Quote of the Month:

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney
{Past Quotes}

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I want a white Christmas...

No flakes to fall. No, none at all.
Not even enough to throw a ball.
No ice to skate. No men to build.
I thought this was supposed to be winter.

The perfect Christmas. You hear about it everywhere. With its snow, warm fires, and hot coco. Why can't I have a "white" Christmas? I live in the Bakersfield- we don't get snow. There has been snow here only once in my life. It happened back in 1999. January 25th. Just one month too late for Christmas! I remember my parents waking me up near 5 o'clock in the morning telling my sister and I to look out the window. It was dark. We couldn't see anything. They promised there was snow outside so we got up; they made us put on our snow clothes and then we ran outside as quickly as possible!
Best. Day. Ever.

School was cancelled. Everything was covered in white and the flakes were HUGE! Six inches of snow fell that day. I know it was probably not good for some people who had to work and what-not, but I was a 8-year old kid. To me, the snow was the most awesome thing to happen all month! I remember running down to my friend's houses and having snowball fights. And in our front yard we built a family of snowpeople. One for each of the five of us.

After our fun at home my parents drove us to my grandparents house where we made a snowman with our cousins. I remember it being gigantic (then again I was 8 and everything was bigger than me). It was a 5 or 6 tiered snowman, so he probably was pretty big though. If I remember correctly it only snowed for that one day and the next day they sent us back to school. It was quite sad. They had all the snow in piles out in the play yard and we weren't even allowed to go near them!

The theory is it is supposed to snow every ten years here. Well, it's been twelve and there still hasn't been any more snow! I don't think I'll ever have a white Christmas. At least not in Bakersfield. I guess since the snow won't come to me, I'll just have to go to the snow!

Even without the snow, this Christmas has been good. My whole extended family got together at my grandparent's house for lunch without fighting (a pretty big feat nowadays) and I got a call from my boyfriend and his family in Santa Barbara (no snow for them either :P). This day has been pretty near perfect if you ask me. I got a few gifts from my family and they all loved the ones I got for them. I'm just so grateful for everyone and everything that happened and is going to happen today. I have two more presents to give out and I know neither one of the recipients actually wanted any presents, so this should be fun!


Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all have a good day and remember to spend time with your love ones, like I'm about to do after I get done with this post (: I love you all.

xoxo
Ashley

Monday, December 19, 2011

Influenster Holiday VoxBox

Woohoo! I received my first VoxBox from Influenster! Influenster is a website that sends out monthly voxboxes to those who qualify. They send out samples of items for free and when you get them you are supposed to review them. It's free and fun! I made a video of me opening the Holiday Voxbox. I know my webcam sucks, and I promise not to use it again! 

My holiday voxbox came with XOut Wash-in Treatment, imPRESS Press-on manicure by Broadway Nails, Softsoap Coconut Scrub bar soap, Montagne Jeunesse Face Mask, New York color Liquid Lip Shine, Mentos Pure Fresh Gum, and a Coconut Cream Pie Larabar.

So far I have tried out the Mentos gum (chewing it right now), the Larabar, the NYC lip shine, and the imPRESS fake nails. The gum is pretty good. It hasn't lost all of its flavor yet, though it is pretty weak. The Larabar was not good at all. I received the Coconut Cream Pie flavor and it was just not enjoyable.  The texture of it wasn't bad, maybe I just need to try a different flavor. I put the lip shine on when I was making my video and it still looks and feels great. The applicator is nice and smooth. I just put the nails on; the box says they are supposed to last for a week* (when applied properly). I received red ones, and I love the color. The only thing I don't like about these is some of the edges are not cut properly. Some of them are a little jagged. They seem to be lasting through all this typing pretty well though!

I will probably write some more when I've had time to sample all of the products, but so far I'm liking all of them (minus the Larabar).


If you would like to receive your own VoxBox from Influenster, just go to Influenster.com! It's completely free and you get awesome stuff in the mail!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gift Giving

Why do people exchange presents on Christmas? Do they give gifts just because they are expecting one in return or do they give gifts because they love to see the recipient's face light up when they open it? I'm like most people- I do enjoy unwrapping presents, but that is not the only reason I enjoy Christmas. The gift giving itself is what I enjoy most. I love giving people presents. I love finding something that they will like and seeing the reaction on their faces when they find out what it is.

I can't say what I've bought for people this year, because there is a small chance they might read this and find out, but I can't wait for Christmas to get here so I can give them their presents. Half the fun of giving someone the perfect gift is hunting for it. And if you can't find perfect, settling for great is always okay (: There are at least three presents that I'm very excited about this year. Is it weird that I'm excited about presents that aren't even mine?

