This is Farewelll....

Posted by Cassandra

But just to Blogger!

Check out my new home at:

Everything from Blogger is there, the only thing that's changed is the look (obviously) and the url!

Wok This Way...

Posted by Cassandra

Using this recipe, Pat and I created Orange Chicken for dinner yesterday. While Pat cut the chicken into cubes, I whisked the eggs, mixed the flour, salt and pepper, and made the orange sauce, which turned out really tangy, thanks to my additions to the recipe (hello extra oj!). After Pat had finished cutting up the chicken, he dunked each piece into the egg, then the flour mixture, and built a little chicken igloo out of the entire thing. It was like a really slow assembly line. Then, he used the wok to fry everything, begging me every few minutes to "add more oil! It's sticking!"

I also made a really yummy smoothie with fresh blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, apple and orange and the rest of the oj I didn't use in the orange sauce. I blended all the fruits with the juice, and then when it was nice and smooth, I poured it through a strainer to get rid of all the seeds. I put the newly smooth mixture back into the blender and added a few (huge) scoops of vanilla ice cream and blended until everything was mixed. It was really refreshing after eating the chicken (which I put rice and soy sauce on. I didn't eat the actual orange sauce.) and yesterday it was about 90 degrees outside, so the smoothie was cool and thick, and absolutely delicious.

While we ate the chicken (we even fried up the fat in the leftover egg and flour mixture for the dog), we watched "The Blind Side" which I hadn't seen. Both the chicken and the movie were really good.

This morning, I made pancakes with fresh blueberries. The blueberries oozed while the batter cooked, and every bite had a blueberry in it. I ate those while I watched "Tooth Fairy" with Dwayne Johnson. I love Dwayne Johnson.


Posted by Cassandra

So yesterday, I had an appointment to get my meningitis shot for college. I was okay with doing one shot, even though I am so scared of needles. Seriously just thinking about needles makes my stomach quiver with fear, as does the rest of my body. I walked into the office out of the pouring rain, and sat down, waiting for the nurses at the counter to be free. Finally, they say my name, and I stand up and walk over to the counter. I give them my insurance card, and the nurse looks at me and says, "You're due for about 4 shots today."

I wanted to run away.

I cleared my throat, and tried to smile as I asked what shots I needed.
"Well, you need Tetanus, because your last one was 6 years ago. You should get Hepatitis A, I recommend HPV, and also, your meningitis. Come into the back, and we'll talk."
I nodded, and followed her dumbly, like a sheep being led to slaughter. I was calming myself down in my head, making my feet go forward, and not back.

We get to the room, and I sit down on the table, covered with white paper with little blue flowers. It crinkles when I sit. I watch her open the fridge where the medication is, and then she opens a drawer. Filled with syringes. My stomach revolts, and my legs automatically stand up. I make myself sit back down. The conversation in my head goes something like this, "You're 18 years old. You can get shots. Look how tiny the needles are. NEEDLES?!" Then I shut myself up.

The nurse asks me if I want to do Hepatitis A. I ask her about it. She tells me that it's needed to travel, and she recommends getting it before I leave the state. It's a series of shots; one today, the second in 6 months.

"I'm going to be moving to college in a few months, so I don't think I want that one today." She nods, and then starts to talk about HPV. I told her that I decided a few years ago that I didn't want it, and she launches into my sexual history. I decide (again) that I don't want the shot. Come on, you have to have three of them within a year, and I'd heard horror stories about how much they hurt.

"Tetanus in the right arm, meningitis in the left, okay?" I nod.

Then she lifts up the tiny glass bottles that hold the medicine for the shots I'm going to get. Its barely half an inch of liquid in the syringe. My vision goes blurry when she turns around with a syringe in her hand. "Make your arm floppy, like a noodle. Pretend it doesn't belong to you." She tells me. But I'm thinking, "Crap! It DOES belong to me! It's my arm! Please don't hurt me!" I squeeze my eyes closed, I feel the needle break the skin, the click of the syringe and then seconds later, the burn of the medicine.

"I barely felt that." I say in disbelief.
"You rarely feel the first. But you'll feel the second."

Come on, lady! Don't tell me that! I'm thinking about bolting to the door.

She gets the other syringe, and tells me to make my arm floppy and breathe. I breathe dramatically. When the needle breaks the skin, my eyes get wet, and I flinch. "Ow!" I say, and look down; and she's mopping up the blood. "Do you get woozy when you see blood?" She asks. "Not mine." I say in a half whisper. "Use your arms a lot, and if you want, take Tylenol for the pain. Oh, and if you get a fever or swelling, go to the E.R." Gulp.

I'm done. With the needles, but not the pain.

I head home, driving through the rain, and when I get there, I fall down onto the couch, hold my arms, and whimper. I feel my head every few seconds, waiting for the fever. My body is freezing, and I wrap myself into a blanket. I don't get warm. Later, my dad gets home from work, and we make pizzas. I eat quite a bit.

At 8, Kyle calls.

At 9, I go to bed.

At 4, I wake up and throw up so hard it hurts. I rush to the bathroom in time to throw up into the toilet; dry vomit that hurts to cough up. I almost choke. I wish for someone to hold my hair back. I go back to bed, after drinking a little water and getting a mint. Peppermint helps with upset stomach, right?

At 5.27, I'm up again. The mint isn't dissolved, and I reach into my mouth to grab it, gagging in the process. I don't even have time to roll out of bed before I'm throwing up. Huge, loud heaves that make me gasp for breath in between. At least this time I had more liquid to throw up. Good thing the trash can was beside my bed. Bad thing some graduation presents were beside it. Good thing I have aim, because they didn't get wet.

I try to go back to sleep, but the smell of vomit (pizza, yum) makes me throw up again. I empty the trash, turn on my scentsy, put a drop of "Purification" in the trash on second thought and crawl back into bed. I can't go back to sleep even with the cleaner smelling room, because I can't fall asleep on my back or belly, and my arms hurt too much to lay on them. I do it anyways, and cry out everytime I shift my weight. I fall back asleep. I dream the world is ending.

