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Thursday, January 15, 2015

I'm Not Really Sure About This

So I made the bizarre and spontaneous choice of moving my blog to Wordpress. I have never used Wordpress for more than just typing things into a box and hitting "publish" for work, so I'm finding the customization etc. rather difficult. But I think I will end up preferring it in the end, as many seem to do. This blog as it is will still stay up but the new posts will all be over there. If my brain has the dumb for too long and can't figure anything out, I'll probably be back, but in the meantime join me at {{ }}

It's where the party's at. But only once every couple of months when I remember to do it. ;) 


These are from Ondine by Benjamin Lacombe. I don't know anything about this book (except that I would probably read and love it) but the art... THE ART.

Amazing, right?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Big 100, or Admitting Self-Sabotage

Welcome to Blog Post #100!

I've realized lately (again) that I have this terrible habit of avoiding the things I really want to do in favor of doing really boring, tedious things. By the end of the day I often wish I could go back and redo the last several hours so that my day could be fulfilling instead of wasteful.

I want to write a book. Well, to be more accurate, I want to write a lot of books, but since I've yet to even finish a single first draft my goals are a little more narrow at the moment. Every single day--seriously, every day--I think, "I should work on my book, or a book, or a short story, or any kind of creative writing." I think that, and then instead I look at various social medias and the zillion links I find there. For hours. Hours that could be spent writing. It's awkward to even admit that, but that is what much of my day looks like on a pretty constant basis. Not so great for an aspiring author.

This blog falls under the same kind of thing. I enjoy blogging and want to be consistent with it, but every time I think, "hey, I should write a post," I decide to do something else much less entertaining instead. Lately it's been the same with books I want to read, movies I want to watch, activities I want to do. And the silly thing is I waste all this time watching and reading about other people's lives, people I admire and want to imitate, and I wonder how I can be like them. And one thing I'm pretty sure all those people don't do is waste all their time doing things they don't even enjoy.

So, in keeping with the spirit of the new year, I've made a goal. Just one. I know a lot of people aren't fans of New Year's resolutions, but I say any attempt to better yourself is worth trying (even if you could technically start any day of the year). My goal has actually been in place for a month or so, but since I haven't been following through with it I am starting fresh.

I work part time, usually three days a week. On each of those three days I work about six hours, which means a lot of free time even with work. It also means I have four other days where what I spend my time doing is entirely up to me. So my goal, my one major goal, is that I write for at least an hour each day that I don't work, and to write anything at all---even just one word---on the days I do work. Mostly this should be on books, but short stories, new ideas, blog posts, or any other kind of writing that I choose to do counts as well. I'm hoping to do a lot more than an hour, but....small steps. I'm hoping that with this goal I can get to my major goal for this year (so I guess I have more than one? Ehhh...they combine. ONE GIANT WRITING GOAL!) which is to finish two complete first drafts. Totally doable!

Admitting that I'm failing (currently) at the one thing I've always wanted to do is awful. Thinking about the fact that I've never finished anything I've worked on is not encouraging. I want to get to that finished first draft, I want to put in the work to make this life-dream of mine come true. One draft, then a revision. Then a dozen more revisions, and then a book. One book. If I can get there because of what I'm trying to do this year, it will be worth it. If I don't get there, it will still be worth it because I'd be doing something I enjoy, something that makes me excited instead of glassy-eyed.

So to myself, and to anyone else who needs it, I say: Stop wasting time. Spend it doing the things that make you happy and fulfilled. Get off of Facebook and Twitter. You don't need to know about the 9 New Ways To Use Cauliflower. You don't even like cauliflower that much. You don't need to check out 13 Movie Mistakes You Never Noticed. Stop that, stop right now. Hands off the mouse.

Step away. Cook. Hike. Run. Play. Read. Write. Then keep writing.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

As We Left It

Tomorrow is the day we depart our humble abode and move to Springville. We have packed (a little) and procrastinated (a lot) but I managed to get some pictures of all the rooms in the house, tidied and decorated, before the great packing mess began. This is one of those posts that is more for my benefit than anything else...actually, I guess they are all like that. Oh well! It's fun for me to see the changes we've made in the two years we've been here, and all the things that made it ours.


I...didn't clean this side. Haha. HONESTY.

I'm getting really excited about moving. It's sad to leave this house that we love but Joe and I both kind of like changing things up and doing something new. Tonight is the packing frenzy, then cleaning and moving tomorrow! Onward!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Announcement

There is an announcement I must make, and it has nothing to do with babies. So don't freak out.

Joe's parents have been given a delightful opportunity to move to the east coast (!) so Joe's dad can work at the University of Connecticut and they will have a lovely house in a beautiful area and there will be so many TREES and I am a little bit jealous of that. It will be a change to get used to since Joe and I see them quite frequently here. We're sad to see them go but how exciting for them! Connecticut!

A side result of them moving is that they will be leaving the house in which they currently live. Since they plan on moving back west after retirement, they are not necessarily looking to sell their house and so...

We're moving!

