Thursday, June 30, 2011

my first cold brew experience.

actually, this is my second.
the first was at downhill coffee, with that lovely 16oz iced english toffee latte with extra cold brew because i don't take my coffee drinks very sweet at all.
that's besides the point, though.

a little over a cup of grounds for a little over 8 cups water.
never, ever, in my wildest dreams --the good ones and nightmares alike-- will i ever imagine myself to be a math person.
so, that confession aside, let me tell you that i think we may end up with an extra strong version of this iced coffee concentrate.
by my calculations.

and i'm not too shabby at kitchen math. nonetheless, you get my point that i'm an art brain, not a mathematics brain. just putting that out there;)
cooking, baking, etcetera.
but this had me confused for a while.
because i tend to be a detail person, and it's all or nothing for me: therefore, i think and rethink and rethunk this problem over and finally decided to err on the stronger-coffee side of the equation.
good, yes??

it's 10:59pm on wednesday night, and i just pushed the glass pyrex 8-cup to the back of the counter for tomorrow. :)
perfect iced coffee, according to the pioneer woman.
i get to wake up, shower, start some coffee brewing, and put a chicken on the stove to boil --all before 8. tell me that doesn't sound like a good start to the day. ;) especially if i stay up late reading like i have been known to do . . .
what's the chicken for? chicken curry with naan. which i have never posted the recipe of before. i'm quite excited; this being my first time making it. anna's made it before, with me prepping the garlic and ginger and... well, there's not a whole lot of complications to the recipe, thank God.
more writing and pictures on this tomorrow.
12:30pm, thursday
personally, [unless it's a steaming hot day outside and i'm out of the house] i don't prefer my coffee with ice in it. just saying. but i like this brew; i can tell it's smoother and all that jazz. no real bite to it when i sipped it black before refrigerating. good stuff:)
Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.
[Zora Neale Hurston]

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

just a note to you all . . .

i would suggest you to stay away from grabbing cookie sheets full of delicious cinnamon chip scones. especially if you have a brain spazz and forget you just took it out of the 425 degree oven a moment before.
you might end up like me, then, and we couldn't have that.

i don't suggest it.
in fact, it rather makes typing kind of difficult.
my index finger got the worst of the burn. too much contact. poor little finger.
i put some pure lavender essential oil on the burns, and band-aids too just to i wouldn't touch anything with my raw nerves. youch. i have expected my finger prints to be gone at least on two of the three fingertips, but then again, my imagination kind of took that from the book i just finished last night --er, this morning-- at 3:30am.
i know. i'm not too proud of it.
i can't remember the last time i stayed up that late --by myself, reading a freaking book.

i'm really pondering this.
perfect iced coffee. by the pioneer woman.

i'm thinking of making it, actually.
we just got 2-4lb of whole bean dark roast in from co-op, therefore i should try it, shouldn't i??
i'm so making that today.

yesterday --i'm writing this right before midnight, tuesday june 28, but i'll put it into perspective for ya-- i got some inspiration while doing the current chapter in this book. ^^

therefore, i sketched with a pen in my canvas-quote notebook.
a sneak peek of one i did on june 14.

latest search words leading to my blog according to stats:
"jack gram", funeral association
"my hair chopped" --which, by the way, i can't wait for; mid-july sometime. :) nearly everyday i find myself saying "i can't wait to chop my hair"... heh:)    
creepy restraunts
kristen leigh shade trees
shauna niequist love quotes
this is the stuff of life!

in other news [and this i type at 1:52pm today], i'm reading this book: the truth teller. anna found it at a buy-books-cheap place a few weeks ago, and even though it was after 12 when i got in bed last night, i had a hankering for a bit of reading . . . so i got to the middle of it --which, by the way, is unheard of considering my normal speed of reading, and this book is thick and heavy-- because i skipped all the creepy doctor/genetic parts. only because it was after midnight and i didn't feel in the mood to go through whole chapters of that stuff. there's just this really sweet, caring friendship in there . . . you'd skip the medical parts like i did, if you read it.
but just a sidenote, i have read the entire book once before, all the way through. so that's why i don't feel bad about skipping through. ;) it's truly a fascinating read.

