Saturday, February 27, 2010

a wedding, and tons of pictures.

Goodness gracious.
A total of 653 pictures.
Between Mom, Anna, Rachel and I. Three cameras. 1pm-5pm. Wow.
This is just a wee little taste of it. :) Just them.
Lovely. :)
The outside ones were so fun, though so cold for her, darnit.
I feel sorry for winter brides...Spring pictures would be so much fun to take at a wedding. :) Just a few wistful thoughts.

That's all for today. Tired.
In need of food.
And a book.
And a mug of tea. (ya, i already had coffee. hahaha... finished off the starbucks that pj gave me...mmmm. :))
And sleep, as Anna so kindly reminds me, looking over my shoulder. ;)
Mmmmm, I read Joshua chapter 2 this morning, go read it. It's good. The whole Rahab and the two spies.... go read it. :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

rehearsal interestingness, and a lovely link. :)

I know I have the button for this blog on my sidebar, but really. Check it out. Achingly beautiful poetry . . .
Here's a random thingy of me and my current book in reading-process . . .oh, and Anna dear. :)
And that, is tea. Yes. Green tea. Yum. :)
Click on it for a larger version.

Ah. I'm at a wedding rehearsal at church.
Tomorrow's the big day, and Anna and I are doing a song --When I Say I Do, by Matthew West-- and since Anna's babysitting, I had to do it solo today. Just got done with it, and my hands are all shaky, even though there are only about 16 people here including us regulars: me, Ben, Pastor and his wife.
Golly. (sorry, i'm quite repetitive today)
It was good, but I'm just not as used to playing in front of everyone alone, with just my voice and my electric-acoustic . . . and not to mention, since I'm sometimes quite notorious for being a last-minute type of person, I worked up the song in the past week and a half or so . . . :]

I am so brewing that caramel-latte-flavored coffee that Justin and Sarah (and wee little eliyah) gave me a couple weeks ago for my birthday. :) I deserve a bit of caffeine and mmm-good flavor after all this. ;) just kidding.
Well. I think I should be going now. It looks like they're going to go through it all again . . . we'll see if they want me to go throug it again, also . . . it's fun, just a little jittery sometimes. :)

Falling slowly, eyes that know me

And I can't go back
Moods that take me and erase me
And I'm painted black
You have suffered enough
And warred with yourself
It's time that you won
[Glen Hansard; Falling Slowly]

Thursday, February 25, 2010

pudding. oh, yum.

Let's start ya'll off with a recipe. I apologize for the late hour. ;) Can I help it if inspiration hits at such a time???
The Best Chocolate Pudding (not. kidding.) :)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 c sugar (I use less, because I use semi-sweet chocolate chips, but that’s just me—I don’t like it overly sweet. Make a prototype:))
1/8 tsp salt
3 cups milk
6oz semi-sweet chocolate chips, or dark chocolate if you want that dark-chocolate-kick. ;)
1 tsp vanilla

Whisk together the cornstarch, sugar and salt in a large bowl, then add the milk, whisking a lot still, till it’s wonderfully combined.

I use a stainless steel bowl, a big one, and put that over –it fits nicely—a large pot filled half ways or less with water, depending on the fit of the two. With the stovetop on high, so the water boils, the mixture in the large bowl will heat slowly, and when it gets warm, whisk it every once in a while . . . then, when it gets hotter, mix it more often, clearing the sides of the thickening liquidy-pudding.
When it’s gotten thick –it will only get so thick; it’ll thicken more when it cools, so put the bowl on the counter when the mixture coats the back of a spoon nicely. Mix in your chocolate and vanilla

I add a few tablespoons of extra-fine ground coffee. At night, I use decaf, but if it’s in the daytime that I make this (which is rarely, let me tell you), I’d use regular. Whatever I have on hand, y’know. ;)

Tonight, I made it with the bottom 9-cups-worth of the 5-gal thing Dad brings home (in the winter) with cream in it. Heh heh.
We didn’t have much milk at all left from the gallon he brought home this morning, and Dad didn’t want to go out and buy ‘that crap’ –milk from the store, as Mom suggested. Ha, I guess you could say we’re a weird brand of milk snobs. (Sarah, I know you don’t like our's just not your...type. LOL. But hey; to each his own. Whatever. ;))
So, it turned out extra creamy (we use whole milk anyways, not pasteurized, etc, it’s wonderfully good, ha ha) and coat-the-tongue amazing, 1000-calorie-mocha-pudding, as Anna so kindly put it as she scraped out the bowl with a rubber spatula. Haha.

So, next week I’ll let you know how much weight we’ve gained. (just kidding)
It was soooo good, but it probably won’t happen again, so don’t be worried for our health. ;)
Yesterday I didn’t get to read any of Operation Firebrand: Crusade, I was so disappointed. I read a little today, and yes, when I mentioned James last time, I read it around 12a.m.-ish, it was good . . . and off I go to bed again.
 Here’s a quote from a song in Once, an Irish film . . .

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you had a choice
You've made it now
Falling slowly sing your melody
I'll sing along
[Falling Slowly; Glen Hansard]

Once was beautiful, and the music was absolutely amazing, but to caution you, it had uite a bit of strong language (and i only saw 20 minutes worth of scenes), I guess it doesn’t mean half what it does here in the U.S. It's just kind of...flippant. Casual. Not venom-filled, passionate, or punctuated when used (like i've heard some people say it), but rather instead of saying D. Or S. And they say it sometimes very softly and other times, . . . like any other normal word in a human's vocabulary. :) Heh heh.

