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October 2015

Taking a Break from the Web

As I mentioned in last week's Friday Five, I have recently been contemplating taking some time off from the internet. At first I was just going to skip visiting Twitter, and even reduce my Facebook viewing, as the posts and comments on those two platforms tend to upset, and stress me out the most, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought, oh, hell, why just take a break from ALL of it?!?

And, so, I am.  Just as in September 2012 (or was it 2013? I can't remember, now.) when I took a break from the internet, I will go online to check my eBay items, emails, receive and send texts from my trainer and/or physicians, do research, and make necessary purchases, but no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

I know from experience that the first week will be difficult. Just like stopping any addictive activity cold-turkey, there will be withdrawals and temptations. However, I believe it will also be freeing and relaxing. If I remember correctly, the last time I did this little experiment, I ended up quite enjoying myself, so I'm actually looking forward to doing it again. I hope to get some yard work done, go through my closets again and purge more unwanted, unused items, do some stamping, and get some work done around the house.

So, for everything or anything that happens in September that I will miss: Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary, Congratulations, My Sincere Condolences (really hope we don't need THAT one!!), Get Well Soon (ditto!), Great News, Great Job, TGIF, LOL, That's Hilarious, and Cheers!

Friday Five - August 28

TGIF! Happy Friday to you all! Here are some random thoughts from my brain:

1. I feel a month of no internet coming on. I did this a couple years ago - I think it was 2012 - where I took the month of September off from surfing the internet, blogging, and social media. I allowed myself email (for family emergencies), texts (from my trainer and/or medical appointments), and eBay (in case I sold anything), and I believe I was allowed to do research and/or make necessary purchases online. Everything else, however, was a no-no: No Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or blogging. I think it might be time to do this again.

2.  I also feel a social media purge coming. At the very least I'm going to take some time very soon to go through my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds, and remove any stagnant friends and/or people who's posts or comments on certain topics offend me. Life is just too short to be upset or stressed out everyday because of what people are saying or doing online. 

Honestly, I believe the stress and emotional upset from constantly seeing offensive or hurtful posts and comments is one of the main reasons I feel the need to spend some time away from the internet. That and reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (and listening to the audio version) has inspired me to reduce ALL the clutter in my life - not just the stuff in my house, but the stuff online as well!

3.  Speaking of online stuff: OMG, I can't believe I forgot The August Break this year!! It's one of my favourite photography projects and one I usually look forward to every year! I just don't know where my mind is at this year! Sheesh!

4.  So, I need a new mattress. My mom and I were going to buy new mattresses last weekend, but I really didn't feel like it, and neither did she. Mom opted to have me order a new mattress topper for her, and I figured I'd be just fine with what I have for a few more years, because really, it's not that bad! However, this past week I've been achy and sore, and I'm tossing and turning a lot more, and I think I just really need a new mattress! I just hate shopping for them! Gah!

5. And finally, your Friday Photo: a sunrise over Santa Margarita, taken about a week or so ago out of the bus window on the way to work. Have a great weekend, everyone! Cheers!

Friday Five - August 21

Another week down ... hoo, boy is this year flying by! Already we're talking about Halloween and Holiday plans at work, and kids are already going back to school! Un. Real.

Anyway, here's five random things for you:

1.  You've probably heard about our local wildfilre. As of this morning, it has burned 3,500 acres and they hope to have it fully contained by next Wednesday. And, while some residence of Santa Margarita were evacuated for a couple days, I believe everyone is home now, and school has even started! I think we got really lucky on this one, and I sincerely hope this is all the fire this county will see!

2.  Tonight is favourite A-Town activity: Hot El Camino Cruise Night. They close off part of the main drag, people line the sidewalks on either side with lawn chairs, umbrellas, coolers, and even picniks, and watch as gorgeous classic cars and hot rods cruise up and down the street. I'll get to enjoy a little bit of it because they're closing my regular bus stop at 4 today, so I'll be walking from the only bus stop in town (by the Grocery Store Formerly Known as Albertson's) back to my car. Sure, I could've probably just driven today, but I really didn't want to, and besides, it's only about a half-hour walk, and I can use the exercise!

