Author Archives: aacuff

Standing Out

“Share a moment that stands out. Was it moving, or awkward, or infuriating, or ecstatic, or ______? Who was with you? Where were you?”

So this summer a freckle appeared on my collar bone. I’m covered with freckles, so I didn’t think much of it, only this freckle started to look suspicious. I tend to put things off when I know there’s going to be a negative consequence, so I just now (as in 1:30 today) had a doctor look at it.

His response to seeing it. “Yep, that’s suspicious, lets go ahead and take it out.”

Wow, I was expecting a two to three week long process and chain of doctors and a dermatologist. Nope.

He led me to another room, pulled out some numbing juice, gauze, scalpels, scissors, etc and took it out. I even got to look at the chunk. The most painful part was the numbing shot, which is starting to wear off. It kinda hurts now.

I got five stitches from the ordeal, and was told I have thick skin.

That’s why freckles shouldn’t stand out.


Discovery Channel

“What did you discover this year?”

Wow, this is hard.

It’s been a relatively boring year. 

Here’s what I discovered. I’m still alive. I have a roof over my head, and food to put in my belly (too much of it). And sadly, many people in this world can’t say the things I just said. I think I take that for granted most of the time. It’s good to remind myself of those things.

On Writing

“Handwrite a _______. A tweet. A letter to a friend. A list. A note to someone you’ve never met. Your signature font. What’s it look like? Take a picture of it!”

I was going to write something in cursive, and take a picture of it, but the last time I wrote something in cursive besides my name was when I took the PRAXIS test. I had to copy a paragraph, IN CURSIVE stating that I was myself and not taking the test for anyone else, etc. I’m pretty sure that was the hardest part of the test.

Later today, I’m going to stop at the store, get a thank you card, and write my Grandma a hand written note thanking her for my birthday card with money. In a digital world, it’s something she will appreciate. I’m pretty sure the most technological thing she owns is her answering machine. Well, she does have a cell phone, but it’s not smart, and she only uses it for emergencies.



So these weekends are killing me.

“Did you get any good advice or learn a valuable lesson this year? What was it?”

This advice came the day after quitting my job, while out having drinks with friends. The person I am quoting won a significant amount of money in the lottery and used it to start a business. He had no clue if it would be successful or not.

“If you aren’t doing something scary, then what are you doing?”

It made me realize that until then, what I had been doing in life was totally vanilla and I did something scary. Sometimes it’s worth taking the risk just to see what the reward is.

It’s Cold. I’m Warm.

“Try something totally different. Take a new route to work. Make up a new recipe. What did you come up with?”

I’m going to wear a football related object of a team that is not the Colts. I’ll report back later.

Who Dey.

For something today? See I have this killer hot chocolate recipe. And I’m going to add stuff to it. Like Chambord. Or peanut butter. But not Chambord AND peanut butter, that’d be gross.

A Graph

“Draw a pie chart, graph, or Venn diagram of your year.”

It’s hard to graph things that have happened to me over the year. Mostly because I don’t keep data. I could make a chart about the distance I’ve ridden on my bike or something else. But I thought I would make something fellow pet owners could relate to.

And….I think I’m all caught up on my Think Kit posts. Just in time for another busy weekend.

A Queen Reference.

“What habits did you start this year that you want to continue?”

I’m definitely formed habits this year. None that I want to continue.

For my birthday/Christmas in 2011, I got a bicycle. I nice entry level steel road bike. Nothing fancy. I rode that thing all summer long in 2012. Combined with a diet change, I lost nearly 30lbs. This past year, I dropped that habit and the diet change, and gained about 20 of those pounds back. Why did I stop? I can make excuses all day long, but it boils down to me being lazy.

I put my bike on the trainer this morning. And I rode it. I averaged 15mph for 30 minutes. No bad for not having ridden since August. I watched the first half of Christmas Vacation while doing so. I hope to do the same thing tomorrow morning.

Surprise! Coffee.

“What completely surprised you this year? Was it good…or not so good? Tell us a story!”

As a child, my mom was the only person in our house who drank coffee. I always loved the smell, but the taste was too bitter.

