Friday, June 21, 2013

Life Lessons with Sirius.

Three months ago, Sam and I brought this cute little guy home from the local animal shelter home. Aside from being generally great and entertaining, Sirius has also taught us a few things.

1) A comfortable bed makes all the difference. 

Seriously (no pun intended), have you ever seen a more comfortable dog? We took him from the shelter, where he just had concrete and a towel to sleep on for the most part, and brought him home to this kingly dog bed. He basically just slept for two days.

2) But never settle, if an upgrade is available.

No matter how much he loves his dog bed, he loves my pillows and memory foam mattress more. 

3) Spend time just doing what you love.

For Sirius, it's hanging out in the sun room on his ottoman (aka. dog throne) watching the birds and squirrels in our yard.

4) And remember, always plan adequate snuggle time into your day.

It's the most important.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Things I Like About Not-Quite-Spring.

If you have ever spent more than an hour with me and/or you have ever read this blog, you probably know that I like categories, and I really, really like lists. Readings lists, to do lists, lists of synonyms, lists of favorites, lists of my favorite things to do, etc. I could go on.

Anyway, today, I was going to make a list about the many, many things I love about spring, since it's almost here. But since it is still cold and gross outside, I thought pining for spring would be a little depressing. Also, as a person notorious for looking for clues in the past and planning elaborate things for my future, I should probably spend a little time just appreciating today, including the current weather.

It's a little tricky, because it isn't bitterly cold anymore (not that it really ever was in Carbondale), but it isn't exactly pleasant either. It's windy, and it rains about once a day, and I feel like I haven't seen the sun in weeks. But this is a list of the things I like about the current weather situation, so I'll stop complaining and get to it already.

Things I Like About Not-Quite-Spring

1. I can still wear all of my cozy winter scarves. This is a big deal because I have a very cozy blue infinity scarf that I probably wear three times a week because I love it so much. Actually, this is a picture of me wearing it this morning because my house is cold, and we never turn on the heat.

(That's my "I-would-look-more-excited-but-my-house-is-cold-and-it's-morning" face. Right, not complaining. Anyway.)

2. No allergies yet! Hurray! I have terrible seasonal allergies triggered by all kinds of pretty stuff that grows during the spring. So, no flowers yet, but at least I can still breathe!

3. It's chilly enough that I can wrap up in a big cozy blanket anytime of day for no reason and just contemplate life. I can contemplate life anytime of course, but the cozy blanket is definitely overkill during the summer.

4. Still cold enough for hot chocolate, which is officially out-of-date when the song birds start showing up again.

5. Boots of all kinds are fair game, but it's pleasant enough outside that I can wear my nice boots without fear of ruining them.

6. It's still chilly and grayish, but it's finally March and spring is right around the corner!!!!

Alright, that's the best I can do. Maybe it's not the best time of year, but I suppose it's not the worst. I even saw the sun for a little bit today! Now if it would just warm up enough so I can wear a sun dress....

Til next time, kids.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Little Successes.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about all the things I want to do on a regular basis. As usual, the moment I made all these grand plans, life changed up a whole bunch of things, and my unregulated free time was the first thing to go. But, I am a stubborn woman, and I am proud to report that I have pretty much stuck to my list. My house has been surprisingly clean (by our standards anyway), I've painted my nails religiously, I've been super crafty in the past few weeks, and Rjjr gets exercise everyday!

Sure, I've dropped the ball on a thing or two, but I don't worry about it too much. Still not great at the dishes, and my husband is way more into knitting than I am. How could that be, you might ask? After all that huffing and puffing about being productive and getting stuff done and not making resolutions you won't keep, now I don't even care?! Well, that's not quite it. I certainly do care. It's just that my list is full of things that I like to do, my hobbies, if you will. If I worry too much about checking them off a list, it sucks the fun out of everything.

The logic behind "my list of things I started doing last year and would like to continue in 2013," was that I would make time to do all of the things I enjoy, regardless of what life throws at me. Which was good (er, maybe, unintentional) planning on my part! So, if I feel like writing five letters one week, and drawing a lot of things the next, I consider that to be a success. I took time off of worrying about work and school and finances to do focus on my list, and I can say with confidence that I have enjoyed it.

So, without further ado, here are a few of my "list" successes so far:

I made lots of cards! And I've even sent a couple of them so far!

I made this necklace! But I did not put it on Etsy, because I like it, and you can't have it. (Just kidding. But maybe not.)

I've been practicing my mad typography skillz, yo.

We even got some new pets!!

And, perhaps most impressively, this is the view of my kitchen, at 11:06 this morning. Please take your time noting how tidy and dirty-dish free it is.

Also, I wrote this blog post this morning. Bam. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Alyssa's Continued Attempt To Have An Orderly Life.

Let me preface this post by noting that I think New Year's resolutions are dumb. People make them, promising themselves that they are going to keep them for this month, this year, or the rest of their lives. But we all know, in the back of their minds, somethings says "But it's okay if you don't, because none of your friends will keep theirs either."