I think one of the reasons people do not like gift giving on Christmas is because they think "what if the person I bought this for doesn't love it as much as I do?" That is something that always worries me as well. I like to think it's the thought that counts and you should be happy that person thought of you in the first place. I don't know. I just like giving things to people. And what's the big deal? Christmas only comes once a year; if you ever need an excuse to be thoughtful/sweet/romantic/funny here it is!

And I know that Christmas isn't just about presents! I love the entire holiday: the lights, the food, the music, the family, the friends... just everything about it! It has always been my favorite. Christmas is about being selfless and helping spread cheer. Why not give a gift and make someone you know (or don't know) happy?


Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Plan B

So recently there has been some controversy about Plan B, otherwise known as "The Morning After" pill. Currently the pill is available over the counter for those who are 17 or older. This was going to change to allow girls who are 16 and younger to be able to buy it without prescription, but as of yesterday morning, that initiative run by the FDA was overruled by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Young girls who are 16 or younger still need to have a prescription in order to buy the pills and common knowledge tells us that oftentimes getting a prescription can take multiple days to do. The pill is called the "morning after" pill, not the "couple of days after" pill. What good will it do by the time they actually get the prescription? I do not agree with Sebelius' choice. Many people have said that girls that age shouldn't even be buying Plan B- they shouldn't have a need for it, and while I agree, that's not going to stop them from having sex. Whether or not they can buy the pill without prescription is not going to stop them from having sex. If they're going to do it, they're going to do it.

One of Sebelius' reasons for denying the change was that younger girls will not know how to use the pill properly. She claims "there are significant cognitive and behavioral differences between older adolescent girls and the youngest girls of reproductive age". It seems simple enough to use to me. The directions say to take the pill as soon as possible withing 72 hours of unprotected sex. Wow. So hard to understand. This issue has actually come up multiple times, and every single time is has been a political decision to not allow Plan B to be available OTC.

The medical experts have it right and the politicians just need to butt out. I don't think anyone really wants their 11 or 12 year old child having sex, I know I wouldn't, but wouldn't you want them to have a chance to be safe about it if they did?

So I'm curious, what are your thoughts on Plan B being available OTC? Should young girls be able to use emergency contraception without a prescription, or do you believe they aren't mature enough to handle it on their own? Comment below and vote on the poll!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Guess I'll Go Eat Worms...

Nobody likes me,
                Everybody hates me,
                                Guess I’ll go eat worms…

I don't remember how old I was when I first heard this saying. It never made much sense to me either. Go eat worms? Why should anyone go eat worms just because no one likes them? Such a sad and lonely song and yet I remember singing it quite often when I was younger. I never really felt like I was part of a group of friends. In elementary school and junior high I had a group of friends to hang out with, but I always felt like they were the group, and I was just the weird kid that hung out around them.

When I was younger, I wasn't one of the popular kids, I wasn't attractive (as far as little girls go), and I definitely wasn't fashionable. I cringe when I look at older pictures of myself... especially school pictures! Oh my gosh what was I thinking?! Or more accurately, in most cases, what was my mother thinking? Haha, I'm sure we all have those pictures... or at least I'd like to think everyone else does too :P  Though I'm sure my appearance wasn't the only thing that kept me from making friends.

I'm just not inherently a social person. I sometimes feel like I have to push myself out there when I'm around friends. It's gotten much better over the years. This is the first year I've felt really surrounded by friends. I met an amazing guy in March 2010 and ever since then my life has gotten immensely better. My "group" of friends has grown and over-flowed. I do still feel like I'm on the outside looking in sometimes, but I'm working on blocking those thoughts out. I have so many new people in my life and I am thankful for every one of them. It's nice to feel wanted. Necessary. I think that's something everyone looks for in life.

P.S.
  School photo examples to come soon... when I'm not so tired -.-

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Disney Princesses

Okay, so I thought I'd share this to get other people's opinions on it. I'm sure you all remember how controversial the new Black Disney princess was in The Princess and the Frog. How people were saying their children would be able to relate better to her because of her race, and then there was the whole issue about how the prince wasn't Black and why couldn't they just have a Black couple? Why can't you people just be happy and enjoy the movie? I know when I was little I wasn't thinking "Ariel is White, I guess I can relate to her better". It kind of made me angry when the news would interview little girls and they would spew out lines obviously given by their parents "I can relate to her better because she's Black". Am I saying making a Disney Princess Black was a bad thing? No, of course not. I think it was a great idea, it's just the fact that everyone made such a huge deal about it. Yes, it was a good thing to do, but you shouldn't make your kids believe that the only way to relate to someone is if they are the same race as you. That's just sending out entirely the wrong message.

Well anyway, now I've heard rumblings of wanting a "plus-size" princess. What are your thoughts on this? I personally do not think this would be a good idea. Sure it might make some little girls out there feel better about their weight, but there are too many things that can go wrong. If they make another White princess people will be mad because we have too many of those, but if it's any other race, people of that race might get mad because they are portraying their race as fat. Also, if you make the prince fat too, people will get mad because then you are saying only fat people can marry fat people. There is just no way to make everyone happy, and of course the children who are just trying to enjoy the story will get pulled into the mess as well.

