random thoughts: year-end edition

~ Lately I’ve been thinking about making some changes to simplify my life. I’m not sure exactly what those changes will be, but I’m feeling the need to declutter and cast off burdens. We’ve likely got another move during 2016, and that’s good motivation to get rid of stuff.

~ I’m not big on new year’s resolutions, but in 2016 I am planning to do another 365 photo project (actually a 366 because 2016 is a leap year) — this time via instagram. It will be my third 365 (a photo a day for a year).

~ I’ve been thinking about doing some kind of intentional reading project, too. Still mulling that one over. I definitely want to read more fiction from my own shelves.

~ Since sleep remains elusive, I should be making better use of that time from around 3 to when my alarm goes off at 5:30. I try to pray, and then I end up thinking about all kinds of things (work, relationships, the fact that I should be sleeping…). I “take [myself ]in hand” and try to pray again and then my mind wanders. It’s really sad. Eventually I pick up my phone or iPad and check emails, social media, and the news. Then I drag myself out of bed and get on with the day. There has to be a better way.

~ I’m amazed that anyone could choose a design or saying to be emblazoned on their flesh forever. It’s a major decision for me to pick out my yearly planner/calendar! This year I went with Moleskine again. Tried and true.

~ It was a rather pitiful reading year for me, but I’ll try to do a round up of my favorite books of 2015 before the new year rolls ’round.

Happy New Year, y’all,

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random thoughts

~ The only thing worse than a driver who doesn’t use her turn signal is one who uses the right blinker for a left turn.

~ A Smart car with only one working headlight, is, well, not so smart.

~ I know I’ve mentioned this before — more than once — but slow drivers in the left lane make me C.R.A.Z.Y.

~ Sorry for the traffic rants, but I spend a lot of time on the road these days. Really, I have the easiest of commutes, but there are some days on the road that are harder than others.

~ I realized long ago that manicures are a waste of money for me. I manage to chip my nails almost immediately. Gel manicures last longer, but they destroy my usually healthy nails. I’ve recently discovered Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polish. It doesn’t require the UV light, and so far, one application (two coats of the color and one of the top coat) lasts about 8 days without chipping. And it dries pretty quickly without smudges.

~ I’m so glad this football season is over. Yes, we have the bowl in Birmingham, but that’s so lame that I’m pretending it’s over.

~ If we have chips in the house (chips that I actually like), I am powerless to say no to them. Hi. I’m Anne, and I cannot say no to chips. Or homemade cookies.

~ I came across Speculoos Cookie Butter Cheesecake at Trader Joe’s this past weekend. I did not purchase this wonder of wonders because if it’s in our house I will eat it.

~ When I lived in Belgium, I concocted a cheesecake (cheesecakes are my go-to desserts to make and take)  with dark chocolate and a Speculoos crust.

~ While I was typing the random thought above, I was eating chips.

~ I’ve been binging on Fixer Upper lately. And I just want to take out walls and rid the world of popcorn ceilings.

~ While I was typing the random thought above, I was eating chips.

Bye y’all,

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~ I don’t know what’s worse: walking out of a dressing room when nothing fits or walking out when everything fits.

~ We recently rented a condo on the Gulf coast, and it was crammed full of useless “decorative” items (a large frog with artificial greenery coming out of the top, odd fish-shaped vases, etc.). It was a small studio condo, which was all we needed, but it felt even smaller because of all the clutter. Less really is more, you know.

~ Fall is in the air. I’m so happy. But what’s with the pumpkin-spiced everything? We recently went to a Mexican restaurant, and at their hostess desk, a heavily fall-scented candle was burning. Um, pumpkin-spiced Mexican food does not smell good, y’all.

~ I went back on Whole30 for a whole five days. It made a difference, though, and I do feel better. It was a good detox from vacation.

~ Run, don’t walk, to your nearest Trader Joe’s and get some dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Or don’t. So there will be more for me.

