Saturday, July 31, 2010

long time, no see.

Hey there, peoples.
It's quite interesting, I have to say, to go so long without blogging. To go without easy access to my laptop..... I guess Mr. Will hooked it up to something, and the hard drive is perfectly fine. (praise. the. Lord.) But he needs the money before he can order the LCD screen.
So....there's wonderful hope. ;)
Go check out The Blog Giveaway!
Today has been a lazy Saturday. Started out quite weird, overcast and all, but heard some exciting news from a friend. :)
For me? Coffee, reading, cleaning the kitchen.....
Oh, and a thermos of chai, just now. We have the a/c on.
Well, just saying hi. There's not much to say without my own pictures, darnit. Last night was the dinner Steph and I made. Turned out quite well, if we do say so ourselves. And the chocolate-pecan tart? My gosh. So glad there's the second pie pan of it. ;)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

my first . . . blog giveaway.

Well, this is indeed my 200th post.
And it won't have any of my own pictures in it.
Y'know, I've got tons of them, but my laptop is in at the fixer's.

I did not intend to run into the subject on PhotoBucket where things are being blow apart and blasted and caught with high-speed cameras....
Really, it reminds me of the laptop dropping out of my hands, crashing to the kitchen floor. Dangit.
Not a nice memory.
Poor LCD screen.... *tear-tear...sniff*
Anyhow, this is the time to be talking about the blog giveaway! And I'd much rather be here:
Because that looks
It looks lovely.
And far away from here and problems likewise. :)
Here's how this giveaway will roll: you comment, I write your names down, and pick a name out of a bowl. Or something.
Now, to add a bit of interestingness to this giveaway thingy . . . 
When you comment, please share in brief (or in novel-form) the first time you experienced God, the start of your journey with Him . . . 
Or, if you haven't begun that journey or don't want to, please share.
Whatever you write, I'd [really, truly, sincerely] love to hear about it. I really would. Because really, I don't have it all together, and I think it would be positively fascinating to read about where you are in this life journey. :) The commenting for this post will be closed in a couple weeks. Since we're going on a trip in the 2nd week of August with Sarah and Justin and little Eliyah, I've gotta figure out if I want to send the giveaway off before or after then............what with life being how it is, it'll err on the side of after. ;)
Hope you're doing/feeling better than these two vintagey-ancient cars. Um. Trucks. Whatever you'd like to name 'em.
I can't wait to see what happens in the next couple weeks on here....methinks that should be enough time for quite a few of you lovely people to get around to coming by.
No, it's not going to roses to be won.........heh heh. Think: something with coffee. ;)
Hope you have a lovely Thursday!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

in a tunnel. where's the light???

Today was the Mom's Bible study.
Last night and just 1/2 an hour ago was painting.
It's hot outside. I vacuumed this morning. There was coffee brewed.
The kids are swimming off and on today. A lot.
This cutie. He totally has doe eyes, doesn't he?
He does.
His little feet were too scrumptious to pass up the camera.
You know?
What was funny, the way I was holding him on my hip, he snuck his big toe into my pocket and the rest were out. I can't help it, I snickered.
Funny, handsome little boy.
Hahaha, just tall enough to get out. ;)
We've been doing something different lately.
When our family and Heather & Steph get together with some of their siblings, we take turns with one sibling from one side and one sibling from the other side and those two cooks dinner.
Caleb and Ryan have done it. It was breakfast food for dinner. Omelets and bacon and I can't remember what else. For dinner. It was good.
Rachel and Michaela had their turn. Meatloaf, potatoes stuffed with sour cream, cheese, basil. A bit more I can't remember anymore.
Now. . . . .it's my turn with Steph.
We've been cooking for longer than the above couples, but that also means that people have certain opinions of us and kitchens together.
Anna and Heather have commanded that we have to cook things we have never cooked before.

So I was looking through my two Jamie Oliver cookbooks....
And this stuff looks good. Doesn't it? Spinach. Tagliatelle. Mascarpone and parmesan.
It sounds good to me.
But making it for around 12 people?
I looked through both.
And after Anna kept saying: "that would be nice for 2 people. But you have to remember you're making it for a whole lot more people" -- and: "that's a side dish" --right when I thought I'd hit something good for the main dish.
I got frustrated.
I started suggesting dishes with stuff like squid or something equally strange to the small-town midwest.

