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Have Wings, Will Travel.

I was in line for a while. Enough time to really start wondering if this was, in fact, a good idea. Did I have enough vacation time for this? Was I sure I could afford it? Did I pack my toothbrush?

My mom was in line with me and she talked me through it. “Just call your boss, ask her to check your time off. It’ll be fine.”

“But what if I get sick later this year and don’t have any time off then?”

“Then you’ll have to figure it out?”

She made some good points, so I pulled my carry-on closer and pulled out my passport. I was going to Europe.

It was kind of a whirlwind, the road there. A friend had called me just one day earlier and explained that a trip he was going on had had a last minute cancellation. The flight and hotel were paid for, if I wanted to take the person’s place, and the group would be small, only a few people. I said yes with no hesitation.

So there I was, in line at the airport, practically jumping up and down, ready to go.

And then I woke up.

What a disappointment it was to wake up in my own bed, with my luggage secure and empty in my closet. There were at least two very mournful cups of coffee before I was awake enough to really remember that I was, in fact, at work, and probably shouldn’t be imagining pubs and theaters in London and delicious food in Athens and on and on.

Man, but that was a good dream.

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Posted by on September 17, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

I Get All The Waffles.

I have never been a morning person. I probably will never be a morning person. I tried once and, while I felt awesome for being up before noon, it didn’t seem worth it. I’m also a caffeine-reliant introvert, so I tend to discourage people from talking to me before about 10 am, one and half cups of coffee, or a shower, whichever comes first.

So when I heard that a fancy new waffle place was opening in town, I was torn. It’s only open from 7am-1pm, which means I had to go either before work or on my lunch break. Since the grand opening was on the first day back after a holiday, I was even more torn – should I go in before work and get my week off to a good start (and get some coffee?) or should I sleep in so I can be a little more prepared for the first day back at work after a 3-day weekend?

I decided that waffles are worth missing a little sleep. It was a good decision.

This place serves gourmet, authentic pearl sugar Belgian waffles, and custom-roasted super strong coffee. It was awesome.

But, as I said before, I’m an introvert. Walking into a place with super friendly, talkative, attentive owners is usually a really awesome experience, but I was still half asleep. To be honest, it was a little overwhelming to be asked so many questions and given so much information before 8 in the morning. I can’t even remember most of what I was told because I was still waking up (why do I drive?…).

I got a regular waffle with powdered sugar and honey, that thing did not disappoint. Their coffee was also one of the greatest things I ingested all day. I spent most of the morning trying to make the waffle last as long as possible (it was altogether WAY too small and I more or less inhaled it. Literally. I choked on the powdered sugar because I was eating too quickly…). I will for sure be going back there.

Maybe next time I’ll go after I wake up a little more…

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Writing Time

As some of you may know, NaNoWriMo (NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth) is coming up in November, and I’m starting to get more than a little nervous/worried about it.

For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is a month-long writing ‘bootcamp’ of sorts, in which thousands of people all over try to write an entire novel, or 50,000 words, in the month of November. To reach 50,000 words in the month, you have to write an average of 1,667 words a day, which is just over 3 1/2 pages, single-spaced. That’s a lot of writing every day.

I have attempted to do NaNo exactly twice, and only remember my story from the most recent attempt in 2013. I got about 12,000 words written before I simply ran out of story. It wasn’t really that I ran out of things to write on the story, per se, it was more that my novel-to-be needed research that I didn’t have time for, some character charting that I didn’t start early enough, and I had just started a new job so things were a little crazy.

I still consider 12,000 words on a single story to be a fantastic achievement, but it was by no means a ‘book’ or even really a novella. It probably would’ve staggered on for another 10,000 words or so and then petered off into abysmal, Metamorphosis-esque existence, and since I’m no Kafka, I decided to ‘kill my darlings’ and let the story go.

This year, I’ve set a slightly more realistic goal than 50,000 words. Since I’ve never written and finished a story longer than about 12 pages, I’m going to try to write a novella as my first real endeavor into authorship. So far, I have an idea, a couple of names for characters, the first half of a plot line, a couple of possible subplots, and absolutely no idea for an ending. I’m also pretty sure that everyone is already tired of me talking about writing and it’s only October, so apologies in advance.

If I tell you I can’t see you in the month of November, that’s why; I’ll be writing. I’m tired of not really feeling like a writer because I haven’t actually finished anything that resembles a hard-back book. It’s time to actually put my English degree and my knack for retaining weird facts to good use.It’s writing time.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Project Fall

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to think about what I can post on here that will get me back in the habit of blogging. I had a couple friends give me some ideas, went through a couple other blogs to see how they handle regular posting, and then thought about how frequently I even have things worth posting on here.

I’m not going to promise any kind of regular weekly or monthly post – I’ll only disappoint – but I do want to try to post more often, and about things that I like writing about but people are also interested (as those frequently don’t overlap at all. I can be boring).

