Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Walkin' in a Texas Wonderland

As promised (sort of)...some photos of our Christmas day stroll.  To help set the scene for folks far away:  December 25th.  Mid-afternoon walk along a town lake, that's also a ladybird lake, that's really a dammed up river running through town.  Roughly 50 degrees, a married couple's first Christmas.  She loves walking, he hates walking, they both love each other.  A little duckwatching, a light breeze, lots of Spanish spoken, but not by them. 

I think my very favorite part was at the end, when Carol of the Bells started chiming out from this tower, or at least I think it was this tower:

It's called Buford Tower.  Did you know that one of the first--if not the very first--friends that Mac and I made in Austin is named Buford?  Pretty cool.

Yay for walks with sweethearts and best friends, and for Christmas walks at that!  I think it was the best gift Mac could've possibly given me.

Monday, December 28, 2009

How Rude!

How rude of me to not include Mac's blog address on the last post.  And how rude of me to say "How Rude!", knowing that for at least one other person in the world, it will conjure up unwelcome images of Jar Jar Binks.  Mesa sorry!

For your viewing enjoyment:
Supposed To Be, by Jack Johnson and Jar Jar Binks
Many Deaths of Jar Jar Binks

Mac doesn't seem to agree that the above videos are hilarious.  What's your vote?  Am I nuts?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

While I Was Away...

Here's a look at some of the things that went down during my incredibly long lapse from blogging:

I managed to convert 1 to 2 to 3 (and in case it's not obvious from the last picture...make a little cash along the way!)

I made my first successful pie crusts ever!

Mac started a blog of his own!

(Oh, and hell froze over too.  Tiny joke, as Mac used to tease me about my excessive blog presence.)

And speaking of hell freezing over, Mac took a walk with me yesterday for Christmas : ]  A walk as in...outside...with no foreseeable destination!  My favorite.  I think this deserves a post all its own.


I almost forgot!  I also got a new job, which is as close as I'll probably ever come to a childhood Della Street fantasy.

(Not to be confused with this...)

Haha, thanks for indulging me.  It looks like I also acquired a new follower in my absence, which thrills me to pieces.  Hopefully I haven't lost everyone with the last few hours of blogging!

Merry Christmas Blues

Taking a Starbucks break on our Christmas walk--thank you, are my very favorite gift.

It seems like it's hard not to feel blue about Christmas at some point.  Whether it's leading up to it...during...or the day after when it's all over.  Some part of me wonders if we're not all reaching for something that we'll never fully find until Jesus comes again.  The fullness of eternal peace, joy, and life.  Unity, family, and a home.  Maybe there's something deep within us, reminding us through some kind of longing ache, that what Jesus came to do is not quite finished yet.  There is more to the story...more to hope for...and this, as good as it is, is not as good as it gets. 

As long as there is breath inside us, there is opportunity to hope.  But hope, I find, is rather hard work.  Work enough to last me the remaining 364 days of the year.  I'll be honest, there is a part of me that is struggling to let go of this year.  So many wonderful things happened in 2009.  So many stories I had always secretly hoped for and dreamed of finally came true.  There is a part of me that does not dare to keep 'hoping forward', I guess.  It seems much safer to remain somehow stuck in time (forever teetering on that dangerous border between contentment and just plain settling).  Of course I know this is nonsense, and so rather clumsily, I will move forward with the rest of the world into a brand new year.  I will do the work of dreaming, hoping and praying...for more adventures and answers to come.

Hope is the opposite of giving up.  When I am tempted to give up (and that is much more often than I care to admit...though much less often than it used to be, I believe...), I hope I remember words like the ones I read today...
I cry out to the Lord;
I plead for the Lord's mercy.
I pour out my complaints before him
and tell him all my troubles.
When I am overwhelmed,
you alone know the way I should turn.
I look for someone to come and help me,
but no one gives me a passing thought!
Then I pray to you, O Lord.
I say, "You are my place of refuge.
You are all I really want in life."
-from Psalm 142-

Sometimes I feel stupid for writing the things I do.  I'm glad David didn't...or at least...didn't let it stop him.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Best of Times, etc.

This photo has nothing to do with the post--I'm just so excited to see leaves that change color!

In high school English, we were supposed to read Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities.  I read just enough to 1) Know that it was the best of times and it was the worst of times, 2) Understand why, when I took up knitting, my best friend nicknamed me Madame Defarge and 3) Make me want to actually read it now that I am an adult of my own free will.