My stomach is still weak now, and I'm drinking 7-up to try and calm it down. On the way home from dropping Pat off at work, I almost had to pull over because I got so nauseous.

I hate shots.

Silent Saturday 1

Posted by Cassandra

I've seen this done before on other blogs, under different names; Wordless Wednesdays anyone? So I've decided to put Silent Saturdays into effect.

Without further ado, I give you the Silent Saturday photo.


Posted by Cassandra


1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
1 can almond filling (12 oz) ((Use any flavor you like, match extract you're using))
2 cups all-purpose flour


Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until it is light and fluffy. Beat in extract and filling until well blended. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until dough is stiff. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or until dough is no longer sticky.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Using a teaspoon, scoop out balls of dough and put on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes (you may need to cook them longer; test a cookie to make sure they're cooked inside.)
Cool on sheets, then transfer slightly warm cookies to wire racks.
Enjoy! (or store in an airtight container.)

Makes about 64 cookies.


Posted by Cassandra

Because I am not working this entire week, I've become a lazy log, lying on the couch, watching rented movies, and snacking on whatever is in the house that passes for food. (Yesterday, I consumed five hard-boiled eggs, and more than two pounds of cherries in about an hour. Today, it was nachos, and pizza in quick succession. Yum.)

Yesterday the movies were: Forgetting Sarah Marshall, He's Just Not That Into You, and 2012. Today, The Silence of the Lambs, Sex and the City (number one, now I really want to see number two...) and soon, Valentine's Day.

I also made cookies. Delicious, bite-size almond cookies. The first batch of 16 was a tiny bit over-cooked; the bottoms were darker (and crunchier) than I like. But the next batch turned out awesome! I still have the extra dough in the fridge...Enough for about three more batches of 16.

The second batch is just perfect! I may end up eating them all before anyone else can try them. Recipe later...I may end up making little apricot cookies as well! These little things are awesome! :)

Flowers, Nephews, Boyfriends & Books...

Posted by Cassandra

As you might have noticed, I was gone for about a week, spending time with my sister and nephew. John is 2 years old, and so much fun; when he listens, of course. I spent a lot of the time playing with John, eating (yogurt was on sale at the grocery store, so I ate a lot), watching the Food Network, and reading. On the book list, you might have seen the new additions; threes new books. Before I go into them, we'll start on the visit.

Kim was gone for the week, and she asked me to come up and help, and I would leave on Friday to go home and see Kyle, because he was at the ranch for the weekend with some family. John and I played outside a lot; in the sandbox, in the grass, or just running around. I got some great photos of him playing with dandelions.

When I got back on Friday night, I went to bed, excited to wake up and go to see Kyle. We rode around the ranch on four-wheelers, watched T.V., made s'mores (with peanut butter-yum.), had a big fish fry, doctored cows, saw one get castrated and went out to dinner with the family. I regret to say I only got one picture of us together, and it isn't even a very good one. Last night, saying goodbye was so hard. First of all, I was exhausted, and made the mistake of falling asleep on his bed. By the time I finally got ready to leave, everyone was sleeping, (except his brother) and he walked me to my car. Because it was so cold outside, we sat inside and talked. I couldn't make myself let go of him, and when he got out of the car, the lights came on, and the waterworks began. All the way home, on the dark, winding gravel road, I composed poems in my head about how hard our relationship was. This morning I couldn't remember them. Good? I would think so.

I also received my North Central Orientation date, and I'm getting ready to take my math placement test online. (Maybe tomorrow; it's getting late..) I'm so ready to head off for college, and move-in is September 8th. Before I go, though, I need to get my meningitis shot because I'll be living in the dorms. I also need to find insurance...

Now onto the reading.

When Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett came out on Oprah's list, I was on a road trip, and I bought it because it was a HUGE book and I get extremely bored sitting in the car. I loved it. L-O-V-E-D it. I read it several times, and suggested that Kyle read it. When I was in the library, I was looking through Ken Follett's books, and I saw one that looked pretty new, and I picked it up, dreading finding another thriller/mystery. What I found was a pleasant surprise. World Without End is the follow-up of Pillars of the Earth, and just as long! I was so excited to take it home and start it. I read outside sitting in the grass, propped up in bed until 1.30, and when I woke up, first thing I did was reach for it, and read for an hour or so until I "woke up". It isn't the same characters, I was at first disappointed to find, but equally dimensional ones, who capture your interest in the first pages. An ugly girl who thieves to support her family, a smart boy who is older, yet smaller than his younger brother (who is, by the way, a bully) and a girl who wants to be a doctor, even though women aren't allowed into the profession. What they witness playing in the forest follows them all of their lives, hovering over their heads like a dark cloud. Definitely a must-read for anyone.

The next book, I'd read before, but I was still caught up in the tangled web that The Best Laid Plans describes. Power-hungry men and revenge seeking women dominate the storyline, pulling you through until you reach the last page, eager for more.

And finally, I finished this one last night, Think Twice features identical twins seperated at birth; one a powerful lawyer, the other fresh from prison (with the help of her sister) on the run from a boyfriend/drug dealer. Bennie (the lawyer) goes to her sister's house for a seemingly innocent dinner, and hours later, wakes up in the box underground. While she fights for her life, Alice, the evil twin, (forgive the cliché.) becomes Bennie, driving her car, sleeping in her bed, and stealing her money. Will Bennie be able to get out of the box, or will Alice steal her $3 million dollars and disappear into thin air? Again, it's a recommended read for anyone who likes thrillers that go fast.

While at the library this morning, I got a few more books (The Other Queen, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy) and look forward to a lazy week spent reading them.


