Friday, October 24, 2014

still giving thanks

It was only back in January that I tried writing daily posts. You can read that here.

I have not done a very good job of keeping up with that. Nor have I done a terrific job of saying what I'm thankful for in each post. Sometimes, I think, it's been obvious. Perhaps the less obvious times I have tried to point it out.

At any rate, when I went searching for that original post, I thought it was late fall or early winter that I had started. I was actually hoping I could tell you in this post that I was "close enough" and give it up while I learn my new job. Yet, much to my chagrin, not only was it not late fall but I've only written about two hundred thankful posts.

I've felt guilty these last few weeks. I have intentions of writing something, but the end of the day arrives and I'm too tired. I need my rest.

I will try to carve out time to write something. I have a problem though. When I pick up my laptop to write a blog post, I think, "Oh I'll just check my email quick." The next thing I know two hours have gone by, I never wrote a post and it's way past my bedtime.

Knowing this happens, the other nights when I do have time, I don't even pick up my laptop because I know I won't write anything and I'll just spend time checking email!

With that in mind, please extend me grace. There are three of you who read this and you can all email and ask me what is going on if you miss me that much. I'll keep trying.

I am thankful I'm not being graded on this.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

1+1+1+1=4

I know. A long awaited post. What happened to me?

As indicated in my title, the total is four. As in, that's how many part-time jobs I now hold.

On Monday, I started at Baker Publishing Group as an Administrative Assistant for the Visual Communications Department.

Think that title is long?

My other titles are (in order of shortest to longest titles):

  • Wedding Coordinator
  • Jr. High Youth Director
  • Administrative Assistant to our Associate Pastor for Adult Education

I constantly define that last one because I am not the admin assistant to the Associate Pastor. That would require more hours. Hours more like the new job. Also defined as a full, part-time job. Get it?

Let me explain; my AA in Adult Ed. is four hours/week. My AA in Visual Comm dept is up to 30 hours/week. If I were assisting our Associate Pastor in full capacity, it would be more like 30 hours/week. But it wouldn't be fair because no one else on staff has an assistant. But the other ministry departments have full, part-time or full-time staff. For instance, the Children's Ministry? Full, part-time staff person (I think she works 35 hours/week). Youth Ministry? Full-time, plus others below her in specific areas of ministry like me in Jr. High.

Now that I've explained that, let me explain that I am not crazy. Four part-time jobs is not too many.

For Wedding Coordinator, that's a consultant job. I'm paid when there's a wedding. We only have one on the calendar for 2015.

Jr. High Youth Director, it's ten hours/week for the school year. Most of the work takes place on Sundays. Plus, I have already planned out Sunday mornings through the school year. Sunday nights are planned out through December.

AA in Adult Ed, honestly that job may not exist after the end of the calendar year due to budget cuts. If it does continue, I have worked it out with my new boss that I can work half a day and then go work my four hours at the church, one day a week.

Hence my lack of blogging. I was visiting mom and dad when I got the call from Baker. I came back home and we have just been busy, busy, busy.

Last Saturday was the .1k and it was a blast. Team Bald Ego formed once again. We had a fundraising goal of $500. By Friday night, we were $225 short of the goal. The date was earlier (last year in was in November) so we had fewer team members.

Bill and I were taking a walk and I thought of a few other people I could ask to donate. When we finished our walk, I sent out an email.

One of those people is a Quotarian. She donated last year and has always been a great supporter of me.

Before I went to sleep that night, I said a prayer. I asked for a fundraising miracle.

Saturday morning, I was drinking my coffee, checking my email, and mentally preparing for the race ahead of us (just kidding). I got a text from the Quota member asking me how to donate to the .1k. I walked her through it. (I think it takes longer to donate than it does to race!)

About ten minutes later, an email popped up telling me I had received a donation. It had put us over our fundraising goal! We had been given that miracle!

Bill, Heather, Kathy F. (she was there somewhere, we never did find her), Chandra, Jason, and Addison were all a part of the team. We have decided, for next year, we will dress up. We are Team Bald Ego, after all.

Needless to say, I did not take any pictures of the race. We still had a lot of fun. We hope to come back next year with a bigger team. If you can't make it, you can still donate! I'll keep you posted on information.

I could have made this into two posts… to make up for my lack of posting. But I didn't. We'll see how often I can keep writing. Come back tomorrow for another explanation. I promise it won't be as long.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

String [cheese] Theory

I love pasta. If I had to pick my favorite pasta dish it would be this one. It has all of my favorite things; creamy sauce, shrimp, tomatoes, onion, garlic…

Or it might be this one, creamy orzo. When I make it, I add smoked sausage. Oh yum! The peas put it over the top.

Maybe I should categorize my list of pasta favorites.

Lasagna: from Paula Deen. Although my version is from Shannon and we've both modified it.

Fresh Rollatini: I had this once at a restaurant (and had no idea what it was before that), came home and googled it. I found this recipe which was pretty close to what I remembered from the restaurant.

Alfredo: This one is so simple and pure. I have other alfredo recipes that are thick and filling and delicious.

Then there's this next one, also a pasta dish that I had no idea what it was until I saw it made on tv. Capellini al Forno. It's like a pasta pie. Don't make it for just two people though. Make it for a group of four or six.

Okay, so what do all of these pasta dishes have in common? If you're lactose intolerant, it's your enemy.

Cheese.

Cheesy Mozzarella, cheesy Parmesan, cheesy Romano, cheesy cheese.

Cheese which turns into a gooey mess the instant you put it into a sink full of hot, soapy water.

That's not actually my theory. It's fact.

But I love cheese, so I'm going to keep making pasta. And I'll keep washing dishes. And I'll keep having gooey messes.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

birds of a feather

Two weeks ago, we went to a soccer game for one of our college students. As we were leaving, a large bird landed on a light pole. Bill and I guessed it was some kind of hawk. We looked it up when we got home and here's what we found.

I'm just now getting around to writing about it.

It was very large, but very pretty.

I was concerned it was checking us out. It was probably attracted to the silver aluminum pan that I had made krispy rice treats in and had given to Maria. It flew off without attacking us or the treats.

I don't think Atticus could have caught this bird. I think it would have been the other way around.

While I'm talking about animals, that's been the suggestion for our house name, Animal House. We live on College, the movie was about college. Atticus brings home animals (or like the opossum, they wander into our yard/onto our deck), the movie is named for "animals". I happen to like Animal from the Muppets, so it fits there too.

There was only one vote and it was for the name. I guess we'll name our house Animal House. We should start using frequently. We'll see if it catches on!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fall at the Gardens

I went to Meijer Gardens yesterday. I haven't been there since August and wanted some good autumn photos. What better place to take them?!

Here's a sneak peek at the Japanese Garden, set to open June 2015.

 Inside and out they are showcasing mums. However, outside they haven't fully bloomed, so here's a good photo of the indoor display.

 Here's the Michigan farm.

 This statue is by the farmhouse. 

 I like the palette of colors and the reflection in the pond.

 That's the statue of Eve by Rodin. I like how she's framed by the trees.

 This is inside the gallery, the showcase for ArtPrize at the Gardens. This piece is part of the wall.

 Here's a different angle to help you understand it. 

These bricks are made from clothes, pressed into the shape of a brick. They were then stacked to look like a house that had been damaged. You can read the artist's statement here. I hope you'll take time to read it, she makes a fascinating statement.

I hope you enjoyed my visit. (And photos! I know, I'm shocked too!)