working, office, back porch

Posted on Friday, August 06, 2010 In: , ,

You can always tell my happiness level by the length of my hair. The shorter it gets, it seems, the happier I am. It’s pretty darn short right now. I am working a lot right now. I have started tutoring online specializing in English to non-English speakers. I have the whole Skype set up – headset and webcam. It is pretty exciting.


So, what is making me happy? What isn’t? Specifically, though, I’d have to say that I’m happy because I was able to make my own job up since no one was hiring me to teach. I love working with adults and I’m meeting a lot of people from around the world. This is a fulfilling job as well as a lot of fun.

After falling over book boxes and piles of very important papers, I finally organized the office. Yay! That means my books are on the shelves where I can see them clearly and visit with them. Yes, I visit with my books. After one month of telling John I would do it I finally dug in. I guess this not only makes my positive thinking list but my husband’s as well!

While I was organizing the office John cleaned and set up our back porch. We now have a nice place to sit outside with friends and barbeque. It will also be easier for the cats to come and go as they please. We are thinking of building a ramp over the fence for Tommycat to get in and out more easily. I’m really beginning to love our little apartment, even if I can hear every time the neighbors take a shower.



Once again, leave comments please! Let me know what is making you happy today!!

Smoothing the waters, inbred birds, walking with my love

Posted on Monday, July 19, 2010 In: , ,
One of the reasons is has been so hard to keep positive is that John has been feeling awful and that seems to color the rest of our world. He has an intestinal blockage, or at least that’s what the Dr. thinks it is. He goes for a colonoscopy on Wed. I’ve been trying to deal with all of the paperwork, but got behind and it should have been done before the wedding instead of two months later. I really don’t think it’s serious, but it’s scary nonetheless.


Here we go. Being in a relationship can be a difficult balancing act, as I’ve been learning on the job. But, you know what? I’ve never been needed like I am by John. Not in an I have to have someone need me for every little thing or my life isn’t validated. Or, even just a “Samantha, where the Hell are my socks” kind of way (although he does say that on a regular basis). He needs me like I need him, to smooth the waters and remind him that life is going really well. Being needed gives dimension to my life, it’s not just the Samantha show anymore. That’s a good thing.

I’m not sure how positive this one is, I’m just finding it humorous. We have Zebra Finches. They reproduce like bunnies, or well, Zebra Finches. Before we moved there were three babies just leaving the nest and the mom (Jina) and dad (Kitu). Then Astra-cat got into the bird room knocked over the cage and was able to eat Jina. (No, this is not the part making me happy) So, the babies were left motherless. When they became mature we gave the boy baby to my parents and planned to trade the two girls to the pet store for a new wife for Kitu. Then we moved, and we kept putting off taking the girls in. Yesterday I all of a sudden thought to go into the nest and make sure there weren’t any eggs and if there were I would throw away any daddy-daughter possible offspring. Unfortunately, I was WAY too late. There weren’t just eggs, there were three hatchlings! Why am I listing this as a happy thought? Actually, I’m not really sure. Am I marveling over the miracle of life? They are really cute? Maybe it makes me shake my head at how irresponsible John and I are that we let this happen, and I’m just happy they don’t have eyes on the back of their heads or wings on their backs.

The weather here has been gorgeous. I have actually started walking with John on the disc golf course. I don’t throw, just watch him. But, it’s a great walk through the woods and special time for the two of us. That makes me happy.


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Tommy the cat, new car, happy home

Posted on Thursday, July 15, 2010 In: , , ,
So I haven’t written in a really long time. Sorry, to my little lonely blog. We are all moved into our new apartment, it’s been an adjustment and insanely stressful. I thought organizing a wedding while finishing my degree was hard, this move for some reason was double the stress. But, good things abound! I need to remind myself of that daily and if I start writing in this blog again maybe that will be easier.


What is putting a smile on my face? My cat Tommy was refusing to stay in the new apartment. He kept going back to the old house and scaring the bejeezus out of me. I’d go back put him in the car, getting scratched in the process. Bring him back to the apartment and lock him in for a few days to a week only to have to repeat the process. Then one day, he just started coming home on his own. Now all of the happy Pankey pets can come and go out as they please. Well, Millie the dog just goes out on the patio and the birds, sadly enough must stay in the cage.

