Google: the thief of happiness

Below is an open letter to myself regarding Googling anything, only excluding: celebrity gossip, recipes, and figuring out what day of the month it is. 

Dear Mary Kate,

You’re writing this letter to yourself to remind you not to Google! You love to Google. You’re a Google addict. Googling leads to a tunnel of links, websites, and UNRELIABLE information for days!

It has to stop. The anxiety you’re trying to relieve while Googling only multiplies when you find out that if you stop taking medication you can have seizures at random. And oh, not taking that other medication exactly one hour before you eat will only lead to heartache and stomachaches.

WebMD is NOT your friend. Ever. That slight pain in your neck – yeah, you have cancer. Your pulled muscle from working out will need surgery. That symptom checker always includes several types of terminal illness, but do you think it ever includes the common cold? Uh, no.

Googling one thing only leads to another, MK. What’s the weather going to be today? Oh, a severe thunderstorm warning you say? Make sure you find out every little bit of information about that one and then go take shelter in the basement. It really is a sickness.

When you Google, “baking polymer clay in the oven” for a cute idea you have, you will feel like you need to buy an entirely new oven because of some mysterious toxin released into the air that will poison all your food! When in all actuality, if you hadn’t read that comment on the blog post found from dear Google, you would have baked that clay in the oven, ON A PLATE THAT YOU EAT OFF OF, no less, and never thought twice of it.

The refrigerator life of that zucchini Chris bought last week? Well, Google says 2 to 3 days in your refrigerator … but it looks fine to you. But, it’s best to be safe and toss that green vegetable away – and throw money right in the trash. Google, you thief of nutrition.

There are very few websites that are appropriate for doing a wide search. Google is not one of them! It is a death trap! Try BuzzFeed for hilarious news and random Supermarket Sweep gifs. Use Wikipedia to find out about the Green Mountain Boys or that random celebrity on The Voice that you, you uncultured gal, can’t quite place!

For your sake and the sanity of your family, friends, and doctor, stop the madness. Stop using Google.

Love (,) yourself

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Glimetime Summertime

Summer is nearly here and the Glime household couldn’t be happier. Chris is able to get back out on his bike, I can read on the porch, and the fuzz balls can enjoy the sun. We do the most “stuff” during the summer and fall months, so about this time of year we start making big plans.

Even though Chris’s crazy job has its challenges, the nice part is that when he’s home, he. is. home. He doesn’t have to work unless he’s on site, so he’s all mine those two weeks every month that he’s home. Since I work mainly from home, we have a lot of freedom to spend our time together in whatever way we choose. We really take advantage of that (I promise!), especially in summertime.

I am a perpetual list-maker. This girl loves a list for every single little thing. So, naturally I have a list for “things I would like for us to do together during the rest of the year.” Some of these things won’t happen, but it’s nice to know what we want to do so we can avoid sitting around saying, “Well … what do you want to do?”

Today I give to you, “Things the Glime family would like to do together, Summer 2013 edition”

  1. Play glow-in-the-dark golf at Tiny Town (a local favorite that’s been around forever).
  2. Go back to Douthat State Park. We took a trip there at the end of last summer and it was beautiful. They have fantastic mountain biking, so while Chris bikes I can sit at the campsite and read.
  3. Check out a new state park. We’ve been to quite a few in Virginia, but there are some close to home that we haven’t checked out before.
  4. Bonus** Something that Chris specifically wants to do! Back in college we found this sweet camping spot in the national forest. It was *free*, right by a stream, and had some good biking nearby. He wants to find somewhere like that near where we live now, probably on the AT. I’m not so anxious to do this, as I like having bathrooms.
  5. We are taking a trip down to Charleston at the end of the summer, so I cannot wait for some good beach time and doing some fun things in the city.
  6. We try to go somewhere new every year, and I think we’ll get around to that soon – if Chris’s job cooperates with our plans!
  7. Go fishing. Simple.
  8. Hike along the Appalachian Trail by the river.
  9. Have nightly happy hour on our deck.
  10. I really want to get back to getting our produce from the Farmer’s Market and trying out lots of seasonal recipes. I also like going down to the market on Saturdays for my favorite sweet potato pancakes at Market at Main. Mmmm, good.

