Not All Mondays are Bad

“The examined life is no picnic.” ~Robert Fulghum in All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

Robert may be right, but sometimes in life you need to go on a nice picnic. That’s exactly how I was feeling when I found the cutest little picnic basket last Saturday. I told my mom when I got it that now that I have my picnic basket, I just need a guy to take me on picnics!

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I brought my basket back with me because I was super excited and really wanted to use it. I also had the perfect people to go with me- Becca and Anne! This past school year and summer, they both lived in the house I am currently at.

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Since Anne is going to med school in the Fall and this is her last week at Purdue, Becca and I planned a surprise picnic for her. I had always wanted to go sit out on the grassy areas next to the engineering fountain, so that is where we had our picnic on Monday. It was an absolutely gorgeous day outside… It was pretty much Fall weather, which is my favorite.

We had chicken salad, watermelon, pasta salad, and strawberry shortcake!

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Photo Credits for this Lovely Shot Belong to Becca

We took a lot more pictures that are being withheld from social media for the sake of your eyes and our dignity. The facial expressions you can capture of people who aren’t gymnasts doing cartwheels and hand-stands are terrifying.

Becca also taught us an awesome trick with the can of whipped cream. If you make a fist and put a little bit on the spot between your hand between your thumb and pointer finger, you can smack your arm and then catch the dollop of whipped cream that flies up in your mouth. Sorry, I don’t have a video demonstration for you. Anne and I were not the best at it… we couldn’t seem to get it to leave our hand. I managed to get mine to move only enough to jump to the sleeve of my sweatshirt.

We also brainstormed an idea for an advertisement seeking a Christian guy picnic buddy. I am not sure how many takers there would be… are picnics really something guys want to do with their time? However, last Monday is proof that going on picnics is still fun even when it isn’t with a date.

I am so happy that I was able to get the opportunity to live with such encouraging and fun girls.

If you need help lifting your spirits, find some great friends, and have a picnic!

 

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Tomorrow We’ll Go to the Fair

I headed home this past weekend to surprise my parents. As an added bonus, the county fair was still going on. Since I missed it last year because I was studying abroad in Costa Rica, I really wanted to go get a Rib-eye sandwich from the pork producer’s stand and a pineapple whip ice-cream cone!

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When people ask me what my favorite type of food is, I say pasta. But, I should really start saying fair food. If you have never been to a county fair, which I was surprised to find out the other day that such people exist, you should make an effort to go for the food sometime. Definitely try a lemon shake-up. The closer it is made to the animal barns, the better it will be (trust me). At Jackson County fair, the best ones are actually made inside the building where they show animals. It sounds sketchy, but they are fantastic. It’s a good thing that the fair doesn’t last the whole year, because the food there is definitely not recommended by nutritionists.

As an animal science major, I of course wanted to go look at the animals. Seeing the bunnies brought me back to my rabbit showing days in 4-H. I didn’t show rabbits all throughout my time in 4-H because I eventually got to the point in the required accompanying workbook that was called “Going to the Market.” My options were to make a meal out of rabbit, help skin a rabbit, or other equally difficult activities for someone who has grown up viewing rabbits as pets. I ended up choosing to make a meal out of rabbit (which my mom pretty much did for me) and didn’t re-enter the Rabbit showing project the next year.

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While I walked around the barns with my family, we happened upon my 8th grade social studies teacher sitting in the sheep barn. My mom was telling him about how I want sheep when I get my own place, and I told him stories from the applied animal management class I took last semester.

Somehow, the conversation went to dating. Mr. Ritz gave me the best dating advice I have ever received. He told me that if I am going to bring home a stray, bring home a dog, not a guy. A stray dog will be more loyal to you in the end. He actually had a lot more points to his argument that were hilariously true, but I can’t remember them all.

So remember the wise words of Mr.Ritz if you are still single.

***The title of my blog comes from a lullaby my mom used to sing to us, that I can still remember***

 

 

Com114

This is my second week for my other summer class, the infamous COM114 at Purdue. It might as well be called “Testing Mallory’s Social Anxiety 101.”

