Tuesday, September 30, 2008

weird dreams

so last night i was a bit stressed. i have a bunch of things to get done this week, and i'm getting tired of running on empty all the time. i shouldn't be surprised that my dreams reflected the weirdness.

ever since i quit my job 7 years ago, my old workplace has replaced my elementary school as the "nightmare" location of all my stress dreams. it kind of makes me laugh. i can somehow tell where i am in the dreams, but it's a strange deconstructed building, a mass of staircases and conveyor belts that lead to nowhere, and are challenging to navigate. every once in awhile i run into some former coworker, usually the ones i least want to see. last night, i was there with my childhood friend, and we were having a hard time getting around because there were stacks and stacks of old books on the stairs, and i found myself falling over them.

i was relieved and excited to pick one up, and see that it was a Bible! until i discovered that all the pages were in a language i could not understand, and as i tried to look thru the book, the pages disintegrated and fell apart. frantically, i paged to the beginning of the book, and it somehow became a pop up book, with all kinds of neat embroidery projects woven into the pages! cool elves and butterflies and woodland stuff! the whole project was actually sewn into the pages of the book, along with instructions on how to make it! and my childhood friend turned in kristie lou, who was just as excited as me!

i woke up feeling fine. and thinking that a bible/craft book might not be such a bad concept :))


ps. i took the accompanying photo from this website:

i like his work, don't you?

Monday, September 29, 2008

he's got the whole world ...

did you ever sing that song in the 70s? if you did, sing along with me, 'cause it is stuck in my head now...

i admit i never really think much about God in the WORLD, mostly just God in MY world. my immediate world, that is. in my daily life, my city, and often my country, what with the economic mess we are in, and the big decision about whether obama or mccain is the answer to it all...

so yesterday when pastor kicked off "missions month" in our church, i was glad to have my eyes opened somewhat. his sermon was about God in the world, and it was meant to open us up to the fact that He IS working incredibly, amazingly, astonishingly, BIGLY. everywhere!

our scripture base for the sermon was from not-very-oft quoted habakkuk (1:5):

Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.

the point was that unless we look around, we might miss the fact that Jesus is moving in a greater way on our earth than ever before in the history of mankind. some examples:

Africa - 65% of the country of Ghana is Christian, which makes it the most Christian nation on earth. did you know that america does not send the most missionaries out in the world? that africa is currently sending a huge influx of missionaries to do work in NEW YORK CITY?

China - now has 80 million believers, growing at 5x the birthrate there. over 30,000 per day are converting to Christianity.

Australia - has seen 1000% growth in Christianity since 1990.

Ukraine - hosted the greatest revival in history, in kiev, with millions saved.

Russia - now 36% Christian, compared to 25-28% for America. Public schools in Russia now teach children from the Bible.

Latin America - now up to 50 million believers. Countries such as Chile, Bolivia and Costa Rica are now over 40% Christian. Puerto Rico has the highest number of Christians per square foot on the planet.

Japan - Bible is the best selling book.

Korea - In 1900, there were 0 churches. Today, 6 new churches per day are being built.

The real picture is that Christianity is EXPLODING across the ends of the earth. Growth of new believers over the last 10-12 years has exponentially been much larger than since the time Christ walked the earth. THAT is reality. THAT is my world.

i'm so grateful, and excited, and i really have to remember not to forget :)

ps. i think this is information from Assemblies of God specifically. "believers" or "new believers" means born-again believers, if that is the case. don't ask me to confirm my math, i was just taking notes really, really fast...he he.

square pegs

well, there are officially a couple of crazy crocheters loose in sioux falls as of saturday. lou mastered her pattern with ease, she is AMAZINGly adept at picking up new craft skills. look out design camp, here she comes...also, take a look at the cute "hook holder" she whipped up to hold her supplies! love. it.

i, on the other hand, just went nuts for squares. i asked kristie if it was okay if i changed my mind, and make a granny crochet blanket, too. cause you know, we are twins. she said it was okay :) my pattern is from a book i have from 1976. i love the color combinations too much. i have a slight headache this morning from them, actually. but, i also have the goods to show for it.

i really wish crocheting burned calories :)

i should note that most of the crocheting above took place during sunday afternoon (and night) football. thank goodness i am starting to like it, since phillip is glued to the couch on sundays. yesterday, i had fun remembering the old days, when i was a girl in love with seattle quarterback jim zorn. today, he's a rookie head coach for the washington redskins, who won yesterday in a great game against evil dallas.

looks like i have a new favorite team, too :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

play date

c'mon over Lou, i am all ready to go!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


as i mentioned in my last post, i am kind of into tv with my crochet. the two are good companions for the serious multitasker. if you don't believe me, just ask kirsten. she can drive, watch tv AND crochet all at once!

so lately we are kind of getting into this new show, fringe, on fox. it's weird and kind of creepy but interesting. it reminds me of "the x files" only i like the main characters better. so far.

