Sunday, January 8, 2012

An Evening Daybook Plus More. . .

Here. This artwork will do until I can get up some photos.
I like it! It's sweet.

Where I am. . .

I’m sitting at the kitchen table. The kitchen is tidy and well-lit as afternoon begins to darken into evening. (Later: At least this is where I was when I started this thing! I’ve been writing the post off and on this evening, between doing other things.)

What I hear. . .

I am listening to the CD Mozart for Morning Coffee. It isn’t morning, and I am not drinking coffee, but the music is light and cheery, matching my mood. The furnace rumbles as it presses warm air through the vent behind me.

I am wearing. . .

Minnetonka moccasins. Blue jeans. A grey tank top under a light-weight, super-comfy grey cardigan with small white polka dots. I received the cardigan as a Christmas gift from Josiah and Aimee, and I get compliments on it every time I wear it. I am wearing the same necklace that I wear every single day. It is a small, simple silver necklace with colored (costume) jewels spaced around it; the necklace is understated and pretty (and I get many compliments on it, too). My grandmother wore this necklace every single day for many years, and she gave it to me as a gift before she died. Now I wear it every day because I love and miss Grammy, and I would love to be just like her!

In my kitchen. . .

I have been eating a lot of “raw” foods (probably more than 75% of my diet), many of them from Mimi Kirk’s book or from her recipe videos on you-tube. I love her raw muesli. I make it routinely, top it with bananas and pomegranate seeds, and pour homemade pumpkin seed milk or almond milk over it. I served this to Melissa when she was here recently, and she loved it, too. Often, I have Mimi’s chia seed “tapioca” for breakfast or for dessert. Actually I am eating it right now, and I really love this stuff. (I keep saying I “love” my food, and I do.) What a great, healthy thing to eat if you’re into chia seeds! (They are super-nutritious and energy-giving.) In my opinion, this really does taste deliciously like tapioca! For awhile now, my early-every-morning alkalinizing drink has been cucumber, lemon juice, and water whizzed in the blender (and then I rub the cucumber peels on my face, leave it for awhile, and rinse!). I still have a green smoothie every day, too, and this always includes kale or spinach. In addition to my almond butter-miso-raw honey spread, I mixed butter with raw honey, Indian chili powder (hot!), and cinnamon to spread over toast, too. I still braise lots of veggies and sometimes roast them, and I eat different kinds of rice bowls with lots of vegetables, too. Oh, I’m eating lots of different things that make me feel healthy, clean, bright, and strong! J

What I’ve been doing. . .

Well, I rode up to Portland for the day with my sister, JoAnne, this past week. We stopped up the highway a ways at the town of another sister of ours to meet her at a coffee shop. She would have joined us for the trip to Portland, but there wasn’t room in the car (drat!). It was really fun to visit with Nancy. From there, we drove north to Portland to the apartment that Aimee and Josiah share with Melissa to pick up JoAnne’s daughter, Alia, who had been visiting the girls for a few days. JoAnne’s gang took off for IKEA, and Melissa and I followed soon after, but we stopped off for lunch at Native Bowl, a great food cart in Portland that serves amazing vegan rice bowls. (The lady who owns/runs it is gorgeous and has this awesome online cooking show.) I ordered the Couch Bowl—pronounced “kooch”—and ate it in the car as Melissa and I headed to IKEA to catch up with the rest of the gang. We really had a lovely talk in the car, and I was thankful to have just a little bit of time with my daughter. We roamed IKEA, and somehow Nicky and I ended up shopping together. I wasn’t going to buy anything, but I walked out of the store with a white serving tray that I liked (I did pay for it!). Before hitting I-5 to go back home, we stopped by one of Portland’s many great food co-ops where there is an excellent smoothie/juice cart outside. Drinks for everyone! But I bought a minneola and a bar of dark chocolate with salted almond instead. We drove away and chatted all the way down the highway and arrived home after dark. It was a fun day.

Okay. I think I got carried away with that one day.

