Grate(fullness)

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The Avengers 4 Endgame trailer. For reluctant family asking me about it because I’m the “expert.” XD For overall anticipation because that up there? That’s the endgame. Scary. For my mom refusing to believe Loki really died. For being able to find (as a writing critic, what’s new XD) the good and bad elements of these movies. For waiting in a weird sense of hope along with who knows how many other people.

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For ohana -as weird as it works in my family, it works. For mahal na mahal kita (I love you very much) and for ang gulo mo!! (Which roughly translates to, “you’re a walking blur of confusion”) For caffeine injected chocolate mini bars. Also known as the very thing needed for life.

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For the intricate development and detail going on in the Frozen 2 trailer (yes, really!), for music that has been and probably will be one of the few things that can keep me alive, for Sleeping At Last and Owl City and this list could go on forever. For the sun rising any time now while I write this. For the sun setting when I was writing the WTO post. The fact that the sun has been rising and setting for the better part of a couple centuries and hasn’t once got caught on a hook halfway. For the sounds of a city in the morning. For the morning. For coffee, who am I kidding.. and for a new day.

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For a thousand portals to a thousand different worlds in paperback form. For the ability to be lost into a book even after you’ve read the last page. For the rare and precious gift (if used wisely) of imagination. For fandoms, and the aggressive-passiveness you tend to have when discussing anything related to them. For favorite characters that are favorite because they are real and they’re broken and they’re flawed but they still come back strong anyway. For egg salad sandwiches, not that it has anything to do with this paragraph. 😛 For once good story plots *glares at Star Wars* and for forever good stories that never get old. (Come onnnn SW I still had faith in you!)

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Hot tea. Sassy mugs. A charged up MP3. The smell of rain after a rain. The smell of snow falling down. A giant blanket with a secret stash of tortilla chips and a good book hidden in it. That perfect moment when you have perfect harmony with your duet. YouTube. *coughs* A worn and dependable T-shirt.

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For friends that will throw their hands up in the air at you, but refuse to give up on you. For laughter at 7:15 PM because of a hilariously done (aka terrible) accent. For platforms that exist to connect you with people you’ve never even seen face to face. For the fact memes exist as well. For training, for living, for a thousand story ideas whirring around and around until one sounds coherent enough to work on. For Canva. And for bacon crumbles. Duh.

Have you ever heard of this really old song called, “count you every blessings, name ’em one by one?”

I didn’t even scratch the surface. And y’know, I don’t think anyone can. If they stop to think about it.

Wow, this got serious for a really late tag. 😛 But oh well. It is what it is.

Tell you what, take a look at this list and see if I missed anything. See if there’s anything you can add. Because there is so much to be grateful about. Because we’re about as full as we are grateful.

life is a highway, Jo

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Canada & America- A Comparison: A Collab Post By Meredith And Jo

 

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Hello wonderful people of the earth! Or Narnia, Asgard, the Death Star, Middle Earth, whichever you come from. Hi. 🙂 First and most importantly, GET OFF THE DREADED READER IF YOU’RE ON IT AND GO CHECK OUT THE ACTUAL SITE THANKY YOU.

(I told myself I wouldn’t change my theme ever anymore, but.. well, it was Friday, and I finished my homework (ish) and I was bored and well. CHECK. THE. BLOG. OUT. It’s a drastic (and hopefully much better XD) change. So go and please, please check it out and I’m done sounding like a hopeless blogger even though I am XD)

Alright. On with this post. *plugs in Infinity War* *cracks knuckles* *dies*

B9EF66FA-B504-491B-A2BD-B0E1A3ECDE3BRight, so by now you’ve heard of Meredith, right? She’s the sweet and awesome blogger behind Artsy Arrow which, if you haven’t heard of before, you really should check it out. I’m so glad I got to know Meredith and bond with her about AIO, books, homeschooling, and, well, that’s she’s also in Ontario, Canada! 😀 Fancy that. We thought it would be pretty great if we could  share our experiences about the other’s country, since we both lived in the US/Canada for a time.

