Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Well, I'm Back

It's sad; I think I can relate anything to a quote from L.M. Montgomery, Jane Austen, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, or Andy Griffith.

I feel like Sam at the end of the epic trilogy The Lord of the Rings. After accompanying some of his dearest friends to the Grey Havens and bidding them a heart-wrenching goodbye, Sam returns home and greets his wife Rosie with three simple words: Well, I'm Back. Three small words that do not even begin to describe what Sam must be feeling or all that he has experienced since he has last seen his wife.

These past few weeks have been incredibly refreshing and eye-opening. I have really enjoyed my time away from the blogosphere, while intensely missing it at the same time. Isn't it strange how mixed one's emotions can be? I knew that, while missing my time blogging, I would also enjoy the chance to get away for a while. I was right on both accounts.

I want to dispel any misconceptions that I spent the past 2 1/2 weeks bent over a sewing machine several hours a day, frantically stitching away. Far from it. I did not even touch my sewing until three days after my last post - something to do with a full teaching and tutoring schedule on those particular weekdays. . . My purpose in a blogging break was to focus more fully on my pertinent sewing projects, but I did not by any means spend the past few weeks slaving away at my sewing table. I did spend a considerable amount of time sewing, but I also did quite a few other things.

I spent time resting in the grace and mercy of my Savior. My perspective has changed a lot in the past month, and I feel like I am just beginning to understand the grace of God. I needed these past few weeks to just soak up God's goodness.

I spent time answering overdue e-mails and letters. I am the queen of procrastination when it comes to hand-written letters and lengthier e-mails. Yes, this doesn't seem to mesh well with my often-lightning-fast blog replies :).

I spent time laughing with my family, singing with my family, walking with my family. We noted the death of our beloved Don Knotts by rewatching a few of our favorite Andy Griffith episodes. Hannah and I limped through a bit more chess. . . We also improved our chicken and dumpling recipe, which now tastes very much like Cracker Barrel :). Father Dear graded us a solid A. (Thanks for the tips, Adrian!)

I spent time chatting about wedding plans with another friend who is soon to be married(!). Congratulations, Ashley :). I love being a sounding board for ideas :). Ashley really scored with me by taking my suggestion of having her bridesmaids march to Anne's Theme from the Anne movies :). I'm already excited about doing food for her reception. We're opening up Garrison Catering, Inc. for a one-weekend operation ;). I used to help out a caterer (who was also a family friend) a few times a month and it was so much fun, albeit hard work :).

I spent time reading. It is so easy to let reading for pleasure be the last thing on my to-do list when I am busy with so many other things. I am nearing completion of Les Miserables which, by the way, is a very interesting book. Some books shouldn't be read at a rapid pace, but instead savoured. Les Mis is one of them (Okay, maybe that's also an excuse for the two months it has taken me to finish it, but some of my favorite books have taken me months to finish. Daniel Deronda, for instance, was a fascinating book, but I spent all last summer reading it.) So many rich themes woven throughout Les Mis, and plenty of quotes that I had to copy into my quote notebook. I also made a good dent in All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes, though I haven't finished it yet. Lots to underline and copy from that book as well. Culture analyses fascinate me.

I spent time enjoying my spring break from teaching. I am not on break from tutoring, but I am currently partway through my two-and-half-week spring break from teaching. This means no grading(!), no planning, no time away from home for teaching.

Oh, and yes, I did finish the quilt and bridesmaid dress. A picture of the dress is at the end of this post, and no, my hair is not naturally that curly! I've never had an inkling of natural curl to my hair, even as a baby; Boy and Hannah got all of my mother's curly genes. I was experimenting with curling options for the wedding on the day of the photo. Pictures of the quilt to follow after the wedding next weekend.

So what have I learned during my break? Well, though I knew it before, I feel I am more aware of the fact that there is more to life than blogging. I have been apt to put blogging before other, often more important things, and I hope not to have that happen again. God has already given me an aid in this by killing off my dad's laptop, which I used for the majority of my computer time. It was just way too convenient to check e-mails and blogs with it always on the table right where I was doing my work and usually with no one else using it. We have two other computers in the house, so no worries about not having computer access. It will be good to have to wait my turn for the computer, though. Accountability is a good thing :). I may not be quite as swift in my replies, and my posts may not be quite as frequent. I still plan on keeping up with blogging regularly, though!

Well, I'm back, and it's mighty good to be back. I've missed all my blogging friends :). I felt like a part of me was missing these past few weeks. But in the process I rediscovered other parts of me. Isn't that the way it often is? I am so glad that I took a break, yet so glad to be back.


Ashley said...

Yay! You're back! I missed you. :-) And I'm sad to hear that your dad's laptop died... Ya'll used that a lot! No more looking up random things when we're sitting around the dinner table...

I'm glad you don't mind being a soundboard for ideas. :-) I'm looking forward to Saturday!

zan said...

Glad your back. I'm STILL pregnant and very uncomfortable. I have had two false labors since you left. Very frustrating!

Your hair looks great. You look like Galadraiel. (I know that is not how you spell it but, you look like the elf queen from TLOTR.)

