Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Birthdays. Part 1.

My birthday is nearing. :) I'll admit it, I love my birthday. I always have. Twin Brother isn't much of a fan, which complicates things a bit, but OH WELL my dear brother. You only live once right? Making the most of it should be mandatory, even as an adult. I've never really minded getting older, but I guess that's because I've never felt my age honestly. I usually go out with friends on my birthday, but Dad and Stepmom always make sure to have a cake/family gathering on hand for us on another day, or they take us out to dinner. It's really sweet. I always appreciate it, especially since I'm closer to 30 then my 20's or teens.

Our birthday falls on a Wednesday this year. Since we're all getting ready to move (sans brothers, who already have moved) we decided to have a family party at the house. You know how there's always one central gathering place? Our house was it. Birthdays, holidays, graduations, were always at our house. Our birthday would be the last event.

Dad always puts number candles on cakes. He seems to never grow tired of it. Last year the number candles became so worn out that he went out and bought new ones this year. He was quite pleased that I noticed.

Our younger brother Dan's birthday is a week after ours. Back in the day, Mom and Dad kind of lumped all of our birthdays together into one big party, which makes me sad since I believe the poor guy got jipped. It's like having your birthday fall near or ON Christmas, like my little nephew who was born on December 23rd. Oy.

Okay, so perhaps at this point I might be a tiny bit embarrassed to have a family party. But I do like it when family comes together and hangs out, and we have quite a big one. I especially marvel at how big my nephews have gotten in what seems to be a blink of an eye. At the party, I sat back and quietly soaked it all in, watching adults chat and seeing the kids play. It was a little bittersweet. I'm excited for the next chapter, but my heart hurts a little knowing that I'll be gone for a long time. Dean and Matt will be much bigger. Three year old Matt will probably be talking a whole lot more. Holidays and birthdays will be celebrated without me being there. I'll miss Easter with my cousins this year. I'll miss my dad's birthday. I'll miss going on summer vacation to the beach with my brothers and cousins. It's a lot of change.
But at that moment, I just enjoyed it. I enjoyed seeing Dean scooting his stuffed animal "Bunny" on the floor and wondering what adventures Bunny was having in Dean's mind. I enjoyed Matt discovering his voice and wanting to tell (and show) us everything in sight.

When it came time to sing Happy Birthday, I made a secret birthday wish that we would all find our bliss no matter where we ended up. Then I let Dean blow out the candles, since he's quite an expert at it.

I honestly think 28 is going to be the best year that I've ever had. I'm looking forward to it, and to the years beyond.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Childhood furry friends.

I recently read a post on the blog A Punk, a Pumpkin and a Peanut about the blog ower's dog Marley, and it got me thinking about a special dog who entered my life years ago: Happy.

Happy came into my life in a special way. When I was eleven, my back problems began. I didn't know exactly what scoliosis was then. I knew I was hurting quite a bit, but I could still play, and I didn't look any different, so whatever. I knew soon after I began seeing doctors, I was fitted for a back brace. I knew my parents (my mom especially) worried about me. I knew that after nearly a year of missing school days and getting x-rays, all of us knew the back brace was no longer working. I began to get a better idea of what scoliosis was and what the next step would be for me. My orthopedist began mentally preparing me for surgery, but wanted to hold off for as long as possible for my body and bones to develop. Ideally, I believe doctors didn't want the surgery performed on anyone under the age of 16 if they could help it. I don't know if that's true any longer.

By my 13th birthday, I had difficulty running around outside without becoming short of breath. I was on the couch nightly due to pain in my back, but I didn't think about the pain much. In fact, I remembered it then, but can only vaguely recall it now. What did bother me was completely superficial: I was crooked. I hid this as best as I could through baggy jeans and hoodies, told myself that baggy clothes were part of my "style", and rarely looked in a mirror to get me through. When my doctor realized that my surgery couldn't be held off any longer due to declining health, he scheduled it two months after my 14th birthday. My biggest fears during that time: "Would I wake up during surgery?", "Would I FEEL the double rod in my back?" (EW), "Would it hurt more?" My mom told me the surgery would change my life for the better, and that I would FEEL like a new person. I put my trust in her (she was Mom after all....knowing of all things) and left it at that.

