We Try to Get Along . . .

. . . but sometimes we just don’t see eye-to-eye. Examples:

  • Pickles
  • Mustard
  • What to do with days off
  • How to organize closets
  • What temperature is “cold”
  • Movies

For the most part, these aren’t issues. We compromise: Logan lets me eat my pickles and mustard as long as I brush my teeth extra-good later. I went hiking on his day off instead of doing laundry. I re-organize his clothes every time I hang things up. He gets me extra blankets.

However. Other things are really too hard. Continue reading

Snippets

Finishing our evening Bible reading:
Logan: “What time is it?”
Me: “9:30.”
Logan: “Oh my word! I had no idea it was SO. LATE!”

Discussing the names of our future children:
Logan: “I feel like you’re relegating all of my ideas to middle name status.”
Me: “What are you talking about?”
Logan: “You know, like Hazard. . . . ”
Me: “Hazard. has NEVER. even been a middle name option. Ever.”
Logan: “I thought you said we could use it for a middle name!”
Me: “I probably said we could use it for a dog’s name.”
Logan: “But we don’t want a dog.”
Me: ” . . . .”

I’m not the only critic:
Me: “How about Eleanor?”
Logan: “EVERYONE would IMMEDIATELY think of Eleanor Roosevelt.”
Me: “She’s been dead for many years.”
Logan: “It’s a cultural reference.”
Me: “You’ve never even heard of Beyonce*. What do you know about cultural references???!”
—*note: this is not something I hold against the man.

On cleanliness:
Logan: “Is this a chip on the floor?”
Me: “That would imply that I ate the chips while you were gone . . . and that I was too lazy to vacuum . . . would you imply those things about your wife???!!?” Continue reading

On Ants and Jobs and Graduation

Greetings again!

I thought, back in March, that perhaps I would begin blogging more frequently since I had so much time at home. And I would have, too, except after my last post I realized I had absolutely nothing to write about.

We still had ants.

We were still eating chicken.

We still played gin rummy in the evenings.

What else could I have had to say?

However, with the passing of months, some things have changed, warranting a new blog post:

We no longer have ants!!!!

Exciting, yes? I’m sure any woman who’s ever dealt with a month-long infestation of ants in her kitchen will share my joy at being rid of the annoying little things. When we finally got rid of them for real, I wandered around the kitchen in amazement every single morning, marveling at the ant-less-ness of the sink, counter, cupboards, and dishdrainer.

Those were good days.

Aside from our ant-freedom, what else is new? Well, we’re still eating boatloads of chicken, but we have cut back on our gin rummy habit. Not because we’re tired of it (well, Logan might be, but he’s a champ and hasn’t said so), but because our evenings have gotten preciously short. God opened a door to a piano/violin teaching job at a local studio about a month ago, and the after-school lessons have dramatically reduced our gin rummy playing time. Sad, I know, but we’re adjusting.

And guys. I was made to be a music teacher. I love teaching lessons. I (briefly) toyed with the idea of being a classroom teacher several years ago, but my month-long experience in China showed me that I can’t handle large groups of kids. Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE kids. (See? Italicized AND capitalized means I’m for real.) But I’m not good at classroom management, and I hated trying to teach to the average: Johnny never learned anything because he was more advanced than the lessons I was preparing; Samuel struggled because we were moving too fast. I’m sure that real teachers would have all sorts of ideas for individualizing and modifying lessons for “exceptionalities,” but it wasn’t for me.

This, however, is for me. I love getting to know students one-on-one. I love the way their personalities and learning styles show so clearly when they’re on their own in the lesson room. I love being able to slow down to explain phrasing a little more clearly if I need to. I love coming up with fun ways to drill rhythms and note names. I love being able to move an exceptional student ahead to something that challenges her. I love seeing students come back after a week of practice having mastered something that had challenged them the last time. I love praising them and seeing their confidence grow. I love the little girls who skip into the room with enthusiasm. I love making the quiet teenage boys laugh, even if it’s the only non-piano noise he’ll make all lesson. I just love this job.

Looking back, God’s hand is so clear in every step that brought me here. Reflecting on His goodness in preparing me for this place is a long enough tale to warrant its own post, really. It’s embarrassing to think about all those times I cried during lessons (Mrs. Boone was a literal saint, and never once sounded even the slightest bit frustrated with my snotty sniffling). It’s odd to remember that I went through 2 1/2 years of college NOT intending to study music. It’s incredible (as in “completely unbelievable”) to realize I made a decent grade in every semester of ear training. And it’s wonderful to realize that God opened up this job at just the time I was ready to start working; that He directed me to the job posting when I hadn’t checked for music jobs in over a month; that the studio was willing to take a risk on someone who hasn’t taught violin before; that my interviewer was so gracious about the fact that I was an hour late to our meeting (unclear Google maps + accidentally getting on a highway that only has exits every two miles . . . ).

