Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Published 8:08 AM by with 4 comments

Welcome to Our Home! Part 2

Earlier I posted a mini-tour of the first part of our home. Here's the second half!


Harmony's room! It's a small space between the main area of the house and the back den. She loves it. Her tea set, box of treasures, stuffed animals, and some musical instruments stay in here. The wicker chair moves around the house wherever she wants it to be.


Yes, her toddler bed is on the floor. It used to be on the floor in our apartment next to our bed, and she still rolls around so much in her sleep that we just keep it this way now. Half the time when she falls out of the bed she'll just pick herself up and climb back in! She also likes having her books nearby.


Two beautiful pieces of art that my mom created: the owl and the pussycat at sea, and my favorite childhood lullaby that I now sing to Harmony: 

May the Lord, mighty Lord, bless and keep you forever. 
Grant you peace, perfect peace, faith in every endeavor.
Lift up your eyes and you'll see His face and His grace forever.
May the Lord, mighty Lord, bless and keep you forever.


More art hanging on the wall, Harmony's beloved set of handbells, my rocking chair that Chris bought me from an antique store before Harmony was born, and Harmony's baby doll in the hand-made cradle grandpa made for her birthday. We were blessed with more than half a dozen hand-knit or crocheted baby blankets when Harmony came along; I rotate them every so often, so that we can enjoy the warmth and beauty of all of them!


Here's our den! We use it as a combined t.v. room and toy room. And craft room. And storage room. It's full of all sorts of odds and ends, like our vacuum, and the thing you hang clothes on folded up behind it. You can also get into the backyard from this room.


Most of Harmony's toys stay in here, which is nice to have them contained in one main area. We have tried very hard to have toys that inspire imaginative play, and to limit noise-making or technology-driven toys. So far it's gone well. This past month I've been watching Harmony spend hours making up stories with her animal and pony figurines, building with blocks, playing with water toys in the bathroom sink, zooming her toy cars across the table, and developing her imagination!


More books! More art! More instruments! That is Harmony's rainstick in the corner. Yes, it's Harmony's personal rainstick. Our family gives awesome birthday presents to two-year olds. 


That's the door to my sister's room. No pictures of that space! We try to respect her privacy while she lives with us. My crafty things are mostly stored in that corner. The beanbag unfolds into a comfy mattress that many guests have used in our house.


Our room! I am still in love with this gorgeous comforter Chris and I purchased when we were first married. It is so cheerful!


There's the other entrance to my sister's room. Yeah, the floorplan is weird in the house. It's worked out well so far for all of us, though. I especially love the coat-rack my sister found for us at a thrift store. If you're curious, we have some knick-knacks on top of the bookshelf including a leprechaun whiskey container (empty) and a stuffed frog holding a guitar. WE ARE WEIRD.


Here you see all our clothes. Seriously, all of it is here except for the stuff we have hung up in the tiny closet you see on the side. We don't separate out our cold or warm weather clothes. The white bin is where I store my yarn stash, our gift-wrapping supplies, and all our heavy winter sweaters. My summer and winter shirts/t-shirts/tank tops are on the wire stand, along with our hats. Our pants and pajamas and underthings and socks and all Chris's shirts are in the dresser. 

It is bizarre to me just to realize how few clothes we own. Chris and I have very singular, independent (read"weird" again) approaches when it comes to fashion; we pretty much wear what we like, and what's comfy. Ninety percent of what I wear comes from thrift stores. Maybe I'll do another post about that later ; ) 

Oh, and I got that little ceramic pig on the dresser from a white elephant gift exchange years ago in Kansas City. It's adorable and matches my eight dollar thrift store lamp. Our wedding candles that we lit during the ceremony are on the dresser too. We light them during every anniversary. 


The newest art piece hung in our room, a beautiful quote hand-painted by my mom for my birthday this summer! I am so grateful to have meaningful art from many family members everywhere in our home. 

There you have it! Our home, looking decently clean, even though you can't see the dust on everything or the dirt on the floors. We're not spotless around here. But we do try to be welcoming. We look forward to having many friends over to enjoy time together!

