Welcome Home?

So I’m home now. I got home safe. Though it doesn’t really feel like home anymore.

I have to say it has been so weird being back. I came home and the smell in the house was unfamiliar and not that pleasant. It was probably a mixture of stale cigarette smoke and the smell of animals. My room for the most part didn’t look that different. Just had a load of stuff my mom put in there but hadn’t gotten around to putting away. I filled two bags yesterday of stuff I want to get rid of. One was trash the other was clothes for donation. As soon as today is over with I’ll be working on the desk filled with my mom’s stuff so I have spot to put things. Do really wish I had cable in my room again. The converter box my parents had been disconnected since I wasn’t here and they got me something to watch basic cable with but the damn thing turned off on its own last night to save energy and I haven’t been able to get it on again. I got two litter boxes in my room now. I don’t think I need two in here but what can ya do?

My flight home was hell. I was stuck between two people. One was a nice English woman who I didn’t speak to much but was kind. The other was some American guy that didn’t say two words to me and kept writing stuff down and making charts and drawings and wouldn’t stop moving around! I couldn’t watch the inflight movie which I had a feeling would happen but I couldn’t really pull out my laptop to watch one of the two films I got. I did watch them when I got home but I read a book, did some word searches and listen to music most of the time on the flight.

As far as me crying I did okay until I got on the plane from Chicago to St. Louis. I was having an issue with getting to my seat. I thought I was looking at the right one but I’m beginning to wonder if I was one row off. Anyway I ended up being the last one seated and had a flight attendant get a bit snippy with my row since they were letting me in. I felt it was unnecessary. That set me off with missing Mike. Then I when I saw my mom I was set off again. Yesterday I did okay for the most part but that would be cause I kept myself busy. But today I have feeling it’s going to be hard. I’d much rather just stay home and hid under the covers but we’re going to my aunts. I almost want to drive myself so I can go home when I want to but it’s been over a year since I drove.

I’m finding that I don’t really know what to do with myself. Beyond cleaning my room there’s not much to do. I’ve watched a few films, cleaned parts of the house while my parents were at work. Looked at wedding stuff online and for the venue and did do a little job searching. I don’t really know where to start with the job searching, I’m looking at retail stuff but also library work but I don’t want to do too much searching before I go see my former boss that has offered to help look at my resume.

I supposed to hang out with a friend and one of my bridesmaids on Sunday. I don’t know what to do. It’s really hard to do anything when you have no money. I do about 25 dollars but that’s it. And I’d rather use it on something I need. Plus I got stuff I need to get and I wonder if I should wait for that.

Anyway I might do some cleaning before we go.

Oh yeah my cat Indy (who I swear not only lost weight but shrunk!) has been so happy to have me back. She looked shocked when I came home but has been staying with me most of the time. Twice I’ve woken up at 4am with her sleeping right on top of my bladder, which has also make my need to pee more needed. My jet lag is kind of eh. Tuesday I took a nap when I got home and then went to bed after like 10 but I was awake at 4am, got up to go to the bathroom and wasn’t able to go back to sleep. Last night I went to bed at 9:30 and then stayed in bed after I woke up. I don’t remember if I fell back to sleep but I was up at 7. I have been taking it easy.

Anyway this might be my last post on here. I need to get sorted and then I think about the other blog. Hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving.

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Farewell England!

So my last day in England.

I got my dissertation on Saturday. Got to see my marks and comments. Of course got a little annoyed with some of it. One thing I wasn’t surprised with was some of the comments were repeats. I guess I just didn’t get what he wanted me to do. Either way it’s over with.

I’ve packed pretty much everything I can. There are a few things I have to leave behind. Hopefully some of it can fit in Mike’s bags when he comes otherwise it will just stay here or can be shipped to me if I really miss it.

I’ve not been as emotional or weepy as I thought I would be. But it’s a bit different this time. I know I’m going to see him at Christmas and even though it is quite a bit away I’ll see him in the Fall when we get married. The first two times when I saw him first and then he came to see me I started crying a few days before the end of the trip because I wanted more time with him. I remember after I dropped him off at the airport the first time I had to run to the bathroom so I could cry. I’m one of those people who hates to let others see me cry especially complete strangers so I prefer to weep in private. It was kind of funny cause I got to a point where I thought I was okay enough to leave the stall and a song came on and it was so freaking sad that it got me started all over again. Finally I thought I need to go home at least I can lock myself up in my room and cry! My mom didn’t understand why I was so upset cause I was going to see him again but it was the fact I hate being separate from him! Even when I was in Leeds I thought I preferred to be at his. Granted his house had a lot of benefits that my student studio didn’t have including silence at night!

I had a nice weekend. Friday we watched a few films together, Saturday we spent some quality time together before he had to go to a brass band concert and then we had people over as a last time game night. I’ve really been glad to get to know and become friends with some of Mike’s friends. I’ll be glad to see them again at the wedding. I even got a card today from one of his friends and his wife. Mike’s godmother gave me an early Christmas present of American money when I returned her books she lent me. Sunday we went to Bronte Country and I got see the house they lived in that was turned into a museum. I wish I could have taken photos but there was no photography or video allowed. I really enjoyed it and it made me want to read the books I have and the ones I don’t have yet. I think my favorite was Jane Eyre. I remember when we were in the car and saw the moors I kept thinking about Jane traveling through them when she left Mr. Rochester before coming to her cousins’ place.

Then there was Anne Bronte’s Agnes Grey when she was in Scarborough. I got to see what she saw going down the large hill to the beach (granted with a ton of arcades that weren’t Victorian). That’s one of the biggest things I’ve loved about these novels I can visual what they saw when they were writing the manuscripts.

Anyway I’m getting distracted. I really enjoyed it there obviously lol We looked around some shops. I finally got to try a macaron (the french kind not the coconut kind) it was a mini one. It was vanilla with marzipan in the middle. Mike had a chocolate one. I’m definitely going to have to start making them. We went to dinner at a restaurant I quite like and have been wanting to go to but it seems that they have gone down in the service and quality. Almost every time we’ve gone they’ve been out of food. It’s kind of surprising really if they’re that popular. But I enjoyed my lamb shank pie and churros sundae. I also had my very last glitterberry J20, it’s only around during the holidays and it tastes like cherry jolly ranchers.

