Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pink and Red

     I've had these pictures for quite a while now, but I just hadn't gotten around to writing this post. I love this outfit, and I have worn it several times this Summer. I thrifted the skirt a year or so ago, and I found the shirt in the second hand bin in the laundry room of my dorm. It was cut at the bottom, and had a few holes in the seams; rather like someone was trying to alter it and gave up. I patched it up, and it is one of my favorite blouses now. It is pure cotton and very light and breezy. I love wearing sleeves in the summertime to keep the heat off, so this was a perfect combination.

     I had worn this to go to the store with my Mom and Rachael. We were looking for plants for the garden. It was a lovely day, but it got rather warm outside. Fortunately, this outfit does well in heat for me. When we got home, I asked my Mom to take some pictures for me, which she kindly did.

     I have been trying to get some sewing done lately. It is a bit of a process; I am a nocturnal sewer, but I also work evenings at my job. It is therefore difficult to actually buckle down and sew. I am currently working on a light green sailor dress, and I can't wait to finish it and share the results! I have also been spending more time watching old movies. I always forget how happy they make me. There is just a certain quality to them that is missing in the newer stuff. I have been especially hooked on Marilyn Monroe movies. I am always so saddened by her story, and I wish she could have found joy. One thing I love about her is that she is considered one of the most beautiful women ever to have lived, and I agree. But you know something? She had flaws that would be considered ugly in a modern woman. For instance, if you see her in profile, you'll notice a slight pooch in the tummy; but it didn't matter at all! She was confident in her body, and that is what gave her beauty.
Lots of love!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Going East Part 5: Boston

     We spent two days in Boston. The first day we visited the birthplace and home (Peace Field) of the Adams'. It absolutely amazes me to see how simply they lived back then. The house that John Adams was born in was only three rooms on the first floor, all very small. We weren't able to go upstairs.
     Peace Field was my favorite. It was lovely. There is a garden outside, and we were informed that the lilacs were Abigail's Lilacs, in that she actually planted them. Imagine plants lasting that long! The entire outdoor area smelled amazing and reminded me just how much I love gardens. The story goes that they bought the house while in Europe, remembering it to be bigger than it was. When Abigail saw the tiny house, she cried. Then she went to work improving it. Three generations of Adams' lived in the house and continued to improve it. My favorite part was the library. It was built separate from the house out of brick, so that it would be fire proof. It's a small, rectangular building and is lined with books. They put the books in helter-skelter, and then put in a decimal system according to how they fit in. It smelled of books and was quiet and bright inside. I wished I could have spent some time there alone. We also heard a great deal about Louisa Adams. I am quite intrigued by her now, and if you enjoy history, you should read up on her. She was the only first lady to be born outside of the US, and was quite charming.
     The second day of Boston travels was spent on the Freedom Trail. We started at the end, for fear we would miss the Constitution otherwise. It is the oldest commissioned battle ship in the world. They still take it out several times a year. Also, I learned something interesting. You know the phrase "whistle while you work"? Well, Disney didn't come up with it. Boys were used to take food from the kitchen to the crew, and they had to whistle while they worked; to prove they weren't eating the food! I thought that was so interesting.
     It was a very cold day, and the Freedom Trail is long. After a while of being outside, one forgot how cold it was. We decided to stop for lunch at a clam chowder place. Mom had looked up options, and discovered that there was a restaurant just off the trail. It was rather further than we anticipated though. The trail is marked by red bricks laid into the sidewalk, and different places pop up along the way. We saw Paul Revere's home, as well as the famous church where the lanterns were hung.
     We were getting very hungry, and hadn't come to the restaurant yet, "Ye Olde Union Oyster House". Deciding that it was high time we found it, we left the trail and went in search of it aided by our iPhones. As it was late in the afternoon and none of us had eaten, nerves where rather on edge. Mom's phone was nearly dead, and I put the directions into mine. After going the wrong way once or twice (the sun was not out and it was therefore difficult to judge direction) we finally spotted the gigantic billboard like sign for the restaurant. On coming to the front we discovered that the Freedom Trail ran directly in front of it. Oh well, we had made it. It was somewhere around four by this time, but we were still able to get lunch instead of dinner. Our group was split up into two booths across the aisle from each other. I sat with my parents, and the couples sat together. 
     I had clam chowder (which came with cornbread) and then we ordered a Boston Creme Pie for dessert. Mom said she didn't want any, but that resolution quickly faded; it was very good! When we finished eating, we started on our way again, only to discover that it was much colder after eating warm food. And we soon discovered that we would not be able to finish the trail, since everything was closed. We walked back a shorter way and made our way home.
     I really enjoyed Boston, and would like to have the chance to go back again. One of my favorite parts of this trip was enjoying all of the beautiful architecture. Most of the homes are old, and so much more lovely than newer homes are. I have decided that a house ought to be white, yellow, green, or blue, with shutters in corresponding colors (with red being fine as well). That makes for the loveliest house. This will be the last post in my vacation series, though I said six originally. I found that it could be done quite nicely in five posts, and it is time to move on and enjoy new things. Thank you for reading and enjoying my trip along with me!
Lots of love!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Slow Down

