National Day: Thermos Bottle Day

While it’s not strictly a Thermos, I have been enjoying the water bottle I got during the Priests vs. Seminarians game a Sacred Heart Major Seminary a few weeks back.


For a proper Thermos, I’d have to think back to my childhood. We had Thermos-like things in our lunch boxes. But mostly, I remember that my Dad would fill up a Thermos with coffee to take with him to work.

What are your Thermos memories?

National Day: World Bartender Day

Sometimes, I have to think of creative ways in which to “celebrate” some of these holidays. ¬†I’m not really a drinker, so I am not really feeling like going out to a bar to celebrate World Bartender Day.

This is probably the most I have to do with bartenders: the Norte Americano Booty Music that I like to listen to. Of the two, I am probably more Akon than T-Pain, as he also, “Don’t smoke, don’t drink: that’s why I don’t be by the bar, baby.”

You KNOW Who I Am!

Sliced Open My  Finger

When you slice open your finger, and then your iPhone pretends like it doesn’t know you anymore.

New Blog Header

Winter 2017 WordPress Header

It’s been a long time since I’ve changed the header here on the blog. ūüôā I think the last one was Summer 2015!!

That was mostly because I had been using Picasa previously to create my collages, and they “upgraded” the application to Google Photos, which I haven’t mastered yet.

For this one, I used an online collage editing program called Collage Maker. I’m still seeking out permanent options for collage editors.

In this header, I have a photo of my bedroom, which I painted yellow at the end of last year; a order from Krissyanne Designs (KAD) in the Go Wild, Y’all theme for this year’s planner conference in Nashville; a LillieHenry order (I love the bright colors!); and my car at dusk with the first snow of the season.

Enjoy the new header! I’ll try to rotate them a little more.

New Kitchen Faucet

New Kitchen Faucet

It’s pretty much always the case that when I go to Home Depot, I find something *else* that I want/need for my house. I almost never walk out of there with only the items I originally intended on purchasing.

Nothing new with that yesterday. Plus, there’s just something about a sunny, 68 degree February day in Michigan that makes you start thinking about spring cleaning and home improvements.

I had several light bulbs which were out in the house and went to get those, as well as some drain opener for the tub (it *always* needs to be cleaned out).

I replaced all the burnt out specialty bulbs today. They had LED options, so I went with those. One chandelier kind for the front door fixture, and 5 small globe bulbs for the living room and the back door fixtures. The LED bulbs are a lot brighter than the traditional incandescents (I bought the 60W version), and I love the extra light!

While going to the back of the store for the drain opener, I passed by the faucet aisle and stopped to take a look. For a long time, the kitchen faucet was so leaky that when the water is turned off at the tap, there is a stream of water about half of the stream when it is on at full force! That’s not a “leak,” really. More like a flood. I suppose I could have attempted to repair the faucet, but figured this was severe enough to just go ahead and replace the faucet entirely.

I picked one with a removable aerator, so that I could still install the quick-connect valve for the countertop dishwasher. The instructions said that I only needed an adjustable wrench and a screwdriver. I picked up a small sized wrench in the hand tools section, as well as some clear silicone caulk.

I had left the house about 11 am, browsed for a while in Home Depot, then picked up lunch at Estia, a Greek food restaurant that is owned by Vanessa’s uncle Paul and his cousin, Jorge. (They have the best chicken lemon rice soup! I love it so much!)

After lunch, I changed the light bulbs in the living room and then started to work on the faucet. I cleared out the items from beneath the kitchen sink, got my tools out, brought over an old washcloth and towel, and used a muffin tin to catch any leaks.

I was stalled almost right away. At first, I tried to take off the faucet and it wouldn’t budge. So I watched a YouTube how-to video and saw that there were screws under the sink that I needed to remove, as well as the water lines. After looking at it, it didn’t seem to be too complicated. HOWEVER! The plastic nuts that screwed the water line onto the faucet bolts were very tight! I couldn’t budge them.

I called my dad and we determined that I really just needed to get the right tools. My adjustable wrench didn’t have a wide enough opening for the plastic nuts. It was about 4 pm, and I was due to be over at Jack and April’s new house for a Housewarming at 6 pm. I changed clothes, since I had been grubbing on the floor and was filthy, and headed over, grabbing a venti iced latte on the way.

Dad had started putting some hand tools in a box for me when I got there. We added some more items that I might find useful to have around the house. He looked at the instruction manual for the sink and showed me how to connect the spray attachment. Mom gave me some of the beef vegetable soup that they had made for dinner. I was still full from lunch, but can have it for lunch at work the next day (today). We talked for a while, then I headed over to Jack and April’s.

They had 9 people over, and I knew everyone! They are a great group of people. We talked for a while, had some dinner and dessert (Michelle, it was fantastic! Some kind of creamy thing with whipped cream and strawberries, and a golden Oreo base), played with Vivien, played games, and watched the guys wrestle. It was a very enjoyable night!

