Tag Archives: list

monthly goals: october

I’ve been manic for the past few days. I have this sudden urge to do, make, complete. But it feels unhealthy, because I’m never satisfied and I’m always on edge. Perhaps starting up a Monthly Goals post series will redirect my activity to something a bit more satisfying.

october must list

October Goals:

  • List items for Platinum & Rust every week.
  • Go to Carter Mountain Orchard.
  • Visit Skyline Drive and take lots of photos.
  • Find a nice candle and burn it often.
  • Finish painting bookshelves and get the library back in order.
  • Watch Hocus Pocus while eating homemade popcorn.
  • Cut my bangs.

What are your goals this month? 

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one year in Charlottesville

One year ago yesterday, Daniel and I (and a small caravan of Daniel’s family members – mine were waiting for us in Virginia) packed up the final fragments of our possessions, got in my trusty old Saturn, and started the drive up to Virginia. I had never been to Virginia and Daniel had never been to Charlottesville. We’d rented a place with the help of a friend, but otherwise had seen nothing of our new home.

I don’t think there was a way I could have fully comprehended what this first move totally away from anything familiar would mean for us, or how it would change us. It has been lonely, exhilarating, difficult, and joyous. Daniel and I cemented our relationship here like never before. I learned to enjoy cooking for myself. I survived a winter that lasted longer than I anticipated, but not without long bouts of depression. I wrote 314 blog posts, visited lots of new places, cried innumerable times, and got caught up in the beauty of my new surroundings. I decorated (and redecorated) the apartment, made some real money selling vintage, and learned random new skills.

house by uva

August – Got a job at a local coffee shop (best job ever) / Bought pet rats / Watched a meteor shower on a farm / Saw Ralph Stanley in concert / Saw Obama on the Downtown Mall

September – Started ballet classes / Decorated the apartment / Celebrated my birthday alone / Visited Waynesboro and Staunton / Joined the Evening Choir at church

October – Attended the Black Voices Gospel Choir concert / Dressed as a flapper to attend a Halloween party / Fell in love with Cafe Au Lait / Survived Frankenstorm

luray caverns

November – Toured Luray Caverns and Woodstock, VA when Daniel’s dad was in town / Discovered the Saunders-Monticello trail / Hosted Thanksgiving for my friends and sister / Visited Carter Mountain Orchard / Attended the Tree Lighting ceremony

December – Saw snow / Went to Baltimore for the first time / Celebrated Christmas with Daniel’s mom and sister / Got a 50mm lens

January – Started Style Wise / Visited llamas at my friend’s farm / Wrote some poems

snow day

February – Questioned everything (the cold darkness of winter seeped into my heart) / Found meaning in practicing Lent / framed Daniel’s great grandparents’ marriage certificate

March – Presented a homily and got Freshly Pressed / Had a snow day / Visited Richmond / Celebrated Easter

April – Started a new job / Went to the Tom Tom Festival / Visited Jacksonville for my sister’s graduation

blue ridge moutains

May – Had an article published for Relevant Magazine / Questioned everything / Went to Richmond for Memorial Day weekend

June – Visited Skyline Drive for the first time

July – Traveled to Baltimore for a family event / Celebrated Independence Day in Harrisonburg / Visited Baine’s in Scottsville / Celebrated Daniel’s and my 3 year wedding anniversary / Wrote a guest post for a friend’s blog / Explored the Virginia countryside

Phew! I know the above summary is more for me than for readers who are interested in actual writing. So where am I one year later?

In some ways, I feel like I’m starting from the beginning. I have a full time job that I’m still adjusting to, a good friend is moving away, and many of the social activities I enjoyed in the fall have been made unavailable to me due to work hours. I like myself better and I love Virginia, but I’m more homesick than I anticipated; it’s starting to hit me how much we’ve missed out on in the development of our friends’ lives due to distance and busy schedules. To be enveloped by the mountains can be a comfort, but it also serves as a visible sign of our isolation. Because, as much as we’ve tried to reach out, to branch out, we still feel alone much of the time. Life never gets easier.