Today I got a visit from the neighbor across the road. She was giving me a send off and we were talking about marriage and family. I can’t wait to see her again next year.

I’m going to miss Grey like crazy though. I picked him up earlier and thought I need to snuggle him a lot today and I nearly let loose the waterworks. I’ve got some quality time in with Mogs and Minnie as well. I wonder if Minnie will act weird now that I won’t be there. Mogs won’t be as bothered I’m sure but I wonder she’ll be afraid of me again the next time I’m around. I at least got to give her belly a good rub and a nice chin scratch.

I don’t know what I’m going to do when I get home. I did warn my mom I might be a bit tired and crabby. I’ll be glad to see Indy again. Things should be okay, I’ll just have to get used to everything again.

And before I know it Christmas will be here and I’ll have my most wanted present, Mike. 🙂

I might write another entry or two once I’m home again. But this is the end really. I’ve really enjoyed writing this blog and been happy to get more followers. I don’t think I ever expected to get so many people liking it and coming back for more. Hopefully they will like whatever I come up with next. 🙂

It’s been a great year.

So Much Stuff, So Few Bags!

So I’m going through stuff that I want to pack and I’m realizing I just don’t have the room.

I only have two bags and two carry on and it’s just not enough to hold everything. I don’t think I realized how much I had here. Some of it is stuff I asked my mom to send me and I’m beginning to regret it since I don’t have the room. I got tons of shoes that I haven’t worn but asked to be sent and three pairs are converse. I love converse shoes. My first pair was some high top flames that I had been coveting. I stupidly got rid of them a few years ago cause I got unwanted attention from wearing them at church a few times. I was only a teenager but was easily influenced. I think the last time I wore them was to my prom (which I still love that I did) and then got rid of them. They didn’t really go with anything anyway but I loved them still. I got a grey, purple and green pair at the moment. I used to wear them all the time back in St. Louis but then I wasn’t using my feet as my main point of transportation. They are not walking shoes at least the canvas Chuck Taylors aren’t. But I’ve also acquired two new pairs that I can’t live without. They are nice and I can just slip them on and wear them anywhere, dress up or down or just to put out the trash. So I’m beginning to wonder if I should get rid of my chucks. I hate the idea of doing so cause I once wanted to own a pair in every color. It might be one of the many things I asked to be sent back to me or a few things I ask Mike to bring with him at Christmas.

Then there’s a few other things. I got coffee mugs, figures, an antique musical jewelry box, a blanket that was my grandmother’s and I’ve had since she passed away 13 years ago but is falling apart terribly.  I also got a ton of books I’ve acquired as well. I’ve tried hard not to buy books when I’ve been here but when I see a classic that’s on my list of books to read I end up buying it. I think I got the entire collection of Sherlock Holmes books for about £1.50. I have yet to read those because my list has become so long.

I think some of the mugs I’m just keeping here until I either come back for them or ask for them to be sent. My jewelry box I won’t be sure about until I go back home. I do have one more back to pack and I might find I have room for things like some photos or a few books. The shoes are just material things, I’m a lot different now than I used to be and might find I don’t miss them.

But my grandma’s blanket is another thing. I don’t know what to do. It is falling apart so I can’t really use it and I don’t think it’s even repairable. I stopped using it last year around this time because I realized I couldn’t keep washing it without it shedding more and more of its material. I’ve also gotten used to not having a small blanket handy when I get cold though it might be different when I go home. I wouldn’t mind a new one. It’s really hard to say at the moment. I do still have a week before I leave.

I booked my ticket and got my first class train ticket (I’m not dragging four things of luggage with me to fight for a seat in standard.) It really overwhelmed earlier just finding things I can pack now. Luckily I was home alone and could have a good cry. I haven’t really had a chance to cry. Last night and Friday while I was in bed I did well up but I couldn’t really let it out for fear of waking Mike. Leaving him or watching him go has been the hardest thing for me to deal with. I just want to stay with him and that be it. But we got about a year a part to deal with before the wedding and who knows how longer after we’re married. We need to meet certain requirements as far as immigration goes either way.

Anyway don’t mind me as I question what to do. I know things will get better I just need to allow myself to be upset. I don’t want to build it up. I also don’t think it’s truly hit me yet. At least I get Mike for Christmas 🙂

Meet Me in St. Louis

My time here has an expiry date.

My flight out of England has been booked. And I got mixed feelings.

I’m coming home on the 20th and will be home just days in time of Thanksgiving celebrations. I’ll be seeing friends and family I haven’t seen in person in over a year and I’m pretty sure my cat will be jumping for joy.

But then I’m leaving behind the life I’ve gotten used to here, my new cat Grey who won’t know where I’ve gone and Mike my fiancé. Thankfully I’ll be seeing Mike at Christmas. And I know I’m coming back here. I just hate that a lot of things are coming to an end.

Like this blog for instance. This blog was only meant to be for my year here but I’m finding I quite enjoy it. I like putting stuff on here and sharing it. I find that little things like my photos and when I talk about my cats get a lot of notice. Photos I wasn’t that surprised by but the cats yes! lol

I am planning on having a different blog after this. I already got my wedding one up. I don’t know what to make the focus of my next one to be. I don’t mind it being about me and having it as a general blog. But then there’s the design and layout and the name of the blog and how often I want to update it.

There is one thing I want to crab about though. STA Travel. I have only used it once before this. It wasn’t for student prices I don’t think. Maybe it was but I first used it to get a flight home to St. Louis after going to Minnesota for week with a friend. She was staying cause it was her mom’s house and I had to come back to go to work. I had to call them because I didn’t know until a few days before I left that I deleted my flight ticket from my email. They claimed I needed a student card to prove I was a student because if I didn’t they ask for proof and I didn’t have any. I got the stupid card and it was never asked for and I never used it for the whole year I had it.