Yep, I’d suggest it mainly if you have that ClearPlay DVD player thing, or if you could get it edited. Unless language doesn’t bother you, or you don’t have kids, or you don’t care if it goes around in your head all day, OR unless you use those words anyways. Yippee.

Oh . . .
P.S. If you want to see some beautiful pictures of the making-of the chocolate pudding, go to this link . . . :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

wordless wednesday

Too bad for Bubby; he had to fill in for a sick farm helper, and therefore woke up wayyyyyy before the crack of dawn (3:30am, anyone? and he says to tell everyone that I'm standing on tiptoes...haha) . . . He's so tired. :) But I made him look alive. Somewhat.

Ah, Starbucks brewed . . . (thank you, PJ!) 
And the mug, I loooove. ;) (thanks, heath and steph!)

There. It so was not a wordless wednesday.
But you're okay with that, right? And besides, I had to explain why Ben looked so . . . haggard. ;) Anyways, g'day!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

some people just don't know how to restrain themselves...hey, i'm not talking about me! ;)

Yay, I'm celebrating 15 Followers with the thought of a hot mug of green-peach tea. ;)
And, I randomly found Joy Williams and her new, funky little addition to her musical journey of life...sheesh, that was a long, wordy sentence for this late at night.
The Civil Wars.
Once again, I have practically nothing to say, except for the fact that Mom, Anna and I had a wonderfee time at Target and stop-in at Caribou . . . I got a medium of the daily brew, drizzled in a wee bit of half-and-half, and tore open a cute little brown packet of Sugar In The Raw. Mmmmm. :)
This is me and one of those darn good books responsible for keeping me up late at night...into the morning. #1: Operation: Firebrand.  
So good. :)
This is, of course, the sky on our way home from Target. :) Where we had a good time, and Anna went temporarily crazy...we dropped a bit of moula (not literally; we bought a few things) . . . But do you see that sky? Yahweh is amazing.
Somehow, I've found I just can't restrain myself from taking pictures . . . and more pictures. :)
This, my friends, is Danny boy. He was . . . um, I believe working on his diaper. And maybe a bit sleepy. Who knows. We picked him up from his grandma's to watch him for a few hours. Before this picture was taken, though, he was grinning at me and stealing glances while pretending shyness:)
So, I believe this one speaks for itself. :) The road. Stretching out before us.
. . . And I think it's time for bed now.
Well, at least get in bed and pick up a book...
[Last: #3: Operation Firebrand: Deliverance.]
By Jefferson Scott, peoples. Check him out. Sorry I didn't have much of interest to say tonight . . . going off to read . . .  (excuse me while I go off in my brain to think--) James. Yes, in the Bible. And yes, it's the book that talks about how the tongue has a lot of power --to start fires and wound and curse and bless.

Monday, February 22, 2010

chocolate, prayer, lowes, and purpose. or lack of it.


For lack of a better thing to write about, here’s a quote from Faking Grace (by Tamara Leigh):

Jack: “Found out that the problem of teenage drugs and alcohol isn’t limited to those outside the faith, did you?”
Grace: “I knew it wasn’t. I’m not that na├»ve.” Well, not always. “It’s just sad.”
Jack: “Sad that Christianity isn’t an impenetrable shield? That even after we’ve accepted Jesus as our Saviour, we keep messing up? doing things we know we shouldn’t? things He has to wash away again and again?”
How depressing . . .
Jack: “Sorry, Grace, I didn’t mean to ruin your day. And what I sad shouldn’t ruin it, because there’s joy in knowing He loves each of us so much that He never stops washing no matter how big or dirty the piles of laundry.”

(by the way, that book is pretty good! i like it a lot, and hey, jack is british!! ;))

Today has seemed kind of . . . purposeless.
To Anna.
To me.
I even drank a cup of chocolate milk inbetween bites of pecans, and only realized what I was doing when I was halfway done. Mhmm. I wasn’t that deep in thought, either.
I could blame it on going to sleep after reading till 12am and then getting woken up at 8:30, but I know lots of people who get less sleep than that and still function normally. At least, as far as I’ve seen. ;)
I could blame it on Lowes, and the partial insanity it inflicted on me (haha, i am just joking, i had a pretty good time there), being there right away so early in the day, and what with all my dreams floating around in my head. As in, I can’t wait to do ‘interior designing’ in my house someday…yeah, yeah, I know money doesn’t grow on trees, but I’m still looking forward to it, because it’s something I have great interest in and enjoy. And oh, wait! The fact that my dreams of ‘the house’ include a man (someday) aren’t helped by the lack of suitors lining up outside the back door . . . (haha, I always tell Anna that, in her funky moments of questioning random things; like, seriously, Anna, you/I’m not getting married tomorrow. or next month. do you see suitors lined up outside? lol) But really, I don’t mind right now, and heck, I shouldn’t. Should I? Nope. ‘Cause heck, I’m still quite young, and don’t you dare laugh, Heather. ;)

Anyways, that thing above, about the piles of laundry? This day feels like it’s one of those…not that I’ve been sinning up the yin-yang, but shouldn’t laziness and purposelessness be a sin? It’s loving no one, it’s not benefiting anyone, much less God, anyone else, or even us.

Hmm. Did I mention that I had a square of espresso-dark-chocolate after that chocolate milk and pecans? Um, no. I didn't think so. Now, go pick your eyeballs up off the floor, over there, you know, where they rolled to after they dropped out a few moments ago. (hopefully, they didn't.)

