Random Walkabout Photos

 I took these photos last week, but had already posted a blog that same day so it seemed like overkill. It was so humid and miserable last week, I'm surprised I got any photos. By the time I made it to the mail box I was completely covered in sweat and felt like I needed to rip the outer layers of my skin off.

I'm so ready for fall...

I saw a meme the other day where someone described an amazing fall day and wished that it was that time already. Then the response (which was part of the meme) was someone bitching about people basically not enjoying the season that we're in now. I'm sorry, but I'm one of those people. I always want it to be fall, even if it's just turned winter or spring - I literally always want the weather to be like it is in the fall. 

Don't get me wrong, I love winter and snow, but I also love spring when the flowers are starting to bloom and everything smells amazing. If you know me personally or know anyone that does, they will attest to the fact that as soon as spring rolls around I start wishing for fall. I know I'm not alone here, lol.

I got wayyyy sidetracked. I'll stop myself now before I got into a manic ranting episode. Hopefully you enjoy these photos that I nearly had a heatstroke getting. 

Orange cherry tomatoes are starting to ripen up! I can't wait!

Beautiful Black Eyed Susan,

There's also a bug in the center.

Black Eyed Susan's have to be some of the prettiest wildflowers.

Pretty purple weed.

Beautiful Bishop's Flower.

Bishop's Flowers are beautiful, but usually tick city.

Bishop's Flowers make for pretty photos.

Especially when you take photos from behind.

Or super tight macro shots of Bishop's flowers.

Found this tiny little green cricket.

Even though I grabbed the weed that he was on and pulled it closer, he never moved.

I'm sure he was terrified.

More of those pretty purple wildflower/weeds.

And lastly, this tiny little black beetle on a weed.

COVID Vaccine (and mental health) Update

Here I sit on a very humid Thursday afternoon, contemplating life and the many things I need to do today. I wasn't really sure I was going to blog anymore this week, but since I'm left to only my thoughts, I thought it best to write for a while as a sort of release. 

I'll start by updating you on how I feel post-vaccine. The answer? Better, much better. By late Tuesday night I was feeling good and even my headache subsided. The fatigue was gone, my headache was better (aside from my constant tension headache) and I wasn't really thinking about the shot anymore. My arm, however, was terribly sore all day Tuesday and most of the day yesterday. I have about a half-dollar sized bruise and an equally sized knot to match. It's still sore today, but nothing like the previous days. The knot has also gone down from yesterday, which is fantastic. 

Now all I have to do is get through the second shot and I'll hopefully be good to go. I'm still going to stress like crazy for the weeks (probably months or years) to follow, but hopefully this will keep me and my family safer.

I've had a rough couple months lately. I don't know why, but I have these crazy thoughts in my head that just won't go away. I keep thinking of old times, times when my gran, mom, dad and other deceased family members were still around and it really gets me down. It's like I can't comprehend the fact that they're gone and I long to have those days back. I know everyone does this, but it seems like it's getting worse the older I get. 

I also keep thinking of the future and worry about losing other people and animals. Sometimes it's worse than others and it all hits me at once. It's like I have a weighted blanket of sadness that I can't get out from under. I don't know if I'm just going through a phase or what. I think a lot of it is due to my anxiety. I've had a couple really bad anxiety attacks this year and it's detrimental to my mental health. I try to stay as positive as I can, but when you have such heavy thoughts, it's hard. 

That's enough of that, but it does help to write about it. I don't really talk to anyone about it because I don't want to bring them down. I also worry that they won't understand and think I'm being weird. Am I the only one that misses being young and naive? I think back to when I was young and how little I worried. I didn't really know about the worries of the world and was completely sheltered. I know there are adults in the world that still have that mindset, but I honestly don't know how. 

I think it's time to close this chapter for now, lol. I'm going to switch gears and talk about the beautiful full moon last night! After LaVaughn and I got back from our walk we drove down the road so that I could try and capture the moon and all its radiant glory. I was, unfortunately, in a rush and couldn't take the time I needed to capture a good image, but I did get a decent one. I so badly want a longer lens for better pics of the moon. I think I want too many lenses, lol. 

Well I guess that's all for now. I'll share a couple pictures of the mood that I took last night. I also just ran outside and took a few rando pics to add to this post.

Full moon last night.

Definitely not my best moon pics, but decent.

I totally need a longer lens.

Potatoes picked from the garden today!

Some of the beautiful begonias that I saved from Rozier's.

Pretty purple flowers.

I can't think of what they're called.

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine

 First, hello all and welcome. I've really taken to heart what I said in my last post about forcing myself to blog. Until I'm constantly taking pictures and wanting to share them, I'm not going to post that much. It's not as stressful, which blogging shouldn't be. This is for fun, nothing more, nothing less. Maybe to complain every once in a while, but who doesn't do that?

