Stronger

They say that what ever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, and to quote Wendy Cooper (from What To Expect When You’re Expecting), “I for one, hope that’s true.” College has challenged me in ways that I didn’t expect that it would when first started this degree all those years ago. I have grown, as a person and a writer. I have felt awesome about myself, and I have felt terribly inadequate. I have had bright shining moments of brilliance, and moments where I could not focus or put a sentence together if you paid me. I have had teachers who basically told me I could do no wrong, and teachers who basically told me I was the scum of the history profession. Okay maybe I am exaggerating a little on that last bit but I definitely have had teachers that didn’t seem to like me very much. The important thing is that I kept going and stayed true to my view of history, which is not that of a scholar and its not really formal either. My favorite part of history is the people, and being able to breathe some fresh life into the story of someone who lived hundreds of years ago. So many people think that history is boring, maybe you are one of them, and I hope to change that by not being a stuffy formal historian.

College has been big part of my life for a while now, it has been my focus, and has been apart of my identity. But one day soon it won’t be anymore. I won’t just be someone who is working on their degree, but someone who has their degree. Then I have to go and be what I want to be, instead of just talking about what I want to be. On one hand that’s awesome, but on the other, that’s scary. The world is big and foreboding and full of unknowns, but also open and limitless and full of opportunity. I have my hopes, and my dreams, and a thousand and one ideas floating around in my head waiting to be discovered and nourished. I haven’t the slightest idea what it will all amount to, but I know that they are all worth striving for.

But first! I need to finish my last eight weeks of school!! Eight weeks, y’all! Eight weeks! However, there is a big nasty gatekeeper guarding the gate to freedom. I call it, the Senior Seminar. (shutter shutter, and why not a crash of lightening)

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Before it will let me pass, it demands a twenty one page research paper, seven of those pages are due in two weeks. The good thing is, I can write this paper on anything that has to do with history, the bad thing is, the final product is 54% of my grade; so if it sucks I’m toast. I also have to finish the last four weeks of my Myth and Ritual class, the final project for that is a power point presentation that must consist of twenty slides; all I’ve done for that little gem is read instructions that made me think about Captain America. On top of all that is the nastygram I got from my History of Africa teacher for disobeying the final exam instructions, which by the way I could not find, I looked in four different places; so I decided to wing it. Let’s just say my efforts were not well received. So yeah, these next eight weeks can go by as fast as they want.

I have a feeling that my mood over the next eight weeks is going fluctuate between “I am awesome. I am one with the Force. I am super historian.” and simply Bucky Barnes.

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Until next time,

The Texan

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By the way, I’ve been thinking about changing the name of the blog/website to better reflect its content, and so that my writing doesn’t have to be connected to winter. Stay tuned for a new name, and if you would like follow me on Twitter at @TheTexan5. As always thank you for reading!

Fred and Ethel

The weather has been lovely as of late. On Sunday, we even planted some flowers in the front garden. The warmth (relative warmth that is) and sunshine have been awesome! I just hope that the trend continues. In other news, college is still wearing on me. My Nile River paper (the one that was two pages too short) was received okay-ish. My professor told me that I can construct an awesome introduction/thesis statement and conclusion, I can expertly organize my information, use my sources well and have decent analyzing skills. All good things! However, I seem to have no grammatical skill to speak of and was awarded zero, out of a possible ten points. I mean I’m used to loosing points because of bad grammar, but have never been told that my grammar was that bad. I thought about trying to argue this somewhat lopsided assessment of my writing skills, with the hopes of gaining a few more points but decided against it. My other grades are good, I just want to be done with it. And considering that this (refer to picture below) is me at the present moment, I’ll take what I can get.

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But enough about that. For this blog post I thought that I would share with you one of my ideas for a story/movie. I’m sharing this in good faith and welcome any constructive criticism or thoughts that you may have. This idea is the least developed of all of the ideas that I have, to be frank I have only written what would be one of the final scenes in the movie. As the title of the post suggests, the movie would be about Fred and Ethel Mertz of I Love Lucy fame. I have often wondered about their backstory, mainly because Fred is my husband’s favorite character, and thought that it would be fun to piece together a “how we met story” based off of the information given to the viewer by the show itself.

  1. We know that Ethel is from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and that Fred is from I believe, Iowa.
  2. We know that they met while performing in Vaudeville, in the 1920s.
  3. When the show premiered in 1951, they had already been married for 22 or 23 years, meaning they got married in either 1928 or 1929.
  4. We know that Fred is bit older than Ethel.
  5. We know that Ethel’s father did not approve, and that they eloped.
  6. After Vaudeville, they made their way to New York City, and purchased an apartment building.

