7 Quick Takes: I Love the Pacific Northwest Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Bucolic joy. On Sunday morning, it was raining but the sun came out around noon. I was on my way to Trader Joe’s in Bellingham and was driving down the hill on Broad Street to get to I-5 North when I saw the most stunning sight. The sky was clear, the sun was shining, and I was high up enough to see a stretch of the Skagit River with the sunlight shimmering on the water. It filled me with awe and joy to see it. I love the Pacific Northwest.

— 2 —

First snow. We got our first snow of the year here in Mount Vernon last night and this morning. 95% of it is melted off now (just before noon), but it looked like a giant hand had sifted powdered sugar on everything this summer. It was also nice and wet snow, which was great as it made it SOOOOOO much easier to clean off my car this morning.

— 3 —

Joy from today. In the interest of keeping my intention on making time for prayer daily (other than saying grace), I’ve made sure that I have various things at my fingertips like the prayerbook from the nice folks at Sacred Space, the Trisagion, and the podcasts from the Pray As You Go folks, so that has been helpful. Today’s Pray As You Go meditation was on Luke 5:12-16, which I know better in the Gospel of Mark. It’s the story where a leper tells Jesus that he can heal the leper if he chooses, and Jesus says “I choose to.” It is one of my favorites because Jesus looks on the leper with compassion when he tells the leper that he chooses to heal him. The reflection was interesting as it was talking about whether or not we choose to let Jesus in to heal us and what we ask to be healed.

— 4 —

The Iran situation. I go to church with a couple who taught English in Iran prior to the 1979 Revolution, so the news lately has been distressing me. I’ve seen the country through their eyes, and what I’m seeing is that we just assassinated a general in another country’s military. That is a war crime. I’m angrily stunned at what has taken place.

— 5 —

The cast of MASH on this situation. This describes my feelings well.

The best explanation of my take on the impending hostilities.

— 6 —

Daniel. We’ve had a couple good days with Daniel that are like what we had prior to the beginning of 2018 when his behavior started declining, he gradually stopped eating, and we think the bowel blockage was continuing. It’s always nice to get a brief glimpse of gaining back lost ground.

— 7 —

Our anthem for Sunday. We sing this during Epiphany every year at my church and I thought I would share. The words are from a hymn sung during Lauds at the feast of the Transfiguration, and the translation is:

O Light born of Light,
Jesus, redeemer of the world,
with loving-kindness deign to receive
suppliant praise and prayer.

Thou who once deigned to be clothed in flesh
for the sake of the lost,
grant us to be members
of thy blessed body. (Source)

The recording of the hymn is here.

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

7 Quick Takes: Intentions for 2020 Edition

7 Quick Takes

Since Quick Takes are happening just a few days after the start of 2020, I figured that I would share my intentions for this year. Several of these intentions are getting a bit of a boost from one of my local readers (who I don’t know if I’m allowed to name) who sent me a fairly substantial Amazon.Com gift card. (The thank-you note for that is in the mail!)

Also, there will be Amazon affiliate links because I am an Amazon affiliate.

— 1 —

Word of the Year and Saint of the Year. At Rita’s suggestion, I got a saint assigned to me and a word assigned to me for 2020.

Saint: St. Isaac Jogues, patron of the Americas and Canada
Word: build

Last year, my word was “faith” and my saint was Joseph of Cupertino. I can understand “faith” because I was graduating from my degree program and looking into a lot of uncertainty, but I’m not sure how St. Joseph of Cupertino played into things except for maybe getting me through my Document Production class?

Both generators, by the way, were created by Jennifer Fulwiler.

— 2 —

To dare to be creative with my bullet journal. I used to love to draw and do art until 6th grade when I got a B in my art class in school. I’m a complete perfectionist, so taking up bullet journaling has been an exercise in letting go of that. I made the decision to take some risks with my January layouts after watching Mary Beth’s video and finding out where she got her images.

I ended up spending my New Year’s Eve in my jammies, and I worked on getting my January calendar spread done. It’s not amazing and I know that the “let it snow” quote box is crooked, but it’s heads and tails above what I’ve done before. I also have this, this, this, and this on order!

Left side.
Right side.

— 3 —

To lower the volume on my parenting. Daniel is having a hard time expressing anger without hitting and screaming, so I am trying to model good behavior for him. When he was asking for a new tablet, he would scream “I WANT” and that was not making me happy. I decided to try whispering to see if he would copy me… and he did! In the last three weeks, I have managed to train him to whisper his tablet requests to me, and I am trying to lower the volume on how I talk to him in general in hopes that it might stop some of the screaming.

— 4 —

Pray in an intentional way daily. I was commenting to our parish webmaster that the only prayer I remember to say on a daily basis is grace before meals, so I decided to add that to my intentions for the year. I now have this on my phone, and I’ll try to remember to take my iPod out of the car on Sundays so I can download the week’s Pray as you Go podcasts on it.

— 5 —

To find opportunities to move more. I’m really bad at finding opportunities to get up and move, so I appreciate that my Fitbit buzzes every so often to remind me. Still, I’ll be parking across campus from where I have to be so I intentionally get a walk in every day that way (which isn’t hard given that there is a serious shortage of parking on the west side of campus), and I will be taking walks on days when I don’t have work.

— 6 —

To clean up my diet. I have been wanting to try the Mediterranean Diet for a while now, so I just got this cookbook and this cookbook. I’m a perfectionist, but I know that it takes a few weeks to set a habit, so I am trying not to kick myself too much .

— 7 —

Read more. I tend to either stare at my laptop or phone while I eat, so I’m trying to read while I eat instead. I have both the Kindle and Nook apps on my phone, and the Kindle app is on my Nook. I restarted Good Omens and I am trying to get one book read per month.

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

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: December 15, 2019

For Today… December 15, 2019

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… dark. It was in the 30’s today with scattered showers. No snow yet.

I am thinking… about the Lenten devotional book for church. I meet with my priest tomorrow to talk about it. I’m also thinking about the church website and how to include all the information that needs to be included and visible on the first page.

I am thankful… for a wonderful church community. I think the reason I haven’t swum the Tiber yet is that my church is so amazing and feeds me spiritually every week.

One of my favorite things… quiet. I’m waiting for Daniel to go to sleep because I need some. Thankfully, I don’t have a terribly crazy week, so that should help.

I am wearing… a long-sleeved charcoal ribbed shirt and jeans. I’m barefoot as always. Church clothes were a black and green pinstriped t-shirt dress, a black cardigan, black tights, and my black flats. I’m incredibly happy that I can get tights on Amazon.Com and that I know my size so I can get them off of Target.Com instead of having to go into the subpar Target location we have here.

I am creating… *.txt files for when I transition the church website to WordPress on Thursday.

I am listening to… the sound of the washer and dryer so I can know when to move laundry around. I also need the pajama bottoms in the dryer before I shower.

I am hoping… this week goes well and that the new dishwasher gets installed tomorrow. We’ve been without a functional dishwasher since the day after Thanksgiving.

I am learning… possibly how to create a MySQL database from scratch.

In my kitchen… God knows. Probably my favorite pesto pasta from Trader Joe’s.

Post Script… I tell my students this soooo often! I also tell them to date any handouts they get and read their syllabi carefully.

Shared Quote… “Read all the words, not just the ones you like.” — my Accounting instructor

I may or may not quote this to my students daily.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

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: 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.