Nail Polish and Street Performers

Hey There!

As you all know, Fridays are my Self-Care days, when I relax and paint my nails. Sometimes I buy a new nail polish, and no matter what the bottle says it never quite looks the same. As you may have seen on the MiaT Facebook or Instagram feed this week, I went for a rose gold metallic. I didn’t realize it was going to be quite so, well, metallic.

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I’m committed though, so it will last me the next few days until my next paint job.

Sometimes I forget that I have readers who haven’t gotten the chance to sit down with me for a cup of tea and really talk. One thing you should know about me (if my writing a blog didn’t make it clear) is that my communication style is storytelling. One thing sparks a memory and then another. The next thing you know we’re best friends, and you know half the weirdness that is my life.

Now that you know to expect random stories from me – back to the one at hand. All week this nail polish color has reminded me of when I went to Spain for a concert tour with my college choir. We went to several locations, and at each one of the larger cities we saw street performers!

Street Performer Moonshine In A Teacup

Each performer had their own different routine. The acts that fascinated me though were the metallic-painted people. They stood completely still like they were a statue or an art installment. If you were distracted, you could almost walk past them without noticing them. However, when you dropped a euro into their collection jar, they would jerk alive and chirp and whirr (that’s the best description I can give you of the sounds) as if they were a wind-up doll and go through their mechanical movements.

Street Performer Moonshine In A Teacup
Yup, that’s me with a pixie cut. I actually got that haircut while on this trip in Sevilla. The music group had quite a week of Barber of Seville jokes!

Usually, the act consisted of small movements, like a bow or series of head movements. My nail polish reminded of the the golden lady in the next picture. When she received a donation, she would spin her flower.

I remember reading this list that a teacher gave his students of rules for life. One of the rules was, “If a street performer makes you stop walking, you owe him a buck,” and I completely agree. Where did you see your favorite street performer and what was their act? Tell me in the comments below!

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5 Things No One Tells You about Getting a Cat

Hey There!

I am excited to introduce you to the newest member of our little family – our kitten, Luna. Having a kitten is a huge adventure, so I am also going to share with you 5 things no one told us before we got a cat!

5 Things No One Tells You about Getting A Cat Moonshine In A Teacup

Back in January, we re-homed little Luna from a friend at work whose adult cat was not liking there being a new kitten in her space. After much stress and many attempts to reconcile the two, Luna came to live with us.

The Fellow was not convinced that he wanted a pet at first, but I’d been talking about wanting a cat for about a year, and he finally gave the go-ahead. We’ve had a few months to get to know one another now, and she has absolutely brightened our lives. (The Fellow still likes to act tough, but he’s attached.)

Little Luna Moonshine in a teacup

I researched a lot about being a cat owner before bringing Luna home. I read articles and kitten-proofed (ha!) her space. As promised earlier, here are 5 things I was so not prepared for:

1. Cats do the weirdest things.

There is no planning for it. Luna tries to eat our hair. Off of our heads. No one told us to expect that. Of all things, she plays fetch. She also sits in the bathtub and meows at the faucet until we turn it on so she can drink. Luna hates being wet but will sit on the edge of the tub while the shower is running. At least twice, while I was taking a bubble bath, she has decided that my knees were a safe island to jump to. That didn’t end well for either of us.

2. Cats have the biggest personalities.

Each cat has their own distinct personality and there’s no telling what weird quirks they will have once you get them home. Luna hates being more than 2 feet away from us at any given time. She will follow me back and forth throughout the house as I’m doing chores and loves all the pets ever. However, she decidedly does not enjoy being picked up. We’ve learned that she tolerates it as long as we let her stand on our arms and be carried to her destination – kind of like Cleopatra being carried on her litter. (Google tells me litter is the official word for “chase-lounge-chair-thing-on-poles.)

3. You can train a cat.

Well, to a certain degree anyway. We harness-trained Luna. We’re working on her fetch game, and we don’t let her on the table or counters. The Fellow and I are very serious about how we allow her to play with us. When we play, we don’t roughhouse, and if she bites or claws we encourage her to do so at a gentle level. If she bites too hard, we pull our hands back and whimper (which is about the most adorable thing to watch the Fellow do), and that’s the end of play time. You can actually see her realize she’s playing too hard and dial back the bites to little love nips.

4. They are great alarm clocks.

Remember my saying I was seriously struggling getting back to my early morning wake-up time? I am happy to say that I’m back to getting up between 5-5:30 a.m. Luna comes into the bedroom, hops up on the bed, walks up the entire length of my body to sit on my chest, and tries to eat my hair. Good morning!

Side Story: When I was in high school, my father was dead set on having a domesticated bobcat as a pet. My mother and I vetoed the idea. I remember saying, “I am not waking up to a 40-pound house cat sitting on my chest licking its lips.” After life with Luna, I am convinced we made the right call.

