Friday, June 1, 2012

making a move.

Hello again! I know what you're thinking: two posts in one day?! After being postless for five months?

Yes, my friends, yes. But it may not be as exciting as you think--then again, it could be.

For a multitude of reasons- the largest of which being that blogger will not let me change primary e-mail addresses on my blog, and this one is linked to a no-longer-used-and-possibly-at-one-point-hacked email address- this blog is moving house, as it were. It'll be pretty much the same blog, (I've imported this one) just a different name and URL. I'm truly hoping to be much better about the upkeep of my blog now, so you should check the new one out. My importation of this blog, however, does not import my followers. So if you are a 'follower' here, go on over there to continue the saga and follow me there too! You can even subscribe if you'd like.

Well, without further ado, my new blog:

Check me out! And don't forget to tell all your friends. :)

come and sit a spell.

I realize how terribly negligent of this space I have been, and for it I sincerely apologize. I also realize that that apology is more for myself, as I don't really know how many people actually missed my writings here--but I do know how much I missed it. Life has happened, and there have been a multitude of other things that I should be doing, or sometimes could be doing, that this lonely blog has gathered metaphorical dust of disuse. I will make no promises because I know that I probably won't be able to keep them, but I do want to be more of a presence here than I have been of late. I suppose I feel that my life isn't nearly as exciting to write about as it was when we were in Edinburgh-- I'm fairly certain those feelings are well-founded, but that doesn't mean that I've naught to write about. 

In these nine (has it truly been that long?) months since we've been home in the mountains I have missed Edinburgh and Scotland tremendously. But those feelings are always tempered with the sheer delight of being home. These mountains never cease to inspire me; they frequently have me pointing and staring at their beauty and mist-shrouded secrecy like a wide-eyed child. Being away, and being away in such a beautifully similar landscape, gave me a new appreciation for the valley in which I live. Black Mountain is surrounded by green-clad peaks that rise and fall on the horizon, valleys deeply shaded in verdant hues, and all familiarly robed in grey mist and low clouds that hug the lines of the glens and shroud the softly rounded mounts. It really is incredible how similar the landscapes between these mountains and many Scottish ones are. It brings a gladness to my heart to know that my ancestors, who undoubtedly loved the familiarity of their own Scottish and Irish landscapes, made it to a place thousands of miles away that looked, felt, and even smelled like home. No wonder they settled here, no wonder the folk cultures between the highlands of Scotland and the highlands of Western North Carolina are so alike.

It's a grey and rainy morning, and I greet it with a knowing smile and a cup of breakfast tea in hand. Good morning, misty mountains. Good morning, soft grey air that hangs just a bit heavier, envelops the senses and smells so sweet. I hope we can continue this quiet rendezvous. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

new snow.

This year's first snow graced us with its feathery presence last night, and I made white chili to celebrate. Here are my boys out in the still softly falling snow this morning. I don't mind it being this cold if it snows too!

Monday, January 2, 2012

new year. new ideas.

A friend of mine just posted about her New Year resolutions, except she called them goals rather than resolutions. I liked that. I like the idea that I have things that I'm striving toward as this new year dawns, not just things that I've resolved to do, period, and then as soon as I leave off one of them I feel like a failure. These 'resolutions' or goals, are works-in-progress. And that makes them feel more doable, and makes me feel less completely worthless when I forget one day or just don't have the energy another.

I have great hopes for this year, and even bigger question marks, but bottom-line is that I know that I've been blessed beyond any bit of what I deserve, and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for Jeremy and me this year. Over the last couple days I've been thinking about some of the goals I have for this year, and have jotted down the ones I think should be mentioned, that way I can come back this time next year and not see what I've failed at, but how close I've come to accomplishing some goals and how I've blown others out of the water.

Caitlin's Goals for 2012 [in no particular order]

1. Create a budget, and stick to it.
  - I've come close to doing this one right before. I never quite got into the swing of things since we've been back from Scotland, and while Jeremy and I are both making decent money I know I need to be saving. I want to create a smart and doable budget, and really be able to keep up with it, while saving the maximum amount possible per month.

2. Quiet time every morning.
  - I've always been pretty good at finding excuses not to carve out a time each day for devotions, for reading the Bible, and spending time in prayer. Now that my biggest excuse is now non-existent (not having a regular schedule; I now work Monday through Friday 9AM to 5PM), I need to get over myself and wake up just one half hour earlier than I normally would. I know this is doable, and I know it will enrich every aspect of my life.

3. Exercise regularly.
   - Before we left Edinburgh I was consistently working out three days a week, and it felt good. I know that there are other things I'd like to do that regularly rather than working out, but I need to be exerting myself in some kind of cardio activity and muscle toning at least a few days a week. I don't know what that exercise will be yet, but in light of the 15K I signed up for in May I should probably run.

