Saturday, April 16, 2011

marveling at the bounty our days contain

Last night I was lying in bed, moving toward sleep, and thought about how I can better get to know some of my friends. I thought it might help me understand their personalities to ask, "What would your ideal day be?" If it would mostly include reading, or skiing, or catching up on all their TV, that would help me get to know them.

And then I started thinking, "What would my ideal day be?" And as I started thinking about it, I realized that I was imagining what my ideal day would be like tomorrow. (Well, today. And, actually, yesterday, since I'm back-dating this.)

So, here's what my ideal day today would've been:
I awaken early, without an alarm, refreshed and ready to start the day. I check my email and have a message from an old friend, indicating a desire to catch up -- in word, in conversation, and in person. I think it would be fun to go see a movie (I have one in mind), and then get ice cream or something. We make plans. I eat a delicious breakfast, with a brand-new book that I've been wanting to read for a long time, but that I can easily put down so I am motivated to do an excellent job cleaning, perhaps even getting some things done that have been on my to-do list for months, like cleaning out my closet or organizing books. I don't waste an excessive amount of time on the computer. I have an awesome time catching up with my friend. I look really cute and comfortable and fashionable, and my hair falls perfectly without my trying. When I get home, I play with my siblings, who all adore me and don't have an unkind word to say. Dinner is also excellent. When I'm settling in to read that great book, the doorbell rings for me. It's the boy I like, surprising me with flowers! Awww! (I'm so grateful my hair looks nice!) I have an excellent evening, probably with him or maybe with some more friends, and I go to bed -- not too late, and fall gently asleep.

That just seems like a nice day for yesterday to have been. There are some obvious flaws (I'm not looking forward to any books, and the "boy I like" is currently in flux) but other than that, awesome day.

Here's how my day actually went!
+No emails from any friends, but I checked up on them anyway. Thanks, Facebook!
+Breakfast was delicious. So was lunch and dinner. I decided to pick up a book I got for Christmas a few years ago and fought against reading...until now. It's pretty good, except for I figured out the twist and I almost don't want to finish it now.
+I did an awesome job cleaning. I was about to vacuum my room when my mom came in and took away all my dishes, so there was actually room in my closet for me to put the corner of doom! And we cleaned off my desk. And it just looks pretty nice. Yay for deep-cleaning! (Not yay so much for losing my dishes, but I wasn't using them and Kaylie will.)
+I wasted slightly more time on the computer than I'd hoped to. I often vacillate between reading my book and spending time on the computer, so I don't feel like I'm overloading on either of them.
+I did have a chat with an old friend, which was enjoyable. Even if I did let my sarcasm get the best of me (not that anyone can tell, with text).
+I was able to help my sister Jennie get the drawstring out of her dress slip. I tried many things and finally succeeded with an unbent paper clip with tape on the end. I am indeed pleased with my accomplishment.
+The boy I like didn't come to the door and bring me flowers, but the boy Jennie likes (or, the boy that asked Jennie to prom, at least) came to the door and brought her flowers! Then whisked her away in a limo. (Can't win 'em all.)
+I played with Spencer a bit, which was nice. And none of my siblings really had any unkind words for me, which was a really great thing.
+I didn't stay up too late, and was able to fall quite gently asleep (whatever that means).

All in all, not necessarily ideal, but really good. I was impressed with how much difference my attitude made. I woke up saying, "I'll make this day as good as I can," and it ended up being almost close to my ideal! (Which, looking over it, is kind of a low-key ideal, but I'm not into "And then I win the lottery.")


"In Another Life"

Friday, April 8, 2011

in sand and thorns I'm walking forth

So there I was, sitting on a rock. Something whooshed over my head. I peered across the canyon; it was a crow. I looked down. A caterpillar!

It didn't take long to decide that this was a secret agent killer caterpillar, making its wiggly way toward me to sink its teeth into my flesh and poison me, laughing maniacally as I writhed and died. When the caterpillar got to my rock I scooted down to another rock and turned away. If I was going to be assassinated, I didn't want to see it coming. After a few seconds, I checked on it. It had lost interest in its assignment and wandered the other direction. Telling myself it was lulling me into a sense of false security, I pretended to ignore the caterpillar until it wriggled out of sight.

Then I got bored, climbed up the rocks, and made myself a sandwich.

Yep, I got to do some quiet thinking by myself while my family did hikes I couldn't do. I found I was usually good to just sit for about half an hour, then I had to move around, take off my shoes, look at caterpillars, drink water...but I was grateful enough that I wasn't trying to do things I can't do. Even though it seemed long to wait in the middle of the desert with no one around.

And I did do some hikes! I was able to squeeze through in Spooky Gulch, and the 6-mile round trip Calf Creek trail was survivable. The main problem with the latter is that I made friends with a cactus. On accident I let one of the big spines get me (it didn't hurt, really) and that caused a bunch of little spines to fall down my sock. Picking spines out of my foot slowed us down a lot, but better out than in!

As usual, it wasn't a real family road trip until I tossed my cookies (Chips Deluxe Soft 'n' Chewy), but at least I waited until we got to the hotel. Also we saw the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. Talk about exciting!

I'm sure I'll be able to get the sand out of my shoes someday.


Friday, April 1, 2011

I can trace all my books [March 2011]

Here is the list of books I read this month. As we are now a quarter through the year (hooray!) it is also stats time! See below.

40. Cast in Silence by Michelle Sagara
41. Courting Miss Lancaster by Eden Smith
42. Cast in Chaos by Michelle Sagara
43. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
44. Key Lime Pie by Josi S. Kilpack
45. I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison
46. The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal
47. Close to Famous by Joan Bauer
48. All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot
49. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Book 1: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood
50. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Book 2: The Hidden Gallery by MaryRose Wood
51. Tall Story by Candy Gourlay
52. Around the World in 100 Days by Gary Blackwood
53. A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
54. Trickster's Girl by Hilari Bell
55. A Time to Die by Jeffrey S. Savage
56. The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley
57. Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs

For the first quarter of the year (Jan-Mar), the results:
Total number of books: 57
Number of First-time Reads: 55
Number of Rereads: 2
Average number of books per month: 19
Number of nonfiction books: 2
Number of fiction books: 55

Something most impressive about these numbers is the small number of rereads. In fact, it's only been in the last week that I have reread any books at all, and they were books that I have only read once in the past. I picked up A Conspiracy of Kings on my birthday, because I got it last year for my birthday and hadn't read it since. Then my mom got Outlaws of Sherwood from the library, and I don't remember reading that since like eighth grade (or maybe sixth) so I picked it up again too! I really enjoyed my trend of only reading new books all the way through. Enjoyed it thoroughly indeed.

Also, with having read 2 nonfiction books already this year, I've smashed last year's record of 1. Go me!

title text: "Nothing Without You"