Hello!  So things have been going well lately, the weather is good, things have been running smoothly at work and I’ve been enjoying my free time playing with my plants and experimenting with things the wonderful people upstairs at Lush have been giving me samples of (which I will go into more detail about in a moment.)

This is my welcome mat. I’m quite proud of it, as should be obvious given that I went to the trouble of posting a picture of it on my blog. I just like it… which is actually the theme of my post today… things that I like. Ha.

A very good friend of mine (you know who you are!) gave me a couple of books called Listography before I left Austin and ventured off to Dallas. One is a life list book, the other is a love list book. I can tell you, at this point I have a whole lot more to fill in in the life book than in the love book, but that’s neither here nor there. The point is, it’s a lot of fun, and gave me the inspiration for this post.

On page 125 it asks you to list “things you love and despise” which I had to sit and think about for a while, because if it’s going to go on a master list, it’s got to be the best of the best and the worst of the worst, right?  Anyway, I sat and made my list and I think I’m pretty happy with it right now.

Because I consider some things sacred and because I’m afraid that what I actually despise may be a deeper window into who I am as a person ( sounds horrible, but it’s true!) I’m not going to just copy the list into my blog, instead I’m just going to make a list of some things that I’m really into right now.

#1.) Masks. I would feature a picture of a facial mask, except the one I used to day I deemed inappropriate and I thought this foot picture was much, much, more fun.  Yesterday I went into Lush to grab a big tub of Fair Trade Foot Lotion and the very helpful staff gave me a sample of the Volcano Foot Mask. Being in a really mask-y mood lately, I was more than happy to give it a try. This afternoon I gave myself a spa hour and decided to do the foot mask and one of my old favorites, Ole Henriksen’s Blue/blackberry enzyme mask. One of these days I’ll manage to find a lush product that I don’t absolutely love… I wont rest until I do because raving about everything I try breaks all of my own objective reviews rules. However, the search will just have to continue because I sit here typing this with the softest feet I’ve ever had. Paired with Fair Trade Foot Lotion, this stuff is amazing. I warn you, it smells like you just stepped in someone’s compost pile, and the heating sensation was a little unexpected, but baby, does it feel nice once you get into it. =) (It helps to know that I’m sitting here laughing about that last sentence.)

#2.) My container garden. These are my two most recent additions. In the back we have a Bougainvillea and in the front is my brand new Lavender plant. Both will eventually get better pots, and I think I want a second Lavender plant. I can’t put my finger on exactly why I’m enjoying having plants so much, but I really am having a blast learning about them and how to take care of them. It also makes me feel close to my dad. He’s into plants, he can grow just about anything and when I look out my patio door and see my plants, it makes me think of him and I like that. I may officially be on my way to being crazy plant lady, though. There are moments I find myself talking to them. I’m pretty sure my neighbor caught me telling the Bougainvillea last night that I loved it for making tiny blooms. Mostly I was just ecstatic that not only have I not killed any of them yet, but they seem to be flourishing.

#3.) New spiritual experiences… Last Sunday I had the pleasure of attending Sts. Constantine & Helen Orthodox church. This was quite an experience for my Southern Baptist raised self. I can only imagine what I must have looked like, everything I think and feel shows very plainly on my face, and what I was thinking and feeling half the time was “OMG I hope I don’t do something wrong” and extremely confused. Fortunately the kind elderly couple sitting next to me helped me follow the liturgy and in the end I really enjoyed it. Something that was amazing to me in particular was how close to God I felt in the midst of this experience… not because it was a holier experience than any other church I’ve been to, but because in my extreme state of unfamiliarity, I could hear and feel God in a way that was different, because there was no opportunity for me to just “go through the motions”, I had no idea what the motions were. I felt more aware of what was going on around me and a greater sense of reverence, which I feel is sometimes lost in a lot of modern churches, it was a wonderful experience.

Last, but certainly not least, #4.) Swedish Fish. I include this here at the end because, well, I always like Swedish Fish. Only the red ones though. =)

I’m learning a lot about myself here in Dallas, and I can promise you, that list that I refuse to post of things I despise has definitely seen some additions since I got here. The thing that I’ve finally embraced and am content with is that I don’t have to love it here… which sounds weird, sure. I’m still new, I still can’t get anywhere without using navigation (honestly I still use it to get to work), I still don’t know a lot of people, and I’m still extremely picky about the social activities I choose to engage in (that’s not likely to change), but I understand that I’m here to learn and grow, and as long as I’m doing that, everything else will come along. Things will be alright.

In closing I think I’ll throw in a last minute #5.) Incomplete by Alanis Morissette

I have been running so sweaty my whole life, urgent for a finish line. And I have been missing the rapture this whole time of being forever incomplete.