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A collection of gushes

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The good and the yummy:

     Delighted to discover recently that the bush right beside my door is a weigela. It's got lots of gorgeous deep pink flowers that remind me a little of azalea. Quite a treat!

     After being here nearly a month, it appears that the mess with the mail is finally wrapping up. Talked to a supervisor at the post office Monday, got a vacancy form Tuesday, started receiving mail again, and on Friday got the USPS change of address confirmation with welcome kit I've been waiting on for weeks. Some great coupons in there, hurrah!

     My dwarf umbrella tree, Schleffie, has been through a lot with my move, between being massively pruned and later suffering cold damage from being out one night below 40 at the Towners. But he is hanging in there and has recently started growing lots of new leaves. What a relief! I've had him at least since high school, so more than 25 years, and I'm very glad not to lose him.

     The golden beets I bought at last weekend's farmers market were delicious chopped and roasted in the oven along with some onions. And no messy red stains or 'pink pee' either!

     Bought Aquaman for sale on Amazon with credit card points and had a blast watching it while I pedaled 19 miles on my exercise bike today. Though it's such a gorgeous movie it really deserves a much larger display than my projector.
Emotional Status:
hungry hungry
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Recent blessings:

     Last Thursday at work, came in to find the fluorescent lights had been replaced with LEDs. They are wonderful!

     Delighted to discover that an HDMI/mini USB cord I bought years ago and had no use for then, is perfect now to hook Starfish up to my projector. Since my projector and exercise bike are on the second floor, and my desktops are on the first, I can't use a long HDMI cable like I did in my small apartment. What a blessing!

     Farmer's market season has begun. I got out to the Saturday farmer's market, which I now live much closer to than at my old place: 1.7 instead of 6.1 miles!

     Fun with the Towners Sunday: picked them up, took them to see my new home, and then we went out to Coldstone Creamery to use the gift card I've had for a year and a half. I'm not an ice cream lover, but I really enjoyed my smoothie, and Joe loved his ice cream. Then we went to a special K9 event in my old neighborhood, a lead-up to the certification the handlers do with their dogs. That was fun and the weather got beautiful too.

     I had Monday off so I could apply for a new driver's license. That took multiple attempts to get all the documents I needed. But thankfully the rest of the day was a lot better: Cindy and I went for a hike in the NWR by the Minnesota River, then out to lunch at Cafe Zupas, and after that came Costco shopping. The weather was magnificent and we had a great time.

     Back to work, but that brought fun as well, as my department did a big 'Taco Tuesday' event that was a lot of fun. Got to catch up with Dawn and stuff my face; can't beat that! ;)
Emotional Status:
hungry hungry
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Recent joys:

     The yearly war against summer light and heat due to my seasonal depression always takes a new shape whenever I move. This time, I was blessed I could modify some of my existing light-blocks to fit my bedroom window, thanks to shims and duct tape to keep them from folding up. Unfortunately, light still comes through the window fan fan-blades area and that's unavoidable. But I discovered recently that I can set up my clothes-rack, hang a blackout curtain over it, and at least block the view from my bed. Better yet, the nights I can switch from window fan to portable air conditioner are fast rising, and on those nights my defenses are almost perfect. That means I can defer my crazy strategy involving pvc pipe and makeshift scaffolding for curtains until the fall, ha ha!

     It's another summer and I haven't mentioned yet how grateful I am to HAVE a portable air conditioner. One of my best purchases yet, especially now with my bedroom on the second floor!

     So I got outside to enjoy a devotional time on my patio one morning before it got too buggy out. I'm looking forward to more of that come autumn...

     Had to work from home Sunday afternoon as part of upgrade testing, but thankfully the actual work took less than an hour. It was good practice at setting up laptop and spare monitor at the dining room table and seeing how it all worked.

     I love movies that are suspenseful and get a lot of adrenaline flowing, yet aren't too dark or ghastly, as they are the best exercise bike fodder. This weekend brought a winner--after having the Netflix dvd for over a month and a half while I was too busy with moving and my blu-ray player was in storage, I finally got to watch 'Searching.' Wonderful!
Emotional Status:
rushed rushed
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Recent delights:

     Friday I wrapped up my first run through the fourth Geren novel with pass 7. Can't do anymore until I hear back from my editor. Pleased with my progress and glad for a little break.

