Sunday, November 29, 2015

Stitching

How can a weekend after a holiday be so short? It's not like I spent the entire weekend sleeping, on the contrary, I spent most of it stitching and watching my newest TV obsession, Bones. At least I got to make up for my lack of stitching during the week. I might be able to finish this row before the end of the year after all. I left off here:
maleficent062
and I finished off here tonight:
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Finishing off Maleficent's face was both satisfying and sad...it was nice to see her appear but I also know that the most exciting stitching parts are over with now and it's all just finishing up the project. It kind of takes the fun out of it when the good parts are over with, especially when you're not even halfway done. Oh well, that's the price we pay, right?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Bucket List Friday - Vacation Edition #2

BLF
If anyone cares to join me, please feel free to...just remember to paste a link to your post in my comments below so I don't miss your post!

I had to shorten the title for space reasons, but this week's topic deals with my top 5 vacation destinations which I've never been to, but hope to get to before I die.

#1: UK - SPECIFICALLY ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND
I've been an Anglophile long before I was even old enough to pronounce the word, let alone spell it. Even as a small tyke, I used to tell my mother all the time that "I should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque" when I was a soul looking for a baby to inhabit (and yes, I actually spoke that way as a kid, most kids would just claim they must have been adopted). I've NEVER felt like I belong in this region or to 98% of my family. But for someone who hates their surroundings, I've somehow managed to spend my entire life sabotaging myself so that I'm stuck here...but that's a story for another day.

My fascination with all things British are probably because my Scottish blood is strong (and, let's face it, Scottish blood IS strong), but the pull to actually go to "the mother country" has always been with me. But if I'm really honest, I've always felt a stronger pull towards England for some reason. When I do the whole "lottery-win dream plan", my second house is in London (can you guess where my first one is?). One day I will get there but I may have to do it in two trips, one for England and one for Scotland. London will take long enough, but we are talking at least three weeks to cover Chawton, Stratford, Cornwall, Canterbury, Bath, Yorkshire, Manchester (and that is simply a man ogling side trip because I have a thing for a Mancunian accent) and every other amazing city, monument, museum, and point of interest that England has to offer.

I think Scotland would be more of a spiritual-type journey, so I would need the sightseeing time plus some downtime in the land of my people, Paisley. Then there is the whole archaeological aspects of the outer islands which I would have to check out. I'm not sure how I would fair in the castle-type situation (with my super-sonic senses), but surely I could manage one or two, especially Blair Castle (for obvious reasons).

I do have a base plan for both countries, I'm just not sure how to execute it alone or how I would deal with a two-year Disney break (because that is what it would take financially). One day though, the planets will align and it's "home" I go. I just hope I can handle the "heaviness" of the history. American history is a drop in a bucket compared to that of the UK and there are plenty of places here I have issues with, so I am more than a bit terrified of my reactions, but I'm still willing to try.

#2: WESTWARD - NORTH AND SOUTH
Before the Disneyland planning fiasco, I was planning a westward road trip to cover all the major monuments and sights in that direction from the Rockies to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite all the way up to Mt. Rainer and everywhere in between. It was going to be a solo trip with just me and Bam, but when I started listing all the cool places I wanted to stop at, I was averaging about two months worth of road time and I can't afford that as well as couldn't wrangle that much time off of work. Plus, apparently national monuments aren't good at being "dog friendly".

My answer was to cut the trip off into two parts, a southwest trip and a northwest trip, but again, I kept adding to the list of sights versus shortening it. Granted, I am a "drive-by" kind of tourist, I prefer to see things from the car window if possible, so that way I don't have to get out and interact, but I'll take a pullover spot anyday. Either leg of the trip would accommodate that to an extent except for important places like Meteor Crater or Hoover Dam (where puppies DEFINITELY are not allowed), but the whole thing was still pretty daunting, especially since it was a solo trip and it's not like I could leave Bam in his carseat (yes, he has one)..

But the harder Disneyland planning got, the more I realized that I suck at trip planning unless it's Disney World, so maybe I should just keep going there. The dream isn't completely dead though and I'm always on the lookout for the opportunity to at least check off one or two locations on my list. My mother offered to go (oh joy...and I don't mean that in a good way), but I would prefer my Sister, who HATES road trips, so that is probably not an option. Guess I need to find another travelling companion.

#3: DISNEYLAND PARIS
Despite my five years of French and my rather scary obsession with Notre Dame as a kid, I have NEVER had the desire to go to France, that was until the House of Mouse set up shop. The problem with going to Disneyland Paris is that it would have to come after my England/Scotland trip because we would have to fly into London first and I don't think I could handle flying into London for the first time, knowing how obsessed with the city as I am, and not being able to check it out...that would just be cruel. I really don't have any desire to go to any of the other Disney parks around the world, probably because of their distance more than anything, but someday, I will have a set of Disneyland Paris pins, you just watch!

My Sister even mentioned a few days ago that she was seriously considering it for us for 2017, but I know her well enough to know that she will also want to do a bit of sight seeing around Paris and, except for Notre Dame, I would probably hate that.

#4: ALASKAN CRUISE
Everybody that knows me personally, knows that I am extremely cold-natured...I am ALWAYS cold, even sometimes in the dead of summer! So, why on earth would I want to go to Alaska? Two reasons...the scenery and the Northern Lights. It could be accomplished on a cruise (something I typically have no desire to do, but would be OK in this case). I could do the whole "drive by" thing without getting too terribly cold. I just hope I manage to get there while there are still glaciers to see, but at least I've got a while to plan before the Northern Lights kick back into high gear again. This is also a place my mother has always wanted to go to, so I guess I would get stuck with her.

#5: PCH/SAN FRANCISCO
My brief taste of the Pacific Coast at Santa Monica wasn't enough...I want to DRIVE the Pacific Coast Highway from top to bottom with a layover in San Francisco. San Fran isn't the kind of city I would normally want to visit, but it's one of my Sister's "home" places so it can't be bad (you know, the feeling I mentioned on last week's bucket list about just feeling like you've always belonged there even though it's your first time there?). Besides, the Disney Family museum is there and I wouldn't mind a snap or two of Alcatraz (from a distance, of course, my spidey-sense probably couldn't take it close up and I don't think they do tours there anymore anyway, do they?).

Again, a rather moderate list, but to make it achievable, I do have to think in moderation. If I wanted to get wild, I would want to go to Egypt, Greece, Rome, Morocco, Antarctica, and possibly a bit of Europe, but wild I am not and I could never afford to go to any of those places anyway, bucket list or not. Besides, most of those places aren't safe anymore, especially for a chubby middle-aged woman from Arkansas and maybe they are best enjoyed on the Travel Channel or online (unless, of course, that lottery win I keep thinking about actually comes to pass, then I can pay for a tour guide).