And I think I've decided. To punish them, I'll make that Lamb's Lettuce and Lychee Salad with Lucky Squid and Chilli Jam.
Sounds like a good choice. See above photo.

So I put away my books....
And then I saw a tiny bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
Well, not the end of the tunnel....but I saw this:
Anna had been looking through a new library book and opened it to this page.
Aha. A suggestion.
Looks doable.....
Today we got the new Bible studies form Amazon......It's a study on the book of John.
We're doing it with Heath and Steph, once again. We're so excited for it being New Testament, since the Old Testament is really good, but there's just something about the New.
So. With a picture of books I'm working on, I'm leaving you to research for a main and side dish.
Love Mercy, Lisa Samson
Chocolate Epiphany, library book
Beloved Disciple, the new study
A Heart Like His, the old and well-worn-&-loved study:)

Oh, the joys of life.
And cooking.
And being stretched. And venturing out. For a huge crowd. LOL
I'll get back to y'all on the food we'll decide on making.
Oh, and the paintings. The distressed one, and the new muse. ;) 
And......this is my 199th post. Wow. :) Tomorrow I'll announce what I'm giving away! Pretty exciting.

Monday, July 26, 2010

i had a plan for this thing.

I truly did.
I mean, what better way to start painting again after a month and do something new??
Today: co-op. Whole bean. Dark roast. Coffee!!!
Okay. I'm not that hyper about it. Exclamation marks don't make me look good.
Oh, the little things we're thankful for...
Okay, so back to the thing I had a plan for.
Anna had just taken Lyd and Danny down to the park to play. Randomly.
It was earlier this afternoon.
I had just finished doing Day 3 of the last week/5 days of the David study. 
And I wanted to paint.
I had a vague picture in my head of a mountain and trees and sky and a wispy cloud around the top of said mountain. And somewhere on the canvas, it would say the quote that I found in Moon Over Tokyo.
You cannot value what you do not understand.
And while I was doing the study, I kept writing random things down about this quote from Siri's book. And yelling my revelations to Anna, where she was in her room.
Seriously. That quote.
I had pictured that phrase somewhere on the canvas. So I set to work....
Yeah. Basic colors. 
See? Doesn't it look like I have a plan?
I mean....had a plan.
See? It's a mountain.
Isn't it??
And then I added the it a forest.
Then Anna, Lyd, and Danny came back.
They watched me. Stared at the canvas, what there was.
"Is that a roof?"
Sigh. No. It's a mountain.
"It needs more . . . texture. More . . . peaks, like a real mountain." 
Well, let's see you paint a mountain and make it look realistic! Let's see you try to execute your own advise!!
I kept cleaning the brush I had finished using. I had to wait for the paint to dry until I could put that cloud around the top of the mountain. Er...roof.
Lyd, does that look like a roof?
She leaned over. Peered at it for a second. "Nope, it looks like a mountain to me!" 
I gave Anna a look. See, even Lyd can see what you can't. Of course, I wouldn't expect an adult to get it as quick as this sharp-minded little girl....
A long talk ensued. Including me, turning away and looking out the window while she tried being nicely honest about it.
It looked like a roof. Maybe add more lighter greys? The grass looked funny. I told her it was trees. Lyd piped up, "Yeah, Anna, it's trees! Even I can tell that!" 
But of course, who takes an almost-10yo serious when she's had REM dreams of being one of the Na'vi the past few nights? A child who carries around bows and arrows she's made herself, and jumps off the not-too-high parts at the park, posing like an agile warrior with blue skin.
Who says her imagination is grounded enough to say that the trees and "mountain" look normal enough to hang on anyone's darn wall?
This was the last anyone saw of that painting. Er...half-painting.
It wasn't finished.
And that thing couldn't even count as a cartoon mountain. 
I took my damp rag to it, rubbing still-wet paint off in frustration.
Anna and Lyd just watched me. "No, don't do that!"
Well. I did. And now we could just forget that my plan had failed. My first plan at painting for probably a month.
Royal fail. 
Just . . . . maddening fail. Complete suckage.

