Friends for Days Tag

I have been summoned! Well sort of, 😉

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Cheila from pinkfordays created this tag but NewMoonPlan (thank you!) nominated me! Do visit her blog because its amazing and inspirational. Some of the posts I’ve read have been really thought provoking and very encouraging. I’ve felt a huge sense of connection since following and I always look forward to the next post :D!

The rules:

  • Say who created the tag and provide a link to their blog.
  • Do a blog post showing your Tag.
  • Add the logo to the post.
  • Always thank the person who nominated you, provide a link to their blog and, if you like, say something positive and supportive about their blog.
  • Choose 5 bloggers that you don’t know very well or that are just starting their blog.
  • Go over to their blogs and read a few posts, like and comment.
  • Say 3 things you love about their blogs; (3 things for each blogger)
  • Those 5 bloggers are automatically nominated to do the same.
  • Nominate two bloggers who have been doing this for a longer time! Don’t forget to let them know you’re nominated them!

Since I’ve only been blogging since middle/end of February, I don’t know a lot of people BUT here are the people who are also fairly new, that I interact with on an almost daily basis because they’re awesome:

PoeticBliss
I stumbled upon her blog from a daily prompt about her encounter in a store with a man looking for tampons! After laughing until my lungs hurt, I hit that Follow button. She writes a little bit of everything, from poetry, to late night ramblings to the edgeofmyseat 6 word romance story she’s been posting every day! I’m telling you, you won’t regret following this blog.

ThisIsMyTruthNow
Not sure if he’s new but he’s new to me (that counts right?). I met James from the Community Pool about 2 weeks or so ago. If you love book/movie reviews and 365 day challenges, you’ll love his blog. He posts daily so there’s always something to look forward to!

EverydayStrange
If you need a muse for the day, this is the blog to follow. If you consider yourself an odd soul looking to connect with another odd soul, again, this is the blog to follow! Expect to see quotes every day as well as picture posts from places you may think about travelling to some time! There’s one post about bizarre plants that’s really, super cool!

Cimmerian Sentiment
There’s no way I can do a friend tag without tagging Cim. Mac and Blythe ’nuff said! Okay, there are other great stories too but Cim is one of the first blogs I followed and the storytelling is brilliant and emotional and everything else in between. If you like romantic short stories, hit the button. Seriously!

AresThree
To piggyback off of short stories, this is another blog to follow if you like stories. Mark’s stories are a little more on the darker side but still very riveting! He also mixes it up with photography posts and book reviews here and there.


Now for the veterans. There are two that stood out to me the most entering the blogging world and are just so super nice!

theorangutanlibrarian
If you’re like me and are obsessed with all things book related (book worm, book nerd, books, books….. more books), this is a great blog to follow! The reviews are fantastic and range from fiction, to nonfiction, classics and even graphic novels! The review scale is by bananas which so fun!

LoveitNow
I honestly can’t say enough nice things about this blog. Monika is such a wonderful soul who writes the sweetest poems that say a whole lot in a tiny poetry footprint. She’s very inspirational in everything she posts about and she’s really good at connecting with all of her readers.


So that’s it. These are my friends! I hope you make them your friends too!

(P.S. If you didn’t want to be tagged, I’m sorry, I tagged you anyway, :D)

 

 

Love Controls Me

If you look at the spokes of a tire or the hands of a clock you see the central mechanism and what it’s pointing to. The center controls the movement. Looking at your own life, you probably have many things that you work toward or care about. Each of those items can be listed as a spoke on your own wheel or a number on your clock.

When you begin to reflect on each of those items, what do they look like? What do you have listed? Mine are probably family, friends, work, my animals, my boyfriend, my home, my religion, fitness, overall health, travel, books…etc. Those are clearly all things that I care about, not necessarily in that order. I think the center of my world revolves around love. Love controls my actions, emotions, needs, and wants.

I love my family and my friends, my boyfriend, and my job (most of the time), I love to read and explore new places. Strip away all the things that you work for and all the things that are important to you. Now, what would you have left?  Is it a noble cause? …like family or faith?  Or is it something a little more deep rooted? …like wealth? …or like pride?

