LET'S START AT THE VERY BEGINNING: 365 Days Project Begins Here

Thursday, December 31, 2009

93. December 30

For the story behind this picture of the day, click here.

"In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite."

~ Paul Dirac

92. December 29

Here's what I like about my sister:
She knows cool stuff, like how to give massages, or how to get pictures onto your computer when the camera cord won't work. She makes me laugh, a lot. She appreciates long drives and the car wash. I just like being with her, even if we aren't conversing or doing the same thing.

"The person I am in the company of my sisters has been entirely different from the person I am in the company of other people. Fearless, powerful, surprising, moved as I otherwise am only when I write."
~ Franz Kafka, Diaries of Franz Kafka

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

91. December 28

Today, Lisa and Danni helped me accomplish #37 on my list of Life Goals and Ambitions; float a wish away in a helium balloon. It was such a beautiful experience, I think we'd like to make a yearly tradition of it.

Here, prior to the balloon release, is me with Lisa's yellow balloon and my blue one, wishes not yet wished.

"Most people say if you tell a wish it won't come true. But I don't think wishes work like that. I don't believe there's some bad-tempered wish-fairy with a clipboard, checking off whether or not you've told."
~ Cynthia Lord, Rules

Thank you, Lisa, for the picture. Thank you, Danni, for the quote. Thank you both for the adventure.

90. December 27

Sunday drive with my sister, Lisa

"Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God's love encompasses completely. [...] He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken."
~ President Deiter F. Uchtdorf, "The Love of God"

Sunday, December 27, 2009

89. December 26

This is one of those days where I didn't get around to taking a picture until the day was mostly over...

I had the delightful experience of watching the 2007 Persuasion for the second time with a few wonderful ladies. It is a gorgeously poetic film. And Captain Wentworth is appropriately dashing.

Here, Danni is clearly rivited.

"...the second time you see something is really the first time. You need to know how it ends before you can appreciate how beautifully it's put together from the beginning."
  ~ David Gilmour, The Film Club: A True Story of a Father and Son

Friday, December 25, 2009

88. December 25

Merry Christmas.

So it certainly wasn't a white Christmas this year, but for those of you who haven't ever experienced a red dirt Christmas, you are missing out.

Family hike, Christmas Day 2009.

"Isn't it funny that at Christmas something in you gets so lonely for--I don't know what exactly, but it's something that you don't mind so much not having at other times." 
~Kate L. Bosher

87. December 24

Christmas Eve.
My favorite day of the year.

What to say? I originally planned on posting pictures of the traditions that make the holiday: eating a big dinner, reenacting the nativity scene, unwrapping Christmas pajamas, sleeping in the basement, and watching Christmas Story... However, when deciding what pictures to post, I realized the pictures that caught my eye weren't those of the Christmas table setting, or of the tree, or of our makeshift manger. Rather, it was the faces of family. These are the faces that make Christmas for me.

So, as a small and humble present to you, dear reader, let me introduce you to the faces of family.

Cierra, Matt, and their beloved dog, Phoebe.

Lisa and Kyle as Mary and Joseph

Lisa and Kyle as Super Mary and Baller Joseph... or something like that.

Grandma and Grandpa O. as wisemen

Mother, the angel

Dad, the narrator

Regretfully, I have no pictures to share of Grandma and Grandpa S. But trust me, they are delightful faces.
Besides, I've already gone way over the "a" picture a day quota.

"Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."
~ The Gospel According to Luke, Chapter 2

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

86. December 23

This is also home.

Beautiful, isn't it?

The best news of the day?
My sister is home!
Everybody needs a sister. Seriously. They are awesome.
And a little brother.
And a big brother.
And while we are at it, why not throw in a healthy mix of a sister-and-law, a mom, a dad, cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents, pets, and a nephew to come.

"God is the designer of the family."
~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

85. December 22

This is home.

"Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving."
~ Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

Can you believe it?

