Saturday, November 25, 2006

No, my woods are not on fire!

I went upstairs Wednesday evening to change my clothes to go to our Thanksgiving service at church and looked out the bedroom window and there were these amazing golden streaks happening right out the window (that looks west). I knew what was coming, so ran downstairs, grabbed the camera and ran out in the yard.

Normally, when there's a great sunset coming, I'll run down to the end of the driveway - about 1/4 mile - and shoot photos (or just watch) from down there where there aren't any trees to block the way. But sunsets go fast and I knew I wouldn't have time. So I started snapping and got some good photos and this is just one of 'em. Cool, huh?

I'm "on vacation" right now - Thanksgiving vacation - from work, anyway. And, after my last blog, you know I'm lovin' it. Dad joined us overnight to be here all day for Thanksgiving and Dustin and Judy came up as well. We had a really nice day and a fabulous meal. I'm so thankful to have family gathered around...

Judy and I got this brilliant idea to go out on "black friday" because A.C. Moore offered 60%-off coupon(s). We do have some new (and really nice) stores at our mall, and, I tell you, I've NEVER in my 30+ years of living around here, seen our mall like THIS. Okay, so I don't usually go out on black friday, but I have, and not even that long ago. But this was unbelieveable. We did manage to spend our coupons, but due to a flat tire and Dustin forgetting his keys at our house, our plans for the day got drastically changed. Oh well, I came home and did my dreaded and put-off banking (consisting of bazillions of receipts from when Chris and I did the majority of our Christmas shopping last week). Whew.

I haven't been doing much scrapping lately. A lot of re-arranging and organizing in my room, but not much actual scrapping. And I've been missing it. So today, now that I'm caught up and I have a few hours to spare before going to my dear friend Deborah's 50th (surprise) birthday party, I'm goin to go play... It's all Christmas stuff at this point. But that's okay - since I'm not decorating (since we're going away this year), this will be my way of immersing myself in the Christmas spirit! Okay, I might drag out a few candles - but that's it. So....

...let the Christmas season begin!
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Wednesday, November 08, 2006


It's one of those very drizzly, foggy, gloomy days where you'd just like to curl up on the sofa with a cup of hot tea, a blankie, your kittie curled up next to you and a good read. Oh, how I wish.

I've been saying it out loud a little bit lately. Now let me put it in writing. I want to be home. I'm not talking about a day off. I mean I just want to be a non-working home-body again. The urges are getting stronger and stronger. And it's not just because it's a gray day.

I feel guilty for thinking this. Because I prayed for this job. And God didn't just answer my prayer with some old job. He answered by getting me the most perfect job for me (if I was going to work, I didn't want anything less). And the best boss and a wonderful group of co-workers and an astoundingly beautiful work space. How can I just smack down that wonderful answer to prayer? How ungrateful can I be? How spoiled can I be?

I have reasons, you know. Good reasons. All within God's will, too. And here they are (not necessarily in order of preference):

1. (This is good - how could God not like this one?) I really miss my nice, long quiet times, devotional times. In my p.j. (pre-job) days I could easily spend an hour to an hour and a half in bible reading, bible study and prayer. It was lovely. Now, I'm lucky if I get a chapter read in the morning and prayer time is generally in the car on the way to work. (Luckily, I have a 25 minute, non-trafficky drive.)

2. I never thought I'd be saying this, but - I miss cooking. And meal planning. And eating healthy. And not that Chris isn't doing a good job of providing a few meals a week, but it's often just hit and miss. And I just can't come home from work and cook. Even though I only work 5 hours - it's 98% computer work - and pretty intense at times (except for like now, when I'm blogging...) But, with my lunch hour and the roundtrip, I'm actually gone 7 hours daily. And I'm mentally and physically done when I get home. That's just me. (I don't know how women that work full-time and have kids at home do it!) If I was home full-time, I'd get back into planning meals regularly, shopping for food regularly and cooking regularly. I want to make it healthier, too. And I'd enjoy it. And, believe me, Chris, as much as he says he likes to cook, would enjoy it. He likes to cook at his leisure, not on demand or out of necessity. I think the fun it started out to be for him has worn off. If I was home, we could go back to sharing this task. But at least meals would be planned and shopped for.