As the date loomed closer, I focused on...dogs. I think it was so I couldn't focus on the inevitable, but that's what was on my mind. We had a dog already. Her name was Baby, and she hated our neighbors and my friends. (She was quite territorial) I'll admit that even though my family loved her, I myself didn't feel a strong bond. Make no mistake, I didn't dislike Baby, but I felt like she was more my mother's and brothers dog then anyone else's. I began to think about a dog of my own. I vowed to be able to walk my dog (if I could get one) pain free.

I remember working up my nerve to ask for a dog. It was like Ralphie in A Christmas Story, finding the courage to ask for a BB gun. I decided when Mom and I had one on one time, I'd rack my brain to find the perfect way to bring it up. At some point, it just spilled out to her Ralphie style: "Mom? Can I have my own dog?"
My mother looked a little bewildered at the question.
"Katie, we already have a dog."
"I know. But...she doesn't feel like my dog. I want a dog of my own."
Mom paused. I think she knew what I meant.
"Your father and I will have to talk about it."
I didn't know it then, but many years later, Dad told me I could have asked for a trip to Disney World and a pony and they would have given it to me. "We were in nervous breakdown mode."
All I knew was that I stayed quiet and patient after asking. I didn't have to say much anyhow. The very next weekend, we were at the ASPCA Adoption Day.
"Remember, this is your sister's dog," Mom reminded my brothers. "She gets to pick the dog and name the dog."

Like a kid in a candy store, I hobbled around in aw at all of the sweet animals looking for their forever homes. I came across a dog that caught my eye. His name was Sebastian, and I felt bad for him because he had three legs and was hit by a car. Mom worried about his health problems, and the fact that I seemed to be more in love with him then he was with me. We moved on. Out of no where, Mom spotted a big black dog in a pen. She wagged her tail so hard her whole body wiggled. The dog leaped out of the pen and into Mom's arms.
"Whoa!" Mom gasped and laughed. "I like this dog....Hi there!"

Happy wasn't a smart dog. I struggled to train her, but after 12 years, I gave up. She didn't know how to sit. She didn't come when you called her. She peed and pooped in the house for almost a year after we had her. She ate garbage. But Dad refered to her at "The sweetest thing on four legs." She was a mellow dog that stretched out by my side through thick and thin, including that surgery. She loved everyone, including other animals and children. She even would catch lady bugs, only to let them go. That was Hap.

My parents made the best decision for me in letting me have her.

Happy died when I turned 25. When I decided her arthritis became too much for her to handle, and she struggled to walk just as badly as I used to, I knew it was time to let her go. In her final moments, she was still full of joy. In fact my last image of Happy still had her wagging her tail. I've had many dogs in my life since then. But there's always that one special dog you never forget and you know you'll never meet another. Happy was it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I've been slacking lately.

Not on blogging, but on reading and commenting on friends blogs.Sorry friends. Here's why: I've been as sick as a dog on a log. What began as a "cold" almost three weeks ago, has now been classified as allergies. SEVERE allergies. Now, mind you, before this I have never had an allergy attack in my life. Only this year do I know what it's like for your nasal cavity to be swollen shut. (Yeah, gross....bear with me) I've been coughing, sneezing, even vomiting. I've been to  the doctor 4 times. We've gone down a list of allergy medications. So far, nothing is working. Not even medicated sprays. A nette pot helps somewhat for a few minutes of being able to breathe. Oh the things we take for granted.


Just a little something that I wanted to share. The moon appeared larger as it made its closest approach to Earth in 18 years tonight. So being the camera crazy girl that I am....and now that I actually have a camera....PICS!

It's for occasions like this that I wish I had one of those $2,000 Nikons with an awesome lens. I've officially put one on my bucket wish list.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

26 days. :)

That's it. 26 days till I'm off on my adventure. I can feel the excitement all the way down to my toes. I know this because I've started dressing for warmer weather and am quite stunned when I'm met with a blast of cold air as I leave the house. I guess it's not time to put away the winter coat yet.