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I first went to the States when I was five for a family reunion, and to be perfectly honest… it feels like home. So I’m more than happy to talk about the differences between two countries I love. Hopefully y’all like it. 😉

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People are just kinda a notch or two warmer and friendlier, for some reason. 

If you’re scoffing at this, blame the fact I’m Canadian and wouldn’t really know what it’s like to be American. XD But Americans are just really friendly people! Sneeze in Walmart? Someone says “bless you”. Wait in line at a McDonalds? Any random person could say hi. Stop at a rest area at 2 am on a Friday night? You’ll find yourself being asked how your trip is. Canada is friendly.. but not in every part of the country like that. XD It’s nice.

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Patriotism’s really strong. 

I kinda grinned one time pulling up to my aunt’s neighborhood and seeing so many American flags from the windows and everywhere. And not just the flags- like seeing little “God Bless America” signs and just the.. vibe. Correct me if I’m wrong. 😛

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People say “you’re fine” when you say “thanks”.

I tested this at a store once. Approximately everyone I interacted with said “you’re fine” whenever I said “thank you”. It’s awfully sweet of them to confirm my emotional status, but, uh, I don’t think I can get used to it. XD

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You say “sir” and “ma’m” and not “tito” and “tita”.

Ah. Double culture. XD um, well, in Filipino culture, the equivalent of sir is tito and for ma’m, tita. Add in the fact that most of my Canadian world is Filipino, and I don’t get to say the English versions much. 😛 Although I did get to going to Ottawa, but yeah. I find that interesting.

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A lot of my family’s on the other side of the border.

Does this make a ton of difference? It kinda does for me. After people find out I’m “the cousin of so and so’s friend’s sister-in-law’s brother,” they just start asking questions and being friendly and I’m not very much used to that, because I’m a sheltered homeschooling bean. XD No, but really, I went to a Sunday-school once, and after my aunt told the teacher who I was, Mrs. Iforgotyournamebutthankyouforputtingupwithme just beamed. “Oh, we’ll make sure she has a great time!”

I really did. XD

Maybe that’s why I feel at home. Huh. Dunno.

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American sweet tea is sugar water with a weak strain of some powered Lipton tea! 

*gags* I’m not sure I like this part of American culture once. I tried Chikfila sweet tea and.. wow. That’s my sugar intake for the day. Finished in one sip. *shudders* How can anyone handle that sweetness? Someone help and explain. Anyway, our sweet tea’s really tea. XD Probably flavored with maple syrup. 😛

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SMALL TOWN AMERICA IS THE STUFF OF LEGENDS.

I’ve yet to really be in small town Canada (somewhere on the bucket list), but if it’s like small town America, I’d die of happiness. Again, I can’t say for sure what it’s really like, but my family walked into a Taco in Ohio somewhere once. There were like 2 people working the counter, and one was spoon-feeding her grandkid, who was eating there, there were two girls in the corner booth just talking. Then, one guy comes in, doesn’t order anything. I’ll never know why he came in, but everyone in the restaurant except for my family immediately shouted, “DON’T GIVE HIM HER NUMBER.”

Dorky me: I WANNA SEE THE REST OF THIS. AND WRITE IT DOWN. *dead*

I wish I could remember that town. I’ll go back one day.

I kinda wanna ask if he got her number, but I suppose that’s a mystery for the ages.

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America has the best franchises. Ever.

Chikfila. Cracker Barrel. TRADER JOE’S. We don’t have these wonders in Canada (except Chikfila’s coming here and I couldn’t be happier) and the obvious need for them SHOWS. I’ve been to Chikfila tons of times but I haven’t gotten to try a Chikn mini. I think that needs to change. Also, have you ever heard of Trader Joe runs? Yes, well, they’re part of the reason my family tries to road trip once a year- COOKIE BUTTER. *dies* I’d cross the border once a week for it. XD And Target didn’t even last in Canada like a yearish. 😦 Wah. I kinda miss it. Ish. It’s like Walmart but red.