I can't paint a blinkin' mountain.
"Maybe not, but you can play guitar. You can knit and make baby hats. You can paint coffee cups. You can find beautiful dresses and wear them.
You can . . . "
So we had a whole lovely shrink chat. Anna's much better than a psychologist. Really. ;) You know, like getting to the bottom of the issue. But it was one-sided because I was turned toward the window and crying a couple pitying, frustrated tears. I ran words over in my head, but didn't say most of them.
The basics of the issue was I had planned for the first time in a long time....and I failed.  
It wasn't anyone's honest opinions. Whether it looked beautiful or ugly or just plain old what I didn't set out to paint.
So this is what it turned out as.
Methinks it looks like something distressed. 
And my thought is to paint a quote over than mess of leftovers.
It didn't quite help that Anna and Lyd loved the finished wrecked thing better that the painting.
Just the concept, y'know.
What a lovely thing.
To achieve. To wreck. To make better.
So now we know another thing that Beka sucks at doing
Painting mountains.
Oh, and grass --er, trees next to said mountains.

Let's just say the whole painting time today didn't end too bittersweet. 
I found a new muse.
Thanks to Anna.
Her suggestion turned out quite promising.
Thank God for sisters. :)
And yes, I can't wait to show y'all how it turned out--the one God and Anna inspired. 

p.s. I just realized how this post is an allegory.
Oh, the plans and hopes we can come up with. Then, something in life, or someone comes along and mangles it. . . . but that's where God comes in. He turns things around for good . . . for those who love Him. 
I can't wait to see how the distressed canvas turns out. I have no ideas at the moment for its future.
It'll surprise me. Just like God does. Just like life........ 
Plus, you can already see that the end of it will be much better, more beautiful, more meaningful than it started out as, in my head, and in the middle processes of painting what it has become. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

finished with "moon over tokyo."

I liked that book.

Not as much as Chateau of Echoes (ha, it didn't have half as much food/cooking stuff as CoE), . . . but it was good.

And it's a wonderful Sunday afternoon. Ha, I'm your weather report today. It's much cooler than the past week and weekend was. Thank goodness.
In fact, I just stepped outside to take out a bag of tons of papers from this weekend. It was amazing. Shocking.
Totally weird.
There was practically no humidity in the air.
Well, what I mean to say is, it's at normal levels today.
Which is always nice. And I'm sooo thankful for that.

Well, I'm getting off now....going to make myself some green tea or something. Anna is watching Spooks on's the newest season, not going to be released in the U.S. for quite a while. She loves it. I really like it. When I'm not reading an interesting book. I mean, hey. I can watch stuff later, yes? Books, from the library (at the moment) cannot wait. Especially if I'm hooked. :)
Today was interesting.
I woke up. And took killers. After a good bowl of fresh, hot oatmeal doused in milk and Sugar In The Raw. (killers: a.k.a., my nickname for painkillers.) What a wonderful day to be a woman. I envied all the older women, little girls, and moms who are currently constantly nursing or currently pregnant. What the heck. Oh, to go without it for longer than a month......
Today I sang solo at church for a special music. The Valley Song, by Jars of Clay.
It went well....I just kept asking Him to help me sing it for Him, not for anything or anyone can be a bit nerve-wracking, once in a while, because heck, it's been a full year since the last time I did a solo.
I love that song, though.
So....I'll save you the trouble of finding the lyrics so ya know what it says.

You have led me to the sadness
i have carried this pain
on a back bruised, nearly broken
i'm crying out to You

i will sing of Your mercy
that leads me through valleys of sorrow
to rivers of joy

when death, like a gypsy
comes to steal what i love
i will still look to the heavens
i will still seek your face
but i fear You aren't listening
because there are no words
just the stillness
and the hunger
for a faith that assures

i will sing of Your mercy
that leads me through valleys of sorrow
to rivers of joy

alleluia, alleluia
alleluia, alleluia

while we wait for rescue
with our eyes tightly shut
face to the ground using our hands
to cover the fatal cut
though the pain is an ocean
tossing us around, around, around
You have calmed greater waters
higher mountains have come down

i will sing of Your mercy
that leads me through valleys of sorrow
to rivers of joy
i will sing of Your mercy
that leads me through valleys of sorrow
to rivers of joy

[The Valley Song; Jars of Clay]
I think I may have fallen in love with a mango.
It's gone. I completely finished it off. And I mean completely.
p.p.s.: Can't believe it's only 3 more posts, then the giveaway!! Wow. :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

sneak peek of sorts...and randomness.

