Thursday, June 24, 2010

ten things thursday

Ten things that made me smile (or giggle) this past week:

1. All of the people who were obviously terrified of the tornado siren that went off yesterday. I was at work and I received several phone calls about it, to which I wanted to reply, "You do know it's physically impossible for a tornado to touch down in the city of Chicago, right?"
2. I talked with Father Pat about Alaska and he told me some of the Orthodox and American history there. Thinking about visiting Cindy made me smile a LOT, and so did thinking about Saint Herman of Alaska, Patron of the Americas.
3. Old Swedes. They're funny to talk to, that's for sure.
4. I bought a book entitled The Birth Partner because I'm thinking about becoming a doula and I thought it would be a good idea to read some of the required texts before I made any serious commitment--I love it!
5. Being in the "Pregnancy & Family" section of Barnes & Noble and getting a weird look from a lady who obviously thought I was too young and obviously single to be pregnant (which I'm not). I've learned to laugh about these things. =)
6. I've discovered the joy of peeling sunburned skin. This is only the second time I've had such a privilege, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it.
7. I'm so excited to be an Orthodox catechumen!
8. I've been helping Greg organize his office, and it seems that we're finished. We did such good work! Yay!
10. I spent one morning this week sleeping in, eating gourmet bagels and cream cheese with good coffee, and reading the paper. I think I should do that at least once a week, seeing as I found it to be GREAT!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

ten things thursday!!

I did it! It's Thursday!!

Ten things that made me smile this week...
1. LUKE GOT MEDICARE! It's been quite the insurance-hunting saga, but Luke has now qualified for rather generous Medicare and will likely qualify for Medicaid and a disability check as well. He's looking at a kidney transplant in August or September.
2. Going to Alaska is actually starting to feel real--I'm covering my shifts and finding people to look after my cats, plants, car, and piano-watering job while I'm away. YES!
3. Luke's friend (and now mine), Bethany, is in from Atlanta for the week and she's a bundle of joy. I had soup with her yesterday afternoon and it was lovely. I sure am gonna miss her when she leaves.
4. I called my grandma and it wasn't awkward! We had a good talk and exchanged addresses so we could mail each other stuff.
5. Greg did a lot of good work on his office this week and we were able to make significant progress in there. He paid me, too, which is always nice.
6. North Park has surprised me by letting the grass grow by the river where there used to be trees, so now what was once an eyesore has become a place of beauty, and full of bachelor's buttons and another wildflower that I have not yet had occasion to identify.
7. What Grace said to me about being a new sister of the Orthodox Church made me feel really special and I smiled for days.
8. New Glarus Raspberry Tart Ale.
9. We had a ton of rain this past week and I just loved it. Rain is probably one of my favorite things, so I felt pretty blessed to spend most of the last week drenched in rainwater.
10. I was late for work today because I didn't hear my alarm go off, but my friends waited patiently for me and gave me an orange for breakfast anyway. =)

Monday, June 14, 2010

i am sooooo cool

Why? Because I beat everyone else at the bridal shower game we played yesterday, that's why!

It all started when I drove Christina and Luke to church yesterday. We were getting out of the car and Christina said, "So, are you going to Claire's shower today?"

Well, I had not really remembered it, and the prospect of doing anything at all on a Sunday afternoon sounded the opposite of appealing, so I hesitated...but I thought I should. I told Christina I would go.

I picked her up in the afternoon and we drove in silence to the shower. I had just woken up from a nap and was thus a little groggy, so we didn't have much to talk about. We were the first ones there and we helped add a bunch of seats to the table. Finally, some other women started to arrive, and we all were given clothespins and told that if anyone said "wedding", they needed to relinquish their clothespin to whomever caught them in the act.

"Okay, cool," I thought casually.

Well, two and a half hours later, I was the proud bearer of no less than FIVE clothespins which I snatched from women of all ages who had slipped and said "wedding". I was sly. I was sneaky. I was good. The girl across the table from me was giving me a run for my money and almost caught up with me, but she was caught saying the magic word and ended up with only three.

The coolest part is the prize: I won three glass-blown watering globes for my potted plants!!! They're light blue, bright green, and dark blue in color, and I just fill them and stick them in my pots and they're supposed to slowly water my plants for two weeks. I'm so excited!!

Don't feel too bad for the girl I beat--she won an arbitrary prize of some sort simply by having a post-it note under her chair. Hurray for bridal showers!

Friday, June 11, 2010

ten things thursday...