The thing is...and this is a tragically lame comparison, I know...but I have been thinking about Dickens' words a lot lately in regards to this year.  It's been the best of times (being serenaded on Skype, falling in love with the handsomest, funniest, most thoughtful, understanding, best-dressed cowboy singer and all-around favorite man on the planet, being proposed to on bended knee with magnetic poetry, shopping for a wedding dress with my mom, taking a tour of photobooths on a roadtrip across the USA, a bachelorette party of two with my best friend, getting married in a WWII lookout shelter overlooking the Pacific Ocean on one miraculously unfoggy day in April, spending the summer on Flathead Lake with my new family and two of the best doggies ever, building a cozy little summer home above the garage, sharing all of this with family and friends at our reception and going away party in July, heading off into the sunset for a new life in Austin, TX, finding a new church and friends that welcomed us in, settling into our first apartment, making Thanksgiving dinner with each other like we dreamed of one year ago) and it's been the worst of times in some ways too...(learning to navigate a strange new city and way of life, being unemployed and unable to find a steady job for 9 months, wondering how we're going to make it, application after application, interview after interview, rejection after rejection, finding out how selfish I am when living side by side with another human being, facing up to my fears about love, marriage, new things, looking stupid, driving and everything else imaginable, starting completely over with every person I meet and finding myself without a reputation, a career, a common background, an image or some kind of attraction to stand on, missing my family and friends like they will never know).

 It's no Dickens tale, I know, but still.  In the best of times (and reflections thereupon) I feel toppled over with blessings and the vast, undeserved love of God poured out.  In the worst of times (and unrecommended reflections thereupon) I feel uncapable, abandoned, forgotten and alone.  I know through and through that God always loves and cares for us, but sometimes I don't understand when I can't see Him acting on that. 

Well, my mischievous husband just sneaked up from behind and scared the stuffing out of me and I seem to have lost my train of thought (which is bound to produce a "WOW" from said husband when I later catch him reading this post).  It doesn't matter much, because the conclusion of my story is and will always be that God is in control and I love Him and trust Him...Besides, Madame Defarge has a lot of knitting to do.  Thanks for indulging my rambling.  In the process of doing so, I discovered it is much easier and much more fun to recall the best of times.  I'm pretty sure they always outnumber the worst of times anyway.  And worst is circus peanuts compared to some people' I should just stop whining.

*Note to Mr. Dickens--I'm sorry I massacred your masterpiece.  One day soon I will actually read it and feel quite stupid, I'm sure.  Incidentally, I do hope your story's conclusion was the same as mine...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Can it, Worms!

Saturday morning at breakfast, we opened up a can of worms.  I asked Mac if he missed Boston (where he had been living before we married, honeymooned in the Northwest and moved to Texas).  He said, "Not really," other than that he missed playing music.  Then he asked if I missed Missoula (Montana, where I had been living before we married, etc.).  Herein lay the worms.  "Yes," I said.  (Every day, I thought).  And so, he kindly and bravely proceeded to ask what I missed.  I don't think I had allowed myself the luxury of voicing it before, which as it turns out, was perhaps the wisest thing.  All of the sudden I missed it so much, I managed to turn an otherwise sunny Texas day into a rather vivid shade of blue. 

 So.  Rather than bore you (and depress me) with all the things I miss about home, and bein' that it's Thanksgiving time and all...I've decided to list all the things I do really like about living here.  Can it, worms.

  1. The people.  In general, people are super friendly here...but beyond that, we have made some amazing friends who have made us feel so loved and welcomed.
  2. Our church family.  Again...loved and welcomed us more than any I've ever been in.  I know we are where God wants us to be.
  3. The sunshine.  Sure I miss the seasons (oops, it slipped out), but I have to admit the almost constant sunshine is wonderful.  I actually think people are emotionally healthier here because of it.  Besides, knowing I'll probably never have to scrape a car window is heavenly.
  4. The rain.  Someone told me that Austin gets more rain than Seattle, we just get it all in dumps.  I believe it too.  When it rains here, it POURS.  And I adore a good dump of rain.
  5. Austin is one of the craftingest, thriftingest towns I've ever seen.  You can guess how I feel about that.
  6. Maybe it's just the crowd I've fallen into...but women seem more secure and well-adjusted here.  I have yet to hear one who even hints at thinking she is fat or ugly.  I know this seems like an odd comment, but I kind of grew up thinking that's just what women it's weird--and nice--to see something else.
  7. The recent discovery of a grocery store that carries a bunch of my hard-to-find favorites:  fruity tootsie-rolls, milk & dark chocolate covered honeycomb, carob raisins (and maltballs, which I have yet to try), dried chile mangos (and pineapples!?), Silk nog (and pumpkin spice Silk which I also haven't tried)...and in general...just more vats of snacky goodness to sample in bulk.  Annnnnd said store is located right by Michael's (which has been selling wool yarn on the cheap), Barnes & Noble (which apparently has free wi-fi now), and World Market (which sells Haribo gummies and my dream couch).
  8. Everyone needs a chance to start over somewhere...sometime.  I've got the best husband and friend in the world to do just that with.

