those words again, but there was a long time, a very long time, when I didn't or couldn't believe them. My sadness was all-encompassing but I was lucky enough to be surrounded by friends who always encouraged me to feel my feelings and that it was okay. They supported me and loved me even when I had nothing to give back. Not everyone is as lucky as I am though and too often people suffering from depression are made to feel like they need to "snap out of it" and just get happy. I wanted to share this letter today in the hopes that maybe someone else needs these words, either for themselves or to better understand someone in their life.


Pod Club: The Two Moons

I'm sorry I'm late with this, and I'm even more sorry that I'm not really writing a post but instead copying from pod club genius Rachael at Just Me Acutally:

Today I'm asking you to take a chance on a podcast that might not be something you'd listen to normally. I promise you don't have to be a Buddhist or even someone who practices meditation to get a lot of insight from these Dharma talks. When I first started listening, I was only meditating for a few minutes once in a while and I still loved listening to these insightful talks. I prefer to listen to this one on my hikes. Being out in nature with words of wisdom flowing into my ears is the highlight of my day. Give it a try won't you?

Although I am currently wrapped up in exciting things that I'll hopefully share with the internets soon I did take the time to listen to this yesterday and can say that it's well worth your time. Please join us, listening to new things is fun.


I'm Alive Enough. Are you?

I stay pretty connected to my electronic devices. There is hardly a moment during any given day where I'm not listening to music or a podcast, catching up on shows via Hulu or Netflix, playing solitaire  checking Instagram....I don't text very often though and I'm rarely talking on the phone. I've wondered to  myself even before listening to this week's pod club pick if I should cut back on the amount of time I spend with my electronics...computer included. And I guess the answer for me is no, I feel pretty okay with the amount of time I spend with my devices and away from them as well. What I heard most in this podcast was that there needs to be times/places where phones/electronics are not allowed, most of those times/places had to do with family settings and I've got that under control. I also don't have my phone out during dance team, and it's used during teaching only to play the music I need to do the teaching. When I'm babysitting or at family dinner my phone is usually tucked away unless I'm taking pictures and I think that's acceptable. Do I sound like I'm justifying my electronic habit? Maybe I am, but I shouldn't have to. I've learned a lot of really great things listening to podcasts and heard a lot of things that have been insightful and mind-expanding; I've also calmed a lot of nerves, stopped panic-attacks, cheered myself up, and motivated myself listening to music.

Often times, especially lately, it's difficult for me to be alone with my own mind for company. I know what's in there and it's not necessarily that I'm trying to hide from it, it's just that sometimes I need a break. I'm in touch with my thoughts, my feelings, my opinions - maybe even at times too much - the good, the bad, the happy, the sad, the pretty, the ugly...they're all in there and I give them all attention. But, for me to be able to live every day, move forward, be the person I know I want to be, I sometimes need to turn off all those things and I don't know about you but I think there is a sort of peace in that. I need to be able to find peace in listening to someone else talk or sing, or watch a show that makes me laugh. And my personal opinion is that these things actually help me feel more alive because they remind me to laugh, to think, to keep feeling, to keep growing. But I think it's all about finding balance, and for me I'm okay with the balance I have between electronics - books - dance - coaching - family - personal time, and until I feel otherwise I'm gonna keep on keepin on.

Would I feel "naked" if I left my phone at home accidentally? Probably, and maybe that's not a good sign but I'd also feel "naked" if I left home without my square ring on my left middle finger. Who's to say what's right or what's wrong? We have to be in charge of ourselves and keep on checking in with ourselves so that our habits don't wind up controlling us without us even knowing.

(now let's use our computers or phones to go check out what Rachael and Leah had to say about this week's pod club listen.)


Choose One

I was browsing around on the internet tonight and found this picture with the caption:

Biochemistry Necklace - Which one would you choose?
So, I looked and I thought and I was a little surprised with my answer. I'm going to tell you what I came up with but before I do, why don't you think about it for a minute...which one would you choose if you could only choose one?

I landed on Serotonin - happiness, satisfaction. My first thought was that obviously I would want the dopamine - love, passion but then I started thinking about it...love and passion does not guarantee happiness.  Would I really want a life that wasn't full of happiness and satisfaction just to guarantee love or passion? And the answer was no, I want happiness and satisfaction and I believe I can find those things even if it means finding them on my own. Then I looked at acetylcholine- learning, dreaming, memory, and after wresting between serotonin and dopamine it was an easy pick. Happiness and satisfaction in life seems like a great accomplishment and it was sort of eye-opening to me tonight to realize that I would pick that over love. But I would and I do.


