7 Quick Takes: 17 Years of Blogging!

7 Quick Takes

July 19th was my 17th blogiversary and it passed quietly because of school and things in my personal life. As a way of ignoring the crappy health news I got today, here are are some ways my life has changed since I started blogging on July 19, 2000.

— 1 —

I’ve come full-circle in terms of relationships. When I started this blog, I was dating Jon. Then we went through our long engagement, marriage, a short separation, and now divorce. It’s a painful realization in a lot of ways but it also provides me with a record of the good times that I can look back upon eventually.

— 2 —

I have lived in five states. I had spent my life in California and was living with my parents over the summer before my senior year of college. Since then, I have lived in: Ohio, Minnesota, Montana, California (again), and now Washington. I’m glad to have had these experiences in seeing how people across the country live.

— 3 —

I am no longer vegetarian. I added meat back into my diet in December 2000 and while I don’t eat a lot of it, I have not given it up again except for Lenten purposes.

— 4 —

I have stopped coding largely by hand. For the first year, I coded by hand and then went to Livejournal, two iterations of Greymatter, Movable Type, back to Greymatter, b2, and then WordPress 12ish years ago. It’s good to know how to do some of it still so I can fix sidebars but I’d have to learn PHP to be able to create my own themes.

— 5 —

I’m Episcopalian again. At the time I started blogging, I was attending my Episcopal church at home and then attending an evangelical church at school. Eventually, I attended an LCMS church, went ELCA for 10 years, AALC for three years, and then became Episcopalian again.

— 6 —

I have 1.5 degrees and am getting another one. I graduated with my B.A. 11 months after starting the blog, worked on an MTS, and am now doing an ATA.

— 7 —

I’m missing a body part or two. I gave up my gallbladder in 2005 and there is less liver than there was originally due to scar tissue from the gallbladder issues.

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

7 Quick Takes: Getting Settled in Washington

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

*facepalm* Apparently, the phone line here got buried under the driveway when it was redone so Comcast wouldn’t be able to have Internet hooked up here for a MONTH. Dish Network can get it in next week so we’re now Dish Network customers. I’m OK with this — we had Dish Network in Montana and I’m a fan of theirs.

— 2 —

Unpacking. Daniel and I got up here on Friday, the movers came with furniture on Saturday, and we finally moved into the house yesterday when the beds were finally put together and able to be made. I’m currently sleeping in the guest room as we don’t have a bed (or really any furniture) for my room yet. I ordered what I needed on the IKEA website and it will be here next Tuesday… which is the same day as we get Internet installed here. (We’re making do with a mobile hotspot at the moment.) In the meantime, we’re unpacking every possible box and probably have more than my weight in cardboard and packing paper!

— 3 —

Daniel and school. I had the luck of finding all the necessary paperwork online for the school district here and filled it all out while I was still in San Jose. The good news: I’m apparently so detail-oriented that I filled out every possible piece of paperwork that was necessary with the exception of a records release that I had to pick up from Daniel’s home elementary school up here. (There were also 5 BIG emails of papers sent to Special Education for his IEP, evaluations, etc.) I have him signed up and set-up for ESY (extended school year — basically summer school) up here and that takes place in July. I had a meeting with Daniel’s team (12 people!!!!!) this morning and based on how thorough they were about getting every possible person to this meeting, I’m feeling pretty good about the next school year.

— 4 —

Guest cats. While we were trying to get unpacked and beds were being set up, we were staying at my grandmother’s house and my parents put their two cats in my grandmother’s room downstairs as it was the biggest room. (My grandmother is in an assisted living place here so she wasn’t displaced for this.) My grandmother’s cat Mandy would sit in front of the sliding glass door outside her room and watch my parents’ cats puff up and throw themselves at the window. It was like she was sitting there and watching the floor show while eating popcorn! When I’d let her into the house, I would pick her up and stroke her and tell her that she was evil. (She looks like a clone of my former cat Freya except with a bushier tail — same football shape and coloring. It’s fitting because Freya was (and still is) evil.)

— 5 —

Fitbit. I’m seriously loving my Fitbit Surge. It’s good to see some of the biological data that I keep getting asked to record but can’t for whatever reason. (How am I supposed to know how much sleep I’m getting if I don’t know exactly when I’m falling asleep!?!?!?) It’s kind of humbling to know that I’m getting so little sleep (though it explains a lot) and I’m kind of bummed that it isn’t picking up all my steps, especially when I’m in a challenge against other people based on step count.

