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: June Blogs Edition

7 Quick Takes

I’m on the road from Salem to northern Washington as most of you are reading this. I pre-wrote it and scheduled it while sitting in Pep Boys on Monday. I’ll have someone *coughcoughcoughBethAnnecoughcoughcough* link it up at Kelly’s when the link-up for this week’s Quick Takes goes live.

**UPDATE** I got waylaid by car troubles in central Oregon and will be heading the rest of the way to northern Washington tomorrow. In the meantime, I get to enjoy a lovely motel room and a few more days of Internet access. (I’m trying to look for the positives in wondering if my engine had died yesterday.)

Meanwhile, enjoy some vacation stories from my past.

— 1 —

Canada 1996. My grandparents used to own a cabin in the wilds of British Columbia and every year from the time I was 5 until I was 20, I spent a week or more up there. Power was done by a generator and gas/oil. We’re talking so remote that our only communication with the outside world was a radio.

Anyway, my mom and grandmother had seen a bear the night before while walking through the woods to the garden and we were a little on edge about that. The next morning, I was out walking to the Point with my mom and as we walked into a clearing, a teenaged bear appeared. (It was easily twice my size.) I looked at it. It looked at me. I quickly fled the scene and it ran off in the other direction. My nickname was Goldilocks for the rest of the trip.

— 2 —

Ireland 1998. I kissed the Blarney Stone. (Nobody who knows me is incredibly surprised.) To do this, you’re walking around the periphery of the top of Blarney Castle… and there’s a very thin boundary that is protecting you from falling down several floors into the center of the castle. Did I mention that I’m afraid of heights?

— 3 —

London 1998. We had a 24-hour layover in London on our way to Ireland so we got hotel rooms and spent the next day exploring. We were the last people allowed in Westminster Abbey that day (it was Holy Saturday and they were prepping for 2000 people that would be attending Easter worship the next day) because my mom claimed I was a pilgrim. (It wasn’t a lie. I *WAS* Episcopalian and Westminster Abbey is part of my spiritual heritage.) It was simply amazing to see all the tombs of the kings and queens, take in the quiet, and see Poet’s Corner. I was also completely gobsmacked at how BIG it was. I mean, my jaw was hitting the floor when we saw it. My mom leaned over and informed me that the cathedral in Cologne, Germany (where she had just been on a business trip) was 4-5 times larger.

— 4 —

Del Norte Redwoods. We camped up the coast a lot when I was younger because it was cheaper than staying in motels. One of my favorites places is Del Norte Redwoods. It’s peaceful and just looks like a fairy kingdom belongs in the park. It’s meditative to sit and watch the sunbeams streaming through these huge trees and fun to climb on trunks of trees that are hundreds of years old and were felled by natural disasters.

— 5 —

Vancouver 1996. We took the train from Mt. Vernon, WA to Vancouver, British Columbia to see “Showboat” and stayed in the Georgian Court Hotel. The show was fabulous and exploring Vancouver the next day was awesome. It’s one of my favorite cities and I look forward to visiting it after the move.

— 6 —

Eel River 1991. This was another one of those “camping up the coast” trips and we stayed at a campground near the Eel River. I have good memories of swimming and trying to float the river.

— 7 —

Sunset Beach 2016. Not really a vacation as much of a day trip. It’s bloody hot in San Jose right now so we decamped to the beach after Daniel’s psych appointment on Friday. (I would post pictures but WordPress is being spazzy. *kicks it*) Daniel loved the water and I wish I could have gotten a picture of me holding him before chucking him into the waist-deep water. (My cell phone was up on the beach because it doesn’t like salt water very much.)

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

June Blogs: The Sitch

As you are reading this, I will be on the road to Washington. Tonight is my last night of reliable Internet access for around 8 days and instead of taking yet another blog break, I put out the word to some of my friends on Twitter and Facebook that I needed a few people to do some guest posts and have ended up with some pretty interesting ones from friends who are all very different from each other. I hope you enjoy reading them.

My Quick Takes will be pre-written and I’ll have somebody *coughcoughcoughBETHANNEcoughcoughcough* link them up for me on Thursday night/Friday morning when the link-up goes live.

In the mean time, please lift up some prayers for good roads, safety while driving, and good weather for us.

Thanks and blessings on your week!

