Sunday, September 9, 2012

Weekend In Review

It turned out to be 99% rainy most of the weekend, but I did manage to step out between the showers for some walks and activities. I love the water and find lakes on cloudy days to be starkly beautiful.


Family of ducks running away from me as I moved closer for better shots.

Apparently I still have my maniac arm. (It aches today!)


Sipping tea while listening to the rain fall is such a cozy moment.


A Victorian novel and some soothing music also adds to that cozy feeling.


Evenings were spent playing games. Settlers of Catan is a perennial favourite.


Monopoly Deal for some more sly dealings.


We took A LOT of food up there.



And my hair behaved relatively well, so I didn't bother to wash or style or do anything. (It needs a hair cut badly though.) I also didn't bother to take a shower until five minutes ago! So much for the B&BW Honeysuckle.


I wore OPI's new Every Month is Oktoberfest and it held up pretty well.


Sadly I finished the sample/travel size of L'Occitane Dry Skin Hand Cream. It's on the verge of becoming a holy grail product but I might need to go through another sample of it just to be 100% sure.


And it turned out that I was doing a pretty good job of going through my EOS Lip Balm. Baby sister hardly had a dent in hers while mine's almost finished.


Overall, it was a nice and restful weekend and maybe exactly what I needed before heading into a busy week. On the job front, due to some internal shifts and dealings, I'm able to go back to working full-time five days a week and receiving a full income again. There is still some uncertainty attached to it, however, and it's not something I want to be doing for the rest of my life, so I'm still on the lookout for a better opportunity.


In the meantime, I will do my best to search for beauty in every day surroundings and infuse the mundane with meaning and hope. It's the only way to live -- life is too short to be unhappy all the time. It's difficult to find the balance between striving too hard and being complacent, but the battle rages on!


I'm all set to embrace fall yet again and whatever it has in store. How about you? Are you ready for a new season or a new chapter in your life?


42 comments:

  1. I like cloudy days, too. I find them beautiful and they do definitely put me in a literary frame of mind. Ha.

    Hurray for a full income again! Something good will come along, but it's always nice to have money :) Seems like a prudent move.

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    1. Thanks! :)

      I never thought much of cloudy days before but I'm appreciating them more now. Light a candle and drink some tea and it's all good!

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  2. Gorgeous photos, Liz, and I'm so pleased to hear you'll be working full time again! Though I'll keep my fingers crossed that you can find something more fulfilling soon :) All that food looks amaaaazing, and YAY SETTLERS! It hasn't yet gotten fall-like (in fact, in Eugene it's supposed to be mid-80s this week, which is about as warm as it ever gets––summer starts late, but it also ends late!), but I'm looking forward to brisk days and tea, myself :) Though I need to pick up some new sweaters...

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    1. Whatever that fulfilling thing is, it's awfully elusive. But thanks and I hope so too!!

      There's just something about picking out fall sweaters and scarves and tights. Almost as good as stationery shopping for back to school. ;)

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  3. What a nice, relaxing weekend! And a good hair days are always good days. It looks like you're a milk + tea person; how very english of you :P

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    1. I should have been born British! Love milk in black tea. I try to drink tea in the afternoon to keep from inhaling too much coffee.

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  4. Your pictures are gorgeous! Is it okay if I ask where this was? I want to move where it is 99% rainy all of the time :-)

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    1. The percentage was true only for that weekend but the town is called Sutton, and it's an hour north from Toronto. :)

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  5. Aww, sounds like you had a lovely weekend. :) I mean, let's be honest, any trip that includes Catan is always a good one.

    I have a few sample tubes of the L'Occitane hand cream; will give you one when I see you later this month!

    Love the ducks! And a lovely photo of the red leaf. Gets me excited for fall! :D

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    1. I never win at Catan and get OBSESSED with it to the point that everyone else wants to quit playing while I just get more and more wired. Also, I may be that annoying person who tries to take someone else down with me if I can't win... ;)

      YAY FALL! YAY HAND CREAM! :D

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  6. OMG I would give ANYTHING in the world to be there right now. It looks so amazing and peaceful!!! Glad you're having fun, hon!

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    1. Thanks, wifey! Hope you can find some time to get away and relax too before all the wedding stuff zaps your energy!

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  7. Beautiful photos Liz - it all looks so blissful! Your hair's looking lush too...And - WOULD YOU BELIEVE - Of course you would - I'm wearing said nail colour on my nails right now. Loving it too :)

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    1. NAIL POLISH KISMET! It's gorgeous, right? Keeps me from looking at any other shimmery reds. :)

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  8. Beautiful pictures. I think seeing the beauty in everything is a pretty damn good habit to try to pick up, I should really force myself to do the same! Life is indeed too short :). Congrats on the full time gig, I'm sure it's going to lead you right to where you want to be!

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    1. I failed at it miserably yesterday but hoping it'll be better tomorrow! (Today was so-so.)

