Sunday, December 6, 2009

my muscles won't work

Yesterday I decided to be adventurous. I drove out to Eldora, about an hour from my apartment, and took an all-day snowboarding lesson. Maybe not the wisest move, considering I haven't worked out in about 2 months. I fell about a million times, and I have bruises all over me and can hardly move today. But it was worth it. By the end of the day, I could actually get myself off of the ski lift without eating snow, and had one successful run down the hill without falling once. I came back home afterward, utterly exhausted, and planned on getting into my pajamas and going to bed early. But then a sweet lady I met at church called and invited me to go with her and her family to see Christmas lights at the botanical garden in Denver, so I did. I probably shouldn't have, because I fell asleep as soon as I got into their car. I was too tired to be embarrassed about it. But we had fun, and they didn't laugh at me, at least not to my face. :) Church this morning was wonderful. I've been going to Calvary Bible, which is in Boulder. Despite it having snowed all night and this morning, I made it to both Sunday school and the service. It's so much easier to drive in snow when you have decent tires on your car. I got them replaced a couple of weeks ago. All in all, it's been a great weekend. And now I think I need a nap.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

foxes and glittens

i went to the Denver Art Museum today with one of my coworkers. of course i left my camera at home. grrr! but i really liked a lot of the exhibits. i don't think i've been to an art museum since highschool. i'm not very good at seeing beyond the exterior though, into what the pieces mean and such. i kind of wish i'd taken art appreciation in school. this walk-through exhibit was pretty cool. you could hardly see the wires suspending the foxes in the air.
later i went grocery shopping, so i wouldn't have to eat instant oatmeal again if i was hungry in the middle of the night. and then i came home and relaxed. and finished knitting my first pair of glittens! it was the hardest thing i've knit so far. i'm rather proud. oh, the cleverness of me. i guess this is my form of art. :-P

Monday, November 16, 2009

snow, tea, and insomnia

I was going to wait and update my blog when I had some more pictures to share. But I'm kind of lazy when it comes to capturing my life on film - or shall I say, memory card. I always seem to forget my camera when I go out, and then I see something I want to take a picture of and can't. Today I was good, and remembered to bring my camera with me. Alas, when I went to take a picture, I found the battery was dead.

But I'm going to update this anyway, because I can't sleep. In the past 30 hours I've slept about 3 of them. I just now lay in bed for 50 minutes, utterly exhausted and wide awake. And my feet were cold. And I was hungry. I'm always hungry these days. Maybe eating all the time is my body's compensation for sleep deprivation. Unfortunately, I'm running low on groceries. I was going to go grocery shopping in the morning, when I'd had enough sleep to think straight. So here I am with icy toes and an empty stomach. They roll up the sidewalks around here by 8 or 9, and I'm really too tired to drive, so going out to get food is out of the question. Guess I'll have to settle for instant oatmeal. Better than nothing.

I got up early this afternoon to go out to lunch with some ladies from work. We went toBoulder Dushanbe Teahouse. It was scrumptious. That's when I wanted to take pictures. Apparently the teahouse was a gift to Boulder from Tajikistan. It's absolutely beautiful, with mosaics on the ceiling and carved wooden pillars and beautiful statues and a fish pond in the middle. Oh, and in the corners, they had short tables where you could take off your shoes and sit cross-legged on cushions while drinking your tea. We sat at a regular table though. We all got different kinds of tea, and they brought it out in individual teapots, and gave us a little hourglass timer so we'd know how long to steep our tea leaves for. One of them got a blossoming tea, which I'd never heard of, but was very entertaining. Before putting it in hot water, it looks like a dried blob of mushroom or something. Then you add hot water, and it expands to look like a blossoming flower. We sat and watched it for at least 5 minutes. Here's a picture of one I found on the internet.