We all want to be our own master. Typically, however, something is the master of us. You just need to figure out what that is to really Control  it.

Time

Ever wish you could control time?

Just for an hour?

Slow it down for just a few precious minutes?

Lately I’ve been feeling like time is flying. You blink and it’s the next day and you’re wondering, where did my day go? I confess a lot of my day gets drained because I’m holed up in a book somewhere but I haven’t even been able to read most days and I’m wondering where are all my minutes going?

I just want to slow time down, just for a moment, so I can accomplish a few goals. Logically I know I wouldn’t be able to make that happen in an hour unless it was a very, very slow hour but give me a moment to try and learn a new skill I’ve been trying to start for months. I recently dropped my online job because I didn’t have enough time to work it. It was a gig that was completely flexible; I had complete control over when and how much I wanted to work. However, it was only supplementary income to my physical job. Having two jobs is really difficult. I mean its necessary at any given moment because you have responsibilities but it definitely takes it’s toll. Unfortunately, I’m having second thoughts where I’m wondering if that was a good decision because it was a sort of security; something I can rely on if I were ever to be out of a physical job. It’s really hard to not question a decision once it has been made even though it felt like the right decision in that moment.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this post. I don’t want to completely stop time. I don’t even want to rewind time. I’m not trying to avoid aging and I have no desire to be immortal but it would just be nice if on those days, when it’s overwhelming and the day is just cycling by way too fast, I had the ability to push pause. Those precious minutes could give me time to focus but they could also be a moment to steal some seconds doing what I actually want to be doing in the chaos that is my world.

Bird’s Nest

Today’s prompt word is yarn. At first I thought, how am I going to write about yarn? When you think of yarn you think of someone knitting or crocheting. People use yarn in all types of ways to make blankets and scarves and cozy socks. You may have even seen some decorate their hair using yarn. 

I thought of all those things too. But since I don’t knit or crochet, I thought of something that naturally looks like a ball of yarn; a bird’s nest!

Now that spring is here, that means baby bird season. If you go out into your yard, you’ve probably seen a couple already. I personally have seen a lot of blue jays in my yard lately and I’m pretty sure they’re starting to build nests on a couple of my higher up window ledges (my cats love pointing out the bird butt activity through the window). 

The “yarn” that birds use is made of twigs, feathers, blades of grass and mud. And they, creatively, weave these things together to create their future baby bird homes. It’s quite a skill for an animal with no opposable thumbs right?! These are their warm blankets and cozy socks! 

Back in my wildlife rehabilitation days, I got to see an eagle’s nest. That was the biggest ball of natural yarn I’ve ever seen and I could only marvel at the ingeunity it took to create it especially since their scale of twigs is quite higher than my blue jays.

From eagles to beavers and everywhere in between you have to admit, nests are architecturely awesome balls of yarn. 😁

What’s in Your Name?

Have you ever thought about why your parents named you what they named you? Have you ever asked?

Most people are named after a family relative, you know to be a Jr. or grandma’s first name is your middle name. It’s a way to remember them by or perhaps your parents felt your ancestors were honorable so they wanted you to share that honor because you looked like a future, successful, honorable baby!

I don’t know what I’m saying. For the record, I do not have children (yet).

I asked my mother where my name came from. If you’ve been following this blog, you probably know by now that my full name is Chanel. So, why Chanel? Even my middle name is uncommon. Not that I want to be common but most middle names are Marie, Elizabeth, Ann; you know normal.

So I asked her one time. She said she thought about naming me Victoria. I do NOT look like a Victoria. I started thinking of all the nicknames; Vickie, Tory, Vicks (as in vaporub??) Definitely not a Victoria. I guess I’m grateful she didn’t named me after Game of Thrones characters like most people do nowadays (Not that Khaleessi (Daenarys) isn’t a badass name. Hell, even Cercie is a ruthless name!) I get distracted easily. Can you tell?

Anyway, my mother told me the reason my name came about is because when she was pregnant with me, Chanel No. 5 was the only perfume she could wear that would not make her vomit (cause you know I was doing a good job inducing that).

