Austin · Camping · Family · Food · Future · God · grief · home · Learn · live · Love · Self Discovery · Texas · Uncategorized · writing

Captain’s Log: A Hot Mess.

December 31, 2019. We are home owners. The family was seeing some awesome things happen, I’d just gotten a full time job, and it looked like things were going to be awesome. We celebrated New Year’s Eve and started January with bright eyes and bushy tails.

February 2020. It seemed that nothing was right. Family life was tiring- the kiddo’s disabilities made me feel like a failure as a mother. Mom-in-law had moved in and it wasn’t a good fit for her, so she moved out. The Husband was frustrated with MIL moving out. The new job, though I loved it, wasn’t exactly the dreamiest of dreams. I was doing my best, though it felt like I was putting out fires everywhere. My social life was suffering. Little did I know.

Friday, March 13, 2020. We were in lock-down. My job was furloughed, and over before it could even begin. It was deflating to find out that I received more money on Unemployment than working my full-time job. At first, I was freaked out by the isolation. Me, the hubby, the kid- all very extroverted. We were always out and about. Being at home, spending quality time with one another was really good for us. And we were saving more money by not going out all the time. Little did I know how much we would need it.

April-May 2020. I started using my free time, reading recipe books and watching YouTube videos on how to cook. I learned how to cook. I roasted lots of chickens. I even learned what spatch-cocking was. Before this time, the husband was responsible for the cooking. Then I took on the responsibility. And I cook very well now. It’s the clean up that’s now the struggle.

June-July-August 2020. Lots of virtual meet ups with friends and family. My Kiddo turned 2 Years Old! Lots of Zoom Birthday Celebrations. I was “officially” fired from my job two days before we were supposed to be brought back on. Grief. Relief. Lots of depression.

September-October-November-December 2020. I started a small pod. Wrangling toddlers. Birthday for the Hubby. 8 Year Anniversary. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Christmas.

January-February 2021. Just terrible things happening in the world. Rays of hope: Biden & Harris are the new leaders for America. Texas gets a little snow. The kiddo plays in snow. Texas Blizzard aka SnowVid2021. More Quarantine. More Cooking Food.

March-April-May 2021. Weather changes. Beginning to burn out with teaching. CoVid scare in the pod. Me and the husband get tested and vaccinated as soon as we possibly could. J&J- one and done. Symptoms were headache, fever, and muscles soreness which lasted for a day and a half for me, and only a day for the husband. The site of the shot was sore for a full week for me, the husband didn’t notice it too much.

June-July 2021. Finally socializing again! Lots of Camping. Beach! So Many Birthday Parties! Kiddo turns 3 Years Old!

August 2021. Delta Variant shuts down plans. Another CoVid exposure. Depression. Anger. Grief. Frustration. Toddler Pod Ends. I am toast.

August 31, 2021. Things are awful, great, weird, tiring, full, and just a spaghetti jumble of feelings and thoughts. So I’m going to blog again to make sense of this hot mess. It may not stick because I just flit here and there, and we’re in a pandemic. September is coming. Let’s do this.

Austin · faith · Future · God · home · Religion · Self Discovery · Self Improvement · Texas · TX · Uncategorized · writing

It’s Been a While…

And no, I’m not talking about that song by Staind.

I have gone a lot longer without posting, but usually, November is the month that I amp up on writing.  This November is a little different.  I am not doing NaNoWriMo formally this year.  I am opting to write with Rob on a project we’ve been talking about for years now.  It’s very loosely based on our first year of marriage.  There’s a lot of misunderstanding and love involved.  And that’s all that I’m going to reveal for now.

At this moment, I feel full of hope for the future.  Weird, given the global climate of the country, and the state of things.  In spite of the trauma and despair that the world is going through, a lot of things that are personally happening have filled me with joy.  Rob and I have been steadily getting rid of unnecessary things, I’m getting closer to feeling like heaven is my true home, and all this material nesting stuff that pottery barn has told me that I needed is really just crap.  I’ve been really trying to weigh the value of the stuff I have.  Asking myself, do I really need this?  I am minimizing, while also storing up those treasures for heaven.

We’ve been living in 390 square feet of space for the past two years. We originally wanted to build a tiny house, but we moved into this efficiency apartment to see if we could live in a small space and still stand each other.  It was a great move for us.  Not sure if the tiny house thing is still going to happen because we’ve gotten real comfy with our situation. We have two cats and a dog, and moving is just hard on our critters. With the rise of property costs in Austin, we’ve been resting in the present, while also staying mindful of the future.  If we do have to make another move, it will likely be in the home where we root and raise a family.  Austin might be our home, but heaven… I’m keeping my eyes fixed on it.  Not worrying about my current living situation because I am well taken care of at the moment.

