How true this is, y’all.
Category Archives: Thoughts
I was raised in a busy household with 7 children, a cat, and a bird. And always someone’s friends. There was always something to, and someone to do it with.
In this pic, I’m on the lawn, playing Build-A-Bear with my little sister.
Notice the alien in the attic window? Within the first few years of living there, my mom put it up there for Halloween…and never took it down.
Now, I live in an apartment on my own. I always thought I wouldn’t want that, but now I do and I love it. However, there is something that I am just now realizing…
Until I lived on my own, I never had to dust. Now I have to dust! Look at all this dust!
While trying to figure out why this never happened growing up, I was thinking “maybe mom just did it all…?”
But who am I kidding. The mom who bragged that “I haven’t mopped my floor in 10 years” (because it was always something the kids did…usually me) would not choose to dust.
I even asked my mom if she dusted when we were younger…she said there was no need, because we never had any dust in the first place.
So then I thought some more, and I think I figured it out.
You see, in our house, nothing had ever been still long enough to collect dust! Every surface was climbed on, played on, or used in some other way.
No room was off limits. We could play and go anywhere in the house. Well, with the exception of the siblings yelling “STAY OUT OF MY ROOM!”
Even outside…one time I called my mom while I was in college. She was looking out the kitchen window, watching the kids rig up a zip line from the roof of the garage down to the trampoline…using yarn…and a belt as a harness…and she just wanted to see if they could figure it out. We were encouraged to experiment, but I thought that was taking it too far! She didn’t, though…and hey, they were fine!
From looking though old pictures, I found several pictures of kids sitting on the kitchen table, coffee table, or kitchen counter…which is something that I have since learned is indeed frowned upon in most households.
This was a common way to get down the stairs…
The kitchen table was okay to be on…
Same kid on the table, just a few years later…this was actually mom’s birthday…Brigdon got her a can of soup…from our pantry…he wrapped it up in printer paper and everything. He was so proud, and she was so grateful. It was precious.
And that fire extinguisher? We had it as a joke for when she blew out her candles.
It was even okay for mom to be on the kitchen table!
Even I sat on the kitchen counters (this was on Wacky Tacky day in high school…though it isn’t far from my usual attire)…
The coffee table was often just another thing to sit on…sometimes even stand on if we had a performance in the works!
We would often catch the two youngest troublemakers on top of the entertainment center…not allowed, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen often.
Moral of the story: There was no need to dust.
And hey, we turned out alright! This is us kids and mom from Thanksgiving 2015.
I am currently reading three books:
The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger’s by Temple Grandin
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
The most recent addition to my bookshelf is Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy. I saw it at Costco and it was cheaper than on Amazon, so I couldn’t pass it up. It’s next in line for reading. I’ve never read it before, but Binchy’s Tara Road has been one of my favorite books since high school, so I want to read this new one.
I usually have more than one book going at a time, usually from different genres, so I can pick up the kind of book I’m in the mood for at the time.
A couple of days ago, I watched the movie Saving Mr. Banks. It became an instant favorite, and I watched it again today. I think I will watch it very often over the next few months, that’s how much I love it.
It inspired me to re-read all of the Mary Poppins books. There’s 8 of them. It’s probably been over 10 years since I last the first 4, and it’s about time I do it again, and read the last 4 as well. However, I don’t want to just borrow them from the library. No, I want to own them. So, I made a list of all the books so that when I am at the thrift store I can search for them.
Then I couldn’t stop, so I made a list of many other books I want to own…then went to one of my bookshelves for some inspiration.
While looking through my bookshelf, I noticed something curious. On the Romanian books, the titles on the spine are printed opposite the American books. See what I mean?
Curiouser and curiouser.
This is my friend Kristen and me.
I’ve known her since…..since a time…that I don’t remember…but since I lived at this one apartment, where we met! It was in college. We both went to Brigham Young University (BYU) in Utah. I loved it there, because the weather is great and the scenery is amazing. It is beautiful there.
We went to the Holi Festival of Colors together…
Yep, it’s true. Basically all the BYU students go.
We also did many other fun things together, just not all documented in pictures.
Anyway….we have both since graduated, and that has not kept us apart. Yes, we are far way. I live in Texas, and she lives in…Utah? I don’t even know! No, we don’t talk often. Yes, we email. It takes us a LONG time to respond to one another, though. Like after a few weeks or months. But most recently, I just responded to her email from a year ago. It’s just that I wait until I have time to write a thorough response!
I love our emails, because sitting down and typing things gives me time to reflect and think through things that normally I would just speed through if I was talking instead of taking the time to type it all.
Last year we were talking about stereotypes, and I found it very interesting and she said I could share with my small world of readers…
Also, I have never been to Texas but my daddy grew up there (in El Paso–the armpit of the state, I hear). So, here is my question for you: what is the culture of Texas? Are the stereotypes true? You don’t fit them (no cowboy hat or football/barbecue/oil obsession) so I assume they’re not wholly true 🙂
Today I realized two reasons why I love to read:
1: It makes me proud.
I got my car detailed today (I haven’t had a car this clean inside and out for YEARS!). While I was waiting, there were 3 men around me who were also waiting, and they were all doing something on their smartphones. I pulled out my Alice in Wonderland book and started reading where I had left off last time I was waiting for something. And yes, it made me proud to be a book reader amongst the smartphone men. Who knows, maybe they were reading a book on their smartphone (I doubt it). However, there is just something about holding a book in your hand that makes it more worthwhile.
2: One word can trigger the memory of a whole story.
I have recently (meaning last week) discovered the beauty of Panko bread crumbs. And after my car wash today I went to the grocery store and I bought pork chops (among other things). So when I got home, I looked for a recipe involving pork chops and Panko bread crumbs. Found quite a few, and decided on one after I read “No need for frying, this oven baked, lower fat pork chop recipe is delicious served with pasta and your favorite simple marinara or puttanesca sauce.”
Is it the “no need for frying” that got to me? NO.
Is it the “lower fat” that got me? NO.
Was it the “puttanesca” that got me? ABSOSTINKINLUTELY YES.
The last (and only) time I hard the word “puttanesca” was when I read A Series of Unfortunate Events. I love that series!
Reading the word “puttanesca” again brought back the memory of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny being forced to cook for the evil Count Olaf and making puttanesca sauce. I had never eaten it then, and I still haven’t eaten it (if I ever to make it, I am leaving out the anchovies), but what matters is that ONE WORD can bring back a whole memory of a book I have read. Like magic.
And there you have it. Two of the many reasons why I love to read.
P.S. Shout out to Texas Car Wash on Eldridge here in Houston, TX for doing a great job with my car.
P.P.S. Shout out to all the writers ever.
There are many people in our lives.
There are people.
Sometimes we let them go.
And then there are GREAT people.
Sometimes we let them go, too.
And then there are those people that make you SO SUPREMELY HAPPY.
Hold on to them.
Don’t let them go.
I love holding a book in my hands, getting cozy, and reading.
I also love doing whatever I feel like (cooking, cleaning, resting) and listening to an audio book.
Even when I am here in Romania, I take time to read.
There are some books that captivate me no matter how many times I re-read them.
Namely, Harry Potter.
I just finished re-reading (well, listening to) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince with my roommate. And every time I re-read the part where Dumbledore dies, I can’t help but cry. If it’s an audio book, I can’t multitask during the part where they are in the astronomy tower and Snape kills Dumbledore, when they are with Hagrid and he finds out what happened, and when they are in the hospital wing afterwards.
I simply can’t. It is sad every time and I feel like I need to devote my full attention to times like that.
When we were at the beginning of the book, I asked my roommate “Wait, is this the one where Dobby dies? Or is that the next one?” She assured me that it’s the next one, and I said “Oh, good. I’m glad Dobby is still alive.” I later remembered that it couldn’t have been this one because he dies while they are searching for the Deathly Hallows.
Even though Cedric, Sirius, Dumbledore, Hedwig, Dobby, Fred, and Snape die each time I read the books or watch the movies, it is still sad every time. And if I don’t actually cry, I at least shed a tear. And when I read an earlier book, I am glad they are still alive.
How do books have the power to captivate us over and over again?
Last weekend, we were playing Loaded Questions.
Alana: What’s something you want to learn more about?
Me: I actually have a list! There’s only one thing on it right now. Teaching 1-1 correspondence to people with visual impairments.
Alana: Wow, you have a list!?
Me: Yeah, then I always remember! If I come across something and think “I’d like to learn more about that,” I write it on my list! I had some more stuff on it a few months ago, but I took some time to learn about those already.
When you think of (or come across) something that you want to learn more about, write it down. Literally. Get a piece of paper and a reasonable writing utensil, and write it down. And always keep that list with you. In your wallet, perhaps.
Or get out your phone, and make a list on there. That’s where my list is.
And then, when you have a couple minutes of spare time, find information on it.
If you only have 5 minutes, that’s enough to find something. You don’t have to read it right away.
If it’s an internet website, bookmark it for easy access for when you have more than 10 minutes.
If it’s a book, put it on hold at your local public library, and pick it up on your way home. Always keep it with you so you can read when you have a few minutes.
If its an article, save it to your computer for easy access for reading when you have more time. Or print it out and keep it with you to read next time you are waiting in line for something, getting your oil changed, waiting to meet up with someone, etc.
Learn what you want to learn.
All these kids and babies have beautiful eyelashes.
When I am holding them close or sitting by them and singing to them,
just smiling at them and admiring their perfect faces,
I can’t help but notice their perfect eyelashes.
Each one so delicately placed on their eyelids by God.
Whether they are blind or seeing,
cross-eyed or not,
disability or no disability,
in the orphanage or at the hospital,
they all have perfectly beautiful lashes.
And perfect smiles.
I can’t help but kiss their perfect faces.
Her voice is really high pitched.
She always speaks kindly of others.
She always walks on her toes.
She knows what makes her comfortable.
He never sees what’s going on around him.
He is really good at focusing.
Her shoes are dusty.
Her shoes match her outfit perfectly.
You don’t know your multiplication tables.
You are really good at counting to 20.
His shirt is totally wrinkled.
That color looks really nice on him.
Your legs don’t work.
Your arms are super strong.
Look for the positive.
Your life is an occasion. Rise to it.
-Mr. Edward Magorium