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: 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.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: October 27, 2019

For Today… October 27, 2019

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… sunny. It’s deceptive because it looks warm while it is a bit chilly–about 46F.

I am thinking… about all those affected by the wildfires in California.

I am thankful… to not be in California right now with the fires and power outages. PG&E should be facing criminal charges for the crap their horrible equipment is creating. If they had actually maintained their equipment appropriately and updated safety measures, California wouldn’t be facing this problem.

One of my favorite things… crocheting while watching YouTube.

I am wearing… blue long-sleeved shirt and black khaki-type pants. As usual, I am barefoot.

I am creating… a charcoal-colored ribbed hat.

I am watching… various things on YouTube.

I am hoping… for a good resolution to a situation on my mind. (I’d talk about it, but that would violate some privacy policies and put me at risk of litigation.)

I am learning… that I really need to read EVERY part of a pattern.

In my kitchen… yet to be determined for dinner tonight.

Shared Quote… “Crowley had always known that he would be around when the world ended, because he was immortal and wouldn’t have any alternative. But he hoped it was a long way off. Because he rather liked people. It was major failing in a demon. Oh, he did his best to make their short lives miserable, because that was his job, but nothing he could think up was half as bad as the stuff they thought up themselves. They seemed to have a talent for it. It was built into the design, somehow. They were born into a world that was against them in a thousand little ways, and then devoted most of their energies to making it worse. Over the years Crowley had found it increasingly difficult to find anything demonic to do which showed up against the natural background of generalized nastiness. There had been times, over the past millennium, when he’d felt like sending a message back Below saying, Look we may as well give up right now, we might as well shut down Dis and Pandemonium and everywhere and move up here, there’s nothing we can do to them that they don’t do to themselves and they do things we’ve never even thought of, often involving electrodes. They’ve got what we lack. They’ve got imagination. And electricity, of course. One of them had written it, hadn’t he… ‘Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.'”
? Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

A moment from my day… A lot of churches are celebrating Reformation Day today and my former priest posted this today. I’m kind of dying of laughter while watching this…

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: Things on My Mind Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Why do cats pick the most inconvenient place to sleep? Currently, my prince of darkness is curled up on my feet, which is not the most comfortable place to have him. CATS!

— 2 —

My post-op appointment on Tuesday. My lovely Ukrainian OB/GYN showed me pictures of my insides at my appointment on Tuesday. Apparently, my adhesions were more serious than they expected and they were also taken aback by the vascularity they found, so my surgery took longer than expected. It was strange to see pictures of my ovaries–I expected them to look a bit different. In any case, he was happy with the progress of my healing and took the time to answer my questions. He has a very dry sense of humor, and it was good to see it come out. If I need any further treatment, I will request him specifically.

— 3 —

My students. I have several students who are receiving Accounting help from me and one who is getting general computer help. My mind is pondering ways to help them as well as the predicament one is in. (I just sent that student a “pep talk”.)

— 4 —

My CPAP mask. My old one was irritating me, so I decided to try a new one. I think it might grow on me after I get through this first adjustment period.

— 5 —

My crocheting. I made a fatal mistake in a crocheting project and had to frog the whole thing… twice. I’m on try #3 and it just might work out for me. I need to just do that at home and bring my nephew’s baby/big boy blankie when I work with students as that one is more brainless crocheting.

— 6 —

Daniel’s 22q clinic appointment. It’s a “clinic” appointment, so we’re going to be there for HOURS while specialists come in and out of the room.

— 7 —

Local elections. We have an unqualified outsider seeking to unseat our mayor… who was qualified BEFORE she was elected, has gone back to school and achieved MORE qualifications in her two terms as mayor, and who is supported by the town police and firefighters. I’ve lived in Mount Vernon for longer than our mayor’s challenger and *I* am more qualified for the office than she is, so I can’t understand why she is bothering to run.

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

7 Quick Takes: Hysterical Hysterectomy Prep

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

The cleanse. Daniel and I survived the cleanse with most of the layers of the skin of my hands intact. (Picture rotavirus on steroids and the cleaning of hands involved. That was my weekend.) Thank God for nitrile gloves! (Kiddo is not potty-trained.)