This is not an official Disney princess, just something someone drew. I think she's quite pretty, and I see nothing wrong with her, but so many other people will. They will tear her apart, and who wants to see that to happen to a Disney Princess?

Original can be found here

Monday, November 21, 2011

Finally Finals!

Ah yes, the finals week. Something every student looks forward to and dreads at the same time. Finals week brings both good and bad with it. Good, because it means the end of the quarter and beginning of the holidays, bad because of all those filthy final exams that come with it! This was my first quarter at CSUB and I think it went fairly well. A's and B's. I've already taken a final for my micro economics class- got an 88% on it. Not too bad. Right now I'm supposed to be writing an essay for my multicultural communication final... not going so well actually as I have decided to write this blog instead (: I'm not worried about it though, as soon as I decide to start it, it will get done quickly.

The last final I have is on Wednesday- Finite Mathematics. Something else I'm not worried about either seeing as I get to use a full page of notes. You know, I was actually nervous about starting up at a new school. I thought it was going to be too hard, or I wouldn't make any friends, or, or... well you know, all the normal new school fears, but this quarter has been really good for me. I've actually put myself out there and made new friends, and got good grades. These last few months in general have been good. I can honestly say I'm happy right now- would be happier if I had a job to keep me busy over the holiday, but I guess I can't complain too much.

Just one and a half months until this year is over and it's goodbye 2011, hello 2012. Just think, if the world ends in 2012 like they say it will, I will have spent my entire life in school. Joy. I, personally, do not believe in this, but I guess to each his own. We'll find out soon enough! I know I'm settled for the after-life, so I'm none too worried (:



Well, good luck to everyone who is cursed with finals this week! I hope you all do well!

Much love,
Ashley

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Decisions... decisions...

Thank you all for your feedback on my little experiment! This has really been an eye opener. $100/hr. All I have to say is wow. Most of the responses I got were on facebook, so I would like to post them on here too.

Russell Thome AWESOME!!!!!!!
Raul Hernandez wtf, i need some gas money, let me borrow your sign
Sharan Kaur who needs a job when you can earn money this way ;) lol hey should have done it for a longer time so that way you could've gotten more money and made it hard for chris..lol
Angel Guess Amick Job well done. You go girl.
Alyssa Wilson LOVE it!!!
Diane Price Damn. More then I thought! I should go do that!
Mark Wilson Impressed. Well done.
Michael Paul Amick omg, I knew those guys on the corner lived better than me!
Ashley Kersten wow. seriously wow. now i know what to do on my days off =P
Ronda Amick Ashley I never thougt you would do it. I loved the story. Great job and happy you are sharing it with the world. We need more happy news in all our lives.
Hannah Rodriguez damn! see why people just sit out and freaking beg?
Mansoor Al-Mansoor Great job Ashley, now cab this be considered a hobby? If so I'd like to pick it up. I wonder what would happen if you added international?
Alyssa Wilson Seriously, this was brilliant! You may have started something here...
Whitney Schallock I agree this could be something! You should submit this to the newspaper or somewhere!
Lana D. Robertson What Whitney said!! :)

My favorite, and yes, I'm allowed to pick favorites, was Paul's response : "I knew those guys on the corner lived better than me!" And that was one of the things I was trying to prove with this whole thing. Yes, I'm sure there are some actual homeless people out there, but the one's that aren't homeless (and how can you really tell?), they're not doing half bad, at least not from what I can tell. Now, the big decision I have to make is what to do with the money.

I was starting to feel bad about it. I just took money from all of these people. I was thinking maybe donating it to the homeless shelter or something. Then I came to the conclusion to keep it. I was given this money under the premise that I'm a college student. It wouldn't feel right to take the money and go out to dinner, or to the movies with it or anything like that, so I put it all in my savings account, even the handful of change. I'm not without need; I'm sure there are other people who could benefit from this money as well, but I am going to save it for next quarter. I need a little extra help right now. I will spend it on school and books, because that's what my sign implied. I feel good about this decision.

So thank you all for reading! P.S. Chris did not keep up his end of the bet, and because of this I have to agree with Jessica and Mark.  Jessica Angeline Olivares After all your hard work?!?!? I say you boycott him! Mark Wilson Occupy Chris!! Perhaps I shall.... >:P

Monday, November 14, 2011

End of an Experiment

"I usually don't, but you're a student.... At least you say you are."

This guy made my day. This started out as just a bet with Chris about $45 dollars, but the more I thought about it, the more I started thinking about what this means. This was a social experiment. I stood out on the off ramp of Northbound 99 at Rosedale Highway from 11:20 am to 12:40 pm (approximately) and I made $103.76... and a bag of trail mix! Granted, I found two pennies on the ground, but I think they still count :P That's more than I used to make in a month at my last job.