A new week

Did you have a good Monday? Mine went way to quickly. Here I am at the end of the day with a podcast pick for the week. I already listened to it, and I think Rachael's already listened to it as well but I still believe that it's a good pick for this week. It comes from a podcast I've been listening to more frequently and even brought us the "extra credit" from last week: On Being
Alive Enough? Reflecting on our technology.

It was super foggy here today and a couple of times I looked outside and my eyes tricked me into thinking that there was some snow out there. I'm a little bit ready for some snow. If it's going to be this cold it might as well snow. That's how I feel about it.


Snowing and dreaming

I'm a day late with my pod club response but I feel like I have a pretty good excuse. Yesterday I was up at 6am to go to Leavenworth as a chaperone with the Hanford High German Club. It was such a wonderful day, it snowed big beautiful chunks of snow but the roads were only wet so the driving wasn't scary. I ate delicious foods and looked at lots of pretty things.

We didn't leave until after four, which means I didn't make it back to my house until close to nine. I was exhausted and needed to just get to sleep so I had to put off writing about dreams until this afternoon. But, I'm trusting that you'll still like me anyhow and won't hold it against me too much.

I have usually been good at remembering my dreams, and I can especially remember reoccurring nightmares and themes. However, most of my dreams are crazy things that would never happen in real life but there is usually something hiding in there ready to teach me a lesson about how I'm thinking or feeling about life at any given point in time. So, even though I couldn't figure out what the guy's story about seeing the naked man pooping on the toilet had to do with dreams I did understand how that one isolated incident could lead to a lot of bigger realizations in his life.
Sometimes it takes our subconscious mind playing out scenarios to make us realize how we really feel. There isn't any place for us to hide in our dreams and even though I've been successful a couple times in changing my dream as I'm dreaming, most of the time I have to sit back and see how it all plays out. See how I feel at the end of it and then wake up and figure it all out.
This has happened to me a few times in the past week or so and even though the dreams can be stressful and the feelings I have upon waking up are not pleasant they've helped me realize that what I am expecting from situations and people is much different than I tell myself during the day. I am working through things in my dreams right now which then helps me work through them in real life because I know I can handle it. Does that make sense? No? Well neither dreams but I get the gist anyhow.


Wholeheartedly vulnerable

This afternoon I got an email from Rachael (Just Me Actually - if you haven't read her blog go do it now) saying that she and husband were going to listen to a podcast on vulnerability and if I wanted to listen it could be like a pod club extra credit. So I did, because I love extra credit. I am currently listening to it for a third time. I don't know how to recommend this podcast highly enough - so I'll just say this:

Listen to it. Listen to it now, or die.

I mean, I know we're all going to die at some point but you should not do it without having listened to this first. Each time I listen to it I feel like I pull something new from it but there is one line that is standing out to me today, and maybe when I listen on a different day I'll not find it quite as powerful, maybe I'll find something else that will shake me. Today it is this:

Does this mean that our capacity for wholeheartedness can never be greater than our willingness to be brokenhearted? ~Brene Brown

I have so many feelings about living a wholehearted life, a life where everything you do is done with everything you have even if that means it leaves you broken at the end. Broken is better than never trying right? I needed this reassurance today, this reminder, the knowledge that all courage begins from a place of vulnerability. Being vulnerable isn't a flaw, something to be fixed, it's something to encourage, nurture and celebrate. I need to get reacquainted with that side of myself, I used to be so good at it but I haven't nurtured my vulnerability lately and my willingness to be brokenhearted has diminished. I know I can do it, and so can you.



(also, as always, free on i-Tunes)

I like listening to Risk!, this week's pod club pick is an older episode but it's still totally free and probably still fun to listen to. Every week it's fun knowing that my ears are hearing the same thing as some of my friends. If you haven't joined in before now's as good a time as any.

And now for a little (weird) tooting of my own horn: Today started the fifth week of my cleaning experiment. It's been working beautifully. Since I've been timing all my cleaning I've had to realize that some of the tasks I would put off only take a couple minutes at the most but make a huge difference. It's still only me and the kitties who are here to enjoy the cleanliness but it's nice to know that if someone were to just stop by I wouldn't have anything to be embarrassed about. 


Week Wrap Up

Dear Diary,
I've had my Birthday sorry I didn't write on that day me and 2 friends went over to my grandparents house and played games until 9:30. My b-day was on Thurs, 18. Today April 21, 1991 I celebrated it. I got a Wilson Philips tape, a watch, Malibu Musk purfume, a game, a dress, 2 hair bows, a braclet, a turtle neck (hot) (sweat), a waver or crimper. I had so much fun now I'm 12!
Today i s Sun. It was my first day in Young Womens I had a lot of fun! Only I didn't talk much. I'm second consler in the Beehive class. My sister (Kareen) is president Monica Davison is First Consler and Rachel Bowlware is Secratary. I'm so glad I go to Young Women now I'll have so much fun.
Well write more soon.

