2/28/2013

it is time to speak of popes and pizzas

What a weird month. Hasn't it been a weird month? The Pope resigned, you know. And last night in a blitz of pollen all the trees in my town burst into bud despite the dry, cold, weird February weather. I woke up with my lungs on fire, like I'd breathed second hand smoke all night.



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Today @Pontifex sent his last tweet, made his last speach, and flew off in a helicopter to his new digs. I'm just so fascinated. I didn't even know Popes could quit. There've been all sorts of funny jokes and such. Mostly stuff about him collecting unemployment, etc. They destroyed his papal ring today, and my good friend Jovi quipped that it was good they didn't have to take it to Mt. Doom. (Maybe that's only funny to LOTR nerds?) I wonder at his reasons. And his timing. You'd think he'd wait til Easter. But then, who knows what his prognosis is. Anyway. The world is Popeless.

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I am in transition, which also feels weird. I'm evaluating who I am and how I am made and what I want from my work, my life, and, most of all, my relationships.

MM and I have been visiting a church and are about to take the pastor out to coffee to grill him on praxis and theology. Ahem. I mean, chat about his life and ministry and thoughts on church and whatnot. Big step. I'm updating my resume and researching companies and setting up networking meetings and praying for a job that can be a redemption of sorts. I am thinking hard about my relationships, and which ones are mostly life-giving and which ones are mostly painful, and how do I shift the percentage of my energy away from the latter. I'm done with chronic relationship pain, man.

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Speaking of chronic pain, I finally get my hips, knee, hand, back, and even my neck with the program, only to have my right shoulder start hurting. And this hurt feels a bit different than the others, so I'll probably have to go to the doctor, which is a whole nother kinda pain. Pain in the @$%.

Blerg.

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Which reminds me. 30 Rock ending. I didn't like most of the characters, but I love me some Liz Lemon. And, Alec Baldwin may be a horrible human, but the guy has great timing. Now we just look forward to the new Arrested Development stuff. (I played Boggle with friends the other day. Someone found "Gob", and within 2 minutes someone else was whistling "The Final Countdown". Yay!)

And um, while I'm talking about TV, we know what happens with Downton Abbey, which sucks, b/c we haven't even seen season 2 yet.

I KNOW!

They stopped putting the seasons on Netflix streaming, so we have to wait for DVDs and our queue has, like, 500 titles in it, so it's going to be awhile. Sigh.

To speed things up, I'm blasting through Season 2 of Gilmore Girls. Jesse really was a punk, wasn't he...

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So. Enough about me and my transitions and me and my TV shows. It is time for me to make my man a pizza. He had to sit in a meeting with pizza today and he didn't have a single slice. I'm so proud of him!

So tonight, I'm making paleo pizza bowls. With extra cheese.

<3 br="">

2/12/2013

thankful tuesday - oh, how i love pancakes

It's Thankful Tuesday, Pancake Day, and Abraham Lincoln's birthday. And a few other days, I'm sure. I will stick with things I'm thankful for:

Pancakes. I don't know why I get so excited about this lame tradition, but I do. Here's a stack of our paleo pancakes (recipe):



Made them crepe-style, and we had them with our friends' Amazing Jams. Soooo good.

MM quipped this morning that I am a "responsible pancake eater" because I make sure that we have bacon and eggs and not just pancakes (sugar) and syrup/jam (sugar). We'll see if he holds to that after tonight's pancakes! (Chocolate with chocolate sauce, strawberries, and whipped cream. Glory!) In my defense, these are for dessert. And though we aren't giving up food things for Lent, we don't get to have much in the way of sugar and whipped cream. So, as the folks celebrating Mardi Gras today would say, Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Lent. I think I've figured out what I'm going to do for the season. I always look forward to this time of year. It makes Easter one whiz-bang of a day, to have prepared for it for a month and a half. The only thing that bums me out a bit, is that the church we're going to right now doesn't do an Ash Wednesday service. Not sure if we'll hit one of the other churches or skip it or what.

My introvert books. I know I keep talking about these, but truly, they are so encouraging. My brain is sparking with all sorts of ideas, and my heart is rejoicing that I was on purpose made in this good way. Cain referenced McHugh's book as well as the work of another author that's been on my list (HT - Tonia). I'm not an off-the-charts HSP or Introvert, but I am those things. It is good to know there are others like me, and that it is good to be this way.

Progress! On becoming unencumbered. On the Great File Storage Revamp of 2013. On the Scarf That Never Ends. On my job search. I feel like the projects and lists and tasks and events and people and unanswered emails and and and just pile up and pile up. They do. But I am slowly but surely plugging away at them. Even if I just work on one thing for a half hour each day, I have made progress, and every little bit helps.

The trick is to not replace these projects, lists, tasks, events, etc. with new ones! Yes, indeed. That is the trick.