3. Last weekend mom and I stopped by Buckets of Books in Atascadero and I was able to find the last two books for my 2015 Classic Books reading challenge: Around the World in 80 Days, and The Picture of Dorian Gray. I'm excited to start them both! I'm contemplating next year's titles already, and am considering reading 1 novel by each of the Bronte sisters, and then maybe reading two biographies of historical figures. I dunno, but the thought just came to me and I liked it!

4. This weekend I have a 3-day weekend, as I'm taking Monday off. I have a doctor's appointment in the morning, and then mom and I are going mattress shopping. So here's my question: Do any of you have a mattress that you absolutely LOVE and would love to recommend? I'm considering the Tempur-Flex, but I guess I'll just have to try different mattresses to see which one I really like best.

5. And, finally, for fire fighter fans, an admittedly blurry shot taken out of the window of the bus on the way home of a couple of fire fighters along the Cuesta Grade earlier this week. This part of the Grade is done burning now, so all you see now is black soil and charred foliage. Fingers crossed we'll see no more of this! Have a great weekend, everyone, and I'll see you next week! Cheers!


Teaser Tuesday: The Whisper by Aaron Starmer


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm.  Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

•Grab your current read.

•Open to a random page.

 •Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. (I tend to go over this limit a LOT!)

•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


Hello, all, and happy Tuesday! This week I'm reading The Whisper by Aaron Starmer. It's the second of The Riverman Trilogy, and it's super good!

My teaser (more than two sentences, sorry for cheating!) comes from page 88 on my nook:

Broken icicles as thick as tree trunks covered the floor of the cavern. Cracked and splintered bones lay scattered throughout. A penguin stood a few feet from Alistair, his black wings crossed like arms across his white chest. The penguin winked and smiled, and Alistair scooted away on his butt and heels of his hands. "It's okay," the penguin whispered. "Forget your worries."

So, what is everyone reading this week? Do you have a favourite beach or summer book this year? I hope everyone has a terrific week! Cheers!

Friday Five - August 14

So, this week was slightly better than last for a few reasons:

1. I rid myself of TONS of unnecessary items in my bathroom last weekend. You can read all about it here. I'm really enjoying having less stuff sitting on my bathroom counter. I still have quite a bit (leave-in-conditioners and other sundry hair treatments, as well as face creams), but I'm quickly using the stuff up, and vow to NOT BUY ANYMORE until I'm absolutely, completely OUT of something!

2. We had some unwanted excitement at the bus stop Tuesday evening when two thugs decided to beat the living daylights out of each other. It started off with first guy mouthing off, dropping F-bombs right and left at this other guy, and for a few moments I thought it was just two guy-friends messing round, because, you know, that's how guys are sometimes. But apparently, the two were not buddies, and The Other Guy took great offense, and punched F-bomb Guy in the face. Blood everywhere! Then it was on, punches were thrown back and forth, and they even started spitting blood-tinged saliva at each other. Thankfully, right about then our driver returned from his break, and when he saw what was happening, he quickly ushered us on the bus, saying, "Let's get you folks, outta here!" As we were waiting at least two people called 911, and within a couple minutes three patrol cars arrived, and the officers separated the two. We took off about then so the last I saw of the brawlers one was being patted down by an officer, and the other was talking to two other officers, and we were safely away! It was a pretty scary experience (one I hope to NEVER repeat!), and I'm just so thankful neither of them was armed!

3.  I finally wore a new pair of shoes I bought a few weeks ago. I've been wearing them around the house trying to stretch them out. They're better, but I still had to use some moleskin on my heels because they rub, and I knew before I left the house I'd get blisters. Still, if they make it through the day without totally killing my feet, I'll buy a pair in black as well!

4.  This weekend we're going to hit our favourite used books store to drop off more books we're finished with as well as pick up some new titles. I'm hoping to find The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne, as they're the last two books on my Classics list for this year.

5. Finally, this week went by FAST!! I swear I missed a day in there - Wednesday, maybe? - because all of a sudden it's Friday! Not that I'm complaining, mind you, I'm just surprised. And thrilled! So, what are your weekend plans, if you have any? I hope you all have a super fun time, and I'll see you next week! Cheers!

