Tuesday, December 9, 2008

True Story

Guy: I'd really like to discuss Radical Egalitarianism.
Me: Do you want to discuss it because you believe it or because you just want to discuss it.
Guy: I don't know, I have very open ideas. This is my only outlet for theological discussion. (In reference to the small group we both attend.)
Me: Do you think it's supported by scripture?
Guy: -pause- I don't have any scripture to back it up but I believe in a loving God.

When the "I believe in a loving God" people can throw around terms like Radical Egalitarianism, you know you're in for a good time.

I think I just might like it here.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Dream Log

Okay, general outline of last nights dream (no weight).

  • My husband, sister and I were adopted by the Cullens (the vampire 'parents' in Twilight).
  • My sister and I found a magical cupboard that would duplicate any non-living thing you put in it over night. We used it to get more craft materials (mostly yarn).
  • My sister adopted a two foot long baby alligator that tried to eat her arm. She wouldn't give it up, though.
  • The Cullens adopted more kids until we totalled something like twenty all together.
  • Divisions began to develop in the family, my husband and I decided it was time for people to split up and move into different houses. In our thinking, it was better to live separately but still be on good terms with everyone than try continuing to live together and have hate spring up between us.
  • We proposed two additional houses to our siblings (for three total, including the original house) and our siblings seemed generally agreeable.
  • When we brought it up with Mr. and Mrs. Cullen no one would decide who went where. I remember someone saying that there was no way my husband and I would leave the original house. I was kind of surprised, considering this had been our idea in the first place.
  • We announced that we were leaving, much to the shock of the eighteen other people, and, in the end, two or three people ended up coming with us.
  • We said goodbye to our 'parents' and left.
The End

Oh, also, somewhere in all that I ended up in a car wreck because someone switched the gas and brake pedal in my car. Instead of slowing down when I came upon the traffic jam I just plowed right threw. It killed one woman and wounded two disabled children. I then had a conversation with my actual mother about whether or not she had been awake when the wreck happened and had just appeared in the dream when she fell asleep. She seemed to think I'd actually killed the woman and should be expecting to receive a traffic ticket.

Morning!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Twilight

I admit it. I went. I saw Twilight in theater. It wasn't horrible. Quite.

Other than the total lack of acting on Edward's part and the blatant skipping of very important character development (as in, maybe we should have more than one conversation before we declare our love for each other), it was mostly decent.

But it wasn't the book. It wasn't even close. Dialogue that in no way needed to be altered (and, in fact, was essential to the overall arch of the story) was altogether missing in the movie.

The movie threw in a few extras for our politically correct pleasure. Bella's friends were drastically altered in character (with the exception of Jessica, she was excellent) and you got the feeling that she had to have one solitary friend from each major race in the continental US (not that I'm against diversity, but when a movie feels type casted, you've done something wrong), we were reminded that women should take control in a relationship and ask the guy to prom when he drags his feet, and what teenage angst movie isn't complete without someone asking if you're 'being safe'. Because, obviously, Edward's insisting on sex in marriage in the book is too narrow minded for our enlightened viewers.

Sigh, we loose so much in trying to be relevant.

I agree with Rotten Tomatoes: 44%. You wouldn't have gotten half of it if you hadn't read the book. And it went so slowly! They could have fit so much in if we hadn't lingered in every little pause. I assume they were trying to build tension with those pauses but that didn't occur to me until the day after I saw the movie. I was initially just annoyed that they probably wasted a good twenty minutes of movie time with silence.

I'd see it again. If it was free.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dream Log

I was too stressed to sense if it was important.

There were quiet a few mini-dreams before this one; however, I don't remember any of them. There were also a few dreams afterward as well but I don't remember them either.

I'm not going to go into a whole lot of detail. I really debated even typing this up. I get anxious just thinking about it.

There was my husband, my siblings, my mother and myself. I don't know where my dad was. Probably off on work. We started out in the middle of nowhere in the west with lots of trees and lush grasses and a bunch of animals. The wind was unbelievable. The birds were all waddling around with their wings closed and their bodies tight to the ground. I picked one up and it freaked out so it's wings opened a little. The wind practically snatched the poor thing out of my hands and would have whisked it off to who knows where.

Somehow, there was a huge flat panel TV hooked up to a cliff face for us to watch. Someone had invaded the US and had taken over Washington and multiple other major cities. There was constant footage from the view of a hand held camera of various people getting killed. My family held a little meeting on what to do. There was no where in the US to go, all the cities either had been taken or were, in a very short period of time, going to be taken. So we decided to do what just about every American says they're going to do but never does when they don't like what is happening in the US: we went to Canada. Or, rather, we tried to get to Canada.

There was some concern over how far we would have to walk through uninhabited areas and we had no provisions and one set of clothes. Someone suggest stopping by an old military base near by and, if it was indeed abandoned, taking some stuff from there. We were split in opinion but the majority wanted to try. So we hiked through more trees and lush grasses with animals moving in droves everywhere. There was a door in the rock we took to get into the base. We climbed up flights of broken stairs through darkness and sometimes had to climb around great holes in the stair by grabbing the various piping.

Inside we found Sam, the brother of a friend of mine. He had gotten separated from his family and found his way here. He decided to come with us. My husband, brothers and Sam all made their way ahead of me while my mother and sister followed way behind. Suddenly, I walked through a door and found myself facing a group of military men all laying around on the stairs and piping. They didn't move and I wondered if they were dead but when I said hello their eyes moved toward me. I asked if the base was inhabited, they didn't answer. I told them Washington had been taken, they said they already knew. A man dressed all in black began to quickly make his way from where ever he had been toward me. I told them we were heading to Canada. They all sat up with fear in their eyes, "NO!" they cried, "Do you truly wish to be dead!?"

From above I heard a door scape open and a coarse voice cry out a halt. The men around me froze in fear. Some more shouting, my husband yelled, "Sam! NO! No, Sam! Don't Friar!" I knew in my heart Sam was being killed and my family would follow. I thought of my brothers all caught at the door with no escape, of my mother and sister so far behind and all the men around me whose hiding place had been exposed. Feet began to descend from above and I looked below me. I hung from a pipe over a great hole in the stair and could see all the way down to the place we had come in, hundreds of feet below me. I let my hands slip. I did not wish to die. But dying from a fall was a better fate than watching my family be murdered. We had no escape and I knew it.

Just before I hit the ground, I remembered reading that people were unsure if you died in a dream if you might actually die in real life. I woke as I felt my feet strike the floor. I couldn't breath, my arms were numb and wouldn't move, my legs felt like they had been set on fire. When I finally did regain control over myself, I stumbled to the bathroom and found I was gasping for air and shaking terribly. When I came back to bed I didn't want to fall back asleep but I was so completely exhausted that sleep eventually came.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Victory!

I am pleased and somewhat surprised to announce the campaign has been successful. After a brief conversation last night, Dustin agreed to take me shopping in the near future. His valiant and gracious concession held only one stipulation: we shop sales.

See you at 7am at JCPenney's. :D

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Christmas Present

This was one of my projects yesterday:

I hope its intended receiver will like it. :)

On the Campaign Trail

I need new clothes. Rather, I need more clothes. I finally admit it. I'm a girl and it's just hardwired in. Need. More. Clothes. Must. Have. More. Clothes. To. Play. With.

And, in all honesty, it's just wrong for a woman's husband to have twice as many clothes as his wife. Really, very wrong. Not to mention the shoes. Geez.

So, I'm campaigning, in a very passive aggressive sort of way. (FYI, my husband reads my blog, so it's not like this is going to be a secret.) For the next seven days, I'm going to wear the most outlandish things I can pull together from our combined closets. Yesterday was one of his shirts belted with a pretty black scarf over a black skirt with ridiculously high heels.

