Made myself a quilted and zippered laptop sleeve for my Macbook Pro. The outer is quilted floral scrap fabric that I got for $1 at a vintage shop. The inside liner was a bed sheet that was outside of a thrift store in a box labeled ‘free.’ So I snagged them both, washed them, got some batting (turns out batting isn’t cheap), a zipper and stayed up until 1 am sewing like a madwoman. I’m so happy to now have something to protect my laptop and be proud of.
Went to my first ever corn maze, a five acre Willie Nelson themed one. We had the option of using handouts as guides. But me, I wanted to get lost. And that is just what I did. At one point I was busy oogling the many grasshoppers that I lost Matt. Maybe once we get our RV we’ll make it out to Cool Patch Pumpkins in Dixon, CA which has a 45 acre corn maze!
Stopped to smell the roses. No, really. Saw a random bush, pulled the car over and inhaled their simple beauty.
Curled up with Dexter and watched The Way Way Back (loved it!). Writing a lot. Enjoying the 70 degree tank and sandals weather with some open windows. Well, the weekend isn’t quite over and I have a few more things I’m itching to do.
It’s no secret that I love the rain and yesterday, after mentioning how much it was raining, I decided to go out. I went for a nice leisurely walk, let go of any heaviness and tuned into my surroundings, to the very things we often walk past without a blink of an eye. I let go of regrets, worry of presentation, and any lingering unnecessary thoughts about things I can not control. I walked the rail of nearby train tracks, went under a bridge and enjoyed the sound of a swooshing stream, fancied the many flowers I saw, let the rain glide down my cheeks and took in all the beautiful colors and little beings around. After that I sat on the floor of my apartment, looking through the open door to my balcony, and enjoyed a fresh arugula and artichoke salad while watching the rain pour. To think, I only walked less than a half mile from my apartment. There is so much beauty right in front of us, waiting for us to take a gander, reflect in the simple.
As the wise lover of nature, Henry David Thoreau once said,
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
It is said that the sun has burned nearly 4.5 billion years with another four billion estimated to go. We may or may not be around another 4 billion years. That’s a heck of a long time. But we’re here now and mustn’t take for granted the very thing that allows us to live, shows up every morning and leaves every night with a beautiful “hey there,” portrayed through its many colors and expanding rays.
The other day I said to my husband, I want to go out more and see the sun, embrace its wisdom. So that’s just what we did this weekend at our good friend, Mt. Bonnell. We brought some bits to eat and enjoyed the sunset with many other keen observers. It was so peaceful to be reminded that we are all in this together and joined by such a magnificent wonder, the sun. I also took the time to soak up the moon, lasso its glow and get a shot of it and some beautiful flowers. I find them both so enchanting and I’ll definitely be taking more time, more often, to appreciate what’s above.
:: Got a letter in the mail – I’m officially summoned for jury duty. As weird as this may sound, I’ve always wanted to do jury duty and never got called for it. I’m excited! It will give me an experience I haven’t yet been a part of. My first day of jury duty is on Matt’s birthday, Oct 7th.
:: Trying to eat what’s in my pantry, so that nothing goes to waste and so I have less to move over into the RV, once we buy. So that means lots of lentils and quinoa!
:: Been getting up earlier and earlier, enjoying the stillness and peace of the world while much else is asleep, where all I hear is the humming of my fridge and tapping of my keyboard. I’ve always called myself a night owl but I’ve come to realize, we are who we choose to be.
:: Approaching my days differently, especially after reading The Power of Less. I’m applying a lot of his tips and I’m excited to see some new habits forming and my attention being prioritized.
:: In a nice reading groove.
:: Just finished up Ricky Gervais’ new show, Derek, and absolutely loved it! Here’s the trailer for any interested (it includes some bloopers at the end).
:: Thinking that maybe I ought to value my work more because I end up doing a lot of stuff for free. Recently our dental insurance, which was just shy of $200 a month, shot up to almost $400 a month. So, we dropped it because that’s rediculious. And, of course, right after we drop it, I learn that I’m going to need a few things fixed. So I’ve been thinking of maybe selling some of the stuff I make on here (in my handcrafted section, from the tutorials I share to more and new wood carvings) on eBay. I was only thinking eBay because I have and regularly use the account and because I’m working on a long-term shop idea that I’m saving for Etsy. It would help me to possibly bring in cash to save up money for dental visits and to sock away money for our RV transition.