     My Dad took me out to a rendezvous for a day. I wore some of my Mom's old clothes, including the moccasins Dad made that she wore to their wedding. I ended up walking barefoot when I saw how muddy it was. It was a beautiful day, and so simple. This is where we ate our lunch of bacon, bread, and cheese. I adore reenacting, just living simply for a little while.

     I received some excellent advice while training at my new job: "slow down". I think it says something when you are told to slow down at a pizza place. I was trying to get the orders into the computer as quickly as I could, but I didn't know the system very well, and I was stressed. I didn't feel good enough, I wasn't learning fast enough, the people on the other end would be irritated that I couldn't put in their orders at the speed of light; and then I'm told, "slow down, they're on your time, you aren't on their's." It surprised me, but it made perfect sense.
     I am a busy person. I like to get things done, and I hate to feel that a day has been wasted. I don't want to look back on my life and not see any difference. The problem is that I have been ignoring the process. When I was taking those orders, I was trying my hardest to get to the end and press the "place order" button. I wanted to accomplish a successful order. But life is found in the process. The moments of completion and success are wonderful, but they're so much better when I can look back and love the journey. 
     I'm beginning to think that I find too much worth in trying to be 'Wonder Woman'. I want to be that person that always has it together and can do anything and everything. I want to be able to help people and make everything beautiful. I don't want to ever be accused of laziness. I am finding my worth there though. If I am having a down day, or getting a B in a class, or saying "no" to someone's request, I begin to feel like a failure. I must be actively doing and planning every day, or I am dissatisfied.
     I am making an effort to slow down. I am not putting pressure on myself to sew every day. I am trying to live in the moment and appreciate these days that I have been given with my family. And, even though I have a uniform to wear to work, I am going to try and be creative with my clothing in the day to day, rather than just waiting till I have to go to work, and then putting on my uniform. Life is beautiful, and as the old saying goes, I want to "stop and smell the roses". Youth is fleeting, and being in college and working during the summer is no excuse to waste these precious days. I am determined that youth will not be wasted on me.
Just some thoughts,
Lots of love!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Going East Part 4: A Graduation, an Engagement, and Whales

     Our last hotel was in Bedford, New Hampshire. We were joined there by my sister and brother-in-law. The entire reason for our trip was Kimm's graduation that Saturday. We found a beautiful little park surrounding a lake, and we decided to visit. My Mom was still in the process of finishing her semester, so she stayed in the hotel to do homework, but the rest of us went and frolicked in the woods. I took lots of pictures that day, and we all decided that a return trip for Mom was a must.

Kimm, looking ethereal. 
Johan found a pine cone

I told my Dad to look to the side; this is what I got. *Snarky*

Rachael and Jared

I loved wearing this outfit in the woods; the only issue was the sandals, I didn't know that the path would be unfinished.