Today, I've altered some of my clothes and stolen his, um, crown. :P

First off, I bought the green skirt a while ago but it has always annoyed me. It was a wrap around skirt that tied in the back; however, because it tied higher or lower than the actual waist of the skirt, the hem was always lopsided at the bottom. So, I rolled out of bed this morning, hunted down some scissors and cut off the ties and opened up the waist band, threaded the longer tie through the waistband and can now tie it like any ordinary gathered waist skirt. I left the side seam open so you could see...

The black skirt. I made the black skirt out of some heavy twill a last month-ish. I wanted a floor length, full, winter worthy skirt. I've been quiet pleased with it (with the exception of the zipper, but no one ever sees that). It also doubles as a petticoat, as seen here.

The corduroy shirt was a clearance find and I love it. It's really comfy but isn't obviously 'relaxation' clothing. Dustin found the belt at Goodwill and used it as his crown for Halloween. After the party he took it off and explained what it actually was so, naturally, I attempted to fit it around my waist. He made some remark about my waist not being as small as his head when *click*, oh, look, it is. :P

The green tie at the neck is just the shorter tie from the green skirt. Somehow I can't help feeling that Bob would be proud. The shoes are just there to 'mix it up'. Isn't that what all the fashion designers say when they know their clothes don't match?

Now, all in all, I don't really expect this campaign to be successful. It's not like we don't have a budget that we actually have to stick to. BUT, it's worth a shot, right? ;)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dream Log

No weight, just weird.

My dad and I were driving along a country road and I was looking up stuff on my laptop (on the Internet, don't ask me how I had access on a country road). I was at a site that looked much like Hulu.com and found some episodes of the evening news (because in dream land they decided the news wasn't exciting enough and turned it into an action adventure series). They had some mini-commercials comparing two of the actresses and I clicked on one labeled Needs to Learn. Apparently it was universally agreed that the in station news anchor wasn't nearly as cool as the ground woman who, in this TV Action series, in addition to giving the news also helped solve the mysteries. Woohoo. So I clicked on Solving a Problem and watched a short clip of an episode.

The ground woman stepped out of a military jet with a clip board and began interrogating people. She stopped by an army medic who was looking at a dead soldier and quizzed him for details. He was indeed dead, the medic rambled off a bunch of stuff I didn't understand, and then, poisoned. The woman looked concerned and asked if all of them were the same. The man nodded. Her eyes grew wide and said something to the extent of, "How can this be?" as the camera pulled back and showed that they were standing in the middle of a field covered in the bodies of dead soldiers who looked as though they had simply fallen asleep.

I was unsurprised when I looked up from my laptop to find my dad and I were driving right by that particular field and could see the jet and the mounds of bodies. We also saw thousands of people dressed in stereotypical 'savage' type clothing and carrying spears come running towards the jet. Above them was a large grey cloud and behind it was a light that reminded me of when you close your eyes for a really long time and then open them, there's a bunch of little white 'explosions', except these explosions were black. My dad asked me if I though the jet would escape and I said I did, it was mostly air tight so if the cloud had poisoned the soldiers they should be fine and I was pretty sure the last bit of the episode had shown everyone standing in surprise and then running into the jet. Dad pointed out that we might want to pick up our pace a bit, just in case the hoard of people saw us and changed targets. I was all for that.

Then I was with Dustin and he was driving an abandoned school bus. He swerved around children who were trying to poke our wheels with spears. It's strange, trying to live and not kill your enemy at the same time. Some how, seven or so of the children became normal? were normal? I don't remember. They were normal children of the crazy people so we picked them up and headed toward the nearest city (we figured there would be enough people there that could defend themselves, provided we all didn't get poisoned). I began talking with them and asked how this had come about. They didn't know. One minute their families were fine, the next they were donning animal skins and fashioning spears. There were no histories of mental illness, their families were well educated, no they didn't want to go back, their families would just spear them. They didn't really think we would live either but were willing to give it a shot. Another reporter knocked on the bus door and Dustin let her in. She asked if he wanted to stay somewhere safe and he said no, he didn't think the spearmen would be able to take Hilliard. She nodded and then came back to speak with one of the children. That's when I noticed that six of them were under the age of seven, the seventh was at least fifteen, I wondered why that might be but never found out. I encouraged the reporter to interview the children, they were the only 'inside' information we had. She agreed to do so.

I woke up and wondered what was going to happen, I wandered to the bathroom pondering the cloud and the black explosions. When I came back to bed, Dustin lifted up the covers for me. As I climbed in I asked, "Where's Hilliard."

"Um, west."

"Oh, okay." I had been pretty sure it was an actual place.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Dress

My morning's work (and half the afternoon, too!):


I'm very pleased with how the dress turned out! Although, I'm pretty sure my hands are going to permanently smell of metal if I continue to crochet at this pace.

What I've been up to

Alright, then. Sorry about the long pause in posts, I really don't know why it happened.

I've been making some actual progress on my story this past week. Hm, let's start with Halloween, actually.

SO, the big Halloween party was a blast. Mom and I got everything decorated and the massive amounts of food made and on the table in time (as in, after I spent two full days doing nothing but cooking and baking, we were slicing up the chicken and setting it on the table as guests arrived). Everyone showed up in pretty impressive costumes, although Matt gets the prize for his Jack from Nightmare Before Christmas costume. Too bad he had to change after he got murdered. Two of my brothers successfully staged the over throw of the Egyptian Queen and the twins did a marvelous job with Dustin and me as the Fae Court. Even my dad had a good time (we were worried, acting's not generally his thing). He got to go around and intimidate everyone as the Phantom Inquisitor. I just wish we'd had more time :( But, all in all, a grand time.

Since then I have inherited a massive amount of yarn from my in-laws and have been busy making a blanket and a baby set (I'll post pictures when I have them). BTW, the baby set is not for me, no I am not pregnant, no we are not planning on children in the near future. I seem to be getting those types of questions often, lately. I prefer to make baby clothes and blankets because they use less yarn than adult sized things and because they take less time. Plus, they're really cute!

Finally, after the madness of Halloween, my story has been pulled off the back burner. I'm really pleased with the progress I've been making. Yesterday alone I did six pages of character profiles and four pages of actual story. I love how the story seems to develop itself. I do not mean that it writes its self, trust me, lots of effort here. But that if I want my characters to end up in one place, several other events must take place before they are emotionally or geographically able to be in that place. Every so often another piece to the puzzle just pops into my head. I am beginning to understand that old light bulb metaphor. I'm also surprised to find that my characters change, or that a stock character I want to use just won't fit any more. Sometimes that makes me sad, some of my characters have existed in my mind for years and I was really excited to use them, but mostly the change in character makes sense and I just have to deal with it. Besides, I'll always be able to use them in another story. :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Snippets

For those who wonder what happened to the lengthy dreams, I'm still dreaming. However, they are in short snippets and shift often to other unrelated snippets and are harder to remember and, quite frankly, not that interesting.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Woooohoooo!

6 months after graduation and a positive net worth. Not bad, not bad at all.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dream Log

This dream was about children. Lots and lots of children. No weight.

I don't remember it very vividly but my first memory is a big gathering of people. A lot of people I didn't know, but a few that I did, and some people that I knew very well in the dream but now that I'm awake I can't place for the life of me.

We were all playing a card game. Bob Wickham (sp) was there with his western neck tie and Yanna (Sp), both from my old church. Yanna kept trying to sit with her mother but her mother kept moving chairs or disappearing all together. I went back and forth between the game and watching the children. A little boy named Oliver found a way to light fire so I taught him how to stomp it out while it was still small. And there was a woman, a dear friend, who I don't know. It's very frustrating because I know I know her, but I can't find her anywhere in my head. She was very pregnant, eight or nine months.

The next bit is very blurry, I remember trick-or-treating, I remember an African American woman with her very small son. There was a man with them, her brother or husband, I never found out. They had died but were happy because they continued to live without the poverty and fear they had had before. She never said but I got the impression they had lived somewhere inner city. Her son was very sweet, he shook my hand and smiled, which was strange because he was not even a year old.

