Monday, December 21, 2009
How can something cold make me feel warm?/ Your little bits of selves/ Flying joyously, furiously, through my sky/ Outside the windows where the flood lights brighten/ A million things aloft on some wind/ Through darkness/ You are masks/ To block me from the world I don't want to see/ Just for now/ Just right now/ I'll kneel on the carpet/ Lay my chin on the windowsill/ And think only about falling snow.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
You may have noticed a new button on the sidebar here. Definitely click it - it's the link to my new shop on Etsy.com. If you have not yet discovered Etsy, it is a site that allows sellers to set up their own little "shop", offering handmade or vintage items. There are multitudes of very cool things on there. You can buy everything from craft supplies to vintage women's shoes to jewelry to art. Very cool! I have just begun on Etsy (http://www.rebeccalynnejewelry.etsy.com/) so I am currently working on creating, photographing, and posting new items. So far it's a lot of fun - partly because I have a penchant for naming and describing each piece of jewelry. I sell both face to face and online, so if you see something you like in my Etsy shop but live close by, email me (email@example.com)! I will work it out for you to get your hands on the item without having to go through Etsy and pay shipping and all that fun stuff :-). I also do custom orders. Hope you enjoy browsing my shop!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life."
I didn't mean to write another blog post today. I was in the middle of several other things, when I decided to find something clever to post as my Facebook status. I found one good quote, but couldn't help letting my eyes fall down the page, and quite suddenly I stumbled on this quote from Robert Louis Stevenson. It sets some of my well-tumbled thoughts going again. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Why slop through the mundane marshland of the slow life when you can explore, discover, and conquer exotic locales? And yet someone has to clean the oven, pull the weeds, hang the laundry. Someone has to be a mother, someone has to be a farmer, someone has to paint lines down the middle of a country road. Of course not everybody could - or we'd have some really confused motorists. But somebody has to! The dutiful are no less beautiful than the daring. What is calling you? Remember that life is made up of lots of things: the bold as well as the quiet. What is your duty? Sweeten it with willingness. I don't do that, and it hurts to face it. But I want to. By the help of Jesus Christ, I will.
That's right, I've been bitten by the freebie/giveaway bug! Check out the Silver Savings, Freebies, and Giveaways blog and look over all the giveaway opportunities listed there. It's easy to enter the drawings, and it's exciting because there's some pretty cool stuff on there. Today I entered to win a $20 gift certificate to Affordablescarves.com. Click on this post's title to go to the entry page.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Another Monday come and nearly gone. I'm going to be really cliche and wonder where the time goes... Yesterday morning I woke up to the first snow of winter for us in Kentucky. It was a little flashback to when I was a little kid and got so tickled when the first snowflakes fluttered down in the dark. Some nights I'd kneel by the window of my room, face close to the cold windowpane, and stare out at the snow. I felt so safe and snug and happy. Sometimes from downstairs Pop would flick on the flood lights over the driveway for a few minutes, illuminating the thousands of little white pieces. When I was ready to go back to bed, I could nestle back under the covers and lift my eyes up and see out the other window to the sky. I loved having my bed right under a second-floor window. Some winter nights I'd open the window just a few inches and then snuggle into the blankets, feeling the chilly night air only on my face. My parents probably would have told me to close the window against the cold since I was letting heat out, but it was worth the risk.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
December's eve - a street with houses on both sides. Few sounds. Dusk falls, and the trees ahead blackly rest under the pink sky. Somewhere not far away someone has a fire lit in a fireplace. I can smell the woodsmoke - warm, even as the air tingles when it touches my nose. It's chilly, but I wouldn't have it any other way. This chill makes warm so much cozier.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I failed to mention in my first post that I had a Bobby Flay sighting at the Cincinnati airport. You know, celebrity chef Bobby Flay - Iron Chef America, Throwdown, etc? Am I seriously showing my geeky enjoyment of the Foodnetwork? I was so excited I texted my Mom because Mary wasn't with me at that point and I had to tell somebody! It was somewhat deflating when upon returning home I told several other people about it, and each responded "who is Bobby Flay?". Doesn't anyone enjoy watching cooking shows?!-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'll pick up in Pagosa Springs. That's where we headed from Denver. The drive was unbelievable. If you've never been out West, please go because I just can't describe it to you. A few words that approach accuracy are Big, Colorful, Big, Big, and Big! At last, I think around 4pm, we entered the little town itself. Again, I had expected to see something like a network of neatly arranged streets lined with restaurants and t-shirt shops. Not exactly - from what we saw that week (we did not take an extensive tour of the town) it was pretty small. It was definitely a tourist town with gift shops, restaurants, hotels, motels, visitor center, and so on, but there were also pretty normal looking grocery stores, hardware stores, neighborhoods, and schools. We made one turn off of the main road and discovered a rough side street lined with modest houses. It was lovely in its unexpected mundaneness. And yet, it wasn't mundane! Even unassuming residential side streets had a glorious air of being just about over the edge into the wildness, yet still sheltering and snug.