Monthly Archives: May 2012

chew on this

I am contemplating things today. The fall and my “extra” time in the work week, as well as life beyond right now. Things that require yielding and waiting on the Lord.

More trivial and less significant, I stopped into a new shop in Indianola today for the first time. It’s got a small collection of vintage and decorative items (it’s a hodge podge of garden, clothing, deco, furniture…you’d have a hard time calling it any type of shop since it covers a wide spectrum of things). The owner mentioned classes being potentially offered (to another customer) and I jumped in asking about them. I told her I would be interested in teaching knitting…and she wrote my name down, saying someone had just asked about that.

Then she asked me what kind of yarns to sell at her store.

Uh, shoot. Everything, anything. She’s not a knitter, so I’m not sure what to tell her…I recommended Cascade right off the bat (it’s along the cheaper line of “nice” traditional yarns…still a lot to the acrylic yarn knitter…but less than a lot of the good stuff) and she asked for more recommendations. I am relieved because it’s not my business…but whew! I feel a little pressure.

But, I might be teaching some knitting in the area soonish. That’d be ok by me :).

beautiful day–time to enjoy some more of it!

Unexpected treasure.

I went out for a run this morning, once the coffee was gone. It was already hot and pretty humid, so I cut it short with running (walked back)…my lungs are not in shape, and without a running buddy I have no one to speak louder than my internal “CAN’T GO ON…MUST BREATHE TO LIVE” warning system. When I was using couch to 5k, the guy (Robert?) was kind of that voice of encouragement. Now I just rough it with a podcast or an obscure album I haven’t listened to in a while, and it is indeed rough.

Anyway, I ended up taking a really long route home because our town has a memorial day parade (who knew?) that I was in time for. As much as I love a good parade, I was afraid of parading myself in front of all of Indianola my adoring fans looking like a sweaty, out-of-shape mess. So I walked further north until I was able to finally head west again without intercepting the parade. Although I am not certain of it, the route I took was advantageous for taking a certain street (named for a letter in the alphabet) that I may not have gone on otherwise…although I may have…my route is largely dependent on traffic at intersections. If there aren’t cars, I do as I please. If there are, I do the opposite of them so as to avoid having them wave me on (which, it’s funny, because I totally do that to pedestrians, and yet I hate being on the receiving end). 

Anyway, this letter-named-street took me past a house where three gals were shooting hoops in their driveway. I waved and said “Hi” when they made eye contact, and they dropped everything and RAN to me. I got hugs and smiles and one of them told me to “wait!” because she had something she’d wanted to give me. I chatted with the other gals and the younger sister brought out a pink flamingo playing a ukulele and wearing Hawaiian garb. It sits on a desk or shelf with feet that kind of dangle over the side. CUTE, pretty much.

As I walked the rest of the way home, I couldn’t help but relish in their sweet gesture. Not only did they think of me when they saw this little musical flamingo, they delighted in seeing me, they hugged their sweaty teacher and they presented a token with such joy and conversed with me about their lives and mine (as much as you can in a 5 minute span).

I don’t teach for the gifts like these, but this provision of encouragement goes SO FAR, especially when the timing is so right. Thankful to God that He has remembered ME today.

now that the world stopped

Whew. It hasn’t even been a week of vacation yet…and I’m crazy relaxed. Today I struggled to get out of bed, even. Not for the usual “I don’t want to get up and do ______ today” but instead “I don’t know what I’m going to do today” kept me there. Could it be that I’m a little bored? Ha. It’s days like this that will make starting up again in July less bad.

The past four summers at this time I was at staff training at camp, with just about every minute scheduled. I miss camp a lot this summer. It’s weird to read facebook stati (ha, right? statuses?) from counselors I know who are going there today. Take me with you! And yet…I’m ok, too. I am living in one place at a time (though I’m relocating for a blissful month with mi hermana next week), and I’m dreaming and planning for the school year to come.