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I hope this post wasn’t too cringey XD I had a ton of good memories writing it, and now I really wanna dash across the border to say hi to everyone I know in the states. 😛 All my friends are on the other side of the border, why is that? 😛  I had a hard time bottling up my wandering self in the pictures and I’ll probably do a wanderlust post of some sort sometime- but yeah.

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America is a beautiful country. It’s not perfect- no country is, but God’s really blessed me through the people (the ones I know, of course 😛 ) living there, and I hope what the wonderful U.S of A stands for doesn’t change. Even though it kinda already is, but that’s a topic for another time. As Thor said, “Asgard isn’t a place. It’s a people.” And so is America.

I wish I knew why God put me in Canada- apparently, if things had been just a tad different, I’d be an American. But there’s a reason, I suppose, why both countries feel like home, and until I figure it out, I’ll just enjoy living in the true North- or so they call Canada. XD Besides, if I hadn’t been living here, I’d never have gotten to really get to know Meredith! Go check out her post about Canada’s differences- sums it up better than I ever could! 😀

life is a highway, Jo

(me makesy new signoffy- does you likey? 🙂 )

January’s Over And I Dunno How

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Yup, I’m still trying to figure how that happened too. But 31 days have passed with the blink of an eye and we’re fully stuck in 2019.

It’s been an interesting month, that’s for sure.

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We welcomed the New Year the proper way: getting two big bags of popcorn and watching Lord Of The Rings.

I got to go on a retreat- and that was pretty relaxing. Fun. Peaceful. Plus I got to photograph the stars. 😀

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School started and we all collectively died.

Started working on secret project that’s pretty fun/death inducing.

The Long End aired and I DIED. BUCK- JULES- THE MELTSNERS- SKINT- WOW. Like wow. Mindblown. Mom wondered why I was screaming after the first part aired.

Started reading through the New Testament- and I’m in 1 Corinthians now! I think. Ish. Wait, maybe that was another translation.. huh..

Speaking of the New Testament, really enjoyed having Bible studies over videochat. 😉

A couple times I was sitting down to write posts but ending up watching something with my family instead. The posts can wait. But not my family, Incredibles 2, The Last Jedi, Antman & The Wasp, or Black Panther. Incredibles 2 was AWESOME. Also, if you haven’t checked out the short Bao DO IT. *dies* It’s so good. I’m watching that whenever I can, it’s just really really nice to have some non-stereotypical representation you know? 😀

There were 2 gigantic snowstorms and thus, two snow days. Which means freezing cold and beautiful pictures.

It also means getting to go sledding… even though.. uh… technically..

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I’m pretty sure that sign’s décor. Right? I mean, you can’t be a Canadian and not sled. Sorry. No can do. It’s like taking away Tim Hortons. As a citizen of this fine country, I was exercising my right-

Okay. Okay. Still, it was fun though. Hanging on for dear life as the elements attack you? *thumbs up*

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Had a bunch of people ask me why I was wandering around the premises in the dead of winter, wind blowing, camera out, in a skirt (as if that’s a bad thing) no less, taking random pictures. I guess I did look kinda weird- but honestly, I’m past caring. XD besides, I got good pictures. B)

Interviewed a bunch of kids and failed dramatically.

Released a new audio drama! 😀 Which you can check out on the Audiosmiths page here.

I guess this month has been about finding a balance. Some stability. I’ve had a hard time figuring out school, and as you know, blogging has been random, and there’s just been so much to process and sometimes, taking that one step is tricky. Y’know?

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But I think I’m getting there. Over time. 🙂

Anyway, it’s February now. Also the month I started blogging. *hollers and shrieks* how has it been one year since I started into this vast and crazy and wonderful and strange thing called blogging? I don’t know.

So I’m looking forward to that. As well as secret project 1 and secret project 2. And yes I have two. And no, I’m not telling you what they are. Yet. 😛

I think this post is done.

Oh wait, I still have to pick faves. Right. XD

Favorite Book

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I borrowed this way back in December and only now got around to reading it. smh I wish I read it sooner- it’s an sweet story about a girl who has OCD, and honestly, I really connected with her, even though we couldn’t be anymore different. I’d love to write this kind of book one day. 😀

 

 

Favorite Song

Do I honestly have to pick? You know as well as I do that I caaaaan’t XD- I actually have three.

