Giving Thanks

My church always holds a Thanksgiving service, one where attendees are encouraged to share a testimony or give thanks.  I rarely, if ever, do, mostly because it takes until the end of the time allotted for me to figure out what to say.  So, instead, I will say it here.

1.5 years ago, I was spending my last day at a job I loved.  My husband had lost his job just two months prior.  My mind was spining.  What would I do?  How would we pay the bills?  I was a wreck.  I was obsessing, not surprisingly.  In in the midst of the swirling void, I heard a still, small voice.

Haven't I always taken care of you?

I stopped myself short.  This completely foreign thought was true.  We had always been taken care of.  We had been able to find a car when we needed a new one.  Our bills had been paid when we had only one income previously.  And even though we were told my husband wouldn't not be receiving unemployment, he did.  All of our needs were always met.

And they continue to be.  I had enough money to get me to my next job.  I've had steady work for the last year, paying all my bills and breathing deep.  S found a job and we haven't started, or gone bankrupt or had to move in with my parents, all things we feared may happen.

And it was in church today, that I was comforted even more so.  This statement is not just a fact; it's a promise.  And it's not just a promise for me, but for everyone.  Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, Wiccan, what-have-you.  Not only have we always been taken care of, we will be taken care of, always, all ways.

I found immense comfort in this, not just for myself, but for everyone in the church, everyone I know, everyone on this earth.  

And for that, I am grateful.


Saturday, we had our first snowfall of the reason. A respectable few inches. It will all be gone by tomorrow and be 50 by turkey day. Go fig.

Whenever I think of one of these, the other springs to mind.

Good old Neil.

Obviously, they both include graveyards.  But I think it's also because of Bod and Scarlett (although maybe their roles are reversed in the song).  Or maybe because both of these fine gentleman have ties to Minnesota?


Reading challenge update

So as far as my 2011 End of Year challenge goes, meh.

Of the 18 books in 18 weeks I'd planned to read, I've finished 12 of them, as well as piling on a few extras.  6 extras to be exact, not including two I'm currently reading and few Christmas themed books I'd like to crank out.  In my spare time. During the holidays.  Shoot me.

So I've fully accepted that I may not finish my list by the end of the year.  But you know what? Even if I just finish the books I've started this year, I will have read 60 books this year.  That's pretty cool.

library lament

Some things are changing with the library's circulations and it's not good.  Well, for me anyways.

Until now, the library's limit for requests/holds and checkouts was 100 items.  I never had anywhere near 100 checkouts, but I consistently max out my list of requests, often times, checking out two books only to run to the website and request two more.

Starting January 1st, 2012, both the requests/holds and checkouts will be limited to 30 items.  That means that until I whittle down my request list by 70%, I will not be able to request any new items.  (I will concede, however, that my items requested until that time will be grandfathered in)(Still, I'm tracking at about 60 items read this year, so it will probably take me the majority of 2012 to whittle that list down)(So much for my great literary plan of 2012).

Plus, although I never got close to 100 items checked out at once, I frequently have between 25-35 items out at once; a mixture of CDs and books and sometimes other media.

Also? CD check-outs will be for only 7 days (in line with DVDs) rather than the 21 days like books.

I suppose this will mean that a lot of the super long waits on popular new releases will drop because people (such as myself) won't be able to load up their request list with them.  It will also mean that CD turnover will be quicker because CDs will need to be returned quicker.  (Hey, maybe I'll finally get that Solid Gold CD after all!).

And I also suppose that since CD checkouts will be shorter overall, I won't need to check out as many items at once because the CDs will be going back so quickly.

But wow, this is hitting me hard.  I have to say, I'm kind of bummed.  But I suppose that's why it's called a public library, and not my own personal collection.

