Friday, August 15, 2008


B12 I t Very faded letter S
Copper Uppercase Letter P I e copyright McElman_080417_6518_E S

For Life in My World, I think I’ll just share snippets of e-mails that I sent to family rather than create a new post:

~Dear Abe,
I’ve been working on Physical Science today and am headed out to the college to take my test. Wish me luck. No, wish won’t do it. Pray me luck.

~Dear Rachel,
Don’t ask me how I did on the test. I don’t trust my judgment. Most of it seemed familiar, but I thought that the last two times, too.

~Dear Rachel,
So much of my life this week seems un-writeable. The conversations I have with the girls aren’t stuff you publish. Calvin and I had a really interesting conversation the other night but that isn’t discussable either. Physical Science is not worth writing about.

By the way, Cali told me today (after tying to explain a concept so that I could get it) that she was amazed I would venture to take tests without knowing the material. She said, “It’s like you are dog paddling. You need to be taking big strokes and swimming not just trying to keep your head above water.”

I said, “Cali, I’ve never before studied like I am studying in this class. I’ve never just plowed through without understanding first. However, I realized a couple of weeks into this class that I had three choices:

1. Quit.
2. Take the classes from the college locally and then retake them on-line. Or, bag all of my old credits and start all over at another university because my credits are too old to transfer.
3. Dog paddle as best as I could to the other side.”

I continued, “There is NO WAY I am going to understand this stuff the way that it is written. The info goes in and comes out within 48 hours, so I just hurry and run take the test as fast as I can after I learn the material and hope it doesn’t fall out between here and there.”

On a side note, I’m quite fond of the librarian. She is so unique. She wears comfortable shoes with dresses. She’s conscientious and kind and always asks me if I need a drink, a pencil or to go to the bathroom before I begin my test. It makes me laugh she asks that every time. I think she’d give me a snack if I asked. Today when I called she told me the library was closed, but that she would meet me at the back door and let me in so I could take the test. And when I entered, she nervously smiled and told me she wouldn’t ask me for my identification because she knows me now. She makes test taking enjoyable.

~ Dear Rachel and Abe,
Yesterday Ande and I had a great, great day. We left here about 8:00 and drove to Big Town and went straight to the craft/scrapbook store. I told Ande that it had to be the first stop or we’d never do it because there is so much stimuli and enthusiasm in there it just sucks the life right out of you. It’s a store you have to go into fresh. We ended up spending a few hours there (not the plan)—probably because Ande got so much enthusiasm from the stimuli. She bought a piece of art and a frame for it and then stuff to make a couple of projects. I got stuff for Christmas present projects.

After the energy-sucking craft store we went to Kohl’s where we both found some clothes, then we went to P.F. Chang’s for lunch. It’s a new Chinese restaurant and we’ve wanted to go. It didn’t disappoint. It was clean and affordable.

After lunch we went to the mall and I went to the old lady clothes store while Ande went to the young people store. I found three dresses in the same pattern as two that I have now, but in different fabrics—all on sale for $20 each. B.A.R.G.A.I.N. (I know how to run a good thing into the ground.) I also found a jacket for $20. I was very excited about my deals. Ande, in the meantime was finding deals where she was, but still had more shopping to do so I went to Costco and WinCo (which was a merciful act) without her. Nothing noteworthy happened at either of those places other than I bought a year’s supply of toilet paper, yeast and a 25 pound bag of oats.

Then, Ande and I went to Target. I lost her one time and didn’t have my phone. Finally, I thought, “Shoes. I’ll bet she’s in the shoe department.” Sure enough. Both of the girls love shoes. Give me a good sturdy pair and I’m happy not to have to try anything on for years.

After Target we went back to Kohl’s so I could buy a vacuum. I did not want to spend the money on a vacuum. It’s much more fun to spend it on Christmas projects and new dresses. I finally took a dip and got a Dyson (if I’d have taken the plunge I’d have gotten a Kirby). It is pretty and yellow and has suction.

~Yesterday one of my friends and very first NJP newsletter subscribers died. Cynthia was only 39 and died unexpectedly from surgery complications. I remember the first time I visited with Cynthia, her family had just moved here and we invited them over for a 4th of July picnic. She wore a cute patriotic sweater and I loved sitting on the back lawn visiting with her. Since that time, she’s gone to several of our scrapbook retreats and often written me kind e-mails. I’ve gotten to teach her kids, and Matt, her husband, is our doctor and takes good care of our family. Cynthia was always willing to share her insights and opinions, paper, camera, scissors, home, laugh, anything. She leaves a sweet family behind and I’m grateful to her for what she taught me.


Jess said...

I am so shocked about Cynthia, I just can't believe she is gone! What an amazing Mom, my heart just aches for Matt and the kids.

melanie said...

I'm cracking up over the librarian. Too bad she knows you now or you *might* have been tempted to send Cali to take your test, ha.

Fun, fun day with Ande. But after all this time traveling to Big Town I have never figured out the need of getting to the craft store first! You're right, when I get there last I am just stimulied out! Really Christmas projects already? I wish you could post your ideas without spoiling your gifts....

I've said it before but your girls should belong to my mom. She LOVES shoes and I disappoint her frequently because I even hate trying them on.

I love vacuuming.

I am still in shock over the loss of Cynthia. My heart breaks for them. Just breaks. I love the photos of her scrapbooking, she looks SO happy.

Nikki said...

I love your post. I think it is so awesome that you're going to school right now. I'm trying to figure out how I can do it as well. There are some opportunities for classes for the spouses on base.

I never thought about that before regarding craft stores. But it is VERY true. You are so wise Jane.

I hate trying on shoes. I think because I have big feet and I usually wait until I absolutely need a new pair before I go shopping for them. By then I feel desperate and disappointed if something doesn't fit or is way too pricey. Perhaps if I went shoe shopping more often I'd find several cute pair with less stress. As of right now I have a pair of running shoes and a pair of church sandals and one pair of heels which are also mainly for church. Sad.

I love vacuuming too like Melanie said. I also have a Dyson and it's fun to see all the crud that's vacuumed up. It's like instant-gratification. If all the kids weren't sleeping right now, I'd go vacuum.

I am also so shocked and said about Cynthia. I love the photo you posted. She looks so beautiful. I will miss her.

Susan W. said...

I'm so sorry about Cynthia! What a huge loss to so many -- and to be so young. My heart goes out to all of you who loved her.

Mindy said...

Jane, it is so unbelievable that Cynthia is gone! I can't grasp it, completely. I ache for her family. She will be greatly missed by many. (Thanks for the picture and the happy memory.)

Anonymous said...

Which craft store in bigtown is your fave? Do you have a fave scrapping store? I laughed about the librarian. there were several times this summer I wanted my brother to take my test-unfortuneatly he is the instructor.

I will miss Cynthia too. She was always so upbeat, and smiled through her troubles. I wish I had that quality. Something to learn from her now I guess. So bizarre for her to be gone.

Becky said...

Jane--I was smiling and nodding through most of your post and then got to the end and practically burst into tears.

I haven't met you in person but I feel like I have gotten to know you through blogging (my husband knows exactly whom I am talking about when I say "Neighbor Jane"), and my heart just aches for you...I can't imagine what I would do if someone I knew died so unexpectedly and so young.

Sending hugs and prayers your way...