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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Souvenirs from January 2015

As some of you may remember, I made a list at the start of the year to focus on five goals that I knew would bring memories to tuck away as souvenirs when I think about this year.  This first month has gotten me off to a good start but let me first remind you of my souvenir wish-list.

A. Shop Local
B. Household hop--At least three stops per month in someone else's house.
C. Legit meal--Once a week
D. Trip to Texas
E. Read more

A. Shopping locally
My shopping local this month was to restaurants.  I stopped by New Socials on Burger Night to order a The Texans burger (of course!) which was a half pound patty with onion rings, bbq sauce, fresh
jalepenos, and pepperjack cheese inside and a side of delicious fries.

I also stopped in at the Red Barn Cafe across the river in Vermont, to pay a visit to the wonderful family that owns and runs the business and my (current as well as former) students who work there.  There, I cashed in with some delicious chili (extra jalepenos please) and some baked goodies (Almond Joy scone and chocolate raspberry muffin) to hold me through the following week.

Lastly, I went to Hitchin Post with a friend which is a locally owned and operated business but I totally spaced on taking pictures but local patronage delicious this month.

B.  House Hopping was popping this month!  I actually found myself in 5 different households this month with a few of those being more than one stop in.  After living here in New Hampshire for 3.5 years, my social network here has expanded and people are getting more comfortable with me and having me over so that's been really sweet.  Between playing games with children or adults, watching football, having dinner and tons of sweet conversation, I'd say this point was a success.  Thank you to each of you who have welcomed me into your home.  I hope to claim you again next month!  :-)

C. So honestly, it's been a pretty miserable fail on meal preparation and bringing a meal together all within a relative sitting.  On week one, I had my first success in having a small steak, roasted parmesan broccoli and homemade sourdough toast with strawberry chipotle jam (both of which I got for Christmas from good friends).

Beyond that, most of my complete meals come when I get invited to my friends (see point B above) house to have dinner with them.  Luckily, I have friends who have pity on me in that market.

D. Well, apparently just putting a trip to Texas on my wish list was enough motivation to get up and moving.  I am excited to announce that I will be taking a trip to Texas during my April vacation.  I haven't been back to Texas since 2012 so I miss my family and friends there dearly, and I haven't seen my dad since summer of 2013 so it'll be good to see the whole bunch there.

E. Reading has gotten off to a good start.  I actually received a book as a gift on Christmas and began to read that day, finishing the first eight chapters before the new year and finished the forty chapter book on January 17th.  The book is "Mimosa" and it is written by Amy Carmichael.  If you want to know the basic background of the story and then a poem I wrote about it, I'd encourage you to read my post, "The Well."  It is an excellent book, easy read and compelling story that challenged and encouraged me.  I'd highly recommend it.

I also finally finished reading "Unglued" by Lysa TerKeurst.  I started reading this book last year and got through the first eight chapters so I polished off the remaining four chapters this month.  This was a book that I didn't really know I needed until I'd read it in the midst of life.  Even as I write this, I reflect on how many times just today I've said to myself "feelings are indicators, not dictators" which is a line that repeats throughout the book.  I feel hard and I feel deep but I don't want to be a slave to my own raw emotion so it's important I step back and get some perspective before acting on my intense feelings and really unravel or as the book would say, become "unglued."  It was a good and challenging read.  One that I took a long time digesting but as a former student would say "it's good for ya!"

Lastly, as the month is coming to a close, I've begun reading "In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do?" by Charles Sheldon which I received as a Christmas gift this last month and I'm also rereading "How An Economy Grows and Why it Crashes" by Peter Schiff which I like to use for my Economics class.  I'll report on those more once I finish them.

So as a wrap up, January was pretty sweet.  Some of the fun things that don't fall within my list but are still souvenirs for me to keep from this month are going to my students basketball game, playing basketball, two concerts by bands that I know personally and a chili cook off.

So what's your report?  Any progress on your new year wishes?  Any great souvenirs to hold on to from January 2015?  Here's hoping for a memorable February ahead for all!

Until next time,
Joy Lynn

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