Our weird spring. This year is weird. Usually the trees have begun to bloom by now, but that cold snap in January seems to have confused them. Other than the camelias, the trees and bushes are shut up tight. Its also usually grey and foggy and rainy, but we've got lovely sunshine. I'm sure we'll pay for it later, but I'm enjoying these warm days. Birds have begun to twitter away. The crows are scarcer. And our dove is back, looking for love in the thicket behind our house. Godspeed Lovey Dovey!

2/11/2013

hey hey, monday

Sausage soup simmers on the stove, a large load of darks whooshes its way through the Normal cycle, the fragrance of chai steams up from my cup and I write a few random thoughts, which seems to be the best I can do at blogging these days.

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Lent starts Wednesday, and I still don't know what I'm going to give up or take on this year, but I am Very Excited about Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. :D!!! I know. Pancakes. I'm not sure why I'm excited, but I am. We may eat them for breakfast AND dinner. I tried to make a dairy free chocolate frosting on Friday that just completely bonked, so I may add those in to the morning batch. And we've got the Amazing Jams from our friends port wine and lemon) for the evening batch.

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I ordered a Lenten devotional from Renovare, and hope to collect it at our PO Box today or tomorrow. Last year we didn't really have a devotional, but started reading The Divine Hours in the morning, which has been a great practice for us. But now that that's our regular thing, I feel like Lent needs something special.

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We had a fun weekend of gatherings and down time and philosophizing, which we love. I think we could have used one more weekend day, though. This morning was rough. Three days in a row of gatherings takes a lot out of us, even if they are all super fun. (And as an aside, delicious! Man, have we been eating well lately. I had the ribs from last night for lunch today and just about freaked myself out. Wow.) Our evening plan is to do our basic routines and then lay low. We may go to bed at 7:30. Just call us Memaw and Papaw.

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I interrupted my reading of Introverts in the Church to devour Susan' Cain's wonderful book on introversion, Quiet. Oh man. I was 'yes!'ing and fist pumping and high fiving myself all over the place. (Quietly. In my head, of course.) These books make me glad to be me, which, sadly isn't something I felt much while growing up. And the things I'm learning explain so much of my experiences in school, in my jobs, in my relationships. Researchers are just now beginning to synthesize all sorts of data gathered in decades of studies. And books like McHughs and Cains are great at helping laypeople understand why all those studies are important for our culture. As an -ology nerd, this excites me. *fist pump* As an introvert, this encourages me. *high five*

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Chai is really not my favorite.

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I think that's it. I'm excited about books and pancakes and going to bed at 7:30. Yep. I'm an introvert. Yay!

2/08/2013

friday random - projects

Hi folks. Still feeling quiet here. Processing away and working on lots of projects:

~ Updating my resume, cover letters, etc. And contacting references and starting the networking process for my job search. This whole sabbatical/going back to work process has been emotional. In our culture, so much of us is "defined" by what we do for a living. I'm pondering "vocation" a lot these days. Thinking about the things I want/am gifted to do, and how that fits in with our vision for our life.

~ Writing web content and fixing pages, uploading files, etc. etc.And continuing with the Great File Storage Revamp of 2013. We've got a busy weekend ahead, so this project will probably be on hold til Monday, but I would love to have the bulk of it done by next Friday. Should probably do our taxes too, while we're going through and archiving all of this year's stuff. Might as well.

~ Making a birthday banner and little cupcake picks for a friend's party tonight. I'm bringing some of the cupcakes (and picks!) to my own party with the family tomorrow morning.I took photos, but its too much of an ordeal to get them here. If you go to my twitter page, you can see them. Very bright and fun.

~ Making Valentines. And watching Gossip Girl. Oh! The scandal and debauchery! (And please. So much of that has to be fake. The dialog and storylines are for 20-somethings not teenagers. Granted, I don't hang out in the Upper East Side, but no teenager I have ever known is able to spout insightful speeches like that. And what the heck are all these bars and clubs doing letting 14 year olds in?) The whole thing makes me very thankful for my life and my man. Even if we don't "summer in the Hamptons" *eyeroll*. Anyway. Crafting and Junk TV for Teenagers.

~ Researching options for 3 different upcoming events. It's not going well. None of the options we've wanted have worked out, so far. Alas, I live in a town with no Portuguese restaurants or Christian Skate Nights. Sersiously. Is that too much to ask? Same thing with the event MM is planning. Maybe next week is the key. All our files will get sorted, our taxes filed, and our events planned. Amen.