I guess I don't have much to write. Work is going well, and I think I'm getting the hang of computer charting. It's snowed a couple of times, but right now the roads are clear, thankfully. I desperately need snow tires. Driving home Sunday morning was scary. I'll hopefully get my tires changed tomorrow or Wednesday. I also need to get over my hatred of shopping long enough to buy some decent winter clothes. I've been layering a lot.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

one week down, twelve to go

Well, I've been in colorado for a week now. It feels like longer. My wonderful 19-yr-old cousin Noah drove up with me from Texas, and he definitely made the drive easier. On Wednesday we just drove from Magnolia to Dallas, so I could see my grandmother before heading to CO. Thursday we drove to Salina, Kansas, which was a long boring drive. Both Wednesday and Thursday it rained and was cloudy most of the way. We ate a lot of junk food, and played with the GPS. Finally, on Friday things got more interesting. The sun came out, and the drive was beautiful. Right before crossing over the border into Colorado, Noah looked out the window and saw white stuff on the ground. Trying to be cool and nonchalant, he casually mentioned it.
"Um, Ruth, what's that?" (pointing out the window)
Me: "Oh, it looks like snow!"
Then he lost it, started giggling hysterically and bouncing up and down in his seat.
The snow got thicker and thicker as we drove west, and we stopped at the "welcome to Colorado" rest stop to have a snowball fight and make snowmen and a snow angel. Noah was excitedly rolling the balls for the snowman, when a man came walking out of the nearby building and started talking to us.
"Is this your first snowman of the season?" he asked
Noah: "No, it's my first snowman EVER!"
"Oh, well then, I gotta get a picture of this." and he pulled out his camera phone, snapped a picture, and walked off smiling. I think we made his day. Here's our snowman. We named him Duncan.
And of course Noah had to make some Calvin snowmen (if you don't know what that means, then you must read Calvin and Hobbes). This amused several other passers-by.

Friday afternoon we arrived at my apartment. It's the nicest apartment I've ever had, in one of those "luxury" complexes I've always been a little afraid of. You know, the kind of complex that's big enough to be a small village, and every building looks the same. I think some of Austin rubbed off on me, as far as gentrification goes. But it's a very nice apartment, and I do like living there. And it's paid for by my travel company, and they provided the furniture, which is actually pretty nice. I can't see the mountains from my window, but I do get the sunrises.
After moving my stuff in we did a little exploring in the area, bought a bunch of stuff at Walmart that I couldn't bring with me (you can only fit so much stuff into your car), and rested. I'd been sick for about a week and a half, and that on top of driving 1100 miles, and getting used to the altitude made me pretty exhausted. Saturday Noah flew home, and I spent the rest of the weekend resting and exploring some more, and trying out a couple different churches in the area.

Monday through Wednesday I had long, overwhelming computer classes at the hospital. The computer system is probably going to be the most challenging part of this job. At my job in Austin, we were still doing mostly paper charting, so the computer system is going to take a lot of getting used to, though I don't have much time to get used to it. I only get 2 shadow shifts on the floor, then I'll be on my own. But everyone seems pretty nice so far, so hopefully they'll help me. Last night was my first shadow shift, and my first night shift ever. It was kind of quiet and laid back, and after doing some charting I don't feel quite as intimidated by the computers. I didn't realize it, but I'd missed working. The 3-week break in-between jobs was nice, but once I was back on the floor working with patients, it occurred to me that I had missed it. Missed the patients. That's a good sign, right? Well, I made it through my first night shift without falling asleep, though I came close a couple of times. I hadn't had much of an appetite and hardly ate anything the whole shift, so I was starving when I got off work. So I ate my roast beef sandwich on the way home at 7:40 am, went to bed at 8:30, and woke up 4 hours later feeling awake but slightly jet-lagged. I think my body is going to be very confused for awhile.

Well, that's about it so far. Oh - except we had a massive snow storm Tuesday through Thursday, and I thought I was going to die trying to drive in it. But I didn't. I just drove really really slow, and probably ticked off all the experienced Colorado drivers in their 4-wheel drive trucks and SUV's. Hopefully they saw my Texas license plate and had mercy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

under way and off to see the world

I'm about to drive to Colorado to work as a travel nurse for the next 3 months. Most people know I've been thinking about it for awhile, so I won't write a bunch of details about it right now. I got a phone interview for the job last Tuesday, and they offered it to me a couple hours later. Then I had to drive from Austin to Magnolia to get some labwork done, do a crazy amount of paperwork, and see my little brothers while they were home for fall break. Then I drove back to Austin Monday to quit my job, pack the rest of my things, and spend 2 days saying goodbye to my brother, sister, friends, and coworkers. After they all gave me hugs, said nice things, and tore my heart out, I drove back to Magnolia last night. Now I'm at my parents' house, and have a few hours to cram all my belongings into the back of my car. If I thought about it enough, I could probably come up with something poetic to say about what lies before me. But all that comes to mind right now is this:

