Jen's favorite quotes

"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."— Marilyn Monroe

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Follow and various ramblings by me

I thought I would join a Friday Follow for once. It seems like a cute idea and I am curious to meet others and have others meet me. Although my ramblings are not often related to anything in particular or even very interesting. I don't really fit into any one category and enjoy following a multitude of different types of blogs.
Friday Follow

Today is my last day at work and I am so super excited! I will no longer be stuck behind a desk looking at bat data for 8 hours a day and feeling like my eyes are going to fall out. Once I get my surgery done I can even head back out into the field again! Opossum telemetry and raccoon trapping here I come!

I will be heading to a friends house tonight for a get together. She is one of my good friends who had an issue medically with her back and required surgery. She is finally starting to heal and get back on her feet and I can't wait to hang out with her. She is such an inspiration for me because she has had such a rough life and yet has one of the most positive attitudes I've ever seen. She's super sweet and always ready to listen or help someone else with their problems.

Next week I have my tonsil surgery and I am scared about it. I am scared of the pain and of how I well I will handle it. I had a spinal fusion when I was younger and I was so determined to get well I got up and walked around the day of the surgery. My mom seems to think that this makes me invincible. I don't agree. Now that I'm an adult I don't know if I will be able to bounce back as quickly. My other worry is of the severe sore throat I will have afterwards. After years of sore throats from the tonsils, this last sore throat had me at the edge of my patience and nerves. I was ready to throw the towel in and just cry. So I suppose I'm worried I won't be able to handle the pain maturely???

This made me think this morning. Particularily, since I just got done reading the Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. It fits in with the premise of the book I believe. The ideas of both are views of religion I can get behind. I.E. the Bible is not a literal interpretation but rather a guide and mostly a guide to mankind discovering his oneness with others and the world around him.

I am frantically trying to finsih reading the White Queen before I have to return it to the library this evening. I'm hoping I will get it done but I suppose if I don't I could always check it out at home. Or be one of those people who goes to the bookstore, picks up a book and reads it there without buying it! Of course I've never done that before....

P.S.Check out my friend Kerry's Etsy shop for beautiful nature inspired jewelry at great prices...

Painting from Etsy

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Damn you Target!!!

Obviously, I can't wait til Spring. I went into Target the other day to get shampoo and almost came out with $100 worth of clothes. All of the fashion blogs lately have been showing springy, floral prints. Things that are light, airy and breezy. Things I want and ways I would love to dress if I could afford it. Then I went to Target. Big mistake. Target has put out its spring line and being the classy person that I am (read: cheap) I covet the following items:

Women's Mossimo® Pollyann Woven Wedge Sandals - Cognac $22.99
I love the Gladiator feel of these sandals. They would look lovely with sundresses!
Women's Merona® Eura Flat Sandals - Green $8.04

These don't really match anything but I still love them! the color is so gorgeous and you can't beat that price!
MS SLVS Contrast Plaid Dress Purple Fushion $21.99

I heart purple and stripes!
Xhilaration® Juniors Tiered Skirt - Prairie Ditsy $16.99

This is usually not my style at all but there's something so romantic about the layers and florals. Merono Hobo- $10.00

Green and stripes!!!

Merona® Large Hobo - Green $24.99

I'm not sure why but I am loving colored leather bags this year. Normally I carry a large, hippy print purse and leave it at that. For some reason I am in love with bright blue and green purses!

So I ended up leaving Target with just the shampoo after all. Damn my cheapness!! I really wanted the above things!! To get my mind off of it I headed over to the book section and perused awhile. We'd be here all day if I wrote down all the books I wanted. Let's just say I wrote up a list and will be visiting the library soon!

Monday, February 22, 2010

It's Monday, what are you reading?

Ok, this past week I had a chance to read several books. I am getting ready for a big move and am hurriedly trying to read all the library books I have. Many of them were short, quick reads with the exception of one. All of them were good reads and I would recommend them.

Currently reading:
The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

I thought ths one looked interesting and I like this author. Her best works are about the British royalty during the 1600's (Her works on the Tudor and Boleyn girls are particularily good). I find that when she branches off from that she gets weird in her writing. I read another of her books called the Wise Woman and it was extremely weird and not what I thought it would be at all!

