Munching Marmot

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Happiness is:

     Wonderful, scrumptious Thanksgiving leftovers to eat Friday night and Saturday for lunch!

     After lots of snow, sleet, and some graupel Friday night and Saturday, a treat to drive through the rich neighborhood on my way home from church with all the trees, bushes, road signs, yards, and roofs covered with snow.

     Extra exercise shoveling out my sidewalk and part of my driveway to cut down on ice build-up. But it's also nice that I don't have to do it!

     An unexpected gift of time, because to my great surprise the Red Cross cancelled my 7 am Sunday platelet donation appointment. I quite enjoyed not getting up so early, and having more time for shoveling, art, and Christmas decorating too!

     Finding out they're making another miniseries based on Stephen King's The Stand!
  • Current Mood
    busy busy
Favorite Things

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Thanksgiving week thankfulness:

     Got together with my former boss for lunch on Tuesday. A good time, but also amusing, because when we weren't talking movies, a fair bit of our conversation could be summed up as 'why nobody in their right mind should live in California'!

     The Towners kindly gave me a cactus in the Schlumbergera genus early this year. I thought it was a Christmas cactus, but it declared it was a Thanksgiving cactus, as it started blooming the day before Thanksgiving. I am certainly not complaining!

     As usual, I feel behind with everything. No new Thanksgiving post this year, or t'DoL's birthday post, or anything like that. But at least I managed some updates to my 2013 Thanksgiving music post, so that's something!

     Got an email from the local Christian radio station Thanksgiving morning thanking all those who listen and support it...and that reminded me to be thankful for it! I certainly am, it just gets forgotten when I daily (or multiple times a day) rehearse gratitudes to God. Glad for the memory jog! I've been so blessed by so many songs I've heard there over the decades, that's for certain.

     And, of course, Thanksgiving itself. Wonderful, though I certainly ate way too much. I am so thankful for the blessing of such a long-standing tradition that has gone on most of my life: in younger years my parents and the Towners would take turns at who hosted Thanksgiving and who came and brought food. Now that they're gone, the Towners have so kindly included me every year that I'm in Minnesota. What a blessing to enjoy, made even more sweet as I wasn't sure it would still be happening with the health challenges of late. Thank you, God!
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    grateful grateful

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Recent delights:

     Pass 3 with Geren book 5 is DONE! Happy that I also made some good progress with wading into pass 4 over the long weekend.

     I took off Friday in part to celebrate t'DoL's birthday late (it fell on Wednesday) but it was also a great opportunity to do a Costco run with Cindy. Costco was quite busy so I'm glad we didn't go on a Saturday. It was also great to show Cindy my photos from Grace's 100th birthday party, and my niece's 5th birthday party.

     Happiness is a box of goodies from my wonderful mother!

     Blessed by an impactful message at church Sunday from guest speaker Reggie Dabbs.

     Then Sunday afternoon got out to see Frozen 2 and enjoyed it.

     Can't forget the free pies my employer gave to us Monday to celebrate the holidays! They had apple and pumpkin so I picked pumpkin. The giveaway was supposed to start at 2:30 but it looked like a thousand employees showed up between 2:20 and 2:40. More effective than a fire drill, ha ha!
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    rushed rushed

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Recent delights:

     Saturday I managed to hang a curtain in the middle of my stairway without falling down the stairs. It's made a huge difference, because now I can warm up the living room and not have all the heat promptly run upstairs and hang out by the ceiling. Also wonderful that I'm just reusing curtains and tension rods I've had for years--no expense required.

     Also on Saturday, a special outing to Grace English's 100th birthday party, as my mom wanted me to represent her. I can't imagine 100th birthday parties are all that common; I'm happy I could get some photos of Grace and the slideshow her children did. And blessed to meet Linda there, so we each had somebody we knew well to talk to!

     I had a fantastic time on my exercise bike on Sunday. That's because I found a movie on Amazon Prime streaming that was perfect--the kind where I have a pint of adrenaline in my blood by the end because it got so suspenseful. Really, really enjoyed watching The Next Three Days.