So, for this post, I wanted to share a little about what I’ve been working on, crochet-wise and in my free time. I took a pretty long hiatus from crochet because I moved and all my stuff was hidden in drawers or bags or mixed in with other things, but recently my little sister helped me organize what has basically become my craft room in my ‘new’ apartment (quotation marks because I’ve already been there for six months).

I finally have a storage system that I think will actually work set up for my miles and piles of yarn. My parents bought me this gorgeous shelf and some canvas storage bins for my 25th birthday, and the little bins are perfect for yarn.

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Once I got organized, I was ready to start crocheting again with a vengeance. My first undertaking was a Pokeball, in honor of the release of Pokemon Go’s release in July. I am slightly obsessed with the game and have spent many hours wandering around catching Pokemon and leveling up. The game also helped me get to my step goal for my job’s monthly fitness challenge, since I did a lot of walking for both things.

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Since fall is coming (hooray!), I decided to take on some fall-ish projects. My co-workers and I are having a department fundraiser for our Christmas project at work, so I volunteered to make a blanket for the sale (a horrible decision, really). Blankets take a lot of yarn and a lot of hours, and I’m afraid I won’t finish in time even though I have another two months before the fundraiser (it’s a lot of crocheting, okay?). The cool thing is that, for the first time ever, I made up my own pattern. I had used the same pattern to make my mom some cotton dishcloths, her favorite, and she really liked it, so I just expanded the stitch and kept going. Here’s the potholder and the blanket (hopefully you can tell which is which).

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One of the girls at work just had a baby! He’s super adorable and tiny, and for the baby shower (which we haven’t had yet) I wanted to make him a stuffed animal. Since the shower and his room are elephant-themed, I found an adorable pattern for an elephant on Pinterest and just changed the color and a couple small details. I finished him on the day the baby was born! I named him Babar, after one of the greatest kids’ books. I think he’s pretty cute.

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The last thing I’m working on right now is a shawl for myself, which is coming along but not even close to being done (and, of course, I ran out of yarn last night). I’ll post a picture of that when it’s a little closer to being completed.

Anyway, that’s my adventures in the crochet world for now. As fall gets closer and Christmas starts looming, I’ll probably be crocheting a lot more to get presents made and sent. Until then, I can focus on my own projects. I’ll probably be making another hat before too long, and my friend Grace has inspired me to learn to knit so I can make a cute cabled hat or seven.

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

The Problem With Prose

I was talking to a friend last night and the subject of writing came up. I realized, halfway through the conversation, that I haven’t posted anything on my blog in over a year. The more I thought about it, the sadder I got – writing is one of my absolute favorite things to do, and yet I’ve barely written anything in more than a year. I’ve dabbled in some poetry, written a couple drafts of stories (which I quickly discarded), and even slowed down on my reading of others’ writings. How sad!

It’s not that my goals have changed, really. I still want to be an author someday. I still want to see my name on the spine of a book, or beneath an article on a well-read publication. I want to hold my own book in my hands and give it to someone else. I want to receive a paycheck for something that I’ve created myself, something truly original. Those are still things I want to see happen.

It’s not that I think I’ve somehow gotten worse at writing. Sure, I haven’t had a good idea for a story in a long, long time, but I still think that I can write that story once I get the idea for it. I still think my writing style is unique and interesting, that my words are creative, and that I have the ability to construct an intriguing world that others would be interested in reading.

It’s more that, over the last year, my priorities have changed, not my goals. I still have the same dreams, the same ideals, and the same standards for myself, but now they seem harder to reach and like they’re part of a future that’s a little farther away. I have a ‘real’ adult job working for a ministry that I love. I have an apartment that I sometimes like and sometimes drives me crazy. I have friends that mean everything to me. My family is incredibly important. (those last two have always been important, but losing my best friend really puts perspective on how important these people are)

I spend most of my time now working. A lot of my free time is spent worrying about adult things like having to have my own healthcare next year, if I can afford rent, when I should take out the trash, and what I can eat that is affordable and still good for me. Being an adult is really hard, guys!

Most of my creative energy goes into crochet projects. I’m currently in the middle of a blanket (using a pattern I created myself, yay!) and a stuffed animal for a friend. I’ve been more than a little obsessed with Pokemon Go, but I mean, c’mon, who isn’t obsessed with that game, am I right? When I’m not doing that, I’m probably napping. I seem to nap more than most toddlers I know…it’s a problem. I also picked up the ukulele and am trying to teach myself how to play it. It’s a work in progress, but I’m getting there.

I’ve said/written/thought/promised this more times than I care to count, but I’m going to try to write more. I want to finish so many stories that I started a long time ago; I want to spend more time reading; I want to do so many things. I will do my best to fit them all in, and hopefully this blog will not be neglected for so long next time around. We’ll see, I suppose.

The problem with prose is that you have to have a good idea to feel like it’s worth writing down. The problem is that you have to have time to write. The problem is that I just haven’t made myself sit down and write. Hopefully, those are problems I can fix. I’ll certainly do my very best.