So back to today when I was trying to buy my ticket at a student price. I went all the way through until I got to a point where it was asking me for an ISIC card. I didn’t have one and I wasn’t about to pay for one to prove I was still a student. So I had to go back and redo everything and tweak things as far as not going one way (if you don’t know already, if you get a one way flight ticket, it will cost you more than getting round trip ticket) even though I’m not coming back to England for a year. So it was more expensive than the student price but it was less expensive than the other sites I was looking at. I guess I should start going through stuff and seeing what to keep here and what to take with me. I think I’m going to have to pay for a second bag but it is actually a lot cheaper than I thought. Just got to make sure it is under the weight limit.

Don’t think I will ever get anything through STA Travel again though. It really is a scam to demand a card from someone who has student ID as well as a passport that says I’m here on student visa. Oh well it’s all done now. Wish me luck! I’m not a very calm traveller when it comes to planes. I don’t think it’s the plane ride but the trying to get to the area in time and making the next flight. The biggest problem I might have in the flight is motion sickness and I’m out of my motion sickness pills. I’m sure I can get some though. See you soon St. Louis!

What I’ll Miss: A Year Later

 

I’ve googled myself today. I’ve done it before but it’s been awhile but I’ve been curious to see what I find when I look my name up, I remember back when I started this blog as an intention for my photography work and I found I couldn’t get a domain in my name because someone else had it. I didn’t see the website anymore though for the person that shared my name but did watercolors. It doesn’t really matter anymore but I was pleasantly surprised to find this blog was on the second and third page.

The first blog entry that showed up was from last August when I was trying to stay positive about my delay to the UK so I shared some photos of a festival that happens yearly back home. The second blog entry was about what I would miss and wouldn’t miss from back home. And it’s interesting to see that a year later some of those things are different or didn’t have as big an impact as I thought it would.

So I’m just going to share the original item on the list and then say how I feel now.

1.I will definitely miss my friends and family and being able to call them up and hang out.

I do miss that, I do find that I crave contact with people sometimes and other times I am so shell-shocked from being in town that it puts my social anxiety into overdrive. I know I am looking forward to seeing some people again but I’ve gotten used to it.

2. I will not miss the weather especially the damn humidity. I barely got any sleep last night cause it was too warm even with a fan and no covers.

Oh how I haven’t missed that. It’s actually been between cold and mild here the entire time, though their past winter wasn’t normal it has gotten cold sooner this fall/winter. Next summer is going to suck.

3. I’ll miss my walks with my friend and former boss Emily, we talk and bitch and sometimes go out to eat together.

I do miss those walks but I can definitely say that I think my walking speed has increased since being over here cause if you want to get somewhere you have to pick your feet up and these damn hills go by faster the quicker I go.

4. God I’ll miss the St. Louis food! Ted Drewes, toasted ravioli and gooey butter cake. Among others…

Yes yes and yes this is still true. I may be able to get a root beer fix and marshmallow fluff fix but it’s going to be a struggle not to stuff my mouth with any of this when I get home. First thing I’m probably going to do is order some Imos.

5. I’ll miss having a full length fridge, seriously they’re small there.

When I was in Leeds it wasn’t that bad and Mike’s parents have a fridge freezer in the cellar as well as a large freezer so it’s not too bad though I do miss the connivence of having the freezer and microwave in the kitchen. I have to go down there if I want something and sometimes I can’t be bothered.

6. I won’t miss the stress that work has brought me or certain individuals that create the negative environment.

I remember how stressed out I was last year at this point. My boss was no longer there and all the people I really got along with in my department were slowly going elsewhere or working completely different hours to me. And the one person who made my work life hell was doing what he could to make it hard on me. I remembering for months having dreams about being back at work and having to see him again. I’ve since been able to deal with the situation in a positive manner and move on with my life. Just wish I could find another job.

7. I will miss some people from work. They’re the ones that still keep me sane.

I do miss a few old co-workers. I’ll likely be visiting them when I go home.

8. I’ll miss my room. I’ve made it mine for the last 25 years. I guess I’ll allow the cats to own it.

I do miss it but Mike’s room has been a nice substitute.

9. I’ll miss my kitties, especially poor Missy, who just got diagnosed with kidney disease.

Missy, the poor baby, passed away before I left home. But she was old and she is doing better now. I do miss Indy and I bet she’ll be happy when I come home cause she changed when I left. But I got three more cats I love and will miss. Mogs, Minnie and Grey. 🙂

10. I think I’ll miss my car, I’ll miss being able to just drive anywhere, I won’t miss the damn money it costs me to fix it all the time and for gas.

I kind of have missed my car but not as much as I would have thought. I’m quite used to walking, taking the bus or train and riding with Mike’s parents when they drive.

11. I’ll miss having unlimited access to books, cds, movies, etc for no cost at all. God I’ve read so much in the last four years it’s crazy.

I did at first but I found that I didn’t have as much time for reading books and there were plenty of options with films. My tv shows I watch are mostly shown over here and I’ve found substitutes for find them or new shows while being over here. I can’t say there are many that I’ve been oh I have to watch that.

12. Irish Car Bombs, it’s kind of a tradition for me to have them on my birthday though this year I think I’m skipping it but I think if I ask for that over there I’d get my ass kicked. It’d be like asking for crashing twin towers here.

I don’t know what I was thinking. I haven’t thought about that drink at all while here. I’ve discovered other things to try. But yeah I didn’t miss those.

13. Hmmm some more things I won’t miss…feeling guilty cause I haven’t help with this or that lol Sorry mom but it’s true.

Why did I put this? lol Can’t say I’ve been made to feel guilty for some things but it has been nice to be somewhat independent as much as one can be in someone else’s house.

14. I won’t miss my neighbor, his crappy music or his mean dogs!

I have to say I think the people living in my student accommodation gave him a run for his money. But yeah I haven’t missed his crazy antics at all.

15. I won’t miss the chaos that happens after my nephews have been over. Love em but it’s like a tornado hit the playroom lol

Hasn’t bothered me lol

16. I won’t miss brown recluses! Haven’t seen one yet this summer but I’m not gonna hold my breath, but I will have a shoe ready >)

There are currently 4 spiders living in the kitchen and I haven’t been bothered by them. Why? Because they aren’t poisonous. Sadly when I go home I’d likely be killing anything that the size or color of a brown recluse.