When the course is laid and the anchor's weighed
A sailor's blood begins racing
With our hearts unbound and our flag unfurled
We're under way and off to see the world
Under way and off to see the world
Hey ho, we'll go
Anywhere the wind is blowing
Hoist the sails and sing
Sailing for adventure on the big blue wet thing!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

i love my patients

in the midst of all the busyness and stress of my job, there's always room for a little humor...

yesterday, i was called into a room to help a doctor out with his assessment on one of my patients. basically, the patient had a problem, and the doctor wanted me to deal with it so he could get on with his day. no problem, that's what i'm there for. so, i went in and was taking care of my patient, an adorably feisty little old lady who talks everybody's ear off. the doctor was just about to leave when his cell phone rang. his ring tone was a pretty, yet somewhat mournful rendition of Amazing Grace on the bagpipes. he silenced it, then turned to the patient to say goodbye.
"What was THAT?" she demanded.
"What do you mean, what was that?" the doctor said with a smile. "That was bagpipes."
"Well, I'm not dead YET, honey."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

a bundle of joy

Tonight was the last "Concert in the Park" of the summer, put on by the Austin Symphony. I've gone several times over the summer, and sat out on the hill on blankets with friends while listening to strings, woodwind ensembles, brass quartets, and tonight the big band. We usually talk a little, then read books, journal, or just sit and listen while the symphony plays. This is something I wrote in my journal tonight. Just thought I'd share.

I'm at the last symphony concert of the summer, sitting on a a blanket on the hill as the sun sets and the big band plays. There's a family nearby with 3 adorable little boys. The mom is asian and the dad is anglo, so of course their kids are beautiful. The youngest one caught my eye when I first got here. He was toddling around in circles, stumbling down the hill, and just grinning from ear to ear. He must have just recently learned to walk, because he was so thoroughly delighted with his amazing ability. He seemed to be having the time of his life, just from toddling around. He grinned up at anyone who made eye contact, and of course those big dark eyes and rosy cheeks brought smiles to everyone's faces. It struck me how much joy this kid has. If he could talk yet, I can imagine him saying something like, "Look at this - I'm walking! Is there anything more wonderful?" He would run around in circles, then get going down the hill, building up speed until he tripped and fell flat on his face. But no worries - he just smiled, picked himself back up, and went at it again. He wasn't worried about anything at all. Once or twice he tripped and hurt himself, but after crying for about 10 seconds and running back to his mom for a quick hug, everything was ok again, and he forgot all about it.
How often do I find such joy in such small things? I walk around every day, and think nothing of it. I wish I could rediscover the world, the way a baby does. I think I might be able to, to some small extent, if I try. It really would be amazing I think. To take nothing for granted, to be completely enraptured by the wonder of every little thing that is good. To be able to thoroughly enjoy something, without a thousand other things going through my mind clamoring for attention, without doubts and fears and uncertainties gnawing through the pit of my stomach, without thinking about and planning out the next day or hour or moment. And when something goes wrong, to just run back to the One who has everything under control, let Him fix it, and then get back to living with all my heart. I think that might be part of what God meant when He wanted us to become like children.

"Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." ~Matthew 18:3-4

Thursday, August 20, 2009

i need a revelation

My life has led me down the road that's so uncertain
And now I am left alone and I am broken,
Trying to find my way,
Trying to find the faith that's gone
This time I know that You are holding all the answers
I'm tired of losing hope and taking chances
On roads that never seem
To be the ones that bring me home

Give me a revelation,
Show me what to do
Cause I've been trying to find my way,
I haven't got a clue
Tell me should I stay here,
Or do I need to move
Give me a revelation
I've got nothing without You

My life has led me down this path that's ever winding
Through every twist and turn I'm always finding
That I am lost again
Tell me when this road will ever end

Give me a revelation,
Show me what to do
Cause I've been trying to find my way,
I haven't got a clue
Tell me should I stay here,
Or do I need to move
Give me a revelation
I've got nothing without You

I don't know where I can turn
Tell me when will I learn
Won't You show me where I need to go
Let me follow Your lead,
I know that it's the only way that I can get back home

Give me a revelation,
Show me what to do
Cause I've been trying to find my way,
I haven't got a clue
Tell me should I stay here,
Or do I need to move
Give me a revelation
I've got nothing without You
I've got nothing without You

