Sunday, January 31, 2010

Challenge, Day 13: "Why Are You Cast Down?"

Today didn't start off great. My hair isn't right, my makeup isn't right, I didn't get to drink enough coffee. I'm in a phase currently where the one cup of Jo I did get to drink is lagging and wearing off, and I'm tired and feeling like a grouch. But rather than go hide in a garbage can, I'm trusting that this afternoon will be bright and sweet. How can I know that the almighty God loves me and not have a smile on my lips? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God. Psalm 42:11 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6 :) :) :)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Challenge, Day 12

"Well hello again, old friend! Yes, I know I've had a love/hate relationship with you in the past. No, No, it's not that I don't care about you, I really do. It's just that sometimes I've had to work when you're around, and there's nothing I hate more than not being able to enjoy your presence, and I get a little jealous when other people get to spend time with you and I can't. No, you're right, it's not like that anymore. Today we even made pancakes together, which rocked! Yes, we're going to have such a good time together today, snow and all. Yes, dear Saturday, I do truly love you!" I'm in a season right now where I really enjoy Saturdays. Do you? What does Saturday mean to you? For me it means no schedule, or at least not a strict one. It's the day to get up late and not feel guilty about it, to eat breakfast at 11am, to spend time with family or share coffee with a friend. On Saturday I enjoy running little errands. I even half enjoy a little cleaning because it makes me feel like I'm making my little space more homey. Yes, Saturday is a good day. What makes it good for you?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Challenge, Day 11: Flash Fiction Flash-Back

The following is a "flash fiction" story I wrote for my English 207 class. Yes, yes, I'm using something old again. My rules... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Appearance is Everything ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- “Honey, you’re not wearing that sweater outside?” I interrupted the jesting men. Ken and Brad looked at me with fading smiles. I kept a glazed grin on but my eyes pensively traveled sideways to take in my husband’s attire. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- “Um, well, yes I was... there’s nothing wrong with this sweater, dear.” Ken was still smiling but the twinkle was gone from his eyes. I sighed. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- “Well, sweetie,” I raced for the words, anything to stop the public eye from watching my husband split wood in the hideous sweater. “I know that your grandma made it for you, and of course it’s very special to you.” The mugs of hot cocoa I held were starting to burn my hands. “But I think you’ve worn it enough, I mean – look - there are holes in it!” ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- “It’s knitted, darling, all knitting has holes. It’s the nature of the fabric.” Ken cast a pleading glance at Brad. Brad’s eyes darted from Ken to me and back again, grin still in place from sheer willpower. I could almost see his brain working to find the quickest route out of the room. Why couldn’t Ken see how uncomfortable it made things when he wore that sweater? Ken set the ax down and studied the handle long enough to write a research paper on the wood grain of tool handles. Then he looked up. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- “I know you are very conscious of looks, pumpkin. And I agree! Of course, who’d want the whole neighborhood to see me outside in an ugly sweater?” His grin had returned but I wasn’t reassured. I choked to gain my footing and my brain raced. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- “Well, yes, of course! I’m so glad you see it from my-that is-that point of view. I’ve wanted to say something about that sweater for months but didn’t want to hurt your feelings.” Shut up! shut up! shut up!. My brain was screaming. Oh, what are those gears in his head going to crank out next?! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- “Yes sweetie-pie. Of course I see it that way. You know how considerate I am.” My head snapped up and I could feel my eyes narrowing. Ken flashed his pearly white teeth innocently. “So I know you’ll understand when I, out of consideration for public opinion, mention that the dress you’ve got on makes you look fat!”

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Challenge, Day 10: Quotes!

Today will be a day of quotations. I selected the following quotes because I wish I'd thought or said them first, because I find them humorous or sweet, or just because I plain old like them for whatever reason. I might do a little writing for my own benefit, but we shall see if it will end up here or not. Remember, this is my challenge and my rules :-). Enjoy! Oh, wait a moment for the disclaimer: These have all been pulled from sort of willy-nilly as I saw one I liked, so please don't assume that I'm a fan of the author or source in general. I don't even know who half of them are, really... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. "Pooh!" he whispered. "Yes, Piglet?" "Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you." ~A.A. Milne ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ You can always tell a real friend; when you've made a fool of yourself he doesn't feel you've done a permanent job. ~Laurence J. Peter ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Adieu! I have too grieved a heart to take a tedious leave. ~William Shakespeare ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Think not because you are now wed That all your courtship's at an end. ~Antonio Hurtado de Mendoza ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors. ~African Proverb ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Many a man has fallen in love with a girl in a light so dim he would not have chosen a suit by it. ~Maurice Chevalier ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Individualism is rather like innocence: There must be something unconscious about it. ~Louis Kronenberger, Company Manners, 1954 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ After all the trouble you go to, you get about as much actual "food" out of eating an artichoke as you would from licking 30 or 40 postage stamps. ~Miss Piggy

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Challenge, Day 9. Time to start talking about guts.