17. I’ll miss my movie channels, I love watching movies whenever I feel like. I’m hoping I can get the rest of True Blood online since I’m moving in the middle of the 4th Season.

I did managed to watch the rest of the 4th season since I was still at home. And I’ve seen the 5th season. I’m quite content.

18. I’ll probably miss my blanky lol.  I’ve had this one probably since I was a baby but it’s so torn up I’m probably gonna trash it when I leave. It was good for a makeshift pillow and as a kid a cape for my kitties.

My blanky was put to good use. It accompanied Missy when she was buried. I couldn’t find her collar but I figured since she was used as the cape holder when I was a kid and both I had from childhood and I thought it was a nice thought.

19. I’ll miss the malls, they have shops there but not nearly as much as we have especially when it comes clothes for me. Though there might be some in Leeds. I’ll just have to find out.

Nope haven’t missed them. Plenty of shopping around here and I’ve saved money! Do wish it was easier to find my way around the grocery stores here than back home.

So that’s pretty much it. I found at first I did miss the familiarity of being at home because there are so many little things that are different that it can add up. But there are good and bad things here as there are back in St. Louis. I know when I go home I’m going to be talking about how much I miss my fiancé, the cats, some ciders and a few tv shows. Oh and how can I forget the NHS! Not having to worry about any bills from the doctor and finding alternatives to my acid reflux meds. I am kind of surprised at my feeling towards Halloween now. It’s not a big deal here and I haven’t missed all the Halloweeny stuff but that could be because it marketed towards kids here. I do miss the art show I used to go to and the movies but I don’t think I’ll worry about costumes anymore.

Money Money Money, Must be Funny in A Rich Man’s World

So Friday went well I think.

Besides the fact that I along with many others ran out of time with our presentations so I had to quickly wrap it up. There was so much I wanted to say that I didn’t get to. I also found out I didn’t actually have to be there at 9am. I could have showed up at 2pm and have been fine. I was also late which had me quite anxious and to find it wasn’t an issue was a bit of a relief. But I’m glad I was there all day. I got to support at least one of my fellow classmates that I have gotten along with this year. There was another one whose presentation was in the first section but he ended up being a no-show. I’m quite surprised and was a little disappointed since I had missed his in progress presentation when he had been there for mine. I tried sending him a message but got no response. I just hope everything is okay with him since I don’t think that was a decision made lightly. I know I panicked during the end of the second semester because of having an issue with one of my classes. I did end up turning something in because I spoke with my professor and didn’t fail the class. I also noticed while I was awaiting my presentation that I didn’t have that nervous feeling all day and I wasn’t that nervous when I did my presentation. I do wish I had practiced though. I would have known what I was going to say better.

Anyway I ended up having a headache at the end when it was my turn to present. I had taken something a little bit before but it wasn’t working because when I met up with my fiance and his parents a few hours later for dinner. I still had it and it was worse. I didn’t get a celebratory glass of wine because that does make my headaches worse if I already have one. So I thought I’d try a amaretto and coke (if you haven’t mixed that ever before try it, it tastes like Dr. Pepper) and my headache surprisingly got better. I decided to get a second one that was a double and then the headache came back with a vengeance. I think cause I had been up over 12 hours by that point my body was just like, dude get into bed but I was still at the restaurant so it had to wait a bit. When I got home that night I had every intention to go to bed before 8pm something I probably haven’t done since I was a kid. But when I got into bed I thought I’d keep the tv on so I could possibly fall asleep to it and had Grey under the covers with me (and kneading my belly). I ended up staying up until sometime between 1am and 1:30 because a movie I hadn’t seen in a while came on and then another one and to be honest I was feeling better. Mike was downstairs the whole time until about 2am so he wouldn’t disturb me and then got sucked into doing a little online gambling. It’s funny before I met him I really never gambled. I think mostly because I had to go to a casino to do it and couldn’t be bothered. Here they have fruit machines in restaurants and bars. They’ll also have little chains that you can go into and bet on games or sports or play a multitude of slot machines. I remember the first time I came over to England to meet Mike, we went into this one called Cashino and they were having a Halloween raffle that every person got a ticket for when they came in. I didn’t really understand how the machines worked at the time so I kind of just played. I ended up leaving with 30 quid more than I started with because I won some money on a machine plus I won the raffle of the hour.

I remember when he came to St. Louis we also went to like 3 different casinos, one was just cause it was there and we needed to use the toilet. The second was to try the buffet and then we went in. And the last one was supposed to be where a lot of my friends got to meet him if they couldn’t come to the first event I had. That last one was okay. It was annoying because once we were in the casino we got carded at least 3 or 4 times despite the fact you are carded when you go in. My fiance is going to be 29 this year and looks younger than 18 let alone 21. One person decided to card him because of the way he pronounced amaretto until they realized the reason why was because he was English. But then I won 200 dollars randomly off a slot machine. So that’s a big pro.

I’ve also recently realize how much fun roulette is. Mike got a Groupon for the casino he’s a member of here for a 2 course meal for 2 or 4 people. We went with his friend Hannah and her boyfriend and actually had a pretty good night. It’s one of the kind of places that you don’t feel like you have to spend money cause it’s that nice. His friend didn’t at all if I remember correctly, she just kind of watched and hung out. And at the time I wasn’t sure if I was going to either but I saw the options for roulette and quite enjoyed it. Then getting a few wins on random numbers was nice. I also watched how you play Black Jack too though I didn’t participate. We ended up coming out pretty well having played roulette mathematically as well as on random numbers.

Anyway enough about gambling. Don’t want anyone getting the wrong idea I’ve got a gambling problem because I have an appreciation for it. Once I talked to a guy about the Anheuser-Busch family because I had read a biography about the family and about what they do when you visit the brewery and he accused me of being an alcoholic. Not something I take too lightly considering it runs in my family and while I enjoy alcohol I am careful when I drink.

