Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016

Has this year flown by, or has it been four years since May? Both, I think. Several years in fast-forward perhaps? So much has happened, and I'm learning so much. Here are some of the things that I got to do this year.

I became a godmother! That's been an amazing experience. And although I can't share much about her here in order to protect her privacy, I'm glad to let you know that being a godmother is one of the things on my heart and in my days.
(you be the fairy, I'll be the godmother)
I got to watch Ben get baptized...
 
And graduate.

Big Sandy (the retreat I refer to here) was a life-changer in my year. Not only because of the incredible work God did in that weekend, but because it was there that I reconnected with good, good friends, and made about twenty new friends. Those friendships had a huge impact on the months ahead. I was encouraged in my life and wherever it would go, but I was also encouraged to move to the cities... that this would be a good step. And for the first time, I had something to move to. Not just away from my parents home, but toward something definite. A community to surround and support me in this new stage.

Over the summer, while this was all simmering away in the minds, Will and Ben and I were able to road-trip out to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, and camp in Custer State Park. Unforgettable memories, some of which I recorded in twitter-sized memos:
- Note to self: never visit South Dakota without Zyrtec
- God bless Custer state park showers and their uniformly warm, soft water at the touch of a button.
- Wildlife loop ftw: bison pronghorns, prairiedogs
- Bacon, burritos, and brownies. The three B's of breakfast.
- Camping at Custer with Caribou Coffee


I bought a car. 
For a while there in the summer, figuring out if and when I should move to the cities, Ben and I were thinking about renting a place together. And while we looked stuff up, and asked around, and prayed about what God had for us, we decided that in the city, we'd need a car. My grammy was moving at the same time, and decided to leave her car behind. So I took that as an opportunity falling in my lap (which I have found is often the way God works stuff out for me) and I seized the moment, and bought the car from her.
The name is Godfrey.
Ben and I immediately named the car of course. Eventually we realized that we wouldn't be renting together, so I'd be buying the car alone. But we 'broke it in' together and took it on our weekend through South Dakota. So it's already seen some adventures since it changed hands.
Now Godfrey smells like pine trees and coffee and sometimes pie, and carries me about with a good will. I love that car.

We went camping again, near Mille Lacs, with The Squad (as we call the Big Sandy group that became close-knit community). Great enjoyment, tons of fellowship and bacon. Stars, water, singing.


I can't believe I didn't know these people a year ago.

Aaand.....
I signed a year lease.
Before I had left my parents home, I got word from new friends in the city: A bunch of us girls are renting a house: join us! After family discussion (my decision-making process involves a lot of family discussion), prayer, and much deliberation (but only in the space of a couple days), I said yes. I'm in. All the way.
I'd never lived away from home. I'd never lived with a bunch of girls. Roommates were a foreign concept. I would be paying rent on my own, and learning to drive in the city, making plenty of decisions, and meeting a bunch of people. And I was all in for the adventure. I was excited, and ready.
"If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad." 
-Jane Austen

Just making that step caused me to get over a great many of my fears. And as I moved forward, encouraged by my friends in confidence and personal expression, I found new enjoyment. My family was supporting me-finding-my-way. And so I did. Perhaps I haven't Found It, as in life-purpose, long-term goals, or Conclusion, but if finding-my-way means starting down a path... that's what I've been able to do these last few months.
Like Bilbo, I've trotted out the front door, down the path and though the gate, dangerous as that is to do. There's no knowing where one might end up!

So, I've learned to navigate without gps, I set up a bank account by myself, I take my car in for maintenance, pay rent, save money. It's been great. Lots of hard days too, and difficult choices, and times when I really, really, hate being an adult. But, you know what? Lots of really cool stuff too. And I've discovered that I really like being personally responsible most of the time. Especially since all that personal responsibility comes with some awesome freedom. Isn't that crazy? It's always been that way, and most of us even know it, somewhere in our minds. It just doesn't sink in until we experience it for ourselves.
Very American too. don't mind us, we're just going to take over running our own entire country, 'cause we want the freedom that comes with that
Or perhaps it's the other way round. No matter.

