Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Best Things in Life are Free

   "The best things in life are free."
   It's been said a million times. Probably everyone has either said it, heard it or read it. It's not really an uncommon phrase. Is it true though? I guess it's a personal thing, depending on what you think are the best things in life. I think some of the best things in life are...
  • cats
  • blueberry bagels with cream cheese and strawberry jelly
  • Kit-Kat bars
  • books
  • astronomy
  • makeup
  • love
  • hair bands (like the thing that holds your hair up)
  • hair bands (like that rock music from the 80's)
  • music in general
  • popcorn
  • comfy, oversized shirts
  • essential oils
  • macaroni and cheese
  • fans
  • grass
  • coffee
  • movies
  • journals
  • sarcasm
  • The Holy Trinity (Note: I couldn't decide what to write for this, cause I didn't want to just write God, cause different people see God as different things, and I wanted to include Jesus, cause of the whole salvation thing, but God and Jesus are like the same thing, so I went with The Trinity, cause religion is complicated. Thank you for your patience.)
  • lip balm
  • Reader's Digest
  • technology
  • credit cards with the chip in them (Note: Not really. The chip cards suck and everyone hates them for good reason, but I figured they needed some love.)
   So as I wrote this list, I discovered that most of my favorite things actually aren't free. Does this mean that I'm materialistic and the best things in life for other people are actually free? Possibly.
   Pretty much everything costs something. In the bathroom at work, there's a little note card tucked in the mirror. I don't remember exactly what it says, but it's a little prayer. In the middle of the prayer, it says something like, "May what I do with today be important, for I am exchanging a day of my life for it."
   I think that's an interesting thought to keep in mind. Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter

  This Easter was an eventful one, to say the least. I didn't have work on Good Friday, nor did we have homeschool group. We went shopping in the morning to pick up a few groceries. After returning home and putting away the groceries, my brother and I went outside and played a little basketball. That evening, we went to a restaurant for my aunt's birthday.
   We had never been to this restaurant before, and I don't believe we will be visiting again. For how expensive the food was, you would've thought it would have been delicious. I thought mine was okay, and so did my brother, while mom found her food practically inedible.
   We headed out as soon as we got the check. I had work in the morning and it was getting late. On Saturday, we had Easter dinner at my dad's parents. I had work until 4:30 and got home about 10 minutes until we had to leave for dinner. I got changed, brushed my hair, put on some eyeliner and was out the door.
   We were supposed to eat at 5, but half the family didn't show up until 5:30. We ate soon after that. Sometime after dinner, we had an Easter egg hunt. I hunted for Easter eggs along with my brother and a couple of our younger cousins. It was fun.
   After the egg hunt, my aunt, her boyfriend, my brother and I played whiffle ball and volleyball for a while. Another cousin of ours joined us for a little of whiffle ball, and that was that. After the outside games were done, I mostly sat at the kitchen table by myself eating macaroni and cheese out of a plastic cup. It wasn't the most fun I've ever had.
   This morning, I woke up early enough to watch a little TV, then we headed to church. I had childcare, so that means I got to sit in a miniature chair for an hour and a half, watching toddlers waddle about in their Sunday best. It wasn't all bad; I got hold of the bag of pretzels and handed them out to the children, breaking them into small pieces for those who were unable to chew super well.
   Right after church, we went to my grandma's (on my mom's side of the family this time), and had an Easter lunch. It was enjoyable. We played a board game called Sale of the Century, a game based off a game show from when my mom was a kid. It's pretty fun.
   After we left my grandma's, we went home for a little bit, then my brother and I went to gym night. Gym night is a thing our church does at our local high school's gym. After returning home from that, we had pancakes. All in all, I had a good Easter weekend. Busy, but enjoyable. :)

Monday, March 27, 2017

I'm Back + Bentonite Clay Face Mask

   So I haven't posted in a while, I know, I know. I'm going to try and post more frequently. These past few months have been incredibly busy and I haven't really found the time or inspiration to post. To sum up the missed time, I can say it was mostly work, school, sleep and Bible quizzing. Bible quizzing is almost over for the season, so I should have a bit more free time coming up. :)

   I worked a full day today. After I arrived home, I ate dinner while my grandma visited, then my grandfather stopped down. After he left, we went and visited my lovely aunt and her daughter. While we were there, we did bentonite clay masks. It was the first time I had ever done one, and I really liked the results.
   If you would like to try your hand at your own bentonite clay mask, it's incredibly simple. Take a small amount bentonite clay powder and put it in the palm of your hand, then add some water to make a paste. Rub the paste into your skin, then leave on until fully dry. Your face will feel tight when it dries. You can remove the mask by washing off your face or wiping with a damp wash cloth. I would recommend moisturizing, but it is not a requirement. :) If your face begins to itch or sting while the mask is on, remove immediately.

