7 Quick Takes: Things You Don’t Pick Up About Me Online

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

I am incredibly shy. I come across as much more outgoing online than I am in person. I’m polite and usually pretty warm when I meet people but I’m less likely to go up and strike up a conversation with a stranger than most people are.

— 2 —

I talk a lot with my eyes. Unless you’ve seen a video of me posted on Facebook, you probably wouldn’t know that my eyes show a lot more of my mood and how I’m really feeling than my tone of voice does.

— 3 —

My guiltiest pleasure is singing along with the radio when I drive. It’s actually pretty common for me to sing along with CD’s or whatever I’m listening to on the radio when I’m in traffic, given that I have absolutely nobody around here who I feel like I have to impress. It’s how I learn music for church if we’re singing something interesting.

— 4 —

My son Daniel is just slightly over a foot shorter than I am. Daniel will be six in April and he is almost 4 feet tall. I’m 5’1″ so the odds are pretty good that he’ll eclipse me height-wise in the next 2 years. It also really surprises people that I’m so short because I guess I come across as taller online?

— 5 —

When I read, I can usually block out the world around me. One of my favorite things to do is to go curl up at a coffee shop or restaurant and get lost in a book. The only problem: I get so caught up in my reading that I will actually block out people and sound if I’m not careful. We had some parishioners in Montana who got really pissy with me over this so I have to tell people that if they want my attention and I’m not responding, they need to gently touch my hand or my shoulder.

— 6 —

I’m allergic to cats. Yep… I am actually allergic to cats. We found it out right after we adopted Freya and Edda and moved to Minnesota. It’s a mild allergy but Edda sleeping on my chest (her favorite spot) used to make me sniffly and my eyes feel itchy. I’m far more allergic to grass and various pollens (which is why I’m in purgatory at the moment — spring has busted out all over southern California) than I am cats though.

— 7 —

I am addicted to hand sanitizer. I had a preemie so I spent lots of time in the NICU after he was born and in the peds ER and PICU when he got older. When you’re around hospitals that much, you have to wash your hands and put hand sanitizer on every time you leave a room and I got into kind of an OCD habit.

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

#FiveFaves: Miscellanea (XXX)

#5Faves

One

People-watching in church. My B.A. in Religious Studies was focused around history and practice of various religions which fit into the fact that I love people-watching. I’ve found that my spot in the choir allows me to watch everyone and see what they do at various times in the liturgy. It’s pretty moving to watch a dad kneeling to light a candle with his 3 year old daughter or to see the guitarist I work with for the Contemporary Service kneeling and praying if he gets to church late. (I also love him because he kneels during all the parts I kneel for and it’s nice not to be the only one searching for a kneeler during the prayers.)

Two

“Hiding in plain sight”. A friend of mine coined this term to describe me sitting at Starbux by myself, listening to my iTunes, and just blocking out the outside world for a bit. It’s something I do on my Wednesdays off.

Three

Coca Cola. I gave it up for Lent but it’s St. Patrick’s Day today and a number of people I know usually relax their Lenten fast today. I ended up getting a Coke while I was out with my mother-in-law because I had a splitting headache from all the atmospheric pressure changes. (Weather-change migraines bite!)

Four

Donna Andrews. I’m reading her Meg Langslow murder mysteries and I am very hopelessly addicted. All of the titles have something to do with birds and the later ones usually involve some play on a saying or the title of an old movie. I’m currently reading We’ll Always Have Parrots.

Five

This Guinness commercial. When I visted Ireland almost 17 years ago, Guinness signs welcomed us into just about every town. I’m not a fan of it but the rest of my family are.

Go love up Melody (our hostess this week while Jenna loves on her behbeh) and the others.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: March 16, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY March 16, 2015

Outside my window… dark. I wasn’t outside today but Accuweather said there was a high of 86F today. It feels like June, not March. I miss rain.

I am thinking… about how I’m going to make it through various things tomorrow if I’m still stuck in bed with the flu.

I am thankful… for the opportunity to see an amazing concert on Sunday when I accompanied my father-in-law to the Claremont Symphony Orchestra concert. The BIG piece was Shostakovich’s Symphony #5 we also were blessed to hear Pärt’s “Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten” and Sibelius’ “Karelia Suite”. I love having a symphony that amazing nearby and getting to attend that quality of concert for free.

In the kitchen… nothing. I’ve been sick all day.

I am wearing… green shirt and running shorts.

I am praying for… a call for Jon, various people per my Lenten discipline, and a bunch of special intentions.

I am going… to sleep in my own bed tonight. (Daniel had my flu over the weekend so I was sleeping in his room to take care of him at night and to keep Jon from getting sick.)

I am wondering… how to deal with people who leave comments on one’s Facebook wall that are incredibly inflammatory and inappropriate for civil discussion. I’m fine with people disagreeing with me but seriously, attempt to be civil.

I am reading… We’ll Always Have Parrots by Donna Andrews. I finished Crouching Buzzard, Laughing Loon and also got through Revenge of the Wrought Iron Flamingos by her as well.