      Thanks - the job's just income right now until I figure out what I really want to do. Am thinking lately that there isn't really a clear answer. :s

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  9. WOW!!! These are gorgeous photos, Liz! I would love to be there right now!!!! Congratulations on being back to work full-time again!! I am so happy for you! That it isn't what you want to do for the rest of your life is fine-- it's a great opportunity now, and it will lead to other opportunities! I'm relieved for you!! xxoo!

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    1. Thank you! That's such a comforting thing to hear. I felt like it was fine to slug out jobs like this during my 20s but always thought I would have figured out the game plan by now, ya know? But I suppose there's no figuring out "life" like that. People keep asking me what I want to do with my English degree and I have no freaking idea.

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    2. I'm glad that you found that comforting!!<3

      I don't think that it is fruitful or productive to think in such absolutes-- it sets you up for feeling like a failure if you don't measure up to some abstract goal or vision that you have in your mind that you should have been doing, or that you should have achieved by now. I would say let all of that stuff go. In fact dump it into one of your empties bags and send it on its way. I think that one has to have a bit of a paradigm shift in this day and age when it comes to jobs, and especially the "idea" of the perfect job that best reflects and utilizes one's college degree. My background is actually teaching at a 4 year research institution, and I have advised thousands of undergrads about just this subject. You need to take that pressure off of yourself. In this day and age using your college degree is a matter of utilizing what you have learned in any and every way that you can. An English degree will open so many doors because of your ability to write, use deductive reasoning, construct an argument, know how to construct a thesis statement (trust me when I tell you that there are so many university students who don't know what that is)-- not to mention the fact that you are well read. Think less about "what to do with your English degree" and more about how well it will serve you with everything that do-- which, of course includes your authorship of this fantastic blog. Next time somebody asks you what you are doing with your degree- remind them that you utilize the fruits of your labor every single day. If they still press you-- nicely tell them to piss off :-)

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    3. When you put it that way... OKAY!

      Seriously. I don't know if it's the kind of people I'm surrounded by (traditional get married/have kids/buy house types), the society I roll in (lawyers using law degrees, paralegals using certifications, etc.) or that I've fenced myself in by absorbing all of it - and it's probably a combination of all of the above. But it's so difficult to get out of that head space, especially because I've struggled for so long and hard to pay for my education in tiny increments while working full-time all the while. It certainly feels like the degree has to be used in some tangible way in the end, though I know exactly what you're saying and both my head and heart know it. Thank you so much for this comment, dearest. I think it's exactly what I needed to hear.

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    4. Well, I think that people can become pretty linear in their thinking about such things. Also degrees in the Humanities aren't generally pragmatic in the same way that a law degree or certificates for specific career objectives tend to be. Generally speaking, degrees in the Arts & Humanities tend to function with a bias toward terminal degrees, and certainly most people aren't going to be willing to spend 1000 years in school to come out the other end with a Ph.D. (I say this with hints of sarcasm because that is the route that I chose-- and that is a long long road, and in this day and age there is no promise that a tenure-track job will be waiting for you! I am also married to a lawyer-- so I am quite aware of how their very pragmatic training differs from ours, and the comparison is really apples to oranges. So it's quite natural, as a result of their training, to wonder how you are going to use your degree-- because they use theirs in a hands-on kind of way, and it's about the "real world" applications of what they have learned. Vacate that head space-- because it will only hinder you. <3

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    5. You need to write this in to the newspapers and media outlets that are always going on about how university students cannot get relevant jobs and whatnot! Why we box ourselves in this way, wish I knew. xo

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    6. That would be pretty funny! I could simultaneously discuss the crisis in education, and then talk about how MAC had far too many Limited Edition Collections this year-- ROFLMAO!! Well, but the first thing is to recognize it and then eliminate the walls of the box. Also it's important to to recognize that those who voice their opinions- which do not necessarily comport with ours (no matter how much we love or respect those people)- should not be taken as the gospel. It should not be internalized and then used to berate oneself for having not achieved what someone else had in mind for you. For whatever reasons, we choose the paths that we are on- if only incrementally over time. At a certain point the path becomes far more clear, but I think that the struggle and self-doubt is part of the landscape. Just embrace it, dear friend. <3

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  10. I love that photo of the red leaf....bring on autumn...can't wait. Am sick of this heat. And your attitude to finding beauty and meaning in daily life is inspiring....:)

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    1. Thanks, Yuming! I need to remember that myself throughout the daily grind. Was so snappy yesterday to a sales guy who told me I needed to smile... grrr. lol Hope autumn will arrive soon in Japan!

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  11. You have amazing, naturally wavy hair Liz. I am incredibly jealous!!!

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    1. Hair is such a weird thing and I've given up wrestling with it! But I still find myself jealous of straight, glossy hair... so call us even! :)

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  12. I'm definitely ready for a new season, a new chapter, a new everything! I'm 39 and have been doing the same thing for the past 16 years and I'm sick of it! But i dont know what else i want to do either so I'm trudging along trying to figure it out. Hubby and i have really been trying to embrace the attitude of enjoying the little things and letting go of what we can't control but it's really tough sometimes.

