Sunday, October 31, 2010
Oh, there was so much today. Lots of little things to be grateful for and to bring happiness. A few:
*My Hair Ritual. After what I've done to my hair in the last two weeks (especially yesterday's costume), it was so nice to nourish my poor tortured locks and bring back my beautiful, natural curls.
*My clever pun. I thought so at least. I made Yoda Soda for Linger Longer. Mostly because I wasn't able to make it for my Star Wars party and my home teacher had wanted some. So I promised to make him some. I thought it would be a nice touch for Halloween, since there wasn't much to do for that day (being the Sabbath). And then my co-worker gave me the idea of putting in ice in the shape of a hand. An added Halloween aspect. Nice touch. But even better when I came up (quite randomly, too) with the aforementioned pun: a sign by the drink which read "Cool Hand, Luke" I thought it hilarious. Yet only a couple really gave it the hearty and appreciative laugh that I had hoped for. But as one of those was the home teacher I made the drink for, it was worth it.
*Stake Choir has begun rehearsals again! And it's for Christmas. I do love singing Christmas music. Plus, it reminds me of my many choir years in school when we prepared for our Christmas concerts. What wonderful songs. What happy memories. And what a joy to get to sing!
*Actually being Visit Taught in my own home, and by a teacher whom I feel is definitely a friend.
I love the little things, because they are not little to me if they bring happiness!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
You should have seen my costume today. It was something. Really, it was all about the hair. But I'm still happy I was able to adapt things I already owned and not have to spend any money or anything in order for people to know what I was. They knew right off. And one of my favorite children from storytimes was dressed as the same character. (Though she was the cute version and I was the crazy version.)
The program itself had a few glitches, but overall went well. I think. Going by the patrons comments, I know.
And there is nothing that beats having patrons tell you at a program how great it was!
Friday, October 29, 2010
I love productive days. Just as much as I love lazy ones. (Being honest.) But there is something about getting so much done in a day that is so uplifting. Especially when they are things for you, your home, and your family (of one, yes, but it's still my family). It's the sad thing about having to work outside the home to support yourself if you are a woman.
Don't get me wrong. I love my job as a librarian. It is full of fulfilling and great experiences. I learn so much. I love the people I serve and the people I work with. I love the ability to help so many. But the inner part of me cannot suppress the natural desire to be at home, setting things in order and happiness. It's one of the most upsetting and tiring things, having to work outside the home. I know plenty would think this a silly thing for a single adult to say. But it's true. My heart knows where it wants to be. And it will long for it and hope for it. Until then, I will continue to move on and do things to prepare, strengthen, grow, and improve myself.
So you may well see why a day to do things setting my house in order is so uplifting, relaxing, and enjoyable for me:
-scrubbing stove top
-sweeping and scrubbing the floor
-cleaning the bathroom
-mixing up cookie dough
And all before 10 am.
It is such happiness to get to do the homemakery things in life.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Just a Note: I was laughing earlier about calling my jaunty pumpkin C.--because of the bald spot. :-) (That's a bit of an "inside" joke there anyhow.) But I thought "nah!" Even if the namesake is also jaunty, fun, sly, cute, silly, ridiculous, and loves the color orange, I could come up with some other name. But when I brought him inside from his morning run (aka ride), I noticed he was sweating. That did it.
Meet C.--my adorable pumpkin.
[From the Thursday Chronicles]
OK. I think we can say that Thursday is fully redeemed.
Getting to totally fix-up my hair (with flowers!) without being thought I'm weird. (Thank you, Halloween!)
Getting to wear my fun maid-of-honor dress for storytime.
Getting access to a smorgasbord of Halloween/Autumn goodies.
Getting closer to my big program (and its accompanying stresses) almost being over.
Getting to wish Happy Birthday to one of the most awesome Tigers I know.
Oh yes. It is a glorious Thursday with much to smile about!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Wow. Day 300. Already. It really is coming to the close of the year. While I know that by the calendar, it still seems like I'm only a few months into the year. It has been SO busy for me this year. I never thought I could be that busy and that stressed from so many other areas than I have been dealing with in the last few years. Absolutely amazing. But extremely fulfilling, even with the many challenges.
