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Weekend update.

3 Mar

[Weekend update.]  After a week of three funerals in Lent, I was ready for a weekend.  I turned off the alarm clock and enjoyed a lazy day and a half [until I had to write my Sunday sermon on Saturday night].  It was wonderful and much needed.

On Friday, I hung out with my favorite three classes of first graders, got a manicure [I had a gift certificate from Christmas to use.], and made potpies with butternut squash and kale.  Yummy.  Since all I ate last week were funeral lunches and bowls of cereal, it was simply super fun to cook again.  Can you smell the garlic sautéing?  So delicious.


On Saturday, I found time to quilt and sleep and go for walks with Miss Mabel.  Today after church, Paige and I hit up the outlet mall and I came home with new treadmill kicks and pajama pants with rowboats on them.  [I’m anticipating a sleepover this coming weekend with two friends; I needed new pajama pants.  Naturally.]


A bonus story:  Ever since I’ve moved, my mailbox has received an odd piece of post or two.  Odd because they’re not addressed to me; they’re addressed to my mom.  At my address.  The Scrubs magazine?  Makes sense since my mom is a nurse.  However — Beyond the Bean?  Addressed to my mom?  At this house?  Weird.


a thankful november: new gnome.

27 Nov
There was a package on my doorstep today.  It came from Alaska and had a gnome inside.
See, my brother, Ben, went to the local library book basket auction.  [I guess it’s a thing.]  There was a gnome basket for auction; it’s the one he went home with and the one he then transferred to a box to send to me.  There are gardening tools, seeds, a book on container gardening [perfect for me!], and a new gnome.
I was digging through the box, pulling the items out one by one and excited about the contents.  Whoever put the basket together for auction is awesome and quite possibly my long lost twin.  I set the heavy gnome on the counter.  I shall call him Gandalf the Green.  He has a walking stick. 
I kept going thru the box contents and found one last book.  It’s then that I realized the error of my ways – my gnome collecting ways.  That one last book?  How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack: Defend Yourself When the Lawn Warriors Strike (And They Will).  Shit.  My gnomes are going to kill me.
My collection of gnomes?  People sending me new gnomes for my collection?  And those poor people in Dawson, surrounded by gnomes!  I suddenly was aware that I wasn’t simply gathering cute and innocent gnomes in my corner curio cabinet.  I’m freakin’ helping them achieve their evil endgame by bringing them together.  The dark one is gathering all armies to him.  It won’t be long now.  He will soon be ready to make his last war that will cover all the world in darkness.  [Just a little LOTR for you.  To make Gandalf the Green feel at home.]
Needless to say, this package from my brother may be more than simple thoughtfulness and fun.  This package will help me survive the inevitable garden gnome attacks. 
This package may save my life.  


13 Oct
As you well know, I went to an open casting call for MasterChef today with my saran-wrapped plate of the Holy Trinity of cakepops.  I showed up, I auditioned, and I left.
That’s all I can say about that right now.
Then I went to Target to buy a surge protector.  [Who knew a treadmill should be on a surge protector? The woman whose treadmill was fried in an electrical storm did and she told me.]  A surge protector. I walked out with a surge protector, a yellow zip-up hooded sweatshirt, some dollar spot items, and a starbucks drink.  Let’s call it the Target curse.  Or my lack of willpower.
Now?  Wine, Alias, writing snail mail, and basking in the joy that I don’t need to go to church tomorrow.  Hallelujah.  [Even pastors need a Sunday morning break and I’m so ready for one.]

my next screen play.

31 Aug
[and by next I mean first.]
I just spent an hour dropping off bulk mail at the Austin Post Office.  The LOG [our monthly newsletter at ROG – get it?] is en route to members thirsty for the latest word from this church.  [or maybe it’s their recycling bin that is hungry for it.  whichever.]  Anyways, Marilyn usually drops this off.  She’s the one who weighs it, fills out the appropriate paperwork, and makes sure when it is dropped off that it keeps the lovely USPS clerks happy.  This time the cookie crumbled and it was my job to deliver.  I got a sneak peak at the world that is church administrative assistants.
Behind me in line was another church dropping off their monthly newsletter.  I spent a fair bit of time at the counter this time around because the weight on the group of 10 newsletters was off by .009.  Off by too much apparently.  The clerk who was helping me had to go ask someone else a question, and then she had to reweigh, and then she had to explain to me how to fill out new paperwork with the appropriate weight, all the while this administrative assistant behind me waited for another clerk.
Another clerk appeared and the admin assistant behind me went to her with the boxes of newsletters in her hands.  She kinda giggled, looked at me, and said, More of the same thing, in a sing-songy voice.  But her weight on the group of 10 was correct.  No further questions, no reweighing.  She was in.  And then she sneered at me with a mix of pity and a mix of superiority as she left the counter, arriving after me and leaving before me.  What a smug church basement lady.
Okay.  No, she didn’t really sneer but what a movie screen play it could be if she did!  The entire drive home I wondered what the secret lives of church administrative assistants is like.  Competitiveness at the post office counter over bulk mail, bragging rights over who could fold bulletins the fastest, and who also played the organ.  I imagine the movie would be a lot like Drop, Dead Gorgeous but with less murder and more lipstick stains on coffee cups.  

