Tuesday, January 31, 2012

For those of you I've mentioned it to, and for those of you I haven't, check out the incredible decorating and baking my big sister Kimberly did for her friend's baby shower last weekend!  She blows me away with her creativity - and with what she can do with sugar and flour. ;) 

So grateful for FaceTime, so I could get a nice little tutorial of it all the night before.
I spent all day yesterday (and most of the weekend) looking forward to last night, when I got to enjoy so many wonderful things at once.  Kaylee is my Strait-loving, whiskey-drinking, cupcake-baking, risotto-savoring friend.  We've talked about enjoying all these things together for years - and now that her and her amazing family will be moving to North Dakota on a grand adventure... it was now, or not for a very long time.  I spent the evening sipping Knob Creek (favorite) and Mischief (a local distiller in Fremont), chatting with two lovely women (and laughing at two very silly little ones) and enjoying a delicious dinner.  It was fantastic and made me all the more sad to be soon saying goodbye to this incredible woman.  But, I couldn't be more excited about what is next for them and seeing them follow the calling on their lives.
Okay, I know I keep posting about Marian Built  (and that Michael Marian in return keeps posting about my posts - FYI, he is one of the nicest guys!), but he has a blog too and I especially love this post about one of my favorite pieces: The Mason Jar Chandelier!  I kind of don't want to share this because I don't want any of you to steal it before I can snag it.  These pieces are all custom made and if I am correct, there are typically only one or two of each.  But having written my post before having the opportunity to read his blogs, I was pretty excited to discover what I read in his work is exactly what he was intending to say through it - or perhaps it is more that those pieces were saying the same thing to him as the owner and creator as they communicate to the customer.  I love that integrity in the art itself - that it carries a single voice.  And I fully agree as to the power and draw of vintage right now - we don't want commodities and the  mass-produced.  We want depth and solidness - we want to feel something that has survived.  We want to know the owner of the our favorite restaurant, have our waitress remember our name, buy from the same butcher each week and shake the hand that crafted our table.  We want to return to our community. 
So, KMPS decided to play again. They posted this a couple minutes ago,  ‎"Katrina Hope still want to play? Your goal is 50 people! We're doing a post right now... you get 50 people to fan our page and comment/like THAT SPECIFIC post and you're in :)"  This time I win two (more) tickets if I can get 50 people to like their page and like the specific post they are referring to.

Here is the post you need to like:

KMPS 94.1 FM

Hey Facebook Friends... want to help a fellow KMPS Listener out? Katrina Hope REALLY wants to attend the KMPS Vibe Room with Easton Corbin and Jon Pardi! Her goal is to get 100 people to vote for her!

Katrina Hope

So, if you're up for being part of the fun game, go for it! I'm not sure if they are counting those who already joined and "liked" Erik's comment yesterday.  But I need 50 - by noon.  ACTUALLY, they just changed to post to say 100. :/ 100 by noon.

Have I mentioned I - LOVE - GAMES?   : )

Kimberly Dawn, if you wouldn't mind using this as an opportunity to publicly humiliate me while also technically helping me out, that would be greeaaaat. ;)  The same goes for your Hubby. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

I shared this company with you back in December.  But thanks to my sis, I just discovered their Facebook page today.  Here it is for those of you who liked them and would like to keep an eye out for new pieces.  Marian Built is a local company with incredible industrial modern (my description, not theirs) custom-made pieces. 

You know me and my love for original, and vintage.  Knowing that it is a unique piece is important to many of us, and getting to shake hands with the man who crafted it adds a lot of value when you're making it a part of your own home.  I'm a firm believer in telling a story in your living space... and I like these as fixtures in any story.

P.S.  I noticed some new end tables on their website today.

"...Those who will fulfill on a rainy day a promise which they have made on a sunny one, are few and far between.

And so we go on casting our hearts to the four winds, giving it and taking it back again, breaking with our past, separating ourselves from ourselves, so to speak. And when we look behind, we no longer recognize ourselves. We see ourselves in the days that are past as a stranger, or rather as several strangers.