Rend Collective’s Life Is Beautiful is beautiful. I think after like, the 20th time listening to it, I got my brother to use it for praise & worship- it’s that good.

And uh…. this is mushy, but I really liked Falling Slowly from Once the musical..

and  38 Planes/Somewhere In The Middle Of Nowhere from another musical, Come From Away. But I’m not linking that, too much mush for the day. XD (Actually, you probably shouldn’t check out anything from either of these musicals except The North Strand from Once. That one’s catchy. XD)

Favorite Quote

I think I like musicals more than I care to admit. XD

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Now this post is done. XD Seeya on the next one!

Life is a highway,

Jo

Letter to my future self

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So a while back, I saw Bayance do a post like this, and I thought it was a really great idea. Since I’m young and impressionable (I’m being sarcastic) and the idea of writing something that I’ll answer later on seems pretty neat.

Because the truth is, I’m terrified, yet eager for the future. I’m nervous and excited. Nervouscited. Sometimes I’m grateful I’m not driving my life and God is, but other times I wanna poke my head out from the back and ask, “Where are we going? And can we stop for a break?”

And then there’ve been times when I was so, so tired of the road, of life and- I guess you could call this letter thing.. a reminder to keep going? 😛 I don’t know. But here goes.

(I just realized how silly this might sound, especially when I just did a letter to my past self. I have put my hands to the keyboard and there’s no pressing backspace. XD)

Dear future Jo,

Are you getting enough sleep or are you still staying up ridiculously late for “writing research”? Or are you forgetting that because you’re writing too much fanfiction?

I wonder if you’ll remember me? The kid that was you just a year ago? Maybe just shorter than you by a couple inches- speaking of, did you get taller yet? XD If you don’t.. well, I guess your old journals should remind you. Wait, you’re still writing a page a day, right? 😀

I have so, so many questions but I won’t know the answers til later. Whyy- so this won’t take too much of your time.

How are you? Really? and not just “good”. How are you? Are you still the same weird crazy writer photographer lover of God bacon crumble enthusiast person? Do you still love reading? Ooh, did you find any new books? Did any of your alphas publish?? 😀

How’s your family? Did we change in any way? Did we get to go to Minnesota and meet up with Uncle Danny, or did work get in the way again? Speaking of work, do you have a job now? Tell Mom and Dad I say hi. XD That’s kinda funny.

Did you finally publish your book? or more importantly, did you finally FINISH your book? 😛 As well as memorize all of Galatians, or did you slack on that too?

Have you met anyone new? People that became close friends? 😀 Ooh- did you ever have a meetup or anything great like that?

Was this summer as crazy as you thought it would be? As last as last year? As rich and good and growing-y?

I kinda wonder.

I wonder about what you will be.

If you’ll be different.

The thought’s scary.

But kinda cool, too. 🙂

Have you joined any writing contests- oh, oh, oh, and how’s the Audiosmiths? Is that still going? And did Buck Oliver get adopted yet? please tell me Jason didn’t end up with Jillian. Even better, tell me Jillian left town- pleeeease. I begst of thee! Did AIO have anything new up its sleeve?

How many words did you girls write in your fanfiction? 😉 It was at 57k when last I checked, and we’re starting a new book soon. Where you at?

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Also, can you do a backflip yet? You still wanna join American Ninja Warrior or something great like that, right? And how’s Bible Bee going- assuming you joined and studied and did the work. Did they let Canadians compete in semi-finals yet?

Or like finals?

Because I’ve been wondering.

I wonder a lot, and I wonder if you will wonder too.

Are you still blogging, or did you give that up after your first year? And did you change your theme and actually put effort into your blog design, or were you lazy like I am?

Is your prayer life stronger than it is now? 😀 And your walk with God in general? Hopefully that got stronger over time.

How much did you laugh at St. John In Exile? XD Or in general? And is your favorite movie still CA:TWS? And is you favorite hero still TWS? 😛 Oh.