Today was a gorgeous, clear, sunny, chilly Sunday. I went to church and sat with my sister’s family, as usual. The sermon was excellent. After church, I went home with my sister’s gang and printed out my booklist for this next term. Zane and I decided to ride the bus together to the university, but after we stood at the bus stop for a long time and the bus didn’t come and didn’t come, we suddenly remembered that it was Sunday, and the bus schedule is different on Sunday, so we started walking down the sidewalk toward campus because the sunny, cool air felt so nice that we wanted to be outside. We walked about a mile and a half before we saw the bus coming behind us, and we waited for it at the next stop. At the university, Zane and I both bought our books for winter term, and then we sat in the bookstore and waited for JoAnne and Alia to catch up with us. I had a great visit with Zane, both on our walk and at the bookstore. After Alia bought the things she needed, we all went to Trader Joe’s to stock up on food stuff, and then I was dropped off at home.

Okay. I got carried away with this day, too.

What I am reading, listening to, watching. . .

The Hidden Power of Kindness by Lawrence G. Lovasick; Parables of the Christ-Life by Lilias Trotter; Live Raw by Mimi Kirk; Tim Keller sermons on CD;
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink; Mariam’s Kitchen by Elizabeth Ehrlich; you-tube clips from the old What’s My Line? TV show (don’t ask me how I got started with this!); I Love Lucy you-tube clips; Mimi Kirk’s raw food videos (she’s good); various Arvo Part CD’s; Café de Paris Accordion Classics; A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson. (I am not delving into anything mind-bendingly deep or challenging.)

How I am taking care of my health. . .

Eating very well and staying hydrated. Going to bed early and sleeping plenty. Exercising routinely. Going outside. Using non-toxic products for home and body care. Making sure I laugh every day (hence the Lucy clips online), which isn’t hard to do around my extended family! Dealing well spiritually with stress and emotions (striving to let go, pray more, and trust God; aiming to contentedly go with the flow of my days and to embrace interruptions and the unexpected).

Plans for the future. . .

Do first things first. Study hard—effectively and efficiently. Don’t waste time. Be a little more giving and attentive in my relationships.

Questions you have asked me recently:

What I am studying. . .

What are my plans for school and after (Michele asked this one)? I don’t really talk much about this, even with my friends because I’m not entirely sure what the future holds! I have a plan, but I tell the Lord all the time that I only want to be in His will. I ask Him to guide me, to open doors, to redirect me whenever He sees fit, and to give me ears to hear and eyes to see so that I will always follow Him. No need to worry about that last bit, though, because He just seems to get us where He wants us when we are seeking His will (in spite of us!). So, unless I am redirected somewhere along the way, I am aiming to finish my BA soon, and I will be applying to grad schools to work toward an MA in counseling. I am considering three schools for my masters degree, but one of them has emerged as a strong favorite, for a number of reasons. With counseling there are a lot of possibilities, and I have quite a few ideas in my mind regarding what I might do that I am juggling and praying about. I definitely like the idea of working in a capacity where I am directly helping others, so counseling appeals to me, plus age is not a detriment when working in this field, and I am no twenty-something student!

Living slowly. . .

Jennie wondered if I might have time to post the second part of my speaking notes on margin or whatever it was that I called it in the post she is referring to. I have looked at those notes again, and they really are sort of in a code that must have made some sense to me in 2005 when I used them to speak to a group of women. But today, they look like a disordered jumble of thoughts and ideas that would take quite a bit of time to reassemble into something coherent. And the thing is, my thinking on this “slow life” thing has developed a bit more since I wrote those notes. It hasn’t changed, but has become clearer and simpler. I actually feel stronger about it now than I did before. I think this world is just way too busy and distracted, and people’s lives seem fragmented, in my opinion (though I don’t mean to thrust that opinion on anyone). My point of view is not a pattern for proper living.

But I am glad that I chose, and still choose, a slow life. There are times when things get busy for me now, like when midterms and finals hit each term, but it is temporary, and I go right back to slow when it’s over. There are just many, many benefits to taking life more slowly than most of the rest of the world does.

For one thing, it is spiritually important, and I think this is vastly undervalued. Pascal said that the whole problem with man is that he can’t sit alone in his own room. I think there is a lot of truth to this! When we stop moving around like crazy (even if we are doing good things), the dust from the swirl of busyness settles and we begin to see more clearly. “Be still and know that I am God.” Be still. In stillness, our hearts and minds are quiet, and we hear better. We see both ourselves and God more clearly: We begin to see ourselves as we are, we begin to understand our struggles, we begin to grasp the mercy and love of God, and we begin to discern the path we should be walking. Stillness and quietness are foundational for gaining knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. Slowing things down helps us to stop spinning our wheels and gain some traction. We actually make more/deeper/better progress when we take our time.