There's a ton more, I'm sure.  A ton more to discover.  31 years old and making a home in a new place for the first time...I guess it all just takes time.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fingerless Glove Love

Doing what I do best...

In fact, this is what I shall be doing pretty solidly through the end of the month.  A friend of mine (she went to school with Mac and me!) has ordered 10 pair of fingerless gloves to give away for Christmas gifts.  Well, 9 to give away and 1 to keep for herself  : ]  I'm so excited for the knitting--and because it means I get to discover some yummy new yarn colors from KnitPicks!  Pictures and progress reports are sure to follow.  Now to the knitting...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Awkward Fashion Shoot, or...How I Convinced Myself to Buy a Mirror

So apparently, in addition to matches, the newlyweds also neglected to purchase a full-length mirror when starting a life together.  Strangely, I have been living without one now for about a year and a half.  This strikes me as kinda awesome, as I used to be the person who never left the house without a comprehensive image study, usually followed by harsh words and an evaporating desire to leave the house.  Perhaps it's best I haven't had one for a while.  There have been occasions of late, however--mainly job interviews--when I have no clue what I look like and decide that it's necessary to know. 

Enter the self-timed photograph, my makeshift mirror.  A lame little photoshoot preserved for posterity and hereby exported to the world at large:

While it's a pretty handy little tool for playing 'What Not to Wear' with myself (left photo), I think I can say with some degree of certainty that I will never become a fashion blogger.  Don't get me wrong though, I'm a big fan.  To a former fashion magazine junkie who quit the habit out of increasing: 1) poverty 2) discontentment with actual life in comparison (or was it magazines in comparison to actual life?) 3) annoyance over fat pages of advertisements and depressing articles about the 47 ways to ensure your lover will never cheat (and the 21 ways to find out if he is)...the discovery of daily little fashion inspirations that are both free, free of the aforementioned annoyances, and a little bit closer to my reality (they thrift!) kind of sweet.

A few of my favorites...

Reader (self) beware...hours seem to get swallowed in the oohing and ahhing over their photos!

P.S.  Yes, I know I'm a dork.  (Might as well insert this postscript after every entry from here on out).

Monday, November 9, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

Deep Thoughts

Sometimes I think God brings us to the end of our rope so that we will finally just let go.

(Continuing in the 'Deep Thoughts' tradition that was started over here at my first blog.  My sometimes silly and occasionally/accidentally deep reflections on life.)

Monday, November 2, 2009

One Year Ago Today

The funny thing is, we weren't even dating.  This was just a joke.  My answer?  Well...let's just say it's a surprise to both of us that 3 months later we were engaged, 5 months later about to get married, and one year later sharing a life in Texas.  Thank God for surprises.

Friday, October 30, 2009


After a particularly crappy day, Mac surprised me with pizza, a scary (but not really) movie, and pumpkins ripe for carvin'.  He even scraped the inside of the pumpkin out for me (in exchange for roasted pumpkin seeds). 

So, of course, I carved a Mac-O-Lantern in his honor.

You can't really see how he originally turned out,
because silly me didn't photograph him until days later when he started to sag (and mold and leak rotten pumpkin juice all over the counter). 

In my defense, I was waiting until we had matches...yet another thing you apparently don't think to buy when you're starting a life together.  For the record, I was especially proud of his nose (and the resemblence I think it bore to Mac's own nose).

I think Texas mold might be in a league of its own.  You know what they say...everything's bigger in Texas.  I was utterly amazed that it had ravaged poor Mac-O-Lantern in a mere 4 days (from birth to death).  And both Mac and I agreed we'd never seen such pitiful incontinence* in a pumpkin before.  Poor fella.