Lightening the Load - Bathroom Edition

I don't know about you guys, but I had a VERY successful weekend! As I've mentioned several times before, my mom and I are working to remove excess stuff from our house. While we didn't have a ton of stuff, we did have a lot, or rather, I should say, I had a lot, since most of the excess stuff is (was) mine. Since reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and watching marathon sessions of Hoarding: Buried Alive on TV,  I have become inspired to reduce the clutter in the house, and my mom - always the neat-freak - is more than happy to help!

So this weekend, I decided to finally tackle my bathroom which was packed with excess and mostly unnecessary stuff. I really wish I'd taken before pictures of the place before I started pulling everything out and dumping TONS of stuff, but I did manage to get a before snap of all my makeup:  

 As well as an after snap post-purge:

I know I still have a lot of cosmetics (15 mascaras?!? yes, but that's actually down from 23!), but I made a deal with myself that I will spend the remainder of August using each and every item here at least once, and if I don't like it immediately, I'll dump it immediately. And from now on I can only buy what I need cosmetically, not just what's shiny and new. Of course, if I see something new and decide I MUST HAVE IT, then I have to throw out the old one I have at home, even if I'm still using it and love it.

Other items I purged that I neglected to document were my nail polishes (I wish I'd at least counted all the ones I had, but I narrowed it down to one small plastic shoe bin from that same one PLUS  a slightly larger plastic bin), dozens of gels, creams, and lotions designed to make me look younger, several bottles and tubes of expired OTC medications, five boxes of hair colour I would probably never use anyway, and a few bottles of half-full shampoos and conditioners which I gave to my mom. Seriously, she hasn't had to buy shampoo or conditioner since she moved down here, as I always give her the stuff I'm done with (usually because I've either found something new I want to try, or I just don't like it).

In the end I threw out four kitchen-size trash bags full of stuff. It felt SO good to be rid of all that useless crap! Every time I throw stuff out it feels like weights lifting off my shoulders, and this purge was particularly satisfying, because I'd been dreading going through my bathroom, and in fact, had been putting the project off the past three months! But, phew! it's done now, and while I still need to keep working on my closets and drawers, our next (and I believe last) big purge will come with the kitchen. Not sure when we'll get to that, though, but there's really no hurry, since none of that stuff is in the way.

So, I know it's a little late for "Spring Cleaning", but is anyone else feeling the urge to purge out there? Anyone else terrified of ending up on Hoarders if they don't get their act together, or is that just me? Anyway, I hope everyone has a terrific week, and I'll see you soon! Cheers!

Friday Five - August 7th

Well, this first week of August has been incredibly dull. However, here are a few of the highlights:

1. Things have been cray cray at work this week; lots of nutty, crazy people, and weird stuff keeps coming up. I think we're still feeling the effects of the Blue Moon we had at the end of last month. Hopefully we're done with it and next week can be calmer.

2. I know I said I wasn't going to go to the Central Coast Writer's Conference (it was just last week, wasn't it?) this year, but I ended up talking myself into it yesterday. There are really only two sessions I'm interested in, but I wound up curious enough about them to sign up. There really wasn't much else except a couple of the other sessions on topics I've had before (YA, and World Building), but with different people this time, so maybe the information will be different as well. Who knows? Still, I'm hoping it'll be fun, and I won't end up regretting it!

3.  I went through a few more dresser drawers as well as my closet again this past weekend, and ended up with a full garbage bag of Goodwill stuff as well as a couple smaller bags of actual garbage. There was a lot more stuff I probably could've (SHOULD'VE) gotten rid of, but I was just not able to. At least not yet. I'm currently listening to the audio version of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and getting a lot of inspiration from it. I really DO want to get rid of most of my stuff! I really DO want to have very few things to have to deal with and have ONLY things which "spark joy" and that I can and will use. I just need to stop forming emotional attachments to things, which, for me, is hard.

4. I finally got my toes done this week! This is Paz-itively Hot by OPI.

5. And, finally, surprise! my iris has suddenly bloomed! In August! All I can think is the rain we got a few weeks ago rejuvenated it! Typically, the irises bloom between February and April, sometimes May. This spring I don't think they came out at all, so this was a lovely and welcome sight!  I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! Cheers!


