Soup Party

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This Christmas I had the brilliant (for me) idea of throwing a soup party. I’m making chili, tomato basil soup, and broccoli cheddar soup, as well as crock-pot hot chocolate, and asking guests to bring oyster crackers, grated cheese, salad, and slice-and-bake sugar cookie dough (so we can decorate Christmas cookies).

After realizing I don’t have enough soup bowls for twenty people, I went to Goodwill and almost cleaned out their ugly Christmas mug shelf. Eating soup out of a mug is fun and the guests can take them home as party favors. As well as the leftover peppermint puppy chow, which I do not need sitting around the house.

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Don’t It Always Seem To Go

…that you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone?

Realizing today how fast little kids grow up. My youngest sister is already four; every time I look at her I’m amazed by the speed at which she is developing an entire personhood. It is so important to develop eyes that ‘see’ (and don’t just ‘look through’) every person as every stage of their life.

Five Ways to Get Things Done

Set a timer for thirty minutes and work furiously on a task for that allotted time. I’m always surprised by how much I accomplish.

Make yourself work on something every day, even if some days it’s only for ten minutes. Or, to quote my mother (which  I try to do very rarely), “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

Make your list concrete. There are a bazillion ways to make to-do lists on your phone, iPad or computer, and if that works for you, great. However, I find virtual lists far too easy to ignore or forget, so sometimes I like to go old school with a pencil and paper or even a row of sticky notes stuck above my desk.

Under-plan. If you have three hours to study, tell yourself you’ll work steadily at it for one hour and do something else with the rest of the time. When I do this, I often trick myself into getting engaged with the project and I keep working past the one-hour mark. And if I don’t, at least I did an hour of solid work instead of fooling around for three.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get off your blog and do your homework, Margeaux.

Game

Sometimes I wonder: Am I really a good student, or have I just learned to play a complicated game?

I know, I know. This is the kind of question slackers ask, hippies ask, burnouts ask. It does not matter if education is convoluted and impractical; I need to put my head down and do the work, get the grades, just to prove that I can. And I do. And I get that same little competitive thrill when I get a 98% on a paper that I get when I buy a hotel in Monopoly.

But sometimes (and most frequently near the end of the semester) I tend to get very tired of citations and flash cards, theses and rubrics and finals. They all seem like a blur of triple-word spaces, poker chips, and Trivial Pursuit wedges, and I feel like giving up and letting someone else win the paper money.

A Rare Bird

He was tall – over six feet – and lanky, with a spare body and broad shoulders. Quiet and retiring, he did not immediately draw attention to himself in groups. But get yourself alone with him, or even with a handful of people, and he became magnetic, undeniable, charming, even silly at times.

I looked into his eyes and fell in love with him. It was as simple and as half-witted as that. You know it is love when you spend hours, days, months, trying to argue yourself out of it. And fail. And fail miserably when you look into his eyes again, deep-set raincloud blue, full of a sort of boyish honesty that is hard to gaze into without giving back.

We danced too much when we first met, to any song on the radio, in absurd public places. And I held on tight because when you find love you should dance with it anywhere, unashamed; you should laugh when he whispers jokes and cry when he’s away for the weekend, because love comes once and alights like a rare bird and you cannot cage it, you can only feed it crumbs and try to become its caretaker, and hope it winters with you.

He was tall – over six feet – and lanky, with a spare body and broad shoulders.

Crochet Slouchy Puff-Stitch Beanie

Between Thanksgiving and getting my wisdom teeth out yesterday, I had plenty of downtime to crochet this hat for my sister. The pattern is from a blog called My Favourite Things, found via Pinterest, the yarn is Lily Sugar n’ Cream Robin’s Egg, and I used a G hook.

I made the band shorter because my sister has a small-ish head and I only did 15 rows of puff stitches because she didn’t want it to be super-slouchy. Next time I might use a softer, limper yarn, but overall this was a great pattern and it was fun to make.

Also, I had ice cream, Jello, Vicodin, and sparkling white grape juice for breakfast. Outside observers could surmise that I either had my wisdom teeth removed or I’m trying to be Lindsay Lohan.