I got in a car with my mother, I think. And someone else was in a car following me. I think we were friends, I think we were traveling together, I'm not sure. I forget how it happened but we got into an accident. Nothing big, just bumped bumpers, but we were all pulled over anyway. The police man wasn't very nice or thorough. He never asked me what happened (not that I could have told him anyway), he just asked me for a bunch of papers and then told me to get out of the car and lay on the ground with my coat and keys. He did the same to the other car and soon, my dear friend's husband was lying next to me. I asked how everyone in his car was, he said he wasn't sure. He was very quiet. A woman came over and sat with us and asked how many were in the accident. I said we weren't sure (maybe there was a third car, I don't remember), but at least four and a half. She laughed and asked how we could have half a person. My friend finally got out of the car, yelling at the police man (which was very out of her character) and walked into the hospital we happened to be in the parking lot of.

I was suddenly very worried and very afraid. I didn't know how it had happened, but I was fairly sure I had caused the accident. The woman said she understood the half now. I started to cry. I told the woman that I really hoped nothing had happened to the baby. My friend desperately wanted a child and she'd already had three miscarriages. Her husband remained silent. If this one died, it would be my fault.

Dustin called me. I woke up crying.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dream Log

Hm... maybe I should start naming these dreams. But they don't really feel like they're named. Oh, well. I should also probably starting marking the ones that have 'the weight', that 'this is important' feeling, just so I don't get confused later. Hm...

Alright, then, this is 'I promised him I'd pay more for you' and it didn't have 'the weight'.

My husband and I were on some sort of vacation with my parents. It was 'some sort' because it felt like we were there for my dad's business but the accommodations were amazing. It was an absolutely beautiful five star hotel, complete with huge bathroom. Also, Dustin and I kept hopping back and forth between 'married' and 'not yet married', which was weird. Apparently one of the guests took an interest in me and decided he was going to marry me instead. Sorry, I have no idea what his name was, it never came up, so he's just 'this guy'. He was very suave and had dark hair and was slender... just picture a millionaire's spoiled brat and you've got him.

I went to the restroom for a few minutes and pondered with pity how much work it must be for the poor housekeeper who had to clean it everyday. A brief intermission. When I returned to our room Dustin asked me about this guy who had decided he was going to married me. I told him this guy had been following me around but I wasn't at all interested in him. Dustin gave me a very weighing look, not a 'I'm weighing you' look but a 'I'm thinking very hard and you help me focus' look. "Good," he said, "Because I told him I would pay more for you."

In the dream, Dustin had bought me from my father, in our married/not yet married state. I don't know the exact amount of money that had been agreed upon but it was something with six or more digits. It hadn't been paid yet because Dustin would't have the money until he'd worked for a few years, so until the amount was paid I wasn't officially his. So, this guy walks in, finds out I'm not paid for and then threatens my... betrothed, I suppose. I never did find out exactly what was said but I was under the impression that life was threatened and some how Dustin managed to be willing to pay more for me. This guy had left Dustin with the understanding that he would be hanging around to 1) make it really difficult for him to make enough money and 2) take me when Dustin couldn't pay up.

We ran. I don't know whose car we took but it wasn't ours. Ours doesn't go that fast. But this guy followed us, needless to say, the millionaire's kid's car went really, really fast. We decided we couldn't out run him so we turned around and went to this guy's school. He attended this massive, gilded university. Apparently, we attended, too, because we knew the layout of the student housing and some students recognized me. I left Dustin, two of my brothers, and my sister at which ever house this guy lived in. I wasn't sure what they were doing, I was slightly afraid they were going to kill his car but I didn't say anything. I wasn't interested in marrying him so whatever they did, so long as it worked, was fine by me. My job was to be a decoy.

So I wandered down the street looking sweetly around, trying my best to act exactly how I would have acted back in the room full of my father's highly paid clients. This guy found me wandering around and acts all sweet and suave. I tell him I'm lost, it's such a big place, and I'm trying to find a certain building on campus but I can't seem to find my way through student housing to campus. He smiled and said he'd be happy to walk me but first he needed to stop by his house, I some how convinced him I was really late so he reluctantly agreed to walk me to class first. I don't really know what we talked about on our walk to campus. It was mostly me being in awe of him, the campus, the houses, whatever. I was pretending to be from some small country town. Smiling and sweet, and hoping my husband wasn't going to get himself killed.

We kept seeing electric company signs through out the neighborhood, I knew that Dustin and my siblings were pretending to be workers so no one would question why they were running all over this guy's house. This guy seemed really confused by them and slightly suspicious, but I kept being sweet so he kept walking me along. We finally ended up at the building I 'needed' and this guy just walks in and sits down in the middle of a history lecture. No one chided him for his very rude behavior and I noticed some fearful looks in his direction. He motioned for me to sit down and I smiled and whispered, "But, I'm late for art."

I went outside and looked at the landscape. To my left stood the campus. The entire thing was made of white marble. It was beautiful and awe inspiring. To my right was hill country. Green with trees swaying. It was beautiful and peaceful. The class must have ended because this guy came out and stood by me. I made some comment about the city being amazing, but it didn't look the same with him standing there. It was dreary. Then I pointed to the hill country, which had some how become desolate in just the moment I had looked away. I told him where I was from was more like the hill country and that the city was so strange to me.

We walked toward campus, I still had 'art'. He suddenly started to walk the other way and I knew he was going back to his house. I pouted and suddenly I was warding of this guy who had interpreted my pout as an invitation. I laughed and explained that country folk didn't do that. That I didn't kiss random people. He looked confused and then asked if I was interested in men. I think I responded with, "I'm a woman. But I don't just do that." And wondered why on earth not kissing men left and right was equated with being lesbian. He didn't seem satisfied and I was beginning to wonder how much longer I could distract him without getting into serious trouble.

Dustin appeared beside me, kind of. This guy and I were standing on the sidewalk and Dustin was in the street, there was some kind of rail in between. I had my back to it and Dustin was leaning his stomach against it from the other side. Dustin told this guy that he had fixed this guy's electronics, that was a some odd dollar amount job, and this guy no longer had any claim on me. I wasn't sure if revealing that I had been tricking this guy would be the best thing at the moment so I continued being sweet and smiley. They argued back and forth, this guy never letting go of my tightly held wrist. I kept leaning back on the railing, wishing I could just slip through the bars to Dustin, but I wasn't sure if this guy would let me go, even if I made it through. They kept arguing, I kept pushing. I closed my eyes and then opened them to look at the ceiling.

I heard Dustin breathing next to me and smiled. I'd made it through. Dustin had won.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

History As It Really Was


I finished! Between you and me this didn't actually take too terribly long but it's also not the greatest coloring quality. But, it's just a cover-up for normal pictures in my parents house that don't fit the fantasy theme of our Halloween party, so quality may be sacrificed.

We're doing a murder mystery that pulls well known fantasy characters and slightly changes their stories. According to the game, Merlin is King Arthur's father and King Arthur is kind of a bumbling idiot. So I though it would be fun to create a picture that depicted the famous King Arthur and sword... with his dad helping him out...

This was fun, huge, but fun.

Note: it's 16''x20''

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dream Log

So... I think I've decided to record my dreams. We'll see how long it lasts.

First, Dustin and I have been watching this sci-fi/western called Firefly, which is about a nine-ish person crew on a spaceship. In my dream, I was part of this crew and we were visiting a small town for refueling and such. I was in the gas station picking out a candy bar or something when I noticed a teenage girl sitting at a booth in the corner. She was starting her own business by painting nails, so I went over and asked her how it was going and how long she'd been doing this, yadda, yadda, yadda. We talked for a while and then I ended up giving her a ride home... in my space ship :P There were some right brain, left brain issues like reading her sign in front of the store, trying to place the name of the store (which I know I've seen online somewhere), and other such things you're supposed to be unaware of or unable to do while asleep. She was charging outrageously high prices to do nails and her hours were backwards but other than that the sign wasn't a problem.