Twelve years old with her own Wilson Philips tape and a crimper - this was a happy girl, I can tell you that. Now let's see what I've been up to in pictures:

My mom brought me over Thanksgiving leftovers. I don't think she knows how much I appreciated it, I tried to tell her but there's no way she knows the joy it brought to my heart. I heated them up right on the stove and even shared some turkey, stuffing, and sweet potatoes with my kitties who gobbled it all right up and loved it just as much as I did I think. 

I know I already put a picture of Elliot sleeping under the tree but I couldn't help it...he's just so cute. And this one shows proof that there is at least a couple decorations left on my tree. Every day I find some scattered over the floor, I pick them back up and put them back...it's a never ending chore.

It was very sunny here this week. I spent Tuesday - Saturday inside a high school auditorium with Forte doing rehearsals and then shows! But I have to admit even though it was not warm the sun was a welcomed break to the rain we'd been having...rain and 30-40 degrees? I think that's the worst weather. Probably because I walk around in it, I'd rather walk around in snow. Or sun. I'll take the sun.

As all the kids were getting ready for their final show Saturday night I got asked if I wanted sparkly liquid eyeliner...uhm...OF COURSE! Of course I wanted sparkly eyeliner. One of the girls, the Amazing Ellie, had brought it and applied it to my eyes. I felt so fancy and I think I need some for myself. Except I'm a little worried I would wear it ALL the time. Would that be bad?

After the show on Saturday night I got called up on stage to accept flowers from the group. I was not expecting it AT ALL and I was so touched. I cried right there on the stage. I have loved so much being a part of this group and I'm so glad that they want to keep me around for their next season.

This is Katelyn, she likes to jump off of things, but she doesn't really jump. She more just steps off of furniture and lands on her face. Luckily there are pillows underneath the table. She is fearless and also her adorable belly calls for the unbuttoning of her pants quite regularly. I can not get enough of her.


I choose a creative life

You can be nice and still like scary things
                                                               -Maxine (8yrs old)

I was going along perfectly enjoying this week's pod club pick when this little gem threw itself at me and consumed everything else that had been said. I think too many times we try to group things/people together, neatly classify them into groups. Maybe it's to help our understanding or simplify our surroundings, maybe our brains just do it without us really knowing but then again I think most of the time we know exactly what we're doing and we're okay with it. How very un-creative of us, or I guess I should say me, you could be totally more evolved than I am.
I was having this conversation over email with fellow pod clubber Rachael about how difficult it is sometimes to admit to other people our true feelings. For example: if I've been having a bunch of really good days, I'm happy and smiling and laughing a lot it can be hard to tell people that I'm suddenly having a really crappy day and feeling sad. I feel (and maybe it's wrong) that "happy" people are expected to be happy really all of the time. Or more simply let's take Maxine's drawing of her friend "devil man"
With a name like "devil man" and the horns, spiked tail, red cape, and menacing all blacked out face you would think he was bad or evil or devilish. But as she explained he was nice, he just liked scary things. Devil Man is her favorite and she said that even if she eventually gets rid of, or "deletes", all her other imaginary friends she will keep him forever.
This was, and is, so insightful. I think we are almost taught to look at someone and make judgments, that's why first impressions are so important but they can also be really harmful and limiting. I've known people who on a glance from the outside or someone just meeting them would think they were nice, caring people but were actually mean and cruel and hurtful. On the other side of that coin I have also gotten to know some wonderful people that people would probably judge unfairly if they didn't take the time to actually talk to them and discover the light within.
What else have we judged before opening our minds to it? Because at the end of the day I think that's what creativity comes down to...can we open our minds enough to allow a different though process or idea to take place? Can we get out of our own way enough, be un-afraid enough to let it happen? Creativity doesn't mean just one thing...it doesn't mean art or music or dance or writing...we can live creatively every day.


All she wants to do is dance...

I realized last night as I was leaving the studio from teaching contemporary/jazz that Monday's are my favorite day of the week. I know most people hate Monday, it's the start of the work week and most people don't love going to their jobs so they dread the end of the weekend. But for me, Monday means going to the High School in the afternoon to coach and clean (which I love), and then to the studio to teach contemporary/jazz to people who choose to come and learn dances from me that I create. I love that my "jobs" make me happy, that I'm always walking away from work in a good mood because I love what I do so much. I've had jobs in the past where I earned more money but I hated going to them and they sucked the joy out of my soul; I wouldn't want to go back to that sort of job for any amount of money. Find your joy and follow it...that way it won't matter if it's Monday or Saturday, you can love your life either way.

