House-hunting, there goes my weekend…

Boyfriend and I have been looking at housing options on and off for awhile. We considered trying to buy a house with a few acres, then buying land and building on it, finally looking at houses in our general that offer good space and a large yard for a garden and backyard chicken coop. We have spent several days, yes days, driving around the surrounding areas/nearby counties trying to find a prospect that will not be under water every time it rains in Central Texas to no avail… they were too expensive, restricted by HOA guidelines, too far to commute to/from every day, or awful in some other way. Home-netalloy1

We thought this weekend might find out the right available home to meet our needs, though a bit more than we wanted to pay… pending but take back-up offers was not what we hoped for. After seeing this completely redone early 1900’s home with front and back porches among the other great touches, amenities, and yard, it was not only hard to look at the other two houses we found, it was dreadful, smelly, and even more disappointing. I don’t know how people can sell houses for those prices in their current condition! We got mosquito bites inside one of the, dare I say, homes, while we breathed in warm, musty air and hoped that the floor, which was completely uneven, didn’t cave in. Casa-in-campagna

Our realtor is kind, patient, thorough and, I believe, fairly honest compared to most realtors, and she took the time to help us understand the home-buying process. The Seller’s realtor on the other hand… Sadly, though, this was probably a waste of time. The home we really want was going pending as we inquired about it, and we did go forward with an offer because the home status is pending but taking back-ups, but it is unlikely to work in our favor. I am trying to remain optimistic and have prayed about it, that if we don’t get this home it is because something better is in store for us… Ultimately, we will be renewing our lease for six months to keep looking if needed but I am not thrilled at the idea of living in 650 square feet for too much longer, and neither is boyfriend or the Cat.

© 2016 blogdaysofchrell

Everyday Inspiration… I write because…

In response to Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration, Day 1:

I’ve been writing for so long that I have a hard time remembering when or why I started. I believe my earliest attempts at really writing a poem or short story happened when I was 11 or so. I remember writing lines of poetry after reading poetry in school, but the details are fuzzy. I remember writing a story about becoming a professional tennis player and being friends with Monica Selles and Andre’ Agassi (which should give away how long ago this was), but I’m not sure if I ever finished the story or what happened to it. write2

I know that some influence came from my grandfather on my Dad’s side, who kept a typed journal into his 90’s. Another influence was my love of books and reading. I read articles online but still read books and I occasionally buy a newspaper, which was previously a daily occurrence. I keep a written journal and write in it at least a few times a month to keep track of what has happened and to help me remember different things and events.

If you have read any of my earlier posts, you will know that I wanted to become  a journalist but allowed myself to listen to the advice (worse case scenario warning)  of others. I know my father meant well when he told me that journalism was a highly competitive field in which many journalists/reporters worked their way up from posts in place like Podunk Kansas (no disrespect to Kansas, it’s just worlds away from Chicago) to bigger agencies and markets, hopefully. That was not very attractive to a big city kid who had not yet gone to college in Mississippi, so I mostly  wrote journalism off.  After reading “10% Happier” by Dan Harris, a well-known journalist/reporter for ABC, I learned just how competitive and high-pressure journalism can be but I wish I had at least tried to go that route. It was a great book, which I highly recommend, especially if you have an interest in Mindfulness. rolled up newspaper

Getting back to why I write, I think I do it because it is something I have done for a very long time. I get an idea and this is my way of expressing it and cultivating it. I cannot draw or paint and I am not artsy-craftsy or even especially creative. I have written poems over the years to get feelings out and to organize thoughts but I have not been able to regularly do this in several years, about the time I started doing social service work.

I love to write, though, and I am grateful to Word Press for offering this outlet for me and millions of others that need a place to share their ideas. I think that writing is in my DNA and that it will always be something I like to do.

© 2016 blogdaysofchrell

Everyday Inspiration… Song list from today’s commute

In response to Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration, Day Two:

I typically have a 50 minute to an hour and 10 minute morning commute from my apartment to my job in Austin. The commute can be frustrating at times, but I try to distract myself with music or a podcast to make it go by in a pleasant manner.