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We stayed at a Wyndham condominium complex/neighborhood compliments of Mary's landlords (thanks Tom and Barb!). That was such a huge blessing and saved us so much expense. It was set up like a neighborhood, the streets lined with various types of small homes and condos, rather extensive and right next to a goldmine of retail, which I discovered the following day (score!). It was beautiful at night because it extended into small hills and the lights twinkled against the inky sky. Our condo was on the first level of a building with about 4-6 other places, right on a lake. We had a tiny kitchen so we stocked the fridge with snacks and meal fixings. That was quite handy and saved us several times from having to pick up a meal on the run.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The very next morning after we arrived we took the opportunity to do a little grocery shopping and get our bearings. That afternoon we struck out on a scenic drive in the area. We experienced balmy scents in flaming yellow and deep green, extensive meadows specked with cattle, rocky mountainsides, and at the very end, the most beautiful valley covered in long browning grasses. A narrow stream flowed into the distance, and there was the coolest small ranch building set off the road a few hundred yards. It was one of the most scenic spots I've ever seen. We took a bunch of pictures there, including Mary's trophy shot of the trip featuring an amazing orange sunset glowing through the ranch's entrance sign. The sun sank in the stillness, and there were distant warm lights from a house or two way up the hill.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
After that... we got lost. We knew after the ranch that we must be getting sort of close to the end (I was hoping, anyway) because it was getting dark and we'd come quite a piece. The silly little pamphlet that led us on the tour had a sad lack of detail in explaining how to get back to Pagosa; merely a vague sentence about getting onto such and such a road and just "heading back", as if we were locals out for a joy ride and had GPS devices implanted in our noses. Thankfully, we DID have a GPS on board (Thanks Pop!). It was amazing the trust I put into that thing, because we were driving around in the dark on the border between scattered lights and deep darkness, obeying a strange British woman's voice that commanded us to take multiple turns onto dinky side streets and through unexpected neighborhoods on a route that could have taken us to North Dakota for all we knew. Blessedly, in answer to many of my silent prayers and surely many of Mary's, we hit familiar ground and come out in the back of the condo community! Oh joy!
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Ahhhhh. I woke up at Holiday Inn with too few hours of sleep but the wonderful knowledge that I was in Colorado.
I stood in front of the window and saw the big, sparse, tan acres across the road. We were on the outskirts, the very outskirts of Denver, and hence the emptiness. But what a tantalising emptiness it was, full of adventures to be had and views to be captured! Soon we had to get up and repack and shuffle ourselves down to get onto the shuttle we'd requested to Enterprise. Nifty things, those shuttles! I kissed a handful of dollars goodbye each ride but the drivers were decent (some downright kind) and they need to eat! The only rental car place I've ever been to was on a family vacation to Wyoming. It was a tiny little building with a tiny little lot in a small town, and we had to wait for my dad to talk to the people inside, look over the car, get packed, etc. Prepared with that experience, I got off the shuttle in front of a medium sized building that looked new and gave me an overall impression of whiteness. A young man in an overcoat pleasantly informed us that we could leave our luggage outside until we came out to select our car. We acquiesced (comparing notes later on Mary and I confessed mutual trepidation about the thought of leaving our stuff on a sidewalk with a stranger, well-dressed or not), and entered an unexpected land of fresh-faced, spiffily dressed and very clean looking young people. I spotted one gentleman who had the look of his mid 40's, I guess the others to be in their 20's. I won't plaster you with all the details of checking in and the pulling out of drivers licenses, and the running conversation the dapper young man who helped us kept up. It all went surprisingly quickly, and after a slight misunderstanding about which level of car quality we were supposed to receive, we rather swiftly got escorted back to our luggage (it was still there - yay!) and were plunked into a white Dodge Caliber. I was excited because we had not brought the actual printout of the coupon for a free upgrade, and I was slipping myself into contentment with the thought of our lovely little compact. Mid parking lot, the guy pops out with "so, I'll take your word about the upgrade. How about one of these?" It was a nice car. It was not a sports car, and truly by today's standards it was pretty tame. To my eyes it was new, it was pretty, and it had lighted cup holders. You have to cut me some slack because I drive around in an 11 year-old Jeep Cherokee. Meets my needs, yes, but I get a little excited about any car that was manufactured in the last 5 years and has automatic windows that actually work when you press the button.
