Monday, August 31, 2009

song of the day

not sure about the pic. please disregard, unless it makes you feel happy :)

sunday sermon monday

As for me,
far be it from me that I should sin against
the LORD by failing to pray for you.
And I will teach you the way that is good and right.
1 Samuel 12:23

do you ever go to church sometimes, and from almost the second you are there, know without a doubt that God has placed this sermon in the Pastor's hands JUST for you?

that happened to me yesterday. the sermon on prayer hit me hard in the gut. and not in a real good way, except that i think conviction is a pretty good thing.

pastor talked about our prayer lives, or better, the lack of them. awhile back, he did tell us he has stopped saying to people "i'll pray for you" or "i'll pray for that thing" and just asks them, "is it okay if i pray for that right now with you?" i love that. it's harder to do than you think, until you are practiced up.

but i think of this blog. and how many times i have said to you good folks that i'll pray. and how miserably shallow many of those prayers have been. not that i have not done it (ok, sometimes i haven't), but it has not been my PRIORITY to pray. as samuel talks about in the scripture above, i have sinned against God in my prayer life.

i want to change. i thought i'd share the "assignment" that pastor gave us, more like a challenge, really. i love that we get homework at church. because really, isn't church more about our day-to-day life, than waiting for sunday to make it all make sense?

so here goes:

(1) Get before God in prayer and repent for not praying enough.

(2) Plan to pray.
a - set a time and a place.
b - determine to pray more than you have been.

(3) Make a prayer list.
a - Who.
b - What.

(4) Pray big prayers.
a - Ask large that your joy might be full.
b - You have not because you ask not.

(5) Come to prayer meetings.
a - Jesus said "my house shall be called a house of prayer."
b - Seek to establish a prayer group in your circle of influence. (moms/neighbors/work friends/family)

pretty neat, huh? i believe that as the church is falling apart in the modern day, as Christians have watered themselves down to potlucks and bad entertainment, the Lord is calling us back to Him and the things He has set down through the ages for us.

may your day be filled with the prayers and relationship with God that we all need.

oh, oh! almost forgot the best part, the part that got me!
he said failure to pray signifies one of 3 things. i hate these 3 things.

1) you do not value the eternal soul of those you are not praying for.
2) you do not LOVE those who you are not praying for, as you say you do.
3) you do not really BELIEVE in God's power.

huh. wow.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

diy sunday

whew. fun day today, started at lowes. i decided to put a "fake" tin ceiling tile on my kitchen backsplash. these tiles are in big 4' x 4' sheets of PLASTIC. they were quite easy to cut down, and i even used a caulk gun for the first time (my hand kind of hurts right now ;))

anyway, it was pretty quick and easy. i really like how it looks, even though i have very little space underneath my cupboards. the tiles kind of play off of the stainless appliances and hardware on the cabinets.

now, off for a walk! happy sunday!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

breaking and entering

it's been an eventful and fun weekend so far...started last night around ten when someone was clearly trying to get into my house. it was past 10pm ,and i had locked the door, it sounded alot like somebody was fumbling with a key, trying to turn the lock.

i stood at the door, kind of afraid to open it! but i had to see what was going on.

much to my surprise, it was the small furry one who lives here, trying to break IN the house with her little mass weapons.

which apparently, she had used EARLIER in the evening to make her escape.

sheesh. good to know she comes home after her wild flings, though. perhaps i need to get a doggy door, to save my almost-new Pella screens, eh?

in other news, i thrifted well this morning.

eureka! found a vacuum for $7 (with a bag of allergin-friendly bags marked $10) - now i can throw my $250 piece of crap away!! God, please help us to save all of the old items made in the 50s and 60s, back when things actually worked!

speaking of. how do you suppose it happened that i found an 18" SQUARE clean-lined oak frame this morning, when earlier in the week i received an 18" lovely print in the mail? yeah. like that happens without intervention.

:) thank you Lord. i love how it looks.

happy saturday ya'll!

Friday, August 28, 2009

yesterday was the PERFECT day...

