Saturday, December 31, 2011

restING, resolvING, and laughING with my mouth full

So, I could go into a big explanation as to why I haven't posted in so long, but I won't. Life has just been busy, now I'm on break and my laptop was the last thing I felt like looking at for awhile.

Anyway, I'm still on break, and its lovely. This has become one of my favorite times of the year. As much as I love all the hustle and bustle and glory and excitement of Christmas, I love this quiet, lovely, restful time afterwards. There's something about it. The slow putting away of an old year, and the bringing in of  new one.

For break I have simply been resting. Resting. In all its many forms. I would like to say I'm one of those people who do only  wholesome things with my break like, meditating, prayer, or even just reading (I've done a little of all of those things). But, I can also safely say I have watched every episode of 30 Rock (while eating McDonald's most of the time) and rewatched the episodes I found to be particularly hilarious. Laughing out loud...by myself, in my sweats, probably with my mouth full. It.was.glorious.

 I have been cleaning, here and there, little by little--putting away some Christmas decorations, reorganizing a cupboard here, and a drawer there. I think every stitch of clothing in our house besides what Dave and I are currently wearing, is clean.

I've been knitting. Working on that lovely kid mohair wrap. Its a creamy natural white, on wooden needles (I usually use metal) and something about that combination of the cream colored fuzzy yarn, and the grainy wooden needle is lovely to look at as I knit.

I've been sleeping. A lot. Whenever I want for however long I want, and staying up as late as I want.

It has all been wonderful. So very wonderful to just rest. Rest.

It has been this time of the year, that has slowly, year after year, developed into my own little sabbath. Kent recently shortened Christmas break in attempts to get us out earlier in the spring. While I know that once spring rolls around and I am done by the end of April, I will be elated, I sort of miss the extra time in the middle of winter.

I love this time to recharge, refresh, create, vegetate (hence the 30 Rock marathon), renew, and even prepare for the busyness ahead.

I love this time to reflect. I always say I'm not resolution person, but I think I secretly am.

I've been thinking about what I want from the next year. I know I want simplicity, I want rest (which I am still trying to figure out how that fits into the wild amount of work that comes a long with this final semester of classes and then student teaching in the fall...ugh...who wants to think about that right now!).

I want to be a resting place for others too.

I know one small goal I plan on moving towards in order to be that resting place, is listen more and talk less. Simple, maybe difficult. ??? Most people just want to be heard. I have ears. So I guess I'll try and  listen. Words are precious too, and that's just it. We use them like they aren't sometimes. I want my words to be valuable, to always leave people better if possible.

So, listen more, talk less.

So, that's it, break so far. Rest. Resolutions. Junk food. I have one more glorious week left.

Happy New Year everyone! I've really missed this online community and plan on being around more often if I can.










Image Credit: Somewhere on pinterest.com...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

writING

For my teaching reading and writing class, we had to take sometihng we had written earlier in the class and make it into a four page piece. I've never tried this before, but I chose a poem. I chose The Dark Things. I don't know if this helps or kills the poem. It a four poem piece. Each poem is connected to the others, but hopefully distinct. I have no idea if this is good or not and I'm not just being modest. I'm just not sure. Its really long, so if  you don' tlike poetry, this isn't for you.  Well, here it is:





Four poems about you, for whenever you need them most:



Part 1: What you are not.

You are not too small.
You are not too unimportant.

You are stronger than you know.

You are not too tired,
You are not what they say.

You happen to have what it takes.

You are not alone.
You are not undone.

You are not as fearful as you think.

You are not unlovely,
You are not a coward.

You are not about to fall apart.

You are not too weak.
You are not too faint-hearted.

You have what it takes for one more step.

So take it, for then, you will find you have the strength for the next.

Because this is not your stop.



Part 2: What is in you.

Some days, the dark things win.
The days that are deep down and heavy hearted.

Those dark things are down inside our shaded souls, tremendous, and terrifying, and cold.
When try as we may, we cannot imagine life any other way.

We cannot pull ourselves from those dungeons, deep, and spiraled down.
We know what it is to want.

But, we know too, that that’s not all we are.

We know in us lies light and loveliness, beauty and bravery,
and the quiet, wild, courage to carry us through.

but, that all seems worlds away in some high castle tower.

For somedays,
some days,
the dark things win.



Part 3: What belongs to you.

This is your adventure.

It is not what you thought it’d be.

It is not always as exciting as you’d once imagined,
at least not on the surface.

It is darker and scarier than you could have dreamed.

Some of the days seem long, and tiring, and you don’t always feel like
the hero you’d always thought of,


Strong, valiant, and brave.

Other days seem difficult and impossible, the kind they never told you about.

The kind filled with back breaking work, or even the slow strange tears of failure.

There is sweat, the kind that causes you to stop for just a moment and wipe your brow, before you just keep plodding on.


It’s not at all like they said.

It doesn’t feel like an adventure.



-

But it may be one still, an adventure that is,
and it’s yours.

-

There, beneath what seems so dim and cold.
Or, so ordinary and normal, not the stuff of some great story.


It’s there.

The quiet slow kind of adventure,
the kind that makes you who you’ve always wanted to be.

Someday it may come, quicker than you dreamed, or slower,
that is not for me to say,
nor you,

Someday, You will find yourself again on some marvelous mountain top.

Standing on two strong legs,
And that will be your adventure too.


You will have conquered, and fought, and rejoiced, and sang.


But this, this dark and ordinary day,
this one moment,


this, dear friend,


This is your adventure.


Live it well.



Part 4: Where you must be..

When you have made it through,
when you have crossed safely to the other side.
when you are feeling strong,
nd have walked with straight sure steps for awhile:

Remember this,


Somebody carried you,


Whether through words or deeds,
Whether an embrace or glance,

someone helped you up and walked that bravest mile

with you.

Whether aware or not, they were there.
They were there to speak hope and life,


or to be silent.

to listen, to search with you, to sit with you, to laugh with you.

