Friday, December 30, 2011

The End of Internet and the Year in Review

Hello dear readers.

As I write this, I am using the libraries wi-fi.  We have gotten rid of our internet at home. There is something about paying through the nose for a service that's more a convience than anything else.

Granted, homework is turned in electronically and banking is done online, but the truth is - we need to save some moolah.

That being said, I wanted to give everyone a heads up.  I'll update here when I can, where I can.  But there will be times when posts will be few and far between.

Thank you for understanding.

Now, on the Year in Review!

(I can't believe the new year starts this weekend.  Holy cow.)

January - I started a new semester at school and gave my first speech in public speaking.  I had to give that speech in subzero temps with a cold, but I did it anyway.  I was dog sitting and watching my neighbor's son when the dog, Flash, had a seizure.  It was scary, but mom helped me through.

February - Valentine's day came and went, and I was still single, but not horribly upset about it.  School was moving alright, if not in a blur.  I had also started my heart burn medication which made me sick at school.  Not fun.

March - Ah, St. Patty's day, with fun at school.  I had knitted a green scarf over spring break that I wore for the event. Spring break itself was a disaster - I ended up in the ER with chest pains that we thought were from  a Pulminary Embelism, but actually turned out to be plurisy.  (Pretty sure non of that is spelled right.)  My liver was dying from my birth control, so my new doctor took me off it.  The scarf was cool though - three kinds of cables.  I still have it.  We also decided our groups for Public Speaking, and I was with Dorothy and Trevor who would soon become two of my best friends.

April - I was a mess.  I was stressed and sick and started having mild panic attacks.  My doctor started me on an anti-depressant that made me sick and caused me to lose weight cause I couldn't eat.  I really noticed Trevor for the first time; he was the first one to ask me if I was ok.  When we started meeting for our group speech, he took me home and picked me up, opening the door for me.  Before I knew it, we were up until midnight texting.  Within the first three weeks of April, I knew I liked him. 
      My grades also started to rise again, as they had dropped previously.  I also got a poem published in the school magazine.  A very busy, busy month.

May - School finished and I had a 4.0.  Trevor and I started dating and he became a figure in our family.  Trevor, myself, Katie, Dorothy, and her family all went to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  Katie turned 18 and I took her for cupcakes.  I was still dog sitting, so I didn't get a real job.

June - We celebrated Katie's graduation from high school with a great party.  Trevor and I were still strong and spent the summer nights watching the stars and moon and eating ice cream.  There were a few thunderstorms of notable value as well.  I wasn't stressed and was happy.

July - Two days before my birthday, my neighbor had Flash put down.  She was sick and getting old, and she was having more seizures due to a bran anurism.  The day before my birthday we had a hail storm with so much hail it looked like snow!  It was scary and awesome at the same time.  I turned 21 and celebrated by going with Trevor to the midnight release of Harry Potter part 2 and then by having dinner with my family and Trevor at Olive Garden.

August - School started and I knew it was going to be a looong semester.  I got invited to be a part of Phi Theta Kappa, but wasn't sure I was going to accept the offer.  Trevor and I went stargazing for the last time near the end of the month. I got a job passing out samples in the grocery store, which I still have and love.  It allows me to study and still make money.

September - School still trudged along in a blur.  Fiction writing was harder than I ever thought it would be and the critiques in poetry class were exhaustive.  But astronomy continued to peak my interest, which was good, and I was starting to get the hang of humanities.  Trevor and I had dinner together every Thursday night through the rest of the semester and made a point of seeing each other before classes.  I don't think either of us would have completely survived if we didn't. 
      My family went on the coolest vacation, too, in September to South Dakota.  We stayed  at the most beautiful cabin resort on a lake and had a blast driving and sight seeing - Mount Rushmore will always stay with me as one of the most incredible sights I have ever seen, as will Devil's Tower.  I won't forget the antelope either!

