Archive for the ‘etcetera’ Category

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!

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, 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:

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…

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Wherefore was I Juliet?

Posted: May 25, 2019 in etcetera

Name change at the other blog!

medley rising

When I started this site I was in a place where a string of failed relationships left me too disheartened to even think of trying again. Therefore, TV and movie dreamboats became the objects of my affections. It just seemed easier. To be sure, it was less painful. IIRC, my reasoning was, “At least I KNOW that won’t go anywhere.”

Somewhere during that mindset, I surfed across Kidd Video’s song “Video Romeo,” and it became a kind of anthem for me, so much so that I opted to blog here under the banner of Video Juliet.

A few years passed and my jadedness was clearly ebbing away because I ventured back into the real-life dating pool with a great guy. [They do exist. Color *me* stunned. 😉 ]

Fast-forward to not so long ago, and that so-called video world has largely dropped off of my radar. Sure, those stars still…

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a year in review – 2018

Posted: December 28, 2018 in etcetera

My theme for 2018 could have been “back to basics.” (In some cases, more like, “HOW could I have missed that??)

medley rising

1. What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before?
got prescription glasses (and subsequently hated/refuse to wear them), went Christmas caroling in late January, saw a nesting Canadian goose, called wildlife control to remove a lizard from indoors, attended a work “lunch and learn,” followed a YouTube video for minor car repair (replace broken gear shift button), tried Florajen probiotic, tested the computer’s Read Aloud feature, used cardamom scented lip balm, polished silver jewelry with a baking soda paste, ate at the cafeteria at work, had a praying mantis set up camp in my window, watched “American Pickers”

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For 2018, inspired by Psalm 119:37, my goal was to seek out and spend more time on what “adds value” to my life. My initial idea was that a small effort could…

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Back in late February, I outlined some points for a state-of-my-projects post:

Lingering health woes have let me
depleted of both energy and motivation
So, I’m setting the bar low for projects for this year
But I do need to do something
my unoccupied mind wanders nowhere good
and it doesn’t help that aimlessly scrolling through FB and twitter
Although I’m setting the bar very low, I’m daring to list a few plans for this year.
THE NEXT DAY, after a FEW MINUTES of concentrated thought, I had several GOOD STARTS toward an AMBITIOUS PROJECT that’s been on the backburner.

Through the years, I’ve often repeated that “the more I *have* to do, the more I get done.” As hinted at above, my claim proved true yet again. Both energy and motivation returned with a vengeance because last month, I wrote the following to a friend:

I don’t know about you guys, but if I expected a slow down to catch my breath after the “holiday rush,” wow, was I sadly mistaken. Mom’s sudden downtime derailed not only my schedule but my emotions as well. Also in January, one of my two doctor visits spurred two other trips to obtain my new glasses. Plus, my car came due for an oil change, and then I returned to the auto place one week later because it was past time for the transmission service. Doing [my sister’s] and my income taxes took longer than any year in recent memory because [our state] added a new form that I had to research/learn. Since early April, my regular grocery store is out of commission for two months due to remodeling, so I’m going out of my way to another in that chain (Aldi). And on and on…

Lately, when I’m pouting over the burden of my never-ending plans, I remind myself that I could honestly skip quite a lot of those To Do’s… but then I admit that I *want* to do them. When I reframe from have to to want to I feel better. I’m prioritizing, and after I get those priorities done, I have such a sense of accomplishment.

Following up on my website plans from the previous post (February of last year), I accomplished all of the numbered items… at least to some degree. 😉 In a week or two, I plan to watch the next episode of The Young Riders and type up my comments, but most of my website work for the near future will be focused on a certain layout redo.

For the Real-Life items, I continue to work on this:

* assessing my belongings, decluttering, and rearranging to optimize storage options

…and it seems like I do this every two months:

* restructuring my computer files to better outline upcoming projects

On some level, I must believe that if I can put my computer files in order, organizing my thoughts will surely follow. XD

Alas, between — frequently unexpected! — new undertakings and my so-called recurring To Do’s (described on the page below), my thoughts rarely remain “in order” for very long!


a year in review – 2017

Posted: December 31, 2017 in etcetera

Looking back at 2017…

medley rising

1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
been classified as “IT support,” changed careers with no time gap between, climbed more stairs than ever before, found myself in the vicinity of a possible active shooter situation — thankfully a false alarm, memorized the list of books of the Old Testament, occupied an office (i.e. cubicle) not on the ground floor, participated in a digital interview, removed a lizard from indoors, saw a show at the new Cineplanet theater, used predictive text, watched a snake travel from limb to limb five feet off the ground, witnessed NASA’s Super-Guppy in flight

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For 2017, I planned “to look for something positive in my real life situations.” I did that… but not nearly enough. I repeatedly lost sight of the positive altogether.

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a year in review – 2016

Posted: December 31, 2016 in etcetera

Another New Year’s Eve, another 40 questions answered!

medley rising

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
We opened our Christmas gifts on December 26. Also, I used “cloud” storage, although technically, I’ve done this for years with my email accounts.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For 2016, I said that I would try to “bloom where planted.” My success rate was maybe seventy percent.
For 2017, I made an effort late in 2016 to focus on the positive; I achieved that largely through getting lost in a favorite song, movie or TV show, probably because, when I look at my real world, I don’t see much worth focusing on. But, knowing that we see what we seek, I plan to look for something positive in my real life situations.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to…

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a year in review – 2015

Posted: December 31, 2015 in etcetera

A year-end tradition for me: answering the 40 questions.

medley rising

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
tried hot tea with cream, got caught in a termite cloud, had a tooth “crowned,” developed stopped-up ears during a cold

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For 2015, I said that I didn’t “want my focus – my world – to be my problems.” Sadly, I let them be my world way too often. Also, I wanted to dwell on the truth that “God’s plans for your life far exceed the circumstances of your day;” I made it ’til maybe March then moved on to other truths as the year progressed.
For 2016, in light of my lesson learned (see #39) I will try to bloom where planted. Hopefully in ways that don’t feel like settling and giving up my dreams.

3. Did anyone close to you…

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