     Saturday when I went to the Johnson's to pick up the houseplants they'd been taking care of for me, I was blessed that they also had a garage sale going. So I got a couple items that were on my long-term purchase list but would have cost a lost more at regular price. Also got a quesadilla maker I'm eager to try out. And my plants are happy too--what a blessing!

     A blessing to have two beautiful days of the three day weekend, with the crazy amounts of rain and damp cold this month. Perfect weather for garden shopping, some planting, and...

     Sunday morning before church I headed out to visit a regional park I'd never been to before. It's quite big, and thankfully has good maps. Did about two hours of hiking, glad to see some spring ephemerals, and photograph a bluebird and a trumpeter swan. Looking forward to going back!

     Monday was the rainy day, all day long. But it had great stuff too. Started out with a successful blood donation in the morning. Then had a wonderful indoor Memorial Day 'picnic' at the Towners, with Joe grilling in the garage. Wound up being 15 people there in all!
Emotional Status:
rushed rushed
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Recent good stuff:

     Did not expect to have to use the furnace at my new place so soon, but it was 40s Sunday with a low near freezing, so I got to put it on Monday morning. Good to know it's ready for next winter.

     Blessed that I have options for trying out different park and ride locations and timing.

     I was in charge of the monthly publish for May at my job Tuesday, and I'm grateful it went smoothly overall and quickly enough that I could leave at the usual time.

     After three weeks of waiting, finally got the deposit remainder for my apartment. All they deducted was water/sewage costs since the last quarterly bill--hallelujah!

     I have so many storage locations in my new place that I've started a spreadsheet so I can keep track of what goes where!

     Looking forward to a three day weekend!
Emotional Status:
lethargic lethargic
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Lots of good stuff lately:

     While staying at the Towners, quite enjoyed watching their bird and squirrel feeders. Regulars included goldfinches, house finches, chickadees, cardinals, blue jays, grackles, cowbirds and even crows. Also got to see white-breasted nuthatch, downy woodpecker, red-winged blackbirds, chipping sparrows, a pair of rose-breasted grosbeaks...and a female mallard who came over to eat the corn the squirrels dropped. Some rabbits did the same, and I spotted a thirteen-striped ground squirrel once too. All the squirrels were grey squirrels, but it was neat to spot differences between them, and see my first dark brown squirrel that wasn't black. Couldn't decide if the coat color reminded me more of Holunn, Hullek, or Hu-Hovingen from my novels!

     While taking a walk in the park near the Towners house last Monday evening, I watched a great blue heron on the edge of a pond who was nervously watching me. The moment it started to fly away, it was dive-bombed by an immature bald eagle! It was an amazing sight and I'm glad the heron got away unscathed.

     Wednesday after work was the lease-signing. And Thursday was moving day! Despite some storms early that morning, and the weather getting sticky and hitting 80 for the first time this year, it proved a very good day. I was hugely blessed by all who helped me: Joe, Mary, Aaron, Mary's sister Carol and her husband Dale (up from Texas on a visit), Lance and Robin from the Towners' church group, and Cindy. Thanks to all the help, and the 15 foot U-Haul I rented, we got everything out of storage and over to my place by 1:30. Then nearly all of us celebrated with a big meal at Cracker Barrel..which I live a lot closer to now. =)

     Speaking of U-Haul, I'm grateful that driving something that size for my first time went as well as it did. Really appreciated Joe jumping out and directing me whenever I had to back up to a garage door or storage locker door, and also his help at the gas station.

     Been doing loads of unpacking since then. And noticing little details about my new place. White appliances in the kitchen, whoot! My microwave matches perfectly and I'm glad to have an escape from stainless steel since that doesn't fit my taste in looks or maintenance.
Emotional Status:
exhausted exhausted
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Last week was so crazy busy between work upgrade fallout and living on somebody else's schedule, that I had no time for posting here. Thankfully it's starting to slow down just a little.

     I'm enjoying the ring tone I selected for my new phone at work: a portentous drumroll that makes it sound like the caller must be an emperor. Tickles my sense of humor, anyway!

     The implementation Saturday May 4 went quite well overall and even included homemade cherry chocolate-chip scones! That helps make up for working from 7:30 am to after 1 on a Saturday.

     Dawn and I went to the memorial service for our coworker Sunday May 5, and no wrong turns were made going or returning. We had a good time at Key's afterward, and I got to show her the apartments where I grew up.

     Last Thursday was also fun, celebrating Aaron's birthday at the same place and with close to the same people as the year prior. Only this time, no need for the inflatable walker!