But overall, I’m pleased that we moved to Charlottesville. I could settle down here and stay for a very long time. I hold out hope that things will get better soon.

uva chapel, leahwise.com

summer bucket list

1. Go hiking.

I’m hiking up to Crabtree Falls this weekend, but I want to make hiking a normal part of my monthly schedule.

crabtree fallssource

2. Visit New York City.

The last time we visited New York, it was too cold (and I was too under-dressed) to really enjoy everything. We can take a train ride there from Charlottesville this summer.

nycsource

3. Go to the Smithsonian.

We’re under 3 hours from DC, so we better take advantage of all it has to offer.

smsource

4. Thrift in Richmond.

I’ve been meaning to do this for several months. I hear the thrifts are excellent in Richmond.

richmond5. Celebrate our anniversary out of town.

I’m thinking Virginia Beach.

virginia beachsource

6. Visit St. Augustine.

Daniel and I love St. Augustine and my family lives nearby. They’re kicking off their 450th anniversary activities this year, too.

st. augustine flagler7. Take yoga classes.

I need to stretch and relax more.

yogasource

8. Get a new mattress.

I also need to stop waking up with a back ache every morning.

bed9. Save some money

This one doesn’t seem very feasible given the above goals. But it’s probably a good idea to put it on the list.

i’m still here

Hello, y’all. I’m not gone; I’ve just been posting up a storm on my fair trade blog, Style Wise.

hot air balloons charlottesville

I’ve also been reading some thought provoking and inspiring articles:

It’s an almost universal truth that any language you don’t understand sounds like it’s being spoken at 200 m.p.h. — a storm of alien syllables almost impossible to tease apart. That, we tell ourselves, is simply because the words make no sense to us. Surely our spoken English sounds just as fast to a native speaker of Urdu. And yet it’s equally true that some languages seem to zip by faster than others. Spanish blows the doors off French; Japanese leaves German in the dust — or at least that’s how they sound.

Reflecting on what he went through when Ruthie was sick, he told me that the secret to the good life is “setting limits and being grateful for what you have. That was what Ruthie did, which is why I think she was so happy, even to the end.”

While honest compensation should always be sought with both humility and pride, the pursuit of riches and wealth as an end goal is always a losing battle. Riches will never fully satisfy… we will always be left searching for more. People who view their work as only a means to get rich often fall into temptation, harmful behavior, and foolish desires.

And when you believe that minuscule imperative statements trump entire narratives, you miss out on the complexity that is woven into scripture. You lose stories like Deborah and Junia and Phoebe and Tabitha and Lydia and Anna and Priscilla– because these stories about powerful women conflict with the limited suggestion of one author to one friend. You lose the ability to learn from the value of contradictions, because instead of recognizing contradictions as the human component of individual perspective and human narrative, the contradictions become something you have to explain away or deny

Somewhere in my mid-twenties, I drifted off the Romans Road and stumbled onto a bigger, wilder Gospel in which salvation is less about individual “sin management” and more about God’s relentless work restoring, redeeming, and remaking the whole world. Salvation isn’t some insurance policy that kicks in after death; it’s the ongoing, daily work of Jesus, who loosens the chains of anger, greed, materialism, and hate around our feet and teaches us to walk in love, joy, and peace instead. It’s good news, not bad news, and I can’t, for the life of me, believe that only evangelical Christians like myself have a monopoly on it.

What have you been up to?

*Hot Air balloon over Charlottesville, by Reid Kasprowicz on flickr

week(s) in review

beautiful yellow lily

The past couple weeks have been busy!

In the past two weeks, I (and sometimes Daniel):

  • completed my first and second week at the new job
  • made the discovery that I’m mildly allergic to vinyl
  • bought some greige nail polish at Sephora
  • wore shorts for the first time in 6+ months
  • drank at least one cup of iced tea every day
  • realized we’ve lived in Charlottesville for more than 8 months now
  • went to Staunton to meet Daniel’s dad for breakfast
  • took lots of photographs of flowers
  • ate at a new Mexican restaurant
  • went on a nature walk with a friend
  • lamented the fact that my car AC no longer works
  • thought about growing out my hair (again)
  • attended a portion of the Tom Tom Founder’s Festival
  • bought a vintage denim skirt at Low Vintage
  • ate at Song Song’s Zhou and Bing with a friend (I really love that place)
  • missed my old job
  • finally bought some studs to wear in my second and third ear piercings
  • made chocolate chip banana bread
  • attended a fun potluck
  • tried to make a daisy chain
  • thought up a few new features for Style Wise
  • reduced prices at Water Lily Thrift in honor of spring time
  • contemplated how to balance ambition with contentment
  • felt sorrowful over the return of house centipedes, sugar ants, and spiders
  • talked to a friend on the phone
  • got lots of allergy-induced headaches