I don't think I've ever had so many people comment on what I was wearing. Well, comment and/or show their impressions on their face. So many! I would say about 90% of my co-workers. Which is quite a bit. And not something I'm used to. But it was still nice.
And what a most productive evening I have had!
I got the curlers in for tomorrow's storytime Princess costume.
I made loads of mashed sweet potatoes. (Oh my, I love my recipe.)
I had a lot of fun playing with photoshop, which I have done since grad school days in my Web Design class.
Roommie and I got started on Season 6 of Voyager. Woohoo!
Carved a pumpkin. My first in years. I've been around for plenty of pumpkin carving. I've even been part of the group. But I don't really remember my own hand plying the knife, or scooping the goop. Not since my Homecoming date with my boyfriend, 10 years ago. (Yes, that's been part of the major nostalgia and sorrow over the last few weeks/months). We had so much fun. And we loved our pumpkin. We modeled him after THE bell from the Claymation Christmas special. We named him Wilbur. Sweet memories.
So, in honor of Wilbur, I carved my own pumpkin. With my own knife. And my own hands to scoop. (Even cooked the pumpkin seeds to snack on later.) I even tried to do similar hands. I think he turned out wonderfully. Quite jaunty and I love him!!
All of this was very needed, considering the building stress, pressure, pains, headaches, disjointedness, confusion, displacement, and so much else going on in my life.
I loved coming home to an evening of just stuff, especially stuff that was fun, homemakery, productive, fulfilling, uplifting, and enjoyable.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
So, I went for a bit of a cop-out in today's Halloween storytime as far as costumes go. I mean, I didn't try to be clever or anything. For a girl who still owns too many formal dresses of by-gone days, how easy it was to don one and say "I'm a princess!" Yeah. Complete cop-out.
But not a total waste. Because same said girl has lovely hair--if she says so herself. One of her prized temporal possessions. And any opportunity to play with said lovely hair--ah, bliss! And you know it's a good hair day when it still looks good throughout the day as it loosens, un-pins, and falls down. It may always take getting used to and accepting it, but my I am so happy that curly hair is allowable to look good as messy.
Temporal, yes, and a repeat in gratitude, but I love my hair and getting to play with it.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Can I just say that it's nice to have a tiny break? This month at work has been so crazy busy. So much to do. And this week promises to be just as crazy. It made such a difference to have this one program done by my co-worker this evening to give me a break as I took care of all the rest I have to do.
So nice to have others to share the load with.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
OK. Two things, since one was from late last night and I still wanted to share it.
I'm grateful for a costume--in spite of its defects and frustrations--which was successful! It's so nice when people can tell what I am without asking. (That's quite rare for me.) Plus, I had fun being Elphaba (pre-Oz experiences). And not only did I have fun with my costume, but I actually had fun at the YSA dance, too. Couldn't stand 97% of the music. And certainly didn't dance well. And wasn't asked for any slow dances until the very absolute end. But that went in character--Elphaba was never popular. And she didn't dance well. And she still managed to come to like who she was, and have confidence in herself, and find worthy causes to live, and have someone love her just for who she is. See?
There is a reason I love and admire Elphaba and am grateful that the (musical) character was introduced in my life.
And the other thing is that I'm grateful for another lesson taught well and, for me at least, with the Spirit. I love learning so much in my preparation and in my "delivering."
While I pray for others to feel the Spirit and learn from the lesson, I am at least grateful for what I am blessed with and able to gain.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
As it is personal and sacred, I am not elaborating a lot. But I must state my gratitude for a Father and a Savior who listen to my concerns, and help me work things out, and allow me to find my own answers, and bless me throughout.
Mostly, I am grateful for a Father who answers my prayers--and that nothing is too small for Him to acknowledge and help me with.
Friday, October 22, 2010
I went to my first work-related Conference today. I was on an up-and-down about whether or not I as looking forward to it. It actually went well. For reasons I would not have expected. But it was worth it. Nice to be around librarians and laugh at things we totally understand among each other. And know we all are there just to be better at who we are and what we do. I'm beginning to think this might be a theme for me.