Friday, January 27, 2017

A Field Trip For a Snowy Day

   Today, our homeschool group went on a field trip. We went to a local creamery where they make a variety of cheeses. We sampled cheese curds, looked in the rooms where they age the cheese, watched them make feta cheese and ate a lunch of grilled cheese and tomato soup in an open area in the back. It wasn't a bad tour.
   We were to arrive at 12:45, and the tour started at 1:00. First, we stayed in the main area for a bit, while the lady introduced us to the place and whatever. Turns out, we got to play a game during the whole thing, where if you heard the word 'curd' you had to try and be the first the raise your hand. if you gave the correct definition of what a curd was, you got to wear a cheese shaped hat. Oh yes, a cheese shaped hat. It was terrible looking, and needless to say, I did not raise my hand.
   After that, we went into an employees only area and had lunch, surrounded by the aging rooms. Lunch wasn't bad, though it wasn't like the best food I'd ever had. Grilled cheese (with cheese made at the creamery), tomato soup, two fried cheese curds (which they also made there) and a pickle, severely lacking in crunch (though I still ate my pickle and one of my friends) was what we were served.
   After lunch, they started showing us around the back room which we were in. They showed us where they package the cheese, and how tare weight worked and why it was important. The next rooms we looked into were the aging rooms. The first room was where they were aging Swiss cheese. There were only 6 wheels of cheese in that room, I believe. They had just started making Swiss. The next roomed smelled strongly of mold and bacteria. Why? It was the room with the Havarti and Cheddar. The third and final room didn't smell bad, but it was the specialty cheese, the kinds mixed with herbs and such things.
   Finishing the back room tour, we headed out to the front and watched from a large, observation window into the cheese making room. The woman who was leading the tour told us about what they were doing and such, and after that was finished, the tour was over. The whole thing took about two hours.
   After the tour was finished, I stood and talked with one of the women I used to work with. That was one of the highlights of today. I enjoy her. :) Overall, it wasn't a bad experience. Now I am certain, I don't want to become a cheese maker.

Friday, December 16, 2016

A Friday Off

   I didn't have work today, but I never work Fridays. That was the one condition when I was hired: I couldn't work Fridays. That's because I have our homeschool group on Friday and I decided that having a job wasn't worth sacrificing some of the best times of my high school experience.
   Now that homeschool group is over for the year, Friday is my free day of the week. I typically work every Saturday, with one off every month. Tomorrow is my Saturday off for December. I always work on Wednesdays. I enjoy working Wednesdays though cause the newspaper guy comes in. I enjoy seeing him.
   I didn't do anything particularly interesting today, but I did drive by myself to The Discount Store. I wasn't working, but I had a few things I wanted to pick up. It was a very boring and uneventful drive, and good songs played on the radio. I'm going to call it a win.
   After I came home, as soon as I walked in the door, mom came bustling down the stairs and asked if I wanted to come with her to the post office. I thought that sounded fun, so we went and mailed Christmas cards.
   Speaking of Christmas, I am so underprepared this year. I've only purchased a few gifts, and I really don't have it together. I'm planning on making some advances on Christmas planning tomorrow. Let's hope it fairs better than it is now. Christmas is coming fast.
    Tonight, our church held the annual Children's Christmas play. My brother got himself wrapped up doing a small part. I was very happy to see him performing in something I wasn't in. He played a fireman. His performance was very good. The rest of the play was not as good. It was still entertaining though.
   A small girl was standing behind my seat and I'm telling you, it took all my will power not to turn around in my seat and flick her in the nose. She was breathing in my ear, and would occasionally touch me. I knew who she was, cause she sometimes comes in to our child care during church services when I'm in there. Goodness grief, that was annoying.
   On a happier note, I had a few delicious cookies after the show when they had refreshments. They were very good. After the show, we drove home and that was that. It really wasn't a bad day, even without homeschool group.

