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Lackanappin’

20 Jul

Yesterday afternoon, I went out to coffee and splurged on a double-dirty chai frappuccino. Mostly because I have no self control, but also because it was 90 degrees and as humid as a puddle. Then I laid on the hammock to catch a nap. The breeze surprised me with an occasional coolness. The sunlight played peekaboo through the trees. The hammock swayed just enough to rock me into a blissful sleep.

But.

If I had known that those two measly espresso shots would have prevented my slumber, I would’ve gotten off the hammock and gotten something done.

HammockChai

Instead I laid there with my eyes pinched together, wishing sleep would waft over my caffeinated body.

So yes, the dark circles under my eyes are natural.

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Talking in the Morning

11 Nov

Of all the wonderful traits I have, none of them include anything to do with morning hours. Unless it’s the wee, wee morning hours, at which time I am able to accomplish much. But that’s a discourse for another day.

Recently, I have become an awake-in-the-morning person, which is not to be confused with a morning person. The two are very, very different, you must understand. An awake-in-the-morning person is identified by the visibility of their eye whites at a point in the day that comes between sunrise and noon. A morning person goes far beyond that; they are characterized by not only wakefulness, but also lucid conversations, cheerful disposition, effervescent spirit, and in some cases, excessive accomplishments by 9am.

Though it pains me to say it, I am no longer the incredible night owl you’ve all grown to know and love. In fact, most nights I can’t even stay awake past 1am, since the morning alarm is set for 8:04am. Though I have yet to expound on this in a blog post, I got a second job – one that requires my eyes to be open in the morning. Most specifically, I am required to be awake, in the office, and ready to talk to clients at the unthinkable hour of 9am. And yes, people actually DO call at that hour!

The above has been said to lead you in to this story about a recent morning where I found myself both awake and talking to a large group of ladies. Had I not said all of the above, many of you may have had heart attacks upon hearing what I did before noon.

Saturday, November 9th, was the bridal shower for a certain sister of mine. No, not the 12-year-old sister…the other one. The blonde one whose bedroom was my sewing room for the four years that she was away at college. A real-life morning person who also is my older sister. The one who actually inspired this blog. Yeah, her. So she’s getting married. If your only connection to my life is this blog, I apologize for failing to mention the wedding sooner. It’s been exciting. I’ll try to post about that in the future, like before the actual factual nuptials.

Sarah Rains

Moving back on topic. Mornings. K, got it. As her maid of honor, it was truly my honor to help with the planning for the bridal shower. If the truth were to be told, I don’t usually go to showers because I find them dry and boring. If the truth were to be too hurtful, my RSVP is usually something like “awwwww I’m working that day and can’t come!”

[Disclaimer: I realize that “dry and boring” is a blanket statement that is offensive. I have gone to showers in the past and have enjoyed myself whenever possible. And yes, there have been those times when my work schedule genuinely conflicts with the shower.] 

Due to my inexperience with bridal showers, I was a bit tenacious to be involved in the planning process. My mom and Nina, another bridesmaid, were immensely helpful in planning it. I incorporated a few things from a recent ladies meeting (reading letters from special people who couldn’t attend), a favorite high school Christmas party (variety of coffee flavors), an infatuation of mine since childhood (sugar cubes), a ladies meeting at my Grammy’s church years ago (“Left Right Game”…more on that later), and rules from teaching a children’s class (don’t talk while I’m talking).

The shower was due to start at 11am. Being such a punctual person myself, I figured that people would show up at 11am, or maybe 10-15 minutes early to get a seat. Nope. Our first guest arrived a full hour early (while I was still readying prizes), and they steadily trickled in until 10:40am, at which point it was more like a frosting piping bag bursting on cupcakes instead of piping pretty lines.

Philip cupcakes       Sarah Cupcakes

At one point, I remember my mouth literally dropping open as ladies just continued to walk through the doors.

I had designated myself as the “MC” for the shower, but as the room started filling up, I started second-guessing myself. Was I crazy for thinking I could talk over a crowd of ladies?! I poured myself yet another cup of coffee, then decided it was high time to put some makeup on my face to hide any trace amounts of sleep-deprivation.