I'm grateful for my chosen profession, and for others who chose it, too!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
I cannot be more grateful for anything today than my choice to be baptized. 20 years ago today. It has been an amazing 20 years. One I hope that I've progressed throughout, and learned a great deal, and served much. If I have not done so as much as I would like (which is likely, for I always feel I could do more and be more), then I hope the Lord blesses me with at least another 20 years if not more to prove myself a worthy and worthwhile disciple of Him.
I am so immensely grateful that I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
It takes hours. Literally. And a crick in the neck. And sore arms. And feeling hot and tired. And knowing it's terrible and will require a week or two of treatment.
Which is why I don't do this more than once or twice a year.
But it's such a fun and different change.
And I can't help looking at it over and over.
My hair. Straight.
Don't get me wrong.
I love and embrace my curls far more than most curly haired people do (who, in most cases, don't embrace them).
And I still stare at my curls in disbelief on their lovely days, shocked and amazed and happy that I could ever achieve/have such a beauty. (Thanks to Ouidad for helping me learn to take care of it, and thanks to Heavenly Father for blessing me with such a gift.)
But straight, flat, unfluffy, shiny hair is so different on me (my family would attest to that), that I can't help liking this occasional look.
And not being able to help running my fingers through it constantly!
Once or twice a year is more than enough for me.
Yet it is nice to have the choice and ability for a different look and know (or hope!) that my more favored look is ready and waiting for a simple wash of the hair.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
In the turmoil of my life, more turmoil has been added. But it is good turmoil. At least, it provides knowledge, opportunity, experience, and lots and lots to think about. It's a little stressful. It's a bit nerve-racking. But there is also a bit of joy and excitement to have this turmoil present for a few days. It's odd, but it's true.
I'm grateful for learning to be grateful for my trials.
(And I'm really grateful for adorable, fun children in storytime.)
Monday, October 18, 2010
It is sad to admit, but a truth nonetheless. This morning, for the first time since beginning my "new" and current position, I woke and thought, "I don't really want to go to work."
True, it's attributed to many things.
Having a very difficult evening the night before and crying myself to sleep.
Knowing the many stresses that come with this week (it's Teen Read Week, and we also have our state library's annual conference--not to mention one of my other programs and my regular storytimes).
Feeling the stress building without ability to release, causing worry of an impending nervous breakdown.
Or just having a small, simple dream that doesn't seem possible to have.
I keep thinking over and over what Anne says to Gilbert when he asks "Have you any unfulfilled dreams?" in Anne of the Island.
"Of course. Everybody has. It wouldn't do for us to have all our dreams fulfilled. We would be as good as dead if we had nothing left to dream about."
How much I have known this sentiment! Too much. I agree in many respects, and am grateful for the dreams the Lord has helped to fulfill, the ones He is helping me to prepare to fulfill one day, and the ones that I know just aren't meant for me and which I'll be OK (and maybe better) with not having.
But that doesn't make it any easier as you see those dreams not being fulfilled. Even the simple ones like going to the mountains for an autumn campout and a rejuvenating hike among some of Heavenly Father's wondrous and beautiful creations.
I am in a very hard time for me at this moment of my life.
However, I have found positives. Small pieces of gratitude that are even more worth having right now because I need them so much.
I'm grateful for a horrendously busy day that keeps my mind from sinking into sorrow for myself. I don't need any pity parties, and being busy certainly keeps me from having them...at least, for very long anyhow. (Just being honest. :-) )
I'm grateful for co-workers who sense the stress and emotions, whether or not they know exactly the cause or whatever. They are unquestioningly and unfailingly helpful and supportive.
I'm grateful for being able to just toss my hands up over a copier that insists on being stinky and not simply copying the copy. It's hilarious when I step back and look at it.
I'm grateful for royal blue. I'm told it's my color. I'm told that about a lot of colors. But I have always loved royal blue, and am still disapppointed that BYU changes over from that favorite color of mine, to the one shade of blue that I am not fond of. But royal blue makes me feel just that--royal. Able to do and handle anything. Able to pull through. And add to the royal blue a ribbon that matches perfectly in a hairdo that even as it continues to fall down throughout the day receives compliments from friend. There was even a comparison to my dearly admired Molly! So, yes, I'll be grateful for royal blue.
