About Jen

Jen isn't quite sure when she lost her mind, but it is probably documented here on Meditatio. She blogs because the world needs her snark at all hours of the night... and she probably can't sleep anyway.

7 Quick Takes: My Plate for the Last Few Months Edition

7 Quick Takes

I was going to just post some videos from my “Advent Songs” playlist, but I have some spare time in front of my laptop, so… here’s what my plate has looked like for the last few months.

Amazon affiliate links may/may not be here because I am an Amazon affiliate.

— 1 —

Put an Advent devotional book together for my church. This involved recruiting people to write reflections, scheduling posts on the church Facebook page, MailChimp, and trying to get them up on the church website. Oh yeah, I also put together a manuscript in *.PDF format for people with e-readers, and I made paper copies for our shut-ins. Because I love going down YouTube rabbit holes, I put together YouTube playlists (here and here) for people who find that music brings them closer to God.

If you want a copy of the *.PDF file, email me (jen [at] this domain) or fill out the contact form.

— 2 —

Crocheted some stuff. I’ve finished three hats and my nephew’s baby/big boy blankie. I’ve started hat #4 and will be starting socks for my mom tomorrow.

— 3 —

Made a bunch of food. I did two batches of cookies for my family’s distribution night for Grandma’s ornaments, did two dishes for Thanksgiving, made a family recipe for people so I’d have lots of leftovers, and I will be baking two batches of cookies next week to fulfill a gift certificate donated to a silent auction for my church. Did I mention that most of this was without a functional dishwasher? My hands are so dry and yucky that they look like I put them through a blender.

— 4 —

Retaught myself some Accounting skills. Oh hai inventory valuation in a perpetual inventory system! I can expound quite a lot on FIFO, LIFO, weighted-average, and specific ID methods now.

— 5 —

Tried to make Daniel’s current bowel blockage go away. We find out how I did with that tomorrow.

— 6 —

Tried to get people to use their computer mouse properly. If your mouse motions are jerky as if you are shifting a Formula 1 car, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG AND NEED TO PUT DOWN THE MOUSE AND PUT YOUR HANDS IN YOUR LAP!!!!!!!!!!! (I might be a little stabby about this…)

— 7 —

Figured out stuff for a super secret project. I’ll know if the project is a go in a few days.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: My Grown-Up Christmas List Edition

7 Quick Takes

This is not related to the Amy Grant song. I’m in bed with a cold and needed something to write about this week, so this is my Christmas list as a 39 year old.

Also, there may/may not be Amazon affiliate links in this post because I am an Amazon affiliate.

— 1 —

For this cold to go away. Seriously, I’d like to be able to sneeze and not feel like my throat is having the cilia sandblasted off of it.

— 2 —

For Daniel to stop randomly YELLING when HE IS MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so over this. Like really over this.

— 3 —

Talent at calligraphy. I’d love to make my bullet journal look like something made by Boho Berry or Amanda Rach Lee, but that’s not my strong suit. I’ve done 3 months of consistent bullet journaling, so I got myself this for next year, and I would really like to come up with a more interesting layout than this:

My bujo.

— 4 —

A job. I do love being a tutor, but I would really like to able to start working in my field and moving on with my life. However, Daniel is looking at more therapies, so I’ll be tutoring for at least another quarter to have a flexible schedule. At least I get to do some fun stuff with Excel!

— 5 —

Work clothes. I have some clothes on my Amazon wishlist toward which I’ll be putting gift cards. I should also maybe make a Kohl’s wishlist or something as well.

— 6 —

Interweave Crochet magazine subscription. I’d love a subscription to this magazine.

— 7 —

Yarn. I’d love a gift card to Michael’s or Herrschners.Com. I mean, YARN!!!!

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Christmas Card Edition

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7 Quick Takes

My first round of Christmas cards (~110 of them) has been dropped in a few of the mailboxes in my subdivision. (We spread them out so as not to clog the slot on the dropbox where our mailbox is.) Here are the things that allow me to do that many cards in the matter of a few hours.

Also, there will be some Amazon affiliate links because I am an Amazon associate. (It supports my bullet journal habit.)

— 1 —

Photo cards from Shutterfly. I don’t have a Costco account, so Shutterfly is my BFF. I buy myself $25 gift cards for about 5-6 months during the year and those pay for my cards as well as any photobooks or prints of pictures that I need for the holidays.

Walgreens also usually has deals on photo cards as well.

— 2 —

The ability to order stamps by mail. The USPS website gives you the option of buying stamps online. You do have to pay shipping (usually $1.30), but that is worth avoiding long lines at the post office at this time of year. I usually order stamps with my November paycheck or get last year’s design over the period of a few months.

