Planner Love

Behold the beauty of my personally designed planner. After scouring the internet and bookstores for the perfect planner for–let’s face it–years, I finally decided to create my own. (Side note: I did try bullet journaling for a while, but I hated that I had to create new spreads every day/week/month by hand.)

I originally was going to have it printed at Kinko’s and put it in a binder, but that was going to cost in the hundreds of dollars (?!). I decided to check out a self-publishing website I encountered before (BookBaby), and to my pleasant surprise, my new planner (bound with a hard cover!) was going to cost less than $50, including shipping.

I had a shipping issue that was my own fault (somehow, my old address was put in, and I didn’t double check it; it was sent to the house that caught fire a year ago), so I didn’t get it until today. I’ve been having so much fun filling it in and coloring it, though!

The only problem is that it is quite large. I like the big page sizes, but not so much the thickness. Now, I included only seven months (and two weeks) in this, since I thought it up partway through the year. I had been planning on making one for next year that included all of 2019, but I don’t think that will happen. That book would be enormous! At this point, I’m planning on creating two six month planners for next year, but who knows what the future holds? Perhaps someone will come out with a (cheaper) planner that I love just as much.

Things I love:

  • It’s relatively plain, so I can jazz it up however I want. STICKERS
  • It has an Activity Inventory for each month, and the daily To Do lists are set up for the Pomodoro Technique.
  • Every day has two full pages!
  • There’s space for gratitude journaling, affirmations, and review EVERY DAY.
  • The daily schedule is 12 hours.
  • Weekly spread has review, planning, and schedule-at-a-glance sections.
  • There’s a full year calendar in the front.
  • The monthly spread has planning and review sections.
  • Special days, such as Esbats and Sabbats, are already on the monthly calendar.

Things I’ll change for next time:

  • Include space on daily pages for day-long events like birthdays and holidays.
  • Miracle Morning checklists.
  • Space for quarter, semi-annual, and annual review and planning.
  • Future planning for the next few months after the book ends.

The Decline of Good Manners

I’m not saying I’m a snooty manners snob, but whatever happened to just regular old manners? Pushing in your chair when you get up. Saying excuse me when you’re walking behind or around someone. Looking at someone when they’re talking to you (autism spectrum and blind people excepted). Shaking hands when you meet someone. Saying please and thank you. You know, things mothers used to teach their five-year-olds. I’m not saying we should go back to upper class Victorian England or Louis XIV Versailles. Just some politeness. Common courtesy. Thinking about others before yourself.

But also, to all the people who are too good to stir your coffee with a fork: go fuck yourself.

Pen Commitment

catears croppedI just ordered 300 pens with my name and website on them. Perhaps I should post on this website more often. The pens are bound to get out. I do work in a restaurant, after all. Pens disappear all the time. We know not where they go, only that we enter the restaurant with five in our pocket and leave with two or three. I will use one pen obsessively in hopes of losing it so all my pens will be the same, only to lose the others and keep that pen until I intentionally “lose” it. I will buy pens that are different than the hosts’ pens, only to see the same kind of pens I bought show up in the hosts’ pen jar a week later. Well, not this time. And if it does happen, I won’t care because I’ll have 300 PENS WITH MY NAME AND WEBSITE ON THEM. I can take them back whenever I want because I know they’re mine. Or I can leave them there and hope the hosts lose them. Lost pens usually find their way to the right place at the right time, right? Perhaps. At least, I hope my $126.65 will encourage my pens to be lost in all the right ways.

On Education After School

It’s never too late to educate yourself. No matter where you went to school or what kind of grades you got, you can always learn more. Never took Chemistry in high school? Want to learn another language? Don’t know anything about the French Revolution? Pick up a book at your local library, watch YouTube videos or a Netflix documentary, or enroll in a class at your local community college.

The best thing about being out of school is that you can learn about anything you want! LITERALLY ANYTHING. There’s no one telling you to take general ed or to follow a course of study. There’s nothing stopping you from picking up a book or watching an online lecture. You can audit classes and listen to the lectures without worrying about getting a good grade. You can read textbooks without the pressure of memorizing information for a test.