:: Reading some great things on the web, here are some of my favorites:
Overcoming the Social Costs of Being Different >>>
Don’t Ask What I’m Writing >>>
8 Countercultural Decisions to Find Financial Freedom >>>
How Positive Thoughts Build Skills, Boost Health, and Improve Work >>>
10 of The Most Counterintuitive Pieces of Advice From Famous Entrepreneurs >>>
7 Movies That Put Insane Detail In Stuff You Never Noticed >>>
:: Lastly, I want to say a special (and huge) thank you to my first (and totally unexpected) commission off of my blog. Miss Sarah from The Happiness Advocate asked if I’d be willing to do a custom order for a wood burned pog. Happily! And so I did and it was a blast. Thank you Sarah!
Sometimes we just need to go it alone and yesterday that’s what I did. I packed my bike in the car, a bottle of water, and dropped Matt off at work. I headed over to McKinney Falls, about a 25 minute drive from where I live in Austin. Unfortunately, Texas is still in a severe drought, so they weren’t so much falls as a little spicket of water into a pond, but I thought it was all beautiful nonetheless. I wasn’t going to let some drought and dying plants stop me from enjoying a bit of scenery.
I hiked. I biked. I got a flat tire and then walked my bike. I talked to a few people taking photos there. Otherwise there wasn’t really anyone. I ran out of water and thought about how dehydrated I was in the 110 degree weather. But I kept walking because there was a sign that said ‘ledge’ and darn it I wanted to see the ledge. Turns out there wasn’t a ledge and I figured I didn’t want to die of dehydration, especially because there was no one around at the time, so I headed back. I treated myself to a delicious smoothie because I needed the bit of sugar and liquidy goodness.
I firmly believe that life isn’t as exciting without someone to share it with (be it a significant other, best friend, family member) but there is something about taking a bit of time to explore by yourself that gives you a different perspective. It sure does for me.
:: Stop listening to all blogging advice out there.
:: Realize how unimportant SEO is. I learned this from my favorite blog, Zen Habits. While he wasn’t giving out advice when I read it, Leo shared why he doesn’t apply SEO. He’s proved, with his impressive following, that you just don’t need it. He discusses why quality always trumps SEO and marketing.
:: Not feel like I need to be “Pinterest-able.” While I share some things that may be and I have the pin it button, I don’t buy the ‘you always need a picture for your posts.’ One of my favorite posts to write was a letter to myself. I think that adding a photo to that post would have been a disservice because sometimes words paint enough of a picture.
:: Know when not to blog and to never apologize or justify needing a break. Being ‘consistent’ is overrated. After all, life isn’t consistent.
:: Write only on what I love. That being original is not a process, it’s not a step-by-step guide, a how-to. Being original is not something gained from the advice of others. It’s only achieved by being you at all times because you are original.
:: Recognize blogging envy and wipe the floor of it.
:: Realize I’m not a narcissistic attention seeker just because I blog.
:: Share only what I feel I can look back on and be proud of or will make me smile with reminiscing eyes.
:: Know that I’m enough, that we all have a story. That a post doesn’t have to be ‘planned inspiration.’ That sharing something as simple as a rainy day is enough. That I don’t have to be something. I can just be.
:: Understand that numbers aren’t a reflection of quality nor impact.
:: Learn that I’m not a category. I tried a book blog, a movie blog, a DIY blog but I realized I just want a blog. I don’t even call it a lifestyle blog because labels irk me. While I follow bloggers who do focus on certain topics, I figure, don’t we all? I focus on simple living, reading, repurposing, sustainability, travel and some others. Our passions are our focus.
:: Plan less. Although I do jot some notes in my composition book, take pictures while exploring the every day, I am coming to love planning a little less. Pretty much all of my posts are written the day of and the risk adverse person in me gets hives at the thought, but the free spirit in me loves it because then you never know what’s around the corner. That way everything is exciting.
:: Not install stat counters. While I didn’t pay much attention to stats before, this is the first blog where I didn’t install anything to follow stats. I don’t want to become attached to numbers. I just want to share beautiful things and enjoy writing, snapping pictures, creating a space I love and connecting with others.
What have you learned in the process of blogging? How long have you been blogging?
Also, I’m incredibly stoked to share my first podcast this Sunday for Simplifying Sunday!
