Posted in Scholastic Saturdays

Scholastic Saturday: 6 & 10–Lessons Learned from a Husband and a Dog

6 & 10…no, it’s not the new position for your hands on the steering wheel.  This post is a week late in coming, but that’s because last weekend was cause for a couple of special celebrations!

Hubby and I had two weddings:  a small, legal one at the courthouse just to make it legit; and a big, traditional one where all our friends and family were invited and I wore the big white dress and had the reception and all that jazz (the friend who married us isn’t ordained, so we wouldn’t have been legally married if we had just done that one).

The legal one was on leap day of 2008, so on years like this one where there is no February 29th, we celebrate on March 1st (or we do the bulk of our celebrating on the anniversary of our big wedding).

March 1st also happens to be our doggie’s birthday, so we love being able to celebrate these family milestones on the same day.  Disclosure:  this is the first dog I’ve ever owned.  I went into this process a complete newbie (hubby, on the other hand, has always had a dog in his life).  I even used to be a bit afraid of them.  After laying eyes on Dexter at the pound, though, my heart was forever changed.  ❤

100_3774One of my favorite family portraits. On a whim, we decided to go on an alphabet photo scavenger hunt.  This is “N for noses”.  Can you see Dexter’s nose?  😉

As I was reflecting on these things (six years of being married and dog turning ten), I decided to write two lists:  one celebrating my marriage, the other celebrating my dog.  Hope you enjoy!  🙂

Six Things I’ve Learned About Marriage & Relationships


Picture from last year’s anniversary celebration.

1) Always, always, always work on your communication with each other.  My husband and I pride ourselves on our good relationship communication skills.  When you don’t talk to each other or when you don’t understand each other, you cease to work as a team and you cease to respect each other, both of which are crucial elements to a good relationship.  Also,”fighting right” is all about having good communication between the two of you, so talk.  Talk a lot.  When there’s a problem, talk and don’t just sweep it under the rug.  Hash it out and stay up until the sun rises if you have to.  If your relationship is important to you, then figuring it out is worth it.
1a) Don’t be afraid to get into a fight.  Fights are virtually inevitable when you’re in a relationship for long enough.  Otherwise, the issue will fester and
grudges will be held.  Just know how to fight respectfully (a hard skill to learn, but it is doable) and give space first if it’s needed so things aren’t
said in anger.

2) Find a way to say I love you every single day, and always mean it when you say it. It’s both a vulnerable and strong thing to trust someone with your whole heart when you’re in a relationship.  Maybe they already know (actually, scratch that…they should already know, or you’re doing something wrong) that you love them and vice versa, but it’s so nice to be reminded.  For me, saying “I love you” is a big deal.  I don’t take it lightly.  When I say it, I mean it.  So saying I love you to the hubs is very important to me.  Whether or not someone loves you shouldn’t ever have to be questioned in a relationship.

3) Be silly together.  Often.  Laugh and feel sorry for those who don’t get it.  They’re not having as good a time as you are!  We do many silly things together: dance in the aisles of a grocery store, giggle uncontrollably for no reason at all, spin in circles, splash in puddles, sing songs with made up lyrics.  Life’s too short to take everything so seriously!  And it really helps to keep a light mood when everything else seems to be stressful.  For me personally, I think it’s made quite the difference in the quality of our relationship.
4) Never stop dating. No matter how long you’ve been together, you should find time to do something special with each other.  It’s fun to get gussied up, or to go out and experience something new, or even to just stay at home in your sweats with take out pizza and a Netflix movie.  Relationships, like everything else in life, needs to be nourished in order to continue to grow and thrive.  Being able to slow and take the time for each other when things are busy lets you just enjoy what you’ve got.
5) Come up with traditions. Not only are they good bookmarks for the passage of time, but it also gives you something to look forward to in the future.  There’s something to be said about the comfort of repetition and doing what you know.  You also have great stories and memories to reflect on when you get older.
6) Be strong individuals, and have an identity and life outside of your relationship.  I can’t stress this enough.  Sure, you shouldn’t just ignore your other half (see item #4), but your life also shouldn’t strictly revolve around your partner.  Life doesn’t begin and end with my husband, and maybe that sounds harsh, but really, it keeps me strong.  We are fortunate in that all of our best friends are mutual ones, but I still take the time to do things without my husband.  I have girls’ nights out, I go out with my family, I have my own interests separate from his.  I don’t have to ask his permission to do every little thing, and I don’t cancel on outings just because my husband can’t be with me.  I keep in contact with friends and ask them to hang out.  I’m not the type of person to let my relationship consume me or let myself completely disappear off the face of the planet.  My friends were there for me before I was a married woman, and I don’t plan on slighting them and never seeing them again just because I’m taken.  They’ve seen me through a lot, and I plan on letting them know just how appreciative I am of that.  By the same token, spend some time on your own.  I take myself on dates sometimes, so I can watch insanely girly movies that I’d never torture my husband with, or I go out and treat myself to ice cream even when my husband doesn’t want to join.  You shouldn’t limit yourself just because your partner can’t accompany you.  Your partner fell in love with you for being you.  So make sure that you remain you by taking the time out to develop all the things that make you unique!