Just a few thoughts.
But as I said, about this all being part of those piles of laundry…I’m just glad that tomorrow will be new, because He makes each day new, His mercies toward us are new every day. And goodness, don’t ya know we need it.

I had an urge to bundle up in random clothes –just enough to keep me warm—and go out to walk, randomly, and just pray. But I bided my time writing in my journal for the first time since yesterday and only two pages at that, and then I undid the braid that was falling out weirdly, and suddenly, as I was finishing off a mug of Bigelow green-peach tea, the sun was completely down and my chances are a whole lot less . . . and soon Dad will be coming home, and depending on if he wants to make Reuben sandwiches tonight, I’m going to be in the kitchen (maybe) making those with him . . .

See my excuses? Heck, if I wasn’t so consumed sharing my oddball day with you all, I could and would and should’ve been out there praying . . . shouldn’t I have? I think so, but that's just me.

Well, a thought peeks around the corner: . . . there’s always tomorrow.
Yeah, yeah; that’s what I’ve been telling myself, ending up at night without having even touched my Bible. There’s always tomorrow. I have got a problem. And I’m going to solve it. (well, with His help. See? I admit I need it.) with a few choices nicely carried through, those little ones where you decides to do this or that or that other thing, and I’ll have myself some hopefully sincere time of devotedness.

Devoted is an interesting word. Not many people are devoted to the right things. Including me. Heck, I’m devoted to reading, writing, coffee, tea, and living with and helping my family and Grammy darling. But where the heck is the part that says I’m devoted to loving, devoted to reaching out (to those who need help, hope, etc), reaching up (to Him, for His hand) . . . ?

Well, I’m devoted (subconsciously, at least; I tell you! ;)) to learning to love, in these sometimes horrible moments, day in, day out.

Sometimes, that phrase ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ just comes alive. Oh yeah. But then you think of that Love chapter in 1 Corinthians, and if He can Love us so constantly, and Jesus told us to love God, our friends, and our enemies, haha, then why the heck can’t I work on stomping down those impulses of The Mean Sister, etc¸ and asking God to help me…? My pride, selfishness and everything else is so not a good excuse. (sighs after long rant against self, finds self in need of another mug of dark chocolate milk . . . just kidding!!!)

But I really need to be off now. And I’m so glad I’ve finally taken a small step in the right direction for something—I’m charging the batteries for my camera so I can take pictures. It’s been dead for a week or so, darnit.

Hmm. See there? you could totally take it to metaphorical levels: I need to charge my batteries, so I can take pictures (again).

Really, peoples, how much brains/imagining/thoughts does it take to lead you down one or several of those metaphorical paths??? I’m kind of sometimes maybe a bit too symbolic/metaphorical…

But ya’ll have a good night. On to purposeful things. ;)

P.S. I finished Operation: Firebrand Saturday night around 12:30am....heh heh. On to Operation Firebrand: Crusade. About 70 pages into it. Soooo good. Actually made me cry last night, and not just a few little leakers. This one's about slavery, etc.
Just in case none of you have caught on yet, I'm really liking Jefferson Scott's writing...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

paintings, and help. we need it badly. :) admit it!!!

Can you say 'cute'?

And then this one:

I follow FarmGirl's blog, so I saw her link off for her Etsy shop and took a look. Too bad I'm not looking to spend $50. :) They're beautiful!

Is that not adorable? Inspiring? Just..... I love it. :)
Love the tight-rope looking one. :)

And with two mugs of Bolivian Blend from Trader Joe's in me, along with a bowl of healthy broccoli-potato-turmeric curry, and a kitchen mostly cleaned, I'm hopping off for now.
(as if this blog thing were a train...?) 

The book Operation: Firebrand is 3/4 done, and it's really good. Two more in the series after it, thank goodness. I hate when it's a book you like alot and then it's . . . suddenly . . . over.

Just to be wonderfully random:

For I, the Lord your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, "Fear not,
I am the one who helps you."
Isaiah 41:13

He helps me. Helps me love, helps me . . .
Great. The word help is now starting to look very, very odd. Has that ever happened to you? Keep typing a word, and soon you think you're going insane because the word is losing its meaning and look of normalcy. Ay yi yi.
But anyways, yeah. We're helpless without help. Of any sort, really, in any situation, in any hard place.
You can take that and run with it, or else you can pretend you just want to sit and think of nothing but the next site you're going to hop on.
But we all need to admit we need help, and not be such stubborn fools, pushing our way through scenes in our life that won't come again.

I really need to go clean that kitchen, and listen to The Almost.

We can't get or ask for help from just anyone, either. Have you noticed that?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

kiss cake and randomness.

We didn't make kiss cake.
Awwww, darn. :)
But we made apple pie. And the childrens are watching Up! . . . They really need to turn it off. Right now.
Call me weird, but both times they watched it (night and then the next day), I cried for the first half an hour. Both times. Call me emotional, but there was absolutely no reason for me to be so, trust me. 
Praise be--it's turned off, now, and a different one put in. :) I'm happy.
Not in the mood to cry, to see or hear that movie. Urgh...

