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Posted on Tuesday, December 08, 2020 at 23:03
Tags: ,
Hi everyone.
I marked my journal as possibly inappropriate content for minors mainly because sometimes I post things that might not be appropriate for the younger crowd.

It does not mean that I constantly or even consistently do so. I just wanted you to be aware that 99% of my entries are completely alright for the general public.


Excerpt - Chapter 1

Posted on Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 23:03
Current Location: Home
Current Mood: creativecreative
Current Music: ASMR on Youtube
Tags: , ,

Hello, readers :)
I decided to share an excerpt of the novel I wrote during NaNoWriMo 2012. This is an excerpt from the revised first chapter.  Enjoy.

Gloria Finley saw a drop of rain dampen the back of her light green gardening glove. She peeked out from under the wide, straw brim of the hat she wore outside and assessed the sky. Cumulonimbus clouds gathered to the east and the first tiny drops of moisture were free-falling Earthward from the late morning sky. Checking her phone, Gloria realized she had, as usual, lost track of time. It tended to happen when she was engrossed in doing something she loved.

She decided to finish planting the sapling and then call it quits for the time being. The forecast had called for rain all day, but Gloria didn’t put much stock in what the weather forecaster said. She had a love-hate relationship with that woman. Shoveling a foot of “partly cloudy skies” off of the front porch had taught her to simply look out the window if she wanted to know what the weather was doing.

Using a gardening spade, Gloria dug into the earth with vigor. She loved the rain and wished there were time to just lay out in the back yard for a while, and let it wash over her face. Gloria’s appreciation for the feel of soil in her hands had her setting the spade aside after a few scoops and removing her gloves. Gardening to her, was the essence of life. It represented the ever-lasting circle of life, death, and rebirth. Gloria delighted in planting the tiniest of seeds in the earth and coaxing forth something beautiful as time passed. As a child, her parents had jokingly voted here “the child most likely to be found playing in the dirt”. When she was eight, her Aunt Megan had begun teaching her, as she called it, the Art of the Earth.

As she dug her hands into the ground to pull out another chunk of earth, her fingers unexpectedly met with resistance from below. She pulled her hands back, wondering what could possibly be in her way. It didn’t feel like a rock or root, which she would expect to encounter now and then. It was too flat, too perfectly smooth for that. Pulling the soil away carefully, Gloria uncovered a what appeared to be a small patch of wood, caked in dirt. She bit her lower lip and furrowed her brow. She wiped a bit more dirt away, and realized the patch of wood was larger than she had first thought. What the heck is this? She wondered to herself. It appeared to be made of some kind of pine possibly. Suddenly she felt a small chill. What types of boxes are made of pine? Coffins! She brushed the thought away with a forced laugh. Surely not a coffin. Gloria laughed at her own over-active imagination and continued digging dirt out of the hole to uncover the entire object.

Whatever it was, it was waterlogged. There was no telling how long it had been buried in the backyard of the small, three bedroom house. Gloria guessed that it had been several years at any rate; the ground was packed well above it, and there was no apparent disturbance otherwise in the lawn. After several minutes of work, the top of the box was uncovered. It was approximately the size of a shoe box, and after wiping more dirt away she discovered it was made of teak, not pine after all. Gloria dug around it with her trowel and scooped it out of the ground. It was heavy, at least five pounds. There were several veins of mold in some of the wood grain, like the tributaries of a meandering river.

The rain began to fall steadily then, but Gloria was completely oblivious as she ran her hands over the outside of the muddy box looking for a catch or latch to open it. Finding none, she set it on the ground and started running her nails along the inside of the seam created by the lid. It was stuck fast, however and wouldn’t budge.

She sat back on her heels, struck by a thought. Considering the shape and size of the box, what could be in this thing? Gloria considered the possibility that it might be some beloved pet that had passed away long ago. Gloria made an “ew” face. Maybe I shouldn’t be in such a hurry to open this thing after all. She decided to call the previous owner of the house and ask her about it before trying to open it again, just in case.

Gloria set the box aside in order to get the last sapling into the ground. She returned some of the displaced dirt to the hole, set the root ball of the young tree on top of it, and used her arms to scoop the soil around the slender trunk. She tamped it down, retrieved the mysterious box, and hurried into the the laundry room at the back of the house just as thunder clapped overhead.

She started removing her gardening clothes which she wore over shorts and a tank top and put them in the washing machine. Gloria looked at herself and sighed, realizing she was going to need a shower. After wrapping the box in a towel she carried it into the kitchen with her. Several minutes were spent wiping mud and mold off of the thing, and wondering if she should try to open it again. Gloria looked at the clock. It was just hitting noon and she had a lunch date with her friend Lori Connors in thirty minutes. The box would just have to wait. Sighing, Gloria set it aside, but the mysterious thing remained at the back of her mind as she got ready to leave the house.

