Sunday, January 31, 2010

Life is lovely, but confusing

So, I mentioned some of my plans for this year, the main ones being: taking some CLEP tests and looking into selling things on

But I find now that I'm in the middle of a continuous loop of possibilities (all contingent on each other) and I don't know what I should do.

First of all I made a list, just to organize the swirl of thoughts going through my head and managed to cross a few decisions off the list -some of the purchasing/expense ones.

I pondered getting a car. I believe I could afford it, and it would occasionally be convenient. However, for the most part, at this point I simply can't justify driving it to work when it's so much more practical and convenient for Dad to drop me off. In short, it's not worth it for the amount I would use it. So, that's out of the picture for now.

My computer's wireless system is screwed up. It's not worth the money to pay to have this one fixed, so that leaves me with the option of finding a refurbished MacBook for $800-some. Once again, I could afford it, but I'm using this with a USB wireless adapter at home and plugging it in at work, so that's an expense that should wait until there's a stronger need for it.

I wanted a newer iPod. It would be cool to have one of the brand-new 5th generation ones with a video camera and FM radio, or one of the refurbished 16G 4th gen. ones from Apple for $119. Tempting. And totally unnecessary. I really don't use my iPod nearly enough to get that. It's almost full, but I did some clearing off and it's got some more space on it now. Anymore I find myself listening to music on or from my iTunes library straight off my computer anyway.

Hmm...I thought I was considering buying more than that. *hops up to grab the list off the desk*

Oh, right, camera lenses. Well, I'm thinking I'll probably go ahead and buy one or two if I can find good deals on eBay. I can't think of any particular reason not too. I want a telephoto lens for sure, and would like to get a nice macro one as well.

So, I disposed of some expenditures and sanctioned others, including my plan to join the YMCA next week. My grandparents are going three times a week because they have a membership that their insurance pays for because it's part of a health program...or something. At any rate, Grandma mentioned that all of this month the Y wasn't charging a joining fee, so if I was interested I should join now. Oh, ok. Multiple times over the past five years or so I've thought it would be nice to join, but didn't have any way to get there, or couldn't afford it. Now I can do both. I can get a ride with my grandparents a couple days a week when I'm not working and go on some evenings and weekends when I can get our car, and it's only $29 a month for membership, and you pay monthly so I could drop it any time if I needed to.
I called over there yesterday to find out if they were extending the time for the special because it was likely they would be closed this weekend because of the snow. The British guy (!!! British? Here? At our end of town? wow) who answered the phone told me that yes, they were extending the special until the 6th because even if they were open they didn't want people rushing out in the snow just to sign up in time. So I'll go over there sometime next week and sign up.

Now to the remaining, (more important) things I'm trying to figure out. Um, life? Yup, that about sums it up. Trying to figure out life. Having a mild case of the "what am I going to do with my life?" syndrome that most people my age have. :) Mine's rather complicated by too many "if"s though.

Obviously, my main desire is to get married and be a wife and mother. However, at the moment that's not, shall we say, looking like it's going to happen in the near future. So that's in the background, that's my main goal, whereas other people are simply heading for their chosen career. That is my chosen career, but at this point it's not dependent upon me, it's dependent on God's timing for that. the meantime, I need to be continuing with my life, all while keeping in mind that it's entirely possible for something (or someone, rather) to show up out of the blue and turn my plans upside down. Which, of course, I would be pretty happy about in the long run. :D

At the moment I have a job, but I'm not entirely sure how long it will last. Another year at least, but after that I can't be sure. I wanted to take some CLEP tests, originally thinking it would be good to have some credits so that if at some point I needed to be certified in order to homeschool I would be on my way to accomplishing that. But now I'm not sure. What classes should I CLEP out of, and which should I consider actually taking (in the future)? I don't really have time in my schedule right now to be able to take classes, but if I finish this job, I would be free to take classes, possibly classes fitting me for another job. So that's something I need to think about.

I would also be without an income at that point and needing to pay for school. So both in order to save more money for the future, and also to use my free time doing something profitable, I'm trying to figure out if there's a way I could make a little more money, but with some sort of job that I can do from home and that is flexible. I was originally thinking that I would look into selling things on Etsy...stuff like photo note cards. But I have looked into that, and I'm just not sure yet that it's possible to really make much money off of that, unless you put a LOT of work into it. So I'm trying to think of what else there is that can be done from home, but that doesn't have strict deadlines or anything, because I'd have to do it around my main (albeit, part-time) job.

In regard to the plans being turned upside down at any moment, I realized I have things I should get done while I have time. Just little things. Arranging a cookbook, sewing napkins, researching sewing machines so I have my own when I move out. Silly little things like that, but things I would prefer to have done before getting married, because it would all pile up, along with so many other things that would have to be done. So, that's something I definitely want to keep working on, aside from whatever else I decide to do.

So I'm left with trying to figure out:

Now: which CLEP tests to take
Now: what other work to be doing (suggestion would be welcome if anyone knows of something I haven't thought of)
Future: school
Future: future job

But they're all kind of dependent on each other, see? :P

The one thing I do know is that I'm going to pray about this, and whatever I end up doing, I want to follow the Lord's leading, and also show that to others I come in contact with. I've made so many plans over the years that have either not worked out, or not worked exactly the way I would have thought, or expected, but looking back I can see how they all went exactly as they should have. :) Either there were things that were not right for me, so they didn't happen, or there were things that did happen but are now past, and I've learned from them.