And not only did He provide a job that I absolutely love. . . God’s also provided a wonderful church family where I’ve been able to get involved musically. I’m using my violin and my voice, and yes, even playing handbells again! He’s so good to me.

In other news, congrats to all ABC’s graduating seniors! We wish we could be walking with you . . . but let’s be honest, we’re really happy about NOT walking with you. Not because of you. You’re awesome and I loved having you as my classmates for 2 1/2 years. Because of other things, like travel expenses and dumb hats and the fact that Logan’s parents can’t be at two graduations at once (and Charis’s doctorate is a lot more important) and stuff like that. Anyhow. If any of you are reading this (which you’re probably not because packing and family and Bible conference and wedding plans, for half of you at least), just know that Logan and I wish we could hug you goodbye once more before God scatters us to serve Him all over the earth.

Alright. I’ve rambled about ants and jobs and graduation, but it’s time for the really important stuff: laundry and cleaning and paying bills. And also putting on warmer clothes because North Carolina is SERIOUSLY bipolar and keeps tricking me into boxing up all my sweaters.

Rude.

 

 

Bugged

Once upon a time, I liked crickets.

I remember this distinctly. I had read a book about them–whether for school or because I was a scientifically-minded ten-year-old, I remember not–and I was subsequently fascinated with the creatures. I remember catching them and putting them in a big bucket with the neighbor kids. Then I would spout random scientifical facts I had learned from my book. Yes, I was that kid.

While I’m still that kid in the sense that I will spout whatever random facts I know at any given time, I have no idea what happened to the cricket-catching kid. The only explanation I can think of now is that I was under a spell. Because this Betsy hates. all. bugs.

Period.

Growing up, grasshoppers were my greatest fear. Any time Mom sent me out to the garden, I walked in mortal terror that one of them might jump on me. I could NOT think of a worse fate.

After my family moved, cave crickets became my new Enemy. Yes, with a capital E. I am still solemnly convinced that they are the locusts of Revelation 9. If they don’t originate in the Pit, I don’t know what does.

Man, I hate those things.

Luckily for me . . . I’ve moved again! And now I have an obliging husband who will get of bugs for me. Normally, this plays out like so:

Me: Can you please get rid of that spider?
Husband: It’s a daddy long legs. It’s not hurting anyone.
Me: But I don’t like it.
Husband: Whatever. [removes spider and releases it outdoors]
Me: Husband!!!
Husband: I got rid of it.
Me: Well, when it comes back into the house . . . I want it DEAD.

It’s not that I hate or even fear daddy long legs. I just don’t like sweeping cobwebs all. the stinking. time. However, I can deal with daddy long legs and cobwebs. In fact, I can even kill them myself when Logan’s at work. (But don’t tell him that. I need him to think he’s the only one who can handle them.)

Other things, however, are different.

Yesterday, I was sitting on the couch, calmly minding my own business, looking for a job, when some sort of creepy thing was in my peripheral vision. I didn’t know what it was because my cat-like reflexes took over and I flailed helplessly until it was gone.

It came back later, not too close to my face this time, and I was able to calmly squish it with a nail polish bottle. BUT IT APPARENTLY DIDN’T DIE. Because I saw it again after supper. At which point husband was home and able to kill it for me. ❤

Husband: I wonder if that’s a termite.
Me: No.
Husband: I don’t know . . . it kind of looks like one.
Me: NO.

Immediately, I had visions of our landlord having to replace all the floors and boards in this house, forcing us to camp in my in-laws’ basement for an indefinite period of time. (I could visualize this easily because Logan’s brother & sister-in-law literally just went through that.)

But I got over it. We played a calm game of gin rummy. We got ready for bed. I went to lock the door.

Me: Logan. Logan. LOGAN! KILL IT!
Husband: What is it?
Me: SOMETHING NOT GOOD!

The huge black thing quickly scurried under the edge of the couch, narrowly avoiding my husband’s shoe. I had a little meltdown.

