Friday, June 23, 2017

Stop and Smell the Wildflowers

I like to have fresh flowers, and I’ve quite a collection of small vases and cute spice jars (that I picked up from an antique place). I had an idea to clear off my chest and line a row of spice jars across the top. Our yard has but an indifferent selection of flowers (I want to rectify this if I can), so I decided to scavenge weeds wildflowers. I need to get outside more. I noticed lots of different flowers and wondered what they were, so after I gathered them, I did some research. This site is what I focused on with help from my memory and other sites. We had quite a variety of flowers, but I’ve identified the most interesting/least weedy. Also, I came across interesting terms like raceme and umbel to describe flower clusters. I managed to press a few samples, and eventually I would like to watercolor next to the samples.

~Miami Mist or Scorpionweed, Waterleaf family. This flower’s funny fused head with its fake “petals” is what got me started. The flower just pops off the stem like a silk flower which I just found rather hilarious.

~Star of Bethlehem (not False Garlic, which has umbels while Star of Bethlehem has racemes, I think?!). This look most like a “real” cultivated plant.

~Striped Violet, has bearded petals. Apparently white violets come in a great many varieties.

~Common Blue Violet.

~Philadelphia Fleabane.

~Chicory (aster family).

~Multiflora Rose. These smelled lovely. But apparently, this is an invasive species.

~A form of honeysuckle. Bush, I think which is also an invasive species. Oh, well its beautiful anyway.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer Bucket List and My Art Journal

Watch tons of Classic Hollywood movies
This should be easy!
Read at least half of Classic Club list
Hmm. Not a priority.
Make lots of art and crafts
Well, I’ve put a lot of pressed flower art in my art journal, worked on redoing my first quilt, and worked on dresses for my sisters’ birthdays.
Spend time outside: stargaze, watch the sunset, swim, swing, catch lightening bugs, sleep outside
I’ve spent some time, but I need to make it more of a priority.
You would think this would be easy.
Go on several day-trips 
I’ve been to the zoo and a baseball game at our local university, and I want to plan one for my birthday.
Jane Austen Festival and local art festival
I’m doing the latter for certain..
Go on or at least schedule one major vacation
I meant myself, but our family is going on one in January
Take a trip with my grandparents
Work extensively on genealogy
Make frozen custard
I should've focused a bit more on, um, less costly options.

I had tons of pressed flowers, so I've worked on tons of pages for my art journal. I've rather more pressed flower pages than I would like, but I'm still learning this art journal thing. These are my best pages to date (05/26/2017), I think.

Didn't that iris press gorgeously?!

My paper back copy of the Jane Austen novels split, so I decided to use the pages for crafts.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Personality Again and Links

I'm sure I've posted too many personality posts, but I am continually finding interesting articles or blog posts.

I enjoy taking these for fun . . . but then it gets too complicated and too rule based. Too many little boxes. Meyers-Briggs is fun for FUN but it’s not a good tool for serious issues (well, not much in psychology is really, much of it is quite frankly, opinion, psychologists are NOT medical doctors, psychiatrists are). The T/F is the one where I really saw an issue. That is NOT a continuum. Plus, I always wonder how honest people are about their faults. Anyway. I have a hard time placing myself in these boxes; nevertheless, I find this interesting

I've read about HSP. And well, it smacks of the same special snowflake snobbishness that the introvert obsession does. And then there is this, perhaps we are just extremely selfish and irritable?

Speaking of, is there anyone else that cannot handle certain senses? I have a low smell toleration and low noise toleration. I can't seem to have too many sensory things going on at once.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Structured Spontaneity

My dad quoted someone as saying some people were running on "chaos" theory. While I'm not sure I'm that bad, I certainly run on fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants theory (I certainly did my Senior year of college; my sister, also a Senior then, told me later that I about gave her a heart attack . . . regularly) . . . or maybe moodiness theory. I think that this is part of the reason why I cannot seem to match personality types to a T (if they are very detailed). I like rules and lists, but I don't like following schedules and lists. I follow honor codes and laws, but silly rules don't appeal to me. I keep some things in my head, and I need a few things on paper and in my phone, but when I have too many to-dos, I get overwhelmed.