84. December 21

What book has had the greatest influence on your life, scriptural text set aside?
More fun answers from this intriguing little question...
My favorite answer thus far is Kim's choice of Shadow Spinner. Kim explained that as an eighth grader she was reading at about a third grade level. She hated reading. She hated the easy reader books. It was boring. It was stupid. Then, at the end of the year, Kim was finally allowed to pick a book she actually wanted to read. The book of choice was Shadow Spinner. Kim loved it. And she hasn't stopped reading since.
Tif chose The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss; Tuesday's with Morrie, by Mitch Albom; Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer; and The Mastery of Love, by Don Miguel Riuz.
Lee varied off the fiction path (way off) with Computational Differential Equations, by Claes Johnson et. al. And I'd agree with Lee--it's hard to separate the most influential works of literature from scripture.
The Book of Mormon and the Bible have changed my life more so than any other written work.
For more about The Book of Mormon, feel free to visit www.mormon.org, or just send me an email.

It's curious, so far, no two answers to this question of influential books has been the same...

Well, enough on that.
Today was a long day, but one of the most excellent variety. Following nine hours working retail, I drove around with my family to enjoy the beautiful Christmas lights. Driving around to see Christmas lights is one of my favorite holiday traditions.
I can't believe Christmas is almost here.

In just a few short days, this stocking, made years ago by my Aunt Lanette, will be stuffed full of Christmas delights.
I can't wait.

"When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes."
 ~ Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus

Sadly, true. I may be very, very poor, but oh I have a beautiful collection of books to share!

And one more quote for you tonight,

"Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all." 
~ Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

Monday, December 21, 2009

83. December 20

One of my favorite places to be is in the comfort of Grandma and Grandpa's home.
I am eternally convinced that of all the good people God put on this earth, my uncles are the funniest and brightest, my aunts are the most gracious and lovely, and my four grandparents are hands down, the best.
Did I mention I love, love, love my family?

I thoroughly enjoyed celebrating Grandma's birthday with this fine crowd.

"...these foolish, affectionate people made a jubilee of every little household joy."
~ Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Sunday, December 20, 2009

82. December 19

A couple things on my mind tonight.

First of all, I posed the question, what book has had the greatest influence on your life, scriptural text set aside, to my coworkers today. Debby mentioned childhood favorites--The Boxcar Children, A Wrinkle in Time, The Westing Game, Anne of Green Gables, and Winnie the Pooh. Marcie chose Eagles Don't Eat Worms and the Angels Don't Knock series. My mother commented yesterday that her choice would be AJ Cronin's Keys of the Kingdom. Amy chose The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. Danni mentioned Lance Richardson's The Message. This question fascinates me. I want to ask it of the world! I guess because first, it tells a lot about the person, and second, it gives me a great list of books I hope to some day read.

So I ask again; what book has had the greatest influence on your life, scriptural text set aside?

Second of all, whenever I come home from college all I want to do is eat and sleep. I have this vague desire to be reading all these great books I keep hearing about, but then I pass through the kitchen and all thoughts are lost. I am in awe of a refrigerator full of food that I can eat, with nothing off limits. It's truly incredible. There are shelves and shelves of food in the cupboard. I can snack! I can have toast any time of the day! And an oven! How cool is that? Most of all, I have an amazing mother who cooks me homemade food--real homemade food. And thank goodness for Christmastime, because there seems to a plethora of sweet delights all around me. Oh, I do love this eating business. Too bad I can't seem to get more of the sleeping business. Or this reading business. Or this getting things done that need to get done business...

Well, here is the beauty of the refrigerator.

And so I give you two quotes: one for the book lover and one for the food lover in me.

Some quotes are particularly dear to me and this is one such quote:
"I have sometimes dreamt [...] that when the Day of Judgment dawns and the great conquerors and lawyers and statesmen come to receive their rewards--their crowns, their laurels, their names carved indelibly upon imperishable marble--the Almighty will turn to Peter and will say, not without a certain envy when He sees us coming with our books under our arms, "Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them here. They have loved reading.""
~ Virginia Woolfe, The Second Common Reader

And because Little Women can pretty much narrate my life, I think I'll let it do so tonight:
 "...and everyone settled themselves to a hearty meal, for youth is seldom dyspeptic..."
~ Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Saturday, December 19, 2009

81. December 18

Genuine cotton, from Utah's Dixie.

A week until Christmas.
Even more awesome.

I haven't had time these last few weeks to really consider Christmas and now that there is only a week left to build up to it, I kind of feel gypped, like I missed out on the season. I hate for the Christmas season to end. Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year. And the day after Christmas? It's one of the saddest.