Tonight was the first night of tech rehearsals for the show choir and, honestly, I'd been sort of dreading it and getting myself stressed out about the amount of work it was going to be. But then I got there and was reminded "Jill, you idiot, it's singing and dancing what's  not to love." Tonight I heard one of the solos for the first time and was blown away...the goosebumps and teary eyes kind of blown away. I feel so lucky that I get to be a part of this group, I know it's a job technically but it doesn't feel like it. And I think that's when you know you're doing the right thing, when work feels more like play.
How life should be.


Pod Club: So You Think You're Creative...

Another new podcast this week, I love all the exploring my ears are getting to do thanks to pod club. This week we are listing to a selection from
We're always talking about creativity, but what do we mean?Can we find creativity, can we measure it, can we encourage it?


I like sharing things

Dear Diary,
Today is Sunday 7, 1991. Today was General Conferance. We watched on the big screen in the morning and we went to nanny and papas house at 1:00. Yesterday the it was daylight saving time. so we lost an hour. I guess. I really don't know! Last Sunday was Easter Sunday. I got really bord there was nothing to do in our dresses. the next day my Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt, Uncle, cousin and I went to Eagle Crest. It was really fun! There was a Sports Center and a swimgpool  and hot tub and sauna. We went on a hike too. One bad thing happened. (pg 2) I got sick on Wendsday! I was really board all day I read two books though! With 247 pages or more in them. I got better by the next day though for until 7:00. Then I wuldn't got to the wallyball game. I had the flu but didn't throw up. Wallyball is when you can hit a wall to make it go over.
Wow my second page I really had a spaz in writing I guess today huh!
Guess what I still like Preston alot. He is so cute and funny and he smiles alot. I don't see (pg 3) why other people don't like him to. I only know one other person who likes him Michelle.
Paul just turned of the light so i can't see well. Better stop. Talk tomorrow!

I had a cow I guess. I wrote 3 pages

There are a lot of sentences in this entry that I don't really know about... apparently spelling/grammar/sentence structure really got thrown out the window that day. Probably because I was spazzing out having a cow.

I got to hold Chloe for a long time tonight at dinner. Mostly because her mom was playing a game in the other room so it was easy to distract her. Anytime Stefani is in the same room or in earshot of this darling that is where Chloe wants to be. We read stories and looked at fish and played with fuzzy toys and did lots of general cuddling. 

Ever since putting up the Christmas tree Elliot likes to go under there and sleep. It reminds me of when I was a little kid and loved sleeping under the tree in a sleeping bag. Emma has other ideas with the tree...ideas that involve her trying to jump into the center of it or pulling all the decorations off.

But, she's super sweet and cute and stuff so I can't get too upset with her even when she knocks the tree over or unwinds the ribbon in the middle of the night. Seriously, I can not even get over how she sleeps with her little paw all curled over her face like that

The other night we had a family dinner/birthday party and I spent most of my time playing with the little girls. But I doubt you can blame me, they are cute and funny. That little cutie Claire, over there, was tired so she let me hold her and cuddle her for a really long time. Usually she doesn't stop moving long enough for me to get in a short little squeeze. Katelyn is usually always my girl but her deal is that she rarely

stops moving long enough for me to get a picture of her. So this one of her in the baby crib was snapped right before she launched herself out and on to something else. She is starting to talk up a storm and all the words that come out of her little face are cute and hilarious and sweet. Tonight she thought Abby's painted toe-nails were "ouchies" so she kissed Abby's little toes to make them feel better. 


Wishing and hoping

What if you suddenly had everything you'd wished for? How do you imagine you would feel? Excited, thankful, amazed? Do you think you might feel empty or disappointed?
I think we need our dreams and our wishes to keep us imagining and hoping. And I think, especially after listening to this week's pod club pick, sometimes it's better to not know what it's like to have the things we wish for because it's the imagining that's the fun part. And if we happen to get one of the things we spent so much time wishing for and it's not what we believed it would be isn't that more disappointing than never having the thing in the first place? And then there's no turning back, you can't go back to the time before your dream of the wish was shattered.
I make wishes all the time and if one of these days those wishes come true I will find something new to wish for. Not because I won't be thankful that I have the thing I wished for but because I believe it's important to have the magic of that feeling. I like to share personal feelings and thoughts in my responses but I am superstitious about wishes and I believe that a wish should be between yourself and the thing you are wishing upon.



I feel like I put pressure on myself to feel/behave in certain ways on the holidays. Today, Thanksgiving, being one of those days. In real life I am feeling sad, but I'm supposed to feel thankful right? So, that's what I'm trying to do, but it's difficult. I am thankful for:
The best friend in the universe, who sends me surprises just because

the girls on this dance team who work hard and push each other and me

these kitties who make me laugh and cuddle me out of the blue

and these beautiful, life-long friends who feel like family.