fyi, the lavender is working its magic. i recommend lavender for burns. i'm typing nearly normal now. bandaids came off after the shower. yippee. :)

oh, and something that made me laugh as i glanced through the paper this morning: like, um, how cute is that? sending a tweet, it made the news.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

. . . and tattoos.

it all started with this post:
tattoo girls: posted by a cup of jo.

seriously, i can't help but stare at some of these.
the poem on the shoulder? especially. makes me want to paint a random form and cursive beauty like it.
. . .
all of these i saw on this site: the tattoologist.
i love this.

and this one. gosh.
. . .
the world outline on her arm gets me.

a sculptor is a person who is interested in the shape of things, a poet in words, a musician by sounds.
[Henry Moore]

i'm off to finish chapter 7 in this bible study . . . and brewing coffee and making these scones because heath and maybe steph are coming over tonight. :)

here's an interesting thought:
according to james 4 (verse 10, specifically)
i am prejudiced toward those i am pre-judging.
and who am i to judge?? we all stand before the judgment seat of God.
tough nail to swallow.
when.....well, we could help build a nice house with those nails, aye??
a house of grace.

Monday, June 27, 2011

artistic endeavors: for pj.

back in may, early may, jen and pj came for a few days.
remember that?
one. two. three.

well, i painted a canvas for her birthday. an early present for pj.
she chose some lyrics from this song:
and i fashioned it after a canvas i've done before, here and here.

and this, while we were sharing the amusement that julian smith is to us.
remember our long wait for spring?
our long sighs over beautiful pale green buds.
and then it was here.
and then we've got freak weather.
this week, monday-friday was mid to late 60's for temps. it's never that cool in late june. never.
but nevermind that loveliness --my favorite weather, by chance-- it's supposed to get hot again. :P
friday's forecast: 90.
back to may, though, okay?
it was the perfect day --super chilly, but not freezing enough to keep a coat on in the sun. :)
*happy sigh*
there's jen, me, anna and heather, waiting for pj to come out of a dressing room. 
we went wedding dress shopping for pj . . . yep, my best friend is going to get married. october was the first date, but at present we see it's going to be postponed because of housing issues and the like.
but instead of a wedding dress picture (which i will be released to post someday in the future;) you get one of my brothers with them:) it's customary to get a picture of the brothers with our friends/sisters, although the height differences aren't that noticeable because caleb is sitting down.
that night we watched the young victoria and drank tea. and probably stayed up late talking about birth, because jen's pregnant with her first bebe:)
the end. :)

but dangit, i forgot to add the lyrics i painted on her canvas.
see, i never got around to taking a picture of the finished thing; we boxed it up so they could take it home . . . time went by too fast. 
so here it is:

I am with you
I will carry you through it all
I won't leave you I will catch you
When you feel like letting go
cause you’re not, you’re not alone
I'll be your hope when you feel like it’s over
And I will pick you up when your whole world shatters
And when you're finally in my arms
Look up and see love has a face.

[red; not alone] 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

the last few days. and moments.

thursday, june 23 ^^
full moments.
this time of day.
the sun glowing.
trees letting the sun run through them.
a post like this
How we met: When I became your neighbor :))
What I like: You have gotten me through so much. You stood by me when everyone in that town was against me. You will always be my sister.
What I dislike: I never see you. It's horrible
Fave memory of us: Where to begin? All those nights baking and laughing and writing. Prolly when I fell asleep in your lap after we made the mousse pie. Or painting my wall. I miss those nights.
on my wall because of one of those things that goes around on social networking sites. :)
brighter than sunshine playing.
a full sink of dishes to wash.
sunlight on the east part of our yard and garage to watch dissipate.
talks with dear, dear friends on the phone . . .
letting things out, talking them out, freaking out, relaxing in the genuine hold of real friendship.
all these gifts.
full moments in the middle of everything else.
they're what make life life.