Well, back to that apple pie...
We make ours in a pan. Not a pie plate thingy. A pan. I don't know the exact inches, but it's bigger than a 9x13 and we do it with a crust on the bottom and a crust on top. Dad very much dislikes crumble top, don't ask me why. :) I just like how with crust, we sprinkle brown sugar and little shavings of butter over top and then pop it into the oven to bake and get beautiful. ;) Oh, I didn't mention that our apple pie is deep. Lots of apples. Which means, of course, that it takes like 2 hours to bake...but it's always worth it. To be cliche, the best things in life are always worth it. The wait. The pushing through. The waiting more and more, longer and longer.
I'm off to read more of operation: Firebrand. It's pretty interesting. :)

Sorry this post was slightly boring, but let me make it funny and talk about kiss cake, for those of you who don't know what on God's wonderful green Earth it is. :)
Kiss cake, is a very lovely thing.
It is extra pieces of crust. You place it on a cookie sheet, and generously brown sugar it. :) Then, little nicks of butter scattered at random. Ah, it gets good.
Then, if you're not averse to cinnamon, sprinkle that on a wee bit.
Stick the thing in the oven and let it get hot, bubbly, crispy. :) Golden brown is what you're aiming for...
Then, you take it out of the oven, and eat that while you wait for your pie to finish up. Ahhhhh. . . . . surely God thought it was a brilliant idea when he inspired the first kiss-cake-maker. He probably whispered in that person's ear. Yep. Make of the best ideas ever. I am so not kidding here.

Oh, I just remembered. I need to make a wee bit of an honorable mention of the chicken alfredo pasta we (anna and i) got to take part of, quite randomly, next door this evening. :) Oh, it was good. Too bad Sammi's such a slow eater. I mean, really. ;) But my goodness, it was. So. Good. Well, if you were worried about calories, (like Anna hinted to me on our way to our own back door afterwards) you would be tortured when faced with a bowl of that stuff.  
(thank you, ken!! and skylar, your hair is lovely. your welcome. i like it alot, no matter how much you were freaking out as i snipped off those fried, horrible ends. hehehe. all those dead ends are gone, and eventually, if you take up some more foods rich in protein, it will grow out faster and better/healthier, hopefully, than last time it was short, but horribly done so! lol ;))

Good night, all. I'm off to read.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

one of my favorite authors: karen hancock

Her last book was The Enclave, but what made me fall in love with her books and writing was Arena. :) Sci-fi, maybe, but she hooked me.
I don't visit her site, because I'm too busy with life computer stuff and blogging...and Facebook. But here's her site if you want to know more about her...

. . .  .Sorry, a picture of Karen is next to impossible for me to find right now, urgh . . . So, my dears, you'll have to settle for the cover of #1 in the LotGK series. (big smile)
Her Legend of the Guardian King series is amazing. Anna, Dad and I have read them, all 4 lovely books... Wow. Yeah, they're really, really, really good. :) Allegory going on, there's suspense, romance, mystery, action, some freaky parts that had me biting my nails...but then, for those of you who know me, that's not abnormal. :) Oh well. It's that kind of mixed-wonderfully book series. :)

Dad, looking over my shoulder, said "What, you're reading about my books? The Abramm books? Did ya tell them they need to make them into movies?" Obviously he didn't see the Blogger icon or really know what it means... :) But, to say it again, they would make positively lovely films. But I say, if someone butchers them, I'm going to find out where they live... ;)

Read them. :) Pretty darn sure you won't regret it.

wordless wednesday: sunrise through a window.

Click on it for a larger view... here's one with words...just messing around with it... 

Here's one SOOC (straight out of camera):
This was Sunday morning...

Love it. :)

Anyways, this is not to be a completely wordless wednesday. Haha.
Last night we got Love Finds A Home from the library, and watched it...and besides a few tacky feminist scenes, it was pretty decent. (laughs)
A friend from church lent us a couple series of books, Operation: Firebrand by Jefferson Scott, which I'm reading... And the other series, by Jake Theone, which Ben is reading first. There are several parts to the first book, but last night I read Part 1: Death of a Navy SEAL... It's good. The book, I mean. I think there's like 5 parts to it... Don't know. :) I'll find out, though.
Very interesting. It reminds me of the days a few years ago when I read through most of Dee Henderson's books...FBI, forensics, negotiators and firefighters... Fascinating, really. :)

Anna made carbonara for lunch, and I read from Matthew 7 amidst Danny screaming for his matchbox truck and Rachel, Lyd and Ben trying to keep him happy. Ahem. I just wanted a piece of tape. (just kidding, but really. they all just love antagonizing each other! and today was one of those days!)
Well. Have a lovely Wednesday. Hopefully not wordless. ;)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

friends...lovely times...books, and introspectiveness. or lack of it.

Last night I wrote some stuff, but never got around to posting it, so here’s that . . . but beware, I wasn’t that inspired yesterday, what with being sleep-deprived (not that I’m better today, but I am) and talked out, and screamed out. (wink to anna, heather, steph, and my dear brothers scaring us) :

Frankly, I can’t wait till Wordless Wednesday, just because I caught some sweet shots from an upper-level window on Sunday morning.
But then of course, on the other hand, I really can wait for Wednesday, because I don’t wish the weeks away… it’s going by scarily too fast as it is.

Yesterday we had a fund-raising lunch and silent auction at church, and Sarah and Justin were the head of it. it was pretty amusing, because we ran out of spaghetti pretty quick and so Justin was in the kitchen cooking more up for a while there. We all had a lovely time sharing Eliyah, holding her while all the stuff went on. She's getting so darn big, oh-so-cute. Sarah was in need of a reconstituting cup of water after it was all over --and, being the nice little sister I am to her, I won't mention (she teased me that i was going to blog about her and this funny little thing, so i'm not disappointing!! ;)) that she was so out of it she was searching for her purse when it was slung over her shoulder, tucked under her arm. Haven't we all done that at least once in our lifetime? About something ....? ;) Hehe.