I drove my little blue Plymouth Acclaim, the one that I inherited from Grams. It was metallic light blue, with denim-blue seats and hand-cranked windows, and from the driver’s seat I could reach around to pop down all four door locks. I slid through the woods on the bending road and the gray and brown trees stood by on each side. The stickly underbrush straggled around the trunks above the orange-brown floor of leaves. The radio spooned out a feel-good song. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Those days were some of the most bittersweet. I had learned pretty early on that the fearsome, horrible pieces in my life could be very neatly hidden from the view of the greater population. Sometimes I could even hide them from myself. I could live and keep up my various faces with little effort. That was the scary part. The scarier parts were the moments of reflection; the deep, tormenting dread of what wasn’t right inside my heart. Life was and yet wasn’t serious; it was filled with highs and lows. -------------------------------------------------------------------- It was when college didn’t mean the big bad future and friends were always ready to go for a drive. When five AM dragged you out of bed to go watch the sunrise with your friend. When you could go to bed at two in the morning without the mental torment that you’d be way too knocked out to get your homework done the next day. When each little social thing was something to look forward to and a new hairstyle brought a fresh change to life. When there were no second thoughts about spending the evening driving around with just a radio, a friend, and maybe a bag or two of Swedish Fish. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Those years were finite. I would move away and start growing up in earnest. I would start learning things I thought I already knew. I would look over my shoulder at memories and easily pick out the foolishness and mistakes, the hypocrisy and deceit I lived in. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ What about today? Can someone be seventeen and twenty-three? What about silly and introspective? If not, I do not exist! I’m like a kid with an instruction manual – there are many of the old personality traits, but there are new insights to keep me grounded. And one crucial fact: I’m redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb. Praise God!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Challenge, Day 8. Ok, so I almost forgot...

Yes, I almost forgot about today's challenge post. Horrible! Really though, today was a little busier than normal. First off, I was up much too late (unfortunately my internal clock has been re-set to think that bed time is around 1am and wake-up time is 10 am...ish ;)and then I had some cleaning to do this morning, get ready for work, and finally work this afternoon. They needed me to stay a bit later than usual (I'm a nanny), plus I decided today would be a good day to clean their bath tub and shower. So after scrubbing hard and being surrounded by Lysol fumes (DON'T try this at home!!!), I was more tired than usual when I left. After that came some really sweet time with my sister-in-law Jess and my nephew Evan. I got a great, adorable picture of him and I on my cell phone, which is pretty amazing because usually when trying to snap photos on my phone the one or more of the following scenarios takes place: It turns out blurry, It turns out a sick yellow color, or Evan just doesn't want his photo taken and so ignores the camera. This time the light was good, there was no blur, and Evan actually looked at the camera and said "cheese!". (I'm pretty much melting here! Love that kid!) I'd love to get it from my phone to this blog post but I'm not really sure how. Once I figure it out I'll share! For now I'll just post another photo I took with an actual camera. Now I'm ready to chillax with my favorite down blanket. Aaaahhhh...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Challenge, Day 7

This is a poem I wrote for my English 207 class a couple of years ago. And no, you may not call me a challenge-cheater, because this is my challenge and I make the rules, and if I want to use something I've already written, I just will! :-D. The cool thing about this challenge is that it's not so much about cranking out quantities of writing no matter the quality, but rather getting me thinking about writing. Getting me into it every day. I love it! Anyway, I did write one poem and read over several other older writings of mine before choosing this one to post. Enjoy :)---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Yellow and White"------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I remember that kitchen (the one in my memory, you know) / I remember white, and yellow / And lots of doors that could take you places / If you chose: / The backyard, the basement, / The dining room, living room / Bathroom, Grams’ room / All from the kitchen / With bathrobed relatives sitting at the table / The table that could hold scrambled eggs / Or round donuts with cream all the way through them / The round table, the wooden one / It was a breakfast plate, that table / With Grams a'buzzing ‘round it / Secretly trying to make us all fat / With the fatness of her provision and care / The way she showed that she cared / Another table, that little table / With the telephone and maybe a plant / A rocking chair, waiting to be a seat / To sit, to rock, to watch the people eat / Countertops, not a lot / Enough room for a little television / Fridge with fullness of soda and pudding / And sweet things to tempt / Young girls like me / A table, where people would sit / When we visited Grams / When we went to her kitchen / Goodies abounding / Unlimited feast

