A Winter Hat

Last Saturday, my husband, my son, and his girlfriend and I went for a small hike outside Colorado Springs. It was to Paint Mines, which is an area of rock formations called hoodoos. A hoodoo has a hard rock cap on the top of softer rock, which erodes into a pillar of rock.

Hoodoos in the distance

In getting ready for the hike, hubby and I were gathering our outdoor gear. Gotta be prepared for any type of weather! As I was looking through gloves and scarves, I discovered that I don’t have a winter hat! What happened to the one my mother-in-law made for me? Or the cute purple cap? They were not with the vacuumed-sealed package of outdoor gear. I borrowed my husband’s yellow and gray beanie for the hike.

But yellow and gray don’t go with any of my coats, so today I got onto the REI website, and searched for a cute topper, one that would coordinate with my winter coat.

How hard can it be? My coat is black, so everything goes, right? But my scarves are either burgundy/cream or multi-colored pastels. Not easy to match.

Plus, it’s really important to me that the cap completely covers my ears. That’s what gets cold when I’m hiking in the snow. So the beanie needs to come down low enough to keep me warm.

I don’t look good in hats. My hair is short, and so when it’s all tucked under, I look bald. Or one glance at me and one assumes I’m bald. So I want a hat that’s cute, maybe just a little big for my head so that it’s not completely tight.

I found three on the website. I ordered all of them (free returns) so I could try them all on. Make sure they meet the criteria of cute and ear-covering. We’ll see which one makes me look less bald!

Coronavirus: Letter

My sister, Stacy Christiansen, wrote a letter to the college kids from her church. It’s beautiful, and so much can be applied to our lives. Enjoy!

Guess what? It’s me again. Stacy C. When Pastor Amy asked if I would mind writing letters two months in a row to the Good Shepherd college students, I said no. But I secretly wondered what I could possibly write to you about.
HAH!
Last month, I had the audacity to talk about “the relief that comes from a much-needed break from classes.” Let me be abundantly clear – I was talking about a week. Spring Break. A chance to unwind. I was NOT talking about all of us hunkering down and trying to remember to sing happy birthday twice while staring at ourselves in the bathroom mirror. Oh, and wondering about toilet paper and bread.
But our family has been struggling this past week or so, and I’m betting yours has too. While there may be guides on how to get through this pandemic (handwashing, social distancing, and a lot more handwashing), I haven’t found anything that adequately covers how to get through the wide range of emotions that we are all feeling. And I think that college students, maybe more so than any other age group, are being uniquely affected.
Colleges are shut down. Friends scattered with little to no warning. Your daily routine has been more than disrupted – everything has altered: from where you sleep, to where you go, to who you see. And when it will be back to normal is completely undetermined.
Fear. Gratefulness. Anger. Sorrow. Happiness. Frustration. Dread.
I’m betting you’re cycling through them so rapidly that you can’t even process them all.
So, let me reassure you – it’s perfectly normal to be feeling both relieved and resentful if you are suddenly back at your parents’ house when you were expecting not to be there until at least the first week of May. It’s okay to miss your friends. Your freedom. The opportunities. The what-ifs. And if you’re still at school, trying to adapt to a new way of learning and studying, the same is true. It’s okay to be relieved that you still have a bit of a routine but resentful that you are NOT back at home when so many others are.
Speaking solely as a Christian mom here (and not a Biblical scholar), I have a couple of thoughts that might help you during this crazy crazy time:
1) Jesus showed emotion. And I’m not just talking the obvious – the big one – LOVE. Jesus also cried and got angry. (Hint: John 11 and Matthew 21). For me, I take comfort in the fact that we are created in God’s image. And if His son got angry or showed grief? Maybe it’s okay – NORMAL – for us, too.
2) Although “Thou Shall Not Fear” is not technically one of the commandments – it’s in the Bible so often, maybe it should have been. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that God said it so much. He knew that we were going to struggle with fear – He knew that I was going to struggle with it – so he covered it early and often.
So, I’ll close with my latest God sighting. Several weeks ago, Pastor Amy had a “stress buster” weekend for the current FLY kids. Late that Saturday night, my youngest texted me one phrase “Isaiah 43:2” with no explanation or context. (Some would say a teenage boy texting his Mom for something other than money or a ride is ALSO a God sighting). After I googled it, I’ve kept the verse open on my phone. How awesome that I’ve had this reminder; I hope you like/remember it:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;the flames will not set you ablaze.
(Okay, so maybe I needed that more than you did.)
Please know that you have a community of people who care about you. We may be giving you virtual elbow bumps from a distance – but know that you and the struggles you are facing – and the emotions you are feeling – are important. We’re keeping you in our prayers.

