This week’s Tuesday Topics were kind of fun!  It was a nice chance to go back and review several years of posts and feelings and see what I wrote and what has been a monumental thing in my past.  So here are my eight favorite posts!

The Austin Family Diary
  1. The story of how a fifth grader just blessed my heart
  2. This was a fun follow up to this post on ten memorable movie quotes.  I couldn’t stop thinking of great movie lines, so I had to do another post with more of my favorites!
  3. My personal reflection on the events of April 16, 2007
  4. I used to do these weird headline roundups often, and I miss them.  I should do one soon!
  5. From a late night joking session with a friend, we developed the House Rules
  6. My love of the Olympics is well documented on this website.  This is just one of many roundups from the games.
  7. Delayed grief and farewell my friend
  8. The best gift I ever received

It’s Spring? Really?

I feel like many of the recent Link parties that I have seen lately have focused on Spring.  Which is awesome, if Mother Nature could get over her menopausal madness and remember that it IS spring.  Or did Persephone decide to stay down under for too long and Demeter is showing her displeasure?  Things around here have just been plain loopy!  So as such, I don’t see how I can truly list 10 Things Spring as directed this week.  Instead, we’re doing another anti-listicle, and finding:

10 Things That Should Be Occurring Now That Spring Is Here:

  1. April showers that bring May flowers.  This might be put off by a few months judging by the snowstorm that is going on outside my window.  I can understand it a bit farther north/west of here, as spring storms are not so uncommon there.  But this is Virginia people.  This is the South.  Why is it snowing outside my window?  And twelve hours before the earliest weather forecast predicting snow at that.  It’s a pretty snow, I’ll give it that.  Big fat flakes falling fastidiously and forcefully forth.  (How’s that for alliteration?)
  2. Spring cleaning.  Or Winter cleaning for that matter.  Or weekly cleaning.  Yeah, my house is a mess.  I have my annual winter-turns-to-spring head cold, and just haven’t felt like doing much of anything.
  3. Shopping for a springy Easter dress.  I’m sorry, but can’t get motivated to have a cute sundress to wear with white shoes for the first time this year when it is 37 degrees outside and, oh yeah, SNOWING.
  4. Goodwill cleanout.  When you switch the closet from dark and drab winter colors to the fun spring and summer clothing, and throw away all the stuff you haven’t worn in the last seven years.  (Because everyone knows that if you’ve worn it in the last six years there is a chance you might wear it again.)
  5. The dog spending time outside in order to burn off his energy.  Unfortunately, Levi hates the cold and refuses to spend time outside when the temperature is this low.  I’m so used to having a dog with fur, that it’s a bit odd to me that his hairy behind doesn’t want to stay outside.  If he can find a patch of sun, that’s okay, but usually it’s out, squat, and back in again.
  6. Studying.  Yeah, that’s right I said studying.  Truth be told I should have been studying since January, but life and family have gotten in the way.  So I’m taking a hiatus from the CLU courses.  Unfortunately, I start the Series 7 investment exam class in eight days.  And have done no prep work.  I’m so screwed.
  7. Getting excited for my birthday and the arrival of my niece.  Okay, yeah, I’m doing that.  It’s a bit bittersweet, however, as my mother will not be able to get up to see the baby (two hours north) due to her illness and complications.
  8. Flying.  Kite flying, that is.  But between the rain (and the SNOW) it’s a bit too wet to get on the flying field and spend time outside in the mud.
  9. Hammock sitting.  Nothing beats sitting outside on a crisp spring day when the sun is shining and enjoying the weather before the bugs arrive to ruin the experience.  Even fun to do it with a blanket and a pillow to keep warm.  Not so much fun when you need three down comforters and a parka to stay outside for three minutes.
  10. Turning green!  It needs to be green with the flowers and buds on the trees and grass starting to fill in.  Prepping to plant tomato plants and dreading the first week of many when you need to cut the grass.

Someday.  Someday soon . . . .

Spring Forgot To Arrive On Time This Year

The calendar may say it’s spring, but Mother Nature hasn’t gotten the memo.  My sinuses, however, seem to have looked at the calendar and now are waiting for Mother Nature to arrive to finish the job.  I’m going on two weeks of this sinus garbage and I’m not enjoying this continual pounding in my head.  So much so that I’ve spent every waking moment not at work on the couch practicing my mouth-breathing.  Ugh.

On the other hand, the arrival of spring also brings the Lenten season and Holy Week.  I was at rehearsal today for the Palm Sunday service at church, and the music is Ah. Maze. Ing.  So excited to hear the performance Sunday morning.

Sunday Social

1. What is your favorite thing about Spring?
All the new growth.  Flowers trying to make their way in the world after the chill of winter.  The riot of color before it gives in to the green of summer.

