Sunday, March 31, 2013

G r a t i t u d e + S u n d a y

Joining Taryn at Wooly Moss Roots for Gratitude Sunday, and my list this week is all about Friends.

This week, I am grateful for:

* -- the flowers Clint brought me. I love having flowers in a vase on the dining table to look at (and I can't wait to start growing my own, so I can make my own arrangements! I will start sometime this week!)

* -- Clint picking up some soup for me at the store while I had an upset stomach today. Soup helps everything. It's my favorite meal.

* -- a friend from class helping out a friend from my church. She needs a new home for one of her roosters and the problem might have been solved. I'll have to get an update from them.

* -- my friend Lauren also bringing things over earlier when I was more sick! Including vitamins, freezer pops, and clementines. I juiced the clementines with some grapefruit, apple, and carrot.

* -- my friend KZ from New York and her girlfriend visiting! It's the second time that Katie has visited me in Kentucky, and we had so much fun! Great times with margaritas, arguments about Spike and Angel, pink lipstick, and temporary tattoos! It was wonderful; one of these times she must stay longer for more than just one night. It's never enough. I hope she and Becky have fun in Memphis this evening.

* -- something that hasn't technically happened yet, and won't for another 45 minutes, but: my friends letting me watch the Game of Thrones premiere at their house. I've been reading the ASoIaF books since 2004 or so, and I like the show a lot. I can't afford HBO or even cable at all, so between my friends letting me watch with them and my dad letting me use his HBO Go subscription, I think I will be covered to watch!

* -- lastly, being a friend to myself. When I was feeling a lot sicker earlier, I drew a hot bath and made some bath "tea" -- just simple cheesecloth and whatever herbs you want to use. I did lavender and chamomile for relaxation. It's important to be friendly to yourself.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I'm so exhausted, I can't even believe it. But there are sources of energy, even if for a few moments by yourself : fruit! and juicing that fruit!

This is my juicer. She hasn't yet been named.
Can you spot Sól's nose?
I only began juicing maybe two or three months ago. I bought this one on clearance for $24, and I've been experimenting since then. I've found the more simpler recipes to suit me better, like above: nothing but strawberries, grapes, and an apple. The first time I ever juiced, I was throwing carrots, grapefruits, ginger, apples, grapes, tomatoes -- all kinds of things in there. I've since learned a bit about restraint, the "less is more" rule. Something I love about juicing though, and it kind of reminds me of photography in this way, is that every time you do it, you learn more and fine tune your abilities, or at least your intuition. Maybe that's the fruit rush talking.

I put the strawberries in first. I so wish that I could transmit the amazing smell over the internet. The whole kitchen filled with it instantly. I put the grapes in next, and finished with the apple. One of my favorite things about apples is the little pentagram inside.

Sól wanted to check out the apples too! He's a very curious dog and loves to be involved in anything that I'm doing.

Can you tell I haven't fixed my clippers yet?

Beautiful juice! I'm always completely in love with the colors of the finished juice. There is no way a camera could ever accurately show them. My strawgrapple was a gorgeous, rich, dark, salmon color.

So good! 

Don't look at the bags under my eyes!!
If you haven't ever tried juicing, do it!! It is sososo much better than any juice you will get from concentrate. I haven't drank store-bought juice since I bought my juicer.

Even before I bought my juicer, I was considering and toying with the idea of someday doing a juice fast. I've heard many wonderful and many terrible experiences with it. I know that at this point in my life, my body could never handle the commitment. And no, I haven't yet watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (2010), but I plan to do so, as I continue to research the idea. I've always believed that fasting is an important spiritual practice, and as I strive for a deeper spiritual discipline, I've been thinking of ways to incorporate fasting such that it will be safe and complementary to my current high-stress lifestyle. At the moment though, I really feel it's something I need to procrastinate.

For any readers who stop by, do you have any experience with juicing and/or juice fasting? Or know any good blogs on the subject? I'm always looking for personal accounts about such topics. Happy juicing!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

G r a t i t u d e + S u n d a y

In my continued effort to be more positive and work toward self improvement, I'm joining Taryn at Wooly Moss Roots for Gratitude Sunday. In her words: "Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes."

This week, I am grateful for:

* -- Spring Break! I know last week I was worried it would mess me up, and I know by now that it has totally thrown off my schedule, but wow, it was needed. I had time with my pets, time to read, and time to do some photography and writing.

