Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Things that Brighten our Days

Today was a very hard day, but this evening, I impromptu-called Renee and said "Do you want to hang out?"  I went over, and as soon as I walked in the door, Zuzu immediately demanded I hold her and read her a book.  It was exactly what I needed to brighten my day.  Especially because the book was "Sheep on a Ship."**  Then Renee and I had dinner and went and walked around the mall.

At the mall, I finally gave in and bought the bath and body works bath gel I've been wanting to buy for the past four weeks (since I used it at someone else's house).  It's funny how something as simple as a pleasant smell can make a day better.  I'll be honest, I've sniffed my arms once or twice as I sit here at the computer.

**"Sheep on a Ship" is the entertaining story of pirate sheep who get into a storm, "collide" with one another on the boat as it fills with water, create a raft, float to shore, but then miss the dock by two steps and fall into the ocean.  They then climb onto dry land as some very wet but very relieved sheep.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Favorite Quotations from a Favorite Book

Tomorrow, my British Literature class is finishing The Story of an African Farm by Olive Scheiner.  I read the novel for the first time last fall, and it quickly became one of my favorite books.  I plan to make a list of my favorite 25 books (from all of my life--childhood, adolescence, adulthood), and I think it would make the cut.  It's beautifully written.  Here are some of my favorite quotations:

"There is a love that begins in the head, and goes down to the heart, and grows slowly; but it lasts till death, and asks less than it gives.  There is another love, that blots out wisdom, that is sweet with the sweetness of life and bitter with the bitterness of death, lasting for an hour; but it is worth having lived a whole life for that hour."

"It is a delightful thing to be a woman; but every man thanks the Lord devoutly that he isn't one."

"And so, it comes to pass at last, that whereas the sky was at first a small blue rag stretched out over us, and so low that our hands might touch it, pressing down on us, it raises itself into an immeasurable blue arch over our heads, and we begin to live again."

Friday, October 12, 2012


I spent last Friday through Tuesday in Pittsburgh for fall break.  It was wonderful.  In Rome, it's been too warm to see too many changes of leafs yet, but leafs were bright and falling and beautiful throughout the Pittsburgh hills.  I wore my fall coat for the first time of the season, and even though I was in the Northeast instead of the Midwest, and even though I've only been to Pittsburgh one other time in the fall, the coolness of the October weather hugged me in a way that felt like home.

Of course, my favorite part of the trip was the people.  Shari and I spent the majority of the days talking, laughing, joking, encouraging, and praying.  If possible, I think her best-friend-ness increases each time I see her.  Aunt Jo took me to lunch.  We spent two hours at the table during which we drank lots of coffee (her) and water (me) and had wonderful conversation.  (Thankfully, we had a patient waitress who gave us all the time that we needed.)  We also spent time with Shari's parents, and I enjoyed the general "family" feel of the weekend, especially because I've been missing my parents and brother lately.

Besides the vital people parts of the weekend, there were also some fun adventures including a trip to Macys for makeup, a trip to Wholefoods for (nonperishable, shippable) hard-to-get-in-Rome foods, and a trip to Target where I found a few good deals on decorations for my office and house.

Coming back to Georgia was hard.  I wasn't planning on it being hard, but I also wasn't shocked when it happened.  I was going from a city I've increasingly connected to over the past six years and from some of my closest friendships to a place where I'm still new and settling in.  After the initial sadness, though, I reminded myself of the adventure I was living.  New job, new house, new friends, and hopefully a new church?  Rome might not be as "homey" as Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Iowa, or the Twin Cities--yet, but when I let it, it is definitely exciting and fun.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Disjointed Thoughts

It's October.  I used to say that October was my favorite month and that I wanted to get married in October.  I've now realized that if I ever get married, it should be during the summer when I'm not teaching.  Now that I live in Georgia, I'm not sure what October will be like.  But I'm prepared to like it.

Oh right, it's October.  My rent check is due today.

This weekend, I went to a consignment store's sidewalk sale and bought 35 items of clothing for 10 dollars.  I love consignment/thrift shopping.  A few weeks ago, I got a Cynthia Rowley dress for 6 dollars at Goodwill.

I'm still on the early, challenging stages of my elimination diet.  I made pumpkin quinoa muffins because I missed baked goods.  They're very good but very dense.  Also, I was trying to adapt a few recipes, and I ended up putting in about twice the pumpkin I should have.  They taste better with butter and milk.

I get to go to Pittsburgh for fall break.  It will have been 14 months since I last visited.  The last time I visited in the fall was 5 years ago in 2007. It will be nice to be there in the fall again.  Fall is a good season for spending time with friends.  (Though every season is, really.)  I've been to Pittsburgh 6 times in 6 years and one of those times was when I lived there the summer of 2010.  It's not as much a part of me as Minnesota, but it is a part of me, and I like that.  I'm really looking forward to this visit and to seeing some people I love.

I have to drive to Atlanta to fly to Pittsburgh.  I'm looking forward to that less, but because I have to be at the airport by 7:30, I assume I'll miss rush hour traffic.

Speaking of things I miss, I miss eating little things like mayonnaise and tomatoes.  I also miss eating major things like cheese and bread and french fries.

. . . And now I want a hamburger.

I've started writing poetry more regularly again.  Some of it is absolutely awful, but it feels good to be writing consistently again.  And I like some of it a lot.  I've told myself I can't submit to literary journals until I've submitted my Oscar Wilde article to a critical journal, though.

It's been rainy all day, but the sun just came out.  I'm going to finish this blog and open my blinds.

Happy October!