Yep. We've collectively decided that the best option for everyone would be for Joe and I to take over their house in Springville for the next several years, which is very generous of them and a great opportunity for us. It's pretty exciting in almost every aspect.

The sad part, of course, is that we'll be moving out of our current little blue house, which we both adore to pieces. We've worked really hard to infuse this tiny house with the Essence of Us and the timing is both sad and satisfactory. We've just finished updating the very last room that didn't feel like "us" but we will also be officially out of the house on exactly our two year Housiversary. That has a certain poetic rightness to it, don't you think?

We have permission to paint and decorate, so we will have a new adventure in making the house that Joe lived in during high school and college into the house that Joe and Tara live in together. Weird, and fun! We will find the Essence of Us wherever we go.

The happy part in the blue house saga is that it's staying in the family. My brother (and favorite sibling) Spencer will be moving in, which is really relieving for me because I know he loves this house almost as much as I do (maybe as much? ...Maybe more??) and he will take great care of it. He loves to garden and I have great hopes that he will do lovely things with the garden and yard, much better things than Joe and I (who are not always on top of yard work) have been able to do. This makes leaving the little blue house so much easier! Spencer will be closer and I'll be able to see the house again often (haha. That sounds so silly. I just love this house!)

Anyway that's the announcement. We're moving out at the end of this month, so only a couple more weeks to go! I am eventually going to clean the whole house and take pictures of every room as they are now. It's fun (for me, at least) to see how it's all come together since we moved in two years ago. Hopefully we'll have as much fun with the rest of the places we call home in the future. :)


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Anxious for Fall

Lately I've been wanting to decorate things, but we've sort of run out of places to do anything very big in our house. So I contented myself with new backgrounds for the blog and my phone. (Bonus: my phone feels almost new even though it's all cracked and sad. I shall need to keep this "trick" in mind for when I hurt my electronics in the future. New background = pretend it's not shattered!)

I'm kind of jumping the gun here but I'm really excited for fall, probably thanks to the colder, rainy August we've been having. Either way I've been thinking obsessively about a wreath I want to make with bright fall colors but I haven't gotten around to getting the stuff to make it yet. I did find one creative outlet in a little spot of the house. Behold, the majesty of the chalkboard wall:

...which is a quote from someone I didn't mention and which I also altered to suit my own nefarious needs (the quote actually says October eves, not autumn. I just didn't want to wait until October. Or Autumn, obviously, but we'll just pretend). My splendiferous cousin Kelsey got me chalk markers which is why I could make pretty, colorful leaves. The white is also the marker, it looks much sharper and takes a lot less effort to use than chalk. I love them.

And now I go to eat sour patch watermelon candy and write blog posts for my awesome job. Wreath shopping tonight? I think yes.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Ramble to End All Rambles

I used to be a somewhat introspective blogger, didn't I? I just read through a lot of the older posts and their stream of consciousness ramblings and wondered why I seem to only write about dogs and house things anymore.

It's possibly because I don't ever leave my house? Haha. Really though. I sit at this computer A LOT.

So today I'm going to write a post that has nothing to do with dogs or houses. I can do it!

Yesterday I dropped my phone. This isn't anything new; historically, I have been absolutely awful at keeping my phones in good shape. But yesterday was the first time in the history of Tara phone-dom that I cracked a screen. It's kind of cool looking, though, because for some reason it cracked in a way that left three almost identical arcs over the buttons at the bottom of the phone when they're lit up. I realize that doesn't make any sense, but just trust me--it was a pretty cool looking coincidence. Even if it does mean my phone screen is cracked. Sigh.

Pure artistry.
I'd probably be more distressed about this if I hadn't already been planning on buying a new phone soon. I'm trying to lose 32 pounds (never mind how arbitrarily specific that sounds) and a new phone is my reward for losing the first twelve. (I've lost ten already, so 2 more until a new phone! ah!) I know weight loss isn't the important thing in being fit and healthy, it's just a general guideline for me that keeps me exercising and eating well. So far it's been really helpful :)

One of my besties, Melanie, is in town from Wisconsin for the rest of the month! This is super exciting as she's had a baby and I'll get to meet him for the first time.

I took this picture of my fake Ikea plant while taking pictures of my
phone because I found this never-used setting and wanted to use it.
Adding here for visual interest, not out of  any pretense of relevance.
Probably the biggest non-house, non-dog thing that I've been working on is trying to become an actual writer. I know I've mentioned doing that for years, but this year it's feeling like I'm really working to make it happen. I've almost finished the first draft of an actual novel--a whole, entire novel--which I have never done before. I have also started about 6 other stories and I have some good ideas stewing that I want to sit on for a while before tackling them. I adore writing, but it is so hard to do it consistently. Authors have forever said that the thing to do to become a writer is just write, and it's harder than it sounds! It's almost always a matter of sitting down and writing even when you're uninspired, or don't want to, or don't feel like it, and the words that come out are absolutely terrible. But then you go back, and fix them, and change them, and rearrange them and suddenly you get a paragraph that makes your heart smile. Sometimes I get goosebumps when I make a sentence that conveys exactly what I mean. It feels so weird to say that, because they are just words that I wrote down from my brain. But whatever, it's a cool thing. I'm so determined to make this happen (my being a writer, that is) and to someday, one day, publish a book I've written. I know I can do it. I just have to break through my natural habit of laziness and make sure I put in the time.

