The good stuff:
Very grateful as ever for the loan of the Towners second minivan. Thanks to that, I could run errands to places like Penzey's Spices and Hobby Lobby, not to mention the blessing of having wheels to get to church and food shopping!
Also grateful yet again for my old microwavable heating pad that I've used over many years. The heat in the minivan barely works, so the heating pad keeps my hands from freezing stiff!
One of my big regrets is losing the original file for my 'bookmark' image I made of Geren & t'DoL well over a decade ago. Since CafePress has part of the image in my account, I've at least been able to order a steady string of mousepads over the years. But this month I decided to order a poster just to see how it would come out, and I'm quite pleased with the result.
I got the 'D' elevator four times on Monday!
Tuesday evening was wonderful. Got together with the Towners and we went out to eat. It was so great to see Mary free of the wound-vac, find out the home health care nurses were no longer needed, and that she's free to get out of the house and even drive a little. Hurrah, thank you, God!
So happy for a payday Friday!
Just finished up my mom's wonderful pumpkin bread, which I've been quite enjoying this week. Delicious!
I've been having loads of fun lately with a song I found on the radio that strangely reminds me of Geren book 5.
My illustration for my 2019 single page calendar is finally done and the order place, whew! I'm grateful as well for the feedback I got from Dawn and my boss at different stages. It's helpful to have that confirmation when trying to chose subject size ratio and lighting options!
Been having a blast rereading the Harry Potter series on bus rides and lunch breaks lately. Apparently I haven't read them since 2009, so I quite enjoyed devouring the first four and I'm looking forward into getting through more before Christmas. Very nice to have a reprieve from editing for a little while!
Counting my blessings:
At the risk of jinxing myself, made it to December without getting sick, which I appreciate. My poor boss was sick for weeks, between one thing and another.
It's been fun getting a steady stream of stuff delivered lately, thanks in large part to Christmas shopping (and some good sales!).
Got myself an electric duster largely funded by credit card points. While a bit loud, it was fun how great it was for cleaning out inside a computer and getting rid of dust on highly textured lamp bases and my big wolf statue.
As ever, plenty of setbacks and hold-ups, but happy to finally be down to the final stages with my illustration for my 2019 single-page calendar. Very grateful for Walmart same-day printing and the minivan to go pick them up as a way to do trial runs. Hopefully I can place the order by the end of the week!
A treat Tuesday when my boss spotted one of my 'Relentless' wallpaper images and really liked it!
An even bigger treat at the end of the day when the news came out that Mary is finally free of the wound-vac she's been largely tethered to for months. Praise God!
I had two meals worth of delicious Thanksgiving feast leftovers, over the weekend, including pie. YUM!
Last winter my dwarf umbrella tree "Schleffie" had its first flower stalk. Recently I discovered that it has three coming for this winter.
A neat sunset on the way home from work--an orange sun pillar (pillar of light) rising above the setting sun and the under-lit clouds. Quite striking and it's been a long time since I've seen one so dramatic!
Got some warm wool leg-warmers made in Canada from Etsy and got to try them out today--they work great!
Got to do something wonderful on my lunch break today.
High points in a memorable week:
My boss got me three balloons for my 20th service anniversary October 16. To my great delight, they are still floating over a month later--they made it to t'DoL's birthday and beyond!
Got a big surprise and blessing in the mail Monday that was an answer to something I've been praying about for months.
On t'DoL's birthday Tuesday, took a half day off, treated myself to lunch at Afro Deli so I could get some fried sweet plantains, and divided the extra time between exercise, art, and fun with puzzles and a new cd. Oh yes, and read 'Happy Birthday' of course!
So it was a day late since UPS can't seem to figure out how to leave packages in the package room at my apartment, but... Got my Relentless 25th anniversary commemorative image printed on metal almost in time to celebrate 25.75 years and t'DoL's birthday. Looking forward to hanging it up!
Thanksgiving was wonderful. It was at the Towners as ever, but this year Aaron and Deb did all the cooking and they excelled! The biggest feast we've ever had yet! Mercer is now old enough to run and bounce and could probably power half a county with his crazy energy level. It was great to have the second annual conference call for Thanksgiving Bible verses with around 15 participants. Can't forget the eight varieties of pie I was too stuffed to appropriately enjoy, or the loads of leftovers to feed me this weekend! A great day, and so much to be thankful for.
Another weekend gone too fast...
t'DoL's birthday is coming up fast, so I decided to kick off the festivities by treating myself out to Freshii for lunch. That was delicious, and I wasn't hungry that evening for quite a while, which was great for taking time to exercise.
More goodies on Saturday, in the form of a wonderful package from my parents, containing (among other items) some of my mom's fabulous apple bread, shortbread cookies, and pumpkin bread! I am so blessed to have such a talented and generous mom! =D
Glad to be back on the bandwagon with art progress and Geren book 4 pass 5 after a very frustrating and over-busy work week in which it felt I got nothing done. Oh yes, and exercise too! It was great to watch the Collector's Editing of Close Encounters as I haven't seen that movie in quite a while.
