Friday, December 27, 2013

7 QT, volume 20: Christmas!

It's Christmas! Christmas is my favorite holiday. I realize, of course, the theological reasons in favor of Easter, but let's be realistic here. Spring dresses, or velvet? Eggs or presents?

Presents does tend to be a sore spot with me, though. I am good at giving them, but not at wrapping them. Presents I wrap tend to turn out crumpled, bumpy, and occasionally torn. While the rest of my family makes nice neat corners and artistic little tags, I do things like this:

I actually can write, I just blurred our the recipient's name!

That present actually has a leg up on a few of the others, though. At some point I ran out of clear packing tape and switched to green reindeer packing tape.

As soon as I have my own family, I am making reusable drawstring bags out of cloth. These will be used instead of wrapping. They will be labeled by having tags attached to them, probably with safety pins. These tags will also be reusable.

Here is our Christmas tree in all its sentimental glory. Over the years, we have accumulated some ornaments which are not really ornaments. They're things we could not bear to throw away, but didn't really want to look at all year, such as a coloring page of the empty tomb. Also, we have real candles.

In the interests of an accurate depiction of our family life, I did not straighten the tree skirt. Actually, that's completely made up. I took this photo to test light conditions in the living room.

As you can see, they weren't very good. Nevertheless, we did eventually get a reasonably good family photo. I don't want it going out into the free unrestricted internet, so here's a Christmas tree ornament which is actually an ornament.
Merry Christmas, from my whole family to yours!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Most Posts of 2013

Amongst Lovely Things is having a link up! There are five categories:
  • Post with the most clicks
  • Post with the most comments
  • Post with the best picture
  • Post that was hardest to write
  • Post that was your personal favorite (not your readers' favorite- your favorite)
Here are my answers:
  • Post with the most clicks
My post of seagull pictures got over 500 views. I am not really sure why or how that happened, but there you go. It all happened in the last week, so either someone is sharing that post like crazy, or it's one of those spammer hacks that jack up your page views in the hopes that you will click on your link.

  • Post with the most comments
That would definitely be μετὰ λόγου. Nine whole comments, you guys!

  • Post with the best picture
Um, by whose standard? This is probably the best picture on the blog. It's also the tree I got engaged under, although I did not know at the time that it was going to be that special. But the eighth photo in this post, of the seagull eating the dead bird, is my favorite picture.

Hey, I should take a poll. Which photo should be my header? The tree or the bird?

  • Post that was hardest to write
  • Post that was your personal favorite (not your readers' favorite- your favorite)
These are the same post: my farewell post to Maggie. I struggle to put my thoughts into words if what I am trying to write about can't be put into a syllogism. That post took me a long time to write, but I think it turned out well.

Head over to Amongst Lovely Things to join the link-up!

Friday, December 20, 2013

7 QT, Volume 19

Productivity is still pretty high. The packing has slowed down a little, but the elfing has ramped up. Once I am done my elfing, I will pack away all my sewing supplies.

Elfing may be a word that only exists within the confines of my family. It means to make, buy, or wrap Christmas presents. Did we make it up, or is it a real word?

I just googled. Apparently, it is a word, but not always a nice word. Urban dictionary seems to think it means doing various unpleasant things to people while they are passed out drunk. Google at your own risk; some of them are definitely not G-rated.

I think I like our meaning better.

Anyway, I had two Christmas presents left, but I have also been co-opted to help with a third one that has to be hidden from a certain young person, so I will be working on that while she is out learning about whatever she learns about from our homeschool co-op.

I just reserved two tickets for a ballroom dance to go to with Kevin. Now I have to find my formal dress. I know I have it somewhere, but it got lost while I was in Germany.

Lastly, and slightly randomly, who has good ideas of what to do with old earrings? I could donate them to a thrift store or give them away, but I'm wondering if anyone has any more creative or interesting ideas. They're all for pierced ears, and my holes grew back together last semester.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A productive day!

I had such a productive day Tuesday! Here's what I did:
-Packed three boxes of books
-Packed a box of fish tank supplies
-Freecycled a box of fish tank supplies
-Wrote a description of the fish tank we're selling
-Finished J's Christmas present and wrapped it
-Wrote my friend in the convent a Christmas card and packaged up her present
-Wrapped Teresa's fiance's Christmas present and wrote him a card
-Started and finished M's Christmas present, and wrapped it
-Finished Kevin's grad school check list (since he had more final papers due than I did, I pulled together a list of everything he needed to apply for grad school)

Yesterday was less productive, as we had two Christmas parties to go to. But I did manage to do 2.5 hours of work for my grandfather, get the oil changed, and cut out one Christmas present.

Let's see if I can keep up the high productivity!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

7 QT, Volume 18

Starting today, I am using Jen's template. I am not sure why I never started using it before, but when I realized it included the link back to her blog, which I always forget, I was sold.

Classes and finals are all over! I have not received any final grades yet, but I am anxiously awaiting them. At least one is going to be lower than I had hoped, but I don't know what I could have done differently. My classmates and I felt like the grading standards changed from assignment to assignment. Oh well.

Coming up is a nice long break. I intend to spend it productively. I have a long list of things I would like to get done, and I am going to pick a few and make serious progress on them. I hope so, anyway. On today's to-do list is clean my room and go to Confession.

Speaking of Confession, for my birthday (which is actually tomorrow), Kevin gave me a book about making a good Confession, which I sorely need, and a book called How To Pray the Dominican Way. Those of you who know me in real life may know that I am slightly obsessed with the Dominicans, so I am really looking forward to reading it!
I am making decent progress on Christmas presents. I have several ready to go, and several more than need work. If I follow through on my goal of sewing a lot of them, I have some busy days ahead of me. But I think it will work out. After Christmas, I will post pictures of the things I sewed.

Can I just say, making a wedding registry is weird? I have an aversion to gift lists, although I usually wind up being asked for them because I am a hard person to shop for. I get that. But the wedding registry seems strange. Not, "we will need some glasses," but "these glasses, right here!" I guess that makes other people's lives easier, and some of the glasses that exist are very ugly, but it still feels weird and greedy.

If you are reading this and coming to my wedding, feel free to ignore or be inspired by the registry. Or just not give a present. Also, the invitations haven't gone out, so if you haven't got one, don't stress. Also, the registry is hidden because it's not really done at all. So I don't know why I'm talking about people who haven't been invited yet buying things off a registry which no one can see. I should probably just stop talking.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I'm engaged!

I got engaged last Wednesday!

Everyone always wants to hear the story, so here it is.

We went to Mass. We left, and on the way to the car, under a beautiful oak tree (which we couldn't see because the sun had set already), Kevin asked, "Will you marry me?" Of course I said yes!

My ring is silver with an amethyst. I'm not really a diamond person, but my favorite color is purple, so Kevin decided to get a purple ring instead. (I don't wear gold.) And no, I'm not sure why my skin looks like an elephant's ankles.

Inside, it says "friendship which has been set on fire" in ancient Greek.

We're hoping to be able to pull off a double wedding with my twin sister next summer.