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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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: YouTube Channel Edition

7 Quick Takes

I thought I’d share some of my favorite YouTube channels with you.

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SixBlindKids SixBlindKids is quite literally a family with six blind kids. 🙂 They have a biological son who is older and sighted, Joe (the dad) has a son from a previous marriage, and the rest of the kiddos were adopted overseas from various countries except for one who was adopted domestically. Most of the younger six have at least one other issue (autism, CP, intellectual disabilities, etc.), and all but one are young adults now. They are the coolest people and it’s amazing to see how they do things. The episode posted today is them wandering the Homesteaders of America 2019 Conference.

— 2 —

World’s Strictest Parents. World’s Strictest Parents is a 10+ year TV show in which unruly teenagers from various countries are sent to families with strict parents to learn what it is like to live in a strict family with rules and boundaries. The American version used to be broadcast on CMT. Every Saturday, they have a full episode from one of the international versions.

— 3 —

Megan Fox Unlocked. Megan Fox is a Mennonite millenial mom with two precious kids in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I love watching her videos because she’s interesting, she’s always really upbeat and positive, and she’s great about answering questions based on her life.

— 4 —

Lynette Yoder. Lynette Yoder grew up Amish until she was a teenager when her ENTIRE CHURCH went Mennonite. She grew up in Ohio and Canada, but she now lives in Florida. I love watching her videos to learn about sewing, food, homemaking, and Mennonite life. She was one of Megan Fox’s inspirations in starting a YouTube channel, and the two of them did a collaboration this year!

— 5 —

Vinteheiro. Lord Vinteheiro is a Brazilian pianist. I can identify a lot more classical music that isn’t by my favorite composers after watching some of his videos. What impresses me is that he plays while staring sideways at the camera… which involves an insane amount of muscle memory!

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Talking Kitty Cat. Sylvester is a snarky black kitty cat whose human puts voices and words in his mouth. He reminds me of someone, but I can’t think of who…

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la harpe de melodie. This is the channel of a harpist who was a doctoral music student at USC. (I found out who she actually is online, but I am not linking her by name as she does not attach her name to her YouTube site.) I love her channel for lots of early music and folk music.

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

7 Quick Takes: Language Acquisition Edition

7 Quick Takes

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Interesting… Apparently, we communicate information at roughly the same rate across languages. Once my brain has a rest from therapy with Daniel today, I will have to think through this regarding the languages I speak. #polyglotproblems

— 2 —

First day of school. I didn’t get any cute First Day of School pics, partly because my spawn is not cooperative and partly because we were having the usual issues with transportation on that day where Daniel’s bus didn’t show up. It was slightly better this morning, so I’m hoping that we’ll have it figured out tomorrow morning.

— 3 —

*snickers* If you have a kiddo on the spectrum and you don’t follow “Autism with a side of fries” on Facebook, I really recommend subscribing.

An answer to those who ask if we've tried essential oils to cure our kiddos on the spectrum.

— 4 —

I’m getting spayed. The surgery scheduler for my OB/GYN’s office called. I’m scheduled for my hysterectomy on 10/8. I’m positively giddy about being done with my period and feeling like I’ve been hit by a Mack truck every month. Not having to worry about getting pregnant and possibly dying is also going to be nice.

— 5 —

A heads-up for homeschoolers. If you want your kids to do a language for homeschooling, consider looking at Duolingo. I’ve been using it to learn Spanish and Arabic and to review my French, and I really like it. I know a lot of you do Latin, and they just rolled out their Latin course. Bonus: it’s also free.

— 6 —

Prayer request. If you could please pray for a special intention regarding Daniel’s behavioral therapy, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

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Some music. I’ve liked “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas since childhood, but I finally saw the video of it a few weeks ago and was impressed that they include a violin in it.

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

7 Quick Takes: Stunned Edition

7 Quick Takes

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So, um, this happened. I received an invitation to the Honors Reception this year because I was receiving something. I had no idea what it was and thought it might be grades-related or something. Let’s just say that I was completely stunned when it was announced that I was receiving this:

President's Medal

— 2 —

An explanation. Apparently, my GPA was noteworthy and I met some other criteria that I have yet to find out. I’m one of 21 students in my graduating class who received it. I have been instructed to wear it when I graduate next week.

Redacted medal

— 3 —

Some more pictures. Here’s a medal selfie and a picture of me with my dad.

Car selfie
Me and Dad outside of McIntyre Hall

— 4 —

My last final. I got 6 of the 7 documents in rough draft form for my Document Production final while I was stuck outside the house today. (Mom was polishing the hardwood floors today, so we all got banished until early afternoon.) I have a report to key tomorrow, and then I’ll spend the weekend proofing them and trying to make sure my formatting is correct. Getting the medal is pushing me to finish strong. The highest I’ll get in the class is an A-, but I’ll at least keep my killer GPA if I focus on getting at least 90/100 on this final.

— 5 —

IBS. I started feeling queasy on Tuesday and having some stomach pain, and I’ve been fighting the less fun aspects of IBS for the last two days. Eating is hard enough already and I’m having to find things that are not making my stomach cranky. My coffee habit doesn’t help this and I’ve been pushing the liquids because it’s in the 80’s with humidity here, so I also face the threat of dehydration. Thank goodness for Starbuck’s Pink Drink!

— 6 —

My plans. I’ve had people ask about what is coming next for me. Daniel *STILL* needs to start his biobehavioral stuff and that won’t be until later this summer. I’m also looking at a likely hysterectomy, so I’m having to figure out that in addition. It looks like I’ll probably start applying for jobs around November, and I’ve got some tax-preparation training that is possible this summer and fall.

