Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Favorites!

Happy Halloween from a Madd House Wife!

It's better late than never to post a Friday Favorites!

All week I've been paying special attention to my high lights. And for the most part I would say that the turkey quinoa meatloaf dinner we made Tuesday night. We substituted the tomato paste with Apple & Onion Jam from American Spoon & my oh my it was delicious! We made a garden salad & baked acorn squash for our sides.

Then Halloween came & it snowed & people were in all sorts of a funks. So my new favorite was dressing up with these great crazy glasses, wig, pearls, sequined headband, tiara, & apron to make people laugh.

Not to forget the nice little surprise of a McD's treat from two of my fave local high schoolers at the end of the work day. Definitely makes the list of favorites for this Friday!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

Happy Tuesday!

Do you ever stop, review your current life & think "This is MY life?!" Some days it just feels like playing. Other days it feels like cheating or possibly even trudging through such deep shit that you don't know how anything is going to be clean again. And let's not mention the smell!

Life is a curious thing & we all have our fair share of mysterious junk - yes, some of it is not so mysterious. And what are we gonna do with this?

We keep living & being surprised by ourselves & many others & things around us.

Why such the surprise?

Doubt. Self-image. Assumptions towards others.

7 year old me would've told us all to just have faith.
Don't question it. Be glad with what you have & have faith that life will keep being life.

THIS is your life & it's what you make it to be.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & awesome!

GOOD: Happy day to celebrate the church & its major reformation of the 1500s! Today we honor Martin Luther in his leadership for & with the church & give thanks for his outspoken ways of making his thoughts regarding what it meant for him & people in 1517 to be church known by nailing his 95 theses to the door(s) of the Castle Church, Wittenberg. What a fun way to end the blur of goodness that filled the last week! Ma & Pa N left early last Monday & Z & I busied ourselves as our only day working from our offices. We then went on to enjoy a little bit of shopping, continuing education, & fellowship with colleagues/peers. If you saw Friday Favorites you saw a glimpse at the beautiful few days we spent on a mini-vacay. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. And if you ever thought island life wasn't worth the escape after Labor Day, think again! It's a touch more quiet, the air is crisp & perfect for fireplace time, & the discounts are abundant in all the stores. We came home to newly painted offices, a few new pieces of office furniture, & new business cards. Oh, and of course a cuddly puppy!

BAD: Fatigue, and how it makes many weary of what's next. AND how that weariness buts heads with the honeymoon phase of what's new. Not pickin' up what I'm laying down? Check out this article regarding 'transition fatigue.' I'm not sure that the term 'honeymoon phase' needs much explanation, but there is much joy - just like there hopefully is in a literal honeymoon - that comes with being in a new setting with the fresh touch of grace being given at nearly every turn.

AWESOME: The refreshing feel of getting a new 'do.' As if enough else weren't new already, I hadn't had my hair cut in months & it was time. It's the piece of self-care that we all can give to ourselves at some point. Then there's the piece of self-care that comes from others. It's pretty awesome knowing that my parents visited with AJO & her family the other day & the very next day I received a card with pretty awesome stickers (it doesn't matter if you're 2 or 22 or more) from AJO. And all in between that AJO & I had a phone date too. Whoo, that's a lot of self-care given by self & others!

WORD: Having been out & about this past week I have a collection of short readings & devotions in my e-mail inbox. Deuteronomy, Thessalonians, Psalms, & the Gospel of Matthew. Themes of waiting, trying & trying again, being still, more waiting, & identity scatter the particular scripture readings. 

coming up: Carving & decorating the pumpkins in today's picture. It was quite a blustery day to pick out pumpkins, but fun none-the-less. No, we didn't purchase them all, but we did come away with roughly 22.5 pounds of pumpkin between 2 medium sized pumpkins & 1 small pumpkin. We will be simply enjoying the last week of October with whatever it may bring.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Favorites!

Yesterday was a beautiful day to bike around Pure Michigan and we just happened to do it by tandem on Mackinac Island.

Happy adventure days await!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

Happy Tuesday Tea Time! Today I'm enjoying the crisp Fall weather & bright colors that decorate the land.

One feature of living where I do that I always miss from other cities & countries is riding from here to there on a train. There's something mildly majestic about train rides no matter the conditions of the train. There's also a great sense of adventure that is simply part of traveling.

Adventures take my imagination on traveling ride of sorts & this produces my pieces of story telling, poetry, & doodles.

What perks your creative juices?!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & awesome!

GOOD: Amidst all the rain there will be sunshine. Tomorrow, tomorrow, the sun will come out eventually tomorrow. Right Annie?! This week was packed with a little of this & a little of that. Each day until yesterday was filled with gray skies & lots of rain. There was so much rain that both Z & I didn't realize how depressing it had been till the sun came out & stayed out & made us so wonderfully happy & warm. The crazy part about the warmth is it was possibly the coldest day of this Fall yet. I actually pulled my winter 3-in-1 jacket out of the closet yesterday & didn't regret it one bit. As you can see from the photos, it was quite brisk. Wednesday we enjoyed the evening with the folks of our church & supported the youth in their annual fundraiser over a meal of spaghetti & a silent auction. We even won our bid for a gift certificate to the Dam Site Inn! Joyous times continued with the a visit from Ma & Pa N. We introduced them to the Cheboygan Brewing Company one evening, spent a low key day around town the next day, & enjoyed an afternoon exploring the local area near Petoskey the day after that. We tasted some wonderful apple donuts from Uncle Frank's & topped off the evening with dinner at the Petoskey Brewing Company

BAD: Ebola & other life altering viruses with no distinct remedy or no named diagnosis for some.

