krikketgirl: (Cupcake Day)
A big glut of them, since LJ was down for so long!

Day 13, July 27

Studying for my Science final.

More Under Here! )


Jul. 29th, 2011 08:12 am
krikketgirl: (Friends LJ)
I was reading a book the other day wherein the author--originally from a small Southern town--endeavored to explain the difference between walking down a street at home and in New York City. What she came up with was the idea of a hive mentality, where each member briefly checks in on the other people sharing their sidewalk with a glance and then hurries on. The point isn't to acknowledge the other person, to catch their eye, to communicate with them; the point is to look, see if there is any obstacle or problem in the vicinity, and then to move on.

Hold that thought while I talk about Facebook and Google+. When I first joined Facebook, I didn't anticipate it becoming a big part of my daily routine. But then I discovered that I could link my photos and my blog to it, and connect with people from my family, my church, my workplace, and people I'd met on trips or at church events. As life went on and I became far busier than I had before, my Live Journal suffered while my Facebook blossomed.

Then, recently, Google+ came on the scene, initially trumpeted as "Google's answer to Facebook." Only as soon as I got set up on Google+, I started seeing all these posts about how it's NOT supposed to be like Facebook, and we poor clueless souls who use it simply as a Facebook-style site are deluded and unhip. All of this has resulted in my using Google+ in addition to Facebook, feeling silly for using it simply for its privacy options, and trying to figure out whether it would be better to just return to my hermit-like cave and start sending smoke signals to my nearest and dearest.

Let's jump back to the hive mentality. Is it friendly? Does it make you feel all warm and collectivistic? No, not at all! But it's not supposed to. It's supposed to help you get to where you're going effectively and to alert you to potential problems on the horizon. It's not a rich form of communication, because all that's needed is a shallow form of communication. This, to me, is what Facebook has been about.

Facebook is supposed to be somewhat shallow. It's about being part of a hive of people, all of whom you know, but not all of whom are as close as others. Facebook lets you get a bite-sized glimpse into their world, an idea of the big patterns in their life and globally, multiple times a day or week. You decide, from there, if you want to get deeper into each person's life.

Live Journal--and other blogging platforms--are a richer form of communication. I say more, and say it more personally. Maybe you read it, maybe you don't. But when you do read and comment, and I comment back, we can build relationships. This is something I've been missing about blogging, and why I'm coming back to it more intentionally.

So where does this leave Google+? For me, it's an awkward thing to use. I don't really have time or energy to go seeking out new content by people I don't know. I like being able to filter posts--that's one big "plus" for me--but I rarely feel a need to use it. It's shiny and new and feels exciting, but it's not meeting either my need for deeper communication or my "hive" need to check in on my acquaintances to see what's happening.

Perhaps I'm missing the picture: what's your take on social networks? What do you use? And why?
krikketgirl: (Default)
We will see. I started investigating Dreamwidth a year or more ago, because Live Journal was having another debacle. But I haven't really been serious about it until the recent LJ outages, where it seems--as a friend put it--outages are no longer big news, but Wednesdays. Since LJ hiccuping has corresponded with my desire to blog more, we will see whether that need gets met here. A lot of that, I would imagine, will be based on who else is here!
krikketgirl: (Party Lights)
Today was such a great day. There were some little hiccups with schoolwork and brief power/Internet outage, but I got several things accomplished.

First, we got my pantry and freezer set up. For the last several weeks, when I wanted to cook, I had to go and buy everything at point of need. I didn't know what I had on hand and I didn't have any backup for when plans changed. Today we went ahead and made the larger purchases that will allow me to have a baseline pantry/freezer stock so that I have a little wiggle room and can get back to my regular shopping routines. Not only is this good for meal planning and saving shopping money, it's also nice to know that I have a few things on hand for if we decide to have company over on the spur of the moment.

Second, we had our first dinner guests in the new house. We had such a great time, and Chris got out a bunch of his old Fisher-Price toys for the little kids to play with...I think he had as much fun watching them as they had playing with the toys!

It feels like I'm transitioning back into living life instead of planning for it, if that makes sense, and it feels so wonderful!
krikketgirl: (Default)

Day 10, July 24, originally uploaded by krikketgirl.

The action gets intense as we try to capture Mr. X!

krikketgirl: (Default)

Day 9, July 23, originally uploaded by krikketgirl.

Brotherly love lets you come in his room, read his books, and lounge in his bunk.

krikketgirl: (Default)

Day 8, July 22, originally uploaded by krikketgirl.

First baking adventure in the new house!

krikketgirl: (Stairway)
I've been thinking a lot about Deuteronomy 6:10-12 lately. It reads:

So it shall be, when the LORD your God brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you large and beautiful cities which you did not build, 11 houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, hewn-out wells which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant—when you have eaten and are full—then beware, lest you forget the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

I've been thinking about it because we have been so blessed by so many people in the move from Indianapolis to Cincinnati, and truthfully even before then. There is so much furniture that we did not buy, but instead inherited or were given by family or friends. Our goods were transferred from place to place not primarily by us, but by so many willing hands--even people we hadn't met before they showed up to help lug our boxes. The cherry tomatoes we are beginning to enjoy are from a plant that we did not purchase, plant, or mulch; we did not weed or add good soil to the bed it lives in. All of that tending--and all of the other gardening around the house--was given to us from the goodness of a dear friend's heart. Many of the rooms that have been painted in the house were painted without my having raised a hand to do it, because I have been blessed with kind family and friends who came and painted as gifts to us.

