• Dream science

    Do you have dreams about going back to high school? I feel like I have them at least a couple times a month - which feels like a lot for something I left behind going on 14 years ago. 

    I don't really have recurring dreams so much as recurring themes. Forgetting my gym clothes, not knowing what my class schedule is, or on the rare occasion I dream that I've actually still been in school all this time. But in dream time, apparently that's only 3 years or so, because I still know people there. Once, I wondered what would happen when my parents received a tuition bill, because I hadn't told them that I was still in school. 

    To be honest, I don't mind these dreams. I feel like they're still less awkward and dramatic than the real thing. Plus there's a bit of nostalgia that I kind of like. It's like the end of the movie Titanic, where Rose dreams that she goes back to the ship and everything and everyone is just like it was. 

    For this analogy, minus the kissing. 

    You know, for all the dreams I've had, I don't think I've had one that had anything to do with my science class. I don't know why. It's not like I particularly disliked biology or chemistry. Well, let me amend that. Science was not really my forte, especially when it became married to math. But the teacher was really nice, and I liked her a lot. 

    Our junior year, she got a boyfriend. Several classes were taken off the rails by students asking for details on this mystery guy. It was cute to see her so happy. Towards the end of the year, they got engaged, and she didn't come back to teach the following year. Sometimes I wonder what she's up to now, but I haven't looked. I'll let imagination win. 

    Science class was one of the few where we had assigned seating, alphabetically. Junior year, I managed to weasel out of doing a group presentation by choosing to do a research project on the history of the periodic table - complete with my first powerpoint. It wasn't the performance I was afraid of, it was the group aspect. I watched other people getting frustrated with their groups for not pulling their weight, and I felt pretty good about my decision. 

    I was definitely better at biology than chemistry. Again, it's that whole math thing. It's really too bad, because I like the concept of both. But I definitely did not like the day that we had to dissect frogs. It was more sad to me than gross, but I feigned nausea to be able to step outside. 

    Ah, memories. What did you think of your high school classes? Are there any you would want to relive? Any you would avoid?

  • 18 for 18

    Well, happy belated new year! 

    This year has been off to a bit of a gimpy start here. Hopefully how I rang in the new year doesn't predict how this year is going to go - I was sitting in Matt's recliner, the only person awake, and Aeris was snoring on my lap. I scratched her ear and wished her a happy new year. The festive little hats I bought for new year's eve are still sitting in their packaging on the counter.

    So, Matt started out the new year sick, and working a lot. The latter doesn't surprise me, the former does. I think of him as the one with the really good immune system, in part because he never catches anything from me. When he does get sick, it seems like it burns through his body quickly and he's done. I can't remember the last time (before this) that I saw him with a dragged out cold. 

    He finally got to take some vacation time last week. I'd like to say that we didn't go anywhere because he's been working so much, but 

    a. we don't travel much anyway

    b. we really don't travel in winter if we can help it

    Plus, the weather hasn't been too cooperative. As I write this, I'm on day two of not leaving the house because of snow. It's not that we got a lot, just a couple inches. But everything on our hilly road has iced up, and I just have no desire to mess with that. But I digress.

    We went out and saw a few movies, got coffee, went out to dinner a couple times, and mostly sat at home watching movies and playing games. Kinda like normal, except there wasn't a bedtime, and I got to turn off the light alarm for a good week.

    So it's only this week that it feels like I'm buckling down and getting back to the swing of things. 

    Inspired by an episode of Gretchen Rubin's Happier podcast, I made a list of 18 things to do for 2018.  I wanted them to be somewhat meaningful or at least playful. I wanted them to reflect me, and what I actually want to do. 18 is still a pretty big number if you're talking meaningful goals for the year, which is why some of them are easy, or a one time thing. I have zero desire to track 18 habits! In past years, I've tried lists of 100 things, and I think that's just too much. Even trying to make them fun or one time things, that's a thing to cross off every three days roughly. I'd get to the end of the year and notice more what I hadn't done than what I had. 

    Oh wow, you mean I didn't actually play Sims at all this year? 
    We never actually went out to brunch, did we?
    I never did read that book, huh. 

    So this allows me to pare down. I'm not going to share the whole list (mostly because I am feeling too lazy to go get said list), but here's a few things that are on it:

    - Organize the blue cabinet
    (The blue cabinet is in the kitchen and contains most of our small appliances. It needs some help.)
    Read 25 books
    - Set aside time one day a month to be creative 
    - Donate money once a month
    - Put money in savings every paycheck 
    - Find an exercise routine that I can stick with

    You'll notice that some of the goals seem really low ... 25 books? Yeah, last year I read 52. Be creative once a month? 