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

More Stories.

It has been a very long three months. A very long, hard, sad three months, with a lot happening in my life.

I’ve been trying for a very long time to figure out how to put into words the things I’ve been feeling, dealing with, and thinking about. It’s odd to me how easy it is to think something how hard it is to say it out loud.

In any case, I’ve had something that’s been pressing on me that I’ve wanted to put into words, and this is really my best attempt.

God is amazing. I’ve been taking things for granted for far too long, and even after everything that’s happened in the last three months, six months, year, two years since college, I still haven’t quite learned this lesson.

I think that sometimes, when we ask God for things, He teaches us the lesson by making us learn it the hard way. I asked for patience when I graduated college, and I’m still waiting on the ‘right’ job. I’m still waiting on the ‘right’ man. God is teaching me to be patient by teaching me to wait.

So maybe when I ask God for friends, He shows me how incredible the friends I have already are; He shows me to appreciate what I have my showing me what I could be missing? I don’t know, maybe that’s a bad takeaway, but that’s one of the things I’ve been thinking lately.

In any case, I’ve started wandering around downtown Ville, standing in front of tall buildings and trying to feel small. I know that sounds weird, but for some reason, the feeling of smallness is comforting. It makes me feel like everything I’m living through is really only a passing breeze, strong enough to make my step falter but not nearly strong enough to knock me over. The ‘tiny’ feeling is something that makes me feel like there is, in fact, a bigger picture, a bigger thing God is working on in my life. That maybe, just maybe, I’m standing on the ground floor, and there’s a light on up on the fiftieth floor and someone is waiting for me to make it up there.

It’s a nice feeling, that there’s more than just me. It’s nice to think about sometimes, when you’re overwhelmed and feel like everything is crushing you.

I’m ready to get off the ground floor. There are fifty more stories waiting to be visited, fifty more stories to be lived.

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Crochet Fever.

I realize that this is one of the longer posting dry spells this blog has experienced. I also realize just how sad that is. Honestly, though, you should be thanking me. See, my life has recently begun to revolve pretty much entirely around Starbucks. I like telling stories about my job, the people I work with, and the crazy customers we have, but that doesn’t mean that everyone likes to hear them. Especially when I tell them all the time.

And I hate to do this, but I have a Starbucks-related story. And some (mostly) shameless self-promotion to do.

All it began with a K-hook and a project.

See, I’ve been crocheting since I was teensy. My mom taught me when I was in 7th grade and I hated it with a fiery passion. Then, I got to college and my senior year, my roommate was a crochet fiend. She was a master and I wanted to make the things she did (namely, a giant, Harry Potter-themed blanket). So, I picked my hook back up and try-tried again. At first, I couldn’t figure out how to even tie the knot to start something, but then I was suddenly making hats, scarves, and finding any pattern I could (and making up a couple of my own).

Skip forward a year, and I’m still crocheting. I’m a little more advanced, a little more adventurous, and wear at least one handmade item every day when it’s cold enough outside. I’ve made and sold a couple of things, but I haven’t had a whole lot of ‘business’. Then I started working at Starbucks. One day, I took in a blanket and a hat I was working on. Suddenly, everyone was watching me crochet, asking me questions, and asking me to teach them.

So, a couple weeks ago, I sat down with four of my coworkers and taught them some basics for making a simple scarf. One decided it wasn’t for her (more business for me), one decided it was definitely a side project, one hasn’t started a project yet, and the other–Kandice–has taken my lessons and run with them. Kandice came to work one day wearing a hat I made her and the next wearing a scarf she made herself.

Part of me regrets teaching her. Now she’ll make her own stuff, make things for other people. She picked it up so quickly, though, that most of me is just proud. I helped start that obsession. It’s an addiction, really; I’m pretty sure paying for yarn is why my paychecks look so small…

I actually had to buy a new hook today for a project; not because I didn’t have the right size or because I’d lost the one I needed, but because the hook I had had been whittled down by the yarn, had lost its shine, and was sharp on one end. I keep wounding myself with it when I try to use it. It’s exciting and sad at the same time that I’ve used one hook THAT much.

But here’s the self-promotion:

I make and sell all kinds of goodies! I recently started making slipper boots. I’ve made several pairs (one for myself) and I really really like them. Here’s a picture so you, too, can admire them Ialong with a link to my Etsy page):

https://www.etsy.com/listing/213313854/thick-crocheted-slipper-boots-womens-us?ref=shop_home_active_1

K go there and order stuff. Also, if you use the code MSHIZ right now you get free shipping, which is cool. I mean, I think it’s cool. You can think whatever. No pressure. But you should go there. And favorite things. And order. I already said that, but do it anyway.

OK promotion over. Thanks for bearing with  me.

Also, crocheting lessons are made by appointment only. 😀

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2014 in Uncategorized