While I’m not on Instagram, I did hear about the “20 things” concept that was passed around. And Heather, from one of my favorite blogs to read, Life Unexpected, decided to take it from Instagram into the blogging medium. I liked that. So here are 20 things about me.
1. In joining up with Blogtember, my favorite piece of advice is rather non-traditional (I like non-traditional) and it is, “quit what you aren’t good at.” I first heard this in Penn Jilette’s podcast, Penn’s Sunday School. Penn had asked a famous female feminist comedian (which I’m blanking on her name) why she is as successful as she is and she said, she quit everything she was bad at. That stuck with me and it’s what I do now. There is so much pressure not to quit, not to change your mind, and I say bollocks to the whole thing. If it’s not working out for you, don’t waste your time on it but at least you gave it a go. Now that’s not to confuse talent with challenge. You can be good at something but it be challenging at times, but recognize when you are good at something.
2. I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason. But I do believe that we can find a reason for everything happening. I think the difference between the two outlooks is who has control, and I believe we do.
3. The only make-up I own is mascara and that’s if I wear makeup. I haven’t put on nail polish in over 8 years, nor do I have the slightest sense of fashion or care for what’s “hip.” However, give me a twirly dress and I’m a happy camper. I love a good twirl.
4. I’m 5’2″ but my husband says I have “thunder feet.” Unfortunately we’re on the third floor, so I try to be as quiet as possible when I walk.
5. Every time November 5th rolls around, I do or say something related to V for Vendetta and the phrase I can quote from heart, “Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot.” I watched the movie first and read the book second. The movie was good, the book was powerful and the intent behind it supports much of my philosophy on life. That we must never be resolve in the face of wrong doing. That we must stand up and let actions always speak louder than words.
6. One of the best decisions I ever made in my life was to voluntarily deploy to Bagram, Afghanistan. The people I met there were, and still are, the kindest people I’ve ever met in my life. And I can still speak some Farsi to this day.
7. I find the best way to hone my creative energies is to step away from the computer. Even most of my ideas for the manuscript I’m writing came when I wasn’t on the computer.
8. I think that where we spend our dollars is more of a vote than voting itself.
9. I am vegan but I’m not a big fan of the word vegan. I use it, here and there, if I need to get the point across. I don’t really like words that are more about what you don’t do. I rather focus on what I do.
10. Writing is the best way I know how to express myself. If I talked about what writing means to me, I’d likely cry.
11. Sometimes I feel like I have a split personality. I’m either incredibly serious or incredibly silly. I think a nice balance of both does the body good.
12. If I’m a groupie of anything it’s Joss Whedon. My favorite show of his is Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which I’ve seen at least (not kidding) 30 times (all 7 seasons). If you are a Whedon fan as well, I have a DIY coming up that’s up your alley. I’m looking forward to his new show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
13. If I’m ever asked what do I love the most, my answer is unequivocally, learning. Which is why I’m sharing a new series next Thursday all about learning. It’s called “Things I learned Thursday,” my play off of the “Things I love Thursday” because my love is learning.
14. After I’m done RV-ing the country, I plan to build my own Earthbag/Cob house and live off-the-grid, supplying my own power, water, and food.
15. I believe in honesty and feel that often honesty is confused with oversharing. Though I’m a rather public person, I don’t overshare but what I do share is honest to the core.
17. If I died today (though I hope I don’t) I’d want my husband to know I was happy. I lived fully and I felt with everything I had.
18. I try to avoid absolutes at all cost (words like always and never) because life is constantly changing and I prefer to leave all doors open.
19. I think being a woman does not restrict you to doing certain things and vice versa. I remember two distinct times when I made this point. Once in the Air Force when we had to move the furniture and one of the guys said, “I think the guys got this.” So I squeezed in and lifted the file cabinet. The other time was not that long ago. I was building my first wood table from wood studs that someone left by the trash. I was picking out a stain in Home Depot and a man asked me what I’m making. I told him, I was making a wood table for my balcony. He said, “all by yourself?” I said, “why not?”
20. I once moved a refrigerator down three flights of stairs by myself because I believed I could do it (and it needed to be recycled). My husband wasn’t home. So I told him after the fact, otherwise he would have worried about me.
What are some things about you? Feel free to join up!
Hi, I'm Aubrey, a small town girl looking to travel the country in an RV, with my husband, four cats, few possessions, daily cup of tea, a heart for adventure ,while reading, writing fiction and living simply.