I immediately turned in my notice at work, sent in a few applications, and before you could say Jack Robinson, I had a job as a barista. I discovered that not only do I love coffee, and love it black (and now I'm forever spoiled and want really good coffee) but I love making espresso drinks: all that milk frothing, and not letting espresso sit, and getting the milk thick, and the foam glossy, and the aroma. Not to mention all the happy coffee people, and the people who need our happy, or our caffeine to make their brains work. It's an enjoyable kind of service, and plays into my love of feeding people, while being different enough that I don't mind it also being my job. And I've met some cool people.
having a blast exploring the possibilities of the city: see bands live!
I've expanded my community. Through church and friends and work. More support, edification, encouragement.
I've been able to expand so much, stretch so many personal limits...
I've learned a crazy amount in this year. And I can't quantify that here.
Just a few things for summary:
You are loved. I am loved.
More than we know. More than we can imagine.
You can't hope too big.
You. Are. Loved.
Love is about space. Grace for mistakes (including but not exclusive to: sin). Room to grow, to not understand, for sadness, for pain.
God's love will never forsake us, remember? His Love covers, and casts out fear; like arms that won't let you go. He knows, and loves you still, and in spite of everything, and never less.
Tomorrow I'm going to have to remind myself again, and ask God for strength to believe it.
Won't you do that with me? It will change your life.

We are first and foremost beloved sons and daughters of the Living God.
Heirs.
Imagine how differently we would face our days if we remembered that?

There are a great many things that I've been able to let go of as I let these truths sink in.
I still struggle with fear, and apathy. But I'm learning and growing...
Not sure where my heart is most days, or where I'm going: but my heart is getting bigger.
And there is the eye-sparkling joy of it all!

One day I'll see the face of Jesus. For now: the riotous dance of life.

I'm singing more! Always a good thing.

There are plenty of other things of course... I got bangs cut in my hair (and lets be honest, not only was that a big deal in my life, but one of the better things to ever happen to my face) and then of course I colored my hair for the first time (which totally freaked me out at first, but now it's a cool experience).
Mat Fraser won the 2016 Crossfit games.
Olivia de Havilland turned 100 years old.
And of course we lost several people this year, including Neville Marriner, and  Debbie Reynolds.
The turn of the world...


And now... for
My Year As A Fictional Music Album:
album artwork

Track list:

1. Only Love
2. But it hurts
3. Wherever you go
4. Open heart open arms
5. Crazy Spinning world
6. Never alone
7. Rhymes with coffee
8. Murmuration
9. Just Dance
10. Let's See the World
11. Caffeine and Constellations
12. Sing for your heart


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The year is ending!

Had quite a lovely evening last night. Snacks and mulled wine, puzzles and singing, bananagrams and spoons, the polar express. A festive evening with friends, that naturally ended late, so my alarm this morning was a bit of rude awakening. Kept busy at work today, stopped for some radiator maintenance on my car before heading home, drank plenty of coffee on the way. And as soon as I got home, headed to bed and napped for an hour or two. Then I got up, made Avgolemono (a delicious and easy soup, that comes from Greece: rice, egg, and lemon in broth) and am watching a few shows before I head back to bed. I may or may not catch up on stuff tomorrow.

P.S. I just found out that Debbie Reynolds passed away. I could cry! Gonna have to go watch Singin' in the Rain again...

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

eleven and snow

Well, I didn't post yesterday (when my family had our own celebration and present opening) so this is a quick one for yesterday and today. A bit of a cop-out I know, but I promise to lock myself in my bedroom for a little real writing before the first of the year: today, however, is not that day. So yesterday, after brunch and present opening, we lounged and watched White Christmas, and Christmas in Connecticut, to round off the holiday weekend. It was lovely.
Today I packed up the car, drove home, and headed straight to work. Back from work, I'm preparing for a bit of festivity: a quiet party if you will. I dashed out for some ingredients to make mulled wine. Friends come around seven. I've showered now, and am ready for the evening to begin!
Listening to The Chieftans' Bells of Dublin yesterday and today. St Steven's Day was yesterday, gotta have some tunes for that!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas Eve!