On our way to her house we passed a pair from Firefly who were off taking a break and the captian (who wasn't the captian in the show, I actually have no idea who he was or where he came from, all I knew was that in the dream he was my father, even though he was nothing like my father) and I discussed whether or not this pair should date, a point of tension on the show. Out of the blue the girl asked me if I knew why 'he' proposed. I knew she was refering to Dustin, who was no where to be found in the dream. She asked if I had ever asked. I said yes, I had both the long version and the convenient, people want a quick answer version. I told her it was a good question to ask and the answer should be carefully weighed before marriage. I then tried very hard to pull information out of which ever side of the brain is inaccesable in dreams to remember exactly why he had proposed. After several unsuccesful attempts I decided to just wait until I woke up and would remember or, if I didn't, I could ask him.

We dropped her off somewhere and then went to my actual parents current house. Only none of my real family were there. Some other woman on the crew (who also isn't on the show) was trying to seduce the captian and apparently had been for quiet some time. She was married as was the captian but neither of their spouces were anywhere to be found. I, being the captian's daughter, was very irritated by this. The captian walked into the closet for something and the woman sat down on the bed and looked at me in a convincing sort of way. I got the feeling she was trying to make me like her and not care if she slept with my 'father' or not.

"I believe in the sanctity of marriage." she said seriously.

She didn't finish the word marriage before I responded coldly, "I don't want to hear it."

I walked out the bedroom door, shutting it behind me, and up to my old bedroom. I had just reached my door when they started shouting at each other. Apparently, she had slept with him. He kept saying stuff about how he hadn't wanted to and he wouldn't have if she hadn't kept pushing. I was left with the impression that he was very upset that I disapproved.

I didn't care. As in, I didn't care that he was upset. I shut my bedroom door so I couldn't hear them anymore. I was glad he was upset. I wondered if my mother (whoever my mother was in this dream) knew or if she would care. I cleaned my closet until I got the feeling that my 'father' was coming upstairs to talk to me about it. I wondered if I pretended like I was asleep if he would leave me alone. I climbed into bed and woke up.

It was 4 something.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Connecting

I had a conversation with a friend this weekend and what I realized how true what I said was after I had already said it (strange, I know.)

For those who don't know, I am the oldest of a fairly large motley crew. I have three brothers and a sister. The oldest boy is already attending college, the next one down is a Junior in HS and starting to look seriously at various options, and the youngest brother and my sister are Sophomores. Also for those who don't know: yes, they are twins; no, they are not identical; yes, we get that question fairly often. When I left home, none of them were even in HS yet.

Now, this is the normal course of life. Children grow up, children leave home, and, in our culture, children may never bother to come back. I've seen it happen with my extended family. We've seen both sides an average of every two years. I really want more for my siblings and me. I've been so excited watching us all grow up these last four years. We're not a malicious family (which I have been shocked to observe in other friend's families) or very competitive (at least not against each other) so we get along pretty well.

But they'll leave soon. They'll all go off to college or vocational school or where ever. Will they come back? Will we still be a family? or just the people you send letters to on the holidays?

Now, over the years I have learned exactly why parents are constantly telling the older children to set a good example. What I do, as the oldest, is very persuasive. It shows what is acceptable or, at the very least, what can be gotten away with. So now I am trying my very best to stay connected to them. To be home for the big events. To call to play games just because. To show that I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. To show that I think they are important. That we are important. The whole time silently asking, when you are gone, will you come back home, too?

Will my example be enough? I most surely hope so.

Which is why I am so very excited about this Halloween party and why I was so very upset for the few days when I thought we wouldn't be able to do it. Mom said we could do it next year. But next year won't be the same. Next year we'll all be different people. Next year, Allen could actually be gone and Phillip starting to pack. Next year John could have decided on what he'd like to pursue in life and Valerie could have a personality change (for the parents of teenage girls, you know how that goes) and already had her first boyfriend. Next year is too late. It needs to be now. It's this year that Dad is trying to reconnect, this year that he's had a change in values. Next year mom won't be willing to throw a party like we are this year because they will be gearing up for two in college and the ever ready reason of 'we don't have the money' will be all too convenient.

But it is this year. And we're going to decorate the house like no one could have believed, we're going to pull out all the stops (at least I am), we're going to provided an environment to do what everyone in my family loves to do (theatre), and we're going to pull in every last close friend we can find. Because we're a big, creative, family. And for now, we're friends. And hopefully this event will help us stay that way. Perhaps it will be a precedent, perhaps it will only be a memory. But if it is a memory, it will be a good one. One we can all look back on and say, yeah, my family did that.

And hopefully, when they leave, they will come home again.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Hm...

If my dreams have any prophetic meaning at all:

We're running out of time.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Electricity

One week. That was the estimate for how long we would be without electricity. We even know a guy who knows the president of AEP, so he called him up just to make sure. Yup, one week. Surely humans, the great predator of the world, complex thinking skills, huge networks of people, can survive one week without electricity. I swear, the newspaper has skill for finding the whiniest people. When not being able to check facebook makes the news, you know they're pulling at straws. The fact that so few people DIED isn't touted as a miracle (and I only know that few people died because the news hasn't mentioned hide nor hair of them as far as I can find) shows what a sorry state we're in.

Where I live, people can still get food, people still have clean water, most people didn't even get out of work for a day. Sure, our homes are/were without power depending on what part of town you're in, but it's not like that killed us. To the small business owners, I'm sorry, this really sucks, to the big business owners, you should have been ready. To the people who are complaining about AEP, shut up. Did you not see the wind? What, exactly were they supposed to do in preparation? They're in Texas, for crying out loud, you know, where the REAL storm hit. 95% of the AEP truck fleet is in the south, fixing the electricity where people might actually die. Where the entire electrical infrastructure has been decimated. We can wait. We'll live. This is called, are you ready, an emergency. That means you don't get what you want right away. That means you should look at your self and realize how the opposite of independent you really are. The fact that most signals are functional and that neighborhoods continue to flicker on night and day should tell you that they are doing EVERYTHING they can. They are working around the clock. Show a little appreciation to the people who are providing Facebook for you and then go talk to your neighbors. In case you don't know that word, it generally refers to the people who live in your vicinity. That house next to yours has people in it? Yeah, that one.

And then, after you realize that you only think about your electricity when it's gone, realize what a great job your electric company does for you on a day to day basis. A thank-you card might be in order.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Twilight

Okay, so the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer is totally awesome. With the exception of book four, but hey, you can't have it all. I would just like to state for the record, however, that the movie Edward is not the Edward from the book. He's WAY too James Dean. Edward is not James Dean. He's sweet and traditional, his hair is different, really, not James Dean. It is possible to be totally irresistible and innocent at the same time. No really, it is.

I'm done.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Round 2

I pulled out my Ancient Greek materials today. We'll see if it goes anywhere.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Trash

I pulled these pillows out of the trash today.


I am amazed at what gets thrown into the giant dumpsters at our apartment complex. It's one thing to want stuff out of your house, but to throw perfectly good pillows (and our 'new' slightly beat-up sofa among other decent furniture/housewares that we didn't have room/use for so they stayed in the trash) in the trash? Especially when the Goodwill drop off is, um, across the street. No, really, walk to the front of the complex, you can see it. Not to mention all the various consignment shops and donation bins around town. If there's one thing the city does right, it's making donations convenient.

But then again, I shouldn't complain. We now have a full sized sofa and eight very nice pillows. :)

Here's the sofa:














Oh, and this very cool shadow box:

I'm thinking of joining DDA: Dumpster Divers Anonymous. It could be very profitable. Besides, it's fun to see the looks on peoples faces when they see you. There was some guy taking his trash out when I hauled myself up into the dumpster to reach the last pillow. He lives in the same building as us so he followed me in the door. He said thanks when I opened the door for him, pillows in hand, and had this big grin on his face like he couldn't believe what I had just done.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Trip

Okay, so I totally lied about posting stories from our trip to Maine. But here are some pictures: :)

Philadelphia, PA. The Liberty Bell, from the back. It was bigger than I expected, smaller than Dustin expected, go figure.