     Saturday I got to explore the transit center near where I'll be moving, a nearby park, run some errands, and treated myself to a second viewing of Avengers: Endgame on the big IMAX screen near to where I'll be living. Loved it even more the second time!

     With the wild weather of late, I'm very grateful that my list of 'things I wish I hadn't put into storage' is as short as it is. Right now it's just: winter headband, spring/fall coat, and spare watch battery. Could be much worse!
Emotional Status:
hungry hungry
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Moving-out day has come!

     With all my packing and hauling to the storage unit, I've gotten to enjoy some wonderful sunsets and sunrises lately. Thursday's sunset was amazing by the horizon, vivid apricot and purple streaking into each other like a watercolor painting or a horse's mane.

     Some clouds have silver linings: I found out Thursday that the movie theater near me has closed. That place was such a blessing over the last six-plus years, due to how I could walk there, or bike there, and earn points for free popcorn or movies. I'm glad it didn't close until now, and it makes me happier to move, since I would really miss it if I stayed here.

     Grateful that Saturday ended up having far less rain than forecasted, and only a few brief periods of snow that weren't enough to stick anywhere. Made it much easier for hauling out to storage units!

     So blessed by those who helped me. Joe on Saturday, to move my heavier dresser and my portable air conditioner. (Not to mention he and Mary letting me live in their basement again!) And Cindy on Sunday, who helped me move a LOT of stuff to the climate controlled storage unit--we had both vehicles jammed! (She'll be back today to help me clean.)

     Can't forget: my third showing Friday evening led to applying for a place. God willing, the application will be processed and accepted and I'll be able to start moving in May 15th!
Emotional Status:
exhausted exhausted
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Work has been crazy and home life even crazier, but the highlights of late shouldn't be forgotten:

     It was great to spend some time with my brother over Easter weekend. I'm very grateful for his help with hauling some furniture to my storage unit! Easter Sunday with the Towners was wonderful: beautiful weather, nice buffet, delightful company. Also nice to see some cousins and more distant relations Saturday for the first time in quite a while.

     Answers to prayer requests are much appreciated. So the showing I had set up for a townhouse rental at 5 pm Tuesday got cancelled at the last moment, after I'd left work early. A clear 'no' definitely makes an answer to prayer! But I also appreciated the extra time for packing Tuesday evening. Next rental to check out...Wednesday at 5. See what happens with this one!

     Life is exhausting and depressing and far too busy, so I'm very grateful for bus rides in which I can work on pass 7 of my fourth Geren novel. The one real enjoyment of each weekday, lately...though I should also include the delicious blueberry lemon bread and fudgy brownies my wonderful mom made me!

     While I did not appreciate the insomnia last night from 12 to around 3 am, it gave me one gift. Been too busy to have much time to think, but those hours provided it! Had a lightbulb moment for a work issue, resolved a moving strategy conundrum I'd been wrestling with, and remembered a few more items I could get into the minivan and drive to the storage unit. It opens at 6 am each day--so I was there at 6:02, and able to unload two medium boxes, three small boxes, two odd-shaped boxes, a piece of exercise equipment, a small shelf, and my folding cart, with all in place and driving out by 6:10!
Emotional Status:
exhausted exhausted
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Recent blessings:

     I have to give thanks for the blessing of good moving tape. This after starting to pack at work and being forced to use bad moving tape, that takes forever to find the end, requires scissors, shreds too easily, tries to stick to itself--just a load of 'fun.' The great stuff I got from Amazon for my moving boxes at home is FAR FAR better!

     Took a day off work Wednesday for a doctor's appointment. Even though it proved a very rainy day, it was also a good one. That's because I finally got to take the Towners to Cheesecake Factory to (belatedly) celebrate my 20th anniversary at work with a gift card I got. We all greatly enjoyed our meals and desserts, then afterward I got to take them on an errand for free paper shredding and hazardous waste disposal--a blessing it just happened to be the same day I was off!

     My doctor was happy with my weight, my iron level, my white blood count, my cholesterol, my thyroid...pretty much everything!

     Moved into my new cube Friday morning at work. Some aspects will take adjusting, but there's one thing I really like: I finally have a sit-to-stand desk! Now I just need to build the habit of spending a few hours a day standing as I work and that will be very good for me.

     My brother arrived safely Friday on his short visit from California for a family funeral, and I'll get to see him these next two days. Very neat to have him around for Easter!
Emotional Status:
thirsty thirsty
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It's all about moving lately:

     Very glad I hadn't packed my heavy winter coat, as I needed it with the wind and storm that came in last Wednesday. Hopefully that's the last of it for cold wind chills.

