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: 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: Recovery Edition

7 Quick Takes

My hysterical hysterectomy was on Tuesday. Here are the deets on recovery.

— 1 —

The surgery itself. There were no complications other than me having to have four incisions instead of three. (We’re talking incisions that are maybe an inch long, so this is minor. They had to fix some adhesions, and my uterus apparently developed a new blood supply in the last 10 years, but it had to come out anyway so that wasn’t a big deal. My surgeon was happy with the outcome.

— 2 —

Anesthesia. Upon finding out that I was electing to stay overnight, my anesthesiologist offered to put in a morphine block that would keep me pain-free for the first day but would make me a little bit itchy. I took him up on it, and was more than a “little bit” itchy. I wanted to sleep in a vat of Benadryl gel because it was so bad. God bless Lindsay, my night nurse, because she was coming up with new and creative ways to help me deal with this. Still, my anesthesiologist was fabulous and had a fabulous bedside manner.

— 3 —

Why I love my church. A woman from my church asked what she could do to help, and I asked if she could sit with me while I was waiting for surgery because Mom was supposed to be getting Daniel off to school at that point. Even when my surgery got moved 2 1/2 hours later, she offered to stay with me and another woman joined her. They kept my mom and me calm, prayed with me, anointed me with anointing oil, and made small talk to keep me relaxed. What they didn’t know was how terrified I was that I wasn’t going to wake up from surgery… because we’ve had that happen in my family in the last five years, and part of that was because all of Daniel’s stuff depends on me. They’ve checked in with me every day since, either in person or by text, and one of them has even helped me negotiate all the pain conversations with my surgeon’s nurses.

Another woman (who sings alto in the choir with me) brought over a gallon of chicken soup and some Asian pears today. The soup is helping to settle my stomach.

My priest checked on me intermittently on Tuesday, and he finally got me awake on Wednesday morning, so I got more anointing oil on me (which is the best smell in the world) and the laying on of hands for prayer.

— 4 —

The pain. The morphine wore off around 4 p.m. yesterday, and my mom arrived home with my Toradol and Tramadol at that point. Toradol works well with the pain. Tramadol made me feel dippy, but it did nothing to help the pain. This culminated in me having a screaming panic attack at 2 a.m. because I was vomiting from the leftover anesthesia in my system (because I removed the Scopolamine patch from behind my ear too early) and having pain that was a 6 or 7 out of 10 on the pain scale. (God bless my parents because I was inconsolable for a while.) I didn’t know that I could have added acetaminophen to the Tramadol, so it was 8 hours of misery. I’ve been meticulous as all get out about taking my Toradol at EXACTLY six-hour increments today. My surgeon’s nurses and I had a conversation over the messaging system their office uses about my pain, and I have permission to take acetaminophen with my Toradol along with some Ativan for anxiety if I need it.

— 5 —

My nurses. My nurses at my local hospital were amazing. My pre-op team got my IV in painlessly. (They do a small injection of lidocaine first, which helps a lot.) They also made sure I was comfortable and fetched me a lot of cranberry juice and ice chips on Tuesday and Wednesday because it was the only thing I really wanted that I was allowed to have (I was on liquids on Tuesday night).

— 6 —

My mom. Mom has taken over all of Daniel’s care this week, and she has completely rocked it. She learned all of my jobs last week, and I went into surgery breathing a little easier knowing that she could take care of Daniel. Since I’ve been home, I’ve tweaked things a bit and done a couple of things that she hadn’t learned how to do by feel yet, but she has enforced me resting… which is important because I have to be doing something.

— 7 —

My surgeon. He is a very formal Ukrainian gentleman, but his bedside manner was excellent. He did all of my care on Wednesday morning including removing the catheter and packing that I had in me. (It was uncomfortable, but that couldn’t be helped.) As he was talking to me both before surgery and after, he was holding my hand, which was good in keeping calm when I was either scared or really uncomfortable.

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.