Monday: Finishing things at Emory and wrapping presents
Comments on present wrapping: Everyone spent a large portion of time wrapping things. Mom was wrapping things for dad for quite some time and dad kept saying - can I go in the bedroom yet?? And she said - no, no! He would ask her to get him things from there - can I have my ipad at least? Then started making jokes - oh here comes another one - she must just be wrapping air - yes! Empty boxes! And mom was giggling at this. I have no idea, seriously, what mom was wrapping. I think she and dad bought lots of little things. They said they had a lot of trouble this time around finding appropriate items but they always go bonkers wrapping.
My things didn't take so long to wrap - well - most of the night somehow - but not as long as mom and dad. I found mom and dad lots of little things this year - they were easy to buy for, which usually isn't true. I'd say, but I don't want to spoil it for now. John said it was obvious which ones he wrapped and which ones I wrapped. I don't think his are so bad. He said he had to fight with simple box shapes that weren't cooperating.
Oma is going to the doctor tomorrow at 8 a.m. to see about her hip - it's really paining her - she's thinking of having surgery. Thus, ends today! It was a good, peaceful day. I look forward to tomorrow and getting more sleep. For whatever reason, I just didn't sleep last night. Lay awake and then finally got up at 2 a.m. and ate Cheerios and an orange.
I'm glad I'm not going anywhere tomorrow. Scenic highway is always a total nightmare this time of year - complete and total gridlock all the way down - alas, the product of it being lined with every conceivable store for two miles in a straight line.
Tuesday: Christmas Eve!!
James went and got mom Dunkin' Donuts and dropped them off at her work. Mom doesn't work tomorrow! Which is very exciting. Now, James is going to Fries with Matt Bohannon to help him buy Ben a present. Matt wanted company.
I've been fighting with my computer, trying to get it to connect to the web to write up the sermon notes. Took me longer than anticipated - ha! Spent time with the Lord and read Daniel 3 and Luke 2. I feel as if I'm supposed to read Daniel these days. During the message last Sunday, John said he felt compelled to read Ezekiel and he doesn't know why. That often happens to John during sermons - he'll feel impressed to read certain chapters. Today, I felt as if He was telling me that sometimes rest is necessary and good to have and isn't a waste of time. That might be something I need to here, it's true. Part of the Streams devotional spoke to that today.
Dad's home and bought me a very tasty Publix sub with melted pepper jack cheese and turkey, which I loved. I was SO hungry! John just got home. I played some Dragon Age II on his Xbox 360 while waiting for my laptop to boot up. It was fun! I think I'll go play some more of it. I can't remember the last time I've played a good ol' RPG. *sighs contentedly* SOOoooo much fun.
I was telling James, yup, I've done a lot of useful stuff so far on my time off and he said - What?? All one day of it, you mean. He thinks I work too much, I suspect. I plan on reading some articles and such later in the week. I'm going to try to sift through them, find my favorites and send them to Brooke to see what she thinks.
That's all for now!
Friday: Comments on Th and Today
On the way over, we talked about books the whole way there, which was fun. John's looking for another fantasy series to read and is going to try Larry Correia's Hard Magic. He wrote Monster Hunter's International, which John said, he really enjoyed.
He says I have to listen to this Writing Excuses podcast episode on rogues - that it's fantastic. Oh, I KNOW it is. But if I listen to it (Sanderson, Kowal, Taylor and Wells), I'll have to listen to ALL the episodes I've missed and I wouldn't be able to stop thinking about writing and I'll start writing spastically in the evenings using up ALL my free time with writing! I absolutely love reading / listening to more about the theory craft behind story telling - how it's done - OH - SO FASCINATING!!
I've come to realize, if I don't start reading books again soon and also, writing SOMETHING, working on my novel draft or some stories or what - I'm going to explode. Blogging doesn't count. Doesn't matter if they're horribad. I just really miss story writing and I'm starting to get the shakes. This was the first year I didn't attempt Nanowrimo in three years - a sad, sad state. I can't believe that around Jan - April of this year, I was still writing SW fan fic, gaming on TOR and such things. It seems like a lifetime ago. Well. Some of that is going to have to come back. It was a necessary sacrifice for grad school. But at some point, I'll be more balanced and can start back up again. I hope. I think it's possible. This summer maybe...