Philadelphia, PA. Dustin needs a hat and cane.
Somewhere, PA. This is a bridge that crosses the highway, pedestrians only. On one side is the river and on the other side is where they keep all the boats. It was kind of weird to stand in the middle and watch all the cars go under your feet.
Princeton is the prettiest place. Even the people are pretty, in a non-model way, but they dress well.
My boy. :) Some lake in RI.
New Port, RI. This is a monument to a Dutch nautical navigation school, the first discoverers of America.
New Port, RI. Dustin took this picture, I like it.
New Port, RI. This is at a wildlife preservation. I'm standing in front of solar panels that supply 15% of the preservation building's energy. Portland, ME. The Portland Headlight. It was windy but beautiful.

Diana's Baths in Maine are very beautiful. They are made up of a series of waterfalls that fill (or filled, as the actual baths have now decayed) the man made baths pictured below.
The water in the baths was crystal clear and icy cold. We lost feeling in our feet after about 20 seconds. :P
Somewhere in New England. I don't actually know what this is called but it regulates the water flow, Dustin was checking it out.
The Strongs on vacation :D
No, this is not in Ohio. I think it was in Vermont. But a little taste of home.
Niagara Falls are huge. Duh, but no kidding, huge.
Niagara Falls, NY. This little guy is a harbor seal waiting for lunch. He kept looking a the visitors and then at the door to the exhibit. Apparently the seals are fed by trainers at 10 AM and then visitors at 12 and 2 PM. He just didn't' know whose turn it was.
Niagara Falls. An abbreviated version of our trip. We have over 100 pictures and just as many stories but they're not getting typed out :P

New Look

Blue/Green is much more calming.
Embroidery is by far the most time consuming project ever. This 'S' took all day yesterday (10ish to 5ish). ALL DAY. But it was so much fun :) S's are the most difficult letter for me to write, much less embroider, something about making the curves equal and even just doesn't work for me. C's are much easier.

The Sew Beautiful magazine that came earlier this week had a few hand embroidery stitches in it and they looked fun. So I went online to find more, which is how I found Needle 'n Thread. She is amazing, I may never to aspire to her level of embroidery. She stitched the back of a (I assume Catholic) vestment. Wow. Amazing. It's 11'' by 11'' and took her five weeks, 380 hours, if I remember correctly, and she did it BY HAND (and using 2% gold because it's 'ecclesiastical' work). I strongly encourage you to read through the process of how she put it together, it increases my awe of this kind of work a hundred fold. Next time I'm in an orthodox church I'll better appreciate their clothing and all the effort that could have been put in them. I don't know what she does for a living but she mentions a job and it's not this *shock.

I'll be doing this again in the future, perhaps after I've bought floss, I'm still using the leftovers from that cross stitch.

A Side Note: I was afraid when I started looking for the old crafts (heirloom sewing, embroidery, lace crocheting, etc.) that I wouldn't find them, they're not very 'contemporary'. Although knitting and crochet seem to be making a come back in the younger crowd. I was very happy to find Sew Beautiful, a magazine devoted to heirloom sewing. I was surprised, but then realized I shouldn't have been, to find the editor's note strongly indicated a Christian background for the magazine. I hadn't even considered a religious tendency in crafters, but after consideration, it makes sense that strongly traditional crafts would be continued on by the strongly religious.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Sew Beautiful... out of skirts.

This was yesterday's project. I just got my first Sew Beautiful magazine in the mail and couldn't wait to try out a pattern. It's just a little girl dress with two front pockets but it was more complicated than some of the dresses I've made for me.

I really like this dress (besides the fact that it's cute and about a foot and a half tall) because I made it out of a skirt. I just picked up the skirt at the flee market (actually, Dustin's aunt bought it for me). It was a really cheap skirt, both in price and in quality. I didn't even have any twinges of guilt as I cut the skirt up because it was so poorly made it really didn't even deserve to exist.

The blue bow at the front and the 'ribbon' around back is the draw string from the original skirt. It feels like it should be elastic but has all the stretch stretched out of it. The red pockets are made of leftover fabric from one of my fall/winter dresses, my first sewing project, in fact. The purple see through trim at the bottom of the skirt, on the pockets, and where the yolk meets the skirt are leftover ribbon from our wedding decorations. :) The binding over the 'ribbon' is thread from a huge cross stitch I finished at the beginning of the summer.

So it's a 'leftover' dress but I think it turned out really well. There are a few mistakes in it (the frill isn't sewn on correctly all the way around [but you can hardly tell], I accidentally snipped a small hole in the skirt while trimming a seam, I cannot for the life of me tie the shoulder bows at the same spot) but I am happy with it. Now I just need a baby to go in it :P In a couple years, maybe.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Why?

Why do women need so many shoes? My husband has more than most men, but that's because his parents garage sale and if it fits, he gets it. I, on the other hand want more shoes. I was a good girl and got them down to 5 pairs: tennis shoes, black dress, white dress, brown and black work shoes, and I might have had flip-flops but they hurt my feet. I figured men only need three pairs of shoes and generally look fine so I know it can be done. I was right, I generally look good and it can be done. But I want more. I now have a pair of brown boots, black dress, white dress, gold dress, bronze dress, suit shoes (business looking, not pretty like my dress shoes), street sneakers, hiking shoes, black sandals, and house shoes. That's 10 pairs, not including what's packed away for the winter (which are only about 4 pairs, most of my shoes are closed toed and do well in all seasons). But I want more. More colors, more styles. You can wear the same outfit with different shoes and jewelry and it will be totally different. Sigh. But it's hard to convince your practical half to cough up the money so your creative half can be satisfied.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Ouch

I am out of shape. Ow. I've been doing a workout video and today's day three. I am sore, in pain, and very much aware that my muscles are out of shape. They're not as strong nor as flexible as they once were. Everything hurts. I reach up to get a plate out of the cupboard and I twinge in my arm, back, and side. Dustin hugs me and my back and shoulders complain. I climb into bed and my legs, back and arms all inform me that they really don't want to.

But with all the pain, it's still nice. I sweat way more than I should and when I'm done I smell. I was surprised that sweat was nostalgic for me. I used to be on a competitive gymnastic team and at the gym 9ish hours a week during the school year, more in the summer. The gym always smelled like sweat and chalk. So when I was lying in a stretch and breathed in lots of sweat smell, I was annoyed for a brief moment before I was in Texas East gym and wondering why the sweat smelled strange. Then I realized: there was no chalk to make it smell dry, this was wet sweat. I smiled and just breathed it in and wondered how many people would think I was weird because I like the smell of sweat.

Today was easier than yesterday, yesterday I got to do the workout in spite of the pain, today it still hurt but not quite as badly.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

All grown up

'Real life' is interesting. It's strangely... routine. And they said it would be scary and different :P It's interesting because it's both, except the scary part. We've simply been put in the roles our parents were in. You know, they paid the bills, fixed the car, went to work, cooked, cleaned, were in charge of our family's social life. Now we're doing them. This is nothing I haven't seen before. It's rather nice. It's like finally being big enough to wear your mother's evening gown, instead of having it falling off your shoulders and into a puddle on the floor. I've been watching this rhythm my whole life. Suddenly, all the tasks I was too small or inexperienced to do just happen. I was worried that it would be hard or take a lot of effort but I've been trained for this. I'm here.

Not to say it doesn't have it's own set of challenges, some I wasn't expecting. But it's like taking a practical exam. You haven't seen the composite problems before, but you do know all the tools for the small ones. It just takes some patience to work it all out.

I don't know if Dustin feels the same, he hasn't had the same experience as I, but he seems to like it fine. I am happy to have him, he most certainly makes life better.

Friday, July 18, 2008

We're Back!

HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!

