A summer summary

>> Friday, July 30, 2010

Well, I was going to split this up so it was easier to tag, but I'm getting tired of typing, so here's the jist:

  • Our eldest cat, Colin, age 13, is in the midst of liver failure. Yes, this is the second time, but this time through we got x-rays, and there's a large mass of something - could be inflammation from an infection, curable, or it could be cancer - that's made his liver twice the width it should be and smooshed his stomach to one side.  Lanse is heroically suffering the three daily doses of sticking his fingers in Colin's mouth to shove the pills down, and we're desperately trying to get food down him as well.  We may be talking days, weeks (the vet gave us 3 weeks worth of pills), or months, but probably not longer than that unless it actually is the very less-probable cureable infection. This has been an extremely difficult few days and we're steeling for the worst.
  • My childhood friend's baby girl passed away after one hour of life. Now it appears that another friend may have lost her grandson. (We're trying to decipher her FB status, but that's how everyone is reading it.) 
  • Less devastating, but still vital, there is something wrong with my computer (Victoria)'s power source at the motherboard. If it's on it will stay on, but if the cord is bumped accidentally and it shuts off (dead battery) it may not come back on again.  So I've spent the week burning disks of photos. Our friend Donna Rae wanted to sell her 1 yr old Asus Netbook for half what it's listed for on Amazon so that she could get an iPad, so we made a deal.  I'm still in the midst of transferring data from Victoria over to Abigail the Netbook.
  • Once again, it's classroom observation time for my coursework. The school that I've observed in before and I'm excited about (and who wants to interview me for a position once she figures out how things shake down for September) doesn't have students this week or next, so they're out. But the director recommended another school that runs year round, extended hours, at the hospital downtown. So we'll go drive the route on Saturday and I'll get more familiar with the local educational system and they'll... hopefully... get excited about me.  Building connections is always a good thing in this field.
  • We spent July 4th week (prior) in Rochester again. Had a wonderful time visiting Lanse's immediate family, uncle, aunt, and cousins, and those we consider heart family. Saw a lot of our prior neighbors Tim, Susan, and four-year-old Sammy, visited a couple of times with our Pastor-of-choice and his wife, drove an hour to visit my bestest friend Ana (prior co-worker), got together with some prior students of mine, crashed gaming night with our prior group of crazy gamers, ate sushi and ice cream with John StRigger, and drove around reminiscing and spending way too much money on food at our favorite places. Over all it was very good, obviously inspiring over-use of the word "prior". It was extremely emotionally stressful as well, but we spent the week discussing the pros and cons of living in various places, and when we were home we realized we are content here until God says "go". So that, in itself, is invaluable.  Photos are currently on Victoria and may not all get over here. 
  • We now like sushi.  I'm hoping my new-food-crazy dies down before we find ourselves with mercury poisoning.
  • I planted our biggest container veggie garden ever this year.  Almost everything has died because of the heat, and for some unknown reason we've only had two tomatos actually grow and turn red-ish out of four plants. No idea what's going on there.  I ordered the vacation pot-soaker hose kit from Amazon to see if it'll do better with more water when I don't want to go out in the heat, but it may already be too late.
  • Our friends, the Eastvolds, had their baby girl (4th child) the day we left for NY.  They have asked us to be her godparents!  We're very excited and have been spending a bunch of time over at their house.  Her name is Juliana Charis Pinkney Eastvold, and she's beautiful, even when she has the hiccups... which is almost all the time. Her three siblings (all age 5 and under) are adjusting as expected.
I guess that's it for now.  Back to listening to the Dave Ramsey show streaming online.  I highly recommend it, if you can get past him insulting people.

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New author: Susan Gilbert-Collins

As one of the many things with which I am procrastinating my homework, I dove into creating the Group site on Facebook for my friend Susan, whose first novel, Starting from Scratch, will be released on Tuesday. Amazon is delivering pre-orders Saturday, three days earlier than bookstore release. Seeing as how that's tomorrow, you may as well support your local store! Here's the blurb from Amazon.com's page:

"Why is someone who just defended her doctoral dissertation still wasting her time at her childhood home, two months after her mother’s funeral, making coq au vin and osso buco? Olivia Tschetter, the youngest of four high-achieving South Dakotan siblings, is not returning to “normal”—or to graduate school— quickly enough to suit her family. She wants only to bury herself in her mother’s kitchen, finding solace in their shared passion for cooking.


Threatened with grief counseling, Olivia accepts a temporary position at the local Meals on Wheels, where she stumbles upon some unfinished business from her mother’s past—and a dark family secret. Startling announcements from two siblings also challenge the family’s status quo. The last thing she needs is a deepening romantic interest in a close but platonic (she thought) friend.

But while Olivia’s mother is gone, her memory and spirit continue to engage Olivia, who finds herself daring to speak when she would never have spoken before. Told with humor and compassion, Starting from Scratch explores the shifting of family dynamics in the wake of shattering loss and the healing power of cooking."

The book is published by Simon & Schuster. At that link, Susan's author page, you can also find a schedule of her book signings in Rochester, NY, (August 5th, Monroe/Pittsford B&N) and Brookings, SD (dates in September). 
 
I will admit that I have not yet read the book (sorry, Susan!). But I do know from other things that Susan is a fabulous writer and a wonderful friend, and professes herself that she doesn't know the first thing about promotions, so I figured I'd lend a hand. I'll be dragging Lanse along to B&N sometime next week to pick up a copy. I urge you all to do the same with a person important to you!

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Sweltering in July

No matter how many times I hear, "Yes, but you don't have to shovel in the winter," it never makes June through September in the South any less torturous. I wasn't ever the one who had to wield the shovel, anyway. This is the time of year that I equate to a Minnesota winter... where everyone (except insane children) close themselves up in the temperature controled house just to dash to the temperature controled car and dash back in to the temperature controled wherever you've just arrived, and back again. Although extreme heat on the coast doesn't come with roof-destroying ice dams and extensive road work, it does come with garden-destroying drought and hurricanes. Not really the kind of exchange I'm that interested in. Plus, sweat makes you smell bad. Chills, not so much. In the cold I don't have to shower as frequently.

For whatever reason, even though I'm holed up in the house with very few obligations on my time, my house is a wreck and I'm behind on the few things that I do need to get done.  Houseboundness of spirit occurs in any weather, apparently, and I've sorely lacked motivation to accomplish anything practical, let alone sleep and eat responsibly.

So here I am, blogging again to procrastinate schoolwork and phone calls. This is how I am and have been.  There will be three posts to come, with more detail. At least that's the plan; we'll see how it goes.

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About This Blog

Life is about changes; transitions from one place to another, from one purpose to another, from one being to another. They say that the person you are today is a completely different person from who you were ten years ago and who you'll be ten years from now. So far, at the age of 33, I've had four major transitions in my life which redefined who I am. Two years into the results of the most recent transition I am again - still - exploring how God is shaping me. Over the next few months I hope to review my past and set goals for the future, and embrace the next adventure of rediscovering me.
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