let the rain fall, i don't care
i'm yours and suddenly you're mine
and it's brighter than the sun......

and maybe,'s a little less about what you're doing
but rather how you're doing it
and who you're doing it with.
this life.

pictures are wonderful.
who agrees?
wednesday, june 22 ^^

two birds on a wire,
one says good morning
the other says i'm tired.
friday, june 24 ^^
I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. 
This makes it hard to plan the day.
[E. B. White]

Saturday, June 25, 2011

clover and thoughts.

This week was full.
Sunday: bike ride to church for the first time.
Monday: cleaning the house, packing for a camping trip.
Tuesday: Gram’s funeral.
Wednesday till today when we came home: camping in our trailer.
And visiting with friends.
And going to a few services of a church conference.
Bike rides; long walks.
Had my first cup of cold brew coffee in the form of a 16oz English toffee iced latte with extra cold brew for less sweetness.
So today when we got home, Anna and I worked at the flea market for a while.
Then we came home for the first time in a while.
It was good.
And right now I wish tomorrow wasn’t Sunday. Because I want to sleep and sleep and not go anywhere and sleep and read some more.
But it is what it is. And I’ll be home and reading and napping before I know it. Time is like that.

I sliced mushrooms.
Anna mixed up this delicious pasta thang.
Creamy sauce. Cheese. Spinach. Pasta. Butter. Mushrooms. = Goodness. :)
As I was eating it; a second bowl after “real” dinner…she said “I wish Grammy could eat this. I know she’d like it. I wish she could’ve tried it; I know she would’ve eaten it.” The last 2 weeks she'd hardly eaten anything, but we still gave her as much liquids as we could. Before that, psh, she'd eat a few bowls of anything for a meal:)
Something tugs inside me. Like, I thought I was happy and fine and everything. Now this moment. “Why do you have to say that?” I let some of my feelings into the words so she knows I’m not deflecting it all.
“Because. She would’ve liked this.”
She smiles a little bit.
All I can say: there’s this sharp thing in there. Under my ribs. Stinging in my eyes.
Wrapping like an amazon vine around my heart and lungs, my throat, tugging everything close and snug till aching.

I guess . . . now I realize it with familiarity; it’s been a while since I’ve felt this acute type of it . . .
I miss her.

[i guess it's going to be a wave sort of thing.
how should i know?
though i've experienced people going away and the missing and sadness that comes with that, i've never had this permanent type of going away. and duh, i know it's not permanent. but it kind of is for now.
i've got dishes to catch up on a wee bit, and elenowen to listen to. and sleep to get. but maybe a book to finish first. hoping i fall asleep easy . . . ]
p.s. i cannot wait to share some of the pictures i took this last half of the week. :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

just saying....

i'm going to be busy the next few days. and it's good. :)
the next promised day i can blog (that i know of) is saturday. :)
random find:
the love shop.
cute place; lots of inspirational quotes.

i'm super excited for getting my hair chopped something like this in july sometime soon....
i want my hair short like right now.
but i'll just have to put up with it and bobby-pin the bangs back and braids and ponytails will be my friends until then.
dad, anna and i ran by the little town coffee shop in the middle of some errands, grocery shopping and a bag of this coffee being our main run.
it'll last us easily until monday, when the co-op truck comes and brings me two bags of 2lb each dark roast beans.
i shall not take it for granted; what with the prices spiking and lowering in alternate months. :P

i hope you all have a lovely wednesday and a great week....

