Thursday, August 27

Hobby or Gluten for Punishment

I like crafts...I like learning new crafts, trying out various things, and creating things with my hands, which is why I love playing in the kitchen so much. However this is not about cooking.

I learned how to crochet in college, which means I've been crocheting for 6 years now, I guess. I honestly still don't know if this is an activity I enjoy or dislike.

I have discovered that I only have a tolerance for small projects. The biggest thing I make are baby blankets. I have started three big (queen/king) blankets and have quit them all about 1/6th of the way into it because I get the point where I am so tired of the blanket and don't want to work on it any more. To further emphasize the point, I am tired of working on baby blankets when I reach the end, which is why that is generally the biggest project I do.

However, in an attempt to use up the oodles of yarn I have around my apartment, I am attempting yet another big blanket. I have dubbed this "the ugly blanket" because it was be filled with random colors of yarn that I want to get rid of. I showed my sister what I've done thus far and her comment was that it looks like a blanket that a grandma would have. I think she's right...but if I finish this, I'll be so proud!

So back to the I love or hate crocheting? I think it's both. I like crafts and starting projects. I also like completing and achieving things. I think I dislike the in-between part...putting in the hours of work and tediously crocheting back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

I hope this insight doesn't reflect how I approach the rest of my life. Maybe I should think on that!

Wednesday, August 19

Customer Service

I have been in customer service for a total of 6 years approximately. I have worked in a clothing store, coffee shop and presently, a food ingredient business.

I get so tired sometimes of always having or trying to please people. I suppose one could argue that regardless of what job you are in, even ministry, you are "pleasing people" to some capacity but ministry is different. Yes, it has its own struggles but the general focus is not usually on the people but on one Person.

One day I'll find myself back in ministry but in the meanwhile, one blogger that I enjoy (My Sister's Farmhouse) describes customer service best in her following post:

Monday, August 10

"We Will Exercise"

There was some kid's show my brother watched to make fun of (Bananas In Pajamas??), when he was little and the one phrase that has stuck with me is his imitation of "We Will Exercise."

Exercise is something I have always been awful at...even in middle school when I actually played sports. Even though I did it, I never NEVER enjoyed it (okay, in middle school, I didn't hate it) but the sweating and being in pain never seemed worthwhile. Maybe that is where my vision has been skewed.

Over the past ten years or so, it has always been easier to justify not exercising rather than to fight to add it into my schedule. Well, after months/years of putting it off, I found myself with a lighter schedule for three months, since I'm in between classes. Before the last class ended, I started telling myself, "I have no reason now not to too busy excuse is gone."

I've always thought I would enjoy running so I went online found an 8 week program that takes you from doing nothing to running 3 miles. Today I start week 6! I am 90% certain that by end of week 8, I will not be able to run 3 miles yet but I am proud at myself for sticking to the schedule and am doing my best. As of this past Saturday, I ran 12 of the 20 minutes, which I think is pretty darn good. My goal is still the 3 mile mark...I have date with a friend to run around Greenlake in Seattle, which is 2.6 miles. So once the 8 week program is over, I'm determine to continue pushing myself to the 3 mile mark. I recently bought official running shoes...the salesman assured me that once I reach the 3 mile mark, I'll start putting miles in and find myself doing 5-10 miles in no time. I blinked...I coughed...I laughed and then told him we'll take things one step at a time.

My overall goal is to keep exercising, even when school starts up again in October, because it will have become a part of my regular schedule. In the words of another cartoon "Can we do it? Yes, we can!"

Wednesday, August 5

Book Readin'

In the last week, I have rediscovered my second love...reading! I have always been someone who gets engrossed in a story and can read for hours before quitting. In light of this, in the last week, I have read 3 books, which I'll share about.

1. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Since the movie previews are out (and it looks interesting), I thought I'd read the book before possibly seeing the movie. I think the concept is interesting...the man has a genetic problem which forces him to time travel...who meets a 6-year-old girl and is a part of her life from that time on. I thought Audrey did a good job developing the two main characters: Henry and Clare, and their stories but as for the rest of the story and characters, it was blah. I must say, I won't easily recommend this book and certainly won't do so to the general public. One thumb up!

2. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer. I picked up this book because it sounded interesting. It's about the island of Guernsey during the WWII occupation. The Nazis took over this little English island hoping to then take over England, which we all know failed. The story is about an English journalist who receives a letter from one of the men from Guernsey, asking for a book. This single letter starts a pen-pal relationship between the journalist, Juliet, and many people on the island. She ultimately decides to go there for further research and is changed as she interact with her new friends. It was so easy to fall in love with the characters. The book ended and I wanted to read more and more of their lives. The entire book is written in letter format, which at times makes you feel like you are missing something but the authors craft each letter or the responses to answer the questions that are relevant. Two thumbs up and maybe a toe or two!

3. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. I read this book in four hours, which should say something. This story is about France during the WWII Nazi occupation, specifically focusing on the Vel'd'Hiv, a round-up that occurred by the French police, of thousands of Jews. The Jews were taken to a stadium for several days then deported to one of three concentration camps in France. Later on, many ended up being taken to Auschwitz where they were gassed. Very few survived. I chose this book because it too sounded interested. A young Jewish girl, being forced to leave the house with her parents, locks her brother in a cupboard, promising him that she'd return soon and let him out, without realizing that the evacuation would be for more than just the day. The story itself bounces between Sarah's story, living with the death of her brother and her own fight for survival, and a modern-day journalist who is told to do a story of the 60th commemoration of the Vel'd'Hiv and becomes consumed with finding out what happened to Sarah. The Guernsey Literary book was more upbeat and humorous while Sarah's Key was more sad and commemorative. Two thumbs up!

I have one more book to read of my "new book" stack: I'm A Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson, and then I need to move to my "old book" stack, some of which will be new reading to me. I'll share more about my reads, as long as my second love sticks around!