Me: Was that a roach? I don’t want roaches! I don’t want termites! I DON’T WANT BUGS!
Husband: I’m sorry, sweetie. I guess I forgot to mention that the south has a lot of critters.
Me: [slowly calming down] Can I get a little consolation prize at least?
Husband: Sure.
Me: Will you please kill that spider??????????

And all was well.

Until this morning . . . when I found ants in my kitchen.

Please pray for my husband. It’s been an emotional time for him.

What’s Going On

So, what am I actually up to besides musing about the metaphysical nature of home, traveling, and ironing? While Logan serves the metropolis by cleaning the gutters of those too old or too rich to do it themselves, I’m learning to be a homemaker–and greatly enjoying it, I might add. I’m hoping to start teaching piano soon, but not a lot of people are beginning lessons at this time of the year. Also, it’s been a bit of a journey getting my old (but free–thanks Chuck! Best wedding present!!) piano in playable condition. As of now, it’s mostly tuned, but the majority of the black keys stick . . . making anything not in the key of C major rather difficult to play. (I tried playing one of my recital songs the other day, but it was in 3 or 4 flats and by the time I was a few measures in, I had stuck every key I needed for the melody. . . I gave up.) BUT Mr. Piano Tuner is coming back next week to finish fixing it, which makes my heart happy.

So, what I am doing these days?

Sewing

Still working on curtains–yes, I know. They’re not even hard. I’ve finished some, but others I’m sort of piecing together to get them the length I want them to be. Measuring long straight lines is NOT my forte, so I’m taking it slow.

Baking

Snickerdoodles are in the oven right now! Some will go to Logan’s boss & his family, who are having us over for pizza tonight (yay pizza!), but we’ll still have several dozen more than we need . . . someone come help us eat them please.

Update: since the time of writing, many snickerdoodles were given away & eaten, and what remains will accompany us to his parents’ house tonight, where they will (hopefully) be finished. Your help is no longer needed . . . but I’ll happily make you a new batch when you drop by. 🙂

Reading

As quoted in my last post, I’ve been enjoying Cheryl Mendeson’s Home Comforts, a birthday gift from my parents. 🙂 I’ve also been listening to some Agatha Christie on audiobook whilst sewing or cooking . . . it helps the house feel less empty. Any other suggestions? I’m very open to discovering new authors.

On my future reading list is Five Magic Spindleswhich is slated to be published this summer sometime. The winners were just announced this week–in my opinion, this collection will be the most varied yet!

Listening to

Would that sound better “hearing”? I hate the preposition at the end . . .

Anyhow. Chris Rice’s Peace Like a River: the Hymns Project. It’s very peaceful and soothing . . . I imagine using it as lullabies for my future children. 😉 Speaking of future lullabies, his “Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus)” is a song I will most definitely sing while I’m rocking my 11 future babies. (Just kidding about the 11 part! You know I’ll never quit till I beat the Duggars!!!)

You probably just took that seriously, too. It wasn’t meant that way. However, as I am in no way obliged to explain and/or justify my ideals for a future family, I’m going to let it go. 😉

Also, these days I get to listen to the melodious evening calls of the peacocks pretty often. A house down the road has a few, and lately they’ve been serenading us at sundown. It’s not a particularly beautiful sound–check it out for yourself if you don’t believe me–but, strangely, I like it. It makes me feel as if someone in the neighborhood has livestock, which means I’m not so far from my heritage after all.

Going

Yup, we’re off again–this weekend to Logan’s hometown, where we’ll mourn his brother’s old age celebrate his brother’s birthday and minister in his home church (through preaching & piano playing, respectively).

Scheming

I’m already planning the sewing projects I’ll start when these curtains are done: some baby clothes for my niece (expected in just over 2 months!!), finishing that quilt I began *ahem* years ago, wedding presents for all the friends getting married this summer (it’s that time of life for us I guess). And I’m plotting a story in my head. . . though someone else already wrote a novel in the same historical setting I had thought was so unique, which was disappointing. Have any of you tackled historical fiction? Any research tips?

I’m also trying to figure out how to accidentally bump into Anne Elisabeth Stengl, as I may or may not live very near her now. I know which grocery store chain she frequents . . . but as there is one on every corner, I’m not getting my hopes up. 😉

Okay, your turn. What have you been making/doing/reading/listening to/plotting? Go.

 

 

There & Back Again

100_9319

That’s the face I make when I get to see my seester. ❤

Also the face I make when I’m walking over a very long bridge over very rapid water which I can see through the bridge. Actually, that face was a trifle more terrified/green.

