Monday, November 28, 2016

Now What?

And so we are coming at last to something I have longed for, something I've wanted for many, many years: normal.   My husband is ill and my belly-button is still not healed but soon, please God, those things will be behind us and ordinary life will be in front of us.  Right now, I don't have to stress about money, or work, or really anything at all.  I have less time, but it doesn't really feel that way as often as I thought it would because work stays at work for the most part.

So what shall I do with the free time that I have?  What do I do with all this drive, passion, and energy?

Before I used a lot of my free time for money-saving activities and money-earning activities.  I did freelance writing, I did crafting, I did penny-pinching.  But I don't really need to do those things now.  Yes, that sort of thing will help me pay off the house a little bit sooner.  But is that little bit worth it?  If I did all of those things when would I ever relax?

I'm sure many of the habits of frugality I have contracted will remain.  And because I was too sick to go to the craft fair this year, the stuff I made for it also remains.  Do I go next year?  As I get farther and farther away from that other life that I wanted to escape from so intensely, crafting starts to seem kind of silly.  I knew that I could work all afternoon making gift bags and earn five dollars, but I was so eager to do any little thing I could to escape my situation that I didn't really mind much.  It will be interesting to see if all of that gradually fades away.

More importantly, I think when we have a big change in our lives is a good time to think about our values and our spiritual goals.  So the question I'm asking myself is also: What can I do for other people?  How can I get into habits of generosity?  What would happen if I used what little free time I have now to make other people's lives brighter?  I have that gift – the gift of lighting up a room when I walk into it, of making people feel more cheerful, of making them feel special, of helping them to see their gifts.  I suppose most noble thing to do would be to work for the poor and downtrodden, but I'm wondering what I can do for friends and family first.

I guess what I really thinking about is how I can make my new goals match my values.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Happy New (Liturgical) Year!

Advent is here!  The King of Love and Peace is coming!  May we prepare our hearts to welcome Him!

Saturday, November 26, 2016


My camera has had ISSUES.  Very sad.  I managed to fix it by pushing random buttons.  (Yes, truly.  Don't try this at home.)  So I haven't been taking a lot of photos lately.

Here is one of my niece over Thanksgiving, before I got the camera squared away:
"Tree croquet is not really working out....."

Here's one of my current projects:

Yesterday my Beloved and I harvested 17 pounds of potatoes from eight plants:
We still have some carrots in the ground, but once those come out, we can total up the garden produce and see if we met our goal of 150 lbs from the garden.

We also FINALLY put the rain barrels away.  The daytime temps were high enough that even though night was below freezing, the barrels didn't get enough ice in them to crack.  But we still cut it way closer than I would have liked.

Hope everyone is enjoying their Saturday!  I'm going to go make gift bags for next year's craft fair while I wait for my friend Stacy to come over.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

They shall be inebriated with the plenty of your house, and you will give them to drink of the torrent of your delight because with you is the fountain of life.
--Psalm 36-8-9

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Election Headlines from the Chronicle

The Chronicle of Higher Education is exactly what it sounds like: a publication for folks connected with academia that deals with general issues in higher ed as opposed to matters within particular disciplines.  Your typical issue might include articles on adjuncts' miserable wages, grad school survival skills, the uses and abuses of language, job-hunting advice, and ethical dilemmas.  I get the on-line version in my mailbox every morning at work since I am still connected to higher ed, and I enjoy reading it.

I started collecting headlines after the election because I found them amusing.

Before I go any further, I should clarify that I am not a Trump fan.  No thinking person could be.  And I am not a Hilary fan, as someone who at least attempts to be a faithful Christian.  

I was more amused at the frantic hyperbole of a normally pretty staid publication.  The complete lack of any attempt at pretending to be balanced I found interesting.

So here's my collection, for those of you who don't read the Chronicle:

The Day After
A historic election, an anxious classroom

How Do We Respond to the Unthinkable?
If you are worried about the country's new political present, remember that you get to spend your days with its future.

With Trump’s Rise, Undocumented Students Fear for their Futures

A Humbling of Higher Ed: The president-elect's resonant skewering of elites, political correctness, and immigration policy resonate with the country’s long-standing skepticism of academe.