Anyways, back to my title. I know getting one of the 3 COVID vaccines is pretty taboo (and all too political) to talk about, but that's exactly what I'm going to do today. So... my sister and I both received our first Pfizer vaccine at CVS yesterday. 

I'm not going to lie, I was absolutely terrified and still am. I'm not scared of needles or anything like that, but I am scared of immediate side effects and long-term ones. I've read so, so much stuff regarding the vaccines and up until the pharmacist stuck the needle in my arm, I still had my doubts. I can't express how much worry filled my head, so much so that it nearly made me ill. I kept telling myself that I needed to calm my nerves or I wouldn't be able to tell if I was having a reaction. I've talked countless times about my anxiety, so you can only imagine how high it was.

Thank the good lord above neither one of us had any type of reaction. The needle was long, so it did sting after, but that went away within a few minutes. Other than that, I felt fine. Lets fast-forward to last night. I got a horrid headache that felt like a caffeine headache, so I can't even for sure say that it was from the shot. Then my ear started hurting, but it does that from time to time because my wisdom tooth is grinding its way out, so it always makes that whole side of my face, neck and head hurt.

I was also very cold for the majority of the night and just didn't really feel good. I was tired and struggled to even play the keyboard. Mind you, we went from Perryville to St. Gen to Farmington and then home. I literally always get tired after a long drive, so it could've been a combination of all of that. Part of me wants to blame the fatigue on the shot, but I can't say with certainty, ya know?

As of today I feel better, I still have a mild caffeine headache, but that's about it. I'm hoping by tonight that everything is much better. I guess only time will tell. 

I'll be glad when Friday gets here. I've heard tales of heart inflammation among some people after the Pfizer shot, but it's usually teenage males, so hopefully I'm good there. Still, I'm going to stress and worry until well after my second dose. It's in my nature and I've honestly be stressed about the vaccine since last year. It's over now and there's no going back.

I guess I'm done ranting for now. I mainly wanted to share my experience with you all and hopefully it'll maybe help someone down the road. And since we're on the subject of COVID vaccines, here are some pictures of the garden from last week -- since they're totally in the same category, lol.

Sorry for the bright lights (it was midday). This is the right side of the upper garden.

Left side of the upper garden.

Lower garden.

The zucchini plants are gigantic - even bigger this week!

LaVaughn and I cleaned out the carrot row (third one) last week. It looks amazing... for now.

Some gigantic orange cherry tomatoes.

Just A Check-In

 I've really been slacking in the blogging department lately. I sometimes feel obligated to blog at least 3 times a week, then sometimes I find myself struggling to blog just once. It's easier if I take lots of photos each week and actually have something to share, but if I don't then I feel like blogging is pointless. I'm not the type of person that has to document every aspect of their lives. I mean, maybe 6 or 7 years ago I did, but that's just not me anymore.

I love to write, even if I'm in a rush and don't read through what I've written to correct my mistakes, I still love it. I obviously love photography, so sharing my photos here is something that I really enjoy. Last week was occupied for obvious reasons, but this past week LaVaughn and I both have worked extra, so there haven't really been any free days. 

Tuesday doesn't count as a day because we had a 2 hour drive home, plus had to stop for groceries beforehand. By the time we get home and get everything sanitized, put away and then cook dinner, it's late and there's really no time to take pictures of anything to post. We also cleaned up around the house, took the glider's drop trays out and washed them, took all the glider's cage sets out and washed them, vacuumed the glider room, carpet cleaned part of the glider room, then for some random reason we cleaned out the closets and got rid of two trash bags full of shoes.

Wednesday was garden cleanup day. After breakfast and feeding all the animals we went down to the garden and started cleaning it up and pulling weeds - that took forever and I'm legit still super sore. 

I had to take my aunt to the doctor Wednesday in Farmington and we didn't get home until after 5. By the time we ate, watered the garden and bedded the chickens the day was just gone. We also had to pack for work this weekend which takes a while because we have to prepare 4/5 days of glider food, wash laundry and pack bags. 

This week was exceptionally busy due to the fact that we stayed away for work two extra days. I also had crippling anxiety Tuesday evening/night. Anyone who has periods of severe anxiety knows what I mean when the aftershock takes days. Wednesday was weird all day and most of the day Thursday. I think it was Thursday night when I started feeling relief. If I'm being honest I'm still feeling the effects somewhat.

I'm not going to get into all that, but having really anxious weeks takes its toll. 

I've also been really into playing the piano again for some reason, so anytime I have free time that's what I do. I usually spend at least an hour a day playing if nothing's going on. I actually finally finished a song I was learning Thursday night. I have a video on my phone, but I don't really want to upload it on YouTube just to share it here. 

