Sunday, January 26, 2020

2020 Project 365 – Week Four

Why is it that a “short” work week seems longer than usual? Someone asked if it was because I was trying to fit more work into fewer days, but that wasn’t really the case. I think it’s because I am so naturally slothful that it only takes one holiday for me to get out of the habit of work.
Sunday, January 19th                                                   
We had a reception for our pastor to wish him well as he moves back home to Pennsylvania. We’ll miss him & his family!

Monday, January 20th                    
My dad & Sue gave me the crocheted tablecloth that my mother bought when she & my grandmother visited me in Zambia in 1988. That trip was such a HUGE thing for her to do. I’m not sure I ever really grasped how big it was. I have a lot of memories from the trip, but this one, from when she bought this tablecloth, makes me smile the most: “...when I took them to the market in Victoria Falls, Mom pulled out U.S. $ & the little ladies there went crazy—‘Come here amai—I have some beautiful goods here!’ I told Mom that it was illegal to spend American money here & the ladies just laughed and laughed. They enjoyed seeing me scold my mother.” She’s been gone almost 15 years now. Miss you Momcat 😭❤ #fuckcancer

Tuesday, January 21st                                                          
Our winter has been so mild that this is the first hat appearance of the year.

Poor Dr. M had to go out in the cold too! Isn’t he the cutest thing? 

Wednesday, January 22nd                                                   
I took this picture to confirm what I suspected. As my face implies, I’m not too happy with this outfit. It’s the stockings – I really need to go shopping for things to put on my feet!

Thursday, January 23rd    
The wonders of technology. Our church council had a meeting with a potential temporary interim pastor. I wore my new Christmas pajamas so this is now my favorite way to have a meeting.

Friday, January 24th                                                                
Song sparrow serenade…

Saturday, January 25th               
Cardinal & chipping sparrows, eating in harmony.

My second video conference of the week - book club with my Ohio friends. I was a little fixated on the food that they were eating – wraps & cupcakes. Next month I’m going to have to provide my own self with snacks!

I have about four crochet projects going on, but have you seen any photos of me working on them? No you have not. I PROMISED myself not to fluff around all year & then have to work like a crazy person before Christmas. But I am a terrible listener. Maybe I need to block out time on my calendar. Will that really work? Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

2020 Project 365 – Week Three

Last week I had two days with no pictures, but I made up for it this week. Yay for you?
Sunday, January 12th                                                   
I skipped church today & spent some time with my dad. I am determined to be a better player for the next tournament.

Then Dr. M & I went on a ramble & came home & sat in the swing in the back yard for a while. What a gorgeous day!

I enjoyed it so much that I brought a crochet project out. I had figured out the day before that I was reading the pattern incorrectly so I had a good ole’ time frogging about half of it.

Monday, January 13th                   
There were just four of us at Family Mexican night. We had a good time!

Tuesday, January 14th                                                        
From Facebook: What’s wrong with this picture? The cup of water that I filled on FRIDAY, intending to water my plant. My poor plant has been staring at it for 4 days. I’m a plant torturer. 

Wednesday, January 15th                                                   
I was commiserating with my sister-in-law about short girl problems, so I texted her this picture of my foot rest under my desk.

Thursday, January 16th   
New hairs!

The plants in our yard have been so confused. (Note: the camellia in the bottom right is from a bush at work).

The key to a successful marriage? His and hers ear buds. Ha!

Oh, and today is Dragon Appreciation Day!

Friday, January 17th                                                                
Oh my goodness I opened a firestorm with this picture! I posted it on Facebook saying that I had been working really hard to fit back into this denim jumper, but that now I’m wondering why. Here are some of the comments: “I don’t think this denim jumper adequately expresses your verve or cheeky playfulness.” “It's a bit frumpy, IMO” “You going for the Free Will Baptist look? Asking for a fundamentalist friend....” So I will be putting it in the donation box. Maybe. I might ignore everyone I save it for summer. 

Then I posted this photo & apparently stonewashed denim is also not a good idea. However, this skirt has sentimental value, so I’m definitely keeping it.