The reason that guy, the last guy who gave me money, made my day was because that's exactly what I was looking for. People will give their money away to "homeless" people without even blinking, and I was claiming to be a college student. I was really wondering if anyone was even going to question it, and apparently some did, but this guy gave me a couple of dollars anyway.

My sign said "Full-Time College Student Anything Helps!" I wrote out a few other ideas, but this one set with me the best, and apparently it worked pretty well.

The grand total is one 20 dollar bill (I was so shocked by this), seven 5's, forty-five 1's and a hand-full of change. I only got positive feedback from people. I got a "good luck with your studies". One man (who I believe is responsible for the $20) asked me which school I went to and told me this was a great idea. Another woman asked how old I was, and when I responded "21" she said "oh, you look like you're 12!... that's a compliment by the way!" Another woman told me "God Bless," and another man commented "What a way to make a living!"

In the beginning I wasn't sure I was going to make very much, my goal was to get at least $45 so I could beat Chris, but after I got the $20, there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to make it. I didn't know exactly how much I had, because I hadn't been counting, but today was a really great experience. I was nervous that I was going to get quite a bit of negative feedback (I don't know why I thought this, but I did). It turned out well in the end.


This is what I looked like, only I had on my back-pack too (gotta put the money somewhere!)


So now I am waiting for Chris to get off work so I can show him the money... and he can pay up! If he keeps his end of the deal, I will be 206 dollars richer at the end of today (: On a side note, I am so glad I put some sun-block on my face...


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Helping The "Homeless"

With so many people on the side of the road these days holding signs up that say things like "Homeless," "Stranded," and the like, how do you know who to give your money to that actually need it? There have been stories in the news about people who are pretending to be homeless and actually making hundreds of dollars a day by standing on the side of a busy road. I have seen with my own eyes "homeless" people taking shifts on a street corner. The worst is the so called "stranded" people who only need "a couple of dollars" for a bus ride home and are still there week after week.

So I've been thinking. If people are so inclined to give their money to these fakers, then would they be willing to actually help someone who would actually put the money to good use? Say, a broke college student who is having a hard time getting a job? A person who is actually trying to better herself by getting an education? There will be no lies, no schemes, no faking it.

"Full-time college student. Anything helps."

I brought this idea up to Chris earlier today and he said I should do it. Of course we had to make this into a bet. He doesn't think I will even get $45 out of it in a day. I'm going to wait till next weekend to try out my plan, just because I am generally too busy during the week, especially since I'm going to start volunteering at the S.P.C.A. this week. If you have space in your loving home, please adopt a dog or cat (: I know there website is crap, and I think I'm going to have to talk to them about it, but that doesn't change the fact that the animals there need lovins!




On a side note: also thinking about starting up an illegal paper writing business... got a paper you need done for class? Want an A? Send me the details ;)

Monday, October 24, 2011

When Zombies Attack

Chris and I have recently discovered the television series The Walking Dead on Netflix. Okay, before I get scolded, Chris discovered it, and just shared it with me. We finished all six episodes of the first season in less than 48 hours. Needless to say, we like it. I've seen a few zombie movies before this show, like Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later, it's sequel 28 Weeks Later, and Zombie Land. Zombie Land was more on the comical side, but I still really enjoyed it.

Any who, the reason I bring this all up is because I have found myself thinking in terms of "zombie apocalypse" lately. Last week Chris had hurt his feet at work and wasn't walking very well and later that day I found myself thinking, "Well, I hope the zombie apocalypse doesn't happen now, Chris won't be able to run very well." Another day, I was at the gas station getting ready to fill up a precariously low gas tank and I was thinking, "This would be a terrible time for a zombie apocalypse to happen- I wouldn't get very far in this car." Of course what brought up this thought at the gas station was seeing a lady limping towards the station out of the corner of my eye. I've seen quite a few scary movies, and I have always known I would be one of the first to die if something horrible took place.



Scary movies can make you pretty paranoid! Or at least they can make me pretty paranoid, haha. Season two recently came out, but neither of us have cable! How horrible is that? I bought the first episode on Amazon for $1.99, just because I couldn't wait, and of course the ending was a cliffhanger! Now I feel like I will have to buy the whole season lol, unless we can find a better way to watch it that is. I think I need to do some research. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, you should, no NEED to watch this series. It is awesome! Trust me, it's worth the nightmares (:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Space Travel


Imagine this:
A new planet has been been discovered. It is said that this planet can sustain human life. It will take 30 years to get there. Do you go?

Chris and I went to Spencer's Cafe, and yes Chris, it's our cafe, for breakfast one morning last weekend and he brought this up. He always brings up the most random situations. For this scenario I said yes. Who wouldn't want to go to a different planet?! In this situation there is a trip back, so you might leave when you're 21 (my age), get there when you're 51, and leave, lets say, at 60. That means you won't get back to Earth until you're 90! Would I still go? I think so. It would be an amazing opportunity.

