Sunday, July 29, 2012

Currently Reading: Two for One Special

In addition to starting on 1022 Evergreen Place, I'll also be reading Christmas in Cedar Cove because Part II of that story introduced Mary Jo, who is one of the main characters in 1022

After this, only two books left and I'll be done with the series. Expected time to finish is currently two weeks, but we'll see. If nothing else, I hope it's done before my new job starts (8/8). I can spend a couple of weeks really getting into the next set of books on my to-read list before classes start (more on those later) and I won't have as much reading-what-I-want time.


Over the past couple of months, I've gotten back in the swing of taking pictures regularly. One fun thing that I've learned how to do is edit them using Picture Manager on Microsoft Office. Here are the most recent ones...

Southfork Revisited...
This was a Christmas present from a friend
that I have hanging on my wall.
Same present in B&W

From my sunset walk a couple of weeks back...
Took a lot of pictures on Thursday while I was
being driven around...

Picture Manager has some defaults to choose from
as well that I tinkered around with...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Year One

Today marks a year since I boomeranged back to Mommy's. Take back. Today marks a year since Mommy let me boomerang back. I moved back to San Marcos a few months after graduating to finish my Post-Bac certification (...) because there were some classes I couldn't take online (perish the thought!) and so I could student teach. In a way, my second stint in San Marvelous helped me become more independent than ever before (I had an electric bill to pay after all) but in other ways, it made me more dependent and I'm still in that mind space. (Remember our weekly Friday morning phone calls Mommy? "I've got enough gas to make it there, but I don't have enough money to make it back"...Yeah Buddy. Good times...)

After student teaching (and an epic road trip...shout out to Liz!) I went back to SM to finish out my lease and to work. I ended up moving back here a week before the lease officially ended and have been here since. It's kind of cool because today marks the longest I have ever stayed in one location since I was eight. Stability is nice, I won't lie. Of course, I had some goals for what I wanted to accomplish between last year at this time and now. I know the quote about when you make plans, God laughs, but that's just how my mind works. If I don't have something to work towards, well, it's not good how about that.

Find a job at a daycare: I actually did this one...twice (thrice if you count the string-along I had before they "lost" my information)...lost them both (or all three?) but I'm proud that I tried this out considering I've wanted to do that since I went to daycare so I don't feel like I've lost out. I had a dream, I put in the work the accomplish the dream. It didn't work out at the end, but at least I tried it. Que sera sera.

Figure out which MFA programs to apply for: I've gotten my list, which was then at 17, down to 8. This is progress right? I do know this is what I want to do, so now it's just putting the finishing touches on everything and sending it all in.

Finish my Post-Bac: Well, sorta??? The classes are done and the tests would be as well except that my test money has gone to...well, medical test money, which leads me to...

Get more proactive about my health: check! Boo-yah!

Reconnect with friends: Except for my mom, the main reason (okay, the only reason) for coming back up here was to reconnect with my friends, who at this time last year were almost all either back up here or coming back up here. Turns out we saw each other more when we were a couple of hundred miles apart, but so it goes. These things happen, I guess, but I've met some new people and have made some new friends this past year so I'm no loser in this.

Volunteer more: I was really good at this for awhile until this whole thing started in April. I even got to start volunteering (barely) with an organization which offers something I've wanted to do since I turned 18. I'd like to get back to my pace when I first boomeranged, but we'll see.

Learn more about religion in general and the specifics of each of the major ones: I'll chalk this one up to it seemed like a good idea at the time. I literally got to Church #1 on my list before setting down roots so oops on that one, but finding time to learn what I can and taking Major World Religions will help. I believe in having knowledge and keeping an open mind to things and there's no way to do that if you don't sit back and learn something new every once in a while.

Try new things: Betwix my Bucket List and my Never Have I Evers, I'll call this one successful.

In the next edition of As Alana Turns, my Gap Year plans...because why just make God laugh when you can make Him guffaw!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Just checking in...

Sorry I haven't been around this week. I've actually been writing! I've got three stories going currently with ideas with others that I've started. One is the rewrite of the second monstrosity (novel-length story) of a series I started during the peak of my Agoraphobia. The other two are a rewrite of a short story that I may use in my MFA application portfolio and a short story I started a couple of weeks ago. Very happy indeed that my writer's block (drought?) seems to be gone. Knock on wood it stays away because these past few months have not been fun.