Nowadays its fun to tell that story and listen to people screw my name up. I have an imaginary T (Chantel), rhymed names (Janel, Michelle, Sherrell) and the closest word (channel) when people do not know how to pronounce it. I roll with them all, believe it or not, because usually people are being so nice that I don’t have the heart to tell them they’re butchering my name!

Do you have a name that has a unique story behind it? How about a name that people always mess up when they say it?  You don’t have to share your name if you don’t want to but feel free to share your story in the comments below! 🙂

Priorities

We’ve all got them.

If you could make a list of everything you need to accomplish in a day in order to feel good what would be on it? Drinking enough water, making your bed, running…? I go through my days with a mental list of what I absolutely have to get done in order to…what…keep everyone happy? Keep myself happy? Keep my dogs happy? Keep my boss happy?

My list looks a little something like this:

  • walk dogs
  • work out
  • make sure my store hasn’t burnt down
  • maybe make my bed
  • shower (obviously)
  • talk to my mom/grandma
  • check in on my friends
  • figure out dinner
  • take a probiotic
  • feed my animals
  • make sure the kitchen isn’t a train wreck
  • read

It isn’t always in that order. Today I took the dogs to the park, worked out, cleaned my car (inside and out) and pulled some weeds. I caught up on Scandal and was able to read a little. …then I sat down to write.

Do successful people keep a list? An ongoing tally of what they need to do and want to do each day? Maybe they do and maybe they don’t, but I always feel better about myself when I can check things off my list. I have a list at work, I have a list at home, I even give my boyfriend a list, and often times my mom. It keeps me accountable…and so do my friends.

When the rest of my world is crazy I know I can turn to my list and start checking things off. When I can look down and see progress I feel more in control. Sometimes my list is full of things for other people and sometimes it’s for myself. Either way it gives me something to account for my time and efforts.

What’s on your daily list that helps you feel accomplished? Maybe you’ve got some things we should start adding to our lists.. 🙂

Reading Vivaciously Through Another

When I’m not completely exhausted from life, I love to read. On average I read anywhere between 85 to 110 books a year. Lately I’ve been trying to up that number but, unfortunately, there’s only so much time in a day. Usually it only takes me about a day or two, three tops, to read a 300-400 page book. I felt really bad this last week because I received and advanced reader copy of a story and it took me 10 days to read it! 10. whole. days. It made me feel like crap because I was tasked with a mission essentially and I felt like I was dropping the ball. Because of that, and many other factors, I decided to rearrange my life a little to heap more of what want to do on my plate instead of what I didn’t want to do. (Goodbye long-term, online job)

What’s nice about having book loving friends is during those times mentioned above, I have friends spamming me about the book I gave (forced) them to read. My co-author is currently telling me about the part she’s at in the current series I told her to read and I LOVE it! The express reason I buy books, besides to support the author, is so that I can share them with others and they can tell me all about it. I know I already read it but re-living it through another person’s perspective, especially my friends is such a fantastic feeling. To know that they are feeling the things that I felt at the time I read that part of the story makes my feelings feel a little bit more validated? You know how sometimes reactions are over exaggerated? I feel like mine are sometimes. It probably stems from the fact that I can be overly emotional at times but when my friends are feeling the same excitement, emotional, wtf feelings that I felt then I’m for sure certain it’s not just me.

Another great thing I like about sharing my books is it encourages me to go out and find more, new authors to read. Currently I’m thinking about exploring the Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold. I’ve been on a science fiction fantasy kick lately and I’ve heard a lot of great things. But I’m hesitant to jump in this series since A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas is coming in days and I’ve been anticipating the release of this book for over a year! My co-author is currently reading the Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews. This is her first foray into urban, paranormal fantasy coming off her contemporary romance kick. My other friend has decided to start reading historical romances coming off her own science fiction series. It also strongly encourages me to do re-reads. So far I’ve made a list of all the books I plan to re-read once I fulfill my Goodreads challenge which involves reading 100 books this year not including re-reads. (I’m at 27 so far and we’re almost half way through the year! I’m so behind!)