— 2 —

Hysterectomy Take #1. So, surgery is on Tuesday the 8th at 7:15 a.m. PDT. I’m guessing it will be 1.5-2 hours but I could be wrong. We’re trying to figure out who is taking me to the hospital and when my parents will switch off because someone (my mommy) needs to feed my child and get him on the bus. A woman from church might be sitting with me and keeping vigil until Mom gets back to the hospital unless Dad wants to bite the bullet and endure several hours of girl stuff. I won’t make him paint my nails though… except that he’s an engineer so they might look better than they do when I paint them! (Just kidding… nail polish isn’t allowed in surgery.)

— 3 —

Hysterectomy Take #2. Since I’ll be in the hospital all day Tuesday and possibly into the rest of the week (depending on if there are complications), Mom is having to learn how to do Daniel’s tube feeds and give him his Metamucil and Miralax. She is doing really well at placing the feeding peg and will probably have the art of tube feeding mastered by this weekend. She started dosing Daniel with the Miralax and Metamucil today, and she is also doing that well. I think she’ll be OK.

— 4 —

Hysterectomy Take #3. Daniel’s school schedule just changed and he’s getting home an hour later. This is good in that it gives me an extra hour to work and do errands, but it also means that I have one less hour to squeeze in all of Daniel’s wonderful feeds and fluids unless I want to send stuff to school with him. (The answer to that is “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” because while I trust Daniel’s teacher to follow my instructions to the letter, the school nurse doesn’t have the sense God gave geese and does not understand the words “DON’T TOUCH THE [EXPLETIVE] FEEDING TUBE IF IT COMES OUT!”) So… once I’m not about to have surgery, we’ll figure out another dosing schedule.

— 5 —

Hysterectomy Take #4. I went back to work at the college this week because I need something to do with my life and they need an Office and Business tutor. I already put in 6 hours this week, and I’ll have two hours on Monday of next week before I’m off for four days for surgery and recovery. I’ve told them that if all goes well, I will be back on Monday the 14th scooting around on an office chair. If there are complications, it might be a few days (or weeks). I think I’ve ensured that EVERYONE will be praying for me. I’ve also told my drop-in students that their instructors have these amazing things called OFFICE HOURS and that they should take FULL advantage of them.

I was also told by one of my students today that I am annoyingly cheerful. Mission accomplished! #squadgoals #maryFREAKINGsunshine

— 6 —

Hysterectomy Take #5. As much as I have been begging for a hysterectomy for 5 years, I’m getting surprisingly emotional about it. It’s either my uterus realizing that its days are numbered and flooding me with extra hormones, or it’s the fact that it’s a hard realization that one’s childbearing years are being cut short a little earlier than expected. I definitely have been TTA for the last 10 years (since we realized that something wasn’t right with Daniel and that my chances of reoccurrence of the HELLP Syndrome are astronomically higher than normal), but that doesn’t mean this is a happy thing in the slightest.

— 7 —

Hysterectomy Take #6. So… please keep me in prayer. I don’t think Quick Takes will happen next week (or maybe I’ll throw something up in between naps), but I’ll be back the week after.

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

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: September 23, 2019

For Today… September 23, 2019

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… grey. We had a rainy day today, and it was lovely.

I am thinking… about things related to my pre-op appointment and how to deal with getting my family information if both of my parents need to be home with Daniel on surgery day, leaving me at the hospital alone. (The surgery isn’t until October 8th.)

I am thankful… that my pre-op appointment went well and there was no pelvic exam involved!

One of my favorite things… quiet. It’s not happening for another two hours given Daniel being sick with the cold going around his class and me having to give him fluids in small doses every 30 minutes so he doesn’t cough his meds up. #gtubekidproblems

I am wearing… jammies. Clothes today were a long-sleeved blue shirt and jeans.

I am creating… letters and an Advent devotional booklet. Oh… I’m also making lovely progress on my nephew’s baby/big boy blankie.

I am reading… Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. It’s delightful, so much so that I really don’t want to watch the TV series.

I am hoping… Daniel doesn’t puke up anything tomorrow morning and make me miss my doctor’s appointment.

I am learning… that I really need to practice better sleep hygiene. (Sleep hygiene is defined as turning off electronics and doing things to create a better sleeping environment.)

In my kitchen… defrosting some pesto and tomato linguine from Trader Joe’s.

In the school room… Daniel is happy to be back at school after being out sick on Friday.

Post Script… this is the apple cake I made for church on Sunday.

Shared Quote… “[describing Crowley] An Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards.” – Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

A moment from my day… Duuuuuuude…

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

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.