Monday, May 30, 2011

riding the storm out

so, ending the memorial day weekend with a tornado watch. those are a little more important since the storms this spring have caused a lot of devastation.

still, i prayed protection from God, and i think that is about all i can do. it is enough.

it was nice to have a few days off. one client emailed constantly, but i had the wherewithal to not respond until tonite. what a strange world we live in. i do so love unplugging every once in awhile. i wish we all did it, to be honest.

sigh. that being said, next week is too dang busy. i know this already. i wish it was not so often the case, but i don't know how to change it, really. i am trying to find joy in the busyness, and to learn to say 'no' with love.

it was really nice to visit kirsten in st. paul again. i do sincerely LOVE that city. when kirst drives me around, all i do is stare at the cute little houses and imagine living there. i think, if i had the courage 20 years ago when i considered it, i would have been able to be happy there.

but now, i'm happy here. which is a good thing to decide upon, i guess.

i was greeted by this face when i got home. i think she is saying 'you bought what? more what? WHERE IS MY FOOD?'

ha. or maybe she just missed me.

i did buy more plants. lots more. i am D.O.N.E. done for this year. or until i see something on clearance that is just too good to pass up.

kirsten and i stopped at a couple of places, my favorite is Highland Nursery in st. paul. it's a lovely place just to roam around in. i could probably be happy pitching a tent and living in the back room there. it's that good.

anyway, i got everything potted up when i got home, so i feel pretty settled as far as yardwork goes. now, it's just upkeep. which usually breaks down to an hour or so a day. i do not have what you would call a low-maintenance yard. which makes me happy :)

oh, i also attempted to make a terrarium when i got home. we made kirsten's at her house, i forgot to take a photo, but it was super cool.

mine is less than super cool. in fact, it's kind of yucky. way too much dirt and way too little good stuff. i hope it gets better as it grows. i don't like terrariums so much anymore, i guess.

happy post-holiday! i have missed you all!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

art and vacation

sigh. final day before a mini vacation, and a trip to see kirsten in st. paul. it's a very good day, even though it's rainy, cold and windy here {again}.

i am usually so bad at vacations. i never really relax. i'm trying to tell myself that living in the present moment is all i need to do for the next few days. i don't have any meetings today, except for helping a friend shop for my former pastor's retirement party decorations. i do have a project to complete before i go. however, it's a doable, funnish one. if websites CAN be fun. ha.

to start vacation off right, yesterday i received a new screenprint in the mail. i got it here. it's by a minneapolis design group called landland, who seems to do mostly 'gig' posters. although i actually like band posters, i don't actually listen to iron and wine :) i probably should. i tried, but the first song i heard did not grab me much.

i bought the art for the illustration. i'm actually pretty fascinated with images of structures, like houses, cities and such. i have a strong theme going in my living room. for the last couple of years, i've also been thinking about grain elevators. so when i saw this, i knew i wanted it. if i ever paint (which some day, i hope i do), i think one of the subjects i'd like to try is grain elevators. i seriously love them. they are beautiful, right?

so, back to structures. another thing i seem to be drawn to thinking about is houses on stilts. my old buddy nate duval has done some cities on stilts, i think i bought a calendar from him once. but check out this one! over the years, quite often i have dreams about cityscapes on stilts! what do you think that means?

nevermind. doesn't matter what it means. i am pretty sure i know what my next art purchase will be :)

happy day everyone!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


on sunday, our pastor preached from the book of Jonah. i'm so enjoying verse-by-verse preaching in the 'new' church. i have never done that before....let me tell ya, Jonah has some good stuff in it.

it was interesting that pastor tied the term 'control freak' into his teachings from chapter 1. immediately, i perked up. i think most of us try to control some, if not all, aspects of our lives. women seem to have an especially tough time with over-controlling behaviors.

let's just say i have a few 'issues' in this area. pastor asked us to examine ourselves, to think about what parts of our lives we try to control....when God could do a much better job. Here goes:

1) work. work. work. i have always been controlling in a job setting. at some times in my career, i'm pretty sure i was a pain in the butt to work with. perhaps, i still am too much of the time. i have a hard time 'guiding' people and not getting upset when they don't seem to listen or care, even though they hired me to 'guide' them. how do i give this to God? one situation at a time, i guess. yesterday, i had a few times to practice. ha. i imagine today will be another similar laboratory setting. sigh.

2) relationships. i like people to be and do what i like them to be and do. history has taught me that often, people are not exactly great at being and doing for my benefit....he he. again, i think only the grace of God with every single person in your life can stop you from trying to control them.

3) my future. what? who can control their future? seriously, i feel stupid for even writing this one down. yet, i seem to spend an inordinate amount of time planning, when in reality i just want to do/go where God sends me. the greatest reward ultimately lies in living out his purposes. i'm tired of my purposes. and still, i try to figure it all out.

4) the weather. yeah. go figure. now that it's gardening time, i think about the weather alot. will it be a bad summer? will the rain become permanent? how about the cold temps? the thing about the weather is that it's a great reminder that we CANNOT control God. the latest storms and tornados are evidence of the power that God can possess. i don't believe God brings on storms as part of wrath, but that he allows creation in its brokenness to act in ways that are not in His perfect will. still. i wish i could control the mess of the lives of the people in the South. i want to know that our country will be safe from harm. i know that God knows what will happen, but it makes me crazy that i don't.

so, that is about all i can think of for now. i'm sure there is more. today, Lord, i grant you rights to my life. to step in and take charge when you need to, and to guide ME instead of me guiding me. i pray this for all my blog friends who need help in this area. in Jesus' name, amen.

ps. this is loco. he doesn't need help with control issues, he has it all figured out.


Friday, May 20, 2011

today's sponsor

today's program is brought to you by the color 'purple.'

Seriously Lord, purple is one of your very best ideas!! thank you for making it ;)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

new school, old school

i'm thankful that i have friends who still keep up with things. last week, i was over visiting lou at her agency, and all of those guys were abuzz over the newest, coolest thing for the iphone.

it's called 'square' - probably because of the shape, just guessin' ;) - and when you plug it into your iphone, you become a retailer! it's amazing. you can scan a credit card, and the payer actually 'signs' your phone with their finger! i am going to have the BEST GARAGE SALE ever later this year, if i ever get around to cleaning the basement!

seriously, it will be neat when/if i ever do any craft shows again. very excited about the possibilities.

i love new school.

remember last fall when i was so excited about this fencing? well, i had kind of given up on the idea of installing it, as the new fence went up, and as i cannot figure out how to begin to unroll it and see how much fencing is actually IN there! i still need some fencing around my garden, however, at some point in the future when i can afford more landscaping.

then, last night while i was tooling around a cool vintage pix website, i ran into this photo.

that's it. i WILL use my cemetary fencing, and i will look every bit as proud as the happy couple above in their beautiful garden!!! :)) i kind of want their car, also.

i love old school.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

3 to 9

during the last couple of weeks, my life has shifted dramatically during certain times of the day. i thought about it last night, and kind of pinpointed it. 3 to 9. 3pm to 9pm has become my favorite part of the day, when just a few short weeks ago, it was my least favorite. see, back THEN i did one of two things. i either got ready to go teach (which actually usually ran longer than 9pm), or got ready to lay on the couch and watch tv....since it was winter, i had no energy or desire. and really, could not fake it enough to do much more.

suddenly, with spring in the air and my body wanting to come out of dormancy, i've gotten a new lease on life. some of it comes in the morning, as i wake at the sound of the first bird singing in the new day. sometimes (like today for instance), i might be getting up a bit early, as i can tell i have not been getting QUITE enough sleep.

but mostly, my new life begins at 3pm. that's when things like making paper cuts and chatting with the neighbors, and of course rifling around the yard with garden gloves and buckets of water and bags of mulch happens. it all continues until 9pm, when i am usually quite exhausted and come inside to flop down for an hour or 2 before bedtime.

i cannot believe how much i missed 3 to 9. yesterday at 3pm, as i was headed to lowes to pay for the new garage door (NOT the funnest part), i checked my iphone to see a message from carey, who was headed to 'girls on the run' to have root beer floats. i have a sneaking suspicion i am not the only one who is going to be enjoying 3 to 9 for the next few months :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

chilled out

uh boy. it got to 34 degrees last night, which means all of my plants are in the garage right now, with the exception of a few who have a blanket on top of them at the moment. my garage and grass were frost covered this morning, so i know it must have touched down even lower at some point.

however, it has GOT to get warmer eventually, right? last week i had to turn the AC on tuesday, then back to the furnace on wednesday. it's good to be flexible, i guess :)

anyway, lots of progress in the back forty this weekend. the patio and fence turned out well! hard to believe that a couple of weeks ago i was house hunting. now, i cannot imagine leaving :) it will be good to have lots of projects to putz with this summer, in terms of prettifying around the new hardscapes.

rudy (landscaper) and his helpers were fairly good tile layers. i was so impressed with how fast they moved, and how good they seemed to be with handling rocks and pavers.

it was raining when they finished up on saturday, so i need to sweep some sand into the pavers to set them when the sand dries out. my contribution to the hard labor :)

i did rush right out and buy a tree to put INSIDE the fence as soon as the project was complete. let's hope he's a petite size in the future ;)

and let's hope that the freezing temps go away this week, as they are forecasted to do. God and i have a lot of growing to do!

:) happy monday all!

Friday, May 13, 2011


ps. yay! i think she liked it :)))

it was kind of like somebody cut a body part off today, as blogger has not been working for a day or so. even though yesterday's post magically disappeared. alas, it was not anything super incredible or unmissable. i say that because i have no idea what i wrote! ha!

whew. anyway. it looks like we are 'baaaaaaaack' on. i did want to show you the finished product i made for a friend's bridal shower (tonite). yes, my finger does hurt from gripping an exacto knife all week long. yes, i am kind of happy with it, though!

the happy couple are musicians. i hope they like it :))

happy friday!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

yay for dirt

"before" shot of rock wall - taken last weekend

"after" shot of rock wall with new stones added!

whew. stage one of back yard 'redo' is done. peeps, i cannot tell you how many years i have been waiting for this! it's so nice to finally have a level yard, albeit a very narrow one. as you can tell from the pics, the biggest drawback to the yard itself was not that i have a very ancient, home made rock wall (i actually kind of loved the wall), but that it sloped downward about 2' from the house to the wall. so, gardening was a challenge. and really, there was no way to add a fence with the unevenness of the wall, and the fact that there were several large, unruly stumps in the way.

ripping out the wall was, shall we say, 'cost prohibitive.'

until last week, when i found rudy, who said he could add to the top of the wall, no problem. so yesterday, he and a couple other really nice men came over and got things into shape. they removed the stumps, and started stacking stones, no cement necessary. it was really fun to see how fast they worked. these rocks are rather heavy, there is no way i could have lifted some of them.

for now, i had them leave this little row of bushes on the end near the alley. i might remove those later, but i kind of didn't have the heart to remove them yet. they actually fill in and get really pretty as the summer progresses.

phase 2 comes next week, when rudy and the guys will install a small patio (where the patch of grass is in the above photo) and a privacy fence. woo hoo! a privacy fence! and a patio! did you hear ME? ha. i'll put my adirondack chairs and my fire pit out there, and if i know myself, probably a gazillion pots and other colorful doo dads.

speaking of. i have been stalking a garden in california (via facebook) for a couple of years now. i am hoping that in 5 years, my garden will look a little something like this one!

dreams are good, aren't they?
happy day!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

pinning away

click on the photo to see all the pretty!

i've been meaning for awhile to blog about pinterest. i did write about it over at my work blog, because it's a designer thing, but seriously, you all need to know.

they actually define themselves as "a place to catalog the things you love," and that is about right. it's kind of like a virtual inspiration board, where you have categories that you set up, and when you see a cool pic somewhere online, you can 'pin it' to your various boards. i have boards like 'vintage vibes' and 'the backforty,' if that gives you some idea.

there are days (like today, for instance) where all i want to do is sit and stare at all the pretty boards! i think it helps to motivate me to MAKE more things. i am having fun this week doing my paper cut, and would love to continue with a summer of handiworks of one sort or another. i think it's actually going to happen, which makes me crazy with anticipation!

the only problem is, the house keeps falling apart. apparently that means i will have to secure some more projects in order to pay for all of the disrepair ;)

oh well. i guess it will be nice to have one of these soon.

happy day!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

this is the day

Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait
for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ
to bring you to eternal life.
Jude 1:21

all of a sudden, it seems like everything i have been waiting for is here. when i wake in the morning to hear the birds singing LOUDLY and then go out with the first cup of coffee in hand to greet the day, and see that the plum tree has decided overnight that TODAY is the day it's going to bloom, i sigh. the wait is over.

isn't it weird how the very bestest of things are the things you have to wait for? i find it so funny that our world tells us 'instant gratification' is the way to go. and i fall for it, too, sometimes. but deep inside, i KNOW. i know that we were born for a purpose on this earth, but even more so, we were born to WAIT. to not settle for the things of this world, because peeples, there is so much MORE ahead of us!

i don't know about you, but i can hardly wait!!!
ps. happy tuesday, y'all :)

ps. a quick sneak peek at another thing i am waiting on. it has to be done by friday!!! aaaaaayyyyyyyyiiii! i wish i could wait another week. ha.

Monday, May 09, 2011

perfect weekend

it's been raining at night the last couple of nights. that is a pattern that i kind of hope continues, because it's MARVELOUS to see the sun again during the day... it's better than ice cream, really.

the 'race' on saturday was fun. i did not get super motivated to start running again, although i would like to walk more. there were about 6300 people out and about, which for little ole SF seems like a lot. how did it go, rani?

then, of course, it's time to act like a crazy person with the lawn care. i love how mabel shines up this time of the year (nevermind that the walk badly needs paint, and the christmas lights are still up :)).

everyone in the neighborhood seems happy. it's fun to see people smiling as they mow and trim and get some rays. it makes me remember why i moved here in the first place, which i really needed to do.

as for me, i spent some time mulching around the flowers, so far - 18 bags of mulch and counting. i got the new 'colored' kind of mulch, which i hope does not have some weird chemicals in it. it is pretty, however.

i was kind of overzealous, and trying to pack way too many bags of mulch into bert yesterday, when i realized it sucks to be single. i seriously said to God "um, i could use some help" when a good friend and another complete stranger came out of nowhere to help me load up!!! God is so good, in the big and small things, He is there.

anyway, mulching is sort of fun. does that make me weird to think that?

:) happy monday all!