He didn’t die right?

I mean, he can’t.

I sure hope not.

Ahhhh if you find the answer, please lemme know.

Of course, I won’t receive it in time. XD But that’s okay.

Did anything change?

And are you okay with that now?

Because I’m still trying to figure stuff out.

I think that’s it for now. See you…. soon, I guess?

With all the questions my brain finds no trouble in mustering,

Jo

P.S Will you even still answer this- or remember you wrote it?

P.P.S. Now I got nothing.

P.P.P.S. Byeeeeee!

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Y’know, I still wonder.

But I guess time will tell. 🙂

Life is a highway,

Jo

I Got Lost On A Retreat (But I survived! :D) And I Have Pictures To Tell The Tale

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Well, this is gonna be a random typical post with a random typical person and random typical pictures, glad you could stop by! 😀 Heya everyone! Happy Monday and the start of a long painful slow death.

I don’t know if you guys like travel posts, but I sure do! So, here goes before my brother finds our DVDs and I have to start school. XD

Anyway, last weekend was a pretty amazing weekend, one being that it was the weekend and two being that I got to go on my church’s youth winter retreat, which is a big deal considering there’s only like 10 of us and the last retreat was way back in 2008. And I fell hard for the whole thing.

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The world was quiet there. Still. Cold. Welcoming. The roads just stretched on and on and if I had the wheel, I wouldn’t have stopped driving. I also woulda crashed. 😛 But thankfully, neither happened. What did happen was a staying up late Bible study wherein we talked about the Rapture (still trying to figure out why), pizza, worship, and goofing around. Oh, and playing cards past 2. And than sharing our testimonies til 3.

I dunno, it was weird, but it was nice, too. 🙂

But forget that- that’s not the best part. XD

I’ve been trying for weeks now to practice shooting in manual- which is so stinkin’ hard at night- and when we came there I immediately let everyone know I wasn’t gonna follow lights out because the stars were there and who needs sleep when you have the stars?

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So while everyone was playing cards, I walked around the place. Quiet. Still. Semi-creepy. I like to think I got better at night photography.

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As for the stars themselves… I TRIED KAY. I tried.

Also, it’s humanly impossible to rewrite the stars friends. They’re too far up.

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That was… pathetic.

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Also pathetic. I can’t believe I took this at a shutter speed of 30 seconds, and this was all I got. *facesmacks* Someone give me tips or something please.

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Slightly better.

I was so excited when I took these photos though- I actually laid on the ground and raised my camera up- remind me to bring a tripod next time. XD I’m pretty sure I left tons of room for improvement- but hey, I walked around in the cold air by myself and had my lens fogged up. It was worth it. 🙂

And then I did the same thing again after like.. 4 hours of sleep because I was busy muttering Galatians at 3 and insomnia wasn’t a friendly, but it was morning, the sun was coming up, and there’s a part where Gale convinces her mom to let her stay up early to shoot the sunrise.

I wasn’t gonna let the opportunity slip by my window!

I even got two very groggy friends to come with me at 7:14 AM. And we set out in jammies.

No sun.

Nothing. Nada.

Rats!

Again, though, it was worth it- no regrets here. 😀

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There’s a lot of good memories.

Jogging to the lodge for breakfast and covertly sneaking bacon.

Feeling silly because we had to sing  really upbeat version of Jesus Loves Me.

Spending the morning reading the Word.

Scrambling to the gym and playing volleyball. Losing. I can’t serve- my dumb fist can take a punch, but not a spike. -_-

Playing ball hockey with a friend (also dude, thanks for not rubbing it in my face that I’m bad at it)

Trying to reach a ridiculously high curl up bar.

Giving up and heading outside where it was quiet and still and peaceful.

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Laughing at the poor unfortunates who trapped themselves in the cycle of fear that was the see-saw, and vowing to post their reactions online. I didn’t because I’m nice.

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Walking to the tiny lake and skipping rocks over the frozen surface. It made a satisfying thud sound.

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Scaling a tree and staying there while everyone was busy trying to throw a rock to the other side. And failing. I have a lot of blackmail to use now.