* -- all the time I had to clean. I don't know how people keep their houses clean everyday. Between school and work, it's basically impossible to keep my place looking like a person lives there and not a herd of pigs. I try to clean at least one room or space each day, but sometimes I'm just too exhausted. At least I got to catch up a little bit.

* -- that I haven't yet figured out how to fix my clippers. At first, this was making me so angry: I removed the blade to clean out the little pieces of Sól's hair (he's a big dog, it takes a while to shave his whole body). But now I can't figure out how to get the blade back on. However, it's gotten so cold again -- snow, in Kentucky, in late March...! At least Sól still has all of his leg hair attached so hopefully he isn't too too cold when we go outside.

* -- getting to video-chat with my best friend, Sean! I know he reads this and his head swells every time he sees his name. I like contributing to his future cerebral explosion.

* -- a friend telling me about where she buys her henna hair dye. I've tried different henna dyes in the past, even Lush's, and they've never worked for me; the Lush brand even fried my hair like box dye! Her hair always looks amazing and she was nice enough to tell me her source. She also gave me lots of good tips that help protect her hair from drying. I hope I'll be able to afford some henna soon.

* -- exciting plans made with an old friend from NYC. I'm sure there will be more said about this next week. It will be her second time visiting me in Kentucky!

* -- my dad sending me an old charger from his computer. It seems to work fine in mine, so that saves me around $80 replacing the one I broke, if the prices are still the same from 4-5 years ago.

* -- my dog for being incredibly silly and sweet. There were a lot of laughs this week at his antics, and even more so because he looks pretty funny with poofy, curly legs and a shaved body. It is one of the best things waking up with him snuggling in bed (or sometimes standing above me, gently wagging his tail, wanting to go outside).

* -- finally finding chicory coffee in Kentucky!! (I could go on with exclamation points). I found out that the local Kroger now carries Luzianne brand chicory coffee from New Orleans. I seriously cannot wait to wake up every morning now! So many memories are tied to that taste, and a little piece of me gets to walk down La Rue Chartres with each sip. I can't wait for the next time I go to back to NOLA, and it's exciting because I have no idea yet when that will be.

* -- my church. We celebrated Ostara (the Spring Equinox) yesterday. I love being able to see them and wish I lived closer! I won the scavenger hunt, got a promising message about my plans for container gardening from my egg divination, and got to spend time with lots of great friends. I took lots of photos, but haven't had a lot of time to go through them all, so I will definitely write more about that in a few days.

* -- Clint being able to help me with the cost of getting out to the Ostara celebration yesterday. I only had enough money for gas, so I couldn't afford our food contribution for the potluck dinner. I would have felt terrible showing up without food, so I'm so glad that he agreed to pay for the food if I paid for the gas and drove.

* -- being able to take home some rhododendron from my church's seed exchange. I've never grown it before, but they all assured me it would do well in containers. I'm going to start researching it and I really hope I can afford some flower pots and soil soon. I know it's going to be getting hot quickly, so I'd love to get some plants started on the deck. I want to have a fruitful year, literally!
(Update : it's not rhododendron, but philodendron. Can't you tell how black my thumbs are...)

Spring Blessings

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Hands' Descendent

Left behind.
Picked up.
Prayed over.
Fed meals.
Enjoyed company.
Spread disease.
Given a name.

+ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +

Quick photoshoot I did today on my deck -- it was colder than I realized outside! I was going to remove my tattoo from the photo, but once I started that, it just got more and more involved and I didn't want to spend two hours just on that. I'm lazy.

I was thinking about a lot of things when I made this, but it was inspired overall by the movie The Sound of My Voice (2011). I rented it as soon as it came out, after seeing trailers for it months earlier. My first time viewing, I didn't really like it at all and was disappointed. But I kept thinking about it, decided to watch it again, and now I'm on my way to loving it (that happens a lot; I really need to open my mind)..

Monday, March 18, 2013


Do you know why vultures eat corpses?

They're scavengers, they're lazy.

Some people think so.

What do you think?

Vultures were once people, lost people who stayed lost. The fog swallowed them.

That's only a story. Lost people are just people.

No, it's the Gods' honest truth! After it rains and the fog descends, all the missing people lose control. They scream and cry out. They are overtaken by a paralysis and their arms grow feathers.

Listen to you. Where did you hear all this?

Mr. Lester told me! He swears it. He told me his sister went missing once, but it was muddy and he could follow her footprints. He saw her fall in the field and roll, her clothes were filthy and he couldn't see her face. She was screaming and the birds everywhe--

You shouldn't take Mr. Lester seriously. His sister left for the City. He's been mad with grief ever since.