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

peace. and balloons in the sky.

my wittle --er, well, not-so-little-- sister, rachel, took pictures throughout today.
gram's funeral.
it was rough for a while there.
rough being . . . me, breaking down as i stepped into the sanctuary to see relatives --close in relation but not relationship to us-- mourning by the casket in the front. the last time i saw her was thursday when she died. so, seeing her for the last time until someday? . . . hmm. hard.
my constants: kleenex. mints. lip balm. lots of hugs. lots.
something that's never happened to me before in the "you look like so-and-so" department; an older couple who had roller skated with grandpa jack (gram's husband who died way back when mom was 19) said they could see jack in me.
it almost made me cry.
someone who knew him?
seeing him in me?
it makes me want to study pictures of him, try to find a piece of me there.
heather came for the funeral, and stayed till everything was over, even the thank-you's we all wrote. heather and her good writing and gentle x's to mark a card already written back to. ;) memorable times, i say. thanks again, love!
if you're going to watch the slideshow down there, push play on this song and breathe it in. i'm doing so now, at 10:21pm.
for some odd reason, i never even touched my camera until we came home.

this one is mine.

and so is this one. obviously. it's gram's scarf. us girls wore some of her scarves today . . . picked out of the plethora in her closet.
i disagree with wearing all black to a funeral. we're living. and it just seems to out of place. today, for me, anyways.
i want to say thank you again to all of you who said or didn't say you were praying for us, thinking about us.
thank you.

and this slideshow?
all rachel. and her growing talent. love you rach!

did you catch the picture of danny waving to the balloons in the sky, far, far in the distance?
made me tear up, seeing young, young life waving farewell to a symbol of a long, full life that has moved beyond, to . . . Home.

Psalm 139Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
 O LORD, you have searched me and known me! 2You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
   you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
   and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
   behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
   and lay your hand upon me.
 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
   it is high; I cannot attain it.

  Where shall I go from your Spirit?
   Or where shall I flee from your presence?
 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
   and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
   and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me,
   and the light about me be night,"
 even the darkness is not dark to you;
   the night is bright as the day,
   for darkness is as light with you.

 For you formed my inward parts;
   you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works;
   my soul knows it very well.
 My frame was not hidden from you,when I was being made in secret,
   intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;in your book were written, every one of them,
   the days that were formed for me,
   when as yet there was none of them.

 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
   How vast is the sum of them!
 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
   I awake, and I am still with you.

 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
   O men of blood, depart from me!
They speak against you with malicious intent;
   your enemies take your name in vain!
 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD?
   And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
I hate them with complete hatred;
   I count them my enemies.

 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
   and lead me in the way everlasting!

Monday, June 20, 2011


the funeral is tomorrow at 11.
guessing by the amount of beans left in our last 2lb bag from co-op, we are probably half a pot's worth away from being out of coffee.
i had a brain spazz and thought of putting it out there that if people want to show us some love (well, me, actually) they can bring a bag any size of victor allens/berres brothers/starbucks/caribou/any local type of coffee tomorrow.
grammy would like it, i'm sure.
her eyes would sparkle and she'd laugh in that mischievous way that she passed down to me.
the above is all sort of a joke.
then again, not.
we'll go grocery shopping and dad will pick up some sort of french roast, which is what he tends to get if i don't put it in our order from co-op. [of course; the 2lb bag of dark roast hopped from a steady $15 to $25 one month, then 19 the other month....needless to say, we only bought it on the better value month, since caribou has 2lb for $20.]
i'm soaking up this song.
A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.
[Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.]

Sunday, June 19, 2011

what's new?

or should i say, what's old just for a moment here?
this has got to be one of my favorite "oldie" posts from the archives.
hmm. let's talk about something life-changing. something life-altering.

rain, kiss cake, and my sunday.
i love this post. and gram's smile in that picture.

. . . well, good; right around march last year, i finally got some sense in me for posting pictures....or should i say, posting them better than i had been.
whew. i thought it was going to be horrible editing for a whole lot longer than that.
see, this afternoon --starting at 3, and now currently it's 4:19-- i've been letting my ocd side take control.
i started the daunting task of starting at the oldest post . . . re-sizing the pictures. placing them better.
and, oh, taking out the three extra exclamation marks once in a while. ;)
what can i say? i'm grown up to be kind of particular.

and, in case you didn't see my link for this on facebook earlier . . .
i love the grammy moment in this post:
ahh, yes. morning. and tea in the afternoon. 

i'm in love with the beautiful sister moments like these, captured.
my cinema day.

another super-sweet day?
artistic endeavors: rachel's canvas.

and for the search words --leading to my blog-- this week:
"chopped my hair"   
from this valley the civil wars   
patch dress   
cinnamon chip scones buttermilk   
coffee hold times panera   
hillsong united camera concert   
love just to make you smile
shauna niequist pictures

. . . now, just so you know, searches can pull up even the most random posts with the key words found in the comments. :) like "chopped my hair". which...speaking of chopping hair...the jury's still out on that.
all this last week, i was nearly convinced i wanted to get a 'do like michelle williams' here:

but yesterday and today i've really been liking long hair.
maybe someday.
i don't know. i'm not usually this indecisive.

this was one of the cutest posts by chelsea ever.
this week.....
my favorite line?
"I can't believe we'll be celebrating 5 years of marriage this week. Yikes! I love that man."

today was a very good day.
i'll sum it up with this status i did around 2:30ish this afternoon [and the photos in the slide-show above]:

early breakfast of french toast and coffee...a great adventure of biking to church with the boys and rach for the first time (now they want to do it nearly every week. el oh el.) it was shorter than i expected. pretty fun. :) cold coffee and milk with Sanctuary while half the house naps. that'll come a bit later for me. hah. :)

this morning:)
p.s. another post that evokes very good memories and smiles for me:
someday, france: a sunday afternoon.
also, i noticed in my blogger stats that of all the pages at the top under the header, the peoples is practically the least visited. for your information, it's the list of people in my life daily. family, etc... so you know names to friends or relations. :) just putting that out there!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

strawberry rhubarb crumble.

i made this june 4 . . . after spending the late morning blowing bubbles with miss eliyah while her parents went on a fishing trip with the youth of our church and a few of my siblings. 
our rhubarb plants near the back of the garden have been growing nicely. they're pretty handy, i must say.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble
Yields 6 to 8 servings

For the topping:
1 1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons Demerara sugar (or turbinado sugar aka Sugar in the Raw)
Zest of one lemon
1/4 pound (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 quart strawberries plus a few extras, hulled, quartered
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons cornstarch (some commenters found the flour option a little too, well, floury so this has been updated)
Pinch of salt

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Prepare topping: In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugars and lemon zest and add the melted butter. Mix until small and large clumps form. Refrigerate until needed.

2. Prepare filling: Toss rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and a pinch of salt in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. (I used an oval dish this time, because they fit better in the bottom of a shopping bag.)

3. Remove topping from refrigerator and cover fruit thickly and evenly with topping. Place pie plate on a (foil-lined, if you really want to think ahead) baking sheet, and bake until crumble topping is golden brown in places and fruit is bubbling beneath, about 40 to 50 minutes.
that was the day that i surfed purevolume for 2 minutes and found a great band out of the blue: he is we.
acoustic indie pop? 
sure. i love that. :)
in ze oven.
there was so much butter in that topping. 
and it was awesome.
the next day's outfit at church. i had only worn that grey lacey dress (maurice's) with skinny jeans before, but it was hot outside and this worked out dandy. :)
you'd never guess what i had for dinner sunday night, right? ;)
right around sunset time, some evenings i love going out and sitting in one of the chairs made by a friend (or ben) . . . it's like that time of day draws me outside. like a magnet, to go for something normal and un-quirky.
the temperatures are nearly always the best at that time. 
most of the time, there's a perfect breeze.
and the hues of color in the sky through the leaves and houses are beautiful.

now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy....[jude 1:24]