5. Once you have a cat, you can’t imagine your life without them.

In just four short months, Luna has become such a part of our lives. The first thing I do in the morning is give her snuggles. I can’t wait to get home to see her, and I have become used to having her company while I hang out around the house. She has the cutest, chirpy voice and the biggest personality. While I may never have the bathroom to myself again, that little ball of fur curled up on my toes purring away while I do my makeup is completely worth it.

5 things nobody tells you about having a cat moonshine in a teacup

Fall Feeling

Whew, kids! It’s been a hectic year. As the wedding gets closer and more and more things get finished, and I get more comfortable with my new position at work, I’m starting to feel human again.

I’m also fortunate to be having more time with the Fellow who is meal prepping for me, helping to organize the house, and taking care of needed projects (like installing gutter shields so that the basement can hopefully stop flooding).

It’s wonderful to not feel like I’m drowning every day. I want to go out and do things, and I’m excited about projects again!

Today the weather really felt like fall, and I got an old familiar itch for hot apple cider and a walk around Shepherdstown. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to make it up there just yet, but I always find time for at least one trip each fall.

If you’ve never hung out in Shepherdstown, there is this bizarre little coffee joint called Lost Dog.  It’s an alternative business full of crazy art pieces and random things the employees or patrons enjoy. It’s got a serious Coffee of Doom vibe going. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a drink made by the owner.

My drink of choice in fall is always a hot apple cider. Seriously, it’s the best you’ll ever have. They slice fresh lemon and lime into it and add a dash of grated nutmeg to top it off. I can’t wait to get my fix!

Family Reunion in WV:When it rains….

Hello all! Sorry for the delay in posts; it’s been a crazy 2 weeks.

Last weekend I went to a family reunion, and it was such a rainy day. On the way there, the radio beeped with a severe weather warning. I’ve heard a lot of those in my day, but this one actually said, “Move to an internal room. Do not drive in a wooded area. Be advised that untethered objects around you may become projectiles.” Well, I had just entered a national forest, so needless to say, I was a bit concerned, but I made it to the river lot and the reunion just fine.

It rained so hard that all of us were gathered under the pavilion and just watched the rain on the river. My father said they had arranged the rain, and it was not to stop until all the food was eaten, and we came pretty close to achieving it. I love picnic food!

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Guilty Pleasures

Good Morning! I’ve been sleeping in until 6 lately, and I need to get my schedule reset back to waking up at 5, but it’s sooo hard!

It doesn’t help that I work the closing shift at work three days in a row. It’s so hard to get up when you don’t have to be anywhere until 11.

I like my morning time though; it lets me be productive before I’m so tired from my day. It also lets me watch some terrible TV. I’m a sucker for sappy dramas or girly shows. I’m also a sucker for terrible music. I once drove the entire way to Ocean City listening only to Meat Loaf the entire way. I guess bad TV and music are my guilty pleasures. I wonder how many guilty pleasures you get before you just need to admit that you have bad taste . . . I should probably figure that out.

One of the hardest things for me is finding time to work out. I have some workout DVDs, but I kinda despise them, so I was so excited when I went back to the gym this week and got my phone (which is incredibly finicky) to connect to the Wi-Fi. Now I get my workout time and my terrible TV time. Win!

What about you? What’s your guilty pleasure?

Fuzzy Socks

Well, we finally got our winter snow one week before the first day of spring. Nothing like waiting until the last minute!

We had a two-hour delay at work which was nice. I got up and made a crock-pot of vegetable beef stew and did some laundry.

It took a little longer than anticipated to get my car dug out. Just when I was finishing . . . the snow came down off the trees, and it needed to be dug out again! Persevered, got it out, and the old buggy made it to work.

After a low-staffed short day (with a full day’s work crammed in), I was so glad to get home to my fuzzy socks.The fellow picked me up this pair over the weekend and they are by far the fuzziest cozy-est most snuggly pair I have!

Fuzzy socks have been my favorite thing this winter. I have a few fuzzy blankets that I love to snuggle up in, but this year I’ve also been rocking the fuzzy socks. Nothing beats being all cozied up in a warm, fuzzy blanket, holding a hot cup of tea or coffee, and wearing some fuzzy socks.

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My Mother, the Mobster

Mama likes to keep to herself and doesn’t want any Internet presence. She stays off Facebook and just last year updated to a Gmail address from her old school Juno account. So I had to ask her permission to share this story with you.

Ever have one of those days when you’re just tongue-tied? You think one thing but say another, and it comes out twisted?

Well, recently my parents and I were up in PA to run some errands and visit with my grandmother. Daddy wanted to swing by this antique shop we had stopped at in December to see if they still had a wrought iron chandelier he had passed up. Their plan is to use it at my brother’s wedding and then again at mine before finally hanging it in their “outdoor living space.”

We stopped at the store, and the chandelier was still sitting out front, but the store looked like it had gone out of business.