We pulled out of Denver around 10:30 am and followed a road that led us along the side of a low mountain. We were famished, and were feeling a little doubtful at the availability of food since so far we had seen...pretty much nothing promising. Finally we turned off and saw *clapping* a restaurant! Which was closed *crying*. A desperate search of the car turns up the two extra bags of airline cookies from the day before. Score! Side note: So why did Delta give us each TWO bags of cookies on the flight? On the flight home I asked for peanuts instead of cookies, and I was handed a small bag with about 4 broken peanuts and a little bit of pulverized peanut skin at the bottom. Why were they so generous with the cookies?! Perhaps it was God providing for us before we even knew we'd need them... I'm only half joking, because we were very, very hungry when we left Denver! Back on track: we found a small convenience store, bought snacks enough to stave off the hunger bear, and motored our way towards Pagosa Springs. The trip was supposed to take about 5 hours, but I'd say we took around 6 or more. We were in no rush, and the drive was lovely, magnificent, inspiring, wonderful. Just a smidgen of highway with long stretches of smooth US-285, CO-112 and US-160. I thought I knew what Colorado looked like, so boy was I in for a surprising treat! We sped over enormous plains with grand old mountains that looked at us over the distances. Ranch entrances popped up here and there, several for the same ranch because of the sheer size of the place! Mary was in awe the whole trip. She was trying to rest in the passenger seat, but she kept kind of peeping out to say "Oh my!" and was craning her neck this way and that. It gave me the impression that she was eating it all up and feared missing one bit of the glory. It was like a fast slide show, and you had to look in all directions at once or you'd miss a frame. From the plains we passed through hills and mountains, the color and form of the land changing with every half-hour. We saw low brown mountains that looked like dark dripped sand castles, and smooth rounded hills that hugged the road on either side and had brown and tan shrubs and grass clinging here and there. There were hills that stood alone like islands in the midst of a valley. I called them "little", but they were only so in comparison to the giants we wound through later on. In the big mountains of green and yellow and orange I drove more tentatively. I wanted to see the view and not become part of it; guardrails were not quite the fashion. Later on several people told us that the Autumn color was past it's peak, but we saw some truly vibrant color on that drive. Splashes of deep, intense yellow lay along the mountain sides and were brought out vividly by a light rain. Evergreens touched their sharp fingers together and become a scented backdrop for the aspens. Sometimes I could smell the clean, good scent of it all and just smiled inside. That was the longest and most relaxing drive I've taken. We only stopped about 1 0r 2 times, once for lunch in Saguache. It was a tidbit of a town and we found a great little hometown store that made delicious sandwiches. Normally I would feel a little animosity towards a place for calling a hot roast beef and Swiss sandwich a "Philly". I forgave them after one bite because it was delicious, misnomer and all!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
"Be my strong habitation, To which I may resort continually;" Psalm 71: 3 (partial) I really like this verse. I need God's shelter all the time! I sometimes wonder how I am ever going to be what I am called to be according to God's word. And then I am reminded of John 15:4-5: "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." I love that. We are required to walk a narrow path - but the direction also blessedly requires that we stay close to our Savior's heart always. Praise Jesus Christ!
Friday, October 23, 2009
It's time to give a little more attention to my poor blog. I will start my Colorado series tonight! So - we flew out of Cincinnati into Denver on a Saturday and spent the night in Denver. That was fun part number one, and a testimony all in one :-). The first testimony was Mary and I scoring a row of three seats all to ourselves. The whole deal was that she had a standby ticket (which we got at a discount because she has a family member that works for Delta), so we were pretty sure she would get on the proper flights because those flights were not filling quickly, but she wasn't guaranteed any particular seat. It ended up that she was able to speak to the woman at the counter and it worked out that she actually passed up First Class just to be able to sit together (Yay Mary! What a pal!). The uncool thing about that flight was the sickness and nausea I started feeling partway through. I didn't realize that flying on an almost-empty stomach is a no-no. Lesson learned. The really cool thing was that towards the end of the flight I got to thinking what I would do about the way I felt. I just felt bad - I hate the cabin pressure also so it was just a no-fun flight. It was the first time I seriously searched the magazine pouch to see if they still keep barf bags in there. I am not sure at what point I started to think this way, but I guess I was praying and it sort of came to me that God is for me. OK so it sounds like a "duh - hello!!" moment, but you know those times when the same old things strike you in new and incredible ways? I kept thinking "God, you will take care of me, won't you? You will heal me, because You said so, and because I belong to You and You want to take care of me!". I had a great sense of being thought of, cared about, and cared for. We arrive in Denver and get our luggage and all that. I start feeling better. We had some nice cold fresh air waiting for the hotel shuttle - feeling even better. We check in and sort of wind down and settle in at the hotel. Feeling good, tired as expected after getting up early that day, but good. No thanks Mr. Tylenol - hello feeling fine! I know these things never seem earth-shaking when you hear other people explain them. It's just the sweet little inside things that hit the spot. It was God showing Himself faithful and able, and meeting me right where I was. I've struggled a lot and had a lot of fear and hesitation, but oh what a Father I have. What next - oh, the hotel (A Holiday Inn) was super cool. No, really, for a Holiday Inn, it was super cool! It was decorated like a stylish upscale lodge and was pretty much brand spankin' new. Oh and I forgot to mention that I wasn't actually supposed to fly with Mary. She was on a flight around 8pm, I was scheduled around 3pm. Ends up that my first flight (which was connecting in Minneapolis) was so delayed that I would've missed the connection. Next best option? "We have a nonstop flight to Denver tonight at 8 with lots of free seats..." Funny how that worked out. By the way, I jumped ahead a little with the picture. This is on the way from Denver to Pagosa Springs (about a 5-hour drive). Lovely, gorgeous, beautiful...