Today I opted to listen to a station on my Pandora account, which plays a mix of Indie hip-hop and  alternative music.  **** Parental Advisory****

This is a list of some of the  the songs I heard on my ride to work:

1.) Until the End by Breaking Benjamin

2.) Two Pieces of Drama by Everlast

3.) Second Chance by Shinedown

4.) Dirty Girl by Felt (rap)

5.) Rise by Flobots

6.) The Best Day by Atmosphere

7.) Walking Away by Brother Ali

8.) Kryptonite by Three Doors Down

9.) Lonely Road by Everlast

10.) Paralyzer by Finger Eleven

11.) Put Your Lights on by Santana featuring Everlast

12.) Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers

Before I knew, I was at work. Hope you enjoy this mix of music, courtesy of YouTube.




In response to the Daily Prompt, “Hope“:

Courtesy of GDJ/clipart
Courtesy of GDJ/clipart

According to the Oxford Dictionary, hope when used as a noun means “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen” or  as a verb it means to “want something to happen or be the case”.

I think hope is a word that is often overused. If you are an American, you remember the word “Hope” being used in conjunction with the word “Change” during Obama presidential campaign of 2008. Yeah… We got change alright, and certainly not what many Americans hoped for. Many people hoped that Guantanamo Bay would be closed down, it wasn’t. They hoped that the country really would come to together and that economy would bounce back after the 2008 economic debacle… no dice on both accounts. The economy is still in shambles and the country is divided on many fronts.  This brings to mind lyrics from a Everlast song, where he says, “I voted for some change and it’s kinda strange, now it’s all I got in my pocket…” I know a lot of people struggling to make it every day and, sadly, it doesn’t seem to get better for them like they hoped it would.

In my experience, hope is usually said at a time when someone is going through a situation that is displeasurable, or even disappointing, as in “I hope ______ will get better…” Hope is not the same as faith or belief in something.  For instance, I have faith that I will survive but I hesitate to say that I have hope.

Hearing the word hope, also makes me think of a wonderful person I worked with at a previous job. Her name was Esperanza, which is Spanish for hope, and her name was appropriately chosen. She was a professional, and yet a very caring, empathetic, and positive person who really did offer hope  and compassion to many people that she helped in both her work life and personal lives. Sadly, Hope lost a very tough battle with cancer recently. If anyone deserved to make it through cancer and leave it behind her, it was Hope, but it was not to be.

Courtesy of donchico/clipart
Courtesy of donchico/clipart

Hope is frequently mentioned with regarded to the bible quote from 1Corinthians 13:13 (King James version), “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” Even in the hardest of times when we don’t have hope, we can still be charitable to others, even if only by sharing knowledge or a smile.

© 2016 blogdaysofchrell

Reminiscing… and feeling a bit abandoned (revised)

In response to the Daily Prompt, “Abandoned“:

One year ago, Boyfriend and I were hanging out with my mother and my aunt. They came to visit us in Central Texas over a four-day weekend. There were a few interesting moments, but there were also great opportunities to talk with them and to share our corner of the world with them. I had not spent an extensive amount of time with my aunt in a very long time, perhaps since I spent overnights as an adolescent, and I had not seen my mother since I moved from the Chicago area two years prior.

Wow, time does go by. There were moments I could have handled differently, and I hope for another chance for my mom and aunt to visit. I actually hope that my father and my brother and his fiancée all visit because I not only want to show them the beautiful landscape and the places we like in Central Texas, but also because a phone call only does so much. We are all very different people with different interests, ideas, and viewpoints,  and it can be hard to really relate in a meaningful way on the phone.

I feel lucky that I was able to visit my brother and his fiancée’ this past November. I got to see their new apartment and neighborhood, as well as experience a little of their daily existence in NYC. I visited my parents while I was in Chicago last summer, and I think we need a change of venue.  I know that life can be busy, and travelling can be challenging… I think its time for another family visit in Texas!

© 2016 blogdaysofchrell