3. I'm out of shape. Okay, that's putting it mildly. I used to start work at 10 a.m. instead of 9 a.m., but that hour at the end of the day is ever so much more useful to me than at the beginning. Especially since so many days of the week, I'm not really "done" when I get home. I have our banking and the church banking and ladies bible study (at my house most often) and worship team not to mention putting together the song service and other things like Wednesday church and the occasional odd outside committment. SO, even though I was walking more when I didn't have to be at work til 10 a.m., it was killing me to come home at 4 p.m. instead of 3 p.m. and get right into all that other stuff. Having said all that - NOW (though I come in earlier and get home earlier) I'm not doing one teensy little bit of exercise because there's NO time before work and I'm sacked after work. I've gained more weight. My heel (plantar faciitis) kills me. My stairs often seem like Mt. Everest. My only muscle workout is when I attempt to carry all 10 grocery bags in at once - on the rare occasion when I get groceries. I want to come home so I can get back to work on my fitness level. Just to take regular walks would be such a luxury and such an improvement.

4. Okay - honestly, I NEVER thought I'd say this, but - I want to clean my house. I haven't really cleaned it in the four years that I've been working. Because Saturday is really my only day off (I "work" half of Sunday, too, at church.) I've been loathe to use that one day cleaning! Yuk! Sometimes, because I've laxed off during the week, I have to catch up on banking or song service stuff on Saturday. Sometimes we have plans that day. Sometimes I just crash. But rarely do I spend that time cleaning. Usually the only time I do is if someone is coming over. In fact, having company has been the only thing that has saved us from drowning in dust. Well, the dust the company would see, anyway. There's so much dust upstairs that I wake up congested every morning. Our bedroom floor hasn't seen the bottom of the vacuum cleaner in months. (And then it was probably Chris that ran it.) Yes, Chris does some housework. But pretty much only the bare essentials of cleaning the main-floor floors and keeping the kitchen in somewhat good shape - about once a week. I long to clean out closets, file cabinets, drawers. To dust everything from the fireplace mantel to the far reaches of under our bed. I long to clear stuff out, simplify, purge and re-organize. I long to be the mistress of my home again and get it in ship-shape (much as like myself).

5. Yeah, you knew this one was coming. I want scrap time. Yes, I have Monday nights, but even that's not always a given. Sometimes, I'm just too tired to even scrap! But if I was home - well, I have IDEAS, people! My head is swarming with projects I want to do. Classes I'd like to teach. Maybe even a business I'd like to start. Usually when I start a new hobby, I exhaust my desire to do it in a few months or in a few projects. But this scrapping thing, I tell you, it's been two years now and I just can't get enough. And I keep getting magazines and publications that continue to inspire me. As long as life is happening around me, there's stuff I want to scrap. Not to mention the joy, the peace, the refreshment, the opportunity for expression that it gives me. It's my happy place, my zone, my peaceful place to think, to create, to express, to give, to reflect, to meditate, to relive. And I don't see it as being even remotely wasteful. Because there's always some kind of worthwhile end product. And I think I have talent and gifts in this area. I can share them. This is the hobby that my whole artistic life before has been preparing me for. And I want more, more, more.

6. Last but not least. I think it will help my relationship with Chris. When I asked him what he thought about me quitting my job to come back home full-time, he said he'd think about it. So when I gave him time to do that and mentioned it again a couple weeks later (and, of course, he hadn't though about it yet), he said "do what you want". Okay that little interchange right there can give you a hint that maybe the spark is fluttering a bit, eh? He says he likes to cook. He doesn't complain about having to clean up a lot. But I think it would be downright sexy to him to have me around again, cooking, cleaning, working on myself. Just to be present and not so tired and crabby that most conversation is cavewoman-esque at best. In other words, it couldn't hurt. And it could very well HELP!

Okay, I've put it in writing now. I know this will only increase my longing. But this is a matter of big-time prayer right now. (Yes, I'm bold enough to ask God for more mercy. He knows how I feel, anyway!) So, we'll see what happens, how it works out.

In the meantime, on this very gray day, I'd better get back to work!