From a human standpoint, I don't like it when plans don't work out. I don't want to be a failure. I want to carry through with what I've said I would do, but sometimes it just doesn't work. Also from a human standpoint I really wish right now that I knew what was going to happen because it would make my planning so much easier. But...I don't. And I'd better learn now to trust what God has planned for me and to follow only as far as I can see and quit worrying about the rest, because that's certainly never going to stop, no matter what happens. I'm not suddenly going to know the future! :)

So, that's what I'm dealing with right now. In between coughing. I caught a cold from my brother and it seems to have settled in my chest, so right now I am coughing excessively and trying to get rid of this blasted cold. Oh, it also snowed last night and today. :) It's very white and fluffy and pretty outside, but I think I shall stay in, since I don't want to turn this cough into....I don't know what.

In short, life is lovely, but very confusing sometimes.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

If you work for Apple I might just hug you

So, I mentioned a suspenseful tale of a dying power adapter. Stressful would be more the adjective perhaps. For me. Everyone else was probably sick of hearing me fretting about it.

The weekend before Christmas, when it snowed, I got home from work on Friday and realized that the computer hadn't been charging that day, and when I took the power adapter out of the laptop bag I saw why. The wire right by the brick was melting! Or rather, melted, as it wasn't melting while I watched it. :) Uh-oh... So I plugged it in. Nothing. *commence panicking*

There was snow on the ground, so pretty much everyplace was closed/was going to be closed the next day. The local computer repair place (the one that actually fixes Macs) was certainly not going to be open, and not necessarily going to have a power adapter on hand. Sure, the Apple store in Greensboro would probably be open and should certainly have some power adapters hanging around, but that would mean going all the way over to Greensboro....something we don't do for some reason. If there was a store in Winston, I definitely would have been headed over there to beg for a power adapter from the helpful geniuses. Yep, I said beg. I guess I'm shameless when it comes to my computer.

So...I could order one off of Amazon and get it on Monday, but it would be full price. I could try to find on eBay...nope, not going to work. I pretty much didn't want to pay for it...or certainly not full price. I hadn't done anything terrible to the cord, there was no reason it should be broken and melting like that. In that case, I decided it called for some Googling. Uh-huh, the power adapters tend to melt. Okay then! Next step: call AppleCare. Listen to weird hold music...Leonard Cohen. Then they switched to Simon and Garfunkel which was better.

Finally got to talk to a person: explain the problem, yes, I know I don't have AppleCare service for this computer anymore, but since it's a...KNOWN ISSUE... (customer service keyword) maybe they could possibly do something about it? Finally convinced the lady I talked to first to quit sounding so doubtful and transfer my get rid of me if nothing else. So she transferred me to the electrical department (at least I think that's what she called it...something that had to do with plugs and such) and I got to talk to Sean instead. Sean was helpful, Sean was calm and cheerful, Sean agreed that the power adapter shouldn't be melting and that they would send me a new one and all I had to do was send back the old one and they wouldn't charge me. If Sean had been helping me in person he quite possibly would have been hugged with gratitude. :D Well...maybe. :)

So, Apple got their end of the issue dealt with and gave me a Fedex tracking number. (Incidentally, wouldn't it be awesome to work for Apple?)

I wrapped the cord in electric tape and spent the weekend fiddling with it to get it in a position to work, and panicking when it refused to work no matter how much I wiggled it. I looked at the Fedex website on Monday, saw that it was on a truck and out for delivery. Yay! Very great rejoicing and all that. And so I waited. And waited, and jumped every time I heard what sounded like a Fedex truck...waited...all the way until 6 that evening. By 6 that evening the Fedex webpage said that they were not going to attempt delivery, so I don't know if they were too busy or if they put it on the wrong truck. (The latter has happened before.) computer was going to have to make it through another whole day because I was going to work the next day. *gulp*

It made it. The power adapter came that afternoon and when I got home I hastily unwrapped it, plugged in my dying laptop, and went off to the contra dance feeling much better. :)

I took the electrical tape off the old one before I sent it back...and this is what I found:

Some, but only some of that black is from the electrical tape. The rest of it and the frayed wires...well...I'm glad nothing caught on fire. :/

Thursday, January 07, 2010


Well, this is a bit late, but I've finally gotten around to writing my post about Christmas. :) Sadly it didn't snow for Christmas, it just rained all day instead. Christmas was very nice though. My grandparents came over after breakfast and stayed almost all day, so we opened presents and then had lunch...ham, cheesy potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls...all sort of yummy food. I made apple pie and then only ate a small slice of it on Christmas because I was full, and after that we had it out in the garage to keep cool and I kind of forgot about it. :( Oh well, I'll just have to make another one sometime soon, I guess. :D

In years past I've been bored at Christmas time, wishing we did something more exciting or had people over or something, but this year I was really happy to just relax and spend time with the family and I'm very thankful for that.
Colin got a Swiss Army knife:

And a camo umbrella:

And a new hoodie...and lots of other things too:

Awesome salt and pepper shakers Mom and Dad got!:

Picture Colin made for Mom, with Grandma's help:

More awesome presents, from my cousins...a shiny green mug, and very cool placemats with birds on them!:

It was pretty much all peaceful, apart from my grandma sneezing, and my grandpa deciding (after nearly 50 years of marriage) that he would inform her just now that he's always thought she sneezed rather loudly. At which point the rest of us were all looking rather astonished because she didn't sneeze that terribly loudly and it was just so random. That led to a discussion of sneezing that was rather amusing though. :D

New Year's Eve was also nice, and we got our 300 piece puzzle done in forty minutes. Perhaps we tackled it a bit too competitively...

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Books read in 2009

At some point this year I lost track of what month I read some books in, so I'm not going to bother dividing this into months. I think on average, for the first 6 or 7 months of the year I read about 4-5 books a month. Then my reading rate slowed dramatically for some reason and I probably only read 5 books after that. In my defense, one of them was War & know. That was about equivalent to four books right there. :D

Last year I used a rating system which was very difficult to implement. I think this year I'll just put a star by the ones that I really really enjoyed.

*Ex Libris ~Anne Fadiman

Adam Bede ~George Eliot (Rather odd book in a way, but good I guess.)

Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast ~Robin McKinley (I read this years ago and then couldn't remember what it was called. I finally found it and reread it this year. Very nice book.)

*The Man Who Was Thursday ~G.K. Chesterton (Splendid book, as most of Chesterton's are, and it had an ending that made you think. A very confusing ending it was too. I'm still not real clear on what his point was, but I definitely enjoyed it.)

The Ordinary Princess ~M.M. Kaye

*Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House ~Eric Hodgins (Very good. I'd seen the movie version a long time ago, and the book was very funny as well!)

*Tramp for the Lord ~Corrie ten Boom

*Brave New World ~Aldous Huxley (Very good as far as dystopian literature goes.)

*The House of the Seven Gables ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

*Murder Must Advertise ~Dorothy Sayers (Dorothy Sayers is always a favorite. Great mysteries and this particular book is a fun look into the advertising business.)

Lorna Doone ~ R.D. Blackmore (I quite honestly don't remember a bit of this. Hmm...I went and read a synopsis of the plot. Yeah, I think it was pretty good. For whatever reason it didn't sink in though.)

Over Sea and Under Stone ~Susan Cooper (Part of a series of fantasy books for children, but very good.)

Dark is Rising ~Susan Cooper

*The Count of Monte Cristo ~Alexander Dumas (Awesome book!)

Social Graces ~Ann Platz & Susan Wales

*Let Me Be a Woman ~Elisabeth Elliot (Very good book by Elisabeth Elliot. It's written to her daughter before or just after she got married, but it has points applicable to a single woman as well.)

*The Scarlet Pimpernel (Set during the French Revolution. Very good!)

The Murders in Volume 2 ~Elizabeth Daly (Very funny mysteries. Well-written.)

Evidence of Things Seen ~Elizabeth Daly

The Book of the Dead ~Elizabeth Daly

Captains Courageous ~Rudyard Kipling (Meh. I'm not fond of books about the sea, but this was alright I guess.)

Riki-tiki-tavi ~Kipling

The Maltese Cat ~Kipling

Nothing Can Rescue Me ~Elizabeth Daly

The House Without the Door ~Elizabeth Daly

No More Christian Nice Guy ~Paul Coughlin (He had some good points, but it wasn't well-written.)

How Canon Got Its Flash Back ~Nikkei (gave up on it for poor writing)

*War and Peace ~Leo Tolstoy (I wrote a blog post about this earlier.)

Public Enemies ~Bryan Burrough (Not bad. I saw the movie when it was in theaters here and found it interesting, so I decided to get the book and read it. The book covers a lot more than the movie did, since the movie focused mainly on Dilinger. It seems like the book started out a bit rough, but the writing was better by the end. Maybe I just got used to the author's writing style.)

Altogether I read 29 books this past year...maybe a few more that I didn't get written down. It seems like there must have been a few more this fall. Maybe not.

Currently my book list has 22 books on it that I want to read. So I need to read about two books per month...or perhaps more, because I'll come up with more I want to read throughout the year. :)

Friday, January 01, 2010

New for, 2010

And so it begins. Writing 2009 and having to correct. It should be interesting to see how long that goes on this year.

I'm going to attempt to do Project 365 this year. The idea of Project 365 is to take a picture every day for a whole year. I do tend to carry my camera a lot of places, but this might be a challenge even to my camera-obsessed self. :) I might be taking some with my camera phone, or at least my old camera which is much smaller. Whenever possible I'll use my good camera though, because I would like to get nice results from this if I can.

Further explanation of Project 365.

I set up another blog to post the photos on. My goal will be to post them daily, but I have a feeling that might not always work out.

So, Happy New Year!

Now I need to go round up my camera and start looking for a picture. :)

Catch them all here, 365 days of 2010: I Do Project 365