Yeah, it's been awhile, but I'm back in the blogging world, so I'll do my best to actually do this on Thursday, but if I don't...well, sucks to be you, I guess. ;-)

Ten things that made me smile (or laugh hysterically) this past week:
1. My roommate Leann telling our new roommate Karolyn the story about when Reid was a little kitten and she peed and pooped all over the bottom lining of Leann's boxsprings. I had no idea she was such an animated story-teller.
2. Buying and potting plants--see below.
3. Meeting cute families and their kids at markets. I also enjoyed meeting crusty, grumpy old people at my market.
4. I took Lake Shore Drive home yesterday from work during rush hour and it was exponentially more enjoyable than any other route I could have taken--here's to driving by the lake!
6. I wrote a letter to a friend that I have yet to mail, but it was a lot of fun writing it and making the envelopes.
7. I went to potluck for the first time in a month and it was nice to catch up with a few people and Heather (Greg's wife) talked to me for the first time--yay!
8. Reid decided to lay in the litter box last night, just for fun. Kinda gross, I know, but it was hilarious to watch three women trying to figure out if she was trying to do some business or just hanging out---it was the latter. Weirdo.
9. Going to Gathsemane with Luke and listening to him talk about his favorite plants and the things he's learning in Botany I. His excitement for his interests fuels my excitement for my own interests, and vice versa, so we usually just skyrocket each other into hopes-and-dreams frenzy. =)
10. I got to give Greg homework on Wednesday. It was every little kid's dream fulfilled--my former professor and I kneeling on the floor of his office while he patiently listened to me and wrote down his assignment for the week. I was glowing, and I know that with my (paid) help his office will be in shape in no time!

potting madness!!

(Haha--as I look at this post's title, I'm thinking of how funny it would be if one could pot madness as if it were a plant...why anyone would, I have no idea...)


I wish my camera were of a higher quality and far less annoying. I swear my battery dies the minute I charge it up. My blog feels so dead without pictures! Oh, well. The point is, in the last week I've purchased and potted a ridiculous amount of plants. Here is their story:

Tuesday: The roommates and I had one last (and possibly our only?) bonding experience before Erin shipped out to Vermont for the summer. We went to Lincoln Square farmers' market in the rain, feet wet, umbrellas poking everyone else's umbrellas, envying the vendors in their cozy little tents. I purchased nothing to eat except crepes at a nearby cafe (Cafeneo, if you're familiar), but I did purchase lavender, rosemary, red leaf basil, and Giovannese basil (or whatever the giant-leaved Italian basil is called). Yay!

Apparently that wasn't enough. Luke was being a grumpy-puss because I didn't invite him to the farmers' market in the rain, which is apparently his favorite time to go to them, so when I got home, we went to Gathsemane gardens in Andersonville. I hadn't intended to buy anything, but then I saw that they had stevia and knew that I MUST have it, and later came across French sorrel, which happens to be one of my favorite salad greens. Well, it was fate, and I bought the two of them and a few pots, some soil, and a trowel.

So far, the total number of purchased plants is six. In addition, I have chamomile and spearmint seedlings doing very well, and savory which may or may not survive a recent drought (ahem--the kind where his owner forgot to water him), and one weird-looking and kind of ugly shamrock-like plant, and some ivy.

Total number of plants: 9
Total number of available potting spaces: 7


Looks like I need to buy some more pots. However, until such time as they are absolutely necessary, I will thoroughly enjoy the herb garden that would now be sunning itself in my room were it not for the overcast skies. Mmm...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

new adventures

Well, that whole graduating thing got me thinking that my "new" life would need a new blog, so I've started a more focused blog in which I explore the effects of various communities on our lives through my observations of communities in my life. Seeing as the world is full of a bunch of people, different sorts of communities can be found everywhere, and I think most of us would be surprised if we took a good look at all of the groups we're involved with.

Anyway, you can find my latest communal adventures at "flock"--cute, huh? I'll continue doing everything else here. =)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

iowa, iowa

What a beautiful state.

I'm going to Alaska in three weeks and I'm really looking forward to the beauty of the Alaskan wilderness and the mountains and ocean of the west coast, but there's nothing quite like Nita Ho Valley in Iowa.

Lining the Te Te Morts creek at the point of its branching off the Mississippi river, Nita Ho Valley carries gently in its palms a glorious variety of flora and fauna, and it is in this place that I spent the week after graduation. It was my fourth trip to this lovely place and I've begun to know it in the way that I know my hometown, and I hope this familiarity only continues to grow. The cabin is situated among many cabins used for many purposes, but the valley is quiet despite folks' milling about and working on construction projects here and there.

The first few days were spent sitting. After four (or in Luke's case, ten) years of school, it was good to do nothing and to enjoy nature by merely watching it from the deck. We saw four different kinds of woodpeckers on the first day, and baltimore oreoles, cardinals, goldfinches, house sparrows, chickadees, and hawks. Throughout the week we also saw three deer, one of which looked intently at us for a few moments before the sound of the train frightened her away. In the process of molting out of his winter coat into his bright red summer coat, a small fox trotted across the road in front of us one day and proceeded to walk across a small bridge as if he were a little human boy playing outside without a care in the world.

We became rather addicted to the HBO show entitled "Deadwood" and watched almost two whole seasons while we were there while completely neglecting the movies we'd borrowed from the library for the week. We cooked and ate and played and sang. We slept. A LOT.

In all, the week was lovely, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.