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Bucket List Topic for 11-27-2015

BLF

I think I knew before I wrote last week's Bucket List Friday that this week would be along the same lines. My sister and I have been having several conversations about a possible March Disney World trip, so that was more prominent in my mind, than this week's topic:

NEVER VISITED VACATIONS DESTINATIONS TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE

I know it's a bit long, but I couldn't figure out how to shorten it (so, if anyone has any ideas, let me know). My list for this is a lot more ambitious than my repeat visiting list, although still probably pretty tame by everyone else's standards. I could die happy just going to Disney World every single year, but there are some places in the world that I would like to see, at least one day.

For anyone who wants to join in, please feel free to! Just remember to limit your picks to 5, but other than that, be as wordy or as brief as you want! And remember to link your post in the comments section of my Friday Bucket List post so I can find yours. If you just want to list your places in the comments, that's great too! A huge thanks to Emma over at Emma's Bloglet who joined me last week! She had an amazing list of places. Also thanks to my good friends Kate over at The Suddenly Kate Show, Tiffany at Tiffstitches a Blog, Heather at Fantasy Cross Stitch, and Jo who can't think of a clever nickname (which is, in itself, pretty darn clever) at Serendipitous Stitches for putting their list in the comments...I am definitely a novice traveler compared to them!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Top 10 Most Depressing Songs

The Suddenly Kate Show

It's Top 10 Tuesday time again and this one is personal because this one was my suggestion! So, check out Kate's and Tiff's blogs too. Neither one of them strikes me as the "dark" type, so I'm curious to see what they consider depressing. To be honest, I don't really consider a single song on my list "depressing" per se...it is just "how I roll". Oh, and sorry about the "old" nature of this music...I literally haven't listened to the radio seriously in about 10 years. I never thought I'd reach that age when you can't stand the music of the youth, but I peaked a long time ago. About the only new music I get nowadays is new stuff from my favorite bands.

Maybe it was because I wasn't the happiest of children that this type of music appealed to me, but whatever the reason, I still love all these songs to this day. Looking back, I think it was just because it takes a lot of effort to make me feel anything, so it takes a very heavy song to affect me. My style was (and is) New Wave with a touch of goth, so it's pretty standard that it falls in the "depressing" category anyway. I wouldn't refer to myself as "depressed" now, but a lot of people get that vibe from me for some reason. I honestly think I'm quite happy, I just don't feel the need to shout it from the mountain tops at every turn (or any turn for that matter). But anyway, time to get started!

#1: BLASPHEMOUS RUMOURS - DEPECHE MODE
It really doesn't get any darker than this song...at least not in my book. An extremely suicidal teen girl tries to kill herself and fails...she gets her life all straightened out, turns to god, only to get run over by a car, yeah, happy days. "I don't want to start any blasphemous rumours, but I think that god's got a sick sense of humor and when I die, I expect to find him laughing"...I truly do.


#2: THE EDGE OF THE DEEP GREEN SEA - THE CURE
I'm not sure that this song was meant to be a depressing one, but I've always thought it was. But it's also The Cure, so practically every song of theirs is like this, even the most romantic of love songs.


#3: SUBCULTURE - NEW ORDER
One of many of my "theme" songs, warning of the dangers of choosing loneliness..."one of these days you'll go back to your home, you won't even notice that you are alone".


#4: HOW SOON IS NOW - THE SMITHS
I guess I have a theme when it comes to these...loneliness.


#5: DARKNESS - DARREN HAYES
Oh, my beloved Darren. There are less than a handful of any of his songs, be it his solo stuff or Savage Garden songs, that I can't relate to in some way, shape, form, or fashion. Again, another one of those "story of my life" songs.


#6: LITHIUM - EVANESCENCE
If you would have told my younger self that I would enjoy music with such a heavy guitar, I would have laughed in your face. But now that I'm old and dull, I honestly think bands like Evanescence and Linkin Park are really nothing but modern versions of The Cure and Depeche Mode...they have the same vibe running through both the music and the lyrics. "Lithium, don't want to lock me up inside, lithium, don't want to forget how it feels without, lithium, I want to stay in love with my sorrow". Sounds like The Cure to me!


#7: ALONE WITHOUT YOU - MARK OWEN
I don't think Mark Owen gets his props...the man knows pain. Granted, he's also a drunk cheater, but still, there is just something about his voice that breaks my heart. He doesn't get the chance to show that nearly as much with Take That, but if you have never checked out his solo stuff, especially In Your Own Time, you're missing out. His voice did get better as he got older (I think this album was from the early 00's), but it still gets to me. I couldn't find the music video for this, but this acoustic version has more passion than the original, even if his voice cracks a couple of times. I don't usually do "love depression" songs, but I think we've probably all felt this way at one time or another.


#8: SOMEWHERE I BELONG - LINKIN PARK
Again, like #6, this could literally be out of the Depeche catalog but I also get a Darren Hayes vibe from it as well (without the heavy pop, of course). Guess it's all in perception, but I've always thought their influences were obviously 80's goth...maybe it's just me.


#9: CONVERSATION WITH GOD - DARREN HAYES
There is nothing like driving and singing an upbeat-melody song about driving yourself off a bridge! This is usually the song I pitch to people when I mention Darren's name and they go "oh, you mean that Truly Madly Deeply guy?". Yeah, dude has SERIOUS depression issues!


#10: DO YOU BELIEVE IN SHAME - DURAN DURAN
Obviously, Duran wasn't going to be completely absent from this list, but it wasn't easy finding one because Duran doesn't really "do" depressing. There are a couple on the Arcadia album and several on John's solo stuff, but barely any in their band stuff. At the time this song came out, I didn't care for it because of Simon's hair in the video (does that show how shallow I was as a kid?). Now I get it the meaning behind the song. Funnily enough, my natural hair (albeit a bit curlier), actually looks a lot like his in this video, cowlick and all. Be careful what you make fun of as a kid...you might end up living with it as an adult!

I literally could probably make this a top 100 list, but alas, I'm restricted to 10! Besides, it would just be a top 100 list of songs by these same artists, so you get the point.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Stitching

Despite an incredibly busy work week, I did manage a bit of work on Maleficent. I left off here:
maleficent056

and finished here tonight:
maleficent062
I'm getting to a point where it's pretty boring stitching, even with the appearance of Maleficent. I've done about 20 colors, and you can barely tell it's more than three and it's extremely frustrating. Next week will be even harder to make progress because work will be crazy and I'll be pulling double shifts. But at least there is a holiday in the middle...pretty much the only purpose holidays serve for me is extra stitching time and for that I'm thankful. It could be worse, I could be forced to spend time with family and eat foods I hate.

On the home front, the hippie:
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is no more:
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DSC05979
Granted, he might now be a drowned rat, but once he's dry, he's going to be the cutest dog in the park!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Bucket List Friday - Vacation Edition: Revisiting Places

BLF
If anyone cares to join me, please feel free to! I would be really interested to hear where other people have been and why they'd like to go back. Just remember to paste a link to your post in my comments below so I don't miss your post!