Animals · Art · Austin · Camping · Family · Fitness · Friendship · Health · Literature · Love · Nature · Outdoors · poetry · Self Discovery · Self Improvement · Texas · Texas State Parks · Theatre · TX · Women · writing

Oh, a-Camping We Will Go…

During spring break, I spent a day with my friend Sarah.  We’d gone to breakfast, and decided to get out of town for the rest of the day, and we went to Pedernales Falls State Park, in Johnson City, TX.  It was my first time at a Texas State Park, but it won’t be my last.

IMG_8160IMG_8167I really needed to get out of town for a while and have some reflection in the great outdoors.

There were trees and deer, all kinds of plants and birds, and rivers and I felt like Henry David Thoreau:

I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately.  I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life! To put to wrought all that was not life, and not, when I came to die, discover I had not lived.

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We had an adventure, crossing water, getting our feet punctured by the tiny rocks in the water, almost getting eaten by mountain lions, losing cell phone service and having little to no light, but we managed to make it back safely.  And since then, all I can think about is going camping.  So, I’m doing something about it.

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I’m going to go camping. Tomorrow. It’s not going to be primitive camping, but it’ll be satisfying this call of the wild inside of me.  I’m going to hike, and swim, and eat some s’mores, have some weenies and burgers to roast, and spend time with my hubby and my dog.  I might write something new, play some new songs, and get a tan.  I’m not too far from technology, but I’m going to try to be somewhat electronic free.

Scheherazade

In other news, I am also going camping metaphorically.  You see, I’ll be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, and I’ve got two cabin mates already.  I already have a project– a script of a play called Scheherazade.  It’s about a queer woman of Middle Eastern descent who must tell stories to save her life (and possibly the lives of others).  It deals with Islamophobia, refugees, and current political events.  It’s actually a collaboration between writers and actors. I’m not the only person writing it, all of the cast has been composing and devising for it.  Another writer and myself are forming the script from their writings and devising.  The play is set to go up in June… so finishing the script is going to be really important!  I’m so ready to get camping.  Happy Trails, and I’ll report back in April!

Art · Austin · Camping · Dance · Death · DIY · Family · Food · Friendship · Future · God · Health · Love · Music · Nature · Outdoors · Religion · Self Discovery · Self Improvement · Texas · TX · Women

33

Growing up, my family always had a big party for my sister and my birthdays.  Our birthdays are four days apart, and it was always easier to have a big party for the both of us, so I’ve grown accustomed to having big birthday parties.  I won’t lie, I’d love to have a big celebration, but I also have one big fear.

What if I throw a party and no one shows up?

I know, it sounds stupid, but it’s a legitimate worry that I have, so I usually try to do several events.

Here are thirty three ideas that I have for birthday events.  I’m not going to get to do all of them, but at least there’s a starting point.

  1. Go Camping
  2. Ice Cream Social
  3. Birthday Breakfast
  4. Birthday Lunch
  5. Birthday Dinner
  6. Tres Leches Cake Tasting
  7. Karaoke Room
  8. Picnic Party
  9. Swing Dancing
  10. Wine and Cheese Tasting
  11. Board Game Party
  12. Escape Room
  13. Make Art
  14. Make a Movie
  15. Pool Party
  16. Tea Party
  17. Mall Rats Scavenger Hunt
  18. City Scavenger Hunt
  19. Blazer Tag
  20. Food Crawl
  21. Build a Bear
  22. Lush Treatment
  23. Get a Massage
  24. Rock Climbing
  25. Rent Bikes and Ride
  26. Cocktail Crawl
  27. Musical Marathon
  28. Crazy Outfit Thrifting
  29. Cupcake Decorating
  30. Amusement Park
  31. Costume Party
  32. Day Trip
  33. Birthday Blessings/Prayers
Art · Austin · culture · Friendship · Texas · theater · TX

Bippy’s and Acting Awards

Well, acting awards are great… and disappointing.  In Austin, there’s this thing called the B. Iden Payne Awards.  I’ve been calling them Bippy’s (rhymes with Yippie! or Hippy! or Skippy!), but I think they’re called something else.  I dunno.  I should really research what it’s all about, but I’m way too lazy at the moment to google it.  It’s like Austin’s version of the Tony’s.