We’re loving the new Tobymac album, though. Hey Devil is my favorite . . . especially since it’s a very dancy type of number. It’s just a good song altogether. The others are good, too; very good, in fact. But sadly, it’s becoming very run-down; Rachel is playing it nonstop, and it’s starting to really bug me. Urgh. I hate it when that happens.

Well, this partly-vegetarian lasagna that Anna made Saturday night is really, really good –even more so when you’re very hungry. ;) The rest of us told her we weren’t interested in vegetarian-noodleless-lasagna, so she deviated. (hehehehe; evil laughing of an omnivore-carnivore) Beef made its way into the pan, along with the deliciously roasted slices of zucchini and eggplant with asiago and parmesan cheese. Not to mention she put a layer or two of lasagna noodles in there. In the end, it turned out fabulous. Yummy. Oh-so-good. Mmmmmm. Oh, don’t forget ricotta cheese and spinach.

We had a lovely time with Heather and Stephanie, took them home today (they were dropped off at our house yesterday afternoon) after walking to the coffee shop uptown (one of the daily-brews? mmm:)) and taking pictures in this lovely cold weather, then going home for a bite to eat, after which I changed into my red plaid pajama pants and a more comfortable long sleeved shirt. We were just going to drop them off, and go home after a stop-in at a hobby store. Great.
. . . But of course, as we listened to alittle bit of Tobymac, Manafest, Children 18:3, and Carrie Underwood when they got tired of the harder music, ;) things were talked about and stuff was brought up, and soon we were heading to the bookstore-coffee place to show them where it was. We went in. It was pretty funny, because I’ve never been so dressed-down for going out before. Of course, it wasn’t supposed to be going out, but what’s a bookstore/coffee place run by an older lady? Eh, not bad. Cute place. The girls were teasing me about being in lounge pants when usually I’m . . . not wearing lounge pants out-of-doors far away from home. Haha. It was good, though. Sorry, but the picture of us four is not uploading worth a pound of sand. Darn. So, um, that'll come sometime... ?? Ha, I'll just have a friend post. What a great idea!!! Pictures and everything..... (laughs)
I’m rambling. And not enjoying it. I need to go knit that hat for the new baby some friends just had, and finish reading that Perfecting Kate book…
I’ve been having thoughts on what we act like, say, and do (subconsciously) to impress people and/or so they have a better view of us than what we really are, after being in a quiet place and realizing how _________ we are.
I need to journal. How do I know? Well, I almost went on a 10-mile long rant on how I haven’t read my Bible the past few days and hardly at all this past week, and the fact that I haven’t had any time, as I told Brookie, to be introspective. Not in a strange or new-agey way, but to get quiet and find out what’s been going on inside, what God’s been trying to say . . .
And I have not made time to do that.
I would love to call myself introspective.
But lately, heck no.
Even though I’ve been really liking these books I’ve been reading, I can’t wait till I’m done with this last one. I’ll be back to my normal list of reading that I’ve had for the past month or so:
Hinds’ Feet on High Places, my Bible, and C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity, which I just added because a friend gave it to me after hearing I was looking to buy a copy, snag it off Amazon or ebay. ;) (thank you, PJ!)
. . . Well. I do have a to-do list for tonight, and another thing—go to bed early. As in, in the p.m. Heh heh.
Good night.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010 6:09pm

I have finished the somewhat fluffy books I was reading…. Well, actually…they weren’t fluffy, but they weren’t the meatiest stuff I have or could’ve read. I know that’s defending myself, but…I’m not posting to explain myself away.
I’m just glad I can now focus (I know, I know; that’s my choice, entirely my fault if i'm lacking in that hugely important area, dangit) on reading Hinds’ Feet on High Places, which I was just copying a few quotes out of a moment ago.

 The green valley where all her friends and she had lived was far away behind her. even the mountains were out of sight, and there seemed to be nothing in the whole wide world but the endless sandy desert on one side and the endless sea moaning drearily on the other. [page 80, Hinds' Feet on High Places; Hannah Hurnard]

. . . It sums up right now in an eloquent way. Earlier, on errands with Mom and visiting friends, Anna and I were discussing what we want to do . . . and we have some praying to do. And listening. And waiting. Because really, when you ask for God to help you be more patient, what should come up but a situation to help you –and then you get to choose, sometimes quite painfully, to go through it, hold out on letting your tongue get you in trouble, (ugh that is sooooo hard). . . . .

So. We need to choose. I don’t care if you disagree, because I know I’m right. And heck, we all know (well, I mean, my family and I know) that I suck most of the time, am mediocre some of it, and brilliant a very small amount of that last unnamed portion of ‘sometimes.’ Brilliant, as in, choosing the right thing, being kind instead of biting someone’s head off, going when called instead of worsening the situation by making them call for me a hundred and one times. It’s all these little occasions of irritating –you or them, both ways—that can and will strengthen your character. Gosh, I sound as if I’m a . . . self help person or something. I’m not. And I’m just getting a hold of the idea of all this . . . even though, say, I’ve had Ephesians 4:32 memorized since I was a little kid picking fights and being picked on by siblings and making tiffs happen on the spot and trying to get my own way, etc.

