Thursday, August 28, 2008

The sign on the door of opportunity says PUSH!

I pushed.

Finishing my degree has been a goal of mine for some time. Finances have delayed my progress, but I've been slowly plugging away, one or two classes each semester while working full-time. But being on the 25-year plan was just not cutting it anymore. In order to get through more quickly, I knew that somehow I needed to find a way to attend school full-time. For the last year or so, I've been working to get myself in a finanical situation that would allow me to go back to school full-time, but wasn't sure how or when that was going to happen. Especially, how I was going to swing it with work.

This summer, some changes occurred at work that would allow me to shift responsibilities and I very clearly felt that this was "my time". I know 100% that this was Heavenly Father saying,"Go for it. Now is your time to go part-time and go back to school full-time." Hooray! So this week is my first week as a full-time student, working just part-time. There are so many wonderful things about that! I love being a student. I love the writing involved in all my classes. I love the new ideas I learn. I love always having "a thought to chew on", as my mom says. I love learning. I love relieving the burnout I have felt at work, by going part-time and reducing my responsibilities.

Now I'm not going to lie, living off half my salary and watching large sums of money come out of my bank account is a little scary. However, I'm not scared. I guess that's why I know this is the right decision for me. It feels good, sacrifices and all. So be prepared to hear me say that I don't have the money to go to this movie or that restaurant. I'm trying to be careful about all this, but I know it will work out in the end.

Seriously, this all just fell into place. I'd been praying for something to give... something to change. I'd been planning and preparing financially. Three months ago, I had no idea how or when I'd ever be able to devote more time to finishing up my degree and today? Today, I have arrived.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm Innocent. Hehe

You Belong in 1956
You're fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!

What Year Do You Belong In?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Throw-away World.

Have you ever noticed that we live in a throw-away world? Think about it. When was the last time you actually took something in to be repaired? You know, like a camera, or a watch, or a microwave. Can't remember? That's what I'm saying. We live in a world where it's less expensive to throw something away and buy a new one, than to repair it. We don't take the DVD player in to have it fixed. Instead, we toss it and buy a new one. They're cheap enough, so why not? We certainly don't repair the hair dryer when it "dies"; we run to Target and get a new one. Tell me it isn't so. It's true and you know it.

I look at my grandparents. They hung wet paper towels out to dry, so they could be reused. And I? I love paper towels and have absolutely no problem using them and never reusing. I once read that Japan uses 30 million 'disposable' single-roll cameras annually. Disposable cameras! We are products of modern consumerism. Society has told me that it's okay to always want something new, something better, something easier. I've been trained to focus on my wants and to choose things that will make life easy for me. Society says I'm entitled to experience life on my terms and in a way that is most convenient for me.

Now, this post is not about reducing, reusing, recycling, and saving the world, although, as you know from previous posts, I'm a fan of green. No, this post is meant to touch on a deeper issue. I've been thinking a lot lately about how this throw-away-all-about convenience-mentality has infiltrated our society... and how it has affected me, personally. As you know, I'm thirty. I'm single and find myself in the middle of a dating world that just doesn't seem to work hard enough to move on from singlehood. The pool (the dating pool) seems chock full of "kidults". Okay, not chock full, but you know the type... adults whose actions and tastes are more childish than mature; adults who want all the luxuries of adulthood, but none of the responsibility. I'm not saying that all are like this. I'm not even saying the majority... I'm just saying a fair amount, and thus I have this fear that this throw-away mentality has seeped all too easily into how we treat each other and how hard we work on our relationships, not to mention if we start them in the first place.

In the last three years alone, I have had five close friends contemplate seriously or actually go through a divorce. Now, I know that divorce can be the right decision in many cases; I'm not condemning it... but I'm just not condoning it as such an easy option either. In a meaningful relationship or marriage, you work hard, harder than you ever thought you could. And then when you have reached your end, you step it up a notch. I am a fighter. But, indeed, I am a product of our society and I fear that I, too, may succumb to the ease of throwing something repairable away. It's a fear. I admit it.