The dress is very nice too.

I have very little curl in my hair. That is what curling irons are for. They are a great thing. :)

une_fille_d'Ève said...

*whew* I'm glad you're back! Now we can resume regular conversations!

Susan said...

Out of curiosity, Ashley, how could you have missed me in the past two weeks, since we've seen each other once and e-mailed many, many times? ;) I'm looking forward to Saturday too!

Zan, you answered the question I was about to ask you! I didn't know how old your comment on Adrian's blog was (Why don't comments have dates as well as times?), so I didn't know if you were still online or on "maternity leave". I've been wondering if you had given birth yet, and I'm sorry for your sake that you haven't yet. You were supposed to have another little boy by my return!

Yes, Sister Dear, I am relieved as well. E-mailing has become so tiring of late. Glad to get back to normal conversations via blogging ;).

Ashley said...

hmm you make a good point... okay i take it back, i didn't miss you. ;-)

Samara said...

Welcome back, Miss! I've been on posting hiatus as well, with lots of catching up to do... soon!

The dress is lovely and I adore the photo- the color really suits you. I've got no curl whatsoever, and the weight of my hair pulls it right out if I try curlers or an iron. Yours seems to hold the curl very well.

"See" you around :)

Susan said...

Wait, Ashley! You don't have to go and do that! ;)

My hair used to hold absolutely no curl too, Samara. When I was younger and my sister and I would play with curlers, my curls would disappear within a few hours, even with letting them dry overnight. I've always had very fine, silky hair that is so slippery! Getting a barrette to stay in my hair is always fun ;). The few times I've curled my hair in the past few years it has held really well, though.

This particular result was brought to you by. . . pin curling. It really did look quite natural (more so than my previous attempt with rag curlers) and held very well. I modified traditional directions for pin curling. There was no way I was going to twist 40 inches of hair around and around, and then coil it around and around into a small bun, only to repeat the process for a zillion little bits of hair. I would have gone crazy! So instead, it's kind of hard to explain, but I basically twisted each section doubled over, so I only had half the length to work with. The end of each twist was a loop (making it easier to twist with one finger inserted), and the hair ends were folded close to the scalp. Not sure if that description makes sense.

Anyway, I think I've found a winning method to use next week for the wedding :). There were going to be no curlers that could fit my length of hair, and my hair is way too slippery for rag curlers. I also did not want to apply heat to my hair. I avoid hair dryers like the plague! They do horrid things to my hair.

But enough rambling on hair; I'll save the rest of that for an upcoming post :).

Adrian C. Keister said...


Now you're back and I have a gazillion comments to which I have to reply. ;-)

Ahhh. Just warning: I have my oral prelim coming up. That's going to need some focus. I'm sure you understand.

In Christ.

zan said...

If you put the right kind of product on your hair first the curling iron shouldn't hurt it if used sparingly. I found this out after I gave in and decided to start getting my hair cut at a salon. Just an idea. It might be pricey for you since your hair is so long.

Susan said...

Yes, yes, Adrian, focus away on your oral preliminary exam :). I understand.

Zan, I'm not really practiced with a curling iron anyway (having used one only once) so I think I'll stick with pin curls. Also, I shy away from hair "goop" like gel, etc. That's just me :). I abhor hairspray. . . It probably would end up pricey with all that I would have to coat ;).

Mrs.B. said...

I'm so glad you're back! I missed reading your posts!

You look GORGEOUS!!! Love the hair and dress!

You know it's so funny I've always had stick-straight hair....until I started getting grey hair(I took after my dad and greyed early). I do color my hair(myself)but the grey hair caused my hair to turn wavy so if I put curl cream in it and use a diffuser on my hair dryer I end up with VERY curly hair. If I just let it air dry naturally then I end up with wavy hair that curls on the ends.

I would LOVE for you to do posts on long hair because I want to grow mine out long. My problem is that I MUST wash it every day and I know that that is drying to hair. comment is long but you've been gone a long time so I'm catching up a bit!

A friend of mine started a blog and she asked me to write a guest post, so I did....the subject is dog training. So if you get a chance, check it out and leave a comment! (o; the blog is:

Susan said...

Mrs. B,

I am working on a long hair post, actually have been for a while :). I hope to post it in the next few weeks. Next week will be kind of slow with posting, since I'll be gone the last half of the week, so it will probably be the following week before it is posted.

Thanks for the link to your friend's blog and your post :). I dropped by and left a comment. I'll be interested to see what else your friend will be posting in the future :).

Mrs.B. said...

Thanks, Susan, for stopping by my friend's blog and leaving such a nice comment! I'm considering starting my own blog so this was a nice way to get my feet wet, so to speak. (o:

Susan said...

Mrs. B,

Please do let me know if you decide to start your own blog :). You and Zan both need to start blogs ;).

Mrs.B. said...

Thanks Susan! I'll let you know if I do! And I agree, especially for Zan because I LOVE to read her comments so I think she'd be good at having a blog. Of course trying to juggle that with a toddler and a newborn might be a little tough. (o: