International Women’s Day

Staring at the keyboard with my mind in a swirl.  I’m kind of super impressed with my body right now.  It walked me safely home through the worst panic attack I’ve had since I’ve been in Wales.  I found myself talking to my body with the enthusiasm usually reserved to encourage a hard-working seven year old.  Good job, body!  You’re doing so great!  Look at you walking!

My thoughts are so funny during panic attacks, in a so funny you could hyperventilate and pass out kind of way.  All I can remember now are snapshots: the sidewalk down the hill, the truck that startled me as it drove by, the cobble stones beneath my feet waiting to cross the road.  I distinctly remember being halfway seriously worried about The Purge happening right then (I must have recently seen a trailer on Youtube)…  Then I figured that it was good that even though my brain thought my body was, at various points, lying curled up in the bushes at the side of the path, sprinting like a crazed gazelle towards my apartment, or just standing and staring vacantly, my good body was slowly and steadily taking me home. I thought, yes, that’s good.  Runners get chased.  Walkers are saying “don’t even think about f#@%ing with me.”  It’s no surprise that during panic attacks I’m primarily concerned with being perceived as an available target.

Usually getting some of it down helps me to get out the bad feelings, but it’s not working as well now… I spent too much time in a haze during the walk.*  Well, it does make me feel a lot better to get words down, even if I feel I haven’t in any way described what it was like inside my mind.  But it does definitely help me break out of it.  I think I’m calm enough to sit with my mind now.

*I’m pretty sure I won’t publish this one, but in case I do, to all the members of my little starling cloud, I was safe and on the sidewalk at all times with plenty of passerby around, and I love you. 🙂

Posted in Mental Health and Wellness | Leave a comment



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Work Update

I can see why so many books about writing dissertations emphasize the importance of keeping a record of the work you’ve done to motivate yourself.  Somehow, even after a day’s work, it sometimes doesn’t even feel like I’ve taken a tiny step towards finishing such a big project.  And especially when you’re still in the very beginning stages like I am, it can be pretty discouraging.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tale As Old As Time…

I’ve always been intrigued by different versions and retellings of Beauty and the Beast.  From La Belle et la Bête to the Disney classic, I love them all.  I was fortunate to see Beauty and the Beast as a panto-play at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre a few weeks ago.  It was so different from anything I was expecting, but so fabulous!

Here are some versions and retellings I’ve enjoyed over the years:

La Belle et la Bête by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont (1756)

Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley (1978)

The Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey (1995)

Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley (1997)

Beast by Donna Jo Napoli (1999)

Beastly by Alex Flinn (2007)

And here’s the link to a Goodreads list with many, many  more!

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Big Pit Coal Museum and Hay-on-Wye!

I took off on a field trip of sorts with the international student group on Saturday!  I hopped on the bus in front of Store 21 and enjoyed the scenery all the way to the Big Pit Coal Museum.  I had expected a sort of tourist-y type attraction, but they actually put real gear on us and took us down the mine shaft!

The elevator that took us down the mine!  No batteries of any kind allowed, except the ones on our helmet flashlights, so no pictures from below.

On our way back from the museum, we stopped at the famous book town, Hay-on-Wye!  (AKA my whole reason for going on the trip.)  There were beautiful castle ruins, but I made a beeline for the bookshops.  Unfortunately, we weren’t there for long, so I only had time to browse through a few.  I would so gladly go back again!

If I had only had 175 pounds… It would have made the perfect gift for an 18th c. Auburn fan back home. 🙂

I did, however, splurge on this!  I can’t wait to get it matted and framed and hanging in my apartment!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Big Vintage Sew-Along

I’m going to make a dress!  I’ve cut out the pieces, and on Wednesday I’ll start sewing!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Early Start for Christmas!

A preview of one of my latest stitching projects.  🙂

Posted in Needlecrafts | Leave a comment

Fabergé Egg in Needlepoint

Finished! So soothing, just like the mindfulness/meditation coloring books I love. 😊 

Posted in Mental Health and Wellness, Needlecrafts | Leave a comment


I’ve been enjoying a bit of stitching this week. A dear friend bought me this beautiful needlepoint kit in New Orleans.  

Posted in Needlecrafts | Leave a comment

Winter in Wales

My adventure begins. 🙂

Posted in This Starling, Travel | Leave a comment