Sunday, October 31, 2010

Weekly Winners: Halloween

Happy Halloween!

Peek-a-boo from up high


I came thisclose to smooshing this guy

My first jack-lantern pictures...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Sage Advice

I never talk about my fish anymore. Not since I realized how not interesting it is to read about them. They are still swimming. (Well, two out of the three.)

I'm really enjoying my history class this year. Which is sort of a first for me. It's actually Constitutional and Criminal Law. In other words, I'm learning about things that actually affect me-directly.

I hate cold sores.

We have milk in our fridge that supposedly expires December 17. I dont'believe it. My mom suggested I save some until then to see if it's right. I think I'll be okay knowing I'm right, sans proof.

You know the characters in books that exist solely to give sage advice to the main characters? Well, there's a  character from The Truth About Forever who isn't exactly that, but close enough.

The other day was not going so great, and I remembered her saying, "We know where we stand. Now things can only get better."

I thought about it. It helped.

Unfortunately, now that I've shared it, the magic is probably gone. Oh, well. I'll just have to keep reading books with wise characters full of sage advice.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Weekly Winners: Colors

Birthday Happy

In a sea of yellow

Red on red

Looking up

Pure colors

Yet there's still new growth


Into the sun

We call this the Great Horned Owl Look

Friday, October 22, 2010

I Am Grateful

I am grateful for:

My family

My friends

My house

The privileged life I was born into

The things I take for granted

My health

Yes, my health. While I have dealt deal with something incomprehensible to many people, something many people will never have to experience every day, my life has never been threatened. Sure, my way of life was threatened, and my illness certainly followed through on those threats, but the life within me, the things that keep my heart pumping and my brain thinking have always been intact. And for that I am grateful.

It feels like such a small word to express my feelings of gratitude for everything I have and the sorrow for those who can't add health, or family, or a house to their lists.

But I will say it. Because that small word seems the best one to describe it.

I am grateful.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

End of October

This year, my mom is the one who gets the extended birthday. Dinner and cards last night. Presents on the weekend. Dinner out with my dad next weekend. Lucky!

I may have been a little over-ambitious with my menu planning: MuShu Vegetables, Sweet Potato Pot Stickers, and Apple Crisp. It was good, and nothing major blew up or spilled, but man, that was a lot of cooking.

To anyone (everyone) out there who does this with more frequency than I -wow. I'm impressed. I have a new appreciation for people who cook. (Notice I don't say chefs...)

Halloween is coming up. When I was younger, and had big birthday parties, October would knock us (my mom) flat.

My birthday, my mom's birthday, Halloween.

Boom boom boom.

I was never over-the-top into Halloween. Dressing up was fun, but the candy was better. I loved it, but it didn't make me crazy.

Our neighborhood is quite sad on the trick-or-treating front. This meant we would have to pack the car up with hot drinks and five extra coats and relocate to a neighborhood more friendly to kids knocking on doors and asking for sugar.

I would usually do some afternoon rounds in town, where all the shops handed out candy. As I got older, friends and I would go out and hit the houses known for handing out hand-fulls of good-quality candy.

I don't really remember when I stopped going. It was several years ago. I had lost interest in dressing up-my brain couldn't take that much creativity.

The appeal of trekking around in the dark to get small pieces of sugar had worn off. Half my friends weren't going. So I stopped. I don't miss it. I do wish we had more kids coming to our house, though, because I've always thought it would be fun to be the hander-outer of candy. Seeing the costumes and how hyper the kids were.

So no plans this year. We have pumpkins. To be carved this weekend. I only want to take off the top and get the seeds to roast. That is one Halloween tradition I'm not ready to give up.

But we always buy a big bag of candy-just in case.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts: There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly

I watched the weirdest, strangest movie last night. I’m still not sure what it was about, or if there even was a point.

I’m sick of talking and thinking about standardized testing. Suffice it to say I sort of agreed with someone I overheard during a break saying, “Standardized testing will be the death of me".

I’m sixteen. No exclamation points. I don’t feel different; I stopped expecting to feel a change after I hit double digits.

Although it was cool hearing from my cousins and friends all over the world that I don't hear from often. The presents and chocolate cake didn't hurt, either.

The whole family has a cold. Even the cat has been sneezing.