I guess I like structured spontaneity. I want a list items to choose from, to CHOOSE from, not to be bound toI think that my entire family might be this way, but some of us are more motivated and disciplined. Now, I don't like completely winging errands or vacations . . . especially since that sometimes means we do nothing. Of course, when we do have lists, my energy is quickly expended.

I'm easily overwhelmed. I don't know why I pin or bookmark these pages, sometimes. I think these can be great as bouncing points. I like the lists of activates, books, etc. to pick from, I don't like the lists of to-dos. I need more general ideas, and sometimes somethings are better left in my head or at least I might use lists to get to that point but not to keep as checklists. The more inspirational things, well, I think I'd like to get a chalkboard for that, those types of pages have been wasted paper in my bullet journal, and they don't matter if they don't take root in my heart anyway.

Friday, June 9, 2017

About Fandoms

I'm not big into fandoms. I think they can be super annoying and people can be weirdly obsessed. I think it is especially odd if the fandom is something that really won't last very long. Do fandoms annoy anyone else? I suppose I do sort of fangirl sometimes, but when I go overboard or watch others go overboard or find too much fanart, fanfiction, I get disgusted or annoyed with what I originally liked, you know?

I really liked all the fanart with fanfiction of the HP Marauder generation in Pins on Pinterest, but with my interest came overindulgence, and I found some stupid, sickening stuff. So that and watching the movies (which I don't really care much for) has rather harmed my careful spacing of my re-reads.

And I know I hate when people mess with the oh, so sacred book and story!

I like to constantly read new novels and give myself space to come back to old favorites after a long interlude. Hence my love of the library. Maybe part of all this is I didn't read much as a teen, and so I don't have such a long-read list that I can more naturally have huge gaps in favorites.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ode to the Library

I LOVE the library. I really feel that I don't get the library vibe from a lot of book bloggers, maybe we just forget to talk about it. But I know a lot of people buy books. I do like having books on hand, but I need to know I love them, and right now, I need space and money.

I grew up going to the library constantly. I loved the county library system where I grew up which we used for school and fun. And I loved my childhood church library where we often checked out our favorites ad nauseam. Nostalgia, people.

We don't have a great church library, and our county library system consists of one library, and although expanded, doesn't have a great selection, but I still use it occasionally (it is nice to make a quick movie run). I can use the big city library if I pay taxes or pay for a card.

I love:
~Using both our county library and the city library the next county over
~Ordering all the books from the various city locations and picking them up in one place
~Using the self-checkout
~Getting interlibrary loans
~Keeping loads of books on my designated library book shelf (I really need two)
~Suggesting purchases (I think the library bought all of them)
~Checking out movies, particularly ones that Netflix and Amazon wouldn't have 
~Listening to Great Courses lectures while I knit

I barely skimmed what our libraries offer; our city library also has:
~Links to online courses
~Digitized old newspapers (I used this for college)
~Reading challenges (the little girls have completed some of these, and we used to do this at our county library when we were younger and in another county)
~Bookmobile for those who cannot easily access the library
~E-books for those that like those
~Audiobooks for those that like those
~Ask-A-Librarian (I think I may have used this, but I was/am trying to find a book by vague memory of illustration and plot . . . I have nothing else, so that is hard, and unsuccessful thus far)

~Historical archives (at the downtown location)

Friday, May 26, 2017

Instagram and Photography

I feel pressured when I take photos; I'm often thinking in terms of my blog (which is why I got my camera), and so when I don't take photos for my blog, when I don't like the time and the pressure, I forget about documenting my and my family's life.

I am not at ease with photography. I hate feeling watched and rushed. I don't understand it or what I'm missing easily. It just doesn't click for me very well. But I've made HUGE progress. I need to keep it up. I'm need to find balance. I don't have to have tons of photos for my blog, but I do need to take photos of my life to preserve memories. And if I want good photos, then I need practice.

I'm a perfectionist. I think that quality is important. This clashes with the fact that I think that not wasting time is important and that I tend to want to see instant results; well, I cannot deliver results without practice. I tend to give up. I tend to waste time in other ways though; I need to learn balance. If I'm annoying impatient people (ahem), I need to learn to speed up my process and to take a break (I didn't need to get San Diego Zoo photos). I need to think in terms of practice as well as time management. I need to think in terms of life as well as blog (by the way, some people have talked of using their blog to preserve memories, to possibly print later; I think that is a lovely idea).

