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.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: March 27, 2016

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY March 27, 2016

Outside my window… sunny. I think it’s supposed to get to 69F today according to Weather Underground.

I am thinking… about the wrap-up post on my Lent that I’ll be writing for Laura.

I am thankful… that Christ is risen and the world is different as a result.

In the kitchen… my dad will be making tenderloin tonight and we’ll probably have it with tater tots and caesar salad.

I am wearing… charcoal fitted shirt from Old Navy and khaki shorts from Kohl’s.

This morning’s Easter finery was a dress I got at Goodwill 6 years ago and have worn on a couple of other occasions. Don’t worry — I had a choir robe on over it for most of the morning so my shoulders were covered! (Pardon the messy room and unmade bed in the first picture.)

A full-length shot.  Pardon the messy room and unmade bed.
Head shot c/o Rebecca.

I am going… nowhere else today. I’m enjoying being home.

I am wondering… if Daniel is going to get my bronchitis.

I am reading… Accidental Saints by Nadia Bolz-Weber. Calmness is being shelved for the moment.

I am hoping… that I’m DONE with this bronchitis. I had flare-up #2 while by myself with Daniel this past week and was panicking about what I would do if I had to go to the hospital. Thankfully, Symbicort and a monster dose of Cipro seem to be knocking this remnant out. I *NEVER* get as sick as I’ve been this month so it has been really scary.

I am looking forward to… not being this sick.

I am hearing… Enya on the stereo, Daniel playing some game with Enya on his tablet, and the dishwasher running.

A Daniel story for today… I came home from church to find my parents’ two cats “nannying” Daniel:

Homer and Jethro taking care of Daniel.

Around the house… renovation projects being completed.

A favorite quote for today…

Dave Barry on coffee

One of my favorite things… Cadbury mini-eggs.

A few plans for the rest of the week: collateral services appointment tomorrow and games night on Saturday.

A peek into my day… Let’s just say that everyone is in agreement that I get to be the Easter Bunny again next year. (Yes, those are cans of Guinness in the Easter basket on the right. The recipient was over the age of 21 and allegedly doesn’t like sweets.)

Easter baskets for 2016.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: Unofficial Quick Takes on Good Friday

7 Quick Takes

Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum is on hiatus this week as her laptop is kaput and it is also the holiest day of the year during the holiest week of the year. Some of us are still posting unofficial quick takes though.

— 1 —

It’s baaaaack!!! Apparently, my bronchitis from earlier in the month never completely left and after being just a lingering cough for a couple weeks, it hit with a vengeance on Monday night which sent me into respiratory distress on Tuesday. Thankfully, the receptionist at my provider’s office handed him the phone and he told me that they would see me the second I walked in the door. They handed me over to the PA student doing an internship there who was absolutely wonderful, came up with a good treatment plan, sat there with his hand on my knee while I sobbed because I was so scared and had no back-up person to watch Daniel if I ended up in the hospital (my parents were out of town), got me hooked up with a nebulizer, and tried to find something he could prescribe that *wasn’t* Prednisone which gives a fairly volatile reaction. (It’s like throwing gasoline on a fire — we’re talking the mother of all panic attacks that results from Prednisone with me.) I saw the actual PA at the clinic on Thursday who said that my lungs are clear and the fact that I feel like I’m being waterboarded is probably because I have pretty bad bronchitis. After excoriating me for refusing Prednisone, he put me on a heavy-duty steroid inhaler and some Cipro to knock out the infection that the Z-Pack seems to have missed. I still feel really weak and I spent much of the day in bed or on the couch sleeping, but it does feel like something is finally working.

— 2 —

Pictures for today. Instead of posting Quick Takes, Kelly posted images of the crucifixion. Go check them out.

— 3 —

Some relevant music. Here is my favorite chorus from Handel’s Messiah that is pertinent to this day:

— 4 —

The specialness of this day. This is the last time in my lifetime that the Annunciation and Good Friday will fall on the same day (March 25th). It presents an interesting situation in which you have both a fast (Good Friday) and a feast (the Annunciation) and the interplay between Mary learning that she will bear a child and then sees him on the Cross 33 years later. I recommend reading this post on it as well as Jessica’s blog post for today which includes the pertient John Dunne poem written in 1608 when these two events fell on the same day.

— 5 —

The question of Christian seder meals. Simcha Fisher writes thoughtfully on why her family has a seder meal but the rest of us probably shouldn’t do it. Short answer: cultural appropriation which is something that has only occurred to me in the last couple years. I also did something stupid and read the combox. Big mistake. It’s annoying to me when people ignore what is written and try to insert their own rationalization for things and I have to give Simcha some credit for not going in there and completely shutting some of the people down.

For the record, I’ve been to seders at churches that have been reverent and well done and I’ve helped put on one at the medium security prison where I volunteered in Montana. I think the most meaningful Maundy Thursday food event for me was at my church in San Jose in 1997 when we had a potluck with readings and Taizé music interspersed it in it. I also echo Simcha’s words:

“If you want to engage your senses on Holy Thursday (beyond the foot washing, which let’s not even talk about. Feet feet feet. Lady feet, Muslim feet, more and more feet, twenty-four feet!), it would be fine to make some unleavened bread and some lamb and serve it with wine in your home. That will give you a small idea of what it felt like to be in that room on Holy Thursday, or what it felt like to be waiting with girded loins for the sign to flee Egypt.”