There is nothing like a steadfast man, one in whom you can have confidence, one who is found at his post, who arrives punctually, and who can be trusted when you rely on him....
A profound duplicity, a discrepancy between words and deeds, between appearance and reality, a sort of moral dilettantism which makes us according to the hour sincere or hypocritical, brave or cowardly, honest or unscrupulous–this is the disease which consumes us. What moral force can germinate and grow under these conditions? We must again become men who have only one principle, one word, one work, one love; in a word, men with a sense of duty. This is the source of power. And without this there is only the phantom of a man, the unstable sand, and hollow reed which bends beneath every breath. Be faithful; this is the changeless northern star which will guide you through the vicissitudes of life, through doubts and discouragements, and even mistakes."

-Charles Wagner, via Braden 
Dang.  (His whole post in amazing!)
Smiling like an idiot... pretty sure it's obvious I'm not just staring at Excel spreadsheets right now. 

Why, you ask?  Because I'm going to see Easton Corbin in concert!  Thank you guys!! That was actually a really fun way to win tickets - or to help Erik win tickets.... who officially just invited me to go with him.  Woot! Woot!
I'm a country fan - this is no surprise to any of you (I don't think).  I've posted about George Strait enough times to convince you all.  Well, there's another artist I really enjoy, largely because he sounds a lot like a young Strait and has the old-country class and sound that I love.  Easton Corbin is in town and I found out (well, Erik found out and told me) that you can't buy tickets to the show - you can only win them through KMPS.  So begins our challenge to win tickets -  apparently we need 20 people to "like" our comments (this morning!) on the KMPS Facebook page to even qualify for the drawing.... go ahead, follow the link and be a pal.  ;)  I think you have to like the KMPS page before it will even allow you to like our comments.... : /  You could always unlike tomorrow. ;)

STRIKE ALL THAT - I misunderstood.  Erik cut a deal - if he gets 20 people to "like" his comment- KMPS will give him tickets. :)  Not just put him in the drawing.  So here's what you do.  Go to their page - like it - and then click on the "Everyone" in the upper right so you can see his comment/ deal... and like it... or you can just post on their wall that you're voting for Erik. :)

Since Erik and I already cut a deal... I'm already invested in him winning... sooooo.... I too would greatly appreciate you voting for him. So  
I cook so little.  Yet, I'm finding I love it more and more - and this weekend I discovered I really, really enjoy reading through a good cook book. I've been checking in regularly with my favorite food blogger What Katie Ate, hoping beyond hope to see a post telling me her book is out.  It hasn't happened yet.  But, I do have another especially beautiful treat.  For my recent birthday, my good friend, Braden bought me one of the coolest cookbooks I have ever seen.  I spent over an hour (maybe two) sitting at the kitchen bench sipping coffee and eyeing through page after page of incredible recipes and mouth-watering photography.  I kid you not - I FaceTimed my sister Kim to make her look through it with me!  Then I brought it down to my mom a half dozen times to show her discoveries.  She laughed at me when I exclaimed "Oh my gosh!  There's a glossary!"  And boy is there ever.  How thoughtful.  Truly, glossaries are written expressions of kindness and thoughtfulness from an author.  That's how I see them.  I think my love for them started back in Junior High when I discovered how useful of a study tool they are.  But as an adult, with less tests, I'm no less grateful.

Here's a recent post from WKA, on a few of her favorite cookbooks:
Out of the 300 or so + cookbooks piling my shelves, there are about 20 I return to over and over when pondering what to cook for a dinner party or such. Obviously there are ones which stand out from the crowd for me: 'Cooking for Friends' by Gordon Ramsay springs first to mind, whilst the recipes are great and I've cooked often from this book, it's the unsurpassed Ditte Isager's photography that causes the stir in this book for me personally, she's one of my most admired photographers. Others are anything really from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall; Heston Blumenthal; Jamie Oliver; Stephanie Alexander; Ferran Adriá, Neil Perry and the author who brings me to the purpose of this post; Stéphane Reynaud.

I think I might enjoy pictures of food almost more than eating food.  Perhaps because pictures can't make me sick.  And a close second is probably the process of making the food.  I love cooking... by myself or with close friends.  I love sipping wine in an apron.  I love the smell of sauteing garlic, bread in the oven, any and all of it!  I love shuffling the pan over the heat.  (See my very technical, experienced term there?  I'm practically professional.)  In fact, I love it all so much, I've already given myself a very bad reputation of making a simple meal take about 3 hours to prepare and cook.  How I do it, I don't even know... but if I'm every going to have a life (or a family!) I guess I better figure out how to speed up the process.  Maybe I'd even do it more often if I didn't feel like it took half of my day each time!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

So, I should be completely ashamed of this.  But I'm kind of not.  THIS is why my sweet Toni and I will be friends forEVER.  We get each other.   And when a late Friday night rolls around, we know how to entertain ourselves...   Aw Toni - I love you dearly, and I love every single one of our memories.  What an amazing friend you have been to me over the years.  You are tender and strong in a way I've seen in so few people in my life.  You're resilient in storms and heartaches.  You've tasted more pain than most people our age - broken dreams and deep hurts, and you've walked away a beautiful person inside and out, kinder, sweeter, and even more caring.  That is a remarkable feat.  Come over soon and let me read my silly stories to you until you fall asleep.... or roll over on your good ear. ;)  Love you!   <3 Shane

Alright folks - I still don't know who that coffee cup was from.  Please tell me - I know whoever you are, you read my blog, because you knew to have that inscribed on it.  I love it and constantly wonder who it was from... you are so thoughtful, and wonderfully mysterious, but please now tell me so I can give you a HUGE hug (hopefully - assuming you're in this state) and tell you personally how much your gift means.

Tonight, the words are hitting me all new again - thank you for keeping them constantly before me - God, let my love for you cast out my every fear!! Give me a love that tastes of courage.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

How many times have you heard: "There's no such thing as a stupid question"?

We've all heard it countless times from teachers and coaches and generally kind people.  Well, as I've been training for my new job I've had a lot of time to think on this and ponder what questions to ask and which not to ask.  Having just trained someone myself at my last job (rather, feeling I was constantly training someone for the month or two before I left) I am very aware of how distracting and frustrating it can be for the one responsible to train you.  It makes me wary not to ask too many questions.  You see, there are definitely stupid questions - and what defines them is not so much the questions themselves as the process that lead you to them.  In short, was there a process?  At all?  Did you try to find the answer?  Did you use the bit you already know to try to solve it yourself?  What resources have you already been given?  How about prior experience of how similar things work?  If you haven't asked any of those questions to yourself before - then the one coming out of your mouth is a stupid question.

Sound harsh?  Perhaps.  You can say a prayer for my children now, because I will not be telling them that there is no such thing as a stupid question.  There is nothing more embarrassing to me than asking a question, and then finding the answer myself a minute later.  I feel I need to apologize to the people who's life I have just wasted a piece of.  I will hopefully not ever tell my children "That is a stupid question" - but I will interrogate them as to the process that lead to that question and somehow hopefully train them to be problem-solvers and initiators - the kind of people who can find answers to problems rather than always expect that someone else will solve that problem for them and hand-deliver the answer.   Asking questions is a strength - knowing how to ask the right questions is a bigger strength - and knowing which questions to voice and which to ask yourself is an even bigger strength.

That said, it is better to ask questions than to just do things wrong.  But that doesn't change the fact that stupid questions do exist.  And they waste people's lives.

Jon Pinkston taught me more about the power of asking questions than anyone I've known before or since. It was part of our SLT curriculum, but it was his personal skill in it that was most powerful.  We were taught that it is far better to help another discover a solution or answer themself, by guiding them with accurate and intelligent questions than to just hand them the answer.  And I witnessed and experienced that in my own life as every week he would ask each of us questions that sparked new revelations and convictions - that we earned and fought for and weren't just told.  I own those beliefs in a much stronger way.  I think I grew more through those two years of weekly one-hour meetings than I did through the year before in Masters Commission... and that's saying something.  Questions, intelligent, well-thought-out and aptly spoken questions are truly powerful things that can open ourselves and others up to new thoughts, ideas, solutions, answers and convictions.  They can change our perspectives - and that's a much harder thing to do than most of us realize.

So here's to us all growing more in our skills regarding asking questions... wherever we are at today.
And please, don't ask stupid questions.

Friday, January 27, 2012

"I say to you all, once again - in the light of Lord Voldemort's return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.  Lord Voldemort's gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great.  We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust.  Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.
It is my belief - and never have I so hoped that I am mistaken - that we are all facing dark and difficult times.  Some of you in this Hall have already suffered directly at the hands of Lord Voldemort.  Many of your families have been torn asunder.  A week ago,  a student was taken from our midst.
Remember Cedric.  Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort.  Remember Cedric Diggory.""
-Albus Dumbledore 

And that is why I will read these books to my kids.  Courage and bravery.  What is right versus what is easy.  Being run by fear versus fighting with courage - at great cost.  I've been avoiding commenting on here about the fact that I'm reading the Harry Potter series.  I never read them as a kid and I know that many are concerned that they are written about magic.  I don't want to get into a debate about them or encourage young kids to read them whose parents might rightfully wish they wouldn't.

But I'm so impressed by them that I feel it's sort of unfair not to admit on here the gold that is in these books.  One of my goals for this blog is to point out beauty and give value, in places it may or may not be seen.  And that is why I am going to comment.

Not only are they truly amazingly written in style, craft, plot, character development, suspense and story development... but I think they can install courage.  (I know, I know... same old thing I'm always saying.)  And I'm actually really grateful that my generation grew up on them.  I used to be afraid that somehow my generation was more inclined to the occult because of being fed these stories.... and that is probably also true... but I truly believe our generation is going to need a backbone and I'm not sure we have one.  We have been afforded every comfort by our parent's credit cards.  As a whole, we don't know what it means to feel hungry - literally.  We haven't had to fight for much.  And we haven't really had to be brave.

Giving us a story that tells us we have a soul, and that dangers are real, and that bravery is needed - that unity is powerful, discord is easy, and character must be earned?  That I am grateful for.  Yes, I will read these stories to my kids, because like Lewis and MacDonald and Tolkien, Rowland recognizes that more can be infused in a person's character and mind and soul when they enter a world of magic, and fantasy often imparts more truth than any replication of the world as we see it today can manage.  I can see why these are the stories she told her children at night.  I hope to come up with such stories for mine - stories that encourage them that dark and difficult times may come, and if they do, what is right and good and kind is better than what is easy.  That many will judge people from where they come from - but that doesn't have to determine who they become.  I want my children to be brave.  I want to be brave.

The focus is not on what spells and enchantments Potter pulls off - it is on the kind of man he becomes.

"You are blinded... by the love of the office you hold, Cornelius!  You place too much importance, and you always have done, on the so-called purity of blood!  You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!  Your dementor has just destroyed the last remaining member of a pure-blood family as old as any - and see what the man chose to make of his life!  I will tell you now - take the steps I have suggested, and you will be remembered, in office or out, as one of the bravest and greatest Ministers of Magic we have ever known.  Fail to act - and history will remember you as the man who stepped aside and allowed Voldemort a second chance to destroy the world we have tried to rebuild!"


Thank you to my sweet friend, Allie de Craen for sharing... :)
What a lovely song and video.

Paul Newman. 
Proof that some men really do just get better and better looking.

Happy Birthday, Sir!

*More from Ash on the wonderfulness of Paul Newman.

 If I had a pinterst.... and I had even a clue what I actually did... I'd post this morning's adventure. :) 

That's right big sisters... I did that.   And I like it. :P 

And yes Kimmers, that IS in fact your favorite sweatshirt. :P 

"Do you own another sweatshirt?"  "Did you get it at Value Village?  Because I'm pretty sure it's from when I was in high school."   :) 

Paint-splattered and proud, Kimmers.  Paint-splattered and proud.  Teehe. 

Love you.  Mean it. 
 I snapped this last Summer....

I wouldn't mind an opportunity to grab a shot like this one....ay Esther? 

I'm not allowed to get a cat until I get a man.

I support this rule - It started as my rule, but somewhere along the way a couple of my friends became stronger supporters of it than I am.  I appreciate them upholding it.  But boy do I love sweet little kittens.  Oh well, I suppose I would't mind getting both at once.  Except, that means sharing.  And the youngest child in me doesn't find that part appealing.  

It is Friday morning! We have made it.  Weeks have slowed down considerably all the sudden - so have days and hours.  But I'm not necessarily complaining.  Every time I look at my desktop computer's right bottom corner in utter astonishment that only 3 minutes have passed, I remind myself there are only so many minutes left in this year of 25 and it's really preferable that they crawl as slowly as they like.  I don't want to offend them, lest they decide to rush in spite.  It would be wonderful if we could convince those stubborn things to run and crawl as we so choose.  But who has ever tamed a minute?

So excited for this weekend.  Hoping it will be a good mix of rest and fun, starting today with lunch with my sis. :)  But this week has come at quite the cost and I think my bedroom footed the bill - so chiming out for the morning in hopes of reclaiming a lost friend in the next 30 minutes.

Have a lovely Friday!  Live in the minutes!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

“The reason that fiction is more interesting than any other form of literature, to those who really like to study people, is that in fiction the author can really tell the truth without humiliating himself."

-Eleanor Roosevelt

via Nothing in Haste
Picking this lady up tonight - and meeting her little son Samuel for the first time!! :)

I don't have a daughter - but many of my close friends do and they sure make me believe in this quote and wait expectantly for my own.  Little Miss Finleigh, Aurelia, Cadence, Ashlyn & Selah and the whole lot of sweet little girls around here add so much beauty and tenderness and fun to this world and I sure love getting to watch them grow.

It doesn't hurt that I'm a daughter myself of course.  ;)  What do you say, Dad?  Agreed - most beautiful gifts? Teehehe.  Love you, Mean it!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Head. Ache. 

And I'm not sure if it's from my terrible habit of creasing my brows... from this stupid head cold....from dust in this room... or from staring at tiny numbers on a computer screen for far too many hours.  : /

All probable.
My cousin Bridger posted this on Facebook this morning, (and it could just be that I'm still too uncaffeinated but,) I found it very funny.  : )

Just read an article about Patrick Swayze's funeral that said Kanye West ran up to the front, took the microphone and said "Imma let you finish, but I just wanted to say Michael Jackson had one of the best funerals of all time!"
Morning Tuesday.  

Apparently today, getting dressed is just not a priority.  Instead it's coffee, laundry, breakfast, back in the warm bed.  This is nice.  But I see my time to get ready has already sprung to a minimum and yet... I just keep sipping coffee.

My current first-world problem is this: when to go to the gym?  If I go when I first get home, I'm starving and don't get nearly as good of a workout.  If I eat dinner, wait a bit and go, I end up wired and not falling asleep until some unHoly hour.  Last night it was somewhere in the middle (kind of a weak work out, plus apparently got my blood going enough to keep me awake for hours). And still too late.... I'm realizing as I sit in bed... still....sipping my coffee.  Under 30 minutes until I really should leave. 

Mmmm.  Coffee.
Exposed beams, crazy cool window, wood floors? Yes, I wouldn't mind that room. :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

"knows" and "don't knows" 
and "Who'd have known?" 

Today, I listened to a 30 minute presentation on Sound Transmission Loss.  All the systems and ratings used for measuring how to block sound in architectural design.  Which products, which designs, which materials and varied thicknesses.  It was wild.  And while I caught about 1/2 of it, I loved every moment of it.  I was praying, Lord help me to learn all I can.  Because I want to know.  I so enjoy this all.  I worked at a technology company for four years, and while I loved the people there and learned a lot of great things, I wasn't passionate about middleware technology and platforms.  I wasn't trying with all my might to gain knowledge - I was trying with all my might to understand since I knew I was responsible for communicating it in print to potential clients.  And I knew it was important information and exciting.  But here, I just feel blessed to be around something I find beautiful and innovative.  I've been asked by a number of people, "Dream come true, ay?" And honestly - it's not.  I'd never really even thought to combine writing and marketing with architecture.  I'd thought of writing for an architectural magazine briefly, but assumed I'd need to be an architect first.  And I knew that I could enjoy marketing if I could attach it to something I believed in, but I wasn't sure what it would be.  And I knew I loved architecture, but I also knew I wasn't called to become an architect.  This isn't my dream, but had I thought of it, it might have been.  :)  I don't know exactly where this new experience and the skills I'm learning will lead me, but I know it is exactly where I am supposed to be today.  And I know it is leading me somewhere.

I don't even love work yet.  I kind of dread it (a lot).  But I think that's because I'm training and meeting new people.  It's never wonderful to sit amongst a group of strangers and be the only one who doesn't know what you're doing - and have them all know it - no matter how nice they are.  I've done it.  Plenty.  I've joined new companies - and before that, I joined new teams.  I'm used to this feeling.  I'm well practiced in finding I know no one around me and making new friends.  I just don't like the feeling.

I know it's a necessary part of life, at least for the lucky because it forces us to grow.  It cements pieces of who we are, and causes us to re-evaluate what we've become.  It takes away boxes and paddings and ceilings and floors.  It gives opportunity for confidence.

As well as other opportunities to learn about new things, like STL and Excel formulas and QuickBooks (dear Lord, help me).  I love that my first thought tonight upon seeing this photo was in regards to how well that glass would block sound from that office.  That is an entirely new thought.  How often do we truly begin to see things in new ways?

My boss sent me next door to a client today.  He failed to prepare me for the "boutique" I'd be walking in to.  After I returned and filled him in on the business end, I suggested "Don't send a single young girl into a bridal boutique without warning her."  When the second head architect chimed in about the details of the shop and I began to ask him how he was so acquainted with the bridesmaid section and special displays in the store my boss leaned over and said in a hushed tone, "We don't talk about it."  To which the other architect added, "What I do on my own time is my business."  I'm beginning to really like these guys.  :)  An hour later we were in a meeting and when the supposed cross-dressing architect placed his daughter's girl scout cookie order form on the table and the rest of the team began to ask if she would be coming in, in her little uniform our boss added dryly, "I'd buy more if you come in, in the sash and cute little hat."  At the end they requested time off for next week - apparently they were making plans to go door to door with the order form.  You need to have at least one conversation with these men to realize just how great this interaction was.

Here's to new characters.

And as for old.  I know you've all been missing the LLF shenanigans as much as I have, so I thought I'd share two treasures I received via text today:

"LBL told me to tell you we miss you and we hope you return quickly.  He said it like you were just on vacation"

...a couple hours later another one rolled in...

"PS. CJL came in with a mustache and a remote control plane."  (yes that is the board shorts/ tiger shorts guy.)

I'd say I miss this crazy, but I still have a moose in my living room.  : ) By the way, he really loved the snow days!
You can't keep a good dog down.

Since saying goodbye to my dog, I've been wanting to watch All Dogs Go to Heaven (yes, I own it).  But I'm not really sure that's a healthy response - and I'm really not sure I want anyone to walk in on me watching that with a box of Kleenex and a bag of Dove dark chocolates.  Me at twenty-five.  It's a fearsome sight ain't it? ;)

Today, my bottom-line thought in response to everything seems to be, "Well, You can't keep a good dog down."  Huh?  Dear God, please don't let that slip out of my mouth at my new job!  But, somehow, I get it.  This girl has seen All Dogs Go to Heaven, Milo & Otis and Turner & Hooch more times than you could count with a bag of skittles.  I guess all that had to be lodged someplace deep in my subconscious.  Apparently Charlie and Itchy are my go-to guys of optimism, courage, stubbornness and a bit of kindness.

What am I talking about?  I don't really know.  I'm bored out of my mind at work. 

I guess my only advice here is this: watch what you show your kids, it may become the basis of their value system. ;) 
Braden says I'm not allowed to wear socks with my oxfords like the girl in the photo below.  He sent me a text as an FYI.  I hadn't even noticed her socks.  And I laughed that he felt this was a threat.  But now I'm looking at the photo again, and I have to admit, I think it's kind of cute. 

I know, this is why I get these sort of texts from friends (and sisters) who care about me. :)

Loved this on Esther's.

Not loving what I do yet, but believing that I can.
I am so grateful today is going by faster than my first couple days here (at my new job).  Now, the question is: Where do I go for lunch? 

Also, I did write a short story yesterday... though by the time I finally made myself start, I'd forgotten 90% of that weird half-sleep dream I had.  I remembered the people in the room at least and one of them became a very important character - and I created a main character from my viewpoint of it all.  It was incredibly different than anything I've written, and I find that encouraging.  And no, I don't think I am going to share it.  We will see if I ever decide these weekly works should be read by others or not.
Getting a cold, and this cannot happen.  After a week off between jobs, and then being snowed in most of last week, I truly cannot afford to get sick right now.  I've only had two days at my new job so far - that's not even enough time to acquire any sick leave.   When it donned on me last night that I wasn't just sneezing over and over because of something in my room I downed more Vitamin C than might be healthy and stirred up a little Airborne brew.  The only disadvantage is that for two days I allowed myself a serious sugar coping mechanism.  I drowned my sadness in Dove dark chocolate and strawberry twizzlers and watched chick flicks and read books.   I'm not sure I even have anything left to fight this cold off with.  Here's to health and wellness folks!  Don't let these crazy temperature changes get to you!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Oh heaven!!! 
I can't really even imagine living here - but what a DREAM!
THIS year. 
I set a goal to write one short story a week.  That's right.  Because I like pain.

