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Beachy Keen

I want to go to the beach.

I want to sit with The Dude and watch the sun set over the ocean and buy too much salt water taffy. I love hearing the waves break against the shore and the gulls screeching overhead. I want to squidge my toes in the sand, look for shells, eat seafood until I burst, and smell the briny air.

Cape May

The Dude and a Sunken Ship

This picture is from our first vacation together. We went to Cape May for a few days and did everything I mentioned above. I want to go again.

Today.

Swatting Flies and Wordsmithery

I’m really good at swatting flies. Like, freakishly good (*knock on wood so I don’t jinx myself*).

It’s pretty rare that I start stalking a fly and don’t take it down after a few minutes. I have no idea why this is. Maybe it’s because I hate flies more than any other insect? Maybe it’s because I have lightning fast reflexes? Maybe I was a cat in a previous life? Whatever the reason, it’s one of my weird, hidden talents. As a complement to my post about things I’m terrible at, here are some more of my talents:

  1. Trying new foods. This is one of my favorite things and I’ve gotten to the point where very little (foodwise) scares me. I could never knowingly eat cat/dog/horse, but a fish eye or foie gras milkshake? Bring it on!
  2. Planning Disney vacations. Seriously. I love, love, love the minutiae of it.
  3. Wordsmithing. Sometimes, starting a writing project (blog post, story, documentation) is really difficult for me, but editing is a piece of cake. At work, I always volunteer for groups in charge of editing and rehashing documents, and am often sought out to read over things that others have written.
  4. Making lists. I love these things. Plus, I feel so accomplished when I do it!
  5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Saved by the Bell trivia. Quick, quiz me! I miss both of those shows so much. Zack Attack and Scoobies for life!
  6. Dancing like no one is watching. Not much embarrasses me and I don’t care what others think when I randomly bust a move. Jazz hands and random leaps are often involved. I’m particularly good at The Elaine, but not so much The Sprain.

Maybe next I’ll make a list of things I want to do better!

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A Home for Ladybugs

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Lovely Ladybug and Fuschia Rose

One of the things I love about our house is our rosebushes. I love that they don’t take too much effort on The Dude’s part (Gardening is something that should have been on my list of can’t dos; I have the brownest of brown thumbs), but they always look beautiful and smell heavenly. Sometimes, the roses even contain surprises like dewdrops and ladybugs.

Fictional Bucket List

You know what would be cool? Being able to have long, involved conversations with animals. Or, having a (half) giant come to tell  you that you’re a wizard. Or, being given a chocolate factory just because you aren’t  horrible, greedy, and ill-behaved.

When I’m reading a book I love, I tend to get very involved in the book, very invested in the emotions and experiences of the characters. I especially love that, through them, I can experience things that I would never get to experience in my everyday life. The same goes for television shows that I really like; if something makes me want to be there, in that moment, with those characters, I’m hooked.

What experiences would I most like to have(other than the above, naturally)? Here’s my quick fictional (mostly, but not exclusively literary) bucket list:

  1. Attend Hogwarts and get a job at the Ministry of Magic.
  2. Slay a vampire (or demon or monster or whatever) with Buffy and the Scoobies.
  3. Jump into a chalk drawing with Mary Poppins.
  4. Build a cottage in the Enchanted Forest, preferably right next to Morwen.
  5. Go on a tour of London with Arthur Bryant.
  6. Step through a wardrobe and meet a satyr by a lamppost.
  7. Listen to music and have a pint in The Eolian tavern.
  8. Have dinner (or breakfast, or second breakfast, or elevensies) with some hobbits.
  9. Be one of Jessica Fletcher’s best friends (then, I won’t die, but I will get to solve mysteries with her).
  10. Eat cheesecake with Rose, Sophia, Dorothy, and Blanche.

As I was thinking about this list, I couldn’t help thinking of all of the fictional adventures that I want absolutely no part in (Trek through a fire swamp and meet an R.O.U.S.? Thanks but, no thanks.), but I’ll save that list for another day!

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Church in the Mist

Today, I really miss England.

To be fair, I miss it most days, but today I’ve been thinking about our time in Tintagel. The morning after our arrival was cool and foggy (shocking for England, right?), the perfect weather for traipsing through fields to Tintagel Parish Church.