At 11am, people were still steadily streaming in, and we were still awaiting the arrival of the rest of the salads and breads that ladies had so graciously agreed to bring. As far as the announcements I intended to make, I was a little wide-eyed and terrified. A few times my mom prodded me with “It’s 11:15, so the longer you wait, the longer the shower will go” and “You should go say something, or you’ll just keep wasting time.” I had some pretty rock-solid excuses though: “I have two swallows of coffee left” and [three swallows later] “I’m still drinking my coffee.”

coffees

But eventually, the show had to begin. The dear mother of some of my dear friends agreed on-the-spot to whistle loudly to direct the attention to me. Then I was even more terrified – everyone was looking at ME! Thankfully, I had written out somewhat of a schedule, complete with what announcements needed to be made and when. Even so, with everyone looking at me, I felt the need to expound on all the instructions a little more than necessary, as well as say some non-scripted things since my mouth kept moving to fill the silence, while my mind was in a minor state of stage fright. That’s what I happens when I try to talk in the morning. Either the words just don’t come out right, or the words just. keep. pouring. out. 

The best/worst line of the day was when I was attempting to give a brief synopsis of the order of events so the ladies would know when cupcake time was (which was NOT immediately following soup). After explaining the order of which foods would be eaten when, I said, “And I asked a few ladies to speak today, but I didn’t ask all of you, and not all at the same time.” Thankfully all the ladies had a good laugh about that one, so I doubt they realized that it was spoken out of an attitude of frustration over my inability to get them all quiet for my super-important food announcements!

announcements

Afterwards, I had an epiphany – instead of needing a microphone or someone to whistle, I could’ve just popped a balloon. You know I’ll remember that for the next party someone makes the mistake of asking me to organize.

There is so much more I could say about the shower, as it really was a lovely shower, and I didn’t even bore myself, which is a pretty big deal. But this post is already excessively long, so kudos to anyone who made it this far. I do intend to update again soon with the script of the game we played, which will be somewhat of an engagement background/announcement for the aforementioned those of you who use this blog as the sole way of keeping in touch with my life happenings.

I also got a NEW CAAAAARR!!!!!! Which deserves its own blog post as well. So come back!

Per request

14 Jul

It has been with some gentle urging and prodding that I hereby make a guest appearance on my own blog. I have had no shortage of material about which to drone on and on. Time, however, has prohibited me.

To begin, I would like to expound upon a pet peeve.

“Me” is not a dirty word. It is the objective form of the personal pronoun “I.” Simply put, if I am the object of the sentence, “I” becomes “me.” See what I did there? I used correct grammar. Correct grammar was used by me. That’s easy enough if I use “I” or “me” by their own lonely selves in a sentence.

But the disconnect seems to come about when introducing a second party to the sentence. When Matilda and I went to grammar school, they doled out highest honors to Matilda and me, NOT to Matilda and I. Just like they wouldn’t dole out such honors to I, they would not dole out honors to Matilda and I. Do you see where I’m going with this? I am afraid that people are so tired of being corrected by us Grammar Nazis for saying “me and Billy Bob went a-huntin’ for varmints” that they equate “me” with bad grammar. It’s sad. If you catch yourself saying a preposition before bringing a personal pronoun into the conversation, you should probably use “me” and not “I.”

Remember this: I do awesome things, and you give awesome gifts to me. You and I are best friends, and people point and laugh at you and me.

*steps off soapbox*

*slips on soap*

*splats*

*picks self up, looks around to make sure no one saw that*

Totally unrelated to the slip, trip, and fall that nobody saw, I have a heart-shaped bruise on my forearm.

Isn’t it awesome?! It’s like a temporary tattoo from playing volleyball on Thursday. Which, by the way, was the perfectest day for volleyball yet this season. It wasn’t too hot, nor too cold. It was overcast, but not raining. There was a beautiful sunset, yet the sun wasn’t in anyone’s eyes to prohibit awesome spikes. And best of all, there were enough people for two full teams plus one sub per team, so everyone could take a water break every six rotations, but not soooo many subs that anyone had to wait more than a couple minutes to get back onto the court!

In conclusion, I would like to share a couple anecdotes.

First, my hair has gotten so long these past few months! With the exception of the days where it is like 90+ degrees outside, I like to drive with my windows down. Unbeknownst to me, I have been shedding as well, so my long brunette hairs flew off my head and onto the carpeted/felty back part of my car that covers my trunk. (I will call this part of my car “the rear dash.”) However, when I was gassing up my car the other day, I noticed that there were long white hairs strewn all across my rear dash! I felt anger begin to rise within me. What AARPer has been taking my yellow car for joy rides while I was sleeping, and leaving their telltale white locks on MY rear dash?! Then it occurred to me….it was MY hair that the sun had bleached! There was also a dead wasp, who had finally baked after taunting me on many an early-morning ride to work.

Lastly, I was pulled over recently on one of those aforementioned early-morning rides to work. It was actually a morning that I’d left on time, and was hitting greens instead of reds, and there seemed to be less congestion on the highways, so I actually consciously chose to drive within the speed limit. Doing so allowed me to people-watch. Other drivers are sometimes really funny to watch! Sometimes they’re really infuriating to watch since the dumb fools think they can text and drive. I always honk at them. Always. Then I pray that they crash into an indestructible tree in such a way that they need all their fingers amputated so that they can never again text and drive and endanger the lives of thousands on the road.

But I digress. Back to my leisurely morning drive…. I was taking the on-ramp between one highway to the next, and I noticed a police car parked on the shoulder with his lights on. Out of respect and an innate sense of caution, I slowed down even more than my already-within-the-speed-limit speed. Merged onto next highway, continued the mile or so till my exit. The police car had turned his lights off and pulled out a few cars behind me. No biggie. I wasn’t speeding. I hadn’t cut anyone off. I used my turn signals for merging. I had my lights on even though it was only slightly overcast. I had current registration stickers, and my inspection still had about a month left. I had taken the body out of the trunk and scrubbed the blood dribbles off the bumper. Kidding. As I took my exit, I was thinking to myself about how glad I was that I’d decided not to speed that day. Aaaaand the police car was suddenly on my tail with his lights on.

On the shoulder of the exit ramp, I pulled over with barely enough room for other cars to get by, put on my hazard lights, and rolled my window down before turning my car off. I’m a pro at getting pulled over. Upon the officer’s request, I produced my license, insurance, and registration. After a looooong silence, he told me why he’d pulled me over. I have an after-market amplifier on my muffler, and I could get cited for that. I asked him if he was citing me for it, and he said no, he was just letting me know that I could get cited. So I did what any good female would do, and asked the man for his advice on what I should do. I can’t remember exactly what he said, for he was an older gent, with really long nose hairs which danced disconcertingly and distractingly as he answered my question. I don’t think it helped that I was looking up into his nose from my perch in my drivers seat. In any case, I was not ticketed or warned or cited. Just politely informed that I could get cited, and to have a good day, ma’am.

Road Trip Quips

11 Sep

I recently returned from a week-long adventure. I started from my Emmaus, PA home and went straight to the bank, bringing up the first great tidbit of advice:

– Have money. Trips are costly, especially shopping trips. Gas costs money, and snacks from gas stations are expensive, reminding me of the next tip…
– Have a large variety of snacks and drinks. My cooler held flavored water, energy drinks, chocolate chip cookies, and puppy chow. Also in the car, but not in the cooler, were chips, bugles, Munchies, and gum. What more could I ask for?!
– Skittles. Bring Skittles. I forgot to bring a bag, and every rotation of the tires reminded me of those perfectly round, delicious candies, and I regretted having none.
Image
– Companionship is necessary. Be it in your car or in another car. For the first leg of my trip (Emmaus, PA to Fairmont, WV) I had my bestest friend in the passenger seat, and it was nice indeed to have conversation (both intelligent and otherwise). For all the other legs of my four-legged journey, I was passengerless. Thus I resorted to forming temporary camaraderies with fellow drivers. For example: I, in my speedy yellow car, passed a lil tan Honda Civic from Georgia who was trucking along at 75mph. Minutes later, that same Georgian Honda passed me, who had slowed down to my average traveling speed of 80mph. Not to be outdone by a lil Honda, I passed them again…at speeds that I will not mention, so as not to scare the fainthearted among us. They didn’t pass me after that, but they did do an admirable job of keeping up with me at aforementioned unmentionable speeds. Then came time for me to head more westerly to TN, and they continued in the southerly Georgia direction. Ah, but not without a friendly honk and wave as they took their exit! Such an action would have been odd, had that been the only occurrence of complete strangers showing themselves to be friendly drivers on the highways. But besides the Honda Civic, there was a clunky Chevy SUV from WV, a white sedan from Maryland, a black Toyota from Michgan, a BMW from TN, a black Dodge Challenger, and several others. It made the long stretches of highway driving seem shorter and considerably more fun to traverse.
 – Yes, I’ve been told that a highway is not a racetrack, but that only applies to those who are losing the race.
– Which brings up an interesting point. Whether you call it the fast lane or the passing lane, please be aware that you do not deserve a spot in that lane unless you are fast or passing! Just because you happened to pass someone five minutes ago (who was probably the only slower person on the road besides you) does not guarantee your right to be in the passing lane. It is the passING lane, not the once-upon-a-time-I-passed-somebody lane.
– Stop for gas before dark. Especially if you are female and traveling alone. Even when it is light, park in a conspicuous place. One particular time I parked right next to a group of Harley Davidson drivers who were all hanging around their bikes. I highly recommend such an action for two reasons. First, I know quite a few bikers who look rough, tough, and mean, but the truth is they are softies, and they would never hurt me or my car (or any lone-traveling female and her car). Secondly, their tough appearance will keep potential thieves, stalkers, or unsavory characters away.
– Before hitting the road, make sure the amount of sleep you got the night before equals (or almost equals) the amount of driving you will be doing. I got about 6 hours the night before I drove for 5 hours, and I was fine. Then I got 6 hours of sleep before I drove 8 hours, but after only 6 hours of driving, I felt myself dozing off. This is not an exact science, but the premise is the same: A well-rested driver is a safe driver.
– There is no joy quite like that experienced when nearing your home state line on your return trip and seeing the first license plate bearing your state name.
– Lastly, and most importantly, and applicable to all drivers everywhere, DON’T TEXT AND DRIVE! Seriously. I drove a total of 27+ hours, and discovered that there is no person in my phonebook that needed a 160-character text from me, more than the other drivers on the road need their lives. Everyone survived without hearing from me for several-hour stretches. I’m sure those in your acquaintance can survive as well. The other drivers thank you in advance for the preservation of their lives and/or limbs.
Happy road-trippin’! I know I had fun…from Emmaus, PA, to Fairmont, WV, to Muddy Pond, TN, to Odenton, MD, and back to Emmaus, PA :-)

Happy Old Year!

31 Dec

Like last year, I have no New Years Resolutions for 2012. At the end of the upcoming 366 days, I would rather reflect on the past year with happiness, than remember where I failed in my resolutions.

2011 started off with January, as all years do. That was a long time ago, and if something exciting happened then, I have quite forgotten.

February passed. Quickly. It’s always such a short month. I think the 31st of every 31-day-having month should be dedicated to the memory of February since it is so short and speedily gone. Smack in the middle of February, I was privileged to attend an Anti-Valentine’s Day party with some single girl friends. We’re not anti-love. We’re just anti-make-a-big-stink-out-of-love-with-roses-and-chocolate. But do give me the chocolate, please.

The last day of February took me to Wisconsin, where I visited Sarah for a week during a special Bible Conference. It was nice to meet all the people she’d been telling me about! I arrived home at the end of the first week of March, with the measurements of a half-dozen girls in hand. Off to JoAnn Fabrics to buy skirt and jumper fabric I went!!

Skipping on down to summer, I did alterations for two weddings. One was bridesmaid alterations, one was a wedding gown alteration. It was definitely a good experience for me!

For the August wedding, some dear friends came up from Tennessee and stayed in my sewing room for a little less than a week. No get-together with them is complete without a night of energy drinks, ice cream, coffee, and walking in the middle of a deserted street with fuzzy blankets.

At the end of August, SURPRISE! My sister came in for a week to shock the socks off the rest of the family. I knew all along. *smug grin* What none of us knew was that on the day of her arrival, the entire east coast would have a mild earthquake. Furthermore, on the day before Sarah’s departure, Hurricane Irene lended her hand in a refinishing/redecorating project for our entire basement.

After August, the year whooshed by.

  I participated in my first fashion show on October 15. A mere 2 weeks before the big day is when I was invited to put a garment in the show, so there was all manner of patternmaking and fitting, trial and error, staying up all night and all day to get the jacket-skirt set done. But it done got done!

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In December, my dear childhood friend, Hannah, was visiting from WV and I met her then-boyfriend, Todd. He is her now-fiance as of merry Christmas, and what a cute couple they make! I’m so excited for her!!