Divorce has affected my life in a very dramatic way, and that was by no choice of my own. My parents divorced when I was not yet two. Their choices forever changed my life. One of the effects of that, I realize, is an instilled fear of which I have been working to rid myself for quite some time. This fear to enter into a relationship that someone else will not view as repair-worthy or to enter into a relationship with someone who is not as fiercely determined and committed to me as I am to him or ... worse yet, the fear that I will be the one who doesn't view it as repair-worthy.

But fear is not faith (thank you, Katie). Although I do not believe this fear has really thwarted my growth in relationships, it has definitely factored into my approach to dating in one way or another, if only a fleeting thought. But I am determined to live my life fearlessly, full of faith, hope, and happiness. As Flora Whittemore once wrote, "the doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live." I am not a throw-away kind of girl; I'm a fighter. I plan to open the doors of every repair shop in town, if I need to. Small steps lead us to achievement. Rarely does fulfilling our hopes and dreams happen overnight, but we can take one tiny move towards them each day. So, as the silly quiz below so aptly predicted, I may be a little scared of commitment... but throw-away culture is not my culture. I’ve been burned, so I’m cautious yet more wise because of it, but I am more ready than ever to hit the floor running... and repairing along the way. :) The hardest and most challenging things in life are ultimately the most rewarding.

You Are A Little Scared of Commitment

You're open to getting serious with someone... though you can't entirely imagine it.
Maybe you haven't met the right person. Maybe you haven't gotten to the right point in your life.

Your reaction to commitment is very normal - especially if you're young or have been burned before.

Give it time. You'll probably be ready for a serious relationship sooner than you think.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Wegetables. (and yes, I know I put a "w" instead of a "v"... that was on purpose)

My garden is coming along quite nicely. Interestingly, along with the plants in the containers doing well, the trees that are sprouting up in the window well seems to be thriving also. I keep cutting them back, but pretty soon, I'm going to have to get in the window well and really pull them out so their roots don't get too deep. I guess that's what we get for living on a piece of land that used to be a farm, bison and all. I see those trees popping up everywhere. Anyway, back to the veggies.

Here is the picture from 8 June 2008: Here is the picture from 6 July 2008:
Here is it is today, 4 August 2008:

The lettuce has seemed to mysteriously disappear. I don't know if I went too many days without watering and it burned from the heat (with no remains) or if there are snails (I haven't seen any) or if some other animal came to eat. I'm not sure, but it's slowly growing back... well half of it is. But, I'm guessing maybe a family of snails may indeed be the culprit... I need to go out on snail patrol at night with my flashlight (thanks Mom, for teaching me the joys of snail patrol!)

The zucchini and squash plants are growing well, but I haven't seen any vegetables forming yet. We'll see if they ever yeild anything. I pulled the pea plants out because they weren't growing properly and I didn't have them staked up from the get go, so they weren't going anywhere.

I'm really excited about the tomatoes that have grown. Some have already ripened and are ready to be harvested and eaten and some are still ripening. I also noticed about three or four just barely starting.

I'm especially excited about the cucumbers that are coming through. There are only three of them so far, but they are getting bigger every day. I had to move one of the tomato cages to the cucumber container because the plant was growing so large and long, that it needed some room to grow. The one small tomato plant, which is a "container-friendly" tomato plant, wasn't using the cage, so the switch worked. The cucumbers look like upside-down teardrops! Also, my small little green pepper plant is yielding just one green pepper, but one's better than none.

The herbs are thriving and I've been able to use a lot of dill (in šaltibarščiai), rosemary (to season pork and chicken), and mint (in mint tea), so the herbs are cut back drastically in the lastest pictures. And take a look at those radishes! They look like they ahve giant rabbit ear greens.

I love gardening!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Google Me!

I found this idea on my cousin's blog. Here's how it works: for every category, perform a Google image search and post your favorite picture on your blog. You can only choose from the first page of results! Have fun!

My Name (Emery):

The city where I was born (San Francisco):

A past love (Mike. I googled his full name, but will not post that here. I figured this picture suited him best, since he's an artist.):
Favorite object (need I say more?):

Favorite city (New York City. My favorite aside from San Francisco, SLC, and Vilnius):

Favorite food right now (šaltibarščiai - Lithuanian cold beet soup):

Favorite color:

One of my bad habits (self-explanatory):
My first job (a mother's helper):

A future job (I hope):

A place I would like to live (Vilnius, Lithuania):

My age: