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)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I Love a Project

This was my project for the day.  Thank you cards for the wonderful guests at our wedding reception and send-off party.
I have a love-hate relationship with unemployment right now.  I love that it affords me time to do stuff like this,  but I hate that it brings no income and generally makes me feel like a worthless slob who stays at home shunning the lovely Texas sun.  Anywho.

This is what we used for our party invitations (minus all the details). 
I think it was one of our first lessons in the art of compromise.  I wanted to send out handmade invitations by mail, and Mac wanted to send out evites.  Thinking that it probably wouldn't put our union in the best of lights if we each did our own separate thing, we found a way to meet in the middle.  I handmade the invitation, and Mac scanned it in to e-mail to all our friends. 

This was what I had planned to do all along before changing my plan at the last minute.
I could never come up with a color for the birds, for reasons which I shall explain in a later post.  And I also couldn't shake the feeling that this picture was just a little too cutesy for our invitation.

This is the gloomy cousin of the previous picture.  Mac voted it down, and I agreed.
This is the original page in my sketchbook.
Now, back to being unemployed.