October - I was in full research mode, ready to take on anything and trying to figure out where I stood on things.  Religion became a huge question for me, as it still is, and I began to explore other faiths.  I dressed as a kitty for Halloween and spent it with Trevor (Indiana Jones) and his family.  His brother was black spiderman.  I was wishing for fall break, too.  I was also designing my first hat pattern and bringing it to life.

Novemeber - A much needed fall break appeared.  I finished my hat, designed another, and got my research papers all done.  My presentations were ready to go.  Thanksgiving was a great time with family - we were all able to breathe and eat and watch the dog show on TV.  I counted my blessings, not realizing how much I was going to need those in the following month.  Katie got a concussion right around here, too.  Talk about scary stuff.

December - School finished; I passed with three A's and a B.  The car ended up in the shop due to an ice accident, so we were in a rental car.  Everyone got sick - mom and Katie with colds, me with strep.  We weren't the only family having trouble, either.  When Christmas came, none of us even cared about the gifts even though they were nice; we were more excited about everyone being healthy and together.  Trevor spent time with us, my dad had some great vacation time, and we were all happy and stressed and relaxed at the same time.

And now the new year is coming.  I am dreading January.  I don't have classes with anyone I know.  Trevor will be in Boulder.  I have a feeling I will be mainly alone on campus for the first time since I started school three years ago.  Change is coming in so many ways, and I am scared.

But it's going to be good.  There is a higher power guiding me.  I don't know who that power is, just that it is loving and kind and gentle.  I know that I will end up on the right track as long as I am myself and true to myself.  So even though I'm scared, I'm going to face life head on.  I haven't self injured in over a year and while I've been crying more freely lately, I can't help but think that's a good thing.  I will not go back to who I was before this journey of transformation started.

My goals for the year are to take the stairs at school again, which is something I've stopped doing, and to order my coffee from Starbucks with non-fat milk, cause that's a healthier choice and just as tasty.  I want to keep crying freely and to continue loving with everything I have - life is too short to hold back any more.

This year, I hope to see my degree hanging above my bed and to have a job that I can enjoy and make enough money to afford to keep knitting and writing.

I want to eventually open my yarn shop, but I don't think that is going to happen this year.  However, I want to start a new savings account for it.

I hope everyone has a safe year.  Enjoy your holiday and try to stay off the roads - people are crazy out there.  I will update as soon as I can. :)

Love you all, dear readers.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Knitting Excitement!

Omg.  Omg.

I have a 40% off coupon for Michael's craft store.  I also have a gift card with a mystery amount on it from my cousin's wife and a nice bit of money from my grandma.

And they are having a sale on yarn this week.

Yes, I did just spend 25 bucks on hand painted sock yarn from a yarn store.  Yes, I do have three tubs (none of them full all the way) of yarn.

But omg.

The plan for shopping tomorrow?

I'm going to get the Boye Needlemaster Kit that I've had my eye on for nearly a year.  It's a $70 kit with all the needle interchangings for circulars ranging in size from 2 to 15.  With the coupon, it's going to be under 50.

Then I'm going to get two skeins of this beautiful Lion Brand Yarn to make a scarf with.

And I should still have money left over for lunch with my friend next week.

I should really not be this excited about yarn and needles.  I really should not.  I'm glad my boyfriend knows what he's getting into down the road.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

It's a beautiful day here in Colorado.  The sun is shining, the snow is gleaming, and our tree is on full glow. :)

The Christmas eve services last night were beautiful with candles and music abounding.  My awesome boyfriend was able to come to the last one with my family and meet some of my friends.  He then came over for dinner and some down time. 

Today has been the best.  I love that my family is all together and safe.  We're all sick with something except dad - I'm recovering from strep throat, mom and Katie from colds.  But we're all together.  And after the past few months of craziness with the car and concussions and illness and chaos, that is more than enough.

I recieved many wonderful gifts, including a promise ring and a beautiful blanket, but the most important gift is the people in my life.

So Merry Christmas, dear readers and friends, and thank you for reading this blog.  Enjoy your holiday to the fullest. :)


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sick for the Holidays




I swear.  I am sick on Christmas or the few days before Christmas every single year.  Last year I kept a headcold at bay with Halls Vitamin C drops.  The year before, I grinned and bared it.