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Published 1:23 PM by with 0 comment

Thoughtful Thursday: I Carry Your Heart With Me


I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart) 
I am never without it (anywhere I go you go, my dear; 

and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)
I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)

I want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant 
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which growshigher than the soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)

— E.E. Cummings

Do you carry someone's heart with you? Even a piece of their heart? Is your heart connected to others with strands of love that time and distance and differences cannot break? Even though you are not near them, you know that you are still together in spirit.

Here's to those whom I carry in my heart.



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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Published 8:42 AM by with 2 comments

It's the Little Things


Overheard yesterday: "Oh, I LOVE you so much, ducky, but I have to gooooo now. I so sorry. I just have to leave. I will love you forever! Don't be sad... I will come back tomorrow.

Overheard this morning: "Do you live in St. Louis, pony? Yes, I live in St. Louis. We will visit each other here. Let's go play hide and seek and find each other. Let's fly!"

The imaginative play has started, and it's beautiful to see.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We're all finally beginning to cough less. Of course that virus would run through the entire family. So now we're all trying to catch up on sleep together, which makes for some very cozy mornings curled up in our big bed with lots of warm blankets. I used to think that Harmony was not a snuggly child, but since this past summer she has suddenly turned into an I-want-to-cuddle-constantly person. Totally okay with me!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A few weeks ago I was featured on a lovely blog called Zauberbear, answering the question "Would you rather be able to understand any language or be able to play any instrument?"  It was very interesting to write out my response to this! Head over here to check it out.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

During the month of November on Facebook I've been listing one thing I'm grateful for every single day. Here is the list so far:

#1     Seeing friends old and new at a guitar concert, fellow home-schooling moms and fellow guitarists!

#2     Two great performances with a guitar ensemble in Illinois.

#3     Cold pizza for breakfast. Yes, I'm weird.

#4     New-to-us pale green curtains for the huge windows in the den, the last windows in our home that needed to be covered.

#5     A successful final recording session with one of my students who worked very hard.

#6     Beautifully fresh flowers, a gift from a student's sweet family.

#7     Standing alongside passionate, dedicated music teachers who are an inspiration to me.

#8     Finding out that our new next-door neighbors are actually the neighbors from across the street, two houses down! They just wanted a bigger place to live.

#9     Honesty matched with graciousness. The truth is best given when paired with grace.

#10   A beautiful warm morning at the park, probably the last of the season.

#11   Almost a full night's sleep after a week of coughing (can you tell I was exhausted?).

#12   Seeing a best friend's amazing new guitar.

#13   A washer and dryer in my basement. No more walking two blocks to the laundry room in freezing weather!

#14   Artists meeting together to support each other and have meaningful dialogue.

#15   My sweet girl Harmony, the Mininsky.

#16   The beautiful snow falling in our city.

#17    The many, many cups of tea that I drink constantly throughout the day and night.

#18   Singing in harmony with another great human being.

Do you write out a list of gratitudes before Thanksgiving? What are some things you're grateful for right now? My blogging friend Marielle over at Magical Daydream inspired me to share what I'm thankful for today : ) 


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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Published 7:46 AM by with 6 comments

Welcome to Our Home! Part 1

We moved in to our first house at the beginning of June this year. Even though we're still renting, just the fact of living in a REAL HOUSE has been incredible! I've already written before about how blessed we feel to have a home big enough for all of us, myself, Chris, our daughter Harmony (otherwise known as the Mininsky), and my sister Emilia. Now that we're finally, truly settling in with the onset of cold weather, here is part one of our house tour, as best as I can show it with simple pictures online. If house tours bore you, feel free to come back later for more interesting posts ; ) 


My kitchen! It really doesn't get much bigger than this. I have about a yard's worth of counter space, a dishwasher under it, very few cabinets, a nice stove, a microwave above the stove, a great refrigerator, and a door leading to the basement. I brought in an extra little wire shelving unit for some more much-needed storage space. Most of my time is spent with this view, and I'm certainly not going to complain when I can look out a window into a beautiful green space with sun every day : )


Our kitchen leads into the dining room. We love hanging artwork on our walls, and every piece of art in our house is meaningful for us in some way, because of the people they remind us of and the stories behind them. This cross was created from the old floorboards of a local church where Chris was hired to sing at years ago, and they gave it to him as a thank-you. The wooden basket on the table was a gift from Chris's best friend from when he was stationed in the middle east a few years ago. We have squashes and pumpkins in it right now for autumn.