I am hoping… for decent sleep tonight. I’m at the point where my sleep debt would take years to fix.

I am looking forward to… Wednesday when I get to go do projects and errands on my own.

I am hearing… Jon snoring and also whatever he is listening to.

Around the house… my mother-in-law deep-cleaned it today.

A favorite quote for today… “Get off my shoulders. There’s work to be done!” — 104-year-old Selma marcher Amelia Robinson, when told by younger people that they stand on her shoulders.

One of my favorite things… getting caught up in a good book.

A few plans for the rest of the week: no big plans other than getting out and about on Wednesday.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: Thank God It’s Almost Friday!

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Because I *TOTALLY* want to start a battle on here today! Seriously, who has natural births these days? It’s, like, so primitive of people. [/snark]

BabyCenter: Why no one should ever throw shade at c-sections

Seriously, I hope y’all can have the birth experience you want and if you didn’t for whatever reason, it doesn’t make you any less of a mama. So please, for the love of all things holy, stop whining about how c-sections are so crappy and unnecessary and going off on how natural birth is *SO* much superior. My c-section was the best birth experience possible: mama lived and baby lived. End of story.

— 2 —

If you send a mom an email… Angie of The Jammie Girl had a delightful post about what happens if you send a mom an email. (It’s a parody of If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.)

— 3 —

Getting Ella some wheels. There has been some crowdsourcing this week to try and get a sport wheelchair for the daughter of blogger Rebecca Frech. Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas has been being buttheaded about approving an appropriate wheelchair for Ella and so some bloggers decided to do something about it. Since Rebecca gave up cursing for Lent, people created an online swear jar for the purpose of raising the $$$$ for Ella’s chair. Blue Cross/Blue Shield has since relented (after a brief Twitter campaign) and is working with Rebecca but if you’d like to help out, you can go here.

Kelly of This Ain’t The Lyceum put together a positively *LOVELY* video on the subject (being more than familiar with “negotiating” these things):

— 4 —

Update on the Lenten disciplines. I seriously almost cried yesterday morning because I had a late night on Tuesday night while working on taxes and had to be at Daniel’s school at 8 to meet with the school psychologist about some IEP-related things before heading to Bible study. A can of Coke would have been *REALLY* useful… but I promised Jesus not to consume any until April 5th at midnight. *grumbles* Instead, I stopped at the $tarbux inside one of the local grocery stores and got my iced vanilla latté with whole milk.

The offering up of my day on behalf of someone else has been a blessing as it’s allowing me to try and do something to benefit others even if I don’t have the time and resources to do it in person.

— 5 —

Good customer service. I had to go to Staples on Monday for a new “binder of fun” because the one I use for education was getting too full. When I was checking out, I was having to get my debit card out one-handed because my other hand was holding on to Daniel. The assistant manager took it upon herself to talk to him and try to entertain him while I was doing this. I thanked her for this and she told me that when I come in, he will always be treated like a person.

If you’re in the La Verne area, please go patronize them. :)

— 6 —

Plans for my 35th birthday. I turn 35 years old on May 19th and I decided to do a Promise Walk for Preeclampsia instead of getting a mid-life crisis tattoo. Details (and my SUPER-SECRET last name) are here.

And yes, I am *TOTALLY* taking a page from Kelly on this one. 😉

— 7 —

Love. As I was leaving Bible study on Wednesday, one of the women called after me that she hadn’t received her hug. Given that this woman is 94 years old and reminds me so incredibly much of my grandma, I definitely raced back to hug her. She kissed my cheek and told me that she loved me.

My day was totally made. :)

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

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: March 9, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY March 9, 2015

Outside my window… dark. As usual, I’m blogging after midnight. My excuse this time: working on taxes.

I am thinking… about what tomorrow has in store for me.

I am thankful… for the Turbo Tax Home/Business and how it saves me at least $100 every year from not having to pay someone to do my taxes and being able to get my refund immediately (or at least know what I have to render unto Caesar).

In the kitchen… chicken over quinoa tonight.

I am wearing… light grey v-neck shirt and black capri sweats.

I am praying for… a call for Jon, various people per one of my Lenten disciplines, and for a bunch of special intentions.

I am going… to Target in the next few days. It’s probably good I get all the 5% pharmacy reward cards from them for refilling my legion of prescriptions because I give them a healthy chunk of change every week.

I am wondering… how long it will be until Daniel sleeps through the whole night in his own bed without one of us bunking with him.

I am reading… Crouching Buzzard, Laughing Loon by Donna Andrews. I read and finished The Penguin Who Knew Too Much this past weekend.

I am hoping… to be able to sleep soon. I just made myself some peanut butter and bananas and I’m hoping it makes my hunger pangs go away.

I am looking forward to… seeing what people bring for midweek Lenten soup supper on Wednesday night.

I am hearing… Daniel snoring softly.

Around the house… silence as everyone is asleep other than me.