Today we had our second speech presentation, which went considerably better than my first graded speech. Our assignment was to inform the glass about an important invention by a not well-known inventor.

I decided to help myself out by picking an invention that I am passionate about. Naturally, I chose chocolate chip cookies.

Colossal Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you didn’t know, chocolate chip cookies were made by a woman named Ruth Wakefield who helped run the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts. A common story told is that Ruth ran out of baker’s chocolate when making cookies for guests so she broke up a chocolate bar and put it in the dough, expecting it to spread throughout when baking. The chocolate only softened, and left a cookie with chunks.

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However, in The Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Book (yes, this exists), the author says that she spoke with Ruth’s daughter and former employees, and the likelihood of the cookie invention being an accident is highly unlikely. Ruth had a degree in household arts, so she would have known that a chocolate bar wouldn’t spread. The less interesting, but more believable possibility is that she decided to replace butterscotch with chocolate in a guest favorite recipe to give them something different.

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As if it’s not cool enough that you now know who made the chocolate chip cookie, Ruth got a pretty sweet deal out of her recipe. I didn’t intend for that last statement to be a pun, it just happened. She sold printing rights for her recipe to Nestle in return for a free lifetime supply of chocolate. Nestle also created chocolate chips to be used specifically for Ruth’s recipe. This is the reason behind there being a recipe for Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies on the back of Nestle’s packages!

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There were several parts we needed to include in our speech that I was afraid I was going to forget. I do best when I read over things before I go to bed because in the morning I remember them more clearly. So, I practiced my speech in a more unconventional way last night. As I was lying in bed with my eyes shut, I went over my speech in my head over and over and over until I fell asleep. I ended up dreaming about giving my presentation, and amazingly enough, the words in the speech I was giving in my dream were actually right! So I got even more practice unintentionally!

That’s about all I have for you. Feel free to use my practice method for speech giving, but I don’t guarantee the whole dream thing will happen for you.

Two Truths and a Lie

I feel like I am constantly meeting new people. When you meet new people in group settings sometimes you end up being forced into some sort of Ice-Breaker game. I am not a fan of most of them, but I am pretty good at “Two Truths and a Lie.” It’s not that I am a compulsive liar, I just happen to have a couple of strange, hard to believe facts about myself. If you are reading this blog, you probably already know me pretty well, and if not, you have to promise not to give away what I am about to share if we ever end up in group together doing this get-to-know-everyone game.

Generally, the lie I tell is something like “I volunteered on a llama farm.” Which is a lie, because I volunteered on an alpaca farm. There is a difference. Alpacas get very offended if you call them llamas.

Alpacas are Very Studious

Alpacas are Very Studious

One of my personal favorites to use as a truth is that I threw a pitch on a major league baseball field. It’s one of those that sounds like it could be possible, but you still aren’t quite sure how someone could manage that. However, it is in fact true. In fourth grade, I had a former career as a Cincinnati Reds pitcher. Obviously when I word it that way, I am lying. But, I did get to throw the ceremonial first pitch at a game for winning a drawing contest for their annual Christmas Card they send out to sponsors.

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Another pretty good one is that I had black hair as a baby. If you don’t even know what I look like now, then I guess this statement is irrelevant to you. However, for those who can see that I have blondish hair, that statement is a little suspicious. I did have black hair when I was born, which then proceeded to turn pretty much white when I was one. I sported that bleach blonde hair with the summertime green highlights from chlorine for quite a few years, before my hair started to darken.

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I would say that the best “Two Truths and a Lie” ammunition I have is that I was a child model. My older sister and I used to model for Kelly’s Kids shows. I actually just googled whether Kelly’s Kids is still a thing, and it is! So if you don’t know what it is and want to look it up, you can. If you don’t want to expend that effort, I can tell you that it is just monogrammed kids clothes. Sadly, my career ended when Alyssa decided to drag me into the bathroom and cut our hair. Believe it or not, butchered hair was not a style, even in the 90’s.

