Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A day plus three years

Yesterday was our third wedding anniversary. Grant says it feels like we've been married that long to him. To me - sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. I guess it's just a good thing it doesn't feel like longer than that, right? And it's a good thing that most days we're very glad to be married to each other. We celebrated with a tasty dinner out, at The Emerson Grill - gotta love it when a half-off coupon arrives in the mail on your anniverary! The food was yummy (especially the calamari appetizer) and the setting was cozy, too. Neither of us had eaten there before, so it was a good treat. Even with the coupon, by the time we had an appetizer and entrees we'd blown through the cash my parents sent, so we went through the drive-through at McDonald's and each got a $1 hot fudge sundae for dessert, which we ate at home snuggled up on the couch in front of the fire. Not bad! One of the songs sung at our wedding was "Grow Old Along with Me," which I first heard performed by Mary Chapin Carpenter. When our soloist wasn't able to make it to Arizona from Montana for our wedding, one of my bridesmaids and one of Grant's brothers pinch sang/played the guitar, and it was lovely. I couldn't find a video of Mary Chapin Carpenter singing the song online, though there are some touching video/photo montages folks have put together to the song available on youtube. Here's a version with just the lyrics on the screen.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Wahoos! and That Sucks!

I've begun a trend, I think, at church. Part of the beginning of each confirmation class of 10 6th, 7th and 8th graders each Wednesday night is a sharing of "highs and lows." Only, this group of students didn't really grasp the idea of highs and lows very well, so in trying to explain what I was asking them to share, I said something along the lines of, "Share something from the past week that made you say 'Wahoo!' - something that was good, or that you're proud of and feel good about. And then share something that wasn't so great, something you'd say 'That sucks!' about." So instead of "highs and lows," or "roses and thorns" as I was informed the Obama family shares around their dinner table (thanks to somebody's recent interview of the First Lady), both at confirmation and our new Saturday morning women's Bible study we do "Wahoos!" and "That sucks!" My "Wahoo!" of the week (among several), was the purchase of a new dining room table and chairs. One of the reasons we decided to buy this house is the fabulous formal dining room adjacent to the family room/kitchen great room. Yet we haven't had anybody over for dinner, since our kitchen table is a small Ikea affair with four not-very-comfortable folding chairs. Tonight we ate the inaugural meal in our newly furnished room, with our office manager and her husband. Not only did they help us get the new furnishings home in their pickup, they also take care of Violet the dog whenever we go anywhere. So steak and baked potatoes and brussel sprouts (chopped and cooked with bacon and shallots) and homemade peach pie it was. Not a bad night. Wahoo! (Of course I forgot to take a picture of the beautifully set table. That sucks!)

Friday, February 5, 2010

28 days is at least one day too many, evidently

So, I missed posting yesterday. And it was only the 4th of the month. Whatcha gonna do... One of the reasons I didn't manage to write anything yesterday was that after we got home from our mutual ministry committee meeting (one of the few committee meetings I really look forward to and enjoy) we spent some quality screen time looking at cruises online. My father has decided he wants to take Grant, me, my sister, her husband and son, and my mom, of course, on an Alaskan cruise this summer. It's something we can all do together, while hopefully still offering enough variety to meet everyone's needs and wants. Needless to say, just finding a time frame that works for everyone is going to be a challenge. I've never been on a cruise, and don't really think of myself as the cruising type. I tend to like to be in charge of where I go and what I do, and WHEN, all of which is compromised once you get on the ship. At the same time, I don't want to look a gift cruise in the mouth, either. A June cruise north to glacier-land should make for a pretty fun and beautiful adventure. I'll just have to keep reminding myself that I can go back someday if I want to. So, we have the weekend to choose our cruiseline and itinerary, keeping in mind that cruising with an almost three year old and a woman in a wheel chair means making different choices than we might if it was just the two of us. Maybe it will help me slow down a little. Couldn't hurt.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Latest Read