Next scenario:
Same situation. Only it will take 50 years to get there so, obviously, there is no trip back. Do you go?

Again, I would have to say yes. Being one of the first people to live on a new planet would be, again, an amazing opportunity. Getting to live your life out where no one has ever done it before would be awesome. You would be a whole new kind of pilgrim.

Next scenario:
A new planet has been discovered. There is a 50/50 chance that life on this planet is sustainable for humans. It takes 30 years to get there, and it is a one-way trip. Do you go?

We talked about a few little details, like how it is possible to live on the spacecraft if the planet is inhabitable, and how they found out that there is a possibility for life by using spectroscopy. This one was a bit harder to answer though. I mean, who wants to live out the rest of their life on a cramped space ship? I think I would still go though. Because what if. 

What do you think?


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Growing Up

What do you want to do when you grow up?

This is a question generally asked to children. In elementary school, the answer might be "a princess". A junior high school student might answer "a basketball star". As a high school student, this question becomes more and more surreal. It's no longer an idea, but a goal. But what happens if you don't have an answer yet? I experienced this realization my senior year of high school. Graduation was getting closer and the question "what do you want to be when you grow up?" wasn't going to apply to me for much longer. I was going to be all grown up before I knew it... and I still didn't have an answer.

I was left to scrounge and stumble. To hurry and try to find something that interested me enough to pursue it. School has always been easy for me; I'm a great student, but you can't get paid to go to school, at least not that I know of. I jumped from one idea to another. Maybe I could be a book editor? I loved reading books, and was always happy to proof-read my friend's homework. Or maybe I could be a veterinarian? I have always loved animals, and I'm around them all the time, so why not? But maybe I could be a graphic designer... So many ideas swimming through my head, but not one really stuck with me. I didn't know what to do.

I ended up going to Bakersfield College and getting my Associates Degree in Digital Arts. Why? Because I didn't know what to do. I got all A's in my design classes (like that was hard), but I never really felt confident with my work. My first ideas were never good enough. The only reason I was ever satisfied with my work was after my professors came by and gave me some pointers. And feeling this lack of confidence was what led me to change my major when attending Cal State Bakersfield. I was thinking about pursuing a degree in animal science, so I could become a vet tech, but they don't have any agriculture classes at CSUB. Can you believe that? A university in an ag community with no ag classes!

So now I'm majoring in business. Why? Because I don't know what else to do. That's right. I'm still lost. I'm thinking about getting my Bachelors in business and then going to get certified as a vet tech. I think I would really enjoy that job. So maybe I'm not as lost as I originally thought I was. I used to work at a vet hospital as a Kennel Assistant- cleaning up poo, but I really enjoyed the environment and being around the animals. Animals have it pretty easy if you ask me. They get served their food and water. They can poop wherever they please and have someone else pick it up, and they get brushed and bathed when needed!

That's it! The next time someone asks me what I want to be when I grow up, I'm going to say a cat!


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pigs and Mud

Many people don't know this, but pigs don't sweat. There's been many times when I've told someone this (*cough cough* Chris) and they have responded with the phrase "sweating like a pig". I don't know where this saying comes from, but it is entirely inaccurate. Pigs have very little sweat glands. So while they might, on the off chance, sweat, it's definitely not going to be enough to actually help with cooling down.

So, my reason for bringing this up? My brother's pigs have been at the fair for the last 2 weeks or so, and today they were brought home. All nice and clean; they were almost cute! We unloaded them off the trailer and put them into their pens. Since they hadn't been in the pens for the last couple of weeks, we haven't been maintaining their mud puddles. And since pigs can't sweat, these poor piggies were hot and tired! So after I wired the pens closed I got the water hose out and let them have it. It was one of the most hilarious things I have ever seen!

It almost makes me sad to see what cute personalities pigs have. I started spraying water under the first pigs shelter in her pen, and she started going crazy! Jumping around under the water and plopping down into it and rolling around. I sprayed under there for a good 10 minutes or so I'm sure. She was having a blast, and finally, after she was good and muddy again (I think she's cuter cleaner :P), she just sat down under the spray. Just plopped her (big) booty down and just sat there with her eyes only slightly open. It was the cutest thing ever. I sprayed the water a little longer for her because she was enjoying it so much. The other pig enjoyed the mud and water as well, but he reaction wasn't as cute as hers.

So, we had two pink piggies earlier, and now we have two brown ones again. But at least they're nice and cool! And now that you've read this, you might be thinking well, if I'm not sweating like a pig, what am I sweating like? Well, assuming that you use that phrase when you're sweating profusely, you're most likely sweating like a horse! Now those things can sweat! If you decide to ride bare-back, you might just want to throw on a blanket too if it's hot outside!... unless you want to learn the hard way like I did...