     Geren book 5 pass 3 work is at 85%! God willing, maybe I can get into pass 4 this weekend!
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    excited excited

(no subject)

So glad to make it to a weekend!

     Been enjoying the electric log heater set I bought for my fireplace shortly before my vacation. For added realism, I got a fireplace sound effect MP3 track on Amazon for just a dollar, and it works great to play it on a small speaker.

     Pleased when I returned to work Monday that my employer had not run out of flu shots, so I was able to get one. A blessing to have it be free and so convenient.

     I'd been freezing in my bedroom with it in the upper 50s and my summer blanket too thin to keep me warm. When I got back from California, started using my old winter blanket from when I had my futon, and it's made a huge difference--back to t-shirt and shorts!

     Very nice to go from California gas prices running around $3.60 to $4, back to Minnesota gas prices of $2.35 - $2.60. MUCH better here!

     Beautiful views of the full moon Tuesday morning, and even lovelier Tuesday night, big and amber by the horizon when I spotted it on my way to the Towners.

     Great evening at the Towners Tuesday--nice timing to be able to show them my California trip photos so soon after that trip!

     Quite grateful for the time provided me during bus rides and lunch breaks, as that, along with some evening time, helped me get pass 3 of Geren book 5 up to the 2/3rds mark. Yay!
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    excited excited

(no subject)

Lots of highlights over my vacation, here are just a few!

     Aside from flight delays on my return, smooth travel to and from California to visit family.

     My mother and I took two of my nephews to see the movie Abominable and we all enjoyed it, perhaps the adults even more than the kids!

     Thanks to the Towners' generosity, a delicious Sunday meal at Cracker Barrel, though the crowds made for a lot of waiting. And my leftover blueberry syrup made my nephew Mikey happy--a win-win!

     My mother made Key Lime pie and it was fabulous.

     She and I went to Apple Hill on November first. The weather was lovely, it was not as crowded as we expected, and we had a delightful time.

     Organizing my parents' garage felt like entering a time-devouring black hole, but we made a good dent in it.

     A delicious meal out with my brother and sister-in-law...and the fun of being present for Keanna's fifth birthday party (one day early). I've visited for Christmas and Thanksgiving in the past, but it's been years since I've been to one of the kids' parties.

     Between Apple Hill and our Fort Bragg/Mendocino trip, I came across three great Christmas gifts to get for people. Nice to have an early start on the list!

     My mother introduced me to The Ghost and Mrs Muir, a black and white 1947 movie which I would certainly never have found or watched on my own, and which I quite enjoyed.

     I was blessed with an improvement idea for book 5 the day before heading to California and crammed it in that night. Blessed again by my time near the sea around Fort Bragg and seeing some sea caves, since I can use those memories as I edit. Also blessed by how much progress I made with pass 3 work during flights and layovers. Past the 1/3 mark, whoot!
  • Current Mood
    hungry hungry

(no subject)

Delighted to make it to the weekend!

     I realized I'm blessed by the post office hours at the place where I pick up packages. Where I used to live, they closed at 5, so I could only pick up packages on Saturdays or be forced to leave work early. Here they're open until 6, and also much closer to where I live, so I have much more flexibility.

     At work, the second annual Benefits Fair took place on Thursday, so I got to have fun walking around with Dawn and picking up free stuff. Among that, a fun plastic house full of company-branded green M&M-style candy, complete with an adorable little scoop for getting the candies out.

     Now that it's the dark half of the year again, I'm greatly enjoying having my two Starfire spheres set up in the living room. One on top of a bookcase, and the other on my side table by my chair.

     Also have to mention yet again my gratitude for my heating pad that I have used for many years and stuck in the microwave many hundreds of times.

     Had a scary defect get reported at work late on Thursday, and since it was tied to something very complicated that I built, I felt a lot of pressure to try to figure it out Friday, before I leave on my trip, to not saddle my teammates with it. God was very gracious because I managed to figure out what I broke and have it fixed in test by 10 am! That made for a huge load lifted.