No, she didn't leave for the City! If she did, how come no one's heard from her? She doesn't write or visit.

You've never met her. She left before you could walk. How would you know she hasn't written?

Because Mr. Lester isn't the only one who talks about her, and she isn't the only one who's gone to the City and never come back. No one ever comes back from the City. How do we even know there is a City? Have you ever been there?

Of course not, but that doesn't mean there isn't a City. You've never been to the Well with me, but the Well is still there.

Just listen! Mr. Lester said her arms flew back like they were pulled, her face grew long and her screams were terrible. He said it's the worse thing he's ever heard or seen. He said she started to turn black all over and the air grew cold. The wind changed direction and the vultures came from nowhere, sitting in the trees and watching like they knew her!

Vultures don't know people. Vultures are just large, lazy scavengers. They clean up the messes from the other animals. They let everything else do the work and then they leave. Don't let the stories of an old man fool you.

He isn't fooling me. We only see vultures in the village when someone goes missing, or 'goes to the City.' They're only here when it's foggy. Do you ever remember seeing them when the Sun is out?

No, I don't, but I don't concern myself with the movements of vultures. You shouldn't either. Look, you're sweating and working yourself up.

You don't believe me.

You're speaking of ridiculous things, the raving of a lonely man who has no family left. Vultures aren't people. I don't want you seeing Mr. Lester anymore.

But I like Mr. Lester. He needs someone to believe him. He saw these things happen, the Gods' honest truth!

He didn't see anything. I don't want you seeing him, I don't want him filling your head with his crazy stories. You shouldn't be so gullible.

When the fogs roll in, the night is dark,
And the animals quiet, even the lark.
When the light is blocked by all the clouds,
Not even the priests will speak aloud.
That is when the lost are called,
One by one, alone, they fall,
And a lonely brother can see her there,
She goes away, he knows not where.
She joins the others in the sky,
To feast on corpses when the fog rolls by.
We don't believe the legends of the Wood,
But it's the Gods' honest truth that we should.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

G r a t i t u d e + S u n d a y

In my continued effort to be more positive and work toward self improvement, I'm joining Taryn at Wooly Moss Roots for Gratitude Sunday. In her words: "Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes."

This week, I am grateful for:

* -- coffee. Always coffee.

* -- my iPad. I broke my computer charger the other day so I'm leaving my laptop turned off so I can save it for total emergencies. This is the first time I'm ever writing a blogpost on a tablet or mobile device, so hopefully it all goes well. It's a little more difficult, but I need to adjust to technology someday.

* -- spring break. At first, I really thought it was going to mess up my school rhythm (and it probably will), but now I am so happy to be getting some time off!

* -- my pets, Loki and Sól. They went through a lot this week. I used them in class to draw blood in order to help younger students make blood smears and read packed cell volumes. They both ended up getting stuck a lot, but were so good about it. Since they are both healthy pets, they very rarely (about once a year at the most) need anything involving needles, but the animals we own at the university sometimes are stuck multiple times per week. I wanted to use my animals this week to give them a break, and I feel so lucky about how understanding they were.

* -- that Loki is such a healthy cat... At one point when I was drawing her blood, it was clotting in the
 syringe and I had to get it into an anticoagulant tube quickly, but I couldn't get the needle off. I
accidentally stuck myself with the needle and sort of freaked out for the rest of the day. But nothing has come out of it and everything seems fine. Good thing she's a cat and not a human!

* -- the birds. I have to say it again because they just bring so much simple joy to my life! My favorites right now are the house wrens who are always jumping around my deck. Some of them look like their gathering nest material, but I haven't seen any nests in the surrounding trees yet.

* -- my dreams. I've been remembering them more often lately and I seriously don't know what I would do if I ever lost my dreams.

* -- my lab partner letting me borrow an old pair of rain boots for our visit to the pig farm. It would have been bad-news-bears for me if I hadn't had those.

* -- those friends I have who are also anti-St. Patrick's Day. I'm fine with wearing green and getting drunk, but I will never celebrate the legacy of that man. I like knowing other people who understand and feel the same way. Solidarity is nice.