Because we saved up wedding gift money and are saving a ton because of the move, we were able to buy a new(er) car. Wow! This is actually the first time I’ve owned a car that was made in the same decade that we are presently in. Isn’t it pretty?

While there has been some getting used to living underneath people, I love our little apartment. There is less area to keep clean, a more kitchen with more space, and cupboards and closets everywhere. Now that we are settled I realize it makes me very, very happy!

I’m sorry it’s been so long, how are all of you?

Settling in, Diploma, Samantha the big topic of gossip

Posted on Monday, June 21, 2010

I know, I’ve been away from my blog for awhile. I was able to write while on my honeymoon, yet couldn’t get to it while moving? Weak excuse. But, here I am, in a new apartment ready to take up the positivity project where I left off. I wish I could say there was a lot to fill people in on. Not really. I’ve just been overwhelmed by the move and starting my “new life.”


So, why am I happy? I love my new, much smaller, home. Is it taking some getting used to? Yes! I can hear what every other person in the complex is doing, and realize they can hear me. Yet, the space feels more contained, more manageable. There is cleaning to do, but I don’t feel like crying. It feels like a job I can do. It’s a c clean slate, ready to be decorated and inhabited by a newly married couple. I like that it’s OUR project. Even though John and I lived together before the wedding, that house was not ours. It was someplace we just co-inhabited. We are even picking out new art to put on the walls together. (I knew enrolling him in the art history course would pay off. He is showing an actual interest in different artists and what we look at on a day to day basis).

I received my MA diploma in the mail on Saturday. It’s real! I have a MA degree! I’m going to scan it, have it laminated, and keep it in my wallet. When anyone questions me on any subject I plan on whipping it out and saying “do you have one of these?” OK, maybe that’s a little pretentious, but I can’t say that I care!

It’s a long story, but recently I was the topic of town gossip. Why? Because I had piled up some couches, a mattress and a washing machine in the alley. I guess people thought I was just putting the crap out there hoping it would disappear. In reality, I had called the city and had a big garbage pickup approved. So the big deal? I don’t know. All I know is that one woman told a friend of my mother’s that I was messing up the alley and mother’s friend decided that she should tell mother in case there was reason to be concerned. Huh? Anyway, not a big deal, really just fodder for bored old ladies. How does this make me happy? If this is all they have to gossip about concerning me, I’m doing pretty damn well!

I’m off to put some order to my new home. Anyone want to share their happy thoughts?

unexpected friends, a job, what do you think of the flowers?

Posted on Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Having a tough couple of days on a few fronts. When I am having a bad day, I’m mad, and I’m frustrated with life is really especially when I should be writing here. I tried to come up with even one happy thought and really couldn’t. Today I’m going to dig in and get to work at taking control of my happiness, not let situations or others have that control. I have a pretty good life; it is just bumpy right now. I’ve done bumpy before. Hell, I’ve done cratered with potholes most of the time. I can do this.




I’m happy for: Unexpected friends. One of my best friends is a man named Burt. He makes me laugh and entertains me when I need it. He is in charge of working on the car and is always there when John and I call. I love that while he comes off as sort of a “player,” he is actually kind of vulnerable and sweet when he meets a girl who he really likes. I want to maim some of the girls who have almost gone out of their way to hurt him. Ok, enough, he’s going to kill me for writing most of this.



It looks like I sort of found a job. It’s part time managing life and business of a flute player in Arcata. I’m really excited, it’s going to be a lot of fun and I didn’t expect to find something so fast. I will be working on his website and will post that address here soon.

I’m having a hard time with my third item. Well, let’s just go with the new set up of this blog. I love the template. I love the fact that I fought with it, and fought with it to make it work. I know it still needs some tweaking but I’m pretty proud that I did it all by myself.

Don’t be worried by the tone of today’s post, it’ll get better it’s just growing pains and learning about how to function in what I’m determined to be an adult relationship. Oh, and cars suck. C’mon Samantha – Happy thoughts, happy thoughts.