Today I picked up two books from the library: Easy Spanish Reader (2nd ed.), by William T. Tardy, and The Wild Out Your Window, a collection of nature essays by Sy Montgomery. I also own Saxon Algebra 1ย (4th ed.), which is where I placed because I’ve forgotten a great deal of the math I learned in high school and college. I’m planning on completing it and all Saxon’s math programs all the way up to Calculus.

Am I consistent with my self-education? Hell no. I have nothing motivating me except my own interests, which wax and wane quicker than the moon, and a desire to educate my children, who currently don’t exist. TV and the internet are distracting, and I have ADD, anxiety, and depression. However, I still think it’s important to try.

So get out there and learn something! Anything! Whatever you want!

Poor, Starving Writer

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Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Pictures of Money.

Broke Ass Bitch. Frugal Girl. Living on the Cheap. Penny Pincher. Dollar Store Queen. Nifty Thrifty Chick. Coupon Clipper.

Whatever you want to call me, I’m broke. My boyfriend and I make semi-decent money, but the cost of living is so high, we often have a hard time scraping rent together at the end/beginning of each month. This is one of the worst months we’ve had in a while.

Now, in the past (and by past, I mean a month ago), I have been known to have a bit of a spending problem. Buying things is a huge stress relief, comparable only to eating brownies and chocolate chip cookies. Both my credit cards were maxed out, and I never had any spare cash.

I mean, I still don’t have any spare cash, but now it’s all going toward bills. My boyfriend finally burned through what little he had saved up, so now we’re relying solely on what we make. My credit cards are below their limits, but I don’t dare use either of them for fear they’ll max out again (in an emergency, I guess I’ll have no choice, but it hasn’t come to that yet). I just paid both my end of the month bills, and we now have nothing in our respective bank accounts.

Rent is due in a week and a half.

So anyway, why am I writing this? Why do you care? Am I asking for money?

I just keep having ideas for YouTube videos about frugal living. There are ways that I save money that are hard for me in our consumer culture, and I want to share my ideas and struggles with people.

I’m also a hot mess, as is my apartment. The super clean, “perfect” girls on YouTube bug the crap out of me, and I really want to make videos just to give the place a dose of real life. Even if no one watches it. It’ll be there.

The Search for Frog Pond

Going for a Monday hike has become my weekly nature ritual. Today I decided to take a trail I’ve been meaning to take for a while, one that leads to a quaint pond filled with frogs. It’s called Frog Pond, for obvious reasons.

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The trail I attempted. Look at me; so cute and full of hope. 5 miles feels a lot longer when it’s raining.
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Homemade trail mix! Just raw almonds and Ghiradelli chocolate chips. I ate it all.
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Some sort of newt. So cute! There were so many on the trail that I almost stepped on.

I started off so innocently, stepping over newts and enjoying my trail mix. I hiked in a drizzle that kept my hood up for the most part, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

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A glimpse of the fog across the way. Back when it was still a drizzle and I could take my hood down for a little bit.

Soon, I encountered the trail signs below, which I misinterpreted, and went off the trail for about a quarter of a mile. That said, I did follow a deer trail until it ended in the underbrush, so it was easy enough for me to follow it back to the actual trail.

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Confusing (at the time) trail signs. The reason I got lost (for real).

After that, I encountered an actual fork in the trail and decided to go right, thinking I hadn’t yet hit the fork I was anticipating from the map. This trail led to a small pond, where I scared a couple of ducks, but seemed to end there. So I went back and took the left trail.

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Not Frog Pond.

After that, the trail went up a hill absolutely covered with scotch broom, and the drizzle became heavier and combined with water from the underbrush to totally drench my rain jacket. So I put on my emergency poncho to keep from getting even wetter. At some point, I turned a corner and realized I was thick in some fog and couldn’t see much more than the trail directly in front and behind me.

Let me pause here to explain that I hate the fog. The first time I walked out into the fog when we lived in Santa Rosa, I nearly had a panic attack. It freaks me out. I don’t like not being able to see, and I feel very vulnerable in it.

