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Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Secret Life of Blogger's Blog Party (8/24/2015-8/29/2015)

This is going to be my last weekly Secret Life for two weeks. Next week I want to do a special Labor Day/Unofficial End of Summer Secret Life that shows everything I've done this summer. I want to highlight some book writing too! It's going to be a hodge podge of things next week. I hope everyone will enjoy it and I hope everyone will enjoy this week's broadcast. It has been an interesting week and I felt happy for the most part this week. Enjoy! ~Jessica

Monday, August 24

Love the way the sky looked as the sun was setting.

Tuesday, August 25
Went to work at the library and avalanche in the bookbox!

Wednesday, August 26

Put my charms on my charm bracelet.

Ready for the interview!

After the interview, I went to the Flying Pig in Malvern.

Thursday, August 27

Love this display! I love Pete the Cat!

Friday, August 28

I sent the children's librarian the monarch photos and she used my life cycle pictures for the butterfly display!

Saturday, August 29

My hair cut! I had it glazed a reddish colour, trimmed and put into long layers.
I'm happy with how it turned out! This is now my LinkedIn picture.

I love Billy Goat! The pigeons do too!

This little girl began feeding them. I love these photos I captured.

They came in droves as they discovered food!

One even flew on the bench to beg everyone for food. I love pigeons, though.

Italian Greyhound.

I loved this dog that was also hanging out in Rittenhouse Square Park.

As I posted online: This truck gave me free food because I didn't have cash on me. He didn't want me to worry about the cash and wanted me to have the food. I decided after that I'd go to 7-Eleven, take out $5, miss the bus back to King of Prussia, and after I ate my meal, I'd pay him back. I did - I walked back to his truck and I thanked him, in Arabic (he didn't really know English that well), and said it was very good. He was a very nice young man.

The food was really good! The guy was surprised I went back to pay him in cash, but I would have felt bad if I didn't pay him at all. I figured that streetcar food vendors probably don't make a lot of money and it would have been unfair to walk off with a free meal. I also enjoyed it, wanted to talk to him some more, and give him my gratitude.

These are from four years ago, but I will be getting ready for the Packers tonight! GO PACK GO!
I love my Claymania shirt! (I need to find it.)

Friday, August 28, 2015


Welcome to this month's The Cephalopod Coffeehouse, hosted by The Armchair Squid! I hope you enjoy yourself and will want to read the books I've selected.

I've chosen two books this month because it seems like the books I read this month have had to do with overcoming some sort of trauma or health challenge (which led to some sort of trauma).

I'm first going to review Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Speak is a young adult novel told in the form of a diary. By being in diary format, you can see the trauma first hand. Melinda Sordino starts her diary right as she calls the cops after a party in late August, before her freshman year of high school.

After the cops bust the party, Melinda's friends won't speak to her and she cannot speak about the trauma she went through. She won't tell the readers what her trauma is, but it effects her grades, her attitude,her sleeping, eating, and the dialog is jumpy from the trauma she has experienced. Through the novel we see how she did gain one friend, but lost that friend since she wanted to join the popular crowd (The Marthas), and how Melinda begins to love her art class. It is through her art class and her science partner, David, that Melinda starts to feel better. By the end of the novel, she does open up about her trauma and starts to talk to her art teacher (which another novel was written for this, I haven't read it yet).

El Deafo by Cece Bell is a graphic novel for children, though I think it's important for everyone to read. I was stunned about what Cece's character went through in the 1970s and 80s because she was deaf.  It is a memoir told in graphic novel format of a girl who becomes deaf after a brief illness.This book takes place between 1974-1980 and we see how a young girl transforms from kindergarten to fifth grade as a deaf student. I was stunned how people with disabilities were treated back then! Though, it's not entirely different today, sadly. By the end of the memoir, El Deafo begins to see her disability as a gift - she starts to see her deafness as something not be ashamed about, but should grow with it. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thankful Thursday 8/27/2015

I feel relieved this week... it feels like a little weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I won't reveal what happened just yet as I want to wait for another time and I don't feel like talking about it just yet. For those of you who are very close to me, you know what I am talking about. Although I am mostly relieved, I do feel a bit sad.