Jack and John Wrestling

As per my evil plan, I asked Jack if he would be willing to come over Sunday night, in the event that I was not strong enough, even with the channel-locks and larger adjustable wrench, to remove the water line nuts.

It was probably about 10:30 pm when I got home, and I had to be at work at 6:30 in the morning. However, I decided to try and see if I could get the sink installed. The sprayer’s hose sleeve was a little tricky, since it really needed to have someone hold it from above while I attempted to screw it tight to the sink. I managed to get it somewhat tight by deviating from the instructions and putting the sprayer and it’s hose down the hose sleeve. I then used the hose to pull the hose sleeve tight to the sink. It provided enough friction that I was able to screw the hose sleeve down. I’ll still want to have someone hold it while I tighten it up some, but since I don’t need to worry about its watertightness, it can wait a bit.

Finally, the moment of truth. I used the channel-locks and it took a minute to two to get the right angle. I was able to disconnect the water lines pretty quickly, and only a little water spilled on the right (cold water) side. Installing the faucet was pretty easy, also, although I had to deviate from the instructions again. They wanted me to put the faucet on the counter, then connect the hose for the sprayer. However, since the faucet was not tight to the sink yet, it started to tip over and fall when I started to push up on the quick connect valve to connect it to the center post on the faucet. So, I went out of order and tightened the faucet to the sink first, then installed the quick connect valve. (It took me two tries to get the sprayer hose right. The hose was very curly from being packaged, and the first time, I didn’t realize that it had wrapped around the drain pipe. I disconnected it and fixed it. I didn’t want to be pulling my drain pipe out trying to use the sprayer!)

After that, I just had to connect the water valves and tighten up the new plastic nuts with the channel-locks. The hot water line connected super easy. I had a weird angle on the cold water line, so it took me a couple tries and then laying down inside the other side of the cabinet in order to attach it securely.


I opened the valves for the water line and made sure there were no leaks. Then, I took off the aerator and ran both water lines for a little while to get out any debris. I reconnected the aerator and decided that it was a good time to do some dishes and let the water run for a while — just to be extra sure that it was not leaking anywhere. Everything looks good! So excited to have a pretty new, non-leaking faucet! I guess that means that I’m old now, that household things make me happy. I’m pretty proud that I was able to install it myself, too!

Korematsu Google Doodle


I don’t normally give more than just a passing glance to the Google Doodle of the Day. Sometimes they are fun, sometimes they are commemorative, but usually I have a web destination in mind when I open the browser and do not allow myself the distraction. Today, however, I paused.

I’ll be the first person to admit that I am largely ignorant of the news. I don’t watch news programs, don’t listen to the news on the radio, and do not read a newspaper (physical or electronic). And lately, tensions have been running high as the executive leadership of the country has changed hands, so I have been avoiding political posts on social media.

But if a topic is very large and pervasive, you cannot help but here about it here and there. I’m sure if I try to speak about what happened this weekend, my account will be largely fraught with errors, so I’ll just give my impression: President Trump put something into effect which is restricting the movement (I believe via air travel) of a certain segment of the population.

Which is why the Google Doodle grabbed my attention.

It looked both patriotic, as well as reminiscent of internment camps, so I poked around Wikipedia and read about the case of Korematsu v. United States. In this particular instance, the Supreme Court upheld that the government acted appropriately and in the best interests of national security. Later, they found that the Supreme Court may not have had all the appropriate information to make their decision, but the case was never overturned.

Today happens to be the 98th anniversary of Fred Korematsu’s birth, but it is very interesting to have this juxtaposed with the events of the weekend.

In reading the Wikipedia article, one of the decisions of a dissenting judge caught my attention. Justice Frank Murphy wrote,

I dissent, therefore, from this legalization of racism. Racial discrimination in any form and in any degree has no justifiable part whatever in our democratic way of life. It is unattractive in any setting, but it is utterly revolting among a free people who have embraced the principles set forth in the Constitution of the United States. All residents of this nation are kin in some way by blood or culture to a foreign land. Yet they are primarily and necessarily a part of the new and distinct civilization of the United States. They must, accordingly, be treated at all times as the heirs of the American experiment, and as entitled to all the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.

As a country, there have been times where we have embraced the world and been a refuge for all nations, and times where we have been xenophobic and restricted our borders. I do not have the answer to the immigration issue or any of the related struggles. I just hope that as a people and as a country, we have compassion and love in our hearts as we make decisions. We are heirs of the American experiment. Only time will tell how our experiment turned out. May God guide us and protect us.

National Day: Freethinkers Day

Today is Freethinkers Day.  And perhaps that is the reason for a lot of frustration.  I find for myself that the hardest questions to *want* to answer are the ones where there is a canned answer.  Especially if the answer is well documented and accessible to the person asking.  The questions I like answering best are the ones which require some investigation and creative thinking. Then, if I can come up with a workable answer, it feels like a victory.

Question Mark Graffiti
Photo Credit: Bilal Kamoon, Flickr

Planning to Plan

January has been rough. You’ve probably noticed my long absence. Or not, as the case may be.