Monday, December 12, 2016

A Show to Remember

   Our homeschool group's variety show was on Friday. We had a rehearsal on Thursday, which was less than fabulous, compared to other rehearsals we've had. I mean we practiced, but one of the main characters in the play couldn't be there until 2:30 and I had to leave at 3:00 for my drivers test. I don't feel like we practiced as much as we could've, but with the time constraints and people leaving, we did the best we could.
   On Friday, we got there early at 2:15 so I could do Sunshine's makeup. Practice started at 2:30, and we're never really prompt, so I had plenty of time to do her makeup and fix someone else's hair. It was a decently productive start to the day of practicing, rehearsing and getting our act together. We had a long day ahead of ourselves.
   We started practice and it went pretty well. Typically, we have a very solid practice were we run through the program a few times. This time, we had a what I could only call a very loose practice. I've never seen anything so informal at our homeschool group when it comes to a last minute practice. It felt rushed and unprepared, as if we were all running around tying up loose end that should've been covered months ago.
   Even without all the practice we usually have, it still went really well. The first part of the program was our variety show, where a collection of students who are inclined to perform sing, dance, and even do stand-up comedy. We can be an eclectic bunch at times, but it's a show that's worth attending.
   I sang Mary, Did You Know?. I've definitely enjoyed other performances more, but I don't feel it went as bad as it could've. I messed up the lyrics and I didn't strum the right chords at times. I was really nervous about it, and that probably contributed.
   What I really feel pushed me out of my comfort zone was the stand-up comedy act that was right before mine. One of the other students bet the comedian (if you could even call him that) a dollar that he wouldn't do a special, never-before-heard piece about my song. Something about Mary having 'annual amnesia' or something. Well, just let me say that he walked out of there with an additional dollar in his pocket.
   I was really nervous walking into my song to begin with, and that was enough to totally throw me off any sort of confidence I had. I felt like dying would be a better option that going up on stage, but due to a lack of suicide weapons, a shortage of time and my friends sitting all around me, I went up anyway.
   Aside from that event, the rest of the show went pretty well. Several of my friends and I had a kazoo choir. We performed Carol of the Bells. I'm sure it was the best rendition anyone has ever done on kazoo. That's mostly because I don't believe many people have actually performed Carol of the Bells on kazoo before.
   Two of my best friends sang It Is Well With My Soul together and it was utterly stunning. My best friend does not like to be on stage, and so for her to be singing on stage is a very brave thing for her to do, and a rare treat for the audience. Her younger sister is another great friend of mine, and her singing is fabulous as well. I have such talented friends. :) 
   The little kids sang a cute little song about patience. Some of the younger girls did an amazing dance directed by one of my friends. It was great. I kind of hate to say it, but I really think their dance topped every one we ever did when I was a kid. It was part dance, part gymnastics and part art. It was great.
   There were some other great acts, but for now I'm going to write about our drama. It went pretty well. Part of it, we had to improvise because we skipped a page. But what we lack in line memorization, we make up for in improv.
   I felt like our projection was good and it went really well. After the drama, we all went on stage and sang We Wish You a Merry Christmas. I was supposed to help start it off, but the other girl who was supposed to be helping started to early and too high. No one could really tell though.
   Afterwards we had snacks. They were pretty good, though I only ate brownies. After that, some of my friends had an arm wrestling (cough cough...competitive handholding...cough cough) competition. The real rankings were established. I don't arm wrestle. It's just stupid to me, but my brother and some of my friends do it like every other week. It can get pretty intense at times, believe it or not.
   After all that was over, I found a broken rubber band and one of my friends and I managed to slingshot a pencil almost the entire way across the sanctuary. After we had done that a few times, we turned it into a game were we'd race to see who would get it to whatever we shot, first. It was a very fun game.
   We eventually lost the pencil somehow. You would think you could find a pencil on the floor, but we could not. Then we found a dime. As you could probably guess, we lost that too. Then we managed to break the rubber band to top it all off.
   Fortunately, we were in luck, cause one of the younger girls had a animal balloon kit. (You just can't make some of these things up.) We took one of the balloons and used that as the slingshot. It was harder to shoot things with a balloon than a rubber band, but we made it work.
   I found another pencil and my dad gave us another dime. We played until we had pretty much lost everything and we had to leave. I totally would've won if we hadn't lost the pencil and thirty cents. It was still enjoyable though.
   Coming into the performance, I was ready for the semester to be over. Now that it's over, I really wish we were going back next week. It went surprisingly fast. At the time, it didn't seem like it was slipping by so quickly, but now it hardly feels like we ever went for more than a day or two. I'm already excited for next year. :)