Ten Things I’ve Learned About Being a Dog Owner


1) Dog kisses on an owie is a 100%-effective method of pain management.
2) No matter how many pictures you take of your dog, there will always be another cute moment that needs to be captured.
3) Coming home from work or an outing and having your dog greet you will show you just how absolutely and unconditionally loved and needed you are.
4) You will eventually learn that not all tail wags are created equal–some mean he’s happy, some mean he’s scared, some mean he’s nervous, some mean he’s being mischievous, etc.
5) Ditto about barks.
6) My time record for remaining angry at my dog is about 30 minutes.  That damn big smile and drooly tongue make it awfully hard to stay mad for too long.
7) I am positive that on his down time, my dog plots ways to grow an opposable them so as to be able to be self-sufficient.
8) When Dexter lays his head on any part of my body (head, lap, toes, chest), it’s game over.  I proceed to turn into a puddle of calm and awe.
9) Dogs (at least mine) actually enjoy baths when there is a promise of a backrub and belly scratch during the process; a vigorous, exciting, energy-inducing head rub with a towel directly afterwards; and an extra-tasty treat after being dried off.  (Hubby still can’t get over the fact that my dog actually gets into the bathtub with absolutely no coaxing from me, while he has to pretty much beg for the dog to get into the tub when he bathes him.  All about the after-bath treat.  I’m tellin’ ya.)
10) Once you adopt a dog from the pound, every visit thereafter will serve to wreck your heart as to how someone can just abandon a dog and not look back.

To Celebrating Each and Every Special Milestone,

Posted in Hey look! I'm blogging!, Scholastic Saturdays

Scholastic Saturday: 100th Post Retrospective–What I Learned From Being a Blogger

I can’t believe this is my 100th post!  It has been such a fun ride so far, and I hope to continue with hundreds more posts.  To celebrate this milestone, I’ve decided to share what things I’ve learned (mostly about myself) from being a blogger.

*I feel extremely accomplished when I’m able to do a full week of daily posts.
*While I do enjoy people paying any attention whatsoever to my blog, I see it as an extra-special treat to get comments instead of likes.
*Sometimes the best posts come about from stream-of-consciousness writing.
*I don’t have to take myself too horribly seriously.  Blogging is supposed to be a hobby, not a job.
*Short posts are just as good as long posts, much like short-yet-language-rich poems are just as good as marathon Russian novels.
*It’s good to set goals for your blog, if not for anything else but to say you’ve accomplished something.
*I absolutely love participating in what I call “community posts” (honestly, I don’t know what the technical blogosphere term for it is…link ups, I think?), such as Friend Makin’ Mondays, where the blogging community gets together and either answers the same questions, or when there is a fashion theme to complete and show off, or writes to the same prompt (there are most likely others, but these are the ones I’ve come across most often).  It’s a chance to get outside of your own head for awhile and see other bloggers’ personalities and there’s just something so great about that.