Even the majority of my friends who are constant encouragers about me really pursuing my dreams to write responded, "Why did you do that?!"  They do this because they love me.  And because they know what a stupid goal that was to set.

I'm laying here, even with a good short story in my head right now... and I just really don't want to write it. Which is also odd and I can't really explain it.

I woke up from a late Sunday nap and as I layer there, I realized I was narrating myself.  That's right.  I like to fall asleep with my arms above my head.  Only problem is, if I do this, I wake up with them completely asleep.  Somehow, this managed to scare me today.  I imagined that somehow, my right arm in particular was dead. I slowly moved the fingers on my left - one-at-a-time.  And then, I reached over and grabbed my right wrist.  I imagined that's what death feels like.  I soaked in the creepy moment, and then eventually moved the still-limp arm down to my lap until I could regain blood-flow.  WHAT A STRANGE BIRD I AM?!! Not in a "I'm cool and different and quirky" sort of a way, just one of those "God, I am odd"  moments. : /  I have those.  Lots of them.

I laid there, and suddenly the room I was in was full of friends, but not really my friends.  Friends of my friend's.  I interacted with them all.  And then they all left and a whole new group of friends came in.  This time, not my friends at all.  I didn't even know them.  I just watched as a silent observer.  When the first line struck me, I knew this was going to be a great half-dream.  "My parents are heading over the the library to see some guy, they said they could watch this guy sleep forever."   Wait.  Huh?

Yes, and I watched these crazy people for a good long time.  Willing myself to get up, get my laptop and write them out.  But I didn't want them to leave, or I didn't want to have to leave their room.

This is part of my crazy.


Perhaps even more crazy because I'm super proud of the fact that it was all in color! According to Meg's  professor- not everyone dreams in color.  She says if you dream in color, you're a writer (or was it you're an artist? Meg?) Curious - do any of you dream in black & white? : /

Alright, off to write out this scene, somehow give it a plot.  And then, I get to read my book. :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” 
-CS Lewis

I've already cried plenty today.  And then cried again, angry, knowing that some would probably have already laughed over it all.  And then cried again, again.  This little guy is exactly who I'd normally hold when tears this big filled my heart.  I'd hide in the garage and hold him when I wanted to escape everything else.   And suddenly today, I felt like that little girl again, wanting to run to the garage and sit on it's cold floor, and squeeze my little puppy. 

My mom says she feels so silly, crying over a dog.  And it's true, until you think all that he's sat through with you.  And suddenly your crying for every moment he was the only one who shared with you, or all the ones he shared with your whole family.  And suddenly, it doesn't feel so silly.  And all those who weren't there, who might find it odd, you don't really care.  Because as you said, they weren't there.  
They weren't there.  
 I made breakfast this morning and I didn't even Instagram it (yet).  


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Yesterday went as well as I could have hoped.  And my very select posts worked better than I could have hoped.  I've been trying to get dad to set up his new record player.  He really doesn't like feeling rushed or pushed.  Yesterday, I heard him in the hallway, in his best girl-impression voice "Hey Dad - wink wink."  I acted all subtle and nonchalant about it.  A couple hours later, I walked into the living room and the project was already underway.  :)

Last night we ate dinner downstairs, sipped wine by the fire, and listened to my mom and dad's old favorite records, and one of mine.  Loved it.  It was deep and beautiful, the way the music filled the room like the wine our glasses.

Before dinner, Megs and I had walked down to Safeway to pick up some groceries and trekked back up.  That night will probably join the elite group of "favorite snow memories."

We just grabbed the necessities, you know: coffee creamer, wine, bacon, a sweet potato, pineapples, skinny cows, eggs, english muffins, chocolate chips.  Only things we really needed.

(And we didn't even break one single egg!)

The best part of getting snowed in is that it is filled with cooking and coffee.  We make breakfast and then snack all day and then mom makes delicious dinners.  I love it.  And I especially love having Meg snowed in here with me (though she's convinced I'll be avoiding her for the next month).