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Walking around, laughing with friends, forgetting that I’m not 10 and school starts day after tomorrow and so much is depending on me not messing up. Enjoying fresh air and being goofy. (Well, I’m always goofy but you know what I mean)

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Eating lunch and not caring about the lack of internet or that I didn’t bring my laptop, because who needs a screen when there a people around you and you’re here, aren’t you? 🙂

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Getting lost and just taking picture after picture because finally, manual works, hooray! I also really like these pictures. I got something really close to a sunflare. 😀

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Just enjoying being alone and happy because I could walk wherever I wanted and not worry about my parents being worried I’d be kidnapped and taken to Budapest to work for the FBI. XD When you’re close to the city, everything’s gotta be worried about.

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Hammering out tunes on the old piano in the corner.

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Driving away and just staring at all the farms and barns and horses and honestly, the scene reminds me of Just Come Home and now I really wanna finish that book XD Who knew two hours of fields was the push I needed? Not me.

I think I’ve rambled on long enough- but I’ll finish with saying that I’m grateful I got to go. I was planning to grumble about it to myself, but I guess God changed my heart because I have so much to be grateful for about that. For bacon, duh. For wandering. For the woods. For that guy who believed I could jump a fence if I tried hard enough. For friends. For family. For being challenged to love the Bible more.

What did I just say about rambling XD

Alright. Get to work guys- have a great Monday!

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Wherein I Start Being Patriotic And Visiting The Capital

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Yes, I know this is a midnight post.

Yes, I know I read too much.

And yes, I know I should be writing like any good vertically challenged writer should be doing.

Lemme just say, it’s good to be back home!

We drove into the garage at 10 something PM last night, and I celebrated by reading fan fiction until 2am. 😛

But anyway, the past two days have been filled with all sorts of awesome fun cold, and me being an unoriginal blogger (TM) I’m blogging about it. Because it’s fun. 😀 I’ve finished my bag of frozen raspberries and listening to some AIO scores, so, let’s get into it.

