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This life is therefore, not righteousness, but growth in righteousness,

not health, but healing,

not being, but becoming,

not rest, but exercise.

We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it,

the process is not yet finished but it is going on,

this is not the end, but it is the road.

All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.

– Martin Luther

1781 – After the Battle of Yorktown, Lord Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington, prompting Britain to end the war. If it were not for this, we would all speak with a British accent, eat Hobnobs, and possibly value dental hygiene less than we currently do. A decisive moment in the history of democracy and freedom!

202 B.C. – Scipio defeated Hannibal and his army of elephants (and humans) invading Rome. If Hannibal had won, I’d like to think we would all ride elephants everywhere we go.

 

I found this picture on Wikipedia, and it is clearly an authentic photograph.

 

1959 – The first discotheque opened. I wasn’t around, but I assume the picture above is also an accurate depiction of this event.

Today when I was kicking acorns, I hit two people, and one of them was on crutches.

It’s Thursday! Three exams down, one to go. Study study panic panic. I know I’m not the first person to notice this, but somehow the longer I have to choose between Studying and Doing Less Productive Things, the second option seems more and more appealing. That is probably why I am writing a blog post. And why I whipped up some chili for lunch yesterday and have been practicing banjo rolls (less action-packed than it sounds, but still fun). Don’t worry, my grades are not suffering; willpower generally wins.

Today when I was walking on campus I overheard this conversation snippet: “This is a pretty well-planned riot, don’t you think? They brought grappling hooks.”

New furniture! It’s lovely and still smells like furniture factory. My favorite thing (other than my giant bed) is our green pleather chair. I can tell that we are gonna be friends.

Here’s a video of a fat cat trying to climb into a pot. Somehow it’s completely hilarious.

I think I destroyed a squirrel this morning! There was one merrily scampering around my apartment and when I stopped to greet it, I startled into a two-story drop. It rolled around on its back for a minute, flipped over, immediately ran into a brick wall, staggered over to the wooden fence, ran into that, and then squeezed through the slats. It didn’t seem injured other than possible brain damage, but it may have just been really disoriented. I saw it a few hours later and it seemed fine (unless that was a totally different squirrel). Either way, this weighs heavy on my conscience. I hope he feels better soon and can get back to playing acorn croquet with all his little creature friends.

I made a raspberry cobbler with this recipe, and it is magnificent. I made it just because I had raspberries and felt like cooking something, and now I have to hurry up and make other people eat it before I do. A LOT of butter had to die to make such bliss possible.

On Monday, the furniture fairies are bringing us new furniture! I cannot wait. We currently have old, scratchy, uncomfortable furniture and tiny beds that are too soft. Every year, they raise our rent so they can buy other people new furniture, and ever year, we throw a little fit. But apparently our tantrums have paid off! Extreme apartment makeover in two (2!) days. This does mean that we have to clear off and clean out everything–dressers, desks, bookshelf, etc. Somehow this is a much bigger job than I anticipated and has occupied most of my Saturday so far, but I sense it will be worth it.

Even though this year we haven’t been having our weekly gatherings with the international students, I’ve still been getting to spend a lot of time with several of them. Lately I’ve been hanging out with Ying-Hsuan a lot–she is from Taiwan and knows Lin (remember him? Oh, the adventures we had). Her roommate, Marie, went home to Austria for a few weeks, so Ying-Hsuan has been spending time with Rachel and me. She goes to church with me every now and then and joined us after church last week for a duck pond picnic. Bagpipes ensued. (See photographic evidence below.) The geese were not amused / alarmed by our piping shenanigans, which I must admit surprised me a little. We’ve also had mini-potlucks and gone out for schnitzel (which she liked), and a few days ago she brought over her drumsticks and sang me “Happy Birthday” in Chinese while drumming along (she’s taking an Intro to Drumset class). It was adorable. It’s been fun to get to spend so much one-on-one time with her and get to know her, even though she does make fun of me for still liking coloring books.

A girl at work told me her aunt has a pet bobcat that she toilet-trained. Several things about that statement intrigue me. Must investigate.

School is keeping me busy. Actually, I should rephrase that: school will make me be busy this weekend and all of next week. I have projects and exams eevveerryy day next week, and I intend to get started on all this homework and studying in the very near future. Like… now.

 

Damon, Maggie, and Ying-Hsuan revel in the glory of Music.

 

I feel alarmingly wonderful! Basically I have been steadily improving since I left the hospital last week, which I expected to plateau at some point. But I keep feeling better and better! I have been trying to think of why this might be, and there are so many variables floating around that I can’t pin it down exactly. Let’s discuss. It could be:

a) The three blood transfusions I got last week. I don’t know what exactly was in that blood, but it must have included Magical Energy Potion.

b) I basically took a week-long break from classes and spent it with family instead. If that’s not good for mental health, I don’t know what is. Aunt Holly and Uncle Glen were in town, and I got to spend extra time with them.

c) Catching up on schoolwork has been less tricky than I anticipated. One minor hitch was that my Symbolic Logic professor assigned me extra homework to get me caught up (so mean! and not even logical!) BUT it ended up helping me understand the chapter. Surprise, surprise.

d) My tummy does not hurt anymore. (applause)

e) The weather has stopped being soul-witheringly hot. Instead it is delightful! I try to be outside as much as possible.

f) I’ve been reading a lot of C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton. It’s good for my brain and good for my heart.

g) Friends who are concerned about my iron deficiency keep offering to take me out for steak.

h) All of the above?