On Monday, I began a three week business course at the local community college. Before I even had a germ of an idea in my head about going to Hawaii (or rather, others had that germ of an idea), I signed up for this. I figured I had nothing to lose, could do something to pass the time, and put something new on my resume. The course was how to begin your own animal business. Everyone who knows me knows I love animals. Dogs are number 1, but hell, I'll even snuggle with my cousin's rat or two.

Getting paid to do what you love? Why not? It's every one's dream. I will say that the class was kind of disappointing for me. I say for me because the instructor was wonderful. She told us about her dog walking business and how she got started 6 years ago. Through her hard work, she now makes enough to support herself and her three new employees. I got a cold, hard dose of reality however. She also told us of the sacrifice’s she had to make. She walks up to 11 miles a day with the animals. She now has bad knees and a bad back. She spoke of breaking up dog fights. Due to my Cerebral Palsy and Scoliosis, I already have a bad back and weak legs. She was concerned that I wouldn't be able to handle walking the dogs, although she did come up with a solution down the road for me: Hire employees to walk the dogs while I took care of their inside needs. That still left questions on what to do in the meantime. I'll admit, I get frustrated from time to time. When your mind works, and your body kind of doesn't, it's like a war. If it were up to me, I would have started something like this years ago. While she was going over networking your business I thought: "I already know this! This is great!" My mind immediately started spinning: Google, Facebook fan page to place clients’ dogs’ photos up. A wall where they could chat. Webcams, "Doggy/kitty of the week", Twitter. Fliers to place in vets offices. My mind was there. If it were up to me, I would happily walk those dogs, rain, shine, sleet, snow, whatever. I know this sounds crazy, but I LOVED taking care of my dogs. Feeding them, playing with them, making sure the bowls and everything was clean. Hell, with the little money that I had, Noah was on a special diet so his hypoglycemia wouldn't overcome him and his skin allergies wouldn't make him miserable. And I had to really SEARCH for that food. You couldn't get it at the grocery store. Hell, you couldn't even get it at PetSmart or Petco. It was either a mom and pop pet store, online, or from the vet.

At any rate, I knew that I would have to adjust my plans to work in the field. I wasn't going to write it off entirely, but if I did work with animals, it had to be where I wouldn't sacrifice my health to get there.

In other news, everything is drawing near, I keep forgetting that not only do I have the task of packing for a four month trip to tackle; I'm moving at the same time.

Things to do:

Wash the car, get oil change, get spare key.
Sell things I don't want/need (or give away, I don't care)
Organize and pack belongings I won't need with me. Put in storage.

Packing for trip checklist:

-Medication & Medical Supplies
-Camera, video camea, laptop
-Clothing (I'm buying a lot of summer clothing because everything I own is just worn out or doesn't...um...fit well anymore)

Am I missing anything? Or do ya think I'm all set? :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

New Yawk.

I had an awesome night on March 10th.

I went to see my favorite singer. Her name is Schuyler Fisk and she's an indie/folk/beachy singer songwriter. I don't know if you could put her in a category, (since she plays all kinds of music) but she sings just beautifully. I've been a fan of her music for a number of years. (Probably since late 2005, early 2006) Schuyler put out her first album The Good Stuff in 2009 independently, and it's been some high sailing ever since for her. I was just glad she put out an album so I could listen to it on my ipod, (I had previously gotten an EP at one of her earrrrrlyyy shows at the Bowery Ballroom) She just released her second album, Blue Ribbon Winner and began a co headline a tour with the band Harper Blynn, who's music I wasn't familiar with.

It became a come hell or high water kind of situation for my friends and I to get to the show. A couple of days ago, I came down with a bad cold and sore throat. I could barely speak the other day (or yawn). On Schuyler's official facebook group, I said I couldn't wait to see her show, but does anyone know how to kick a cold's butt in 48 hours? People (Schuyler included) gave all kinds of advice. Everything from getting a new toothbrush, to airborne, to cold-eeze, to drinking lots of water, to this syrup that you're supposed to drink. Well I tried a bunch of it, (sans the syrup, because that just scared me, and sounded kinda gross) anddddd.....ta da! No more cold. No more sore throat by Thursday. I did lose my voice from time to time, but I continued to preserve it by not talking much.