Anywho, finished 8 Sandpiper Way last night (well, this morning...) and started 92 Pacific Boulevard this afternoon. Only three more left and the Christmas books after this and my Cedar Cove Summer will be donzo!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sunset Stroll

It's been a hard week. I'll talk about it when I'm ready, but until then, I got out for a few minutes last night and took my mom's phone with me. Here's what I saw...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I went to the Gastroenterologist yesterday (my fifth doctors appointment in the past six days) but there's more testing to be done so no info from that front yet. I'm kind of to the point now where good news or bad news, I just want to know what's going on and what I can do about it so I can get back to life. I miss being productive (outside the apartment), I miss working. I just miss having something to do, but the longer I'm removed from it all, the harder it'll be to go back once it's time. In a very strange spot at the moment...which makes my current listening selection very fitting...

Currently listening to: Aaliyah/Timbaland "We Need a Resolution"

Anywho: the bright side (if there is one) about this whole thing is that I have plenty of time to read and catch up on movie watching via Netflix and (I just found out last night) YouTube. I'm trying to do the whole optimistic thinking process. Becoming harder as the days and weeks have now turned to months, so we'll see if I can keep regrouping back onto the positive side of the spectrum.

Currently Reading
If I keep up at the pace I'm at, I'll finish the series by the end of July. That would be cool, especially since I have my next three reading plans err, planned out (?) I'm switching the order so it'll be Maya Angelou's set of autobiographies followed by The Complete Works of Jane Austen and finally going through Oprah's Book Club list and reading the books I haven't gotten to yet.The next year of two is going to be fun reading-wise...can't wait.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Not much to say...

...just trying to slow myself down so I can go to bed and go to sleep (the two haven't been mutually exclusive for the past few months...)

Anywho, went out on a Saturday. I'll give you a second to absorb the shock of this announcement as I'm not known for going out often...especially during a time period which is known for people getting out and about.

Went to go see "Ted" with my mom (hilarious movie by the way, but I didn't expect anything less from Seth McFarlane at this point even if I don't really watch "Family Guy" anymore) While on the way to the theater, I took some pictures on the Smart Enough phone (my mom's phone is a camera phone that I've been utilizing big time the past few weeks since I've basically been apartment-bound and bored out of my gourd.) The phone's name is Vivi (yes, after Ms. Vivianne Joan Abbott Walker. Yes, I name everything. Yes, I love the Ya-Yas) and until I can straighten up the kitchen/dining room area and look for Cammie (my digital camera) I've been using Vivi quite often as my phone (Virginia IV isn't a camera phone (or even a phone that has internet access...I know...real old school) )

Anywho take two: Here's some pictures of the sky a few minutes after it stopped raining here...

Enjoy and until next time...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Weekend Warrior Parts I and II

Though I would love to get things done throughout the week and relax on the weekends, most of the time, the weekend is when I get the most cleaning done. I like to clean. Not sure why (especially considering when I was younger, I'd give everything short of my left kidney not to clean) Luckily that flip (eventually) got switched. It just makes things easier for me to be in a clean, organized space. It evens me out to not have to see chaos all around me since my mind feels so chaotic all the time.

Being at my mom's again, there's a lot to do. Think of Felix and Oscar from "The Odd Couple" That's us. I wanted to get this done in May and June but lack of energy plus getting sick plus my hip made that all but impossible. Last weekend, I got the living room clean and it's made the space seem so big now (we live in a 900-something square foot apartment so it's not like we've got a lot to work with, but it feels so much bigger now without stuff all over the floor. Like so...

No before pictures, but trust me, it was horrible....

There's still a whole apartment's worth of stuff to do (minus the kitchen and pantry, which I did before this last bout of whatever it is caught me.) Next is the space past the kitchen, where everything that needs to be shredded and stuff I have no idea what it is has been stored for awhile. The reason this area has jumped to the front of the line is because we need a washer and dryer...well, I need it...well, I want it. Bad.

The laundry facilities here at the apartment have been declining for years and now, there are only two washers and one dryer that work for a whole bunch of tenants. It would be okay to just use the washer and hang dry but we got a notice that doing so outside (where clothes will actually dry) will get us fined. There's no space inside to do the hanging and the shower rods aren't strong enough to hold wet clothes. Trying to schedule a time where no one else is using the facilities while it's still cool enough outside (we live in Texas after all and the facilities have no air or fans in them so when it gets hot outside, it's really bad inside with the machines going) is just not working out anymore and we don't live near a laundry mat. Alas, it's time to rent some machines and not have to rely on unreliable machines and conditions anymore. about making a short story long.