I usually have a couple favorite summer songs that come out this time of year. Here are two of my favorites:

What about you guys? Do you have big summer plans that you’re dreaming about? Do you go to the same spot every summer or try out new places? Any other state park lovers out there?

xo, Mk

On Living in the Woods

I grew up in a neighborhood that was right on the edge of backwoods and a quaint country area. Anyone who knows me knows how much I loved that place – that house, those woods, and that way of life. Looking back on it now, we weren’t that far away from civilization, but growing up on Hickory Winds Court with the farm and fields behind my house made me feel like it was just my little family and me out there.

The driveway of the house I grew up in. I'd still live out there if I could.

The driveway of the house I grew up in. I’d still live out there if I could.

Chris and I love the mountains, the woods, the quiet of nothing but trees around us. We spend as much time as we can out there. It’s what brings us together, makes us each whole. When we first started dating, the days we weren’t managing that pizza restaurant were spent on the New River, the Appalachian Trail, or on top of Brush Mountain. Those days are my very favorite days of my life so far. Whenever he and I start to feel that disconnect from the unusual life that we lead, we head up to the mountains, unplug, and remember who we really are. In the spring and summer you can bet that we plan camping trips for each time he’s home from a trip.

Chris on top of Kelly's Knob near Blacksburg. Our first backpacking trip together with sweet Sammie. Crazy long, but one of my favorite memories.

Chris on top of Kelly’s Knob near Blacksburg. Our first backpacking trip together with sweet Sammie. Crazy long, but one of my favorite memories.

We bought our first home just over a year ago, and it is the perfect house for us. Big enough for us to grow into, but not so large that I feel it’s unnecessary. It’s new(ish), but I’ve been working to make our home feel collected, lived in, and really reflect who we are. I love every single thing about our house.

Our home this winter. Makes my heart smile.

Our home this winter. Makes my heart smile.

We looked at houses out in the middle of nowhere, but nothing was in our budget and securing farmland loans wasn’t a possibility for us. So, we live in a neighborhood. A really lovely, cute, small neighborhood with wonderful neighbors for friends and it’s an area that will be great for raising kids. I have no regrets.

But … I constantly struggle with the path not taken. What if we had waited? What if we had found that perfect dream house where we could live forever, raise our kids from the moment they were born, have rescue dogs run around on acres of land, and grow old – all in the same place. What an idyllic notion. One that I think approximately 1% of the population gets to experience.

When I pull into my driveway each day I know that I am truly home. It is where my husband is, where my dogs look through the storm door to greet me. It’s where I play with my nephew in the yard, read on the porch, and catch up with my neighbors. I’m no more than a phone call away from anyone that needs me and I can get where I need to be. Right now, in this season of my life, it’s the perfect place to be.

Sam waiting at the door for something exciting to happen.

Sam waiting at the door for something exciting to happen.

That being said, I know that one day the call of the woods will be too much for either of us to ignore. That simple life with less trips into town, less distraction – that is the life I really, truly crave. I’ve told Chris so many times, “I wish I could take our home and just put it on a patch of land with no one around us.” He agrees.

But, for now, while we continue with the beginning of our life together and think about starting a family one day, I can take those ideals and those desires of living in the woods and put them into practice with the life that I do have.

Sam on our most recent camping trip. Girlfriend loves the woods.

Sam on our most recent camping trip. Girlfriend loves the woods.

I don’t like having rules for myself as an adult, but I definitely need them. Some days I say that I won’t open my Macbook or check my phone a thousand times a minute. When Chris and I go out to dinner, we leave our phones in the car. I try to reuse what we have, instead of running to Target or Lowe’s for every little thing we might need (I fail at this miserably). Being at home is my very favorite place to be. Living in the woods is a commitment to a lifestyle that isn’t very popular right now. For Chris and I, though, I know that one day it will be where we end up, a little more off the grid, back to the basics, and a more organic way of life. For now, I love where we are at and all the things were are able to do. But, I so look forward to the future and allow myself a little bit of time to daydream about what life holds for us.

mountains

xo, Mary Kate

P.S. if you look at my “Dreams” pinboard on Pinterest you’ll find everything that I daydream about. It looks like a fantastic life to me.

P.P.S. image source

Mama Knows

Tutu2

Me, circa 1989

Tutu

Pink is my color. Obviously.