And it's true. Think of one person you know who has kept all their New Year's resolutions for a whole year. Maybe you can, maybe you can't. But can you think of ten people who didn't keep their resolutions for even a month? I can.

The idea is flawed. You can't change everything about your life and your habits and start a whole new life just because it's January 1st. But you can make changes in your life gradually, for the better. So this is my list of things I started doing last year and would like to continue in 2013. Granted, the knitting I only started on December 29th, but it's still 2012!

1) Repaint my nails before they get chipped every week.
2) Draw one new thing every week.
3) Craft one new thing every week.
4) Knit one new thing every week.
5) Add two new items to Etsy every week.
6) Do the breakfast dishes before noon every day.
7) Tidy the house once a day.
8) Play with Rjjr every day.
9) Write letters every three months.
10) Study my class notes after every session.
11) Write on my blog once a week.

This might see like a silly list. After all, most people do all of their dishes immediately, and some of these things seem pretty trivial. But as for the dishes, I just really, really hate doing them, so this is really the best you're going to get from me.

The thing is, I have an irregular work schedule, and I only have four hours of class total each week, and being a generally unorganized person, I really struggle to be productive if I have large chunks of time to myself, but no discernible goals. So having a list to check off is the best method for me to actually organize my free time. And aside from the dish thing, I've done pretty well so far. (Three weeks in January and three blog posts! Woo, I'm a champ!)

So here it is, after school, work, and general bill paying, this is what I will continue to get done regularly! Anyway, it has been decreed. You all saw it. Guess I'm stuck with it now. Just don't ask me about the dishes...

Monday, January 7, 2013

Say hello, Rjjr!

As some of you may know, it's my life ambition to have a big, cuddly dog or three in my life at some point. However, I live in a little duplex that does not allow any such pets, and I probably couldn't afford the dog food, even if our landlord allowed them. So instead, we got Rjjr, a lovely little black and white rat. Actually, he's sitting on my lap right now, happily chewing a button on my sweater. He's no dog, but he's fairly cuddly and requires way less maintenance, except daily exercise.

Exercise, you ask? Doesn't he have a wheel? Yes, he does. He also has a clear plastic exercise ball. Unfortunately, he's pretty dumb even as far as rodents go, so he doesn't know how to use either device. (We tried to teach him a few times. No luck so far.) So I have to take him out and let him run around for awhile everyday. Good thing he's lovable.

He was getting a little antsy today,  so I let the little guy take a few pictures.

What a photogenic rat.

Also, this post marks the second week day in a row in which I have showered, cleaned, replied to my emails, taken pictures, and written something. Now if I can only finish my headband before I go to work!

Eh, well see. We're winners anyway!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Chilly mornings go great with coffee, but not with productivity.

Well, since the holiday season got start, I feel like I've been running everywhere. Running to work, running home. Running to the post office, to the store, to the car repair shop. Running around to pack, and to clean. And then running to Ohio and New Jersey, and running around on my computer to get stuff done that I forgot before I left.

Of course, all of that running is metaphorical, because I never actually run unless it is to get the mail from my mailbox when it's cold outside.

But today, I'm back in Carbondale, I'm registered for school finally, the car is fixed, the stuff is put away, my part-time job is back to being part-time again, and I still love run-on sentences and ridiculous rambling. Also it's quite cold outside, so I'm putting off getting the mail altogether right now.

But on cold mornings like today, I can't think of anything I find more comforting than a good cup of coffee. And by good, I mean Walmart brand Columbian coffee with a splash of Peppermint Mocha Coffeemate. Seriously, what could be better?!

 MMMMMmmmmm. Warm and comforting.

Speaking of productivity, before I started writing today, I was looking around at all these other beautifully designed blogs that get updated regularly by super attractive moms with small children. And I wondered, "HOW?!"Not only do they take regular, well edited pictures of their beautiful children and their beautiful lives and their beautiful clothes and then write about it, but they also apparently have time to craft, run errands, take care of their kids, and do their hair every morning (because we all know nobody looks that good naturally in the morning).

So, I thought to myself, if they can do that, certainly I can. After all, I only have a rat, a lizard, and a husband with a regular job. Surely, I can at least manage to shower, keep my desk clean, make something pretty, go to work, and take a few pictures and write a paragraph or two every day.

And the answer is probably no. I don't know what sort of magical powers they have that let them live way more productive lives than me, but I haven't seen the top of my desk in weeks or the floor in my back room. Also, I occasionally have the attention span of a goldfish which makes it pretty difficult to get into well-established habits. (And if I'm going to get into regular habits, doing dishes after every meal will be the first one I cultivate.)

But while I'm still here, this is a picture of what I ate for breakfast. (Guess I haven't caught on to Instagram yet.)

 Great! Now all I have left to do for today is shower, clean, and make the order I need to mail before work this afternoon!

Hah! Good luck.