Friday, December 31, 2010


Reverb 10 asks what my most memorable gift was this year. I didn't have to look far.

A camera is just a camera

but it's also a little piece of me.

December 31

I do not believe the New Year is magical. I do not think that adding a "1" to the previous date guarantees good things to come.

Just because someone hundreds of years ago decided that this would be last day of the year doesn't make it special.

I don't believe that just because it is a new year, good things will happen.

I do feel that many of us need to believe in new beginnings. If midnight on the 31st of December is when we chose to say farewell to the past, great.

People who need a fresh start have given this day significance. I have mixed feelings about it. By itself, the day is an ordinary box on my calendar.

But I am a person who needs to say goodbye to some of my past. This is a day that allows me to leave what has happened behind and to look ahead.

I hope for new, better things to come. I set goals, make plans.

In reality, I could do this any other day. But something in our culture makes this day special. I can't define it--maybe it is just a human need to have hope for a better year, 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days. Just hope for the future.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Glorious Day of Nothing

My parents are skiing today. I am anticipating another day of glorious nothingness. To bask in the glow of my new camera. To not have to do anything, go anywhere, or be accountable to anyone.

There were mumblings and vague ideas about spending a couple night up in the mountains that have since been forgotten. I am having such a wonderful time being a slug. I am sure it would be great, but it just feels like extra effort since being here is so great.

There are no schedules. As much as I thrive on routine (and change, strangely enough), it is such a wonderful way to wake up; an unplanned day stretching before me.

Only three doctors all break.

One optometrist, who I'm actually looking forward to seeing. Besides needing new contacts to actually be able to see, I am also getting new glasses. I wear them only at night, so it hasn't really seemed worth it. But the frames are old and falling apart just a little bit, not to mention the perscription is from years ago.

One dentist. He's perfectly nice and I don't anticipate any problems, knock on wood, so I'm not really bothered.

One cardiologist. He's my new doc who's taking the lead on my treatment. Hopefully it will be shorter than the last, hour and a half, appointment.

Three doctors in as many weeks is a very nice, manageable number, especially since they're not being squeezed between my school and my parents' work.

My parents are puzzle people. I am not. At all. I sat down at the table, moved a few pieces around, and declared "I give up" after about thirty seconds.

It's become a tradition to bring one out over the holidays. My parents do tend to get a bit obsessed, going to bed later and later, until it's done and we get our dining room table back.

I spend the time inhaling books. Passable novels mostly, a great one if I'm lucky, with a few on the history of the Middle East thrown in for good measure.

I refuse to think about school, although I'm counting down the days in my head.

I'm off to take some pictures, or drink some hot chocolate, or watch a movie, in my pajamas.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Weekly Winners: New Camera

I am the proud new owner of a Canon Rebel XS . (Insert high-pitched squealing here.) I'm still working on getting my new (amazing and fabulous) camera and the computer to talk to each other, so here are my weekly winners from the old camera, hopefully for the last time.


Small life in a winter world

Waiting out the winter

Slightly snowy

Natural bowl



 Be Merry

Already addicted

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Spirit of the Holidays

A quiet season is all I ask.
Filled with love.
Gifts given from the heart.

Time to be.
Time to spend with my family.
At home, with the habits that have become traditions.

Familiar music fills my ears.
Tapes are dusted off.
Tunes recognized and sung along with.

Strings of lights.
Wrestled into place,
Bring more than physical light to the house.

Textbooks are hidden away.
Replaced by fat novels.
There is time to read, and enjoy.

The tree is assembled in pieces.
Lights untangled.
Branches straightened.

Boxes of ornaments unwrapped.
They sparkle and glitter,
Filled with memories.

Doorbells buzz,
Announcing the arrival of mysterious packages.
Neighbors appear, bearing plates of sweets.

Three warm bodies curl up together.
Nothing to attend to.
They wait in silence as the spirit fills them.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Picture On My Wall

I still have her picture on my wall.

My (former) best friend.

It makes it sound so final.

Which is appropriate. Because here I am, months later. It was final, and it is final.

I have good memories.

I also have bad memories.

I gave away the last thing she gave me.

All momentos of our friendship have either been hidden or thrown away. It was a punch in the chest when I opened a drawer, and there it lay. So innocently. A piece of paper, saying she missed me, she hoped I got better soon. She signed it "Love".

It was a punch in the chest for the five minutes it spent on my floor, waiting for me to decide my next step. It got shoved in my closet with other memories.

But then I forgot about it.

I hadn't thought about it until now.

I don't hate her, but I'm also not sending her a Christmas card.

So maybe it's okay I still have her picture up. My room isn't plastered with her face.

I rarely look at that wall. My eyes don't usually register her face.

Occasionally I see it and feel a pang of regret.

But it's not a punch.

She was an important part of my life. I don't want to write her out of it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Wise Decision

The best decision I made this year was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I decided to start listening to myself. 

To trust my instincts and to go with my gut. 

I’ve learned that I have pretty good instincts and that they’re worth listening to.

I’ve also learned that when something doesn’t feel right, I should listen to that feeling. Especially when I have actual information to back that feeling up.

This year, I, along with my doctors and parents, decided to change the way we approach my treatment. That instead of throwing prescriptions at me and trying everyone’s ideas, I would do what feels right. It’s my body-I know it pretty well by now. 

The other way wasn’t working (two ER visits indicate it may have been hurting), and it had been given a fair chance. 

Now it’s time to give this new strategy a chance.

There are fewer doctors appointments. Many, many fewer. There are fewer medications. There is less stress.

There is more of a focus on me, on what I need and what I’m feeling.

And it feels right in my gut. 

Deciding to trust myself with medical decisions helped me to see that I should listen and trust myself with other things, as well.

I write more. I listen to music. I dance like a crazy person. I sit quietly and stare out at the world.

That too, feels right. 

(I got this prompt here.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

My cat is determined to demolish my Christmas tree.

Playing solitaire on my iPod does a much better job of putting me to sleep than any of the drugs ever did.

I folded a fitted sheet! It didn't out so pretty, even with Martha's help. Better than what it was before, though. Good thing I won't be trying to make a living doing that.

Whoever said "Small things amuse small minds" didn't know what they were talking about.

I have some songs on my iPod only because I think I should like them.

I am so ready for this week to be over.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Weekly Winners

A not-so-invisible fence


Brown berries

Blue and peeling

Merry Christmas, from my neighbors

Party on the RV

A retired buoy

Santa's feet

Fake, yet pretty

Saturday, December 11, 2010


My community has grown a lot this past year. My internet community. It has grown from the occassional comment on my blog by a parent or grandparent to well, whatever it is now.

Not a bustling web address to be sure, but I still feel a sense of community. Seeing the same people come back and comment. Going and reading what they have to say.

I've never met any of them. Some are only a few hours' drive away, while others are literally on the other side of the world.

They make me feel connected. I love am reading a blog and having no idea how I found it. All the links, comments, ande blogrolls.

My only regret One thing I would change is the lack of people my age in this new community.

I think in general, there are very few teenagers with blogs. (At least that I can find.) The teenage demographic tends to be on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc. And since I'm not, there isn't that link.

I don't have a problem with this. It's just...different.

As a result, the vast majority of the blogs I read are ones written by moms, wives, people with careers.

So I think I write more like the blogs I read than the "typical" teenager's blog. Some in content, but more in style. Nothing specific, although I do make an attempt to use semi-decent grammar.

I've moved away from recaps of my days. It was boring to write, and I can't imagine it came off as very inspired.

I don't know if it's true in general, but that's just what I've found looking at other blogs. (Of course, I'm pretty biased.)

Not better, just different.

And that suits me just fine.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

First Snow

“Goodnight. I love you.” She closes the door behind her. Feeling the rough surface of the wall, she makes her way past the bathroom and into her bedroom. It is slightly illuminated by light coming in through the partially open shades. Still clutching her books, she makes her way across the cluttered space to say goodnight to the world.

A ray of light bounces into her eyes. Surprised, she presses her face against the shade’s slats.

A shrill squeal of “Snow!” escapes as her books tumble to the floor.


She runs back across the room with no regard for the haphazard piles. Slipping slightly on the slick floors, she rounds the corner, rips opens the door, and shrieks, “Snow!”

Her dad’s head jerks up, startled by her sudden appearance. The girl grabs his arm and drags him to the nearest window. Ripping open the curtain, she points, proudly proclaiming, “Snow!”

“Oh, wow. You’re right, that’s a lot of snow.”

“I know! It’s the first actual snow! It’s actually covering the ground and sticking and everything!”

“Let’s go outside!”

The girl blinks, hesitating for a split second. She is surprised that her dad is volunteering to go out into the cold, after bedtime. 

However, she doesn’t leave him time to change his mind. Jamming her stocking feet into the closest pair of shoes, she reaches for a coat. “Hurry! Come on! Let’s go!”

Barely giving her dad time to grab a hat, she wrenches open the door.

She breathes in the cold air. Laughing, she trips out onto the driveway.


In awe, she looks up. Flakes fall steadily, buffeted gently by a wind.

“It’s snowing!” Her voice is raised, probably too loud, but she is too involved in the magic to care.

Her dad steps out as well. Their feet squeak slightly with each step. Their hair is already coated with a fine layer of white.

They continue forging a path out onto the deserted street. Her dad reaches down to scoop up a handful of white fluff. The ball hits the girl with a surprising amount of force.

A wide smile breaks out on her face.

She laughs.

An uninhibited, pure sound, as she reaches down for a snowball of her own.

She jumps at each one. Her grin is bigger than she thought possible, but she doesn’t notice. She is captivated by the white, transformed world. Her last handful of snow doesn’t become a ball, but is thrown up, only to rejoin the flakes on their steady path down. They pelt her upturned face, stinging her eyes, which are opened wide.

Her arms outstretched, she spins. Down the road. She looks around in amazement and awe.

She stops beneath a streetlamp. Its fluorescent light illuminates the path of each flake. From afar, it looks as though the sky is glowing.

She turns, grinning, to face her dad.

“It’s snowing!”