My Spanish teacher had us translate “There Was an Old Woman” (who swallowed a fly). Ever since I’ve had a messed up Spanish/English version stuck in my head.

Sometimes hearing about other people hurts is reassuring, knowing I’m not alone. Sometimes it’s just depressing.

Go get random and un-depressed with The Un Mom.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Weekly Winners

Through and through

Rear view

These are orange-er in real life

All the way fall

Tall and leggy

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ready or Not, Here It Comes

PSAT Checklist
  • 4 sharpend #2 pencils
  • 1 working calculator
  • extra batteries for said calculator
  • snack
  • water
  •, we'll see
With or without my brain, I'll be there, 7:30 tomorrow morning. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


It is almost halfway through October. That means I've been doing this -school, tutor-for almost a month and a half.

Time is tricking me.

I feel that length in the repetitive routine. Remembering what it feels like to have scheduled events every day. To have homework.

Yet it all seems so new and confusing. My schedule did just get shaken up, in an effort to make life less confusing.

More than that, though, I think it's the uncertainty. I don't know what each week will bring in terms of health. It is unknown how I will feel, how much school I will be able to attend, how much time I will spend on the couch.

Each week, each day, is different. New. Unknown. The past is getting so distorted that it can't help me see into the future. Not that that's an easy task to begin with.

So time, please slow down. Give me a chance to catch my breath. I want to remember the days as more than a blur. And I want to feel sane enough to be able to look forward to the coming days.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Weekly Winners

Happy 10-10-10! Take out your camera today and go capture some life.

Gold reflections

Blue berries

More blue berries

Trumpeting to the sky

Bright colors in shadow

A trail from green to red

Shadows and sun

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I Can Do It By Myself

When I was a kid, I was independent and a perfectionist. This added up to lots of tears over things not done just right, but I still insisted on doing it by myself. We would joke that my middle name should be I Can Do It By Myself. I preferred Independent as a middle name, mostly because it made for some cool initials.

But it's true. I like to be right (or do I hate to be wrong?), to have all the answers, to not need help. Just me against the world. And to win. To do it right the first time.

Some of this has gotten better as I've gotten older. Or at least I've learned how to shut it out and ask for help. To accept that not getting a 10/10 is okay, sometimes.

I think that has been the hardest part of being sick for me; I can't fix it. I don't have the answers. And more than that-I can't do it alone. Me against the world philosophy doesn't work here. I need the help and support of parents, doctors, friends. And it's been a real learning experience to be able to say "I need help"

I still don't like saying these words and I will do my best to figure it out by myself first, but I will ask for the help.

It isn't my strong suit-admitting I don't know everything. I don't like it. It makes me feel out of control. I have to trust other people, and I have to trust myself to know my limits.

But I know it's something I need. I need it and use it now, as I probably will for the rest of my life. Which means that all the people who told me that when I was younger were correct. Grrr.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Between the Upcoming Birthday and the Plastic Spoons, I'm Not Freaking Out

My mom's cousin (meaning my great uncle) stayed with us last night. I was utterly exhausted from my day and so I was more like a piece of furniture than a talking human being. I wanted to tell him that I'm really a nice, occassionally entertaining person. But I didn't. So I don't know what he thought about me.

Two doctors yesterday=utterly exhausting. Nothing new to report.

For dessert last night we had little mini Haagen Dazs. So yummy. I think the best part might have been the little, mini spoon that came with each one. (Besides the actual ice cream, of course.) (My parents pointed out that they're just tiny pieces of plastic. But they make me smile, so who cares.)

The PSAT is coming up. I refuse to stress or freak out.

My birthday is also coming up, which definitely helps negate some of the stress. No big plans....I can't believe I'll be sixteen. Not because I can get my license, which I legally could, but because it sounds old. (Shut up.) Compared to fifteen, it sounds old, is what I mean. More like adult-kid than kid-kid.

I won't be getting my license. It just doesn't interest me. I expect to be changing my tune once I actually have somewhere to go. But for now, it just seems like an awful lot of effort and responsibility. I cannot fathom why some people decided to let sixteen year-olds drive. Craziness. Scariness.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Weekly Winners

Recently redecorated

Caught stealing our grass

Waiting for me

Is she looking in or out?

A plant that looks a little too much like a monster

On high alert

If I can't see you, you can't see me