Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dreary Days

     Lately at our house we’ve been talking a lot about the weather. In case you don’t know, Elgin does not have the best weather. In fact it can be downright depressing at times. For example, today is overcast, cold, gloomy, and everything outside is brown. It makes waking up hard, and it makes the work day seem longer and longer. And since there’s nothing to look at outside, you’re forced to look at things in your office. This morning I found a hole in my favorite patterned tights right on the knee. It’s a sad, sad, day in Cat’s office.

     So what keeps me going on days like these? All the little things that I would normally pass over that I’m able to appreciate when the weather is dreary. My piggy bank named Cicero on my desk. He’s silver sparkly and awesome thanks to Jeremy, who drew a face and wings so that Cicero can fly mine and Rachel’s coins to a magical bank where hopefully someday it will be enough to pay for the 2 of us to go on a cruise. Then there’s Freddie and Molly, my basil and cilantro plants growing by my window. Freddie (the basil) has taken over the pot. I guess I should call them Molly and the Freddies.

     Then I have a wall of quotes building up my wall next to my computer. Quotes have always been important to me. I treat a new quote the same way a reader treats a new book. You look at it, read it, absorb it, and apply it to yourself and your life. It started with one and now I have a plethora of wisdom and inspiration steadily creeping and growing up my wall. Just for kicks and giggles, I’m going to list them here, prepare your brain and spirit…

“I laugh, I love, I hope, I try, I hurt, I need, I fear, I cry. And I know you do the same things too, so we’re really not that different, me and you”. -Colin Raye

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not”. –Dr. Seuss

“To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure. But risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing”.

“Live simply so others may simply live”. – Mother Teresa

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does”. – William James

“You are the butter to my bread and the breath to my life”. –Julia Child (?)

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you”. – Dr. Seuss

“Know that you are loved by extending your love into the world”.

“Do not look back in anger, or forward in fear, but around in awareness”. – James Thurber

“It is not about how the world sees you; it is about how you see the world”.

     That last one has me thinking today. ‘About how you see the world’, instead of seeing the overcast and the cold gloom, it’s important for us to remember the small things. No matter how insignificant they may seem at times, they are the things that keep us going on those no good awful days. Today I’m thankful for Cicero, Molly, and the Freddies for keeping my spirits high, and thankful for the quotes that continue to feed my soul.



Sunday, February 12, 2012

Technology Anyone

So Recently, I have been thinking a lot about technology. What would our world be like without the technology that we have grown to take advantage of? So I have also thought about how technological I am, as opposed to others that are my age.

Here is how I fit in...

Typewriter - when I was little I used to go into my dad's office, and sit at his desk while typing on a typewriter, that used to be his fathers.

Electronic Typewriter - Then there was the day that my dad got an electronic typewriter, no more correction tape :) This was a big day.

Computers - when I was in third grade, we had just gotten a lab full of computers that we got to go and use once a week. The only catch was that we had to have some parents volunteer to come and run the lab. Well me being me, volunteered my parents saying that they didn't have a real job, they were just pastors after all. They graciously agreed, and even brought my little sister. This was my first experience with a computer.

After SEVERAL years (I think I was in High School) we got a computer of our own, that we had at our house.

Email - when I was in eighth grade my dad signed up for an email account. I thought that he was crazy, how do you communicate to someone else through a computer screen?

My Space - when I was in High School all of my friends were all really into My Space. I decided that I didn't really care, and wasn't sure if I really wanted to make connections on the world wide web. Well my best friend couldn't handle this and created a My Space account that she kept up to date, so that she could talk to me. Needless to say I didn't use it that often.

Digital Camera - I grew up with my nice film camera, my dad even had an awesome external zoom that was printed on actual paper. Then for Christmas before I went to high school I got a digital camera, for the first several months I would take the camera to my portable printer so that I could print out all of my pictures, I wanted something that I could hold onto. I am now on my third digital camera, and don't print out all of my pictures anymore.

Facebook - one of the first things I did after I moved into Manchester was create a facebook account. I am still kind of hooked to facebook, as a great way to connect with old friends or friends who no longer live just down the street. I will say that I am not into all the applications and games that go along with facebook.

Email - all the way through college this was how connections were made, classes were canceled and assignments were submitted. How did you do anything on college campus before email?

Second Life - when I took an online class in college I got to create a virtual version of myself that got to fly through second life, it was something else. I was glad when the class was over and I could delete my account.

Kindles / E-readers - no longer do people carry around books, now people download these books onto a portable computer. I am not ready for this change, I like holding the actual book. No wonder Border's closed.

Netflix - now anytime you want to watch a movie you no longer have to go to the store and buy it, go to the library and borrow it, or go to movie rental place. Now all you need to do is get online and watch any show or movie you could want on netflix. No wonder blockbusters are closing.

Wii - so until college I had never played a video game. I had occasionally played on an old school game boy, but that was mostly me playing tetris or sometimes mario racing. Then for Christmas this past year, my mom got me a wii and it opened my world.

Blog - as of about an hour ago, now I have my own blog. Following Rachel's bucket list, I was inspired to create my own. So after compiling my own list, I decided to make it the base of my blog. We will see if anyone wants to follow it.