Posted by Cassandra

The blog will be taking a bit of a snooze for about a week... :)

Burns and Full Moons

Posted by Cassandra

Remember the walk to the "frog pond"? These are the results. If you've seen the pictures of me on here, you'll know that my skin is very fair, and it takes about five minutes to burn without sunscreen. Even the day before (Friday), when I was at work (babysitting), we played outside with water, and I had sunscreen on, and I still burnt, not within five minutes, but about 15. Yesterday, knowing that I was going to be mowing the lawn, I slathered on 60 SPF. Then the sun went away, and I covered up anyways.

Did anyone see the moon the 28th? It was so bright and full and beautiful! I noticed it when I was driving home from work at about 10.30, because the dirt road is usually so dark, even with headlights, and that night, it was bright. When I got home, I tried to take a picture of it, but my camera just doesn't do it justice. I'm waiting for the day that I can buy a nice SLR camera without guilt, but until then, I'll have to make do with my little Samsung.

In the morning, I'll be leaving for about a week to go help my sister out while she's at an Army thing. Kyle will be here (again) with his grandpa this weekend, so I'll try to make it back then.

I'll leave you with the wonderful (ha!) photo I took of the moon. (That's a tree in front of it, by the way.)

I just realized this new blog template doesn't date the entries. Strange...

Leading a (Black) Dog to Water...

Posted by Cassandra

You know its summer when you wake up sweaty, like I did this morning. I pried myself out of bed, took a cool shower, and made myself some french toast. Which had blood in it. (I got the eggs from the ranch, and apparently one of them was a little bit bloody. Salem enjoyed his breakfast.) After deciding that a t-shirt was too hot, I went back inside, which was cooler by about 4 degrees (it really matters when its hot), and put on a swimsuit, with a tank top over it. I proceeded to jump out my window, and invite Pat to walk down to the "frog pond". It's where we used to catch frogs when we were younger. Creative name, I know.

Then, Pat and I took Salem for a walk. Down a dusty road. When it was 80+ degrees. Bad idea? You betcha. Salem was a trooper though, not pulling the lead too much, and walking beside me. When we got to the creek, cows were everywhere and Salem was really excited, even though i kept yanking him backwards. They ended up running off, and we headed to the cool, tan water. Salem leaped into it, lapping up the dirty water, happy to be cool. We took several pictures, and then went home. Within minutes, walking back up the dusty road, Salem was dry and miserable again. When we got home, we sprayed him down. Poor guy is still covered in winter hair, which is thick, and very black. Maybe I'll shave him.

Good news, my things from RHL shipped today! I'm looking forward to having them, even though I won't be able to use them until September.

The good thing about a hot day, and exerting Salem is the fact that he's been quiet since we got back. No annoying half-puppy, half-grown bark, part squeak, part bark. Lovely sounding, I assure you.By the way, who totally loves my new blog look? The colors are just what this summer-starved, snow-in-May girl needs!

High School Graduate

Posted by Cassandra

I finally graduated, and I'm getting used to the fact that I'm not going to go back to school at HHS. I've been spending a lot of time reading, and also on the computer (which I would like to cut down on...). Today, I went through a bunch of my old stuff that was boxed away, and threw most of it in the dumpster. I saved books, a few really old journals, and a note or two from elementary. I found three journal entries, un-dated, that are written entirely in French. I remember my French phase, but I do not remember writing these, and I've no clue what they say. I've tried translating them online, but the translation is strange, so I gave up. Everything graduation is almost over; I've kept up on writing my thank-you notes, and I've only got a few left to write and send out.

Other than cleaning and throwing stuff away, I spent time outside with Salem, in the nice weather. I picked up boxes that he got a hold of and destroyed, and picked up plastic bottles that get tossed to him to make him stop barking. Today was about 70 degrees; hot enough to make me seriously crave water after going through those old boxes! I also seriously considered walking down to the creek to dip my feet in...

I also spent some time online researching insurances, because my current is a Wyoming-only plan, and I'll have to get a new one when I move. Major headache there. Another decision I have to make soon; whether to fly out to Naperville, and send stuff to myself, or drive out there with a fully packed car. The latter is somewhat impossible right now, due to the fact my car broke down while Kyle was visiting, and needs a new fuel pump, which costs anywhere from $150 to $450. I don't have that money right now, even with all the graduation gifts. I'm leaning towards flying out, because the ticket will probably cost less than the gas to drive, and I could pack all of my clothes in my suitcases, one checked bag, another carry-on, and have pretty much everything I need.

Speaking of things I need. With gifts cards I received, I ordered some sheets (extra long twin-sorta rare around here) (I linked the site that I ordered from because the value packs are awesome! They come with EVERYTHING you need for your dorm, even pillows, and they have free shipping!) and a new comforter for my dorm room. Just thinking about the set makes me anxious to get to college already!

The Girl with Glass Feet

Posted by Cassandra

When the seniors were checked out, we still had to stay at the school for graduation rehearsal. Since rehearsal was an hour away, I went to the public library (which is a two minute walk from the school, and the school library was not checking books out anymore) and picked out one of the new books. The book I picked up was "The Girl with Glass Feet" by Ali Shaw. The cover really got to me; a pale blue/greenish cover with black trees, vines, birds and flowers. It looked mysterious, and when I opened it to skim the summary, I decided I would get it.
Once I started, it didn't take me long to be completely absorbed.

The story describes a man (boy?) who is afraid of touch, and is a black and white photographer. He meets a girl while on a walk to take photos, and instantly, he is confounded by her boots (of all things). Her boots are too large for her tiny, tiny frame. Midas, the man, later learns that Ida has come back the the island, St. Hauda's Land, to find a cure for her feet, both of which have slowly started to turn into clear, beautiful glass. Midas slowly starts to fall in love with this doomed girl, and together, they try to find a cure for her feet. Along the way, they meet Henry Fuwu (who Ida has met once, on her first visit to the island) who is obsessed with his herd of moth-winged bulls (which are exactly what they sound like; tiny bovines with translucent wings), Denver, Midas' best friend's daughter, a little girl who's mother died, who draws narwhals pulling carriages with queens and gives advice to Midas about the thoughts in the back of his mind, Carl Mausen, who was tragically in love with Ida's mother, and makes him do terrible things to Ida for the sake of "love", and with Carl Mausen, Emiliana Stallows, married to the richest man of the island, and who also claims to know the cure for Ida's condition. All of the characters come alive in Ali Shaw's first novel, in a hauntingly beautiful land, where the citizens are mistrustful of anyone new, and who all hold their own secret lives.