The dining room has so much light. I really can't get over how much LIGHT the entire house has. When your apartment of almost four years faces the north and has very few windows, you get used to living in a cave, so a house feels like a miracle of brightness! 

Our ten-dollar yard sale table and antique chairs from Chris's grandma have served us well, but we really need to buy more chairs at a thrift store soon so that we don't need to drag out the rocking chair every time company comes over for dinner! Two embroidered pieces of art are here, one a beautiful wedding gift reminding us of our anniversary with our names from a sweet friend, and the other a cross-stitch with a great Tolkien quote made by my sister: "Not all those who wander are lost."


I like the combined dining and living room set-up. We almost have a bookshelf in every room of the house, by the way. And we're running out of room for books. Somehow more books always sneak in. I wonder how? Guitar picture hand-drawn by my talented sister when she was twelve or something ridiculous. Everyone in my family has the visual art gene except for me.


Probably the best thing about moving into a house was that we were able to finally have a piano again! This is the piano my husband learned on when he was little. His family lovingly brought it out to St. Louis for him from Ohio over Labor Day weekend, and I'm pretty sure he's played it every day since then. It used to be his grandmother's. His father also plays piano, so it's a three-generation thing they have going on.


The chair and couch came from an estate sale that my folks found. They were previously owned by a jazz musician in St. Louis who took remarkably good care of them and (shockingly) didn't smoke. We love them! Painting of the lighthouse by Chris's grandmother, blanket crocheted by my sister-in-law, Harmony's guitar in the corner, glass vase made for us at our wedding, trombone case leaning against the bookshelf, Chris's bodhran (Irish drum) hiding behind the chair, my favorite moon clock on the wall. And our radio, because even though we have speakers that can hook up to iTunes on my computer or Pandora on the iPad or my iPod, it's best to have all your bases covered when you're a family of musicians, ya know? The one thing we don't have is an old record player. It's on our list of things to acquire some day when our child(ren) are beyond record-breaking-age.


This couch. It makes me happy. And the awesome paintings hanging above it are gorgeous too. I found them for a few dollars each at a thrift store, which is both awesome for being so affordable and sad because I would hate to see my paintings in a thrift shop for pocket change. At least we appreciate them very much! Yes, all my guitars are stacked in the corner, along with my mandolin. 


Somehow wedged between the guitars and the shoe bin, I've fit my desk in front of the window. It's perfect for daydreaming, story-composing, and letter-writing. I guess it's good for answering emails and doing bills, too. The desk is old, shaky, and beautiful. If I was a better person I'd probably fix it up or varnish it or repaint or something. 


Even though I have a vintage desk, the chair I sit at was taken straight from the dumpster. It's made of pine, dingy, and sturdy. Completely mismatches my desk. And then we have our entryway, which tends to get super cluttered because we dump everything on that tiny little table which already has my odds-and-ends on it such as papers, music, tissue box, huge jar of Skittles, and set of speakers. The artwork next to the doorway is a metalworked Celtic knot which was a wedding gift. 

So there's the first half of our home! Here is the post showing the second half.

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Published 3:49 PM by with 0 comment

While I'm Waiting for Snow....

Just popping in to say that I'm still here! Not working on my novel nearly as much as I should be, but it's slowly chugging along. I've given up checking word count and have simply plugged away at it. I can see the end, so hopefully this first draft will be completed before December 1st.

Honestly, this cough I've had has been so bad at night that most of the time I'm too exhausted to write much; I have a feeling that I had bronchitis or walking pneumonia or something. But I truly am recovering, just very slowly!

Here are some interesting links that I visited this week. Yeah, it's not Wednesday or Friday, when I usually share links. I'm sitting at my desk in front of the window wishing/willing/cheering for the snow to begin falling, so I might as well take a quick break from noveling to share these, since I find them to be cool. Check them out!

Eighteen Things Highly Creative People Do Differently

Beyond the So-called First Thanksgiving: Five Children's Books that Set the Record Straight

Forget Facebook, Abandon Instagram: Move to a Village

What French Kids Eat for School Lunch Puts American Lunches to Shame

How Busy People Make Time to Read- And You Can Too

How to Re-invent the Internet and Save Ourselves

An Illustrated Celebration of the Little-known Sidekicks Behind Creative Geniuses

I Don't Want to Be a Good Christian Anymore

The Top Ten Tips I've Learned from Minimalists

Happy weekend!