Jesus didn’t seem to be hurrying about. Crowds were always demanding of him, always pressing against him, always pursuing him. Jesus met many (not all) of the needs of those around him, and he was tired, but with all of the demands on him (and his real ability to meet each one) he didn’t go into hyper-ministry. He took time out with his disciples (he cooked them fish!). He took time to pray at length—the Bible says that very early in the morning, Jesus went off alone to a solitary place to pray.  And when there were demands on him, he was in no hurry and under no sense of pressure to meet them now. He arrived at the home of Mary and Martha, three days after Lazarus died, and they were upset with him because they had called for him to come days ago! Jesus kept things simple. His pace was not frantic. He knew the importance of being quiet and being alone. We can learn from him, just as he says: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

We live in a time when slowing down does not simply mean that we casually choose not to get caught in the speedy flow of our culture, but, increasingly, we must absolutely do battle against speed in order not to get caught up in the flow. And nowadays we have the added pressure placed on us by modern technology to be ever-available and always-distracted. But battling against this is very much worth the fight, in my opinion.

We have a huge, wonderful source of information right at our fingertips. This is amazing, and it can be extremely useful, but it can also really hinder the healthy flow of our real, everyday lives. I certainly wouldn’t tell anyone what amount of technology should be allowed in their lives, but I am constantly rethinking the role I will allow it to play in my life, and I like to keep it to a minimum (whatever that means, right?! and I don’t always succeed, but most of the time I think I do). I don’t want the flow of my physical life to be continually interrupted and disrupted by devices that can get to me, or capture my attention, 24 hours a day.

I will say that living “slowly,” or with margin, is not just about staying home or keeping too-much technology at bay, but it’s also about how we live at home and with finances and with everything! A super-cluttery, always-way-too-messy-out-of-control house and wildly undisciplined living do not make an environment that is conducive to creating a life of margin and peace and ministry.

And now I get to type my favorite Blake quote one last time (!): “All in order, sweet and lovely.” And I’ll quote the Bible, too: “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” And why not thrown in Anne Morrow Lindbergh who said that it is only framed in space that beauty blooms? And all of this goes for our whole life; order is not just about the arrangement of our stuff! A beautiful life of margin saves space—uncluttered and unhurried—for the unexpected, for surprise, for serendipity, for spontaneity, for compassion, for instant hospitality, for relationships, and for lots of good things to happen.

I going to end this part abruptly without having really said what I wish I could say, but it’s time to put up the post and move along because I have a FAFSA to fill out before I go to bed! (And I sort of cringe that I'm posting another sorta-sloppy, incomplete message!)

Well, that’s all. I will add a few photos to this post in the next day or two because I don’t want the opening post of my blog to be all text, but I won’t write any more posts. I will likely return to the comments, though, and respond to some of those. I wanted to do that this evening but have run out of time.

And just so you know, I won’t be popping back in occasionally to put up a note. I need to focus on the things the Lord put on my heart when I felt led to shut down the blog. It’s time for me to be quiet.

I said I would probably never blog again, and I think that might be true. But if I ever do—way down the road—yes, I will put up a note here and at HDH (but don’t expect it), so if you want to keep me in your reader, that’s a good way to find out if a post pops up. But, on the other hand, if I never do put up that post, I’ll just be cluttering up the list of blogs on your reader!

It’s taken me a long time to leave after I told you I would be ending the blog, hasn’t it, but I wanted to give advance notice rather than just abruptly going away.

Thanks so much for being here. I’ve so enjoyed getting to know you and spending time with you these last months. (Gosh, I have a lump in my throat!) And thank you, again, for your sweet, truly encouraging notes to me and for your prayers. If you think of me down the road, please pray for me! I will pray for you when I think of you.

God bless.


  1. I've just ended my blog - but I think I did it a little too abruptly! still I feel better having ended it and not feeling that pressure of having to post.

    all the best to you! cheers krissie

  2. Goodbye Susan! I wish you blessings in your future. All the best to you. I made a big green juice yesterday, and I think I will always think of you when I do so!

  3. a lump in my throat, too. :)
    and, (smile), ditto what mary beth said, i'll always think of you when i make a green smoothie or french press my coffee.

