Monthly Archives: September 2011

refreshment, jitters, teatime, socks.

Refreshment: today. For the first time, professional development was encouraging. Last year I had no idea what was going on, so felt even worse about it when I was with people who did. This year, I am not in much better standing in the knowing what is going on scheme, but I know something and I found encouragement in and among my peers. Woohoo! Not to mention some chill time tonight that has helped my 2nd cold to calm down. 2 colds in 2 weeks is not my friend. Rest is.

Tomorrow is picture day. Why does a teacher feel the jitters the night before? I don’t know. You tell me. I don’t think this is outright anxiety (no fasting and praying about this), but as I’ve been doing my hair this week and picking clothes for work, I’ve been kind of leading up to tomorrow, saving the right outfit and hair style so as not to repeat (repeat within the weak and repeat last year’s…I no longer have growth and new outfits to mark the new year’s picture as I did in school 🙂 ).

Teatime: chai. This weather has been SOOOO nice. I love it. I love the crisp air, the quality of light, the smells. It’s not quite leaf-changing weather, but it’s pretty close. Love that!

I’ve been knitting sock #2 like crazy since Saturday. Part of that was inspired by a staff member approaching me about teaching some knitting lessons. It’s like they got into my head and pulled out my concealed longing and posed it as a question. I consented before I found out the details like when and what and for whom. I love to teach knitting. It’s glorious. I have a month and a half to get a plan. Hooray!

I really need to get my head in the game for my upcoming program. I’m thinking Move Over Rover and My Many Colored Days (books that have elements which change in them…Rover encounters (I think) other animals…Many Colored Days depicts moods and emotions through colors and animals…more song and movement opportunities. I think I’ll take a patriotic twist for the upper grades in April. We shall see.

On the first early out of the year (late at night), this is Patty, over and out.

wait for it

I tried sock #2 again yesterday and got pretty far!

The first sock. Finished in MayI tried sock #2 again yesterday and got pretty far!

Today and yesterday were pretty stellar, weather wise, and not bad time-wise. I appreciated the ability to listen to the game, despite the outcome (one likes to be confident in her team’s ability to play…and not being able to see it didn’t help the ending in triple overtime). While listening I worked on the sock (the incomplete one pictured) you see here. Got a lot done. Capped the night with a reunion of sorts with someone returning from an abroad venture and the connection groupies (and comrades) who made my time in Ames so sweet. That time was really sweet…so thankful for the refreshment!

But today I was not in Ames. I was at church in Waukee, I was shopping a little bit, and I was bumming around in my apartment. Today I questioned God yet again…why am I here? I don’t even feel like it’s remotely home on days like today. Is that even worth sharing? Probably not…I do because I have had my pitiful soul reassured that God’s plan is worth delighting in because He is worth delighting in. Putting down roots is hard, painful, work. I’m sure there is really damp, growable soil (sorry, made that one up) in this county, but it’s decidedly not under me yet and so I strain and toil and forget to trust God with the aspect of fellowship and encouragement. G has been a big encourager, even sensing some of my strife today and praying with me…but I find myself frustrated that I repeatedly need a pep talk to turn to the one who offers supreme comfort and satisfaction. Why am I ever-so prone to wallow?

It’s definitely a growing season, and I’m looking forward to the harvest. Forgive me if this is a broken record.

Isn’t the quilt backdrop in the picture nice? That’s the quilt auction find of 2011…working as the booklet typer had its advantages. I became well acquainted with all of the quilts and set my heart on this one…I love it :). A big shout out to Pastor Karen in Marshalltown who made this with great skill and care!

Time for some cookie making, knitting, and podcasts.

2 months, 1 month, 16 minutes.

2 Months (and 1 day) ago I ran midnight madness. I ran just one time after that in a blistering humid and hot day run the following week which ended with cramps prematurely. Then I took a break. A break for my class, a break for the quilt auction, for moving and school starting. As I’ve been thinking about starting again (finally a cool week), a comment that someone had made about my outward appearance a while back was lingering…bah. Why should that have anything to do with whether I run or not?  For some reason it did. I kicked it today and hit the road with a podcast and a good attitude. The run was from week 4 (I didn’t want to overestimate my in-shape-ness, and I think I did okay at guessing), so just 16 minutes of running. More than a mile, but not too much.