Logan & I took a quick trip last weekend back up to our old college stomping grounds. (Is it pretentious to call ABC “our old college stomping grounds” when we have been graduated for literally 2.5 months?) It was odd to go back–it’s been such a short time, and yet so much has changed. It probably was too soon to visit again, technically, but two of my fellow music majors were having their senior recital, Logan & I aren’t committed to a local church here yet, and Ruth and I missed each other. So I bought waaaaaaaaaay too much trip food, and off we went. (My memories of sustenance needed for road trips all still involve a van full of 7+ people — at least two of whom are always-hungry boys — and drives that last many many hours. Hence the overabundance of munchies.) Continue reading

Not Much

Hi, world.

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged . . . if you don’t count book reviews, it’s really been over a year. Mostly because boyfriends and wedding planning takes time. Husbands and housekeeping take time, too, but I’m not adding those responsibilities to school.

I only had one boyfriend, by the way. I know it says “boyfriends” and “husbands” but there’s only one. His name is Logan and he’s the coolest. I may or may not have mentioned him in the past. Long before we dated. But you’ll have to sleuth that out yourself.

IMG_2997

Once upon a time last month, we got married.

Anyhow. I’ve just felt like writing for a while, so I’m finally doing it right now. Mostly because doing anything else (putting away the clothes I just finished folding, sorting out even MORE boxes of things, sewing, etc.) would require moving off this couch. . . and moving off this couch would mean giving up my blanket. And giving up my blanket would make me cold. It’s hard to keep a house warm, y’all. Especially when you’re the one paying the electric bills.

**Note to those in Des Plaines: You’re frigid right now, but you can turn on your space heater without obsessing about energy usage. Be thankful for the little things.

I’m rambling, quite shamelessly. Sometimes I wish I had a cool blog where I took artsy pictures of the cute things I’m doing with my house. But you really don’t want to see artsy picture evidence of me washing clothes and sorting out our closet and balancing our budget on a fancy Excel spreadsheet, do you? And that’s about all the cuter I’ve gotten so far, though I have lots of other ideas of nifty and blog-worthy projects. However, all those ideas require something: curtain rods, painter’s dropcloth, spraypaint. So I’m occupying myself with things I have on hand, like dirty or wrinkled laundry. Not even kidding. I ironed basically Logan’s and my entire wardrobe yesterday. Now I can dress him in different outfits on Sundays instead of the one non-wrinkly shirt he had.

Should I be ashamed? We’ve lived here a month and I just yesterday ironed my husband’s shirts. My mom brought me a bunch of sewing goodies from her and Grandma’s stashes and I haven’t even plugged in my sewing machine yet. (Though I DID finally get the office/sewing room organized enough to fit a chair by my sewing desk!) My fabulous sister-in-law took gazillions of gorgeous wedding photos and I have not hung even one on my walls.

Getting married is probably the best thing ever . . . but this also the biggest change of my life. I don’t really know if I’m handling it well or not. Some days I’m proud of all I get done, and some days I huddle beneath my blanket on the couch and pretend to be creative by stalking other people on Pinterest.

I don’t know how to finish this post. It was meant to be a cheerful little hello and life update to get me back into blogging, and it turned into a ramble about . . . about . . . I don’t even know exactly what I’ve been talking about. To-do lists and ironing and Pinterest and energy bills . . . welcome to life after college.

For the record, I actually enjoy ironing. Surprising, somewhat, as I never did much growing up; Ruth loved the job, so I let her enjoy it. And I almost NEVER ironed anything at school because it was so much hassle. Proof: Logan asked me Sunday if the blouse I was wearing was new. I’ve had it–and loved it!–for several years . . . but cotton blouses, no matter how cute, just never made it from hanger to ironing board at college.

I’m enjoying budgeting and keeping track of bills and receipts, too, for the most part. I mean, it’s not exactly enjoyable to watch your money turn into a still-chilly house and a milk jug that’s going to be empty terribly soon. But it’s nice, at least, to be able to see exactly where it’s all going and find ways to stretch it far enough to buy your husband 1/2 pound Reese’s cups for his birthday. (They were at Ollie’s . . . and we had a coupon . . . and he’s been working really hard.)

So I don’t mean to be a whiner about grown-up married life or anything. It’s super great and I absolutely love it. It’s just different than college single life, and I’m still getting used to it.

Okay, I have to put away this laundry for reals now. And start thinking about supper. Bye, blogosphere. I’m going to go do some married woman things.