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Will I ever touch the very bottom of the well of my Lord's grace towards me? No. There is a song that most of you have probably heard at one time or another, with a part that says "You are more than enough for me". Think about that. We could let God completely and utterly fill and saturate every single part of us, fulfilling every need and being our all-in-all, and be completely satisfied - and still God is more. He isn't a God created for mankind, as if after He has taken care of my problems He sits back and folds His hands to wait and see what my next problem will be and if He is capable of helping me with it. No! He is God! Alpha and Omega, the Holy Creator of all and yet tender enough to handle His loved ones without crushing us. This is hard for me to see (thankfully I have a God who can enlighten my spiritual sight) because I tend to put limitations on God. I cruise along with my defective and incomplete set of notions about Who God is and how He feels about me, and He so kindly steps in and nudges me into the way of seeing Who He truly is. His faithfulness and longsuffering are amazing. That He can look at me and see Christ's redeeming work instead of my putrid rags is something I hope to realize with an ever-deepening awe and adoration. Abba, Father - draw me to You.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Back from Colorado! Great vacation, blessed in many ways. God is good. I've just spend probably 30 minutes typing away at another post about the trip. Right now I can't think that hard so please be patient and I will get some details and photos up soon!
Monday, September 28, 2009
In less than one week I am heading to Colorado! How cool is that? Ok, so those of you who will not be going are sitting there rolling your eyes and thinking "Colorado is so dumb. Nobody likes Colorado. I don't want to go to Colorado." Well, I'm sorry folks. But you will have your chance another time! :-) This whole thing was sort of short-notice. I guess about a month or so ago my friend Mary and I started cooking up the plans and decided to run with it. Between plane ticket, rental car, and all the little fuzzy details in between there is a whole lot to keep track of, but if I get stressed about the planning all I have to do is go to Colorado.com and look at the pictures. Man, what a great vacation this will be!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
My apologies. Facebook happened - isn't that enough of an explanation? I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. Well actually, a lot of thinking combined with praying. Am I making ripples in the right pond? Am I where I am supposed to be? One or two people, over the past few years, have been especially persistent with me - tried to get me to go to college. To pursue a career. To not drop art, or worse yet, to not let it slowly and silently fade into some little nook of my life labeled "the past". I wasn't ready then, I maintain that. Am I ready now? I don't know... I really don't. There are two taskmasters reaching for me: writing and art. Art is more of an ogre. Until I am knee-deep into a project (and can see hope for its quality) I tend to avoid it and feel frustration and then guilt for not working on it. Writing is a gentler master --- calling me now and then, and raising its voice especially when I discover someone else's writing that touches me. Both need developing, both have won praise in my life. Do I have to choose? Is either one the right choice? By searching to "reach my potential" am I unknowingly trampling the dear small shoots of purpose that may be emerging right under my nose?
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I have recently been awarded the Superior Scribbler Award by my dear mom, Karen Lange! Check out her blog, Write Now, for good writing, helpful tips, insight, and good stuff in general:-). I don't do it enough, I don't do it with expertise, but writing is one of my passions. Thanks mom!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Ah, how good God is to me. Praise Him for teaching me, being patient, and reminding me to fight with His word! One of the things I took away with me from youth camp was an exhortation to use the words of God to fight the tactics of Satan. Just as Jesus refused to give in to Satan and fought back with the words "it is written" so can I. I'm seeing some of this good fruit today.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
This has been a pretty busy week, but a good one. Last weekend I was at a youth camp that the FuGens (Future Generation - my church's youth group) put on. Technically I was "staff" since I am not between the ages of 13 and 21... but at 23 I still had a really good time and got a lot out of it. There were some convicting things in the messages, and I was also encouraged and motivated to seek God. Praise Him. Yesterday I dropped off one drawing and my only watercolor at the Kentucky State Fair for judging. I think they judge them before the fair begins (on Aug 20th) and I have to go to see if I was awarded anything. Fun stuff. I didn't realize how HUGE the Fair and Expo Center is! Fine Arts are in the South Wing A which was gigantic -- and there are two other South Wings plus Freedom Hall, plus I don't know what else. It's pretty cool, and I am looking forward to going to the Fair in the next few days not only to check out the judging on the art but just to look around and see what the fair is all about.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. John 15:4 Just when I needed to see it, this verse pops up in front of me. I wasn't even looking for it.
