April 29, 2013

:: canine's canine ::

i cannot stand loose teeth. once they're gone, no big deal - the bloody, gaping space left behind doesn't bother me at all. it's the dangly, wiggly tooth that grosses me out. my 7 year old nephew learned that well this past year, as he had many a wiggler that i would not let him show me. 

last night i got home from dinner and linville was acting funny - scrunching her face and licking the side of her mouth. i took a look and saw one of her canines hanging there - completely sideways. bloody and dangling. i shrieked before turning away. i know that puppies lose teeth and often just unwittingly swallow them, but this was clearly bothering her, sticking into the side of her mouth. i looked again. i cowered again. and then i went into what i can only assume was total "it's not about me, it's what's best for you" mom mode, got a rag, and pulled the tooth.

February 03, 2013

:: 7x70 ::

was teaching (1st-2nd graders) about forgiveness. 'cause, you know, i'm an expert on the subject and all.  (har.)

i'm always very open with my students when i don't know something or when we're talking about something that i struggle with.  i don't want them to get the idea that i (think i) am a Biblical scholar and/or have it all together.  last night i shared examples of ways and times i've struggled to forgive.  it's neat to see them start to open up, become more vulnerable and humble with their own faults and conflicts, when they see me doing it.  very much like some "big kids" i've known.

we read the story of the unforgiving servant.  we talked about forgiveness being a choice.  how resentment and grudges are like stones in our hearts (complete with a pebbles and plastic cup demonstration), just weighing us down and keeping us from being close to God and loving others as we should.  what was so touching was the questions.  i constantly pause and ask "does that make sense?" or "do you understand what that means?"  sometimes i get blank stares and nods, but last night, they were really present.  they said "yes" and nodded quite a bit, but a few times, someone would speak up and say, "well i don't understand how/why..."  amazing fuel for real dialogue and conversation.  they were very concerned with the fact that while the king forgave the servant's debt at first, after the servant was unmerciful, the king threw the servant in prison.  "he should have forgiven him again!"  apparently the 7x70 portion of the program had really sunk in. had a conversation about parables as illustrations.

and, as always, ben came through with a (n unintentionally) funny take-home for the evening:  when telling the story of the king collecting debts owed, i asked, "do you know what 'debt' is?"  he replied, "like barack obama...?"

"to be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you."  cs lewis

January 30, 2013

:: bags bags bags ::

went to grocery store since my sushi spot was closed.  didn't have reusable bags since hadn't planned on going shopping.  bagged own groceries...MY way and in only two plastic bags.  manager came over...

him:  terrible bagging job.
me:  hey now!  ha ha.
him:  bread with the milk!?  i'd fire that bagger.
me:  [thinking that there have been plenty of baggers at that store i wish he'd fired.  like the ones who put a bag of something in a bag.]  ha.  i forgot to bring my bags.  don't like using plastic.
him:  [talking about bread] want me to put that in a different  bag?
me:  [thinking no, because it's already in a bag.  it COMES in a bag.  and milk isn't going to ruin bread.]  no, thank you.
him:  [looking, cringing, at other bag] want me to double bag this?
me:  [no, dammit!]  no, thank you.  i'm good.  thank you. [leave me alone, thank you.]

pretty sure eating two heads of broccoli while your two lean cuisines are cooking at least partially cancels out the "lean" part.


let's recap this dinner...

two heads of raw broccoli
one s'more with chocolate chip stuffed marshmallow
two lean cuisines

two glasses of milk

that's about 1264 calories

January 23, 2013

:: come on ::

earlier today i was talking to a friend about a friend.  i won't say his name, because if i do, i have to say his first and last name (we don't know why you do, but you do), and i don't want to embarrass him.  he's a confident guy, but bursting with humility.  he also shoots a sick 3 pointer.

and he has inspired me.  not because he traveled to 11 countries in 11 months, serving others and spreading the Gospel.  and not because he then returned to one of those countries and works tirelessly there to serve, love, and disciple the youth in his community.  i greatly admire and respect and love him for those things.

but he inspires me because he says things like "God will heal me" when he's really, seriously sick.  or "as soon as i get back to Kenya, God is going to send someone who likes that stuff" when talking about the budgeting and business-y stuff that takes up so much of his time, brainpower, and heart when he could be serving in other ways.

he doesn't say, "i hope that..." or "i think that God might..." or "i know God is able, but..."  it's not the slightly-dubious-yet-hopeful, maybe-one-day kind of "faith" i tend to have.  it's FAITH.  like, it's going to happen.  period.  God says and does and is.  end.of.story.

it's so inspiring.  i want to be like that.  all the time.

i won't say his name, but here's a link to his blog. highly recommend checking it out.

then head over to the 61project facebook page for updates on how God is moving in Kenya.  www.facebook.com/61project

end of story.

