09 August 2018

all good things yo

Mom and I have been on this big, "go with the universe" kick lately. Just rolling with whatever happens and trusting our guts. It's working out well, actually.

I've never been more content because I know nothing is in my control and I know everything happens the way it's supposed to. I've been appreciating things in the moment more, because I know things can change in an instant.

I've been doing a WHOLE LOT of reflection lately. Naturally, a lot of it has happened during long drives around East Texas. Oh, there have been some beautiful drives, and since the radio stations in-between towns are usually gospel or classic country, I have had lots of time to think.
(Not that I don't love me some Wynonna Judd.)

Mostly thinking about how my mindset has changed so much in the last few months. (not to mention my marital status, address, immediate surroundings, and focus.)

I feel so blessed in so many ways. I feel like after so much turmoil, a lot of things are settling in the way they're supposed to.

Work has been crazy busy this summer and it was such a good thing. My utilization numbers are great and performance reviews are just around the corner. I feel like I'm getting comfortable with this role.

Slowly feeling at home in this new house. Some mornings I wake up and smile because of the way the sun shines into my bedroom through the french doors and I can hear the pond bubbling.
I've spent a bunch of money on the roof and the security system (with cameras soon) and there's a few other expensive items still on the list, but I see it as a worthy investment. I feel good in this house, like I'll be happy here for a while.

I had some gals over for a game night last weekend even though there's crap everywhere. I figured I love hosting parties and if I wait until things are perfect, it could take years! Plus anyone I know well enough to invite into my home won't judge me based on the piles of un-organized stuff. I'm glad I decided to have people over. It was a lot of fun.

Pumpkin can apparently still climb fences. I thought she was too old but I watched her do it the other night so now I'm slightly worried that she will hop the fence and get run over on the busy street. But I guess I can't worry about that. Hopefully she's smart enough to avoid the street full of cars. I think the giant frog living in the corner behind the pond is enough to keep her focused inside the fence for now.

Foxy grandpa has continued to be a hugely positive thing for me.
Overall I am finding that he is a very genuine, kind person. Kinda restores my faith in a lot of areas where I've become massively jaded.

I like that he's super handy and has helped me with a few projects around the house.

Recently he facilitated an outing with Frank, Chelsea, Ash, and Collin and we all had an absolute blast. It's so important to me that any dude I'm with on a more-than-casual level get along with my family.

We're planning to go float the river next month and HE brought up how I should invite Suzy because it's near Austin. And HE suggested that I invite Ashley and Collin. (Not that I wasn't going to anyway, but his enthusiastic suggestions were a refreshingly big deal.)

He also invited me to go on vacation to Lake Tahoe and Vegas and YEAH I'm super down for those things. He added me onto his Southwest companion pass and I get a bunch of hotel and rental car perks through my job so between the two of us, this travel situation works out well. Looking forward to more random trips with a dude that I don't mind sharing a hotel room with.

The best part of the Vegas trip is I know he's excited to go gamble, but he keeps bringing up the fact that I'll get to see Luke because he knows that's important to me. I love that.

I'm choosing to believe that the universe sent him my way at this period in my life for a reason. He's a fun, happy addition to my life.

So all in all, things are good right now and I am definitely okay with that.

17 July 2018

Products I'm loving

Tried my first barre class today. It was intense. I'll stick to yoga for now because flexibility and mindfulness are my focus, but when I want to bump it up a notch, holy crap that does the trick. (My ass would be super perky if I kept it up.)

Anyway, some products I'm loving lately:

-Que Bella Charcoal Mud Mask. I can only find it at Target and I love it. I squeeze it from the packet into a small container. Then I dab it on any problem spots and it dries it right out, seriously halting the progression from pre-breakout to big hurty red spot.

-Bio Oil. I was particularly sold on this product because I tried it out of desperation during the development of another rash-fest this spring. [Horray, unexplained rash of tiny bumps around my noise and eyes, coinciding with allergy season.] The whole month of April was stressful and not a good time for my skin.  I put this on at bedtime. It absorbs nicely and has a pleasant fragrance. I'm convinced it has helped, as the bumps have cleared up and I've noticed an overall improvement in my skin tone and texture. I'm using WAY less concealer nowadays.

-Speaking of concealer, Shape Tape is the BOMB. I dab on a teeny, tiny bit and it covers great and stays put all day. I follow this chick on instagram who sang its praises so I checked it out and it's every bit amazing and worth the $30 price tag.