— 6 —

Another beautiful Good Friday hymn. I love the beautiful harmonies on this version.

— 7 —

So, um… about that Lenten discipline thing… My modified Coptic fast ended pretty abruptly on Monday when I realized that large amounts of chicken soup were going to be in my future. In all honesty, it’s one of the few things I haven’t cough/vomited up from the coughing. I’ll probably write a post for Laura talking about what I’ve learned. After all, she mothered me from afar all week — it’s the least I can do to thank her. 🙂

Have a blessed weekend, y’all!

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: March 20, 2016

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY March 20, 2016

Outside my window… dark. It was cloudy and around 71F earlier today. We had a couple sprinkles in my area and I think there was some rain in the hills.

I am thinking… that I’ll be happy with some more rain to tamp down the pollen. Everyone in the house who is awake is having to lie back propped up on pillows because we’re all coughing from allergies.

I am thankful… for a chance to be a reader for the Passion reading at the end of worship today. I did well enough that my priest is going to put me in the rotation to be a lector. Woohoo!!!

In the kitchen… my dad made steak tonight and it was incredibly tender. So good.

I am wearing… charcoal v-neck and black sweats. (I’m lying in bed in my jammies.)

I am going… to Target tomorrow for my prescriptions and some more cough drops!

I am wondering… when Jahi McMath’s family is going to accept that she is not going to wake up. I remember when her case happened in Oakland 2 years ago — there were pediatric intensive care specialists from all over northern California who were brought in to do tests (three who were not affiliated at all with the hospital) and all of them declared her brain dead. If they were to take her off of life support, she would be dead in a very short period of time. Her mom is arguing that her kid has the same rights as any other disabled kid and I understand her argument; but her “disability” isn’t the same as a kid who has cerebral palsy or Tay-Sachs or a kid who just needs oxygen at night. The machines are breathing for her and keeping her alive and at a prohibitively high cost of care. (Seriously, I don’t know how her family is affording that level of care.) It would be nore merciful to just her go gently into this good night… and I say this as someone who has had to sign paperwork for ECMO and who has watched their kid code.

I am reading… Calmness by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III. I’m only at about 20% completion so my Holy Week is going to involve a bit of reading!

I am hoping… this bleeping cough goes away!

I am looking forward to… quiet tomorrow while Daniel is at school.

I am hearing… my dad knocking on my bedroom door. He just handed me a bag of Ricola and told me to start sucking on those because obviously my cough drops aren’t doing squat for me!

A Daniel story for today… Kiddo ended up with contact dermatitis as a result of playing on grass in shorts for a long time on Friday. The hives are better but I feel so bad for the kid that it even happened!

Around the house… people trying to go to sleep. So far, I think only my mom and Daniel have succeeded!

A favorite quote for today… “If you’d like to experience a profound #passionlive, please attend a local Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, or other church for the Triduum.” — a tweet from Rev. Laurie Brock while she was live-tweeting “The Passion”

One of my favorite things… my parents’ grey cat Homer who was asleep on my bed up until a few minutes ago. (He had appointments…)

A few plans for the rest of the week: errands tomorrow, collateral services meeting on Tuesday, Morning Prayer with Stations of the Cross on Wednesday, possibly Maundy Thursday worship on Thursday (I would have to bring the kid and it’s during his bedtime), Good Friday worship at noon on Friday, and Easter Vigil on Saturday.

A peek into my day… regardless of whether or not you believe in evolution, this is an interesting video.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: St. Patrick’s Breastplate, the Faith of John Kasich, and Other Findings From The Web This Week

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

St. Patrick’s Breastplate. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, y’all! I thought I’d share the hymn form of St. Patrick’s Breastplate as it is a beautiful (but VERRRRRY long) hymn. Click here to read the whole prayer which is also quite long but very pretty.

— 2 —

Something penitential for meat eaters for today. 🙂 It’s not Friday so technically observant Catholics, Episcopalians, and some Lutherans aren’t having to abstain from meat… unless you went vegan like I did. I’m Irish-American, did my senior comps in college on Celtic Christianity, and have kissed the Blarney Stone so I’m treating today as a feast and *gasp* eating meat and having dairy. (Sorry, Laura.) As a penitential act for today (since, you know, I’m being a heathen and all), I’m listening to all of the videos on here, especially #6 and #7.

— 3 —

I knew there was a reason I kinda sorta like John Kasich. It turns out that boyfriend is Anglican and shares my view that it’s obnoxious to try and win votes using God’s name. I would rather see positive spiritual fruit in one’s life than have someone claim to be one on national television and see the opposite in how they treat people. (Ahem… Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.) I love also that Kasich is focused on living out Matthew 25 and not just on winning political office. It makes a difference to ne and this is why he would be the only Republican in the race for whom I would consider voting.