Just want you to know and see that having scripture memorized doesn’t make you that…but it reminds you of what to aspire to, what the standard is, and eventually it’ll make some amount of sense to you.
....Going off to make a mug of green tea --or maybe just get a huge glass of water. :) I'm not addicted, folks. No need for worrying about me. (laughs)
Wellllll. Have a good night. :) See ya later.

Friday, February 12, 2010

a lovely walk. pictures. soup report.

There we are, heading down the sunny, snowy sidewalk. :)
Before that, I visited Anna (where she was nannying sammi and reese) and I got the privilege (haha) of feeding Reese pureed beans (ewwww!)  and Cheerios. He's so cute. Love his eyes.
Then, look at that sun. Wow. God is awesome. I'm having an outdoor wedding. (actually, that wasn't planned; that was quite random, i assure you.) Lyd and I just oohed and ahhed over how it was captured. The sun. I mean, it obviously doesn't take a 5million-dollar Canon to get a picture of beauty. I love it.

Then, there's us after the library. :)
Sister dates. We love 'em.
A small Irish Cream cappuccino, and a raspberry-jam-filled almond scone. It's amazing. God was sooo brilliant when He inspired that scone in the inventor's head. (heh heh)
Lyd was sucking the whipped cream off the top after we took off the cover.
[yeah, it was a no-make-up day. dontcha all just love those?? who the heck cares what ya look like when you go to thhe library and local coffee shop? i mean, as long as there's not been a history of cute guys coming in . . . just kidding. there really hasn't, darn it. what freedom! --that was me, and that sentence? also known as sarcasm. ;) ahem.]

Okay. Well. It was a beautiful day, as you all can see.

And there's us, on the way home. All bundled up. :) I normally wear a hat, but really? The sun was on the job today, which was lovely.

See that sky?
Ah, wow.

What just happened:
Anna: What are you doing, Caleb?
Caleb: Nothing much. :) He stands at the stove, a ladle in hand and a cup in the other. A little sneaky much?
I look up, and he looks at me. Grins. A very flattering grin. As in, flattering to me, because followed with these words, what else is it?
It's good, Beka!
As in, don't stop me, I'm a hungry boy, and for once I'll say your cooking is good without following it with constructive criticism!
Ha. I guess this soup is kinda addicting, or so says Anna to Dad on the cell right now.

Can't wait, Sunday Heather and Stephanie are coming for a sleepover, and tomorrow I'm making --I think-- a lemon cheesecake...
Have a good night, ya'll!

good days. productive, i say. ;)

I made broccoli soup. It's been a good day. ;) Quite productive, if I do say so myself.
Woke up earlier than I have the past few days (must be that going to sleep before 12:30am instead of after...heh heh) and at 12 noon it felt like 3 in the afternoon.
I cleaned the kitchen; all the counters are nicely scrubbed of anything, really... even the electric stove, which last week I didn't get to until Saturday. Then I proceeded to eat a white chocolate Lindt truffle from PJ. ;) So good. Then I journalled, then I started the broccoli soup. Broccoli is a fun word to spell. Type. Whatever.
Then I got an intense craving. I have these on the no-coffee days, and I've already had 2-3 mugs of green tea... I wanted chai.
And I had my chai. :) It was so good, and as long as you don't go into the psychological parallels of going for something second-best while you're waiting for the day you get what you really want, it was a really good mug of chai.
So I made a couple thingies for today. Just real fast, and it encapsulates what I snapped inbetween doing everything, even with garlicky fingertips. Heh heh.
Okay. That there is onions, and yes I chop straight on the laminate counter. Supposedly sometime we're getting new ones, after Bub refinishes the cabinets. Yay! Although I hate the thought of something accidentally flying out of the cupboard (like it has happened in the past) and just shattering right there, I guess it'll be nice to have new countertops.

That thing that I'm holding with a sweet smile? That is the Lindt truffle. :) And what's that in my hand? Garlic. :) I have daddy's hands, and nevermind, there's the garlic being minced. And thrown in with the onions to sautee. And suddenly, there's the broccoli, all ready to be steamed.

Ah, celery. :) When it's cooked right and placed in soups, etc., it's so good. Oh, and also maybe with either peanut butter or cream cheese... yummy.
Nevermind. I haven't had either of those things for a long time, just so ya know. But I have been having a problem with eating bread heels smothered in chunky peanut butter and Nutella. Ahe-he-hem. ;]
Oh-kay. Then, there's the celery and onions and garlic chilling, up in the right corner. Well, not chilling. They're getting hot. Just wait for my next sentence about them. ;)
Ahhhh, there's my chai tea! Love it. Then, the broccoli, steaming away. Lovely. And then, the celery-onions-garlic are really getting boiling mad or something. :) The point is, they're cooking. And that's good, because I hate it when they're raw.

Yesterday, was a good day, it really was. I took a ton of pictures, and me and Lyd went to the library together, it was a gorgeous day out to take a walk. So I will post those pictures soon . . . ? :) The sky was brilliant, I tell you. Brilliant.
My broccoli soup is done, also in it, a couple packages of this: 
Ah, cheese. Yay. Makes me excited.
(just kidding. i did not just go off the deep end, as Anna sits here with her Bible and tells Caleb randomly, 'today is a good day to die!' to quote Robin Hood's Little John.)
Well, I think I must go now.... those awesome pictures from yesterday's walk will be coming soon............. but for now, have a lovely evening. :)
It's my dish day, and heck, I like it way better than vacuuming. This, is standing in one spot most of the time, not running around picking up household and family stuff, moving things so I can . . . vacuum. It might now sound logical, but hey. Did I say I was very logical??? ;) Actually, I am sometimes.
What's your favorite household duty/chore??? :D
Laundry, vacuuming, kitchen, dishes, . . . . .?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

when . . . why. where?