I didn't realize that John had actually applied to get our anniversary off back in March but STILL couldn't do it, so he's going to turn in his vacation papers on Jan 1st this year. I forgot, but he says, he's only been able to get our anniversary off once - our first one. You know, I think he's right! It's ok - it's a strange day to have anniversary, right near Christmas, but it makes it more special to me. It would also have been Oma and Opa's anniversary.
We missed the dinner but we got to come late and hang out - I ate leftovers. Got to talk to my Aunt for a bit about books and some about science. She said that Brooke had read about a recent discovery that there is insulin produced in the brain! I couldn't believe this but I just looked it up and found this 2005 article. This is amazing!! I'm still not sure I believe it until I see the original research article. It says, "Researchers at Rhode Island Hospital and Brown Medical School have discovered that insulin and its related proteins are produced in the brain, and that reduced levels of both are linked to Alzheimer's disease." Really?? I MUST read this AT ONCE!! FASCINATING!! AHHH that's SO COOL!!!! How do more people not know about this? Was it overturned or is it quack stuff? *suspicious face* I MUST KNOW!
We didn't stay long because John was tired and had to work tomorrow, so we left the same time as my parents. I feel badly about that. I would have liked to stay a little longer. They had a lovely fire in the fireplace. WE MUST MAKE ONE!! I was wondering how it was possible we'd never had a fire yet this year - of course - it's because the couch is in front of the fireplace right now. THIS must be FIXED!
John and I talked about books all the way home - a peaceful ending to a good day. I'm excited about anniversary stuff - this will probably be the last you hear of me today. I need to do cleaning ... AND READ THIS ARTICLE!! AHHH!! And find their original research paper...
Saturday: Miscellaneous Thoughts
Our Anniversary on Friday - Comments
If you're wondering how I got so many candles, you can thank Kyle and Haley of Oak Hill, who used these small "tea candles" during our last 520 Worship service. I found out you can buy 50 of them for $2.50. Thus, a plot was born! They were such fun. There wasn't much finesse involved, though dad said later, he thought this was creative. Hmm. I question that. I just covered flat surfaces with layers of candles. He he he he!
I was worried that John wouldn't let me light that many candles, so I subverted that by lighting them all before he got there. Fortunately, I didn't have to be too worried about that. If you're wondering why I used matches instead of a lighter on them, it's because James was napping, mom was working and dad was buying food, so nobody was available to ask where the lighter was - I didn't know. After I lit them all, I recalled there's an easier way - of lighting one candle - then using it to light the others - there's a trick to it - you have to do it just so - but it's a good method - I did that at Oak Hill. I guess I was too excited about lighting them all, full of maniacal glee, to remember this.
After I was done, I sat in the midst of the room feeling very happy with myself. Then, I showed dad. Dad was shocked and got his camera and took pictures of them, saying, whatever you do, don't leave! (He didn't want the house to burn down.) I could fit more. Next year - it'll be 300 candles. James woke up and said whatever I did, don't turn on the treadmill - which was covered in a pattern of ~10-12 candles.
John got home. I told everyone to quickly vacate! John said tiredly, that he still had to write in my card and to wait downstairs for him. I said ok. Dad, James and I crowded in the living room and stared, watching him enter and wondering what would happen. I should have predicted it! Silence. I peeked in, where John was sitting at the desk, writing, surrounded by candles and asked if he liked my setup. He looked up with this perfectly bland face and said, "I see nothing different." He he he he.
John's lack of reaction is almost as amusing as a reaction - it's very hard to get him to react to anything - he most commonly either has no visible reaction to most things or very subtle ones. I asked him later if he was surprised and he said, "Yes." I could tell he was amused and liked them. He expects the unexpected from me - we're both pretty odd.
