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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.

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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.

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.

Watching the Cat Sleep

Watching my cat sleep is so calming. She is all white and really fluffy, so she reminds me of a small throw pillow. When she’s sleeping, she doesn’t move, except for the rise and fall of her breathing. Maybe watching her makes me more aware of my own breathing. Or, maybe it gives me something to focus on and helps me clear my mind.

Whatever the reason, I really love watching her sleep. For a moment here and there at the end of the day, I’ll stop what I’m doing and look at her. Not for too long, though, because if I watch her for too long it makes me sleepy and I usually have other things I want to do before bed.

I’m really happy that I have her.

Spring Cleaning the Garden

I am not a gardener. Every year, I try a little, but I’ve never quite managed not to have it turn into a disaster. Each year, I improve a little. Or, at least, I’d like to think so.

One year, I started growing marigolds from seeds. They were doing well, too. Then, I noticed that they started to grow a little mold or something on the soil. I looked online to see what to do about it. It was recommended to spray the plant soil with a dilute solution of vinegar. It would kill the mold. I did this and was devastated the next day when all the seedlings were dead. The solution would have worked on a fully grown plant, but the seedlings were too delicate and couldn’t handle it. My husband had arrived home to the dead seedlings before me and told me he almost went and bought replacements because he knew I’d be upset. We bought marigolds for the window boxes later that season.

I think part of the problem for me is that the plants can’t tell me what they need. My cats can’t either, but at least they meow at me until I pay attention to them. The tomatoes won’t meow at me for water. Instead, they just die. While I like to think I’ve learned more each year, that doesn’t always translate into more successful gardening or less dead plants. Sometimes, I lose track of time and the peppers are ripening in their original starter pots from the store.

This year, I’m hoping to be better. We’ll see how that works. Part of my plan is to prepare more for the season. The last frost date for my area isn’t until the beginning of May. I’m thinking that I’ll try to take April and use it to clean and weed the flower beds and add soil to the new raised beds. There are still leaves all over the yard from fall from the giant trees, so I need to deal with that, too. I think most of my plan, though, revolves around persistence. I often forget about the garden because I don’t spend a lot of time there. I’m not a fan of bugs and I’m definitely a fan of the beach. Most beautiful days, I like to be by the ocean. I’m hoping to spend a little time in the garden each day. Then, I won’t forget and I can work on it little by little. Wish me luck!

So Many Legos

My husband and I went to the toy store the other day. While we were there, I went to the Lego section. I have a few Disney sets that I really enjoyed putting together and wanted to see what the toy store had. There were a few sets I hadn’t seen before, some from Frozen and one from Moana. I was really excited and couldn’t decide what to buy. I bought more than one, because I really wanted them all. I think of them like puzzles almost. I’ll put them together and leave them on display, then take them apart and put them away. I think of them like decorations. I use the sets from Frozen as decorations in the winter and I’ll use the one from Moana as a decoration in the summer. I’m definitely a fan of Disney and the Lego sets make me smile.

I’ve never really been a huge Lego person. When I was younger, a lot of the sets focused on movies or themes that didn’t interest me. My sister did have a pirate Lego set that was amazing, though. When I realized they were making Disney Lego sets, I knew I’d want to check them out. When I first started looking, it really brought me into the world of Lego.

Now, I feel like I’m on the edge of being obsessed. There are still a lot of themes that don’t appeal to me, but that makes the ones that do even more fascinating. Of course, I love the Disney sets. I didn’t realize that the sets are not always available and I’m disappointed that there are already sets I can’t buy. This doesn’t just apply to the Disney sets. I love Christmas and never knew that they made special Christmas Lego sets. I definitely would use those as decorations and enjoy putting them together around the holiday. The Harry Potter sets also caught my eye. Sadly, most of them are impossible to find now. It makes me wish I was paying attention when they were everywhere. I’m glad that there’s more variety with them now. I’m looking forward to putting a bunch of them together.