Got it down to 59 inside by Saturday morning and 57 inside by SUnday morning, which made for some of the best sleep I've enjoyed in a while. t-shirt and shorts don't cut it at those temps--I need socks too!
Speaking of enjoying movies, that's what I did Sunday afternoon. Got out to see the second Fantastic Beasts movie, using the gift card I received with part of my 20th service anniversary reward. Not only that, but I had enough points on my membership card for a free small popcorn. So upgraded to large for $2 plus tax and had a fun cheap afternoon!
In two days--t'DoL's birthday! Two days after--Thanksgiving!
My iron was (barely) high enough and I succeeded with a blood donation Sunday after church. It was at a different location that's closer to home and good to keep in mind for the future. Glad I could squeeze it in on the weekend so I'm eligible to give again when the blood drive takes place at work in January.
A couple weeks back I got some lovely fingerless gloves on Etsy so I'd have a pair for work as well as for home. The older I get, the worse my circulation in hands and feet. Very glad I bought them, as it's been a help lately when my hands get cold in the mornings.
So, usually I try to avoid getting out the winter coat until December, and some years I don't really need it until January. But not this year. It got down to 7 this morning, so on with the winter coat and the thermal undies! I'm curious how many record lows my area has cranked out in the past week...
Thanks to pass 5 of my fourth Geren book being done at home, I have time for reading on the bus rides again. It's taken a few weeks, but I've finally gotten sufficiently caught up with magazines and quarterly stuff...so time for FUN reading at LAST!
Took a while to get around to it, but I finally finished edits on 'The Lark and the Lion' and got it ready for readers. Now to finish the calendar illustration...
I think my area skipped November and headed straight to December. So I have lots of gratitude for the minivan this past week!
Nice to drive to the polls after work Tuesday and not deal with walking there through snow and ice and very cold wind. Also grateful to have it for shopping Saturday morning, as it was a record-shattering 11 degrees out!
On Thursday my employer had their first benefits and community fair. Lots of freebies I'll actually get to use: travel-sized toothpaste and a new toothbrush, a pen, a cookie, and two cloth bags I'm very glad to have for shopping, since one of my old ones is falling apart.
A really nice evening at the Towners on Friday, enjoying dinner from the local Mexican restaurant, along with flan. Pat and Greg came too, and it was a wonderful time.
A treat in the mail: after three-plus weeks of waiting, got the gift cards I'd picked out for my 20th service anniversary. Now I'm anticipating the fun of USING them!
Picked up some pumpkin bread at Kowalski's early last week and I've been greatly enjoying it with the homemade applesauce I made. It will vanish fast!
I couldn't make much progress on pass 5 work for Geren book 4 Wednesday and Thursday, which about drove me up a wall, but I more than made up for it Friday and Saturday. Now I'm nicely ahead of quota and up to scenes where I don't mind stopping.
A gloomy, chilly, wet November weekend is great for cooking. Black bean soup on Saturday, and homemade granola on Sunday. Now I get to ENJOY it!
Also glad for some good art progress over the weekend--it fits well with running back and forth to the oven when cooking granola!
Deliciousness is SweeTango apple cider from the apple orchard. Yum!
Thanks to being able to use the Towners minivan, I got out to the Natural Foods store Saturday and got the ingredients I need for making my next batch of homemade granola.
It's been on and off since February, and more off than on, but Saturday I FINALLY finished my 'Relentless' illustration, which I planned as my 25th anniversary image, but also ended up spawning its own story, thanks to God's grace. I've already had fun doing puzzles with the image!
Made some homemade applesauce Sunday and now I get to enjoy it!
Pleased with my Geren book 4 pass 5 progress this weekend, and getting up to the part where I can't stop certainly doesn't hurt! ;)
Least favorite time of the year is here, so signing off for a bit.
Blessed by a nice weekend:
It was wonderful to have a quiet day on Saturday and not go anywhere. I needed that after the prior weekend. Great to get caught up on various tasks and make good progress with my current art project.
Saturday was also wonderful because I finally finished pass 4 in my fourth Geren book, and launched into pass 5. Still slightly ahead of schedule!
Saturday night made for wonderful sleep. It got so cold in my apartment that t-shirt and shorts didn't cut it...when I got up the next morning it was 56 inside! Delicious.
On Sunday I headed over to the regional park and enjoyed the autumn by hiking around 6.5 miles and taking lots of photos. Golden morning light is wonderful for complementing autumn hues--I'm really happy with some of the pictures.
Monday after work I crammed in a trip to a local park and a short walk there taking photos and enjoying the colors. I'd spotted it while driving back home Sunday and was grateful both the weather and the timing of sunset allowed me to get out there. I'd forgotten it had tamarack trees, now golden in the autumn!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!