In the early morning hours of this fine December day, I was helping my husband get ready for work. For a second I caught a glimpse of us both as kids as we got his lunch and supplies ready. It was an odd feeling and made me wonder at what point did we stop getting to be kids and be officially grown ups.
Now, Hubbie and I are both fun-loving and like things that I would say most people our age grew out of long ago. I think this helps us stay young at heart and still be able to enjoy the little dumb things that are unimportant but entertaining nonetheless.
For example, I don't know another almost 40 year old woman that would admit to still watching anime. I will admit it. I watch it daily. Anime wasn't a thing while I was growing up, or at least not in rural Tennessee where the majority of people didn't have cable or satellite. I wasn't introduced to the genre until after Hubbie and I were married and he showed me Dragonball Z. 17 years later and now we're both still watching anime.
We both also love getting little surprises in the mail. I order "crap" boxes from a couple of websites and both of us get super anxious and excited to see what awaits us when the UPS guy pulls up. Most of the time the stuff in the boxes is mostly useless but it is still thrilling not knowing what is coming. I actually am waiting on two such boxes to arrive and plan to wrap them up for Christmas. This is especially exciting because we usually tell each other exactly what we want or even pick it out ourselves so it is never a surprise. This Christmas morning, we are both going to be as excited as the kids to see what is under the tree!
Do you ever catch a glimpse of yourself still as a child? Does it ever strike you that at some point people started trusting you to take care of yourself and even other, smaller human beings? That's a little scary, lol.
A few months ago, I watched a video by Safia Nygaard where she purchased the first five things recommended to her in YouTube ads which played before her videos. Among the sites advertised was Fiverr.com.
Fiverr is a website where people from around the world can offer their services with many offers starting at $5. I browsed the site for a few hours but ultimately decided I was too afraid to try it at that time.
Yesterday morning I watched another YouTuber's video about Fiverr where he bought ridiculous videos and sound bytes just for fun. I took another look at the site and decided that I would really like to have an intro animation for use on my own videos and that for $5, it could be really fun.
As I searched for an intro designer, I noticed that most of them required a transparent logo file for use in the clip. I had no logo and thought that it would be a good decision to go ahead and have a logo created first and then try for an intro animation next month. (Yes, I'm on a major budget.)
I looked through several listings and then determined that what I wanted was a whimsical mascot type logo. That is when I found Ruby_Luca. I really liked Ruby's portfolio and at $5 for a basic logo with unlimited revisions if needed, I figured it was worth a shot. I completed my transaction and in the directions field, I requested a whimsical logo with AwkwardbutAwesome and a red panda. I added the link to a google image search for red pandas just to make sure there would be no mistake as to which animal I meant due to language barriers.
Within 8 hours, I had my new logo delivered. . I nervously clicked on the link (To be honest, the anticipation of receiving the logo was well worth the $5 on its own!) and was blown away. I loved it! It was better than I had ever imagined. I immediately clicked on the approve and accept button as I couldn't see any changes that needed to be made to it. The file was then ready for me to download and use as I wanted.
I wouldn't hesitate to use the site again and fully plan to move forward with an intro animation soon. I think as long as you use common sense and pick sellers with positive reviews and good examples of their work, it's a great way to get art and other fun things at an affordable price. It is also fun to just browse and see what types of creative ways people are finding to make money.
Summer has been filled with rainy days and random thoughts and passing obsessions which take up my days.
Where I grew up, anime was never a thing. I was vaguely familiar with Sailor Moon when it came out just due to advertisements but I never had opportunity or reason to actually watch an anime. That changed once I married my husband. He and his friends enjoyed the show DragonBall Z.
Now, I'm the type of person who when I get interested in a subject, I throw myself into it to learn all I can. I watched the show with him, asked 1000 questions, and because the internet was actually turning in to something useful, I looked up more and more about Dragonball Z and the company Funimation which dubbed it and made it available through our satellite provider.
After Dragonball Z, we watched Inuyasha and YuYu Hakusho. At some point One Piece and Naruto joined our lineup of watched series. We really enjoyed all these shows so our interest in anime continued though with my personality, my interest was more extreme than his.
Soon after these shows, we discovered Rurouni Kenshin. This is my all-time favorite anime. I have watched many series since but none compare to the story of Kenshin, Karou, Sanosuke, and Yahiko. I collected a few little items I found on ebay and I still have Ruruoni Kenshin as a saved search so I can see when clothing items come up for bid.
This spring I watched Skip Beat! on the Crunchy Roll app. Though I had to endure the ads as I didn't have the extra money to spend for a premium membership, I binge watched the series in just a few days. Anytime I had a small break from household duties or schooling the kids, I could be found glued to the iPad watching to find out what happened next. When it ended, I was very upset and started searching out the manga so I could find out what had happened in the story after the series had ended.
I also watched Uta No Prince Sama this spring and enjoyed it as well. I found it through the recommendation of a youtuber I came across. I have since watched several other short series similar in genre to Utami and Skip Beat and enjoyed the majority of those.