I got on Instagram to grow my blog. After looking at the labor of putting DSLR photos on Instagram, I opted to use my iPhone which I usually use only for my pets, library re-borrowing stacks, and photos for ideas or for notes. I felt pressured on Instagram and was unhappy with my photos even after spending too much effort on them. I found a tutorial that explained editing. . . what a crazy lot of time for "snaps" to go on Instagram. And then I spent so much time scrolling through my feed and not receiving much in return. A low inspiration to time ratio. I got off Instagram. I think that if I ever do use it for my blog, I will try to use photos that I've already taken even if it is tedious. That seems a better use of my time. 

I don't want to spend time on iPhone photos that aren't worth much. I want to focus on quality photos, BUT I do think I need to be willing to sacrifice quality for memories when need be instead of the other way around. These however, wouldn't be for my blog, when I take iPhone photos for my blog, I'm being lazy, when I use them for family and friends, I'm being practical; there will be some moments I miss or people I annoy if don't allow for this.

I need to work on my composition. I love Ginny Sheller's style of photography; I want to catch moments and style crafts like that. I focus so much on pristine photos, but I like this blog; the lady's photos aren't professional but the colors, lighting, subjects, and composition are interesting and in photojournalism style.  

I just spilled all my internal processing out; I'm not a succinct or lucid person, so I don't know if any of this made sense. I'm just trying to work out what works for me.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Another Book Tag

I will use all the interesting tags I find regardless of whether I'm tagged specifically or generally. I found this one here.

1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?
For fiction, probably the three tiny Barnes and Noble books I bought ages ago of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Ivanhoe. How I wish I’d snatched up more, but I didn’t know all the books they had at that point in my life. I did find The Secret Garden at Goodwill a couple years ago. I wish Barnes and Noble would put those out again.

For all times, excluding Bibles, Good Housekeeping’s the Illustrated Book of Needlecrafts. I used that so often in the earlier knitting days before I discovered reams of stitches and aids online.

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?
My last read was the second book of ND Wilson's Outlaws of Time: The Song of Glory and Ghost. I'm still reading Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake and Lowcountry, and I'm also reading Dombey and Son (I just picked up where I left off months ago, and thankfully, the book starting to pick up in interest at that point). As to what I will read next, well, I am a bit random and moody in my reading. I have mostly reference books and history books, but A History of the Arab Peoples by Albert Habib Hourani and Novus Ordo Seclorum: The Intellectual Origins of the Constitution are my priority. I have a Georgette Heyer novel, but I might have to make a quickie run to the library or raid my sisters' shelves or something for some fiction to help me finish my nonfiction (yes, that is how that works).

3. What book did everyone like, but you hated?
Code Name Verity is popular in the blogosphere, and I wrote a post about my issues with it.

4. What book do you keep telling yourself you'll read, but you probably won't?
Many books on my Classic Club list. Except I’ve now pretty much decided not to force myself on some of them.

5. What book are you saving for retirement?  
Anything I’m not motivated to read now that I might be interested in then.

6. Last page: read it first, or wait 'til the end?  Wait for the end!
If I’m enjoying the book, then I try to wait until the end. But if I’m not and decided not to finish reading, then I will skim the rest.

7. Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?
Boring, although I like looking for the author’s family at the end.

8. Which book character would you switch places with?
Maybe Nell, in Lantern Bearers, so I could marry Aquila and experience ancient Britain.

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?)
Well, the books from my grandparents’ collection that I got after they downsized or that they gave to me earlier remind me of their old library (it was a bedroom that had a glass door; they had a computer in it, and they had a full bookshelf, a double full bookshelf, and three half bookshelves, or something like that plus boxes of books in the closet). I got several of the books I’d only ever read there (Mother was a gift, but Old-Fashioned Girl and At Boarding School with the Tucker Twins I got to take), but there are a few for which I wish I’d remembered to ask (To Have and to Hold and A Long Fatal Love Chase). And I wonder what happened to their Bobbsey twin books?

10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.
I think the above is interesting because two of the books are antique copies, but another interesting one is that my grandmother bought me a book about regency times at a JA festival and the author signed it.

11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?  

12. Which book has been with you most places?
I didn’t personally own most of my books when I was younger. Maybe my American Girl books. Although I gave them to my sisters (or they appropriated them) after I got older.