After things happened on Monday, when I went to work at the library on Tuesday, I was quickly reminded why I'm thankful to work there. Yes, it might not be many hours (10 hours/week) and I might not make a lot of money, but I love the people I work with. When I walked in on Tuesday, one of my co-workers handed me a scrapbook album. She said, "I was cleaning out the house and found this - I thought of you!"

I thanked her up and down. She's looking to relocate when she retires and she has started to downsize. She was talking about how she was looking for a place to get rid of flannel shirts she had lying around. I felt guilty at first, but I spoke up: "what size are they? I love flannel shirts." "I think they're large, but I will bring them in for you, you can try them on and if they don't fit you can get rid of them." She gave me a bag of flannel shirts today. I thanked her again. I will have to try them on later. I feel thankful for her and I feel thankful for my co-workers.
The plastic bag that my co-worker put the shirts in, the handle broke. My supervisor let me borrow this bag.

I love the shirts pictured out of the bag. I hope they fit!

I also feel thankful for my aunt who lets me use her pool. As the summer winds down, I've been taking advantage of swimming when I can. I have always loved swimming.

I also feel thankful for my little (okay, he's a tad old) buddy that watches over me when I swim.

I also feel thankful for this beauty. My Miss Mimi!

And I feel thankful that the deformed butterfly made it through last night. He made it through the day, but my guess is tonight he won't. I feel grateful this monarch was given some more time!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Two Beauties Are Here... And Flying On the Clouds

Yesterday one of the monarchs finally emerged from the chrysalis.

After mom finished work, we released the beauty. Mom was worried about carrying the cage outside because the bottom was floppy. She didn't want the milkweed to fall and water spilling all over the place. I gave her one of my Arabic books and she placed the book under the cage. We carried the cage outside so we could begin the releasing ceremony.

The monarch flew freely into our garden and hung out on some flowers. She sipped nectar and is probably headed for Mexico or will make her journey to Mexico. I like to think that's where she will fly off to with the other Monarchs that hibernate there for the winter.

This morning when I woke up, I saw the 2nd chrysalis was black. I could see the Monarch wing pressing against the sack. It was breathtaking.

A few hours later, the second beauty was finally here!

Mom released her while I was coming home from a job interview. My guess is, the second monarch did the same thing as the first Monarch. She hung out on milkweed, sipped nectar from the flowers, then made her way to Mexico.

When mom was cooking dinner on the grill, we saw what happened to one of the caterpillars. He must have formed his chrysalis between the tank and the metal. His wings were deformed because he didn't have the space to expand his wings normally.

We released him, he pooped on mom. My guess is he will die tonight. Sad, but it's nature.

This one is beginning to look like how the 2nd one looked this morning. Should be here tomorrow!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Still In Chrysalises/ New Generation of Caterpillars

On Saturday afternoon, mom said she saw that other monarch butterflies had laid eggs. She said she would harvest the milkweed with the eggs when the bigger monarch keeper cage came in. Well, it came yesterday!

The milkweed with the caterpillars - one still in an egg, the other munching her way to adulthood - is now in the sanctuary with the chrysalises. The monarchs should emerge from the chrysalises in 5-7 days. We're excited. We're also excited about the new generation of monarchs!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Hanging Out With Marsha 8/22/2015

Yesterday Marsha and I met up to go shopping in the King of Prussia Mall. It had been seven months since we last saw one another - the last time was in January after a blizzard. Marsha arrived at 11:15 AM and we headed to Nordstrom's so I can get this dress I ordered from Amazon hemmed:

Just a tad bit too long.