December 19, 2012

:: ms cool boots, if you're merry ::

i got this envelope (there was a card inside, too) in the mail the other day.  it made me smile. 

:: man boots ::

it's been a while since i've posted anything from my one of my favs, the sartorialist.  shoot, it's been a while since i've really had time to keep up with his blog.  at first i thought he was posting a lot more than usual...then i realized i've just been incredibly busy. 

but when i saw this shot today, i knew i needed to come here to "record" it.  dig this look.  the big plaid on the broad shoulders, the colors, the way his cap goes with the bottom of his bag, the jeans...normally i wouldn't like the tapered roll on the bottom with such broad upper body and thick calf muscles, but it's perfect with the height of the boot!

click image for front view

December 18, 2012

:: home sweet home ::

5 years ago this month i started the process of buying my little yellow house.  back then, i would drive around, looking at houses for sale (who am i kidding, i still do that!), but this was the first and only house i'd looked inside and really considered purchasing.  i was in the midst of the hardest and most rewarding period of my life.  mom was on the heels of her chemo and radiation treatments and i was spending most of my "free" time taking care of stuff at maunga & poppy's house.  on top of that, we had just discovered that one of the caregivers had been stealing from them (check fraud!) and i was working with the detective on that stressful situation.  i was in no place mentally and emotionally to buy a house.

but it happened.  despite the emotional breakdowns with my mortgage broker (who i didn't even know), my realtor, my realtor's sister, my banker...and pretty much anyone else who crossed my path in that time...it happened.

God absolutely and undoubtedly blessed me in that mess.

in the 5 years i've lived here, i've had 7 short-term roommates.  it moves me deeply to be able to provide a place to stay for someone - whether it's between homes before getting married, while visiting from another country, home-hopping while trying to figure out what comes next in life...the reasons have been as varied as the durations.

this week i've welcomed the 8th.

and the blessings continue.

December 17, 2012

:: notes from smalltown, sc ::

today we visited 92 year old maunga buck.  as many of you know, she is famous for asking, "julie, you ain't got no boyfriend, yet?" when she sees me.  (note that i have never gone by the name "julie.") 

last time i saw her, i actually did have a boyfriend and it was the one time in the past 10 or so years that she didn't ask.  well, today i turned to my sister and whispered, "she's gonna ask...wait for it..."

a minute later she pipes up, "juuulie, you ain't never gone get married, are you?  don't look that way."
kelley jumped in and said, "you don't want her to settle, do you?"  the look on her face was a bit like, "well, yeah, kind of." 
i just said, "i'm married to Jesus" and went back to talking to the delusional woman by the piano who thought she was going to be home by 6. 

(i hope that she isn't "home" by 6...they already had one death this week.  and that was maunga's roommate - whose husband, i believe, was the tv repairman in joanna when dad was growing up.) 

a little while later i was putting my hair up (because it was 108 degrees in there) and maunga said, "julie, what are you doing to your hair?"  i said that i was pulling it back because i was hot.  she said, "law, you need to run a comb through it. ha ha ha."  then, "i ain't never seen a head of hair like that." 

so.  um.  yeah. 

December 11, 2012

:: great gift ideas ::

check out crave studio's amazing  collection of ceramic goodness.  one thing i especially appreciate about artist jennifer bedenbaugh's work is its sincere simplicity (and simple sincerity!).  her clever and creative ideas speak for themselves, without a bunch of frills and fluff.  from her immensely popular "just between you and me" necklaces (mine reads "servant's heart" and is one of the most treasured gifts i've ever received) to the mini houses which are now available in a larger size as Christmas ornaments!  (30% off in-stock ornament sale now through dec 18)

"drink from the bottle" takes on a whole new meaning with these terrific examples of upcycling from this new local businessswig.  creator christina blackwell turns wine bottles into lovely and interesting drinking glasses.  they come in three sizes (small, medium, large) and a variety of colors (clear, green, brown, olive and yellow) and make wonderful gifts for wine lovers who, well, do drink something other than wine from time to time!  (great idea for housewarming gifts!)

November 30, 2012

:: for my eyes only... ::

...and yours if you need it. 

this started out as a status update on facebook, but i decided to give it more permanence here...for me.  because i'll probably need this reminder sometime.  sometimes these things are for me, and sometimes they are for you.  but mostly they are for me.  and sometimes you.

this has been a rough week for me - physically and emotionally.  a broken toe, a sore mouth, a crappy situation with a friend, work stress...

but the hardest part, emotionally, has been struggling with the fact that my life is pretty stinking awesome and i feel bad ever feeling bad about the little things that go wrong.

so i canceled the pity party and took initiative to right the things i could right and give up trying to control things i have no control over.

it's amazing how quickly your attitude can adjust when you focus your heart in the right place.

oh, and also.  i am immensely grateful for the people who have been there for me through the crud this week.  the tough love, the gentle love, the True love.  thank you for not coming to the party.  :-)

October 19, 2012

:: collision ::

i got my free people catalog the other day and immediately ripped the cover page off to add to my likes & inspiration folder. loved the girl's (lou doillon) hair, the shirt, the jeans, the tattoo.  just a great look and a great picture. 

and i just came across a blog post, and learned that garance dore was the photographer.    figures i'd like it! 

click here for video of I.C.U. from lou's latest album.  i'm kind of digging it - the song and the video. 

October 12, 2012

:: brilliant music, brilliant art ::

josh garrels, easily one of my favorite singer-songwriters and performers (ever), recently unveiled the pieces of the dvd box set for his documentary The Sea In Between, filmed on mayne island, BC.  i cannot wait to get my hands on this.  check out the view finder dvd art...brilliant

images, box set art & packaging by stereotonic
click images to link directly to box set photo album

September 16, 2012

:: stage fright and baby food ::

i hadn't wanted to move up to camp grace with my kiddos for only one reason:  stage fright.

i'd heard the teacher sometimes had to take part in the skits in big group and i really didn't want to have to do that.  i would get anxious just thinking about it.  i'd imagine having to stand in front of a room full of kids and a handful of adults and speak.  or "act."  or, Heaven forbid, sing.  i dreaded every image that came to mind.  but i love those kids to death (i'd been teaching since they were 2-3 years old) and i knew how absolutely selfish and unreasonable my worries were, so i  moved on up with my class.  (i figured i could always un-promote myself if it was just too, too much to bear.)

last night was my first night in the bear den.  we were in big group.  they told the kids to nominate one of their teachers to come up to the front to do...something.  my heart dropped.  "on the first night?  really?  ugh."

i am the only teacher in bear den, so (despite me trying in fake-jest (you know, pointing to the other person like you're kidding, but really, you're not) to get them to nominate the sweet lady who was jumping in, instead of me) it was unanimous; they chose me.

i went to the front of the room to play "musical spoons" - a musical chairs sort of game, but instead of moving from chair to chair, you pass a spoon around.  if the music stops while you're holding the spoon, you reach into a bag, pull out some food, and have to eat a spoonful of whatever you grabbed.  the first lady stuck with the spoon blindly chose a jar of turkey baby food.  she took the tiniest nibble and sat back down with her class.  a rule was made that the next time, someone else would serve the food, to make sure it was a healthy sized bite.

guess who was next.

as i was reaching in the bag, i said, "i hope there are some vegetarian options in there," (wondering, "do they make beef baby food?  it's going to be really awkward when i pull out some type of pureed beef and have to refuse to eat it.  oh, no, i hope it's not sweet potatoes."). i pulled out a jar of applesauce (whew!)  baby food and gladly ate my gigantic bite.

and learned that applesauce baby food is not the same thing as just good ol' apple sauce.

still, it wasn't too bad.

“In my distress I called to the Lord,
    and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
    and you listened to my cry.
You hurled me into the depths,
    into the very heart of the seas,
    and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
    swept over me.
I said, ‘I have been banished
    from your sight;
yet I will look again
    toward your holy temple.’
The engulfing waters threatened me,
    the deep surrounded me;
    seaweed was wrapped around my head.
To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
    the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, Lord my God,
    brought my life up from the pit.

“When my life was ebbing away,
    I remembered you, Lord,
and my prayer rose to you,
    to your holy temple.

“Those who cling to worthless idols
    turn away from God’s love for them.
But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
    will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
    I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”
jonah 2: 1-9