I think that it would be a fun opportunity to get to research not only the 1920s but also Vaudeville, which is where great comedians like Bud Abbott and Lou Costello got their start. It would also be interesting to expand these characters and explore what they were like when they were younger. So with out further delay…

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Fred: “I can’t promise you that everything will always be perfect, that we will be flawless friends, sweethearts, or that we will never fight. Or perhaps even wonder if we made a mistake, because I know this wouldn’t be easy. And I can’t promise you that I will love you with out fail, because I will fail. What I can promise you is that you, will never be alone. And while I may not be able to love you with out fail, what I can do is love you with out ceasing. I won’t stop, ever. So no matter what you decide right now, I am yours, Ethel Mae Potter, yours, forever.”

Fred turns to walk away, nervously rubbing his hands together. Ethel watches him slowly move away from her, she is still in shock over hearing his words. Fred Mertz may not be the perfect man that she always dreamt of, but he was indeed the perfect man for her. As tears well up in her eyes she calls out..

Ethel: “Fred.”
Fred turns around, the emotion of the last few seconds worn on his face. “Yes Ethel.”
Ethel exhales slowly, fighting back the tears. “Okay.”
Fred: “Okay? So you do.”
Ethel smiles, with a tear rolling down her cheek. “I do.”
Fred smiles, they move in to embrace each other.

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I look being able to focus my creative writing pursuits, and learning how to format a proper screenplay. But first! I must obtain that bachelor’s degree! Only two months to go!

Until next time,

The Texan

On The Inside

I think the time has come where I can officially, or rather unofficially, because the official start was like three weeks ago and, oh **ahem**…anyway. Where I can say…

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Yay! I mean I wish it was like 15 or 20 degrees warmer, but its not freezing cold outside therefore I will gladly accept what we have been given here in almost Canada. We’re actually grilling for dinner tonight, we haven’t been able to that in a while! This warmer, and sunnier, weather has helped my Seasonal Affective Disorder and my vitamin deficiency, and soon we should be able to get our flower beds ready! Woohoo!

This blog is called Winter and the Texan, and winter has come to a close however (comma), I intend to keep the blog going through out the, off season?, yeah, off season that’s a good term. Because I still have school, and kids, and travel related stuff, and I suppose whatever else comes to mind. Perhaps even little tidbits from the other stories/screenplays that I have written, that I look forward to focusing on once I graduate. I truly appreciate all my readers and hope that you will keep this blog on your radar during the summer.

My few remaining college classes have been a dominant stresser as of late. I mean I’m getting good grades and putting out decent papers, forum posts, and what not. On the outside I look like this…

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…you know calm, confident, and looking up for some reason. **Hmm, looking up. Looking up…Why are we looking up Sebastian? Oh I know, because the future is bright and on an upward path?, trajectory?, swing?….. No, no, we’ll just go with a simple, things are looking up. Yeah..good.** Anyway. On the inside however, its more like this..

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I’m handling my classes, and all that they imply, in the same fashion that Sebastian Stan is handling…um..whatever is it that he is doing in these pictures. I’m just running out of steam y’all. The final paper that was two pages to short, the monster final exam next week, the two part forum post I had to write yesterday, not to mention my upcoming Senior Seminar and the fact that I have no idea what it will bring.

Its amazing just how often our outside appearance does not reflect what is going on the inside. We keep that cool exterior for a number of reasons, to not appear weak, to stay strong for our kids so they see value in well, staying strong and giving things our best. The problem is that our best takes a good deal of energy and I feel like my best ran out like two months ago. I still give my best to my kids, my marriage, my job (at moment I am a homemaker), and my creative writing pursuits; but this college thing, man, I’m not sure how much more I have left. I know I wrote that last week but, it continues to be true. The thing I always remind myself is that I am almost finished, and that next chapter is so close I can almost touch it.

The future is bright friends and one day soon I, and you, will be able to bask in the glow of our efforts coming full circle. We just gotta keep going!

Until next time,

The Texan

 

P.S. Just a little humor! : )

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The Homestretch

Good day readers! I have some super awesome amazingly stupendous news! Spring has finally found us here in Upstate New York or at the very least is trying to get its foot in the rather heavy door that winter has equipped itself with. Yesterday it got up to 77, 77 y’all!!, the sun was shining and I had the windows open all day, all day! The heater didn’t even come on! I know, awesome!! Here is a picture of our cat, Kiki, enjoying the 70 something degree sunshine.

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Yesterday evening however a cold front came through, today it’s cloudy and about ten degrees cooler than it was yesterday; and I hear that we will be getting close to freezing later this week. While we are in the homestretch of winter, which is great, winter is most certainly not finished yet, which is not so great. We’re nearly there but not quite in the clear, just yet. This got me thinking about homestretches in general. The homestretch is the last bit, a sign that you’re almost finished, and that you are about to finally reap the fruits of your labor. People tend to focus on the “I’m nearly there” part, which is indeed a positive thing. However, when most people use “but you’re in the homestretch” as motivation, they often leave out that it’s the hardest part.