Anyway despite the finish to my course I still have been a bit stressed and to top it off I’ve gotten another cold. Now that my course is finished, the student loans I had back in the states are no longer in deferment and I didn’t know you only get that 6 months grace period once. So I got some loans due now and I have absolutely no money now and despite me applying for many jobs week after week for many months I still haven’t even gotten an interview with anywhere. That one I thought I had the possibly of getting has completely fallen through. I’ve been trying what I can to try to get out of debt and have asked family for help. But there’s only so much help they can give and only so many times I can ask. I feel terrible asking for help too, I don’t like being in debt to others and I feel like a bum every time I ask for help but I can’t do anything else. I’m starting to think I might need to go home earlier than planned so I can have a better opportunity to get work but then there’s the damn plane ticket! I have been feeling a bit depressed because every time I get an email thanking me for applying also informing me I haven’t been shortlisted kind of kills me a little and getting another email letting me know another bill is due, thankfully it has been fewer emails about bills since some of them have been paid off. But then telling my family I need help and being reminded of what they have already done for me or reminded me they don’t have that much money as well or both. I don’t know what else to do! I’m already doing what I can and I’m not asking for handouts, I’m asking for loans until I can pay them back. And I’m getting married in a year! There are some solutions I’ve come up with to make things cheaper but I still have half the venue plus a deposit to pay for and someone to marry us. It shouldn’t be too hard to do but then there’s all this debt with people and student loans! Plus I need to make sure I got a plane ticket for next November when the UK reception happens. Looks like I won’t be doing a whole lot when I go home. Wish there was something that could make me feel better whether it’s a freaking lifeline, a job, or anything really that involves me taking my mind off money.

You know it’s funny how I sometimes kind of start off positive in a blog or on one subject and I sometimes go the other end of the spectrum. I talked about my presentation and now it’s about my last of money or job prospects. I feel I should end on a positive note though. I think I’ll share a quick and kind of funny story about Grey.

On Friday I got up at 6:30, Grey has recently decided that’s what time he wants to be fed and let out (if the weather isn’t bad). So since I was up I didn’t have an issue with it. Well I ended up going to the bathroom first before I went downstairs. My mother in law got up too cause she had to go teach somewhere and was giving me a ride to the train station. I don’t know if she fed him before he went outside but by the time we were leaving he was wanting in. unfortunately he wanted to bring in the bird he had caught and was dying in his mouth. I was out before my mother in law so I tried to get him to drop it and he wouldn’t. He just kept meowing which I didn’t know a cat could do while holding something like a critter in his mouth. He was also most like he was saying, would you let me in already so I can put this thing down? I wouldn’t let him come in though cause no one else was up and we weren’t sure if the bird was still alive. After both us failed to get him to drop the bird we decided we needed to go. He went to the side of the house and then dropped the bird and there was no movement so I went to pick him up and he picks the bird up again. I realized there was no way he was going to come in without the bird. So I let him be at the side of the house and we left and I sent Mike a warning text in case he tried to bring the bird in later. He didn’t in fact they don’t know what he did with the bird. He either took it somewhere else or he ate it (bleh). He is a pretty good mouser though, just yesterday he left a dead mouse at the backdoor. He seems to like letting us know of his presents and be praised for it. I don’t agree with him killing them (especially the birdy) but at least we know he won’t bring them in alive like Mogs does. She does kill them sometimes but generally she brings them in alive to play with and they get under furniture.

Bored Bored Bored

So I’m finding myself to be continually bored. I submitted my dissertation last Wednesday and I was expecting things to be calm and quiet when I got there.

Boy was I wrong!

It’s freshers week so there were a ton of students there, new and returning and it wasn’t so bad getting there. The more annoying part came when I was wanting to leave and there was a congestion at the bus stop as well a storm passing through. I had forgotten my umbrella and normally I wouldn’t care if I got a little wet but that day I did. I was going to dinner and the theatre that night with Mike and his parents to see Phantom of the Opera and since it was in Leeds I just dressed in the nice clothes I was going to wear that night. Well since the bus stop sheltered was crammed with students, I was forced to wait outside it, then it started raining. I kept debating about seeking shelter over waiting out the bus, it did say it was due but it was very late. So I decided to stay and a bus did show up just not the one I needed but I did managed to get in the sheltered and in time to save myself from heavier downpour. But then the bus I wanted did show up. And in order to make sure I got decent seat I was one of the first people in line, the heavy downpour got heavier and I was out of the shelter. I had on my thickish winter coat because it was quite chilly that day and I knew it would be colder by the time the performance was done. It also covered most of my dress too so I managed to not get overly soaked. But my coat and the back of my dress did and all these other students got it just as badly as me. I was dry by the time I met up with my in-laws but my wet coat left me a bit cold. I wish I could say I enjoyed the evening but with how tired I was from running around and cold from the rain (my pit stop at Starbucks only helped a little bit) made me a bit cranky. The place we ate at was fine but I wanted to try somewhere new and we walked a long way to decide where to go and then the seats at the theatre were Victorian and not made for comfort or space so I couldn’t completely enjoy the performance. It got to a point where I wanted to leave that’s how badly I wanted to go home. Mike and I both agreed that we wouldn’t attempt to go to a performance there again unless we got the expensive box seats since the lack of space was quite hard on our knees. I felt like an old woman trying to walk down the steps later.

I’ve started the work on my presentation but do find myself distracted. It doesn’t take much really but it’s not like my dissertation where I really needed to be concentrated on it. I think I’m nearly done with that actually and I don’t need that until next week.

But this last week has been doing a bit of job hunting, finally finding some jobs I can apply for, taking it easy and starting to look into when to go home. It’s been quite a bummer finding how high the ticket prices are. I don’t really get why ticket prices are higher for a single ticket rather than ones where you get a return. We’ve also realized that I’m going to have to go home sooner since I’m not restricted by a job which has its benefits but I really hate flying by myself. It gives me such anxiety and I never know what to expect, I think I’m always worried about missing a connecting flight plus all the stuff I got. We are thinking I might just need to decide what I really want sent home after the fact. I’m thinking I will just leave some things here that I don’t absolutely need like some of my books. I will get to meet up with my friends before Mike comes so we’re not rushing to meet this person and that person while he’s here. It might actually be more like a vacation for him as well as us planning a bit more for the wedding. But I am worried about money as usual. I had to spent quite a bit to print my dissertation so instead of nearly having enough for a plane ticket I am a bit short. Thankfully I will be more free for work but I guess I am a little worried since I’ve never worked in the UK and I haven’t worked in over a year. And then I’m going to have to start that process all over again when I come home. I already have a few library websites saved to look for work though I am going to be open to stuff that is at least is full-time and pays the bills and funds the wedding.