Okay, so…you didn’t think I’d make it out of this post without another checklist, did you?  😉

Also to commemorate my 100th post, I’m going to make a list of other “100s” I want to complete before my 200th post (I’ll work this into my blog days somehow…perhaps on Scholastic Saturdays):

__ Have a total of 100 comments (right now I have 64).
__ Have 100 new people read my blog (this is different from having 100 followers, which may be too lofty a goal for me at this moment).
__ Consistently burn at least 100 calories with my workouts (right now I’m sitting at about 50 calories per workout, but I want to work my way up).
__  Write 100 pages of a story.
__ Have worked 100 hours in a new job (I almost want to say 100 days, but again, maybe too lofty?  We’ll see).
__  Legitimately earn a total of 100 more checkmarks ((this can be a total of picture checkmarks, writing project checkmarks, bucket list checkmarks, goal checkmarks, and clothing checkmarks).

I’m sure I’ll think of much more as time goes by, and I’ll add to this list, but for right now, a full day awaits me.  🙂

What about you bloggers out there?  What have you learned from being a blogger, and do you have any goals for your blog for the months ahead?  What has been the easiest thing about blogging so far?  What about the hardest?  I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below.  🙂

Wishing You (at least) 100 Things to Be Grateful For,

Posted in Scholastic Saturdays

Scholastic Saturday: Preparing for the Road Ahead

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve recently started getting offers and payments for books to edit.  It has been a humbling experience, to say the least, to have my skills recognized, sought out, and renumerated.  Situations like these only make me want to work harder to be worthy of being trusted to look at these projects, which for the most part are stories that have a lot of the writer’s soul in it.

So for this Scholastic Saturday, and several more afterwards, I plan on adding to my knowledge of the editing and publishing world.  I checked out the Chicago Manual of Style from the library, and I plan to get through all 900+ pages of it, for the good of the craft, and to increase my legitimacy.  See, I was raised with MLA getting drilled into my core, and so breaking away from it will take lots of training and dilligence on my part.  This is self-teaching at its finest, and I really want to succeed.

I’ve since opened myself up to clients via a new Facebook page and have started networking with other freelance editors.  I feel good about this venture.  Along the way, I hope to pass along some nuggets of wisdom that I learn from the book, and just from my experiences in general.

Wish me luck, and thank you ahead of time for following me in this new, scary, but very exciting journey.  🙂

To Starting Your Own Journey to Your Best Possible Self,

Violet Corniun, NB

Posted in Scholastic Saturdays

Scholastic Saturday: Getting Rid of the Facade

So, disclosure of the day:  sometimes I pretend to know words and phrases that I don’t really know.  Isn’t that something you learn in school?  When you’re learning to read, and you come across a word you don’t know the definition of, before you look it up in the dictionary, you use the context of the sentence and see if you can figure out the definition yourself (yes, I realize those were a whole lot of commas in one sentence.  Sorry).

There are certain words and phrases that I’ve seen so often that I don’t know the definition of, but I feel confident in knowing what it means that I never look it up.  Also, FULL disclosure:  sometimes I’m just too lazy to look it up in the dictionary.

But today that changes.  At least for one word and one phrase.  Baby steps and all that.

The first comes from my recent obsession with interior decorating.  This summer and fall, I checked out like a million (okay, maybe about 40 in reality) decorating books.  In almost every one, I saw this word:


The ironic thing is, though they were design books, there weren’t a lot of pictures.  Apparently the term “chinoiserie” is so huge in the design world that it’s just assumed that you know what it is, like “chair” or “table”.  One doesn’t need to see a picture of those things; they already know what it is.  So it was sort of a point of pride for me to pretend to know what it meant.  And what I thought it meant, according to what I read, was something along the lines of:

Chinoiserie: (n).  A fake wallpaper backdrop used to simulate a real inanimate object.

Do you know why I thought that?  Because the only picture I saw associated with the term chinoiserie was a real library on three sides, then a fake wall of books (it was a graphic that looked extremely real).  So, I ask, what would you assume chinoiserie meant?