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Friday, November 14, 2014

Published 7:42 AM by with 6 comments

I Finally Crossed Over to the Dark Side

I crossed over to the dark side: last weekend I got a smartphone for the first time. The main three reasons were that my old phone was slowly going under, we wanted a phone plan that was less expensive than the one we have now, and I really wanted GPS so that I can stop getting lost all the freaking time. Yes, I get lost that much. Stick me in a forest and I'll find my way out, but put me in a car and I'll lose myself in my own neighborhood.

This week has been full of transitions to the pros and cons of having a smartphone. It definitely makes me feel like an idiot; I've never been good with technology, and I've already made many goofy spelling errors with my texting (despite auto-correct). That and a little boy already told me that I looked like his grandmother when she got her new phone. Tech-challenged, much? Yes. That's me.

One of the surprising benefits, however, has been discovering Instagram. Because it's late right now on Thursday night and I'm supposed to be either folding the eight piles of clean laundry on my couch or writing my NaNoWriMo novel, I'm going to make this short and sweet by just writing a list of things I love about Instagram:

~ It is for sharing just pictures. Obviously. But this was the main reason I initially liked Facebook, because I love seeing small moments in people's lives, enjoying the beauty that my friends could capture in a photograph. Now Instagram is like Facebook pictures without all the political junk, advertisements, arguments, and craziness that Facebook has become!

~ With pictures come stories, some that you can see, some that you can only imagine. A picture is truly worth a thousand words! Most folks only post a snippet of a caption for their pictures, some refer you back to online posts if you're interested in reading more, which is great. It's short and sweet.

~ I am able to share snapshots of what I love or find interesting with others who hopefully see it the same way. There is connection, community, in sharing, just as with any other social network.

~ For the first time, I have a camera that doesn't take fifteen seconds to turn on, focus, and hope that the picture won't come out blurry because someone moved a tiny bit. This has been GREAT. Finally able to take candid shots! (Yeah, not really a reason to like Instagram, but a big reason I'm liking my phone.)

~ I am spending WAY less time on Facebook because I only check Instagram out if I have a spare moment. Since it's an app on my phone, that could be anytime, and it only takes a few seconds. Facebook is a time-sucker because I will go on for a minute, telling myself that I'm just going to check something quickly, and then spend the next half hour scrolling through the feed to read ALL THE THINGZ!!! I hate wasting my time for so long on something like this but it's easy to lose track of how long you're on it. And yes, I'm trying to make sure that I'm not getting hooked onto always checking my phone, too, especially when I'm with friends or family. 

~ I have been inspired so much by the creativity I see in many peoples' photos. They help me see the world again with new eyes, and I view my own life with love as I soak in the moments. 

~ Right now I'm participating in taking a photo a day with others under #thedailybon. You can read more about it here! I'm also going to be documenting my pictures from the December Photo Project, which I did in 2012 and 2013, on Instagram this year. It will be MUCH easier to take and share photos on my phone.

If you'd like to join me on Instagram, you can find me at lyssagirlloveslife : )








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Friday, November 07, 2014

Published 9:18 AM by with 7 comments

DIY Moleskine Daily Planner

This year I finally realized/admitted that I can't keep track of everything that I have on my schedule just by remembering it, plus my husband, sister, and parents have their own schedules as well, meaning that it is useful for me to keep track of everyone so that we can make sure we're all on the same page. Family meals, baby-sitting, days off of work, etc. are much easier to plan when we all know each other's calendar! 

For the longest time I used a calendar that I hung on the wall. Everyone would write their schedule on it. But sometimes we (mostly me) would forget to write something crucial down, simply because we weren't within easy reach of the calendar when making plans, and that was no good! Also, if I was out and about, I had no idea what was on the calendar. I realized that the calendar was mostly for my sake since I was the main coordinator for my family's plans (my folks have their own online calendars that work really well for them). So I decided to get a planner to keep in my purse instead.