The other situation? MOTHER NATURE. You know that saying, "When it rains, it pours?" Well it literally did. In the afternoon, it wasn't too bad, but at night, the rain and howling wind made it difficult for us to, at points, even walk. As I was opening the door to Joe's Pub, a gust of wind threw me backwards, and my things went every which way. some of the band members saw me, and were so kind by gathering up my purse and it's contents, including money.

But, let me back up a bit. We got into Penn Station by 1pm and made a day out of it by going to one of my friend's friend's apartments. Travis was kind enough to let us hang out with him until 7 (when he had to leave for work). We had lunch in. I was stunned to see just HOW much you could order in Manhattan. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING you could ever want was on multiple menus in a leather binder Travis keeps. We decided on pizza. He payed for lunch, which I didn't expect, and was so grateful for. For most of the afternoon, we chatted and watched movies, until it was time to go. Travis gave me a huge hug and invited me to dinner. (He's a fantastic cook I'm told.)

Then, we got on the subway to head over to the venue. We passed the pub twice before someone pointed us in the right direction. Cranky, cold and a bit tired, we took our seats. All of that negative feeling went away once the show started:

Schuyler was lively and personable, immediately greeting everyone and giving us kudos for coming out in the storm. We broke into applause for ourselves. Then, she played the title track from her first album to kind of brighten the mood. She and the band joked that they almost didn't get there themselves! Driving in a van from Boston with their instruments, they encountered road rage. A couple of days ago, Schuyler decided to make some signs to pass he time and joke a bit. She would hold them up at passing cars. One sign read, "You're cute!" another: "Honk if you love musicians!" and if they were cut off, "Shame on you."

 Well I guess a driver that had cut them off didn't like that sign too much. Schuyler held it up and he preceded to try and run their van off the road at 70mph. Scary. "I didn't tell my mom that story," Schuyler said. "Sorry mom." Her mother was behind us, and I imagined she was horrified. (Too dark for me to totally tell, but I suspected it. I sure as hell would be.) Schuyler's mom is Sissy Spacek, but I often forget that, since Schuyler is talented in her own right in a completely different arena. The only time I remember is when I realize Schuyler kind of looks like her mom. (although not really petite. Schuyler towers over Sissy)

After Schuyler's hour long set was over, she told us to give it up for Harper Blynn who would be on in a few, and that she would say hi to everyone in the lobby after the show. We gave her wild applause, and I took a break to finally eat my food. (which was pretty good, but I was so excited that I didn't eat much)

When Harper Blynn came on, I felt a little left out. Everyone appeared to be excited, but I didn't know their music, couldn't sing along to any of the songs, and was overwhelmed. I'll confess that while I found them to be very talented, their music wasn't really my cup of tea. It seemed kind of New Agey to me, and the songs felt like they went on for too long. The majority of the songs were also slow.
When the show was over, I took to the lobby while a friend of mine went to the bar across the street. He wanted me to come with him, but I wanted merch, and I DID NOT want to get back in that rain again. I told him we would meet up, and I went into the lobby. Well wouldn't you know it, Schuyler was there just chatting away with people, as if they were all friends. I bought her album and a t-shirt, then decided to stick around. Right at the front of the line, a young woman and Schuyler were chatting.

Schuyler: "Yeah, this girl on Facebook mentioned she had been sick too. The post said something like, 'How do you kick a cold's butt in 48 hours? I gave her the advice that worked for me...I hope she's here.'"

Oh. My. God.


Did I mention I'm shy with strangers? Then I remembered what this blog was about. Trying new things. Being brave. I did something I would have never done two years ago. I spoke up.

"Um," I choked. "That was me."