What does Christmas have to do with cotton? Not much.

Tonight, my friends and I were playing a game and the question came up of which book has had the biggest influence on their lives, scriptural text set aside.
For me? Hands down, Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott. For my friends? The TimeTraveler's Wife , Siddhartha, the Harry Potter series, Breaking Dawn, and Mere Christianity were a few that made the list. Well, maybe the Harry Potter and Twilight series aren't making my list of books to read, but the others have definitely been added.

What would you say is the book that has had the biggest influence on your life; scriptural text set aside?

"I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself."
~ Marlene Dietrich 

What does this quote have to do with cotton or Christmas or books?
Absolutely nothing.
I just like it, that's all.

Thank you for allowing me to indulge in unrelated delights.
And please, think about the book question.

80. December 17

I love cluttered antique, consignment, and second-hand shops; personable used bookstores; curious historic sites; and very old houses.
I guess I just love old things, things that had a life before they found me,
like this:

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."
~ Albert Einstein

Thursday, December 17, 2009

79. December 16

I think it's good to home in the company of familiar faces.
Tonight, I went to an ugly sweater/white elephant party with the most delightful crowd of friends, acquaintances, and new faces. We didn't stay too long at the party, but we kept our ugly sweaters on the whole night through.

Here is Krista modeling her sweater.

"What I find exciting in a new acquaintance is  the thought: Maybe I'm making a discovery here; maybe someone is entering my life who is nice. That's what gives me joy: the possibility of goodness. I appreciate exceptional intelligence. I can be charged by beauty, and I am intrigued by charisma. But I will be moved by goodness."
~ P. M. Forni, Choosing Civility

Welcome home, Elder Burton.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

78. December 15

It is the strangest thing to return home after quite some time away and to sleep in the same bed that you dreamt away your childhood in. The past layers upon itself on my bedroom shelves in the form of knicknacks, dried roses, sea shells, journals, and books. How far away today childhood seems! I shuffled through clothes that had been left in my closet: prom dresses, a graduation gown, coats, and costumes, all hanging like ghosts of yesterdays since forgotten.

Who is this girl who wore these prom dresses and carefully hung the corsages to dry? Is she the same girl as the child who stenciled crooked  hearts and bows on the walls? And is that child the same girl as the teenager whose stacks of unfinished writings now fill the dresser drawers? Who is it that carefully selected these shelves and shelves of books, picked these curtains, and chose these pictures? Who is it that taped a map of Europe by the door, next to pictures printed off the internet of fields of golden daffodils, pictures to help her memorize the words of Wordsworth? Who is it that carefully packed away her old dolls and stuffed animals, saving them for children of her own? Is she the same girl who flew home only yesterday after months away in Asheville? Who does she make me?

I've always disliked the idea of finding yourself. I don't know about you, but I don't recall getting lost in the first place. And if I was to find myself, then what? Would that be the climax of all growth and progression in being? What happens after one is "found"? I prefer the idea of creating and becoming yourself. I feel in these few months away that I haven't found a missing girl, but I've created more out of who I was already. Life is an endless process of becoming and creating, not a search for a stagnant ending. And, for me, much of this process is evidenced on the shelves of my childhood bedroom. Here, home has remained an unaltered marker off of which I can gauge my progression in becoming.

"The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation. You are not discovering yourself, but creating yourself anew. Seek therefore, not to find out Who You Are, but seek to determine Who You Want to Be."
 ~ Neale Donald Walsch

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

77. December 14

 Dear Asheville,
I miss you already. Thank you for the sunny send off. I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful last day. I will forever remember you as home to some of the best days of my youth.

 I am always awed when I manage to find a quote that encapsulates the exact emotion I feel but do not have the words to express. Thank you, Azar Nafisi. This is beautiful and the truth of it makes my heart ache.

"You get a strange feeling when you're about to leave a place, I told him, like you'll not only miss the people you love but you'll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you'll never be this way ever again."
~ Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books

Sunday, December 13, 2009

76. December 13

O babe I hate to go...

All my bags are packed I'm ready to go 
I'm standing here outside your door 
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye. 
But the dawn is breaking it's early morning 
The taxi is waiting, he is blowing his horn 
Already I'm so lonesome, I could cry 

So kiss me and smile for me 
Tell me that you wait for me 
Hold me like you never let me go 

I'm leaving on a jet plane,
I don't know when I'll be back again
Oh babe I hate to go.

