Monthly Archives: August 2011

August Taught Me

  1.  MATA plans to raise trolley fare to $1.25 in November. Booooo, MATA. I don’t carry quarters.
  2. Listening to my iPod on shuffle is like taking a quiz on song introductions.
  3. Sorbet is a fruit-only frozen concoction, and sherbet is a frozen fruit concoction with the addition of a dairy component. Who knew?
  4. I’m a really big fan of gas pumps that still have the little ledge that catches the trigger so I don’t have to stand there squeezing the handle for the duration of time my gas is pumping. Is that so wrong?
  5. In my personal experience, 27 is so much easier to turn than 25.
  6. Pinterest is my absolute most favorite thing.
  7. Laser tag never gets old.
  8. Sonic has much maltier chocolate shakes than Back Yard Burger, and in my book that is a very good thing.
  9. The Florida Division of Securities Registration Department has some pretty rocking on-hold music. I almost didn’t mind the extended wait time.
  10. Put Me in the Zoo was one of my favorite books as a child, and I had forgotten all about it until the Dr. Seuss birthday party I attended this past weekend.

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Restless

The frustration of falling in love with a song at first listen and needing to hear it again, but coming up empty-handed after hours of fruitless searching online. Obsessively tuning in to the radio hoping you’ll get lucky and come across those powerful lyrics once more. That was me this past week. I have literally been praying for another listen. And this morning, exactly one week after my initial exposure, I got my song.

And the girl was happy. And then she got to the office and listened to the song another 45 times.

It’s gorgeous and passionate and soulful and true.  The lyrics are poetic and honest and a large part of what makes this song so beautiful, so take a moment to read them below.

 Happy listening, and Happy Friday!

 

“Restless”

I am the sea on a moonless night,
Calling, falling, slipping tides
I am the leaky, dripping pipes
The endless aching drops of light
I am the raindrop falling down,
Always longing for the deeper ground
I am the broken, breaking seas
Even my blood finds ways to bleed

Even the rivers ways to run
Even the rain to reach the sun
Even my thirsty streams,
Even in my dreams

I am restless, I am restless
I am restless, looking for you
I am restless, I run like the ocean to find your shore
Looking for you

I am the thorn stuck in your side
I am the one that you left behind,
I am the dried-up doubting eyes
Looking for the well that won’t run dry

Running hard for the other side
The world that I’ve always been denied
Running hard for the infinite
With the tears of saints and hypocrites

Oh blood of black and white and gray
Death and life and night and day
One by one by one
We let our rivers run

I am restless, I am restless
I am restless, looking for you
I am restless, I run like the ocean to find your shore
Looking for you

I can’t feel you breathing
I can’t hear you leading
More than just a feeling
More than just a feeling
I can’t feel you reaching
Pushing through the ceiling
Until the final healing
Looking for you

Until the sea of glass we meet
At last completed and complete
The tide of tear and pain subside
Laughter drinks them dry

I’ll be waiting
Anticipating
All that I aim for
What I was made for
With every heartbeat
All of my blood bleeds
Running inside me
Looking for you

I am restless, I am restless
I am restless, looking for you
I am restless, I run like the ocean to find your shore
I’m looking for you

~ Switchfoot

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Silent Auction Action

Just recently, I bid on several items in the Rock 4 Love silent auction benefitting the Church Health Center, and I have to say, silent auctions are the coolest. The fun part: Not only did I participate in some back-and-forth bidding combat, but I actually won several of the items I had my eye on. Even better: I paid amazingly discounted prices for my winnings! Score! Here’s a list of the loot I walked away with:

    1. Amy Lavere Complete Works Package. Includes her newest album, Stranger Me, in vinyl, CD, t-shirt, mask, and poster form, an Anchors and Anvils CD and t-shirt, the Died of Love EP, and a This World is Not My Home CD, everything autographed by the songstress herself. While I already own a handful of these items, that doesn’t stop me from wanting needing duplicates. For a mere $25, yes please.
    2. $25 Kooky Canuck Gift Certificate. For only $11, why not?
    3. $25 South of Beale Gift Certificate. Again, same story. For less than half of the face value, how could I not go for it?
    4. 2 Tickets to Minglewood Hall for $20.  If you have read my blog for even a second, you’ve probably picked up on my live music addiction. Although I’ve made an effort to cut back on the don’t-desperately-have-to-see shows, there are still tons of good acts out there, and given that Minglewood routinely hosts some of the best concerts in the city, it would have been imprudent for me not to bid on these.
    5. Ardent Records Gift Set.  This was all Jax, who was immediately drawn to the signed Big Star/John Davis Live Tribute to Alex Chilton 7-inch. He also got a couple t-shirts and miscellaneous Ardent items, and I scored a tote bag out of the deal. And a girl can never have too many tote bags, right?
    6. Custom-Made Bicycle from Revolutions. My most treasured prize. As much as I would like another bike, I have a fully functional Trek (currently in the shop), so I made the executive decision to dedicate this one to Jax. We have big riding plans for the future, and now they can come to fruition. How fun!

Fact #1: I did not buy anything that I wouldn’t have purchased anyway, so from that stance I actually saved money. That’s how I like to think of it, anyway.

Fact #2: You should participate in this auction next year so you can get lots of neat stuff, too.

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Peanut Butter and Strawberry Sandwich

I just ate the most wonderfully tasty sandwich, I literally closed my eyes when I bit into it. That good. 

It’s a well-known fact that I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Always have, always will. In fact, I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day of my elementary school career, which ended in an eventual boycott lasting several years after. I’ve since returned to my roots, and peanut butter and jelly and I have rekindled our old flame. Crunchy, smooth, grape, strawberry – I don’t discriminate. But what I haven’t done yet (until now), is fresh strawberries. Not jelly, the actual fruit.

This sandwich is so simple, it hardly needs an explanation, but I’ll give you a brief tutorial just so we are clear. Smear your peanut butter of preference on your choice of bread. I like 100% whole wheat sandwich thins, because I sometimes feel like too much bread gets in the way of the good stuff. And I’ve already told you guys about my favorite peanut butter, Peanut Butter & Co.’s Cinnamon Raisin Swirl. It’s the best around.

So, generously slather peanut butter on each slice of bread, then top with rinsed and sliced strawberries. Gently smash the sandwich together, take a bite, and marvel over how delicious it is. Repeat as desired.

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Present Participles of Vacationing

Although my time in Florida wasn’t long enough (such is life), I did manage to fill it with as much goodness as possible, primarily in the form of:

Lounging. In my family, the unspoken daily plan, the activity that trumps all other potential activities, is going to the beach. We convene in the den each morning to eat our breakfasts and slather on sunscreen, then head out to spend the day in the sun. Thus, I logged many, many hours stretched out in a lounge chair facing the ocean, admiring the scene before me, swirling my toes in the sand, and listening to the melody of the waves washing upon the shore.

Reading. What better way to spend my time relaxing beachside than indulging in a solid literary binge? I finished a deep philosophical discussion on pain by C.S. Lewis, drank up “To Kill a Mockingbird” (somehow I made it through school without reading this classic), then read half each of Donald Miller’s “Searching for God Knows What” and Tim Tebow’s “Through My Eyes”. Wish I always had the luxury of dedicating countless hours to reading for pleasure.

Kayaking. Our beach club provides complimentary kayak usage, which happens to be one of my favorite activities ever. I love kayaking out to the clear waters, rocking with the motion of the ocean, and peering down at the uninterrupted sea life below. During one of my outings, I spotted a large stingray gliding through the water; the next, a swarm of gloppy purple jellyfish. I’ve decided that when I’m not directly in harm’s way of their tentacles, I actually find jellyfish to be quite graceful and mesmerizing creatures.

Tossing. Bean bags. Into small holes. On the beach. Not exactly my forte, but luckily I was on Jax’s team, and he carried us to victory.

Napping. Laying on the beach is exhausting work, but somebody’s got to do it. It is scientifically proven, there is something about being under the sun all day that makes you drowsy. Luckily, vacation naps are the best kind, so that works out perfectly. Having the option of dozing at your leisure and then comfortably waking without an alarm is a rare gem, and I made sure to take full advantage of this while on vacation.