*Apparently this word has another meaning I didn't know about. Eeeep!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Donut Day Revival

I'll be the first one to tell you that I get really excited about little things.  It might be my favorite thing about myself, and about the like-minded folks I find along the way.  The most recent excitement in my life is the reinstitution of Donut Day. 

Donut Day was originally invented as a diet plan for myself.  I would eat healthy stuff ( is me we're talking about here) all week long, and then one day a week, I would allow myself the junkiest, tastiest thing I could imagine:  a mmmmaple bar.  I used to work the night shift during the week.  Friday mornings, my weekend would begin, and I would practice my weekly donut ritual.  This was back when I was a swingin' (hardly) singleton.  Now I've discovered a Donut Day built for two!

Sorry that I don't have a better photo of our excursions to prove it.  You will no doubt see more of those in the future.  So far, I'm partial to Randall's (the Safeway of Texas) maple bars...but you don't really get the full donut and cheap coffee experience there.  Shipley's is in first place so far for that.  I like the box they come in, too!  There's another place nearby I have to try makes me think of home, for reasons I will explain in a future post (once we actually go there!)

So...the little thing I take joy in here is not just a weekly donut, but the fact that Heaven sent me a wonderful partner who seems to enjoy it, and other simple things, almost as much as I do.  I love him so.

(left:  Mac and Me on our honeymoon--6 months ago!)

Other little things that are currently delighting me more than anyone could possibly know...I have 3 blog fans now!!  I know other people have hundreds, but this is really exciting to me.  And the second morsel of best friend, after months--maybe years--of attempts to convince, and years of giving up all hope, has finally decided to blog.  I hope she doesn't stop!  Go and tell her not to right now!!

Last bit of news (I'm wordy today because I'm long overdue in writing!) church is hosting a donut-eating contest.  That's right.  Behold:  a 2-lb donut monster.  And because they don't want to encourage gluttony, of course, they're having people sign up in teams.  Oh my--can I really resist this?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Childhood Dreams

Yeah, so I know most little girls dream of things like becoming an actress, or an artist, or the president or whatever.  But when I was little, my dreams were different.  I guess this should come as no surprise, considering my childhood swoonhearts were Burl Ives and the judge on the old Perry Mason shows (one of which I loved because he had more hair up his nose than he had on his head).  I dreamt of being a school teacher...That's not so odd, you say.  I also dreamt of being a secretary.  The school teacher fantasy I blame on my insane hunger to learn, and on the fact that I was secretly a bit bossy ('A bit' by my measurements only.  Other people...sisters, for example, might choose terms like, 'quite bossy' or 'holy terror').  As for wanting to be a secretary, I think it's because one summer vacation after 2nd or 3rd grade, I discovered an antique typewriter inherited by my mom.  That typewriter and I lived at my one-armed, wooden school desk for the entire summer, plunking out reports from encyclopedia articles that I read for fun.  I remember handing over my complete volume of reports on all 50 states to my at-a-loss-for-words mom.  She probably asked me if it was for school, and I probably said No, it's for fun!, and it was probably after that summer that I was moved to a smaller school with a slightly smaller social pool in which to inevitably be devoured.  Another reason for my penchant for all things secretarial was perhaps the viewing of one too many black-and-white movies in which somebody's girl Friday wore smart-looking pencil skirts, cardigans and horn-rimmed glasses (to disguise how beautiful she was, of course...that is, until the last act when she removed her glasses and promptly eloped with her handsome boss).

These dreams drifted a little over time (although my fashion sense remains very much black-and-white film secretary), but there was one odd childhood dream which lasted me through adulthood.  For some peculiar reason, I always wanted to be the person on the other side of the glass in a retail store's window display...Setting the display up, or maybe just sitting there waiting to see if anyone would notice my presence.  I have multiple theories on the existence of this fantasy:  Rhoda Morgenstern, Mary Tyler Moore's window-dressing best friend...the scene with Bob Hope and the mannequin in Lemon Drop Kid...the time my oldest sister modeled a snowsuit (or was it a snowmobile?) at a department store in the mall and no one in my family recognized her...

Anyway, the point of this long-winded story is that last week, I finally achieved a childhood dream.  I had a temporary job setting up a brand new store downtown.  And guess what I got to do?  That's right!  I got to cozily wedge myself in between the display and the window and set-up/straighten/clean away.  I even smiled at a stranger passing by and had a conversation with my handsome husband through the glass. 