I still have my resolutions which I am working through, but things have been very busy at work and I’ve been exhausted when I get home, so there has been very little time for documenting what I’ve been up to, much less any “me time.”

What accomplishments have I made this month?  Anything?  Small victories, I think.  I took all of the boxes to the trash this week; they had been cluttering up the bedroom and kitchen hallway.  I finally took the leaves to the kitchen table I had given away last year to the curb. I moved my sticker binders into the office instead of the living room. And half of the stovetop is cleaned off.

Also, I’ve started taking photos of what each room in the house looks like *right now*. ¬†I’m planning on doing this each month to keep myself on track. ¬†I’ll probably add those photos to a different post.

Hopefully, February will be a little calmer and I’ll be able to get more routines in place.

Only one month until Lent!

Remain in Him

With every New Year comes a spate of New Year’s Resolutions. I look forward eagerly to this time of renewal and enthusiasm for goals and planning and getting back to the things that I love and the things that I value. Every year, however, I always find myself ill-prepared and scrambling. I’m rarely ready to start right out of the gate, and I never have enough pre-planning done to make my goals sustainable. There’s nothing different in that regard this year.

For a while, I’ve felt at least somewhat distant from God. Not that I believe any less. Just… It’s hard to put into words. I want to have a passionate faith. But just wanting something does not make it happen.

And I know that feelings are not something which can be controlled, only actions, but they certainly can make things more difficult. The more that I feel disengaged, the more that I need to put myself in His presence.

I had a planner that I dedicated to my faith life last year and it went largely untouched. This year, I again have a planner dedicated to my faith life, and I’m hoping to be able to use it more. To want to use it more. To grow, instead of stagnate, in my faith. I haven’t decided yet how I will set it up, but I think it’s more important this year to let it grow organically, rather than impose a set pattern from the beginning and then abandon it if the pattern no longer works for me.

I don’t yet have a reading plan for Scripture. There’s one to start soon in my Llamas Do Scripture group, and there’s always the daily lectionary, but this evening as I sat down to read after writing down in my planner my feelings, I decided to go into my Laudate app on my phone. The daily Scripture reading they suggested was entitled “Remain in Him,” 1 John 2: 27-28.

But the anointing which you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that any one should teach you; as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.

It seems terribly appropriate, right?

The app gives suggestions on how to remain in Jesus: read Scripture, pray, receive the Eucharist, serve others.

Abide in Him or Remain in Him seem, to me, to be active things. Do it. Don’t wish you had a more fiery faith, just live it. Even if you are not feeling it right now. He’s there whether you feel His presence or not. He loves you no less now than before. Human hearts have this quality that makes us say, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” or “Time makes you forget,” but God’s heart is not fickle like this. God’s heart is steadfast, hesed.

Getting Ready for 2017

There are certain times of the year which are strongly associated with new beginnings: ¬†New Year’s and the start of a new school year are probably the most common.

Like a lot of people, I love to create lists of what I want to accomplish in the new year.  Not necessarily to the point of a Resolution (because I give myself way too much slack to be that resolved), but more like guidelines or goals.

A few years back, my best friend, Lindsay, used to have a Break Your New Year’s Resolution Already party every January, since by the end of January was the life expectancy of most resolutions.

Being in the planner world has made me want even more to actually keep some of my goals throughout the year. ¬†I haven’t ever had a completely successful year, but I do keep trying. ¬†And I think for most people, that’s the most important goal of all: ¬†to keep trying even when you slip and fall and forget.

I haven’t cleaned my office out yet, so planning has been a little scattered for me lately. ¬†Which means that most of my plans and resolutions are written down on various scraps of paper.

I need to get it together.

I need organization.

Enter #Wild30!  In my planner group, there are courses you can take for 30 days for a nominal fee.  Courses include:  Llama Lettering, BuJo for Beginners, Decluttering and Resolutions.  I will be taking the Resolutions course in January, taught by Jen DuFore, where she will be focusing on resolutions, goal setting and goal-achieving for 2017.

One of the things I want to focus on this year is budgeting.  To help this, I am putting my budget plan on a dashboard and will place this on the monthly view page of my planner, so that I can keep my priorities in mind as I pay bills and look to allocate any disposable income.


The other tool that I’ve found was suggested by my friend, LisaV: Calendar Budget. ¬†It gives you a monthly calendar view and allows you to record expenses, as well as project expenses, so that you have a day-to-day idea of how much money will be in your account. ¬†So far, I’ve uploaded and reconciled November and December (to date) and found it helpful to see where my money is going. ¬†You can assign colors to different categories, so I’ve assigned the orange-red color to any category where I’m prone to overspending. ¬†A red flag, so to say.

It is always my intention to blog more, and somehow it always gets away from me. ¬†However, as I more clearly define my plans for 2017, I’ll share anything I think will be useful or entertaining here. ¬†Please share your plans in the comments!

[Cross-posted to Twidget Enterprises]