On the other hand, it tracks how many flights of stairs I’ve climbed and that has been a lot in the last few days. Yesterday, it gave me the Redwood Badge for 25 flights of stairs! This is a new thing for me as I haven’t lived in a place with stairs in 6 years.

— 6 —

Thunderation! We had a pretty nice storm system blow through yesterday and I was dealing with thunder and lightning while trying to unload all my stuff at the new house. Another time, I was dealing with a pretty intense squall while driving. I haven’t had weather like that since some mountain thunderstorms hit last year in Claremont a couple of the times while I was driving home! The last time I had regular weather like that was Minnesota 11 years ago.

— 7 —

A Daniel story. I’ve been teaching him how to say “I am cute” and he finally said it a couple nights ago at dinner. Ironically, it was when he was *NOT* being cute but it definitely provided some levity.

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

#5Faves: Easter Hymns

#5Faves

Because I’m all about that bass all about the hymns!

One

“Thine Is The Glory”. This one is in the Lutheran Book of Worship (and most other Lutheran hymnals) but not in the 1982 Hymnal for the Episcopal church. I was kvetching to my choir director about this and his response: “You could always become Lutheran again.” (I stuck my tongue out at him in response.) This one is especially lovely if you have brass in church.

Two

“Now the Green Blade Riseth”. The tune for this hymn is “Noel Nouvelet” and is in a minor key so there are some of my husband’s parishioners that have hated it and asked that it not be sung or only sung once during Easter. The reason this is funny is that one of our parishioners in Minnesota managed to set “Jingle Bells” to it at Christmas dinner in 2004 when we were jamming afterwards; and when we were singing this at the installation of Bishop Jessica Crist in Montana in 2007, I leaned forward to Jon who was seated in the row in front of me (with all the clergy) and whispered, “Jingle Bells”. He started giggling and our seminary president (who is the former bishop of Montana) rolled his eyes at us.

Three

“Alleluia, Alleluia! Give Thanks to the Risen Lord”. I shared this one in my Simple Woman’s Daybook on Monday. I remember it from my first Easter at ECA in 1997 and I have loved it since, though I don’t think I had sung it in at least 10 years before Sunday. (It’s not in the Lutheran Book of Worship and I doubt it’s in the new cranberry-colored hymnal which I despise.)

Four

“Alleuia, Sing to Jesus”. This is used more as an Ascension hymn but our Offertory anthem this year was an arrangement of it. I’m also a hymn tune snob and I have an abiding love of the tune Hyfrydol.

Five

“Christ the Lord is Risen Today”. This is song that most Protestants associate with Easter, at least those that attend churches with traditional hymnody. It was also one of the first hymns I learned.

Go love up Jenna and the others.

Five Favorites: Stupid Things People Say When I Tell Them That I’m A Pastor’s Wife

Five Favorites

If you didn’t know, I’m married to a Lutheran pastor. Most people either know this or smile and nod politely but it causes some people to say some pretty *interesting* things. Here are the five most interesting ones that I remember, three that are reactions to hearing that I’m a pastor’s wife and two that are stupid things people have said because of who I am.

One

“So this means you can have sex, right?” This was said to me at 2003 at a visitation for a parishioner who had passed away by a co-worker of the parishioner’s son. I was standing in the funeral home next to the church in some fairly conservative clothes with my husband and his internship supervisor next to me. My response: “I really hope so.” The person walked away and I remember seeing my husband’s internship supervisor’s face turning an interesting shade of purple and his eyes almost popping out of his head. Apparently, this was one of the more interesting things he had encountered at a funeral visitation.

Two

“Does this mean that you’re a nun?” This was said to me by a Lutheran kid at a Lutheran church camp. (I point out that it was a Lutheran setting because our clergy are almost always married.) Apparently, he really hasn’t paid attention in church because I knew his pastor and said pastor is very much married with kids who are my age!

Three

“But you don’t look like a pastor’s wife!” One of my former co-workers said this during my second week of work when I came to work wearing my “Pastor’s wife of an LQPV Eagle” sweatshirt. (LQPV is the local high school in the area where my husband served his first parish.) Apparently, I’m supposed to be old and wear long dresses or denim jumpers or something??? I mean… I did the long dresses and skirts but apparently I don’t fit the stereotypes otherwise?