They were there to make you feel normal for a moment,
they were there to tell you the tale of their own strange story,

a journey not unlike your own.

They were there with gentle hands, or the courageous caring of someone who has walked that road.
Back when their world was harsh, and unforgiving, and dark.

They were there to pass along sand bags, or buckets of water,
they stood in the night watches with you, in those long awful times.

Somebody carried you,

They were there.

They were guardian healers,
The makers of a safe place, a landing strip, lit up in the night,
when you needed a harbor from some storm.



What you must remember is this:


You must be there,


wherever there is.


You must be a quiet place
a strong place
a knowing place.


You must be ready with tears
or with smiles
or with silence.


Or with hands ready to work, and a brow ready to sweat.


You must tuck someone under your wing for just awhile,
You must make a place for them to breathe.


You must be there.


You must remember where you once walked,

And that now you have what it takes,



to be there.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

makING it through

It has been a long time. A long long time since I have really posted or read anyone elses blog. Life has been busy and difficult for me lately.

There are many many factors contributing to life's difficulties and busyness, and I don't feel like this is the time or place to really go into it, but suffice to say, I've been going through a period of burn out. Burn out on school, and church. I'm burned out on people--some very critical and exhausting people.

However, I will say this, that even this time--this funk, I guess-there is still goodness. For one thing, I have learned that with all of my heart, I believe that encouragement will carry people much farther than criticism..."constructive" or not. I am thankful for this, and hopefully a better person because of it. I hope (hope hope hope) that the next time I am in the position to criticize, that I choose to encourage. I hope I choose to search for goodness.

Also I recently attended a literacy conference required, but still enjoyed, for my undergrad work. It was just what I needed to get me through I think. To keep me going and hoping and trying and dreaming. It reminded me of not just why I want to teach, but it even reminded me of the loveliness in the people I may have the honor to work around and with someday.

I met a lady who did a session on found poetry. Found poetry takes words straight from a text (we used an excerpt from The Tale of Despereaux). You use the authors own words, fragments, etc. and restring them to create a poem. Simple enough, but powerful.

More powerful than the strategy though was the woman who taught the session. She was quiet and passionate and giving. With everything in her, she wanted us to create a poem close to us. She wanted us to share and to learn, and to connect. She created a beautiful almost unexplainable sense of community with the people in that room. We shared and laughed and even cried together.Coming through this time of  being face to face with critical, negative people, this was a chance to regain some confidence in humans in general.

When I wrote my poem, in this rich, warm, environment--a resting place really. It was cathartic. Here it is:

The Dark Things


Somedays the dark things win,
the days that are deep down, and heavy hearted

The dark things are down in our shaded souls, tremendous, cold and vast,

When try as we may, we cannot imagine life any other way.
We cannot pull ourselves from those dungeons deep and spiraled down.
We know what it is to want.

But we know to, that it's not all that we are,
We know in us lies light and loveliness, beauty and bravery,
and that quiet, wild, courage to carry us through


but that all seems worlds away, in some high castle tower.

For somedays, some days, the dark things win.






So thank you, Lisa Patrick, where ever you are. You got me through.

Monday, September 12, 2011

huntING, a wife's perspective

I get the call,

“I got one, a doe.” He says.

“I can’t find her.”



“I’ll be right there.” I answer.



By the time I find him, in golden timeworn wood,

the autumn air around us,

she’s there.



Eyes on the last thing she saw. Frozen in time.

Still warm to touch.

There it hits me.


She’s gone.

She was old. Long lean legs, white tail, aged face.

Who once bounded through woodland wonder,

crossing the creak in one swift leap.

Now silent.



And still.



I wish I knew, I wish I knew,

some ancient, primitive, song,

or native, age old dance.

Some prayer, or ceremony.

Something to mourn and to celebrate,

what she has given to us,

for us.



A life for a life.

It is the archaic way of things.

One must give, for another to have.








Thursday, July 28, 2011

rememberING

Last week it was hot here. Really hot.  Hot seems like an understatement, and I really don't know what word to use to give you the full effect of this sweltering, oppressive,overwhelming, record-breaking humidity and heat.


Mostly I've stayed inside, eating popsicles and ice cream and sitting in the air conditioning, but last evening Dave and I first went for a drive and then a walk. We rolled the windows down in the truck and let the hot air swirl around us. When we walked we could feel the heat pressing down on us. Although it was hot and some would argue miserable, there was a sweetness to it for me. Heat like this reminds me of 10 days that seem so  long ago that I spent in India and Nepal. I went shortly after I graduated from high school and have never ever been the same since.


It reminded me of walking the muddy ridges in the rice patty fields to get to someones house who probably didn't want hear what we had to say (we were "missionaries...but I'm not sure how effective our tactic really was, but that's another post for another time), but all the same, they graciously took us in and offered us tea and conversation. This is where I learned to like hot drinks on a hot day.

It reminded me of asking a rice farmer what he thinks about out there in the soggy rice patty all day. He said "That there are too many mosquitoes." Reminding me that people, no matter where they are, are more like us than they are different.

It reminded me of seeing tiny, old, wrinkled women carrying heavy loads of wood or food or some other necessity, and wondering what other burdens they had carried all their lives long.

It reminded me of the relief or rain, or on the days it didn't rain and mid afternoon heat brought life to a screeching halt. We squatted in old store fronts that somehow had Coke and Fanta (it was the middle of nowhere....where do they get soda at?) drinking and cooling and talking and laughing.

It reminded me of the "untouchables" of Calcutta, and made me wonder who are my "untouchables"? Who can't I love?

It reminded me of people who had much less than me, but didn't seem to mind or even know. As long as there was food and shelter and a community, life was ok.

It reminded of me goats and chickens and children and bicycles and cars and rickshaws in the crowded chaotic (sometimes smelly) streets that make up India and wondering if they have more or less accidents then our organized streets here in the States.