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad later?
I didn’t have too much required classic reading. And I loved a lot of the historical fiction we were assigned.

14. Used or brand new?
If used is like bran' new, then both, if not, then bran' new.

15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

16. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?
The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott (and I watched the movie first, but the book is silly)

17. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?  
I like reading about the different food although I'm not sure it would make me hungry. L.M. Montgomery often mentions food that sounds quite delicious.

18. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?
Um, no one? I'll try what I think interesting of many people's recommendations, but I don't implicitly trust to like all any one person's suggestions. Everyone has different tastes, even my sisters although I may take their advice more seriously than I would other people . . . even though the advice may be “you wouldn’t like it.”

19. Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?
No, I don’t think so. I don’t know how to define out of my comfort zone . . . if I start liking it, then it IS in my comfort zone. Books that seem different or unusual in subject or style, like The Outsiders and Book Thief, might be easier for me to answer. And I just did. Books that I consider out of my comfort zone would fall into genres I invariably dislike or at least feel somewhat indifferent toward, e.g. Science Fiction.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Robin Hood Week Link Up

I'm joining here for Olivia@Meanwhile in Rivendell's Robin Hood Week tag.

What was your first exposure to Robin Hood?
I can't remember. The basic story is common knowledge.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how big of a fan are you?
Maybe a 7?

How many versions and spin-offs of the legend have you experienced?
The first that I can remember is when Robin Hood appears in Ivanhoe (Mom read this to us, and I’ve seen a couple versions). I think I read or skimmed The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green. I've watched the animated Robin Hood movie, and I watched the first two seasons of the BBC Robin Hood. After Marian died and I heard a bit about the 3rd season, I decided it was too sacrilegious (like the 3rd unmentionable Anne movie, though I did watch that and annoyed my family with my raving; of course, the first two are inaccurate also but the inaccuracy increases from movie to movie). I think Howard Pyle has a Robin Hood book, and I'd like to watch the Errol Flynn Robin Hood movie and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Those are all I know of, but I'm open to more.

What is your favorite version of Robin Hood (can be book, movie, TV series, anything)?
The BBC miniseries. This version is so inaccurate both as to the myth and the possible historical period, that the issue doesn't matter to me (I must have either perfect or awful). I just find it, particularly I think the second season, so fun.

Are you one of the lads? (Meaning, have you watched/are you a fan of the BBC show?)
Yes. Alan is my man.

Who is your favorite Merry Man?
Alan. My favorite couple is Will and Djaq, and I don't think they get enough time.

Do you have a favorite portrayal of Lady Marian?
The fox Marian? The first season of BBC Marian is a self-righteous brat, but then she matures.

Do you have any interest in or aptitude at archery?

Fact or fiction -- which do you think? 
Perhaps like King Arthur there might be some very slight shadow of fact, but it is majorly myth.

Do you think Robin Hood has been "done to death," or are there still new twists that can be found?
Oh, no. I'm always up for retellings of myths, legends, fairytales, books, etc.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Depth vs. Complexity

Depth vs. Complexity. I am not good at finding the right words like this (for this reason I was SO happy to see the juxtaposition in the second article; now I know what I mean!), but these are the concepts that I consider when thinking about characters and stories in movie and books. I do think complexity is probably too dignified a term for what I mean (chaotic is probably better) and breadth might be a better one for the article. And I don't want simplistic (for stories) or narrow (for knowledge).

Comprehension vs. Trivia or Depth vs. Breadth. Mindfulness is important in choosing books, in reading the books, and in processing the books. That is why I'm pretty happy with my low number of books, but why I have room for improvement. I think this issue of depth vs. breadth is part of the issue I have with constantly having to "be in the know" with the news . . . you could pick up a book (by a scholar who has studied the subject not someone who has experienced or seen the issues, not all nonfiction by professionals is scholarly!) on the issues at hand, how else do can you understand the world? What is the good of knowing without comprehending (and again, some books are about knowing not comprehending)?

Interested vs. Interesting. I think the issue with many people is one of motivation. Being a homebody can be a lovely thing . . . if it is done from love rather than fear and if the homebody does and can venture out from time to time. Many people are interesting because they are interested and therefore, knowledgeable and confident.