7 Quick Takes: Things I Will Not Miss About California

7 Quick Takes

I’m less than a week from the move and to keep myself in the “Washington is a good move” mode, here are some things I will not miss about California. (To be fair, I will miss a lot of people, the redwood forests, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco.)

— 1 —

The heat. It’s in the 90’s this week and might hit 100F on Friday. I’m looking at the radar for the area where I am moving in Washington and it’s in the 50’s there. I’m jealous — I hate the heat and I can’t wait to not be dealing with high 80’s and 90’s every day of summer. #climatechangeisreal #globalwarming #hothothot #noairconditioning

— 2 —

Non-Californians assuming that I live near Disneyland and that I could go every day. Anaheim (where Disneyland is located) is 8 hours away from where I live right now. Even when I was living in southern California, I never went because it is seriously expensive to go and Daniel would not get anything out of it. I think the last time I went was 13.5 years ago?

— 3 —

The desert. Just nope. Hot, ugly, and full of poisonous snakes.

— 4 —

Southern California in general. I’m a die-hard northern Californian. I instinctively root AGAINST the Dodgers, the Angels, the Lakers, the Chargers, and any other southern California team. It’s also too hot down there, there are too many people, and very little is within walking distance because it’s completely a car culture.

— 5 —

Traffic. LA traffic is horrible, Sacramento traffic is a level of hell, and Bay Area traffic can be annoying. Granted, Seattle traffic is worse (and they’re in denial about it) but I won’t be living in Seattle, so I probably won’t have to deal with too much of it.

— 6 —

Avocado on everything. I hate avocados. I hate guacamole. I hate Mexican food.

— 7 —

The pollution. While southern California has gotten better about smog, the Central Valley is horrible as is the Sacramento area. Daniel had more respiratory issues up there than anywhere else we have lived.

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

{five favorites}: Things I’m Looking Forward To When I Move to Washington



In less than a week, I’ll be moving to Washington with my family. To take my mind off of the fact that it is hotter than hell in California and the fact that I have a lot of good-byes to say in the next couple days, here are things I’m looking forward to in Washington.


A cooler climate. I don’t do heat well. I like four distinct seasons. Washington tends to be 10-15 degrees cooler than northern California on average. It’s supposed to be in the 60’s and raining on moving day. I’m positively giddy.


Family. The vast chunk of my immediate and extended family are in western Washington. I’m looking forward to being a two hour drive from people (depending on traffic) rather than two hours by plane. I’ll be nearby my grandma’s assisted living facility so I can see her at least weekly if not more often.


Seattle. I have always wanted to live in Seattle (my parents are UW alums and it was my dream school) and I loved spending time up there with my fairy godmother (one of my mom’s college roommates — long story) every year in high school and college. I’ll be close enough to go down and see her and have zoo trips with her and Daniel. (The Woodland Park Zoo is one of my happy places.) We can get henna at Pike Place Market to dye my hair, go to the Aquarium, and do a whole host of other things.


Vancouver. I’ll be close enough to one of my favorite cities for a day trip and might be able to schedule a meet-up with Richard, who has been a dear friend of this blog for almost 14 years.


Rain. I adore it.

Go love up Bonnie and the others.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: October 27, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY October 27, 2015

Outside my window… dark as it’s 1 a.m. Temps have been summery though.

I am thinking… about the things I need to do tomorrow to start building Daniel’s support issue in San Jose.

I am thankful… that the first part of the move and the 7 1/2 hour drive are over.

In the kitchen… Dad brought home Hawaiian pizza for me. I’m thankful to be done fasting from gluten!

I am wearing… Momcat shirt and navy/white striped pj bottoms.

I am going… to hopefully be able to sleep soon.

I am reading… Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson.

I am hoping… that my call to Social Security goes well tomorrow.

I am looking forward to… church on Sunday at ECA.

I am hearing… silence.

A Daniel story for today… he woke up to find himself alone in his bedroom tonight around 10 so he went and climbed into bed with my mom. Thankfully, she found it cute and I was able to settle him back on his bed.

Around the house… painting and decluttering going on.

One of my favorite things… the song “God of This City” by Bluetree. The Chris Tomlin version is sub-par.

A few plans for the rest of the week: un packing, enrolling Daniel in school, and getting services for him transferred up here.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.