~Third Day

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Feminine Appeal

Well, it's been a month, so I guess it's about time for another post. Nothing massively exciting happening lately, like falling from the sky or meeting fairies in the woods, but I thought I'd do a quick book review. For the past few months, I've been going through a book with some other ladies from church. Feminine Appeal, by Carolyn Mahaney. The book is based on Titus 2:3-5 "Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored." The author takes the role of the older woman, and her desire in writing the book is to teach younger women the things that she wished she had known when she was a young wife and mother. Each chapter covers one of the "seven virtues of a godly wife and mother": loving one's husband, loving one's children, self-control, purity, working at home, kindness, and submission. The book is definitely more geared towards married women, so our little group of very single girls came at it from a slightly different perspective. It was still very applicable, even though we had to twist some points a little to make them apply. For example, none of us have kids yet, but we all have younger people in our lives who look up to us. I'm glad we read it, and I'm sure I'll read it again, especially if I ever get married.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

my baby brother turned 18!

On Saturday, the last of the Daniel kids reached legal adulthood. Growing up in a big family, it seems like there's always been a baby in the house. So, it's kind of traumatic to think that all 5 of us are all growed up and responsible now. Jesse and I decided to give him a birthday he'd remember.

First, we invited a posse of our friends to assault the house and kidnap Jonathan. He already knew what we were planning to do that day, so the kidnap part was really a ploy to keep Mom from asking too many questions. Plus, it's always fun to throw a black bag over your brother's head, tie his hands up with duct tape, and throw him in the back of a car. Due to the craziness of the assault, and massive amounts of running and screaming involved, there aren't really any good pictures. You'll just have to see the video. Once we captured Jonathan, we all went to Denny's for brunch. I was in a separate car and got there a little late, so I missed out on them leading him in with the black bag still over his head and hands still taped up, but I heard it generated stares from everyone in the restaurant. After loading up on bacon, eggs, and pancakes, we all drove out to Waller to GO SKYDIVING!!! We've always wanted to jump out of an airplane, and have been planning to do it for years. But we had to wait til we were all over 18.

Jonathan was pretty excited.

So were Jesse and Janna.

Sarah Beth was nervous for Jonathan.


I jumped first. Going against every survival instinct in your body feels weird. My instructor had to give me a little push.

Jesse was next.

We got the best pictures of Jonathan.

Doesn't he look happy?

His face pretty much turned into fabric. It looked like this for the majority of the video.

Coming in for a landing. I think that's me.

"I'm alive!"

Our friends are alive too!

The Daniel "triplets." We just fell out of the sky!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

learning to breathe

"Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

i've always loved these verses, but always found them challenging. i mean, think about it: "always," "without ceasing," "in everything." seems a little extreme and unattainable. the devo i read yesterday gave me a little different perspective on it. still challenging, but makes a little more sense.

"Our thinking about prayer, whether right or wrong, is based on our own mental conception of it. The correct concept is to think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts. Our blood flows and our breathing continues "without ceasing"; we are not even conscious of it, but it never stops. And we are not always conscious of Jesus keeping us in perfect oneness with God, but if we are obeying Him, He always is." ~Oswald Chambers

so this is what mom feels like...

so, my 20-yr old little brother is living with me this summer while he does film internships here in austin. i love having him here, but i just had a taste of what my mother has gone through for the past 33 years. he's working on a film shoot down in smithville, which is over an hour away, so he gets home pretty late at night. i knew he would be home extra late last night, so i didn't wait up for him. but then i woke up at 3:45 and couldn't remember hearing him come in. i couldn't get back to sleep until i knew if he was here or not, so i went to investigate. my first clue was that the toilet seat was still down. then, that his car wasn't out front where it usually is. so i checked his room. not there. enter panic: "aaahhh! my little brother is out there smeared on the highway somewhere and i've just been sleeping away without a care in the world!" (well, i wasn't really panicked, just a little worried). so i called him, found out he was ok, and went back to bed. and couldn't get back to sleep. which is why i'm blogging at 4:15 AM. *sigh* i love you Jesse.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

the project that killed my sewing machine...but was totally worth it

Once upon a time, in a corner of The Green Forest, there lived a certain wood-nymph.

She was generally a happy sort of creature,

though she was rather lonely. You see, there weren't very many of the faerie folk in that part of the Forest, and the little dryad didn't have any friends.

