Mismatched Mess

of life, love, fashion, & forgetting to update

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New Home | Writing Day 11

12 tears old. A time of energy, growth and happiness. The previous age–11–was the exact opposite. New school, new home, no friends. At 11 I remember arriving early to school and not knowing where to go. Every single day. I remember science class, my new teacher turning to the news on September 11th, 2001 and watching my new classmates cry. I remember rushing to the computer after school, trying to find more information about the twin towers. 11 was a year of fear. 11 was a year of silence. 11 was the year my math teacher told me I was terrible.

But at 12, things were looking up.

I finally found friends. I was involved in clubs and projects and had settled into a new house. We didn’t stay there long.  We moved again soon after. But, like with all childhood memories, some moments stick out.

I remember sharing a room with all of my siblings. But I don’t remember it bothering me. My fondest memory is standing in front of the mirror in that room, with the fan blowing my hair and singing ‘I Could Not Ask For More’ into a hairbrush. I didn’t even like country music.

I remember discovering Hot Cheetos. I could eat bags of them. I’d get in trouble for doing that. I still pride myself on my love of spicy foods and sauces.

I remember one room in the house that was ‘under construction’ the entire time. The floors were original wood. So original that the floor still had a faint red pattern in the shape of a rug. It was painted there long ago. That was to be my room when it was finished. It never was. I didn’t complain.

I remember having a trampoline in the back yard. That was fun. But then I remember the time we were warned that it wasn’t a safe neighborhood. It became less fun after that.

I remember the dogwood tree in the front yard. We rarely went to the front yard. But in the springtime, it was beautiful.

I remember getting my first hair cut at 12. I remember going to the mall…not the mall in town with two stores and a Blue Cross in it; the mall in the ‘big’ city. I bought $300 worth of clothes and felt so guilty. I tried not to ever do that again. I kept those clothes separate from all my other ones. Neatly folded in a large shopping bag right by my bed.

At 12 I remember having late night adventures with friends. I remember the internet really started making sense. (I remember Neopets). I remember I was in enough advanced English and History clubs and school projects that I could get out of math class. I skipped most of math class actually. My new math teacher–the one who might have helped me enjoy math at 11 (before I had given up because I was “terrible”)–was too nice to fail me.

I remember packing up and moving away. I don’t remember protesting. I don’t remember being sad about leaving my new found friends. I just remember starting over at 13; new town, new house, no friends. But I was less silent and more ready this time around.

Today’s Prompt: Where did you live when you were 12 years old? Today’s twist: pay attention to your sentence lengths and use short, medium, and long sentences.

I know I’m showing my age with this post and I know it’s most likely considered ‘young!’: 9/11, the brand new snack Hot Cheetos, the Internet had chat rooms and games….

Oh and in other news: don’t be a jerk to kids. That shapes their future. I tried really hard at math, but still struggled and that teacher basically gave me an excuse to just give up completely.

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Springtime in Canterbury

1Springtime in England has been so quintessentially spring. East Texas doesn’t get much of a spring, unless you count rain and tornadoes. Yes, we get a couple weeks of nice flowers and new growth, but it’s 80 degrees Fahrenheit and everyone’s already gearing up for summer.

Canterbury, Cathedral: view from University of Kent

Things here happen much steadier and it’s really beautiful to experience! My husband gets to see bunnies on his campus everywhere. I thought he was exaggerating until he took me there today so I could see for myself. There were thirteen just hanging out. East Texas has plenty of wildlife, don’t get me wrong. I’ve seen my share of brown rabbits and ducks, but we’re called the Piney Curtain for a reason…lots of pine trees. And plenty of places for animals to live without ever being seen.

In Canterbury, with The River Stour running through town and wooded area going straight to the university, the wildlife can easily be seen, but still have room to live, which I’ve so enjoyed it. ducks2

23 4 ducks1


Allergies, A Short Story




Once upon a time in 2012, I had my first ever full blown allergy attack. Perhaps not an attack, but…throat swollen, eyes watery, sneezing…all the tell-tell signs. Perplexed, I thought it was strep throat, a cold, the flu? Alas, it was allergies. The pollen had found its way into my system and mangled my sinuses to oblivion. It lasted about a week and I could barely talk or think straight.

I completely forgot about it. Being in my twenties, never having suffered from allergy season before, you can imagine how I wasn’t exactly prepared for YEAR TWO: Attack of the Allergies.

This weekend, as I began my spring cleaning with an energetic verve that is saved only for special occasions, little did I notice the yellow and green pollen floating lazily through the wind. Nor did I awaken to my fate as I began to note the thin, dusty coat settling on the hoods of cars and door knobs. Even as I arose Sunday morning with a scratchy throat and began to create my overly excited blog posts welcoming the lovely spring season (To be posted later this week), I still kept a blind eye to the reality creeping upon me.

As Sunday night approached, and the sore throat transformed into bouts of coughing, sneezing and headaches I was forced to come to grips with my ever-increasing irritation.

What had transpired during my energetic weekend? What could be bothering me to the point of physical and emotional turmoil? What would become of me on Monday morning?

That’s when it hit me.

The pollen. The pollen was back. With the sunshine and breeze, the blooming flowers and insects…came the stuff of nightmares. My new fate had once again befallen me. The allergies. They were back.

And Monday? You fell victim to the attack, as well. And Tuesday? Prepare for the worst.

Don your Allegra and cough drops. Grab your face masks and tissues. The allergies will rise again.


Lazy Girl’s Shirt D.I.Y.


I don’t necessarily recommend this method for re-purposing shirts, but it works for me because my sewing machine skills were left back in high school with that one home-ec class I took. I enjoy hand-stitching but…what can I say, I’m lazy.

All I did to repurpose this vintage shirt is cut the sleeves and glue the hem with liquid stitch. Instant shirt to wear for spring.

step1liquidstictchcutstep4 gluestep8

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Cold Weather Wars


Change is stirring. 

Am I the only one who senses a sad, stark reality beneath the glittery layers of everything December entails? 

All the joy and beauty is real. It’s solid. I am grateful for this. 

But the underlying sadness I cannot take my mind off of this season. 

Perhaps a new year will shine forth the promise of growth and change to those who feel tinges of this sadness. Or, maybe a new month will do the trick.

If anything, we can hope for spring to warm our icy hearts, hug us close and tell us things will be alright.