Here are a couple of snapshots from the trip to Cumberland Gap. I tried to upload more but either my PC is acting funky or I just don't know what I'm doing... You can guess which one is more accurate (hint: the latter choice!). The top photo was taking from Pinnacle Overlook. On a clear day (I was told, and I had to take Mary's word for it) you can actually SEE the view that the handy little info sign shows. It was not a clear day. It was an interesting experience in itself to look out over the railing and know that the mountain goes rolling down and that you are pretty high up there --- all with eerie white clouds closing the view. At times we couldn't even see more than 3 or 5 yards out beyond the overlook. The bottom pic is me showing off our home sweet home. At least that's what we thought at the time. That was before the rain. And the leakage. And the knowledge that out tent was less than camping-worthy... What you can't really see in the picture is the moderate twist our tent was sporting and the fact that we pitched it on a slight hill. Hey, it was my first time camping! I'm blaming it all on Mary ;-). It's pretty funny actually. After Mary turned in for the night I was cleaning up the campsite (with visions of black bears sniffing out my empty Capri Sun pouch), and I noticed the way the tent was...uh, kinda leaning. I tried to kinda straighten it out but made no progress and really didn't feel like trying all that hard. Plus I didn't want to seriously disturb my comrade who was sleeping inside. I did secure the plastic (no, we didn't have a tarp, and no, we didn't secure the plastic correctly) a little more snugly over the top and around the sides so that the leak on Mary's side wouldn't get too bad. All I can do is laugh right here, when I picture the all-out PUDDLES that accumulated after the second night. By the way, no one seems appropriately impressed when I mention that. We opted for Holiday Inn the second night as you know, but left our tent to camp on its own. When we returned to take it down, there were two large puddles, at least an inch deep each, inside on the low side of the tent. Puddles, people!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
This weekend I had my very first ever camping experience! My friend Mary and I went down to Cumberland Gap schlepping a cheapo tent (we didn't know it was cheap until later - it was borrowed) and a carload of sleeping bags, duffel bags, food, and all sorts of truck rolling around in the back of my jeep. The first day we got there and set up the tent. We forgot a mallet and so substituted my car jack which worked great, and we forgot rope so we used safety pins and knots to attached our gigantic piece of plastic to the tent to keep out the rain. (Side note: when packing I kept thinking about those safety pins, getting the feeling that they might be handy for something. Finally I tossed them in my bag. I can't help feeling that God got me to do that.) I will also add that the tent we were borrowing had been wet in its bag for I don't know how long. When I went inside I felt like I was inside of a dog's mouth -- it stank!!! Thankfully Mary had been forewarned about the dampness and had brought some spray bleach and (this cracks me up) floral-scented spray air freshener. Surprisingly those two pretty much took care of the initial odors! Later, it began to rain. And rain, and rain, and rain! That first night was a really wet one, and I ended up spending the night from about 5am-on in the back of good old jeepy. Brave Mary toughed it out in the tent. You know, the whole rainstorm thing wasn't really FUN at the time, but the whole time I was glad I was doing it for the sake of the experience. The second night they were still calling for rain, and the poor tent wasn't holding out very well, so we decided to hole up at a Holiday Inn Express for the last night. We left our tent up at the campsite because we'd already prepaid for two nights at the campground. When we got back the next day to take it down, it had puddles in it! One corner had accumulated about an inch or so of water, not to mention the little creatures that took advantage of the shelter (nothing furry, just bugs...one of which decided to ride all the way home with us and surprise me when I was putting blankets in the washer). Simply put, I was very glad we had been surrounded by sturdy walls and had soft beds that last night. You are probably thinking "my word, it sounds like she hated it!". That is absolutely not true! I did have my cringing moments, but I also had a really good time. We rolled with the punches and didn't freak out when plans had to change. I got to sit by a stream as it gushed and tumbled, winding its way over and under rocks as it flowed down the mountain. I was more relaxed than I've been in a while. Would I go back? Absolutely! Would I go back and sleep in a tent? Um... we'll cross that bridge when we come to it :-).