    God go with you,

  4. Oh, Susan! I have a lump in my throat too. It seems funny to me that someone I have never physically met can feel like such a good friend to me. But you have shared much of your soul. And for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Stop cringing about your posts. This is such a lovely last post (as is the education post that you have threatened to remove. ;D PLEASE don't!), filled with so many of the things and thoughts that have endeared you to me.

    I appreciate all you just said about living slowly. My dad is 85 years old, and grew up on a small southern Illinois farm during the depression. He says he is so. thankful. for his childhood, which is what you describe. Slow. Still. Quiet. With memories of relationships spent in the small farmhouse with his family, not running frenetically here and there. And the occasional visitor, which was exciting, but not the rule. And he is so deeply thankful for that. It is hard to know how to live a life like that today. I suspect the key is that we need to live closely to the One Who wants to show us how and help us to do it. Your words are a welcome beacon. I feel deep love for you--and it does seem odd to me to write those words out!--and thank you one more time, one last time for you and all that you poured out here.

    Life is good. When I was young, heaven was not something that I longed for. There was so much I wanted to do and experience right here on this earth first. But the older I get, (and I'm 55 now)the more I realize that life is hard in ways I never could have imagined even 20 years ago. It is right that we should grow to know this, I think, and to look with longing toward that eternal day when everything will be made RIGHT at last. I have a feeling that you understand what I mean. I don't want to be morose.

    I am sad to say good-bye. But when all is said and done, I know that GOD is GOOD. All the time. And all His ways are best. And they are ALL for our good. How can we not trust a good GOD like that? GOD bless you, Susan, as you follow Him, grow to know Him more deeply, and love Him more dearly. I will pray for you as I think of you. (But I must confess that I will harbor a secret wish that GOD will bring you back. Maybe even have you birth a book?) Enjoy that wonderful family of yours that you invested so much into, and are now reaping what you sowed into their lives.


    P.S. I love that sweet kitchen at the front of your post. It reminds me of you. Neat and simple. Flowers. Sweet towels (that remind me of the napkins your daughter made for you one Christmas.) And JOY! :D

  5. I'm still trying to make a palatable green smoothie in your honour, but love the almond butter and still think of you when I make my one and only coffee of the day. I've particularly enjoyed your daybooks and valued your comments over the years so, I'm sorry to have that end but not in a make you feel bad way!

  6. Dear one,
    I appreciate your thoughts on living slowly and plan to share them with a son who is grappling with some hard issues and greatly needs to be still and quiet. I think your words will be an encouragement to him.

    All the best to you in what's ahead. The Lord knows your path and will direct as you rest in him and listen to the spirit.

    I am praying for you just now. Rich blessings. Know how much your voice in this space will be missed. Thanks for sharing the ride with us for awhile.

  7. I have been procrastinating about answer some early learning questions and I have the same problem you have with your notes. They made sense to me several yrs ago. Its so very the same now. And so different. And its not about the template anyway, but about the spirit. I need to mull more.

    Oh Susan I do so wish you could come feed me for a few days. I did get a new heavy duty blender since the kids broke mine and hope to get back on the smoothie track. I have not located a health food store here yet and need to do so. I have reread your old food posts and my old vegan bks. Ironically I can digest lean meats easier than nuts though and have discovered that most raw food recipes involve lots of nut butters and avocados. : /

    I guess once again it's not about putting on someone else's life but about being in touch with and meeting the real needs of our own. So much easier to order a life off the rack lol.

  8. Susan,
    I have been lurking here and reading every single post, but mostly on my phone, which makes commenting more difficult. Before you go, I wanted to tell you how much your words and thoughts have blessed me, and consequently our family.
    Your blog has been so "real" and palpable and your suggestions and ideas have been tangible. Nothing too hard or complicated to attempt. Always encouraging, joyful, and available to anyone.
    It seems as if your life has changed drastically in the past few years, but your honesty and "turning your face towards the sun" attitude has been such an encouragement for trials that I am facing.
    Your blogs have been recommended to so many of my other homeschooling friends, and so I do hope that you keep them open for awhile longer. They are so full of unpretentious and helpful information to those of us pushing through this life, attempting to not make too many mistakes and enjoy the journey.
    Before you completely dismantle your blogs, I would suggest printing them. I stopped blogging two years ago when our live changed and I felt I didn't have much to say anymore, (DancingRobot) but I printed our entire blog (hours and hours of editing and fitting it in . . )through It is such a treasure to see that time of our lives (errors, struggles, poor writing, bad photos and all) and to look back on those memories in words and photos. I hope you realize what a gift you have been to us!
    Thank you for opening your heart, for being willing to share your thoughts freely, and for becoming an online "friend" in a forum where friends are hard to find!
    This is my verse to pray for you . . .