Translation of the original Stille Nacht before they made it into singable English rhymes

Friday, December 23, 2016

Headed Home for the Holidays

My sister and her family got to visit my house today. It was the most wonderful time, my nieces and nephews' enthusiasm renewing the joy that is in this place. In true fashion we had plenty of food: chili and cornbread, tea and cookies. We talked and laughed and chased little ones, shared and helped out. I am so looking forward to spending a little more time with them this holiday weekend.
Ben and I are driving back to the parentals' house, small town Minnesota, tonight.
I'm all packed and ready, Christmas presents in a laundry basket, fudge in a tin, Christmas cookies under the apple cider. Santa hats peeking out.
I'm taking a deep breath to marvel at the Wonder of Christmas. That Almighty God split time and space asunder, to come be Emmanuel, the God who is with Us: His people.
Breathe in and believe it my friends..
I definitely know who wins my vote for Christmas album today: Lauren Daigle's album 'Behold'
A little jazzy, classic Christmas album style, Lauren's voice gives it almost an Adele sound.
I greatly encourage a listen!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas is around the corner!

Work today, a smidgen of last-minute shopping, a stop at the post office, and a bout at the laundromat. (where I listened to some Beiber Christmas--sshh)
I'm off soon for a bit of dancing before the relaxation and festivity of the weekend.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Merry Midwinter!

listening to a little Kenny G Christmas sax

Yesterday's


I post this nearly every year, but it's part of my traditions. Cozy and Welsh and Christmasy.

I've been enjoying Bing Crosby Holiday Pandora all month~

Monday, December 19, 2016

It's Christmas week!


O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free

Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.



I feel ridiculously tired today, as if I took Benadryl. I may be coming down with something. Coffee didn't help much but got me through work. Otherwise, I've been working on some Christmas presents. Today felt warm in comparison to yesterday (my car preferred it as well--took three tries to start in yesterday's -20). Yesterday was wonderful--fellowship, worship, togetherness. Blessings, friends.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Joy has come with his new dawn


Leading worship with brothers in Christ today.

Lift your heads to hope, and long with all of Creation for Christ and the wholeness he brings.

enjoying Bebo Norman's Christmas...from the realms of glory

Christmas Shopping

"ONE of the minor arts of life, thought Mrs. Miniver at the end of a long day's Christmas shopping, was the conservation of energy in the matter of swing doors. With patience and skilful timing it was very seldom necessary to use your strength on them. You could nearly always follow close behind some masterful person who had already done the pushing; and if you were too late for that and the door had begun to swing towards you, then it was well worth pausing for a second until it swung away again and needed only a gentle encouragement. This seemed obvious enough; but there was an astounding number of people who seemed to glory in taking the line of most resistance, hurling themselves against an approaching door and reversing its direction by brute force, as though there were virtue in the act. They must lead, she reflected, very uncomfortable lives.

Placing herself neatly in the wake of a bull-necked woman in tweeds, she slipped out of the shop. There was a raw wind; sleety rain was beginning to fall, blurring the lamplight; the pavements were seal-sleek; it was settling down into one of those nasty wet evenings which the exiled Londoner longs for with a quite unbearable nostalgia.

She tumbled all her parcels into the back of the car, slid, happy but exhausted, into the driving-seat, and set off for home. The double screen-wiper wagged companionably, uttering over and over again the same faint wheedling word, which she could never quite make out. It was a dissyllable, something like "receive" or "bequeath." She was glad, at any rate, that they now had a screen-wiper which moved at a constant speed. Their last had been one of those which work off the induction: lively and loquacious when you are at a standstill, sulky and slow as soon as you get going and really need its help -- like the very worst type of human being.

She felt a little guilty: it was the first time she had caught herself comparing the beloved old car unfavourably in any way with the usurping new one.

