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.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: September 17, 2019

For Today…

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… dark. We’ve been having a lot of rain lately. We even had a serious thunder and lightning storm a week and a half ago.

I am thinking… about the Advent devotional book I’m putting together for church. I’m trying to put together the instruction sheet and ask letter.

I am thankful… for the overpayment of a bill 5-6 years ago that was sent to me this week. It is helping out.

One of my favorite things… sleep.

I am wearing… my jammies as it is 12:30 a.m.

I am creating… devotion examples for the ask letter.

I am reading… Nailed It by Anne Kennedy.

I am hoping… to be productive this week.

I am learning… about bullet journals and what spreads work for me.

In my kitchen… scampi linguine.

In the school room… Daniel is loving school being back in session.

Post Script… the rules for posting about a death on social media.

Shared Quote… “It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.” –Neil Gaiman, Good Omens

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: What’s Been Going On Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

December 18. Daniel had an appointment at the Center for Pediatric Dentistry in Seattle. Verdict: there will be a sedated exam where they can do x-rays, an exam, and a cleaning as well as fix anything that needs to be fixed. This is pretty much exactly what I expected. The dental resident we saw was incredibly good, and I think he’ll be an amazing pediatric dentist when he is done training.

— 2 —

December 19. We had a hearing loss clinic appointment at Seattle Children’s. Some idiot (me) forgot to give Daniel his Adderall before we left, and this made being stuck with him in an exam room for FOUR HOURS (!!!) really fun. We saw speech therapists, an otolaryngologist, an educational specialist, and a genetic counselor.

The genetic counselor was the only one telling us something we didn’t already know — she explained the genetic abnormality that causes his autism, ADHD, and learning disability… and it turns out that Seattle Children’s has a clinic for it. The providers there hadn’t ever seen Daniel’s genetic report before that day, so the genetic counselor was like a kid in a candy store because there were SOOOOOO many cool things in it, enough that she is still studying it and figuring things out. Woohoo.

Also… the genetic abnormality is inherited from a parent (70%) or present when the baby is forming (30%). In other words, all those who claim that vaccines cause autism can shut your pieholes because YOUR ARGUMENT IS INVALID.

— 3 —

December 22. My evil twin, The Girl (his wife), and my nephew Braden arrived. Braden is still cute and a total flirt. He also didn’t want to let his parents sleep and got mouthy (as only a 6 month old can) at midnight, letting them know about his displeasure.

— 4 —

December 23. The evil twin woke up with his eyes red and drippy. He hauled butt to Urgent Care while I was at church, and the nice PA diagnosed him with “ninja pink eye”. Thus began his regimen of having to put nasty ointment in his eyes, wash his hands every time he touched his face, and apply enough hand sanitizer that his hands started to look as bad as mine. Because I am a nice sister, I dug through my collection of hand gels and found the only one that wasn’t pink to give to him. (My favorite scent is Apple and the Walgreens version is either neon green or pink.)

— 5 —

December 24. My little cherub woke up with a rash spreading on his face that my mom thought might be impetigo. Because I am an obedient daughter (and because it was my mommy’s birthday), I tossed clothes on and headed to the closest Urgent Care with the shortest wait time. I was remarking to the triage nurse that Daniel hates being in small rooms (as to why he was flipping out), and she asked if we wanted to wait in the waiting area that has floor-to-ceiling windows and an open plan. (I almost kissed her feet.) The nice nurse practitioner in the elf onesie (no, I am not kidding) said it was *PROBABLY* not impetigo, but the treatment she wanted to do would take care of it if it was. We now have goop to put on his face three times a day until the 3rd. Fun.

Once I got home, got a feed into my sweet child, and got his antibiotics, I made my mama a batch of these cookies as her birthday cake. Because I am awesome. Also… I had to be at church at 6:30 for choir and was going to be ditching her birthday dinner, so they were my apology. (Dicing the rings of sweetened dried pineapples with Mom’s kitchen scissors also probably worked off some time from Purgatory.)

Church was awesome… of course.

— 6 —

December 25. We had 15 people at the house for an early Christmas dinner. T’was epic… with some amazing ham, potatoes, some veggie dishes that I avoided, and two kinds of cheesecake for dessert (white chocolate peppermint for the win!). The Evil Twin, The Girl, and The Nephew headed home.

Mom and I decided to just stare at walls for a few hours… because lots of people + introverts = brain 404.

— 7 —

December 27. The kidlet and I were invited to go to my fairy godmother’s house for lunch with my parents, but I decided to skip it because her house isn’t Daniel-friendly and I needed a day of quiet in between two doctor days. (We had his ADHD appointment yesterday morning with his regular pediatrician and tomorrow is sleep medicine in Bellevue.) We got me coffee, wrote thank-you notes, went to the grocery store, and had a chill day. No regrets on skipping lunch at all!

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

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: December 2, 2018

For Today… December 2, 2018

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… dark. It was sunny, but chilly today.

I am thinking… about how to work it so that I get the maximum number of assessments done on the computers in F110 for Keyboarding. I tend to be faster on those than on my laptop.

I am thankful… for the beginning of Advent and that I’ve largely been able to avoid stepping into retail establishments playing insipid secular Christmas music.

One of my favorite things… Advent music.

I am wearing… jammies. It’s late.

I am creating… typing session certificates.

I am listening to… Advent hymnody.

I am hoping… tomorrow goes well, and I don’t have to deal with an obnoxious student in my Keyboarding class too much.

I am learning… flexibility in my internship.

In my kitchen… Greek chicken from Trader Joe’s.

In the school room… Daniel is doing well and loved by his teacher and staff.

Post Script… some thoughts on missionary John Allan Chau and how the mission organization who sent him has some serious explaining to do. I rarely agree with my dad’s anti-Christian thoughts, but I’m with him 100% that going to the Sentinelese people was stupid. I’m also profoundly happy that India is refusing to recover his body, as doing so would be dangerous for both them and the Sentinelese.

Shared Quote… “Many people, meeting Aziraphale for the first time, formed three impressions: that he was English, that he was intelligent, and that he was gayer than a tree full of monkeys on nitrous oxide.”
? Neil Gaiman, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

A moment from my day… “Mama, I’m not in the tree. #fakenews”

I'm not in the tree. You can't prove it. #fakenews

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: December 11, 2017

For Today… December 11, 2017

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… sunny. It’s in the 40’s but doesn’t really feel that bad out.

I am thinking… about things related to my divorce. I have various things to send to my attorney.

I am thankful… my allergy testing is over. My forearms and my left shoulder are covered with welts but those should go down soon. I’m also allowed to take all my meds again.

One of my favorite things… having the house to myself.

I am wearing… short-sleeved flag tee from Old Navy and black jeans. They needed access to my forearms and left shoulder today for the test so they asked me not to wear long sleeves.

I am creating… socks.

I am listening to… Loreena McKennitt.

I am hoping… to sleep better tonight.

I am learning… about various types of chronic pain.

In my kitchen… making lasagna, bread, and cookies to take to a friend tomorrow who just had a baby.

In the school room… Daniel is getting more and more verbal. His teachers are smitten with him.

Post Script… Regarding the war on Christmas.

Shared Quote…

Nice kitty...

A moment from my day… This was our gradual hymn yesterday. I could totally hear Loreena McKennitt recording it.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.