It probably seems like I only ever go to Disney World, and in the past 20 or so years that's pretty much been the case, but it wasn't always so. Even after that first Disney trip and my declaration at age 10 that I would NEVER go on another family vacation, opportunities to travel with other family members always presented themselves. Throughout my life I've been most places eastward from Canada to Maine down to the Florida Keys to Mexico and everywhere in between thanks to my extended family.

I haven't been westward much except for three (rather horrible) trips to Texas, church camp in New Mexico and my most recent jaunt to the original House of Mouse Land. Westward is where my mind tends to wander when I think of future trips because there is so much untravelled territory for me, but there are a lot of eastern destinations in my past that warrant another look.

But I have another hurdle that keeps me from travelling so much, my Aspergers. It's a proven fact that most Aspers have extremely heightened senses and I'm certainly no exception, so vacation destinations have to be careful to not over-excite my already "touchy" senses, including that often debated, but I assure you very real, sixth one. There are several vacations that were completely ruined for me because the location gave off too strong a ju-ju vibe and it made me sick or, like in the case of Hershey, PA, emitted a noxious smell into the town that was supposed to smell like chocolate but smelled more like vomit. To this day, I can't stand to smell anything chocolate-scented like a candle...thanks Hershey!

#1: DISNEY
OK, so this was like the BIGGEST no-brainer answer of them all, but it's true, no matter how many times I go to Disney, be it Disney World or Disneyland, it will NEVER be enough! Disney is always changing and I've never had the same experience twice and it's one of the few places on earth other than my home and work where I feel most comfortable...enough so to go by myself (which I have done three times now). I debate going other places all the time (an upcoming bucket list topic maybe), but I can't seem to justify the expense without paying the mouse first. I'm going to try to change that though somehow.

I'm not even close to done editing photos from the last trip, but here's an unedited teaser:
DSC02355

#2: CAPE CANAVERAL
On that very first horrible Disney trip, we also went to several other locations including the now defunct Circus World, the beach, Cape Canaveral as well as a couple of other places I can't remember. In all the subsequent years, be it flying or driving, I've never managed to make it down to the Cape again and I REALLY want to go. Hopefully, I'm going to try to go next Sept/Oct trip, but I'm still not sure if it's in the cards yet.

I've always been fascinated with space sciences and that passion has grown in earnest, especially in the last several years for some reason, probably because we have more new and fascinating discoveries in the past couple of years than we've had in my entire lifetime. Space is probably the only science I do find interesting, which says a lot considering I work in a lab. Since we were at the Cape in 1981, it has grown into a tourist mecca with all kinds of exhibits that make my mouth water at the prospect, especially considering I am now old enough to appreciate it. I have been in Disney World when they launched a rocket and been able to see one from there, but never actually from Cape Canaveral. Maybe one day I will be able to, even if it's not NASA doing the launching.

Unfortunately, I don't have any photos from this leg of the trip to remember it by.

#3: WASHINGTON D.C.
On one of my aunt and grandmother's tagalongs to Pennsylvania, we made a side trip to D.C. Granted, I was young and it was before trip planning obsession kind of swamped me (but it was also before the internet, so trip planning was pretty much the territory of a travel agents), and I don't remember a lot of the trip to be honest, but I remember being in awe of the art and architecture, even as a youngster. I remember we had a horrible bus tour experience and he just dumped us out and left us to fend for ourselves, I remember the huge homeless lady walking down the street carrying a massively large butcher knife, I even remember bits of the Smithsonian and certain memorials, but not a lot of other things. Considering I was 14 at the time, I should remember more than I do.

Again, now that I'm older and more appreciative, I'm excited at the prospect of going back to D.C., if for no other reason than taking thousands of pictures because I don't have a single one from that trip and I'm not sure why.

#4: BILOXI, MISSISSIPPI
There is just something about Biloxi and I'm not sure what it is exactly, but I feel a constant pull to go there. There was a time when I would get up early on Saturdays, drive the 6 1/2 hours there, get out and walk on the beach for a few minutes, get back in my car and drive the 6 1/2 hours back home. After hurricane Andrew hit, I didn't go down there near as much and then after Katrina, it was several years before I went again, but I remember feeling just as passionately about it then as I had the very first time I went. If there is such a thing as a city calling you home, Biloxi is mine. Now, when I drive to Disney, I take the long way so that I can drive through Biloxi and walk on the beach for a couple of minutes.

No matter how bad the camera is, there is nothing more beautiful that the sunset over the ocean:
Biloxi-163

#5: SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA
I may have mentioned once or twice (or several times) that my Disneyland/California trip didn't go according to plan, but one thing that felt right was Santa Monica. They let us off at the pier and we only had a couple of hours to look around, but I had that same "home" feeling like I get at Biloxi, even if I only had time to scratch the surface of this beautiful city. I can't pinpoint it directly to the beach, because I've been up and down the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts and I've never had that feeling at any other beach town like those two. The vibe was just calm and mellow, the architecture was beautiful, the area seemed clean and pleasant and both felt "right" if there is such a thing.

And seriously, how could anyone hate a place with an ocean, cliffs, and a pier with a purple house close to all three!
DSC01847
If I really think about it, I had the same "right" feeling at D.C. as well and we all know how I feel at Disney, so maybe that's why these places call to me and pull me back, sometimes again and again, they just feel like home. I could go wild and say that maybe I'm tied to them because I lived a past life there or maybe the magnetic resonance of the ground jibes with my particular personal brand of resonance or I could just simply say that they are great places to go to see amazing things. In the end, I'm not sure it really matters why, I just hope I have a chance to revisit each and every one of these places again in my lifetime including a couple of them numerous times. Heck, maybe someday I'll go back to a few other previous destinations like New York City, the Florida Keys, Canada, etc.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Bucket List Topic for 11-20-15

BLF
Please feel free to snag the icon above...it was just a quickie and I might change it later (which is why I haven't perma-linked it yet).

I'm going to try to make it a habit to post the upcoming topic for Bucket List Friday on Wednesday so that anyone who wants to join me can have time to organize a list. Just remember to limit your list to five items but feel free to be as wordy or brief as you please. If you want to add pictures and/or videos, then all the better! If you will link to your post in my Friday Bucket List post comment section, I'll make sure to visit every blog participating.

I had quite a few people last week say that they had favorite bands they would like to see but that their bands were either no longer together or had dead members. My view on that is never say never...I never thought I'd be able to see Duran Duran together as the original five after 1984, but I got that chance again in Louisville in 2009 (after a failed attempt in Mississippi because Andy's father was dying).

Granted, it's a bit harder when band members pass...we may never have Joy Division again, but New Order is still around (albeit fragmented), so at least there is a bit of Joy Division still alive. I did debate on revisiting the concert topic with groups or singers that no longer make music, have broken up, or have dead members, but in the end, I couldn't come up with a viable list myself, so I had to pick something else. I want to keep the list realistic...something that can actually possibly be accomplished in my lifetime.