~ I’m back on a knitting binge. I’ve got so many projects in progress and in the queue, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve got my Auburn football scarf all ready to resume during tonight’s game, a spur-of-the-moment easy drop stitch scarf on my needles, a complicated shawl waiting patiently at the bottom of my awesome knitting tote, a wrap I’m itching to start, a class to take in a couple of weeks, and countless patterns pinned and saved in Ravelry.

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~ Today is a Saturday with nothing on the calendar except a football game tonight. I’ll be making a Costco run, cooking, and cleaning, with college football as my soundtrack. Yep, I love fall.

~ Late start this morning. Yay!

~ Hey, if you’re in a drive-thru line, would you please consider pulling up close to the car in front of you? When you leave a car length or more, you leave folks hanging out in the road. Thanks ever so much.

~ I’ve got a bad case of TrumpFatigue. Seriously. I don’t want to hear any more about him.

~ Speaking of politics, so glad Boehner is out and I wish he’d grab a few others as he heads off into the sunset.

Signing off now to get started on my Saturday. What’s on your agenda?

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carocollageBefore I begin rambling, let me just say that 21 years ago today, I welcomed sweet baby Caroline into the world. And just last night, she got engaged!! I’m so happy and excited for her. 

And now, until I get more details on the upcoming nuptials, let the randomness begin:

~ I can’t get enough fresh peaches. Or okra. Not together, of course.

~ Now that I spend more time on the road, I’m even more annoyed with slow drivers in the left lane. Seriously, if everyone is passing you on the right, you’re doing it wrong! A couple of days ago I got boxed in by a slow car in front of me and one that insisted on driving along beside me for miles. My guess is that at least one of the drivers was on the phone.

~ Waiters who don’t write down our order don’t impress me. A correct order does.

~ Surely I’m not the only one tired of the “I’m offended” culture so prevalent today — especially on the internet. Just this week I saw it on an instagram pic put up by someone who is rather famous in some circles. It was a funny — darkly so — meme that I chuckled at and kept scrolling. Lots of folks left comments about how offended they were and that they were now unfollowing (that’s a modern word, isn’t it?) her account. I guess they’ve never heard the phrase “don’t take offense where none is intended.” And I guess they live super-insulated, cushy lives where they’re never confronted or challenged in their thinking. In my experience, life is jam-packed with unpleasantness, unfairness, and just plain old garden variety yuck. If you can’t just let at least some of it go or even laugh at it, you’re in for some misery — and probably not too much fun to be around.

~ It sure is nice being married to an IT guy. The wifi on my laptop has been dropping out every few minutes for days. I finally had Paul take a look and he fixed it right up — something about a duplicate IP address. Given his distaste for Apple products, it was an especially loving act.

~ Random thoughts, random photos:

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~ I’ve got a whole day (Lord willing!) stretching out ahead of me, with nothing scheduled. I need to do some regular chores around the house — with the music cranked up, but I also plan to get some stuff listed on eBay. I’m in a purging mood.

~ True confession: I finally saw Shrek for the first time last night. Yeah, I lost a bet, so now I have to watch 5 movies of Paul’s choice. 1 down, 4 to go.

~ And the word of the day is:

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…and that probably sums up this post. 😉

Happy Saturday!
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~ No television series should go longer than 5 seasons. Inevitably, characters do things totally out of character, writers and producers indulge in silliness, and there are bizarre dream sequences and awkward musicals.

~ Since Paul gave me a FitBit for Christmas, I’ve begun thinking in steps and miles. Since I got it set up Christmas evening, I’ve walked more than a marathon in the course of my daily routine. I’m strangely motivated by this:

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~ I’ve been intentionally reading more this new year, and I’m truly enjoying it. I recently finished About A Boy. It was an easy, amusing, yet serious read. I had to smile when I got to these lines. If you’re a Dennis Prager fan, you’ll understand:

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~ I had to show my ID recently to purchase cold/sinus medicine. I guess they knew that you needed to be a certain age in order to handle the sharp implement necessary to open the little pill packs. (And, hey, how is it not racist to require an ID to purchase medicine? That’s the argument for no ID for voting, isn’t it? Who are all the haters who want minorities to go without Mucinex?)