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gypsy Time Travelers

Storytelling is an integral part of life, and human history for that matter. Before the written word, history was passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. Of course, not being written down did leave it open to more human error. Aside from being used to recall the past, storytelling was also used as a form of entertainment and joy.

Amery and the Last Dragon:
Long, long ago, there lived a young girl named Amery. Amery's family ran a farm for the King of a great land and she loved her family and life on the farm. But a terrible plague brought sadness to her life and she found herself an orphan. She and the other orphans were put into a wagon to be taken to a city far away, to be cared for in a foundling home. Stubborn and determined as Amery was, she ran away to take care of the farm herself. Unfamiliar with the roads and woods so far from her home, she soon got lost. It began to rain and she sought shelter in a cave. The cave was deep and very warm, it ended in a dazzling cavern full of treasure and books and scrolls.
This is an excerpt from one of the many amazing stories told by Christine Horne. If you haven't heard one of the stories of the Gypsy Time Travelers (previously known as Pound Iron) then you are definitely missing out. The story above is passed out to children on a scroll of paper along with small colored stones called dragon tears. Currently they are at the Kern County Fair. The first time I ever saw them was at the fair many, many years ago. They hadn't been back in a while, because they were busy travelling the planet, and I was so surprised when I saw them there this year! Even more so when she recognized me!  Her and her husband run the show- her telling stories while he does work in the background as a blacksmith. They pass out tickets before the show and raffle off what he makes during the show at the end. I've seen the show so many times, and I'm sure I still haven't heard all of her stories.



If you get the chance, visit their website, find out when they're going to be near you, and go watch their show! Even if you don't win anything at the end, it is still a great experience. They are such nice people and very entertaining. Storytelling is a great gift and I'm glad I found out about them when I did.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Day at the Fair

We encounter millions, no, billions of different smells throughout the course of our lives. Smells that help create memories. A certain smell can take you back in time. There is a smell that I look forward to every year, and that is the smell of the fair. I've gone to the fair every year since I was old enough to. My family has been involved with 4-H and FFA since my older sister was old enough to show... so since I was about seven.

To me, the fair isn't about rides, and food (though the food is always a plus). The fair is about family. I go there to just spend time with my family and enjoy the atmosphere. And it's not just my immediate family that is involved, it's my aunts and uncles and cousins and my cousin's children. Everyone. Every year, that first day walking into the fair, the first thing that always gets me, is the smell. The smell brings it all back. I know a lot of people think the fair smells bad, but it will always be one of my favorite smells. Growing up on a farm, my tolerance for "stink" is a different from a lot of people's. But what's funny is, it's not a conscious thing. I don't walk to to fairgrounds with my nose out waiting to sniff the air, haha. It's more like I walk onto the fairgrounds and it just hits me, and I always have to smile.

My sister and I are too old to show now unfortunately, but my little brother, Matthew, is still at it. This year he showed two sheep, a goat, and two pigs. A pretty big load. I really enjoy going out to watch him show, helps me feel connected... and I'm pretty sure he appreciates it just a little bit :P I like to think my brother and I have actually gotten closer since we've gotten older. We don't argue as much, and obviously don't beat each other up playing Power Rangers anymore. 

My typical day at the fair: watch someone show their animals, walk around and look at exhibits, hang out with family, eat a deep pit sandwich (so bomb), and hang out with the random friends that come by. The fair isn't just a one day thing for me, it's more of a second home. 

And here are some of the silly things we do (:


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hello!!!

If you're reading this... leave a comment and let me know? (:

Add sugar, and stir... a lot

Grandma's are the best. Enough said.

Last Saturday, September 10th, my grandma and I made homemade blackberry jam together. I love days like this where I get to spend time with her. A while back my mother told me something my grandma told her about me, "I really enjoy cooking with her". I knew my grandma loved me, like all grandmother's love their grandchildren, but that just made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. My grandma also told me that it would be sad for me to move out, because she looks forward to cooking dinner with me in the evenings.

Well on this particular morning, I woke up and went to my grandma's house- she lives right next door to us on a 20 acre farm. We were going to make jam together like we had planned the night before, and she had already started without me... like she usually does. My grandma always makes me feel so lazy! She will tell me what time we're going to start doing something in the morning, say 8 o'clock, and I will get to her house at 8 and she will already have been up for an hour or so and started without me! Making jam is relatively easy to do, but it's not a sit and wait sort of thing. Especially when you pick your own fruit to go in it!