When I was little, I loved to dress up like a ballerina and twirl, twirl, twirl. When I was finally big enough to take dance lessons at Forest Dance Academy, I was so tremendously excited! I was exceptionally adorable, but not preternaturally talented. In fact, I was downright overwhelmed. “Mom, I just can’t keep up! They are moving so fast, twirling their arms, switching their feet, and spinning across the floor! All the others girls aren’t having a problem at all!”

Mom, around 1979.

Mom and Dad, from their yearbook, around 1979

Patiently waiting for me to spew all of my tiny worry and melodrama, my mom calmly told me, “It’s okay, Bonnie.”

Nurse Pinning

At Mom’s nurse pinning ceremony: Aunt Jennifer, Mom, Dad & Mom’s Mom – my Grandma Dixie

Before I could negate her statement with an emphatic temper tantrum, she went on:

At the Beach

Mom & Dad at Myrtle Beach last summer

“You’ll get it soon! You just need to take it a little bit at a time. So, first, just focus on the feet. When you can do that part without thinking so much, add the arms. Then you can add the jazzy hands, and twirls, and leaps. You can do it, just give yourself the chance.”

Mom and I

Mom and I before my and Todd’s wedding

Thank you, Mom, for the awesome advice. It’s wisdom that has helped me in every facet of my life so far, from dance class to being a wife and mom to career choice. Whatever it is I want to do in the future, too, I know that I’ll nail it – just sticking with it & taking everything I can one step at a time.

Cat on a leash, Cat on the loose

Along with having two dogs, Chris and I also have two crazy cats. I grew up with a three-legged cat named Tripod who was probably the coolest cat you’ll ever meet. She lived for what seemed like forever and passed peacefully last year. Somewhere along the line after college and getting married I decided I missed living with a cat and we ended up with 2 cats, Lexicon (our one souvenir from our life out west), and Dewey Decimal. They keep us on our toes and prove to be more work than two dogs, but we love them and they provide us with a constant barrage of good stories to share.

Dewey … being Dewey

It's hard to be a cat.

It’s hard to be a cat.

Here is one of my favorites …

There was this one time where I saw an Asian woman being pulled by a cat on a leash through my front window. Naturally, I went outside to see what was happening. Even through the obvious language … and other barriers (she was obviously a legitimate crazy cat lady), I was able to tell that her gigantic, leashed, monster of a cat was hell-bent on killing Dewey. Not that I was worried, Dewey has brought carcasses of his conquests into our house that were as big as a Cocker Spaniel. There was also that time that he brought a live bird into our bedroom in the middle of the night, but that deserves a post all its own.

What was strange was that this petite woman could not understand that Dewey was my cat. She kept apologizing for being pulled into my yard by “this cat” and gesturing to Dewey’s crazy-eyed self under my car.

“I am sorry,” she said again. “My cat won’t leave this cat alone.”

My mind was reeling at this point … thick accent …leashed animal … in my driveway? This really was suburbia at its finest. Dewey’s paws were flailing out from under my Subaru to try to attack this other cat who was obviously as … different … as its owner.

“Oh, it’s no problem! I’m sure he was causing problems to begin with,” I said, trying to laugh it off and end this increasingly bizarre situation. That’s where I think I lost her. She asked if I had seen this cat around before. Sometimes answers are just so obvious that I don’t know how to answer them. I’m sure this happens to everyone.

I tried to explain that Dewey lived with us and went into this spiel about how he won’t wear a collar and that we have a cat door and that he was up-to-date on his rabies shot. Somewhere my country girl accent must have gotten lost in meeting her Asian-American dialect and she responded,

“Oh! So you are going to keep him?”

Not to be insensitive towards our English Language Learners, but my patience was growing thin. Her restrained animal was in no way a threat to Dewey and I had an unfinished episode of Downton Abbey waiting for me inside.

“Well, yea, he’s my cat. We’ve had him for a long time.”

“Oh, oh, okay! That’s good!”

I nodded my head and turned around to go back inside to the world of Downton. My cat-walking neighbor turned her head and asked, “What about that gray cat? Do you know who it belongs to?”

I just yelled back in response, “That one is mine too! Don’t take her in! Don’t take her to the humane society!”

xo, Mary Kate