Saturday, January 18th               
I pulled this project out & started working on it again. It’s been in a basket for about 2 years.

Dr. M cooked a fabulous meal tonight with some of our Misfit Market veggies.

And I looked up how to slice a mango. We sure know how to have an exciting Saturday night!

Today we said goodbye to our pastor. He’s been at the church for 6 years, but he and his family are moving back to Pennsylvania. We had a good service and reception for him, and now we get to do the work of calling someone new. But in happier news, I have tomorrow off. I’m going to spend the time cleaning my house. Do you get the day off & if so, what exciting plans do you have?

Sunday, January 12, 2020

2020 Project 365 – Week Two

As predicted, I skipped church today, but I didn’t exactly sit at home and do nothing. However, that is a tale for another day; let’s talk about this past week.
Sunday, January 5th                                                   
Our vegetarian potluck turned out really well! There was a lot of different food and I think everyone had a great time.

Monday, January 6th                   
One of our encore azaleas is blooming. Crazy!

Tuesday, January 7th                                                        
This picture makes me laugh - Dr. M decided that Olaf needed a drink.

Wednesday, January 8th                                                   
Once again I was running my fingers through my hair.

Thursday, January 9th   
I was feeling “skinny” so I took a picture of myself in the bathroom at work. Ha!

There’s a moon in the sky!

I finished this book – it was so lovely. And yes, it made me cry.  

Friday, January 10th                                                                
No picture.

Saturday, January 11th               
We had our church council retreat today. We met from someone from our association to put together a plan for getting a new pastor (did I remember to tell you that ours resigned to move back home to Pennsylvania?). We also elected officers and somehow I agreed to be secretary. Then I came home and did NOTHING for the rest of the day. And took no pictures. What the heck!

I got over 8 hours of sleep last night for the first time in forever, and I had a great day today even though I didn’t make it to church. I think I might be ready to head back to work tomorrow. It’s going to be a busy week! What do you have going on this week?

Sunday, January 5, 2020

2020 Project 365 – Week One

Today I had my last holiday event of the year & boy am I ever glad! I’m looking forward to boring old January & February. Sheesh!
Sunday, December 29th                                                   
It was POURING down rain when I got to church. I very seriously considered just turning around & going back home, but I had some schmoozing to do so I went on in.

Monday, December 30th                   
This thing was making the rounds on Instagram, where this program would tell you which Harry Potter character you are. I was pretty chuffed that it decided I was Harry.

Tuesday, December 31st                                                       
I went to my cousin’s New Year’s Eve party & had a great time. This year I even (not really, but sort of) made it to round two of the ping pong tournament. Well, I lost in round one, but they took pity on me & let me play in round two too.

Wednesday, January 1st – Happy New Year!                                                 
Dr. M went to his dad’s & had lunch.

And my plan was to stay RIGHT HERE in my jammies for the day.

But instead I went to my dad’s to visit with them & my nephew & his girlfriend (I left my jammies on). I played some ping pong with my dad (he got a table for Christmas & I plan to get over there as often as possible so I can make it higher in the tournament next year). While I was there I took a couple of pictures of my Christmas gift from my nephew – SUPER COOL!

After I got home I made a couple of things for the office Christmas party, which had been postponed due to TOO MUCH FOOD before Christmas.

Thursday, January 2nd  
I saw this driving to work today – I think we have that exact same lamb in our house.

Friday, January 3rd                                                               
Dr. M accidentally broke one of our ornaments today. He had this to say about it: Tonight I clumsily broke a 50 year old glass ornament. It hurt my heart...would that all of us would feel so sensitive about each other and our planet!

Saturday, January 4th               
Today I went to church to set up for our Vegetarian Potluck on Sunday. We had folks try to do meatless Mondays during Advent & decided to have a potluck so we could share our favorite recipes. I carted a table and dishes (the real deal) up from the basement & rearranged things & washed dishes, and basically got all of my steps for the day during the couple of hours I spent there. I was worried that people wouldn’t fix food, and I was worried that people wouldn’t come, but (spoiler alert!), it was a success! Plenty of food & plenty of fellowship. You’ll get to see those pictures next week.