She jumped in the shower, reveling in the hot water steaming off of her skin, loosening the muscles which inevitably tightened up when she was hunched over, gardening for hours. With no time for a proper blow-dry, Gloria patted as much water out of her hair as possible and sprayed leave-in conditioner throughout to help untangle it.

Choosing a brown skirt and pink blouse, Gloria threw them on over her undergarments. She looked at herself in the full length mirror attached to her bathroom door and she ran a wide toothed comb through the wavy mass of red tresses.

Gloria looked at the clock and squeaked when she realized she had only five minutes left. She tossed the comb on her vanity table and grabbed her purse and cell phone. While sliding on her shoes and digging for her keys with one hand, Gloria used her free hand to rapidly type out a text message letting Lori know she was running late and would be there as soon as possible. She knew Lori wouldn’t care. One or the other of them was perpetually running late every time they made plans, though she preferred it to be Lori who was running late.

She took a deep breath to calm her nerves which were slightly frazzled from being in a hurry. Gloria locked the door behind her and slid under the wheel of her Saturn Ion and started the engine. Enya came on the stereo and Gloria let the strains of “Flora’s Secret” sooth her as she drove through town. She lived only ten minutes from The Cocktailery, a swanky nightclub, bar, and restaurant on the northwest side of Cedar Rapids.

This entry was cross-posted from http://mushroom-of-doom.dreamwidth.org/174439.html
Feel free to comment here OR there ^_^


A Vent

Posted on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 21:06
Current Location: Home
Current Mood: frustratedIrked
Some days I just need a place online where I can vent.
I can't vent on my regular blog because people I know may read that and I try to keep it light hearted.
I can't vent on facebook because the person I may want to vent about will know who they are...and if I vent about my husband, his whole fam-damily will see it.  So I almost feel constricted in a way, like I can't really say what's on my mind sometimes... which is kind of b.s. because I used to be able to say what I was thinking (albeit in a polite way).

So I think that is what I will use DW for sometimes. I will probably post some of my regular entries here as well since I do have a couple of readers here somewhere...probably need to dust them off...since It's been a while since I was a regular.

Let the venting begin...

I have a friend who until May lived out in the country. Ergo roads were not plowed well in winter and the ditches on either side of the highway were steep and potentially dangerous in a storm, blizzard, etc.
It was expected that occasionally we would have to cancel or reschedule plans due to weather.
However, this person now lives in the city and still canceled on me 4 hours before the scheduled thing was to take place, "because the tv said it might rain later".
Who cancels 4 hours ahead of time because it "might" rain? Wouldn't you wait and see if it actually rains? Because you know what? IT DIDN'T RAIN!
So plans were canceled for basically no reason.

I get frustrated from time to time by this and often want to ask how this person survived to adulthood being so terrified of weather. She used to live on the west coast and I'm curious about how she dealt with life as an adult there, when she had a job and college classes, etc to be to.

But of course, I can't ask because there is no really polite way to ask these kinds of things without it sounding like one is being mean. I was under the impression that once this person moved into the city and didn't have dangerous country roads to drive on that she would be more willing to venture forth.  But apparently not.

I don't really know how to broach the subject in a meaningful and productive way. On the one hand I could just put up with it and accept it...on the other hand this issue inconveniences others. I turned down other offers of hanging out with people, who then went on to make other plans. 

I try to be patient and tolerant of things like this, because everyone has quirks. But when it's affecting other people, isn't there a line at somepoint where you say "okay somethings needs to change..."? 
For the record, I even offered to drive so she wouldn't have to drive the three miles in the event that it did rain. So maybe there is something else going on.

I fully support people who don't want to pop a pill to fix every problem they have in life...but...things need to be under control in one way or another, I think.

I probably sound like a total bitch, but I'm venting. And now that I have done so, I can turn my mind to coming up with a productive way to figure out what's behind the anxiety and see if there is something I can do that will ease it...such as the aforementioned me driving, instead of her.

Stay shiny.

This entry was cross-posted from http://mushroom-of-doom.dreamwidth.org/174185.html
Feel free to comment here OR there ^_^


Back on an Even Keel

Posted on Sunday, October 05, 2014 at 12:48


The husband and I took a walk around the lake trail yesterday.
During the walk we talked about what I've been going through over the last few days.

