a year in review – 2022

1. What did you do in 2022 that you’d never done before?
agreed to teach a Sunday School class, got to-the-porch delivery with an online order (and didn’t know I would), had my first known COVID exposure, shopped at Trader Joe’s, started taking an iron supplement, and wound up in social media jail¹

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For 2022, I aimed to “live loved.” Reflect on the ways God loves us — me! — and identify its handiwork in my life. Then, live securely in that love, especially in the way I respond to others. It seems I forgot about this resolution early in the year. 😦
For 2023, I want to be brave and keep sharing, keep talking, keep trusting. Sharing because I can be selfish. Talking to God in prayer, as well as continuing efforts to improve my communication with people. Trusting God “with all of it,” whatever He brings my way.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, a sweet friend from church. Also, a high school classmate; she and I and two other girls ate lunch together one year, and I smile as I recall those good times.

5. Where did you travel?
starting in May, I returned to working at the office, one day each week

6. What would you like to have in 2023 that you lacked in 2022?
a job with long-term potential

7. What event from 2022 will remain etched upon your memory?
Event #1: stepping out the front door and seeing a small snake parked mere inches from my foot
Event #2: returning to work at the office and finding the bag of baby carrots I’d left in the fridge in March of 2020(!!). I know it was mine because I had marked it with my name and the date. Needless to say, the carrots had been reduced to a pile of black mushy goo. :p

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Plenty of days, when I deeply felt as though I couldn’t take a proverbial step, I took a step. Sometimes two!

9. What was your biggest failure?
In the summer, I made a commitment to help with a certain project. When time came, out of sheer laziness, I did a poor job — basically didn’t help at all. Rightfully, people noticed, and some expressed displeasure. #Shamed

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
My worst illness in seven years, with a week of fever and stomach woes.
Also, my so-called condition must be on the bad end of whatever cycle it follows, because IIRC, much of the year was tinged with some sort of discomfort.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
a travel mug, a desk chair, and two big shelves

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Kelley, my co-teacher. (See questions 1, 31.) Her thoughtfulness and support have been a blessing.<3

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Mostly, my own. I marvel that, at “this age,” I can still take petulance to a new level.

14. Where did most of your money go?
household expenses

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
After a years-long dream drought, late this year I’ve found myself again anticipating owning a home.

16. What song will always remind you of 2022?
“Build a Boat” by Colton Dixon. The line “I will build a boat in the sand where they say it never rains” is becoming a prayer, to meet challenges with faithful resolve.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? happier
Older or wiser? wiser (just a skosh)
Thinner or fatter? thinner
Richer or poorer? poorer, having been unemployed for two months

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Nipped a potential episode of overthinking in the bud by declaring “I’m NOT going to belabor this.” I prayed for wisdom, made a choice and moved forward.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
lost perspective much too quickly

20. Did your heart break?
no, but I felt the weight of some close calls

21. How did you spend Christmas?
Trying to stay warm on the third day of a 50-year polar plunge weather event! My mother, sister and I opened our gifts around nine-thirty, after I set up our low-frills video camera. Lunch was mostly a reheat of food prepared on Christmas Eve, plus potatoes baked by my mother. Watched my church’s on-line service. Took pictures of our gifts. Ended the day watching DVDs with the fam.

22. How will you spend New Year’s Eve?
Probably with my usual Saturday activities: chores, projects, and prepping for the Sunday School lesson. The fam and I will watch DVDs, and then ring the new year in as we typically do: sleeping.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Highway to Heaven. Yes, it’s old, but new to me. 😉

24. What were your greatest food discoveries?
bone broth, bulgur wheat, pickled beets, pink lady apples, seaweed snacks

25. What was the best book you read?
The Hiding Place and its prequel In My Father’s House by Corrie ten Boom were both compelling and uplifting. (Local friends, I’d be glad to lend them to you.)

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I rediscovered my Shaun Groves Welcome Home CD.

27. What did you want and get?
I made a few suggestions to my mother, and I was pleasantly surprised that she not only agreed but was very much on-board with the plans.

28. What did you want and not get?
My birthday shopping efforts did not produce the one item I wanted most: the right replacement for my old living room chair.

29. What was your favorite film?
Maybe not “favorite films” but “films I liked.” I finally saw all of Maid in Manhattan. I watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s for the second time, and closed captioning helped SO much in understanding Holly’s enthusiastic rambling.

