Thursday, January 31, 2013


school is cancelled today because of the cold. i tell myself that it has no effect on me, but i feel like playing hooky.

i do want to at least tell you about the most yummy soup in the world. we made it at church yesterday, and i have no idea how much anne altered the recipe as we went, but it was absolutely delish. i'm having some leftovers for lunch. is it lunchtime yet?

:) stay warm, peeps!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

the flip side

no doubt this is january. as i reflect on the month, i have to say that overall it's been very challenging, and also very good.

i have had to deal with things i did not want to deal with.

i have found myself ill-prepared to deal with said things.

i have tried on my own, and failed.

i have learned that trying on my own is pretty much a prescription for failure.

i've been blessed to not be on my own.

sigh. i think you know what i'm saying. it's true that a trip to the mall and a quick hit of color or new jeans CAN help when life wears at you. it's a temporary fix for a bigger problem, though.

in my case, i think the bigger fix is happening, too - and i want to tell you about it.

part of the solution has been my journey with this book, and the women whom i am sharing it with. i've been doing bible studies in my house for awhile now, but it's been a really long while since i have been as 'drawn in' to a study as this one.

part of it is the women who are in the group - some old, some new, and of course one that was dropped off at my doorstep. what an unusual lot. i am enjoying the mix.

but i think the bigger part of the study is God himself. it's HE who drew me to begin to read the next chapter in the study IMMEDIATELY after the last guest went home last night.

that never happens. but as it so happens, this chapter is about anger and irritability. and wow! i've been irritated with quite a few things lately.

the good news is, you cannot hide these kind of things from God.

so in the early morning hours, before the sun even thinks about rising, i can bring up the real stuff with a God who cares for me. who sees thru all the faults and flaws. who has a real, invested desire to see me break some chains, and move into more and more freedom in Him.

yes, i see that. and yes, it is better than the mall. thank goodness for january and newness all around. as much as i long for this winter season to be done with, i treasure it for the things that are being cultivated under the surface, that will surely bloom later on if i choose to nurture them along.

happy wednesday, guys!

Monday, January 28, 2013

color my world.

blech. it's a grey day out there. it's totally TOTALLY january.

sometimes, you have to fight these things.

which lou and i did on saturday, we battled the elements.

we went shopping.

and guess what? we WON. here's how much i personally won:

 i fought back with color. LOTS and lots of color. my almost 30-year old collection of fiestaware is now singing a tune of flamingo pink, lemongrass, deep green and tangerine. BOOM (as my favorite client would say).

i also sort of fought back with paint. like a bright orange bit of shazam in my kitchen cupboards. it's about as far away from this grey day as one could get!

take THAT, january!

Friday, January 25, 2013


i woke up this morning with sun peeking through the windows again...wonderful!

i also thought about the fact that dreaded january is almost over. time really DOES fly. i have my little houseplants to keep me happy for a couple more months, before the outdoors come back to me.

even though last year was disappointing, i am hoping for spring rain and growing wonderful things next year. always there is hope.

that plant above is my begonia from 2007. the time has gone fast. it's so cool to remember back and to the special time when it bloomed. btw, it has never bloomed any other time for me - before OR after that post. i'm asking God for another one sometime. i know it has the power! ha.

have a good friday, basked in golden glow, where ever you are :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

the lingering question

as i was staring at the screen this morning, trying desperately to think of SOMETHING to write a blog post about,

the big Q popped into my head:

i did what anyone would do in one of those deep, philosophical moments. i googled it.

the answer, apparently, is that they are not.

something about them going corporate and blah blah blah not enough personal inspiration and blah blah blah a generational gap or something or other.

then, i read that the new word for blog is tumblr.

we all know what tumblrs are, it's like when you find a funny pic of ryan gosling and write a 'hey girl' statement on top of it.

the thing i cannot for the life of me figure out - is the word tumblr really that much better?

maybe we could just call them blgs instead of blogs.

hey - that would be neat - because those are MY INITIALS...!

sigh. really, honestly, i'm stretching for a topic...perhaps tomorrow will be a better day to come visit :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

rock star

so you guys know how much i love a good rock star.

my interpretation may be different than yours (barry manilow, anyone?) but still. i find there is quite a bit of value in rock n' roll. it keeps your insides alive.

i was so happy to spend another evening with my fave rock star (and rock star FRIEND!) on friday night.

it was the 5th time i have seen him, um, them in concert. lou and i get very excited, but not excited enough to stand in line to meet the band. that would be weird and frightening. therefore, we stand just outside the line and stare. not weird AT ALL.

it was a good night, very much needed by me. i like that it was a ton of acoustic stuff, and lots of audience chat. i would definitely recommend seeing third day on tour if you have never done so. and mac? well...he's a rock star that reminds me of jesus, which cannot be a bad thing.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

the rest of the story.

whew. this was a heckuva week. one i will most likely not want to live again anytime soon. what i have noticed is that in the extremely pressure-filled days, God's presence is more powerful. at least i believe that is part of the connection for 'the rest of the story.'

i was working away on tuesday, in the afternoon. my first bible study of the semester was to begin at 7pm that evening, and to be honest, i was not really thinking about it much. i've gone through some internal struggling just to release these studies to God, and not pretend that i have a part in making them succeed and/or fail. or even that i know the definition of success or failure in this arena.

whatever. a knock came on the door.

it was a woman, in a black coat partially hiding her face. at first, i thought it was my friend jenni. then she spoke, just briefly with the opening words 'i'm sorry to bother you, but i used to live here.'

then, she started to cry.

i have to admit, i did not think about things much at this point, i stepped out onto the stoop to hug her, and ushered her inside. as i waited for her to get her bearings enough to speak, the story started to spill out of her.

she was a teen in Fern in the 80s, i found out. she quickly rambled the story of a traumatic childhood, of much abuse and the aftermath of struggle, anxiety and pain.

at one point she told me 'this is the only happy place that i remember being when i was growing up.'

at which point i realized that God was indeed here, in Fern, as i had hoped.

we continued to chat as i walked her around the house to show her all the rooms. she was at the same time gleeful to see that much of the original house remained, and that i had indeed 'artisted' it up in a way that was pleasing to her. it became clear that she is an artist-type as well.

as we went down to the partially renovated and extremely messy basement, she got very excited and recalled that she and her brother (pic from the previous post) used to live mostly in that space. she laughed with me about the bathroom with no walls! she recalled that it seemed so tiny now, but then her family of four did not think of the space as tiny at all. how times change.

her brother, it seems, is an artist in seattle. i was excited to see that he paints animals and birds. he looks talented. she mentioned that when he visits SD in the summer, it would be neat to bring him back and show him around. i told her 'yes' to that thought.

and lastly, when the raw emotion started to wear off, we prayed. we asked God into the oddness of the situation. we asked him for peace and for guidance.

and i asked her to join my tuesday night bible study, even though she lives in another town and would have to drive to come to it.

she said 'yes.'

which says alot of things about God. first, that he cares for his flock, and will drop them off at the proper doorstep at the proper time.

and secondly, that our part in the plan is to be obedient, and not to pretend that we made up the plan.

it was the best part of my week :) seriously.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

who knew?

so yesterday, i found out that this guy used to live in my basement. sometimes, you just can't make this stuff up.

and yes, a story is attached to that statement ... a not-made-up one.

which i am too crazed and busy to tell right now. but believe you me, it's a fairly good story :)

i hope that you are having an awesome week! i cannot believe it's only wednesday.

Friday, January 11, 2013

i came, i spoke, i got tired.

so last night was my speaking engagement for the local graphic design crowd.

here is a short rundown.

i wore some makeup.

i put on dangly earrings (although i had to take them off - ouch).

i bought some new skinny jeans about 2 sizes too big so that i could breathe, which may or may not go against the point of skinny jeans.

i sent lou multiple photos (see exhibit below) asking about dressing options.

i did not wear this one, because the bat wings are a bit cumbersome.

i did powerpoint for my talk. huzzzah.

i networked.

i tried to be funny-ish and smart-ish. not sure if i accomplished either.

i actually did not have a bad time.

i have decided, upon full examination, that i am never, ever leaving my house again.

that is all :)

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

clean eating part 2.

so, i've got the cuties. that was a good 1st step. I now have ZERO sweets in my house, thanks to polishing off the last of the chocolate chips... :)

yesterday, i decided to cook a whole chicken. in the crockpot. it went against my better judgement, but in the end, it worked out.

I added a little water in the bottom of the crockpot, shoved the chicken in (it was a package of frozen 'parts' that made up a whole) and threw a bit of olive oil, some salt, pepper and garlic powder over the top. oh, and i sprinkled some dried basil on because raw chicken is gross.

i let it cook forever until it fell apart, then when it was cool, i chopped it up. i got almost 5 cups of chicken, which is quite a haul. i had to strain out the chicken from the broth, which i put in the fridge. once it was chilled, i took the fat off the top, leaving some good broth for sauces/soups/etc.

last night, i had some brown rice, salsa, shredded cheese and chicken for a little mexican bowl dinner.

tonite or tomorrow, i am going to have this recipe i found on pinterest:

I also have spinach in the fridge, so i can add a bit of protein to my salad.

and of course, i can throw some in the freezer for a later date.

it's not chocolate chips, but it's a start :)

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

store struck.

wow. it's the new year, and all i can think about is how good it's going to be? where is the usual winter sadness? i think it is keeping at bay because of the sun.

at any rate, it makes me optimistic on a lot of fronts.

one of those fronts is the organization front. what if i actually WAS for once in my life? would you all fall over? i think i would!

i went on a little whirlwind 'i haven't been in so long' thrifting binge last weekend with friends on 2 separate occasions. all i bought was storage stuff. let's take a look, shall we?

this one makes me dizzy! it's a 60s record album holder...using it to store my monthly receipts for the office. it really is fab.

here's an old egg basket, i think. what caught my eye was the giant ball of string...there were actually TWO giant balls of that I gave to lou, because we both like string :) i'm going to keep my extra yarn in it in the craftroom.

the 'electrobrain' is a rather big storage box made of wood. it has a hinged top to hold all kinds of fun stuff. also for the craft room. i am thinking i will put casters on it, so i can roll it around. it also has a slot in the top that the lady selling it said may have been for a ballot box. looks like it has been through a couple of different lives :)

these cute little wooden drawers are kind of nasty at the moment. they were retrieved from a scary, dark, unheated salvage place in canton. the little placards are so unbelievably COOL...! can hardly wait to clean em up and put something in em!

another craft room item. a little mod green plastic supply holder. i has a lifetime's worth of straight pins and needles in it already - for the craft room :)

and finally, a little thingamajig. have no idea what this is, it's about 8" tall. it rotates around in a circle, so it must be a knob for some giant piece of machinery or something. i'm going to slip pencils or crochet hooks or something in the top to keep them within easy reach!

sheesh! that is more organization than i can even handle! i need to keep plugging away at the basement paint job, so that i can put this stuff to good use!

Monday, January 07, 2013

cutie love

i know i have blogged about them before, but here they are again!

i love cuties.

i was in the checkout lane, and the checkout guy said 'i love cuties.'

cuties are a very smart marketing invention. because i'm pretty sure it was up to some marketing people to turn them from clementines into CUTIES.

i probably would have bought them anyway, but definitely not as much as now that they have a cute name.

it's a good thing i'm on the cutie train again, because last night i was eating a handful of chocolate chips while i was filling out my subscription to 'cooking light.'

yep, it's time for a game plan. one that includes cuties.


Friday, January 04, 2013

looking for light.

the last couple of days have seemed extremely dark in the morning. as i stumble into my computer, i am having trouble getting motivated to go back to work.

yesterday was an especially crappy day. all day long it seemed, things were not going my way. much of my job involves reading people's reaction to the things i make for them, and trying to 'correct' when the reaction is less than complimentary.

i did not get a whole lot of compliments yesterday.

i try to remind myself that doing my best is really all i can do, and that sometimes, it is more wise to hang back and let the other person do some of their own adjusting.

a client told me yesterday that he did not agree with much of his boss' decisions, but that since he was 'paying the bills' he was not going to challenge the wrong thinking.

i started to think about how much of my life is spent compromising because of 'paying the bills.'

perhaps, less than i would think. however, i want to learn to put paying the bills a bit MORE out of the position of control. i think we all do. but in this day, in this culture, it's a continual thing, not just a one-time decision.

as the evening winded down, i turned to my devotional for today - i just needed to look ahead, to be assured that today would be a better day.

the first words of the devotional read:

"i want you to learn a new habit. try saying 'i trust YOU, jesus' in response to whatever happens to you.

friends, i cannot tell you how PROFOUND that simple sentence was to me in my moment of need. i was able to lay EACH troubling thought at the feet of Jesus just by saying 'i trust you.' this simple act actually removed the burden from my heart.

and in fact, i did wake up to a day that i am not afraid of. one that holds great promise. one that is starting out in darkness, but will SURELY lead to light.

and so it goes. i hope that you have a good friday :)

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

looking good!

whenever i hear 'looking good' i say it in my head the way that freddie prinze used to say it in 'chico and the man' - one of my favorite tv shows growing up.

more like 'loooooooooocking gooooooood!'

i loved freddie prinze. sigh.

okay. focus. that was one of my new year's resolutions, and here i am, drifting already.

i got some new artwork.

it's pretty. my dining room, i'm not sure if he is an elk or a deer or what. i love the way his antlers are bleeding upside down (watercolor). very pleasing to me EVERY time i walk by, which is a 100 times a day. my bedroom. i don't see this one nearly as much, but it is sort of a modern version of a gramma quilt. with lots of yellow, which works in that room with the yellow 'last supper' painting opposite.

art makes me feel good. i always feel guilty when i buy things, but i IMMEDIATELY love the feeling i get when i see it. is that bad? i don't know.

anyway. here's to loooooooooooocking good for 2013 :)
happy day!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

yo, adrian!

howdy, y'all! welcome to 2013!

how did you make it through the christmas season? i think i did well - with a nice mix of hermit and socialization, heavy on the hermit side.

i'm actually ready to get back to work :)

i'm not sure what to think about the new year. i admit the whole 'fiscal cliff' thing did kind of enter my mind. because the thing is, even if we (meaning america) don't fall off it NOW, we're sure to fall off it sometime in the future. i also thought about the recent shootings, and just the general sadness that comes in at holiday times. the big news in the headlines yesterday was a funeral for 3 kids that died in a house fire. that weighed a bit heavy, also.

i'm pretty glad that God reminds me that there is more to look forward to than just the stuff of this world. because a zillion pretty sunsets cannot cancel out the pain i see around me. it's a good reminder that the only reasonable answer for our future is a God who cares, who never intended this as our end-product, and who has a game plan for us - for the new year and for every new day! that is my hope, and i'm sticking to it :)

on that note, my pastor asked us to frame our new year with a couple of questions on sunday, specifically:

1) what are you going to keep?

2) what are you going to let go?

3) what are you going to take on?

it sounded really simple at first, but then when i started to think about it, it was harder...i think maybe the short answer (for me) would go like this...

1) what are you going to keep? relationships that matter (ps...they all do), gratefulness, focus on small things in life and beauty in small things

2) what are you going to let go? fear of tomorrow, feeling out of control, relying on physical/body cues for comfort instead of God (ie eating/napping/looking at pinterest)

3) what are you going to take on? jumping off REAL cliffs that God puts in my path, instead of imaginary ones brought on by a dueling government! new disciplines in my life (ie more intentional choices) and an openness to change, something that is inevitable, but still very hard for me

okay! that felt good!

how about you guys? any new year's resolutions you want to share? i also told kristie yesterday that i also need to starve myself for 6 or 12 months, sigh. so bummed to still be saying that :)

happy new day!