~ John Denver, "Leaving on a Jet Plane" 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

75. December 12

Today's picture displays my avid enthusiasm for an awesome white elephant gift.
Thank you Jordan, for being tonight's guest photographer.
Now just one problem--I need a dachshund to love.

"Why can't we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn't work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes. I know what I need. I need more hellos."
~ Charles M. Schulz

Happy twentieth birthday, Danni. You are beautiful. I can't wait to celebrate your birthday next week!

Friday, December 11, 2009

74. December 11

Today consisted of packing and goodbyes--lots of goodbyes. It feels so strange to be leaving this life behind. Bittersweet day.

One of the sweet moments of this bittersweet day was a matinee showing of Elf at this fun movie theater/pizza joint. Pretty cool place!

"If there is ever a tomorrow when we are not together there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But most important of all, even if we are apart, I will always be with you."
~Winnie the Pooh
(Thanks Sam)

73. December 10

Today my roommate and I took a beautiful drive to hike and see some scenery. It was a frigid day, but the sun was out and the scenery was incredible. My kind of day. Tonight, Jordan I went out to dinner and then to a symphony holiday concert with friends. We spent the remainder of the evening talking and listening to music. Good day, right? Then I decided to ruin the good day by staying up ridiculously late to the point of crankiness, recycling at one thirty in the morning, getting into an awkward confrontation at the recycling bins with a guy I went out with a few times (I mean what was he doing there anyhow?), listening to the same guy laugh about it with friends when he thought I was out of earshot, and then wasting an hour online giving myself more reasons to be moody.

Moral of the story? When the night is over, go to bed. Don't attempt confrontations when tired. Recognize that lack of sleep enhances crankiness and things will seem better in the morning. Nothing is so terrible important that it needs to be done at one thirty in the morning (as I am blogging at three in the morning). Don't let sour notes spoil a whole day.

But I don't want this post to be about crankiness, because things like gorgeous scenery, good friends, and incredible symphony music should be adequate to swallow all other unpleasantness. Why is unpleasantries not a word but pleasantries is? I'm adding that to my rant list.

Moving on.
HERE is the view I was blessed to see today:

HERE is the quote I've been saving for a good day, and dang it all, today deserves to be that day whether it ended that way or not.

"Life is so full of unpredictable beauty and strange surprises. Sometimes that beauty is too much for me to handle. Do you know that feeling? When something is just too beautiful? When someone says something or writes something or plays something that moves you to the point of tears, maybe even changes you."
— Mark Oliver Everett, Things the Grandchildren Should Know

Mr. Everett does an eloquent job of describing an emotion I have oft felt.I haven't read this book, but twenty Amazon users gave it a five-star rating. If Amazon loved it, it's gotta be good, right?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

72. December 9

Hey world, today was a good day to be alive. It started with a misty morning, clean from Tuesdays rain, that broke into a crisply sunny day. I finished my finals. To celebrate the end of the semester, my roommate treated me to barbecue and educated me on the differences of eastern vs western North Carolina barbecue. The restaurant featured a fabulous live bluegrass band consisting of a fiddle, a mandolin, an electric bass, a banjo, and an acoustic guitar. And in a bit I'll wrap up the evening by reading The Age of Innocence.

Sometimes, I worry I won't ever be able to do all I want to do with my life. There are so many places I want to travel to, so many books to read, so much music to hear, so many things to try... Days like today remind me there is time to live and be. No rush. What happens, happens. And if you're given the opportunity to enjoy bluegrass and barbecue, run with it.

I didn't take many pictures today. I would have liked to have photographed the bluegrass band, but the whole night felt too laid back to pull out the camera. I kind of liked this shot, even if I've already photographed this path half a dozen times...