     Grateful for ways to spare my back as I haul furniture and boxes. I bought a four-wheel dolly since it's a distance from the door to my garage. I also found that using folding trays helps. That way I don't have to set the box down to lock my door, then set it down again to open the back of the minivan. It was all that extra picking up which was taking a toll. I can also 'stage' the dolly by the outside door so I don't have to take a trip for every single box, just get each from my apartment outside to the dolly, heap up a few, and then haul to the garage.

     So heaps of snow and ice meant the dolly didn't work as well as anticipated Saturday morning (it's not a tank!) but grateful that I was able to get my guest bedroom dresser and two medium bookcases out to the storage unit, along with smaller items.

     Lots of action with the move at work also. Last week after my coworkers left, the furniture got hauled away (except for the three of us in my team). This morning the old carpet was pulled up and replaced, with surprising speed. I'm curious to watch the building of our new cubes and work area this week. We might actually be moving as soon as this Friday!

     Not move-related, but it's been a treat seeing the sunrises as I head to work lately. Had three nice ones in a row last week, the most amazing of which was Wednesday morning before the big storm moved in. Today brought a pretty sunrise too; gotta enjoy them before the days get too long!
Emotional Status:
drained drained
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Recent joys:

     I was starting to think they would wait until I moved out, as I'd been watching the construction of new mailboxes at my apartment over the past couple months. But last week we got new keys and now we have big shiny new mailboxes that are not the width of a business envelope. They're wider than a magazine and a few inches tall. And end to wadded-up mail! I'm going to thoroughly enjoy this for the last few weeks until I'm gone from there.

     Had a goodbye lunch with Dawn at a bar that's going to close at then end of April (poor Dawn and Mark are going to lose the parking spot they've had there for decades). And...I treated myself to onion rings for the first time since I first got vertigo at the end of 2010. It's been long enough my brain finally got past the association! =)

     A bit of a scare last week when my KVM switch at home quit working. I had to pull out my spare monitor to use for my pc Sidekick and have the fun of switching the mouse and keyboard back and forth manually, while wincing over the prospect of $100+ for another KVM switch that I can't afford right now with moving on the agenda. But I discovered on Saturday that the cord for the KVM switch happens to look just like the cord for my phone and my printer so I'd just unplugged it by accident. Thank God, no replacement needed!

     On Sunday morning, I checked the forecast for the week and busted out laughing.

It feels like the state of Minnesota is saying "You guys all got so super excited over that monster mid-April blizzard last year...LET'S DO IT AGAIN!!"
Emotional Status:
hungry hungry
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Even with the big bad stuff I posted about in my monthly summary post, there is still plenty of little good stuff:

     It's April! That means I made it from November through March without any falls on the ice. So much better than the previous winter!

     That interminable render for the art project I'm working on finally finished after around 92 hours. Hopefully that will be the longest bit!

     The storage unit I rented to help with moving is 'free' (save insurance) in April, so I won't see a bill until May.

     For some reason the neighbors decided to have a loud raucous party on a Monday evening. That made me even more grateful for the white noise contraption I bought a couple months back. Had to turn the volume up a few notches, but that was much better than the hours of sleep I'd have likely missed otherwise.

     Deliciousness is Dawn's homemade apple pie that she brought to work on Tuesday.
Emotional Status:
restless restless
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The good stuff:

     Got out for a walk with Cindy on my day off Friday. Took her to an area by the Minnesota River she hadn't been to before. We saw some early migrating birds, watched a muskrat gnawing on something that was either crunchy or frozen, but the highlight of our walk was definitely the beaver out of the water enjoying the spring sunlight like we were! I'd brought my binoculars, but alas I did not bring my camera.

     Also on Friday, paid for a storage unit and started hauling stuff over to make packing and preparing to move easier for me. To my delight, the unit is just two doors left from the one I used in the summer of 2016, so no confusion over where to drive!

     A blessing Sunday. I spent a day with God, and it was finally warm enough that I could take the Towner's minivan to a parking lot for a loud worship session since I can't do that kind of stuff at my apartment. What a blessing!

     Great to enjoy dinner with the Towners Tuesday night and a good resolution to the challenge of getting their extra minivan over to the dealership for maintenance and repair work.