Ingredients:
  • 5 Cups Crushed Blackberries
  • 7 Cups Sugar
  • Fruit Pectin (Sure Jell)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Butter/Margarine
Preparation:
  • Wash all jars and lids.
  • Crush the berries (potato mashers work well). Sieve 1/2 of the pulp to remove some of the seeds (if desired).
  • Place flat part of lids into pot of water, and keep hot on the stove.
Directions:

STIR!
  1. Put blackberries in a large pot, set stove on high. Start stirring!
  2. Stir pectin into the fruit.
  3. Add butter/margarine (to reduce foaming).
  4. Continue stirring until mixture is at full rolling boil.
  5. Stir in sugar "quickly".
  6. Bring to rolling boil once again and boil for 1 minute (whilst stirring). Once it gets to a rolling boil, you may turn off the heat as it tends to splash more, and will burn you. Doing this will reduce splatter. You are finished stirring!
  7. Take pot off heat and scrape off any foam.
  8. Use ladle to fill jars with jam. Fill almost all the way to the top because it will "shrink".
  9. Wipe jar rims and threads. Use tongs to remove lids from hot water and cover the jars. Screw bands on tightly!
  10. Let settle upside-down on a flat surface. 
You just made jam! This recipe will make about 9 cups of jam, so make sure you have enough jars if you're going to attempt. My grandma never likes to do anything small, so we did 4 or 5 batches. Made around 20-30 jars full (all different sizes). It's best to do it with someone to help, that way while you're stirring they can get other things ready (:
before boiling Stirring A jar not filled all the way Grandma stirring Lots of sugar sugar and butter heating the lids

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Second Chance?

No more tears.

I’ve made it through one whole day in the past two weeks without crying. Granted one of those days I wasn’t crying because of my break-up with Chris. I had a fight with my mom. It was the first time I had ever really yelled at my mother- that I can remember. And it’s all because of this silly blog. I’m not going to go any further into that, but I can assure you that my mom and I are fine now.

Yesterday was Prime Cut Night. Every Wednesday I meet up with my friends there and we catch up on things. Well, I actually mean “our” friends. Meaning mine and Chris’. The last time I went to Chris’ house was to return his things. It wasn’t an easy task. He invited me in and we greeted each other. I was okay, and then he asked me how I was. Truthfully, I was not good. Not at all. I didn’t know how to react to that. How do you tell the person who broke your heart how you’re doing? I wasn’t able to stay long before the tears came again, and I felt awful for crying in front of him. So, I left just as quickly as I came.

I had already missed a Wednesday night because I knew he was going to be there and I knew I wouldn’t be able to be around him and keep myself together. I really wanted to go last night, so I made plans to meet up at his house earlier that day. I wanted to test myself around him, and I figured it would be better to do it just the two of us, instead of in front of everyone. Things were going good. I had been there for at least half an hour and I didn’t have to fight hard at all to keep the tears at bay. The conversation seemed to be flowing easily. All I could think about was how happy I was to be able to be around him again.

Then the conversation turned. He really opened up to me. I had done away with any thoughts of us being together again, because I never thought he would want me back, but as he kept talking, that seemed like the direction it was going. I didn’t want to jump to any conclusions so I just told him straight out, “I need to know where this is going, because I could fall back into your arms so easily right now”. And that’s where it went.

So we’re back together, but I’ve changed so much in these past two weeks. I realized a lot about myself, and I’ve figured out what I need to do to keep myself happy in a relationship… or so I hope :P I hope Chris can deal with the new improved me, though I’m sure she’s not too different from the old one. To end this on a happy note- I’m back with my Chris, and the future is looking bright (:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Blisters

Thinking about him is like having a five day old blister on the inside of your thumb. You no longer suffer the pain from the initial popping and tearing of the skin, but every once in a while you'll stretch your hand too far open and a tiny fissure will rip open, leaving you bleeding once again. And to make matters worse, that little blister on your thumb comes from a happier time. A time when thinking about him only brought smiles. A time when you were using a staple gun to fix the backyard fence to keep the neighbor's dog in the neighbor's yard.

I woke up thinking about him, like I have every morning since we started going out. And for the first time in four days I was able to do so without any tears forming in my eyes. The blister is healing. I know it's there, but it doesn't hurt to touch it anymore. I've been waiting for the day when I can make it a whole 24 hrs without crying. I almost did it yesterday, but when I got home from the movie theater with my friend Kris (he hadn't seen Harry Potter yet and needed someone to go with), I decided to test how much my blister had healed, and I stretched my thumb a little farther than I should have by texting Chris. I knew it would hurt, but it hurt more than I thought it would. The tears came yet again.

But today is the day. I will not cry today. I am going to force my blistered, broken heart to heal once and for all. I love this man, but I'm done crying over him.

I think it's time to return his things.

*Edit 6:44PM:  Mission failed. I don't think I'll ever stop crying.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Future Forgotten

Dear Chris,

I'm sorry I couldn't be the woman you wanted.