Meanwhile, Dr. M spent some more time with his dad & got to see critters on his way home. Floofs & flocks!

It’s going to be weird having to work for five straight days. And then there is a church council retreat on Saturday. It’s entirely possible that I will fluff off on Sunday & do nothing. I am putting all the usual suspects on notice – you may or may not see me. How about you? Are things back to normal in your neck of the woods?

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

My 2019 Books In Review

I had a goal this year of reading 75 books. I’ve spent the last few years zoning out playing games on my iPad, or crocheting, and have neglected my reading quite a bit. It doesn’t help that when we moved from Ohio my commute went from 50 minutes each way to 0 minutes for one year, and then 25 minutes each way after that. I lost a lot of valuable audiobook time. Not that I’m complaining! In any case, I decided to be more intentional this year, and I amazed myself by actually reaching my goal with a couple of days to spare! I was especially pleased because I basically took the month of July off to listen to Annie F. Downs’ EnneaSummer 2019 podcasts. (I need to do an enneagram blog post sometime. Not that I know what I’m talking about, really – but when has that stopped me?)

Anyway, I decided that instead of doing a post of all the books I’ve read this year I would just highlight the ones that I gave 5 stars to. Please realize that I am almost always delighted by books and give higher ratings than most people do. But if I give it 5 stars then that means I really really loved it. (Descriptions are from Goodreads.)


·         Big Sky (Jackson Brodie, #5), Kate Atkinson. Jackson’s current job, gathering proof of an unfaithful husband for his suspicious wife, is fairly standard-issue, but a chance encounter with a desperate man on a crumbling cliff leads him into a sinister network—and back across the path of his old friend Reggie. Old secrets and new lies intersect in this breathtaking novel by one of the most dazzling and surprising writers at work today. 
·         The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman. A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark. 
·         City of Girls, Elizabeth Gilbert. Beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love.
·         Dear Committee Members, Julie Schumacher. The vehicle this droll and inventive novel uses to tell that tale is a series of hilarious letters of recommendation that Fitger is endlessly called upon by his students and colleagues to produce, each one of which is a small masterpiece of high dudgeon, low spirits, and passive-aggressive strategies. 
·         In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, Alexander McCall Smith. In the newest addition (#6) to the universally beloved No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the charming and ever-resourceful Precious Ramotswe finds herself overly beset by problems. As usual.
·         The Feast of Love, Charles Baxter. In vignettes both comic and sexy… disparate people joined by the meanderings of love…come together in a tapestry that depicts the most irresistible arena of life. 
·         Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett. According to … Agnes Nutter, the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner…So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth's mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist . . .
·         Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout. As townspeople grapple with their problems, mild and dire, Olive is brought to a deeper understanding of herself and her life–sometimes painfully, but always with ruthless honesty. Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition–its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.
·         The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame. Begun as a series of letters from Kenneth Grahame to his son, this book is a timeless tale of animal cunning and human camaraderie.
·         The Red Tent, Anita Diamant. This book is a fictionalized account of Dinah, daughter of Leah and Jacob (from the Bible). Told in Dinah's voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood--the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of her mothers--Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah--the four wives of Jacob.


·         Becoming, Michelle Obama. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address.
·         Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again, Rachel Held Evans. Undaunted by the Bible's most difficult passages, Evans wrestles through the process of doubting, imagining, and debating Scripture's mysteries. The Bible, she discovers, is not a static work but is a living, breathing, captivating, and confounding book that is able to equip us to join God's loving and redemptive work in the world.
·         Miracles and Other Reasonable Things: A Story of Unlearning and Relearning God, Sarah Bessey. A deeply moving and life-affirming account of wrestling with faith and God and finding miracles in the most unexpected places.

2024 Project 365 – Week Sixteen

It’s “cold” (53 degrees) and rainy and I am in my sheep pajamas with a warm laptop on my lap. I’m not mad about that. Sunday, April 14 th  ...