It rained this morning and I had an appointment, so I LEFT THE HOUSE and it was amazing. The mountains look so mysterious and imposing when they're misty and shrouded in the pre-sunrise shadows.

Here's a thing: one part I miss about working outside the house is seeing clouds all the time. This sounds ridiculous, because obviously my house has windows and, yes, even doors. I could easily look out at the sky or possibly (gasp) even go into the backyard and see clouds there. But I think it was sort of coming upon the big, fluffy clouds by surprise that I enjoyed. I would be going about some menial driving...and suddenly, I'd notice them. And they would be white and happy and such a pretty addition to the sky and driving wouldn't be so tedious anymore.
It's kind of funny how hurtling over very hard ground at 70 mph in a metal box has become tedious.

Welp, I wanted to be rambly and I feel like I nailed it. I have more exciting updates to share but those will just have to wait their turn. Suspense!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Birthday and Sundry!

On Tuesday Joe turned

(30 exclamation marks)

Yep. 30. He so old.

I am ashamed to say that I didn't take any pictures of the things we did. Much of the day was pretty uneventful, so I'll use that as my excuse. He went to work in the morning, and as soon as he left I jumped up to work all day on his super duper present so that it would be a surprise. Want to see it? Want to??

Tah-dah! Okay, I know it doesn't look like much. This is one of those moments where I regret not having taken a before picture. But this is the interior of the "shanty," as we fondly call the garage/shed building in our back/side yard. And it was a devastating mess. The tools on the pegboard were in a giant, horrific pile on the workbench, mixed in with trash and spare wood and sawdust and other scraps. It was scary. So with the help of my lovely mother, I cleaned it all out, built a shelf for the workbench, installed the peg board and organized all the craziness into a delightful tool area. It took a loooong time but I think he likes it. I know I do. Such pride.
....sometimes, I just walk out there and gaze upon it.

Sigh. So beautiful.

When he came home from work my brother was here with those giant balloons. Together we walked him out to the shanty (which my brother had sneakily decorated with a GIGANTIC red bow moments before) and revealed the work area. Joe was duly impressed. Then the three of us left to dinner at Happy Sumo with his parents and mine (which was basically his birthday party, and which I documented not a whit) and the parents gave Joe their gifts. Mom's included some additions to my tool-y land present:

Joe loves pink.

Just kidding. It was the only color left. But...he also is okay with pink.

After dinner Spencer came back home with us to plaaayyy... THIS.

Which was Spencer's present to Joe. It's a Star Wars roll playing adventure! I probably shouldn't even show you this for fear of discovery. But there it is....WE ARE NERDS. Yes, even Joe. I'm sure this is a staggering revelation (ha...ha........) He loves Star Wars and we have already spent over 6 hours playing this game. We both love it. Good job, Spencer.

We spent the entire evening/night on his birth date playing that game until waaaayyy too late for a group of working folk, and that was that! We were going to have a celebration with friends but we might end up being too lazy (?? to have fun? Yeah...) I think he enjoyed himself that day and he is, of course, entirely unfazed by his unbelievable oldness.

In other more minor news, I have some updated pictures from around the house. Cause it's been SO LONG since the last ones. Mwahaha.

Here's my lovely office again. I guess I just like to show it off.

But I hid the cords under my desk (yay!) and we moved the ottoman from the living room in here (under the window) becauuuuuse....

New tables!

 My cousin Kate was selling her matching coffee and sofa tables that I have loved since I first saw them. I actually planned on staining/painting the last coffee table we had in here to mimic the style (though I ended up staining the top and painting the legs, rather than the other way around, because it was a lot easier). And I really liked our old table, but the color was slightly wrong, the table top was a bit small for our liking and it was sort of wiggly (though we could have fixed that. We just didn't.) So when she told me she was going to put hers up on KSL but was waiting to see if I wanted them first I was super excited. And I took them, obviously. And I love them.

We moved the rug out of there, which is a weird change. I didn't like it with the tables for some reason. I don't really like having just plain wood floors either, but it was bugging me so much to have the rug so I'll just have to deal with it...somehow. (dramatic voice)

The dogs approve. Or they don't care. I'm gonna go with the latter.
 The sofa table replaced the ottoman in front of the window. Sawyer's favorite sleepy spot is gone (although he still uses it in the office). The only sad part about this is that we no longer pull into the driveway and see his sickeningly adorable face resting on the windowsill, watching us.

It's getting to the point where we've changed things up in this room so much that I can't tell if we're making it better or worse. But I love the tables, and I love the floor, and everything else I also love. So I guess we're doing okay. :)

 And that's that in Gallowaylandia. Birthdays, shanties, nerd confessions and tables. I do so love our silly little life :)