Friday, July 29, 2011

My Father's Father from 1504 Pictures on Vimeo.

1 Cor. 1:27 – “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.”
######## joined the ### Athletic Club team as Sports Desk Supervisor in October 2008. She graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in Hospitality. Prior to moving to Seattle, Sara worked as an Event Coordinator for one of New York cities top catering companies, was a social coordinator for a dating company and most recently supervised a spa desk at a high end Athletic Club located in South Florida.        

I just had to post this.  I didn't know you could get a degree in "Hospitality"?! Apparently, in Delaware, you can.  Interesting.
Listening to a little Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors this morning. Rose passed them along to me last year and since then I've enjoyed sharing the gift with a number of other friends.  Here's a couple of my favorites (but truly, I love them all!). The first is a live version of a song off their album "A Million Miles Away" and the second is from their most recent album "Chasing Someday."  (A few other favorites: Someday. Magnolia Tree. I Like to be With Me When I'm With You.)

Hung The Moon.

Fire & Dynamite
I finished it with the drivers door wide open, a warm breeze blowing through the car.  Not enough to tussle my navy sundress, yet it managed to blow the few wisps free of my pony tail and tickle my face.  I didn't want to go inside the house, afraid it would bring delays and put off finishing the book 'til bed.  So instead, when my mom pulled up into the drive, she discovered me still in my car with my head bowed in a book. She just laughed, said "dinner's ready" and walked inside. As I read the last line and folded away The Secret Lives of Dresses, I realized how aware I had been of all the details while reading it.  Sometimes a great book makes you lost to your own world, unaware of strangers watching your face that's overcome with pain or joy or worry. And other times, it enchants you in such a way that you're aware of the fabric of your dress, the soft cotton touching your knee, the breeze moving your hair, the smell of over-blossomed flowers in the garden and the grass in the next neighborhood being cut.  Sometimes a book wakes you up, and makes you pick out a dress you've owned three months and never worn.  I love how a book can affect and change you, even a small piece of delightful fiction. If you're looking for a light-hearted read this summer, please feel free to borrow my copy of The Secret Lives of Dresses. If you love vintage and the craft and power of a story, if you believe that people and even objects always have more to tell than you can read, than you'll enjoy this book. It's a delightful tale about growing up. It's refreshing from time to time to read a tale that doesn't strive to be boundary-pushing, dark or thrilling.  Instead, there's hurt, but there's also hope.  Your heart wont race you through the pages, but instead you'll keep turning the pages with a subtle little smile.

Happy Friday! 

But more importantly,
Happy Birthday to one of my best friends,
Mr. Joel B.A. Maher.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The joys of walking around downtown, in the sunshine, in a sundress with pockets.... So very wonderful.  If you don't know the feeling, I can't explain it... but yes, dresses with pockets really do make the world a better place, at least for the girl wearing the dress.  Dropped my iphone right in there (I just spelt that as "eyephone." weird) and trotted along the moderately clean streets as if they led through gardens and didn't smell like pee. :/  (The one downfall of summertime downtown. The smell.)

pocket --->
Wouldn't this be a cool idea for an office that could double for a guest room?

I love these beds that close up like a closet... probably has something to do with when I cleaned out my closet and built my bed into it.  Still a favorite of mine, and so grateful my mom got behind the idea and helped me build the frame, and the bookshelves on either side inside.... what a wonderful room it was. :)
Oh child. Kisses.
I cannot wait to meet my children. I mean, while I can wait... I can't wait. :)

"Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be."

Clementine Paddleford

I dislike red onions.  I will eat them in a sandwich (maybe), and if they are grilled and in something delicious, but I will not eat them in a salad.  I forgot to order my salad today "no onions."  The only thing worse then the taste of onions contaminating the whole delicious salad is the smell of them all day in my desk garbage.  I threw most all of them in the break room trash. But the couple that escaped my initial scrutiny went into the garbage at my feet.  Now, I can't escape them.  I won't even tell you what I think red onions smell like. :/ Geeh.
Seventeenth-Century Italian Violin Pattern.

The name of Antonio Stradivari and the date, 1737, both written on the pattern, have been attributed to the hand of Count Ignazio Alessandro Cozio di Salabue (1744-1840), the Italian collector who obtained it from Stradivari’s son, Paolo.

Credit.  (Word.)

It's Thursday, the day we officially all begin day dreaming about the weekend. Mine, I'm trying to guard for resting. I know there will be reading on the porch swing, sipping hot coffee. There probably should be a run, as there hasn't been for far too long. And there might be some deep clean/ purging of the room.

When I picture my future weekends with my husband, I love to imagine quiet mornings, sitting at a breakfast table with coffee, maybe reading the paper... or just the comics. Comfortable teasing and laughter. Plain white t-shirts and pajama pants. (Probably my bathrobe that Meghan likes to put on over whatever else she's wearing lol.) I imagine this easy calm... that I think I see as a luxury I'm saving for the 'one day' dreams. Somehow, I let my weekends get so filled up I run from one thing to the next. And while my family teases and worries and tells me to slow down, I just don't see how that fits with this season... that is for the 'one day.' I'm getting much better, but I still have a lot of room to improve. I've come to truly believe the whole we need each other aspect of marriages. One has strengths where another has weakness, and how two people can be better for all the ways they compliment one another... I think I'm going to need a man who can help me say no to events and people. Because, I desperately want those quiet weekends, I just love all the people asking to get together so much more...and I have two days to fit them in each week. Oh my. The Lord knows. ;)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

You know when your ipod selects the right song? That one that only a friend as close as your ipod could think to play for you? Hmm. Thank you sweet iphone. :)
Think I could build this?  :)

...LBL explaining all the phone calls he made regarding his car rental cost and how he played around with the girl's head, who answered the phone at the car rental place.

LBL: "And look at this! __(name removed for protection)__, my favorite company.."
Kristin: "You mean your favorite company to sue."
LBL: "(smirk)They pay well on their suits."
Me: "You sued them, personally?"
Kristin: "Yes, he did."
Me: "What did you sew them for?"
LBL: "They hurt my feelings. Twice, when I picked up the car, it was dirty. I like to pick up a clean car. I like to feel like a top notch somebody. They made me feel bad about myself, so I sued them."

Another highlight from the conversation:
LBL: She didn't even offer me the discount until I asked. Then she gave me some A-A-A discount. I don't even know what that is, but I said, yeah, I got that."
Me: LBL, you mean "Triple A"?
LBL: American Arbitration Association?
Me: You knwo they are going to ask to see your Triple A card.
(Pretty sure he has the card, he's just playing always. Still, it made us laugh."
Have I post6ed this one before? Because, I love it.
"Katrina, WHERE have you been?"
"Sorry LBL, I was riding the elevators.  Did you realize they just go back up? and down? and up? and down? It's so fun, I just couldn't stop. Besides, you meet a lot of very interesting people.  You know, I don't need an online dating profile, I just need to ride more elevators. You know they have a job, because they're on their way there.  And you can see how they're dressed and what they look like."
"Alright ladies, you hear that? That's it! Let's step up the elevator traffic!"

[I know for a fact Kristin had told him I was stuck in the lobby because a smoke detector on the 23rd floor shut down all the elevators.]
I was going to post this on my Tumblr, but.... well, you know.

Last night Kristin, Esther and I enjoyed a perfect "white trash dinner" complete with mac n' cheese with hot dogs, Velveeta appetizers, my first canned beer, and a kind of wine I can't recall.  I received a strike for bringing my dessert in jars.  But I still contest: mason jars were hick before rockabilly suddenly became cool. :/  (Besides, it was just WAY more convenient for carting them on the bus with me to work.)  It started as a 'non-trendy party,' but quickly took a turn for the trailer.  Love you ladies. :)

I did get embarrassed standing in line at the organic-focused grocery store... with my little cart of milk, hot dogs and PBR.  I'm pretty sure I saw some teenagers making fun of me.
Listening to the "Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette" Pandora Station.  Oh yes, this is happening. 

Life really is in the details.  Every day I walk through 'the tunnel' two or three times.  And it's always a highlight to hear what they're playing.  This morning, it was Dolly, and it gave me such an unexpected joy I decided to make her my morning soundtrack. :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cute. (Song, not video. Just to be clear. Feel free to multitask this one.)
It's Tuesday, and I want to write something.  I just can't make up my mind if I want to be playful, or sincere.  We'll do this: Honest Thoughts.

This summer, I want a hammock, and a boy.
I don't have either at the moment, so I'm beginning to consider re-posturing (yet again).
My plans seem to be changing, as always, and I'm wanting to clear out and make room.  Reorganize. 
Reorganize my thoughts, and my tangible space.
Discover a deeper reserve of strength to continue. Continue writing, and dreaming, practicing and playing.  Continue expecting and hoping and loving. Continue becoming new, and remembering who I am and always will be.  Continue. 

It's not an exciting task per se.  But, it is probably one of the most important.  How well can we continue?  Jon Pinkston reminded our SLT group week after week after week for two years, any little thing done daily can change your life.  It's not about where you are, it's about where your trajectory is headed. And those seemingly small acts and decisions done habitually can set the course for your life.

I'm excited for this summer.  For Family Camp, San Fran and Tennessee.  I'm excited for the day I write whatever that grand thing will be.  I'm excited for the day the guy gets down on a knee. (That rhyming was unintentional.)   But right now, I'm remembering that continuing is actually the most important thing for today.  Of all those good things, it is the one that can today set the direction, my trajectory.

I've been contemplating this simple thought today: 
If God is for us, who can be against us?
And also, all good things are from the Lord  keeps whispering into my mind.  I didn't read either recently, or hear a song with those words. Both sound like the "tasty eats" version of the Bible, but they're truth. The heroes of the Bible knew it, believed it, and even boasted in it.  If we could only really get that as our bedrock.  I think that is why we have so much of these continue seasons.  I think of David, and all the years he had to just be a shepherd and even hide out for his life.  The years and years that followed the announcement of his destiny. 

Either you already know this feeling yourself all too well, or you will.  I think of all you MC girls reading this, as you approach the end of your year.  Some heading to school, others to work, some to intern.  You will learn this feeling in the next few years like you never have.  You'll enter that space between your dreams, and your dreams.  The thoughts and the realities.  And all I can say is, continue.  Learn to continue.  Because it's where you'll grow deep.  If you try to just stir up activity after activity, adventure after adventure, SOMETHING to keep you from feeling that strange waiting and pressure of anticipation, you'll miss maturity.  It will look different for each of you... but if you really get the concept of remaining faithful to those little details, through this strange season that feels more like a hallway than a room, you'll grow up and you'll grow deep, and your desires won't diminish, they'll mature. And the pressure of it all will build something sweet and ripe into your dreams. 

Don't be freaked out, it is fun too... most of the time.  :)
"I haven't seen color on Katrina in over a week.  I'm concerned about you, Katrina. I'm concerned."  -LBL
Happy Tuesday (?)

Monday, July 25, 2011

This is a galvanized BBQ Bucket. Can you say, "New addition to the Emergency Kit"?!  ;)

I'd say it's brilliant (and it is), but my mom did something like this a couple years ago.  She bought a clay fire pit for the yard, and it fell apart after it's first rain.  So, my mom decided to build her own.  She created a ring of bricks, built it about 4 bricks high. Then she bought two 5-gallon galvanized buckets.  One, she christened the 'fire pit,' the other, she filled with soil and flowers.  On a typical day, it looks like this beautiful raised flower bed, with benches around.  But when evening hits, we can pull it out (it takes two to carry it), and drop in the alternate bucket and light it up.  It's really quite brilliant. 

I also want these. Cast Iron Twig Skewers. They say they can be used for both kabobs or roasting marshmallows, but I'm not sure they're long enough for roasting...
Cool? Yes?
dreams. dreams. dreams.
When I took drafting with Lynn Roberts, she had us design a home (at a mouse scale). I chose to design my "dream cabin." It looked like this (I imagined) from the outside. Inside, there was a second floor, but only half the size, it was the master suite and had a wall of windows, with floor to ceiling thick curtains you could pull closed for privacy when everyone was down in the open family area. Or, open and see through the double glass windows. I don't know, I thought it was cool (and obviously still sort of do). Rob, Elise, Ty and I all dreamed of each having our own vacation get-a-way one day and sharing/ trading times. I had a cabin. Which I still hope to one day, and whether or not it looks anything like the one I dreamt up and drafted out in high school... I'd love to design it. :)

twisp cabin ~ johnston architects | dominque vorillon photographer
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
-Lao Tzu

Friday, July 22, 2011

My front yard. This clematis catches me every time. 
This was the view from my old room in high school. I loved laying in my bed and looking out at this, white lights sparkling on summer nights.
Something I more than like, I love.

My family teases. A lot.  So much that at times, I hate it.  But I don't.  I love that they've taught me how to take teasing, how to be confident and laugh at yourself.  Laugh at how ridiculous I looked when I tried to smile without showing my braces. Laugh at how obsessive compulsive I am about my bathroom being clean and my bedroom in order (which is a complete disaster right now). Laugh at my extreme devotion and commitment to traditions being kept on family holidays.  And while I do love this about my family, and my dad especially, who has a horrible tendency of teasing me behind my back (literally), that is not the something I am thinking of right now. 

My dad is also the reason why I write, why I want to be a writer, and why I have the ridiculous confidence to actually call myself a writer.  His little comment I just got today made me start crying at the front desk.  I feel like most everything I most want in life is either on hold or on "no."  So to hear my dad tell me that my writing is improving and that something is 'well written,' well, that is surprisingly all I need to hear.  My dad has made a fuss about my writing since I was in 5th or 6th grade, telling me "you're a writer."  It was like something inside of me just woke up.  He's held onto dozens and dozens of cards and notes and letters, left tucked under his den door at night.  He's prized my words since before they carried any weight or were measured out with any skill.  I love that my Dad saw something in me as a little girl and has continued to call it out across the years.  Writing has become one of the most consistent things in my life, a promise never in doubt.  It's a starting point I could always return to.  [I know I just ended that sentence with a preposition, but I like how it sounds. So, I'm leaving it alone. Process. Recover. Forgive.]

On the other side, my Dad loves that we can hear his voice and recognize when he leaves a comment as "Anonymous."  Consequently, he never signs "Dad" in his comments on any of our blogs.  Also, you should know, Kristin's is actually his favorite.  She posts the perfect amount; I post too often and Kim too infrequent.  Plus, Kim's blog makes him crave her cooking, and mine requires hours of "catching up."  Kristin puts it clear, quick and has no photos of yummy food.  ;)
One of my pictoral gifts from Megs this morning. 
She saved it as "truth."  I did too. 
On the list of Things I Like:

When people don't market.  I love that Kate & Tom have never really pushed their music or set about marketing themselves.  Authentic.  That's one thing I loved about The Sweet Life in Paris.  The author described how different the culture is in Paris.  No one markets their products, be it cheese, chocolate or dry cleaning.  If it's good, they believe it deserves respect and you're lucky if they let you buy it.  Here, we sell ourselves over a cup of coffee. Communication is key.  Selling yourself is not.  If you've got a good product, and clear avenues to make it available to people, I feel like you don't need to sell yourself and chalk people and relationships off as a network.  I know there is a balance, and I understand I am not a master at business, but I want to believe that authentic, quality products and people will win out in the end, and when I come across them, I want to help them succeed.  I guess if I ever do write a book, that will be the real test.  We need people for it all, we  need people who have the right connections and who respect us and perhaps even care about us.  To be frank, most of my life I owe to exactly those sort of connections and people.  But I will never mark a person down as a network, or build a relationship for a connection. When I write a book, I'd almost like to keep it quiet.  It's probably arrogant of me to think that my book would be successful while I was trying to keep it a secret.  But, that's exactly what I'd like to imagine myself doing.  I don't want you to buy my book because I paid for people to find the words you want to hear about a book, or it was spammed across your Facebook.  Buy it because a friend whose word you take about good books told you they enjoyed it.  Buy it because you picked it up someplace when you were wandering all alone, and you fell in love with a sentence you found inside.  You walked away and it seemed wrapped around your heart and when you thought about it again the next day you almost imagined some little ocean opening up inside you that seemed like longing, but for what you couldn't say.  It felt like your favorite musical piece that lead you to cry when you first felt the rhythm and heard the melody swell up inside your own throat. And if you go back and buy it,  never telling another about it, but keeping it as your own and your favorite.  I'll like you just the same. 

Just a thought.  From a girl who's worked in marketing for nearly 5 years.  Odd, perhaps.  I love communicating good products.  I don't like schemes, smoke screens or recycling "key words." Forget the fanfare, find a need and share a solution.
"Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the Romance of the unusual."
Ernest Hemingway
BTW, we've made it to Friday!!
(and have you looked at the weekend weather forecast!? Hallelujah!)
You have to love books. They're the only place in the world where the contractor wears dress shirts and turns out to be an architect who quit out of principle. Also, you discover he spent hours upon hours talking with your grandmother in her shop. #onlyinabook#

Contrary to the assumptions of some, these aren't typically the books I've read over the years. I love Shakespeare, Poe, and most anything that will leave me surprised, crying and thinking beautiful. I want it to mirror life, and so far, I don't know that many perfectly happy endings. I never can seem to tell how life is going to turn, and I don't want to be able to see the story plotted out in my book or film either. I also tend to read and watch movies from the perspective of a writer, writing for an audience. I read all of the characters that way, keeping in mind that the writer is going to want to endear us to certain characters and turn things. I am most impressed by a film that can take a character, give us mixed feelings about them, maybe even make us dislike them for some very real and honest reason, and by the end, endear us to that person.

That said, I'm reading a book right now that I bought because it was a "Buy 2, Get 1 Free" deal. It was the free one. The cover was cute. It's called "The Secret Life of Dresses." I figured, why not. The writer didn't impress me from the start. In fact I thought, I'm better than this. Which gave me hope that maybe I really could get a book published. But, she's winning me over in the simplicity and charm of the story. It's sweet and all too nicely put together, but I figure, who knows, maybe this is what I need right now. One thing I know is the Lord has been so faithful over the years to have me reading the right book, or have the right song come on the radio that was exactly what I needed to make me hold on. It's always been in unexpected places too... which I think just goes to show how much He knows me. (Silly to say huh? But it's true and more real than we stop to really understand- He knows us, how we work and how we need to be met.) I love surprises. I love the beauty in the unexpected, the un-perfect in a sense. I like the stories that are breathtaking and lovely for all their little details and messes and imperfections that make them so perfect. I don't know how else to explain it, but I know my story won't have a white horse and a mysterious knight. Tyson said something last night that sparked probably one of the truest things I've recognized about myself in a while, I don't need perfect, I need a fighter. One of my favorite films is Cinderella Man. It's a mess and a battle and heartbreaking along the way, but they fight together and it's beautiful. I'm terrified when people talk about our economy and all the turmoil many predict that's still to come, but I also can't help think of the 30's and some of the beauty that came from it, as opposed to most of today, where we want perfect and clean and easy and exciting. We want to buy adventures, and house cleaners, and meals on the go.

Sorry, this post is all over, but so were my thoughts this morning as I read this charming little book on the bus and listened to the man behind me snore.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My mom tells me the story of a time shortly after my grandpa's surgery, he was in bed and calling out for my grandmother. My mom went in and asked what he needed. His answer, "I just need her". That's love, when we are in our darkest moments and there is only one person that we "just need". My grandfather loves my grandmother. After 41 years together he still calls her "his baby".

-Three Nails Photography

These photos are remarkable. Enough that out of all the photos I looked through today on Green Wedding Shoes, this is the only site I followed to see more of. As I read the page entitled "My Picture of Love" I was so incredibly impressed to hear the voice behind them, and also that the photographer is 20. I was shocked at the end and all the more impressed when I discovered it's a young man. I then remembered what I read on the wedding site, he and his (then) fiance designed, costumed and shot the featured wedding photos. I took a look at their blog. Their wedding was featured in Unveiled magazine. A-MAZING!! Take a look.
My boss decided to go out for happy hour with me and Kristin on Tuesday.  Quite out of nowhere.  We walked over to McCormick and Schmicks and he determined we should get an early dinner with our drinks.  We had a lovely time.  But, somewhere in the course of it, Kristin decided to let out something she never should have let out (the downfall of working with your sister- she has a lifetime of experience to teach her your strengths, and weaknesses).  She said, "If you want Katrina to do it, you don't need to pay her, you just need to dare her."  I knew this was bad.  Right when it came out of her mouth.  How did he use this information against me?  Immediately, "Okay, I dare you to finish 15 closing files a week."  This has been a point of contention since I started.  I was originally brought in to work on these closing files, because the girl who had my job did not have time to do them.  When I started, she took over working on them in the evenings.  He decided he didn't like that and wanted me to do them.  The argument had been going on between them long before I got here.  Now, he's taken away the overtime to do them, but still wants them done.  He's also added 3 other responsibilities  since I started.  I've been repeating over and over that I'm more than willing to do them, but can't get more than a couple done a week, and that's working really hard.  He dared me.  And at 2pm today, I just met it.  GRR.  The problem is, I can't keep this up every week, as I had to allow other responsibilities slide to focus on these.  He will ask more next week... remember the Rumpelstiltskin blog? :(

 I am going to wait until Monday at least to tell him I hit it... hoping I don't have another big stack when I arrive Monday.  You see, he figured out another thing about me, I hate having a dirty, cluttered area.  So rather than letting me go get the files, he piles them up on my desk so they surround me and I feel driven to get them out of the way.  It backfires though, because when things are unorganized and I feel I can't make them stay organized, I shut down and become less productive. :/ Guh.  Only, I hate being unproductive... so I guess that doesn't last long. 

On a brighter note, we had a mostly lovely chat this morning, Kristin, LBL and I.  When I walked in (15 minutes early) and back to his desk, he said, "Oh Katrina, you've gotten into the clothes closet again.  You are very inventive.  Some women, they buy a skirt and a matching top.  When they wear the skirt, they put on that shirt every time.  Not you.  I think you must buy every piece individually."  He meant it as a compliment, and I took it as one. I like being inventive, even with my clothes, and today is one of my favorites outfits... I feel very much like me.  :) 

I also feel pretty good about meeting the dare. ;)  I don't do well backing down from a challenge.  I can... and will if I know I really should, but boy how I hate it!
Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, doesn't have a swelled head, doesn't force itself on others, isn't always "me first," doesn't fly off the handle, doesn't keep score of the sins of others, doesn't revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, but keeps going to the end. Love never dies... But for now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagently. And the best of the three is love. (1 Cor. 13, The Message)
I know this girl.   I sometimes WISH I were this funny... When she writes a book, I will be one of the first to buy it.

Adam and I were grocery shopping at Whole Paycheck a week or two ago, when I saw someone looking at the beer selection who looked awfully familiar. Did he ride my bus? Live in my building? WHERE DO I KNOW HIM FROM…THIS IS GOING TO DRIVE ME CRAZY. And then it dawned on me. He was the guy whose name I forgot on our first date in the middle of our date and then promptly bailed on thirty minutes in and after only one drink in order to meet my next date that I had scheduled for the same night. THE SAME NIGHT. That’s right, I can be a real jerkface. Or was a real jerkface.

Sometimes, I think I should apologize to these people instead of diving behind the olive bar for cover. Like maybe I should email the guy who I cancelled three dates with and then finally resorted to texting, Sorry, I can’t walk Greenlake with you tonight. I sprained my ankle. It’s really bad. I can barely walk, only to feel so guilty that I ended up going out to coffee with him two days later. I was running late to meet him, so I jogged from my car to the coffee shop. I definitely wasn’t expecting him to be waiting outside of the coffee house and to see me nimbly run up on two solid ankles. I’m sure you know where this is going. Yes, I faked a limp for the rest of the date.     (
Words Speak Quietly. )
"...Do you ever think about what an ineffective communicator Jesus was? Think about it. He could have been speaking to 5,000 people every night. He could have been filling hills and shores and city squares constantly. Instead, he wasted his time at dinner with 12 people. Instead, he called individuals out of trees or chatted up one person at the well. And these weren’t powerful, influential people who could have dramatically helped his cause with their networks. He wasn’t connecting with “connectors.” These were sinners, tax collectors and fishermen. That seems counterintuitive to really building a platform. Why did he do it?

Because I think he knew how important relationships are. I think he knew that if you build a platform and when you stand on it no one really knows you, you’re alone. There might be a crowd of people around you, but if nobody knows you, that’s the worst kind of loneliness there is. I think he knew the value of a friendship.

Friendships are ineffective. The ROI on relationship is pretty horrible. They can take years to develop. They might lead nowhere. They will definitely hurt you at some point. And you couldn’t quantify them if you tried. But Christ sought them out. Christ knew what it meant to be known."

-Jon Acuff, SCL

I’ve long said that laughter is a gift from God and when we take it for granted it makes him want to take it back, like the unicorns.

-Jon Acuff, SCL
"A generation grew up on the dreams and ideas of others, as presented by movies and video games which more often than not were poor substitutes for a child’s imagination. Now see some cracks, a generation who at times does not feel fully alive, knowing they were meant for more and plagued with dissatisfaction. Looking for fulfillment in the story of Harry Potter, because they know they were meant to be heroes. Though we know there is a unique purpose for every individual at times we find ourselves lacking creativity in regards to seeing their potential and how it might be realized. Are we providing alternative avenues and opportunites to develop imagination– for a generation to dream and purpose who they might be?

“The artist must know from the beginning that he does not belong, for the artist’s deeper concern has always been not with what is taking place, but with the dimension of what might.” – Kay Boyle

I am not sure if I completely agree with the above statement by Kay Boyle, but I would say that the artist has the challenge of walking the tightrope between what is and what might be...Now as an adult I find there are areas in my life where imagination and creativity have been stifled, but I believe can be reawakened if I am intentional in fueling them. I see now more than ever the importance of having a rich interior life, not just being fed the dreams of others but cultivating dreams of my own."

            - Esther Maria Swaty, Frequency of Words 

I'm finding just how rare many parts of my childhood were.  My mom definitely brought home big refrigerator boxes that became trains, homes and secret hideouts from villains (or dirty cops).  We lived in a rich world of imagination all my life, we were princesses, in hiding in another country, or children in a big empty home where spies often tried to find us, dropping ropes from the roof and dropping down.  We'd spend hours sitting in a closet, hiding. Or, we ran a kingdom from the back yard (Okay, Kristin ran the kingdom).  We had names and giftings and relations and lineages and histories and rivals and battles and medicines.  As I've said before, the forbidden words in our home were: "I'm bored," a punishable offense.  I think forcing children to just sit at a table for hours is probably an old-Irish form of torture.  If it's not, I'm going to tell my children one day that it is.
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

-Emily Dickinson

This came to mind so easily this morning as I walked through the light rain to work. I've never quite agreed with E.D.'s description of hope, but it sure is a lovely little flittering poem and as I discovered this morning, it has a certain hold on the mind much like hope has on the heart.  More often than not hope seems to require a very lot of us, but she's right, it doesn't seem to ask.

Strange though, whatever my feelings of what hope is or is not, this poem is what I've tried to be to somehow embody my name.

Splitscreen: A Love Story from JW Griffiths on Vimeo.

This morning, while getting my coffee I smiled at a woman, and then my eyes filled with tears and I quickly looked away.  What strange creatures we are, that when choosing to express joy we are often most in danger of recognizing pain.  That in choosing to share one emotion with a stranger we become vulnerable to the rest hiding within the heart's corridors. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Not yet the person I hope to be but not yet giving up hope."
-Morgan E. Carpenter
Happy Wednesday.
Oh to be wed in Italy.
Recognize these doors? When we were there in '04, we saw a bride and her father travelling through the Piazza San Marco. I snagged a photo, and while it's rushed and hidden, it is one of my favorites for how authentic and real it still feels to me.   (This is not in Piazza San Marco.  This, looks like Florence, to me.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I might be more in love with the photos of the food than the food itself on What Katie Ate. The presentation is amazing!  They make me want to sit and cook/bake all these beautiful, authentic looking meals and treats. For starters, I want to try these cookies. Another food fetish: oatmeal.
Being that I spent most of yesterday thinking it was Tuesday... I'm feeling a little lost in the week.

Right now, I feel like it's Monday, or Wednesday. Maybe Thursday. And it's probably rounding close to noon, or maybe still 7am?

No, my clock tells me it's Tuesday, the 19th of July. And it's just a few minutes past 10:00am. I keep checking.

My sister is beautiful. She's always beautiful, but this morning, I sang to her because she's so beautiful. She left me a triple iced espresso on my desk. And she didn't even know how badly I needed it after a late night of playing with words.

Someone just sent an email with the subject line "kindly advice." Hmm. Unfortunate. I can tell that's spam without even opening it. Typically real people who need a lawyer's advice, know how to spell "advise." Perhaps I'm more awake than I realized. :/

For some reason, when my mind is in that in-between spot of being forced to function, but not really operating, it retreats to daydreams of food. Which lately sends me to What Katie Ate. I want her cookbook (Hint, family. Hopefully it's out by Christmas/January). I just saw the most beautiful photos of homemade tortellini, which got me thinking about some of my food fetishes. I love spinach tortellini. In a deep devotion sort of way that would wear it as a band of commitment around my finger. It's hard to find good spinach tortellini though. So, I settle for anything else spinach.  I annoy my family with my addition and substitution of spinach for pretty much any other form of lettuce. (I detest arugula. It's bitter. It resembles shriveled up dead green bugs. And it's surprisingly difficult to eat gracefully.) I like other lettuces, but they just seem like picking the scrawny uncoordinated kid first on the playground. Why? When there's spinach there all dark and handsome and full of nutrients.

BLT? You saw mine. Bacon - Spinach (yes!) - Tomato - Egg.

Other foodie fetishes? Mushrooms. I've heard mushrooms have a myriad of magical medical benefits. I've never heard one of them listed. But, I believe it. It's just like the original Mario. Level one: invisible magical mushroom arriving out of nowhere? Bonus (life). In the same way, mushrooms appear magically in nearly everything I cook.

Cilantro. You've all heard this enough times. I threatened my family I'd start rubbing it on my wrists as a natural perfume. We all agreed that might not draw my ideal man. Good idea. Bad implications. I'll stick to adding it to every meal I can.

Rosemary. I love having it out in my garden now. A little fresh rosemary (and sea salt) on grilled burgers, or fresh baked breads. Delicious. And even I seem like I know what I'm doing.

Oh food. How pretty and delicious you are. You are my mind's dazed happy place. (Believe it or not, I'm not even hungry right now.) I think I've been reading too much food-centered literature. Time for a new book.

Monday, July 18, 2011


I know they say love is more than staring at one another, it's about looking together, but I think it's as much about seeing each other. Seeing past, seeing into. Past hurts, walls and fronts. Past nows to tomorrows. Past who we are today and the choices we've made. Seeing into. Into hearts. Into frusterations. Into who we want to be. Into dreams and desires. Into giftings. Into callings. Into creation. Into the man and woman we're called to become.

And it's then that we'll learn to love one another past our todays and into our tomorrows. And we learn to trust and believe what the other one sees, when they're looking at us.
Talking about our weekends, the day we didn't spend together (while waiting for the coffee to brew!):

Me: I wrote letters.
Kristin: Yeah, I saw, your "my heart travels at snail mail speed" picture.
Me: It was "My heart travels BY snail mail."
Kristin: Yeah.

I think the best part of this picture: She is wearing my jacket, and I, her sweater. Eh. Sisters.

how little you know how much I love.

Write hard and clear about what hurts.
-Ernest Hemingway
Dreams.  Sometimes they are grand things with bold lines and bright colors. Sometimes they come in the details of grassy hills, stark cliffs and dusty pub stools. I sometimes dream about travelling Ireland with my husband, and staying at a perfectly common little B&B, taking hundreds more photos than the normal person would permit. Touring archaeological and historical sites, book stores, and pubs with live music. Just meeting people and stumbling into what we may. Drifting and dreaming and laughing - just being us, whoever that may be. Living a dream in a completely un-dreamlike way.