Monthly Archives: September 2008

How do I love thee?

Let me count the ways:

 

 

 

 

 

Amsterdam in Shale

 

 

 

 

 

Newport H2 in Kiwi

 

 

 

 

 

Portland Blossom in Chocolate Liqueur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timberline in Seal Brown

 

and so, my love affair with Keen shoes continues…

 

you will not find me in heels.

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the tale of Autumn

young Autumn whispers to me her solemn stories in misted sunrises, in swirling leaf-flakes, and in the crackly smell of wood-smoke.  her eyelids fall in early evening and in her yawn, the orangey glow of a sunset, a flickering flame of innocence, lingers in the joy of the moment. she does not know the harsh chill soon to come, she only knows that she is tired and asks me to tuck her in. soon frost will glaze grass, and trees will shiver naked in december snows. but for now, Autumn snuggles and sighs in the warmth of ember-colored trees and steaming tarty cider and in the gentle beams of the doe-eyed moon. she remembers the blissful laughter of the children who played with her, and in dreamy awe, the young lovers strolling down gold, leaf-paved streets, their hands melted together. and with her heart breaking, she closes her eyes and wishes she were human so that she could stay.

and i wish she could, too.

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shit happens, but so does grace

something happens to me when my family gets together for the holidays, and it is not pretty.

i am the family scape goat, which is much worse than being the blacksheep (although, many times the two go hand in hand). during the days spent together, all those lovely little family tensions are dumped into the pot, brought to a rolling boil, and then poured all over me, because i’m usually the straw that cripples the camel (after having all my buttons pushed).

you will then find me on the bathroom floor in the fetal position.

after much praying, crying, and (cringe) cursing, God gets me up and i trip along like a grasshopper with a broken leg, not quite dignified, back to apologize to everyone. we all make our pleasantries, and usually everything is ok for the duration of the visit.

this happens every christmas and thanksgiving, no matter how prepared i think i am. my family- the loves of my life are also the thorns in my flesh, put on earth to remind me that i need God’s grace all the freaking time.

i can’t tell you how awesome it will be when we are in the total presence of God and will never fight again.

but for now, i raise my glass of murky humility, and toast the Grace that absorbs all the shit in my life, like baking soda on vomit.

Thank you, Jesus.

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saturday lackadaisicalness

i have been dragging all day…probably the overcast sky has had to something to do with it. i ate, finished a book, ate, watched some episodes of The Office, read another book, took a nap, ate, watched more Office. lather, rinse, repeat. i’ve tried to talk myself into doing something constructive like laundry, baking, going for a walk, drive, dot dot dot, but the most i’ve accomplished today is brushing my teeth. i’ve allowed myself the excuses that the laundry room is probably already occupied, as with on most saturdays, and that going out will probably result in me spending money (and i’ve already spent my entertainment/shopping budgets for the month).

so now i’m just listening to The Shins and aimlessly browsing the internet.

any fun ideas?

here are my top 5 picks for a perfect saturday, if money, location, and time weren’t a factor…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i really enjoy going to Starbucks to read, but since i got my Starbucks fix yesterday, I’m trying to avoid it today…but don’t let that stop you! definitely go, and take a good book or a crossword puzzle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the Portland Saturday Market in Portland, Oregon is amazing (actually, all of Portland is amazing). being an artist helps me to appreciate other artists, and this is a pretty neat place to shop if you’re an artist. lots of fun stuff. i went there the last couple of times i was in Portland- and I never came home empty handed. one of my favorite booths is Fused Glass House, which specializes in fused glass and dichroic glass jewelry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hiking the Hoh National Rainforest in the Olympic Peninsula of Washington (the state) would be stellar. if i lived nearby, i think i would hike there every Saturday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i’ve always wanted to go on a road trip, just to experience the journey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tea Chai Te in The Pearl district of Portland, Oregon is the neatest little tea house ever- and they happen to have the best bubble tea i’ve ever tried. (definitely get mango with a green tea base and tapioca pearls). and they are located not too terribly far from R.E.I. sigh.

 

well, now i’ve successfully mutilated my saturday evening wishing i were doing something else, rather than lazying it up. i hope you all have fared much better today.