There are those childhood dreams, I am told, that once fulfilled are quickly dismissed as being not nearly as cool as you thought they would be.  This is not one of them...or else...I'm just a contented soul.  Judging from the look of glee on my face at 4 or 5 years old (see above), maybe I was just made to unwrap furniture.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Give a Hoot!

So, remember when I said I was searching for a knitting project to take up soon!?  I think I found my dream project!  It's owls!  On a sweater!  And it's free (courtesy of! 

On a slightly sadder note (or two), I'm afraid I'll have to wait until I have an income to make this.  For the time being, I'll have to occupy myself with projects that can be completed from my too-large (but apparently not large enough for bigger projects) yarn stash.  Second sad note...yesterday in church the 'turn-around-and-shake-hands' question was, "What is your favorite thing about Fall?"  So I proceeded to explain to two sweet ladies nearby that I was looking forward to the cooler which they both gave pitying laughs and said..."We don't have cooler weather.  In fact, we don't have Fall".  Apparently, Fall in Texas consists entirely of the smell of pumpkin spice.  Sigh.  I guess I'll have to content myself with a candle and a project I'll never be cold enough to wear.  The good news is, there is something called Winter that I've been told lasts anywhere from 3 days to 6 weeks during the months of February and March.  And then there's always the A/C situation...

Well, it may not be pumpkin spice, but I did bake some Apple Crisp this evening in a burst of Fall-y feelings.  Actually, the sad truth is, I thought apples might be a good way to sneak in Vitamin C for my sickly husband.  Apples have Vitamin C...don't they?  How about broccoli and tomatoes (which we had at dinner)?  Hm.  Oh who am I I ever need an excuse to make/eat a treat.  I will tell you that I did manage to replace the white flour with wheat flour and use Smart Balance instead of butter. tasted just as bad for me as always...which, sadly, did not stop me from eating most of the pan.  (Thank goodness I halved it!)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Little Things

I'm fairly obsessed with these Pom-Pom Trees here in Texas.  (Anyone knowing their proper name should feel quite free to correct me--I'd correct myself if I wasn't so tired).

I'm also pretty much wonderstruck at the sight of this.  One thorny Pom-Pom escaping to make its new home on a telephone wire.

Most often, it's the little things that keep me churning, and every once in a while, I have to check myself. When my wondermeter's off, so am I...and it usually means I must look up instead of down.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Brrrr + Texas = Weird, I know...But if there's one thing I've learned about living here, it's that you have an indoor wardrobe and an outdoor wardrobe.  Every day.  Mac teases me for changing my clothes so much, but it's not just me being indecisive.  Restaurants, coffee shops and stores (not to mention husbands) seem to keep the A/C just south of Arctic, so leave the sweater at home and you're in for a shaky meal/drinking/reading/browsing/shopping session.  Texas girls know this. 

Couple this phenomenon with a week of cooler, rainy weather which one of our pastors jokingly called "Faux Fall" (he's from Wisconsin and I think Mac and I were the only other people in the room who laughed instead of staring blankly), and you have my current state of mind:  Fall on the brain and in the house, 90 degree confusion outside.  Anyway, all this is to say...Hm, not much.  Just a glimpse into our surroundings and "Look Ma!  I made Chicken Tortilla Soup!" and "Look Sis!  I'm wearing the scarf you gave me from Russia (and I'm terrible at tying it)!".  I love Fall, even Faux Fall.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
You know the other funny thing about it all?  I think I see more pale skin here than I did at home (which sorta makes me fit in...right?).  I guess it's too hot to be outside so everyone hides and fades in the A/C.  Small irony:  I tried to resupply myself with sunless tanning lotion (speaking of all things faux) when we first got here, only to find that they only sell it for medium to dark skin.  ?.

P.S.  In accordance with my Fall brain, I plan to start a knitting project any day now.  Because Mac's not wrong that I am indecisive...I may have to ask for your help in deciding on a project : ]

P.P.S.  A word about ghosty hands (top photo)They remind me of this video (proceed with caution), which Mac sent me the other day in an attempt to cheer me up.  If scaring me almost out of my seat = cheering me up, then...success!  Okay granted, we did have a pretty good laugh about my reaction hours later, but oh man...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

If it's Wednesday, I must be Homesick

I stumbled across this local t-shirt company one day in a rather hip gas station in my hometown.  I didn't know it was a rather hip gas station until I stumbled in (desperately looking for a beverage while Mac was washing his car).  That's Missoula for you.