Some back-story is called for.
I dealt with un-diagnosed severe depression beginning in my early teens. When I moved back to Iowa from Florida I was talked into talking to someone about it.
I started taking a low dose of Lexapro at that time. Surprisingly enough it worked. It didn't make me:

or anything. But it made me less of all the negative stuff so I could make room for the good stuff.

Fast forward to last summer, when I decided that I wanted to come off of the meds because I never meant for them to be a permanent thing. They were just there to help me cope while I learned how to cope, basically.

My medical provider and I decided this would be okay, with the caveat that the imbalances that cause the depression are still present and will still affect me from time to time; but I'd had time to learn how to cope with them without reducing myself to suicidal thoughts and tendencies.

So the cost of not taking medication every day is that from time to time I still lose perspective and turn a tiny drop of water into a tsunami.

Thankfully I am married to one of the most understanding, open-minded, and supportive people in the whole universe. While it isn't always a cake walk for him to deal with me when I get into my mood, he is always there for me, patiently waiting on the other side of the tsunami. In fact it's usually him that makes me eventually realize that tsunami is just a little drop of water again.

So today we're doing "me" time and he's off watching a sportsball thing with this brother and I am vegging out in the coffee shop using up their wifi and drinking up their coffee.


Have a shiny day, everyone.

This entry was cross-posted from http://mushroom-of-doom.dreamwidth.org/173906.html
Feel free to comment here OR there ^_^


I Was So Focused On The Weekly Numbers---

Posted on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 18:56
Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic
Tags: ,
...that I just this morning realized that I am only 2.5 pounds away from hitting the 70lbs lost mark!!!

Sometimes I get wrapped up in "Did I lose this week or not?" and "How are all the ways I messed up today?", and I forget about the big picture.
  • Like dropping 6 jeans sizes (I was a 32 when I was 384 lbs, now I'm a 26).
  • Like barely being able to finish 1 taco at Rudy's (I used to be able to polish off TWO (huge) tacos AND three sodas)
  • Like being able to play tennis for an hour and a half at a time (instead of the 20 minutes I barely made it through before). 
  • Like not complaining about walking all over a large department store such as Target or walking up the hill at one of the places we visit. (I used to refuse to get out of the car if I thought I'd be doing 'too much walking'.)

All these milestones that took place over the last couple of years, and most recently over the last 6 months...and some days I'm more concerned about where that one pound increase came from on the scale.

Time for some perspective. emoticon

This entry was cross-posted from http://mushroom-of-doom.dreamwidth.org/173581.html
Feel free to comment here OR there ^_^


Closing Out Week One

Posted on Saturday, September 06, 2014 at 12:41
Tags: , , ,
Closing out the first week back on SparkPeople; I weighed in this morning and discovered that I am exactly where I was on 9/1 when I went to the doctor. I'm not bummed, since it technically hasn't been a full week since my last weigh in, but I went ahead and did it anyway. My actual weekly weigh in is Monday mornings.

I decided, since I haven't been able to get out and play tennis and the treadmill didn't seem fun, that I would look at some spark videos instead. I found three that use the resistance band and are considered low impact and good for beginner level. So I did all of those, plus 5 minutes of stretching for flexibility.

I ended up with 38 minutes on my fitness tracker. It didn't feel like 38 minutes. The first videos were only 5 and 8 minutes long. The third one was closer to 20, but worked upper, core, and lower body.

I wish SP had some kind of favorites system so I could save videos on a list somewhere. I used my browser's book marking feature in stead, however which will work just as well.

It has been educational coming back. The site has had many improvements since I was here last, and I'm feeling a level of commitment I haven't felt before, between what I'm doing on my own and what I can supplement from the site.

In other news, I got my first of two projects done for the September Stashbuster Challenge finished.

I have some yarn left over from it, so in order to be really correct I will need to find some small thing to do with the left over yarn. Shouldn't be too hard though.

I'm planning to start my second project either tonight or tomorrow depending on how I feel.

Overall I feel really good about what I've done this week. I even picked up some more Greek yogurt to put into my morning shakes. From the produce section I got some apples called Ginger Gold and something called Cotton Candy Grapes. So without even really trying or thinking about it, I'm trying more new things.
This entry was cross-posted from http://mushroom-of-doom.dreamwidth.org/173363.html
Feel free to comment here OR there ^_^


Weigh Ins, First Week, Castle, & Cats

Posted on Friday, September 05, 2014 at 12:39
Tags: , , , , ,

My first week back on Spark People is coming to a close. I'm weighing in tomorrow to see how I did. Overall I feel like I did well; I drank loads of water, tracked my calories, etc. I didn't get quite as much exercise as I would have liked, but Overtime at work and weather unfortunately played against me.