Tintagel Church

Rising Through the Mist

The rising sun burned off the fog as we walked, but the mist clung stubbornly to the church and grounds. We were the only ones around, and can still remember how quiet everything was. Walking up to the the shrouded church was beautiful and eerie, like the veil between worlds had been lifted.

If only every day could be as magical.

 

Have Elephant, Will Travel

When I was six, I found a small, gray elephant.

No, not a real one. It’s a wooden elephant, dove gray with white eyes and white lines to outline his ears and legs and tusks. I found him in a hotel room when I was at the beach with my parents, aunt, uncle, and cousin. Though I had been on trips before (to Disney, to Cherrystone, Virginia), this is my first memory of staying in a hotel room and not with family or in my grandparents’ trailer.  I thought it was all very glamorous. Glamorous, and a little overwhelming.

See, my mom is a bit of a neat freak. So, before we got to the hotel, she warned me dozens of times to not touch anything without asking her first. Always an obedient child (seriously obedient; I was never even close to grounded.), I readily agreed, nervous that there were germs and other icky things  just waiting to jump out at me. At first, I was good and didn’t touch anything. Scratch that, I was afraid to touch anything.

But, then, while she was unpacking and I was exploring, I found that little elephant. He was just sitting there, tucked between the bed and nightstand. It was like he was waiting for me. I picked him up, giggled, and put him in the pants of my favorite doll (clearly, the world’s best hiding spot).

And, I never said a word to my mom.

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Traveling Elephant in Tintagel, England

Since that day, I’ve always known where he is, my little wooden friend. He’s been with me to Mexico and London and everywhere in between, slept with me when my parent’s got divorced, and made me feel safe during my first solo trips. He’s become a talisman of sorts, a traveler that goes where I go, that helps me get where I need to be.

He’s not something that I look at every day, or even every month. Sometimes, I forget he’s there. But, as soon as I plan a trip, or need a bit of direction, he pops into my head and I find him on The Dude’s nightstand or in an inside pocket of my purse and I reassure myself that he’s there, waiting to travel with me again.

Oh, his name? Predictably, unimaginatively: Traveling Elephant.

Nope, Can’t Do That

The Dude and I are going to a (relatively low-key) wedding today. Normally, when I go to a wedding or similar (particularly outdoor!) event, I like to gussy up a bit and wear contacts and some makeup instead of my usual glasses and clean-faced look. The reception is going to be outside, but I just can’t bring myself to try to get my makeup right today.

I am laughably bad at putting on makeup. I can usually get the eyeliner on okay, but everything is downhill from there, particularly when it comes to eye makeup. I have super long eyelashes, so any clumps are very noticeable and pretty clownish. Most of the time, no amount of eyelash curling or combing makes much of an improvement.

And, don’t even get me started on eyeshadow. The last time I tried it, I looked like I got punched in the face. Or, just woke up after a hard night of partying. Seriously. It was awful.

As I was contemplating how horrible I am at doing makeup, I started thinking about other ridiculous things I’m terrible at.  Here are some things I came up with:

  1. Makeup. See above for the horror of doing my eyes. Also, I can never get my blush even, and lipstick makes me look crazy.
  2. Slicing bread. Or, lemons. If I try to cut a slice of bread… well, let’s just say the loaf will never be the same. No matter how hard I try, the slice will always be jagged and uneven. Always. Same goes for lemons. It’s so bad, The Dude has banned me from lemon slicing.
  3. Trusting that I didn’t leave the stove on or the door unlocked. I drive The Dude crazy with this. He’s even resorted to having me take pictures of the closed and locked door and turned off stove. I still obsess.
  4. Dealing with my hanger. You know, when you’re so hungry that you’re angry. If I’m hungry (even a little) and don’t get food in relatively short order, I’m a nightmare to deal with. You wouldn’t like me when I’m hangry.
  5. Grilling. Or, even being willing to try grilling. There’s just too much heat or knobs or danger of setting my eyebrows on fire or something.

None of these things (with the possible exception of #3) is a big deal. They aren’t things I feel like I need to work on or get past. They’re just part of who I am. They’re things I can laugh at myself about, and things I don’t care if other people tease me for. I think everyone needs a list of things like that.

Maybe next, I’ll make a list of ridiculous things I am good at (like making lists)!