Pod Club: Careful What You Wish For

I'm feeling a little bit of pressure this week because I did the picking for pod club this week and I picked a podcast from a show I've never listened to before. However it sounds really interesting and seems to be somewhat appropriate for the week of Thanksgiving. It comes to us from the show:
A show dedicated to those who got everything they ever wanted, and the horrible price they paid...

Pod Club is a long-distance meeting of the minds through blogs and the internet. You don't have to have a blog to play along, we'd love for you to listen with us even if you don't want to write about it afterwards. If you want to see what we (Rachael, Leah, and I) thought about a podcast check back on Fridays - the designated day to share thoughts, reactions, and feelings. 


Maybe I haven't changed much since I was 11

Dear Diary, 
     Today was such a sad day. It was my first day at school without my best friend Wendy. She is down in Frezno, California already. I cried myself to sleep last night till 10:30! She gets to come back in May though! Kind long away still! I'm so sad because she was my very best friend.
     I don't like Jermey anymore! Part of the reason is because he got the dumbest haircut in the whole  world! He lookes like Ben! I like Preston now. He's so cute and nice! Well catch you later.
See ya

Wow, there's a lot of information going on here in this short diary entry. I can still remember this time in my life when Wendy moved away and even though I don't specifically remember staying up until the wee hours of 10:30pm(!) crying, I can remember that first lesson in having someone I cared about move away. From an early age I loved my friends dearly though I am glad that these days distance does not mean an end to best-friendness. To go along with that it does not seem I picked "boy friends" the same way. I mean, who knows? If Jeremey had not gotten the dumbest haircut in the whole world perhaps I would still be crushing on him from afar today...but probably not because I google'd him and time has not been kind, his haircut has not improved.


And then this happened:

It's Saturday afternoon. This morning I got up before 6 to get myself showered, ready(ish), and out the door before 8 to make it to Forte! rehearsal on time. I have been feeling sick so as soon as I got home I took off my bra (who wears those things at home anyhow?), readjusted my pony, turned on my pot of steamy peppermint water, and cozied back onto my couch. I ate some soup, drank some beers, had a short nap, and continued trying to breathe. A few minutes ago both of my cats jumped up on the back of the couch and stared intently out the window, this usually means someone is out there. I don't get visitors. And if I do it's usually someone who is lost and is probably looking for my cousin across the yard from me so it's a two second conversation before re-shutting the door. However this time when I opened the door I found two Mormon missionaries standing there asking me about my relationship with God and how I felt it had helped me. I said some things and then explained how I had been raised Mormon, had three brothers who had served missions and could really respect what they were doing, but personally am no longer Mormon. Those sweet boys then asked if I myself needed any service or knew of anyone in the area that could use some service, I said I didn't that my cousin lived just across the yard from me and that my parents actually house missionaries a little over a mile away. Guess what we found out? Those missionaries on my front porch are the same missionaries living at my Mom and Dad's house. A few other words were exchanged, I wished them a happy rest of their day and I shut the door. I walked from the front door to my kitchen and along the way passed a mirror where I noticed my nipples were standing at attention in plain sight under my tank top. I know at one point I picked up girl kitty to keep her from escaping but the rest of the time? Well, I guess I'm just hoping it's steamy enough in here from my make-shift humidifier that they couldn't see anything...


No less, no more...

Most of them just wanted to talk, to be heard. 

Maybe we failed each other.

Because you have more money, or you live a little more comfortable, doesn't mean you're better than. 

Because you're homeless doesn't mean you're less than.

See, said the man, you don't have to smoke it; I just wanted you to know you could pick it up, because you didn't think you could...

...it feels hard to be homeless...being homeless is scary, it's sad, and it's embarrassing because people tease you...

It just seems like we don't exist, but we do exist...

Most of all I took away from this podcast a reminder that treating each other with respect and kindness is important and really can make a difference. I had so many feelings while listening to the stories told and I thought I was going to have a lot of words to go along with those feelings but what I found was that I needed the words to just speak for themselves. Did you listen to this podcast? If no, I would urge you yet again to take the time to listen to this one, maybe it will touch you too. You don't have to share your thoughts or your reactions but if you want to I would love to know them. Also you can read the thoughts of fellow pod club listeners Rachael and Leah.


I have leftovers...

It's the time of year when sickness is going around, I've been feeling so proud of myself for not catching anything even though I'm around germ carriers on an almost daily basis. Well all that smugness has caught up with me and all I want to do is curl up in a ball of self-pity. Also, I really wanted soup today - but I really DIDN'T want to leave my house to acquire some so I decided to chef some up for myself out of things I already had here. It sounded like a good idea; I had squash and zucchini and sweet potatoes and onions and eggplant and broccoli and carrots...how could those things not equal up to a yummy and nutritious soup? First I cooked the squash/zucchini/onion/sweet potato together until they were all soft, then I pureed them in the blender, after that I added chunks of eggplant and broccoli and shredded the carrots up into the creamy broth because I really don't like the texture of cooked carrots but like the taste. I added spices like garlic and basil, a little ginger, salt, pepper, and a little of the red curry seasoning I add to basically everything. I'm reading back on that stuff and, yup, it all sounds pretty yummy...but in reality this was not a success. I'm still happy that I even tried because in the past I never would have even attempted creating something on my own. Between my adventures in the kitchen and my cleaning success I'm starting to become quite the little homemaker...now if I could only get my sewing machine to work the transformation would be complete.