* -- finally seeing Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds in concert!! I've been in love with him for years and I am so so grateful that Clint was able to get tickets. I think it was one of the best concerts I have ever attended. He had such a powerful stage presence; I couldn't take my eyes off him. I might write a separate post about the whole night soon, and I'll have to get a photo of the poster I bought once its framed. I am also so grateful that he played the song 'Stagger Lee.' Never, ever did I think in my whole life that I would see the Bad Seeds play that song. Completely amazing experience that I will not forget.

Photo of Nick Cave from the Push the Sky Away tour, 2013. I could not find the photographer's name.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Photo-An-Hour : 9th March 2013

I've seen this project on many blogs -- take one photo every hour for your day -- and I wanted to try it so badly. So on my last day off from work, I decided to do it. It worked out that the same day was also Margarita Saturday. Needless to say, after a certain point in the night, the photos stopped, but I already love having the memories of each of the [early] hours of that day. I don't know where this project originated, but I'm glad it did. I'll be doing this again in the future.

✶ ~ Margarita Saturday ~ ✶

10:30 -- COFFEE.

11:30 -- a trip to the animal shelter to gather skin swabs. I wish I could take this cat home (I drew blood off the same cat a few weeks ago...)

12:30 -- looking out my window at the beautiful weather.
13:30 -- writing study guides for microbiology.
14:30 -- doing my makeup and getting ready to go out.
15:30 -- Margarita Saturday begins!

16:30 -- one tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor . . .
17:30 -- so this happened.

18:30 -- Sól enjoying the party!

19:30 -- the party enjoying Sól.

....maybe it's a good thing that's as far as I got. I wish I had gotten a fresh photo of the new bruise I got shooting arrows in the yard the same night. This was such a fun idea (and a fun day)! If anyone knows of the original source of Photo-An-Hour, please let me know! I'd love to give credit to the idea.

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. Spring Break (and Nick Cave!!!) next week. Hopefully I'll get the chance to do this again soon~

Sunday, March 10, 2013

G r a t i t u d e + S u n d a y

In my continued effort to be more positive and work toward self improvement, I'm joining Taryn at Wooly Moss Roots for Gratitude Sunday. In her words: "Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes."

This week, I am grateful for:

* -- Spring coming. I just ordered some bleeding hearts bulbs from my professor. I'm excited to watch them grow and bring some beauty to my lonely deck.

* -- my conversation with one of the lab techs at Breathitt (the regional diagnostic veterinary lab). She gave me the advice that I should get a master's degree in microbiology or virology, and because of that, I've started communications with people who can help me learn more. I never thought originally that this is a direction I would take.

* -- my best friend, Sean. We are finally going to write a comic together. He helps my insanity stay strong.

* -- coffee, and that my body hasn't been getting too jittery with the caffeine (sometimes I just can't have any). I don't think I'd be able to get through the Breathitt program without it.

* -- that I had work off yesterday. It was unexpected, so I wasn't able to go to my church's annual meeting, but I did get to do Margarita Saturday with some friends (not grateful for the hangover, however). The time off also allowed me to try a 'photo an hour' project, which will probably be tomorrow's post.

* -- the temperature warming up outside. Although I love the cold, my electric bill is killing me each month. I can't wait to see that number lower...

* -- Clint helping me spray paint some old towel racks I had. I'm hanging one in the kitchen to save counter space (for towels, spices, etc.) and with his help, I don't have to get anything new, so I ended up only spending $1 on spray paint.

* -- getting a little more time to read this week, since I had less exams. My dad gave me the book Cloud Atlas, and the extra time allowed me to really dive in it. I love it so far.

* -- work finally changing my schedule and giving me the time off each week that I asked for back in January. I wanted some days off in the middle of the week so I'll have more time for homework and studying. It's taken them over two months to respond to my request, but at least it's getting done now.

* -- myself. I really made some time this week just for me, to relax in the bath and wind down my stress. I definitely need to do more of that.

* -- NPR. I love it so much, especially Science Friday. I wish I had more time to listen to it, but I usually have class during all my favorite programs. Last Friday, however, I got to hear part of this segment about bees and caffeine. I want to finish listening to it soon.

* -- the birds coming to my bird feeder! The update from last week is that yes, the squirrels are eating the crap out of my birdseed, but at least the feeder is heavy enough that they can't pull it down and it isn't getting damaged. I am going to look at squirrel-proof feeders next week and see if I can get another one hung that will only serve the birds. I love watching and identifying all the types I'm seeing in my yard now.