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Challenge, Day 6! (Just in time)

If novel = correct, I've got it made. If leaving one's comfort zone = growth, I've got it made. If open wounds = opportunities for divine healing, I've got it made. I know that novel does not always equal correct; thank God for wisdom. I know that leaving one's comfort zone can spur growth when each new step is guided by God; thank God for aid. I'm learning that sometimes it's painful to clean a wound, but only then can proper healing occur; thank God for bringing me to my knees before Him. Thought I forgot about today's post, didn't ya? ;-)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Challenge - Day 5

Saturday: 1am. Eyes shut/ Saturday: 8:30 am, alarm/ (Like that's gonna happen)/ Saturday: 10:30 am/ Getting up/ TLC channel & HGTV/ Breakfast - Honeycombs!/ 6th & Main, Caramel Macchiato/ Talk, talk/ Prank/ Treadmill, basketball, talk, talk/ Ms. C's - more talk/ Free hairspray, sweet friend/ Grocery/ Ground Beef/ Caffeine Free Pepsi/ Hamburger buns (10 for 10)/ Thinnest burgers ever, still shrink. Rats./ Yummy/ Wii, 2-year old fun, movie/ Facebook/ Blogging/ G'night./ Wait, spellcheck on Macchiato./ K, G'night.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Challenge, Day 4!

Hello Friday! I'm happy to announce that Friday has meaning again. After quite a while of being without a job (except for working on my jewelry business) I am now employed again, and "the work week" has relevance in my life again. Its amazing how quickly the week passes by - it seems like just yesterday it was Monday, and I was thinking through my little milestones for the week. There's Tuesday, the second day - not much exciting about Tuesday, except that it is one day before Wednesday, the tip of the hill after which the week sort of rolls away. In theory, anyway. Then of course we have Thursday. Sometimes something fun happens after work, other times it's just regular old Thursday. But when it's Thursday, it means that tomorrow is.... Friday! And we all know what Friday means! OK, so broken down these milestones don't seem all that fantastic. But that's the way my brain works, I like to portion out things that loom ahead. When I jog and I'm getting close to the end and just do not want to go any further, I fool my body into going just a little more by giving myself milestones: "Just till I pass that tree" or "Just till I get to that funny looking bush", all the while knowing that truly, I'm going to go until I reach a more distant spot. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------I also compartmentalize my day. I think through hour by hour, planning what I will get done in each hour and how many hours I need before a particular event (such as leaving for work or church). And I'm always compelled to give myself more time than I will probably need. In many ways I'm one of those people that plans to get as much done as possible as far ahead as possible. When I worked in an ice cream parlor, you'd find me scraping down ice cream buckets and washing dishes an hour or more ahead of closing. This backfired sometimes when those pesky last-minute customers came in, but hey, at least I felt efficient. In true human form, I am not always quite so efficient. It took me several years of college to grow into a "let's get this done ASAP" student. Before that I was a dreadful mess of last-minute, shoddy homework. The one who would make the margins wider in order to squeak out the required page minimum for research papers. Yeah, it was pathetic. But even with my merciless drive to work hard on homework or things like that, I do have areas that I'm still quite the procrastinator. Taxes for example. Or cleaning, or things that technically have no or distant deadlines. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------It's a funny thing being human, isn't it? We're sort of like grab bags with all sorts of personality traits thrown into one functioning being. The more I see of life, the more I realize how inaccurate I am when I attempt to put something or someone in a box. To say that I'm a procrastinator is not altogether true, and to say that I'm a workhorse is mostly false also. People are living beings, our personalities are complex and deep - deeper than we ourselves realize. I have this inner motivation to label myself, to "figure out" what or who I am. Why? So that I can rest, having successfully sorted and categorized myself? What then? I don't know - I DON'T KNOW! And that is OK. God knows me inside out. All I gotta do is learn to trust Him, for He will never lead me wrong. My only rest and success are in His will, or, better - to have His will be my own. Oh, how I long to see that more fully! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Oh! By the way: the picture I've chosen for today is a highlight from the family dinner we enjoyed last night. My brother Dave was making a "tunnel" for my nephew to drive his "motorcycle" through. :-) You gotta love uncles!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Challenge, Day 3