Eventually, though, I had to go and check my bases to see if I was right, and this is what I found:



1. The imitation or evocation of Chinese motifs and techniques in Western art, furniture, and architecture, esp. in the 18th century.
2. Objects or decorations in this style.Okay, guys.  Come on.  Now what in the world do BOOKS have to do with that definition?  I feel like I’ve been tricked.  The problem is, I’d already returned said book to the library.  So I couldn’t further inspect it.  The only thing I can think of is that those books in the library were artsy Chinese books.  Who knows?  Anyways, since I felt I was cheated a real picture of chinoiserie, I looked it up on Google images, and found these.

There’s even a whole blog about it, which I actually think is fabulous!  It’s called Chinoiserie Chic.  I have to admit it’s fun to browse all the chinoiserie.  My favorite one that I found (I’m biased because it’s purple) is this one:
Purple Chinoiserie
But for sure, the monkey ones are a really really close second for their cuteness and quirkiness:
Monkey Chinoiserie 1Monkey Chinoiserie 2

You’re welcome.  🙂

Then there’s the phrase that I learned that comes around every football season:


I have to say first and foremost that I’m NOT a sports fan.  If I were to choose one that was my least favorite, though, it would probably be football.  I know, I’m totally un-American.  My favorite would probably be basketball or extreme sports.  But out of all the sports at my disposal, I’d have to say football is the hardest to understand.  Like baseball, I only care or get swept up in it when I’m at the game live.  If it’s just on TV, I don’t care.  I’d much rather watch sitcoms or talk shows or reality TV.  Anyhow, I hear talk of the 12th Man a lot, and especially this year when it comes to the Seattle Seahawks.  For the longest time I just assumed that it was some dude on the sidelines, or the guy that wore the #12 jersey.  Silly me, though.  Apparently you can only have a maximum of 11 players on the field at a time, and that the Seahawks retired the #12 jersey awhile ago (as per Wikipedia).

The 12th man, for the slim margin of people like me who don’t know, refers to a team’s fans.  In this case, the term is specifically reserved for Seahawks fans and Texas A&M fans.  According to Wikipedia, this phrase was supposed to belong exclusively to Texas A&M, even though several other sports teams used to use it.  But the Seahawks, and the Seahawks only, settled a suit out of court with Texas A&M to be able to use it and they pay them to use it.  The other sports teams who previously used it couldn’t afford to pay it, I guess.  Or?  Other theory?  They, like me, think it’s absolutely ridiculous to have to pay someone to use a phrase.  Anyhow, it’s 12th man time.  Excuse me while I knit and/or read a book while others watch the game.  🙂

And that, folks, is my self-education of the day.  Have a great Saturday!

To Not Having to Pretend Anymore (and being legit!) (and crazy monkeys!),

Posted in Scholastic Saturdays

Scholastic Saturday: Beginning to Define Existentialism

Write Reaction Paper to The Discovery of Being by Rollo May (Chapter One…or most of it, anyway)

(c) Copyright 2012 VC/GS

Defining Existentialism’s Being

      Existentialism is still a relatively new approach to psychotherapy, coming to the United States in 1960 (May 13).  Over the last half a century, therapists who practice existentialism serve to define this approach with each passing year.  Perhaps the best way to do this is to compare with older practices, such as Freudian theory and behavior modification.  Then, we can start to describe how existentialist thought is unique to itself.

      When existentialist thought came to the United States, it met both praise and criticism like most any other new trains of thought when first introduced.   The biggest pros that people associated with existentialism was “immediacy of experience, the unity of thought and action, and the importance of decision and commitment”, which is what William James emphasizes (13).   These traits link very well to modern Americans.  On the other hand, critics of this approach described its concepts of “being” and “nonbeing” as “hopelessly vague and muddled” (16).  May’s arguments serve to disprove those critics and support the ones who praise it.

      Out of respect, May brings up Freud, who is arguably regarded as the father of psychotherapy.  In beginning to describe the differences between Freudian thought and existentialism, he says that while Freud knew about anxiety, Kierkegaard–a man who has been linked to being one of the pioneers of existentialism–knew anxiety.  May goes further into this argument by challenging two of Freud’s well-known terms:  repression and transference.  He explores these terms through an existentialist lens, saying that the concept of “being” and “encounter” are missing.

Question for this chapter:

Describe the difference between Freud’s transference & May’s encounter.  Cite examples from text.

*To answer next Saturday!*