last night a guy threw some kind of weird gas on a bus, and it crystalized into a solid and encapsulated the bus inhabitants inside. and a woman had a baby instantaneously after she had sex with this guy, and the "baby" died of old age four hours later. and the heroes of the show figured BOTH of the scenarios out in the end.

c'mon. it's plausible! or maybe i was concentrating more on the crocheting right then :)


so, every night lately has been the same. make dinner, eat dinner, wash dinner dishes, turn on the tv, and crochet, crochet, crochet. i was kind of doing it last year too, but it seems to have begun early this year.

i'm having fun, on my mission to finish the brown squares afghan from last year. besides wanting to use it to cuddle with in the cold, i have another motivation to get it finished. next up on the list is THIS.

isn't this crazy beautiful? this is the semi-famous "babette" blanket that is all over the internet. i have wanted to make one ever since i first happened upon it online. finally bought the pattern a couple of months ago, but promised i would NOT start it until i finished my brown project.

yesterday, i could see the end coming, so i went yarn shopping! i fondled the $5.99 a skein wool yarn, before seeing a whole endcap of cream and brown acrylic for 99 cents a skein on clearance. sorry lisa, but i just could not do it. i'll be making another acrylic afghan, so that i can afford to make lots of them. i did pick soft and nice acrylic yarn, if that is any consolation. i'll need to be picking up some more colors, but i should have enough to get me started. not quite yet, but soon.

maybe this fall stuff isn't so bad after all :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

anti gloom

crap. i can see it coming, and i am not ready. even though it's still unseasonably warm here, it's been rainy/grey/gloomy on and off for the last 2 days.

which immediately starts me thinking that IT is coming. and i am not ready.

fortunately, i went outside to try to face the fear. and in the midst of the garden jungle, the dead stuff and sadness, i found these 5 gladiola stems. planted long ago from a 99cent pack of stuff, and forgotten.

they were half laying, half standing, and seem like a beacon of hope. at least for today! although they don't make a super cool bouquet or anything, they do make me happy as they sit right by my computer and remind me that all things work together for good.

Monday, September 22, 2008

week ends

wow. what a wonderful weekend. i am so grateful for these warm, soft fall days. saturday spent with "the girls" - thrifting and talking and dodging real work, and sunday spent cleaning and baking and hosting six great women who craft. just like me. thank you janet and cassie and marnie and lou and sarah and sara! i treasure days like yesterday. even though it's only in my head, cause i never remember to take pictures! so glad the suitcases will go to good homes. mine is happy in it's place, holding all the things i need to get me through the night :)

enjoying the new windows immensely. so are all the little clippings that live on the kitchen windowsill now. these guys will be a welcome cheer in january, don't you think?

and somebunny else loves the windows too. so very glad to give her this desire of her heart.

happy monday all!

Friday, September 19, 2008

mabel before

wow. mabel is looking a bit better with age. she was always kinda cute though, huh?

mabel's new day

well, mabel had her "makeover" yesterday. 12 new windows installed. i was worried about how hard it would be, but the Lowes guy made it look easy. i was also worried about the color on the exterior, but i guess it's fine. not exactly as good as before, but it's hard to duplicate 1930 without spending more money than you have. anyway, i slept with a cool breeze last night, for the first time in a VERY long time! life is good.

in other news, the hollyhocks i planted in the spring (very small when you put them in) are quite beautiful now. i don't really have enough room for them, but who cares. they are pretty.

and in a strange twist, i noticed THIS today. that's a melon. and yeah. that's a birdfeeder (guess the birds were hungry). um. how do you suppose it decided to go up THERE to grow?!

happy friday, y'all!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

oh, THAT

so yesterday i finally got around to making the infamous salsa verde. the first round of tomatillos had to be thrown away, but more had grown where they came from. my first impression of the stuff was that it smelled AND tasted sort of like ... grass. albeit freshly cut grass, but still. it was very very green, and very very weird.

determined not to give up, i put some on a few nachos and cheese. tasted like nachos with grass on top.

then today, i looked at the recipe again to see if i missed an ingredient (it DOES need garlic, i could tell that) and dang if i did not miss this part:

Cut in half and place cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin.

apparently that is the part that makes the stuff taste cooked, and not like a lawn.

oh well. there is always next year to try again.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

these days

turtlehead plant, taking off in style

mexican sunflowers

a "stray" sunflower, from last year's stash

impatient plant, still hanging on

don't you just love these days? i cannot stand how beautiful they are, and all the more because they won't be here forever. the flowers that are left over from the summer kind of remind me of a beautiful older woman with wrinkles. just kind of a deeper beauty than in the summertime, i think.

anyway, i could just wander around aimlessly all day and see. hope you notice the prettiness around you today, too.