This home is so precious to me, and I am so thankful for it. But I have to remain constantly in remembrance that it is not because of me or Chris that it is so nicely appointed. Instead, it is thanks to people whose hearts were moved by God to provide for us. It becomes, then, my responsibility to remember and to use these gifts not for my own benefit, but to give back to God and to my brothers and sisters.
krikketgirl: (Default)

Day 7, July 21, originally uploaded by krikketgirl.

This label seems ambiguous to me...

krikketgirl: (Hello?)
I read in a couple of different places this morning about it being the birthday of Ernest Hemingway. One of those places mentioned that he had committed suicide in 1961, and that other members of his family had also chosen suicide as their exit strategy. I did a little reading and discovered that, according to a few sources, there have been 5 Hemingway suicides in four generations: Hemingway's father, three siblings, and his granddaughter. What a sad legacy!

It started me to thinking about families and their function in terms of showing and explaining what is and is not acceptable behavior. And yes, in the Hemingway family it seems that there have been plenty of mental and emotional issues that drive these tragic choices. But I still think that there is an example here in just how powerful family influences can be.

I know that as a parent, I hope I am broadcasting positive messages about what is acceptable. Reading about the Hemingways today made me stop and consider: what do my actions indicate is a good way to live? What do I emphasize by what I do? What behaviors that I illustrate will help the kids on down the line, and which will be problematic?

Life is hard, and people don't always hew to family influence; but I think it's foolish to ignore the value of intentionally living in ways we tell our kids we would like them to live. I hope the legacy our parenting leaves will be of lasting positive value in terms of how our sons learn to conduct their lives.
krikketgirl: (Default)

Day 6, July 20: Puppet Show, originally uploaded by krikketgirl.

The Youngest Boy performs the first-ever Cincinnati Rowland Puppet Show.

krikketgirl: (Duds)
We watched The Princess Bride the other night (it was the first time the boys had seen it, and the results were positive!). This is probably what made me start thinking about medieval times and knights and chivalry and castles and all that. Oh, and we were playing Nancy Drew: The Captive Curse, so that probably helped.

It came to mind again while I was vacuuming upstairs. I am temporarily at home all the time, which is good because there is still so much work to be done and I have homework and all that. It's also a little frustrating because everything is in weird places and some things are still packed (like, all my pens and paper), so trying to do anything requires all these extra steps.

Anyway, I was vacuuming and I was tired and a little sneezy and inclined to feel grouchy about the whole process. And suddenly it occurred to me: you know, I live with things that people in castles would have paid a lot of money to have. Carpets--carpets that have to be cleaned, yes, but carpets from wall to wall, warm on my feet, cushiony, not old plants and straw. I have water in five rooms in this house--hot and cold. I don't have to build fires to cook or dig holes to preserve food. I am living a lifestyle that the royalty of yesteryear would have longed for, if they had known it could exist.

Yes, I know that these things come with accompanying drawbacks. Life is not perfect. But life was not perfect then, either. Hopefully, this little "aha!" will help me to feel more grateful about the tasks that often seem so dreary!
krikketgirl: (Default)

Day 4, July 18, originally uploaded by krikketgirl.

Having a teenager is, to judge by his door, "shamazing."


Jul. 18th, 2011 07:48 am
krikketgirl: (Lazy)
I got so much accomplished yesterday! All of the tasks accomplished were little things, but they added up to a lot.

As I've been unpacking the jumble of boxes that seem to never end, I've been thinking a lot about patterns. Over time, we all develop ruts in life--well-traveled places that we use over and over because they work or because, at some point, they worked. Part of the problem with ruts, of course, is that when circumstances change or life changes or you change, those ruts are still there. And because they're easy to follow, they remain even when they no longer work.

That's how moving has been. When we moved into our old house, I had a toddler and was expecting a second child. The house saw us through the birth of our youngest, through my staying at home, working part-time, working full-time, going to school. Every stage came with its accumulations and its adjustments to patterns, but because life flows so swiftly, few of those patterns were thought about with any real eye to their effectiveness.

But then, as our life has been upended and swirled and shaken, it has been a golden opportunity to look at those patterns. It is impossible to pack all of one's goods and not think, "Why do I have this? Why did we ever keep that?" Books and dishes and goods that were once stored separately are now conglomerated and you suddenly see that you have four copies of that James Thurber collection and two sets of the complete works of O. Henry.

Beyond the patterns of material things, I'm looking at the patterns of living. A new house means the new ruts haven't taken hold yet. I want to start from the beginning to establish good patterns and to support those patterns by what I keep and how I keep it. It's slow going. No good pattern was ever made in a hurry.
krikketgirl: (Default)

Day 3, July 17, originally uploaded by krikketgirl.

Still a work in much I want to stop and (re)read!

krikketgirl: (Default)

Day 2: July 16, originally uploaded by krikketgirl.

Chris and a young friend having a grand time!

krikketgirl: (Default)

Day 1: July 15, originally uploaded by krikketgirl.

Our anniversary coincided with my first day in Cincinnati. Oh, I'd been here, off and on, for seven weeks; but now I'm here for good. I decided to celebrate with a picture-a-day project: A Year in Cincinnati. Picture 1: Chris with tomatoes.

krikketgirl: (Bring It)
I feel like a horse that has run flat-out and now catches the scent of almost-home and gathers up the road beneath its hooves. I have 3 1/2 weeks of school left, and tomorrow night I have my real homecoming to our house in Cincinnati: no more partial weeks here and partial weeks there, no more frantically cramming homework into every waking moment.

This week has been good. I've not slept well, but I've slept. I've seen friends. I've talked and I've listened. There has been work and obligation, but they have been met. And I'm running to the end of this particular course, ready to have a little rest before the next heat begins. I wonder what it will bring?


krikketgirl: (Default)

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