Archive | April 2017

My Bullet Journal

I discovered bullet journaling last year. I decided to give it a try because I struggle finding planner I really love. I liked the idea of basically making a title page and index, with a few other things, and then just writing what you need. Before I started, I only really looked at the basics.

I’ve been using mine for months now and I can say that I’ll probably keep using it. When the book I use runs out of pages, I’ll buy another. I do find it helpful to use and I think that’s really the point. At least for me anyway.

What overwhelms me, though, is the sheer number of options for bullet journals. Now and then, I’ll look online to see if there is something I could add to my bullet journal that might help me be more organized or more productive. Instead, I find myself lost in an endless abyss of decorative pages. I can see how these pages would be helpful. However, it seems that they would take so long to make and maintain that I would never use them. I’m not looking for my planner to be a substitute for a scrapbook. I don’t want to be afraid to use my planner because it’s too lovely and I’m afraid I’ll make a mistake. I’ve noticed that most of the pictures I’ve seen online look more like artwork than something I’d want to use.

I think the joy of bullet journaling is that you can do whatever you want. If you want it to look like a piece of art or a scrapbook, go for it! But, I don’t. I can be obsessive at times and I don’t want to spend all my time decorating my pages and then not using them. My bullet journal is supposed to help me accomplish things on my to do list. Sometimes, that’s scrapbooking and I’ll channel my obsessive attention to details there. Sometimes, though, my to do list requires that I clean the house or pay the bills or go to the gym. Decorating my pages in new and creative ways won’t make me more motivated to do any of that.

Contradictions of Spring

Spring is a strange season. It is obviously a season of change and all the changes that happen lead to some strange and fascinating combinations.

For me, this is noticeable as I look around my neighborhood. The earliest flowers seem to burst forth even in harsh weather. I know I’ve seen purple crocuses growing near clumps of snow. At least, I believe that I have. Those crocuses were long ago eaten by some naughty animal that visits my yard. My daffodils also bloom bright and yellow often before the weather is regularly warm. It’s always nice to look at them when it’s been raining for days and days. Many of my neighbors also have collections of flowers that bloom and disappear before the warm weather truly begins. I know they aren’t all being eaten by the rabbits and deer.

The trees amuse me, too. In my area, there are quite a few who never let go of all of their leaves from last year. Now, they’re still hanging on to them while growing new leaves. And those trees are next to trees covered in fresh buds. The ground is littered in places with branches ripped off during winter storms and yet those trees and others are also covered in so many lovely blossoms before their summer leaves grow.

Spring is an interesting season to take a look around. Assuming it stops raining for a minute or two. I know that I’m even looking when it rains.

Decorating Eggs

I really like that decorating eggs can be as simple or as complicated as you want. I remember years where I meticulously painted and decorated eggs that were beautiful decorations. I remember years where I placed eggs in a single color and considered them done. My expectations can be as high or as low as I want and each year can be different from the last.

There was at least one year where I managed to remove the egg white and yolk from the shell of several eggs. It might have taken two dozen eggs for me to have six shells to use. I carefully dyed and decorated these eggs. Some were covered in tiny rhinestones and at least one had delicate butterfly decorations carefully attached. They were lovely. I wanted to save them and add to the collection each year, but at some point they were crushed. I think if I ever decide to try again, I’ll buy wooden or plastic eggs from a craft store to use. Another time, I patiently painted a little picture on the egg. I can’t remember the exact scene, but I do remember painting a tree. It must have taken so long. My mother was hesitant to eat it after all the time I spent on it.

Some years, like this year, my mother and I decide to take it easy and toss the eggs in some dye and consider them done. By waiting, the eggs turn a dark and brilliant color. I’m always partial to blue or something similar. Now and then, I’ll use one of the plastic scenes that you put on the egg before you boil them. Most of the time though, I do it wrong and they don’t fit the eggs right. I don’t think we had any of them this year and I doubt I would have bothered with them anyway.

I do love decorating them, though. It’s fun and always entertaining. It doesn’t require much planning and it’s something I do with my mom. I do wonder what else to do with so many boiled eggs. After so many years, I need some ideas other than deviled eggs.

Weeping Cherry Blossom Tree

In my yard, there is a tree. In the spring, it becomes covered in delicate pink flowers. I’ve always referred to it as the pink and fluffy tree. When we bought the house and I first saw it in the spring, I had no idea what type of tree it was.

At some point, my husband’s father told him that it was an ornamental cherry blossom tree. He’s really into gardening, along with my mother-in-law. For years, they essentially had a garden paradise in their backyard. When my husband told me what his father said, I completely believed him.

Today, though, I had my doubts. I was looking online into cherry blossom trees and encountered many pictures of the cherry blossom trees in Washington, D.C. They were all beautiful, but didn’t look like my pink and fluffy tree. I was really confused. All the branches on my tree hang down, but the cherry blossoms in D.C. don’t do that. They had branches that looked like most trees, pointing towards the sky. I also struggled to remember exactly how my tree’s blossoms looked. They didn’t blossom last year, probably due to unpredictable weather, so I haven’t seen them recently.

I started looking online for trees with pink flowers that blossom in the spring and branches that hang down. It didn’t take long before I found pictures that looked just like my tree. Apparently, there’s a specific type of cherry blossom tree with weeping branches. There might be more than one type. Most of the pictures I found were attached to pages with quite a bit of detail on how to mix and match tree pieces to make the type you want. I know my type must be popular in my area, because my neighborhood and the surrounding area have lots of these trees.

After my search, I’ve realized that my pink and fluffy tree is a type of weeping cherry blossom tree. I love it so much that I’m seriously wondering if I should add another somewhere else in the yard.

8/25 Books for 2017

One of my many New Year’s resolutions is to read 25 books during this year. I normally read quite a few books during the year, but I don’t keep track of them. Because of this, I can never remember what I’ve read and whether I liked it or not. Right after I read something, I’ll remember all the details, including the title and maybe even the author. Months later though, I can’t even remember enough to recommend the book to a friend or let someone know to avoid it.

Around the end of last year, I decided to make an account on Goodreads. I don’t participate in the community, mostly because I haven’t had luck with recommendations from people I don’t know well. I do love using the account since it lets me track everything I’ve read, when, and my review of it. I try to write reviews for most of the books I read so that I can remember what I liked and what I didn’t. I do reread books sometimes.

I love being able to track everything and I decided to take part in the yearly reading challenge. I didn’t want to be too ambitious so I decided that 25 books would be a reasonable number for this year. I read a lot during the summer and around Christmas, so I figured that could help boost my numbers for the rest of the year. I switch between YA, romance, and science nonfiction depending on my mood. It doesn’t take long to read a YA or romance novel, but it takes longer for the nonfiction.

I’m at 8/25 books for the year so far. I’m wondering what to read next.