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Month: December 2014



it’s that time of year again! time to review how i did in my last year’s resolutions. i know you’re all waiting with bated breath.

1. the oldie but goodie: take more pictures!!!

2. write in my blog EVERY DAY. this is the 10-year anniversary of me starting to blog, and as such i am going to attempt to be a daily blogger.

3. put in a garden in my back yard. put gutters on the house. those are my two house goals.

4. attempt another chip-timed 10k – one that’s not so crappy.

5. go somewhere. travel to somewhere. hop in my car and drive to somewhere. get out of my bubble. explore more. (maybe take on a second job so i can afford the gas…)

6. finish my devils syrup book. i can do it!

7. promote my photog stuff more. i’ll need to prep the basement as a sort of studio, but i’d like to do more official photography fir people.

1. i ACTUALLY DID THIS. every year i complain how i didn’t take enough pictures, but THIS year, i actually went out and took photos of things i’d been wanting to do for a while and just…haven’t. i went to lanesboro at dawn and took pics, took some nighttime pics. i have to continue to do this!

2. i DID THIS TOO. ok, not EVERY day. i think i missed three days out of the whole year, but i consider that pretty darn good. 362/365 is not a failure by any means!

3. I DID THIS!!! garden was put in and gutters put on!

4. I DID THIS! ok, it wasn’t chip-timed, but it WAS timed. i finished in an hour and 15 minutes. i start to hate life after five miles. 

5. i did not do this. i did go to grand rapids and st cloud during the year thought. next spring nate and i are going somewhere for vacay. i think if nate hadn’t quit his job in march, it’s possible that this might have happened, but this year was not my year for that.

6. this is so close. i mean, it’s done – the end had been written. but it needs some editing and additions. it’s not very long. 

7. caitlin has used me for a couple photog sessions, but i haven’t been promoting myself enough. boo on me. 

between my blogging almost every day and the photo stuff i did, i consider this past year a success in my resolutions. 

how did 2014 treat me otherwise?

hmmm….2014 was ok

– nate quit walmart in march. he’d had enough. 

– garden went in, but unfortunately the harvest was really horrible. turns out the black walnut trees above it were poison to most vegetables. gotta move them this spring. boooooo.

– went to st. cloud over veterans’ day and it was GLORIOUS. i miss that area 🙁

– no derry reunion this year, which really bummed me out. 

– but two weddings on that side, my cousin molly and cousin jason got married. traveled to the cities for the first in august and then up to grand rapids for the second in september. both were fun. love weddings!

– i finally went to the doctor for my heel issues, and i found out i have a level 3 heel spur (that’s the highest it goes). i got custom orthotics for my shoes, and apparently they’re supposed to be working. we’ll see. 

– i started doing yoga somewhat regularly. i had to stop running for a couple weeks, so i picked up yoga. in the past, i’d gotten bored with it because i did the same practice each time. this time, i’m watching lesley fightmaster’s yoga channel on youtube, so it’s different each time i do it. i don’t notice that it’s doing anything for me, but that’s ok.

– i spectated/cheered at a 5k, which was AWESOME. highly recommend! 

– i FINALLY finished the dark tower series. after the second book, it just seemed to fly by. 

– made a couple things for the first time – rendered lard and made soap

– got my semicolon tattoo! also spruced up my book tattoo on my foot





just read a reddit post about how to get yourself together.
1. no zero days
2. be grateful to the past, present, and future you. think of it as doing favors to the future you.
3. forgive yourself
4. exercise and books (this rule clinched it for me)

words of the year

words of the year

i get a daily calendar for work, and this past year i picked up a “forgotten english” one, which had words every day that have gone out of use. i was in search of the perfect word i thought needed to be used regularly again. i saw it, loved it, forgot to write it down. (good grief.) i might have found it?
here’s a list of the best words i found:

  • smyster: to idle sitting over a fire. to talk or laugh to oneself as in a daydream
  • balitorium: riotous. merrymaking which often accompanies a bonfire
  • flire: to have a countenance expressive of laughter without laughing out (laughing so hard you don’t make a sound??)
  • zouch: an ungenteel man or bookseller (??)
  • amaritude: bitterness
  • graith: all things necessary for preparation or readiness. the trappings/gear needed in any pursuit. the verb, graithe, mean to prepare or make ready
  • gardyloo!: a common cry in ediburgh when peeps threw urine, slops, etc out of the windown
  • cunctator: one who acts tardily – a delayer
  • ramage: the boughs or branches of trees
  • eargh: superstitiously afraid. eerie is derived from it.
  • bookwright: a maker or author of books
  • scelerat: a villain or criminal
  • cluttery: when it is raining with thick clouds all around
  • mopple: to confuse
  • carnaptious: irritable, ill-tempered, cranky or cantankerous
  • bell-wether: leader of a flock or sheep with a bell (also found out on this day that a black sheep in a flock was good luck)
  • minnock: to affect delicacy or to ape the manners of one’s superiors (like when snoopy was imitating lucy in charlie brown crhistmas??)
  • unkard: a person in a strange place
  • CRAPULENCE: drunkennes or sickness by intemperance (i think this is the word)
  • tripudiation: dancing (why can’t you just say dancing?)
back to work

back to work

sadly i have to go back to work tomorrow. i’m the only one in the office, too, which makes me want to go in even less. this next couple weeks are probably the quietest of the year, which of course means i can get a crapton of stuff done, but feel no oomph to do it 🙂
anyway, it was a good 4-day weekend! MLK day is the next day off for me, then i’m seriously considering working president’s day so i can stockpile my vacay time for june (i should be ok, but i’m still unsure). 
welp, last week of the year and last week of kablpoye. 

i'm dreaming of a white boxing day

i'm dreaming of a white boxing day

tonight the world turned suddenly white after an on-again off-again relationship between this winter and snow. according to the old farmers’ almanac, this winter is supposed to be as snowy as last year, but won’t start until almost january (true so far??). now we’re supposed to at least stay below freezing, so any snow we do get will most likely stay on the ground.
snow is so deceptive. it looks so nice and clean, so pure. it keeps the world crisp during wintertime by covering up the drab brown. but then you step outside, and your breath can be taken away by the cold. the most unfortunate thing about snow is that it goes hand in hand with the cold. 
so at least it looks better outside than it did, and we’re supposed to get 1-3″ of snow by 9 a.m. tomorrow. there’s about that much outside now, and the snow is forecast to keep coming down at least until 10 a.m. there will be a lot more than 3″ is my bet. better a late white christmas in the season than no white christmas season at all (all you naysayers aren’t realizing the 12 days of christmas come AFTER christmas).

merry christmas

merry christmas

Dear Editor,
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.”

Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon


Virginia, your little friends are wrong.
They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little.
In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.
Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.
There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.
We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus.
The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there.
Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world. You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart.
Only faith, poetry, love, romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

night divine no longer

night divine no longer

As an adult, what is the closest you’ve come to recapturing the awe and wonder of childhood christmases?
quite frankly, i don’t think you can. nothing i’ve experienced as an adult can match what i felt at three years old waiting for santa. the closest thing at christmas time was listening to choir lady in spicer sing “o holy night.”
christmas this year is weird. liz and doug are going to spicer to be with doug’s fam over christmas, so last weekend we had a weird mini christmas where we exchanged gifts with them. tonight it’ll be my parents, jane, and me. charlie gets done with work at 8 p.m., and i’m not sure what nate’s going to do. church is at 11, so it’s probable that charlie will go to church, but it still leaves out a contingent.
add in that it’s already weird because we don’t go to church in new london-spicer anymore. no more choir singing “o holy night.” awe and wonder out the window.
i guess things change and you deal with them. 
merry christmas all y’all.