It's good to be home. It's amazing how a stationary day (a.k.a. not constantly in a car), hot shower, full kitchen, bed (not sleeping bag), and reasonable prices can make one feel so happy an content. :)

The trip was awesome! I'm so glad we went. For those who don't know, we started out traveling to Philly to visit a friend of mine who is currently working for Teach For America. Philadelphia is a very cool city. I hope to go back again. I rode my first ever tram and learned that even city people can be nice (although, not all city people, we learned that, too). We randomly met a newly-wed couple from Portland, ME (which is where we were headed) who had missed their flight to Jamaica and were stuck in Philly for the night who had family from where Dustin's from and a sister who works and my favorite restaurant in ME (D'Millo's floating restaurant, no really, you should go). We visited some of the historical buildings and had fun observing all the tourists. I suppose I retain my status as a nerd because I got all excited over the first Bank of America.

There are lots of super cool parks throughout the city. Our favorite was the game piece park (we don't know what it's really called but it is a collection of majorly over-sized game pieces). They had a giant Rook from Chess so we had to have a Rapunzel shot, Gail kindly obliged without throwing up. I love the look on the woman's face in the back ground. Perhaps she's the one we should have been worrying about throwing up. Sigh, oh for longer hair...

I could go on and on but it was a 10 day trip so I'll just give you the highlights:
  • We couldn't find a campground so we ended up staying in an Ethan Allen hotel, which is part of a company that sells really expensive interior design stuff (use PriceLine.com, it's amazing).
  • We stayed at a campsite in RI for three days and are pretty sure a moose ran through the camp and by our tent when we were in it but we couldn't get the zipper open in time to see it. Dustin woke up the next morning with four perfect finger bruises on his arm that happened to fit my hand. Go figure.
  • People in Connecticut can't drive, not to mention that they're incredibly rude. If anyone tells you God doesn't do miracles in modern days, take them to CT and point out that all these people are still alive, that none of their cars are totaled and that 99% of their cars don't have dents or scratches. Wow.
  • Your in-laws in-laws are probably pretty cool people.
  • Maine is heaven on Earth. At least in the summer, apparently it's the other place in the winter. Gorgeous landscape, perfect weather, clean air, crystal water. My sister in-law's husband can testify that the bottled water in Paris, France is from Maine.
  • Oh, and we saw the Strongs. But not in Syracuse. They were on a family camping trip and couldn't meet us. Ask Dustin, he can tell the story better.
  • The sunset over New England lakes is the most beautiful I have ever seen.
  • Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream is really good. Their HQ is really cute and their tour guides need a seminar on public speaking. But if Sweet Cream and Cookies makes onto store shelves you should definitely give it a try. Mm-mm.
  • Niagra Falls is (are) beautiful. We'll be going back some day.
There are more little stories about the trip but it's lunch time and I'm hungry. So you'll have to wait :).

Glad to be home.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sketching

I drew yesterday. I was google-ing something and all of a sudden my mind pulled up paper and pencil. So I pulled my giant drawing pad out from behind the desk and just started sketching. My hand drew what it always does when given over to doodling, a girl with her face just turned to the side but not profiled. Unfortunately, I had to start dinner before I could make any real progress and she's currently still bald but I did sketch the outline of a window around her, we'll see if it stays.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Uh...

So... we're actually going to move. Just thought I'd let the world know that it's starting to dawn on me.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Pretty Day


I begin to realize how lucky I am now that I'm starting to look out instead of in. It's a beautiful day today, I have plenty of very yummy food, a lovely home (okay, once you get inside :P), good family (even the in-laws), good friends, a wonderful husband who protects me from the scary/disgusting scenes in movies, a pretty secure future financially, and a mailman who brings me real mail (in the midst of credit card offers, bills, and coupons).

I was looking at our bedroom set a few days ago and pondering how we got it. Now the obvious part of the story is that my in-laws sent Dustin and me pictures of a full bedroom set they had found at a garage sale to see it we wanted it as a wedding gift. I laughed out loud when I saw them because my parents own the nightstand and wardrobe pieces of the set. What are the odds that my in-laws would randomly find a complete set of my parents bedroom furniture years after and states away from where they had bought them (we lived in Texas at the time)?

But the furniture pulls up an older, almost forgotten memory. I was probably ten or so and my parents had just brought the new bedroom pieces home. Mom was so happy, she just loved them. I don't remember what my father felt but I was insanely jealous. I sat on their bed just starring at the wardrobe with it's beautiful wood carving and full length mirror and wished and wished they would put it in my room instead. It was the kind of furniture I thought a princess would have. I was really, really working up the envy. But in the middle of my climbing jealousy a thought came to me almost in a voice of its own (I guarantee it didn't come from me). My mother was my mother, she was older and deserved to have pretty things, I shouldn't wish to take away her pretty things just because I wanted some of my own. I should be patient because God would give them to me when I was older. I prayed that God would help me be patient and that I really did want pretty furniture in my room and I though my mommy's was perfect but I would do my best to not envy her even though I wanted to be the princess with the full length mirror. And I got up off their bed and left the room.

Ten years later I was given not only the exact wardrobe my mother has but the bedside table, vanity, and bed to go with it.

Every morning I look in my full length mirror and know that I am a princess and that God does fulfill His promises and answers earnest prayers. Every night Dustin and I sleep in a bed that is God's wedding gift to us. May it always remind me.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my dearest little brother and sister (don't worry Al and Phil, you're dear, too, but they are the littlest :)). John and Valerie are all of 15 today!This is them when they were 11, awww :) They're so cute. Yeah, we're not related. Anyhow...

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday John and Valerieeeeeee
Happy Birth-day toooo yoooooooooooou (and if I recall correctly, Phillip hits the last note low, I hit it high, and John hits it purposefully off key, the Cook family choral group:)).

Happy Birthday:)

Love,

Your big sis'.

Spontaneity

I was bored, hubby was at SPR, I was tired of cross-stitching so I created this:

It's just a square of afghan, crocheted in the standard baby-blanket pattern (I don't know what the official name for the pattern, it might just be baby-blanket :P) I found it on The Handmade Dress. All the instructions were explained with photographs (yay! crutches for us visual learners :)).

I had the sudden urge to learn it but didn't think I had any yarn :( But then I remembered that my old roommate gave me a leftover skin of teal yarn about a year or more ago that I stuffed into the bottom of my sewing box. I figured I'd never use it because teal is about my least favorite yarn color. But voila! I had yarn. When I pulled it out I discovered I also had leftover yarn from my de-stressor afghan project from my Cluster Quarter (whew, glad that's over.), which is the green/brown yarn.

I think I'm going to be one of those crafty women. You know, the ones who always have half finished quilts and sewing all over the place :D Well, okay, not all over the place because that would drive me crazy, but one of those women who have always got a project going.

Okay, back to dishes xp

Friday, May 16, 2008

Lonely

I miss my husband. He's gone for the weekend on some Survival trip that's not supposed to kill him *rolls eyes, right, and his wife's not supposed to worry *sigh. Men have no concept of women at all. He's my very best friend and I'd worry even if he was going on a roller-coaster with full safety marks. He was in the worst mood I've ever seen him in this morning and admitted to being rather nervous. Well, duh, I'd be nervous, too.

It didn't hit me until mid-afternoon (he left at 1) that I'd be alone tonight. No one to cook for, no one to play games with and laugh with over the dumb stuff. It was very saddening. I thought about finding someone to hang out with but decided that loneliness might teach me something now that it doesn't completely depress me. We'll see how many pages of story and thought I crank out this weekend...

Blogs of Note

There's a new blog of note! I have been given permission to post my husbands blog so go check it out :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Because of her...

I was pursuing articles online and found this. I don't follow tennis, I have no idea who this woman is. But after reading the article, these words struck me:

"She never lost her composure and held the microphone firmly.
But her coach, Carlos Rodriguez, broke down in tears.
"Because of her," Rodriguez said, 'I am somebody.'"

We do not live life only for ourselves. Our success is not only our success. Our failure is not only our failure. We do nothing on our own.

Just a thought.

Camping!


The boy and I just rolled in from our first ever camping trip together :D It was a lot of fun. We randomly bought a tent last Saturday (well, not randomly, we're camping this summer and they happened to be a pretty decent price) and were just dying to try it out (okay, okay, I was dying to try it out Dustin just humored me).