Taking deep breaths. Move was moved back a week, the new apartment won’t be ready until the 14th. Thank God!! Only having a week to pack and move was a ludicrous idea. My list has been whittled away at little by little. We went and got our official marriage certificate. It looks like an automobile pink slip. John asked where we put his registration stickers. Now I can change my IDs, social security, and well, every other little thing you’ve never thought of that has your name on it.



Why do shiny new things make me so damn happy? How do I let consumerism take over my entire being sometimes? I received my beautiful new coffee pot yesterday. Now, this isn’t the one I originally wanted, the one that grinds the beans itself. It’s just a fancy schmancy one that John and I decided we liked better. Boy, does it make a great cup of coffee! And, it’s so pretty. I know, I know it’s just a coffee pot. It makes me giddy!


On to more lofty thoughts. Hmmm… (Still looking at coffee pot)…as I start packing and cleaning I’m fighting a little frustration. There is still wedding debris, that beautiful coffee pot came with a pile of stupid packing peanuts that are still littering my floor (glance at coffee pot for inspiration). How is this positive? I have friends that know and empathize with this frustration. Are they messy like me? No. Yet, when it comes time for me to do a monthly bulldoze through the house someone always shows up to lend a hand. This move is no different. I have received many offers of help. How cool is that? I just wound everyone up in a day all about me, and they are still willing to lend a hand when it’s still all about me. I swear, after the move I am doing something special for each of these friends and relatives. Gee, I see a future blog subject – three special things for those you love and who love you back.

Yesterday one of the errands John and I went on was to his bank to check on the account I have no way to touch. This has now officially been designated as the “house fund” account. Yes, I Samantha Natasha Weiland Pankey may, someday, a few years from now, own a house. Mind blowing even thinking about it. I never thought I’d say the words “we are going to buy a house.” It will be tough, and there is a lot of work to do. But, I want my own home. A place where I can paint the walls whatever color I choose. I can get whatever pet I want. I even have the responsibility to fix what breaks. Here I am, miles away from the person who never thought she’d be good enough to even think about doing this, actually making plans for VA loans and First time buyer’s credits and towns we would like to live in. Thank you John for helping to make this possible.

Oh, that list I started? Honestly I’m going to try and get back to it this weekend. Please leave a little note and let me know these thoughts are reaching someone! (Comment grubbing, a new low – check out this great post about how happy comments can make a blogger:  http://www.thewritingwomb.com/2010_06_01_archive.html   The Naked Writer makes me happy!)



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Tutoring, weeding excess, kitchen love

Posted on Thursday, June 03, 2010 In: , , ,
We are moving! In a week! Yikes!! Our landlord offered us a mold & mildew free apartment for much less rent than we are paying now. It is much smaller and I will miss being in an actual house. But, for the coughing to stop and to be able to actually save some money so that we can buy a house, I will put up with it.


Positivity – I put my first ad up on Craigslist to tutor students over the summer. I know chances are slim that I’ll be contacted, but actually putting up the ad is where I win. I’m taking my life into my own hands and am preparing to do something with it. I am not letting myself spiral down into negativity, saying that I can’t leave the house, can’t work, and can’t contribute to the outside world. I can do these things. I will do them.

I am weeding out all of my old dishes, pots and pans, and clothes so that we have less to move and will not have to get a storage unit. This is liberating. There are pieces of Tupperware I’ve been carting around for maybe 15 years – toss it! Old mismatched plates? Give them away! Clothes I’ll never wear? Sell them! If it actually stops raining this weekend I’ll have a garage sale. The money we make from selling miscellaneous crap and some appliances that need replacing will go into the special house fund secret bank account (secret meaning I don’t know the account number nor am I able to access it).

Related to weeding out kitchen – I am such a grown up now. I have matching everyday dishes that match the drinking glasses that match the coffee mugs. All of my silverware is the same pattern. I have great, great pots and pans. I’m going to love setting up my new kitchen. Materialistic? Maybe, but damn, it makes me happy.

Mini happy thought – as I write this John is sleeping on the living room floor alongside the couch. He missed me after I woke up. Is that sickeningly too cute?

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I am an ESL Teacher on Skype. I love what I do and enjoy my students completely. I have a BA and Teaching Credential (Education degrees), as well as ESL certification and an MA in Liberal Arts. I am a newly wed who adores her new husband and loves her cats and dog.

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