I was so caught up in this book, the awkward tension between the main characters made me smirk, the moth-winged bovine giving birth to a tiny, tiny specimen made me smile, and the mysterious glass creeping up Ida's legs made me afraid, and my own legs itched and went numb with sympathy. I highly recommend reading this book to find out what becomes of Midas and Ida's precarious relationship.

New Me?

Posted by Cassandra

This is the day that every high school senior is waiting for. Who am I kidding, every kid in school waits for this day. The last day of school. Not to be continued after summer, just high school is complete, done, you never have to return. I was excited two weeks ago, one week ago, a few days ago. But yesterday and today, I felt like something was missing. Everyone was jumping up and down (literally) and announcing they were "DONE!!!" But I still feel, I don't even know, left out? People warned me that I would feel letdown after I was done, but I constantly brushed them off with a shrug, a wave of my hand and a "whatever!" But I can really see what they meant.

For nearly 18 years, Hulett has been my home, and I've gone to school almost everyday. What am I supposed to do now? Really, who am I now? I honestly don't know the answer to that question. In a few months, I'm going to be packing up all of my things, and going clear across the U.S. to Naperville, a place I've been to all of two times. I'll be leaving everything I've ever known; my family, my home, my friends, my teachers, my mentors, my roots, to be with my boyfriend.

I'm happy to be going, I really am. But it's hard to conjure up the enthusiasm right now. Graduation is going to hit me hard, because everything I am is coming to an end.

I'm going to be so different once I leave Wyoming, and I'm not sure if that's going to be a good thing...Or a bad thing.

gratuitous prom picture


Posted by Cassandra

Because I don't really have time to do a full post, I thought I would leave this here, just because I feel bad about not posting at all...

4 shows I like to watch:
2. Desperate Housewives
3. The Middle
4. The Deep End

4 things I am passionate about:
1. Kyle
2. Reading
3. College Classes
4. Computer reading?

4 phrases I say a lot:
1. Me as well
2. Nuh uh
3. Haha
4. Like

4 things I have learned, or am learning:
1. Money does not come easily.
2. Neither do successful relationships.
3. Being angry, starting fights/drama is worthless and time consuming.
4. How to save money ;)

4 places I would like to go:
1. Italy
2. London
3. Egypt
4. Romania

4 things I did yesterday:
1. Ate
2. Macbeth essay
3. Read/Finished "A Rose In Winter"
4. Rode on a bus

4 things I am looking forward to:
1. End of the school year
2. College
3. Moving to Naperville
4. Vacation

4 things on my wish list:
1. All of Kathleen E. Woodiwiss' books
2. My car to be fixed for as little $$ as possible
3. A nice home I've yet to design
4. Husband, kids, dogs, happiness

Prom pictures next post.


Posted by Cassandra

Today, I stayed home from school, again, because I wasn't feeling all that great. I'm still not feeling the best, but I thought that right now would be a really good time to do a blog. I've waited for way too long to do a book review on "Shanna", so here you are!

When I first started reading "Shanna", I was babysitting, and Sam was watching t.v., while I was relaxed in the chair with the book. The first couple of pages were hard to get into, partly because it was time for Sam to go to bed, and partly because I was so tired. But finally, it started talking about Shanna Trahern's idea, and what forced her into it. You see, her father, who was a true rags to riches story, told her that she had better find a husband before her 21st birthday, or else he would. All of the other suitors disagreed with her, and she sent them off with some fierce words, and sometimes a slap in the face if they got too clingy. A few weeks before her birthday, she scoured the prisons to find a man whom she could get married to, and if he agreed to her marriage contract, she would give him food to last out his life until he was hanged, and pay for a proper church burial. But when she meets this prisoner, Ruark Beauchamp , who happens to have a very fine last name, connections to a rich family in London, she gets more than she bargains for. His deal for marrying her is the chance to consummate the marriage.

There are twists and turns everytime you flip the page, from pirate kidnappings to murders.

I don't want to say much more, because I'm really good at giving away the good parts of a book, so much that people don't want to read the book anymore.

But, "Shanna" by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss is still my favorite of all her other books I've read as of now. I highly recommend it, if it doesn't bother you to carry around a book with a cover like "Shanna" has. And if it does, just, you know, cover the front with some dark paper or something. :)

Days of Art

Posted by Cassandra


It's been a little bit too long (again!) but I'm finally getting the chance to update :)
Kyle will be here in T-minus 2 days, and prom is coming right up as well. I'll make sure to update with prom pictures :)

I was at art symposium (that is erica and I, B.B. [before bangs] if you were wondering...), which is this really cool gathering of art from all over the state of Wyoming. It's seriously a once in a lifetime kind of deal, and I loved it.

The only bad part (and I wish I would have gotten photographic evidence of this) was the fact that we stayed in a sleazy hotel. Seriously, I walked down the hallway to get ice, barefoot, and there was shattered glass in the carpet. In the bed, there was hair, and on the toilet seat, more hair. Even the free breakfast (I know, it was free, I shouldn't complain) was really crappy. My omelet was cold when I got it, and I'm pretty sure my hash browns still had ice on them. Not to mention my HOT tea, served 20 minutes after everyone else, COLD.

It was a ton better last year, when the rooms were clean...

But anyways, there was cool art there, and it would take forever to show all of it.