I'm bought a Spark People workout DVD "Total Body Sculpting", that I want to try out.
I also plan to try a couple of the 10 minute resistance band workouts in the video section of the site.

I'm making my way through my Castle DVDs in anticipation of the 6th season coming out on DVD soon. "Fool Me Once" from Season 2 is ending momentarily and then it will be off to bed for me. I have more overtime tomorrow morning. Thankfully not a full day, just a few hours.

I heart the Firefly references in this show, of course. Especially the "comic con" style episode.

In one of my previous blogs from 9/1/2014 I talked about some behavior issues with my cats, and mentioned that I was going to get them some toys to see if the interaction helped at all. I got some catnip, a cardboard scratching thing (into which I stuffed some catnip), and some catnip filled toy mice. Oh yes, and the obligatory laser pointer.

I had an empty wrapping paper tube on hand, and some heavy duty yarn, so I attached the yarn to the tube and tied a mouse to that. They were fairly enthusiastic about them at first. Not quite so much now, but that could be because they are in their "down time" phase of the day. I should try and observe them more to see when their more active phases occur.

Over all I have been bugged a little less for attention by Avalon, and Osiris is slightly less of an A-hole. So all in all it was worth the money spent. I also alternate which toys I use on which days, because I don't want them to get tired of something. I don't know if cats/pets can get tired of things, or if that's something humans impose on them incorrectly, but what the heck. Nothing to lose.

After work tomorrow I will try and engage their interest again and see if they are more playful earlier in the day. I don't know anybody else who has cats (which is odd, because I think us Cat People tend to gravitate towards one another). So I can't really ask anyone else.

My inlaws have a cat, BUT, that cat is basically a lump. She's kind of like a living teddy bear thing. She doesn't play, just lays there and lets you squish on her for hugs and such. Or she pretends to be a road block and refuses to move out of the way. lol.

Anywho, enough rambling out of me for one night. I will probably have a short post tomorrow (Saturday) after I weigh-in. It will either be joyous and ecstatic or annoyed and sadfaced.

This entry was cross-posted from http://mushroom-of-doom.dreamwidth.org/173191.html
Feel free to comment here OR there ^_^


Labor Day Tennis, Plateaus, Cats, & Crafty

Posted on Monday, September 01, 2014 at 14:35
Current Mood: happyhappy
Tags: , , , , , , ,


We are watching the live stream at USOPEN.ORG. Tsonga and Murray are duking it out on the court.  Murray leads in the 1st set 3 to 2, but Tsonga is serving and if he holds, there will be a tie.


Some good tennis happened earlier between Djokovic and Kohlschreiber played before this match and it was pretty competitive. I always like watching Djokovic play.


 I weighed in this morning. After a three week plateau, which I didn't think would break, it finally broke! I'm down 4 pounds.  This makes me very happy, as I have a follow up with my doctor on Wednesday morning, and I was feeling a bit discouraged to think that I would be going in there with zero loss for the entire month. But, I know that plateaus are common, so I tried not to let it get to me too much, and hopefully it won't happen again for a long long time.

This week, I plan to kick it up a notch (bam), and get on the treadmill more than I have been. I am also going to buy a single serving blender so I can go back to making my shakes/smoothies, because those helped me cram alot of my fruit servings into my day. Little tweaks here and there keep me on track and get me back on the path.  


I checked out some of the articles on the Spark People site this morning also. I had NO idea there was such an extensive treasure trove of things to read about! I even found articles about pets which makes me happy, since I have 2 cats.

One (Osiris) is a bit of an a-hole; kind of aggressive, not overly friendly all the time. He tends to be nicer to guests though, so at least there's that. He has a bit of a deformity near his tail so anytime someone pets him anywhere near his back end he gets a bit rawr.

The other cat, Avalon, is a needy, needy, little thing. You would think nobody EVER pets her highness, or gives her any attention whatsoever.

Cats & Exercise

Indoor pets require engaging activities, which I knew, but didn't realize the full importance of the fact. I have some cat toys I use occasionally, but it's mainly when I have time, which I would say isn't often. But if I'm looking at all the things I spend my time on, I do, in fact, have plenty of time to set aside to play with them. So that's one of my goals now.

I'm going to invest in a couple of things like a laser pointer and a couple of things I can make a DIY cat toy with. Hopefully it will lessen her neediness and his aggressiveness.  We shall see!

Today is the first day of the September Stashbuster Challenge. I have two projects I am trying to complete this month (which I mentioned in the previous post here). Neither one should take a super long time to make, but for me, the objects of the exercise are

1. Use some of the mass quantities of yarn I own

2. Force myself to make time to just sit and focus and be in the present (mindfulness is one of my overall life goals). 





 Stay Shiny and Keep Flying!