30. What did you do on your birthday?
For much of the year, I planned to celebrate this milestone birthday with a home makeover. But as the day approached, I learned that my job would end in late October, due to a lack of funding. So, I downsized, opting instead to simply order a few items to assist with home organizing.
Breakfast was pancakes with kudzu jelly. (Thank you, Christy and Jerry, for the jelly.) Hiking at Rainbow Mountain, a little shopping and fish tacos were happy repeats of last year’s b-day blessings. Supper was butternut squash soup with a bread bowl, plus a strawberry-blueberry fruit cup and two dried figs — a favorite food discovery from this year. I finished the day watching DVDs of fave shows.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More enthusiasm from my Sunday School students. Honestly, they probably have the same enthusiasm for Bible study that I did at that age, and overall, they’ve behaved better than I’d hoped. But as I’m learning to navigate the uncharted waters of teaching, insecurity is a struggle, and one kid’s eye roll will replay in my mind for the day that follows.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2022?
primarily “casual housewear”

33. What kept you sane?
The unofficial theme for my 2022 was “that did NOT go as I expected…!” Picture it said in a tone of bewilderment that borders on sadness and you’ve got the idea. The sorrow is because my intentions were good. Ah, but it dissipates as, time and again, God’s better plan unmistakably triumphs² over my steps — and MIS-steps!

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
no one

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
I generally avoid politics, but this year I’ve recognized the need to be more informed about those matters.

36. Who did you miss?
my former co-workers

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Pennie and Peggy

38. What changed the most in your life this year?
My sister started to use a cane. I changed employers in May, and then lost my job in October. I began teaching 5th-6th grade Sunday School and assisting with the children’s music program at church. I re-thought several (decades-long) diet choices and made radical changes, including reducing my caffeine consumption.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2022.
I don’t have to worry because God guides as I take the next step and trust Him³. (I’ve repeated some form of this truth so many times that even my family is trending towards calmer responses. “We’ve just got to wait and see how it goes.” #WooHooTheyAreListening)

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“Joy comes, tears fall. I’m learning there is beauty in it all. It’s not hard to find it; you just have to look. Oh, God is good.” ~ Francesca Battistelli “God is Good”


My yearly review is now live, at my other blog! https://box47.wordpress.com/2021/12/31/a-year-in-review-2021/

review: The Chosen

Posted: November 24, 2021 in review, Television

My comments about The Chosen TV series to my friend Michele can also serve as a review at this blog. 🙂

  • We have been watching through the TV series The Chosen, which is about the life of Jesus. We watch an episode, then discuss it. I enjoy hearing the comments: it all reminds me of many hours of pleasant diversion reviewing TV shows for my websites. 😀
  • When they first announced the plan to watch that show, I recalled that movie The Passion of the Christ — and wasn’t sure what to expect. But, whereas the movie was (majorly!) intense, this show is thoroughly engaging. It’s as if I’m right there in the Bible history… and I’m seeing parts of it like I never have before. WOW! ❤ ❤
  • Wednesday night, we watched episode 5 of The Chosen. I know I’m repeating, but that show is SO good. I’m completely taken with its depictions of the apostles and Jesus. I admit, before this I’ve pictured them (and others in the Bible) as perpetually somber and serious. But that series depicts them with distinct personalities — and insecurities — and engaging in pleasant banter… and having fun. This is a view of them I’ve absolutely needed!

In case it isn’t clear, I heartily recommend this series!

milestone blogiversary

Posted: April 18, 2021 in siteupdates

Twenty years ago today, I started my first website.

And although none of my online ventures have “went viral” — not even close, actually! — writing for an Internet audience has offered pleasant distractions and learning experiences.

Best of all, it’s given me a proverbial voice. Even if no one reads every word, just knowing that they could has made me feel as if I’ve been heard.