speaking of letters –

2 Aug
I learned a trick today.  Not juggling or magic, but nearly as thrilling.
I’ve frequented the Edgerton Post Office since returning home as it meets all my postage and mailing needs.  Mr.Bill behind the window has become my friend.  He often asks me how I am and then compliments my sister’s latest photo in the paper.  [Or so it seems happens often enough.]  
Today, Mr.Bill let me into the inside.  The inner workings of the USPS.  To what’s behind the blue uniforms.
I went to mail a 5×7 manilla envelope.  Maybe it was 6×9.  Anyways, he said it fell within the dimensions of a letter and it wasn’t stuffed thick enough that it needed to go as a package.  He saved me nearly fifty cents by telling me the secret.
In order for it to be considered a letter and not a package, those metal clasp tong separator things – you following me? – had to be pressed down underneath the flap and then the flap is taped/sealed shut.  If those metal clasp tong separator things are put through the punched hole and then pressed down, it is considered a package and thus, more money to send.
I fixed that sucker right there, Mr.Bill hooked me up with packaging tape, and I was out the door, fifty cents richer.
Let us all thank Mr. Postmaster Bill.

write a letter.

2 Aug
Last month I challenged myself to send a piece of snail mail for every day of that month.  I sent balloons, old knitting magazines, a magical wand, lots of ordination information, a letter accepting a call to a church, and pictures I cut into a puzzle.  Oh, and wooden chickens.  I didn’t walk to the mailbox or go to the post office everyday, but there were many days when I put in two, three, or forty pieces of mail.  I easily used thirty-one forty-four cent stamps.  Plus some.  
I’ll admit though – some days it felt like a chore.  Some days I dragged my feet or made myself get up extra early to write a postcard to get in the mail.  I think I’m happy to return to the casual sending of snail mail.  [Not that any of the mail I sent was void of care and love.  Not true.]
I wrote a letter tonight.  A real letter.  I sat down at my sewing table, pushed the sewing machine to the side, and filled a lovely piece of textured cardstock front and back.  I love writing letters.  I think there is something so sacred about snail mail.  Not about the bills we put stamps on or the invitations where will fill in the party information – but true letters.  There’s something special about the words crafted and the person who reads them upon arrival, hopefully sensing the love and care and time that went into the letter.  A letter has to be pre-meditated.  It takes supplies and a little thought.  I think it takes me more time to actually write than to type; many times I fight the urge to type and print a letter, signing only my name.  I fight it because handwriting and handwritten letters are just that much cooler in my eyes.
Write a letter to someone you love.  Put a stamp on it and put it in the mail.  Go 1980s on your communication.  Do it.  I think you’ll like it, and I think the person on the receiving end will love it.

happy fourth wkend!

2 Jul
[Have you seen the California tourism commercials about Prince William and Kate’s visit to the state?  Here’s my version for the three-day weekend.]

Three days to assemble my ordination announcements.

Three days to share patriotic cakepops.  [actually just at a cookout on the actual 4th.  how do we feel about the straws as sticks?  I think I might make that “my thing,” a way to distinguish my cakepops from the rest.  yes?]

Three days to help Lynn-baby put together her wedding invites.  [actually just this afternoon]

Three days to play with sparklers and watch fireworks.

Three days to eat grilled food and sit around campfires.

Three days to write some snail mail.  [two letters have already gone out this July!]

Three more days to just do a lot of what I already do – relax, sleep, and watch Friends.

Lindsay + July = Snail Mail.

27 Jun
Gandolf likes to say that it’s not how much time but what you do with the time that’s given to you.  [Literally just heard that line at the end of Fellowship of the Ring.  Onto Two Towers shortly.]
Today, with the time alloted to me, I ran errands for both my mom and my grandpa.  [My grandpa stopped by for a mowing break.  I think he really just wanted a cookie; it was snack time and he did enthusiastically accept one when offered.  A few of these are in my freezer right now.  He heard I was going to Stoughton and asked if I would check on his string trimmer which was at a hardware store for repair.  Sure, I said, and then sure enough, it was done with repairs and ready to be taken home.  When I returned to his place to hand it off, he was outside trimming a tree with a chainsaw.  Mind you – he’s 90.]  I watched the tail end of a Lifetime movie and an hour of How I Met Your Mother.  I took two walks – one solo and one with a friend – and quilted.  Now I drink wine, eat popcorn and write to you.
Without anything really on my agenda, I managed to fill my day fairly well.  It was one day – I fear a month or two of nothing really on my schedule will begin to get to me.  Thus I launch a blog post series I like to call Lindsay + July = _________.
In this first installment of the series, Lindsay + July = Snail Mail.  I enjoy sending snail mail – letters, packages, very large playground balls, etc.  I try to do my best to send a piece to many different people at various times during the year and am the post office’s loyal patron.  Sometimes, I get busy and utterly fail at sending mail for a few months.  Other times, I’m pretty good.  I like doing it and I think/hope it brings joy to the person on the receiving end.  [I received a graduation card from my Washington friend, Kari, today and it made my day!]  Therefore, in the month of July, in the hopes of spreading joy and filling my time, I will send one piece of snail mail on each day the US Postal Service offers delivery.  [For the month of July, that will equal 25 pieces of mail.]  Some days it may be a handwritten letter.  Another day it might be a post-it puzzle for you to assemble or maybe even cakepops.  It’s going to be a wild card game here, folks.
Here’s where you come in.  Do you want some snail mail?  Jump up and down and yell, “Me! Me! Me!” [or, if I can’t see you as you do that, write it in the comments.  or tweet me.  or fbook me.]  Also make sure I have your current address [send me an email if I don’t] and then I pinky swear promise you can expect from me a piece of mail in the month of July.  I can’t wait to write to you!  [Or send you a really creepy piece of art that I buy for a quarter at a garage sale.]
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