This year, I have strep throat.

Yup yup.  Cancelled plans for the week except for the few that I can't reschedule.  Now I'm in my jammies, praying the snow will let up until all my loved ones make it home.

With any luck, the meds will kick in by Friday, and Christmas eve and Christmas day will be good.  Well, they will be good anyway.  It's just whether or not my throat will be able to keep up. 

I think it will.

Talk about a crazy holiday tradition, though.  Geez.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Time is Here...

Christmas is next week.

Holy cow, Christmas is next week.

Yes, I am excited.  I'm excited to spend time with my family, to go to some beautiful church services (even if I'm still not 100% sure of what I believe), to sit at home and watch the tree lights and see my boyfriend.  I'm excited to be with the ones I love.

But my heart is aching for those who have lost their loved ones and are spending time without them.  A woman at our church lost her husband back in August.  She hasn't skipped a beat since; she knew it was his time and has continued being a spunky grandmother figure without blinking.  I know it must be hard on her, though.  I know it must.

Then there was another member of our church who died of cancer early this month.  He was in his thirties with a wife and children, the oldest who is in fifth grade.  It is going to be rough on his family; they knew it was coming, but it's still hard.

And there's the teacher who worked at Sylvan when I did who lost her husband last year, two days before Christmas.  All year she's been blogging here about her struggles throughout the past year.  This week is going to be so hard for her.  It breaks my heart all over again.  I cried last year when I found out.  I wonder if I will cry again on Christmas eve.

There's my friend from public speaking, who has been struggling with food stamps and keeping her head above the water.  It's going to be a scarce holiday for her, her husband, and their kiddos.  My family got a bag full of stuff for them - toys for the kids, a cook book, lotion for her, and a gift card to the grocery store.  My boyfriend and I are taking it to them this week.  It's hard, though.

My boyfriend and his family are having their own struggles.  I'm not at liberty to tell what, but it's been rough for them.  He's been stressed out.  And now that he's gotten into his school of choice (which I am so proud of him for), he's nervous about leaving this city and going to another.  I know I'm going to miss him, but the truth is - as I told him - I'm a phone call away.  And a drive won't kill me.

I would be lying if I said we didn't have our struggles either.  There was the whole fiasco with the car and the battle with the credit card people.  My dad works two jobs and is hardly home at times.  We live in a small apartment and only have one running vehicle.

But we don't have it bad.  I look at all these other stories and I realize how good my family has it.  We don't always get along, but at least we're all somewhat healthy.  We are all alive.  We have each other.  We could lose everything and be living on the street or in my grandmother's back yard, but we would still have each other.

I am the most blessed woman in the world.  I have a family who supports me.  I have a sister who is my best friend.  I have the most wonderful boyfriend who cares about me for me and who loves me.  I have friends who are there when I need them and who understand when I get lazy or busy (you know who you are).

There is food on the table and a roof over our heads and heat and blankets and beds.

Do I really need anything else?

No.  I don't.

I think that's what it's all about.

This season, please pray for the people mentioned above.  Pray for those you know who are hurting.  And count your blessings.  They are the only things that matter.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Why I'm Becoming so Opinionated

I want to voice something here - women's reproductive rights is always a heated topic.  Why on earth should I even want to become a part of the argument?  I used to always take a stand along the mindset of letting things work themselves out.

Not any more.

If we don't take a stand (we being any number of people - women, men, children, gays, transexuals, etc. - people in general, really) then we will fall.

Isn't that what life is about?

I am angry.

I am angry because so many people I know are stopped by a brick wall when approaching topics such as women's reproductive rights or gay rights.

They believe their God is against it.  They believe that you are sinful if you commit those things.  They believe that the only right way in life is the straight and narrow and that things like Planned Parenthood are going to blow that path into smitherines.

