Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday | Once Upon a Time at the Beach

So it's another one for the "Too Old For College Group But Not Qualified For the Young Marrieds Group" people! Yesterday after church we saddled up for a day at the beach, armed with blankets, sweaters, frisbees, and lots of candy. We carpooled in four cars (carpooling always makes it more fun!) and after several hours (which included stopping for lunch), made it to my family's favorite beach spot.

I was personally long overdue for a day at the beach. It's therapy, friends. The soft sand, the steady drone of the crashing waves, the whistling of the wind, the soft, warm heat penetrating through the clouds, and just the bigness of it all.

Frisbees were thrown. Candy was eaten. Sand was dug in. Walks on the beach were taken. Trails through the nearby swamp were explored (no pictures of this, as I decided to just live the moment instead of trying to immortalize it with my slightly cumbersome camera; sometimes you just have to leave it behind, although after all the gorgeous beauty, including an INCREDIBLE "octopus" tree, I did begin to regret not having it!). Oh and more candy was eaten, since nobodies counting at the beach, right?

I love my friends. It was a perfect day, where we laughed, played around, and just got closer as a unique group of young-ish adults.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday | The Slow Goes On

Contrary to what some of you may be thinking (yes, that's for you, Michelle!), I have actually been doing things other than laying around all day reading. Although I may have done a little bit of that, too. But I also will say that I have been able to get through my book review stacks now that I can read for longer stretches of time!

But whereas life may not be one long reading extravaganza, it's still been pretty quiet. Except for a few hair-raising and emotionally murderous babysitting adventures,* there's been a pretty even keel happening in my life. No job yet, but all things in God's timing. So, you'll have to forgive the slowness of the blog these days. When the blog slows down, it just means that life has slowed down and there's just not a lot out of the ordinary to post about.

And so, in four simple photos, here is my day.

 The Word.
 A little boy too small for dining room tables.
A silly girl who keep me laughing all the time.
* The traumatic babysitting alluded to above has nothing to do with the sweet children in this post. Those two have never given me a seconds trouble in all the hours I've spent babysitting them. Yes, M & K, you can be proud. :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday | My Secret Skills

I guess you could say that I come from a musical family. No, not that kind of musical family where we all had music lessons as a school subject and can sight read from twenty paces. No, in fact, none of us has ever taken lessons, we've all self-taught, and only a few of us can actually sight read music. But between all of us, we have 2.5 pianists, 1.5 violinist/fiddler, two (perhaps a little rusty) flutists, five guitarists, three mandolin players, one banjo player, and one guy who can totally rock out on the spoons.

Judging by most of those instruments, it might not be hard to guess that bluegrass is a common musical theme in our family. We practically breath it in and my dad and brothers, with the recent addition of Karis on the mandolin, have formed their own unofficial bluegrass band that has actually gotten some recognition, especially in our civil war reenactment association. Forgive my shameless bragging, but ya know, family pride fairly oozes out of me! Don't judge.

And me, I play guitar and have for almost ten years. It's been more off and on in the past few years as life has gotten bigger, but when I pull out my trusty Yamaha, it's still easy for my fingers to fall back into those familiar places on the frets. I only play cords, I never had the patience to learn actual notes, but since I've only ever played for my own singing backup, it's not been a huge loss.

I'm also that .5 on the piano, but I only play by ear in certain styles so it hardly counts.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday | Slow Motion Summer Days

With our air conditioning restored to maximum performance, Barq's Root Beer in the fridge and my curtains finally hung in my window, today pretty much feels like a perfect day. There's nothing to brag about or shout from the rooftops, but there's plenty to soak up and enjoy.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What I'm Watching: Show Review | London Hospital

Let it be known to all interested and uninterested parties that I am a British television fan. In fact, I would pick a British show over an American show any day and I can pick out the different dialects like nobody's business. And I can speak them fluently. In my head. :)

From pleasant, happy series like Lark Rise to Candleford to sifi series like Doctor Who or Primeval, to the detective shows like Sherlock, Foyle's War or Inspector Lewis - I love them all. So, I'm always on the lookout for hints and clues to any {within moral reason} new BBC or other British movies or shows.

Quick history lesson

The London Hospital, originally named the London Infirmary, was first founded in 1740 and was the medicinal hub of the poverty stricken London East End. It was funded entirely by charity and was a leading force in hospital advancement. During the turn of the century 1900's, the London was taking huge steps towards advanced medicine (for it's time) and under the leadership of Eva Luckers, became the largest nurses training school anywhere in Britain. X-ray technology was just being introduced (with both successful and tragic results) and new forms of medicine (including chloroform and strychnine) were breaching the medicals scene. Of the 30,000 patients treated each year, the vast majority were those of the working class, where disease, gang activity, and gross neglect was the lifestyle of the day.

Cue London Hospital.

This is the setting for the BBC show London Hospital. Based entirely from the meticulous records kept by the staff of the London, it follows the doctors and nurses as they treat the many diverse cases that passed through their doors during the turn of the century. With actual historical figures like Eva Luckers and Sidney Holland, the London's financial advocate, as well as other historical figures, we are given a very accurate glimpse into the medical practices of the times, the ones that surprise us and the ones that also shock us. As this is a show based on a hospital, the nurses and doctors play the leading rolls and whereas there is a general storyline that over-arches the episodes, there are often characters and patients that we may only see for a few minutes on the examination table, just long enough to see some of the different cases that these dedicated hospital staff treated.
London Hospital is not a show where you pick your favorite character and root for their success; instead, this is a show about a team of workers coming together to meet the needs of the starving, hurting and dying. And the fact that it's all fully based on the historical records of the hospital (records that have been kept in detail since 1883), gives it a certain extra flair of history lesson wrapped up in entertainment. And as the credits roll for each episode, there are snippets of historical fact that give further insight and understanding into the situations and procedures that were just witnesses.

Be forewarned, though...this is a surgically graphic show. I don't do blood and there have been several episodes where I'm found myself squirming on the floor in agony of my own, eyes shut, hands over my ears, singing “lalala” trying to distract myself while someone leg is being amputated in full, bloody view of the camera...or even more surgically brutal operations. Other than that, however, as of yet I have not seen anything on this show that warranted needing to look due away to immorality or inappropriate behavior. And the really graphic parts don't take up the whole show, there's plenty of times where I can retire my pillow (aka. face shield).

Since it's a hospital setting, there is talk of some personal medical issues, discussion (although very brief) of private anatomy, and a small spattering of language, although it's only been a mild handful so far. Of course, there are some characters who's street-wise accents are so thick I honestly can't tell what they're saying (despite my head-fluency) as well as the unfamiliar-to-me slang words used during those times, so forgive me if I'm totally missing some unforgivable words.

All in all, I'm really enjoying this show. It's fascinating, educational, and enjoyable in a hide-behind-my-pillow kind of way. The bad news is that I've only been able to find it online using Amazon Prime, where you can watch it for free. If I'm correct, London Hospital was originally released in the UK under the titles of Casualty 1906 (and depending on the season, 1907 and 1909), and whereas you can buy them Region 2 courtesy of Amazon, I have yet to find any Region 1's for sale.

Anyways, if anybody has or decides to give this show a shot, let me know what you think! Also please note that since I haven't watched this show in it's entirely, I can't, of course, fully vouch for the rest of the show being ugly-free. :)

P.S. And yes, I just posted twice in one day. No hating.
P.S.S. Images found via google image search.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wednesday | Ten on Ten

Anyways, I'm {finally} joining Kiki for the Ten on Ten challenge, where you take ten random photos of your day...on the tenth of the month. I've been planning on doing this for seriously months, but always forgot about it until too late. But thanks to Kiki's timely reminder yesterday, here I am!

I slept in a bit late (side effect of staying up 'til 1am reading two nights in a row), piddled around my house for about an hour and then decided to just go spend the rest of the day with my family at Home. I got there about 10:30am and immediately joined Stuart and Karis in a rousing game of Uno Speed, in which I didn't win any of the three games we played (you know what I'm thinking, Kristine! *grin* ). After that the three of us curled up on the couch with big bowls of cheesy popcorn and watched The Rescues Down Under. Because we're mature that way.

I spent the afternoon talking to Mom, filling out another job application, eating healthy, homemade food, washing my car, chillin' on the hammock until I found a spider crawling across my shirt  and went searching for my cat Jones so I could snuggle with her more times that she probably appreciated.

And so with that being said, enjoy my first contribution to Ten on Ten.

Click here to see the Ten on Ten host and other people who linked up, too!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tuesday | Job Applications She Wrote

She lives! Yah, that's right, I'm still here. It's been death by job applications around here with no success, but as I keep reminding myself, it just takes one phone call and one moment to change that, so maybe tomorrow will be that day. Right? Right.

I wish I could say that I've been doing these crazy amazing things with all my free time, like running a few marathons, saving some animal, or even being this crafting maniac, but that would be a bold-faced lie. My days have looked a little more like yoga-pants-wearing-ice-cream-eating-Psych-watching-book-reading sprees. And I don't even do yoga.

Being that it's now been one week without a job and no blips on the job radar, I confess that my faith waivers. Maybe just a lot. But I am learning a few things about my faith and the brand of faith that I have. Specifically, how I'm afraid to actually let go and trust God. See, in the past, I've prayed hard and heavy for things that I thought were God's will, but those prayers went very unanswered. I came away from that feeling like God let me down. Since then, I've realized that those prayers were actually better left unanswered (praise God) and my head is so thankful. But my emotions, that part of me that for so long felt like God had let me down, still remembers. And it's those feelings that are screaming out at me right now and so, I'm afraid to actually trust God...because I don't want to be let down again.

Yah, one hundred percent bologna sandwich. But have you ever tried forcing the emo's down and out? News flash: they don't go easy. So, that's been my daily battle. If you're praying for me right now, that's how you could pray. Oh, and that I'd also get a job and not have to leave my new house with my wonderful room with the gorgeous gray walls that I still haven't even gotten to decorate yet.

No pressure, Lord.