A favorite quote for today… “Christ, who came on earth to teach the ways of sanctity and prayer, could have surrounded himself with ascetics who starved themselves to death and terrified the people with strange antics. But his apostles were workers, fishers, publicans who made themselves conspicuous only by their disregard for most of the intricate network of devotions, ceremonial practices and moral gymnastics of the professionally holy. The surest asceticism is the bitter insecurity and labor of the poor. ” — Thomas Merton

One of my favorite things… peanut butter and bananas.

A few plans for the rest of the week: taking my father-in-law to chemo tomorrow (today?), church stuff on Wednesday, a meeting with the school psych at Daniel’s school on Wednesday morning, and whatever else comes up.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: A Somewhat Better Week

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Daniel’s IEP. Daniel’s IEP meeting was yesterday and it was the triennial one so there was a pretty significant amount of testing done. I learned that I should have really pushed for more OT and PT when he was in preschool because they’re still working on a lot of foundational skills and he is still pretty delayed. He’s doing some normal kindergarten work but he has the potential to get behind his age group peers so I’ll be working with him on age-appropriate curriculum when he comes home from school so that they can focus on catching him up in other ways.

One thing everyone mentioned: how sweet he is, how happy he is, and how compliant he is. It’s not a guarantee with a lot of autistic kids so I’m pretty thankful I have a sweet one.

— 2 —

Sweetness. I missed Bible study on Wednesday because I woke up with a migraine and when I walked into the midweek Lenten soup supper, some of the members hugged me and told me that they had missed me that morning. It’s so nice to be loved because I’m Jen and not just because I happen to be married to the pastor. It’s also nice to be welcome to do what I want instead of what people thing the perfect pastor’s wife should do.

— 3 —

Gah. Daylight Savings Time starts on Sunday. Does anyone else hate this weekend of the year besides me? Let the sleep deprivation begin (or continue if that’s the case for you)!

— 4 —

PSA on the current challenges to the Affordable Care Act. The challenges to the Affordable Care Act before the Supreme Court are not just an attempt to get rid of the birth control provisions. It would roll back care for people like me who cannot get healthcare except by the public exchanges. While Covered California’s website is a piece of crap, the insurance I have is covering all of my medications which are for things that are hereditary and things that arose as complications from my pregnancy with Daniel. It could also mean that insurance companies would not have to cover maternity care which would screw just about every woman who has a baby because none of their prenatal care would be covered as well as the hospital bill from the birth. Seriously, I cannot understand how politicians who are pro-life and against birth control can support this because what it’s doing is giving women another reason to consider abortion.

As far as the federal subsidies in question, they exist for people in the 34 states that have refused to set up exchanges where people can buy insurance. My insurance is subsidized currently because of my income and without that subsidy, we couldn’t afford insurance. (We qualify for Medi-Cal but the system is so overtaxed and for some incredibly stupid reason, the plan we were assigned has no doctors within an hour’s drive of us.)

I’m seriously not trying to start a fight here or play one political party against another — I’m trying to get people to see that this issue does have a face and said face is me.

— 5 —

Spring is here. It’s in the 80’s here today. While I miss four distinct seasons (and I’m sure people in New England and places in the southeast with the ice storm are wanting to throttle me right now), it is kind of nice to have flip-flop weather.

— 6 —

My baby is growing up. The changing table/dresser we had for Daniel was pretty much irrepairable and he had outgrown his toddler bed so we disassembled both of them on Monday for a dump pick-up on Tuesday. We’re now using one of the dressers in the room that he’s occupying and we’ve got the futon pulled out so he has a full-sized bed. It was sad in a way because he will probably be our only child and this means that his “baby years” are over, even though he’s definitely not functioning at an almost six year old level these days.

One downside for the cats: Freya now doesn’t have a perch where she can snoopervise the neighborhood and watch birds. She has taken over my desk but I can tell that it isn’t the same for her.

— 7 —

Adorableness. One last cool thing from my Confirmation on Sunday: since the bishop was present, we had festival-level worship which meant that we had flags and incense in addition to the normal crucifer and torchbearers. Incense in worship means a thurifer (to swing the thurible with the incense) and a boat boy to carry the boat (bowl with the incense). The thurifer was one of the young fathers and the boat boy was his oldest son who I am guessing is probably 6 or 7 years old. It was seriously adorable to see the two of them together!

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

#FiveFaves: Miscellanea (XXIX)

#5Faves

One

Veronica. She designed a coat that converted into a sleeping bag… and then started a company to give jobs to the homeless that the coat was designed to help. Eschet chayil!

Two

“Immanuel” recorded by David Wesley. I am seriously addicted to this song by Stuart Townsend and I love how David sets it.

Three

Midweek Lenten soup suppers. I never turn down food that I don’t have to make myself. (Actually, I *did* make the cookies for it tonight, but I think y’all know what I mean.) The fact that it also means being able to hang out with my very awesome fellow parishioners is bonus.

Four

My local Trader Joe’s. If any of you are anywhere near Claremont, please go and shop at the Trader Joe’s there. Daniel is a person to them and they addres Continue reading