    "For this cause the Lord will be waiting, so that He may be kind to you; and he will be lifted up, so that he may have mercy on you; for the Lord is a God of righteousness; there is a blessing on all those who hope in Him. . . And at your back, when you are turning to the right hand or to the left, a Voice will be sounding in your ears, saying, "This is the way in which you are to go." Isa 30:18,21.

    abundant blessings to you and your family!

  9. I hate these good-bye moments. Lump in throat here. Your mentoring blesses beyond words and I will re-read this post later tonight and really soak in the admonishing towards margin (again!) with technology. Now that I have an iPhone it means a higher temptation towards constant connectivity through FB and email which takes me mentally outside our home. Needing to set up some parameters of usage so that I can use the good of it but in the right timing. And now I am off to fix my green smoothie!! May your days be light and free and filled with grace and joy...a depth of intimacy with the Lord and your dear ones...mental challenge in school and wisdom on your paths...and when that counseling degree is complete, feel free to prop me up on a couch and give me counsel :)

  10. Susan,
    Thanks so much for taking the time to write your wonderful posts: I have enjoyed them a great deal. I haven't commented for a while, though I always read. I want to wish you the very best for the future, wherever HE takes you. Your posts show wonderful growth in your own self awareness, which will stand you in good stead as you proceed on your counselling journey. I think I told you, that's what I do, and it really is a wonderful, rewarding, fulfilling, and at times, truly humbling profession. I love it and I believe it's something we're called to...I'm sure you've come to realize that knowing yourself is a MASSIVE part of that. God bless you in every part of your life.

  11. Much love to you, Susan!

    You truly are a gift.

    Thank you...kelli

  12. I've read your blogs for awhile and may have commented once or twice but wanted to say that I've always enjoyed your outlook on life and your writing. On a side note, a friend of mine has a vegan bakery in Portland called Dovetail Bakery and I've heard it's quite good (even tho' I'm not vegan myself!).
    My best to you!

  13. Dear Susan,

    There is so much swirling around in my mind to say, but instead let me just simply and sincerely say....

    Thank You

    Thank you for sharing yourself with us. I've learned *so, so, much*.

    And you will make a *wonderful* counselor.

    Love and Hugs and Blessings,

  14. I have been so blessed by your words over the past few years and will surely miss your updates, but I do pray for wisdom for you and God's leading as you continue on the path He has set for you.

  15. Susan,

    I wish I could hug you!

    I'm glad you talked about technology a bit, here. That was one question I thought (too late) to ask you about: that if you were homeschooling your kids *now*, what would be your choices for them for technology? (No need to answer that, I know that is something we each need to seek God about and let Him lead.)

    I find that I am constantly reassessing the amount of technology in my life, too-- cutting back (no Facebook since October!~ and I love it), rethinking how much I'm on the computer or watching anything. I find it all so NOISY. And so often I have the thought: "This does not matter." Sure- it may be fun, it may be entertaining, it may be social, but: does it truly matter? I want so much to be about the things that matter to the heart of God, and to make the most of the time He has given me.

    I think often of this quote that I heard from pastor David Platt: "Intentionally work to rise above the trivialities of this world... Don't let the adversary so fill your mind with that which does not matter that you have no room left in your mind and heart for that which matters forever." It is most definitely a *battle*, as you said- to fight against: that pull towards MORE technology, more distraction, more noise, more clutter for the mind which crowds out His quiet voice. I want to be attentive to Him, and be focused on what truly matters. Simply put: His kingdom does, mine does not.

    Love to you, Susan.

    I will think of you with fondness and pray for you as the Lord brings you to mind.