Many thanks to you, dear reader, for listening. It has meant more than I can say. 🙂

a year in review – 2020

Posted: December 31, 2020 in etcetera, FYI

1. What did you do in 2020 that you’d never done before?
appeared on Facebook live, attended a high school reunion, participated in a cookie decorating class, edited photos at pixlr.com, visited the dermatologist, ordered groceries online, streamed my church’s worship service, used the dictation feature of Microsoft’s Office 365

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For 2020, my theme was to simplify. The pandemic contributed to that effort, minimizing my routine and offering a crash course in taking one step at a time. With fewer schedule-related activities, I had a chance to gain ground in streamlining various areas of home storage.
For 2021, I’ve identified a need to improve communication with my family. Actually, I’ve already started. And, unlike with past relationships, I’m inviting the other person into the process. For example, I’m being transparent when I’m clueless about the next step, and asking their input.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Read the full post:

Despite what I anticipated in my post back in May, the neloo.com layout is finished! As it turns out, the goal for it to “look very much like rusted-crush” was sufficient inspiration for the pieces to fall quickly into place. #HighFive

I’ve started to tinker with redoing Quotations 101. Continuing my theme of recycling, the new design will almost certainly resemble that of fannesite.com. But finalizing the design and applying it will take a while, since that is one of my larger websites.

Having completed the makeover for fannesite.com, the next phase of my “website-unifying strategy” is well underway.

Since part of the unification is to reduce multiple arrangements of similar content, the FS menu now incorporates the (still-active) features at the portal, formerly known as Quotations 102. The main portal page — echoing the FS table of contents as a placeholder — will be mostly “off the grid,” as in, unlisted among primary links at my sites, in favor of streamlining navigation to a few key data sets.

The next layout update on my list is for the main page at neloo dot com. My starting point is for it to look very much like rusted-crush. Beyond that, I lack specific direction, so the design will probably not be finished this year.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to post at RainShine… and chase after other projects, as inspiration strikes. 😉

a year in review – 2019

Posted: December 29, 2019 in etcetera

Some people recap with a yearly newsletter; I opt for a question-and-answer format.

medley rising

1. What did you do in 2019 that you’d never done before?
participated in the Walk Through The Old Testament Bible study, learned to check the traffic flow in Google Maps, used the Opera browser, noticed quail in the yard, set a snap mousetrap, tried less-sugar Chobani and Campbell’s Healthy Request Bean and Bacon Soup, purchased and cooked a non-fish-stick-equivalent fish fillet, heard the train-rumble sound of a possible nearby tornado, printed at Staples from a flash drive, and got bit by a tick

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For 2019 my goal (repeated from 2018) was to spend more time on what adds value to my life, and I did indeed labor in several “valuable” areas. Loosely in order from least to greatest attempt: improving communication, nutritional eating, accomplishing tasks more efficiently, and upward thinking of the Biblical…

View original post 1,256 more words

In carpentry, they say to “measure twice, cut once.”

When I’m reworking a website’s content and layout, I “brainstorm for a week, decide one thing.”

Nevertheless! Last week I finished and posted my latest project: updating rusted-crush.com.

If you’re thinking, “Hey, that looks like eclectic,” fret not! The similarity is by design, part of a strategy to give my website collection a more unified format.

Next up, neloo.com and fannesite.com will get “unifying” makeovers.

The primary objective for this streamlining effort is efficiency, for visitors in navigating between features and for me in maintenance. Building from a template will certainly save time in forthcoming layout designs.

Website work will resume in 2020(??). Until then, I’ll largely be occupied with the annual review plus real-life gotta-dos (chores, organizing) and wanna-dos (Christmas!).

good night, sweet forums

Posted: June 15, 2019 in siteupdates

Last weekend, I clicked over to make the usual check of my forums… and they weren’t there. As I recapped to a friend, “Apparently my host sent an email [in March] that they were changing, and I’d have to upgrade. I didn’t have time, then I guess I forgot, because they kept working…”

I could install a new message board, but I won’t. I am in the process of weighing my website endeavors against my current — and foreseeable — level of interest, minimal free time, etc. My assessment of the forums is that, with 99% of the posting done by me, their absence will simplify my life.

My small photo gallery, a.k.a. “visual” is gone as well, unlikely to return.

For the last few years, my primary reason for keeping the forums open has been to avoid a slew of broken links. Presently, I am making a pass at removing them, but, my apologies, with the links so widespread, some breakage is unavoidable. I am anxious to finish this final bit of clean-up and return to work on this year’s priority project: an overhaul of my signature site, www.rusted-crush.com.

Many thanks to those of you who supported the forums through its 15(!) years on-line. What I would’ve posted there, I will now share here, so feel free to follow this blog — and respond in the comments, whenever you are so inclined. 🙂