— 4 —

My scars are signs of life. A bunch of men and women bared their scars for everyone to see and explained the story of them. Mine would only all be visible if I was wearing a string bikini so we’ll just skip my c-section scar reveal even though that story is worth telling. Still, the account of each scar is worth a read and the video is worth a watch.

— 5 —

Passover Rube Goldberg-style. This is pretty amazing and would be a good tool to teach kids about the Passover story. Props to priest’s wife for sharing it with me on Facebook!

— 6 —

Why many women are skittish around men. This is a good read about why many women like me have no sense of humor when men make sexually-driven comments. Seriously, it pisses me off that I have to weave my keys between my fingers if I’m walking on the street to my car after dark in case someone decides to assault me.

— 7 —

Why victim-blaming falls apart. Two girls from Peru were traveling to Ecuador and were brutally murdered by two men they met, their bodies found several days later in plastic bags. In the midst of all the people decrying what happened were the people who were blaming the girls for their murder, saying that they put themselves at risk. A student from Paraguay thought this was incredibly wrong and wrote an account in the voices of the victims.

I share this because it pisses me off to no end that if I were to get raped, the first question would be “what were you wearing?” When we were doing the required self-defense class in high school so that we could fight off rapists and attackers, nobody ever mentioned teaching the boys not to rape. I shouldn’t have to be worried about walking down the street by myself or that some man is going to be turned on by what I’m wearing and decide to assault me. I mean, I have more than a few friends who were wearing a t-shirt and sweats when they were sexually assaulted!

We have a serious problem in our society when the victims of a crime receive blame than the person who committed the crime against them.

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

{five favorites}: Things That Are Making Me Happy



This picture. My cousin Sarah has a love of sloths so we share lots of sloth memes on her wall. During my week of silence after making the decision to end my marriage, this picture was one of the few things that made me laugh.

Sloth meme.


Cashew milk ice cream from So Delicious. Seriously, these are better than real ice cream. My favorite thus far is the Dark Chocolate Truffle flavor though the Snickerdoodle stuff in the freezer is also pretty amazing.


This calligraphy of one of my favorite prayers. An Episcopal priest rendered this prayer in calligraphy and I love it.

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.

She has some other really pretty images in her shop and she was wonderful to work with when I sent the calligraphy to a dear friend for her daughter’s room.


Morning Prayer. My church has had BCP Morning Prayer before Bible Study during Lent and it has been a really beneficial practice for me.


This app on my phone. I have the app version of this website on my phone and I seriously love it. It has liturgies for almost every Christian tradition I can think of, the ability to save reminders for things, and it allows me to add sites to it to help me learn, reflect/pray, or be productive.

It is unfortunately only available for Android though.

Go love up Ashley and the others.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: March 13, 2016

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY March 13, 2016

Outside my window… rainy. It’s absolutely spectacular to have a rainy weekend here.

I am thinking… about some of the things that are happening this week. It’s not going to be as abnormal as last week but it will be relatively busy.

I am thankful… for the Dimetapp which finally helped get the kiddo to sleep at 1 a.m. after he woke up coughing. *shakes fist at all the pollen in the air*

In the kitchen… I think Dad is making steak tonight.

I am wearing… burgundy top from Old Navy and black sweats from Target.

I am going… to try and get caught up on my temperature afghan this week or at least get caught up with recording the temperatures. (My illness threw me off a bit.)

I am wondering… the structure of the readings in the Coptic lectionary. (Laura will have an email in her box tonight. :))

I am reading… Calmness by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III. I still have Accidental Saints by Nadia Bolz-Weber on my NOOK and got a little bit of that read this past week.

I am hoping… to get some walks in this week now that the bronchitis is (almost) gone and the rain should be going away. Now if only the bursitis would take a hike!

I am looking forward to… the games night on Saturday. Bob is making red beans and rice and someone else is bringing corn bread.

I am hearing… Coptic liturgical music (I’m keeping their Lenten fast so I’m checking out their music) and my dad drilling various things into walls.

A Daniel story for today… when I took the precious sweetling to Target on Friday to get his happy meds refilled, I was telling him “first shopping, then toys.” (First/then statements are an ABA thing.) Daniel’s response: “OK. Buh-bye.” I seriously need to record myself saying it the way he does because it was ADORABLE.

Around the house… Dad is attaching towel rods now that the painting of various bathrooms is done.

A favorite quote for today… I found this on Facebook and thought it was appropriate.

Political wisdom from the Lakota.

One of my favorite things… a fire in the fireplace on a rainy night.

A few plans for the rest of the week: catching up on things tomorrow morning, psych appointment for the kid on Tuesday, knitting/crocheting group on Tuesday night, morning prayer/Bible study/choir on Thursday, psych appointment for me on Friday, and games night on Saturday.

A peek into my day… I love this cover of “The Sounds of Silence” by the artist Disturbed. I’m a huge Simon & Garfunkel fan so I appreciate how he was faithful to the original song while giving it kind of a metal spin.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.