It’s the part where you’ve expended much of your energy and you have to dig down deep and hope that you’ll find more. It’s the part where even after all your effort, you could still lose, fall short, or something could go wrong. It’s the part where you’re the most vulnerable, but also where your determination is at its highest. It’s the make or break point. The part where it is decided just how the event, the race, the goal will be remembered; because it colors the whole thing.

For the past uh…eleven..uh..years, I’ve been working on my bachelors degree, babies and moving to/from Europe kinda slowed me down. I now only have nine credits left, nine!, and I have officially entered the homestretch. The problem is that every forum post, every research paper, every page of notes, every short essay is sitting right on my shoulders. I have had to prove myself a hundred times over, but there is still more to give; and honestly most of time I feel that there is nothing left up here. (taps on head) Now this is partly because of the work load, partly because of the uber high expectations I put on myself, and partly because I am itching to start focusing on the next chapter. As a result I often sit in front of my computer like this (refer to picture below) when it’s time to do school work.

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Or like this..

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Or like this…

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I honestly feel bad for these last few classes because they are not getting my best work, because my heart (ie my drive, my focus) is getting pretty darn close to leaving the building. For real y’all I require a pep talk from my husband like three or four times a week. The homestretch is not easy, but it does mean that I am almost there, almost there. My motivation is to be an example to my kids to never give up, and actually be able to show them with my actions rather than just tell them. It’s knowing that one day soon, I will have that degree, and the next chapter can finally begin. It’s being able to soon basque in the glow of my accomplishment, and take a deep breath and say, “I did it.” Then I can do this (see below) with my degree!

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If you are the midst of your own homestretch, I encourage you not to give up. Get that pep talk, think about the next chapter, bake that cake (you known so you can eat it), listen to your new favorite song five times in a row, whatever it will take to drum up the strength to keep pushing forward. I know its hard, but you’re almost there. And I am certain that it will all be worth it.

Until next time,

The Texan

 

Hopes Not Resolutions

Greetings dear readers! It seems as though spring has some what sprung, at least what this neck of the woods regards as spring. Here spring seems to mean that it rains some, the highs can be in the 50s and the sun shines, a little. Not ideal by any means but I guess we will have to take what we can get. Today it was rainy and kind of chilly but I did not have to wear two jackets, so suppose that is a step in the right direction. And Sunday, Sunday!, was ah-mazing, this girl was able to soak up some much needed vitamin D, plus we were finally able to break out the “outside toys” box. Absolutely lovely day! I am hoping that there will be more warmth in my future. So I can sit outside like this..

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A few days after New Years Day I posted on Facebook my hopes that I had for the new year, 2017. Now I called them hopes rather resolutions because I feel that resolutions can easily just sit on the surface, which is probably why so many go un-gained?, un-achieved?, un-gotten?, hmm…not sure what the proper term here would be but I think you’re picking up what I am putting down. But hopes. Hopes are felt much deeper, hopes are much more personal, and hopes have a certain amount of longevity to them. Here is my list, posted on Facebook on January 6th.

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I’ve been thinking about goal setting, both big and small. This year is still new and fresh, but an unknown. My goals have a lot to do with gaining some confidence, I don’t why I have so little confidence in myself; but I’ve got to break free of it. My husband and I both struggle with fear especially fear of failure, I guess we all do to some degree. To paraphrase a lyric from a song called “Failure” by Breaking Benjamin, “The only time you can truly fail, is if you bury the sunshine.” Well that was more stating what he actually meant. But the point is, I’ve got to stop doing that. I want to hold on to hope, to dream big, to see myself as worthy, to be brave, to be fierce, and to stop holding back.

By the end of 2017 I hope to:

1. Once again be able to do a bunch of push-ups, don’t have a set number yet but, in basic training I did 45 in 2 minutes.
2. Finally learn the words to “More Than A Feeling” by Boston
3. Earn my bachelors degree!
4. Have been to Canada.
5. Have gotten better at replacing self doubt with confidence, I struggle with this daily. Daily.
6. Learn how to play a song on the piano. Or songs.
7. Have gotten better at replacing fear of failing/the unknown with the willingness to try. As Dorothy Zbornak once said, “When taking risks in life, sometimes good things happen, sometimes bad things happen. But if you don’t do anything, then nothing happens.”
8. I have written fan fictions about Mass Effect and Bucky Barnes, also a unfinished screenplay called “Cambridge” (it’s just not in screenplay format yet); that no one has read, not even Chris. This year, I hope to change that.
9. Done something new, no idea what it would be. I guess it will find me.
10. Have de-cluttered and de-stuffed our house and our lives.

11. This one is unlikely but would be awesome! To have met one of my 3 favorite famous people: Colin O’Donoghue, Ben Burnley, or Sebastian Stan.