-Scouring Stick. This product is AWESOME. I tried so many things trying to get rid of the nasty hard water ring in the hall toilet. Nothing worked.
Not an overnight soak with coke, vinegar, bleach, scrubbing, CLR, nothing.
The scouring stick was on the shelf at home depot right next to the CLS. It cost three bucks so I figured why not? And to my amazement, it worked. scrubbed that hard water grossness right off, without scratching the porcelain finish. Nice.

Lastly, in my crusade to find a sulfate-free shampoo that gets a decent lather, I came across this Orchid Oil shampoo. Smells good, cleans good, and sudses up better than any other sulfate-free shampoo I've tried. I also enjoy the (sulfate-free) lavender shampoo.

12 July 2018

risk and feeling centered

I have sat down to blog several times in the past few weeks and have always gotten interrupted.

How on earth has life shifted so much in such a short time?

I know time always helps to clarify perspective, but what a doozie. I guess I kinda went through a big shift and it's still a little crazy to look back on it.

Right now, I feel calm. Happy. Peaceful. I'm setting into this new life well, even though work is crazy busy and I'm still developing my new routine and Pumpkin won't crap outside and my heart is adjusting.

It's all in a positive direction. I went to yoga for the first time in weeks and I felt like a different person. When I set the intent for my practice, my thoughts were completely different than the last time I went. I felt strong. Good. Centered. Happy. Content. Steadfast to myself.

So of course it's time to take a major risk... Obviously I was feeling too centered.

To be honest, the thing I'm struggling with the most at this time is this relationship that's developing with foxy grandpa. He brought up the "we should date each other exclusively" topic of conversation.
Yeah, he didn't waste any time.
It's that frightening combination of "this feels really great" and "this is happening WAY too fast."

Which I communicated to him.

It's completely illogical and out of character for me to give in to any shmoop. But.
I've decided that this time around, I'm going to give myself permission to to go with it.

Why? Because life is short and to be honest, after feeling SO low for SO long, it's sooooooo refreshing to feel smitten. Yeah, it might be ridiculous and I might eventually get hurt, but in the meantime I'm going to allow myself to REVEL in the unique happy feeling that comes with this situation.

Of course I didn't intend to meet someone. I was going to happily be a big fat slut and maybe find a couple of friends with benefits.
But that idea didn't work out the way I planned and the whole time it felt odd.

This... feels right.

I've grown so much, and gotten in touch with how I'm okay by myself... it makes me especially appreciate how this foxy grandpa adds another level of joy to my life... BUT DOESN'T DEFINE IT.

He has his life and I have mine, and they happen to intersect a couple of times a week.

And that is why I feel (cautiously) okay with how everything is developing.
Plus I'm making sure he's completely aware of how I feel. Over-communication is my jam right now.

So even if this does wind up being a horrible idea, at least I spent some time being ridiculously happy without reservation.

At this point in my life, I'll allow that.

07 July 2018

creative pest control

One of the biggest immediate challenges with this new house was back yard pest control. The fish actually take care of the mosquitoes, and there are quite a few spiders that take care of the other miscellaneous annoying bugs.

However, there is the ever-present issue of giant roaches. I have seen a couple, and I'm determined to not let them ruin my enjoyment of the back porch. There is no way to eliminate them, but I'll keep fighting that battle.

I originally insisted that the entire back yard be nuked with poison, but there was a concern that it might hurt the fish. Well, crap.

So I baited as much as I could around the house, and kept pondering solutions for the rest of the yard.

Then last weekend I joined foxy grandpa at his friends' property for some "glamping." They have a pond on their property and at night a ton of frogs emerged. Big bullfrogs.

Frogs! They eat roaches! What a nature-friendly way to solve my problem!
There are plenty of small frogs around the back yard, and I think the big roaches are too much for them, but a larger frog could probably eat a lot of them.

We discussed catching a big frog right then and bringing it home, and I was really excited about my solution, but I wanted to do some research first. Mostly because those bullfrogs made a lot of noise and I could see it getting really annoying right outside my bedroom door.

I'm glad I did some research. Some frogs carry bacteria and parasites that might upset the current ecosystem, and the process would be slightly more complicated than catching a frog, bringing it home, and letting it loose in the backyard.

Then yesterday I happened to peek outside during a rain storm, and noticed this moderately-sized guy:

What do you know! I already have a frog! He was pretty active yesterday, jumping in the water and hopping around.