Alyssa and I with our new haircuts in Kelly's Kids dresses

Alyssa and I with our new haircuts in Kelly’s Kids dresses

The fact that I used to model, along with the fact that I once got Champion in 4-H for the modeling portion of the sewing project, is pretty hysterical if you know me now. I am not one to put a lot of time and consideration into how I look every day. I go for the “roll out of bed look.” If I stick with it long enough, who knows, it may even become the latest fashion trend at some point.

Whether or not I choose to brush my hair is debatable. My hair is so thick and refuses to do anything that looks at all “cute.” So, I just let it do what it wants. I am done fighting.

Whether or not I choose to put on make-up, considerably favors the not. I didn’t even start wearing make-up until Junior year of high-school. There may have been about a month or two at some point in my life where I consistently put it on. That may be a generous estimate. I find make-up to be a hassle. This summer, I decided to leave all of my make-up at home so that there is never a question of whether I will wear it or not. I just can’t, and I am fine with that.

I am not anti-make-up, I just don’t see it as a necessity. Especially not necessary enough to spend the ridiculous amount of money they are asking me to shell out for a tube of mascara. I wish that more girls and women could get away from feeling like they absolutely have to wear make-up and putting so much value in appearances.  If you are someone who struggles with being self-conscious about looks or feeling worth based on the number of likes on your selfies, the Bible has a ton of great verses for you to meditate on! Like this one!

“3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:3-4

Remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made by God.

 

 

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

My mom didn’t want me to be lonely for the holiday weekend, so my parents drove up North today and I met them in Frankfort. We visited some pretty neat shops, had some fantastic food and drinks at a coffee shop, and explored the countryside. In the meantime, I was able to compile another random list of some of my favorite things.

Angel food cake is literally food from angels. My mom has been determined to have a REAL angel food cake. She likes using the terms real and fake when referring to food. My mom normally just uses a box mix when making angel food cake because apparently it takes a lot of eggs to make a “real” one. But, she finally made a homemade angel food cake… or I guess two of them, because my family devoured all of the first one before she could bring me some. I have only had a bite of it, but mmmmm… I just love angel food cake. It is so light and fluffy, and as far as cake goes, it isn’t too unhealthy.

Second, I like talking to strangers. I actually find it easier to have conversations with complete strangers, than people I am around a lot. I am not quite sure why, but I feel less pressure. Today, when we stopped for dinner in Crawfordsville before I drove back to Purdue, there was an extremely friendly group of people at the table next to us. An older gentleman from the group asked us after we sat down if we were from around the area. He ended up doing most of the talking in our conversation, but it was neat just to hear his stories. Whether they were all true was debatable since old age gets to your memory. He had stories about everything from his dog having to go to Purdue’s vet clinic to how when he was in the military they would smoke pot (or eat a lot of brownies) because the booze didn’t treat your digestive system well.  He even bought me coffee because he was determined to have me try the best coffee around.

I really don’t enjoy driving because it makes me sleepy, but today I didn’t so much mind it. I had great music and a beautiful sky, which are the last two things on my list for today. I love music with acoustic guitar and/or ukelele. I find acoustic guitar soothing, and ukeleles could probably make any song sound happy. I also enjoy listening to people with unique voices, like Ingrid Michaelson. It was incredibly relaxing driving through the country with my music and having such a big, blue sky above me. To me, blue skies feel like God is just giving me a huge hug. It makes me smile a lot.  I really was tempted to jump out of the car, lay down in a random field, and look up at the clouds.

Big, blue skies make me feel small in a good way. It reminds me about how minimal all of the things I get anxious about are, and also how huge and powerful God is. I have a couple of verses that have been sticking with me lately. They are Isaiah 49:16 and John 10:3 (Scroll down to read the verses). My mom sent me a devotional on Thursday that discussed these verses because she knows how much I love sheep. It was about how when we see a flock of sheep, we just see sheep. When we see a group of people, we will often just see a group. However, that’s not the same for Jesus. He calls his sheep by name. He has our names written on his hand. The next day, I was reading a devotional that mentioned these same verses, and it was just as much a comfort the second time.