But one day, a pixie spied her from behind a tree, and wanted to get acquainted.

The wood nymph was shy at first, not being used to strangers.

But she politely agreed to shake hands, and they went walking down the lane.

Feeling rather dancey, they twirled their way through the woods.

Then they played hide and seek...

picked wild flowers...

and had a tea party.

They decided to be friends.

The end.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Agent 1

i was reading some of my old facebook notes the other day, and found this "script" that Bailey wrote as a sequel to Agent 1, the first Compound Productions movie she starred in. she wrote this when she was 9. it made me chuckle, so i thought i'd share it with the world once more.

"In the flames at the begining it will say: (you thought she was dead) but she wasn't.
Bailey - There it is
boss - Now remember focus on trying to find what there hideing
Bailey - (got it) over and out
Jesse will be playing the piano with a jiant smile then Bailey will kill him (almost) then very desperitly he will say into the walkie talkie bring in the clones then he will die
Then Bailey will become surounded with clones and start killing them all sorts of ways. Only then the last one will tie her up only he will forget to tie a note so when he walks away I will ecape. Then I will hide under the computer desk and Ruths brother Jonathan will walk by only I will shoot him and then Ruth will come crying on him saying the person who did this will regrate what theve done. And then she will run away crying only I will captur her and tie her up and let her sufactate because the rope will be around her neck and then I will find the stolen mony and laugh and then the screen will go black."

needless to say, Jesse and Jonathan did not produce her film. but they did come up with this.

yeah, she likes to think she's hard core.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Am I Ready?

"God called to him...And he said, 'Here I am.'" Exodus 3:4
"When God speaks, many of us are like people in a fog, and we give no answer. Moses' reply to God revealed that he knew where he was and that he was ready. Readiness means having a right relationship to God and having the knowledge of where we are. We are so busy telling Go where we would like to go. Yet the man or woman who is ready for God and His work is the one who receives the prize when the summons comes. We wait with the idea that some great opportunity or something sensational will be coming our way, and when it does come we are quick to cry out, 'Here I am.' Whenever we sense that Jesus Christ is rising up to take authority over some great task, we are there, but we are not ready for some obscure duty.
Readiness for God means that we are prepared to do the smallest thing or the largest thing - it makes no difference. It means we have no choice in what we want to do, but that whatever God's plans may be, we are there and ready. Whenever any duty presents itself, we hear God's voice as our Lord heard His Father's voice, and we are ready for it with the total readiness of our love for Him." From My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers

Sunday, April 12, 2009

my most recent sewing spurt

I'm trying to motivate myself to be creative and get some sewing done on my days off this week, so I thought I'd post my most recent projects, from a few weeks ago. These are Simplicity 3745 and 3867. I really like the fabric on the first one, but the second is more comfortable.

If anyone wants to see more pictures of them, they're also posted on craftster. Just search for "rufous03" under member search.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

the best of both worlds?

Well, I had an unexpected experience last night. My 11-yr old niece is in town visiting her dad for the weekend. I really wanted to see her, but had to work all weekend, so I didn't think I'd get to. But then they sent me home at 3 instead of 7 yesterday, so I had the afternoon free. After work I went for a run, then texted my brother to see if I could come by his house and say hi, so I'd at least get to see Bailey for a little while before she went back to Houston. He texted back, "You wanna take her to see Hannah Montana at the movies? I don't want to do it."

Two hours later I was sitting in a movie theater surrounded by giddy little girls, kindly mothers, and 2 or 3 fathers, whom I pitied but greatly admired. I knew nothing about Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus, except that she's a very sparkly, lip-glossed singer of cute hip-hop songs that pre-teen girls seem to adore. Needless to say, I had very low expectations of this movie. But hey, I got to spend 2 hrs with my niece, so it was worth it. Actually, it wasn't nearly as painful an experience as I expected. I was impressed that the movie stuck to the G rating and had some decent "family is important" values thrown in there.

I was a little confused about the ending. See, the tagline of the movie is "She has the best of both, she has to choose just one." The whole plot was about this girl choosing whether to be a world-famous singer, or a small-town girl with a loving family and normal relationships. At the end, she decides to return to her roots and just be a Tennessee girl. It's a very feel-good moment, and everybody's happy when Miley realizes that home and family are more important than the glamour of L.A. But THEN, her adoring fans beg her to change her mind, put her blond wig back on, and go on being their hip-hop superstar idol. And she DOES! So the moral of the story really can have the best of both worlds...and you don't have to pick just one? Huh? *sigh* Oh well.