It reminded me of  sandles salwars and sauries and color. So much color.


It just reminded me of seeing the world differently.

This isn't really a statement on which country, the U.S. or India is better, but it is a commentary on finding the good everywhere and in everything, even if its not what we want, or expect. When it gets hot like it did last week, I'm thankful for the sweat, and the slowing down, and the reminder of another time and another place.

So yes, I'm glad the sweltering heat is gone (for now), but I'm thankful for what it reminds me of. I think I'll go make something curried now. :)










Image from Google Image.




Thursday, July 21, 2011

thINGs the dog has eaten:

Dave's crox,
this cardboard box,

laundry soap,
her own rope,
2 hot dogs,
What a hog!
Lots of grass,
to help it pass,
Cat turds,
she tried to eat birds,
the TV cord,
but wait, there's more,
ice cubes,
a little cat food,
doggie treats,
various meats,
carpet fibers,
bugs and spiders,
a piece of chair,
to rip and tear,

She ate it all,
the big and small.


Friday, July 1, 2011

decoratING inspiration


I've really been wanting to be at the beach lately, which is impossible. So, I think I want to make our back porch (current picture to come) into a very caribbeany feeling space. I'm thinking about doing the bathroom this way to..hmmm decisions (I feel another poll coming). This is my mood board so far. You can click it to enlarge it. Everything you see is from Etsy.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

my favorite "ING's" of summer so far.....

I have been too busy to enjoying my summer to bother blogging, which is probably a good thing, but here are some of my favorite "ings" so far.

ReadING:

There's really just two books I've been working on. Both probably rank pretty high on the "nerd" list somewhere, but we've already established I fit quite nicely into that category anyway.


I know, sounds enthralling, right? Well, at least I think so. It's about ancient women's history and women's roles in creating fiber and textiles. I love it. Barber is a weaver herself and does such a great job of connecting us to our own history as women, as users or makers of fiber.



Yes. It's true. I'm a closet sci-fi nerd. Those that know me best are well aware of this. Lewis has a space trilogy and this is the first book. I totally plan on reading all three. I completely recommend this (at least what I've read so far) if you like sci-fi, fantasy (Narnia????), or even just C.S. Lewis. It's suspenseful and thoughtful and makes you think about what makes us, well, human??? Anyway, just read it. It's not very long.


KnittING:

Ok, ok, I admit it. I haven't actually done as much of this as I've planned this summer so far, but I've done a little, and bought some yarn (isn't that the fun part anyway???).


I LOVE this yarn that I found at the Great Lakes Fiber Show. I immediately fell in love with the colors. Twice without realizing it, I drifted over to the same booth and the same color scheme. It was fate. It reminds of our honeymoon in the Dominican Republic for some reason. It looks summery,  coral-y, and beachy, and Caribbean-y. I have absolutely no idea what I plan to knit with it, but I couldn't resist.




And...good news...the first leg warmer is finished!!! The second one is started and should be finished soon. (I told you they'd be done by July. :)


EatING:


We've been doing a lot of this. :)




Dave had some clients from work come up from Louisiana, and I mean Louisiana. When we ask them where they live it's "Up the bayou."   Which I had no idea where exactly that was. We had dinner with them one night and then they gave us 30 lbs of crawfish. Lucky for us, Dave's brother knew exactly how to prepare them and we had ourselves a crawfish boil! Complete with jumbalaya and corn on the cob and a little fried chicken. It was ALL delicious.

Confession: I didn't actually eat the crawfish...:( I wanted to but, I'm allergic (I told you, I'm a nerd...complete with allergies.)

WatchING:

I know I'm probably supposed to talk about how I have better things to do then watch TV, but I'm going to be honest here and say that in summer, I allow my inner couch potato come out. It's not like I spend all day doing this, but I have a few shows I love. Here's my current favorite:


Don't judge me.

I realize this show is trashy, soap opera-y, and created for 16 year old teens, but I'm addicted and I DVR it every week and am totally up on  the latest thing that "A" has done to scare the "Liars". If you don't know who Em, Aria, Hanna, or Spencer are...you should. You'll be hooked. (Also, I am very aware I have some Bachelor and Bachelorette fans who are readers out there...you absolutely can't judge me for this then.)  :)



Those are some of my favorite "ings" of the summer. We've also had a trip to the zoo, some Sonic runs (yum!), and some nights out on the lake...which I would have mentioned...but I have no pictures.

 What have YOU been up to this summer???








Photo Credits: All Images except for the two from KnittING are from Google Images...as usual.

Friday, June 10, 2011

balancING act

There  are two types of hiking packs.
One for men, and one for women.

The difference comes in how the weight is carried.


Men hold the weight on their shoulders.

Bearing up under it, lifting it up high,
wide and strong, like Atlas, under the weight of the world.

All shoulders and arms and strong backs, with grunts and heaves of power,
efficiently moving the burden from one place to another,

with such splendid strength.


A women's pack though, fastens across the two hips,

balancing the burden, evening it out, until its almost a part of them.

They carry it steadily, absorbing the weight,
carrying it for miles and miles, step after step, sometimes even forgetting it's
there, or where exactly its going.

They hold it with quiet subconscious groans and sighs, busying their free hands with some other task,
touching the world as they walk, still plodding on.



There are two types of packs,
each designed with some purpose at hand.

makING my excuse

The Vacation


Once there was a man who filmed his vacation.

He went flying down the river in his boat

with his video camera to his eye, making

a moving picture of the moving river

upon which his sleek boat moved swiftly

toward the end of his vacation. He showed

his vacation to his camera, which pictured it,

preserving it forever: the river, the trees,

the sky, the light, the bow of his rushing boat

behind which he stood with his camera

preserving his vacation even as he was having it

so that after he had had it he would still

have it. It would be there. With a flick

of a switch there it would be. But he

would not be in it. He would never be in it.


--Wendell Berry



He said it better than I. I would like to think this is why I only post pictures from Google Image. Although, maybe it's because I always forget my camera....

Oh! And before I forget , feel free to vote in this month's poll (to your right).

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

anticipatING

Well, I'm back.. We have finally adjusted to life with a puppy...I think. :)

I'm so enjoying my summer, but there are so many things I'm excited about. Here are a few, in no particular order:

1. The school year.




I know, I know, I couldn't wait for it to be over, but this coming fall seems exciting to me. I will be in advanced study which mean I am in a "cohort" with all the other future middle school teachers. I think calling it a cohort makes it sound like we are up to trouble (which we probably will be) but what it really means is that we have all of our classes together, and have only about 5 professors that will be teaching those classes. It has a very "Hogwart's" feel to it (I know, that's a very very geeky reference to Harry Potter, but still). I'm anticipating getting to know fellow teachers, getting to know our professors, and spending a lot observation hours in actual school classrooms. Hooray!

We also get out own lounge/study rooms which has a fridge, a microwave, tables to study, "teachery" supplies like paper cutters, hole punches etc.,  and shelves containing copies of all of our textbooks, just in case we forgot. Maybe it's dorky, but I'm excited. Super excited.

2. Dave and I have our 2 year anniversary!


It's not until July, but I still I can't believe it. It's flown by and at the same time I can hardly remember what life was like before being married to Dave. I know that sounds super cheesy, but it's true. Everyone talked about how hard the first year would be for us. When it wasn't, they told us how bad the second year would be. I can honestly say we've spent the last two years enjoying each other. We laugh together everyday.  We almost feel ready to duck because it hasn't seemed "hard" or "bad"...whatever that means.

I'm happy to celebrate the time we've spent together and happy to look forward to the time we will spend together.

We aren't sure what we are going to do yet. It could be anything to a weekend away, to an Indian's game (I'm thinking the all-you-can-eat seats....as romantic as that sounds, I love baseball food). Sometimes the planning and anticipating is just as fun as actually getting to do whatever it is we end up doing.


3. Summer



I know, we are already in it! I guess not technically, but the temperature and the time off says otherwise. I love that I have most of the summer still ahead of me. I love that summer comes with, hot days, stormy days, goodness and green trees,  gardens, hikes, swimming, slushies, putt putt (Dave won our first game of the season) and many more wonderful wonderful things.

Anyway, sorry this post probably isn't interesting to most of you, but it's just a few of the things I'm so excited about. I love having things to look forward to. What are YOU looking forward to right now???



Image Credit: All images from Google Images.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

sayING "hello" to the new addition!

So...I know I haven't posted in awhile, but I've been kind of busy....


playing outside...

 


 
keeping the peace....



playing tug o' war...




fending off  "vicious" predators....




and catching some Z's...when she'll let me...





Everyone, meet Luna!



I actually have a few other things I would love to make a post about...soon, I promise. :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

votING results!

Ok. So first of all I am so sorry it's taken me so long to create a post about this. Second, I'm sorry that this will definitely be a short post. Life has been busy with  visiting friends from out of town and friends from out of town visiting me, which is a good kind of busy to be. :)

Anyway....I know you can all just look to the right and see the results, but for the sake of fanfare...drum roll please:

.
.
.
.
.
The winner, of the mohair election
.
.
.
.
.
is.
.
.
.
in a landslide victory
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
The cowl!!!!!




I'm honestly not sure how many votes there actually were because blogger lost a lot of them when they were down a while ago, but I can say that almost entirely throughout the voting process, the cowl was always winning.

Now, to be honest, I'm also not sure if I really am going to knit a cowl or not (kind of seems like a  real presidential election now doesn't it???).

I probably have enough mohair to make the two things I am now most torn between, and that is still the cowl and the wrap.


Anyway, thanks for all your participation, votes, and suggestions! They will all be aptly (is that actually a word, and is it the right word for what I'm trying to say???) considered.

Friday, May 13, 2011

knittING decisions...help! (take 2)

Ok, lets try this again....last time blogger somehow deleted the whole.entire.post.....and poll. Sigh....

Anyway. Remember this?



The kid mohair from Maryland??? Well, I'm super excited to knit with it, but I'm quite torn about what exactly to knit. I'm feeling very conflicted over this! Now, I realize that I have 1200 yards of the stuff, but still, this is a big decision! There are basically three things I can't decide among and they are:

A cowl? Picture it all wrapped around the neck, you know....to get the full effect.




 A scarf?



Or...a wrap???



These are the big three. What do YOU think? I've provided a poll and would love your input. I may not use those exact colors and patterns, I'm just looking for a general idea.

If you choose "other" for the poll, please put suggestions as comments on this post. I'm open to just about anything, although there are some things a person just doesn't knit. ;)

I would LOVE your input! :)






Image Credits: All except top picture are from etsy, click on descriptive word for specific shops/sites. Top image from Google Image


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

geekING out in maryland

I have good news and bad news. Which do you want first??? Well, you don't actually get to answer, so I'll get the bad news over first--I forgot my camera this weekend. :( So no pictures from me, but I'll do my best to search online to find some good ones (probably better than I would have taken anyway).

Ok, ok , that's over with so here's the good news--I don't think it would have been possible to cram more fiber fun into one festival. The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival was even better than I could have imagined. We left Friday evening arriving in the DC area that night, spent a marathon day at the festival, and then the evening in DC eating really great food (more on that later) and seeing things like the White House (Obama didn't wave, I was disappointed). On Sunday, we had quick (but tasty) brunch, and headed home. The weekend was a whirlwind, but it was a blast! :)

Here are some quick takes of the festival:



There were so. many. people. I was shocked. I mean, anyone I told that I was going to a sheep and wool festival looked at me like I was from another planet. Apparently, there are lots of other people from that planet. They were all great too (except some of those pushy people with strollers, a stroller is not a license to shove!). Anyway, my favorite was this old man I sat down beside in the heat of the afternoon. We started talking and he was a history and civics teacher for years in Michigan. We talked about teaching and how it's changed, we talked about history, we talked about SB 5, women's roles in modern society, and the fact that even I am now getting old because I don't like modern music (That was his theory, once you start thinking the best music was from 10 to 20 years ago....you are getting old. We laughed). The guy knew everything. He had  a BA, two masters degrees, and PhD in history! I learned so much.




Lamb Gyros! Ok, I didn't actually eat one. The lines were too long and I had too much to do, but don't they look tasty?


I think this guy is called a Cotswold sheep (I might be wrong though). He was my favorite when I walked around the barns. He was extra soft, and how do you not love all that wool in his eyes?? All the shepherds were more than willing to talk about their animals. I wish I could say I remembered more of what they told me.


 
Vendors: there were tons! Selling everything from yarn, processed wool, unprocessed wool, spinning wheels, looms, needles, finished knitted products, felting supplies...you get the idea. I managed to actually not go broke while I was there. My favorite purchase is a 1200 yard skein (that's huge in case you were wondering) of kid mohair for just 30 bucks! It is white and soft and wonderful. You just want to bury your face into it and smell it's sheepy smell ( I realize how weird that is, but I love the smell of sheep) . It looks like this:





All in all--it was fabulous and I can't wait to do it again. Besides what is pictured, there were folk bands, Celtic music, TONS of food, sheep shearing competitions, herding dog demonstrations, auctions, and so, so, so much more!



I totally plan on going next year and I hope, that I by then, I will be in the market for knew spinning wheel! :) I fully plan on learning to spin this year.

 If you like knitting, crocheting, or any other fiber-related craft even a little, it's completely worth going to. The countdown to next year begins....now!



Image Credits: Because I forgot my camera, all images are sadly from Google Images. :(

Friday, April 29, 2011

arrivING soon (in june to be exact!)


 Isn't she adorable?  We went out today to pick out which puppy from the litter we wanted. This is the yellow lab we picked out. June just can't come fast enough! :) (Sorry for the bad picture quality. All we had with us were our phones).

Thursday, April 28, 2011

air conditionING

the other day along the freeway, i passed a sign,

"FRESH BLUEBERRIES, PICK YOUR OWN,"

it said boldly, blue letters on a clean white square.

i smiled, as i thought about how charming it would all be ,
picking blueberries on some sunny spring day, popping a few into my mouth, every now and again.

then i wondered,

what would happen if i told some woman,
from a hundred years ago, or even a thousand , it doesn't really matter,
about that sign,

"pick your own!" she would sigh and shout,
throwing her sturdy arms into the air,
"my whole life, i've been pickin' my own!
and cleanin' my own, and cookin' my own,
and his own, and their own! pick my own.
of all the...."

...and her voice would trail off as she thundered into the other room,
to do some thing that needed doing.

i think she would jump at the chance
to walk alone, into some fluorescent lit supermarket,
and feel the cool manufactured air breeze over her summer-stained skin,

and pick out the first, square, plastic quart of berries she saw,
throwing it in the cart, on top of the box of kix cereal,
and the boneless skinless chicken breasts.

she would remember the days she spent, up with the sun, and out in it,

knees pushing against the hot ancient earth, as she knelt down,
filling the apron that she starched herself,  watching the scarlet blue blood,
staining the perfect white,
pausing, as she used the back of or her arm to wipe the sweat from her wrinkled brow.

"pick your own." she would mutter and shake her head,
throwing in an extra plastic quart,
just for good measure.




Image Credit: Google Images

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

5 thINGs i love for under $5

Earl grey tea from this website!



Seeds....from here!
These are purple cherokee tomatos and I'm trying to grow them this year!




Happy mug from drugmart. I only paid 89 cents!



This knitting pattern. I'm totally making these someday. :)


One of Starbuck's newest additions--the Cocoa Cappuccino. You can get it iced or hot. Yummmmm.







Hope you are all having a great week! I promise when school is over to actually write something.



Image Credits: www.starbucks.com, www.etsy.com, Google Image, https://secure.spicemerchants.biz/sm/

Sunday, April 17, 2011

livING

                                        In the spring of the year,

there is so much life.


There is rain and grass and sun,
and they all need each other.

There are lambs.
New and white and warm,
their legs shaky, as they learn to walk in the world,
and their pink tongues, thirsty for milk.

We go outside, and dance in the streets, with our faces tilted to the sky,
and we plow the soft, cool,  earth,
and dream of what is to come of it.

We still, but barely, remember that there was winter, and cold.
Days and days where there was not sun,
Only piles and piles of snow.
And wind, that aged our faces and made our skin rough.

We have almost forgotten the months we've weathered,
and how,
 in those months, we almost forgot there was anything else.

But spring still came to us,

new and muddy,
and we still rejoice and we laugh our laughs,
and smile our smiles, when it does.
When it finally does.

The earth breaks open,
and we carefully sow the seeds, and we wait.

For in the spring of the year,
there is so much life.

Monday, April 11, 2011

knittING news

So I haven't done a knitting update in quite sometime. Let's do this.

First of all our famous knitter...I love this one!


It's FDR! He was a knitter! I would love to find more man knitters.

Next on the knitting docket, I found this mug:


I want it.


Also....in a few short week I will be attending....The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival!!!Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like. A festival, in Maryland, dedicated entirely to all things wool and fiber related. You can see sheep, shear sheep, watch them be herded, eat sheep (yup, gyros...sorry sheep), learn to spin wool, knit, felt...and any other fiber related activity you could possibly imagine. There is even a parade of sheep which I completely plan on attending. I am way too excited! This is my first major fiber festival and I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas.

Here's the flyer:



Finally, I really really really (at least I think so) want to get a knitting related tattoo. Maybe a ball of yarn or something. I have to think this through though, because....I.am.a.wimp....not mention a chicken. As I've thought about it I think of how cool it would be then it somehow morphs into thoughts like:
What if it hurts? What if I hate it after it's done? What if I can't get a job because of it? What if I get aids from the needle? What if I'm allergic to the dye and go into anaphalaxis (spelling?) and die!?

As you can see, I have let the questioning get out of hand.

But look at these cool yarn tattoo ideas:



See?  Aren't they cool? Mine probably won't be that big and it will need to be somewhere I can hide it like on my back or foot or something. Some schools don't like teachers having tattoos I guess.

 I have some other yarn tattoo ideas bouncing around in my head. :)


So, that's my update...the funniest and saddest part is that due to blogging and school, I've had very little time for actual knitting. However I have worked on the leg warmers a little. Soon, I will post some pics of my progress so far.

Have a great day...Keep Calm...and Carry Yarn!


Image credit: All images from Google Images and http://www.sheepandwool.org/ .

Friday, April 8, 2011

watchING a miracle

Ok. So I know I've posted a lot lately, but I just HAVE to tell you about this link. It's from one of my favorite blogs. It's a farm blog from Juniper Moon Farms. They are a fiber farm. Raising their own sheep and selling its fiber. It's so so fabulous.

It's lambing season at Juniper Moon and it's so so exciting! You can click on the above link to be connected to one of the LambCams (there are actually 3) and you can actually watch the mother's with their baby lambs....live! If you're lucky you can actually watch a live birth. Which, I realize to some people might be gross, but I think it's so cool and hope I manage to catch a birth this season. Even if there isn't a lamb currently being born, this lambcam almost always has lambs that you can watch as they feed and learn to walk etc. It's way too cute. Anyway, just thought I'd share. :)

Image Credit: Google Image

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

callING all rebels

Rebels wanted:



We teachers...need rebels in our proud profession.

Teachers tend to be the straight A, club president, rule follower crowd.

we love structure.

we covet order and routine, and we live on a schedule of bells and breaks.
work in the fall and spring....have the summer off...then do it all over again.

lunch is always...and i mean always at 12:15

we got A's for the sake of A's

and we started clubs so that the word "president" was on our resumes.

We use our turn signals, and very seldom speed.

It's not a bad thing....

its just what we tend to be like.



What we need....are some rebels.


rebels are not afraid.

they don't mind if the rules change, because they weren't planning on following them anyway.

rebel's don't flinch at danger but rather invite it,
and they aren't afraid of the F-word.

They ask "why?" and smirk at you when you say "Because I said so."

Rebel's have an edge, and an appeal, as they sit quietly and observe with their arms folded cooly across their chest.

We need a teacher with a tattoo, or maybe several.

we need the black sheep.

We need the kid who laughed at the school handbook if he even read it, which he probably didn't.


If you are a rebel and you're reading this, you are wanted.

I can't promise you a great paycheck,
and I can promise that you will be surrounded by the over acheivers that probably bug the H*** out of you.

But I think you'll love it.


I think you'll change things,




and that's just what we need.

makING a difference

I LOVE this. His name is Taylor Mali, and he does poetry slams and he is a teacher. Sorry if the profanity (there's only two spots) is offensive to you. Its just a little towards the end. One of my professors showed this one in class and its TOTALLY worth watching:



I promise a "real" post soon, where I actually write something.... :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

procrastinatING...

...because I am, and you probably are, and it's the last month of school, and we could all use a laugh:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

restING

Today, I got up and tried to get some school work done in the house. Of course that didn't work. It usually never does. So, I got myself ready and left early for class so that I would have two extra hours on campus to sit and research. So, here I am one hour before class starts and no research is done....imagine that. I am however, caught up on facebook, I've been to Starbucks and I did finally submit a poem to a local zine to try and get it published (for some reason, I've been terrified to submit it....its scary!) However, I have to say it was worth coming up. It's snowing up here. Big, fluffy, wonderful, flakes. Everyone hates it. Normally I would be with them, talking about how it is actually officially spring and so really, all this snow nonsense should stop. Somehow, and I have no idea how, I've changed. I think I like winter. I'm not saying I like it more than summer. Maybe I've just learned to accept it. I remember when I worked at Gradall for 3 months when I very first moved back to Ohio. I worked there January through March, and my job was to go down to the dock pit and dig through giant boxes of greasy parts, retrieve the part numbers and enter them into the new computer system. Anytime the word "pit" is in your job description, that should be a dead giveaway that its going to be awful--and it was. It was cold and greasy and I worked for the meanest man in the world. Really really, he was so, so mean. It was really the most miserable job ever. While I worked there I met a man name Harry. Harry had a cubicle beside me, and he smoked. So, anytime I wasn't in the cold awful pit, and Harry had just returned from a smoke break ,he would give me a weather report. Most of the time it contained snow and I would sigh, and complain, and talk about how I missed the California sunshine. Harry usually just laughed. But one day, he stuck his head over the ugly cubicle wall and said, "Al" that's what he called me, "Winter is a season of rest. Use it." One would never expect such sage advice to come from Gradall, the land of welders, steel, part numbers, freezing cold dock pits, and mean mean bosses, but somehow this advice made its way permanently into my mind. Rest is such a hard thing for us to learn. For me to learn. What Harry reminded me of, is that each season brings with it some benefit. Big or small, easy to find or difficult, its there, you just have to find. After hearing Harry's words, I learned to embrace winter. I began to use it as a time to settle in and read or watch a movie. Then I learned to knit. I finally got some sensible boots and stopped trying to wear flip flops in January. Now, I might even prefer my boots. What I am taking forever to say, is that I think I've grown to not only accept winter, but to actually enjoy it. I've learned to accept what is, and find joy in it. Rest has been a theme in life lately for me. I am happy for today and one of the final days of snow and of a season made for resting.

Note: Sorry this is all one big long paragraph, thats not how I wrote it and I've tried to fix it. Everytime I hit "publish" this is what I get.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

fillING the empty space

Life has been quiet. I don't know why, but it just has.

Quietness is rare.

Lately I've had a chance to "catch up" with a lot of far away friends on the phone. Their lives are so eventful and I've found myself saying over and over "Well, not much is going on here. Just the usual, you know, school and everything." Many of my friends are moving or having babies or raising babies or working a million hours or some combination of all of those. Many have big and exciting things going on in life.

At this current season in my life I just....don't.

At first I fought it. I was restless. I felt like I should be doing more. Maybe I'm not walking with God like I should. Maybe I should join a new ministry, be more outgoing, maybe I should be moving or having babies (don't worry Babe, I don't really want one right now). Maybe, I should be filling the empty space...with something....anything. Finally I realized,



quietness is rare



and we need it.
My life won't always be this way. Someday there may be kids, or a move, or a ministry (again, I have no current plans for any of these things), and I know there will be more work hours. I look forward to any or all of those things. For now though, I've decided to embrace it. I've decided to embrace the normalcy, and the quietness. This time of just Dave and I, in our quiet house, doing simple things like dishes and laundry and petting the cat.

It's funny, even as I say this, I have that little voice in the back of my mind saying "There should be more going on. Go! Do more! Change something!" It's that feeling that something spectacular should be going on. I'm a little bit of a change-o-holic. Be it good change or bad change, sometimes change feels more normal than routine.

But still, I know that this quiet time, this time of routine, this time to breathe in and out is ok, even needed. So I've just decided to let it be, for I know it won't last forever, and that someday when life is busy and full of change again, I'll wish I hadn't wasted it trying to fill it up.


"Time’s this priceless currency and only the slow spend it wise enough to be rich."
- Ann Voskamp


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

on beING a woman

Sometimes I feel like I live in these two contradicting, at-odds, worlds.

On the one side I have a typically somewhat conservative "church" world. It's almost hard to write about this because I'm not trying to criticize. I love it.

On the other side I have this typically more liberal, "school" world. Again, I'm not trying to criticize.

These two sides seem to hate eachother, and I can't understand why.

Both of these worlds have their views on women. They vary from mild views, to extreme. Mostly I'm writing about the extremes. They have been popping up everywhere lately.

Let me start with school. Here, sometimes I feel like I'm almost supposed to be mad about being woman. Like its some kind of curse, brought on by men, or religion, or ignorant women or some mix of all three. Once during a discussion on Virginia Woolf I suggested that although her writings were probably appropriate for the historical context, perhaps they don't apply to us as modern women who can

work (if we want),

go to college (if we want),

get married (if we want),

get divorced (if we want),


have a baby (if we want)

or not have a baby (if we want)

I don't support abortion, but for the purpose of discussing women's rights...there it is. The point is, I don't really feel all that oppressed or angry for that matter. I feel like a free-thinking, choice-making woman. This isn't to say that in some cultures there is still not oppression, but I found it ironic that a bunch of women sitting in a college classroom, many of them working on their doctorates, wanted to apply A Room of One's Own to themselves.

From the reaction I got, one would have thought I had suggested that I think women ought to still be oppressed, and it would be best if we were kept underground as breeding stock and baby-raisers. One lady looked on me with pity, "Poor oppressed soul", another with indignation "How dare she!", another with a blank look of shock that I'm not sure what it meant. To me it seemed....odd? It was just a suggestion, not a statement against women everywhere.

On the other side, I have my church experience. Much of this thinking isn't explicitly stated, but subtle, and much of it isn't around so much anymore, but in some circles, it is.

Church is a funny place sometimes.

I know people whose marriages are nothing I could ever want. Husbands who talk to their wives like she couldn't possibly solve a problem on her own. Wives who think I'm crazy for considering working and having kids. I haven't decided yet, and I don't think I need to.
Men who feel "usurped" in everyday conversation because a women (very politely) suggests a way of thinking different than his own.
There is the thinking that its more spiritual to married, and the thinking that it is more spiritual to be single. Ugh! What a mess!

It's almost suffocating to sit in between these two opinions and hear them yell back forth (figuratively and literally at times). You want to yell for everyone to just "BE QUIET!" just for one minute so you can think and process all of this.

Where is the line between giving your life to your family and being so consumed by your kids you really have neglected your own identity to unhealthy level? Is it possible to work and to give your kids what they need? What does the Bible really say about women's roles in life and what does that look like played out? (Both "sides" of the tension I'm speaking of have horrifying views in my opinion as to what the Bible says about women). What about being a woman without kids and without a husband? Is that less valuable if you are a Christian and more if you are sitting in a classroom in a public University?

My. Head. Is. Spinning.

Mostly, I would just like to feel free to just be a woman. Not someone lost in the battle, or overtaken by any particular side. Not a slave to anger or to ignorance. Just...a woman.

More on this later.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

sleepING and not....mostly not

So lately...I don't sleep. Ok, maybe a little. Maybe four hours a night. Two on a bad night. Six on a good ("good night" occurring maybe two or three times in a month). It's awful. I don't mean to complain. I swore to myself I wouldn't use this blog as platform for complaint, but I really haven't been doING much worth blogging. I've been trying to slog through each day in a tired haze.

I've tried so many things. Warm milk, stretching, reading, counting sheep, reading about sheep (which is actually interesting to me, so I realized that wouldn't work for me). I pray. Which has been good actually. I've cut out caffeine completely, although I never drank much to begin with. I've tried not napping, but gave up. It didn't help. I still didn't sleep. I decided that if I could get some sleep during the day, it was still better then none all day. I even took a pregnancy test to make sure that wasn't the cause. Big sigh of relief...it is not.

Today, is actually a rare extra extra good day. I slept from 1:30am-7am and I fell back asleep for another hour or two. This is the best I've had for awhile. I'm hoping its the beginning of the end. I really really really hope its the beginning of the end.

Not sleeping is miserable. My whole body hurts sometimes because I'm just so tired. I'm sorry for anyone who has had season's of no sleep. Be it mom's, or other insomniacs like myself, or nightshift/swingshing workers.

It's taken over my life. I've skipped a class or two on bad days, for fear of falling asleep behind the wheel. My house is a mess. I fall asleep while reading for school. I feel so unproductive.I feel grumpy over silly things like facebook statuses, other drivers on the road, the fact that mail hasn't come yet. It's not an excuse for grumpiness, but it sure amplifies it.

I've had so many opinions about this given to me. "You must be stressed." You're right, I am...I haven't slept for a month or longer (I've lost track)...wouldn't you be? "Just wait until you have kids...you don't know what tired is..." Maybe. But for some reason, I think I do know what it is. I don't mean this disrespectfully. Sometimes I wish I wasn't sleeping because of kids. At least there would be a reason. I know that I am lucky in some regards, because at least my schedule is such that if I can fall asleep for a few minutes during the day, its ok. I can move my own schedule around with the exception of class times.

Again, I'm so sorry for using this for a platform to complain. It's just that this has been my life. I'm just ready to sleep again.

Next week is spring break. I'm going to try Motrin PM to get me back into a normal sleep rhythm. I think over the weekend, I will let myself rest and sleep as much as I can to "catch up". Then during the week I will try the PMs. I wait until break to try this because typically drowsy medicine makes me sleep much longer than the average person. If that doesn't work, its time to see the doctor I suppose. I'm also going to start running again. That should help...right?

Thanks for listening. I promise...this will be one of very very few complaining posts. I know that I'm blessed with a warm bed to at least try to sleep in, and a man I love sleeping beside me. I just know I would feel a whole lot better, if I could just sleep.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

eatING

In the spirit of up and coming St. Patrick's Day, I've decided to tell you about one of my favorite, very Irish, incredibly cozy, and rather local places to eat--Mulligan's Restaurant and Pub in Canton Ohio. It's right off the Whipple exit and it's more than worth your time (and gas money!)




It's nestled into an unlikely place, a strip mall...I know, I know. But before you judge, step inside. You'll first walk into an old Irish pub-like enviroment. Surrounded by brick work, wainscoting, stained glass windows, and beautiful woodworking and copper working around the very cozy bar--a bar that makes you want to walk up and order an Irish ale. This is the room with a more casual sports bar atmosphere (without losing it's charm), there are TV's with sports running. The last fun part about this room is it's running, year-round, second by second, countdown to St. Patty's Day.





If this isn't charming enough, venture a little further in. To your left you'll find the Victorian room. Here, you'll find a gigantic beautiful fireplace, that was actually featured in the movie The Haunting. This room has a much more formal feel, and no TV's.It has a very "it was a dark and stormy night", feel. Typically it's reserved for banquets, but sometimes it's available for regular seating.

Finally (yes there's more) to your right you will find the library. Here you'll find another beautiful fireplace, lovely wainscoting, tapestries hanging from the walls, and a wall of books. It feels like the library of some olde (with an "e") lord. Typically, you have to call ahead to sit in the library for dinner.



Now, if environment alone hasn't compelled you to immediately race on over in time for a St. Patty's Day celebration, I am pleased to tell you that the food is....wonderful! I've never (ever, ever, ever) had a bad meal there. Among my favorites are the reuben, French onion soup (best I've ever had, perfect of the cozy surroundings), Mulligan's fried mushrooms (they are HUGE), fish and chips....you get the idea...everything! They also have great steaks, and ribs.

It should also be mentioned that they will serve your drink to you in a gigantic, bowl-sized, two-hander, glass goblet. Seriously, these goblets are like the size of your face. If you order a beer, it comes in a frosty one. This only adds to the lovely, olde world feel.

If you've never been there...go. Sit at the bar, or a cozy booth, or the library...just get your Irish on, and go. :)




Credit:http://www.mulliganscanton.com/pictures.html

Monday, February 21, 2011

readING



For a phonics strategies class I'm in, one of the projects we do is to read a young adult or older children's book and do a "book talk" on it. The "book talk" part is simply giving a brief "preview" of the book...without giving too much away. The goal is to learn to make books sound exciting (which they are) and to read books that the kid's we will be teaching could read.

I chose Hoot, and I have to say I liked. It's sort of a series of hilarious mysteries that are all connected and stacked on top of one another.By the time you feel that one mystery is "solved" your knee deep into the next. It begins with Roy, the main character being beat up by the school bully on the bus. His face is smushed against the glass of the window. It's at this point that Roy notices a boy running. Not just any boy though. He had no shoes, no books, and was running in the opposite direction of the school bus stop. Roy immediately sets out to find out who the running boy is and from there, the mysteries only begin. By the end you'll find out what an owl, nine snakes, an alligator, a bulldozer, a police car, and pancakes all have in common and you'll laugh a lot along the way.

I liked it. It made me laugh. In a few places it was actually a little too....political(?) for me, which surprised me for a book written for 12 years olds, but as whole it was great.

Whatever I think of the book though, I love this idea of book talks, and plan on using it in my classroom someday. We not only have to talk about the book, but we have to create a website, or use props, or do something visual.



The second book I've been reading isn't school related at all (clearly)-- The Knitter's Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. It's everything you could want to know about yarn, choosing it, using for the right projects, where it comes from, how it's made, and more. It comes with some 40 patterns that are all beautiful. Some are above my skill level, but I'll get there...someday.

Perhaps its interesting to me because I love wool, yarn, and all fiber related topics, but I would venture to say that even to someone who may not have a natural affinity for yarn could find her style and content interesting.

My favorite part is when she talks about fiber festivals (yes, that's a real thing...all the knitting nerds really do all together at one time, I'll post on that sometime soon). She refers to them as "Woodstock, for knitters". I love this!

"Read it. I know you'll love it!" (Name that movie) But really, do read it.