I'm grateful for a home where I can just unwind and not have to feel smothered, forced to talk about my day if I don't need to, but able to do so without feeling like a 12-year old who does not know how to handle what she is going through.
I'm grateful for having food. It's so nice to be able to eat. To not feel hungry. To have choice and variety, and more complete nutrition.
And no matter how difficult it is right now, I'm still grateful for what I have, what I am experiencing, what I'm learning, and who I am.
I'm grateful for life. My life.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
For years--since BYU days--I have wanted to study Isaiah better. But it seemed intimidating, of course. And I have always been trying to fit in other scripture and Gospel studies. There's so much! I wasn't sure what time I could devote, or just exactly how I would go about it. I considered putting it on my Whatever Wednesdays, but right now I feel to focus that one on more study of Preach My Gospel and reading recent Conference talks.
My chance has come with the last two weeks (and the next 2 or 3) of studying Isaiah in Sunday School. Granted, the reading assignments don't require us to read every single chapter. I looked at this as one way to get my feet wet. To start out a little and not be overly intimidated. And now I had a wonderful tool to help me out! Thus, I began. Last week's study was enjoyable as I went through chapters 1-6, per lesson reading assignment.
But this week's? I started yesterday, continued for 2 hours this morning, and still only managed to read 4 of the 7 assigned chapters (22, 24-26, 28-30). (I did skim the others to be prepared.) I got so much out of what I studied. It was amazing and fantastic! I was having fun, and feeling the Spirit, and even understanding what was being said and making connections. It was such an incredible experience. I love experiences like these!
And what, you ask, am I doing? I am trying to apply Elder McConkie's Ten Keys to Understanding Isaiah (which my mother taught to me in Seminary and later in Institute, and which I in turn had to teach when I substituted in Sunday School two years ago). I think I have worked on Keys 1-3 since my Seminary days, so I knew a bit of what to expect as I began. And Key #8 was something my father has taught us children many times when we were growing up. I think my days as an English major also helped with that. Last week, I used key #4 (using the Book of Mormon).
Both weeks, especially today, I used Key #5 (use Latter-day revelation). I went to GospelDoctrine.com--introduced to me by my previous Institute teacher. It is one fabulous resource, and just what I needed for this venture into Isaiah. When finances afford, I want to buy the Isaiah student manual and go deeper, because this is awesome! (And I want to be able to apply Key #10.)
I may have only covered 13(ish) chapters of the 66 total, but I think I can begin to truly say--as I've always wanted to--I love Isaiah!
Saturday, October 16, 2010
As I got to have pizza for the second time in 5 days, I looked back over the week. And what a week it has been for food!
-the ever wonderful Papa John's
-a trip to my favorite salad bar
-fried apples, homemade by me
-today's pizza (Sam's Club--not bad)
-gingerbread, homemade by me and eaten with Pumpkin Mousse (oh my)
-this morning's crepes, homemade by me and eaten with homemade apple compote (of sorts)
-my current favorite pasta meal
-red velvet cake at a co-worker's party
-buffalo chicken bites
-especially delicious pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, which I believe are what started it all!
It can seem trivial, but it really isn't. I mean, we kind of need food. And we might as well enjoy it, right? To a good, wholesome extent of course (which my 10 months' loss of 15 pounds and 2 dress and 2 pants sizes can verify that I'm still on the right track).
Some days, even weeks, I just can't help but be grateful for food.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Celebrations all around included:
*Dressing up (even put on make-up for work, which rarely happens these days).
*A special grocery trip to enjoy the much craved after salad bar.
*Sitting in the cool, 60ish weather to eat lunch at "my" park.
*Playing on the swings!
*Making gingerbread to go with my first taste of pumpkin mousse. (oh my--you are missing out!)
And all for what?
For my dear little Bob's birthday.