A table made of mosaics (the little piece of paper is the artist information; the blue dot means that it got a ribbon for being really good.)

And this really caught my eye too! Try to spot all the fairy tales in it! (*) It was named "Storyteller's Apprentice" and it was awesome. It brought back fond, childhood memories.

"Storyteller's Apprentice".

I'm not going to bore you with more art, and the last I will say is, I got a haircut, involving my bangs. Look at the nifty, new display picture :)

One more thing, I've read a few more Woodiwiss books, and people are starting to ask me what ones they should read. Success! :)

* You probably thought I was joking when I said to look for the fairy tales. I know the photos are small. But click on any of them to see them bigger.

Well hello there stranger.

Posted by Cassandra

I really do try to update more than this, but when I think about it, I'm doing other things that tend to be a little more important, such as showering, eating, reading a new book or feeding the dog. (And with the eating thing, I could be blogging and eating, but I like to savor my food... and maybe just chat with Kyle on MSN.) This post will go through pretty much everything that has happened in the past month, so hold on, here we go...

Kyle will be coming to prom with me, on May 1st! He'll be flying in the night of the 29th, so that puts the countdown at 11 days. I got my dress last Sunday, and all the accessories to go with it. I LOVE my dress. It's Grecian inspired white satin, with a train. It's gorgeous. (I chose to wear pearls with it.) But, unfortunately, I will not be posting a picture of it until I wear it to prom, as I do not want anyone to see it before the big unveiling. :)

Spring has just begun here in Wyoming...And here comes the allergies! Kyle has them worse than I do (he always does), but I still have itchy eyes and a runny nose whenever I spend too much time outside.

Salem however, loves the warm weather, and the not-warm, not-cold breezes. He's starting to shed, so everytime I pet him (which involves his wrapping his front legs around my waist) I am covered in black dog hair. I complain about this all the time, but still. I had a black cat, and I hated the little black hairs all over my light colored shirts, so I wore black a lot. Then I got a white cat, and I hated getting white hairs on my black shirts, so I started wearing white shirts, and light colored things. Then I got the big black dog, and guess what, yes, I hate getting black hair on my white clothing. And needless to say, I'm not going to start wearing black again when it's so nice outside. One thing I love about spring coming is the nice, spongy, green grass. The flowers are a close second, but I love nothing more than to walk on the grass with no shoes, and feel the prickly grass.

And one more thing about the weather. On April 1st, we got about 3 inches of snow. Although it was light, fluffy snow, and very beautiful, it was annoying, because by that time, everyone was ready for spring to start!

I finally got to get my stitches removed, on March 30th. It was finally healed enough to take them out. I was supposed to have them out a week before that, but my doctor was worried if he took them out, one movement of my arm/shoulder, and the cut would pop back open, and that would be very, very bad. Although I was annoyed, I waited (people offered to take them out for me with a leatherman..), and was really excited when I lay down to have them FINALLY! removed! It felt really strange. The only other time I had stitches was in fourth grade from a hospital visit, and I can't remember how it felt to have them removed. Everyone assured me it didn't hurt, but I was still worried. It felt more like getting a sliver taken out, not the painful digging around, but that moment of relief when you grab it with tweezers, and it slides right out...But anyways, they're gone, and I have a pretty cool scar to show people. It looked like a pair of lips the day the stitches were removed, but it has flattened out a great deal now. I can hardly feel it now.And now onto books.

A month ago, I was sure I was going to start, and finish, the Redwall series by Brian Jacques. But, I failed in that endeavor, and am not going to guilt myself into reading them again. Someday, maybe, I will start on them again, because I do think they are a charming read, full of cool accents and a good storyline. But until then, I'll stick to my new favorite: Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. I'm lucky to have befriended my librarians, and they always offer me suggestions of what to read. A few weeks ago, I went in, and one of them handed me a book, and said, "I know you'll love this, I checked it out to you." That book was "Shanna" by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. I skimmed the back, and agreed that I would like it, but it sat in my car for awhile, because I was wary about carrying it around, because the cover looked like this:

Not exactly what most high school senior girls are carrying around, right? When I finally got around to it, I couldn't put it down! I knew I would like it, but I didn't know I would fall into the world so thoroughly. And of course, when I finished, I went straight back to the library and begged for more Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. Imagine my sadness when they told me that was the only book they had by her. Well, I did what anyone would do, and I InterLibrary Loaned (Interlibrary loan, ILL, is a service which allows people to obtain books and journal articles which are not owned by their library. You can submit an ILL request directly through the library's online form, or you can fill out a paper request form. Forms are available at the reference desk.) a few more of her books ("The Reluctant Suitor" and "So Worthy My Love") and went through them just as fast as I went through "Shanna". Right now, I'm waiting for the other six I ordered, and can't wait for them to arrive! All of them are in the same genre, Historical romance, and about the same time frame (1600s - 1800s) and they're very long romance books. Most of them top 600 pages. But they go by incredibly fast. Right now, I would recommend "Shanna" to everyone, because it was the first book I read, and fell in love with.
But, ask me in a few weeks, after I've read the rest of them, and I'll probably have some new ones to recommend :)

I do wish I would have waited last night to finish "So Worthy My Love", because I would have loved to sit out in the sun, with Salem laying down at my feet, devouring such a good book. But I have another week or so to sit out in the sun with the rest of the books I ILLed, and I'll let you know when I get them finished, with more in depth posts about each one. Expect a post in the next few days about "Shanna", "The Reluctant Suitor", and "So Worthy My Love".

About Time.