Even when I forget who I am, God still knows me. Even when I forget to call on Jesus, He still calls me by name. I drew a little sheep on my wrist yesterday as a reminder that I am cherished by God. He has my name engraved in the palm of his hand! He isn’t just some distant figure. He watches over me and leads me, and I need to be better about listening to His voice. He is a much better Shepard than I will ever be when I get my flock of sheep.

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Isaiah 49:16- “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…”

John 10:3- “The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He call his own sheep by name and leads them out.”

 

Dino Phone

I have had my iPhone for a few years and it was starting to act funny and lose it’s charge quickly, so I was next in line in my family for a phone upgrade. For some reason, I decided a couple of months ago that when the time came, instead of getting a new iPhone, I wanted a non-smartphone.

I ran the idea past many, many people. Only 3 of them told me that it was a good idea, and all three of those people had dumb phones themselves. Even my parent were a bit taken back when I told them my idea. My dad said several times, “You know, you don’t have to do that…” I wish I could capture the tone in his voice in my writing, because it sounded like he thought I was going off the deep end. After hearing person after person hint or flat out tell me that it wasn’t a very good idea, I was feeling a little discouraged, and reconsidered my wish for a non-smartphone.

Last week, my family was finally eligible for a phone upgrade. And…

I did it! I joined Team Dumb Phone. It’s only been about a week, but so far I am loving it. My “new” phone is the perfect amount of dumb. I still have a keyboard to be able to text easily. It’s funny because just yesterday, someone handed me their iPhone for me to add myself to their contacts. At first, I thought I had already forgotten how to use a smartphone, because I couldn’t figure out how to type stuff. As it turns out, it wasn’t me, it was just that the keyboard decided to disappear for no good reason. I don’t have to deal with those kinds of problems anymore. You know why? Because my phone has a permanent keyboard! The only way that baby is going anywhere is if I break my phone in half. 

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Speaking of breaking, I also don’t have to worry about my screen getting cracked. Compared to an iPhone, this dinosaur of a phone is indestructible.

I ultimately made the switch because I was tired of being distracted by my phone. Checking texts or social media became a subconscious thing. Looking down at my phone was also an easy way for me to avoid real social interaction, which isn’t good for me. The time I spent on my iPhone was not at all constructive. I was just mindlessly wasting time and missing life.

I am much more observant without my iPhone. I notice everything around me. I am also saving my family money, which is just an added bonus to my efforts to simplify life.

The biggest thing I was worried about was losing my GPS. I have gone to Lafayette a couple of times this week and have had an easier time navigating around without Google Maps than with it. I am actually starting to learn the roads instead of being dependent on my phone. I have a perfectly good digital camera and iPod that were both being neglected because of my phone but are now going to get lots of love!

With that being said, I feel obliged to still talk about the downsides of having a dumb phone, so you don’t think I am hiding anything from you. I am the type of person that likes to know answers to random question I have. Therefore, I do miss my Google app, because now I can’t quickly look stuff up whenever I want. I am sure I will eventually get used to waiting until I have my laptop handy. The biggest problem though is ending up in a group text. I have been put in two of them this week, so I just keep getting random messages from people as they are responding to the initial question or statement. I then have to backtrack and figure out who and what they are responding to since messaged aren’t grouped together in one chat like on my iPhone. However, this is totally my own problem. So, if you need to send me a message in a group chat, just go ahead and I will figure it out eventually. I am sometimes bad at responding to texts anyways, and the last thing I want is for my phone to be an inconvenience to others.

There have been a few times while on campus that I have responded to texts and then looked up to notice someone smiling in my direction. I know they aren’t smiling at me for just being me. So they are either just really happy people, or my dumb phone tickles them. It’s okay, I think my phone is funny too, but I really do like being free from my iPhone. Even if I end up having to or wanting to switch back in two years when it’s my turn for another upgrade, I think that this will have been a great life experience for me.