New TV

We got a new TV tonight. It arrived from Amazon via UPS. Husband was practically “chomping at the bit” for it to arrive this evening. Of course, the moment it did, we set it up.

He’s been talking about a new TV for several years, though, honestly, I didn’t see anything wrong with the old one. But this one is bigger and with newer technology, which, it turns out, makes a huge difference in quality and picture.

I didn’t realize how heavy our old TV was until it came time to install it in our new house. There’s a built-in shelf in the living room for the TV to sit on. Hubby expressed concern that it wouldn’t support the weight of the old TV, and that got me worried. What an amazing mess it would be if the whole shelf pulled off the wall! So then I was really nervous about having our TV in the living room, and I insisted that it go on the huge TV stand in the basement. Which meant I was suddenly more interested in a new TV than I had been before.

Turns out the new TV is amazing. It’s only 50ish lbs., and the picture quality is incredible. It’s 3D. I didn’t realize how two-dimensional the people were in the show until we resumed playing it mid-stream. Suddenly, it’s as if they’re acting in my living room. The sound quality is good – no need for the sound bar. I’ll see how it plays my music tomorrow.

I’ll admit that a new TV was not on my wish-list, until I worried about the weight of it on the shelf. I had always written it off as something the hubby wanted, not me.

But I’m pleased it became a priority in our purchases. It’s actually the first new thing we’ve added to the new house – before the bookshelves or area rug. And I’m glad we bought it.

It will make “date night” at home so much more enjoyable!

Getting Ready to Move

Moving is hard work!

I’m out of sorts this morning. Maybe it’s because the first thing I did – before I even got out of bed – was fix my Fitbit account – that took 20 minutes! Maybe it’s because I had to get up earlier than normal today. Probably it’s because I’m a little overwhelmed at packing up the apartment and moving within the next several days. This is going to be a weird weekend, as we want to be in our new house, but the movers don’t come until Tuesday.

We could start moving boxes from the storage unit and some from the apartment to the garage at the house. Maybe organize them by room. We don’t want to take them immediately into the house, as we’re having it cleaned and new carpet installed in the master bedroom and on the stairs. We don’t want to be in the way.

It will be nice to have all our belongings back together under one roof. Although I’ve discovered – by living in the apartment these past four months – that there’s a lot I can live without! I expect to do some sorting as we unpack, and get rid of some items, particularly small kitchen appliances, that I haven’t used for years. And they’re big small items – like a rotisserie and a bread maker; they take up lots of kitchen territory.

We have the walk-through today. That will tell us if we need to do any painting. In one room, the previous owners have lots of stuff on the walls. So we’ll check to see if we need to spackle and paint. Of course, our painting supplies are in some box in the storage unit, so they might be tough to find. I guess we’ll know what to do after this afternoon.

We close on the house tomorrow, get the keys Friday. Someone comes to clean on Saturday, and carpet is installed on Monday. Then Tuesday, we have movers lined up to help us with the heavy stuff, furniture, etc.

I’m overwhelmed, but so excited!

Not the morning we had planned

We were just going to pick up a few things at the grocery store. Including cold medicine and cough syrup, since we’ve both been hacking all week.

It’s 30 degrees, so we decided to get a car wash first, and park in the sun so the locks wouldn’t freeze. There were 4 cars in front of us, plus the vehicle in the wash; we guessed we’d wait in line for 30 minutes. But the Kia is filthy, so we knew it was necessary. We pulled forward, turned off the car and chatted each time a vehicle went into the wash.

Finally, it was our turn. We paid for the Deluxe Wash and waited for the car in the wash. We saw the brake lights through the door, and pushed the Kia’s start button ignition. Nothing.

Tried again. Just a click. Dead battery sound. The car wash line behind us was now 5 long – oh, they were going to be so mad at us!

Hubby got out and told the woman behind us that our car was dead. Then went to the hood and looked at the battery. All connections were tight. Got back in and tried it again. Nothing. Another try. Nothing.

Lady behind us pulled out of line, leaving a space for us to back into. We put the Kia in neutral and hubby started to push us backwards, with me cranking on the wheel to turn. Gentleman in line got out and helped push us into a parking space. He got our already-paid car wash as a thank you.

We Lyfted home and got our other car and tool chest. Then went to Walmart to buy a new battery. There was one left! Back to the car wash. Now hubby is installing it.

So, no groceries. No cough syrup. No car wash. We’ve now been at this craziness for two hours, and we’ve accomplished nothing.

Update: new battery and Kia started right up. There are 5 cars in line at the car wash – we’ll go next door and have lunch – maybe the line will be shorter when we come out.

We’ll stop at the grocery store and get our much-needed cough syrup on the way home.

And here I was wondering what we’d do today!