Schuyler turned.
"You? OMG! YOU! HI!" She gave me a huge hug. It was surreal. "Stay right here okay?" She said cheerfully. "I'll be right back don't move!"
I didn't dare.
She signed autographs with others and took some pictures. Then she returned and pulled me aside.
"So how are you?" Second huge hug. "You're feeling better?" Schuyler asked.
"Yeah," I replied. "Every thing's gone."
"Thank you so SO much for coming tonight! Really. It couldn't have been easy to get here."
It wasn't/ I joked about what happened outside. She listened intently, then we proceeded to talk and laugh  for about 10 to 15 minutes until it was time for my train. She told me to come back anytime she was in town. I assured her that I would. I thanked her for being so kind.

And so, my reward for being soaking wet, having ruined uggs, and yes, deciding to meet new people and not be shy, was met. Schuyler didn't have to take the time to talk to me. And she certainly didn't have to worry about a stranger. But she did. From now on, I will always support her future endeavors. Thanks for being so nice Schuyler. Your momma raised you right.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Disaster in the Pacific.

I wanted to take a time out on here and blog about the disaster in the Pacific that occurred yesterday. (late last night my time. I got a text from my aunt around 3:30am EST) Japan is in dire need. I want to let everyone know what they can do to help, and what you need to be aware of:

You may feel the need to donate to Emergency Aid. I'm not trying to discourage that, but please be aware of who you're donating to. Watch out for Internet and telemarketer scams. (Yes, sadly, they are already on the prowl) Don't donate to any incoming call asking for a donation. You be in control. The best bet to is donate to an organization that is familiar. I donate to The Red Cross.

You can follow other reputable organizations at this link:

Also, if you can, please send your well wishes and prayers to all. As you may know, my Aunt lives in Honolulu. Hawaii is under a tsunami warning, and residents have been sent to higher ground and shelters. Naturally, everyone here is a little on edge about Auntie, but she texted me to say she is safe for now. Her apartment has not been affected, but friends that live in low lying areas are staying with her. As of now, there is no major damage yet. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110311/ap_on_re_us/us_japan_earthquake_pacific_24

The west coast of the mainland US is affected as well.

To Japan and all of those of those affected by this tragedy, I send you my love. Stay safe and be well.

But....but I never win anything! *Fans self*

Guess what I was awarded?

Special thanks to Shannon from Shanimals Crackers! She's funny, she's witty, she's AWESOME.

Anyhoo, I accept this award, but with acceptance comes some good ol fashioned blogger rules. (Rules? Where we're going, we don't NEED RULES.)

1) Thank with all your heart and link back to the blogger that generously awarded this to you

2) Share with the whole Internet world 7 random facts about yourself

3) Award some great bloggers

Here you go y'all. 7 random facts about random me.


1) The only bugs/creepy crawlies that truly frighten me are bees, scorpions, and centipedes.
2) Snow is my enemy. Even as a kid I refused to play in it.
3) Odd things frighten me. For example, I'm terrified of balloons. The only ones that don't freak me out are mylar ones.
4) I'm obsessed with hats, and try to wear one at least once a day.
5) Needles do NOT scare me. The only rule I need to abide by when I'm getting blood work done is that I must look at the needle as it's going into my vein. I don't like surprises.
6) I love my birthday. Some people dread getting older or something. Me? Whatever. Bring it on. All I ask is that you give me ice cream cake.
7) I'm a picky eater. I still go for the kiddie staples like chicken fingers when I go out to eat. I know. Gross. Did I mention I hate surprises? 

Alrighty. I'm done. Back to lurking.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My trip just became the real deal. :)

I have a date and all of my flights booked! AHHHHHHH! Now I feel much better. I can't believe it's actually real.

I am leaving NJ on April 12th and won't be returning until the middle of July, when I will be moving into my new place. I will move my things into my parents furnished basement (It's huge), my bed into their spare room, and my car will be with the Dad. (all of his suggestions) Dad said he'll be driving my car a few days a week to keep it up and running. (I know she's an old girl but I just couldn't bare to part with Bridget...yes I named her. Why do you ask?)

