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A collection of gushes

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Workweek highlights:

     Took Monday off and had a great time with Cindy for a good part of the day. Made a trip to Costco and we filled up her car, then lunch at wonderful Zupas, then a walk enjoying the autumn at a nature center near Prescott.

     The Costco timing was perfect, because I was able to get selections of cookies and chips to go with the pizza and salad I'd chosen for my 20th service anniversary party at work. Got a bunch of nice cards, enjoyed a bunch of yummy food, my boss brought me balloons, my boss's boss made a very kind speech...and since not everyone invited showed up, my part of the department had lunch again on Wednesday! The Costco cookies were fabulous and somehow managed to last until Thursday morning.

     Costco had a big sign for flu shots by their front door, which increased my gratitude that I can get one from my employer for free. Went over with Dawn and Mark and that was fun too.

     Just so happened that the week of my service anniversary was the same week as my area finally getting some new equipment to replace the old fiche scanners I trained on way back in 2006. And that meant we all got free lunches from Tuesday to Friday this week--quite a treat!
Emotional Status:
thankful thankful
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Lots of recent minivan-induced blessings:

     Last Saturday I was able to get over to Trader Joe's for the first time in quite a while, thanks to the Towners' generosity. Wonderful to get restocked on almost everything I was after.

     Tuesday I was able to have dinner with the Towners, and with Mary's sister and brother in law, up visiting from Texas. It was a nice evening.

     Thanks to borrowed wheels, on Saturday I was able to head down to Red Wing, hike all over Barn Bluff, enjoy the art fair, and buy a bunch of stuff at the Pepin Heights apple orchard store. It's not quite peak color down there, but still very lovely driving on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi.

     Again glad to have the minivan--snowing buckets for getting to church this morning. It's six months less a day from the April blizzard and we're at it again, ha ha!
Emotional Status:
amused amused
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Recent joys:

     It's finally cool enough I can sleep with my t'DoL blanket over my regular blanket. Yay!

     When I was at Tobies in Hinkley, I grabbed small loaves of their 'World's Best' cornbread, and also some banana walnut bread. Both of which are fabulous and I have been greatly enjoying this week.

     Blessing upon blessing with my last work conundrums lately. I'd been forced to set aside a fix for something I'd built because 'Plan B' was not working at all as I'd expected. But then Friday night, pondering it in frustration, I was blessed by the beginnings of an entirely better idea by stepping outside the box, so to speak, and completely changing part of my strategy. So on Monday started digging into it, found that plan C as I'd envisioned it couldn't be done either...until God led me to the solution of using the folder name instead of document name. I really wanted to run around the room screaming 'Eureka' but I restrained myself to just drumming my fingers on my desk. Plan C version 2 has the beauty of elegance and also wards off an issue with the current structure that I've expected would become problematic soon...because folder name is hexadecimal! So the limit of 9999 in base 10 becomes a limit of 39,321 in base 16. We are NOT passing that number as a daily batch value before I hit retirement age, ha ha. That's probably too much technical detail but this was a huge blessing, thank you God!

     Recently got back in my art project that I started on way back in February, and delighted to find I'm closer to the end of the Vue parts than I hoped. Just might be done by Christmas, ha ha! Lots of things I like about Quartus, but my favorite might be that I can finally make illustrations with a halfway-decent Wolf Lord figure in them!
Emotional Status:
rushed rushed
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A handful of gratitudes:

     A real treat to be asked to fill out surveys for a research group and get a $10 gift card for each one. Could get spoiled real fast!

     Grateful for the progress with the nasty bug bite on my arm. The big red area has gone away and the swelling is starting to go down too. Hurrah!

     The last three days of the workweek were very grueling due to having to cover for other people and also try to get through stuff. But it ended on a high note--I finally figured out a really tricky glitch with something I'd built. Here's hoping, after lots of delays and setbacks, that it's finally ready to get implemented!

     A bit of a fun upheaval--the Towners arranged to get their spare minivan back and loan it to me by having me stay over Friday night, drive them to dinner, then be part of a group that drove to Hinkley (the halfway to Duluth point) to meet up with Ken and Naomi, have a big brunch at Tobies, and drive the minivan back. Very grateful this all worked out!
Emotional Status:
busy busy
Reaching My Ears:
'Fix My Eyes' by For King & Country
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Recent joys:

     Enjoyed the beautiful weather Saturday by walking to the outlet mall and using a $15 coupon on some purchases.