Update:  Ok, so maybe this will be do-able after all.  After a moment of nerddom, I made a list and some calculations.  I have 51 books on my list; these are books that I will not be able to read this year and will be reading myself (as opposed to books requested for other people).  25 of those 51 are books where I am currently the 1st person in line to get a copy (as soon as I unsuspend it).  The rest I'm sure will open up over the course of the year.  4 of the books (half of which I'm #1) are audio books, which I don't count.  I don't count them because they are "read" during times when I would otherwise not be able to read a printed book, i.e. driving, knitting, at work doing data entry, etc).

This is starting to sound a lot more possible, and like a whole 'nother reading challenge alltogether


So I know that I wanted to spend more time this year actively acknowledging what I am grateful.  I'm a huge believer in gratitude being a healing force, and I believe I've had the most transformative experiences when I stop looking at what I lack, stop comparing myself to others, and look at what I have.  But I have not done well on my daily reflection.  Or at least, not in an ritual way.

But today, I find myself very grateful.

It seems silly really.  My aunt has put together a wiki for us to "draw names" for Christmas, and also to post a quick list of what we might like.  (Yes, I am grateful she took charge and did that, but that's not the point.)  I am completey flummoxed.  I have nothing I want.

Ok, yeah, of course, there are things I want.  I want a full-time job with benefits and paid time-off.  I want an apartment/condo/house that we can afford that isn't in the ghetto.  I want a car I don't constatnly worry about putting in the shop.  And to lose about 60 lbs, or even 20.  And a week or two on one of those all-inclusive cruise ships.

Or if you are looking for more tangible things, I'd love any cd from Solid Gold.  Or a gift certificate to one of my fancy yarn shops, or to Penzeys.  Or a gift certificate to my favorite restaurant that just so happens to not have a national ad campaign.  Or a to get my nails done.

And I suppose those are all things too, but none of which I feel like I can task my family with.  Some of my family is very internet savvy.  Some are not.  Some live in the MSP metro area, some live in more rural parts of the state.  Putting anything down that can't be found at a chain store is really pushing it, and the $30 limit.  But I'm not focusing on that.

What I'm focusing on is this:  I look around my tiny, tiny apartment and nothing jumps out as a need.  I have nothing that I'm pining for.  Even when asked the simple question of what's on my wish list, even if there are a few (self-imposed) restrictions, I draw a blank.

I want for nothing.  And I am supremely thankful.


Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries. - James Michener


What 'catching up on my correspondence' now means: getting my txt on while walking home from work.


Dear Crabby Class Member,

When I call you back after receiving a letter from you, please don’t treat me like a telemarketer by loudly pressing digits in my ear.  Oh, and please don’t call back the next day saying we never called you.  We did.  You just didn’t take the call.

Your friendly class-action administrator


animal, vegetable or mineral?

My husband and I are having an ongoing argument.  It's not about how he dresses, or whether the toilet seat should be left up or down.  It's about corn.


My husband is under the (incorrect) impression that it is a vegetable.
"See?", he says, pointing to box in the freezer.  "It says vegetable medley.  And it clearly shows corn as part of the vegetable medley."

"Yeah, well, they also call Velveeta cheese."

I whole heartedly disagree.  Corn is a grain, therefore a starch/carb.  This makes dinner very difficult.

"What should we have with the chicken and corn on the cob?" I ask innocently.

"Mashed potatoes?"

"Umm, no."

"Why not? We already have a veg?"

"Umm, sweetie, corn isn't a veg.  It's a starch.  Have you ever heard of broccoli tortillas?"

"No, but I've heard of zucchini bread."

"Never mind."

This has lead to a basic ban of corn in our house.  This makes 4th of July and August in general very awkward.

Can't we all just get along?
Dear WMDA, That's a terrible acronym. Fire your PR rep unless you like being associated with a failed war and a failed president.


Are owls ever going to go back out of style?! Please!?



Mama had some books to sell so we trekked over to Half Price Books.  The loud speaker sounded like the adults in a Charlie Brown story.  I thought I over-heard my name.  “Hey, did they just say Rachel?”

“No”, Mama replied.  “They called Lisa.”