Posted by Cassandra

I'm still very, very lazy, but not so much that I'm putting this off another night. Again, this post will be all about books, well, not all about books, so if you are bored by that, feel free to come back another day and see if I've updated further.
I finished the Alanna books, and I loved that quartet, but not as much as I loved "The Immortals" quartet. (I'm too lazy to put any pictures up...)
Now, I'm starting another series. A very, very LONG series. By Brian Jacques. The "Redwall" series. There are 21 books in this series, so if I read really fast I'll be able to finish it for once. I started it in 7th grade, but didn't get very far, because I was made fun of for reading them... I finished "Redwall", and I started on "Mossflower" and am about halfway through. I don't know if I'll ever be able to explain them any further than just saying "they're good". I should have read "Mossflower" first though. If you end up reading these, read "Mossflower" first. "Redwall" will make much more sense.

Now, onto other things.

Knitting: Kyle wants me to make another hat for him, because the one I made before was too small; so I'm currently planning to cast-on for another Boyfriend Hat. I get really, unexplainably happy when I say that :)

I got a small surgery on my shoulder/back to have a cyst removed, and the stitches (12; 2 inside, 10 outside) are supposed to come out tomorrow. (But the school nurse says they aren't healing like they should, so it may be postponed) I'm very excited. They are itchy, and a pain in the butt to take care of because I can't reach them, and I have to depend on my brother to clean them for me. Not good.

In a few weeks, prom rolls around, (and buying plane tickets...have you seen the price of those lately?) and Kyle is coming for it, so I'm also excited to get my dress and get all pretty. And with prom, I'm getting a lip piercing. I would love to have it before prom, so I have a shiny little thing in my lip like this, only not with a ring, with a stud. I think it's pretty.

I would say that I'll update more in a couple of days, but I seem to be saying that a lot, to myself, and to the blog, but for some reason, I feel no need to document my life at this point, and all that I end up writing is a sorry excuse for an entry.

So, I apologize for abandonment, and major boring-ness.

I'll be back when I have something worthwhile to write (and to read, of course). Would it be terrible if the next thing I posted was a book review? (By book review, I mean in depth, like this one.)

Buona notte :)

Updates are...

Posted by Cassandra

Coming soon...
Maybe tomorrow.


Song of the Lioness

Posted by Cassandra

I started a new series, by one of my favorite authors: Tamora Pierce. I read her other series, "The Immortals", which has magic and whatnot in it. I would like to read that series again as well, because Tamora Pierce is a great writer. When I was in 7th grade, I believe, she came and talked to us, and I was obsessed for years with her. :)

I'm going to read the entire series before I start seriously talking about them. I will say they are about a girl, who switches roles with her twin brother to become a knight, because she loathes magic, and that's what the next few years would hold for her if she was sent to a convent. Knighthood holds so much fascination for her, but she needs to convince everyone that she is indeed a boy, or else there would be a lot of trouble for her. "Alanna: The First Adventure" is the first book in Tamora Pierce's "Song of the Lioness" series.

I've taken a very keen interest in dogs lately, and I really want a Great Dane. They're big, and loyal, and easy to train, and besides that, seriously, how could you say no to this face?
And don't you want this guy curled up on your couch?But then again, how could you say no to THIS face?And doesn't this guy look protective?But if I ever took up running, in a different country, let's say Africa, I would definitely want this guy to train with me.
And even if it took a few months to grow into a fierce lion fighter, I would be okay cuddling this little thing for awhile :)The first two pictures are Great Danes, the next two are Bullmastiffs, and the last two are Rhodesian Ridgebacks. They're all gorgeous dogs, each perfect in their own right, and its hard to choose which perfect I would want. I guess it kinda depends on what Kyle wants too...

Fairest of All

Posted by Cassandra

I finished "Nectar in a Sieve" (pronounced SIV as Merriam-Webster informed me yesterday; turns out I can learn something on the internet!), and highly recommend it to everyone. It really is worth reading, not because it's a classic novel, but because it's a universal struggle about a woman who can't change anything that happens to her...It is equally sad and happy, and at the end, I was happy to be a female in America in today's society.

On another note, I started, and finished, another book today. Just a fast little read, very fun. "Fairest of All" by Serena Valentino. It's all about the story of Snow White, but it is told from the Queen's point of view, and you can finally start to understand why she would demand one of her men to go and kill Snow White, and bring back her heart so she can see it. It's such a twist on the classic story that it keeps you hooked until the last page. The reading level is pretty low (Ages 9-12, pretty PG, just kissing), so it's a fast, quick read. The cover art is originally what caught my eye, especially because of the double covers. On page one, you meet the Queen, and yes, I assure you, do not be fooled, it is she, albeit nice, very nice. You meet Snow White as a tiny, adorably shy girl, and you meet the King, the dashing, handsome, caring King. Further in, you meet his absurd family, i.e. strange triplets who paint themselves to look like dolls. They make you shudder, and the things they say make you want to take their skinny necks in your hands and squeeze until their painted faces turn purple...

I'll stop before I give too much away, but "Fairest of All" was a pleasure to read, and it makes me look at all of Disney's villains in a new, and very different, way; what if they all had a valid reason to be the way they were? I might even like most of them, instead of instantly hating them because they aren't filled with a glow-y light like all of the heroines are. I did really like the Queen, and I dare you to not like her, and not pity her at least just a little bit.

By the way, I added a new blog to my favorites, and just thought I would draw a little more attention to it, because it inspired me to blog a little bit about books.
I give you:
Paperback Fool.

Nectar in a Sieve

Posted by Cassandra

Today, I was finally able to start on my list of books I've wanted to read for awhile.

First up was "Nectar in a Sieve" by Kamala Markandaya. When I first picked it up off the shelf, I was intruiged, but I noticed it was published years ago, and was a bit nervous, because I have a hard time following older books like that. I'm so glad I decided to follow through a read it. So far, I absolutely love it, and I open it up everytime I have a spare second. The story is reminiscent of Pearl Buck's "The Good Earth", the struggles of a farmer, but while Buck's novel is from Wang Lung's (the farmer) point of view, in a poor Chinese village, "Nectar in a Sieve" is from the view of Rukmani, the poor farmer's wife, in rural India.