     My employer having a food drive in March was perfect timing for me to unload some of the winter surplus I'd stockpiled, like pasta and various canned goods. Less to pack, yay!
Emotional Status:
hungry hungry
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Recent blessings:

     Had the third showing of my apartment on Wednesday, and it just might be the last one, since the listing vanished off the website Thursday. I'm really hoping that rental application goes through so I can start making a mess with packing!

     Progress on the moving front at my job as well (since everything comes up at the same time, ha ha). I've been slowly bringing home stuff from work since my new cube will be smaller than my old one. On Wednesday my boss shared the floor plan for how the area is being redone and all the other people coming to be new neighbors. It will be quite a change sitting near my boss's boss...and her boss too!

     So my wonderful editor who was supposed to finish with the fourth Geren book on Monday wasn't really late...she was just using an outdated email address! That meant, also on Wednesday, I got The Subverted War back and can start the last stage of tweaking and polishing...whenever it is I actually have the time for that!

     Requested two days off work so I can have a four-day weekend starting Friday. Here's hoping I can get a lot done with moving preparation but make time for some enjoyable stuff too!
Emotional Status:
excited excited
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Hurrah for a payday Friday!

     The Towners had me over for dinner Tuesday evening, and it was a wonderful time. Delicious meal, got to finally show them my trip photos, and fun to do some catching up.

     The high point of the workweek was Thursday, as that was Pi Day. I cooked two spinach pies this time, and was very grateful to have ice cleats to safely carry it all over the wet ice to the bus stop in the rain. This year, aside from spinach pie, I got to savor apple pie, triple berry pie, Key Lime pie, and peanut butter pie. And then Friday brought leftovers...more spinach pie and some strawberry rhubarb pie. Yum yum yum!

     Glad to have only one apartment showing during the week, also on Thursday.

     After days of rain, a delight to see some blue skies Friday.
Emotional Status:
relaxed relaxed
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Recent delights:

     An amazing sunrise the morning of my brother's birthday--all pinks and oranges like spring flowers.

     Treating myself out to Freshii for lunch Friday, and trying a different menu option that's now my new favorite.

     Had the first showing at my apartment Friday, and grateful to have none over the weekend, as that gave me a chance to pull out some boxes and make a little mess!

     So the big storm ended up falling as rain quite a while before it turned to snow. But that just made the snow stick to everything, leading to the most gorgeous drive to and from church I've had in a long time.

     Used the last few bucks on my gift card to see Captain Marvel Sunday, and with the points from my movie card got free small popcorn and paid $1.07 to upgrade to medium. Made for a very fun and affordable afternoon!

     Started in on an art project finally. In true recent Hollywood style, it's a retread of an older picture from 2010 that I couldn't render on my computer at the time except in a small size. Now I have Quartus to abuse, ha ha ha...
Emotional Status:
pleased pleased
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Happy Birthday to my amazing middle-aged brother!

     May God continue to guide your path and fill your life with blessings in the year ahead!

Emotional Status:
happy happy
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Recent delights:

     It's been a treat to enjoy predawn light at the bus stop and a few lovely sunrises on the ride to work. Gotta savor it for the last few days before Daylight Savings kicks in.

     A surprise from a coworker on Friday: she made homemade Cambodian spring rolls for lunch for us, and she made some veggie ones just for me. What a kind treat!

     By God's grace I made it to March without falling on the ice this winter. Of course March is my worst month, between Daylight Savings morning darkness and thawing, but I'm glad I 'scored' three points on winter for a clean December, January, and February. ;)

     Blessed Saturday by a morning devotional quote that felt aimed right at me: Waiting on God doesn’t mean sitting around and hoping. Waiting means believing he will do what he’s promised and then acting with confidence.

     My editor is really enjoying my fourth Geren novel!
Emotional Status:
busy busy
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The good stuff:

     A lull in the weather meant it was easy to get out to the movie theater Saturday to see How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, and it was super affordable with my gift card!

     Vastly amused by a Minnesota Doxology someone came up with to celebrate the astounding winter going on here. Slight exaggeration might be in play...

     Tuesday morning, zero degrees and snow everywhere...heard three different cardinals singing. Now that's faith. Never mind it's the snowiest February on record, around the 6th snowiest month of any month, they know spring is coming regardless!

     Delighted that my state and federal tax refunds have arrived already!

     Alea iacta est: submitted my two month notice to move out at the end of April and filled out the paperwork. Now things start happening...
Emotional Status:
excited excited
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