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I’ve joined something called Write31Days, which challenges bloggers to write every day in October.  Somewhat like NaNoWriMo, but no novel.  Better for me in any case.

So since I haven’t blogged since, what, 2014? I decided it was high time for me to get back to it.  I don’t know what all I have to say, but I’m sure once I get started I’ll have plenty.  Goodness knows I have no lack of soapboxes, anyway.

Topics I think I’ll be talking about this month:

  • Women’s ordination — it’s become a HUGE issue in my church
  • Diet/exercise — I’m trying to lose the ## I gained last year from stress eating and not exercising in my new job
  • Vacation pics, etc. with friends — we’ve got friends from MN coming to visit in a week.
  • Cooking and/or baking — my usual!
  • Updates on life in general
  • School
  • Poetry, maybe
  • Pictures of our new house

Yes, that’s the first update! My last post, in May 2014, pretty much leaves out the whole year teaching 4th grade at the Catholic school in north Minneapolis (in defense, I WAS pretty much socked into the classroom!), and….drumroll…our move last year to Tucson, Arizona!  Ok, you can pick your jaws up off the floor (those of you who didn’t know we moved, that is).  Yes, the Maine girl moved to the desert.  Yes, I’m ok.  Yes, there ARE trees here, just short ones.  And did I mention the MOUNTAINS!!??!!

tucson-mountains-1

Last July I accepted a job, very last-minute, as a 3/4 ESL (ELD) teacher at an arts magnet school in Tucson.  A year later, we’ve sold our MN house (just yesterday), Kent is working on AZ licensure to teach here, and I’m two months into my second school year at the same school, teaching (gasp) the same subjects!  We have a house we like (and more every day as Kent is fixing it up), a church we like, and are getting to know people in the area we like too.  We’ve had lots of visitors, all wanting to experience AZ, and things are looking up, finally.

So that’s the last couple years in a nutshell.  We’ll talk more later.

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Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

Crossing the Bar — Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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This post in memory of Richard Nash, Oct. 19, 1927-Apr. 6, 2013, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great and godly man. Rest in peace, Pop-pop, until Jesus comes again!

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Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place?
A roof for when the slow, dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you waiting at that door.

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
Yea, beds for all who come.

“Up-Hill” by Christina Rossetti, from Poems. © Everyman’s Library, 1993. Reprinted with permission.

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One of my favorite poems by a Rossetti.  Promise of strength for the journey, and a reward at the end.  Most poignant right now as I think my grandfather may be coming to the end of his journey…

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hot

 

“hot”

This was my brother David’s gift to us this year — an iron teapot and two cups. 🙂  The nutcase candle is mine.

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beanbag bliss

 

“how you relax”

A beanbag in the sun with books and a blue silk blanket…all I need is a steady supply of tea and cookies…oops, I mean carrot sticks??

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mess

 

“mess”

We opened presents Christmas Eve, so here is a mess of media stuff and packing boxes…this is the way this corner usually looks; DH is notoriously messy and this is his stuff, mostly.  I call it “bunny piles”.

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I had a hankering for baked beans and brown bread the other week, so I stopped by Whole Foods and picked up some Jacob’s Cattle beans, which according to John Gould in his book The House that Jacob Built (a book I love dearly), are the only beans to use for baked beans.  He also says to use a well-seasoned bean pot on a wood stove, and to put in salt pork (or bacon), but I had to adjust a little.  I used a crockpot and some G. Washington broth.  And a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, Maple Baked Beans.

The beans turned out really thick and juicy, although if I do it again, I will put in more beans per broth.  Then I needed to find the brown bread.  I remembered buying brown bread here somewhere, but since this is the Midwest, it’s easier to buy lefse in the grocery store than New England brown bread!  I thought about making some, but I didn’t have any cans.  So I started looking online to see if I could find out where it was sold.  I found some on Amazon I could have gotten with free 2-day shipping (yay Amazon Prime!), but I wanted it NOW.  I finally found some at Lund’s, which is five minutes from my house, and I ran and bought four cans, although they were the kind with raisins…aaah, it’s ok.  And yes, the B&M company is based right in Portland, ME — a little taste of Downeast Home! 🙂

So today for lunch I sat down with some maple baked beans, brown bread, and steamed broccoli with salt and single-source olive oil from Spain….Ahhhh, bliss. 🙂 Who needs turkey?

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