* -- my kitty falling asleep like this, because life needs cute or what's the point?:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


-Margaret Atwood
Sometimes when that pain is twisting you, gnawing at your spine, eating your stomach -- all you need for relief is heat, water, salt, floral scents of lavender and honeysuckle, a good book, a pot of chamomile tea . . .

I really wish I had more time to give to myself.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Walk in the Woods

Clint and I took Sól (my Standard Poodle) out in the woods with us yesterday afternoon. Puppy loved it!

Friends walking together.

For all the things I dislike about Kentucky, I love the landscape.

Sól got filthy in the snow melt mud. I can't wait to shave him down...
Happy Moon Day; have a great week!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

G r a t i t u d e + S u n d a y

In my continued effort to be more positive and work toward self improvement, I'm joining Taryn at Wooly Moss Roots for Gratitude Sunday. In her words: "Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes."

This week, I am grateful for:

* -- a lack of exams (only one)! It was nice to get a break from constant studying.

* -- my procrastination for shaving my dog. I never would have expected it to snow in March in Kentucky, and he would have been cold.

* -- not having to drive to my necropsy lab tomorrow. It's nice knowing that tonight when I go to sleep, I won't have to wake up prepared for another hour and a half drive first thing in the morning.

* -- Clint surprising me with coffee and another rose this morning. He knows exactly where to put it: in the vase with the dried roses, my slowly growing bouquet.

* -- my professor helping me with professional connections. Maybe securing an internship in the north won't be as hard as I originally thought.

* -- the sun today. The light is beautiful and strong, giving it the perfect feeling of chilled air with heat from above. It's some of my favorite winter weather.

* -- the weather remaining colder. Normally it starts to heat up a lot around this time and the bugs and wasps begin coming out. I'm glad that there's a little bit of a delay!

* -- my gardening friends. They've made a lot of great suggestions and recommendations. They're helping me be more confident about starting a container herb garden on my deck.

* -- my dad's party mix recipe! I made it for the first time yesterday and now I have a snack that will last for weeks and reminds me of home.

* -- the presents my mom always finds. For Christmas, she gave me some wonderful locally-made soap, bath salts, and lotion. I love using them each day.

* -- my pets. They keep me warm at night, especially Loki crawling under the covers. It's still a little cold in my house.

* -- being introduced to Balance Yoga Studio. They have a broader schedule so it helps me to find more time during the week to set aside for my practice. They are also cheap!

* -- my student discount at Orsheln! They're a local farm supply store that carries my preferred dog and cat foods, and now I know that I can save a little more money on them.

* -- Pinterest. I know it sounds lame, it's just a website. But since I've started really applying ideas I find on it to my own life, I'm seeing lots of little improvements.

* -- the birds. There are tons of fat robins and cardinals all over my yard and I love watching them. I just got them a new bird feeder too; maybe next week I will be grateful if the squirrels have left it alone!

Friday, March 1, 2013


Don't ever grow up. Don't lose your inner child. 

I think these sentiments are very common, but they interfere completely, with my life at least. I've been holding onto youth with a crippling form of nostalgia, while under the guise of autonomy. I might be a SWF (single white female), living alone, completing school, contemplating internships and master's degrees, working a shitty job to pay bills (Dad still pays rent), trying to handle exams and labwork every week, a high drive dog, an arrogant cat. I'm not independent. I don't think I can even imagine independence. 

I feel a lot of shame toward how dependent I still am at my age. I've never filed my own taxes, I don't know my credit score (and I know I won't be approved for even a JC Penny card), if there is ever an emergency, I have no savings. Once I'm off my parents' health insurance, then I won't have health insurance. It's a sobering slap-in-the-face everyday to acknowledge how helpless I really am, how irresponsible, and childish.

But I'm trying my hardest to change, and to form new habits. Those moments when I feel my own strength, I maximize it to stand up to the stress I feel bombarding me everyday. I'm letting go of worry, and resisting anger. I'm taking time to devote to relaxation and my pets and myself -- and when I don't always have that time, I'm taking steps to create it. I woke up at six o'clock this morning out of choice, and my goal for tomorrow is to do the same: allow myself to experience more fully the light patterns unique to that time of day; allow myself the morning ritual of quietly drinking coffee, reading, finding inspiration, spending time with Loki and Sól (my cat and my dog).

Making time for yourself is important. If you don't, you miss all the things that really matter in life. My affirmation for this sentiment today -- my happy dog playing in the tiny amount of snow with which were blessed so early this morning:

It's 2013, and it's officially March. This is going to be my year, and I won't let me stop myself . . .