     Thursday morning I woke up with a nasty bug (or spider) bite on my arm. It's been looking fairly hideous since then, so I'm counting my blessings that I can cover it with longer-sleeved tops now that the weather is cooler, and especially that it doesn't hurt or itch a lot!

     Over the weekend had a bunch of fun with a quick fall-themed art project so I'd have a new banner image on my Twitter page. Heruvael and 'lil Hileko, yay!

     I just may have been spending a little too much time on the exercise bike lately, because I started rewatching season 1 of Smallville and got sucked in. Finished it on Sunday night...just nine more seasons to go!

     A happy day at work on Monday, especially for my boss (who screamed when I told her weeks ago and did a happy dance when it started). That's because my employer kicked off organic recycling AND got rid of the awful styrofoam containers in the cafeteria. It's been fun training myself where to deposit my apple core and I"m going to have to fight the temptation to bring my food scraps from home, ha ha!
Emotional Status:
hungry hungry
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Happy Birthday to my wonderful, amazing mother!

     Wishing I would be there with you as you celebrate another birthday. (You might be wishing you could put birthdays on pause! ;) I hope you enjoy your day, and your gifts, and that God blesses you abundantly in the next year of your life. Never forget His goodness! (And His gifts are the best gifts! =) I love you!

Tags:

Emotional Status:
grateful grateful
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Hurrah for a weekend!

     The annual department ice cream social was on Wednesday, and while I didn't have ice cream, just various other high-calorie treats, it was a nice getaway. Dawn corralled a bunch of us into playing Yahtzee with her, and I wasn't the only one who was a first-timer!

     A big blessing on the same day: while heading home from work, thinking over how much I like the 'Lark and Lion' second illustration I was working on, I realized it would make a fabulous 2019 single-page calendar image. That felt like a huge load lifted, because the picture I'd been reluctantly planning on this year was intimidating and I didn't think I'd have enough time or skill/resources at present to do it justice. Now I have a head start, too!

     I'm counting my blessings for where I live--got around 4-5 inches of rain over the past few days, and I didn't have to worry about flooding. It would have been a very rotten week at some of my former lodgings!

     A Friday treat from Dawn: cheesy popcorn! I was having a stressed-out morning and I really needed that. So kind!
Emotional Status:
lethargic lethargic
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Nice to have a three-day weekend!

     Quite hot over the weekend, so I was glad I could squeeze in my food shopping bike trips to both Kowalski's and Cub early Saturday morning. Out the door before 7 and done by 8:30!

     Got to watch A Quiet Place over the weekend and really enjoyed it.

     Really enjoyed my day off Monday, despite it being too warm, sticky, and then stormy to spend time outside. Had an idea for another illustration for 'Lark and Lion,' reusing parts of my 2011 project, and had a blast working on it.

     Hurrah for cooler weather!

Emotional Status:
pleased pleased
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Recent blessings:

     I was in charge for the monthly publish Tuesday, and I managed to crank through eight batch classes and still get out the door on time at 4:30. Wonderful!

     On Thursday I was blessed that my iron was high enough to allow me to give blood at my employer's blood drive. My count for this year might be pretty bad, but at least it's moving in the right direction.

     Tracking Hurricane Florence over the past week-plus, and seeing the damage it is causing has renewed my gratitude for where I live. Obviously natural disasters can strike anywhere, but my corner of Minnesota is quite unlikely to get pummeled by hurricane or massive wildfire, or for that matter, earthquake, volcano, or tsunami. Just have to put up with the occasional April blizzard, and yes, tornadoes.

     So grateful for air conditioning once again with nights lately getting down to around 70 and it hitting 90 with a 70 dew point today. Best of all...it can't last much longer.

     And...I finally finished writing 'The Lark and the Lion'! Almost two months since I started, and the story fought me tooth and nail all the way. Definitely my short story with the most crying in it...and the most singing. And all inspired by the picture I made for my 2012 single-page calendar. So glad to finally reach the finish line!
Emotional Status:
excited excited
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Recent delights:

     A beautiful sunrise to savor while driving to work on Friday.

     Reason for that was returning the Towners minivan that evening, so Ken and Naomi can use it. That led to a great meal at Applebees with Joe and two close friends of his; wonderful time.