Let’s now just go into stupid things people have said to me because I was the pastor’s wife.

Four

“You’re a pastor’s wife! You’re supposed to be holy and doing the work of God’s church!” This was said to me by a 90something parishioner in Minnesota when I told him that he couldn’t just walk into our parsonage unannounced. It had been a week since I had undergone a laproscopic cholecystectomy (“lap chole” for short — gallbladder removal) and I was walking around the upper floor of our parsonage in my sports bra and running shorts, so I was a bit panicked when the front door suddenly opened and I heard someone calling out, “Pastor?!? Mrs. Pastor?!?” Thankfully, one of our elders was nice enough to go talk to him and explain politely why this wasn’t allowed. He was more amenable to him explaining it than the 25 year old pastor’s wife.

Five

“You’re a pastor’s wife. You can’t drink alcohol if you’re out at a restaurant.” This was said to me by one of my “special” people in Montana who decided that she needed to lecture me about my appearance and my reputation when she saw me out shopping in sweats. What she didn’t know: I never drank alcohol around parishioners and I hadn’t had a drink in probably… over a year at that point because my liver had a death wish and they had to scrape scar tissue off of it when I had my lap chole. (I’m also the world’s cheapest drunk so it wasn’t a stretch to give up drinking.) She felt that she had a duty to lecture me about my reputation and standing as a pastor’s wife which meant that she would criticize everything I did, regardless of whether or not everyone else approved of me.

Go love up Hallie and the others.

Five Favorites: Boston and Fictitious Twitters

Five Favorites

Before I post my favorite fictitious Twitter accounts, I want to say this:

BOSTON, YOU FREAKING ROCK!

Your blood banks were already full before the explosion happened and you stepped up to house/feed/take care of displaced marathoners. Seeing the spreadsheet of people who volunteered to transport people, house people in spare rooms, and feed people brought tears to my eyes. May God reward your efforts and may your city experience healing.

OK… onto my five favorites…

Uno

@UnvirtuousAbbey. I love these irreverent Canadians who inspire myself and many others not to take ourselves too seriously as Christians. Whether it be Star Wars prayers, Beatles prayers, or 80’s prayers, they never cease to make me laugh.

Dos

@CatFoodBreath. I have no doubt that there is a real cat inspiring the account but whoever writes it is hilarious. The user info describes the cat as “a 17 pound Siamese cat with a sushi habit” and this doesn’t surprise me given that Siamese cats are considered to be the pitbulls of the domestic cat world. I can imagine my monsters saying just about everything CFB tweets though mine definitely haven’t discovered buttered toast unless Jon has been feeding it to them.

Tres

@Rev_Norespect. I think he has my experience in ministry covered except for the Lutheran-specific parts. It’s not all bad but there are some things like getting a boatload of produce during the summer from people (or canned fruits/jams/salsa in our current parish) that are unique to it. I also love his You Might Be a Small Church Pastor If… list because many of them are true.

Quatro

@AnonChurchSec. I’m not the church secretary here for many reasons but I’ve helped out in Jon’s previous calls so I love Church Secretary. In the parishes where we’ve actually had one, I’ve made friends with them because they frequently are a source of support and also can sometimes be the gatekeeper to keep the crazies at bay. Having helped out, I can totally identify with a lot of what she says, especially her advice to get a guy from the church to come fix something. (I am totally not opposed to batting my eyelashes to get my way.)

Cinco

@ThePastors_Wife. I most solemnly swear that I am up to no good that this is not my Twitter account. I do identify with a lot of what she writes though, especially on the words she doesn’t want to hear, how to get people to shut up and stop feeding me information that I shouldn’t be privy to, and she also loves (and retweets) Grumpy Cat.

Go love up Hallie and the others.

December 21: Traditions/Christmas Decor

Farm equipment for the holidays.

When we lived in Minnesota, there was a John Deere dealer down the street from us and I used to walk down there and buy toy farm implements for my dad because he was an engineer and utterly *fascinated* with the equipment. When I got to go combining in Montana, I called him from the combine to gloat. 🙂 He stores his collection in the guest bathroom and changes up the load in the grain trailer depending on the season. This is the Christmas incarnation.