BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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Goodbye 2021

It’s easy to turn on the news and reflect on all the negative things happening in the world. Illness, violence, deceit, discrimination, poverty. These are all too real, and devastating. Then there’s the flip-side. When I scroll through my social media I see loving happy families, dream vacations, marvelous feasts, milestone achievements, and joyous events. What’s the reality? All of the above, I’d say. Each life is a mixture of positive and negative experiences and emotions. I’ve been so fortunate to have my personal mix heavily skewed to the positive side of life. I know others aren’t so fortunate. I also know that things can change in an instant.

As 2021 draws to a close, it’s easy to find the things that didn’t work. The political divide, the ongoing Covid pandemic, and the spate of mass shootings instantly come to mind. But what about the things that did work? The past year has given me a lot to be grateful for. For one, I’ve rediscovered the joy I get from sewing and quilting. I’ve finished a few long-term projects, and knocked off a brand new quilt from some old and well loved fabrics. Even better, I’ve reconnected with my friend who is a master long arm quilter, and we managed to get together a few times in 2021, and not just to have her work her magic on my quilts.

I’ve also found time to read for pleasure. I’ve discovered three middle-grade series that I’ve been enjoying tremendously. The Front Desk series by Kelly Yang, Tuesdays at the Castle series by Jessica Day George, and the Endling series by Katherine Applegate are all terrific reads. I also thoroughly enjoyed the young adult serial mystery, Murder by Milkshake by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo. It’s on Amazon’s Vella platform, which I was unfamiliar with, but actually liked.

In the summer of 2021 I was able to travel to visit my family and friends in my hometown. It seemed like a break from the pandemic, and it was a long overdue reset. Getting together with others was such a treat, and my friends even surprised me with a birthday cake. It was definitely memorable (and so thoughtful). A few fancy dinners, a few evenings on porches and patios, and hours and hours of conversation made the long wait worthwhile.

In terms of my professional life, I couldn’t be happier to be back in person with students. I’m hopeful that we won’t have to return to online learning, since I truly believe that my students do so much better in the classroom. My fantastic teammates are with me again this year, and they make all the difference. I’m also continuing to work on my National Board certification. I recently received my score from one of the four components, so now I have two down and two to go (and one is about halfway done, so that’s a plus).

My home is warm, thanks to a long anticipated upgrade to our heating/cooling system, and as of tomorrow I’ll once again be able to do laundry, thanks to an emergency upgrade to my laundry room. My dog is recovering from surgery, and she seems quite comfortable, so I’m happy with that too. Did all those things add up? Yes, but we’re able to handle them, so that’s something else to be thankful for.

And of course there’s my family. My son started grad school in 2021, and he’s doing really well. He also landed an internship that begins next week, so his 2022 is off to a great start. We have all managed to stay reasonably healthy (knock on wood), and I even learned to love exercise last summer. I can’t wait to get back into the pool and start again.

I may not live a fairy tale life, but I’ve got it pretty good. Everyday I wake up with a roof over my head, clean water and indoor plumbing in my home, and a good job to go to. I have people in my world who I love, and who love me. I have an education, a voice, and the ability to apply both. I have food in the fridge, money in the bank, and access to good healthcare. I have a television, computer, and phone to keep me connected to the world outside my home. All things considered, I have a lot to look forward to in 2022 and the future. I hope you do as well, and that your 2022 is healthy, safe, and rewarding.


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Frankenstein or Young Frankenstein?

Horror or comedy?

1930’s or 1970’s?

Which one do you prefer? Or do you even have a preference? I enjoy them both, and indulged in viewing them both in honor of Halloween. Boris Karloff as the monster is, of course, iconic. Wouldn’t it be fun if through some magic of time travel, and reanimation of course, Gene Wilder and Boris Karloff could collaborate on a sequel? I would watch that. Probably not in the theater, but on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

I hate to admit it, but I’ve never actually read Mary Shelley’s novel. I don’t really have any desire to read it. As a 21st century reader, I already know what the monster looks like. The delicious experience of envisioning him in my mind has been rendered impossible, thanks to Mr Karloff and his makeup and wardrobe wizards.

I did, however, get a little more curious about the creation of the story. A while back I saw an episode of Drunk History featuring the story of how Mary Shelley came up with the idea for Frankenstein, but it only made me wonder more about her. A little YouTube hunting around took me to a movie about Mary Shelley. I haven’t watched it yet, but it’s on my “to watch “ list. If you’ve seen it, I’d love to hear your opinion.

After watching Nightmare on Elm Street, I’ve learned that modern horror movies are way too scary for me. I’m going to stick to the classics, even if I don’t actually read the book. How about you? Are you a horror fanatic, or are you a chicken, like me?


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November Musings

I can’t believe it’s only the second day of November, and already I have regrets. First off, my exercise routine has gone straight out the window. I had some minor surgery which has prevented me from really exercising to the fullest. Truthfully though, since it’s too cold to go in my pool, I probably would not have been exercising anyway. Now that’s not to say that I haven’t done any exercise, I have done some, just not as much as my body needs. I guess since it’s only the second day of the month, it’s not too late to fix the exercise issue. However, I can’t turn back the hands of time, and redo yesterday.

Since yesterday was November 1, I had good intentions of blogging each day in November. I’ve done it before, and really enjoyed the experience. In fact, several years ago one of my November posts was freshly pressed. I enjoyed my far less than 15 minutes of pseudo-fame from that post, and wouldn’t mind seeing some more readers checking out my little corner of the internet.

It’s not really about fame, though. I really would just like to get back into a productive blogging habit. Using my WordPress app on my phone seems to be helpful. At least so far. Maybe if I set an alarm for each day I’ll remember to put up a blog post every day for the rest of this month. No promises though.

One thing I do not regret is the amount of time I’ve been spending quilting recently. Although it’s really my friend who has done the actual quilting. I’ve sent her three quilt tops that she has professionally quilted for me on her large quilting machine. She does excellent work, and she has made my patchwork look terrific.

Another non-regret is the fact that I’ve been a more active football fan this season. When I was a kid, our class took a field trip to our team’s brand new stadium. It was magnificent. That’s when I became a football fan. Back in those days kids would write about their field trips on these giant pieces of paper that had a big space at the top for an illustration. My essay and illustration somehow survived my entire childhood and is now framed in my laundry room. Second grade me decided to illustrate my essay with a crayon drawing of OJ Simpson. We didn’t see The Juice, or any of the players, but the visit to the stadium left an impression on me. So did four trips to the Super Bowl without a win. Last year I rediscovered my team, and this year I’ve been enjoying watching and listening to them. Most weeks we don’t get the game where I live, so I listen to the team’s radio broadcast instead.

The commercials on those broadcasts transport me back to my childhood hometown. I went to school with the dentist, I worked with the daughter of one car dealer, and my first brand new car was purchased from the other. Things don’t really change much in that community.

Anyway, I’m glad the weather has finally cooled down, and we have a few weeks before the Christmas season onslaught begins in earnest. I, for one, plan to enjoy the rest of the month of November. I hope you enjoy it too.