I understand that.  Truly I do.  I would never be able to take the life of a child inside me.  I don't particulary want a gay marriage, as I'm happily involved with the man of my dreams.  Their sanctity of their religion is their right - I do not oppose fundamentalists.  I don't believe like that and probably never will, but I don't hate people who believe that way and I do respect their choices.

But I don't understand why they can't see beyond the scope of their faith.

That's what makes me angry.

And sad.  And frustrated.  And confused. 

Why would God be so judgemental and narrow?  Did He (or She) not create us all unique, knowing full well how we would turn out and what choices we were going to have to face?  I don't get it.

If a woman gets pregnant and the egg gets fertilized in certain a way, that pregnancy can occur in the fallopian tube.  It's called an ectopic pregnancy; according to Web M.D. it happens every one pregnancy out of fifty.  This is not a good situation for the mother.  The embryo has to be terminated in order to save the mother. According to the American Pregnancy site, there are three ways to do this: through medication that terminates, through surgery if the embryo has already ruptured whatever area it's in (which is awful for the mother as it screws her reproductive organs up), or through surgery removing the embryo manually.

But if abortion is banned and laws are passed the way congress wants to, that woman is going to die.  No doctor is going to risk their license to save a woman when the procedure is labled as murder.

Reproductive rights don't start and stop with abortion, though.  They also include birth control and contraception, and the right to say "yes" and "no".

Did you know, dear reader, that women in the Middle East are not allowed to control their sexual rights?  They marry as young as eight and bare children as soon as their bodies are able.  Their husbands are the ones who decide how many children they have, disregarding the wishes of the woman or the health of the woman.  The same is in India.  And in Mexico, although the women are starting to take control of their rights there.

Why are we going to do that here?  Why is congress in the process of trying to create laws that will ban birth control and morning after pills? 

Do you see my frustration?

I am not about to have a minority or a group of men or (forgive me if this offends you) God telling me when I can or can not have sex, who I can or can not have it with, how I can or can not protect myself, and how I will deal with my pregnancy when it occurs.

It is my body.  It is my right.  Just like I demand the right to attend school and to live on my own and to marry when I want, I demand the right to take care of my reproductive rights the way I see fit.

It's the same with gay rights.  Why should a certain group of people be denied rights because a minority feels that they are living in sin?  What will happen if one of those people in that minority has a child who is gay or lesbian or transgender?  Are they going to stop loving their child?

If God made each of us by hand and knew each of us from birth, then wouldn't God know who was going to be gay and who wasn't because God made them that way?  Maybe I'm washed up and maybe I'm wrong, but that really doesn't make sense to me.  Everyone says God is like a parent; well, a parent still loves you and takes you home no matter what. 

This is why I'm fed up with organized religion.

Please, dear readers (the one's who made it this far), think about it.  I'm begging you.  Think about it.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Update

The tree is up.  I repeat: the tree is up.

It's about time, actually.  Maybe now I'll start feeling the holiday spirit.

We got our car back today.  Yayayayayayayay!  So the rental car (which we've had for like two weeks now) can go back to the dealer.  It is very exciting and about time.  The only thing that made it so slow was the insurance adjuster getting the estimates.  We would've had our car back last week if he had been faster. 

Oh well.  Count your blessings. :)

I have my boyfriend's gift done (thick wool socks in green flaked with gold yarn) and I'm half way done with his brother's gift (a stuffed hedgehog done in Sonic the Hedgehog colors).  Then I have a hat to finish and a tiny whale to make and I'm done!

I even started a pair of slipper socks for myself.  They're on size 9 double points with thick Homespun Lion Brand yarn in a color called Waterfall.  Here's a link.  It's super soft and super pretty.  I think I can have a pair done by the weekend for lounging after work on Saturday.  That's my goal. :)

A friend and I doubled with our boyfriends to the Melting Pot last night. I had never been there before and neither had my boyfriend. Oh my goodness.  It was incredible.  The Melting Pot is a fondue place.  We got a double date special with four courses.  The first course was a garlic cheese fondue that our server made at the table; there were like three kinds of bread to dip in in, plus veggies like broccoli (is that spelled right) and apples.  Apples + cheese = awesome.

Then we had salads, which were pretty good.  I like that they put hardboiled eggs on them.  That was followed by the main course, a variety of meat and seafood to be cooked in boiling chicken broth.  Again, there were veggies too.  Sooo good.  The dessert was awesome too - white and dark chocolate swirled in a ying-yang pattern with rice krispy treats and cheesecake among other things to be dipped in.

The best part, though, was the company.  It's nice to be with people you get along with and can have a good time with.  My friend and I would talk while the guys were talking, then the four of us would join in again.  It was a lot of fun.  I think fun was what we all needed.  This semester was too hard to get through for everyone.

Tomorrow my sister and I are going with my boyfriend to see The Muppet Movie.  I like that the two of them get along.  I'm not sure what I would do if they didn't.  But as of now, they see each other as siblings.  Strangely enough, actually, it was like that from the start.  I think that must mean it's good. :)

Tonight, we ate at Steak n Shake for the first time in over a year.  They finally opened one in Colorado.  We're from the midwest, so Steak n Shake was part of growing up for my sister and I.  Tonight was like a trip from the past.  And tomorrow we get to introduce my boyfriend to it.  I'm so happy I could cry.

I feel like things are finally starting to work out again.  I have a lot of friends who are struggling; I pray for them and help where I can.  I'm still not sure what my faith is exactly except that it rests with a higher, loving being.  I'm ok with that for now. I'm grateful for my family being together and for everything being ok.

Have a great evening, dear readers.  Take stock of your blessings.  It's good to keep it in perspective. :)


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Knitting Frenzy!

It is that time of year again, folks.   Winter break is here and the holidays are around the corner.  That can only mean one thing:

Knitting like there is no tomorrow.

I often dream about this while in school - the ability to knit without interruption.  Granted, I have been known to knit in the computer lab and Phi Theta Kappa room at school, but that usually is mindless stuff.  Now I get to focus on the harder things.

Like designing crazy fair isle and then having to knit it.

Or like knitting gifts that seem to never get done.

I will get the gifts done, I will get the gifts done, I will get the gifts done.

Handwarmers for my mom. :)

A hat for my sister. :)

A lone sock for my boyfriend; the other is halfway done on double point needles. :)

A turtle for the son of one of my friends. :)

I've really taken to designing hats for some reason.  I like the fact that they are done in a round, somewhat small (and quick), and can have anything on them.  Maybe I'll move up to greater designing as break progresses.

Here are some pics of my recent design projects, while we're on the topic. :)

A 100% Meaghan Creation.  My first hat design. I love the hearts!

This is my crazy hat.  I finished reading "Sweater Quest: My Year of Knitting Dangerously" by Adrienne Martini and was inspired to create my own insane fair isle project. :)

So yeah.  I am happy to be on break.  Bring on those projects. :)  Also, before I forget, I'm on Ravelry if anyone is interested.  Just look under Birdgirl90.

Have a great rest of your Sunday, dear readers.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Civil Rights

I would like to propse a question:

What defines civil rights?

Civil rights, to me, mean that everyone is treated equal.  Everyone has access to the same things, like insurance and voting abilities.  Everyone is treated equal regardless.

Which brings me to my next question:

Have we achieved equal civil rights in the United States?

I'm going to give my thoughts, but I would really like everyone to take a moment and chew on this.  I think it is incredibly important.

My answer is no.  No, we have not achieved civil rights for all in the United States.

What do you think of when you think of civil rights? 

Do you think of the racial inequality once brought about until the 60's and 70's? That's one aspect for sure of the topic.  While  we have come so far where race is concerned, we still have a ways to go.  There are still places where people are uncomfortable around each other, which is a shame.  But over all, we have gotten far.

But civil rights encompasses so much more.

Take, for instance, the women's movement.  Women still only make 80 cents to every dollar earned by a man.  While we are no longer forced to be stay at home mothers, it's still expected by some people and is disappointing if your husband is a stay at home dad.  Yet if you are a stay at home mom and you don't work, you're frowned upon.  When will women be able to do what they want - be that working or staying at home - without judgement? 