    My intention is more about doing things regularly. Set the bar low so that I can feel good about it, but at a regular pace. I pulled out my much neglected bullet journal to try and track things, because I love being able to check things off. 

    One more thing I set for myself : four blog posts a month. Hopefully that will inspire me to be a bit more regular, but if not, there will be something more on this site than there was last year.

    Belatedly, cheers. 

  • Bologna

    Once upon a time, my family took road trips. We lived in Colorado, and our family was in New York. I don't remember most of these road trips very well - I remember one trip feeling like it took foreeeeeever (apparently we drove straight from NY to CO without stopping) - I remember reading one of those Children's classics as we drove through Chicago - and I know that Kansas and Nebraska are the most boring states to drive through. 

    But I also remember the bologna incident. 

    On one road trip, my parents put me in charge of the cooler of food in the backseat. I was super excited about the idea of keeping people fed. It made me important - crucial to the success of our trip and happiness of my parents. 

    So I broke out the bologna and butter and offered my parents sandwiches - at like 8am. Maybe it was as late as 10. But it was definitely quite a bit before noon. My parents laughed and I sadly put the bologna back.

    But not the butter. I forgot about the butter.

    Some time later, we got out of the car, and I had smushed the stick of butter into the backseat, and all over my favorite afghan that my grandma made me. To make matters worse, I'm pretty sure this was the car we leased - as an adult, I can understand the extra horror of that. 

    I give my parents a lot of credit - they didn't get mad. I sobbed and sobbed because I felt so bad, having failed in my duty, made a mess, and buttered up my blanket. 

    To this day, when I see bologna, I can't help but think of that roadtrip. For everyone traveling over the holidays, may your trips be safe, merry, and butterless. 

  • Smelly

    There's something about the smell of books. Not EVERY book, but some books, for sure. To know whether it's a good book, you have to open it up and sniff it. Matt still chuckles when he catches me nose deep in a book. 

    Some plastics smell really good too, though I can't tell you offhand which ones. Probably whichever ones give you cancer.

    I've also always liked the smell of gasoline. Not, like, I would wear it or anything, and I'm pretty sure if I had to smell it all the time it would lose any appeal. But if I'm pumping gas and I get a good whiff, it's not all that bad.

    Now, when it comes to more 'normal' things to smell, I have to say that my tastes have changed. I've never liked super duper strong perfume, (you know, the stuff that when you smell it you go PHHHEW) but too long and it gives me a headache. Since we switched over to using more natural soaps, stuff like Bath and Body Works is really hit or miss. It's too strong, too artificial. 

    Citrus fruits are a good smell - though to rank them, it'd probably be orange, lemon, then grapefruit. Also, I like my orange juice with as much pulp as I can get. If I'm not chewing half of my orange juice, it's a wasted experience. 

    I like a good vanilla. It's a good, safe smell. If it's too artificial, it can be a bit weird, but it rarely makes me cringe.

    Spearmint is a smell that I like in soaps or gum, because it reminds me of my grandma. I don't know why, because it's not like she constantly had it on her. Maybe I was with her the first time I smelled it? I don't know. 

    Fruit smells in general are a winner for me, come to think of it. Maybe less so when it's grape or watermelon. I also never really understood the appeal of cucumber melon. That was a big one when I was in high school. But then again, I'm not really wild about cucumbers.

    One of my favorites though, done right, is lavender. That seems to be a real love it or hate it kind of smell. REAL lavender though, like what I find in the garden, is amazing. 

    Cinnamon, baked goods, also real winners. I will not be upset if I walk into your house and smell either. 

    What are some scents that you really like? Anything weird? 

  • All I want for Christmas

    All I want for Christmas

    Is Cuppie? 

    The kiddos have been VERY involved in our Christmas related activities. So don't be surprised if there's a tuft of hair in your card this year. We're fortunate that none of them are counter surfers, but they're sure up in our grill for everything else!

  • One Form of Attachment

    One Form of Attachment

    For the last several nights, Gwen has slept on top of me. Yes, you read that right. She comes out of the office, and usually waits until everything is quiet, then tip toes across the bed and gently sets herself down on my chest. She might try and settle in on me if I'm laying on my side, but she always leaves within a few minutes, so I can tell that she's not a fan. 

    It's a really good thing that she is a light cat, because she's been sleeping on me almost all night, leaving only to do whatever cats do when they're not sleeping on top of you. One night when she got up, I realized my cheek was sweaty, because she'd been curled up with her back against my cheek. It's really ... cozy. A little weird too, let's be honest.

