It’s Been A While

Some time as passed since my last blog post. Seems it was easier to post something every week back when I was complaining about winter, avoiding school work, and dreaming about getting to start working on screenplays.

Actually writing screenplays takes up a fair amount of time, and I have come to the conclusion that there just is not enough time in the day for adequate “wasting time” time and “productive time” time. Bummer.

I am of course committed to balancing these out to the best of my ability, filling my days with the following activities:

*Reading The Screenwriters Bible, which is excellent by the way, highly recommend

*With the help of the aforementioned book, I have added 7 more pages to my screenplay just with proper formatting

*Adding more I Love Lucy pins to my Pinterest

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*Enjoying playing a fun screenwriting game called; is my caps lock on, or not?

*Carving my first pumpkin!

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Her name is Mrs. Cat, and that’s her friend, Mr. Pumpkin

*Not enjoying the fact that winter is coming, and here in almost Canada, that means I’m going to be,  at least, slightly chilly ’til about early June

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Until next time,

The Texan

 

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

 

Fitting in Fitness

Greetings from New York, the state in which the governor has declared a state of emergency because of snow. Emergency snow, y’all! I mean it is directed more to the city and Long Island, but I still fall under the umbrella, and I still don’t like it. It is crazy cold, it looks like a snow globe outside, and school got released early, its just winter displaying, once again, why it sucks. I feel like Batman in the Lego Movie when he’s in Cloud Cuckoo Land, except he’s outside and its winter and he says this instead..

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I planned out this post a few days ago, you know before the blizzard of the century decade showed up at my door step. And it does have a little bit to do with winter, being cold and hopes for the new year. So I figured I would just go with it. I will begin by introducing you to my Pilates lady. Her name is Lara Hudson, she’s really encouraging and helped to create a realistic workout for beginners such as myself. This is the DVD that I use..

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I understand that committing to working out on regular basis can be difficult, believe me I’ve fallen off the wagon plenty of times, but this year I have decided to make fewer excuses and do more things that may be challenging but are for my own good.

Now I present my reasons why I fit in fitness:

#1: I am a student working on a degree that requires a lot of writing, a blogger, and an aspiring writer. If I don’t get up and move I’ll find myself slowly becoming part of the couch.

#2. I can join in the toast with one of these people. 007

Even though I don’t go to the gym, I just do Pilates in my living room, its the same idea.

#3. Bucky’s legs and goal to look awesome in yoga pants

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#4. Its fun feeling like a bad a- oh wait I don’t want to use foul language. Its fun feeling like a bad buuttt…woman…thing. Hmm. Oh I got one, tough girl, we’ll just go with tough girl.

#5. Being able to appreciate fitness related humor such as..

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and..

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I’ve made it to 16 earth downs, every day!

#6. It gets cold in my house in the afternoon, working out is a practical and beneficial way to get the blood pumping…and not be cold…at least for a little while.

Once the weather stops being junky, all. the. time, I plan to gradually add a little running into my routine. Yep should be fun, and by fun I mean pain mixed with determination, but also fun, actually more rewarding than fun. **sits in silence for a few seconds**

Any way.

If you’ll excuse me its almost workout time! But first I need to look out the window like this..

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Until next time,

The Texan

Things I’ve Learned About Snow Shoveling

I am again at a loss as far as what to write about. There have been some wintery events, for lack of a better word, this week just nothing really hands on, that would produce a “pass on” worth story. The skies were gray, its was crazy windy for a couple of days, it snowed a little bit on Friday (like 1/2 inch maybe), and the high on Saturday was like seven degrees; which also happened to be the sunniest day of the week. Unfortunately, as noted in the line above that didn’t seem to make much of a difference. Winter is just kinda boring, you can’t garden, or go on picnics, or go outside with out putting five or six layers. The good news is I haven’t picked up a snow shovel in like three weeks. Uh oh..hopefully I didn’t jinx it.

**concerned sigh**

Anyway. I have learned some things about snow shoveling since moving to New York.

1. You become very aware of the muscles and ligaments that are attached to your elbows, especially when there is a nice icy chunk that you have to pick up.

2. Its a great way to feel both hot and cold at the same time.

3. It fits in nicely with the daily workout, or can become the workout for the day; especially if digging the car out of a snow cave is involved.

4. Its a great way to get silently judged by your neighbors and anyone who drives by. Now I am sure folks from the northern states get by just fine, but I know that when it snows us Southerners stick out like a sore thumb.

5. If you have forgotten about some of your muscles, shovel two feet of snow off of a driveway; you’ll find them again.

The good news is that its March, and light at the end of the winter tunnel is visible. But when I see that the low temperature on Saturday is supposed to be zero, zero!!, it makes me want to…

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Come on Spring! You can do it! Show winter whose boss!

Spring! Spring! Spring!

Until next time,

The Texan