By the time I realized this, though, it was almost September. The vast majority of planners had been sold in the stores already! There were one or two available but nothing that came close to what I was looking for. 

In the end, I decided to buy a Moleskine and create my own planner. It is a soft-cover, blank page (non-lined) notebook. My inspiration and initial ideas were taken from Mike Rohd's Moleskine Planner Hack.


Now I can sit down every day and make sure that I'm on top of my schedule, and it comes with me everywhere! Confession: twice I have written down an event IN THE WRONG PLACE, resulting in missing a fun lunch with a friend and almost missing a performance I was supposed to play guitar in, which is proof that having a planner is not foolproof for people like me who are terrible with numbers. I am now being extra cautious to write down the correct dates for everything!


There are large sections for each day, with smaller ones for the weekend; the space below is completely free for notes. It will last until July 2015.


I didn't feel the need to have a full page showing the entire month like a regular calendar, but I did want to have a page just for notes for each month. That's been a valuable addition.


Quite a bit of the notebook is dedicated just to blank pages for notes. I've been writing down song lists from rehearsals, knitting notes, tips from friends, ideas, cooking recipes, and many other things.


Of course there is a specific page just for books that I want to read eventually ; )


The built-in folder on the back cover has been invaluable for storing receipts, sticky notes, and business cards that would otherwise be lost in the recesses of my wallet!


I love the built-in bookmark and band to keep the notebook closed. The paper is strong, and my pen (I use Sharpie fine and medium point pens) does not run through the pages.

All in all, this has been the best planner I've ever had, and I'm loving how much space there is to write down everything I need to keep track of!

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Thursday, November 06, 2014

Published 8:12 AM by with 2 comments

Thoughtful Thursday: Today I Became a Twelver


SU-2-M6 

Today I became a twelver. We had a party in the forest like last year. Mother was there, talking with other adults as if everything is normal between her and father. Uncle Geff and father surprised me by coming back early from their business trip to be here. The entire daqua team came home with me after school for the party. We had a game of daqua right behind our house. Our coaches who were there decided to change the rules a little bit, to make it funny, they said. What made it funny is that we all had to have a handicap, like being blindfolded or hopping on one leg or using our non-dominant hand. I laughed. It feels nice to have friends.

They all brought me a gift. Able gave me the prototype of a new daqua helmet he'd invented secretly! We were all impressed. It increases mobility while still protecting your head, and you can see better because of a built in side and upper screen that is double wired to prevent glitching if hit. My defense coach said that he would send it to a development team for inspection. I was proud of Able for his work. I want to wear the new helmet for next season's daqua. What made it a birth-day gift for me was that Able labeled it the “Fio-helm”. 

Father told me privately that if it does become produced that it will most likely sell very well, partly because it is a good helmet, and partly because I am becoming famous in the provinces now because of my work on the team. People like to have things that they think will make them better when they see others using them, is what father said. I practice and work hard. My success isn't because of a helmet. But if it makes Able happy and brings him money because he invented it, then that's good. He was always telling me that I was going to get knocked on the head one of these days hard enough to scatter my brains, and then he wouldn't have anyone to challenge him in school anymore.

The best gift was from Tern, though. He gave me a small silver medal with a torch engraved on it that said “Olympics” and some other words that you can't see very well. It was badly scratched all over. Father was amazed because it was a genuine artifact from the pre-Disaster Olympic games. He wanted to know where Tern got it, but Tern wouldn't say, and father knows that Tern is so sneaky that if he did anything illegal there wouldn't be anything to trace. Not many people know how much I enjoy antiques. It's a way for me to connect with my father and Uncle Geff. I will keep it in the display case with Uncle Geff's other small artifacts. He and I are going to do more research later to see if we can find out what era or game it is from.

I liked the medal so much that I almost forgave Tern for what he did earlier. He tried to kiss me when we were in the chemical closet at school getting what we needed for species genome classification. I didn't realize what he was doing until it was too late because I was thinking about RNA filters. He tasted like fizzy-rocks from the sweetery and it was a little slimy. I shoved him away hard, twisting his arm around and bringing him to the floor in a strangle-lock. He bit his lip until it was bleeding because I was making him hurt and he refused to yell. When I let him up, he just laughed like he always does. I was very angry and almost told him not to come to the party, then I realized that if I did everyone would ask why he wasn't there and he would tell them. So I let him come. I threatened his life if he ever told anybody about it. He swore he would not, probably so that I wouldn't be angry at him forever. Most girls brag about being kissed, but I think it is pointless. I don't have any interest in Tern or any other boy. If Tern ever tries that again, I will hit him in the face, and take the consequences from breaking school policy. 