It’s been a month since we moved in here. A month since summer concluded at camp and with my connection group. Much has happened, and yet it is hard to believe four weeks have passed. A paradox.

The Iowa/ISU game was a thriller down to the third overtime. Iowa came up short overall, but it was a good excuse to sit myself down and knit on a sock that started back in April or May or so. K will be pleased to know that I am determined to finish it. A friend, C, will be pleased to know that the fish hat is on the line-up to be finished. And should I ever acquire the yarn and willpower, the Baby Surprise Jacket (Elizabeth Zimmerman, to all my knitting peeps) is on the way. That is a beaut! I’d seen it before, but never had the inclination to make it.

Weekends go so fast, don’t they? Church starting at 10 doesn’t help…that means Sunday is mostly over by the time I get back from worship in Waukee. No worries. I appreciate the celebration time so much more than the peace-out time. They are both fulfilling.

BLTs for dinner (Thank you to HyVee for having a sale on good bacon, and for fareway for ad-matching) tonight…lovely!


I remember learning vocabulary in high school sometimes. Sitting at my coffee table (having just tried for about 20 minutes to pay a bill online that refuses to be paid because I can’t answer the secret question I set up when I registered the account…argh), a bunch of flowers G picked are wafting. Except wafting is supposed to be a pleasant smell, and while this isn’t foul, it’s not sitting well with my nose. If I were determining weeds versus flowers, I’d base it on smell. These, though pretty would fit in weeds because they have an obnoxious, strong scent. Again, not bad, but too much.

I’m reading SUCH a great book. I can’t wait to recommend it right here…except I will wait because I want to reveal it to K by giving it to her, building the anticipation and suspense ever more (especially as she reads this). It’s a true story, which is the best part. This girl doesn’t read many non-fiction books, besides the Bible, of course. Naturally I feel ever-so-much smarter for having a NF book to recommend to you and everyone else…soon.

I got cracking on a big project for gathering folksongs and analyzing them. Pretty soon comes the hairy stuff…as in, I’m moving past pentatones and Major tone sets. Have I lost you? If so, breathe with ease…I have a limited amount of skill in analyzing folksongs because I have been trained up to a certain point in the organizational schema of folksong analysis. Perhaps next summer (and many hours and dollars later) I will be caught up to another point of analysis. Let us hope.

What I can’t get over is how fulfilling the extra work made by the Kodaly class is. I suppose I could have pulled the plug and waited on some of these things until breaks and time to think and digest, but I’m hitting the ground running. Will I have it all figured out? Oh no. Nobie, nobie. Not even in a few years like this would I hope to have it mostly figured out…but by then I won’t be learning how to do all the other school stuff (remembering which forms to fill out, when to fill them out, who to give them to and such and such and so and so). Right now that, classroom procedures and management, even names of new students (it’s uncanny how similar some of the new students look…not even related. As a twin, correct identification holds some significance, but I’m struggling). In the meantime, I’m able to work, able to walk home (!), able to smile at school and have fun with students.

Assessments are a-comin’…we’ll see how well I’m doing then!

I was reading through Galatians in preparation for a Bible Study this fall this morning and found myself nodding and saying “yep, mmhmm, yes, totally” in agreement, but had to stop short when I realized I agreed with something that I didn’t understand enough to apply. My application to date has been agreeing with it, but the text is pushing for more action.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
(Galatians 5:16 ESV)
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
(Galatians 5:25 ESV)

Walking by the Spirit and living by the Spirit…even keeping in step with the Spirit. I have been “mmhmm-ing” for a long time, but am meditating on the difference between behavior modification and living by the Spirit. My undisclosed book recommendation has been providing me a pretty good example, I think. I believe it will boil down to relationship and its effect on how I perceive people, places, events, even God’s call. I’m kind of prone to behavior modification, so I am praying that God will keep me from missing His point of teaching.