Hopefully he's got a big appetite.

05 July 2018

unpacking + cabinets

Finally getting to the point in unpacking where most of the things I use on a daily basis are available and out of boxes. Which does major things for calming my life.

I feel like it took forever, because right after I moved, work got super busy and I chose to escape for two weekends in a row in favor of more soul-soothing activities like the beach and fresh air.

Plus before I could unpack, I had to prep a few things.

The kitchen was a priority.

Although the countertops and backsplash in this kitchen are updated, the cabinets themselves are... different. The shelves are not actually wood. They're some sort of composite material that is porous and they have definitely seen some abuse.

I cleaned everything well, but many of the shelves were stained and actually tattered. Not something I want to put my dishes on.

Shelf paper went in the drawers and on the shelves, but the bottoms of the cabinets were too gnarly for that. Plus it's not easy to maneuver shelf paper in large pieces. I opted to try something I'd seen on pinterest. 

I went to home depot and bought a couple boxes of self-stick vinyl tiles. Yes, they're not ideal for actual floors, but it turns out they're really great for lining cabinets. I bought the cheapest ones, 59 cents a tile. About 17 bucks for a box.

These things are great. Literally just peel and stick, and they were easy to cut to fit.

Before: Grungy uck.

After: I would put my dishes on this.

Before: Giant mysterious stain.

After: Clean and nothing questionable.

After that was all finished, unpacking went fairly quickly. I feel happier knowing there is a sturdy barrier between those funky cabinet shelves and my pots & pans.

24 June 2018


Today I woke up sore and sunburned and happy.

Yesterday Foxy Grandpa invited me to the beach with a couple of his friends, and I had the BEST day. I unpacked zero boxes. I cleaned literally nothing. My laptop stayed closed.

The beach is always a good idea, but I really, really needed a day of relaxation. It was the perfect way to force myself to take a breather. There's nothing to do at the beach but relax and chill.

So that's what I did. With reggae music on the bluetooth speaker, a nice breeze, and a slushy little bottle of rose.

I always take time to appreciate my blessings, but I kinda forgot that life is supposed to be fun. I really forgot that relationships are supposed to be fun. Chris stopped doing social things with me years ago and I forget how nice it is to share those simple recreational moments with someone you dig.

I also forgot how easy it is to make new friends... when you make new friends. Because when you hang out with new people you get to meet THEIR friends, and so on.

The couple I met yesterday were the kind of people that buy some cheap blow up floaties at the gift shop to use in the water, but before we left the beach they gave them to some random kids to enjoy. THOSE ARE MY KIND OF PEOPLE.

Yesterday was so, so good for my soul.

17 June 2018

hello from the other side

I had a quiet moment to myself this afternoon, so of course it's time for a brain dump.

Packing and moving was chaotic and insane and I am becoming pretty adept at rolling with the punches. I called in a LOT of favors. I could not have survived this on my own. I'm so grateful for the good people in my life.

Looking back, it's actually bewildering how much stuff happened in such a short period of time. 

I can't believe somebody actually bought our house. There's another car in the driveway and someone else is walking into that house every night. It's a little weird to wrap my head around.

I can't believe that I made an offer and closed on a house in 10 business days.

I can't believe that a few of my friends and I packed up my house over the course of an evening. 

I can't believe that my movers cancelled the day I closed on my new house, and I can't believe that we rallied and unloaded everything in mere hours. 
(Really, where was that time warp?)

I can't believe my new surroundings. It's unreal how pretty this house is.
I'm typing this in bed with Pumpkin, computer atop a shrink-wrapped nightstand.
The view outside my bedroom is serene.
Last night I soaked in a huge, deep tub full of hot water and epsom salts and felt at peace.
Earlier today I sat on the back porch and listened to the rain while I watched the fish pop out of the water and planned what kinds of flowers would go in the empty spaces in the garden.

There's a lot to adjust to, but the immediate chaos has passed. It's been replaced with lots of little projects and unpacking.

I spent 20 minutes today looking in the garage for the box that contained my undies. Plus I've been living with no fridge and I'm so tired of eating out.
I'm SO HAPPY it is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow, along with the washer and dryer. 

Which is awesome because in addition to the undies situation, I have no clean pants. I'm totally going to be rocking a dress in the lab tomorrow and I don't really have a choice, but it'll be just fine.