Getting home was evidently going to be a long job. The usual six o'clock home-going stream was in spate with Christmas crowds, and Oxford Street was a solid jam. It was her own fault, she had to admit, as she sat back and waited for the lights to change. Every year the same thing happened. At the beginning of November she made up her mind that this time, for once, she would get her Christmas shopping done early. She went as far as writing out a list -- and there, for several weeks, the matter rested. At intervals she tried to pretend that Christmas Day fell on the 5th of December, or, alternatively, that all her friends and relations lived in South Africa and that she had to catch an early mail; but it was no use. The feeling of temporal urgency cannot be artificially produced, any more than the feeling of financial distress. The rich young man who determines to work his way round the world may gain many things, but the experience of poverty is not one of them. He knows that in the ultimate emergency he can always cable home for funds; and Mrs. Miniver knew perfectly well that Christmas was not until the 25th of December, and that all the people on her list lived in England.

(The screen-wiper wagged steadily. "Sea-green . . . sea-green. . . " Perhaps that was nearer the mark?)

Besides, successful present-choosing depends very largely upon the right atmosphere, upon the contagious zest of crowds, upon sudden inspirations and perceptions, heightened rather than otherwise by a certain sense of pressure in space and time. To do it cold-bloodedly, in a half-empty shop, without any difficulty or competition, is as joyless as a mariage de convenance.  So perhaps it was just as well, she told herself consolingly, that she had, as usual, left it till the middle of December.

("Wee Free . . . Wee Free. . . " Warmer. She'd get it yet.)

The lights changed. She put the car into bottom gear, paused, then let in the clutch. It occurred to her as she did so that it was not only people's physical reactions to those three colours that had become automatic but their mental ones as well. Red, yellow, green -- frustration, hope, joy: a brand-new conditioned reflex. Give it a few more years to get established, and psychiatrists would be using coloured rays, projected in that sequence, for the treatment of melancholia; and to future generations green would no longer suggest envy, but freedom. In such haphazard ways are symbolisms born and reborn.

At the next crossing, red again. Frustration -- but somehow one accepted it without resentment, simply because it was not imposed by a human hand. One could be annoyed with a policeman, but not with a tin hollyhock. The same was true of automatic telephones: ever since the dialling system had come in the world's output of irritation must have been halved. It was an argument for the mechanization of life which had not previously struck her.

She got home at last. Clem was already in, with his legs stretched out in front of the fire.

"Successful?" he asked, seeing her festooned with parcels.

"Look here, she said, "that screen-wiper -- I think what it says is 'Beef Tea.'"

"My goodness," said Clem. "I believe you're right."  "

--Mrs. Miniver,  by Jan Struther

(yesterdays' post. recommending Pentatonix Christmas)

Friday, December 16, 2016

Good old Psych


And their Christmas episodes are hilarious.
also recommending Michael Buble's Let it Snow album

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Flying through Advent



The windchill on my way to work this morning was -23. That's right: twenty-three degrees below zero. Sometimes I wonder why I live here.... And then I remember all the Hygge ways to keep my Heart, Home, and Aura full of Cheer, Gladness, and Warmth. HERE's another delightful post about such things, thanks to the beloved Susan Branch... we're too late for the drawings, but the rest of the post is quite a prize in itself. (Find her books at your local library for a cozy put-up-your-feet read, a perusal during breakfast or teatime, or a nightcap as you're drifting off against the pillows.)

Well, I was going to write more but the day got away with me. See you tomorrow my friends,

Tuned into Cantus' Christmas special today on Classical mpr. Check out their music if you get the chance.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

