Saturday, July 30, 2016

Deep, Dark, and Lovely is Available!




Deep, Dark, and Lovely is now available for Kindle at Amazon! It's only $0.99 cents, and can be found by clicking here. I'm not poet of the century, but I'm proud of it nonetheless. This will be the only book of poetry I'll ever put out, but I might add to the book at a later day. We'll see!

My weekend has been going great so far, I'm free of kids, having to chauffeur, or anything else, so I've already been adventurous. Today, I will continue. Look for a post on that coming soon!

Have a fantastic day!

Yours truly,
H.A.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Announcement




Good morning! I hope this post sees you well and happy.

You all know I've been on a hiatus while I write my other book. When I mean book, I do not mean "The Box", that book will be finished eventually, but it's the hiatus. Anyway, some of you may remember that awhile back I had mentioned a few times that I was writing a book of poetry. Well...it's finished and being e-published as we speak. It's just a short little book of emotional poetry written during some of my darkest days--hence the title--and will be selling for a nice price of only $0.99.

Of course, I'll keep you updated as to when final publication is done (probably in about 12 hours), and you can go check it out! Another project is complete and it's always a good feeling.

I hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Ipsy's July Glam Bag


It's that time of the month again when Ipsy's Glam Bag arrives in the mail. I typically get it every month around the 15th, and this month was no exception. The interesting part is that about five days later, I received another one! Yep, Ipsy accidentally sent me two Glam Bags, and I'm not complaining. Two of the five items were the same for both bags, but three were completely different. It was not only cool to get extra items, but it was interesting to see the variety of products they send out. So, let's get started. This picture above is the Glam Bag and contents from the 2nd bag.




This came in the second bag, and is a reviving eye gel made by Organic Surge. You apply it around your eye area morning and night. I used it for the first time last night, so only time will tell how well it works.




This is a tube of PUR's correcting primer that I received in the second bag. With a hint of concealer, it's a good base for your foundation.



This item I received in both bags, which makes me happy. Meet Matt(e) Trimony's maroon, matte eyeshadow is one of my new favorite colors, so I was happy to receive a second sample.




This was the other item I received in both bags: an angled brush by Luxe cosmetics. It's small and precise. I've been using it to apply powder to my bottom lids.




The last item that was exclusive to my second bag, it's a dark brown eyebrow pencil with a spoolie on the opposite end of it. I've switched my eyebrow color to dark brown so this is great to receive. My other dark brown brow pencil is cheap.




These are the three items that were exclusive to my 1st Ipsy Glam Bag.




First item is Boo-Boo cover-up. It's good for covering up hard to conceal areas. I'm hoping it works on my broken capillaries.




This is Embryolisse's multi-function moisturizer. I was skeptical at first because it feels greasy, but it goes on well, absorbs quickly, and is a nice moisturizer.




The last item is a shimmery, neutral lip color by treStique. It's not the first treStique lip color I've received from Ipsy. It's exactly like the shimmery eye highlighter, so I would recommend adding a touch to the top of your lipstick to give it a shofter, shimmery look.


Sorry about the photo quality this time around. I really should have used flash, but I've got so much to do lately, that I didn't want to go back and redo these. I hope you got the gist anyway!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Quick Hometown Trip

This weekend, my husband, my daughter, and myself, took a quick, less than 24-hour, visit to Northwest Iowa. My husband is from a tiny town called Cleghorn, which is only about 12 miles from the tiny town of Quimby, where I grew up. My husband typically works the weekends, but had a random PTO day on Saturday, and, since we hadn't seen his mom in quite some time, we decided to take a trip up North.

We both grew up in this area, but it's been a good two years since either of us has been back. My husband moved away 13 years ago, after we moved in together, but I left the area when I was 19. When I moved away, I vowed never to return because I hated it so much. It's a long story of why I hated my hometown, but suffice it to say that I have my reasons.

Anyway, as you all know from my myriad of nature posts here on my website, you know that I absolutely love nothing more than spending time out in nature, no matter the season. I also have a love of photography, and a better understanding of small town life...even if I have no desire to ever live in that type of setting ever again.

During our short trip, I took a walk on Saturday morning, and snapped some pictures that captures the feel of small town life. We also took a drive out into one of the county parks, and, wow, I have really forgotten how beautiful my native home is. I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.




The First Trust & Savings Bank in Cleghorn, Iowa. I don't know how long this has been here, but I'm pretty sure its a very long time.



A few blocks from my mother-in-law's house sits a small, quaint church with beautiful stained-glass windows.




From the top-most part of Martin's Access, a county park north of Cherokee, Iowa. The verdant green provides the perfect forefront for the miles of rolling hills seen off in the distance.




This beautiful container of flowers was one of many that are interspersed throughout Spring Lake Park in Cherokee, Iowa.