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Failures and Successes

   Last Thursday, I went to take my drivers test. (Spoiler Alert: I failed it.) I didn't have high hopes when I walked into the building. We took a number and then we were called in right away. Mom and I walked into the little room to show our papers. The guy, Gary, asked mom for our registration and insurance papers. She left them in the car and then darted back out to retrieve them. I stood awkwardly there with good ol' Gary and then mom dashed in again with a little green packet. Then she opens it and starts to dig through as she says, "I can't find our registration card!"
   Mom had just taken our car over to be inspected a day or two before. She said that our inspection dude must have forgotten to give it back to her. Fortunately, we had purchased our car in another state, and we still had the pink transfer slip that the notary gave her. That was enough to allow me to take the test.
   I took the test with a guy named Eugene. We went out to the car, I successfully operated every car feature that he asked me too. Then he joined me in the car and then gave me a long list of rules for how to (and how not to) parallel park. We drove over to the spot and I attempted to park, without success. I wasn't far enough in. I could tell as soon as I started backing up. I pulled out of the spot and he asked me if I had any questions. I said no, and left the car. That was that. I wasn't too happy with it, what was I going to do? Practice, that's what.
   On Sunday, I practiced parallel parking between traffic cones instead of cars. My dad brought some traffic cones with him from work and set them up in our driveway. I practiced for a bit until I started to get the hang of it.
   Today, I retook my test. I hadn't parallel parked since Sunday, and I didn't parallel park again until I retook my test again today. We took a number, and then we were called to go present our papers. This time, we were prepared. We handed them over and then we went and sat down again.
   Everything about the drivers license center screams depression. Everyone looks and sounds like they really regret their life choices. It isn't a very refreshing or encouraging atmosphere. When I went to take my permit test in the spring, one of my dads friends started working there. He was nice and friendly. They probably didn't break him in yet. :)
   Today, my test guy was none other than Gary, the guy who did my papers the first time. He seems the most broken of them all. So depressed in his life choices. He was very short and concise with his words, which is quite handy for a test guy. He told me precisely what I was to be doing and that was it. I parallel parked, and I felt I did pretty well. He opened his door, looked at the curb, and said, "That looks good enough." Then he looked through the windshield, sighed, and got out of the car to double check. I honestly don't know if it was really good enough, or if he was just done with life.
   I was his last test of the day, so I'm not sure if he had a hard day, or that was his natural state of being. The first time I took my test, I had the first test of the day, while Eugene was probably about as motivated as he could be. He failed me, but that was cause I did an obviously bad job.
   After I parallel parked, Gary didn't say if I completed it correctly or if I failed it. He just said to make a left turn and head towards the front of the building. I did, and then after I was out of the space, pretty sure I failed, he told me to continue to the stop sign and make a left.
   I was quite relieved I had passed that miserable part and continued to wait for at least two minutes at the stop sign waiting for a safe chance to get on the road. I pulled out on the road and let me say this now, I sped a little bit during my test. I probably went at least 3 mph over the limit a few times throughout the duration of my test. I was really trying to keep it under, but I wasn't really doing so well. I would also like to say that this was around 3:45 ish, when people are starting to get off work. So the road was pretty busy, and that was a tad stressful.
   I feel my test didn't go that bad. I was on the last stretch of road and I thought for sure he failed me. He didn't say anything to me even as we got out of the car. As we were reaching the building, he handed me back my permit and told me to get a green number and they would take care of me inside. I looked down at my permit and I saw that he had checked off the 'pass' box.
   He gestured me ahead and I opened the door for him like a true lady, and I walked in after him. Mom's eyes darted to me and I shook my head like I had failed. It was quite enjoyable to see the look on her face when I told her I actually passed.
   I got my picture taken, and then we went out to eat. So after everything, I wasn't that bad of an experience. Thank you, Gary, for both encouraging me and disappointing me in my expectations of humanity. Encouraging me for allowing me to become a licensed driver, and disappointing me for your lack on enthusiasm in life. Lesser thanks to Eugene, for pretty much nothing, but I feel he should be included for the sake of making me really want and work for my license. Last of all, a big thanks to my friends and family and everyone who's supported me along the way. Most of you mean the world to me. :)