    This cat continues to amaze me. When I met that antisocial Nuggie who wouldn't let me touch more than on the top of her head, I never would have thought that she'd do this. 

    To be fair, she still doesn't like a lot of people touching her. You have to earn her trust. I seem to be the only one who has an all-access pass to petting her whenever I see her. Apparently I have her trust in spades. I'm not sure why, to be honest. I'm nice to her, sure, but I don't feel like I'm that much nicer to her than Matt, for me to be her preferred person. This cat is LOYAL. Occasionally I joke that she'd launch herself at anyone who tried to hurt me, but I think it's true. I was definitely Mikenna's person, but this feels like a whole different brand of loyalty. It was like, Mikenna loved me and we were bff and it was awesome. Gwen loves me and has sworn a lifedebt to me. 

    I'd love to know what's going on in that little calico head of hers. I have no idea when she'll get tired of this intense snugglefest. But I'll enjoy it as long as I can. Little weirdo. :)

  • Movie Theater Madness

    Lynchburg got a new "cheap theater" after the old one closed down a couple of years ago. Our movie theater outings have gone up by quite a bit. We don't always get snacks when we go, but here and there we'll grab a box of candy and a drink. (Movie theaters make most of their money from concessions, and I really want to keep this place in business!)

    So I've been thinking about it, and here's my top three movie theater candies. Your mileage may vary.

    1. Junior Mints
    These are a good, solid choice. They're not overly sweet like some candy, and the minty flavor keeps you from tossing them back too fast. They make a nice sweetness contrast to popcorn, in my opinion. 

    2. Sour Patch Kids
    I would say that these aren't too sweet, but they are literally dusted in sugar. I'm pretty sure I like the blue ones the best, but I couldn't really tell you what any one flavor is. They're sweet and sour and fun - the only downside is that it's easy to have the box just about gone before the movie starts.

    3. Milk Duds
    Rich, gooey, and sweet. I like to suck on these until they're super soft rather than chonk through the tough carmel. Unfortunately these tend to stick together if you let them sit in your lap for too long, and they need a drink to go with them. But, I still like them every once in a while. They're a candy that I only get at the movie theater, which makes them special. 

  • I just can't handle

    9 Things I Just Can't Handle

    (just for fun. don't take this too seriously)

    9. When someone uses the microwave and leaves the display on the remaining time rather than actual time.

    8. Super smelly things in the morning. Like dog kibble. 

    7. Food in the sink. What was once spaghetti, once it touches the sink, is automatically gag worthy.

    6. When something should be working and isn't. Like the internet.

    5. Super adorable animals, SQUEEEEEE.

    4. When a movie or book has no character growth. 

    3. Ham. Ew.

    2. When people or things are late. 

    1. Dreary days. It's a struggle to even get out of bed. 

  • Retreading old hangouts

    Lately I've been thinking about what it would be like to return to a couple places I've lived. Places I haven't been for quite some time. 

    I've missed Colorado since the day we left, and I've never stopped wanting to see it again. I know that things are a lot different since we moved away almost 20 years ago. Google Earth tells me that the smallish town I lived in is much, much more developed. The field behind my house is now a subdivision, though we knew that was going to happen when we left. The population of Colorado has exploded since we left. 

    I know that things wouldn't be the same, but I can't shake the feeling of wanting to go back. To drive around Greeley and Evans, see what I remember. Go up to the mountains, because there's just nothing else like them. It's been long enough that Colorado doesn't feel like home - I don't really have the emotional attachment to it any more. It was a good memory, and I'd like to see it with my adult eyes. The downside is that Colorado is so far away, and it would require a decent bit of planning to pull that off. You know, like an actual vacation, like most people take from time to time. 

    I've also toyed with the idea of going back to visit New Jersey. I know. I know. I wanted to get out of there so bad that I agreed to go live in the arctic tundra of Michigan for eight years. There wasn't much I liked about living there. But I still think it would be fun to go back and visit. 

    The fact that I haven't had pizza that even comes close to as good as what was in Jersey MIGHT have something to do with it. Seriously, I've had dreams about driving up to New Jersey for pizza. 

    When I left New Jersey, I couldn't drive. Well, technically I could, but I was a huge chicken. I refused to drive on highways, and if you haven't been there, NJ has highways everywhere. I'd like to go back as the confident person I am now, and see how it stacks up. It can't be nearly as bad as I remember, right? 

    Will I take either of these trips? No idea. Seems like the only time I leave the state is to head up to Michigan. No offense, Michigan, but that same trip gets a little boring. I get a bit stir crazy. 

    Or hey, we could go to Disney World. I've never been there. That would be fun. ;)