~ Reading. MM finished Starship Troopers this week. And again. I don't agree with the philosophies that he's presenting, but emotionally, I'm still very proud and teary for the men and women who serve honorably in the military, and for their families who let them. I live in peace, because I have delegated peacekeeping to others. I am also proud and teary for my man. We had great discussions during this book about strength and honor and what it means to "lay down his life for a friend," and I see those things in him. He is a strong, compassionate man, who strives to defend the helpless, speak out on behalf of the oppressed, and protect the vulnerable.

Well. I've rambled long enough. Its time for me to clean my house and bake those cupcakes. Fingers crossed that the frosting turns out right. 

2/05/2013

mondaybook - hello world

NOTE: I wrote this yesterday. But The Internet was broken in my house, so I couldn't post it. So. You know. Pretend.


Well. Last week was a doozy. What started out as me getting locked out of my email account turned into us migrating all our websites and email accounts to a new host, restructuring said websites and blogs, and setting up a whole new way of managing our household. Phew! I have a lot of words about that whole process, but for now, I'm going to give you just a snapshot of life:

For today I am,

Seeing... Blue skies and sunshine, through the lightest, wispy haze. Earlier my neighborhood swirled with fog. We had a beautiful and mysterious drive through the park and past the golf course. Loved the look of the trees and fields through multiple layers of mist.

Hearing... Birds, dogs, school children... The incessant dripping of our kitchen faucet. Sigh. Another letter to the property manager with a fixit list. Oy vey.

Tasting... Not today, but oh, I have to tell you. My husband loves to cook. I handle weekday meals, and overall meal planning, but on weekends, he gets to shine. Saturday he made his Fake Chicken Cordon Bleu, and woah Nellie Olsen it was gooo-ooood! He spent the rest of the weekend lamenting that he'd reached the apex of his cooking career with that meal and its all downhill from there. Not true. He'll top it, I'm sure. But man. Delish!

Working... Oh, man. I have projects coming out of my ears. Last week's upheavals and shenanigans exploded my task list with stuff to get done. But its all great. We will soon be a lean, mean, crime fighting machine, people.

Creating... I've been going gangbusters on my knitting, lately. Don't be too impressed. I'm basically doing the same stitch over and over on The Scarf That Never Ends. I only know the one stitch. I don't even know how to cast off. When I finally DO get to the end of this thing, I will have to find a YouTube video for help.

I'm also having fun making a quilt for my newest Baby Neice. So cute and pretty. Pink, but not too pink. Lots of little flowers and such. I have plenty of fabric left over to try and make little stuffies to match. I will post pictures when its all done. Cutie patootie!

Reading... I'm still making my way through Adam McHugh's Introverts in the Church. And MM and I are continuing with Christian Smith's The Bible Made Impossible. Both are good and important books. For my fiction, I've reconnected with the Hitchhiker's series - The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

But the real star of the show is my fiction read aloud with MM: Starship Troopers. Dude. I had totally blown this thing off. When the movie came out, the name was so dumb, that I thought it was some kind of B movie or spoof like Galaxy Quest. I didn't know it was based on a book. And I'm not really a science fiction person, so I would not have read it if I'd known.

MM chose it for his next offering in our Cultural Exchange. Holy crap, it's good. Good writing. And while I don't agree with the philosophies that Heinlein presents, he paints a poignant (albeit idealized) picture of honorable military service. I've seriously teared up several times. And my heart feels all soft and squishy and thankful for the service men and women and their families who put their lives on the line. I feel like I should salute them or hug them, wear a poppy... Something. Emotionally, it reminds me of Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers. (My roommate and I were so taken with Dick Winters and Easy Company the year we watched it, that she got us Airborne patches and we wore patriotic colors on all the military holidays that year. Sentimental.)

I'm so thankful that MM and I do these exchanges. My world is better for having experienced these books and movies. Such different perspectives than the ones I've encountered before. Very, very cool.

Learning... New software. Installed Thunderbird email client. Started using Google calendars for managing projects. And now we have new file management clients for all our websites. And as always, Wordpress is exciting and, um, challenging. Oh, and soon (I hope), how to cast off in knitting.

Dreaming... Of all our stuff merged, archived, filed, saved, and backed up appropriately. Unencumbered! I'm starting to scan things today. Yippee!... Of a new paid gig, and what to do with the dollars that will come with it. Time to review our "To Buy" lists... Of moving... Of traveling... Of adventuring... Of lunch...

Pondering... The digital upheaval of last week was suprisingly emotional for me. It's a new level of "two become one" for us to merge all our files and archives and determine the new systems and structure that makes sense for our combined household. "Us" is different than "Me" and "He". This is as much a spiritual project as it is an administrative one. Wow. Lots to think about on this.

Thankful for... My man. I know. I just can't help myself. He's awesome. And makes great Fake Chicken Cordon Bleu... A clean desk, a clean spare room, and way less piles in general. Amen... Long johns and thick socks straight from the dryer... homemade soup... a fresh table cloth and a white pitcher of flowers...