We set out about six with a tent, six blankets, two pillows, enough chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers to make four S'mores, our P.J.s, a jug of water and his survival kit. Oh, and a roll of toilet paper, you never know. And other than wishing we had brought a couple more snacks, we did alright. Who says you need all that fancy stuff?

We most of our time starting a fire... and warding off the caterpillars who seemed to think the fire was a good place to crawl to. Everything was still wet but we had better luck than last week. I believe our fire died out twice before we got it going and even then 'going' was a very watched and tended 'going'. Dustin has mastered strike anywhere matches :D so I can rest easy about his upcoming trip. It amuses me that my absolutely briliant and creative husband, who has no trouble diagnosing and fixing computer, learning how to fix our car and just about any other mechanical thing, could struggle so much with a teeny-tiny strike anywhere match. But in the end, we had our S'mores, could warm ourselves by the fire, and laugh at how even after all those years of schooling, we still have trouble lighting a fire.

We're really happy we had those six blankets, two on the bottom and four on the top and we were toasty but one less either way and we would have gotten pretty chilly. I'm so glad we keep emergency blankets in the car. But it was really nice to be snuggled in a mountain of wool, down, and sleeping bag. I think I'm going to start leaving the curtains open at night, it was wonderful to wake up with the sun, it didn't feel too early at all. We ended up heading back about 7:40, when we had originally planned on waking up, just because we were up and ready to go.

I like camping, I hope we go again soon.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Speaking of Tomb Stones

My dad emailed this to me this morning. It's my grandparents tombstone (obviously:P) and oddly enough, it made me smile. Now, this might be a normal, run-of-the-mill tombstone, I have no idea, but it suits my grandparents perfectly.

You'd have to be totally unaware of Christianity and its symbols not to figure out that they were Christian, their tombstone, like their house, is covered in it. I love the crosses in stain glass on the sides with the ivy branches covering them, You are the Vine, we are the branches. Their names and dates, my grandfathers not yet completed, are both written in the Book of Life, something I know my grandparents don't have to wonder about.

What made me smile the most was the heart pierced by a cross in the center. My grandfather is a carpenter and he has made his children and grandchildren chairs, and I'm sure a half the people he knows, shelves, cradles, puzzles, you name it, if it's wood, he's made it, on the back or bottom of each and every one in black sharpie marker is the year it was made and and a heart pierced by a cross. I'd call it a family coat of arms but it isn't. Grandpa taught my brother, Phillip how to make pool ball holder once. He wouldn't let Phillip use the heart pierced by the cross, he said that Phillip needed to make his own mark, something that showed what he was. I'm pleased to say that Phillips is an Icthus next to a cross, and I don't think he picked a Christian symbol just because of my grandfather, that is truly Phillip.

And at the bottom, 'Parents of Wesley, Wilson, Walter, Warren.' No question, they poured themselves in to my father and uncles. No one could even begin to assert that they weren't completely devoted to their family, both their children and each other.

Yes, in the assessment of their granddaughter, this tombstone is a perfect representation of my grandparents and I am proud of them and proud to be their grandchild.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Starting Over

I just threw out my journal with a large chunk of started stories. I decided it was time. Some of those stories are six years old, some of them are only six months old, but it was time. I've spent so long jotting down bits and pieces that there was really no hope of going back through them all and resurrecting long dead plots and characters. I finally admitted that they were all false starts and what I really needed was to let them die and move on. I've almost thrown it out several times but never did because of that nagging feeling of 'maybe one day'.

It reminds me of the day we helped clean up Paul's basement after it flooded. I have a dim memory of him standing in his garage looking around as we brought in one soaked and ruined possession after another. I felt sorry for him because the water damage was pretty substantial. I forget exactly what he said but it was something to the extent of, "it's amazing all the things we keep and store because we think we need them but really, when they're ruined, we find out we don't. I keep looking at this stuff and being amazed that nothing really important was ruined."

So I've voluntarily thrown out my half stories. They're not important, I just keep them and move them around with me because I think I need them, they make me feel like I'm productive even though they don't really prove that.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Fire in the Rain

Dustin and I were out buying some chocolate and he got the sudden craving for S'mores. So we brought them home and were planning on toasting them over the stove when I suggested that we go to the local park and make a camp fire. Now, for those of you who don't know, it's been raining the past few days, not good for a camp fire, which my husband kindly pointed out. Also for those of you who don't know, Dustin is in a Wilderness Survival class this quarter and has spent the last few weeks creating a survival kit. This would be perfect, I replied, to test out all those petroleum covered cotton balls in survival conditions. He agreed. We spent probably half an hour to an hour tromping out in the woods trying to find the driest stuff we could as the rain sprinkled down. The good news is, the cotton balls do indeed burn for a really long time, the bad news is, my husband can't light strike-anywhere matches or start a fire in the rain.

We'll go practicing again sometime :P

The microwave is good for making S'mores.

Moving

People keep asking me if I'm ready to move and if I'll miss this place when I'm gone. Yes and, probably, no. I keep telling people that I've moved all my life and I suppose a friend of mine said it best when he responded, "So you're used to missing places." Yeah, I'm used to missing places. Some times I feel like Mary Poppins when the little boy asks her if she loves them and she responded, "And what would happen to me, may I ask, if I loved every child I cared for?"

Other people cry when they move, I might a little, some are emotionally distraught, not me. Every move brings a new town, new people, new plants and new reasons for why people get up in the morning. It's not that I don't like the people I've shared life with for the last four years, it's not that I won't wish for them to be with me in the future. Four years is about how long I've lived in any place and moving has rung all the emotion it can out of me, I simply accept it. Besides, all the people I'm leaving this time are Christian. It's much harder for me to leave non-Christian friends because I truly don't know if I'll ever see them again. My Christian friends I know will share life with me again so I don't worry.

I feel sorry sometimes because I know I come off as callus and not caring. But that's not true. If I really didn't care I would lie and tell them that I would miss it here, that I was afraid of moving to a new place, that I didn't think I could ever be as happy somewhere else (which would be an obvious lie to the people who were privy to my college experience). But how can I lie to the people I love? I've moved, I know none of that's true.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

New Apartment

We signed for our new apartment on Tuesday. It was really exciting, I think it triggered the realization that we're actually moving in five weeks. We drove up and got there by 3 PM. Sarah, our new apartment manager, showed us the apartment we'll actually be living in. The floor plan was flipped from the two bedroom she showed us before, which threw me off a bit, and the girls who live there now had all their blinds closed so it was rather dark (I thrive in sunlight) but I was pleased. Dustin was, too, but he's not too picky :P We meandered around the grounds for a while and were really pleased with them. They have a stream running along one side of the grounds with lots of plants and ducks. We saw three male mallard ducks, one female duck, and lots of little baby ducks :) So adorable. They also have a 3 1/2 foot deep pool that looks really nice. It should be up and running by the time we move in.

When we returned home, I drew a to size diagram of our floor plan and made to size cut outs of our furniture so I could start arranging the furniture :X It was so much fun! My original plan didn't work out but it's a lot easier to change your furniture layout when they're made of construction paper, not the real thing. It is a testament to my husband that he didn't even roll his eyes.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Story Time

I've had my story floating around in my head for a while now, mostly from the perspective of one of my most... cynical characters who is also a control freak, it's more amusing that way. The problem is, well, one of them anyway, that I don't want to write the entire story from her point of view, it's rather undynamic, if that's a word. I know who I want to use but I'm having trouble transferring the point of view without loosing the sauciness that I so love to read and write and making the whole thing terribly dull and historical. I've been doing what ever the equivalent to doodling is in writing lately, I expect it'll pay of in, oh, say, six years. :X :P

The hardest part of writing, I believe, is not so much getting your thoughts on paper but getting them on paper in such a way that makes the people who read them enter into your thoughts and, subsequently, care. These are my characters in my own world (well, sorta, you could argue that every piece of high fantasy is nothing but highly extrapolated plagiarism, dungeons, dragons, castles, ladies in distress... you get it). Their emotions run as high as my own but how can I make others feel that? How to help them smell the grass of the battle field, how to feel the cold of the mountains, how to see the crystal clear water or feel the sweet soft breeze. How to make each nuance impeccably clear. I suppose it isn't truly possible, not through a medium, but still I try.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Skirt

I took in a skirt today.