Devouring. A beach vacation just isn’t a beach vacation if pounds of fresh seafood aren’t involved, so I did what any reasonable vacationer would have done. I consumed as much grouper, shrimp, scallops, and lobster as I could comfortably get away with, and then I ate dessert. Don’t judge; you would have done the same thing.

Running. There are so many picturesque paths winding around the grounds near our condo, it would have been shameful for me not to lace up my running shoes at least a couple times while I was there. Despite the nearly suffocating heat, I got my miles in, and as always, I enjoyed the fresh change of scenery. See previous description of food intake for motivation explanation.

Playing. We spent many of our evenings engaging in some form of family game night consisting of hilarious rounds of either Taboo, Apples to Apples, and/or Catch Phrase. Not for the faint of heart.

Dancing. Saturday evening, the family enjoyed a tasty meal at a local restaurant that features live music. Just as we were on our way out the door, the band breaks into “My Girl”, and you just can’t walk away from a song like that. We detoured to the dance floor and twirled to a few tunes. I giggled the entire time, mostly because Jax is my favorite dance partner ever. It was one of those moments that just makes you thankful to be alive.

Biking. Jax and I devoted the morning of our last day to taking the outdated bikes at our condo for a spin. We explored the grounds a bit and unexpectedly came across a tucked away nature walk/bird viewing exhibit. There, we found a secluded swing set to play on, then continued along on our merry way. We road to the Marina and walked along *the dock of the bay, watching the tide roll away, watching the ships roll in*, then it was back to the condo to pack our bags and head home.

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It Takes an Ocean

Sometimes, it takes an ocean to slow you down. I’m always hopping from one activity to the next, but last week the ocean invited me to sit and be still. It gave me permission to spend five consecutive hours of my life enjoying the water’s vast beauty and reflecting on life’s many blessings, big and small. This kind of tranquility is not something I pause for often enough, but oh, it is heavenly. Relaxing at the water’s edge with no agenda other than to eat a delicious seafood dinner later in the evening gave me ample time to open my Bible and soak up some Truth. It made my soul eager to delight in God’s Holy Word, and it reminded me, with crystal clarity, of where my purpose and priorities belong.

By the end of the day, I was sun-soaked, but more importantly, I was spiritually refreshed and recharged.

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So Long, Oregon

Our final day in Portland was a series of breathtaking views, and it made me fall in love with Portland even more than I already had.

We started the morning with….how did we start the morning….? Now that several weeks have passed, I’m having a fuzzy time recollecting details of our trip. And that’s one thing I love about blogging – it gives me the opportunity to go back and savor an event again. I get to enjoy all the good stuff twice. More than that, really, because I have the option of rereading my posts and reliving the moments whenever I please.

So. Our morning. It started with another incredible breakfast, this one in the form of stacked biscuit sandwiches and plates of hashbrowns bigger than my head. Thank you, Pine State Biscuits, for that. We then hopped in our second rental car of the trip and made our way to the Historic Columbia River Highway. The route was so scenic, we found ourselves stopping at every bend to enjoy the surrounding beauty.

Early into the trip, we took in this spectacular view of the Columbia River and the Columbia River Gorge.

From there, we stopped at the Vista House at Crown Point, where we gazed upon Washington’s majestic mountains across the river. We wound our way through towers of trees, and I ogled the wide trunks and green leaves as we passed. And I took many, many pictures, from which I’ll spare you. Our next stop marked the beginning of a string of lovely waterfall hikes.

At staggered intervals along the highway, we would spot a waterfall, pull over, and hike a short trek to the top. We loved that the closer you got to the waterfall, the more damp the air would feel, and the fresher it smelled. Now I will say, a picture of a waterfall (specifically my amateur shots) just doesn’t capture the essence of all that a waterfall is; in a picture, you can’t hear the grand crash of rushing water into the pool below or see the shimmer of droplets dancing about.

The largest of these was Multnomah Falls, where water rushes into a bubbling pool from 600 feet above. We climbed to the Benson Footbridge, which carries hikers across the lower portion of the fall, but decided not to continue further, as there was much else to see.

Our most extensive hike of the afternoon was a trail called Wahclella Falls. The trailhead started aside a gurgling brook…

…then continued past a smaller waterfall, wound up and down through luscious trees, across a wooden bridge, and culminated with us standing at the base of this gorgeous waterfall.