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It only took a few minutes on the road to get into wanderlust mode, not that I’m sorry about it. Endless trees, fields and barns just get me excited, for some reason. And itching to finish Just Come Home. XD You know how they say half the fun is getting there?
They were right.
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The other half was just as fun.
Add really, really cold to that list and you got it down pat.
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I’ve been to Ottawa once, when I was 7. That time it was night, it was chilly, and I had no clue just how beautiful this city was.
We technically weren’t even supposed to be in Ottawa. Split second decisions for the win.
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The vibe here- well, the ambience, pick whichever fits you- was so different from Montreal. not that is was bad or anything. I dunno, it was just different. Fresh. Old and new and… inspiring.
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It’s kinda amazing. To think that years ago, the people who founded your nation walked the same streets you stand on. Built the tower that you’re gaping at.
That a long time ago, it all started here.
And what’s weird, is that even though you’re not in a museum, history’s never been more alive than it is right now.
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Yep, that’s me struggling in the magenta jacket. And yes, that gargoyle is ugly.
After a good half hour of freezing cold, we finally made it into the building to get tickets to see the capital building- only to be told all the tour tickets we’d get were in French.
French.
As in the subject I flunked in a year ago.
But when you think about the fact that the capital won’t be open to the public for another 15 years, French isn’t so bad! Right?
And no, no it wasn’t. 😉
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The Eternal Flame was flaming all right- I forgot what it represents, but it apparently hasn’t stopped representing it. Good for you, old fire.
And heheh, I was messing around with angles. It seemed to be better than the selfies that everyone else were taking.  Though, taking a picture of yourself with a monument that stands for our rights as citizens, our freedoms, the blessings God gave us as Canadians (Or Americans or wherever y’all come from), with a reminder of what we stand for- that doesn’t seem too bad.
Except when we’re no longer sure just what we’re standing for, but here’s hoping we figure it out in time.
Was I being philosophical for a second there? Huh. 😛 Moving on.
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FACE REVEAL!
No, my brother’s not a gargoyle, sorry. XD He’s way handsomer than one and no, you aren’t allowed to tell him I said that. XD I think the best part about this trip was bonding with family. I mean, we do have to agree on where to stop for WIFI, right?
And looking up at Capitol Hill, I think it’s called, I couldn’t help but feel a tad proud of what Canada means. Sure we’ve made some dumb mistakes and tax is bad and that Christian belt of people isn’t as prominent as it really needs to be, but it has some good things too. Like maple syrup. And snow. You know, some good things.
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Pay attention to that statue to the right! 😛 The poor guy!
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My feet were cold, but my brain was working overtime to store all the architectural detail… everywhere! I love old buildings, no matter what style, and I practically jumped just turning around. A wonder I didn’t trip no anything.
Also, I dunno bout you, but I feel really sorry for Henry Albert Harper over there. Trying to save a gal from drowning and dying with her, at only 28. I gotta write a story about it sometime. It’s kinda sweet that of all the plaques they coulda picked up, they picked one random, lesser known hero.
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The streets were b e a u t i f u l.
It really was like walking through a story or something. I can only imagine what Ottawa looked like when it first started.
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I don’t know how my family managed to snag free tour tickets in French, but somehow, it worked out and we headed back to actually get inside. And that was awesome. If it wasn’t so cold. 😛 I really connected with those gargoyles, the poor guys stuck on the building for who knows how long. They look so done right now. Like I am with this post– moving on!
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And this is where all the huge arguments take place, friends. I wouldn’t know, because as helpful as our tour guide was, I couldn’t understand a single word he was saying. It’s not your fault Felix, you were great! Blame my total dunceness concerning any other language.
But seriously though. I’m learning French, and I’m gonna actually pay attention!
I bet my mom’s sighing in relief as she plans 7 days worth of French assignments at me. Have mercy…
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My absolutely no doubt about it most favorite part of the entire place was the library.
THE LIBRARY.
AHH.
Felix called it the bibliotech or something, and I’m pretty sure I spelled that wrong, but the library was so beautiful I can’t even.
AHHH.
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I mean, I woulda gladly spent the entire day inside the library, if it weren’t for the fact half the books were gone. For renovation purposes. Rats.
Also, all the designs were hand carved.

O_O
Moving on.
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The next part was the Peace Tower- as in the tower in front of the building, yup, that. I had no clue you could actually go and see the city- but you can. And it is so beautiful I could’ve been standing there for a long time if my feet didn’t hurt. XD We got up there by way of a small, dark elevator, and on the way up you could hear bells ringing.
Of course, I saved that in a folder of my brain for writing. It’s somewhere along with evil plans to take over the world and homework.
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Outside of the elevator was something else to look at. Practically the whole city you could see from that lookout. It was something to marvel at, alright.  And looking up- ahh, there wasn’t anywhere you could look at and not want to take a picture of. At least for me.
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Not Big Ben, but just as wow- worthy.
And so is the height we were up at.
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If that was all we got to see, that would’ve been more than enough for me. If we’d come back down and drove off, I’da been more than content.
But there was more.
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As one of the guides told us, one of the main reasons for building the Memorial Chamber (so sorry if I got like all these names wrong) was to never forget the first world war. They carved out stone and wrote down names, not expecting there would be another war.
Somehow the last fact makes me shut up and think really hard.
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There were books all around the room, sealed in glass cases.
On every page are the names of every soldier who gave their life for the war.
Fathers. Brothers. Lovers. Scientists. Random guys.
People.
Sometimes you really need to remember that,  y’know?
I walked out with a new appreciation of living in Canada. Because the freedom I have, the freedom I take for granted, people died for that. Can’t forget. I owe that much and more.
Anyhoo, we drove back home, and I successfully managed to get my entire family into the AIO fandom (YAAAASSSSSS). 10 episodes! 10 episodes nonstop! While I’ll be ranting on that on Welcome To Odyssey, I would like to note with pride that my parents listened to an episode with Jason Whittaker and liked it. It happened to be Accidental Dilemma, and they were promptly worried about Jason exploding himself.
Very proud fangirl right here.
Ahem, this post in on the long side, wouldn’t you say? So I think I’ll end it right now. Thanks a bunch for sticking through the end!
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Wish I knew what was going on in this photo. But I think it’s beautiful. 