~ Excerpt from The Naming of Fio Re, the novel I am writing for NaNoWriMo



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Monday, November 03, 2014

Published 8:36 AM by with 2 comments

Currently, Loving Life



Resting:: from the full weekend. Trick-or-treating with my crazy cat lady, a Halloween party with friends where I took a trip back to my younger days and traded candy with some kids, a home-school group meeting with lovely ladies, an awesome concert by a fellow guitarist, a dinner with a sweet friend, and a road trip to Illinois for two concerts with a guitar ensemble where I filled in for a missing member and acted as co-leader for the group. Oh, and that's my sister in the picture above, being Steve from Minecraft ; )

Loving:: this chilly weather! I love everything about autumn and winter, including the cold. The frost on the grass in the morning, the bundling up in our coats, the sweaters indoors, the knitted garments, the warm tea at all hours, the early darkness in the evening, the cozy lamp light.

Feeling:: disappointed in the mistakes I inevitably make, like thinking we were supposed to go over to a friend's house for lunch next Saturday when it was actually this Saturday (I wrote it on the wrong date on my calendar), failing to play the correct notes in an entrance on one of our pieces yesterday during a concert (that's what can happen when you have to fill in on someone's voice with less than a week of preparation), and STILL not being able to find a new teacher for children's worship at our church after asking quite a few people (is it me? is it the way I'm asking? is everyone just too busy?).

Reminding:: myself that you need to learn from your mistakes, change for next time, and then move on.

Hoping:: that I'll be able to accomplish all the knitting projects I have planned before the end of the year!

Savoring:: soups galore for the season: zuppa tuscana, potato-leek soup, beef stew, and egg drop soup were all on the menu last week.

Planning:: the Christmas music that will be handed out this week to my forty students and the seven-member ensemble.

Seeing:: if I can memorize these five solo guitar pieces all at the same time, because I'm insane. "Usher Waltz" by Nikita Koshkin, the first of "Trois Gymnopedies" by Eric Satie, "Prelude" and "Allegro" by Bach from PFA, "Unruhe" by Johann Mertz, and "Allegro Solemnis" from La Catedral by Augustin Barrios. Oh wait, that was six pieces. I'm insane.

Playing:: "school" with Harmony. I'll be writing about that later in more detail!

Lingering:: in my robe in the mornings because it's warm and fluffy, despite being a hand-me-down with a huge hole in one sleeve.

Hearing:: Harmony listening to the My Little Pony soundtrack on the iPad. She loves to sing along to the songs now; it's pretty cute to watch!

Eating:: cold pizza for breakfast. Soooo yummy! Left-overs from our dinner yesterday with the guitar ensemble group.

Noticing:: for the hundredth time the beauty of the golden light streaming through the many windows of our home. I will never get tired of it after living for four years in our dark, cave-like apartment that faced the north!

Anticipating:: the Turkish coffee I'm going to make very soon this morning. I'll add steamed milk frothed with my French press, vanilla, and a little caramel syrup to make a delicious wake-me-up drink! I need it after getting home very late from the concerts last night, waking up with Harmony at 2 a.m. when she suddenly had a coughing fit (she's in that stage of a cold where she doesn't cough or feel sick during the day, but when she lies down at night she coughs and it's so sad), and being woken up too early by Harmony as she demanded "cheerios and milk, mama" the way she does every morning.

Keeping:: Harmony's nap time as my breathing space, for resting, reading, writing. That's how I'm keeping my sanity.

Writing:: my novel for NaNoWriMo, "The Naming of Fio Re", and documenting progress over on this other page of my blog! This weekend wasn't a very good start, but I know I'll catch up quickly over the next few days. Woohoo! I'll be working much more on my novel this month rather than keeping up with blogging, except for adding to my NaNoWriMo page, so do stick around until next month when I'll be back with lots of Christmas posts here : )

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