AWESOME: Making new friends. Meeting people at random, connecting over furbabies & thinking you'll actually keep in touch. AND getting to talk with friends - even if over Skype - who are together & in the same country as me & hopefully I'll get to see one if not both of them soon & creating so much excitement about these wonderful people that you can't even type in a real sentence. See what sunshine does to me?!

WORD: My friend MBR's blog Stumbling Into Faith

COMING UP: Life on the road again. A few days for work, a few days for fun.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

Happy Tuesday!

Check out the mammoth of tea kettle in today's photo! If you could keep the water warm, you could have tea for twenty!

It's hard to believe that it was only just over a year ago that I had my first tea with TE. Z had scheduled a home visit & she made sure to tell him to bring me too. We were friends before we even met face-to-face! It's not very often in life that we are connected with someone else quite like this.

To honor my friendship with TE & our love for tea, I have remedied the cause for discrimination in a heavy coffee drinking work world & bought myself a new electric kettle. While setting it up, just yesterday, I thought to myself, TE would've loved to come have a cup of tea with me in my new office. And thanks to the love for tea that we shared, I know the importance of sharing it with others.

Some times it just feels good to hold something warm - even if you never drink it.

The nice feature of a hot water kettle is it can be used for much more than simply tea. I will have to get some packets of fun drinks other than tea to offer to my guests. For now though there are 3 different tea varieties with the option of honey stirred in with a chopstick.

Maybe some day soon I'll have tea for twenty! or at least tea for two!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & awesome!

GOOD: The end of the past week was beautiful weather & the colors that are so vibrant in this part of the country, they make you think you're living in a dreamland for a split second or two. We attended a number of meetings this week & had something going on almost every evening. This means that the fur-baby gets to come to work with me for at least the afternoons so that she isn't kenneled from 8am-10pm. So far so good, though she did almost catch her tail on fire when she decided to jump onto the coffee table where there was a burning candle. I quickly swooped her up, blew out the candle, & moved the candle to a higher place. Friday night was the perfect weather for the Homecoming game. We got to visit with lots of people from church & community & the Chiefs won! It was interesting to hear that there is only a Homecoming Queen & no King. Do others know of traditions such as this? We had never seen this done this way before & I'm not sure what to make of it. Is it supporting women or singling them out in an odd way?

BAD: Burning the candle at both ends. I recently viewed this video going on around social media. I agree with much of it. It is an important message to today's people. However, at the same time there is still such a means of connecting to people through social media that we would otherwise not have connection with those people. I see more often than not phrases like, "I am so close to deleting this, if  it didn't mean I would lose contact with so & so from somewhere far away." While it is a wonderful thing to be able to maintain these relationships with people far away. We must maintain relationships with people right in front of us at the same time. Both are equally important as far as I'm concerned, but it is an art to do both in a healthy manner.

AWESOME: Being able to give credit to my English teachers for the creativity that runs through this blog. One of my high school English teachers recently died after a fierce fight for life with cancer. While I didn't keep in touch with her over the last several years, I know that it is because of her lessons in the classroom that I attempted to read things like Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen - and at the time it didn't make much sense - & that I write for the ear (as some might say). I think I owe it to Ms. K to try reading more Jane Austen in my future. And a little interesting fact is that my high school English teachers were among the last of my official "English" teachers as I'm almost certain I was able to test out of taking any English courses in college.

WORD: Matthew 22:1-14 is what kept popping up in discussions I was part of this past week. For those of you who heard a sermon on this text today (the Revised Common Lectionary), what did you hear? Or for those who preached on this scripture today, what did you take away from this scripture?

coming up: another day, another dollar! As one friend said this past week, "You have a job! You have a job! You have a job!" So let the ride of figuring it all out continue. We'll cap the week off with visitors from MN!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

Happy Tuesday Tea Time!

This week Tuesday seems like a different sort of Tuesday.

I've recently felt the discrimination many a tea drinker feels when working in a public place & there being no source of hot water other than a microwave.

Poor me, right?!

One mug of tea in the first half of the day is simply not enough though. So I'm on the hunt for an electric tea kettle for my office. Having only been gifted one before & never shopping for one, I'm leaning towards the purchase of a ceramic kettle.

Any thoughts on what type of kettle to purchase for minimal mula?

It isn't even so much the need for something tea filled always as I think it is for something warm that warms my hands & soul at the same time.

Crazy? Maybe, but I'll take that title any ol' day. Dog crazy, check. Tea & word crazy, check check.

Thanks for joining me for this spot of tea & piece of your time!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & awesome!

GOOD: Last Sunday kicked off a very busy week with a going away pot-luck meal for one colleague, a bridal shower for friend, & prep to move into that one colleague's office. The move started Tuesday with only a few boxes. I was eager, but doing my best to keep some boundaries of not officially starting till Wednesday. Wednesday I spent all day cleaning. Thursday was a day "off" and Friday was another full day of adventures on the new job.

BAD: Last week I mentioned I hadn't heard of much lately so I felt like there were some things hiding in the shadows. I was right! Hong Kong has been up in arms & to watch the videos is alarming & frightening (especially if you are certain you know people that are there & that I am). Not to mention the continued news on the Ebola Virus.

AWESOME: Conviction that comes from deep within one's being is awesome. It's so deep within oneself that you know it's not of you, but you can't separate it from yourself. Watching this, breathing this, living with this conviction is awesome.

WORD: Working Preacher is where I spent most of my week reading & listening.

coming up: a full week of work as Coordinator of Youth & Family Ministries!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday Favorites!

Yep, that is one of the strangest wild mushrooms I've ever seen before. I've been on a mushroom kick lately. Including them in meals & finding them on walks. 

This message brought to you by a late night phone blogging episode of Juls has a Full Plate.