I determined right then and there that there is no better feeling than being sweaty from a hike, finding reward from the effort in beholding the beautiful site of a waterfall, and then being sprayed with its refreshing mist. I stood on a large rock with my arms outstretched, and it was delightful and glorious and made me feel wonderfully alive. We eventually hiked back, then finished our driving journey by twirling up Mt. Hood in all its snow-capped glory.

And then, sadly, we had to head back to the airport to catch our flight. It was all I could do to force myself onto the airplane after such a splendid day.

I can see
My rainbow calling me
Through the misty breeze
Of my waterfall

Jimi Hendrix, May This Be Love (Waterfall)

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On the Road Again

This time, I’m heading south for some fun in the sun. Except this year, for the first time since college, I’m able to join my clan for the majority of the trip, and I am just plain excited. My solo road trip officially began at 2:12pm yesterday afternoon, and below I give you chronological key points from my solo drive.

  • Musically, the road trip began with the I Am Sam soundtrack. Forgot how much I love the song “Two of Us”, Rufus Wainwright’s rendition of “Across the Universe”, and Eddie Vedder’s “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away”. Oh, and Ben Harper’s rendition of “Strawberry Fields Forever”. Swoon.
  • Get stuck behind a slow-moving police car nobody wanted to pass. Decided to break away from the pack and lead the movement, all the while still going under 70mph. Felt like a rebel.
  • Next up was Coldplay’s X&Y album, which has some select good songs, but I still contest just doesn’t compare to the masterpiece that is A Rush of Blood to the Head. With the exception of X&Y’s bonus track, “Til’ Kingdom Come”, which I will stand by forever as one of my favorite songs. I listened to it eight times before changing the CD.
  • My printed directions mistakenly led me to believe that Tupelo was where Birmingham should be, and I thought I had miraculously time warped across the state of Mississippi. Then I realized I still had approximately six more hours to go.
  • Jammed to The Decemberists’ newest album.
  • Enjoyed Mumford & Sons to the fullest. Always do.
  • Made it to Birmingham just in time for 5 o’clock traffic, yippie!
  • Gave Monsters of Folk a whirl. It usually takes me a few full listens to make a determination when trying out an artist, so I haven’t formed an opinion yet. I got about halfway through, then switched to Chris Tomlin because I was in the mood to praise God. Yesterday, after a difficult pregnancy and through the grace of God, my cousin welcomed a precious baby girl into this world. Holding that sweet baby just minutes after her birth was like holding a tiny little miracle in my hands, and I am overflowing from God’s goodness.
  • Finished off two pounds of grapes before sundown.
  • Crossed over Florida state lines!
  • Drove down a pitch-black deserted two-lane highway for an hour with no cell phone signal and dwindling battery life. Refused to think about scary movies.
  • Rolled down the window, smelled that distinct beachy smell, and knew that I was moments away from the condo.
  • Pulled into the driveway at 9:57pm and was greeted at the door with a bowl of ice cream. Yay, vacation!

If you stuck around this long, I’m impressed. Thanks for making sure I made it safely!

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July Taught Me

  1. It is proper protocol to disarm the house alarm *before* letting the dog out. I learned this the hard way.
  2. I have been obsessed with all things lemon-flavored this month.
  3. Apparently my library account expires annually. I’m assuming this is a new policy, as I have been an account holder since toddlerhood and have never encountered this before.
  4. Sometimes you’ve just got to have ice cream for breakfast.
  5. The recommended maximum dose for Extra Strength Tylenol is being reduced to six tablets a day from eight. Acetaminophen is destroying our livers, people. Well, not so much my liver, as I refuse to take medicine unless it is absolutely necessary, but other people’s. Maybe yours.  
  6. Chai tea latte is one of my favorite morning drinks. Or evening. Or whenever.
  7. I prefer to be in bed before 10:30 on work nights. Doesn’t always (or even usually) happen that way, but man it feels good when it does.
  8. According to Jax and I, my cell phone’s GPS lady is named Francine. Fran when she is behaving.
  9. Mud Island Ampitheatre is one of my favorite outdoor concert venues.
  10. Every time I see a cardinal, I think of my grandmother.
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