pink tree flowers

– Reading: anything and everything on Rachel Held Evans’ blog
– Watching: Treme; King of the Hill
– Listening to: random Pandora stations at work; the Penguin Cafe Orchestra CD my sister got me for Christmas
– Anticipating: life puzzle pieces falling into place so I can take the next steps with confidence

week in review

week in review

Haven’t done one of these in awhile. It’s interesting (to me at least) to see how my blog transitions and adapts over time. But I really do want to record my life as it happens, however broad that description of events turns out to be, so that I can look back on it and remember more of the details instead of letting the mood or feeling of the months and years fog the memories as they were actually experienced.

This week, I (and sometimes Daniel):

  • experienced more snow
  • had a few lovely spring days
  • got my new glasses in the mail
  • got my car fixed
  • got fitted for running shoes (that I may buy eventually)
  • went thrift shopping
  • updated Water Lily Thrift
  • celebrated the first day of spring by wearing pastels and floral prints
  • made Brunswick Stew (it was a success)
  • went to a potluck dinner
  • drank too much coffee
  • acknowledged my tendency to buy too much
  • took in two highway scenic views and breathed the cold air
  • started working on a Fair Trade Charlottesville blog

– Reading: Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston; Sweatshops Still Make Your Clothes by Jake Blumgart for Salon
– Watching: Treme; The Wire
– Listening to: Mates of State
– Anticipating: Spring; starting my new job

month in review: January ’13

January flew by despite being full of ups and downs. The weather was cold, then hot, then cold again, and my brain chemicals didn’t know how to react. I was really hard on myself for being lazy and depressed, but I came out of it and now I’m on an emotional upswing.

cardinal

This month, I (and sometimes Daniel):

  • attended two concerts at Mockingbird before it closed down
  • reached out to a band about joining them as a vocalist
  • contacted a local photographer to look into assistant opportunities
  • started a Fair Trade blog; I’m really proud of it
  • witnessed a friend’s marriage dissolve
  • went on several walks (one, two, three, four)
  • became obsessed with Trader Joe’s (that’s worn off a bit now)
  • attended a swing dance lesson and Sock Hop
  • took a lot of photos
  • survived a couple snow days
  • attended a game night
  • started modeling for my online shop
  • experienced record sales at my online shop
  • wrote three poems
  • finished decorating the library
  • got the mullet trimmed off my outgrown pixie cut
  • felt insignificant
  • felt proud
  • watched a lot of The Wire
  • wore many layers
  • was almost always cold
  • bought a digital scale for mailing orders from home
  • talked to some llamas
  • visited many thrift stores
  • nurtured new friendships

snow

How’d I do with my 4 Simple Goals?

  1. Grow my online business: things have been looking up. I use new bookkeeping software that helps me keep track of fees, purchases, and revenue.
  2. Put money in savings every month: I should be able to do this as soon as I deposit my paycheck.
  3. Buy fair trade/ second hand as often as possible: I think I’ve stuck to this.
  4. Travel to a new place: we visited an antique mall in Ruckersville; that kind of counts.

Hope you had a fun, productive first month of the year.

closure

The new year always throws me for a loop. I spent yesterday at home, off work, in a miserable mood, lashing out anytime Daniel so much as spoke to me. I guess a new year makes me feel obligated: to change bad habits, develop good ones, get motivated, achieve everything at once. In the final weeks of a year, I’m in full relaxation mode; not enough time to worry about accomplishing major goals or making significant decisions. It’s the only time, possibly all year, that I feel at ease and live day by day. All that being said, I don’t think I gave myself enough time for closure, and I’m hoping this list will help me sort 2012 out, close the book, and move forward.

blue ridge mountains

Five events that have been the best this year?

  • getting my name in the company newsletter at work
  • my last summer adventures with Florida friends
  • St. Augustine for our anniversary (even though it was brief)
  • seeing Obama in downtown Charlottesville
  • exploring Virginia

fossildandelion

Five events that have been the worst this year?

  • dealing with corporate crap at my former jobs
  • getting poison ivy
  • moving away from close friends and family
  • my bad attitude during Thanksgiving
  • doubting myself so often

kayaking st. augustine

What have you learned this year?