King John's Christmas

King John was not a good man —
He had his little ways.
And sometimes no one spoke to him
For days and days and days.
And men who came across him,
When walking in the town,
Gave him a supercilious stare,
Or passed with noses in the air —
And bad King John stood dumbly there,
Blushing beneath his crown.
King John was not a good man,
And no good friends had he.
He stayed in every afternoon…
But no one came to tea.
And, round about December,
The cards upon his shelf
Which wished him lots of Christmas cheer,
And fortune in the coming year,
Were never from his near and dear,
But only from himself.
King John was not a good man,
Yet had his hopes and fears.
They’d given him no present now
For years and years and years.
But every year at Christmas,
While minstrels stood about,
Collecting tribute from the young
For all the songs they might have sung,
He stole away upstairs and hung
A hopeful stocking out.
King John was not a good man,
He lived his live aloof;
Alone he thought a message out
While climbing up the roof.
He wrote it down and propped it
Against the chimney stack:
“TO ALL AND SUNDRY – NEAR AND FAR –
F. Christmas in particular.”
And signed it not “Johannes R.”
But very humbly, “Jack.”
“I want some crackers,
And I want some candy;
I think a box of chocolates
Would come in handy;
I don’t mind oranges,
I do like nuts!
And I SHOULD like a pocket-knife
That really cuts.
And, oh! Father Christmas, if you love me at all,
Bring me a big, red, india-rubber ball!”
King John was not a good man —
He wrote this message out,
And gat him to this room again,
Descending by the spout.
And all that night he lay there,
A prey to hopes and fears.
“I think that’s him a-coming now!”
(Anxiety bedewed his brow.)
“He’ll bring one present, anyhow —
The first I had for years.”
“Forget about the crackers,
And forget the candy;
I’m sure a box of chocolates
Would never come in handy;
I don’t like oranges,
I don’t want nuts,
And I HAVE got a pocket-knife
That almost cuts.
But, oh! Father Christmas, if you love me at all,
Bring me a big, red, india-rubber ball!”
King John was not a good man,
Next morning when the sun
Rose up to tell a waiting world
That Christmas had begun,
And people seized their stockings,
And opened them with glee,
And crackers, toys and games appeared,
And lips with sticky sweets were smeared,
King John said grimly: “As I feared,
Nothing again for me!”
“I did want crackers,
And I did want candy;
I know a box of chocolates
Would come in handy;
I do love oranges,
I did want nuts!
And, oh! if Father Christmas, had loved me at all,
He would have brought a big, red,
india-rubber ball!”
King John stood by the window,
And frowned to see below
The happy bands of boys and girls
All playing in the snow.
A while he stood there watching,
And envying them all …
When through the window big and red
There hurtled by his royal head,
And bounced and fell upon the bed,
An india-rubber ball!
AND, OH, FATHER CHRISTMAS,
MY BLESSINGS ON YOU FALL
FOR BRINGING HIM
A BIG, RED,
INDIA-RUBBER
BALL!
--gotta love A A Milne


Another enjoyable Christmas album: Holiday Inn Soundtrack

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

jes' 'fore Christmas

by Eugene Field

{Not at all sure why I thought of this one, but seeing as it is jest 'fore Christmas, it is appropriate. Fond memories of all the poetry we read (and had read to us) as children. Ooh, just remembered another one I'll have to post tomorrow... stay tuned!}

Father calls me William, sister calls me Will,
Mother calls me Willie, but the fellers call me Bill!
Mighty glad I ain't a girl---ruther be a boy,
Without them sashes, curls, an' things that 's worn by Fauntleroy!
Love to chawnk green apples an' go swimmin' in the lake---
Hate to take the castor-ile they give for bellyache!
'Most all the time, the whole year round, there ain't no flies on me,
But jest 'fore Christmas I 'm as good as I kin be!

Got a yeller dog named Sport, sick him on the cat;
First thing she knows she does n't know where she is at!
Got a clipper sled, an' when us kids goes out to slide,
'Long comes the grocery cart, an' we all hook a ride!
But sometimes when the grocery man is worrited an' cross,
He reaches at us with his whip, an' larrups up his hoss,
An' then I laff an' holler, "Oh, ye never teched me!"
But jest 'fore Christmas I 'm as good as I kin be!

Gran'ma says she hopes that when I git to be a man,
I 'll be a missionarer like her oldest brother, Dan,
As was et up by the cannibuls that lives in Ceylon's Isle,
Where every prospeck pleases, an' only man is vile!
But gran'ma she has never been to see a Wild West show,
Nor read the Life of Daniel Boone, or else I guess she 'd know
That Buff'lo Bill an' cowboys is good enough for me!
Excep' jest 'fore Christmas, when I 'm good as I kin be!