Sincerely,
Your Recently Ex-Girlfriend

We were perfectly un-perfect for each other, and I knew it from the beginning. The way he described his perfect woman was nothing like the way you would describe me, but I held on, thinking things would work out. Almost a year and a half passed before we finally came to this realization together. We sat down on his bed- our bed- and we talked about the things that worked and didn't work about "us"... mostly the things that didn't. I wouldn't say he broke up with me, or that I broke up with him, only that "we broke up". I cried and cried last night. Yes, this only happened yesterday, but I woke up at 6:30 this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. Whereas I finally got my mind to stop thinking about him long enough last night for my swollen eyes to let me drift asleep, it seemed impossible this morning.

By the time my best friend drove me home, my whole family already knew. And I already knew that the whole future I had planned out for myself was over. I could already see myself married to him. Having his children. Living in Santa Barbara... Chris, on the other hand did not. At least not with me. What am I going to do now? So much of what I have done in my life thus far has been for him. So I could prove myself to him... and to myself as well. I don't feel completely without purpose though. Because of him I finally feel like I have a direction in life.

I know this break-up was probably for the better for both of us, but I don't want it to be. I love him. I don't want to let him go. He says this isn't the end of us, just the end of our romantic relationship... but I don't know if I can. I gave him back his house key. That was one of the hardest things I had to do. I don't know if I can go back to his house again. There are too many memories there. How am I not supposed to look up the stairs to our bedroom and not imagine him with someone else up there...?

I'm shattered and broken and feeling so lost without him, but I refuse to break down again. I had to de-Chris my bedroom last night before I could sleep. Shove all his things into a trashbag to be returned... though I don't know when I'll be able to do that. Even when I thought I got all of it, right before I laid down I saw a picture on the wall from Disneyland- my birthday, our third month anniversary.

I really don't know where to end this post. I guess here is as good a place as any...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Number 2... and a tattoo?

Alrighty then, blog post number two.

I have always been number two in my family (I'm pretty sure it's because I was born second). And having one older sister and one younger brother, I also suffered from that so called "Middle Child Syndrome". Tiffany got to do everything first, because she was the oldest, and Matthew, being the youngest and the baby of the family, got all the "special treatment".

I was always told to learn from my sister's mistakes. My parents rules always applied to her first. "No boyfriend until you're 16," "no piercings other than you ears," "no tattoos!!!!!," "no drinking," "no smoking," etc. All pretty normal rules for children. Well, since my sister was the oldest, and I seemed to be the "goody-good" as my little brother always referred to me as, Tiffany got the most preaching done to her: "Stand up straight!" Tiffany, being well over six feet tall, was always getting told to stand up straight. No one ever told me, because I wasn't tall enough to be bothered with, and so I developed a slouch (which I've been trying to correct -sits up straighter a little straighter-).

But that's the way it's always been. I would hear my parents telling Tiffany the things she shouldn't/isn't allowed to do, but it was usually directed at her and not myself. Now I know I can't use that as an excuse for what happened on my 19th birthday, but it really sticks out in my mind. When I turned 19 I got a tattoo without telling my parents. Now, it might not seem like that big of a deal- a 19 year old getting a tattoo- but for me it was a big step in establishing my "adult-ism". When I came home and showed my parents, one of the first things they said was, "How many times did we tell Tiffany no tattoos?". Well that's nice, but you never told me no tattoos. Of course I didn't say that to them, but I was definitely thinking it.


But that's all in the past and since then, I think my parents have been more forward with trying to lay down the law, so to speak. I'm 21 now, still living with my parents unfortunately, but plotting my escape. As soon as I can afford it, I will be free.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Organized Chaos

ox·y·mo·ron /ˌäksəˈmôrˌän/
Noun: A figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction (e.g., faith unfaithful kept him falsely true)

I've always loved this word for some reason. Oxymoron. Haha, even the word oxymoron itself is an oxymoron. Anyway, what brings this to mind has to do with my weekend plans. I'm going camping with my family. Whenever there is a big family trip planned, there is always, always organized chaos! My mother will try to her hardest to get us kids ready to go, and will always try to organize the supplies (and us) the best way she can, but it always ends up being pretty chaotic. She'll end up yelling, and we always end up packing last minute anyways.

I've learned over the years to just ignore her impatience. I know she doesn't mean anything by it. I try my best to stay on her good side, but sometimes you've just got to sit there and take it. This time the chaos has been kept to a minimum. Everyone was on their best behavior! We've got our bags mostly packed and a bunch of camping supplies sitting out in the living room.

Don't get me wrong, I love going on trips with my family, it's the getting ready for those trips that is the difficult part :P Once we get going on the road, everything gets settled! I guess it's a good thing that my mother can be so strict at these times, that way we don't end up being completely unprepared [<--oxymoron (; ].

Well, this is my first post, and I'm leaving in the morning to go on another adventure! Hopefully I will be able to stay on my mother's good side. Wish me luck!
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