random act of culture

I just saw this on another blog and had to share.

Every year, my high school chorus puts on a concert from Handel’s Messiah, including, of course, the Hallelujah Chorus. I still have my copy of the Messiah, with notes on where to take breaths, when to sing brightly and so much more. This just brought it all roaring back.

So, enjoy.

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handmade for the holidays

Where I live, buying local is a big deal. It’s something I never really thought much about before I moved out here, but it’s an idea to which I’m really attracted. Something about supporting small shops and artists just really appeals to me, instead of just buying into mass commercialism.

So, I have decided to make a pledge to myself (and I guess now all of you): Most of the gifts I give this year will either be handmade by me, bought from someone who made it his- or herself, or bought at a local store. This is actually pretty convenient for me, since my church is having its awesome alternative Christmas market this weekend.

I don’t have a lot of people to buy for, just the Professor (aka the mister), my dad and brother, the Professor’s immediate family (three people) and a few others, so it’s hopefully something I can accomplish.

There’s already a Flickr group set up for people doing the same (or a similar) thing. So, here I go!

an attitude of gratitude

With Thanksgiving just around the corner (and in October, as it should be), it’s a good time to think about things for which we are thankful. Granted, there’s never really a bad time to count your blessings, but it’s easier to do in some areas of my life versus others. I’m thankful for my husband, my pets Remy and Otis, used book shops, thrift stores, the flea market, vintage-inspired cabinet pulls, fun jewelry, my husband, semi-colons, sweater weather, good friends, apple cider, flowers, second-graders, my husband, good perfume, frozen yogurt, caramel anything and anything by Kurt Vonnegut.

But finding the blessings in chronic illness—without sounding insufferably dull or unbearably sanctimonious—now that is a challenge.  Where is the upside of feeling like crap everyday? Well, when put like that, there may not be one. But I am a firm believer of finding the silver lining in every cloud. So, while I would have loved to be able to learn these lessons some other way than having psoriatic arthritis, that is my lot in life and so I will play the hand I’ve been dealt. That is something for which I am grateful: the ability to find the good in an otherwise bad situation. I have learned to practice patience, to cut myself and others some slack, to live at a slower pace. I have found an amazing outlet in blogging and connecting with others through the internet and through mentoring those with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

There is much in my life to be grateful for, and I’m glad to take the time to examine that, to see all that I have been blessed with and to give thanks.

indoor fireworks

That last post was a wee bit self-pitying, so I decided to post some fireworks instead. Because, as everyone knows, fireworks are the best way to end a pity party.

Happy (belated) Canada Day and Independence Day to my Canadian and American readers!

So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be. — “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky

just one more before i go (to bed)

Well, I just got home from work, and the heady mix of an unexpected 15-hour day and sad songs on the drive home has made me kind of melancholy. So, to try to break the mood, I’m going to do a happy list that turns bad or sad things into positive ones. We’ll see how well I do.

  1. Working so much I never see The Hubs. On the plus side, I value the time I spend with him even more.
  2. Working crazy long days at the paper. It gives me time to make sure my work can be the best I can make it.
  3. Stagnation. It makes me want to strive to do something better.
  4. Instability. As scary as it is, it’s also kind of exhilarating; still, it makes me enjoy the small pockets of stability I do have even more.
  5. PSA. Maybe I’ll just come back to that one.
  6. Being so exhausted I can’t think of anymore. That means I get to go to bed! G’night, everyone.