What happens if you just sit in the yard? Nothing, I guess. So I sit, with my legs crossed, and I pick a stem off a weed. I look at the weed, and slice it in half with my fingernail. I notice the tiny perfect pale baby weed shooting from the mature one. I think about it a minute and realize that I just killed it. I hunch forward like some kind of odd thing, sinking into thoughts and stories and dialogs, just anywhere my mind wanders. What if I sit there for a half hour? Did I just throw a half-hour down the drain? I’ve got nothing to show for it. I didn’t type up a paper or make flash cards, I didn’t impart any knowledge to any other human being, I didn’t add in any way to the workforce or do anything in fact except sit and think. I didn’t even think about anything important really. I just thought, and sat. Wow, should I be shot? A despised voice: “You-oo didn’t do anything! Then your who-ole schedule is tipping on the edge of shot. You didn’t use that half-hour, you just made it disappear.” I dislike to a sour degree that small voice. When it is obnoxious, that is. It does help at times to keep me on track when there are truly important things to get done. But it is oh-so-ready to scratch my eyes out over one little miss-spent (in its own opinion) half hour.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Challenge Post: Day 2

Rain today. A steady, persistent drizzle. I can hear my dad in the kitchen, talking to a customer on his cell phone. I hear my brother clear his throat and open his igloo lunch box. It's his birthday today. Mom's out there too, I know - probably opening a bag of salami to build my dad's lunch. These little, unimportant sounds mix with the dripping of the rain...and they sprinkle a comfortable feeling into my heart.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


This is my challenge: To write something every day for thirty days and post it to this blog. It might be long and reflective or hasty and chopped, but it must be written and posted! This could be quite fun, don't you think? The following will be the start of this interesting series.------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Follow Me----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Will you follow me//// forever?//// Will you always be in the tips of my fingers//// Traveling there from that feeling in my chest//// Will you follow me//// forever?//// Will you always be that sweet, spent feeling//// following some furious pouring out of thoughts?//// Will I always write?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Only You understand...

"God is the only one who truly understands me". This is true - but how often do we think, "God and I are the only ones who truly understand me"? In reality, God knows us better than we know ourselves - He created us! He knows our every flaw, our every weakness. He knows what we struggle with before we realize we have a problem. He sees the deep down inside parts of our spiritual life that we cannot or perhaps will not see. This thought made me realize that God is not impressed by me. I can try my best to do a little song and dance and look up to God for applause, all the while unaware or forgetful of the fact that things that please God don't originate from me. It is only through Him, His working in me. I must realize that He knows everything about me (including what I need, and how I need to obey His will and not my own), and that I must humble myself in that knowledge of His omniscience. In a way, it is a freeing thought - what if I was no longer the boss of my existence? I am not, truly, and the sooner I stop trying to beat my little hands against the great wall of His Being, the sooner He can truly bear fruit through me. Instead of trying to earn kudos by "doing" something worthy of God's notice, I must focus on yielding to His work and dwelling, lingering, living in His presence.-------------------------------------------------------------------------- "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."-------------------------------------------------------------------------- John 15:4-5

Monday, January 11, 2010

Santa Fe: This one's gonna be a multi-part-er!