Because of some things that are happening this week, I decided instead of move to the vacation bucket lists. There will probably be a couple of these, but I want to start first with vacation destinations where you've been before, maybe a long time ago or maybe last week, but want to go back to again someday, so the topic is:

VACATION EDITION: REVISTING PLACES

I'm sure most of you already know what at least two on my list will be (and I might have to merge them to make the list work). I admit I am a bit predictable on certain subjects, but not so much on others and, despite my seemingly one-tracked vacation mind, I have actually been a lot of other places, so I have a pretty good list (or at least I think it's good).

So, good luck to anyone else who wants to join me and I can't wait to read all about your past vacation destinations and why you want to go back again!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Top 10 Things To Be Thankful For

The Suddenly Kate Show

It's Top 10 Tuesday time again! It's also that time of year when Thanksgiving and Christmas subjects come up, so I'm going to try not to be "holiday negative" like I usually am, but I would still suggest reading both Kate's and Tiff's blogs because they both actually quite like this time of year whereas I never have. Oh, and this list is probably going to be more material than anything but it's an Asper thing, we attach more emotion to things than to people, so please don't judge.

#1: BAM BAM
Untitled
I had never thought to adopt a dog before, especially since I preferred Shih Tzu's and it's hard to find full breeds on adoption websites, but it didn't stop me from trying. I was denied by two separate agencies because I didn't have a yard. I don't think either read my application, just sent me a canned denial letter (and one took over four months to do so). Both my other boys had come from a pet store and, although they both have passed now, I loved them more than anything, so I was looking everywhere to find a new kid. I even documented my struggles on my blog back then (I think it started back in March of 2013).

But once I finally found Bam, my life was forever changed for the better. I always joke that he is the reincarnation of my beloved Zander, who I never thought could have ever been replaced, let alone surpassed. Bam sometimes looks at me as if he is saying, "You are as much my life as I am yours" whereas Zander always had that "I know you love me mom but I really want to discuss quantum physics for a while." look in his eyes. Zach usually just gave me the "Where's my puperoni?" look and then, once Bam came along, the "I hate him, make him go away" look which eventually turned into the "Well, if I must deal with him couldn't you at least get him to stop picking on me?" look.

I was worried that Bam wouldn't take Zach's death very well, but he's been a little trouper. I'm just sorry he never got to meet Zander, they would have loved each other. Maybe some day I'll get Bam a new brother (although I think he might be too territorial to share), but for now, life doesn't get any better than being at home with my little guy!

I will admit though, his name still makes me cringe and if he hadn't already been 3 when I adopted him, it would have definitely been changed to something else! Seriously? Bam Bam? Ugh. I settle for Bammers and he seems to respond to it too, so we deal.

When I can, I still send Debbie at Arkansas Southern Dog Rescue a little bit to help with her current cases and I always try to use Amazon Smile instead of regular Amazon which donates a portion of every purchase to the charity of your choice. I don't have a lot of money, but I feel so grateful to her and her organization for giving me the greatest gift of my life and I will always support her in any way I can.

#2: AMBER
2013 (12)-0609
I don't have a lot of family to begin with, but only one of them counts as "real" family to me and that's my sister. We haven't always gotten along and I pretty much hated her when we were little (and she still swears up and down I tried to smother her with a pillow...I don't remember it, but it's possible). Maybe because we were raised in the same unloving household (although I still contest she was loved WAY more than I was), or because I do think I actually raised her, but whatever the reason, there is no human that I trust more than her. She will always be prettier, smarter and cooler than me and I will probably spend the rest of my life trying to live up to the honor of being her sister.

#3: ALL THINGS DISNEY
Being an Asper, I do tend to focus directly on one thing and obsess about it incessantly. Disney has always been "my thing". From the Little Golden books I had as a child to that first Disney trip when I swore as a 10 year-old that I would NEVER go on another family vacation again, to my ever-growing collection of Disney "junk" to even my latest foray to a different Disney park that didn't end so good personally, but that still checked off a bucket list item, there is nothing material I revere or love more than Disney.
1981-0082
(that's little 10 year-old me with my mother and sister - notice the quasi-matching homemade outfits that my sister and I are wearing...I always HATED that!)
2013 (12)a-0193
(this is us in 2013...notice I have the same level of enthusiasm on my face as I did 30+ years earlier).

#4: MY JOB
Yes, I know I complain about work a LOT but, in all honesty, I really shouldn't. My mother worked here when I was an infant, so I've practically grown up here. My first job was here and, although I left when I was 19, I somehow managed to find my way back in my mid twenties and have been here ever since. I've gone from a lowly histo assistant to a transcriptionist to the IT Director. I never finished my education, so my qualifications are a bit lacking, but my bosses have faith in me to do the job and I hope that I at least meet, if not exceed, their expectations. They are aware of my issues and don't care too much and allow me to have my occasional temper tantrum without serious repercussions. I doubt any other employer would be so understanding. Sure, they don't pay me nearly would I could make elsewhere, but the added benefits of "dealing with me" more than make up for it. As better off as I would probably be to finish my education and get a "real" job, my comfort level would never be the same anywhere else and, if there is one thing I've learned in my Asper world, it's that comfort is a very important aspect to my sanity. Work is almost as much "home" to me as home is.

#5: MY HOUSE
I know I also complain a lot about living in a trailer, but seriously, I have a house of my own that keeps a warm roof over my head and stores all my prized possessions (although we're busting at the seems). Someday I'd love to be able to move into a "real" house, but I can't ever imagine it happening on my current solo salary with my spending habits. But you know what? That's OK because trailer life ain't all that bad (although trailer park life leaves something to be desired). When I was younger, I was constantly moving furniture and stuff around no matter where I was living because I was never comfortable. Since living in my trailer, I can count on one hand how many times I've moved things around and it's usually more out of necessity than being uncomfortable. It may be old now, but it's still as much my home as it was the day I bought it, even more so than the house I grew up in.

#6: DURAN DURAN
Yes, I admit it, I'm actually stooping to add Duran Duran to this list because, in all honesty, I AM incredibly thankful to them because they probably saved my life as a kid. I was a VERY suicidal kid/teenager and, if it wasn't for my obsession over Simon Le Bon, I probably would have offed myself before I hit 15. It was my insistence on playing Duran during my darkest moments that kept me afloat...I would invariably become more interested in the music than my problems at the time. Funnily enough, looking back on my problems then and what I was going through versus my problems now, and it seems silly today that I was ever like that. Sure, I still have extremely dark moments even to this day, but that's what Serious is for!


#7: MY ONLINE/BLOGGY FRIENDS
Friendships have never been easy for me and still aren't, but in today's digital age, it's a lot easier being an "online" friend than in "in person" friend. I think I'm actually excelling at being and having friends for the first time in my entire life simply because all my friendships are the online type. I've always been accused of only keeping one friend at a time and that is mostly true when it comes to the face-to-face types. If I met a new friend I would invariably dump the old one for no other reason than I really can't handle that much social interaction...friendship takes effort and energy and I just don't have the extra energy to spare, especially on more than one person. I can trace the line of failed or ruined friendships all the way back to when I was in daycare, but I've never been without a "best friend" before in my entire life, that is, until now. I am starting to realize that there are varying degrees of friendship and that it doesn't have to be "all or nothing". My online friends (and hopefully you know who you are) have become more important to me than I could have thought and I'm grateful to each and every one of you guys!