It'll be two weeks ago on Friday that I last went to the library (not counting the drive by drop-off of the 7 day DVDs returned last Friday). I came home with a whole stack of books, which somehow always makes me feel better, even though I know the chances of me reading all of them are pretty slim. Several are gardening books that I'm skimming - gotta love compost, baby! (I am so ready for spring!!)
One of the books I checked out was a lucky find on the New Nonfiction shelf. Alas, I only get to keep it til Friday, it's a 14 day book at this point, since it's so new. The title? No Impact Man: The adventures of a guilty liberal who attempts to save the planet and the discoveries he makes about himself and our way of life in the process, by Colin Beavan. I'm really enjoying it, despite the obnoxious title. (And there's a blog by the same name and same author. Fun!)
I appreciate the reflection the author does along the way - not just about how much crap we can generate if we're not paying attention - but about how unhappy, or at least not happy, such a life makes us.
Consider this: So much of my trash-making and waste is about making convenient the taking care of myself and my family. It's about getting our needs out of the way. But is this so? When did taking care of ourselves become something so unimportant that it should be got out of the way rather than savored and enjoyed? When did cooking and nourishing my family become an untenable chore? What is more important that I'm supposed to do instead? For every task I need to accomplish there seemed to be some throw-away item I could buy to help get it out of the way. My whole life appeared to have turned into a moneymaking machine intended to buy more convenience, with the seeming purpose of getting my life out of my way. I'm like a snake eating its own tail. It's as if I'm just trying to get the whole thing over with...
I'd write more, but I'm hoping to get this book finished before I have to give it back.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

*8 Things: On My Bedside Table

Join 8-Things Magpie Girl put up another *8 Things a few days ago. I'm a little late, though I think the theme for this list, *8 Things: On My Bedside Table seems especially appropriate for Groundhog Day, since Phil's hotel room bedside table figured so prominently in the movie. So, here are 8 things that are just about always on my nightstand: 1. A lamp. It's supposed to take one of those special bulbs with three levels of brightness, but the last bulb I had like that burned out a LONG time ago, so now it's a regular bulb with three clicks of the switch. The lamp gets action almost every night, as I tend to be an in-bed-reader while Grant starts sawing logs. 2. A box of Kleenex. Some for me, some for Grant, some for Indigo the cat who has a perpetual cold. She doesn't exactly like it when I wipe her nose, but then she doesn't have any opposable thumbs to do the job herself. 3. The alarm clock. It's bigger than it needs to be, especially since NPR comes in so fuzzy in our bedroom and lately I've taken to using my cell phone as my primary wake-up device. It also has a cd player (so there's usually a small stack of cds nearby or on top of the clock) and a plug in for an ipod, though my ipod rarely makes it up the stairs to the bedroom. 4. A cheap pearly blue glasses case. My glasses are usually leaned up against it instead of inside. I wear my contacts most days, so the glasses are for bedtime news-watching and first-thing-in- the-morning-I-don't-want to-trip-on-something vision. 5. Foot lotion of one variety or another. Right now it's a tub of Eucerin. No matter the season, my tootsies are prone to drying and cracking and getting progressively more disgusting from there. 6. Matches or a lighter. The candle lives on my dresser - there's typically too much stuff on the nightstand for safe burning, but the matches always land there. 7. Burt's Bees lip balm. Love. That. Stuff. 8. A tipsy stack of books and papers, frequently including at least one Bible, my journal, some library books, notecards for writing, receipts, you name it. What's on YOUR bedside table?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Another Round of NaBloPoMo

News Flash: I am WAY better at getting things done when I have a deadline that needs meeting. Case in point: I did actually manage to write a blog post EVERY SINGLE DAY in December. Even Christmas Eve. Even New Year's Eve. I mean really... was January THAT much more complicated? Not at all - but since I hadn't made the commitment to post something (anything!) every day, very clearly I didn't. Well, enough of that. I'm going for another round of a blog post a day for a month (and yes, I am a little thankful it's a 28 day month). I figure I'm walking proof that if you want something done, you should ask a busy person to do it. I picked up a second job last week (my hours at church have been cut - officially, following yesterday's annual meeting of the congregation - back to half time). I'm an administrative helper, of sorts. Lots of filing, cleaning out files, putting new files together, playing with labels, etc. It's a temporary part-time gig, but at this point any help at all is, well, HELP, when it comes to our household finances. More on that another day. I do have a fun thing to share. We had a congregational sledding night on Saturday night, from 7:30-9pm, by the light of a full moon. There were about 30 participants ranging in age from 4 - 75 years old sledding, and enjoying hot chocolate and tasty treats. Here's a video of Grant coming down the hill (taken with my Christmas present FlipShare video recorder). By the end of the night he was covered in snow, cold, and incredibly happy. Not bad. Happy February!