2. Favorite kind of flowers to grow or receive?
Does basil count as a flower to grow?  I love it.  It’s also the only thing I haven’t killed other than a jade plant on the kitchen windowsill.  As much as I love the aforementioned riot of color I am horribly allergic to just about all of it.  So favorites to receive?  Probably tulips and daffodils, as they don’t aggravate as much.  Plus they are oh so pretty.

3. What is your favorite nail polish color?
The ones I like never look that great on my fingers.  I love bold pastel pinks and deep burgundy or wine tones.  I just painted them a soft opal shimmer, actually, but I know it won’t last any longer than my shower tomorrow morning.  I just cannot get polish to stick to my fingernails longer than a few hours.  I’ve tried every base coat out there, and no luck.  Any recommendations on how to get the polish to stick??? 

4. What is your favorite outdoor activity?
See the above statements regarding my allergies.  I can’t spend but so long out there without breaking into hives.  But when it’s good, the favorites include spending a great spring day out on the kite flying field, a balmy summer day hammock sitting with a good book, and fall afternoons at college football games.

5. Do you have any fun Spring plans?
Right now, to get healthy!  My birthday is coming soon, as is the new niece, so plans are all involved around that big event!

Mother Nature isn’t ready to give up her cold weather

As I write this on Tuesday, I am sitting on the couch with a box of tissues on my chest, trying desperately not to sneeze all over the keyboard.  I get sick twice a year, both times it is allergy/sinus related.  Once when we go from summer to fall, and once when we go from winter to spring.  While it was beautiful last week, raining all weekend, snow/slush yesterday, and 65 degrees here today, I am sitting on the couch with an incredible hammer banging on the right side of my head/ear/nose/eye.  Honestly, I didn’t have any allergy issues at all until I was in my mid twenties, and now I am the worst in the family.  Ugh.  And until spring is firmly here, I stand by my opinion that Mother Nature is going through menopause–occasional hot flashes followed by periods of extreme cold and frost.  And we all must suffer in her wake.

1. March 20th is the first day of spring…is she a lion or a lamb in your part of the world?
Right now it’s like a weeping, old, tired lion.  It’s 1045 in the morning, and looking outside my window all I see is gray skies, puddles, and no sun.  For the fourth day in a row.

2. What’s the most dreaded task on your spring clean to-do list?  Do you have a ‘plan of attack’?
Oh let’s just be honest and say the whole house.  I love the idea of a clean home, just hate the practice to get there.

3. Peas…love ’em or hate ’em?  What’s a favorite dish you make using peas?
As a child I hated them, though I loved the practice of shelling a fresh harvest while sitting on the front porch with my nana or my aunts.  As an adult I have a new found appreciation for them, and enjoy them.  Have split pea soup ready for dinner tonight, though I think next time I make it I will do so with country ham instead of smoked.  Needs more salt.

4.  Do you feel under appreciated?
Sometimes.  Sometimes over and undeservedly appreciated.  But I’m at that weird age, where I’m no longer one of the young adults, and am instead one of the older leaders.  I sometimes feel I am over looked, but then again, recognition isn’t why I am volunteering for these activities.

5. Have you been using Google Reader?  If so, what are you switching to now that GR has announced retirement?  If not, how do you read your favorite blogs?
I never did.  I still use Yahoo, and subscribe to all in an RSS feed.

6. Anne Bradstreet is credited with the following quote~
“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant;  if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”
Agree or Disagree?  Why?
Spring is sometimes thought of as the reward for months of punishment.  Some people call it Karma, some people call it payoff, some call it justification.  I think that if you work hard and work honestly, you are given the fruits of your labor.  Why not enjoy the fruit salad.

7.  When did you last ‘spring for something’?  What was it?
Honestly, it’s been so long I can’t remember.

8.  Insert your own random thought here?
It’s been a rough couple weeks around here.  Not only am I ill with a run-of-the-mill cold, but mom is not doing well.  She fell at the baby shower a few weeks ago and broke her arm, a result of the deterioration of her disease.  Have we reached a new stage in her quality of life?  Are we at the end?  Mentally she’s not coping well, and I can’t blame her–she’s living a miserable existence, and her pride (which is about all she has left) prohibits her from doing more in public.  Will she even make it to see the newest grandchild in 28 days?  If you think about it, say a quick prayer.  I know the disease isn’t going away, and I know that she won’t be cured.  Just pray for mental peace.  For all of us.

Stubborn? Me?

Yeah, I don’t know where my family gets the idea that I’m stubborn.  It’s not like I am set in my ways or anything.  Actually, I had a hard time coming up with a list of nine for this week’s Tuesday Topics!