I'm a good auntie, I am.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Watching My Heart

"Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons." Deuteronomy 4:9

"Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life." Proverbs 4:23

Something God has been teaching me lately is the importance of watching over my heart, paying attention to my thoughts, desires, and affections. I think that is something that is so often overlooked, considered unimportant or hopeless. Practically from infancy, the world tells us to "follow your heart." In movies, if a character "falls in love," he has no choice but to act on his feelings, unless he wants to spend the rest of his life in misery and regret. When a person faces a difficult decision, someone usually asks him, "what does your heart tell you?" The world doesn't realize that the human heart is corrupt and full of sin - it will only lead us to death unless we allow it to be led by God's truth. I should not follow my heart until it is in line with God's heart. He can give me His thoughts, desires, and affections, but only if I first lead my heart towards Him.

"We may be inclined to believe that our feelings are caused by life's circumstances or by our body chemistry. Undoubtedly, these things do affect us. However, such factors are not the source of sinful feelings. As we encounter life, our emotions are primarily determined by what is in our hearts. Sinful feelings reveal a sinful heart.....Self-control is what we need to guard our hearts against sin. And a well-kept heart will beget joyful feelings - the kind of feelings that God intends for us to have." ~Carolyn Mahaney, Feminine Appeal

Thursday, April 2, 2009

is there a term for "fear of malls"?

I think this phobia I have of malls is only getting worse, the older I get.  With the weather warming up, I recently realized that I need a new swimsuit.  I saw some online that I kind of liked, but wanted to try them on before ordering any.  So, after going on a beautiful 4-mile walk around Town Lake and then reading a book at Mozart's (a coffee shop by the lake), I bravely ventured to Barton Creek Mall, determined to get in and out before the afternoon crowds.  

I found the swimsuit and tried it on pretty quickly.  It didn't fit, so it's a good thing I hadn't ordered one.  Then, since the mall really wasn't crowded at all, I thought I'd look for a pair of sandals while I was there.  I eventually found a directory and figured out that one of the many shoe stores to choose from wasn't far away.  I just had to find a way to get downstairs, and find "N1," in the orange section.  Or maybe it was "G3," in the green section.  By the time I found the stairs I'd forgotten what section the shoe store was in, and decided that if I wandered around for a little while I'd be sure to find it, since it would take me just as long to find another directory.  Mistake.  I think I went in the exact opposite direction of where I wanted to go.  

By this time I was getting what I call "The Mall Headache."  This particular ailment is brought on by bright lights, loud music, and ten million different colognes, not to mention the stress of dodging the kiosk vendors.  These people are Vultures of American Consumerism, on a mission to convince you that you can't live without the newest grapefruit-scented lotion, electronic gadget, or robotic toy.  Thankfully, I have mastered the art of avoiding eye contact, and successfully passed by unscathed.  However, I was completely fed up with the whole mall atmosphere, and frustrated at being lost, so when I finally did find the shoe store, I was in no mood to try anything on.  I convinced myself that I didn't need any sandals, that the $2.50 Old Navy flip-flops I recently got would do just fine for now.  And it's only the beginning of April, there's plenty of time to get a new swimsuit.  

Within 20 or 30 minutes of going into the mall, I made my escape and found my car.  I drove home, reflecting on how pathetic I really am, and decided that the next time I need to go to the mall, I'd better bring someone along for moral support.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

where are the walnuts?

I was home in Magnolia last week visiting my family, and while I was there my mom made some delicious chicken salad.  She puts a little bit of everything in her chicken salad - celery, apple,  walnuts - and I decided I wanted to copy her recipe and make some to take to work for lunch.  So I went on a much-needed shopping trip tonight to get some groceries.  I found the chicken, apples, and celery right away.  Then I went on a hunt for walnuts.  Now, all my life, my mother has had a big bag of walnuts in the freezer.  The walnuts have always been in the freezer.  It never occurred to me that they would be kept anywhere else.  So there I was, pushing my shopping cart up and down the freezer aisles, looking for the frozen nut section.  It wasn't there.  I suppose I was in a somewhat stuporous state, having gotten up at 5:15, worked an 8-hr shift at the hospital, and then walk/jogged 3 miles afterward.  But all I could think was, "where are the frozen walnuts?"  I almost asked someone to help me find them.  Then I thought about calling Mom to ask her where she usually buys frozen walnuts.  Finally, after walking up and down the freezer aisles a few time, I realized that normal people probably don't keep walnuts in the freezer.  Normal people probably find them in the baking section of the grocery store, next to the pecans and almonds.  Which is where I found them.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

the Daniel "triplets"