This, I wrote in November 2009:

When will You change things?
When will I understand?
Why do people treat others the way they do?
The way I do?
Where will You lead us next; a valley or a mountain?
You’ll be there next to us no matter what, won’t You?

You can tell I'm talking to God, right? Because I am. I was.
It was all going through my head one random Wednesday night, and I scrawled it in my notebook. I found it a few months later, and found it almost poetical. Not sure if that's a word, but it describes this piece of writing...

Sorry for all the sky pictures, I have a fascination with them. Especially if the sun is showing off with angles and everything. :) Thank God for cameras... I don't have to keep this only in memory. I can access it pretty much anytime...

random day. nothing new.

Hmmm. It's a beautiful day. But this picture, I took in April of 2009. Beautiful. Really. That's the view standing outside on the land behind church.

Today is...
Random, nothing really planned.
I just had a thought: I need to work on that cast list someday....
Tomorrow's tea. :)
Caleb came home from the farm with Dad, and I don't know about today, but yesterday a new guy started helping. (at the farm, with Dad, for milkings and stuff) "Beka, I need some coffee. Can you please brew some coffee?"
So I did, but mainly because it is a coffee day. :) And I enjoy those when I have them. Um...
I'm not sure how correct this is, but it sounds pretty on-spot to me...

So look at that. Tell me there aren't some pros to drinking coffee?! ;)
I'm a pretty moderate drinker, I'll assure you all right now. I really am. I mean, I might talk about it quite a bit, but really? I'm moderate. Very.
But that article thingy was interesting, wasn't it???
I need to go now, though... got things to do, places to go, people to see.
Actually, I'm just not that inspired, and so . . . sorry. :)
I'll write sometime, later. Ya'll have a nice day.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

books. reading. i love them. :) oh, and pictures. hahaha


Okay. Believe it or not, this is my personal least-favorite. I was fiddling around in my little program, and had a bit of fun. :)

I just love the natural light from the window sill. Three angled windows, though you can't see them. They're lovely.

That, my dear, is me. Nevermind that.
Then, that is the lovely copy of Mere Christianity that I got in the mail from my dear friend, Phelisha. :)
That book is sitting atop my favorite composition notebook (journal) to date. :) I decorate my journals. Yes. With a bit of potent permanent marker, by the end of my art session I'm scribbling strange-looking doodles and desperately in need of fresh air.
I'm just kidding.
It doesn't take that long for me to draw/write, etc if I'm inspired. :) Which, this one of course, was inspired. Wow. I love it. And the color of that notebook? couldn't beat it. The best for my favorite colored markers to show up on.

Talk about my favorite collage of these pictures. :) Yup.
These were randomly shot in the kitchen, on a countertop. Heh heh.
Ben, fortunately, is going to undertake the lovely job of refinishing our cabinets in the kitchen, pretty soon. I'm told I'll be helping him sometimes. With sanding. Oh, my favorite job. Yay.
(ah-hehe-hem. not really!!!)
But one can't complain. Especially in the case that I think the finish they've had since they were created . . . . um, quite a while back, is kind of yellowing.
But then, I'm not expert. :)

Today was a tea day. Tomorrow, the world.
Um. I mean... coffee. :)
It's this little schedule-type thing I'm on to assure mi parentals that I'm not addicted to coffee, and therefore can have days that are just tea and water. :) Yep. Cleanse my body. What a wonderful thing.
And it is, isn't it?

But, as I told PJ (Phelisha) the other day, two mugs a day really isn't that much coffee. Especially if you cut it down like I have: 2 days coffee, 1 day no coffee.
The first no-coffee day, I felt like I was on a fast. Have you ever fasted? Urgh, it can be soooo frustrating sometimes. Anna and I did 3 days, at the beginning of this year. Only drinking water and tea.
Ahem . . . I cheated slightly, getting energy and who knows what else by keeping with my everyday tradition of putting honey in my tea. ;)
But yes. I'm getting used to obstaining. Or however you say and/or spell that word.
It makes you enjoy it more when you do have it.
Just like with anything in life, y'know???

Well. I'm off to read more of Faking Grace, by Tamara Leigh.
Pretty good book. It's about a lady faking Christianity to get a job. Very interesting. And yes, it's Christian.
As if you were wondering... :)

What's sad is that Tea With Hezbollah goes back this Saturday, and I'm only like 50 pages into it, and no one else has hardly set hands on it since we brought home from the library. Need to just buy a copy. :) Brilliant idea, right?
Because gosh, I wanted to read more about Ted and Carl going into the Middle East and asking a bunch of random and important people (true story, here) what they think of Jesus' greatest teaching: Love your enemies.

Fascinating. And can you believe I didn't just devote every spare minute to that book?
Bad me.
Well . . . ya'll have a good night. The family's finishing up The Biggest Loser for tonight, and Danny's here tonight and is in a heck of a tired/whiny mood. Needs to be put down. In his bed. To sleep. :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

focaccia bread (recipe and photos of process)

the Focaccia Bread (originally a recipe for challah bread)

4 cups warm water
3 TBSP yeast
1 TBSP sugar

Mix and cover, let it do its thing. Mine rises and bubbles. :) It's like... alive. hahahaha
It should only take 10-15 minutes, and by then it'll be a nice height.