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on abortion

please read ahead with an open and unjudgmental mind.

tonight i have been thinking on the topic of abortion. a random (and rather morbid) thing to be thinking about, i know. but nonetheless….

i was raised in a staunchly republican household. pro-choice was never an option for me to even consider. i was taught that life is sacred. and yet, somehow, my parents upheld war and the death penalty. (but i’m not going to get into that one tonight.) i was taught that women who had abortions were selfish and stupid, that they were murderers.

in trying to become my own woman, though, with my own beliefs, thoughts, opinions, i am rethinking and restructuring everything i ever was and was taught.

is abortion wrong? is it wrong for a follower of Jesus, like me, to even consider to support abortion? that is what i’ve been trying to determine.

what spurred this blog post was a book i have recently read: Grace Eventually, by Anne Lamott. in one chapter of the book, Anne addresses her stance on abortion. she is every bit pro-choice as my family was pro-life. upon reflection of the topic of abortion during a panel discussion, Anne writes:

 I thought about the photo op where President Bush had signed legislation limiting abortion rights, surrounded by nine self-righteous white married males, who had forced God knows how many girlfriends into doing God knows what…….The most important message I can carry and fight for is the sacredness of each human life, and reproductive rights for all women are a crucial part of that. It is a moral necessity that we not be forced to bring children into the world for whom we cannot be responsible and adoring and present. We must not inflict life on children who will be resented; we must not inflict unwanted children on society.”

i have to say that she brings up a very interesting point. after i read that i just sat in silence, feeling the evening breeze come in the window, cross the room, and rustle through my hair, me wrestling with my heart and everything i’ve ever believed. a woman’s choice of abortion is definitely not an easy choice. it is one that will likely affect her emotionally, and perhaps physically, for the rest of her life. it is one she makes with a heavy heart, bearing a burden no person should ever have to bear. it is not a choice that, as Anne writes, a white, wealthy married male with 3.2 kids and a suburban house with a white picket fence should be the one to make. he will never be in that position. as i thought about what i just read, i began to talk outloud to God: What do you think, God? What would you tell me if you were sitting on the couch, sipping a beer, conversing with me right now? Is it more cruel to bring a child into this harsh world than to have an abortion?  the more i talked, streams of tears began to curl out of my eyes. my heart became heavy. i tried to imagine myself facing the choice to have an abortion. what would i do?  if i had no money, if i had HIV-AIDS, if i were scared, if i had no one to talk to, if i were raped???? surely a man should not be the one to make this decision. when does life really begin? when does a child get her soul?  suddenly i thought of the story in the Bible (Luke 1:39-56) where Elizabeth, pregnant with a baby who will become John the Baptist, says to Mary, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As  soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.”

 

and then i had my answer.

 

i will never judge a woman who has had an abortion. i will support her. i will put myself in her shoes. i will be Jesus to her. i will not throw stones. i will draw lines in the sand and wait for all of her accusers to leave. and i hope everyone of you would do the same.

 but for me, personally, abortion is not an option, will never be an option. i would have the baby, even if just to give her to a loving family who could give her the life she deserved.

because she has rights, too.

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friday miscellaneous

the weather has turned sharply autumnal today and i’m feeling rather introspective, in a good way. the air is cool, the sky gray with only hints of blue, and leaves are skittering across the pavement outside. i have some nice melancholy music playing: Rosanne Cash, Over the Rhine, and George Winston. and i’ve got my coffee. it’s a good thing (sorry, i couldn’t help the Martha Stewart reference there).

 

i saw a hippie today. he was riding his bike, his frizzy, long hair blowing behind him, save for the part that was held down by the string tied around the circumference of his head. he wore a flannel shirt with a tan suede vest. and a backpack. he was pedaling fast, probably trying to get from the 60’s to the 70’s. i’m not writing about him to mock him. actually i respect him. i wish,  for one, that i had a bike, and two, that i would be brave enough to ride it on major highways. seriously, life would be much simpler if everyone rode bikes, instead of driving cars. granted, it would take longer to get places and we would have to be creative come grocery shopping time. but think about it: less to go wrong with your vehicle. no pollution from cars, no obesity. aahhh. i can dream.

 

 tonight i plan to make a big batch of pasta e fagioli (it tastes just like the Olive Garden version!). it’s such a healthy meal- lots of vegetables (i omit the meat), plus i use whole wheat pasta. and the soup freezes well. i can’t wait. it will go great with this lovely fall weather. now all i need is rain to make my night complete. i simply adore rain. (seriously, i would love to live in the Pacific Northwest).

 

 

 

 

i picked up the first season of Dexter from the library after a friend highly recommended it. i’m excited about it, though i’ve heard it is rather bloody.

 

 

 

 

so here’s my latest reading queue. some good stuff. any other recommendations?

  • Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  • The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
  • Serve God, Save the Planet by J. Matthew Sleeth
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

 

i recently discovered that vinegar is one of the best things for your hair. it is pretty amazing. after shampooing, i poured a vinegar-water solution on my hair. it made it smooth, strong, shiny. plus i have noticed that my scalp is neither itchy nor oily- even after day three.  i will never buy conditioner again.

 

i’m almost finished with Heroes season one. Hiro Nakamura is by far my favorite of the heroes. not only is he just as cute as a button, but he makes a truly noble hero. (actually, pretty much all of them are noble, but he is the best, in my opinion). if you haven’t watched Heroes, you definitely need to. today.

 

well. i better get started on my Friday evening. i’m looking forward to just hanging at home tonight.

 

have a happy weekend!

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wednesday night stream-of-consciousness

hello, dear friends.

 

another wednesday night is staring me down, or i am staring it down. either way i’m bored and i find myself wanting to type. so type, type, type. seriously, nothing really interesting to say, so just sit here and enjoy my babbling stream of consciousness.

 

 i’ve been having a lot of weird dreams lately (cue song “Dreams” by The Cranberries)…one in which my teeth had fallen out. i think this was one brought on by the fact that i haven’t been to a dentist in over four years (thanks, crap insurance). there has been a sensitive-ish spot in one of my back teeth for quite awhile now, and so i just learned to chew on the other side of my mouth, but now there is a sore tooth there, too. so, yeah, no wonder i had that dream. other weird dreams, too, though: i could fly (probably from watching Heroes), i was cross country skiing, i was eviscerated by a serial killer (not a good dream). ok, new topic. i’m shuddering at the memory of that last dream.

 

i love trees: oak trees in the Fall, pinetrees in winter, redbuds in spring, maple trees in the summer. trees tell the story of Jesus, and of our life with him. in the fall, the leaves turn blood red and die; in winter, new life stirs beneath the icy bark, but the outside appears hopeless; in spring life shoots out. screaming “I’m alive!”; in summer, the leaves are at their full glorious potential of life. in order for life to begin again, there must be death. no matter what season, though, the branches are raised, their fingery twigs pointing to their Creator, except, of course, for willows. ok. that kind of ruins my illustration. so never mind. i guess that’s what i get for trying to spiritualize trees.

 

time for a rant: there are roughly two kind of people that i abhor (at least for this story, anyway): people who mark in books they do not own; and holier-than-thous who cross out cuss words in said books. i’ve been reading an Anne Lamott book that i got from the library. if you’ve ever read any of Anne’s stuff, well, let’s just say she’s very candid. so a previous reader happened to cross out the word “shitty” in ink and then write above it the word “awful”, which is just not a good substitute for shitty. i mean, does a pile of steaming, rancid excrement come to your mind immediately when you hear the word awful? it just bothered me. come on person, get off your moral clydesdale, and look around you. sometimes shitty is the only appropriate word, and life is full of it. that brings me to another thought: who decided that “bad” words are bad? i think a non-bad word used negatively against another being is worse than a bad word used in a non-human-bashing context. any thoughts?

 

 

 

i ordered this book today. have you read it? i’m pretty excited about it- in fact, i’ve been wanting to read it for a long time now, but my library doesn’t have it. so i caved and amazoned it.

 

 

 

 

 

the 5th season of The Office begins tomorrow! i hope it doesn’t disappoint.

 

well…i got the blog-craving out of my system for the night, so i think i’m going to tuck this little keyboard into bed, and then head there myself…eventually.

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