     The weather was perfect this weekend: mostly sunny, low 70s, and low humidity. So I got out Saturday morning while it was in the 50s and biked down to the nearest part of the NWR along the Minnesota River. Did some biking and some hiking, and delighted to discover a bunch of pelicans and cormorants briefly resting on their autumn migration.

     Back to the bike/bus/walk routine to get to church since I'm carless again. But what wonderful timing! The last few Sundays have been rainy or hot and sticky, but today was cool and wonderful for heading over there. So blessed by the timing!
Emotional Status:
rushed rushed
Reaching My Ears:
'Build My Life' by Housefires
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Long weekend delights:

     Right in time for the beginning of September, my 'Heavenly Blue' morning glories finally had a couple flowers on the trellis. Hopefully I'll get a few more before first frost, ha ha.

     Had some fun with my new projector for my exercise time on Saturday, once I figured out how to project Amazon Prime streaming and watch a free movie. My new HDMI cable is long enough, the only annoying part is having to get off the bike to grab my mouse and pause the movie, since I don't have a remote for my pc!

     My dresser has been a garden all summer, it feels, and right now all five plants are blooming (excluding the pothos that isn't grown for blooms). Quite a treat!

     Got back out to the Minnesota State Fair for a return visit on Monday. It was nice to get to the places I missed the prior weekend, see the new pet area, get cookies for my boss (and myself!) and stuff my face in general. And...delighted to hear 2018 set a new overall attendance record--over 2 million visitors for the first time!
Emotional Status:
hungry hungry
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Recent joys before another three-day weekend:

     A real treat to have a pair of very cool nights this week--got my place down to 62 one morning as it was lower 50s outside. Yay!

     It's been in the works for months with other more urgent needs popping up, but I finally got my new Windows 10 laptop at work. Still need to get Kofax installed, but pretty soon I'll be enjoying a touch screen and hopefully a more robust device.

     Thursday was special, as my portion of the department went out to Keys for lunch to celebrate Dawn's 25th service anniversary. Lunch was delicious, I had leftovers to help with dinner, and we had a great time too.

     Though the rest of the Windstone Kickstarter goodies will probably be a few more months in coming, it was a real treat to get the three baby Poads I'd picked out back in April. Always a great feeling when a long wait comes to an end--I hope a few more do soon as well!

     So grateful for not just a payday Friday, but a third-paycheck-of-the-month Friday! Airfare shopping can begin!
Emotional Status:
rushed rushed
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Gratitudes:

     So blessed to be able to drive the Towners minivan to church three Sundays in a row, as it's been pretty sticky of late.

     It was a treat to rewatch all three seasons of Avatar: The Last Airbender on the exercise bike over the past couple months. And since I'd seen it before, I didn't have to worry about my favorite character ending in a bad place either!

     My day off work Monday ended dramatically when a storm moved in and brought an hour-long power outage. So I got to use the emergency lantern I bought last year for the first time and it worked out great. Glad that Starfish was fully charged so I was able to get some writing done while I waited.

     Speaking of writing, 'The Lark and the Lion' has been a big struggle every step of the way, but this weekend's progress finally got me past 10,000 words. Hopefully I can hit the ending before the first day of autumn!
Emotional Status:
hungry hungry
Reaching My Ears:
'You Say' by Lauren Daigle
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Recent delights:

     It was a real treat to get a break from the heat a couple days this week, especially since I'm starting to get really worn out and run down and I'm just holding on for the end of summer. It actually got below 60 one night! That was delicious.

     Spotted a few hummingbirds one morning while walking to the bus stop, and that brought the delighted realization that migration is underway. Late August/early September is when they clear out. Autumn is approaching, EEEEEE!

     Got out to the wonderful Minnesota State Fair for a half day Saturday. Turned out great, as it stayed cloudy all morning and got a little cooler than the forecast. Had fun with shopping and food, and blessed to have the Towner's minivan so I could park for free and walk and get there nice and early.
Emotional Status:
tired tired
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Grateful for a weekend!

     Very grateful for the Towner's kind loan of their minivan this week. Thanks to that, I got to drive to the polls for the primary Tuesday, rather than bike in around 90 degrees.

     Also thanks to the minivan, I drove to work Friday and then spent the evening at my coworker Dawn's place, helping her with computer questions. It was a great time.