I was reminded of a passage with a lot of promises in it by a friend of mine this week, which got me in the book of Jeremiah, and I found a verse that I’ve been looking for in the past couple months (I had put it up in my coffee cupboard in my old apartment, but must have discarded it in the move). My friend’s passage:

And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.
(Jeremiah 32:38-41 ESV)

And the one it prompted me to find:

But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
(Jeremiah 29:7 ESV)

I used to feel a bit like an exile here. There are twinges (like when I remember camp or taste the sweetness of the fellowship I have in Ames/Minnesota friends and family) of that feeling still, but I feel like the former passage is more of what I’m living out these days. I get to see and share that God is doing good continually, even through some first-hand disappointments. These “lazy, hazy days of summer” are perfect for ruminating on the promises of God and putting my hope for the future there

Besides all that, I think today calls for a bike ride, knitting, and some leftovers-in-my-fridge consumption. And if I’m particularly ambitious, I’ll get to that laundry, too. 🙂

An open letter to coffee shop owners interested in expansion

Dear Entrepreneur,

Please consider opening your coffee shop in my town. Yesterday, while at my local shop (which is hardly ever open, it was a miracle I made it there before it closed), I ordered a medium coffee for “here”. I asked them what it was (they are one of those shops that name their roasts ambiguously…clever name, but no insight to what the coffee tastes like). After they tried to pump a full cup of the coffee from their obviously emptying thermos I thought to ask how old the coffee was.

“Oh, we brewed it today.”

TODAY? It was 4:10 in the afternoon. They open at 7 or so.

I inquired a little further…”Today, or an hour ago?”

“Oh, I think it was right when I came in at noon.”

If you come and brew coffee by the cup or more often than once every four hours I will be your best customer. I will promote your brand and your store to anyone with ears and a propensity to drink coffee. Perhaps even those who are not yet coffee-drinkers.


Please, please, please make your way to this city.




Today marks the conclusion to my second year of teaching. The paperwork for my standard (read: full) license is signed and ready to be mailed (with the check though…not as fun). My classroom is put away for the year (though I threw away a bunch of stuff, I will probably try to focus some time on clearing out even more when I find my way back to it).

I was driving home via the grocery store (quick stop for the ad, some produce, and discounted gas) when I realized I feel like I’ve been teaching for a long time. Maybe I’m just an empathetic soul, as people were being recognized for years of service beyond my years of life today. One of those who retired today had 34 years of experience all in this school district. Incredible. Perhaps more incredible is that there were 2 other teachers today (not retiring) who have been there 35 years. One of our school’s retirees has been there for 27 years. WOW.

I returned home, settled myself down on the couch and read the 2nd half of a book plus most of another. Then I got up, went grocery shopping, cooked dinner, and here I am. I am dreading the cleanup (my favorite Thai peanut chicken, though a little hotter than usual as I used the rest of my jar of chili paste all in one batch)…it’s a big mess. But I’ll go for it. I decided to loaf today because it was the first day of summer. And I was so tired last night and today when I got up that I just didn’t feel like any adventures.

This is kind of a dull “dear diary, today I…” post because I am not inspired to be much more profound. Perhaps I’ll put in a movie and knit. 🙂


The knitting days of summer

Wait for it…summer starts for me tomorrow. Kiddos got out today at 11:30. I made mess after mess in my room, but I cleared out some major junk in my classroom, which gives me much delight (I found some wooden T-looking things made of really rough looking plywood. The custodians weren’t sure what they were or what they might have gone to either).

I am spending a month with my favorite sister of all time and was wondering about converting this knitting-sometimes blog into a knitting-all-the-time blog for those 30 days. A picture of progress daily. That would be the first goal in blogging since I spent time in Cornwall (which was awesome…sigh) and wrote as much and as often as possible.

So, tonight, home alone and feeling a little ambitious to start this summer, I will knit, eat dinner, read a book (!) and perhaps even tackle another drawer organization project (got 4 done today at home. And that was AFTER I was at school all day doing similar things).

Last, funny story. I wrote a quick note to our fab IT people (they are fab–really fast service this year especially) to ask for a longer ethernet cord so I can move my computer farther away from the middle of the room. I received a response that the entire district is going to be updated to 10′-15′ cords this summer. I looked at my lone-network-port, and that’s going to mean my computer is even closer to the center of the room. I let him know that, and perhaps I’ll get the port moved this summer :). What makes it funny is that the custodians told me today that they tried to have that port moved for YEARS while my predecessor (2 back) was in my school, but nothing ever happened. In the name of efficiency, it might actually happen.