There And Back Again: A Short Update, Newsy Post, if you’re interested in that sort of stuff

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It is Wednesday my dudes.

Sorry, I just had to. XD

Well hello from somewhere in Ontario, people! I’m currently typing this out at a hotel room, where we’re crashing after seeing Montreal.

Let’s start this again because that intro was awful.

Most Christmases usually have my family go from house to house to suffer small talk, itchy sweaters, and nothing to do. It’s not all that bad, there’s free food and there’s internet. So it’s bearable. Boring. But bearable.

This Christmas, though, was a little different in a very good way.  We decided we’d be by ourselves for the day and go somewhere new.

Which is neat, cause I’ve never been to another province. 😀

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There’s something special about a road trip, no matter where you’re going, and this trip was no exception. Even if we were late by like 5 hours and I lost my 4th sock and we couldn’t get the water to stop leaking. We managed to actually make it to the car. A small miracle!

Also, as it turns out, 6 hours in a car with no internet almost guarantees conversation. Who knew? Oh and laughter- it almost guarantees laughter. Which is nice. Laughter’s a nice gift.

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I got my family to listen to the Ties That Bind, pt. 2 and I’ve never been more proud of myself. Listening to AIO on a road trip is pretty nice. Except when my mom asks if Eugene and Katrina adopted Buck yet. Because I don’t have an answer to that. *sniff*

I got to play Christmas Chanced for my parents, and thankfully, they actually liked it. They laughed at the funny parts and got silent at the sad ones, and at the end they asked if that was it. So that’s pretty great. It’s interesting how an audio play got us talking about stories and imagination and creative writing- and hot chocolate. Randomness strikes again.

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On the way to the very cold city known as Montreal, I got to write a little. Well a lot, if you consider one k a lot. I’ll just say it was hard to keep from squealing when everyone was looking out the window. It’s not my fault there was a lot of angst and death and sadness and mean characters, kay?

And then Montreal itself was a new thing to not squeal over.

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It’s cold. That’s the very firstest thing I thought as soon as I stepped out the door. It’s a very cold city and suddenly I was grateful for turtlenecks and scarves and everything wool.  But where I was mildly bothered, my poor frozen family opted to stay inside the car while I walked around taking pictures. *sighs* So supportive. Also, manual is a hard mode to master at night. Really hard. So there’s only one example of my poor night photography.

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But it’s beautiful.

The lights up in the streets have a twinkle to them, all strung up. You have to step into the biting wind to properly enjoy it. Without the lights, Montreal has the fartooquietforitsowngood athmosphere that, in book genres, would be called a thriller. It’s quiet. Really quiet. And the streets are small. And the stairs are terrifying.  I dunno if you’ve ever seen the silly song with Larry, where Larry and a bunch of veggies have to carry a piano up a loong row of stairs, but if you did, that’s what the stairs in Montreal are like. You have to climb up whoknowshowmanystairs to reach the door, and then you have to climb even more stairs to reach your room. And if you live on the second floor, more stairs. I feel bad for all those feet. 😛

My feet hurt just walking along the Old Port something or other.

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Also, everything’s in French.

And by everything, I mean every single little word  from the signs to the WARNING DO NOT REMOVE tags to the menus at Tim Hortons. I know wish I paid more attention in French class. Unfortunately, I said that out loud in my mom’s hearing range. Ah well.

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Now, I’m not sure if you’re supposed to notice the alleys first, or the projects with the very dangerous stairs, or the smoke in the cold, but I did. And I guess no place is as pure as brochures let it be. Every city has its dark parts.

All that said, it’s fascinating. And cold. Very cold. XD

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Anyhoo, at last check we’re in another random part of the world, it is 9 pm, and I am off to finish off some ice cream, and I shall end this verbose rant-y post with this:

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Snowflakes are more intricate than I gave em credit for.