Saturday, December 25, 2004
Here's some exciting things that have happened:
1. We got a sofa! A really nice one! For only $363!
2. We painted our living room green. We hope this is okay with whoever is in charge of our apartment.
3. I went to beautiful downtown Shelby, NC to visit one of my best friends, Lydia. I taught her to knit and she took me to her church and told me about applying for Ph.D programs. I also saw one of my best professors from college, Dr. Goodman.
4. I drove in snow. Very exciting.
5. I have 259 new emails in the email account I use "professionally." This is where I get job postings and lots of library-related emails so I can stay up to date. After Christmas break when I'm back in the library I'll be doing lots of reading!
6. Matt and his mom got together to get me a sewing machine for Christmas!
7. Christmas dinner is halfway done. The roast is roasting, the potatoes are mashed and baked, and the broccoli salad is ready to be mixed. All that's left to do is bake the crescent rolls, glaze the carrots, and cook the corn pudding.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
We encountered all this snow in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park on our way to Nashville this past Sunday. It was a welcome suprise that made the journey even more worthwhile. We went to Nashville to see Andrew Peterson's annual Christmas concert at the Ryman Auditorium. I guess it's kind of silly to drive 5 hours to see a concert, but it was one of the best - if not the best - concert I've ever been to. Andrew just released a wonderful Christmas album called Behold the Lamb of God: the true tall tale of the coming of the Christ. There was a plethora of guest artists including (but not limited to) Derek Webb (formerly of Caedmon's Call), Sandra McCracken, Andrew Osenga (of Caedmon's Call, formerly of The Normals), Randall Goodgame, Buddy Miller (Julie, his wife, is one of my favorite artists, but was sick and unable to appear), Jill Phillips, Andy Gullahorn, Pierce Pettis, and Phil Keaggy. It was a great way to celebrate the coming of the Christ.
That's me in the snow. By the way, Mo rhymes with many words. I like that. Maureen rhymes with few words, which is okay too, but in college for a bit, I was referred to as Queen Maureen, which doesn't really fit me. Anyway, snow is pretty.
Update: I am somewhat incorrect about the rhyming. According to Rhymezone.com, Mo rhymes with 369 words, and Maureen rhymes with 300, which is more than I would have thought.
Monday, December 13, 2004
On the Needles:
- Purple Ribbon Scarf (gift)
- Mystery Purple Item (gift)
- Mystery black boucle item (gift)
- The unsuccessful sweater that has made a return as a somewhat successful sweater that just needs to be longer - again, this is a fault with the pattern not me!
- A small bag to match the return of the unsuccessful sweater
- Scarf and hat or hat and bag with Lion Brand Landscapes Spring Desert yarn
- Sweater with Cascade 220 Burnt Orange yarn
Saturday, December 11, 2004
- We moved to an area where they don't have service, but they wouldn't let us out of our contract unless we pay $300. It's cheaper to pay the bill every month, so we keep the phones.(August)
- Then, they merged with Cingular, but we were told we could not transfer to Cingular, even though Cingular does have service here. We were told we would not be able to transfer our service until after our contract ran out in February 2005. (August)
- Even though we had stopped using our phone because of the excessive roaming charges, our October bill arrived with charges for CALLS WE NEVER MADE. Seriously, Matt's phone had been sitting untouched on a shelf, yet calls MADE FROM TAMPA, where he had not been in October, were on our bill. (November)
- We received a fancy letter and flashy brochure in the mail that proclaimed the wonders of the merger and the fact that we could change over to Cingular service. So, Matt calls to find out how to go about this. We are told his contract expired last week (remember earlier we were told the contract went until February). Funny, but if we had called a week earlier we wouldn't have had to pay for the month of December. (This morning)
- Then, a helpful customer service representative named Heather checks with her manager and explains that all we have to do is go to Cingular.com and sign up for service (which includes a free phone), then call back AT&T Wireless, tell them to cancel the second line because we're switching to Cingular and we won't have to pay the cancellation fee. Sounds good, right? We go to Cingular.com, sign up, and then Matt calls back AT&T Wireless (which had the worst voice recognition phone tree ever) and is told everything he was just told by Heather, WHO WAS ANOTHER AT&T WIRELESS REPRESENTIVE, is COMPLETELY WRONG! What the heck!?! Matt spends another half an hour on the phone while they tell us that we still have to keep my service until February and there's no way we can change unless we do it on the phone with them and pay extra money for a phone. The bottom line: we never should have gone to the Cingular website, even though that's what Heather told us to do. ACK! Why can't they give us a straight story? (This afternoon)
- I cannot create a log-in on their website because something somewhere in all the information I just typed in doesn't match their records. (15 minutes ago)
Friday, December 10, 2004
Thursday, December 09, 2004
10 Whoever wants to embrace life
and see the day fill up with good,
Here's what you do:
Say nothing evil or hurtful;
11 Snub evil and cultivate good;
run after peace for all you're worth.
12 God looks on all this with approval,
listening and responding well to what he's asked;
But he turns his back
on those who do evil things.
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Our yard always seems to collect the water and squishes excessively after rain. I've become accustomed to this and try to walk lightly (if that's possible). On my way to the library I noticed a weird noise in the grass. I think you can actually hear the water seeping through the ground. Most of the way up the hill I heard small trickling noises in the grass.
I think this is really exciting, obviously, since I'm writing about it. In Florida, rainwater just sits and habors mosquitoes.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
I returned to Georgia and my parents' house south of Atlanta a few days later, reuniting with my husband and my cat (they had been road tripping in Florida in a car with no air conditioning - sorry, guys). I cooked yummy Thanksgiving food with my mom and celebrated a quarter century of my life.
For the last couple of days I've been knitting to try to finish the makeover of the unsuccessful sweater, unpacking and doing laundry. Today I made a really good chicken and dumplings recipe I saw on 30 Minute Meals at my parents' house. It was fairly easy and delicious. For the recipe, click here.
It's wet and cold here again, and I think I'm beginning to see what this whole winter thing is about.
Monday, November 29, 2004
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Tiger is only about 15 to 20 minutes from us, which is closer than any other movie theater in the area. Plus, it's way cheaper. The Tiger Drive-In broadcasts the movie soundtrack on a small fm radio station - you just tune in when it's time to start the show. You can talk during the movie if you want, adjust the sound as you like, and no annoying teenagers parade up and down the aisles (because there aren't any aisles!). We finally get to see movies on a big screen on our own terms! Hooray!
Monday, November 15, 2004
Thursday, November 11, 2004
So, because I know I'm being a spoiled brat I wanted to remind myself of things that are very, very good. Here's ten off the top of my head:
1. Phone calls from my parents. They're just so nice.
2. Rainey (the cat) when he's sleeping on the couch.
3. The sound the door on our porch makes when Matt is coming home.
4. Knitting! I may only be able to afford cheap yarn, but I like having something to show for my time.
5. Cheese. I'm a dairy girl. If only it wasn't so fattening.
7. The fact that I'm done with school forever.
8. The mountain view from our front door.
9. Rain. It was a very wet day here. Actually the climate in northeast GA almost qualifies as rain forest. Hence, the lush vegetation. Hence, 75% of this county is state park or national forest.
10. Prayer. God doesn't mind if I tell Him about my bad day.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
My 2 year old nephew is living in Japan for a year (with his parents), so for Christmas, we have to send him something small. So I thought - finger puppets! Inspired by this pattern from Knitty.com, I used my free time this weekend to whip up a frog, an elephant, a bear, a pig (you can't see the cute curlique tail in the back), and a mouse - all from leftover yarn. I'm almost sad to let them go, but I think Kail will enjoy them.
The most mesmerizing was the kudzu on the slope up to our front yard. The edges and the veins in the middle of the leaves were outlined in white frost. I wish I had taken pictures!