We got to eat at Chilis and talk about books and random life stuff. Then we played co-op on the Lego Marvel Super Heroes game I got for his Xbox One. We played Lego Star Wars and Lego Indian Jones together in the past and had fun - this one is no exception. I love blowing stuff up and collecting the exploded bricks. My favorite part was Dr. Doom's announcement of his villanous plot to craft "Dr. Doom's doom ray of DOOM!" I laughed. We haven't played a game together in a while - for some reason - they've been hard to find.
My present for John consisted of a hat box like contraption inside of which were two cards, a string of paper mache hot peppers, Reese's Pieces, a framed picture of us at Matt's wedding, a cup I couldn't resist and a snail. I'll leave you to speculate on that. [...]
Actually, I'll say, John's favorite candy in the world are Reeses or anything with peanut butter. He bought peanut butter oreos the other day. The cup was beautiful - purple - so not very manly, but has the words "Dream" on one side and on the other side says "Higher than a mountain, deeper than the sea, wider than the world - for the size of our dreams tells not how big we are but how big our God is." The other thing it has written on it is Ephesians 3:20, "God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine."
The snail is so beautiful! It was a glass snail I saw at Hobby Lobby with swirly colors in it. I loved how it spiraled around, swirled and the colors mixed so beautifully. I just HAD to get it for him. And it seemed appropriately unexpected and strange. I decided that it meant that we should enjoy every moment of our time together, and slow the pace of life down, to that of a snail, and not always be so busy we have no time for each other. When he unwrapped it, he laughed. And he really liked the cup too. I *love* that cup. It was perfect. See the end of this post for pictures of the cup and snail.
151 candles ... (one of the tea candles bit the dust)
Saturday: It Is What It Is
I read one article anyway. That review article wasn't my favorite though. It's facts are too jumbled up and hodge-podged together, without a lot of explanation, which was disappointing. The authors also frequently failed to distinguish whether they were talking about type I or type II diabetes, in their discussions. Some researchers do this and it annoys the living daylights out of me. Usually, when they do so, they are referring to type II. As if type I is so insignificant, it doesn't even exist (it's 10% of diabetes cases). >:| My mom and her two sisters ALL have it! My mom got it when she was 11, my Aunt Susan when she was pregnant with her first child and my Aunt Heidi about 3-4 years ago (she's the oldest in mom's family, thus it's kind of odd for her to get type I). Meh - it's ok.
Also, the data on Alzheimers and diabetes both is just so distressingly, terribly confused. There are far, far too many variables to be meaningful. The data people are getting in some of these studies could mean ANYthing ... or NOTHing. It's incredibly annoying. There's got to be a better way. I know it's because of the complicatedness of both the brain and even cells themselves and all their pathways - but seriously??? There's just got to be a better way to sort this out. Because what's being done right now to figure stuff out is unacceptable. There's probably some good research out there. I just haven't found it yet. But seriously! Almost everything I read on the subject - it almost seems like all people ever deduce are correlations, nothing really hard core. We understand so little. And I understand even less - I haven't done enough reading - when I HAVE - I'll revisit this notion and see if what I'm thinking is a product of not having read enough or actually has some basis in fact.
Thus, I'd like to do more reading, but I kind of just hurt everywhere and it's easier not to. At least my back is feeling 1/2 better from the paralysis of this morning, and I can now actually sit and be comfortable, if I position right and am still. Hence the writing of this note. And it's on my dad's computer, not my laptop, because I was too lazy to get it from upstairs and bend down to reach it, as it's on the floor.
I was mad, but then I decided, what the heck. One way or the other, I WILL read things eventually, and the Lord can help me read lots and lots of stuff when He wants me to. I'm getting the message from Him, I think, that He wants me to rest instead, and I've not been listening. Maybe this is a way to get me to rest. Or maybe, I should fight it. I'm really not sure, honestly. Every time I try to rest, I typically feel incredibly guilty, so fighting against rest could come from that notion. It's hard for me to determine myself. I'm too close to the issue. Pray that I do what the Lord wants. I always worry I'm not doing enough or doing things well enough, good enough, hard enough, not listening to Him enough or hearing Him right... etc. Well, hopefully no one will be mad at me. I've decided to just abandon myself to the Lord and ask Him to work stuff out, instead of fighting it, for now. Eventually, things will get done. I'm in His hands.