Saturday, December 29, 2012


I wanted to share an interesting experience that I have had recently. It started when I realized I was watching too much TV, finals were approaching, and stress levels were rising. So I decided that I was going to go 20 days with no television. This included everything from netflix, TV shows, and movies (although I did allow the occasional short youtube video). This was really just to get me through finals, but as every day past I was amazed at the changes in my life.

Some of you don't know but sometimes I struggle with what I have diagnosed as seasonal depression. It hasn't been terrible this winter, but it does occasionally sneak up on me. I had no idea how much my television watching was affecting my mood. After I stopped watching TV, my emotions became calmer and easy to deal with. I actually had control over how I felt. I pinpointed this to the fact that I would watch a range of shows from exciting comedies to tense dramas. My "real-life" emotions did not stand a chance when I was bombarding myself with this roller-coaster so frequently.

I also believe my mood was better because I had time to do other things. I read an entire book during this time (Lamb by Chris Moore. It was fantaaastic, but I wouldn't recommend it for my Mormon friends), and Kevin and I played games and talked more. I listened to music for hours every day, usually while doing school work, and I've gotten into instrumental and more mellow music. I had time to do some cleaning too.

When it came to school work, I was so shocked because procrastination became almost nonexistent. I would get on facebook for a few minutes, get bored, and start doing school work. I completed projects faster than I thought possible and I felt good about the effort I put into them. Because of this my stress was so mild compared to other semesters. Stress is the worst for my depression so it was such a relief to not have to cope with that during finals. When I get stressed I can become claustrophobic and staying home for an entire day can become painful. This never happened during the 20 days. It was fun to stay home.

I even lost a little weight.

I was truly blown away by this whole experience. Of course I have slowly reintroduced television into my life, however, I've noticed I get bored with it now and it is not the first thing I jump to for relaxation anymore. I especially avoid TV during the day and limit how much I watch at night. I had no idea what I was doing and what I was missing by watching TV. I do realize sometimes it's good to just relax in front of the screen, but I'm going to cut back during the semesters and if times get tough for me, it's goodbye to television till I'm back on my feet.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Grow boxes! Kevin and I had so much fun putting these together. We planted tomatoes, two pepper plants, cucumbers, zucchini and garlic.

Smokey, our cat who had kittens a few days ago. She has them hidden in the woods though so we won't see them for a few weeks.

Apparently we are also feeding large rodents, but he's cute too. I haven't been able to catch a picture of the
little mouse that runs around our kitchen picking up cat food.

Also, I have started my internship at the winery and I love it. I got my grades for this past semester and pulled a 3.85 GPA.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Yesterday I decided to try frying up some corn fritters. I had never fried anything before but didn't think it would be a big deal. I put some oil in a pot, put a lid on it so it'd heat up faster, and went about making the corn batter. I checked on the oil a few times but the last time I pulled the lid of flames burst out of the pot. Kevin saw the light from the other room and asked what happened. "It's on fire!"

I moved the pot off the heat and Kevin came over to help me. He put the lid back on and moved the pot outside. I thought of pouring water on it but a red light went off in my head so we continued thinking. It didn't seem like it was going to go out anytime soon, so while Kevin went to get a shovel to throw some dirt on it, I, despite my first judgement, went inside to grab a pitcher of water. On his way back outside Kevin was just in time to see me running away from a huge fireball.

When I had started pouring the water on the pot, of course, flames burst up about five feet and all I saw was fire before I dropped the pitcher and ran the other way. Kevin came out and I threw my hands up and said, "I'm sorry! I was just covered in flames! I can't do this!" I ran inside and immediately jumped into a freezing cold shower to cool off my right underarm which felt hot. I then discovered that about an inch of my hair had been burned off the ends of the right side of my head.

Luckily Kevin was able to get the fire out with only a little damage to our grass, and I was able to cut off most of the fried hair on my head. We both escaped with only the most minor of burns. The pot, however, didn't have quite the same luck. It was thrown out, and I have to admit I don't plan on trying to fry anything for quite some time. We were able to have a good laugh about it for the rest of the day, and I hope some of the neighbors saw the craziness. We now know our fire alarm works perfectly, and Kevin is going to purchase an extinguisher soon. I definitely have learned my lesson about how not to heat oil, and I was able to bake some pretty delicious corn muffins instead.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Craft Time

Since I have been working part time at a craft store the past eight months, I have this strange and constant urge to do arts and crafts. This is a picture of a few that I have indulged in recently. This is a painting I did, a scrapbook I'm starting, a wreathe I made that now hangs on my front door, and a picture of a wolf cross-stitch I'm working on at the moment (thanks Katie and Isaac for the awesome birthday gift).

Yes, I taught myself how to cross-stitch, and I'll admit I love doing this "old lady" craft. I finished one for my mom, that unfortunately I don't have a picture of, and now I'm hooked. It really amazes me (and Kevin) how this tedious task can keep me happy and occupied for hours.

Also, when I have time, I have an adventure with a new recipe in the kitchen. I have also cleaned out and planted a few silly annuals in my hopelessly shady flower bed out front. In summary, I love hobbies, I think they keep me healthy and happy, and if you have any fun ones I'd love to hear about them.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cat Watching


One of the things Kevin and I love about our place is that we get to spend time with the cats that live here too. It's an interesting hobby that I like to relate to bird watching, but in addition to observing them, we also pet and get to know them. Each cat has it's own unique personality. It's the little things they do differently that make Kevin and I laugh. We spend a ridiculous amount of time catching each other up on the silly things the cats did today.

Of course it's not always the easiest hobby either. The one cat we allowed to come inside and become "ours" went missing a few weeks ago. We worried a little but thought Bandit was just off enjoying the spring weather Our hearts were crushed when we found his body on the highway by our home. We miss him lots and reminisce about him often, and it's comforting to have the other cats here.

So although it can be bitter-sweet (and expensive) I'm glad we found ourselves in this situation. I feel like I'm a lucky cat woman with some pretty awesome cats. Please feel free to come meet them any time(oh, and my boyfriend).

Bandit on our microwave.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I've always enjoyed reading all of my siblings blogs but thought it would be pointless for me to have one because I'm not married nor do I have kids. However, after giving it some more consideration, I decided that it might be nice just to share with my family what is going on in my life. And I hope you all enjoy my blog as much as I have enjoyed yours.

I think you all know that I'm studying Horticulture (plants) at Virginia Tech, and I am loving it. I spend labs outside examining trees and I study identification characteristics and Latin names frequently (a long with chemistry and economics and other silly subjects). One fun Latin name I learned this semester is Pseudolarix amabilis, common name is golden larch. Although I've only seen this deciduous tree in "hybernation" so far, I thought the name was great. Amabilis translates to mean "deserving of love" or "loveable". This is how I feel about most plants, they are loveable, fascinating, evolved, beautiful, and yes, even sexy (as one of my professors has concluded). I am so happy and excited that I will spend the rest of my life learning about these amazing organisms.