Just finished:
Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
-I really enjoyed this one. I thought the end was incomplete and left you hanging. I know she was going for hope and a chance at a new life and to show how strong a sisters bond could be but it felt unfinished for me. I liked the storyline but felt bad constantly for the older sister until the end when you learn that the youngest siter had her own issues. I wish both sides could ahve been flushed out equally throughout the book.

Virgin Earth by Philippa Gregory
-I picked this one up because of the author and also because it had a lot about VA in it. It's about the king's gardener during the Commonwealth and Restoration of England. There were parts where I was very mad at the main character for the way he treated his wives in the book (he had a Native American and English one and abandoned them both at different times). For the most part I enjoyed it and the way that the author manages to make history interesting and personal. You can understand that time period a lot through the eyes of the characters and their stories.

Day After Night by Anita Diamant
-This one was about 4 Jewish girls in Israel right after the Holocaust. I liked the book because I learned about events that happened during that time of which I was not aware. For example, the British kept Jews and "suspicious persons" with no papers who came to Israel in a camp outside Haifa for long periods of time. While not a concentration camp like the ones in Germany it was still a camp and there was a breakout. I had no idea that this happened! I also enjoyed the relationships the women fostered with one another and how they came to depend and need each other to help themselves heal from their pasts. I didn't like the mentality that seemed to be fostered in the book (and the region) that its okay to inflict bad things on others because we have suffered and now it's other people's turn. For example, the women in the camp talk of the nearby Arabs and how they should be removed because the Jews need a homeland. One of the girls in the book even questions this way of thinking (Aren't we trying to make our homeland in someone else's? Is more violence really necessary to achieve this?)and is quickly reprimanded for thinking this way. Other than that I enjoyed the book and found it a quick read.

Planning to read:
I don't have any books lined up for next week. I plan to go to the library once I get back home again and stock up so I'll have something to read while I'm recovering from my surgery.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Flashback

This is my first time joining in the Friday Flashback. I've been following it for awhile now over at Tia's blog and this week's theme is pets. I don't have any old pics of pets on my laptop so I thought instead I'd post a few pics of me at my first field job. I'm a Biological Technician which means I get to travel around and take random, temporary jobs working with wild animals. The bad news of course is that I have little to no job security. :)

This pic was taken in WV where I was working on a Cerulean Warbler project. We were funded by the State DNR and they called one night because they wanted to come trap bats on the land where we were working. We showed them around and helped them set up their mist nets. Then we setled in for a long night of waiting.

This is me holding a Little Brown Bat I think. These were taken back in 2004 so I can't remember exactly. You have to wear the heavy gloves to pull them out of the nets so they don't bite you and so you can hold them down so they don't get hurt. The membrane in their wings is very delicate and can tear easily. Its also pretty cool in that you can shine a light through it and see if the bones are fused yet to tell if its an adult or youngster.

It looks like he's snarling but he's really just trying to echolocate. I imagine he's thinking something along the lines of: "What the hell just happened??? Where's that moth I was chasing?? Why does this girl look so tired???"

It was 3am, Bat. I'm just saying.

Anyways, despite my tired face I was super excited to be holding him. This was my first time holding a wild animal and not just looking at birds. Somewhere around this time is when I decided that I definately wanted to be in this field and definately wanted to be holding more wild critters.

Head over to Tia's for more Flashbacks!
Flashback Friday Button

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Job!!!

I got a new job!! I will be leaving Alabama and my boring desk job to head to Indiana in one week!
I'm so super excited!!! I will be working with possums doing telemetry and maybe helping to trap raccoons. Its going to be so great to be out in the field again.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Me, Me, Me

From my Facebook. A little bit about me because I haven't yet really gotten personal.

Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

1. I am addicted to Hersheys chocolate. I have to eat it atleast once a day or I get cranky.
2. I will stab people who try to take it from me.
3. I like funky socks. Toe socks are my favorite but weirdly colored and patterned ones will work too. Anything but plain white.
4. I heart rats. I think they’re really cute and hilarious to observe. Luckily, I get to work with them.
5. I hate veggies. I don’t eat them if I can avoid it. If I can’t, I will only eat them raw.
6. I had Scoliosis surgery when I was 15. I now have two metal rods fused to my spine forever.
7. I gained an inch and a half in height from that.
8. I love fast food and my favorite restaurant is McDonalds.
9. People at work are scared of me. I don’t get it.
10. I hate most children. Seriously, I can’t stand the bad ones. I think it’s mutual.
11. I never learned how to ride a bike.
12. I want a tattoo on my wrist or one of my shoulder blades.
13. I’m addicted to the tv show Charmed.
14. I have a fear of water. I can barely swim and can’t stand it if I can’t see the bottom.
15. This doesn’t apply to being in a boat. I love being in a boat.
16. I feel lost and unhappy without mountains in the background.
17. I didn’t get my license until I was 19.
18. I had long, waist length hair up until I went to college. It’s been mostly shoulder length ever since.
19. I consider my background Appalachian-German.
20. I haven’t talked to my Dad since I was 14. I don’t care.
21. I would love to travel but I don’t have the money or the time. Europe and Scandinavia in particular, are at the top of my list.
22. I really like History. If Biology hadn’t worked out I wanted to be an Archeologist.
23. I despise math and have ever since I found out what multiplication was.
24. I’m inherently lazy.
25. It’s a secret dream of mine to learn the Thriller Dance and have a group of friends perform it at Halloween.

I tagged people on Facebook and got some interesting comments about some of these. i won't tag anyone here because I don't think that I even know 25 people on here. Although I'd like too. :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Winter scenes

Its cold so I made this Scandanavian inspired cold weather outfit on Polyvore.

These help ease my fashionista itch when I want to be creative in the way I dress.

Longleaf Pine

The Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris) is a pine native to the southeast United States, found along the coastal plain from eastern Texas to southeast Virginia extending into northern and central Florida.

Longleaf Pine takes 100 to 150 years to become full size and can live to 500 years old. When young, they grow a long taproot, which is usually 2–3 m (6.6–9.8 ft) long; by maturity they have a wide spreading lateral root system with several deep 'sinker' roots. It grows on well-drained, usually sandy soil, often in pure stands.

Before European settlement the Longleaf Pine pine forest dominated as much as 90,000,000 acres (360,000 km2) stretching from Virginia south to Florida and west to eastern Texas. Its range was defined by the frequent widespread fires that occurred throughout the southeast. In the late 19th century, these virgin timber stands were "among the most sought after timber trees in the country." This rich ecosystem has now been relegated to less than 5% of its presettlement range due to clear cutting practices.

Further Reading:
Longleaf Alliance
Joseph Jones Ecological Research Center

Info from here

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday what are you reading

Finished this book this weekend. AMAZING>!! Its a thriller that keeps you spellbound throughout the entire book. It involves some of my favorite times in history (Tsarist Russia, the mystery of Anastasia, the early part of the 20th century, Europe in WWII)and also has a good love story. There were parts near the end that seemed abrupt but all in all the book flowed nicely. The dialogue and characters were well thought out and researched and the writing flowed easily. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes historical thrillers.

Still muddling through the Queen Noor book. Hopefully will finish today or tomorrow.

Hoping to start soon either Shanghai Girls or Day after Night.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


While out and about checking mammal cameras for our job this fall. I found this today while stuck inside going through bat data and a couple hundred miles away from him. It made me happy.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Happiness is......

....recovering from a migraine.

....job interviews with jobs you're super excited to hear back from.

....nice spring weather.

....getting a parking spot out front of your office building.
....having fun at a Super Bowl party playing games.

Day of Happiness....... (let's be honest I don't remember anymore)

Monday Reading

I recently found this site via and followed it to its new home at this blog:

I am an avid reader and am thrilled to be participating for the first time.
I look forward to writing them many new reviews on books and reading others!

Currently reading:

The Heretic's Daughter is one that I've wanted to read for a long time. So far it is living up to my expectations and is my favorite book this week. I love stories that involve womens relationships to one another and the more historical the better.

Queen Noor's autobiography while good is a slow read. It is not surprisingly biased but I was surprised how much of the book was taken up with the war between Isreal and Palestine (past, present and future) and less with actually telling the story of her life.

Just finished:

Sundays at Tiffanys was a light fluffy read. Very enjoyable and quick.

The Years to Come was awful. I didn't expect much from it but only picked it up because it was a historical romance set in Australia. Turns out the main character is raped three times. Once by a convict and twice by her husband. Its ok when its her husband though as they eventually fall in love even though he does nothing but dominate her and yell at her and this somehow shows his love.

Up Next:

Shanghai Girls I've also wanted to read for a long time and am super excited about.