Pod Club: Hearing Voices

Our pod club podcast this week comes to us from Hearing Voices on NPR.

We are going to listen to stories from people who are, or have been, homeless. Let's take an hour sometime this week to expand our minds and hearts a little bit. Even if you don't feel like writing about it with fellow pod clubbers (Just Me Actually and Soft Spiral), I hope you'll at least take the time to listen with us.


And, and, and...

Diary Dear,
Today was an extremly entresting day! Today is Sunday. It was fun because first we woke up (yawn yawn) and got dressed and ate and went to church. After that we went home for a while and ate lunch and dinner, then we went over to my Grandparents house and said goodbye to my cousins and played computers for a long time. Then they had to leave to Spokane. Right now I writing in you and having such a great time.
See ya
Was I super easily entertained or extremely sarcastic?

Weird but Cute

I've told you about my new chore chart and the good news is that it's working. My house is clean, I've even made my bed every morning after getting out of it. I know? What!?! Anyhow, that's the back-story to the real story...
Because my house is tidy I know when something is not where it should be...like this shoe:
I keep finding this shoe in different places around my house. I would think that there's a weird shoe-fetish ghost in my house if I didn't know that it is, in fact, my weird shoe-carrying cat Elliot.
He doesn't chew on them, he just carries them around and puts them down in random places.


We're all crazy

Maybe we all try to hide our crazy, or we find one or two people we are comfortable enough around that we show exactly who we are - even all the crazy...but either way, we're all crazy.
This week's pod club pick was from a new podcast to me and I have to say, Love + Radio has become a new favorite for me. The brilliance of this particular podcast really hit me about half-way through when all the jumping from story to story made me think "oh my god, I feel like I'm going crazy."

Most of us won't reach the level of "crazy" that requires us to be on medication or stay in an institution but I think all of us can think to some time where our actions, when looking back on them, were a little insane.

Adjective: 1. In a state of mind that prevents normal perception, behavior, or social interaction;
                     seriously mentally ill.
                2. (of an action or quality) Characterized or caused by madness.

By that definition I have had a number of acts in insanity. At the same time I feel like I have also experienced some behavior that was directed towards me that was, by definition, insane. I don't feel right about revealing other people on the internets but I will tell you the things that I do, or used to do, that I think are a little crazy or might make people think I'm crazy:

I'll start back when I was younger: I used to play a game with my sister called "Super Sleuth 2000." We played it in the year (yup, you guessed it) 2000 and we would drive around to the houses of guys we liked and spy on them.
Along that same vein in college I used to skip classes to walk past the rooms where my crushes were taking class so that I could, hopefully, catch a glimpse of them, plus I would write bad, and dramatic poetry and leave it on their windshield.
Definitely the times where I have felt the most insane have revolved around boys....they bring out the crazy. And keep me coming back for more.
Lately I think the think that makes me look crazy to people in public is the fact that I listen to podcasts which cause me to smile and laugh, or even sometimes cry, randomly and often.
I used to think that the way my  mind jumped from one thing to another was a little crazy but I've found out a lot of people's minds do the exact same thing, and they too wind up blurting out things seemingly out of no where...so now I feel like that is a normal crazy thing.
Also maybe a little crazy is that as a "grown-up" woman I have had to make a chore chart for myself and come up rewards for myself if I actually do my chores.


Well...this happened:

I couldn't help it. Usually early decorating drives me crazy and makes me feel sad that Thanksgiving is getting looked over and not recognized...but this year I decided that I'm thankful for the Christmas spirit so I want to get started A.S.A.P. Plus, thanks to my job with Forte! I've been listening to Christmas music since August; with that in mind I really have shown considerable restraint in beginning the Christmas holiday as late as I have. Perhaps this is too early for you and that's fine but let the magic of the season begin it's spread over you, it's never too soon for that.