I'm excited to be reading both novels at the same time, I'm reading "The Good Earth" for Literature, and "Nectar in a Sieve" for pleasure, so I can compare and contrast the main points of both storylines. So far, I've noticed several parallels in how the wives were treated, and how they were expected to bear as many children as possible, emphasis on boy children, even if it kills them. I've learned that wives were easily replaced, but children were hard to come by. Wang Lung (The Good Earth) isn't exactly nice to O-Lan, but isn't mean either. Nathan, (Nectar in a Sieve) on the oth
er hand, is sweet, and shows it to Rukmani, and I instantly took a liking to him.

I'm not very far, about eight chapters, but I look forward to finishing this classic, and walking away more knowledgable about the struggles of a poor tenant farmer in India.

Another book, not on my list, but it caught my eye, "Bloodrights" by N. Lee Woods. I was looking for a romantic novel set in the times of kings and queens, and the first few sentences

"The lizard was restive, tiny nails prickling as it nestled in her shirt for warmth. She grimaced, her hand pressing its bony shape into the hollow between her breasts. "Settle down," she mumurmed. It protested, but stopped struggling. Its sticky tongue licked at the salt on her skin in forlorn hunger."
caught me, and kept me, until I closed the book after the final page. Although Amazon doesn't have a very high rating for it, I absolutely devoured it! It made me cry, it made me laugh, and it made me want to throw the book at the wall because things weren't working out the way I thought they should. The ending was very satisfying, and the character descriptions brought the characters to life, so much that I could see them prowling around my eyelids when I went to sleep. I had dreams about the characters, and I cringed when I woke up. There is so much going on in the story, if Antonya, the main character, doesn't keep your attention, other characters are sure to. And unlike other books, this discusses other characters, even though they aren't the main characters, and gives you a sense of how they interact with others.
I'm not Amazon, but personally, I think its recomended reading for any fantasy/history/romance buff, like myself.

Ahh! ...

Posted by Cassandra

The weekend! Two days of rest and relaxation, or, if you're me, two days of working so you have enough money to take on your trip...

And after the weekend, only a few more days until I go to Chicagoland, check out the college, and that boyfriend of mine. :) You'll see the pictures when I get back. By the way, I'm still hoping for a storm that makes it impossible for me to get back home for a few weeks. Maybe if I hope hard enough, it'll happen, and I'll be stuck (not unhappily) with my boyfriend for a few extra days...or weeks, perhaps?

Not much to post, other than the fact school is wearing me down, day by day, and my headaches have slowly started dissipating...Hopefully they'll just go away on their own; you can only hope, right? The whole being a senior thing is getting old, what with the daily dose of homework, and don't forget the force-fed amount of daily drama, as well.

On the knitting front, I've done no knitting whatsoever since I finished The Boyfriend Hat. I'm think about making another one, because I have plenty of the yarn, but the casting on, and the first row of stitches was a nuisance.

I had a pretty crazy dream last night, as well. Something about a big garden that I hid in (and ran through, like a child) wrapped in some sort of sticky vine, a house I kept stumbling through to get away from whoever owned it, a big body of water behind it, sort of like a pool, but it was more like a lake, these tiny cats, called "wildcats", that kept attacking sheep, and a HUGE yarn expo, set up like a supermarket, with the wares in wooden crates with prices stuck in them...

Have a nice (relaxing) weekend! :)

New Favorite..

Posted by Cassandra

I have a new favorite blog, and it's definitely worth checking out if you're artsy and love decorating...

Simply Grove.

Now I'm going to make some vegetable soup...

Happy Monday! :)

Two Years

Posted by Cassandra

Today is my boyfriend and I's two year anniversary.

Two years ago today, he called me and asked me to be his girlfriend. But, before you can understand the full meaning of today and why it's so amazing we're together, you have to know how it all started:

Over the summer, starting about freshman year, I would nanny to a family I know that lives on a ranch. On this ranch, they run a business, Giant Rubber Water Tanks, which they travel all over the U.S. selling, and they also raise cattle. Kyle's grandfather happens to hunt there, and over the summer before my sophomore year, he brought his family to The Ranch to have fun and enjoy the wilderness, as they live in the city.

I was there the day the family arrived. My boss told me that there was a family inhabiting downstairs, and I asked if it was a big family, if they had kids, how old the kids were, if they were know, all the normal questions a 15 year old girl would ask. When we got there, I got to meet them. And yes, there was boys, ever a boy that was my age.

After being introduced, I avoided them. I was shy, and they were boys. On one of the last days they were there, all of us ended up getting in a water fight. The older boys weren't playing, so I thought to include them, by, you know, dumping water on their heads. That broke the ice, and all through the night, we talked. I fell more and more in love (awe, maybe?) of Kyle, the boy my age, but was too chicken to ask for his number, or even his last name so I could look him up.

They left the next day.

I was devastated, to say the least. I was sure we had chemistry, but I didn't even know his last name.

A few weeks later, The Ranch got a thank-you card, and I learned his last name.

I instantly looked him up on Myspace. Turns out there's a lot of boys with his name in the same city.

I forgot about him. Even in my little town there are boys to distract.

Then, one night, I decided to try Facebook to look for him. I typed in his name, I had lots of hope...There were 181 results.

Crap. I strained my eyes looking at all of the profile pictures, hoping to find one that looked like him. I couldn't remember what he looked like.

On the last page, I found one that sorta looked like him, and I clicked on it, and sent him a message. An awkward, loser message. (This was in November, his family visited in July.) Exactly two hours later, I got his message back. It was the right boy, and get this! He remembered me!

For two months, we talked, we got to know each other, we fell in love. :)

He called me, and we'd never talked on the phone before, and February 14th, 2008, we became boyfriend and girlfriend.