Raising a Voice for Academe Under President Trump: Let’s not spend the next four years whining. Let’s raise our voices for justice, equity, and the liberation of the American psyche from the demons that haunted us in this election.

Traumatized and Indignant, College Students React to a Trump Presidency

Trump’s Surprise Victory Sends Shock through Higher Ed: Donald Trump’s abrasive presidential campaign angered many people in academe. His upset win raises questions about higher education’s place amid a tide of anti-intellectualism.

On Election Night, Colleges Watch as Glass Ceiling Stays Put:  Hillary Clinton’s supporters, at her alma mater and elsewhere, began Tuesday evening ready to celebrate. As their watch parties closed down, the mood had turned to despair.  

What Trump’s Win Compels Scholars to Do: How to carry on in a post-truth era

I found the last one amusing.  Academics may not have invented the convenient idea that there really isn't truth, only multiple perspectives that are all equally valuable (never mind the ample logical problems with this idea).  But certainly many academics promoted this idea that I would call  "post-truth."  So it's sort of ironic that it has come back to haunt them.  If you teach that reality is a matter of preference, or at least, of argument, rather than something that exists to be discovered, and if virtues are merely the tools of the elite to hold the masses in subjection, then you can hardly complain that significant numbers of folks were swayed by Trump.  Too many people haven't been taught to reason, just to "figure out what they believe,"

Anyway, I was too ill to vote, which didn't break my heart.  I just think it is sad because if Trump could beat Hilary, then Mr. Potato Head could have beaten Hilary because I firmly believe that most people didn't like him. They just didn't want her.  As my Mom said, "Just once in a while, it would be nice to for FOR someone, instead of just AGAINST someone else."  So the Republicans could have at least set the bar as high as, say, "A Decent Human Being."

Happily, I think the statistical odds of Trump following the Constitution are nil.  He clearly considers himself exempt from rules.  So his impeachment should be quite possible within the first 6 months.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Weekly (?) Round-Up

..... and now my husband is sick.

He has a bad cold, complete with a sore throat, and plans to spend the weekend on the couch with my hearty approval.  Poor chap!  First my illness, complete with at least five doctor's visits, one surgical procedure, 20 days of antibiotics, and bandages covered with pus and blood.  In the middle of all of that, his new job which turned out to be far more technical than he had any idea.  So no wonder he got sick.

I have been back at work almost a full week.  My new employer was extremely generous in dealing with my being gone since I obviously had not accrued nearly enough sick time to handle being gone that long.  I am very grateful for that.

What else is new?  I just found out last night that the Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 100+ years.  Oh, and someone I didn't like got elected but that was pretty much inevitable, considering the two choices.  Dad is at Deer Camp but has yet to get a deer.

And finally, I've got just enough energy to look around and conclude that the housework is lagging sadly behind, but not quite enough energy to do anything about it.  That last part isn't true.  I'm going to make myself tackle at least laundry and cleaning off my desk.  There's only so much moving of piles one can do before one just has to sort through said piles!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Did You Know? Great American Smokeout Trivia

Today is designated the "Great American Smokeout" by the American Cancer Society.

Here's some evidence that unscrupulous marketing techniques from cigarette companies go way back.  In the early 20th century, "tobacco company Brown and Williamson claimed that its Kool cigarettes kept people's waists slim, their heads clear, and their bodies protected against colds."
  (From Gene Stone's book The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick, page 23).  The last one really gets me--smokers are sick WAY more than the rest of us!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Health Update

I'm back at work, finally!  The doctor gave me the "all clear" in the morning and I was at my desk by afternoon.

My belly button incision is not pretty.  The too-red center looks like a little pac man with a slightly open mouth that oozes blood and pus as it slowly scars over.  Oh yes.  Lots of fun at our house lately!

But I'm back at work now, and my supervisor has been so supportive and understanding (and her supervisor and HR as well) that I'm really glad I took this job.

I don't feel too bad.  I thought I'd be exhausted, but I'm doing OK.  It might be a long week, though...

Friday, November 11, 2016


Still sick.....

I've been doing lots of navel-staring lately.  The only photo that isn't too gross to post is from today's little surgical procedure:

I haven't posted a photo in awhile, you see....

Thanks for everyone who is praying for me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016