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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Memorial to a Really Good Monday

Some weeks Mondays just stink! But not today. Today was a really good Monday. This post is to remind myself that some Mondays are really good.

*I felt really good on my run this morning.

*I finally found cute Christmas headbands!

*I purchased some fun gifts.

*I got to eat Chick-fil-A with Elisabeth while we watched the final episode of season 1 of Doctor Who. 

*Midway through the episode, Patches came and sat on me! She stayed there for over an hour!

*We ate warm chocolate chip cookies for snack this evening.

*It's Christmas time!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

What I Learned in November: The Cat Edition

November always is a special month for me. I celebrate my birthday. We have the luxury of a whole week off for Thanksgiving. We end the month by beginning the Advent and Christmas season.

Even with the expected fun and joy and challenges (finding the right present at the right price on Black Friday or Cyber Monday), I have learned new things this month.

*Even though the production of the Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker only changes minimally, I enjoy watching my ballerinas dance in it every time. This month Hannah danced in her fifth (I think) production, and Abigail and Elisabeth danced in their third, and I still loved watching them dance. 

I grew up with cats and we have had cats for over ten years now. I thought I knew most everything I needed to know about cats, so I was surprised to learn a few things this month about my feline friends.

*Cats have ACLs. I never thought about whether or not my cats had ACLs, but I learned this month that indeed they do because I learned that

*Cats can tear their ACLs. When Patches started limping, I thought maybe her arthritis was acting up or that she'd injured herself. So I brought her to the vet, who informed me that Patches had torn her ACL! I asked about her prognosis and treatment options and learned that

*Cats can have surgery to repair their ACLs, and our clinic has a vet on staff that performs such surgeries. The surgery costs only a tiny fraction of human ACL surgery, so we decided to schedule her for surgery the Monday after Nutcracker. The surgery was successful, and Patches was able to come home after only one night at the vet. Then I learned

Patches before her surgery.

*I baby injured pets. Patches could barely walk and would even growl at her injured leg! I carried her to the litter box for the first few days and generally catered to our pitiful kitty. When she did start walking, she limped around pitifully in circles. Poor kitty! Fortunately

Patches after we brought her home.

*Cats heal amazingly quickly. In less than a week she was walking with a much smaller limp, and now she is barely limping at all! She is jumping on and off beds and is back to her sweet self (except for the shaved leg!).

I am thankful for skilled veterinarians who were able to help Patches live a longer and happier life! And I am thankful for a husband who was willing to pay for cat ACL surgery!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Compassion for Each Other

Compassion. It's a beautiful word. And a more beautiful idea. Until we start fighting over the right way, the only way, even the Jesus way to show compassion.

With the confluence of the Syrian refugee crisis, the Islamist terrorist attacks in Paris and other cities, and the ever-present U.S. presidential race, my Facebook and Twitter feeds have been filled with people's comments, shares, opinions, diatribes, and judgments on what our response as Christians should be. 

Some offer this information with humble spirits, and respect that other Jesus-loving people might read the same verses in the same Bible and come to very different conclusions as to how to live out compassion. I am grateful for these, even when my own conclusions differ from theirs.

Others appear to question the love, faith, and motives of any who disagree with them. This makes me sad, because as Christians we should seek to unite, to inspire, and to love even other Christians with whom we disagree! We are family, not enemies, yet I sometimes see more respect, compassion, and love for those not yet in the family of Jesus-followers than for those who are but who have different opinions.

Jesus did say to love the homeless, the hungry, and the foreigner. And He said to love our enemies. But He also told us to love each other. We need to do both of these well if we want the world to see that He is the life-changing Savior we know him to be. We need to help encourage each other in love as we navigate what is wise and compassionate. Jesus said that the world would know that we are His and that He is the Son of God by our love for each other in John 17.  I want my interactions with other believers, especially those who have different convictions, to be steeped in love. I want the watching world to see that the Jesus in both of us is bigger than our disagreements. I want them to see love and respect and compassion for my fellow believers as well as for those who do not share my faith. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

What I Learned in October

After blogging for (almost) 31 days straight, I took a day off. But that doesn't mean I didn't learn so much in October. Here are some of the things I learned:

1. I can blog (almost) every day. I participated in the 31 Day Blogging Challenge and only missed two days! But I realized that thinking of something new on the fly every day is hard, as the month went on, my posts became shorter. Although I don't plan on blogging every day now that the challenge is over, I do think this experience has helped jump start the regular blogging habit. And I realized that if I do another 31 day challenge, I'm going to choose a topic that I can plan out somewhat. (I already have several in mind.)

2. Gilmore Girls is returning! Netflix will be producing and streaming 4 new episodes! I'm looking forward to catching up with Lorelai and Rory.

3. Working out on our new elliptical is the hardest exercise I have ever done! I'm not new to working out. I can even run over a mile and a half. Without stopping! But the first time I worked out on the elliptical, I had to rest after 10 minutes. I've since worked up to about 30 minutes at a time, but I'm usually counting down the minutes toward the end of that time!

4. I have a better day if I can get out and walk or run before anything else. I don't know if it's the exercise or the being outside, but I feel more awake and have more energy. I'm going to have to try jumping on the elliptical for a few minutes on rainy days and see if that also affects my morning energy level.

5. Rugby. When I turned on our local TV station to check the weather, they were showing a rugby match. It was fascinating. And violent. And those guys wore no pads or helmets. We saw several players bleeding. I looked up some information about the game, so now I have a very basic understanding of a game that I knew nothing about before today.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Rain Rain Rain Came Down Down Down

The rain rain rain came down down down today.

Our church's Trunk or Treat was cancelled. So we had a relaxing day of staying indoors, and when Hannah went to a costume party, the rest of us dressed like couch potatoes and watched the end of the fourth season of Doctor Who.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Great Pumpkins

Carving pumpkins gives us a chance to use our creativity. I don't thing we've ever chosen just the basic face. Every year we choose things that are fun and reflect who we are. This year we had been rather busy and almost didn't carve pumpkins.

To simplify a bit, several of us shared pumpkins. My wrist was happy about this!

Rebecca made the 11th Doctor from Doctor Who. The rest of us haven't met him yet, but we will soon.

Abigail and Elisabeth chose the S.H.I.E.L.D. emblem from Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Paul made Captain America's shield. 

And Hannah and I did Tigger!

We made a party of it listening and dancing to the Wicked soundtrack and some Tangled songs. I'm really glad we did not let tiredness or busy-ness keep us from our fun Halloween tradition.

More Waffling

After our great waffle experience last Friday, we went ahead and ordered a new Belgian waffle maker. Our research showed that this one would cook great waffles and would cook more of them at once.

We tried out our new appliance tonight, and we were not disappointed! The waffles were crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. I've never really been all that excited about waffles. Now I know that was just because I'd only had average waffles. They were often either soggy or too dense. This recipe (and our new waffle maker) has made me a fan of waffles!