I'll be getting her washed several times until then, make sure she has a perfect oil change and a full tank of gas for Dad. It was awfully nice of him to take over my baby's duties until I get back. (He said he'd like two cars to have anyway while I'm gone, in case someone needs it) It's also time for a yard sale, cause I'm getting rid of a bunch of stuff I no longer need ASAP. I will be traveling (and moving) light. My first stop will be Orlando, Florida to spend a week with my oldest friend.

When I lived in Ohio, Tana and I grew up across the street from one another. We met when we were just 12. On the first day we were in our house, Tana decided she wanted to be my best friend. Boldly walking over as we were unpacking, she rang the bell and asked my parents if I was 12 too, and would I like to play? Dad smiled and took her out into our new backyard where I was looking for trees to climb. He introduced us, and we've been friends ever since. Now, closer to our thirties then our twenties, we keep in touch often through Facebook and on the phone, but I haven't seen her since she got married. I know what will happen though, it's the same thing that always happens: We'll get together after not seeing each other in years and it'll be like we never left. We've attended weddings and graduations together. Here she is at mine and Brother's.

In addition to being married, Tana also has a little boy, who will turn three shortly after I get there. I can't wait to meet him. He looks so much like Tana in the photos she sends me.

After spending a week with Tana, I'll be flying out to Hawaii on April 19th. The Orlando flight will take me to Phoenix, then I will board another plane to the big island (I think that's where it lands anyhow. I'm already a little confused.) then I will board ANOTHER plane from the big island to Honolulu. Even though I have to change planes quite a bit (long flight and all) my airfare for Orlando, the Hawaiian islands and back home cost me $971! That's it! I was so pleased with finding that deal that I was giddy. I love a good bargain. I saw most prices for $2,000.

I've got my camera ready (Finally. No more crappy cell phone pics) and I've got my video camera ready. A youtube account will be set up so I can also post vlogs for you all here. I want to share as much of Hawaii as possible with you guys.

I'll close for now. I'm currently battling a wicked cold at the moment and I can feel my eyes getting heavy. Bye everyone!

Hello Fellow Bloggers!

I noticed I have quite a few new followers now, and I wanted to give a shout out to Y'all. :) Welcome to my blog! I started it in April of last year after being inspired by Holding the World in a Paper Cup, a blog about a family's adventures in Alaska and stepping out of your comfort zone. After struggling a bit with finding my way,  I decided to step out my comfort zone and record my experences, big and small. Recently (right before my Hawaii trip) I found a fourm about women bloggers and supporting each other online. The fourm is called The SITS Girls. They visit each other's blogs and help you gain an audience. Thanks ladies! Here are the blogs I would love to give a shout out to:

Holding the World in a Paper Cup
By: Hayley

A blog about a family's adventures in interior Alaska for 7 months! Hayley maintains this blog regularly and is an excellent writer and photographer. Read along, it's quite a fun blog! And if you have a chance, (once her store is up and running again since she's still getting settled back home) check out her Etsy store. She has all kinds of vintage treasures and takes great care in sending your items to you. (along with a sweet note). I recently bought a shirt from there over the holidays and couldn't have been happier with it.

Tune into Radio Carly!
By: Carly

Carly doesn't let her battle with ichthyosis slow her down for a second, and it's evident through her insightful, funny musings. She's also quite the fashion maven and I get great ideas for my own wardrobe through her pictures. Be sure to check out her pcitures of Austrailia too (where she's from). They're beautiful!

I Thought I knew Mamma
By: Charise

After getting laid off, Charise decided to become a full time mom to her first born child. The blog is all about her experiences as a new mother and I love reading it. :)

Now That I'm no longer 25....
By: Jade

When she turned 26, Jade decided to blog about her traveling adventures. She also is currently doing a "30 before 30" challenge, a task I'd love to begin as well.

Keep in mind these are just some of the blogs I currently follow. I'll be featuring more soon! Welcome new visitiors!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Reactions to my Hawaii adventure.

I've had a wide array of feedback to my travel plans. I was afraid to tell some of my friends who I believed wouldn't react as well to my being gone for a long period.