This entry was cross-posted from http://mushroom-of-doom.dreamwidth.org/172943.html
Feel free to comment here OR there ^_^


Short Update to the April 2012 Entry

Posted on Sunday, August 31, 2014 at 16:46
Current Mood: chipperchipper
Tags: , , , ,
Open Diary is no more. As of February 7, 2014 the site was shut down permanently by the owners. :-\ Kind of sad, but I'm glad I backed the thing up before I quit writing there altogether.

Farmer's Market didn't work out for me. Most people were there to buy groceries, not crafty stuff or smelly goodies such as bath salts and scented oils. Wrong market really. A new permanent market place opened up in 2013, BUT they don't have any permanent craft shops there. It's by invite only and I can't work on a short notice time line as I work full time.

Graduated College on May 12 2012, and my boyfriend (now husband) proposed to me at my graduation party.

We moved into an apartment owned by the same leasing company that managed the property we were already in. We weren't quite ready to buy a house at that point, and transferring between properties owned by the same company was easier than moving to another house with a different management company. "The Devil You Know" is how, I believe, they put it.

We were married on March 23, 2013, and moved into our new house on April 5, 2013. Lots of big changes in our lives in a one month period!

I quit the job I was at in 2013 for a temp job which has turned into a permanent full time position. This is a good thing on the one hand because now I get paid days off and paid holidays, whereas temps are lucky they get a check at all. The temp agency's pay wasn't bad, but they didn't do raises, and no paid time off of any kind.

Since moving into the new house, no really big changes have occurred which is good. Need time for settling in and such. Making a few minor decor changes to the place as the previous owners painted everything a bland neutral color.

That about wraps it up. My life for the last 2 years in a nutshell.

This entry was cross-posted from http://mushroom-of-doom.dreamwidth.org/172679.html

Feel free to comment here OR there ^_^


Hiatus, Weight Loss, Crafty Good Times

Posted on Sunday, August 31, 2014 at 16:39
Current Location: Home
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Watching "Castle"
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Good afternoon everyone!

It's been a LONG while since I posted here. Looks like 2+ years. :-\  Not sure what happened there; I just sort of fell off the face of the Earth I guess. I'm trying to be back now though!  I am trying to be more social, rejoining some of the sites I used to be on and such.

(this is a repost from my crafty blog: randomcraftacular.blogspot.com/  ) Feel free to read through it. A couple of patterns I wrote are there; one for crochet and one for knit. Very basic, beginner stuff. 

I've been working on some personal goals, and haven't had much time for designing or being crafty.

I re-joined sparkpeople.com which is an online weight loss/healthy living support network. I was there a few years ago, and decided to go back. I like the social aspect of it; lots of message boards, teams, and things to challenge myself and keep me motivated.

One of the teams I joined is a crafty team called United Stitches, and they are doing a September Stashbuster Challenge. The object is to see how many yards of our stashes we can get through over the 30 day period. I picked two projects to work on this month and set up Ravelry pages for them so I can keep track of the progress.

These links are all on Ravelry.com which is a crochet & knitting community online.

GoT-Inspired Dragon Egg Wristlet

I guestimated based on the pattern page that I will use about 200 yards of yarn for this one. 

I chose a Madeline Tosh Vintage Worsted in Ember and Blue Hosta


The First Egg I Made in Brown and Green








Open Work Knit Shrug

I'm going to start with the amount of yarn used in the pattern (320 yds), but may use another 80 yards if the original size doesn't fit properly.

(This is a picture from the pattern's site. I haven't made this one before)

So my yardage total is 520 minimum.

In other knitting/crochet news, not related to the stash bust challenge,

I am also taking a shot at my first knitting Fair Isle-Style piece (stranded color work). I have never knit in this manner before, but it doesn't look like it will be too difficult, since I asked someone how to read the chart. I've never had to read a chart before, so I'll be learning something new!

The pattern is called Knitted Sea Waves, and I found this pic on the Joann's Fabric site. It was a knitting class I was going to take. Since I already paid and bought the stuff for it, they gave me the pattern even though the class was canceled. Nice of them :-) 








I may attempt to design something in this style in the future. The concept is basic: graph paper and color coding instead of symbols. I'll have to play around with it a bit though. Bust out my colored pencils and stuff lol.

So, I have my needles ready and just need to get my yarn wound off the skein and into a ball, and I will be ready to start the needles clicking and clacking tomorrow when the stash bust challenge begins.


Stay shiny and keep crafting!

This entry was cross-posted from http://mushroom-of-doom.dreamwidth.org/172458.html
Feel free to comment here OR there ^_^

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