My husband took me shopping last weekend and he found this skirt on clearance. It was a beautiful skirt: dark brown; nice, swirly embroidery with flowers; lined, good quality. Great skirt, size 12. I'm between a 2 and 4 usually so, naturally, I wrote it off and continued looking. Then he asked if I could take it in (curse learning to sew and a super supportive husband). I did not want to take it in. I had no good reason, I just didn't want to. But I flipped it inside out and took a look at how the seams came together and decided that, yes, I could take it in, that it would be the most complicated thing I've done to date, and there was no way I knew of to take it in and have it look like it hadn't been taken in. But it was only $7, he said, so it wouldn't matter if I messed it up totally. I still didn't want to do it but he was trying very hard to be helpful. I bought it.

So this morning I started looking at it again and pulled out the first seam to get a better look at what needed to be done so it would look reasonably well done. I was right, in my experience, it was really complicated. I tried my very best to be objective about it all, my perfectionist nature would have loved to make a basket case out of me. I made decisions and stuck to them. I pinned the seams and checked them all at least twice before I sewed them in. I finished it all in one sitting (so to speak since I had to keep getting up to make sure the skirt would actually fit when I was done) and my husband tolerated my very focused, please don't speak to me attitude, for which I am very grateful. It turned out well. All my mistakes are on the inside and fairly undetectable on the outside. I'm not entirely pleased with how the waistband turned out but I have no idea how to make it any better without pulling the whole skirt apart, which I am not willing to do, so I am content.

The first picture is a front view of the finished skirt, the second picture is a side view of the side that I took in.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Outfit #4


So, remember that I got to talking with my lil sis and ended up making our Easter dresses? Well, this one is mine.

For those who care it's Simplicity 6557, with a modesty panel. Any time you ask your husband if you can wear a dress and he replies "in our bedroom" odds are it's too low or too high :P Which is pretty easy to fix. It zips in the back, is fully lined and really comfortable to wear. I am wearing a shirt under it (that would be the sleeves) but it's just as good sleeveless, just a little cooler. The weather's actually decent now so there are no extra layers underneath. The belt is just a standard chain belt and the shoes are sturdy slip-ons.

I'm really pleased with this dress.

Belt - Cato's
Shoes - Goody's
Dress Pattern - Walmart

Sunday, March 30, 2008

New Blog of Note

You may have noticed the short list of blogs in the right hand column of this blog. I am pleased to announce that I have found another.

The Hand Made Dress is a blog written by a mother of three and avid sewer (as in she sews, not she's underground). She posts about family and sewing and is soon opening up an online store for sewing stuffs, not to mention all her nifty sewing and crocheting tips. I find her refreshing after all the mainstream commercial clothing producers. So check her out!

P.S. Her kids are so cute :)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I had a good dream last night. In the middle of a bad dream, but I had a good dream none the less. In the midst of basketball teams mourning their murdered team mates and some guy who was stocking me rather overtly but I couldn't find my husband and unfinished business with high-school friends, there was a little bit of... I don't know... resolution.

It was a dream within a dream, because I was in a library in the first dream and I fell asleep while working on my homework. It was linear, which means that I was paying attention to one thing as it unfolded and I was completely unaware of any other story or plot in my other dreams while in this dream. I could hear and sense the memory of music and incense when I first woke up and, and I'm glad I remembered then because I only remember the memory of remembering now. It was sweet and clear. Unlike anything else. There was also only one person other than myself in the dream but I never saw her, I could only hear her voice and see what she wrote, although I still have the vague sense that her actual body was there, I just am not able to remember it. Besides, I was much more captured by what she was writing than what she looked like. She wrote a story, all of which I can't remember, and especially not exactly what she wrote, but it's a story I know well.

My salvation.

She started at the beginning, before the beginning, with the parts we don't know. While reading aloud as she wrote, or did she sing, or was it the same thing. She wrote it all in short understandable sentences. Everything. The what, the why, the how. Every step, every reason. From Adam to Noah to Abraham to Jacob and Issac. To David and, in the end, to Jesus. But she wasn't writing the human side. She was writing God's side. For a brief moment in my whole life, the entire reason for everything there is and everything there will be was written before me in black ink that seeped into the parchment.

But the part that made me remember, the part that made me actually get up to write it down, was the part that I carried with me back into my other dreams, the part she wrote at the end. In regards to my salvation: AFFIRMED. COMPLETED. RESOLVED. SEALED. IT IS FINISHED.

It was not until I woke up that I realized what she had written and in what form it was written in. She wrote it as a law case brief, of which I have had to read quite a few this quarter. They consist of the transgression, the defendant and plaintiffs arguments, the law, the explanation of how the law applies, and a simple statement, usually no more than a word, as to the decision of the court. Usually: affirmed or remanded (if the judgment is overturned from a low court decision). Affirmed. She actually continued writing synonymous words until I awoke from that dream back into my first dream in the library. Affirmed, from the highest court, no chance of remanding. It is finished.

Back in my first dream I looked at a friend and asked her if she ever wished she could read a book in a dream because it might say something other than just the words it shows while we're awake. She gave me a very Kati-ish 'you're out of your mind' look. Which I suppose was appropriate given what I had just said.

But then I realized that everything that had been written, every last word, was written on my forehead. It was written over the top of it's self so the only thing you could read at first glance was the verdict, how the whole verdict fit onto my forehead at the same time baffles me because she wrote a lot, but it did. For anyone with eyes to see. Which apparently wasn't anyone except some guy whom I assume was a demon in human disguise, but that's another story.

This is my story. And I am affirmed.

It is finished.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sick

I'm sick again. Woke up this morning with my right arm completely asleep, my lower back refusing to move because it was so sore, and a dizzy head every time I tried to move. Bleh, I'm feeling better now but I'm still dizzy and my lower back still hurts. I skipped my Econ class today (which isn't actually abnormal, but at least today I had a good excuse other than: I can cover everything he does from the book).

And I realized, I have the ability to stop. If I were working, or had children, or any number of situations, I couldn't just stop and stay home because I didn't feel well. I'm very grateful for that.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Count Down

Okay, I've finished one of my two papers and one of my two presentations. Two down, two to go... plus four exams, but those are timed so I don't have to worry about them until that time. Yes, I'm one of those. It's worked well.

Why am I telling you this? So I feel productive. That's it. Plus I need to stay on track, so really that wasn't it. I made the mistake of talking about Easter dress with my little sister and am now committed to sewing both of us dresses. This is not a bad thing, in fact, I'm thrilled, but remember that separation of the mind in the last post, yeah. I've already made a mock up of her dress and pulled out an old pattern for mine (said pattern is currently laying all over our living room floor). These were both bad ideas. I am now seeing the world in seams and zippers. I've caught myself analyzing how other peoples' clothing is sewn together in class. Ahhh.... I just need to concentrate for four more days and then I will permit myself to actually purchase the fabric.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Snow

Yup, it's snowing again. It's pretty, it really is. I wanted sun :( Oh, well.

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, it's getting close to finals week and school work has been piling up (oh, the gift of being a procrastinator). I can hardly believe I'll be officially done with school in, count 'em, two weeks! Sigh, 15 2/3 years and it's almost over. Yay! I'm getting my life back.

My story has strayed across my mind a few times in the last week which is a good sign. It means I'm disconnecting from school mode and re-opening my other mode (it doesn't have a name yet but it's the mode of stories, drawing, personal reading, sewing, etc. You know, fun stuff). I try really hard to keep my other mode shut down when I'm at work or school because I have this small problem of letting it take over and not getting any work done which leads to mass panic in the end. Not good. My brain is like a really old computer, there's only so much RAM.