As we trekked to Nordstrom we talked about different things. Once we made it our way into Nordstrom, we wandered the first floor and as we wandered, I saw a cat purse. It was purple with green eyes and whiskers. I wanted it, but was too afraid to look at the price. We finally asked where I could get my dress altered and we walked upstairs. After about 20 minutes of getting measured and getting the dress pinned, I was told I would be able to pick up my dress next week. The cashier, the tailor, and the other assistant all remarked how pretty I looked in that beautiful dress and it does look good on me. Marsha and I wandered around Nordstrom some more, but I didn't buy anything. I want to wait for a sale - after all, Labor Day is coming soon! Maybe when I pick up my dress, a sale should be going on. I have to see if I have my tiny heeled shoes still. I don't like wearing high heels, but I think black shoes with a bit of a heel will look good. Nordstrom is one of the few places that carry my shoe size - 5. Maybe a white scarf would go with this dress as well? That's another reason I didn't buy anything yesterday because I want to wait for the dress to be finished so I can try things on with it.

We then went to Penney's since the store advertised sales. Meh, I prefer the way Penney's used to be. I don't like a lot of the styles they carry now. I did see a nice blouse set that was in the sale section, but it wasn't on sale. Marsha and I walked out and decided to go to lunch at Bonefish Grill. She had never eaten there before and that was one of my favorite places. One just opened at the mall and she wanted to try it.

Lunch was so good! I ordered raw oysters (yes, I love raw seafood) and a Caesar Salad. She ordered a chicken Caesar Salad. We just sat and caught up. Did some laughing and reflecting. We both really enjoyed our meal. We were also the few people in the restaurant - it wasn't crowded and it was really nice to catch up when the atmosphere isn't noisy and busy. After lunch, we decided to fool around with the sign and made silly poses.

Marsha sent this one to me.

We decided to walk around some more. We went into Pandora because their advertisement of NFL charms being available now drew me in. I have a Pandora bracelet; I was given a bracelet with three charms last Christmas. We went in and I inquired about the charms. I said I was a Packers fan and I'd like to see the charms. As you are aware I posted this gift box yesterday:

Yeah, I splurged a bit and bought the Packers charm and the green and gold charms. I figured I wear this bracelet to work and when I go out, I think the investment was good. The point of the bracelets, or so I've heard, is to tell a story of the woman's life.

I'm a HUGE Packers fan. I'm a shareholder of the team. I traveled to Green Bay twice and saw two pre-season games. I also went to a training camp in 2012. On my travels, I've met a lot of wonderful people - some I still keep in touch with. I was telling the story to the counter person and she was amazed by my travels. She thought it was so cool that I went twice to see my favorite team. Here are some blog posts about my travels in 2011 and 2012.
I'm Home (2011)Lambeau FieldThanks For the MemoriesMy Trip Through Titletown, USA (photo album)Lambeau Leapin' Through Wisconsin Part I (2012)Lambeau Leapin' Through Wisconsin Part II (2012)Lambeau Leapin' Through Wisconsin (album)

I'll be including some of the Wisconsin poetry I wrote in 2012 to As Far As The Eyes Can See. I will also be including this poem I wrote in 2011. It's one of my favorites:

The clouds ascend above Lambeau,
welcome to Green Bay!
Home of the infamous Packers;
my one and only-- enough delay!

Welcome to Green Bay,
sun sparkles off Lambeau's
red, white hot bricks--
I'm here in person, so close

the sparkles off of Lambeau
fill my eyes with tears--
a win against the Cardinals
with pride and love that spears.

My eyes are filled with tears
as Lake Michigan glistens
and ducks and geese eat from hand,
to the owls and inhabitants I listen.

Away from the glistening Lake Michigan,
in Curly's Pub, shots of victory taken
and pride that a dream has come true;
drink Jager slowly-- you're mistaken!

The clouds descend over Lambeau,
Goodbye Green Bay--
home of precious memories,
2012 don't you dare delay!

Marsha and I concluded our day at Starbucks. It was a really fun day out and I was so happy to see Marsha. We're going to get together in the fall. I told her in the fall I wanted to go to Berwyn and we could walk around the shops. We're both looking forward to that and the cooler weather!