  16. Thank you. As a Oregonian transplanted and now living in Indonesia, you have blessed me so very much with this space, your heart, and your ideas. I love hearing your thoughts, but even more, I love your example of ceasing to blog in order to fully live life.
    I have a thousand questions swirling in my mind that want to be asked, things as I search out what Jesus' model can show us about life and ministry, but I won't clutter your time.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  17. Thank you for all you have shared. I personally think that one day you will be publishing a book. I truly hope this is in God's plan as I think your understanding of life needs to be shared! As I try to live a slower life in 2012 I will be thinking of you and asking God to bless you and your family as you follow Him. It's been great "knowing" the part of you that's been on the blogs. Lots and lots of love Penny L,Dorset, Englandxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  18. Thank you for this proper goodbye to the blog and us readers. Blessings to you as the New Year begins and learning/studying gear up ... and I agree with someone above who posted that you will be a great counselor. You will!! I will miss this blog. I also echo what others have said: don't take any posts down, ok? thanks!

  19. Susan, I will pray. Love in Christ. Sandra

  20. Hi, my name is Heather! Please email me when you can, I have a question about your blog!


  21. Thank you so much for all the wonderful posts. Your words are a gift that helps me grow. You will be missed. All the best to you

  22. Oh, I hate goodbyes too... thanks a million dear Susan for all that you have shared, I'm sure your wise words have touched and influenced many lives. I know you have mine!!!
    Simple blessings, as you continue on your journey.

    Jane X

  23. Dear Susan,

    Thank you for these parting thoughts.

    You will make an excellent counselor. I pray God continues to grant you wisdom and that you will live peacefully in His will.

    Thank you for encouraging us to live slowly and to focus on what truly matters.

    Much love to you.

  24. I really don't want to say good bye. Maybe it is the rebellious spirit in me. I am however, very excited to see what God will be doing in your life. Praying for your future. Much love, sue

  25. Susan-
    We have been taking a 'quiet time' alone at the coast for the last week, so I have just come back on to see your answer of my question. It was so very kind of you to find the time to reply, and I didn't at all feel it was not complete. You said what God gave you to say. I have been working through this issue for many years, ever since I drastically compromised my margins with work, and felt led to quit and then to wait for God's healing. I especially agree that it is a battle, one I still fight on a daily basis. And I also agree that it is all areas of life that the battle rages. Your blog has shown the signs of your success with that battle in your own life. Thank you again so much for your ministry here. God Bless You greatly, Jennie

  26. I realized that I had not left a comment after I read this Susan, so I am back to whisper good-by. It has been a joy to share this space with you - to read what the Father puts on your heart. I know He will lead you in the path He has planned for you - a good plan. Praying His riches blessings Susan.

  27. Susan,

    I like a woman who knows when a season is over and who doesn't apologize for such knowing or the actions she takes consequently.

    May you always walk in wisdom and charity. They will keep you.

  28. Hey sweet friend...thinking about you today. I am reading Mark Frauenfelder's book Made by Hand and am loving the chapter on making the perfect cup of espresso. Was wondering if you could point me to that post of yours (can't remember if it was here or High Desert Home?) where you explained or linked to making great coffee in the French Press. Hope that this semester is going well and that you are finding Him daily in the beauty of nature and the sweet simplicity of your home. I am also reading Simplifying the Soul by Paula Huston during's so good to get "recalibrated" again :)

  29. Here 'ya go, Aimee:

    I love this video.

    It was super nice to find your comment in my email inbox! :-) Your books intrigue me. I am a big Paula Huston fan and would love to read that book. I looked it up on Amazon, and it looks exactly like something I would love--as a Lent reader or an anytime I need it reader!

    Blessings to you, Aimee!

  30. Susan, I do so miss you very much! I could use a bit of your writing, it would do my soul very well.


  31. Can I second Peggy's comment? I hope your semester went well, Susan! Blessings to you. :)

  32. Thank you both, Peggy and Silvana. That's very nice. :-) Things are going well. I'm still in the midst of spring term (are there two or three weeks left. . .?), and then I will take three summer terms (where a regular three-month term is squished--and not abridged--into a one month intensive course; I'll do that three times in a row, and I think I will be exhausted come September! :-)). But the end is very much in view.

    Thanks for the hellos. They were a nice surprise in my inbox.

    Take care, and blessings back to you both,

  33. Hi Susan,

    I was thinking of you so I just wanted to pop in and say 'hello'....I miss your down-to-earth, calming posts and hope all is going well for you.