A parishioner joking asked me that now that I’ve won the President’s Medal, what am I going to do? My response: “I’m going to take a nap!”

— 7 —

Huh. Kelly provides some food for thought today with her ponderings about blogging as a side hustle vs. blogging for leisure. Go read it. Do it now.

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

7 Quick Takes: English Only Edition

7 Quick Takes

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Working with non-English speakers. When I walked into the classroom for my drop-in session on Monday, I had to calm down one of the students who was taking a test for one of her classes. Her English is limited and she had been sitting there for two hours trying to figure out how to start her test. Once I got clarification from her instructor on what she was supposed to be doing, we were able to get her working. I’m thankful to a couple of my other Spanish-speaking students for translating because I needed to give her very specific instructions and Google Translate can only do so much.

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“English only” people. My experience on Monday got me thinking about the misguided people who make nasty comments about how “this is America and people need to speak English!” Most of these people do not speak any language but English and many of them cannot write English well. For my Spanish-speaking students, it’s the equivalent of learning two languages because you have the words that come from French and the words that come from German. Add in grammar that is complex and you have something that confounds a lot of people learning the language. Other languages are hard for us to learn, especially those with different alphabets, but I see a lot of my ELL students struggling with verb tenses and the number of verbs that have prepositions attached that change the meaning. On the other hand, you don’t have to think about the gender of nouns in English as you do in Romance languages.

— 3 —

It’s about time, Washington! Washington took away personal and philosophical exemptions for the MMR vaccine last week. I’d prefer if they had taken away religious exemptions too, but I’m thinking that most of those people either homeschool or only attend schools of their religious tradition. With the number of measles cases in the state and the fact that it had been eradicated 20 years ago and is now back, I’m glad my state is taking a stand!

— 4 —

Hematology update. I saw my hematologist on Tuesday morning and he is OK with my blood work the way it is. My ferritin is the low end of normal and my red cells are still funky, but there is nothing that is concerning him. He is sending me back to my regular doctor and adding to the recommendation of every medical professional I’ve seen since February that a hysterectomy is a good idea for me, given that my body is depleting red blood cells faster than it can make them. With any luck, I’ll be getting spayed this summer.

— 5 —

For handwriting enthusiasts… This Reddit is fabulous.

— 6 —

Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day was lovely. I got a rose at church, a carnation at Starbucks, and my mom and Daniel surprised me with flowers when they came home from the grocery store. I was honestly just happy to get a craft thing from Daniel that he made in school — I have pretty simple tastes and I don’t expect people to make a big to-do over me. The flowers were definitely a nice surprise though.

— 7 —

Funny… Did y’all know that Green Bay Packers player Aaron Rodgers was the soldier who got immolated on GOT last Sunday? It was interesting to watch.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum. Tell her how cool her new layout is!

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: February 3, 2019

For Today… February 3, 2019

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… It’s in the low to mid 30’s F, and we are getting our first snowfall of the year. Woo.

I am thinking… about my design homework for my Publisher class.

I am thankful… that Target had stuff to melt the driveway. I hate my local Target (it’s filthy, there is no pharmacy, and they rarely if ever staff their checkout stands appropriately), but I don’t have rednecks trying to pick fights with me like I’ve had when I’ve gone to Walmart in desperation. I think I’d rather slip and break a hip than brave Walmart.

One of my favorite things… watching the snow from inside rather than being out in it.

I am wearing… jammies. I finally got a shower.

I am creating… Publisher projects and my church’s Lenten devotional.

I am listening to… classical music coming from my room.

I am hoping… Tom Brady has been badly pounded into the field at least once. (It’s part of my sports philosophy — I always root against Tom Brady even when I am cheering for neither team because the teams violate other parts of my beliefs like not rooting for Cleveland or LA teams because they are eternal losers.)

I am learning… about the color wheel in designing publications. I just wish the demo mailer I’m working through in the book wasn’t so bleedingly ugly.

In my kitchen… probably some stacked eggplant parmesan or something.

Post Script… if you need nature pictures, go here.

Shared Quote… “The ego is incapable of seeing the world as anything but a zero-sum equation where if something good happens to you I have somehow missed out. The Spirit of God will always call our ego’s bluff.” – Father Paul (my priest)

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: Alien Abduction Results Edition

7 Quick Takes

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I need this. Seriously, I need this.

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Oh my stinking heck… One of the channels on Comcast has “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” on at night, and I’m watching it right now. Let’s just say that I’m laughing my butt off and waiting for the episode where Ryan breaks the light on Drew Carey’s desk.

— 3 —

Regarding my alien abduction… I got the results of my alien abduction sleep study today. Apparently, I have mild sleep apnea. My doctor sent the request over to my local home health care place today, and I will (God willing) have a CPAP machine in a few weeks.

— 4 —

State of the Union 2019. Because of the government shutdown and lack of adequate security, the State of the Union address might not be happening. (The DHS director says otherwise, but she is grossly underestimating the feces storm that is going to take place with all those security people having to pull this together in twoish weeks while being on furlough. I mean… we’re talking 45’s Secret Service detail and security for every member of Congress, the Supreme Court justices, and all the guests.)

It could be delivered in written form as it was up until ~100 years ago… or maybe Mango Mussolini will do it via Twitter!

— 5 —

Lenten disciplines. I’m pondering the idea of raffling off the chance to choose my Lenten discipline again. Any takers? 🙂

— 6 —

*squees* OHMIGOSH! KELLY POSTED A HOUSE TOUR!!! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

— 7 —

Climate change. So, um, let’s talk about the fact that WE HAVE NOT GOTTEN ANY SNOW THIS WINTER AND WE’RE IN THE FREAKING NORTHERN USA!!!!

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