That is all. Now to dinner and such.


Oh Baby.

There’s something in the water. Married women around me are pregnant and having babies. I know plenty of single women who are not having babies, but it’s pretty easy to forget that whence in the company of a whole lot of pregnant married women.

I want babies (in TIME though!) someday, but there’s such an overwhelming amount of things to learn and do and sacrifice that I’m not in a real hurry today.

This pattern is way simple to make, though it looks pretty darn fancy.

Here’s a picture of some knitting I did for a couple baby showers. Knitting for babies to be is kind of fun, however impractical (I know how useful a knitted bib is, but a non-knitter might see the slightly permeable fabric as inadequate for catching spit-up). Regardless, it’s soft, bright colored, small and quick (ish…), and a joy to think and pray for the mom, baby, and family (dad too).

Besides this knitting and baby fever? Still grieving a little bit, but mostly recovering well. I need to clean my room and apartment, finish school, cut out those laminated cards (put that off…oops), and remember all the “dates” I have set up with people in Indianola lately… 🙂



I just took a 3.2 mile run. I walked for about 3 blocks (so, 2.9). I am writing this post BECAUSE of those three blocks. I didn’t stop because my legs were falling off or my breath was out of control (ha, it probably was, but my headphones blocked that out), but instead a mental barrier that told me I couldn’t possibly go on. It happened at the farthest point on my route (I did a down and back, essentially, even stuck to the one I planned…thinking that it was 4 miles instead of 3 though). 

Part of the barrier might have had to do with it being the morning. Or worries about how I was feeling.

But after those three blocks I felt ok and I didn’t stop again until I got home. How do I avoid the mid-run agony? 

My 5K pace is not so hot at the moment. I know I’m just getting back in it, but I don’t know how to pick up the pace (see above…the barriers…killer!).

Now to shower and knit some applied-i-cord like it’s my job. With coffee and dishes in the mix. 🙂


My bad news at the beginning of the week kind of hit me again today. I’ve been surprisingly recovered in the days since, but today was really tough. Tough because I am fighting lies about inadequacy (in my head)…not so much that I’m never going to reach a stage beyond novice, but more so that my experience so far is inadequate…that I’m not worth the risk of failure to take on. 

[if you’re loving the vague-ness here, it’s because this is the Internet, accessible and visible to more than I know of].

I will pray for the strength to live on the truth and shut out the lies.

And I really want to do something special…not an end-of-the-year-celebration so much, but a let’s-enjoy-this-life-and-be-encouraged something. My plans will instead be finishing the endless blanket and, wait for it, if I’m feeling it, cutting thousands of cards for games that I laminated today. 

I know you’re likely to be envious. I hate to brag on the Internet and all, but this just couldn’t be helped… 🙂


Now for some pasta-procrastination. And Friiiiiiday.

home stretch, home-slice

Thursday, Friday, half of Monday. Then workdays. Then done.

18 rows left of my knitting project. The longest rows in the whole thing. Discretion in case its recipient reads this blog (prolly not, but one cannot be too sure).

Papa Murphy’s has kiddie pizzas (mini murphs) and I got one for FREE tonight when I paid for a large 1-topping pizza (also on special, also what I’d planned to get for my guests). So this home-slice is eating pizza for lunch tomorrow AND Friday, not to mention dinnah tomorrow night.

The kids are way ready to be done. Their music teacher shakes her head. And pats herself on the back for finishing up the report cards a day early (as opposed to last quarter when it was down to the wire because of a tiny forgot-to-read-directions blunder). That’s exhausting.

I’m drinking Willow blend from Starbucks these-a-days (not right at the moment, so I can’t say “now”). I’m a dark roast gal, but this is GOOD coffee! Try some, try some, you will see!

My 20 mile bike-ride made getting up very difficult today. I tried the good old “press snooze” trick from my sister. Didn’t really help, though.

Better knit. It’s easy to get carried away with other things instead, yeah? Yeah. peace out…