~ If our government is going to continue to be involved in the minutiae of our lives, I have another suggestion for a law: Ban radio commercials that have sirens in them. It drives me crazy to have to check my mirrors and wonder if an ambulance or fire truck is in my path.

~ Random thoughts, random photos:

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~ Our recent southwest Georgia weather reminds me of Belgium — wet, cold, and gray. I would love to see some sunshine.

~ I love, love, love the Anhaica bucket bag I received for Christmas. It’s perfect for toting my current knitting project.

Happy Thursday, y’all!
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~This will probably not apply to any of you, but PLEASE don’t post gruesome wounds and injuries on Facebook and Instagram! It is more than a little sickening to scroll through my feed sometimes, enjoying a snack or a meal, when WHAM! someone’s bloody something appears. Blech.

~Nothing runs me off from a recipe quicker than curry in the list of ingredients.

~Random thoughts, random photos:

Oh wait, I can’t grab any that I’ve stored in iPhoto because when I updated my operating system recently, my old version of iPhoto is no longer compatible. So when I tried to update that app, my apple ID wouldn’t work. Round and round I go.

~ Speaking of computer frustrations, I have just about reached my maximum capacity for passwords, log-ins, and PINs. It seems like I have dozens of them and it’s impossible to keep them straight because everyone has a different requirement. Yesterday I was asked my billing PIN by my cell-phone provider, and I that just about sent me over the edge. I have a PIN to log in to my account online, but I need a separate billing PIN? Seriously? And then I received a work email that required me to set up a password to view it.

~ I rarely use my laptop anymore, but I can’t give it up completely just yet. Any of you make the move exclusively to an iPad or other tablet? There are just some things (like blogging) that are so much easier and quicker on my laptop.

~I can’t wait to see Unbroken, as it is one of my favorite books. But I’m diasappointed to hear that it will present a “universal” faith. The gospel remains offensive, but it is the very power that saved Louie Zamperini.

~Paul & I will have a full house on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day. God’s blessings abound!

~Speaking of God’s blessings, I love my husband. He takes care of me and loves me and makes me smile. I’m amazed that this time last year, I had no idea he even existed, and now he’s everything to me.

~ And now I leave you with this from my stepson: (If you don’t smile at this, you might be a Scrooge.)

santababy

 

Christmas joy for EVERYONE!

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~ I’m no Sun Tsu, but even I know that if you don’t fight a war to win, you don’t, um, win.

~ As I’m reading through Scripture, I recently came across this in Jeremiah 31:

I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.

I understand the context of those words is not about me, but I know that God, and Has turned my mourning into joy. He has comforted me and given me gladness for sorrow.

~ A couple of words and phrases that annoy me:

teachable moment — it’s so pretentious. Also, moments can’t be taught anything. Some people are teachable, but moments aren’t.

gift used as a verb — what’s wrong with give??

~ Why would someone who owns a sports/muscle car drive below the speed limit?

~ September has been hotter and more humid than August. I’m ready for fall!

~ Random thoughts, random photos:

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~ I’m waiting on an electrician to check on some things at home. He said he’d be here between 9 and 10. It’s 9:45, and no sign of him, but I’ve done some laundry and gotten some mail ready to go.

~ South Beach is craaaazy, but our hotel was wonderful. I’ll share more about that soon.

~ Last night, Paul and I had our first “normal” night at home since our wedding. Normal is awesome! 🙂

And that’s it for this Wednesday. Thanks for reading, y’all!

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~ I just noticed the theme of the grocery list hanging on my fridge.  Milk, Keurig, LaCroix, Coke… Only beverages.  Not much cooking going on these days! I’m looking forward to returning to some domesticity after my honeymoon.

~ 9 days until I marry this guy!

~ Is it just me or are the news headlines this week more depressing than usual?

~ Auburn football kicks off TOMORROW! I’ve got a busy day and and a long to-do list to take care of before that kickoff.