Twin brother: Brother and I have always been close. We've shared a lot of things over the years. (Birthdays, ideas, happy and difficult moments) He hasn't really said it (well, not all of it), but I can tell he's not all that thrilled at the idea of my traveling and is concerned about the cost, considering my recent layoff. I expected this, since he's incredibly protective of me to a fault. I can always tell when Brother isn't thrilled. He gets very quiet and if you didn't know him any better, you'd probably think he was mad at you, but he isn't. That's just how he gets when he's worried. His concerns: Money, not being able to find a job when I get back while living with my friends and  not at home. (Which, I pointed out, was happening regardless of my traveling or not) "Will you be alone?" He asked. "Yeah," I answered. "Most of the time, but not always." I told him about (hopefully) finding a part time job. If not a part time job, volunteering, Plus, there's a lot to do in Hawaii anyway. Bottom line: I think he doesn't like the idea of my being 5,000 miles away. Oh and he'll miss me. I'll miss him too.

Dad and Stepmom: The rents' are thrilled, and are actually encouraging me regarding this adventure, even if I'm hesitant myself. (a wave of panic will still come over me on occassion, so there the ones that keep my feet on the ground.)

Best friend Erin: "Awesome enjoy every minute of it!"
Best friend Tana: " Yeah! Way to stick it to the man!" (Okay?)

Buddy Jason: Thought it was a bit reckless considering the job situation. He suggested I stay with him to save money, I told him that wouldn't be a good idea for either of us. I think he's slightly worried that I won't return, but I reassured him that I'm not leaving permanently, just for a little while. I can't afford to live in Hawaii full time anyway. (although that would be cool wouldn't it?)

Erin's amazing mom Ginny: "That should be awesome! Have a wonderful time!"

Brother in Law Dave: "Hey, if you don't go, then I'm just taking your place...so you'd better go."

The best one of all though, was from my Aunt Michelle:
"I'm so proud of you! This is the best time to go! Think about it, few bills right now, no job at the moment, and you're single." I told her I'll be blogging about my adventures and if she would read it. She assured me she would, laughed and added to post blogs only "You and I would read." I laughed too. Then she added: "You've got wings now baby. Go fly."
I love you. 

Oh and I wanted to add this: When I was googling my trip through google maps by car (because there was no other option) I found this in the directions:

Not gonna lie, I laughed right out loud in the library.

Edited to add this:  "I just know you'll have a great time sis it'll be good for ya."-Brother through Facebook. Okay, now I can go. :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

knitting class.

I've recently begun taking up knitting. Now, mind you, I've never knitted in my entire life. When I was seven, my grandmother taught me how to crochet. I was always fascinated by the way she made my dolls dresses, and I wanted to learn how to do that too. I never made dresses, but my little pixie self would sit there for hours making blankets and scarves. My mother, grandmother, and doctors were happy because the art of crochet helped my tightened hands, frozen with cerebral palsy, to loosen. Soon however, I got into bike riding and as I grew up, I forgot how to crochet. Now as an adult, I wanted to see if I could pick up a new art form. I noticed a sign at my favorite cafe advertising knitting, so I started a class last week. My teacher's name is Maggie.

Maggie began teaching knitting classes in Princeton years ago. After awhile, she didn't feel right that people had to pay high prices to learn an art form. So she began teaching on the benches in downtown Princeton and developed a huge following. Now she teaches in coffee shops for free. Her "payment" is to give her a hug when you come in and a hug when you leave. The majority of her students are like a family now.

Maggie knows that I struggle with cerebral palsy and cogitative issues, and she is an amazing, patient teacher. She began by placing her hands over my hands to just go through the exercise. Then she wrote down simple instructions so everything wouldn't be too overwhelming.

1) Through the front.
2) Cross behind.
3) Wrap
4) Tuck
5) Pop off

I finally began knitting rows, although Maggie would start a new row when I reached the end. These were the results:

My only question is how on earth do you start a new row? I've been watching youtube videos to try and figure out how. I suppose if I don't get it, I could ask her next week, but so far I'm really enjoying my accomplishments. And on top of everything else, my hands definitely feel much better than last week.