I am honored to be a part of three productions that were in the nominations:
The Mikado: Reclaimed was nominated for two awards- Best original script; Best featured actor in a musical (Jonathan G. Itchon)
Persephone was nominated for best original score (Tyler Mabry)
Privacy Settings: A Promethean Tale was nominated for best theatrical event

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I was unbelievably happy and proud when Jonathan won for The Mikado: Reclaimed because it was well deserved!  I couldn’t stop crying out of a place of joy… but there were the other shows, and I got so disappointed that certain people didn’t win.  I was also kinda sad that some productions weren’t in the nominations, but I get it, not everyone can agree on stuff that was awesome.  Like other shows that I won’t mention who had original scripts and scores and amazing ensembles and casts, which in my opinion were super amazing and created by the cast and weren’t even nominated… but whatevs, dog.

I think it’s such a tough thing because so many people think they deserve an award or some kind of recognition for awesome work that they’re doing, but when you’re in shows, it’s hard to see other shows, so it’s hard to say what work was super excellent and what was just eh.

I guess that’s what the committee is for. Ah, well, if I wanted to be the one making judgment calls, I shoulda joined the committee, right?  Right.

At the awards ceremony, four of the six cast members of the TM:R performed in costumes (that had not been washed since February or March) and were in white face/ grey scale makeup… and we got to use our old fans.  It was really tough going back to that place- the feeling of being trapped in your skin color, that place of unjust imprisonment, being voiceless… singing Gilbert and Sullivan again.  I don’t know how to describe just how amazingly hard this show was, and how fulfilling it was to be telling a story like this one.  While I have had fantastic opportunities in the theatre community here in Austin, TX, this show will always hold the top shelf of theatre that I’m super proud to have been a part of.  I’m getting teary-eyed, just thinking about it.

Anyway, I’m starting to not make much sense, and getting ranty and on a tangent, so I’m just gonna end right here.

Austin · DIY · Family · Film · Future · God · Literature · Love · Money · Outdoors · Religion · Self Improvement

31-derful

Yesterday was my 31st birthday, and every year, I aspire to become a better version of my current self. I am in dire need of an upgrade, as is my blog. So in honor of this new year of life, I have a list of thrity one-derful (that’s oh-nedder-full) things I want to accomplish by next April.

1. Grow my relationship with God through prayer, Bible study, and worship
2. Run a 10K – this is already in the works, I’m running one April 12th
3. Complete another 365 picture challenge
4. Make and sell some bath bombs, cupcakes, and costumes
5. Write a ten minute play
6. Finish reading the complete works of Jane Austen
7. Get to the 1960’s in my Oscar Winning Movie Watching
8. Write a song on the Ukulele
9. Start a Vlog with my hubby Rob
10. Build a loft for our bed
11. Finish our Wedding Album
12. Find a job that I love
13. Run a 1/2 Marathon
14. Get back into Yoga once a week
15. Get all toxins out of my home and change to homeopathic cleaners
16. Volunteer with food banks or homeless ministries
17. Keep mentoring and focusing on youth and kids
18. Send more letters and gifts to friends and family to let them know I love them
19. Finish Baby Steps 1 & 2 of Dave Ramsey FPU.
20. Make it a ritual to Skype with my family every Sunday
21. Get a new stamp in my passport
22. Host a Wine and Cheese Party
23. Go swimming at Barton Springs
24. Get BBQ at Franklin’s
25. Go hiking at least once a month
26. Get back into Bouldering and Rock Climbing
27. Volunteer at a Horse Ranch and Ride
28. Reread and Own Madeleine L’engle’s Wrinkle in Time Series
29. Start and Finish Madeleine L’engle’s Meet The Austin Series
30. Get a massage for each season, spring, summer, winter, and fall
31. Begin to train for a marathon

Art · Austin · Music · TX · Ukulele

Ho! Our March 13, 2014 Meeting! Hey!

I went to my first Austin Ukulele Society meeting! I’m in the back, wearing yellow!

Austin Ukulele Society (AUS)

The Austin Ukulele Society’s March meeting was a wonderful time for regular and new members alike. We moved out of the classroom we’ve been using for well over a year and tried out the gym for the first time. Our group has grown so much! Feedback was positive regarding the increased elbow room. We had a blast learning to strum and sing the Lumineers’ 2012 hit “Ho Hey” and enjoyed playing some of our other favorites as well. Here we are practicing “Ho Hey”:

You can download the lyrics and chords here. Download a copy of the instruction sheet for this song (what we project up on the wall for all to follow along) here.

As always, we appreciate you for being there! A very special thanks to our gracious open mic participants – Ian, Woody, Katie, Steve, Kendall, Randall and Jacob. We look forward to seeing you…

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