And now to knit. That was my sole plan and objective for the evening, and its nearly gotten completely away.

I hope your flower arrangement smells prettier than it looks. 🙂



It’s no giant secret that I love the fall, but days like today make me want to shout it. I LOVE THE FALL. At least here in Iowa. Granted, we’ve got like 20 more days until it’s official start, but the crispness to the air, the quality of the sunlight (please don’t mind the earlier sun-sets, folks!), the smells. What is not to love? Soon the leaves will change colors, too. Football has started (though yesterday’s rain and storming didn’t make it all too pleasurable for fans, undoubtedly), school is underway, and things like pumpkins, baking, and apples are sounding just right.

Labor day weekend is sometimes a last-ditch summer weekend packed with activity and motion, but this year I’m taking it easy. After a day in Ames, I went to church at Westwind, hung out in Johnston for a while and came back home to read, take a long walk, and now make some dinner (not sure what, but I’m definitely having fries in a “chips” fashion with vinegar and salt) with a movie. It’s quiet, I’m recovering from a cold, and I’m wearing sweats. Love it.

CGs are starting in October. I am counting down…although I’m not sure when in October, so my count isn’t official yet. Longing for Christ-centered fellowship with continuity right here in my community.

Peace to y’all… 🙂

skipping a beat

G and I went on a long walk around town tonight, even though it was really hot. I’ve been finding out more about the nitty gritty (nearly typed knitty there…just thinking about, I guess!) about her time in India. Tonight (and yesterday/the day before) I heard about spiders, bats, and snakes. Yesterday it was monkeys. I have wondered what living “overseas” would be like, but bugs, creepy animals, electricity irregularities, etc. never really presents itself at the front of my mind. I don’t like bugs particularly (or snakes, monkeys, etc.), but I feel like even the worst bug encounters I’ve had here would be mild in comparison.

I asked G about snakes when our walk was winding down. We took a very long loop out to a nice neighborhood west of town and then headed back south and east towards the apartment. Not even five blocks later we found ourselves across the highway on the sidewalk in front of Fareway. The street lights were coming on, but the lighting wasn’t great when mid-sentence I noticed the sidewalk was moving…except it made an “S” shape as it did.

a snake.

I screamed and yelped, leaping up in a contorted fashion to avoid stepping on it. The timing was so weird. I haven’t seen a snake since the summer of 2009, but the night I talk about them with G (who talked about coming across them sometimes, but not often in India) I nearly squish one. The weird thing was (apart from the level of panic that came over me) was the variety of snake. I don’t know much about Iowan snakes, but this one was gray like pavement. It was not a fox snake or garter snake. It was a little bit mottled, but not much.

We laughed the whole rest of the way home and kept our eyes pretty much pasted to the path in front of us so as not to repeat the acrobatic and dramatic performances.

And timing continues to be uncanny…I was typing this post when I noticed a spider on the wall. I haven’t seen or killed a single bug (with the exception of flies and a centipede thing that found its way in with the boxes, I think) in this apartment. It was itsy bitsy (now I can tell kindergarten a true story about an actual spider in my apartment…today I stretched a true story that happened in my classroom by saying it happened in my apartment because I didn’t want to cause undue alarm that there were spiders in the classroom. There probably are, but hopefully never as big as the one I saw and didn’t kill. Please don’t let them know…there are some traps out that seem to be catching things).

God’s purpose for creating the creepy crawly and scary animals is no less good than his idea to create sunsets and flowers and coffee, but I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to appreciate those things from any distance closer than a photograph, and maybe a video. Maybe.

Being startled like that was kind of good in that I haven’t been startled quite like that in a while. Unless you count the day the PE teacher came into my classroom and clapped really loud to get my attention (I was working on a shelf in the back of the room). I shrieked…oops. I’m trying to work on the alarmed reactions to be tempered with some discretion…but when surprises come, you aren’t expecting them (fancy that…).