Now, I make my bread in a Bosch, go Google a picture of it if you (unfortunately for you) have no idea what it looks like. It's such a wonderful little hefty multi-purpose thingamajig. :)

So... mix in:
5 eggs
1 cup oil (i use extra virgin olive oil)
1 TBSP salt
16-20 cups flour . . . i.e. 5 lbs

Mix, mix, mix until it looks like a good dough. Not too wet and sticky, and definitely keep away from making it too dry and floury.

Mix it all in mixer --add flour until edges of mixer come clean-- it will be different based on your flour. Go with the feel of the flour, not the recipe. (hey, i'm just quoting the original recipe here!)

Knead for 7 minutes in mixer (i never have ever listened to that part of the instructions. haha. oops.) then remove kneading paddle. Cover the bowl with a towel.

Let it rise.

(i usually let mine rise for about an hour. sometimes a bit more, but then it starts to overflow the bowl, so an hour does for me. it all depends on how warm it is in your house, letting the yeast do its business and expanding, blah-di-blah-di-blah...)

After it has doubled in size at least once...
Preheat the oven to 400.

Scrub your counter, and oil it up with whatever kind you want to use. Again, here I use extra virgin olive oil. Then, dump it out onto your lovely counter, and knead a little with your hands.

Roll it out on your counter, a nice, long, stretched-out rectangle. Then, on one half of it, sprinkle (or, like me, mound it on) on some cheese; I have used parmesan, asiago, romano, cheddar. Any kind will do, except for maybe those weird, expensive French kinds. (hahaha, i'm just picking on them for no reason)
Then, on that same side, perhaps some olives, Italian sausage, mushrooms...
or anything that you put on your pizza in the first place. Heck, you're invited to put some sliced and diced onions in there. I've never done it, never will because I . . . just don't like onions all that much.

:) In the summer, I like some fresh rosemary and/or oregano.

So, now that it's all decorated, fold the naked side over it, and stretch where you need to so you can pinch the edges closed.

Then, pick it up (be brave!) and place it on a greased cookie sheet, or in a greased pan, a size that'll fit your flat bread nicely.

Slide that pan/cookie sheet into the oven, and, starting on one of the lower racks so the bottom gets some good crisping time, and putting it up on a middle rack after a while. . .

Bake until it's golden.

Take it out, and warm up some pasta sauce if you don't want it cold, and, haha, if you most-of-the-time buy pasta sauce and aren't sooooo brilliant as to make it like maybe some people on this planet do. ;)

So, our family eats it cut in wedges or some shape easy to handle, and dip it in the sauce. :) Makes for a lovely evening, such a filling dinner.

Have a good night, people. Hope you enjoy trying this thing out! It always works for me, so ya'll need to report back here. ;)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

an off-coffee day... slow but okay.

Hm. Today has been a pretty good day. Shared a peanut-butter-and-nutella open-face sandwich with Danny, cleaned the kitchen again and again, trying to make it look decent. I succeeded for the most part, but have yet to touch the electric stove top, which need to be taken care of.

Nothing that interesting has happened, sorry to say.

Oh, wait. :)
Yesterday I made focaccia (foh-kah-cha) bread, and took it to Grandpa's birthday party with the fam... We arrived before everyone else, which frankly never happens, so we were wondering if it was even the right night. (haha) But sure enough, after several of us were already sitting at the table taking part of some good pizza, focaccia bread, and salad with Grandma's ohmigoodness homemade croutons, they started coming in small droves. (see, my dad has 5 siblings, and therefore they bring their 2ish kids and friends with, and so therefore we have a nice-sized gathering at family gatherings like these, no matter how distant we know some or not.;))
I got several compliments on my bread while sitting next to the kitchen island, several times offering the info on said bread, smiling when Anna said "I should cook something for family gatherings--then I'd be famous too!" Oh right. You so have me laughing. ;)
Before us kids went down with a few cousins to play a good ol' game of Mau, I carried on a little mini-conversation with one of my uncle's . . . ahem . . . good guy-friends. :) God love him, he liked my henna and asked about it, after hovering near my left elbow for a while. Not exactly the straightest guys on the planet, my one uncle and his friends, but I've got some thoughts. Amongst them: black and white really does exist. Um. More on that later, and not just pointing at someone's more obvious crap... :) Should be a good post coming up soon.

After reading more of Stealing Adda last night, and keeping myself to a decent hour, I wrote and finished my current composition notebook. :) Excited, that I am. So, I finished it at exactly 12:30am, and then went to bed. Good little me.
Now I need to stock up on some good composition notebooks from . . . well, my favorite was from Target for .99 so I gotta go there soon, hope to find on like it. Several like it, in fact.

The focaccia bread recipe (and photos! i snapped them without flash all through the whole beautifully delicious process) is coming soon...
Tonight I have to practice more of Psalm 23, the song by Michael Olson (never heard of him until mom wanted to do this song) that we're singing tomorrow at church, and I think some of us are going to great-uncle Eugene's church to sample his chili and vote... :)

Have a good night, because I have to go . . . certain family member is getting a tad bit grumpy at how life just is.


You know what perks a person up, though, is a bowl of yogurt-granola-raspberries-and-pecans. Can you say wow? Oh yeah. But I need to go. Like now.

But oh, I could've gone for a cup of joe earlier. Like when I was ironing and listening to Hillsong's This Is Our God album, for a change. You know today is an off day, but that will make it all the more loved tomorrow. :)

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
(that is typed with coffee in mind, but take it as you will.)