And then old Sport he hangs around, so solemnlike an' still,
His eyes they seem a-sayin': "What's the matter, little Bill?"
The old cat sneaks down off her perch an' wonders what's become
Of them two enemies of hern that used to make things hum!
But I am so perlite an' tend so earnestly to biz,
That mother says to father: "How improved our Willie is!"
But father, havin' been a boy hisself, suspicions me
When, jest 'fore Christmas, I 'm as good as I kin be!

For Christmas, with its lots an' lots of candies, cakes, an' toys,
Was made, they say, for proper kids an' not for naughty boys;
So wash yer face an' bresh yer hair, an' mind yer p's and q's,
An' don't bust out yer pantaloons, and don't wear out yer shoes;
Say "Yessum" to the ladies, and "Yessur" to the men,
An' when they 's company, don't pass yer plate for pie again;
But, thinkin' of the things yer 'd like to see upon that tree,
Jest 'fore Christmas be as good as yer kin be!

~~ Harry Connick Jr 'When My Heart Finds Christmas' -- such a classic sound. ~~

Monday, December 12, 2016

Looking back as we look forward

Here are some of my advent and Christmas posts from previous years:

Adventus
if you only get to one, read this one

God with us

Advent Light

Advent

Memories

A Christmas Carol

A Child's Christmas in Wales

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A Joy for all Eternity

Days in shadow, days of night
Unrevealed was present Light
Those who pondered what was told
Waited long to be consoled
For consolation long foretold

One had waited long and well
Righteous, filled with hope they tell
He was old but could not die
Said the One who cannot lie
Until he saw the Savior nigh

Years he waited, years he prayed
Yearned to see what plans were laid
Simeon, they called his name
Often to the temple came
But one day it was not the same

Called the Spirit, 'follow me'
Calling irresistibly
To the temple's level ground
Listening for any sound
Of Him to whom his life was bound

Then he saw a man and wife
Bearers of eternal life
Recognized the babe she wore
Root of Jesse evermore
But they knew not whose Son they bore

He approached them with great joy
Reached his arms to hold the boy
"Your Salvation now I see,
In your grace, you answered me
--I'm ready for eternity.

"Peace to my heart, light to all
Revelation and a call
Blessed be your parents here
Marveling at what they hear
And may they see You reappear.

"Many at his word will fall
Many more rise at his call
Some shall come against his hand
Leading the opposing band
A Man of Sorrows in His land.

"This is triumph that you feel
They can only touch his heel
Ages ached to be redeemed
Long to come, it often seemed
Until upon them, Jesus beamed."

. . . There were also others there
One with hope and long white hair
She would worship, pray and fast
Waiting till Messiah passed
And all her heart was filled at last

She had often spoken out
Years in temple-work devout
She was simply known as Anna
Now all through her heart there ran a
Joy, with which she cried, "Hosanna"

. . . Days of shadow, turned to light
Now revealed unto our sight
His Salvation, high and free
Fills with joy and comforts me
And will for all eternity

From Luke 2, written by Olivia, 2010
all rights reserved, as always, to this blog
Run the Earth and Watch the Sky

music for the day

Saturday, December 10, 2016

And more snow

came drifting down later in the afternoon, making my drive home from work slow and sketchy
Too bad I don't have a Tardis.
so I decided to make more of my own of course

Also, just a heads-up to my gluten-free friends: The enormous bottle of Garner Fructis Damage Eraser Conditioner I bought, has wheat protein. It is (of course) clearly printed on the label, but for once I did not read it till I got home. 

Tonight I'm mentioning a Christmas album that I haven't actually had a chance to listen to yet. But I mean, how can we go wrong? 
Ella and Louis Christmas
(That's Fitzgerald and Armstrong of course) Can't wait.