~ random thoughts, random photos:

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~ As I mentioned above, I haven’t been cooking lately, and I miss it. But yesterday I had lunch at Liam’s with some friends and then supper at Jonah’s with Paul. It was the perfect Thomasville day. And earlier this week I went to a work party at Sweet Grass and met with two friends for reception planning at Grassroots. We have some good eats in this little town. Which explains why I had to swap the dress I’m wearing to my wedding for a larger size.

~ I finally had an evening this week to clean my house. I can’t tell you how much better I feel and how much I thoroughly enjoyed such a mundane task! I’m even getting up earlier in the mornings because I enjoy my tidy surroundings.

~ A peeve: I get annoyed when I’m making a purchase in a store and the cashier/salesperson never says a word — not “hi”, “you’re total is _____,” “thank you,” etc.  And then when I say “thank you,” she says “you’re welcome” like she just did me a huge favor.

~ A positive: I’m so grateful for where I work. I imagine it would be terrible to spend 40 hours a week with people you didn’t like or get along with. I’m so thankful for the pleasant, positive, and funny people I’m with during my work week.

~ The “Rant & Rave” section of our local newspaper can be pretty funny:

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And with that I wish you a Happy Friday and a good Labor Day Weekend,

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~ The cultural air we’ve been breathing for the past few generations has been heavy with “Question Authority, who are you to tell me ______,…” But as I recently read Job 38, I was reminded of our place in the universe. God answers Job out of the whirlwind: “Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me…”  That’s a humbling chapter of Scripture that rightly puts us in our place.

~ As annoying and intrusive as modern technology can be, it’s also a wonderful gift. I’m so grateful for the ability to text with my children during the day or FaceTime with them when they want to show me something (a new kitten or an awe-inspiring view).

~ Two nasty headaches lately. They’ve been awful. But they’ve left me grateful for every day I don’t have a headache. We can take so much for granted, can’t we?

~ I’ve been uninspired in my photography of late, so I’m really looking forward to the class that my son is teaching next month. And I’m traveling soon, too, to a picturesque destination.

~ Oh, and my son has a 365 guide up on Amazon. Check it out.

~ I watched The Princess Bride for the first time this past weekend. I know, I know. But I’ve just been turned off by all the hype over that movie and the other time I tried to watch it, I fell asleep. I admit it was pretty good.

~ I’m getting married in 18 days. But who’s counting?

~ random thoughts, random photos:

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~ A peeve: drivers who sit there once the light turns green.

~ A positive: people can be really kind. This week I’ve seen some CAbi girls rally around a woman who lost everything in a fire. She’s getting a brand new wardrobe.

~ Another countdown: only 10 more days to the kickoff of AUBURN football!

And with that, Happy Wednesday!

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~ I’m pretty sure Leviticus 13 isn’t anyone’s favorite chapter of the Bible: swellings, eruptions, leprosy, raw flesh, boils, burned flesh, itching, yellow hairs, spots, reddish-white diseased areas, diseased garments, rot… oh, my.

~ There are a few words in English that I really, really don’t like, but I’m not telling anyone what they are because whenever I’ve done that, they use them ALL THE TIME around me.

~ Colleges & universities are out of control with the luxury accommodations for students. I think a college student should live in such a way that he/she has incentive to finish school and get a job. But that’s probably just me.

~ The border (or lack thereof) issue is maddening. Our president wants to punish companies that go overseas, but he doesn’t care who comes into our country. So he favors borders that keep people in, but not out. Brilliant.

~ I’ve often identified with the famous quote, “So many books, so little time,” but this time I really mean it. There are so many books I want — NEED! — to read, and I’ve just been too stinkin’ busy.

~ random thoughts, random photos:

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barbedwire

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~ The older I get, the more I marvel at how time flies. How is it August already? Actually, I’m hoping August speeds by because I’m getting married in September. 🙂

~ Dear, dear friends from Hawaii are coming to visit me today. I’m so excited!

Happy Friday y’all!
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