I'm still trying to get used to this blog thing, so I thought I'd try some pictures. These are me with 2 of my favorite people. :)

The summer I had short hair, some people really did think we were triplets.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

do not watch

so Jenny and Hannah are visiting me during their spring break, and we wanted a girlie movie to watch tonight. this looked like it might be decent. bad decision. don't watch The Duchess.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

hippies, country clubs, and rednecks

One of the best parts of my job is that I can have several days off in a row without taking any vacation time.  Last weekend I went on a road trip through Texas to visit family, and I guess going from city to city so quickly really made me notice the contrasts between them more than I usually do.  It certainly takes all kinds to make a world.  Thursday afternoon I left straight from the hospital, having packed my car the night before.  I stopped at the library on the way out of town to pick up some books-on-CD.  The library I go to used to be an old movie theater, and still has "Americana" written on the sign.  There's usually some interesting-looking tattooed character sitting on the bench outside, smoking a cigarette or pipe and tapping away on a laptop.  

After picking up my books, I made my way to I-35 and headed to Dallas to visit Meemo, my 88-yr old grandmother who lives in a very nice retirement home called The Edgemere.  All my memories of visiting Meemo when I was growing up include wearing my nicest clothes, being on my best behavior, and trying to think of something to say.  Not much has changed, except now I'm old enough to enjoy myself while being on my best behavior.  As usual, I got lost and had to call my dad for directions once I got into Dallas.  But I found my way eventually, and spent the evening visiting in Meemo's apartment.  Friday we went to the Dallas arboretum, which was beautiful.  I'd never been, and all the newly-blossomed spring flowers were amazing.  Secretly though, after seeing about 2 million tulips, I really just wanted to go play in the storybook houses they had for the kids.  I don't think Meemo would have approved.  If I ever go back, I'm taking a child with me.  That night we dressed up and went to "wine and cheese" before dinner.  In the words of Harold, one of the residents I met at wine and cheese, "life at the Edgemere is like living on a cruise ship."  It really seems that way.  We ate dinner in the formal dining room.  It's always fun to hear the comments the other residents make about me at dinner.  Things like, "Well, you aren't old enough to be here!" and whispers behind me of "Who's that?  It must be Ruth's granddaughter."  I had a good time in Dallas, but more than a day or 2 would really wear me out.    

Saturday morning I packed away my dresses and high-heels, put my jeans and sketchers back on, and went back on the road.  I was determined not to get lost on my way out of Dallas.  No such luck.  Whoever designed the highways in that town had a cruel sense of humor.  Anyway, I finally got my bearings right, and made my way to good old Magnolia, population 1,111.  Saturday was my mom's birthday, and I had sworn Dad to secrecy that I was coming home to surprise her.  I was afraid that telling him my plan was a mistake - he has a history of blowing surprises.  But I was very proud of him for managing to keep the secret.  Mom was sitting at her desk putting on makeup, and was sufficiently surprised when I sneaked up behind her and gave her a hug.  Surprises are so satisfying.  The next 2 days were full of the usual random home things, like laughing over funny youtube videos with Dad, walking through the woods to my aunt and uncle's house, playing games with my cousins, admiring Mom's newly-planted garden, ice cream/movie night, and setting up chairs at the community center for church.  I love my church in Austin, but it always feels so homey to be at Magnolia Bible, where everyone knows my name and gives me hugs.  

Now I'm back in Austin, and I paid for my long weekend with a 13-hour work day.  It's good to be back though.  I'm too sloppy for Dallas, and Magnolia is a place to go home to, but I really have loved getting to know this little city.  I think God knew what He was doing when He brought me here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

hello world

"The time has come," The Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes and ships and sealing wax-
Of cabbages and kings-
And why the sea is boiling hot-
And whether pigs have wings."

I was going to wait until I had something profound to say before I started a blog.  But I got tired of waiting.  So here I am.