Love + Radio

I'm excited for this week's pod club pick (although there really hasn't been a week I wasn't excited for it), it's a new podcast for me and I like new things. We can thank pod club co-founder Rachael for this new discovery. Thanks Rachael!
still free on i-Tunes


Standing up is hard work

Dear Diary,
Today is 2/2/91! I haven't wrote for a while sorry, I'm really sad because in two weeks one of my best friends Wendy is moving to Frezno, California. Me and all her friends are really sad! Sunny is also moving to Salt Lake. We'll miss them both.
I can do a flip on the trampoline and stand up afterwards.
Today was really fun we went to my game then home, had Wendy over, went to Rachel's game then bake here, and Wendy came this close to being able to stay the night (please see attached photo for visual demonstration of how close she came.)
see ya,
Looks pretty close to me...
I was so sad that apparently the only thing that could cheer me up was practicing good skills on the trampoline.


Maybe I should invest in blinders...

I can not wait for the elections to be over. I am doing far to much yelling at my television combined with bird flipping at both the t.v. and signage around town. Living in a mainly conservative community has never been more apparent until now and it is causing me to experience extremes in emotions. I think maybe my cats hate when I scream at the television (they run away and hide) every time a political ad comes on that expresses opinions that really (I believe) those people should be embarrassed to have, so sometimes I just turn my head and try to hide while flipping off my t.v. Yes, I realize that makes me sound like a crazy person but it is helping me cope, however I need the elections to be over because I'm afraid that I'm not going to be able to hold myself together in public for much longer.

Here are some things I'm looking at to help me hold it together and make me laugh instead:

  • The comedy of Louis CK...watch out, it's not PG - this is a link to a few of his jokes but I watched his whole stand up on Netflix and really did lol.
  • These Not Always _____ websites do not disappoint.
  • So many amazing things to look at on The Berry
  • And then there's this whole website

I never seem to finish...


When things go bump in the night

I think it should come as no surprise to most of you reading this that I believe in the supernatural or ghosts. At the same time I do not want to see a ghost, hear one, or think that there might be one living in my house. I'm even careful about how much I outwardly display or talk about  my interest/curiosity for fear that there might be a ghost somewhere listening and decide that they should make themselves known to me.
I loved the show Ghost Whisperer and when I had cable I would get myself in trouble by watching Ghost Hunters. I couldn't pull myself away from shows like that, and then I would nightmares, and I would be afraid to get up in the middle of the night if I had to pee. Which is why I didn't allow myself to listen to this week's pod club pick once the sun went down. For the most part I didn't think the podcast was too terrifying and I think partly because the host wasn't a very good storyteller and also partly because some of the stories were easily explainable or made up. However, some of the stories were so un-explainable/supernatural that despite the host's lackluster voice I still got chills.
Are there ghost people who get stuck here for some reason or can they choose to come "visit" from somewhere after death or is it energy that gets trapped somehow? A combination of all those options? I don't know, all I know is that I do believe that there supernatural/other worldly things happen. I've had only one experience, and I'm going to attempt to tell the story with the aide of my super amazing drawing below.

BFF Evie used to live next door to friends who started having some weird happenings in their house. Regular ghost type experiences, started out small and explainable but then escalated to hearing a voice and the sound of someone walking up their stairs (over and over and over)...so Evie and I, both avid watchers of Ghost Whisperer decided to do some whispering of our own to rid the house of whatever was happening there. Armed with sage we went across the street. Starting in the living room we saged each room while continually talking to the spirit telling it that it was bothering the people living in the house, it needed to move on, leave them alone, that it was no longer living it needed to move on...etc. A constant repetition of those words while walking from Living room - master bedroom - bathroom - spare room - kitchen - basement - back through the kitchen - ending back in the living room. After passing through the kitchen for the second time we turned back around and there, sitting in the middle of the room - right where we had just walked - was the vacuum. Now, maybe you can't tell from my drawing (because it's so amazing and I left out all furniture/obstructions) but there is no way we could have walked through the kitchen from the basement into the living room without noticing that vacuum. We would have had to move it/walk around it/bump into it...it was not a big house. But there it was. Right there in the middle of the kitchen where there had been nothing seconds before. Even now as I'm telling it my heart goes all cold and thumpy.

Ghost House

So maybe you don't believe in ghosts and that's okay but as for me, I have heard from too many trusted people and had one too many personal experiences to deny that there is something more going on out there. Do you have any ghost stories? I would love (and be terrified) to hear them. I am now going to go find out if fellow pod clubbers have any scary stories to share, come with me. I'm first headed to Just Me Actually and then over to Soft Spiral....


Tricking myself into chores.