Dream big friends, never stop reaching. Our time on this Earth is short, and oh so precious, make it amazing!

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A few days ago the first quarter of 2017 came to a close and I posted an update on my progress, this is what I wrote..

The first quarter of this lovely year has come to a close, or you know it will at midnight…anyway. Earlier this year I posted a list of my hopes for 2017, and I thought I would give a quick update on my progress. I’ve made it to 20 push-ups (everyday), and hope to make to at least 30. I learned the words to “More Than a Feeling” by Boston. I will complete my last class in June and will be set to receive my degree in August! I have allowed my husband to read some of my writing, and posted my “Mass Effect” story onto fanfiction.net; which has been read by 29 people from 15 countries. The audience for “Winter and the Texan” has been growing slowly but surely, and my last post received positive feedback from someone who is a writer and filmmaker! I’ve been working on having more confidence in my abilities, and I’m excited to tap into life beyond the bachelors degree! Sadly however, I have yet to meet Sebastian Stan, Colin O’ Donoghue, or Ben Burnely; but the year is young! : ) Keep striving friends, your hopes are worth it!!

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If you have been feeling down lately, I get that. If you wonder what the future holds, I get that too. If you ever feel like something is out of your reach, or is something that just other people do, I completely understand. It is difficult to put yourself out there, to take a chance, to break into something that people say is hard to break into, but you’ll never know unless you try. Because you are talented, you are worthy, and your hopes can become reality. Just give them a chance, give yourself a chance. Every successful person has failed, repeatedly. Every journey begins with one step.

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Until next time,

The Texan

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Whew! That post was deep wasn’t it?! I think we deserve a little humor.

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The Side Effects of Winter

It is still winter here in Upstate New York, even though according to the calendar spring started eight days ago. I don’t see much prove of that event from where I sit, except that the little tree next to our driveway has started to bud; which on a positive note is a step in the right direction. Now it is important that you understand that my distaste for winter goes beyond my distaste for being cold, and I do not enjoy being cold. You know I’ve had people tell me, “At least in the winter I know I can just put more clothes on.” Hmm yeah….I don’t know about you but I find no pleasure in putting on 2 jackets, 2 pairs of socks, a scarf, a hat (that covers my ears), and gloves; and yet still be cold. That makes the “at least” in their statement a little pointless don’tcha think?

For me winter is when my vitamin D levels tank, and I experience the lovely symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. If you search for this particular ailment, also known as seasonal depression, on Pinterest you can find some neat infographics and even a little S.A.D. humor, if you can believe it; because laughter is indeed the best medicine. Here is an example:

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In my case, the effects of winter don’t get too bad until about early to mid February, March being the worst; which stinks because my birthday is in March. The symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, as I experience them, are as follows:

  1. No energy and/or lack of interest in…things and stuff.

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2. Resting disappointment face, brought on by looking out the window or having to go outside.

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3. Justifying extra snacks and baking stuff, because I’ve been cold and miserable for like three months, with no end in sight.

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There is also being super tired all the time, muscle weakness, and having trouble focusing; which is also a symptom of vitamin D deficiency. But I couldn’t find a good picture that I liked to go with those.

Now there are things that I am doing to try to cushion the blow of winter, being deficient in vitamin D, and having an extreme case of the winter blues. And if you struggle with this ailment as well, I encourage you to give them a try, now I know that they can’t take the place of warmth and sunshine; but they do help.

  1. I work out
  2. I lie in sun with my cat, when it does come out.
  3. I take a vitamin D supplement every morning.
  4. I drink lots of water.
  5. I find things that make me smile everyday.

Stay strong friends spring will get here, it may be taking longer than we would like, but it will get here. In the meantime, I hope that this man’s adorable smile will brighten your day.

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Until next time,

The Texan

P.S. I started a Twitter account! If you would like you can follow me at @TheTexan5, “I Write A Little”.

Spring Has Sprung??

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I heard through the grapevine that yesterday was the first day of spring, I would say that that is boulder-dash! Because from where I sit it doesn’t look or feel much like spring, it looks and feels very much like winter. Boo winter!! Lets take a gander at what the day after the first day of spring looks like in this neck of the woods.

Lovely is not? As you can imagine I am not terribly pleased by this lack of change in the season, allow me to walk you through the stages of my winter grief…

Step 1: Mild sadness

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Step 2: Disgust

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Step 3: Grumpiness

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Step 4: Hostility

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Step 5: Humor covered displeasure

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Step 6: Ugh…

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Spring? Spring? Where for art thou spring? Do make haste, the Texan is chilly…and well all of the above. For now I will leave you with my favorite bit of spring related humor. It was one of the first things I pinned on Pinterest when I started my account back in…2012 I think it was, and still gets me every time I see it.

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Until next time,

The Texan