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I love to write. That isn't to say that I often write, or even that I excel. I just love it when I begin to type and stuff just starts to come out and flow onto the screen. I was introduced to something called free writing in my college career. How liberating! The way you start is... just start! Just scribble or type about whatever you may be thinking on. Write about the way the icing looked on the cupcake you just ate - how it was piped on with a pastry tip and had little colored sugar flowers stuck here and there. Write about those little white-blond hairs that grow at your niece's temples - how fine and pure they are. Write about the walk you took yesterday, and how you got to thinking about the piece of grass you plucked and the way the tender new baby grass leaves grow up through the tough outer layers. Maybe you're thinking about the way your heart jumped when you watched that skinny cowboy at the rodeo fall off the bull last Saturday. Just lay it all out. The point is to get down the thoughts, whatever crawls across your consciousness at that moment. The time to pare it down and cut out the unnecessary stuff is later. Once you've exhausted the flow of thoughts, you can put it down and come back later. You've got this big messy chunk of stuff and it might hold something really wonderful! Read through and latch onto something that really shines. Maybe you really like the way your thoughts came out about the walk you took. Cut, paste, backspace, whatever you need to do - until you've got something coherent. Add to it if needed. It's your stuff, and you may not have even thought to write about that walk if you had sat down and forced yourself only to write on the subject of _____ in three paragraphs or less. Get all the stuff tumbled out onto the page. Let it live and breathe and give it a chance before you subconsciously whack it. It's great fun.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Saturday again, and what a delightful day! The weather is in the 60's-70's with a soft breeze. It feels like Fall! This morning I woke up feeling blessedly WELL! Yesterday I had a serious headache most of the day, but by the time I went to bed it had abated and I slept fine and woke up feeling rested and ready to enjoy Saturday. So far today I've tried (emphasis on "tried") to clean the carpets in my car. They used to be bluish gray. Then they were bluish gray with dirt and stains, and now they are bluish gray with a few less noticeable stains. I also took out the floor mats (poor tired things) and scrubbed them with our tub scrubby. Say that five times fast! I think I'm going to save up for a car. The good old jeep still runs and gets me where I wanna go (which something in the back of my mind tells me I should be content with...), but I wouldn't mind having a nice little car again that doesn't shudder and refuse to start on the first attempt. I'll say this for ole' Jeepy - it always starts on the second try!
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Last Friday my photographer friend Abigail Martin took my pics. It was great fun and the photos turned out wonderfully! Check out Abby's group on Facebook for details on her photography (Anna Abigail Martin on Facebook) or email her directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Saturday, June 27, 2009
I've taken two personality type assessments in the past couple of weeks. It is so interesting to me to answer the questions and see what they say I am. So far the results have been fairly accurate with what I think I am like. I think one said that my "type" is very suited to secretarial and such jobs. Good thing, because that is just what I am! And I LOVE structure --- I love to be handed a list and told "do this", and I am somewhat uncomfortable being in authority positions. I like planning ahead and I create very strong attachments and am loyal to people I have developed relationships with. I'm not the belle of the ball at every function, but I love being the center of attention with my closer friends. I am pretty introverted and private and often crave alone-time, but on the flip side I often crave meaningful social activity also. It's so tempting to try to put myself in a box - to say "This is what I am, I am exactly this type", but the more I think about it the more frustrated I become. I'm not sure what drives me to want to label everything about myself, but I have come to the tentative conclusion on several occasions that I do not (and probably no-one does!) fit into any one category exactly. It's ok that I'm both introverted and social. It's not impossible that I like to be in charge of certain things and despise being in authority in other situations. I'm a real person, not a perfect case study. I will never completely figure myself out, and that's going to have to be ok. It is strange to me, but now that I am in my early twenties I am learning so much about myself. It is almost as if I had some sort of mask on in my teen years, and now that I am twenty-three I am really learning who I am, what motivates me, and what things often cause me to take actions I'll regret later. I see so much lacking in myself. I suppose I have always tended to have a mentality that I must have certain things in order before I get to point B. I now realize that sometimes point B will come whether I'm "ready" or not, and it's OK to grow and work out kinks once I'm there. Not with everything, but with some things. Being twenty three is kind of like being sixteen but having a lot more insight on life. Have I mentioned yet that I sometimes stomp all over an issue and turn it inside out but have a hard time formulating a conclusion? Guess you noticed this is one of those times. Best to all
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Happy Father's day to all you people out there! Today we kids treated Pop to lunch (ok so technically I haven't treated him yet because I have yet to hand over my cut...there's still time though!) and my younger-older (he's older than myself but younger than my oldest brother. I know - confusing!)Dave is coming over later for steaks as sort of a Father's Day encore meal. It is HOT today. I am thankful for central AC - at our house in Jersey we had just one little window air conditioner. It was great for the living part of the house, but all the bedrooms were on the second floor and we had to rely on box fans stuck in the windows for relief from the heat and humidity. It was like walking into an oven when you went upstairs to bed at night. No fun. At all. None. The Shelby County Fair is going on again. I have yet to actually go to it in all my five Kentucky years. I've heard mixed reports; most people say it's not as exciting as you'd think, some even warned of creepy people hanging around there. Maybe I'll go this year just to clear up the fog of mystery :-). I am going to enter a few pieces of art this year, so if you check out the entries in Floral Hall be sure to look for them! I'd love to say "be sure to look for the giant blue ribbons and you'll see my entries" but that's pushing it. I would LOVE to win something, but I have a dreadful mixture of pride and self-doubt that keeps me from really flaunting anything. I've always had the idea that if I don't think I can blow the competition away I don't even want to try. Childish, isn't it? Time to grow out of that mindset I think. Yesterday I was able to meet a dear old friend for coffee. I hadn't seen her over a year and it was so nice to sit down and have an good old-fashioned gab. I didn't know she was coming to town until yesterday morning, so it was sort of a double treat: a surprise and a nice visit! Till next time people!