After doing some Internet research, we found a number associated with the store and my mother called them. The call went straight to voicemail so she left a message: “Hello. We were in your store in December and saw a chandelier which we were interested in and saw today that it is still there. We live nearly two hours away and are in town for a short while today and would like to purchase it from you. Could you please give us a call on this number to discuss if you want to get rid of us?

Not – “if you want to get rid of it” but “get rid of us” – nothing mildly frightening or cryptic about that sentence. Daddy and I asked her if she realized what she had said, and she swore she said “it.” We laughed so hard about that, just imagining this antique dealer getting this bizarre threatening message about a chandelier.

Thankfully, she got the message’s  meaning, and they were able to arrange a meeting to get the chandelier on a different trip.

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Blue Monday

Hi, friends!

Did you know that this Monday was “Blue Monday“? I’ve got to say I felt it.

Truthfully, I’ve had a blue week. I’ve been sick and just have no energy whatsoever. I’m looking forward to the weekend. It’s been warming up a little as we get toward the middle of January, and I’m hoping that the weather holds. I want to go explore some trails in the area – I miss the sunshine.

Aside from soaking up what winter vitamin D I can, my weekend plans are all SCA-geared. I’ve worried and stressed and planned all the wedding stuff I can handle this month, and I want to focus on some fun projects.

I got a Michael’s gift card for Christmas, and I’m going to (finally) pick up a beginners’ carving kit, place my linen order, and maybe even head to Jo-Ann’s for some instant fabric gratification, so I can get a jump on some other projects. I also have wanted to make a batch of mead, and the Fellow said he’d help, so I’ll hit up the local brewery supply store! I’m sure that this will be a most entertaining story for you later.

Here’s hoping the coffee and vitamin packs pay off, and I get to everything on my list!

While this week was blue, last week we had our Marvelous Midweek at work. Originally planned for the first Friday of the new year, we postponed due to snow and on Wednesday everyone wore their fancy clothes.

We had tiaras and flat caps, prom dresses and curled mustaches; it was fun! I was originally going to wear an old bridesmaid dress, but I had forgotten how uncomfortable I was at the wedding when I wore the dress the first time and opted for comfort. I borrowed a groomsman’s gift of the Fellow’s from the last wedding he was in – a  Tux T-shirt. I paired it with a full crinoline skirt, and I had to share the outfit with you. I loved it!

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Bow ties are cool!

 

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Sorry for the picture quality!

 

Here Comes Suzy Snowflake

I discovered “Here Comes Suzy Snowflake” over Christmas. It’s a cute little song, and I love anything by Rosemary Clooney.

It seems like the last few years it’s been waiting to snow until after the New Year. I’ve been waiting for it this year. (I really wanted some before Christmas, but what can you do?)

My grandmother volunteers at a hospital gift shop, and I asked her to check the gift shop for some snowflake earrings on clearance. When I got up on Thursday, it smelled like snow and after I checked the forecast, I was wishing I had the earrings to wear to work. I was so excited when I opened the mailbox to see she had sent them to me as she didn’t know when we were getting together next. They’re perfect!!

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The new house means that I can also enjoy the view from my window and not stress about driving over half an hour on a major highway. The road to work is a snow emergency route, so it’s pretty much always clear. I went to bed ready to wear my snowflake earrings and ready for a snow day.

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The world was quiet when I woke up yesterday. No matter where I live there is something magical about waking up on a snowy morning when the normal sounds of the outside world are muffled by a soft, white blanket of snow.

 

 

 

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Everyone knows that song, right? No? Go listen; then come back.

Fall is campfire weather, and I’m all about it! I’m in charge of our team at work’s bulletin board, and I went with a camping theme.

I was a bit concerned about how it would turn out as my campfire was much bigger than the tent, and the background poster board wasn’t as large as it needed to be, but I think it turned out cute. The stars list all of our team members.

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S’mores are one of my favorite treats, and I was a bit skeptical when I found s’mores-flavored coffee flavoring, but it is sooo yummy. It even has that smokey flavor!

I eat s’mores all year round. What’s not to love about crunchy, gooey, chocolatey deliciousness? They’re pretty easy to make indoors as well.

I make mine in the toaster oven. I pop the whole thing directly on the rack – graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows. (I usually end up using mini marshmallows as that’s what I have on hand.) The toaster oven browns the marshmallows and melts the chocolate. You need to keep an eye on them though because the graham crackers can burn if left too long.

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If you don’t have a toaster oven, the next best thing it to toast your marshmallows over an oven burner. (I don’t recommend candles as they release the scents/chemicals into the food.)

My third option is the messiest. You can microwave your marshmallows for about 10 seconds. Be forewarned; they get HUGE, and the marshmallow becomes more plastic-y and stretches.

When I can get to a camp fire though, that’s my absolute favorite choice for a s’more. Nothing beats that authentic campfire taste and going to sleep with the lingering scent in your hair, still humming campfire songs.

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