... to sit with susan

...admire the jungle

... listen to the bees doing business

... contemplate what's ahead

...look thru some recipe books

...enjoy the new and the old

...and watch for the signs.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

just another day in the kitchen

what a hoot

thanks for all the birfday wishes yesterday, everyone! i had a great day!

roasted tomatoes

so in the midst of a monday, i multi-tasked and decided to try roasting tomatoes. it was easy, over the lunch hour, i diced up some onion, green pepper, basil leaves, garlic cloves...then washed and cored the tomatoes. i cut them in big chunks, then added a generous dose of olive oil and some salt.

into the oven at 300 degrees for about 3 hours.

by then, i was sick of working :) so i fished about half of the big chunks out and ran them through a sieve. then, pulsed the rest in the blender. oh, i also strained the "juice" that was left in the pan to get the majority of the seeds out.

back onto the stove for a couple of hours. the result is a really chunky marinara-like sauce. seems like it will be perfect for wintertime, especially with a couple chicken breasts and some parmesan cheese thrown in for good measure.

sigh. i have a pretty big pantry going right now. next up, potatoes. not sure what to do with those.

Monday, August 24, 2009

the falling away

what a great weekend. i did finally finish this book "adelaide piper" which has been on my nightstand for about 3 months, and was just not drawing me in. finally, i committed, and as so often happens, it sucked me in. it's a coming-of-age southern girl book, my favorite. what i did not realize is that it's also a testimony about a girl and God, and how He draws HER in, when she really has better things to do. somehow, i could relate.

you see, i had what i would call a great scare this weekend. for a few weeks, i have been following an old church friend on facebook. i was noticing some alarming talk in her updates, very "spiritual" in nature, and not about Christ. they were kind of vague statements that sounded more like the latest oprah show than the Word. you know, those "prophets" who take a grain of Truth, usually Truth that makes us FEEL good, then smack it into a book with a pretty cover, and tell the world they thought of it. sadly, it works with a generation of hurting people.

anyway, my "friend" had been updating about how positive thinking produces positive results. certainly, God addresses this in the Bible. i do believe it to be Truth. but her ideas were spread a little farther, maintaining that one should only involve oneself in "positivity" and refuse to enter in to things that seem negative. no mention of entering into the messy stuff with Jesus, who keeps our thinking positive no matter what we are going thru.

long story short, i decided to ask about her, and another couple that had been VERY dedicated to Christ. we used to worship together on friday nights at our assoc. pastor's house, several years ago. the news was not good. all three had left our church (i knew that, but i thought to start a small "home" church with some others). they had all fallen away from the teachings of Jesus!! seriously! i wonder how that could have happened, and it scares me. in my worship group we sometimes talk of the enemy's tactics, how sly he is in convincing. how he can take things one would never IMAGINE and make you believe it's for the best.

i guess the takeaway here is to choose your actions wisely. a decision to "look for another church" or "take a couple of weeks off" could very well be the plan of the enemy. stay close to those you know can help comfort and guide you through rough times, and point you in the right direction (toward Him). look for a church that is grounded, that has an accountability to others larger than themselves. always call on the Lord by NAME. trust that no matter how you feel, He is there. read His Word if you are floundering, and keep the foundation of Him in your life. He has a plan for you, a good one. He is telling us our lives depend on Him, and that is Truth.

Only be careful,
and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the
things your eyes have seen or let them slip from
your heart as long as you live.

Deuteronomy 4:9

ps. long story short for me is that i "unfriended" the friend, as well as several others who i KNOW are dangerously far away from God's plan for me. Rather than play a harmless game on the computer with people, i choose to stick with only the One who is trustworthy, whose Truth lasts through the ages, not for just a momentary feeling.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

the slow down

thank you, thank you, rani dear! somebunny dropped 6 dozen ears of yummy sweetcorn off at my doorstop yesterday!

i have gotten through about 2/3 of it by now, noon on saturday. i keep thinking about the pace of last week, the splitting headaches, the thought that my brain was running at max capacity for information retention, the dropping into bed exhausted before 10pm.

and i thought of karen's comment last week about the "work" i do on the weekends. and i realized that all of the crazy homemaker stuff i do is to help me. slow. down.

my mind is totally free when i work on projects like the corn. the husking, the washing and blanching, the cutting, the cleanup, all of it is simultaneously lowering my blood pressure, clearing my head, and filling me with thoughts of slower times, and a sense of achievement. not meaningless busy work, as we do so much of today, but REAL work that feeds your soul, as well as your body.

i made a batch of the old-fashioned "cream" corn with butter and half & half today, in memory of my grandma. i used HALF the butter that she used to, and it's still just decadent and delish. i'll probably make another batch this afternoon with the rest of the corn, just to give to friends (and my family, who is coming to visit tomorrow).

the slow down feels so good. thank you Lord for quiet saturdays :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

more house

yeah. i bought another house print from nate duval...i don't even know where i'll put it! i can't worry about such things, because it makes me too darn happy to look at. i'm going to start decorating closets pretty soon here...

make it work

so glad Project Runway is back. it was a nice surprise to me, because i didn't know it had switched channels. however, thanks to fashion-ey girl kristie, i had a great time watching last night. after the disappointment of design star, and the boring-ness of the food challenges lately, it's good to see tim and heidi and nina garcia! they are classic. it looks like it will be a good season...

make it work!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


i decided to use the f*** box of color under my sink today.
now, my hair will match the turning leaves.

doh! not exactly what i was going for. ah's to experimentation....and being willing to accept the results!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

one day at a time

“Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today."

Mathew 6:34

no, not that one day at a time...

remember that old song called "one day at a time"?

it's a country song, i think.

i need a copy of it right now in my life, because every dang day, i have been panicking about some future thing that MIGHT go poorly. it is causing me to not sleep well, to eat too much, to not enjoy the moment, to lose all sense of being a child of God!

i woke up thinking it cannot possibly be wednesday! this week has been torturous! i cannot take 5-day work weeks anymore! then, i prayed. i walked around the yard and asked God to be in my day. i asked Him to be more powerful than anything else. to be the Lord of today for me.

and guess what? today looks doable. it IS doable if i realize that He wants to help me with the "stuff" on my plate, and is far better at scheduling than me. i think being Omnipresent, Omniscient, all that stuff - helps :)

i love when scripture is the only thing you need. which is always, btw.

happy day!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

the f word

usually, i just hate it. lou uses it all the time, year-round, and i get so annoyed!

then one day, i wake up and there is the coolest breeze coming in the windows, and i walk outside and the sky is THIS color....

and all of a sudden, i am using the f word too.

happy f*** day!

state on a stick

in my neverending quest for cool artwork for the homefront, i ran into this artist, who paints "states on a stick."

genius, i say.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

yay weekends!

gosh, aren't weekends great? i am so relaxed and better now!

yesterday, i painted the bedroom finally! celadon...same but different than before. perhaps i have more green than necessary in the house, but i am pretty sure you cannot have too much green. this will have tomato red compliments when i am done, much like my one-eyed monster, which i found under the bed :) he he! that is hilarious, now that i come to think of it.

i also thrifted a wonderful "happy painter" painting yesterday! $26! i have been looking FOR EVER for a cool vintage painting, but many seem to be made of cardboard, and just not interesting to look at. i saw this one and it drew me in right away...look at the tiny little house! and the trees and the cute path leading somewhere GOOD. i laid on the couch and looked at it for 3 hours straight last night.

oh. and it's a real painting, not a print. cannot read the signature, but thank you unknown happy painter! your mission is complete.

then today, i went to church and brunch with a friend, and came home to can 8 qts of tomato juice. kind of took the lazy route there, but it will serve me well to make my famous tomato basil soup this winter...schwew. right now, i am going to lay on the couch and get ready for DESIGN star!! and thank the Lord for giving us rest. i hope you all are resting and relaxing and rejuving too :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

i'm a madmen

okay. you have probably seen these little avatars popping up on facebook. or maybe it's just my friends. anyway, this is pretty fun.

madmen yourself.

i am thinking of buying this series as a present to myself for wintertime. i didn't watch last season at all, so don't tell me anything! it's a good show, though.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

what you don't think about

i was thinking today about how much smarter God is than we are. what brought this about was a phone conversation with a young woman i started chatting with a few months ago. she was referred to me by an agency friend, as she was in need of advice about landing her first job after college as a designer, in an unfriendly economic climate.

to be honest, i was waaaaaaaaaaayyyy too busy to talk to her. but i wanted to be nice, so we set up a meeting. which got postponed. then another. another postponement. and finally, i think we both just kind of gave up.

when she called a couple of weeks ago, i felt really sorry that she has not yet found a job! so, i reluctantly set up another meeting thinking a) what will i tell her? this economy sucks right now! and b) i really don't have anything to say. it's hard, finding a job.

long story short (well, not really) we met and ended up talking for TWO HOURS. not about work in the way i expected, though there was some of that too. nope. we talked about God. about how to make your way in the world as a designer, when you love God, and when so many in advertising clearly....don't. how to honor God, revere God, keep God in His rightful position as the leader of your life, and not get sucked into the vortex of advertising, where working late, getting your kicks off of "award-winning" work instead of going home to your family, and all around ginormous egos are the norm. it was quite a conversation.

anyway, she's a great gal. i hooked her up with a church that needs a logo this week, and we talked for awhile about hourly rates and contracts and billing practices. i noticed on the bottom of her email signature it says:

"I want God to play in my bloodstream the way sunlight amuses itself on water."

now isn't that a neat signature? once again, i'm thinking God had a hand in this person walking into my life. not unlike kirsten with her blueberry top and bangles and stories of the boyfriend she followed to SD, and carey with her floral miniskirt and jar of candy on her desk to woo friends, and cass with her wrist full of bracelets (again) and mug of hot coffee and really NICE aura around her.

yep, He is pretty smart :)

attack of august

every year i kind of get taken by surprise, i turn around and it's august, and my yard is a jungle. i'm the crazy plant lady, this month, more so than any other ;) this year things seems particularly TALL. take a look:

weird sunflowerey things. not sure they are all that cool, but about 9 ft. tall....

then there is the real thing. this year i planted a "mammoth" variety
- up to 12 ft. tall. yup.

"kiss me over the garden gate" - a self seeder, although i transplanted these and they got a late start...probably 7 or 8 ft. tall.

assorted vines and such. the one on the far right goes up over the roof of the sun porch.

the purple fountain grass on the left was a bit of a surprise. every year, i plant some in a pot and it gets around 18" tall. this year, i ran outta room and decided to put it in the ground. it's now 5 or 6 ft. in circumference, and i cannot get into the door of the sun porch. wow!

cosmos to hide the neighbor. not that tall, but alot prettier than him :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

me and julia

so lou and i went to see "julie and julia" last night. i admit, i liked the julia part alot more than the julie part, but that's probably just me. i love julia child.

growing up in rural south dakota in the early 70s, julia was a pbs regular at our house. i looked it up, and the show ran from 1962-1973. so that would have made me a viewer toward the end of the run, i think. she and jacques pepin, they were my peeps. truthfully, i probably liked jacques even more, because the stuff julia made always looked too hard. for good reason, french cooking IS hard.

watching the movie last night, i kind of forgot what the REAL julia looked like. i liked meryl streep so much, that i kept thinking she WAS really julia. if i were meryl streep, i would walk around the house going "ohhhhhhhh, buuuuuuuuuttttterrr" in the julia voice. i kind of want to talk like her all the time too!

anyway. it was the first movie i have been to since last winter. maybe that's why i liked it so much. why don't you go too, and offer up your thoughts?


Monday, August 10, 2009

i fall in love easily

i know this about myself.

not too surprised that i am missing cookie today.

did you know that there is almost nothing more relaxing than holding a bunny? seriously. she is soooooooooooooo sweet. i kind of think i could be a bunny owner. we'll see how that plays out.

i also did spend quite a bit of time with the beardys at kirsten's house. puff is very very cute and geriatric, but kind of scares me a little. he opens his mouth and looks like he is going to take a big bite out of you. ramses, poor little guy, is still not eating. he seems to like the peas that kirsten feeds him from a tube, though.

the other mammals in the house are growing up so much! and very sweet kids, by the way.

a quick visit to the wrc where kirsten works - got to see those crazy raccoons. seriously, i cannot imagine the hearts of the people who work there. verrry large.

much time was spent on the deck, surrounded by lovely plants, and of course, bing!! isn't kirsten's new haircut cute?

look at the fun birthday present i got to shop for myself! more succies! and a really cool ceramic/clay tray to put them in!

i returned home late last night. siesta is happy and fine, and the farm is starting to enter the harvest season. sigh. i love weekends away....thanks kirst ;)