    And your weekend sounds fabulous! I love cozy, rainy days. Hubby and I live in California and are seriously considering moving up to somewhere in the Pacific Northwest; the weather and attitudes seem like they would suit our sensibilities a bit better. But in the meantime we'll just enjoy fall (our favorite season).

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    1. HURRAY! I'm so glad to hear that. Change is exciting but also scary once we're more comfortable in the routine and a little more established in our 30s (as opposed to our 20s). I feel like lately I'm braver about things I was shy about in the past while I'm more scared of other things that I never used to think twice about. It's great to hear that both you and your husband are of one accord and are taking small steps to reach your goals!

      As for California, I used to dream about being down there where it's sunnier. While I am enjoying the beginning of fall, I dread our furious winters that seem to go on forever.

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  13. Your photos are so beautiful, Liz -- looking at the country landscape makes me homesick for my own country place that I've been away from for far too long; why is it that one never appreciates the full beauty of nature until you're immersed in it? *shrugs* Too bad about the weather, but it looks like you had a fabulous time just the same! The FOOD! Yikes! I wanted to dive into the pictures and take a bit out of that sausage, lol! Liz, your natural hair is stunning! Your waves are so beautifully tousled -- I'd have to pay a small fortune to get my hair to look like that *insert jealous grumbling noises here*. While I'm a Monopoly fiend and have been for about 1,000 years now, I've never heard of Monopoly Deal...or Settlers of Catan, come to think of it, but I bet these board games made for some rousing fun, am I right?! Love, love, love the L'Occitane Hand Cream - my all-time favourite; I probably have a tube in every room of the house + my purse. As to the nail colour you chose, it's the perfect fall hue and probably my favourite out of that entire collection. Thanks for sharing, my friend! xx

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    1. I hope you can find some time to get away and enjoy that country home! I bet it's beautiful there once the leaves really start to turn. :)

      I LOVE regular Monopoly as well and can play that all night long! I feel like board games have made a bit of a comeback in the recent years. If you play with the right people, they're so much fun!!

      Oktoberfest is definitely a beauty and I'm really glad I picked it up! I hope you're enjoying the cooler weather and having a good week, Eugenia. :)

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  14. This was a perfect read for me today Liz, thank you! I spent last night with severe insomnia and though I've been dealing with everything really well, today I'm feeling pretty low. Your perspective really put me in a better mind frame, so thank you! This is definitely a new chapter in my life and I'm going to run with it! I love fall, and it always feels fresh to me, so they sort of seem to go hand in hand :) And 'infusing the mundane with meaning and hope' - what a perfect sentiment!

    I'm also so pleased that your able to back to a full-time work schedule; even though it's just likely a means to and end job right now, for the interim that's a great place to start. So congrats!

    Also - how fabulous does 'Oktoberfest' look on you!? I picked it up a few weeks ago but haven't worn it yet. MUST.HAPPEN. And 'Settlers' is an awesome game, I love it! AND (I promise this is the last bit) I don't love rainy days (though sitting with a mug of tea WOULD be nice), but I'm a huge fan of overcast windy days. Something about the blustery nature, and being reminded of my grandma (she liked those kind of days too) really floats my boat :)

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    1. I've been feeling rather low myself and was getting really tired of it. I'm glad that this helped somewhat. Though we can sound so upbeat and superbly in control during day, I find that it's the nights that plague us with loneliness and self-doubt. But morning always brings a new, fresh perspective, right? Rock on, Toya! :D

      Glad you got Oktoberfest - I think it's the best of the collection! Would look splendid on you. It's overcast here today and am sending you nice thoughts as I sit with a big mug of coffee instead of tea. :)

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  15. Would love some of that tea right now. Oktoberfest looks lovely, such a fall shade. Just had a weekend trip (well, during Labor Day but pretty recent) at a lake in New Hampshire recently (no internet either) and it was pretty relaxing. I did some Victorian reading too...good ol' Pride and Prejudice. I can't wait for fall too! :)

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    1. Sounds like your weekend was an excellent recharge for the busy fall season that's ahead! Now that you mention it, it'd be nice to re-read P&P again - or watch the BBC version of it with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. :)

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  16. I am so ready for that next chapter Sista, I kind of think a change is coming and I really can't wait. While having to deal with my personal stuff, I've also had time to think of what I want to do next. I don't know exactly how to plan it out, but it's going to be something totally different. And it's going to be something that I love this time. I am striving for that this time.

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    1. I think we need to email again! Sounds like you're making some strides and I'm so glad to hear it. I've been feeling pretty low and really BLEH lately and don't want to feel like that any longer. I keep anticipating a change but haven't really let myself move forward either. Teach me your secret and by this time next year we'll both be doing something we love to death. :)

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    2. We do need to start emailing again. I think we've more than paid our dues and it's time for us to move forward to happier better times.

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  17. Lizzy darling you, as always, are an inspiration :)

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