Saturday, October 11, 2014

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Presents

Well, it's nearly that time of year again.

Time for the annual Operation Christmas Child shoebox present collection.

I heard about this organization a few years ago, and wanted to donate some presents, but kept missing the collection dates until last year.

Last year I was able to give two shoebox presents, one for a boy and one for a girl. I don't know where they went to, but I was happy to have been able to make two children very happy over the holidays.

If you don't know what Operation Christmas Child is, it is an organization that collects presents for young children, which are shoeboxes filled with toys and necessities, and then ships and gives them out all over the world.

You can check out more information on their website here.

It is an amazing thing, OCC. I am so glad I was able to participate last year, and hope to do so again this year.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Introvert...It's Not A Bad Thing To Be

I recently saw and read this article online, where a woman talks about being an introvert, and gives tips for others who know introverts.

I am an intovert myself, and I love seeing articles like this.

Being an introvert is NOT a bad thing. It does not mean we are snobby, or selfish, or anything of the sort. We just don't feel comfortable in the spotlight, nor do we feel comfortable talking a lot.

A major tip I have for people who know introverts, is to NOT force/ask them to change. They will shy away even more from social things, and from people.

If they have something to say, they will say it, and on their own terms, not because someone makes them, or wants them to.

I prefer writing/typing/texting to speaking, not because I don't like people, but because it's easier for me to organize my thoughts, and I can have more time to think about what I want to say.

I love writing, photography, and arts and crafts.

I would rather stay at home, reading, watching tv, listening to music, than go to a bar, a big party, or anything with a bunch of people.

I have a small group of friends that I hang out with often, and that I can trust. I prefer one-on-one or small group interactions to big groups.

Public speaking scares the crap out of me.

I am fine with being an introvert, although there are times when I wish I was more outgoing.

It's articles like the one I included in this post that actually make me feel good about being an introvert. People understand what we go through, and that extroverts need to understand that being quiet isn't such a bad thing.

Do not try to change introverts, as we won't want to change. Unless it is done on our own terms. Even if we do change, we will ALWAYS be introverts at heart, and that's ok.

So please, be more accepting and understanding of us introverts, and don't try and change us. We are pretty happy the way we are.

Friday, October 3, 2014

I Want to Play the Violin Again

Every time I hear violins playing, it reminds me of my elementary school orchestra days, playing the violin, and it makes me want to play again.

It also reminds me of when my sister used to play in her elementary school days. One time she showed me how to play a few notes, and when I played them, she wanted to show our parents that I could play them.

I played the violin in fourth and fifth grades, and quit after that. I am now regretting that decision, as I absolutely love the sound of violins, and really, really, really miss playing.

I still have the violin I played, but it is too small for me now. I have checked out prices for a full size violin (which is the right size for me), and they seem to be decently priced, so I will hopefully be getting a new one soon (key word *hopefully*!)

It has been quite a long time since I last played, so I will be really rusty playing the violin again, but I know I will get the hang of it again.

I just hope I'll play more often than I did in elementary school!!


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

15 Things About Me

One of my favorite artists, Jonathan Antoine (runner up on Britain's Got Talent), recently posted a list of 15 things about him, that he thought we'd like to know about him (which you can read here, if you want). That inspired me to do the same thing.

So, here goes my list of 15 things I thought I'd like you guys to know about me.

  1. I prefer animals to people. I don't hate people or anything. I'm just a shy person by nature, and animals aren't as judgmental.
  2. I LOVE photography! I usually take photos of nature, but I will take pictures of other things as well.
  3. I have NEVER moved in my life. I have lived in the same house, on the same block, in the same neighborhood, in the same town, in the same state, since I was born. Someday, though, I would love to live on a farm, and also live in a foreign country for a year.
  4. I am more of a country girl than a city girl, even though I've lived in a city my whole life.
  5. I love baseball and hockey.
  6. I also really love words, and writing.
  7. There are several things I want to be: a baker (which I am currently working towards), a photographer, a special education teacher, and an author.
  8. Science and art were my favorite subjects in school.
  9. I have never been outside of the U.S. before, but I came close to the U.S./Canada border several years ago.
  10. My favorite artist is Andrea Bocelli.
  11. My favorite animal is the horse.
  12. I love spicy food.
  13. For some odd reason, I love making lists. I don't know why.
  14. I do NOT like cold weather. At all.
  15. For a while now, I have been a home body. I'm not big on going out, but I have no objections to going to events. If it interests me.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fun Weekend

This weekend was pretty busy for me.

Saturday was my ten year high school reunion. It was at a restaurant called Bar Louie. I have been to the one near me, and they have good food. It's a really nice place.

There was a pretty good turnout for the reunion. I went to it with a friend of mine, and a few other friends were there too.

One classmate actually remembered me, even though we didn't really have a lot of classes together. It felt good that she actually remembered me, and wanted to say hi.

Then on Sunday, I went to a local fall fest with a friend. I have gone to it a few other times, and it is pretty fun.

I always try and get a pumpkin there, every time I go. This year, I did get one. Although, they only had small ones this time (not the really tiny ones, just smaller ones than usual). That's ok. I'm happy that I got a pumpkin.

Every year, they have someone dress up as a scarecrow, there are crafts for kids to do, snacks, and this year, they had the local pool's new mascots there, walking around and greeting everyone. I even got a picture with them, which was cool!

I was tired after the reunion (I didn't get home until a little after midnight), so I was a little sleepy while at the fall fest, but I still had a great time.

I really enjoyed this weekend, although it will be a while before I have a weekend like this again. I need time to wind down after all this.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, and that this coming week is just as enjoyable.