I may be crazy and insane, but if a the cutest-ever tiny stuffed sea turtle can bring my unfailing happiness and moments of sweet joy, then I will take it all!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
It really was fun getting to do Outreach storytimes this week. (These were my first.) The children were so excited to see us, so well behaved, so eager to be read to and join in the songs. Their voices made my heart happy. Their smiles were joyous and uplifting.
This is why I put up with all of the admin stress; I'm grateful for the constant reminders.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
I required taking sick leave today. But I managed to work and achieve a workable stopping point (though I'm still thinking of all the things I should have tried to do). And once home, I managed a bath to try and ease some pain, and a nap to try and right the mental and physical state. And had two simple, nu-tritious and de-licious meals.
It was only a small bandage for the serious wounds, but I am grateful I had it available and was able to have it, too.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Our new Institute teacher mentioned that he thought we should have pizza. Maybe on a monthly basis. Who am I to argue with that?
The first time he brought it, I was unable to attend Institute because I was working. I thought I had recently missed the second pizza treat for the same reason. Yet last night at FHE, I found out that the pizza was for tonight.
I kid you not: I spent 24 hours thinking about that pizza. Longing for it. Hoping for it. I had so much joy, expectation, dreaming, and support from the belief of that pizza coming. (I don't get pizza often, if you couldn't tell.)
But it wasn't pizza. It was Papa John's pizza.
Ah sweet entity in a realm of its own.
Monday, October 11, 2010
I love a day off. Sleeping in. Reading. Watching a movie. Time to cook a real meal, and sit down to eat it. A real day of relaxation. But add to that one thing I don't usually get any more. Because it was not a typical day off for others, the branch did not cancel FHE. Which meant, I could go. Only, I need to conserve gas, so I needed a ride. One part of me could have used that as an excuse to just stay home in my comfort zone. But I knew I should go, so with combined efforts, I got one!
Do you know what a difference it makes to have someone else drive you to an activity which typically sets you into high stress mode? It lessens it a great deal and puts me on a slightly more comfort zone. It also helps that there were not dozens of people there, so I was able to keep anxiety down to a minimum. And of those who were there, the people do not tend to cause me anxiety in general.
So the minimal stress that did develop was also dispelled, which allowed for a (now) different kind of evening that was highly fun and enjoyable.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
So, what am I to be grateful and joyful about on this fun day?
But I have one that really stands out to me right now:
As I prepared for our Sunday School lesson in reading, marking, comparing, and studying the first 6 chapters of Isaiah, I noticed that I was truly loving and enjoying it!
Saturday, October 9, 2010
I was "senior staff" today at work, and it was not a nice, slow, no-cares, no-worries day. We were hopping! And short of staff. And had a program (which turned out well--yay for mini yarn dolls that you can call scarecrows!). And a serious and confusing patron complaint. It was a whole different kind of exhausted when I left work.
But the day wasn't over! I had some editing to do, though it was a very different kind of editing. Interesting, but "wow" with the brain. At least I was able to check the scores for the game that BYU won!! (Finally.)
Yet it wasn't any ol' game. It was Homecoming game. I have a particular connection to BYU Homecoming. Depending on what is going on in my life, it can be happy, sad, silly, fun, or all kinds of things. As this year, especially these last 5 months, I have been extremely nostalgic, this Homecoming proved to be nostalgic. And I thought I'd grown out of the need for it, but I don't think I will ever grow out of that need. Oh well. If you're going to be a Janeite, you might as well live it up:
I dressed up for Homecoming!
And proceeded on to having my own enjoyable evening to remind me of just how wonderful life really is.
Friday, October 8, 2010
A "real" Friday night. At least, one like the good ol' (though not so long ago) college days when I got to spend it with roommate(s). This one was complete with some of our marathon. A trip to a store (I have yarn to complete one of my blankets!). A stop to get the ever-wonderful Frosty. (Chocolate, of course.) And as both of us have work tomorrow, there's no worry about one hoping the other will stay up longer so the fun can keep going.
How nice that the good, clean, fun times--no matter what they involve--are always there to be had!
Thursday, October 7, 2010
A squink more ability to breathe. Seeing a glimpse of maybe things potentially having a possibility of coming a little past the chaos at work. Perhaps.
I find it hilariously ironic that I said this only yesterday. 'Cause that didn't happen today.