I never thought I would go to Santa Fe. I never thought I would want to go, actually. But I’m so glad I did. Mary and I decided that being only a few hours away, we would be idiots to NOT go! So on Tuesday (a little later than we probably should have but that was sort of our theme for the week) we loaded into the wonderful Caliber and chugged off. It was during that trip that I removed to the back seat (don’t worry, we pulled over) and began the lunch operations. We had packed rolls, lunchmeat, pickles, and an entire assortment of gourmet sandwich fixin’s to keep us satiated on the three-hour drive. Thanks to Mary for keeping us frugal (I would have blown all our cash on fast/restaurant food if I’d been alone – that’s part of the vacation mentality I have)! Sitting in the back seat and looking at the seat next to me piled with purses and jackets brought back memories of being packed into the back seat on family trips. I didn’t like it too much. And it raises a question: seriously, how can two girls with one whole car to themselves take up the whole stinkin’ thing? Every day we would hop in, toss extraneous items into the back seat, poke “front seat” items into their various appropriate compartments and nooks, and we’d putter out of town in whatever direction the day’s plans dictated. This day, it was south.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This was another really lovely drive. I am tired of saying amazing and incredible, even though it was… those words just don’t capture it as they are too overused. It helps to think of colors – tan and brown and reddish brown, black and clay and sand – deep and sage greens and blue and purple and yellow. We stopped once at the edge of a sort of natural bowl; hardy plants with blue and yellow flowers speckled the edge of a drop that led down to a dry creek bed. The Hills we drove through were rugged, streaked with color like they’d been painted. Sometimes they had flat tops; other times the tops looked like sand had been softly poured over. Earthy yellows and reds made stripes through exposed cliff sides. In some hills, parts of the rock had been eaten away around one or two dramatic pillars. Everything had color, but everything looked dry. Sometimes we’d drive through a scattered crop of houses and buildings, and the aspens would be lusciously vivid green and yellow, so different from the surrounding flora (or lack of). ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ We came upon the CO/NM state line, which is terribly logical, but for some reason it hadn’t occurred to me that there would be a state line with state signs. Photo op, ahoy! Colorado’s sign was very woodsy (constructed of giant brown logs), While NM’s was a more modern metal sign, like a regular road sign, except I’ve never seen another road sign with chili peppers pictured on it. Colorado’s was HUGE. The top of my head met the bottom of the sign. NM’s was more scaled down. That was great fun. We parked the car between both signs and made a great production of propping the camera up on the car’s roof just so, using our journals to get the angle right, setting the timer and high-tailing it to the sign before the picture snapped. The first time we did that, we underestimated the distance and we have this hilarious picture of Mary’s and my back as we’re hoofing it for the CO sign. I laugh whenever I think of it. I’m not really sure why we didn’t just move the car close enough that we didn’t need to run. I think it had something to do with not being able to get the whole sign at the right angle...At least that’s the story I’m sticking with. Whatever my excuse, it was fun to race the camera. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This was a vacation of the delightfully unexpected. The next on this day was when we were tooling along and noticed something smack dab in the road – a cowboy on his horse! We confusedly slowed down and stopped, wondering what in the world? When we noticed several other cowboys and, you guessed it – a cow! The guys were trying to make the cow go across the road, but boy that cow was having none of it. It scampered and dodged and trotted and cut here and there, till it finally gathered up his bulk and neatly cleared the fence back into the range on the side of the road. For all the world like a hefty deer. Mary and I were startled. It’s good to know they can do that.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- After that we hit another cool little surprise. A point on the Continental Divide! It sounds so important doesn’t it? For those that don’t know (or never thought much about it, like me), the continental divide is where rainfall divides and flows off to one side into the pacific (eventually) and off to the other into the Atlantic (also, eventually). I was tickled for some reason. We found a real live Continental Divide marker! And it was just sorta there on the side of US-84, right beside someone’s barbed wire fence. Pictures ensued.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ So many fun and interesting things had already happened, and we had yet to reach Santa Fe. Boy, was it going to be a good day…

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Snow, and keep on snowing...

Welcome, Snow! Yes, I understand that snow manages to cripple the well-laid plans of many people, and that it can be hazardous and all that...But have you ever stood in the dark, just listening to the nothingness and looking up at snowflakes falling? You forgive snow in that moment, and it becomes your friend. At least, until you need to go to work and forgot to clean off your car in advance. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Today I went sledding for the first time in, oh, I would estimate about 8 or 9 YEARS. Yes that is a long time, much too long! My two brothers, my sister-in-law, and my nephew had a great time this afternoon sledding down my grandma's hill, eating snow (by accident) and pelting one another. I took several in the face. Once I got home from that experience, I decided that while I was layered-up (I had on tights, jeans, and three pairs of socks, not to mention several layers of shirts and a jacket, AND my dad's puffy gloves) I would grab a camera and see what I could do with the loveliness. After so much exertion in the frigid air, perhaps tonight would be a perfect time to get a fire crackling and snuggle down with some hot chocolate and a good book. Winter's good!