  • I am surprised by my own selflessness and selfishness. The pressure to figure out life really got to me this year, but I think I’ve settled into a more moderate temperament, trying to take opportunity as it comes and not be too hard on myself lest I completely destroy myself with internal verbal harassment.

lichgate

Was it the year that you had in mind?

  • I was so wrapped up in self doubt and work drama at the beginning of 2012 that I don’t really think I envisioned what the year would be like. I knew we might move, but I didn’t think too hard about it. If I had anything in mind, it was that I would become a successful fashion blogger and adored internet presence by the end of the year. It was my temporary solution to being miserable with my non-virtual life. Things were better than that, though, and I’m glad I moved.

wakulla springs flagler

What clothes did you wear the most?

  • My oatmeal colored Mossimo cardigan, like, every day.

dining room

What music did you listen to the most?

  • the Sherwood CD Jenny left in my car
  • Mates of State
  • Sufjan Stevens’ Illinoise album (I listen to it a lot every year)
  • various Bluegrass music
  • the Simon & Garfunkel Pandora channel

What have you watched?

  • TV: Friday Night Lights, The Office, The Middle, My So-Called Life, The Cosby Show
  • Movies: Bernie, Take This Waltz, Perks of Being a Wallflower…

carter mountain

Which people did you hang out with most?

  • Andrea and Mike in Tallahassee, a little group of church goers/PhD students here.

What new people did you come to know?

  • Many, many new people. We’ve met a lot of great people here: Daniel’s colleagues, church friends, small group friends, and my coworkers.

obama in charlottesville

What is the best thing you’ve read?

  • Fiction: Ender’s Game and The Hunger Games triology. 
  • Nonfiction: Still by Lauren Winner

Did you do anything this year that you’ve never done before?

  • I traveled to Virginia for the first time, moved far away from family for the first time, and became a barista.

Did some of your friends become parents this year?

  • Yes, but not close friends.

What was your biggest achievement in 2012?

  • Managing to make money selling vintage online.

snow

Best bargain?

  • A limited edition print of Jacob’s Ladder from Israel that I got for .50.

What did you spend the most money on?

  • the U-Haul truck.

What do you wish you’d done more?

  • woken up earlier.
  • practiced the banjo.

Favorite video of the year?

yellow leavescouple photo

What did you do on your birthday in 2012?

  • ate Chinese food at home and felt sad.

How would you describe your style in 2012?

  • uncertain. I spent a lot of time over-thinking my personal style. I think it’s settled down into a sort of casual-girly-grunge thing.

shenandoah valley

 

(list from happy, honey, & lark; from Rodeo)

lately.

outfitI haven’t really talked about the day to day here lately and that’s really what this blog is all about. Here’s an update on the past couple of weeks:

  • I rediscovered my computer’s Recycle Bin after accidentally deleting it two+ years ago. It feels good to know those 3,761 items are gone for good.
  • A man walked into the shop near close last week and handed my coworker and me a single pink tulip each. It brightened my day.
  • Daniel survived the end-of-semester panic and is now safely within winter break.
  • Most of our friends left town to visit family for the holiday; it’s a bit sad.
  • A small portion of Daniel’s family is coming to visit just in time for Christmas.
  • I restarted work on a scrapbook of lithograph prints from nineteenth century biology books; it’s tedious work for someone who doesn’t enjoy scrapbooking, but I’m pleased with the results so far.
  • I started Reading Women’s Stories: Female Characters in the Hebrew Bible. It’s a nice introduction to literary theory and Biblical poetry.
  • Daniel introduced me to Deadwood, an HBO series about the post-Civil War, American gold rush. It’s fascinating, humorous, and disturbing.
  • I bought a few American Apparel pieces on ebay.
  • I made a few decisions regarding future educational and career goals.
  • A new friend (and former Zumba instructor) invited me over for a weekend Zumba class.
  • I miss ballet.
  • This is my first year formally partaking in the Advent season; I’m convinced it’s a necessary first step toward Christmas. It encourages contemplation and separation from the Christmas rush. I think participating in Advent is the reason I look forward to Christmas this year.
  • I’m loving British fashion blogs.

Things have been a bit dull, but there’s nothing to complain about. I am grateful to live in a place I love near wonderful people, even if the bulk of them are currently out of town.