Then I became a teacher. Everyone thinks that teachers LOVE coffee and can’t live without it. I was not one of those. I hated coffee. Until…

I quit teaching. About a week afterwards, I tried coffee. Black. It was delicious.

I was shocked and amazed that coffee tasted good. I’m still no coffee addict, and can function without it, but man there are times when I could go for a good cup ‘o joe.  Like right now.

There, that’s my surprise for the year. So, yes a good surprise, and an even better one for my favorite coffee shops in town.

Sometimes I’m an Old Lady

 From the Think Kit prompt “What did you make this year? Whether something personal, like a song or some art, or a work project, share your process and the end result of your creation.” I’m slowly catching up after the weekend.

My mom is crafty. I am not. I inherited my musical ability from my dad. The only thing I got from my mom is a longer than average torso, thick hair, and really strong fingernails that people pay money at the salon to copy (I’ve never had fake nails). I thank her for the nails, sometimes the hair, and curse the long torso. It makes shopping difficult. I got my dad’s long legs, and my mom’s long torso. I do like being 5’9″ so I can’t curse it too hard. Back to the topic at hand.

My mom is also left handed. I am not. This will come in to play in a few paragraphs.

My grandmother on my mom’s side worked at a winery when I was young. She pruned the grapes. In the fall, she would prune the grapevines, then give them to my mom.  At this point, our little foldable side swimming pool from Walmart (if my dad hadn’t destroyed the side by hitting it with the lawnmower) became a soaking pool for the grapevines. My mom would then transform the mess of grapevines into wreaths. It was amazing. My mom also worked in a flower shop until I was about two. So she even did the flowers and ribbon on the wreaths. The final product was something like this. She had so many, she could have sold them at an annual arts and crafts fair. I couldn’t find a picture of one that was ’80s enough. My point is, she was very good at making the wreaths.


My mom also likes to crochet, knit, and cross stitch.  Until about three years ago, I could do none of those three. My mom has tried to teach me many times, but remember, she is left handed. I am not. This caused lots of frustration.

Three years ago, I taught myself how to cross stitch. But not with the conventional kit. I think the pre bought stuff is silly.  I don’t want my walls adorned with kittens and unicorns, rainbows, and “home is where the heart is” stuff. Country chic is not my style. Don’t expect to get a cross stitched sampler for your wedding, housewarming, or birth of a child from me any time soon. If you do want something like that, tell me when you’re getting married, and you might get it by your second anniversary. No guarantees.

This is what I don’t do. When I right clicked to save the picture, I titled it ‘yuck.’


See, I had found this website called Sprite Stitch. Alas, something I can relate to!

So this is what I’ve created. Over the past couple years. The problem is that my queue of awesome things is so long, I start one, and get almost finished before I find something else even cooler that I want to work on.

It all started with this. So many memories of this game. It’s all done except for the white on the floor.


I had found this pattern, and actually finished it. It just needs framed. Which is expensive!


Then I started this. Turns out stitching dark colors on black fabric is hard. It’s so close to being finished.


My current project that’s about two years in the making. It’s HUGE! The picture was taken on the cushion of our chaise lounge. The fabric is 24″x 20″ or something like that. For perspective, that is a 10″ hoop. The picture here is from about a year ago. I now have the bottom half almost done.


So there. That’s my little old lady activity. It’s what I do when I need to zone out. I will sit down to work on it, then all the sudden it’s been 5 hours, which I’m ok with. I’ve blasted through many seasons of TV on Netflix this way. I highly recommend it.

What I want

I’m a few days behind. This weekend was crazy!

I want my backyard to look like this.

infinity pool


Let’s be reasonable. That ain’t happening. Not a snowball’s chance in Hell. A girl can dream right?

In all honesty, I’d be happy with this.



See that? That’s a garden without weeds. That’s a garden that hasn’t been decimated by bunny rabbits. I could have that, but don’t. Stupid rabbits. Stupid weeds.  Stupid me for not trying as hard as I should.

There’s also probably a metaphor here for weeds, and the way they mess up beautiful things, and get in the way. And how some people have different definitions of what a weed is. That’s a discussion for another time.