So I don't believe in "other lives" in this sense, but I thought this quote was a beautiful description of the chaotic swirl of human experience. 
"There will be other lives.
There will be other lives for nervous boys with sweaty palms, for bittersweet fumblings in the backseats of cars, for caps and gowns in royal blue and crimson, for mothers clasping pretty pearl necklaces around daughters' unlined necks, for your full name read aloud in an auditorium, for brand-new suitcases transporting you to strange new people in strange new lands.
And there will be other lives for unpaid debts, for one-night stands, for Prague and Paris, for painful shoes with pointy toes, for indecision and revisions.
And there will be other lives for fathers walking daughters down aisles.
And there will be other lives for sweet babies with skin like milk.
And there will be other lives for a man you don't recognize, for a face in a mirror that is no longer yours, for the funerals of intimates, for shrinking, for teeth that fall out, for hair on your chin, for forgetting everything. Everything.
Oh, there are so many lives. How we wish we could live them concurrently instead of one by one by one. We could select the best pieces of each, stringing them together like a strand of pearls. But that's not how it works. A human's life is a beautiful mess."
~ Gabrielle Zevin (Elsewhere)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

71. December 8

I know, another Christmas tree shot, but I just loved Jennifer's Charlie Brown-esque Christmas tree.
Only 17 days until Christmas! Hooray!

"I'll be home for Christmas. You can count on me. Please have snow and mistletoe and presents on the tree."

70. December 7

Finals Week!

Life is a little crazy, but I still manage to reserve time for the important things like free breakfast and karaoke at night, watching About a Boy with friends, and taking pretty pictures like this one.
The building to the right that you can't really see is my place of residence. 

My good friend Danni introduced me to this little poem, which I'll offer you as the quote of the day.
The Blue Between
By Kristine O’Connell George 
Everyone watches the clouds,
naming creatures they’ve seen.
I see the sky differently,
I see the blue between-
The blue woman tugging
her stubborn cloud across the sky.
The blue giraffe stretching
to nibble a cloud floating by.
A pod of dancing dolphins,
cloud oceans, cargo ships,
a boy twirling his cloud
around a thin blue fingertip.
In those smooth wide spaces,
I see a different scene.
I see those cloudless spaces,
I see the blue between.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

69. December 6

This is the picture I want to show you tonight: Darla's baby, Elijah, with dinner all over his face, and still looking so beautiful, with those blue eyes yanking at your heart. Oh, I just can't get over those eyes.

This is the story I want to tell you: One of beauty, friends, adventure, and the bittersweet feeling of knowing it has to all be left behind for something different.

The picture and the story don't seem to match up. And that's okay.

Elijah, I'd try writing you a letter, telling you about what's ahead, about how life isn't easy, but it's so beautiful. Just one problem;I haven't lived enough of life yet to write you that letter. I'll get back to you on that one, little guy. Good luck out there.

"At this rate, I'd be lucky if I wrote a page a day.
Then I knew what the problem was.
I needed experience.
How could I write about life when I'd never had a love affair or a baby or even seen anybody die? A girl I knew had just won a prize for a short story about her adventures among the pygmies in Africa. How could I compete with that sort of thing?"
~ Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Saturday, December 5, 2009

68. December 5

First snow of the season!
It melted before noon, however, it made for a beautiful morning.

"'It's snowing still,' said Eeyore gloomily.
"So it is"
"And freezing"
"Is it?"
"Yes," said Eeyore. "However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately.""
 ~ A.A. Milne

Friday, December 4, 2009

67. December 4

I have some wonderful friends.
They are exchange students, like me.
In another week, we will be scattered across the world.
So, I'm lucky to have a few more good nights, like tonight, with them.

Tonight let me introduce you to Manu, always with a camera!

"I’m here to live out loud!"
~ Emile Zola

And happy 20th birthday to Krista...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

66. December 3

For the past couple weeks, I've been helping out with the opening and closing some cold frames here on campus.
They are sort of like mini greenhouses; boxes of soil with glass lids that need to be opened in the morning and shut at night. It's kind of fun to finally start seeing growth, the green push its way out of the dark soil. Nobody told these little plants it's winter, so they just keep growing.

I had the chance to attend an open mic night tonight, where a few friends performed (and did awesome). I'm not one prone to stage fright, but I'm also not one to ever put myself out there like that. I really admire it.

Sometimes, I think I play life a little too safe. Sometimes, I wish I was more like the plants in the cold frame or the performers on stage--both willing to stick their necks out in the cold, not knowing the outcome.
There is too much of life you miss out on for the sake of staying comfortable.