City of Shadows I picked up because I am a sucker for anything related to Tsarist Russia.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

One badass little smammal

The Southern Grasshopper Mouse (Onychomys torridus)

Look at this crazy, little fucker! Apparently, they kill horned lizards by biting their eyeballs and then leave nothing left but the skin and legs!!!!

From the University of Michigan's Animal Diversity Site:

Grasshopper mice are extremely aggressive predators. They are largely nocturnal, good climbers, and active year round. They hunt their prey like most sophisticated predators. After stalking their potential kill, they seize the animal with a rush, killing with a bite to the head. While overpowering their prey, O torridus closes its eyes and lays its ears back.

They also apparently eat their mates (that's one way to solve a domestic dispute):

Grasshopper mice are solitary animals, guarding their large territory fiercely against all intruders. They may, however, live in male-female pairs year round, although this seems to shorten the life span, as one of the two partners inevitably kills the other. Grasshopper mice often commit acts of cannibalism, killing and eating other members of their species if they are threatened or in need of food.

Holy shit, they howl too??

Perhaps the most unusual thing about the grasshopper mouse is its trademark "howl". Onychomys can produce a loud, piercing, pure tone, which lasts between 0.7 and 1.2 seconds, and is audible to the human ear up to100 meters away. Standing on their hind legs with their noses pointed upwards, they give this call when faced with an adversary, including other grasshopper mice, or prior to making a kill. This shrill warning, often repeated, is compared to a miniature wolf call, due to its smoothness and prolongation, and to the animal's wolf-like posture.

Damn, these are badass little smammals.

This is why I got into Biology and wanted to study in particular small mammals (smammals) because of all the crazy, cool shit they do.
Read more here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 10: Dkim's Shop

Days of happiness Day 10: Dkim's Etsy Shop

I have used her artwork before to illustrate a post but this post is devoted entirely to her art. I love it so much for its bright colors, use of female figures, and the feelings they evoke just by viewing them.

Find her shop here.

I love Etsy.

Ying and Yang or Catch up on Days of Happiness

Day 5 Thursday, Jan 28th

Happy: Getting to leave work early and fly home for my friends wedding!
Sad: Bad turbulence on the airplane when landing. (Flying makes me sweaty palms nervous and being thrown around wasn't helping)

Day 6 Friday, Jan 29th
Happy: I got to go shoppiong with my best friend and hang out with her alone. (She is my best friend for a reason. She makes me laugh and really understands me.)
Sad: Finding out I would have to pay a shit ton of money to the hospital to get my tonsils removed. (Day stay, Anesthesia, pre surgery testing, pathology lab)

Day 7 Saturday, Jan 30th

Happy: I got to wake up next to my bf and spend the day with him. This included hanging out with B and going to my favorite restaurant.
Sad: Finding out I couldn't go to the wedding I had been excited about for months because of the snow. (The one I bought a $200 plane ticket for) Also, getting in a major fight with my mother over it and other things.

Day 8 Sunday, Jan 31st

Happy: Eating at a Long John Silvers for the first time in a long time.
Sad: Having to leave C behind to go back to Alabama (one of my least fav places right now).

Day 9 Monday, Feb 1st

Happy: Waking up snug and warm in my bed under a pile of blankets.
Sad: Finding out C had a seizure and passed out right before his surgery. Feeling worried about him all day and wishing I could see him.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tonsils and Feelings, Oh My!

These are from Design Sponge. I would love to have a bedroom with these windows:

I can't think of anything better than to be able to lay in bed on a spring day with these windows open reading a book.

This bookcase also makes me happy:

I love how the plant becomes part of the design. I have a million bookcases somewhere in storage including one my granddad made me years ago.

I didn't even know this was a condition. Apparently my bf has it. I didn't know til his regular old tonsilectomy turned into a passing out, seizure filled afternoon.

Speaking of tonsils- mine come out on March 8th. The surgery is scary enough not to mention the bills are going to be enormous. I will not be surprised if the hospital asks for my first born to pay off my debt.

Wondering why I got so upset at my mother this weekend. I wasn't aware that I was harboring bitter feelings towards her. Not sure if it was her or the release of pent up frustration and unhappiness for so long. Worried about the amount of money I am going to be owing soon.

Right now I am adrift in the numbness that comes after a good meltdown. Not sure what I want to do or where I am headed but atleast the feelings of being trapped and frustrated/angry are gone.