#8: STITCHING
Again, this might seem like a silly thing to be thankful for, but I credit stitching with solely keeping me off those horrible SSRI drugs that the docs always want to put me on. Maybe it's my combination of Asperger's and OCD and Social Anxiety Disorder that make for a difficult drug cocktail or just the fact that I don't like being a zombie that make me hate them so much, but whatever the case, I still attest that those drugs are evil. Stitching gives me a sense of focus and repetitiveness that my OCD loves, gives me challenges and a sense of accomplishment that my Asper-self needs, as well as keeps me home and safe from the world so my SAD is happy. It is honestly the best of all worlds! Despite the projects I've completed over the years, I still credit my Teresa Wentzler for making me a stitch-a-holic.
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This project went through high school, college, marriage, divorce, and all kinds of other major life events before I finished and, no matter how many HAED's I end up doing, I still concede that this was quite possibly the hardest project I have ever, or will ever do and the one I'm most proud of.

#9: FOOD
This sounds like a weird thing to be thankful for, but honestly, I didn't get fat because of genetics...I'm fat because I eat like a pig! I may be extremely picky, but I have found things that I can't imagine life without...Coke Zero, pizza, candy, cookie dough, and CHEESE, just to name a few. I've always been a fat kid and, although I have lost a significant amount of weight in the past couple of years (and gained it back and lost it again), I was never more miserable than dieting down to the point where I was simply "overweight" versus obese. I am a quite happy size 16 now and I'd like to stay that way, but I will never give up certain foods. I can maintain and splurge, as long as I'm careful. Food makes me happy and I don't see anything wrong with that considering so few things in life do.

#10: BLOGGING
I am not the social media type. I don't have a Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, I rarely frequently post on message boards (although I do frequently read them), and I have to fight Google+ off like the plaque. I first started blogging because of a suggestion of an online cross stitch friend and I've never looked back. Despite being an Asper, I do actually need a bit of human interaction, I just need it in a way that highlights me (because Aspers are notoriously self-absorbed). I don't have to feel guilty about hogging the conversation and focusing the entire discussion on me because this is MY world. I can either sing my praises to the heavens or cut myself down horribly. I can show off my stitch work without weirdness or a bunch of strangers touching it (I HATE to have my stuff touched). I'm not forced to read the blogs of others (although I do enjoy doing it) and I can construct my responses to others without my stupid lose tongue getting in the way. I can be social without having to speak. Blogging is actually the perfect social media forum for those on the spectrum. I only wish I would have done it sooner!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Stitching & TUSAL

First, I'm late (again) on my ORT jar pic. I didn't buy a bunch of stuff at Disneyland, but the few things I did buy were really exciting, none more so than the Disneyland Haunted Mansion hearse...now I have a matching set!
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Is it weird that I'm so excited over having matching hearses? Probably so, but I wear my weird badge stapled to my forehead, so it's not shocking.

Last week I set a goal for myself...to finish row 2 on Alice and the B's. Thankfully, about mid-day Saturday, I managed to accomplish it, confetti be damned! I left off here:
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finished the row here at 361.42 hrs (which bothers me a bit because I have six more rows...this project is going to take a lifetime to finish!):
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And the full two rows:
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I even managed to do a bit more Saturday night:
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But I also promised myself that when I finished the row, I would go back to Maleficent, which I did on Sunday. I left her off here back on July 1st at the row finish:
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I had a rough day concentrating, but I did manage a bit of work:
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As excited I was to get back to her, I had forgotten what a pain the confetti is. At this stage it's pretty easy, it's just the fill-in part that really sucks and I know that's next. I think that's why I had such a bad focused day (or at least I hope that was the reason). I'm not sure if I'm going to keep working her on this or not, but hopefully I'll be able to focus. I had a strong desire to work on Cinderella Castle again (for a reason I'll reveal later). Theoretically, I could actually finish it in a week if I compare its progress to that of Sleeping Beauty Castle, I'm just not sure I'm ready to dedicate a whole week to it, a prospective finish or not. We'll see how I feel about it tomorrow.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Bucket List Fridays - Concert Edition


Due to a certain conversation at work, I've decided to start a new blog series called Bucket List Fridays. Basically, I'll be picking a subject a week (and ideas are encouraged and welcomed) and listing my top 5 bucket list items for that subject. I will try to forgo my usual 1000 word essay on the who's and why's and just stick to the list, but I can't promise anything! Oh, and please feel free to join me because I'd love to hear other people's views on the same topics.

This week's topic is concerts, more specifically, who are my top 5 bands to see in concert. I haven't been to a lot of concerts in my life, and I've seen Duran 13 times (which is about three times as much as all my other concerts put together), but there are still bands and/or singers who I'd like to see before I die (although the odds are extremely unlikely).

#1: DURAN DURAN
This will always be #1...no matter how many times I see them, it's NEVER enough.

#2: TAKE THAT
Obviously, this would require a visit to Britian, but if the stars all align right...

#3: DARREN HAYES
Granted, he hasn't put out an album in years, but I still love him and I know how good he is live.

#4: DEPECHE MODE
I've got several of their concerts on DVD, so I know what a great live band they are, I'd just really like to see for myself!

#5: THE CURE
Hence the reason for this series...their new tour is taking them close enough for a day trip (Kansas City), so I texted my Sister to see if she might want to go. She asked if they were coming to Chicago since we've talked about going back there again on a museum trip, and since they are, we just might do it! I still have to get the money together for the tickets, but it's looking pretty good...one bucket item list might actually get checked off this year!

I'm not sure what next Friday's list is yet, but if anyone is interested in joining me, I'll be sure to decide on something.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Blogging/Stitch Challenges

For years I've been threatening to join a stitch/stash blogging challenge, but I always manage to miss the sign up times. Since Stitch from Stash (the one I REALLY wanted to join) is closing down, can anyone recommend any good stitchy challenges? I'm not interested in the crazy types...I may be crazy, but not THAT crazy and I don't do well with tons of WIPs, but more of the 'finishing current projects' or a 'moderate new stash start' type of challenge. I already do the IHSW and the TUSAL challenges, but I need a good continuous focus-type challenge as I tend to need motivation sometimes (well, except for close to vacation time when I don't stitch at all).

I've tried the whole 'I'll just motivate myself and post my own progress' type challenges, but that usually lasts all of one or two months. I know a lot of people do challenges on Facebook, but my world is a Facebook-free zone and I'm not intending on going back there (which really sucks because the HAED official FB challenge thingee sounds really cool), so any social media other than Blogger (or WordPress, etc), is pretty much out of the question.

Someone please help point me in the right direction...I'm desperate for structure right now!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Top 10 Things You Would Like To Leave On A Desert Island

The Suddenly Kate Show

This week's Top 10 Tuesday is a bit of a branch-off of last week's subject, but I'm still excited to see where this takes me. I almost missed today's due to work responsibilities, so sorry it's late. Make sure to drop by Kate's and Tiff's to see what they left behind on their islands.