Next Steps? Well Rachel is also into pinterest and Twitter. We will see if she gets me hocked on either one of those.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about how old school I am.
:) Carol

Friday, February 10, 2012

Two Perfect Weekends

Hello everybody,
Last weekend, Jeremy left for a trip to Michigan and so it was just Rachel, Carol, Cat and me. That means we had a Girls’ weekend and that means: PARTY :) 
On Saturday morning, when I got up, I went with my “Adoptive Family” to a Winter market in Elgin. They had scarves, hats, sauces, breads, jewelry, bread, sausages, etc.
I bought a baguette and Karen bought me a chocolate croissant. Yummy :) 
For lunch we went to “Big Apple” and it was really delicious. During that time, the others went to IHOP.
After lunch we drove to the library, got some movies, drove to Springfield Mall and went shopping. But I can’t forget the important stop: before shopping, we went to JAMBA JUICE. That means smoothies for everyone!                       After a few hours shopping and after everyone bought something, we thought we had spent enough money and should watch a movie. So we drove home, but first we picked up Virginia. At home we had dinner and for dessert we had cake, donuts and a lot more. After that, we watched one of our movies: “Kate and Leopold”. During the second movie (“Penelope”) we decorated our aprons and we painted our nails. All together it was a really nice day. We had a lot of fun.   
On Sunday, of course, we watched the Pro Bowl, which I enjoyed. 

During the next week after this weekend, we went to EPH for dinner and to a Mexican restaurant for lunch. Yummy!

On Saturday, we (Cat, Carol, Don, Jeremy, Rachel and I) went to Wisconsin. So we left at about 10:30am and drove about 2 hours. Our first stop was Culvers to have a delicious lunch. The next stop was at Brennan’s, which is a local grocery store and they have a lot of different CHEESE and FRUIT. So we bought some cheese and some other things and then we went to Swiss Colony. There we bought CHOCOLATE :). After everyone was satisfied we drove to Carol’s house. There we relaxed from our exhausting day, played Wii and had a delicious dinner that Carol’s mom cooked. Also we had dessert. Then about 7:30pm we drove home, went to bed and dreamed of our nice day and what we bought.
Sunday was the big day: Super Bowl. So we prepared everything (we cooked and baked together), tried to clean our big mess in the kitchen and then we went to Virginia’s to watch the final football game. Everyone was super excited. It was a very interesting game. But in the end the Giants won and some of us were happy. For dinner everyone brought something. So we had a ton of food: chili, pasta salad, tacos, cheese dip, spinach cheese dip, bread, rolls, football shaped cookies, etc.

All together it was a very nice weekend and everyone enjoyed it!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Longest To-Do List

I found this picture/quote on Pinterest, one of my new-old favorite things to do. It got me thinking, though, about how many times I have indeed felt this way. I've started numerous lists of what I would like to do, what I can do to better myself--physically, mentally, spiritually--but I rarely follow through on all or any of the items on my list. I think it's time to start a fresh list that I will actually keep and work on. A short and long-term to-do list. Doing it publically is a way for me to keep myself motivated and going. Even if no one is actually holding me accountable, I will hopefully feel the need to not let anyone down--whoever that "anyone" may be. So here's my list. Give me your honest opinion and hold me accountable if you feel so called!

1. Read at least one news article every morning
2. Work in the garden
3. Keep my indoor plants alive for at least six months
4. Go completely vegetarian for a year
5. Keep my room clean for a whole week
6. Keep up with my personal blog
7. Learn to play the guitar
8. Re-learn to play the bass clarinet and alto saxophone
9. Improve my “social media skills”
10. Read the magazines sitting in my room that I keep saying I’m going to read
11. Eat more fruits and veggies
12. Find my go-to karaoke song
13. Have the courage to sing karaoke
14. Work on my French
15. Write at least 100 pages of original scripted material in a year (or participate in Script Frenzy and actually finish)
16. Write 50,000 words of a novel in a year (or participate in NaNoWriMo and actually finish)
17. Write something each day
18. Work my way through my book list (to come later)
19. Go on a silent retreat
20. Look into schools and finally decide what I want to do
21. Start a book of inspirational quotes I find
22. Bake from scratch more often
23. Work out at least three times a week (i.e. Zumba, yoga, the track, or even just a walk or 30min of Just Dance)
24. Start saving some money (even a few dollars) from each check
25. Work my way through AFI’s 100 Years 100 Movies
26. Learn organic farming
27. Hike the Appalachian Trail
28. Go on a cruise
29. Run a 5K
30. Ride in a hot air balloon
31. Live in another country (preferably France, England, Ireland, or Canada)
32. Go fishing
33. Go sailing
34. Travel:
        a. Ireland
        b. Greece
        c. Versailles
        d. West Coast
35. Go on a date
36. Go on a picnic with a red & white checkered blanket and a picnic basket that would make Yogi Bear proud
37. Drive “The Dude” (the van)
38. Camp out under the stars with my housemates
39. Go to a drive-in movie
40. Have a campfire
41. Write to my penpal
42. Call my mom every week
43. Be in times square on New Year’s Eve
44. Make Chelkey youtube videos
45. Make my Williamsburg Family Vacation scrapbook
46. Send birthday cards
47. Grow my hair long again
48. Own my own café
49. Go to Starved Rock (Illinois)
50. Make my own peanut butter at Fischer’s