Speaking of which, one of the designers I like seems to now have prices listed for the dresses I’m preferring which just puts them out of the price range I’m thinking. And even with the limit I’m allowing myself, that extremely generous. I’d rather not spend that much on a dress but I am planning at some point to try those dresses on and if I like them, I’m might search for an Esty designer to see if they’ll make it for me at a better price and maybe a bit shorter. I definitely favoring the tea length dresses. So those are some things to keep in mind. I haven’t done any dress shopping yet with the mother-in-law but she keeps looking at places.

Oh and I have a very funny story to tell of Grey. I don’t know if I mentioned once before about Mogs recently brining in a live mouse and it hiding under the couch in the front room. Well Mogs when she lets it loose and tries to find it (this most recent one isn’t the first time she’s caught one and let it loose) she gets too excited and can’t pinpoint the scent. We’ve discovered that Grey is much better at it. On this night where she couldn’t find it, Grey jumps off the couch as he sees her and the rest of us looking for it and just kind of points it out by sniffing at a part of the couch and sitting there. I then see where it is and he leaves the room. Mogs at this point is still trying to find it. So that said, Grey was bugging me one day last week for food after I had already given him some maybe an hour or so before. I can’t remember if I check to see if there was food or not but I wouldn’t give in to his pleas. So he kind of settles down for a bit then decides to go outside. Next thing I hear is him meowing and my father in law yelling to warn me he’s brought in a mouse. So I jump up because I don’t want it loose in the bedroom. I open the door to find Grey is already sitting there and there is something on the ground. He just sat there purring away and sitting so proudly as if to say, “Look what I got for you! Can I have some food now?” So I patted his head and walked around him to get some paper towels, the mouse was dead though it looked as if it was a heart attack rather than an injury that killed him though he very well could have crushed it carrying the little guy. I then fed Grey and disposed of the poor little mouse. I just hope he doesn’t plan to do that again the next time I won’t feed him lol

He got to stay in last night too though got to and forced to are two different things. I bet the way he saw it was he wasn’t allowed to go out and he wasn’t allowed to snuggle in bed with someone. He is a serious snuggler. If someone is in the bed with him he will move to where he is laying next to if not on the person. It’s quite cute when he does that. Last night he got up to go downstairs so Mike and I got into bed and we thought his parents would put him out but I guess they decided not to cause of the weather so instead of him being content with the cat bed, he just laid on top of the steps and would meow a bit anytime there was movement cause I know each time I woke up I would hear him whine. He also left a little present by the backdoor. We’re going to have to litter train him it seems. Based on what I found today it shouldn’t be too different from a kitten and thankfully the in-laws don’t have an issue with it. So once that happens he’s just going to have to get along with the girls and snooze with them in the front room at night. It shouldn’t be too hard to do.

Anyway I think that was it. Not much has gone on. I’m leaving this weekend for the band competition that Mike and his mom are in. Sunday we’re going to go to Stratford Upon Avon so I get to see Shakespeare’s house again! It’s been 11 years since I went there and I was in a jet lag coma I think. Most of us just slept on the bus until we got somewhere. I do remember bits and pieces but my photos from there aren’t that great since the camera I used wasn’t very good. So hopefully I’ll have some nice photos to share!

Fall

I think I’m writing a post inspired by a freshly pressed one. It’s about Fall or Autumn for those picky ones who have no idea what Fall is.

Fall is my favorite time of year. I don’t know how it started to be honest. I think when I was a kid it was the time for Halloween. Stores became stocked with Halloween costumes and decorations, I got to think about what I wanted to be and the hot hot St. Louis summer was starting to go away. As I got older I think it became more about the weather and how the leaves changed and fell. I used to love crunching the leaves beneath my feet and especially when I got to a particularly crunchy leaf. It was also a popular time for craft fairs and the smells of apple and cinnamon was usually what dominated those places. I have always loved cinnamon too, I think I have an odd obsession with it. I think it started with Red Hots and Atomic Fireballs.

Then there’s the pumpkins. I loved carving our pumpkins. When I was in elementary school we had a contest around Halloween for the Funniest, Cutest, or Scariest pumpkin. I remember one year entering it and making a little pumpkin look like a baby doll without carving it. One of my teachers really liked it, I remember feeling disappointed when I didn’t win the cutest pumpkin but I think I did get an honorable mention though it is possible everyone got that. I always wondered if I should have carved it but it was so small it would have been a bit hard to do. When I got older my mom introduced me to pumpkin pie at the grocery store. It was a day when they were giving out free samples in order to try to get you to buy it. I remember her saying, you might not like it. And I did find it an odd taste at the first initial try. I guess I didn’t know what to expect. But I learned to love it. I don’t think it really took me long, if I didn’t like it by the end that following Thanksgiving and Christmas, I loved it next year. We’ve only ever made pumpkin pie from real pumpkins once, it was different for sure. I think I prefer the canned pumpkin puree but I know that’s something I’m going to be missing again this year, at least until Christmas. And oh those Pumpkin Spice flavored coffees! I might have to see if the Starbucks they have here carry it, I haven’t actually gone into one while I’ve been here, it’s been Costa Coffee since it has nice alternatives, plus I love the huge mug they bring the mocha in when I dine in.

But there’s so much to Fall I love. I love the changing weather, where it gets crisp and chilly in the morning but not too much to really frost up your windows and the sun is still up at normal time. Then there’s the time change, I think that’s the one I like when you get the extra hour in the morning even if it means sacrificing the extra light in the evening. I have to say I really don’t understand why they keep changing the time change lately. It used to be in sync with the UK one and now they’re a week off. But if you got out early enough when you need a light jacket and can see your breath a bit and then you have the rising sun hit the trees. It’s beautiful with the oranges, reds, and yellows. My mom and I really loved how red some trees turned that when we got a new tree in the front yard we decided to get one that turned red.