Nature proves it cannot be stopped as it beautifully takes over the wooden stairs that lead up to a picnic shelter in Martin's Access.




A view up a majestic tree that, by sheer size, is known to have lived in this forest for a long, long time.




The water tower and grain silos of Cleghorn, Iowa, bathed in the morning light.




A shabby-chic garage across the street from my brother-in-law's house.




Another shot of the church's stained-glass windows.




A very large dandelion at Martin's Access. My daughter happily picked it while we all made wishes. It was large enough for everybody!



Monday, July 4, 2016

Hannah's Grave

This last week, looking for something to do, I decided on an early evening ghost hunt. I took along my husband, my daughter, and a good friend of mine who's interested in ghost hunting. Here in Nebraska, we have some interesting cemeteries, but most of them have had so much vandalism over the years that they are now private property and heavily guarded, in most cases. So, we went right after work one evening when the sun was still shining.

I settled on Rock Bluff Cemetery, which is a small cemetery just southeast of Plattsmouth, NE. There aren't many graves here, and there are many unmarked graves as well. There were plenty of graves that had a simple rock as a headstone. Anyway, I chose this cemetery because it's the purported home of the haunted "Hannah's Grave." According to hauntedplaces.org:

"According to local legend, Hannah was a 16-year-old girl in the 1800s who became pregnant. Her parents, displeased, delivered the baby at home and promptly drowned it in the Missouri River, telling Hannah the baby had been stillborn. Poor Hannah died of a broken heart shortly thereafter and was buried in a nearby field. Folks say you can hear Hannah crying for her baby here, and sometimes see a lantern floating around the fields. Some say fallen snow never stays on the place where Hannah was buried."

I also read that her grave had been moved decades earlier to a field not far from the cemetery. Either way, there is a grave of a Hannah that died at age 34 and is buried right next to her son, Willie, who died at age 14 months. I'll leave it for you, the reader, to decide if it's the 'right' Hannah. We reviewed our evidence, and our photographic and video evidence didn't yield anything unusual. I haven't listened to all the audio yet, but I have listened to my husband's audio clip, and, while we were standing at Hannah's grave, there is a sound that is equivalent to a cat purring. Unusual, but I haven't reviewed my own recording yet to see if it corroborates this. I'll keep you posted.

Here's a few photos from the excursion:






This is Hannah's grave.




A better view of Hannah's grave. To the immediate right is the grave of her infant son, Willie.





Saturday, July 2, 2016

Colorado Vacation

Good morning! I'm back for another long-awaited post. On the 10th of June, we took a family vacation out to Colorado. We only stayed until the 14th, but I sure wish we could have stayed longer. Oh well, we still had a fantastic time and saw many neat things. Of course, we spent a great deal of time outdoors. You know me! If there's anything I love, it's spending time appreciating the beauty of nature. Surrounded by lush, verdant forests, and majestic mountains, Denver is a veritable feast for the outdoorsman. Let's get started.




We live in eastern Nebraska, and have never spent any significant time in western Nebraska. My husband has always wanted to see Chimney Rock, and I did too. We were looking forward to getting up close and walking around this impressive rock formation, so we took a long detour out of our way to get there. Imagine our disappointment then, when we couldn't get anywhere near the formation and was only afforded a glimpse from far away. I had to really zoom in with my camera to get a good view. Disappointing as well was the 'visitor center'. It costs $3 to get in, and there wasn't much to really see. If you've ever thought about visiting here...don't. 




Our first day in Denver was a hot one! (Thank goodness for air conditioned cars.) We spent a peacefully cool afternoon indoors at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. It was an impressive place that had plenty to see and do. We really enjoyed it. On the third floor, we stopped at a wall of windows to take this picture. It was a perfect view of the city skyline, framed with trees, and the Rocky Mountains standing guard in the background.




That evening, we drove up into the mountains to visit a dear friend of mine from my high school days. It was noticeably cooler there, and the views from every part of the house were stunning. In this picture, you can just barely make out a larger view of the mountains. We spent the evening drinking beers, laughing over good memories, and grilling out. It was amazing to sit on the deck where it was cool and enjoy the scenery.




On Sunday we went to Colorado Springs where we went to The Garden of the Gods. Essentially, it's a 'garden' of impressive rock formations at the base of the Rockies. It was another hot day, but the views, again, were incredible.



Another view from atop some of the rock formations at The Garden of the Gods.




After our time at TGOTG, we made the climb (via car) up to Pike's Peak. Did I mention I'm afraid of heights? I still braved it, but when we got to the summit, we went no further. The air is so dense that my husband and I had trouble breathing, but the views were the most impressive I've ever seen.




Right there in the background is Pike's Peak. We stood and surveyed everything around us and were duly impressed. The only other thing in nature that impressed me as much was when I stood at The Cliffs of Moher.