Yes, I am guilty of maybe --maybe not-- eating 3 small cheesecakes for breakfast.
Too bad.
And here's a random sneak peek at one of the walls I hang paint on:
Behind me, quite obviously.
We stopped by the little coffee shop so Dad could get a milkless espresso-and-flavor thing he can add to, and I got an English toffee cappuccino. Needed coffee. Monday's coming. Plus, with the hour long drive and a/c, it was a good thing.
Ah. This morning I woke up from the most awful dream I've ever had in my life. So weird, considering I've not been reading/listening/seeing/hearing anything violent in the past few weeks. Talk about coming out of left field. So I got out of bed. Talked to God while trying to shove the thoughts and images out of my head.
Read a few Psalms out loud to myself in the quiet of the unawakened house, went back to bed and drifted to sleep after reading a chapter of a different book.
And I'm reading this now:
It's good. And the last book in the house by Siri.
Good thing there's still the newest ones she's written...just waiting for me to put a hold on them at the library.
Beautiful today, yes?
But this is a warm, humid summer.
After eating some really good food at the party we went to today, I couldn't stop myself. From snapping a picture, I mean. And Ben and Rach wanted into the picture, so there we are.
I ♥loved♥ that couch. And the rug there? Beautiful. All lavender and sage green and the softest gold, if I remember right.
Reminds me of all the times up north that I stared at those wing back chairs in the one store. ♥
I'm off to clean the kitchen. :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

once upon a time...there was a storm.

this post is going to be all in lower-case.
just to randomly warn you.

yesterday, rachel made sugar cookies.
they turned out quite good. i may have eaten around 5-10 in the duration of the whole day.
(haha, that was the mess in the kitchen that was....ahem.....special.)
last night was a very big, long storm.
a "persistent system" of thunderstorms. lots of lightning, flash floods in some parts around the county and farther, and lots of rain. um. obviously.
i stood at the back door, staring out the window with the curtain half pushed-back, watching the lightning far and near, hearing the thunder loud and nearly constant. i stood there just talking to God. watching nature act weird, emotional. i stood there just singing.
dad watched the news. freaky stuff was happening not an hour or two away. horrible flooding.
all i could do was thank God that our area has never had a history of that... i haven't seen a storm like that for a long time. if ever.
around 10 this morning, heather and steph stopped by and anna and i had coffee brewed at home with them. with maple-pecan scones and sour cream. mmmmm. so good. 
today. 11am.
this was the sky ^^ on our way to gram's last sister's funeral. the first patch of blue sky in around 24 hours.
i know that's nothing for the wait of a missing blue sky.

a quiet, short service.
then i walked around a bit with reese snuggled on my shoulder, looking at some really old headstones.
some really cool headstones.
though....if i had to think about it, and choose, i'd rather not have a huge tall stone thingy on top of my grave.
this was a reverend, his name sounded german, and we was born in...what....1864? died in 1907 if i remember correctly.
that thing was huge.
ever-changing. beautiful. humid, though.
cutie. he was so tired. so ready for a nap. :)
see his smile? such a cutie.
12:30pm ^^ amazing.
sammi wanted to take a picture of me.
then i took one of her. she was singing a song about taking pictures. while watching herself in the mirror.
she wanted to take a picture of reese. so i let her. i was even helping her hold the camera steady; but she moves the camera at the last second.
oh, and here's an interesting picture --from yesterday:
they were making bees-wax candle holders. rachel lit a tea light candle in one, and it. was. beautiful. again, my thought was, oh, what a pretty, simple, low-cost centerpiece that would make on tables at a wedding!
like really.
(shakes head)
they also inlaid some dried and pressed flowers and leaves, which is what makes them pretty and elegant. well other than the lovely amber glow it gives when there's light inside.
that is all for today.
danny's . . . being special. needs a nap, that's for sure. :)