Today I need to clean my house. Not just a little bit..a lot. But I get bored with this task very easily. Therefore I have create "rewards" for myself. Like: if you clean for twenty minutes straight then you can take an internet break or if you get all your dishes washed and put away you can take a dance break. Bigger chores have bigger rewards. Cleaning/vacuuming my mattress gives me permission to buy a fancy smelling candle when I go to the store later. I need these rewards otherwise I would easily give up mid-way through a chore and my house would never be clean. I like leaving in a clean house, I hate cleaning it. Probably if I were magic I would not hate chores as much because it would be fun to say spells and have my things clean themselves. However, I have been wishing to magic for many many years now and so far I haven't seen the slightest hint that my wish is going to be granted. Being a muggle is boring.
So far I have earned:
This computer break
A smelly-good candle
Two dance breaks
Wine or Vodka
Kitty play break
My house is getting there and I need to go to the store before it starts raining. During my walk I am going to finish listening to the ghost stories for this week's pod club. I have thoughts and stories of my own to share but in the meantime let me just say this: I don't think that guy is very good at reading stories. Sorry dude, I know it's your job but you need to be better at it.

Do any of you give yourself rewards for doing chores? Or am I alone in this too?


Pod Club: Anything Ghost

I'm a little scared of this week's pick for pod club (even though I picked it) and am going to make sure I listen to it only during daylight hours far from the time I go to bed. It's Halloween themed, all about ghost stories...
As always it's also free on i-Tunes. 


That kind of friend...

Dear Diary,
Today my friend broke up with the guy I like. So I asked him out. He said he didn't want to go out with anyone right now. So I'm going to ask him out some other time. 
I went Sunshine Generation today. It was a lot of fun. But there are three dumb kids in the class. 
Bye for now, write more tomorrow.
See ya,
Sometime in between 1/22/91 and 2/2/91

Did I even realize that I'd been brushed off? I really don't think so. Poor, sweet, innocent younger Jill...not even knowing (or caring) when she'd been rejected. I wonder if anyone reading this has watched the show "The Middle" because I keep feeling as if my diary entries could have been written by Sue Heck.


Am I the only one?

Often I wonder if what goes on in my head also goes on in other people's heads...today I'm going to tell you about one of those things and either it's going to make you think "that is really weird" or "phew, I'm not the only one."

When I walk I listen to music.While I walk and listen to music I create music videos in my head. I imagine the filters, the camera angles, the wind in my hair, imaginary back-up dancers...the whole bit. The only embarrassing part is when I turn a corner or whip my head for a dramatic angle change and there happen to be people there. That sudden happenstance occurred multiple times today and I did my best to pretend as if nothing strange was going on but I think they all knew better; especially since I was singing out loud most of the time. You might think I would be shamed into stopping but nope, I have hundreds of music videos at this point and I only wish I could share them with you. I can at least share with you the songs I mastered today:

(I'm not putting the ACTUAL  music videos on here because I don't want you to get tainted if you want to create your own music video to the song someday.)
Anything Could Happen - Ellie Goulding

Want You Back - Cher Lloyd

All My Friends - Lindi Ortega


Awesome Impostor

What kind of things do we "get away" with on a daily basis? Little things, big things, things in between...it doesn't matter all of us have lied/fibbed/tricked our ways into (or out of) situations. I can't say that I personally have done anything as large scale as any of the features on this weeks pod club pick but it did make me think of all the little ways over my life I've gotten away with something. And also the feelings that go along with it. Sometimes being able to pull something off feels amazing - like back in high school when I was supposed to be grounded until after the New Year but got to have a friend spend the night over Christmas break BEFORE new years eve. We felt like rock stars - even though, now that I'm older and can look back I'm sure my parents knew what they were doing and decided I'd been grounded long enough (since August) and had listened to enough of my whining and complaining. At the time though I really felt like I'd pulled one over on my parents and it was AWESOME! Or when I was a poor college student and would buy One student ticket for a movie but sneak into two or three - Extra movies for the price of One? Fantastic feeling! Or how about getting hired to be a choreographer for a show choir when I've never done anything like that before but faking my way through and realizing I pulled it off? Feels freakin' brilliant!
But, I think there can be another feeling that can come after you make it through a situation unscathed, a feeling of being an impostor. I can recall feeling that way a few times, like when getting a paper back with an "A" on top after just throwing it together last minute, or like when I tried out for Boise State's dance team out of peer pressure and then made it...I felt like an impostor for a year and half basically or in a really bad example when I used "translate" while writing french papers...definitely an impostor french writer here.

I've gotten away with a lot of little things over the years, some in-between things, and maybe I have some big things to get away with left in my future...


Pod Club: Getting Away With It

When I first started listening to podcasts This American Life was one of the first that I subscribed to, I went back into the archives and listened to hours and hours of Ira Glass introducing story after story. So I'm happy that we have picked the newest episode to listen to and discuss for pod club this week.
Stories of people breaking the rules fully, completely and with no bad consequences. Some justify this by saying they're doing it for others, or for a greater good, some. Some really don't care. And, unlike the mealy weaklings you usually hear on this program: None of these wrongdoers seem regretful about what they've done in the slightest.

Are you intrigued? I am. Let's go listen...