#1: MYSELF
The more I thought about last week's subject, the more I started craving desert island quietness, so I vote to leave me and all my top 10 items from last week on a desert island. But, the following 9 items cannot be on the island with me, it's an either/or scenario.

#2: ANNOYING PEOPLE
For me, this would be an EXTREMELY long list, but anyone who get's on my nerves either has to live permanently on an island, or serve "time" on one.

#3: BUGS
You probably guessed this one was coming. I know that bugs serve an important function in our ecology, but surely there has got to be another way to handle such matters versus creepy, crawly, stinging, biting, scary creatures, right?

#4: WHITE CREAMY STUFF
OK, get your mind out of the gutter...I'm referring to the likes of sour cream (which just smelling causes me to gag), mayo, ranch dressing, and the like. I'm not sure what purpose they serve, but it would be so much easier for me in the dairy isle if I didn't have to know ahead of time where the sour cream is so I can avoid it completely. It's the reason why certain shops in town don't get my business...they keep the sour cream too close to the cheese.

#5: REALITY TV STARS
This probably actually goes under #2, but I do need to differentiate because this class of annoying people is far more annoying than those I'm forced to interact with on a daily basis (which is the main specificity of #2). If I really think about it, I probably should have another number dedicated just to divas because, again, a whole other class of annoyance.

#6: MOVIES THAT MAKE YOU CRY
I've never understood the purpose of these types of movies. Why would you want to watch a movie that makes you so sad that you have a physical reaction to it? Why would you want to watch other people suffer, even if they are actors and the subject matter may or may not be real? I try to avoid these like the plaque, but every once in a while one sneaks in, and I don't like it, especially the ones where the couples don't end up together...I like HAPPY endings!

#7: DISNEY GUESTS
Again, this could fall under annoying people, but this is more of a specialty group like Reality TV Stars or Divas. If more Disney guests were like me...grateful and excited to be there while still aware of my surroundings and staying considerate to others, I would be OK with them, but they aren't like that. They are self-absorbed, complaining, mean, horrible people overall and I'm not sure when that started, but it's steadily been getting worse and worse over the years. It's gone from the occasional rude guests to the occasional nice one. I'm not sure what that says about our society, but it ain't good folks.

#8: TRUCKS THAT GO BEEP-BEEP WHEN THEY BACK UP
Obviously, I get the reasoning behind it...to alert the people around you that a massive vehicle is moving in a direction that can be dangerous, but I still don't like them and I really don't understand why they need to be so LOUD! And why, for goodness sake, once the back up process has finished, don't they put it in 'park' so the beeping will stop? Why? To torture me and my super-sonic hearing.

#9: CATS
This one is a bit controversial, especially since some of my best blog friends have them, but I'm sticking by my choice to add them, especially after our vet visit last weekend. I'm extremely allergic, which is bad enough, but the cat person had to sit right next to me and the cat kept violently hissing at Bam, scaring the life out of him and simultaneously causing all the other dogs, especially the big ones, to bark constantly. The owner thought it was funny, we did not.

#10: COUNTRY MUSIC
I have never been a fan, which sucks living in the heart of the "country" where the music is revered. But the older I get, the less tolerance I have for it. I start my day by having to pass one of the local stations parked outside of a restaurant practically every morning broadcasting "live" and "out loud". Then I get to work and they literally blast it from every office and lab space, each on a different station, so I'm doomed to hear it all day from different directions, all different songs. The only space that is country-free is my house. Shame I can't afford just to stay home 24/7.

Well, that list didn't end up so good, did it? Sorry about that. Next week's might not be much better, but I'm still gonna try!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Stitching and stash

I did stitch this week, but it doesn't look like much progress because of all the confetti. I left off here:
alice084
And finished up here this afternoon:
alice089
Guess a heavily confetti'ed area wasn't the best place to get back into stitching, huh? I'll get through it, it just might take me a while.

As far as my stash goes, here's what it looks like on the weird metal shelf:
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Made even weirder because it's in my bedroom:
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I keep my thread in DMC numerical order in these boxes (with room to grow):
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my scroll rods are in two separate locations from little:
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to big:
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My material (that isn't in with the big scroll rods) is kept in these boxes:
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I keep my kits in these boxes:
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and my patterns in binders with magazines holding them up:
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Spare little supplies I keep in these drawers, but they aren't very effective. You also might notice the finished stitches just sitting there gathering dust...I haven't been on top of things lately:
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And, of course, the front of a binder with the pattern on the inside:
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I've got to find something better to store this stuff in/on. The metal shelf is just ugly and I don't have any room to grow. I've got five huge patterns to put in binders and no room to put them (plus, my OCD doesn't handle the crookedness of them at all). I don't have room for anything that won't fit in this tiny corner (the rest of the house is stuffed with Disney stuff). Plus, with a bedroom of white furniture, I'm also limited in color to any new furniture I put in there.

How do you guys store your stash? Do you have any suggestions (preferably cheap) that would suit? I found an interesting bookshelf/drawer thingee on the Big Lots website, and there is room on that wall to fit two of them:














It looks perfect but, there are issues. The drawers wouldn't be big enough to store the kits and I'm not sure it's deep enough to store the boxes and scroll rods (but would be great for the threads and the binders). I'm still looking for other solutions (mainly because I'm still not flush financially since my trip and need time to gather some spare funds), but I am leaning towards these. They would still be better than the metal shelf.

Friday, November 6, 2015

I did something social last night...

My friend Kate over at The Suddenly Kate Show has started a new adventure to get out there and meet someone. That's something I gave up on a long time ago, but I really admire her spirit and desire to find someone to spend the rest of her life with, and she's gotten me to think a lot about my situation.

Ever since my divorce about 18 years ago (wow, that seems like forever ago when I type it out like that), I've used male friends as romantic substitutes. You can go out with them, go to eat, see a movie, shop, whatever, without all the emotional attachment that comes with relationships (or, even better, the intimacies). It's been the perfect solution/excuse for me for years. And the more I think about it, I did the same thing before my ex-husband even came into the picture.

I always preferred the company of male friends versus female, my first best friend was a boy and, although we did spend time as boyfriend/girlfriend, it was a one-sided relationship because I never really thought of him as more than a friend (and it was ultimately the reason that ended us). But from kindergarten to about 8th grade, he was a staple in my life. I quickly replaced him with my first real crush, who never thought of me as anything other than a friend (tables turned, that's what I got), but I was obsessive over him from 9th grade through the first couple of years of college. I had a few years of "friend-time" break, and then I sunk right back in with the male friend scenario, then on to ex-husband, then back to another male friend/co-worker named Chris, and then Tony was a staple in my life for almost 15 years and he was the best friend I ever had. But since our vacation, I am now once again male-companionless.