So it was at this point I decided I had hiked too far and somehow missed Frog Pond. I turned around and headed back the way I had come. On my way back, I looked at the map on my phone again and realized I was SO CLOSE to Frog Pond. If I had just gone a little further, I would have found it.

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The look on my face when I got done.

Oh well! I was still fun, and I got a good three hours of hiking in. Will I try to actually find Frog Pond next week? I don’t know! I might try a different trail next week! We’ll see. Until then!

NaNoWriMo and the Hike

You guys, of you are ever feeling stuck or uninspired in your writing, take a hike. Literally. I took a hike today, and I had two big epiphanies. Go alone or take a quiet friend. There’s something about being out in the quiet, listening to the birds and your own steady footsteps, that rattles loose some ideas and attracts whole new ones.

Now I’m off to write 2,014 words (at least!) of new ideas. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’œโœ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’ป

Thoughts After a Sporadic Run

Dear men who smile at me while I run, STOP. You look like a total creeper. Don’t make me pepper spray you.

Everything itches, so I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to my own sweat.

There are way too many people out and about at 8:00 in the morning. I need to wake up earlier.

Dear gardeners, fuck your leaf blower fumes.

I now have just twenty minutes to stretch and get ready for work. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

It was worth it, though. I think.

On “White” American Culture

Okay, time for Rose’s unpopular opinion rant.

I wish people would stop saying there isn’t a “white” American culture. They say we can only be proud of our ancestral European heritage because black Americans had their ancestral African cultures stolen (by our ancestors). Somehow, black Americans deserve to have their own culture, but white Americans don’t. How does that make any sense? Our ancestral cultures may not have been stolen, but they were lost all the same.

First of all, if I go to England and claim to be English, they’re going to laugh in my face and tell me I’m American. I can no longer claim the culture of my ancestors. Neither can any of us whose families have been in the United States for more than a couple of generations. So what culture can we claim?

There’s a reason they call the United States a melting pot. European immigrants gave up a lot when they came here, including many parts of their cultures. What’s more American than pizza? Our Italian immigrants gave us that. What New Yorker doesn’t like a bagel? Jewish immigrants added that to our mix.

There is a culture that is distinct from those in Europe, from black American culture, from Chinese American culture, from Mexican American culture … It’s a bunch of European cultures melted into one, strange American thing. Most of the people who identify with this culture do happen to be white, but I still don’t feel comfortable calling it “white” American culture. It’s more like generic American culture or popular American culture.

But why is there this culture in America that is mostly white, that is prompting white supremacists to call it “white culture” and feel the need to protect it? Well, racism. Pervasive racism has kept the melting pot that is our country from melting down even further and creating one big, beautiful multiracial culture. Oh, there are pockets here and there where interracial families have melted a bit of culture with each passing generation. However, the majority of the country is still severely split.

There are those (like white supremacists) who will say it should be that way. You should be proud of your heritage and keep your culture separate. I’m sure there were plenty of European immigrants who felt the same way. Don’t marry the Catholic boy. Don’t go out with that German girl. I can’t believe you were impregnated by an Irish! But you know what? It fucking happened anyway. And now all those differences have been forgotten about in our little mixing bowl of “whiteness.”

Culture mixing is a thing in this country, and the only thing that is stopping it from happening is pervasive racism. So stop being so goddamned proud of your culture that you don’t want it to change for the better. Stop being so ashamed of your culture’s history that you deny its existence altogether. Acknowledge the past, open your eyes to the present, and move forward.

In the Works

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Look at that, the last time I made a video was the 16th of November last year! ^^;

I wanted to let you all know–so it won’t be a complete shock when I upload it–that I’m working on a YouTube video right now. I know, I know. It’s been FOR.EV.ER. Well, I’ve been watching a lot of vlogs, and I thought I would make a “week in the life” video, focusing on my depression and anxiety. Filming will end on Monday, and I’ll hopefully have it edited and uploaded by Friday. Keep an eye out on my YouTube channel for it.