Anyway, I guess I'm homesick, because I find myself really wanting one of these as a cozy souvenir of all that I miss.  Yes, I know I rarely ever wear t-shirts with graphics.  Yes, I do tend to think they look better on boys (or boyishly framed girls...I mean that as a compliment!).  Yes, I really hate the boys-in-v-necks trend.  Yes, I think much of the posings on the website might be described as a wee over the top.  Yes, it's making me miss home all the more anyway.

Speaking of missing home all the more, these t-shirts are not just available at hipster gas stations, but at the Missoula Farmers Market as well...which I also dearly miss.  I'm not sure if this company is the source of the famous/infamous (406)* t-shirts or not (anyone out there know?).  But heck, I miss those too.  (Photo at right, courtesy of my lovely cousin, Jess)
*  (406) is the area code for Montana telephone numbers.  Yep, we have only one area code for the whole state.  It rules!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Many Changes

Ain't it the truth...

A year ago, Mac and I hadn't even met (for the second time), and yet we've already been married for 5 months. You could say it's been a whirlwind year...One in which we've made a combined total of 4 moves, 3 country-dissecting roadtrips, and countless other adjustments that come with the aforementioned territory...not to mention with marriage itself.

All things considered, I guess we're both doing pretty well. The job search frequently tries our patience...but as our pastor taught us to say in church today, It could be worse. At least there are lots of jobs to apply for. The laws of odds and averages and all that have to be at work the more often that we apply, right? Not to mention a loving God who cares little for laws and odds and averages (but cares lots for us, thank goodness).

Case in point with It could be worse...I'm glad we made it past this stage! At least now when we have interviews, we actually know where our clothes can be found...

Oh, and lest I forget...It is no small feat to have found a church that we both love and feel at home in. We have been taken in by so many wonderful people that I can't help but know we're in the right place.  A job is sure to come soon...
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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Liquid Hug

So, three days ago I said I'd tell you tomorrow why I was glad to wake up to rain.  I guess that makes me two days late.  Not that anyone noticed, but sorry all the same.

So there it is.  I was glad to wake up to rain simply because I had asked for it : ]

Apparently I did not realize how much I was asking the heavens to sympathize...or how many other people were asking too...because it has not stopped raining since.  And I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Now Playing...

at a theater near you...

So, today I had a second interview for an amazing job, and got equally amazingly lost. So lost that I had to phone Mac, who was thankfully home and near a computer, a grand total of oh...4 or 5 times. I left 2 hours early for the interview, thinking I would grab some coffee with all that time to spare. All that time being, in the end, about 6 minutes. I am hopeless when it comes to navigating. Hopeless! 

To make things more pitiful, by the time I found where I needed to be, it seemed there was nowhere for me to park. So, I was left with nothing to do but park at a food joint next door, pray fervently that I wouldn't get towed, and walk along the highway to get where I was headed.  I guess it's nice that it had stopped raining by then*, although I was excitedly prepared for bad weather with the top half of my new little suit from a recent trip to ThriftTown (shown right).

You know what one of the worst things about interviews are?  The hours and days that follow when I go into Interview Critic mode:  Why on earth did I say that?  Why didn't I say that?  And I rehearse the whole thing over and over in my head, hoping I won't make the same dumb mistakes 'this time'.  It reminds me of my mom when she's watching a movie that she's seen multiple times before.  She always tries to warn the hero that something bad is about to happen, but invariably...the script never changes.

Well, enough of my rambling.  I'm just thankful I actually made it there on time and in one piece.  And I'm thankful for a very patient husband who was standing by to help me.  *Annnd, I'm very thankful I woke up to rain today!  Tomorrow, I shall tell you why.

Monday, September 7, 2009

My First Quilt...almost

Lately I have been feeling painfully inspired...and deeply unmotivated.  This, as you can well imagine, is a frustrating combination.  Today I got inspired to make my first quilt (maybe it was my talk of patchwork in the last post that did it).  I found some pretty hopeful beginner patterns here (Amy Butler!) and here...but alas, the above montage demonstrates precisely how far along I got in the project.