     Again thanks to the minivan, got out to the local Farmers Market Saturday morning. That place was already hopping at 8 am, and I was thrilled to make off with carrots, raspberries, corn on the cob, and the earliest of the local apples (but no big-name cultivars available yet).

     Friday was special as it brought me to 25.5 years since I first 'met' t'DoL. And Saturday also, as I got to spend hours working on the fourth Geren book. Pass 3 is done, and sooner than scheduled, even!
Emotional Status:
lethargic lethargic
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Blessings and surprises:

     I bought two kinds of morning glory seeds in the spring and planted them expecting to have dark purple and vivid blue flower, and expecting the purple would start blooming first. Instead, what I've been getting is lavender, pink, and some dark purple. While I don't like pink, I have to admit it is a pretty effect to have a variety of colors. Hopefully 'Heavenly Blue' will decide to join the party before September!

     Though dinner with the Towners fell through on Friday, they were very kind to make sure I still got to borrow their minivan. Blessed to visit the laundromat and go to multiple church outings in the comfort of a vehicle with air conditioner, instead of walking about in near-90s with sticky dew points. Very grateful to have it!

     A delightful surprise recently when I was doing exercises one evening with the radio on: a song came on I hadn't heard before, called 'My Defender' by Jeremy Camp. Needless to say, instant love! =D I've been so blessed with how many great worship songs I've found (or refound) in 2018.

     I've said it before and undoubtedly will say it again--so grateful for my portable AC during the 'dog days' of summer, and that it has a timer so I can have it kick in before I get home, and I can use an spare timer with my standing fan to help spread the coolness. Sure helps make up for not having central AC where I currently live!
Emotional Status:
pleased pleased
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Recent treats:

     Got out to the movie theater on Saturday to see Mission Impossible: Fallout, and that was a treat, which I enjoyed more since I'd recently rewatched the prior two movies.

     For the first time in months, got to do a little poking at two art projects that I started back around February. Progress will be very slow, I'm sure, but I'm grateful for any chance to make some!

     The ghastly work issue I spent days struggling with last week and had hanging over my head all weekend was blessedly resolved on my second attempt Monday morning. What a relief! After the setback I had Friday night when I was testing from home, I was afraid I might have to give up entirely. So grateful for the ideas God gave me when I was washing the dishes afterward!

     A truly stunning sky this morning to savor as I waited for the bus. Darting swifts, a thin crescent moon, the sound of crickets, and a house finch singing all added to the appeal.
Emotional Status:
busy busy
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Another really grueling workweek, but not lacking blessings:

     The sticky heat returned Friday afternoon, but what a treat to have two mornings this week cool enough for oatmeal for breakfast!

     Quite grumpy about losing most of Thursday to meetings, so I was really grateful when one got postponed, as I really needed the time for real work!

     An amazing blessing Thursday: I'd been expecting the transit pass price to rise in September. But Thursday I found out my company is subsidizing it, so instead of a price rise, I get a price drop! That made my day.

     My teammate is back from his vacation, so I can go home earlier on Fridays and Mondays again. Won't have to be doing monitoring during my lunch breaks anymore either. Yay!
Emotional Status:
rushed rushed
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The good stuff:

     Quite a treat to get out for a walk with Cindy Saturday morning, and have it be cool enough to enjoy it. We hiked for a couple hours at the regional park--it has been far too long for me.

     Also got to do shopping at Costco and Trader Joe's with her, and plenty of time to catch up. A big blessing!

     A work event for the annual survey meant there were free Krispy Kreme mini donuts this morning. Yum!

     My coworker Dawn is fast approaching her 25th service anniversary, and I am 5 years and a couple months behind her. So she very kindly let me view the list of gift card options for the $150 I will get with my anniversary. Having fun planning!

     Any day in which I can get some writing done is a good day indeed, even if it is a Monday. ;)
Emotional Status:
content content
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So glad for a weekend!

     Glad to make it to the end of a grueling, disappointing, and challenging workweek. Relieved I got one very difficult configuration built, and I can escape from thinking about script strategy or even dreaming about script strategies for a couple days. I need a break!

     Got together with my former boss Bill for lunch on Tuesday; it was nice to catch up.

     A treat to have some September weather in July! This morning was so cool (below 60) I indulged myself with oatmeal for breakfast!

     A warm and steamy June and early July must make for some fabulous sweet corn. What I got at the farmers market this week is so good it doesn't need butter or salt!
Emotional Status:
drained drained
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