     Saturday was Kimm's graduation. She graduated with a 4.0 and a Bachelor's in Creative Writing. I pin curled Kimm's hair the night before, and the next morning it was raining! Fortunately, the graduates were allowed to enter through the side door; but all of us family members had to stand in line outside. We were fortunate to have a nice man with an extra umbrella in front of us, else we would have been soaked. It was a very large graduating class, but the ceremony was handled well and wasn't too long. We had decided to have a picnic lunch in the before mentioned park, but the rain and crazy parking garage changed our minds. However, a certain young gentleman's plans dictated that we must return to the park that day; so we ate lunch at home and then headed over.
     Rachael loves ducks. I mean, I asked her to take a picture of me in front of a tree the day before, and she took two blurry pictures, and then took nine pictures of ducks on my phone. We all loved the park, but Rachael particularly loves the rugged outdoors (and ducks), so a certain gentleman thought the moment was quite opportune. He did not want to do anything on Saturday, since it was Kimm's day, but Kimm was almost as excited as he was, and urged him to do it.
     Rachael was blissfully unaware of anything about to come and went skipping about. She made it rather difficult for the family to separate from the couple, but it eventually came about. The rest of us continued on our way. We found a stream, and my Dad suggested that we go wading. I was wearing my sneakers, but he said that I should take them off. We had a chilly dip, and while I was standing midstream I got a call from Jared asking where we were. He said that they would come around the other way to meet us. I couldn't tell from his voice whether it had happened yet, but I relayed the news to my parents. It was then that it struck me: I had wet feet and socks and sneakers. My Dad was laughing, because of course he had thought of that. Oh well, I would just walk barefoot for a while, a plan that quickly dirtied my feet. We were met by a very excited, newly engaged couple! Hurray for well planned proposals! My Mom proceeded to take some pictures, and we then went home, with my feet confined to their sneakers once more, ready for a day of whale watching the next morning!

A re-enactment, but the excitement was still fresh!
Running to hug her (notice the returned sneakers)
A random picture my Mom took. I love this sweater, it works for so many things!

     I love the ocean, but I have sadly only been on a few occasions. Last summer we were able to go out on a family friend's sailboat for an afternoon; an event which caused me no trouble, but that resulted in a migraine for Rachael. Our Mom was in the Navy when she was fresh out of high school, and she has always gotten seasick. Because of all these components, and the 4-5 hours instead of 1 the previous year, she ordered seasickness patches (which she used when in the Navy) for the three of us (I will sometimes feel sick on mountain roads and such, though the ride on the sailboat didn't bother me at all; we were trying to play it on the safe side). You know the stuff, they're little circular band aids that are placed behind the ear and have medicine on them. Well, I didn't like the idea much. Somehow the thought of medicine seeping through the tender skin on my neck was not appealing; however, I knew that I needed to man up and put the thing on. The way the medicine works, it must be applied at least four hours before it is needed, so we put them on the night before. I managed to make myself put it on, and then was waiting for the bathroom to open up, so that I could wash my hands of any medication, as cautioned by my Mom. As I was standing in front of the coffee counter (which also contained our crockpot for decent food, an excellent way to stay healthy on vacation), I started to black out. I often black out when I stand up too quickly, something I am told is likely a result of low blood pressure which runs in the family, but this was worse. I remember saying, "I feel dizzy", and the next thing I knew, I was being awakened from a nightmare. I was dreaming of the ocean, I could hear it roaring, and since I wasn't frightened, I couldn't understand why my Dad was calling to me. Then it occurred to me that I was not in my bed; I began to wonder if I had been in an accident, then I woke up to find myself on the floor in my Dad's arms (who was thankfully nearby and caught me), surrounded by my family. They all gave me water and helped me into a chair. My Dad had immediately removed the patch, and I did not wear it. It is debated whether it was the fault of the medicine or my freaking myself out too much that I fainted. I am inclined to lean towards the medicine. I have been just as freaked out on several occasions, and never passed out before. However, that is a trivial matter. I went to bed and thanked God for my health. I suppose it takes a moment like that to appreciate it. Of course, fainting is not serious, but I completely lost control of my body, and didn't even know it had happened. It was frightening, and humbling, and I am grateful.

I wore my sailor pants and white sneakers, I comfortable go to and reasonable for a day on the water!

     The next morning, all seven of us bundled into the car and traveled to the boat. We went to the upper deck, where there was better visibility, and started in to wait. This was the first trip of the season, and it was still pretty cold out there. It started out great, and then we spotted a whale, which we couldn't find again. Then it started to get cold, because the boat was constantly moving causing the wind to be stronger. Finally, we found some more whales. Each time we saw one, we managed to get closer, until the last one we saw was only a few yards away. It was absolutely incredible, and a great way to spend Mother's Day. I didn't get sick, but that could be because of the pills that Jared offered to me, which weren't nearly as strong. I guess I'll have to try another time to find out if I get sea sick or not. I was reminded of "Moby Dick", which I read a few years ago. It's amazing to see these amazing creatures up close, and sad to imagine the way they were slaughtered yesteryear. I need to read that book again, so that I can grasp it better.
Lots of love to you all!