— 3 —

A big surface. I usually take over the dining room table at home or a table at $tarbux for this purpose. This allows me to create a system to streamline the process.

— 4 —

Envelope moisteners. These are invaluable, incredibly cheap, and save your tongue from papercuts it might get from licking all those envelopes. I’ve used this one and this one before.

— 5 —

YouTube. I didn’t watch anything on YouTube while doing them this year because I was watching my sister-in-law chase my nephew around. (My nephew is almost 18 months old and enjoys running at lightspeed around our house because we have an open floor plan that creates a track for him.) In previous years, I’ve watched lectures by Fr. James Martin S.J., Fr. Greg Boyle S.J., and various TED talks as well as Viperkeeper videos.

— 6 —

Microsoft Access. I keep a master list on OneDrive in an access file. You can even create forms in Access that allow you to put in information quickly. (I’m a Microsoft Access junkie.)

— 7 —

Avery.Com templates. Avery.Com has some really cool label templates that you can use when you create an Avery.Com account. I use their labels, so I can just put the label name in, and it gives me designs for that size of label.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Christmas Gifts That Matter Edition

7 Quick Takes

With Thanksgiving being next Thursday, it means that Black Friday is afoot and the Christmas shopping season is starting. Instead of braving the malls and dealing with crush of people, I thought I’d give you seven gift catalogs. There are SOOOOOO many more, so I’ll link the extra ones in Take #7.

— 1 —

Kiva.Org Kiva gives you an opportunity to participate in microlending. A $25 loan can be made to people in 77 countries, and the people are using the money for things like education, starting businesses, repairing houses, buying equipment to expand businesses, etc. I tend to lend to Muslim women in the Middle East. When the loan is paid back, they can cut you a check for the $25, or you can re-lend it. The day I find out that I have $25 in my Kiva account is always a wonderful one because I get to find another person in whom I can invest. In the last 13 years, I have made 22 loans and only one person has defaulted. (Truthfully, I have no regrets there because I don’t lend money that I can’t afford to lose.) Even in my most financially destitute times, I have always re-lent the money because it makes me feel like I can do something in the midst of hard circumstances in my life.

If you want to gift someone the opportunity to make a loan, click here. If you want to buy products from Kiva artisans, click here.

— 2 —

Heifer International. Heifer International has branched out from donating livestock to empowering women and caring for the earth. I used to gifts shares of animals to people for holidays, and I’ve tithed to them on and off for years.

Their gift catalog is here.

— 3 —

International Rescue Committee. The International Rescue Committee helps people whose live and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to rebuild their lives. Their stuff tends to pop up a lot on my Facebook wall, and their gift catalog was one that I knew I had to include. I think my favorite gifts give girls the chance to go to school. Various celebrities and businesses have put together gift collections of projects they support. This is a group that does a lot with refugees, which warms my heart greatly.

Their gift catalog is here.

— 4 —

Donors Choose. Donors Choose is one of my favorite groups. One of the people in my church’s choir had a project funded through them, and it was amazing to get to be part of that. I know some of the kids benefitted by that project, and I’m planning on helping to fund a couple of projects at my local middle school. You can get gift cards from them that allow the recipient to fund part of a project of their choice.

Stephen Colbert is a HUGE supporter of theirs and funded every project in South Carolina several years ago. He is on the board and had the pleasure of announcing that the company Ripple and its executives donated enough last year to fund EVERY project on the site.

To purchase a gift card, click here.

— 5 —

Catholic Relief Services. I’m among a handful of non-Catholics who do Quick Takes, so I wanted to share the CRS gift catalog in case people want to give to a Catholic organization. Like many of the others, there is a large spectrum of areas in which they work and gifts at many different price points. Notable ones include a welcome kit for victims of trafficking that has basic supplies for them to help them feel comfort after their escape, health exams for kids, and school uniforms. (To be perfectly honest, some of the gifts are making me teary because I wish I could buy one of each.)

Their gift catalog is here.

— 6 —

Save the Children. You can send a kid to camp, buy a soccer ball for a kid, help create a community book bank, and comfort a migrant child among other things.

Their gift catalog is here.

— 7 —

Everything else. Here are the other ones I didn’t have the space to explain.

International Justice Mission
Outreach International
World Vision
UNICEF Inspired Gifts
Oxfam

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Why I Am Tired Edition

7 Quick Takes

Only five takes today because I’m exhausted.

Also, just a head’s up that this post contains Amazon affiliate links.

— 1 —

This is my reality. I live in an area with a lot of people who may/may not be documented.