4. Eat healthier.
  - I don't eat particularly unhealthily now, but I know I need to put in more of an effort. I'd like to start juicing daily and doing smoothies (but those involve appliances that I do not have), so some kind of regular raw veggies and fruit would definitely do me good.

5. Set aside one night a week as 'date night' with Jeremy.
  - This one doesn't need to be anything fancy or even necessarily cost money, but I want us to do something once a week out of the ordinary and outside of our normal watching movies on Netflix in the evenings.

6. Play and practice my fiddle regularly again.
  - I've been depressingly negligent of my fiddle since we moved home. I've been using the excuse of its natural volume when I play and the fact that we basically live in someone's house to deter me from playing, which is fair enough. But I want to purchase a mute for my bridge and begin playing again. I've still got my ten year goal in mind.

7. Write more and write often.
  - I need to be writing every single day, period. Whether it's in my journal, on my blog, or creative writing and development for my novels, I need to be putting pen to paper, so-to-speak.

8. Work on creative writing at least three times a week.
  - You may think this falls under number seven, but I would probably find my way around working diligently on my stories if I didn't specify a set amount that I need to write per week. This is very important and I need to be writing creatively as often as possible.

9. Read.
  - I got a Kindle for Christmas (thanks, Jeremy!) and I definitely want to read more. But I also want to continue academic reading related to my Master's degree. I want to try to read some amount of something Highland Studies-ish once a week, because I think I have a while to go before truly becoming a Master of Highland Studies.

10. Begin studying Gaelic again.
  - I do not want to lose my Gaelic, and I enjoyed learning the language too much to just let it go to waste. I want to start studying up on it again, to continue learning it and to create opportunities for me to use it. Tha mi ag iarraidh Gàidhlig ionnsachadh a h-uile seachdain! (I want to study Gaelic every week.)

Bliadhna mhath ùr!  Happy New Year!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

oh my goodness.

This space needs some attention. I promise I'll return soon, dear readers! Things are still, yes, still, settling down for us. We're in a new place, have new jobs, and are cultivating some semblance of normalcy. It hopefully will soon become more than a mere semblance.
Here's a lovely shot I captured up at Mt. Mitchell the other day to tide you over.
Oh, and yes, I missed these mountains. And yes, I adore autumn.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

i heart faces. [pet week]

Here's another i heart faces challenge I couldn't resist entering. I just miss my little (not so little anymore) pup, Cael. We'll get to see him in just two short weeks, and I'm quite excited to be with him again.
This photo was taken in Montreat during the first snow of the season, it was also the first time Cael had ever seen snow too--thus beginning his love of it. I love the look on his face, it's adorable how you can just see the curiosity and amazement in his eyes. Miss you, Cael, see you soon!

Check out the other entries by clicking the icon above. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

done and done.

I can hardly believe it, but it's true. My dissertation is officially finished and turned in, there's nothing else I can add to it or change about it, even if I wanted to--and I don't, I'm done. It feels pretty good, I have to say, though there's still the small detail of whether or not I'll get a good mark on it or not. I'm pretty certain I'll graduate though, regardless of my mark (unless I wildly fail it, which I'm not anticipating), so that's pretty cool. I'm going to be a Master of something--though to be fair, I don't know that I'll ever feel comfortable calling myself a Master in Highland Studies, there's so much more for me to learn.
Here's a little peek into what the last few days looked like for me:

Hard at work, editing and honing my argument. And adding in a key element to my analysis that I didn't consider to add until this past Monday. Whoops, haha, at least I got it all in there.

I was rewarded for my diligence when Jeremy called me to tell me to look out our window at the beautiful sunset playing on Arthur's Seat and the surrounding crags. Just breath-taking.

I finished it around lunchtime on Thursday afternoon, and opted to go ahead to get it printed that day instead of fretting and overworking it that night and standing in a queue for ages waiting to get it printed and bound at the print shop. I was rather excited to be done and see it looking to lovely and professional, hence my goofy grin.

My pretentiously long and academic dissertation title, and cover page. Hah, it's not as complicated as that title makes it sound. Ooer, but don't I sound smart?

Today with my two bound copies, ready to go turn it in. A bit more subdued than Thursday, you know, being a respectable academic or some-such nonsense, and wearing my academia (and glarey) specs.

Yep, so that's it. It's done, and all I can do is wait. Well, that, and pack and pull details together so Jeremy and I can go home in two and a half weeks. Here we come Western North Carolina!

Thanks for all your encouragement and prayers during this whole process. It's been difficult and trying, but overall it's been so good, and so good for me. And this year here has been brilliant for Jeremy and I as well, we've grown and matured and learned to appreciate one another in completely new ways. All of it has been more than a blessing.

Here's to two and a half more weeks in this amazing city, let's soak up as much as we can before we're spirited away back home.