Well, aside with starting up Season 5 of the roommate Star Trek Voyager Marathon, I think the greatest joy from today was one of sheer simplicity, it was quite wonderful:
Eating my lunch of an apple (reminiscent of junior high and high school days), I just sat on the bench looking at the world around me and thinking. No book. No music. Nothing but me, an apple, the world, and my thoughts.
Myself by Myself for Myself.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
A perfect fall day. The sky was an amazing blue, yet it was half covered with some of the prettiest clouds I've seen in a long time. The temperature was perfect and the breeze uplifting and calming. It was wonderful to read and think while I took a walk on my lunch break. I've missed truly relaxing walks.
An interesting and insightful political book. I don't often find nonfiction interesting. And even less so do I find politically written books to be interesting. I want to invest myself more in being aware and having informed views and opinions so I can better stand up for my values. But it is hard to find such things that are interesting as well as not overwhelming. But this book was everything I needed, and I really enjoyed it.
A squink more ability to breathe. Seeing a glimpse of maybe things potentially having a possibility of coming a little past the chaos at work. Perhaps.
A fun holiday catalog. Totally worth every giggle and exclamation with fellow children's librarian.
A small reward. A trip to a salad bar and some apple pie with sharp cheddar cheese. Why? Because I sent in my last payment on my dear and devoted car!!!
That could have been the clencher. And it almost was. But I had a rescheduled appointment. Because of the rescheduling, the plans for Friday changed, and one very anticipated plan moved up to this evening. And I couldn't help think about it. All. Day. Long.
Because for someone whose grocery budget is currently a little more than the cost of a tank of gas, and whose last month's grocery budget was spent entirely on emergency supply food stuffs to make it through in times of no electricity or gas (hurricane season!), or one of my stomach episodes,
could it be any wonder that today's surprisingly greatest joy which "trumped" Last Car Payment was
Going Grocery Shopping!!
(But as I've known about Last Car Payment for a couple of days and I don't count it official until the check is cashed, I'm still saving that joy. For it won't be any less then!)
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
28 toddlers at my toddler storytime.
That's almost twice a "typical" size.
And even though we had to hold it in the acoustically-challenged lobby because of the flooding in the Children's room, I think the children still enjoyed it.
I had fun, even though I had to call out a bit more loudly with my already sore for a week throat.
And 12 preschoolers.
That's more typical.
With more regulars than the toddler group had.
And I know this one youngster gets a little out of hand in his rambunctiousness of showing me he's grateful for my storytimes. (Today he hugged me during a song instead of after the whole storytime, for which I smiled but did kindly tell him to return to his carpet square.)
But I can't help it: when I am hug starved, I'll talk all and any appropriate, honest, and sincere ones that I am offered--even in the middle of singing in storytime.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
There is, again, much that I could say. I always leave Conference on a spiritual high and low--low because I'm so sad it's over and wish I could have a few more hours!
But I cannot help but be so especially and overly thrilled and joyous about this:
Saturday, October 2, 2010
My goodness--what a day! So full of wonderful. General Conference weekends always are. But I added on to it today with a morning with a friend learning to play disc golf--something different, new, fun, and relaxing. (Well, OK. Social anxieties had me pretty nervous at the beginning, but eventually that passed.) During some spare moments, I either listened to an enjoyable audiobook or read from a politically-themed book which I am loving already. Later I edited with a client. I watched a movie with my roommate which included a lot of fun film connections we've been obtaining from our on-going Star Trek Voyager marathon. And there was, of course, the first half of the wonderful Conference weekend with at least three talks that I felt were specifically messages the Lord wanted me to hear.
So to be filled, renewed, and/or happified from things physically, socially, financially, mentally, and spiritually,
can there be any question why the hours of physical pain I endured today were truly
"but a small price to pay" and "but a small moment."
Friday, October 1, 2010
There was one thing completely soul stirring for me that could have been the gratitude I picked for today.
But nothing that soul-stirring could make me more grateful than what I can't help being most grateful for today:
My fabulous, amazing, don't-you-wish-you-had-but-you-can't-'cause-she's-mine best ever sister!!