"Fate loves a rebel."
~ Arabian proverb

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

65. December 2

Dear reader,
I promise the entire month of December will not be all Christmas posts.... just most of it.

12 days away from moving home.

Today I began a new journal, perhaps preceded by, oh, a dozen others I've filled in the last four years.
Each journal kind of marks a new chapter for me, and this new journal, falling twelve days before a move back home, will certainly see me through many a change.
I just wonder what events will fill its pages.

It was also the last day of a few classes here at the university. I'm starting to feel a little melancholy about leaving this beautiful place.

Jordan (I think I previously referred to him as Mr. H, sorry, I get my characters confused), and I wrote St. Nick tonight. I asked the jolly old man for three things; a good job to see me through the rest of college, money to see me through the next semester, and a first edition copy of Little Women to see me through life. Why not dream big? Well St. Nick, that's not all I'd like for Christmas.

Dear Santa Claus,
Merry Christmas, Santa Claus. I'll admit, I haven't been the best girl I could be this year. I have been blunt, foolish, hasty, unkind, and lazy all in the last year at least once, if not many, many times. But I'm trying to be better. And I've got a few things I hope you don't mind me asking for. Will you please simply to assure me that whatever is coming next is going to be beautiful? It would be especially nice if you could give me a glimpse of what's in store, perhaps just let me read the last page of this current journal. Will you also help me decide what it is I want out of life? Santa, if there is a career out there for me, will you drop a few big hints in my path as to what it is? Will you kindly give me the confidence to know that I can handle whatever is coming next? I know this is a lot to ask for, so if it's too much, the first thing I asked for, the assurance of beauty in things to come, would be great. And, maybe, you can help me be a better girl for next year. Thanks Santa.
Merry Christmas.

A believer

What's on your Christmas list this year, dear reader?

Sorry, this picture isn't the best (you can kind of see the camera), but I do so love Christmas trees. I promise you prettier pictures to come. My family had best have their tree up for the season. I can't wait to see it when I come home.

Don't feel left out, reader, but there are some days where the quote and picture I share with you is different from the one I keep for myself. Sometimes that may be because the picture is blurry or the quote is long. Other times, things are personal or unexplainable. And tonight, I'm just plain finicky. I don't know why you need to know that. I just think I should be upfront with you.

Anaïs Nin has some amazing quotes. Google her. I could give you quotes upon quotes of hers that have powerfully struck me, tonight or at some other point in life. But for tonight, just one.

"There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person."
Anaïs Nin

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

64. December 1

Hi, December. I think you and I are going to get along just fine.

  • I found a 1989 (My birth year) penny on my way to breakfast.
  • Tuesdays are the best days for breakfast at the caf: French toast sticks, eggs, grits, sausage.
  • I had a great visit with a good professor and he gave me a beautiful poetry anthology.
  • It was a sunny day, even if it was chilly.
  • It's one day closer to CHRISTMAS. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!
Let the Christmas countdown begin!
I apologize if this blog becomes a bit Christmas obsessive for a bit. The blogger just happens to be a huge fan of the holiday.

"Funny, but come December and I remember every Christmas I've known."
~ Frank Sinatra, "Christmas Memories"
(A favorite of mine)

Monday, November 30, 2009

63. November 30

Monday. And rain.
Really? I mean, really?
It's bad enough that it is the first Monday back from a long holiday, but rain?

Do you ever have something really good happen to you,
and then you overthink it,
and it kind of spoils it?


Almost Christmastime...
First gift of the season! Thanks dear.

Did I ever share with you my life motto?
At various points in my life, I've had this in my car, on my binder, in my room...
I'm just missing it from my wall this year.
Do It Anyway
Mother Theresa
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

62. November 29

Another really good day.
Isn't life extraordinary?

It is good to have friends and roommates back from Thanksgiving break.
This is Marta and Jeremy, two good friends of mine, enjoying dinner in the caf.
If you knew these faces, I think you'd them too.
And its Marta's twentieth birthday tomorrow!
Three cheers for birthdays, and a particularly happy one to Marta.

 "There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate."
~ Charles Dickens

61. November 28

Such a good day.
And an even better evening.

I like this flower.

"If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly our whole life would change. "
~ Siddhartha Gautama

Friday, November 27, 2009

60. November 27

Hello, life.