The Austin Family Diary
  1. The Three Stooges is directly related to the Y chromosome.  I just don’t get it, and have no desire to watch them ever again.
  2. Les Miserables needs to have a turntable in the stage show.  This new touring production, that doesn’t have one, just isn’t the same.  The turntable stands for so much more–the passage of time, the evolution of Valjean, the circle of life.  To take it away detracts from the show.  I’ll still go see it in two weeks though!
  3. Sexual orientation should not prevent you from being able to marry the spouse of your choice.  Nor should it prevent you from the pain of divorce in the case of a breakup.  It should not keep you from being able to have and/or adopt children, and it should not cause you to be disrespected in the eyes of the workplace, the community, the church, and the world.
  4. Kite flying is cheaper than a psychologist.
  5. My ability (or desire) to clean house is not directly related to my worth as a woman, no matter what my mother says to everyone else.
  6. My current salary is not directly related to my worth as a human, no matter what my father thinks.
  7. A dog is better than a cat.
  8. You have every right to criticize the elected officials in this country on one condition–you actually participated in their election process.  Once elected, regardless of if you voted for them or not, they deserve the respect that comes with the office they hold.  Criticize away, but you must still show respect.  It pains me greatly that if I were visiting this country and had no knowledge of its history I could get on Facebook, and then come to the conclusion that the country is full of a bunch of anti-government, disrespectful, hyper-critical people who cannot spell.  The privilege of voting and living here comes with the responsibility to represent our country in a favorable manner.  If you don’t like it that much, there are 195 other ones you can live in.
  9. The divinity of Jesus Christ, and the Savior He is in my life.

The Anti-Listicle

Sometimes the topics that are “assigned” for the Listicles (or any of the other link parties I participate in) are biased against those of us that aren’t parents, aren’t married, aren’t Stepford wives, etc.  This week’s Listicle is one of those topics–10 ways my partner’s awesome.  Well, I’m not married, not dating (though I think I might be ready to start again), not in a business relationship that can be termed a partnership, and so therefore I’m struggling with the topic.  So instead, I think I’m going to share how I’ve found:

10 Reasons Being Alone Is Awesome:

Disclaimer: many of these that seem snarky and bitter are laughingly related to the time when I *was* in the committed relationship.  You know–the one where I should have BEEN committed for thinking it would work out?

  1. Shaving your legs is something you only have to do when you go to see the gynecologist or wear a bathing suit.  So therefore only once or twice a year.
  2. Exclusive control of the remote, and endless movie marathons on Lifetime or Oxygen.  Or, when you’ve seen all of those a thousand times, you can watch Burlesque again without any guilt when you fawn over Cam Gigandet’s abs.
  3. The dog doesn’t know how to hog the blankets (though he does take up a lot of bed space now that he’s learned how to jump on the bed).
  4. More closet space.
  5. You can have Cherry Garcia for dinner and not feel like you’re failing to provide nutritional meals for the family.
  6. You don’t have to share the bathroom.  You can leave your magazine open to the page you were on, the toilet paper always rolls the “right” way, and you don’t have to worry about hiding the tampons.
  7. The dog makes a great screening panel for all your dates, and if the dog doesn’t approve then you know it won’t work.
  8. You don’t have to worry about turning on the computer and being bombed with ads from whatever XXX website they accessed when you were at work.
  9. You’re always up for girls night, be it dinner and game night, 80s movie night, or just hanging out to give your friends a chance to get away from their families for a few hours.
  10. You know that you’re not set in your ways, you just have had a lifetime of figuring out what you will settle for and what you demand as a necessity.

See you next week!

A Season for Everything

Some weeks you just need the time to decompress.  Don’t change out of pajamas, stay in the house all day.  This weekend was unexpectedly one of those weekends–my trip to Charlottesville got postponed, my mom isn’t in a place to have help, and my nana won’t be moving for another three weeks.  It’s been raining off and on all weekend, and I think spring is officially here as I have a faucet for a nostril, can’t close my mouth my lips are so chapped, and sinuses are so swollen my teeth hurt.  What a crappy way to spend the unexpectedly free weekend.  Still, it could be worse!

Once again, I’m playing heathen and skipping church.  I just didn’t think it would be attractive to be snorting, sneezing, and blowing my nose through the entire 90 minute service.  Much as I want to be there–I’ve been missing praise and worship lately–I think it’s just better to stay at home.  So why not take the chance to take care of my link parties for the week!Sunday Social

This Weeks Questions:

1. Favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
In the days where I had a front porch, sit on the front porch and watch the rain, read a book, relax.  Now?  Stay on the couch, watch the rain, watch movies, chill.

2. Favorite thing to do on a Summer weekend?
Worship the Air Conditioning and stay inside.  If it’s not too humid (rare around here) then sit in the hammock, read.  

3. Favorite Spring accessory?
My yoga shoes!!!

4. Favorite way to spend a Winter day?
Wish for snow, stay in and knit

5. What is your favorite season and why?
Fall!  Football weather, crisp air, not too hot, awesome!

6. Best birthday you ever had?
37 was pretty cool, as I got a nephew via my stepsister.  This year (40) should be pretty awesome, as my brother’s wife is giving me a niece!