My youngest daughter is into Pokemon pretty heavily. She loves Pikachu and is campaigning to have her own YouTube account with her preferred gaming ID which references her favorite character. She also loves to watch family-friendly anime with us.
Our pre-teen daughter doesn't have much interest in watching anime but she has an amazing talent for drawing anime style characters. There is something about the style of the characters that comes easily to her and she can be found everyday drawing new characters in one of her many sketch books.
If you have any suggestions of fun anime to watch, I'd love to hear of some new ones to look for. We did recently subscribe to Funimation Now so we could catch up on One Piece episodes without commercials. Thanks for reading my ramblings!
Spring is here. This means that my mind has turned to gardening and outdoor activities.
I have tomatoes started again this year. Every year I begin tomato seeds only to have 90% them fail in some way and I have to go to the greenhouse to buy some. I don't know why I continue trying. There is just something inside of me that believes that one year it is going to click and I'll do well with them. A few struggling plants make it each year despite my inexperience and those few help keep the idea and hope alive that I will eventually succeed.
I guess that this is the way it is with most things in life. You begin with great ideas and dreams but the majority of them don't work either through your own inexperience or outside influence. However, there are those moments when something goes right and it gives you that glimmer of hope that you can do things well and as a result, you end up with the spark inside to keep trying new things.
Over the years I have had a great number of things that I have pursued as hobbies or interests. I'm the type that enjoys collecting things or feeling as if I am an insider in a group of similarly enthusiastic fans of some obscure show, idea, or thing. Though my enthusiasm for these things wanes with time, there is still a little part of me that perks up when I run across a reminder of those times.
I don't have to be the best at everything. I don't have to have the largest collection of any item. I just like the pursuit of learning about something and expressing my interest or passion for it.
My husband says I can be obsessive over a new thing when I first run across it and start learning about it. He is right. But that makes me happy to still be able to get excited about something new and who knows, maybe one day one of these new things will lead to a lifelong passion that I can excel at and share with others.
It has been a couple of weeks since I posted about trying to get in better shape and eat healthier. So far I have done much better than in years past. Out of the 19 days I have been logging on the LoseIt app, I have not missed a day and have only came in over my budget amount once. I had said from the start I only intended to splurge when I would go to a Chinese buffet. We only get to go about once a month or so when Hubbie took me out for a date night, I allowed myself to enjoy all the delicious dishes I love. I did feel a bit guilty about going over but it was okay because I had planned it and it hadn't been a spur of the moment slip of judgment. The next morning I was back on track and even moved up to the next stage of my workout video.
I hadn't done too much with the meal prep. I really want to but when Hubbie is off of work for his 3 days off, it is harder for me to make separate meals. My mom treated me to a meal of Japanese Teriyaki Chicken from a place called Nori Japan in a nearby mall. I ordered mine with double chicken and then only ate half the serving. When I came home I divided my leftovers in two containers to have the next day. The following day I ate one box and split the other box between the girlies when they started smelling the delicious teriyaki smell coming from the kitchen.
We had our first snow of the season. The kids and Hubbie went sledding for a little while. The girls had a great time playing in the snow and are looking forward to the next snow. Given the current 60° weather just 4 days after the snow, who knows when that will be!
This touch of spring-like weather has the garden bug biting at me. I ordered my first seeds of the year. I like buying from an online shop called seedsforthee.com. A lady named Nell runs the seed shop and receiving one of her packages is better than Christmas! I ordered tomatoes, herbs, gourds, and some beans.
So, exercise is going well, calorie counting is going well, kids are great, Hubbie is awesome, and gardens are coming soon!
I love food. Always have, always will. The problem is that I love food too much. The problem is also that I have severe cravings for foods full of sugar, fat, oils...you know, the good stuff.
I of course have attempted weight loss numerous times in the past. I start out with good intentions and then I start justifying why I should give in to a certain food temptation and that cascades into a throw away day which snowballs into a throw away week and then month and then I'm back where I started.
Christmas week was spent indulging in various sweets and treats with reckless abandon. It was a glorious, fatty week. I knew I would regret the decision to eat all that I did within a week but in the moment, I enjoyed it immensely.
Before I made the decision to try once again to be healthier, I contemplated on whether it would make me a happier person to just give in and eat whatever I like and not worry about the weight. I have stayed within a certain weight range for the past 10 years and it isn't THAT big is it? But then I of course see a photo or video of myself and I realize just how big I am and how I don't like looking at photos and videos of myself because of it.
The trendy thing seems to be meal prep. I decided that this would be a good option for me since portion control and impulse eating decisions are a major weakness of mine. I looked online for inspiration and bought some meal prep containers on Amazon to get started.
My first meal prep session was using boneless, skinless chicken thighs, california blend frozen veggies, and rice. I'm still using white rice because I still have 40 lbs. of it to use and the frugal fanatic in me could never let it go to waste.
I found a recipe to cook the chicken thighs in the crockpot with a soy/ketchup/honey sauce. They smelled amazing and when I took them out of the crockpot, I threw in the freshly steamed veggies to toss around in the leftover sauce before adding to my containers. I used measuring cups to figure how much of each item to place in each container and I was set for 3 days.
Breakfast has been an aventure. I tried an omelet using 2 egg whites and one whole egg with peppers, onions, and mushrooms. I only allowed myself one piece of toast which was not enough to see me through the whole omelet. I can't stand eggs without bread so I only ate 2/3 of the eggs. Today, I toasted a piece of whole wheat bread, spread some chobani roasted red pepper spread on the toast, layered a small amount of deli sliced turkey and a boiled egg on top of that. I drizzled a tiny bit of candied jalapeno sauce/mix/whatever you want to call the liquid in that jar, and fresh black pepper. It was very tasty. I'll be repeating that one I believe.
Suppers are more difficult because I have to cook fresh for a family of picky eaters. Last night was 10 bean soup and it was good. Tonight will be venison cooked with mushrooms. I am working on a casserole thingy made with leftover beans from last night paired with long grain rice. I'm even interested to see how I pull this one off.
I have no creative or clever title for this blog. It's just some ramblings about the weekend that I'm trying to type out as the cat tries to help me type. Maybe I should have called it CopyCat #1 with copy as in writing and cat as my idiot cat continuosly jumps on the keyboard. Hold on, let me go put CopyCat #1 in parentheses.
Last Christmas, my husband bought me an electric pressure cooker. This thing is perfect for a procrastinator such as myself. I don't have to remember to thaw things that I find in the dark recesses of my freezer. I just add them to the cooker with some water and seasonings and less than an hour later I have cooked meat ready for incorporation in various recipes. This time I chose chicken leg quarters that I found buried under various bread products I am sure I'll use sometime in the future. *yeah, sure* I cooked them for 45 mintues in the pressure pot and then used the stock and meat to make chicken n' dumplings.
Later Friday evening, I took my youngest daughter to a karate ladies' lock-in hosted by our Dai Sensei at the local church building where our karate lessons are taught. The karate class itself was exhausting (but in a good way) as there were only three people training so it meant we each got extra attention and things moved quickly. It was great to get pointers on the finer points of the katas we are working on but the quick pace of the kihons led me to be unable to catch my breath so I had to excuse myself once to step outside and breathe. It really reminded me how out of shape I am in. I'm trying to do better but it's a long row to hoe if you know what I mean.
After kata, we were allowed to choose a new weapon to become familiar with. I ended up with sai and though I had thought I would never be interested in sai as a weapon, I enjoyed the movements and feel of the weapon. I ordered myself a pair so I can practice at home and at class when allowed.
We then had a Bible lesson focused on fear and how it can keep us from the purpose God has in store for us. The exercises in the lesson were to make us realize what fear is in us and how we can cope with and overcome it.
After our lesson, we began playing board games. There were six of us in the class at this point and we had a great time laughing and competing at a variety of games like Say Anything, Apples to Apples, Heads Up, and other fun, group games.
I did have a moment of realization about how much older I was than the other ladies at the lock in when it was time for bed. We each took a portion of floor mats we use when practicing take downs in karate class to form a bed surface to lay our sleeping bags on. I was unable to find a suitable sleeping position for several hours until I just passed out from tiredness wedged against the wall. As soon as the alarm went off at 7:30, my daughter, who is not a morning person in any sense, was ready to go home and I eagerly obliged. It was great getting back home and laying in my own, soft bed. I had a great time with the ladies and would do it again but next time I'll definitely bring an air mattress.
In addition to my warm, soft bed, Saturday also brought the annual Christmas parade in our small town. Hubbie and I are both Ham Radio Operators and are members of the local radio club. Each year our club runs communication to make sure of the parade's progress and warn of any break-downs or delays. There was a mystery pause of 15 minutes but then it was determined that the local high school band had decided to stop the parade to perform for the people in the very center of the parade route leaving everyone else along the route cold and confused. Everyone kept their good humor though and eventually the parade started up again.
After the parade we got to enjoy a late night snack with the other members of the radio club. We all enjoyed getting to talk about the parade, radio gizmos, and a number of other everyday topics.
Sunday was a normal day with Sunday School, Church, dinner with the family, and then church again. However, we were gifted a deer to process for the meat on Saturday afternoon that we had to work up Sunday afternoon. Hubbie and I spent a few hours in the garage cutting up our tasty venison and then preparing the jerky in its flavorings for snacks to come.
It was a good weekend with family, friends, and deer.
How many times have we been fired up to start a blog and ran online to claim our domain name, find a host, and start building a site that we just know we're going to keep up with this time? Myself? About 4 times now. I always have ideas of blogs I think would be interesting but then I get distracted and forget about it.
So, here I am trying again. Rather than focusing on one aspect of life, I hope to use this blog to collect my ramblings on any number of things. Family, hobbies, adventure? Who knows? I just thought it's always worth another try.
So here's blog number one as I sit at the computer next to my daughter who is on a neighboring computer finishing her math work for the day. I've played around with the site and overcame my first aggravation in trying to connect my domain name with my weebly site to try and save money. If you made it here, I guess it worked!
Thanks for stopping by and checking out what my first ramblings are :)