Well anyway, it was nice to unearth some of my fabric from storage.  It's also nice to know (in theory anyway) that one day soon I might possibly justify this weird addiction I have to cotton prints.  As for the jumping on the bed...Well, Mac was safely out of the room, the camera was rolling, and I'm afraid I couldn't resist.  Speaking of silly bedroom photos...
Mac dug my Seabiscuit costume out of the closet one evening and said, "You should take a picture for my profile".  I was more than happy to oblige...and more than pleased with the results.  He did not, however, end up using the photo, as he suddenly became afraid of the unsavory comments that might ensue.  Well, call me innocent, I just think it's funny.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Coffee & L'Engle

(jottings in this book are not my own--I bought it 2nd hand)

Tired.  Jumbled.  Lacking the proper words to explain the profoundness of what I feel...what is going on inside of me.  This is a picture of today.

I have been wondering for a few days what my voice is doing here.  What I have to say...who I am and why I'm here.  Questions I usually forget to ask until after I have opened my mouth to speak.  Or opened my computer to write, whatever.  Questions which, like all good questions, come to me in the strangest forms.  Words from a contestant on Project Runway (expressing the idea that there may be a lot of talented creators in the room, but most of them still haven't figured out what they're trying to say), a silly little blog that still doesn't know what it's supposed to be, the Psalm that I read this morning (Psalm 39), and a new old book that I decided to take down from my shelf and read today for the first time (Walking on Water, Reflections on Faith & Art by Madeleine L'Engle). 

This morning I felt like a threadbare patchwork quilt.  The physical, the spiritual, the creative and the practical me's tidily segmented and barely stitched together.  But tonight, I feel like...a pot of stew.  One that maybe hasn't been stirred for a while, but is beginning to be stirred again.  I don't want to be a pieced together life;  I want to be a seamless life.  I want who I am and what I say and wear and do and love to be a walking mystery that only God could create, not a sloppy assemblage of all the various things I am trying to be at any given moment in time.  I want all the meager little creations that find life through my feeble expression to be an extension of all of the above.  A tiny, tiny extension of the vast mystery of God.*

Now in the end, as always seems to be the case, my metaphors break both legs and cease to run.  Because, yes if I had to choose an inanimate object to be...I'd probably much rather be a quilt than a pot of stew.  But bear with me just until the point is made.  Afterall, I told you I lacked the words.

So, did I mention that this book I've started is amazing?  It's exactly what I need to be reading right now.  And did I mention that this cup of extreme coffee-like beverage was so rough that it left me feeling sick all much so that I could do nothing but lay down in bed and read more of this amazing book?  I don't think I did.

*A fragrant, nourishing, tasty bite of stew, if you will...and I dearly hope you will (forgive me my sometimes runaway, sometimes crippled up metaphors).

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Cowboys Shirt

Reasons I love this shirt.  1.  It's a leftover from a superbowl/dressup party that has funny memories.  2.  My sister gave it to me.  3.  It came from Goodwill back home.  4.  It's been around a long time and I only recently rediscovered it in storage under my Grandma's spare bed.  5.  I'm a Texan now.  6.  My husband just happens to be a lifelong Cowboys fan.

That being said, I did not intend to leave the house in this shirt.  It's usually reserved for sleep and moving days.  However, Mac called this morning with an urgent errand request and so I left the house in well, glorified sleepwear.  Only trouble was, said errand put me dangerously close to ThriftTown, and I'm afraid I couldn't resist a visit.  Even in pj's. 

Possible reasons why I got funny looks at ThriftTown today.  1.  This shirt is awesome.  2.  I hadn't showered.  3.  I probably couldn't feign a decently convincing interest in football if I tried.

Oh well, it was worth it.  I scored big today.  Clothes for upcoming interviews (and hopefully an upcoming job...), short sleeved tops for the heat (Finally!  My Montana wardrobe left me sorrowfully unprepared), and a tripod with which I nerdily snapped this photo. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sew Low and Solo. Terrible Wordplay, Awesome Content.

I love Austin for things like this.  Of course, I'd love it a lot more if I actually had people to do these things with.  I know it takes time to make friends...and I know doing stuff is how you meet people...but sometimes I just wish I could download all my friends/mom/sisters from home.  That's not to say anything against the people here because everyone I've met has been super friendly.  It's just that making new friends is not exactly as easy as say...watching Mary Tyler Moore with your husband.

I'm thinking that once I'm working and have money, I'll take some classes.  Maybe here or here or...

Classes are a pretty non-scary way to meet people, right? 

Seriously, how cool is this (left)...They bring crafting.  To your door.  In an Airstream trailer.  Named Stella.  Head.  About.  To explode!

News 8 story on the upcoming crafting weekend (complete with video interview)