I always know that whatever I read will most probably be a hit with them. Whenever they finish a series, they always ask me, “So what am I reading next?” I always have my recommendation list handy and ready to recommend something to them so that I can vivaciously read through them all over again.

Do you have any activities that you enjoy even more because of your friends? Do they provide encouragement or similar feelings? Feel free to share in the comments!

Northern White Rhino

Sudan, the world's last remaining male northern white rhino, has joined Tinder in a bid to successfully breed and save the species.This is Sudan. Currently he is the last, surviving great northern rhino in the world. As far back as 1919, there were two to three thousand great northern rhinos in the wild. By 1989, there were only 15 left in the wild and by 2007, 0. Why, you ask? Extensive poaching of course.

When conservationists realized what was happening, they began to pull the wild rhinos and bring them to captivity in the hopes of starting a breeding program to repopulate the dying population. Captivity didn’t work so well for these big beasties. For one reason or another, their survivability rate continue to plummet in captivity. It was decided that the last few great northern rhinos would be transferred back to the wild, where, naturally, they thrive better and have round the clock, 365 day, armed protection from puny poachers.

Sudan and his species plight has garnered more attention as of late because the Ol Pejeta Conservancy has started a Tinder profile for this handsome specimen of rhino in order to raise donation money to be able to perform in vitro fertilization. So far its been a real hit, but they have a long way to go.

(Picture credit: CNN)

Fly

To piggyback on yesterday’s post, ever wonder what it would feel like to truly fly? When you think of flying, you first imagine birds; from as small as hummingbirds to as large as eagles. Then you imagine mechanical flight like airplanes, gliders, and spaceships. You may even imagine angels; humans with wings.

Flying in an airplane is so surreal. I’ve been on many flights throughout the years and it’s still an exhilarating experience. In anticipation of flying, I find myself staring at the clouds. You see these light, fluffy puffs of air and think how easy it would be to slice through one. Then you ride in an airplane, soar a cloud, and realize they are not as light as they seem. The journey can be quite rough especially if it’s cloudy. But when your heart is pounding in tune with the plane as you’re getting higher and higher and you pierce through that dense layer to the world above, it takes your breath away. People always say clouds look like cotton blankets in the air; blankets you want to just bounce on or sink into their soft, cuddly layers. Could you imagine if it was possible to lay on a cloud for just a moment? Would it be as soft as it looks? I imagine maybe fog is what a cloud feels like on the ground but I wonder if it’s the same in the air.

Cleveland at the edge of Lake Erie

When flying in any direction, it always looks like you’re riding the edge of the Earth. Logically you know it’s a continuous journey but there’s always that sense of going to that edge and seeing what’s on the other side; falling into a new place and time.

Flying in the daylight is great. The sun is always so beautiful but flying at night opens up a different scenario. You’re staring down at land, maybe an area you are familiar with, distinguishing the dark spots among the light. There’s a lake, and there is maybe forest or farm land, possibly mountains. It turns into a sort of game of guessing the geometrical shapes. I like to think of what could be moving in the bodies of water. If only I could have X-ray vision, just for a moment to see below the surface in the dark; the life thriving in the lakes and oceans as these creatures go about their nightly routines.

Do you like to fly? What do you think about when flying?

Wanderlust

Wandering

Yesterday and today I got the opportunity to travel to a state I never thought I’d ever have a reason to visit: Wisconsin. My work participated in a tradeshow and I got to experience what’s involved in these types of events. The show itself was pretty cool but a few of my photo opportunities came from walking around outside. Whenever I travel to a place I’ve never been to before it’s always interesting to compare the area to my home.


One cool thing about travelling to new places is experiencing the people, their everyday lives and their culture. You will always meet someone who is proud of the town they stay in and eager to tell you all about it. These past two days I met a variety of individuals from a variety of backgrounds, age groups, and geographical locations. All had stories of their home towns in some form or another. You can tell they all had deep roots because even though they were in a new place, they couldn’t help but talk about getting back home to their friends and families; back into their regular routine. But they hope to pique your interest, entice you to come visit or at the very least, share their story.