I always consider myself a loner, but in all actuality, I'm not and really never have been (I just prefer to spend the majority of my time alone). I've always had my sister and now I have some great blog friends, but my male friend has always been my social buddy...someone to go places with and do things with when I couldn't do or go by myself. I prefer men in this capacity because girls always seem to end up competitive for some reason and I can't deal with the drama. Kate's journey has started me wondering if I want to insert yet another male friend into the picture or is it finally time to see if I can do the whole romantic thing again (and not pick a total loser this time).

When I got up yesterday, I didn't plan on putting on a "full face" of makeup simply because I was only going to work and they don't care what I look like, but once my eyes were done, I realized that I was going to have to go whole hog or I would look weird, so I did. I wasn't sure why I did it, but everything happens for a reason, so there you go. And, of course, a full face also means you can't just get buy with T-shirt and jeans, so a bit upscale I went clothing-wise as well (although I still wore jeans).

After I got to work and read Kate's latest post, I started heavily pondering the whole "romantic relationship" scenario for myself. About mid-day, I pretty much decided that I'm not a churchly person (although I am spiritual, I just have issues with organized religion), so I'm never going to meet someone there, I'm not the club-type either, so nada there, and since I live in bum-fudge Arkansas, that's about it social-wise in this town, so my options are dead in the water. I've done the whole online dating thing and failed miserably, so I definitely don't want to try that route again. About the best I could come up with was that I needed to walk head up when I take my morning jaunt across the street to the hospital instead of watching my feet the entire time. I figure it's at least time to start making eye contact with other people (something I've always hated unless I'm speaking directly to someone).

I had pretty much decided to give up hope of ever trying to meet someone, when one of our retired doctors asked me if I would like to see an African singing group at his church. Now, he didn't ask me in a romantic way, not only is he married, but he's old enough to be my grandfather, but he always asks me to cultural type things (because he knows me) and I typically say no...but the combination of the full face o'makeup and my wandering mind all morning had me say yes to him almost immediately.

Of course, it took me all of five minutes to start to backtrack...I can't go by myself (his response, sit with us), I wouldn't be able to even go in the building by myself (his response, text me and I'll come get you), there is always the fear of lightening striking me if I stepped foot in a church, etc. This went on for a few minutes, then he also asked another co-worker if she wanted to come, and she did, so his response was, "great, you can take Keebs and both of you can come!".

I spent the rest of the day dreading/being excited over going. I found the coincidence of me dressing up a bit and thinking about getting out more too much to ignore. Maybe this was my chance to meet someone, even if it was in a church.

We went and I thoroughly enjoyed it despite the heavy religious undertones I wasn't expecting (and even he apologized because he wasn't expecting it either and he knows I'm not religious). Granted, I didn't meet, let alone see any available men, but I was enjoying the music so much (when they weren't praying), that I didn't really care and hey, I went out in public...on a weekday!

Here's a picture of the cute little kids:
Daraja Choir
Of course, there was also the 30 minute plea for money (my main complaint about organized religion), but I put $5 in the collection plate and felt OK with it. They were also selling African (or so they said) merchandise. It was all a little steep price-wise for me and I didn't see anything appealing enough to splurge, so I declined on that front too. Of course, my doc ended up sponsoring a child from the choir before the night was over, which wasn't surprising.

All in all, I'm proud of myself. No, I didn't even come close to meeting a new friend, but I went out and was social, so yea me! And a big thanks to Kate for being so inspiring! I don't know when the next opportunity will come up to go out again, but I'm going to try to make it a point to not say my typical no. I'm still not sure I can handle another romantic-type relationship again, but it's obvious the whole "male friend" thing doesn't really work either, so I guess I at least need to give myself another chance. Couldn't hurt, right?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Battle of the videos

Both of my favorite bands, Duran Duran and Take That, put out their new videos this past week (finally D2...what took you so long?). It's a weird situation for me because, despite my long-lived, deep-seated love for Duran, Take That hold a pretty big place in my heart as well, so objectively it's hard to examine both videos with open and unprejudiced eyes.

Since I saw Duran's first, let's start with them. There are several aspects about the video that I do like...the black and white (which Duran do very well), the simplicity of it, and it fits the song, which I've really grown to absolutely adore. But, at the same time, Simon's weird decision to avoid looking at the camera is just odd, he's usually doing nothing but looking at the camera. I do have to admit though, despite his age, that man's still got it! But anyway, judge for yourself.


Now on to Take That's video. From just a visual standpoint, I found the video fun and cute in places, but the song...I don't get it. What does it mean? The music I like, but the lyrics...just overall weirdness! What is up with my middle-aged bands trying so hard to be youth relevant? I've listened to it a couple of times and I still can't wrap my head around it. I'm also really surprised at the swarm of positive comments about the song itself. Am I missing something?

What do you guys think? I think I'm just getting old.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Top 10 Things You Would Take To A Deserted Island-AMENDED

The Suddenly Kate Show

It's Top 10 Tuesday time again! You guys have no idea how good normalcy feels right now! Be sure to check out Kate's and Tiff's for their take on this week's subject.

I have actually given the idea of living in a deserted island quite a lot of thought, probably because I have severe hermitting tendencies and could live quite happily without human interaction for some time (that and I probably watched too much Swiss Family Robinson as a kid). My ideal world would be devoid of people, but obviously that's impossible, especially since I'm also a Disney nut and the parks tend to stay at max capacity now. But without further ado, let's get started!

#1: BAM
Obviously, I wouldn't ever go anywhere without my little bamkin. He's a mess, but I couldn't live without him and I'm pretty sure he feels the same (or at least I hope he does). Here he is sleeping in his "Egyptian mummy mode":
Untitled

#2: MUSIC
I'm not entirely sure how I would charge electrical devices, but I can't imagine going long periods of time without some sort of music. I could live without TV (or I'd like to think I could), but not without music. Granted, I have several movies and TV shows saved on my iPod (and my #3), so that would technically be cheating, but oh well!

#3: COMPUTER
Again, not sure how I would produce electricity to run said computer, but I am still a tech geek at heart, so I would need some sort of computing equipment. I could possibly do without the internet as long as I have #4 and some editing software. I could technically merge #2 and #3 and just use my iPad for both...hmmm...things to think about.

#4: CAMERA
I'm not a good photographer, but I like to take pictures, so I could find tons of things to take pictures of on a deserted island. I somehow manage to take upwards of 5-8000 Disney World pictures every single year without fail (I've got about 6300 Disneyland pics to go through), so I obviously don't get bored with the same location more than once.

#5: BUG REPELLENT
I would need crates of it considering most tropical climates and bugs go hand in hand, but since this is a dream scenario here, I could actually do without bug repellent and just wish for a bug free island, right? Well, just in case I can't, let's leave in #5.

#6: PEN AND PAPER
Yes, I know that this is technically two things, but they do go hand in hand. Although I don't draw anymore, I do still consider myself and artist and maybe someday I'll pick it back up again, so I would want to make sure that I could do when I wanted to.