Monday, September 15, 2008

packing up

so, the weekend was good. colder weather makes you feel justified in "staying in" - except for carey, who still seems to prefer the outdoors :)

anyway, i did venture out on saturday morning with lou, in search of the perfect ivory suitcase for her. we found not one, not two, but THREE cream suitcases at a lutheran rummage sale. she nabbed the round one, which is what she was hunting for, and i got the other two, because i am crazy.

i have this fun idea to make a nightstand out of a suitcase. still searching for the perfect "legs" but i had to see if it would fit in my space, and pick out the fabric to decoupage to the top (faux woodgrain, picked up at digs in minnesota this summer).

i LOVE this craft! so much so, that i invited seven art girls over next weekend to have a suitcase decoupage day. i wish you all could come! but since you can't, i thought i'd still try to inspire you to craft something fun for yourself. if you need a suitcase, just let me know...:)

Friday, September 12, 2008

fall on

there are so many good things to love about september. it's long been my favorite month, ever since i was a child and got to go back to school, which i loved (i know, i was always a nerd).

i still love these days. it's so good to pull on a sweatshirt, or cuddle up with a blanket. yesterday, i actually wore a turtleneck! ohhhhhhh, that was nice. and last night as we settled in to watch tv, i had my afghan that i am finishing up on my lap, and phillip sat beside me on the couch with his "colored string" (ie embroidery thread) crafting an ankle bracelet for me. crafts and fall just go together, too.

it's also a great time to bake, since firing up the gas oven is not a good idea in the 100 degree heat of summer.

so, this morning, with my homebaked muffins and peach jam, my trusty mug of joe, and fall in the air very prominently, i am content.

happy friday all!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

lab test

quite often in our church, pastor will talk about how if church on sunday is our "lecture," then our lives the rest of the week are the "lab" portion of our walk with Christ.

oh, how true that rings. as i remember WAAAAYYYY back to college, i sucked at lab. in fact, i came very very close to not graduating from college, because of a biology lab that i somehow thought i could discontinue attending, and still make a passing grade. yeah. that was what i did back then, just quit going if the lab portion was difficult or not pleasant.

these days, God has me in lab all the time, for things He wants to change, and let me tell ya, i would STILL rather be somewhere else! thank GOD for isaiah this week, which keeps me on track and thankful. this morning in isaiah 9, which expounds about the sins of the children of God, not once but THREE times, therein lies this verse:

For all this, his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is stretched out still.

i am reminded that even though my life in the lab is not a smooth and pretty one sometimes, He still longs to teach and change me, and even though my grade is not even close to passing, He is not done with me yet.

and who could ask for a better instructor than that?!

Monday, September 08, 2008

isaiah knows

i have a daily bible. every day, there is a chunk of the old testament, new testament, a psalm and a proverb to read. i WISH i could say i even come close to reading it daily, but i don't. lately though, i have been reading almost daily.

funny thing (to me, anyway) is that i have been really getting into the old testament more and more. i have come through job, ecclesiastes, and even songs of solomon recently, and been blessed by the Word. but this morning i was SUPER blessed to get to isaiah.

man, there is something about the book of isaiah. i just love it. not only does it contain my very favorite verse, but the whole book just really compells me. i think some of it is because it seems so REAL. the world isaiah describes sounds to me just like our world today, and the people and their sins sound just like me and everybody else i see, too. and if that is true, it stands to reason that the God of the book of isaiah is JUST like our God today. and it comforts me to know that. and it tells me what i need to do, and who i need to rely on, and how i need to live.

go read a bit of isaiah today, if you get a chance.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


i'm sure a certain someone who loves fall woke up happy today. personally, i woke up on the chilly side of things, although i'm pleasant enough right now with my jacket and flip flops on - indoors. i find myself dreaming of turtleneck sweaters though, so it must be affecting me too.

just went outside for the morning walkabout carrying my fire king bowl full of colorado peaches. for some ungodly reason, i decided to buy a CRATE of peaches at ace hardware this weekend. as all the smart people know, ace is the only place for hardware, as well as good peaches in the fall. good thing i also FINALLY got a used chest freezer this weekend. last night phillip and i coerced it down the stairs to its final resting spot. so peaches will be "put up." soon, hopefully before i eat them all.

i noticed the neighbor has decided on yet another form of camper to decorate the yard. so far, there have been four, count em four, various versions of vintage campers in their yard this summer. i admit i kind of like the el dorado here. look at the window mural! and the deer graphic!! well, they love to accent the place with all kinds of wonderful hardware. perhaps i should get them a gift certificate to Landscape Garden Centre next spring!

and while most of the blogs have posted shots of their little kiddos going off to school, i'll have to settle for this shot of my small one. still home with me for the day, for the time being at least :)

Monday, September 01, 2008

green tomatoes

i picked some of the tomatillos out of the garden this morning. although there are millions of them on the plant, only a few were "split" out of the shells. i admit i am kind of afraid of them. however. they are so pretty, aren't they?

i found a recipe on the internet for salsa verde. think i will whip up a batch later today. will let you know how it turns out!

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

1 1/2 lb tomatillos
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 Jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and chopped
Salt to taste

1 Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well. Cut in half and place cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin.

2 Place tomatillos, lime juice, onions, cilantro, Jalapeño peppers, sugar in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Season to taste with salt. Cool in refrigerator.

Serve with chips or as a salsa accompaniment to Mexican dishes.

Makes 3 cups.