And while I'm recommending music, just a shout out to Paper Lions. I've enjoyed their music for several years, but just recently got a chance to hear them live in concert. They were absolutely incredible. And I picked up a CD so I could listen while in my car. It is awesome car music I'm telling you. But you can also check them out on Spotify! Give their music a listen, pick up a CD for your car, and go see them live if you can. It's worth it.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Come thou dayspring

I commend:
Shane and Shane A Worship Initiative Christmas album

Flurries of festive

The reason I didn't post last night was that I was planning on doing it in the evening, and I was busy from about five to midnight. There were several hours of music practice and singing, and then on to a Christmas movie to round off the evening. I'd never watched The Holiday. Delightful!
 By the time I went to bed, it was technically this morning.

The earlier part of my day was full too, but more full of crafting than of anything else.
 I watched a couple of cheesy Christmas movies while I crafted and went about my day. 'Get Santa', a very British, ridiculous, and Christmasy movie. And 'Pete's Christmas', which I thought was hilarious and enjoyable--Pete's stuck in the same Christmas on repeat. Classic cheesy Christmas. Both are available on Netflix. 

 Some days when you feel behind on your Christmas spirit, you just have to do this on your day off.



And I drank an entire pot of hot tea by myself.



Recommending to you Francesca Battistelli's Christmas for festive jingly fun.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Wednesday in December



I feel productive today, in a different way than I do on work days. With more time, and being a little less tired, I can get more done personally. So this morning I went and got the oil changed in my car for the first time (first time for me that is, not the car). Then I washed dishes and cleaned the kitchen while watching this youtube of Rick Steve's European Christmas. I've always enjoyed it, Christmas traditions and festivity from different countries and cultures. Just cozy and fun. The music is wonderful too, and doubles as my sharing of Christmas music for the day.
I also spent a couple of hours at the laundromat. Got to do some reading, journalling. wringing out of my clothes when one of the washers didn't spin. But it's such a lovely feeling to come home with a basket full of warm laundry. (Even when its freezing outside.) Not to mention I now have pajama pants to wear again. And my favorite pants are clean again, (and so on).
And this evening I've done a little crafting, while watching Bones.
Good night, my friends!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Further In

I keep passing this by in my spotify albums because I couldn't remember why I liked them. Turns out today I was in just the right mood, and their album was just what I wanted to listen to! I'd put on a holiday pandora station at work, and when one of their songs came on, I had to go over and see who it was because I wanted to listen to more.... Anyway, I do hope you check it out.

Busy day at the coffee shop, since we were down a (wo)man. I love starting early in the morning though, catching the early crowd, and being around for when the sun comes up. Even when, like today, it was just ridiculously cold out, even in the middle of the day. Then I got to come home and talk with friends, eat guacamole, and drink tea. Quite perfect, if you ask me.

And then a bit of pinterest, a short nap, and a little cooking of supper. Small group tonight. Gonna go get my oil changed tomorrow...
You know, Life.

Merry festive season to you! These days I pretty much only get around to a plaid shirt and a little Christmas music. One of these days I'm going to have an actual craft and present and movie, Christmasy day. And make my 'shortbread' with almond extract.... mmmm

Monday, December 5, 2016

Skating through December

  

Crazy busy life got in the way of me posting yesterday. Church in the morning, small group brunch, and then fellowship with the squad and serendipitous friends in town. Walking all over downtown, across bridges, through snow and rain, into decorated public buildings. We caroled our way into the coffeeshop, and sang a large percentage of the rest of the time too.

Trying to collect my thoughts these days. Getting a few down in journals and things, pulling together disjointed thoughts and ideas. I hope to share more here in the near future. For now, I'm just keeping up with the present and very 'here' things. Mind processing, work to go to, groceries to get. Things to do, people to see.

I'm not in the mood for uploading another picture right now of the album covers, but I recommend to you, In the Christmas Mood by the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and James Taylor at Christmas.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Cheers

Here's a link to a bunch of Christmas Advertisements that I enjoyed watching.

And then there's this one, my absolute favorite:



And here's an album to enjoy: Josh Groban's Noel. Need I say more?

Friday, December 2, 2016

Joy to the world

















oh and as far as the album goes, I'd just like to commend to you, Beegie Adair Holiday on Pandora.