Tonight, my camera and I experimented with reflections.
I kind of liked this one...

"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid."
~ Frederick Buechner, Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABC's of Faith

59. November 26

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today's Gratitude List
(The Last One)
  1. I am grateful for friends to spend Thanksgiving with. Thank you, Leslie and Robert for the meal. And thank you, Kyu, for wonderful conversation over Thanksgiving Dinner.
  2. I am grateful for the phone conversations I was able to have with my family. Love you, family.
  3. I am grateful for virus protection conquering horrible viruses on my little laptop.
  4. I am grateful for a lazy night I had do as I pleased.
  5. I am grateful for cereal, particularly the cheap variety.
  6. I am grateful for the blanket the Springer family gave me for my birthday. It has proved to be a most useful gift.
  7. I am grateful for time alone to read poetry out loud as long as I'd like, particularly the works of James Tate and Adrienne Rich.
  8. I am grateful for plastic cutlery and Styrofoam bowls.
  9. I am grateful I like my own company. I know that sounds kind of silly, but me and myself, we get along pretty dang good. 
Thanksgiving 2009.
I'm sorry I don't have pictures of the actual dinner to offer you. Picture turkey, salad, fruit (real fruit!), stuffing, and ice cream. Picture lots of friendly faces. Good picture, right?
Last night, I indulged in the guilty pleasure of watching movies all night. I admit, rather pathetic, but oh I enjoyed it. I watched Barbra Streisand light up the screen in Funny Girl. Isn't Streisand fabulous? Next was a very, very condensed TV viewing of The Wedding Singer, which was okay. And then a little Grey's Anatomy. Since that's the first I've ever seen of the show I was a little lost. Finally, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and Louis Armstrong in High Society, the remake of also star-packed The Philadelphia Story, with Katherine Hepburn, James Stewart, and Cary Grant. Its hard to say which of the two was better. The cast of The Philadelphia Story seemed to fit the characters better, but the musical twist to High Society was delicious.

There's something about old movies that the movies of today just can't match up to. Why am I telling you all this? I forget. I think I could give you a whole blog on good movies, books, and poetry. Hey, come to think of it, I've already got one to share poetry with you. Check it out here.

And now, this picture may seem totally unrelated to anything, which it is, but my apartment is FRIGID this weekend, and so I've spent the whole weekend bundled up in this sweater. Besides, there is only so much photographic creativity I can muster out of these four rooms of this apartment.

"--this is where I live now.   If you had known me / once, you'd still know me now though in a different / light and life.   This is no place you ever knew me."
~ Adrienne Rich, from An Atlas of the Difficult World

No more typing. My hands are freezing. Its about 66 degrees farenheit in here, two degrees warmer than when I began this post. And the more I look at that picture the more I dislike it, so I'm just going to post it before I replace it with an awful shot of a peanut butter jar aside a box of Cheese Nips.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

58. November 25

Oh isn't life just good?

Today's Gratitude List
(Continuing Until Thanksgiving)
  1. I am thankful for legs to take me everywhere.
  2. I am thankful I didn't find the road I was looking for today, because then I wouldn't have wound up where I did.
  3. I am thankful for Christmas music. Thank you, Lisa, for this wonderful mix I am now listening to.
  4. I am thankful to have run into friends today.
  5. I am thankful for an unexpectedly warm day.
  6. I am grateful for time.
  7. I am grateful for work I have to keep me occupied.
  8. I am appreciative of the Spell Check and Synonym features in Microsoft Office.
  9. I am thankful life leaves room for adventure. 
Today was beautiful. I was unable to find my intended destination, so instead I took a very, very long detour to a lake I had been once before. I stopped along the way at a book store and library and soaked in the feeling of all those books. I wandered through a bird watching garden and listened as geese called overhead, flying south in loose "V". And I laid on my back on a peer and basked in the blue--the blue water, the blue sky--oh it was incredible. On my walk home, by odd chance I ran into three friends, all going different ways. It seemed like just the right ending to today's adventure.

I am grateful for the life I live.
Sorry, I hope you don't mind a few extra pictures. It was a pretty day, okay?
Tomorrow, I'll be a good girl and stick to just a picture and quote of the day.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." 
~ Mark Twain