Saturday, June 13, 2009
I can hardly believe tomorrow is Saturday again! I mean, I'm happy about it, but it seems like I JUST wrote that last post... Ah well, get over it, eh? Today I took advantage of my "optional" work day (Fridays are my don't-have-to-work-unless-I-want-to day - gotta love my boss!!!). I actually slept in a little, went to work for a few hours, and then spent some time with friends this evening. Fun times. When I left work I needed to stop at the bank, and the bank is pretty much in the same parking lot with Dairy Queen, and I was terribly famished, and DQ just happens to have the scrumptious combo of french fries and white gravy, so... I kinda had to get some. Needless to say it hit the spot. Not sure which spot it hit, but I'm sure I'll notice if I start making a habit of fries and gravy consumption...
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Today was a busy day! I took advantage of the opportunity to sleep in till 9 (truly I could've slept in till 12 but I can't handle THAT big of a deviation from my normal schedule), got a couple things done at home, then went and jogged at the park. The weather was really nice today, although while jogging it felt at least 90 in the sun. Later in the afternoon my friend Alisha and I went fair-hopping: we took in the art/craft fair at the Masonic home in Shelbyville (see the cute little silver ring I bought there), took a pit stop at DQ for ice cream, then headed to Frankfort for the big fair/expo thing at the expo center. It was kinda neat - a bazillion vendors (at least) were there selling the usual purses, sunglasses, clothes, jewelry, food, etc. They also had some small carnival rides. The only one that didn't look like it would induce dizziness and/or vomiting, or that wasn't for people less than three feet tall, was the Ferris wheel so we went on that. It was my first Ferris wheel ride in a loooooong time (maybe ever, I don't even remember), and it was nice. We ran into a few friends and got our caricatures drawn, which I've always wanted to do! Finally I left Alisha with a mutual friend and headed home. Phew! The weekends fly by so quickly these days. I'm trying to learn to live in each moment instead of just quickly passing them by to get to the next. Where I'm at right now, I stress over things that will be in tomorrow instead of being in a place of peace today. God is very good to me, and surely I will progress in that area. He was gracious to get me back to route 60 today to get home from Frankfort (after a short "lost" period), surely He can be my power to overcome the daily stresses! I'm looking forward to a nice long Sunday afternoon tomorrow, to relax and spend some good prayer/reading time and just breathe.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Wow, it has already been almost ten days since my last post. I almost started to write a post the other day, but I really didn't feel like I had much of interest to say. I don't really now, either, so I'm not sure what the difference is and why I'm posting today and not the other day. hmmm. This is probably going to sound like an email I'd write to a good friend - long and disconnected and something like mild venting. Anyway... It was a little odd starting the work week on a Tuesday - it sort of jams everything into a smaller space of time. It was nice to have Monday off though - even though on days off I sometimes don't enjoy myself as much as I could because I'm worrying that I'll "waste" my time off. Silly girl! I've kind've gotten into a groove at work -- some of you know that it can get a bit hairy (love ya Renea and Jeanne!!) at times around the office, what with us being a young company and growing so quickly. I've discovered that in order to keep myself from de-railing and having a toxic paperwork spill, I do better to work swiftly and take care of little things as they come up instead of stuffing them in my to-do box to clutter my life later. This goes somewhat against the grain for me, as my friends will tell you that I am more of a slow and steady, ueber-detail oriented type of person. I have not yet perfected this new swiftness (ask the good folks that I work with...), but I look forward to landing on the happy medium. I'm cheering for my friends Abby and Amy these next few weeks - both of them are taking some serious academic tests pretty soon. Hurray for tests being OVER and for getting good grades! Go get 'em, girls!