Friday, September 26, 2014

My Fall Bucket List

Well, it is officially Fall.

So, I have decided to make a bucket list of things I want to do this fall. And here they are.

  • Make and drink hot chocolate
  • Go to the local fall fest
  • Go to my high school reunion
  • Paint/carve a pumpkin
  • Make at least one pumpkin pie
  • Go on a hay ride
  • Do a Harry Potter movie marathon
  • Make s'mores
  • Roast pumpkin seeds
  • Take photos in a pile of leaves
  • Start on sweater for dad
  • Make some gloves
  • Make some scarves
  • Make some hats
  • Collect fall leaves and make a collage
  • Donate to local food bank
  • Make homemade apple pie
  • Plant flower/vegetable seeds for the spring
This is what I was able to think of for now. I'm sure I will be adding more at some point.

I am actually going to be doing one of these tomorrow; I am going to my high school reunion with a few friends, and am looking forward to it.

So, what is on your bucket list for the fall season?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Honoring the Service Animals of 9/11

This past Thursday, I went over to a neighbor's house for their dog and cat toy craft. It was in honor of the animals that helped find people after the 9/11 attacks. They had invited me last week, and I am so glad I went.

We made:

Dog and cat fleece beds. This one is for a dog. I had told my neighbor that I had always wanted to make one of these, and she let me take a couple home for my cats. I put this in one of their favorite spots, and my cats absolutely LOVE them!!

Cat cork toys, which we could decorate with pipe cleaners, feathers, and ribbon if we wanted.

Braided rope dog toys, which are made out of old t-shirts.

Catnip sachets, made with pieces of fabric, string, catnip, and cotton balls.
These were all very easy to make, and I plan to make more someday. These are for shelter pets, who I was very happy to make these toys for.
I got a hug out of this, from my neighbor's son, when I left to go home (he wasn't even asked or told to do this; he did it of his own accord!). Which was really nice.
I hope we can do this again sometime, as I really enjoyed the day.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thirteen Years Since 9/11

it has been thirteen years since the terrorist attacks.

Even though I wasn't directly affected by the attacks (I didn't have any friends or family members in the area when the attacks happened), I was stunned by what had happened.

I remember being in first period World History my sophomore year of high school. A boy in my class had come in late, and said that the first tower had been hit.

I had been running late that morning, so I wasn't able to listen to the news, so I wasn't sure if it was true.

During second period Spanish, my teacher went online to find out whether or not it was true, and when she said it was, I was stunned.

My 4/5 period geometry teacher let us watch the news during the whole class period, and I was horrified by what I saw.

To those who were directly affected by these attacks, I pray that you can see the good in each day, and that there are those who truly care for you, and love you.

You are not alone. There are so many people around the world who stand with you on this day, and every day. Please take comfort in that.

I know it hurts, but try to live every day to the fullest, and know that if you lost a loved one that day, they are in a better place, where nothing can ever hurt them anymore, and that they would want you to keep going.

Of course I wish these attacks NEVER happened, that it shouldn't take a tragedy like this to bring people together, but it just goes to show how strong a nation can be under these kinds of situations.

We will not be brought down, we will not forget, we are a strong nation.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Finding Vivian Maier

Yesterday, I went with a group of other women. through a Meetup group, to go see Finding Vivian Maier in theaters.

I am major photography nut, so this was a perfect thing to see.

Finding Vivian Maier is about a woman, Vivian Maier, who worked as a nanny, and secretly took over 100,000 photos of everyday life.

Most of her photos were never printed until after her death in 2009. A man had found her film in an auction sale, and decided to make that a project of his.

It was very interesting to hear about Vivian Maier. A man I volunteer with had told me about this film a while ago, but I couldn't remember what the title of the movie was.

When I saw this event on Meetup, I knew I just had to go to it. And I was very happy I did.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Supporting Someone Who is Grieving

In lieu of the death of Robin Williams, I have decided to write a post about some suggestions as to how you can help/support someone who is grieving.

I have been wanting to write about this for a while, but Robin Williams' death has motivated me to actually do the post.

Also, I have gone through my own experiences with grieving, the closest of which was my mom's death.

So, here are some of my suggestions.

  1. Don't force the person to do anything they don't want to do. They are grieving, and may not want to go out, or talk for a while. If you tell them to go out, or do something, while they are still grieving, they may shrink away from you, or the situation.
  2. Do NOT tell the person to "get over it." They never will. This is probably the WORST thing you can say to someone who is grieving. Never, ever say it. EVER.
  3. Do invite them to something, even if you know/think they'll decline. It'll make them feel like you care about them, and that they were being thought of.
  4. Do not force them to talk about what they are going through. But do listen, truly listen, for when/if they do want to talk about it. They just need someone to be there for them.
  5. Don't tell them you know what they are going through. The grieving process is different for each person, so you don't know how they are going through it. You may know what it is like to lose someone, but you do not know their pain.
  6. Give them hugs as often as you can. Hugs seriously help.
  7. Help them with everyday things, like chores, shopping, cleaning, etc. If they are willing to let you take them up/help them with these things. You do not need to force yourself on them, but do let them know you are willing to help out however you can.
  8. Give them some space if necessary. Sometimes it is best to give the person who is grieving some space. They are going through a very tough time, and need to adjust to a new "normal." They may not want to be around people, so don't overstep it.
  9. Call, email, or text them, to let them know you are thinking of them. Getting an encouraging email, call, or text also helps a lot, when going through the grieving process.
That is all that came to mind, but I'm sure there may be other things you can do to help someone who is grieving. I hope this list helps in some way!