It wasn't until over a year later, July 2009 that we got to be together, as actual boyfriend and girlfriend. We ate sushi, we shopped, we went to the Mayhem Festival, with Marilyn Manson, we went to a museum; we had fun. We found out how much we loved to be together, how well we got along, and how good we looked together. (As we walked past glass windows, "Look. That's us. We're cute.")

Then it was over. We both had to go home, and try to live without each other for what seemed like forever. (In all actuality, it was about five months., but at the time, we didn't know we'd be together. We thought we would have to wait until graduation, which was awhile away, to say the least.)

I cried the entire eight hour drive from Denver to my sister's house to pick up my dog, because she had fed him and kept an eye on him while I was with Kyle. He called every so often to make sure I was doing okay during the drive, and everytime I saw his name on my phone, I cried. I didn't want to go back to the way it was before, only talking on the phone and MSN.

I was miserable and I didn't think I would be able to wait to see him again.

But I didn't have to wait, because once we got home, and settled back in, we started planning another trip. This trip was over Christmas break, and I would be at his house for about 9 days, which was a vast improvement on the Denver trip, which was only about 2 days. We were going to go out to movies, to dinner, shopping, cuddling, watching movies at home, until the storm hit.

Days before I was to fly out, a huge blizzard hit. There was snow everywhere. We got feet in a day's time. But I didn't lose hope, because the news said it would be cleared up by time Christmas rolled around. On the day I was supposed to fly out, we drove to the airport, with Kyle calling every once in awhile to tell me how the flights were looking. Mine was okay, it was still on time.

When we were about 15 miles away, Kyle called and told me the flight was delayed 45 minutes. I said, no big deal, I'll wait.

When we were about 5 minutes away, he called and told me the flight was canceled. We were both close to tears, but we kept going. When we got to the airport, every flight was canceled, and I was going from desk to desk begging them to find me a seat on a plane leaving today. No luck.

I cried.

It seemed like the entire universe was conspiring against us. Nothing wanted us to be together. It seemed like we were working against the world just to be together and to be happy.

Kyle's dad found the earliest flight, but that was the following Tuesday. That was four days later. My entire break was ruined because of the snow. He booked me for the last seat on the flight, leaving at 6 am. I didn't even want to go anymore, because I didn't want to hope again. I didn't want to have my hopes crushed.

We went back home, and I went straight to bed. I didn't want to do anything for those next 4 days, except cry.

Finally, Tuesday came, and I woke up at 2 am to get ready to go. My flight was on time, and I was on board, ready to see my boyfriend.

I finally arrived in Chicago, and I saw him. I was sweaty and tired and just wanted to rest, and I made him feel bad because I wouldn't give him a proper kiss, like I told him I would when I saw him.

We went home, and I showered, and we went out shopping. We went to see movies, we shopped, we went out to eat; we were getting used to being together as a couple again, but it was too good to last, apparently.

The week flew by. On the last day, we rode the metra and went to the Art Institute. This whole museum on the last day thing turned into a tradition.

On Saturday night, we lay in bed, him rubbing my arm, me laying on his chest crying. My flight was at 6 in the morning, and the trip was almost over. I couldn't fall asleep, and I just cried.

The next morning, we woke up and went to the airport. His dad drove us, saying it was easier to just drop me off and then leave. He said there was no point in Kyle walking me to the counter. It was easier this way, he kept saying. I resented him for that; I may resent him for the rest of my life. On the way there, we sat in the back, holding hands and whispering "I love you". We got to the airport.

The goodbye was bittersweet. We kissed one more time, then I took my bag, and I walked to the door. I didn't look back, and I didn't allow myself one tear. Not one. I called him when I got to Denver, and I called him when I got to Rapid. Still, there were no tears.

I never cried after that trip, because I know if I had the choice, I would say goodbye every day of my life, just to have that precious time with him again.

But the good news: In a few weeks, I'll be there again, and in May, he'll come for my prom. Then after that, we'll be attending college together.

And you know, if the universe is conspiring against us, we're fighting even harder to stay together. :)

Happy anniversary, honey. I love you.

Edited to Add:

On the knitting front: I finished "The Boyfriend Hat" for Kyle, but I like it a lot, and I'm going to have to make him another...

Yarn: Caron, color: Heather Grey
Needles: US size 8, sixteen inch circulars
Pattern: The Boyfriend Hat
Time: About two days
I liked knitting it, even though it was a bit repetitive. The decreases were genius, and I get complimented whenever I wear it! The yarn is really soft, and was a great choice for this hat.

Finished Little White Hat

Posted by Cassandra

Finally, I'm done with it! It took a lot longer to finish than it should have....And I actually kind of like it. At first, I was like, Not again. I don't have anything to do with a hat too small for me! But when I put it on, its not too bad. :) It's really cozy and warm.

Originally, it sat in my room for about a week, after working on it at 10.30 p.m., using pens because my circular was getting too long, and I had no dpns with me. It was disastrous. As you can see in the photo, I had dpns when I finished it, thank you very much.

I had to take the yarn that I pulled through the live stitches, and pull it out, insert a dpn, and repeat four times.

And now I remember how much I hate using dpns to work in the round. I've gotten used to using a circular to cast on and work in the round, and I don't drop the needle on the floor numerous times during working in the round, so therefore, I suffer from no dpn tantrums!

Notice in the photos of the completed hat, you don't see the top. There is a reason for this, actually. There are holes in the top, where I dropped a few stitches, probably at the same I dropped a dpn.But it's okay, because the holes look arty, and on purpose. So, just forget I said any different. :)

And now it's time to make something else! Probably... another hat. I wish I had some more tweed; I love how my mini-beret is so squishy. This hat is a little bit stiff, but I guess it'll be warmer. Oh, how I love knitting! I love how if you're in a public place, it doesn't matter if you're a stranger; if you're knitting, you're fair game for everyone to talk to you and discuss things they've made, and what you're making and whatnot. :)

Oh, good news, I got accepted to North Central College, and I'll be attending in the fall, majoring in English: Writing Emphasis. :)