reading and writing

I love to read and have been an avid reader ever since I learned to read. One thing that has been neglected in my life for the last few months has been books. Work has been so overwhelming that I’m just plumb tuckered by the time I get home. And, I have to admit that I have become a very lazy reader and have opted to listen to books at times when I should be actively reading instead. But that is going to change this weekend because I plan on engaging in some reading!

I am also going to start doing some writing. There are two things that I need to work on: my next bible study (1 Corinthians) and a short story. I’m thinking of basing my short story on the book of Ruth set in modern times. It is a story that I’ve been enamored with ever since I translated it from the Hebrew in school. The potential for the story being set in modern times, for me, should demonstrate the draw of God and His perfection and grace that would cause someone to leave their culture (re:world) and follow someone across cultural boundaries without knowing the future. To a degree I understand what it means to leave the comfort of all that you know to move someplace new and foreign. Like Ruth, I also had one person to whom I was acquainted. And like Ruth God moved in big ways in my life after I took that step of faith. Needless to say it is a story that is close to my heart in many ways.

So, you may be wondering what book I’m going to read. Yes? One of my two audio book downloads this month was a book called On Sparrow Hill by Maureen Lang. I didn’t realize that it was the second in a series, so now I get to read book #1: The Oak Leaves. The great thing about reading Maureen Lang’s books is that I’ve actually met her and can explore with her what it means to be a writer. I made a bold move a few months ago and joined a women’s Writing Group, having been introduced to it by Jane. I’ve often wanted to write the stories that I make up in my head and joining this group has started to make me think about construction, direction, intentionality and other writing tools that I most certainly need to develop. So off to writing I’ll be this weekend!

Update
The exercise plan is going to have to be a work in progress. I exercised in “full” yesterday – 20 minutes on the treadmill (doing 2 spurts of 10 minutes on the “random” setting, which means “hills”) and two full rounds of 12 reps per round on 9 different machines. I expected to be flat-out sore today but instead, surprisingly, I’m not sore at all. I don’t know if that is a good thing (it means that I’ll have to keep on doing it) or a bad thing (I’ll be flat-out whacked tomorrow instead). We’ll just have to see how next week goes.

This is blog post #297. Three more to go!

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the biggest loser

This is a really quick post, but I’m starting to add a workout routine to my daily schedule again – all thanks to my Dad. A few weeks ago when I was home, my Dad was lamenting his *ahem*belly*ahem* and since I have often lamented mine, I sort of challenged him to play Biggest Loser with me…really *really* hoping he wouldn’t take me up on the offer, but alas, he did.

Today, day 1, here is what I did:

10 minutes of cardio (walking 2.5 speed incline 4-5)
Leg extensions – 12x 40lbs
Seated Leg Curl – 12x @ 60lbs
Pec/Delt thing – 12x @20 lbs
Lateral Pulldown 12x @40lbs
Seated chest Press – 12x @ 30lbs
Shoulder Press – 12x @20lbs
Bicep Curl – 12x @2olbs
Tricep Pushdown – 12x @40lbs
Seated Row – 12x @40lbs
6.5 minutes of cardio (walking again at 2.5, incline 3)

Now all I can think about is bed. Falling asleep. Lala land.

catching up

I finally finished (99% finished anyway) a small database job for an external client last weekend. I “delivered” it on Monday and will have a few things to update over the weekend, but they are minor, and then I can submit my “invoice” to the client on Monday and I will be done. Woohoo! Which means, naturally, that I can get back to the business at hand: finishing the baby sweater for the Gordon’s. Thank goodness the sweater is turning out to be for a 4-6 month old, otherwise she would have outgrown the thing before I even finished it! I purchased the cutest buttons for it a few weeks ago and now I can’t find them…so I’ll have to make another trip to JoAnn’s. Real bummer.  😉

My goal for this weekend is to take serious stock of my stash. I’ll be attending the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival for the 5th year in a row in a few weeks and would like to place as much yarn in my stash as I can that will take me through some planned projects. The only problem is that I probably have most of the yarn I’ll need already, so I need to take inventory. Look out living room! (See how fiscally responsible I’m being, Dad? I’m checking my inventory and taking stock of what I have, and *carefully* planning for the future!  Yea me!)

Some of my plans for this fall are: throw for Kris and Jude, throw for Olivia, 2 shawls in progress for me, 1 sweater in progress for me, 1 pair of socks for my grandmother and one for me. I think that should take me a while, don’t you?

Oh, and guess what? This is post #295. It’s taken me 5 years, but I will soon be at the 300 blog posts milestone!

time lapse life

With students beginning to return to campus life has gotten very, very crazy. Everybody needs data. Everybody needs help. In fact, I’m so busy that my life seems to be in some sort of time warp where things that used to be far off on the calendar are tomorrow. The Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival is a few weeks away. This Friday is The Lord of the Rings at Ravinia with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra providing the music. Plus I have paperwork due Sept 6th for my Cross-Cultural Field Ed at Trinity. These three things used to be months away…and now they are right around the corner.

Confession time. I am horrible at yard work. I can’t seem to keep the jungle at bay. Last night I came home to find the landlord of my neighbor’s house outside chopping down the part of the jungle that had crept onto his side of the fence. I then felt horrible because my jungle was creeping its way into his yard. So I told him I would have someone come and chop it all down for me. And then I got to thinking that, well, it’ll just come up again next year, so why even bother. Except that I would seriously like to build a garden (don’t laugh!) where the jungle currently is, so perhaps I should also have the “jungle whacker” also till up all the roots and stuff that causes plants to grow back year after year.

Knitting news: I’m almost done with the baby sweater I’ve been working on. It’s about time. Now I can concentrate on the sweater (sleeveless..but it’ll still be good for winter/fall).

Pickle update: they are good, better than I had expected, but I will have to add more salt next time.  Yum yum!

a week back

I’ve been back for a week now and my vacation seems like it was months ago. This last week was a strange one. My boss was gone on her vacation, so I was “holding down the fort” all week. Then, it was discovered on Monday morning that my phone wasn’t working. At first I thought this was great – no phone calls = less work – but on Thursday it took a turn for the worse and I really NEEDED to make calls but couldn’t. The phone was finally repaired on Friday and it was none too soon.

I’ve been working constantly this week to finish up the database project that I’ve been working on for the lawyer in Lake Forest. As of this post it is 98% finished. Just a few more little tasks and then I need to re-import all his current data and I’ll be good to go.

I did something adventurous today and made my first batch of pickles.

It really was much easier than I had thought. I found the recipe here, from a blog that I read. I just hope they taste good.

That’s what’s happening with me. I’ve recovered from vacation. I’m back at work. My boss will be back next week. And – I think we’ve hired a new programmer.