Saturday, December 07, 2019

Because you asked...

At Christmas, people wonder what little item might be useful for a Sister they know--aside from the gifts that we will always tell you are the best for religious communities: PRAYER (especially for vocations) and shareables, like gift cards for coffee shops or dining establishments (e.g. Chick-fil-A, IHOP, Panera...) where a community can enjoy a meal together without a lot of time or expense on anyone's part. (Actually, this year my community has a very specific need of snow shovels: something both sturdy and lightweight, if that exists. And now our superior has posted a specific wishlist for our extremely large and complex community.)

But sometimes people want to add a little something small and personalized. Now, since an opportunity has come up for just that sort of thing I am (with a bit of reluctance) creating this small, specific list that has a few items that would be helpful to me (and maybe also to you), PLUS I am recommending a couple of items that you might consider for your own family and friends because I have found them so engaging. I am using affiliate links, which means that orders from the links generate a tiny commission.

Zebra F pen
I was visiting my family in June, which meant that I was home for Father's Day and witnessed the unique Father's Day gifts my geeky brother-in-law received. Lo and behold: he and I are aficionados of the exact same pen, the Zebra F. I have two (but I would love to have spares in case of loss!) and always need a supply of refills on hand. Robert (the brother-in-law) maintains a steady supply of the pens themselves--and Father's Day really helped out there. At any rate, I (along with Robert) highly recommend this slim, smooth-writing pen.

Post-It Flags by the Hundreds!
My reading companion. A lot of the reading I do has a twofold scope: personal and community enrichment. Especially when I'm going through the volumes of our Founder's sermons, there's no way a book will support the number of holy cards it will take for me to mark important sections. Hence, I never read those texts without making sure I have a nearby dispenser of Post-It flags (usually in red or blue, whichever color is cheaper at the time) to mark the very lines or paragraphs with significant passages to translate for future use. Some pages end up with three on the side, and one on the top (that means the section requires especially quick turnover).

Books!
Please don't laugh. I'm doing a new project for our MY SISTERS community and it involves ... reading. Sigrid Undset. And it just happens that our community library does NOT have a copy of her biography of St Catherine of Siena. So if I happened to a copy of that around Christmas time, it would eventually find its way into our card catalogue (or whatever system we choose when we update the library; it's a massive undertaking). (Of course I have a perennial wishlist!).

Now, things for you to consider.
I got this digital microscope last year and have really enjoyed using it. It connects to my Android phone (not to iPhones) and can be used with computers (including Macs) as well. I have used it to examine snowflakes and bugs and also the tiny scratches on a silver chain which turned out to be, yes, 925 (sterling silver).  (Another digital microscope says it works with iOS, but since I can't verify that for you, I am just giving you the link to check out on your own.) Great for kids with a scientific or naturalist bent. Or geeky grownups, like me.

Original Slinky: I have one of these nostalgia toys in my office and people can't keep their hands off of it. People my age reminisce about sending them down staircases; younger people marvel at the therapeutic value of shifting the weight of the spring from hand to hand. For therapy, you can't beat the price.

Barry's Tea: The real-deal Irish breakfast tea. If you have never had it before, Barry's will let you know right away what you've been missing all this time. You'll wonder just what it is you've been calling "tea."

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