Now I can't wait for the snow! I'm also wondering if my knitting skills are advanced enough to do a pair of mittens...
Monday, November 01, 2004
You're Alice's Adventures in Wonderland!
by Lewis Carroll
After stumbling down the wrong turn in life, you've had your mind opened to a number of strange and curious things. As life grows curiouser and curiouser, you have to ask yourself what's real and what's the picture of illusion. Little is coming to your aid in discerning fantasy from fact, but the line between them is so blurry that it's starting not to matter. Be careful around rabbit holes and those who smile to much, and just avoid hat shops altogether.
Take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid.
Now, I don't know what this means exactly. I'm not sure it's good, but I suppose it means I consider life an adventure, which I do. I am confused right now about the Direction of My Life (it's capitalized because it does seem to be a big deal) and I should be praying more for God's direction. Well, maybe not direction, because it doesn't really seem like I need to be going anywhere physically right now...maybe understanding. Alice was looking to understand, right? That's what I want too.
I have liked being in the arts classes. First, because the students are taking these classes as electives, most of them act like they want to be there and are having a good time. Second, there is some impressive creativity and talent in these students.
It's a little heartbreaking being around so many teenagers with potenial. I don't think they see it. As teenagers - and really as people, I guess - our worlds are so small. I've been frustrated with my anonymity here, but it does provide many opportunities to really look at other people. With teenagers, it seems that tiny events are worthy of great drama but little analysis. They don't seem naturally inclined to the "big picture." They don't seem to understand how much they can impact things and how much ability they have if they try.
Oh, but I wish they would. My prayer is that they will someday be grateful for the teachers who pushed them harder, the parents who sacrificed to pay for this private school, the friends who encouraged them. I hope some of the students here go on to be great, instead of just funny or cute or well-behaved. It makes me wonder about the people who taught me. I hope that I appreciate what I've been given and that I will be able to use my abilities.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Someone on one of the listservs I receive posted this article about the differences between bookstores and libraries and what libraries can learn from bookstores. I found it interesting and really like Ms. Block's suggestions for library promotion.
One of the things that still makes me want a real library job is the opportunity for promotion. (One of the others is collection development - I enjoyed every second I spent selecting and ordering materials at my last job). I get excited and inspired just thinking about displays and marketing reading. Far too many libraries simply stick the materials on the shelves and do almost nothing to entice users to, well, use them. In fact, some libraries, including the public library I now frequent, act like my unquenchable desire for books, books, and more books is troublesome. Sigh.
My perfect librarian job would have this title: Collection Development and Promotion Librarian. I would select and order materials, create materials displays, do some public relations and marketing, develop special events and programs, and, for good measure, do a children's storytime every once in awhile.
Unfortunately, I have never heard of a job like this anywhere.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
One of the interesting things I did this weekend was cut my own hair. Saturday I was just tired of the length and didn't want to look for a decent salon, so I did it myself. I have to say, this is one of the better haircuts I've ever had.
Monday, October 18, 2004
Friday, October 15, 2004
Last Friday I got Thai food. This Friday I get SOUTHERN HOME COOKING! Which means - REALLY BAD FOR YOU!
Do I care? No. We're going to the Dillard House to eat (according to their website) :
~Fried Chicken ~Country Ham ~Prime Rib ~BBQ Chicken~Potatoes au Gratin ~Green Beans ~Creamed Corn~Steamed Broccoli ~Glazed Carrots ~Harvard Beets~Ford Hook Lima Beans ~Tomatoes/Onions ~Cole Slaw ~Melon~Yeast Rolls ~Cornbread ~Cobbler a la Mode
YUM! The food is served family style, so you can eat as much as you want. To make it even better, Matt and I are eating with a dozen or so ladies from our church in Florida, so we are guaranteed to have fun.
Tomorrow we'll be fat, but tonight we'll be happy.
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
I wanted to put up some pictures from this weekend of the scenery and the cat, but I worked today! Funny how now that I'm home during the day going to "work" for a few hours (10-3) seems like a big deal. I subbed in three high school art classes and have concluded that being an art teacher is a cool job. Watching the students work today to express themselves individually within the confines of a uniform project was inspiring.
Also got to eat lunch in the dining hall. I love salad bars. Whoever invented them was a smart person. It's too expensive to have the variety of fresh salad stuff at home that an institution can provide. And the cafeteria honey mustard dressing is fantastic.
Something I do not love - self-checkout. Actually, I guess I have a love/hate relationship with self-checkout. It's great when you only have a few items and you just want to get out of the grocery store fast. Today the lines at Ingles were uncharacteristically (that's an 8 syllable word) long so I did self-checkout even though I had a whole weeks worth of groceries. I don't think it was any faster than the long lines and I had to bag everything myself. Maybe it works better with two people.
Friday, October 08, 2004
We're having Thai food tonight!
And they are bringing the dog!
Thursday, October 07, 2004
* Taught the cat to fetch. Seriously, it's really cute. He has this one catnip toy, a purple frog, that, once thrown, he will retreive and return to the feet of the thrower. Much fun.
* Redecorated the bathroom. Who knew Wal-mart had cute bathroom decor? Most of it is hideous, but there was a nice coordinated set that I purchased some pieces of today. We now have a new shower curtain, shower curtain holder things (what are those called?), soap dispenser, toothbursh holder, and light switch cover. It's really quite impressive because it coordinates with the bedding that we purchased at Target.
* Made a weird pumpkin dessert. Not brave enough for pie, I tried a cold pumpkin thing that Matt likes, but I am not so crazy about. If I make it again, I will not use the giant can of pumpkin.
* Made the yummiest macaroni and cheese ever. Here's the recipe (it's really bad for you):
2 cups cottage cheese (I used low fat)
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Can you tell there's not much going on here? All day I've been looking forward to Gilmore Girls, for the funny, zingy dialogue. I have also been looking forward to the VP debate, although I'm pretty sure that will not include any funny, zingy dialogue. I am pretty sure Edwards will smile and Cheney will glower. Then again, maybe Cheney will smile and Edwards will glower. Should be interesting.
Sunday, October 03, 2004
For the beginner - The Jesus I never knew by Philip Yancey. Yancey recounts his personal experience with learning about Jesus in the context of his society.
For a scholarly, but still accessible, treatment - try some of the books by N.T. Wright, a well-respected British scholar.
If you want to be challenged, try The historical figure of Jesus by E.P. Sanders. Sanders is interesting - a Jewish scholar of the New Testament.
Thursday, September 30, 2004
Actually, I picked up crafty hobbies when I was younger too. There was the painting with the mini canvases and acrylic paint, the shirt decorating, the polymer clay sculpting, and the collage making.
Apparently I have a need to express myself creatively, and I have a limited attention span when it comes to crafty hobbies. The newest phase is only a desire so far. I want to sew. I want a sewing machine. Part of me justifies this by thinking that every woman who plans on having a family should have a sewing machine and know how to sew just a little. But the other part of me sees purses like this one, or this one, or this pillowcase skirt, or these aprons, and I just think - "I want to make that."
But I already have a bunch of knitting stuff in my closet and I want more. Besides the previously mentioned and now abandoned hobbies for which supplies were purchased. It just doesn't seem right to take up another.
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
All these memories brought back by a trip to Wal-mart. The check-out girl there today said I looked like her cousin Ashley in Kentucky. Apparently Ashley even wears her hair short like I do.
Monday, September 27, 2004
We attended my parents' church on Sunday, which was very nice. Many people seemed eager to meet us, and Matt said they had the best church choir he had ever heard. Pastor Craig presented an interesting and compelling message about Moses' encounter with God in Exodus 3.
Oh, and we are very thankful to my mom for some fantastic home cooking.
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Fall has always been my favorite time of the year. Of course, I've lived in Florida my entire life up until a month ago, where "fall" just meant the humidity went down a bit and temps were no longer in the 90s.
Also, my entire life up until now I have called Fall Fall. But this year I think I will call it Autumn since we're already waking up to temperatures in the 40s. It gets nice during the day, but still...
I think I will like Autumn. But I think I will be cold.
Monday, September 20, 2004
I've been working part-time in the library at my husband's school (he's an actual teacher) and they were kind enough to offer me the opportunity to be on the substitute list and bring home, if not the bacon, at least (perhaps) some turkey jerky. Today I substituted for two American Literature classes, where I even had to lead a discussion on J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, two English I classes, and a yearbook class. I think I am too big a dork for this job. On several occasions, a student would just look at me blankly, and on several more occasions, they didn't stop talking. Nonetheless, no one laughed at me except when I cracked a joke, and no one did any harm to himself or others. I admire people who are or want to become teachers. It takes a lot of effort to be interesting and authoritative at the same time.
Even though I may not have thought I could be a sub, it wasn't so bad. And I'm getting $50.
It all started Thursday when there were tornado warnings and lots of wind and rain. Power went out and I got sent home from work in the library. Matt (that's my husband) and I lit a bunch of candles and tried to put together a puzzle that was way too hard, even if we'd had sufficient lighting. The fun part was when we got to try to eat the stuff in the fridge that was going to go bad. The not fun part was waking up Friday morning and still having no power.
But, they cancelled school so we were both free for the day and went to explore Asheville. It took longer than expected because of an unfortunate detour through some very flooded mountain area. There were houses that were literally about to wash away. We did enjoy Asheville, for the most part, mainly because of the access to real shopping, like a mall and Ross and TJ Maxx - two of my favorite stores. Downtown Asheville is real cute, but not so much fun in the rain.
We made the sad discovery that people from Asheville don't understand that when traffic lights aren't working due to lack of power, you treat intersections like a four-way stop. Negotiating the parts of town with no electricity was interesting.
Power was back on when we got home on Friday, but went out a few more times Saturday. By the way, the weather on Saturday and Sunday was beautiful. Everything was clear and crisp. So rain's not all bad, after all.
We also bought a digital camera this weekend for a very good price, so expect pictures here soon.
Monday, September 13, 2004
I was very excited about this weekend that was ours. I came up with the plan to hike Glen Falls, eat a picnic lunch, and spend the afternoon in nearby Highlands, NC. The three Falls were beautiful and we very much enjoyed the hike down. The hike back up the steep trail was more than I bargained for. Seems I always overestimate my fitness. We made up for it by sipping delicous frozen chai from Buck's Coffee Cafe.
Sunday morning we were back in Highlands to visit First Baptist Church of Highlands. It was very nice, but small, and overall, not the church for us. Lunch was at a barbeque joint as we were on our way to beautiful Sapphire, NC for The Offering, a sort of mini-festival featuring worship artists. For ten bucks we got to hang out on a really beautiful grassy hillside by a lake with mountain views and enjoy some very good music. We mainly wanted to see Shane and Shane, who did a fantastic set under the stars. I also enjoyed Todd Agnew and Charlie Hall. I have to say that it has been a long time since my corporate worship through song felt so joyful, and I'm grateful for the opportunity.
Boo to the Subway in Cashiers, NC for running out of bread when several hungry youth groups descended on them. If you are a sandwich place, bread is important, is it not?
By the way, my husband told me this weekend that he was a little embarrassed of my knitting. Apparently he thinks it's dorky. Eventually I talked him out of that view, but now I'm not sure if he deserves a new Mo-made scarf for this winter or not. :-)
Friday, September 10, 2004
First thought - northeast Georgia is much, much prettier than Florida, where I lived my entire life up till now. Besides the fact that this area is not so beseiged by hurricanes, it has mountains! And waterfalls! And gorgeous sunny, but not hot, weather.
We may not have friends yet, but we do have a nice view.