Same with our bodies and our sexuality.  Women who read this, please consider something.  Women in the middle east don't get a choice as to having children, getting married, and living their lives.  And yet some women and men here in the United States are passively trying to get us back to that state of being by banning types of birth control and morning after pills.  Abortion will always be a hot topic, but without it as an option even remotely available, we lose one aspect of owning our bodies and our sex lives.

It's another facet of civil rights.

What about the gay, lesbian, bi, and transgender community?  They live their lives like we do - they work, raise families, own homes, add to communities, run PTA's and bake sales, put out fires and save lives.  But they are denied the right to marry the ones they love legally.  They are denied insurance benefits to their partners because they are same sex.  How is that equality?  Explain that to me.

 It doesn't matter where you stand on the issues.  You can be right wing conservative or left liberal.  If this is going on to these minorities, what's stopping it from happening to you?

So many people outwardly condemn others.  "That's wrong!"  "You're going to hell!"  "A woman's place is in the home!" And so on.

But I don't think they realize that it's a fine line between having rights and losing them.  All it takes is enough people saying you are wrong or a disgrace to the eyes of God, and you're freedom to marry is gone.  Or your freedom to vote is gone.  Or your ability to protect your sexuality is gone.

Do we have equal civil rights in this country?

That is up to you to decide.

Please, dear readers, I hope this post has made you think.  Form an opinion, it is your right.  Just make sure it is educated.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's Over

Winter Break can officially begin.

On the one hand, I am seriously relieved.  I didn't get straight A's this semester; if I'm lucky, I'll scrape two A's and two B's.  Which is still good.  I'm relieved the stress is gone.  I now have time to recoup and finish knitting gifts for everyone.  (Fingers crossed that I actually get them done.)

But on the other hand, I'm still wondering where August went.  I feel like I blinked and it was gone.  Mainly, I'm concerned that this year is almost over and I haven't accomplished everything that I wanted to.  Sure, I made it through the semester.  But did I do the things that matter?  Did I look enough at the spring, summer, and fall trees?  Did I make enough wishes on stars to restore the universe of hope or say I love you enough times to the people I care about?

Mainly, have I made my time count so far?

I think for the most part, the answer is yes.  But seriously.  I need to start paying more attention to life.  The fact that this semester has flown is proof that life is too short.

I'm not ready for the Christmas holidays.  I'm not at all in the holiday mindset.  I think I'm sitting at the mysticism part of Christianity; it's too long to get into here.  I love Christmas.  But I just can't feel it yet.  Maybe I need to get through the weekend first.

And now I need to go to bed before I start drooling on the keyboard.

Goodnight, dear readers.  I hope you enjoy your night.


Friday, December 2, 2011


My mom and sister got in an accident yesterday due to the snow.  No one was hurt, but our only running car is now in the shop for the weekend.  Yay.

But, our rental car is going to be a Charger, I hear.  That might be really cool.  So there's a plus.

It rains, it pours.  And not just for my family, but for a lot of other people.  I know I complain sometimes, but ultimately we have it pretty good.  We have a roof over our heads and food on the table and our family is together.  A lot of people don't have it that good.

I work today passing out coffee at the grocery store.  It should be fun.  I'm nervous cause it's at a new store, but I'm excited cause I get to play with a Keurig coffee machine.

That's about it.  Things will continue to work out.  I know they will.

Enjoy your Friday, dear readers.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Snowy Day

The snow has finally come.  Part of me is thrilled, the other part not so much.  School refuses to recognize blizzards as warrant for a snow day.  College here never closes, it seems.

I didn't get my stuff done for class today.  So I'm skipping.  I know, I know - buck it up, get over it, and get my tush to class.  But you know what?  I'm exhausted and I'm done.  It has not been that great of a school week.

I like the snow though.  I want to go sit by the window and read for a few hours.  Maybe I'll do that here in a bit.  :)

I hope you are all enjoying your day, dear readers.