#7: MY JANE AUSTEN BOOKS
I think I could live without every single book in my collection, but I do feel a pull every blue moon to re-read one of the Austen books. I could probably quote a lot of Persuasion without the actual book in front of me, but I still love reading it. Of course, they would also have to be hard-back copies, because paperbacks would never survive on an island for very long (and plus, I just hate reading paperbacks).

#8: A HOUSE
Seems like a strange thing to take to a deserted island, but I have no building skills whatsoever and I would not do well out in the elements, so I would need a ready-made dwelling to live in. I don't even think I could do with a Swiss Family Robinson type treehouse...it would have to be more like a deluxe cabin...I don't do well in nature (mainly do to bugs and trees and bugs and animals, and did I mention bugs?). I could have it built with solar panels which would provide me with the needed electricity to solve all of those issues. I'm still not sure how to work out the whole plumbing thing...I could bathe in the ocean, but I don't think I could do other things that you need a bathroom for in the ocean. Can we change from deserted island to just private island? That way plumbing and electricity could be included!

#9: FOOD AND BEVERAGES
Again, I'm cheating here by merging two things, but these also go together and I would need both. If I had to kill an animal to be able to eat it, I wouldn't ever eat meat again, and since I love meat, obviously I would need a work-around for that. I also couldn't live without my Coke Zeros (and I have tried, numerous times), so I would need a lifetime supply of those as well. Another necessity would be bottled water because I wouldn't be able to drink fresh water knowing that bugs and fish and bugs crapped in it.

#10: MY DISNEY STUFF
Well, obviously since I have brought a house with me, I could just have a duck room added already. Granted, it might take a cruise ship to get all my supplies to the island, especially if I moved my collectibles as well, but I probably have enough to keep me busy for a lifetime anyway, so there you go!

#10b: CROSS STITCH STUFF
This is an amendment to my original post...Heather so kindly reminded me that I didn't mention cross stitch stash! Stitching on an island would be absolutely perfect for me (although I would still need electricity for all my stitching lights and iPad). Since I'm already shipping down my Disney collection, what's another box or two or five?

Basically, I guess I would need a house, electricity, and a steady shipment of groceries to keep me going on a desert island, but I could do it, bugs and all, just me and my little furry shadow (and, if it came right down to it, #1 is really all I would need). To prevent human interaction, they could just airdrop the supplies to me every month or so and problem solved on that front. Although, if I were to get rescued, I would probably be more Tarzan than human and would be unable to re-assimilate into society, but lack of human interaction tends to do that to me anyway after just a couple of days at home...imagine how bad I'd be after a couple of years!

I look at luxury real estate a lot, especially in England and Scotland, and every once in a while, a private island pops up for sale, usually off the coast of Scotland. That would be the absolute perfect setting for me to be deserted on...enough luxury to keep me happy, no trees of a typical deserted island setting, but the seclusion to abide by the "deserted island" rules, right? Wonder what the bugs are like in Scotland? Unfortunately, it does get really cold there and I don't do well with coldness, so that would mean I'd have to go back to the tropical island scenario. Preferably, one devoid of critters of any sort and either treeless or palm trees only (for some reason they don't scare me like normal trees). Is there such a thing? Probably not. Could I change from one deserted island to another? Tropical in the winter and Scotland in the summer? Yeah, that would work! Or better yet, instead of a deserted island, I would probably do better on an abandoned space ship hurtling alone in space, with enough supplies to keep me and the munchkin alive and the occasional stop on a creature-free planet, yeah, that sounds more like me.

Monday, November 2, 2015

I stitched!

Well, not much because it's hard to get back into it after a three-month hiatus, but I did get some done on Alice and the B's. I'd forgotten what a pain it is for a dominant leftie to stitch on the far right side of the panel! But anyway, I left off here back in August:
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and made it here last night:
alice084
Not much done, but I'm still happy to be back doing what I love! This was the first Disney hiatus that my stitching mojo stayed strong through the entire break and I really wanted to be stitching instead of trip planning (maybe that should have been my first omen, but I'm determined not to dwell on the trip that was). Usually it takes me forever to get back into stitching after a break and then I stitch like mad for months, forcing myself to stop once again and work on Disney pictures around Feb/March.

I'm also having a strong desire to reorganize my stitch stuff. I never heard from Kate how her matchbox thread storage worked out and I'm really curious. I like how my thread is kept and how I have the patterns in ring binders, all nice and pretty, but I don't like the shelf thing I have them on. I need to find other storage solutions...I'm going to make it a point to start focusing on that until the end of the year. I'll put pictures up, maybe next week, of what I have now and hopefully you guys can help me with ideas! Geez, it's good to be home!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Disneyland-Part 3: The Ugly

For the most part, the trip was a wonderful experience and I'm glad I got to go, at least once in my life. Hopefully, I will be able to go back again, but maybe in several years and more-so on my own terms.

The ugliest part of the trip was the dreaded LA Bus Tour that I had been terrified to death of. Overall, it ended up OK, but the one part I was dreading the most, the Hollywood Blvd stop was way worse than I was expecting. I was expecting the homeless people everywhere, but I wasn't expecting the life-sucking vibe associated with them. I was expecting the pan-handlers, but I wasn't expecting them to actually physically touch me! I was even expecting the crowds, but I wasn't expecting the cattle-herding we were subjected to. Basically, once I managed to get myself in a store, I stayed there until it was time for the bus to come back because I couldn't face going outside again. That ranks with one of the top 10 worst experiences ever for me and if I never go back there again, I will be grateful!

But speaking of crowds, I've been in Disney World parks numerous times when they close to capacity and I swear I have never been in the crowds we had to deal with, especially on Saturday. Cattle-herding would be the understatement of the millennium! No one else seemed to mind it much, which freaked me out even more. At Disney World, you are the one that gets run over by strollers, or scooters, or wheelchairs...at Disneyland, the people do the running over them. I wished I had a dime for every single time I had to stop so that some poor person in a wheelchair or a scooter could get through the crowds. No one else paid them any mind, they would just walk directly out in front of them like they didn't exist. I have a new found appreciation for the disabled at Disney World now (although I still loathe the stroller people because they enjoy hitting your heels).

And finally, I came back from the trip minus a friend. I know I'm one of the hardest people in the world to travel with because of all my issues, so I was expecting a bit of friction, I just wasn't prepared for the ending I got. I was always taught that there are three sides of every story...his, hers, and the truth and one must strive for the truth. Unfortunately, I can't separate my side from the truth, one of the worst Asper traits. But hey, one of the best Asper traits is the whole emotional shut-down at the flick of a switch thing, so I'm still able to remember the good parts of the trip overall, without the emotional baggage I probably should be going through right now.

But anyhoo, eventually, I'll be able to go through the pictures and have reviews and all kinds of good stuff, but I'm just not ready for that now. I just want to go back to my normal life of being a hermit, snuggling with my puppy, and stitching!

Thanks to everyone who helped me plan this trip, especially Heather who had so much good advice! I can never repay you for all the help you gave me, both strategically and emotionally. There were aspects of this trip that I was dreading so much and, although most of them were unfounded, at least I was prepared thanks to you guys!