So there's a rundown of the last week or so and why I don't blog as much some weeks. I think I put too much pressure on myself to blog and that's what's going to end up ruining this for me. I think it's okay if I don't blog some weeks and if I don't feel like doing it or if I feel I'm forcing myself, then I just won't blog. I haven't taken any pictures in over a week, so maybe next week I can get out and take some of the garden for an update - everything is growing like crazy right now. 

Well, I guess that's all for now.

Random picture (that I don't own) of these Cucamelons, only because I had no photos to share. I also want to order these seeds next year and try to grow these bad boys!

Xbox 360 - still relevant?

I honestly don't remember if I blogged about this a lot, but my sister and I have been diehard fans of Left 4 Dead since the first one came out in late 2008. That was the same year I started this blog, so I'm sure I've mentioned it a time or two. We got our very first Xbox 360 in spring of 2007 and kept the same one until we got a PS4, which was early winter of 2014. We only had to send it in for repairs one time a few years after we got it, but other than that it's been really good.

After we got out PS4 we didn't really play the 360 that much, just once or twice when I wanted to play Splinter Cell or Survival Instinct. A couple months back I wanted to play L4D so bad that we got our old 360 out of storage and hooked it up. It was no surprise that it didn't turn on, even though it's in basically the same shape as it was the last time we played it. It could be something simple like a faulty power cord, or it could be the console itself. I mean, the disc tray jams and has to be forced open, plus the faceplate is missing entirely.

Nothing else was said about it up until a couple weeks ago when I started thinking of L4D again and wanting to play SO terribly bad. I started looking for used 360's on eBay and found several decent deals. A lot of them were just under $100 and a few over, but I already knew I didn't even want to pay close to that. After searching for days, I finally found one that wasn't ridiculously priced (under $60) and placed an offer. The guy countered for $4 less than the original listing price, so I countered again and he finally accepted. 

If he had shipped it out the day after I paid, we could've gotten it Saturday and had it Monday when we got back from work, but he took a while to ship it out and we just got it yesterday. It sucks, but it's whatever. We made up for lost time yesterday by playing for nearly 8 hours. I can't express how happy I am that we have a functioning 360 again. There is SO much nostalgia involved, it's amazing. Even though L4D and L4D2 are 12 and 13 years old, they're still so amazing to play. 

I was hoping that the graphics wouldn't be a major letdown, considering we've been playing PS4 games for 7 years, but it really wasn't an issue. It's just as fun as it was 13 years ago.

So let me ask, does anyone still use their Xbox 360? I know it's all the rage to buy the newest and best console, but I find so much joy in playing old games that are near and dear to my heart. Games that make me happy and sad at the same time because they take me back to a time that I loved so dearly, a time that I miss so much. 

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with new consoles. I mean, I would love to have a PS5, but I'm not gonna go crazy trying to find one and paying scalpers $1500 for something that costs less than $500. I'll be perfectly content playing PS4 games until they stop making them. 

I guess that's all for now. I'm going to share completely unrelated gaming photos below, which should come as no surprise.

One of the two pepper plants I'm trying to save/grow.

This is the other guy.

One of the baby cabbages.

Strawberry blooms!

These are some of the orange cherry tomatoes.

I can't wait to eat them.

I think this is a big guy.

And lastly, our giant hostas.

Project Alien Bug w/Random Unrelated Photos

 So there's this odd little bug underneath one of the flower pots in front of the garage. I honestly have no idea what it is, the closest guess I have is a hellgrammite. I don't think that's what it is, but that's the closest thing it resembles. I have a few photos that I'm going to share, maybe someone will know what it is.

It's been rainy and nasty all week and I think it's supposed to rain up until Friday. I mean, it's good and bad because it keeps the garden watered, but it makes it impossible to do anything with it due to all the mud. I have seed packs of red romaine lettuce, some petite yellow watermelons, some new type of squash and a 4 pack of cabbage that all needs to be planted like last week. Thanks to the rain, that probably won't happen until next week, which sucks.

I picked out stuff that only takes a couple months to grow, so it should be fine.

I don't really have much else to say, I mainly just wanted to talk about the strange bug and share all these rando pics that I took today. Hope everyone is having a good week.

Here's the little alien bug in a hole in the ground.

I'm very unsure as to what this guy is.

Like I said, the closest thing it resembles is a hellgrammite.

Well, hopefully the little thing finishes its transition and flies away.

There was also an inchworm on the flower pot over the bug. This was the best pic I got.

Our spilled flower pot.

Right side of the upper garden.

Left side of the upper garden.

Beautiful yellow flower with rain drops.

I'm really not sure what kind of flower this is. I'm totally spacing at the moment.

Not the best, but I tried to get a decent macro shot of rain drops on the petals.

This is one of my favorite macro shots so far. This is the kind of photos I would see when searching for the 40mm Nikon lens.

Creeper Max.

More yellow flowers.

This guy looks kinda rough.

One of the 4 baby cabbages.