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Recent joys:

     Last Friday, my 'quest' for warm winter slippers finally came to an end. Of course, such a task shouldn't be difficult, except I am determined to avoid purchases made in China. And at the various stores I visited, of the slippers that were suitable, they all were. Ugh! Enter the hero of the story: Etsy! Picked out some felt slippers with wool lining made in Poland and was delighted to receive them a few weeks later. So that quest is finally over. I now have warm slippers that don't fall off my feet when I'm running up or down the stairs. Hurrah!

     Another project also came to an last weekend: finishing the bookcase I'd bought at the end of August and received in September. It took about a month and a half, a lot of supplies and a lot more time than I expected, but I hope, God willing, to enjoy it for years to come. (Here's before and after shots of the heap of boards that turned into a bookcase.) I haven't quite finished loading all the shelves yet, because there's another bookcase project ahead for the guest bedroom, and I'm not fully decided what goes where until they're both done. But at least I have two and a half more boxes unpacked and I can FIND all my adult fiction now!

     I took Tuesday off work, presumably to go on a walk with Cindy and enjoy the height of autumn color, but rain, cold temperatures, and vicious winds trashed that plan. Regardless, I did get over to the nearby laundromat to wash a big blanket; glad I was able to check it out and do some other errands as well. Also grateful Cindy will water my plants while I am on my trip.

     Best of all, I think I am finally finished with the major scene changes for Geren book 5, so pass 2 is almost done, and just in time, too! Pass 3 can be done on an airplane or in an airport, but pass 2 can not.

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Workweek blessings:

     Found out that medical coverage costs are not going up for 2020, what a relief!

     Wednesday brought me to my 21st service anniversary at my job, which reminds me to thank God for leading me there, and the great people I've gotten to work for and with over the years.

     Quite a surprise on Thursday, with a big attached blessing. Found out my employer is shifting their pay calendar for 2020 to be one week 'in arrears.' So technically we'd all have to endure one week of pay for two weeks of work at the beginning of January--really bad timing! But instead, we're getting a free extra week of pay to make up for the schedule shift--how amazing!

     I really love how my 'Greenvale's Gold'/sixth Geren and Star autumn picture came out (just added it to my Geren art post). I realized I can use it as a sign-in image on my home computers, because I currently just have images set up for winter and spring/summer/fall. But I also discovered that I now have enough high-resolution illustrations for four seasons that I can actually make myself a 12 month calendar of my illustrations. I've been assembling a list for a couple years. Didn't expect to arrive so soon, but four of this year's pictures helped me reach it!

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Three-day weekend delights:

     Saturday was great for making homemade granola, and the oven at my new place proved itself to be quite accurate again. Made for a delicious breakfast on Sunday!

     On Sunday I finished the art project I'd started in September. Yet another Geren and Star autumn illustration; I'm really blessed by how quickly it fell into place--the picture feels like a gift. It's also a kind of 'tradition,' since this is the sixth Geren and Star autumn illustration I've done since I first started working with Vue in 2006.

     One reason I took Monday off was because of the city doing a mandatory water meter upgrade. Thanks to being on Nextdoor, I found out through other unfortunate people that the main water valve can freeze due to never being used, so I took the time to research where it was and found it stuck. Then, thanks to Amazon, I was blessed to discover 'miracle juice,' aka penetrating oil that was pricey but had astounding reviews. Thanks to God's mercy, I started using that and vinegar on the frozen-up gate valve the moment the package arrived Saturday afternoon, and had it loosened up enough to turn off the water by Sunday evening. What a relief! Otherwise, my landlady would have to get a plumber, and coordinate with the city to turn off water to the whole building to replace the main valve, and the city is backlogged with all the other people having the same issue. More time off for me and a lot of nuisance for a lot of people...that didn't happen, thank God! The technician showed up at 5 on Monday and was done in 15 minutes, hallelujah!

     A sweet blessing on Sunday while driving home from church...heard for the first time on the radio the Francesca Battistelli song 'Defender.' To say that delighted me would be an understatement!