— 2 —

22q clinic appointment. It was a long day. Thankfully, the psychologist we saw cued the team to the fact that Daniel was going to lose his Jesus if he had to stay in an exam room until 5:00, so they came and walked around Ocean 8 with us (outpatient clinic floor) with us. They also came as fast as they could in succession. We got out around 3:30 instead of 5:00 or 5:30. We got bits of good advice, and we have a referral to a medical genetics specialist because there are a few other clinically-significant genetic “differences” that need to be looked at.

They’re also going to try and get some genetic tests for me to find out if I’m the 22q person and also to see if there is some clinically-significant stuff for me. They’ll have to send me to the UW for that though because Seattle Children’s only deals with kids.

— 3 —

Advent devotional book. I’m putting together an Advent devotional book for church and I got everybody’s devotions from them last week and this week. I’m happy that I only had to write 5 of them (out of 25). Still, it’s a lot of work, and I have to talk to our treasurer on Sunday about getting it printed at Office Depot.

— 4 —

Work. Most of my work this week was teaching my Accounting students how to sort through inventory valuation in a perpetual inventory system… which was relatively new to me because my book normally had periodic inventory for the problems. The college-transferable course does perpetual inventory, which I kind of like better because you’re keeping a running tally of what you have. My only complaint about the book and software program is that the tables for inputting the information do not make a good separation between the days, so the Inventory on Hand column kind of runs together.

At least I was able to teach myself how to do it relatively quickly!

— 5 —

Insomnia. I haven’t been sleeping super well lately, so mornings have been horrible. I didn’t have anything after Daniel’s occupational therapy appointment this morning, so I drove to the local park-and-ride and listened to today’s Pray As You Go devotion… and ended up falling asleep for 90 minutes. It was kind of nice actually, and I might have to unplug myself again next Friday and go find a place to curl up and read. I’ve got a few books to finish… or in which I need to catch up.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Stationery, Pens, and Bullet Journal Edition

7 Quick Takes

Just a head’s up, this post contains a ton of referral links for Amazon.Com as I am now an Amazon affiliate.

Some of you know that one of my hobbies is writing pen pal letters, and I thought I’d share some links for stationery, pens, and bullet journal stuff because why not?

I’d also appreciate prayers for tomorrow for my sanity and good behavior on Daniel’s part when we head down to Seattle Children’s for 22q Clinic. Five hours in an exam room does not make me a happy panda, especially with a child who hates being stuck in one room.

— 1 —

La Papierre. I found out about La Papierre through one of my pen pals who uses their stationery sets. The paper and envelopes are super cute, and they ship for free to the US and Canada. 🙂 They also run a stationery subscription service for people who write lots of letters by hand.

— 2 —

Pilot Frixion erasable pens. I use this pen for seriously everything. I also like this color, this color, this color, and this color.

— 3 —

Pilot Highlighter Frixion Light highlighters. I use these to add color to my bullet journal. I haven’t used them on printed text, but friends of mine like them for that.

— 4 —

Notebooks. I use one of these in green currently for my bullet journal and will probably switch to a black one at the end of the year. My only complaint is that it doesn’t lie completely flat, so it can be hard if you are trying to draw a line or write close to the inner page margin. Otherwise, it’s cheaper than the Leuchtterm 1917 notebooks that most hardcore people use.

— 5 —

Muji. Muji is a Japanese store that has some US locations including a couple in northern California and one in Seattle. I’ve heard really good things about this notebook for bullet journaling, and you could probably do a collage on the cover with Modge Podge.

— 6 —

Calligraphy pens. I have no skills for drawing or art at all, but people who do have recommended these pens for spreads in one’s bullet journal. If they are too pricy for you, these work just as well.

— 7 —

Amazon.Com’s stationery. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but Amazon.Com has some pretty amazing deals on stationery for both hand-writing letters and printing them off your computer. I took part in a swap last month, and my partner ordered me some amazing stuff from them.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Halloween Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Halloween Take #1. My conspiracy theorist costume.

My costume.

— 2 —

Halloween Take #2. Here is a close-up picture of some of my conspiracy theories.

A close-up of my costume.

— 3 —

Halloween #3. Even my prince of darkness got in on the action! (And yes, he is planning to kill me while I sleep.)

Minion and me.

— 4 —

Halloween Take #4. I made my dad a pumpkin pi(e).

The pumpkin pi(e) I made for my dad.

— 5 —

An explanation. Three years ago, one of my baristas did an aluminum foil hat for Halloween and I had been wanting to try it. I also put ~30 labels all over my body with the names of various conspiracies. The aluminum foil hat was actually super easy and it fit over my bun. I didn’t wear it all day because it was really hot, but it did the trick.

— 6 —

Coffee Take #1.

Yeah, this is totally me...

— 7 —

Prayer request. Please keep the Witte family in prayer as they bury little Preston today. They were one of our amazing church families in Minnesota, and my heart breaks for them. Also, please wear blue for him today if you can.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.