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Ah, a lovely Sunday afternoon. It's so great to know the whole afternoon stretches before you to fill any way you wish. Today I chose a rather wasteful way to begin the delightful hours - I browsed online clothing stores and didn't buy anything. Whenever I do that I end up wanting more than I can buy, getting this tight feeling in my chest, and leaving the computer feeling frustrated and covetous of more clothing that I technically don't really "need". Next, a more relaxing and beneficial action was to take a meandering walk around the yard. That was nice. I only encountered a handful of pesky Mayflies (thanks to Mom I now have a name for the creatures). I saw some evidence of a possible muskrat around the creek, checked on what I hope are my huckleberry seedlings, and shuffed my way here and there before returning in. A note about the huckleberries: I sowed the seeds in a shady little stand of brush and trees out back last fall. I've never actually seen a huckleberry seedling and so cannot give the little things a positive ID. I'm hopeful that what I'm expecting to be a huckleberry bush won't turn out to be a pesky weed or a boring, normal, tree. I gotta add, the weather is bee-U-T-ful today! A tad cool in the shade, with bright sunshine and a breeze. Everything is green, the dark pink peonies are blooming, and there is water in the creek. Just the way I like the outdoors! BTW - the top picture is of me "drinking in" the peony as Anne Shirley would say. I don't actually like the way they smell, but they are impressive and pretty!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I admit, today didn't start out on the best foot. I was a little cranky this morning when I got moving. Nothing sounded good to pack for lunch, not that I had time to pack it anyway since I got up a little later than usual. So I prayed "Father, help me overcome this attitude. Give me grace..." It's so good to see how God answers my prayers. Once I got into the office and started doing things, my mood lifted some. Next, my dear boss calls and asks if I want to meet her for lunch on her. That was a nice treat, and saved me from going to walmart and buying a frozen meal to reheat for lunch. God has shown His faithfulness even when I don't deserve it in many ways. At work, He goes before me and smooths out bumps and mistakes, so that at times things will work out that even if I've made a mistake, it is not a big deal for one reason or another. That's always a relief. If only I would learn to trust and fully depend on Him, I would spare myself a lot of anxiety! He's also given me a generous and compassionate boss who bears with my bumbles and errors and who is always encouraging me!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Haha. I just ate a "salad" after dinner. After the initial lettuce was gone, I must admit that it consisted primarily of clumps of grated cheddar, ranch dressing, and bacon bits. Kinda gross after a few bites. Cheese is a great substitution for chicken in a salad tho :-). Told you it might be random!
Monday, May 11, 2009
We need bats. About 180 should do. They eat bugs right? I thought I'd go out back for a walk, relax, pray some, take some pictures of the lovely flora in the setting sun. It was fine at first - then THEY were there. Yep, those stupid long legged, tannish giant mosquito-looking things. I can bravely take a few and even tolerate one flying into my head, so long as he doesn't proceed to bump off my face and then fall down the back of my collar or cling to my jacket. But sheesh - our yard is like the nature preserve for these things! As I flip-flopped my way back to the house, they were everywhere; springing up from the grass and flying through in front of me - menacingly! Yes, I'm getting carried away. No, they weren't actually menacing. But if they were capable of thought they would be thinking spiteful things about me, I know it. I actually had to delete a whole other paragraph I just wrote about the things. I'll move on now. We had a nice Mother's Day around these parts. At least, I thought it was nice, I hope Mom did too. The kids came over for dinner ("kids" meaning my two twenty-something brothers and my sister-in-law, as well as my nephew) and we had a nice time eating and watching Evan (nephew). Watching Evan is one of our favorite pastimes, second to actually playing with him or carrying him around. He's my first nephew and the first grandkid on this side of the family so you can't really blame us.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
There is noise outside. Yuck. I have a particular aversion to loud or persistent noises - I really don't enjoy being in the house while Pop is outside on the mower. He's got a Dixie Chopper zero turn radius (that means big and loud) mower, and we have quite a large yard. There's not really anyplace except the basement that is safe from the noise, since when he's mowing up by the house the noise tends to travel from window to window. Right now he's weed-whacking (I know there's probably a more correct term for that but I like saying it that way). Not so bad as mowing... but today I need to work on overcoming agitation. I realize that I can't just get annoyed when everyone else does not consult me to see what would be convenient or enjoyable to me. I did have a pretty nice morning - since I am finally finished with French 102 (YAH-HOO) I have a delightful sense that my homework is not sitting on my desk tapping its toe while it waits for me to come study. I can just chill or do whatever. I took a walk with my friend Abby today, went for a jog, ran errands, and I even plan to make a carrot cake this afternoon for mother's day. I'm a wild creature aren't I?!
Friday, May 8, 2009
So I've done it...started a blog. Wondering why? Don't care why? I thought it would be fun, I thought it would encourage me to write more often, and I hope it won't fan the flame of my vanity... I don't promise to use perfect grammar or always proof-read thoroughly, but I'll try to make sure that each post is at least coherent and legible. Though, if they are like some of my emails to friends, they may be long, disconnected, and possibly boring. Just don't tell me that and we'll be good. I'll try to post some pictures too, but I've still got that "ew posting pictures online for the world to see" feeling. We'll see how that goes. With high hopes and lightening fingers -- Hi there!