In high school, I was in marching band, at least until my senior year. And we always played at the home football games. I hated watching football, I have never gotten into it and always spent the time talking with my friends rather than paying attention to the game. It’s sad that my junior year was the last straw for me and many others to be in it. It changed from something fun and enjoyable to a chore. I hated that because I was in for the enjoyment rather than the perfection of my marching and my music playing I was treated quite badly. I stuck it out for as long as I did because I thought I could be the section leader since most seniors get that role or at least help. But when I was still getting pulled aside to work on my marching as a junior with freshmen, I decided that was it for me. I didn’t care if I joined again next year. I was already doing quite a bit in the music section with being in choir as well. But before all that turned sour. It was fun. Our school colors matched up with Halloween (Orange and Black) and we went from our summer uniforms to our winter ones and I liked how professional we looked. I had made friends with different people on the band and we were kind of our own group. I think my favorite march we did that year was at the best time of year when it was a little bit cold (though with no jacket and a not so thick uniform it was freezing) and the parade ended at one of the school that was holding a craft fair. I got to have one of my favorite types of food at the end and look at the little crafts made and then walk to one of my friend’s houses that lived nearby. Sometimes we’d go to the book fair or a local resell shop for books that was also haunted (it was in the local paper for it). Getting to look at old books and visit the cats that lived there was the best. After my freshmen year I don’t think I really went there but maybe once but I’ll look back on those days as a great memory.

Here in England Fall is a bit different, instead of having the Indian Summer at the beginning of semester, we’ve gotten a mixture of warm and cold weather. It’s been rainy one week and warm and sunny the next. I do believe this week is the turn to be rainy. Then there’s the apple and pumpkin galore lacking. I won’t be going to an apple orchard/pumpkin farm. Nor enjoying watching even adults get excited for Halloween. Beyond the kids it’s not really celebrated as much as it is in America. Though it changed for me too back home when I got too old to trick or treat. I was either in middle school or high school when I went with two friends and the weird looks we got from some of the people when they open the door was enough for me to think I shouldn’t do it anymore. I can understand from the other side. You don’t know if we’re up to no good and wondering how old we are, me and my friends did tend to look a few years older even by the time we were 14. So I decided I would still dress up but I would just hand out candy and watch scary movies. But I found that boring, and then there’s the fact I don’t like a lot of “scary” movies. I think they put horror or scary on the title and just use it as an excuse to make it bloody and disgusting. I don’t like those types of films. But then I got old enough to go to Halloween parties or have some of my own. Though I learned the hard way that parties at mine weren’t that fun with a mom who could hear what you said and gave you grief over it (Sorry Mom! But you know it’s true!) I didn’t really like going to other parties either, I think I loved the planning part where you got to be creative and then that was it. If it was one where there was a lot of people I didn’t know, I just kind of moved around and stuck with the people I knew. I’m not a fan of crowds and I’m not a fan of being noticed either. The few I have enjoyed over the years has been this one at the Koken Art Factory. It’s started a few years ago and a classmate from college had some work in it. You could dress in costume and look at the Halloween themed art. The next year I entered it but wasn’t able to really enjoy the party due to my flight from New York being late back to St. Louis. But that place throws some really cool art shows/parties throughout the year. I don’t think I’ll enter into a Halloween show again because really I don’t see a reason to sell Halloween art, just to make it and the amount of money I put into just framing the two pieces of work I had been too much to do again. Though I would love to do the other shows. They had an Alice in Wonderland themed one I think about two years ago. I loved some of the work and found it quite enjoyable, the hardest part was getting someone to go with me.

Anyway back to Fall. Though I will find parts here of Fall that I will enjoy like Bonfire Night and maybe going to York again to watch the light show they have in October, I can’t wait to get to St. Louis again to experience Fall there, it does help by that point I’ll be getting married and probably spending my last Fall/Winter there for a few years. That’s the main reason why I am choosing to have my wedding in the Fall and having a Fall theme. I loved that time of year in St. Louis above any else. Now to just decided on how and where I’m getting my decorations for the wedding.

Big Events Come in Threes

Have you ever heard that saying, all bad things come in threes. I kind of wonder the same thing for good things and just major events. I’m nearly done with school. In a matter of weeks I will be done. My dissertation is nearly done in the editing process as well.

I have a venue and date set for my wedding next year.

Yep that’s right it all got confirmed this week. I’m getting married at Hawken House on October 6th 2013. I already wrote a blog or two about the place and time. I already have many, many visions of what I want. A good deal of it will be done myself and done cheaply because I don’t have a job and when I do, I’ll be paying off student loans and Mike will be saving up to come over as well as help pay for it. The things I’m thinking about now is the food I want, buffet or seated dinner, who I should invite and what should be our limit on guests and all sorts of things like that. Then there’s another thing. We’re having a reception in Huddersfield after we get married. My fiancé and his mom want it to be like 4-6 weeks after we get married and all I can think about is, will I be able to afford coming over? And will whatever job I have at the time allow me to. I’m actually trying not to think too much about the second one because my mother-in-law wants to plan it and we don’t need to do too much at the moment so I’m putting that out of my head.

So school is nearly done, I will have an MSc and I’m getting married in about a year. The other third big event that has happened is…

My friend Allison who I’ve known since we were boy-crazy 13 year olds, just had her baby at 5:32am central time/11:32 England time. She had a boy who she has named Isaiah John. He’s healthy but he’s currently got a lung infection so they’re keeping an eye on him. So if you care to, send a prayer or thought out to her and her little man.

So yeah this has been a pretty eventful week. This month as well is pretty eventful with Mike having his band competition on the day my dissertation is due plus the dissertation and presentation. I’m hoping things will be a bit more quiet the next few months before I go home :p I want to relax (and find a temporary job) so I won’t have to worry about money spending when I go home. I think we’re going to look into buying my plane ticket home soon. Though we need to figure out a way we can get me a one way ticket and Mike a return ticket on the same plane and hopefully with seats next to each other.

So that’s basically it. I wanted to share my continuing good news. 🙂

Forgiving, Letting Go and Reminiscing

Right now I should be listening to the last transcript I worked on to see if I can iron out the bits I couldn’t hear very well and double-check that I got everything right. But I decided I needed to write a post.

I follow a couple of blogs on here and one of them posted about being well-healed. It makes me think a lot about the stuff that has happened to me in the last year and recently with Grey joining us. I know I post a lot about cats but I am an admitted full-blown crazy cat lady. Plus there hasn’t been much going on in my life since I’m deep in dissertation writing and still am not planning much for my wedding (though we may have chosen a venue but we’re checking on the price since I have to call to enquire, I’ve asked my mom for help).

The blog I read today and something I said to my fiance over the weekend has got me thinking. Just over a year ago I lost my cat Missy, she was over 20 years old and a cat I had since I was a little girl. It hurt real bad losing her. I remember the day she died my cousin came over to help me bury her and keep me company that day. And that following week was so hard. I did not want to go into work. Not only had I lost my cat but recently my boss had left and I was left to work with someone who I did not get along with for many reasons and was then forced to hide my true feelings that day. I had two co-workers from a different department and one of the other managers to lean on for the most part that day in order to deal with what had happened, they knew something was up and understood. Even though I left for grad school, the last few months there weren’t good. Recently I heard from someone there that though there may be new people nothing much has changed. I feel a lot of the problems had to do with the lack of supervision and ulterior motives. My boss was not perfect in fact she was going though some bad times the last 6 months or so of her working there but I understood she wasn’t 100% completely there mentally for the job. Unfortunately not everyone saw things that way and someone took advantage of that. I’m not sure if I’m ready to go into the details of what happen at least publicly but I have talked to a few people about it. The one individual who had issues with for the last year of my job (and sadly things did not get better but worse at the end) I’ve managed to forgive for the most part. I feel they do have some serious issues to work with that I hope one day they do but I don’t really have any ill feelings towards them anymore just regret that things couldn’t be different.

Anyway I’m getting side tracked from what I was originally saying. Missy and I connected in many ways I have never connected with any other animal. Though I do love all three (now four) of the cats I have encountered since then, they each have their own personality. Mogs was probably the closest I have gotten to having that same devotion I had for Missy. Since we’ve encountered Grey, there have been a few things we’ve noticed with him.

  • He’s not attacking Mogs anymore like he did when he was still with his former owner, though that doesn’t stop Mogs from giving out a few cheap shots when she feels its necessary. It’s going to take her time to tolerate him.
  • He does miss his former owner. He’s been a bit mopey today. I think because yesterday he went over there and she isn’t there. I also think that’s why he’s gotten so attached to me lately.
  • That said, that cat absolutely loves me. My fiance was saying to his mom that he think I’ve adopted a new cat, she said to him, I think he’s adopted her. He tends to follow me around if I call him. I think he’s even responding to being called Grey.
  • He is vocal. Anytime he comes into the bedroom he meows for a few minutes and I have to call to him a few times before he either jumps on the bed or comes over to me. If the bedroom door is closed he will meow and meow until we open it to let him in. Last night he came in late and Mike and I were in bed watching a movie. We weren’t going to let him in but he figured we were still up watching a film. He got on the bed and laid between us.
  • Saturday night I managed to talk bully Mike into letting him stay for the night. I felt so bad making him go outside two nights in a row (though he willingly walked out) that I was near tears each time. This time I wasn’t going to make him leave. Mike being far too tired to argue just let him stay. However at 5am Grey was up and fed and I let him out (I was making sure he didn’t use the toilet on the carpet just in case). Last night Mike was the one to put him outside and Grey didn’t go willingly. We both feel bad putting him out but we don’t know if he’s litter trained and Mogs and Minnie aren’t ready to accept him just yet.

Now that I’ve said most of that and spend the last several days with him I’ve come to realize a few things. He has so many similar personality traits to Mogs, Missy and Indy even a little bit of Minnie. I don’t think I’ve had a cat take so much to me since Missy and Indy. He loves to cuddle with me. He lets me pick up and even hold him like a baby on his back (Something I only encountered with Missy, Mogs will tolerate it for a few minutes but then she wants back down). Right now he’s got his claws in my legs cause he’s been kneading me as I let him have my spot (yeah I’m a sucker) and sleep next to me. I think in a way, Missy sent him to me, to take care of. Mike thinks when Missy died, she was doing it for me, so I wouldn’t worry about her when I went to England. I remember the first time I was meeting Mike in person in 2010. I started packing my bag the first few days before I even left (I was so excited and wanted to make sure I remembered everything). She sat on the very top of that bag at least twice. I remember once coming upstairs to seeing her sitting there and then mewing at me like she wanted to go too. I thought it was so cute and immediately took a photo of her to send to Mike. My mom said she moped around for me when I was gone. Then when Mike came to see me that following Spring, Missy kind of avoided being around us when we were at home and that’s quite unlike her. It was only the night before he left that she came and cuddled with me, after being quite angry that I wouldn’t let her go outside (and locking her and Indy out of the bedroom because he couldn’t sleep with them on the bed). She’d hadn’t been outside in years and she shot out the door that night when I was trying to call Indy who just lapped up the attention Mike gave her. But in the end, Mike felt she knew I had found someone and it was okay for her to go and stop taking care of as much as I was taking care of her.

I might be acting quite silly with the whole Missy sending me another cat but that’s the way I prefer to look at it. I remember she used to lay on top of these pillows in the other room on a bed for when my nephews spent the night. She spent a lot of her time in there that week she passed. She didn’t want to move much and that seem the most comfortable place for her. I’d walk upstairs and see her laying there from the corner of my eye. I’d usually go to her to give her a little attention before I went into my room. So after she passed I’d keep thinking I saw her there when I came up the stairs and then turn and look to see nothing. I remember a friend taking me out to eat at Fitz to get my mind off things and I did well until I got home and saw the empty pillow. I don’t get as upset as I used to and I don’t refuse to think about her anymore for the fear of crying, if I get upset I allow it. I’m healing still but I’m guessing you could say I am well-healed.

Anyway I should probably get going on my work. I got up with Mike today to get an early start on my work and I haven’t touched it yet.