Her voice is filled with joy. Looking down the empty street, at the uninterrupted path of snow, at the silent houses.

She feels elated.

She feels alive.

She skips back to her dad. Grinning, she sees a peaceful look on his face.

They link arms. The girl glances around one more time, trying to absorb it all.

She sees a blind moving in a house, as a neighbor quickly withdraws their head.

Her dad says, “We’re being watched.”


She barely thinks about her flattened, snow covered hair, her pink pajamas, or her three unzipped coats.

She doesn’t care, filled as she is with the feeling of hope.

Walking back up the front steps, she sees the branches are no longer bare. They are covered with a layer of snow. It is an unfamiliar color, long forgotten from previous snowfalls.

Looking down, she leaps between the footprints she left only minutes before.

They stamp their feel underneath the porch’s protection. She gives the world one more glance. She fixes it in her mind. She fixes the feeling it has brought in her memory.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Chocolate Tofu

Have you ever had chocolate tofu? It's like instant chocolate pudding, only better, because 1) it's instant, and 2) you can pretend it's healthy.

I got a straight flush in poker. Unfortunately, we weren't playing for money. Or maybe that was good, because I still managed to lose.

Blogger and I aren't getting along so great. I can't get into the template designer, so I'm stuck with a very blue template.

I hate To-Do Lists. I feel like they judge me when I don't do everything. But I haven't been so good at keeping a running list in my head, so out comes the To-Do List paper.

Of course I have paper just for To-Do Lists.

When I was little I was completely convinced that "In and Out Syndrome" was a real thing. My mom said it jokingly about our cat one day. She (being the cat) still has it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Weekly Winners

We had our first snow this week. None of my snow pictures turned out as expected, and I'm not quite sure why. Any tips for shooting in the snow? I found it was hard to get depth of field and enough contrast with the brightness of the sun reflecting off the snow.

Okay, so I lied. I actually think this one turned out okay.

Friday, December 3, 2010

One Word (Plus a Few)

I was going to link up to Reverb10 for some inspiration, and just to do something different. But then I saw that one of the rules was you had to do something every day. That's an awful lot of commitment. I'm not so good at that-just look at last year. (No, no link for you. Because I'd really rather you didn't go through my archives. At least not that far back. I would delete them, but, well, I'd just feel weird deleting months of posts, and then my 100th post wouldn't really work. Anyway...) I started a similar thing and there are four posts.

It's not that I don't want to link, or don't think I could post every day for a month. I just, 1) want to respect their rules. If they took the time to make it a rule, then it's clearly important, and 2) that's an awful lot of pressure for what is traditionally the busiest month of the year.

I also might be a tiny bit lazy.

Regardless, the whole idea was to reflect on the past year and look forward to the coming year. So I think I'll do that, minus the pressure and stress of possibly breaking the rules.

(I'm a bit of a good girl. Can you tell?)

Looking back, how would you describe the year, in one word?

Change. This is going to take some research to remember what has happened this year.

Well, first, I started a blog. Not technically in the past year, but close enough.

My best friend and I "broke up".

I met new people. Reconnected with others.

Started going to school on a (semi) regular basis for the first time in a while. (Depending on how you count it, two years.)

I found some new doctors, dumped some old ones.

Turned sixteen, started my junior year of high school.

Started taking art classes.

Discovered photography. Fell in love with the whole world.

And...I think that's all the change I can handle.

Looking to next year, I hope it brings more peace. Change is good and all that, but so is peace. Quiet, calm. I don't know how much of that I'll get, but one can hope. Oh, that would be a good word for next year, too.

Hope, peace, change.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Little More Holiday Cheer

You know what I just did? I just turned on the Christmas lights. They seemed like the perfect antidote to the dark (very hard to shoot in) light.

I made myself a cup of hot tea. It's warming up my fingers. But of course, is not anywhere near the computer keyboard. Promise.

I traded my outside hat for my Santa hat. Because it keeps me warm. And it makes me smile. Because it's sparkly and Santa-y, and also, it allows me to wear a T-shirt, which is always good. (I don't "do" long sleeved shirts.)

But no Christmas music. Oh, no. Baby steps. Nickelback is the perfect fit for the snow, cold, darkness, Christmas lights, (far away) tea , and Santa hat.

Monday, November 29, 2010


I wanted to write a Thanksgiving post. I really did. There were all sorts of drafts running through my head, from serious and heartfelt to sarcastic. (Although I am glad that our President knows the difference between North and South Korea.)

But I just felt like anything I said would diminish it. I couldn't find the words to capture my feelings of love, being loved, well-being, gratitude. (Besides, I thought I said it pretty well here.)

So let me say this.

I am thankful that I have so much to be thankful for. That I can't begin to list it all. That I feel so lucky that I can't put it into words.

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Weekly Winners: Winter

It's winter. I miss the sun and its shadows. But I've also been having fun playing with different light. And I've become obsessed with bare branches against the sky.

Crossed wires

Street signs

A couple that spends all their time together

Shriveled color


A shot of brightness

Corners of a gate

One road diverges


Reflections of Christmas

Ice in the sun