Long story short: I'm cleaning the off-the-kitchen-area this weekend so we can get a washer and dryer in there. From there, cleaning off the table and getting my room and bathrooms together. From there, it'll be the biggest project of them all: Mommy's room...saving the hardest best for last indeed.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Currently Reading/Never Have I Ever

Yesterday, I had two doctors appointments (Orthopedist and a GP...not the best experience ever, but you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes...) with the down time, I was able to get the rest of the Cedar Cove series at Half Price Books (thanks to selling back some items and a very handy gift card I received as a gift from one of the families where I work) and try out a new restaurant near the second doctor's location. Don't like to say I killed two birds with one stone, but I made yesterday's outing extremely productive.

I go back for a blood test and an MRI tomorrow morning. Trying not to get too optimistic about it all; I just want to know what all is going on and what I have to do to get back to the world of the living.


Book #7 in the Cedar Cove series. Halfway through, but these books are sooooo addicting and such an easy read (which I appreciate being an English major who had to take (and pass) not one, but two Shakespeare classes.)
July: Never Have I Ever...been to Mi Cocina. It was busy (going at noon will do that to a good restaurant) but the food was really good. Will most definitely be going back (when finances allow for such luxuries) 

P.S.: Current listening selections:

1. Bruno Mars "Runaway Baby" Heard this during the Grammys then forgot all about it for a few weeks. Once I heard it again, it became a regular on my playlist. It's so catchy and I love the classic vibe of it.

2. Rock Mafia "The Big Bang Acoustic" Yes, the theme song for "Mob Wives" but the song is actually great and I love acoustic versions of songs.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mid-Year Checkpoint

Remember those New Year's Resolutions...yeah, neither did I it seems...

1. Cook at least once a week. Like actually cook with ovens and stoves, not just nuking a meal.
Yeah...not so much...or at all.

2. Find a primary doctor and start taking care of myself physically (finally...I'm getting on up there, ya dig :~/)
Going to see two doctors today!

3. Take my TExES and GRE tests. Passing them wouldn't hurt either.
Can no longer afford the tests since I'm going to see two doctors today...

4. Decide once and for all if and when I'm going to do this grad school thing and get the ball rolling if I do.
It's happening (hopefully), I just don't know what my final five options are yet.

5. Finish reading Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove series.
Just finished the 6th book and only have seven more to go (gotta make a trip to Half Price to get the ones I don't have yet)

6. Then read all of Jane Austen's novels.
As soon as I'm done visiting Cedar Cove, I'll make a nice road trip across the pond and meander around England for awhile.

7. Find a half marathon to jog in (is there really nothing between a 10K and 13.1 miles??????)
Can't run anymore. So it goes.

8. Split myself evenly between the time I spend doing things for and with others and doing things that I enjoy.
Umm, not so much.

9. Continue to be open to meeting new people and experiencing new things.
I'm still open to it, I just don't have the energy to do it as much as I'd like to.

10. Learn how to let the little things go. And some of the big ones too...okay, stop wasting my time on what I can't change and either let it go or write about it and get rich off of it :)
Getting better at this one go figure. This down time has made it almost impossible to avoid dealing with things since I can't spend all my time doing homework, work, or some other random activity right now.

11. Dedicate more of my time to writing and (Am I really doing this again????? Guess I'll have to until I man up and do it) Publish a story.
I haven't written in months. Going through the worst writer's block I've ever experienced (minus a couple of emo-sounding/I'm still in high school songs)

12. Read at least two major religions' holy books excluding the Bible since I've already read it.
Hasn't happened yet, but I know I want to read The Book of Mormon if nothing else. Mormonism has fascinated me for years so why not start with theirs.

Overall, haven't done much so far this year. Hopefully the second half is more productive than the first half...

Never Have I Ever...

June: tried a Blizzard. I'm allergic to chocolate, so Blizzards have never been a part of my life...until I saw a commercial advertising a Banana Cream Pie flavor. It was yummy. And this was the mini size. I'm glad I didn't go for a bigger size, otherwise I'd still be trying to eat it.