2011 brought a lot of new things into my life:
– New phones! I went through two since February, and made the joyous switch from T-Mobile to MetroPCS. And yes, my newest phone is a smarty-pants phone.
– New friends! Met some awesome people at the hotel, and am privileged enough to count them as friends now – both coworkers and guests! I even made friends with some non-hotel people! And thanks to one of those new friends, I have a….
– …New haircut! I went from having sorta long-ish hair to a shorter ‘do, which I’m loving! (compare the Anti-V-day pic to the bridesmaid alteration pic!)
– New infatuation! Do you all know about Pinterest? You should. I talk about it a lot (with my mouth, not really so much on my blog). And it’s awesome. If you need an invite, let me know. Start your new year right with a new Pinterest account!
– New coffee! I was introduced to Turkish coffee recently! There was a moment of awkwardness at the beginning of our relationship, but all has been ironed out and we are grand friends indeed.

Why make wild endeavors for the new year when my old year turned out just fine by winging it?

Undergoing

20 Oct

Remember when our basement “went under” with Hurricane Irene? Still hard to believe how much drowned in those six inches of water. Well, since then, every aspect of my life has been undergoing change of some sort.

I moved into Sarah’s bedroom after the flood, and almost two months later, I’m still there. It’s terribly convenient. Terribly. I can sew and sleep within the same four walls. But for a moment, please imagine the chaos that would/did exist in those same four walls when they hold the contents of two rooms – my bedroom and my sewing room. Yup, chaos. Introduce plastic bins from Walmart. Add random cleaning spurts. Sprinkle generously with coffee breaks. And the result (so far) is visibility of carpet. In fact, enough carpet can be seen that I’m considering vacuuming just because I can. By tomorrow, I’m hoping for moderate-to-complete organization of fabric. It’s a long shot, but that’s why the coffee pot is on. Oh and I got a new floor lamp for the sewing corner too. Sorta pretty much really excited about that.

The room in the basement where I used to sleep (and one day will sleep in again) has not gone forgotten. I have big plans for that room! Some changes have occurred, some are still ongoing. Already done: new “genteel lavender” paint job with “polar bear” trim, tile floors instead of carpet, white sheer curtains instead of closet doors, new black dresser, new black bookshelf, new dark wood night stand, new set of drawers at the end of my bed, ALL-plastic waterproof storage, big framed horse print for my horse-crazy lil sis, new black and white lamp. To be done: new curtains for my window, new wall art to cover the electrical box that my bedroom has been blessed with, photos and drawings and other forms of art to frame and hang, new rugs to make out of super-awesome fabric, new slippers so I can actually walk on the tile floors.

I do not currently have pictures of any of these works in progress. I don’t even think I have “before” pictures. But sometime I hope to get some “after” pictures posted here. A reminder from readers would not be deemed unnecessary…jus’ sayin’.

Even at work at the hotel, things are changing! Busy summer season with a bunch of families and unruly children running the hotel halls is OVER! It’s “just” a bunch of business people, construction people, “lifers” (aka long-term guests), other miscellaneous people…. generally people who know the hotel biz and don’t ask a million questions or demand extra pillows or complain about credit card authorizations. It’s nice, I will admit. In fact, this month marks a year that I’ve been working at the hotel! Very exciting! I still love working there! I can’t remember a single day I’ve dreaded going to work there!

Everyone at some point will undergo changes in their life. Adapt. Don’t go under and drown. Even if it is only six inches of water.

Add water. And sugar.

30 Aug

Life gave me several lemons lately. Irene gave us water. God provided the sugary-sweet blessings! Here’s a recap of the resulting lemonade. May it be the only batch we make!

Lemons: Lost power on Sunday; basement flooded on Sunday; many personal possessions were destroyed beyond salvage-ability by the water; all 6 of us Angers are living in a one-floor/five-room arrangement; this night owl has to share her night perch with 5 sleeping/sleep-talking/snoring morning people.

Water: Hurricane Irene filled our finished basement (aka all of our bedrooms) with 6″+ of water. Do I really need to expound on that more?

Sugar: We got to spend lots of family time together! In fact, I think my best memory of Sarah Jeanie’s week-long visit from Wisconsin was the laughter-filled breakfast we had as a family on Sunday morning while water poured into our basement. God used neighbors and people from church to provide us with generators, shop vacs, storage bins, trailer for storage, man-power for removing furniture and carpet, and girl-power for helping me clean my room (which I’ve been putting off since “spring cleaning”). The electric power returned on Sunday afternoon instead of Thursday like many people are being told to wait for. The hot water heater was fixed on Monday morning, and hot showers have ensued since!

Every time I try to complain about the “flood” that we experienced on Sunday, I end up listing things I am thankful for instead. It truly could have been so much worse, but it wasn’t. Thank God for His care for us and for good friends who gave up their Sundays to help us!!