A Few of My Favourite Things - July 2015

Good-bye, July, and hello, August! About the only exciting thing I did during the month of July was hang out with two of my BFFs on 4th of July. We had a great time visiting, and enjoyed great wine, food, shopping, and bevvies! The other fun thing was hanging out with my family for a BBQ one lovely Sunday afternoon where there was also great food, fun conversation, and delicious wine. The rest of July was a continuation of tidying and organizing, and, of course, yard work. You could say I was in a bit of a rut. Every time I though about spending a Saturday in, say Cambria or Pismo Beach, some project or other came up. Kind of a bummer, but still, it's nice to get so much stuff done!

So anyway, here's a few other things I enjoyed during the month of July: 

Cosmetics: I started using L'Oreal's Youth Code Skin Illuminator Tinted Moisturizer instead of foundation, and I love it! It comes out of the tube white, but quickly changes colour to match your skin tone. It's creamy and smooth and blends beautifully! It's magic!

Fragrance: I'm still really enjoying Live Joyously by Philosophy. Back in June, I planned to switch back to the remainder of the Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Summer from a few years ago, but I just keep grabbing Live Joyously instead!

Fashion: I got into a massive rut fashion-wise last month, pretty much wearing the same five or six tops the whole time as well as the same few pairs of black pants and basic blue jeans (Fridays only, of course!). But I couldn't help it! I love my floral and coral and red tops! They're T-shirt style, so they're super comfortable and go with everything! And black pants just always look professional.  I am trying to mix it up a bit more in August, however, by wearing more maxi-skirts and dresses, white pants and jeans, and some different tops I've found in my closet. Wish me luck!

Book: I spent the majority of July reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau, and I really enjoyed it! It's a beautifully written book with a lot of details and descriptions. It was a tough read, though, because of those very things (and because, let's be honest, I'm used to reading lighter, fluffier fare!), but it was so very worth it! I highly recommend digging into a lovely piece of classic literature every once in a while!

TV: Loving SyFy Fridays: Defiance, Killjoys, and Dark Matter - three awesome shows! Also found cleaning and organizing inspiration from marathons of Hoarding, enjoyed new show The Whispers, and loved returning favourites The Last Ship, Rizzoli and Isles, Major Crimes, Falling Skies, and Under the Dome.

 Other stuff: If you're a regular reader, you already know we had a fabulous thunderstorm in July which gave us nearly three inches of most-welcomed rain! We don't get these kinds of storms often here, so it was kinda fun!

Well, that's about it! I hope everyone had a wonderful July, and that August is shaping up to be pretty awesome, too! Cheers!

Teaser Tuesday: Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm.  Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

•Grab your current read.

•Open to a random page.

 •Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. (I tend to go over this limit a LOT!)

•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


Well, I finally finished Walden last week. It was as wonderful as I remembered! Once I got past the first part, which was all about the costs of materials and building the cabin and growing beans, that is. Once he got into actually living in the woods by Walden pond, I started to enjoy it even more.  

Anyway, this week I've started reading Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee. I was very excited to discover this book was being published, as I was a fan of To Kill a Mockingbird back in the day, (I thought I had reread that not too long ago, I can't seem to find it, so maybe I'm just dreaming! ), and have decided to go ahead and read it despite all the controversy surrounding its publication. So far, I'm enjoying the book, and think it's going to be a pretty quick read. Yes, it reads more like a "rough draft" than a finished manuscript, but that doesn't take away from the story, which is interesting, but since I haven't finished it, I have no idea whether or not it'll be satisfying. I am going into this not even trying to compare it to To Kill a Mockingbird, but instead reading it as though I know nothing about any of these characters except from this novel.

So, here's my teaser from page 102 on my nook:

She touched yesterday cautiously, then withdrew. I don't dare think about it now, until it goes far enough away. It is weird, she thought, this must be like physical pain. They say when you can't stand it your body is its own defense, you black out, and you don't feel anymore. The Lord never sends you more than you can bear -

Has anyone else out there read this book yet? If so, I'm curious: what did you think? If not, was it because of the controversy? Because there's still some uncertainty as to whether or not Harper Lee even wanted it published? Let me know that, too! Hope you're all having a terrific week, and I'll see you next time! Cheers!